Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

What a roller coaster of a week! Sorry that I don't have a ton of time to explain too much (I was typing out stories for an hour and then my computer lost connection to the server and therefore connection to the internet and then my time ran out and so I lost everything I typed :( eso es la vida a veces) 
But one of the exciting things that happened this week is that from Tuesday to Thursday last week we spoke pretty much only Spanish to each other! Yah! It was super hard especially during the weekly planning session on Thursday. But this week we were able to finish that even in Spanish all on Thursday (as opposed to going clear onto Saturday like last week). It was exciting and honestly the thing that broke that habit was the exchange we went on. Even though the two exchange sisters are nativas, they didn't have motivation to talk in Spanish like we did, so it broke the habit and that was really hard to get back into. Hopefully we'll be able to get back into that again tomorrow, though.

Speaking of the exchange... I learned a lot and am excited to apply a lot of new things I learned to our proselyting. We already are seeing many good things coming from applying the stuff to our finding and teaching. We did see miracles and I especially loved the comp study we had together. 

But I did not have a good experience from the exchanges. I felt isolated, victimized, and came home very depressed. I had been crying most of the exchange it felt like and I didn't sleep well the night of the exchange because I was also crying. Luckily for me, that provided Hermana Hardy with an opportunity to comfort me. Her only complaint about me was that I haven't let her help me that much with personal things inside me that make me sad or bug me or anything and so when I came home and started crying after the exchange, she got an opportunity to be able to comfort me which meant the world to her. Our companionship was amazing before, but it is better than ever. She also has been so great... like she has made me breakfast the last two days (holy cow... yesterday she made me these muffins that were so good... they were like snickerdoodles in muffin form) and made my bed today. I love her so much!!!

I was also able to comfort her yesterday when absolutely no one came to church even though the day before, 12 people told us they would be there. And again in the night when we had to drop many investigators who we love very dearly. 
But man, I am so excited by the new investigator we found yesterday! She was a referral from other elders in our ward who kind of talked to the daughter when they were in our area helping a member of the obispado. (I was going to say bishopbrick, but I don't think that is spelled correctly, so I'll just use the spanish word, that is easier). But we did a great establishing expectations lesson that felt like it came straight from Preach My Gospel. Even just meeting her was a miracle because our timing was perfect. We had knocked on her door and no one was there so we knocked on a few more doors nearby and then were going to be heading on our way out when a lady and some kids were walking down a path that didn't fit all of us. So we stood at the other end and waited and asked if she happened to know "Paula." She ended up being the mom of Paula and she let us right in. She seems so prepared and when we promised her the blessings that come from listening to our message and acting according to it, her face just lit up and she said that she wants those blessings. I am so excited to continue to teach her. I think we'll be working on finding even more and dropping more quickly the people who aren't progressing so that we can find those who will. 
I really feel like we are climbing a mountain right now. The mountain is that others aren't progressing. It hurts a lot. But I have faith and hope in the promises I was given when I was set apart. I feel like when we get over this mountain and from the muscles and skills we've developed having to climb it that much success will follow. 
Oh! One cool thought that I had yesterday. I've decided that something I want to do in my life is to write out goals my bigger goals (maybe not daily, but some weekly, some monthly, or other big goals I want to accomplish in my life) on a piece of paper and take a picture of myself holding that goal and then that picture gets hung up in a place where I see it often until I accomplish it. Then I want to create a special book or scrapbook where I can put the pictures of the goals that I've accomplished. (maybe just the picture itself or maybe do a scrapbook of the original goal paper and the picture of me with the goal and then a picture of the goal being achieved.) I feel like that would be so great to be able to flip through a special scrapbook or photo journal of all these goals that I've made in my life that I've achieved. It could be things like "I will go to the Grand Canyon before the end of the year" and have a picture of you there or it could be "I will run in a half marathon" (or a marathon... or even a mile straight) and have a picture of you running it or it could be "I will master charity" and have mini pictures of charitable things you did. I feel very inspired by this and I think I definitely want to apply it throughout my life! I mean even being able to add the achieved goal to the special book makes me want to achieve more of my goals!

