Saturday, November 28, 2015

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland 2.0

Hope you had a wonderful American Thanksgiving!! Thanks for your patience waiting for this blog post. She sent us lots of pictures and a couple videos. It looks like she is doing well as a "twin mom."

It finally snowed!! So it's officially Christmastime and everything is super jolly and Christmas-y here is Sherwood Park. This week was nutzo. So much happened. So here goes.

I got my additional companion this week!! Her name is Sister Kwasney!! She's from Calgary waiting for a visa to go to Pittsburgh, PA. She's pretty much the greatest if you wanted to know. She just like my first Sister Wilson companion in DV. So. Yeah. I'm happy. Training two missionaries at the same time is probably like having Irish twins.....but I don't actually know what that's like. But it's like that. Probably. :) Take that.

We got a pant load of referrals from one family this week. So naturally we contacted them all. It was pretty sweet. One was a Mennonite lady named S. She was pretty cute. The other was a super old lady named E. And of course the coworker named...I can't remember. But they were all like "oh cool. Yeah." So. #swerve

We tracted into a man named John and got to teach him. (Since there's three of us that's totally allowed! HOLLA HOLLA) But what started out as great, quickly turned into... not so great. I don't want to get into too much detail, but let's just say, his eye contact lasted long enough that even a fortune teller would get creeped out. So. "Elders! We got somebody for ya!"

We got roped into doing a little somethin' somethin' for our Relief Society activity is week. Since our investigator K came to it, we agreed. Words don't really describe. So I'll just send the video...  (We didn't get the video she mentioned, but have requested that she try again to share it next week. I will keep you posted.)

The Montreal Temple was rededicated so we got to go to that. It was so great. :) I love the temple. Also President Eyring was so cute in it. I love that guy.

Oh, speaking of General Authorities... So we were teaching a less active old lady named J this week about the prophet and apostles. 
We were like "Do you know who our prophet is today?" 
At this point we got out the conference ensign to show her "It's this guy, Thomas S. Monson."
And she was like "oh you mean Tommy?! Yeah! I call him Tommy."

Now you should also know that this whole time Sister Kwasney thought J was a nonmember. So she took her enthusiasm as a good sign and was bold and stuff and was about to invite her to be baptized when J was like "I got dunked!!" We died. 10 points to Gryffindor for boldness but....20 points to J for saying she got dunked.

Sherwood Park does this massive nativity display every year called Crèche. It's like a huge deal. And our WML's wife is in charge. So we helped her do some set up yesterday. It was so fun. I felt very Christmas-y. Meanwhile, while Sister K and I helped with that, Sister M went on splits with a member to go see a less active in the hospital. But of course it was dumping snow the whole time. So traffic was bad.

5 HOURS later, when this member brought our companion back to us, I felt very much like a parent who's child came home late from curfew. Lol.

Oh yeah and our investigator F is progressing!! She'll hopefully be on date today!!

So yeah. Now we're all trapped in our family room cause we mopped our house. So. 

Sister Whiting
Snow Party!!

We're in an ornament!! (Sister M calls it a ball-ball)
Getting our newbie

THE tripan
This member just had this elk at his house...

I found this. And ate it.

Our German investigator game me this and other sweet skirts from like 1940 Germany.

This is an old pic.Cleaning out Brother Butler's shop!!

Tripan chillin'

Playing with Christmas lights...we were a little tired....

Sister K has a polaroid camera!! Mostly I like this because it makes everyone look as white as I am.


Making bunnies out of gloves? #boredominthewinter #onlyincanada

Me and Sister K. Kinda orange, though, hey?

Playing on the frozen lake

While setting up the creche, we couldn't resist trying on different tablecloths

Creche set up party

Snow is falling all around...the view outside our window

We're sometimes crazy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

You Should Totally Be a Mormon

The doors to our Chapel
Christmas time is here!!!

Um. Guess what? This is gonna be a super long email. Like. SUPER LONG.
Guess what else?
It's my last transfer. (AAAAHHHHHH! 43 days until she comes home!!!!!!-Mom) And also. I'm getting a third companion. That's right. Yesterday during transfer calls, President Manion called and was like "I need you to train another new missionary, WHILE you ALSO keep training Sister McSweeney." So I am TRIPAN DOUBLE TRAINING!!!
When President said this, I was like:


But yeah. Now I'm excited about it. We decorated our house like Christmas today so she'll be nice and happy. :)

This week was crazy. We got to go to a wonderful Remembrance Day assembly in Sherwood Park. We, of course, liked the bagpipes the best. But at one point during the program, there was a slideshow of meaningful soldier pictures and guess what song they played in the background:

"I'm proud to be in Canada where at least I know I'm free!!"

