Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lessons, lessons, Tippy and Tiwi.

I feel like the most loved missionary ever!
Every Tuesday I get a STACK of mail!
My zone gets kind of jealous. Then they tell me it will die down in the mission. We shall see! But regardless I want you to know that I really appreciate it.

This past week has been really fun! We've been very busy and have been jumping from appointment to appointment which is AWESOME!! It's how missionary life should be so I'm grateful I can experience it.

Tippy the cat has NOT been very fun to be around. We were having a lesson with our investigator Josh, 21, the grandson of the people I love--the Mahaffeys. We were outside on their porch teaching the Plan of Salvation when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I see Tippy with a baby bunny in his mouth. I jumped a little bit, tapped my companion and made her look. We were both shocked and the two other men in our lesson did not notice, so we had to keep our cool. It was a struggle to try to teach since Tippy was five feet away pouncing on this poor, what-we-thought-to-be dead bunny. Suddenly the bunny darts at Sister Stewart and almost jumps in her bag, but Tippy the killer cat has scary reflexes and grabbed the bunny again. I almost peed my skirt. Sister Stewart and I both worry that Tippy is going to kill us in our sleep.  The men with us were just laughing, and were impressed with the murderous cat. I was not. Throughout the lesson, Tippy was eating the bunny just a few feet from where we sat.

We believe Tippy is now bunny-sick because every night he leaves little treats on the carpet for us to clean up. I'm not a Tippy fan. But we do laugh. Thanks for the entertainment Tippy!

We taught the McDaniels again. It was a great lesson. All the kids participated and they are still committed to their baptismal date. My favorite part of the lesson was when the 13 year old boy Aaron prayed at the end. Sweetest prayer I've ever heard. He prayed to be able to understand the Book of Mormon better and then to be able to be baptized.

Speaking of baptism, Taylor's baptism is this Saturday! I'm PUMPED!! We had a great lesson with her about missionary work and she's already doing so much. She's invited all of her immediate family and extended family to come to church, come to her baptism, and to take the lessons. She's working miracles. I love her so much and I wish all of you could meet her. She's really funny. Hopefully we are going to the Mormon Battallion site with her family on Friday. I'm excited about that as well. She is one of the best people I've ever met and she is my age. She is already so mature and is like a mother to all of her siblings. I aspire to be like her.

One topic we've been teaching a lot to less active members of the church is the importance of the Sacrament. It was a big topic on Sunday. We found an awesome talk by Don R Clarke called "Blessings of the Sacrament." It really helps us prepare throughout the week to have the best experience ever on Sunday. I loved this past Sacrament Meeting. The spirit was really strong and I truly felt connected to our Savior and his forgiveness for all I've done wrong and letting me start over again. If you think about all of the ordinances, like baptism or temple ordinances, we only do them once for ourselves. But we partake of the Sacrament every week. It's so important that we need it weekly. Really puts things into perspective and I've loved teaching about it. We've also been challenging members using a talk by M. Russell Ballard called "Write down a date." It's basically where you pick a date to have a spiritual experience with someone, or share a bit of the gospel with them or introduce them to the missionaries. It's not necessarily picking a name, but picking a date where by that time the Lord will put someone in your path to share the gospel with. It's a faith builder. Do it! Pray for a date either individually or as a family and watch the Lord go to work in your life. Make sure you don't sit back and watch; make sure you are living worthily to receive this miracle in your life. Work for it. It will be an amazing experience.

Guess who's driving in California now?!? THIS SISTER!!
I love it. It took a while to be able to get approved, but I'm pumped! So we have this thing called "tiwi" and it's a little box that's in our car and if we speed or drive aggressively it yells at us. It says, "Watch your speed!" or "Aggressive driving!" and if you get too many of those you may have your driving privileges taken away. With speeding they give you ten seconds to dlow down and if you do they don't record the speeding. Repentance is alive and well! Tiwi yelled at me yesterday for going 30. I was slightly offended. Ouch, Tiwi.

We went to the retirement home yesterday. Its' always so funny to go there. We were helping put up Fourth of July decorations around the whole building, since the member we visit there is the party decorator. She is in charge of bringing the party. It was funny--she is quite bossy and spunky. A great lady.

