Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happiness in a human body

Fear Not!
Tuesday is here and it's letter time! :)
I hope you all had the BEST Easter ever and that it motivated you to stick by your Savior Jesus Christ for the rest of the year! I know it did for me, Sister Purcell and I were talking this morning about how we don't just want to study about Christ's life at Easter and Christmas, but we want to make it an everyday thing. And being on a mission it's easy to do that. It's after the mission I have to brace myself for. But don't worry I have plenty of time! :)
Tuesday night we were able to be with Maddie!! The coolest YSA EVER!!!
We love her and can't wait for her to go on a mission. :) We conquered Lakeside, even if it is sketchy in the dark! The gospel prevails!!!! :)
So this week, Wednesday. We went to the food bank to enjoy some of my favorite people ever! :) And in return they gave us a TON of fresh vegtables. Good thing Sister Purcell cooks and she's good at it, we enjoyed a lot of crock pot dishes, living vicariously through the senior missionaries. ;)
I've been eating healthy this week and of course it started since Sister Stew left, sorry Sis Stew. ;)
Then we had a scheduled appointment with a former investigator, Debbie. She and her sister sat in the lesson. Slightly awkward when the bickering started but we were able to bring the spirit! And the spirit had us talking about baptism and we ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation! Backwards! Starting with the kingdoms. It was awesome, her sister Tina said "It just makes sense. It's like I've heard it before."
Well, Tina, it's because you have. :)
SO WE ADDED HER AS AN INVESTIGATOR!!!!!! It was awesome, not date yet but hopefully this week! :)
They also gave us cupcakes, which may or may not have slid off the car dashboard...... Sorry Sister Purcell. ;)
And hooray for 15 minute dinners in the apartment! We've been doing that a lot because we've been go go GO! It's the best. :)
Then our YSA Elders Quorum President asked me to play the piano for him for Easter Sunday. It worked out because we were having a lesson with Netta anyway and she was practicing too! I love my piano skills, I truly can not say that enough! :)
We also taught a 10 year old the law of chastity. Head, shoulders, knees and toes has never come in so handy! Then we were able to teach the Nelsons who we are helping come back to church, the ones who just moved in. AND BROTHER NELSON WAS AT CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!!! He was so excited to shake our hands, it was awesome. :)
Then on Thursday we had weekly planning, classic I know. :)
AHHHHHH SHE'S GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! And Sis Stew and Sis Pilk are going to skype in!!! Ohhhh I'm so excited!!
Sister Stewart and her sisters and us with Vanessa!
She's so cute and she came to the General Women's broadcast and loved it and she came to church and stayed all three hours!! Oh I love her SO much! :)
After the general YW broadcast we sat at a table of YW from the Bostonia Ward. We had the funniest conversation. We asked how their elders were, and they responded "NOT cute." We told them, "Don't Worry, our purpose as missionaries is to specifically NOT look cute." ;)
We also had correlation with our YSA Branch Mission Leader, he's a crack up but also a spiritual giant. The quote from the night was, "We have to be cunning like a snake, but with our malice." Missionary work, gotta be smart and quick and loving! IT ROCKS!!!!
And Sister Purcell always has me laughing with her Australian words and her personality! Fun fact: all my companions have been older than me physically and mission-wise (they've been out longer than I have).
Then on Friday WAS JULIE'S BIRTHDAY!!!! She turned 16, and she had us over for a lesson! We got to have birthday cake with her too! I told her about our cake tradition, the first bite, they just laughed. :)
Julie's birthday
But it was really cool because not only was Doug and Julie there but so was her older sister who is not a member. She wasn't really engaged at the beginning of the lesson but Sister Purcell and I were praying really hard during the lesson to know how we could involve her. Let me just testify, praying works. And we definitely have a lot better relationship with her now which will hopefully help her go somewhere. But her family committed her to pray together! It was sweet and when Julie said the closing prayer she mentioned how she was grateful her sister was in the lesson and was learning what she did. OH I LOVE JULIE!!!! She's the greatest in the world!!! Such strong faith! :)
We also had district meeting, good times with a new district. We met with Netta again. HOPEFULLY SHE WILL BE ABLE TO GO TO THE TEMPLE SOON!!!!!!! :) I love the temple. :)
So I always title my journal entries every night, and Saturday's was "Happiness in a human body." I didn't know how else to explain it! I was just SO happy on Saturday! And funny note; for some reason I even introduced myself as Sister Pilkington.... Why you ask? I have no idea. I guess I miss her too much. :)
Another fun fact: Sister Pilkington trained Sister Purcell, and Sister Chan was also companions with Sister Purcell right before i was! CRAZY!!!!!!!! Anyway, Saturday. It was BEAUTIFUL!
I just love this weather, living in paradise! But it has made me a wimp, I can not lie about that! :)
One cool miracle was we were trying potentials in this apartment complex and one of the families let us in! The Tufts, his Dad is a member but none of them are! He has a cute little family, wife and two little boys. We showed them the Easter message, invited them to church and they said they could text us about a return appointment. WOOHOOOOOOOO. SUPER excited.
Then we got Gail, our investigator, to follow us to the church building for the General Women's broadcast!! Oh, that made me so happy because it was her first time in a church building, she met a lot of members, she felt the spirit and heard from our church leaders! SHE JUST LOVED IT!!! OHHHHHHHHHHHH
AND ALSO SISTER STEWART, NOW LEXI STEWART CAME TO THE BROADCAST TOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Her family wanted to come back for their spring break so here they are! It was soo awesome to see her, I miss her a lot. When she left it made me feel like my home left, little sad but I'm so happy for her! :) And don't worry, I'm still super happy on my mission too! :) And seeing her Mom and little sisters was the best! They are so cute! And I loved talking to the actual Mama Stew, she reminded me of my Mom. :) And her little sister Addy was even playing with my hair so that was cute. :)
Then Sunday. Wow. What a spiritual day! Sister Purcell and I were asked to bear our testimonies, which we did. I quoted John 15:13 which says:
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Boom. Power. Love. I love it. And I used it with the last verse of I feel my Savior's Love. I just love primary songs! They are so simple yet so powerful I'm so grateful I was raised with them! The third verse says:

I feel my Savior's love
And know that he will bless me
I offer him my heart;
My shepherd he will be.
He knows I will follow him
Give all my life to him
I feel my Savior's love
The love he freely gives me.

