Monday, February 24, 2014

"thank you for our SOULS"

beautiful Iowa :) I wish you could see just how pretty it is!
Happy Monday!

I hope that Mom, Dad, and KJ are enjoying the 70-degree weather! We had a few very warm days of a balmy 50 degrees, and now it is snowy again :) But it's all good! Spring is in the air, and everyone can feel it :) Nothing super earth-shattering happened this week, just everyday good 'ole missionary work. 

Actually I take that back...we had zone training meeting, which was awesome and somewhat earth shattering on a small scale! The assistants to the pres were there, which was fun - they are awesome. They trained about helping investigators to learn by faith (see Elder Bednar's talk: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/seek-learning-by-faith?lang=eng). It is hard, but good! Throughout the past several months, we have been instructed many times that we need to be using the pamphlets they give us in our teaching, but it's hard to know how to use them more effectively. At this training, we learned a lot more about using the pamphlets not so much to teach the Restoration, but to teach people how to teach themselves. Or, to teach them how to actually LEARN the Restoration, by the Spirit. it's hard to explain exactly, but we have been praying and studying and working to try to implement this better in our teaching! It feels a little like I'm back at the MTC because in a way we're re-learning how to teach, but it's good. It keeps us humble, it forces us to rely on the Spirit and not get into a rut of teaching, and as we learn to implement these principles better, we'll be much better teachers!

We also saw a bald eagle. That was pretty awesome. I love Iowa!

On Saturday we went to Davis City because we had an appointment with a sweet potential investigator. She has three boys and her husband works away from the home so she is very busy. When we got there, she was trying to set up a trampoline. She was super nice and let us talk with her and teach her a little while standing outside, but she was really trying to put it together while it was somewhat warm and sunny. And she was really struggling haha. So, we basically put it together for her! We got super muddy but it was fun and felt good to help her out :) She was very appreciative, and her cute little boy was so excited! We set up another appointment, and hopefully we'll be able to teach her more and make her an actual investigator :) We just get a good feeling every time we're with her!

OK, I have to tell you about Thursday. It really was a terrible day haha! I know it's not good to write about negative things, but we can laugh about it now, and it's pretty funny. It wasn't all bad, and we had miracles that day too - the biggest one of which was setting a baptismal date with a lady! It seemed to go downhill from there though haha. Of course we decided to walk to that appointment, and it started POURING and was still raining hard when we walked back home. Then, as we were getting the car out to go to another appointment, I was a stupid California driver and got the car stuck in the one snow bank in our parking lot (we do almost anything to avoid backing, because of the missionary backing rule, and sometimes that gets me into even more trouble...). We were NOT going to get it out. So, we called a sister from church, who took us to our appointment, and then afterwards I sheepishly called Daniel, who came over with his friend and they pushed and shoveled our car out for us. Of course, that was AFTER Daniel took two pictures of the car because it looked so ridiculous, and he had to add it to his collage of the other pictures has of my terrible parking jobs hahaha.  By the end of the day, we only had a few minutes left so we decided to make one more stop. On the way there, we see a police car and Sis. Etherington says, "I hope you weren't speeding, that would just be the cherry on top." Right while I was saying that no, I wasn't speeding...we see flashing lights behind us. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! And guess who the police was?! A REFERRAL from the Restoration branch! Lamoni is crazy and the speed limit switches between 25 and 35 all over, and I was driving 37 in a 25 zone (I thought it was 35). Thank goodness he only gave me a warning, but I felt AWFUL. Here I was, a representative of Jesus Christ, and I was caught speeding by the same man who had tried to pull us into church history debates when we visited him and his wife! Naturally, while he was writing out the warning he says to us, "While we're here, let me tell you the history of that hymn" (a Restoration hymn he had told us about) and went on to tell all about that and about Emma Smith and all kinds of fun stuff before he finally let us go. I was so embarrassed, and just felt like such a failure. Anyways, the next morning we both felt much better and it was a much better day ;) 

