HeavenlyCheese

This is the story of a couple of Woods and their wild adventures sharing the gospel in Wisconsin.

Time Is Flying Bye!

 

Sister Cutler, with Sisters serving in Appleton/Green Bay Zones


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sister Cutler, with Sisters serving in Appleton/Green Bay Zones

 

 
I can not believe it has been so long since I last posted pictures on my blog.  It truly seem like it was just a couple of weeks ago but time flies when you are busy and loving your mission.  We have been blessed to have another mission conference the spirit at each one of our mission conferences has been so empowering and uplifting we just love them. Above is a picture of Sister Cutler, wife to the Mission President, and the Sister serving the Appleton/Green Bay Zones of our mission.   We also just completed our Appleton Stake Conference and the whole Stake enjoyed a spiritual feast.  The Lord has blessed the Saints in Wisconsin with wonderful inspired and caring leaders.  They teach the gospel, they preach the gospel and they live the gospel.  I know that as the new members accept the gospel and are baptized and as they are fellowshipped in their ward and branches they have the wonderful example of their Ward, Branch and Stake Leaders to follow and hopefully they come to know just how much the Lord loves them and blesses them with such a great church family to support, help and assist them in their new Christ centered life and commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the pictures below we are having Family Home Evening with the Winnebago YSA Branch at the home of our wonderful Branch President, President Munson, and his sweet wife.  They are two of the most inclusive, welcoming, and giving members we have met on our mission.  They are so unselfish with their time, talents, and testimonies.  I am amazed that there is always a smile on their faces and a kind word of love and encouragement on their lips, and this while managing a career as a physician and Sister Munson managing five small children (soon to be six).   You can tell in a very short amount of time just how much they love the Lord and how very important living the gospel and raising their children in a gospel centered home means to them.  Elder Wood and I are blessed to have been able to know them and learn from them and their example.

Sister Munson with treats

Sister Munson with treats

Munson Children, Zack, Abby, Joshua, Susanna, and Spencer

Munson Children– Zack, Abby, Joshua, Susanna, and Spencer

President Munson with YSA members

President Munson with YSA members

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In my last letter I told you how beautiful the fall was in Wisconsin and it is but as with all things in life it is coming to and end.  We are now in a cooler pattern with highs in the 40’s and lows in the 30’s but with the wind chill it feels a little colder […]

Wisconsin in the fall

Beautiful Flowers

Beautiful Flowers

Trees Changing Color

Trees Changing Color

Well October is here and the leaves are changing in color and the weather here has been perfect.  The missionary effort is moving forward and we all feel the urgent need to do more and to work smarter and to be faithful in our service.  I can truly attest to the fact that when you prepare and then rely on the Holy Ghost you teach and testify with more power and your thoughts and feelings are the in tune with what the Lord would have you to say.  We had a wonderful experience of meeting a totally inactive member of the church and her family.  She is actually on the do not call list but of course Sister Wood did not know that and she told us we could come to her house.  Bishop Rhodes of the Oshkosh Ward went with us and we had a good visit with them.  It is amazing to me that even though they don’t attend church or really have anything to do with the church the knowledge that they have a loving Heavenly Father is still there deep inside their hearts and souls and when the need arises they still know who to turn to.  They know the source of light and truth and still have at least the desire to be a small part of it.  They just had a new baby boy in their family and want him to receive a name and a blessing.  I know it is not a return to full activity in the church but it is a step in the right direction and we a least have a line of communication open and hopefully at some time the desire to return to full activity will return.  Things do not always happen in quick giant steps but in slow small acts of responding to peoples needs with patience and love.

Conference was wonderful as always and I am not quite sure why but the Sunday morning session had a powerful effect on me.  It truly spoke to me and touched my spirit it lifted me up and inspired me to want to be better and work on those areas that will help me draw closer to my Savior and be steadfast in my conversion.

We had a booth at the Farmers Market in downtown Oshkosh with the Sister Missionaries.  We had many people stop and talk to us and they asked us to pray for them but no one was interested in meeting with us.  I took a few pictures of the beautiful flowers the Hmong people sell at the market they a so beautiful.

$5.00 - $6.00 a Bundle

$5.00 – $6.00 a Bundle

I Just Love September!

Elder Evans and Elder and Sister Wood

Elder Evans and Elder and Sister Wood

Sister Barnes and Sister Hansen

Sister Barnes and Sister Hansen

Well as you can tell from the title of my post the heat is gone and we are enjoying absolutely perfect weather.  Sunday, we had a good soaking rain for most of the day and now everything is green, crisp and beautiful.  The trees are just starting to get a few leaves changing colors and I just love it here.