Our ward is the bomb-dot-com. We got fed almost every day last week and yesterday we got fed lunch AND dinner! I probably will not come home skinny.

On Sunday we taught the Young Women a missionary lesson. I thought it went really well. We mainly emphasized that a lot of the time missionary work just happens naturally. It's through the light that you have that people notice you. It's important not to shy away, but to embrace those moments and enhance them with invitations. We wanted to do an activity with them where they would invite their friends to a movie night and the movie is going to be "Meet the Mormons." If you haven't seen it, you need to. I saw it for the first time in the Missionary Training Center and I was smiling throughout the whole entire thing. It was wonderful! I'm excited for this activity that is coming up. It will be a great missionary activity. One sweet Beehive came up to us after the lesson and told us how much she enjoyed our lessons and how she felt inspired. She was so cute and it made us feel really good. We also made little mission calls for them--super cute. We got pretty creative. I loved it. The Young Women are great! And I hope to get to know them more and more each week.

Life is great, couldn't be better and I've never felt so blessed in my life. The Lord truly does love me and he loves all of you. I know that for a fact and I will never doubt it. Being an instrument for the Lord always helps me to have love for everyone. It's been one of the best experiences of my life. I love it. And I love all of you! You inspire me everyday! Keep it up!!
Sister Whitcomb

This one's for you Dad! Duck Dynasty Pride! I would have gotten you a shirt but they didn't have one in your size. :(  Don't worry--I'll keep looking!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

YOU are loved.