Boom. Power. Then I had the pleasure of accompanying Netta and Blake. Netta sang, "Blessed be His Name" by Jenny Phillips. Powerful words. And then Blake sang a rendition of "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." Spirit was strong and our investigator Stephanie was there so that was a plus! And as I was sitting in primary the words of another primary song came into my head:

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
I know who I am, I know God's plan,
I'll follow him in faith.
I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ,
I'll honor his name!
I'll do what is right,
I'll follow his light, his truth I will obtain!

I'm so proud to be a member of this church. I just am. And we were able to have a nice Easter dinner with a nice family and drop off some Easter cards.
Then Monday, oh Monday. Our car decided to be difficult and we had to take it in to Pepboys. They needed to keep it over night. For some reason I just have the worst luck with cars! I don't know why. Oh well. So we did a lot of walking, it felt good. And I was smiling all the day long. Good thing I have two legs that work and nice shoes that support my feet! (Thanks Mom :) )
We also had nice senior couples and other missionaries willing to help us get to appointments on time.
We did service for Sister Whitlock in her garden. Cutest woman ever!
Sister Whitlock had the coolest swing ever!
And we had the senior missionary luncheon, also best thing ever! We also taught Eddie and Jake. AND EDDIE GOT A CALLING TO BE A BRANCH MISSIONARY!!! WOOT WOOT!!!
We met with him and he was just on cloud nine, he said he was going to give us 110%! And apparently when he first accepted the calling he asked the counselor "So where am I going?" How great is that? Eddie had enough faith and he loved the gospel so much that he was willing to go anywhere! What a good guy. :)
Then we had power hour with a YSA Colin, always a good time. And then we walked and walked and walked and walked. Ran into some people we were definitely supposed to see, set a few return appointments and even ran into a former that disappeared off of the face of the planet Earth!
Good thing we didn't have a car that night. :)
God is good.
We also got to teach our 10 year old recent convert. It was a little hectic with three kids running around and trying to settle. But then I saw their dusty old piano and we decided to sing primary songs to them. Amazing how that calmed them down, we talked about the lyrics and by the time we were done they were asking for one more. It felt good to be able to bring the spirit into a hard home.
One of the greatest joys that I had that day. And also it was cool, we weren't planning on going over but we decided to and apparently as we went over, one of the girls, Kaylynn had said "1,2,3, MISSIONARIES!" God is good.
I love his work, I love my Savior, I love all of you and I rejoice in the fact that we all will live again and be happy! Keep on smiling, keep on loving!
Sister Whitcomb

At the airport last week. I miss these sisters!
Our shirts we made! Didn't get to take a picture with Sister Stewart though... SOMEDAY!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mission (Mum) accomplished.

Ah my family,
It's so weird to be sooo TIRED yet sooo HAPPY!
But hey, congrats to Aunt Tina and now I have another Uncle Steve! Can't get enough of those, apparently! ;) That made me so happy to see all my beautiful family at the beautiful house in Loonieburg! My heart smiled! :) And I realized that literally every time Aunt Jeannette comes in to town, I'm out of town. Hopefully I'll see her soon! LOVE MY FAMILY SOOOO MUCH!!!
But it's okay because I'll be with all of you together forever! Ah, Sweet is the peace the gospel brings.
BUT ANYWAY, sweet is the life of a MISSIONARY!!!!
AHHH MILAGROS!!!! But I will get into that as I continue to get into our week...
So Tuesday night. We met with a less active. It's very interesting how people don't like that Easter is all about Christ. But I guess it is good that they want to show more gratitude for Heavenly Father! We all need to be a little more grateful in life, right?
So then we had branch visits; it was us, the Bishopric, the Senior couple, and two branch members. Lots of work to be done! THE TIME IS FAR SPENT!!!!!
But we got to go with Sister Monk and try to see a less active YSA. We saw her mom, but she's part of the Grossmont Ward so it was perfect! :) We shared the Easter initiative. #HALLELUJAH!!!! So good. BUT THEN MIRACLE!! As we were walking back to our car, and we still had 30 minutes before curfew we saw a YSA cutting through the parking lot from Grossmont College. WE CHASED HIM DOWN!! It was awesome. He has a beard! So obviously he reminds me of Adam! ;) But he's awesome! He let us watch the Easter initiative right there with him and he took a pamphlet and he had questions about family history and he wanted to learn more!!!!!!! Even though he claimed to be an atheist.... We shall see! Cameron's a good guy! We then met with him again Saturday morning on the church's front lawn. (Sooo beautiful!!! SPRING TIME!!!) And it was awesome! He's really open, told us his concerns and we just helped him build his faith in God! Woot woot! So excited to teach him more!
Then Wednesday we were able to go to the food bank again! So good, service is good for the soul! :)
And we had an appointment with a potential from when I was on exchanges, the semi pro rugby player. Her name is Elizabeth. She's awesome and she's from Chicago! Obviously cool. So we brought Holly with us, (and she just turned in her papers!!!!!) and Elizabeth is soo open! She never really had religion before so it was perfect! And she said she would be baptized!!!!!! Still having her think about when, she's going to pray about it. :) Then as we were dropping Holly off and walking back to the car, in the church parking lot again, we started talking to these two YSA. We asked if we could show the Easter initiative and THEY LOVED IT!! They said it was so what they needed! :) And one of them was moving to LA but we met with Xavier again on Monday, yesterday. And he loved the Restoration, he listened so intently and he said he'll be baptized on APRIL 23rd!!!!!!!! He just needs to come to church! Prayers and fingers crossed! :)
And I also had a cool revelation that day as Sister Stewart started packing. We were talking about a successful mission, and what I realized is if you learned how to really use the atonement and become more converted to it, you had a successful mission. :)
Thursday. Weekly planning. Sister Stewart had her departing interview with President. AND WE GOT TO GO TO OUTBACK BECAUSE OF VANESSA!! She's the sweetest. :) I love her lots! And then we also got to have a lesson at the temple with her! LOVE THE TEMPLE!!! And then a member got us cupcakes! Fancy cupcakes from Sprinkles!

