Tuesday, May 31, 2016

know that I KNOW

My dearest loved ones,
How art thou? I miss you all so much! I love where I am! I have had
amazing spiritual experiences this week and I will try to type fast.
;) MUCHOS Milagros.
So, yes indeed, Sister Miole did arrive safely in San Diego. Right as
we were done emailing and filled up our car tires we got a call, from
President saying to make another trip over to the airport to pick up
our companion! I love getting new companions, the first hug is always
the best! :) She's super sweet, she's 22, and served for 6 months in
the Quezon City north Philippines mission. She has excellent English,
she just got along with us right away! She has 9 siblings and a
strong  testimony of the gospel! But since we picked up Sister Miole
and President Schmitt had to go over some stuff with her we got to
have dinner at the mission office! Win! I love the Schmitts. And we
put the trio to work! 
 California Burritos!!
We had a YSA member go with us to make daily contact with Gail, so I went with Katherine and then the other 2 went
to go try some other people. We had a quick in and out lesson with
Gail, whose baptism was AMAZING by the way! :) And when they came back
they had added 2 investigators!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!! Trio fire is BACK!
They are the Touchet twins, Emma and Kate. They are 11 years old and
really cute! They have been taught before but things came up. And now
the Lord has prepared them even more! They said they wanted to be
baptized! But they were scared to commit to a date. And when Sister
Miole went back, they were still a little scared. It was so cute, one
of them said, "I want to be baptized as soon as possible but I also
want to wait..." We just need to get their whole family to church! And
at the lesson I was at their was a miracle, we weren't able to
find a member to come with us but when we got there the twins had a
friend over and friend was a member! And they remembered going to her
baptism! She even helped us teach, greatest member present ever! :)We
are calling Sister Miole, Miracle Miole! Then we went over to our
favorite, Stacey! She described to us this amazing dream she had where
she had been healed and able to go back to work, but they put her in a
closet. And in the closet part of it was completely white, and she
heard this voice. It calmed her, but it was only in the closet. Then a
woman in white appeared and told her she wanted to show her everyone
else who was LDS. And they were all in white too. So cool. And a great
transition into talking about the Temple! SHE WANTS TO GO!!!
Then Wednesday was the last day for MTES. And I got to be in Santee
with the lovely Sister Miole and Sister Cortello!!!!
 Ah I love Sister Cortello.
I went to the MTC with her. She is the sweetest missionary
ever and reminds me a TON of Sister Pilkington! :) It was a miraculous
day! We got to see Vanessa who has been fighting her own battles and
we were able to show her the Mormon message, "You never know." It's a
good one, you all should watch it and then watch it again. :) We then
treated Sister Miole to her first outing at In-N-Out Burger, she's so
funny. :) She refuses to eat vegetables, no matter how tiny, but don't
worry we are working on her slowly, she ate a tiny salad last night.
:) Then we had a great daily contact with Gail with the perfect member
present, I love it when that happens. :) But poor Gail she went to the
doctor and realized she has to have surgery, and recently without
knowing it she had 2 strokes! Satan is just flinging everything at
her! She's making it though. :) We then ran over to Ilene and Johns,
who Sister Purcell and I had found a couple of days ago. We taught the
Restoration and John was singing and crying throughout the whole
thing. He's an amazing guy. When we got to The Book of Mormon, he said
he had read the whole thing! I asked him if he knew it was true, he said
YES. Sister Cortello then invited him to be baptized, he said,
"Probably." We asked him why he said that, he then goes onto say, "I
don't want to get water in my ears, I'm afraid of water." Hm. Well we
then testified to him about the importance of following Christ. He
started crying, he loves Christ so dearly. We invited him to be
baptized on July 2nd and he said, "Probably." Ay John. We committed him to
pray about it. And then last night some of the greatest members, the
Astes, invited them over to dinner and to have a lesson in their home.
It was wonderful! Spirit was strong and the Astes were amazing hosts!
And as we again started to talk about the Book of Mormon, he hadn't read it
and he hadn't prayed about baptism. I can now understand how our
parents and especially Heavenly Father get frustrated when we don't do
things we know we are supposed to. But repentance is real and
hopefully John will take a hold of the opportunity! But back to
Wednesday, we then afterwards went over to Brother Nelsons, who has
recently been coming back to church.
  But due to Sister Cortello being a genius and a great missionary...
especially with inspired questions,
we ended up teaching repentance and it was awesome! Great guy.
The follow up to MTE was also fantastic! Here are some of the cool
lessons that I had learned and wrote down:

-When the wheat is white, it means it's ready to spoil, so we have to
RUN. Don't lose them. (In reference to D&C 4)
-"I believe their can be no casual Christians. If their are casual
Christians, then they will become Christians Casualties." - Elder
Jeffrey R. Holland
-chase out darkness, by following-up
-*Don't look back* What helps us over come EVERYTHING is asking if we
love God. If you're not committed to this work, you don't fully love
-The white handbook are commandments to us and we have covenanted to
keep them. -your mission should change your ministry for the rest of
your life. Always do what Christ teaches you.

