Sunday, December 22, 2013

Warm Christmas Season!


Ya, the weeks are going by fast.  This week was slow for us since people have events going on and are traveling for the holidays.  We had a lot of cancellations this week, but hopefully, it picks back up.  We did a lot of service this last week.  We did about 14 hours and that's as much as pesident wants us to do in a week, even though we could have done more.  Man, I love doing service.  It's so much fun!  Yesterday, Semisi didn't come to church, so we have to cancel his baptism this Saturday!  Ahhhhhh-frustrating sometimes!  That just means we will just have to ask for more help from Heavenly Father and work harder!  That is all he has to do, is come to church one more time and get interviewed!  Soooo close!  The other investigators we are working with right now are S. Fakapalea, R. Flax, J. Menchaca, W. Pupunu, and F. Thompson.....good luck saying those names-haha!  Hopefully, we can touch people's hearts during this Christmas season!  Even though it doesn't feel like Christmas at all!  It's too warm and there's no snow.  We don't hear a lot of Christmas music either, but that's the only thing that reminds me that it's Christmas, is hearing Christmas music every once in awhile.  Hopefully, this week goes well and we have some success!  It sounds like things are going good back home.  Good thing that the carbon monoxide detector was just outdated and not an actual leak!  It sounds like things are just going out left and right at home!  Hopefully, the heater continues to work by the time I get home because I will probably be freezing!  It's good to hear that Grandma is making progress!  That's cool that Brittney's fiance said he could feel the spirit in the house.  It's probably because I'm not there buggin' the girls-haha!  Wow, Kent has already been home a year and a half!  Time goes by so fast!  I can't believe I'm coming close to my year mark!  There are less actives that we work with sometimes that have served a mission and come home and totally go the opposite way and a lot of them you just have to talk bold with to get them to understand!  They just need a strong hand to guide them back!  You talked with Brother Morris?  How is he doing?  He is awesome!  I loved going camping with him!  Good times, good times!  Tell him I say hi!  So about the Creche, it was super cool.  They took all the missionaries that helped set up on a tour of it.  It was pretty neat, but I took about two pictures and a lady came over and got mad at me and told us we couldn't take pictures!  It was dumb.  She told me to delete them, but I still have them.  I forgot to bring that memory card-oops.  :/  Well, I hope you guys have a great week and enjoy all the fun stuff going on!  Love ya!

Ofa Atu
Elder Whaley
A well lit house!

Lots of ornaments!

Part of the live nativity (Creche).

More of the live nativity.

Elder Whaley helped bring in some
live animals for the Creche.
His new pal-Mr. Camel.

Plugging along!


So, the library's computers were down yesterday....of course it had to be a Monday!  It seems like you guys always get out of school because of power problems--haha!  Ya, it's cold here, too-the 40-60s.  Brrrrr!  :)  That's crazy that it's that cold there-Dang!  I can't even imagine that while the sun is hitting my face!  So Corbin had his farewell already, that's crazy....Japan, man that's pretty cool!  I got the package from Wayfair and it's sitting in the closet out of sight-haha.  Semisi is doing well.  His baptismal date was moved to the 21st because he missed church a week ago, but hopefully he makes it this next Sunday as well!  Other than that, we are just working with him preparing for the 21st now!  I'm not sure how the calling for Christmas works.  I haven't heard anything yet, but we'll probably just have a member call you or something.  This last week was decent.  It definitely picked up from Thanksgiving, but slow somedays.  We did a lot of service this last week- about 12 hours-which is always fun from picking weeds, to painting a living room, sorting cans at a food bank, and setting up a Christmas Creche.  The week was still good I think.  This week will hopefully be good as well!  We have the Christmas Creche going on along with the ward Christmas party this Saturday!  It's looking like a good week!  Hopefully, all is going well with you guys and you tty to keep warm!  :)  Love ya!

