Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 25 - Curaçao

Wowwww HI!
So first of all, Curacao is GORGEOUS. sooooo green, especially compared to Aruba!   Unfortunately dont have too much to share about people we are teaching and all that fun stuff because i am so new to Curaçao and dont know anyone yet. we also have 3 areas right now but i will only have one next transfer and all of the people we are seeing right now dont live in my area..  Next transfer the islands will be completely full with missionaries! Curacao and Aruba are each going to have 8 missionaries!!!  ALSO president just opened up Bonaire to sisters and sister Burrup is heading over there next week with sister Montenegro and a greenie!  Sister Hardy will be headed to Aruba and will be companions with sister Garcia, and i will be staying here in Curacao and will be training a i am trying my best to learn the area!
This week was really good! It has been so fun to be with Sister Hardy and Sister Burrup! They are so awesome! I was also just informed that I am one 8th Hardy so Im basically serving with my distant cousin right now! It is so fun. These sisters are amazing! They are strong...we have THREE areas. Half the island...and we are on bikes most of the time. it has been funnnn!!! Luckily i enjoy biking (most of the time) so it has been fun. But we have been biking  A LOT. We have also had a lunch appointment ever single say this week so I just miss my hour lunch but it has been nice. We have each gained like 339294 pounds this week from all of the appointments. It has been nuts. 
Curacao is actually quite different from Aruba! The people are a lot more dutch so the missionary work here isnt quite growing... But the members here are awesome. Sister Taylor's recent convert, Romeo, is AMAZING. I taught one lesson with him when i was here for a day my very first day on my way to aruba. He truly is incredible. He lovessss to go teaching with us but he doesnt have a car so he literally WALKS to all of them! He is so converted and amazing. He also walks to church which is like a 7-13 minute bike ride, so I don't know how long it takes him. He is in my area too >:) haha! Same with this other recent convert named Peter who walks to church as well, but he lives even farther!!! Crazy.
I am feeling very optimistic about this next transfer and I am ready to get hardcore rejected a LOT. Curacao is honestly a really hard place for missionary work but I know my companion and I will be able to find the people that God is preparing :) I am just so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and I truly love missionary work so much. If you are ever contemplating on whether or not you should go on a mission, JUST GO!! I promise the Lord will make up for whatever you have to leave behind. Even if you cant serve a mission, you are still a missionary! That is a huge part of your baptismal covenant! Missionary work is truly so important. Literally this is these people's salvation. Their eternal life with there families. The opportunity for them to live with their Heavenly Father again. When you really think about it with an eternal perspective it really changes things, doesnt it? Let the people around you feel the joy that you are able to feel through this gospel. Please share the gospel with someone you see this week. Do it for their Father in Heaven! It is our responsibility to  share this message! I LOVE missionary work! I LOVE this gospel. I LOVE the priesthood and I absolutely Love Jesus Christ, our Big Brother. I hope you all have a great week and I love you all soooo much! 
Sister Woodbury

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 24 - Aruba (but heading to Cuacao tomorrow)

Hello everybody!

Wow. INSANE week. I don't even know where to begin!!! I received a call on Saturday that I am being emergency transferred to Curacao (neighbor island country to Aruba....and pronounced "cure-uh-so") that i can learn the area for the next transfer. I normally wouldn't mind too much but our area is blowing upppp!!! They haven't had any success in this area for almost a year, BUT right now we have EIGHT with a baptismal date!!!! SOOO crazy. These people are so amazing. Eight! That is unheard of.

Also I finally fell off my bike earlier this week! First one! Lots of bruises and a scraped up elbow but I am good! That opened the window to falling off though, so I fell like 3 times after that, one because i couldn't see the curb because everything was flooded haha! It rained like CRAZY!!!! We were all pretty soaked. I am beginning to think i need a waterproof bag because my stuff keeps getting pretty destroyed. As for our investigators? Wow. Hoping to have enough time to talk about the eight with a date!

First off Monchi because she gets baptized this Saturday. Wow!  She is incredible. sooo converted, and she is only 12. Here is a snippit of whats going on in her life: Her puppy died the day she got interviewed for her baptism, her parents just split up, and her best friend/sister just moved to Holland. Her prayers? She thanks the Lord for her family, her parents, her sister, and that her dog can live with Him in paradise. Literally she is SO amazing. So strong. Please keep her in you prayers! Her life is HARD. The elder who did her interview said he bawled during it! She really is amazing.

Then Darío! He is doing great!!!! We had a REALLY hard day this week and we went to his lesson and he had hot chocolate and cheese waiting for us. I literally teared up. That was so sweet. We love him so much. He is always taking care of us. We all decided that we are kind of like his daughters hahaha! He reminds me a lot of my dad so it was really fun to teach him.

Thennnn we have Lusdari! She is incredible as well. She just always says over and over again that this is the ONLY true church and she is just anxious to be baptized. So excited. We gave her Alma 5 which is super long, then visited her the next day and she had read it like 3 times.

