Tuesday, December 29, 2015

FEAR NOT: Christmas was my favorite!

Ah man.
Such a good week, full of the spirit, love, and Christ.
Couldn't get any better than that! :)
I truly do love being a missionary, I love working hard, I love having a purpose, especially a purpose in and for Christ!
The people I meet around me are amazing!
On Tuesday it was the day ALL the Christmas mail came in. I've never seen so much mail in my life! Christmas was real and alive for all the missionaries! We are well loved! And thank you so much for all the packages you sent me and the Christmas cards! It rule was the best Christmas ever. :)
I felt bad I didn't thank you as much as I should have over Skype so I'll do it now: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
On Wednesday we were able to go caroling with one of our ward mission leaders and his family. It was really fun to meet other members in the ward and make them smile. I love caroling! No matter how awkward it might be to just start singing once someone opens the door. Haha. We also went to the food bank again that same morning, the best thing ever! A great service and something I definitely want to do more often!!
We also had a super powerful lesson with Vanessa. We were able to bring a fellowshipper from the ward. During the lesson I just asked a question, apparently inspired, and Vanessa just started sobbing, and this wonderful lady in our ward scooted right over and held her while she cried and they conversed in Spanish. I can now thank all my Spanish teachers in High School! I was able to understand and discern her needs! MIRACLE!!
We also met with our 17 year old investigator Katie and had a really good lesson and she still committed to being baptized January 23rd! She has a hard family life so she's a trooper.
Christmas Eve was the most legit Christmas Eve I've ever had!
We got out of our apartments at 10:00 am and headed over to a YSA less active's house. And while we were walking there was a woman who said hello and started asking about our Christmas. She then led to telling us that her neighbor really needs us and she then led us into her house and showed us all the Christmas decorations. She then showed us her dancing reindeer and proceeded to dance and then shouted at us, "C'MON GIRLS!" So we did our awkward missionary boogie with this 60-something-year old woman. It was fun. She then gave us a huge bag of rice Krispy treats and proceeded to tell us that she knows Mormons, she has a dear friend and she just starts getting emotional. Talking about how she wants the happiness we have. So we told her about The Book of Mormon, and she took it. And meanwhile she keeps stroking my companion's hair because she thinks it's so beautiful! Which of course it is. And then she asks us to come back, we exchange numbers and we ask to say a prayer with her. And she accepted and then pulled us both in for a hug and I said the prayer in Sister Pilkington's hair, haha it was awesome!
Then we got out, and we were talking to her neighbor that was out; not the one she referred, and then all of a sudden we see this woman, Dawn, we had just talked to come around the corner. And she goes up to him and says "I have to tell you about these two girls." And she also stopped these other people from walking down the street so she could tell them too! I DIED!!! She went on to say how amazing we are and is very sweet, but then starts to get into an argument with her neighbor about how loud he is so we slipped away....
Haha LOVE those random people that we get to meet! :)
Especially on Christmas eve!
I also got to see Chelsea and Aaron! Those two are sweethearts. They are Taylor McDaniel's siblings. We tried to see Taylor since she's now in the YSA I'm serving in!!!!!!!! SO PUMPED!!! She wasn't home but it was so good to see them and we gave them the rice krispy treats Dawn gave to us. :)
I also got to meet a recent convert in the Grossmont Ward. His name is John and he is about 65 years old. He is so sweet and since we can't go into his trailer because of the rules of needing another woman present, we sit outside and he makes us some treats as we sit out there and teach him! He's so cute. And he gave us Christmas presents in this big Home Depot bucket! So cool! :) I admire him.
We also then caroled again at Starlight Circle and this time we put up a projector to show The Savior is Born video, and Sister Pilkington and I were able to get a referral for the Spanish missionaries! WOOOHOOO!!! It's all worth it. :)
And Christmas.
Possibly the best day on my mission thus far.
shout out to ep for the EPIC Christmas Banner! thanks ep :)
We got up nice and early because the mission brought the musical numbers from our mission Christmas devotional down to the Marine Corps Recruits. So spiritual. And slightly scary.
Apparently the recruits are pretty isolated and are not allowed to talk to any females, so not allowed near them at all. So we had to be blockaded by a wall of Elders as we were sitting. Good times. But a really spiritual experience, they are in such a similar experience we are in. Away from home, similar age, sacrifice. And so many of them were crying. And a side note, Sister Carlson sang a beautiful duet with another Sister and I just want to be Ursula and steal her voice! SO GORGEOUS!
basking in the radiance of Sister Carlson
And of course I was able to play piano as well for a group of sisters so that was fun. :)
