Monday, December 29, 2014

9 Months!!!

That awkward moment when....

... someone tells you sorry for not being interested so you say "You're good" and they pause thinking for a while and then say "Well I think I am a good person.... I haven't done anything too bad I guess..."

... you go to check up on a referral and they start to sob and say they are so happy you stopped by but they are too overcome with emotion to talk so they shut the door and you walk away confused...

... you check up on the same referral a third time and there is a moving truck at her house so you go up to ask the random lady if they need help and she says "There's no soliciting here. I don't mean to offend you but I'm all set with religion. Plus my partner died two days before Christmas." so you apologize for the loss and connect the dots and figure out that it was the referral you were checking up on again... 

... you tell the "all set" lady she is fine and she says "No I'm not! I haven't slept in two days!"...

... you forget that everything is closed on Christmas as you drive around looking for some place to have lunch...

... you accidentally knock over someone's plant with your hip and it falls to the ground and brakes and causes a huge mess and you don't even know the members because you are on exchange....

... you are walking down the driveway of another "all set" lady and you slip on the ice and almost fall on your bum...

... it was a very unsuccessful day and so to make it better you decide to go get hot chocolate and they are all out and you aren't going home anytime soon to make some...

... when you talk to 55 people but none of them are interested...

... everyone thinks you are getting transferred but you still have at least another month left before you'll know if you are leaving or staying... 

I know, I have weird moments.

I don’t know why everyone thinks I am leaving, but they do.  I won’t even hear about transfers for another month.  

So we gave these guys a card and we came back the next day to that same spot to go street contacting and we found one of our cards right where they were sitting the day before, but they had left it with three full cans of Coke....

There is a really cute little street here that I am sure you would love to use for photo shoots. We get to go street contacting on it. Oh and there is this cute little candy store there too that looks like it's from Alice in Wonderland. It has all this exposed brick and then it has black and white and teal and swirly stuff and they make it look kind of like the cut Tim Burton stuff. Plus the candy adds extra color. Maybe they have pictures of it on google. Look up Scrummy's in Hallowell ME.

When we got to the library there were no empty computers so we went saw one of the original Book of Momons.  Sister Bee hadn’t had a chance to see it yet.  (It was a good thing the computers were all being used because our Utah snow storm made me late getting to work and late sending my email.  I was afraid I was going to miss her.  Tender Mercies)

We still have some of the peanut butter bars left. I had to make them last! I don't have my mom here to make them for me ;)

Sorry, I didn’t have time to answer the questions this week.  

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update from our Christmas Skype:
We were able to see and talk to Whitney via skype on Christmas day which was also her 9 month mark.  She is halfway through her mission!!!  A few things she shared with us:
She had dinner with E and his wife on "Christmas Adam."  They had duck which she has never had before.  She really liked it and said it didn't taste like chicken.

On Christmas Eve she had dinner with the Ward Mission Leader.  He made her feel right at home, even bribing her to eat a spoonful of peas.  She did it . . .  for $5.  For those of you who don't know who much she HATES peas, it goes back to when she was a baby.  They make her gag and sometimes worse (just ask her Grandma).  She said she swallowed them whole except a few because there were too many on the spoon.  

Christmas dinner and skype sessions were held at the Dawbins' house.  We are so grateful for their hospitality.  Not only did they have them over for Christmas, but feed them dinner frequently.  I am so grateful for their willingness to watch over my girl.

She talked about many of the members in Maine who watch over them.  She is in a great area and she LOVES it!  Thanks for taking care of her!

Whitney hasn't changed at all!  We spent the entire time laughing.  She still gets distracted easy.  At one point we made a reference to "Up!" by just saying "squirrel" meaning she was distracted by some object in the room.  She laughed and told us about how there are a lot of squirrels in Maine.  I don't think we have to worry about her coming home and being a super serious RM.  

She also told us about several times when she and Sister Bee slid on icy driveways.  Sometimes on purpose, sometimes, not so much.  I ran across some ice spikes that strap to your shoes that I will be sending for both of them in the next package.  

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  Oh and the final message from Whit, "CPR! Go to Church, Pray and Repent." 
Augusta on Christmas Day

Didn't want to cook lunch and also wanted to celebrate her halfway point.  Drove around to find someplace open. . . Denny's!

"Too sunny to be Christmas Day!"

The tall building is her apartment building from the back.  She lives on the bottom floor.

They were going to visit this home, but there was a big "no trespassing" sign.

Sister Bee took a picture while we skyped.  Oh, her feet don't even reach the ground. :)

Cans of coke mentioned above

This is NOT my favorite tradition for Sister Missionaries.  The do this to represent their 9 month mark.  I was hoping she would skip this tradition.  All in fun...

Our cute girl on Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The impatient Whitney. . .

Christmas is in 3 days!

The most Christmassy thing I did: um well yesterday we had a great Christmas message. We shared He is the Gift and then had a discussion about how he truly is the ultimate gift. And how as we live the Gospel joyfully and remember Christ in our lives it becomes a part of who we are and through it we find our true selves, our divine nature, our individual worth.

Tell us about your lessons and/or spiritual experiences this week:

We have had great lessons with E and some of the members as we have meals with them. We've mostly have shared He is the Gift long with Alma 7:10-13.

