Monday, June 29, 2015

Guess who will be home in 100 days!!!!!!!

I am so excited!!! Whitney only has 100 days left before she is home.  Also, this week she sent a very long email with lots of pictures.  She has had her share of challenges, but she is so happy this week!

I am now in Morrisville, Vermont!!!  I would love to be able to spend the rest of my mission here.

My companion's name is Sister O'Bryant.  She is from Arlington, Washington and she is awesome! She is kind of a nerd like me!  Pretty much, she is great!

My new area is BEAUTIFUL!!! I have so many squirrel moments with the phrase, "WOW that is so pretty!!!" hooked to that is, "it's a little ridiculous!"  There are tons of hills and mountains and its soooo green!  We live on this cute little main street and the members are amazing!  Funny thing is I recognize pretty much all of them even though I know that I have never seen them before in my life! It's super cool!!!

Oh, also, we have a 2015 Chevy Equinox to drive and I am the driver so I had to drive this huge beast from Bedford NH to Morrisville Vermont! (about 3 hours) But it is super nice and I like it a lot better than the Corolla.  

On the way to our area we had to stop and get lunch, so we stopped at a KFC/Taco Bell and had tacos.  It was in Lebanon, New Hampshire.  Cool thing is that it is located in the location where the farm was that Joseph Smith's family rented when he was young.  The same farm they lived on when he had to have his leg operated on.  If you don't know the story of the miraculous surgery, look it up, it is amazing.  So, missionaries and members call it the holy KFC and we ate tacos there!!!

I was able to meet most of the ward but I'm still going to have to ask for names.  On Friday we went to a relief society dinner around a camp fire so I met a few there.  The activity was so much fun! On Saturday one of the investigators got baptized!!!! It was kind of funny though because Sister O'Bryand didn't know him really well since she has only been in the area a few weeks and I had only been here for a day so I met him right before his baptism.  It all turned out great and he wants to serve a mission!  We also had a few meals with some members.  

On Sunday we had dinner with a sweet couple and they fed us well.  We had meatloaf and potatoes and apple pie with. . . wait for it. . . sharp cheddar cheese.  It was really good!  The member told us, "An apple pie without a slice of cheese is like a hug without a squeeze."

In my studies I studied about Lehi's dream.  While I was studying it I stopped and pondered and imagined myself on the journey to the tree. As I pondered I could see the Savior walking right with me and guiding me through.  The Spirit was so sweet and confirmed again that this was true.  I love the gospel so much and the hope, light and love it brings into everyone's life!

All of our meetings went super great! And I GOT TO SEE SISTER BEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were so excited to see each other again and we decided that we are pretty much sisters, so, surprise, you have another daughter! HAHAHA!!! We actually had to go to two Zone Conferences because the two zones we were over were split up to which conference they went to so one was in Exeter, NH and the other was at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial.  We talked about how our weaknesses can become strengths and about the repentance process and how it is a divine help.  It was so amazing and the spirit was so strong.  It is truly amazing how much Heavenly Father loves us and all the tools He gives us so we can return home to Him! I truly stand all amazed!!!

I was able to put ALL of my clothes in my big suitcase, ALL of my bedding into my medium one and ALL of my office stuff into my carry-on!  See, I am getting there! Oh, but sad day! A lot of my clothes and belts are dying and falling apart! My braided belt broke, most of my cardigans are now holey, a lot of my skirts have some stains on them from working, my shoes are all falling apart and all of my clothes are pretty much faded (except what I got for my birthday).  I may come home as a faded dingy missionary but it's okay, at least you'll be able to see that I worked hard! :)

Please let the young women know I am thinking of them.  The youth are the ones who are going to go through the hardest spiritual battle the world has ever seen! It is also crazy to me to watch and see how many fall away! As I was imagining Lehi's dream I imagined saying how it was hard but in it He said, "I know it is for I have walked this path before.  But behold I am with thee."  He is always there and despite the adversary's best efforts, He will win! It is testified in simple ways even in stories of how good always triumphs over evil, but we mush not confuse what is truly good.
Every Trial Can Bring Greater Faith 

 I love this quote from Jeffrey R. Holland:

I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head.  How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane.  Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.

Now, please don't misunderstand. I'm not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumtuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, tho know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.