Also, Sister Stewart, my beloved trainer, was asked to be the narrator, perfect Sister for the job! And I'm glad they asked her because it gave me an excuse to give her a hug! I LOVE HER!!!
Sister Stewart
She's leaving soon which makes me sad...... So I'm gonna make these days count with her!
President Schmitt got up to address the Marines and talked about Fearing Not! How the shepherds were told to fear not as they were watching over their flocks and if they follow Jesus Christ they should FEAR NOT! And being Marines they are pretty loud when they repeat things, and President Schmitt had them repeat "Fear Not" back to him; let's say it put a little fear in me! But so motivating. :)
And President Schmitt also invited all of them to seek the missionaries if they hadn't already and be baptized! So cool. After the program it was amazing to see all the blessings being given. Whether of healing or of comfort. Truly inspiring. Since the marines are on a strict schedule they just went three or four right there, off to the side. So cool to see God at work. And the Assistants work with the marines there an it seems to be going pretty well! It was cool to see all the marines with a Book of Mormon. That was probably the highlight besides SKYPING WITH MY FAMILY!!!!!
Oh my gosh that was so cool to see all of your faces and sorry I'm such a baby, crying has become a thing for me. But don't worry, it's not out of sadness it's out of joy! BECAUSE I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!! :) :)
It went by way too fast and it was so hard to hang up. I feel like Mason was trying to say something as I was hanging up and I feel so bad! I might have cried because of it. BUT I LOVE YOU MASON! I can't believe you're almost as tall as me!... Ahhhh, skyping was the coolest!
We were also able to teach our investigator Anthony who got baptized on SATURDAY!!!
Anthony's baptism
All the sisters who taught him plus his girlfriend
That was way cool, I was able to play the piano and teach the restoration with my companion while they were changing. That message is always so strong. I love it! If you haven't heard it in a while have the missionaries come teach you it! And then kneel with them and pray to see who needs this message! It works. :)
We then caroled as a district, and our district is made up of Spanish missionaries (except us) so it was fun to carol in Spanish for part of it. We just went around to investigators and less actives in our different areas. The best way to end the night!
our district
Saturday was the baptism. It was awesome. We might have filled the font with luke-warm water which then became cold, but it's okay! Anthony's a member now!!!!!!! He's so cool. So faithful and we were able to teach him last night. We taught him the plan of salvation and he had a notebook and pen so he could take notes! HE'S SOOO COOL!!! :)
Also our investigator Julio showed up to the baptism. We were able to teach him afterwards the plan of salvation with two recent converts there as well. They were awesome at teaching and I was so impressed! This church rocks! He is very quiet and very observant. Opening up slowly but surely. He lives in Chula Vista so we will have to pass him off to other sisters. But that's okay because he will be a member of the church, I just know it! :)
We then had lunch with some members and were able to find a less active in their house we had no idea was there! And he came to church on Sunday! Win! The Lord is good. Then Sunday was super fun with going to two different sacrament meetings and the YSA had me speak, just bearing my testimony . I talked about how we don't need to fear with the Lord on our side. Quoted Isaiah 41:10, look it up, it's a good one!
On Sunday afternoon we were able to add an investigator! In the past the sisters had street contacted this boy who referred them to his dad (who is a member but hasn't been to church in a while). So they went and taught him and he is so cool! So ready, just needed some motivation! He said he wanted his daughters to learn so we were able to go back and teach Julie and we invited her to be baptized and she said she would be! Date to be determined. The Lord is amazing! And nothing is by coincidence!
Monday was FUNday with Anthony's lesson and rain! Our prayers have been answered! It's awesome to see it raining! God is good!
after our morning run in the rain
And our Bishop gave us a big list of members who he hasn't seen in a while and we were able to teach a couple of them yesterday and set appointments with a lot as well! God is good! And I love this area! We also walked out of one of the houses with a wooden toy turtle. It's legitimate. It's head moves. :)  And it's homemade. He and dad would be best friends. :)  And being on a mission and seeing people's circumstances and how much can go wrong in their life truly makes me grateful for mine! And for this gospel. I've never been so happy than on my mission and I've never been so happy to be a member of this church. The Lord blesses me too much! :)
And I hope he's blessing all of you and you can see his hand in your life!
Thanks for all you do and once again thanks for making this Christmas for me the best one yet!
And don't worry, I'm still cheering for you!
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'Tis the Season for a NEW COMPANION!!!!!!

