Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 17 - Bell Ville - October 27, 2014

Hola pals!

This week without a doubt has been one of, if not, the hardest weeks of my mission.  I know I say that a lot, but Dios just keeps trying me!  There were a few nights that I cried myself to sleep, but sometimes that is all you can do as a missionary to calm down and relax.  So releiving.  

Yes, Hermana Vela had her surgery this week.  All is well now, and we are just on the long road of recovery.  After weighing all of the options, she decided to do teh surgery.  This will take less recovery time, allowing her to stay in the mission.   She is in a lot of pain, and it is stressful being a companion to someone when I feel so helpless.  I cant understand what the doctors advise me to do to help my companion, and now I feel like I have all the responsibility.  I have talked with the president, his wife, the mission nurse, and every other important person you could think of on the phone to get things figured out.  Talk about scary.  I now know more medical words in spanish than I ever knew in English.  hah.   Well, also  Im pretty sure I never want to be a nurse.  Lifting people out of bed to help them go to the bathroom gets old pretty fast. Send my props to all of the hospice nurses :)

Her surgery was on Thursday, and after sleeping in the hospital and just sitting and waiting a TON of time, 46 hours later, grease ball hairdo, nappy teeth, and basically starving, we were able to leave!!! I NEVER want to go back there, and it truly is like a terror movie.  Now we just sit in the pension day after day after day.  Ill let you in on a little secret.  There is nothing worse than soaking in your own sweat in the pension everyday, when you are completely healthy.  Maybe having your body cut open would be worse, but these past few days have been so long!  We just sit and watch life pass by.  Sometimes we watch a disney movie, (which many times, only makes me miss you at home), or we play the same card game for the 18th time in one day, or I clean every inch of the house.  Ive already read the entire missionary library, and the standard works 4 times so what more can I do???? haha chiste.  But its true, the kitchen is now spotless, the floor shining, the fridge odorless, and the oven less rusty. haha.  It is so frustrating that I can´t leave her for one minute.  We have to send the elders on all of our errands, which they probably hate just as bad as we do.  I cant even walk to the corner to buy myself some toilet paper when it is desparately needed.  Well, sacrifices bring blessings.  

Speaking of surgery, how is Jackie doing? Ive been praying for her and her family.  I hope all is all right!

Despite the pain, we went to the conference on Sunday, which was an hour drive en collectivo (like a double decker tour bus)  Bad idea.  Hna Vela was only in pain the whole time, so we sat in the wings, and didn´t hear any of the talks or the General Authority Raul something or other.  We only entered to sing our choir numbers.  No, we were not made a stake which was a bit of a let down, but the time will come soon! I just know it!

This week, I have thought a lot about wounds with the whole surgery situation.  Also, we sang DID YOU THINK TO PRAY.  One part in Spanish says, "Que reposo al cansado es la humilde oración. Trae consuelo al heridos, paz al corazón"  basically says, "Oh how humble prayer rests the weary.  It brings comfort to wounds, and peace to the heart"  hahaha how awful it is to translate! I cant even remember what it really says in english... but anyways.  Also, I read in the Story of the 2000 jovenes in Alma 57:25-27.  This talks about how we are all going to have wounds in this battle, but we will not fail, and we can succeed with faith filled prayer.  This got me thinking.  Prayer is something so simple yet so powerful.  It has the power to heal our wounds.  Spiritual, emotional, physical or whatever really!!!  If you have a problem in your life right now, my advice to you is pray.  Pray pray pray until it is all better.  Pray until you have nothing more to say.  Prayer will change your night to day. It has changed my mission, and it has changed who I am.  Cuando la vida es obscura, no olvides orar.  

Man, when I look back, I am a different me.  The mission isnt what changes people.  It is the spirit of the Lord every minute of every day that invites us to change and give our hearts to Christ, the only one who loves us completely.  Yes, I am the same old quirky me who dances in the night with weird voices, and commands my zits to leave from my face (but now only in Castellano saying, SALI CHE! - yes Im in argentina che.)  Im the same me, only rounder, smarter, sweatier, and closer to Christ.  There is nothing better.  

