Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 22 - Aruba

Wowwww What a crazy week. I remember NOTHING. Buuuut first off today is sweet little Linley's Birthday!!!!! Wowwww! Stop growing up!!! As well, one week left of the BoM challenge! time to wrap it up! Love that book and whoever made it to the end of this challenge is just so blessed. :)

I hit my 5 monthaversary this last week! No puedo creer lo!!!!! Haha I cant believe it! A mi no por kere! Wednesday was so crazy my family and friends! We had nine lessons and 13 really amazing contacts. That is nuts. seriously. Especially for the Caribbean/Aruba!! That was a day of miracles honestly. This last week we have really felt the guidance of the spirit. We were always in the right place at the right time. It was amazing. We have also had the opportunity to teach the restoration a lot and man, these last few lessons have been powerful. The people have been completely understanding it. Completely. it has been such a cool experience and I am so grateful that I get to be here first hand experiencing it!! With a series of really inspired questions we have been able to watch the spirit teach these incredible people. The most powerful ones this week were definitely with the following people: Henry, Edwardo, and Fernando (some of our investigators) and it was just so amazing.

Also we contacted some AMAZING PEOPLE this week. One of the amazing contacts that we made was with this lady named Gloria. It was so cool. I could just feel that God sent us to her, so I told her that and she said that that exact thing popped into her mind as well. She lives in a hidden little part of the main road and we never would have gone by her house if it wasn't for divine guidance!! We have also been teaching this sweet little Arubian (Hatian) girl named Besh! She is amazing! Her mom doesn't want her to get baptized but she really wants to! She is incredible. There is also this young girl named Monchi that we have been teaching from a less active family and she is set to be baptized on the 26th! So amazing! She is really cute! I will include a picture of her with the BoM that she made haha!  She really is so cute and sweet and she is going to be a great example to her family.

Okay. We also found this guy named Jose Luis. HE IS SO AMAZING. So prepared for the gospel. I swear. We have been stopping by where he works for like 5 minutes but his boss stopped letting him do that so we are finally starting to get to teach him at his house and have actual lessons with him! We have been leaving him chapters to read, but we just found out last night that when he finishes the chapters he just starts reading from the beginning!!! He LOVES that book! He is all the way in 1 Nephi 18!!!!! Seriously he is the best. We get to teach him about the restoration tonight and i am so excited :))))!!!!! We also had a really cool experience this week with this lady named Mirella! She has been going to church for like 3 months with a really awesome member (I thought she was a member) but she would NOT let the missionaries visit with her. Then she finally told us we could meet with her last Sunday at the Members house, so we left her a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon (even though she was already reading it on her own). We had a lesson with her and then through a series of questions and when the spirit was there she told us she wanted to tell us something. She said she prayed to know if she should be baptized into this church and then she opened up the BoM to a verse in Alma five that told her to repent and be baptized and she took that as her answer. She also went online last week and antimormon stuff popped up on her computer but she just closed it all because she new it was all just there to make her lose her testimony. She is amazing. She has such a testimony that these things are true! She wants to get baptized on her birthday, September 12!

So excited!! That is about all I can think of this week! So sorry this email is kind of rambly! I will try to be better! Our week was just so crazy and busy and I just cant think straight right now hahaha! I love you all and miss you SO much! Big Hugs!!!

Hermana Woodbury


Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 21 - Aruba

Hello everyone!!!!! 
Welp, Sister Petersen is home (in Utah) and I have been with Sister Taylor and Sister Garcia this past week! It has been fun! Honestly not too much happened this week so this is going to be a short email, but the biggest thing that happened was........SEBASTIAN RECEIVED THE PRIESTHOOD!!!! He is so awesome. Sebastian and Marlien were at church yesterday and i just felt sooooo happy. Marlien leaned over to me during one of the classes and just whispered, "thank you for coming to me house". My heart melted. I love her so much people!!!

Also I just realized that this will probably be my last transfer (6 weeks) in Aruba because we can only legally stay on each island for 6 months every year, and I am coming up to 6 months! I will definitely miss this place SO much but i am also excited for the adventures that are ahead!

We have been contacting (knocking doors or meeting people on the street) a lottttt recently and we have actually been contacting a lot of really cool and prepared people!! We contacted this young man named Immanuel. It was a really cool contact because he just let the spirit into his heart and we taught totally by the spirit! We basically taught the entire restoration and he just connected all the dots! It was sooooo cooooool!!!!!!! Just getting to witness the spirit was such an amazing experience. We were totally guided to him as well, because we were supposed to have a lesson with someone else at that time but it got pushed back, so we had a small amount of time to contact. Then, we were guided to him! It really strengthened my testimony that the Lord will guide us to those who He is preparing and that those who are prepared will be able to be taught by the spirit and understand! It was really quite amazing.   
Other than that, not much else happened this week! It has been really fun though and both of my companions are really sweet!!! We are working hard and diligently! :)

Also.... Happy Birthday Felicia!!! I love youuuuu!!!!! And 2 more weeks left of the BoM challenge!!!! Even if you havent started it yet, I know you can finish it because I have read it in two weeks before!!! And i can promise that if life has been tough, this book will help you more than anything else. Read it!!!!!I love and miss you all sooooo much and I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Woodbury


Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 20 - Aruba

Halloooo con baiiiii? (Hello!  How are you doing?)
Okayyyy soooooooo things have changed with Marlien since my last email.....She pulled the worlds biggest 180 in the universe. SHE GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! I honestly am still in shock because of the crazy roller coaster leading up to this point. We had no idea what we could do to help her.. The Egberts (mission president) were in Aruba and we got to go teaching with Sister Egbert! While we were out with her we asked her what her thoughts about Marlien were because we honestly had no idea what to do. She recommended to show Marien the short Restoration video, which is exactly what we ended up doing. After watching the video, we asked Marlien if she believed Joseph Smith was a prophet and she said "yes". We about fell over in our seats. Honestly!  She told us that she still wants to be baptized. This all happened on Monday! We extended her original date (last Saturday) and she said yes! Then we just made it happen! Her baptism was amazing. We also taught her temples last week and that lesson was soooo beautiful. She loved it. She said it was the most beautiful lesson we had ever taught her. It was so amazing!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKS!!!! Love you!!!  Also 3 weeks left of the BoM challenge!!! I hope you are doing it!! It is sooo important that you do so!
Transfer calls were this last Saturday...and I am staying in Aruba! When Sister Petersen goes home I'll transfer to the Oranjestad area and will be in a threesome with Sister Taylor and Sister Garcia! This will be sister Taylor's last transfer before she goes home, and it's only sister Garcia's second!  Crazy!

Also this week we found out that Belkis isn't legally married and she has no way of getting married for a long time.  Darn. She loves the Church though and she will be baptized as soon is she gets married :)
Things are calming down in the Santa Cruz area because the Elders who work in Paradera are going to take our area/recent converts!  We haven't really been looking for new people to teach because the elders wont really be going to Santa Cruz except to visit our recent converts! I'm excited for next transfer though!  The area I will be in is mostly Latinos so it will be fun :)

I hope you are all doing well! I love and miss you all so much!!!!  Have a great week!
-Sister Woodbury
video

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 19 - Aruba

Hallooooooo!!!!

