Monday, November 24, 2014

Conquering Ebola: A Life Story

Editor's note: We don't know if Sarah is even aware of the recent outbreak of Ebola cases. We deliberately did not tell her because she always freaked out about Ebola since taking AP Bio. It was kind of a family joke. So it was a little weird to see the title of this letter... ;-)

Ok. So I didn't actually get Ebola. But I did get sick. And it was lame. Getting sick as a missionary isn't fun cause you can't watch movies and troll Facebook. Instead you have to try to get your head in the game and read conference talks and crochet pot holders. :/

So yeah. BEFORE I got sick, it was an AMAZING WEEK!!!!! We saw soooo many miracles!!!

So we had zone conference. And it was crazy good!! We studied the Atonement and practiced teaching any principle of the gospel in relation to the Atonement. It was so great. Read Alma 7:11-13 but every time it says "his people" replace it with your name. That's powerful. :)

We also got a special training on the new "He is the Gift" Initiative for Christmas this year. If you want to know more, visit christmas.mormon.org. Coming soon to that site is an AMAZING video which depicts what we value most about Christmastime. I'm so so so excited about it! We get special Christmas pass-along cards to give away this month and next. :D

Oh. Mom. So. Pretty much the treat money you sent me to cheer me up? I spent it on Christmas presents for you and Emma. :) haha. So thanks. I'm sooooooooo excited for you to see them!!!!!!!!!

On Wednesday we had interviews with President and Sister Manion. They were amazing. I LOVE interviews. I pretty much have the coolest mission president of all time! It was just great. :)

Anyways. So interviews and zone conference got us all pumped up to do missionary work. We went home and set all these stellar goals. And then we got to work. We worked and worked.

We had supper with a member and we did the Alma 7:11-13 lesson with them. Then we asked them to pray specifically for us to have success as we spent the next hour tracting their street. The spirit was soooo strong! Then we went tracting.

IT WAS MIRACLE TRACTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone was either super duper nice, or just funny. So even when we got rejected, we could laugh about it! We gave away 4 copies of the Book of Mormon. And it was just amazing. So fun.

Then as we were walking away, this adorable couple walked up to us with their dog and just started talking to us. Let me repeat: THEY WALKED UP TO US. It was crazy. They were soooo nice! And hilarious! Their names are S&P. We talked to them on the street for like 45 minutes until we had to go. But at the end we gave them a Book of Mormon and they got all honored. It was crazy. They were like "can we really have this? Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! We will read this!" Then they both gave us big hugs and walked off!!!

Sister Wamsley and I had to walk down the street and then majorly do a victory dance! They were like ANGELS!!!! We were sooo happy!!!!!!! Oh man!!!!

I'm so excited to see them again!

Oh the Elders gave us a little Christmas tree to put in our apartment. :) We set it up and then just sat by it staring at it's lights for like 25 minutes. :) We love Christmas. It's so great.

On Thursday we taught a lesson. And then we came home and that's when ebola kicked in. I felt pretty angry cause our plan to be super rock star missionaries was thwarted by the flu. I think actually it was Satan trying to kill all my dreams. But don't worry. I'm better now and so is Sister Wamsley. We're gonna see so many miracles this week!!!

Oh! Wanna hear another miracle!??!

So remember how last week I told the story about how the Opa lady remembered me from train contacting? Well. Before zone conference on Tuesday, we went to Tim Horton's for breakfast. And we walked up to order and the lady remembered me!!!! She was like 'Hey! Sister Whiting! I remember you! You like dark chocolate, right?"

:O

:O

:D :D :D

YES!!!!!!!!

So yeah. It made me so happy. The only problem is that it was morning. And it's like Starbucks. So it was super crowded with all the people who get morning coffee. So I couldn't stay to talk to her. But as I am a regular there now, :) I should be able to start talking to her more. :) 


Oh man. I just love being a missionary. It's so fantastic!

And Christmas is coming up!!! OH MAN!!!

I'm just so happy. Life is good.

I love you all!
Sister Whiting

P.S. Sarah asked that I also include this that she forgot to put in her letter.

