Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 16 - Aruba


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!

Sister Woodbury

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 15 - Aruba

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

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!

-Hermana Woodbury