Such a fantastic week oh my goodness!!!!
Family and friends Sebastian got baptized and confirmed!!! That was BY FAR the most spiritual baptism and confirmation that i have ever been able to witness. Everyone who was there kept on talking about how spiritual it was and we were all just absolutely BEAMING. The closing song was "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today" and MAN was that soooo fitting. I just cannot put it into words. That baptism was amazing and I am soooo grateful for the opportunity I had to attend. So the story behind Sebastian is that his mom's cousin and her husband are SUCH strong members of the Church here in Aruba. They are the best. So when we contacted him we didn't know that, but we made that connection a little bit later on. So Sebastian's mom's cousin (Michell Parra- I love her to absolute pieces) and her husband (Jose Parra) have been SUCH a major help. If it weren't for them i really don't think he would have been able to be baptized. Michell told us (before we received permission from Sebastian's mom) that we would never be able to receive permission... well all she really said was that she would pray for him because his mom usually doesn't like this kind of stuff... But he asked her and she was TOTALLY okay with it!!  The Lord has prepared him so much and everything is just lined up so perfectly for him. He is preparing to receive the priesthood next Sunday :) We love this kid.


Buuuut anywayyyy!!! HAPPY HAPPY  BIRTHDAY TO MY LITTLE NIECE ABIGAIL!!!! I LOVE YOU!!
Also 1 month left for the BOM Challenge!!!! I just wanted to include the talk given by Prophet Thomas S. Monson because this incredible man receives direct revelation from the Lord for every person on this earth. He is really really old and weak now, but he had the energy to give us a three minute message back in April. He could have talked to us about anything, but all he really talked about was the Book of Mormon, and the importance of reading it every single day. Please hearken unto his word, because his word is the Lord's word!!! READ THE BOM EVERY DAY!!!
Here's the talk...

The Power of the Book of Mormon

By President Thomas S. Monson

I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day.

My dear brothers and sisters, I greet you most warmly as we are met again in a great general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before I begin my formal message today, I would like to announce five new temples which will be built in the following locations: Brasília, Brazil; greater Manila, Philippines, area; Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho, USA; and Saratoga Springs, Utah, USA.

This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives. The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.

We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children.

If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.

My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives. I so testify with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


I LOVE THIS TALK!!! Please read it and let it touch your heart!! I implore you, and so does the prophet, to read the Book of Mormon every single day, member or non member!
Buuuut so anyway hahaha....
This week we went to zone conference in Curacao!! It was such a great zone conference and I felt the spirit sooo strong there as well. I learned a lot and it was just a really really good conference. My companion, Sister Petersen gave her departing testimony and that was sad! She will be HOME next Thursday night! Ahhhh! 




Okay soooo Marlyn still is not doing great... She googled Joseph Smith which is a great thing to do if you are looking for information that is either completely false, partly true, or true but has a skewed perspective. Honestly I don't know what is going to happen with her but we are praying for the best :/

Also Belkis! She knows that this Church is true and she wants to get baptized and originally she wanted to get baptized fast, but after talking with her husband she wants to go "poco a poco" (little by little/ take it slow) so we are working with her now! It has been a little bit challenging because she keeps telling us she wants to be baptized but not anytime soon. Aghhh.
Other than all of that craziness, this week we also did a ton of senior couple stuff! Sooooo fun! We did a ton of senior couple stuff every single day for like half the day. I hardly have a Chaco tan line anymore from being in the car.  haha! Fun stuff! I love you and miss you all so much! Have a great week!!

Love,

Sister Woodbury

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week 18 - Aruba

I don't actually have too much time to write today so this might be on the shorter side buuuuut here we go! Crazy week. Honestly this week didn't really go as planned but it was still good! We did a LOT of senior couple stuff (taking care of things that a senior couple normally would take care of) among teaching and being taught haha! 

So update on our investigators:

Darryl: we haven't been able to meet with him, don't know if we ever will honestly... So sad but We still pray for him every day!

Marlyn: She took a dramatic turn. We had a pretty rough lesson with her. She just cant feel God's love for her at all and she is questioning everything. She said she was going to pray about whether or not we were actually sent from God and then said she will let us know tonight if she still wants to be baptized. Please pray for her!! There were a lot of tears in our last lesson with her. So sad. We are honestly pretty Heartbroken.
On a lighter note.... Sebastian is doing awesome!!!!!!!!! He had his baptismal interview this last week and he is all good to go! His mom signed the form so we are just anxiously anticipating Saturday :)

Belkis: Not sure how much I have talked about her before but she is doing awesome as well! She doesn't know how long she is going to be in Aruba (from Venezuela and REALLY misses home) but we are all hoping she will be around long enough to be baptized on the 22nd! She is really awesome and has SO much faith! She is incredible. She really wanted to know the commandments so we taught all 3 of the biggest ones before we even taught her the Plan of Salvation. She just hopped right on board! She can't read very well but she loves the BoM and said she wouldn't leave it for anything. She is incredible!
That is about it this week about our investigators! How are you all doing on your BOM challenge????? ONE MONTH AND ONE WEEK LEFT!!!! You can do it, I promise!!!! If you are reading, I promise you will be blessed and you will come to know our Heavenly Father soooo much better!!

Also CONGRATS CARTER HANSEN ON YOUR MISSION CALL (Hanoi Vietnam) !!!!   WOW!!!!!!! You are going to be incredible! :)
Thank you all so much for your love and support, I couldn't do this without each and every one of you! I hope you all have a fantastic week and I love and miss you all so much!
Sister Woodbury
 




 

Monday, July 3, 2017

4 Month-aversary!

Bon Dia Rumanan!
Wow this week was full of fun and some minor bummers but overall joy haha! First off, EUCARY GOT BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!! Wooohooooo!!! One of the elders who started teaching her over a year ago was able to attend and it was just really awesome! She is doing amazing and she is a great example
to me!


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Update on the rest of our investigators:
Darryl no longer has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and whatever his dad said to him really didn't help. He didn't attend church last week for the first time in over a month and we have a lesson with him tomorrow but we just kind of expect it to be a last little super sad lesson. It has been really sad to see his heart harden and he has just changed a lot :( Keep him in your prayers! God loves him and so do I and we are praying that he gets baptized one day because he has already had a spiritual witness that it is true. 

We have been teaching this little 12 year old nugget named Sebastian! Wow he is awesome and really really prepared. We met him because he was always at the house of one of our other investigators from a while ago who never progressed. We gave him a Book of Mormon a while ago and didn't think much of it and then we didn't go back to that house for a while and the we stopped by just to check up on our non-progressing investigator and he came out and said he'd already read through MOSIAH.  We.Died. So then we started teaching him and he is doing so awesome! He came to church yesterday and is getting baptized on the 15th of this month!! He has prayed about everything and he knows it is true and he is just an incredibly prepared little child of God haha!

Then we have Marlyn who is doing so incredible, family! I love her! She is soooo awesome! She is progressing really well and even though she has the craziest life on the planet she always makes time for us and for the Lord! She is really really awesome and we are really excited for her baptism on the 22nd!

