Monday, May 5, 2014

"you should register to vote, you've been here so long."

Hey Family!

That's what a lady said to me when we saw her in town the other day haha! Maybe that's a prediction for what my transfer doctrine will be. We are waiting for the call today to hear whether I'm staying or leaving. Waiting is the worst. I really don't know what's going to happen! Most likely I'll leave little Lamoni, but there's also a possibility I'll stay. We shall see. Since I don't know yet, send any letters to the mission office, and as for mother's day...I'll just keep in mind that you have church 9-12, and will probably call to set up skype, or have a member text/call you earlier in the week. It will work out :) 

Anyways, Nauvoo was AAAMAZING!!!!! Holy cow. It was so awesome. After 10 months (?!?!?!), I was surprised by how much I needed the temple, and how much I had forgotten. It felt like I was going through for the first time, minus the shock haha and plus some additional understanding. Rewind a little...we struggled finding anyone who'd go to nauvoo and back from our ward, so we got permission to get a ride from an awesome couple from Ames, where Sis Browne served for 9 months! They were SO fun. We drove to Des Moines (did I ever mention we now get 1500 miles/month instead of 1000? best gift ever!!), where we parked at the mission office and met the couple who were to drive us to Nauvoo. 

I couldn't believe how beautiful Nauvoo was! It was also fun being in the temple with the sister who drove us - kind of felt like I was there with Mom again :) It was so wonderful, and just what I needed. Oh and it was sweet because it's a temple where you move from room to room, which was new and fun! And I finally got to see the first new temple video they made last summer - I LOVED it. After the temple, we drove around the sites a little (we didn't go into any except the bakery...naturally haha), grabbed sandwiches for lunch, then drove the 30 miles or so to Carthage, where we saw Sister Etherington!!! That was so fun. She and her sweet companion gave us a tour of the jail, which was really cool and had a special spirit. It was fun, after teaching with Sis E for 6 months, to be on the other side and actually be taught by her! Then we drove back, saw the Nauvoo visitor's center a little, and grabbed dinner on the way home.

We ended up getting back to Des Moines super late - 10:30 - so instead of driving back to Lamoni, we stayed the night at the mission home! I was nervous that we'd get reprimanded for being late, but Pres and Sis Jensen were SO nice. When we got there, Sis Jensen was in her pink robe and made sure we had everything and put us right to bed :) then in the morning, she had breakfast put out for us! It was SO fun to spend a little time with the two of them before heading out again. It felt like we were spending the weekend at mom and dad's house :) President was starting transfer planning that day, so he showed us a little about how he does it all. It was so fun.

Other things this week...
  • Sis Browne has been a great example to me of how to just love other people. It is neat to see sometimes how we can fulfill our purpose as missionaries in ways other than how I ever imagined.
  • Primary yesterday was nuts! NONE of the primary presidency was there and none of the junior primary teachers were there! And none of the music people were there! haha it was insane. So for the first hour of primary, I played piano and another lady stepped in to lead and the elders taught sharing time. For the second hour of primary, Sis Browne and I taught ALL of junior primary - ages 3-8! It was stressful but Heavenly Father helped us out. We hadn't even had any time to prepare because it had been a rough morning and I suddenly was just hit with so much stress, so by the time we got to the class time, we were left to basically improvise. It worked out :) and I worked through my stress. It was just one of those days, but it wasn't bad.
  • We made dark chocolate-covered strawberries for a somewhat healthy treat! They were soooo good. 
  • I love small towns! They are so funny. Prom here is HUGE, and we saw the first part and the tail-end of the "promenade," which is where each couple drives in and then walks into the school, and it's like a parade. I'm so glad that wasn't what it was like for me but it was crazy to see how the whole town was into it. And we saw the very last couple go in...on a tractor! Don't worry, I got a picture...
  • they are also very much into graduation parties here. We went to a grad party for a young man after church yesterday, which was basically like a ward party with a few nonmembers in their backyard, so it was awesome! We got to strengthen our relationships with the members and have good contacts with nonmembers. 
  • On Saturday, we ate "brunch" at the Commons with a bunch of the students, including our good friend! It was good to see her again. It was really fun being with all of them.

That's it :) I love you all! I am so grateful for the Priesthood and for temples and the restored gospel! I know it's true. It's amazing! And so are you! 

Sister Whipple

PS. I forgot to tell you the story of that turtle...long story somewhat short, we saw the turtle and pulled over to take pics with it, then left to go home and eat lunch. Sis Browne said that we should go back and "save" it, which I thought was ridiculous and I wanted to go eat because I was starving haha, but finally decided it would make a good story. So we went back and it was about halfway across the road. We pulled over, got out, and right as we were about to go "save" it, a car whizzed by and completely smashed it. Sis Browne squeeled and we both looked away. It was very traumatic. But also...sort of hilarious too. So then we got into our car and drove away and tried not to look at the dead turtle in the road.

In memory of my friend from BYU!

Sis Browne and I knelt to pray and ended up taking
pics of each other instead haha

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