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!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Feb. 17, 2014

Hello all! Sorry that last week there was no blog update. This week's
may be kind of short.

So last Sunday we were at home eating lunch after church. Then we got
a call from the missionaries in the ward that meets after us. Someone
in our ward boundaries had just waltzed into the building asking to be
taught! Then our next appointment cancelled on us, but our ride for
that now cancelled appointment just showed up right on time to take us
to this guy at the church. So we zoomed over there and met our good
friend Adrian.

We taught him the restoration, and the whole time he was just
like,"yeah this all makes so much sense!" So that was pretty sweet. We
have another lesson with him tonight and hopefully will have a solid
baptismal date set up for him. That's pretty exciting.

Another exciting thing is that I am writing this email from my new
iPad mini. The whole mission got them last week, and we use them for
just about everything now. So if you're ever in the Arcadia mission
and you see missionaries, they won't have paper scriptures on them
anymore. Don't freak out though, neither does the prophet or any other
general authority.

Last Thursday we had to cancel a few appointments because of some
police altercations very close to our home. Apparently a guy got shot
in a shopping complex nearby us. It lasted for a really long time

Last Friday we  visited a 92 year old less active member. His wife
passed away a few months ago, and that's why he hasn't been coming to
church. So hopefully with a better understanding of the plan of
salvation he'll start coming.

On Saturday the district came on exchanges with me in my area. We
picked up a new investigator names Douglas. He is part of a part
member less active family. He said once his wife gets back from a trip
to Peru he will come to church with us. So that was exciting.

Sunday we had a ward mission breakfast which was quite delicious.
Efrain was at church again, and he's doing really well. He is planning
on getting baptized on March 15, so I'm pretty psyched for that. It's
after transfers so hopefully I'm still here to see it.

Love you all!

Elder Whitney

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feb. 4 Lots of contacts not many lessons

Hello everyone! I hope you've all had a very happy Chinese new year! Ours was pretty normal, didn't really do anything. Although, last night we had pretty good chinese food with some members (who weren't chinese ironically). 

Monday 01/27- We taught Efrain last monday and set him with a baptismal date! Woohoo! Bro Peck, the ward mission leader really helped him understand some stuff that he'd been holding back from us. So that was pretty great.

Tuesday- On Tuesday we visited a semi-less-active widow in the ward. it was really great timing too because it was her deceased husband's birthday a few days before and she was feeling pretty lonely. So hopefully we brightened up her day. Not a lot of doors opened up after that visit.

Wednesday- On Wednesday we taught Virgil again and asked him if he would get baptized. That was an interesting discussion, to say the least. In short, we're still working on him. I don't think he believes that he can change right now. That evening we stopped by Orion who is a recent convert of the wards. We talked about the plan of salvation with him and his mother who is less active. I think we will see her at church pretty soon. 

Thursday- On Thursday it started raining for the first time in like about two months it seems like. So we got stranded out far away from our house. Which was a bummer. We did eventually need to get to an appointment with Efrain, so we had to ride in the rain and get pretty wet. When we met with Efrain, we talked about what needs to happen for him to be ready for baptism, the importance of the Holy Ghost, etc. It was pretty good, and he understood the Holy Ghost a lot better and the difference between its power and the gift thereof. 

Friday- On Friday we had our weekly planning, as per the usual. We have a lot of pretty good potentials right now, and hopefully we can turn several into investigators this coming week. I think it's gonna be, and I quote for the sake of Lindsay, "Totally Awesome!"
Friday evening a guy named Al was a no show to our appointment because we got stuck at work. That was a bummer. 

Saturday- On Saturday morning we tried to do some contacting at the local swap meet. Turns out English speakers don't generally go to the swap meet. So that was an out of country experience. Go figure. That afternoon we had papusas at Efrain's place, which were delicious. I had never had one before but at that time I ate like 6. So there will be more of those in my future. After that we saw the Bates again. Stephen wasn't around, but we got to talk to Rose a bit more about what she remembered from church and what not. I'm afraid their interest has waned. 

Sunday- Church was really good Sunday, except Efrain was a no show for the first time since we've been teaching him. We still don't really know what happened. Hopefully he just got sick like the rest of the city has been. We set up a few appointments with some less actives, but didn't really get in anywhere because of the Super Bowl, which I hear wasn't so super. We did surprise one by showing up again though. he had previously invited us in, gave us a spiel on why he wouldn't return, and didn't expect us back again. Showed him wrong. I do think that ultimately it touched him a little bit though. We'll see what happens there. 

That's all for now, hope you're all doing wonderfully! Love you all!