We have also been teaching this Venezuelan woman named Belquis that we contacted a little while ago and she is doing awesome as well! She isn't super educated so it has been kind of hard because we have to keep it super duper simple and we have to take it really slow but she is definitely progressing! She is awesome and really sweet and she told us she hates when we have to leave haha! So sweet! We love her!  That is everyone I can think of today... But we are working really hard and we are finding some really amazing people!

Alsooooo 1 MONTH AND 2 WEEKS LEFT OF THE BOM CHALLENGE!!! Keep it up if you're doing it and start if you're not!! I promise that if you take the time out of your busy life to read that book, that the Lord WILL bless you! I know that without a shadow of a doubt! Also, when you read the Isaiah chapters READ THEM WITH THE FOOTNOTES FROM THE BIBLE AND WITH THE BOM STUDY GUIDE! trust me! I actually understand all of those chapters now haha!

I love and miss you all soooo much and I hope you all have an incredible week! 
-Sister Woodbury
 
 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 16 - Aruba

Helloooo!!!

Wow. Crazy week. Like always.... Okay soooo where do i even begin??? First an update on our investigators:
Okay soooo about Darryl... Apparently he got permission from his dad on Sunday but he also got quite a talking to...and now he's having second thoughts... doesn't know whether he should be baptized. We have done everything we can think of and he is really doing his part so I am leaving it up to Heavenly Father. He has seriously been breaking our hearts!! We are really hoping for the best and we are already planning for his lesson on Friday so that should be a really good lesson! Pray for him please!! He really is super awesome but he is having a really hard time. He is going to church, praying a ton, fasting, and reading out of the BOM and so are we so we are just leaving it up to the Lord now!
Marlyn is doing AWESOME (picture on the blog). She was really sick for a while so we couldn't see her for a long time!!! We were kind of nervous about that but when we had our lesson with her early this week we decided to take a member with us that we have taken before named Sister Aalsae. We usually have a pretty hard time actually teaching when we bring her because she talks A LOT, buuuut we wanted to bring her because they are super great friends. As soon as we said the opening prayer sister Aalsae just kind of started going off on a super long story and right when i was about to try to say something I Looked over at Marlyn and she was just bawling. At that point I kinda just sat back and let sister Aalsae continue and follow the promptings of the spirit! As soon as sister Aalsae was finished, Marlyn said "I don't know why, but I feel to baptize" in her sweet little broken English. She is SO cute and WE DIED. she has been waiting for an answer about whether or not she should be baptized and then boom. the spirit told her she should. That experience was incredible and it really showeld me how important member lessons are even though they are often a major struggle! She keeps saying she still hasn't changed her mind and she knows she needs to be baptized now! Also, later in the week, we taught her the first part of the Plan of Happiness and we went in knowing that she had concerns about Adam. We really prepared for that part of the lesson more than we usually do and after we explained it you could practically see her brain working. She was able to understand and she kept saying that we taught her something new and now she has a different perspective! That was so cool. We asked her a lot of questions during the lesson in a way that she was kind of able to teach herself through the spirit so that was an awesome experience! She is doing AWESOME though! We loveeee her! Her baptismal date is July 22nd!
Next we have this sweet little Venezuelan named Eaucary that we have been teaching for the past month whose baptism is this Saturday! I haven't mentioned anything about her yet because I thought that we weren't going to get to teach her! We taught he while were working in the other area and when we moved back to our area i thought that we weren't going to get to teach her but We found out that we could! We were soooo happy! She is a little bit shy but she is awesome and she has taken the lessons twice before so she already knew everything. She is doing awesome and we are super excited for her!
Up next is the BOM challenge! You have 1 month and 3 weeks left!!!! Keep reading! I promise that it will bless your life and help you have a better relationship with our Heavenly Father! I PROMISE! :)
Okay so today was awesome and crazy! Sister Petersen and I biked from lighthouse to lighthouse which are located on both ends of the island! It was soooo fun and it rained a lot which was weird because it never rains here. We got SOAKED and i got sooooooooo dirty. Then we ate at a really nice restaurant at the end of our journey and we were exhausted. It was soooo fun though! Seriously so fun!   The storm that passed through was not bad at all. It hardly rained and nothing was flooded or anything! It has been wayyyy more windy than usual though so that has been really hard with the bikes and the lovely hills in Santa Cruz, but all is well! :) 

That is about it this week! It was a crazyyyy week but it was super duper fun and life is soooo gooooood! I love you all and miss you all so much and i hope you have a fantabulous week!

Love,
Sister Woodbury



Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 15 - Aruba

Hiiii!
Got to skype with my sweet "little" family yesterday and it was so fun! They are so precious and you are all SO lucky to have them nearby!! Happy Happy birthday to my sweet Sister Brittney!!! I love you sooo much!!!!

Okay so this week was pretty darn good, like usual :) We are officially back working in our area because the other sisters just got here last night to work in the other area!! We have 2 investigators! Aghhhh!! Haha these next few weeks we are literally just going to be contacting, contacting, contacting, and contacting! It is going to be fun and i am definitely going to get skin cancer if i don't have it already... WOOH!! Hahaha but anyway, our two investigators are doing pretty well! Darryl is doing AWESOME. that kids, guys. He is sooooooooooooooo awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I dont have a picture of him yet but but just picture a super tall dutch kid who sounds really american and prefers English. He is progressing really well and he just knows this is true. Every time we teach him something new he just accepts it right away. To our other investigators we usually ask them to pray to see if what we have taught them is true but he already knows it is! He prayed after our very first lesson with him and he has known since then so nothing new (to him) throws him off at all. It is awesome and he is amazing. We are hoping, praying, and fasting that he can be baptized on the 8th of July but his dad is being tough.... He is super..uhhhh... scary. He needs to give Darryl permission so that he can be baptized but he doesn't want him to.. We have been praying SO hard and fasting a lot and we are really hoping for a miracle here. We will be fasting with Darryl from breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and that evening he is going to ask his dad for permission again. He has to be really careful how many times he can ask just because of the way his dad works so we are making this time extra special. I am not supposed to ask people back at home to join in special fasts buuuut... Uhhhh.. So yeah! ;)

And then we have our sweet little Surinamese mom, Marline! she is soooo cute. She has been really sick with the flu or something bad so we haven't been able to see her much but she is still doing pretty good! Our last lesson with her was really good! We have been really pushing on what she can do to receive her answer if these things are true and then after she said she hadn't really been doing her part! During the lesson she said "i promise the Lord that i am going to read at least one verse out of the Book of Mormon every single day" just out of the blue! That was awesome. She is really sweet and she said she already knows that these things are true but we know she hasn't really received an actual answer about the BOM yet. Well received or recognized, either way! We are going to check up on her tonight and i am hoping she is still doing well! We haven't seen her since Wednesday when she was feeling a little bit better but then she didn't come to church so we don't know what happened there.. But other than that my week was pretty low key!

