North Jordan with Sister Vang from Paris, France

I am sorry for not emailing you this week. (This last Tuesday August 13th) was transfers and I found out that I am leaving the Hunter Copperhill area. It truly took me by surprised because I really thought I had another transfer before I would be leaving the area, but I guess not. It hurt so much, I have never been so sad in my life, until transfers came. I still miss my old area so much. I love them all. There are a lot of rock solid members and a lot of our less actives that are progressing. Sister Joseph and I were having a lot success. Anyways, President Swain placed me in Jordan North and my new companion is Sister Vang. She is from Paris. I love her so much. It’s funny how Sister Vang and I are exactly alike. I can understand why God wanted us to be companions. So in my new area we cover 2nd and 4th ward. Our area is struggling a lot especially the apartments. Most of the people that are living in the apartment have come from a rough background. Almost all of them have been homeless, low income, abused, etc.  The people in the apartments hate Mormon’s because they feel judged when they go to church and feel that we are selfish when we don’t help them with food. The reason why we can’t help is that they aren’t willing to go to church. I feel that this area needs a lot charity, faith, hope, and patience. “Always believe that some wonderful is going to happen.” I will try my best to stay positive and pray to God to help me because I can’t do it on my own.

 

An interesting story I have met with my first Anti-Mormon. Sister Vang and I were at the apartments talking to Betty about coming to church her son Jake comes in. Jake started talking to me about how our church is wrong, that our prophets are a joke, and the people are so judgmental, etc. I simple told Jake, “I don’t know who hurt you so badly, to make you feel this way, but I am truly sorry. I know that God does live and the church is true, but the people aren’t.”  I feel bad for Jake because when I was talking to him about being disobedient it was like he was almost proud of everything he has done. The only way to be happy is to keep the commandments. We should never be proud when we are disobedience to our Heavenly Father. It is the small and simple things that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father or away from him. 

 

Another thing that happened this week was that we were visiting another lady at the apartments. We were teaching Rebecca about having faith in Jesus Christ and enduring to the end. Before we ended our lesson I felt prompted that she needed to read in Ether 12:4 and I asked her to read it. When she was reading it I notice that she wasn’t reading the right scripture. In my mind I told myself you need to interrupt her, but the Spirit said Sister Whitney let her finish reading it. In the middle of the reading she stopped and started crying for a while, then continued reading until she finished. I asked her what her thoughts were. She said that was exactly what she needed to hear. She thanked us for coming. I was surprised and curious about the scripture that she read. I found out that she misunderstood what I said. Rebecca thought I said Ether 4:12. WOW! That to me is a testimony that God is fully aware of what we are going through, but he also knows our thoughts, desires, and hearts. I can’t give myself any of the credit because the Spirit was being the teacher in this lesson. The Spirit is always the teacher of truth. That was a miracle for Rebecca to read the wrong scripture, but really the right scripture for her.

Before I go I recommend reading “An High Priest of Good things to come” by Jeffery R. Holland. (It’s one of my favorite General Conference talk) Here are some of my favorite parts—“Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed… Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them. But even as the Lord avoids sugary rhetoric, He rebukes faithlessness and He deplores pessimism. He expects us to believe!

No one’s eyes were more penetrating than His, and much of what He saw pierced His heart. Surely His ears heard every cry of distress, every sound of want and despair. To a degree far more than we will ever understand, He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Indeed, to the layman in the streets of Judea, Christ’s career must have seemed a failure, a tragedy, a good man totally overwhelmed by the evils surrounding Him and the misdeeds of others. He was misunderstood or misrepresented, even hated from the beginning. No matter what He said or did, His statements were twisted, His actions suspected, His motives impugned. In the entire history of the world no one has ever loved so purely or served so selflessly—and been treated so diabolically for His effort. Yet nothing could break His faith in His Father’s plan or His Father’s promises. Even in those darkest hours at Gethsemane and Calvary, He pressed on, continuing to trust in the very God whom He momentarily feared had forsaken Him. Because Christ’s eyes were unfailingly fixed on the future, He could endure all that was required of Him, suffer as no man can suffer except it be “unto death…Don’t give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it— you keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come…Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 

Well I hope that you enjoyed that. I hope you have a great time at Education week with Kyla, Ellyse, Travis, and Braxton.  I love you all. I hope everyone is doing great. Take care! 🙂

Love,

Sister Whitney

Dear Family,

 

No way, Ellyse had her baby Friday!  Ellyse showed me some pictures and made me cry (happy tears). Quinton is so beautiful. I can’t wait to meet that little guy! 🙂  Well I think I have found my motto for my mission. It’s in 1 Nephi 15:8 “And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?” Have you inquired of the Lord? Did you think to pray? The restoration all started from a young man saying a simple prayer. Look at the result God brought back on earth because of that simple prayer. The wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ. This last Tuesday I felt horrible and I don’t know why I was feeling sad, angry, and alone. During lunch I decided to go to the bathroom and say a prayer. As I said that prayer I felt that I needed to ask my district leader to give me a priesthood blessing of comfort and peace. After getting that blessing I felt much better. It is because of the power of God and the power of prayer. Always pray to God in everything you do! The enemy teaches us that we shouldn’t.

