Tuesday, November 26, 2013

when daggers fell from the sky :)

Hi loved ones!

This week has been good! Today sure was a pleasant surprise to say the least - 2 letters and 2 packages?! Thank you so much!!! I couldn't believe it. Sooo sweet. 

Winter officially officially started on Thursday! Don't worry though, I was OK :) We went to Leon (nearby town) and the weather was just nasty (sleety rain stuff) but the people were surprisingly nice! Maybe the bad weather is actually a blessing! We haven't had much luck in Leon but we found some awesome potential investigators, then stopped by the sweetest member family for dinner, then taught our little 8-year-old girl the Plan of Salvation with some sweet cut-outs we made. It was a sweet lesson because her dad helped her little 6 year-old brother say the opening prayer, and her mom helped her pray. I love that family! Anyways, when we got out of the lesson at about 7:45, we went outside and it was "snowing" - but this is not the same snow they have in Utah! It's daggers falling from the sky! Haha we were just laughing at how ridiculous it was. I am sooo grateful we have a car. Everything was super icy so we drove very carefully :) Lots of snow and sleet and ice rain that night.

Yesterday Sister Etherington and I went to a multi-faith Thanksgiving service at the Community of Christ church building that we were invited to! It was fun and interesting. I almost died of trying to contain my laughter though because we kept being super awkward on accident. For example...we all stood up for the opening hymn, followed by the invocation. At the end of the prayer, the girl giving the prayer said "amen," so naturally Sis. Etherington and I say "amen" as well...only we were the only ones. Haha seriously we never knew when they'd say amen or not! Sometimes the pastor would be talking and people would be saying amen spontaneously, and other times they'd say amen to close a prayer and we were the only ones who amen-ed the prayer as well. Anyways, it opened my eyes to just how awkward people probably feel when they come to our church for the first time and don't know how to do anything, and how we just need to help them to feel as comfortable as possible. But you know what's super cool about the service? Sis. Etherington and I got to be a part of it! We were asked to give a "testimony" for just a couple minutes about something related to the theme of the service, which was "thankful for community." I introduced ourselves and said who we are and what we do and talked a little about how I'm grateful for the different communities in my life, and then Sister Etherington read 3 Nephi 12:14-16 (I just totally guessed on those numbers, they are the verses about the light on the hill) and related it to Lamoni, and how grateful we are for the community of Lamoni.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house; Therefore let you light shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (3 Nephi 12:14-16). 

 And she did a great job throwing in a little testimony of how Jesus Christ is the light of the world and how God is our loving Heavenly Father :) haha and when she closed "in the name of Jesus Christ," I was of course the only one who responded with an amen hahaha. Anyways, I felt pretty good about it and was really grateful for that opportunity. At the end we were like celebrities or something, haha it was funny - everyone seemed so intrigued by us, it was hard for us to get out of there because so many people wanted to talk to us! So fun, so grateful.

We had stake conference this weekend, which was amazing!!!! It was in Des Moines so it was so crazy trying to find a ride, but of course it all worked out. We got to go to the adult session because it was all based on the Work of Salvation broadcast, and it was soooo great!! We had a "missionary choir" where we all stood up in the front for the intermediate hymn, "Go Forth With Faith," and sang the last verse together. It was so cool. There are 63 missionaries in the Des Moines stake!! And, "Mamma Call" got transferred to Des Moines on Thursday, so I got to see her!! It was sooo fun. The Sunday session was awesome as well, and we rode with the Slayton family, who then fed us lunch afterwards. Sis. Slayton has become like our mom here, which I love :)

This week should be interesting! Almost all of our investigators will be gone because almost all of them are students, so that's a bummer - but hopefully we'll find more families! We have Thanksgiving dinners with two families, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday :) So excited! You all have a most wonderful Thanksgiving too :) I am sooo grateful for this gospel and for the opportunity to be a missionary! It's amazing, and I am so blessed. I love the quote from President Monson's General Conference Sunday morning talk: "My Heavenly Father has been so good to me." So true. I love you all and thank you SO much for all you do and are for me! 

Sister Whipple

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