Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Zero to Hero!

Holy man! This is soooo crazy!!!!! WHAT IS LIFE?!?!?!?! 

*just a warning. I'm kinda all over the place today...haha*

Ok. Yeah. So I'm kinda freaking out about being a Sister Training Leader. In case any of you are not sure what that is, basically it's like a zone leader for sister missionaries. We have to go to all sorts of cool meetings. We periodically call the sisters that we cover and ask them how they're doing. We go on exchanges a million times a transfer. (haha jk just 3 times) And we give training at zone conferences and such of that nature. Yeah. 

Also I'm in the city. So that's weird. I just barely got used to referring to everything for a branch and now I'm back to being in a ward. haha. It's so crazy. I'm also in pretty much the craziest part of the city: Millwoods. The streets are in circles not blocks!! :O AND. I'm in a car share area which means we share the car with the Elders. (that's also weird...being around elders again...) We only get the car every other week....On the more positive side, I live in a house. And it's adorable!!! It's soooo cool!

I survived leaving Drayton. It was totally sad. But I got to say goodbye to a bunch of people I love and also I'm so worried about being an STL that I don't have the brain capacity to be worried and miss them at the same time!!! haha

Sister Cardona is soooo cute!!! Her family is from the Phillipines but she was born in Canada. haha. So she doesn't speak Tagalog. She's super fun and totally great. I love her. :)

Our district is made up of Lakewood missionaries, the mandarin elders and the tagalog elders. So they named us "District Mantalake"......so yeah. We're cool?

When I got to Lakewood, the area was, as we call it, DEAD. Our whiteboard was blank. Our area book was practically empty. We had no plans. Just a blank slate. So the theme of this transfer is:

                                                           ZERO TO HERO

Isn't that totally clever?!?! It's super exciting. We're going to turn this frown upside down and get things jumpstarted! And it's already happening!!!!! We went finding and already have 5 appointments for next week and a new investigator!!! #HollaDollaBill

Heavenly Father is really blessing us. I'm sooo excited to be here. I'm totally happy. It's seriously been a week of miracles! I feel like this week I've been the best missionary I've been my whole mission and I fully intend to continue to progress from here!

TENDER MERCY TIME!

So on Saturday I got to go to the temple because a convert from Greenfield went through for her endowments. :) It was such a great experience!! Not only was I able to be there to support her, but so was practically half the greenfield ward. The session was sooo full! And 2 of the temple workers in the session were from Drayton Valley!!! It was such a neat experience for me!! Plus!!!!! Right after the temple, we went to our ward party and guess who was there??? SISTER JONES!!!!! :D Oh man. My heart practically burst open right there. My joy in missionary work is so full. I love love LOVE this work!!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Sister Sarah Whiting

p.s. now that I'm in the city I'll get mail every week.....sooooooo.....:)

**Editor's Note: We got the hint. More mail is on its way. :-) She must have a lot on her plate now that she is a Sister Trainer Leader. She didn't send any pictures with this week's letter. #sadface See you next week.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

Well. As much as I want to tell you about how WONDERFULLY FABULOUS this week was, I'm just too sad. We just got transfer calls and I found out I have to leave Drayton Valley. AND. To make it even scarier. I was asked to be a sister training leader.

*insert huge sad face here*

I don't think I can adequately describe in email how much I will miss my BFF comp Sister Wilson and Drayton Valley. I love love LOVE her. After our missions we're going to Hawaii together. And I love love LOVE DV. I'm totally sad. This is ridiculous.
Also I kinda think it'll take a huge miracle to make me STL material. It's gonna be a huge gong show. That's for sure....I wish my new companion Sister Cardona lots of luck.

BUT! I signed up for this and I know that I am always called to serve where God wants me to go. So I'll go where He wants me to go. And this will be great. But right now it's not so great.

Anyways. Now that the cat's out of the bag I guess I can tell you all about how super great this week was.

Random good stuff:

-We met with our new investigator G twice. She's sooooo great! She talks a mile a minute and says the funniest things. She's kinda like an SNL skit. haha. She LOVES prayer. She says prayer is like magic. #InspiringFaith She been struggling with very serious addictions but as we've met with her, she's grown so much stronger. There's a pond by her apartment that we're going to walk around with her once a day so that she'll lose the temptation to use.

