Monday, June 23, 2014

Tracting in 100 degree heat brings blessings

So this week has been quite the week...
We dropped all of our investigators so that meant a week full of tracting.  On Monday we went to the very bottom of our area.  We went to a less active's house and met her mom who was super cool!  She is from Vietnam and met with missionaries in Massachusetts.  She wants us to come over another time when her daughter is there and asked if we could keep her in our prayers and pray that she would gain faith again.

On Tuesday we went tracting again and walked everywhere!!!  It was almost 100 degrees and we were sweating a ton! We both forgot to bring water so we stopped at this convenience store and asked if they had any tap water.  The employee waled to the back room and gave us a water bottle for free.  After that we walked a little further and saw one of the members working so we went and said hi and he gave us more water.  We found out that another member works there too and she invited us over for dinner that night.  As we were leaving, the first member insisted that we let him get us ice cream and so we got ice cream. :)  Even though we didn't really find anyone that day, we were super blessed for working hard to find.

Wednesday we walked again.  We had a lesson with a member who is starting to prepare to go through the temple.  She is so service oriented and is a hard worker even through her tribulations.  She is taking care of one of her friends who is on her death bed.  Last week we had a great restoration lesson with both of them and her friend told us that she believed everything that we have said and taught.  We got the prompting that we should invite her to be baptized.  We asked if she would like to be taught and she said that she would love that and to come over anytime she is feeling well.  So next lesson we have with her we are going to invite her to be baptized.

Thursday we visited one of our new investigators.  Her name is T and she is a young, hard working mom with two cute little kids.  We shared the restoration pamphlet with her.  The Spirit was so strong!!!  We told her that this could be an answer to her prayers and with tears in her eyes she nodded and said that it was.  We told her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy and committed her to start reading it and shared some of our favorite verses out of it about Jesus Christ.

Friday was our planning day, as usual, but we got to go over to Sister Keplinger's and had lunch and shared an amazing message.

Saturday we found another new investigator.

Sunday we had dinner at the Spencer's with them and the Raferty's.  We had them role play with each other sharing the gospel and inviting someone to church or a church activity.  We had them line up in two rows then face each other and role play.  After that we went and visited T again.  She didn't have time to talk or have a lesson but she asked if we would pray with her and then we set up another time to come visit her.

So, cool studies I had this week:

I was reading in Isaiah 62:6 
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,

Then I read Ezekiel 34:11-16, 22-31
11 ¶For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

 22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

 23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

 24 And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.

 25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

 26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

 27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

 28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

 29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

 30 Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God.

 31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.

Then I read 3 Nephi 12:13-16
 13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men.

 14 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

 15 Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;

 16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
As members of the church and as part of our baptismal covenant of taking the name of Christ upon us, we become the watchmen, the shepherds of His flock.  We are called to help find those who are lost or in other words those who have not found the restored Gospel.  We are called to help bring again that which was driven away - those members who have stopped coming to church and are losing faith.  We learn and gain testimonies so that we can share them with the rest of the world, with our brothers and sisters, our light shall not be hidden under a bushel.  For we know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ better than the rest of the world and we know the higher laws.  And if you know this, then keep not silence.
D&C 88:80-81, 126
80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.

 81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.

126 Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come. Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.
She also encouraged youth (16 and up) to go teaching with the local missionaries.  It doesn't matter if you are planning on going on a mission or not.  She has seen so many in her mission who have done that and have really strengthened their testimonies.  
 As they were tracting, they almost stepped on this little bird.  They saved it by moving it off the road.
 Whitney with Sister Morgan.  They almost look like they could be sisters with those eyes!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Great food and neighbor troubles

On Monday we had FHE with one of the families in our ward and they gave us a referral.  So we went to visit the family and the mom is a less active member and the dad is agnostic.  We taught them the Restoration pamphlet and we are meeting with them again later today. :)

On Wednesday the Skidmores came teaching with us.  The lesson was super powerful and spiritual!  Then when we got home to plan for the next day the power went out.  We found out that it went out at all of the houses on our street.  Our neighbors who live on the third floor let us borrow a lantern flashlight so we could see.

On Thursday Bishop invited us over for dinner with some of the members who were finishing up their temple prep class.  It was sooooo good!!!!  He fed us steak, BBQ chicken, caesar salad, pasta salad and cake and ice cream.  It was delicious.

On Friday our next door neighbors were being horrible to each other! We called Child Services and they are going to pay them a visit.  They told us that if it sounds like it is doing damage that we should call the cops.  Later that night it got worse so we called the cops and they came but we left to go visit a member.

Also we went over to this older member's house to help wash off some things for her to sell in a yard sale.  She had so many cool things and she is also an amazing painter!!!

