Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"The Tender Mercies of the Lord are over all"

I don't have a bunch of time to email this week cause we're going to spend the day with some members! :) It's actually our Ward mission leader's sister and dad. They want to give us a "tour of the town" lol!

So we're frantically trying to email!!!

This week. Let's see. Well. Our 2 progressing investigators dropped us. So. That's a sad experience. We didn't even have any chocolate to eat in mourning lol. 

But all joking aside it was really sad. It brought me back to DV days when we just barely got Sister Morrison and our progressing investigators all dropped us in like a day.
Sheesh!!!!! 
There's nothing like investing your life, thoughts, deeds and prayers into people only to have them dump you like yesterday's oatmeal.

The only difference is that when this happened in DV, I was sad for me. I was sad cause I wouldn't get to teach them and I wouldn't get to see them progress. This time, it felt almost worse because I was sad for the Lord. I can only imagine how He feels when His children turn away from him. It just breaks my heart.

"But behold, I, Sister Whiting, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

This week, despite that sad stuff, we saw so many tender mercies!!!

  • We had our primary program this Sunday and it was soooooo good!!! 
  • Lots of people came to church that day.
  • We got to watch "The Prophet of the Restoration" with K on Saturday. After it finished, she launched into this big rant about how Joseph Smith was inspired and how she gets so frustrated when people let Satan lead them to believe otherwise. She told us she believes that what he did MUST have been true or why else would people have fought so hard against it? It was so amazing. We were just like "Yeah. Yeah that's right."
  • Our part-member family we try to work with in the other Ward let us over the other day and the lesson was incredible!!! My little Sister McSweeney is getting really good at teaching the Restoration according to personal needs. It was so great, they asked us if we could make a regular thing of the lessons. :)
  • Sister McSweeney and I discovered that there is Cob's bread in Sherwood Park...so..... #saygoodbyetomywaistline #tendermercies #justlikeGreenfielddays

Well I guess that's it then. Have a swell week :)
Love ya!!

Sister Whiting

Cob's bread is a miracle from heaven!!!!

Us at the Dykstras

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sister Whiting's Tender Mercy Jar

I will start off my email this week by saying there is still no snow in Edmonton. It's weird. Poor Sister McSweeney wants to see real snow and it just isn't happening!! Lol As much as she thinks she wants it now, I'm soooo glad it's not super cold yet. :) #sunshineonmyshouldersmakesmehappy #vitaminD #iliveforsunshine

This week our Sister Training Leaders gave each of us a Tender Mercy Jar to keep recorded miracles in! So I thought I would just share some of mine with you. :)

1. "Referrals poppin' up like daisies!!"
This week all of a sudden, the Ward has been super sonic referral givers. We've had several members tell us that they feel like now is the time to give the names of their friends to the missionaries. :D So over the course of the week we've gotten so many referrals that it's hard to count!

2. "Buried in the water!!"
One of the above mentioned referrals we received is a lady named D who just moved into the basement suite of a member's house. This member didn't even really need to ask her to learn about the church because she pretty much said she is ready to become a Mormon. She decided what we taught is true before we could even teach anything!! So.... SHE'S ON DATE TO BE BAPTIZED AT THE END OF NOVEMBER!!!!! Sister M did a super good job extending her first baptismal commitment. #mylittlegirlisgrowingup #proudparent

3. "3 billionth time's a charm!!"
One of the primary finding tools we use is contacting former investigators. Our area book is FULL of records. So whenever we have spare time, we go through and try to contact some of them. There is one former who we've been trying to contact for a VERY long time. On Sunday, SHE LET US IN!!! She and her family were so nice! (Her daughter looks exactly like Katy Perry) They mentioned to us that they haven't been taught much but they love missionaries. They even offered to take us to Elk Island park on our p-day!!!!! :) So we will be teaching their family now.

