Monday, July 28, 2014

"We'll find Zion! WE WILL!"

This email is brought to you by the movie Legacy. It is my favorite movie. I will quote it a lot from now on. Stop everything you're doing right now and watch it! :)

THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE OF PICTURES AND CHOCOLATE! IT WAS LIKE A MIRACLE SENT FROM HEAVEN! I ALMOST DIED OF HAPPINESS. I understand now why missionaries say mail and packages are like gold.

Ready to hear a day in the life of a Sister in Edmonton? (as requested by mom)

6:30 - Alarm goes off and I fall out of bed to pray. :) Then I do "exercise" for 30 minutes. Usually exercise consists of some stretching, a few crunches, a few laps around the apartment, and then we go outside to jump rope and play Spiderman volleyball!!!

7-8 - Get ready. I shower as fast as I possibly can so that I have time to watch Legacy while I put on makeup and eat whatever pathetic breakfast I can come up with. Yes. I watch Legacy every morning. What can I say? It gets me in a good mood! haha.

8 - PERSONAL STUDY!! I love me some personal study time! I spend the first 15 minutes reading the Book of Mormon and highlighting every reference to the Savior. It's crazy! Right now I'm in Omni! Then I spend 25 to 30 minutes studying for lessons that we'll teach during the day. Then I spend the last 15 minutes studying my weekly topic. I made a list of 50+ topics and each week I choose one to study. This week will be the Godhead! I'm excited!

9 - COMP STUDY!! This is usually the challenging study time cause we have to stay focused! haha. But the first 15 minutes are spent singing and doing recitations and praying and whatnot. It's fun.

10 - TRAINING! haha. yeah. I don't really know what to say about training. It's really...training-y?

11-5:30 - LOTS OF MISSIONARY WORK!!!!! We do a lot of walking. We have learned to judge distance based on how long it takes to walk there. For example if you asked me how big my area is, I would say, it's a 30 minute walk from one end to the other. But if we have to walk the entire perimeter it takes like 80 minutes. :) Sadly, we have a lot of less-actives here. So we spend quite a bit of time visiting them. They're all so great. I love the people here.

6 - Supper. This week we actually have supper appointments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *tears of joy*
Seriously people. For the love of all things holy and good. Feed the missionaries. WE LOVE MEMBERS! WE WANT TO EAT YOUR FOOD AND TAKE SELFIES WITH YOUR KIDS AND TALK TO YOU ABOUT BEING MEMBER MISSIONARIES!!!!! haha. jk. sorta....

7-9 - MORE MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!

9 - Nightly planning. It's supposed to be 30 minutes. But we end up taking longer cause we start having what we call "deep doctrine" talks. It's really great. I think our brains are getting wrinkly super fast these days.

10:30 - I usually fall into bed (literally) and sleep deeper than you can even imagine. :)

And then it starts all over again. :) DOESN'T THAT SOUND FUN!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
IT TOTALLY IS!

Oh man. #MissionLife. I love it.

So anyways. This week I accomplished a lot.

-I memorized Legacy. The whole movie.
-I memorized all my recitations.
-I memorized 3 Nephi 18:19-21
         19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;
         20 And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive,  behold it shall be given unto you.
           21 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be  blessed.

-I helped someone move.
-I filled up a whole notebook with mish stuff.
-I learned how to play bad minton from Y.

Doesn't that sound great?!

Since we walk ALL DAY, Sister Johnson and I like to play the Analogy Game where we pick a random object and a random gospel topic and we have to relate the 2 together. It's sooo fun! And it turns out we're pretty good at it! Then we found out that's actually a pretty good exercise cause then when we're talking to people, we'll be able to bring up the gospel in any conversation!!!!!!!!

So this week was a week of MIRACLES!
Let me tell you all about it.

So we went on exchanges this week and I was with my STL Sister Boyd in Castledowns. At first I was a little nervous. But it was amazing!!!!! This is what happened:

They came down to our area to do the switch. I got in the car. We left. About 30 minutes down the road, we realized that we didn't switch phones so Sister J and Sister K had both of them. So we had to turn around and go back. So we wasted like an hour and a half...Then we were really late to an appointment and then a member was late to our other appointment and then we didn't get home until like 10. It was crazy. AND THEN a member lady totally called us and chewed us out about something confusing. So we were like crying and stuff. It was insane!!! haha. But then it was good. Because we talked it out and prayed HARDCORE and then talked and cried some more. And it was wonderful! Plus then, we were so emotionally compromised, that we couldn't sleep so we had to stay up and talk about our families. Including pictures. :)

Then the next day we had our follow up interview and we just pretty much talked about EVERYTHING and how awesome and hard and crazy and amazing and stuff missionary work is. This is what she told me:

Every day is a MIRACLE.

