Friday, November 22, 2013

"E" is for Extra awesome (19 Nov, week 2, Transfer 12)


Attatched is my photo of the "E" in our family. It is pretty tolky- made out of gospel pamphlets, but hey, it reflects my callign as a missionary (plus it's all we had:) But there ya go KAte!!! 

Wow I felel like I am in a an extra rush today! Our pday is cut short and we have an authority visiting our mission - so we have to go down to vista for a mtg tonight.  And we have district activity and clean the car.  So we are rushing .. 

This week has been good.  We had a super exciting lesson with Caludia and Andrew- and they want to be BAPtized!!!! So great.  They are just going to talk to their father/husband about it...which could be an issue, but we are fasting and praying for him and his heart to be softened. So we will see what happens. 

I've been sick this week with a cold, but I got a blessing the other night and since then I've been feeling a little bit better everyday. On Tuesday here it was like 95 degrees and then on wednesday it was like 55.  Super drstic change for us californians!!!  I know it's nothign for you all in utah, but hey- it's a big thing here. 

I really don't have much to say- what a boring letter. We had excahnges this week- I had to run in the rain( that didn't help my cold at all...but gotta be an example of obedience.). 

Oh- we picked up a new investigator- Antonio. he is hilarious- he was in a bad accident at work about 2 months ago and it injured his brain. He can still function and speak (english and spanish) but he used to play the guitar and now only his left habd remembers how and his right doesn't. Interesting.  We  are also trying to get and Englsih class up and running here in the Stake. I tell you- I feel like I am draggin the whole branch behind me in getting it going...they are very slow to act...and it can be quite frustrating at times. but it should be good once it actuallt gets up and running. 

We have plans this thanksgiving to eat with la familia Fuentes- the ones that always send you pics of us when we are eating dinner. they don't liek turkey though- so it'll probs be a ham annd some other stuff with a mexican twist in it:) Should be good:) 

Thanks Mom for sending the stories and getting those to me so fast:) And those journal entries were aweseom Dad:) Loved it. And Thanks for all the emails from my sisters!   Love ya!  Soryy- the time flew today-- too many things to do..  Love you all! Thanks for you love and support! 

-Love Hna whicker

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Buenos Dias (11 Nov, Week 1, Transfer 12)


First off, sorry about the email thing last week.  I knew I attached a bunch of pics so I specifically waited to make sure it sent...and I thought it did but looks like no. Sorry!  And too bad that President Kendrick said no to Andy, it would have been fun to see him, but soon enough I guess:)

Well this week has been good. Really nothing too exciting happened. Almost all of our lessons with investigators fell through this week and it was a bummer, but we did see other miracles- we FINALLY found a bunch of less actives aT HOME. We've been stopping by their houses at different times of the day for the last 7 weeks and we finally caught some of them.  It was great. There is this one lady, named Violeta, who is ain a rest home. She is a member, but is losing her memory and mind very slowly. So really we visit her just as service, because she doesn't remember or retain anythign we teach her. So anyways, we rolled her out to the patio to have our lesson. It was anice day outside, and we read a pasage from the book of mormon and chatted about it. We offered her a mint like we always do, and then we asked her to say the closing prayer. So, we all bow our heads and she begins.  About half way through the prayer she just stops, mid sentence and looks at Hna Painter's shoes and says, "I LOVE your shoes!" Hna Painter looks up at me with one eye still squinted and with the expression on her face of "WHATDo I DO? Should I finish the prayer...she likes my SHOES? What on earth..." Oh it was SOOOO funny. It was all I could do to not burst into laughter right there. Violeta just got a little distracted and forgot that she was praying, and it was hilarious.  Oh how I love it.  When else in my life will I be in a situation like that? Never. :)  I love Hermana Painter. And Violeta.

We did have a miracel this week with Jose Luis.  So Alex, the 9 year old got baptized last weekend and his mother ios dating Jose Luis. Luis has been coming to church for a couplke of weeks now, but has been adament about not taking the lessons.   BUT our Branch President was talking to him after Sac mtg this sunday and something changed because we now have a lesson SET with him for this Saturday night. I love it. He's gona be abptized soon. Soooo soon that I pray that I am still here when it happens!!

So great. We have 2 general authorities coming this transfer. Elder Something Packer ( not from the 12) and Elder kent  Richards, so that should be fun.

