Monday, September 15, 2014

"Are you Liberian?"

Yes, I was actually asked that question this week, and I must say I was pretty flattered! :)

Anyways, how are you all?! I have had a good week. We had transfers on Thursday, and my new companion is Sister Kira Barker - and I couldn't be happier! If I had been able to pick another Sister Training Leader to be my companion, I would have picked her :) She is always so happy and I asked her how she stays so happy all the time, and she said she is just super grateful. I am going to try to work on being grateful in all things more. But yeah, she's from Salt Lake City area (I think she said Cottonwood Heights, or something like that), did two years at BYU (Lauren Meese, my previous roommate, was her resident assistant her first semester at BYU), and is the youngest of 5.

Getting my journal written in has been super hard, especially since becoming an STL, so if you don't mind I'm just going to go through the highlights of my week, so at least I have it somewhere!

Monday: We found a new investigator! She is awesome and is the sister of one of our other investigators. She committed to come to church and when we called her Sunday morning she was getting ready to go and sounded really happy...but then about 15 min or so before church started, we got a call from her daughter saying they just found out their dad died so they wouldn't be coming to church :( noo!! It's seriously been so hard to get people to church...but anyways, she is super sweet. And is Liberian.

Wet hair (and everything else) from rainstorms!
TuesdayWe did a lot of service in the morning, which was nice because it was inside and it rained a ton all day (though not as much as it did in AZ, apparently!). When we were out and about, we got super wet just running from the car to the door! We had a really good lesson with B and E C. and their mom, and showed them a couple of the Work of Salvation clips. Those are so awesome. We also had a good little lesson with A, who's Muslim but used to be Christian...we had to ask her if she would be in any danger at all if she ever chose to convert, because otherwise, we're not allowed to teach Muslims. But she said she would be OK, and since she's American and used to be Christian, she should be fine. She had to cancel her follow-up appointment, so I hope we get to teach her again soon!

Wednesday: P-day, followed by dinner at the Christensen's with their "dinner group." It's fun to see how lots of the med students in the ward kind of band together and support one another. We also got a call from Sister S, a sweet lady in our ward, who asked us to come by her apartment before Sister Pratt left...and she gave us a delicious chocolate PB cake with a frownie face on it haha! (because she was sad Sis Pratt was leaving) We shared it with the elders...and put chili powder on the zone leader's slices to get them back for the cupcakes. It was hilarious because theirs were the only ones with the chili powder so their faces were so confused! But we gave them good slices too :)

Thursday: Transfer meeting! It was so fun to see everyone there. Then we had a good dinner appointment in the evening, followed by a lesson with the W family...I don't remember if I told you about them or not, but they're a super interesting couple/family who attend the Unitarian Church. The dad talked a TON and ended up not really being super open to actually learning the truth, but we left on good terms and I think they felt the Spirit, so that was good :)

New District
Friday: We helped a recent convert and new member of the ward, with wedding preparations! It was fun (and a little out of my comfort zone!) being "creative" and tying ribbons and tulle onto chairs, lamps, etc. We had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation with a less-active recent convert; had a fun little lesson with a sweet girl we met in the coffee shop when we stopped in to use the bathroom haha; and found and taught a new investigator who is the 20-year-old daughter of a less-active lady. She didn't come to church either...darn agency! But she said a sweet prayer at the end of our lesson and basically told Heavenly Father that if He tells her the Church is true, she'll get baptized. :)

We decorated those chairs :) haha
Saturday: Had a fun get-to-know-you district meeting, then helped with and attended the wedding we helped prepare for yesterday! I think it was good that we were able to help because he's not a member and she is super nervous about being in a new ward. It was a sweet wedding and was super classy (I wish I took more pictures! especially of her dress...it reminded me of how much Jenessa and KJ and I loved going to wedding receptions and checking everything out and eating the food ;) ). It was also super interesting because he's Buddhist and she's Mormon, so her previous bishop walked her down the aisle, and a Buddhist monk/whatever it's called did the actual ceremony! It was fun. Then we had a sweet lesson with that lady from Colorado who came to church last week! We taught her in the Christensen's home, and it was great. She now has a baptismal date for October 11!

Sunday: Church was good, and a less-active recent convert came to church and had her sweet baby blessed! Later in the afternoon, an awesome family in the ward hosted a BBQ to raise awareness about (and funds for) the health crisis with ebola in western Africa, since we have lots of members who have friends and family in Liberia/western Africa, and there is tons of misinformation about ebola. So they had a couple little presentations about it, with things like, "tell your family in Liberia to not touch the dead body at the funeral" because those kinds of things are part of their tradition...and also part of how the disease keeps getting passed around! It was awesome because we were able to see a lot of the Africans whom we've been having a hard time getting ahold of.

That's it, thanks for putting up with all my talking! Today during comp study we read in Preach My Gospel page 8 about helping people make and keep commitments, and I realized (again) just how important it is to "declare repentance" and how I need to pray and follow the Spirit to do so more effectively, especially in helping our investigators to keep commitments and progress. This really is "the most important path they will ever walk" and "eternity hangs in the balance"!

I love you all soooo much! I love this gospel. It really is a gospel of joy, and I am so grateful for that!

Love you,
Sister Whipple

One of the many crazy walls in Des Moines

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