Saturday, April 13, 2013

catch up time again!!!!!

My apologies!  It has been toooo long!  I will try to hit all the highlights of the missionaries.

Philip is really learning and having a great experience.  He says "It's so cool to see how people get prepared and how we get put in their path."  He's had 1 baptism so far which was a great experience for him.  He got transferred from Ogdensburg to Schenectady.  We got a really good email on March 25:

Hi everybody.  Things are going really well.  I am in my new area now, and I love it so much.  It is so awesome here.  I haven't seen anything crazy happen yet, but I'm sure I will.  One thing that I've noticed though, is that everyone here is really nice.  They are just cool.  My new companion is Elder Hatanaka.  He is American, but his ethnicity is Japanese, and is from Hurricane, Utah.  He is a good guy.  I have fun with him.  On Saturday we had an all mission conference.  We had a few special guests there too.  Elder Hollstrom, from the Seventy, Elder Davis, from the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Bednar, I think you know where he's from.  It was awesome.  Elder Bednar was the one who spoke most of the time, but he didn't just have a talk ready.  We were given 3 of his talks and were told to study them.  Pretty much all he did was ask us our thoughts about the talks and what we learned and what we have applied to our teaching.  I learned  so much!

Something cool that happened - we were tracting and we knocked on this door, and a lady answered it.  Elder Hatanaka recognized her and I found out that she was actually a potential investigator that had planned on coming to church one week, but couldn't find it.  She remembered us and said that she was in the process of moving into this house that she was at.  So we offered to help.  She accepted, so we went to the house of an inactive member just a couple houses down to get a ride, and he just happened to be home and willing, then we went and changed at our apartment and we asked someone else to give us a ride to her old house, and he just happened to be home and willing to give us a ride.  So we helped her and she was so happy that we just happened to knock on the door of her new house.    A lot of "coincidences"!

Love, Philip

Hailey is still loving her mission and hating the thought of coming home!  She has been transferred to Quince Orchard, which she says is right next to Kentlands, but not as rich.  Her companion is Sister Balls.  During the last 6 months of the mission, the President takes them to Arlington Cemetery.  Hailey was really bummed that it was her turn, but she loved it!  Pictures are below.  They got to the city and they got a tour of the Capital building.  At the end of the month they get to go to another National's baseball game.  I've named her mission 'the party mission'!  A portion of her most recent letter:

General Conference was great!  I loved Elder Holland and President Monson.  They were all really good.  I'm excited to re-read them.  In between conference is when they cool thing happened.  This lady came in and she began to talk with me.  She had watched conference in Frederick and then knew she needed to come to the temple.  We sat down and began to talk.  Her mom was a Baptist preacher, her sister was another religion, and she had bounced between all sorts of religions trying to find Christ.  She's Christian and does everything she knows how to do.  Whenever they told her to come and accept Christ, she always would, but she never felt like Christ accepted her.  CRAZY!  She was pleading with me, asking if Christ accepts her and how she can accept him.  We talked about baptism, she wanted to get baptized immediately.  I told her she had to go to church 3 times.  She said she'd do anything.  She asked for all our pamphlets, asked where the book store is (she liked my ctr ring and she wanted on of our bibles), asked for the missionaries.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and how she should read and pray about it.  She told me that she would, but she already knew that this is where the Lord wants her.  She asked if she had to give up the Bible.  Thank goodness she doesn't!  But she was willing to!  She is the most golden person, giving her will to the Father.  She just wanted to feel that Chirst accepts her, she then asked me what she could do for the church.  AMAZING!  The most amazing experience I've ever had!  Missions are the Best!  Love, Sister Wankier

All the missionaries that went to Arlington Cemetery.
They will all go home within the next 6 months.

The missionaries going home in June.

The beautiful cherry blossoms and summer like (80 degree) weather.

Friday, February 15, 2013

happy valentine's day!!!!!!

Hello family,

Happy Valentine's Day!  Transfers are today and I'm staying here in Kentlands with my trainee.  Because of the shortening MTC time this transfer is going to only be 5 weeks.  We haven't had any snow recently.  In fact, we were super excited because yesterday I wasn't even wearing my coat!  It was fantastic!  Pretty much we do sunrise pictures any p-day that we want.  I never want to go more than once a transfer because that means waking up early and that's not quite as fun when you're on a mission and can't sleep in the next morning. 

Well, things are going great.  I'm going to be at the visitor center every day now, so we'll have hardly any time in our area, especially since I'm still training, so we have 2 hours of companion study.  But we will make the most of it and we will have miracles and in the visitor center there will be miracles and life is good!  
Love you all!
Love, Sister Wankier

feb 8


We went to the city for sunrise pictures.  We were safe, no car accidents, bike accidents!  Sure we pretty much missed sunrise, but we almost made it and we still got pictures by the monuments.  That was good.  The Lincoln Memorial is still my favorite.

