Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Whitney!!!

 Tomorrow is Whitney's 20th birthday.  This is the first time we haven't been together on her birthday.  First time I don't get to watch her blow out her birthday candles or open her presents.  First time I don't get to sing to her.  Luckily, I was able to see and talk to her last week for Mother's Day so it helps soften all of the firsts. . .

We mailed her a package of birthday gifts, including a couple summer shirts and a maxi skirt that she can wear as long as it doesn't touch the ground.  I told her in order for that to happen she may have to pull it over her chest like a sundress. ;)  Maybe a nice member will hem it for her.  We also sent her a photo album full of pictures of friends and family.  I may have driven her crazy, having my camera with me at all times, but she is grateful for that now.  I also sent her a birthday cake with candles.  Ok, it was a box of Hostess cupcakes.  I figured they would travel better.  I know she will be well taken care of on her birthday.  Her RS president and other members in the area are watching out for her.

The following picture was sent to me by a local member during a church cleanup project.  I received the following message with the picture:  Your daughter said to tell you, "see Mom, I'm working hard." She is doing great and says she is so happy.  She loves what she's doing.  She is darling.  They were telling me the scripture they were trying to memorize today.  They are given one a day from Pres. Stoker.

I am grateful for members who are watching over her, especially when they send photos.  
Now for her email:

"This week has been great and long and fast all at the same time.  On Tuesday, we got to go to lunch with Sister Stoker, Sister Skidmore and Sister Pettingill at Panera.  I had never been there so I just ordered a turkey and cheese panini, but it ended up having some gross herb mustard but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but then Sister Pettingill noticed that I didn't like it so she took it up and had them make me one with just turkey and cheese.  It was WAY better!!!

After that Sister Stoker came with us to our lesson with P.  When we had set the lesson up P had told us that she only wanted to hear one more lesson because she was starting to take a class at her church and was going to be too busy to meet with us. So, we fasted and prayed for a miracle that her heart would be softened and she would feel the Holy Ghost so strong that she could not deny it and that she would have a true desire to read the Book of Mormon.  For the lesson we first discussed any questions she had.  We then played the last chapter on The Testament on mute and read 3 Nephi 11:1-17 and 17 while it was playing.  Afterwards we bore testimony and talked about the Book of Mormon and what it is.  Sister Stoker then explained more about the apostasy.  By the end, P had said that her church in the past sixty years has changed their ways to match the world's ways and that she doesn't believe in a "comfortable Jesus" that His church should not change.  She also said that she wants to read the Book of Mormon and learn more.  Our prayer and fast were answered and even though this class of hers is for the next two months, this will not be the last of P.  We're going to keep checking in on her.

Then, yesterday, we visited a woman named B.  She was one of the Elders' investigators and she was going to get baptized but someone told her that we were polygamists so she dropped them.  We went and talked to her and told her that we weren't and brought the feeling of the spirit back to her and encouraged her to give the Elders another chance.  She told us that she missed the feeling she had when she learned about the gospel and that she had fallen into a depression and had started drinking and smoking again because she was so sad.  By the end she agreed to start reading the Book of Mormon again and told us to have the Elders give her a call because she still wants to be baptized.

We also had Stake Conference this week and Elder Perkins of the Seventy came and spoke and the Spirit was so strong!  These are a few of my notes:
  • Don't just come and see, come and be.
  • The time has come to hasten the work.  Now more than ever we need the ward members to be seeking missionary opportunities.
  • Pray for the opportunity
    • Pray
    • Search
    • Find
    • Act
  • Opportunities of service are blessings from God and should not be taken lightly
  • As we apply the Atonement daily we will naturally reach outwards to others.
  • The Gospel makes you feel alive because your spirit is remembering your home.
  • Faith brings miracles
  • As we are faithful, we will see the promises in our patriarchal blessings come to pass.
  • Jesus Christ invites us in a simple way: "Come and See"  "Follow me"
Love You!!!"

No pictures from Whit this week, but I did get a bonus email!!!

A few of the things she mentioned (besides her replies to a couple questions from me):

"I've been doing a lot of yard work and apparently they like how I make their yards look."

She will be taking an investigator to the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial next Monday, so she probably won't be able to get to the library to email. :(  I told her I won't hover over my computer waiting to hear from her. . .  She is excited to go back.  They went there for a sisters' conference last month, but the trees were still bare.  She said they are in bloom now.  

I also asked if she was going to open her package today or wait until tomorrow so she can open them on her birthday.  Her answer, "Pshhh, TODAY!!!!!" 

Sure love her!  It is going to be a long to weeks waiting to hear from her again.


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