Here's a sweet story! We went to a family's house last night and showed them two clips from the hasteningthework.lds.org site. LOVE that! It was actually a really spiritual lesson and they were all so sweet! After watching one of the clips, their cute 11 year old girl said, "while watching that, I thought of a family you should teach." And she gave us a referral and made a plan to invite her friend to church with her! She's amazing! It was a sweet experience seeing her respond to a prompting from the Holy Ghost and helping her to recognize that. She told us a funny story too...she said she was in her social studies class, and one of the key words was missionaries. Some people didn't know what they were, so they were talking about what "missionary" means, and she told the class about us and how we visit them! And then the 13 year old said, "yeah, they come talk to me all the time!" And apparently the class discussed Sister Etherington and me for a good solid 5 minutes haha! We're getting pretty popular around here, apparently ;)

Church yesterday was SO good.  We sang funny hymns in Sacrament Mtg. though and Sis. E and I had a hard time keeping ourselves composed...and Bishop Bair saw us and had to work to  keep from laughing himself. It reminded me of being in church with my cute sisters :) (don't worry, we weren't disruptive though!) I sure do love Sis. Etherington and the wonderful Osceola Ward! I love going to ward council (yesterday when we were sitting in ward council, it smelled like campfire...I seriously LOVE these people :) ) and being part of this ward with these amazing people!!

During a lesson last week, a cute little boy said the CUTEST prayer: "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for prophets. Thank you for hot chocolate. Thank you for our SOULS. In Jesus' name, amen." hahaha :) 

KJ, Dad, and Jenessa - thank you so much for the letters! They made me so happy :)

I'm so grateful for this time to be a missionary. Even though sometimes we get pulled over by referrals and run through the rain in skirts and drive into snow banks, I have never felt so close to my Heavenly Father before! I know that this is His work and that when we are doing our best, He won't let us fail. I'm so grateful for that. I'm so grateful for this gospel and the happiness it brings, and for the true joy that comes from sharing that with others. Thank you for being my wonderful family - I love and appreciate you so much!

Love, 
Sister Whipple

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

the sun is coming UP!

Hello dear family, slash other occasional readers! :)

How are y'all? Things are getting warmer and we could not be happier! One of our favorite things to say is "The sun is coming UP!" from Monsters Inc...and that definitely applies to the past two days or so, weather-wise :)

Nothing huge to say from this week, but lots of good little things. We had two good lessons with a lady - one about prophets, and one about the word of wisdom - and she was very accepting and is doing really well! We're going to approach the topic of baptism again tonight and try to commit her. Wish us luck! Slash prayers :) We love her so much and she is making such good progress - we just hope that she won't let her fears get in the way! Another student we're teaching is also doing really well. It is fun to see how when she reads the Book of Mormon in between appointments, she comes to our teaching appointments much happier and in tune with the Spirit, whereas when she doesn't, she seems more argumentative. But she is so wonderful and knows it's important to keep reading. She comes to church consistently now, even when her friend doesn't come because of track meets or whatever, and she is living the Word of Wisdom. Yay! We also have one new investigator,  who came to church last week. He didn't come this past week unfortunately (college students are awesome but also a big pain sometimes when they party every Saturday night and are too tired to come to church!) but we had a really good first lesson with him and he seems to understand well. He's from Brazil, which is fun! And he said the prayer in Portuguese, which was beautiful.

