Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Week 49 - Aruba

Bon Tardi, Buenas Tardes, Good afternoon!!!!!

It was a very nice week over here in Aruba! We have SEVEN new investigators!!!! Craziness!!!!! We have been working hard to build back up our teaching pool! The 3 we had to give to the elders are still doing really well and progressing lots!  We were SOOO happy to hear about that! Huge relief!

So many awesome things happened this week!!!!  Marlien, my cute little Surinamese recent convert? She is now the secretary in the Relief Society!  She is going to do so great. Also, Winston, her husband, had a baptismal date for this week, but he has been hard for the elders to schedule with this week, so the elders changed his date to March. Still doing well though!  I am so happy for that cute family!  Up next are her daughters....but that is going to take lots of prayers and lots of time.. One day!
We had Zone Conference, with President Egbert this week and it was SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD! I learned so much. Zone conferences just keep getting better and better. Seriously. We learned many wonderful things and we are now working on applying those things to our teachings! President Egbert is so inspired. We are going to miss him soooo much when he goes home
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Juandavid got baptized by his father David!!!!!!! That was a very spiritual experience for all who was there....  Bbuuuuut that DAY was NUTS. Our Branch Mission Leader accidentally left the water on while filling the baptismal font..and forgot to turn it off and left the building. It had been filling the font AND BUILDING for TWO HOURS! The WHOLE branch came to clean up the flooded church!  It was crazy. That was honestly the most united I have ever seen the members though..they were all there cleaning the church and getting rid of the water. Everything was dry and ready to go in just over an hour - two hours after discovering the flood! It was so crazy!  Everything was dry for the baptism, and WOW was that baptism amazing!  I would never be able explain how his baptism and confirmation was..  All I can say is that it was a very special experience. Everyone who can be baptized in that family is! They are so happy. David said he was feeling weird the day of Juandavid's baptism but he did it anyway and totally nailed it! It was just so amazing. On Sunday Juandavid was confirmed in sacrament meeting, and afterward he walked up and bore his testimony. The whole time we have been teaching him he always just acted like a normal 11 year old, which is fine. BUT when he bore his testimony right after receiving the spirit, he just started bawling up there. He could barely get the words out. He just kept thanking us for teaching him everything over and over again. It was so tender. So sweet. When he sat down he just laid his head on his mothers lap and kept crying as she was comforting him. That little 11 year old felt the spirit so strongly. It was amazing. He already has a goal to baptize Naomi, the littlest girl in their family someday AND to go on a mission. We love Juandavid!
To end this email i just wanted to share something very short but crazy that happened on Monday! God protects his missionaries!!!! S o we get chased by dogs a LOT. My feet have been bitten by them as we ride and they have made missionaries get into some bad accidents. Well, we were just biking to a lesson on Monday last week and a dog just started tearing after us. He looked pretty evil and angry. Well, there was a car behind us and I guess he didn't see the dog because he started to pass us at a pretty fast speed.. the next thing we hear is a pretty soft boom...and then a dog SCREAMING running away from the car with his back left leg up. God was watching after us! We have seen the dog since and he is fine. That was honestly such a crazy experience! Haha!
Well...that is it from me this week! Sorry for the long email, so much happened! I hope you are all doing well! I love and miss you all!

Sister Woodbury
 

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 48 - Aruba

Wow. Crazy week! I hit 11 months!!! Cant even believe itttttt. I am so scared. Next transfer i hit a year and then 13 months! I met my first companion when she had 14 months! AHHH! Not yet time to freak out yet though, thank goodness :)

In other news... HAPPY B-DAY BIG BROTHER CHRIS! Love youuu!!!!!!! 

So. this week. Ooooohhh this week. We lost ALL OF OUR INVESTIGATORS! Eduardo dropped us, we had to give Daniel, Javier, and Nerwins to the Elders, etc, etc. ugh. And everyone we ARE teaching are really really struggling. Please keep them in your prayers. Craziness. I don't even know what to specifically say about them all.
Lets just go right into the highlights...
Soooo we have been teaching this newer member who was baptized just over a year ago. His name is Jair. He is 15 but looks at least 17. He is AWESOMEEEE. We were teaching his about the temple, and he just said something that touched my heart. He said if there was a temple right around the corner, that he would be there CONSTANTLY. School, friends, anything else wouldn't matter as much. Jair is awesome. Strongest youth in the church. wants to serve a mission sooo badly.
We have also finally figured out when Juandavid is finally going to be baptized! We are shooting for this Saturday! You never know with his dad, buuuuut we should be good. We will see next week if he will be a member of the church!
My testimony of this gospel is so simple, I just know it is true. We were talking to our recent convert, Melissa, about how our investigators our doing and we told them they were struggling with accepting the gospel and she just completely said "No. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and I know the Book of Mormon is true." That really boosted my testimony. She said it with such confidence and boldness. She shared with us that the gospel has really helped her and her family so much. She has really let these things change her. It was a very simple, but very spiritual experience for me. So grateful for this gospel.
That is all I've got this week! not much but it is something! I love you and miss you all! Have a wonderful week!!
-Sister/Ruman/Hermana Woodbury
 
 

 


Monday, January 29, 2018

Weeks 46-47, Aruba

Hellooo!!!