Well everyday is a happy day in the mission field. :)
Did I ever tell you how similar my companion and I are? We both have five siblings, both love the same music, love giraffes,
we have the same bag, both love iron man, and so many other things! It's so funny, a lot of people ask us if we are sisters or twins. We just laugh and then are able to bring up that we are Sister Missionaries! Man, the Lord gives us so many opportunities to share the gospel. And I've been able to realize how essential members are in missionary work. Missionaries can NOT do it alone. When members come to appointments it begins a good different kind of spirit, they give the most solid referrals, and it's better for the members to introduce someone to the gospel because then that investigator immediately has a friend and shows that the member trusts the missionaries so they know they can too. It's awesome! So pray for missionary opportunities! Think of people who might need the gospel and then invite them or share a video with them, it will change their life, that one simple act.
It's amazing that when we just talk to strangers how willing they are to tell very personal details of their life, and all we do it invite them to hear more of our message! But it just testifies to me that the Lord fills us with his spirit and people can recognize it ad then they can see that they can trust us and that we care. Most of the time it's awesome! But sometimes people talk for a long time, but it's all good. They probably need to let it all out. And they also need the gospel in their lives. :)
Another important concept that I've been able to relearn on my mission is not to judge. Especially while street contacting. There are always those people on the street who you think will never want to hear our message but we go up to them anyway and we share our testimonies with them. We had a cool experience as we were on our way to teach a less active the temple prep lessons. We passed by a lady who was smoking and we passed her but then turned around and started talking with her. I never thought she would be interested; she was just kind of like a biker chick I guess. But she's sooooo cool! We just told her about our message and asked her if she would ever like to hear more. She said she is really interested! Apparently she has had Mormon friends and has been to church a couple of times and she would really like us to come back and teach her. I was blown away and so was my companion. And even at the end she asked if we could hug her! She was so sweet. And at that moment I knew I could never judge if someone would accept our message, you never know, so you talk to them. And trust me we get rejected a lot, but something my companion has taught me is you want to talk to everyone. You don't want someone coming up to you up in heaven and asking, "Why didn't you talk to me? Why didn't you share your message with me?" I don't want that to happen, so I'm trying my best to talk to everyone. I never thought I would be able to, but with God's love, anything is possible.
Some of the funniest moments of my week involved going to a retirement home called La Vida Real. It's the nicest retirement home I have ever seen. It's got it's own little restaurant! So Fancy! I've eaten there twice and the food there is pretty good, especially since it's supposed to be for Seniors. I liked it! So we've been asked to visit this older lady who is no longer able to attend church, but she really wants to. So we've been trying to visit her weekly, share messages with her, and also do some service. It's been really fun. One time before we were leaving, the retirement home was having this western party. They party pretty hard there! All of the residents were dressed up and they had cardboard cowboy and horse cut outs to take pictures with. They had a little jail house, and of course a salon, and also a little line dancing! Man, the older generation can dance! It put the biggest smile on my face to see them line dancing and doing all these lasso moves and hitting their hips; so FUNNY! It was quite the party!
Also, I've been working on getting rid of all my pride. It is not easy. I've been praised a lot of my life, so coming out here and not getting praised is definitely an adjustment. I know that sounds prideful, but it's true! Everyone wants to feel praised and loved and I'm grateful I am able to get rid of this little bit of pride so I can focus more on others. Instead of the attitude "I want to be the best missionary out there and the best teacher" I want to be more like "I want to fill peoples' needs through the spirit." I want to fill their needs. I want to help others. And I'm so excited to do it.
So we were able to teach Taylor's siblings the Plan of Salvation. It went really well, so well that we were able to commit her sister, brother and cousin to baptism! It was super cool. I hope they stick with it. That's the only worry. But I know that it's changing their lives somehow. I know it. And Taylor is awesome! She is already living all of the standards and is teaching me so much! I'm so excited for her! Taylor has had a hard life and she endures her trials well. I'm just so comforted that she will have the gospel now to fall back on. Such a relief to know the people you care for and love are headed in the right direction. This past Sunday was one of the best Sundays of my life. Not just because it was Father's Day, but because Taylor's whole family came to church! It was her mom, dad and all of her siblings. We filled a whole row with them! And they all seemed to love it! Taylor's little sister Chelsea went to primary, her mom liked sacrament meeting, they were so friend-shipped it was awesome. I feel like the whole ward introduced themselves and welcomed them. The dad told me after that everyone was super nice. I LOVE MY WARD! They are awesome, such great missionaries. And also, Dad I think you'll like this: I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting on Father's Day. And yes, dad, I did tell everyone how much I loved you and appreciated you, no worries! But they asked me to speak on how we have a loving Heavenly Father and how he has created a plan of happiness for us. It was great, I loved preparing and I loved being able to talk. I had three investigators in sacrament meeting! (Taylor, her brother and Josh Mahaffey) and yes, I did cry a little during my talk, that seems to be my signature for talks--thanks mom. :) Even though Sunday was fantastic and people seemed to love my talk, the male species thought they could give me hugs that day. And as a Sister missionary, that's a no-go. Handshakes only. Apparently people didn't get the no-hugging memo. One was an investigator and he wanted to give me a hug, and my first thought was of course! So I lean in and then I realize I'M A MISSIONARY! And there was a moment of panic as my companion is standing there laughing to herself. So... I awkwardly backed away, told him the rule and shook his hand. Talk about awkward. My companion still brings it up and laughs--it's all good, I laugh too. Missionary life is awkward, I've come to accept it, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Also, an older man, (he is a ward missionary) came up to me and gave me a side hug because he said that is what my dad would have done if he were here. So I guess Dad hugs still reach me even in San Diego!
I wanted to share some wise words from Josh Groban. My companion listens to this song quite frequently (mission approved). It says "Don't give up because YOU ARE LOVED!" And I want all of you to know that you are loved by at least one person on this earth, and that is ME!! Sister Whitcomb loves YOU! And I'm happy to tell you anytime! Keep going, you'll always have me in your cheer section! I love you all!
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tippy, the Temple and a PADRES game

