Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Not gonna lie. I was like, "really?"

Isn't life just awesome? God is soo good and I love him! This week has been super fun, full of laughter, the spirit, miracles, and people I have grown to love! YSA IS FUNNNNN!!!!! I love the branch I serve in, I love my companion. The weather is cooling down which I am sooo grateful for! I miss Fall but I love San Diego, wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
So to start off the week we went on exchanges with our Sister Training leaders.... SISTER STEWART IS ONE OF MY SISTER TRAINING LEADERS!

It's so fun to see her, I miss her and she is killing it in Poway! And her companion is SISTER STARR!!! SISTER CARLSON'S TRAINER!!! I got to go on exchanges with Sister Starr, she's the coolest! I love her and she kept me laughing!
She would always say "oopsy poopsy" and it cracked me up!!! We had several appointments. Two of them fell through, but two of them didn't! Yay! So for the longest time I've never quoted the first vision in a lesson. At the beginning of my mission I didn't fully know it, and then we just used the Joseph Smith video. I did memorize it in my second transfer but never got the chance to say it in a lesson. Well that happened on Wednesday. We were teaching a new member lesson for a recent convert who moved from Vegas. And man, when I said Joseph Smith's words of his experience, INSTANT spirit. You should try it some time--of course in the right atmosphere---but they are POWERFUL!!! I got to use it again in a lesson yesterday. I LOVE SAYING IT!!! Because I love feeling the spirit. :)
So exchanges were fun, just trying random people, Sister Starr giving me killer advice since she works in a YSA too. I now fully embrace the YSA life, only as a missionary though, I appreciate the lessons the Lord is allowing me to learn.
Thursday was interesting, full of weekly planning and surprise lessons. And what I mean by that is a former investigator generally calls us frequently asking for rides, to which it's hard to provide because it's very often and our poor branch has jobs and school. So we do the best we can. We can always get him a ride to church though! ;) Anyway, he called us and it started to turn into a doctrinal discussion. He brought up points that weren't necessarily important, he was just trying to argue. But you know what shut it down? Testimony. My testimony. They are so powerful, no one can deny it and they always bring the spirit. We then taught a lesson with him that night, talking about baptism.
We also did the PQ service again with the fancy farmers hats. Didn't get a picture. I will someday! They are legit hats.
And throughout the day it can be easy to get bored, so Sister Chan is good at finding ways to entertain us. One is to ask a question and have the Book of Mormon answer it. We ask the question, then the person flips to a random page, says left or right, then the person who asks the questions picks left or right, for left or right page. Then they pick L or R again for the column. Then the person with the scriptures looks at the verses in the column, says what the verses are and the person picks a verse. Sounds complicated but I promise it's not. It brings quite a few laughs and some good insights from our loving Heavenly Father. :)
Recently someone from the missionary department came and instructed our zone and district leaders and the sister training leaders. The other missionaries who did not attend then got the counsel during district meeting. Man, it was good counsel! All I can really sum it up in is specific prayers lead to specific answers from our Heavenly Father. Of course all according to His will and not any greedy or selfish prayers. But for example some missionaries were challenged to do this, specifically finding investigators. They prayed that they would find a family of five with a car and a job. And guess what, they did that day. So cool! But anything is possible through our faith and the Lord's power.
So on Saturday right after district meeting, Sister Chan and I tried it out. We had no scheduled appointments. So we said a prayer, asking where He wants us to go to find a YSA. Sister Chan got an impression to go to our branch mission leader's street. So we did. We started walking, talked to a family, not interested. Then right after there was a guy walking. We stopped him, started talking. And like one minute into our discussion he said "This is exactly what I needed." I WAS LIKE OH MY GOSH THIS WORKS!!!!"