Another miracle of this week is this video. It's the latest and greatest from mormonchannel.org! I love this video because it relates to all of us. Not many of us have as hard of lives as the lady in this video. But in our own ways, we go through these pains. I love that with every trial, you see him strike the hot metal. It looks painful. But in the end, his creation is AMAZING. Check it out:  Mormon Messages: The Refiner's fire  
copy and paste this address if the link doesn't take you there:
http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3897359657001 
My new coat!!!! It's like heaven!!!! I wore it around the apartment for like half an hour despite the extreme heat.
Thanks, Bro. Dahl!!!! You're the best!!!!!!!

My Ginger Sister. I love this girl! We are gonna be roommates at BYU in a year or so...

Chillin' with my district. My District leader and his greenie.

Coyote Activity?!?!? You mean we weren't imagining the howling?!?!!

When missionaries get sick they play killer bunnies....
...until Sister W falls asleep. Then I take selfies with her dead body on the floor from across the room...haha

We don't like being sick.

Only had enough money to wash so this is our makeshift drying in our tiny apartment. #missionlife
While I was sick the Elders built little snowmen outside our window to cheer me up...or make me jealous...not sure really...

Our cute little Christmas tree.

"O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
How tiny are your branches"



Monday, November 17, 2014

Ice Cream Makes Everything Better

Hey everybody! How's it goin' in the states?! I hear there's been snow? And temperatures below zero? -18C is cold, hey? haha. At least your snow is wet enough to turn into snowmen. Our snow here is too cold and dry. #NoOlafsHere #SadDay

So anyways. This week was crazy! We had Remembrance Day and it was TOTALLY WICKED!
We got to go to this super cool ceremony where they had all sorts or soldiers and mounties and veterans. It was so fantastic. There was a 2 minutes silence in remembrance and it was sooo peaceful! Honestly it wasn't even a church meeting but it was really spiritual. I'm so happy I went.

Plus.

Afterwords I asked a big group of mounties if I could have a picture with them and THEY SAID YES!!!! haha. It was so cool. They're totally cool. I love them. :) haha

Anyways.

We also went on exchanges. They were kind of a gong show. Not gonna lie. This was a pretty difficult week for me emotionally so we kind of just had a big cry session. My STL Sister Soumpholphakdy just had to sit there and try to talk me through stuff. haha. I feel so bad for her!

She's so amazing. It was great. I love exchanges because even when they're a big cry session gong show, they're so uplifting. And felt better. :) Plus we got a new potential investigator from BRAZIL!! :D


Right after exchanges we went to teach our less active S. They finally put sisters in her YSA so we do like a group lesson. Anyways. So it was me and Sister W, Sister Nicholes and her greenie, Sister Wilson. We were teaching. It was great. And then S was just like "I just can't pray until I get my room clean but it's so dirty and I don't have time to clean it!"


So Sister Wamsley was like "we'll clean it!" and then proceeded to march up her stairs to her room. So we all went up and started cleaning. It was so crazy. Like. Maggots and termites crazy. Sister Wilson got bit by something and had to leave cause her arm started swelling but she didn't want S to feel bad. It didn't take long though cause Sister Wamsley and I pretty much just threw everything away. #ExtremeHoarders Needless to say, after we got home, we immediately put all our clothes in the wash. :)

It was totally worth it! She can pray now!!! :D

Also Sister Wamsley and I got food poisoning. There's this super nice lady in our ward who signs up to feed the missionaries every week. But she's kinda losin it and literally EVERY time we eat at her house, we feel sick afterwards. Well this last week, we actually got sick. And she totally put alcohol in the dessert!! This is my second run in with alcohol on my mission!!!!! Sheesh! GET THEE HENCE SATAN!!!!

Haha. So we stayed home one day and tried not to die.

Then the next day we had ice cream for breakfast. Cause ice cream makes everything better.

Also the Elders found out we were sick, so they bought us Vanilla Toffee Caramel coffee creamer to put in our hot chocolate. :) Yum!

K. So. I had a REALLY cool experience the other day!

I've been praying a lot lately to know that what I'm doing is actually working.

We went to supper with the Rutherford sisters at Opa in the mall. And the lady taking orders saw me and was like "SISTER WHITING! I REMEMBER YOU!!!!" I was like...uh oh. But then she proceeded to tell me all about how she had met me on the train one day and I had talked to her about Jesus Christ and I gave her a pamphlet! :D

She totally remembered me!!!!!

Sometimes with train contacting I start to feel like I'm not really making a difference. But this totally changed my mind! My prayers were answered! I have a purpose. I know God sent me here and my efforts are not wasted!!!!! :D I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

It made me so happy. :)

Last story:

So last night during our weekly phone call with the district leader, I was like
"Elder. I'm so tired of just being sad and mopy. I hate being so emotionally compromised that my motivation lacks."