Yesterday was my companion's birthday and ever since she got here she's been wanting to do service and the opportunity hasn't arrived.  Yesterday was practically a day of service.  We helped deep clean a semi less active member's room in her house.  We helped Sister Matsumori put together some missionary scrap book pages (one per missionary), it just needed to be updated, we helped another semi less active member pack to get ready to move.  It's been great!  Then on Monday we've been making appointments in advance for the week.  We also had a lesson with an investigator that has been hard to contact.  Thus far it's been a miracle week, small miracles, but those are the best.  Those are what keep you going.

Well, I love you all and hope you are all well and having a good life back in good old Brigham City!  
Love, Sister Wankier

jan 31

Hello family!

The biggest thing that has been happening as of recently is the visitor center.  Our new directors are Elder and Sister Eyring (Pres. Eyring's brother).  They're great,  I still miss the Olsens, but that's okay.  We are going to start being at the visitor center every day, instead of a few times a week.  In the VC we are used to teaching by ourselves, but we will be starting to teach in pairs, like PMG says to do and what regular missionaries do.  So there needs to be more of us at the VC at a given time.

Kentlands is good.  We have some people who we're excited to start teaching.  They also have friends that come to Festival each year with us that have questions that want to meet with us too.  That was great to hear!

I love you all!  Have a great week!
Love, Sister Wankier

Hi everybody!  My week has been pretty good.  We did get hit pretty hard with snow.  We got about 18 inches.  It's supposed to warm up a little bit though, so hopefully it melts some of the snow.  That artist we were teaching dropped us.  He said that he was trying to get more involved with his own religion.  

There hasn't really been a whole lot of new things going on this week.  There is going to be a whole mission conference in March.  There will most likely be an apostle there and a member of the Seventy and someone else.  It should be good.  We also got our transfer calls and I will be staying in Ogdensburg for at least another 6 weeks.  That's ok though.  I'm ready to do whatever.  There was good things about leaving but there were good things about staying.  We have a baptism coming up on the 22nd.  And she says she is thinking about moving to utah after she gets baptized.

I will talk to you next week.
Love, Philip

feb 4

Hi everyone.  Nothing really new this week.  We have been teaching lessons and finding people to teach.  That pretty much it.  I did go on an exchange to Malone.  That was pretty cool.  I had something called "poutin".  It actually tastes pretty good.  It's french fries, with cheese and gravy on them.  I know it sounds gross, but it's good.  It's only a 'north country' thing though.

Till next week, Love, Philip

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

a few more pictures!!!!

Hailey and Sister Kaarma

Do you think Hailey is much interested in what's going on?

our missionaries are still growing!!!!

Jan 16


I just got my new companion, Sister Kaarma last night.  She's great.  Way better than I was when I began.  She can role play, I still struggle with that sometimes.  So last week I randomly found out that I'd be back in Kentlands to train.  First I was sad to leave Kentlands, but I knew I'd love White Oak again, but then they threw a curve ball and as soon as I had great ideas for White Oak they called and told me I'd go back to Kentlands.  It's been crazy!  My 2 week companions were the best though.  Also, I still get to go back for Michael's baptism.

Sister Kaarma is from Estonia.  She is a convert and she's great and fearless!  I'm going to learn so much from her.

The weather has felt like spring for the past couple weeks, but yesterday it turned to winter again.  It's rainy and cold.  Well, I love you all, Love, Sister Wankier

Jan 23


Kentlands is doing good.  Actually last week, getting back into things was kinda crazy, but yesterday we saw a lot of miracles.  We were able to contact a couple people for other missionaries to teach.  One guy saw us and asked us who we were with then told us that he wanted to learn more about the Mormons.  So that was a miracle.  Also, this recent convert who hasn't been to church since she was confirmed, we finally found her home and she let us in!  Every time we stopped by in the past she didn't answer, or her husband answered one time, but nothing.  So this was a huge miracle. 

Well, the last few days here has been SUPER cold.  Really cold.  Well, I love you all!
Love, Sister Wankier

Jan 22

Hi everybody.  Things are going good here.  I just got back from a zone conference.  It was a training put on by the assistants to the president and President Wirthlin.  It was really good.  It went from 9 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, and it's an hour and a half drive.  So we had to get up at 5:30.

We were walking around one day and met this guy who started talking about how he saw an angel.  Then he started saying how you can't understand religion without understanding magic.  Then, I don't know how we got talking about this, but he talked about how he was in his garage one day and a dead baby pack rat formed right between his legs.  Then one formed right in the air and fell on the ground.  Then he just kept going back to saying that you can't understand religion without understanding magic.  So we didn't really get where he was coming from.  He also said that he was in a psyche ward.  Interesting!

Well, that's all the time I have.  Love, Philip

Jan 28

Hi everybody.  My week went pretty good.  This Sunday we had two investigators come to church.  We would have had 3, but she was sick.  It was still pretty cool though.  That was the first time that one of them came.  She doesn't like going places, so that was awesome that she came!  She has a son and he is pretty wild so I sat with him and drew pictures and played tic tac toe with him the whole time.  I didn't get anything out of sacrament meeting, but I guess it's just getting me used to when I have kids.  We haven't gotten that much snow, but it's snowing right now, and I don't think that it's going to let up anytime soon.  There is not very much snow right now, but I'm sure that there will be.