I love you all sooo much! And I'm so excited for Christmas! There is so much excitement! So let me play it out for you because I know you are all curious. Sooo my wonderful trio who I miss very much, we drove to transfer meeting Wednesday morning. They had asked me to play piano so I played prelude, the hymns, and how transfer meeting goes is, you sing, you pray, and then they announce who will give a S.T.E.P.P. Talk. (Which is a talk that has a scripture, a testimony, a personal experience, a promise and something from Preach My Gospel.) Each month the topics change and at any mission meeting you could be called to give it.
So as I was walking down from the podium they were announcing who would give testimonies on our purpose; usually two people do. And then they announce two people who will give talks on our S.T.E.P.P. topic. And what do you know: they say MY name last for the STEPP talk. I seem to always be picked. This month the topic is on the Atonement, which has applied a lot in my life recently. So it was a very emotional talk for me; I'm definitely inheriting Mom's genes! (Thanks Mom!)  :) But I felt good about it. Then transfers started and all of a sudden I hear my name to be companions with SISTER PILKINGTON!!!!!!!!!! She was one of my past Sister Training Leaders, and GUESS WHAT?!?! I'M A SISTER TRAINING LEADER WITH HER!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! So weird, and a little scary.
So what that is, is we are over five companionships of English speaking sisters in the mission. We go on exchanges with them, we help them improve and just be the best missionaries we can be! I'm pretty excited. We also go to a lot of meetings with President now and all the Zone Leaders, so that will be weird!!! But I'm so excited and honored to have this opportunity. AND GUESS WHAT?!?!? There are two sets of Sister Training Leaders--the ones that used to be over me, which includes my trainer Sister Stewart. I love her!!! And she was getting a new companion as well, and guess who it is???? SISTER CARLSON!!!!!!! I FREAKED out!!! When President Schmitt announced it I was so excited that my MTC companion will be with my trainer!! Crazy stuff. So we will get to see each other a lot at different meetings and such! So excited! Transfers were SO good. And my international trio is still in a trio, with a new Sister, Sister Guest! They should be GREAT together!
BUT... let me tell you about Sister Pilkington! SHE'S SO FUNNY!!! She's my first companion from Utah, and guess what part? AMERICAN FORK!!! How crazy!! AND SHE KNOWS THE PARSONS!!! AHHH!!! She's in their stake. But she only has two transfers left, so I might be her last companion......Sad. But she's SO cool! She has a twin brother! And she's 20 years old! Pretty much the best.
And she had a baptism on the next day we were companions! Pretty sweet! I got to teach him the day we became companions and guess how they found him? So he had read the script for The Book of Mormon musical and listened to the album, and was like, "I want one of these Book of Mormons." But he didn't want to pay for it so he ordered it for free through us! And my companions and her companions went over and asked if they could teach him about it and he said yes! And now he's a member of the church. Pretty cool. This area is on fire! Sister Pilkington also makes me laugh. A LOT. She reminds me a lot of my sisters, same humor, but not as cruel, because she's a missionary. :)
There is also an investigator getting baptized THIS Saturday! The day after Christmas! :) I've been able to teach him twice. His name is Anthony. And he is so prepared! Ready to make this lifelong commitment! He had his baptismal interview yesterday and he passed! YIPPEEEE!!! Also we got to teach an older returning less active. He's 80 years old and he was sustained to receive the priesthood on Sunday. So sweet. The Lord never gives up, and it is never too late! I love this church. :)
Oh, by the way, I am in Santee! It's right next to El Cajon!!!!
We double cover a family ward, Grossmont, and a YSA branch! It seems I cannot escape YSA, which is not a bad thing because I LOVE YSA!!! And I love double covering! This will be SO fun!!! :)
Jake's baptism was GREAT! They had me play piano, and quite a few people showed up considering it was a 10:00 am Thursday baptismal service! I was quite impressed.
Jake's baptism
But Jake is YSA, so I guess YSAs are more flexible. :) And it's been quite chilly which is rather weird. We also tried tracking people who had nativities in front of their houses that day--SUPER nice, but SUPER not interested. It was good times. Sister P literally ran to someone across the road, down the hill, it was quite funny, but we did get to show him A Savior is Born! Unfortunately he's not interested. Ah shucks.