Then we have Mirella who is doing great! We actually didn't teach her this week because of who knows what but she is doing really well!

Then there is Jesus who is this AWESOME Venezuelan guy! Words cannot describe him. He is sooooo funny and super quirky. He really gets everything though. When they understand the priesthood and if they are really ready for this message, they practically ask you to be baptized. It is amazing. But he said we are the only people he feels like he can trust and he loves the Book of Mormon and all that stuff.

Okay and then there was yesterday. Wow. Yesterday. So this whole week we had prayed to have 6 people with a baptismal date by the end of the week, but it was already Sunday afternoon and we had five, with no one lined up to accept one. then we went to a lesson with three Venzuelans, and boy did the Lord answer our prayers!!! That lesson was incredible. We taught the restoration and it was the coolest and most spiritual lesson so far on my mission. We were able to teach in a way that the spirit could teach them and they just totally got it. They were each pretty much teaching each other. Ronald, Jose (Aliessar's brother), and Jennifer. Wow. When one of them had a question about something we taught, the other would answer it instead of us. By the end of the lesson the spirit was practically yelling at us to invite them to be baptized! We invitied them and they all just said, "yes, of course".  it was so amazing. I never ever cry in lessons and I actually teared up in this one. The Lord answered our prayers. He always does. I am so grateful for this gospel and for he opportunity I have to teach and watch these people's lives change. Life is so good and I love being a missionary. 


Sister Woodbury

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Week 23 - Aruba

Life is so good. Sooooo much happened this week you would not BELIEVE!!!! First of all though......... The Book of Mormon challenge is officially over!!! I really hope you participated in this one because wow this is important. Sooo important. This is the most important thing you could do, it is literally what our prophet just asked us to do!!!!! If you aren't done yet, that is okay! Just keep going! :) 

I have  ALOT of people to talk about right now so I will do my best!!! Here we goooo:
Darío: Wow this human is amazing. He actually kind of dropped us for a few days and wouldn't let us come by or answer our phone calls or anything! We left notes at his house here and there but it didn't do anything. THENNN we felt inspired to make him a cake and then drop it off right after, and HE WAS HOME! we talked to him and he is still on for his baptism and he is just doing amazing. He has changed SO much and he is just so converted. We LOVE him. Also funny thing about him is that he loves the way I pray for some reason so he always makes me say it. He made me say it both times! 
He is getting baptized on the 2nd.
Then we have an investigator named Ernan who is a semi crazy old man... We don't teach him very much but he comes to church sometimes and this last time we were all standing up singing the Battalion Republic song and he would fist pump every time the chorus started. We started laughing so hard that we cried hahaha!
Then we have our sweet little Monchi :)  She is doing really really well but this week her parents split up and she moved out with her mom so she has been pretty bummed. I feel so bad. She is so tough though. Pray for her please!
Gloria: She is that contact that we made a while ago and she is amazing!!! We cant see her very often buuuut we taught her half of the restoration and WOW she understood it all and just ate it up! She really is amazing and she knows that God sent us to her and that these things are true :)
Cloudie: She is a Hatian woman who only knows Papiamento. She is awesome!! Came to church yesterday! Me and sister Garcia had to teach her by ourselves though. We were able to do it even though we could only speak Papiamento!! So thankful for the help of the Lord.
We also contacted a man this week who is actually the brother of an INCREDIBLE member here who got deported my first week!!!! Incredible.  He also knew another amazing member here who many of you have seen pictures of who got deported this week. That was a really cool prompting of the spirit! We weren't going to talk to him, but then we went and we were glad that we did!
But like I mentioned, another amazing member of the branch got deported. My heart shattered when I was informed. Please pray for the Parra family. I love them so much. Such great people. 

We have alsoooo been teaching this guy named Jose Luis Garcia who is just FLYING through the BoM! He is really incredible! We are going to teach him tonight and I am beyond excited. I knew he was a special person when we first met him. He came here with 8 friends and all of them have gotten deported accept for 2. I hate deportation.
Thennnn we have our lovely Arubian friends Roshen & Nielson!! These people are so amazing. Nielson actually reminds me  A TON  of my big brother Chris!! It is always a little weird when we teach him because I always think about that haha! They are doing really well though! They said that they have noticed a really big change in their home since they started taking lessons. We read Galatians 5:22 with them and explained what Long Suffering means and they said that that was the biggest thing they have felt recently. They believe the Book of Mormon is true but they aren't 100% sure yet!
Thennnn we taught this Arubian man named Deric!  Wow is he amazing! He said he has really been searching for the truth and he just has a lot of potential. He is amazing and he is part of a family of four :)
Thats all i have this week!!! So sorry for the craziness!! I truly love you all so much and I miss you a ton!!! Have a great week!!!
-Sister Woodbury


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