All good things. And then after MTES we celebrated by getting Sister
Miole her first California burrito! She loves everything meat! :) We
then headed over to the Whitlocks to try Doreen, their neighbor who we
did service for, she was too sick. So we then tried their neighbor
they referred us to, he was too sad. Better luck next time! The
Whitlocks are awesome though, I'll miss them when they are in Colorado
for the summer! But we saw a MILAGRO at dinner! We were at the Wyers
and their daughter brought her nonmember friend over, Kelsey. We
taught the restoration, she accepted a copy of The Book of Mormon and
she couldn't set a return appt but she said we would see her at
church, hopefully soon! So cool! And she's YSA age! MILAGROS!! The
Bishop was also able to come over with us to Gail and they had a good
heart to heart. Bishops are great like that. :)
And then the day finally came, Friday! The day when we all got blown
away from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I wish I could of just recorded it
and send it to you, so good. But I will do my best to sum it up. I was
asked to play the piano and I played prelude for 1 hour, they asked us
to be there super early and we practiced singing the mission song
before he came, and man oh man. Talk about power! President Schmitt
had asked us to truly prepare ourselves and sanctify ourselves in
every way possible, and walking into that chapel you can tell everyone
did. The spirit was so strong and it was even stronger when we sang our
mission song. Here are the words:

"A marvelous  work  is  about  to  come  forth   among the children
of men. O ye that  embark  in  the  service  of  God,   Serve him with
all your heart. The field is white and is ready to harvest, and ye are
called to the work. So  thrust  in  your  sickle  with  all  of  your
might; Labor to do your part. For  faith,  hope,  and  charity,
virtue,  humility   qualify you for the work. Remember  the  worth  of
souls  is  great  in  the  sight  of  God,   and great will be your
joy. When  you  seek  first  the  kingdom  of  God  and  labor  all
of  your  days   To  bring  forth  the  cause  of  Zion  Amen  and
Amen." (Second  verse​ :  Half  the  group  repeats  1​ the other half
sings “The Spirit of God”)

So powerful! When Elder Holland walked in, boom power. He's also
shorter then you would think but that's beside the point. ;) He's
double the power! Everyone went around to shake his hand and I played
the piano as they did that. But lucky for me a nice woman offered to
play for me so I could go shake his hand. I said my name and where I
was from, he looked into my soul and said, "Welcome." And then I went
back to the piano and as he came up on the stand he approached me
again, shook my hand and said, "I am so grateful that your Mom made
you practice all those years!" Once again, thanks Mom! But what made me
so happy is that as he approached the stand he said he was pleased to
report that as he was shaking our hands he had interviewed each and
every one of us. That he truly didn't care where we were from and he
wasn't going to remember our names, he just wanted us to be there long
enough so he could interview us. Intense. And he said he was pleased
to report that we are a very obedient mission and that only a few of
us were struggling, and then He said, "Welcome to life." Haha good
man. He spoke for about 90 minutes and in those minutes it was life
changing. He told us that it had been 53 years since he came back from
his mission and that every day since then he has thought of his
mission. Their hasn't been a day that's gone by that he hasn't thought
of his mission. He then started to talk about how we can NEVER go back
to where we were before our mission. Even with his fist slamming on
the pulpit and everything, President Schmitt even widened his eyes
when he did that. So powerful, he just put tears in my eyes! He talked
about how we are the most important convert we could ever make on our
mission, and if we've at least done that, we would of been successful.
And he told us that we are the shepards, and that no one should be
looking for us. And I could go on and on. But here are some great
quotes from him:

-I want you to love every minute of your mission; to cherish your mission.
-"This is your apostolic moment." You are “little a” apostles. You are
doing work as close to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First
Presidency as you will ever have.
-"The most important thing in the universe is the salvation of a human soul.”
-I cannot promise you any number of other converts, but I promise and
demand at least one convert – yourself. You are the most important
-"You can never go back to what you were before!”
-“You are God’s investigators and He is teaching you lessons.”
-LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. Go home with a testimony of its divinity.
This is the keystone of your life.

And then to make it even better, after he left, the Assistants
announced that next week, June 3, we will be having another Mission
Tour with Elder James Hamula! And he's coming to MLC too! Yes, we are
a blessed mission. Time to sanctity myself even more! And right after
that when we got into our area, we got bible bashed pretty hard core.
But hey, it didn't matter, because the Savior was standing right
beside me as it was happening. It doesn't change anything.
 And then to make it even better, Gail got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah. I honestly never pictured that day till it happened. Who would of known that talking to a woman at her car would lead her to being with her Heavenly Father someday.
Everything you do and say matters, it leads to something. Gail is a
miracle. It was a wonderful service, great talks, music, and then the
baptism. I'm not sure if I told you but Gail is PETRIFIED of water. It
was a huge leap of faith, but she took the leap! And by her own
request she was baptized forward. Whatever works! It was done by the
priesthood and she went fully under so we are good! We then presented
the Restoration which was so powerful because we had 3 members help us
by bearing short and sweet testimony of one principle in the
restoration, really powerful. And Gail was just beaming after her
baptism and what made it even better was that she walked out bare
foot. Nice. :) I love her and I'm so happy she is a member of the
church now! And then we had a miracle at night, as we got out of
eating dinner I saw someone in the parking lot and I walked after him
and started talking. He was going to get his hair cut but he said we
could come back later and teach him! Sweet! So he called us when he
was done and we went on over. His name is Marco and he is awesome! We
taught him the restoration and we added him! And the we met with him
again on Monday, he had read up to 1 Nephi 6! And when he was telling
us what it was about he restated the stories perfectly! And he didn't
even look at the book! He hadn't prayed about it yet, the puzzle is
almost complete! :) He does have a concern with some of the
commandments but he's very open and wants to know the truth. He said
he would be baptized! I'm excited to work with him more.
Sunday we had a huge miracle. The first miracle was I remembered how
to work the organ, they asked me to play in YSA. But the actual
miracle was when a random man walked into the church. His name is
Daniel. He's an older YSA And he has read through the Book of Mormon
and the Doctrine and Covenants. He was offended by some missionaries
in the past but his friend I
Who introduced him to the church was really pushing for him to go so
he came. He had some interesting questions, very tiny details. But all
I could tell him to do was read and pray. We set an appt for Monday
but he rescheduled. Ah well, Thursday will come! So that was a major
MILAGRO! And the other one was that Gail got confirmed! Yay! And also
I got a wedding invite to one of our recent converts wedding in
Hawaii. So cute! AND STACEY GOT A CALLING!! She's so excited and I'm
so excited for her! She went to a devotional this week where John
Byetheway spoke! Super jealous! She loved it! We then had a miraculous
dinner at our YSA RS presidents house where her atheist friend was
there. And missionaries have tried to help him many times but he's
pretty closed. But then he just asked us a question about prayer and
it was awesome. We gave him a talk to read, he said he would read it.
The Lord is preparing Hunter surely yet slowly. It was awesome! We
then awesomest the night with an awesome street contact where many
people are ready to listen to us! Yay!
Monday Monday. Always a fun day! I just love my trio, I love trios in
general! They hasten the work and it's super fun! We had the senior
luncheon for the missionaries and Gail even came! So sweet! We had a
lesson with Gail on family history and she is so excited to go to the
Temple! Yay! And the YSA had a fun FHE tonight with a BBQ and bouncy
house! It was hilarious and many less actives and nonmembers came so
that we awesome! :) We stopped by Junior Raglands as well and they
have a tough situation where they have to move and haven't found a
place yet. My heart goes out to them, I have faith God will take care
of them!
I know God is taking care of me too, I have seen so many miracles on
my mission. I can't even begin to express and I know do an awful job
through email. But I just want all of you to know that I KNOW that this
is where God wants me to be, that this is his church, and his work. No
doubt about it. I know The Book of Mormon was written for me and for
YOU! All we have to do is read and apply. Miracles will happen, I've
seen it with my own eyes. God is good and he is here with us. I'm so
lucky to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I try to honor and live
up to it everyday. Thank you all for your endless support, I'll always
remember and cherish it. I love you!

