Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pray Always and ...Faint

Happy almost Canada Day everyone!!!!!!!!! It's been super hot lately (and by hot, I mean about 85 F. Since I've acclimatized, I'm pretty much dying of heat stroke). So I hope you're all enjoying the swimming pools and air conditioning that I don't have here in Millwoods. haha

I took a greenie on her first exchange this week!! Her name is Sister Van Vleet from Idaho. We got together and she was like "have we met before?" After a while we might have figured out that we did pre-ballet together at Ballet Idaho. haha. Small world.

While we were on exchanges, we decided to go to our former investigator's house to wish her a happy birthday. We showed up and there was also a member of our ward there. So we stood in the front of her house and talked for a while.

As we were talking, I started to feel a bit light-headed, so I shifted my weight, and bent my knees a little, hoping it would go away. After I did that, my vision got really blurry and everyone's voices got muted. I pretty much was freaking out. But the conversation was going really well and I didn't want to be rude and ask to leave. So I prayed in my heart that Heavenly Father would give me strength to continue. It was not long after that, that I blacked out completely and fell over. After a few seconds, I woke up laying in the member's arms. Poor Sister Van Vleet. I scared her so bad.

I've thought a lot about this experience this week. Besides the fact that it was the weirdest feeling ever, this experience taught me a deep spiritual lesson. Why didn't God give me the strength that I prayed for? It was a righteous desire to want the strength to continue serving. I had full faith that God could give me the strength I needed. What I learned, was the importance of accepting God's will for us.

Elder Bednar said, "Strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in our lives—even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted". Sometimes I have the attitude that my faith is dependent upon the outcomes I want. This week I've been striving to find that balance between fully believing, and being submissive enough to go forward with whatever happens. I don't know why I needed to faint at this point, perhaps is was just to teach me this principle that I wouldn't learn any other way. But it was an interesting blessing that I'm so grateful for.

On Saturday we had another experience to accept the Lord's will. haha On our way home from MLC, we got a flat tire!! Fortunately the Elders were able to come put on the spare in time for us to go help at a wedding. Then yesterday we took the car to Kal Tire to get it fixed and it was a G-O-N-G S-H-O-W. haha oh man. What fluff. We tried soo hard to make it productive......#NoInvestigatorsInKalTire

The wedding was sooooooooooo fun though. It was an African wedding so there were all sorts of dancers and yummy food and bright costumes. :) I've never seen the cultural hall look so wonderful!! Sister Cardona says I should have an African wedding even if I don't marry an African cause I was soooo happy while we were there. The best part though was that the father of the bride gave us a bunch of referrals!!!!!!!!! :D So that was great. We like going to part-member weddings.

All in all it's been a pretty great week. Tomorrow we're going to volunteer at a sweet Canada Day festival. I'll probably get sunburned a little. And we get free t-shirts. :)

Sister Whiting

Note from the editor: I may have freaked a little over the fainting story. Here is her response:

haha It's ok, mom. Sorry. hahahaha. I'm actually really good about drinking water. After I talked about it with Sister Manion, we decided I'm probably really low on iron. I hardly ever get red meat in my missionary diet. So she was like "Sister Whiting. You and Sister Cardona need to go get some Buddy Burgers from A&W right after this." sooooo. fast food=justified haha

Elders to the rescue

Who wouldn't want to knock on this door?

June 27, 2015 MLC
We mostly focused on increasing our spirituality. We studied how we feel the spirit and such of that nature. Then we talked about leading as the Saviour would lead. There's a Preach My Gospel activity on page 96-97 where you read about the Spirit in the scriptures, and then you write down experiences you had feeling the Spirit in those ways. We were challenged to do that and it's been amazing!!! :)
Exchanges - Sorry for scaring her!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Hello again family! It seems like every week p-day comes faster and faster. CRAZY!! This week has been totally, insanely crazy and wonderful. So many wonderful miracles.


Miracle #1.
This week it has rained hardcore every night. That by itself is a huge tender mercy for me. All the people here tell me I should have served in BC because I always want to dance around in the rain. Every time we needed to be outside a LOT, it would stop raining and then literally as soon as we went into a house, it would pour and then stop when we came out again! Literally every day!!! It was a miracle!!!

Miracle #2.
One day this week, I was having a really bad day. But I really wanted to be effective and use all the Lord's time wisely. So I prayed HARDCORE. And the rest of the day was a HUGE MIRACLE!!! We took one of the Laurels with us to go finding for a bit. We felt prompted to stop by a less-active that never lets us in and - you probably guessed it - SHE LET US IN!! Then, still with a member, we went to teach another less-active lady we haven't seen in several weeks!! It was sooooo great! Then we went to a baptism. Then it started pouring rain and Sister Cardona let me play in it for a few minutes before we planned for the next day.
This week Sister Cardona and I studied the talk by Elder Christofferson called "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread". It focuses on how we need to turn to Christ to help us even just to make it day by day. And I really got the chance to apply this principle as I just needed to be able to make it through the day and in response to my prayer, Heavenly Father put so many blessings in my life.