Specific prayers people: we now have a lesson with him tonight. I'm SUPER PUMPED!!!!!!!!! I can't wait! Also Sister Chan got another impression, on Sunday to go to our branch mission leader's house again, specifically at 7:30 and we went, on time (can't be late for the Lord). We were walking around, nothing. We decided to stop and say a prayer, asking for guidance. I got the impression to turn around. I did, and saw a big (looked empty) house. And then Sister Chan told me she thought of some numbers, 8,1,1,4. And the house I was looking at was #11824. I just instantly thought "Okay, there is no way we are not knocking on this door!" So off we went! Knocked, no answer, so we decided to use members! Super key in missionary work. We walked over to our branch leader's house and told him our experience. We must have sounded crazy but we asked who lived there. He said it was an old lady with a son. Okay. We encouraged him to share the gospel with them. He said he would see what he could do. Then Sister Chan felt prompted to leave a note, explaining that we felt prompted to stop by, and if they needed any help to call us.
Now fast forward to the next day, Sister Chan got another impression to go over there, at 4:30.
Not gonna lie. I was like, "really?"
The same street, three days in a row?
But okay, off we went. Now as I type this out it makes me feel like Laman and Lemuel going to get the brass plates. Thank goodness repentance is possible! Anyway, we go over there, nothing. We say a prayer again. All of a sudden I look at the house we left a note at and someone is watering their bushes. We walked over to a Philippine old lady. Super sweet. We talked to her but we don't think she understood what we were saying. She just kept saying "In the Philippines I have an Aunt. She's an old maid, and when you go over her house you can't sit down, you go to church." She said the same thing like five times or more! I was like Okay, we will send over the Tagalog elders. Wonder why the Lord wanted us there. Hopefully someday I'll figure it out.
Also, benefit of being a missionary, you get free frozen yogurt if you go to Golden Spoon! (Owned by a member.) You just walk in, flash the badge, no question. ;) God is good.
Sister Chan has taught me to never go to a meeting without a question you can receive revelation for. So this week to Sacrament Meeting I brought "How has the atonement affected me everyday of my life?"
It has stumped me for a while. I was just looking for such a specific answer with each of my experiences of life. But then during sacrament meeting it hit me: Jesus Christ's atonement makes me who I am! I'm happy all the time because of the atonement. Truly. I don't think I'll be able to explain it more than that. But it was a great sacrament meeting because of that.
We met with Caleb this week. Baptismal date doesn't look like it will hold. That's okay! Never give up!
And we painted pumpkins last night at FHE! Being a missionary, I made a missionary pumpkin! And yes, there were investigators there. ;)
I truly love this mission, I love the people, the members, the missionaries, my mission president and his family and more important, I have such a close relationship with my Savior and Heavenly Father, that alone just makes my mission!
I love you all!
Keep being awesome and sending me stories about YOU!
Pictures are also nice. :)
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Positive, Persistent and Patient in Penasquitos

Hello Loved Ones!!!!!!!
Boy, things are picking up more in PQ and I feel like I have more things to write about! I'll just say right off the bat that there is probably no way I'll be able to see Elder Schenewark on Halloween if he comes to the San Diego temple.  Major holidays are generally nights we go in early for safety reasons. While he's at the temple I'll either be working or in our apartment. If he's coming to San Diego that's sooooo cool!!!! It's the best place ever!!!!!!!
This past week has been pretty eventful, for which I am eternally grateful.
On Wednesday morning Sister Chan and I were trying to find some referrals, and just talking to people on the street. We literally talk to everyone, no matter how awkward it can be. So this guy was walking by, pretty fast, and we asked if we could share a card with him. His response was "If you can keep up with me." Okay--challenge accepted. So we speed walked up this hill, keeping up with him, all while sharing our testimonies of the gospel and Jesus Christ. We even asked him if he'd ever consider becoming a member of the church. He declined and did not know anyone who could use the message. But it was fun to show our efforts and how much we love this work! I can only imagine what people thought as they were driving by in their cars... "Who are these girls dressed up and speed walking with someone who clearly doesn't want to talk to them?" Yep, that's us!
This week we taught the Chinese class again! It was SOOOO much fun! This time Sister Chan really took over and had us split into groups, the Elders were there as well and each of us took three or four Chinese adults and helped them learn to pronounce English words.
It was so fun! I got to help three sweet old ladies. Some are sooo good at speaking English, others not so much. It was so much fun to work with them. They kept saying thank you to me, over and over again. These people are heaven sent. I feel so lucky to be able to help them! Can't wait for next week!