We had an interesting visit with a couple who grew up RLDS but they are somewhat disenchanted with the way the Community of Christ church has gone, so they don't go to church anymore. The husband told us about this crazy cool dream he had about following the Spirit to find truth, and they gave us their numbers and said we can come over for dinner sometime. He is a chiropractor here in town and is VERY respected and VERY gifted - they would be a powerful influence for the Church in town if they allow the gospel into their lives! There are some big obstacles to overcome with them, but as Sister Etherington always reminds me, "Heavenly Father is bigger than ___" (fill in the blank with any problem or person or anything ;) )

We attended the monthly ministerial alliance, which was cool - I feel very blessed to be with Sis. E as the first sisters in Lamoni, because there is no where else like here! At the meeting, a Community of Christ member of the 70 thanked us for our contributions, and a member of the Restoration branch and director of the thrift store that we serve at also thanked us and said that he's really enjoyed the "discussions on faith" that we've had. We also visited another lady on Valentine's Day evening and had dinner with her and her friends, and they said that the community has really noticed and appreciated the service we've given. We were talking about mission calls, and they said that we may not have been called somewhere glamorous like Italy or NYC or something, but we probably wouldn't be able to have the same kind of influence there like we have here - which really made me feel good, and very grateful :) Plus, the dinner was a blast, and soooo delicious! haha.

We stopped by a sister's house at the beginning of the week, and she has been SO incredibly stressed. She finally accepted our help, and we were able to make dinner for her and her two cute kids! They loved it, and were very appreciative.

really attractive in the morning ;) Valentine's pumpkin pancakes!
Valentine's day was fun. We made heart-shaped cookies to decorate at FHE with the students, and made really adorable Valentine's to give to ward members and investigators. Sis. Etherington is super artsy and designed the Valentine, and I helped with the tracing, cutting, etc. We had a pretty good assembly-line going! We also gave one to Bishop and he put it on his office door :) such a sister-missionary thing to do haha!



We had our get-to-know-you district meeting, since we got two new elders. One of the elders was in my MTC district, which is kind of fun!

another tired picture (this time at the END) of the day...but please appreciate our adorable paper-doll Valentine's that we gave to most people, and the other Valentine that we gave to our neighbor that always calls us "little sisters"! haha :) Also, we had fun with our matching Valentine's outfits.
While tracting in Leon on Saturday, we stopped by the Bishop family's home to drop off a container of there's and a Valentine. They invited us in, so we shared a little message, etc. for a few minutes. As we were standing up to leave, their adorable 6-year-old son, Nash, threw his arms around each of us in a big hug! Soooo cute. I LOVE that family!!!

Sunday morning, we went to the Stevenson home and made pumpkin pancakes for them before church.  We got to church just in time, which is good because they didn't have a pianist/organist, so I ran up and played the opening song (the organist got there soon after). I also played piano for primary, which is always fun. Sacrament Meeting was really good...the first couple of talks were by a sweet family who was speaking for the first time. Honestly, usually I would have been stressing out like crazy, because you could hardly hear what they were saying, they didn't look up at the congregation once, etc., and I worry what our investigators will think. But for some reason, I felt calm and knew that if the investigators there were sincere, the Spirit would take over. Plus, the last two talks were really good, and we sang some awesome hymns (including "I Believe in Christ," which was really powerful). But anyways, it DID all work out! Turns out, the investigator we had at church knows the sweet members who spoke, and knows how soft-spoken they are, and was just SO impressed that they gave the talks that they did! I was so grateful for that. The Spirit is sooo wonderful!

Yesterday after church and the potluck, the Bishop's wife took us to Truro (a town about 25 min. north of the church) to visit a sweet lady who can't come to church due to her MS and other medical issues. She was a delight to visit! Also she teaches piano, so...I had a lot of fun playing around on the piano for her :) Speaking of which, Sis. Jensen (mission mom) called Sis. Etherington and me yesterday, and asked us to play piano and violin with another sister who will be singing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" (the one from 17 Miracles) for zone conference! We are sooo excited! That is one of my all-time favorite songs. and I love playing with Sis. E :)
probably one of my funniest district pics, thanks to Elder Jackson there in the front haha!
I received a letter from President Ostler a week or so ago! It was very nice. I love that people from both Campbell and Hermosa Vista Wards have remembered me - I feel very grateful :) 

Oh, I've been kind of sick with a cough and sore throat this week. I think I feel better today, but it always gets worse at night. I really hope it goes away soon and doesn't get worse!

