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

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