For that reason I don't believe missionary work has ever been easy nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is.  I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, cry, "Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass," then little wonder that salvation is not an easy thing for us.  If you wonder if there isn't an easier way, you should remember you are not the first to ask that.  Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn't an easier way.

When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived.  You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the living Son of the living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions.  The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary.  The only way to eternity is through Him - the Way, the Truth and the Life. (Missionary work and the Atonement) end quote.

I know so many people are going through challenge, storms, in their lives right now.  Just remember who is there to help you through them.  I love this Mormon Message:

 I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Have a great week!

Whit and Sister Bee!!!

Yep it's blurry.  Beards are a New England thing too!

I love this place!!!

Sister McVey and Whit before the transfer.

Whit and Sister Upton

Beautiful Vermont

A miracle happened on this site many years ago.  Now it's a KFC.

She can't send pictures with out a few silly faces.

Together for 3 days and already so much alike.

The beautiful view from the church parking lot.

He decided to be Whitney's height

Cute Companions!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bonus - Brian's Fathers Day "Card"

We haven't gotten any of Whit's picture letters/cards in the mail for a long time, so we just thought we would share the latest with you.  Most of the sayings and pictures relate to things Brian likes or Whit teases him about.  I think it's pretty awesome.

Emergency Transfer...

Whit and Sister McVey
So, I got a phone call today and we are having an emergency transfer!!!  There is a sister who has to go home for medical releases and Sister McVey's ankle isn't healing like it should.  Sister McVey will be moving to Bedford and working in the office.  This will allow her to elevate her foot and hopefully allow her ankle to finally heal. 

I will be heading to Vermont and serving with Sister O'Bryant in the Lamoille Valley Ward (?).  Time to buy another t-shirt!  Our mission serves 5 states and I will have been to 3.  I haven't served in the small areas in Massachusetts or New York.  Actually, I couldn't serve in New York.  It is one of the areas where there are only Elders.  

I am excited to be a senior companion again.  I loved being a Senior Training Leader, but enjoy teaching as a regular companionship a little more.  What I would really LOVE is to be a trainer to a new missionary for my final two transfers!  I realize that probably won't happen, but if I could choose how to end my mission, I would be a trainer. 

At this point I don't know if I will be in Lamoille for just the rest of this transfer or longer.  The elders are going to cover our current ward and our apartment will just sit empty for now.  The sad thing is that since we just found out today we weren't able to say good-bye at church yesterday.  Hopefully we can catch some people during the week, but this week we also have a lot of meetings.  I have until Friday to get packed and then I'll be headed to northern Vermont.  The town I will be living in is Morrisville.

Oh, Happy Father's Day (a day late) Dad and Grandpa!!! I love you so much!!!!!

This is one of my favorite Mormon Messages.  Please take the time to watch it: 

This week we had the opportunity to spend time with some of the members in our area including some dinner appointments.  I also knocked over a plant at a member's house and had dinner with the member whose plant I knowcked over last year...

Well, in case you don't remember, last, after I got held hostage in a Baptist church by a crazy lady, we had dinner with these super sweet members and I remember thinking while I was with them that I hoped I would have the chance to serve in this area (I had come here on an exchange).  While we were there I accidentally knocked over their plant.  When we went over yesterday I found out that the plant is still alive! :)  And the day before when we eating with a different family, I went to go grab our scriptures and my skirt caught on their plant and knocked it over.  Luckily none of the dirt came out on this one!  Yep, plenty of awkward moments in my life!

On Friday we got permission to go to the ward activity and watch the movie, Ephraim's Rescue.  It was so good!  If you haven't seen it yet, watch it.  I think I still like 17 Miracles better though.

One of my favorite things from this week was a real play that we did in District meeting.  They changed it up so we just real play with one other person and this week we didn't have a set topic or pamphlet so we had to get to know the investigator and the spirit was so strong, especially guiding us to know what we needed to share.

We also learned more about when scriptures state, "The word of God is quick" and how it means that they are "living scriptures." It is so cool!  It is witnessed in both Hebrews and in Helaman.  I love that, by having living scriptures, we can always gain new knowledge or revelation as we read the scriptures and that God does answer our prayers through the scriptures! Ahhh this gospel is so cool! #gospelistrue

Another memorable moment from this week:  As we were driving home from the church after watching Ephraim's Rescue we saw a lady pull her car over.  We stopped to see if she needed help and she said, "No, but I'm 48 and look how fast I can run!!!" She just ran off with the door of her car wide open and just ran as fast as she could.  We drove up a ways and found her and told her good job and then drove home.  HAHA Either she was on something or a little crazy. . . 

