Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Dec. 29,2015

Hey ya'll!
It was nice talking to you last week! Nothing's really changed so I'm going to keep it short. But remember that I love you and above all: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
take care, 
Hermana Van Woerkom

JUST KIDDING! Okay okay it was really nice talking to you guys on Christmas! Love the package and my companion and I, a long with 2 other sets of elders enjoyed the treats Santa (mom and dad *wink wink*) brought me. Well as I told you before everyone celebrates Christmas here on the 24 not the 25. Unfortunately the 6 of us didn't get invitations to anyones houses for Christmas. So we celebrated it by going to the church, popping some popcorn, brought my jellybeans, and played a good round of phase 10 multiple times, as well as the game Risk. That was Christmas Eve, and then the next day we celebrated by going to TGI Friday's for lunch, and then skyping ya'll after. THAT WAS DEFINITELY THE HIGHLIGHT! Ya'll look sooo good! I mean didn't get to see Lonnie and her fam, but I imagine they are still their crusty selfes. Just kidding. After talking to ya'll it's weird to think that's the last time I'll see everyone before coming home! Talk about exciting, but I'm super nervous! AHHH real world again! 
I can't believe that 2015 is coming to an end but, BRING ON THE NEW YEAR! 
New year and new time to make resolutions right? BUENO, as a person being very seasoned in making new years resolutions and BREAKING THEM THE NEXT WEEK, here's some advice from, NOT ME, but one of the homie apostles that's been around the block a time or two and has a lot more wisdom than me, HOLLA at ya Elder HOLLAND! 
He invites us to read one simple scripture in Luke 17: 32 and it states, "remember Lot's wife". Okay, now he invites us in his talk "Remember Lot's Wife: Faith is for the Future", re-read the story of Lot and his wife. 
He then states in closing, " So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."
So now this is my invitation as well. DON'T LOOK BACK!! Look forward with faith on what you can become! OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SENT US TO EARTH TO SUCEED NOT TO FAIL! I'm so grateful for the time I had this year to serve my Savior, and am looking forward to the time that I have left this new year to serve. 
Love you all, stay safe, and have a happy new year!
Hermana Van Woerkom
Well here´s hoping that your Christmas will be better than these poor piggies who have to spend it in someones garage waiting to be Christmas dinner haha. 