That's about all the time I have for now, but I hope you have a wonderful week!!! Tenga el espiritu consigo para siempre! 
~Hermana Whetten 
ps- I think I'll try to not think too hard about my hitting my one year mark this week or I might start freaking out a little bit. ahhh

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Probably the coolest part about this week was that on Tuesday we had the 6 week trainer/new missionary followup in Santa Clarita. It was such a great meeting! It really helped me get a bigger and better vision of what we can become and do as a companionship. They talked a lot about companionship inventory and what a special blessing that is and how if we really learn to do it well on the mission, it will be a blessing and it will make our future marriages stronger. They also talked about ways to deeply search the scriptures and how every time we study the scriptures and preach my gospel it should be like how the temple endowment is--how every time you go you learn something different and inique and beautiful that you needed at that point in your life. But what I probably loved most from the training was how I need to raise my vision even higher. Evidently Elder L Tom Perry told the mission presidents that (instead of having a goal of working toward 1 baptism per month) we need to work in such a way that even 1 baptism per week is possible. That requires a lot. You can't do things the same way and expect different results. So what that means for me is that I need to get myself really uncomfortable again. I need to never let myself settle into thinking that I am doing good enough because the truth is that there is so much more we can do! I'm not sure exactly how we're going to achieve that, but if an apostle said it, the Lord said it, so there must be a way.
One of the big things we changed this week was how we did weekly planning sessions. This was another specific thing that L Tom Perry said in that meeting that is a tool of how to be able to do more with the same time we are given. This was also what our zone training meeting was about last Friday. So we applied it. We went through line by line of the 13 steps of the weekly planning session and when it got to anything to do we said, "let's do that now" and we would take the time to plan and be completely obedient to everything Preach My Gospel says we need to do. So what did that mean? That meant that our weekly planning session took from Thursday until Saturday filling in all the times we hadn't already set appointments previously or had studies or meetings. It takes a lot longer when you have to leave and come back, so we completely blocked off all of Thursday for this coming week so that we can plan all day and hopefully finish it on Thursday this week. We were warned that the first few times doing the weekly planning session like this, it would probably take sooooo long (before, weekly planning sessions were probably only 3 or so hours long) but that the more practice we get doing it the right way the better we'll get and, more importantly, the more fruits we will see for our efforts. Our days are planned better and more centered on the individual people and their needs. Every single sentence is practically another opportunity to receive additional revelation for what we can specifically do to help the people progress. It is hard, but we do it because that is the Lord's way. And he has promised in Preach My Gospel that if we learn to master the techniques of goal setting and planning to achieve them we will be able to make a great difference in the results we attain in life (and on the mission). I want to master this on the mission so that when I am done I will have known I was a success, that I couldn't have done anything more within my agency to help others, and that I will get so much more out of my life by applying the principles of setting goals, making plans, and being accountable.
We are definitely in the middle of big changes and it will take some getting used to. But we are realizing that there is something more we need to do  because we're not receiving all the results that we want. I guess this is really a big life lesson for me. Change is hard. It is hard to sit back and say that even though I thought I was doing my very best, more is required of me. Much more. I don't know how I will change it all, but I have faith that I know I am here for a special purpose and that the Lord will help our companionship become even more. That is what repentance is all about. It shouldn't be a scary thing. It is recognizing that I am a flawed human and I know I need help and so I need to and want to apply the atonement into my life.
Oh I guess one more quick thing is how we've decided that our companionship statement will be "Working on Angel's Time."
But yeah, wish me luck with all the changes. I am a little bit stressed, but at the same time I feel a peace that the Lord is pleased with my desires and my actions and that he will be right at my side helping me to do and say and become more.
I hope you're all having a fantastic week and it was wonderful to be able to see you yesterday!
~Hermana Whetten

This one needs a little explaination. Our mission nurse at the latest zone conference told us that we should vacuum our matresses. I don't understand why and I felt really silly doing it, but I did haha!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Some long overdue pictures

