Monday, August 25, 2014


Sister Smedley and Sister Collins as Nephites

We have been working with a LA for a while now. She hasn't been to church since she was in young womens but wants to find that peace and comfort again. Her husband is Agnostic and her son has Epilepsy so life is kind of rough for her right now. We taught the Plan of Salvation. At the end she said that she was going to come to church on Sunday! For the prayer we had her kneel down with us and we prayed that her son would start to feel better. When we ended the prayer she was crying. We gave her a hug and asked what we just taught her. She said "That Gabriel will one day have a perfect body." We then asked what we can do now to help get us through hard times and she said "Pray, read the scriptures and go to church." The next day we got a text from her asking if we could find someone to come and give her son a blessing. We took the Elders and they gave both her son and her a blessing. On Sunday, she wasn't able to make it because her son wasn't feeling well, but the desire is there.

Then the rest of this week we were able to get a lot of ITLs. We were also able to help some of the members out and develop a closer relationship with them and help them feel the Spirit more. Our goal is to help the members realize that they have a testimony to share with others that can greatly help and change both their lives and the lives of others.

Something that I think is interesting is how much members and other people rely on us as missionaries even though most of the time we are way younger than them. Even if they don't say it, people can tell that we are representatives of Jesus Christ because what person would go up to a normal twenty year-old or even an eighteen year-old and tell them all of their problems and ask questions of their soul with the expectation that this kid would know what to say and how to answer their questions if they didn't know that they were representatives of Christ. Even with my family. In their emails they ask me questions and ask how I would handle it even though they are older than me. It's just crazy how much people rely on us and testifies that we are truly set apart and called to be His missionaries.

Sister Smedley is great!!! She is an amazing missionary and is such a great example to me and everyone around her. She has soooo many great ideas for us to do in this area and we are both ready to get this area going.
Oh so I was studying Romans 8 (Which is a great chapter) I learned a lot about the higher laws and I had the thought: Satan knew the higher laws and because he rebelled and didn't follow them he was cast out so we have the veil cast on our mind so that we still make choices and make mistakes without knowing the higher laws so that we aren't cast out and then comes in the Atonement for us to use. Because if we were sent here to make our own choices and God knew that there were some who wouldn't return but He put that there for those who don't use the Atonement so that they are living in ignorance not knowing Him rather than choosing to rebel against Him. And then I had the thought that that is why some are excommunicated because it's like placing a veil on them again and they are living in ignorance and without the covenants. 
We were definitely watched over this week.  So we tried to go see our investigator for the third time this week (She wasn't there again). Outside her apartment was this old man  fixing his truck so we decided to go talk to him. While we were talking to him two guys in their 20s drove up and walked over to us and started talking to us. One of them was the man's son. We asked if they would be interested to hear our message the one 20 year old said that he was Atheist, the other one said sure so we asked if we could come see him and he said well you can come in a few hours. So a few hours later we returned and as we pulled up we saw him and this other guy drive past us on motorcycles and at the place where we were supposed to meet was a bunch of men. We were walking over to go talk to them and see if they knew the other guy when we both stopped and couldn't move and had a horrible feeling in the pit of our stomachs. We went back to the car, locked the doors and said a quick prayer to see what we should do. After the prayer, we still had that feeling but couldn't decide if it was just us or the Spirit. So we called the Elders to see what to do. Elder Plyler said to go with our feelings but if we feel guilty about that we can drive up and role down the window and see if he really wants to learn and then call them back so they know we are ok. So we decided to do what he said to do. When we drove around the corner we saw a bunch of empty beer cans and a bunch of 20 year old men super drunk and looking at us with nasty eyes. They were telling us to come join them and to get out of the car and asking for our names and numbers. We refused to give them any info and told the guy that if he was really interested that he could come to church tomorrow. We drove away, let the Elders know that we were alright, and then the guy texted us trying to get us to text back and flirt with him. we decided not to text back. I am just soooo grateful that I am able to feel and recognize and be guided by the Spirit. I don't even want to think about what could have happened.  Yeah we are hoping that he'll think that we gave him the wrong number and will stop contacting us. We put him in the phone as do not answer. 
It's amazing how those who need Christ in their life without realizing it are "attracted" to us because we have the Light of Christ within us and because we are living a consecrated life, our countenances glow brighter. We've had people tell us that we glow and they notice it because it's different to them but we don't notice it as much because we are around people with the Spirit all the time. But we do notice it when other people's lights are dim. You can tell through their eyes.
Is it true that I am the talk on the facebook page because of bedbugs?  Nope. Don't have them any more.  They just did a follow up check and we are bed bug free. I am definitely the minority though.  I haven't heard of many missionaries around hear dealing with them.