This week I think I have come to be at peace with the future. I love missionary work. And we are working our tails of here. I will be so sad to leave, but the Lord has blessed me with a peace about coming home. Peace is just such a  great feeling. I really don't think there is any other feelign that can top that feeling. Really.. And when you have Peace, it is much easier to feel love and joy and gratitud and all those other good feelings.  Really, I love peace.  Let's all have peace okay? Both personal peace and peace in our homes. I am always so sad to leave a home that we visit and there is so much disrespect and hate and nastiness flying around in the words that come out of mouths.  It's painful and that''s not what our Heavenly Father feels or what He wants for us. it's like that one hymn, "Master the tempest is raging" WE are living in the Tempest of the world, but peace is attainable. "Peace, peace, be still" are the words of the Master.  Love that. Let us all strive for that this week. 

Oh before I forget, please Mother and FAther and Grandparents, we have to fill out this family History packet in prep for a new fam hist program in missionary work- and I need some Memories or Stories or info about my great grandparents: Benjamin A whick, Beulah king, Horace William And Genevieve, and LeRoy tims and Virginis ALice Olsen. Porfavor:) Anythign you can tell me about them or funny memorries or stories. I brought my pedigree chart on my mission, but not my whole book of storie b/c it was too much. Thanks! And if you could send it so I could get it for next Monday that's be great:)

Hna PAinter and I realized the true similarities between sister missionaries and Grandmas... please see below:

-"I need shoes with better support".
- "My knees hurt"
-"Your skirt isn't long enough my dear..."
-" I LOVE your cardigan!"
-"What song is that?"
- What does that even mean?" ( in regards to acronyms such as "YOLO or Instagram or Meem"  ( I still am learnign what these things are. I am so old. )

 Oh and the Library was closed yesterday for Veterans Day hence, why I am writing today:) Hope all is well with Jame and fam, didn't hear from them this week:) 

Well I love you all and hope you are doing well!!!!  Katie, you are constantly in my prayers for your health and recovery.  Congrats on being Senior Ball royalty.  You are surely outshining anything I ever did at Dixie High:) Have an awesome week and Let us all Press on in the Work of the Lord! Wherever we may be.

-Hermana Whicker

P.S. Ali asked me to think about what meal I want when I get home....not sure about the specifics but I am sure that it will include LOTS of vegetables and those roasted potatoes....those are so delicious and i am vegetable deprived:) So there ya go. 

Great Week (4 Nov, Week 6, Transfer 11)

Well we had an aweseom week this week!  Definitely eventful....

We'll start off on Friday morning. It was a normal morning...we ran, we ate breakfast, and we got through about 55 minutes of our personal study.  And then I saw my vitamins that I had sitting at the side of me desk, and I thought, "Oh I should take those" They are the  meltable kind and so I popped on ein my mouth and trying to be a good companion, I put one on the corner of Hna Painter's desk for her to eat.  This was my though process, "Hmm, these taste different than the other ones, what kind are they?" I look at the container. "Nice, mixed berry.  STrwberries, rasberries, cranberries, etc. STrawberries. HERMANA SPIT IT OUT IT HAS STRAWBERRIES!!!" My dear companion is deathly allergic to strawberries. And I almost killed her.  To make a long story short we used her Eppi Pen and we ran to the ER because her throat started to tighten up.  It was horrible. Well actually it was fine.  They didn't do anything- the eppi pen did all the work, but I felt so horrible!  Who would have thought that a dang little vitamin could have done so much damage.  Anyways- she is fine, and we have been laughing about it all week because looking back on it it was quite hilarious. 

Later that night we had our first "NOche con los Misioneros" and it was a successsssssss!  It was basically just like a ward FHE the we were in charge of...well actually basically that I was in charge of.  It was minute to win it themed and we had 4 different stations (mine was the getting the oreo from your forehead to your mouth without using anything but your face muscles. It was awesome) and then we ended it with a demonstration on making a PB and J sandwich related to obedience and the commandments. It was great. We all had a good time and one of our investigators brought her WHOLE family to it- so it was awesome.

Then Saturday Morning ALEX GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was a beautiful service.  and everythign went to smoothly it was surreal.  but the spirit was super strong and we had sooo mnay people  there from the branch- so great. It was the 2nd baptism they have had all year i far as our records show at least.  So it was an exciting day. 