Check out pretty much the coolest photos in the world. The King Dancer Pose is me and the leaping one is Hermana Mulliner. Both were taken in a little Japanese house thing at the Japanese Gardens which we went to last preparation day :D

A few photos of the Japanese Garden

So here are a few photos. These two are at the Los Angeles Temple. The photographer had it set on Manual instead of the automatic, so it was extremely bleached out. Sorry about that. But yeah, one with Hermana Hansen and one with Hermana Mulliner

 These two are in front of Christ at the visitor's center in LA

 This is one of Antonio last night right before his Baptism.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hello!!! Another fantastic week!!! The miracles are still totally coming!! All day every day!! 
Before I start, church ends at 2 for us, so we'll try to find a member who will let us come over at about 3 so we can have the mother's day call done before 4 like Ryan asked. So expect me on my g-mail video chat somewhere around 3 more or less. 
So one cool service thing we got to do this week was use a pick axe to clear out some grass at one person's house who was a new investigator from last week. We showed up for a lesson and the wife came out and said that the husband couldn't have a lesson right now because he was busy doing some work. We asked if we could help and she told us to come back the next day because we were in our church clothes. We told her we had clothes in our car (which we had actually put in there earlier that day because we were going to go to a different service project that ended up cancelling) and so she let us! (It almost never happens that they let us help them-- but that made us realize maybe we should be asking the spouse if we can help haha!) The funny thing is that I had no clue what I was agreeing that we'd be doing. She used the work "zacate" and I didn't have any clue what that was. So we could have agreed to be doing anything from helping him barbeque to helping him lay cement to helping him shovel manure for all I knew. But it ended up being fun and a lot of help for him and that ended up turning the wife and their daughter and granddaughter into new investigators because they were all over and we shared a small lesson on the Book of Mormon afterwards. I think we're going to be able to do another service project this week of helping someone paint their living room. So excited for that!! 
Actually the cool part is that we got 8 new investigators this week! And many of those new investigators were actually from the family of the investigators we already had. Another was from knocking near a referral we got and she let us in. Another was from a part member family. But the coolest miracle of all was that Ashley and Penelope were finally able to come to church with us!! And even better, the whole family came. Their mom had been inactive since she was about 17, but they all came! And they said we can meet with them this coming Friday too! They are 10 and 11 and love hearing about the gospel so much! They are so wonderful!!! 
One random thing is that I shall make a list of new foods that Hermana Hardy has tried with me that she had never had before: cauliflower, lima beans, grapes (she loves those now and buys them every week), zucchini, plain cheese papusas, raw broccoli (she had only had steamed) and cantaloupe. Cool random fact. Everyone keeps telling her that by the end of her mission she'll be eating hot chili like me haha. We'll just have to see. 
I love training and besides food (which doesn't actually affect me that much and which the ward is surprisingly understanding about) she is so great. I love the new missionary fire she has and I love that she gets so excited over the little things. Like when 4 investigators came to church yesterday (Ashley, Penelope, and their family) she was squealing and jumping around like a little kid in a candy store! She also did her very first phone call all on her own completely in Spanish because I was in the bathroom. She has been terrified of the phone (because it is hard to understand Spanish over the phone... I was scared of the phone for a long time as well! I only really got okay when suddenly I spoke more Spanish than my companions and I HAD to do the phone) but she did it. And she was squealing happy over that too. She has so much energy and loves working and it is so great to be with her! I love training!! I'm also excited because we just got a text that two of the elders in our district will be training (therefore, all of us are either trainers or training!). This work is so great. There were more miracles daily, but that is probably about all the time I have right this second. I know that this work is directed by the hand of the Lord and nothing can stop it! This is the only thing that really matters! 
Anyways, I can't believe it is already Mother's day, but I'm excited to talk to you all over webcam on Sunday. Hopefully you can figure out how to do multiple people in a conversation on gmail because I'm not sure if I know how to do it. Talk to you then! 
Tenga el espiritu consigo siempre!! 
~Hermana Whetten