Monday, October 27, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

So. Right now it's 11 o'clock in the morning. It is 0 degrees outside. And it's like totally blizzarding snow.

It has been for the past 36 hours or so! It's CRAZY!!

Anyways! This week has been pretty crazy.

On Monday we went on a hike through this ravine in our area. We went as a big group of missionaries and it was super fun. I think Canadians totally take for granted how INSANELY BEAUTIFUL this area is. We take a long time walking places because we just want to stop and look at how pretty it all is. Like. ALL. THE. TIME. Sadly the pictures don't even do it justice. It's so much prettier in real life.

Anyways. So then we had a lesson with TNT. We have to push their baptism date back because they're not ready. Sister T is. But Brother T is not quite. We actually taught them in the morning and then we had somewhere to be but they asked us to come back and teach them more later that same day. So we did. It was like an all day TNT party. :)

It was a little bit sad because Bro. T is struggling to have faith in what the church teaches about the life of Jesus Christ and who he actually is. So we're trying to help him. It just makes me so sad to think of a life without what I know about the Savior. :(

While we were teaching him, he was kinda getting into all sorts of stuff that doesn't really make sense. And it was making his wife mad cause she just wants him to believe what we teach him. And so he said something about how what we teach doesn't make sense cause he doesn't want to spend his whole life trying to reach perfection. He wants to have an experience where he can reach perfection NOW.

So pretty much without thinking about it I straight up, HARDCORE called him to repentance and told him he will never reach perfection with such impatience.....

I felt pretty bad about that.

Except now I don't. Because as a representative of Jesus Christ, it's my responsibility to help people understand the consequences of sin. If they don't know they are sinning, how can they repent? So...yeah....I did that.......

It was pretty cool. It's kinda sad for Sister P cause now she won't be here for the baptism. But it's good because we were able to address their concerns. And we can help them really gain a testimony of Jesus Christ.

On the 24th it was Sister P's 18 month birthday!!!!! So the day before I secretly arranged for all sorts of surprises. So throughout the day she kept running into fun surprises for her! The Elders helped me set up a surprise picnic lunch. And we weren't signed up to be fed that day but I arranged with Sister Kipp to feed us her favorite food. And that was so cute because they totally bought sparkling cider and made it a party. And then we got cheesecake! (her fave) It was sooo fun. But weird. Cause she's going home in like a week...

Other than that stuff we've just been doing a lot of finding.

Lots and lots of finding.

We found some really cool Hungarian people! We went sing tracting and they let us sing "I Stand All Amazed" on their doorstep. Then they let us in!!!!!!!!! 

Here's where it gets awkward.....When we went inside, the son was like 'do you want anything to drink? we have water and ginger ale'. So we asked for ginger ale.

We totally think it might have been alcohol.....

Ok. So after talking extensively about it. It probably wasn't alcohol. It was probably just super GINGERY ginger ale. But while we were drinking it, we would sneak looks at each other like "holy cow! this stuff totally burns!" It was super gross. But we had to drink it!

Sooo awkward.

Don't worry. Just in case it WAS alcohol. We repented. Twice. :)

So wanna hear a funny story about this whole snow thing? What am I saying? I'm typing this. You have no choice!! Muahahahahahaha! Ok. Sorry.

So yesterday we had a supper appointment at 4:30. And the members feeding us live pretty far away on the opposite side of the Elder's half of the area from us. Usually we take a bus, but it was Sunday and the bus we needed wasn't running for like hours! So we decided we'd just walk. It was pretty cold outside. But not THAT cold.

Anyways. We left our apartment and stopped to ask the Elders how to get there on foot since it was their area. And then we started up this trail. It kinda felt like it was starting to rain. But it was super cold! So we decided it was really light snow.

To get there we had to cross the ravine. It's a SUPER beautiful bike path with pretty much nothing but nature all around.

After walking for about 20 minutes, the snow really started to pick up.

Also at this point we got lost.

After an hour of walking, it was definitely snowing hardcore.

And we were still lost.

I think we called the Elders like 10 times for directions.

Then finally we reached civilization. And it was BLIZZARDING snow!!! After an hour and a half, we reached our supper appointment. Completely soaked and frozen. Our makeup was all smudged from the snow. We looked so awful.

After supper we had a thing called Sundaes on Sundays. Our ward does this to help everyone get to know everyone. Pretty much some members sign up to be hosts and others sign up to go to someone's house. And they get together Sunday evening and have ice cream sundaes. It's a really great idea.

Anyways. We were still super frozen and wet. But we went. And ate ice cream. And talked to some super cool members. And it was great.

Then we went home and turned the heat up in our apartment and cuddled in pretty much all our clothes and blankets.

It was so great. :)

OOOh! I just remembered!!! We also got a call on Friday from the STLs asking us if we can do a last minute exchange the next day!! So we did. I got to spent the weekend in River Valley. It was pretty much the best. I just love exchanges!!! I love the STLs.

Also I discovered that my new favorite movie is "Treasures in Heaven: The John Tanner Story". We watched the other night and I totally bawled my eyes out for some reason!! Like. Sobbing. And Sister P was so confused. And I have no idea why it means so much to me but I just love it. I totally want to be more like John Tanner. :)

"Consecration is the only surrender which is also a VICTORY."