One of my old comapnions goes home today- Hermana Schwegler. I am so sad to see her go, and seeing her leave makes it quite real for me. BUT- the Lrod has a plan, and all good things can't last forever. The Lord's got somethign else waiting for us.  But we are really hoping to get our family (Ruth's family) on ncourse to being baptized! They have come to church 2 weeks in a row AND they invited us to our Halloween Party- so we are making progress. Ruth wants to be baptized but wants her 2 oldest kids to be baptized with her when she does it ( they are both 16 and are in the rebellious stage of life) - So we are trying to work with her on that as w ell as trying to work woth her kids.  so- hopefully the spirit can touch their hearts and they'll have that desire.

I was so excited for Daylight savings time because we got an extra hour of sleep!! And it was blissfull, just what I needed. But man- it made church  SUPER LAte. We already have a late schedule: 2:20- 5:30 and so when we got our it was already pitch black and felt liek  8pm.  but it's okay, we just need to adjust to it:)

Our mission has been picked to start out a new training program with Family History- so this week we've had to fill out this little booklet on our family members and tell what we remember about them and it's basically a pedigree chart, just more personal. It's been SO fun! I have had this goal to get into Family History when I get home- it's so fun tjust to feel that connection with them and I Lvoe it. So Gma Whick- be start preparing for your next student ookay? Cause I really don't know hardly anythign about it!  CAn't wait for that. It really just brings a joy into life and makes you appreciate the past and really apppreciate heavenly Father's plan for each of us. Sometimes my mind is BLOWN by how much planning Heavenly Father had to do to make everything just ritgh for us to be here where we are. And then I start to think about the planning that it must have taken to create the world and my brain just hurts. I just love HIM.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity He's given us to learn here, beacuse it truly is a learnign expereince.

Mom - who was it that always had the expression "Rainshine"? BEcause that has been happening here a lot and it just brings a smile to my face everytime becauseI feel like someone is watchign over me:)  Was it GMa Tims?

Well I was bummed to hear that Katie's infection is back!  Poor girl. I was actually tryign to figure out what to fast for yesterday and she popped into my mind- so I joined in that fast as well without even realizing it.  I pray that this can all get worked out!! Life sure is hard isn't it? and since when do we have kittens?? That was a surprise to me. 

And can someone please resend me the  instructions for KAtie's Christmas Project thing? I really and truly can't find them in any of my emails. Thanks!

Well I lvoe you all. I love this work. This truly is the most fulfilling time of my life that I have expereinced.  I love it with all of my heart and I love the peopl so much! It is so humbling to be here. humbling to be a servant of the Lord. At the baptism we had we  taught a lesson inbetween the "changing' time and one of the members came up to me afterwards and said that we were angels sent to this branch to help it grow.  There is no other feeling quite like it in the world to know that you were able to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  I am grateful for the strngth that He gives me day by day!

I hope you all have a wonderful and successfull week! Love you all so !

-Hermana Whicker

Frogs (28 Oct, Week 5, Transfer 11)

What a great week!

First of all Alex had his baptismal interview and is good to go to be baptized this Saturday! We are so excited for him:) He is one of the cutest kids ever.  Can't wait to see him make that Covenant with our Heavenly Father!  So exciting.

2nd great news is that we finally got Allen's Dad to meet with the Branch President and he is good to go top baptize his son!!! YESSSSSS We are so excited. The Branch President set the date of Dec 14th to work towards- so that'll be a nice send off present the weekend before I have to leave!

While we were heart attacking a member of our ward, we get a text from the Sister Rivas- the one that sees us EVERYWHERE, and her message of course says, "I see you guys". So crazy!! But it was cool because everywhere she sees us, she says that the Lord is giving her a sign of someone else in that particular area that needs the Gospel. So she's says she'll be working on her friend that lives in that particular complex as well.  It is just so cool to see how the Lord Works.  REAlly- He is so All knowing and knows each of us individually and how we hear Him.  I love that. This same member sent us to her friend that last week- Claudia and her 9 year old son Andrew. The member didn't want to come with us the first time, so we went alone and had a great lesson. We set some expectations and talked about ehr religious experience. And to our comeplete shock she says, "Oh yeah, I try to go to church with Adriana (Sister Rivas) at least oncea month, and I try to fast every now and then, and if I really need to be uplifted I"ll just go to and read some conference talks on there." I'm not sure if I've ever really had a 'jaw-dropping' moment before, but at that moment my jaw surely DROPPED. NO  ONE just listens to conference talks online or fasts becuase it makes them feel good!  SEriosuly--- MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!   Her son really wants to be baptized too, the only problem is that her husband's family is very much JEhovah's witness. And even though they as a couple left that church due to some disagreements on doctrine..or whatnot, he is still very hesitant about the Mormon church.  So, we are going to see them this tuesday, and hopefully we'll commit them to a baptismal date and abe able to meet the dad as well. WE are super excited about them!

