Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25th, 2013

Hello family!!
Okay, I am so sorry that I didn't write last week! We were at the library and because of the amount of people, the computers cut off early... silly. I was momentarily stunned. haha So, this week's email will include 2 weeks worth of information :)
To start off - Thanksgiving is so soon!!!! :D I am so happy that everyone will be in Ohio for thanksgiving because those were always the best, even though it means you will all only be roughly 3.5 hours away from me..... uh. haha My relief society president and a group of women went down to the colombus temple this last week to do a few sessions, when I told them that almost my ENTIRE extended family lives just outside of colombus, they were shocked. They made a few comments about calling them up to see if anyone wanted to join them at the temple and get a picture for me, but I didn't have a number to give them. haha Oh well, it was a nice thought. We have 2 dinner appointments on Thanksgiving and I am very excited to get to spend time with the members, and build those relationships with them :)
Oh! Destiny was baptized on the 16th! :) She is doing so great. It actually was kind of a rough situation because satan was trying really, really hard to prevent her from being baptized. The day before her baptism she was doing some research on the internet (she LOVES to read and is constantly looking for more knowledge - so cool) and came across some anti-mormon literature :( She said that it was about Joseph Smith and that even though she knew right away that it gave her a nasty feeling inside, it made her momentarily wonder if she wanted to push back the baptism. Ah! But then she said that she took a moment to think about it, and she realized that whenever she thinks about the church, the members, or her baptism, she has nothing but happy feelings! So she decided to continue on and NOT call us to push back her baptism (thank heavens). Then the next morning as Sister Wazaneggar came to pick her up, she opened her door to find a Jehovah's Witness version of our pass-along cards stuck in her door! Then she told us she thought, "holy cow! I just need to hurry up and get to the church!" haha When she got there, everything went great :) She kept saying "I have found God's real family! I am so happy to be adopted into HIS family!" She has so much faith. Yesterday, she received a calling to work in the family history center :)
I have gone on 2 exchanges this last 2 weeks, and both of them were so wonderful. The first, I was able to go to Cranberry and serve with Sister Burnett!! Remember the day I received my endowment and I met a girl in the Celestial room that was coming to this mission - that is her! We were together in the MTC, and when we got to see each other again last week, Sister Burnett said, "it's like seeing family!" And I felt the same way :) We had such an awesome time serving with each other for that short 24 hours. Then, just a few days ago, I got to go to Avalon which is a walk area about 45 minutes from Butler. IT WAS SO FUN! I seriously hope Heavenly Father calls me to serve in a walk area at some point in my mission because I really felt like I got to talk to so many more people! Their area is pretty ghetto though. We went to main street for the time we had planned to street contact, and while there, I heard an enormous amount of profanity, talked to a couple people who were either high or wasted, and witnessed a man getting arrested. That same man who was arrested, Bryan, actually helped us. As we were walking down the street in his direction, he yelled out, "hey! You girls know a John Smith?!" ...haha We politely corrected him, and walked over to where he and his friend Damon were standing. Bryan told us that he was baptized when he was 22, "straight from the penitentiary!" He was a little loopy from the alcohol he had recently consumed, but they few things he did say grabbed the interest of his friend Damon :) Damon turned to us and started asking us questions about our badges and the pass-along card we had just given him, what the "beautiful building" was and what we do everyday. During this conversation, Bryan had gotten into a huge argument with his sister which led to them screaming profanities at each other from across the street, causing the police to show up and get involved. As this was happening, Bryan looked over at us and yelled, "Yo Damon! You gonna help me out?" Damon looked at us and said, "I'm not getting into trouble for him." So we starting walking the opposite direction. As we were walking, Sister Hansen ran into another man that she knew, she they started a conversation while Damon and I continued to talk. He was talking to me with such genuine curiosity, it made me so happy! At one point, he turned to me and sincerely asked, "so what made you decide to do this and come out here?" I got to bear my testimony of the gospel and the blessings it has brought me. I really felt my testimony as I was telling him! It was a very neat experience :)
Ah... life is good. It is beginning to get very cold here and today, there is a thin layer of snow on the ground. Apparently we are expecting 3-6 inches here in the next couple days which is a really big deal for the people here. haha. I'm glad that I was raised in Michigan so I know what to expect and how to "survive"! ;)
Well, I love you all so much!! Enjoy every minute of Thanksgiving together and know that I am grateful for you! I am realizing more and more the many blessings that I have been given throughout my life and many of those blessings are the people in my life... :) LOVE YINZ!!
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: 1) Sister Draper and I with Destiny at her baptism :)  2) Me with Destiny's grandson - his name is Justus and he has been through so much! He is only 5 and he has been through 11 surgeries including some for the stage 4 liver cancer that he fought. He is so cute though! 3) Sister Draper and I in the beautiful snow! 
Have a fabulous week!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13th, 2013

