Monday, September 29, 2014

BEST Week Ever!

 Here's a bunch of photos. 
Sister White, Sister Nelson, Blanca, Elder Newman, Elder Song

Blanca's baptism!

 Blanca with the Jorgensens.

 Blanca with all of her friends she invited to the baptism. 

 The Elders, the Hermanas, us, and Blanca
 At mutual making the shields

 The ward party

Hello family. 

So this really was one of the best weeks of my entire life. It was so much fun! I'm still just in heaven knowing that Sister Nelson and I have another transfer here in Burien together. So blessed. We had a ward activity that us and the elders helped plan. On Wednesday we went to mutual with the youth and helped them make shields out of tinfoil and cardboard for the activity. It was so much fun. I love the youth in our ward. When I first got here there were only about 3 active young women. But a few more have moved into the ward and the youth is just so strong right now. They're all fellowshipping Brandon and it's just incredible to see how they've come together. 
Friday Sister Nelson and I had Mission Leadership Council with the mission presidency and all the zone leaders and sister training leaders. I'm so grateful for President and Sister Choi. I love them so much and have learned from their humble, Christlike leadership. If you haven't already read President Choi's article in the August Ensign, do it. Yeah, that's my mission president! 

Friday evening was the ward activity. It was so fun! We had two families come that we're working with. We had four stations that us missionaries took the primary kids to in each corner of the gym, helping them to prepare for battle and become a Stripling Warrior. The first one was to get them physically prepared. One of the Young Men led them in jumping jacks and push ups. The next was getting spiritually fit and us missionaries shared the story of the Stripling Warriors with them. The next two was to get them ready to go. They got a streak of face paint on their cheeks, bandannas from construction paper, a balloon sword and the shields we made at mutual. Then they performed their little skit. It turned out even better than we thought it would. The elders, Sister Nelson, and I were just beaming. Everyone loved it. 

Then the highlight of all highlights. Saturday morning Blanca was baptized. It was one of the most beautiful baptisms I've ever been to. Sister Nelson and I worked so hard on making the room beautiful (a difficult thing to do in the Seattle stake center!) and the program beautiful. The talks were wonderful. The Spirit was so strong. Blanca bore her testimony at the end. It was so sincere and humble. It was so cute, after she was baptized she changed and then opened the curtain to us and said, "I'm a new person!" She was just glowing. The baptism ordinance is short, but that baptism represents hundreds of prayers offered by missionaries, you guys, herself. It represents hours of being in her home and teaching her and learning from the Spirit together. It represents questions and doubts being overcome as the Holy Ghost confirmed to her that this was the true church. It represents tears and sometimes confusion, seeking the Lord's guidance on her behalf, wanting to help her. It represents complete joy as she finally accepted the invitation to be baptized. But most importantly it represents a new life for her with the fullness of the gospel. And it is all possible because of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of him Blanca, and all of us, have the opportunity to repent, be baptized, overcome our faults, weaknesses, and sin, and prepare to return to live with Heavenly Father again. How very blessed we are! 

And then as if this weekend wasn't already so great we got to have the Women's Broadcast. Blanca came and loved it. And all the messages about the temple were just perfect for her. We met with Brandon that night as well and had such a powerful lesson reading Moroni 10 with him. After our lesson the youth were going to a stake dance so we were waiting for the leader to come pick them up and this guy walked up to us in the parking lot and said his name was Josh and he was looking to join a church choir. He is getting ready to go to the Marines in January, but wants something positive to help him fill his time. Well, Josh. We can help you with that! We invited him to church the next day. And he came! He got there twenty minutes early. He was there before most of our ward was. So cool! He loved church too. We'll probably have to refer him to the YSA branch, but such a miracle. God just blesses us immeasurably when we are obedient and do what He asks. 

I know this is Christ's church. I know that we have a living prophet and we are so blessed to be able to listen to him this weekend. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children so much. He so badly wants to bless us. We just have to do what He's asked so He can. The Book of Mormon changes lives. Whenever I hear Blanca's testimony about the Book of Mormon I am so touched. She loves it. We should all treat the Book of Mormon with that kind of love. It is the word of God. I am so happy. I just can't even believe how blessed I am. I love this gospel so much! 

Sister Veronica White

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'm Staying!!!

Here come the pictures!