Then Friday morning we got to go to a food bank! We just helped package things up for people. We also met this old woman who is from Jerusalem. Apparently she has met with missionaries before! Her name is Lydia and she really wants us to come over. She kept saying how much she loved us! She's so sweet! One time she even came up behind Sister P and just gave her a big hug. It was so cute and so funny! :) But it felt good to serve those people, and all the volunteers know who we are! It's awesome. We then had zone meeting. It went well. There were donuts so that always makes for a great meeting! Also, people in San Diego DECK OUT in Christmas decorations. It's pretty great. There's this one street where when you move on it, it's in the contract that you have to DECK OUT at Christmas. People have themes to these houses; the nutcracker, monsters inc, beauty and the beast, Peter Pan, it's legit!
We have two members that live on that road so our zone just stood in front of their house and sang Christmas hymns. We sounded good! Harmonies and everything! And some of the missionaries were giving out A Savior is Born cards to EVERYONE!!! It was awesome. They even gave out a couple of Book of Mormons. And people stopped and listened to us, recorded us, and one little girl even sang Silent Night with us! So cute! But THOUSANDS of people walk through, it's that legit! And we got to do it two nights in a row.
the zone caroling
Saturday morning we had a Grossmont Christmas party, for the family ward. We had breakfast and a bunch of service projects, in the church and out in the community. We got to help wrap gifts for a family in need. SO FUN! And I love being around little kids again. Perk of being in Santee we are SURROUNDED by Senior Missionary couples. One lives below us. Mom, you actually got an email from the one that lives below us. They are the Tanners and they had us over for lunch on Saturday.
Lunch at the Tanners
So sweet! And so good, I felt so healthy! Eating my carrots and grapes. :) Sister Tanner was also so sweet and made us Christmas pillow cases! She's the best! And we also have another Senior couple in the YSA branch who lives in our apartment complex, the Monks! They are the best! We also got to meet with another investigator Eddie, a YSA, and the Monks came! Super cool lesson about real intent in the Book of Mormon. He has a baptismal date for January 2nd! SO PUMPED! Sunday was great, no sleeping in because Grossmont ward council is at 7:30am!!! Good times. So we both went to Sacrament meeting for Grossmont at 9:00 am. Sister P sneaked out while I went on splits with a member. Sister P went to YSA Branch council and then we went to Sunday School and Relief Society with our investigator Vanessa! She's Mexican but looks super American. Really confusing. And GUESS WHAT! One of my favorite Mormon Messages is called Expressions of Love. Look it up. It's the one with a bunch of couples and the purple couple that talks about how they have a lot of fun together and how it only makes sense that they would be together forever.... THEY ARE IN MY WARD!!! It's crazy. They are sort of like celebrities, and the sister taught the Relief Society lesson so that was fun. :)
I then sneaked into the end of Santee YSA Sacrament meeting. And then had two more hours of church! Woohoo! And guess what? A guy Sister P had street contacted in the past and invited to church actually CAME! His name is Julio, but again super American, weird. But awesome! We taught him after church and added him! He then came to Family Home Evening the next day! So cool. He's quiet but awesome! We also saw a 17 year old investigator Sunday and Monday night. She lives in a hard home, she also lives with a recent convert; he's nine, so cute! And one of the lessons he was the member present! He was telling her about his baptism and how much he loved it! :)
She wants to be baptized on January 23rd! It's legit! So pumped for all these people to come closer to Christ!
Then yesterday was really fun because we had a Mission Christmas Devotional. It's where the whole mission gathers together. We enjoyed special musical numbers, remarks from our mission president and his wife, they fed us brunch, gave us Christmas cards, and we got to see old friends and companions! That was one of my favorite parts. :)
two of the original trio
In the Christmas program I got to play the piano. It was fun and I love using my talent! Hard to find time to practice but worth it! Did you know this mission has a facebook page? Well check it out because President Schmitt took a panorama of us. I'm at the very end near the piano. And also he recorded us singing the mission song, it's legit! And I'm playing the piano! Ignore all the mistakes..... I'll work on it. :)
We then also got to see a slideshow of all the pictures of the baptisms that happened in 2015, and the people that went to the Temple for the first time! So it was fun to see Taylor, Arthur and Eli up there!  :)
I love Christmas.
I love my Savior.
I'm so happy I get to give Him my heart this year, and that I can devote all my time and attention to this work. That's what I'm giving him this year. What are you giving him?
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! And I hope you have the BEST Christmas EVER!
Sister Whitcomb
All of Sister P's (in the middle in red blouse) companions that are still in the mission

