Monday, March 30, 2015

A Consecrated Missionary Sacrifices Every Negative Bone In Her Body!

Well. I suppose I'll just start off with being completely honest. This was the hardest week of my entire mission thus far. That is NOT an exaggeration.

BUT a consecrated missionary sacrifices every negative bone in her body. So now that it's been said, I'll move on to the good stuff. :)

On Monday, all our progressing investigators dropped us in the space of 3 hours. C, A, and L. So after quite a bit of crying, we went to the Branch President's house and talked to him about it. He is probably the most spiritually in-tune man I've ever met. He knew exactly what we were thinking. So he was like "well since you can't exactly be effective missionaries in this state, why don't you stay for FHE?" It was sooo fun. We played the "Friend Ship Game" from the Friend magazine.

On Tuesday we took our branch mission leader to a lesson with G. But he wasn't home. So our BML gave us a referral! #swerve When we went to contact the referral, we got super lost for like 20 minutes but then we finally found it. Crazy enough, the family pulled in just as we were showing up. I guess it was a good thing we got lost. #EverythingHappensForAReason

We took Sister Morrison tracting for her first time ever. She did good! :) I'm so proud of her!!

A less active lady in our branch asked us to come help her move some doors into her truck. So we went to her house which was basically in the middle of a HUGE mud swamp!! :) It was soooo fun! We played in the mud for a bit while she tried to discipline her crazy dog. haha

The Kinniburghs got another dog. It's a baby miniature chihuahua named Apollo. :) SOOO CUTE!!!!! Anyways. I think they knew we were having a rough week, so they asked us to come to their house to "answer some questions they had" so we could meet their dog. Then they totally set us up with one of their friends we can teach!! They definitely know how to cheer up a sad missionary. :)

Remember DDD, our less active? Well. Her house got condemned. So we needed to help her pack up her stuff and move her out. But her house was COVERED in black mold. So we had to wear these super high tech face masks and medical gloves. haha. It was so fun. I love D so so so so so SOOOOO much!!! She told me we should be pen pals so she can write down her stories and experiences and send me a copy of it. :) I'm gonna miss her so much. :(

I got sick...so that's lame. But a consecrated missionary sacrifices every negative bone in her body!!! And Sis. Morrison and Sis. Wilson took super great care of me. I love them so much. :) Apparently I was quite ridiculous while I was in my sleepy, sickness coma. haha

In the midst of our week, we had some tender mercies that really got us through.

On Saturday, out of nowhere, we got a text from President Manion! He was like "Hey I heard you're having a hard time. Are things starting to look up?"

Then on Saturday night, we realized we literally had NO FOOD. None. And it was fast Sunday...and no one was signed up to feed us.....So we were panicked. Then all of a sudden we got a text from Carrie saying she had some food from her catering business she wanted to give us!!!

Though we didn't get hardly any investigator lessons, we had a TON of less active people show up to church that don't usually come. :)

So this week taught me that the tender mercies of the Lord are really over ALL His children. And most importantly:

I KNOW that those tender mercies, truly do make us MIGHTY even unto the POWER of DELIVERANCE.

I'm so thankful for the Saviour and for all He did so that I could get through this week, and my whole life. I'm grateful that this Easter season, we can all focus on that. I can have comfort and strength as a missionary #BecauseHeLives.

Love you all!!
Sister Whiting
Sunglasses!! You know what that means...THERE IS SUNSHINE!! #springishere

The three Amigas

Playing in the mud

Me and L
Our packing team

Doorbell ditching treats to the Branch President to thank him for FHE


Me and Apollo

When nothing else seems good #LovetheSunset

My froggy voice while I am sick. "Hi, family!"
Helping DDD move...



stylish, hey?


The moving crew


Sister Morrison looks tired, even through the mask

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Perfect Love Casteth Out All Fear

What can I even say about this week?

We met with C twice. He is doing so well. He texted us Monday night telling us that he wanted us to know for certain that he's so thankful for the gospel. He finally noticed the change that has happened in his life. And he said after he's baptized he'll serve a mission. :D

The second time we met was at supper at a members' house. They invited him as well. So that was fun. :) I'm just so indescribably excited for him. He's so different than he was when we met him 2 months ago.