That same day I taught a lesson I thought I would never teach--the importance of dating and marriage. Sister Chan said she has taught quite a few of those lessons since being in PQ. Oh boy! It went well, and definitely was directed by the spirit. We've also taught quite a few family history lessons... like really getting into it, especially with less actives and recent converts. Every lesson we finished you could see a light in their eyes and a desire to know more about their relatives. I even got excited! SO DO FAMILY HISTORY, YOUR RELATIVES ARE AWESSSOOOMMEEEEE!!! And watch the video "Family History: What I Found." It's legit.
This past Friday we also had interviews with our mission president, President Schmitt. He's an inspired man and left me with so many thoughts and so many new ways to help myself, my companion and this small YSA branch. The lessons I got out of my interview were:
Be positive.
Be persistent.
Be patient.
These are three things I struggle with, but I am definitely improving! I for sure needed that interview with him. It helped me so much and I will forever be grateful to him for it. Also to Sister Schmitt, who I can actually hug and I love doing that! She sat down with Sister Chan and I and we went over who we are teaching, what they are struggling with, and she gave us different ideas on how to help them progress towards baptism. She's a genius! I know now to see if any YSA members are dating non members, to teach the Restoration right away, The restoration is a powerful lesson, I suggest everyone request the missionaries to teach it to them, especially if you haven't heard it in a while. Have them over for dinner. Then ask them to teach that specifically! We need to make sure we aren't being selfish and keeping this glorious message to ourselves. SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD! But of course follow the spirit, but act as well. Take a step in the dark, a leap of faith. I do it everyday and it's the best thing EVER!
In my interview President Schmitt also emphasized how this work can not go on without the members. It can't. Especially YSA. So I brought it up at branch council. We'll see what happens. Sometimes when I say things I'm like "Did I really just say that? Why was I so bold?"
I know the answer. The spirit told me to say it so I said it. So don't resist the spirit, act upon it.
Also we taught a really powerful dinner lesson with some members. It was about The Book of Mormon. We had them go around the table and bear their testimonies of The Book of Mormon. So powerful. Then we watched a video I'm pretty sure I've referenced before in my letters, "Testimony of The Book of Mormon."  So good. Then we said a prayer and asked who could use this book. They got a name--a less active girl who is in a family ward, but is supposed to be in the YSA branch. We will find her and rescue her! I'm so excited!!!!!!
Also we again experienced the importance of talking to everyone. We were trying to find a less active late at night; to invite him to various activities and trying to meet with him. No luck. The complex was gated. But we were walking by the parking lot and saw a woman with a baby and some groceries. We walked over and asked her if she needed any help. She then asked us if we were Sisters. It turns out she is a member! And she gave us the code to get into the apartment complex! And she told us she's doing missionary work with her neighbor! So we told the elders, since that's their area. SO COOL! Gated communities are truly never gated. You just have to wait around enough to let the Lord help you.
Last Saturday some Elders in the zone had a baptism so we decided to bring Caleb to show him what it is like. After the baptism we were asking how he was feeling. He then proceeded to tell us that he had a dream that President Monson baptized him! Alright!!!! Sweet!!! So after the baptism we had a lesson with him and set him with a baptismal date. Legit. On my mommy's birthday, November 7th! Hopefully it will happen. I know through Christ anything is possible.
On Friday we had a moment while exercising. We were walking through a park next to our apartment which is next to a college campus. We turned the corner and all of a sudden we saw this big guy laying on the sidewalk. I thought he was not alive. Scared me. But then all of a sudden we see his big belly moving up and down and then we heard the snoring. Nice. As we passed by he reeked of alcohol. Oh college.
And since it appears we love to run after people, on Saturday we were in another complex trying to contact potential investigators. No luck. All of a sudden Sister Chan spots a young woman dragging a big hamper of laundry. We ran over to help her, and then end of the story is that we ended up teaching her and adding her as an investigator! We learned that when you show the Lord you're willing to run to people, he will prepare them to hear the gospel!!! It's awesome!!!
We had a Relief Society get together that same night. We were asked to teach a small spiritual thought. We killed it! We talked about the blessings we have through prophets and service. We showed them the video "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today." The spirit was so strong, and after the video our Relief Society President interrupted us to tell us that she had asked her less active brother's girlfriend to listen to the missionary lessons. SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!! I'm sooo pumped! And I'm so glad she told us in front of everyone, so everyone can see how easy it is and how much joy it can bring! I sure showed them it brought ME joy because I got SO excited!
