April 14, 2014 Los Angeles, California  

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Bom dia familia e amigos!

Life is so good here in LA! We’ve been working so hard and it is truly difficult to relate all of the stories this past week in one email! I will try to highlight a few of the good ones. There is a dad, a daughter and a son who we visit often who are recent converts and they are so precious! The mom is not very interested at all, and the missionaries are not welcomed in the house, but we sit outside and teach the rest of the family. It is a little heart-wrenching to see 3/4 of the family grow so strong in their bonds together and in the Gospel while one of them wants nothing to do with this progression. David is truly a wonderful father and his children love him. He is such a good example for them. The kids are super impressive too; their Gospel knowledge and desire to learn is monumental! We had dinner with them last night and taught a lesson on Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness for us and as we talked about life on this earth and the opportunity all would have to hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ even after this life. At this point the son said “after this life, good, that’s when mom can be happy too” and his father looked at him and said “she will come to know our happiness here in this life Jake, don’t you worry”. It was so cool! There are such strong ‘warriors’ in this life who find the truth and exercise faith to its fullest.

We also have quite a few funny stories from this week! We picked up a mini-missionary for the weekend ( since our mission area-wise is so small, the stakes in our area have a really neat program where high school members can be a weekend missionary, they sleep over and get to see all sides of missionary work, the good the bad and the ugly). We went to visit a less active ( a very less active) who we soon found out was quite intoxicated. He bore his testimony very vividly that the church was true and that boy scouts had changed his life forever. He then got his guitar and weeping, insisted to play a song for us very passionately and high pitched. It was a full-body performance. Our poor mini missionary lol. We were trying to get out of there sooner than later but when he finished I told him he should come sing in church, he really did have an impressive voice and we would love to see him this next Sunday… he was hesitant, but he said he had big plans for taking over next year’s Christmas Pageant. We knelt to pray and when we finished we all stood up, except for the brother, he fell over backwards. It was quite an experience and that was only the beginning of our weekend!

We also had a few trainings this weekend. One of them was a driving safety training and it was the best safety video I have ever seen in my entire life! We watched a video on the basics of missionary safety and then they had Elder Holland use his “slightly intimidating apostle call to arms” voice to solidify that we would never break any of these rules lol. They also had Elder Uctdorf relate car safety to his plane safety which was a powerful and captivating analogy as always. Mission life is great and I find that my mind is turning to the work more and more. I try to get a 20 minute nap in at lunch time at least every other day and those are the most intense naps I have ever taken in my entire life! I am out as soon as my head hits the pillow and I am so disoriented as soon as the alarm goes off. I’ve also noticed one other weird thing about my power naps, I drool!!!! I have never drooled before in my sleep ever, but it is a constant thing during my naps! I wake up mouth open and wet pillow! What does that mean? hahaha, I must be taking some pretty powerful snoozes.

On a final note, I am reading the Doctrine and Covenants through and finding so many treasures! Today I was reading in Section 58 and there are some beautiful reassurances that trials and tribulations will undoubtedly come in this life but the blessings and the ease that follow-whether in this life or the next-will be so sweet. So many of our investigators need that reassurance but they cannot feel the full relief unless they chose to come to know Christ. I love the work and I am here to ease souls. I love you all and I thank you for all of the constant support.

Tudo Bem!

Love,

Sister Whitney Dean

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