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!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hi All!
Tomorrow I will have been in the field for two weeks. And, as one of my trainers joked when we first met, I might be getting emergency transferred to replace an elder going home for medical stuff (torn ligaments in his ankle, nasty stuff). SO, that's exciting. I still don't know for sure if that will happen, but the elder going home leaves tomorrow so we'll know by the end of today. Hopefully. We'll see.
So here's how this week went:
Monday: We had pretty good lessons with two investigators from the singles ward. It was our last for awhile with Raquel, and one of our first with Autumn. Both of them know they need to get baptized, and they're both dealing with some family things that are preventing them from making the final decision. That night we stopped by FHE with the singles to hopefully meet some nonmembers and had an interesting Korihor-esque experience. This guy approached us and starting asking questions. I knew immediately that he was asking those leading types of questions that are supposed to totally derail our faith at some point down the road in the conversation (although he wasn't great at "The Drop" so to speak). Anyways, we just listened to him, answered his questions with testimony, that good stuff. Eventually he started attacking the personal character of Elder DeBry. Which prompted Elder Winfield to, in short, command him to be still, stop asking questions inspired by the devil, and that the conversation was over. You know that clip of Joseph Smith where he stands and says, "Silence ye fiends of the infernal pit!" Yeah, it was like that.
Tuesday: We went up to a local college to set up a booth where we ask people to take a survey designed to get them to ask, "Where did I come from, why am I here, and where am I going?" We got a couple of good contacts out of that and will hopefully teach them in the near future. We taught a lesson about the importance of family scriptures and prayer to a less active family that had two of their sons baptized recently. They really seemed like they're trying hard to make it back, which is exciting.
Wednesday: We were really busy on Wednesday. We taught 4 lessons, two at GCC (the college)  with students we talked to at the booth. One of the girls was really timid and kind of scared to meet with us, but she eventually opened up to us and we have another lesson with her this week. The other girl we talked to we've met a couple times, and unfortunately didn't take well to the fact that we are the only true church and claim the true authority from God to act in Christ's name on Earth. She tried to drop us afterwards, but we're working on setting up one last appointment to hopefully save it. The other two lessons were with a recent convert and a less active. We taught both of them about patriarchal blessings. Stuart, the less active, said that meeting with us is literally the highlight of every week for him and that he always looks forward to it. I'm sure I was smiling for the rest of the night.
Thursday: We had district meeting in the morning and had some really good discussion about how if we aren't inviting people to do something in every lesson, conversation, contact, whichever, we aren't fulfilling our purpose. Then we had a lesson with a recent convert, Anthony, we hadn't met with for a while and it was pretty sad. This guy has no job, no phone, no car, but a crazy thirst for knowledge about deep doctrine. So, he spent the last month reading/believing a lot papers he found on the internet about the trinity and things like that. It was seriously like he was never baptized. It reminded me that it's not enough to gain a testimony and get baptized. We have to receive constant reminders because we so easily forget the things we already know. That night we visited Laquita again, and the family ward mission leader came with us. It was a pretty frustrating lesson because we planned to go in there and teach the Restoration but Bro. P just kept talking and talking about things she already knew/didn't need to hear. I think I may have said maybe two sentences in the whole hour. Which mostly annoyed me because part of the training now is that the trainee leads out in lessons and does the most talking besides the investigator. So that night I was a little peeved.
Friday: We had our weekly planning on Friday, and realized that we really needed to get better and more diligent in our finding efforts. One of our mission statements is that we in the Arcadia mission are great finders. So that's something we're working on. We had another lesson with Anthony, in which he said he didn't think we could teach him anymore. Which is true, since it was the spirit not the missionaries that taught him anything in the first place. We tried to explain that to him and I think something got through to him at least a little bit. That night we finally had time to swing by Jolene's to see what was up. She was pretty angry to see us. She didn't let us in, and said that she had thrown away everything we gave her. It was so sad because she also told us that it made her sad that she couldn't meet with us because of her sister. She told us how she already had friends at church, that she loved seeing the kids, and had been so excited to get baptized. It was really sad. Hopefully she'll remember the testimony she already got and eventually her sister's heart will be softened.
Saturday: We didn't get a lot done on Saturday unfortunately. We got in the door of a former investigator who said we could come by some time this week to start teaching her again. I'm excited for that. Apparently she was pretty golden before her atheist boyfriend (who she lives with) said he didn't want the missionaries in his home. But he was pretty nice to us, so I think the Lord's been preparing his heart in the last couple months.
In church yesterday, the area president came to talk to the singles. He exhorted them to "Get connected to the temple." Whether that means, going once a week, doing family history, being an ordinance worker, whatever it takes to make the temple a significant part of our life. It was really cool. He also taught them what it really meant when we say "in the name of Jesus Christ." Which is that it means we are saying what he would say if he was the one praying. Which is pretty cool. Remember that when you pray.
I hope you're all doing well, and thanks for the birthday wishes. I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday than being here talking to people about our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives, and that through the Atonement we can be saved.
Everybody should read DC 101:43-58. It's one of the last parables that Christ teaches us, and has a lot of really good stuff in it.
Elder Whitney