Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We got iPads!

First of all, thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes, cards and gifts.  I have some pretty amazing friends and family members!

 Our temple trip didn't work out today so we are sitting at McDonald's using their free wifi to email you on our new iPads.  Good timing with a Monday holiday.

We had our training and got the iPads on my birthday.  We will start using them in 3 phases.  We are in phase 1 right now which is just learning to use them for a few weeks.  In phase 2 we will do the area book and planners and than in phase 3 we will start using social media.  We will probably go through the phases one transfer at a time since they will have to train us at each phase.  This means social media won't come until the very end of my mission. 

This week was crazy busy.  We had a ton of meetings and had to give 4 trainings! We didn't do exchanges this week because we had so many meetings.

On my birthday we went to Exeter for the conference/training.  That night we had dinner with the S family.  They fed us BBQ steak and chicken and strawberry shortcake!  All of my favorites.  It was a great birthday dinner.  They also gave me a card and some chocolate. :)

Oh, this morning there was a Memorial Day parade right on the main street by our apartment.  It was fun to watch it.  It's been a long time since I have been to a parade.

It is crazy how much you forget about technology in a year.  I am trying to figure out this iPad and I feel like a little old lady who has never even used a computer.  Just imagine when I have to try to figure out a smart phone again.

Well, I gotta go.  Tell C... he is in my prayers.  I hope he feels better soon.

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

Since they were emailing on iPads, she couldn't send pics from her camera.  I told her she had to at least send us a selfie...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Birthday week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Whitney turns 21 on Wednesday!!! If you are in Maine and happen to see her, please with her a Happy Birthday.  She will be at a mission conference in Exeter, NH on her birthday and is excited to be with everyone from the mission.  That evening a member family is making her birthday dinner.  I am so grateful there are families there to take care of her and love her while she is so far away.

So, last P-day we really did go home and take a nap. :) It was glorious!  Today we are going to go hang out in Freeport!  We don't have to go grocery shopping because, as the Cavanaughs packed up for their move to Utah, they brought us food that they couldn't take with them.  I am sad that they are leaving but excited to be able to see them when I get home.

We have district meeting every Wednesday.  We meet with all of the missionaries in our district which is normally like 4-6 sets depending on the area.  We open with a hymn and a prayer, then say our purpose, then talk about how our areas and goals are doing.  The district leader then gives a lesson and we do "therefore what?" of the lesson.  We talk about the mission vision and how the people we teach are doing.  We also do real plays.  We close with a testimony, song and prayer.  Once that is done, we eat. :)

We went on exchanges with the Saco sisters this week. I stayed here with Sister Craig.  We found a really solid potential who is super prepared! She has three daughters and we gave both her and her oldest daughter a Book of Mormon.  She was super sweet and we had a really nice conversation with her.  We are hoping that we get to see them again either today or tomorrow to invite them to the branch activity on Friday.

We did a lot of service this week and a lot of that service was lifting heavy boxes of books and other things and also carrying out tons of bags of groceries...Needless to say, I'm just a wee bit sore haha!  While we were doing service at the food pantry one of the ladies who work there came up to us and asked how we stay so energized and happy all the time.  We were able to testify to her that it is because we know that we are children of God and because we know that we have a Savior who loves us and knows us perfectly.  She replied, "Wow! I wish everyone knew that!" Unfortunately the conversation ended right there because she had to go help someone, but then as we left they gave us both $10 gift cards to Hannaford's grocery store!!! They also sent us home with some cupcakes.  The ladies are so sweet. I love them!!!

That awkward moment when...
... you are helping at the food pantry and as you leave the cute ladies who work there tell you that two of the guys who were in that day "fancied" you and they would be a great catch. . .

Love you lots! Have a great week!

Campfire with the Cavanaughs!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thunderstorm, fog and. . . frogs???

Sister Kimball, Whitney and LaRue (?) getting ice cream and visiting the cows.
What a great Mother's Day!!! We are grateful that the Cavanaugh's shared their home, dinner and computers with the missionaries of the Yarmouth Branch.  We are also grateful to their son, the branch mission leader, for keeping the Elders on track so the Sisters could could make it home by curfew after skyping home. Before long I may be able to thank them in person.  Whitney said they are getting ready to move to Sandy!

People keep asking if Whitney has changed much on her mission.  The answer is no.  She as continued to grow but she hasn't changed.  She is still the same loving, silly, random, sometimes distracted girl she has always been.  