I am hoping that I get to stay for one more transfer.  Not very likely since I will have been here for six months, but a member will be going through the temple in October really wants me there with her.  Also, the sister that wrote a song about my testimony wants me to sing it in Sacrament Meeting once she finishes it.  There is also a member in the ward that will be having surgery the second week of next transfer and she is hoping I can spend time with her.  I love this ward and the people in it.  It will be so hard when it is time for me to transfer to another area.

Oh, yeah, and about the skunk I mentioned last week. . . HAHAHA we were walking from our car to our apartment and S. Smedley stopped and said "What is that?" I looked up and there was a skunk right in front of us and we hurried and ran the opposite way to the other door :)

Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So excited to be serving together!!!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

New Adventures with a New Companion

"We decided to make weird faces so we would have pictures to send home"
Sister Fratcher went home this week.  I hope she is enjoying her family and adjusting quickly.  She will be missed in Manchester.
My new companion is. . . . Sister Smedley!  She is from Nibley, Utah and has been out for almost a year. 
So this week has been so great! Sister Smedley is and amazing missionary! Everyone here already loves her! She has already connected a lot with the people in the ward.   She is a hard worker and is trying to get to know everyone really fast.

We have been working on ways we can improve the area and coming up with new ideas on teaching, tracting, working with the members, visuals, and helping the people we are teaching. I can tell that this is going to be a great transfer filled with miracles. 

We've already seen one miracle. Our investigator, J, has a baptismal date! She is super excited and wants to be baptized so bad. She plans on coming to church next week and yesterday we gave her a church tour. One of the hurdles that she is facing is trying to find a job and stay in her apartment. But she has great faith that if she follows God that she will be able to make it through this tough time. 
Sister Fratcher and I had been working with the YW Presidency Previously.  Sis. Smedley and I would like to take that work even further.  We are going to try to set up a day where go to lunch with them and have them bring a friend.  I am so excited to work with them and help them come closer to our Savior.

We are working really well together.  When we took Sister Keigley with us for the day we had a few lessons scheduled. Even though none of us knew each other and none of us had ever been in a trio we were able to teach in unity and bring the Spirit to these people's home. We have had some amazing lessons this week and have received a lot of revelation and we also did not get sprayed by a skunk the other night.   I would love the rest of the skunk story.  Maybe next week.

So both my companion and I are shorties and so far everyone has commented on it and has teased us about it. The bishop asked who was driving and then asked "Can either one of you see over the dashboard?" HA HA very funny... But hey by small and simple means shall great things come to pass.  The Bishop also said he thinks we will be together for two transfers.  I would love that, however, With the eight sisters who just came to the mission and the ten who are coming next week, I think they will be calling Sis Smedley in to a leadership position.  She would make a great trainer.

We were also invited to a member's house for lunch.  She ordered a huge pizza for us.  We had a nice chat and got to know her better.  We sang to her and shared a message.  She was so grateful that she made the appointment.  She was having a rough day and felt really lonely but we were able to cheer her up and help her feel loved.  She seemed so much happier by the time we left.  That joy was still with her when we saw her at church on Sunday.

Sad day:  The Keplingers are moving to Indiana next week! :(  We had lunch with Sister Keplinger on Thursday and we had a nice talk.  Before we left, she gave me extra encouragement and a big hug.  I am sure going to miss her!  Thank you, Sister Keplinger, for watching out for Sister Collins.  Also, thanks for the sweet email and pictures from a couple weeks ago. 

 This week's Whitney Randomness:

 There is a "blueberry" that drives around here and ever time I see it I think of my car.  (yes, she calls her car the blueberry)

 I made scrambled eggs for the first time! (She really can cook, she has just always made over-hard eggs.)

 I saw Sisther Fram, Elder Cook and Elder Thomas at transfer meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (They were all in her district at the MTC and entered the mission together.)

Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Last picture with Sister Fratcher

Sister Smedley and Sister Collins

This is what I came home to tonight.  Somehow the picture fell off my wall and landed just like this. . .  Maybe I needed the reminder that through Christ, I can get through anything.  Quote on the bottom of the picture, "If the Lord leads you to it, let Him guide you through it."