Oh my goodness I am so grateful for this last week! There have been so many blessings that have come our way, I wish so badly that I could just video record my whole week and send it home!! But I guess a short email will just have to do :) Oh and I am sorry that last week's email is so short. I have gotten a lot of emails lately and I have LOVED it! But it has pulled away from my big email... hehe whoops! I will try to do better, especially since there is always so much to share! Ah!
Well, this week we got to have interviews with President Topham. He is such an inspired man, I feel so lucky to have been called to this mission and be able to learn from his example!! We got to see him a lot this week because on Wednesday were interviews, and then Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference for the Pittsburgh North Stake! :) There were so many tender mercies in regards to stake conference, and I want to share two of them:
1. Destiny is the amazing woman I have told you about that is scheduled to be baptized the 16th of November (this upcoming Saturday). The baptismal interview must be done a week prior to the baptism by the district leader. Destiny is SO amazing and so golden, never having issues with any of the commandments. On Friday, the day before her scheduled interview with our district leader, we went to her home to go over the interview questions with her. She answered the questions with complete confidence in her recently found testimony! One of the questions however, if answered a certain way, requires higher authority to conduct the actual interview and approve the person for baptism. Well, Destiny answered the question in that certain way. Our whole ward loves her and is so excited for her baptism there was no way we wanted to have to postpone it! So we left her house and immediately called President Topham to explain the situation and ask when he could conduct the interview. He called back later in the evening to say that he would be more than happy to do it after the adult session on Saturday evening which Destiny was already planning to attend :) It completely put our minds at ease.
2. After the meeting Saturday night, the interview went much longer than normal. We were waiting outside the door with Sister Topham, worried that something had gone wrong! We know how strong her testimony is that this is the true church upon the earth today, and couldn't come up with any reason why things wouldn't work out or she wouldn't be passed for baptism. President Topham called us in when they were finished and simply handed me the paper with his signature on it, telling me to make sure I get all the rest of her information in before I send it in to the mission office.... Woohoo! She passed with flying colors :) But the best part was that in the Sunday general session of stake conference, President Topham spoke. His talk was about how we all have our own conversion stories, some of us were raised in the church, some fell away and had to find our way back, and some came to a knowledge of the church later in life! He then quoted Destiny!! In the interview she had said, "The things the missionaries are teaching me, just confirm what the Holy Ghost has already told me." :) It was so special for all of us, especially since the whole ward knew who he was quoting!
Also this week, we got to do a special "blitz" in Beaver Falls. President Topham had called us last week, telling us that the Sisters up there are really struggling because they got doubled in to the area and have zero investigators and a poor relationship with the ward because of pervious missionaries. So, Sister Draper and I got to both go up to Beaver and work with them in the area (instead of doing the regular exchange where 2 would come back to Evans City). It was an incredible experience. We split up in the area, trying to cover more ground, and wanted to FIND as much as possible. I was with Sister Crockett and she is sweetheart. She has been on her mission a transfer longer than I have, and it broke my heart to hear that she has NEVER had an investigator come to church... her whole mission... She really needed some encouragement and love and I felt so blessed that Heavenly Father inspired Sister Draper and I to know that I needed to be with Sister Crockett that day. I tried to show her my enthusiasm for the work, and the power that comes from being joyful and optimistic through everything - including very rude people who want nothing to do with us. She bore her testimony to me several times, without meaning to, of how this work changes lives even though the majority of the time we (as the missionaries) don't get to see the change, because we are planting the seeds. I am so grateful that I get to learn from these wonderful sisters!! I love them so much!
So... life is great. There are so many things to be grateful for, and like Moroni, "my heart wells with thanksgiving to my God..." I feel so blessed to be here!! I am reminded everyday of the wonderful people in my life that I owe so much to!!
Love yinz,
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures:  last week was really beautiful, the trees had lots of vibrant yellows and golds - it was so great!! And then this morning when we went outside for our run, the ground was covered in beautiful white snow :) It was crazy! Love you!


Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4th, 2013


This week has been absolutely fabulous I don't even know where to begin!! I don't have very much time left on the computer unfortunately so I'm really sorry this email is going to be pathetically short. 

BUT, a tender mercy I really wanted to share was one that happened on Tuesday.
There is a couple in the Butler Ward who have lived here for 8 years and are very well loved! Their names are Skip and AJ Starkey and they are moving this week to Florida for various reasons. The Relief Society president asked us if on Tuesday we would go over to her home and help her pack! So we did and Tuesday evening we helped her wrap up all her pictures. When we finished we found her in the house to ask what else we could do. Instead she told us to come in and talk with her for a minute. So as we were sitting there on her bed with her, she randomly said, "Walborn, Walborn... you wouldn't by chance know a Bruce Walborn?" I was so shocked!! I immediately responded - "that's my grandfather!!" :) She was blown away and told me a few funny stories about Wally Seldon, Sam Topham, and Carl Anderson - people she said my Grandpa would remember very well. It was so fun and special for me!

Ah! Time is running out! I got to go on exchanges up to Brookville this week and it was amazing to see how much is to be learned from the missionaries around us! I am beginning to think Heavenly Father needs me to learn more from these Sisters than they could possibly learn from me, and I am so grateful!

We also had Missionary Leadership Council all day on Friday and it was AMAZING! The messages that were shared and insights we were given, the problems we discussed, etc. Everything was wonderful! I was able to gain more understanding about how Heavenly Father uses every experience on our missions and in our lives to teach us something that will make us better. There is quote I found in my studies this week that ties in with that as well, "Cherish your spiritual burdens because God will converse with you through them and will use you to do his work if you carry them well." - Jeffrey R. Holland

I am so grateful for challenges in our lives! Heavenly Father is trying to shape me into the person He needs me to become and I have so many examples to look to along the way :) I hope everyone has a fabulous week!! LOVE YINZ!!!!

Love, Sister Walborn