Monday, November 4, 2013

interviews and Halloween and trainings, oh my

Hi all!

This past week was fun - we had a new trainers' meeting in West Des Moines (road trip!!) on Tuesday, had to be in by 6 on Wednesday and Thursday (we were super productive in our apartment though!), had normal district meeting on Thursday, and had interviews with President and Sister Jensen on Saturday! This week is back to the grindstone - we don't even have district mtg this week - so it will be hard but good. Miracles come when we work hard ;)

Last Monday was so awesome. We met with young lady and her boyfriend, and it was the coolest lesson! Sis Etherington and Sis Paul taught the lady on exchanges, but this was the first time meeting her boyfriend, so we were a little nervous. They are wonderful! They love temples and want to be married for eternity - which is awesome because that will hopefully make the law of chastity lesson easy ;) He is from Chicago and grew up in a super ghetto area with a bad background - he told us a lot about it - but he's so prepared. He's always had a desire to "find Jesus" in his life and it's so cool hearing about everything that has brought him to where he is today. They said they know that we were sent to them at just the right time! He asked us a question about Adam and the creation, and we answered it simply, and he just looked at us and was like, "I could have asked that to any pastor and he wouldn't have been able to answer me. But you just did!" I didn't think we had said anything crazy (just that we lived with God before we were born), but it made me so grateful for the truths of the restored gospel! He has also been taught his whole life that after we die we forget everything - including all our relationships - about this earth, so it's so cool to be able to teach that we CAN be with our families forever. The young lady is so cute - she has hardly any religious background, but when we ask if she can feel the Spirit, she's like "oh, I'm feelin it!" with her arms in the air. hahaha we've been saying "I'm feelin' it!" all week now. And when we asked if we could kneel in prayer at the end, she was like "Oh I'm kneeling!" haha I love her. Super cool response to the baptismal invite too. Sis E. asked them, and she said she wants to, but she wants to with her family. He didn't say much at first, so Sis E asked again, and he said...No. We asked him why and he explained that it is because he's already been baptized and everything. He sometimes has a hard time focusing because he has so many questions and loves to talk, so I'm not sure if he really understood the Restoration. But I summarized Acts 19 for him, talking about this group of people who was baptized again by Paul, and I didn't feel like I was doing a great job - but then he was like, "The whole time you've been talking, God's been talking to me. And the Spirit's telling me that what you're saying is right and I should listen to you. So yeah, I'll be baptized again."  YEAH! The Spirit rocks! They went to Chicago for the weekend so we haven't been able to see them, but we are meeting with them again tonight. hopefully we'll set a baptismal date!!

Speaking of baptismal dates, another man we are teaching is doing great! We were really worried about him for a while there because we felt like we were stuck in a rut. His baptismal date was Nov 2, but he wasn't ready, which is OK. But then last week we had two lessons with him and we really felt the Spirit in those lessons, which was such a relief! The second lesson, we watched President Uchtdorf's talk, "Come, Join With Us" from this past conference (click here for link), because he has a hard time believing in Joseph Smith as a prophet since he was so imperfect. He loved the video! He always prays in Spanish, but I can understand a little and the girl who comes with us to the lesson translated for us after he left and she said that his prayer was really sweet. Apparently he said something like, "thank you that we were able to watch that talk, it really helped answer some of my questions." Yes! We set a new date with him for later this month and he seems much more on board with it this time! He also came to church on Sunday and stayed for all three hours! We are trying to help the ward get better at fellowshipping, and I don't think he's super comfortable at church yet, but I think he was able to have a good experience and will keep coming. Haha not having investigators at church is stressful, but having them there is stressful too! But it's great, I love the ward and I think they are getting more and more missionary minded! It's exciting!

We have also been teaching our 13-year-old investigator! We teach her on her front porch - she hasn't invited us in yet, and I can tell her family situation is not great. Her parents know who we are and are nice enough to us, but they just don't care about anything - it's really sad. She can be hard to teach sometimes because she gets super distracted and doesn't remember much of what we say, but it's good trying to teach simply. I loved talking about how God loves her and how she can be clean of all her past mistakes (she's had a rough past) through the Atonement and baptism and the Sacrament and all of that good stuff!

On Wednesday we had dinner with a lady who is a Community of Christ pastor! She took us to Pizza Shack. Haha she's so sweet and totally looks out for us! 

I've been having lots of missionary dreams lately. Sis E said I was giving some crazy lessons in my sleep. It's stressful haha.
Yesterday was my 4th click day, so we celebrated by breaking our fast with cinnamon French toast! Then we had "healthy brownies." It was delicious. 

Tonight we will be teaching a "stop smoking workshop" to one of our new converts! I am a little nervous but also excited. His family is working towards going to the temple, so we really want to help him so they can all be there and be sealed together! That would be so cool and they are so close and so wonderful! Yesterday at church Bishop gave a blessing to him and his wife. The Spirit was so strong. I felt so blessed to be able to be there to experience that.

The switch from daylight savings was fun! I had fallen asleep super quickly the night before (I was out before Sis E climbed into bed, which wasn't long after I did!) and had forgotten about it, as had she. When her alarm went off, I looked at the phone and thank goodness it had changed automatically, so it said 5:30 instead of 6:30. In my groggy voice and with my retainer and accompanying lisp, I was like "Sister Etherington, guess what? It's daylight savings! We have another hour to sleep!" We both cheering and feel back asleep. Haha it was the best.

You all are so awesome. Thanks for reading my super long, super rambling letters. Oh and Dad....HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Friday!!!!! You're the best and I love you like crazy! Thanks for being my dad! And thanks all for being mi familia :)

Love you!

Sister Whipple

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