Brighton Friends:  Yes, those are tiki men you see.  Sox was so kind and hid them in my suitcase.  I kept them all, except the one I had hidden in the bathroom at the MTC.  Oops!  I love how the one tiki man looks like he is looking right at Christ.  Reminds me of a Nephite on his knees when Christ visited them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Guess who's staying in Manchester. . .

Sister Collins and Sister Morgan

Guess who is staying in Manchester!!!! This girl right here :D

So this week has been good. 

On Monday, we had dinner with some of the members. We shared the scripture 2 Nephi 31:20. We then watched the video "A secure anchor" and I got to share Ether 12:4! WOOHOO gotta love the stuff I can use from camp :)

On Tuesday, I got a pretty bad cold and lost my voice. We went to the church during the leadership meeting and I got to see Sister Morgan!!!!!!!!! It was so good to see her! She is such an amazing missionary! 

On Wednesday, we had District Meeting. Then afterwards we had district lunch at pizza hut. For the month of July we had a competition to see who could invite the most people to learn. Well we ended up winning so President Stoker paid for our lunch! After that we visited one of the members and she bought us Cold Stone ice cream! It was so good. Then we went and visited one of the members from the Bedford ward who is living in an assisted living home down the street from us. She is so cute! She is 96 years old and is from England. She was baptized when she was 14 and loves to sing. She told us many stories and then told us that she loves to sing. So she started to sing at the top of her lungs "Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves" After she was done singing she asked if we knew that one and we said no. So she said that we really should learn it and started singing again. Then she wanted us to sing a song with her. Well with my lack of a voice I couldn't hit any notes and couldn't sing :(.

On Thursday, Sister Fratcher had her exit interview. I got to hang out with Sister Skidmore and the Bedford sisters and help around the office while she was talking to President. Later that day we went tracting and it started pouring and hailing. We were drenched! And right after that we had to go to our lesson with our investigator. 

The lesson was amazing! She is so prepared! We discussed what she believed. Part of what she was telling us was that she believes that with each good thing you say, you plant a seed in people's hearts. Then as more people tell them good things about God it grows. We were stunned! She has never read the Book of Mormon and yet she was practically quoting Alma 32:28. We had her read that scripture and she said that it was crazy because that is just what she was saying. We then asked if she had ever been baptized. She said no but she wants to be, but all the churches that she has investigated have required her to know everything. But she believes that you just have to have a willing heart and that baptism is to purify you and give you a remission of your sins and bring you closer to God. WHAT!?!? Yep it was awesome! Can you say prepared?? We told her that she could be baptized but we didn't feel that it was right to extend the commitment yet. She also believes that when a person truly believes in God that they will want to change their life style and what they wear and what they do so that they can please Him.

On Friday, I felt pretty sick so that evening Sister Fratcher made me lay down. While I rested she called and set up some appointments. She called Bishop to tell him about our investigator and also told him that I was sick. So he brought us dinner! He is so nice :) After that we went a visited one of the members who is preparing to go through the temple. She is having a rough time and the adversary is working hard on her. 

On Saturday, us and the elders did service for one of the members. We weeded, mowed, and weed whacked her yard. We also painted her swingset. She was so grateful. She gave us a big hug. It was so sweet! When she gave me a hug she said "I haven't told you that I loved you yet today." She is such a sweetheart! Then we had dinner with the nonmembers who live in our building. We got to share with them and their family what we do as missionaries.

Sunday there was another baptism in our ward and I got to give the talk about baptism. Then we had dinner at a member's home.

Love sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week!!!!!!!!!

 Whitney and Sister Fratcher after being caught in a rain/hail storm
 Whitney is developing her drawing skills in children's coloring books
 Whitney, Sister Nickulos (the one who wrote a song based on Whit's testimony), Sister Fratcher
 Whitney and Sister Fratcher with the Keplingers.  The Keplingers sent me the awesome pictures I included in last week's post.

Now it's time to feature some of Whitney's randomness
 Picture given to Whit.  She was told it reminded them of her.
 This is for Brian and Katherine.  "ABC Pizza" Yes, it is a real restaurant and it reminded her of you. She couldn't read it without thinking "already been chewed Pizza"
 Look at that clean desk!!!! I wish her room stayed that clean.  You can see a flower that some girls who were recently baptized made for her, a bear a member gave her and also a kangaroo that game to her all the way from Australia.

Monday, August 4, 2014

New Investigator!!!

