Thursday, August 27, 2015

#Lakewood Pride (parts 1 &2)

I'm extremely sad today. So...This email is gonna be sad. Probably.
Remember how sad I was when I got separated from Sister Jones?? Yeah. It's like that. Again.

That's right. I'm getting transferred out of Lakewood and that means goodbye to Sister Burton. :(

Yesterday morning President Manion called to assign me to open up a NEW sister training leader area in Sherwood Park. Remember how I had a companion named Sister Wilson? Well. My new companion's name is ALSO Sister Wilson. haha. So that's cool. Two Sister Wilsons!! Pretty much my job for the next 6 weeks will be to train S. Wilson on how to be an STL and get everything up and running in Glen Allan. Sounds fun, hey?

I'm pretty excited. I'm just totally sackcloth and ashes right now cause I love Sister Burton so much. Also. Cause Imma miss Lakewood tons and tons. I will miss our investigators. And the members. And the crazy people here. And all the Sikh people. oh man. This is sad.

This was a pretty good last week though. I got to go on exchanges to Stettler and got like 50 gazillion bug bites. hooray!!! I got sick. haha. And the Elders tried to poison me with Nyquil. (they found out I'm a Nyquil lightweight so naturally they thought it'd be hilarious to give me a large dose)

... (Sister Whiting's first email ended here. Then, after a little while, I got the second half in another email.)

Seriously. Did I just send an incomplete email????? ugh.#justoneofthosedays

So anyways.

Our investigator C took us out to dinner Friday AND Saturday.

Funny story time:

On Friday, we arrived at C's house and she proceeded to tell us she was kidnapping us. From there, she took us to Mucho Burrito where she got us like $100 of Mexican food. (remember that Alberta doesn't have hardly any Mexican food). After the meal, we were essentially kidnapped and taken to Goodwill where she proceeded to buy us $200 worth of clothes!!! (She told us that for the past week she's been having nightmares that the sisters don't have enough clothes...)

But ya know what?! As sweet as that was, it wasn't as sweet as what happened yesterday.
We went to her house so I could say goodbye. And after we all moped for a while, she basically just told me how much I've done for her and how she feels like I've successfully accomplished what God intended for me in Lakewood because of how much I've done for her and whatnot. Then she just hugged me for like forever. :( And I just cried. On her shoulder. Cause I love her so much and I'm going to miss her so much.

We saw our other investigator T to say goodbye and we both cried at that one.

I'M JUST GOING TO MISS THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH!!!!!!!!! I'm so grateful for the chance I had to work with such incredible people. My testimony has grown more being here than any other time on my mission. #Lakewoodpride

Love you all!!

Sister Whiting

p.s. next week will probably be psycho just so you know. haha
Me and C

Me and T

T, Me and Sister B

Me and another friend with a C name

We pawn off any sweets on the Elders. This is how they feel when we give them sugar.(Yeah, they look like guys that would think it is funny to give her too much Nyquil...haha)

Eating Mexican with C
Sister Whitening (pretty much how everyone says my name these days)



Me and L

Me, L and friend, A
District Lagtagate (Lakewood, Tagalog, Southgate)


One time we had to help C load all this ketchup into little bottles...haha!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Then Shall I Make Weak Things Strong



Bad news. I got my trunky call. Sheesh. Satan can't even give me 1 day!!! Also. I got sick. But don't worry. Between all my missionary friends, I've got Nyquil tablets, liquid Nyquil, Vitamin C chewables, Vitamin C drink powder, cough drops, Vitamin C drops, and a Nutella milkshake from Harvey's. haha I'll be good.

Me trying to look "non-savage" while sick. (Seriously?!?! I wish I could be this cute when I am sick! -Mom)
Yeah.
In the midst of my sickness yesterday, Sister Burton and I had a very interesting experience. We met a lady named K. She called the temple asking for us to come visit her. So we set up an appointment last week to come see her this week. When we went to go see her, she kept texting us saying she was looking for us off her balcony, but we couldn't see anyone. For like 30 minutes. So we were starting to get kinda freaked out. (granted it was a dark, stormy night so that didn't help). Finally we found her. She just appeared out of nowhere. She said she didn't feel safe leaving her apartment alone, so she dropped her key down to us from her balcony so we could let ourselves in...

She lives in really nice apartment that smells like paint. When we went in, she had nothing in her house except a table and chairs. So we sat down and without hesitation, she launched into her life story that lasted about an hour and half. It included her childhood, her dating life, her past sins and how she feels about them, her experience with repentance, her time living as a homeless person, her current hobbies and passions, and her desire to baptize everyone into her church that she wants to create. So.....after all that, we managed to tell her we have a curfew and that we needed to leave. Take into consideration that throughout all of this, I was the functional equivalent of a drunk person (all thanks to Nyquil. hate that stuff.) So. Good job handling it Sister Burton.