On Tuesday we got to go to the city for a temple session. I realized last week that I haven't been to the temple in 4.5 transfers!! THAT's WAAAAY TOO LONG!!! So President said we could come up early for ZTM and go do a session. Then we got to have a sleepover in the mission home. Always fun! We got there super late and so President was like "Well. Go have a bowl of Reese Puffs and then get to bed!" haha President, you know why we love the mission home.

ZTM was great. I got to hang out with Sister Warr the whole time. :) And it was probably one of the most revelatory meetings I've ever had as a missionary.

The YW in our branch had us come to mutual so they could ask us questions!! That was sooo fun. They would ask us things like "if our friend asks us...what should we say?" or "how should we bring up the gospel in conversation?" It was super great.

We cleaned G's fireplace. That was quite extensive...haha. But in return she made us delicious buns and corn chowder. :)

We went out to lunch with a less active girl in our branch. She and her little baby are ADORABLE!!! We had a lot of fun...so we think we're going to do that again soon. :)

During supper at one of my favorite member's house we were talking about things that have happened this week and it kinda morphed into a weird embarrassing story/ confession session. haha #awkotaco

We went to visit our Tongan friend and he told us he'd posted like 10 mormon videos on Facebook. So he proceeded to show us all the ones he liked. :) It was so fantastic. Unfortunately his wife isn't as into religion. But she's super nice.

We got a branch mission leader finally and he's super cool!!! We went to his house after church for a big potluck. THEY TOTALLY LIVE IN A MANSION!!!!! She gave us a tour of the house and said after our missions we could totally come out and stay there with them!!!! :D We were like "oh well if you insist!!" haha It was sooo fun.

Now I suppose you'd like the bad news, hey?

Over the weekend C relapsed. :( So we haven't heard from him in like 4 days.

:(

It was totally sad. I still haven't fully gotten over how sad it was. Basically if you want to know how I've been feeling for the past 4 days, read Alma 31. And then cry. Cause that's what I've been doing.

But you know what? Perfect love casteth out all fear! And I LOVE my investigators. So C is going to be ok. I don't fear. I faith....(pretend like that makes sense...)

And if you're wondering what got me through it all, it's the music Sister Wilson gave me. :)

So yeah...sorry. This week's email was boring....But don't worry. Good stuff will happen this week!!!! :D

Love,
Sister Whiting
Hey, girl! I love you, Emma!! (Emma was home for email this week - We love spring break!)
Sister Morrison and me at the temple

Sister Wilson and me at the temple

Tri-Pan!!

Love to go to the temple!

Sister Wilson vacuuming the fireplace

Tri-pan service


Nightly planning

May I made during personal study of 4 Nephi

The 3 Bears of Baptism: 1. Bear His name, 2. Bear Witness, 3. Bear one another's burdens

Illustration of the Restoration I copied from one I found in our area book.

NBD. Just deer in the neighbor's yard...


Monday, March 16, 2015

Whoa -oh! I'm halfway there!! Whoa-oh I'm livin on a Prayer!!


 That's so weird. I'm totally halfway. ISN'T THAT TERRIBLE?!?! I should get more time!! I think you were right dad. Missions should be 5 years...

Anyways. This week has been CRAZY! I got 2 new companions!!

1. Sister Wilson from Toronto. She is quite brilliant. She's been out about 6 months. I love her. She's the greatest. Someday I'll be as good a missionary as her. And her clothes are like Pinterest status every single day.

2. Sister Morrison from Edmonton. Wait. Did I say that right? YES! She's from Edmonton. She's waiting for a visa to go to the Kirtland visitor's center in Ohio. So for the time being, I get the privilege of training her! :)

So yeah. I thought I was going to die losing Sister Jones. But it all worked out. I love my new companions!

On their first day here, we got to teach 2 pastors from different churches. Haha that was super cool. One was Pentecostal and the other was from the Alliance church. It was ok. Not too much bashing. haha They were really nice. :) Mostly they were confused about grace verses works. So naturally we referred them to "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. (Love that talk!)

