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


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 Gonz├íles, 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!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Allie's Address

Allie doesn't think she'll get anything sent to her in the Dominican Republic at this point.

She'd prefer that we all send any mail or packages to her actual mission address in follows:

Sister Allison Marie Woodbury
Trinidad Port of Spain Mission
1 Morequito Ave. Valpark Shopping Mall Plaza Building #10
Valsayn, Trinidad and Tobago

Week 2 (3/16/17) - Santo Domingo

Big:  I am slightly more prepared for this emailing time so hopefully this email is a little better than last weeks! It kind of jumps all over the place so I am sorry about that haha!

I met the girl who was in the exact same boat as me with all of the mission changes and everything! She is one of my companions and she is awesome! Everyone thinks we will be spending pretty much all of our time on our missions in the ABC islands (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire)! I thought there was no chance of my going there but now that's most likely the only place I will be!

All of the emails I received from my family were all in tune with what we are learning here! I was blown away by how everyone was prompted by the spirit to talk about exactly what we have been talking about here! You are all so incredible!

We all play volleyball here everyday which is SO fun! I probably annoy everyone because I goof off so much but I am hoping they don't mind! I have been labeled as the "Happy One" here at the MTC. Everybody pokes fun at me because I am literally always smiling and laughing. It's so fun haha! Every week all of the missionaries have to prepare a talk about a certain topic and then on Sunday they call on whoever they are prompted the call on to speak. Terrifying. I haven't been called on yet which means it will happen very very soon. AHHH!!!

I wasn't able to get my back fixed before I left and I was super concerned about it because I was having a lotttt of issues, BUT I HAVEN'T HAD ANY ISSUES WITH IT!!! Such a major blessing!!!!! The first day this one teacher could not believe that we were supposed to learn Spanish since we were going to Trinidad. He literally couldn't believe it. He made us join the English district of two for one day until President Gulbrandsen told him no.. Agghh.

HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY TO BROOKS AND FELICIA AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARSON!!! We are going contacting at the university tomorrow and I am SO scared. I don't know nearly enough Spanish yet so it is going to be rough!!! We got to go to the store and I totally loaded up on chocolate!! It was so fun and I have no regrets. We get to leave the MTC a lot! We go do service at the park, we go contacting, and we go to the store!

Apparently the only people who will be at the entire MTC when this next group leaves on Tuesday is my district of 8! They said they were going to take us somewhere cool to go contacting so I am pretty excited and I have no idea what to expect! We got to watch the new Easter video that the church will release at the end of this month and it was incredible. You are all going to love it!  We went to a stake center with a ton of other missionaries serving here and got to go watch a devotional by Elder Anderson! That was soooo cool! The best part was I got to shake his hand!  He spoke a lot of Spanish which was really awesome for the people out in the field but we couldn't really understand anything because our translator was terrible, but it was still fun to be there! I saw Morgan Smith there! That was so random! She and her companion sat right behind me and I didn't even know she was out on a mission! We have been practicing how to teach investigators a lot without teachers and one of our lessons this week made Hermano Puello - our awesome night teacher who I freaking love - cry!!! That was a really sweet moment.

I print out everyone's emails every week and read them later in the day because I don't have enough time to read them during my hour of email time and then I will try to respond the following week! So all of my responses will always be a week or so late! Sorry about that! My pictures attached are: Me and my district, the view from the temple of the ocean, quotes Elder Mapa (the class clown of my district) made up, and what an average meal looks like here. Two kinds of meat, two kinds of rice, and beans. The fruit and salad is just courtesy of the Hermanas haha!

Oh also I forgot to mention that i am super freaking happy and I love it here!! Also I totally forgot the other thing I needed to say and it was kind of important. Oh well. Esta bien(i say that a million and ten times a day) Love you! I am getting off now!

 That's all I can think of this week!! I love you and miss you all soooo much! I love you Dad, Mom, Brittney, Allen, William, Chris, Jack, Clayton, Spencer, Chris, Aly, Evy, Aby, Millie, Baby, Chase, Kim, Mason, Linley, Carson, Brooks, Felicia, Jesse, and That's it right??? I am super scatter brained and stressed so I am so sorry if this email makes no sense!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

-Hermana Woodbury

Friday, March 10, 2017

Week 1 (3/9/17) - Santo Domingo


 I LOVE IT HERE!!!! Please bare with me until I get the hang of writing missionary emails because I have no idea what I am doing. I miss you all so much! Okay so getting here was definitely a major struggle. Basically an [airport] employee had to lie to me to get me into the country and then I was stranded in the airport getting hit on by a ton of guys speaking Spanish for 2 hours until some super nice person named Juan Carlos let me borrow their phone!!! So thankful for him or else I would definitely still be there.