Now the Sabbath Day: a day I love and a day I always desperately need. At the start of sacrament meeting there were literally only five people in the congregation, including us. Of course some people still came in late but I think we only had 20 total people in sacrament meeting. So sad! Especially since the talks were KILLER! One from a high councilman and the other from the Stake Young Men's President, and even the stake president was there! I sure hope to leave this branch a better place than I found it! But it definitely requires more than just me to help. We also taught the Relief Society Lesson. It was entitled "Feed My Sheep." Really fitting. We showed the video "Reach Out With Love." So good, you should all see it and then do what it shows! The lesson was so good. Everyone participated. The spirit rocks! Then that same night we got to attend the Mission President's fireside in EL CAJON!!! Oh my goodness, on the ride over I got SO excited as I started to see familiar land marks from my old area. Sister Carlson and I auditioned last week to perform a musical number there, the same one we did in the MTC, "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing." Sister Carlson KILLED it. She was even the last one to perform she was so good! It was fun to see the other missionaries I served with including SISTER WARDINSKY!!!!!!!!! It was so good to see her and get updates on my previous investigators! LOVE HER! Also I got to see members that I love from my previous area! Sister Krage, Sister Hixson, The Seileys, the Goodriches and Ivars Bezdechi. It was awesome! Spirit is always so strong and I love singing in a missionary choir!The best!!!!
Then yesterday a cool thing happened at 8:55 pm. Five minutes before curfew, we didn't want to waste those five minutes so we decided to walk around our complex. We saw this YSA guy sitting on a bench typing on his phone and listening to music. We went up and talked to him. And boy, were we meant to. He told us about his whole life story! Very sad. But awesome that we got to share this wonderful gospel with him! I truly felt at that moment that Christ knew EXACTLY what he was going through at that moment. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and Sister Chan was AWESOME and invited him to be baptized. He was clearly shocked by how bold she was, but he said he would eventually. LEGIT! God's preparing everyone. We just don't know who, so we have to talk to everyone! Give them all a chance! Ten chances if they need it!
I love you all. I know this letter is so long but so many things are happening and it's SO AWESOME! Never forget that I love each and every one of you. I root for you everyday! Keep being the best people EVER!
Much love,
Sister Whitcomb

P.S. Another of the many reasons I LOVE Sister Chan: She cooks for me!!
And I eat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ni hao!

a peek.
[editor's note: this makes us LAUGH!]
Hi family! I miss you sooo much! But I'm having the time of my life with Sister Chan!!! YSA is weird and awesome all at the same time! This past week has been pretttyyyy gooodddd. Now being in YSA, I can't say I have as many good stories as El Cajon, this area is kind of struggling. We dropped two of our investigators but that's okay because the Lord will prepare them even more for future missionaries! We added someone though; his name is Caleb; he actually met with missionaries in the past but they just stopped meeting with him. I don't know why, but I think he has a lot of potential and education. He has been coming to YSA activities faithfully for three years! Isn't that incredible!? More than any of our other members! He's the coolest and we had a lesson with him and he remembered A LOT! I have high hopes for him.
We stopped by a less active's home and met a sweet old lady. She's amazing! She's raising six of her grandchildren, can barely walk, drives them to all of their activities and gets up at 4:00 am to read scriptures. Devotion!! Reminds me of some people I know. :) When we left Sister Chan and I had a heart to heart. We got in the car and Sister Chan said "Why does life have to be so hard?" (In regards to the older lady) We talked about the parable of the unprofitable servant. Among other things, I love Sister Chan because she's so thoughtful and sweet.

Every week YSA has FHE and a sports night, and sports nights are not well attended. We just stop by to see if there are any non members or any of our investigators. Generally every time there is someone, even there are like only six people in all. Haha. Three on three dodge ball game anyone? I'm out! Haha it was fun though.
Also, since Sister Chan is so boss and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English, she was asked to come to a class that's teaching older Chinese folks to learn English. Sweetest group of people! Wrinkly old Asian people are so cute! They don't stop smiling!! Haha and it's fun to hear them learn English. They're all non members, so the Elders share a spiritual message at the beginning of the class. It's really nice. Just a great atmosphere! And I'm so lucky to be able to help every week!!!