Miracle #3.
An investigator in a ward nearby got baptized on Friday. He is sooooo solid. He has only been meeting with missionaries for 3 weeks. His wife left him and their 18 month old daughter when she found out he was investigating. But like the next day he came to our ward and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting about how he knows this is the true church!!! His baptism was REALLY nice. He bore a powerful testimony. AND.....

2 OF OUR INVESTIGATORS CAME TO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! T and J. They stayed after and we talked with them about it. It was so spiritual. Oh man. SOO GREAT!

Yesterday we LITERALLY tracted ALL DAY. It was sooooo exhausting!! haha! But it was really, really great. We tracted out 2 entire complexes and several cul-de-sacs around the area. LITERALLY everyone we talked to was from India. haha not a single white person in 7 hours!! #MillwoodsPride #CultureParty #WishISpokePunjabi

Miracle #4.
While tracting, we met a super nice lady with an extremely difficult name. I'll call her N. She let us in and we talked to her for a while. She was sooooo nice!!! We set up a time to come back to keep teaching her and as we were leaving, she was like "I really think you two ladies will be my friends now!" :D It was soooo sweet. oh man. I love her so much. :)

Then later, after supper, we did another power hour. And while we were tracting for that, we met a girl from Ghana named E. She was sooooo cool! And she let us in to teach her. Her family has always been very religious, but she never really grasped it. So she was like "I might as well try now!" haha! She was so great. I'm really excited to start teaching her!!

It was just so cool this week to see just how much God sustains us. He really did give me my daily bread this week and then some. I have a testimony that God doesn't just want us to endure through, He wants us to enjoy through. And that is why He blesses us with tender mercies and miracles. It's such a joy and privilege to spend this time working as an instrument in the Lord's hands to fulfill this purpose for others.

Love ya!!
Sister Whiting

Happy Father's Day!!

It was the gift the Relief Society passed out in church for the dads. But, of course, when you're a missionary, you get everything. like. literally. If we walk into the church when someone is having a party of ANY kind, even if they don' t know us, they'll fill up several plates of food for us. If we are tracting near a member and they notice us outside, they'll let us in to feed us. If it's father's day and they have root beer and beef jerky for the dads, we get some too. :)

It started raining and hailing super hard and i wanted to go dance in it. (Sister Whiting has ALWAYS loved the rain. Too bad it's a blurry picture)

Within minutes there were lakes in our cul-de-sac!!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Shake Off The Chains With Which Ye Are Bound"

Hey hey!! How's everyone?! This week has been quite full, so prepare yourself for a longer email...:)

Last week we went on exchanges. I got to go to Red Deer to be with Sister Ward for a day. It was sooo amazing! We literally taught a gangster. He hasn't been active in the church since he was a pre-teen. It broke my heart to see how much his life could relate to the "His Grace" videos. But it has helped him understand the Atonement better than ever before. What a powerful lesson!!!!!

Sister Cardona and I did something called a "Power Hour" and it was MIRACULOUS!!! Basically we just go to a member's house and ask them to pick a place on the map for us to go spend an hour tracting. Then they say a prayer for us to have success. After an hour of finding, we return to the member's house to report what happened. Here's what happened during our power hour:

-We only met nice people.

-A man gave us a couple of referrals!!

-We met a potential that I'll call M. She said we could come back to teach her.

-We knocked on a man's door. He pulled 3 chairs onto his porch and we taught him for the next hour. He was SUPER intense!!! At first he was asking us all sorts of great questions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. After a while though he began to straight up bash. And we just sort of sat there not talking. He said the closing prayer and this is what he said. "Please rebuke us daily and give these girls discernment so they won't be deceived any longer". :O

You're probably wondering why that was such a great experience...

Honestly I don't like bashing. It makes me soooo sad for people. But this was a neat experience for me and Sister Cardona. It's sooo important to follow the spirit so you know whether you should try to answer back or if you should just not say anything and leave. And we were perfectly unified in the spirit. We both knew quite clearly that we needed to just stay silent and then leave when we got the chance. It was soo cool to have that unity!!

I got my birthday package finally. :D It was quite amazing. We made the cake and ate almost all of it during our leadership conference call the other day. haha Good thing too cause it was a long call. #SoFatNow #TenderMercies #WeLoveCake Sister Cardona says thanks btw.

