Monday, February 23, 2015

FEBRUARY 2015- This is it!!!!

Regrese al continente!                 February 2, 2015

Hola Familia! 

Update: I'm in Guayaquil! Big surprise we all knew i wouldn't die in peace :) BUT I'm very excited for my new sector called Guabo! Hermanas got put in about 4 months ago and we are having a lot of success. It was really sad to leave Galapagos but i know that God needs me to be here with this new assignment. 

in Galapagos we were going to have a baptism this week of a girl named Kerly, she is so awesome and has been going to church on her own. She is the one that wants to go on a mission! We have been working with the whole family especially her mom, Lorena. She is the one that dropped from 36 cigarettes to 1 a day in a week. Well, her problem was that she works on Sundays so she couldn't go to church very much. We've been praying and fasting that she can find a different job and today when we were in the airport we found her (she works there, hence why she can't come on Sundays) and she said "they called me this morning with a job where i only have to work Monday through Friday!" She was so excited! But she was also really sad that i wasn't going to be able to be there when she gets to progress and be baptized. It was so awesome she said "Gracias por todo lo que ha hecho por mi, nunca voy a olvidarle, ha cambiado mi vida!" Those are the best words that you can hear from a person! But really! I know it was all God, he was helping her out every step of the way, I just got to be the instrument in his hands. 

Now i have a new assignment and i know that there are many a soul to save in Guabo. 

I hope you all have a great week, full of opportunities to share your testimonies, and invite people to feel of the love of God! 

I love you all! 

Hermana Whitmore

I'm in the banana capital of the banana capital of the banana capital of the world!     February 9, 2015

Hola Familia, 

So, this week has been great and my title speaks the truth. Guabo is literally the capital of all bananas! My banana sticker collection has grown A LOT I'm up to 300 plus stickers. (don't worry, i am focusing on my mission :) )  Also, it is soooooo hot here! Oh my word... i never thought i could feel heat like this... but apparently i can! i think I've heard "wow! estas quemada" (wow. you are really burned) more times this week then i have in my whole mission! But I'm not even burned... just really tan! muahaha

Anywho, this week has been great. We had a baptism and the only bump was that it started a little late, but that's normal for Ecuador and Mormons so we were right on time! However, earlier in the week, we had to "save it". Which means he was supposed to get baptized last week but he didn't because he felt rushed. Well, we went to visit him on my first day here and i had the most awesome moment were i thought to ask him if he was reading the Book of Mormon. Guess what?? He wasn't! Ding ding ding! That's the problem! He needed to have a testimony of the good book first! So i promised him right there that if he read the Book of Mormon everyday until Saturday he would feel more then ready to be baptized. So everyday he read and everyday he got more and more excited to get to the font! I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON! I also love the spirit and for the opportunity to be a missionary, so that i can promise things like that and have them completed. It's soooo awesome! 

I love training again.. even though I'm not very good at it. Hermana Hanson is my 4th gringa "step daughter". And she is so great. She reminds me so much of me! But training makes me realized how much i don't know and how much i still have to learn! AH which freaks me out because i have no time left! i have 3 weeks to learn everything i need to learn still! aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! 

I've decided that one of the things i love most about mission work is hearing people's conversion stories. Because it's soo different from the missionary side. We really are like angels coming out of nowhere for them. When we are just contacting and feel the need to talk to this random person or we are being obedient and contacting a reference, for them it's a miracle that we show up when we do to share the message of the restored gospel. It just reminds me how great the plan of God is and how much he loves us. AND how important it is to be obedient and listen to the spirit as a missionary, because if you don't, someone will lose their opportunity to have eternal salvation! 

Something cool that i learned yesterday from Presidente Torres, who showed up randomly at church, was how great the example of Adam was for all couples. That Adam didn't have to leave paradise and having everything provided for him, but he did to be with his woman. He went out into the world to suffer because his love for Eve was greater then the comforts of Paradise! 

Well, that's all for now folks! I really do love this work and i never want my mission to end, and i know it won't! The mission is just the MTC for life! 

Carnaval!           February 16, 2015

Hola Querida Familia Mia,
Sorry this week i don't have much time to write but i did want to let you all know how much i love you and how much I'm looking forward to seeing you but also how much i am loving this work and how sad i am that it is coming to an end. I need your prayers for Carlos Siguenza that is getting baptized this week! And that we can see a miracle for his son that he can be there in his baptism too. I'm sorry i really don't have much time today but I'm going to write a big ol sappy long letter next week. No se preocupen! Les Quiero mucho!

