Friday, March 6, 2015

It's the end of the world as she knows it..

Connor used to sing that a lot around me, and that's how i feel now. It
feels like literally starting a new world. I was born in the little ocean
side town of Sanremo, and have lived literally what feels like a life.. and
i find my death in Pavia.
I can't say that i am super happy to leave.. but i wouldn't be super happy
to stay either. I know it's time. It's just scary... like just another
inner battle that i just can't win with either option. I am grateful to
Heavenly Father that this was His plan for me. I love this mission. I love
Italy.. everything about it. Their culture, and over dramticness with quasi
everything. I just love them.. So this past week literally everyone and
their dog has wanted to see us... And that means food.. More food then i
have eaten in a very long time.. Like, lunch, and dinner that both are the
size of a christmas dinner. My stomache walls were in literal pain from how
much food i had to pound down.. We even had a dinner that was completely
themed around ricotta. Lots of laughs, not many tears (on my part.. i have
this inablity to cry when it's sociably correct..They probably think i am
heartless), and too many goodbyes.. acutally we call them arrivederci's. IM
Today we have appts all day, so no pday but i just want to see everyoneeee!
All i can say is that i will never be able to thank Heavenly Father enough
for this year and a half that He has given to me. I have learned so much.
Sopratutto, that this is the church of Christ and that the only way to
live, to really live is by living the gospel. I finished the Book of Mormon
in Italian the other day and as i prayed to know it was true the beautiful,
familiar calm just touched my heart as i sat there.. and the song 'I know
that my Reedemer lives' came to mind. I know He lives and through the Book
of Mormon, i know Him better. It is the word of God. It is the guide that
we have been given to make it home to Heavenly Father.. We have been given
every answer to this test of life that we have been given. We only have to
read it and apply it everyday in our lives. There is no greater happiness
that i have found then i have helping others come unto Christ. I have loved
every companion, and city. I have learned, struggled, cried, prayed, and
pleaded. It feels like i have been here 100 years, but life before seems
like yesterday. All i can say is if you have the opprotunity to serve,
don't give it up. It would be the biggest you will have ever made. Heavenly
Father literally pushed me here.. I don't think i had a choice, and it has
been the biggest blessing. I never thought i would serve a mission, and
looking back i know that it was always apart of the plan. I trust in my
Heavenly Father, and i trust in all His promises of good things to come. To
me and my family for the service i have given, and to all those who have
listened to His direction. This is the work of God and it will not stop.
Our Savior is coming to the earth and there is no greater work to be doing
then that of salvation.. As a missionary, in the temples, wherever. That is
our job as members of the church of Jesus Christ. We have to envelope
ourselves in bringing our brothers and sisters home. It is what i will do
as i am back to the good state of Utah, and as i make my way back to my
really home with Heavenly Father. I sometimes get these little glimpses and
feelings of how eternity is going to be and i can't wait to spend it with
my family.. You people that are waiting for me in Utah and anche quella che
è qui. ((: I love you all!!
See you all reallll soon.
Con tutto l'amore che ho,

La Sorella Woods
the one and only. (:

From: "Cristal Woods" <>
To: "Lisa Woods" <>
Subject: It's the end of the wo

From: "Cristal Woods" <cristal.woods@myldsmail.

To: "Lisa Woods" <>
Subject: It's the end of the world as she
how i 

February 25th's email-SHE DID IT!