Just a couple of things before i end... 2 MONTHS LEFT ON THE BOM CHALLENGE! I really really really hope you are participating in this challenge, member of the church or not. I PROMISE that this book can and will change your life and i can also promise you that it is the most true book on the face of the earth. If you haven't started the challenge yet, there is still time! I never really studied the BOM back home and i had no idea what i was missing. It is sooooo important to study, ponder, and pray about that book people! So important! The entire church rests on whether or not that book is true, and I know it is! Also, please try your very best to have missionary experiences this week! I want to hear about any experience you have that is even remotely missionary-esque!

So there are some really crazy political parties here, MEP and AVP are the two biggest. Everyone here is very open about who they prefer. They paint their houses to match the colors of their political party and they have huge flags attatched to their cars and houses! Just thought that was interesting haha!

I love you and miss you all and i hope you have a fantastic week!!!!!
-Sister Woodbury


Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 14 - Aruba

Bon Dia Rumanan!! (Good day Brothers and Sisters!)  Con Biiiii??? Mi vida ta HOPI bon!! (How are you?? My life is very good!)
Hahaha!  Oh man life is good here in Aruba. Transfer calls came and everyone was totally shuffled buuuut Sister Petersen and I are staying the same and will be serving in Santa Cruz until they can find a new apartment in the newly split area! But First off, Happy Fathers day to the best dad EVER, SORRY to everyone else buuuut its the truth. He is the best. But you probably already know that if you know him.

But wow how awesome was this weeeeek??? Seriously, so incredible. Guys... Darryl. OMG. You would not BELIEVE how incredible and prepared he is for the gospel!!!! He is preparing to be baptized on July 8th! And his mom brings it up a lot too which is awesome. It is really sad because his mom wants to be able to go to church and the activities and stuff but her husband wont let her :(   But darryl is doing soooo great! He is so solid. We taught him a lesson about the atonement of Jesus Christ and it was a really great and really spiritual lesson, like always with that nugget. It was really cool because when we got there his mom said "hi" and then told us that she couldn't sit in on the lesson this time because her day had been crazy and she had too much on her mind but when we started teaching she came out with her BOM (or HBvM in Dutch haha) and she came to the whole lesson! She loves this gospel. Those two are sooo cool as a family. As we were leaving the lesson Darryl said to us, "I thought you said you guys weren't good teachers, that was AMAZING!"  Hahaha that was soooo sweet and just proves how well he allows the Spirit to teach him! He keeps coming to church and he attended a baptismal service on Saturday and loved it and got him super excited. He also keeps coming to church even though he cant really understand all of it (he prefers English)!   He also bought a nice new pair of church shoes :') We love Darryl!

Marline is doing super well too! She knows that this church is true and she really really wants her family to start coming to church with her and come to our lessons. She said she wanted to wait to be baptized with her whole family but we talked about how she could be the example for her family and she was right on board with that! We haven't extended a date to her yet though! But she is doing AWESOME as well.

Nahomi kinda did a 180 and totally changed in our last lesson with her. It was a really bad lesson because her heart was just totally hardened but hopefully she will accept this message sometime later in her life :) Because we have been working in two areas we haven't had any time to contact or anything so that is all I have for you about what is going on over here this week!
Well, I hope you are all reading the BOM (Book of Mormon)! You have 2 months and one week left!!  You've got this! I can promise you that reading that book can totally change your life and I have witnessed that for myself! If any of you don't have a BOM and want one ask my dad and he'll get you one! I also hope you are all trying your best to have missionary experiences! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

Sister Woodbury 
(sorry about how scattered this email is... Struggling today hahaha)



Monday, June 5, 2017

ARUBA - June 5, 2017

Howdyyyy!
How is everyone doing?? I'm absolutely fantastic because I AM AN AUNT AGAIN AND I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!! WELCOME TO THE WORLD LITTLE ELIZABETH!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!! Congrats Chris and Aly! I cannot believe I have another niece at home! Give her lots of hugs and kisses from me please!  Okay so nothing else about my life is as exciting as that buuuuut this week was really awesome! First off, I hope you are doing this three month BOM challenge! It is the best thing you could possibly be doing with your time! I promise! You have 2 months and 2 weeks left!
Okayyyy soooo everyone. Seriously Darryl is soooo freakinggggg incredible you would not BELIEVE!!!!!!! We invited him to be baptized and he just said right away "yes!" and then Sister Montenegro said "how can you know if this message is true?" (because we had just taught him the restoration and he said "well I mean I already prayed about the Book of Mormon and I know that's true, so that means this is true as well. I. Died. He is SO awesome! Then a few days later after church we had a lesson with him and we asked about how he felt about his baptism and he said "well I prayed about it and I just felt sure. like, determined, you know? It just feels right." AHHHH he is so awesome people. I wish you could meet this kid! He is only 16 and he has been soooo prepared and he recognizes that! He even thanked Heavenly Father in his prayer for preparing him. I mean come on. He is awesome. And then Marlineeee!! Ahhh marline is incredible too!! She has come to church the last 2 weeks and this last week was Testimony Meeting and she said she wanted to go up there herself soo badly but she had to tell her self "not yet marline, let's wait a little bit longer"! We have only taught her like 5 or 6 times but only like 4 Doctrine points and she already has such a firm testimony of the church! Like What the heck! She has a few fellowshippers already and she is just doing super well! She is so awesome, family and friends.. Our investigators are SO cool. Don't be too jealous. Other than that this week hasn't been tooooo crazy... We might not be switching areas because they cant find a place for us to live out there but we will see what happens! Always surprises going on here! I love you all and miss you all SO much and I wish you could join me for all of these super cool experiences!!! Have a fantabulous week and have a missionary experience! Share the gospel of Jesus Christ! That's your duty if you have been baptized! 
 
-Sister Woodbury

 

ARUBA - May 29, 2017


Hiiiii!!! SUCH  a CRAZY but WONDERFUL week!

So. Okay. First of all!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALY SIOBHAN! I love you my favorite name twin!!

We have two area assignments right now which is sooo challenging but so fun! And the most fun part is that we are giving our old area of four members (santa cruz) back to the Elders and dividing the North area (which has 205 members) in half into Oranjestad west and east! We are also moving apartments so we can be in the Oranjestad west area! Soooooo crazy here people! This mission NEVER stops. Ever.

Also the bond in Trinidad that will let everyone stay there, who has a visa, almost didnt go through! They ALL would have had to go to the Barbados mission! But it went through! Such a miracle! And some missionaries from the islands got their visas! Soooo crazy. That was NOT supposed to happen.

Okay so our investigators: We have been teaching this Surinamese lady named Marlene and she is soooo incredible. She has such strong faith and she loves God so much. She is soooo awesome and pretty much bore her testimony even though we have only taught her like 3 times. She is so cute and I love her!!! She went to church yesterday and loved it! Everyone is convinced that she is going to get baptized and we are inviting her to be baptized tonight so we are pretty excited!