 Right before we dropped Sister McBride off at the airport. 
 Sister Leung, me, and Sister Nelson

Hello dear family!

Well the best news of all, first. I am staying here in Burien with Sister Nelson. I cannot wipe the smile off my face. I am so grateful. Sister McBride (my trainer) went home this morning. I will miss her. I can't believe shes's gone. That freaks me out because when I came to her she was still so new in the mission. I don't know where the last 15 months have gone. 

Where to start? I don't even know? Well this was a pretty hard week, but it doesn't even matter now because I am just so happy that Sister Nelson and I are together. Brandon and Blanca didn't end up getting baptized this weekend. But all is well. Blanca is getting baptized this Saturday and Brandon will be on October 11. I was trying not to think about it, but I was worried I would get transferred. But Heavenly Father must just love me so much because I get to stay with Sister Nelson in Burien. Wow. Sorry, we're only a few sentences into this email and that's pretty much all I've said. I just can't get over how excited I am. This transfer is going to be amazing! We will continue to increase our High Expectations and work even harder. I love it!

This week we had a lesson with Jimmy Boyd (he's a potential) and we were able to teach him the Restoration. He seems very sincere and interested in finding out if this is true. He's on date for October 25!

Blanca had her baptismal interview last night and is good to go. She is so excited. We walked her home from the church after the interview and the whole way back she was just bearing her testimony about how she thought she was close to God before but now she understands so much more about Him and she has a stronger relationship with him. She talked about how God led her here, how she loves the Book of Mormon, the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation, how she's so happy. That is a moment that I will treasure for the rest of my life. She is such a special daughter of God and I am so happy I've been able to work with her. I cannot wait for her baptism on Saturday. And then will be the Women's Broadcast, the next weekend is General Conference, the next week is Brandon's baptism. This'll be the greatest transfer ever! 

Keep Brandon in your prayers. He is an awesome kid. He's doing all that he's supposed to--reading his scriptures and praying everyday, coming to church. But he just hasn't felt like he's received a clear answer from God that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Please pray for him to be able to receive and recognize his answer. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with him and he really loved that. 

I'm still a Sister Training Leader. I can't believe that at the end of this transfer I will have been in Burien for as long as I was in Samoa. Five transfers. Wow. 

Well this is so disjointed and weird, I'm sorry. Just know that I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They love us. They want us to be happy and they've given us the way to be happy. By living in a way that we are worthy of having the Holy Ghost--reading our scriptures and praying everyday, coming to church, counting our blessings, smiling, serving. Do all of these things! I love you and pray for you everyday. I'm so sad I missed Mehmet, but tell him that I love him too. CTR!

Sister Veronica White

Monday, September 15, 2014

Prayers Please!

Hello family,

Another incredible week. I just don't even understand how everyday is such a good day. Again, I can't even count all the miracles so I'll just share a few. 

First off, Blanca! She is getting baptized on the 20th. This SaturdayTuesday night we went and had a lesson and it was one of the most spiritual lessons ever. She picked the date herself. She has so much faith and courage. She was talking to her Mom on the phone about how she made the decision to be baptized and her mom told her not to, that they were Catholic and that was the true church. But Blanca stood up for herself and shared how happy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints makes her. She's overcome a lot of opposition to get here. But as we sat in her home Tuesday night my heart was so full as I looked at her. She is so happy and light. It's like a weight has been lifted off her. The Atonement and the gospel does amazing things for people. It changes lives. She bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation. It really was one of the happiest moments of my mission. I've been working with her for five months. I love her so much and to get to be a part of her making this important step in her life... I am just so humbled. I feel very blessed. Please keep her in your prayers. Satan will really be trying to work on her this week. But I know if we all exercise our faith and prayers on her behalf she will be strengthened. And she has so much faith as well. Prayers can do amazing things. At the end of the lesson we were leaving and Sister Nelson and I told her that we love her. She said she loves us too and that we are "[her] daughters in Christ." It was one of the cutest things ever. 

Also, please pray for Brandon. We weren't able to meet with him during the week because he's so busy with school and everything but we saw him yesterday. He still feels like he hasn't received an answer about the Book of Mormon and he doesn't want to be baptized if he doesn't know for sure. We talked about faith and really tried to follow the Holy Ghost to teach according to his needs. The lesson went well and I know that he can receive an answer about the Book of Mormon because I know the Book of Mormon is true.