-We got an oil change and the lady was super duper nice. She totally gave us a ride while our car as getting fixed. :)

-I discovered that my favorite bible video is when Jesus cleanses the temple. :) Also that's my favorite part so far of Jesus the Christ.

-A member asked us to help rake his yard. (yes. Canadians rake in the spring not the fall.) And he invited pretty much all our investigators over to help as well. So we all spent 5 HOURS raking non stop. #DeadMuscles Then we got to teach everybody. It's was like a total Sermon on the Mount situation. #GroupLessons
The coolest part about it was that we had complete comp unity as we taught. (that's super hard in a tripan) And we used all 7 habits of a baptizing missionary!! :) It was sooo sooo sooo good!

-I can now do 6 real pushups in a row without falling over. Except now I can't anymore cause I have some sort of inflammation in my wrist... (perks of having a doctor for a branch president) oh well haha

-C quite smoking again. And this time has been a lot easier for him. It's sooo cool. He's been doing really well. Also he's really starting to see how much God helps him in his life. :) We met with him and he basically just testified to himself a whole bunch. I'm really excited for him.

-We went on exchanges. I went to Lakewood (my new area) with Sister Douglas. It's a car share area and they didn't get the car this week. So pretty much we had to ride bikes all day. Yeah. That's right. I rode a bike. And also we ran a lot. It was so exhausting. I almost died. haha. But it was really good. I love Sister D soooooo much!

-On Saturday we went to the edge of our area for a funeral. It was totally sad. There were tons of people there. And pretty much none of them knew about God's plan of happiness. So they were all super torn apart. I'm so grateful for that knowledge I have that we can live with our families forever.

-We had branch conference and the Hudson's from my last area were there. :) It pretty much made my whole life to see them again.

Well. Yeah. That's about it. It was a super super good week. I guess that's a miracle by itself that Heavenly Father gave me a good note to end on in DV. And I really am excited to see what it's like to be an STL. It's scary. But whatevs. I trust God. Plus being in the city means I can get mail every week....:)

Lovin you all lots and lots!!!
Sister Whiting

p.s. sorry for the depressing email. haha. (Editor's note: I didn't think it was a depressing letter. She is facing challenges and changes for sure, but she is handling them like a champ...er...true disciple! And her getting her mail more quickly will make her birthday much more fun next month. #gottaspoilourgirl)

We decided to go walking to save some klicks!

C is officially a non-smoker!! 

Hi! I'm Sister Whiting and I am a biking missionary!! haha!

Sister D and me on exchanges

Exchanges!! (In case you are wondering, the one in front with the glasses is my new companion.)

Love Sister D!!

Good-bye Drayton Valley chapel. I will miss you and your one hallway.

I LOVE YOU SISTER WILSON!!!!!!!!!

After we raked for hours we got to play with these adorable kittens

Sister Wilson put them all in my hood so they could snuggle.


Monday, April 13, 2015

All You Have To Do To Win, Is Rise Each Time You Fall

Oh my goodness gracious this week has been totally nuts!!! So much humbling. So much potential! So much missionary work!!!

We went to K & C's house and the member who came with us brought some conference Ensigns to give them to read!! It was super cool! Then on Wednesday we had our first official "Super Fun Mega Exciting Scripture Study Night". It was pretty much the greatest. We made a super cool arch to show how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. :) So that was cool..

We had ZTM in Edmonton which is pretty much the greatest. (except for how many klicks it takes up...) It was super fun to get mail!!! p.s. Emma you totally made me cry my eyes out. Thanks :) #FeelinTheLove But mostly it was stellar cause the stake presidency bought a super nice leather scriptures for C. :) It's nice to know they're united with us trying to help others come unto Christ. #WeAreAllEnlisted

It has been sooo nice out lately (except for the tornado status wind lol) and so the K's asked us to come and do a bit of service in their yard on Friday. In return they let us stay for a Weiner roast and told us about a bunch of their friends we could start teaching. It was sooooo fun! I cuddled with their baby mini chihuahua Apollo for like 45 minutes while we talked. :)