Then Friday was BOOM BOOM BOOM appointments. Again. :) I have a GREAT life, I'm telling ya! :)
We met with Jake, a great bloke, then we had lunch with the Tanners! They are so cute! Love them! They wanted to say goodbye to Sister Stewart! And then we had district meeting! Where we had party blowers in honor of Sister Stewart's birthday on Monday!!! Her golden birthday! 21 on the 21st BABY!!! ;)

We then had a coolest power hour with Eddie! We met up, said a prayer, gave him some pass along cards and then we were off!
With Eddie and our cute member friend Emily
He was so awesome! Walking up to people, saying hello, giving them cards! And then when we got into a neighborhood with no one in it, he was like, "Is this the part where we start knocking on doors?" HE'S SO COOL!! Fearless, fearless.
We then met with Netta who finally picked a song to sing on Sunday, and I get the pleasure of accompanying her! :) Sweet lady sweet lady.
with Netta! :)
We then had an AWESOME lesson with our long term investigator Stephanie and her boyfriend Daniel. The spirit was so strong in that lesson especially when Stephanie said she felt like she didn't deserve any answers from Heavenly Father and then Daniel told her that being a daughter of God is reason enough to get an answer! SO GOOD!!!!!
Then we met with Doug and Julie with the Konolds. OH I LOVE THOSE TWO PEOPLE!!!! And Doug has been coming to church and JULIE'S going to go to girls camp!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Then we met with a recent convert who moved into our branch, I love recent converts, they have a missionary fire!! :)
Then Saturday we taught our sweet investigator Gail. I love her so! She's in Mosiah 3!!! She's the best! And when Sister Stewart told her that she was leaving she was so sad. She started crying! She wanted to move to Utah to see her! She's so sweet and then during part of it she turned to me and was like, "You're going to miss her!" Oh she has no IDEA!!! I miss that Sister. She's my mission mama! She taught me everything and people tell me I'm just like her! Just saying, I miss her wouldn't even begin to to describe it. But, I love Gail, she needs a new baptismal date but she still wants to do it! She just needs to come to church! Fingers crossed for Easter Sunday! Then that night one of the pairs of Elders in our zone baptized five people! One was a family of three so we were able to take Vanessa to go see what a baptism was like. So since I was there I of course got snagged to play the piano. But I love it! Music at a baptism is the best! And Vanessa was the cutest, she was asking questions about what she needs to do for her baptism, I love her! :)
Sunday, Sister Stew's last Sunday as a missionary! So of course she spoke in YSA sacrament meeting, I couldn't be there because of Grossmont's ward council but I heard she crushed it! Way to go Sis Stew!! And guess what, not only am I flooding the earth with The Book of Mormon, but I am flooding the earth with TACO SOUP!! First Idaho, now California! ;)
The YSA had a linger longer and since no one really brings things we made taco soup. So we THOUGHT we had a big can of corn in the apartment but when we were trying to throw it together Saturday night we realized it was a big can of garbanzo beans....... Oh well! Don't worry! It still tasted good and we put chicken in it! It made it even better! :) And people even liked it! Many milagros! :) And no one got sick so that's an extra bonus! :)
We also got to go to a Spanish mission president devotional since I got to play the piano. I love my piano skills! I love the piano. :)
(Thanks Mumzi! :))
Then Monday, we ran, boom boom boom appointments! We met with Xavier, we had lunch and Vanessa got a birthday gift for Sister Stewart. BECAUSE IT WAS HER BIRTHDAY!!! Don't worry, I baked her a mini cake while she was in the shower, I put up some signs, got her chocolate, bought her lunch and put some notes in her suitcase. :) Mission accomplished. :)
And then we had a power hour with Holly! We talked to a lot of people and got some referrals for the Elders! :)
We also met with Eddie, he was so sad to see Sis Stew go. Eddie loves all the missionaries! He's a good guy. And then Sister Stewart went to more departure activities at the mission home with the Schmitts. So I got to be with La Mesa sisters for the day! Sister Starr and Sister Vernier! Their area was also BOOM BOOM BOOM APPOINTMENTS!! Living a good life. :)
And we also had great lessons! One guy was from Brazil so had broken English so we brought a member who speaks Portuguese and we were teaching him and I brought up baptism and he started crying because he wants to get baptized so bad but no one has ever offered him. So of course we did! Leonardo is awesome and I'm happy I got to teach him! As he was walking up he tried to give me an awkward hug and I was pinned against the door so it was even more awkward, don't worry, he shook my hand. :)
And I love Sis Stew! She's changed my life and it's so weird not having her here. We had to drop her off at the airport this morning, not a fun job. BUT I'M SO GLAD I GOT TO SEE HER GO!!! She's the best, she's in Kaysville Utah going to BYU. GO SEE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah, I can't even begin to express my love for her!
Anywho, guess who's back down under in Santee?!?!?!?? MY FAVORITE AUSSIE SISTER PURCELL!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh I love her and I'm so excited to be back with her! Watch out Santee, here we come! :)
I love you lots family! Remember, I'm always cheering for you and especially remember at this time of year that Christ is too. Happy Easter! I LOVE YOU


