The Book of Life

Sister Wood’s area of Aparri – Beautiful

So, I forgot the paper that I usually write what I am going to type in my email, so I am just winging it. Here we goooooooooo!

The family that I talked all about last week you know? Alcantara’s. Well, we went back on our last night in the area, and they gave me these two jerseys that the dad wore when he played! So cool right? The “Zion” jersey was one that they had made for their church team. I am in love with it! The other is an old one of the team he coaches now. I am so lucky! I told them I would have my sons wear them and tell them that these came from Marlon Alcantara in the Philippines! They are so sweet. I wrote them a note on the back of my basketball picture, and after Marlon read the note he went and displayed it right on their entertainment center hahaha. I will miss them. 
Changing lives through Basketball
So the biggest change this week was starting in our new area. Before I go into further details about that, I have to report back to you all on how it went finding those rich basketball players. We went looking for the white one. Found where he lived. Asked his “grandma” if there was anyone by that name that lived there. She lied to our faces and said no, she has no idea who that is and that we were at the wrong house. Super rude about it. Little did she know i knew it was their house because their was a cool uniform hanging outside with real Nike compression shorts. Had to be his. Anyways, so we leave and go another way, but then eventually have to pass the same house to go to the next place. The kid is outside the house and sees us. He immediately turns around and starts walking inside, I called him out and asked where he was going… he started out on the nervous shakey talk cause he knew he was caught haha. I was the one talking cause it was in english, and then he looks at us and says he has somewhere to go and just walks off with his grandma that lied to us. UGH!!!! IT MADE ME SO MAD. We didn’t even ask to share with him, and he just left. Whatever!! I think it made me more bad because it was in english… that leads me into my next thing I want to share.
We were walking down the street and this guy kind of stops us and asks me, how is the weather up there? (in english). I was like what? where? He goes, “You don’t get it?” I said uhhh what do you mean? He said, “Since you are so tall!” and then just starts laughing… he thought he was hilarious. Brought me back to the memory of a little Davis fan that asked me if it is still raining up there during our soccer game against them. No, I have not forgotten that whoever you are. I don’t take offense to things like that, I just thought I would share it hahaha.  It is really weird because since I have been talking and communicating in a different language for so long, it hurts 10x worse when someone rejects us or says something rude in english haha it is super interesting.
Alright now I will talk about our NEW AREA!!! Yahoo! So, it is an area more like Laoag. It is in the city with people who have more money than our last area. Which is totally sweet. We made the switch on Monday night and then Tuesday we went with the elders and showed each other our areas. It was all fun and games until we got the area book. Keep in mind that we worked hours and hours to make sure ours looked gorgeous. Well, it was a little bit out of order and incomplete, and made us want to scream. Now this is the topic I would like to focus on in this letter! For all of you soon to be elders and even sisters…. I have come to understand that the area book is seriously so important. There is a reason why the nickname is the book of life. It holds the souls of all the people! As you can see some of the photos I sent home, these are some of the things that teach us what NOT to do with the area book! This is just a little area book 101. It is so important to fill everything out so complete! About the lessons, the people, when they are, just everything haha. The one photo of the date in 2015 makes me laugh. Maybe he is looking into the future or something. The photo of supplies is what Sister Bacalla and i came up with that every missionary needs for the area book haha!
“Book of Life” supplies
We are definitely having separation anxiety from our area book. And I am just helping you to be prepared so that you don’t have the wrath of the sister missionaries on you like we have been on the elders! This has been the hardest thing for us in this new area. Just not much to go off of.
The “Book of Life” – I’m guessing the Elder’s love Sister wood right now….jokes

There are 23 recent converts that haven’t been retaught the lessons, so that is what our focus is the next 6 weeks. I know that Heavenly father isn’t going to bless us with any baptisms if we are not taking care of the recent converts. It has been a rough week for Sister Bacalla  and I because it is so new for both of us, we don’t know the area, we don’t know the ward, we don’t know any of the people because their is no information on them and so on and so on. It has been really hard for us not to complain about it. As we focus on the recent converts though I think we will start to see progression. There hasn’t been sisters in this area for years! So, we both know that is has been prepared for us and we need to get to work. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we just have to dig down and do it. Our other goal is to not get sick of each other. It is pretty rare to have the same companion for 4 1/2 months, plus we are doing it with this new area, so I think Heavenly Father knows my weakness and is helping me overcome it haha. I love Sister Bacalla. We have learned so much from each other. She is funny and weird, and we have got along great. We are going to need to work extra hard to make it 6 more weeks. But it will be so good for me. She is so funny, she thinks that the electric fans give her stomach aches. Is that even possible? Maybe I am crazy? But I think she is haha. I have helped her start writing in a journal because she hasn’t her whole mission. I always knew that the work aspect of my mission wasn’t going to be my problem. Living with a girl 24 hours of the day for 18 months would be! (I’ve just never liked drama)  I am happy to say that I am a lot more patient though! 🙂  
That is all the stuff I can remember from this week, I am sorry I forgot my little paper. This work is so rewarding. I know that the next few weeks will be tough, but the joy and happiness that will come from it I know will be outstanding. I was writing a letter to my mom this morning and I wrote how I think I am pretty different!  But at the same time I am not. Heavenly Father is refining me, and I can feel it. Every day, every hard time, every frustration I have, he is helping me overcome it all and look at the big picture of this BEAUTIFUL life. 🙂 I know that missionary work is what I need to be doing. And the fact that it is May this week absolutely blows my mind. Thank you so much for everything everyone. 
– Sister Wood
P.S. I didn’t get out of exchanges… they are tomorrow. Pray for me for reals this time haha.
Appari Philippines


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