Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23rd, 2013

Okay so I'm sorry this email is going to be super short!!!
Not a ton of interesting things happening this week! Sister Thomas was throwing up Tuesday morning so we were told to stay in for the day in case it was the flu. That wasn't fun for her... but I got a chance to get the apartment cleaned and we read lots of church magazines, which was nice. :)
We also had zone conference this last Friday! It was so amazing! So many wonderful lessons were given (it is from 9am to 4pm-long) and Sister Thomas and I both felt so spiritually enriched, it was great. Our Assistants to the President gave a lesson about the importance of charity within the companionship. They used examples from Christ's life and talked about how the work we do with our companions is just as important as the work we will do with investigators or less-actives. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful companion!
I love you all so much! We tried rearranging our p-day schedule and email in the afternoon... didn't work out so well. But I hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures - Sister Thomas and I holding the cute pumpkins we got at the grocery store for our desks :), an awesome amish horse and buggy that we passed on our way home from church, and Sister Lamphier (friend from BYU who came to the mission a transfer after me) next to our matching cars! LOVE YOU!

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16th, 2013

Holy cow. This place is so amazing. Elizabethtown is such a wonderful place to live. It is starting to cool down here - I'm wearing a jacket today! There are a few leaves on the ground and Sister Thomas and I are anxiously awaiting all the leaves to change color. This week has been a wonderful time for me to think about all of my blessings. Two of our investigators, Mikey and Dale, are no longer investigators. This was hard for Sister Thomas and I because we really loved them and could see their potential, the happiness they could have if they simply wanted to have it. But, it also has been a tremendous blessing for us because it has really forced us to think about all of the miracles we have witnessed and the blessings that we do have.
One of the blessings that I really wanted to share with you today is a lady named Deb (not the previous Deb... a new one). She and her husband Ken attend the Methodist church here in Elizabethtown and we came into contact with them through Athena's mom, and doing service for her while they were there. Every time we have met with them, Ken (Deb's husband) talks the entire time and likes to practically shove his beliefs down our throat. He listens to us and what our beliefs are, but is closed to taking a step back and trying to see if they are true - it isn't really a question in his mind. However, Deb always sits quietly in the background and just lets her husband take over. A week ago today, Sister Thomas and I were in the grocery store and we ran into Deb! She was happy to see us and expressed how much she appreciated us visiting them. She told us as we were leaving, "We don't have any children. But now I feel like I have two beautiful daughters." :) We felt such an abundance of love for her, and it solidified previous feelings that we had that her heart IS prepared. So when we met with them later on, we directed our lesson more towards her. Ken didn't really catch on, and still ran over her when we would ask her questions. They promised to come to church since Sister Thomas and I attended their Sunday school class the Sunday before. They followed through on their promise, and yesterday they came to church. Before we went into the Chapel, she saw a picture of Christ with his arms extended, surrounded by the hosts of heaven blowing their trumpets. She just stared at it, and then after a minute she turned to us and said, "It's so inviting, I just want to walk right into his arms." I sat next to Deb during Sacrament meeting and she would quietly lean over and ask questions. They also attended Gospel Principles class, where we learned about tithing. Ken didn't like the fact that we don't pass around an offering plate during our worship service, but after the class Deb leaned over to me and said, "I really like that it is so confidential, then it isn't like you are competing with other people, but just showing your commitment to God." ....awesome, right?  They were planning on heading out after Sunday School class, but instead got a little tour of the building by our executive secretary. As Ken was busy talking about something with Brother Allen, I talked to Deb more about Relief Society. She said it sounds like something she would love! She said that even if Ken doesn't want to come back, she would be interested in it. :)  We are meeting with her tonight and Ken won't be present because of a meeting. This is such a huge blessing for us!! We are really going to take advantage of the time we get to be with just her. We really love her.
Another blessing that was a huge miracle was a lady named Grace. She is a less-active in our ward who I have been visiting since my first week in Elizabethtown. I have extended the invitation for her to come to church countless times with zero results. She is an older lady and has many health issues. She only wants to come to Sacrament meeting because of her health problems and not being able to sit for 3 hours. So... we have tried many different options. This week, while visiting another less-active that has been coming to church much more regularly but also only stays for sacrament meeting because of severe health issues, we asked if she would be interested in calling Grace to see if she would go to church with her. When we met with Grace later in the week, instead of inviting her to come to church, we asked if she wanted to read an article from the Ensign before we meet with her again for us to discuss and she said yes!! (First time ever saying yes to one of my invitations) On Sunday, while sitting with Deb and Ken in the pew just before Sacrament meeting started, the other less-active comes into the Chapel and Grace was right behind her!!! I literally started tearing up with joy I was so happy to see her! They were uplifted by each other and I think it gave them both a greater reason to attend. It was so incredible, just another blessing from Heavenly Father.
There have been so many things this week that have filled me with joy in recognizing them as blessings from my Father in Heaven. One of the things I am continually grateful for is all of my wonderful family and friends! I can't thank you all enough for your thoughts and prayers. I am confident that the moments when things are hard, or don't seem to go according to plan, your love gives me the strength to press on regardless.
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: #1: A picture of our windshield wipers... the blade part came off and was flopping around - not good - during a really bad rainstorm and I couldn't see anything, so we pulled over and I tied them to the plastic part with dental floss. It worked! haha  #2: Sister Thomas and I after fixing the windshield wipers. We were soaking wet.  #3: A really cool old barn with a mural on the side that says, "Harvest time" - we love fall! LOVE YOU ALL!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 9th, 2013