Wow it's crazy I'll get to talk to you in 2 days! I'm more excited than when I got my package of goodies haha! Well let's start off on all the festive things my companion and I did. So Christmas party number one was a "christmas devotional" of sorts where we each ward in the stake had to go up and sing something. So our ward dragged my companion and I into this activity and we sang "Angels We Have Heard on High" first. And then we sat down and thought we were done for the night. Then we are watching these other wards go up and sing Evangelical Christmas songs. This was pretty funny because it was jumping up and clapping type of songs. As my companion and I are listening to them, the choir director from our ward grabs my companion and I and tells us that we will be singing "The little Drummer Boy" with the bishops wife, but we will be singing the 2nd part in English. WHAT WE DIDN'T PRACTICE ANYTHING! So I'm here trying to teach my ward the "rum pum pum pum" part because they don't sing that part in Spanish, they just have words. So we roll up on stage like a hot mess of people. I go up first and the bishop's wife sings and I initiate the "rum pum pum" and everyone tries to follow, but fail, as my companion turns around and shhh's them haha. Then it's our turn. So my companion and I start singing. As we do the first "rum pum pum" I move the page up on the screen of the phone and my companion gets lost and reads the next line from the top of her head and sings, "I am a poor boy too pa rum pum pum pum.....I GOTTA GIFT TO BRING..." and I start to giggle, because if the drummer boys poor how does he have something to bring....then she bumps me with her the audience starts laughing....and then I lose it and start laughing uncontrollably. And then you know what happens next? THEY CLOSE THE CURTAINS ON US! TALK ABOUT EMBARRASSING! We didn't even get to finish the whole song, WHAT A FLOP! And that's not even the end of it! The whole stake was talking about the "white girls" everywhere. The Zone Leaders told us that the members in their bus said that we were the sisters they see all the time that are soo happy....yeah probably think we are the crazy ones! And THEN the other ward that met in our building had members that would laugh when they saw up and then shake our hands to tell us how much they loved the show last night....and then as they walked away I start laughing and the bishop in the other ward comes up to me and says "Hermana Van, your always laughing aren't you". Oh my heck. By this time I was dying. My comp and I are still looking for the video. Someone has to have it haha. 
Okay then we had 2 ward Christmas parties that we attended which was fun. One was for our ward and then we went to the other wards as well because I guess we are just that popular now with the people after our lol, but we went as well with our investigators that couldn't make it to the first one. 
After that we had our Mission Christmas dinner which was fun as well! We did a talent show and now that you know of our show stopper last time we do have to say we did a pretty dang good act as a zone. We did the 12 days of Christmas, but things that pertain to the mission. They loved it to say the least! I'll have to send the video! 
But, now the highlight will definitely be seeing the family for Christmas! Can't wait to see ya'll. After looking at the pictures this week ya'll have definitely changed. Don't know for the better or worse...JUST KIDDING! But seriously, soo stoked!
Well take care and catch ya in 2 days. 
Hermana Van Woerkom
P.S. did I mention that yesterday was my 14 month mark? SAY WHAT? 
​EGG NOG! Careful they don't tell you if they put alcohol in it! 
And.....I'm still in 100 fuegos with none other than my homie sista Hna. Bossard haha! After the two crazy incidents we've had here we both thought we were out of our area and they were closing it. We both started planning for what we logically thought was coming: packing, cleaning, and prepping our investigators for what we thought would be us heading out and them putting elders in. It was super SUPER sad to say the least because all of our investigators (especially two brothers) were now telling us that they were praying for us to stay. And they would put the emphasis that they were now praying on their knees because we had a lesson about the power of prayer and the importance of kneeling haha they are super cute kids. Really pulled my heart strings, and I told them that sometimes it's not what we want, and our needs sometimes aren't in Heavenly Fathers plans that he has for us. So anyway, I've washed all my clothes the night before and we both head out the next day to find out where we are going. On the drive to the church we were talking about what a bummer it was that we won't be together for Christmas and that we will have to get to know someone knew for the holidays. So we get in the church and they read out that.....WE WERE STAYING TOGETHER IN 100 FUEGOS! We were soo excited, the only thing we were missing was the chest bump haha. We make such a great companionship! We are now nicknamed the figher fighters of 100 fuegos haha love it. Well even though we aren't going atleast we got our laundry done and a good deep cleaning of the house right haha. 
Our investigators are excited to say the least and we are more than thrilled to be here for their baptism! My companion and I have been teasing saying that either President must have forgotten what happened to me in our area OR the Lord must trust us an awful lot to be here. I'm definitely agree with the second one. Our Heavenly Father must have a strong, REALLY strong reason as to why we are both here in this area. Obviously, we haven't finished what we started and I'm excited to be able to continue seeing this area grow. 
And guess what!?! IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! Sounds like baby Gavin's trying to be Santa and stuff himself in the fire place, splitting his lip open! That crazy kid! Looks like ya'll are getting ready for the season. WHAT'S even MORE important and ya'll need to get ready to SKYPE! HOLLA! So I'll get you in on all the details next Wednesday so be ready to chat! This is the most funnest time, but the most stressful time for me because I want to see everyone. YOU ALL STRESS ME OUT! HAHA cause I love you too much!
Take care and see you next week!
Hermana Van Woerkom 
Dec. 9th
Hey everyone! 
Well this week has been SUPER TOUGH! But, you can't know the good weeks without the bad ones right? And this one we've hit the lowest of lows. For starters one of our baptismal dates fell.  We were asking her the baptismal questions...well first off she's not completely there...she's like a sister phillips. Anyway I asked her about her coffee habit and if she's quite. She said no and said its tradition because she's with her family. I said she has to change it because she can't get baptized if she's drinking and I told her we encourage her being with her family but maybe change it to herbal tea or hot chocolate. Then she said I know the church is true. And I asked if she thinks JS was a prophet...she said yes....and then I said do you think he could receive revelation for us....she said yes...and then I if you think all of that you have to know that the WOW is the word of god....and she said she will not be baptized....SUPER BUMMED. 
Then the cherry topper is we had another late night incident with some crazy in the street. So the question that President is thinking about is whether or not this area is safe for the sisters. I'm hoping that we can stay together one more transfer, but I'm feeling that that idea is fizzling out quickly. But, President receives revelation for the mission so we know that he'll put me where I need to be and he'll know what needs to be done with the area. 
Well this was a little bit of a low as well but, something that we all grew from, as a companionship but our investigator as well. So this investigator is really really looking for the true church. Her boyfriend just joined but doesn't want to join the church for him or for anyone. Which is good, however she is having a hard time finding the answer that this is the true church. She's committed some major sins before in her life and she feels like she's never going to be forgiven. Me and my companion then shared with her our experiences with the Atonement. My companion is a convert of the church and there  was a time in her life when she was a  little less active, so she shared some powerful experiences that she's had with the atonement. Then she told us about her progression that as missionaries our experiences with people accepting and rejecting the gospel and how we've felt. I then began to share with her how hard and amazing it's been as a missionary to see everyone progression. I then said that I've had the opportunity to have a glimpse of how Heavenly Father see's his children. It's so amazing to see everyone progressing in the gospel, and then sometimes our investigators make a wrong decision. AND IT'S SO HARD FOR ME TO WATCH!  You just want to take their agency away! But, we can't and Heavenly Father won't because he loves us so much and wants us to make our own decision  even if it hurts him. Needless to say that lesson was packed with the spirit and she is still searching to know if the church is true. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here and the experiences that I've had, EVEN THOUGH they've been rough. 
I'm glad you've had a great week and an amazing cruise,
love and pray for you always,
Hermana Van Woerkom 