Sister Whitcomb
A 5:00am photo is necessary when your Mum leaves the mission!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


!Buenos Dias! Just kidding, I'm not a Hermana! ;)
Man oh man, how time flies.
I hit my 10 month mark on Sunday, weird, I know. What's even weirder is that my companion, my trainer, is going home next week!!!!!! :( :( :( :( :( Super sad.
I can't believe the next transfer is almost happening! CRAZY!
I hope you all have had a marvelous week that has been filled with the spirit! Here is what mine was like:
Tuesday night was a marvelous night filled with the spirit! Jeffrey R. Holland is the MAN! So good! And our Senior Missionary couple over the YSA, the Monks, made us milkshakes! The Monks' Milkshakes are the BEST!!! They even have a cool machine to make them.:)

I love them a lot!
On Wednesday we had a fun filled day! First it started with service, and that is the best way to do it! The food bank in Santee. I love it when we go there because they are always like, "THE SISTERS ARE HERE!!" And then they hand us their cleaning supplies and let us clean out the moldy fridges haha. But seriously I love hat place and I love the people I have come to known! I'm glad Sis Stew got to experience it! Then it was BOOM BOOM BOOM! APPOINTMENTS!
Those are the best!
We first met with Jake, what a funny guy. He cracks me up without even meaning to. Then Eddie, one of the strongest converts I have seen. We also met with him on Sunday to introduce to him Power Hour. We had a little spiritual thought and invited him to come out with us. He was SO excited! And then we asked him if he wouldn't mind praying to see where we should go. So he said the most sweetest sincere prayer and then afterwards we explained it would be good to sit in silence so we can listen to what Heavenly Father is trying to tell us. So we did, I peeked open my eyes after the prayer and saw Eddie with his eyes still closed, head bowed on his knees, really trying to receive revelation. AND HE DID!!! So we are going to Lake Murray on Thursday with him! GET PUMPED!!! :) :) :)
He's cool.
And also in the YSA we have about three sisters that come to Relief Society; and they are the presidency. So we've been on a mission to recruit more sisters.
We went to a YSA's house who's been going to her family ward and we snagged her! She actually ended up being our companion on Sunday when we split between the different wards. Leticia. What a sweetheart! :)
We then had power hour and we've been planning them around members' homes so before we start we can go over and ask to say a prayer with them so we can see miracles. And then we report back to them either by text or email. And when we went to the Millers we found Gru's house! (From Despicable Me.) It was pretty cool.
Gru's house
On a more important note we gave a Book of Mormon to someone! That's the best gift I can ever give anyone and I make sure the person who is receiving it knows it. It's awesome.
Power hour sometimes has a lot to do with spiritual training. It's cool to hear the spirit yell at you to turn around. Cool thing.
Then we had dinner with the Leavitts and Vanessa! I LOVE VANESSA SOOOOO MUCH!! She's the sweetest, she brought a cute bundt cake and we talked about goals we have and goals Heavenly Father has for us. Vanessa has a goal to HAVE AN ETERNAL FAMILY!!!
This week we are having a lesson with her at the Temple, I'm so excited!!! :) :)
We also taught Saturday and she fed us breakfast!
She's so cute! And she's working on her Family History! Oh she's awesome! She wants to involve her Mom too! And then when she came to church on Sunday she found me several times and gave me some hugs. It was the best. :)
Then in Relief Society she was surrounded by members and she got the missionary dinner calendar and we saw her ask what it was and someone explained and then she signed up! Oh she's the best! Then that night we were trying to find less actives, they ended up being sick. But we found some cool potentials and to one of the people we were talking to we asked "Who do you know who has recently moved into the area?" Trying to look for service opportunities. And he pointed us to this apartment, we went to go knock on the door. We knocked, they opened and then they were like, "Oh Elders! Come in! Wait just kidding, you're Sisters! Come in! I'm sure our faces looked so confused because we truly were!
They sat us down and by the way they were talking about wards and such we determined they were members. And then during their conversation they were like, "Man you're good! That was quick!" And then we told them what truly happened! It was the spirit! :)
And we had a really cool lesson where we realized that the Dad was really struggling, he opened up a lot to us. Trust was definitely built and I'm excited to go back and help that family.
Thursday again started with service!
The Spanish sisters have been setting up a time for our district to go sing at a nursing home. So we did! It was so fun! Just for 30 minutes we sang to our cute elderly friends. They were dancing and smiling, don't worry, it was all hymns and one primary song. Of course we had to do Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree! Hand actions and everything. I really am turning into Mom. ;) It was fun to shake all of their hands afterwards as well. I'm looking forward to doing it again! :)
Then we weekly planned and had dinner with the cute Whitlock family! The ones (they're wearing matching purple shirts) that are in the Mormon message, "Expressions of Love."
