I went back to one of my old area’s this past week. Remember when I
was serving in Indiana? I was there on my year mark!!! Tender mercies,
I tell you. I recorded myself that day just expressing how I felt.
Hopefully it works so you all can see it.
We had zone meeting this past week and something that I heard that I
loved and that I’ll always remember and apply is that I will never be
one of those RM’s that go inactive. I love this. I love what I have
and I’m going to keep it. I’m not going to change and if there is a
change in me, it’ll be for the better. Decision made 🙂
On Monday my zone and I made a trip to the zoo. AND THERE WAS A SNOW
STORM! Believe it or not, that’s what made it so epic and memorable.
It was kind of like Night at the Museum. Nobody would go to the zoo on
a Monday out here in Chicago while there’s a snow storm except for a
group of missionaries 😀 This zoo is open 365 days out of the year AKA
all year round 🙂 We had a blast.
My companion and I have learned MUCH patience and humility.. not
because of each other but from situations that we run into. She’s the
greatest! I couldn’t imagine going through this transfer with anyone
else but her! Laughing is what gets me and her through anything.
Yesterday I felt like my testimony of our prophet today was put to the
test… and TWICE! In two different lessons. I have absolutely no
doubt that President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. When I
hear him and his counselors speak at conference, there’s absolutely NO
WAY I can deny that they’re truly men of God.
Love, Hermana E. Whitney 2/24/14
Heyy soo sad news, we didn’t have the baptism on Saturday! 😦 Just one thing was holding that brother back from being baptized. So we rescheduled his baptism for this Saturday. We are hoping for a miracle that he can find another place to live.
So something that I found out this week…
If I could say one sentence for this past week to sum everything up it
would be, “It has been a struggle because He knows best.” I have
learned SOOOOOO many things this past week and I am so grateful. I’m
grateful that I am able to see that the struggles that I have been
through this past week as blessings and as opportunities to get closer
to my Father in Heaven WHILE in the hard times. For me in the past it
has always been after it all that I would see and recognize that hard
times are blessings. I’ve seen the growth in myself now as I see,
recognize, and accept that trials that I am going through at that
moment is because He knows best.
The reason that we are taught to do the simple things like pray, read
your scriptures, go to church, etc. is because doing simple things
makes ALL the difference. Doing the simple things makes you become
better over time and helps us to do the very best we can. How are you
going to run if you don’t know how to walk?
I just want you all to know that this Hermana in Chicago is learning a
ton, more than she ever thought she could in one year. Yup, she’s one
Love Always, Hermana E. Whitney Feb 17, 2014
Hey sorry for not writing last week! It was transfer PDay every transfer P. Day I have to go down to the office and help the greenies with their iPads. I love doing that because I get to meet the greenies but at the same time it can be very time consuming. Ooh I’m staying in Hyrum with Hermana Vergara!!!
Hello, everyone! This past week was another adventure as always. I
just love looking back and thinking of the great (and not so great)
things that have happened in the past week. My companion and I gave
our first presentation as Sister Training Leaders this past Thursday
at the Sister’s Conference. This was the second time that the mission
has had a Sister’s Conference and I’ve been there for both thus far!
Getting together with all the Sister’s in the mission is such a treat.
Hermana Jones and I spoke about Accessing the Atonement through
Prayer. When reading and studying and preparing for this, we figured
that in order to access the atonement through prayer, one would need
to submit Heavenly Father. Needless to say, the life of a missionary
is not easy by any means. We constantly are learning to rely on The
Lord. And when all things are endured faithfully, God promises us that
He will give us all that He hath. What more is there?
One of my most favorite/hardest things about being a missionary is
feeling the love God has for His children as we speak with them and as
they cry and tell us of their problems and see they are struggling.
It’s hard to see but my heart reaches out to them. It happens often.
This past weekend we taught one of our investigators a commandment.
And this commandment is one that the Lord delights in. One of high
importance. But she didn’t want to comply. She kept asking what I
thought and wanted to know my point of view. “I want to tell you that
we understand… and that God understands… but He doesn’t.” When we
choose not to comply to the will of God, as much as you think it’s
okay this one time, or that we’re human (true), or that we’re
imperfect (also true), don’t ever think that God understands where
you’re coming from. God knows what it takes to be like Him.
Sometimes, all missionaries can think about is home. And when they’re
finally home, all they can think about is their mission. Let’s be
honest, everyone misses home. But home will always be there and is a
temporary home. In the mean time, I’m working on something better.
While on earth we are building our very own mansions in the heavens.
Something that is the complete opposite of temporary. If I don’t build
it, it’ll never be built. This is why salvation is personal. It’s all
up to you.
Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my mission! If not, the
hardest! Hermana Jones and I got stuck in the snow for an ENTIRE HOUR
and of course we were late to church, late picking up the Hermana’s to
come to church with us, and we made all four Elder’s late so they
could get us out of the snow. They all really, truly didn’t mind
either hahaha. I pushed the car front and back for an hour! We were
super great at holding up ALL 6 missionaries from our ward to get to
church yesterday, including ourselves which makes 8 missionaries. My
back and arms are so sore now. Lesson re-learned: Patience is a virtue
Love, Hermana E. Whitney Feb 10, 2014
What a week. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired by the time I get
home. Hermana Jones and I just crashed last night on the couch and we
could barely get up. By the way, I love my new companion! She’s so
funny and we laugh about everything, and we all know how much I love
to laugh. So we’ve been having a blast. It’s really good though
because we’re going to need it this transfer. We had our first
exchange last week on Thursday to Friday. I went to the area of
Hermana Izu! And her companion came out to my area with my comp. We
were having a blast and then… This is where it gets complicated:
there were two other Hermana’s that live close to Hermana Izu’s area and
one of these Hermana’s was sick. They had appointments to go to though
so we had to help me out. Hermana Izu went to take care of the sick
sister at the sisters home and Hermana Mortenson and I (we’ve been
dying to serve around each other and for exchanges haha) went out to
take care of her area and Hermana Izu’s area. There were appointments
left and right in both areas and Hermana Mortenson and I had a BLAST.
All over the place, teaching. What more could you ask for? We were
pretty busy. And it felt REALLY good to teach with someone that came
out with me at the same time. It was SO easy to teach and bounce off
each other. Hermana Izu said, “Classic Hermana Mortenson move…
Stealing my exchange with Hermana Whitney”. Haha. It was quite the day
and had some beautiful lessons. Later that night I had to call
President for something and he says, “I’m getting phone calls about
you and from you from all different phone numbers, I love it!” That
was because the Hermana’s needed to get permission for us to switch
earlier that day.
Saturday we went to two baptisms. Hermana Mortenson and I actually
visited both these families the previous day. The first was a family
man and his wife has been a member and they have a son. The
missionaries from his ward sung ‘Families Can be Together Forever’. I
thought about my family back home and at song never hit me like it did
then. The Spirit was so strong. Shoutout to my family back home: We’re
a ‘forever’ family! 🙂 And then there was a second baptism with two
kids getting baptized. The same missionaries sung ‘Baptism’ and again
the Spirit was very strong. That’s one of my favs 🙂 by the end of the
day, the Hermanas agreed with me when I said that I feel like I just
came out of the temple. That’s how strong the Spirit was that day.
On our way home from these baptisms I was thinking about how strongly
the Spirit was felt. And how at those exact times other people even
throughout the world felt that SAME SPIRIT. I was telling my companion
that that’s perfect evidence that God is everywhere and pays attention
to EVERYTHING. It’s sad some people think that they’re forgotten in a
crazy world like this. But He’s present. It’s evident.
The Lord’s name is engraved in my heart. Never to be blotted out.
Love Always, Hermana E. Whitney 1/27/14
So this week has been such a good week. This week is also the last week of the transfer and also this week is when I really fell in love with the area and the members. Sad that it took soo long but for so long we stayed in because of my companion’s surgery. So I didn’t have a lot of time to really know the people and the members.
On an exchange, Hermana Gonzales and I went to one of our
investigators to teach a mother and her two teenaged kids. When we got
there it was only the mother and her 13 yr old daughter, A___.
Before we sat down, M___ says to us that she’s not interested in
changing her religion and she was pretty set on her decision but
Hermana Gonzales and I were being pretty stubborn and didn’t want to
give up the fight and let this one go. This was the first time for
both of us to meet this family since I’m still new to the area.
M___ said that she wants to stay Catholic because it’s tradition
in her family. She pointed at me and asked how I know the church? I
answered because of my parents. She thought I proved her point. I told
her I do know the church through my parents, but I still had to find
out the truth for myself, and the same for Hermana Gonzales, and
Joseph Smith. I asked them what his story was. M___ knew and I
added his need and want to find the truth. She denied it and said
‘No’. We told her we’re here because of that (finding the truth), not
because of “tradition”. She went back on her word. She then mentioned
being baptized when she was a baby. There’s not faith in that since it
was her parents decision to get her baptized. Again, she went back on
her word. We were giving this lady everything we had because she was
so headstrong. At the end she finally agreed to pray about the church
one more time. Someone that kept saying no and denying our testimonies
and then finally, in the same sitting, agreed to pray?! Hermana
Gonzales and I were amazed to see it all happen before our eyes.
Last night we visited with R___ and C___ and they also came to
church yesterday! They are amazing and are going to get baptized one
day! I told them how grateful we were for their examples. I don’t
think I’ve ever met any investigators on my mission so willing to drop
everything to be better people and come closer to Christ. We asked
them to get Sundays off and he was already talking to his boss about
it that week. And same with drinking coffee (we taught them Word of
Wisdom last week) and instead of taking a full can of coffee to work,
he took just a little bit this past week to work. He’s the one that
needs to make these changes and he’s doing quite a fabulous job.
C___ started to cry as she told us that we are her examples because
we’re young and preaching the gospel and doing the right thing which
is the total opposite of what the world is doing right now. The thinks
to herself, “If these young people are preaching this gospel, it must
Salvation is personal.
Love Always, Hermana E. Whitney 2/3/14