Hey, everyone!
Sounds like Thanksgiving was a hit! I do have to say that we have amazing members here that loved us sisters so much as to give us a Thanksgiving haha. Family Martinez invited us over Thursday night for dinner. They told us that they knew of our holiday and wanted to celebrate with us because they haven't had two American missionaries together in a long time and wanted the full effect of a Thanksgiving. So that's probably why they didn't invite the elders, but don't tell them anything haha just kidding. 
Well this week hasn't been the best finding people in their houses, however we have been blessed in so many other ways. We've found two new families to teach! It happened as literally ALL OF OUR APPOINTMENTS FELL THROUGH! So as we are walking in the rain, soaked, because we forgot out umbrellas, we began to contact and literally ran into a mom who was watching these two crazy white chicks trudging in the mud. As we began to share with her, her husband pulls up on his motorcycle from work and wanted us to come back to teach more this upcoming week. The next family that we found we had been teaching their sons because they are in the english class that we do at the church. So we set up an appointment to visit one of the sons and he wasn't home, however the parents were home and invited us in (because it was raining again haha). So as we began talking we started to share the first lesson with them. These are just two families that have a lot of potential I'm super excited!
Hope all is well and can't wait to see pictures from the cruise!!
Love you,
Hermana Van Woerkom
even if it hurts him. Needless to say that lesson was packed with the spirit and she is still searching to know if the church is true. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here and the experiences that I've had, EVEN THOUGH they've been rough. 
I'm glad you've had a great week and an amazing cruise,
love and pray for you always,
Hermana Van Woerkom 

Dec. 2nHey, everyone!
Sounds like Thanksgiving was a hit! I do have to say that we have amazing members here that loved us sisters so much as to give us a Thanksgiving haha. Family Martinez invited us over Thursday night for dinner. They told us that they knew of our holiday and wanted to celebrate with us because they haven't had two american missionaries together in a long time and wanted the full effect of a Thanksgiving. So that's probably why they didn't invite the elders, but don't tell them anything haha just kidding. 
Well this week hasn't been the best finding people in their houses, however we have been blessed in so many other ways. We've found two new families to teach! It happened as literally ALL OF OUR APPOINTMENTS FELL THROUGH! So as we are walking in the rain, soaked, because we forgot out umbrellas, we began to contact and literally ran into a mom who was watching these two crazy white chicks trudging in the mud. As we began to share with her, her husband pulls up on his motorcycle from work and wanted us to come back to teach more this upcoming week. The next family that we found we had been teaching their sons because they are in the english class that we do at the church. So we set up an appointment to visit one of the sons and he wasn't home, however the parents were home and invited us in (because it was raining again haha). So as we began talking we started to share the first lesson with them. These are just two families that have a lot of potential I'm super excited!
Hope all is well and can't wait to see pictures from the cruise!!
Love you,
Hermana Van Woerkom 