I would be lying if I said the mission was easy, but I would also be lying if I said that I am grasping every moment and loving the challenges I am facing.  This week I have learned more about faith, love, humility, patience, service, diligence, patience again, hope, service again, knowledge, obedience, and did I mention patience?  No but really, basically in this week, I was able to act like Christ in the whole circumstance.  It is a privledge and an honor to be hear in this moment, even if we are caged in.  I am a servant of the Lord, and I will always testify of his power and his love.  He is my Savior, and of these things I know.  

The best is yet to come! The Savior is on His way!
Hurrah for Israel!

Les amo mas que saben! MUY MUCHO (an Argentine phrase that is incorrect, but everyone says it)
con mucho amor, 
Hermana Woolley

transfers are this week! Ill keep you updated if i'll be here for another 6 more weeks!!!!  I love you all! Best wishes y cuidense!

At the conference with the missionaries in Bell Ville

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 16 - Bell Ville - October 21, 2014

Hola! Como estan? Todo bien?  (Hello, how are you?  Is everything good?

Que bueno.  (Good)

No puedo creerlo! Yo cumplo 5 meses hoy! Que loco no? El tiempo es muy rapido en la mision.  (I can’t believe it!.  I have been out 5 months today!  How crazy, right?  Time goes very fast in the mission field)

First things first, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM!!!! I tried to call you on skype on Sunday but no one answered...... I guess we will just have to wait until Christmas.

Joke. oh man, Im cruel... sorry!!!!! No but really! Happy Argentine Mothers day from your cute little jokster sister missionary.  The missionaries from Argentina were able to skype their families, but you just have to wait until may!!! 

ok, I have a list of things written that I want to say, so I hope you can jump thoughts with me from paragraph to paragraph!

Yes, C* was baptized this week!!! In our last lesson with him before his baptism the following day, he said "Padre, ayudame Señor cumplir esta sueño mio de bautizarme" (Father, help me Lord to fulfill my dream of being baptized).  So precious.  He was so happy, and so were we.  This is what happens when we choose God and do what is right by following his commandments obediently in this life.  We are blessed with exceeding happiness and joy.  

Bueno, another crazy story from this week,  We were studying innocently, then the phone buzzes that we recieved a text message.  My companion screamed and said "Hermana, who is this from?"  Lo and behold, I have a teenage boy in love with me! ahahahahhahahahah The message said, "Hola wooly, te extraño"  (Hello Woolley, I miss you) we responded "Quien es?" (Who is this?)  Then this was his reply.  "Estoy enamorado de vos. (I am in love with you) Soy *. Simplemente estoy encantado con tanta belleza" (I am *.  I am simply enchanted with so much beauty). .... eh ok.  hahah He is an old investigador of the elders with 16 years.  The elders were laughing so hard when I showed them the messages.  What guts this kid has.  That is one thing I love about argentines.  THey dont get embarrassed for nothing.  it is too funny.  Who knows, I might just convert *, and marry him in a year in the Cordoba Temple. Sound like a plan? haha

ANNIE!!! Thanks so much for the quote! I love love love love to be in the mission and this girl said exactly what I feel.  The mission is the best and I love learning more each day and serving the Lord.

Dad, I loved what you wrote me this week about your p Blessing.  Mine says something almost the exact same. "You will be able to clearly teach so that your posterity and others you will be called to teach will no misunderstand but will gain a full understanding of following eternal principles."  Cool huh?

Yes, Im going to cut my hair this weekend! Ah IM SCARED! But there is an hermana who cut hair before the mish, so when she comes for the conference, she will cut off my dead ends. haha

Bueno, now the news of Hna Vela.  The truth is, that as we were writing yesterday in the library, She got a call from Pte Alliaud and there is a great chance that she will be sent home after the surgery this week.  For this, she had a mini meltdown.  The mission is not easy.  But there is no where else we would rather be.  We are emotionally exhausted, and we have trials everyday, but we are so happy and alive!  Yesterday was kinda hard with this news, putting my comp in fear and terror of what the verdict will be, so we decided to ask for a blessing from the elders.  I, too, asked for a blessing because I have been worried in how I can comfort my companion when the circumstances are so serious.  Elder Hannay, (Probs my best friend in the mish) offered to give me a blessing in english.  It was so powerful.  Not only was it a relief to hear english again, haha, but he said exactly what I needed to hear to bring peace into my life again.  His hands were so so so shaky on my head (like the old temple workers:), but it almost made it better haha.  I felt like the power of the preisthood was literally working through him on my behalf.  I want you all to know that I know that this church is true.  We have a living prohet, with his apostles, and we have access to the authority of God.  This is his restored gospel.  Yo lo sé.  It has been hard becuase we feel that we havent done anything to deserve this trial of health and surgery, but like dad said, Christ didn´t deserve anything that happened to him either.  At times it may seem unfair, but Christs love is so powerful, and we are undeserving of his goodness and sacrifice.  I will forever testify of this truth.  Jesus is the Christ, my Savior, and my King.    God is so real, and we are his children.  He hears prayers.  He knows us, and calls us by name.  (It was also cool/weird to hear my first name in my blessing multiple times, but it was a comforting feeling of love from a caring father.) Hna vela should be having her surgery tomorrow, we will find out today the details.

