Dear Family and Friends!
I have survived my first earthquake! It was sooo cool! My companion and I were at home sitting down finishing planning and the family in the apartment beneath us was getting a little rowdy and yelling. Then the shaking started and we just looked at each other because we couldn’t figure out how they were shaking our walls; then it hit us that it was an earthquake! It was intense too! things were falling off of our shelves but nothing super major was hurt. It lasted for 10 seconds at least and was a 5.4! I was super excited for a bit then I realized I had no idea what in the world to do haha. Our district leaders called us with earthquake preparedness shortly afterward thank goodness. It is also pretty funny that you see who really loves you! Our Bishop was the first to call and to check up on us, then a recent convert, then one of our investigators! It truly was a crazy experience to feel your whole world shake.
In other news, California is as beautiful as ever; I seriously cannot figure out how a city can be so beautiful. The weather is gorgeous and the yards are out of this world. We’ve been to several different members houses and people actually grow coconuts, lemons and lots of oranges (I’ve never seen that before in my life! But it smells heavenly). We visit so many people and we have quite a few investigators. I am so in awe about how people are willing to hear our message and at the same time… I am in awe to how many people will act deeply interested then play the avoiding game
I have also finished the Book of Mormon! I set a goal to read all of the works on my mission through a missionary’s lens, and I am so excited to move on to the Doctrine and Covenants. I feel like I’m plowing through it though, I should probably set a goal to read them all in Portuguese as well! It’s a lofty goal but it would be so wonderful I know! I also had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Principles class this last Sunday ( they have the missionaries take turns). I was able to talk about my most favorite gospel topic ever 🙂 the atonement 🙂 . I feel like my time as a missionary has taught me how to teach slowly with more power and spirit behind my words, and as I applied that method to my class beautiful things happened. I truly love to teach church classes and the skills that missionary work has given me has made my teaching so much better! I can testify with a greater conviction and I always find that I am teaching myself when I prepare for a lesson. It is so beautiful how everything in the gospel is intertwined and builds up to one beautiful truth. I love this work and am being shaped into something far better than I could have ever planned.
Missionary work is so incredibly demanding, but rewarding. I am SOOOO grateful for all of your letters and support! I am serving with all I have and anxiously awaiting my visa 🙂
Love, Sister Dean
Also! spread the word! here is my new address 🙂
Sister Whitney Dean
California Los Angeles Mission
1591 East Temple Way
Los Angeles CA 90024-5801