Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I'd Like To Publicly Thank Celine Dion for Her Version of O Holy Night

If you're wondering if missionaries get prank referrals, the answer is definitely YES. It's too bad you guys don't listen to Canadian radio cause I was definitely on it the other day. Why? Because some punks decided to go on Mormon.org and send a fake referral to us. So we ended up calling Fresh Radio and I answered a question on the air of what I think about furry toilet lid covers. I said tacky, in case you wanted to know.

This week was so fun, and painfully fast. But I've loved every minute of it. In preparation for Christmas, God has been sending us so many MIRACLES!!

Miracle #1
We've gone carolling like infinite times already. The first time was with the young women in our Ward. That was sooooo fun. It was at this old folks home and after we finished singing, this random super old lady just walks up to me and starts telling me about her family in Idaho!! So I was like "I'm from Idaho!!" And she just kinda looked at me and was like "that's nice." Then she gave me a hug and left.......I hope it will be easier for me to talk to young people cause I think there's little to no hope for my non-missionary social skills.....But anyways. The reason carolling was a miracle was because of how powerful the spirit of the Lord was with us as we sang about Christ's birth.

Miracle #2
We had our Christmas program at church and guess who came?!!? L!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were there practicing with the choir and all of a sudden we see L walk in with J. Crazy, hey? Oh yeah and we found out that K and L are friends. So like all our investigators could sit together at church if they ever came on the same Sundays. Sherwood Park is such a small place. It was fun to see her there. And our program was a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. All our insane songs came together and sounded so good. I only messed up a tiny bit on the piano. ;)  

(note from the editor - I got this sweet email about last week's Christmas program:

Sister Whiting,

Just a quick note to thank you for sharing your daughter with us. Sister Whiting is a wonderful addition to our ward, who has grown so much on her mission. She and her companions were part of the choir in a special Christmas program in yesterday's Sacrament meeting. She accompanied the choir and did such a great job - you would be very proud of Sister Whiting. May the Lord bless you and your family for your continued support of the missionary effort. Best Wishes for the New Year!

We are, of course, very proud of her music and her missionary service.)
Miracle #3
The other night we were driving down the road, listening to Celine Dion's version of O Holy Night. (And by "the other night" I mean every night cause that song is a Christmas miracle.)

Miracle #4
One day while also experiencing miracle #3, I turned to look at some Christmas lights, when all of a sudden, BAM!!!!! We saw HUGE northern lights in the sky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So of course I safely slammed on my brakes and we got out of the car to watch them. (Don't worry we still had like 15 minutes till curfew) We tried to take pictures and videos for you but you can't really tell....They were sooo bright and colourful!! I felt like I was in Brother Bear!!! :D

Miracle #5
This one also has to do with Carolling. We were supposed to have coordination with our WML on Sunday night, but before we went he told us "we can't coordinate but come anyways". So we did and his family and like 6 other families from the Ward were all ready to go carolling. Like we're talking 30+ people on a doorstep to sing. It was soooooooooooooo fun. I pretty much died it was so fun. Afterwards, the Bishop's wife invited us to spend our p-day making gingerbread houses at their house. So that's what we'll be doing later. #fulnessofjoy #theperfectChristmas

Miracle #6
I think I'm good at wrapping presents now.
(That's code for: we wrapped our investigator's presents for like 3 hours...)
I love Christmas.

Well........that's about it from me......I'll try to do a bunch of super great stuff this week so my last email is good. In the meantime, I haven't listened to Celine Dion yet today. Sooooooooooooooo

Peace out.
(Literally cause it's Christmas week)
Sister Whiting

Helped out the old folks home Christmas party. Turns out Santa and Mrs. Claus are already members of our church. :D
Last visit with our favourite humans ever. #Bostonpizza #findthegiantnutcracker

#socold #frozeneyelashes #nomakeupmonday

Walking on the frozen lake with K

K was like, "Sister Whitening!! Let's run!" So we did. Me and a 78-year-old lady running on a frozen lake.

#instagramworthy #frozensisters


My absolute favourite. This is the lady I told you about a few weeks back who's friend died and I talked to her about it. Isn't she adorable?!

Our volunteer friends

 I learned how to make a toque ornament out of yarn and toilet paper rolls.

Visiting J

Our service on Thursdays :-) Love these peeps

Carolling with Ben, our WML's son. He's obviously our favourite 7-year-old
Piggy back?! Yes, please!

It isn't the best video, but she tried to share her sighting of the Northern lights with us.

These Boots Are NO Longer Made for Walking

(This post is from her December 15th letter.)

Remember how I had like the greatest and most stylish boots of all time before my mission? Well. This weekend, just 2 weeks before making it my whole mission with these boots. 
They broke.
It's really sad.