I love it here soooo much. I am happier than I have ever been EVER. I have also never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life. My district is absolutely incredible and the MTC (Mission Training Center) president and his wife are the BEST PEOPLE!!!!! Classes have been so fun and the teachers are incredible! I swear I am already forgetting my English and it has been rough!!! I love love loveeee it here. I really am not sure what else to say other than that! I never want to leave so all of you should just come here.

I want to apologize to everyone who I cant reply to because I received a lot of emails and I don't have enough time to reply to everyone but I will try my best! I have already grown and changed so much. Whenever I see that we have class or a devotional I get sooooo excited which is not like me at all. The teachers give us a lot of breaks and I never want to go because I love being in class so much. Spanish has been going well and I am understanding A LOT but not speaking much yet. The DR (Dominican Republic) is so funny. The way they run things here is always so last minute and unorganized and at first it really bothered me but now it just makes me laugh. The first several days we didn't have teachers because they just didn't show up.. Only in the DR! Also, The food here is super good but literally all we have been eating is rice and several kinds of meat every single day. I seriously miss vegetables so much.

Elder Gomez of the Seventy came and gave a devotional so that was super awesome! I only have two requests: send me letters (to my mission home address) and send me pictures!!!!!! That's all I need :) I am so sorry this email isn't very detailed but this week has just flown by and all I have felt is happiness and peace and I don't remember anything else! I will give a more detailed report next week when things aren't so hectic and I am more settled in! All that you really need to know is that I love it here and I am extremely happy and Spanish is difficult but fun. I love you all and miss you soooooo much!

Allie also added in her message to her family the following...

 I miss you all so much it's ridiculous. All of the sister missionaries said that their first week was miserable and depressing but I have felt totally good so that's a major blessing!  I cannot think straight right now because this is the most stressful hour of the week but next week I will come way more prepared so it isn't all over the place. I am so sorry about how little I am writing!

Trying to remember a couple of other random points:
  •  The MTC is so freaking small. Like 30 missionaries tops. We cant even fill up an entire (very small) room for a session in the temple. I love it. 
  •  President and Hermana Gulbrandsen are the freaking best. I am so glad they are in charge of this MTC!
  • I have not felt one moment of sadness. Emailing is hard though because it is just kinda sad.
  • I am in the BEST DISTRICT EVER. We all feel like we have known each other for a lot longer than we actually have.
  • All of the employees and teachers here are so awesome and funny and I love them all. They are so patient with you and they get SO excited whenever you say even the simplest phrase in spanish.
  • Please let everyone know that if I did'nt reply to all of them this week that I will try next week!
  • I printed everyone's emails out and will read them during the week because I didn't have time during the hour!
  •  Any questions? I came totally unprepared for emailing so I cant think of details or specifics right now. I tried though!!!
  •  If you see Bro Hansen at church please tell him I miss their family!!
  •  I cant think of anything else and my time is just about up so I love you and I will talk to you next week! Hopefully someone will let me borrow their converter again so I will have pictures!
  • PLEASE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO EMAIL ME PICTURES!!!! And Also encourage them to send them in letters to my mission address! Love you!
Next week send me a list of any questions that you have and I will try to answer them! We went to the DR Temple today and that was super awesome! It is so beautiful and its the only thing that runs smoothly in any part of the DR. I am not sure what else to include but I love you and miss you so much. I guess I will carry on the tradition: I love you Mom, Dad, Brittney, Allen, Will, Chris, Jack, Clayton, Spencer, Chris, Aly, Evy, Aby, Millie, Baby, Chase, Kim, Mason, Linley, Carson Warson Woo Woo, Brooks, Felicia, and Jesse!!!!!! You guys are the best and I totally wouldnt be the person I am if it weren't for every single one of you!

Oh also our district leader is 6' 10". Size 16 shoes. Insane!