10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions andtemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succorhis people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

 14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.

Any new investigators or potentials?

We have two new investigators and they are married and both from India. We are meeting with them today with E and we are going to talk to them about the Book of Mormon and testify of it.

We have found some potentials this week while tracting but no new gators. We gave one lesson to this guy and he had a lot of questions of the soul. We answered the ones we could and then the guy told us how we were so boxed in and how our minds were so small because of what we were forced to believe. He went off saying how he doesn't believe there is a God because of science and he doesn't believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God and how there was no possible way that that could be true. Right then I felt a strong prompting to share Alma 30:44 the last part:

"yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

So I shared that and testified of how there is a God and He loved him. Everything truly does denote that there is a God. That even though he thinks that we don't know very much because of what we have been "forced to believe" I have found that my mind has been opened and I know way more than what I would have if I didn't have the knowledge that there is a God. I don't remember all I said but the Spirit was super strong.

How about food?

Sister Dawbin made us homemade Café Rio! I MISS CAFE RIO!!! So having homemade Cafe Rio was SOOOOOOOOO good!!!!!!!!!!! There is a Chipotle here and we went there on Saturday with the Senior Sisters but it still isn't the same.

Well we went to this dinner and they had this stuff called brown bread. Brown bread comes in a can just like raviolis come in a can. It is presliced and all you have to do is open the can, put it on a plate, and heat it up and it tastes worse than black licorice and it is super soggy.  Some people really like it, but not me.  I feel bad when I don’t like the food I am given and I try everything.  Then we had Turkey pot pie at another member's home and it was FILLED with PEAS! (maybe she’ll grow to like peas by the time she comes home). And then she fed us some pumpkin bread with raisins in it.  Then she fed us this dried apricot pie that she got out of her "Amish Cookbook".  At another home we had ham and mashed potatoes with gravy (that was so good) they also gave us spiced crab apples, homemade pickled stuff, mixed veggies, and then this butternut squash thing that had the center taken out and had the liquid in the center that was syrup and brown sugar. It wasn’t my favorite. 

Any more crazy snow storms?

It has been pretty cold but sunny. We have had a few days of rain.

Amazing moments?

I think the most inspiring moment/ amazing moment is just being able to feel the Spirit work through me and being able to truly be an instrument in His hands and be His mouth piece. 

Are you getting closer to the ward members?

I love just being able to get to know the members and grow close to them and they begin to feel like family which makes sense, since we are all from the same heavenly family :)

Awkward and/or scary moments?

So while we were tracting yesterday, we walked down this long driveway to this house. We knocked on their door and waited for a long time but no one answered so we started walking back and saw this big patch of ice. So naturally we walked on it and were trying to brake it and well it broke and our feet went in pretty deep and we almost fell down so we were laughing about it when all of the sudden we here "Who are you? What do you want?" Well, turns out the lady at the house was home the whole time and was just avoiding us but when she heard us laughing she came out. But as soon as we said missionaries she hurried and went back inside.

We decided to go check out this less active before an appointment and when we were getting out of the car we saw one of our potentials pull up so we got to go talk to her and help her bring in her stuff.

Have you opened any of your gifts yet? 

Just the muffin mix.  Why? Well I picked it up and could tell it had something powdery in it and so I opened it to see what it was.

When she send pictures I noticed a brick of post its on her desk which looked suspiciously like the once that were wrapped as part of the package from her grandparents…

Okay, okay I might have opened Grandma Taylor's too...  Thanks for all of the awesome stuff!  I will put it to good use.

Has Sister Bee opened any of hers?

She has opened a few. There wasn't a wait til Christmas on it ;)

Oh I picked up the package from Grandma Shauna from the post office and when I got it the box had been opened. Yeah they left the little pink slip in the door and had us come pick it up and open it there to make sure the contents weren’t damaged.  Thanks for the cute skirt and sweater!  Also, Chad, Michele, Taylor and Kailee – Thanks for the book and chocolate!

This lady in our apartment complex has this huge collection of Christmas villages! The picture doesn’t even show half of it! It reminded me of Grandma Shauna.

How is my room looking?

Why would it look any different than when you left?

I don't know maybe Chel decided she needed another closet . (little does she know…)

I have been studying the Atonement a lot lately and the people involved and did you know that Pilate's wife pretty much asked him to let Jesus go and that she had a dream about him?  Look up the song "Pilate's Wife" I think it is by the Nashville Tribute Band. Oh also by them look up the song "Soldier and Thief"

Merry Christmas!!!!!! 
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Pilate's Wife"

"Soldier and Thief" >Nashville Tribute Band 

"Savior, Redeemer of My Soul"- Vocal Point

Picture from previous week before transfers

Santa hat treats they made during one of their service opportunities

Whit said there are wild turkeys everywhere!  No wonder the Pilgrims had Turkey.

Christmas village she mentioned in her email

Their apartment all decorated for Christmas.  Not sure how they use the couch.

Post it notes no longer wrapped, stocking isn't nearly as full when I sent it.  I think she got the rolo candy cane!!!

Somewhere on the wall is a card from the First Presidency.

Their kitchen is so clean!