Monday, April 27, 2015

Roadkill for dinner???

It is official, Whitney and Sister Kimball are companions again, this time working together as Sister Training Leaders.

This week has been great! 

Sometimes I still feel like I am a new missionary but then I realize that there are only a few sisters that have been here longer than me.  Time really is going by so fast.  I am in the second week of this transfer and will only have 3 more transfers.  I can't believe I will be home in about 5 months.

Sister Kimball and I are doing great and are happy to be serving together again. We went tracting a lot and we were able to find at least one potential a day since Wednesday! So pretty much we have ten potentials to follow up on! We also found this cute couple and found out that their son is a member but is less active and used to be married to one of the members in our branch and they used to have dinner with the missionaries before their son and listened to the messages.  They let us in and we shared the first vision with them and the Spirit was so strong! They said we could come back anytime and they also let us know where their son lives so we can visit him.

So, cool spiritual moment:  So every road that we picked to hit first were the ones that had solid potentials on it and with almost all of them we were able to share a small testimony wit them.  Also, this week in my studies I have been studying out of both the Book of Mormon and the New Testament and I love reading in the Book of Mormon and them testifying of Christ and that He would come and then reading about that He did come and the many things He taught and the miracles he performed.  Then I love looking at all of the amazing miracles and blessings of our day and seeing that He truly lives and that He is here! It is so amazing! The gospel is truly what brings you lasting joy, peace and happiness!  I can't imagine what my life would be like without it.  

He Lives! Click here to find out more.

As you can see in the picture, my hair is long enough to put it in a ponytail. . . I don't think I like it and the members want me to get it cut back into and a-line.  What do you think.  (silly question!  She knows I love her sassy a-line)

I getting to know the members so much better now which makes me soooo happy.  They have become so generous.  We had quite a few meals with members this week.  Sunday we had lunch with this sweet family and then dinner with another awesome family.  They both stuffed us full of yummy food!  Then on Monday we had dinner with the branch mission leader and his family and found out that they are moving to Utah around West Valley in a few weeks!  On Tuesday we had dinner with another really sweet family, corn chowder and really yummy cupcakes!  On Thursday we had dinner with another family and they fed us buffalo.  On Friday we helped the branch mission leader's mom start cleaning up and packing and so she fed us lunch and later we had dinner with one of the recent converts and had shepherds pie...

So... as we started eating the member said this "hamburg" is fresh!  And I said, "Oh really? Is it from one of your cows?"  Se said, "Nope, it is deer.  We told __ to watch out for deer last night as he was driving but he didn't listen and ended up hitting one.  So __ went out to help him and the officer who was helping them out asked if anyone  wanted the deer for the meat so __ remembered you were coming so he said he would take it." The thought just ran through my head, Sister Collins, you are eating roadkill!  HAHA it was really good though. :)

On Saturday a member left a whole meal at the church for us to take home! It was a huge pan of enchiladas, brownies, ice cream and watermelon!!!  I have been craving Mexican food for months.  Oh, I like watermelon now!  Yep, it used to make me gag, but now I love it.  The blessings of being a missionary.  

Well, one way I can tell I have been out for a while is because all of my shoes are dying! My snow/rain boots that I wore all fall and throughout winter are dead and have oles in them.  It is so muddy right now that rain boots are a must.  I was talking to a new member and asking if they new of a place I could find some cheap replacement rain boots.  She told me of a place I could get some, but when I asked where it was she ignored the question and asked what my shoe size is and insisted she was going to get me new boots!  How sweet is that?!?!

Awkward moment:  The other morning at 6:30 we got locked out of our apartment.  I wasn't even wearing shoes, just socks!  For exercising we have to go to the basement because we are on the second floor and right above a little girl's bedroom.  The door we have to go through from our apartment automatically locks if it gets shut.  So we went down and I just wore socks because I didn't feel like wearing shoes and we were just going to be in the basement but then Sister Kimball accidentally shut the door to our apartment and we literally had no way to get back inside.  We tried to see if there was a close enough window - there wasn't. Then we tried to see if we could pick any of the locks with a bobbi-pin - we couldn't. Then we tried to see if the people below us were home to grab the number and use the phone to call the landlord - the weren't even home.  Then we tried the post office next door - the window was closed.  We decided to walk to our next door neighbors and they were home and awake! I explained to the guy who answered the door what happened and he said "so you need to use a phon? Of course, come on in!" Then I had to ask if there was a woman in the home because are actually missionaries but they couldn't tell because we didn't have our tags on and that it was a rule that we could only enter his home if there was a woman present.  Luckily, there was. They let us use their phone and we had to call the Augusta sisters because that was the only number that we could remember.  They gave us the senior Elder's number who is over the apartments and we called him.  He didn't have the number for the landlord, it was at the office.  It was going to take him an hour to get to the office. The people said it would be fine for us to hang out there and then the lady said, "I don't know if it would make you feel better or worse, but you could always card the door to break i." So we said we could do that and her husband offered to help as soon as he was done eating.  Luckily I know how to card a door and within like 5 seconds I was able to get the door opened with the card the let us borrow. . .(Ummm, I thing they need a deadbolt!!!)

