Saturday, May 30, 2015

He That Sent Me Is With Me

 Editor's Note: Today is Sister Whiting's birthday. She sent this letter on Tuesday, but I am finally getting around to updating her blog for her birthday. Wish I were making her favorite Eggs Benedict right now... In a few months,...  If you have a minute, please send her a birthday note to brighten her week.

If there's ever been a time when I really felt like God is watching over me, it's been THIS WEEK. So much has happened and it's all been so miraculous and crazy. Oh man.

God totally spoke to me this week through 1 Peter. SO. HUMBLING. Here's what happened:

So my investigator C from Drayton Valley was scheduled to get baptized on my birthday. But that wasn't going to work so he scheduled it for the 29th. I got permission to go. It was great. But then I found out that iPad MLC is that day and it goes from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. So I wouldn't be able to go!!! To say I was freaking out would be an understatement. At mission conference I sat by Sister Jones and we were FREAKING OUT.

*side note* Those of you who know me, understand that I am naturally quite dramatic. But this was significantly sadder. I was, like, actually in distress. Or at least I thought I was.....

Then on Sunday, during the sacrament, I opened up my scriptures to find something to share with members for a referral. I flipped open the book and it opened to 1 Peter 4:12-13.

"12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

Yeah. I think that says it all. From that point on I was a little more relaxed. God understands. Then I found out that they pushed the baptism for the weekend AFTER. And C emailed me to make sure that Sister Jones and I would be there. So it's all good. :)

I went on exchanges again. This time it was with Sister Bramwell serving in Red Deer. It was soo great. Just soo crazy. We exchanged the day before mission conference so we had to run around like crazy people for a while trying to make sure we had everything done that we need before our training.

So yeah. We had a conference with the whole mission. Elder Brent Nielson of the seventy and Brother Mills (who's in charge of the 14 international MTCs) came to train us for the upcoming iPads. It was sooo good!!!! 4 solid hours of deep, deep training about digital missionary work, online safeguards and other swell topics of that nature.

I'm getting my iPad on Friday at MLC.

What. Is. Life.

It's going to be totally great I'm sure. It just means I won't get to decorate a cute paper planner every 6 weeks anymore. :( haha but if that's the only!!!)

I read in Jesus the Christ the other day and this really stood out to me:

"And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

I feel like I finally understand this. I'm am sent here to do what Christ would do. I have been called of God to be His representative. So as I do His will, He is with me. :) And this week, as I've been striving even more than usual to do His will at all times, I have seen His hand in my life and in the work. I'm so grateful for this!

Sister Whiting

p.s. Since I get an iPad, a baptism and sunshine for my birthday, I think I can forgive the rest of you for not emailing me. ;) 
Beautiful Flowers all over town
Tan Lines!!!!
(I thought of sending you a picture of Sister Cardona's foot to tell you I am tan, but I know I will never be brown. Haha!!)

So Pretty!!

So Many Miracles!!

Is it really already time to email again?? Every week p-day comes faster and faster. This mission is going by too fast, hey? I wish I could slow it down.

Anyways. This week was SOOOOO GOOD!!! So many miracles. I don't even know where to begin!!!

I'm not even gonna be smooth about it. I just have to list off the cool things that have happened.

1. We taught our investigator C twice. I can't remember if I've told you about her. She was a former. She has been taught everything a few times. She comes to church every week. She really wants to be baptized. She's wonderful. She just can't seem to quit smoking.

So we met with her and she asked us if we had a stop smoking class or something. haha oh C. Of course we do. And I have a SUPER strong testimony of the stop smoking program. If it works in Drayton Valley where it's impossible to escape the drug scene, then it can work in Millhoods. haha

C is probably the greatest person living. She is my mom away from home. She knows everything but isn't a know-it-all. She always makes us super yummy food when we're over. She has such an inspiring testimony. She adopted 3 kids with severe mental deficiencies and loves them. And every time we get up to leave, she runs to her basement and comes back with 2 huge grocery bags filled with food for us. :) Oh I love her.

2. We found new investigators named M and. They have super cool names but I probably can't tell you for privacy stuff...They're Sikh. We went to teach them and they totally launched into an hour long discussion about what Sikhs believe. Technically the word means "to learn" so we're all sikh.....but yeah. haha They were super nice and we'll never see them again. :/ #missionlife

3. Speaking of Sikhs. This last Sunday was the annual Sikh parade in Millwoods. Literally, thousands of Sikh people from all over Alberta gather together to parade down the streets. So all the roads were blocked off and there were people in super pretty sparkly costumes all over the place. It's all in their culture to give give give. So everyone had a box of some sort of food or goodie and they just gave them away to whoever!!! It was sooooo cool! I wish I had taken pictures for you to see, but we only caught the tail end. The parade was mostly while we were in church.