Hopefully this post doesn't get too confusing as I try to combine information from our skype and emails.

While we were talking to her, we could see a lot of lightning through the window behind her.  She was pretty distracted and would turn her head every time she heard thunder.  We reminded her that you can't see thunder. :)  By the time she had to leave the storm was getting pretty bad and they had a 20 minute drive home.   

"The drive home was kind of creepy.  There was a lot of fog and rain and thunder and lightning and frogs were jumping all over the road!  We were in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees.  It was like a scene out of a horror movie."

Frogs??? What?

"Yep, there were tons of frogs jumping across the road and some didn't make it. :( I am a frog killer.  Oh, and we were just down the street from where Stephen King grew up.  I now know where he got his inspiration for his scary books and movies!"

"There is a sweet family here with the cutest 4 year old girl.  We were over there recently for a less and she wasn't acting like herself.  All she wanted to do was sit by us and snuggle.  When it was time to go she started sobbing and saying that we didn't like her.  She thought we were going to leave without giving her a hug good bye.  We knelt down and told her we would love a hug.  She ran and threw herself on our laps.  She had gotten herself so worked up that it took us about 10 minutes to say our good byes and calm her down and ensure her that we love her.  She is such a sweetheart.  It was worth every minute."

"The other day we got a text from the first counselor of the RS asking if we could do a duet for Relief Society on Sunday.  We said yes even though both of us are terrified to sing in front of people.  She gave us a choice of Love at Home or a primary song that we didn't know so we picked Love at home.  We couldn't really practice with the piano since I could only play top hand so we decided to do it A'Capella. This ended up being a good thing since the piano player went home sick.  When we got up to sing both of us were so nervous!  It went really good and I think people enjoyed it."

"We also had Mission Leadership Conference last week.  It is always good to catch up with other missionaries, especially Sister Blume and Sister Frame!  While we were there I got to stay at the mission home.  I stayed in the same room that I stayed in on the night I flew in to Manchester.  That was a crazy day!  I can't believe it was over a year ago."

"I am grateful for Sister Kimball.  We love being able to serve together again.  And. . . when the Elders forget to return my USB card reader, she lets me use her camera to send you some of her pictures.  I will send more next week."

"Love you so much!!! Have a great week!"

Room at the mission home

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's a small world!!!

On Sunday morning Brian (Dad) received a text from a co-worker saying his wife met a sister missionary in Maine who said she is our daughter.  Of course, I had to ask Whit for more details...

We noticed a new family at church on Sunday so we went and introduced ourselves.  She told us about how she had also served a mission.  I asked her what brought them out here from Utah.  She said her husband was starting work at Fairchild Semiconductor here in Maine because the one he worked at in Utah was closing.  I said, "Hey, my dad worked there!"  She got dad's name and asked her husband if he knew him.  He came back and and said, "You're Brian Collins' daughter?!?!?! That is awesome! He's the man!"  Yep, it's a small world.  He is moving to Yarmouth.

Can you post the following to my blog?  I love these videos.  Both are great reminders for both youth and adults.

So, this week I convinced a 5 year old to eat his broccoli by telling him that it would make him super strong.  He ended up having two helpings!  Once he was done he went in an lifted up the couch just to show us how strong the broccoli made him. Yes, I ate my broccoli too.

A few things we did this week:
We did service at the food pantry.  We mostly carry their boxes of food when they are ready to leave.  While serving we try to show sincere love and concern.  We are so blessed.  It is nice to be able to help others.

We also served at the library.  I feel like we have really gained their trust.  This week when we got their they said, "The Sisters are here, they can back us up."

We were able to teach a few lessons this week.  It is good to get to know people better.  As we lead by the spirit we are better able to share with them and address their concerns.

We also lost our phone this week.  Luckily we were able to stay calm and were able to eventually find it.

We also went to dinner with a family to Johnny Rockets.  It was fun to visit with the family.  I ate a hamburger and really liked it!  (Who is this girl?  She used to hate hamburgers and watermelon.  Now she loves them.)  I guess one blessing I have had while on my mission is I now like more foods. :)

Well, I gotta go. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We didn't have much time to get details from Whitney this week since we were trying to coordinate a time for our Mother's Day Skype!!!

Final day with Sister Upton

The Ocean!!!

Someone got a haircut.

So, someday Whiney wants to live in a yurt. Yep, she's crazy.

My daughter eating watermelon again?!?!?!?!?

Silly girls. They love serving together again.