Sorry, I had so much I wanted to tell you that I ran out of time to upload pictures.

I love you soooooo much and I hope that you have a great day/week.  Find time to do something fun!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Companions again???

Sister Kimball and Whit
It is Patriots' Day in Maine which meant public libraries are closed.  Luckily, Sister Upton needed to go to Portland to get her hair cut and they have a family history center in the church.  Whitney was able to use their computers for a few minutes to send a quick update.

Sorry, I only have a few minutes.  Sister Upton is getting transferred.  We think she will be going to Canterbury, Maine.  It is about halfway to Manchester.

Soooo, at this point is looks like my new companion won't be new to me at all.  I think I will be with Sister Kimball again.  I will continue to be a Sister Training Leader and she will join me.  Not that it means much, but I will be STL1 and she will be STL2.  I have kept in contact with her throughout this transfer as one of her STL's.

I have a feeling I won't be in this area for a long time.  I won't be surprised if it is only one more transfer.  But, I only have 4 more transfers left in my mission.  How crazy is that?

Sorry this is so short and sorry I didn't have time to reply to everyone's emails.

I love you sooooo much and I hope you have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will send more next week and hopefully will have time to send some pictures. :)

If you want to learn a little more about her companion, you can look back at the posts from October.  Whitney was companions with Sister Kimball for one transfer, when she first transferred from Manchester to Augusta.  It will be easy for them to reconnect once they are both home as well since Sister Kimball is from Riverton.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Reunited with MTC Companions

MTC Companions - Sister Blume, Sister Frame and Sister Collins
Over the last week and a half we have done exchanges, some tracting, went to the Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) and did service.

MLC was great!  I got to see Sister Blume and Sister Frame and also some other great missionaries.  We learned a lot and found out that on May 20 we are having another missionary conference to train us on using Ipads.  Yep, I get to spend my birthday with the entire mission! President Stoker showed us the app for the pamphlets and it is so cool! It's called LDS pamphlet, I think... And then we learned some other cool stuff and items we have to train on for Zone Meeting this week.  

Note from Mom - The app is called LDS Pamphlets.  I just downloaded it on my phone.  The actual pamphlets take quite a bit of memory.  Most of these can also be downloaded in LDS Gospel Library under "Sharing the Gospel."

While I was in Manchester for MLC I also got to stay in my old apartment.  It was so weird being there without all of my stuff and with other sisters now living there.  Also, Elder Dahlberg who served in Augusta with me is now in Bedford.  He picked us up for the meetings.

Sister Upton and I felt prompted to do this thing we came up with that we call The Atonement Walk.  We are going to try it out tonight with some members.  We felt like we needed to something else for our training.  While discussing what we could do, Sister Upton mentioned that for Christmas in her zone they did a Walk with Christ activity.  As we talked we decided that we could do a silent walk and walk through the different facets of the Atonement.  Our plan is to start off by telling them to be silent and to follow us and we are going to read Matt 26:36, about how Jesus and his disciples went to the garden and he told them to sit and watch. Then we are going to walk them to a room that we are hopefully going to have set up with some plants and chairs.  We will then read Matt 26: 37-39 and then Alma 7: 11-13 and ask what pains of yours did he feel?  They won't share these with us but will be given time to ponder how He sacrificed for them.  After that we are going to read Matt 26: 45-50 and they will walk with us to the next room.  There we will read Matt 27: 17-20, 37, 46, 50 w/JST, and 54 and ask, "When was a time that you felt forgotten or misunderstood?" We will let them ponder and then ask, "Did you know the Savior was with you?" Then read Matt 27: 57-60 and move to the chapel.  In there we are going to have them close their eyes and we will read in parts with the Zone Leaders John 20: 11-17.  We are then going to have them open their eyes and there will be a picture of Christ in front of them and we will ask them what Christ has done for them and have a mini testimony meeting.  I hope it works out like we have pictured it.

