Monday, August 31, 2015

The picture drought is over...

We haven't received pictures in a couple of weeks.  Luckily the Relief Society President tagged her in a picture last week so I "borrowed" it for the blog.  Well, she made up for it this week.  You can tell she is missing her photography hobby.

This week was good

On Monday, we had FHE with a family in our ward. They fed us veggie lasagna. Then we played this game where we had a paper with sixteen boxes on it with different pictures, then we put an M&M on each square. We sent someone out and picked one of the squares to be the 'poison' we then called them back in and had them start eating the M&Ms and when they got to the poison on we all would yell stop before they ate it. After everyone in the family did it we talked about Captain Helaman and how he helped the people of Ammon keep their covenants and discussed how we can help our friends and family keep their covenants.

On Tuesday we saw one of our LA and also had dinner with a member. He fed us yummy homemade mac and cheese! 

On Wednesday we had a great district meeting! Then we had a lesson with our investigator Edgar. It was great! He was able to recap almost all that we had read in the Book of Mormon the last time and he asked some great questions! Now we are just praying that he gets work off on Sunday so he can come to church. 

We also had a great coordination that night and go to see a lot of the awesome members! 

On Thursday no one was home when we went tracting! It was crazy! This whole week we've only had three people answer their doors! But we had a great dinner with another member and we had a great phone call scripture reading session with the LA family we are working with.

On Friday we weekly planned of course. Then we had dinner with another member at her BEAUTIFUL lakeside home! We had a great lesson with her on how as we observe the Sabbath day we can find more revelation and answers to our prayers. Then later we had another great phone call lesson! 

On Saturday we went tracting and no one was really home but it was still a good week.
Sunday was CRAZY! The whole week we weren't able to get in contact with our investigator but then on Saturady she finally texted us wanting to come to church. And she CAME!!! Then we also had the LA family come to Sacrament meeting! Our investigator was also able to see a baptism and the Spirit was so STRONG!!!! The little girl who was getting baptized told the Bishop that she wanted all the members and missionaries to come to her baptism so that they could feel the Spirit. It was so cute! And her prayer was answered! Our investigator was in tears and just kept saying how much love there was.

Later we had another great lesson with our LA family and they might come to church again next week! 

My studies have been great! I am in 3 Nephi now where Christ comes to the Americas. I love how it testifies of how personal Christ is and of His love! I love how he has them come up one by one!

Awkward moment: When a cat jumps up on the table and puts its face right up to yours as you are praying over the food.....

Love you lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See you soon...

She gets to see these beautiful sites every day!

She sent this picture because she says her eyes look creepy.  I think they look beautiful!

Whitney and Sister DeWidt

Umm, I don't think Whit got the silly face message...

She said as she took this picture Sister DeWidt received a gift of good luck... a bird pooped on her head.

fall colors in August

path near their apartment


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The final transfer!!!!!

For my final transfer I will be staying in Morrisville, Vermont with Sister DeWidt.  :)

What would you like to accomplish in the final weeks of your Mission?
I really just want to help the less active family that we are working with come back to church and not be so stressed and help their boys have a good experience as well.  The members are amazing and really want to help them too.  We are working with the ward council on how we can help them and the next steps we can take.

I also really want to help our investigator get baptized! She is so ready and has such great faith!!!

Tell us about any new investigators and/or lessons.

We got a new investigator this week! He just showed up at the church asking if there was a class he could join so we formed one!

We had an awesome lesson with J talking about her baptism.  I will share more when I get home.  It just isn't what you share over email and in a blog.  I love her!!!

On the way back from a dinner appointment a lady stopped us and asked if we could do her a favor and she asked if we could pray for her son because she knows we do that.  Her family is going through really hard things right now. It was an awesome opportunity to show her the love she needs right now during this difficult time in her life.

How have your studies been?  Anything you would like to share?

My studies have been so good this week!  I read all of the war chapters in the Book of Mormon and am now in Helaman! I love how we can relate the war chapters to our lives. Especially with protecting the family.  As we fortify our families and all make it a priority to stay righteous and keep our covenants we will be strengthened by the Lord and come off conquerors from all of our enemies.

I also had a great interview with President Stoker this week.  He thanked me for my persistence and the hard work in our area that is paying off in true miracles. 

Oh, and I am turning in to my mother!!! Some of my interactions with my companion and others remind me so much of you!!!  It is the soft touches and silent looks... yep, I'm definitely your daughter.  Oh, and I was playing with a little baby in our ward, wishing I could hold her.  She said I could hold her, but I didn't, I was obedient.  She said that she can see me as a mom and it just seems so natural for me to be around kids.