man, HOw quickly the time goes, the truth is that this transfer with Hna Vela has been particularly difficult.  For this reason, I have not had a lot to say.  When we come home late each night, I just dont have the ganas to write and complain about another bummer day.  I often feel simply discouraged or frustrated.  For this reason, I have goals to change, and it is all possible through Christ.  In these 40 days of fasting (its a talk called purificandoos (purifying ourselves))  there are specific things I am avoiding, or things I am adding to my daily routine to help consercrate myself in the work.  I know by doing this, despite how many times I mess up- God will give me the strength to endure, and the love to help the people here.  I hope that through my obedience and actions to change, I can be an example missionary, an effective missionary, a powerful missionary, and a worthy servant of the Lord.  It is a process and it is not easy, but I am working hard each day to better myself, and focus on the needs of those who are begging for the Spirit, and the love of Christ in their lives.  This past week, yes has been hard, but these are the greatest times we have.  To draw ourselves closer to our testimonies and rely on Christ and Heavenly Father.

Here is a quote that I love, Sorry, I only have it in Spanish, but maybe dad can translate it for the letter and blog.

"Recuerden, el Señor las ha llamado para tener éxito y no para que fallen.  Algunas veces parecerá algo terriblemente difícil, pero Él quiere que ustedes crezcan.  Él no las abandonará.  Su llamamiento fue inspirado por Él.  Él sabe  quiénes son.  Él sabe lo que necesitan. Él conoce lo que ustedes pueden llegar a ser y la experiencia de la misión es una oportunidad que Él les ha dado para descubrir cosas sobre ustedes, que no sabían; capacidades que nunca se imaginaron que tenían, fuerza más allá de la que nunca sintieron y la capacidad de amar y servir, las cuales las sostendrán el resto de sus vidas. Recuerden, ustedes han sido llamadas y Él ajustará la tarea a sus capacidades.  Lo testifico en El nombre de Jesucristo. Amén." Élder Richard G. Scott.
(Remember, the Lord has called you to be successful and not fail.  Sometimes it will seem to be something very difficult, but He wants you to grow/progress.  He will not abandon you.  Your calling was inspired of Him.  He knows who you are.  He know you need Him.  He is aware of what you can become and the mission experience is an opportunity that He has given you to discover things about yourself that you didn’t know; capacities that you never imagined to have, strengths greater than you have ever felt and capacity to love and serve, which will sustain you the rest of your lives.  Remember, you have been called and He will mold the task to your abilities.  I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.  Elder Richard G. Scott)

I echo this testimony.  When we have trials, God enables us with our divine potentail and his everlasting love. 

I love you all. Please pray for my companion.
Have a great week! Hasta Lunes!! (until Monday)
con mucho amor, 
Hermana Woolley

 Hermana Karina Hill.  Our dad's have been great friends since High School

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 15 - Bell Ville October 14, 2014

Hello from the HOOD

HAHA! My zone leader says that I am ghetto worthy so I guess you could say I have finally reached my ultimate goal in life! haha He is a Mexican who lives in LA, and later SLC so he only speaks the truth.  He knows the hard stuff.  Now you can be proud that you are part of my family!

Also, some other crazy news, my jeans still have a butt slapping noise, so we haven’t hit rock bottom of obesity quite yet, but the food is getting tastier and I just keep eating.  Now the norm is that I eat an entire pizza by myself for lunch.  This makes my tastebuds happy, but my panza (belly) is growing like Allisons.  Yep, Ive got the gut of Grandpa Grey.

