Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24th, 2014

Okay Family - I am sorry I have been so terrible with writing these past weeks!!
There have been SO many miracles since I wrote last, I don't know where to begin! Hmmm.... I'm going to start with a girl named Emily. She is 19 years old and has lived here in Butler her whole life. She has a rare nerve disease and when she was in 9th grade she met a boy in the hospital with the same disease named Jason! He is from Arizona and he just so happens to be a member of the church :) They have stayed in contact the past 5 years since they met, and he has told her quite a bit about the gospel. Jason is now on a service mission and sent us the referral to go visit Emily. She is AMAZING!! The first time we stopped by, her parents let us right in and were so kind! We told her all about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy. This past week we went back with our Relief Society for our second lesson with her and she was already through 1 Nephi 14 and had so many wonderful questions about what certain things meant throughout the chapters she read. Oh my goodness it was so incredible to feel her desire to truly understand what she was reading, and her desire to apply it into her own life!! She has been looking for truth for a long time without really realizing it. When she was in 6th grade her family was attending a non-denomenational church but she asked her parents if they could stop going becuase she didn't feel that they were centered on Christ and she recognized that they weren't truly happy! That church was building a multi-million dollar addition to the building that was not necessary and Emily said that she thought, "there are people starving in our town, and we are building a coffee shop onto our church to make it more convenient to come to church? I knew that couldn't be what God would want." SO COOL!! She is so in tune with the Spirit! Throughout the lesson, she had little questions here and there, but 99% of the lesson was her validating everything we were teaching her with her own previous knowledge. At the end, I had the opportunity to explain baptism and why it is so important to be baptized by the proper authority. I asked her if when she came to know for herself that what we are teaching her is true, if she would follow the example of the Savior and be baptized by that proper authority? Her response was, "yes! I already know it's true." :) The spirit was so strong in that room.
Yay! So do you remember Tiny?? He is married to Jeanette. Well, we have been going over there for many weeks now and teaching them. Jeanette hasn't been to church in years (other than mother's day and sometimes Christmas) and Tiny has no interest in coming to church because of some pre-conceived notions he had about several people in the ward. Usually when we teach them it is extremely hard to stay on track because Jeanette loves to talk, and she loves us(she calls us her kids), so she tell us everything about anything. Well, this past Friday when we went to teach them it went so much smoother. Every time Jeanette tried to talk about something unrelated to the scriptures or the lesson he would say, "babe! They aren't done yet, I wanna hear what they have to say!" haha It was awesome. Tiny listens to the Bible and Book of Mormon on tape almost every day, and his knowledge of the scriptures is definitely developed. So, we decided to talk to them about applying the knowledge that they have gained. Then guess what..... THEY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!! I was stunned when I walked I was so happy!! I ran over and gave them the biggest hug (for Jeanette) and handshake (for Tiny)! haha Jeanette pulled me aside and started crying as she told me, "Girl I can't get over it. Coming to church, reading his scriptures... I'm just so happy!" :) The gospel is happiness!!! She knows that she needs to set the example for him to follow and if she makes the decision to be active, it will make his decision to be serious about investigating so much easier! Ah! So exciting!!
I know that the gospel is true! There are so many miracles that come from being strictly obedient to all of God's commandments, and He is ready and waiting to reach out whenever we need Him! I love you all so much and I hope you have the opportunity to share the truth that you know with someone this week :)
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: 1) My beautiful companion and I as we walked to the library to update records. 2) the Snow-missionary we made on our deck, isn't she so cute?? :)  3) Sister larsen with the crazy icicles hanging from the church building - scary!! 4) Me pointing at the possum I ran over with the car... oops! 5) Me with "Grandma Hartman", holding the afghan that she made for me because she worries that I'm always cold (I guess I take after Grandma Nancy)!! She spent 75 hours on it. SO SWEET!! She calls me her "kindred spirit" :) THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!! LOVE YINZ!!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8th, 2014

Hello family!!
I'm sorry I wasn't able to write last week! This email probably won't make up for everything I didn't get to write, but I will do my best! Last week I went on an exchange with my trainer Sister Thompson!! Crazy right? She is now serving in Brookville which is one of the areas that we cover as STLs. I was a little nervous for the exchange because it has been so long since we served together, but all my worries went away when we started the exchange. She is loving her mission and she has been moved around so much that she has been with so many different people and served in so many different places, she had a lot of exciting information to share. We ended up spending longer than 24 hours together (usually a big no no) because of the weather! It was a huge blessing in disguise because I got to spend quality time with her and discover how much I do really love her! We had a lot of fun :)
This week - so many miracles happened. I went on an exchange with Sister Morphy!!! She came to spend time in Butler with me and it felt like I was with family! I have grown so close to her, especially after getting to spend 2 weeks with her in Cranberry, she told me she feels like I am her sister. Just a side not - this is the sister that Alex met up at BYU-I when I first got on my mission and Alex sent me an email saying "look out for Sister Meredith Morphy"! It is amazing how Heavenly Father knew we needed to meet and become friends, so he made sure we were looking out for each other. That night when Sister Morphy was here, we went over to a less-active's home to do service with the elders! This less-active, her name is Jan and she is strongly progressing towards reactivation. Her husband is not a member, but because of our time spent with him over the past several months - he is starting to show interest!! They fed us dinner after we helped them and as we sat around after the meal for the spiritual thought, he started asking a bunch of questions :) Ah! It was so exciting!! We are going back over this week to teach him the restoration. This couple doesn't have any children and so they always joke about adopting us 4 missionaries.. :) They rock.
Another miracle happened with another less-active Jeanette and her husband Tiny! That isn't his real name, but it is what he has been called his entire life. Jeanette was married in the temple a long time ago but it ended badly. Then she remarried Tiny and they have been together for almost 20 years! They are very happy but Jeanette slipped into inactivity after the bad experience with her first husband. We have been visiting them for a while, and one day while we were there talking with Jeanette, Tiny got out his bible and asked a question about something he couldn't understand in the new Testament! He pulled up Matthew 22:32 and Luke 20:38, which both refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the "God of the living, not the dead." Jeanette and his mother-in-law are both very much into family history and geneology work, and it didn't make sense to him why it would be so important to do that work if God was only the God of the living. At first, I didn't have a clue what to tell him. I told him that I might have to go home and study then bring him back an answer, but then as soon as I said it I felt that what I had said wasn't right. So I took a deep breath and looked at my scriptures, I followed the cross references and ended up finding Romans 14:9 which seemed to help everything click! It reads, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." :) I explained to Tiny that it was just referring to the fact that Christ had not yet conquered death, but once He had died and been resurrected - He became the God of the dead as well as the living! Footnotes are inspired. haha woot woot! So Tiny is excited to read the Book of Mormon and he wants to read the Doctrine & Covenants as well.
Ah... life is good. Something fun that happened this week, our relief society president went on a team-up with us the day after the bad storm (it was still in the negatives - whoops!) and there were these wonderful creations all over the ground called "snow rollers"! She explained to us that the weather conditions have to be just right for them to be created, but they look like a cylinder of snow with a hollow inside that are created by the wind! How fun! She was so excited, so we stopped and took pictures whenever we found a really good one. haha
Well family, I love you very much! I know that this gospel is true and that our Heavenly Father loves us so much! Have a fabulous week!!!
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: 1) A snow roller :) 2) A picture of us at a less-active's home, with a MASSIVE great dane!! He was so old and would walk over and sit on my knee!  3) My wonderful companion Sister Larsen and I after a long day - lots of love! LOVE YINZ!!