We have also been teaching Daryl! He is the most spiritual and most prepared little nugget that I have ever heard of! He is so incredible! He also went to church last week and he said it as breathtaking and very emotional. I love this kid. We are inviting him to be baptized later this week!
We have also been teaching this 16 year old columbian named Nahomi! Her family is from some super duper weird "non religion" religion called kabola? No idea how to spell that but it is super weird. She has literally never been to church and knows nothing about the bible! She is so awesome though! She is always really receptive and she always comes to our lessons super prepared. She sometimes brings a list of questions about the chapters and everything! And at the end of every lesson she always asks "wait sooo when can you come back?" it is so cute and we love her! We are inviting her to get baptized this week as well! And also her mom was Mormon for a couple of years in her late teens and said she would go to church with her daughter! So crazy!

A pretty cool experience I had this week was during a lesson with this less active member named Florentine. It was a lesson in Papiamento and I wasnt trying as hard as I should have to translate it so I really didnt know what was going on but I knew we were talking about the atonement. It was my turn to talk and I didnt know what to say, so then I remembered "when in doubt, testify!" I started testifying and then my testimony started taking a weird turn to how the atonement applies to each of us. That isnt something that I usually put in my testimonies so I was kind of confused but I found out later that day that right before I started testifying she had said that she didnt understand how the atonement applied to her! I didnt even know at the time but my testimony was completely guided by the spirit! I thought that was really cool and I was so grateful for that!

Any way that is all I can remember from this week but I love and miss each and every one of you! Have a fantastic week and read the BOM!
Ayoooo!!

-Hermana Woodbury

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Aruba update May 22, 2017

Bon Diaaa, Con Bi?

This week was super fun, like always! I have learned that those who don't know any English CANNOT pronounce my name for their lives. Cannot!  It is usually something along the lines of Wooury or Goodbreak or something. soooo funny. I have been trying to come up with a nickname or something that they could use instead haha! Maybe Hermana Wood? Or Berry? Some people have said that I should try Wolverine or Blueberry ahaha!!

This mission is soooo crazy. Constantly changing. Constantly!  At the moment we are in a trio with this sweet Sister named Sister Montenegro! Her companion was visa waiting  (waiting for a visa to get to another country for her regular assignment) and she got her visa so she is with us now!  She also wasn't supposed to get her extension that allowed her to stay in the country but she got it and we are so happy! We are going to be in a trio for the next two weeks until President Egbert can get her a new companion haha! Sister Petersen will be leaving me tomorrow for a couple of days (sad) to go to Trinidad for Missionary Leader Conference or whatever it is called so it will just be me and Sister Montenegro! We have two areas for the rest of this transfer so this is going to be FUN haha! Ahh! 

But anyway.... HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY MASON!!!! STOP GROWING UP! 
Also congratulations to whoever was able to complete my BOM challenge! I am so proud of you and So is the Lord! Haha! I hope that was a great experience for you! I would now like to extend another challenge! Read the BOM again! This time try it in 3 months. I know you can do it! I extend that challenge to everyone who reads this!!!! READ THE BOM! 3 MONTHS! I can promise you that as you do it you will become closer to the Lord and you will be able to feel his sincere love for you! I want every single person who reads this- member or not- to read the Book of Mormon in three months! You can do it and I promise it will bless your life sooo much! That's enough time to not only read it but also really study it! I promise that you will feel something different as you do so! 

So this week we had a really cool experience with this new young investigator named Daryl (sp?). He is awesome. He has been sooo prepared for the gospel! We had a really good lesson with him and his mom and asked them to read a chapter in the BOM. Later in the week we called him to ask if he was coming to church this week and to check to see if he read and prayed about the BOM and he said he did! He said he was expecting someone to tell him "yes" when he prayed to ask if it was true, but instead he said he felt this warm feeling and he said he felt at peace. He new that that was his answer! That was such an incredible experience and I am just so happy for him! 

I love this church and I am so grateful to be serving the Lord! I just ask that you pray for him and his mom because the dad hates religion and whenever they try to get involved in a church or something there is a lot of contention in their home! Soften that dad's heart through prayer! I know is will work!! :) I love and miss you all! Have a great week! 

-Hermana Woodbury

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Latest from Aruba

Bonnnnnn Tardiiiiiii!!!!!!!
Great week! Nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary, but a great week nonetheless!! On Friday we had exchanges so I was with another companion, Sister Pacheco, for 24 hours! It was such a fun experience! We had a lesson with this really awesome young woman (maybe around 24?) and her brother and his wife! It was a really cool experience just because they were all being SO prepared! It was a nice reminder that the Lord is always preparing people and we just have to find them! People are just searching and searching for this message so that is why it is so important to just keep looking so that you can find those people! As the scriptures say, the elect people! 
If you ever have the opportunity to serve a mission in your life time, please do it! I know it is sooo hard leaving, trust me, but I also know that if you turn to the Lord he will bless you more than you could ever even imagine! Please serve if you have the chance! So many people are searching for this message so it is our responsibility to help them find it! 
Other than that we had a district activity this morning and that was really fun! We hiked Hooiberg and it is just like a million stairs but it was super fun! 
We had a little testimony meeting at the top and it was just overall an incredible experience! My district is awesome! They all love serving the Lord so much and they are all really obedient and amazing. 
I also absolutely LOVE the senior couple on this island! They are office missionaries but we get to see them pretty often so it is so fun. i. love. them. The Steckers! Since they are office missionaries and there are no other senior couples on this island, sister Petersen and i are responsible for taking care off all of the things a normal senior couple would take care of. We take the bikes in to the shop about 3 times a week hahaha! We also pay rent and all that fun stuff! We are often super busy with things like that so it is sometimes a little tricky fitting in regular full time missionary stuff, but we make it work and Heavenly Father blesses us a ton! 
It was a pretty low key week but I hope you all have a fantastic week and I love and miss each and every one of you so much! 
-Hermana Woodbury
ps- LAST WEEK OF THE CHALLENGE!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Greetings from Aruba!

Wow. What. A. Week!  This week was SO awesome!!!  Buuuut first: Happy Birthday Allen and Jack!!! Happy Anniversary Brittney and Allen!!! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! (huge family props.. haha!)

Okay so this week was great but really all of the highlights happened on Saturday!  Saturday was so spiritual I was like numb the whole day. I have no idea how to describe it but it was awesome!  So first we had an awesome experience with this lady named Valezca. She was so cute! So we had gone to her house a couple of days before but no one answered so we felt like we needed to go back.. We went back a couple of days later and Valezca's mom was outside! She was just finishing up cleaning her car and we were just talking to her for a little bit. Sister Petersen felt impressed to ask if she had any family and if they were home, but right when she was about to ask, the lady's daughter (Valezca) came out! She is probably somewhere in her 40's. Anyway we had a super spiritual lesson with her! We taught the restoration and we bore testament that God loves her, and when we started doing that she just started crying. The spirit was SO strong. I could not believe it. Later she said that she had felt something tell her that she should come out and see who her mom was talking to! So crazy! I love how the Spirit works!

Then we went to go have a lesson with this sweet lady named Ursula. As we  were teaching her we realized she is super smart. Sis Petersen was teaching about how Jesus established His church and he gave the priesthood to his twelve apostles. She asked what happened to the priesthood when all of the people killed off the apostles - a GREAT question we are never really asked, and when we explained it was lost for a time, Ursula was just like "wow wait yeah!!  It was gone!!  so what happened then???"  Then we got to teach her the Restoration!  That was so awesome. She was so sweet!