On Saturday we went to see a man who lives across from a member of the branch. And he got mad at us and sent us away. So we decided that we might as well stop in to introduce the new sisters to this member. Well it was definitely NOT a coincidence! We got there and our investigator L was there!!! :) So we got to teach him! :) #Everythinghappensforareason

Sunday was good. C came to church and he even wore the tie we got him for quitting smoking. :) It was a good Sunday to be there too because Gord got the priesthood!!! So we got to explain that to him. :)

When we were going around for Sister Jones to say goodbye to people, we went to see the Branch President and his family. While we were there, he showed us a SUPER cool BYU speech that I'm totally obsessed with now. It's called "True Doctrine, Understood, Changes Attitude and Behavior". Go to speeches.byu.edu and listen to the last 10 minutes of it. It's crazy good. :)

Also. I made a little chart. While I was with Sister Jones, she pointed this out to me. These verses totally map out how to be the happiest people that ever were of all God's children. Literally. It says that. So here's a picture of my map.

Sorry that's really all I've got. This week was crazy cause of transfers and whatnot. But the work is progressing!!!!

Also I finally got to the point where I really truly love role plays. I get so excited every morning at 9:30 when the role play alarm goes off. :) (sorry sister jones. i waited to love them when you weren't here...)

And I GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE ON TUESDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! I realized the other day that I haven't gone in 4 transfers. So since we'll be in the city Wednesday, President said we could go to the temple and sleepover in the mission home. :) Can't wait!!!!
Love you all!!!!
Sister Whiting
My new Tripan

Sister Morrison's first day

Sister Jones' last day

Saying goodbye to "C"

Car selfie!

Helping Melissa make Photo shoot props

Sister Johnson went home! What??!?!?? :(

How to be the Happiest people ever!!



Friday, March 13, 2015

Sometimes Life Throws you a Curveball

Guess what.

Sister Jones is getting transferred out of Drayton.

Is that not the most terrible news ever??!?!?! :( I'm so sad. DV won't be the same without her here. Like. I maybe will just cry all day cause I'm going to miss her so much. :(

In other news. I'm going to be training......and not just any sister. I'm training a sister who hasn't gone to the MTC. soooo......from scratch.....possibly in a tri-pan. But maybe by myself....we'll see. But I think saying I'm nervous and scared out of my mind is the biggest understatement the world has to offer..........

*does a jazz square off a cliff*

Jk. I would never do that. But I'm so nervous. And sad cause I'm gonna Sister Jones so so much.

This week was pretty good though. We watched the Prophet of the Restoration movie with C. He liked it. But the internet died just before the last 10 minutes. So it was literally the worst cliff hanger ever. He had to go home and watch the end by himself. haha. Then he messaged us on Fb and was like "so he jumped out the window?" haha oh man. You gotta love when people don't take in the big picture. :)

He also had an open mic night thing. So we went to support him. And while we were there, we met this really nice guy who knew a bunch about the church. So he asked C for our number and asked us if he could meet with us to "discuss mormonism". So naturally we FB stalked him.

Turns out he's the pastor for the pentecostal church...So we're a bit nervous. haha #BashSessions #Alma5 #WhatIfWeDie? haha jk. But seriously. It happened to Gideon.....:P

We went to Spruce Grove for district meeting. It was cool. Except I got in trouble for turning the temperature up in the church....haha....And also we like DV better than SG. :)

Lynn dropped us.

So did Melissa and her family.

All in the same day.

But NO UNHALLOWED HAND CAN STOP THE WORK FROM PROGRESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah. They just made more room on our whiteboard for people to teach.......

We had our musical fireside. I sang "Whole Again". And Sister Jones sang "I Shall Not Want".
Then this couple in our ward was going to sing "Brightly Beams" But the wife couldn't. So I ended up singing with him. Actually. Let's be real. The entire night was like the Sister Missionary/Bro. Palsky show. (He's like the big brother I always wanted. Also, he's the high school music teacher so we had him get this all together with us.) So we felt a little ridiculous.

Lots of people showed up. Including Pastor guy. :) And then on Sunday during Branch Council, Pres. Giddey was like "Sister Whiting. I would like you to sing your song in sacrament meeting today." haha what??!

Too bad Bro. P took my music so I couldn't. Oh well. I'm scheduled to sing it next high council Sunday. haha..

Daylight savings is not cool for missionaries.

I'm trying to think of a spiritual thought to share. But mostly I'm just gonna go and freak out and clean out our car.....

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!
Sister Sarah Whiting

**Note from the editor: No pictures this week, unfortunately. We can't wait for next week's letter to find out about the new companion!! See you next time. Same bat time. Same bat channel.**

Monday, March 2, 2015

Quality is Never an Accident, but the Result of High Intentions and Sincere Effort

To describe this week I will remind you of a scene from the movie "The Incredibles". When Bob lifts up his car in frustration and notices a little kid watching, the kid responds:

THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!!!!

