Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First letter from the MTC

Hi this is Whitney's mom, posting for Whitney because missionaries can't post on blogs.  

September 28, 2015 (First letter from the MTC)

My beloved people!!!

For those of you who don't want to read a long email, just know that I am LOVING the MTC and I am doing really well. Also that I love you all a whole bunch... for everyone else, here is my novel;

I have two companions, Sister Brown and Sister Ives. Sister Brown is the one I met on instagram a few weeks ago who is also going to Orlando, and Sister Ives is going to Perth Australia along with the rest of the missionaries in our district and the other district in our zone that also got here Wednesday so we are two Floridians in a sea of Australians but it is a blast and a half. We are rooming with sister Beardall and Sister Campbell who are also so funny. Sister Ives and Sister Beardall seriously have me laughing until my stomach hurts every night. The other two sets of elders in my district are Elder Bacca who is the district leader, his comp, Elder Rose, and Elder Johnson and Elder B who are the zone leaders. We get along pretty well and we have been having a lot of fun.

I got Briana's letter yesterday and I got the cookies and stuff from my familamilie today and they made me so excited! If missionaries love one thing it's mail. So thank you so much for sending those!

This week has been crazy and I have so much to tell you guys so hopefully I can fit an ounce of it in!

Wednesday they whipped me from you guys, sent me through a line, and before I knew it I was sitting in class with a name tag going "HOW IN THE WORLD DID I GET HERE!?" But about an hour into it I just couldn't stop smiling because being a missionary feels so great!

Our teachers are Sister Thayer and Sister Olsen and they are the cutest RMs EVER. They are basically both the epitome of EFY counselors so we party hard. They are both young reticently returned RMs and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

Thursday was a good day of classes and the usual MTC stuff.

Friday night Sister Brown started to get sick so we missed our evening stuff so she could rest. Sister Ives and I studied that night in our rooms. Then on Saturday she was still feeling sick so we spent a lot of the morning trying to get a hold of doctors because the health clinic was closed. But she got a priesthood blessing from the elders in our district and felt a lot better later in the day. We are all happy and healthy now and starting to get back to normal.

Saturday night me and Sister Ives lead an impromptu discussion on the Plan of Salvation and it was crazy amazing. We did this huge thing on the board that I will try to send you a picture of. It was one of the best moments of teaching up to this point.

Our teaching (where we practice teaching our teachers who pretend to be investigators) have been going progressively better. Our first appointments were rough, but we have learned so much about following the spirit. We are teaching "Channy" and we got to skype an actual member named "Joy" that was my favorite lesson so far. We will also start teaching "Ivy Wang" for Progressive TRC tonight so we are praying that goes well!

Sunday was GREAT! We had fast and testimony meeting and there is nothing like a testimony meeting of missionaries! We also had several other "missionary meetings" which were all also very good. After the meetings we walked up to the temple to take pictures. And then last night we got to watch the Sunday night Devo that was really good and then we got to watch the "Characters of Christ" MTC talk by Elder Bednar and that was AMAZING!

Last night when we were all in the shower, Sister Beardall was tempted by donuts and WE LOCKED ALL 5 KEYS IN OUR ROOM! It was so funny because one by one we all came out and realized we were in our Pj's and couldn't get in our room. So me and another sister from another room ( I was the only one that had flipflops from our room.) had to walk all the way across campus to get a spare key. It was the most awkward funny thing ever. All these elders were staring at me like "why is she wearing her Pj's in here?" haha good times.

Today we got to go to the temple and I realized something SO COOL! We have been studying the story of the Brother of Jared a lot the last few days and I just kept thinking "there has to be something more that I'm missing that the Lord wants me to know because people keep bringing it up!" And when I was in the temple I totally learned something way cool! For any of you have gone through the temple I want you to read Ether 3 and think about how the brother of Jared saw the finger first, and then all of Christ when the veil was lifted, and then I want you to think about how that is similar to the temple.

