Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29th, 2013

My wonderful family and friends~

I have exciting news! I am going to be a "Mama" as of tomorrow!! President Topham called Sister Thompson and I on saturday night with some very surprising news- Sister Thompson is being transferred and I have been called to train! At first I was a little sad for Sister Thompson because so many exciting things are happening in our area, but we both feel confident that whatever comes our way will be exactly what the Lord needs.

So this week was absolutely wonderful. We currently have 3 progressing investigators! Ah! We are seeing the results of hard work and I feel SO blessed! Our newest investigator is a 16 year old girl who comes from a really rough home life. She said the first day we met her that her only 2 emotions are anger and sadness (my heart broke at that moment). We explained to her that she can find lasting happiness through coming to know Jesus Christ and accepting His gospel. So, later in the week we were able to teach her in the home of one of the greatest young couple's in our ward! Dalitza (our investigator) was very shy and didn't talk very much, but the member who we were with completely enveloped her in love and really helped us in explaining the lesson in such a way that allowed her to understand. Dalitza agreed to coming to church and even though half of our ward is gone on vacation, she told us she felt very loved and welcomed :)

I have to say.... the hardest thing about being a missionary is not being able to hold or play with children! Uh! There are some of the most ADORABLE little kids in my ward and they all come to me wanted to show/tell me everything that is happening in their lives and my first instinct is always to scoop them up and run around with them! But... I am a missionary. So, I just listen intently and give them the attention they need. One little boy in particular is the cutest thing on the planet. His name is Will, he is 5 years old, and in front of my zone leaders and his parents he turned to me after the spiritual message was given and he said, "Hey sister missionary - when we get big enough I wanna marry you!" Haha I just giggled, smiled at him and said, "okay!" He beamed and my zone leader Elder Morris decided he thought it was time to make an intervention and came over to stand between us. Little Will definitely made my day :)

So those are just a few little tidbits from my week. I hope everything is going great for all of you! I am so happy to be here and I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family supporting me.

Sister Walborn

p.s. The pictures this week are: a picture of my goofy district at our last district meeting (sad), a picture of Sister Thompson and I one night after tracting- I don't remember why we took it, and a picture of Sister Thompson and I in front of our quote wall (a tradition that I asked her if we could start and she loved it so much she is going to start it with her next companion ^_^). Love you all!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 22, 2013

Holy cow!!! I can't believe that this is the last week of my first transfer! It is so cool for me to look back on the past 5 weeks I have been here and see all that has happened, it also makes me extremely excited and anxious for the next 6 weeks I will most likely have here (after the last week of this 6th week of this transfer). There is so much progress that can be made in this area, so I am very excited to see what more I can do and then put it into action!

So, I wanted to of course tell everyone about a wonderful experience we had this week with a person that I have come to love very dearly, Deb. This week she agreed to have a tour of the church, followed by a lesson in the building. A member from our ward came with us and the lesson was amazing! She said she felt such peace as she walked through the building, looking at the pictures of the Savior and said she could feel God's presence(the spirit). We then taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her (for the second time) to be baptized by the priesthood authority of God. When we invited her, she scrunched her face, not wanting to give us an answer, and then asked if she could pray about it. We quickly said yes and then asked if she would like to pray about it right then. She agreed and offered the most beautiful, sincere prayer. She began to cry at the end of the prayer when she promised her Heavenly Father that if He allowed her to know if this is true, she would be baptized into His church. When she finished, she looked up at us and with tears in her eyes simply said, "yes". All three of us (Sister Thompson, the member, and I) were all wiping our eyes free of tears from the beautiful prayer and the power of the Spirit we felt present. It strengthened my testimony of the power of prayer. :)

That was such a powerful experience and I know Heavenly Father allowed us to have that experience at the beginning of the week so that we would be able to get through everything that happened to us throughout the rest of the week. One situation in particular, we witnessed a member who is seriously struggling with many different things. Because of everything going on in her life, she has stopped keeping the commandments and her faith is wavering. She has begun to question her decision to join the church. As Sister Thompson and I came home very hurt and saddened by this news, we began thinking about what could have led her to this point. We went through our records and found when she stopped coming to church, which led to her stopping her diligent scripture study, then she stopped praying, and from there more and more commandments were broken. Following this experience, I came across a talk given by President Uchtdorf. There is a specific quote that I wanted to share with all of you, it reads, "Diligently doing the things that matter most, will lead us to the Savior of the world."
I know that at the top of the list of the things that should matter most to us in our daily lives are praying and reading our scriptures. When we are keeping those simple commandments, we will want to obey ALL of God's commandments and do everything in our power to follow Him. This was something I really needed to hear this week, I hope it will mean something to you too. :)

I love you all so much!!!!! Thank you for being such a wonderful support system for me. It is much needed and GREATLY appreciated!