We also did some service this past Friday, raking up leaves at a nice park. It's called Penasquitos Canyon, or PQ Canyon. Super fun BECAUSE we get to wear these legit Farmers Hats!!!!! I LOVE IT!!! It's fantastic!!! It was really hot so we got all sweaty and dirty and gross!! So before zone meeting during our lunch hour we went home to clean up. Sister Chan was in the shower. I was waiting to clean my feet off after she was done. But it was just too hot and I wanted to be ableto get back into my dress so I would be cooler. (Our apartment is SO hot--two fans don't always suffice when you have no AC but it's good for me.) Anyways, I decided to stretch my feet up into the sink and wash them with the sponge. I haven't told Sister Chan yet. Maybe this week. Haha
The Zone meeting was SUPER good. It was all about faith. I have learned I have a long ways to go when it comes to faith. But we did this really FUN activity in the hallway (F.A.I.T.H.) We split into two teams and we had four pieces of cardboard. The goal was to go a certain distance and beat the other team. We had to always be touching the cardboard squares or we'd lose. Some squares could only go backwards and some could only go forwards. It was interesting--especially being a Sister and not wanting to get anywhere near the Elders, never mind a tiny cardboard square. So that was interesting. No, no rules were broken, just a lot of laughs to be had. The rest of the meeting was fantastic. We went over the Faith to Reap talk by Elder Bednar. You all should read it! It's fantastic! Also the Mandarin Sisters came in and trained us on how to street contact Chinese people on the street. We got materials and everything! I'm pumped and ready to go! Nihao! (Sister Chan just laughs at me) :) Just one thing I learned is that faith can never be complete without Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Never.
PQ has been struggling just to find people to teach and talk to on the streets. But we tied it all back to faith: if we have faith in Christ that we will talk to ten people each day, we will. And right after that meeting, we talked to 13 people!! Then the next day we talked to 20!!!! But most days usually are like what the next day was like. We talked to zero people. But that's okay! Not everyday will we see a miracle. Being a missionary and staying positive is a miracle to me and I feel like I've been able to do that. Being happy is so much easier and better than talking myself into discouragement. I prefer it so much more.
Also, while I was having personal study I came across this scripture in The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 8:8. It says
"And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies."
So Lehi, a prophet, had a dream about a glorious tree that produced the most beautiful fruit, but before he got to the prize, he was in the dark for MANY hours. That was something I had never noticed before and was very comforting to me. Even a prophet has traveled in darkness! We all do! That's what faith is: a step in the dark. So that's what I'm striving to do in this area--to step in the dark. I have faith in Christ that if I do that I will see a light eventually.
Also, what I think is really cool, is every fast Sunday, which was last Sunday due to conference, our branch has a search and rescue. People from the branch meet together and we go to try and find people who we haven't seen in a while from the branch. It was awesome! Search and rescue for the win! One car came back FULL with non members and less actives! Legit!
It being fast Sunday, and my first time in the branch, I bore my testimony. I'm surprised at how much easier I've found it to bear my most personal thoughts and feelings, but I want to. I want people to know that I know that I have a Savior who loves me and I love him. And nothing will ever change that.
So life is pretty grand and today I auditioned to be in the next Mission President's Fireside in El Cajon with my MTC companion Sister Carlson!!!! Two things I love so dearly!!!! Hopefully we got in. We will know by tonight or tomorrow morning. I'm pumped.
Know that I love you all. I love being a missionary. I love PQ and I love Sister Chan!
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Penasquitos with Sister Chan

My Dearest Family and friends,
The day has finally arrived for me to tell you where the Lord has put me: I'm in Penasquitos, in the Black Mountain YSA Branch. Can you believe it? YSA??? I'm still slightly shocked. I never thought I would serve in a YSA. And I never thought I would have a companion from Hong Kong but here I am, fulfilling both those surprises. Sister Chan is my new companion!! And it's her last transfer!!! So sad. She's so funny and super cool! She's very quiet. But her English is pretty good. It's weird to have language study in the morning when I don't have to learn a language, so I just study the area.