This is it Folks!         February 23, 2015

Hola Querida Familia Mia,
Well, This is it. The last letter, it's finally come. Are you ready for this super long, super sappy letter? Well i don't actually know how long it will be but i'll definitely try to make it as sappy and cliche as possible.
SOOOO I'd like to start out with a very Cliche statement that I'm sure you've all heard before. This has been the BEST 18 MONTHS EVER! Other cliche statement "it went by soooo darn fast!" I need to have a 'back to the future' moment and take the time machine back to August 27 2013 when i was doing some last minute packing ... and unpacking and my dear kind mother was falling asleep on the bed. I really feel like it's all been a dream and tomorrow i wake up to head off to the airport with another pair of American shoes and some more P.B. That would be soo great, so that i could just KNOW! But knowledge doesn't come without trial and tribulation, so i know it turned out the way it should have. But really looking back on this whole mission thing, I've grown and learned, seen and experienced sooo many things that never could have happened in the real world. Don't get me wrong, it was not all fun and games, there were definitely hard times, rough patches, moments when i didn't think i would survive, BUT the funny thing is ... I don't remember them.. I know they happened, but the details are all fuzzy. However, the great moments, the baptisms, the conversations, the changes in peoples lives, I can remember as clear as this morning.
There are so many things that i have learned here in the greatest mission in the world but the things that stick out to me most of all are:
Number 1: God loves us and is watching out for us, not as a group of people, but individually. He knows exactly what we need and at what time. He answers our prayers how and exactly when they need to be answered. He has a perfect plan for each and every one of his children and all we have to do to get all of the benefits of this plan is be OBEDIENTE.
Number 2: Jesus Christ is MY savior. He came to earth because he loves me, he wanted me to know the right path to take. Jesus Christ is your savior and he died because he loves you and wants you to be clean from sin! Jesus Christ is his Savior, he was resurrected because he loves him and wants him to live in the presence of god a perfect and glorified being. He came for each of us individually.
Number 3: I am soooo blessed. I am so blessed to have been born where i was born, into the family i was born into, that i was born into the church and i never had to go through the confusion of finding the right path. Before, i took that for granted, and now i realize how grateful i need to be. And how much i can never repay God for all of the blessings i have received in my life!
Number 4: The mission is THE GREATEST THING YOU CAN DO!!!! It is the most worth while thing you can do with your time between the ages of 18 and 25. There is NOTHING more important!
And now to just top off the cheesiness of this letter, Imma write my testimony in Spanish! Woo!
YO SÉ que esta es la iglesia de Jesucristo. Que El to dirige. Yo sé que José Smith vio cara a cara a Dios y a Jesucristo, que por medio de el, Jesucristo restauró su iglesia aqui en la tierra. Sé que Thomas S. Monson es un hombre llamado por Dios y que si nosotros escuchamos a sus palabras vamos a estar en el camino donde Dios nos quiere. Sé que Dios nos ama con un amor que no podemos entender, y que El tiene un plan perfecto para cada uno de nosotros. Sé que Jesucristo bajo de los cielos para salvarnos de nuestros pecados, para guiarnos y enseñarnos. Sé que por medio de la expiación de El, podemos cambiar nuestas vidas y podemos ver un cambio en la vida de otras personas tambien. Yo sé que a veces la vida es dificil, pero tambien sé que todas las pruebas y dificultades que tenemos son para ayudarnos crecer y aprender y para preparar. La mision ha cambiado mi vida y no cambiaría nada. Amó la mision y amó a mi Dios, estoy agradecida por mi Dios y su plan que tiene para mi y por todo lo que he aprendido aqui en la mision. Les quiero mucho cada uno de Ustedes!

 See you on the flip side!
Hermana Whitmore

Monday, January 26, 2015

January 2015- Galapagos!

Feliz Año Nuevo!           Jan. 5, 2015

Dearest Familia Mia,
This week and year have gone by so incredibly fast! I cannot believe that it  is already 2015. Just so you all know, I'm loving working in this sector of Galapagos! It is everything i dreamed it would be and more. There is so much work to do and so little time to do it! This week was pretty slow because everyone was preparing for the New Year and then recovering from the New Year. We did find some pretty great people though. so, hopefully we will be able to work with them this coming week and that we can be the best most obedient missionaries in the world so that everything will turn out good and we will see some awesome miracles here in paradise :)
Last night i had a great experience with my companion. We were just feeling bad because this week we realized that we hadn't been doing everything possible to help the lord in his work. We just sat there studying about what our purpose was and how we can change and be better so that we can really be worthy to be here in the mission and especially be here on the islands. We just have a desire to do everything possible to help out this ward and find all the people we are supposed to find. But to do that we have to be working with the spirit and if we are even the slightest bit distracted we could miss the prompting to talk to someone or knock on a door or go visit a specific member. So last night we repented of everything that we had been doing (don't worry it wasn't anything bad... its just the difference between good and greater), Refocused and now we are ready to go for this coming week!
I'm very excited for the things that are going to happen this week. We have a baptism and another possible baptism. Also, a girl that has been waiting to get baptised for 8 months finally made the decision to do it! I'm super excited for them all!
For New Years, my companion and i decided to participate in the Ecuadorian tradicion of eating 12 grapes for the new year and make a wish for each month... however we aren't allowed to eat the skin so in our 3 hours of nothing time, that's what i was doing :) It was actually really fun... but i can say that next year i'll just be eating the grapes with the skin on them!
I love you all! Hope you have a great week!
Hermana Whitmore