Love, Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

...a simple talk...

Greetings from the promised land! :)
Beautiful is the work here in Santee! And these 2 Sister missionaries
are pressing forward with steadfast faith in Christ! I love all of
you, I appreciate the faithful emailers and letter writers. Where love
is, I know you'll be there! :) And the spirit will be with you too!
Thankfully the spirit was with us as we traveled through Santee,
sometimes blindly. ;)
But Tuesday night was glorious. President has recently emphasized the
importance of personal daily contact when someone has a baptismal date
in 2 weeks, and so we are doing it with Gail. BECAUSE HER BAPTISM IS
ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it? Crazy stuff. I can't believe
a simple talk at someone's trunk of their car, can lead to Baptism! We
were talking to Gail and she couldn't believe it either. Satan truly
hits hard right before baptism, and hard he has hit. It's so hard to
watch her struggle and be so sad. So ma y things have happened to her
but I love her for her willingness to adapt and overcome and press
forward. We will get her to Saturday! Prayers would always be
appreciated. :) But the members have been awesome and I know even
amongst Gail's scary life, she has a home here! So we met with her
briefly and then the activity day girls, the girls in the church ages
8-11, had asked us to come be and answer a few questions about
missionary life. It was very cute, so many fun questions and we got to
know them all very well. And even better their were 2 Unbaptized girls
there. It was nice we had an opportunity to bear our testimonies. This
church is AWESOME!! Then we went over to Staceys. She amazes me!
Usually when people are hit with trials, it's before baptism, hers are
after. Because of the decision she has made many friends have left her
and not said such nice remarks. She has held strong and responded with
the upmost maturity and spirit. She's awesome and she has totally
transformed before my eyes, it's a miracle! And I know if she wouldn't
have had this physical trial, she wouldn't have found the gospel, she even
said it herself. And she's very grateful for it! :) And so am I.
Wednesday. Crazy busy, IT WAS AWESOME! We did our last day at the
booth because finals are this week and summer is coming! So the flow
of traffic at the institute has slowed down and will stop. But we went
out victorious! We talked to many people but the one that stands out
is Tyrone, I stop him by asking what makes him the most happiest. And
we get into this conversation how he's a dancer and life makes him
happy and I somehow transition it into the gospel and I could just see
his countenance change before me. :) We are excited to talk to him
after finals end. Then we prepared to give training on how to extend
invitations on The Book of Mormon and prayer for MTEs. Sadly Rose and
Sean cancelled on us. We had to drop Rose because she is just not
communicating with us and she didn't come to church. We love her and
miss her. But Sean came to the YSA activity that night, sports night!
And as we were driving away we saw hi just hitting it off with the
YSA, made us smile. :) We then did service for our high priest group
leader, Brother Bostic. He had reverse shoulder surgery and can't do
yard work. So we got to weed and trim hedges, always good for the
soul. :)