So, S is not getting baptized this weekend.  He's actually in the Bedford area but we got special permission to teach him since he was friends with one of the members in our ward.  Now we are going to have the Bedford Elders teach him. (Some information omitted for privacy)

On Sunday we had our Linger Longer after church which was a blessing because we didn't have to worry about having to figure out lunch.  Then later that night Bishop had all of us missionaries come over for a meeting and dinner.  So, pretty much we were fed great this week!  While we were there we were saying and guessing move quotes.  I gave "Is this water sanitary?  It looks questionable to me." Sister Morgan, bless her heart, was like, "OH OH OH I know, LION KING!!!!!"  Everyone else bust up laughing and said uh no try again....

Awkward moment:  We met two men this week who are totally okay with polygamy and think that we should still practice it (GROSS!!!). One of them is from Africa and we shared the pamphlet with him and  after he was asking questions like where are you from? what do iyou do? are you dating anyone? and after we answered that question and said no, he said well I'm available and was giving us these gross looks.  Let's just say that we got out of there pretty fast...

Oh, also, the Bedford Elders met someone street contacting and shared the restoration pamphlet with him and invited him to be baptized and he said yes and come to find out he is actually in our area!!!!

Well, that's all.  Love you!!!!

Additional Whitney randomness shared in follow-up emails:
She has worn out her first pair of shoes.
She is getting her hair cut today.  Keeping the A-line.
Did you know that apple juice can give you more energy than coffee? 
She sent a picture of a yellow house that she loves and wants to have one like it some day.  She didn't remember that she sent a picture of the same house during the first couple weeks of her mission. :)

 She said that the lady who owns this car was once hit by a moose!!! The moose take things quite literally in New Hampshire.
 Not sure why she sent this one, but it is a cool house.
 I received an email from a member on Sunday with this picture.  He said it was taken during their "Linger Longer"


Monday, June 9, 2014

Crazy week!!!

Manchester Cemetery

So this week has been crazy!!!!
Wednesday we had interviews with President Stoker and also had a zone meeting.  They taught us more about how to use the pamphlets and it is so cool!!! Pretty much you show them the pictures and ask them what they see and then testify.  Like with the restoration pamphlet:  (cover) "What do you see?" "That's right.  It's Jesus holding a lamb.  What if that lamb were you?"  (first page picture) "God is our loving Heavenly Father.  He blesses us with family and this family is happy because they have the gospel." And so on and so forth.  Pretty much doing it this way we are able to testify of simple powerful truths and talk about the whole restoration, Plan of Salvation, etc in 5-10 minutes.  Then after we ask if they want to learn more.  It is so cool! And so powerful! It is just like how it is in 1 Nephi 11.
Establish Understanding

On Thursday we had to drive the other missionaries all over the place, but luckily most of the miles were excused.  (they are on a car share and only get so many miles per week)  Oh and in the past two weeks 5 missionaries have gone home early. :(

Friday was the beginning of media splits.  Members went out with us through out the weekend and took pictures of us and posted it on their social network accounts.  We went to our ward mission leader's house (Brother and Sister Young) to study because our apartment was getting fogged so we can hopefully officially get rid of all the bed bugs.  (I may make her leave everything there when she comes home.  We don't want bed bugs!!!)

Saturday  we had the chance to do Mormon Helping Hands.  We went to the oldest cemetery and helped paint the fence.  I got paint all over my hands and arms because it was so runny and the wind kept blowing it.  The paint was green so it kind of looked like I was molding.  But it was fun and I have a lovely awkward tan line on my legs.  After that they bought us ice cream and we had lunch at a member's house.  After lunch we helped clean at this other member's house.

Sunday we had ward council and church.  That night us and the District Leaders got to have dinner with President and Sister Stoker at the mission home. It was delicious! And a tender mercy because we are out of food.  (she ensured me that they are out of food because they didn't have time to shop last week, not because of money.  They were headed to get food after the finished at the library)

Throughout the week we went tracting when we could and had lessons with some of our investigators.  For all of it we used the pamphlets and through those we were able to teach the lessons quicker and establish more understanding.  Satan knows how powerful this method is because with tracting every time we get to the first vision something happens right before to break our concentration, like someone tells us that we need to go, or their dog will all of the sudden go crazy and break the leash and run off.  But we always ask for one more minute and after we give the first vision the Spirit testifies so strongly of its truthfulness.  Then we talk about the Book of Mormon and sometimes something will happen right before that too.  But there is never an interruption while we are talking about either of them.

By the way... I do not like Rhubarb (I think that's how you spell it) pie....

AT ALL!!!!  

(I told her that her grandpa loves strawberry rhubarb pie.  I also told her I haven't had it forever and just remember it being tart)  It didn't have strawberries, just fresh rhubarb and it was super tart.  Luckily the lady didn't notice that I didn't like it.  I ate all of the slice she gave me but I had to choke it down and hide my face every time I could feel I was making a face... it was NASTY!!!

Molly, the ward member that did the 24 hour mission with us, got her mission call to San Antonio, Texas!!!

Well, that's all.
Love you!!!!!