Sister Walborn

p.s. The pictures I am sending this week are: Sister Thompson and I at a beautiful memorial in our area for those who have served our country- part of the Masonic Village, and a picture of Nicole Brown at the Hill Cumorah Pageant!! A less active family that we teach went to the pageant and when they were showing us some of the pictures they took I saw the picture of Nicole and said, "wait! I have to take a picture of that picture - she is from my branch!" Haha, fun coincidence. :) LOVE YOU!


Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hello everyone!

This week has been pretty great! We had another lesson with the wonderful lady Deb that I told you about before, SHE IS SO AWESOME! We invited her to be baptized and she said that she wants to, but she wants to talk to "Him" a little more about it. :) We said that is great, and we were able to both bear testimony that she will receive the answer she is looking for! So cool.

So on Wednesday, I was able to go on exchanges with the Sister Training Leader of my area. Her name is Sister Maddox and she is so great!! She goes home in September and spending just 24 hours with her helped me so much! I learned more effective ways of starting conversations when finding and so many different ways to plan the day to get more done. While I was with her we had the opportunity to visit a middle-aged less active man named Greg. He has multiple health problems and so he shared with us that he is angry with God. He seemed so friendly and kind and he absolutely LOVED having company (he also seemed really lonely). We set up a time when the sisters could come back again and tried to leave several times. He kept offering us different things because he really didn't want us to leave and even though we declined all of them... he gave them to us anyway. Haha First he gave us ginger ale, then he fed us tacos, and then took us out to his garden and made us goody bags with tomatoes, onions and potatoes. I felt so bad leaving, but I am hopeful that he will realize the love he could feel if he came back to church. Later that night, Sister Maddox shared with me different things she had learned over the course of her mission and she promised me that when I am out as long as her, I will be able to look back and point out all of the amazing miracles that happened- "enough to fill this whole room" -in her words :)

The rest of the week has gone by pretty slow, lots of appointments fell through and we had to spend multiple hours on multiple days tracting.... ugh. But we came across a few people who, although they weren't interested in hearing more about the gospel, we so kind to us and said multiple times how much they appreciate what we are doing. That was nice.

So I spoke Sunday! I forgot to tell you last week, but the Bishop asked us (Sister Thompson and I), and the other Elders in our Ward if we would speak. One of them, his name is Elder Morris, he is going home the end of this month. He is one of our zone leaders and everyone is going to miss him! But anyway, we all got the chance to speak on Growing Closer to the Savior. It was wonderful and it really opened my eyes to what I can be doing every day to grow closer to Him. After a ton of pondering on the topic, I felt the need to talk about doing the basics. Reading, Praying, Attending. When we are reading our scriptures and praying daily, and attending church each week we can feel the presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more abundantly in our lives. I promise that is true! :)

I love you all so much and I am SO grateful for all of your love, letters, and prayers. 

Sister Walborn

p.s. The pictures are of Sister Maddox and I with the veggies we got, and the other is of Sister Thompson being silly because we found a random area with a plant growing that looked like bamboo! haha She thought it was awesome so we took a picture. :) LOVE YOU!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8th, 2013

Oh my goodness I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ! The first thing I really wanted to tell you, is how awesome the spirit is. Sister Thompson and I had been frustrated because we only had one investigator and all of our finding efforts were proving ineffective. So like I told you a little bit about last week, we went into Bainbridge and contacted all of the "former investigators" in that area and came in contact with 3 people who wanted to learn more about the gospel! Two of them we still haven't been able to contact, but the third was a very sweet lady named Deb. We taught her the lesson of the restoration this week and it was AMAZING! She has a good friend who lives in Ohio who is a member of the church and has been talking to her about the church. Months ago, Deb had been having serious neck pain so Vicky asked if it would be okay for her to call a priesthood holder in the area to come and give her a blessing. Vicky accepted and in no time, a man (my current ward mission leader) came to her home and gave her a blessing of healing. Deb told us that she felt a tingling sensation in her neck and felt it the following days after the blessing. She told us that after a few days, she was healed! This provided us the perfect opportunity to explain how she was able to be healed because that power and authority from God was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that she was literally being blessed by the power of God. She felt so special, and thought that was the coolest thing. The spirit really touched her heart and witnessed to her that what we had told her was true. We have another lesson with her tomorrow :)

So aside from that unbelievably wonderful experience, our whole week was great! On the fourth of July, we had the opportunity to eat at the home of one of the families in the ward. They are so sweet and fed us so much food! They love the missionaries and probably told us 20 or so times how much they love having the missionaries in their house. The craziest part is that they sent us home with enough food to feed us for a few weeks! Haha Sister Thompson carried a big box and I carried a big bag out of their home that the Mom had packed up for us. We felt SO loved and taken care of! 

