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.