The Bible Dictionary says that miracles are "manifestations of divine or spiritual power." And that they are "simply works, or the natural results of the Messiah's presence among men."

She asked me to share some miracles I've seen on my mission, and I as thought about it, I was quickly overcome with COUNTLESS miracles. Some were small, like the rain or the package from mom and dad with chocolate. Some were big, like Y praying or talking to SJ through the spirit. She pointed out to me that MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY DAY. It is our job as missionaries to have faith to see miracles. Ever since that day, I have noticed hundreds of miracles in my life.

In the sisters' apartment in Castledowns, they have a THANKFUL WALL. They write stuff they are thankful for on a sticky note and stick it to the wall. Some are silly. Some are serious. But they are all miracles! I LOVE it. I think everyone should have a thankful wall in their house.

*insert clever transition here*

So this past week my study topic was the Holy Ghost. And I discovered a scripture that instantly made it to my list of favorites! It is 3 Nephi 19:9. ("And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.") I set a goal to ALWAYS live worthy to have the spirit. Even when I'm around people or things that make it harder. Oh man. It's made my life so interesting and wonderful!!!!!

I felt the spirit so strongly the other day when we had a lesson with Y. We helped her read a part of the Book of Mormon and then we invited her to pray about it. As we knelt down and listened to her prayer, the spirit completely washed over me! After her prayer it was just silent. And she looked at us and she said, "I feel so much love."

I want the spirit like that ALL THE TIME. Because the Savior does love us so much. ALL THE TIME.

Also there was almost a tornado here. It was so sketchy. Sister J and I were lost in the Elders' area just before bed when the storm got all crazy. It was so so so so sketchy. I think I almost cried. And we were like running down this alleyway. It was so fun. And weird. haha. We were like praying and running at the same time. And we had to cross this bridge and it was like swaying in the wind and there was a crazy guy on the bridge who was like "CAN YOU FEEL THE BRIDGE MOVING!!!!!?!?!?" haha. GO HOME CRAZY MAN! IT'S NOT SAFE HERE!

So then we made it home and we thought we should stay in the bathroom for safety. But then we prayed and decided we would be ok just sleeping....actually what happened was we were so tired from pray-running that we just fell asleep. hahaha. oh man. so great!

Then the storm lasted like 3 days and one of them was weekly planning day. But we still wanted ice cream. So we walked to get ice cream in the rain. And we got soaked. And our ice cream got soaked. :) haha and the guy at the store was like "Do you still work hard on days like this?" haha yes sir! We do!!! Missionary work rocks!!!

Did I tell you I memorized Legacy? Also we watched in in Japanese the other day. So I think maybe I'll learn it in Japanese. haha. Jk. But I could seriously learn Japanese since I know what they're saying. :) There's this part in Legacy where Eliza is saying goodbye to David and she's all sad and she says, quite dramatically, "if we ever meet again it will be zion to meeeeeeee!"

I am going to say that to Sister J when she gets transferred away from me. :) haha.

Anyways. Today is great. I'm in a good mood. I just love being a missionary. I want you all to know that. It's crazy how much I love this. I love loving people and helping them. I love bearing my testimony to people all the time! It's so great! Hard. But great!

So remember, when life gets tough, think of the words of Sister Katherine in Legacy
"WE CAN'T LOSE FAITH ELIZA!"

Love,
Sister Whiting

The Thankful wall

We love English class!!

"Just me on some sketchy bridge - NBD"
(For those who don't know, Sarah used to have a terrible fear of bridges)

Mr. Spike and Mrs. LaKasha

Storm's a-brewin'

The Ravine
It is in the Elder's area. The sisters got to visit their half of the ward and get a feel for it.
The Elders have to ride their bikes across to get places.

Basketball Tournament Volunteer

Finally, we got some Dairy Queen!

Monday, July 21, 2014

"It is a great thing to inquire at the hand of the Lord..."



