Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"RESTORATION SUNDAY" or "Super Loud and Thundery" or "Exhausted but Extra Diligent"

Well. I guess I'd better be totally honest. I have no idea what to write home this week. It was pretty quiet around here. (Actually it was super loud and thundery, but whatevs.)

We spent quite a bit of time finding this week. We realized that even though we have a lot of people to work with, none of them really want us to work with them. So we went knock knock knockin on a billion doors!!!

Sunday was RESTORATION SUNDAY!! As it turns out, it was also a missionary farewell for this super popular kid. So yeah. It was packed! But with lots of members....so...oh well. We got to teach about the restoration in super detail to the relief society. It was really nice. I think the relief society sisters thought our lesson was a hoot. haha. We made them play telephone to show how the message from God gets mixed up without a prophet. #gamesmakeeverythingbetter

After meeting with C again, we finally learned why she has been procrastinating baptism. Turns out she doesn't believe the Joseph Smith story. At first it made me SOO sad to hear this. But as I thought about it more, I realized that God was answering my prayers. I have been asking to know what we can teach to help her progress, and I got my answer. So we're excited to work with what we've been given. :)

So on Saturday, we decided to make invitations for Restoration Sunday. While we were in the church library making copies, we got a text from 
the YSA sisters asking us to go let them into the church. So we left and opened the door for them. As soon as we walked back into the library, the Elders jumped up from behind the counter. Literally we screamed so loud. I fell down. It was so scary. THEN!!!!! Later that day we were driving to an appointment and a huge truck pulled out really fast and almost T-boned us!!!!! IT WAS SO SCARY!!!!!! So I think I had a mini heart attack. TWICE.

Why am I telling you this?

Well. After 2 scary adrenaline rush events, we were like EXHAUSTED! Seriously. So. Tired. Plus. We have been walking a lot more lately to save klicks. So we were already beat.

BUT!!!!! We set a weekly goal to be EXTRA DILIGENT. And of course, every time we set a goal by the spirit, Satan always tries really hard to get us to NOT accomplish it. So instead of saying, "We're really tired, let's take a break." We decided to just push through!! SO WE
WORKED SOO HARD the rest of the day to spite Satan. haha. #whatnowsatan #whataloser

Nothin is more satisfying than going to bed at night knowing you've done all you could despite the opposition! NO UNHALLOWED HAND CAN STOP THE WORK FROM PROGRESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah. Work hard. It's the best.
Love,
Sister Whiting

p.s. if anyone has an idea for how we can get back at the Elders, let us know asap. :)
The Red Deer Sisters
Exchanges with Sister Ward
Selfie!!

The drive to Red Deer (courtesy Sister Burton)


Baseball!!! Thanks, Dad.

Comp Selfie!!

Anna, our favorite person ever, is going to Uganda for a month. I will miss her!!!



Look! Celestial beings!!!! haha. jk. but seriously, we are so white...haha!


*Note from the editor: So glad these ladies can soak up some vitamins in the sun!! Who wouldn't want to learn the gospel from such happy, beautiful faces?! We had the "super loud and thundery" here, too. THANK YOU, to Alanna, for taking a package from Boise to Edmonton for our girl!!! You are wonderful and we are grateful!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Takeover

You'll have to forgive me if this email is boring. I'm like dying of tiredness because last night we couldn't go to bed until like midnight. Here's why:

Once upon a time last night we put a load of laundry in before we started nightly planning so that we could throw it in the dryer before bed. Then we planned and got ready to go to bed. When we went to change the load, it hadn't actually turned on, so our clothes were dry. Lame. We started it for real then went to bed.
Literally RIGHT as we turned off the lights at 10:30, a FREAKISHLY LOUD STORM arose. There was, no joke, perpetual thunder for at least a half hour, and lightning that lit up the sky and our whole house every 45 seconds or so. It was nuts.
So we couldn't sleep. As we were freaking out, we heard a loud rush of water coming from our basement. (Which is a creepy place btw. We don't go there unless it's necessary) After working up the courage to go down and see what the problem was, we found that our washer was POURING water onto our floor. That was freaky. So after performing surgery on it for about 25 minutes, we fixed it enough that our house wouldn't get ruined.
Then we were afraid of the storm until about midnight when we got to sleep.

So I'm a bit on the tired side. haha. But don't worry.

NO UNHALLOWED HAND CAN STOP THE WORK FROM PROGRESSING!