So, I have no idea how the last 6 weeks went by so fast! I feel like I was in Pittsburgh just last week picking up Sister Thomas... so crazy. Anyway, all transfer calls have been made and good news- I get to be in E-town for another six weeks!! :D So no crazy surprises from President Topham this time, Sister Thomas and I will get to complete her training (and mine too) here together. We are SO happy!!
This past week was good! We had a lot of good moments and the weather was AMAZING!!!! We chose to walk more than normal because it was just so beautiful outside! I'm bad with temperatures but I would say it was in the mid 70s, not very humid, and had a wonderful cool breeze... :) We said lots of gratitude prayers!
So just an update on some of our investigators:
We didn't get to meet with Deb which was really sad.. She said she would call us on 2 different days and then never did. She said things are just crazy right now with a lot of different things going on and that she hasn't been ignoring us, so we are hoping that she really is okay. Hopefully we will get to see her a few times this upcoming week.
Mikey is doing okay. We had the plan of committing him to baptism this week but it wasn't the right time. We had a really awesome lesson with him because we brought a member from our ward who has had some similar experiences as him and could really relate. She did an awesome job of explaining the principle of utilizing the Atonement she said, "If you feel really good now after going through AA, you will be amazed to see the huge burden lifted off of your shoulders and how much more incredible you can feel when you use this gospel and turn to your Father in heaven. You can feel completely clean." :) The power of members never ceases to amaze me! Even though the lesson went really well, Mikey said he had a previous commitment on Sunday and wouldn't be able to make it to church. We want Mikey to have a little better understanding of baptism and the covenants he will be making before we invite him to make those sacred promises with God. It will all work out, as long as we put our trust in the Lord's timing!
We had a really good lesson with Dalitza this week!! She has told us details about her past in previous lessons that scared us a little bit but she has never truly shown a desire to change. But on Saturday we had a lesson with her that we had planned on re-teaching the Plan of Salvation and talk about her purpose in life a little more, but the Spirit changed it up for us and took it a different way. We began teaching the Plan of Salvation but when we were talking about our time here on earth, we talked a lot about repentance and the Atonement. Dalitza opened up to us and expressed a desire to be free of all her guilt through repentance. We were so grateful! She told us the different things she would do to start repenting and we were so thrilled for her! We received bad news yesterday though, an awesome girl in our ward (one of our ward missionaries- she is SO GREAT) had texted Dalitza to see if she could pick her up for church and Dalitza told her that she really didn't want to go... :( We didn't get any other details, so we are hoping it didn't have anything to do with church itself but that something else was going on.
Yep. That's a simple update. This week was pretty low for us numbers wise, but our District Leader told us on the phone last night after we gave them to him that if we know we worked hard, then we had a good week. It also helped Sister Thomas and I sit back and realize that even though we didn't reach some of our goals, Heavenly Father blessed us in other ways. We had sensational unity this week! We have had an awesome companionship with practically zero problems but this week was exceptionally great. I feel very blessed!
I hope all is well at home! I love you all so much! Put God first and all other things will fall into place! :)
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: Me at Nissley Vineyards - apparently it is well known? Not sure, but it was beautiful! Another picture is of a random place in our area that was just stunningly beautiful.. so we had to stop and take a picture. And the last one is of me in the middle of some HUGE sun flowers! They were growing if front of the apartment building a few down from us and thought they were pretty cool. Yep, that's it for this week. LOVE YOU!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 3rd, 2013

