Friday, February 28, 2014

The Story of How I Got Called on a Mission

Once upon a time, I got this envelope in the mail the other day. It looked like this:

What actually happened was that I was at work and my MOM got this envelope in the mail. Then she texted me during my lunch break. And I was so excited I could hardly eat my food. So you guessed right. I had the longest shift of my life. Then I came home! Yay! And there was this humongous letter for Sister Sarah Nicole Whiting on the table. So then my family all left and I was home alone with it. For like 2 hours!! And I couldn't open it!! So I just sort of stared at it for 2 hours. :/

Then finally I opened it. And it said this:

"Dear Sister Whiting,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Canada Edmonton Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president."

It also said other stuff. But I don't want to type all of it. Instead. Check out the videos on my Facebook!

Yes. In the video I said "Ed-mon-ton". But believe me, it's not a mistake I'll make again. Anyways. There was a bunch of crying and laughing and stuff. In fact, there was so much excitement and happiness and nervousness and such that I went to bed with a major headache. It was a spiritual headache...yeah. That's right. :) I still cry every time I watch the video of reading my call. It's so exciting! :) Anyways. So here's a bit about Edmonton. In case you didn't know.

It is the capital of Alberta Canada. It is basically a bazillion miles North of Boise. :) The average annual temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter it gets down to -45 degrees of colder. In the summer it gets up to 65 degrees. So I think it's safe to say I will be colder in Edmonton than Jeff is in Sapporo. Haha. What an awesome way to bond. We're both freezing cold missionaries! I looked at some parts of Edmonton via Google maps street view. It basically looks exactly like Boise but colder. And also the street lights are horizontal not vertical. Weird huh? Other than that and having a super sweet flag, I don't know anything. 

Since I got my call, I've listened to Celine Dion singing the Canadian National Anthem about a million times. Thank you Celine. OH CANADA!

Haha. Ok. Enough with this funny business. I have something serious to say. 

So, I've always wanted to go on a mission. But as it got closer, I decided I REALLY wanted to know BEFORE my call came, that wherever I was assigned was the right place for me. So that's what I've prayed and fasted for the past few weeks. Well I can tell you right here, right now, that Heavenly Father heard and answered my prayers. As soon as I read that I will serve in Canada, I just knew it was the PERFECT mission for me. I can't see myself going anywhere else in the world. As crazy as it sounds, I already feel like I love all the people there. I already want to serve them and help them learn about Christ. I just wish I already knew them! (enter a sweet recording of "I Just Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble. Also a Canadian) I'm just so so so so so so soooooooo excited to go out there where the fields are LITERALLY white and ready to harvest. (can you harvest snow and ice? oh wait! they do in Frozen!)

Now without further ado, it's time for some major celebration photos!

This is from the official mission prep website I got from my call letter. Yikes

Yes. We got flocked. And yes. The flamingos are in companionships.

A lot blotchier.

I took Canadian cupcakes to work to announce my call!!!!

I'm so excited to serve a mission!!!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

10-14 Days!!

     I OFFICIALLY SUBMITTED MY MISSION PAPERS!!!!!! You know what that means!! I will get my call in 10 to 14 days! I am so excited I can hardly even describe!!!! I have no idea where I'm going to get called but I just know that wherever I get called is exactly where I'm supposed to go.  I already feel so much love and excitement for the people I will teach wherever they are in the world. I am so excited to get this opportunity!!!

     I had the best day yesterday! I went to ward conference and it was amazing. The Stake President is such an awesome guy and he really brings the spirit when he speaks. And he talked a lot about missionary work. He told a story about going fishing with his brother-in-law where they sit in the boat all day, every day for a week of so. And one day, while they were just sitting there, his brother-in-law threw a lemon head right into the water where the fish were. that didn't make any sense to him. But later  that night, while they were getting ready to cook one of the fish they caught, they found the lemon head in its stomach. The odds that that would happen were VERY  slim and it surprised both of them.

