Thursday, October 10, 2013

just doin' some heart exercises

are these not the cutest kids ever?!
slash you can totally see their personalities haha.
Oh my goodness. I will miss them.
Hey all!

Well this morning we got The Call......

and I'm training! and opening a new area. as in, LEAVING the beautiful city of Dubuque! Ahh I'm so sad to be leaving. I love it here so much! I really thought I'd stay and Sis Call would leave, which is kind of what we were both more or less hoping for - which is probably why it happened the other way around ;) It was kind of funny though. I really thought I would stay, but then yesterday Sis Call mentioned that the sister training leaders were guessing that I'd leave and she'd stay - not that they have any say at all, it was just a guess. Hearing that made the idea more real for me and I started worrying because I did NOT want to leave. Then I dreamed about it all last night - including dreaming that I was opening and training in Spanish haha! But by the end of the stressful night I was a lot more open to the idea of leaving and wasn't surprised at all when it came. It will be really good. I'm so grateful that Sis Call opened this area with me so that I will have some idea of what to do when I get to my new area. I feel so blessed to have been able to come here for the first area. I haven't had the immediate impact I would have liked, but I really feel like part of the reason I came here is to have the love of the ward members and Elder and Sister Thomas, all of whom have been so wonderful at taking us under their wings. But anyways, I guess that means I'm going to be a mom!!

      That sorta leads into the subject line. On Friday, Sis Call and I met with a Marshallese lady who's been coming to church for 2 weeks with our ward missionary. She hardly speaks English but is AMAZING. The first lesson was so good - not because we taught very well, but because the Spirit was really strong, especially as the other Marshallese ladies with us translated and testified. I might not have understood what they were saying, but anyone could feel the Spirit. She is so excited about being baptized and says she knows the "Mormon church" is true. That was Tuesday. The next day we took her to dinner with us at the ward mission leader's house, where we also watched the Restoration, and then played ping pong :) Then we went over again on Friday. None of our translators could go so we couldn't teach much, but she told us how the Book of Mormon is the "#1 book" and how she's been studying and having her prayers answered. It was so refreshing to hear and to strengthen my testimony that people really can receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon(and that some people really do keep commitments!). 
      Sad part is,she is also moving to Spokane on Saturday. She is so happy because she has been wanting to move there to be with her daughter so bad, and she finally can. She was beaming, and we are happy for her. But it made me think about how this mission, and really life in general, is like an exercise for your heart or something, because it seems every time my hopes get up, something happens that tears at my heart a little! But that's how muscles get stronger - by tearing and then rebuilding even bigger. This morning's transfer doctrine just added to that. I guess my heart just needs to get stronger and stronger :)
 the Marshallese did a farewell for
Elder and Sister Thomas (they've served here a year)
 and obviously decked them out. It was beautiful!

Elder Thomas made grilled cheese and got
lunch all put together for us :)

Anyways, wasn't Conference amazing?!?! I loved it so much. I loved going through my notes this morning and making a little "game plan" as to what I need to do now and what I need to remember. There are always so many things to do and change, and I wanted to pick just a few little things to start working on. For most of my life, I've taken notes and hardly ever looked at them again, so I'm really trying to actually apply what I learned. I felt like a lot of Conference was about the importance of spiritually preparing and fortifying ourselves, as well as the enabling power of the Atonement and how we really can change, put aside our weaknesses, and become new people in Christ. I am so grateful for the Restoration and that we are led by God Himself, through His chosen prophets. It's so comforting to have that knowledge!

We also watched Priesthood session, which was so awesome!! And super applicable to missionary work! It ended up being a huge blessing that we could watch it. Sis Call and I were walking over to the Thomas' (where we watched General Conference), and we passed by a lady we work with, who was just lighting up a cigarette. We ran down to her and said hi and asked how she was doing, and knowing she was "caught," she just said, "I'm just sitting here smoking a cigarette." She didn't want to put it out or anything but when we said that we were heading over to the Thomas' to watch Conference and that she should come with us, she jumped at that and came right over with us. She has been really stressed and really needed that, so it was such a tender mercy that we ran into her! And while walking there and back, we got to talk to her and just tell her about how much Heavenly Father loves her and that the Atonement is real. It was a special experience. 
French Bread!

Other fun things: Last Monday, we made delicious and easy French bread with Grandma Beatse! We also got to teach a lot more lessons and got in with a super sweet inactive lady! Haha and at Hills and Dales there's this super sweet client we hang out with a lot (very high-functioning), and she couldn't remember my name so immediately just called me "Sister Beautiful" haha! I was like, well I'm totally fine with you forgetting my name if you call me that! I love her. Also, I've decided that one of my favorite pasttimes is reading through the Area Book. It's seriously so fun - especially when the elders from years ago write things that just make you laugh. I'm definitely a nerd I guess!
a missionary fridge - weekly goals
(haha hope you enjoy the "shorter showers"), pic of the temple from a little girl, armor of God from another cute girl, random stuff from the member's home, etc :)

Just a reminder - packages need to be sent either First Class or Priority Mail. Any others can't be forwarded (not a big deal right now, because I can just get them at transfers). You all are the best.

I think that's it for now. I just loved Conference so much haha. I love how the General Authorities can call us to repentance while making us feel so loved - something I'm definitely working on! sorry I don't have more specifics, I grabbed the wrong notebook and not the one I took notes in, and I feel like there was so much good stuff that I have a hard time picking a "favorite" or something. 'Cause it was all just so amazing! Mom and Dad, thanks for being amazing parents to me and all of us. I love you all! Wish me luck as I move myself and a brand new missionary to who knows where! Ahh! Church is true! I love you!

Love from Iowa!
Sister Whipple

PS I lied before. NOW it's officially fall haha!

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