After the temple we watched Elder Richard G. Scott's funeral and that was amazing. If you haven't already watched that I highly suggest you watch it. And if you don't have enough time to watch the whole thing at least listen to the closing song because HOLY COW it had us almost in tears.

I love you all a whole bunch and will try to send some pictures if I can. (The internet has been spotty today so I will hopefully be able to do that.) Have an AMAZING week!

Make good choices, say your prayers, read your scriptures, brush your teeth, Remember who you are! I love you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

See you in 18!

Well my friends, this is my last post for 18 months! 

I will be set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tonight! I am so excited for this opportunity to serve God's children in Orlando Florida! 

Even though I can't post for a while I won't leave you hanging! My mom will be posting my weekly emails so check back here every week to stay up to date with all my adventures as a missionary. 

You can also find all the information you need to keep in touch with me (email, address, etc.) under the "contact me" page. (And I'd LOVE to get mail from all of you so PLEASE send me some love!) Thank you so much for all the love and support over the last 19 years. I feel truly blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. I love you all more than you could ever know. 

I know The Church is true and it has brought me more joy than anything else ever has in my life and that is why I want to share it. I know the Book of Mormon is the most true book that we have on the earth today and that Joseph Smith was indeed a true prophet and that he really did translate it. I know God loves His children and that is why he sent his son, Jesus Christ to atone for all of our sins, our struggles, and ultimately to die for us so that we might be able to return to live with him again. I know he loves me and I know he loves each of you. I know that through Jesus Christ all families can be together forever. This is a magnificent time to live on this earth. How blessed we are to be able to experience it.

I love you all!

Read your scriptures, say your prayers, go to church, remember who you are, and so on, and so forth, and what not, and what have you. See you in 18.

-Sister Reid

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Farewell Talk {Jesus Christ}

I am going to be a missionary in a WEEK!! A WEEK I TELL YOU! I am a little bit of a roller coaster right now, but that's ok because roller coasters are fun right?! I'm very excited for this awesome adventure and I'm ready to get out there and work. I had my farewell on Sunday and because some of my friends and family and awesome blog followers weren't able to attend my farewell on Sunday I decided that it would be a fun idea to post a copy of it on here. Enjoy!


Now I know most of you know me, but for those of you who don't.... or those of you who forgot I guess.... My name is Whitney Reid and I have been called to serve as a missionary in the Florida Orlando mission. 

Now, I know that this is commonly referred to as "my farewell" but I want to remind you that this church service isn't about me. The night before Christ died he gathered together with his Apostles one last time to teach them and to give them what was then called the "last supper" this was the first "sacrament" as we know it today.

In a sense this was Chirst's "farewell" from the earth. We partake of the sacrament today to remember what he did for us and to promise to always follow him.

I think it is no coincidence that the sacrament table, when the cloth is covering the trays It resembles a body covered in cloth symbolizing Christ's body as it lay in tomb after he died. This is a meeting for Christ to remember his life, to remember why he died, and to remember that he lives again.

So instead of thinking of this as "my farewell" before I go on a mission I want you to think of this as Christ's farewell. Remember what he did for you. Remember what he is still doing for you. And decide what you are going to do for him.

The other day I was in my car listening to a country music radio station. Now President I apologize for quoting Keith Urban over the pulpit, but a song came on of his that had a line that said

"I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16."

I think John Cougar is a singer... I don't know.... he's a child of God.

John Deere; Tractors and stuff. Cool.

But John 3:16 is what I really wanted to focus my talk on today.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And if you read onto verse 17 it says;

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

When I read this scripture I can't help but think about the sacrifice of the Father to send his son. And this scripture also reminds me of the fact that each of us are children of a God that loves us more than we can even comprehend.

In the children's hymn book there is a song that testifies of this great act of love. Now, I would sing it for you, but I wasn't in the line when they handed out great vocal talent in heaven so I'm just going to read you the words;

How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?
He sent His son, a new-born Babe, with peace and holiness.
How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
He sent His Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know.

God sen't his son to earth so that we might be able to learn from him. He wanted us to be able to have an example to follow.