(I'm pretty sure the original is about America, and while I'm totally cool with a Canadian version, I couldn't help but laugh during the slideshow....hope nobody interpreted that wrong...)

We helped our investigator with some service she needed this week. It involved cutting out 700 envelope covers and gluing them we may or may not have felt like glue zombies after that. But it was so great because while we were gluing, she kept asking the most amazing questions about what we believe happens after we die. Then we gave her the general conference Ensign and she got so excited. A few days ago she called us to let us know she's been reading it and she LOVES it.

Yesterday we stopped by everyone and their dog. Basically no one was home. Literally. No one.

But it was still a good day cause the most hilarious things happened. (Granted, I took Sister M for her first slurpee for it might have just been funny cause we were on sugar)

1. We went to try a less active, who as it turns out has moved. But the guy who lives there now was like majorly interested in the message of the Restoration that we shared on his doorstep. So he was like "you better come in so we can talk more about this" and we were like "oh...actually we have rules...blah blah blah" and he was like "that's good. I understand that. Come back on Wednesday afternoon" HOLLA HOLLA

2. We then tried to stop by another less active who wasn't home, but while we were walking up to her door, her neighbour like literally appeared out of nowhere next to us and was like "oh! Are you from the UK?" So Sister McSweeney was like "yeah!" And so she was like "well my name is N and my whole family is from the UK! We live over there! You should come meet them later this week!" So we're like..."ok." WHAT?! So yeah. That was a handed to us on a platter.

3. Right after N talked to us, she goes over to her house and opens the door and like 7 enormous brown dogs come sprinting out and head right for us. It was like BAAAAA. So we froze and panicked. Luckily they were friendly but it reminded me of that movie where the neighbour has all those dogs that run into the house and eat the cake or whatever. Lol. (She means the dogs that eat the turkey on "The Christmas Story.")

4. Later in the day, we had arranged to meet a member of our Ward at an investigator's house to stop by. Well. The time came, and she wasn't there. So we waited and waited. A lady approached us and hugged us and was like "ok so where does she live?" Turns out, there are two LDS families with that same last name in our contacts and we had been texting the wrong lady the whole time. So we just took this random lady from Clarkdale Ward with us to see our investigator. Haha she was so confused why we asked her to fellowship an investigator in Glen Allan.........

Despite the gong show that was yesterday, we had a really great week!! Twice in 1 week we had some cool experiences being bold.

1. With our investigator L. We stopped by again and she was, if you can imagine it, even nicer this time!! She was so nice. But while we were over, her dad called and she had it on speaker. He asked her if she had the Mormons over and she chuckled and said yes. He said to her "it wouldn't be so bad if you ended up a Mormon" and her response was "do you think so?" And we all kinda made eye contact and it was like WOAH!!!! Afterwards she was telling us how much she loves MoTab and we were like "you should be a Mormon!"

2. Our investigator K is also doing good. She let us in for a bit the other day and while we were over she asked us if we could come help her out with some organizing. (#tendermercy #mystrangeaddictions) Anyways. She said while we're doing service we can chat about stuff and she'll try to "deconvert" us. We were kinda like "haha...yeah..." So she was like "just kidding. I could never do that cause I believe in Karma." So I was like "K you would have to be a Mormon!" And she was like "yeah. Well. That wouldn't be so bad." Hehe. Oh K. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Last funny story!
We were asked very last minute to attend the Spanish Elders baptism cause they needed a pianist. So we show up about 15 minutes before it was supposed to start and the font wasn't filled!!! So for the next 15 minutes we filled buckets from the custodial closet with water from the showers and tried to get it filled. In the end, the kid getting baptized had to Matrix status to be fully submerged, but it worked out. Haha oh elders.

So yeah. Life is good. Just preparing for our third amigo. :)
I love you all!!!!!

Sister Whiting

District Meeting

Sister Hill and me at the one and only Panda

Sister McSweeney's first time to an A&W

Our Christmas house

Our Study table

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I Don't Think We're in Canada Anymore...

Well. It technically snowed this week but then melted. Like seriously. This is not Canada. The grass is green and it's November!! Poor Sister McSweeney is missing out on her promised winter wonderland!

But despite the nice weather, we press on! ;) This week has been great. How about I tell you about it.

I had my last Zone Training Meeting this week. That was sad. They had me bear my testimony at it. But I didn't cry so that's good. They also made me play "If You Could Hie to Kolob" which was so bad it almost did make me cry...jk. But seriously. Don't make me play that. I don't have piano skills like Emma. :p

We went on exchanges with our sister training leaders this week. It was Sister M's first one!!! She was great. She came back all cute and excited about talking to people on the train. She gave away a copy of the Book of Mormon!! *wiping a tear of joy* I'm so proud of my girl.