What a week!                  Jan. 12, 2015

Hola Familia! 
Como estan las cosas por alla? Life on the island is pretty fantastic. I got to see my first beach baptism this week, although it was rather sad for me and my companion. What happened was that we were on track for the baptism of Estefania, but Friday night she calls us and keeps saying " i cant get baptized I've already been baptized!" She had called her familia to ask some info for her ficha. They informed her that she had already been baptized in the catholic church and she was freaking out! We went over to her house at 530 in the morning because the baptisms on the beach start at 6. We even got her to the beach and no one was there. She was more worried about getting to work on time then getting baptized so she left... We went to talk to her later and she had completely changed. She doesn't want to talk to us, she avoids eye contact and its super sad. We have had so many amazing experiences teaching her but from one really strategically placed blow from the devil everything went kerplunck! I really hope and pray that someday she can remember everything she learned with us and someday she can try the whole baptism thing again! 
We had a really great experience this week with a lady named Lorena, she was a reference from a member and when we found her she was in a bad place. She was just ready to give up on everything and she told us that she just felt like she was in a hole that she couldn't get out of. She had made some mistakes for a very long time and felt like she was letting her kids down. So the first day we met her, we taught her about the atonement and everyday she has been getting better and had more hope, she thanks us everyday that we go there and we can really see the difference that the gospel is making in her life in such a short amount of time. THE GOSPEL IS AMAZING!!!! The atonement is sooo real and the more we study about Jesus Christ and everything about the atonement, the more we realize how much god loves us and how misericordioso he is. Also, you can really realize how true the church is just from studying about Christ.. God has a perfect plan for us and you can only find the details in the Book of Mormon. The atonement has no purpose if you don't understand the rest of the plan of salvation. I invite you all to think about the atonement this week and what it means in your lives. Also, think about how amazing the plan of salvation is and how much hope and happiness we receive from understanding this plan completely with the help of the Book of Mormon
 just know that i love you all and i hope you all are doing well and that your testimonies are growing everyday!!! 
Hermana Whitmore

Cambios!                    Jan. 19, 2015

Hola Familia! 

This week has been so great and full of great things and great experiences! 
First off, we are working with a lady named Lorena and her kids.  We've been visiting her everyday and she has made the biggest changes I've ever seen! She started out with drinking everyday and never being at home, chain smoking and depression. NOW she has no desire to drink, she is cooking meals for her kids and only smokes one cigarette a day, AND she isn't taking her pills for depression. She is happier then ever. Yesterday she went to church and was just as happy as could be. Her daughter Kerly told me yesterday during sacrament meeting that she wanted to be a missionary like me! How cute is that?! Also, every time we go to visit her with someone new, she likes to tell the story about how she asked the question about 2 weeks ago, "Why doesn't God just come knock on my door to help me out?" and that's when we knocked on the door and told her there was hope! She says that when we left that night, we took a huge weight out the door with us and that every day she is getting better and better! She is so great and I'm soo thankful that I've been here to see the miracles that have happened in her life because of the gospel and the love of God. 

OH, also there were cambios, and my companion left, BUT Hermana Flinders came, my hijastra of the mission! She is the first comp, and i think the only one, that I've ever repeated or will repeat, and i love it!! Today we went and visited the tortuouses and i'll tell you to feel free to buy me a baby one as a pet for when i get home :) haha 

Well, i think that's all the exciting stuff, we are actually finding people to teach and people that want to learn! I'm loving this sector and the fact that i get to be a part of the Lord's work in this part of his vineyard! 

I love you all!

Hermana Whitmore

I survived another week in paradise!    Jan. 26, 2015

Hola Querida Familia, 
I survived another week in the greatest place on earth, the islands! We haven't had much movement of our program this week, but our investigators are doing really well. We are working with one girl named Kerly and she now has 2 attendances at church so she only needs one more to get baptised. She is soo cute and is reading the Book of Mormon on her own. Yesterday, we asked her how her reading was going and she had made a summery of chapter 2 of nefi. She is super excited about everything with the church. with reading and the young womens. Everything! It's sooo awesome! I love to see the excitement and the light in peoples eyes when they learn about the Gospel.
Nothing new is going on, I'm still with the Hermanita Flinders and we are working hard! I got a serious sunburn last Monday so I've been fighting with that all week! But it is totally worth it because i just remember how blessed i am to be in this place at this time!
 Just know that I'm well and i pray for you all, always :)
Hermana Whitmore
Picture one.... i got really sunburned! haha 
Picture 2- Lago de las nimfas

Monday, December 29, 2014

Feliz Navidad !

I feel like a famous person!        December 15, 2014

Hola Querida Familia Mía,

Como estan?? I just want to tell you all how much i love the Christmas season and how blessed i am to be in the mission for two Christmases (don't remember how that works in English). This week we had the opportunity to share the Christmas program with all the areas of the mission. Day one, we went to my homeland SANTA ROSITA! I loved being able to share my testimony with all the people i love in that sector all at the same time! That night we slept in Santa Rosa and there was no water to shower... definitely just rinsed from one of the emergency water bottles that is always under the sink. Then we got to work in Santa Rosa for a couple hours and then we headed to Machala! 

In machala, we had a really good training with presidente, and we definitely got .... edified spiritually. It was really good to realize that what we are doing as a choir is so important and we can't take it lightly. We have to be very responsible and very worthy to have the spirit so that we can have a worthwhile presentation. Needless to say our performance that night was the best we had had! That night we slept in machala, in the morning we wen to Loja, and loja has a great spirit. I've never served there but its just such a special place, you can't help but love it! 

Saturday we were in Cuenca and got to go sing at an orphanage then perform for about 20 people because everyone had gone to the temple... wher! BUT it was still great! I love how much you can feel the spirit through the music no matter how many or few people are listening. 

