Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31st, 2014

This week was so good! There are so many things to be grateful for! This week we did an exchange with the sisters in the Pitt 4th ward, and a blitz up in Erie with those sisters. Both were so amazing!! I want to tell you a little bit about both of them really quick:
The exchange with the Pitt 4th sisters was so fun because the sisters there both came out with Sister Larsen and I! We were all in the MTC together over 9 months ago and it was so neat to see the progress we have all made so far on our missions. I got to spend the exchange with Sister Brown. In case you don't remember the story, Sister Brown and I met on June 4th, 2013 (the day before I entered the MTC). She was sitting in the terminal of the Denver airport waiting to board the plane heading to Salt Lake. She is from Florida and we were both going a day early to stay with siblings in Provo. I walked up to her, because she was reading from Preach My Gospel and was dressed in missionary attire, hoping that she was a missionary too! Thank heavens she was and we discovered we were both headed (eventually) for the PA, pittsburgh mission!! It was such a tender mercy! And now, 9 months later we had another tender mercy experience! Over the course of the exchange we talked about how our missions have been so different up to this point, but so incredibly wonderful in their own ways. On the car ride headed back to her area at the end of the exchange, we bore our testimonies to each other and I felt the spirit so strongly.
Later in the week we went to Erie! We did a blitz with the sisters up there because it is 100.2 miles to their apartment one way... haha Very far. I am so grateful though, because it was exactly what needed to happen. The sisters up there are Sister Holmstead and Sister Sampson. Sister Sampson has only been in the mission for 5 weeks, and Sister Holmstead has been out for a year. Sister Holmstead is training for the 3rd time and also was a Sister Training Leader before she came to Erie. Even though all four of us stayed in Erie, we separated during proselyting time and I got to spend the day with Sister Holmstead. I learned so much from her! We became instant friends and I loved having the opportunity to teach with her! It was so interesting because at the end of every exchange (or blitz) we do a review and talk with the sisters about what we learned, and discuss what we all can do to improve, and at the during this review Sister Holmstead and I learned the same lesson but in different ways! We both learned the power of optimism but in different aspects of the work. It was so cool to realize how much heavenly Father works through the people in our lives. Each person we come in contact with has something to teach us, or to learn from us, or BOTH! :)
Also this week we got to do service at Produce to the People. I know I have talked about it before, but this time we had a really special moment. We were standing around before all the produce arrived, and the Elders were telling us about their day. A man made eye contact with me from a distance and so I smiled at him, not thinking much of it. He continued to watch us and then started walking toward us. He joined our conversation and we all introduced ourselves. He asked us a few questions about our tags and missionary life, and in an attempt to focus the conversation on him, I asked, "so how are you doing?" This man told us his life story. He was into drugs, alcohol, and every immoral thing out there until he was in his late 40s. He had hit rock bottom and was terrified, thinking that his life has been wasted by useless things. He was angry that he worked so hard everyday to earn money and then would go and spend it on alcohol and drugs. So, he started going to a little christian church where the people helped him give up his bad habits and turn his life around. He looked at us and said, "Those people helped me so much, and I know that my Lord was with me every step of the way!" He has now been clean for 7 years and is trying so hard to help other people recognize God in their life.  This man really touched my heart! I KNOW that people have the ability to change. The Atonement is available to everyone, and we can play a role in others coming unto Christ. I am so grateful for the people at that little christian church who reached out to this man. :)
I love you all so much! I know that heavenly Father placed us all on the earth at this time for a specific purpose, and like President Eyring said in the General Women's Meeting, we are a "favored few" to be a part of the covenant. We have to do our part to help others have the blessings we have received! I know this gospel is true, the Savior lives.
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: 1) Sister Larsen and I with Sister Yates and Sister Brown at the end of our exchange :) 2) Sister Larsen and I after service at the senior center. The old people are so sweet to us and love our "crowns" haha  LOVE YINZ!!