 

Right now Sister Vang and I are teaching many wonderful people. This Friday we went teach to a less active family. We found that Doug has a short term memory loss. I have never met someone that can’t remember what they have done for the day! He remembers things that have happened a long time ago, but when we teach him after 5 minutes of the lesson he forgets everything. It’s a good thing that his wife doesn’t have that problem, so she can help him. Anyways Liz and Doug are less active members and the reason why they stopped coming was because of the trials they have had in their life. Liz has had an especially hard time having faith. We taught them about having faith in Jesus Christ through all of your struggles. Jesus Christ’s Atonement paid for all of our sins, but also our heart aches, and afflictions of every kind. I love them so much! I hope they have the desire to come back to church. The gospel will bring them so much peace and joy in their hearts.

Another family we have been teaching is Cassandra, Aaron, Shawn, and Jessica. No joke, Jessica looks exactly like PJ. Cassandra is a less active and is living with her boyfriend Aaron who doesn’t remember if he ever got baptized. Shawn  is Aaron’s son he is living with them. Jessica is dating Shawn and they are living together. They are both investigators. I hope that made sense. Cassandra has that desire to come back and Aaron has that desire to learn more about our church, especially The Book of Mormon. We shared a Mormon Message; it’s called Mountains to Climb. The Spirit was so strong!

Sister Vang and I sometimes go on Mormon.org and teach people online. A few days ago we skyped a girl from France and we will be skyping a young man in Australia. It’s so cool! 🙂 Well that’s what been happening to me! I hope you have a great time with Ellyse, Travis, Braxton, and baby Quinton! I’m glad you enjoyed  Education Week!

 

Love,

Sister Whitney

 

*****

 

Dear Family,

 

I have some very exciting news! Sister Vang and I have set a date to have Rileyna and F.T. baptized! They agreed to be baptized on September 28th!  YAY! I am SO excited for them!!! 🙂 So let me tell you their background. Rileyna and F.T. are originally from Hawaii, but because of the high cost living they decided to move to West Valley. A few months ago the sisters before I came to this area saw F.T. and decided to talk to him; they introduced themselves and asked if we could meet with his whole family. He was fine with that. Later, the sisters found that Rileyna and F.T. speak chockese and understood a little English. The sisters asked the stake if anyone could speak that language— no luck! So the sisters prayed to find someone, a few days later Cookie (that’s her nickname) was in the parking a lot and saw the sisters, she said hi and they started talking for a while. Come to find out, she finished her mission 2 weeks before and she had prayed to Heavenly Father that she could do more missionary work now that she was home. In her mission she spoke chockese!  I can testify that God does hear and answers our prayers! The sister’s taught the lessons with Cookie’s help, but Rileyna and F.T. didn’t feel ready to be baptized. A few transfers later, Sister Whitney comes to the area and Sister Vang tells her that we should put them aside, they had been teaching them for a while and there was no commitment for baptism. I felt prompted that we needed to say a prayer to ask if that was the right thing todo. After the prayer, Sister Vang and I felt we should continue teaching them. Yesterday we asked Rileyna and F.T. to be baptized and they said YES!!! 🙂 I can testify that God’s timing isn’t always our timing. We should always put our faith, trust and patience in Him, and good things will happen—in God’s time not ours. 🙂 I hope you have a great day! I love you! Take care!

 

 

Love, Sister Whitney

 

 

 

 

 

Hunter Copper Hill Stake with Sister Joseph from New Zealand

I love where I am serving. I love reading The Book of Mormon, this week we are in Alma 37. It’s about Alma talking to his son Helaman. God has commanded Helaman to take the plates. They are sacred and special in that they have a purpose which Alma didn’t fully understand, but God commanded him to write in them. Now we know it was for us in our day. It made me ponder how like the plates we are saved and are sacred—We all have a special purpose in this life. I especially love verse 14. It says, “And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things which are sacred”. Will you trust in God’s plan that he has for you? Which is very, very special and no one else can fulfill it, except for you. 🙂

Any ways, I am glad that you are doing great. I have never been happier in all my life as I have been while serving my mission. It is one of the hardest things I think that I have done, but it is so rewarding to see the light of the Christ change someone’s life. It brings me so much happiness. I love all of the people that we are teaching. Well I better go, but I love you and thanks again for your prayers and support. I am so excited to see what God has in store for the people in my mission. Take care!