Mom, Dad, and Nathanael - I was thinking, I would love to hear more mission stories from you! If you ever don't know what to write about, and can think of any, that would be awesome.

I love you all so much! I am so grateful for this gospel. I know that it is true! I'm grateful to be a missionary and to be where I am! I'm praying for you all! Thanks for being the best!!!

Sister Whipple

Monday, February 10, 2014

"this is no small thing;" also, "Iowa is miserably beautiful"

zone p-day = bowling! Aka a "really fun" game where you fling a heavy
 ball into the gutter while everyone's watching and you pretend like
you are having the time of your life, some dozen times,
and pay for it! yay! haha Dad, I thought of you.
 Also, no one gave us the non-proselyting clothes memo haha.
Happy Monday!!

This Saturday and Sunday were probably two of the happiest days of my life! It was incredible. So I'll tell you all about them first, then maybe ramble about other things before I sign off ;)

Saturday was Ryan's baptism! It was snowing. Naturally. Because it ALWAYS snows when we have a baptism 35 miles away haha. But it wasn't nearly as scary as last time so it wasn't as big of a deal. Ryan's grandma (member), mom (nonmember), and girlfriend (member) all flew from CA, TX, and UT, to be there! His grandma is sooo sweet and was so happy - we were chatting and she said that Ryan is her first descendant to get baptized, and she never thought that that day would come! The beginning of the baptism was kind of busyl, just trying to finish up all the last-minute things, making sure people felt welcomed and comfortable, take pics, etc. We rode up with Sis. Slayton because we didn't have enough miles to make the trip ourselves, so we weren't able to be there quite as early as we would have liked (but we are SO grateful to the elders for filling up the font and helping with the programs!). 

miracle!
But, once things actually got started, they were amazing. Like I said last week, our sweet Daniel (who got baptized last month) baptized Ryan, and witnessing that was incredible. Daniel was really nervous but you couldn't even tell - he seemed so confident and peaceful. He did it all perfectly, and Ryan looked so happy when he came up out of the water :)

The whole family after the baptism
Sis. Slayton turned to Sis. Etherington and me and said something like, "If you don't see anything else your whole mission, this made it worth it." So true. And, guess who was there?? A student we are teaching!!! We're sooo happy she came! She is progressing so well. Afterwards, we asked her what she thought, and she just said, "Wow." She loved seeing the baptism! After the actual performance of the baptism, Sis. Etherington and I were able to teach the Restoration, which was awesome. Then, Ryan's grandma gave a beautiful talk on the Holy Ghost. Bishop asked Ryan to come up and share his testimony, and he did a beautiful job! The Spirit was SO strong - he and his mom were crying, and it was a beautiful thing to see them share that experience together. I really wish I remember better what was said - we didn't get back until late and I didn't have time to write in my journal that day :( - but it was such a sweet moment when Ryan looked straight at Sis. Etherington and me and said "I know that this Church is true." 

After that Bishop asked a brother from the ward to share a few comments (Bishop is notorious for asking people to "share a few words" on the spot), which was beautiful, and then Bishop did the "welcome to the ward" and gave Ryan some advice - he always is SO powerful, I wish you could meet him! He testified of Jesus Christ, and said a few more heartfelt thoughts. After the service, we enjoyed treats that some of our sweet members brought. People hung around a lot longer than I expected, and it was so nice just mingling with everyone and seeing them interact together. 

Bishop spent some time talking with me too, and said something like, "You know that this is no small thing, right?" It truly was a miracle that night. Ryan's family asked if they could take Sis. Etherington and I out to dinner afterwards, so we went to a Mexican restaurant and Sis. E and I shared a delicious shrimp burrito. It was so nice!