March 24th, 2014

This week we saw so many miracles. Sister Larsen and I really tried taking to heart and applying the lessons that were given to us at zone conference last friday about talking to EVERYONE and having faith to find those whom God has prepared. We have tried a couple new things this week and we are confident that they will bring results. Yay!
Okay, so I wanted to share a small experiences that meant a lot to me this week:
1) On Thursday night, we pulled up to our apartment and got out of the car to head inside. Just before we did though, I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 8:54. We had 6 minutes before we were supposed to be in. We live in an area with lots of houses, and even though we live in the elder's area, I suggested that we walk around the block before going inside. She quickly agreed and so we began our little venture up fifth street. As we walked, we talked about our day. We were about to turn the corner and there was a wonderful house lit up with little lights lining the walkway. I paused, and asked Sister Larsen if we could knock on the door. We did, and this adorable lady showed her face through the window and yelled, "HI! What are you doing?" So I answered, "We came to see you!" She giggled and told us to come around the back. She is a 70 year old lady named Suzie and she is a devout Lutheran. She loves the Lord and shared her testimony with us about her journey with Christ. She declined our offer for the Book of Mormon, but said that she is never up that late and she knows she was meant to talk to us. She called us her "sisters in Christ", gave us huge hugs, thanked us for what we do, and lovlingly sent us on her way. She isn't a new investigator, she doesn't want to get baptized, and she didn't have a referral for us. But I really felt like we were meant to talk to her and help her feel the Spirit, as well as be uplifted by her :) The quote, "It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord's errand," really rang true at that moment for me. We were simply trying to use every minute God had given us that day, and he blessed us in meeting Suzie.
I'm sorry this is so short! I love you all so much and I KNOW this gospel is true!! Be strong and carry on! Always be willing to shine the light of the gospel!
Sister Walborn

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 17th, 2014

Hello Family!!
Holy cow.... this week was absolutely insane! I am not sure if this email will do it justice, but I will do my best.
So, the location of our apartment is very inconvenient for missionary work. It is in the very bottom corner of our ward boundary, and we cover the entire ward boundary except for a little circle in the middle for the elder's (walk) area. It wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that we are only allotted a certain number of miles on our car every month and in order to get to everyone and accomplish everything we need to do, we would need more miles or move apartments. So, it started the process of what are we going to do to solve the problem? WELL, on tuesday we got a call from that secretary letting us know that we would be moving the following saturday (the 15th).... haha I was on an exchange with Sister Luker from Brookville and she just laughed at me as I sat there in shock. I called Sister Larsen and we had to cancel our appointments for wednesday and thursday so that we could pack and clean the apartment. AH! CRAZY!  So, that is what we did. We had to scrub every inch of that apartment so that we could leave it better than we found it. We have both helped many people move so far on our missions and the majority of them haven't been very prepared to make the move. So that was our goal! After packing and organizing everything, we moved it all (couches, beds, dressers, etc.) into one room on on the main floor. It only took our moving crew 25 minutes to load everything up!! :) yay!
Friday we had an all day zone conference, which we thought was terrible timing at first because it only gave us 2 instead of 3 days to prepare for the move, but ended up being the biggest blessing! We needed that spiritual nourishment and time to relax so badly. We talked a lot about having the faith to find those whom God has prepared. Something particular that President Topham said had a big impact on me, he said, "Us older folks (talking about the senior couples have been paying tithing for a long time, and I can promise you that they would know as well as I do that you don't pay tithing with money.... (he paused, we were all confused)... You pay your tithing with FAITH. The same thing applies to finding. You do not find people to teach by knocking on doors or talking to someone in the grocery store, you find them by FAITH."  He continued on to explain that obviously we aren't going to find 10 new people if we are feeling that our faith is pretty rockin' that day, but we are having the faith to try, and to do our best so that they people that God has prepared can be led to us or us to them.
So, transfers are in 3 weeks. There is a very good chance that I will be transferred :( So I think that any mail you want to send, you should just send it to the mission office. That way, there won't be any chance of it not getting to the right place. This new apartment we are in is not as nice as the one in Evans City, but we know it will help us be much more effective in our missionary efforts which is all that really matters!! :) We live in the elder's area (kind of weird) which will make our lives so much easier in working our ENTIRE area. YAYY!!
2600 Boyce Plaza Rd. Ste. 101
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241
I had the most wonderful birthday! :) On Saturday, Tiny (investigator) and his wife Jeanette (less-active), threw me a party at their parents house - Joe & Roberta. Roberta is the one who made me the afghan. They are SO sweet and really wanted me to feel at home away from home. Then on Sunday, the wonderful Eberle family, the same place I went for Christmas, fed us dinner and celebrated my birthday. I love this area and this ward so much. They really have become my family and I know that I have been hugely blessed by the love and examples of these people.
I love you all so much and I want you to know that the GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: 1) A small view of the stuff we packed up! We don't live there anymore! 2) birthday pictures! The elders decided it would be funny to smear frosting all over my face... so it became a war. Grandma (roberta) was so happy, she thought it was hilarious! LOVE YINZ!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3rd, 2014

