Monday, June 16, 2014

transfer calls: may the odds be forever in your favor...


I look like a midget in this
little pioneer house replica!

Another day of transfer calls = another day of waiting, jumping at every text/call, sleepless nights, weird dreams, etc. It will be over soon! And I basically know I'll be getting transferred, so I don't know WHY I get so stressed about it...gah! This is going to be hard for me. I should be headed to Iowa City for transfer meeting and then who knows where on Thursday. Pray for me! :)

Anyways, this has been an interesting week! I'm just going to go through the days, because I didn't have time to make a list so I'm just going through my planner...

Mon: went to Mt. Pisgah for FHE with a few families (Mt. Pisgah is a pioneer site along the Mormon trail). We rode in a family's blue Jeep was sweet haha! I think they really enjoyed being there with the other families. And the elders made carne asada :)

Tues: normal missionary day :) Had a really good lesson with a lady who just accepted a job in a different city and will be moving soon. Darn! We also took a new student to M's to meet her, since M is like the Lamoni mom :) And we taught them a cool object lesson about balance a Bigelow's tea bag on your hand (it's shaped like a chute when you empty all the tea out of the bag), and then light it on fire. It's super scary because the fire travels down the chute towards your hand and it feels like your hand is going to get burned, but right before the fire touches your hand, the tea bag floats up and incinerates! Fun times. We've used it a few times this week to teach about having faith!

Wed: went with the lady who runs the food pantry to deliver food to the cutest Amish family! It was so awesome. They were the sweetest family and had the cutest house. Those people live HARD lives though! We did other missionary work, and then in the evening went to dinner with the new student I spoke of above. The guy who took our order was really nice so we talked to him a little about the gospel, and we are teaching him for the first time tonight! 

Thurs: Had my last district mtg in the Osceola district! I remember when I first got here, I thought they were the weirdest elders hahaha. I love them! We also had a first lesson with a 31-year-old lady who is now a new investigator. She lives in Weldon, which is about halfway between Lamoni and Osceola. We also taught another gal, and set a baptismal date for her for July 26

Fri-Sat: Ok so Friday and Saturday we had "mini missions," which is something I did in the first week or so of my mission (in Dubuque). Only this time, we had FOUR young women come to Lamoni to be with us! It was soooo stressful haha. Many tears were shed while trying to plan and figure things out haha...but also a lot of laughter. After the first day, Sister Browne was saying the companionship prayer and she was like, "thank you that mini missions are almost over, we really are very grateful" and we almost lost it. It actually worked out well and I think was a good experience for the girls, it is just crazy trying to put it together. These four girls were 16-17 year olds from the stake, and were supposed to stay in Lamoni with a member for the weekend. Only, all our members were gone, and the one member who said she could house them had to cancel Thursday morning! So finally, Br. Bair (in Osceola) said they could house the girls there, which meant they had to drive back and forth from Osceola Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening. Sister Browne and I each took two young women, and split the area. They were really good girls. It was actually kind of a tender mercy because being with them made me realize how far I've come haha...I'm NOT as bad at finding and talking to and teaching people as maybe I thought I was, haha! And it was funny trying to find them food (our only meal appointment fell through) because I'm so used to eating random food but they're used to actual meals, so we did our best to feed them but hopefully they weren't starving haha. For example...I offered them hamburger patties and hotdogs that we had been given, and they asked if we had buns, which we didn't, and they kind of laughed and looked at us like, "how is it possible that they don't even have buns to eat with their hamburgers?!" and I'm like, welcome to the life! haha. It was fun. Thankfully we had two teaching appointments on Friday, and had found a potential investigator while tracting in Leon! So the girls were pretty excited about that. Then on Saturday, we did service, had a lesson, and did a tiny bit of tracting (just so the other girls could have the experience). It was exhausting because I pretty much had to do it all on my own, plus find ways to help the Young Women feel like they could participate by asking them questions and helping them know what to say. Sister Browne and I were happy to be back together at the end of Saturday!

During the "mini-mission." What blew my mind was 
when I realized that if KJ were here, SHE would 

have been on a mini mission...holy cow! :)
Sat-Sun: STAKE CONFERENCE!!! So fun, I love stake conference...and basically any reason for a road trip to Des Moines! Saturday's session was great, and President Jensen had his two assistants, Sister Browne, and me participate in a panel! He just asked us questions about what we did to prepare for a mission, what we wish we had done to prepare, and what the sweetest experience of our mission has been. I didn't feel like I was able to say quite what I wanted to, but I was grateful for the opportunity to participate - and it made me feel like President trusts us if he asked us to do that. There were some super awesome talks. I really liked one by President Giles (counselor in stake presidency) about overcoming the natural tendency to compare ourselves to others, and the ones by Elder Real of the 70. He talked a lot about the Atonement and just bore super powerful testimony of the reality of forgiveness and healing through the Atonement. We said good-bye to our mini missionaries at stake conference, and they were so sweet! I hope they had a good experience. Sister Browne and I stayed in Des Moines Saturday night, and then went to Bishop and Sister Graves' house after the Sunday session for a delicious lunch/dinner. 

Lamoni has been so, so good to me. I love it here. It is beautiful and the people are wonderful. I know there are good things ahead, but I also know that I am so comfortable here and I am about to get pulled right out of that comfort zone! It will be good for me though. Miracles come out of challenges! I love you all so much. 

And, I love this gospel! Oh, speaking of which, I had a light bulb moment this week. People often say to us things about how God wouldn't make just one true church or just one way to get back to heaven, because we are all very different, and I have often had a hard time answering that well. Sister Browne said the other day something along the lines of, "yes, we are all very different. However, no matter what your needs, there is ALWAYS something in the gospel that will meet those needs. And THAT is why this Church and this gospel is true!" duh! 

No matter who you are, the gospel is for you. The invitation is the same to all: come and see. I love you!

Sister Whipple

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