Speaking of Sister Burton. She's amazing. Have I ever emphasized that before?? She is so great. I think I will die of sadness when we get separated. She has been faithfully taking care of me while I'm a ridiculously loopy invalid. (She also faithfully takes pictures of me while I'm sleep talking and laughs at me when I run into things but what are friends for?) So yeah. I love her. A lot.

No comment necessary.
Despite all the craziness of yesterday, this week has been INCREDIBLY spiritual for me. I've heard the song, "I Stand All Amazed" so many times. But it has never meant so much to me as it does now. This week I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. I'm legitimately confused at the grace that He so fully proffers me. I'm so far from perfect, and yet, each day He blesses me so much. I've made many mistakes in the past transfer and yet, this week has been FULL of miracles. Why? I don't deserve it.

-Last Monday we got a new investigator named Z. She is awesome.
-At the end of p-day last week, we got the chance to teach T in a member's home!!
-When we drove home, our mailbox had a box of Cob's bread in it.
-The next day, we gave a training at the fellow trainer's meeting and it went super well!!
-After the meeting we got to teach several of our less active members who haven't been home for the past few months.
-On Thursday we had a really spiritually uplifting district meeting.
-We did our Mormon.org booth again and it was GRREEAATT. We gave out 25 copies of the Book of Mormon and got 6 phone numbers!!!

#Booth #FindingGenius
-On Friday we finally got to Facetime teach our investigator A who has been in Ontario for the past month.

Face Time teaching A!!!!!!!
-On Sunday, T came to church!!!!!!!

So yeah. I feel like this whole week I've had to end my day with a long prayer of gratitude. I've been constantly wondering why I got to see so many miracles despite all my weaknesses. I love to hear in Ether 12:27 when Christ teaches that He will make our weaknesses become strengths. That's kinda been my motto this week. Now I just need my physical weakness to literally become strength so I can go on exchanges with Stettler tonight. haha 

LOVE YAA!!
Sister Whiting


Love this Sista


Sister Warr is home now!!! :( :( :( :(

Saying good-bye to Sister Warr

Exchanges with the amazing Sister Linford


Southgate Sisters
This is the Millwoods Towne Centre


Ward Picnic. Inside 'cause this is Canada where it rains everyday in the summer. 

Our ward mission leaders daughter is sooooo cute!!!!


video

video

Look Mom! No hands!! (She literally climbed onto me like a monkey.)

We needed to drop off some stuff at the Elder's home. This pretty much sums up our personalities.
All my Millwoods friends.

Pretty much my favorite people ever!!!!




Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#TurningPoint

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Ether 12:27

This week was a turning point for me. For the rest of my mission, I am at an all new level of consecration, obedience, and charity. Here's why:

Our investigator T had us over a few times this week. She is such a sweetheart. She has like a bazillion dogs. And she's so ready for the gospel. Meeting with her, I realized how important it is for me to live so I can teach her by the spirit.

We also got a new investigator named Z. She's soooooooooooooooooooo great. She's from Ethiopia. HOLLA HOLLA. When we went to teach her, the spirit was so strong, she told us about ALL her friends that she wants us to teach as well. HOLLA HOLLA.

I got to go on exchanges with Sister Bramwell from California who I LOOOOOVE!! She is super solid. I learned soooooooooooooo much from her. Including but not limited to: Riverside is super hot; Parker will love Riverside; etc. haha. Yeah. Good luck bro.

What does this have to do with Ether 12:27 or turning points? Well it seems like the closer I get to the end of my mission, the more anxiety I feel for the welfare of the souls of these people. Every day it's like constant urgency to work hard. BUT despite this, the natural man is STILL an enemy to God. In fact, the closer I get to being a consecrated missionary, the MORE temptation I face. (For example the desire to stay in the grocery store to listen to the Beyonce song that's playing...)

To avoid a rant, I'll just say I'm sick and tired of Satan.

SO.

This is the turning point. From now on, it's time for ULTRA CONSECRATED FIGHT THE POWER SUPER FANTASTICALLY SPIRITUAL DIE HARD MISSIONARY. Yeah.

The good part is that through the Atonement of Christ, I absolutely believe with all my heart that I can overcome my weaknesses. "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people."

"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
"Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."

:)

Now. Funny story, awkward story combo.

Once upon a time we had a free car wash to help people see the church in action. We gave church tours while the Elders washed cars. It was great. But then R showed up. If you remember R, he's from India and he LOOOOVES yoga. He also is super sketchy as it turns out. At the end of our church tour, he gave each of us what appeared to be a blessing (without the priesthood) and then gave me and Sister Burton a kiss on the cheek. Twice. I don't think I've ever felt so uncomfortable. Haha. Needless to say, we passed him to the Elders in Hillview.