I will get you my address next week.

Well, I gotta go now but I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Red is supposed to be safe! "I was horrified!!!"

Minions.  ??? Oh, Whitney and her randomness!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lost in Boston...

So, tell us about your week. . .

Do you have any new or current investigators?

Well, we don't have any new investigators yet.  We tried to contact several of our potentials this week but they either didn't answer or weren't interested.  We'll find someone soon!!!

What visits have you done?  Dinners with members? Any tracting?

We had dinner with the Tinkers on Monday night.  They fed us pasta.  (one of my favorite things)  On Tuesday we had Missionary Leadership training so I was able to see some of the Elders and Sisters I have served with before.  Wednesday and Thursday I was on exchanges in the Concord Ward with Sister Castillo.  On Saturday we met with Sister Bushy and had a full meat and potatoes dinner.  On Sunday we were fed again by Sister Creed and had shepherds pie and ice cream.  

Yesterday we weren't able to email because we had the opportunity to go to the temple with a recent convert and she did baptisms for the dead.  We had a slight problem though.  The address Sister McVey had for the temple was wrong!  By the time we figured that out, we were in the middle of Boston!!!  The only time we are allowed to go outside of our mission is for approved trips to the temple.  Well, we ended up going about 30 to 45 minutes past that!  Luckily we eventually found it.  It was an adventure.

 After we got back, we had dinner with a Senior Couple in our ward, the Duncans, and they took us to Olive Garden!  Everyone is so sweet and we have definitely been fed well this week!

As far as tracting, with Sister McVey's injured ankle, we still aren't able to do that much walking so we just try to contact potentials.  Hopefully we get better responses soon.  Also, Sister McVey is now able to put a little pressure on her ankle and has another appointment on Friday, so that is good.

Any interesting things happen at church?

Church was great this week! I can't remember anything too exciting that happened but we had some great lessons and I was able to meet more of the members since my first Sunday here was Stake Conference. :)

Oh, this week I was also able to see a member from Augusta and a couple members from Manchester!

Fascinating facts about the area...

There is a state prison.... (haha, sometimes I think she forgets how close we are to Utah's State Prison)
First day here there was a stabbing...
Someone broke into the Elders' apartment....

Oh, so we had this puzzle in our apartment and in it you have six different colors that range from being six squares high all the way down to one.  You have to fit all of the blocks on to these towers and there are 36 of them randomly arranged and you can't have any of the same colors in the same row or column.  So Sister McVey and I have been working on this puzzle for a while now and we told the Elders about it so they wanted to try.  Well, in just 24 hours one of the Elders solved it!!! We were not happy, especially when we found out that the game is rigged so that the only way you can win is by pretty much cheating!

The following article is awesome!!! Everyone should take the time to read it. 
Seeking Rescue

Love you sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep me updated throughout the week.

The puzzle game
After the Elders had it (I'm assuming P90X belongs to the Elders)

Lost in Boston!!!

Sister McVey and Whitney

Boston Temple

Yeah. . . I don't have any explanation on this one

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Back in New Hampshire!

Sister Chelsea McVey and Whitney
So, I got transferred!  I am still a Sister Training Leader but I am now serving in and area called Canterbury in New Hampshire.  I am actually living in a town called Penecook which, from what I understand is part of Concord (the capitol of NH). 

My companions name is Chelsea McVey.  Right now we are really only able to visit less active families and try to do some street contacting since she has a broken or sprained ankle.  It happened almost two weeks ago and she is still having bad swelling and bruising so she also needs to elevate it whenever possible.  Hopefully it starts feeling better soon.

Oh, I got a haircut today.  Thanks for sending me the pictures so I could show them what I wanted.  I ended up just going to Great Clips and they did it right!!!  The back is stacked and everything!