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nov Letters

Nov. 4th
Well This just in! We had transfers today and I've been taken out of PARADISE! :( Super bummed, I wasn't expecting it, but it makes sense due to the amount of time I have there. I suppose I was just in denial because I have my baptism on Saturday of one of my investigators. I'm hoping that she can get baptized now because the day that I went to say goodbye to them is the same day she told us that she might not be able to be baptized because she was teasing her sister and her dad (her parents are less active members) told her that she isn't responsible enough to be baptized. She has the strong desire to be baptized and you know how siblings are (I won't mention names CASEY cough cough) they love to tease and pester. So we told her that she has to obey what her parents say and be her baptism is in pending. If all goes well and she behaves well, she can continue with her baptism...and now I'm looking for members to go on exchanges so I can be there.
Now I am in the concrete jungle of Santiago. This is definitely a first and foreign concept for me! Lots of cars and movement, but luckily I'm not in the heart of the city so it's a little more calm. My new companion is Hermana Bossard! She is from the same group as my daughter Hermana Baez so I know her a little bit and is super sweet! So I'll get to be her step mom! Anyway she's from California and we are excited to start the work here in La Union, Santiago. 
Okay ya'll wanted a long letter today haha so I'll make sure to give you my spiritual tid-bit for this week. So last Sunday we had a stake meeting where we talked about the missionary work as well as Sacrifice and the Obedience. In the meeting the stake president shared the story of what I find is the perfect story of sacrifice and that is the story of Abraham and his son Issac. I learned that as members and children of God we are asked to obey our father in heaven. As imperfect beings its difficult, impossible, or sometimes ( and I feel like I fall in this category) undesireable to obey as with the story of Abraham. He loved his son Issac, but was asked by the Lord to sacrifice his son. The thing I find interesting is that in this story sacrifice and obedience goes both ways. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, as well as Issac was willing to obey the will of his father and the Lord. I also had the time to read this week the parable of the rich I can't remember how to say it...haha... anyway it's the parable where a young man goes to Christ and asks him what he needs to do to enter into the kingdom of heaven and Christ says that he needs to keep the commandments. After saying this the young man replied that he has been following all the commandments, and then Jesus replied then sell all your possessions and follow me. In the end the man was upset and walked away. I found after reading that a lot of us now can compare ourselves to the rich young man, sometimes we aren't willing to make the sacrifices we need to obey our father in heaven. As members of the church there will always be times where we need to make sacrifices whether its with our time or our talents. And if we don't sacrifice and obey or follow up with our callings or be the members that we really need to be, we won't receive the blessings that the Lord has for us. 
But, I'm glad everyone's doing great and I LOVE hearing that it's snowing!! It's still hot here ahaha but it is starting to cool down at night! Love you!!
Hermana Van Woerkom 

Oct 22
Hi everyone!
So this week has been fantastic! We have 2 baptismal dates set for this next month! Fingers crossed I can be here for one more transfer. I´m sure praying, but I´m hoping that you will pray too haha. And we had 7 investigators at church! Yoohoo! Other than that nothing too exciting is happening here, minus that we have been without water for 5 days! Haha it´s been interesting. We have gone to a members house to take a shower for the last couple of days, but we are hoping that the water will come back soon! Fingers crossed! Well it sounds like that things are starting to get cold there in the states! I do have to admit that here it´s the same temperature, in the 90´s BUT at night its starting to cool off to the 80´s. I know crazy right haha. And I do have to admit that I get cold at night! It´s a little sad haha. I´m so glad you guys are having a blast this Halloween! You need to send more pictures!!  
Well I didn´t have too much time to write this week because we were playing baseball with members and came back late. BUT know that I love you and that I pray for you every day! Keep me posted on everything and send more pictures. 
And before I go HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LINDSEY AND LONNIE! AND TRAVIS THAT'S THIS WEEK! Hope you guys have fun on the cruise and that Kellie and Travis had a great time in Japan. 
Hermana Van Woerkom 


Nov. 11
Service Day!
So this last week was national service day! So we went around and cleaned up the streets where we lived with the members. It was nice because I got to get to know the members a little bit more. And what better way to end last week than with a baptism! Winnifer got baptized and her mom and sister ( who are less active members) came to the service to support her. It was nice to go back after 4 days haha but it was a little sad too. The members who knew I had left were glad to see me and the members that didn´t know I had left were sad to see me go again. It was especially hard to say goodbye to Gabby, one of my little buddys in the primary. I promised her that I´d be back before I left the mission and that I´d come back with my family to visit again. So yeah you now I have to keep my promise haha. They have my heart in Puerto Plata. 
My area is very different. It definitely isn´t in the countryside or a small town like I´m use to. But, I´m learning to love them just as much here. The members are super nice. They are wanting to help in the missionary work as well as with my cooking skills haha. We have dates here for baptism! I´m excited to see their progression.
Well looks like your on the count down for the cruise! I´m excited for ya´ll keep me posted on everything and most importantly send the pictures of your adventures! Love you tons! 
Hermana Van Woerkom
 Hey family!
The count down begins! I'm so excited to hear that ya'll are getting ready for the cruise! Sounds exciting! Please calm Lindsey's fears and buy the kidnap insurance. Let's be honest, if anyone on that trip were to get kidnapped, as the hunger games lady would say, "the odds would ever be in her favor". haha LOVE YOU LINDSEY! But, really you guys are going to have fun but be safe! 
So this week hasn't been too eventful, but we have gotten to see some special things happen. So first I'll start with one of my favorite less actives. She is such an amazing lady that has come from a really difficult situation. She's lived most of her life in New York, but now has to live here. All of her family lives in New York and she's struggling with some financial situations here. But, I have learned so much from her. She's had problems with the law and drugs in the past and seeing the situation that she's in now, it would make sense for her to feel alone and abandoned, but that's definitely not how she's taking it! In fact, it's the exact opposite, she has turned to the church and Heavenly Father for help and has overcomed almost all of her difficulties. On Saturday we had several appointments planned for the day and almost every one of them fell through. So we made are way around contacting and happened to find ourselves contacting close to her house. Once we started passing by she asked us to come in and visit with her. We shared a brief message and she opened up and said she was so grateful we came by because she was struggling through something very personal and knew that it was an answer to her prayers that we came by. In short, I can't really go into details of all that happened, but you can tell that God has plans for each and every one of us and we can be that instrument for Him is we choose to be and follow the promptings we get. It's just amazing being a missionary and seeing the true conversion we can all have if we are dependent on Him who can heal us.  
Well as for Thanksgiving, we are going to party hardy next Wednesday and get our Turkey Lurkey on for P-day. Hopefully we can make it american....with the latinos haha my companion and I thought it would be funny if we did indian hats and pilgram hats...only if I could be one of the indians haha. I think we will try to make pumpkin pie too! It's not a holiday without it right? 
Well here's some pictures for ya'll! This was P-day eve and we bought icecream and did face masks! And my companion has BYU vocal point and she had 70's we kinda went all out haha just kidding
Love you all and take care! 
Hermana Van Woerkom  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oct. Letters 10-22-15