4. "Lesson learned...."
So. This isn't really a tender mercy. It's more just hilarious. So I wrote it as a tender mercy anyways. Haha. So. Remember our investigator K from Germany? Well we decided we would take one of our recent converts to the lesson this week. She's an older lady who isn't really all there...but close. We're actually not sure most of the time. Haha. Anyways. So we did a lesson as we walked around the "lake" by K's house.
It started out ok...we started talking about church. Then this member asked K what class she's in at church (thinking she was a member). K corrected her saying she's Roman Catholic. Well. That was apparently the wrong thing to say. This member grabbed my arm and started walking fast so we were ahead of K and Sister M. She then proceeds to tell me
how much she HATES Catholic people.
:0 :0 :0 :0
Hahaha needless to say I had no idea what to do. I couldn't really get upset with her cause she's like 85 and not all there. So I started to say, "well if you don't want her to be Catholic, you could help her be a Mormon". Fortunately, after some time I was able to convince her to invite K to the primary program this weekend. But the lesson was a
gong show. So.....lesson learned. Haha

5. "Breakfast at the Butlers"
Our ward mission leader's parents are in the ward as well. And I. LOVE. THEM. He's a retired high school band director. (He's pretty much exactly like Mr. Hartman!!) And she's just perfect. I love them. They let us come to do some service at their house in the morning but when we showed up, they had prepared a big fancy breakfast for us first!!! It was so fancy. :) It was home away from home.

There's way more. But I don't have forever to email. :) I just love being a missionary. And I love Glen Allan.

Love ya,
Sister Whiting



Temple trip with the STL's

My little girl and me

My Millwoods buds. Possibly our last get together before I leave Canada...:(


At the temple with Sister M

2016 Team Canada

The "lake"

#talkingtoeveryone #outandabout

Our favorite new convert friend

Walking with new friends

Visiting Sister Meek on Sunday mornings is the highlight of my week! We live in her house.

Look!!! I know how to put air in the tires!!!

Sister M's first trip to Wendy's

I survived getting a flu shot!!!! :)

"Christmas" Skype home on Conference weekend.

So fun to see the family!! Parker would be set apart as a full-time missionary a few hours after this photo was taken.



Monday, October 19, 2015

My Fair Lady

October 13, 2015 

I need to tell you about my companion!!!!

Her name is Sister McSweeney. She is from Rugby, England. (it's where the sport was invented) She is 21 and loves missionary work. She has lots of energy and still needs to learn the difference between a loonie and a toonie. haha. She's really great!

Also I might not be able to send pictures cause my iPad isn't working....


Well I never expected a language barrier with a British companion!! But what do ya know?! I've never learned so many crazy words! Despite the fact that I am serving a mission in Canada, I might come home sounding like Eliza Doolittle right after she's been refined. The other night as I knelt down for my personal prayer, I noticed that in my head I was praying in a British accent.....hahaha I was like "ooops. sorry. not trying to mock here!" So yeah. Sister McSweeney is helping me become more English. :) #Poshspice #HolyCricket #TheraininSpainstaysmainlyontheplain #biblevideoMary #thelistgoeson

This week was crazy saying goodbye to Sister Wilson 2.0. But guess what?! SHE'S MY STL!! Hooray! haha. So that's exciting.

At church on Sunday a MAJOR MIRACLE happened!! We sat down in sunday school next to a lady who will be feeding us supper later this week. She told us that a nonmember just moved into her basement and literally told her that she thinks it's time she learn from the Mormons. So. When we go to supper this week, she'll be there and we will teach her.
:O
I love referrals. Oh man. So that was great. Also. We got another referral from the Spanish elders (who are now very special to me since my lil bro is totally a Spanish elder!!!!!) We also got to see almost all our people this week. And we're going to start teaching way more people. It's like our area is experiencing greenie fire or something..:)

This morning we had the opportunity to go to the temple. :) I LOVE to see the temple. If nothing else brings me peace or joy in this life, the temple ALWAYS brings me peace and joy.

We also had the chance to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving! We decided that since most of the people we're working with just need to know they're loved, we "thank attacked" everyone's doors! (it's like heart attacking but with pumpkins and turkeys instead of hearts) It was really fun to sneak up and decorate our investigators and less actives doors.

It was also fun for me to just realize how much I have to be thankful for!!
I'm so grateful for the members of the Glen Allan ward. They are amazing to us.
I'm thankful for my family who support me in my mission work.
I'm thankful for Sister McSweeney who made the decision to come serve a mission despite the challenges that come.
I'm thankful for President and Sister Manion who love me and take care of me even though I'm a crazy sister missionary who may or may not know how to train a new missionary!
I'm thankful for the lady who lives in our basement who does our laundry every week.
I'm thankful for all the people I've met whilst in Canada. They have shaped who I am now.

Most of all, I am thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know Jesus Christ is my Saviour and Redeemer. He lives and loves me. Because of Him, I can live again. I can feel comfort in sorrow. I can be forgiven and improve.
I LOVE my Saviour. I love him. And I'm thankful for what He has done for all of us.