One of my friends that is currently serving a mission sent me an email this week. In this email he shared his testimony that I think really illustrates how the Father feels for us, and what our Father has done because of it. He said;

"God did not send us down to earth to fail. He sends angels to assist us; He has given us the Holy Ghost to testify of truth and bring comfort, and to warn us of pain and sin; and above all, He has given His Son, even Jesus Christ, as a ransom for us to satisfy the demands of justice, and to SAVE US from sin and death, and through His eternal atonement, we can receive happiness and forgiveness, and eternal salvation. He didn't send us to fail. He sent us, and has given us all everything we need in order to, succeed."

I want you to think about the examples that have been set for you; both good, and not so good.

The world wants to set examples for you that will lead you away from Christ. I predict that it would take any of you a total of two seconds to sift through the hashtags and facebook posts on your phone before you are able to find an example of one of these things that the world is using to lead you astray.

I also think that in two seconds any of you could pull out your phones and be able to find an example of something that was put on this earth to help guide us in the right direction.

There are so many things that are here to distract us. Some of the greatest of which are idleness and temptation. Idleness is especially prevalent in our culture because Satan knows that he doesn't need to start by making us do bad things, he just needs to start by making us do nothing. And if he can do that, he can tempt us to do anything. 

While there are many things to distract us, there are also many things that will guide us to the right path. We are blessed to have been born in a time when every person can have access to the scriptures whenever they want. With the memory of 9/11 last week we were reminded of how blessed we are to live in a place where we are free to worship and pray whenever we want and however we want. We have been blessed with modern technology that allows us to share the gospel. The amount of gospel material that fits onto your smartphone would have taken truckloads to carry not very many years ago.

We also have the opportunity to be one of these examples for good.

In the 2008 October General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson shared this in the general priesthood meeting. 

"Ours is the task to be fitting examples. We are strengthened by the truth that the greatest force in the world today is the power of God as it works through man. If we are on the Lord’s errand, brethren, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Never forget that truth. That divine help, of course, is predicated upon our worthiness. Each must ask: Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? Am I a worthy servant of the Lord?"

I love that he says that if we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to His help. He will help us, he wants to help us, but he can't help us unless we let him.

When I was thinking about this I was reminded of the story of the three little pigs. Now, I know you all know this story, but I want to put a twist on it.

The first little pig built his house out of straw. When the big bad wolf came he huffed and he puffed and he blew that house down.

When we build our house out of straw, we aren't going to church, we aren't reading our scriptures and we aren't preparing ourselves for when Satan comes to blow our house down. 

That's the thing about Satan, he doesn't have mercy on the weak. He's not going to look at you and say "oh, you're not very strong, I'll go easy on you." He's going to huff and he's going to puff, and if we aren't prepared our house will fall.

The second little pig built his house out of sticks. Sticks are pretty strong when the weather is nice and the sun is out. I think of the second little pig as the person that comes to church and can say all the right answers, but who isn't really looking to apply the atonement into their lives. Now, the house out of sticks might be strong when nothing is happening, but as soon as the big bad wolf comes a house made out of sticks isn't strong enough. We must learn how to apply the atonement in our lives or our testimonies will fall.

The third little pig built his house out of bricks. Now, in the world of house building bricks and rocks would both build very strong houses so I am going to use them interchangeably. 

Helaman 5:12 says;
"and now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundations; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storms shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

I LOVE that verse and I love that it says that Christ is a sure foundation. If we build our lives upon him we cannot fall, no matter how hard the big bad wolf huffs and puffs.

The second verse to that primary song says;

2. How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
He sent His Son to die for us, and rise with living breath.
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?
Have faith, have hope, live like His Son, help others on their way.
What does He ask? Live like His Son.

He has given us everything, all he asks is for us to live like his Son.

I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know He once walked the earth with the saints and he taught the truest doctrine of love. I took a few sign language classes in high school and the signs for "Jesus" and "Christ" taught me a few things;

The sign for "Jesus" is done by motioning to the palms of your hands. This is done in remembrance that he died for each of us so that we might be able to return to live with Him and our Father again. This was the greatest act of love the world has ever known. This was what He came to earth to do.