Elder Brett Whitney

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mon. Jan 27: Week something of transfer something else

*Sorry for not getting this posted sooner.  We can't get to this blog without a VPN and the VPN has not been working all week.*

Hello all! I hope you're all doing fantastically and what not. People here have been crazy sick all the time, so I also hope you're all healthy :)

Monday 01/20- After our various p-day shenanigans and a hilarious incident with a juice box from 1999 and Elder Justensen, we went to a referral that the Helbergs gave us. We had been there last week, and the son expressed pretty high interest in learning about the church, but needed to talk to his parents about it first. So, we went there to find the results. Well. The Dad answered the door. Turns out they attend the church in the area that is the largest creator and distributor of anti-Mormon literature in the world. He said that our belief that we can literally all become like God was ridiculous and false. I was like "wellllllll, Psalms 82:6 pretty much says we can." He said I was misquoting it (was not http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ps/82?lang=eng) and that we misinterpreted everything in the Bible. (An indirect denial of Christ, but hey, that's no big deal, right?) We told him that we were sorry he felt that way, but we know that what we believe is true. And that was that. Then we visited a less-active member in the ward who invited us in, gave us a lecture on why he won't come to church, and then asked us to leave. He actually made my companion pretty upset. 

Tuesday- In the afternoon we did a service project for a less active/part member household. Lots and lots of weeding. It was fun though, and Elder justensen really enjoyed the chance to do some manual labor again. They really appreciated it though, and hopefully we can make something happen there because of it. Service is great! Tuesday night, we had another lesson with Efrain. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then had a very long talk geared towards trying to set a goal date for his baptism. When we left he still hadn't set a date, but right after we finished planning that night he called us and said that he wanted to set a date the next time we had a lesson! Just shows that the Spirit keeps teaching when the missionaries are gone. 

Wednesday- In the afternoon our only appointment for the day cancelled, so we tried some less actives. Didn't have much luck. Elder Justensen really hates the ones who open the door, see us, and close it without saying anything. I just think it's pretty sad. Wednesday night we were both getting pretty sick so we retired early so that hopefully we would be feeling better for the morrow. 

Thursday- Our plan to try and dodge the sickness did not prevail. I was about as sick as sick gets and we didn't go out at all. I slept just about all day. Don't worry though, now we are both fine. 

Friday- Friday morning a potential investigator texted us saying she wasn't interested anymore and that she didn't want to meet that afternoon. Which was a bummer. But we were both not nearly as sick as we were yesterday and that was a blessing. We did our weekly planning in the afternoon, and that night we had a birthday party for Efrain! It was cool, because they just invited us and two other sets of missionaries. After some delicious cheesecake we sang primary songs and a few hymns. It was very fun, and Efrain really enjoyed it. 

Saturday- Saturday morning Elder J was feeling pretty sick again, so I read most of the synoptic gospels while he slept for a few hours. We went in the afternoon and guess who we finally found again. The Bates! Hooray! We helped move a very heavy table out of their house and a new one in. It was a really great chance to reconnect with them. Saturday night we talked to a less active who was in the Army for 11 years. He was real nice to us, didn't have anything negative to say about the church (which is unusual round here) so I have high hopes that we can start teaching him this week. 

Sunday- We had Efrain and the Duenas family at church again. Bro Peck taught gospel principles which really made Efrain happy. He really loved Bro Peck when he first came but hadn't seen him ever since then because Bro Peck had been out of town. So that was good. After Church we did some role-plays with some of the RM's in the singles ward. We were practicing contacting, and one of them took the "I believe in science" route. Which is not altogether uncommon. I decided to try something I'd never tried before. I cited the 2nd law which says that in an isolated system, entrapy only increases. Yet, if one subscribes to any of the scientific models of the origins of the Earth and life, they would be forced to admit that entrapy has not increased on our planet over time, but rather has decreased. Clearly something isn't right there! My own personal belief is that the 2nd law is true, but that the traditional theory of the Earth as an isolated system is incorrect. And why aren't we an isolated system? Because God is there! Because He plays a role in everything that happens in our universe. Because His Son created the Earth. Admittedly, I used it on a member only pretending to be a nonmember, but still. I'm going to officially use it on the streets now. 

Sunday evening the ward had a double baptism for children of record. We went even though none of our investigators were planning on going. It turned out to be a very good thing though, both families really appreciated that we were there, as did the Bishop. Baptisms are pretty great. 

That's where things are at on my end. Not a lot of lessons, but that's because of illness. this next week should be pretty sweet. Hopefully we are able to set Efrain with a baptismal date tonight! I love you all, keep being awesome :)

Elder Whitney