I have sent you a picture of Elder Evans and Elder and Sister Wood.  Elder Evans was the first missionary we met when we arrived on our mission.  He was so kind and helped us in any way we needed help.  He will always hold a special place in my heart. Elder Evans goes home this month we will miss him very much.   Elder Evan plays football at Southern Utah University although he won’t be able to play this year because of his mission.  But Elder Evans was where he was supposed to be serving the Lord and the people of Wisconsin.  I know he will be blessed for the choices he made.  We love him.  Elder Evan’s lives in North Salt Lake.  He is a great person and terrific missionary.

There is also a picture of the first Sister Missionaries in Oshkosh in many years Sister Barnes and Sister Hansen.  They are great.

We have been reviewing lessons with two families this last week, working with the YSA contacting and setting up appointments for less active members and helping they YSA with their service project.   For the service project  we went up to Neenah to Quarry Quest.  As many of the branch members as could get off work came along with us and the YSA Elders.  We went to this Quarry and volunteered to serve that day.  There were thousand of people who came and they had so many activities for the family to participate in.  They could help the Quarry workers lift the big cranes up and down or they could get on tractors with front loaders and help drive to a certain spot and dump their load of dirt.  They had a huge sand hill the children could climb on and dig in and they had buried metal coins in the dirt.  When they found the coins they could go to booths and trade the coins in for a prize.  They also had a huge shopping cart from Festival Foods that gave both children and adults a ride in the shopping cart and big, big earth moving trucks that would take families over by the water at the Quarry and back again.  There were other activities such as rock painting and many more but those were some of the main ones.  And of course they had plenty of food and shirts and toys to sell to the public.   What we did was ride in the buses to designated parking places and helped people and their children and their strollers on the bus and when the arrived at the Quarry we helped them off the bus.  When they were finished we helped them back on the bus and then back to the parking lot where we helped them off the bus.  I know is sounds pretty boring but it actually went by quite fast and we loved talking to the parents and helping the little children.  It was a good day.

We have now been asked by our Mission President to go down to Beaver Dam one day a week and help out with less active  members there.  We told him we would go and do out best.  Beaver Dam is quite some distance from Oshkosh so we will see how it goes.  I do know if the Lord needs us there then everything will work out well.  Hope everything is going well back home.  Stay healthy and be happy!

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“And the heat goes on”

IMG_1681IMG_1750Well since August 5th when I last posted anything on my blog the heat and humidity have returned and are forecasted to stay with us for at least the next week and a half.  Elder Wood tells me not to murmur because this is how it is supposed to be this time of year and it will just make me appreciate the cooler weather when it comes.  After hearing about the hot weather out west this summer on the nightly news I probably should not be making any complaints.  It really is not the heat that bothers me it is the humidity but in a few weeks it will be a distant memory. The weather was quite nice when our daughter Christine and her family came and visited with us for a few days.

We did get to spend some time with them, from Thursday evening to Monday morning, and had a wonderful time.  We went to Green Bay and seen the tall ships that were in port and then we went out to Door County, which is the finger of land that sticks out into Lake Michigan and we went to Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek and would have loved to visited other harbors but time just would not permit.  It was beautiful out there.  We had a picnic at Menominee Park next to Lake Winnebago and invited some non member friends of ours to the picnic.  We also got to know and love our great granddaughter Addie, we think she is just perfect, and of course her parents aren’t to bad either.

It was so different to be doing other activities besides missionary work, and while we loved every moment we spent with our family we are very content to return to the work that has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives.  We had a super busy day Tuesday, up to Neenah for District Meetings, out to Ripon to teach lesson #3 to the Gustavas family and then back up to Appleton to YSA Missionary correlation meeting, we didn’t get home until almost 10:30 P.M. But it felt good to be busy and back doing the Lords work.

The Sister missionaries did arrive but I forgot to recharge my camera battery and when I went to take their picture Tuesday at District Meeting I was unable to take it so I will have to include a picture of Sister Hansen, and Sister Barnes in my next blog.  We love the new friends we have made out here and know we were blessed to be sent IMG_1742to Wisconsin to serve.  The family members that came out here told us they thought Wisconsin is beautiful and green and they are right.