Isn't my companion beautiful?!

Haha well. Have a swell week. Love y'all.
Sister Whiting

Hillview Sisters

At the Carwash!!!!


"For the Beauty of the Skies"

Sister Bramwell

The real sunset a few days ago. Oh, how I love the Canadian sky!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Everyone Needs an Occasional Gong Show"

We debated what to title this letter. I think she has been feeling discouraged. She wanted to call the whole thing a "gong show" but I was going to call it "Mission FUNdamentals." We agreed that we all learn things from the occasional "gong show" days.
My BFF Sisters at MLC


This week was a gong show. So this email is a gong show. Sorry. I'll tell you a story now.

Once upon a time, we got a referral from the YSA sisters. It took a long time to finally get a hold of him but last week at the end of p-day we finally did. His name is R. He's from India. (shocker) And he REALLY likes yoga. He had us start our lesson off with deep breathing exercises while he rubbed the backs of our heads....haha yeah. We're teaching him this week and we'll be sure to wear ponytails.

We had MLC (Mission Leader Conference) and it was probably my favourite one ever because 3 of my companions were there!!!!! It was soooo fun to be with Sister Burton, Sister Jones, Sister Wilson, AND Sister Holbrook. If Sister Warr had been there, it would have been so perfect. Besides the fact that my BFFs were there, it was also a super revelatory MLC. I'm kinda at that point where I should feel super good at what I'm doing but I don't. At MLC we pretty much got trained on the basics and it was then that I realized all that I wasn't doing that would help me. It was a HUGE answer to prayers. Now Sister Burton and I are studying the FUNdamentals that we learned in the MTC to try and get us back to the basics.


The only weird thing about MLC was that President had me bear my testimony at the end. He usually has old missionaries who are going home soon do that. So when he called me up, I was like ...(  ).

Oh well. We had Heritage Days!!! It's so weird doing annual things for the second time on your mission.....the weirdest part was that the food bank lady recognized me. In the middle of her spiel about how to get maximum donations, she was like "Hey. I think you were here last year! I remember you" and the other missionaries were like," what?". It was weird. oh well.

While collecting donations, I saw a BUNCH of people from Greenfield including the people who took me to Jasper, the Strongs, and the Haylins. I thought I was going to die of happiness.

We decided to go find more less actives that we don't know. We found one who seemed sooo great!! We asked the Relief Society president about her, and she told us she had a reputation of using the church for a cleaning service and then refusing to come. So we were all upset that she wasn't golden.

But then we went to go visit her and it was AMAZING!!! She is recovering from a life of hard drug use and prostitution. As a result she is quite unable to do much on her own. Nevertheless we took the advice of our relief society president and didn't offer our cleaning service. Instead we listened to her and taught about the love and grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ. It was such a spiritual lesson. It was then that Sister Burton and I both felt in our hearts that she is ready to hear about the gospel again. We both left feeling so excited that the spirit was so strongly present!! I just LOVE moments when it's that clear.

On Sunday, L (the little girl that got baptized a few weeks ago) wanted to bear her testimony in sacrament meeting, but her mom had left. So she grabbed my hand and pulled me up to the pulpit to have me help her. She was wearing my name tag all 3 hours of church and so she bore her testimony about the missionaries. How cute is that?!?!?

Well. I have to go freak out some more about my bro's mission call. Also buy groceries and all that jazz. I'll talk to ya next week!!

Love ya,
Sister Whiting

Note from the Editor: So the whole week wasn't really a gong show. She is doing great things. That little girl who was able to share her testimony will always remember Sister Whiting, just like the food bank lady - except for a much better reason. :-)

Gathering for the Mission call opening...
Sister Whiting's brother, Parker, waited three weeks for his mission call to arrive. He finally got it yesterday. He is going to California Riverside, Spanish speaking. He will report October 7. This means they won't see each other for 3 1/2 years unless we can make a group Skype at Christmas work... But they both know it is the right thing to do. So proud of them!!!


Volunteering at Heritage Day - Looking good in our vests, hey?

The food bank lady remembered me and gave me a hat.
The apron reminds me of my Hobby Lobby days. 
We are so cool in our Food bank hats.

Siga Tibs from Ethiopia - Yum

Got to see one of my favorite families from Greenfield!

Isn't she so cute!?!

Caught in the rain

Heritage Days Festival!!

I LOVE SISTER WARR!




Some members gave us Basil and Rosemary plants. Yum!
Sister Whiting's Dad thinks the smallest missionary has the biggest testimony!

Temple P-day with Sister Burton!