Hi family!
This weeks has been tough, but rewarding! We invited out family with a baptismal date and.....they said no. The mother said she didn't feel ready and half her children said that they have already been baptized and one of them said she's going to be baptized in December. AGH! We were crushed. We explained that it's a goal to be prepared for the date we gave them and if they didn't feel ready at that point we could change it. We also told them that we will discuss this week about the authority or the priesthood again. So we are hoping that they'll understand more of the importance. Prayers would be welcomed! haha 
But we ended with a wonderful Sunday. 4 of our investigators assisted church and enjoyed it! Now we are working with them as well with dates for baptisms. But this week has also been full of services. The members here are just amazing! We went to the bishop's house and his wife gave us facials haha probably because we look like a crusty mess. We also went to learn how to make flan at an investigators house, where the MISSION PRESIDENT called us and asked us where we were because he had something for us. At first I was panicking haha because well he's president, lives an hour and a half away from us and this has never happened to me. And then he pulled over on the side of the rode and gave us chocolate haha! But my favorite was we got to go to this members house whose about 78 years old and has Alzheimer and got to sing to her! 
Love you all! 
Hermana Van Woerkom 

10-22-15                             how do you get the dog to cross the road. You don't you stick him  on                                          your   motorcycle

Hi family! 
Well this week has been really good! We've been blessed in a lot of ways, as well as our investigators. We had 7 investigators at church! And we set a baptismal date with our investigator Winnifer! She's the daughter of a less active family. We are super excited for her decision and we are hoping to put more baptismal dates this week. 
Well it sounds like dad is surviving watching Kellie's children for the week! haha I thought it was super cute that when mom got "booed" that Leyton thought it was the Holy Ghost! Haha I'll wait for the Holy Ghost to leave a treat basket by my door too! 
Other than that, we have been working hard here! The pine trees aren't changing colors and the heat is still here, so I can't tell if it's fall or not, but from all of your letters it sounds like fall has made it for you guys! I do have to say that we have gotten rain these past two days which has made it "chilly" here. We can't really tell sometimes if its the rain that's drenching us or if its our own sweat. Haha sorry too much information huh? But it's been great here. 
And the land mark day is today! Today last year, I was on a plane to the Dominican Republic. Crazy huh? Wow has time flown! I never thought I would ever hit my year mark! I have definitely changed a lot. I'm definitely a lot darker and as Casey would say it, I'm sure I look like a "crusty mess" haha. But, I have definitely changed a lot, more than physically. I've learned so much here on the mission. My faith has grown as well as my testimony. I'm so grateful for this gospel and my Heavenly Father. I've come to know who I am and what God expects me to be, as well as what he expects us to do. 
I'm grateful for my wonderful, crazy, amazing family. Ya'll are amazing! 
Love you and catch you next week!
Hermana Van Woerkom

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hermana's update 10-8-15

Hey Family!
So nothing too crazy has happened this week besides transfers and.....well....I'M STAYING IN PARADISE! Yoohoo! haha. My daughter and I are super excited to have another transfer together! We love it here and the people. And I completed 11 months in the mission yesterday! Crazy huh! So I have to introduce you guys to one of my favorite old ladys in the mission. Her name is Marina, she's one of the mothers of a member in our ward. She's super special because she has Alzheimer so she doesn't get the opportunity to go to church. However she knows ALL THE HYMNS. So I asked my district leader if he wanted to go with us to sing some hymns with her. And that's what we did this last Saturday. Anyway she can never remember who I am so I always introduce myself as her favorite missionary. Well this time when we went with the elders, I did the same thing, introducing myself as her favorite, and then her helper then says to Marina, "which one of these people to do remember?" I was hoping she would say me, however she points to Elder Hola and says "this little cake". Ah! I was so crushed haha no just kidding, but she's just an amazing woman. She always wants us to call her mama and as we start to leave she says "remember you always have a roof here". She's just an amazing person. But as Transfers came Elder Hola left so hopefully I can be her favorite again haha. Here's a couple pictures of the service. One of the pictures my companion is telling her to look at the camera but she just kept glaring at the Elder haha. Too funny.
Thank you for your love and prayers have a wonderful week! 
Hermana Van Woerkom 