NBD - Just riding the bus to the train station
  Oh nooooooo!!!! I've been out a whole month!!!! WHAT BLASPHEMY! It's so sad. Oh man. I can't get time to slow down. But you know what they say: "Time flies when you're having fun"

I'M HAVING SO MUCH FUN!

So here's just some random stuff:

-I discovered the reason my apartment smells is cause my upstairs neighbor is all into drugs of whatnot. ew ew ew. He needs to know he's a son of God and that he should take care of his temple. #WordOfWisdom

-I finally tried Donair. (It's some famous Canadian meat thing...) It's extremely delicious. Or I've just had such a lack of protein that I was tricked into thinking it's delicious! haha jk. It's good.

-Yesterday we had pancakes and mashed potatoes for supper because that's all we had. :D Isn't that so yummy sounding?

-There's been a bunch of forest fires in some area close to Edmonton so the skies have been like brown/gray/blue/orange...it's also really smokey. So I think I'm getting pnemonaultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Or whatever it is. haha. jk. But it has been really sketchy! :)

But then it rained!!! It was so great!!! Sister J was like "oh no! rain!" and I just went outside to dance in it. Now the whole ward thinks I'm crazy cause I love rain.

Oh yeah! Let me tell you about my ward!!! THE GREENFIELD WARD!

They're so great. They're all just crazy and wonderful and I love them. We don't get a lot of supper appointments. But they're amazing people. And they're like professional fellowshippers!!!

Dad-I haven't been asked to speak officially yet but they told us that they want to switch off every other week having missionaries give the youth talks. So I expect to be asked pretty soon...

SP dropped us. :( It was sad. It was such an awkward little meeting we had with her. haha We went to follow up with her about her experience coming to church and she pretty much was like "I'm 82 and so I know a lot more and I've seen that churches come and go and I think they all believe the same things and I just want to study philosophy". So we left. And we were sad. But then it was raining and we actually made it to the bus stop on time. So we were happy again. :)

Did I tell you about Y? I'm just gonna assume I did. She's amazing. Anyways. We went to give her a Book of Mormon in Urdu and she looks at it and she's like "This is not Urdu. I don't know what language this is". #Awkward! So we got some other languages and we're going to see her tonight. We're pretty much gonna lay them all on the table and tell her to pick the one she can read!! haha. She's so sweet. She got a job!!!!! And she called us and said "Thank you for praying for me! I know God gave me this job because of you're prayers!"

Oh man. It was sooooo cool! So she's excited to learn more about the gospel so she can get more help in her life. She also told us she wants to teach other people about what we taught her so they can be as happy as her!!!!! After only 2 lessons!!!!! I love her so much. She's soooo cute!

So I do this thing. It's super amazing. I wrote a list of 50 gospel topics. And I assigned each topic to a week. So that during personal study, I can study that topic. So this last week, my topic was prayer.

I LOVE PRAYER.

Joseph Smith said that "It is a great thing to inquire at the hand of the Lord..."

I completely agree. What a blessing!!! Seriously! How wonderful! We literally are able to talk to God-who knows and understands all-whenever we want! Seriously! Think about that!

As I was studying, this is what stood out to me the most:

I asked-Why do we pray in the name of Jesus Christ?

This is the answer I got from the Bible Dictionary:

"We pray in Christ's name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ's name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man's heart."

WOWOWOWOWOWOW! THAT IS SOOO GREAT! I've always wondered how I could align my will with God's and now I know! Every time I pray in the name of Christ, saying and thinking what I believe Christ would say and think, I am becoming more like him. I am developing Christ-like attributes!!!

THAT IS SO AMAZING! I LOVE PRAYER SO MUCH!

So this week Sister J and I were trying to remember each day to pray for Charity. And I especially prayed to love everyone I met. Yesterday while I was reflecting back on the week, I was so overcome with the spirit. It was the love of Christ and I was feeling it for all the people I know here in Greenfield.

I love praying. I'm glad I get to pray like a million times a day. :) #MissionLife

Also. I have to tell you all:

GO TO MORMONCHANNEL.ORG and watch ALL THE VIDEOS!

Seriously. They're amazing. My favorite ones are:

                                     -Patterns of Light by Elder Bednar

                                     -"Origin" (it's about prayer)

                                     -Christlike Attributes

I love hearing the testimonies of the apostles and prophets in these videos. I love the Origin video because it relates my life so much to the life of Joseph Smith. Oh yeah! That's the other thing I've developed this week:

I AM JOSEPH SMITH'S #1 FAN!!!

