Thursday, June 10, 2010

News from Elder Whipple

We've had a few letters from Wes since the empty mailbox. These pics were included in one of his letters.

This is Elder Mclaughlin. He and Wes were not companions, but serving near one another in the Lynnwood area.

Elder Ashdown and Wes were in the MTC together and in the same district in Bellingham.

Here you see Wes putting all his experience with video games (eye-hand coordination) to good use! This picture was taken in Blaine on Wesley's last P-Day there. He says: "Brother Ford let me and my comp play on his tractor, throw rocks and logs around, and dig a hole." Boys and their toys! They seem to never outgrow the love of machines.

Taken in Edmonds, this is a view of the mountains from Wesley's house in Edmonds.

Another view from his house, only these are of the Puget Sound.

Here Elder Whipple is with his companion in the Lynnwood ward (Edmonds area), Elder McGalliard, the ward mission leader, Brother Fellers, and their newest convert Kelsey Duff. Sister Duff was Wesley's first confirmation. He said "Holy crap was I nervous!" I reminded him that it was supposed to be "Holy Ghost". I hope he gets it right next time.

Before leaving the Edmonds area, Wes was able to baptize Wayne. Wes said: "It's kinda weird to be in all white outside the temple, but it was awesome baptizing Wayne! The water was really warm, so when we opened the doors so people could see, it fogged up the glass! It was really funny!"
Wes was transferred on May 18th to Monroe. He said: "There was an emergency transfer that involved about 6-7 companionships. I had to leave my area and now I'm a senior companion to Elder Dunn. The transfer had nothing to do with my doing, so don't worry! (Honestly! Did he really think that I would think that an emergency transfer had something to do with him?) It was tough to leave on such short notice. I found out at 7 am and left at 11:30 am. I really did love the Meadowdale Ward but it's okay cuz I'm back in a car, I'm senior companion, and my stake President's name is President Whipple! How crazy is that? When I meet him, I'll take some pictures for you to see. This ward I'm in now has a lot of potential. There is a non-member who has a calling! That's nuts AND there are alot of people who are ready to baptize, so I'm pretty excited." And then at the end of the letter he added: "I need some money because I left all my groceries in Edmonds."

In the next letter, dated May 30, Wes tells about their reactivation efforts with a man in their ward who struggles with substance addiction. Wes told about the lesson they taught on having faith in Christ and how He can free us from sin. Wes said: "About 5 times while we were there I asked if I could help and take the temptation away and he said no, but the last time I asked he had us take the beer from his fridge, but I was taking it regardless. It was pretty cool. Some missionaries take cigarretts, we took alcohol. Yes, we were quick to dispose of it! It was an extremely awkward feeling holding it! Good thing I'm not an alcoholic, cuz I'd be an awkward drunk! Elder Dunn was in shock when we took it! He's shy, and I'm not, so he's getting out of his shell a bit! It's good!"

In this same letter, Wes describes his living arrangements: "So we live in a members basement, Bro and Sister G. Bro G is nuts! He has a 3 year food supply, wood burning furnace and water heating system, and a year's supply of ammunition for all his guns! He randomly shoots his guns at targets, has an annoying pet peacock, is constantly splitting wood, and ALWAYS has at least 2 guns on his person at any given time! Yes, even at church its tucked in the back of his pants and covered by his suit coat! Then usually one on his rib, hip, or leg! He has another 4 in his truck! I do feel safe here except if it caught fire we'd better drive fast before the ammo and supplies go BANG! When they left for a trip to see their kids, he wanted to leave a shotgun with us. Only reason he didn't is because we're missionaries and we have God's firepower! Bro G is a great guy!" As usual, Wes is a crack-up!

Here you see our Elder Whipple showing off his new Washington Everett Mission ring. Is he flashing missionary gang signs?
9 months out! It's going by fast!