Well on Sunday at 2 AM we got up to take the bus to a little place called Naranjal that opened right when i started on the mission. It is such an amazing place because all the members there have about a year or less in the church! We got to go to church there and then perform there in the night. It was awesome because it's a 4th floor room as the chapel and it is surrounded by windows! SOO when we were singing we had to do it without music because of the handheld mic and the wind was blowing in our hair and i just felt like a rockstar, it was probably the best performance spiritually and confidence- wise that we had! 

I just have had the greatest time these past couple weeks! I love the opportunities that I've had and the things that i have learned and felt! I'm soo grateful for the Christmas season and that i get to be in the best mission in the world serving the Lord at this time in my life! I know that god loves me and you guys and all of his children in the world and that's the message we all have to share, not just missionaries but members too! we have to help everyone know that god loves them and that he has a perfect plan for us,that he also gave us the best Christmas gift of all, it's a gift that keeps on giving- Jesus Christ!

Les Quiero!

Hermana Whitmore
 Nativity outside of the Church in Loja with Hermana Murri!

Some of the choir kids! Love these guys!

 last p-day we found an island that has always been in my sector, i just never knew about it!
 we went and visited it! 

 I got your "pick me up" package! it definitely picked me up :)

The most Beautiful Place in the World!     December 22, 2014

Dearest Familia Mia,
I would like to tell you all the story of my crazy week :) 
Firstly, On Monday, I had a very low-key pday in the house with my poor companion because her legs got eaten alive in Cuenca, they were so swollen she could barely walk! So we just hung out in the house and got ready for the week.
On Tuesday, we got to go to the temple and that was going to be nice and relaxed HOWEVER! The asistentes called us and told us that we had to go to the temple early to pick people up and take them to the house and then return to the temple! So after an hour and a half of running back and forth, we got to the temple in one piece! We thought that we were going to do a session but they sent us away and told us we were going to go later in the week. Ok that's fine. So we went back to centenario and did some crazy intercambios so that all the lonelies had a sector to work in. We went and contacted for a while, ate some salchipapas and then went back to main headquarters (the church in centenario), after that we just ended up going to the house because everything was so crazy! Well, we get back to the house and one of the hermanas that doesn't speak Spanish gets a phone call from the asistentes so she hands the phone to me to get things all figured out and then Elder Barrios says "oh hermana whitmore i needed to talk to you too! Do you have something to write this down?" cambios! " ok , you have to pack one suitcase of 50 lbs and be in the airport at 9:00 am tomorrow morning.... you are going to Galapagos!" "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
So that's when I packed my bags and got on a plane and came to the most amazing place EVER! GALAPAGOS! It really is sooo awesome here, I've seen more miracles here then in all my mission put together! Everything is so easy going and everyone is nice! It's super strange to see gringos all over but that's part of the beauty too. My companion is Hermana Clark from Bear Lake, Idaho and she is super fun! We are actually in the same group so it's fun to talk about all our time in the mission :) haha So yeah that was my big reveal. Iwas going to reveal it through pictures... however the computer I'm using is a dinosaur! Ill try to make it work again but i doubt it :)
Well, yeah ... really that was it, sorry a little anti climatic but its something I've been feeling has been coming my whole mission and now I'm finally here and i can't even believe it! I just am so excited to get out there and work and share the gospel with all the galapageños :) I love you all! Have a great week! i know i will... Christmas in Galapagos! Living the life!
Hermana Whitmore
Galapagos Zone!

Feliz Navidad!

2nd week on the island!      December 29, 2014

Hola Familia,

Well, this week has been great and really hard at the same time! Great because it was Christmas and i got to talk with you guys and everything was fantastic! At first, a little hard cause we were just going to give up and try the next day but the elders called us and told us we got permission to go to the parte alta (the mountains) to be able to talk with you guys! Then we went and got to eat dinner with some members and that's pretty much how Christmas went down. My companion and i really enjoyed the Christmas stories you sent me and the oatmeal and other snacks have kept us alive in the past weeks because everything is so darn expensive! ha ha 

But in the work this week we been a little frustrated because our investigators always say "yes yes yes" and then they never complete! It's just sad really because they are losing blessings and eternal happiness! Yesterday i was so just worn out and frustrated, i literally cried in front of an investigator because she had put an earring back in her 3rd piercing! AH! But we are just taking this week to clean the program and start fresh! Do things the way president wants and the way that God wants, hopefully for our faithfulness, obedience and diligence, we will be blessed :) 

I love you all! 

Hermana Whitmore

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

October, November and a bit of December 2014

Conferencia! WOO!              October 6, 2014

Querida Familia Mia,

well this week has been full of, well... its been full lets just say. Guess what?? I had cambios.... AGAIN! Now i'm in Santa Rosa.. still,  but in the other rama. SOOO that meant that all week we were looking for people to bring to the conference. It was .... interesting. I love the members in this rama, they are all very willing to help us and show us the houses of less actives and converts. So we are making our way to having a program. 