Okay this last experience was incredible. Absolutely incredible. We have been trying for WEEKS to meet with this lady that the missionaries had contacted a while back. She would always just send her kids out to tell us she was sick or sleeping or something. We just kept feeling like we should go back even though they were not very welcoming. This last time we checked the home the mom finally was the one to come out! She was not happy to see us and was just not very nice!  Sister Petersen asked if we could make an appointment and the lady just said "Yeah maybe in a few months"!  Sister Petersen then asked if Friday would be okay and the Lady (Rosaline) just said "i will just call you, okay?" and sister Petersen said "people always say that and they never call, will you actually call us?" and the lady just paused for a minute and then said "no.."   I was ready to just leave but Sister Petersen remembered something one of the apostles had said: "when in doubt, testify of Christ."  So she said she had no idea what she was doing or why, but she just testified of Christ, and talked about how Christ loves her. Rosaline started bawling.  I ran up and assured her that God and Jesus Christ do love her, and she started bawling even more. She invited us in and we talked about how through the Atonement of Jesus Christ she could be relieved of the sadness she was feeling. She totally opened up about her life and we found that she really needed the love of God and the atonement of Christ. The two things that the spirit told us to talk about. That was by far the coolest lesson of my LIFE! 

So we also found 5 new investigators this week! So crazy! Being as obedient as possible is really paying off hah!  I love Aruba so much! I hope to spend most of my mission here because its literally the best, and the branch is incredible!  We HAVE to come back after my mission.  We have the bikes and a car temporarily to do senior couple stuff and to go to church and other meeting because we live pretty far from everything.  There are 8 missionaries in total in Aruba! 4 elders and 4 sisters! missionaries in my branch and then just an elder companionship in the other branch!  2 branches on the island!
Most of our teaching is in Spanish because the illegal Columbians and Venezuelans here are the only ones who care! They are the best!  Arubians really couldn't care less about the gospel.  Papiamento is maybe a little easier to learn than Spanish, but most of our teaching is in Spanish. 

Well that is all from me this week but I love and miss you all!!  Have a fantastic week and try to have a missionary moment!

Hermana Woodbury
P.S. 2 weeks left of the challenge!
 
 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Officially Two Months OUT!

Hellooooo!!!!

Life is sooooo great as a missionary. Just sayin... Okay so here is a better address to send mail to!!! This is the last time for a while I swear haha!

Karin Scott
Hermana Woodbury
Kaya Terpsichore 11-28
Willemstad, Curacao
(Sister Scott comes to Aruba frequently, so she'll deliver :-D)

So that member who got deported got confirmed this last Sunday!!! HOORAY!!!!!!  I am going to go day by day so that my emails are slightly less jumpy...

Monday:
We bought a TON of food at pricemart which is pretty much exactly like Costco... I think its owned by them! Favorite place ever. We also locked our keys in our apartment that day which was super fun! We locked our selves out of the apartment but we were also locked in the property because we didn't have the key to the gate that lets us out. We were stuck there for a while until our landlord/President Gonzalez could let us out.. So embarassinggg! Hahaha!
Tuesday:
It was a pretty average day! We flew to Curacao that night for zone conference and the Elders almost made us miss our flight but we made it!
Wednesday:
We had zone conference in Curacao which was so fun and I got to see Hermana Burrup! I missed that girl SO much! Love her. we flew home that night!
Thursday:
Woke up to stolen bikes and a cut up bike lock. They didn't take our spare bike for some reason.. So rude haha! So because there's no senior couple on Aruba right now, we are kind of the senior couple for Aruba so we had to do a lot of senior couple stuff this week, mostly because of the bike fiasco. We also had a lesson with Christian that day and when we sat down he told us he needed to be baptized!! I was so excited and I was smiling like a doofus haha!
Friday:
We did more senior couple stuff all day and that's about it honestly!
Saturday:
We had another lesson with Christian and he told us he was having some contradicting feelings which was a bummer :/   He isn't giving up on us though! He came to sweet little Maria's baptism! (See picture

)  Her baptism was sooo sweet and amazing! We love her so much.
Sunday:
Maria got confirmed and she was just crying because she was so touched by the spirit. Soooo sweet. Christian didn't come because he didn't have a ride but he tried walking! He has only been in Aruba for two months and had no idea where the church was (he lives pretty far) so he got super lost. He was lost for EIGHT hours. Bless his heart! We felt so bad, so we are walking with him next week. We love him! I'm sure he scored some major Brownie Points in heaven right there haha!
Monday:
Pretty much all of our lessons fell through, we biked a ton and we had to do a lot of senior couple stuff- yet we were both in the best mood ever. I love missionary work no matter what happens!

So sorry I haven't been able to reply to everyone recently! Email time is sooo crazy! I read all of your emails every week though and I appreciate them SOOOOO MUCH!!! I absolutely love every single email I receive and I cherish them with all my heart! I am so sorry I cant reply but just know that I read every single email! I am so grateful to all of you who have taken time out of your day to write me! Thank you so much!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TATA ("dad" in Papiamento) I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SOOOO MUCH!
I hit my two month mark yesterday which is so nuts! It is already flying by and I am loving every minute! The branch here in Aruba is soooo incredible! You would not believeeeee!!!! I love every single person here so much. We couldn't email yesterday because it was a holiday- sorry! I love you all and miss you all so much! Have a great week!

P.S. 3 weeks left for the BOM challenge!
 
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 7 (4/24/17) - Aruba

Hola!

Okay so I have been counting the weeks wrong so I am actually on week seven this week! My bad! I love it here! Aruba is soooo awesome! It looks almost exactly like Arizona so that is weirding me out a tiny bit.. It looks soooo much like Guadalupe or some parts of Mesa!

Okay so my companion is Sister Petersen (from Utah) and she is super awesome! I have been wayyy lucky with my companions here in this mission. The Lord knows :)   Papiamentu is a super duper weird language, and some of the Spanish speakers here are hard to understand because of all of the different accents! There are just about every kind of Spanish speaker here that you could have! It is pretty cool.

So we are on bikes! I haven't even been on a bike in 5 years since I got hit by a car so i am pretty darn rusty but I am getting better each day! It is hardddd!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIM!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!!!!

SEND MAIL TO THE FOLLOWING: 
Hermana Woodbury 11-28
Terpsichore
Willemstad, Curacao
Hopefully that will work... Not positive if it will. 
 
How is everybody's BOM reading??? 1 month left! You can do it!
SOOOOO we went to a baptism for someone who my companion has been teaching for a while and then a few hours after that he got deported (see pics). Crazy. He wasn't even able to get confirmed!! He got deported and so did one other member of the church. The entire branch was crying that wholeeee Sunday and pretty much half the branch went to the airport to say goodbye. So absolutely insane. The branch here is soooo incredible you would not believe!!!!!  This is the strongest branch in the mission and these are the best members in the world. most of them are illegals from Columbia and Venzuela.  Venezuelans are the best humans on the planet. The branch is a pretty good size... idk maybe around 100ish people? maybe? Idk. Its called Oranjestad or however you spell it.