Ofa Atu
Elder Whaley
2 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shad's Heaven (lots of food and a football game)


Thanksgiving was awesome!  We went to the Makasini's and ate TONS of food!  There was a hecka a lot of food on the know you've eaten a lot when you're still full the next morning!  Man-I was stuffed!  Elder Jones tried to out eat me and he can eat quite a bit, but I won!  After we ate, they brought out the ukelele and guitars and started singing and playing in one room and I love hearing Polys sing.  They have such good/unique singing voices!  It sounds awesome!  Then, in the other room, the younger grandkids were singing karaoke-it was pretty funny to listen to them.  I haven't even heard most of the songs they were singing!  It was fun and we had a great Thanksgiving dinner.  Afterwards, we went to the Stake Center with all the missionaries and built a fire, had s'mores, and had a testimony type meeting.  It was pretty cool!  Traffic was horrible Thursday night and Friday and there was a lot of people everywhere!  (Black Thursday/Friday)  Uncle Craig is the ward mission leader?!  That's awesome!  This last week was interesting and a little rough.  Everyone was busy Thursday and Friday so it was hard to find things to do those days.  Then, on Sunday, Semisi didn't come to church and he's suppose to get baptized the 14th, but he has to come at least 2 weeks of church!  Ahhhh!  But, hopefully, this week goes better!  We got permission to go to a Standford game on Saturday, so we had to use our P-day on Saturday if we wanted to go, so we went on Saturday with some members.  We tailgated before, had pheasant sausage and burgers, and watched Notre Dame vs. Stanford.  It was super SWEET!  It was a good game!  So much fun!  Totally worth it!  (I'm sure Shad was in heaven watching a football game!)  Yesterday and today, we have been setting up a Creche display that they do here.  It's basically a nativity set in French, but there are 350+ of them in the whole church through the weekend and there are performances each night.  The nativity sets and pictures are from different parts of the world.  It's a lot of work, but should be really neat!  They have been doing it for 26 years, I think, and they fill up the whole church, so the wards that go there have to go to a different building for the weekend!  It's pretty big, so we have been busy with that.  Dad- that's great that you taught!  I'm sure you did great!  Yes, prayer is definitely a vital part of the gospel!  If there was not prayer, there would be no First Vision, no prophets, no restoration, missionary work, temples, and so on!  I am so thankful for that ability to communicate to Heavenly Father because I definitely need it out here!   Things are going well!  Hopefully, things go well for you this week, as well!

Love ya,
Ofa Atu,
Elder Whaley

Thanksgiving at the Makasini's

All the food!

Tailgate party before the football game.

Tailgate party.

Elder Whaley and Elder Jones at the Stanford football game!

Stanford vs. Notre Dame

The game!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! A Great Week!


We had an awesome week with a lot of little miracles!   I'm sure I'll be ready to explode by the end of Thursday, but hopefully, I'll be really hungry after the turkey bowl!  It's going to be interesting being away from home for Thanksgiving, but I'm glad I get to have it on my mission with the Makasini's! :)  That's good that you're tired/exhausted because that means you're working hard and giving it all you got!  (I think that's suppose to make me feel better?-haha)  Elder Jones is great!  We just live in a single bedroom apartment by ourselves-no other missionaries.  For maybe some g's and an SD memory card and some guitar tab music.  The Target here is just a regular Target.  What?  Brittney is going to use my room?  She is getting married?  When did all this happen?  Why is she up in Idaho?  Man, everyone is getting married!  Well, this week was really good!  We got 25 lessons, which is awesome.  I haven't got 25 lessons for awhile.  We usually average 16-18 a week, but this week was really great.  We accomplished all our goals for the week or went above!  So, it was great!  On Thursday, we had 8 people we taught, which is probably the most I've taught in a single day!  It was crazy awesome!!!!  Semisi's baptism is coming up pretty soon on the 14th of December-which is really exciting!!!!!  It rained a lot this week, as well.  It rained almost all day Wednesday and Thursday and a little bit on Tuesday.  But, Rain or Shine, We Do This All the Time!!!! Hoorah for Israel!!!!!!  Haha.  We had a great week!  We'll see how it goes this week since it's Thanksgiving week.  Hopefully, everyone doesn't leave!  But, it should be good!  Well, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and a good week!

Love ya,
Ofa Atu,
Elder Whaley

Enjoying his Mission!


