Sunday, April 29, 2012


I was thinking this week about why I want to serve. It really is a difficult thing to do. I am giving up so much for 18 months. I am giving up spending time with my family and friends, any possibility of marriage for the next year and a half, watching TV and movies, listening to cool music, et cetera so that I can go and knock on doors which will inevitably be slammed in my face. Sounds like a great deal, right? So why am I willingly signing up for it? Why is it that almost all LDS missionaries return saying that these were the best years of their life?

The conclusion my wandering mind eventually came up with is that I am serving because inertia is a property of matter. That is Newton's First Law of Motion. It means that an object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest until/unless acted upon by an outside force. I learned that lesson years ago from the theme song of Bill Nye the Science Guy. Guess what? We aren't above that simple law. People are made of matter too! But it applies to humans in a totally different way as well. 

Entropy and inertia are the norm. That means that unless there is someone or something to start the ball rolling, the ball will tend to never roll. Because change is difficult to accept and implement, people will tend to avoid it even if the change would lead to a better and happier life in the long run. So that is what my job will be while I'm on my mission. I will work and serve and love and teach the people I meet on my mission with every last particle in me so that I can help be the "outside force" that they need to realize that a better life is attainable. 

That is why I am leaving on this mission... that that I can become the "outside force" because inertia is a property of matter. I feel much like Ammon and what he said in Alma 26:12. He said:

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold , many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. 

I, too, feel like I am nothing and I am definitely weak. But I know that the Lord is good and that He can heal broken hearts. He loves us so much and if I can even share that love with one person and make them overcome the inertia of the world that holds them back from progressing, 18 months will be worthwhile to me. 

Address Logistics

For those of you who want to write me while I'm gone or sent packages et cetera, here are ways that you will be able to reach me:

1. My e-mail address:  

I will probably be checking my e-mails once a week on what we call P-day (preparation day--basically a day where you do the things that need to be done like laundry, food shopping, mailing, et cetera instead of focusing on proselyting). I will do my best to respond to e-mails but the trend I've seen with other missionaries is that they don't always have the time to individually respond to everyone.

2. My MTC address:

Sister Whitney Whetten
California San Fernando Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center *
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
United States

*My individual PO Box will be sent to my missionary e-mail account the Friday before I enter the MTC, so I will update what the PO address is as soon as I get it.

This is for the time period that I'm at the MTC (Missionary Training Center). Because I will be learning a language (Spanish) at the MTC, I will be there somewhere between 4-9 weeks approximately. During that time this will be my address. After that, I will be in California for the duration of my mission. 

3. My California Mission address: 

Sister Whitney Whetten
California San Fernando Mission
23504 Lyons Ave Ste 107
Santa Clarita, CA 91321
United States

This address will work for mailing packages and letters throughout my mission. This is the address of what we call the "mission home" which is where the mission presidents live (I believe). Packages and letters sent to this address will reach me (they will probably be forwarded to my specific apartment where I am at the time). I will provide the addresses of the specific apartments where I live in letters posted on here as I go. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Call Letter

January 31, 2012

Dear Sister Whetten:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the California San Fernando Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church. As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president. As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs. the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president. Please send your written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.


Thomas S. Monson