I don't have a lot to share.  It has been one of those weeks.  But there are some great things starting to happen here.

This week we were able to find a new investigator!
Her name is J and she is super prepared! She has a strong faith in God and has seen Him help her all her life even through hard times. She knows that we are all children of God and that He loves us. She has no doubt that there is modern revelation. She has been searching for the right church and has tried many but has seen that they are missing something. 

She referred herself and wanted a Bible. We gave one to her and we also gave her a Book of Mormon and set up a time we could come visit her. During our lesson with her, she told us that a few weeks ago she was staying in a hotel and there was a copy of the Book of Mormon in her room. She had a spiritual prompting that she needed to take this book, so she did. When she moved here she lost it and was really upset because she couldn't find it. But then we came and gave her another copy. She said that this must be an important book.

She also told us a story about how one night she and her friend were stranded in the middle of nowhere for a few hours. She said that she told her friend that all they needed to do was pray and God would help them get home. They prayed and after hours of being stranded, five minutes after the prayer a random car drove down the road and it ended up being someone they knew and they were able to take them home.

It was a great lesson and she is so ready for the Gospel.

Also, on Sunday, on of the Elder's investigators got baptized.  She is a friend of the three girls who got baptized a little over a month ago.

People keep asking Whitney about awkward moments she has had while on her mission.  The thing is, Whitney has an easier time letting things like that go than most of us do, so when things do happen, they don't seem as awkward to her as they would to most of us.  So she shared the following with me:

So, I finally thought of an awkward moment to tell you.  So, last transfer, on Father's day, I had to give a talk on eternal families.  Well, in the ward there are four sets of missionaries.  We are the only sisters and the rest are Elders.  I went and sat up on the stand and the other lady giving a talk sat next to me but had me sit in the middle on this tiny little pew.  I had to sit really close to the Elder.  Then the ward member didn't share her hymn book with me so I had to share with the Elder and we both ended up speaking on eternal families... Yeah, I thought only married people, not missionaries talked about that together.  It made us look like we were a couple.  My mission president, is wife and another senior couple were there too.

Whit was also excited about fresh blueberries.  A member gave her so many that she doesn't know what to do with them and was asking for recipes. (to think, I just paid for a bunch of blueberries!)  I told her how to make blueberry cobbler, muffins and pancakes.  I also told her to freeze the rest so she can enjoy them later.

Transfers are next week.  We know they well affect her because her companion is heading home.  I am really hoping she stays in Manchester one more transfer.  She loves the people there and would love to show a sister around and introduce her to the members that she loves so much.  She would also be sad leaving this new investigator.  

She is also sad about her grandpa's stolen truck.  She said that every time she sees a red Titan in New Hampshire she looks to see if it is him then has to remind herself where she is.  Praying it is found in the same condition it was taken.

Lately Brian and I have been going for walks around Daybreak Lake.  He keeps joking about moving there so we don't have to drive over.  He also mentioned this to Whitney.  The following was our conversation:

Whit:   Is Dad seriously thinking about moving or is that a joke?

Me:   Ummmmm, NO!!!!!!! He just likes to tease us a lot.  We have been going for walks around Daybreak lately and he has enjoyed it.  If he was at all serious, that would change once he really thought about HOA fees.  He also knows that I will not move again.  I want you girls and your families to always feel like you are coming home.

Whit:  Okay, good, because that would stink!!!

Me:  (after other topics) about moving... you know who really makes those decisions... not Dad! :)  I told him we can drive the 5 minutes to the lake to go for a walk.

Whit: HAHA you are the neck and you can turn the head any way you want ;) (movie reference)

Finally, Whitney is really excited to start working with some of the young women in her ward.  The Young Women's President has asked her if she and her companion can you and visit the young women in their ward.  Their ward covers a large area and has several that are inactive.  This is right up her ally.  Her time in YW and time at Brighton should be a great help in providing this service.  YW love her!!!  Another reason I hope she stays in Manchester, but I know she will be where she is truly needed.

Until next week. . . . then the long week following that, waiting to find out where she is assigned.




Better Late Than Never...

Before I add Whitney's email from last week, I thought I would share a few pictures sent to us by a ward member.  Her email said, "Just a note to let you know Sister Collins is a fantastic missionary!  She is a light in our ward we love her so much!"  Thank you Sister Keplinger!!!

Hey everyone!!