While on exchanges, Sister Platter and I almost died. Literally. But don't worry. God saved us. Here's what happened:
We had an appointment with the D family in Clarkdale ward. They live out in the boonies. And it gets dark at like 4:30 at night. So we're driving down this tiny little range road, and in the oncoming lane, we see a big old semi coming at us. So we go on our side of the road. BUT THE SEMI DROVE ON OUR SIDE OF THE ROAD!! He literally didn't even move. We had to drive almost into the ditch to not die!!

It was scary. I was like nonchalantly driving and telling Sister Platter about all my problems until this happened and we drove the rest of the way with our hearts beating fast.
But we're ok now. We had a great lesson with the D family. We were a little more bold with them and Sister D finally opened up to us about
a lot of her concerns so that we can now combat them.

We also got to go to stake conference. :) It was really good. The Bonnie Doon stake is amazing. Seriously so focused on missionary work. They had a convert give a talk about her conversion and it was AMAZING!!!!! She is my age and joined the church almost a year ago and already has her mission call!!! Crazy!! I loved it!

Well. I got recruited to be the Ward choir pianist and I totally can't play the piano very well. So imma go practice now. :)

Love ya!!
Sister Whiting

Last ZTM

Me and the coolest Sister Hill ever!

Exchanges with Sister Platter. Only this time she's my STL :)

I'm ready!

What we look like weekly planning in the mother's lounge...

We saw otters!!


We helped out investigator sew a snow woman named Priscilla

Sister McSweeney's first poutine. I think PFK is KFC in French. (Brother Whiting looked it up. It is Poulet Frit Kentucky)

Pillaged these pix off Facebook. 

Consistently Being True to the Gospel is Conversion

Note from the Editor: Sorry for being so slow with this one. After being under the control of the cutest, shortest dictators in Chicagoland for a month it took me almost a week to be back in my old groove at home. Enjoy!!

Well. It snowed today. So we had a funeral for the sun.


But seriously though. Vitamin D pills, or "happy pills" as we call them, will be my new best friend until I'm back in Boise. In the meantime, my snow-deprived companion is ecstatic and is more than happy to scrape the windshield for me. Lol. #loveher #nosnowinEngland #letitsnow

This week was sooo great!!! We did some great things.
1. Brother Butler and his daughter Lindsey took us on a tour of Edmonton!!! It was sooooo cute!! He gave us each a flower to feel special and binoculars so we could see everything. :) His daughter was so fun also. She took us to the top of a sky scraper so we could see the top view of downtown Edmonton. It was so great.
2. We had a "Sister Specialized Training" this week. (Aka a sister missionary conference). All the sisters in the mission were there. So of course I got pics with my surviving comps!!! It was so good to see everyone again. #fullnessofjoy #sisterinthework. I really like the conference. We learned about our specific role as women in the work. It was all warm and fuzzy and stuff. So yeah. That was good.
3. We made a goal to contact everyone on the Ward list (mostly cause I still don't know most of them but also cause we want to work win more less actives).  And as we've gone through, we've found a lot of part member families that are interested in having the missionaries over!! So we're going to start trying to teach some families!!!!! :D
4. We joined Ward choir. But there's no piano I do it. Terribly. Lol. I need to practice. I think Emma should come up here and do it!!
5. Oh. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NONNY!!!!! I hope the video I sent you isn't too weird. I can't say I'm really myself that early in the morning...but ya know. Happy birthday. :)

In church on Sunday, we had a lesson about testimony vs. conversion.
This is what I loved:

Knowing the gospel is true is TESTIMONY.
Consistently being true to the gospel is CONVERSION.

Golden. Seriously. I heard that and it just hit home. We all have moments in our lives when the spirit touches our hearts and we know something is true. We gain a testimony. But we don't always act consistently upon what we learned. We  need to be CONVERTED.
Jesus Christ wants people who will follow Him. Keep his commandments. He KNOWS that it will be hard. And he knows we're not perfect. But it's possible. His grace is SUFFICIENT. He can help us to be like him!! I know of no sweeter thing in life than this.
We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. With the help of Christ's grace let's all be CONVERTED.

Love you all!!!
Sister Whiting

The Leg. as in Legislature

The Leg from the other side

The tour. And yes, I know I'm white. Thanks.

Like a skyscraper!! That's worldly. So is this view ;)

Sun shot with Lindsey

Us and Edmonton. (don't they look like they belong on a postcard?!)

Let it Snow!!

Sister M's first donair

Sister Wilson!!!!!

Sister Holbrook!!!!!

Sister Jones!!!!!

Sister Burton!!!!!