Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Transfer 37

Hello family.
Well I am beginning Transfer number 7. Crazy. I'm still staying in this area with Sister Salabao, so no new changes. I think most of our district is staying the same too. It doesn't even really feel like transfers happened.
This week was good, though. Last P day Sister Salabao and I went to Carkeek Park and hiked around and stuff. It was so fun. I'll send picture next week. It was really beautiful. Seriously everyday I'm just amazed by the beauty up here. I love it. We have such a beautiful world to live in.
We had a huge miracle this week! Donna came to church on Sunday! It was so great. This is a big deal. It is so hard to get people to church so we were so happy she came. The night before she offered the most sincere prayer we've ever heard her offer. She's so sweet. Things just kind of move slow. She struggles to really grasp the concepts that we're teaching her so we have to be as simple and clear as possible and review lots. It's just sometimes hard because she loves to talk but doesn't always love to listen. But I'm really hoping that this transfer Sister Salabao and I can help her enter into the waters of baptism. This week we did some service for her and helped her organize. This woman had hundreds of greeting cards. Oh my goodness. Her kitchen was overflowing with cards. So we helped her sort and organize and get rid of things. She gave some of them to us so I have some pretty funny cards now. And you know how much I love cards. The only problem is they smell like smoke. Donna is a heavy smoker and every time we leave from her house Sister Salabao and I just smell horrid. I'm probably taking a few years off my life or something being exposed to such smoke.
I think I told you but we're trying to go through our ward list. We have so many less actives and part member families. It really just breaks my heart. So many people are just so hardened. They don't want to come back. They were offended, or they think they're good right now and don't need the gospel, or they've become anti-religion or whatever else it may be. It really is just so important that we always cultivate our testimonies and allow ourselves to become truly converted to the gospel. This is the most important thing in our lives. We need to make sure that we always treat it as such. We can't let our testimonies fall to the wayside. We have had two big miracles though. Two less active families that we met last night were actually nice to us. We couldn't believe it. It's usually the inactive families that we try from the ward list who are the rudest to us. But we have appointments with them for next week so we are so excited.
Lately we've had a lot of people yell at us for knocking on their door because they have No Soliciting signs. Even though we're not solicitors. But, wow. Some people are just really, really mean. Sometimes it shocks me at the lack of manners people have. But all is well. For every person that yells at us or tells us we have no idea what we're talking about hopefully it just gets us that much closer to the elect--the people who are willing to repent and progress.
Well I love you all. Hope you're doing well. Hope you're feeling better, Joe. Make sure to read your scriptures everyday, okay?! CTR Always!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, February 17, 2014

Eight Months!

A sweet sister from the ward came to a lesson with us on Valentine's Day.. that fell through. But she made us chocolate covered strawberries and then there was a party at the church and they gave us some leftover tulips.

Hello family!

Can you believe it? I've been out eight months. Oh my goodness. Time really goes by so quickly as a missionary. In lots of ways I still feel like a new missionary. But I remember when I first came out and I talked to someone who had been out for eight months. And I thought that was so long. Crazy.

This week was.. pretty good. It was really slow and it seemed like no one would talk to us. Sadly both of our investigators, Donna and Pat, kind of dropped us. Not exactly but it's a slow moving process. But all is well. We just have to keep having faith and know that Heavenly Father is preparing individuals. And then we have to go out and work hard and find those individuals who are ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. Well I'm trying to think of what happened this week. My love for the Walkers have just increased. We had a lesson with Sister Walker and Pat. It went pretty well except that Pat told us she doesn't have time for us right now. She felt the Spirit but said she's too busy right now with projects and stuff. But anyway, Sister Walker is wonderful. I love her so much. There are just so many good people here in this ward. So many good members everywhere. The Walkers have been my grandparents this transfer. We were over there one day to bring them fudge filled squares to say thanks for their help and they invited us in and made us toast and hot chocolate. They are just the cutest. 
We have a new investigator named Azeb. She's from Ethiopia and has a little two year old boy, Noah. He is adorable. She's really sweet and open. She said over and over that she'll never convert though. She likes to learn about God and Christ but she won't change. We talk to a lot of people like that. Three of our investigators are like that, actually. But we just have to trust that the Holy Ghost will soften their hearts. The Holy Ghost is pretty amazing. 
I was studying today and wanted to share with you some of the things that I learned. It was just so good. I was reading President Uchtdorf's talk from the October 2010 General Conference. It's called "Of Things That Matter Most" and it's wonderful. You should all look it up. Anyway, he talks about simplicity. He shared a story. "It wasn't long after astronauts and cosmonauts orbited the earth that they realized ballpoint pens would not work in space. And so some very smart people went to work solving the problem. It took thousands of hours and millions of dollars, but in the end, they developed a pen that could write anywhere, in any temperature, and on nearly any surface. But how did the astronauts and cosmonauts get along until the problem was solved? They simply used a pencil." This made me laugh. I read the talk three times actually and every time I just had to laugh at that part. President Uchtdorf said, "There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions." It's so true. We just need to simplify our lives. Being on a mission the last eight months has really helped me see that. It's the simple things that matter most. Family. Studying the scriptures and the Church magazines. Praying. Counting our blessings. Listening. Laughing. Repenting daily and partaking of the Sacrament each week. The life of a missionary is so simple. To strengthen peoples' faith in Jesus Christ. It's the most important thing. When we center our lives on Christ then we are truly happy. It's easy to get distracted with To Do Lists, work, school, TV, phones, computers, clothes, sports, music, business, etc. but we would do well to simplify our lives like President Uchtdorf suggests and think about what matters most--families and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It makes me think about what I treasure most. It mentions at least five times in the scriptures about laying up for ourselves eternal treasures (Matthew 6:20) What matters most to me is my family and the gospel. But it's important that I don't just say that. My thoughts, desires, and actions need to reflect that. I'm so grateful for President Uchtdorf. I've read a few of his talks lately and they're just so wonderful. It's like Heavenly Father knew they'd be perfect for me. I love the prophet, President Monson, and all the general authorities and their inspired messages that we can read and study in order to build our relationship with God and get closer to Him. 
I love this gospel so much. It really is such a blessing in our lives. I'm so grateful to be a missionary here serving at this time in beautiful Seattle. I know that Christ is our Savior and I love Him so much. I'm grateful that God loved us enough to allow His perfect son to go through such horrible things so that we could return to live with Him again some day. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. Families are forever. I love you all so much and pray for you everyday. CTR! 
Sister Veronica White

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is This Seattle?


Hello family.
Hope you are all doing well. Things are going great here. This week was so cold. Seriously so, so cold. It even snowed this weekend. It was Sister Salabao's first time in the snow and she loved it. It was really fun. It snowed on Saturday night. And church was cancelled Sunday morning. Can you believe it? I've never had church cancelled before.
We weren't allowed to drive our cars on Sunday because of the snow so we walked everywhere. We walked so far. We had to walk to our dinner appointment. I'm not sure how far it is, I'll have to find out sometime. But it was great because we got to talk to everyone on the street. I love street contacting. I think it is fun. The family that we had dinner with drove us back to our apartment because at that time we were allowed to use our vehicles. Sister Salabao and I got in our car to go visit some less actives and our car was stuck. It wouldn't come out. So that meant two more hours of walking around outside. It was a little less fun at night. It was dark and so, so cold. And my rain boots have holes in them so even though I had tights, leggings, and socks my feet were completely soaked through. They were pretty much soaked all day long.
Anyway, my feet were hurting so bad and the few people that were outside (mostly smoking) would talk to as long as their cigarette was going and then as soon as it was dead they'd leave us. At one point my feet were hurting so bad and I just felt like crying. But then I told myself I needed to remember why I was here. Everyday we recite, "Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Sister White, forget yourself and go to work!" As I said those words I became so much happier and realized that everything would be okay. There are people for me to find and share the gospel with! A little while later I was singing Count Your Blessings. The line where it says "Count your many blessings angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey's end" really got to me. I had been thinking about angels for a little while just with some stuff that had happened and I started praying that I'd be able to feel angels with me. I don't know, it was a neat experience but I really feel like Uncle Bruce was with me. I started talking to him and telling him how things were going and thanking him for being a good example to me even though I've never had the chance to meet him here on earth. But I've heard stories and I know he was a good kid. It was just so neat. I thanked him for helping me get through this freezing cold, exhausting night and told him that I'm excited to meet him again someday and give him a tight hug. It was just really cool.
Every Thursday we get to teach English class at the DI to these three sweet ladies. We've done it for the last two weeks and I absolutely love it. I think it so neat. It's just so cool to be able to help someone learn. When we were teaching it just felt so good. It felt right. I want to try and do something like this when I get home too. English class is always one of the highlights of my week.
We had a lesson with Pat set up for this week, but it fell through. I was really sad about that. We were going to have it over at Sister Walker's house. An older lady from our ward that lives on her street. We walked over there to tell her Pat hadn't answered and we got to visit with Sister Walker for just a little  bit. Oh my. I love her so much! She was so sweet. She reminded me a lot of Grandma Higginson. It was so fun to get to know her a little better and hear some of her mission experiences. She and her husband served a mission back east about twenty years ago. She even gave us a See's chocolate. I really just love this ward so much. The members are so kind and thoughtful. This is such a good area.
We had a miracle the other night. Every night from 5 to 7 we have Sacred Finding Time. It's where the whole mission tracts for two hours. It was 6:55 on Saturday night and it had just started to snow and we had just finished the last house on that street. I told Sister Salabao that we should try one more house before we left. So we walked up to a different street and picked a house and met someone named Jackson. He only had just a minute but we prayed with him and set up another time for us to come later this week. It was just such a miracle. It would have been so easy to go back to the car and warm up and go on to our plans at 7 o'clock. But we would have missed out on the one person who was actually interested that night.
Our ward has a ton of less actives and so we've been trying to go through the ward list and visit them. This last weekend we met three women who grew up in the church but for reason or another they're not interested in coming back .One even wants her name removed from the record. It just breaks my heart. All of them have families and children who are growing up without the blessings of the gospel in their lives. It made me realize how important it is to always do things to nourish our testimony. Because our choices don't just affect us. They affect our children and generations. It reminded me of the Conference Talk this last October from the Young Women General President. I think it was her great grandmother who worked for a rich family that wanted to adopt her but her mother said no because they weren't members. Anyway, I don't remember all of the story but you should look up the talk and read it. It's about being converted and it's so good. It's just so important that we always use our agency to make good decisions.
Read Alma 26:2. And remember to count your blessings! We all have difficult trials and challenges that we face but we also all have so many blessings. We are some of the most blessed people to have ever lived because we have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was restored through a prophet, Joseph Smith and because of it we have made sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father. We have the priesthood power in our lives. We have a prophet who leads us today and who we get to hear from twice a year. God loves us so, so much and He wants us to be happy. And we will be happy as we focus on the positive. The good things in our lives that He has blessed us with. You are all a blessing to me. I'm so grateful for you and I love you so much!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, February 3, 2014

Everybody Loves the Seahawks!

 Look at how gorgeous this view is.. This is out back one of our member's homes. The Seafeldt family. Most of these pictures are from our day with them yesterday. They are this really funny, old couple. She's from England originally. They have lived all over the world for his work. She joined the church 25 years ago. He's not a member. He's Jewish. He knows a lot about the church, though. But doesn't want to join.

 My and my comp.
 Me and Sister Seafledt. She's a funny lady.

 It sort of became a photo shoot.
 So they are really funny and have lots of little trinkets and toys, etc. They have this parrot that they were showing us that they just absolutely love and they think it is so cute. It even dances. Brother Seafeldt wanted us to get photos with it. haha.
 My adorable little Filipino companion. I love her!

 Just another one of their toys that Brother Seafeldt told us to get pictures with. They named him Leo and they think he looks real. Brother Seafeldt told me that I was going to scare my family with this photo because Leo is so real looking. haha. He's great. He told me to tell you: This is Mr. Seafeldt's cat.
Lighting is weird. but this is Sister Bruening and me. I love her so much!
Hello family!
This week was really good. Sister Salbao and I saw a lot of miracles. I don't even know where to begin or if I'll even remember everything but I will try my best.
So, do you remember Pat who has the German Shepherd that likes to eat my hair? Well this week our Bishop did a little open house thing at his house where he invited some members and we invited our investigators so they could meet, etc. It was so great. I really love our Bishop and his family. Anyway, Pat came to that! You don't even know what a great miracle that is. She is very introverted. She doesn't really talk to people or ever have them over. Anyway, we invited her and were praying so hard that she'd come. She said she would but just for a few minutes. She ended up staying the whole hour and a half and were talking to some of the ladies there. She just had such a huge smile on her face and she kept looking over at me throughout the evening with a cute little smile on her face. Like she knew I was proud of her or something. Now next week we are going to have a lesson with her with our Bishop's mother-in-law as fellowship at her house. I'm just so excited. It may not seem like a huge deal, but it is. She made friends and she was happy. It truly is by small and simple things that great things come to pass. I'm so excited to work with her.
Also, let me tell you about Donna. She is another old lady. I really love all these older people I'm working with right now. She's had missionaries on and off for the last few years come and teach her. Pretty much everyone has given up hope on her. She really loves her cigarettes and she doesn't really keep commitments but she does love what she learns and she thinks missionaries are great. Anyway, I've really felt like we should visit her lately. Finally we did and we had a great lesson. She loves to talk and she gets distracted easily. But towards the end it became really spiritual and we talked about how it's decision time. No more of this back and forth. She needs to decide what to do. she agreed. We read the book of Mormon introduction with her and she told us that she hasn't really put forth an effort to sincerely read and pray about it. So she's doing that this week. And we're going over there tomorrow to watch the Joseph Smith movie with her. She was baptized as a Catholic and she doesn't want to get baptized again. She doesn't see the need for it. So we're trying to help her gain a testimony of Joseph smith as a prophet so that she can know for herselt that the Restoration happened and that the Priesthood power has been restored. and that's why it's so important. Anyway, she's great. She's this really old lady with a thick New Jersey accent and smokes all the time. She definitely has some things she'll have to overcome, but I know that she can do it. Keep her in your prayers, please. And Pat. I just love them so much.
We went to a Filipino restaurant the other day. It was actually really good food. The concept of it was cool too. It's all you can eat but they roll out the individual plates out to you and you pick what you want. It was delicious. I think you guys would like it
The Seafeldts.. they are so funny. I told you a little about them in the pictures. Anyway, he's Jewish. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with them yesterday. they invited us to their home because they weren't going to watch the Super Bowl. He thought it was a great movie but he's pretty stubborn. Kind of stuck in his ways and thinks he's too old to change. Hopefully his heart can be a little more softened. Salvation is for everyone! No matter how old you are.
Seahawks.. oh boy. the week leading up to the game. Seahawks stuff everywhere... on cars, flags, stores, homes, people. It was ridiculous. There was even someone at church that had a number twelve attached to his suit coat. It's a little over the top. But I'm glad they won. Hopefully everyone will be in such good moods that they'll be nice to us and listen to the gospel, yeah?
Read 1 Nephi 15:24. It's great. The scriptures really do protect us. Read them everyday. Feast upon them. They are wonderful. Well I love you all so much. I love this gospel as well. I love my new area and I love being a missionary. CTR always.
Sister Veronica White