I'm so grateful for the Holy Ghost. This work wouldn't be possible without it. I'm learning the balance of wanting improvement out of myself and pushing myself to be better versus being self-critical and thinking I'm a horrible teacher. I tend to lean toward the latter. If one of my gators doesn't make a connection or doesn't want to meet with us anymore I feel like it's all my fault. I immediately start thinking of all the things I should have done better in the lesson, etc. And of course there is always room for improvement... there's always things we could do better because we are imperfect. But last night as I was praying I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father was listening to me and I was comforted by the Holy Ghost as I realized that my gators have to receive opposition. There has to be a bit of struggling. And while I know I need to be better, Heavenly Father is proud of me for what I'm doing and He knows that I'm TRYING so hard. I hope this made sense. It just strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of us and He loves us. As we put forth the effort to read our scriptures and offer sincere, heartfelt prayers, we will receive guidance and direction because we are important to Heavenly Father. 
Just a few last miracles. They have to do with timing. Timing is so important in missionary work. One night we had a member with us and we were driving to Pratap's. He's from Nepal. Sister Nelson met him on exchanges and we haven't had contact for a few weeks. Well we pulled up right as he was leaving and were able to have a great lesson outside and set up a return appointment. If we had been a few minutes earlier he would have been getting ready to leave and probably told us he didn't have time to talk. If we had been a few minutes later we would have missed him. Heavenly Father's timing is so perfect!

Another timing miracle. We had just finished tracting with a member and we were on our way to Blanca's, but we had a few extra minutes. We saw this man walking. When we went up to talk to him he was very not interested in talking to us and kept walking. So we walked alongside him. His name is Michael. He told us how he was brought up Catholic and now he's an atheist. We bore our testimony to him about how God loves him and how he can know for himself that God is real. The most amazing thing happened. His heart softened so much. We sang "I am a Child of God" and prayed. His entire countenance changed. And we have a church tour set up for later this week! 

I just feel so blessed to be a missionary. I love it so much. There are no words to describe it. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each one of us. He knows us has a plan for us. This is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The Priesthood has been restored. Prayer is powerful. Please keep Brandon and Blanca in your prayers this week! I love you!

Sister Veronica White

Monday, September 8, 2014

Miracles All Day Long

I love Sister Nelson so much!

One time I get really excited because there's something in the mail for me and then I find out that some creature in the post office decided to eat it.
  So sorry to send you a picture of my feet. Feet are gross. But look at this tan line!

Derrick and Jayden's baptism

Hello family,

How do you even begin to count your blessings? My heart is just too full, I can't even express my gratitude and happiness for all that Heavenly Father has given me. I seriously don't even know where to begin to even tell you about this week.

At the beginning of the week we went on a back to back exchange. That was tiring but fun. I am grateful to be a STL. But I'm also so grateful that Sister Nelson and I get to be together the rest of this transfer. I love her so much. We are just so grateful to be companions. I was able to go on an Exchange in the Russian area so that was a fun adventure. I had to focus so hard all day long to be able to try and understand a little bit of what was going on. But we met three new Russian families... that is such a huge miracle! 

On Saturday Derrick and Jayden were baptized. It was such a beautiful day. When Jayden came up out of the water he had the biggest smile on his face. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. I love those boys so much. Brandon (the boy we found in the last ten minutes of our night a few weeks ago) came to the baptism and really loved it. 

And here is where I can't even begin to count the miracles. Working with Brandon has been so much fun. Sister Nelson and I just feel so humbled and blessed to work with him. He is so prepared. He is being baptized on the 20th this month. Keep him in your prayers! He just soaks everything up that we teach him. He loves it. We had a great lesson on Thursday night with him. On Friday night he went to the youth activity. The youth have done an incredible job of fellowshipping him. Our ward has just been so great.. so behind us. He came to the baptism on Saturday. He came to church yesterday. Our church starts at 9 and it was about 9:05 and he still wasn't there. We texted him and he said he was coming. But then ten minutes later he still wasn't there. Fifteen... still wasn't there. We were freaking out a little bit, looking at the door every few seconds. Finally at about 9:30 he walks in... in a white shirt and tie! And he goes and sits next to the Churchills (his fellowshipping family). Then Brother Churchill got up to bear his testimony and kind of jokingly told Brandon he should come up too. And he did! Brandon got up and bore his testimony. He told everyone sorry he was late but he had to dig to find his "fancy clothes." Then he bore such a sweet and sincere testimony about the light that's been in his life since he's started meeting with us. And about how he's so grateful that he found this path. We were just beaming. So much joy! Then we had a lesson after church with him and he told us he was late too because he was learning how to tie a tie on youtube. hahaha. He is just the greatest. Please pray for him! 