Dear Friends and Family,
Missionary life is the best. No complaints here. It's hard but it only brings me happiness in my life. I can't believe it's already been a month since I left! That was the fastest month of my life. But I'm so grateful I have so much more time because I've already seen so many miracles in this one month. Imagine how many miracles I'll see in 18 months! I can't even express how blessed I feel.
So remember how we live with a cat named Tippy? Tippy definitely tried my patience. For some reason he loves my bed and he decided to throw up on our carpet. And I stepped in it. Nastiest moment of my life. Ick. Sister Stewart was more grossed out then I was so I decided to be a nice companion and clean up both gross piles of bile. I never thought I would do that on my mission but the Lord definetly knows I don't like cats and I now know he has a sense of humor.
The beginning of the week was kind of slow. Not a lot of people on the streets and no one answering their doors. But at the end of the day I realized everyday as a missionary is a great day.
And let me tell you, living with members, living with the Mahaffeys is definitely living a Cush life. They are so cute too. They haven't been married a year yet. They have their wedding cake in the freezer. Super cute.
And I'm sure you remember Taylor, the one who is getting BAPTIZED on July 4th. So we've been meeting with her brother, sister, brothers friends and her cousin. We are going to baptize this family!!! They are awesome and I love them all. Every time I teach them I get so excited! We taught them the Restoration and Taylor's brothers friend ate it up. He was participating and loved the Restoration video. And his closing prayer was so awesome. He prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true. So sweet. Can't wait to have them in church! Taylor came to church but her siblings didn't. But it's Taylor's birthday next Sunday and she making her family come to church because it's their bday! How awesome is that! She is such a missionary!!
It has been confirmed to me that I have no reason to complain. We've contacted a man at his mobile home and he just started crying about how he's been close to death and he's lost all of his family and he has to go into surgery too. We gave him a Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies about how it comforts us. I know he's still alive to receive this message from us. It will be cool to follow up. No reason to complain, my life is the best.
I also went on my first exchange with our STLs. I was with Sister Wilde who is about to go home and she serves in a young single adult ward. Super weird. Serving with people our age all the time. But they are really prepared for this message. I was able to teach a less active and an investigator. During those lessons I learned how important it is to use inspired questions. It leads the discussion the right way and it helps you know what the people you are teaching need to hear and what they don't know and what they  are struggling with. I love inspired questions. But man, I get so tired on my mission. Yawning so much. Sunday's feel so great when we get to sleep into 6:30. That's right, 6:30 is sleeping in because during the weekdays we have to get up earlier to start working out at 6:30. It's ok, it's worth it. Exact obedience will bring miracles.
So now the highlight of my week. The lesson at the temple with Taylor! It was the first time I was going to the San Diego temple so I was uplifted. There were 3 weddings so it was kind of crowded. It would of been weird if we would have done the lesson a week later because I possibly would have run into Roger and & Kristine. But we taught a lesson in the waiting area. The spirit was so strong. When she learned she could do family history and do those ordinances for her family she started crying. I am so excited for her. I want to be at her endowment and her sealing!!! She's awesome. We took pics with her outside the temple, I loved it. I can see myself being friends with her and her family forever.

As you can see the highlight was going to the Temple with Taylor!!, I LOVE HER SO MUCH! She is an
inspiration to me everyday.
Let me tell you member referrals are golden. The members we are living with had us to come to dinner with their 21 year old grandson Josh. He is so prepared. He's seen the church work in his grandpa and uncle and he can see the difference in their life and how happy they are and he wants that in his life. How awesome is that! Also we watched the restoration video with him and right after he said he felt a warmth inside him. How cool is that! I witnessed the Holy Ghost work in this guy. It was so cool.
THE PADRES GAME WAS AWESOME! Even though they lost by one it was sooo fun. We sat with 5 other Sisters. My comp and I bought matching hats and we look good!
It was weird to hear my favorite songs. Don't worry I didn't dance. Haha but definitely one of he best p-Days ever!!!!
I can't even explain the happiness I've felt on my mission but I know it's because the Lord loves me and is blessing me with these experiences!
Love, Sister Whitcomb

