Monday, April 21, 2014

the Iowa ramble



Hi Family!


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I love Easter and refocusing on the Savior Jesus Christ :) I've been trying to be better at always testifying of Him and remembering that everything we teach is because of Him!

It was a long week, but was good and there were lots of miracles. We had exchanges on Tuesday, which were fun, especially since I know the hermanas (our sister training leaders) really well since we've all been here for a while! They are soo wonderful, and I never feel like they are judging me or our area. We had to take it kind of slow that day though because the hermanas have a third hermana, who was serving in El Salvador but got gangue fever and was in the hospital for a while and then got sent here...but she is still weak and in a lot of pain, and if she doesn't get better soon, she'll be sent home. She does NOT want that! So we are praying for her, and they are taking it easy to try to help her to rest and recover.

On Wednesday we had interviews! Those felt really nice. I ended up talking with the President's wife a little about our dear sister who is having a hard time, and she "committed" me to work on trusting Heavenly Father more and not beating myself up about the situation. She is so loving. I also enjoyed talking to President Jensen - we always have such a short amount of time to visit, so I came in very prepared so I could get in as many questions or whatever as I could in those few minutes :) It's actually really cool because President is a professor at University of South Carolina, and Sister Jensen is a CPA, so I got to talk to them both about their fields and get their advice! So quick sidenote...Dad, you asked why I am considering a PhD. It is because I have thought about going into academia and teaching at the college level (I started playing with that idea at the end of my junior year). I am not 100% sure yet, but I've prayed about it some and I feel like I at least should take steps towards that direction, whether that means I'll end up following through with it completely or not. It has felt good though. I mentioned it to Sister Jensen and she strongly suggested I go the academia route because she said it's a really good work/lifestyle for being a mom too. Anyways, we'll see where that goes :)

FHE was really fun, and a member brought two friends! One seemed very interested and really liked FHE and said she'll come this week! Hopefully things will progress there! I am also now a master at the "question game" and can't wait to play it with the family some day ;)

Mom, I'm glad you enjoyed the video haha. I watched it again later and was slightly embarrassed at how silly we were. But hopefully it made you laugh ;)

We did a LOT of community service this week, which was cool! On Thursday, I read a scripture and Sis Browne gave a prayer at the community Holy Thursday service, which was held at the Methodist Church. Even though it was a community service, it still was very "Methodist," which was interesting because I've never been to a Methodist service and there were a lot of things I wasn't expecting! Everyone is always super nice though, and I love the Methodist pastor. The next day, we both read scriptures at the Good Friday service at the Community of Christ church. There was some BEAUTIFUL music at that service, especially when one of their members sang "Via Dolorosa." At both services, they served communion, which was super interesting to see how the different churches do it. Then, on Saturday, we served pancakes and sausage at the Lion's club pancake breakfast. We got to see a lot of people, which was a lot of fun. I hope that our service helps to hasten the work more here.

Also...we had a baptism on Saturday!!! It was a crazy week getting the baptismal service together, for a number of reasons. One, it was Easter weekend, so lots of people were out of town and it was hard finding people willing to give talks. Two, the Osceola elders have been teaching a lady who is moving to Mexico this week. At interviews they told President about her, and he told them, if she's ready, baptize her! They asked her if she wanted to, she prayed about it, she decided that that was the right thing, so we worked with the elders to add her to the baptism on Saturday as well! That meant finding someone to give a talk in Spanish, having a prayer in Spanish, etc. It all came together really nicely though, and everyone seemed really happy. The 12 year old granddaughter of the couple getting baptized was BEAMING and sooo excited that her grandparents were getting baptized :) It was a really sweet experience. Then, yesterday, they were confirmed! There was such a good Spirit! 

Easter Sunday was really nice too. Sister Browne and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting, which had definitely added to the stress of the week haha. We spoke on the Atonement. I think they went pretty well! I spoke last, so with the confirmations and everything, I didn't have a whole lot of time left...and I had prepared a LOT of material haha. So I just kind of had to skip around and decide on the spot what I was going to say, which was actually kind of fun. And then afterwards Daniel got "mad" at me because he was translating and I was talking too fast...haha my bad. But he said he was able to translate faster than usual, and I was like...gift of tongues, my friend! haha. Oh also, we had a couple of new people come to church, as well as a lady who hasn't come to church for some 20 years or so! Such a miracle. She didn't stay the whole time, which I was disappointed about, but she is making progress and is such a sweet lady. We were talking to the CoC pastor and out of the blue she told us the difference we were making with the sweet lady who came to church after a 20 year break. Such a small-town thing, because we did NOT say anything about having visited her ever, but it made me feel really good because she was really sincere. Anyways, not only did we give talks in Sacrament Mtg, but we also conducted the music for Primary! I was nervous about it because kids are scary but it was actually a lot of fun and went well. I love serving in this ward because I feel like they need us and we have lots of opportunities to serve - it's the best :) After church, we had a potluck, which was fun and was a lot of fun for those of us who don't really have places to go for Easter! Though, we did go to the CoC pastor's house later for dinner, which was delicious. After dinner, we walked outside in the BEAUTIFUL weather and ended up talking to this man who was about to mow his lawn for about an hour. Let me tell ya, he exemplifies the "Iowa ramble" like nobody's business - trust me, it's a real thing! I almost fell asleep standing up outside because he had been talking for soooo long and I couldn't get a word in edgewise. Anyways, it was an interesting discussion haha! 
 Such a cute girl in our ward. Her two sisters moved to BYUI this week and she was totally missing having girls around, so I let her play with my hair and Sis Browne braided her hair! She was so cute. And no, we did not mean to match :) 

Speaking of Iowa idiosyncrasies, I realized another fun one this past week...they really do move a lot more slowly here in general! Usually it's actually really nice because people are more chill and willing to sit back and chat, but it was funny on Saturday when we were running around like crazy city people trying to get to different appointments in a small amount of time, and people wouldn't let us go - they would just move SO slowly and we'd have to devise means of getting away from them! Small town Iowa problems.

With the (generally) nicer weather, Sister Browne and I have been going outside in the mornings and running and exercising more, which has felt good. We are also holding each other more accountable to eating better...we ARE going to be more healthy, we are determined haha! A lady in our ward is helping us to be healthier too because Sister Browne asked her for tips and she got excited by that (she is really into that kind of stuff and lost a bunch of weight last year). I am starting by drinking more water...which I hate because I hate going to the bathroom so much, but I know it's good for me! So I don't really know why I just told you all that but apparently I fit the Iowa ramble too. :)

We are focusing on finding new investigators this week, as well as helping those we have to set baptismal dates and move forward. It was a good week but we spent a lot of time doing service and planning baptisms and such, and we are just both really feeling the need to get out and work and proselyte and find new people! So that will be good :) 

I know this work is true! I love you all so much. And I love my Savior Jesus Christ! Happy belated Easter, and have a wonderful week!

Love,
Sister Whipple

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