I love you all! Thanks for being the best ever! You're soooo wonderful!

Love,
Sister Sarah Whiting

Surprise 18 month anniversary picnic for Sister P

#bestsisterfriends

#GingerPower

Sooooo beautiful!!!!

Our district Hike

Sister H and I 

The Sisters


Sister P and I found this cute spot. Looks like an album cover!

The Elders love to throw things in the river

Getting lots of Comp Selfies before Sister P goes home

Sister P and I enjoying a nice day

Southgate Train Station #Bigfeet

Walk to supper - before the snow started


more walk to supper

Walk to supper - weather starting to blow

"Cliffs of Insanely Beautifulness"
 
The walk to supper is so pretty
 
We are frozen but WE ARE HAPPY

Lost! Which way do we go?
Yeah. I know. Crazy, hey?
This morning

Monday, October 20, 2014

In Christ Alone My Hope is Found!

Hello family!!

Happy October 20th!!!

There's nothing significant about this day. Even in Canada. I just didn't really know how to start off the email.

Honestly not much has happened that's really exciting this week. Most of our investigators dropped us. And the ones who didn't got super sick. So yeah. #ILoveFindingActivities

Lots of train contacting and trying potentials.

Oh wait!!!

The Belmead ward had a baptism and we got to sing at it. It was for a Filipino woman. So we sang in Tagalog. Haha. It was pretty fantastic.

Remember a long time ago we had an investigator man named J but we found out his name actually starts with a G and we passed him over to the Elders?

Well.

He actually came to the baptism!!!! After it was over I walked over to him and just straight up asked him "So G, when do we get to have your baptism?" Haha. He was like "oh. well.. uh. when CAN I have it? Do I just call you up and tell you what day?"

:O

So yeah. He's thinking about November 1st. Also the Greenfield Elders got some MORE investigators on date for November 1st. So it's going to be a MASS baptism. #CallInBackUp

It just goes to show that the Lord truly does lift us up out of our weakness. There is a talk I LOVE called "As Many As I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten".
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/as-many-as-i-love-i-rebuke-and-chasten?lang=eng&query=as+many+as+i+love+i+rebuke+and+chasten

Read it. It's so good. It pretty much is better when you're a missionary. But it's for everyone. Cause it's sooo true and great. I love it.

Hard stuff happens, hey? Like. A lot of hard stuff. Life is hard. Wait. Actually. MISSION life is hard. But it's so great. Because it makes us stronger. Wiser. Better. I love it. I'm so grateful.

K. So what else happened?

Oh! We had this huge stake activity called "Arts & Appies" (appies is short for appetizers)

We had each ward make a treat of culture. It had to be fancy. Our ward made some yummy mexican tart thing. It was good. Then all the rooms of the church were filled with art made by members of the stake. And there were musicians playing and stuff. IT was sooooo cool! :D And a bunch of people came. You know the Luau on 'The District'? It was like that but BIGGER AND BETTER!

Our recent convert J came and brought her daughter M. She's sooooooo great! It was fun to spend the evening with them and eat and see art. It's great. :)

Well. Today is some Elders birthdays. So we're having a missionary party. I'd better go and finish decorating the cake and stuff. :D

Love you all!!!
Sister Whiting

Most of these show our silly companionship unity stuff. Gotta love this girl. 





#CompUnity




Having a laugh fest...


...and the camera just keep snapping pictures.

Our companionship


This figure isn't even just there for Halloween. It is permanent. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Hey!

Well. I got to experience what it's like to have 3 thanksgiving meals in the space of 36 hours. That was pretty exciting. Haha. Afterwards, Sister P and I chose to walk home from the church instead of bus so we could get in some exercise. The walk is over an hour, but I still don't think it was enough.
#MissionLife

So anyways. This week. Man. Where do I start?

Mosiah 7:33 says:
"But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."

This is pretty much what got me through the week. It is one of my favorite scriptures now. It spells it out so simply!

The only problem is: How do I serve with all diligence of mind? #EasierSaidThanDone

So that's what I've been studying this week. It's been soooo great. It's tough. But I've been really working on being that consecrated missionary that I need to be. It's been great. Sister P has been a HUGE help!! Hour long walks are good for more than just exercise. That's for sure.

So anyways.

Thanksgiving.

It's so early in Canada, hey? People have their houses decorated with Halloween stuff, but it's Thanksgiving. It's not even a big deal here either. People just kind of treat it as the time of year they can eat more than usual. But whatevs. It was still good for us.

It was actually a big BIG miracle because we didn't have anyone signed up to feed us the day before OR the day of Thanksgiving. So we were planning to have a #ForeverAlone Thanksgiving feast in our apartment. But then on Sunday at church, a lady in our ward came and invited us to come over right after church for Thanksgiving. Then another lady invited us to come the next morning for Thanksgiving breakfast. Then we got a call from another family inviting us to Monday night Thanksgiving. So we got totally stuffed. Haha. Our prayers were answered MASSIVELY. Like. Quite literally. We're feeling massive right now. haha. But the Lord also blessed us to be able to eat that much.