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


WE GOT IPADS YESTERDAY! A HUGE deal in the mission and I'll be
emailing you from it now on. So crazy! It's gonna change everything
and right at the beginning of my mission! 
 I have never been so happy in my life. Not to
say that it's easy, it's not. But I love the atmosphere and I can
already see how much I have grown just in 2 weeks!
Some crazy stuff has happened since I've last emailed. My companion
and I got locked outside of the house! It was 10:30pm, we were in bed
but Sister Stewart saw that a light was on and so we went to shut it
off. The door swung shut behind us and all of a sudden we were locked in
the garage. We were also blind as bats because we didn't have our
glasses on. We were a mess. We tried to knock on the door so the
Mahaffeys, the members we live with, could come open it for us, but
unfortunately they are deaf and very loud. So we remembered a key in
an avocado tree that they had out back that we could get in with. So
we went out, couldn't see and stuck our hands up into this tree and we
discovered that the key was in this huge spider web! I made Sister
Stewart do it because I just couldn't. Then we walked out to the
front, trying to avoid horse poop because they have a horse.
Just laughing the whole time, good times in the mission. Speaking of
getting locked out I'm locked out right now! Our car tire was really
low so we had to drop it off at a tire place and then some other
sisters picked us up and were going to bring us home to use our wifi.
But we forgot to get the keys off of our key loop and our members
aren't home. So we are sitting outside of the house emailing. Good
times on the mission.
Our mission president gave us permission to watch L Tom Perry's
funeral, it was really nice. I loved the part they mentioned about
sacrament meeting where we should ask ourselves the question. Who am
I? Who am I becoming? How am I becoming that person. Something like
that, it was really cool.
Also I had my first opportunity to get "bashed" on, a bible bash I
think they call it. We have been visiting an apostolic lady and she
came to a baptism with us and she said we really liked it and that she
would start reading the Book of Mormon, so we stopped by her house to
see how it went. Well we went with the stake presidents wife, Sister
Hixon, and Alaina was there with her friend. And we started asking her
how her reading went, we tried to answer some questions but then her
friend started getting very angry. We got yelled at
for like 45 minutes, I just was sitting there and thinking: the spirit
is gone so we need to leave. So we finally told them that we had to go
to dinner and we left. Surprisingly I wasn't hurt at what she said or
offended, she has her beliefs and I have mine. But I'm just grateful
my religion brings me happiness and teaches me to treat others with
respect. I hope some days those ladies will realize that. I love them
Also, I talked about Taylor last weed I believe, THE ONE WITH THE
BAPTISMAL DATE!! She is awesome and we went to go teach her a lesson.
We brought the mission leaders wife with us, she's from New Zealand
and has an awesome accent, he name is Sister Seba and she brought her
15 year old daughter Puawai. They are awesome. Anyway, Taylor invited
her brother and sister to sit on the lesson. Then her brother also has
3 friends that live with her family and they sat in too.the ages are
14,  13  and 8. Then she also invited 2 of her cousins and her Aunt.
And we figured out her aunt is a MEMBER!,! She's not on our records
but we will fix that soon, same with her Mom, her Mom is a member but
not on our records. But now her siblings have agreed to start over and
take the lessons with us!,!, They are literally the sweetest and most
mature kids I've seen, I think it's cuz their parents aren't their for
them and they totally look to Taylor as a Mom. And she's so good at it.
So yeah, we added 3 more investigators!!!! Sister Stewart and I were
saying we are gonna bring this family to the Temple and go to their
sealing!!, AHHHHH!! Missionary work is the best! So many miracles!
But the hard part for me is definitely street contacting, I can say
hello to everybody but bringing up the gospel is a little difficult.
But I've just able to think of the people I met before this life and I
know I promised someone that I will find them and come bring them this truth! I will!! So that
gives me a little boost. And Sister Stewart is teaching me little
questions I can ask people, we've been giving people pass a long cards
that go to the Because he lives Easter video. But now that we have
iPads we can just watch the video with people right on the street!
Woot woot! Technology is a blessing and a curse. A good point that my
mission president said at Zone conference that we are a Preach my
gospel mission, not an iPad mission. Because it is soooooo true. Can't
let these devices distract us. I shut the notifications off for my
email so I won't see how many emails I have or how many emails I don't
have throughout the week. Just gotta pray that these iPads will help
the work progress and not go down. And actually they are letting us
take our iPads Home! So this iPad that I'm using now is officially
And also next week our mission president authorized us to go to a
Padres game! For our p-day next week we are gonna see some baseball!!
So I don't know when I'll email, but I'm sure I'll find time. I'm
pumped for the game. I get to see my friends from the MTC!! I miss my
old companion a lot.
Also I figured out that a person who has played piano for 11 years (me) can
sound like an 8 year old. That was embarrassing; at a zone conference.
I told the Elder I was going to butcher it but he couldn't find anyone
else so I was willing to humiliate myself. Let's just say I will never be
sent to play " Have I done any good" ever again haha. My companion
told me I was brave, I was something alright. I'll be surprised if
they ask me to play piano again. Whoops
Well I love my area, I love my ward, I love the people I am teaching,
we have so many
members that are willing to come out with us and it just adds a better
atmosphere to everything! So go out with the missionaries!! It's so
much fun! do it!
I love you all and I'm always praying for you. Please write me and
send me pictures. I want to show the people of San Diego how
attractive my family and friends are!
Sister Whitcomb