The only sketchy thing about it was that when C came she brought her pit bulls and one of them got into a SUPER INTENSE TOTALLY SKETCHY dog fight with the neighbor's dog. It was totally freaky!! Like teeth, blood, growling, etc. G, M and C all had to run after them and try to separate them whilst trying not to get totally chewed up. Meanwhile, the sister missionaries and everyone's kids were standing by the fire totally freaking out. We had to console them so they wouldn't freak out about their dogs potentially dying. :/

It was totally freaky. But no one died and it's all good now. Mostly I think it just increased my love for Rocko and Pebbles (the pit bulls). I'm glad they didn't die. :)

The other day we went to Country Style trailer park to do some tracting. Tracting is pretty ok. But this day it was soo nice. The sun was shining, everyone was pretty nice. It was great. But then....it became EVEN GREATER!!! A lady who we will call H totally let us in right then, we taught a lesson, and she invited us back for Wednesday! #TeachWhenYouFind

Speaking of good tracting stories, this week is FULL of them!

We went tracting the other day and we met a man who was super nice. The only problem is that after I was done saying my part, neither of my companions jumped in. And this guy didn't say anything either. And I got kinda nervous so I didn't say anything else. So literally we just stood there in silence looking at each other for like a good solid 35 seconds. hahaha oh so awkward!!!!

Then later on, we were contacting a potential investigator, and when the man answered the door, I totally forgot the ladies name who we were there to visit. So he just looked at me and I was like "HI!!.........." It was so awkward. Oh man. *severe blushing*

We actually had a couple times this week that were a bit of a gong show in terms of being unified as companions. With three people it's a lot harder, that's for sure. But sometimes it's funny like these tracting stories, and sometimes it's more like a tearful meltdown after an unsuccessful teaching experience. Either way I often wish I were a better companion.

But our branch mission leader gave us a poem this week that really helped me with this. It's called "The Race". It's too long for me to include in my email. But basically it's about a little boy who is running in a race and wants to win to make his dad proud.
He starts out ahead, but slips and falls. The only thing that gets him to stand up is the look on his dad's face in the crowd. He runs again and slips again. But he gets up. It happens 3 times. At that point he's far behind and feels like a total failure. But his dad calls to him "You're not meant for failure. Get up and win the race." So he gets up and runs to the end of the race, getting last place.
His dad says to him at the end:

"Our lives at times are like this race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win, is rise each time you fall."

I totally FAIL as a missionary sometimes. More so now that I'm training in a tripan than other times on my mission. This week especially I've felt like this runner. And for me at least, I feel my biggest stumbling block is my own pride. I know with so much pride, I will NOT win first place in the race.

But I am working on rising each time I fall. Each time my pride gets the better of me, I pray for humility (or Heavenly Father dishes it out to me before I can ask). I may not win first place but I want to make sure I still win by finishing the race!! And my wish for you all is that you'll do the same thing. This poem isn't just for missionaries. Everyone can rise each time they trip over their own pride, or doubts or sins. GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!!!

I know you can do it. :)

Love you all!!!
Sister Whiting

Our visual aid showing the Book of Mormon as the keystone as our religion

Little Apollo loves snuggling the sisters.

Me and Apollo

Love Conference Quotes at a member's business

Whiting #represent

Driving to service (fortunately, the K's still love me with my derpy hair)

Note from the editor: Here is the poem she mentioned in her letter. I have heard it before and it is a good one.
The Race by D.H. Groberg

“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” they shout at me and plead,
“There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.”
And as I started to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; now I remember well.
Excitement, sure, but also fear; it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope. Each thought to win the race
Or tie for first, if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they sped, as if they were on fire
To win, to be the hero there, was each boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought, “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field, across the shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arm flew out to brace,
And ‘mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.
So, down he fell, and with him, hope. He couldn’t win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished he’d disappear somehow.
But, as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that’s all.
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for the fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But, in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face.
That steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”
So, he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last;
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running more. Three strikes, I’m out…why try?”
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error-prone, a loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But, then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “Get up and take your place.
You weren’t meant for failure here; get up and win the race.”
With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said, “You haven’t lost at all,
For winning is no more than this–to rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to win once more. And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been.
Still, he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.
Three times he fallen, stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line, first place,
Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen crossed the finish line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad, he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me you won,” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” They still shout in my face,
But another voice within me says, “Get up and win the race!”