Great Week

Elder Wood at Farmers Market

Elder Wood at Farmers Market

Well August has been wonderful so far weather wise.  I really thought it might me hotter than July but so far it has be perfect.  We had a very good week we met with some members, taught three lessons, visited less actives, and we have been very involved with YSA missionary work.  We have been driving down to Fond Du Lac and trying to reactive a young man who has been inactive for two years.  He seems willing but like many inactive people he has a difficult time following through with commitments.  He just needs to develop the faith necessary to keep his commitments.  Missionary work takes a lot of patience and diligent follow through and love but the worth of every soul is precious to our Savior,  Elder Wood is still working on the patience part so we all have our strengths and weakness.

This last Sunday we had one of the most inspirational and spiritual testimony meetings I think I have ever been in.  It was at the Winnebago YSA Branch.  And let me tell you if you do not get up early and stand in line you don’t get to share your testimony.  As each member bore his/her testimony our hearts were touched and the spirit was letting each person there know they were listening to truth being testified of out of the mouths, hearts and souls of these young members.  One young man who for some reason had come home from his mission, and let me tell you at the YSA you are loved and not judged regardless of what you may have been through, got up a bore his testimony.  He expressed how much he appreciated the unconditional love our Savior has for him and told us he had heard from someone that at some point in our life each one of us will go through a trial that will give you just a hint of the burden Jesus had to endure in Gethsemane.  He said he has gone through his Gethsemane and he was so grateful for the love and support of family, friends, and the church members.  He bore such a beautiful heartfelt testimony that I cannot even express it in words but it was the spirit of that testimony was surely felt by each of us present there Sunday afternoon.  Elder Clare returns to his mission tomorrow having told each of us how much this mission means to him and how much he is looking forward to serving with all of his heart, might, mind and strength and I know he will be one powerful missionary and an example to all those he serves.

Eating treats Sister Wood provided at end of meeting.

Eating treats Sister Wood provided at end of meeting.

I just don’t know where you can experience just faith promoting miracles as you do in the mission field.  Because as you try to live close to the spirit and invite the spirit to be with you so many times a day it truly has become a life changing time for Sister Wood.  We love the Elders we serve with but “happy day” starting this Wednesday we will be getting Sister Missionaries in Oshkosh, Sister Wood will not be the only Sister at District Meetings any more, isn’t that great.

Our Last District Meeting before transfers

Our Last District Meeting before transfers

Summer Is Here!

Egg Plant

Egg Plant

Green Pepper

Green Pepper

Well we knew it would come and now it is here.  It is Hot and Muggy.  The temperatures are in the 90’s and the humidity is above 70% so it feels like the 100’s.  We know (hope and pray) this will only last a few short weeks.  Elder Wood does not mind it as much as Sister Wood does.  It just saps the life and energy out of you as far as I am concerned but we will continue serving and make the best of it, and it will be one more new experience we have had on our mission.  Elder Wood and I were not certain if we planted some tomatoes and green pepper and egg plant in containers on our deck they would grow.  We decided to try it because even if they didn’t grow we would still have green plants.  But as you can see in the pictures they are doing very well.  A couple of the egg plant is almost ready to pick, green peppers are doing well, and we have tomatoes that hopefully we can harvest in a month or so.

The mission work is also going well we truly love the people we are serving and we love our mission.  We are teaching a sister who’s husband is Buddhist, he has left the Mormon church, although  he has not had his name removed, when we first met with them I felt that maybe he was never fully converted because he does not know or understand very much about the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.    He was baptized and then he did not progress in the gospel and eventually fell into another religion.  He realizes and supports his wife’s need to understand her religion better and we are there to help her.  We hope as we review the missionary lessons with her, her husband will be touch by the Spirit and at some point in his life realize his need to return to his Savior and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Wood and I just want to let you know how very much we love reading and pondering the scriptures and how very dear they have become to us in our daily life.  There is so much to learn and even though we are now reading the Book of Mormon for the fourth time I am still so touched and full of gratitude for those who were faithful in recording the words of God and to the Prophet Joseph Smith that he was faithful in translating it through the power of the Holy Ghost.  We are so blessed to have them as a guide and to teach us and help us stay focused on the important truths of this world.

Tomato Plants

Tomato Plants

Mission Conference

We recently had the opportunity of having Elder Dallin H. Oaks and four brethren from the Seventies meet with us and teach us.  It was so wonderful.  They had each missionary go through a line so they could shake their hand and thank them for their service.  The spirit was so strong that we hated to see the meeting come to end.  The theme was “The Lord is Hastening His Work”.  I truly believe that this is a pivotal time in the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission.  The mission is being flooded with new missionaries and I truly believe as they share their light and testify of truth and of the atonement of the Savior and love the people they are serving the work will make great strides forward.  The Lord is in this work and knows when the time is right and as long as missionaries are committed to living mission standards and living close to the spirit the Lord will bless this area in His own time and in His own way.  We were able to have a picture taken of the whole mission this is the only time we have all met together since Elder Wood and I arrived in Wisconsin.