The fourth of July night we had to be in our apartment at 7pm because President Topham didn't want us out and about. So we had an extra 2 hours to clean our apartment, do some area book work, and have some fun! Sister Thompson LOVES glow sticks, so since we were not allowed to use fireworks, that was our substitute! We used the slow shutter setting on her camera and took some really cool looking pictures. There was also some fireworks happening across the street from our apartment, so we got a little bit of a fireworks show :)

Anyway, I gotta go but I love you all so much! When we rely upon the Lord and turn to him in faith, He is always willing to help us and bless us! Take advantage of the blessings the Lord is already willing to grant you, simply by asking Him in prayer and being obedient to His commandments! Thank you for your prayers and love, I draw upon their strength all the time :)

Sister Walborn

p.s. The pictures are of the crazy amount of food we received from that awesome family in our ward, Sister Thompson with her glow sticks, and a beautiful sunset that we witnessed last night. Love you!

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1st, 2013


Wow! I have had such an incredible week! Sister Thompson and I are getting closer every day and getting better at understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses along with goals as to how we can help make our weaknesses INTO strengths. We have already seen the blessings because of it!
Our Stake President had given our area a list of "Rescue Families" that he wanted the Sisters to reactivate. The names were given to the missionaries about 2 months ago, and up to this point, none of those people have come to church. So, this week Sister Thompson and I really dedicated ourselves to doing service, visiting with, and teaching as many of these less actives as we could. Five of them committed to coming to church on Sunday (which we were excited about) and then when Sunday came, we were ecstatic to see EIGHT of them in Sacrament meeting!! Woohoo! The Lord is working miracles everyday. We had been praying so hard for each of them, and by coming we know that they all felt the importance of being there and feeling that closeness with their Father in heaven.
We also had zone conference this week!! It was both mine and Sister Thompson's first one, and it was wonderful! I got to see cutie pie Sister Brown from my MTC district, and it was really fun talking to her about how her first week was and how our areas are similar/different. Her trainer is really new to the mission as well, so she has been having a fun time trying to learn as well. Anyway, at the conference President Topham told us a few things that really shocked me and that I wanted to share. He told us that 110/211 missionaries in our mission have arrived in the past 6 months. Over half are practically brand new! He then went on to tell us that as a mission in the past 6 months, our "teaching effectiveness"(% of new investigators that are baptized) has decreased from 10.8% to 5.3%.... :( That was not fun to hear. He told us that we as new missionaries need to fully dedicate ourselves because we are being required to learn how to be better teachers a lot faster than missionaries who came before us. I took that as a challenge :)
It is crazy humid here! Actually, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it seems really humid here! Haha It has been fun coming home everyday to seeing my hair has transformed over the course of the day into a giant poof/frizz ball on my head! Oh well, I will learn to love it.
Sister Thompson and I worked a lot this week in a little town called Bainbridge that has been neglected for a long time. It is so beautiful there! It reminded me a lot of home because there was a lot of open space, corn fields, and farms everywhere. And everything is so green, it's amazing. We also passed Nissley vineyards/winery. Apparently it is a big tourist attraction here, so that was cool. The best part about working in Bainbridge though, is that we found 3 people who are interested in learning more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. One of them is a couple who live in a beautiful country home in the middle of nowhere. When we were driving up to their house, Sister Thompson and I were cracking up because they have a sign on one of the trees alongside their driveway that says, "slow - wild children ahead"... so cute. Their kids were adorable though, the little girl showed me all of the pretty clips in her hair (there were quite a few). She was adorable.
Anyway, this week has been so much better. I've been trying harder to just put my trust in the Lord and not get frustrated when plans (or people) fall through. I read a talk in the May 2013 Ensign called A Time for Faith Not Fear and at the end was a quote by our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson that says, "The future is as bright as your faith." :) I really needed to hear that. Everything will work out the way the Lord wants it to. As long as I am continuing to work hard and be obedient, I will be able to accomplish the work He has prepared for this area. I LOVE YOU ALL! I hope you have an amazing week!

Sister Walborn

p.s. One of these pictures is of me making mac n' cheese for my companion, and she took it so I could show everyone my cute apron that my awesome cousin Stephanie gave me - thanks stephy! The other pics are of Sister Thompson and I at a lookout over the Susquehanna River. It doesn't compare to Lake Michigan (duh) but it is still beautiful!