This week was totally wicked! Seriously. I don't even think I can even tell you everything that's happened!!!!! But I'll try. Sister Jones and I started a 40 day fast from sweets last Sunday to help our investigators with addictions. And just in the last week, there's been some CRAZY miracles happening!!!

We went to visit K&C. They were super nice as usual but this time they totally told us about some HARD stuff that's happening in their lives. So we got about 10 ladies in the branch signed up to make freezer meals for them. Here's what's so miraculous: While we were there, C told us that he doesn't want us to think they'll never accept the gospel. He believes that we were put in their lives for a reason and so he'll give it a chance. But it will take him time. :) So we're super stoked!!!!

We taught our Fb investigator C 3 times!!! That's right. 3 TIMES!!!

We went to teach him the Plan of Salvation on Tuesday and while we were getting out our scriptures and stuff he pulled out his pack of cigarettes. Right then and there he told us he wanted to quit. And then he crushed his whole pack and threw it away. HE HASN'T SMOKED SINCE!!!!
So then on Friday we taught him the Plan of Salvation with some branch members at the church and whilst talking about the purpose of life, we brought up baptism. He totally agreed to it and now he's on date!!!! :O :O :O

Then the next day HE ASKED US if we could read the Book of Mormon with him everyday because he didn't really understand it. So now we meet him at a member's house every day and we explain the scriptures to him!!! :D

Then on Sunday, HE FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!! And all the members totally loved him and now he has a big family!! :)

Oh man. And guess who else came to church? The lady who works at the gas station we go to!!! She totally loved it and asked us if she could come every week and become a missionary like us. Haha. So we told her about baptism and she was like "Oh man! I was never baptized! I need that!!" So yeah.

Oh. And our other investigator L that we teach since the Elders left is on date for baptism as well.

It's crazy. Sister Jones sat in the car just before a lesson the other day and we were just like: What did we do to deserve being a part of this???? There are so many miracles!!!!! #40DayFast #PersonalTestimony #ItTotallyWorks #HugeMiracles

We also got a new investigator named G. He's super nice. His lesson was soooo good! A lady in our branch who lives near him totally dropped everything and got time off work last minute to come to the lesson with us!!! #MemberMissionaryStudd #ILoveSisterC

In the lesson, she was saying things like "when you come to church, you'll notice..." and "when I come to your baptism I'll bring..." Pretty much she taught the lesson and we just watched and then extended a commitment at the end. It was TOTALLY "The District" status!

Oh man. I just can't get over how cool this week was. New investigators. A million lessons. Progression. Baptismal dates. Church attendance. Sunshine. Everything.

The Kinniburghs took us to lunch the other day and I noticed a quote on the back of the menu. It said:

QUALITY
is never an accident,
but the result of 
HIGH INTENTIONS and SINCERE EFFORT

I totally believe that this week was a quality week because Heavenly Father knows that Sister Jones and I highly intend to put in sincere effort to this work. The last few weeks were super hard and we felt very unsuccessful. But the tender mercies of the Lord are with us and because of our faith, he has made us mighty even unto the power of deliverance!! (1 Nephi 1:20)

I love Drayton Valley. And also I love missionary work. And I love people. All of them. I love this sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I almost forgot! I went on exchanges this week. Sister Douglas came to DV with me. It was super great. She's served here before so it wasn't hard to just get things going. :) She's a super amazing missionary!!

Ok. Now I guess I'll tell you a really embarrassing story. :/

So just now, while Sister J and I were emailing, we decided we wanted to go outside to take some pictures in the sun. (technically it's sunny right now though it's only about -20)
We went outside and instantly froze but we hurried and took some pictures. But as soon as we finished, we realized that we didn't bring our keys out. We were locked out of the church and our car. :/ So we called and got someone to bring us keys, but in the meantime we huddled outside for warmth. And almost died. Haha

Well. The gospel's true. And also super happy! #Mosiah2:41
If you've got it, SHARE IT! If you don't got it, ASK FOR IT!! :D

Love you!
Sister Whiting
S-S-Sooo COLD - Don't lock yourself outside when it is 20 below. BBRRRRRRRR

#SisterMissionaries!

Exchanges!!