Seriously. I love him. He's soooo amazing. When I get free time....well...ok. If I had free time, I would just read and re-read JSH and the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It's amazing. He says the most wonderful things! I told Sister J that I can't wait to meet the Savior and Joseph Smith. Pretty much as soon as I die, those are the two people I'm gonna rush to meet! I just want to tell them both that they are the best!!!!!

I love being a missionary because it gives me a chance to be a tiny itsy bitsy bit like them. I just need to spend the next 17 months working crazy hard!!! I'm so excited about this opportunity!!

Love,
Sister Whiting

Check out this lady's driveway! She painted it!

Weekly planning = Frosters
Cool! We got a spice rack


Study time
cute mailboxes!
Missionary tan lines!


Love the rain!
More rain






In celebration of Emma's birthday we bought a cake. Yum!
Sister J made us grilled cheese with avocado - Yummy!

Training with snacks

Monday, July 14, 2014

Holy Culture Shock, Batman!

[I don't know why all the Batman references. I thought she loved Captain America the best... :-) ...-Mom]

Ok. Whoever said I wouldn't get culture shock coming to Edmonton was DEAD WRONG! hahaha seriously. I know hardly any born Canadians. There is soooooo much culture! I LOVE IT! I had to try all sorts of treats from Sudan and India and England and Turkey and Nepal and such of that nature. It's sooooo great!

So basically I look like a leper with all the blister and mosquito bites that are covering 100% of my legs and feet. I tell Sister J that the reason we have a hard time finding people to teach is because they take one look at me and run away in fear of leprosy. hahaha. Whenever we walk into someone's house we take our shoes off and I feel like Vanessa Hudgens on the behind-the-scenes of HSM. "Don't look at my feet! They're all battered and torn up!" hahaha. Oh man. #BallerinaLife #MissionLife #OneAndTheSame

I have to tell you about train contacting!!!! It's amazing eh!!!! Basically we just go on the train and go back and forth for a few hours and try to find people to teach. It's sooo fun. I get to have such weird conversations with people! And they're all like "where are you going?" and I'm like "actually I'm just here for the ride!" haha. I'm loving it.

The way it works with mail is that we get it once a week. P-day. And we get it like right after we do emails. So yeah. I can't respond to letters very quickly. Sorry. But that's not been a problem cause last week I didn't get any mail!!! :/ But then on Thursday we had ZTM (pronounced zed-t-m haha) and the ZLs gave us mail. I got the postcard from Dad and the pictures from Emma. :) I love it girly. I totally opened it right before we went to a ladies house to teach her and I cried reading it. So then my face was all red talking to our investigator. haha. I learned my lesson!

Remember last time how I told you about S? Maybe I didn't....Well anyways. She's a less-active that we teach every week. And last time we taught her it was sketchy and I was like super nervous. But then this last week, we went to teach her and she was like ultra ready for us! She had out her scriptures and everything! It was so great! And the lesson wasn't scattered and the spirit was there and she committed to read the Book of Mormon! :) Man. It was so great. It was my first time taking the lead on the lesson. And it was so great! Oh man!!!!!! So much amazingness!!!!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Every single Wednesday night Sister J and I go with the Elders and we teach an English class. We have so many people in our ward that don't speak English so it's awesome! One of our students isn't a member and her name is M. She's sooooooooo cute! She's from Taiwan and she is so funny. I love her so much. She asked us to meet with her more than just once a week to help her with English. So now we meet with her a whole bunch to help her. We gave her a Book of Mormon in English and in Chinese so she can read both and learn English faster! She was so excited! But then she opened it up and read a little and said to us "WHY ENGLISH SO HARD? WHAT WORD IS THEREFORE? THAT TOO HARD!" haha. Oh M. You will learn. :)

I'm finally learning my way around. We walk around so much it's about time. I don't really know street names yet. But I remember where a lot of people live and I can direct someone to our apartment from virtually anywhere now. :) It's great.

So on Tuesdays we get an hour to be on Mormon.org or LDS.org or whatever and read talks and watch videos. The purpose is to help us find ways to teach people and also find videos to share in lessons. Basically everyone around here has an ipad so we just ask them to use it! :) It's great. But I keep hearing we will get ipads in the fall here.....that would be AWESOME! Anyways. While I was on last week, I came across a video that is AMAZING! It's called "True Christianity". It's about motorcycles so Parker will love it. It's the best video ever. It got me thinking. Before my mission, was I a true Christian every day of the week? Oh man. I have so much to work on in my life!