I don't know why your email didn't come through and I looked for it, but it wasn't there.  The reason we didn't email on Monday was because the library was closed for Veteran's day.  On my last pictures I was trying to climb the tree while waiting for some other missionaries.  In the other picture, my comp was in the bathroom, so i turned off all the lights and got the Nerf gun and hid in the cabinet, that was TINY!  So, basically, he was looking for me and when he opened the cabinet, I scared him and unloaded on him with the Nerf gun.  It was pretty funny!  They would like us to switch to messenger bags, but my backpack works just fine and the other Elders that got messenger bags say they don't like them especially on bikes.  So, I'm alright.  You got snow?  It's going to be super weird with no snow this year. :/ -but kinda nice!  I don't have to shovel or bike in it-haha.  They say it takes someone on average 7 positive experiences with the church before they become interested or joining.  This week was pretty good.  We had Zone Conference, so we heard from President Watkins and talked about how we could improve as missionaries and become more productive/successful.  Then, on saturday, we went up to the temple and took some less actives to the visitors center while some of the returning to activity members did baptisms for the dead, which was cool since we have been working with one that went in while we were at the visitors center.  I'll send a picture of Tikki Makasini and his wife, Peggy.  Oh, and we also contacted a guy on the street named Jacob on Friday night and called him the next day and set up an appointment with him Saturday night and went to went and got Five guys and taught him.  It was a good discussion for the most part till the end when he kinda was bashing with us, which was frustrating.  We tried to get in contact with him again, but no answer yet.  Oh well, we'll see what happens with him.  Training is going good.  My trainee is awesome and we get along really well.  he knows his scriptures, but is still learning how to teach the discussions, so sometimes it feels like I'm talking the whole lesson with investigators, but he is getting there.  He will be a great missionary!  Things here are good.  One of our investigators set up a baptismal date for the 14 of December, so that's exciting!!  Other than that, the week has been pretty good and the Makasini's invited us over for Thanksgiving!  YES!!!!  Wahoo, I'm excited!  Anyways, I hope all goes well for ya this week!  Love ya!

Elder Whaley

Bro. Makasini, Elder Jones, Elder Whaley, and
Sis. Makasini at the Oakland temple.

Oakland Temple
California Sunset

Sunday, November 17, 2013

All is Well!


(Apparently, my email didn't go through-arggg)  I don't know if you emailed me or not, but this week was a pretty good week.  We got quite a few lessons where we struggled the week before.  So, we picked it up.  Our Zone is going for 60 baptisms for the year, so we need 20 more to reach that goal by the end of December, but we are working with 3-4 people and a few of them we think we can get baptized by then!  But, things with training are going good!  Elder Jones is a great missionary!  He knows his scriptures, which is awesome.  Here's some pics...I made the Plan of Salvation with spray paint!

Love ya,
Elder Whaley

Turning into a tree hugger?  Who knows!
Climbing the tree waiting for other missionaries.

Spray paint Plan of Salvation

Maybe he needs some alone time?????
Hiding from companion and then blasting him with
his Nerf gun!

Shad's attack on his companion.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's a boy!!!!!!


Dang, it's snowing?!  That's crazy!  Well, my companion came in on Halloween.  His name is Elder Jones from Springvill, UT.  He says he knows the Taylors: Keegan, Courtney, and Lance.  He is an 18 year old missionary.  He reminds me a lot of Austin, which is weird and cool.  I'm sure we'll do great together.  It should be interesting to train someone.  Hopefully, I don't corrupt him haha-jk.  This week wasn't all that great.  We had transfers Tuesday and I went to another area for a couple of days waiting for my kid, so the work in our area was super slow because of all the crazy moving missionaries around for transfers.  This upcoming week is looking good so far, so that's good.  Halloween stunk.  We had lunch at 3, after I picked up Elder Jones, then our dinner fed us at 4 since they couldn't do it later, so we were super full, then we tried visiting people, but no one was home because everyone was trick or treating....Halloween stinks-haha.  On the way down to pick up our kids, me and another Elder were driving down and a Mazda Miata was going about 100 mph on the highway and almost hit us, then he slowed down next to us and threw a water bottle at our car, but good thing he stunk at it since he missed...that was interesting.  Things are going good, other than that.  We'll see how this week pans out.  I can't think of anything for Christmas right now.  Hopefully, you guys have a great week!