I love this Sister! Originally from Arkansas and has been out 9
months. Her family is now in Utah. She's awesome!
And can I just say Grampy is the best, he wrote me a bomb letter! I love him so much! I hope he gets blessed as well while I'm on my mission so I can see him when I come home! But he is a constant companion on my shoulder, he's good at casting negative thoughts out of my head. ;) I LOVE YOU! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Greetings From El Cajon

 I made it!!!! I'm in the field!
Once I stepped outside the plane I was all smiles, it is soo beautiful!!!
My mission president is very young and very nice. When I met with him he was very encouraging.
 I have an amazing companion!
(Everyone take a breath of relief because I am in good hands) 
SOOO apparently this mission is a running mission. Oh boy. We run 3 days a week. President is talking about making it everyday but I'm crossing my fingers that he won't.
Before we got our companions, we toured the Mormon Battalion Visitor Center. So cool.
My companion is SISTER STEWART!!!! She's super awesome and has been out for 9 months. She turned 20 in March and is from Arkansas but her family lives in Utah. She really looks like a younger version of Drew Barrymore.
My area is the El Cajon area. We are actually serving with Arabic Elders in our ward. How cool is that? They are the only 3 in the mission, one of them just went home so from 4 to 3, and they cover the whole mission but mainly stay in El Cajon. They are awesome.
So I surprisingly haven't been too stressed out. Mainly tired. Day one we just taught one lesson to a woman named Cassie who is the spitting image of Megan Bell. The investigator that sticks out to me is Taylor McDaniel, she is 18 and super sweet. I met her at a baptism that we invited her too and once she walked in the room she had such a light and I loved her immediately. I knew she felt the spirit during the baptism, and the baptism was AWESOME! we met with her after and committed her to be BAPTIZED!!!! I"M SO EXCITED!!!! Moments like that show me how lucky I am to be a missionary. 4 days into my mission and I got to experience that; the Spirit works miracles. The members are also amazing, super active in missionary work. I met the Bishop and the Ward Mission leader on my first night there. Bishop Hadley and Brother Seba. Brother Seba is SO cool and is wife is from New Zealand. LOVE HER ACCENT! They are awesome. Also I've been to a couple of members homes for dinner, it's so weird to be on the other side of those things but I love it. On Sunday night Sister Stewart and I actually got a rose from a little boy named Rex who is 4, he is so cute! First rose I've ever gotten from a non relative! haha He also cleared our dishes for us, so sweet. 
I'm living with members in our ward, the Mahaffeys, they are Grandparents. Super sweet and just recently got married, both of their first spouses are deceased. They are sweet and of course they have a cat. Dang it, I thought I wouldn't have to deal with those things. His name is Tippy and Tippy likes my bed, my books and me. And being a missionary and he is not my cat, so I can't really push him around like I could Sam and Sniper. Who knows maybe by the end of my mission cats will grow on me. (Probably not) 
SO the mission life is great, I know I haven't even touched on everything I've done but I don't know how to, I wrote everything I wanted to write on a slip on paper, but I can't find that paper, so hopefully next time I will remember it! 
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you guys, I miss you but I know 18 months are gonna go by so fast. Keep sending me letters! I know one day I'll really need the encouragement!!!

I love you all! Keep Pressing Forward

Sister Whitcomb