For service we go to the library and help out with old documents and the town's history stuff which is super cool!  We also help at the food pantry every other week and just help carry out the people's bags for them.  It is a lot of fun.  I love being able to serve the people in this mission.

We had a meal with some members one night.  My companion was having a rough day and feeling kind of down so I did the lesson and led the discussion.  It was a really good lesson and the spirit was so strong that almost everyone was in tears.  They said we answered their prayers and it went very well.  I think that night help us come closer as a companionship as well.

Last week we did exchanges with the Sisters from the Saco ward.  We met up with them at the Portland Headlight Lighthouse.  We had lunch while we were there.  It was really cold so we ended up eating in the car.  Of course, we had to take some pictures while we were there. 

One of these days we are going to take a ferry to tract an island and we also have areas to tract right along the ocean.

There is a chance I won't be able to email next week.  Patriot's day is celebrated as a state holiday so the library will be closed on Monday.  We'll cross our fingers that I can work something out.

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

Meeting up for exchanges

Portland Headlight Lighthouse

The Ocean!!!

Sister Collins and Sister Upton

Happy (cold) missionary

Sister Missionaries at the Mission Leadership Conference

Whitney's District

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Conference and Easter

I love the ocean!
I hope you had a fabulous Easter and enjoyed General Conference.

Notice the ocean in the top corner of the picture. :) Also, the snow is almost gone!!!  It has still been really cold and we have had a couple snow storms, but I am hopeful spring is on its way.

This week I went on exchange with Sister Craig!  She was trained by Sister Smedley.  She is super cute.  We talked a lot about Manchester and the super amazingly awesome people there! :D

Sadly, we didn't have any lessons this week, but we are hopeful that as we continue working and praying that they will come.  It is going to happen.

I think the most uplifting moment for me this week was Conference.  We are asked to pray before conference with specific questions in mind.  I did and had so many questions and prayers answered!  It was also good to hear about how people in Manchester are doing, both members and the investigators I met with back in September.  I have been blessed to serve in some amazing areas.

I loved all of the talks in conference.  I love how the focus of this weekend sessions and the General Women's Broadcast were so focused on family.  If I had to pick a favorite talk, I would say the talk by Quinten L. Cook.  You can view his talk at the following link: 

I am also so grateful that I get to talk to Sister Bee every week when we do call-ins.  I love hearing about my friends in Augusta.  It is amazing to hear about the investigators we had and also the potentials from before who are now investigators!!!

Later today I will be heading to Manchester for MLC.  I am excited to see many of my friends.  I will get to see my companions from the MTC, Sister Frame and Sister Blume.  They are currently serving as STLs together.  All of the STLs will be staying at the mission home tonight.  I am pretty excited. There will also be four of the Elders I have served with.  It will be so nice to catch up with them as well.

Sorry, I don't have much time to write today.  I also ran out of time to upload more pictures.  I will send more next week.

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Interesting side notes from her emails to me (mom):

Her companion thinks I am "trunky" (more focused on her coming home than her service).  I was a little confused at how she could come to that conclusion.  I then realized it is probably because of the packages she has received.  I normally send her a package every other month.  Nothing fancy, usually a homemade treat and items she has mentioned she needs as well as notes from home.  Well, since they have been companions she has received three.  The first package had cookies that she requested so she could have them with a family in Augusta before she transferred.  Unfortunately, mail was held up and it arrived after she left.  Sister Bee gave her the package when they went to Augusta for Zone Conference.  The second package was small and just had brownies and a music cd.  I had extras from a YW/YM activity and decided to send her some since she didn't get the cookies.  The package she got this week was to celebrate her 1 year mark and Easter.  I can totally see how she could think that many packages were excessive if you didn't know the why behind them.

Our family also has a joke with Whitney.  She HATES any food/candy that will turn her mouth a different color, especially blue.  With every package we have sent we have included some type of blue candy.  We know that she will give that item to her companion or the Elders in her area.  Her four year old cousin  recently asked if Whitney hates her car (it's blue).  We had to explain that it is just blue candy she hates.  Well, we sent her a package of blue peeps in her Easter package.  She laughed and set them aside, saying that she would be giving them to the elders.  Not understanding the running joke, her companion was offended that she didn't appreciate the items we sent her and would just give them away.  She had to explain to her companion that I sent them knowing she would not eat them. 

I love my missionary daughter.  I love hearing her stories and watching her grow.  I love receiving pictures where I can see the true joy in her eyes.  I wouldn't trade this time for anything, but of coarse, like all moms, I am excited for the hug I will get in October.