So sorry about last week, I accidentally deleted the email instead of sending it! :( But here we goooo!!

Soooo last week was pretty hard to be honest... Week 47
The bad first:
- A less active i was teaching in Curacao, Carlos, passed away due to a TERRIBLE case of depression. He can finally start his whole process now without having to deal with depression. Worst case i have ever seen. Prayers for his family, but i honestly felt peace in my heart for him when i heard. so sad. He's free now.
-We were supposed to have a baptism last saturday, buuuuuut the family never came. Everyone else did! It was terrible. It was just because David, the dad who was going to baptize Juandavid, felt weird. That is it. He felt weird, and just said "i don't know" whenever we asked what he meant. buuuut now Juandavid (his son) just wants to be baptized sooooo badly and David says he feels ready now...so we will see.. Maybe soon? I never want to relive that Saturday night. Ugh. 
Now the super good!!
-MARLIEN TAUGHT RELIEF SOCIETY LAST WEEK!!!! My cute little recent convert was up there teaching everyone and she did an AMAZING job!!! She said this is the only church that she has ever felt a real change in her life. Soooo awesome. Everyone ran up to her afterwards to tell her that she did a great job (the people here never do that...) I was so happy. she is doing so awesome!
-Eduardo is doing sooo great!!! We taught the Book of Mormon last week and when we got done teaching it he said, "Oh! This answers my question then! I was wrong, God DID send people to the Americas too!" He told is that he has prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and he knows its all true. He is already being a sweet little missionary to his neighbors and family members! He is trying so hard to share the gospel! He is so awesome.
-For those who don't know, we have a new prophet!  Wow, what an experience. The spirit that i could feel when i watched that announcement was just soooo strong. That was on of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I love this gospel and I know that just like He always did in the past, Jesus Christ still calls righteous people to be our prophets in these perilous times. So grateful. If you haven't seen the announcement video, watch it!!! its amazing. wow: https://www.lds.org/church/news/new-first-presidency-speaks-to-members-worldwide?lang=eng&_r=1

Week 48
We actually had a pretty uneventful week last week, which was pretty nice after last week. We just went on exchanges with Sister Hardy (she is the new STL) and that was so fun! This week was kinda crazy and I actually have two fun stories for yall:
-okay sooo there is an area in Aruba that is superrrrr sketch called Bushiri.  It is government housing and the young teenage boys over there wear "bushiri boys" t-shirts. It is sooo scary. We hate being over there. Well, we didn't realize how sketchy it was, so we went there on Friday night in search of an investigator that we lost contact with. So, we locked up our bikes and walked to his house.  Mind you, this place is just a huge lot with like 3 rows of really tall big run down yellow buildings. our investigator, Calo, lives at the top on one of them. When we started talking to him we could see our bikes from where we were, but they were on row one and we were on row three. Well, during our short FIVE minute talk with him, we saw someone trying to steal our bikes!!!!!!!! we BOOKED it!!  We ran down the stairs and RANNN over there. When we got there the teenager had left but sister Davidson's bike lock was completely cut in half. If they cut mine they would have gotten two bikes but they only cut hers so that was lucky. Ugh. It was terrible. Crazy Bushiri.

Thennn on Saturday we went and checked up on the Moore family, and they were cutting into a Venezuelan man's armpit trying to get out a really big cyst. Literally they were using a razor blade and everything. Sister Moore had been to some of nursing school and Bro Moore had worked in the ER and is in medical school right now so they knew what they were doing... but wow!  It was so crazy. I felt so bad for the man because all they had were some pain killers, no numbing or anything! I got to help and Brother Moore was showing me the fatty tissue. Their baby was just sitting over on the side and Sister Davidson was feeding it. It was a WEIRD 30 minutes of service, that is all i have to say!  XD I love the Moores!!!

Well, all of our investigators are doing pretty well. Daniel, Javier, and Nerwins are doing great! Daniel and Nerwins always read every BOM assignment we give them! they are spiritually doing great and they all have pretty solid jobs now too. They still haven't been able to come to church though. they are three of the coolest Venezuelans ever. Seriously!

Oh! THE WINDDDD!!! This week the wind has been SOOO STRONG!!!!!! It makes biking sooo hard and showering extra cold. You can bike as hard as you can but move like 2 miles an hour. It has been sooo hard. Craziness.