Don't worry, we got a picture with them. :)
The Whitlocks
Then we met with a YSA less active who lived in Lakeside. It was good, but she really couldn't tell us anything about Jesus Christ. So it was good to go back to the basics and remind myself how grateful I am for the knowledge and testimony I do have of my Savior. Thanks familia!
Friday was departures for the departing missionaries, so Sister Stewart got to go to the temple with President and Sister Schmitt and do a session. So that meant I got to go to Hillsdale and Jamul with those Sisters! Never companion-less! So we just turned it into an exchange!
I loved being in my first area(s). One of the highlights, we were walking on Taylor's old street and I ran into Chris! Chris is a former investigator, a friend of Taylor's brother Aaron and we taught him for like three lessons. I asked him if he was still reading the Book of Mormon. He wasn't but he said when he was, he got through half of it! So cool! We left him with our phone number! TENDER MERCIES!! We also went up into Jamul and did some service. It was nice to see the hills of Jamul. :)
I also got to see some of the less actives in Hillsdale. It's sad to see them still in their situations but I was happy one of them set a goal to bring their mother's name to the temple!!
And also it was cool how I got to share the gospel from the car and invite her to be baptized!
Don't worry, the spirit was there and she walked away with the Book of Mormon. A referral for the Elders in Tecate, Mexico!!!! :)
And in our area Sister Stewart was with Sister Stewart!! Weird, I know.
But they were able to see Gail, our 77 year old investigator. And in The Book of Mormon she was in JAROM!!! In JAROM!! How crazy is that! CRAZY. She says she listens to it in the morning and in the evening. It relaxes her, I love that sweet lady. So the sisters were able to commit her to baptism for April 9th! Just have to get her to church! :) I love her.
Saturday was the BEST!!!
The family name was Miss Wire.
I know Miss Wire must be so happy and grateful to Julie! :)
I know I am! :)
Julie is just so happy! I learn a lot from her. I'm so grateful for her! And guess what, her dad Doug, HE CAME TO CHURCH!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! I was sooo happy when they both walked through the door! :)
Ah. So many tender feelings. We also had luck with a member, a member missionary lesson with a YSA, and then a cool power hour in Lakeside. So we were trying to go pray with our Elders Quorum president but when we were driving there we realized it was probably like the worst place to have a power hour. We were trying to find his house in these curvy, narrow, dirt roads and Sis Stew was backing me up and she saw some people and she started to talk to them. THEY WERE MEMBERS!!! And they hadn't been in like 20 years, she was about in her 60s and she had a YSA son who was there and he was actually baptized four years ago! Surprise members!! And they both said no one knew they were there so it definitely was for a reason! :)
God is good.
Then on Sunday we had two investigators there! Vanessa and Stephanie! We also were able to present the Easter initiative. #HALLELUJAH!!! I love how it means "Praise YE Jehovah."
How are you praising Christ? How are you showing your gratitude for him?
I'm serving him with all my might, mind, and strength and I hope to do that for the rest of my life! I'VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER!! You all should try it someday. :)
AND ALSO ANTHONY, our recent convert, IS ENGAGED TO DULCE!!! His girlfriend who introduced him to the church.
the happy couple (and the ring!)
AHHHHHHHH. Maybe somehow I'll be with Sister Pilkington in Hawaii in February. ;)
On Monday we went on another exchange, the last exchange of the transfer!! And I stayed in our area with my sister! Sister Hendrix! She was trained by Sister Stewart! We have the same trainer! :) It was cool to be with her, she's from Georgia, a hard background but has a strong testimony of the gospel.
Sadly, all of our appointments cancelled except for one, Ben Raab, the 10 year old recent convert. She was really good with him and we had a great lesson! :) For our power hour we were trying to find a YSAs house to pray with him, couldn't find it. But we were talking to people along the way and along the way someone referred us to his neighbor. So we showed her the Easter Video. We talked about the restoration and offered her a Book of Mormon. Someone had given her one two weeks ago! How more prepared could you get? We invited her to be baptized and she accepted! A great referral for the Elders in the family ward! Someday they will be our investigators! :) When you send referrals you get referrals. :)
It was a good Monday of talking to everyone and sharing the Easter video. Something I've loved doing with members is having them pull out a pen and paper and for 90 seconds have them write down every non member they know, doesn't matter how well and it doesn't matter if they are interested in the gospel. And then after that we invite them as we share the message to pay attention to what the spirit tells them and what name stands out to them and how they can help them increase their faith! It's worked really well! :)
YOU ALL ARE THE BEST!! I'm so blessed to have you all in my life.
You're all in my prayers and I hope this Easter season you all take a moment everyday for the REST of your life and remember what he did for YOU. I love you all, I'm cheering for all of you! :)
Sister Whitcomb
a hike in the Hills of Ramona