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bitter Sweet

This Christmas time has brought many joyous moments, many moments of growth, and it has been surprising! So as many of you know, tomorrow is transfer day.... AND I AM BEING TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!!  :( :( :(  I'm sad.
Missionaries eat FREE at the Golden Spoon
I love my fantastic trio! I love this YSA! I love my investigators! Some like Tony who I've been with from the beginning. It has definitely been too short. Only three months!!! I feel like I'm just getting this area; just getting it down. But that's when the Lord moves you. I'm excited to see who my new companion will be, who knows; I might be in another trio! But let's focus on how fun this week was!!
On P-Day last Tuesday we got to play laser tag in the church gym with some obstacles, and that was sooo fun and soo intense! And something CRAZY happened Tuesday night! We got a phone call from a former investigator, nothing out of the ordinary because he usually asks for rides. What was strange was that he wanted to meet with us ASAP to go talk about "holy things" as he put it. So we did.
We were able to meet that night, and he has changed since I've seen him last. So we were able to invite him to baptism and shoot for a date! He still has some obstacles so I'm not sure how it will go.... BUT BEANS IS GETTING BAPTIZED FOR SURE!!!! Yes, his name is Beans. Yes he's pretty cool. We also met with Tony. Tony, Tony. That guy is chugging along and I'm super proud of him. Sad that I don't get to see him grow anymore but I'm really excited for him!!!!
Wednesday we met with Beans again. Cool progression was seen and made. I'm really excited for this area!!! And I know my two companions will work their hardest while they are here!!! Christmas miracles here we come!!!! We also met with Caleb. We're probably going to drop him soon. Not keeping commitments. And then the rest of our appointments fell through, but that's okay! I LOVE THIS AREA!!!!
Thursday was weekly planning, but weekly planning got interrupted because we had like three appointments! IT WAS AWESOME!! Because we have been trying to get a hold of these people forever!!! IT WAS AWESOME!! To hear all of their stories, such a privilege! We then of course weekly planned!  :)
AND FRIDAY WAS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the the first day of our mission tour!!!! We had the privilege of being trained by Elder Whitney L. Clayton and his wife Sister Kathy Clayton. We had a Sister Meeting with all the Sisters and Sister Clayton. The Assistants asked me if I could play the piano for all the meetings. So I stood up when she walked in. She wanted to hug all the Sisters, so she did. And as she got to the end, she forgot me because I was at the piano. Haha but then the Sisters all told her so she gave me an extra long hug and told me to thank my mom for making me practice the piano. SO THANKS MOM!!!!
The meetings were so good, I can't even describe. After the Sister meeting, and no, it was not about marriage, we all gathered together to be taught by both Elder and Sister Clayton. And we all stood up when the Claytons walked into the room. And I played the piano while everyone shook his hand but thankfully he and his wife came up on the stage and shook my hand. Sister Clayton gave me another hug, and we chatted for a bit! IT WAS SOO COOL!!!
I learned so much, we talked about the importance of our name tags, language, companionship study, weekly planning, and role play. There were even a couple of companionships that had to role play in front of everyone. I was sweating bullets. Haha.
Elder Clayton said we are a FANTASTIC mission. And he told us to write that in our letters.  :)
The mission tour happened both on Friday and Saturday. And we actually added someone right before the mission tour on Saturday! Beast mode! 15 minute restoration in someone's garage WITH a member! It was awesome.
Then we got a referral from some visitor center saying it was a YSA. We stopped by and it was not a YSA. He's 43. Hahaha it was funny, but we added him as an investigator for the Elders!! And then as we were walking back to our car, I felt a prompting to cross the street and then we found a new potential investigator! TENDER MERCIES!!!!
 Our District!!
Two of the Elders went home today....