Hey family!
First off, to answer your question no the seasons aren´t changing here, however I´m still enjoying my mango juice and lime smoothies in paradise haha. It was my daughters birthday today so we went to fun city, a go cart place, and yes I´m as burnt as ever haha. I´ve gone from golden graham status to lobster. We had the Sisters Conference this week! It was super super special because even though I wasn´t with my sisters or mom I definitely could feel like I was there with you. That definitely was a tender mercy. And as you all know the season we have been waiting not NFL season, but GENERAL CONFERENCE! We are soo excited. I think the american elders are even more excited after they saw the goodies I got from mom and Lindsey. When they saw the 4 pound back of hot tamales they just about died. So the plan is, is that the latino´s will watch it conference with the members and the Americans get their own room to watch it in english...and yes they want to do a ¨pot luck´ of candy...and of course they asked for the hot tamales haha. So it´ll be fun I´ll send the pictures next week. It´s been soo great hearin the tender mercies happening it ya´lls lifes! You guys are amazing and such a good example. Keep up the good work! 
Love you all! 
Hermana Van Woerkom 

Hey family! 
Can I just say wow! General Conference was amazing! First off I have to say that MY MOM IS THE BEST MOM (and I´m her favorite daughter...wait what?) I´m so grateful for her example and her help. She´s made me who I am and helped me along with dad to discern what my Heavenly Father needed me to do. I hope one day I can be a mom just like her. Secondly my FAVORITE TALK as I´m sure when you were listening in your sweat pants eating cinnamon rolls was ELDER HALES! Mom always reminded me when I was little my favorite phrase was IM IN CHARGE. And Elder Hales said that as individuals we need to straighten up and fly right because why? WE ARE THE ONES IN CHARGE. So just remember that your the ones that choose, but remember the consequences of your decisions. But, I would also like to make a shout out to ELDER CLARK who spoke! I about died when they announced he would be speaking. I´m sitting with all the other americans chowing down on my hot tamales and Twizzlers, and nearly choked and got up and ran to the chapel where my companion was listening to it in Spanish and had to tell her that that was my president at BYUI. She thought it was cool, but I´m sure she didn´t get as much of a kick out of it as I did. 
Well our area wise. Things are progressing slowly, but we have a family of gold we are teaching. They have the desire to be baptized and we are helping them along the way. I´m hoping I can be there for them when they are baptized so pray on your end that I can stay here another transfer haha. Thanks for all your prayers and your example. I´m amazing at how crazy time is slipping. But I´ve learned so much but I have so far to go before I´m done. 
Sorry! No pictures of the NFL or should I say GCW general conference weekend. We played baseball and dominos today so I could practice being more Dominican and accidentally

forgot the pictures
love you and pray for you always! 
Hna Van Woerkom

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Well this week was great! We've been starting now finding new investigators. So yep starting from the ground up again. It's super difficult in our area to contact. As I said before we live in the "Beverly Hills" of Puerto Plata. So when we contact theres a big huge gate and you contact using the intercom. As you can imagine a lot of people just are "too busy" for their salvation haha but really. It was funny, but after a while I got a little frustrated. However, one day we had a super special experience. It all started when I read in Moroni 7: 46-48 with a member about charity. She is super good at visiting less actives every week, but has a little bit of a problem sometimes judging them saying they'll never progress. After sharing this, she was like "is that what you think I'm missing in my life". We told her of course not and explained that sometimes it's hard to share the gospel and have people reject you. Then I went on to explain that that's what life is like in the mission, we get rejected a lot. And then I shared my story of my first area in Bonao. We had zero progression. I told her that I was struggling with loving the people there including the members. No one would stick to their commitments ever! Ah! It was soo frustrating! But I told her that sometimes the people don't progress because there's something we need to learn. It's easy to say "why don't they come to church! They can take a nap after!" those small little things that we know are important, but others don't understand can make us SUPER frustrated, well atleast me haha. However something that I've come to figure out is that Heavenly Father probably has those same exact feelings for us every day with the committments or commandments that we to keep. BUT, even though we don't do the things we should sometimes, he still loves us with his perfect love.


