Monday, September 17, 2012

A Fire in My Heart

Monday, September 17, 2012
A Fire in My Heart 
Oh man! Another week has come and gone. I've learned a lot this week and we've done so much as well. 
First thing's first. Since we don't live in our area, we've been having to use up some of the allotted 1,100 miles per month even getting to our area and going home. So the president is having us actually move into our area. We have been spending several hours a week trying to look for apartments, so we found one that seems like it'll be good and last Saturday they put in the 30 day notice in the one we're living in currently since it's lease came up and then on October 1st we'll be moving into the new one. Thus, until that week my North Hills address is perfectly fine, but after that you'll want to use my new address: 
Hermana Whitney Whetten 
7123 Etiwanda #14 
Reseda, CA 91335 
I'm pretty excited because that is very central to our area. The neighborhood is pretty good and also pretty Hispanic. It is a little smaller, like the kitchen especially, but it'll definitely work. Also, it is just off of my favorite street here. I think I've told you about Sherman Way, but that street is seriously so beautiful. It has palm trees lining the sides of the street and also the medians. It is the only street that is really like it. I'll have to try to remember to take a picture for you sometime! 
Anyway, I guess I'll start off with a few more things about California. 
One weird thing is that the license plates here can have symbols too. Like as one of the "letters" there can be a heart or a star or I think I've even seen a handprint. It makes me laugh! 
Another cool thing is that a lot of celebrities live in my mission, especially in North Hollywood. But the thing is that I work with the Hispanics and the Hispanics are who work for the celebrities. So we'll just be talking to some Hispanic that we meet or find and they'll just talk about how they got to meet some of these celebrities. For example: 
1) Hermana Fish, an hermana in the El Camino area, has a Red Bull that Justin Beiber gave to a worker and the worker gave to her because she kind of has the Beiber Fever (man, I think my English spelling is going! that doesn't look like I spelled it right!). It's really only a pseudo-obsession, or so she says, but we like to tease her about it a little. 
2) We were visiting a part member family and got talking to them and the husband works as a caddy (I think that is the name for the people who walk around holding people's golf clubs) at a golf resort thing. Well, one time he got to be the caddy for Clark Kent from Smallville! He got a signature and everything! 
3) A person in our ward works for Steven Speilburg! 
Holy cow! It is crazy! Obviously that's not what my work is all about, but it is seriously crazy to hear things like that!