So, back when I served in Manchester, I wore polka dots on the first Sunday every month because of my camp name, "Dot."  Several others in the ward joined in.  This Sunday was the first Sunday and Stake Conference.  The Manchester Ward is in my stake and guess what. . . some of the sisters still wear dots on the first Sunday!!! It made me so happy! We always said we were DOTers of God. :)

At transfer meeting it was fun to see old friends.  Not just missionaries, but ward members from Manchester.  Erin and Katie were also able to drive me and my companion to my new apartment.  Erin brought me a bottle of Coke that had my name on it.  Once I got moved in, Katie didn't want to leave.  I would have kept her if I could. ;)

I am so excited that Chelsea was able to go through the temple!!!  I LOVE the temple!

So, apparently a group of teens from the Baptist Church came in to ward building last week and wanted to ask questions.  They weren't really looking for the answers that members had, they just wanted to prove them wrong.  This week, at the end of Stake Conference, they came again. Elder Kunz, an Area 70, President Stoker and the Stake President walked in as they were arguing with some members.  Once they walked in, you could feel the spirit so strong.  You could tell they are truly men called of God.  They testified of the truth of the Gospel. They all testified of the truthfulness of the gospel. President Stoker shared his conversion story and testified.  Then Elder Kunz told of the First Vision and you could just feel the spirit pierce your heart!!!! But the kids hearts were too hard for them to notice!  One of the girls said that she didn't need to pray to know truth because sh could just read it from the scriptures.  Then she said something about how the Bible and Book of Mormon contradict each other and Elder Kunz simply replied, "They don't." The kids then left.  I hope that some of it sticks with them.  Even if it doesn't, it will stick with me and many others who were there to witness it.

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

Ali and Ava from Yarmouth

Katie was getting bored in the back of the car, so we took pictures...

Just like old times!!! 

I sure missed her!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Transfer time again...

Good morning!!!

So, I am getting transferred.  Tomorrow I get picked up by the van that takes all of the Maine missionaries to transfer meeting.  I am guessing I will end up in either Sandford, Maine or Canterbury, New Hampshire because I am still going to be a Sister Training Leader.  I think Sister Blume is going to be Sister Kimball's new companion!  They will be awesome together.

I am almost packed and ready to go.  I was able to go through all of my stuff and get rid of things that are getting worn out.

As for my week. . . on Monday we went and had a Memorial Day BBQ at the Wilsons' with several other families from the branch including the Reynolds.  After, they did a cute FHE lesson with everyone to remember all of our ancestors.  It was a great way to come closer to the members!

 On Tuesday we did service and we went tracting.  While we were tracting we saved a turtle, got checked out a bunch, walked past a wanted person, got stopped by cops asking where he went, talked to some people, got stopped again by some cops and one got really protective saying that we need to be careful and asked if we got scared having to knock on strangers' doors and then made sure we had a phone and told us to call 911 if anything happened and he would answer and send someone over immediately to help us.  Yep, that was Tuesday!

(What?!?!?!?! She really ended with that.  Luckily I was able to ask for more info.)

HAHA.  We have no idea what he was wanted for.  We had no idea that he was out there.  We were just out knocking on doors and saw him walking towards us and then when he saw us he started running ans so we just thought he was a runner.  Then we got a little farther down the road and a cop car pulled up and started asking us what we were up to then if we saw this guy and we looked at each other and said yes and told him where we saw him.  He said thank you, called for back up and drove off.  Others drove past us later.  More stopped and asked us if we knew where he was.  Later the first cop came back around and talked to us again and told us to be careful.  He also thought her recognized me from somewhere.

Well, Wednesday and Thursday were kind of a blur.  We had awesome member meals and went tracting.  On Friday we also went on exchanges with a sister whose companion had to go home for a medical emergency.  I hope she is doing okay.  We also had to do a small lesson thing in district meeting on receiving  revelation.  The spirit was super strong as we talked and testified about it. 

On Saturday we did our weekly planning and helped a member move out of her old house and in to a new home.  This was also the day that we got transfer calls.

Sunday was hard.  I said goodbye to a lot of people in this branch.  It is always sad.  We also had dinner with the Wilsons.  Sorry, that was the super short version of my week.

Oh, and I remembered to send pictures this week.  They were taken over the last two weeks.

On to my next adventure....

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

My birthday at the iPad training

being silly with Sister B

At a zone meeting

Thanks for the yummy birthday "cake" brownies!!!

Me and Brittnee

Saying goodbye to Sister Anderton

With Maria, an exchange student from Costa Rica

She trying to make herself shorter than me...

Yep, I still have a cloud obsession