You asked what I'm learning on my mission -  I'm learning why the gospel is important.  I don't think it even occurred to me before.  But since I have been here, I have realized that we are only on earth for a small moment, and everything that happens after this life depends on how we live in this short one.  A lot of the time I take that a lot more lightly than I should.  So I'm learning how to take the gospel more serious. 

Good bye for this week.  Love, Philip

*still hoping for pictures from Philip!

Monday, January 14, 2013

the testimony is growing!!!

Just after Christmas I asked Philip to tell me a funny experience and a spiritual experience.  His reply:

Something funny that happened is we went to a meeting with the branch presidency.  The first and second counselors both have beards.  They keep them nice though.  We went to the meeting with fake moustaches on that we had bought like a week before.  The clerk of the branch said it was a good look for me and I should think about it for after my mission!  The spiritual experience:  I don't know if I have told you this before, but I think this has been one of the most spiritual.  We were teaching a lady and it was my first lesson with her.  We were teaching her about the atonement, and she was crying through most of the lesson.  The spirit was really strong there that night.

I got a new companion.  His name is Elder Chandler.  He is from Draper.  He played football for Alta High.  He is the District Leader.  I think we will be able to do some good stuff together.  I smell baptisms!

Love, Philip

Jan 7

Hey everybody!  This week went pretty well.  We set someone with a baptismal date on Saturday.  It's for Feb 16.  He says that he already knows that it's true, he just needs to fix some things.  So that's pretty sweet!

I hated personal and companionship study at first, but now I like it.  It's going good now and I'm really enjoying it.  Elder Chandler is doing good.  We are getting along really good.  He is teaching me great things.  We have been getting more success now.  Baptisms are coming closer and closer.  My testimony has come kind of gradual.  It never really hit me until I came here.  It actually happened not too long ago.  A couple days ago we tracted into a baptist preacher and talked to him for about an hour at his door.  He asked us if Lucifer was Jesus Christ's brother.  We said yes.  Then he told us that it was false doctrine.  Then the conversation elevated and we were talking about the plan of salvation and stuff.  Then we just went on and he started talking about his religion.  That's really when it "hit me".  No other religion makes sense.  While we were talking with this preacher, it seemed liked I was able to answer and correct all of the things that he said, and I know that I wasn't just thinking of all those answers.  They were put there.  Then I gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to pray about it.  He also told us about how no one in the Old Testament was baptized (which isn't true, Adam was baptized, talks about it in Moses) and how Abraham wasn't baptized, all he did was had faith and he was saved.  Anyway, that's when it "hit me".
Love, Philip

Jan 14

Hi everybody!  this week went good.  We found two new investigators.  One of them is the most prepared person that I have ever met.  We hadn't even taught her a lesson, but we went in and we talked to her about what we do and about the Book of Mormon a little bit.  Then we asked her if she would read and pray about it.  She said yes.  We asked her to come to church, she said yes.  We asked her to be baptized, she said yes.  It's awesome!  She did come to church too, and she liked it.  After church she even asked for something more to read.  So we gave her a gospel principles book.

The weather has been great here.  The past couple days have been around 50 degrees.  The snow is melting little by little.  But I think that it's supposed to snow again this week. 
Love, Philip

Jan 2


So today is transfers and I am now in a trio again for another 2 weeks.  I'm back in White Oak with Sister Bullock (not related to Sandra) and Sister Lawrance.  My companion gets here in two weeks.  She's from Estonia.  I did see Jenny and Dave Hickman and their cute little family.  They came at the perfect time.  I wasn't in a super good mood and really just overwhelmed and frustrated, so they answered my prayer.  I love them, they seem to be doing so good.

Well, Festival is now over.  Yesterday was the last day.  It was really cool to be a part of it.  Now it's back to regular missionary work.  It'll be good, new area, new companion, new experiences to look forward to.  It was a great experience to be in Kentlands, but it will be fun to go back to White Oak too.  I love you all, the church is true!  Love you!
Love, Sister Wankier

Jan 9

Things are going super good!  This is a great companionship!  We pretty much laugh all the time.  Today we're having Islander day.  We're all wearing Sister Lawrance's Guam skirts.  It's awesome!  This is a great area.  I still love it.  Yes, I still kinda miss Kentlands, but here is still super fun too.  We accidentally tracted into a former investigator.  No gospel conversation, but they were super nice.  Another investigator I had last time I was in White Oak is getting baptized!  He's come so far and he sees the need for it in his life.  It's so good!

Well the church is true!  I love you all! 
Love, Sister Wankier

Hailey and Sister Wong

Sister Jones, Hailey, Biny (investigator), Sister Holt

Sister Jones, Hailey, Arunjana, Sister Holt

Sisters Fehlman, Lawrance, Bullock, Nakasuka, Hailey

Sister Welch, Tevin, Hailey
Sister Bullock, Sister Lawrance, Hailey