I'm over it. K, so this week was super great. Lots happened!!!
On Thursday Sister Kwasney and I went to the follow up trainer meeting to talk about how her first few weeks have gone. While we did that, Sister M went to work in GA with another sister. It was fun to see Sister M take over the area and serve people while Sister K and I watched comp unity videos and role played...........

We went on exchanges with our STLs over the weekend. It was sooo fun. I went to the Strathcona Married Student Ward with Sister Platter. :) We did a booth on Whyte Ave (which is kinda a sketchy place) and talked to some people. At this point my shoes were broken though...so it was mostly just fun cause it was a gong show. I super majorly love Sister Platter cause she helps me with my freak out-ness. Love ya sista!!

Speaking of freak out-ness. I'm a freak out. Cause I'm gonna be home. In like. Not enough time. So......I'm doing My Plan still. It's good except this week I had to set dating and marriage goals...like um what is that?! Idk. But whatevs. Some sister at Christmas conference were like "Set a goal to brush your hair twice a week minimum. That should guarantee a date."

I prefer missionary work.

Speaking of Christmas conference!!! We had it yesterday. It was amazing. And also your letters made me big time cry. And so. It is great. Seriously. I love you guys so much. My two new comps each got like INFINITE Christmas packages and they were about to feel bad for me for not getting any. But I was like "if I got any we wouldn't be able to carry all yours to the car." #swerve

Our investigator L came to our stake choir performance in which I played the most ridiculous song on the piano. (It's actually gorgeous but unrealistically difficult for a missionary who gets little to no practice time). The coolest part was that it actually sounded good!!! God FOR SURE was helping me on the piano and Angels were singing with our choir. The spirit was so strong and L definitely felt it. I love the spirit of Christmas music.

We also had our Ward Christmas party which was Polar Express theme. Our investigator S and her kids came to that. It was AWESOME. The youth in the Ward totally friendshipped them and made them feel at home. It was so fun. :) Since it was a pj party, we made pj skirts!!

Let's see. What else. Um......I got to see Sister Burton and Elder Mitchell and Elder Bennion and Sister Moser and all sorts of missionaries that have changed my life at Christmas conference. Honestly that, and the chance to be with the people here in GA are the BEST Christmas gifts ever. I couldn't have been happier to see them.

I love my mission and I love this gospel.
Christmas is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Us with our WML's kids. After church they asked us if we could take a selfie!!!! :)

Christmas conference with my Millwoods BFF's
Me with Carrie from DV

Follow up Trainer meeting!!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

For Unto Us a Child Is Born

Christmas-themed dinner at a member's home

If you're wondering if I have the new Christmas video memorized already, the answer is yes. I do. It's so cute I can't even believe it! Also cause this Christmas I miss Handel's Messiah so much it's nutzo and the video is like the song. :) **Shout out to mom for sending me the Messiah music** (Thank Elder Parker Whiting. He asked me to send him a copy so I did the same for Sister Whiting.)

This week was so good!! We did infinite and beyond amounts of service again. But it was sooo fun! You know the show Extreme Hoarders? We cleaned a house like that. Only she wouldn't let us get rid of much. So it was mostly just organizing....still fun though. Seriously. I love cleaning. #imweird #swerve

K came to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She also stayed after for the break-the-fast and the first presidency Christmas devotional afterwards. It was so good. She loved it. Then!!! Sister Morrison (the mum of my first greenie), who speaks German, came and talked to K for a bit and she loved it!!! It was saweeeeeet!

Ya know how missionaries are always like "if there's ever anything we can do to help, give us a call!" And then no one ever calls? Well. A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE HAS OCCURRED!!! Someone actually called! So we got a referral. She was Menenite. Remember her? She called us and asked us to help her assemble an outdoor bench swing in her basement...without instructions. 

I have a testimony that God gives us abilities we don't actually have when we need them to help people. Straight up, we got in, we built the swing out of a bunch of random pieces of metal, and got out. #tendermercies #miracleshappen 

I had the coolest experience this week. Ya know how we go to Silver Birch (an old folks home) to help with the adult day program? Well. This week was the best week ever. Here's the story:

We showed up just as they were finishing story time. One old lady in particular is obsessed with Sister McSweeney, so she went over to sit with her. Sister Kwasney went to chill with another group of oldies. I went to the kitchen to hang out with one of the workers, H. After a bit of whateverness, H had to run out to answer a phone call. So I kept washing up till about 20 minutes later when she came back in crying. 

So naturally I went to give her a hug, which turned into like ultimate best friend deep talk of greatness. Her best friend had called to tell her that her dad just died. H's mom died about a year ago this month so that was also still fresh. So she was just overwhelmed with grieving. For the next 2 hours while my companions helped old people do chair exercises, H and I just talked and talked. She taught me and I taught her. It was such a neat experience to testify to her that she will be with her loved ones again. We talked about her family members that have died and what they taught her. We talked about how reaching out to help others heals something within us. We talked about the way God directs our path and how she landed at Silver Birch. It was so amazing. I invited her to the Stake Christmas Music thing and she said she would definitely come. Before we left, I gave her another big hug and she thanked me for being exactly what she needed. I was happy to see her happiness but I also knew it wasn't me entirely. It was perfectly timed by God that we would be there when she got that call. 