Sister Douglas
Little Charlotte just sits herself in my lap and won't let anyone take her off ;)

This was definitely a quality week!



O, Lord, I Am Yet Strong. Give Me One More Mountain!

Sorry to keep you waiting for this post from February 23, 2015. It is a GREAT one. And for your patience, I will get today's letter up before I do anything else. :)

Well. This week has taught me a lot of things. It's hard to know even where to start. I guess I'll start with the good stuff, hey?

Sister Jones and I were able to give 2 church tours. One to our FB investigator C. And the other to our wonderful investigator L. They both loved it! I personally LOVE teaching lessons in the church because the spirit is always so strong.

We also had district meeting finally. But we decided to just Skype into the meeting. Turns out that's a TERRIBLE idea. #GongShow

The Kinniburghs got a hedgehog named Precious on Friday while we were weekly planning. They called us and asked us to come out and see it. Before we left though we needed to go get gas. As we went in to pay, the cashier started talking to us about how she had tried to find our church last Sunday but when she went in, she couldn't see us there so she left. And then she asked us to call her every Saturday and remind her!!!!

The crazy thing was that her shift was over. So if we hadn't gone to see Precious, we wouldn't have gone to get gas then. And we would never have spoken to her!!! #EverythingHappensForAReason

Now. For the big news.

WE GOT A NEW BRANCH PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!!

Crazy, hey?!?! Everyone totally freaked out! But here's the craziest part: 

They made our super cool South African branch mission leader be the new Branch President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Jones and I totally cried. We couldn't decide if we were super happy cause he's going to be such a brilliant leader, or if we were super sad cause now we don't have a super cool mission leader. Either way. It was so crazy. Oh man. 

The other crazy news:
The stake presidency had a meeting with all the adults and pretty much did the ultimate smack-down. They were like "You're not spiritually mature enough to be a ward. You have the numbers but you don't have the maturity." Turns out that pretty much NO ONE here does their visiting or home teaching. :( And we have enough people on the list to be a ward but 73% of them are in-active. So they basically told us it's a no go for us until everyone can start being TRUE CHRISTIANS!!

So pretty much they said everything the missionaries have wanted them to say for a long time. :)

Ok. So instead of telling you about all the crazy stuff that happened I think I'll just summarize and tell you that it's been emotionally exhausting. Here's why:

As it turns out, we love these people so much more than we even knew we did. On Saturday evening, Sister Jones and I could hardly keep ourselves from crying because of it. So many people think we're teaching them because we want them to get baptized. Or they think we have to reach a quota or something. They think we're only their friends if they take the lessons.

BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE!

We do everything we do because we LOVE these people! So much. I can't even describe how much I love them all.

I love them even when they relapse and block us from Facebook in their drunken stupors. I love them even when they say they'll come to church but they don't. I love them even when they forget to keep commitments. I love the ones who have a lot of faith and the ones with no faith at all. I love member, less-actives, investigators, and strangers. I love them.

So much that I can hardly keep myself from crying when I hear they are struggling. My heart is FULL of joy when they tell me their successes.

In Preach My Gospel, it describes God this way:

"God is our Heavenly Father. He loves us. He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right. He wants to communicate with us, and we can communicate with Him through sincere prayer."

This week Sister Jones and I experienced that. We felt God's love for the people here. So much that we wept when they suffered and we rejoiced when they did what was right.

On the 2015 youth theme soundtrack there's a song that goes like this:

"We want to make a difference
and help them find their way.
Maybe if they knew we loved them,
they'd want to make a change.
We can start a fire
burning in their hearts.
We can be a light
shining through the dark.
We can be the friend that's there every time they call.
We don't need to yell.
We don't gotta shout.
We can be the hand that lifts them off the ground.
We can show them without saying anything at all."

I truly love these people. Yes. It gets hard here. After all we do work with a lot of people struggling with severe addictions. Yeah we get a lot of flaky investigators. Yes. Sometimes it's pretty discouraging. But when trouble comes, I square my shoulders and say:

"O, Lord, I am yet strong. Give me one more mountain." (Elder Holland, For Times of Trouble)

Love,
Sister Whiting

"Who knew a hedgehog could be a missionary tool?" :D
Exchanges from last transfer

Remember a super long time ago when I was a greenie and I went on my first exchanges with Sister Boyd? Well Here she is!! She came back for a visit!!

Precious the Hedgehog

Trying not to get skewered!