With my new companion Sister Chan
We had to go shopping when we first got in the area, and Sister Chan tells me it's at this Asian Market, because it's the cheapest. Sweet. So we walk on... EVERYONE's ASIAN. So weird to just come from a place where everyone is Chaldean and now everyone is Asian.  How many countries are in San Diego? And I was in a district with the Arabic Elders but now I'm in a zone with Tagalog Elders. So cool! And now I've gone from living in a member's house where we have everything to living in an apartment where there is no cat (I guess a plus) and very quiet. But that's okay because I'm learning to love it! And of course I do love it! The water tastes a little funky but that's okay because members always offer us water and I always say yes! Gotta stay hydrated. ;)
My last area, El Cajon, was more like the countryside and now Penasquitos is more like the city. It's cooler, so that's nice to actually get weather I thought San Diego would be like. It also rained!!!! How grateful I was for rain! It actually felt like Fall, so that was legit!!
As for missionary work, it's going kind of slow. When I got to this area they had two investigators--not very solid. I still haven't met either of them. They don't answer their phone or their door. That could potentially be a problem. But just like I learned from Grampy, "This is Good!" And why is it good? Because I get to develop my finding skills as a missionary, and the Christlike attribute of patience. It's awesome!!!
I met the Branch Mission leader, it's weird to say branch instead of ward, but is soon will be a ward! Sister Chan and I can feel it! Anyway, I met him and it was weird for him not to be a Dad or Grandpa, but I guess I'll have to get used to it; don't know if I will. We cover the whole stake as YSA missionaries, so it's another big area to get to know in a transfer. Sweet! The sisters before me had been working with recent converts and a lot of less actives, because you can imagine at the age of YSAs, there are tons. But I love them all! I really feel like I've been sent here for these people and everyone I've met I have felt a connection with them. It's awesome!! As YSA sisters we show up to Family Home Evening and activities that happen weekly. On Wednesday they were supposed to have a Karaoke night, and I was supposed to meet everyone, but neither happened. About six people showed up and they just got frozen yogurt instead. We ran home for curfew.
The next day was weekly planning, but with that we were able to add someone!!!!!!!!!! Such a cool thing, doorstep lesson, simple yet powerful testimony, and BAM! The spirit enters. The Restoration rocks!!! His name is Brian, he's open to learning more but has some concerns. I just thought it was a miracle we found someone from ages 18-30 who is single and not a member and interested in the gospel enough to set a return appointment. So cool! YSA work is hard yet so worth it. They are so prepared. I just think about Taylor McDaniel and Arthur, technically YSA age and so prepared. So I pray to find those people in that specific age range everyday! And we met one of them Sunday night.
To start the story off, the sisters before me had received several referrals from a missionary who is serving out of the branch. He wanted us to try some of his friends. He thought it might be their time. But he does not know their addresses, so we are just going off of his descriptions; slightly difficult when the descriptions are: "Fourth or fifth house on this street, it has a big tree in the front yard."
Great, you just described half of the houses on the street, and which side of the street? I love guessing games! So we were walking and there was this guy working on his car in front of one of the prospective houses we were going to find. I asked him if he was this person, and he wasn't. But Sister Chan just whipped out the Restoration pamphlet and off we went teaching him a simple yet powerful lesson on the street. Perfect timing on the Lord's part, because he said he's at a low in his life. Well boy, do we have a message that can get him right back up! He loved a lot of it, didn't believe one part, but I'm not too concerned. The truth gets you one way or another! We weren't able to set up a return appointment, but we were able to leave him with a copy of The Book of Mormon and challenged him to read and pray. I love bearing my testimony about The Book of Mormon. I try to do it as much as possible. The spirit is always present when I do. It definitely was there that night when we were talking to this guy. We got his phone number and address and we look forward to following up with him! :)
Continuing on from Thursday night, I met the Branch President, President Fisler. He's a sweet man and really cares about missionary work. I love people like that!!!! There are a ton of new move ins he gave us to check out so I'm excited for that!