(and it's p-day so we can be tired and no one's salvation will suffer haha)


This week was really great besides last night. I officially took over Lakewood and I got my new companion successfully. She's SUPER DUPER wonderful. Her name is Sister Burton. She's from Utah. And she and I are pretty much the same exact person. So it's been great. :)

This week we saw some miracles. We got 2 new investigators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like all my dreams are coming true! Jk. kinda...haha

One is named T. She's really great. She's been taught before but it was before I was even born. haha. So we're teaching her again. We usually teach her while we weed her garden. So that's fun. She also has, like, a million pets and we got to hold one of them. :) It was soooo cute!!! She's had a lot of difficult things happen in her life in the past so our lessons with her are sooo great because her heart is so open to the spirit. I've never seen someone appreciate the love of God so much.

Our other new investigator is S.O. who we tracted into. She's super funny. haha. As soon as we went in to teach her, we connected. #InstantFriends She's has such a strong testimony of prayer and scripture study. It's like we don't even need to teach her but we do. haha.

We did service for our other investigator C. She's super into having a year supply of food in her cupboards just in case....gee. sounds familiar, hey? So yeah. It was time for her to go through it and donate the old stuff and update. So we helped her with that. She ended up pawning a lot of food off on us. So I don't think we need to go grocery shopping today....haha love her. It was fun to help her out.

I finished reading Jesus the Christ this week. You know that sadness you get when you've finished reading the Harry Potter series and you're not sure what to do with your life? I pretty much feel like that now. So I decided to start reading the New Testament and use Jesus the Christ as a study guide thing with it? I'm pretty stoked!

Really though. I'm stoked. I've really seen my testimony and determination in the gospel increase as I've learned about the Saviour. This week in particular, I've been thinking about one line.

THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE

I know this to be true. The gospel is full of truths that have made me free as I've loved and obeyed them. I love that we know of these truths simply because God loves us! And he wants us to be free.
At http://beta.mormon.org/beliefs/following-god.php there is a wonderful video that reminds me of this. Actually just check out that whole website. It's wonderful. :)

LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Sister Whiting


And....Happy Sweet 16th Birthday to my BFF little sister Emma!!!!!! 


I love you, Emma!!
And now for the traditional singing of all the birthday songs.....(which feels a little weird all by myself.) There is a part one and a part two to get all of them.




Got to see my lovely Sister Warr at transfer meeting! Love her!!

Got to see my BFF Sister Jones at transfer meeting too!! MISS HER!!!!!
NEW COMPANION!! Sister Burton!!
The following shows you our companionship...




I found out that I am related to Elder Ustach, on the far left. He is a descendant of Edwin Whiting.
Me holding T's bird. haha So funny!! It made the funniest sounds.


I'll admit I was a little afraid it would bite me ear...

And it's claws were really sharp. haha













Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whirlwind Week

Well. Some little kid kicked me off the computer, so I have to try and type out this week's email on the iPad. So pardon the brevity of this email. It's quite challenging to type and spell correctly.

This week was a WHIRLWIND!! So much happened that I can't really even remember it. Sister Cardona and I got to give trainings at 2 zone training meetings in the same day. That was exciting. Especially since we lost the directions to the chapels we were supposed to go to. So we practiced our navigating skills. :)

I went on exchanges with another greenie named Sister Kirts. She's from Southern California and is just plain adorable. We had lots of fun and learned lots. Meanwhile Sister Cardona was with her companion in Stettler (aka the middle of nowhere). I really gained a testimony that the Lord is in our planning. The exchange worked out exactly as it needed to and it was because we were blessed with the spirit to direct us.

You probably saw on Facebook that we finally did our Mormon.org booth!!! It was SOOOOOOOO successful!! A few of our members came and brought lemonade for us to give away. It was super super hot so it was perfect. I did get pretty sunburned....but it was completely worth it. :) I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact. I AM doing it again!!! Only this time...I'll be doing it with

MY NEW COMPANION SISTER BURTON!!

That's right. Sister Cardona is going to finish her mission follow up training Sister Jones' greenie in a walking area and I have to take over Lakewood!!! I'm a little nervous but also really excited. President said we're going to have too much fun together. :)

I'm really excited about missionary work. Of course I'm always excited about it. But this week especially. The booth got our ward members excited about it. We are getting new investigators. We have a baptism planned. Things are just looking up for Lakewood and I'm so thankful the Lord is blessing us with so much success.

I hope all of you can spend this week seeing how the Lord is blessing YOU with success.

Love,
Sister Whiting

P.s. I got the package, mom, :) but I didn't actually get to see Bro. G. Oh well. It was so great. Thanks!!!

Our Mormon.org booth was a hit!

