"I’M GONNA MAKE THIS PLACE YOU’RE HOME"

Hello my lovely friends!

HAPPY EASTER!!!I know my blog is a little behind with my mission stuff, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I’M BACK HOME IN UTAH!!!!My new email is whitneysue96[at]gmail.com and my new phone number is 385-424-5359 for anyone that wants to get a hold of me. I also lost all of my contacts so if y’all could shoot me a text and tell me who you are then that would be AWESOME SAUCE!

Many of you have commented telling me you’ll miss my weekly emails. I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated for those of you who want to follow along with my crazy life!

WELLLLLLL

I just wanted to send one last email letting everyone know I made it home safely and fill you in on all the fun adventures that have happened this week. What a marvelous roller coaster it’s been! THIS EMAIL IS GOING TO BE LONG SO IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO READ ALL OF IT THEN AT LEAST SKIP DOWN TO THE END AND READ THAT!!

SUNDAYYY was my last Sunday in the field. We had church and our sweet investigator Nelly came.

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[Nelly!]

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[Me saying goodbye to Lilly and Sydney and their Grandma, Sister Torres]

We met with John, Rachel, and Arturo and had a nice little lesson with them. I sure do love that family a whole bunch.

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After that we went over to the Baerga’s for dinner. They are just the sweetest family. That evening we also met a guy named Frank that we taught a little bit. Then we came home and I started packing.

MONDAYYY was my last P-day. I spent the morning packing and the rest of the day hanging out with my mission buddies. In the evening we had FHE and dinner with the Mackey family and they are just a hoot! I love them! And just like that my regular proselyting days were over. That hurt me right in the chest.

TUESDAYYY I woke up and finished some last minute packing. We loaded everything up in the car and ran to the mission office to get a paper. God sent me a tender mercy and I got to say goodbye to my best friend Sister Glover.

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Then we went over to David’s World Cycle to drop off my bike (that I may or may not have ever actually ridden in Florida… haha) Then Sister Yance dropped me off at the Wetherbee building and I had to say goodbye to one of the sweetest humans I have ever associated with. I love youuuuuuuuuu!!!

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I got to say hi to my girl Sister Stratton. Sister Stratton and I went to the same high school and she is pretty good friends with my little sister and a lot of the people I know back home. She got to the mission the day before I left so I passed my Layton baton on to her. Good luck my friend! You are going to do incredible things!! Take care of Florida for me!

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I took my last Polaroid with Sister Glover.

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THEN THEN THEN

we sat at the church for eeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

We were all starving and stranded with no car and no phones so we gave your money to the group of elders that were at the church too and those blessed elders drove to Chick-Fil-A and got us some grub. They are going to get so many blessings. SO MANY.

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Then we waited some more…

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Then we had a good meeting with President about all the challenges of going home. While we were in our meeting the sweet Assistants weighed all of our bags for us and when we came out we helped the Elders and Sisters re-adjust their bags that were over the weight limit. Then we trecked on down to the mission home in the big white whale and the truck.

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At the mission home we had dinner. Several of the Senior couples came so they could say goodbye to us. They had all of us departing missionaries sit at the table in the dining room and it felt like we were at the kids table. It was a party. I sure do love these crazy kids a lot! They always make me laugh so hard.

After dinner we had one of the most tender testimony meetings I have ever been to. My friends, I sure have loved these last 18 months. The Lord has been so good to me. He’s been so good to all of us. At the end we stood and sang Called to Serve one last time. I was filled with so much gratitude for my Savior for this opportunity He gave me to serve. Then we all knelt in a circle and said a prayer. It was such a sweet experience.

Then we took the traditional stair picture.

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I can honestly say I don’t think any of us slept that night. At one point I rolled over in my bed and Sister Mohenoa said “Sister Reid…are you awake?” and I just said “ya….” and she said “I can’t go to sleep.” haha from that point on I didn’t sleep much for the rest of the week either.

WEDNESDAYYY we woke up at the CRACK OF DAWN…. Actually….. WELL BEFORE THE CRACK OF DAWN. We were awake by 3:30 to start getting ready to go. Around 5:00 Elder Dummer and Elder Lyon (the assistants) came by and had breakfast with Sister Olsen and I and President Clark. Then we loaded up our stuff. Said goodbye to Sister Magno, Sister Mohenoa, and President and Sister Clark and the Assistants took us to the airport. They dropped us off at the curb, shook our hands, and we were off!

OKAY OKAY OKAY ARE YOU READY FOR THIS…

So we get in and see the longest line of my life. I about died because we were already running slightly behind schedule. We see the Elders that had gotten there earlier and they are already through baggage and were looking at us like “hope you make it Sisters…” ahhhh so Sister Olsen and I said a prayer right there in the middle of the baggage line. The line went pretty fast. The guy that checked my bags was a member. Then we got through security in a good amount of time. I had forgotten to take my liquids out, but they didn’t stop me to check it so that was a #HASHTAGBLESSING. Then we start to make our way towards our gate and after we get off the little tram thing we see Elder Greenwood and Reyes running towards us. The said “SISTERS YOUR FLIGHT IS ALREADY BOARDING! GIVE US YOUR BAGS!” So they grabbed our bags and ran us to our gate. We said goodbye to them (they were both flying to different states) and we walked right onto our plane and before I knew it we were in the air!

The flight was good. We all kept checking the clock every three minutes so that made it feel extremely long. We watched all the Mormon Messages on my iPad…. nothing like watching Chastity, what are the limits? With your mission buds on an airplane…. ahhahaha

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We finally landed in Utah. We had landed a little early so we had to stall a little bit to make sure our families had enough time to be there.

Then the long-awaited moment happened! I hugged my family! I felt more like a celebrity than I ever have in my life. haha And let me tell you. Every lonely moment in the mission was all worth it when I finally got to hug my army of people that supported me for the last 18 months.

MY SWEET FRIEND HANNAH MADE ME THE CUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTEST VIDEO OF ME AT THE AIRPORT

Then I got some Cafe Rio. #BLESSED

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Then I spent the day visiting with friends and family and I just had a grand ole time! In the evening I went to meet with my Stake President to get released. He had my littlest sister Mikall (she’s 12) take off my name tag. She then handed it to my other Sister Danielle who is 18 and will start her mission papers in the next couple weeks. That was sweet, but it was oh so hard. And just like that I became Whitney again.

THURSDAYYY I took my littlest sister “tracting” in my neighborhood to deliver invitations to my homecoming. It was the best tracting I have ever done in my life! haha every door I knocked on swung open and I was greeted with screams and hugs and I can honestly say I never received that kind of response when I knocked on doors in Florida. haha I also got a phone and had a bunch more people come see me. Then in the evening I went to institute with my friend Kenna. I accidentally introduced myself to the class as “Sister Reid”

*face palm*

During class Kenna slipped me this note and said “here…. this is practice for when boys try to flirt with you.” haha

FRIDAYYY I ran errands and in the evening I had my open house. I got to see so many friends and a bunch of family. I played with my cousins who are so big. Around 11:00 at night my best friend Lauren and Lexi and their family came to hang out and didn’t leave until after 1:00 and I didn’t go to bed until after 2:00. Just like the good old days!

SATURDAYYY I went to my Sister’s State Theater competition. High schools are a worldly place. haha I was NOT prepared for the music and performances at this competition. It made me feel like I needed to go read my scriptures for a few hours. haha But my sister did great and that was fun to watch her compete. In the evening I went to Kenna’s house and I watched my first movie. I made everyone stay rated G and we watched Zootopia. All my friends decided that I was Kathy. The whole time I watched the movie I was just looking for gospel analogies in the movie. Then we watched a couple episodes of Bob Ross….. don’t ask…. my friends are weird.

TODAYYYY IS EASTER SUNDAY! This morning I got up early and went to go help teach mission prep. I role-played in front of the class with my friend Jordan who got home a few months ago. That was fun. I was told I would be given an official calling as a mission prep teacher. I was pretty pumped about that!!

So now it’s 10:00. I have church at 1:00 and will give my homecoming talk.

I included this in my email last week, but for those of you who didn’t get it, I wanted to include it again…

SAPPY THANK YOUS COMIN’ ATCHYA!!!!

To my sweet friends Mayra, Cassie, Will, Cedar, Junior, Josh, Patrick, and Robbie who I’ve watched enter the waters of baptism while I’ve been here I want you to know I’m so proud of each of you. I’m glad I got to watch you come closer to your Savior. I’m glad I got to play a tiny part in you journey to the Celestial Kingdom. Stay faithful my friends. We are going to rejoice together in Heaven someday.

 

To all my investigators I’ve taught over the last year and a half and the hundreds of people I’ve met in the streets or knocked on your doors, I want to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my testimony with you. Because every time you let me share my testimony, my testimony became a little stronger. I want you to know that I do know these things that I’ve taught you are true. I pray that y’all will be able to continue to learn and grow and I can’t wait to see you again someday and see how far you’ve come.

 

To all my sweet ward members. Everyone from Leesburg, to Daytona Beach, to Buena Vista, to Deland, to New Smyrna Beach, to Lake Nona. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me. Because of you home has felt a little closer. To the active members, and those who come to church less frequently, I don’t know how I would have done the last eighteen months without all of your sweet smiles. Thank you for your righteous examples. Thank you for all the meals. Thank you for being such good member missionaries and for sharing the things you know and love with your friends. 

To all my deer companions. Sister Ives, Sister Brown, Sister Guynn, Sister Mohenoa, Sister Nelsen, Sister Lewis, Sister Duran, Sister Muhlestein, Sister Hart, Sister Larsen, Sister Simpson, Hermana Jones, Sister Glover, and Sister Yance thank you so much for all you’ve taught me. Y’all have become some of my closest friends and will forever be people that I think about with joy. I’m glad God allowed us to spend so much time together. I want each of you to know how much I love you and how much I appreciate each of you. I hope we are able to stay in contact and I know that these friendships we’ve grown won’t just last in this life, but will extend into the eternities. 

To my mission leaders. To President and Sister Berry, President and Sister Clark, to President and Sister Wood, and President Humphrey’s, to all the elders that have served as Assistants to the President, to all my Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and District Leaders, and to my sweet sweet trainers Sister Guynn, and Sister Nelsen. Thank you for your righteous examples. Thank you for teaching me how I can be the best missionary I can be. I don’t now if you realize the impact your small acts have influenced me as a missionary and as a person. I have strived to emulate the love you’ve shown me with those I’ve been able to serve and my heart has swollen with joy in the process. Thank you for your trainings. Thank you for your love. Thank you for every time you’ve served me. Thank you for helping me be better. 

To my fellow FOMers. Especially the sweet sisters I’ve been able to learn from as I’ve served as a Sister Training Leader. I’ve probably learned more from y’all than I’ve ever been able to teach you. Thank you for becoming my friends. Thank you for helping this time I’ve spent in Florida become such a joyful time of my life.

To my fan club back at home. To my sweet family, to my friends, to my home ward, and everyone else who cheered me on as I’ve been out here serving. Your prayers have carried me. I know that angels were sent to assist me in this work because of the prayers y’all have said in my behalf. Thank you for the financial support, for every letter you’ve sent, for every email you’ve typed, and for every prayer you’ve said. I feel so grateful to have such an army behind me supporting me. I wouldn’t have been able to do the things that I have if it wasn’t for you.

And last but not least, thank you to my Father in Heaven for this time I’ve been given to serve here in the Sunshine state. I echo Ammon’s words again when I say “Yea, I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” (Alma 26:12)

 

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT Y’ALL HAVE DONE FOR ME THESE LAST 19 MONTHS AND MORE THAN THAT, THESE LAST 20 YEARS. I COULDN’T HAVE DONE ANY OF IT WITHOUT YOU, AND WITHOUT THE HELP OF MY FATHER IN HEAVEN, AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST. I WILL FOREVER PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD FOR THE TIME I WAS GIVEN TO SERVE IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA. IT WILL FOREVER BE AN EXPERIENCE I WILL CHERISH. 

 

I LOVE Y’ALL MORE THAN RMs LOVE TELLING MISSION STORIES.

 

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UNTIL NEXT TIME,

WHIT.

23 days until you can call me "Sister Reid"

Isn’t little Ave just the cutest? Congrats on getting baptized on Saturday little one!
Thanks for letting me take your pictures and for letting me be your tumbling coach.

I thought I’d do a quick blog post to give you guys an update and let you guys know about my mission farewell which is in two weeks. It will be on Sunday September 13th at 9am and anyone is invited to come join me in worshiping in this church service. While I will be speaking, I want you all to remember that this church service isn’t about me, it’s about our Savior Jesus Christ and I just hope that all of you that come will be able to feel of His love for you. So come hear me speak at my church and after church we are having breakfast at my house afterwords and I would love to see all of your bright smiling faces there so I can hug you all before I leave on my adventures in Florida. The address to my church is 1480 Phillips Street Kaysville Utah 84037-9672. See y’all there!

So… here’s the update! As you’ve probably noticed this blog is slowly being converted to a mission blog. Which means as soon as I’m a missionary I won’t be updating it anymore, but will hand it off to my mom who will post my emails on it for 18 months. I’m very excited about it and I hope you all keep checking back here every week to hear about my missionary adventures in Florida! You can also stay updated by typing your email in the ‘bloglovin’ box on the right hand column. You’ll get emails letting you know about new posts every week! Since I won’t be able to see comments on here you will only be able to contact me by sending me letters or through email, the addresses of which can be found under the “contact me” page at the top of this blog.

I have 23 days until my MTC report date. Many of my friends are already out serving missions and the rest of them are back in high school or in college now which means I have a slight obsession with emails, hand written letters, and FaceTime calls. I miss my friends a tenfold.

I had my wisdom teeth out on Thursday and I survived! After a few painful sick days I can now say that I just have super sore lower jaw and slightly fat chipmunk cheeks, but according to my little sister my “cheeks don’t look as fat as they did yesterday” so that’s good! I really just want a hamburger now.

The other day I was having a really rough day (having all the wisdom taken away from you can do that to a person.) and I was just feeling really down. When out of no where I received this message in my inbox from Dawn Armstrong (for those of you who don’t remember who she is she’s the mom from the movie Meet the Mormons.)

It was a simple gesture but it went a long way and I just wanted to give her a shout out and say thanks for being the person to reach out when I was having a hard day even though you didn’t even know it! This was such a good reminder to me that a small act of kindness can change someone’s day. And for all of you reading this you ought to go watch Meet the Mormons right this second. It’s now on Netflix!

This week I’m going into mission crazy mode. Buying clothes, a bike, a bag, shoes, and all the other things one needs to be an effective sister missionary. Anything you RMs wish you would have brought on your mission that I don’t want to forget?

So since I don’t have a super uplifting post for you today I thought I’d share with you some of the music on my current playlist. Enjoy!

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indeed the true church and that it does indeed contain the fully restored gospel. I know we all have a purpose on this earth and I find my greatest joy in trying to find and fulfill that purpose. Right now that purpose is taking me to Florida to share the gospel and to serve God’s children and I can’t wait! I love you all!

-Whit

 

Someone else’s trial

I walked into a room full of people from every walk of life. I was unknowing as to what kind of a meeting this would be I was surprised to notice that the chairs were laid out in a large circle all facing the center. My aunt with her young children running around in circles was seated a few seats to my right. My neighbor who had reticently set out on his mission on the other side of the globe was sitting across the room. As I sat there I noticed a lady who’s husband had died of cancer only a week before sitting next to her daughter who was now left fatherless. Seated next to me was the girl from my math class that did’t have anyone to eat lunch with and on the other side of her was the girl with bright curly hair who reticently stared in a movie. As I sat and observed the dynamics of the situation I watched as all the people I had met through my life as they began to file into the room. Each with their own unique trials and concerns.
But I didn’t notice those concerns on the outside. I began to think about how cool it would be if I could have that curly hair and star in a movie, I looked at the girl who ate lunch by herself and thought “well if she wanted friends to eat with she would come over and ask if she can sit with us.” I looked around each person in the circle and looked at how magnificent their lives were. I was jealous of the girl was sitting by her mom because she had the nicest car and the widow because she had a nice house. 
As I sat their noticing everything that these people had I began to want what each of them had. I wanted their cool houses and their nice shoes. I wanted to travel like they did and I wanted a job that paid better. I wanted to have their money and their home lives.
While sitting in my covetous state as each person settled into their seats a man stood up and welcomed us and thanked us all for coming. I, still not knowing what this meeting was for, assumed it would be like any other church meeting where we would sing a song, say a prayer, and then listen to a teacher for a few minutes before going home.
The man in charge said that we would be singing hymn number 241 Count Your Blessing and then we would have an opening prayer by sister Parkin. I opened up my hymn book and muttered through the versus and then closed my eyes for the prayer. Sister Parkin stood up and prayed that during this meeting we would all be able to pick new trials that would be easier for us. She also prayed that we might be able to have a good rest of our Sabbath day and that we might be able to drive home in safety when the time came. 
After she said amen the man that was conducting stood up again. He said that today we were all going to pick new trials. He asked us to take out ours and place them in the center of the circle. I was more excited than I had ever been. I thought for sure I had the hardest trials in the group and felt relieved that I would be able to get somebody elses. I quickly opened up my purse and pulled out my trials and tossed them in the center. After everybody had put theirs in the middle he said that one by one we would take turns picking new trials. As I waited for my turn I sat in anticipation about what new trials I would get. I watched as each person would get off their chairs and begin to dig through the large pile of trials and pick out the ones they wanted.
When it came to my turn I got off my cold metal chair and knelt on the hard blue carpet. I began to sort through the pile. While on my knees I read about a trial of having your husband die of cancer and how hard it would be. Because this is a more public trial I knew exactly who had thrown it in the circle. I decided I didn’t really want that one so I threw it back in the pile. I pulled one out that said that their family was in pieces and that they couldn’t remember the last time they did something as a family without someone getting into a fight. I for sure didn’t want that one so I threw it back. I read about the teenager who struggles with a pornography addiction but doesn’t want to tell anybody. I read about a trial of a first grader who got picked on at school for his lisp and a fourth grader that was reticently diagnosed with epilepsy. I read about the lady with lots of kids and not enough money to buy them Christmas presents and the sixth grader who had recently found out she was adopted. I read about the lady who desperately wanted another child but wasn’t able to have one. 
As I dug through this pile I began to think about how none of these trials fit me. I quickly found my original trials and stuffed them back in my pocket and sat down.
After all of the trials had been taken from the center the man conducting stood up and read a quote by Regina Brett that said;

“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.


We all sat in shock as we realized that that was exactly what each of us had done. I stuck my hand in my purse and felt my trials between my fingers.
He went on saying that while on the outside we all think we want what everybody else has and that we must surely have the hardest trials when we begin to look at the bigger picture we realize that these trials we’ve been given were designed specifically for us so that we might be able to become stronger and have joy.
I raised my hand and asked “how in the world do trials bring us joy?”
He smiled as he opened up his scriptures to 2 Nephi 2:25 which reads “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” 
He then pointed out that under the footnote for the word “joy” it said that joy is the potential to become like our Heavenly Father.
It was then I realized that joy is not found in a big house or in becoming a famous YouTuber. It was then that I realized joy meant becoming like our Father in Heaven. 
Then another man walked into the room. He was wearing red and had a beard and He looked at each of us with kind eyes. The man conducting the meeting introduced him to us as our brother. Our brother went around the room and collected each of our trials from us and told us that he would go through each of them before we had to. 
He did this so that we might be able to have somebody to ask when we have questions about our trials, so that we might be able to have a shoulder to cry on when it feels like it’s too hard to move on, or a hand to squeeze when the pain gets too bad. He told us that he would carry us every step of the way and that he would always be with us silently waiting for us to ask him for help. He then promised that if we endured our trials well that we would be exalted on high. 
I realized that to be exalted on high meant that we would become like our Heavenly Father and we would return to meet with Him in heaven. I realized that this was the ultimate joy that everybody was speaking of. I discovered that we needed these trials to become perfected and that while this man they said was my brother couldn’t take them away, he would help me.
He then told us that his name was Jesus Christ. I remembered learning about Him in my primary class. He showed us his scars from where they nailed him to the cross so that we might all be able to live again. He also told us about how he suffered for each of our sins so that we could be made clean and how we can be cleaned by that atonement through repenting and being baptized.
At the close of the meeting after Brother Wall said the closing prayer the Savior hugged each of us and told us that He loved us.

An image of Christ comforting a woman, with a text overlay quoting Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “The Savior makes all things right.”
When I left that room I knew that even though on the outside we all feel like others have better circumstances, that each of us were given trials that would make us strong. I also knew that the Savior was indeed our brother and that he loves us each so much that he was willing to suffer for all of our trials and afflictions so that we might be made whole. I also know that He died for us so that each of us would be able to live again.

Portrait of Christ smiling
Our Savior loves us. He is our brother and He wants us to return with Him to live with our Father in Heaven and that He will do anything to help us get back. While the story of throwing our trials in a circle was just a story, I know that the fact that we have a brother that did these things for us is with out a doubt true. I know this because I felt it. I learned this through reading the Book of Mormon and praying for my own testimony of these things. I know He is there and that He loves us more than we will ever comprehend. My testimony of Jesus Christ has brought me more joy and happiness than I have ever felt from anything else in my life. This is why I write this blog, It’s why I have chosen to serve a mission in Orlando Florida in 38 days, because I want everybody to hear about how great their brother is and how much they are loved. I hope that I can follow in His footsteps and be his disciple. I hope that you come unto Him.
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p.s. I went through the temple on August 1st! It was amazing and I loved every second of it! It is defiantly the Lord’s house and his spirit dwells there.
p.s.s. Shout out to all my friends starting college next week! I love you all to pieces and will miss you bunches. Goodbyes are hard, but it will all be worth it in the end. The best is yet to come.

The Mormon Missionary Flash Mob

The Flash Mob

A single person stands up and begins to sing or dance.

Everyone around them is surprised.  In normal society it is uncommon for someone to break out into song and dance in public so bystanders might not know what to think.

Others begin join in.

People recognize that there is something cool going on.

As more and more people join in you start to feel excitement building in the air because what seemed as out of place is turning out to be something really cool.

People want to be a part of this extraordinary thing.

I am currently re-reading the Book of Mormon and trying to apply everything I can to missionary work since I’ll be serving in just two months. I was reading in second Nephi 24:7 when I came across what seems to me to be a pretty dang cool flash mob.

“The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing.”

Now I don’t know if this is exactly what Isaiah meant by this, but since missionary work has been on my mind I began to realize that this wave of missionary work that the world has seen in the past few years is indeed a flash mob.

In October of 2012 President Thomas S. Monson made a historic announcement.

This was the beginning of a great flash mob that the world was about to see.

Thousands of young adults as if in sync began to sign up to join in this missionary service. It was as if they were prepared to surprise the world in a great flash mob of missionaries.

To those around them that didn’t know about this “flash mob” it might seem confusing and they might not know what to think. It’s something different and out of the ordinary for so many young people to give up eighteen months to two years of their life to do nothing but service.

But as more and more people began to join in this missionary service people began to recognize how cool this is. This is something that everyone wants to be a part of.

Russell M. Nelson gave us some advice on how we can all be a part of this missionary flash mob. Even those not planning on serving a full time mission or those who aren’t of our faith.

This is a flash mob of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Moses 1:39 says “for behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass immortality and eternal life of man.”

This flash mob is God’s way of bringing this plan to all the world.

I can’t wait to be a part of this marvelous flash mob of missionary work in two moths when I put on my name tag and join together with so many of my brothers and sisters in bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and especially to the people in Florida. I can’t wait to be a part of this.

“Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.” (D&C 4:1)

Let’s be a part of this marvelous work.





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Since I’m a fan of flash mobs, here are some of my favorite flash mobs that I’ve seen!

The Book of Mormon Projects

This rain. I love it.

It’s past midnight and I’ve been sitting here emailing all my favorite missionaries. It’s been fun watching all my friends ship off all over the world to join the ranks in God’s sin-kicking army, but it’s hard watching my favorites leave. I’ve got 76 days until I get to join them. Heaven help me.

The past few years I’ve been working on a few “Book of Mormon Projects.” These projects have just been fun ways that I’ve been able to dive deeper into the scriptures and gain more understanding and a stronger testimony of their truthfulness, while always keeping things exciting and fresh. I’ve learned that for me just reading isn’t enough; I need to invest in it. So here are a few things that have made scripture study an adventure.

1. Page Titles

This one was something I found on Pinterest. It was originally posted over at Confessions of a Slacker Mom and I found it on a blog called The Red Headed Hostes.
It is a PDF file that has a compiled list of titles for every page in The Book of Mormon. As one of my young womens projects I wrote every single title at the top of each page. It is SO incredibly helpful when reading scriptures because it is so easy to find the context of each page. It’s also great when you’re sitting in Sunday School and the teacher asks you to read a verse and tell what you think about it and you recount the story is behind the verse because you have cheats on the top of each page. You will end up looking really smart and well studied which is mighty fun I must say. I love them so much!

2. Character Flow Chart

This is a project I did last time I read The Book of Mormon. Since The Book of Mormon is a bunch of records that were handed down from generation to generation I decided to make a flow chart of all the people and how the book got passed around. It started in one of my sketch journals (aha!) and eventually came up with this. This flow chart is in hopes of making the “so-and-so begat so-and-so” chapters a little more comprehensible.

3. Sketchbook Journals

For the last few years I have been obsessed with scripture journals and note-taking at things like firesides and when I’m in Sacrament meeting or other church meetings. Reticently I’ve decided to switch over from regular journals to sketchbooks. They aren’t any more expensive and I just get mine from Walmart. I love using sketchbooks because they allow me to turn my notes into art. I am known for my sketchbook notes by everybody that I know. They are the best for personal study, listening to General Conference, Church classes, and Sacrament meetings. It is also a sneaky way to make yourself stay awake and pay attention in church, you know, because coloring books aren’t appropriate when you’re an adult. 
Here are a few pages from my sketchbooks.

4. Clean Reading

This was an idea I got from my favorite blogger Al Fox Carraway. When she reads The Book of Mormon she always starts with a brand new book that hasn’t been marked. I’ve been using the same scriptures since I was eight and let’s just say I got a little highlighter happy when I was a beehive. This time around I decided to give Al’s method a try. 
I got a brand new cheap copy of The Book of Mormon and started reading. I found that with a clean copy I was more open to see how things apply to my life in this very moment, instead of focusing on what I thought about the versus when I was 12. Right now all of my markings have to do with missions and how to be a good missionary. I love it so much!
(from Al’s blog because she’s the bomb digity and I want to be her when I grow up.
I tried taking pictures of some of my pages but it’s 1am and my lamp lighting just isn’t cutting it.)

These projects have been a blast and a half and have made my scripture study a thousand times more meaningful. I’d love to hear some of your study methods so please comment!
I’m obsessed with The Book of Mormon and I know that it is true without a doubt in my heart. I have a testimony of the teachings written in it. I know that it is indeed another testament of Jesus Christ and I have felt the peace that it can bring to ones life. It is the whole reason I am planning on serving a mission; because I want everyone to have this same joy that comes from this book in their own lives. I also have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that he really did translate The Book of Mormon. I love this book and I love this gospel. 
My friend Briana gave me the cutest ceramic pineapple this week with the words “life is good” written on the inside because it reminded her of me. I think this just about sums up how I feel about The Book of Mormon.
Life is good.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
feel my sunlight
p.s. If you don’t already have a copy, you can request a FREE one HERE

A Modern Day King Noah #SupremeCourtRuling

I had the opportunity to teach Sunday school last week which gave me the opportunity to study and pray about the Family A Proclamation to the World. And I just have to say that I have a testimony of it. 

For those of you who don’t know, the Family: A Proclamation the the World was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held on September 23rd, 1995.


With the recent events in the Supreme Court, I’ve had to dig deeper and really find out for myself what I believe. 


Do I believe that this document written the year before I was born still stands as the standard set by God today? If I do believe it, what should I do about it? What about my friends and family that believe differently than me?


I believe the words the brethren spoke to be true and I have seen the effects of it’s teachings. I believe the family is the most sacred unit on this earth and that everyone deserves a chance to have a loving home. I do believe in kindness and acceptance of everybody’s opinions and choices even if they differ from my own and I respect those that stand up for them. To all my friends and family out there with differing opinions, I must say that I really do love you all more than you will ever know, many of my very closest friends have expressed differing opinions from me. That’s life and I still hold each of you to the highest respect; that’s why I call you my friends, however I do believe that those who post their opinion should allow others to do the same even if they are different. And that while all deserve to be equal, that includes an equal opportunity to have a freedom of religion. 

I believe in love, and I believe in God, and I believe in an eternal perspective. This is what I believe.





I know the brethren had it right in 1995, and I know they have it right now. In fact, I know that it doesn’t matter weather they have it right or not because it is essentially God’s law and not anybody on earths place to decide.


In an article written by Scot Facer Proctor, he said that “There is a SUPREME COURT that always trumps this earthly supreme court and we must never forget that.”


I know that those words are very true.


When we look at God’s plan with an eternal perspective we see the reasoning behind his commandments. God’s work and his glory is to bring to pass immortality and eternal life of everyone that will follow him. Immortality means living forever; eternal life means living forever in the presence of God AND our families. Families are central to God’s plan of happiness. Living forever with our families is only possible through the sealing power that comes from righteous living and through the ordinances and blessings that come from a temple marriage. Without it there is no way we can receive eternal life.


This being said I do believe that the world should be governed with love. We all have people that are close to us that experience same-gender attraction. Each of those people are great in the eyes of God and I don’t believe God would ever condone the act of bullying, name calling, or being mean to any of his children. Jesus said love everyone. He said to love your neighbor as yourself. And in the words of every “Gay Pride” activist; #LoveWins.


So what does that mean for us?


We should love everyone and treat everyone with respect. There is no room for us to be mean. We are all God’s children and we should treat each other that way.

At the same time we should stand up for what we believe in. Even if the task seems daunting and that we seem to be out-numbered.


All I can think about is the story of Abinadi teaching King Noah and his priests.



Noah was a wicked ruler that did not obey God’s commandments. He and his priests taught people to sin. 

Abinadi was a prophet of God that was sent to King Noah. Abinadi was teaching of the wickedness of King Noah and was teaching that all people needed to repent and follow Christ. When King Noah heard the words of Abinadi he was angry as are most people when they are told they are doing something wrong. Abinadi was brought to the palace by King Noah’s guards so that he could be killed. 

King Noah and his priests interrogated Abinadi in what I imagine to be one very terrifying encounter. Most people feel their heart pound out of their chest and sweat form on their palms when they bear testimony of what they believe in front of a congregation of people with the same beliefs that they call neighbors and friends. Can you imagine standing before someone with the power to have you killed and bearing your testimony?

Abinadi was firm in his testimony and he answered all of their questions. God helped Abinadi as he bore truth of God’s words. As will he help all of us in times of need.

King Noah was angry with the words of Abinadi and refused to believe his words. As did all but one of his priests. The only priest that believed him was named Alma (remember him?) Alma tried to stand up to King Noah, but was thrown out of the palace. Abinadi was brought back to the King Noah after three days in prison and told that if he didn’t take back what he said he would be killed. 

Abinadi knew that needed to stand up for his beliefs and he did. Abinadi was killed because of what he believed. While we may not be asked to die for our religion today, we are asked to live for it. Do we have the conviction enough that we can stand up to modern day “King Noahs” and fight for our religion?