Thursday. MTES!!!! It was actually MTES for our zone and then for 3 of
the Sisters we are over. Craziness! But it always makes me a better
missionary. Our training went really great and it's always nice to
have missionaries walk up to you and say you helped them receive
revelation. 3 cheers for making a difference! But I was fortunate
enough to stay in Santee and be with Sister Eging.
Sister Eging is
currently serving in Hillsdale/Jamul!!!!! My home!! :) She is a temple
square sister and is on her outbound. She's from Virginia, Falfax I
believe she said, near DC. SHES AWESOME!! We just started teaching
right away as I treated her to a California burrito. To these 2 sweet
women, they loved us, but weren't quite interested in the message that
we were sharing. BUT I did learn how gentle of a teacher Sister Eging
is. Instant spirit, it amazes me!
We then got to teach a bunch of
recent converts including DJ, who has cool green hair. Good guy. We
then drove out to Lakeside to contact a referral, who is interested,
just busy. I then felt prompted to walk up to the neighbors house and
we started to talk to Octavio. He is from Mexico, has been to an LDS
church before, and traveled all the way to his home in Mexico to give
his family a Book of Mormon. He was an awesome referral for the
Hermanas! After dinner we taught our tracking miracle, Daniel. He
finally took a copy of The Book of Mormon! HALLELUJAH!! I'm telling
you, Sister Egings gentle voice, works miracles! We then went over to
teach 2 less active families. One was really chaotic, the other
spiritual. Love to hear people's testimonies of how the priesthood can
bless and in their case, save life's! As we were on the way back to
our apartment, we street contacted a man who has been to a family home
evening before, Hector. We are excited to teach him. God is amazing!
Friday we had MTE follow up and got to hear all the amazing miracles!
And President Schmitt is a amazing disciple of Jesus Christ, as is his
lovely wife, Sister Schmitt. She just had surgery the day before and
then the next day she just walked into our MTE follow up, she's so
amazing, inspiring. This was also a go go go day! We did power hour in
El Cajon with the executive secretary of the YSA, Andrew, he's fun. We
saw a lot of miracles! Got a referral for the Arabic elders, the
Hermanas, and the Bostonia elders. Marie. Marie is from Rhode Island
and is going through and hard time. We just bounded since we are both
from the east coast and she just instantly trusted me. She misses it
so I told her I would put her in my suitcase when I go home. She keeps
reminding me about it. :) But she is struggling and needs the gospel,
we introduced her to the Elders the next day and the pass off lesson
went really well. She has touched me heart and I was grateful to of
been a part in this process for her. Then we went to the Mormon
Battalion with Gail and our member Sister Creemens! She loved it!
I always do, makes my day! Visitor centers are just awesome. (shout
out to Sister Parsons! :)) And the picture I'll attach below, Gail
doesn't like to smile for some reason. Haha but she's so sweet! Later
at night we got to meet with Julie and I am just blown away at how
mature she is! Everything we talk about, she totally understands but
not just understands, lives, even when her family does not sometimes.
I love her.
Saturday. We finally squeezed in weekly planning. And we were also
able to squeeze in Stacey for lunch, she took us to get real Mexican
food. It was so fun! I love Stacey! I hope all of you will meet her
someday, she makes me laugh and cry! :) Gail passed her baptismal
interview that day with soaring colors! When our district leader
walked out he shook her hand and smiled and said, "Just remember,
you're an amazing and very special person." It was very touching. And
we finally got to meet with a less active,, he's an Uncle of an Elder
who is serving in the mission. He is coming back to church after 20
years, he bought a Book of Mormon on his own and started praying!
That's every missionary's dream to hear that! :)
Then Sunday, what a holy day. Gail came to church 30 minutes early!
She's awesome. :) Stacey was there, and Vanessa, John, Anthony, DJ,
Denver, Eddie, so many recent converts it made my heart swell! :) Then
after church we ran over to teach a less active YSA, who lives in our
family Ward boundaries. We walk in and her Mom sits in with us, she's
a nonmember. And she was very participative! AND SO WE FOUND A NEW
INVESTIGATOR!!! HALLELUJAH!!!! :):):):):)::) I always squeal after we
get in the car when we find a new investigator, just ask Sister
Purcell. :) I'm excited for her and she said when she comes to know
these things are true she would be baptized! WOOHOOO!!!
Monday. Are always the best! So refreshed from Sunday and ready to see
Miracles! We started off by doing service for the Whitlocks neighbors,
our cute older friends. Their friends name is Darlene and she had
lupus. She's in a lot of pain and we were able to help her move stuff
around, she's still,unpacking from moving. The Whitlocks have been
very helpful to her and they suggested that we go help her and she
accepted! And at the end she asked if we  could come back and the. We
asked if we could share a message. She said she had been wanting to
hear about The Book of Mormon! So Brother Whitlock was able to give
her a Book of Mormon with his testimony in it. :) Then we had lunch
with them since they are going to Colorado for the summer. We will
miss them dearly! But at lunch we challenged them to think of someone
who could use the Plan of Salvation. They accepted the challenge. Not
too long later we got a call from Brother Whitlock saying their
neighbors wife just passed away and he wouldn't mind a visit! These 2
just rock!!!! We met with Eddie for his last lesson, he is just on
fire! He watched all of the district episodes. He is awesome!  And
totally awesome news! On Sunday we got a text from the Lake side
Elders saying they had talked to a TAYLOR MCDANIEL!!!!! And that she
wanted us to get in contact with her so she can get back to church!
FYI Taylor is my first convert from way back when and we thought she
had moved to La Mesa.... So we tried her on Monday! I saw her Mom, but
she said Taylor was sleeping. We will get her! I love her so. :) But
in the mean time we have 2 referrals for the Lakeside Elders!
WOOHOO!!! We the. Brought Stacey to meet Gail, Stacey rocked it! She
just needs a name tag and Gail loved her! I love these 2 women and now
they know each other. Life complete! :) Then in the last hour of the
night we went to go welcome a new move in into the Ward. We walk in,
and see she has a husband, he's a hoot! John. He's an older man with
all the stories! We find our he's very religious, has had 3 near death
experiences, and he's been to church but he has not been taught by the
missionaries! What? THEY SAID WE COULD TEACH HIM!!! Woohoo, he's a
sweetheart! I'm excited! See, repentance is possible at any age! :)
And also we had s fun night. We finished planning, all was well, and
then the phone rang. President Schmitt. That's when the hearts start
beating loudly. He called us and told us their is a Sister from the
Phillipines who just got her VISA and is coming to the mission! She
has been serving their for 6 months and he wanted her to join us for
the next 3 weeks. Oh boy! Trio life for me! We were suppose to pick
her up at the airport at 1 pm, we got there, met President Schmitt,
and waited. Nothing. We are in the process of trying to figure out
where she is. Prayers appreciated. But we know she's in the Lords
hands, possibly stuck in customs. I will let you know next week!! So
I love you all. And most importantly I know the Lord loves you ALL.
Never forget, always thank him and put your FULL faith in him. Keep
going, I'm cheering for you!