And by that it means ANDREA IS BAPTIZED!! It took waking up at 4:30 in the morning to walk to the church to fill up the tub, but it was more than worth it. It's just oh you know, her salvation! As we were singing the last song 'Our Savior's love' My heart was just filled and the reality of what Sorella Warren and i helped Andrea do hit me like a brick wall. I looked at Andrea and she just looked me in the eyes and there was already a difference... like her vision and been opened and she had walked through this door that will allow her to make all the other covenants she needs to make.. Number of times i cry, really cry, i could probably count on my hands, but all of a sudden tears just came and wouldn't stop. I have spent a year and a half of my life doing this work and the reality of it just hit me so hard as i just sat there with Andrea and Warren.. It literally is the work of Salvation.. It is allowing someone to make this first step so that they can reach the next essential ones.. aka TEMPLE!!!! i love the temple. It really is my favorite place in the whole world. 
We had zone conference which was super good and all about decision making and how it determines destiny.. I couldn't help but think about home and about all the decisions i will now have to make.. It was also dying testimony time. I can't remember what i said except that i am grateful. Grateful that Heavenly Father loved me enough to send me here. I will never stop living the gospel because it is the ONLY way to live. I love this mission, this work, and i really am so blessed to have this foundation to build the rest of my life off of. Heavenly Father keeps teaching me daily, but i finally realized.. or finally listened to the Spirit that has been telling me that it is time to come home for the reason that i can't progress any more here. I have done the work that He has sent me to do. Heavenly Father's goal for us is that we continually progress.. And i can't progress anymore here. I have done my part and learned what i needed to learn and He knows that. That's why He is sending me home. The only way i can continue to progress is to come home, keep screwing up, keep learning, find my CHOSEN eternal companion, and start a family... yes there will be 1001 other adventures inbetween all that, Yes, ci voule tempo, but it just hit me so strong... i would call it the eternal perspective! And it is just another thing that makes it okay to come home! I love my mission. I love who i have become and how my vision has changed. I am grateful to utilize this experience every day for the rest of my life. 
Buona settimana!
Un sacco di amore,
Sorella Woods

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 18th's Email

Mammm. Hi. I am good. I am teaching people the gospel, and baptizing Andrea
this Sunday!!!!!!!!!! Well, not me, but she will be baptized Sunday. (((:
Today we did grocery shopping, carried it all home and now i am at the
library writing emails. After, we will go to Milano to see the duomo one
last time before i go home, get some gelato, and some panzarotti. I am
happy. My members have seen me cry over how much i love them so they are
praying for me that i will feel okay coming home, and what do you know.
PRAYER is working. I am not dreading it to say the least. Heavenly Father
this week has really just shown me what i need to do when i go home, and
how i will need to be, and that is exactly what i will do. I understand
that it's time.. and honestly i dont have a clue what i am going to do.
After the Sunday and i give my talk, i don't know where i am going to work,
where i will eventually move to, or go to school but i do know that
Heavenly Father has a plan very specific for me, and as i pray to Him and
ask for His guidance in every decision i make, my life will be fullfilling.
I realized as i reread my call yesterday that every promised blessing in
that call has been recieved. I have felt every single one. What i realized
is that the blessings don't stop when i take the tag off. They will just
come in a different way. I will have to work harder to feel this way. I
will have to put every effort in that i have to listen and to follow what
He would have me do, but that is part of the fun! That is part of the next
'mission' He is sending me on. I can honestly say that i care about nothing
other than what i have learned here.. In the world we get so focused on
meaningless garbbage that really, doesn't matter. All i care about are the
people that i love and how i can help them progress on this path. That day
when i was in sacrament meeting when i heard that voice in my head telling
me to go on a mission was the day that Heavenly Father literally saved my
life.. He has billions of children and He wanted to save me and my
eternity, so He called me here because that was the only way. It is
amazing. Too often we say, we are children of God, we will recieve this,
and we need to do this.. But too often we forget to say, I am a literal
child of God, I will recieve this, and I need to do this, and He loves me.
He knows ME. That is amazing. As i have felt this love this week, i
understand more fully that He sent me here to yes, help others, but most of
all to help me. I couldn't fulfill His plan for me if it wasn't for this
year and a half.. I couldn't help others the way i need to for the rest of
my life if it wasn't for this. And that is why coming home is okay, because
it is part of His plan and He will guide me just like He does here if i
live and do what i have learned to do. I am soo grateful! I can't wait to
see everyone. I can't wait to go back to the temple, and i am so excited to
continue life living the only way that will bring full happiness here and
in my life to come. LOVE YOU ALL!
and i finally got my Italian companion that i have always wished for... if
only for one day, but hey, i GOT HER.
Do good things. ((:
Love, Sorella Woods

From Cristal's mission president

Dear Brother and Sister Woods,


For the past eighteen months, your daughter, SisterCristal Marie Woods, has been faithfully serving in the Italy Milan Mission, teaching the gospel to the Italian people. The time is approaching for her to return home and begin a new phase of her life.