*****

The blooming has just begun here in the Hunter Copper Hill Stake! Yesterday we had fast and testimony meeting. One of our less active members Brother McDonald said his testimony. It was one of the sweetest testimonies I have heard in my life. Brother McDonald said many years he tried here and there to quit smoking, but it has been better since he has been reading the Book of Mormon and has the strong desire to be sealed with his wife together forever. He said how grateful he was to have his “girls” (Sister Joseph and I) to never give up on him. He was grateful for God  not giving up on him as well. I am so happy for Brother and Sister McDonald having the desire to go to the temple. I know that he will be so blessed. It amazes me how the Atonement can really change someone. I have seen Brother McDonald before and who he is becoming now. The Gospel is so beautiful. I am so excited to take them to temple square this week!

 *****

It breaks my heart when Satan is trying so hard lead God’s children away. Yesterday Mike and Wendy (less active) came to church and I couldn’t help, but notice Wendy was really upset. So I came up to her and asked her what was wrong. She told me that her dad wants her and Mike to move out. They were both sad because they love our ward and they love us. I didn’t know what to say or do. So I prayed to God to help me know what to do. I gave her a hug and asked her if there was anything we could for them. She said no. So through during sacrament meeting I felt prompted to put my arm around her. She was grateful that we sat by them and that I put my arm her. She felt like that’s what Our Heavenly Father would do. We have an FHE appointment with them tonight. Hopefully everything is a lot better! Lastly, Amber (returning member) got her patriarchal blessing yesterday. Sister Joseph and I are so happy that she is progressing and has a stronger desire to know what Our Heavenly Father has in store for her in life.  

 Well I better go, but I love you all and thank you for all your prayers and support like I said the blooming has just begun here and I am so excited for what God has in store for us missionaries and these great people. 

*****

This last week has been really busy. This last P-day we went to the zoo with a member family. It was really fun and Sister Joseph and I were able to meet new people. I meet a girl that got her mission call to Orlando Florida and reported to the MTC last Wednesday. Last Wednesday we had the opportunity to go with member to do baptism for the dead. Our plan was to go to the Salt Lake City temple, but as we drove by, it was closed. So we decided to go to the Jordan River temple. The Spirit was so strong. I have learned to really enjoy going to the temple to do baptism for the dead. One thing that my mission president has taught me is “if you hate doing something, keep doing it until you start liking it”. Friday we had a ward activity it was so much fun.  All the little kids started running towards us and said “hi missionaries” and gave sister Joseph and I hugs. It melted my heart! We played soccer with them; it was so much fun. After that we talked to all the inactive members and scheduled our appointments with them. The mission field is so busy we are mostly doing FHEs. I have learned to really enjoy FHE. Please always do FHE with everyone. It so important and it is commandment of God. It will help us to be strong with our family and get to know them better. As well as it brings many blessings. What we do in FHE is we ask a member to ask a non-member or inactive member to come to their home and we teach the lessons. After the lessons are we ask if we could come over do another FHE in their home sometime next week.  I am so glad that you all went to Alaska. I hope you all enjoyed it, especially grandpa. I am working my hardest and my best to do what God what’s me to become and be the best missionary He has always knew I could be. Thank you for all of you support! I love you all. Take care.Love, Sister Whitney 

*****

I hope you had a wonderful week so far! This week for us has been great! We had Katheryn Turner, an inactive member come to church this Sunday! Yay! We are so happy for her! We also had Natalie and her son Payson go to church with us for the first time in many years. She shared her testimony and life story during Sunday school. The Spirit was so strong. Sister Joseph and I are so excited. Another cool experience was on Friday I had the prompting to go visit a lady we have seen, but isn’t ready to go back to church. Anyways we went to her home. Sister Jordan was very depressed. We asked what was wrong and she told us that she just found out that her daughter went to jail because of drugs and her grandson doesn’t have a place to stay because of his mom going to jail. Sister Jordan told us she wished she could help him, but she felt hopeless. After listening to her, we asked if we could share a spiritual message. I shared D&C 121:7-8 the Spirit told me that the trials we have in life are just a small moment compared to heaven, and that God is fully aware of what you are going through. And if you put your trust and faith in Him; He will lead you and guide you through these hard times. The Lord loves you Sister Jordan. God knew this life wouldn’t be easy, but as you go to the Lord I promise He will make your burdens light. Today we went to the temple and found out that the video that they have been showing for years was finished and they released a brand new one today.! We were the first ones to see it! You have to see it! It is wonderful! Dad I’m so sorry you have to go back to Kotzebue I will keep you in my prayers. I love you and thank you so much for supporting us for many years, including now when you hardly see us. Mom,  keep up the good working by inviting inactive or investigators to participate in the activities of the church. I love you and I am grateful for you example. Tell grandma Peterson thank you for the letter and the $20, I will try to write to her sometime this week. I just have been very busy, but I really appreciate it.  I hope you are excited to go back to school Celeste. It is a very exciting time in your life! Please always set a good example to others. Try to think what would Jesus do. Well that’s what is happening with me. I hope you have a wonderful day/week. I love you all! 🙂