About This Blog

Elder Whitney is called to serve in the Arcadia, California mission, English speaking. He enters the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on September 4, 2013 and will serve for two years.

This blog is being maintained by his family to post general updates, pictures from Elder Whitney, and to keep his mailing information up to date. Elder Whitney would love to get letters and emails from everyone!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

14-20 Oct. 2013

Hi All!
It's been a really crazy week, but I hope I get all the important things in :)
Monday 10/14--- Had a pretty relaxing P-day, nothing too extraordinary. That night we had dinner with the Bishop and his wife. He is starting to come down pretty hard on how the ward mission is going. Which is awesome for us. We've been dying for the leadership to crack down on members. We also went to visit an Armenian family that moved in from DC. They were baptized more than ten years ago, and are still really active. That is pretty rare, unfortunately, among the Armenian families in the states. However, we sent the Armenian elders their way and they agreed to join the Armenian group here in Glendale. That night we stopped by FHE in the singles ward, and they all did the Thriller dance for us. It was pretty cool since a lot of the ward is made up of professional dancers (I actually met a few from "So you think you can dance" my first week here) and they know what they're doing.
Tuesday--- We went up to the institute early to do some service in the form of helping some members with their calculus. It was scary to see how much I've already forgotten, but also a good way to get to know the member. She actually went to West Point for a year before deciding she wanted to do something else, so talking to her about that is fun. Then we had someone cancel on us (the first of 11 cancellations this week). We tried to track down some new move ins near the building but nobody was home this time around. We had a really great lesson with Stuart tonight about getting ready to serve a mission and how we can help him deal with approaching his parents about it. He seemed pretty hopeful afterwards, which was cool. I love Stuart. Stuart is awesome.
Wednesday--- 2 more cancelled lessons at the institute, however, we did get to teach Cherry. Who is super prepared to receive the gospel. Something we saw a lot of this week was a series of cancelled appointments followed by picking up new investigators that have been prepared to hear our message. I know we definitely wouldn't be getting those blessings if we weren't doing our best in planning and then throughout the day to find as many people as possible to be teaching. We pretty much never teach who we planned to teach, but we are shown those who we should be teaching.Wednesday night we also met with the YM president, who helped make a good plan for getting involved with the youth and YM in particular. That was a way more productive visit than we originally thought it would be.
Thursday--- We had a good district meeting in which we practiced turning bashing into testifying. A very useful skill for a missionary that lives on the same block as the local Jehovah's Witness church. Also taught Cherry again, this time about the Restoration. She seemed to really like the idea of modern day prophets. We also committed her to get baptized! And set a date! It was awesome, especially since our investigators keep running away from us. We visited a recent convert in the singles ward, and had an amazing discussion about the Atonement and some of the reasons certain things happened the way they did. We talked a bit about the phrase, "In the flesh" which is so often found in the scriptures when talking about Christ and the Atonement. That's something you can all take a look at in your personal studies.
Friday--- On Friday we had weekly planning, and took some cookies to Jolene. She still doesn't think she can meet with us, but was glad to see we remembered her and asked us to tell her friends at church "Hello." It made me sad to see how sad she was. We had dinner with the Bazil family whom I think I've mentioned as being pretty awesome. After that, due to some weird scheduling and what not, I ended up going on an exchange with Elder Llewelyn for a couple hours. As you might remember, he was my MTC companion, so that was pretty cool. It was also cool because we are both still trainees but we were able to point out in each other how we've changed and what not. Best part about Friday, we finally heard from William! He didn't leave the country after all! Wahoo!
Saturday--- On Saturday we literally had everyone cancel on us. Some of them more than once. But we did have lunch with all the Caltech members. Those were some fun conversations to listen to. Then we ran around all day trying to find someone that we could teach. We were able to stop by William for 20 minutes and get things rolling again there. He said he would be at church tomorrow.
Sunday--- Here's where everything came to fruition this week. Elder Winfield and DeBry had a good meeting with the Stake and Mission President and got some good instruction. Elder Winfield and I taught a great lesson to the YM about Christ-like love and how to develop those attributes. William didn't make it to church though, we aren't sure what happened there. In the singles ward though, we had 3 investigators go to all three hours of church! It was awesome. Autumn is finally settling down and hopefully we can teach her at least once a week come November. Cherry and a guy named Anthony came to church with the Maynaz siblings. They are great missionaries. They bring people for us to meet all the time. Stuart was there too. After church, we taught Stuart, Cherry, and Anthony at the same time. There was really great discussion from everyone, Cherry is still committed to getting baptized, Anthony is really interested in learning more and asking himself soul searching questions. And Stuart got to bear his testimony which is just great to hear as a missionary. Especially since the first time I met him, he said he didn't have one. So yeah. Church is true. We had a great dinner with the Boyack family, who invited a nonmember friend. After that we stopped by the family that lives on our road and we were FINALLY able to teach them as a group. The father is an inactive guy that loves the church and our teachings (also looks like Steven Tyler). The mom isn't a member but loves Mormons and literally said, "I would love to be on the fast-track to baptism." And they have twin 15 year old daughters who were really shy but attentive during the lesson. It would be a huge gain for the YW in the ward if they get baptized too. Anyways, Sunday was great.
There is some cool stuff coming this week:
Tonight I'm teaching FHE in the singles ward on how to get started in Family History and Temple work.
We have really solid lessons set up for the investigators from yesterday.
On Friday Elder Sitati of the 1st quorum of the seventy is coming to "tour the mission." Not sure what that means, but I do know we're spending a lot of time on Friday in meetings with him. Should be pretty awesome.
Also, this is the last week of the transfer, so come next Monday we'll get to know where I'm sent to next. All in all, things are going really awesome, and I'm excited to see how things go this week and to work myself like crazy.
Love you all!
Elder Brett Whitney