Sister Woods entered Italy on 16 Oct 2013, and served in the cities Sanremo, Bergamo and Pavia.


Sister Woods has represented the Church and the Lord well. I understand the importance of her personal progress and pray for her success as she returns home. Please help her to keep the wonderful patterns that she has developed as a missionary, so that they may become habits for her life.


We express our deepest gratitude for the missionary labors of Sister Woods here in Italy.  We would like to thank you for your great contribution in rearing and training your daughter to serve the Lord, and for your sacrifice, love and support to her during her mission.





Anziano Kekoolani

Segretario della Missione

Missione Italiana di Milano

Via A. Gramsci 13

20090 Opera (MI)


Tel: 39 02 5760 0860

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dying miracles..

That is just what i am going to call every miracle that comes our way because i don't think i have ever had sooo many amazing miracles all in the same week.. I think it's Heavely Father's way of maybe saying, 'thanks, well done my good and faithful daughter..' Speriamo di si ameno. So i am too lazy to write it ALL out but i will give you the short version. We were on scambio. I left Sorella Warren in Piacenza and the other Sorella and i were almost all the way home to Pavia. Mind you it's già 8:30 at night and all of a sudden my brain thinks KEYS.. They are with Sorella Warren.. So i call them, freaking out because we are going to have to sleep at the train station or get to Piacenza at 11o'clock at night.. So we are pulling up to another station and the missionaries on the phone in Piacenza said that we could maybe get off there.. I am thinking they are nuts because this train station is TINY and takes you nowhere but the Spirit said get off so as the doors were closing we hopped off and what do you know.. The trains take you no where invece di Pavia and Milano.. and then all of a sudden i realize that we are literally 10 minutes from the mission office. I will never ignore inspiration even though at times it seems the outcome is ridiculous.. Communquay we called the office Anziani and in the end of it all they came and got us with extra keys, and we got a car ride home. MIRACLE. Next.. This past week i was supposed to get a ride to consiglio from another Sorella but the snow was so bad that they got stuck on the road so Sorella Warren and i needed to take a train.. First of all, i will never take anything that happens as an accident again after this even if it seems inconvienent at first, GOD ALWAYS HAS A PLAN. So we sit down and this man sits next to us and he opens up a book. I look at him ask him if he likes to read and he turns out to be the most excited person to meet missionaries that i have ever met. He even gave me a gold plated pen because of the fact that i am out here giving my life to help others.. Good deal! He said he would come to church and get a BOM but people say that quasi every day so we got his number, and left him with a lesson and prayer. Well Sunday morning comes around and what do you know.. He shows up. He was with a member the whole time and took notes all three hours. Can anyone say ELECT?! We asked him how he felt after and he just gives us the biggest smile and said 'i am happy.' Such a simple answer that just struck my heart. Of course you are happy. LOOK WHERE YOU ARE! We also had Andrea with us and she gets baptized next SATURDAY! and a less active came to church with her two kids without us even pulling her to get here this week. SUCH AN AMAZING WEEK.. Tender mercies of the Lord kids.. and last but not least. We were at a train station Sunday night. Usually we stay outside to wait for the train but it was freakishly cold so we went to the waiting room they have.. This kid just walks up to us and says 'who are you?' And that is when it turned into teaching the whole room of people. We were able to get a number from one man, and a new investigator and her friend. Most amazingggggg week ever. I am so blessed. This Spirit i feel every day is so strong. I just start randomly crying with people now as i realize time is coming to a close.. They probably think i am absolutely crazy. I understand that i need to come home but it doesn't change the fact that it's hard. I love this gospel. I never knew how much love i could have tell i came here and found this love for my italians and this love for the gospel. This is why i am so grateful for eternities. It would be pointless to love so much and to feel so much if there wasn't anything else. I know there is with my whole heart. I know it is the gospel and every question we could ever have is answered through it. Love you all!
Con amore, 
 Sorella Woods