Love, Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Missionary Work is a Labor of Love

With the Cute Chula Vista Sisters and Sister Schmitt!
Fear not! For I bring you good tidings of great joy from the land of Santee! And a lot of love too! There can never be too much love, I've definitely learned that. Everything I do is out of love, but not just love for anyone, it's the love that I have for the Lord that I do these things. The greatest and most important kind of love! This week was full of a lot of love. :)
First of all I'll just start out with the love I have for my companion is unreal. Australia is awesome everyone! And the people are even better! Sister Purcell shows her love for me all the time and I don't think I've met a better hugger. She helps me improve, and she's helped me grow a lot. Probably the  most since my training. She rocks. I couldn't say enough good things about her! I hope you all get to meet her, and the rest of my companions. They are all equally as awesome!
But Tuesday night. What a night. A very spiritual one for me. We met with Stacey, always a highlight of my day! It was the first lesson since her baptism, and she talked about that night she went to bed and she felt like something was off, not normal. And she realized that for the first time, she had no pain. No pain. God is a god of miracles. She talked about how when they gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost she could physically feel the power of the priesthood in her hands. She said they could have just stood there and not said anything and she would have been fine, it was that strong for her. I hope you all can meet her too, I love her. She's family. Also the power of the priesthood was able to bless my companion and I that same night where our favorite Brother Whitlock agreed to give us blessings, so powerful. And he gave us assignments to do throughout the week. He just had me in tears, what a powerful man. And then on Sunday he approached and gave us two nice folders with a bunch of notes and favorite scriptures that have helped him. He is the best and he definitely exercises and magnifies his priesthood! And I am grateful for it. :)
Then Wednesday it was reconfirmed to me that even one soul is worth everything. So we have been trying to meet with this referral for a long time, Missy. And it finally happened, and she decided to bring her 21 year old son, Sean. So we called our branch mission leader over, Kevan. They both got there and Sean proclaimed to be agnostic and told us four times throughout the lesson what the definition of agnostic is. So we, as the unworthy humans we are, assumed we were there more to help Missy. Boy were we wrong. When we started talking about living prophets, Joseph Smith, and The Book of Mormon, she was not having it. But as she would rebuttal, Sean would defend the church. I think my favorite line from him was, talking to his Mom, "I don't know if this is blasphemous, but what if you just read it?" (referring to The Book of Mormon.) IT WAS AWESOME!!! And he said he would evidently be interested in learning more and coming to church!!!
WOOHOOOOOO!!! Miracles all around.
We also had dinner with an older couple and they brought a friend over who has been less active and when we shared the restoration she really enjoyed us and asked us to come visit her! Another WOOOHOOOO!!! We also were able to do the booth and we tried a new approach where we set up a huge picture of La Jolla Temple and started asking people survey questions, like, "What makes you the most happy?" And transitioned it into the gospel, always. It was awesome and we got so many awesome people who want to meet with us! WOOOHOOOO!!!!! And also the coolest thing, Gail Ward, our investigator, has been coming to church and this group of older women in the ward have just taken her under their wing. Sister Purcell and I like to call them "The Golden Girls." They truly are golden! Six of them put on this lunch for Gail and they had us teach a lesson! It was awesome, they all got to know Gail and Gail really appreciated it!
Missionary dreams do come true! :)
Then Thursday we had another successful day at the booth with the same tactics and the same results. :)
It was sweet!
Then we weekly planned, dinner at the Leavitts who we love and are missionaries! They are always willing to have investigators over for dinner. :) And both of our wards had a Relief Society activity the same night, in the same building, at the same time! So easy and fun to hop from both of them and meet new people and get to know the friends they brought, great stuff! Next time you have an activity, bring a friend! It will make the missionaries day, but most importantly the Lord's and that is who really matters!
Friday. CRAZY TIMES. I truly felt like a Sister Training Leader that day. Right after our studies we got a call from these sisters asking if they could go on an exchange. To say the least, I enjoyed the day in Chula Vista, gave a lot of hugs, and listened a lot. People have hard lives, and missions just make it a teensy bit stressful. I'm grateful for the specific calling that I'm in right now where I can provide counsel and comfort. It's awesome.
What a day, after we tried to figure out what was going on with the sisters, Sister Purcell and I drove off to teach a YSA. It's sad to see what Satan will do to these people, but I know the Lord sends us to fortify and strengthen them! We also had a wonderful lunch with a YSA member and helped her do missionary work. We did some service in another jungle for a potential investigator we found through a street contact and she has been to the Mormon church, raised on it for a little bit. Just never joined. Not yet anyways! :) That will be a fun project! Then we met with a part member family, the Delgados, sweet people who have a lot of questions. Man it was just one after the other, boom, Boom, BOOM!!! And tiny miracle we were finally able to meet with Junior, right outside his house. He was a little distracted but we learned he reads from The Book of Mormon for children when he is in the car! He's awesome, he says the sweetest prayers! He didn't come to church and missed his appointment yesterday, but still an awesome kid!
Sunday was really draining. But really awesome. I had an amazing experience partaking of the Sacrament and I was in YSA this week while Sister Purcell was in Grossmont, splits every Sunday! And I got to go to a linger longer! Love those things! And YSA is just fun, and it made me so happy to see a lot of recent converts there! :)
GAIL CAME TO CHURCH!!! Only two more weeks til her baptism, May 28th here we come!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) And she's so excited to go to the Temple! YAY!
We are hoping to go to the Mormon Battalion with her on Friday. Then after high wards we zoomed over to Elijah's, a less active YSA, Zane had a really cool lesson where his Sister even sat in and he testified to her about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. It was awesome! Then we zoomed over to lunch/dinner with the Hoffmans! Love that cute family! And then we zoomed over to Poway for the Mission President's Devotional! It was so fun, I was able to accompany the choir on the piano and the flute! I haven't played the flute in a year! But it was awesome and really uplifting for me to play it. On the flute I performed with the choir, Love One Another. She had me do a verse a cappella, then with the piano, then with the choir, a fancy part. Then I accompanied some Elders singing and then one of her then Sister Purcell. She CRUSHED it! So proud, she sang "Blessed Be His Name." Spirit was strong. And the testimonies were equally as strong. Love those!
Then Monday was our first MTE! (Missionary Training Experience, where we get some training, go on exchanges with the sisters to apply it and then the next day return and report.) I was able to be with Sister Atwood in Santee! I think the coolest miracle we saw was when Junior's appointment fell through, we went to go try a less active family, and all of a sudden, BOOM, Rose, our Investigator who we haven't been able to get in contact with or see and she didn't show up to church, was right there! It was crazy! God must really love her, and he loves us too!
We were able to read a little bit from The Book of Mormon with her and testify of its truthfulness, set a return appointment, and she should be on the uphill! :) :) :) :)
Tender mercy.
With my favorite Canadian, Sister Atwood!
Another funny moment was when we saw this purse just sprawled on the side of the road, looked like someone had stolen it, gone through it, and left it. So we tried to see fit here was a phone number, and found one. She's a Jehovah's Witness! Nice woman. She was very grateful! We also taught Eddie, who is preparing to go on a mini mission! He said by the end of the year.
YAYYYY!!! Then met with Vanessa too, she's still one of my favorites and such a sweetheart!
Some of my favorite tidbits of knowledge from this past couple days of training was:

-"…the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty…"
-"Missionary work is a labor of love."
-"I will do anything to sustain the prophets of God." - President Schmitt
-"Preparation is everything
-"Don't do the comfortable thing, always extend invitations."
-Be bold with yourself.
-You don't have to convince anyone, the Lord is preparing people ahead of us.

I have learned so much and yet I see how many things I still have to learn. I'm on full throttle right now and pledging myself to the Lord. Thank you for all of your support, love and kindness, it truly is appreciated.
Know that I love you and that I'm cheering for you!
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Hola hola hola!!!
Buenos Dias! Ah I can't believe I only saw you a couple days ago... Weird. But it was AWESOME!!! I'm sorry you couldn't see my face but I'm glad you could hear my voice. And shout out to RODGE PODGE for asking an inspired question and making me cry. Kudos. I'm sorry it was scattered and hectic but I appreciated hearing all of your voices. You all made me want to be a better missionary and make these last 6 months be the best they can. I will definitely keep my promise and work my hardest. Prayers are appreciated. :)
This week as a servant of the Lord was a miraculous one. Tuesday night we had power hour and went out with our YSA Relief Society President, Bailie. She's a boss and makes me laugh. I love her, she works so hard and I love working hard with her. The Relief Society is small right now but we are mighty! Great day. Great night. Oh and P.S. there is a new Elder in our zone and he's from Massachusetts! So weird! He's from Acton I believe and he knows the Jeffrey's! He loves the Jeffrey's. Really small world. His name is Elder Newey.
Wednesday. Was my last day as a teenager. Weird, but awesome. My favorite part of the day was when I was able to give a Book of Mormon to my neighbor and testify to her of the truthfulness. I love telling people how much it means to me and how I want to give it to them. Most people appreciate it, she did, and I loved her reaction. She wasn't ready to meet, but I'm excited to see her around. :) We also had our first district meeting as a district. Our new district leader is Elder Clair from Utah. Seems like a good Elder. We had fun setting goals and making plans! We are just ready for the new transfer! :) My goal is to show my love more, definitely don't do that enough, I feel like none of us do. And if we do we need to have more love! But we stopped by one of our favorite families who we've been working with to come to church and Sister Purcell told them it was my birthday the next day and they sang me a song and gave me a cupcake in a jar! It was the cutest thing EVER!!! And what was even better is that they've been keeping commitments. I love when people keep commitments. :)
And for all of you who were unaware, THURSDAY WAS MY BIRTHDAY!! Yes I have the best birthday ever, Cinco De Mayo!!! And I turned the big 2-0. And I discovered that when I put my mouth in an "o" shape and hold my right hand up in a peace sign, it can be the number 20!!! You know exactly what I'll be doing for the rest of the year? Exactly that. It was so weird, so many people asked me how old I was that day, not even knowing it was my birthday, and it was weird to say 20. BUT THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY PACKAGES AND LETTERS!!!!!! They were much appreciated. :)
Sister Purcell and I especially had fun with the confetti.

But I am the luckiest Sister missionary ever, it rocks. I love you ALL!!! And on the plus side we were able to finish weekly planning! WOOHOO!! Milagros! Rose cancelled, frustrating but we did get to see her on Sunday after I skyped. It was weird to go from such a high and then to see someone at such a low. Very humbling and the spirit was definitely strong. She will be baptized! I have faith. :) But we did finally get to teach some less active families we've been trying for a while so that's AWESOME!!! And it's always a plus when you get to show Hallelujah, the video. on the street and someone actually wants to watch. Not interested, but it was still the best birthday gift ever! And it's even more of a win that before you go to bed you get sang the best rendition of Happy Birthday from the Schmitts! Love those two! They are so sweet. :) And the birthday month continues. ;)
Then Friday we went to Missionary Leadership Council. What an overload. lots of things to do, so many things to improve on, so little time. But thankfully the atonement is real! :) But thankfully the day was made better when we were able to meet with one of our favorite members, Sister Moreau, to teach Gail. What a sweetheart. As Gail opened the door she went, "Hello Family!" Super cute! And I asked her straight out, if the Book of Mormon is true, she said YES!!!! YAYYYYY!!! SND SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!!! I have so much faith that Gail will be baptized on May 28th! We can fight Satan! God is good and way more powerful! Then we got to teach our 9 year old Junior, we also taught him yesterday too! AND HE WENT TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! I love hearing little kids pray, they are always so sincere. Every time Junior always prays that he will be baptized. And yesterday he told me that he had a dream he was baptized by Jesus Christ. This kid is cool. LOVE HIM!!! Then we went over to Doug and Julie's which is one of my favorite places ever! And they even had birthday cake! To celebrate Doug and my birthdays. Love them! AND HE CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY TOO!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!! :):):):)
And then we had our last lesson with Stacey before her baptism. SO TENDER!!!! OH I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!! And I can't believe she was baptized this past week, it went by solo fast! Saturday, was the best day. THE DAY THAT STACEY GOT BAPTIZED!!!