This week has been pretty good.
On Monday, we had lunch with a member who we didn't know very well and whose mom is super less active and anti. It was good because by the end she felt the spirit really strong and we got closer to her and got to know her better.

On Tuesday, I stayed with the Sister Training Leaders in Epping until Wednesday. It was interesting to see what STLs have to do and I liked getting to know those sisters. 

On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference in Exeter. It was really good! For part of it we read 2 Nephi 31 which is all about the Doctrine of Christ. My favorite verse is verse 3. After we got home from our exchange/Zone Conference adventure we had dinner with Sister Williams and her daughter. They made us tacos which were super good! Then halfway through it started to rain with a lot of thunder and lightning. It was so cool!! On our way home the lightning was crazy!!

Thursday, we found out that our tire had a hole in it so we had to go get it repaired. Then later we had a meal appointment with a member, she fed us good sandwiches.

We still haven't found anyone to teach but I believe that in due time we will. We do have a new potential that we are going to go teach this week and she seems like she is ready to hear the message. 

This week in my studies have been focused on how I can help others understand the Sabbath and the importance of it. I went through the topical guide under Sabbath and was able to find out more about the Sabbath.
This is what I got from each of these scriptures:

-Gen. 2:2, Exo. 20:8-11
We rest from our labors

-Exo. 31:13
It is a sign that the Lord has sanctified us 

-Isa. 58:13-14
We turn away from things of the world and we will be blessed.

-Matt. 12:8-13
We are healed and we are to do well. (Serve each other)

-Matt. 28:1-6
Christ was risen

-Mark 2:25-28
When we are 'hungered', we are 'fed' in the house of God.
The Law of Charity overrides every ritual law. (BD Shewbread)

-Mark 2:27-28 (JST)
The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath

-Deut. 5:15, Luke 13:11-16
Day to remember that we are no longer in the bonds on sin.

-BD Sabbath
Is an eternal principle 

-Luke 13:10, Acts 13:42-44, BD Synagogues 
We gather together in meetinghouses to learn and to teach.

-John 9:14
Our eyes are opened on the Sabbath. 

-2 Nephi 2
We learn how to become consecrated

I am still studying about the Sabbath but so far it has been really good and insightful. I feel like my testimony of the Sabbath and church has really grown. 

I know that everyone goes through trials to help them reach their divine potential. Just like in Alma 14, I know that with faith in the Lord and his Atonement and relying on him that we can get through any trial or affliction that comes our way. That if we remain strong and meek and rely on the Lord and His commandments that we can walk out of our own prisons or trials as they crumble to the earth unharmed and stronger than before.

Have a great week love you!!!!!!

We were on vacation at our family's farm in Fremont, Utah this week.  It was hard to find an internet signal or 4g on our phone to check for emails.  We finally resorted to sitting in front of the local ward house to be able to email her and get her email.  I did catch her on line for a couple minutes.

We talked about some trials she has been going through.  She had talked to her Mission President about them.  He encouraged her and praised her for her positive attitude.  He has faith in her abilities as a missionary.
She also said that in September they will have 21 new missionaries coming to their mission!!!

She was told by someone that she isn't a loving person.  Whitney????  I was grateful I was able to send on messages I had received from a few members.  They were all similar to the one I posted above.  One of Whitney's greatest gifts is that she is able to love without question.  Praying that she doesn't let one person's negative comments affect her.  "I have been trying my HARDEST to show her love even when it is hard and I try to show all of the members love as well."

"Oh, and I did get both of the packages.  Thank you! The cookies came un-squished and I hid them in the freezer so I have some for later. :) And thanks for the ANT stuff."

Our very picky eater is getting more and more brave. 
Sister Jenni Williams, the Relief Society President in Whitney's ward, was playing mom and making Sister-Whitney Dot Collins eat her veggies. I had told Sis. Williams about her aversion to green veggies when we met a few months ago.  She said that when she got married she also hated vegetables.  She promised that before Whitney transferred out of Manchester, she would have her eating veggies.  Looks like it is working.

She also said that she ate broccoli and a stuffed mushroom.  It was probably one piece of broccoli and one mushroom, but it's a start. 

She mentioned that me being able to find an internet connection and catching her online was our tender mercy.  I would have to agree.  I was homesick for both of my girls as we were at the family farm without half of my family.

When I said I had to leave, her reply was, "Love you too!!! Now you are the one leaving me."  Yep, broke my heart a little.

Hoping to be able to post a gain later today with this week's email.  Thanks for your patience.