BTW. If you come across a great talk, PLEASE PRINT IT AND SEND IT TO ME! I love reading talks! I wish I had more access to them!

Time for AMAZING INVESTIGATOR STORIES! So pretty much this lady walked into church the other day and asked if someone could come talk to her about the church. So we went to visit her this week and she's like adorable. Her name is going to be SP. She's 82!! :) Anyways. She came with us to church yesterday! But it was hot. And she was tired. So she slept through most of it. But to give her credit, she heard most of the good stuff! :) So I'm excited for her.

Then we were walking in our "backyard" and this lady walks up to us and she's like 'are you looking for someone?' and we were like "Well actually! We're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! We're always looking for people to teach." So she starts talking to us about religion and she's like "please come to my house tonight. We need to talk about God." So we did. And it turns out she loves that we believe in the Holy Ghost as a guide. And she loves how we pray. She recorded Sister J praying on her phone so she could listen to it and learn how to pray. So we're going to be visiting her a lot. :) It's so great.

It's super windy here. It's nice so it's not too hot. But man. It is not conducive to sister missionaries. #MarilynMonroeMoment #AllTheTime

One of my many blisters is on the bottom of my big toe. It's so gross. I have to walk lopsided. It's so weird. haha. It kinda looks like I'm dance walking. :)

This week I had soooooooo many prayers answered! It was a major gong show week. So I was feeling a bit sad. But I prayed so so so so so hard! And it was great!

We went to a ladies house last night who hasn't been very easy to reach the past several months. But she was there! And she started talking to us. And I told her about prayer and how I make it personal. It was my first experience really speaking by the spirit. I honestly didn't know what I was saying. It was just coming out. And it was so so spiritual. We all felt the spirit so strong. The Lord was in that room. I feel that He truly has a plan for her! I'm excited to teach her again on Wednesday!

Weekly planning. oh man. What a mental/spiritual drainer!!!! :) It's so great. You'll see pictures soon!

GUESS WHAT?!?!?! I HAVE TAN LINES!!!!!!!!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! Here's how it works. Basically we're out in the sun all day. And I don't wear sunscreen cause the sun isn't as strong out here. So I'm slowly getting tan and freckly!! I totally have a watch tan line. Also this lady we tracted into saw us and she was like "you both look so tan!" hahahahahahahah yes yes yes yes yes yes! All my dreams have come true!!!!!!!! haha jk. :) But still great.

That's pretty much my week. It's been so great. I know the Lord is in our lives. I have literally seen Him guide to places I needed to be. I'm so lucky to have His constant spirit with me. I am even luckier to see His love for all of His children! I love them all soooo much! And it's amazing to think His love is infinitely greater! I love this gospel. I love seeing it touch people's lives. I love everyone here in Edmonton. I am so happy! LIFE IS GOOD!

Love,

Sister Whiting

[Another note from Mom: She said she and her companion do "sing tracting." When I asked her what that was and she said they knock on doors and, if someone answers, they ask if they can sing for them. Then they totally sing hymns!  I love that!! I want someone to come sing at my door. Guess I better get that pocket hymn book in the mail to her.]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Holy hares batman!



Yeah. There's enormous hares running around everywhere here. Like the squirrels of Edmonton. It's cray-cray. :) haha. James. I'm turning into you.

So anyways. Let's get down to business.

I left the MTC at 2:30am on Tuesday. It was very exhausting. I sat on a plane next to this enormous Elder for about 4 and a half hours. And I didn't sleep cause the Elder next to me was practically shoving me out of my seat. That's ok though. It was soooo fun! I love airplanes. Then we got to Canada and the international people were all like "why are there so many of you?!??" haha. #SorryNotSorry

It was soooooooo great to talk to you on the phone btw! I was gonna cry but then I was just too excited and half asleep! haha. Also cause there were like all these Elders watching me the whole time to see if I would cry. So yeah. #LeaveMeAlone

President and Sister Manion are AMAZING!!!!! They're hardcore jokesters and are very funny. Oh man. I just couldn't stop laughing inside at their jokes. (I couldn't laugh on the outside cause I was so stinkin exhausted. haha)

Oh course since I got there on Canada Day, my first act as a missionary was to volunteer at a Canada Day festival and watch little kids play in the moon sand boxes. It was pretty chill. Except that it was burning hot outside so it was hot & cold. :) haha. whatevs.

