Monday, November 24, 2014

sleepovers for life

Hello!

I finally met Sister Elg, the mother of Evan Elg (we were in the same Provo ward) and now the mother-in-law of Lauren Meese :) it was seriously a mission-long bucket list item haha
This week was pretty good, lots of ups and downs and lots of sleepovers haha :) I am so sad that Buster died! I'm glad that I said good bye to him before I left, but I was starting to get my hopes up that he'd still be there when I come home. Mostly I'm sad for Victor :( But seriously, he was such a good dog and I am amazed by how long he lasted!

On Monday, we found a new investigator when we visited a less-active couple! It was sweet. They have super strong testimonies, they have just had financial struggles and haven't been able to go to church because of work. There's another young woman who lives with them, and as we invited her to be baptized, they were SO supportive and excited for her. They were like, "you could come to the temple with us! It's the most beautiful place." It was a testimony to me that I don't have to be ashamed or embarrassed about sharing the gospel with my friends, because it is wonderful and exciting!

On Wednesday we had exchanges with the hermanas, which went really well. I stayed in our area with Hermana Kimzey, and Sister Barker went with Hermana Lundell in their area. We served at the YMCA, taught a couple part-member families, and helped our friends from Burma/Thailand with filling out some paperwork because the English was hard for them. Then we taught them about the Book of Mormon and they were reading it as we left :) We also saw our two African families and had a really good experience with a lady and her family. We just read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon with them, and it was a little miracle because the lady's boyfriend read with us, as well as her sister/cousin/niece! And they asked good questions and really felt the Spirit :) We also had a good discussion with them about getting married, but that's still in limbo. The hermanas slept over that night.

On Thursday after district meeting, we went to Winterset and had exchanges there! I went with Sister Howard for the evening, and we a couple of good lessons. We slept over there, and the next day I spent with Sister Stapley. We found two potentials, and on Sunday we got a text telling us that one of those potentials became a new investigator! :) It was a good and fun exchange overall, and Heavenly Father really helped me because I was exhausted but He gave me strength :)


Saturday morning was really rough...we hadn't heard from one of the girls we've been teaching, who last Sunday couldn't stop talking about how excited she was to get baptized. We went by her house, and we saw a new car in the driveway. She was half-asleep when we talked to her, so we couldn't talk much, but she said she was coming to church the next day. As we were leaving, I suddenly just decided to ask one of her nephews there who's car was in the driveway, and he said it was her boyfriend and that he was back :( noooo! I can't tell you how sad this made me. She has been super, super stressed - lost her job, her baby's dad kept calling her, etc. - and we were really trying to help her. But it looks like he's back, so she can't get baptized this week after all and we haven't been able to talk to her since (she didn't come to church). I felt like my heart was broken! It has been hard because she is the second investigator in the last three weeks to drop within one week of baptism. It has been hard to not get discouraged. But I know that this is a test of my faith and endurance and that it is another learning and growing process. Sister Barker and I fasted yesterday and know that we have to just keep doing our best and trusting in Heavenly Father.

We had stake conference this weekend, which was awesome! The Lamoni sisters slept over Saturday night. I got to see so many people from the Osceola Ward who I love! Two of the members I worked with when I was their both received their patriarchal blessings after stake conference and one received the Melchizedek priesthood. :) So those were tender mercies to lift my spirits! :) Conference was wonderful overall. I am so grateful for this Church and that we are led by the Priesthood of God.

As for school, I am almost for sure starting in January. Thank you SO much for being supportive - I feel bad that I won't be able to spend time with you guys after being gone for so long, but I feel that this is the best thing for now. It is going to be crazy haha but I think it will work! I registered for some classes on Saturday, and I am going to email my professors and communicate with them. I don't think there's anything that you can do at the moment, but I will keep you posted. One thing to figure out is how in the world I'm going to get home on Friday and be in classes on Monday haha. What time does church start? I'm thinking I'll spend time with the family on Friday, pack on Saturday, give my talk on Sunday and leave right after church to drive to school...it will be crazy. I also don't know what to do about a car...I don't want to take the car from KJ because she uses it so much, but I'll need some way to transport to BYU...either I can just take the car and all my things myself, or Mom can drive me there in the van and I can just buy a bike and use that to get around Provo, or something. Let me know what you think - and of course that doesn't have to be solved in the next week :)


It is crazy how time flies here. We are down to Sister Barker's last full week, and then I will be getting yet another new companion! I am so grateful for my time as a missionary. It hasn't been easy lately, but I know that I am having experiences that I need to learn and grow, and I am learning to rely on the Atonement more. I just hope that I can fulfill all that I came here to do before my time is up! The Church is true and living the gospel of Jesus Christ is a happy way to live :) I love you all so much! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for you all :)

Love,
Sister Whipple

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