So as you all know, we had to have investigators if we wanted to attend a session of conference and we had everything planned out beautifully. Investigators every session! BUT NO! Saturday morning we went to go pick up the investigator and guess what, they couldn't come. So, we start inviting everyone on the planet to come with us in that very moment.. of course, everyone is busy at that same moment... SOOO, we see an elderly man that doesn't look busy and he says he's not doing anything, so we invite him, he changes his shirt and off we go! So i did see the first session of conference! It was awesome! loved it! Especially the talk by elder Christofferson (not because I'm biased, but because it really was super awesome). I also got a little trunky when i realized that i would be at home for the next conference and not super stressed about finding investigators and all that jazz! AHHH full trunky! Saturday afternoon we didn't get to go. Sunday morning we had 10 people in the conference! woo!!! ha ha, not one accepted a baptismal date... wer! and Sunday afternoon all our invites flaked. O sea... i missed the two talks given in Spanish! BUT the parts i did see, i enjoyed immensely :) i also realized how  blessed i am to live so close to the conference center and to speak English! I'm sooo blessed :)

Pues familia... i really don't have much to say, just that i love the mission! it's the only place i want to be at this time in my life! :) i hope that you are all well and doing the right things :) Haz lo Justo! 

Hermana Whitmore

Todavia Santa Rosa!                                                                October 13, 2014

Hello Familia!

Welpers, I'm still here in Santa Rosa, and its definitely been an interesting week. We've been working harder then ever and the time is passing slower then i ever thought possible. It's like every 5 minutes I'm looking at my watch thinking an hour has gone by. I'm trying to be thankful, thinking of things in a positive way, like God is giving me more time to work and find people! So really its a blessing! Right?? :) Well I've had a great week other then that, a lot of revelation and a lot of learning. My companion right now is Hermana Rayo from Nicaragua and shes got 11 months in the mission. 

This week we are trying to work with the less active recent converts... there are a lot of those here and we are trying to activate them and help them have a conversion. It been very rewarding to see some of the youth that got baptized 7 months ago start to gain a testimony. We found a kid named Edwin and he just needed a little push.. he still has a long way to go, but we are trying to help him prepare to receive the priesthood! WOO! 

We are also working with a lot of references. We went to contact a reference that we got last week and we found him and invited him to be baptized and he accepted!!! YAY! But I'll tell you what... Satan has no bounds, he is definitely throwing everything he can at this poor ol guy (he is 70) so that he can't progress. He's tough though and came to church despite being sickly! :) So we are working with him this week and we will hopefully find some people that can progress. 

Dad, to answer your questions: some feelings about how I'm doing, I'm doing good. I still can't believe I've only got 4 and a half months left to be in this beautiful country, with this authority, and the opportunity to share my testimony and the truth with everyone i see. I'm very thankful and feel very blessed to be here in the mission learning everything that I'm learning and seeing miracles around me everyday. Having a companion is always a ... blessing! it's a great opportunity to learn and grow and be around different people and learn about different cultures. The weather is still hot but the weird thing is that i'm getting used to it. so when it's below 75 degrees i'm freezing cold and have to put on my sweats and cardigan! The members are great. and my clothing is disgusting... yep that pretty much sums it up... disgusting! I was so excited to get your package with the hopes that something new to wear was in it, but it must have weighed more then 4 kilos because it never got here :( WELP that's all folks! Tune in next week for another episode of Krista's Life in the Mission! 

Hermana Whitmore

What a week what a week!                October 27, 2014

Hola FAmilia mia,

So this week was great and all and it went by really fast. We had district meeting with presidente  present.. talk about nerve wracking. They didn't tell us that the hermana leaders were going to talk, so i get up there with my companion and we just testify and testify of the atonement and Jesus Christ... it ended up ok.  it's really interesting the different looks on peoples faces when you talk about Christ... i was talking with hrn. Campbell and we decided that there are 3 different types of people: the people that hear a testimony and have the same testimony- they have a look on their face like they know its true and they feel it and they have the same thing in their heart and their soul. number 2: the people that hear a testimony and WANT the same testimony. Its almost a look of admiration and longing, determination to find the same conviction. and the third group of people that treat a testimony like its nothing just a bunch of words that everyone is trained to say... they look bored and like they have closed off their hearts to the whisperings of the spirit. And it is sad to see how many people fall into the third group of people. SOOO,  hrn. Campbell and i have decided that we have to do something to help people feel these whisperings of the spirit again so that we can have success as a mission! 

This week we had a baptism and it is the smoothest baptism that I've ever had in my whole mission! The man that got baptized is 64 years old and his daughter is a member of the church with her whole family! it was sooo fun to teach him because he just accepted everything sooo easily! he had a little bit of a difficulty accepting a baptismal date but one day we were teaching him and something changed and he just said "hermanas, i'm going to be baptized!" it was soooo cool because you could see how determined and set of his decision he was. i'll send pictures next week because i don't have a way to send them this week:( 

I love you all and i hope you all are doing everything you should everyday to have the spirit with you. AKA reading the scriptures and saying your prayers! 

Loves and handshakes!

Hermana Whitmore
Pizza from Chezcos

Hola! from the cyber

We've had a death in the family....            November 3, 2014

Dearest darlingest family of mine,

Well, i guess i'll explain the title line first... This morning we had a very tragical tramagedy happen! We went to print out pictures and guess whose pictures were not on her camera... only the luckiest of the lucky: HERMANA WHITMORE! Yep´... pretty much i lost all the pictures from the last 3ish months of my mission... we were able to recoop some of them but all the files are corrupted and so yeah... that was a lovely way to start my p-day. But other then that little bump in the road, this week has been good.