My companion's name is SISTER JOHNSON!!! I'm not worried about putting her name up here cause that's like the most generic name ever. :) haha. She's soooo cute! She's like 6 inches shorter than me and she has the loudest singing voice ever. She's Japanese so she's been teaching me some sweet stuff. And she's my super cool trainer. :) We have a lot in common but also a lot not in common. haha. What a vague statement! Oh man. It's so crazy here. :)

It doesn't get dark here until like midnight. And the sun comes up and like 4am. So I don't even know if it gets dark yet. I go to sleep and wake up in the sun. It's so strange. But I guess sun is such a short period of the year that everyone keeps telling me not to wear sunscreen. I have to soak in as much Vitamin D as I possibly can for the next like 2 weeks or however long it lasts. :) haha. It's actually a mission rule that for like 9 months out of the year, all missionaries are required to take Vitamin D supplements twice a day or something. The sun doesn't shine and all the missionaries get depressed? Oh man. I'm going crazy. It's so weird here!!!! I love it!



My first day I also got to teach our investigator A. He's so great. And I got to ask him to be baptized and HE SAID YES!!!! What a first day!!!! Talk about spiritual drainage!! :) haha. It was crazy.


Also you should know that basically none of the people we teach here are white. They're all from South Sudan or India or Turkey or Germany or whatever. And they all have super cool names. Our apartment is in the middle of a big group of Sudanese people. They have like a million kids that run around all day. THEY'RE SOOOO CUTE! I love love love them!!!!! I wish missionaries were allowed to hold babies!!!!!


My area is called GREENFIELD 2. It's like the "ghetto" of Edmonton I guess. Our apartment is so. Well. haha. So great and nice and high class? Or at least that's what we pretend. We love it though. And we are so close to the grocery store and whatever. So it works out.


Oh yeah! I'm in a walking area so I don't get a car or a bike or anything!!! Just my own 2 feet! :) It's been an experience.


OH MAN I LOVE BEING HERE AND BEING A MISSIONARY! IT'S SO GREAT! EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!


I love the way everyone talks here. It's crazy. They don't use the word "call". They always say "phone". And "mum" and "zed" and stuff like that. And there's huge hares all over the place. They're like totally awesome!


I have a testimony of fasting. Saturday was such a gong show day. It was so bad. Sister J and I were pretty discouraged. But then on Sunday, we fasted and we had like a million people stop us while we were walking to ask us about the gospel. We gave away like a million Book of Mormons and we just had such a great day.


I know the Lord is in our lives. He really cares about us. He gives us bad days so that the good days are such much better. I can't even believe how much He loves me. I love knowing He's there. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE praying to Him for help and gratitude.


Alma 26:16



I'll try to send pictures!


Love, Sister Whiting


My second companion - Sister Johnson and me

The Edmonton Temple is in my first area!!!!

Making smoothies

Hares are EVERYWHERE!!

The End of the MTC experience


Edmonton Canada Mission
Hey there peoples!!!

This is so crazy. So seriously. This is crazy. I left the MTC! :( sad day. But also HAPPY DAY!

Here's a bunch of random facts about the last week at the MTC:

* I kept singing "One Step" and Sister H was like "that's a super pretty song! I don't think I've heard it before!" And I was like hahahahahaha IT'S CAUSE MY FLIPPIN SWEET SISTA WROTE IT! :) She was impressed. Mostly she just likes that I sing literally all the time. Good thing. Cause it's a habit that will take some time to break! :)

* I basically cried a little just before I left cause I miss Parker so much. It wasn't so bad. It was like silent tears. But still. I'm so proud of you bro! I miss ya! I love ya! I hope all goes will for your big year of hs and decision making stuff and whatever. You get what I'm saying! haha

* So here's what happened with the temple. I sent you a frantic email that was like "I can't go to the temple!" But actually the temple guy called the Bishop and it got worked out. So I barely made it. And let me tell you. It was a TENDER MERCY! And after we got out it was raining so my day was instantly made perfect. It HAD to be the Lord telling me it would be ok. :)

* The last Friday we had "In-Field Orientation". It's basically the best day at the MTC besides P-Day and Sunday. It was soooo fun! We had these super cool teachers that spoke all sorts of languages and had loud voices. There was one teacher who was like 50 ft tall and he was bald and he spoke fijian. But he was like the whitest guy ever. Oh man. It was so fun. We learned a bunch about how family history work is the WAY OF THE FUTURE! haha. Actually it's just a really great finding thing. People like that stuff ya know? DO IT!