We have been teaching an investigator named Christian. They contacted him with a super super brief little message a little over a week ago and then they invited him to church like they do with everyone, but no one ever comes! He came!! That was a pretty big shock. Sister Petersen and I have been back three times now and he is just eating up everything we have to tell him! He came to church again yesterday and he is just so excited to know everything about the gospel! Every lesson we have with him is just SO spiritual and incredible. It makes me feel bad for kind of taking the gospel for granted for so long. 
Okay well that's about it this week! I love and miss you all sooo much!
-Hermana Woodbury

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 6/7 (4/18/17) - Curacao

Hi folks! 

Here's Allie's latest message (below) just received today!  She left the Dominican Republic last Monday after 5 weeks in the Mission Training Center there, and flew to the mission headquarters in Trinidad where she spent a week working and getting oriented before traveling to her first assignment on Aruba, via Curacao.  She was in Curacao today and then flies to Aruba tomorrow.  Because of her language assignment and visa problems in Trinidad it's possible she could spend her entire time in Aruba and Curacao, where the predominant languages are Dutch and Papiementu...which is a combination of Dutch, Portuguese, Creole, Spanish, and African.  Apparently her change in language from English to Spanish was to help prepare her.  Here's a little clip of someone speaking Papiementu:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQE0f-Yk9hc
Remember, you can see all her posts on: http://sisteralliewoodbury.blogspot.com/

Big:
Hello everyone!! I hope you are all reading the BOM (Book of Mormon)! 1 month and 1 1/2 weeks left in my challenge!! So this email is going to jump around all over the place and I have a bad keyboard.. Sorry!

Soooo we had another little devotional with Elder Gonzalez! That was fun! I also almost got robbed while on splits (exchanges)  with the missionaries in the Dominican Republic.. The guy was on a motorcycle, but was unsuccessful because my purse was slung across my body...so I am grateful! It could have been waayyyy worse. Let's just say I am grateful to be leaving, and heading to my first assignment in Aruba.

So I arrived in Trinidad Monday of last week to spend a week near our mission headquarters before heading to my first area...in Aruba!  I got to spend the week here in Trinidad as a companion to Sister Kimball! She is seriously the best. I followed her blog about her mission before I came so it was pretty weird seeing her and all of the places she had taken pictures of in person! That was pretty cool. It was a really great week in Trinidad! We met some really awesome people while we were contacting. One guy we met was extra awesome! His name was Warren! He seemed pretty interested! We tried to set up an appointment with him but he works a lot so we couldn't really get a set day and time. We called him later in the week to try to set an appointment, but we still couldn't set one with him. While we were still on the phone with him though, we asked if he read the pamphlet we gave him and he said he did, and he said he had his girlfriend read it too! Then on Sunday we ran into him while we were in the contact area and Sister Kimball said that if it weren't for the spirit, she totally wouldn't have recognized him! We were able to set a day and time while we were talking to him which was awesome, and then we started talking about the pamphlet again. When we asked him about it he got happy and started smiling and he told us that he read it and he took it to work and everything. He also said he didn't want us to teach him if his girlfriend wasn't there because he wants his girlfriend to learn too! Then one of the other people we have been teaching started yelling down the street to us telling him to praise God and give his life to Jesus semi jokingly, and he just turned to us and said something like "She always takes this kind of stuff as a joke...I don't, I take this stuff seriously!" Warren is awesome. That was such a great experience.

I love Trinidad! I wish I could serve there longer than a week! I'm headed to Aruba tomorrow where I will meet my trainer for the next 12ish weeks- Sister Peterson! I have heard great things about her so I am pretty excited! I would say it has been nice to be in an English speaking country but I cant because THEY DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH THERE!! Some people are easy to understand but some are actually impossible. It usually depends on how educated they are.

Aaggh...I never received any of your mail at the DR MTC.  They said if she gets any of my mail they will forward it over to Trinidad, but I am not hopeful about that.. The Egberts (mission president) said to give the address to my apartment in Aruba for mail but idk if that's correct so don't send anything until i can ask sister Peterson!

I got pretty sick when i got to Trinidad! I know- typical me. Oh well! I am feeling much better now! President gave me a Papiementu book... AHHH!! It isn't Spanish at all! It is a mix between spanish, creole, dutch, english, portugese, and african. That's gonna be rough. I may be coming home trilingual though!  Apparently they speak more Spanish in Aruba than they do in Curacao so I am really counting on that! So Pdays (preparation days) in the field are soooo much better than in the MTC. Way less stressful and much longer! Pdays will usually be on Mondays so that's when I should normally send emails- unless they have some crazy holiday which they do often. Sunday was fun in Trinidad! The wards (congregations) here are TINY!!

Fun information: I learned today that if they hadn't changed my mission to Spanish speaking at the last minute I probably wouldn't have ever actually made it here due to all the visa problems they're having in Trinidad...and would have visa-waited my entire mission in the states! Grateful.

Interesting side note.. I found out that President Monson's patriarch was a Woodbury! How crazy is that??

I had dinner with an insanely wealthy family last night and they invited Sister Payne over! Sister Payne was the first member of the Church in Trinidad so I thought that was pretty awesome! She is my favorite and I love her. She is soooo cute. Anyway, all is well here in The Trinidad mission! I love you and miss you all! Please be sure to send pictures- and that applies to everyone! Have an incredible week!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Allie Arrives in Port of Spain, Trinidad - 3/10/17

Dear Family,

We are happy to announce the safe arrival of your daughter to the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission.  She arrived happy and excited to serve. We will be in orientation tomorrow and then she will receive her companions and go to work. We are very happy to serve with her and promise we will take good care of her for you. Thank you for your support and prayers. She will be writing you next Monday on her preparation day.

Sincerely
President and Sister Egbert


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Week 5 (3/6/17) - Santo Domingo

Hola amigos y familia!!

So I am super sorry but this isn't going to be a very long email! Also I am super sorry if I don't reply to an email you sent last week, I am not sure if I will have time this round but I will try next week!!

So I experienced my first earthquake!! It was a 4.7 and it was actually pretty scary even though it wasn't really that powerful... We were all in our beds when it happened and we were all pretty freaked out!

I went on splits (with the local missionaries) this last week and I am going again tomorrow!! It was pretty fun! It was super cool to get to go out into the field for a day! We took the metro and a bus which were both super cool! I didn't really talk much that whole day but I was asked to say the prayer once so that was kind of scary but fun at the same time haha!

General Conference was soooo awesome!!!! Please watch it even if you aren't a member of the LDS church! ( https://www.lds.org/general-conference?cp=eng-nz&lang=eng )   Totally amazing. That's all I really have time to say about it but I really didn't have a favorite talk because they were alllll sooooo gooooood!!!!!!