Sunday was AMAZING as well!!! First of all, I was super grateful that the weather was OK and church didn't get cancelled. We had ward council, which I always enjoy, and then as we were walking into the chapel, I saw Sister Jensen, our mission mom! I was so excited!!! I ran up to her and gave her a big hug, and then saw President Jensen too and got to shake her hand :) We were soooo excited to have them there! And it was AWESOME because they spoke in Sacrament Meeting, and guess who else spoke? Ryan and Daniel!!  It was one of the best Sacrament Meetings I've ever gone to. Ryan was confirmed too, which was incredible. 

Ryan's and Daniel's talks were SO cool! They were asked to speak on their conversion stories. It was so neat to see these awesome young men who have changed their lives stand up and bear powerful testimonies. Ryan talked about his experience with deciding to investigate the church and recognizing the Spirit in his life as he changed his actions to be in line with Heavenly Father's commandments. He talked about how he has experienced fullness of joy since allowing the gospel to be a part of his life. I especially loved Daniel's talk, because as he talked about different experiences he's had the past several months, it brought back a whole flood of memories and emotions that we all experienced in helping him to come to where he is now. He was so powerful! He is a great speaker naturally, but beyond that, the Spirit was so strong as he shared his testimony at the end that "I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I believe the Church was restored through Joseph Smith. I believe the Church is true." It was simple but powerful. Oh and he was so sweet and said how the best thing for him was when he was called to be a ward missionary so he can "go out with the sisters and teach," because he just wants to share the gospel with everyone! I wish that I could have a little memory-keeper thing like Dumbledore and just be able to replay those talks and these experiences...but someday we'll remember it all perfectly, right? :) 

Pres. and Sis. Jensen gave great talks as well, of course. They are always just so full of love. It's funny because President Jensen isn't your typical eloquent, charismatic mission president - but he is a quiet, powerful, spiritual man who just loves us and loves the Lord so much! During the second hour of church, they met with all the youth and young adults and talked about mission preparation, so they invited us and the Osceola elders in and used us as examples, which was really fun. Then, during third hour Sister Etherington and I taught the two sunbeams. Let me tell you...primary teachers make SUCH sacrifice, haha! It is so hard teaching those little munchkins. They are crazy. We had the most success when we ran around the kitchen making animal noises for the last 10 minutes. Sorry, but sometimes you just have to give in a little!

Alright, on to other fun little things...
  • We had district meeting, and on the way there Sis. Etherington made the insightful remark: "Iowa is miserably beautiful." Haha it is SO cold here sometimes, but it really is beautiful, especially driving through the countryside and seeing the rolling hills and farms and white snow :)

  • We had a lesson with Ryan on Tuesday, which was crazy and fun because it snowed SO much that day and our cars were "grounded," so we walked there instead! Which meant that we trudged through tons of snow and looked ridiculous. We even got Daniel to meet up with us part way and walk with us, because he didn't want to drive his car but we really wanted him there because we were going to talk about temples and wanted him to tell about his experience going to the temple. He's a champ for doing that, haha! It was fun, we laughed and took a picture. :)

when we trudged through tons of snow to get to a lesson
  • FHE was AWESOME, especially since we almost didn't even get to go! We were supposed to be in by 8 that night because of extreme colds (haha), but at the last minute we got permission from our zone leaders to go to FHE anyways. We watched the Joseph Smith movie, and had a good group of students there. There was a good Spirit there, and the testimonies that were shared were great :)

  • A lady we taught was so rude to me haha! Not really, just was picking on me and I got so frustrated but then we realized how funny it was. First she told me that my analogy was a bad one and started criticizing it, then said how "Sister Whipple just chatters away sooo quickly that I can't understand a word she's saying" (and I thought I was speaking slowly! I'm still working on that haha), THEN as I was shaking her hand at the end, she goes, "Oh you've got those worthless gloves!" Haha I got a tiny bit defensive and was like, "these are the best gloves I've ever had!" haha. day in the life.

  • Transfer calls are going out today, but Sis. Etherington and I already know that we're not being transferred because President Jensen told us both in our weekly emails last week, and when we saw him yesterday! We are so happy and feel so blessed!

