Hello there from the Utah Provo Mission- Currently I am in ORem where it's really hot!
SO I have decided to write a blog letter once a transfer, and that would be at the end of the transfer, except this one. (So the next one will be in October!)
Anywho, things have been extremely busy out here! So busy that time just goes by fast. On September 11 would be my two month anniversary, which happens to be the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attack! Crazy!! Eventually I'll be back home wondering where the time had gone, but then i'll think "When we are doing the lords work time moves rapidly!"
By the end of this transfer I will have four baptisms. The first one was August 25, 2012, it was a 10 year old girl, who reminds me a lot of my sister Melissa. The next one is September 1st, he is 25 years old, from Congo (which is in Africa), and he speaks french and is learning english. Then an 11 year old girl was baptized on September 8th as well, we met her and she's like "I want to be baptized!" She's what we call a golden investigator! I'm so excited!
Things I have learned thus far- I am not the perfect teacher, but that is okay none of us are. I know heavenly father answers prayers (I will expand on this later). I have learned that church makes the world so much smaller. Utah has the best fruit, but it has the worst drivers in the world! Everyone out here isn't Mormon after all <--- taken from the lyrics of the song titled "Utah Provo Mission". Ramen noodles are life savers! and P-Day goes by really fast! One day I was out contacting Bishops, and we come to one Bishop's house, they let us in. In the doorway of the house was a cardboard cut-out of their son who is on his mission. Right away I recognized his face, but I had to ask which mission he was serving and they said Orlando, FL! I was ecstatic, he was the Elder in my ward serving in the Inverness area! The Elder Riley! And his family let my friend Brian stay at their house for a couple of days before going to the MTC!
Then our next door neighbors, their son-in-law served his mission in the McCallen, Texas mission and was in the Corpus 3rd ward when I moved down. Harsh, I believe his name is. So indeed the world is small.
3 weeks ago I challenged my 15-year-old investigator to read the Book of Mormon daily. Then her foster mom challenged to have it read by the time she was baptized. So that meant 25 pages a day! I took on that challenge as well. And as I have been reading, I realize that there are a lot of things that are taught in the temple which are in the Book of Mormon (those who have been through the temple know what I am talking about). And it's really amazing! And I've found my missionary purpose purpose in the Book of Mormon as well. The Book of Mormon is such a great learners guide, and invite ALL to read it! My goal is to read it once a transfer, so that is 12 times. :) You truly learn something new each time you read. Read with a question in mind, pray before and after you read.
Now I KNOW Heavenly Father answers prayers, sometimes right away & sometimes when he sees appropriate. On the 22nd of August, I was getting ready for personal study, and I said a prayer. In that prayer I prayed for something specific, about something for after my mission. When I closed the prayer I picked up my journal and a picture, that I had known was in there, fell out. I picked up the picture and looked at it. I tell ya I have never felt the spirit so strong since I got a blessing from the Elders at the MTC. This feeling of extreme happiness came upon me. I had a grin from ear to ear and was to the point of tears. On top of that my body was all tingly from head to toe. I know that if something made me this happy it had to be of God. Then I heard a still small voice, saying " If you focus on you mission, this blessing will be attainable when you get home, but if you do not focus, this blessing which has been promised to you will be harder for you to attain."
I know what I felt is true, that through the Holy Ghost, Heavenly Father answered my prayer. I know I must focus and not worry about things like not getting letters, or not having enough time for myself, or a certain person back home and not hearing from them. I have been called of God to teach his children. That I am to get lost in the Lord. D&C 88:67-69 (thanks to Robert for that one!)
I must bid thee farewell until the end of next transfer. Hopefully I will get pictures sent so Carli can post them on the blog!
With much love
Sister Whitney A. McFarlane
UT - Provo Mission