I hope Hawaii was torturous and that you all hated every minute.  First you leave me behind for Peru, and now Hawaii, WHAT IS NEXT! I hope every time you heard the sweet serenade of a ukulele, you wanted to scrape your eardrums out because it put you in a coma thinking of me your favorite daughter. haha joke.  half joke.  Glad to hear you were able to have a fun time and enjoy yourselves.

bueno, this week. My companion is really sick and needs surgury.  Please keep her in your prayers and put her in the temple too. I dont want to go into detail, but I will keep you updated.  Sorry, this email will be cut short because the hermana leaders are here with us so we have to get to work instead of writing a novel! It is so fun to be with all 4 of us.  It is what I have been looking forward to ever since I got my call... to work with hna Hill (Her dad Kent and Katelyn’s dad Spence were very good friends growing up and still keep in contact) .  And here we are together all day, and I am with my mommy trainer too!! It is a great day to be alive! These past weeks have been hard with the health of my compi, but to have a better motivation to work hard gives me energy and satisfaction!
OK! Crazy weather! One day I was dying of heat and then the next day, It hailed rocks the size of my fist or bigger! I was ssleeping, at midnight, and my companion couldnt sleep because she felt sick.  The power went out, and she screamed waking me up.  NExt thing we knew there was a crazy lightning show, followed by a hail that could kill the wretched dogs here.  Finally it all wrapped up with a downpour that washed away the piedras(rocks).  We were screaming ARREPENTIOS ARREPENTIOS (Repent Ye Repent Ye) off of our balcony.  It was so crazy and For sure people the next day told us they thought the wrath of god was being thrust down on them! hahaha 
Also, we made Arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice) this week! Peruvian food! it was tasty :)
Also, when the zone leaders left the area, we were able to use their bikes for the day.  What a terror.  My skirt got stuck in the wheel and I saw my life flash before my eyes as the bike came to an abrupt stop! I screamed for help from my companaion, slash was laughing so hard, that she hought I was crying and had gotten hurt! Nope, turns out all is well.  so a ripped skirt covered in black tire marks, but todo bien (alls well)! It was a work out for my poor legs, I waas used to walking three thousand miles not biking 6500 thousand.  I slept good that night for sure!
ALSO; she completed one year in the mission so we celebrated and had a surprise party.  I felt like a rebel planning with the elders with thecell phone in the bathroom so she wouldnt know I was talking with them.  She was appreciative for it after hahaha

bueno, que mas paso esta semana (ok what else happened this week)... Oh President came to our area! WE were able to have interviews with him, and he also spoke at the conference for the District. One thing interesting that he said is that we can not live in our past successes.  Always prgress or you will be falling behind.  There is a huge push right now with the temple work and family history before the temple opens so i really need some type of profile pic from each of those in my immediate family, and my 4 generations of grandparents! PLEASE!!! We have a super capo activity planned and I cant wait to baptize the world with family history!! We also sang in the choir, and the director cried at the end so I guess that means we sounded good? who knows with these crazy argentines haha!  But we will be having the second part of the conference on the 26tth to be made into a stake... supposedly.  All is hush hush so we are not completely sure if it is the real deal or not!

Our investigator! PASSED HIS INTERVIEW YESTERDAY! He will be baptized this coming saturday the 18th of october.  He bought a full pinstriped suit coat for the event and also told us that he will be cutting his hair! Such an improvement.  He is so prepared after workign with him for almost my whole time here in bell ville (since aug 14th) and we are blessesd now to see the change in him.  He had made the decision and nothing will change his mind.  I may have already toold you this, but whrn the JWs came to his door, he siad, "No thank you, SOY MORMON (I am a Mormon)!" haha, casi (nearly), but he will be mormon for real this weekend!!! :) :)

This week as I was studying I came across OMni1:26 agian, as well as the story of feeding the 5000.  So, I read the talk I gave for my farewell and bawled.  It is so easy to get down in the mission.  Let me tell you, but there is nothing like reading my own testimony and experiences of finding christ in my life to lift me back up.  I cried as I told my companion about the story with alec and him sending me a message that said "easy, do you know its true?"  Yes, I do.  Alec, I can never give you thanks enough for that one small message.  It has changed my life, and it has chnaged my mission.  Alec, Sabes que tienes un lugar muy especial en mi corazon y no hay espacio suficiente! Primos y amigos para siempre :)  [know that you have a very special place in my year and there is not a enough room for all of it!  Cousins and friends forever]

Keep living righteous lives because not only is it worth it, but it is impossible to continue living without it!  Know I love you all!  It true, distance does make the heart grow fonder.  You are all my prime blessings in mi vida.  this is embarrassing, I am realizing that i may have spoken some spanglish in this letter but I dont have time to fix it.  Perdon [excuse me].  jaja.  At least you know Im learning something out here in the hot, humid, wild wild west (not really- more east, but it flowed ok?)  