Such a good service and the cool part was because Stacey has psoriatic arthritis, she needed two people to baptize her. So she asked a man from the ward and then she asked PRESIDENT SCHMITT!!!! So President Schmitt got to be apart of the ordinance. Super cool. The woman that introduced Stacey to the gospel, Suzanne Hoffman, drove all the way from Arizona to speak at her baptism. And she brought these cute decorations for STACEY'S baptism. The food table looked so good! And not just because there were cupcakes and brownies. ;) But Sister Purcell performed "Blessed Be His Name" in the middle and I had the pleasure of accompanying her. Boom. Instant spirit. Good stuff. And we got to walk Stacey back to the font, really cool. She rocks !!! Even though it was slightly stressful to prepare and I might of accidentally stepped in the font with my sock and shoe still on, good times and laughs were had. Especially now looking back.:) We did an inspired power hour where we found someone who was looking for a church and a former investigator. Hopefully news to follow. Then we skyped Sister Purcell's fan bam since they are way ahead, such cool people. They been sang happy birthday to me with their strong Australian accents! I love them! :) AND THEN we were contacting potentials and their was this house that was a blasting Mexican music. I felt prompted to go knock on the door, we did. AND WE FOUND A YSA INVESTIGATOR!!!!!!! MILAGROS!!!
YSA has been struggling as a whole and we've been struggling to add. So it was awesome. His name is Daniel, he sells insurance, I want connection between him and Sister Purcell. We are excited to go back!
AND HAPPY LATE MOTHER'S DAY!! Definitely a powerful one, especially in the branch. I was playing piano for a little bit for the YSA Sacrament Meeting and it was a hard day for Eddie. Eddie lost his mom a couple of years back so just seeing him cry made me cry. He's such a strong amazing guy. And speaking of Eddie.... We met with him yesterday and he had news for us... HE WANTS TO GO ON A MISSION!!!!! Coolest moment of my mission!!!! Ah! It was awesome. :) But also a plus we got roses and cookies in both sacrament meetings, yay for being a female and 18 years or older! ;) But happy late moms day, I love you with all my heart Moma!
AND ALSO STACEY WAS CONFIRMED!!! An awesome confirmation, one filled with the spirit. And she even stayed all three hours. What a champ! Rose came to church too which was awesome! :)
And Monday. The best day because I'm rebooted from partaking of the sacrament. And we definitely were because right as we stepped out of the apartment we taught the restoration. So cool!
We taught this couple and we almost added them but they said they were busy and would call us. SO CLOSE!!! But at least they are one step closer. :)
We taught a less active who is just not ready to keep commitments, so sad. We power houred it up and had a meeting with the Elders to figure out what they wanted us to train at zone meeting. We are training on having the purpose written on our hearts. I'd like to think mine is but I know preparing for this training will only engraven it deeper! :)
Then we had dinner with the cute Sister Whitlock. :) Love her! I LOVE HER SOO MUCH!! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH!!! I LOVE SANTEE SOOO MUCH!!!!
But I especially love this work so much, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and especially all of you. You all mean everything to me and I hope you know that. :)
I'm cheering for you!
Sister Whitcomb

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Santee is the Promised Land

Helloooooo family!!!!!!
It's another great week and also the first week of the transfer.
I know you're all dying to know where I am and who I'm with. I'M STILL IN SANTEE WITH THE COOLEST AUSTRALIAN EVER!!!!! For some reason, one we hope to find out soon, Sister Purcell and I are to stay together still! Which I am so grateful for!
The way they do transfers now is they send an email, so we were in the car going to visit someone as I was reading it. So it was dead silent. And then I SCREAMED!!!!! I am soooo excited and soooooo grateful! I was so nervous I was leaving! But I love these wards, the people, my investigators, so I am so grateful the Lord is allowing me to stay for another six weeks! :) It'll be the longest I've ever been in an area! Yay!
But anyway. Back to the Milagros. So Tuesday night, we met with Stacey. STACEY IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!! That is the best birthday gift ever. :)
(that's right; turning the big 2-0 this week!!!)
She's so awesome, even though she has a lot of pain, she has a huge smile on her face! She is willing to live everything even before we tell her, she goes above and beyond. Friday she passed her interview and then on Sunday they announced it in church! :) YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!
She's just the coolest.
And then last night we had a Family Home Evening with her and another family in the ward, the McCullochs. They rock! She's being so well fellowshipped and she just loves everyone she meets! Meant to be!
Then we went out with the YSA Relief Society president for visits. Working with members is so important, it can be a struggle, but vital. Imagine the difference between 80,000 missionaries and 15 million. Huge. We all need to be working together! So work with your missionaries and make sure they work with you! It's the most important work you can be a part of!
Wednesday. We met with one of the YSA recent converts, Jake. I forgot to mention that last week, Sunday, he was asked to bear his testimony. I was so impressed! It was so eloquent and well thought out and definitely directed by the spirit! The gospel brought huge changes in Jake's life! It's amazing! We also spent time near our blessed corner, where we have been setting up the institute booth. We have been able to bear our testimony and give a lot of material away to people who say they will read it and they seem genuine. It's just the typical YSA problem. Commitment, they aren't willing to give it. That is definitely necessary for repentance so hopefully all of them will be able to achieve that someday! BUT when we were walking out we did find a girl, Natasha! She said she would be willing to hear our message!! WOOHOOO!!! Just have to follow up. :)
We are really just trying to find find find. We have four investigators and they all have baptismal dates. So hopefully all of them will become members soon! The time is far spent. And I promised the Lord I would help his children, so if I'm even the only one doing it, I will. It's that important. But I'm grateful I'm not the only one doing it! :)
Vanessa went to the temple. :) And remember how I said Vanessa was going crazy with family history? Well she brought eight names to the temple! Four female, four male! It was awesome!

