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 ;)

1 comment:

  1. It seems after a bit of a rough start in Dubuque things are going better. I love reading your blog each week and hearing your experiences. We check the weather often and it has been so cold in Dubuque.
    Being home is good. I love our Primary class. They listen and ask such interesting questions. We taught about sacrifice last week and one of the little girls did not like the fact that Adam killed a lamb. She is such a tender heart.
    Keep up the good work.
    Love,
    Valerie

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