Now Friday means district meeting! Once again we are the only Sisters--not just in the district but in the zone as well. Anytime I see sisters, which is not often, I get so excited! I LOVE SISTERS!!! Anyway, Elder Fiso is back in my district and is my zone leader again. He's the Hawaiian, and is a great Elder. Elder Augusto also followed me from El Cajon to Penasquitos. It was nice to have familiar faces. Elder Clark is my new district leader and he did a fun lesson on The Importance of The Book of Mormon. We played a fun jeopardy game which involved dancing and singing to "Do as I'm doing." (Thankfully I did not have to do that.) and acting out your favorite Book of Mormon story. (I did have to do that.) It was quite fun--it emphasized how I need to know The Book of Mormon better; need to be better at having a scripture for every point in our lessons. It's a goal I have.
This last weekend was possibly the best weekend ever!!! It went by too fast. General Conference just blew me out of the water. Three new Apostles, a powerful testimony from our prophet and talks that left me in tears. Just to name a few that I loved (and if you have not read or listened to them, you NEED to.) Larry R. Lawrence, Robert D. Hales, Jeffrey R. Holland and Russell M. Nelson. LOVED IT!!! I can't wait to reread them and reread them! Probably the one that stuck out most to me and I've applied the most since and during conference was Larry R. Lawrence, the "What Lack I Yet?" talk. So many inspired answers I have gotten already from my loving Heavenly Father. So Saturday and Sunday were pretty much filled with conference, trying people but getting no answer, and meeting less actives in the branch.
Something that is typical in YSA life as a missionary is that you don't get fed. The YSAs are poor just like us. The only way they'll feed us is if their parents do. One parent was kind enough to feed us on Sunday night. Doing member missionary lessons is awesome and this area has members full with so many ideas and ready to share the gospel! I'm pumped!!! Then Monday was super fun because it was so busy, and I just LOVE busy days. They put a smile on your face and a jump in your step. So we first stopped by a less active who is really struggling. We started to teach him and we discovered he hardly had a testimony, but he wanted it to be true. My heart hurt for him, but we told him what we knew, we told him we knew he was loved by his father in heaven and that he had someone who died and took his sins, just for him. And there are so many ways that we can receive comfort in our lives and two of those ways are by reading The Book of Mormon and getting on our knees and praying to our father in heaven. He wanted to do those two things badly. Sister Chan said she was shocked because he has never been willing to do those things before. I'm glad he is now. We also did some well needed service for a woman who is not a member, but has been an investigator, along with her YSA age daughter. It was nice to see that we could lift part of a burden.
We had a member lesson with a recently moved in branch member; an RM sister. She's so cool! It went great, commitments were left and missionary work will soon happen! Then we met with a less active, and we weren't really sure what to teach him but I felt prompted during studies to teach him fasting. One of the first things that came out of his mouth when we sat down was "I don't really understand fasting." Perfect.
We had dinner at our apartment and then went to a recent convert's house. She was baptized in June and reminds me so much of Taylor. She wants so badly to share the gospel with others, especially her family. Her mom is not a member and her brother is less active. Her prayer was so sweet and so sincere. She prayed for God to be able to help her do missionary work; especially with the ones she loves. I love the spirit.
We went to FHE again, and that was super weird. There was a non member there randomly. He is engaged to a member who lives in La Jolla who I guess used to be a part of this branch. She was about to give him a church tour and I asked if we could join. It was awesome. We explained what Sunday was like, where everyone goes, what we learn, what is awesome about this gospel! And we ended in the chapel. I'm in love with the chapel. You can always tell the difference when you walk in, especially when it's empty and quiet. I know he felt that difference. In fact he said he did. So we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he'd read it. He lives outside of our mission so we'd have to refer him. That's okay because I'll be happy to be a part of any growing process for anyone in the church. Member or not!
As you can tell I'm happy as always, busy as always and learning lots. I feel like this letter doesn't do anything justice in terms of all the experiences I've had. The only way you'll know what I'm feeling is if you do it too! Not necessarily go on a mission; that would be awesome, but just serve others, come closer to Christ. And I promise you will be the happiest you've ever been. I love you all! A LOT!!
Sister Whitcomb

Monday, October 5, 2015

Peace Out, Sister Wardinsky

 I'm going to miss her!
She goes back to Temple Square in November.
She's expecting a few visitors--go see her!