Love ya,
Ofa atu,
Elder Whaley

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trunk or Treat-Idaho Style!


It's a Boy!!!!!!......

This week was pretty good.  It was a little slow since a lot of appointments canceled on us, so we didn't get as many lessons that we were planning on, but oh well, there is always next week.  We just had the ward Halloween Trunk or Treat.  It was pretty fun.  During the Trunk or Treat, I handed out 30 lbs. of potatoes that I bought and rode my bike with to the church with.....that was an adventure....but it was pretty funny.  The kids were like, "A Potatoe?!"  Some kids came back asking for one-haha.  It was pretty funny, but it was a good night.  Some members brought their neighbors and we were able to talk to some.  We'll see if they'll be interested at all.  For Halloween, we can't do anything besides do regular work, but we're going over to the Makasini's for dinner and do stuff with them.  The reason why I put it's a boy at the top is because I'll be a daddy....(training a new missionary) and I will pick him up from the Mission home on Halloween day.  That will be his first day in the field, so the next time I write you, I will have a greenie!  Oh man, it should be interesting, but he's getting born into an awesome area!  It's getting cold here, too.  It's like 55 degrees in the morning, then gets about 70 degrees.  Super cold huh?  haha.  I hope all goes well with the next doctor's visit the next time you go back down to Utah.  I'm glad you guys had fun while you were there!  Well, I hope all goes well for this week!  Love ya!

Elder Whaley
Ofa Atu

Elder Whaley (Cowboy Shad)
handing out 30lbs. of potatoes
at the church Trunk or Treat!

Loving the Area


Things are going great.  The lady who was in the baptismal suit was a woman that Elder Dalton and I taught, but found out she didn't live in our boundaries, so we gave her to the Stake Sisters.  We set up a baptismal date, then handed her over and the guy next to her is her son who baptized her.  Yes, I am loving life!  Especially this area!  I can't see myself leave this area and I know I'll be sad when I have to leave.  The work continues to go on.  The little girl in the picture, is the Makasini's granddaughter at a birthday party that they had for one of their grandson's, Kaianu.  It was pretty fun.  I'm excited for this week to go to the ward Halloween party.  It should be fun!  Man, it sounds like pretty good weather there for this time of year.  It's cold here since it's in the 70s (haha-JK):P  It's actually super nice weather.  I don't think I've worn a jacket since I've been out here.  This past week was good.  We had interviews with our president, that went pretty well.  We also played some volleyball and got up pretty early to go to Seminary, which was pretty fun-really good, too!  I made some cookies for Brother Makasini's birthday and supposedly their kids got some and now they want me to make some for them...dang it! haha  I'm glad everything is going well for ya back home and I hope it continues to go well!

Love ya,
Elder Whaley
ofa atu!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crazy man at Wendy's



There's a tongan sister there?  Cool!  There was an Elder Kaffi that served in my area-his name tag is still in our apartment.  I was upset that I missed Penny.  We were at the apartment having lunch and I ate my food super fast so I could take a power nap because I was super tired.  All of a sudden, my companion came in with a box and said, "This is from your mom."  I was like, what the heck?  He said a lady dropped it off.  I told him he should have woken me up-hello!  So yes, I got the stuff and the card-THANK YOU!!!!!!!!  There were cupcakes and peach rings and other candy-it was nice.  I wish I could have thanked her, though!  My companion is from Sugarland, Texas and he likes to run.  :/  He is probably going back to the Spanish program this next transfer, though.  The pictures I sent last time, were from touring the google campus.  Ohhhh-I have a story.  So this week we went to Wendy's to visit a less active, but we got there before him.  There was a homeless man in there asking us for money to buy food.  I had a free frosty coupon, so I gave it to him.  He just sat there and started talking to us about how his life stunk and he was really depressed and started crying.  Then, he started saying, "I'm going to kill myself....I'm going to go run into the road and get hit by a car."  He kept saying that and we told him he shouldn't, then all of the sudden, he gets up and runs outside of Wendy's to the road.  So my companion and I chased him down and stopped him from running into the road and made him sit down while the manager of Wendy's called the cops.  While we were waiting for the cops, he kept crying and saying, "I'm going to kill myself" and tried running to the street, but we just grabbed him and made him sit down.  Finally, after awhile, the cops showed up and took him away.  Quite the story huh?  This last week was good!  A lady and me and my last companion, Elder Dalton, taught, Sheila, got baptized, but we handed her over to the sister missionaries since she wasn't in our ward boundaries-but it was still cool!  Everything here is going good and the work is going great.  We had an investigator come to church for the first time and have another with a baptismal date, so things are going good!  The people here are awesome!  Sounds like you had a good week and hopefully it goes well for you this week, as well!