All Milwaukee Wisconsin Mission

All Milwaukee Wisconsin Mission

Beauty of Wisconsin

IMG_1333IMG_1342IMG_1334I think I mentioned it before but we are serving in a very beautiful state.  There is no irrigation here as they get enough moisture from mother nature to water everything.  We had three days of down pours last week but it was so refreshing after having hot humid weather.  As you can see by the pictures the flowers are in bloom.  We see many  geese and ducks and they have their young ones swimming with them and life is good.   It was an interesting week we had many cancellations due to family members graduating from school or going away with family because school just got out.  We only had two appointment that followed through.  But the meetings we went to with the Young Single Adult Branch missionaries and the Zone Training meetings were great and the spirit was strong.

I don’ t want to hear any complaints about gas prices back home.  (I tried to get a picture of gas prices listed at the gas station but Elder Wood just zipped by because he does not like looking at those high prices.)  When we filled our gas tank up last Friday gas was $3.99 point 9 a gallon but it has gone up to $4.05 point 9 a gallon since then.  We are told by the reporters on the TV that it is because a refinery in Chicago had a fire in one of its tanks and two other refineries are down for maintenance and it could be several weeks before gas prices go down to normal prices.  In fact they could top out at $4.30 a gallon before then.  We are hoping we do not see gas prices that high and that they will go down sooner rather than later.

We have been asked by the Winnebago Branch to go to Nauvoo with them in July.  We received permission from our Mission President to go so we are looking forward to going there.  (Hope those gas prices are down by then, but we will go anyway.)  So on July 4th, 5th, & 6th we will be in Nauvoo.  When I called for reservations I was told there were four youth groups expected in during those three days, kind of sounds like organized chaos doesn’t it.  But I know we will love being with the young adults from our branch.   I hope I get to see Sister Judee Murray who is serving from the North Ogden 19th Ward while we are there.  Sister Murray was in the 4th Ward when we left on our mission but the ward boundaries were changed and she is now in the 19th Ward.

We went to a party one of our single sister from the Oshkosh Ward gave.  It was a fun evening.  She presented awards (kind of like academy awards) to different ward members she felt had contributed so much to the ward.  She provided the dinner and entertainment and awards.  It helped Elder Wood and I to get to know some of the ward members better anIMG_1352d come to know their special abilities and talents and it makes us realize how blessed we are to be serving with them.

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade

Well here we go again.  Last week with the holiday we were busy and I did not get a post on my blog.  It has been a busy and rewarding week.  We went to the Memorial Day Parade and talked to a few people who would talk with us and then we went street contacting and then we went to the Stake President’s home for a cook out and we had a great time there.  We have taught about seven or eight lessons this last week and called and visited many more people.  The Winnebago Branch is growing in numbers as the young men and women come home from college and university for the summer.  We love the testimony and spirit they bring with them.  We now have a branch mission leader and four or five branch missionaries, how great is that!  We know as they work with the young single adults they will find many friends and associates to bring into the gospel.  The work is progressing and we love being a part of it.  On the 15th of June we are having a All Mission Conferece.  It will be held at our stake center in Neenah.  We have Elder Dallin H. Oaks coming and five other general authorities.  Every missionary is happy and excited to meet and be taught be these chosen leaders.

As the weather warmed up we got lake flies.  They were here by the thousands and I was going crazy because every time you walked out the door they would attack you. (It is always adviseable to keep your mouth closed.)   The good news is that they only lasted two weeks then died off, the bad new is there can be more than one hatch a year (Oh goody).   They were more a nuisance than anything because they loved to hover around you but they did not bite.  For three days last week we had some hot muggy weather and for those three days we had tornado wactches out but we did not get anything more than some good heavy rains out of it.  However south west Wisconsin had one tornado that did damage some buildings and mobile homes.  They can keep them down there that is something I have told the Lord I really do not need to experience.

Elder Wood and I are doing great we know the Lord has bless us and we are so happy we chose to serve a mission.  We love the state of Wisconsin, we love where we are serving, but most of all we love the people.

District Meeting

District Meeting

Lake Flies

Lake Flies