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Jake's Mission Years

Jake served two very good years in the Washington Tacoma Mission for the LDS Church. He was a great missionary. We appreciate those who knew him in the mission field for the love and support they showed him there. Thanks also for sharing your memories of him with us.



To the Whetten family,
Those of the Washington Tacoma Mission remember Elder Jake Whetten as a faithful and dedicated missionary.  He touched the lives of many.  He radiated the "Aloha" spirit of the Islands; cheerful and full of love.  His membership in the Church of Jesus Christ and his testimony of the Savior were important to him and he bore that testimony with power.

As his mission president and wife, we felt especially close to Elder Whetten for a number of reasons.  He and Sister Allen share a common Whetten ancestry.  In addition, he spent some time in the mission office, sharing his computer skills and other talents to the benefit of the mission.  He could do everything and did everything so willingly.  We all loved him and enjoyed being around him.  He frequently mentioned how much President Allen reminded him of his father.  What a compliment for President Allen!   We enjoyed the time he spent with us in the mission home.  When it neared time for his release, he reserved the bunk bed where he wanted to sleep that last night with a large sign, "Reserved for Elder Whetten".

We were surprised in July to receive a phone call from him, wishing Sister Allen a "Happy Birthday".  It was great to hear his voice again and were impressed that he would take the time to remember her.  But then, that was Elder Whetten.

>From all those who knew him in the Washington Tacoma Mission, investigators, converts, companions, fellow missionaries and his mission president and wife, we extend to you, his family, our deepest sympathy.  We, too, feel a great loss in the untimely death of your loved one.  The Lord needs great missionaries on the other side and Elder Whetten was one of the great ones who was well prepared.

With warmest regards,

President and Sister Allen
Washington Tacoma Mission



I knew jake from the mission field. He was my first and only trainee. I remember when I went to the church to pick him up on his first day in the field, they told me I was going to be with Elder Whetten from Hawaii. I imagined a plump round polynesian in my head. Those who knew him can imagine my suprise when I first saw him, since Jake was almost the exact opposite. Towering above me at 6'7" I saw my new very tall and white companion. He seemed to be in a bit of a daze, but it wore off quickly and he dove right into the work. We served together for 3 months and it was a delight. He was an easy trainee. He worked hard to learn the gospel so he could share it with others. He always did what I asked of him, and always had a good spirit about him. Once our appartment became infested with rats. We found out that one of them had a hiding place inside of our living room chair. I said, "Elder Whetten, you go over by the kitchen. If this rat gets past me he's going to come your way, don't let him get by." The next thing I knew Jake had a table turned over, blocking the way to the kitchen, and he was on his knees with a frying pan in each hand in the 'ready to kill' position. Sure enough as I tried to catch the rat he got past me and went over to Jake's territory. I'll never forget the sight of my giant friend swinging away with both pans, smashing everything except for the rat, which was running in circles around Jake for his life. Somehow that rat got away but in doing so he revealed his other secret hiding place which later lead to his downfall. The news of Jake's passing away came as a huge shock to me. I am in Hawaii right now on my honeymoon and I was so excited to see Jake again (not knowing that he was in Utah the whole time). I called his mom on Thursday to see if I could visit him, and she kindly gave me his cell phone number where I could reach him in Utah. I called his cell phone a couple of days later only to find his dad answering on the other end. Later that night I saw a short clip of him on the Hawaii news. I don't know anybody that didn't like Jake. He was one of a kind. To his family, I am sorry for your loss, it is truely a great one. To Jake, I am not worried about you... I know where you are.

-Ben Baldwin



Although I served with Jake in the Washington Tacoma Mission, I knew Jake a year before when we were both going to BYU summer term 2001. We lived next to eachother in DT-R Hall. With that we ended up doing a lot of stuff together. We were in the same ward, I was his family home evening 'dad', I remember going to Bridal Falls and having a picnic with some girls, I remember camping out on DT field with him one night, I remember when we got a water ballon launcher and launched water balloons at EFY kids then ran from the cops when they came after us! lol. We have a ton of crazy stories from that summer.