On Sunday, we had a few extra minutes before supper, so we decided to go try to contact more of the former investigators. At one house, the couple that we were looking for had moved. So we started talking to the current resident about what we do as missionaries. Her name is R and she is soooooo cool. She was like "Well. Do you have a book you can give me?" So we kinda awkwardly were like "oh. haha yeah. That's what we do..." After we gave her a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet, she was like "Alright. When are you coming back to talk about it?" ....So we have an appointment with her this week and I'm sooooooo stoked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok. Now. For my favourite MIRACLE OF THE WEEK.

Yesterday, after a lesson with a less-active, we decided to try and go teach a referral we recieved last week. On the way there, we stopped to use the washroom at KFC. And as we were walking out, there was a lady off to the side smoking. Unfortunately for us, we kept walking without talking to her. But God loves me and gave me a second chance. The lady called out to us and was like "Hey you ladies look really nice today!" So we went back and we complemented her sparkly purple shoes and just like that, we were friends and having a great conversation.

As we got talking, she told us about the struggles she is facing and how she is trying to find a treatment centre that she could go to. I told her about some of the treatment centres I learned about from people in Drayton Valley and she got sooo excited!! And we ended up talking to her for a good 45 minutes. I just felt like it was such a miracle!! She was prepared to talk to us. But we were also prepared to talk to her! If I hadn't have served in DV, I wouldn't know ANYTHING about treatment centres or anything like that. So it was soo cool for me to see how God fulfills His plans. :) And I'm soo excited to start teaching her!!

This week my goal was to live everyday thinking like a greenie. I read a talk by Marvin J. Ashton called "Shake Off the Chains With Which Ye Are Bound". He talks about how we all have chains tying us down that stop our spiritual progression. Some may be physical like drug or alcohol addiction. Some may be emotional like depression or doubt.

Mine lately has definitely been doubt. Sadly I got into the habit of doubting that miracles will happen. We schedule appointments but I doubt that people will show up for them. We plan to help people get baptized but I doubt they will make it.
But I think it is because of my doubt that miracles don't happen.

So each day I wake up and I shake the chains of doubt off my back.
I pray in faith that God will bless the lives of the people around me. Then I work and work and pray and work like it all depends on me.

This week has been AMAZING and I fully believe that it is because I have been able to shake off the chains that were binding me. It's soooo amazing!! What a power it is to live with the Atonement! I invite you all to do so!!!

Love ya!!
Sister Whiting


love these girls!

Caught in the rain #tendermercy #lovetherain

Birthday cake - finally!

Our mission leader's daughter pretending to be Sister Whiting

As Waiting For A Better Day, We Ever Stand on Guard!!

Note from the Editor: This is Sister Whiting's letter from June 9

Too many totally weird and hilarious things happened this week. I'm just gonna list them though cause the stories are too long. Ain't nobody got time for that! :)

-Our investigator C came back from her trip. She came to sacrament meeting and stayed for the whole time!!!! That's a huge deal since she spent like 14 years too afraid to leave her house.

-They took the Elders out of our ward. So now Sister Cardona and I are the sole providers for salvation here. #nopressure #lotsmorework The good part is that we get the car full time now. HOLLA HOLLA!

-On Wednesday, we had to drive some new sisters pretty much all over Edmonton. It was funny for me and Sister Cardona but extremely stressful for them. :/

-We now cover 5 sets of sisters which means I'll go on exchanges EVERY WEEK!!! Tomorrow I get to go to Red Deer. :)

-We got a new ward mission leader who is SOO intense!!! haha. Oh man. Ward council and coordination. It was all just so... haha it's so funny. So yeah. We might have to tame him a bit....

-We had the craziest day ever. We went tracting and we actually were let in to teach. TWICE. Then we went to teach our recent convert, but only her daughter and her friend were there. And they started attacking us with stuffies. (Remember the stuffed animal she was given at Christmas?) And we couldn't escape. Finally their mom came home and we started teaching the kids the "Follow the Prophet" song. Right after we finished, the friend jumped up and was like "I'm gonna go sing that to my parents!!" So we went too and sang "Follow the Prophet" to a random couple. #everythingisawkward #doitanyways

As embarrassing as that was, it was sooooo cool! First of all, kids make the BEST missionaries. Also. The parents thought it was soo cute that they asked their daughter to learn more songs to come sing to them. So now, every week when we go to teach our recent convert, we're gonna teach them primary songs for this girl to sing to her parents!!!!! IT:S SOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Another ward has an investigator named J and he came to our ward the other day. He got up and bore his testimony about how he knows this church is true because of the spirit he feels as he reads the Book of Mormon. It was craaaazazzzzzy cool.

I've noticed that being a sister training leader means we spend a lot more time doing administrative-ish stuff, rather than like actual missionary work. It seems like we have a shortage of really great missionary moments simply because we're so busy preparing trainings and addressing sister needs and so on. But this week, was AMAZING.