4. Sister Cardona and I have been focusing on TAKING THINGS TO THE EDGE WHERE MIRACLES HAPPEN!!! (it's from an Elder Holland quote) We are good, hard-working, obedient missionaries. But we want to be better, diligent, unwearying, consecrated missionaries. So we are stepping it up a notch. We have been totally pushing it!! We set a goal to give away AT LEAST 3 copies of the Book of Mormon per day. So far, we have reached that goal!!!

quick story:

One of the days, we were trying to give away copies and we successfully gave away 2. But for some reason, we could NOT get anyone to take the last copy for the day. We gave it away once, but the person ran out of their house to give it back!!! :P So we were kinda freaking out. haha. It was 8:50. We had 10 minutes left of the day. And we still had to give away this book!!! So we hardcore prayed. Like. Desperately pleading with the Lord to help us find someone who can take this book. On our walk home, we knocked a few doors. And the last door before ours, we knocked and they accepted the book!!!!!!!!!!!!

To me, that was a huge blessing. Being a missionary is the best. I love seeing the hand of the Lord i

n everything. It's so wonderful to be doing His work 24/7. Lately I've felt so strongly that sense of urgency to do all I can to help others come to him. I know God loves us all and He truly wants ALL His children to return to Him! :)

Love you all!!
Sister Whiting

p.s. we're getting iPad training this week and getting iPads the following week......sooooo yeah. weird. I don't know if I'm excited or freaked out....

p.p.s. I just found out C from DV is getting baptized the day before my birthday. I'm pretty much dying and bawling me eyes out. Life is SO good. The Lord is SOO good. Oh man. Oh man.

With investigators! Love them!!

Thanks for your patience - Gingerjournal fans!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Pattern To Increase Your Power To Be Diligent

Alright. Lots happened this week! So let's cut to the chase! 

We went on exchanges this week with the Lacombe sisters. But his exchange was totally scary cause I HAD TO STAY IN THE AREA WITHOUT SISTER CARDONA!!!!!!!!!!

So pretty much I was freaking out cause I don't know the area very well yet. But it ended up being really great. The Lord was TOTALLY with us! We didn't get lost once and I KNOW it was because Heavenly Father was guiding me so we could get work done. :)

While on exchanges we had supper at a member's house. We showed up and they were like..."We only have grilled cheese for supper. So eat fast and we'll take you to Marble Slab for dessert." (For those of you who don't know, Marble Slab is like Canadian Cold Stone. it's just waay better...) So it was SUCH A TENDER MERCY!! I love ice cream. haha

Like I said before, the goal of this transfer is Zero To Hero. So we've been trying so hard to really get things going here. We've pretty much just been hardcore finding for the past 3 weeks. But once again, the Lord is with us. He totally blessed us for our diligence!!! Here's how:

-We finally got a lesson with a former investigator and she basically straight up told us she's ready to quite smoking and get baptized. She roped in her whole family too. So starting in 2 weeks, we'll have a family of smokers ready to quit. :) The sweetest thing happened though. After we finished teaching her, she went down to her basement and brought up 2 grocery bags filled with all kinds of food, snacks, candy, water bottles, etc. And she gave each of us one. Then she had us make 2 kinds of sandwiches for ourselves that we could eat later that day. :) #CharityNEVERFaileth

-There's a part member family in our ward and we started teaching the non-members of the family this week. The lesson was SOOOOOO good! #AllSevenHabits We were basically establishing expectations and she was like "Yeah. So we should meet every week. But after the lessons and my baptism, what happens next?" hahaha we were like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN BE WITH YOUR FAMILY FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha not quite like that. It was waaay more smooth. But yeah. She's really excited to be sealed. :)

-We had to rebuke some other missionaries for misconduct. They pretty much all hate us now. But Sister C and I have been blessed by the Lord to know that everything will be ok. We have peace in our hearts that we did all we could and it's ok that they hate us. We're here to serve Him.

-Remember all of those potentials I was so excited about 2 weeks ago? Well. They were actually home this week and we actually got their phone numbers this time... (rookie mistake on our part...) So now it will be WAAAY easier getting a hold of them for lessons. Especially since we don't have the car this week.

-I already have a tan line. :)

-We pretty much had to walk ALL OVER TOWN yesterday. And it was quite warm out. Almost at the same time, Sister C and I basically hit the wall of exhaustion. We looked at each other and I'm pretty sure we were both thinking "I need water or I will die". So we may or may not have gone water finding.....basically tracting to ask people if we can have water....#AllTimeLow

No one answered the door. Literally not a single person. For 2 hours. But it was still a testimony builder for me because I knew God was looking out for us. Later in the day, we had a SUPER SUCCESSFUL investigator lesson, and I fully believe that it was a blessing to us for diligently working earlier in the day despite such extreme thirst.