Heavenly Father is just blessing me so much. I am so undeserving, but so very grateful. I KNOW that this is His work. I am so grateful to be able to serve a mission. It has changed my life. My testimony has become such a real, living thing on my mission and everyday I am so humbled to recognize that I have the fullness of the gospel, the restored priesthood, the TRUE church in my life. Wow! I just love it. I love you all so much. CTR! 

Sister Veronica White

Monday, September 1, 2014

Amazing Week!

Almond boba. Most delicious thing ever. 

 I've basically spent my whole mission here. On my ninth transfer in this building. 

The Sound!

Hello family! 

I've been so excited to email you about my week. It's been so incredible I just couldn't wait to tell you. I can't even begin to count all of the miracles that we saw. Heavenly Father really does bless us for our obedience, diligence, and patience. Sister Nelson and I have been working so hard. I just love Sister Nelson so much. She is a great missionary and we get along so well. It's such a blessing to be serving with her. 

This week we had interviews with President and Sister Choi. They are such good people. I'm so blessed to be serving under them. I can't believe how quickly time goes by. President Choi told me I don't have very long left and then gave me some good advice. It's just so crazy. I still remember the first interview I had with him when I was so new. It was even in the same room. (Since I've been in the Seattle zone pretty much my whole mission) I'm really grateful for the things I've learned from him and Sister Choi. They're great examples. Sister Choi is so humble and kind. 

This week we dropped off Hermana DeAgostini at the airport. She went home part way through the transfer to go to school. I will miss her. It's so weird to have these missionaries that I look up to leaving. Time really is winding down. That scares me a bit. 

Brandon is doing awesome. Keep praying for him, please. Because we go on so many exchanges I've missed about half of the teaching appointments we've had. I'm really sad about that. But, "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven," right? He came to mutual last week and bore his testimony about how he's seen a difference in his life since he started praying. So cool! 

Speaking of prayer, we are working with this part member family. The situation is really sad, but there's a 12 year old girl named Rosita who w'eve taught a few times. We really wanted to do something fun with her and get her to open up more so we planned a game at the YW President's house. It was a fun evening and then we talked about prayer. Sister Churchill (YW president) called us that night and said that on the way home Rosita opened up to her and told her how she used to not believe in God but because of our lessons she does now and she's going to pray. When we heard this Sister Nelson and I were just beaming. I know that God loves Rosita so much and that she's so important to Him and I feel so blessed to be able to see her change and believe. This gospel is truly just so amazing. It changes lives. 

This weekend Jayden and Derrick are being baptized. They're two less active families that I've been working with since I've been here. They're both eight, Derrick is almost nine. But I'm so happy for them. Jayden's family has been coming back to church. It's so cool to see the change that's happened for both of these families. They're happier. Attending church each week is so important. God asks us to do it because He knows it will give us strength and make us happy. I'll send photos next week. I just love these boys. So exciting! 

Thank you for the package. Exciting news. We are now officially allowed to listen to Hymns plus anything sung by Mormon Tabernacle Choir. So now I'll get to listen to all those CDs you've sent me. So exciting! Hey, you're reading PMG, right? Will you send me your insights? Study out of it everyday. Elder Ballard has asked all of us (missionaries and members) to study it. Share what you learned with me, please! I don't have a ton of time left and so I'm asking that each of you read PMG everyday and send me something that you learned from that week. It doesn't have to be long, but I know that if our whole family is reading from the Book of Mormon and PMG everyday that we'll be so blessed. So will you do it? Blessings await! 

Sorry this is so long. I didn't receive very many emails this week so I had a lot longer than usual to write. Sorry if it's boring. Love you lots! This gospel is so good! I love it! I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and they love us. CTR! 

Sister Veronica White