Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keep Sprinting

Hello my dear family!!!
Another week has flown by and next week is transfers!! AHH!!! So crazy! I truly hope they don't take Sister Stirland back to the Battalion.... We truly never know! I'll let you know next week. :) It's been a great week, one full of lessons and the spirit. And of course YSA and an ever on going Pokemon go. ;)
Mia Mia Mia. Might as well start off with the good stuff right? ;) I LOVE MIA!! AND SHE PASSED HER BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!!! YAY!!!! I didn't for a second doubt it that she wouldn't pass. She's my hero. :) It was so cute when she said she didn't really wanted us involved in the program because she would need us to be right next to her the whole time. Ahhh. But it definitely has not been easy for her, and that's why I'm grateful President Schmitt is inspired and has asked every missionary to make daily contact 2 weeks before they get baptized. Mia needs it and we really have been able to get her to open up to us and trust us but more importantly trust God and the gospel he has given her. She's doing a great job! :) It was fun to put her program together. (She wants the opening song to be "The Star Spangled Banner" really badly... we will see what happen... ;) BUT SHE"S GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY??? Isn't that crazy? Really crazy, time does fly. 
We went on exchanges on Wednesday and I got to be with my glorious 2 week companion Sister Kratzer. It was so cool to just get back in the swing of things, she's super bold! She's probably one of my favorite people to street contact with, it just feels so natural and we make so many new friends that way!! And it's amazing to see that even we ourselves as missionaries have concerns and things we struggle with, we are the happiest when we put those things aside and serve other people. When we are completely focused on our purpose. It's amazing!!!! Sister Kratzer is a great example to me of that. Where we live in Poway their is a cute park called, "Old Poway Park." With a little railroad and kind of an antique feel to it with little shops. (Mom you would have a field day!!!) We did power hour there and let me tell you, apparently it's a hot spot for Pokemon go because that's where everyone was. And more specifically the YSA! We have literally doubled our potential investigators this week because of it. Miracles, miracles. But once we got there we just started teaching this girl named Sierra. Poor Sierra has had a lot of death in her family. We were talking with her so much that we just say down with her on the ground. It was a tender moment and we actually got to give her a Book of Mormon. Then the next day Sister Stirland and I street contacted her in a different location! She was busy but said we could continue to text her to figure out a time we can meet. WE WILL!! :) It was also super cool at dinner how we saw a member get so passionate about missionary work he started to cry. He called us to repentance a little bit and now I am even more committed to helping members do missionary work. (Make sure all of your missionaries are doing that for you too! Follow up is vital! :)) Bottom line, exchanges were a blast! 

I truly do love the Sisters I am over, I feel a love for them I have never felt before. To see them struggle makes me so sad and yet so joyful! What a wonderful process of growth! And I can't wait till they look back and see who they have become, I'm so lucky to be a part of their journey! 

Friday were interviews with President Schmitt! I love interviews, they are so short but I've always learned so much and yet again President Schmitt wowed me! He's awesome. And let me tell you he asks about all of you all the time, mi familia, he prays for you everyday. And who ever President Schmitt prays for will be blessed, so count your lucky starts. ;) But I asked President Schmitt what he would of told himself 6 months before his mission ended. He responded, "I don't know, I wouldn't of changed anything. Just love it." I will President I will. And then he told me that sprinters when they run races don't picture the finish line at the finish line, they picture it 10 yards beyond the finish line. So that when they get to the end they are going full speed! So here I go, sprinting the rest of my mission! Don't wait up! ;) 
Now I would love to tell you a little bit more about Westin. Westin is a recent convert since about April, I've mentioned him a couple times. He amazes me, I've never seen someone so strongly follow the spirit and be able to read people. He came out street contacting with us and just could read people, he has such a desire to help people and he does. He just knows when people are struggling. We even brought a member present to his lesson to be able to friendship him but instead Westin was the one helping him out! It's incredible, God's gifts are numerous.
But when we were going contacting with Westin we were suppose to teach Spencer, a less active. Spencer wasn't there, so Westin had to go. But for about 2 hours we were still in the area and I felt prompted to go back. And look who was there, Spencer. He really opened up to us on what his concerns are. Now it's up to me to be able to rely on the spirit to figure out how I can help him. Working with the Lord is just the best. Also handing out Book of Mormons is the best and we've been doing it a lot lately. And I love how we don't just hand them out but we explain it, read a passage we feel inspired to read, give them a reading assignment and then leave it with them. We did it with 2 YSA that same night, it was awesome. They seem so ready to commit and then it falls through or they don't come to church. Ah YSA, you are so awesome but so difficult! It's the best challenge ever! 
And really cool experience in Ramona, we were trying to find this YSAs house FOREVER! It turns out their house was burned down and they now live in a huge metal garage or box of some sorts you could call it. So sad, but those girls have awesome testimonies. It was confirmed to me later by Bishop that it was definitely worth all that time to go and find them. Search and Rescue. People need it and we won't stop till we find them, I hope you all join in the search! It can be frustrating but it's worth it, not only for that person but for that persons family. Generations are always impacted. 

Sunday, game day! Mia the faithful was there! Always can count on her. She also came to our dinner appointment, since we needed a female so 2 return missionaries could feed us. We taught the Restoration to them at the end and it was one of the most spiritual restorations I have ever taught! Tears and all, I'm glad Mia was there. Then we went to our Mission Presidents Devotional with Mia. And I for once was not involved in the program so it was really nice to sit in the crowd. Guess who was there? ALEX BOYE!!! He is awesome, full of testimony and has an amazing conversion story. Life was hard for him after he was baptized, but he was able to get through it. I'm glad Mia heard that. But the coolest thing ever was guess who one of the speaker was? STACEY!!!!! My purple haired friend Stacey!! I was just beaming! She sounded so natural and she is so firmly planted where she is. It makes my heart sing! I'm so glad Mia got to hear her as well! She is just amazing!!! And I got to give her a hug so it made it 10X better! It was amazing how many friends I have made here in San Diego, I saw so many people who I loved and cared for! :) My heart was full. 
And Magical Monday! Always a great one! It was my first time doing the famous Goat service in Poway! Their is a woman who is not super active in the church and she has a goat farms where it's literally cages and cages of goats. Probably over 200 goats. Imagine that, goats, dirt, and poop. IT WAS AWESOME!! We got to feed baby goats and also we found a potential investigator!!!!! John. John works there and once we spotted him we literally never left his side. We just served and taught the gospel to John. He's gonna meet with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so cool! And even though I had alfalfa all in my hair I didn't even care! ;) So many people are just falling in our laps. Life is good. :) 
Bishop Tengberg and his wife are so nice! They feed us every Monday and we talk about missionary work the whole time! They are just an on fire couple! I'm amazed by their love and support and I hope to love missionaries that much some day! 
Before I head out for the week I want to make one suggestion to all of you, look up the book, "You are Special." Read it, absorb it, live it. God loves us, he knows us, and it's important for us to "visit with Him" everyday to figure out why we are so special. And he knows, he's the one who made us. 
And I also know how special you all are, if you ever forget just ask me why! :) But most importantly ask Heavenly Father. He loves you and he's waiting to hear from you!!!

Love, Sister Whitcomb

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