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!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, Week 2 of transfer 5

Hello everyone! We had a pretty busy week. Taught a good amount of
lessons, put lots of miles on the bikes, etc. Here's the break down

Monday 3/10- Monday evening we gave Carolyn a tour of the church. It
was kind of cool, because Adrian was there early for his lesson
afterwards, so he sat in on hers, too. That lesson went well. The
lesson with Adrian afterwards was also good. He's still trying to
overcome a few obstacles, but is pretty sure he wants to be baptized.
He is way excited for general conference. Then we taught Efrain about
prophets in the evening, and got him solidly committed to pray about
President Monson and Joseph Smith.

Tuesday- We met with Adrian for a long time in the morning. At the end
of the lesson he offered a really wonderful pray that made me cry.
But, we know he feels the spirit, and we were able to help clearly
identify what it feels like for him. It was the most interesting
description of a still small voice I've ever heard. He said, "During
the prayer, this room was not quiet. It wasn't loud, but it was not
quiet either." (We were in the chapel) So, that was a really great
experience. In the afternoon we made contact with a less active who
had his feelings hurt pretty bad by a member a long time ago. We told
him that he had the Elders on his side, and if anything like that
happens when he comes back to church, we will take care of it. I think
that meant a lot to him. In the evening we met with Orion, who got
baptized last August. He and his mom are kind of less active right
now, but when we told them we wanted to convert her boyfriend and the
other guys in the house with them, they were all for it. We'll see
what happens.

Wednesday - On Wednesday we went to the nether reaches of the ward and
didn't have a lot of luck. However, two awesome things still happened.
1. Efrain called us in the afternoon to tell us that he'd been praying
about "that Monson guy" all day in his truck, and that he felt really
good about it. So that's pretty awesome. 2. Adrian called us and said
that it was crazy how just praying was totally changing him. His
prayers were getting more meaningful, his desire to read the
scriptures and anything else about the gospel has increased
exponentially, and he is just happier all the time. He also wanted to
tell us that he prayed before work that his obstacles would be removed
and at work, someone traded their Sunday shift with him so he can go
to church again! Woot.

Thursday- I led my first district meeting as a district leader this
week. I think it went pretty good. My district is pretty small, and we
only have sisters, so yeah. We discussed the importance of members In
the work. Something I've realized about my area this past week is that
every single good investigator and active convert to the church was
found through members, not our own finding efforts. The members are
our most important tool in finding people to teach in fact, especially
since we don't tract in this mission. Some of those reading this live
in places where they don't have full time missionaries to help spread
the gospel. For you, it is even more critical to fulfill your
baptismal covenant and be a witness of Christ. That's something a lot
of people miss I think. Doing missionary work in some way is fact part
of the baptismal covenant, and something we will be held accountable
for in the end.

Friday - not much happened, I was feeling pretty sick for
most of the day. We did eat pizza though. You'd be surprised at how
little pizza we eat out here. At least I am anyways. We gave a woman
from Thailand who got baptized and fell away before the Book of Mormon
was in Thai a copy of the Book of Mormon in her native tongue. She
looked sincerely grateful to have the chance to read it in her native
language, so that was a neat experience. Hopefully she gets herself to
church soon.

Saturday - we were supposed to take some youth from the
stake with us for a few hours, but they flaked out on us. Apparently
that happened to a lot of missionaries though. We taught Adrian again,
this time really focusing in on baptism and being worthy. He is
worried about some things, but really wants it, so it's still going
pretty good. In the afternoon we tried to track down a lot of people
but nobody was home. In the evening we met with a long time less
active who emphatically said he will never come back, even though he
knows it's true. So...yeah. There's nothing to do with people like
that, except maybe hope things work out eventually. It's pretty sad.

Sunday- Adrian was at sacrament meeting, as were several less
active/recent converts. It was a really great Sunday for Adrian,
because both speakers talked about the atonement, and in priesthood we
talked about the sacredness of the sacrament. I got a lot out of it
too. In the second hour, we helped out the primary with sharing time.
Sister Domine asked each of the missionaries to share the story of
someone who had a personal experience with the resurrected Savior.
There was Thomas, Mary Magdalene, a Nephite woman, and I was Joseph
Smith. It was a very interesting experience to try and put myself in a
prophets shoes and try to figure out what Joseph would tell those
primary kids if he was really there. As I did my little performance, I
had my testimony of the first vision reconfirmed to me among some
other things. It was intense, at least it was for me. Hopefully, some
of the kids got something out of it too. They were a well behaved
bunch and seemed like they were paying really good attention.

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this
is the testimony, last of all, which [ I ] give of him: That he lives!
(D&C 76:22)

Elder Brett Whitney