I gotta go. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dreaming of home... and mission

Oh so last night I had a dream that I was home and Chelsea and I were hanging out and someone else was with us. We were trying to figure out something to do and so I convinced Chelsea to go tracting with me. After knocking on the first few houses (and her being super unenthused) she decided to bail on me and go get some ice cream.

As for this week... Well first of all, my first week here all of our numbers were 0s for the week except we had 1 referral received and 1 contacted and also we had 3 lessons with less active members/ event converts. But the past week we have seen major improvements! This week we had one baptismal date, three lessons taught to investigators with a member present, one other lesson taught to an investigator, one progressing investigator, five referrals received and three contacted, one new investigator, five lessons taught to recent converts and less active members, one progressing less active, and one return appointment! Every week we make what is called a VGPAA. V is our transfer vision of what we want to accomplish this transfer. G is our goal that we want to focus on and accomplish for the week that will help us achieve our vision. P is our plan that we are going to do to achieve our goal. A is the daily action we are going to take alongside our plan. And the other A is who we are accountable to. Well this week our goal was to get three member present lessons and five lessons with recent converts and less actives. When we set it we felt like it was a huge goal but we went for it and stayed accountable and we were able to meet both of our goals!

Oh so on Wednesday we had one of the assistants to the President come on exchange to district meeting and it's one that I go home with and during lunch him and the district leader were talking about an elder from my MTC district because they were both companions with him and then the Assistant said "Yeah Sister Collins he thinks that you have a huge crush on him" I turned around and gave them my look and said "NO!" They all busted up laughing and both of them said that he would talk about it all the time!Ugh I'm standing right here!!!!!!! SOOOOOO AWKWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was just like what the crap!!!!!!!!!!! All I did was be nice to the kid and say hi and then he goes telling everyone that I have a crush on him. Really???
Well, I am out of time.  I will try to send pictures next week.
Love you!  See you in 7 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Silly Selfies... and 8 weeks left!!!

So this week was pretty great!

I noticed I didn't take many pictures this week so I took a bunch of selfies for you to enjoy. :)

Monday was a fun Pday with our district that I told you about that afternoon.

On Tuesday we went with the Relief Society President, Sis. Senger, to visit and help some of the older sisters in the ward who were in the hospital the week before. Later we went and read the Book Of Mormon with an older less active member. Then we had dinner with one of the recent converts here and they fed us BBQ chicken and corn. 

On Wednesday we had a great District meeting! We talked about the importance of following up with commitments and how commitments prepare people to make and keep sacred covenants. Then we had a great lesson with our investigator, Jessica!  We talked about following the commandments and how we first have to strengthen ourselves before we can strengthen others. It was great!!! She is going to talk to her boss to see if she can have Sunday mornings off so she can go to church and she is also going to get September 5 off for her baptism!!!!!!!! 

Later we had dinner with the member who lets us use his washer and dryer. We went over one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon: Alma 19 and the story of Abish! We had a great discussion with it about how she exercised her faith and how she had to be courageous in order to go from house to house so they could become converted as well. It is also amazing how her one act of faith had a domino effect and eventually those people buried their weapons of war and became and extremely righteous people. It truly testifies that you never know what one seemingly small act of faith can lead to.
You can learn more about Abish HERE

On Thursday we went and contacted our referral again that is 12 and talked to his dad and he wants to learn too! So we are seeing him on Tuesday! Can you say potential family? 

Later we had dinner with another member and thanked her for all she does for us and for magnifying her calling and she was really thankful for that :)

Awkward moment: As we were about to say a prayer in the car before we went in for dinner, I was holding my umbrella and it somehow opened right into my face! 

Friday was slow but great too!

Saturday we went tracting but no one was home! We even tried some less actives and referrals but still no one was home! But it was still a great day! 

On Sunday Jessica came to church! She loved it! And the ward was SOOOOOOO welcoming to her!!!! And one of the members speaks Spanish and Jessica was excited to talk to her in her native language!!! Afterwards we had a great lesson with her and when we finished the lesson she reviewed all that we taught and pretty much retaught us the lesson!!! 

Later we had dinner with the sweet couple who always have us over on Sundays and we also saw this lady we are teaching. It was a great week!

So I have been reading in Alma 25-30 this week. It amazes me the total change of heart the Lamanites had and how you could see their conversion through their actions! It is also cool ins Alma 27:18 how great Ammon's joy was and how he truly was an instrument in the Lord's hands. This Gospel is a gospel of joy and it makes you feel REAL!!!!
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please keep me updated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look at this awesome barbecue!!!

Whitney and Sister DeWidt


Something is wrong...

This is what I think of an early fall

and this...

getting the photography bug again...

Happy girl in Vermont

Monday, August 3, 2015

No time to slow down. . . and lots of pictures.

Whitney and her friend/neighbor from Manchester (mentioned in previous post)

This week was great! 