* My teacher served in the Milwaukee mission. #ElderGoodale It was sweet. He told me some funny stuff about the mission. :) Sorry Andrew. I feel kinda bad for you!

* My district heard that I can eat a whole pizza. And so they were always asking me to prove it. Needless to say I refused. And also it would be gross and lame. Then we had a zone tower challenge where our zone had to eat the whole serving thing of Choco Chomps. They're good and all but it failed. :) haha

* NO ONE HERE PLAYS THE PIANO! I ALWAYS HAVE TO PLAY

That's pretty much it! :)

Love you all!!!!!!

Sister Whiting

district service

My MTC district sisters
District selfie!

My MTC district
My MTC Companion and me

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Your Missionary Has Arrived in Canada!

We got the letter from President Manion today (July 5)!!  Hooray!!
Here is his letter and the pictures he sent along:

"Dear Brother and Sister Whiting,

We wanted to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely in Canada. We had been anxiously awaiting her arrival. Attached is a note she wrote in the mission home, and also a picture with her new companion, Sister Johnson. They are serving in Edmonton ,in the Greenfield Ward. A little over a year ago there were 10 sisters in the mission and now we have 61. What a blessing they are to the work. Thanks for preparing such an outstanding missionary.

Warmest regards,

President and Sister Manion"



** Note from Mom:
So I looked up the Greenfield Ward. That is part of the Edmonton Alberta Riverbend Stake in the southwest part of Edmonton. Welcome to Canada, Sister Whiting!! You look great!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunday at the MTC June 22, 2014

Hey Family!

Well. I did it. I survived the "hardest part of the mission." They say the first 4 days are worse than the rest of the 18 months. So if you make it to the first Sunday, you'll make it! :) So I made it! Honestly, I'm so glad the first week is over. I'm being positive and everything. but it's true. the first 4 days are the hardest. Already today, I've felt a huge improvement like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Other than that, I LOVE the MTC. It's so incredible. The spirit is so strong. I'm so lucky to have the perfect companion. Today, taking the sacrament, I really felt like I was making HARDCORE covenants with the Lord. Oh man. It was so peaceful for me.

I've already had some MAJOR humbling experiences. So that's good. I just really have been trying to have more trust in the Lord. He's got my back but when I'm teaching my investigator it's harder to feel that support. So I'm trying to develop my "recognizing the spirit skills!"

So really this is kinda awkward writing a letter when I also emailed. What else can I tell you?  haha. Well. Uh. I'm taking pictures but I can't attach any to my emails cause I don't have a USB connector to my camera. {Note from Mom - Don't worry, fans, I have already mailed a cable to her in Canada so we can get some pictures.}Wanna know something weird? haha. Duh ya do! (not like you have a choice cause I already wrote the letter.) But here it is: Every single missionary here reminds me in some way of someone at home. For example: Sister H = Sophie W., Elder M = Camron (but way cooler), Elder B = McKay. Various other look alikes: Taylor Chapple, Brian, Spock...haha, Josh Blair, Nathaniel Gerlek, Jared, Hannah!, Sam Brown, Elder Scott.

Wanna know another thing I LOOOOVE!? I'm Sister Whiting. That's my name. No one even knows my first name. And when people need my attention or they call on me, or whatevs, they say, "Sister Whiting." Every time my name is said, I'm reminded of my call to serve! It's wonderful!

P.S. I say "cool beans" waaaay too much. Someone give me a new phrase!

Also, I can't stop singing "Love is an Open Door" because of Elder Mitchell's crush on Anna. He sings it a lot.  So it's stuck in my head. : P gotta love it!

100% honesty right here:
     1. I miss rap music (I'm So Fancy! You already know...) never mind
     2. I miss Once Upon A Time
     3. I miss Emma's awesome ability to join in on my weirdness.