We've been really focusing on working with less active members and we've been doing a lot of reactivating! This week we had 5 menos activos in church and 3 investigators (super cool cause they were all related to members!) and the 2 menos activos that are both 20 years old made friends right away! SUCCESS! I don't know if that made sense the way i explained it ... just know that it was cool. 

What else happened this week? ... well our baptism from last week is doing super good and now his wife is getting ready for her baptism later this month... timing is everything! :) 

Also this sunday (yesterday) was like memorial day here in Ecuador so everyone  went to the cemetery to paint the tombstones of their family members... different but cool tradition.... 

OH! other cool thing that happened this week... so as a mission, we are supposed to invite 8 people to be baptized every day, so i had never done it until Wednesday and guess what?? we invite 11! wanna know how many people accepted? ... zero! BUT we were giving them the option right? ha ha 

well i think that's all :) I love you all! I hope you know that! 

Sigan Adelante!
Loves and Handshakes,

Another week in Santa Rosita.                         November 10, 2014

Dearest family of mine,

Well, this week started out with a capacitacion with presidente and it was perfect, just what i needed to get a jump start on the week... its too bad that all this excitement i had was a lot more difficult to put in practice then i thought... we just kept working with our 2 investigators that we have and we're trying to find more. We invited 7 or more people to be baptized every day without success so we are going to have to come up with some new ideas for this week. I just feel like I'm out of ideas and have no idea what we can do now to find more people. We are trying sooo hard to be obedient and do all of the things we are supposed to, but i guess we are just falling short because we are not seeing any difference in our program. 

i really am happy to be on the mission. i love every minute of  it and all the things I'm learning. I thank God every day for this time that i have to serve and see miracles, be in the world and not of the world, invite everyone to come to Christ and see the change people are willing to make to follow the savior. I have faith and hope that everyone will come to the knowledge of the truth and accept it some day, but it is our part as missionaries to find the people in the exact moment that they are prepared for. 

Thank you for all that you all do, for your examples and support. i love you all!

Hermana Whitmore

Another week in the greatest place on earth.             November 17, 2014

Querida Familia, 

Well, this week has been interesting, I've learned more about the atonement and i have an even stronger testimony of how God answers prayers! I've been feeling so weighed down this month with all the things that we have to do as missionaries and the responsibility and trying to be obedient and all that jazz, and i said a prayer before my personal study and asked if god would help me relieve some of the stress that I've been feeling that's been just making me a crappy person and companion. I felt like I should read from the conference, and I read a talk about "soportando nuestros cargas con facilidad" (i don't know how to say that in English)[Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease. Elder Bednar] and it made me realize soooo much, how much i can depend on Christ and not have to do everything by myself. The atonement isn't only for people that need to repent but for people that need support also! So that changed my whole perspective on life!!!! It was awesome. Anywho, I loved it and then in the meeting that morning we were talking about obedience and i shared what i had learned and it started a whole discussion about the atonement! FULL ESPIRITU!!!! 

One of the greatest moments in the field is when you can see other missionaries progressing and learning and realizing the things they have to do better, or when you receive that revelation for yourself. The other greatest moments are the moments you see investigators or less actives progressing spiritually! This week our convert, carlos, received the priesthood and he was soooo excited and he wants a tie to wear to church!  Also, our less active that we are working with, Edwin, we were giving up hope and so we were just letting him be because he didn't want to read or do anything! So we just visited him once and tested him to come to church... well he came! AND so this week we did our once a week visit and he said he was reading the Book of Mormon... when we asked him what changed, he said that he didn't know, but he just felt like he was doing something right!!!!!! AH! i love the spirit and how it speaks to people right when they need it, in the way they need it. 

Family, i just want you all to know that i love this work and i am sooo happy to be here helping all the people to come to Christ! 

Have a great week! 

Ah!                                    November 24, 2014

Querida Familia Mia! 

Oh my gosh! just my luck! i don't have time to write back and forths to you this week! The week i find out imma goin' to be an AUNT!!!! WHAT! Congratulations Karli and Brett i'm super happy for you and i know you will be great parents and teach that kid whats what! :) haha 

Well, news on my end, i'm in the Christmas choir again and i am in a trio training 2 girly girls that have 5 weeks in the mish! WHAT! que estress, but how fun! They are both gringitas, one from Utah and one from California! In the choir this year, we will only have 1 week to learn all the music and 2 weeks to go around and share it. I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to do the choir again and i know my testimony will grow even more and i can share it through music! 

I love you all! have a great week! 

Hermana Whitmore

December 1, 2014

dearest familia!

hey, so again, i only have a little bit of time to write because we have been practicing all day for the choir. But i am soo happy and i feel so blessed to be in the choir again and to be able to visit all of my converts aqui en centenario. I love having two compañeritas that i get to share all of my knowledge with. The greatest moment i had this week was when we sang to a lady in the park to help her feel some peace and she than accepted a fecha bautismal. we didn't find her all week and then she came to church on Sunday and said to us "hermanas, I've been looking for you, but luckily one of you wrote the address on this pamphlet" it was soooooo awesome. Music really is a great thing, it helps get to peoples hearts sooo much easier. WELL, that's all I've got! sorry its not much, i hope that all is well and someday i'll have time to write a real letter with real details and real pictures! Love you all :) 

Hermana Whitmore

El coro Navideño                             December 8, 2014

Hola quierida Familia mia,

Ok, i actually have time to write this week and i'm rather excited, I hope that i can actually remember some of the details that have happened this week. Please forgive my wording because i just woke up from a nap and my hands and mind aren't at 100 percent yet. 

