Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings"

Our matching GU shirts we got at the thrift store!

Dear family!

Wasn't conference such a treat this weekend?! I've been looking forward to it for so long! It's like Christmas on a mission haha :) We watched most sessions at Liz's house with the students, which was a lot of fun. On Saturday, we made empanadas in between sessions, which Liz and Daniel taught us how to make. They were SO good! 

Before the Sunday morning session, my comps and I made pumpkin pancakes for the students during music and the spoken word. Then after the first session, we went to Osceola so that Sis. Etherington could say good bye to some families, and we had the most amazing late lunch/early dinner that Sister Graves made. They are legitimate farmers and she is the quintessential farmer's wife. She also grew up in a German home (her mom immigrated here) and is an AMAZING cook. Anyways, that was nice and then we watched the last session there with them. Though it was kind of hard to focus because her three young grandsons were there :) 

Watching conference...we love being in a tri!
I loved conference though. This was the first time that I felt like I actually prepared for it by studying the talks from last conference and praying about questions that I need answered and looking for the answers as I watched. It was incredible! Basically all of them were answered, and the ones that weren't answered fully, I still received guidance as to what I need to do to find the answers. I felt like Saturday (especially morning) was a lot about "the joyful burden of discipleship" and pressing forward through difficult times, and Sunday was a lot about the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and having hope. At least those were some things that stuck out to me :) President Uchtdorf's was one of my favorites, as I have such a hard time with change and "endings" and missions are all about change! I have been really scared with the thought of leaving Lamoni in the probably near future, and it helped me a lot :) I also appreciated the hope that conference gave me, especially regarding the people we work with. I really received a lot of comfort through the talks and the Spirit during conference.

We've been getting a lot more food from members and other lately because of Sis. Etherington leaving and Sis. Browne coming! We had dinner with our sweet friend from the Community of Christ Church on Tuesday, and dinner at a wonderful family's home on Friday, in addition to eating with the students and at the Graves'. It's probably a good thing we haven't been eating like that the whole time we've been here ;) though it HAS been fun! :)

FHE with the students was SO fun this week! After a message, we played "chair soccer," which is where everyone has a chair that he/she has to guard while trying to hit everyone else's chair with a soccerball. Everyone seemed to have a really good time :) and it definitely got my endorphins going haha!

On Thursday, Sis Browne and I reached our half-way points! sooo crazy. Sis. Etherington made a delicious 9-month cake :)

On Friday we had zone training meeting, which I loved. I absolutely love being with the other missionaries! I learned a lot, and sometimes am blown away by how much I still have to learn and apply - sometimes it is so overwhelming! but I'm grateful for the Atonement!!

I sure am going to miss Sis. Etherington when she leaves on Thursday...but I'm so grateful to be serving with Sister Browne! She is incredible. Oh, we got asked to speak in church on Easter! Also, I came across D&C 52:36 the other day and thought of you all...thanks for "laboring" with me as my family! 

I feel your love and prayers and support and appreciate it so much. You are wonderful examples to me. I love you all so much!!!

Sister Whipple

A creepy abandoned church in Davis City

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