Sunday, my last Sunday in the branch WAS WAY GOOD!!!! The talks in Sacrament were on point, I LOVED THEM!! Too bad there were no investigators in church that day... We tried, but they will come!! We then were able to teach the branch mission plan and then come to the Stake Christmas program, SO MANY NONMEMBERS!!! And one of our YSAs even brought a nonmember! He wasn't a YSA, so we had the Elders talk to him. It was great.  :)
And also during Sacrament Meeting and the stake Christmas program it was so funny to see the YSAs try and make moves on each other. I WAS DYING!!!!
Then Monday was also a great day. We taught three less active lessons and one lesson with Beans. He isn't quite ready for baptism but his heart is softening! And also it was a miracle we taught all those lessons. Inspiration by specific prayer!
I know I didn't write that many details in my letter today but just know that I love you all, I love this area, and I really love my international trio! And I love my new companion(s).
REMEMBER, I'm cheering for ya!
Sister Whitcomb
with two of my favorite members, Kimmee & Denise

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

All I want for Christmas... is to hear from YOU!

Getting a Christmas Card from YOU would make me
JUMP for JOY!!
(mission address in side bar --->)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

God is aware of me and loves me

My dearest family and friends,
What a week of ups and downs and all arounds.
But can I just say how grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ!
How grateful I am for my mission president, my family, my two wonderful sweet companions and everyone I have met in between!
This week has brought a lot of reflecting and testimony building experiences for me. But let me start at the beginning.
Guess what we did last p-day??
We went to Cabrillo National Park!!!
Also known as Sunset Cliffs!!!
I am so full of joy and love for being in a trio.
It was a great p-day. When we were driving home all of us were talking about how we need to bring our loved ones back!!! It's amazing!
While we were driving over there my Phillipina companion kept saying, "How can people not believe in God?"
How true! I mean just look at everything around you! God loves us! He's given us this beautiful earth!!! And for that I will be forever grateful.