     This is like missionary work. We don't act as missionaries for one person at a time. It's not our job to pick who is ready for the gospel. So we should be examples and we should be comfortable talking about our religion to everyone. We make ourselves a missionary to all the fish in the sea. Then the Lord chooses who eats the lemon head. It's a miracle!

     After ward conference I had mission prep and we got to hear the amazing testimony of Sis. Goodale who is on medical leave from  her mission. She is being really brave and her testimony really strengthened mine. It can be discouraging to get sick even though you've dedicated so much time to the Lord. But I know this trial will really strengthen her and be for her good. And she will be helped through it with the Lord's help.

     Of course after mission prep I went to visit the Wilsons and I went with Cindy to her mission prep class. It was so spiritual and I was very touched by the talks given about personal worthiness. I am so excited to serve a mission and I hope the Lord finds me worthy to wear His name and be one of his representatives for 18 months. I'm sooooo excited!!!!

     My favorite part of my day though, was when I got to meet with the Stake President to submit my mission papers. He gave me a lot of great advice relating to Alma 7:23-24. I now focus on being submissive and temperate and diligent and humble and gentle. Just as the Savior was. I hope as a missionary I will really be able to develop these traits. I'm so so so excited to serve a mission. I have been waiting so long for the day I am old enough to submit my own mission papers and now that it's here, I cannot express how happy I am.

     Next time I post it'll be with a mission call. So where do you think I'm going for 18 months?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sacrifice is Necessary

     I did it. I had my wisdom removed. I mean wisdom teeth. What? Oh my. I'm losing my mind. It turns out getting a part of your mouth ripped out isn't entirely comfortable. Down side, I'm suffering right now. Up side, I am officially ready to submit my mission papers and get a call!!! Boo yeah! This is pretty spectacular. In my excitement to serve a mission I guess I will show you a picture. Unfortunately for my OCD, my cheeks are not evenly puffy. So I'm lopsided and it kills me.

     Now I know what you're all thinking. Where's the video of you under anesthesia? Well my friends, I am here to tell you that my parents actually love me. And they proved it to me this weekend by not filming my pathetic delirium. It turns out they would have filmed me if I had been funny. But I just cried the whole time. So they decided to spare me the humiliation. Thanks mom and dad! They did however tell me all about the weird things I said when I wasn't conscious.

     I decided I must really want to be a missionary because even in my drug-induced coma I was talking about the Book of Mormon and heaven and stuff. According to my dad, I said the Book of Mormon is the best book I've ever read. And then I proceeded to tell him the whole story of 1 Nephi. This includes but is not limited to, crying because Laman and Lemuel were really mean brothers and saying Nephi is the only good guy who is really nice, etc, etc. Mom decided to ask me where I want to get called on my  mission. I said heaven because everyone there is nice and happy and they all want to be baptized. :/ Yeah. So. Look out world. Here I come.

     And of course, you all saw this coming, I spent a good deal of time crying because Jeff wasn't there. I guess while I was still drugged up, I kept asking when  he was coming to visit me. So mom and dad bought me flowers "from Jeff". So that was cute.

     Emma was very sweet and wanted to help me feel pretty again after sitting around puffy and gross for so long. So she gave me some pretty intense makeup to distract you from my cheeks. I thought it looked pretty much like a zombie. Mom definitely agrees. But it made you look at my eyes instead of my cheeks right?

     Right? Yikes. But you hardly noticed my cheeks so whatevs. In other news, I met with the Bishop and officially submitted my papers to the Stake president! I technically had an appointment for yesterday to do the final submit but I was not in a state that could handle it. So next Sunday is the big day!! In the  meantime I'm spending a bunch of time reading my new copy of the Missionary Handbook I got!!! I'm soo pumped!!

     Next time I'll have submitted my papers and we'll start the guessing game!! Everybody get your guesses ready!!