He said to me:

"Sister Whiting. Whenever we lack motivation, it is a lack of faith. And a lack of faith is fear. So the real question is: What are you afraid of?"

Oh man. I just totally snapped out of it. I just decided then and there. I'm done being sad. My adversity and my affliction shall be but a small moment and then if I endure it well, God shall exalt me on high.

So I kneeled down and prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for all the AMAZING blessings in my life. Because I have so much.

This morning I woke up and exercised and got ready for the day. I made breakfast. I studied and did laundry. And when I left the apartment to come email, I felt SO ready to work.

I LOVE being a missionary. Even though there is hard stuff that happens, it's not so hard that it's impossible. It's so great to have learning experiences. I am so glad to have the opportunity to reach a higher potential!

I KNOW this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is true. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the Earth through the priesthood power of God through Joseph Smith. I KNOW so much that NOTHING could persuade me to deny its truth. There is no way I could be doing what I'm doing right now in Canada without a true and living God who not only knows me but LOVES me.

I wish there was some way for me to more accurately describe how much I LOVE this gospel. I LOVE being a missionary. I wouldn't trade this experience as a missionary for the world!

I love you all. Have a fantastic week!
Sister Whiting

Even in the snow, you can share the word

the view from our window

Remembrance Day Ceremony in the Buttredome
Remembrance Day
Beautiful sisters!

Wearing poppies!
Royal Canadian Mounted Police 
Sneaking a picture...

...then we decided to just ask - he is Super nice

Waiting for the bus in -20 C

Snowy Selfie

Aren't we Cute?

Sister W wearing colored contacts

Area book meeting #Elderscan'tsmile

Me and Sister Soumpholphakdy

It's pathetic. It is so cold and dry here that you can't make a snowman so people get inflatable, lighted Olaf.

Sister Training Leaders like to give rides!!



After Monday mail, I was really sad so we came home and worked out really hard for 2 hours. #Ultimatetiredness


Sisters W

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Merry Christmas family!

haha jk. It's not Christmas yet. But it sure feels like it! Christmas lights are up! Snow is covering everything! Boots and scarves are on! It's that wonderful time of the year!!!!!!!!

Sister Parker is officially home and normalized. It's totally crazy!!! I'm gonna miss her but I'm so proud of her for making it the 18 months! She's so amazing! And now it means I can expect a wedding announcement anytime!!!! haha jk sister. jk.

So a bunch happened this week. I don't know where to start!

Well this week I got a new companion. I guess I'll start there! Greenfield would like to welcome:

Sister Wamsley!

She's from Taylorsville, Utah. She looks pretty much exactly like Elsa. She's been out for 2 transfers longer than me. And we both love to laugh a bunch. So it's pretty much the best!

TNT dropped us. So...that's pretty much the worst news ever. :(

But now that that's out of the way we can move on to better and brighter things.

It's been snowing like crazy the past 3 days. So the donut law is now in effect. Pretty much the donut law states that if you slip and anything other than your feet touch the ground, you have to buy donuts for the district. :) It's a fantastic rule except that it's going to be the death of me. Sister W and I have already had some close calls. We agreed that if one of us starts to fall, we'll pull the other down with us so we can split the cost of donuts. :)

On Saturday we went shovel tracting with the Elders and shoveled a million driveways. Well. K. It wasn't a million. But it was a lot. And we did a lot of sidewalks. It was so fun. Right now, while it's still new and exciting, snow is sooo fun! I'm excited!

Yesterday while Sister W and I were out we decided to walk the long road to the other side of our area to contact some referrals. And while we were walking through the ravine it got really dark. (at this point it was like 5:00 pm) So in the pitch black we had to walk really slow to know where to step. And then Sister W thought it would be a good idea to howl like a wolf. So she did. And I laughed and joked about Harry Potter and how Hermione called the werewolf her way.

That is when the real howling started. All around us. Like loud and scary howling.

Here we are. Two sister missionaries in the woods at night and there's some loud howling going on.

We looked at each other and totally freaked out. So we started running up the hill to safety. But the howling kept going.

So we tried calling people. But it was supper time so no one was answering!!!!