Well that is all i have for you this week! The church is true people! It is! I love and miss you all! Have a great week!!!

-Sister Woodbury




Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 45 - Aruba

Hola!

We had a wonderful week this week, but i can't remember too much because we have been TIRED!
First of all.... HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS EVY!!! I LOVE YOUUUUU!!!! It sure is great to be eight, huh??

Big points and fun experiences:

-David received the Priesthood and will be baptizing his son, Juandavid on Saturday!!!! :)

-Marlien's husband (one of my recent converts, she is from Suriname) would hardly even talk to us while we were teaching her. Now? He is being taught by the elders and has a baptism date for the 10th of Feb!!! SOOO AMAZING!

-My testimony is thriving!! Through this gospel and through the Book of Mormon these people can have all the answers that their souls are looking for. We were teaching this man named Edwardo and he asked us a really amazing question. He asked us " why, Why, WHY did God, the creator of ALL, not send His disciples or SOMEONE to the other continent???" It was amazing!  Sister Davidson and I just smiled really big...  Also, earlier in the week we were teaching someone who lost their sister to cancer a couple of years ago. She asked us an amazing question. She explained that she had asked this question to sooo many different people in different churches and no one has given her a straight up answer.  She asked about how everyone says that when someone dies they just go straight to heaven, and how that has never made sense to her because she knows that there will be a judgement day. She wanted to know what happens in between Heaven and the time of death. It was amazing, and we finally had her answers. Something she has been looking for for a long time.

-The Old Testament is one of the best books ever. I love it so much and read it in my free time. I am such a nerd now. Happier this way though :)

Life is so good and I am happy! The gospel changes peoples lives and i get a front seat showing of it everyday! :) I hope you all have a great week. I love and miss you all so much!!

-Sister Woodbury
 
                                                  just received this, from earlier last year

                                                             David and Juandavid

Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 44 - Aruba

Hello!!

I dont have too much to add since I just emailed on Wednesday but it was still a super good week!! A couple of updates on those we are teaching:  Juandavid is doing amazing and is so excited for his baptism!! We went to their house on Saturday night and they put together a sweet little FHE style dinner for us to say thank you to us. they are soooo sweet. David is weird... He really wants to finish his tattoo sleave and even though we told him straight up that he shouldnt he is working on it. It is almost completely tattooed.  He also didn't come to church the past two weeks because he hasnt been feeling well either time.. I dunno. Pray for him. Everyone else is doing AMAZING though! like WOW! 

Also, this week we contacted someone named David from Venezuela (but we teach them in English) and we had a lesson with him and his wife! They are SO amazing! We had a beautiful lesson with them and they just have sooo much potential! David has a huge beard and it reminds me a bit of my brothers. Their English is so good. Crazy. They are amazing.

We also contacted a guy named Calo on saturday who came to church on sunday! unfortunately since we had never taught him before and everyone talked about President Monson and then the gospel principles class was about temples.  A lot of new things for him. They even mentioned the degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom in class. It was so awkward. I felt so bad! he was in good spirits though and is really cool!

Christina was able to make it to church this week as well! She is doing well, but is really used to having dreams as answers. It is really interesting. She knows Joseph Smith was a prophet but doesn't know about the BOM yet... She always tells us her dreams and I feel like she wants us to pull a Joseph and interpret her dreams for her! Its kinda fun!

As for Leasbeth....Ugh her life is so hard and we had no idea. She just ran away from home with all her kids and is living in a dump now because her father is really scary and abusive. we had no idea. she is going through a lot right now, and so is her mom Elbe. Please keep them in your prayers.
 
That is all I have from this week but I love and miss you all and I hope you have a great week!

-Sister Woodbury




 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Week 43 - Aruba

We had a great week this week. Who knew that new years here is so crazy! Basically any kind of fireworks are legal here and WOW! I think my ears are still ringing. this place is crazy. They are STILL using fireworks all the time even though it is the 3rd! We have heard that it is to get away all of the bad spirit's from 2017 and welcome 2018 with a fresh start. something like that. All of Aruba is covered in red paper from the left over fireworks and it always sounds like a war! Scary/fun on the bikes for sure!

As well, David and Melissa gave us a really sweet Christmas gift! They invited us to a super cool restaurant called Texas de Brazil. It was soooo good. Buffet with 13 men walking around with huge things of meat that they cut off and put right on your plate.  It is soooo fun! We felt like queens. Plus they didn't even make us pay for it because they had some kind of really nice coupon for it. David's dad works there so I don't know how they made it work but it was awesome!