I have heard that several people have sent me things but I have not received anything yet and I am not sure if I will... I am hoping that if they do end up receiving anything that they will forward it over to Trinidad!!  We had another INCREDIBLE lesson with "Carlos"!!! It was seriously so amazing. Somehow it was even better than the one I told you about last week! Hermano Jimenez said he has been wanting to tell my companionship something for a while and he said he is finally going to tell us tomorrow so I am absolutely thrilled to find out what it is! I don't feel very ready to leave the MTC but our Hermano Jimenez says we are ready soooo hopefully he is right! I am not sure why but every time we have a lesson with him I can talk pretty much fluent Spanish, but when I am not in a lesson with him i have a pretty hard time. It is sooo odd! In lessons I totally have it but outside of lessons I totally don't.

Also found out that in Curacoa they speak Papamiento. Not Spanish. AHHHHH!!! I know nothing about Papamiento other than that it is a dialect of Spanish. I am terrified. Please send help. Welp thats all I have this week!

I love and miss you alllll!!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Week 4 (3/30/17) - Santo Domingo

Big HOLAAAA!!!!!

I am going to kick this email off with a challenge! I challenge every single one of you on this email list, even the people who aren't members of the church to start reading the Book of Mormon right now and try to finish it in 2 months! I don't know what the breakdown is but I finished it in 14 days once so I know you can do it! That book is so incredible and it blesses my life more than I could ever imagine. I love it!! Read it! Just give it a shot!!

Okay so to be honest this week didn't start off that great but it got so incredible so its okay. The Haitians speak french so we have 3 different languages here during sacrament meeting and while eating at the table! It is so cool and we all still laugh together because we have figured out ways to communicate. It is really quite amazing! There are always 2-3 translators everywhere. Its so crazy! The Haitians are so freaking cute hahaha! They are CRAZY. Its amazing. I love them. I love it here soooooo much guys! I love it i love it i love it.

The Gulbrandsen's are incredible. I aspire to have the incredible faith and testimonies they both have. They are perfect for this MTC and all the missionaries here. I love it here. I also love being STL (Sisters Training Leader)! it has been such a great learning experience and all the sisters are so amazing so it's just super fun! I HAVE MY FLIGHT INFO!!!! They are sending me to Trinidad for a week and then I am headed to Curacao! So crazy. SO EXCITED!!! It has also been one month!! It has flown by. I love it. I am so grateful that our loving Heavenly Father prompted me to serve. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't sure He wanted me to be so I am so grateful for the clear answer He gave me! Great quote about faith: "Faith is something greater than ourselves, enables us to do what we have said we will do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is  entirely uncertain."- Gordon B. Hinckley. I am soooo incredibly grateful for my district. They are the people who have made me truly love it here. They are all always so uplifting and loving and we are all here for each other at every moment. I am so lucky for them. I am also lucky to have the companions that i have! They are both sooooo great and I love them so much.

We definitely had the best lesson I may ever have in my entire mission. It was with our fake investigator "Carlos"- who is really our teacher Hermano Jimenez. That lesson was entirely guided by the spirit. I was so pumped to go into the lesson and I had no idea why but I think it was because I somehow knew it would be good. Our last lesson with him was good but I could not get 1 Nephi 15 out of my head even though it totally didn't apply! As soon as we left that lesson I told my companions about it and even though it didn't make any sense at all to talk about that they both immediately okayed it. Then this last lesson we had with him he flipped open to 1 Nephi 8 and said that he was super confused and that the vision didn't make any sense, and he basically just wanted to learn how to understand the scriptures more. The scripture I was prompted to share was the one that explains the scripture he was confused about. That was seriously sooo amazing. Totally guided by the spirit.

We go on splits tomorrow with the missionaries here! I am TERRIFIED. I think it was be a really cool experience but I am super scared hahaha! Apparently the Gulbrandsen's got after salt lake about my travel experience here. She said that pretty much all of salt lake knows my story. I thought that was soooo funny! She thinks they knew she was mad so they sent her my next flight plans early- well before anyone else! I am the only plans she has haha! I died when I heard about that. No pictures this week again, sorry!! I have yet to have the ability to connect my camera to the computer.I love you and miss you all! Have a great week AND READ THE BOM!!!
-Hermana Woodbury

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Week 3 (3/23/17) - Santo Domingo

HOLA!!!!!!

Friendly reminder that I absolutely love it here with all my heart, might, mind and strength!!!!!! Shout-out to my cousin Aaron for rocking it in the field (Thailand)! I look up to him and hope to be half as good as he is!! Soooo to answer some of your questions really quickly: each companionship rooms together and sometimes they have more than one companionship in a room. They are kind of like apartment-y but smaller! It was just the three of us in one room but we just got another companion and she is strictly Spanish speaking so that's pretty cool! She is companions with my companion Hermana Martineau whenever we are outside of class :)

Please send me lots and lots of pictures whether it be via email or an actual letter! I didnt bring nearly enough! Just make sure you send anything and everything to my Mission address in Trinidad because odds are I won't receive them here. We just got some mail here that was for an elder who was here in December!

I accidentally spaced last week, it was elder Gonzáles, not Elder Gomez who came! We went contacting last week and that was an AWESOME experience! We went to the university that is super close by and we talked to some pretty awesome people. My love for all of these people is insane and they aren't even technically my people yet! The day we went we gave 4 copies of the BOM (Book of Mormon) and 3 restoration pamphlets when we only had like 20ish minutes left....  We were too scared to approach people for the first 40 minutes haha! I still love my district so much! One elder just went home from our district which was super sad but we are all glad he is home and that he got there safely!Everybody else left this last Tuesday besides our district of 7! There were only the 7 of us in the entire MTC for over 24 hours! That was SO weird!

All the new missionaries came in yesterday and it was sooooo freaking fun you would not believe!!!!! They are all so cute and I am so excited to get to know them and to learn from them! EXCITING NEWS!!! I AM THE SISTER TRAINING LEADER!!! I am over all of the Hermanas and it is soooo fun oh my heck! I have been secretly praying to be the STL so when I became that I was so happy.  There have been countless experiences lately that have made me absolutely certain that God loves us and knows each and every one of us!!!

We are getting a new night teacher- Hermano Gomez. I am pretty excited but I will definitely miss Hermano Puello! Spanish is going pretty well! I keep catching myself unintentionally thinking in spanish hahaha! There have also been these random blackouts where the power to the whole mtc shut down for a minute or so and then turn back on. We have gotten so used to it that it doesn't phase us at all haha. The first time it happened it made a super loud sound that sounded like a gun shot, so our teacher (Hermano Jimenez who is from the DR) froze, and then said "somebody died, it happens all the time" in the most casual voice ever. It was SO funny and HE is SOOOO funny. We all love him haha! Ask me more questions when you send me emails! I love answering anything, whether it be about the gospel or just about what its like! Also some of you are holding back on writing long emails because you don't want to take up all of my emailing time but I rarely read them during the hour, I always print them out and read them later, so send emails that are as long as you would like! Seriously! I loveeee reading them throughout the week!

No pictures this week because I kept borrowing this one missionary's sd card converter and he just left so I don't have one to use anymore, sorry! That's about it this week! I love and miss you all! ALSO- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SWEET LIL NEPHEW SPENCER! MISS YOU. Please give him a big hug from his favorite auntie!