Hi everyone!!

This week was wonderful. We had the opportunity to do SO much service!! I think it totaled to about 12 hours, when normally we do 3. The one that took the most time, and was the most fun - was helping move a sister in the ward. She lived on the second floor of one of the buildings, and was moving to the first floor of the building right next door. There were about 15 ward members there, plus the four of us missionaries so the phrase "many hands makes light work" was very applicable. The fun part was maneuvering some of the furniture through the doorways and the stairwells so that they could arrive unharmed to the next apartment! Never thought I would learn that skill on my mission! haha 

To get the sad news out of the way- Tiny's work schedule changed so that now he is working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day! Because of that, he said that he won't be able to be able to meet with us for a few months AND he will be so exhausted from work that he will need to catch up on sleep on mondays... :( Satan is horrible. Always there to steer a person wrong, especially when their heart and mind begin to open to what is truly right and good for their life! Oh well, we will still be visiting Jeanette (his LA wife) and hopefully something will come from that. 

We had a really cool experience with Jan yesterday though! She is a less-active lady we have been working with her for months. Her husband Nick is not a member, and he has been listening and participating in the lessons for a little while now! Jan has been coming back to church but the past few weeks she was in Virginia for work. She is a kernel in the Army. During the last few weeks, she had the chance to go to church only once down there and she told us that she could feel Satan working on her! She has dealt with a lot of problems with the army because she is trying to retire but they are not cooperating. While she was there, she told us that she lost her temper with them because of their dishonesty in the situation and she was really disappointed in herself. They had us over for dinner last night and we seemed to be able to get her mind off of it and cheer her up during the meal. As we sat down for the spiritual message though, she got a call that resurfaced all the problems. She broke down crying to us and sitting there, my heart just ached for her. I had no idea how to help in the situation because they were discussing all the different legal actions that could be taken to make the situation right. As I sat there though, the Spirit whispered to me that she needs a blessing. Elder Whitmire was listening to the Spirit as well, because at the same time we turned to Elder Bashein (who was sitting between us) and said "offer a blessing!" :) It was so neat! He quickly agreed and asked Jan if she would want a blessing. Jan's 90 year old mother was also there and as soon as the question was asked, she blurted, "yes! please! she needs it!"  Elder Bashein gave her a beautiful blessing that brought the Spirit so strongly into their home. 

Well, sorry my email wasn't extremely long!! I wish I could share every detail of every day! But I hope you have an amazing week!! The gospel is true and God lives! LOVE YOU!!!

Sister Walborn

p.s. Pictures: 1) Tiny and Jeanette made me cookies once they found out that I wasn't getting transferred! So sweet! The middle ones say "You rock" because I guess that is one of my common phrases... haha :)  2) Sister Larsen and I expressing our excitement for Nancy!! GO COUGARS!!! