Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Companion


My companion....well his name is Elder Carpenter from Safford, Arizona.  He has been out for 1 1/2 years so he only has a little while left.  Since I'm still in the same ward and area, I had to take over so it has been stressful and I have been really tired lately.  He is alright, but he is a little bit on the disobedient side.  He's also very trunkie.  It's hard to get him to do stuff sometimes-like yesterday, we were supposed to weekly plan and he decided to take a nap instead.  I told him we needed to plan and he just layed there and went to sleep, so I kept coming back in and waking him up.  I ended up weekly planning by myself since it needed to be done.  He finally woke up once our roommates came back-he got out of bed really fast.  It should be interesting these next couple of transfers.  :/  The last pictures that I took were with less active families and members since Elder Vance left.  You finally let Vanessa take her test?!  SCARY-well there goes the little red car!  :(  I am still at the same address.  It's really hot here and this week has stunk with bikes between Elder Carpenter and me-we broke 3 chains and got 3 flat tires so this week was definitely stressful.  Asa is already a Deacon?  Holy cow-that's crazy!  You can tell Sr. Andrews that I have lead a little bit of music.  Well, I hope all is well.  Could you send pictures from home?  That would be awesome to see home and you guys and just random stuff.  Anyways, Love ya!

Elder Whaley

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Mother's Day-extra!


We were blessed to speak with Shad on FaceTime (Apple's version of Skype).  We talked with him for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  It was awesome!  He looked great and seemed to be doing well!  On Monday, the day after Mother's Day, we received a letter and a story in the mail.  It was such a great letter!  I will share the story and part of his letter to us.

                              The Silversmith

Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures.  While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."  (Malachi 3:3)

One lady decided to visit a silversmith, and report to the others on what he said about the subject.  She went accordingly, and without telling him the reason for her visit, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver.  After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"  "Oh, yes ma'am, replied the silversmith; "I must sit and watch the furnace constantly, for, if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."  God sees it necessary to put his children into the furnace; but His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us.  Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.  Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "How do you know when the process is complete?"  "That's quite simple," replied the silversmith.  "WhenI can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."

If we are willing, the Lord will refine us until we become refined and perfect, "even as he is."

Shad's note:

Stay strong, even though it may seem tough, the Lord will strengthen us and refine us to make us better and we don't know who we really are until we are put through trials to see what we will actually do when times are tough.  Always trust in the Lord, and turn to him and He will help you and show you the way.  I hope this helps during difficult times!

This is part of his letter:

Dear Family,

Hope all is well.  Today I went fishing and didn't catch anything, even though there were people catching them right next to us, but it was still fun!  Everything is going good here.  I'm excited to see you guys or talk to you Sunday!  (Mother's Day) Here is a story that I think is awesome and I wanted you to have since times might be stressful or tough right now.  Hopefully, it will help!  I'm learning so much out here, but I still have a lot I need to learn.  I am so grateful for this gospel and Christ's atonement.  The more I learn and understand, the more it means to me.  I know that through Christ, we can be clean and return to him.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet who restored this wonderful church.  How lucky I am to have such wonderful parents who raised us in the gospel and I'm so thankful for that!  I know I wasn't the best person to be around in the family and wasn't always enjoyable, and so I'm sorry.  I am so grateful that our family can be together not only here in this life, but in the next.  I love being a missionary in the San Jose mission and all the great experiences I have had already.  Even though I didn't express love to you guys, I want you guys to know that I love you and I'm so grateful to have you in my life!  Thank you!

Elder Whaley

Shad's Zone at Lexington Reservoir
Shad's Zone in a member's backyard.
Making fresh lemonade!
An Aston Martin car
Elder Whaley, Elder Vance, Sister Allen
Elder Whaley, The Maiavas, Elder Vance
Amatos-The Philly Cheese Sandwich Place-delicious!
Elder Whaley, Elder Vance, and The Gates
Elder Whaley, Sister Drova, Caytlin, Elder Vance

Monday, May 6, 2013

3 months and counting!


Dear family,

It feels like I have been out longer than that, but at the same time, it's gone by fast.  This week, one of the members invited an employee of his to his home and we taught her the first discussion.  She is really interested.  I invited her to be baptized and she said yes if she came to find out it was true.  So she wants to read the Book of Mormon first, even before she meets with us again-which kinda stinks.  It was an awesome lesson and the Spirit was super strong.  Last night we had dinner with the Relief Society president at her house.  She's the one that wrote a book with her daughter, The Multiplier Effect, and her daughter came also, the one that helped write the book.  They're really good cooks (still manages to put in something about food-LOL).  The daughter's husband was in some movies-Die Hard and Total Recall, because his brother directed those movies, so we got to eat with someone that was in a movie-haha.  We recently helped a less active start coming to church again.  She's single, Tongan, and has 5 kids.  They had nothing in their home, they were sleeping on the floor.  So we got them some beds and furniture and other stuff.  They're a really cool family.  If you get a chance, see if you can get some LDS country music-that would be awesome!  The rules are that the music has to be an LDS artist and LDS music.  Everything here is a lot more expensive, but they give us enough to buy things every month.  I've heard from several friends and you guys.  I haven't heard from any other people in the family-I sure would like to, though.  I expect to get invitations to Austin's graduation and Macy's wedding so I can see them please!  I hope you can figure out what's going on with Dad to help him and  hopefully he gets better and the yard gets done.  We can Skype for Mother's Day.  We need to find someone who has Skype, then they'll call you and let you know what time-at least that's what my companion says.  Well, I hope all is well and everything starts to pickup for the better.  You guys are in my prayers and I love ya.

Elder Whaley

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lemonade anyone?


I thought this was interesting.  We've definitely had our share of trials (lemons) this last week.  When I saw this, I thought of the saying: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

Dear Family,
Grandma asked the question of how we find service projects.  To answer her question, we ask the members, when we go to their house, if they need any help or if they have any friends that need help.  We also volunteer for community things-like we serve lunch on Fridays at a Senior Center.  So, basically, we try to get service any way we can.  We just had a Stake Service Project on Saturday where we helped clean up for a local college.  I can't believe the big tree in the front is gone!!!!  The front probably looks weird and empty.  That's good that you got to get away for a little bit.  (I had some friends come and kidnap me to go play lazer tag and get ice cream while we were working on pulling out our big tree in the front).  For Mother's Day, I think I can skype if I find someone with it.  I'm not sure how it works.  I'll have to find out for sure.  Yes, we can email friends so I've emailed several of my friends.  We have guitars, but I can't play them since I don't know any church songs on it.  Things are going great!  This last month me and Elder Vance had 32 acts of service for 63 hours.  The lessons are starting to pick up and the work is moving along, so that's good!  Everything is good!  Love you!

Elder Shad Whaley

Shad and Elder Vance picking lemons
for a service project.

Shad with a lemon mouth.

Elder Vance with a strange lookin' lemon.

Shad and Elder Vance with their mother load of lemons.

Shad and Elder Vance with bags of lemons.