Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"it was fantastical!"

apparently I'm still 12 years old. but hey, the corn is growin'! "knee high by the 4th of July" is what they say around here haha


Well, it actually, finally happened...Seaka got baptized!!! It was so amazing :) She was glowing! I have never seen her so happy before. Her mom, cousin, and best friend all drove up from Kansas City to support her - and they were AWESOME! Her mom especially was HILARIOUS. holy cow. I can't believe I didn't get a picture with her...but she was so funny. Also really awesome...she (Seaka's mom) told us that her mom (Seaka's grandma) is super opposed to Seaka getting baptized, and couldn't believe that they were all supporting her. And Seaka's mom was like, "I'm going to let my girl make her own decision! Do I think she's doing the right thing? Yes! Because she's happy!" So grateful. And guess who else came from Missouri? Megan Poppa and Liz Sweet, who both gave talks!!! It was sooo fun to see them all again. Br. Hibbs, the gospel principles teacher, even offered to make lunch, which was awesome. The baptism was on Saturday at noon, and Bishop Graves warned us that attendance would probably be really low...but we called basically every single active member and many who are less-active, and the attendance was great under the circumstances! I heard Bishop say to the assistant ward mission leader, "I think the sisters set out to prove me wrong!" haha.

Anyways, it was just awesome. The Spirit was so strong and Seaka was so happy (that is her quote in the subject line re. her baptism :) ). Br. Acland baptized and confirmed her, which was sweet because they were the ones who brought her to the ward Christmas party in December. Sis Verro gave her flowers. It was just really nice. We talked to Seaka last night, and she was still feeling great, and went to church even though she went by herself! She is doing so great. Miracles are so real!

Another highlight was on Tuesday when we were at a lady's house teaching her 8-year-old daughter, and tornado warnings went off! Haha it was so crazy, with the wind and hail and rain and everything. Sis Browne and I were pumped. haha but the lady was so stressed and the kids were freaking out, so we helped get the kids downstairs into the basement, where we hung out with the spiders for a while and tried to distract the kids. It didn't touch down in Lamoni, but it was a fun adventure, and lots of people called/texted us to make sure we were in a safe place, which made me feel good. We were a little nervous going to bed that night because there were still tornado warnings and I sleep right next to a huge window and we don't have a basement hahaha...but the worst part was over and we (obviously) were fine. Though it was pretty funny when at about 2:30 AM there was the hugest crack of thunder I've ever heard, and Sis Browne and I both shot up and I was like, "HOLY MOSES!" haha I was pretty shaken up, so I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, put on my glasses, and looked out the window for a little. Naturally, the weather the next day was beautiful.

Other things...
  • We met with a lot of members and are especially trying to strengthen the young women, so that was fun. One evening Sis. Browne felt like we should go see a certain lady and so we called her and she was totally needing a visit! We were able to help her out a bit with issues she was struggling with, and turn her to Heavenly Father and the Savior (she looks for help from anyone but Heavenly Father, because she gets scared). I love it when we are able to do that - just turn people to the Lord. She is an amazing woman, I love her! She says they're adopting us. Don't worry Mom and Dad, I won't let them - but I do have somewhere to stay if I ever come back and visit haha!
  • We had zone training meeting, which was awesome! Learned about repentance, motivation, and using dignified language. I'm working on cleaning up my language more - don't worry, I'm not a swearing missionary or anything haha, but sometimes it's easy to get casual with my language (especially when I'm really close with my companion and we have a lot of fun), and I realized the need to use more dignified words so that I can have the Spirit with me more and act as a representative of Jesus Christ! 
happy peve! (p-day eve)
  • We had an interesting lesson with the director of the service center (thrift store). Like I said last week, he's a Restorationist. Which basically means that he believes almost everything that we do, only he believes that the prophet will be a descendant of JS, and that we don't have that right now because as a church they have gone astray and aren't living worthy of a prophet, and so are in apostasy again. It was hard because we tried so hard to show him that we do have a prophet, and that all he has to do is ask, seek, and knock - just like he did with the Book of Mormon and how he knows so firmly that that is true. But he really doesn't seem to even be open to the idea. It was cool though because he told us that he listens to us because he respects us, and he knows that we represent Jesus Christ because of how we serve in the community. That made me feel really good because it made me realize that the time we spend volunteering really does make a difference!
    A pillowcase gift!
  • Another cool experience somewhat similar to that happened last Monday evening. We went over to a family's home to teach their 20 year old daughter how to play chair soccer and another game, because she's in charge of putting together these community activities and asked us to show her. I was kind of wondering if it was worth our time, but I'm glad we went! After showing her for a little, the dad walked outside and sat on a lawn chair and started talking to us. He tried to get us to skip church on Sunday (haha) to come to the CoC church and have an "interview" with him - in front of the church! - about what motivates us to do what we do, etc. He and his daughter told us about how they look up to us and really do see us as representatives of Jesus Christ. It was really neat. He seems to have a lot of sincere questions, and we told him that even though we wouldn't be able to get out of going to church to go to his, we'd love to meet with him one-on-one and answer his questions. Hopefully he will let us this week!
  • We had another lesson with another CoC couple. They were very nice, and he asked us lots of questions about women and the Priesthood, though he didn't agree with anything we said. I'm grateful that I have received so much more clarity on that subject than I once had, and that I have had to struggle through some of those questions to prepare me to come here! They were nice but not really receptive, which made it funny when before we left, the husband asked us what we think the probability is that they will ever convert. Sister Browne said something like, "higher than you think, because it's true!" haha it was awesome, she kind of blew me away with her boldness, but wasn't overbearing and it worked in the situation :)
  • We went over to our 15 year old investigator's house and spent some time getting to know her mom, which was good. Then the girl came to church on Sunday! yay!
  • We had a mission fast on Saturday, which was a good experience. We've been fasting more lately, and it's seemed to be easier for me! My testimony of fasting is definitely growing :)
  • My jaw has been feeling better for the most part, but yesterday it was awful. So I asked my district leader to give me a blessing, which he (and the other elders) did after church. I've been feeling a lot better :) I also finally got allergy medicine, which was much-needed and which has helped a lot!

What else...oh yeah...HAPPY FATHER'S DAY on Sunday!!! Dad, you are the best dad I could ever ask for! I always knew I am super blessed, but I didn't realize until I came out here just how rare a good dad is - seriously. Thank you so much for everything you are and do for our family! I love you!!!

This is my last full week in Lamoni, unless something crazy happens! Which means that since Sunday is stake conference, yesterday was my last Sunday just in the Osceola Ward. I have learned so much here and (hopefully) changed a lot too! I am grateful for the Atonement that allows us to change and improve. I'm grateful for the times in our lives that we have to turn to Heavenly Father and learn to rely on Him more. and I'm grateful for all of you! Thanks for supporting me so much! And for being awesome examples! I love you!

Sister Whipple

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