I was way excited when I found that I was going to be in the same mission as Jake. He even sent me a letter when I was in the MTC letting me know what the mission was like(he also wanted me to smuggle him some Barqs from the MTC). Whenever we saw eachother we would always talk about the funny things we did together at BYU. We would also talk about the people we both knew and how they were all getting married. When he was the mission secretary he was my inside connection to mission supplies and BoM's. Any time I needed anything Jake would hook me up. Half way through our mission we ended up serving in the same ward, Centralia. Then when he went to Eatonville I went to Graham, which is the same zone. Then when he went to Morton, I went to Rochester. So we served around eachother a bunch and would always laugh about the things we did. He was a solid missionary and we could always trust him, we never had to worry about his area. I wonder if his voice is still the one on President Allen's voice mail??

Our lives crossed paths just at the end of August when he came up to New York to go to Todd Hawkins wedding reception. It was a great suprise to see him there, we spent the whole wedding reception just remembering again and laughing about all the funny things we did together before and during our mission. I just laugh when I think about all the memories Jake and I have together.

This is crazy. All I can say is that is took Jake 21 years to reach the point it takes everyone else 80 years to reach- perfection.

love ya bro

Brandon Welch



Jake Left this on our chalk board in Febuary.  It was a very wet and cold night when Jake and his companion showed up at our home not long after our daughters birthday party.  We had them come in and have some cake while they dried off. Angela (our daughter) wanted to show him what we had given herfor her birthday.  We had painted the wall by our door with chalk board paint for her as she loves to draw.  he spent an hour drawing with her and he then left us a little tropical sunshine in our home for us.

We are so sorry for your loss of your wonderful son who touched our hearts.    

Love Joe, Jodi Zacher, and Family (Morton Ward)



Elder Dean and I worked in the mission office, (I took over Sis. Conger's responsibilities).  Before we started in the office, Jake sought me out at a Transfers meeting, and introduced himself, because he had heard that I was from Laie.  He knew my youngest sister Margo, and went to Kahuku School with her daughter, Pohai.  Shortly after, we ended up working in the office alongside Jake.  What an awesome elder, so obedient, so polite, lots of fun, but such a whiz on the computer.  We sure needed him in the office at that time.  One day Elder Dean wasn't feeling well, so he went to see his doctor without an appointment.  After about 10 minutes with the doctor, I received a phone call from the doctor saying that an ambulance was on its way, transporting Elder Dean to the nearest hospital.  The only way for me to get to the hospital was on the office van.  After getting permission from President Allen to take me to the hospital, we arrived, and instead of just dropping me off,  Jake and Elder Hawkins waited (which took couple of hours) til things lightened up a little; they blessed Elder Dean and then finally left.  I'm so grateful for the privilege of serving in the mission office with Jake.  The last phone call to us on Maui, was to let me know that he was in New York at Elder Hawkins wedding.  What a wonderful friend, and so sweet to keep in touch.  He was also such a great help to Elder Dean, who was over the mission cars, and while he was in the hospital and during recuperation time, Jake took over the reigns and did a superb job.  Thank you for raising such a wonderful son!  We love him very much and will miss him.  Aloha Oe Elder Whetten!  Me Kealoha Pumehana....Brother and Sister Dean. 



             My name is Charity Forkner. Our family lives in Spanaway, Wa. Elder Whetten came to our ward fresh out of the MTC and spent a good part of his mission here. After that we would see him around the mission area at baptisms and zone conferences. I especially remember him because I had spent some time in Kahuku at my aunt and uncle's beach house. He was surprised that someone knew of Kahuku. We shared memories of lizards crawling the walls at night and ants looking for food during the day. He had dinner here a lot and he fit in well, especially with his height. We are a tall family. He was a great teacher and a great missionary. I wish I could share details with you but my memory is a bit faulty when it comes to missionaries. They come and go so fast. So to say I can put his name and face together and come up with a few details says a lot about him. We are so sad to hear of his death. It came as quite a shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Our daughter Alicia who is living in SLC will probably try to be at the funeral. Thank you for sharing him with us during his mission.                 Harley, Charity, Damian, Derek, Justin, Alicia, Melissa,& Brent Forkner