The sign for "Christ" is done by making the same motion you would for "King" or "Queen" except with a "C" hand shape. Kings and Queens are placed before us to direct us and to teach us what to do. They are also there to protect us. When I learned that the sign for "Christ" is done in the same way I learned that He is our King. We are meant to follow Him. And if we do, He will not lead us astray.

I know that He Atoned for all of my sins, and that He also Atoned for all of my pains and afflictions. I know that He died so that we might all be able to return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. I also believe that if I had been the only person that needed this pure act of love that He would still have done it because He loves me that much. I also know that He would have done the same for each of you. I know he was resurrected and that because of Him death has no sting. I know that He loves me so much more than I can even comprehend and that He wants what's very best for me. I know that He will direct my path as long as I'm willing to follow Him. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in fact, HIS church and that He is the head of it which is why it is the only church with His complete gospel on the earth today. I know that He lives. Because I know that He lives I will prepare to dedicate 18 months of my life to His service by serving a mission. I will also dedicate every second after that to loving Him and building his kingdom. I will do this by not being afraid to share my testimony, by loving everyone around me, and by letting His light shine through me (hence the blog name...."feel my sunlight.") I promise to do my very best, and because I know that alone I will never be enough, I also promise to rely on Him everyday. Because He is almighty, and all-knowing. He is ever loving and everlasting. He is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father. He is my Savior, And He is my Redeemer.

And I love Him.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Studio C Extra!

Raise your hand if you're a fan of Studio C! Good. Now that you are raising your hand stupidly while staring at your little LCD screen I want to tell you about a super awesome experience I had.

Have you seen Studio C yet? It's hilarious! And completely family-friendly! Giving away a ROKU on the blog this week so your family can enjoy too! #StudioC #roku:

For those of you who aren't raising your hand, Studio C is an awesome and hilarious family-friendly comedy show that plays on BYUtv every Monday at 10pm ET/8pm MT and is always available on YouTube. I highly recommend you all go watch some of their videos.  (Also read this blog post about the time I went to a fireside by Mallory Everton.)

The other day I had the crazy opportunity to be an extra on the set of a Studio C sketch! We filmed all night long in a dark creepy (probably haunted) abandoned warehouse in Provo. Filming began at 11:00 pm and I was on set until 6:00 am the next day and I must say that I have gained so much more respect for the filming process that takes place to make these clips. Talking to the cast members we learned that it can easily take 14 hours to make one 4 minute video and sometimes that means filming in the middle of the night. These guys are rock stars and pretty much the nicest people ever. Many of the cast members took time to talk to us and take pictures with us in between takes and it was so much fun to be able to get a little bit of the behind the scenes process. 

We were asked not to post pictures that we took while filming until after the skit airs, but here are a few pictures we got with a few of the cast members before filming started as well as a picture of the abandoned warehouse. 

Everybody watch Studio C season 6 which airs this Monday and watch out for my very average dance moves later on in the season!

Aside from occasionally hanging out on TV sets in the middle of the night, I'm quickly getting closer to Orlando! I report to the MTC in a whopping 17 days and I am definitely in crazy mode. There are so many thoughts and emotions going through my mind at a million miles an hour and it seems every other minute I feel different about leaving. Currently I'd say I'm excited to go, but not quite ready to leave.

Next week is my last week of coaching tumbling which I have been doing since I was a little thirteen year old and the kids I coach mean the world to me. I'm so grateful that I have been able to have this job for the last 6 years and leaving the gym is going to be one of the hardest parts about leaving. But that being said, I know it's my time to accept my call to serve so I want my tumbling kids to know that I love them to pieces. Tumble hard for me okay?

My farewell is next Sunday on the 13th and I am very excited to see everyone! If you want information about that check out my previous blog post. 

So I will see you all soon! And in the mean time here are a few of my favorite Studio C sketches for you to watch. 

I love you all!