There's a talk by President Eyring where he talks a lot about diligence. It's technically for Priesthood holders. But I changed it to be for me:

"An individual who holds a share in [missionary work], and continues faithful to [her] calling, who delights [herself] continually in doing the things God requires at [her] hands, and continues through life in the performance of every duty will secure to [herself] not only the privilege of receiving, but the knowledge [of] how to receive the things of God, that [she] may know the mind of God continually.... Heavenly Father has great trust and confidence in you and has an important mission for you to fulfill. He will help you as you turn to Him.....Think of Him and how He honors you when you perform your [missionary] service. As you remember Him, you will be determined to perform that sacred service, as nearly as you can, as well and faithfully as He did. 

That can become a pattern in your life that will increase your power to be diligent."

I looooovvvve this! Diligence is sooo important!!!!! And obedience!!!!!!! This week I really regained a testimony of these principles. You will only see true joy and success in your life when you live obediently and work diligently in the gospel of Jesus Christ. For sure.

Sister Whiting

Thrive On Awkward Situations Today (TOAST)

**  Note from the editor: Sorry all. What a busy, fun, busy, crazy, busy week I had last week. I selfishly enjoyed my missionary mail and didn't get it posted to the blog. She shared some pictures of her time saying goodbye to Drayton Valley.**

What a great week. Oh man. So much awkward happened.

I officially made it a whole week in Millhoods...I mean Millwoods. Lakewood is fun. Our ward is amazing!!! They probably have the best ward mission plan and ward council in the whole world. Just sayin. haha. They did a Book of Mormon challenge which just ended, so we should be getting a few referrals comin' up here.

I went on my first exchanges as an STL. I went to Hillview to be with a sister who's still in training. It was fun!! The only weird thing was going to do interviews. I sat down and like totally weirded out cause I was the interviewer instead of the interviewee!! haha. So that happened. Love Sister Torsak!

K. So now I have to tell you all the awkward stuff that happened this week!!

We had the funniest lesson of my whole life. Last week we got a new investigator named J. She was super nice and asked perfect questions. So we were pretty pumped to start teaching her. We brought a member and before we could even get started the lesson TOTALLY EXPLODED. They started talking about their marriage problems and issues they have with other people....haha #awkward. They totally ignored us. We just kinda looked at each other like what? Finally. After 2 HOURS!!! We were like "we have to go..." haha. So she was like "ok! well we need to take a picture before you go so I can always remember you and your visit." hahaha what? so we did that. Then she said what seemed like a final goodbye to I think that's the end of her...haha

We didn't have the car this week so we had a lot of walking to do. And one day while we were out finding people for a few hours, we both really had to use the washroom. Fortunately there was a less-active nearby. Sister Cardona is so funny. Literally she ran up to her house, opened the door, yelled in a few times and then just ended up letting herself in to use the washroom. haha So after a few minutes the lady called down and was like "hello? is someone there?" I was like "hey! it's the sisters!" hahaha if felt so awkward. Luckily she likes us enough that she just laughed at us in all our ridiculousness. #missionlife

Last awkward story. So. The other day Sister Cardona and I had to go to an appointment on the other side of the freeway from our house. We caught a bus there, but then the appointment fell through. And since it was the weekend, the bus only ran every half hour. But we had somewhere else to go. So we started walking across the huge bridge over the freeway. It was soooo windy. So it was a total workout walking up hill. But our bus was coming soon, so we started to kinda jog/run to the bus stop. But as we were walking down the hill, Sister C saw the bus we needed to catch coming. So she was like "AAA. The bus is here!" And so I freaked out! I really think I had a heart attack. haha. So we started totally booking it! In the wind. In our skirts. As the bus got closer, we realized we wouldn't catch it unless the bus knew we were there.

So we ran into the street so the bus would stop. haha. Then we ran to the bus stop and as we got on, the bus driver was laughing his head off at us. He was like "I'll always remember the black hair and blonde hair girls running in front of my bus." (yes. he called me blonde....lame)

Yeah. The good news is that we made it on time to our next appointment. And we felt super cool for running in front of a bus for the sake of missionary work. :) worth it? I think so.

Fortunately Sister Cardona is the best in the world! I love love LOVE her. So she and I can be awesome and weird together. :)

We also had MLC. And our P-Day is changing to be so you know mom. And we're getting ipad training this month!!! And on the 30th we're having a big leadership meeting with Elder Christensen from the presidency of the seventy!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! haha jk. it's gonna be sweet though.

So yeah. Missionary work is great. I love it. I'm lovin it here. And I love serving the Lord.

Sister Whiting
Sister Wilson and I in packing mode and missing each other already.

Saying goodbye to C. Hope I hear about a baptism soon.

Saying goodbye to people...

...including these dear ladies
splitting up our tri-panionship