Love ya,
Elder Whaley
Ofa Atu

The lady that Shad and his past companion taught
that they handed over to the sister missionaries.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

8 months out!


It's pretty crazy that it's been 8 months already.  Time flies so fast!  Everyone was making fun of me because I was asking who won the Aggie/BYU game so they found out that I was an Aggie fan-so I got crap....DANG IT!  Oh well.  The mission office called today saying that they have a package for me and they're going to mail it to me.  Thanks so much!  Conference was amazing!  We watched all the sessions and a lot of them were really good!  I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to read over the talks again to get more out of them!  Something I thought of during Conference was to challenge you all to pick one talk or your favorite talk and study it, pray about it (look it up), and try to live by the teachings of that talk or change to the principles of that talk to become better or more Christlike.  I know as you do, life will become better and you will have greater happiness.  Since it was Conference time, we got to go to the temple and talked to Elder Packer, the area seventy, and got to see the new video-finally!  It was really good.  It put things into perspective with the new video-there were things I hadn't thought of before!  This week was pretty good, kinda slow since we went up to the temple and watched Conference-but it still went pretty well.  Something funny that happened this week was: we were helping the sisters teach one of their investigators and at the end the man said to my companion that's from Texas, "I thought everything was bigger in Texas.  Did they make you leave?"  It was pretty funny, even though my companion didn't quite think so.  Well, I hope all is going well for you all back home!

Love ya,
Ofa Atu!
Elder Whaley

Temple trip during Conference
Elder Perez, Bro. Makasini, Elder Whaley

Elder Whaley's tag in front of the Oakland temple.

Handsome Elder Whaley

Elder Whaley and Elder ?

Elder Whaley with some Elders and Sisters in front of
the Oakland temple.

Elder Whaley with Elders and Sisters
in front of the Oakland temple.
Elder Perez (Shad's companion) and Elder Whaley
(trying to look cool?)
After a service project
Elder Whaley doing a service project?  (That's what he
said he was doing)  
Cowboy Elder Whaley caught himself some
dinosaur bones!

Google store (outside)
Google store
More google
....and more google
Inside the Google store.
Who knows?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Busy Week


Sorry I didn't email last week.  I didn't email anyone because my email didn't work for some reason.  It really stunk, so I just sat there and waited for my companion to email.  You finally got into your classroom.  Awesome!  Remember, even though everything is not there and totally ready, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass!  You asked me if I take Vitamins and the answer is "no"-ain't nobody got time for that!  LOL.  My new companion's name is Elder Perez from Houston, TX.  He's been out 13 months.  Some members said I need to get the "How to Learn Tongan" book by Brother Shumway.  It's a blue cover (Hint Hint).  This last couple of weeks have been good.  We have taught quite a few non-members and we're trying to take over a big area and not knowing where I'm going half of the time-haha.  We have someone with a baptismal date for Nov. 2nd, so we'll see how that one pans out-but it's still exciting!  Our recent convert's, Carla, mother just passed away.  We gave her a blessing in the hospital, but you can't go against the Lord's will.  Other than that, things are going well.  I'm still alive and well.  Hopefully, all is going well back home.