Tacos they made with homemade refried beans (a member taught them how to make them), cilantro, cheese, and chicken cooked with salsa in the crock pot.  Unfortunately, there is only one crockpot and the elders keep stealing it.  I told her to go buy one.  It will save her time and money in the long run.
 Whitney and Sister Morgan with two sisters from their ward who got baptized just over a week ago.
 Mormon Helping Hands

 Picture sent to me by a sweet member.  This is her daughter with Whitney at the Manchester Cemetery.




Monday, June 2, 2014

Whitney's District tackles the Vermonster!!!

We were so excited to hear from Whitney again after missing last week.  I only wish she had longer to email so we could get all of the details.

The past two weeks have been crazy!!!!!!

We had district p-day two weeks ago.  We went to the park and had an epic game of ultimate frisbee/football.  Afterwards we went to Ben and Jerry's and had a Vermonster.  The Vermonster is 20 scoops of ice cream plus toppings.  Our whole district finished it in 7 minutes and 54 seconds and now our picture is on their wall of fame which is pretty awesome since you can see our name tags.

Later that night we had Molly (she is preparing to go on a mission) come over and stay with us for 24 hours for a mini mission.  For dinner we went to a member's home and they have a trained goat!!

The next day was transfer meeting and my b-day.  Sister Morgan made me pancakes which were super good!  Molly bought my lunch and then that night we had dinner with her family and they bought me a cake.  

Thank you for the package, it was great!  Thanks for all the stick notes and colorful pens. :)
The rest of the week was great and had awesome lessons.

Then this past Monday we went to the Joseph Smith Memorial.  It was so beautiful there!!!! We rode up with a part member family and got to know them better.  They also fed us which was great. 
On Tuesday we were really busy and kinda forgot to schedule dinner.

Sister Stoker came teaching with us for the night.  We taught S (our investigator), J (Member preparing to go through the temple), and E (PMF, T is one of our investigators).

For weekly planning the week before, we made a list of miracles we wanted to see happen with people in our area that we were teaching.  Well, on Tuesday, one of our miracles came to pass.  Our neighbor has a lot of questions and wants us to come over and teach her!!

We are constantly learning new ways to teach people and to tract better.  One of the ways we learned is to ask someone if they want to be baptized.  If they say, "No, I've already been baptized." Then you say, "Are you 100% positive that your baptism will get you into His kingdom?"  Most people will say no but if they say yes then tey are either deceived or lying to themselves.

We went teaching with a sister from our ward on Thursday and visited G who is Catholic but three of her children were baptized in our church and are now grown up with their own kids.  We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We were praying for a miracle that she would be baptized.  She said no because she was baptized when she was a baby.  So we asked her, "Are you 100% positive that your baptism will get you into His kingdom?" Without hesitation she said no, but then she realized what she she said and hurried and said, "I mean, yes, I am 100% sure...'  But she couldn't say that she was 100% sure her baptism would get her there.  We testified of the true order of baptism and said that we knew without a shadow of a doubt that our baptism would get us through the gate.

After that we had exchanges and Sister Morgan went with Sister Hoffman to Canterbury and Sister Escobar came to Manchester with me.  We went tracting around the church and found a potential investigator.  Then on Friday we went tracting again and found another potential.  After that we exchanged back.

On Saturday three sisters got baptized and the spirit was so strong and they were so happy.  Their parents are getting baptized later this month.

Then we went and helped this lady pack up some of her house.  She's friends with someone from our ward.  Right from the beginning we were talking about Jesus Christ.  She told us that she was Catholic her whole life but then it didn't feel right so she left and feels like that was the best thing she has ever done.  She stays spiritually strong by reading the Bible and reading books from Barnes and Noble with quotes and scriptures.  So we gave her a Book of Mormon and she was excited and wanted to start reading it!  And she also taught us how to make really good homemade re-fried beans.

Then on Sunday we get to the church and find out that someone super glued all the doors and locks.  Luckily they missed a door and we were able to get in and also us a crowbar to open the other doors.  

A member is also working on having us over for dinner with a new family that moved in that aren't members so we have another potential.

All in all it's been a great two weeks. 

Love You!!!

A couple side items.  I mentioned that it looked like she isn't the shortest in her district based on the above picture.  Her reply, "Actually she was squatting down...she is a little taller than me."

She is really excited for Kate who she roomed with who just got married.  Kate, if you read this, congratulations!!!  She said the pictures you sent are beautiful and that you look sooooo happy!  We are happy for you and wish you the best.

Also, It is starting to get really humid in New Hampshire.  Unfortunately most of the summer shirts aren't very modest or require a t-shirt underneath because they are sheer.  If you happen to see any mission-appropriate summer shirts that don't require layering, let me know.

Here are a few more pictures that she sent.  I sure love this girl!!! Oh, and she passed her 2 month mark last week. :)
 Birthday pancakes made by Sister Morgan.  Candles we sent in her B-day package.
 Cake from Molly's family
 Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial