Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Week of Transfer 7 . . . What?!

Hello family!

So this is the last week of my seventh transfer. I just really can't believe it. I love it though. I love serving as a missionary! 

Sister Salabao was sick this week.. poor sister. So there were a few days where we didn't get to work the whole day. But we still worked hard and saw miracles and luckily she's feeling better now. I guess the one positive of having to stay in is that our oven is sparkling clean. I scrubbed it like it's never been scrubbed. Our entire kitchen is quite lovely right now. I would've rather been out talking to people but since that wasn't an option I did the next best thing. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness. haha. 

This is such a great ward, though. Sweet Brother and Sister Walker.. they really are some of my favorite people in the world. I read Elder Holland's talk about angels this week. No doubt in my mind... Brother and Sister Walker are angels. They are just such great examples to me. I'm so grateful for the people that Heavenly Father places in our lives. There really is something to learn from everyone. Whether it be something from them or something about yourself because of your interactions with them. We just need to take every experience in our lives and use it to make us better. 

We got to go to the Womens Broadcast. Wow. That was so wonderful! I love getting to listen to the words of our leaders. I seriously cannot wait for General Conference. It'll be wonderful. We have this next week to prepare ourselves. Let's all pray that we'll be humble and teachable so we can learn the things we need to from our prophets. Ah, I'M JUST SO EXCITED! 

This week we saw some great miracles. Do you remember me talking about T and Midoni from last week? They were the boys that we talked to on the street. We went by their house this week and met their mother, Nyabuony. They are from South Sudan. She speaks pretty good English and she was so sweet. We didn't get to talk to her for very long. We were in the middle of the First Vision when she told us she had to get ready for work. We were about to extend the baptismal commitment. haha. But all is well, we have a return appointment for later this week. And get this, she has eight kids! We're hoping that we can teach the whole family. They already attend a church, but hopefully we can bring the restored gospel into their lives. 

Another miracle! Jackson. I can't remember if I told you about him or not. We met him weeks ago in the last two minutes of our tracting time. It had just started snowing and we had finished the street we were on but we had two minutes so we decided to try one more house. We walked up to a house and then felt like we needed to try the house that was across the street. So we went over there and met Jackson. He didn't really have time but we left him a pamphlet and said a prayer with him and set up a return appointment. Well we had been trying for weeks to get ahold of him but we could never catch him again. While we were on exchanges Sister Salabao and Sister Bruening finally caught him again and put him on date for baptism. This last week we had the Restoration lesson with him. He is so prepared! He's amazing. Just so open and honest and really seeking for more truth and understanding in his life. He had read the Introduction, Testimonies, and 1 Nephi 1 and had questions. I don't think I've ever had an investigator actually keep their commitments from the first lesson. It's just such a miracle. Anyway, keep him in your prayers. He has some challenges but he's so ready for the blessings of the gospel. We may have to refer him over to the YSA though since he's in his twenties. That would be sad, but whatever happens will be good. Heavenly Father knows and loves Jackson. 

Heavenly Father knows and loves us all. And we can feel that love as we watch General Conference this weekend! So blessed. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God. The gospel has been restored. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and we're happy as we keep our covenants and CTR! I love you all so much!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, March 24, 2014

So Many Miracles

Hello family! 

This week was so wonderful. We saw a lot of miracles and I'm just so happy. So happy to be here serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. So happy to be here in Seattle in the Carkeek Park ward. So happy to serve with my companion, Sister Salabao and to serve alongside so many other incredible missionaries. So happy to feel the Spirit in my life every single day. So happy to work with individuals and share the gospel of Jesus Christ--a message of hope and peace and joy and love. Ah, I am just SO HAPPY! 
We had a good lesson with Andrea this last week and she said that she knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet. We had great fellowship and it just felt so good. One of those lessons that is a confirmation that I am where I should be and that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. 

I had the opportunity to go on Exchanges this last week. I went with Sister Eaton to her area. She's a Russian speaking missionary so it was lots of fun. They cover the whole mission--well actually they cover a few missions. She is amazing though. I'm grateful for her example and she was just such a blessing to me this last week. She said some things that I know Heavenly Father needed me to hear. We talked about patience. I'm pretty good at having patience for other people but for sure one of my weaknesses is that I'm not patient with myself. Sometimes I expect this level of perfection out of myself that isn't possible to reach and it's actually a way that I let Satan get to me because then I feel down about myself, etc. Anyway, I've been working on that since and I've been studying patience and the Atonement and I'm just so grateful for this gospel. So grateful for the scriptures and the words of prophets and many other wonderful church resources that we have to study the gospel and to set goals and become better as we rely on the grace and Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ to become better individuals. We can't be perfect but we can be faithful. And that is what God has asked of us. I've just felt this huge relief as I've really made a conscious effort to be better and to be more patient with myself. 

We also had some great miracles with inactive members. A lot of the time when we go through the ward list and find names to try the people are fairly rude and it's just heartbreaking to see how hard their heart is. But two different individuals were nice to us and invited us back. Yay for kindness! 

Last night was so amazing. Each month there is a New Member Fireside that President Choi puts on. I've never had the opportunity to go because you have to have a new member to take with you or an investigator and we've never been able to find someone who could come. But last night we were able to attend with Bill and Kazuyo and their family. They're so sweet. They're very active in their own faith and have not really been super interested but they were curious to come to the fireside. It was incredible. It was one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever been to. Fifteen different new members bore their testimonies. Hearing them share their conversion experiences was amazing... how they've completely turned their lives around and turned to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't even express how sweet it was. It just filled me with so much hope and an even greater determination to talk with everyone that I see and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it can be difficult when you meet people who try to tell you that you have no idea what you're talking about because it was just something that you were born into and that's the only reason you believe it. Or when they try to tell you that Joseph Smith was a con man and they refuse to believe anything else. Or they refuse to even look at the Book of Mormon. But all of those difficult times are worth it when you meet someone who is willing to listen to your message and really in need of it. 

Oh, one last miracle. We were doing our Sacred Finding Time and had a goal of handing out fifty pass along cards. We didn't quite make it but it really pushed us and it had already been a wonderful night. We were walking back to where our car was parked so we could head to our 7 o'clock plans. As we were walking we see these two teenage boys coming down the hill on a side street. They were a little ways off but as we were walking past that street I told Sister Salabao that we needed to talk to them. We headed in their direction and started visiting for just a minute. One was fifteen and the other was twelve. They were these really sweet African boys that just needed to be told that God loves them. We said a prayer with them and then we asked if we could come share a message with their family. They gave us their address. It was just a really simple, sweet spiritual experience that reconfirmed to me that Heavenly Father is aware of all of His children and that He loves us all so much. Keep them in your prayers and especially that their parents will be open .We've really been praying to find a family. Their names are T and Midio.
Well, I know that this gospel is true. I believe it with all my heart. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be healed. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. I love you all so much! Read your scriptures and CTR and get excited for General Conference! 
Sister Veronica White

Monday, March 17, 2014

Halfway Point! What?!?!

Hello family! 

I can't even believe it. I am half way through my mission. I don't even understand where the time gas gone. Seriously. A mission goes by so fast. 

Anyway, on to some of the miracles of this week. Andrea came to church! She's an investigator that we've been working with. Damien (her should be husband) was supposed to come too but he was having a lot of back pain and had to work the next day so he stayed in bed. It was just so great to have Andrea at church, though. We had a really great meeting and she seemed to enjoy it. I'm sad, though. Damien is going off to work down in Tacoma and then will be coming home on the weekends. He just ended a job like this a few weeks ago. The teaching just seems to go better when both of them are there. So this'll make it a little more challenging because we want them to progress together and start keeping the commandments together. But we just have to trust in the Lord and His timing. He loves all of His children and wants them to receive the gospel. 

We met a Turkish man, Joe, so that was really cool. He was really nice, but busy. He invited us back, though so hopefully we can start teaching him and his family. 

This weekend the elders from our ward had a baptism. Her name is Duryae. She is really sweet. Really needed the peace and comfort that the gospel brings. We're not allowed to go to baptisms unless we have an investigator come with us. We invited all of our gators to come to the baptism and a few people who were going to come. Then Saturday morning every single one of them bailed. We really wanted to be there at the baptism though to support Duryae and we knew that it would be a really great experience for whoever we brought. We ended up calling almost every single former investigator from our area book inviting them to come. No one. So then we walked to the church and invited everyone we talked to along the way to come to the baptism. Still no one. There's a Filipino family that lives across the street from the church who Sister Salabao and her last comp used to teach that we tried. Their grandson told us they were at the library. So we walked to the library as our last attempt. Anyway, a few things had to fall in place but finally Sister Picar (the grandma) ended up being able to come with us. It was her first time in the church and she liked it. What a miracle! It was funny though. After Duryae's baptism she went swimming in the font. No joke. For a good 20 seconds. haha.

Read your scriptures! We're so blessed to have the scriptures in our lives. Study them everyday. Look up Elder D. Todd Christofferson's April 2010 talk about the Scriptures. It is so wonderful. The other night in a tracting situation we met this man from Ethiopia. He was nice, but pretty much just ended up preaching to us. It just broke my heart. He loves the Bible and knows it really well. But he's very set in his own ways and convinced of the trinity, etc. He refuses to read the Book of Mormon. He is blinded to the truth. Which is sad. Because the Book of Mormon is true scripture. Directly from our loving Heavenly Father. As we study it we invite the Spirit to be in our lives. There is power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon everyday. We need to become familiar with it and its teachings. Yesterday was Ward Conference and during Sunday School someone from the Stake Presidency talked about how important our gospel study is. Too often we get causal in our gospel study and get so busy that it often gets overlooked. But please read and study your scriptures everyday. The Lord has asked us to. And the only reason He asks us to do something is because He wants to bless us and He knows that we'll be happier if we do. I love the Book of Mormon so much. It has changed my life. God loves us all so much. And I love you all!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another Week Gone By!

 Here are the pictures finally from Carkeek Park from a few weeks ago. Some of them are kinda weird.. but yeah. 

Look at that beautiful Sound! I love it.

 My companion is just the cutest.

 Sister Salabao wanted to get a picture of her jumping and she thought this was just about the greatest thing ever. haha. She is so cute. I love her to death!

 Can you believe that beauty?

 Look at the size of this stump. The trees here never cease to amaze me.
 We're inside a giant fish.

Hello family! 

This week was pretty good. One of our biggest miracles was that we had a church tour with Pat. She's the older lady who is so sweet. Just really shy and doesn't like to get out and do much. But slowly we're seeing her come more out of her shell and she is just great. Our Church Tour was really powerful. Sister Walker was with us as well. Oh my. I love that woman with all my heart. I am so grateful to have met her. She is just such a good example. So sweet. And has lived her life faithfully, trusting in the Lord. In the chapel, the last part of our tour, we sang a hymn and she went and played the piano. She just looked so angelic up there. She's my Grandma while I'm away from home. She reminds me a lot of Grandma and even blows me kisses when she leaves. I'm so grateful for her.
This week, also, we watched the Joseph Smith movie with our investigators, Andrea and Damion. They're great. They want to be baptized eventually. They have a lot of stuff to work through and they need to start living the law of chastity. Their situation is pretty complicated. It's just a testimony to me of how important it is that we keep commandment.s God gives them to us for our protection and happiness. Their car broke down and they were having to clean it out yesterday but we're hoping they come to church this Sunday. They're really nice. 

Donna is Donna. She just really has some struggles to overcome. We're doing all we can to help her but ultimately it's up to her if she will act on these truths. Agency is a tough thing sometimes as a missionary. haha. Nah, really our agency is a huge gift. We just have to always do all we can to exercise our agency in the correct way. 

I'm so grateful for church. This week I had a few days that were a little rough. I was a bit discouraged and it was just hard. Really though it was because I was being selfish. I was focusing on myself and how I was feeling instead of being Christlike and focusing outward--on others. But I'm so grateful that each Sunday we can go to church and feel the Spirit and listen to wonderful messages. And most importantly partake of the Sacrament. We can repent and be forgiven of the lame things we do each week that aren't in line with what God would have us do. And then the miracle is that he forgives us and we can move on and start over. Wow. Repentance is just the most beautiful thing. And we are so blessed to be able to partake of the Sacrament each week. Yesterday in Relief Society our lesson was about the Sacrament. I realized that I have been going to church for almost twenty years (I know, right?! I can't believe I'll be twenty soon. Scary.) and partaking of the Sacrament. But rarely do I really ponder and recognize the significance of what I'm doing. I felt ashamed. Christ suffered everything for me and there have been many Sacrament Meetings where my thoughts are all over the place instead of centered on Him. I made a resolve to do better. To try to be better. That's what this gospel is about. Becoming a better, more Christlike person. I'm so grateful for it. I will never be able to fully express in words just how much it means to me. But I know that it is true. This message that we have to share really is good news. We need to do all we can to be good example to those around us and help them come into the fold. I love the Lord! I love the gospel! I love our prophet, Thomas S. Monson! I love all of you! I love being a missionary! All is well!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, March 3, 2014

I Love the Gospel!

Hello family!
Hope you are all doing well. Hope your trip to Hawaii was nice. Happy Birthday Dad! Hope you have a good day.
This week was really good. We saw a lot of miracles and my testimony has grown so much.
To start off... we had a few lessons with Donna this week (the older lady who has had missionaries for a few years now). The week started off with her disliking the Plan of Salvation (I didn't even know that was possible) and having a lot of questions that she couldn't even really seem to form. We had another lesson set up with a fellowship couple for Saturday. So then on Friday night Sister Salabao and I were on splits. Both people that we had had down for me and Sister Kearney to visit fell through. So I wasn't sure what to do but I said a prayer and then felt like we should call Donna. It was pretty late for her and she was getting ready for bed but she said that we could come over. It was just a quick visit. She hadn't read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet that we left for her from last time to read and pray about. Anyway, we shared Alma 7:11-12 and talked about the Atonement. The Spirit was strong. She felt it. And she said she would read the pamphlet that night right after we left.
So now fast forward to Saturday with Sister Salabao and the Gartens. She had read the pamphlet and highlighted questions that she  had or things she was confused about. We had a really good lesson with her. And she accepted the baptismal invitation!!!!!! This is a huge deal. She didn't accept a date to work towards yet. But still such a miracle. Just last week she was saying that she wouldn't be baptized. The Spirit really does soften hearts of testify of truth when people allow it to. There's still a lot we'll have to work through with her. But as we rely on the Holy Ghost and the power of the Atonement and exercise faith I know that Donna can be prepared for baptism. I love her so much and I just want her to accept the gospel in her life and receive so many blessings.
So another miracles that happened this week. That restored my faith in humanity just a little bit. We were tracting. And I think I've mentioned this before but sometimes I am just completely shocked at how rude people are. There are just some really mean people out there that have no manners. I'm so grateful that you guys raised me to have manners. Anyway, every night from 5 to 7 we tract and most of the time it's just rejection after rejection. And usually rude rejection. But we met this little family that were probably some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. They are very active in their own church but they've served around Mormon missionaries before. They've both done a bunch of humanitarian work and served as missionaries through their own organizations. It was really cold and rainy outside so they invited us to come back after we were done in that area for some hot chocolate if we needed to warm up. So we went back later and had hot chocolate with them. They were so nice. Very Christlike. It's funny because a lot of the time it's the people that say they're Christian that are the rudest to us. But they were so sweet. They invited us to come back and have hot chocolate anytime we wanted. I just truly felt God's love that night for them. I want to be able to teach them the gospel. So they can be an eternal family. There are just so many blessings from living the gospel that I want everyone to have!
One last amazing experience that I had this week that strengthened my testimony so much. We had a mini Zone Conference. President Choi was talking to us about the Atonement. We read from the Bible and then watched the Bible Videos that went along with the scriptures we were reading (Oh my! So good!) We had just read and watched the video of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane when President Choi asked each zone how obedient we were. He gave us a 95%. But then he asked about that other five percent. Then he had our zone come up to the front. There are 22 missionaries in our zone. Our Zone Leader was supposed to represent Christ and he had to take those five sins from each missionary and do a push up for each one. President Choi had each missionary say their name and count to five as Elder Holman did the push ups. I can't even explain the Spirit that was present. It was just so powerful. When Elder Holman first started it was really easy for him. But with each missionary it became a little bit harder. I was one of the last missionaries to go. So when it came to me and I said my name I had to count really slowly. He was shaking and red and I thought he might not be able to do it. But he kept going. As I was counting I reflected and realized that I commit way more than five sins a day. And that Jesus Christ suffered for every single of them. We can't even begin to comprehend His suffering. We can't make sense of it. But He loved us unworthy and undeserving creatures enough to take every pain and sin we've ever felt. Christ suffered specifically for Veronica White. Every sin and pain that I've ever felt. Every time I've ever felt lonely. Every feeling of inadequacy that I have. Christ has felt all of it. I am never alone. It was so painful for Him that He bled from every pore. That it caused him to quake and that He asked Heavenly Father if the cup could pass from Him. But He knew what He had to do and He was willing to do it. Watching Elder Holman struggle was painful. And I think about how painful it is to watch someone you love suffer. Like when Mom had kidney stones or Bruce right after his surgery or many other instances. You just wish that you could take the pain away for them. You love them. And now I imagine our Heavenly Father who loves with a more perfect and pure love than we ever could. How painful it must have been to watch His perfect son, Jesus Christ, in pure agony. It would have been so hard. But He loved you and me, each one of us, enough that He wants us to return to live with Him again. And the only way was for there to be an Atonement performed. I am so grateful for the Atonement. I know that it is real and that there's power as we apply the Atonement in our life and repent.
I'm so grateful for the restored gospel that allows us to partake of the Sacrament every week through the authorized Priesthood power of God. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real. They love us. They live. This gospel is true! I love the gospel! And I love you.
Sister Veronica White