What I also love about this story is the fact that Abinadi probably didn’t know that Alma had been converted by his words. He defiantly didn’t know about all the people that would become followers of Christ because of Alma. Abinadi probably thought as he was going to be killed that he wasn’t making even the slightest difference. But in reality the fact that he had stood up for his beliefs brought one soul to the truth, which would in turn bless generations to come.  

You may not realize the effect you can have on the world by you standing up for your beliefs. But I promise you that you do make a difference. 

May we all be like Abinadi and have courage to stand up for eternal families and for our religion. May we know that God is bigger than anything else and that he is in charge. May we not fear man more than God. While we stand up for our beliefs may we have the courage and ability to love everyone and to remember that everybody we come in contact with is a child of God and that he loves each of his children. May we bring peace to this debate and may we love God forever.

I just want to end this post by saying that I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon (which this story about Abinadi and King Noah is found in.) I know without a doubt that it is true. I know it was indeed translated by Joseph Smith and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that he really did restore God’s church on the earth. I know that Gordon B. Hinckley was a true prophet before he passed away and that Thomas S. Monson is the true prophet on the earth today and that the words that he, and the quorum of the 12 apostles do speak for God. I believe in their words and I believe in the hope and happiness that can come from following their words.

This is what I believe.





feel my sunlight





p.s. I leave for Orlando in T-87 days! Not that I’m counting. But Oh my goodness I’m so excited to serve a mission!
p.s.s. For those of you that are interested you can read the actual story of Abinadi in Mosiah Chapters 11-14. You can also watch this cheesy video about it!


http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Dear Brethren, I accept.

We have a big hype in the church when it comes to mission calls. A “mission call” is probably one of the most important letters you will ever receive in your life. It is a letter from the prophet telling you where the Lord wants you to serve for eighteen months. You can read my mission call here.
But what we talk about less is one of the most important letters you will ever send. 
After you receive your letter signed by the Prophet, you are given an opportunity to send a letter back to the “Brethren” or the leaders of the church in which you accept your call to serve.
I thought it would be fun to share my acceptance letter with you guys so here it is!

Dear Brethren,

I accept my call to serve in the Florida Orlando Mission. I feel lo blessed to be given this opportunity to teach people in the sunshine state about the light and happiness that comes from living and loving the gospel. There are a lot of things in my life that have bought me happiness, but nothing compares to the true happiness that comes from this church and from loving and serving God’s children. I am humbled by the knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice for me and I recognize that He did more for me than I am able to even comprehend. Everyday I learn more about His love for his children and His effort in following His Father’s plan. I hope to be able to do as He did and to learn to love the people I serve. I hope to be able to follow in His footsteps as an example of service in helping assist my fellow brothers and sisters return home to meet their Father in Heaven and receive the blessings of exhalation. I recognize that He has given me everything, and that it would be easy for me to take that love that he has given me for granted, but I feel that eighteen months is something small that I can give to the one who gave me life. I am willing to set side my life to serve Him. I know that it will be the hardest thing I will have ever done, but I also know that if I give it my all, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Thank you so much for this opportunity to love and serve the people in Orlando. Although I have not met them yet, I can already feel God’s love for them and I pray that they will be prepared to hear the gospel when we meet each other. I cannot wait to meet them. I hope to be able to be a strong missionary in the sense that I recognize that alone I am nothing, but with the help of my Father, anything is possible. Because I am only a tool in His hands. And I promise to strive to best serve Him, His Children, and the world to the best of my abilities. I have a testimony of this divine gospel. I know that God sent His only Son to Atone for me in the Garden of Gethsemane. I know that this is, in fact, His restored gospel and that He is the head of this church today. I know that God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Did visit Joseph in the Sacred Grove that morning, and that Joseph was a true prophet. I know with every fiber of my being that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and my desire is for everyone to come to love this book and its teachings. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the only person on this earth today with the keys to govern and direct the Lord’s work and the entire Church today. I sustain and uphold his teachings, as well as the teachings of the rest of the first presidency, the quorum of the 12 apostles, and all other church leaders and officers in position to direct and lead the church. I know that my call to serve the people in Orlando was divine revelation and that it is where God wants me to serve. And I can’t wait to accept this great opportunity. Brethren, I am thrilled to accept this call to serve.

Sincerely,
Sister Whitney Reid

feel my sunlight

p.s. SHOUT OUT TO DALLIN AND CHANDLER WHO GAVE AMAZING FAREWELL TALKS TODAY! Dallin will be serving in Peru and Chandler will be serving in Boston and both are going to be INCREDIBLE missionaries. Thank you both so much for the example you have set for me in my life. I look up to both of you a lot. Good luck! See you in two!

p.s.s. This blog is is going to slowly be transitioned into a mission blog hence the new blog header. Let me know what you guys think!
 
p.s.s.s.
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