And it was funny because one of the YSA from my old area, Black Mountain was there and he told us he was engaged!!!! Good on you Devin Dahlberg! :) But to say the least, the Temple was awesome, it always is! And Sister Leavitt drove us there, so nice, man she's a crack-up! We love her. :)
Friday. Being a missionary is quite awkward. But it's the best! We were teaching this YSA who hasn't been to church in a while and all of a sudden he says to me, "You have blue eyes." And all I could say was "Yes, I do," and tried to continue teaching.
And then he says "You have brown hair, too."
And once again I say "Yes, I do."
Sister Purcell was dying! Ah man, missionary work, it's the best.
We also did some service in the jungle! This time it looked like we made a little bit of a difference! Sweet! Even though I got stabbed by a cactus. Man, I wouldn't recommend it.
We also had our last district meeting before people got transferred. Tears all around. The lesson was on the atonement and our district leader had us sit in the chapel and think about the last time we repented and how we can improve on using the atonement. Man, it was so good. Such power, so much revelation!
We also met with Gail! Had a serious lesson about the sabbath day. Boom. Spirit. It was awesome! AND GUESS WHAT??? SHE ACTUALLY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!! Wooohoooooooooo!!! It was awesome, she came to all three hours and when she was introducing herself in Relief Society she said "Hello, my name is Gail, I've been meeting with the sisters once a week to prepare for my baptism."
It was awesome, super awesome!! :)
But back to Friday, we also met with Julie who continues to impress me with her desire to attend seminary and surrounding herself with people who will help her keep her standards! Love her!
Then Saturday.
It's always a special day! When Sister Purcell got emergency transferred out a couple of months ago she went to Black Mountain, which was actually her first area! And she was teaching this boy named Matthew and this past Saturday he got baptized! And he asked Sister Purcell to speak, so we got to go! It was weird and awesome to be back in Black Mountain but it was even cooler to see Black Mountain welcome one of their brothers home.
There were a lot of nonmembers there so it was awesome to talk to them! Some of them planned on going to the Mormon Battalion! :)
Also on Saturday there was a huge Just Serve community event where many of the people in Santee came to clear trails and pick up this little area which was right behind a WalMart. Weird things were found in those bushes. The craziest thing I hear was one of the sisters in our ward found a prosthetic leg!  Crazy! But it was awesome! We made friends with this little boy from a Catholic Church and he just followed us around the whole time! He called me Sister Zero because he said I was a hero and he called Sister Purcell Sister Two, Because second is the best! :) It was fun and it was fun to talk to that little boy about what we do as missionaries! A lot of churches there and it was good to interact with them! :)
And Sunday. Like I already said, the most exciting news was that Gail and Stacey came to church!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!! :) I also loved it because it was fast and testimony meeting and I was in the YSA Sacrament meeting this Sunday and I got the opportunity to bear my testimony! I'm just proud to be a member of this church. And it was awesome because Eddie and Anthony, two recent converts, got up to share their testimonies too! :) Great times!
Then Sister Purcell and I were asked to attend this special meeting with a couple sets of missionaries and our ward mission leaders. It ended up being a lot about how we are trying to work with our members. Our mission just recently came out with a faith card, which has a picture of Christ in the front with a quote from President Monson that says, "He will assist in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill his work." And then on the back it says who, what and when. To help people identify who they can help, what they can do and when they can do it by. Then with the when we try to follow up and see how it went.  It's been pretty cool but definitely could be used better. So the meeting was about having like a district 3.0. They picked Sister Purcell and I, and four other elders to be recorded at dinner using the faith cards, so missionaries can see how it should be used, what proper follow up should be used, what proper follow up should be had. If you've ever heard of "The District," it's like that, but just with member missionary work. Why they picked us, I have no idea. But it should be fun! More details to come. :)
We met with members as well to help prepare for a lesson with an investigator to make it the most spiritual environment it can be. It was awesome! I'm excited for the lesson with Rose!
And now Monday. So transfers happened, craziness. Then we met with Anthony to talk about his new member lessons and getting him to the Temple. And we had ice cream with him. And then we had ice cream at dinner, and then ice cream at FHE. Ice cream overload yesterday! But it was awesome. We also had a lesson with Eddie where we gave him the lesson plans and he taught us, it was awesome! He did really well and he even prepared by reading from Preach My Gospel. He's cool!
We did the booth, gave away a copy of the Book of Mormon so that was awesome!
I love giving people Copies of the Book of Mormon because I love telling them it's the greatest gift I could give anyone. I love testifying of that book, because I know it's true and I know it can help anyone and everyone.
We also met with Vanessa, talked about tithing, she's awesome, I'm excited to see what her calling will be! And she also brought her niece to church n Sunday! So cool! She's an awesome missionary! Missionary work is so important. It's the most important work we could be doing. Or at least I could be doing. I hope all of you can experience it in some aspect and always strive for it, even if you have already done some, there's never too much missionary work! I love you all and I especially love all the mothers out there who have impacted me! Especially you Mi Madre! I love you mucho, and I'm grateful for you! You do so much and I truly do see it and appreciate it! I can't wait to Skype you on Sunday! :)
Sister Whitcomb