No On Can Assist In This Work Except He Shall Be HUMBLE

**Thanks for your patience waiting for last week's letter. -the editor**

So it turns out the Canada has 2 Easters. One on Sunday and one on Monday. haha oh Canada. They can do what they want I s'pose. This week was totally crazy though. I have so many stories to tell. I'll try to keep them to a minimum...but no promises...

I took my companions ALL over our area. We went to Evansburg and Entwistle and Alder Flats and Breton and Lindale and stuff. It was crazy. Lots of driving. Lame.
Why?
We have a branch that is at least 73% less active and I haven't ever met at least 60% of the less active people. So we set out to find them all and try to get them to come back to church. We totally saw HUGE miracles!!!!!!!

There's a huge extended family that lives in Alder Flats but only 2 of them are active. The only problem with finding the rest of them is that there's no such thing as addresses for Alder Flats. Like. Seriously. No addresses. They just say things like "oh we live in the house near lots of barns about 15 kilometers west north of town" and yes they say 'west north'. So we're left to wonder things like: How near to the barns? Which road west north of town? Exactly 15 kilometers? Which way is west? Should we go west first or north first?

It's quite a gong show. And range roads aren't in blocks. They twist and turn and don't go all the way through. So it takes lots of patience and LOTS of klicks. :P Fortunately if we knock on the wrong door it isn't a total waste of time cause a baptizing missionary finds when they teach and teaches when they find. #7Habits

But eventually we found some!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!

They live in this super creepy auto yard. (it was also overcast...so that contributed to the creepiness) We pulled in and got out of the car and seriously I felt like I was in one of those movies where a big 'ole alien jumps our from behind a broken down car and eats us. To be honest though, we were quite derpy about it. We got out and were like "hello? is anybody here?" haha what noobs. :P

We went into the shop and after a few minutes of awkwardly standing there, the guy showed up and totally scared the bajeebees out of me!! haha Turns out he is super nice and has a Catholic wife that we are going to start teaching this week. :) #NewInvestigators #PartMemberFamilies

Then we found some more of this big family on a huge farm on the other side of town. They were SOOOO nice!!!! They reminded me soooooo much of gram and papa. And we learned from them that pretty much all of this huge family we're trying to find was baptized but were raised inactive. So they're basically all like investigators. They don't know hardly anything about the gospel. So we're going to start teaching them too. #PreBaptizedInvestigators

One day this week we announced that Sister Morrison was going to be the senior companion. (Partly because she needs to learn to take charge. Partly because I literally could NOT talk. I lost my voice entirely for 2 whole days. haha) She did great. It was obviously stressful for her but the Lord definitely blessed us with miracles to help her along. She and Sister Wilson are super amazing teachers. So that was exciting. I'm pretty proud of them. She's comin along. Her visa came though...so we only have 2 more weeks with her before she goes to the MTC. :(

So yeah. It was lots of fun. We did lots more stuff. Taught more lessons. Found more people. But that's really the exciting stuff.......

Mostly this week I am learning about humility. I need more of it. That's for sure. But it's hard to set a goal to be humble because it's not measurable. As soon as I think I'm humble, I'm not. So I mostly just try to make myself be willing to pray for it. So far, God has been doing a FANTASTIC job of granting me opportunities to be humble.

In general conference, it seemed like every talk was like a "hurry up and get your act together before it's too late" talk. There was a LOT about repentance. There was a LOT about consecrated work. There was a LOT about humility and serving for the love of others instead of the praise of man. So I think it's time for me to hurry up and get my act together. Sheesh.

Love you all!!!
Sister Whiting
Drayton Valley Tri-Pan

District Meeting at Spruce Grove

Sister Wilson made us stop the car on this range road so she could try to pet the horses. Haha! I love her!!

Whilst in Alder Flats we came across the best hay I have ever seen.

Got to check out some baby cows in AF

NBD - just partying on this huge farm with mud boots and a skirt 

Me and Sister Wilson trying to sneak up on the deer. They've been EVERYWHERE lately. We almost hit some right outside our apartment the other day! 

Welcome to Entwistle

They have the weirdest sign ever. #1Grouch

Dyed Sister Wilson's hair!! She's so so so pretty!


DQ for the road to AF