Susana is also doing well- the less active/part member family that we finally found at home lst week. She didn't make it to church though, so we were bummed about that, but she is seriously so prepared to be baptized. So prepared! SHe just doesn't want to do it with out the support of her family, but we are trying to work with her! There are some other peeps that we are teaching, but that's all those that are progressing. Fernanda and the ninos aren't really preogressing at all...we'll see if we have to drop them this week;(

we had our ward Halloween Party on Saturday- at wheich we got asked to speak in Sac mtg the next morning..haha so funny. At least we had a mornign study to prepare ourselves- better than the 30 mintues we had to prep in Vista!  But it was actually a really powerful Sac mtg- all four of us missionaries in the branch spoke and the spirit was really stroong.  We had just had a huge training at ZOne conference on how to properly prepare and give a talk in sac mtg as a missionary- and it was GREAT. We are actaully asked not to speak on missionary work- becuase it is cliche and members just automatically assume that we are going to do that and then they tune out..inentionally or not, it happens. We are instructed to teach as much doctrine in the amount of time we have so that the members can SEE that we really can teach, and we do know what they are talking about- then they will be more likely to trust us with their friends.  IT was a cool experience, and I really think it will have an impact on the members doing missionary work here. 

This is an exceptional branch. It is so tiny, but the members are strong. And we as missionaries are being blessed by their hard work and diligence.  I love it!

So funny story. Hna Painter has 3 little brothers- so she has all of these inclinations that I, having grown up with 5 sisters, have never had. Example number 1: We are leaving an appointment, and on the side of the house is a little frog ( tiny like the size of a quarter) Naturally she goes to cathcit and I , just stand there, gently reminding her that we have another appointment to get to. Picture this: She is holding her scripture case under one arm keeping her elbow locked in by her side so it doesn't fall, at the same time leaning in towards the wall to cup her hand s over the frog and catch it.  As she closes in for the catch,the frog jumps, making her jump and drop her scriptures. So everythign falls. The frog disappeared...and both of us immediately assumed that her scriptures landed on top of it killing it.  She immediately BURSTS into TEARS feeling so sad, not for her sciptures, but for the frog, while I immediately burst into laughter.  Oh it was the funniest moment of my life...she is so great. SO FUNNY. Luckily the frog didn't die- just dissappeared. Or if he did die, it wasn't from her scriptures. IT was hilarious. LAter that day, a turutle urinated on my foot. THat on the other hand, was not funny. I am SO not an animal person.

And Tara- Don't even worry about not feeling as fun as the companion told me that I needed to have a little more Fun the first week we were together...Obviously you can telll we were still building our relationship...and we were both nmew to the area, so I was alittle stressed, but it made me laugh.  YOu are doing GREAT where you are at and don't let SAtan get ya down!!!!

Well That's all we have time for today. I love yuo all! KAtie is in our Prayers! Glad that Mom and Perris had a great birthday week! 
Thanks DAd for getting everything with classes worked out!  You da best! And we can figure out the rest of the little bumps when I actaully get abck.

Love you all!

-Hermana WHicker

Pics- The turtle that shortly thereafter peed on me.
Making pupusas at CArmen's house making pupusas at a Relief society activity with some investigators!

Native…YES!!! (21 Oct, Week 4, Transfer 11)

Hello Familia!!!

Well It's been a great week!

To start it off someone asked me the other week if I was a NATIVE!!!!
Obviously I was on the phone....but I was quite flattered:)  been waiting my
whole mission for THATone! I might have already said that last week, but I
can't remember, and it doesn't hurt to say it twice;) haha.