I love you guys. :)
Happy Thanksgiving!
Sister Whiting

Sister Whiting couldn't share any pix last week so I am adding this one again that I found on my missionary mom FB page. Hopefully she got the bugs worked out for this week's email.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Strive!!!!!


October 6, 2015
Well I don't have much time to email this week because I have a lot to do to prepare for transfers!!! That's right. I'm getting a new companion! :( Sister Wilson is moving to the Strathcona Married Student Ward and I'm staying in Glen Allan to TRAIN A NEW MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!! I'm extremely nervous. (Yes. This means I am no longer a Sister Training Leader. Just thought I would clarify. Sister Wilson is taking the STL with her.)

So I gotta go get the house ready. We finished nightly planning quite early last night, so I cut pictures out of Ensigns and decorated the wall, thus creating a spiritual environment for my new sister!! :)

(The photo at the top is the "pictures out of Ensigns" to decorate for her new trainee. NBD.)

Remember my favourite little investigator A from Lakewood?!?!??! SHE GOT BAPTIZED !!!!! It was such a treat to be able to go. She iMessaged me last week and asked me if I would give a talk at her baptism. So I spoke on the gift of the Holy Ghost. I love her so much. It was soooooo fun!!! Her mom (not a member) gave the closing prayer and asked God to make sure Ashaya would become a missionary too. :O What a miracle. Then, after her baptism, she walked around and gave copies of the Book of Mormon to all the nonmembers who were there!!!!! It was so cute. I'm so proud of her. Because of her decision to be baptized, her whole extended family will be influenced and blessed. I. LOVE. MISSIONARY. WORK. #tearsofjoy #purehappiness

Baaaaaa I gotta go!!! Real quick spiritual thought!! There is a new youth video called Strive and it has really become my motto. Like seriously. I'm obsessed. In the video, it says:

"We must realize that ours is the responsibility to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement--to be our best selves. Now be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don't live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. Remember: little things lead to big things. Seemingly insignificant indiscretions or neglect can lead to big problems. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions. Do not drift off course, not even a few degrees. Hearken unto the Lord your God. It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith. There is always time. We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor. To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him. There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today, and to live most fully today, we must do that which is of greatest importance. Each of us has a part to play in the plan, and each of us is equally valued in the eyes of the Lord. We are not and never need be alone. We can press forward in our daily lives with #heavenlyhelp. Through the Savior's Atonement, we can receive capacity and strength beyond our own. We never need feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord's service because we never are. Strive to be that kind of disciple of the Father and the Son, and your influence will neverfade. Always remember--you matter to Him! And never give up."

I simply want to add my testimony to that of the apostles. I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and we must STRIVE to be more like Him. I am grateful for this knowledge I have.

Have a great week!!!

Love,
Sister Whiting

P.S. Sorry this email isn't very entertaining. I am totally nervous to train. haha!


 
Me and my girl, A.

Yeah. This is what we actually look like. 

Whilst trying to find our investigator on her favourite walking path, we noticed a gorgeous sky. 
Did some ladder climbing service
Our little baptism queen. (She said she felt like a karate queen...fair enough)

She insisted.....haha :)

Original team.
  Sister Cardona and Sister Whiting began teaching her until Sister Cardona finished her mission and went home.

Like I said, our natural state.....

My favourite Filipina. #shesanormalpersonnow #melanie #what #ew #fulnessofjoy


Editor's Note:
Sarah's Dad and I played this in the car on the way to the MTC with Sister Whiting's brother. Sister Whiting loved this list when we shared it with her.


I'm going to the MTC and I'm bringing...

an Attitude that's positive and ready for adventure
a Book of Mormon/bravery
a Courageous Cute Elder
the Discussions/determination
Everthing on my packing list/excitement
my Family, the ultimate fan club/faith
Good works/goals
the Holy Ghost/happiness/humility
Interest in learning Spanish
Joy/just do it attitude
Kind words
Love/laughter
Motivation
New suits
Obedience with exactness/Open mind
Priesthood power/Passion for the gospel Jesus Christ/Plan of salvation/physical strength
Quiet pondering/quick learning skills
Repentance/raincoat in the mail
Self-reliance/the support of my ward, family, friends, bishop/Spanish Preach My Gospel/Santa Biblia
Testimony/ties
Understanding of God's love for me
Valiant service
Word of God/willingness to work (and the Whiting name)
Xlnt family who loves me dearly
Yearning to serve the Lord/
Zion (of one heart and one mind)



"So fun surprising you!! Can you believe Mom kept the secret that long?? Nice job, Mom!!!"
(Since Sister Whiting is scheduled to come home a week after Christmas, and her brother was heading out for his own mission on Oct 7, President Manion gave her permission to skip the Christmas phone call and
Skype us Conference weekend!!)