No one made pumpkin pie. That was sad.

But I think we have arranged to have U.S. Thanksgiving with some people from the States. They'll probably make some...hopefully.

In honor of the holiday, we made a companion Thankful poster. And I made a super long list to put by my desk. It's really great. I love being thankful.

Our investigators TNT are still goin strong. They're so perfect. It's like a dream. I have to tell myself they're real. They came to church and discovered they already know a bunch of people in the ward. So they felt right at home. They spent Sunday evening having supper with some members. Thanksgiving they ate with some other members. And tonight they're having us over for supper. It's pretty much the most exciting thing ever.

Pretty much all our other investigators dropped us.

But that's ok. Cause we love sing tracting. And train contacting. And also TNT are wonderful. So it's going to be totally ok. Miracles happen all the time.

Sam used to always sing this little song "Tomorrow is another day". It was super cute. I have no idea where he got it from. But lately I've been singing that one little line a bunch. Cause it's totally true. Tomorrow is another day. And we gotta look forward to it! :)

Wanna know something really cool about Sister P?

She's pretty much the most giving person ever.

On Tuesday when I was super sad, she secretly bought me a frog onesie to wear. It's that crazy soft stuff. :)

We were on the train and she was talking to a lady who said her ears were super cold. So Sister P took the touque off her own head and gave it to this lady.

We were at an investigator's house and she was having migraine problems. Sister P reached into her bag and gave her the special peppermint thing she always uses for her own migraines.

She's soo great! I just love it! I'm sooooo inspired to be more like her! I just love love love it!

I have the best companion ever. I love her.

Oh! I almost forgot! So on Thursday we had Zed-T-M. And we had a costume contest. It was so great. Sister P and I went in a group with the Rutherford Sisters and dressed up as the queens from a deck of cards. :)

At Zed-T-M we had a really powerful lesson. We were sitting in a U shape and one of our ZLs, Elder Bramwell went around offering us all Twinkies. There was a missionary in the middle of the U named Elder Babb. For every person in the U, Elder Bramwell would offer a Twinkie. Then he would ask Elder Babb to do 10 pushups so that person could have their Twinkie. Some people said they didnt' want one. But the Elder Bramwell would ask Elder Babb to do 10 pushups so that person could have a Twinkie they didn't want. By the end, Elder Babb would struggle tremendously to do all 10. The room was so quite except for people crying. It was so painful to watch this Elder suffer so we could have a Twinkie. In all, he did 270 pushups.

The Savior paid the price for us. Whether or not we accept it, He as Atoned for our sins and sorrows and pain. He asks us to follow Him. He asks us to take His yoke upon us, that our burdens may be light. We can completely be made WHOLE AGAIN. No matter what. There is no point of no return. We can be restored. We can be supported. We are that we might have joy. And we can have that. Come unto Christ. Accept the price He paid.

I invite all of you to do this. From my own personal experience. I KNOW that the Savior, Jesus Christ lives and loves all of you. The Atonement is real and so wonderful.

Even though it wasn't Thanksgiving for any of you, ponder your blessings this week and include the Atonement in your list.

It's so wonderful.

This gospel is so great.

I love being a missionary. It's hard.

But I love it.

Have a great week! Love you all!

Sister Whiting
These next three pix summarize our companionship

Dramatic Selfie #lipsticklikeEmma

Rockin' our Onesie Jammies

Zed-T-M Costume contest winners

Queen Cards

Queen of Clubs

Queen of Diamonds

#Mannafromheaven - given to us by our investigator

Not sure about the leaves

More leaves

My thankful list

We are Thankful

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Whole New World

So. This week brought about quite a few changes in my life.

Like.

DRASTIC. Changes.

First. I got a haircut. And not just any haircut.

My hair is short.

I can't even tell you how weird it was to see like 15 inches of hair fall to the floor. :/

But now I like it.

It just doesn't make sense to have such long hair as a missionary! You know?

So anyways.

Second.

WE HAVE 2 INVESTIGATORS ON DATE TO GET BAPTIZED!!!

I will call them TNT. Mostly cause their names both start with T. They're the cutest little family! I love them soooooo much! They referred themselves on Mormon.org and requested that missionaries come teach them. We visited them twice this week and they decided to be baptized on the second time. :) I'm sooooo exited!

We also went on exchanges this week and it was full of miracles. :) Too many to tell.

I'm actually having a really hard time emailing write now. I feel so overwhelmed with the super good and bad of this week. It's been so crazy and wonderful and challenging and fantastic. Sometimes the spirit is just so powerful that I can't really do much except sit and revel in it.

We went to the temple this morning.

I'm so thankful that I know God loves me. And He loves all of you. So much.

Sorry this email is so short. I'll tell you more about the miralces of Greenfield next week.

Love you all!

Sister Sarah Whiting
This picture comes from the August 2014 New Era - It totally reminds us of Sarah

Before picture

And after - What?!?!?!

This creepy braid has been on the table all week while we try to find where to donate it.

The new Missionary Haircut

Me and K

Boston Pizza Conference Date

I LOVE to see the temple!!