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Into the woods

Well Good Afternoon my loved ones!
What a marvelous week full of wonderful weather, the spirit, and good laughs! I hope all of you have had the same great week as well! :)
Today we got to go to the temple so sorry if this letter lacks details. Short amount of time and because we are in the YSA and have recent converts that are going, WE CAN GO WATCH FACE TO FACE WITH ELDER HOLLAND!!!! I'm SUPER excited. Being a missionary in general is pretty exciting!
Well, where to start.
Tuesday night we had appointments, boom boom BOOM!! It was quite nice. :) First one was with a less active, he's the coolest. He has family struggles and disapproval but he SO wants to come back to church! I WANT HIM TO TOO!!!!!! Lesson filled with the spirit.
Then we went to go see our favorite elder recent convert, Stevenson, John Stevenson. Good man, good man. I love talking about The Book of Mormon with everyone so it was great! Then we taught Eddie, good ol' Eddie. HE WENT TO THE TEMPLE ON THURSDAY!!!!!!
AHHHHHH, it's so awesome.
We did not get to go because he wasn't able to get a family name in time, but that's okay! His faith is being built right now and I'm so impressed and so proud!
It builds my faith!!!
Wednesday was go go go day! But it was also a great day for revelation! And a great day to do service. I haven't done service in FOREVER!!! And so I was so excited a less active woman asked us to weed her yard. I've never been so excited to weed someone's yard! So when I get home, hurry and make me weed! I'LL BE SO EXCITED! Shaking things up, it's always a good thing!
Then we had a cute lunch with a recent convert Jessica. We got her to do missionary work! And she comes out with us a lot, I love her, she's awesome!!!
We then taught Jake. Fun fact: Jake was introduced to the church through The Book of Mormon Musical. He read the script, wanted the real Book of Mormon, so there the sister missionaries went!
And here he is, a member of the church! He just went and saw the musical this past weekend, it's in town, so EVERYONE is going to see it. Good times. Have no fear, the church is still true! :)
And major revelation then happened. We prepared for a zone conference where we were asked to give training for half the mission! No pressure, but Heavenly Father helped us out.
We were asked how we can improve our restoration presentations we give at baptisms.
Fun fact: 80% of nonmembers that attend baptismal services end up becoming members themselves! SUPER powerful experience!
So we used the tools that had been given to us. I wish you all could have been there to feel the spirit, but basically I can sum up the tools we used to present the restoration and then you can picture it:
-pictures of Christ, prophets, Book of Mormon, my family and my companions' family, Joseph Smith and the first vision.
-we created a slideshow with "Come Unto Christ" music for Christ's ministry
-we watched a video that had Elder Holland in it, explaining The Book of Mormon.
-we recited the First Vision and BOOM.
I know that doesn't do a good job of describing everything we did and used, but it wasn't just a normal pamphlet lesson. I was proud of my companion and I. We did it on 10 minutes notice and the spirit was SO strong.
So we prepared that on Wednesday.

[Editor's Note] 
I received an email from the mission president this week (3/25/2016) about this training that I will insert here:
"Your daughter is an outstanding missionary. She and Sister Stewart provided some amazing training at a recent multi-zone conference on teaching at baptismal services--it was incredible. We are so blessed to serve with her."

We also had dinner with the Jenkins, the Grossmont Bishop's family and they had our investigator Vanessa over! So cute! We had breakfast for dinner. THAT IS MY FAVORITE!!
Probably something I miss most. So it was awesome. And we had a super powerful lesson on Christ. All of the kids and the parents bore testimony, even Vanessa. Tears were of course included!
Then we had another great lesson with our investigator Stephanie, she's dating a nonmember and she wants to get baptized a day after her wedding in June. She's been an investigator for a year. So I'm so grateful that she decided to get baptized. She reads The Book of Mormon everyday, has the most awesome prayers and keeps all the commandments! She's already a member.
I love people like her. :)
Thursday we traveled as a mission deep into the woods for zone conference. BEST. DAY. EVER.
We went into the hills of Ramona in a camp called Camp Wildwood.
Sisters with the BEST President!
We had training, which we gave some of it, and then had team building experiences that were related to missionary work. And then my favorite part, a silent hike all the way up to a cross. We had the opportunity to carry a rock that represented our burdens and we got to lay it at the cross, giving it to our Savior.
President Schmitt also gave us bandannas that represented the "ensign to the nation."
Super cool.
Silent hikes are a genius idea, you all should do them. Especially when it's with a group of missionaries. It's the best.
God is real. His creations are beautiful. His existence is evident all around us. It was a great day. It was sort of like Girls Camp, haha, but with Elders so that was weird. :)
But I have to say, one of my favorite team building activities was when we just got up on these logs randomly and we were told we had to order ourselves from oldest to youngest without touching the ground. And if we did, the person who touched the ground would have to start over. I have to say I was impressed with my balance. And one of the funny moments: I just took a leap of faith and JUMPED, aka threw myself at my beloved Sister Carlson and she caught me! She's a gem. We had a good tender moment clinging to each other for dear life like we were on a tightrope 100 feet off the ground when really it was like six inches. Good times all around. :)