As well we have so many really cool investigators. We are teaching two people from Venezuela right now, Daniel and Nerwins. They are so awesome. When we got there yesterday they had some cookie thingys waiting for us on top of their pamphlets and everything. Daniel looks like Vin Deasel (how do you even spell that) and they are just SO cool. 

We also have Juan David on date! He is the son of David and Melissa and he is doing great! He is so excited for his baptism!
Also.... I hit my 10 month-aversary! so weird!!!

The following is a portion of the letter I sent to my mission president because I don't have too much time to write my big emails! Sorry!

The area is doing so great! We are teaching some amazing people and we have 2 baptismal dates at the moment. They are both so promising. I am so grateful that I will be able to stay here to continue to teach these amazing people. I am blown away by how much this gospel changes lives and I love the opportunity I have to witness the changes happen in the peoples' lives here in Aruba. 
Sister Davidson is so great! We are so happy we get to stay companions for this next transfer! We have been working really hard and really trying to follow the Lord's will. We have really good unity and we are constantly having spiritual experiences every time we do companionship study and every time we teach a lesson. She is doing amazing and is such a great example for me!
Wow my testimony is growing so much. I know God knows us so perfectly. What we do and don't understand, our doubts, our fears, our strengths, our desires, everything. He knows! I learn that everyday during personal study. It is amazing.
My spiritual experience this week was when we asked our investigator Leasbeth to be baptized. Wow! We weren't able to see her for a while because she has a hard time remembering our appointments, but we were finally able to see her one night when we stopped by. We were able to sit down and have a catch up lesson with her. When we taught her the Book of Mormon she really just wanted to read from the beginning, so we invited her to do so. We followed up with her reading and she couldn't remember where she had left off because she didn't have her book with her. We gave her our book to look through and after looking for a moment she said she was in chapter 20, and of course we immediately thought she was talking about 1 Nephi. Then she said, "yep, chapter 20 of Mosiah." Our jaws dropped. She hasn't had that book for very long! Then we just kept talking to her and about the things we had taught her and she remembered everything so perfectly. The spirit told us that we needed to ask her to be baptized and so we did, and she was SO excited. She was just beaming with joy. She said that it would be an honor, and then she yelled in to her house in excitement calling to her mom to tell her the good news! The only thing is that she is in her 30's. Haha Leasbeth is so amazing and loves this gospel. She is already being a missionary and sharing this message with all of her friends.
I love being a missionary!

-Sister Woodbury
 
                                                             Caught in the rain...again!

                                                                  New members' dog
                                                                Delicious improv!
                                                        
                                                   New Years dinner with member family

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Week 42 - Aruba

HELLOOOO EVERYONE!!!
I hope you all had a very merry christmas and I wish you all a happy new year!! This week has been so fun! I dont remember anything hahaha! First of all though, today I have a lot of lil shoutouts to do!:
Happy Birthday Danielle!!!!!!!!
Happy birthday little Chris!!!!!!!
Happy Birthday Cierra!!!!!!
Happy Anniversary Chris and Aly!!!!!
I love and miss you alllllll!!!!
I really dont have too much to say today but we had a really good week and a fun christmas!
David got baptized this week and that was awesome! his whole family coudnt make it but it still had pretty good attendance after about 20 minutes in thanks to the members :) That family is doing AWESOME and we just started teaching their son who is dying to get baptized. Everything is going great here and i am happier than ever!!! We got to spend christmas day with the terrones family and melissa and david all together! that was sooo fun! Those two families changed soooo much. It is AMAZING to see their change. Thank goodness for the gospel! All is well over here in aruba and we are seeing lots of success. 
Oranjestad is doing so great! We are teaching a lot of Arubians which is something I have never experienced before. Aruba is truly become elect and the Lord really is ripening the field and I am so grateful to be here harvesting it. We have some amazing investigators. 
I Just love this gospel so much. It has sincerely changed my life. Right now my personal studies are really fun because for the past 2-3 months I have been reading the Old and New testament, the Book of Mormon Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price all at the same time, along with preach my gospel. It I have been able to learn so much. At first it was a little bit stressful but now it is just SO fun. My testimony has sky rocketed as I have been doing this little challenge I have set for myself and I have spiritual experiences everyday because of it. 
Anywho, have a great week! I love and miss you all so much!

-Sister W

Family:
I LOVED SEEING YOU! SORRY I CRIED THE WHOLE TIME!!!! i promise i am SUPER happy even though it didnt look like it! I am not even homesick at all either. I dont really know why i cried the whole time but oh well! I love and miss you all and i hope you have a happy new year!
I love you dad, mom, britt, allen, will, chris, jack, clay, spence, chris, aly, evy, aby, millie, lizzie, chase, kim, mason, linley, carson, mimi, brooks, felicia, and buns! MUAH!
-schmal