Hey, hey, heyyyy...February 4th's email

It's not fat albert... it's sorella woods!!! yayyy..
So every day is just flying by but we are having a BAPTISM!!!! 21 of february. I could not feel more blessed that Heavenly Father is letting me help at least one more person reach this step. I wish everyone could understand how important all this is. The decisions we make on earth are so important because in the end they need to be leading us back to our Heavenly Father. I understand that free agency is a gift.. one of the most precious gifts we were given but i also feel the need to just slap people sometimes and stick my brain and heart inside of them so they could feel the joy and happiness that only, ONLY the gospel brings. It has been the greatest blessing to be able to show my Heavenly Father and Savior the appreciation i have for all they have given me by serving His children. By bringing them the only thing that matters in this life. That to me is the only way we show them our love by giving up the stupid crap only the world has to offer and accepting to do the will of the Father whatever it might be... cioè we serve our brothers and sisters.. We love them and we share with them what we were so blessed to have. We do what Presidente Monson asked, we lift those who need to be lifted and love those who need to be loved. It is the only important thing and honestly the only truly fulfilling thing. 
so basically this week i hate the way people use their free agency.. one of the best things i have heard is when Elder Bednar said we were not given agency to disobey. 
good, busy week.. Hopefully gets even busier so i can do all i can and get on that plane dead from exhaustion. 
Love Sorella Woods

Friday, January 30, 2015

we talk to everyone...January 21st email

and that means also very drunk people occasionaly. We were standing on the bus and this man just grabs my back. I turn around and he just is smiling at me. I salute him and grab my tag and put it up to his face.. he then says to me 'ohhh you speak english!' grabs my arm and gets uncomfortably close.. 
So what do i do...  start to share the gospel with him. He was very nice actually. Probably shouldn't have been touching me as much as he was but we left him with a pass along card. As i was getting off the bus he grabs my hand and professed his love for me... i stared for two seconds, told him grazie and got off the bus as quick as i could. But who knows. Maybe he will come out of his drunken stupor, find the card and gain his salvation.. You just never know. 
This past Sunday we were at church with one of our simps who is just progressing soooo well. A month ago she believed that church's were not necessary and this past Sunday after church i asked her what she wanted.. she replied with 'i want Ruben (un membro) to baptize me. So we set a date for febbraio. I cannot believe the blessings the Lord is pouring out on us. I especially feel blessed because i am at the end and i am seeing so many things happening. Our work is literally on fire. On monday i had to do scambio with the Cimiano Sorelle and i had told my sorella about this place called made in Sicily that makes literally the best cannoli's. So we went to go get a cannoli after being told no for 2 hours. On the way there i see this woman and the Spirit said talk so i placed myself right in her way and asked her how she was. The biggest smile came to her face as we were talking and she was just so excited she kept saying 'i'm christian too' NEW SIMP! Seriously, every week we are finding at least one and usually more. My love for this work has never been greater and it's sad. because i know i have to come home eventually but i'll just say it, i don't want to. The reality of what we do has just really hit me. This gospel is the very core of who i am and to be able to share that with others every day is such a blessing. I am grateful for this last transfer (transfer news... we are staying in pavia fyi insieme!!!) where i really am the best i have ever been. I can speak, teach, and most importantly be guided by the Spirit. I am just so happy and blessed to be here doing the work of the Lord. As we got on another bus (still on scambio) A simp got on that has been avoiding us.. I run up to her and started talking. ( i have come to the realization that i do not know what is socially correct anymore... aka talking to someone who really doesn't want to be talking to me, but i don't really care because what i am doing is more important then them feeling awkward) She looks at my comp who doesn't know her, and says ''i can't get away from these missionaries, they always find me'' well duhhh,, you are praying for help and the best help you can get is the gospel...WE ARE THE ANSWER FROM GOD: WHY DON'T YOU PEOPLE SEE THAT?  We said that, and now she is meeting with us this Friday. MIRACLES!
Every day.. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
Love you all, 
Have a fun week,
Sorella Woods