Tuesday, December 3, 2013

look at those cows. they're so stupid.

Happy Monday!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was great. But, we are excited for people to be back from break - we certainly missed our students while they were all gone! Holidays are wonderful but it's hard sometimes because people are SO BUSY and don't want to talk to us until after the holidays. 

Anyways, on Thanksgiving Day we had district meeting, then drove down to the countryside of Davis City, where the Acland family lives, and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with them! It was awesome, I loved it. They have three girls, ages 15-about 22, and they were all there plus the 22-year old's husband. It was our first time being with all of them and I loved seeing their family dynamics and being there with them all. They are all just so sweet and fun with each other. It was great. The youngest daughter cooked almost all the food, and it was great! We had turkey, potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (is this a Midwest thing? Because we had green bean casserole at our Wednesday night Thanksgiving dinner too, and we were talking to another family that said they don't remember ever having a big holiday without green bean casserole! I think maybe I'll start this tradition too ;) ), homemade rolls, and delicious apple and pumpkin pies. In between dinner and pies, I played "Clue" with Br. Acland and the daughters which was really fun. Sis. Etherington spent time with Sis. Acland while we were playing, which was good for Sis. Acland. We also got to share a message on gratitude, which was nice especially since the son-in-law isn't a member but is super sweet! After the Acland's, we went back to Lamoni and visited with the a couple other families from our ward which was so nice. I love our ward! I just regret not getting any Thanksgiving day pictures! 

Oh before I forget! Thanks SO much KJ for your cute Thanksgiving card! And thank you Mom for the warm clothes!!! I love my little red mittens :) And the Uniclo top and tights are so warm and comfortable! Of course, once I got the warm clothes it's been warmer again...haha but TRUST me, I'll use them for sure! I already have :) And I love those running pants Jenessa gave me so much, that I've definitely worn them under some longer skirts on colder days ;)

Wednesday was pretty funny. We were supposed to have a Thanksgiving dinner that night with the Bishop family - they are the cutest! - and we were SOO excited, but Sis. Bishop called that morning and said that her son was sick, so she had to cancel. We were so disappointed! And we had to go to Leon that day (where the Bishop's lived), so if we don't have a dinner appointment then we just pack sandwiches for dinner and eat in the car. We called the Steele's (the super cute old couple who fed us the most delicious dinner a few weeks ago) and asked if we could come by sometime and drop off their tupperware and share a thanksgiving message with them, which they said we could. We were sorta kinda hoping they'd invite us for dinner, but it wasn't a big deal at all when they didn't...but then they called us a few hours later and asked us if we'd join them at "supper." Score! Haha we were really excited that it worked out. They fed us a really yummy Thanksgiving dinner :) AND they gave us a bag of some random cans and boxes of food, apples, etc.! Which was a blessing because we were definitely running low on food AND on money haha. Thank you Steele's!

After the Steele's, we went to another family's to teach a lesson. That went well again and was fun. They are so great. The man there talked about how he used to want a lot of things in life, but now he doesn't really want anything because he has everything he's ever wanted, and if he wants something, he just goes and gets it (they are NOT wealthy AT ALL, but are just super grateful for what they do have). And he's grateful for the unseen blessings too - like when they were having car problems and had to pull off onto the side of the road, because you never know if that didn't save you from an accident or something. They are such a great examples to me - along with so many other people here!

We also got Thanksgiving cards from two ladies. One from the lady who lives in our complex and works at the Leon library and LOVES us. It is so funny. She is such a crazy lady, and basically said no to letting us teach her anything, but for some reason she really likes us and looks out for us. The other lady sent us a thank-you for speaking at the Community of Christ Thanksgiving service - she's another one who just really seems to like us, which is fun :)
Outside the Leon library!

On the 30th, we had some extra time and extra miles on our car, so we took that opportunity to contact some people living out in the country around Davis City. Our best contact was a referral. They live off the highway in like the middle of nowhere, so we were a little nervous because it was getting dark, but they were so nice! They are an older couple and let us in and talked for a while. We had so many chances to bear our testimonies on so many little things that came up - families, God's love, temples, prophets, the Book of Mormon, etc.! The lady showed us a Book of Mormon that their good friends (who have since passed away) gave her 20 years ago, with the sweetest testimony written inside! That was cool. She said we can come back and read with her sometime :) It's cool to think that their friends are probably helping out on the other side as well, because it sounds like they really loved them! While out in the country, I was really grateful that we were safe because there were lots of deer and we really had to be careful because if we weren't, we could have easily hit one (or more). We also enjoyed driving by so many cows and laughing about how dumb they always look. At one point I slid a little on the gravel (lesson learned, don't drive as fast on the gravel/rocky/dirt roads as you would on paved ones! duh) and we laughed about how the cows are probably looking at us and saying "Look at those girls. They're so stupid." It was funny. trust me.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a little hard for me because I kept saying/doing dumb things and I realized some mistakes I'd made and I was just really frustrated with myself. But it helped knowing I'd be emailing you all today :) And it made me grateful, again, for the Atonement and for repentance and forgiveness. We need it so much!

Oh cool thing about yesterday though! A girl we have been working with came to church with her three roommates/friends! Seriously, that was really cool that they all came. AND, one of the girls bore her testimony in Sacrament Meeting!!!! It was soooo cool!!!! She bore her testimony on things we've been talking about too, mostly the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and she said she was grateful for "Sister Whipple and Sister E" for always checking up on her and helping her and answering her roommates' millions of questions :) She even made comments in gospel principles [sunday school] and in Relief Society, which is huge! So happy :)

I love our trips to see families in Missouri!
That reminds me, one last thing: On Saturday another family from church had us over along with 5 of the college kids we are teaching for lunch! It was SO nice, and was basically like another Thanksgiving. It was so wonderful to be in their home, where the Spirit is already so strong. Sis. Etherington and I shared a message on "daily bread" and showed the 1st and 2nd Mormon Message of that "daily bread" series (if you haven't watched it, you should check it out because it's super good!). That was really nice :)

OK I think that's it :) It was a good week and we will have an even better one this next week! I love bearing my testimony to people and watching the Spirit work in them. It's one of the sweetest experiences! Thank you Mom and Dad for bringing me up in the gospel and in a home where there was so much love. I love you all so much!

Sister Whipple

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