Love ya,
ofa atu (I'm guessing this is Tongan)
Elder Whaley

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Last week with companion and baptism


The weather has been great!  It's warm with a nice crisp breeze from the bay.  It feels perfect and great! We have the fans going at night and the windows open, too!  The baptism was a great success!  It went super well!  One of her friends, that she invited, is interested so that was cool!  My companion is flying home Wednesday morning and it really stinks!  He's super awesome and I really enjoyed serving with him.  I wish he had another transfer at least-but oh well.  Hopefully, my next companion will be good.  There's still quite a bit of work to do here, which is awesome!  I did get reimbursed for the Red Lobster charge that someone made from my card, but not the other Body Oh well, the work must go on! (Someone got ahold of his debit card number and made several large charges-he didn't catch the Body Builder one in time and so he has to eat about $230-I really dislike dishonest people!!!!)  Dad-that's interesting that you mentioned the advice from Colton because I was just thinking about that this week! (Before Shad left-his cousin-in-law gave him the advice to remember that he is called to that particular mission because of his personality, and to have fun and "be a better you", and you will be fine). Things are going good here.  They want us to change to a carrier bag in place of a backpack in the next while, but my backpack works fine, so it's not going to happen unless they force me.  Haha.  We probably could go to a football game on Monday if there WAS one on Monday, but when is there ever a game on Monday?!  Today we are going to check on google to see.  Other than that, nothing too exciting has been going on.  I hope all is going well for you back home!  Love ya!

Elder Whaley

Elder Dalton (Shad's 6'7" companion from Arizona)
at the baptism

Elder Dalton, Bro. Makasini (Carla's Father-in-law)
Carla Makasini, and Elder Whaley
at the baptism of Carla Makasini

Carla Makasini and her family

Elder Dalton and Elder Whaley (Shad looks short
compared to his companion)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting ready for first baptism!


Well, Carla is super solid and we have everything set up for the 14th.  It's exciting!  It sounds like you've had a good and crazy week.  Dad was telling me about Pres. Crapo's comments at Stake Conference.  That's pretty cool and it's so true.  This week was pretty normal I guess...just teaching people lessons and finishing up teaching Carla last night.  We were at her in-laws (who are Tongan) and had tons of food!  I was super full!  It was super good!  It got pretty hot on Saturday and we were on bikes not having a lot of luck, but it's just one of those days.  Life moves on.  Nothing new or exciting really, but hopefully you guys have a great week and things go well for ya.  Love ya.

Elder Whaley

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Best Moment So Far!


This week was super good.  We had gotten a new investigator who committed to a baptismal date for the 21st of September so far and another for the 14th of September.  She was the one that got moved back because of the funeral.  The one on the 21st, Carla Makasini, is a non-member married to a member who has just gotten his Melchizedek  priesthood and his patriarchal blessing this week.  I think that really helped, but the main reason she is taking the lessons is because her sister-in-law just passed away and she saw that members of the church had comfort about it that she wanted and she wants to live with her family forever, also.  So it's pretty cool and she has been talking to a friend who may be interested also!  She is swaying between the 14th and 21st to get family members and ward members there, but she is excited to be baptized and she is awesome!  The first lesson/discussion with her was super spiritual.  It was amazing!  We invited her to be baptized and she said YES!  Oh man-that was probably the BEST moment so far!  It was just an overwhelming sense of joy when she said yes.  I had never felt like that before.  The next day, during personal study, I read in D & C 58 about how great will your joy be if you bring one soul unto me and that was really cool!  We met with a lot of non-members this last week, so it was really good!  Things are going well here.

Ahhh-man everyone keeps talking about the new temple video, but I have to wait until General Conference!  The Tongan families keep feeding me or keep trying if I say I am full.  I haven't gained or lost-I think biking is helping me maintain my weight plus I have been trying to lift every morning.  Oh man-football season has started!  It really STINKS!  Everyone talks about it and yesterday we got offered tickets to go to a Stanford game for this week!  There is also a high school football field next to the road we take a lot and they had a game Friday night!  Man I miss football!  Oh well!

 Hopefully, all is going well at home!

Love ya!
Elder Whaley