Friday, April 9, 2010

Sean's Mission update

Wow, I have been way behind on writing about Sean and his mission! The last time I wrote he had been out for 8 months..that was in August of he has 8+ months left until he comes home! Where has the time gone? It sure seems like his mission is zipping on by. It's kind of sad in a way how quickly it is going. He will most probably be our last missionary to serve, unless Bethany opts to serve...time will tell on that regard.
Sean has been able to serve in several areas in his mission. He began in Krefeld where he served for 2 transfers (3mths). Emma, Wes' Mom told us that she was able to do some research and found that Krefeld Germany was once part of Holland and it just so happens that that city was an area where once the Whitnah Family lived...or those related to the Whitnah family. Sean then served 2 transfers in Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf is one of the largest cities in all of Germany and very busy..close to 600,000 people live there. After Dusseldorf Sean served for one transfer in an area known as Langen, he was there for one transfer and then he was transferred to Kaiserslatern. I think K-Town was one of Sean's most favorite areas to serve. He said that it reminded him of Pennsylvania where I grew up and where my family still lives. He was lucky to serve there for 3 transfers and he had a great companion to serve with. He is now on his second transfer in Weisbaden Germany. He serves in the US Military Service Ward. He loves it there as well. Just recently President Utchdorf rededicated all of Germany for the preaching of the Gospel. Since this has occurred Sean has noticed increased numbers in those who are interested in hearing about the Gospel and he is super busy. This is great!

Another thing is the German Missions will change in July and the Frankfurt Mission will take the Czech Republic as well as 1 district that was once part of the Hamburg Mission, the Hamburg Mission will be taken over by the Berlin Mission. One area of the Berlin Mission will go to the Frankfurt Mission and that is Erfurt District...this is where Becky served part of her would be so cool if Sean had the chance to serve in Erfurt. I don't know whether it will happen or not but it would be neat! Also a small area of the Munich mission where Wes served will become part of the Frankfurt Mission and Wes thinks it would be cool if Sean served there too. Time is running shorter though and by the time the changes take place Sean will only have a few months left of his mission.
All the years and time he has had to look forward to these 2 years and to know now that they are nearly over with makes me sad. But I am thankful he chose to serve and I know he will never regret it and will always have fond memories of his time he served

Sunday, August 2, 2009

7 months on Sean's mission

Hard to believe but Sean has been in Germany now for 5 months. Making his total mission time 7 months. He is still in Dusseldorf serving with Elder Bennett. Elder Bennett is from Idaho and apparently a bit more shy about talking to people on the streets and bahns about the Gospel. Sean has not been shy at all. He reminds Elder Bennett that the reason he is in Germany is to share the Gospel and he wants to do this every chance he gets.
On his P day he along with his companion and other Elders in his Distrikt like to visit areas around Dusseldorf. From hiking to visiting old German castles. He loves having this opportunity to tour and visit some of the areas he serves in.
Teaching people in Germany can sometimes be tough. Often many will set up an appointment with them but then cancel out and just not be home. Other times they allow Sean and his companion to teach one lesson and then they do not want to hear anymore of what the missionaries have to say. Sean is hoping to find some people who are more prepared and ready to hear.
Just this last email Sean wrote of an Afrikan man who stopped them in the street who asked to know more about what they believed. This man was looking for truth. Sean and his companion were pretty excited. They are hoping that this man will continue to have the desire to learn more and eventually get baptized. That would be cool!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

6 Months on His Mission!

Hard to believe but true, Elder Whitnah has been on his mission for 6 months already. He wrote today and said he was going to buy himself a stein to celebrate his 6th month mark. The work in Dusseldorf seems a bit slow right now. Many appointments are made but the majority of them fall through. He and his companion are teaching a woman and her inactive husband right now and that seems to be progressing well.

Some fun news in regards to his area of Dusseldorf. This past Sunday while at Church a young woman approached him and looked at his name tag. She responded by saying "I served in Berlin with your sister, Sister Becky Whitnah!" What a small world it truly is?! It was Sister Karen Hadzik who served in Leipzig with Becky as well as in Teirgarten with her as a companion. Karen is from Dusseldorf.

Sean has been in Dusseldorf for 4 weeks now. He is loving the work even though at times it gets discouraging because he and his companion are not having great success. He continues to LOVE the foods he finds in Germany....especially donors(sp?)....Becky loved them as well!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Elder Whitnah's second city: Dusseldorf

The Shield of the city of Dusseldorf...the place where Sean has now been transferred after 3 months of service in Krefeld.

Sean has been transferred a new area. Dusseldorf! Quite a big place, nearly 600,000 thosand people and the economic center of Germany. Sean has hopes to be able to serve in some small areas of the Mission but time will tell and he will go where the Lord wants him to serve. He had become quite close to some of the members in Krefeld and will miss many of them. This one brother in the Ward became quite close to Sean. Sean thought of him as a Grandpa figure in a way. He will miss him that is for sure but even though he will miss his first area he is looking forward to his new area of Dusseldorf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Elder Whitnah nearly 3 months in Germany!

Elder Whitnah has been in Germany for nearly 12 weeks. That means he will no longer be classified as a "golden." In the German missions instead of calling a missionary a "greenie" when they are first out they are goldens. Sean has loved his mission thus far and has learned valuable insights from his companion Elder Hawker.
It was great to speak with Sean on Mother's Day. We had a 2 and a half hour long conversation. I enjoyed hearing all that Sean is going through and all the ways he has grown. He shared with us that he now truly understands the Gospel and believes it like he never did before. At one point he told me that if someone were to put a gun to his head right now and shoot him if he didn't deny what he believed that he would have to tell the person to shoot him because he would never deny the Gospel and all the blessings that he has received from it. What a cool blessing and what a great son to have! I am so glad that he is progressing so much in the Gospel!
He is thinking that his companion might be transferred this next week when transfers come up..only time will tell. I guess Elder Hawker has been in Krefeld for some time.
Sean shared with us that each day he studies to learn 50 new German words and then he practices reading preach my gospel outload to put the words to use. He finds that that along with talking to native Germans is the best way to learn the language and pronunciation of words. He says right now he has about 75% of his German down. That's pretty good for a missionary who has been out only 2+ months.
He loves the foods in Germany and told us that he thinks the food there is better than what we have here. I am not surprised as I have tried many German foods and it is good. Sean and his companion are teaching a family from Afrika as well as a young college student. They continue searching for those who are ready to hear the Gospel. I am glad that Sean is enjoying his mission. He writes every Tuesday and it's great to hear how much he has learned.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

2 months in Germany

Sean has been in Germany now for 2 months. His German improves more and more each week, which he is glad of. His companion, Elder Hawker is the District Leader, which means Sean and Elder Hawker spend a great deal of time traveling. This week Wes' Mom called us and shared something cool with us. She has found a line on her family side that traces back to the 1300's. The name was Van Bitten or Van Bitter. Guess where this family is from? The city of Krefeld...where Sean is now serving as a missionary. How cool is that!? Sean could end up teaching one of his distant cousins about the Gospel. We will get to hear Sean's voice on Mother's Day...can't wait!
I have included this interesting photo of Sean looking up at the gates of the castle...I have to wonder what he was thinking :) Good times on Pday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009