We had several random 'run-in's' with our ward members this week. Well, they
were 'random', but the Lord planned them:) One of them was the other night
when we were walking to our backup appointment and contacting along the way.
We saw this van pull up, so we started to walk slower so we wouldn't pass
them before they got out- ya know ya gotta time these things just right;) So
this lady hops out and we start talking to her. She promptly rejects us by
making up soime excuse and running in her apartment. So we keep walking when
I hear, "Hermana WHicker!" And the lady that dropped her off was Hermana
Rivas a lady in our ward! We went over and talked to her and she said that
was her Sister in law that we had just tried to talk to. She was shocked
that we just happened to be in that neighborhood at the exact moment that we
were walking by. She says first of all she is NEVER in that area and she
rarely goes out with her sister in law. So she took it that the Lord was
telling her that her Sis in law needs to hear the Gospel again. It's
actually been really cool beacuse we've been working with her other friend
Claudia- and she came to church yesterday! Sis Rivas came up to us after
church andsaid that she's breaking out her address book and giving us
everyname that she has in there for us to visit! She said we could even say
that the Rivas Family sent them over!  It's SWEET.  We love it.

YEsterday we had the Primary program in our ward. That always puts a nice
smile on my face:) CHildren are such a joy!

WE've had some minor setbacks with the progression of manny of out
investigators. The ninos- GAbe and Will and Mother bailed yesterday and
didn't come to church. WE don't know what happened as they weren't there for
our appontment on Saturday either. They probalbly went to MExico for the
Weekend again. but they can't get abptized if they don't come to church! And
it's hard becuase the kids are just completely at the liberty of their
mother....they can't control whetherthey go to Mex on the weekends or not.
So their date will have to be changed.

Alex's date got bumped back too due to family scheduling big
deal, but I'm a little worried about his mother beacuse they didn't come to
church yesterday either.

And we found out Allen's father (well and Mother) have some issues with the
Word of he's not worthy to abptize him. And they are pretty set
on having him do it. The thing is we still haven't even MET the dad...and it
looks like he really doesn't even have any desire to cheange or come back to
church.  sooo, we're trying to figure out what to do with that. Hopefully
the Brach President can get him in to talk with him about that.

WE had a really cool experience night before last. We had just gotten back
from exchanges and I was just SO tired. IT was 7:30 and I was trying to
motivate myself to be motivated to work the rest of the evening. Our set
appoinment wasn't there so our backup was the GAlindo family. I wasn't super
excited because the last time we tried this family they looked through their
window and saw us and didn't answer the door. (IT is very possible that they
didn't know we were missionaries though, b/c very few people around ehre
have seen sister missionaries and didn't even know they existed.)d Anytways,
we knocked and this lady opened the door and we started talking and she
invited us in. Turns out her husband is a LessActive member. We asked if she
was a member too and she said, "no, not yet" That sparked my ears.... YET?
YET! No one ever says that!  AWesome. But we had the most powerful lesson!
It was so cool! We read a Scripture and then I was prompted to turn to
another scripture-I told  her to turn to that page and she flipped it
openand it fell immediately on the right page b/c there was a little plastic
star marking that page. She looked up at me SHOCKED and said woah. (it was
her husband's old copy of the BOM) Then we read it and Hna Painter asked a
question that just made the Spirit rush into the roomand she started crying.
It was so cool- we were able to testify that we were representatives of
Jesus Christ and that we were snet there FOR HER.  The Spirit was so strong.
Anyways, she prayed to close and prayed that her husband's heart would be
softened so that they could come to church soon.  SO all in all iot was a
miracle. And we are having FHE with them tonight - we are pumped.

That is a huge bummer about the car! I wouldn't have been very happy about
the insurance not covering it either. Ugh.  But Mom- the family that always
takes pictures of us and sends them to you on their phone is the Cuevas
Family.  We eat with them everyweek and 50%of the time they take us out.
They are so generous, and loving. I love them.

PS dad your poem was hilarious! Definitely made my day:)

Thanks Mike Jones For always writing me! Sorry I never have enough time to
write you back individually, but it's good to hear that you and PAt and Aunt
Vada are doing well!

Well, it's been hitting me pretty hard lately that I am almost done. Most of
the time I jsut try to put it out of my head, but especially when I am
forced to look at the calendar-( which we do at least nightly to talk about
what day we want to invite people to be baptized on) I get a nice smack in
the face of how little time is left.  I just sing a hymn to try and get my
mind off of it- or immerse myself in other people's problems. But I am
excited to see you all. It is just such a bitter sweet thing. I love my
mission. I don't want it to end. But it is something that must happen. BUT
it doesn't happen until DEcember- so good thing I've still got time:)  Love
you all so! Thanks for supporting me in all :) Hope you all have a onderful
week filled with the Spirit and FULL of missionary experiences:)  If
anything, this week I was reminded of how essential Members are in the work!
Sso : Just DO IT! Amen.

Love, Hermana WHicker!