Wednesday was full of service. We found out one of our investigators doesn't have permission to get baptized, we taught recent converts, less active members. It was an amazing day! Even though of our investigators, a couple actually, won't get baptized for a while I'm grateful to have the faith that they will! We missionaries love them too much to leave them alone! One of my lovely companions was also struggling adjusting and wasn't sleeping so she got a beautiful priesthood blessing by our Branch President. He is such a nice man, and he even wrote a book on the Atonement! It's on Amazon! Check it out! Dave P. Fisler! It's called "His Redeeming Power." I can't wait to read it when I'm able to!! But I love priesthood blessings as well, so powerful, God's love is real! And I'm so grateful to know worthy men who hold the priesthood.
Thursday, a day for sure that has changed my life. We started off with weekly planning, a dinner appointment with some burgers, teaching a wonderful girl of our branch and then Tony! (Tony's so cool!! He's trying so hard to change! It amazes me!) Along the way we got a call from President Schmitt, very unusual, and he set up a time to meet with one of our investigators and then he said he wanted me to call him when the day was over. So I did. When I first heard him tell me that I just had a gut instinct of what it would be; I think it was the spirit. So we got home, I sat down and I called him. And might I just say he is the nicest man ever! He has obtained so many characteristics of Jesus Christ, I will always look up to him and be grateful he is a part of my life! He asked me about my day, how our investigator is doing and then he told me that earlier in the day my beloved Grandfather had passed away. Of course I was very emotional, and he just talked to me. He read a letter that Mom wrote to me, touched me so much and I was so grateful for it. President Schmitt even told me when it was in all caps and with all exclamation points! That made me laugh. :)
And then he bore testimony to me about the plan of salvation, how we have cause to rejoice that a Savior is Born on this earth! I'm so grateful for how the news was delivered and how it was with such compassion and love. He then suggested I get a priesthood blessing to be able to help me. HE offered but them also suggested my district leader, Elder Clark, who just two days earlier lost his Grandpa as well. Right then it was confirmed to me that Elder Clark is my district leader for a very specific purpose and is it. Just more evidence to me that God is looking out for me and he loves me.
After the phone call the tears kept coming but so did my companions. They gave me space during the phone call but then swooped into my rescue soon after. It is also confirmed to me why I have two companions this transfer, and specifically these two. They are so loving, and they make me laugh! And Heavenly Father knew I would need it! And it's no coincidence that earlier that day for my weekly goal, I set a goal to be more positive throughout the week and smile more. I'm happy to report I've been able to do that. I'm also happy to report that I've been able to rely on the Lord a lot. I prayed a lot. I did cry, but something President Schmitt pointed out to me is that it's okay to cry because that shows how much you love him. I do love Bop. I loved how he also asked how my non existent boyfriend was, how he'd always sing "Here she comes, Miss America!!" as I walked into the room, I love how he makes those little side jokes and then always winks at you. Bop is one of a kind and I miss him dearly but I know he's close. And I'm so grateful for that!
The next day I just had a determination to work harder and it seemed like more people had a determination to reject us, but that's okay. Because I gave them a chance to hear this message and God will give them many more chances!
At the end of Friday I was able to ask Elder Clark to give me a blessing. He gave it to me Saturday night. One of the most spiritual experiences ever! Right before he gave me the blessing he shared a scripture with me, 3 John 1:4. It says,
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
And he said, "Your Grandpa loves you especially now, because you're walking in truth! And you're not just in a trio, you're in a quad. He's with you!"
Words I needed to hear and so appreciated. Then when he laid his hands on my head, instant warmth, instant feelings of the spirit and I knew Bop was there. I know he loves me and he will look after me for the rest of my mission. How grateful I am for the knowledge of this gospel!
Sunday was also a wonderful day, a cause to rejoice. We were able to fast for our baptismal goals before Christmas. I have full confidence and faith that if it is the Lord's will, the Lord will make it happen. I have full faith. And if it doesn't, that won't put a damper on anything, he's just trying my faith! But I know it will happen! Fast and testimony meeting was great and I had to get up and share my newly confirmed testimony of eternal families and how we have cause to rejoice in Jesus Christ! Something I couldn't pass up.
And our investigator Tony was at church and bore his testimony!!!!!!!! IT WAS SO AMAZING! I'm so PUMPED for him!!!!!!!!!!
We worked through the Christmas devotional because we knew if we are to reach our goal of five baptisms we need to grasp every minute and have no fear. We started watching the Christmas Devotional during our dinner hour. (Since we don't get too many meals and since we now have wonderful iPads to access it on!) we are blessed. And from what I heard of Sister Reeves talk, I knew it was for me! Another way God is showing he's aware of me and loves me!
Monday went by so fast! Full of lessons, full of laughs and family home evening at the end with the YSA! I'm so blessed and I have such cause to rejoice! I hope all of you find cause to rejoice as well!
I love you all!
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

a GREAT day to be a missionary

Life has been so good!!!!! Food is so good and so are the people in PQ! I love my trio as usual, they keep me laughing!!!!

