It has been a crazy week! We had zone conference this week on Tuesday. It was the most powerful experience that I have ever had. One experience that I want to share is we were discussing goal as a zone. The mission president was there and about 20 other missionaries. At zone conference we just let the spirit guide. Where ever we go whatever topic we discuss that was were the spirit needed us to be. In our mission we are huge on saying "I love you because..." and it is amazing how that one phrase can instantly invite the spirit. As we started to talk goals one elder told another "I love you because..." which lead to another elder saying it. Before I knew it the entire room was filled with the spirit. Everyone continued to share their love for one another. It went on for like 30 minutes. Everyone in the room was encircled in love that penetrated every part of your body. Never in my life have i felt love so tangible like that. It really was so powerful. As I sat there and just listened. I really wanted to say something but couldn't do it. I couldn't find any words to say that were even adequate to describe what was going on. As I sat there president Summerhays looks up and says "Sister Whipple's heart is so full of love right now that she can't express what she is feeling." Then, he simple says" Heavenly father is mindful of you." I was just overwhelmed by the spirit. I was a goner. He said exactly what I need to hear at the exact moment I needed it. It really was inspiring and so powerful. I wish i could have every person sit in that room and felt what I felt. It truly was humbling and inspiring to see how powerful and how quickly the spirit came into that room by a few people expressing love. It was unforgettable.
Another experience i want to share was at zone conference too. Our zone leader, Elder Wood, went home (Salt Lake City) the week before to have surgery. He has a whole in his heart. Best case he would return in a few days and worst a few weeks. He was going into surgery on Tuesday. The entire zone knelt down at the very minute he was going into surgery to offer a prayer in his behave. It was amazing to see that many missionaries kneeling in pray for one.
At the end of zone conference we had another powerful experience. Elder Hammon our district leader has been really sick for months. He has had stomach problems, and dropping weight like crazy. He has dropped so much weight the past couple of weeks and looks almost like a sever anorexic. Its really bad and you feel so bad for him because he really does just want to work. After zone conference , President Summerhays looks at Elder Hammon and asked "Elder Hammon....(Elder Hammom looks up at him) Do you want a blessing?" Elder Hammon breaks down in tears and nods his head yes. it was powerful to see all of the Elders gather around little Elder Hammon and give him a blessing of healing. It was really tender especially because every person in that room was so full of love for each-other. We had dinner with Elder Hammon and his companion, Elder Medlyn, and a couple in Callaway a few days after the blessing. Elder Hammon was still so inspired by the blessing and truly was happier then I have seen him in a while. It's really is amazing to be a missionary. Never in my life could I imagine the sweet experiences that I am having.
Things are good here in Lynn Haven. After, zone conference Sister Richan and I have had a commitment to do better. We have been waking up 10 to 15 minutes earlier so we can get a good work out in. The Wednesday after zone conference, we woke up ready to get on our bikes and exercise. Well, we got our helmets on and out the door only to realize it was raining. We decided if we didn't get on our bikes today we never will, so we went biking in the rain. We loved it! We still haven't figured out the perfect morning routine, but we try something new everyday.
The Williams and Hopkins are doing fantastic. We had Elder Hammon come after church to interview them all. He said their was a powerful spirit in each interview. They are ready and so excited to be baptized. The baptism will help bring the members and referrals that I feel will bring a new life to missionary work in the area. I can't wait. We already keep pretty busy. We have teaching appointments almost every night, but we can always be busier. We have another investigator at church on Sunday. Her name is Emma Weems and she had her 2 year old boy with her. The little boy's name is Aubrey. He is half Indonesian (cause that's what Emma is ) and stinking cute. Her husband is mike and he's less active, but has mental injuries from war and can't handle crowds. he doesn't come to church. Emma stayed for sacrament meeting and Sunday school. She has a testimony, but is a like hesitant to act on it. I know she felt the spirit in Sunday school as John, Martha, N.D., and Betty all shared their testimonies during the lesson. We have been teaching her for 3 weeks and I have seen a change. I think if she can get to the baptism that will be just what she needs.
We have been working on planning for the 4 baptisms like crazy! It has been really good and I love it. The baptisms are this Saturday and I think we will have a really good turn out out.
Sister Richan and I get alone so well. It's crazy how often we are on the same page. It makes working together a lot of fun. We laugh, work, and teach together. We are growing a lot together and learning a lot. We love the work. We strive to be exactly obedient.
After, zone conference I had a new drive to do and be better then I am. We talked about giving up those things in your life that are holding you back. we all have crap we are carrying around, but just do have the courage or strength to simply give it up. In order to know the savior we have to give it all up to him. Nothing in this world is an accident. Heavenly father has his divine hand in everything. We simple need to give up whatever in our lives is holding us back. Life is a beautiful thing, but we have to give everything up to him because he already did. I know Heaven father is mindful of each one of us. We don't need to worry, but we do need to give it up with sincere heart and follow him. Everything always works out perfectly, just not perfectly how we want it to.