Wednesday, December 3, 2014

live in thanksgiving daily

Hello!

I've aged a lot on my mission...haha we took this at the Iowa Historical Museum last Monday! :)
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was good. And we have been living in Thanksgiving "daily" by eating leftovers basically every single day since Thursday haha :)

There was a lot that happened this week, where do I start...

We found two new investigators! The first is really sweet and when we invited her to be baptized, she said she's already been baptized...so we started explaining to her how we invite people who've already been baptized to be baptized again, only by priesthood authority, and she jumped all over that! What a relief, because that's always hard haha. :) The other new investigator is Chin and is a refugee from Burma. He is really sweet and has a hard time with the language, but he's really sincere and is really trying to understand and to find an answer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and everything. And, he came to Sacrament Meeting yesterday! :) The other lady didn't come because her two kids were sick, but she wants to so hopefully she will soon :)

Sister Barker went on the departing temple trip on Tuesday, so I had with me Sister Chirinos from Walnut Hills and Sister Howard from Winterset, because both of their companions were also on the trip. We had a good day, which I was super grateful for. We got to see a lot of people and have a lot of good lessons, including one with our Sudanese grandmother, in which we set a baptismal date for February 21 and she asked us if she can come to church! She was out of town this past weekend, but hopefully she'll be at church this coming up Sunday :)

"You ought to give Iowa a try"
On Wednesday evening we had dinner with Sister Strayer (a member who feeds us about once a month), which was awesome because a recent convert in the West Des Moines Ward, was also there with his two daughters (one is 8, the other about 14). It was fun because their family has been going through a lot, and the two girls were excited to meet "girl" missionaries and really seemed to enjoy spending time with us. There are so many moments when I am so grateful to be a missionary! We put on these nametags and suddenly we become superheroes in some people's eyes, and it's not us at all - it's just Heavenly Father giving us this amazing blessing of being able to serve His children in whatever small way that we can :)

Thanksgiving was fun, and interesting haha. We had district meeting in the morning, which was really fun. Then we had plans to see all these different people who are single or who we thought wouldn't really have anyone to spend Thanksgiving with...but everyone was busy and no one was really available to visit, so it kind of made us laugh! But finally we went over to the Burgess family's home, where we celebrated their cute daughter's birthday and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner and games with them. I feel like the Burgess kids are my younger siblings, and it's fun because the oldest is on a mission. They remind me of you guys :) It was a fun dinner too because they are vegetarian, so it was my first and probably my last vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner! It was good though - we had amazing rolls, carrot soup, potatoes, green bean casserole, pie, and the works. Basically everything minus the turkey (which was fine because a bunch of other members have been feeding us turkey and ham!) :)


On Friday night we had a cool little tender mercy too - we were at Oakridge (the "little Africa" apartment complex we're always at), and we decided to go visit a family there we've only visited once before (kids are active, but mom isn't because she's had a ton of medical problems). We'd never actually met the mom, Christine, but she opened the door and welcomed us right in. They are from South Sudan and she hardly speaks any English, but there was another Sudanese lady there who has been in the states since she was 8 so she has perfect English, so she translated and we had a great conversation. We asked her if she goes to a church, and it turns out that she has really been searching for one and trying to figure out what she really believes. Then they both laughed and the friend admitted that she had told her that she should talk to the missionaries, but she was hesitant not knowing who we were; when we knocked on the door and came in, the mom had said to her friend in their language, "that's them!" Perfect timing :) Her friend wants to come to church before she meets with us, but she said she'll come this Sunday and she gave us her number and is totally down for learning about the Church :) It was so sweet!

Saturday was awesome too. The night before, we had the idea to text a less-active member whom we haven't contacted for months. It turned out to be perfect because they were totally needing our help, and we were able to help them! We went over Saturday morning and helped them move 48 77-pound sheets of drywall from the garage to the basement - meaning up some steps, around two corners, and down a flight of stairs that included a wicked turn that we could barely fit through. Heavenly Father gave us strength for sure, because that was the hardest physical labor I've done in...a very long time, haha! I was so grateful that we were able to do it though, because we had really good interactions with her and her husband, as well as with a recent convert from Ames who was also there helping.

After doing service, we quickly got changed, went with a member to pick up a lady, and took her to a baptism! Get this...the baptism was for a 95-year-old man! He was so awesome. And the lady came! Yay! She has been reading her braille Book of Mormon more and also came to church yesterday and said she really enjoyed it! I love teaching her - she is opening up to us more and we have a good relationship with her :) She is excited for her baptism on Dec. 20! It is coming up quick and we're praying that she's ready and sticks to it :)


This morning we finally saw our sweet friend again, who was supposed to get baptized last Saturday. It was SO good to see her, as we haven't been able to catch her for about 2 weeks and it's been really discouraging. She's going through some hard things, but she's still really committed to being baptized! She is such an incredible young woman, and she's also opened my eyes, yet again, to how blessed I really am to have been brought up in my family. I am so blessed to have been raised with good standards and with good examples to look up to! Thank you so much!

Also, I bet you didn't know that I starred in "It's a Wonderful Life"!
I can't believe we're to another transfer week already! Sister Barker is going home, and I will get my last companion on Thursday. I am so grateful for my mission. It has brought me so much closer to my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for them and for their everlasting mercy and love towards me and all of Heavenly Father's children. The gospel is so true!

Love you all a ton,
Sister Whipple

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