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!!!

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