I love going into the woods; especially on spiritual journeys. :)
Our Lovely Trio
I was so exhausted that night, but we still came back with three hours of work to do! And we worked!
Friday we went on exchanges with the lovely La Mesa 2nd sisters. And I got to be with sister Vernier again! She's a gem! This is her second transfer in the mission! She's now done with training! She rocks. :)
Fun Transfers
We taught a lot of awesome lessons. One to a YSA less active named Jessie, super cool lesson and set some goals with him towards the Temple. We had a cool power hour in Lakeside. We sent five referrals out to other missionaries! It rocked. :) We also taught a convert trying to go to the temple. She owns a cute little flower shop so it was fun to read The Book of Mormon with her there. :)
We had a ten minute dinner and then we taught my favorite people EVER!!! DOUG AND JULIE!!!! Oh man, I love them a lot. We taught The Plan of Salvation. We were able to bring our Bishop and his wife, it was their date night! (How cute!) Doug of course bore amazing testimony, he amazes me every time, and it was cool to hear Julie bear testimony too. Doug talked about how he's seen a difference in her, how she doesn't fight as much anymore with her sister and how she just glows. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!! AND SHE'S GOING TO THE TEMPLE ON SATURDAY AND HOPEFULLY WE CAN GO WITH HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah.
It's the best.
Doug also talked about the summer before Julie was with her family in Arizona who are all members. He talked about how the Uncle she stayed with was a Ward Mission Leader so she was surrounded by Elders constantly. Heavenly Father knew Julie needed sisters; someone who could be gentle with her because she is a very gentle and sweet person. And funny thing--this ward only got Sisters like six months ago. God is good. And I love Julie! :)
We also taught a sweet YSA, Netta. She's coming back to church!!!!!! Ah, I love her so! And she's reading The Book of Mormon with her nonmember boyfriend. She's so cool!!
Saturday, weekly planning because we had no other time to do it that week. But we also had a really cool spiritual lesson with a former investigator. He's Samoan and his name is Salatonu Tusitala. Cool right? He is the humblest sweetest YSA ever. He is so prepared for the gospel. His family is not, and he loves his family too much to go against them. He has a Samoan Book of Mormon so I know he will come. Who knows, maybe our lesson sparked something! But as of now, not yet.
I'm so grateful I got to teach that lesson. I felt really in tune with the spirit. Our investigator Vanessa also fed us dinner. She's the sweetest! And she is so ready for April 3rd!! She's getting baptized! AHHHH. I JUST LOVE HER. We had stake conference that night too and she came! She's so awesome! It was a great session. Elder Craig A. Cardon was there. He gave the talk "The Savior Wants to Forgive" in General Conference a little while ago. (April 2013) Super good. He is a man of God, no doubt about it. So it was nice to be edified from him on Saturday and Sunday.
And since it was stake conference, I fasted with the mission last Sunday. But I got to fast this past Sunday with my family. So that was nice, and a very spiritual fast for me.
Monday. Thunderstorm Monday. It was AWESOME! I love the rain and I love thunder storms!!! We got to street contact an old woman who then took us on a tour of her Ohio State house, she's quite the fan, not interested, but still quite a fan. We then had a senior luncheon with the old sisters in our stake. We got a potential investigator out of it!
Actually one of our members brought a friend, she lives in Lakeside so we will have to pass her off but we got an appointment with her so that was awesome!
We then had a zone meeting. And the fun part of being a missionary, we got a sneak peek of the new Easter initiative video, "Hallelujah." I love being a missionary and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I can't wait for all of you to see the video!!!
President came to our meeting as well, so that always keeps us on our toes. He's a good man. :) We then had an AMAZING lesson with our favorite 77 year old investigator Gail!!!! She's so cool! She wasn't able to read The Book of Mormon because she can't see. So we showed her how to listen to it and we listened to a couple of verses with her. Afterwards she just felt so peaceful and she wants to listen to it when she goes to bed! She's so cool!
We started talking about The Plan of Salvation. During it she talked about how she really appreciated us coming over, how we have helped her get out of depression and the last time we left she was singing and dancing in the kitchen! (Can you picture that? ;))
She started crying, she totally felt the spirit, she makes me happy. I love her.
We also had power hour and started it off by knocking on a member's door to get them to say a prayer with us so we could find someone and then we would report to them that night to tell them what happened. To get them fired up on missionary work. So we did that, and no one was really out, and the people that we talked to were not interested. So we started knocking on doors. Very not interested. But we handed out a couple of cards. But the miracle really came not at our power hour, but it really was. It was right near our complex and we just followed the spirit and we were able to find so many potentials and set up so many return appointments! IT WAS AWESOME!!!
God is good.
We also had a family home evening with a family that was filled missionary work! I love it! I love it all. And I love you all!
You all motivate me so dearly and just remember that I'm here cheering you on as well!



Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Take the Leap

G'Day! (My wannabe Australian persona coming out!)
Oh my familia. How I love all of you and how I love SanDiego. It's amazing how much love a heart can take! It's a lot. :) And I know there are a lot more people that I will love! :)
But this week was fantastic, per usual. Our p-day was very relaxing and then we got to teach some lovely people that night! :) We met with a YSA who hasn't been to church for a while, Tony. He's the nicest guy, really loves the church and loves his family. He has some hard decisions to make but it was nice that I could faithfully say to him God will help him. Reach out, he will take your hand. BECAUSE HE LOVES US! Everyone says that but it's because it's TRUE! Then we had a cool miracle. We stopped by this less active family and they have a son who is nine years old and is not baptized. Missionaries have tried to teach him in the past but he's been unreceptive and the family has been in crazy situations. They still are in crazy situations but I would say less so. So that night we taught their family the restoration. They have six kids and the nine year old is the oldest. So you can imagine the chaos. But then imagine my surprise when all of them sat down and listened to the first half of the lesson. So good! God is good. Junior was really good at answering questions. He said a great prayer at the end AND he wants to be baptized!
The parents were totally shocked and said next time we come by we can set a baptismal date for him! Wooohooooo! :) All the kids wanted their own copy of The Book of Mormon, it was cute. :)
Then on Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Sisters that are in Tierra Santa, Sister Cava and Sister Grady. One of the sisters has been going through some medical problems and was staying in for a couple of days. So we wanted to help their area out and we went over. And Miracle of Miracles Heavenly Father helped her to feel better so she could work! Sister Cava and I went to Santee and then Sister Stewart and Sister Grady stayed in Tierra Santa. And more miracles happened! We both added someone in each area! In Santee he was someone we had street contacted on Monday. His name is Antuon, he is in the Navy and is VERY nice. We were able to bring one of our members, Sister Leavitt. She ROCKED it!!! She bore powerful testimony, invited him to the roadshow the stake was having later on in the week and invited him over to her house for dinner and a lesson! Perfect member present lesson. It was AWESOME!!! I hope I have that much courage when I am a member present because I'm TOTALLY doing it! :) Antuon's awesome though, right as I was in the middle of inviting him to be baptized he was like YES! It was awesome. :) Milagros for days!
From that exchange I learned the importance of daily prayer and scripture study. How you might ask? The spirit. :)
Then on Thursday we busted out weekly planning, except not really because we had a TON of appointments. First one was with our favorite, Netta. Poor Netta walked in upset, but we were able to follow the spirit and ahve a powerful lesson on the Atonement. Everyone needs that kind of lesson everyday. Good stuff. Then we went to TAYLOR MCDANIEL'S!!!!!! Sister Stewart has been waiting to go over there for a LONG time. The dynamic duo was back and we were able to see Taylor together! We also brought with us Valissa, a recent convert from Sister Stewart's old YSA Ward. She reminds me so much of Taylor, so of course they got along! It was so good to see Taylor again, I love her SO much!!! It was fun to see her testimony grow and see her remember her baptism day. Tender feels.
With Taylor and Valissa
Unfortunately Taylor is moving, again. We are pretty sure it's out of our area, but I know I'll see her again. SHE WANTS TO GO TO SCHOOL. IN UTAH AND SHE'S ALREADY APPLIED!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! More reason to go there someday... We shall see. But bottom line, I love her lots and she is never getting rid of me!
We then went to go meet with a girlfriend of our investigator, and we talked about how she can help us during the lesson. Great use of our time, hopefully will make the lessons more spiritual. Can never have too prepared members! :)
We were supposed to meet with Julie to do family history, she wasn't there but we were able to do it with her on Sunday. SHE HAS HER TEMPLE RECOMMEND AND SHE CAN GO TO THE TEMPLE SOON!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!! I love it, I love her!!!! But while we were writing a note for Julie on Thursday her neighbor across the way opened the door and we just started talking to her. Robin is a very sweet lady and is very interested in hearing the gospel! I love it when people thank us for talking to them and say we made their day so much better. Makes EVERYTHING worth it! :) And one of our mission goals is to invite someone everyday to be baptized. So at 8:50 pm we still hadn't invited anyone but then as we were walking to the car we saw these two guys. We stopped and talked to them. One is looking for religion and was SO happy to meet us. He really wants to meet with missionaries. We talked to him about our message and my awesome mission mama invited him to be baptized! He said OF COURSE! So we passed him off to the Sisters in La Jolla! I'm excited for what lies ahead for Steve and I am grateful to have been part of his journey! :)
On Friday we had a district meeting outside, so that was fun. Weird to be enjoying a nice summer breeze in February/March. But nonetheless that's my mission! :)
So then we tried to finish weekly planning. Then we met with amazing Eddie and had an awesome lesson! I'm so proud of his progress and the amazing things he is doing to build up the Lord's kingdom! Because that is exactly what he is doing and what he is supposed to be doing! :)
We then went to the Stake Roadshows. I did not know what a roadshow was until I came here but apparently it's where all the wards in the stake put skits together and they all revolve around a theme. And of course this year's theme was "Press Forward." Classy, I know! :)
They were so ELABORATE! But great. I laughed a lot! And it was fun because we met some nonmembers our members brought, we got to sit with Doug and his family because Julie was in the roadshow!!! She was so cute! She did so good. :)
Saturday. What a day. A day where we added another investigator! ANOTHER street contact! We contacted her on Monday. Her name is Gail, she is 77 years old, she's super cool, loves cats and has been through a lot. Super inspiring story. When we came back that day, we came with a member. They just bonded right away! And then we also found out that she had read through the restoration pamphlet twice! No one does that! She then looked up things on Mormon.org! HOW COOL IS SHE???? :) She will be baptized if she knows it's true, which it is, by the way. :)
We also stopped by the Rabbs, had a good lesson with little Ben. His eight year old sister, not baptized, is very interested in the church and is learning about everything. She has no religious background so it's going to be fun to build her faith and teach her! :)
Then game day. Sunday! Stephanie was the only investigator to come to church. But Julie, Eddie, Jake and Anthony came!! All of our recent converts!!!!! :) Good day.
Eddie wore a white shirt and tie for the first time! And he also received the Priesthood and his temple recommend!!!!!!!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!
And then Jake blessed the sacrament for the first time! It was a day full of tender feels. :)
A day full of running around, being on splits with members to cover both congregations and attending ward councils, and I got to teach YSA Relief Society. So that was fun! Sister Stewart was in sacrament meeting for Grossmont, so I taught by myself. Good times! I based it off of President Uchtdorf's talk, "It Works Wonderfully!" Good talk, good talk. You all should read it again!
We also met with a YSA before church and learned his story and helped his faith grow. He is a convert. Shortly after he was baptized he was in a rock climbing accident and he lost most of his memories. So he got to be converted to the church twice! How cool is that? Double the testimony and he has double the faith! Great faith. Not an easy journey. Great game day.
Then Monday we had MLD (Missionary Leadership Countil ON LEAP DAY!!
President Schmitt made us all do a frog leap and see who could go the farthest, even all the sisters in skirts and dresses. I can promise you I did not go the farthest, I was too worried about holding my skirt down! But he asked a really cool question: "What is it going to take for you to take the leap this year?" Deep. MLC is always deep.
President also introduced us to the new Easter initiative, "Hallelujah." It was AWESOME!!! I'm so excited to use this and see more of God's children be converted to this gospel. Watch out for it, it comes March 13. BE EXCITED!!
When we came back we tried our appointment we had set up with a potential but it fell through. BUT as we walked around and talked to everyone and knocked on some peoples doors, we got a referral!
This man wasn't interested but we asked who he knew who has recently had a death in the family and he right then and there called his friend Lisa. And on the phone he referred to us multiple times as "Baby Angels." Made me chuckle.
So we walked over to Lisa's apartment. We were able to show her"Because He Lives." We bore testimony, said a prayer, set a return appointment, and gave her a restoration pamphlet. BOOM. She's an investigator. Tender mercies of the Lord. God is good. I love him.
I love this work. I love my mission! I love my companion! I love every single person I have met and everything I have gone through! And most of all, I love all of you! You all mean so much to me and I'm so blessed Heavenly Father allowed me to be in all of your lives!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!
Sister Whitcomb

PS For p-day today we went to Sunset Cliffs. Good day good day.