Anywhooo....I think the coolest story from this week was that we set another baptism date with Herminia. We found her by going through some of the old referrals that were dropped from the area book. She is seriously so cool and so ready. She has been catholic forever, but when we asked her the questions like "do you believe it is possible for there to be prophets on the earth today" or "do you think there could be more scripture than the Bible" she didn't reply the typical Catholic way at all. She was like, "yeah, I don't see why not" basically. She is so cool! She's going to be taking a trip to Mexico for like 3 weeks, so we won't get to work with her more for a while, but she is so cool and so ready to learn more. And she said that she'd like October 28 as a goal for her baptism date. She was talking about how she had shared the folleto (pamphlet, I guess in English) with her daughter and she liked it. Her daughter has some Mormon friends so they already have somewhat of an idea of what members are like and a little of what the church is about. She was so cool to talk to! Also, she is such a great example of service and charity for me! I want to become more like her. She keeps telling us that she doesn't really have very much, but she likes to give what she can. For instance, she is currently in the process of making a first communion dress for free for a family who can't afford one. When Catholics take the first communion they usually dress up basically in mini wedding dresses. But seriously, this dress she is making looks wedding quality. Like I wouldn't mind her making my future wedding dress it was so pretty! She even sewed on these jewel things by hand. Ha ha! The menos activo person we're working with who has colon cancer (I think I've told you about him--he had his surgery this week for it) is also a tailor for wedding dresses and bride's maid type stuff. So if I want to go that route in the future, I have people who can make the dresses for me ha ha! 
But yeah, she is really cool. Another fun thing this past Saturday was that they had the Dia de Hispanidad. It is a big event that the estaka (stake) does once a year and it was so fun! They had tables set up all around the gym and the whole middle filled with chairs. Each ward was given two Hispanic countries to be in charge of and they decorated the tables and walls and provided like taste-testing type foods from their those countries. So we got stuff from Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, the US, Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, et cetera. It is was so good and so much fun. It was great to have empanadas again (I had them many times when I was in Argentina and they are so good!) After an hour or so of that they had entertainment where the wards also did a dance or song from the countries they were assigned to as well. My ward's countries were El Salvador and the US, so it made me laugh when the young men and women from our ward were grooving to Party Rock Anthem on the stage for one of the presentations from our ward! It was just overall really fun. And it was a great missionary thing too. We had four of our investigators there and we got to meet a potential investigator we've been trying to get a hold of. There are so many Spanish missionaries in the stake! (like in the Reseda 4th ward (mine) there are 6, to give you an idea) so it was really cool to get to meet many more of them too! 
I guess really the only other thing I have to share is about how much I love going to church and especially taking of the sacrament. Maybe this doesn't happen to everyone (and maybe it is to me especially because I go to church in a Spanish branch so when I'm not consciously concentrating on what is being said, it is easy to zone out for a few minutes) but it is cool when your mind wanders and you are able to like meditate and find answers to questions or problems at church. Revelation definitely can come through church attendance and that is why it is so important for investigators to come! 
So what happened with me is I was having a hard time for a few days this week. I don't know why, but I was just grumpy for whatever reason and it was bad because I was, for instance becoming grumpy at little things my companion did and then I would get mad at myself for being grumpy at her and then I felt like a terribly person and that just made it worse and the cycle just kept on going. In a way it was like I built up a wall around my heart because I didn't want to admit that I was grumpy or whatever, so I'd just keep to myself more for whatever reason. And that is bad because then I can't share my heart with others. I was making myself so tired from all of that. But it was so cool. when I was praying while taking the sacrament, into my mind came this mental image of like a charge then a pause then a huge sonic BOOM which completely blew the wall I had built around my heart to pieces. Then I partook of the water and it was like all the residue fro that explosion was washed away so it was as if it was never there. (I know, it might sound weird that I get these mental images like that, but that is what happens to me sometimes. Like when I pray too) anyway, Then it was like I saw my heart there and it was shiny and golden again and it was ready to be shared with anyone and everyone this week. It is funny because as a kid, I always used to say "you broke my heart" whenever anyone in my family did anything to me. But this week I plan on breaking my heart. Breaking off pieces to share with anyone and everyone who'll take it in this missionary work. But the cool thing is I'll take the sacrament again next week and it'll be there completely whole and unblemished again. He will heal it completely such that I can go another week sharing my whole heart with everyone. It is cool how the atonement works like that... it makes it so you can keep on giving and giving of your heart and yet you never have less heart to give. It's like that story mom used to always tell us of the warm-fuzzies that when you give warm-fuzzies you can keep on giving more and never have less. But when you start keeping your warm-fuzzies to yourself and giving out cold-pricklies instead, you start running out of yourself to give and wearing yourself out. 
It is no coincidence that the bread has to be broken in the sacrament. Likewise, it is no coincidence that water is used in the sacrament when water is literally life (if I remember correctly, about 2/3 of the human body is water essentially). 
While taking the sacrament, I also got this image of a broken bone... like one of those really bad breaks that completely splits the bone. Your friends or family can try to set it, but it won't be exactly right almost certainly. Thus, the doctor (Jesus) has to come in and rebreak it (like the broken bread) and only afterward can the correct procedure come in to seal it and heal it (the water which is healing). Through this process, the bone will heal completely. And when bone heals, it always heals stronger than it was before. 
So that is the significance of the sacrament to me. I feel so clean now and so happy and so ready to take my tabla blanca and start over again this week. That is the miracle of the sacrament. Having experiences like that with the meditation and how strong the spirit is at church is why church attendance is so great! And I really do feel the spirit so strongly in my life once again. Like immediately I was just so much happier again and ready to go out and share my heart with everyone. I am so lucky to be able to feel this love and power of the atonement and likewise to now be able to just go and share that experience with everyone I meet. I'm so grateful for it! It's like there is a newfound fire in my heart and I'm so ready to share it with everyone!! 
Sorry, that was kind of a long tangent, but hopefully you don't mind reading through it! 
I hope you have the best week of the year this week! Thank you all for your continued support and example for me. In case it's been too long since I've told you, I love you all! 
May the Spirit Be With You!! 
<3 Hermana Whetten

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