On Christmas.Mormon.org there is another video called "Why We Need a Saviour." At the beginning it talks about a world where every heartache lasts forever, mistakes are permanent, and you can never take back bad words you've said. Mankind would just drift further and further away from happiness. Thankfully that world doesn't exist!! Unto us a child was born. 

That's what I was thinking while I talked with H. She doesn't have to be sad forever!! She will be with her loved ones again. She will be made whole. She can REJOICE GREATLY.

That is why unto us a Saviour was born.

And boy am I grateful for that.

I love you all! Merry Christmas!!
Sister Whiting

K wouldn't let me go on a walk with her without a coat, so this is what she made me wear...
Not bad, hey?

Visiting J!!! Our Favorite Dutch lady!!

Time for hot chocolate

Our ward mission leader's wife gave us advent calendars to count down to New Year's...
 (When Sister Whiting comes home!!!!!!!!!!)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mr. Tissue, You're My Only Friend

You know that episode of Captain Literally when the guy says "I literally feel like a flaming porcupine is being shoved up my nose" and then it comes true? I literally feel like that. Wanna know why I'm so sick right now?

Cause this week was CRAY CRAY!! Here's what happened:

1. Our super famous Crèche exhibit was this week. We spent hours and hours setting up and then hours and hours taking it down. Plus all the hours in between when people were looking at it. Sheesh. Here are my highlights from Crèche.
-K came to help set up for quite a few hours and for some reason thought it was an honour...ever since then, she's been a lot more willing to progress. She's even going to join our Ward choir!!!
-We set up a missionary table with different languages of the Book of Mormon and after the whole thing quite a few were gone. ;)
-A member put Bath and Body Works soap in the church washrooms. :) #myideaofgenius This same member brought a sentsy plugin so our church smelled soooooooo good!!
-It was gorgeous and the spirit was so strong. There were about 800 nativities and 1500 people (that were mostly nonmembers) to see them. Several different choirs performed, filling the church with such powerful testimonies of our Savior. It was amazing. The spirit of Christmas truly is the spirit of Christ!!
-Brother Keyes from Lakewood showed up!!!! It was seriously so fun!!! I was so happy to see part of my Millwoods family there. #fullnessofjoy
-Everyone who helped was sick and so I got it. Oh wait....were we talking about the good parts?.........#timefornastymedicine #tissuesaremyonlyfriends #tistheseason

2. We went on a gazillion splits with members this week. Sister McSweeney is rocking the missionary world right now. She almost got out investigator F on date for baptism and she's helping a PM family in the ward sooo much!! They love her. Sister Kwasney is just plain awesome. Seriously I love her so much. #inspiredquestions #queenofboldness I'll miss her when she goes off to Pittsburgh. I'm seriously so proud of my two little greenies. They're teaching me so much.

3. Our Bishop and his counsellor got together and had us over for American Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, stuffing, pink fluff, sweet potatoes and more. It was sooooooo nice. I didn't realize how much I missed our family traditions until they started doing some of the same ones we do and I felt so much at home. It was a tender mercy to get to be around familiar traditions but mostly I just loved being with my Canadian family for a night of fun. I will miss these people so much. :/

4. I got recruited to be the pianist for our ward choir. And of course we're doing like hardcore Mack Wilberg, key changes galore, crazy part songs. So.....pray for me lol.

5. We started volunteering at the food bank and it's so great. Lots of germs and snot. But it's worth it cause after our shift, they give us free Cob's bread!!!!!!!!!!! So it's fine. Also everyone there is super nice and let's us talk about church stuff.

6. Sister K and I took a member named J to a lesson with our investigator L. Just so you know, J is a little off her rocker, so we were a little nervous, but we felt like we should take her anyways. During the lesson (which was the plan of salvation) J interrupted us and was like
"Wanna know what I think? None of the other churches make sense except the Mormons cause the Mormons do everything like how Jesus would do it. And I think that's pretty great. So you should pay attention."
BAM.  Nicely done J. Bold testimony. We were all like :O for a while. But then it ended up being really good. L came to crèche and is now much more open. So we're so proud of J for helping us out.

So that's my week. Just gotta go sleep off my cold now. :)

Love you!!
Sister Whiting

Making cookies to give investigators
Our missionary display tables designed by Sister K and me.

This was taken before we put up all the copies

Getting ready for Creche

Found these signs during Creche

Happy Christmas!!

All the sisters in the mission as of a month ago.
Broadmoor Lake
Playing games with the Bishop's family for Family Home Evening