Hello family!
Well, this week had some super awesome moments... and some not so super awesome moments. haha Sounds a lot just like life in general, right?
Well, I want to start off with the awesome moments first. One that I really wanted to share is how much I appreciate the members of the Elizabethtown Ward! They are so amazing! One of the days this past week, we had 3 appointments set up with investigators fairly close together.. We had made arrangements for members to come with us to the 2nd and 3rd appointments because they were both with single men and therefore would not be allowed to go in their house without someone with us. We got a call the day before these appointments were happening from a member (SHE IS SO AWESOME), asking us if we would like to have lunch at her house and she would go pick up our first investigator for the day so we could have lunch with her there too and just teach the lesson in her home.... so cool. So, we had a lesson with Dalitza in this member's home and it was wonderful. Dalitza is so sweet but struggles with a lot of stuff in her life. We taught her about the commandments God has given us and the blessings we receive when we are obedient to those commandments. The member we were with was so great in perceiving when Dalitza was struggling to understand certain things, and would come in with exactly the right explanation to help her (and therefore help us!). So that was wonderful. Just as we are leaving her house to head off to our next appointment, we find out that the lady we were planning on having at our 3rd appointment could no longer make it... We were bummed and frustrated because we would have to call and cancel since we didn't have time to call different sisters and ask last minute for them to tag along! The member whose home we were leaving turned to us and said, "hey I'll come!" ..What's the address and what time?" ......she rocks. She totally saved us! :)
Our next appointment of the day went smoothly and our awesome Ward mission leader's wife came with us to that one. She is so sweet and bore sincere testimony of what we were teaching.
Our 3rd appointment (the one that the member from the first appointment said she would come to) was with Mikey! :) After coming to church on Sunday, he knew this member and he liked seeing a familiar face - besides us of course. We were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation. He thought it was so wonderful that EVERYONE gets the chance to learn about the gospel and have the opportunity to accept Christ into their heart, whether that chance comes here on earth or in the spirit world. When we taught him about resurrection and explained that everyone who has ever come to earth will be able to be resurrected, he responded, "I want to come back as a cat!" And he busted up laughing. Sister Thomas and I had no idea where that came from and all that was running through my mind was "...uhm... what?" The member just laughed and politely said, "they are talking about resurrection, not reincarnation." We all laughed for a minute and then got back to the lesson. Mikey has a very genuine heart and Sister Thomas and I are planning to invite him to be baptized at our next visit. :)
Oh my goodness guess what?!?! Probably the MOST exciting news of my week - DEB CAME TO CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME ON SUNDAY!!! :D She had surgery this past week on Wednesday, and because of that her boss gave her time off (she works Saturdays and Sundays at the Market) and she was able to come to church! She brought her husband and after the meeting, we talked to them for a little bit and Deb said that she loved it very much. Her favorite part was when the little kids got up and bore their testimonies because they were so sweet :) Aw man, I love her.
Anyway, the last super cool thing I wanted to tell you about is a family in my ward. They are so awesome, they feed us consistently every week and we LOVE their family!! Yesterday, since it was labor day and the Dad didn't have to work, they invited us over in the middle of the day for a lunch/barbecue/hang out time.... we got to go to our house in our "pday garb" and it was so great. We arrived at their house at 12:45 and didn't leave until 5:30! It was so nice to be in a home, surrounded by awesome people, and be in normal clothes... :) Another family from our ward came as well, and after the meal all the kids were outside, the elders and the dads were in the living room, and the mothers plus us were in the kitchen chatting. The couple whose home we were at both attended BYU, but the Dad doesn't overly love BYU... and he knows very well that I DO overly love BYU. Haha So, in the middle of our chatting sessions in separate rooms he yells, "Yo Sister Walborn, did you hear the news?" ...I responded, "uhhhh what news?" and then he proceeds to shout, "BYU lost MISERABLY in their first football game a few days ago because their team made a REALLY lousy play at the LAST second!" All I could say was, "greaaaat. Thanks for the info!" Haha They are so fun. This ward really is amazing, and I hope I get to stay here for a lot longer!! :)
I love you all so much! Always do your part to uplift those around you, you never know how much they need it or how much it will mean to them. Hope you have an AMAZING week!!!
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: One is of this really goofy sign we always pass on our way to church... We finally stopped to take a picture. Haha and the other is just a picture of Sister Thomas and I that we took one day for fun because we were totally twinning - Sock buns and pearls :) LOVE YOU!!