 After that special lesson, a couple days later we contacted this Haitian family. They are super super sweet and told us that day after contacting that they wanted to go to church. So we gave them directions and made an appointment to see them on Friday. As we were leaving I told them that we'd see them on Friday, and they panicked and were like "but we can still go to church right?" haha of course! Their super cool and I'm excited to give them their pamphlets and Book of Mormon in Creole! We had interviews with our new president this week too. He's nice. I made sure to emphasize how much I love Puerto Plata. I even told him I wanted to finish my mission here haha and that I'm going to cry when I have to leave. He just laughed and said that he thinks I'll be here for another transfer because I still have to finish up my kiddo's training. Yoohoo that means its a definite maybe we will get to be together for the next transfer! We are super excited!! 
Thanks for all the love ya'll send in your letters! 
Hermana Van Woerkom

 H! I had a feeling that the weather was starting to change over there! It´s been fun hearing everyone saying that its starting to get cool. Especially Casey saying that it´s going to get down to the 70´s in Oklahoma...if that´s considered cool...,. Well It´s still super super hot here! The weather is not changing one bit! It´s gotten so hot that we´ve moved our beds into the livingroom by the door and we leave the window by the door open at night...because I´m pretty sure that´s the window that the spiders don´t come through...atleast we are experimenting for now. My companion tried leaving the fridge open as well at night to see if it would be like having AC....but unfortunately its not haha. I´ve tried begging the office elders for AC, but they just laughed and said they´ll talk to the mission president....part of me hopes that they do haha.
Anyway funny story for the week. Well the zone leaders want us to start contacting people on the street. As a companionship we´ve had a lot more success with references from members, BUT we decided to go along with the contacting goal. SO my companion and I make it a game to contact people. It was my turn to start the contact so as we were walking I was trying to find who was the next person we should talk to. As we walk by I see this older man on a motto as we are about to pass him I see that he has glasses that have the american flag painted on them and thought ´this is the sign´! We stopped and I began to contact him, he told me he was evangelical, so I not only gave him a pass along card, BUT the restoration pamphlet AND a Book of Mormon. And then I set an appointment with him for the next day. After doing so I felt a little nervous, because sometimes people can get contentious about the gospel, and we invited the elders in our district to come along with us. Well things turned out the way we thought and it was hard to share the gospel with him, however I ended with my testimony of how God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are 3 seperate beings and that we were children of God. Well he told me this...and I would like to pass it along...BUT just so you know apparently not all of us are children of God. Some of us are just creations of God. He really is our golden investigator haha just kidding. But it just goes to show how important it is to share just the basic principles of the gospel with people. Some people don´t even know that they have a Heavenly Father. 
Transfers are coming up, but I´m hoping Hermana Baez and I can stick around atleast 2 more transfers together. I don´t think there will be changes just because she has to finish up her training. If I could I would love to finish up my mission here in Puerto Plata. I´m keeping my fingers and toes crossed! 
Love you all and take care! 
Hermana Van Woerkom