                     Elder Parker Whiting had his own surprise for Sister Whiting! 
Parker got this for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):)
Oh my goodness!!!! I love it so much!!!!!!! Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Watchin' conference at Cindy's. :) 
Sneak Peek at her new companion....stay tuned next week for details.

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

Sept 29, 2015 Letter
I found this flower in our yard. It looks like sunshine!
 Ya know, after a while it starts to get really hard to come up with a creative beginning to my emails. Haha. So sorry. ;) Wanna hear about this week? (As if you had a choice lol)

So this week was super happy. Like. I am SO happy this week!! Why? Because there is...SUNSHINE!!!!!

Yeah. That's right. So before our move last week, we had like zero sunshine in our house. And it didn't seem to effect me so much, until we moved into a house WITH sunlight. This week I've been so happy and energetic and it's GREAT!!! Turns out I was supposed to start taking my Vitamin D pills way sooner than I thought..... Haha.

So yeah. I love the sun.
But you wanna know what else I love?
I love the Son of God.

This sounds super cheesy but it's a real story of wonderful spiritual enlightenment. #tendermercy So don't hate. 

There is a road in Sherwood Park called Baseline. It runs East to West. Every evening when we are driving around, we always end up on Baseline driving into the sunset. It is so beautiful. I mean like PHENOMENALLY gorgeous. :) It seems like every evening I comment on how gorgeous the sunset it. 

This week, there was one day in particular that really helped me come closer to my Saviour. As we drove into the sunset, my mind was filled with countless scriptures about the Son who is the Light of the world:
  • "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12
  • "And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you" 1 Nephi 17:13
  • "He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." Mosiah 16:9
  • "...the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness--yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul..." Alma 19:6

ALL THINGS TESTIFY OF CHRIST

This week was also really good because we got to help out with the food drive!!! The Strathcona food bank says this year the Glen Allan Ward donated 96% more food than last year!!! That's almost double!!! It was really fun because they weren't expecting much food (based on last year) so they just asked us and a couple from the ward to help sort it all. But the "hour and a half" job became a 4 hour job!!! So lots of members who came to donate stayed to help. It was so chaotic but in a joyful way. Hearts were touched and I felt JOY.

I went on exchanges with Sister Platter. She's my bud in Millwoods. So that was nice. Except that I totally got sick at the end so we had our interview in the washroom.....haha awkward.

We had supper with our new investigator J. She's sooooooo sweet. I've adopted her as my mission grandmother. She made us banana split cheesecake. And she is amazing. And I love her. The spirit is already totally in her home. We just need to help her increase in gospel knowledge. :) I'm really looking forward to general conference this weekend. I can totally put my money on the prophet to invite the spirit. ;)

Our other investigator K came to women's conference!!!! The talks were seriously all written for her. It was crazy. On the car ride to the church, she was telling us all these thoughts and problems she's having, and then the talks PERFECTLY ANSWERED EVERYTHING!!!!! She totally loves President Uchtdorf. :) I'm really excited about her.

So yeah. I'm just happy. Life is good when you're being a missionary. :)
But now I have to go bleach my house cause it's like totally gross. Haha

Love y'all!!
Sister Whiting

Our beautiful lake

Sister Platter and me.
Our beautiful lake

This is President Manion's favourite place in the mission to get donair. So we tried it. 

Exchanges

This is the living room in our new house

My nutty companion

Literally everyone here thinks we are twins.

Us on district meeting day waiting for our sister to respond.

"Is this not the MOST adorably wonderful picture you've ever seen?!?! 
It's from a phenomenal book called "The Great Plan of Happiness" by David Bowman
We found this cool place in our area!

Banana Split Cake
Don't worry. I wasn't going to go swimming. It was waaaaay too freezing.

#twins #sisters #butreallythough

This random cat liked us. It even posed for the picture. haha
Weekly planning
My planner cover