Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sean's first area is: Krefeld!

Sean arrived safely in Germany around 6:30 AM on a Tuesday was 9:30 PM here. There is a 9 hour difference in time. He wrote us a tiny email today and said he met his President and his wife, loved his first day in Germany and then took off by train to his first area. Krefeld!

When Becky and Robbie were on their missions we didn't know where they were at until they were in Germany and Honduras for a week. It was a nice surprise to open my email today and find a note from Sean with info about him and how his trip was. His companion is Elder Hawker. I don't know much about him as of yet but Sean has promised to write more in his letter when he writes on Pday...which will be Tuesday.

Krefeld is a fairly good sized city of about 240,000. It's official name is "Krefeld-Uerdingen am Rhein. Other big cities are near Krefeld, including Dusseldorf to the South East, Essen to the North East and a couple hours north of Cologne (Koln).

Sean mentioned on the bahn ride up he saw many castles as they followed along the Rhine River. Here is a castle that stands still today in Krefeld. It looks really pretty at night with the lights on it. Sean is up to the northern most part of the mission..not too far from the boards of Holland. His missionary life has begun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Elder Whitnah is in route to Frankfurt

In less than three and half hours Elder Whitnah will arrive in Deutschland! He left early this morning from the MTC, waking at 4 am. He will arrive in Germany a little after 7 am. I imagine he'll be one tired missionary. He along with the other 16 that flew out with him.

I have been tracking his flight and he is currently flying over the Atlantic.
He told me this morning that our Stake President nephew is also in his Distrikt and will be serving in Frankfurt as well. Small world.
Sean is excited to get on with the work of being an missionary and serving.
Viel Glueck Elder Whitnah ! (good luck)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Surprise Phone Call From Elder Whitnah Today

The phone rang and I looked at the ID. It said BYU. My first thought was maybe the Y was calling in regards to Sean's information and application. They wouldn't normally do that but I wasn't sure. I answered the phone and a young man's voice said a simple "hi". I said hello back and then asked "who is this?" (now I knew it was Sean's voice and yet I knew he wouldn't be calling me from the MTC) When Sean then's me Mom I got a big grin on my face :)
It's amazing how the voice of someone you love so dearly can melt your heart! It's great with all the technology we have today how we can record voices and make videos for keepsakes. I loved hearing Sean's voice, we talked for about 10 minutes. It was great.

Sean was calling because their were issues with his debit card and his Branch President asked him to phone us. It seems like it's been ages since he left and yet it's only been 8 weeks! He told me he was so pumped and excited to leave for Germany and his companion also said hello. Needless to say I will need to phone the bank tomorrow and get his card resolved prior to his leaving next week for Germany. Next week at this time he will be bound for Germany. We are SO excited for him to get into the field!

His MP (Mission President), President Ninow wrote us a couple weeks ago and asked that we send out a letter to him which included information about Sean. His accomplishments, awards, jobs, likes and dislikes. It was fun to sit down and describe our son to a man who has yet to meet him but who sounds excited to soon have him as a missionary working for the people of Frankfurt. Those who know Sean, know that he will give his all to this cause and will want to be not only a good missionary but a great one.

I think the only regret Bethany will have when she hears that Sean called is that she was not here to pick up the phone and say hi to him. She has missed him a great deal. Earlier this morning she was playing one of songs that she recorded on the piano and she began to cry and tell me how much she missed Sean. I am thinking of letting her skip school next week so that she can talk with him on Monday when he will make his phone call from the airport. She needs to hear his voice too and know that he is fine and that will make her happy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Elder Whitnah will head off on the 23rd

Well we now know that Sean will head for Germany on the 23rd. It's good to know for sure when he will be leaving for Frankfurt. He has been doing really well and practicing with the other missionaries by asking questions of one another in German. He and his companion did a complete 2nd discussion in German this week and did really well. He was really pleased with himself.

His mission President has written us this week and asked us to share some insights into Sean so that he might better get to know him prior to his arrival in Germany. He sounded really excited to meet Sean and get him to working in the field!

Sean continues to enjoy attending the Temple in Provo and looks forward to the chance that he might be able to also have a chance to attend the Frankfurt Temple while he is on his mission. Becky served in Berlin but never had the oppurtunity to attend the Freiburg Temple while she was there as she never served in the areas near the Temple. Sean might just have a better chance at it. At least he is hoping so.

Thanks for so many who have written to Sean while he has been in the MTC. He has really appreciated the letters and cards. And he really appreciates the goodies that are sent his way as well. In his recent email he told us that 17 new missionaries entered the MTC bound for Germany in the next 8 weeks. That brings the grand total to 61 missionaries. How cool is that?! Sean now feels like one of the "older" missionaries in the MTC in that he has been there for 7 weeks now and can't wait to be in Germany soon

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2 week and Elder Whitnah is off to Germany

Sean is doing great and still in Utah at the MTC. He wrote this past Thursday and it looks like he might be heading for Germany on the 16th after all. He is SO ready to leave and begin his mission life in Germany. The language seems to be coming to him really well. It did help some that he took 3 years of German in high school but even then I bet when he gets to Germany it will be a bit tougher to understand what is being said at times.
I was hoping to have a picture to post this time but Sean didn't have a chance to send one. He is so busy. He is enjoying the firesides and devotionals as well as learning as much as he can right now.