  • Yesterday Sis. Etherington was heating hot chocolate in the microwave while she was talking on the phone to the district leader. I decided to steal a sip of it and was immediately punished when my entire mouth and throat (because I was an idiot and swallowed the lava) was scorched! We may have died of laughter because it was so funny. But yeah, my tongue, mouth, lips, and throat are all pretty dry today haha. Maybe someday I'll learn my lesson and (1) not steal other people's drinks, and (2) not be so impatient!

Anyways, that's about it. I know this church is true! When I was sitting in church on Sunday, I felt SO happy, it was incredible. I looked around and saw all these beautiful families, I saw Daniel and Ryan up on the stand, I saw President and Sister Jensen up there with them, and I just knew that this is what the gospel and the Church are for. It can't not be true. Living the gospel brings so much happiness, more than anything else! thank you for being wonderful examples to me and for raising me in such a loving home with the gospel in my life! I love you all so much!

Love,
Sister Whipple

Monday, February 3, 2014

take a book of mormon and put it in your pocket

What we do when it is super windy out!
Hello all!

Wow, thanks so much for your beautiful pictures and emails! I LOVED seeing your happy faces :) seems like y'all had a good week! 

Before I forget, funny little story about the subject line...we were in the library earlier this week, and a guy we've met before walked in. Interesting guy - walks around barefoot, even when it's freezing! And it's definitely by choice haha...the hippy type. The last time we talked to him, he expressed interest in reading the Book of Mormon, but we didn't have one (worst feeling - but we had already given ours away!). We had one when we saw him at the library, so I asked if I could give him one. He thought about it for a sec, then agreed. I gave him one and he immediately stuck it...in his cargo pants side pocket. For some reason that seemed so funny to me and the first thing that came into my mind was the song, "take a book of mormon and put it in your pocket, never let it get away. take a book of mormon and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day." 

Nothing super huge happened this week, but it was good nonetheless. We found a new investigator couple, set baptismal dates with them (because that's what we're supposed to do), and were dropped (hard!) by them, all a matter of a few days! I'll send the picture of the note they left on their door when they dropped us. Is it bad that I find it kind of funny?! But no, the hardest part is that they're from the Restoration branch, which is pretty small and super tight-knit, and I'm pretty sure others from their congregation turned them against us. The wife LOVED us and after we taught her the first lesson and told her about how we have a prophet today, she told us that she received an answer that it was all true! So it is really sad that she retracted that later and said that she DIDN'T get that answer. We fasted yesterday to know how to help these people from RLDS backgrounds, because sometimes it seems almost impossible...and it's like if we start teaching any one of them, EVERYONE knows.

Another funny little thing...we got called into the campus minister's office haha! He was nice and basically said that we're actually NOT allowed to proselyte on campus (took them 4 months to talk to us, haha), but that if we're invited on campus to teach a student whom we contacted off campus or through a connection such as through one of our members, then we're good to go. Basically, we can keep doing what we've been doing, minus a little "street contacting" that we've done on campus - thankfully not too much at all.

We had a really awesome FHE with the students this week! And afterwards, one of the students came up to us and was so excited to tell us that "I read that thing!" (the Book of Mormon chapter we had left with her, haha). She is starting to feel the Spirit and to feel that it's true! It's so exciting! We've taught her a couple times and she loved the plan of salvation. She is very surprised that she's starting to feel it's true, and is freaking out a little bit, especially since her mom is very Catholic and would not be happy with her even learning about this church. She is sweet though and even though she has a lot of fears and still has a lot of concerns, she seems to be moving forward in faith. Her favorite phrase is "this is so crazy!" haha - she says it when she starts feeling the Spirit and is shocked by that :)

We found our first real investigator in crazy Leon! She's awesome. She was a headquarters referral (those are the BEST) and was just requesting a Bible because she lost hers while moving. But, when we went to take it to her, she let us right in and was so nice. We were also able to give her a Book of Mormon, which she's started reading. She studied comparative religion and anthropology, so I was a little nervous about that, but she's really searching for the truth and is very open. And she said the prayer last night, which she was nervous about, but did anyways! Which is a big deal because she has OCD and agoraphobia...getting her to church will be hard haha.