Millwoods West zone training meeting
We love the Blommaerts!!

We never go to the Blommaerts without getting ice cream!! :)


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Lord is My Light

Happy late Canada Day and Independence Day everyone!!! Hopefully you all got to enjoy super sweet fireworks and lots of red, white, and optionally blue.

Our week here in Lakewood was quite eventful and VERY spiritual. We had a super sweet Canada Day. First we went to our investigators house to make her breakfast. Afterward, we talked about setting goals and how to make it to baptism. We hadn't seen her in a few weeks. So it was really nice to be with her again.

Edmonton is the city of festivals. So of course Millwoods was having a super big celebration in the park. We volunteered as face painters. So for 3 hours we painted Canadian flags on crying babies and tried our best to talk to their parents about the gospel. Then obviously we had to indulge and get an elephant ear and some Indian food. The only hard thing about the day was that people don't really want us to try to talk to them while they're with their families....but whatevs. We did it anyway. #SorryNotSorry #ThisIsSalvation

On Thursday we went to see our little investigator A. She asked her mom if she could be baptized and her mom said YES!!!! In fact, she asked if she could get baptized sooner rather than later. So as soon as they get back form their holiday, she will get baptized. It was sooooo sweet. As soon as her mom said yes, she jumped up and ran to get paper so she could invite people to her baptism. Then she and her brother insisted we sing "I am a child of God" and "Popcorn Popping" before we left. It was soooo great. Oh man. :) I just love them so much.

Our recent convert C's daughter got baptized on Saturday. It was sooooooooo wonderful! She loves the sister missionaries. So she insisted that we sit in the front row by her. (We ended up getting glitter from her baptism dress ALL over us. haha We told her it was angel dust.) It was especially cool because the sister missionary who taught C before she was baptized came back to Edmonton for it!! It was Sister Graham!!!! (She was like my idol missionary my first transfer) It was soooooo great to see her there again.

In between the actual baptism and the confirmation, Sister Cardona and I did a musical number. We sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to the tune of "Come Thou Fount". Sister Cardona played a beautiful arrangement of it and I sang. On the last verse, there is no accompaniment so I sang it acapella. I was really nervous, so as I sang, I focused on the words:

"Joseph, this is my Beloved;
Hear him!" Oh, how sweet the word!
Joseph's humble prayer was answered,
And he listened to the Lord.
Oh, what rapture filled his bosom,
For he saw the living God;
Oh, what rapture filled his bosom,
For he saw the living God.


Miraculously the room, filled with people, was so quite as I sang. The spirit was so powerful. I could hardly keep myself from crying. As I sang those words, they rang true to my heart. I KNOW that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ. God answered the prayer of a young boy. And I also KNOW that God will answer all of our prayers because HE LOVES US! No matter how simple the question, He is anxious to teach us. :)


It was so wonderful to have such a spiritual experience. It really strengthened my testimony. And good thing!!!! God was preparing me for a trial!!!

Last night we went to a potential investigator's house to teach them. Long story short, they ended up just reading anti-Mormon material to us. It was the most painful thing I've ever had to endure!!! I told Sister Cardona it felt like we were being pulled into a black hole of total sadness (so pretty much dementor status. #harrypotterpride) It was because the spirit, we ALWAYS have, wasn't with us!!

He probably thought he was successfully shaking my testimony. But I wasn't sad because I was doubting. I was sad because of the hardness of his heart. Why would he go to such great lengths to persecute the church unless it really is the true church? I know he is a child of God. But he doesn't know. And he won't for a long time because he has closed his heart to the spirit of our Heavenly Father.

As I was getting ready for bed, I read from the Book of Mormon:

"Nephi went his way towards his own house, pondering upon the things which the Lord had shown unto him.

And it came to pass as he was thus pondering—being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works of darkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings, and all manner of iniquities—and it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying:

Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." Helaman 10
No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing!!!!! Though Satan leads mens' hearts away, we don't have to let him lead us! We can fill our minds and hearts with the light and love of God so that there is no room for darkness. (or black holes of total sadness)

I'm just soooo thankful that I get this chance to help people to fill their lives with this light. I know it is true. For that which is light is of God. The Lord truly is my light.

SHINE THE LIGHT!

Love,
Sister Whiting

Note from the Editor: I asked her if she has been eating more red meat to get some iron. She said she has had lots this last week and has much of her energy back.  She feels her fainting spell was just low iron as the Mission President's wife suggested. I'm so glad!!! 
Millwoods Canada Day Volunteers



L's Baptism
Sister Graham is next to Sister Cardona
Sister Graham and Family