So we just kept running and praying. We finally made it to civilization. And into the "safety zone". From there we had a member come rescue us and take us to her house where she promptly made us homemade chicken noodle soup and buns. :) I love her so much for that. We owe her big time!

It made me realize how much God uses us to answer the prayers of others. Sister I was our prayer answered. And I'm so thankful for that. I just hope I can be better at answering the prayers of others'.

The best part of this little scare session is that in our panic we texted the Elders that we were in danger. So like 2 hours later they called us all worried and asked if we were ok. :) Great timing Elders!! haha. We're fine!!! We got the Lord on our side!!! :D

Sister H got moved to where Sister W came from. So I don't get to see her every week. But it's ok cause someday we'll be companions!!! :D

Well. For p-day today we're having a finger paint competition and then we're building snowmen. So I'd better get goin' so I can find finger paint.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO MUCH!

Love,
Sister Whiting

p.s. Thanks so much for all your prayers. I can definitely see them being answered here. I'm so grateful for that. You're all the best!

Sister P wanted to say goodbye to this AMAZING family before she left.

We had a BLAST hanging out with these cuties! Aren't they adorable?!

Had to say farewell to my favorite sisters for a while - til we get to be companions...

Sister P is home! Invite me to your wedding when I get home!!

District Meeting!

Ward mission leader likes hunting - Nick, this picture is for you!!

One day we are just chilly...


...And the next day we are frozen.
What!!?! Good Morning Edmonton!

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's that time again...

Transfer week!!!!!

Sad day. I'm losing Sister P. :(

But she's totally just excited cause she gets to go home and see her family and her beloved Colorado. So...whatevs. I'll just be sad by myself.

I can't tell you who my new companion is yet, mostly because I don't know how to spell her name....haha. But she's coming from YSA to Greenfield!!! :D I'm so excited!

This week has been mostly saying goodbye to people from Sister P's old areas. So there's not much going on.

TNT stopped talking to us. :( Actually they just asked us if we could skip this week. But then they also stopped responding to texts...so we don't know.

The Elders fixed my boot so I don't look like a hobo anymore!! :D

At stake conference I totally ran into this guy who's related to Dr. Bateman. We talked for a while about how cool their family is. haha. #ItsASmallWorldAfterAll

For Halloween we had a missionary party at the church. Most of us dressed up but there were some less excited missionaries who were too cool for that as well. Sister P went as an RM or in other words a "cute pregnant lady". I went as a thug. Sister H and Sister W dressed up as the Elders in their ward and their Elders dressed up as Sister H and Sister W. It was cute. Elder Hedley was the Skipper and Elder Taylor was Gilligan.

The party was pretty lame cause most games aren't totally legit for missionaries. Like we can't play sardines...But there was lots of candy and Phase 10. So it worked out. :)

The other day we had a lunch scheduled with a less-active Sister P taught earlier in her mission. He told us to meet him at Red Robins on Saturday at 1 o'clock. So we went there. And we waited. For like 45 minutes. And he never came. But while we were waiting, these 2 guys walked up and started talking to us. Turns out they're from Millcreek YSA. So they talked to us for a while and then when we said our appointment stood us up, they were like "want a free meal?"

So they bought our lunch at Red Robins.

It was super nice! And the waitress thought it was so cute that they did that!! She was soooo nice to us!!!!

While we were eating she came up to us and was like "another family in the restaurant asked if they could pay for your meal but I told them it was already paid for by 2 young men" So we looked around and lo and behold, a family from our ward was sitting there smiling and waving! :)

Oh man.

People are really nice!

I LOVE PEOPLE!!!!

So that was the highlight. It was pretty crazy.

I'm gonna miss Sister P. I learned a lot from her. This transfer has definitely taught me more than I would have ever anticipated. I'm so grateful for her. I'm so proud of her for all she's done. She's sooo amazing! And she'd better email me when she gets a boyfriend!!!!!!!

Anyways.

Love you all!!
Sister Whiting
Sister P thinks I look like this Peacock

Happy Halloween!!
Sister P for Halloween - It isn't easy being "prego"
Elders and Sisters dressed like each other
 
The only "Elder/Sister" selfie I will take. Me and "Elder Liddle"
#ThugLyfe #RM Status
 
Sister P crossed the street while I wasn't watching. Then she had to wait for me.
 
Ward Mission leader's daughter wanted to wear my nametag. Me and Sister Whiting :)