I´m glad that everyones having an amazing week and schools going great! My heavens all the pictures I got this week were crazy to see. You´ve been giving my nieces and nephews miracle grow, THEY ARE SO BIG! Make sure to give them squeezes and kisses for me! Thank you so much for your love this week! Things are better health wise. I was literally dying in the house for 6 days. But now we are finally out and on fire! We´ve been hitting the pavement hard and it feels so great getting out. I have to be honest and say I did sneak out for stake conference on Sunday to play the piano for the choir and it was super nice. I enjoy playing the piano at church. Who would´have thought I would have to do that on the mission. haha Shout out goes to mom for making me take piano lessons all those years. Anyway things are great. We had a ¨hurricane¨ come through, but it just touched us for a little bit with high winds and rain and then left. Apparently there is another one coming, but I don´t know when or from where. We didn´t even know there was one coming until a member called us haha. But, my companion and I read through what to do if something happens so we should be fine. On the other hand however I don´t know if it´s the hurricanes a brewin´ or its just that time of the season like hunting season in the states, but the cows in our area have been on the loose lately.
First story of the day is we were visiting a family at night and as we were sharing our message a huge black cow walked by. Nothing too strange. We closed our message and were walking to the car, this time the sun was down and it was dark. My companion sees a big figure walking towards us so my companion grabs my arm and says ¨careful the cows back¨...only to find out that it just was a heavier set woman walking towards us haha embarrassing. And then yesterday we went with the bishop to visit a less active and there was a huge accident. The car was completely scrunched up. The bishop rolled his window down and asked what happened and they said that I guess a cow got hit. Luckily it wasn´t us! From the sicknesses to hurricanes and cows it just goes to show that the Lord has a plan and will protect his missionaries and that the work still moves forward. 
The companionship is amazing! I love training! We have to much fun and learn a lot together. 
Thanks for all your prayers, love, and well wishes!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Hey everyone!
Sounds like the sick season has started. And....yes unfortuantely I´ve been sick too! This is day number eight with the chain smoker cough and its not been fun. I´ve called the nurse in the mission and she´s told me that I need to stay home for a couple was a little complicated because we kinda had baptismal interviews and a baptism on Saturday so I just said.....AIN´T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. And kinda bended the rules....just a tad. BUT GOOD NEWS is that Diahna and Davely are now members! YAY! And we have re activated her grandma! Even betta! They are going to go to the temple this week to with the ward! SO great! Okay now let me just tell you about my companionship. I LOVE IT! We have soooo much fun together and die laughing. Literally I´m dying laughing because its hard for me to breath with the sickness. So here are some of our experiences thus far. 
Story 1- you know how viscous these dogs are here in Puerto Plata. Well We go to a less actives house to visit and their dog is on the average size of big. And as we enter my companion is hiding behind me, and the dog can tell she´s nervous so the dog starts snipping at her heels. And she´s nervously laughing saying Princesa no no. haha I was dying because she was such a chicken. HOWEVER right after the lesson we walk out of their gate start heading down the mountain to find these two dachshund dogs barking running at us. I freeze and start to jog up the mountain again when my companion stops me and says no don´t run don´´t run. As I turn around I find Princesa running from the top of the mountain down towards us. So we are sandwiched between these two dogs. So the first thing I do is get the keys out because I had nothing else to use. Luckily the owners got their dogs and we were good, but my companion was dying laughing because she didn´t know what I was planning on doing with the keys. Yeah joke was on me haha. 
Story 2- The bishop told me i needed a blessing on sunday so the elders said they´d be able to do it for me. As the elder took his oil out it slipped out of his hands, hit my shoulder, hit my companions skirt, and his companions pants, and fell to the floor. He then says oh this is slippery. And then starts trying to tap the oil out. His companion offers his for him to use and the elder just says this just doesn´t want to come out. Then uses his companions whole bottle on me....Lets just say that I wasn´t the only one blessed in the room that day haha. 
Anyway the work and the members here in Puerto Plata is progressing and amazing. As I complete 10 months this week its crazy to see where all the time has gone! I literally have more time in the mission now than out of the mission. AH! Crazy! I love this area. Puerto Plata really does have my heart and they really are my family. This bishop calls us his daughters, the bishops brother calls himself our second dad, I´ve got someone who´s like my mom, and a lady named Mari Luz that´s just like my grandma.  I really will cry when I have to leave here. Thanks for all that your doing and I´ll keep you in my prayers.
Big hugs,
Hermana Van Woerkom  

 Yea! Mc Donalds!
 An Oklahoma representative - love the hat!!!
Lots of Chocolate..this is my grandma that got sick this Sunday. Her left face was twitching and her muscles went weak on only her left side. She complained of stomach problems as well. The hospital doesn´t know what happened....but I think it was a stroke. She´s doing better THANK GOODNESS! I bought her some chocolate cookies and chocolate because yeah {cosas de mujeres haha] please keep mari luz in your prayers|


Haha so yes I´m training. I found out thursday. I was on my way to renew my visa in Santo Domingo and we spent the night at the Presidents house. I got this call in the ruta. It was a number I didn´t recognize so I answered and heard SISTER VAN HOW ARE YOU and I was like good who is this. Then he said President Castillo. And I was like OH PRESIDENT HOW ARE YOU! lol and he said oh so you in Santiago so I´ll talk to you when you get to the house. So I get to the house with all these other sisters and he came up to me, shook my hand and said ¨sister congradulations. You can´t make it to the meeting, but that´s okay we will tell you later what happened, and then he left! I was so confused and so I followed him into the kitchen and asked. President I´m confused what meeting am I missing. And he was like Hermana your training. WHAT! I don´t even get asked lol. But it´s okay I know that it´s something the Lord trusts me to do and it´s another way to help me grow. I still feel like such a greenie though haha even though next week I´ll have 10 months in the mission! Her name is Hermana Baez and she´s from here in Santo Domingo. SHE IS AMAZING1 I´m excited to kick it back into gear and get to work! We have a baptism this Saturday so if you could pray extra hard and especially for them that everything runs smoothly on Saturday I would be so grateful. Love you all and sorry that this was a short letter. Oh and I didn´t get the mommy and daddy loves me package! Thank you! It came last week! 
LOVE YOU ALL! Congratulations Lonnie and Clark! Can´t wait to meet my little niece or nephew! Keep me posted!