Monday, August 18, 2014

a sigh of relief


This week has been...great! And crazy! But I think that's pretty much what it's going to continue to be like :) Highlights were that (1) we taught 32 lessons! By far the most I've ever taught! (one caveat though is that many lessons counted as if we teach a less-active member with a nonmember, it can count as a member-present lesson and a less-active member lesson) and (2), B.C. is officially baptized and confirmed! I breathed a sigh of relief when he went under that water haha...and then again when he got in front of the church and was confirmed even though he did NOT want to go in front of everyone. What a champ.

Here's the weekly run-down!

Monday-Tuesday: My first exchange as a sister training leader! It was fun. We went with the hermanas, so it didn't feel a whole lot different than when I went on exchanges with them all last transfer, and it was easier for me because I got to go to their area while Sister Pratt stayed in our area, so I wasn't the one in charge of planning the schedule and everything. I went with Hermanas Kimzey and Smoot (she's a brand new missionary!) and Hermana Foster went with Sister Pratt. On Monday we had dinner with their sweet Relief Society President, and I said the prayer in Spanish for the first time! (thank you Hna Foster for teaching me once during another exchange haha). I've had a lot of fun trying to talk to people in Spanish while with the hermanas. 

On Tuesday, we set a baptismal date with A, a really sweet Hispanic lady who speaks English! It was a sweet lesson. I think (hope) it went pretty well :) 

This is from the end of our exchange
In the evening, Sister Pratt and I were back together and had a really fun dinner with a family, which was my second experience eating vegetarian "meat"! It is actually really good. Another reason why being in a city is much different than being in the country :) After that, we went to a recent convert household that the assistants asked us to go visit. The mother has been stuck in West Africa because she went to visit and now the borders are closed because of the ebola virus, so the sister, who was very pregnant (she's in her 20's), has been in charge of all the other kids in the house. It was good to get to meet them, and actually turned out to be a little miracle that we did meet them when we did, as we realized later in the week!

Wed: We had lunch at a couple's house, and oh how I love them! They are the funniest, nicest couple, and are super involved in missionary work. Also I think I told you before about their super sweet Victorian house that they're restoring, and how everything in their house is an's crazy! I took a picture on their fainting couch. Enjoy :)  Afterwards, we visited Sister R, and her son who's 10, is now an investigator! I love that family. We had a few referrals to contact in the afternoon, which was nice, and in the evening we read the Book of Mormon with the another family, had dinner with Sister F, then took Sister B with us to teach our Sudanese investigator the Plan of Salvation, which she really seemed to like.

Thurs: We visited two girls in the morning before district meeting. Afterwards, we visited a lady in her home for the first time...bad news, was that she lives OUTSIDE OUR WARD! gahhh it was so disappointing haha! So now we need to figure out a way to hand her off to the elders in the Easterlake Ward. That has been something hard about this week - most of our investigators are dropped or about to be because they are moving, live in the other area, or just aren't keeping commitments. So it was a tender mercy that we were able to teach so much, despite losing so many people :) We had a dinner appointment and a couple other lessons the rest of the day.

Fri: In the morning, we received a call from a member of our ward, telling us that the daughter of the lady who is stuck in Africa (who I mentioned on Tuesday) was in the hospital having her baby! She wasn't able to visit her until later and felt like someone should go be with us, so she thought to ask we were super grateful that we had met her that week! We ended up getting there 15 minutes after the cute little baby boy was born (was I a little bummed that we missed it the actual birth? yes! and also very relieved hahaha)! It was really sweet being in the room with Hawa and her brand new baby boy - there was a really good spirit there. Her boyfriend was there too and seemed to warm up to us and appreciate us coming by to check on them. It kind of killed me though when she asked us if we wanted to hold him and we had to decline! :)

In the evening, B was baptized!!! Things were crazy at the beginning of the baptism because there was a mis-communication and our ward mission leader (who was conducting) thought that it was starting at 6:30, not at 6...but it all worked out :) B asked Elder Standage to baptize him, and he was perfect for him - he kept B laughing and didn't let him get too scared or anything. B's sister was supposed to give the talk on baptism (which B wrote himself!), but she got too scared so their mom ended up giving both that talk and her talk on the Holy Ghost haha...poor girl, she does NOT love public speaking. We were so proud of her though! Two girls who we gave lessons to earlier in the week came, as well as another mother and her two daughters. So that was awesome to have investigators there! Also, the elders had their investigator there, who is a 12-year-old guy (around that age at least) who is friends with B at school! And he's getting baptized in a couple weeks! They are such a good support for each other :)

Sat: We had two lessons with less-active Africans who ended up having nonmember family members there whom we were able to teach as well! That was sweet. The best one was when we taught a lady the plan of salvation. We brought Sister B (her visiting teacher) with us, and the lady's sister was there. They didn't have a lot of time because they were on their way to comfort some people who just had a family member die in Africa, so we just shared the scripture in Moroni 7 about how we can have hope in the resurrection.(Click here to readWhen we mentioned that we will be able to see and know and be with our family members again, they both perked up. They both have always thought that we will live again but won't remember anyone or any of the experiences we've had here! They literally lit up when we promised them that they can see their loved ones again, and that they will still remember and love them. It was one of the sweetest experiences! And the sister is now a new investigator :)

Sun: A cute young lady came to church for the last time before she leaves to Cedar Rapids. She said that she's planning on getting baptized within about the next month! So excited for her - she's so ready. Also, it was the funniest experience...this girl showed up with some less-active members. In gospel principles, we found out that she's not a member but wants to develop a relationship with God, and she basically taught the entire lesson! THEN, we realized that she's the same girl whom the assistants had found and then referred to us, but when we talked to her on the phone she was in the middle of moving and said she wasn't interested. When we made that connection, she was like, this is that church?! And we were all excited haha...guess she IS interested after all! We have an appointment with her tomorrow :)

Well, that's the end of my novel for now, sorry it was so long this week! Oh, about Preach My Gospel this week...I have been studying a lot of Chapter 10 about teaching skills, and the thing that stood out to me was the importance of truly listening. I know that when we listen with love and with the Spirit, teaching comes so much more easily! And I love how that principle applies in all aspects of our lives :)

I love you all!!!! The Church is true, the work moves forward :) Thanks for being amazing!

Sister Whipple

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