On Thursday night we had dinner at the Bishop family's house, which was so fun! Cutest family. We shared a little message on member missionary work in the work of salvation, which I think was good because I think it helped them without making them feel guilty. Then, Sis Bishop texted us the next day and told us about a missionary experience she had with her nonmember sister! She was so excited and asked if we could bring a Book of Mormon to church on Sunday for Sis Bishop to give to her sister; she even bore her testimony about how excited she was and how we helped her :) Makes me so happy!!

One of our investigators had his baptismal interview, and of course passed with flying colors. He's getting baptized on Saturday! SO funny...he literally had zero problem with ANY of the commandments, except one: fasting. He did it anyways, but he looked so miserable haha! Kid of my own heart. Before church we (Sis E and me, and a few other members) were talking about pumpkin pancakes and how we should get together for breakfast sometime, and out of the blue he says, "WILL YALL STOP TALKING ABOUT FOOD PLEASE?!" We DIED, it was so funny. And then church started ;)

We were super blessed to have a lot of member-present lessons this week! Our member students are awesome. One even went with us to Davis City (a town a few miles away) to visit a man, who did NOT seem happy to see us at first haha - but then he totally felt the Spirit as we read the Book of Mormon with him and his 11-year-old daughter, and we were able to set up a return appointment! That was cool. There was also a mouse running around the house while we taught haha.

Yesterday was super fun. We went to a member's house out in the beautiful countryside for a late Sunday lunch (we started our fast early on Saturday). One of the ward missionaries came with us so that the brother could give us a ride. Afterwards, she came with us as we stopped in Leon to visit a lady and another potential. I told you these members are the best! Sometimes I feel bad asking them to do so much, but I just pray that Heavenly Father will bless them to be able to accomplish more than if they hadn't helped us - and that they will recognize the blessings.

Osceola Ward Missionaries
Another student we're teaching is also doing pretty well. The mission is definitely teaching me patience, if nothing else haha. She's WONDERFUL. We had a good lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation though, and when at the end I asked her what it meant to her to know these things, she said something like, "I know that I'm a daughter of God and it doesn't matter what anyone else says about me, I have worth." SO cool! She's had a rough past, poor girl, but I know the gospel will help her so much :) (that's funny, she just walked in and said hi haha)

Ok, weekly "Daniel is so awesome" ordeal: He's so awesome! He's baptizing our investigator on Saturday :) :) He's super bold and loving with our investigators, it's great. He came to church even though his roommates got him up in the middle of the night because there was some big fight and he had to go pick up his roommate from getting attacked or something ridiculous (dumb college kids haha). He is SO caring to everyone around him. And, we had an AWESOME lesson with him the other day. We were just going to read Book of Mormon with him (because he's still not very good at that haha) but we both had the thought that we should talk to him about Patriarchal blessings. So we did, and he couldn't stop smiling! And he was JUST talking to someone about patriarchal blessings and felt like now is a good time for him to get one, so it was SO cool that we felt like we should talk about it to him! Also, he said the sweetest prayer at the end of our lesson, in English! He thanked Heavenly Father for us, for Joseph Smith, and for the Restoration of the gospel. Gah. Those moments make all the hard ones worth it :)

We ran into a brother from church and his daughter the other day in town, which was super fun. They took us to Subway for lunch :) I love seeing members, especially since there aren't very many around here!

That's about it! Your weekly novel :) Thanks for caring! I love you all so much and am so grateful to be a missionary! Oh that reminds me...today's my 7-month click day! Crazy. I love this gospel and the beautiful changes it makes in people! I love the Holy Ghost! and I love my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ :) 

Love,
Sister Whipple

ps I can shower and get ready for the day in about 35 minutes now. the mission really does change people ;)