To the Whetten Clan,
My name is Quince Davis and I am from the Ranier Ward (formerly Eatonville 1st), in the Graham, Wash. Stake.  Our hearts abound with love, admiration and respect for Jake.  He is one who testifies of the truthfulness of the Gospel just by walking in the door.  He is one of the most valiant of us and therefore extremely valuable to Heavenly Father.
I would like to relate a story of a conversion that was made possible because of what Elder Whetten and his companion began.  They trackted out an extremely less active member and her 12 year old daughter.  The daughter wasn't a member but because of Spirit they brought into her home, the mom's heart was softened and they knew Bobbi (the daughter) was searching for truth and meaning.
Bobbi had severe scoliosis - spinal curvature - to the point that her spine resembled a question mark.  If you looked at her back her spine curved out behind her right shoulder blade.  They visited / taught her a couple of times before I met her.  Jake was transferred shortly after but without him the following would never have been possible.
Bobbi's mom was amazed at what happened to her daughter when the missionaries and members would show up to teach her.  Bobbi was constantly plagued by pain and discomfort because of her condition but when she was being taught, especially by the missionaries, she would almost always show no signs of discomfort. 
After a couple of months, lots of questions and a humbled mom, I had the priveledge and honor of baptizing Bobbi.  She was baptized just before she went in for a major surgery to straighten out her spine.  Bobbi asked for three of us to be there the morning she went in for surgery.  We got there at 5am and Bobbi asked for a blessing.  We were led to vacant room and got to bless her with her mom and her mom's boyfriend (nonmember) there.  I can testify that because of what Jake had begun that room was filled with overwhelming spirit.
We had Bobbi stay the night two months ago and she was so excited it seemed she might explode.  First, she had to show us the scar from her surgery (they moved out of our Ward 2 weeks after her surgery).  Second, she couldn't wait to show us that she was finally able to run again. 
It's miraculous what knocking on a door will do in the grand design of things.  Without Elder Whetten's faith and Heavenly Father as a guide,  Bobbi might still be searching or she mightn't have gotten a needed blessing before being operated on.
We recently lost a man in our Ward to cancer.  He made the journey to Paradise on his 40th birthday.  This is how I choose to view it.  Jake will be assign as Jr. companion to him so that they can my Mom and Dad (who riside in Prison) the Gospel of Christ.
I bare these words to you as a Testimony of our missions here for a few seasons, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Q Davis



Dear Whetten family, 

Two years ago in September your son Jake trained me in the Washington Tacoma Mission in the city of Spanaway, WA. We spent that Halloween together and had a great time carving pumpkins. I served around him again when he was in the office. We were at the same dinner appointments together. He grew to become a good friend in the field. He is such a likable guy, I mean everybody liked him. I remember one night when we were saying prayers we turned off the lights to go to bed and I thought he was walking in a different direction than I was. It was pitch black and I couldn't see and I remember smashing into him. It was so funny, we laughed for a good while. I hadn't laughed that hard since being on the mission. It is one of my favorite memories.

In the mission, when you train somebody it is said that you are that person's father and the greenie is your son. I am happy to have been blessed with such a great lineage. Jake was the best! I am sure that he is doing exactly what Heavenly Father intended for him.

My prayers are with your family. You have a wonderful son!



Hello, my name is Dean Watanabe. I served in the mission office with Jake. I have a few pictures of him, and I thought you might want to post them on the website. I don't really know what to say, but I do know that he was a great man, and he taught me a lot. He taught me the joy in service. he taught me how to get along with anybody, and he taught me how to stay awake on extended car trips. I'll always remember him as a friend and an example to me. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I do know that he is with our loving father in heaven, and that he is very proud of him. Thank you so much for allowing me to know your son.

With Deepest Gratitude,
Dean Watanabe



Dear Whetten family,  My name is Sis. Jan Conger.  I was President Allens Secretary at the time Elder Whetten worked in the Taacoma Washington Mission Office.  We in the office came to love Elder Whetten so much.  He was so dilligent in serving the Lord and so polite to us older folks. He was wonderful on the computers and wonderful with his fellow missionaries.  We loved his sense of humor.  He loved you his family very much.  He talked often about living in Hawaii and what a wonderful family he had. My heart is broken for your loss.  I am sure that the Lord must have needed this fine young man on the other side.  I will never forget him.  I am sure that the mission office must still have pictures of him and I will see if we can find them and send them to you.  Sincerly, Sis. Conger



Dear Whetten Family and Friends,
Our family was privileged to have Elder Whetten in our home several times during the time he served here in Spanaway, WA. We were extremely impressed with his inthusiasm and love for the sacred work that he was engaged in. We know how much his family meant to him and he expressed to us often his love for each of you. I know that your hearts must be broken, for there was so much living to look forward to, but knowing that he was an exceptional person must give you great comfort to know that he has been embraced by the loving arms of his Heavenly Father.
We will keep you all in our prayers, and our hope is that healing will come quickly as you work through the pain and grief of saying farewell to someone so dear.
Sincerely, Steven Yaudas