On Monday after pday, we tracted and we met a super sweet lady. She wasn't interested right now but she said we could stop by any time.

On Tuesday we had service at the second chance shop. The money from the sales goes to help people in the hospital so it's really nice of them. The women who work there are super sweet. This last week someone had dropped off tons of bags with donations in them but had dumped kerosine on some of them so we had to search them to see if there was anything good in it. 

Later we went tracting and it was pretty hot and muggy. So after that we visited a less active member and read the Book of Mormon with him. Then we had dinner with a member. We went over mighty prayer with him and read from Enos 1:2-6 and JS-H 1:14-18 and looked to see how they used the steps to mighty prayer. We then committed him to read 3 Nephi 19:19-23 to see how Christ when he visited the Nephites used mighty prayer.
The steps are: 
1: Find a private place
2: Kneel
3: Pray vocally 
4: Attitude of gratitude
5: Pray specifically for yourself and others 
6: Do all you can do and act in faith 

On Wednesday we had district meeting. It was great and super spiritual! Here are some of my notes from it:
  • Call them to turn to true happiness
  • If you can't keep commitments, how do you expect to be able to keep covenants?
  • Ask- invite
  • Direct- straight forward 
  • Questions- actions 
  • Structured lesson plan
  • Inspired questions!
  • D&C 132:8
  • Plan three inspired questions planned 
  • Faith is lack of fear
  • Faith before fear
  • Have faith in the feelings you are receiving 
  • Be boldly considerate 
  • The Lord knows his plan and His children 
  • Compassion vs. Empathy
  • Praise the good effort 
  • Promise blessings that we have experienced 
  • You can't convert beyond your own conversion. The Spirit will testify of the promised blessings as you testify of your own experience with them
  • Bear testimony always. 
  • Stand as witness at ALL times, in ALL things, in ALL places
  • My bearing of testimony is to encourage you to act!
  • Therefore what:
  • Focus on blessings
  • Encourage people to act by bearing sincere testimony
  • Pray with faith
  • Be boldly considerate 
  • Faith is lack of fear, so act in faith!
  • Bear witness in support of your companion 
  • Promise blessings only you have experienced 
  • Be direct in asking questions and extend commitments 
  • Take two days to prepare for district meeting
  • Make higher goals in faith
  • They need to feel our presence 
  • Members have the experiences that you don't have 

Then we had exchanges and I went to Montpelier. We had some great lessons with their investigators. 

On Thursday, we helped this lady improve her English. At first we were using her books and it was pretty difficult but then we found out she was looking for a church and believed in God so we found this article in The Friend July 2015 one by President Uchtdorf that was titled A Testimony of the Church! It was simple and easy to understand and invited the Spirit. It went over so well and we got a return appointment! 
 Later we had another great lesson.

On Friday we had to start adding things to the area book planner app and it is taking forever! But we did have two great lessons with two of our investigators.

On Saturday we had another lesson with our investigator and we set a baptismal date for September 5! We had a great lesson on prayer and on the gospel of Jesus Christ! Then we tried contacting some less actives but they weren't home so went to see if one of our potentials was at his garden and he was! So we helped him weed and had had a great conversation. 

Sunday we had church and one of the new babies in the ward was blessed and he is sooooo cute! Then we had dinner with some members again and we had two lessons. With one we had a  discussion on trials and how they help us grow.

So awkward moment: as we were doing laundry today I accidentally kicked the cat's water bowl and got water every where and all over me....

So this week I was pondering Enos and mighty prayer and I love how in Enos' prayer he prayed that if the Nephites were to become wicked and were to be destroyed, and the Lamanites were to survive, that this record would be preserved to be brought forth at some present day in His timing to bring them to the knowledge of their Savior. And the Lord covenanted with him that he would. Then many many years later the Nephites became wicked and were destroyed. But it was not to come to pass for many years. Until in the Spring of 1820 a boy had a question and prayed to know which church he should join. That boy, Joseph Smith, received an answer to his prayer and through him God restored His church and fulfilled His covenant with Enos and brought forth the Book of Mormon. It is a testimony to me that God does hear our prayers and He answers them in His own perfect timing. 

So I invite everyone to exercise their faith and say a mighty prayer and see the miracles unfold. And I know that they will.

I love you all!!!  

Here are some pictures.  Some of them are ones I forgot to send a few weeks ago. 
Bowling with Sister O'Bryant before she transferred to Maine

View out their window

An elder was taking notes in a meeting and decided to show Whit how fancy he could write her name.

I remember that face...

Whit with her "daughter" and "granddaughter," AKA Sister Bee and her trainee

They had already hooked the row of chairs together and decided to move them over the table instead of unhooking them (or moving the table...)

Exchanges with Sister Boyce