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, November 19, 2013

Nov. 12 - Nov. 18

Here is the goings on of God's work in the Creekside ward. 

Tuesday 11/12: The highlight of last Tuesday was picking up a new investigator for the first time with Elder Leavitt. We met with Cheryl, an older woman who came to church the Sunday before and just bawled all the way through Sunday School. She was very happy to see us, and we thought she understood the Restoration pretty well. We met with her a lot this week because she is always home. 

Wednesday: We taught a lot of lessons today, which was awesome. We taught Cheryl the plan of salvation, and she really liked the Resurrection. We talked with Virgil about baptism. Last time we had met with him was quite a while ago, and he raised a pretty big concern with repentance, that ultimately extended from him not quite understanding how it worked. We left an assignment to read Alma 42 and then we would talk about it next time. Although, the Book of Mormon answered his question perfectly! We checked his understanding quickly, just to make sure that he did get it, and he does. So that was cool. He isn't sure that he needs to align himself with any specific church right now though, so he will take some more time. On Wednesday we also met with the Powell family. The Powells are a part member, less active family that just moved here from Montana. We got referred to them by the grandparents who asked to go give a blessing to the daughter. So we went with Bishop Burnett to offer the blessing and found much more than we thought we would. So they moved in September, and in October, the 13 year old daughter Becky was diagnosed with cancer in her bone marrow. Which just sucks. Only her Dad is baptized, and the family doesn't know anything really about how blessings work, or anything like that. So we taught her about those, she was really quiet. Then we gave the blessing, let them know we'd continue to check up on them and that members of the ward would come by, too. I just can't imagine what their situation is like right now. Hopefully we can start actually teaching them soon so that if things go south they've got the ordinances they need. So, that's a good family to keep praying for.  

ThursdayThursday saw some appointments fall through, but we made some real good contacts. One of them waved us down and asked why we never went by his house. We were like, "Well we'd love to start doing that!" His name is Andre, and we haven't seen him since. But, we know where he lives and where is girlfriend lives, so we'll track him down. He seemed pretty genuine. We also met a woman who kept lamenting that she didn't raise children as committed to their church as we are to ours. We just told her, we'd love to come by and tell you how it's done ma'am. So we've set up an appointment with her this week as well, which will feature the family proclamation. Sister Becerra came to our district meeting this week too, that was pretty cool. The zone leaders were there too. Also, this was Elder Leavitt's Birthday! I sang to wake him up. He threw stuff at me because my morning voice is very, ahem, special. 

Friday: Met with Cheryl again, and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We tried to set her up with a baptismal date, but she wouldn't commit, which was frustrating. She did say she would pray about it though, which is something. We spent the rest of the day trying to talk to people that wouldn't listen, which is always a bummer, but not discouraging. We're doing what we can to offer them the Gospel. 

Saturday: Had a lesson with Cheryl that wasn't what we planned it to be. The night before we'd planned to watch the Joseph Smith movie with her, but when we got there she tried to drop us. Tried. We talked with her, reassured her that this takes time, and even though we strongly push baptism, it's because the blessings that come with it are so vital that to delay them is just silly. We apologized for moving too quickly for her, and said that we wanted to keep visiting and just work on helping her understand more about Joseph Smith and prophets/authority. So that was a good lesson for us and for her. We also went to a birthday party for one of the youth. She invited us because there would be several nonmembers there. So we went and tried to strike up some conversations with them. They had some questions about what we do and things like that but weren't particularly interested beyond that. However, we did decide that would start working with the family that invited us so that the missionary efforts they are already making can become missionary successes. 

Sunday: Cheryl didn't come to church, but one of the less actives did come to sacrament. By that I mean as soon as we finished passing, he bolted. The elders quorum president tried to run him down but he disappeared real good. We intend to talk to him about that this week and see if we can't get him to stay for at least all of sacrament. Then Elder Leavitt got a gnarly migraine after church and we were forced to retire for the evening. He tried to sleep it off while a did a lot of different stuff. Watched some church videos, read a lot of scriptures and Preach My Gospel, etc. Read a lot out of Jesus the Christ. There is a lot of information in every single sentence of that book. It's crazy. 

Monday 11/18: We had zone conference all day. Which was pretty awesome. We got a lot of instruction from President, the Assistants, and sister Becerra. I wrote down a lot of things that Elder Leavitt and I are going to start doing so that the work can hasten even faster. Did you know that the Brethren are referring to this period as the Hastening, and that they say it is as important as the Restoration of the Gospel? Just think about that and what it implies about us being saved to be on Earth for this. 

That was my week! I hope you all are doing well, are healthy physically and spiritually. The church is true, and no man can slow down the work of God. The only question is, will the work go on with or without us? 

Love you all,
Elder Brett Whitney