I would love to read your moments of difficulties and your testimonies of how the gospel helped you! Please send me your stories one and all! young and old! JAckson and the neighbor down the street! This gospel is so perfect and I want to share it with everyone forever!

Hurrah for Isreal!
Hermana Woolley

Week 14 - Bell Ville October 6, 2014

Semana 20, can you believe it!
Sorry, otra vez esta carta será un poco loca por tiempo! (because of time this letter will be a little crazy)  I had a lot to write to my president and fill out a survey for the mission offices which took up a lot of time.  Know I love you all and thank you for your personal letters.  Know that I wont be able to write personal letters today.  Kristen,... get over it. haha Too far? No, know I love you more than words (like the uke song)

Nicolle Thaxton- This is a shout out for you! I love your guts and always will.  Thanks for the letter, it brightened my spirits :)

Hola world!
 Read 2 Corinthians 12:9 y 10.  Wow, what a humbling experience it is to witness our mistakes and constantly change! 

 Like they said many times in Conference, Parents are the ultimate gospel teachers, and I am blessed enough to call you mine.  Thank you for being parents of righteousnes.  I understand exactly how Pte. Eyring feels when he said, "I have tired to go and do as she hoped I would"  I am doing this work for the Lord right now because I vividly remember the moment I knew he had called me, but I also am doing this to thank you for raising me in righteousness.  I only hope that as I have tried to do as you hoped I would, that you are proud of who I am am, but more importantly, who I am becoming.  You will always be my heros.  Now, go swim with sharks, and don´t tell me about all the fun I missed out on.  The sun, no, we´ve got plenty here, but of course only below the knees haah

This week we found a new investigator who had a dream of Christ holding out his hands to her and said, "Venid a mi!"  The next morning, her husband abandoned her, and we showed up at her door.  As we gave her the pass along card of Christ in the red robe, she began to cry.  She explained that it was the exact same Christ she had seen the night before.  Another miracle.  I pray that with this escojido, we can see her progress and recognize the blessings that can be hers.

Also, FUNNY STORY!!!  As we were standing in the street, talking on the phone with our leaders, a lady came out of her house, simply said, "permiso," and as we took one step to the side, she began to pour salt where we had just been standing.... uh awkward.  I wish there would have been a camera on my face as she went back inside her house.  Our eyebrows expressed pure confusion. I can´t believe that happened! what are we... Witches????? haha Happy Halloween... little witch! (in the voice, sista listas should get this joke)

We also have had some crazy rain storms.  I was completely DRENCHED!  Almost more wet then getting out of the shower.  At first I was so annoyed, but it was really fun as every single appt fell through so we just stood in the street with our mouths open wide. ah aha ah aha ah ahahah.  I was freezing for the rest of the night with soaking garments, but what a blessing haha :) I love the feeling of sloshing shoes.  Dont you? :)

Also, a quote for the week, "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you cannot count the apples in a seed"  These weeks have been hard because we have not been blessed with the rapid success like I was when I was with Hna Gonzalez.  This is the perfect reminder that every good deed we do counts for something good :)

I was able to attend all 4 sessions of conference.  I sat in a tiny room with 4 elders and we watched it in English.  I love conference.  To tell you the truth, I am sad that it is over.  It is like Christmas and always passes too quickly.  César attended all four and the members used his laptop even to project it in the chapel.  He will be a great dedicated member.  I believe he is one of the people you accepted on facebook.  He is also called Choyo or something like that.

I lvoed conference and can´t wwrite all the spiritual revelation I recieved, but I loved the talk by Jorg on Spiritual Confidence.  We can alwasy improve and prepare for the day with God.  

Look to the Prophet.  Look to Christ.  I am well.  I am happy.  I love you all.  

Over and out,
Hurrah for Israel! :)
con mucho amor,
hermana Woolley