Ok, so primerito, This week we started presenting the devotional to all the stakes here in Guayaquil and we had special experiences with every presentation. I haven't had my voice crack yet, just a few flats and everyday gets a little better so i hope we can keep with that theme and just keep on improving.

But i'll just try to tell you some of the highlights:

On Tuesday we went to a place called Cisne where the hermanas DO NOT GO! It's like the super dangerous part of Guayaquil. SO we went there in taxis with the elders and all the taxis had to go together with elders waiting at the church doors to let us in. SO luckily we get there safely and we are all in the church, when all of sudden one of the elders realizes that we have left the amp in one of the taxis! AHHHHH! So (i was in the bathroom with my companions) they all prayed so that the taxi driver would bring it back. we were all a little solemn and all sitting there with a prayer in our hearts when one of the elders felt like he needed to go outside and check one more time if the taxi had come back. He left with a comp and 30 seconds later they came running and screaming back into the church building. Our first reaction was "GET DOWN! SOMEONE HAS BEEN SHOT!" (We were in the Cisne after all) But NO, they came running back because the taxi driver had returned! We asked him why he came back and he just said that a voice in his head reminded him that we had put something in the back of his car, without getting out to check, he had turned around immediately and come back!!!!!!! What an awesome miracle! and testimony builder of prayer! 

On Wednesday, we were in Pradera and one of the blessings that happened that day was that we ate McDonalds twice! once for lunch and once with presidente torres! 

On Thursday, we were in Centenario (my homeland!) and it was fun to see all the people there again! And it has been such a blessing to see my converts enduring to the end :) One of the greatest Christmas gifts you can receive as a missionary! 

ON Friday, it was like an emotional high all day! We went and sang for some patients in a dialysis clinic and i just couldn't help but think of grandpa! Then we went and sang at an orphanage and that was super tender (I am a child of god... SO tender!!)

I've had such a great week and i feel like I've learned more about my saviors love and the atonement, my testimony has grown on sooo many levels in just two weeks and I'm just loving life! :) 

Have a great week! I love you all :) 
 In these weeks that we have been in Guayaquil, my bed has turned into my closet, study desk and the companionship lounge area

Presidente's Christmas tree, 
we had Thanksgiving dinner at his house and helped decorate the tree.

I got your Christmas package!

 I've loved sharing the Christmas goodies with my hijastras!
 Hermana Nelson is from California and Hermana Flinders is from Utah.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 2013

OK NOW I have 1 year in the mission!September 1, 2014 4:38 PM 

Hola Querida Familia Mia,
Alright, this is my very antitrunky one-year mark letter :
Welp folks, I have one year in the mission and i feel sooooo weird! I cannot believe that a year ago i was in the MTC having a full big party, playin´ soccer and takin` naps on P-day. I'm definitely a different person now. Spiritually, emotionally and unfortunately physically :) jiji. But I'm so thankful for all of the changes that have happened to me over these extremely short 12 months. I've learned and grown, had some hard times and some fun times. I've visited every part of the mission and had many a compañion from Peru. But the thing that I've learned better then everything else is that God has a plan for each and everyone of his children. I've seen it in my life and the lives of the people here in Ecuador. Every experience that I've had personally has been for my growth and learning and i know that it comes directly from God. 

Also, here in dear ol Ecuador, I've learned to appreciate many things about the gospel that i didn't completely understand before. Things like a baptism. A baptism is not JUST a cleansing of our sins, but it's a promise to God that we are going to be better people , that we want to follow Christ and that we appreciate his sacrifice for us. It's the first step we take to be able to enter into God's kingdom. 

OR the sacrament. Its not just the remembrance of the flesh and blood of Christ that we take every week, it is an OPPORTUNITY that we have every week to start over again. We promise God that we will keep his commandments and be disciples of his Son. We literally take upon us the name of Christ and PROMISE to always remember him. 

AND the Book of Mormon. Its not just a blue book that only our church has. Its ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST. This book really holds the fullness of the gospel. Its the KEY to our religion. Its the Guidebook on life directly from God. With the exact steps we need to take to return to his presence. 

I just want you all to know that I LOVE this gospel. I know with every fiber of my being that these things are true. And its not because I've had a great vision or anything, but because God has literally shown me line upon line, precept upon precept that these things are true.

I also know that it is very hard to put your faith in Christ, but when we do and we follow his commandments, we are blessed beyond our wildest dreams. I've also learned that God is our loving heavenly father, that he gives us the commandments for our own well being. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I've had to be a missionary for the Lord and I'm even more grateful that i still have 6 months left! 

I love the mission! I love that i can get up everyday and study the scriptures and then leave the house and share this message with every one that will listen. I love Ecuador ( especially the south part ). I love the people. I love the food (well... most of it). I love the book of Mormon and I love this gospel! 

I also love you all!!! Have a fantastic week :)

Hermana Whitmore

Picture 1: I bought an ecuador soccerball! Shh! don't tell :) and don't worry, its deflated and will be in my suitcase for 6 months.

Picture 2. Definitely ate a brownie!

I survived cambios!       September 8, 2014 4:04 PM

Hola dearest familia mia!
This week was pretty ... normal. We are still in Azogues and I'm still with H. Roncal. We celebrated her birhday this week and that was quite the adventure! WE KILLED A GUINEA PIG AND ATE IT! yeah... that was a 2 day long process. BUT it actually tasted quite good... I'll have to show you the videos when i get home because there are no words to describe it!
so this week we've been working with this couple and the husband never wants to give us a straight answer about going to church until the last minute! but this week he said he would  come! WOO! so he came to church and loved it and now we've got to get him to accept a baptism date. but he will very soon! i can feel it!
This week 32 nuevitos came to the mission and my comp and i were sure that we were going to train... but they did all the cambios last night and we survived the reaping! we are safe for another week... possibly! haha the cambios here are nuts! I could get cambios Friday night for all i know!
today we went adventuring and found the cara del inca! and he has something to say  to kim: VS picture 1
Well family, that's all i got for ya! i love you all!
Hermana Whitmore

I've returned!

Hello family,        September 15, 2014 3:12 PM

Well! my big news is I'm back! sitting in the same seat i was 5 months ago. Bienvenidos a SANTA ROSA! same sector and everything. The only difference is my companion is Colombian and not Peruvian. My comp has 18 plus months in the mission.. yep she's fried! ha ha she doesn't go home for 2 more weeks, but i hope its a good two weeks and that i learn a lot. I'm also here with Hermana Viloria! my mom.. step mom... mom! ha ha! she's returned to where she was born{started her mission} and she is super stoked! ha ha

Well, this week in Azogues was super cool! we finally have investigators that are progressing and i was finally getting the handle of all the .. lovely people in Azogues! I was getting accustomed to smashing 10 cucharachas every day and i was also getting better at sleeping through the light of our neighbors at 5 o'clock in the morning. ALSO i was loving the cold weather and the warm showers! Now I'm back to hot weather and ice cold showers... well that's the mission for ya! 

I don't have anything really exciting to tell this week just that i love you all and I'm sooo thankful that i grew up with the gospel in my life. That i have the book of Mormon to read and ponder and pray about! i love the mission and i hope that all is well with you guys and that you are all reading your scriptures and saying your prayers AND practicing your Spanish so that you can understand me when i get home!

Loves and handshakes!

Hermana Whitmore

Another week in paradise....     September 22, 2014

Dearest familia, 

Well this week in the house we've been fighting the trunkyness like there is no tomorrow! goodness. We've got two hermanas that have got 19 months in the mission, finally going home this week! So this past week they've been saying goodbye and thinking all about what they are going to do in their houses and all that jazz.... Hermana Apaza and I are just along for the ride and i really hope I'm never this trunky! EVER! Anywho... Its been cool to work in Santa Rosa again and see all the members and my converts (that are still active) ha ha and work with some old investigators. One, who's name is Manuel, is the dad of one of my ex comps converts. He was a little uncertain at first when we came to visit him but something changed and he came to church and he found some people that he knows and now hes super excited for his baptism! WOO!!!! There is a time and a plan for EVERYTHING! Gods watching out for his children, and I've been so blessed in the mission to go to sectors and really see how people are prepared with time and you gotta catch them at the right moment to share the gospel with them. That's why its so important to work with the spirit, so that as a missionary you can know when that time is! 

sorry again, i don't have very many cool things to say, but this week I've learned a lot about trust in the lord and endure to the end! if we don't we are lost!!!! and our lives might seem happy, but they really aren't, especially if we look at things from an eternal perspective! So that's my advice this week! Stick it out to the end :) even if its hard, god will make it worth it in the life to come! 

Love you all! 

Hermana Whitmore

Wonderful world, beautiful people!      September 29, 2014 3:26 PM

Dearest familia mia,

First of all, i just want to say how thankful i am for all of you and for the family that i grew up in and that you guys (my parents) taught me to stay strong and keep the faith! This week I've seen so many things and realized how grateful i am for my life! Ive been here in my old sector working with my conversos and the conversos of other missionaries and it hard! Some are only members or some are a whole family menos activos, and the only thing we can do is try to strengthen their faith and help them come back to church and really put their trust in the lord. 

Today we had consejo para los lideres and it was awesome! Presidente really is called of God and receives so much revelation for the mission. The part that's missing in the chain of success is the humility and the obedience of the missionaries. If we would just listen to los consejos of presidente, we would have sooooo much success! Presidente talked to us about the Laman syndrome and i loved it! Its this attitude that missionaries get when they don't want to obey or think they are better then everything else and WE CANT FALL INTO THAT TRAP! We have to be like Nephi! willing to follow the path that God wants us to follow and obey His commandments and do his will! I want to be more like nefi and have the faith that he has! (I've decided that he is my favorite author in the book of Mormon... his way of speaking is hilarious and VERY applicable!) 

Well family, I love you all! and i hope you have a fantastic week! I think mom asked if we get to watch conference, and that's a yes if we have investigators, so pray for me to have investigators in every session! :) I should have more time next week to write and send pictures :) espero noticias suyas! 

Hermana Whitmore