Soooo time is crunched and I forgot to bring my journal to reference from for my letter... I'll try my best. :)
SO Wednesday we went to a class for missionaries, LDS Services, not for me but for one of my companions. It was awesome, and so cool to see how the church truly looks out for all their missionaries. I can see why it would be so helpful, I learned a few things myself as well!
We met with two of our investigators that day, Tony and Caleb. Good guys. Our miracles are starting to narrow out, we had to drop two of our investigators this week , Rodney and Alexis. :(
It was sad for me. But definitely necessary, they haven't been in contact with us for like three weeks. Nothing. Apparently the Lord wants us moving on to bigger and better things. I'M SO READY AND I'M SO PUMPED!! (btw my companions now say that ALL the time and they even told me they write it in their letters haha I love it!)
Speaking of Tony, we've seen him a lot this week, it's been so good! He has been improving so much and has opened up to us A LOT! He has told us how we met him at his most vulnerable moment, perfect timing. (you're inspired Sister Chan) :)
He came to church, had so many questions during second hour. He's on his way. Not sure how long it will be, but he's on his way.
Thursday, THANKSGIVING!!!!! No worries, we only had one dinner. And it was so awesome and so spiritual!!!!!! We had TurDuckEn! A chicken, in a duck, in a turkey!!!! So good--their family reminded me of mine! Crazy, fun and loud! They were even building a fire, couldn't handle that 60 degree weather! haha Sadly I'm becoming a wimp as well, becoming acclimated!!
We also had weekly planning on Thanksgiving so that took a good chunk of time. We also had an appointment with a less active, that was so nice! And we found out she didn't have a Thanksgiving dinner so we just gave her ours!! It felt good. :) We then drove around and handed out Happy Thanksgiving cards. It was a GREAT day to be a missionary.

On Friday we met with Tony again adn also our investigator Bharat. YSA are SO fun to work with but they tend to be a bit sassy. haha It's an adventure for sure! We've been teaching A LOT! Which I am SO grateful for, we generally just run around to try to find people to teach but the Lord has been blessing us and allowing us to find people at the right time!
On Saturday we were able to do service for Caleb's family, setting up Christmas decorations! PQ decks out!!! Even before Thanksgiving! My foreigner companions LOVE it!!!
Sunday again was the BEST! We taught third hour, about the new "A Savior is Born." The church even prepared a whole slideshow for the missionaries to show all their wards/branches. IT WAS SO FUN! I LOVE teaching, it's sooo fun!!! And we had three investigators come to church! THIS AREA IS BLOOMING! My first transfer here we had like one investigator, now we have FIVE!!!! And three of them came to church!!!
Tony was basically our week this week, we taught him everyday! He came to church and he came to family home evening!!!! This guy is ready! He's been through too much and I know a lot of it. My life is such a huge blessing. I can never complain! HEY AND GUESS WHAT?!!! This morning we went to rehearsal for the Christmas devotional, they are having me play piano. AND I GOT TO SEE SISTER CARLSON AND NOW I'M SITTING NEXT TO HER!!!!!!! She's the best! She's still in her first area!!!
CRAZINESS! No room to breathe as a missionary, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Sorry there aren't too many funny details! Next week for sure!! :)
I LOVE YOU ALL AND PLEASE ENJOY THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON!!! It's my favorite and it's gonna be ten times better as a MISSIONARY!!! Miracles here we come. :)
Sister Whitcomb