HOWEVER! I can do this. More than that, I WANT to do this. So I will. :-)

So anyways. In case you didn't notice, I'm writing this letter over the course of several days. So, yeah. Sunday really was the best day. We watched Music & the Spoken Word and they sang "Alleluia!" It's my FAVORITE MoTab song. (well, Men of the MoTab) and so when they started singing it I was SO  happy. I felt like it was a reward from the Lord for being so ok. haha. For reals though.

I have a request for you as a family. It is in regards to scripture study. I think I know what can help you. When you read, do this: (it's what we do for district Book of Mormon study)
      - go around in a circle, reading one verse each.
      - when anyone has a thought/question about a scripture, they say "PAUSE" and then they discuss. After, say "PLAY" and continue reading. This has opened up a whole new world for me in the scriptures.  SO MUCH INSIGHT! :)

Also. Mom. I'm so grateful for the skirts you made for me. All the sisters here have the same clothes since they all went to Downeast, Deseret Book, etc. So I am actually unique! It's awesome.

I also have to say I'm soooo grateful for the family I have and the testimonies you have. Here at the MTC we do A LOT of role playing (I have a love/hate relationship with role playing.) But in order to do this we often times need to play the part of investigator. So what they have us do is pick a person in our own lives who is a non-member or less active. It needs to be someone we're close to so we know about them and can really act/respond as they would.

I act like my friend, A. And really, it has helped me learn a TON about her from an investigator's point of view. SADLY, most of my zone uses one of their immediate family members as their investigator. :( I'm one of the few missionaries here that has a totally active family. It makes me sad to think of what these missionaries are going through. I've grown VERY close with everyone in my zone and I feel sad that they can't say EVERYONE in their family supports them. As an STL (sister trainer leader) I've been trying really hard to keep up with how everyone is doing emotionally. I want to help them feel support and, more importantly, hope for their family member(s).

Although I'm sad for them, I'm VERY happy to know I have a full-on, hardcore, spiritual support system. Thanks, family. :)

WOAH! MOM! You got a new calling?!?! I just have to say 2 things:
     1. those primary kids will miss you.
     2. As soon as I read you got called to teach relief society, I got super overwhelmed with the spirit. I started crying. (duh) Mom. I KNOW this is the right calling for you. You're going to bless so many lives - INCLUDING YOUR OWN - with your lessons! Good luck!

So in case you're all wondering, now it's Tuesday morning (6/24/14). And I just exercised. Now I'm doing "doctrinal study." Which is time for me to do/study what I want. (BTW - in the gym I weighed myself & I've totally lost 5.2 lbs!! haha. seriously. I don't know how people get fat here. There's no time. Too much work. Whatevs. :) There's hope I won't come home a baby walrus!!

**Doctrinal Study: Sister Whiting's Spiritual Thought
How do we think of Joseph Smith? I tend to describe him as: perfect, spiritual, kind, humble, charitable, perfect, Christ-like, fun, perfect, etc. Notice that I said perfect and etc. to make it clear there would be a lot more "perfects"! haha.
The thing is - he wasn't perfect. He was the closest any mortal has come to being like Christ. But he was still FAR from 100%. Joseph Smith History 1:28

28 During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheerytemperament.

As missionaries or even as members of the church we think we need to be PERFECT or there's no hope and we should give up. A lot of missionaries go home because they realize it's hard and they're not already good at teaching, so they quit.But we have this whole life to make mistakes and learn from them. The Lord will never stop giving us opportunities to repent.

Joseph Smith - "perfect" - was still a teenager once who chose bad tings when people were mean to him. THE LORD SAW PAST IT.  He sees our potential. Where we can go. He sees that one day I'll actually be a good missionary. haha. Hopefully it should give us hope to know we can one day be that "perfect" person we want to be. But it shouldn't make us raise our personal expectations so high we crash in discouragement. "Just as we should not lower the standards that the Lord has established for the conduct of His servants, we are also NOT AUTHORIZED to raise them..."  - Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, MTC Devotional, 2002

I'm still learning not to be discouraged. I've already had many opportunities to feel so. But I have faith the Lord will help me. 

Love you all! Write me!!!
Love, 
Sister Whiting

P.S. I GOT TO SEE D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSEN, DALLIN H. OAKS, RUSSELL M. NELSON, NEIL L ANDERSON, DAVID A. BEDNAR and M. RUSSELL BALLARD! They're cute on TV but waaaaaay cuter in real life! :)