We have a recent convert named E and she is the most amazing woman I've ever met. She struggles so much though. And this past weekend she was admitted to the hospital for 30 days. So we went to go see her yesterday. And it was probably one of the most spiritual experiences I've had since I came to Lakewood. I felt the pure love of Christ as we sat and talked to her. If I didn't need to be exactly obedient, I would have spent all day with her there. As we left, I read D&C 121:7-9 to her and emphasized: Thy friends do stand by thee.

Seriously. I stand by these people. I love them so much and I truly desire so much joy for them. This morning, as I was studying, I read these lyrics and it pretty much perfectly describes how I'm feeling right now. (and yes. sometimes I like to read the national anthem during studies.)

Ruler Supreme

who hearest humble prayer

hold our dominion

in thy loving care.

Help us to find, O God, in thee

a lasting rich reward. 

As waiting for a better day

we ever stand on guard! 

God keep our land glorious and free

O Canada, I stand on guard for thee!

I LOVE this gospel and its ability to change me. I'm so grateful for the increase of love that I am able to develop for the people here and everywhere. I know that it is because of Jesus Christ that I can work each day to become better.


Love you all!
Sister Whiting

We got this picture from another missionary mom. It was taken at her last MLC - Mission Leader Conference.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Missionary Work in the #DigitalAge

I'm 20 now and that's totally weird.

Alright. So this week was totally random and weird. There's really no way for me to tell you about it in an organized way.

For my birthday I got an iPad mini. It's pretty sweet but weird. And every time I'm on it I think I'm breaking a rule. Also I still don't really know how to use it that well. Being a missionary has really taken it out of me.

My favorite part about iPads are the interactive teaching pamphlets. They're on an app called "LDS Pamphlets" which is free to anyone who so chooses to download. They make the lessons sooo much cooler. I think you'll only know what I'm talking about if you get the app. So do that. :)

Also when we first got them, President Manion was like, "Now, Elders and Sisters, you have Photo Booth on your iPads. You might as well do that first and get it out of your system before you don't use it again." haha. so yeah. We played on Photo Booth for like 5 minutes and then felt like sinners.....#missionaryproblems

We also had MLC (Mission Leader Conference) on Friday. It was ALL DAY. Literally. We were sitting in the Relief Society room from 10:30 am to 7:20 pm. Elder Christensen from the presidency of the Seventy came to talk to us. It was so cool. He is sooo coool!! He talked to us about recognizing the voice of the Spirit. As he was talking, I felt the Holy Ghost so strongly! It was a very powerful confirmation to me that Elder Christensen is called of God and that I have the spirit with me as a missionary.

Literally. All of our scheduled appointments this week fell through. So. We basically tracted the whole world. As annoying as it is when appointments fall through, it was actually a cool week because we had to work really hard to hear and follow promptings of the spirit. I think we have a tendency to just make a schedule and follow it. But EVERYTHING we do should be by the spirit. So it was cool to see what miracles happened when we went where the spirit lead us.

All of our investigators came to church this week!!!! And our potential that we've been trying to work with forever came with her family. :)

I had my birthday. That was cool. Sister Cardona didn't wake me up until 6:30 on the dot because she decorated my mirror and stuff with all sorts of fun birthday decorations. :) Also I got a sweet card from Sister Holbrook at MLC. Also my past 2 comps texted me. :) So that was totally great. Other than that, missionary work doesn't really allow for a big 'ole celebration. So we worked. haha

yeah. I think that's it. Transfers are tomorrow and basically the whole world is getting transferred except Sister Cardona and me. And I think we'll get the car all to ourselves because they took the Elders out of Lakewood. So yeah. Life is good. Crazy. But good.

Love you all!!!
Sister Whiting

Sister Whiting got an adorable birthday email from one of her good friends at home. She gave me permission to share it: 

Sister Whiting!!

HAPPY HAPPY birthday! I hope it was a super fabulous day filled with happiness and sunlight and missionary-ing and singing.

To celebrate your birthday, I came to work! It's 5:30 am, so 11 and a half hours down, 30 minutes to go (5:30=5/30=the day you were borned) I didn't even fall asleep on accident in honor of you being 20! I also emptied my patient's catheter 10 times (that*2=20, which is how old you are!) Twenty is also probably the number of times I refilled my patient's water mug. You were born in '95, and that's the number of way too personal details that I learned about my patient's life that I didn't actually want to know about anyone, ever! I am a 1:1 sitter tonight (meaning I've been sitting with the same patient my whole shift), and you are the number 1 sister missionary! So Sister Whiting, the Progressive Care Unit at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center wishes you a very happy birthday!

Enjoy the giggle!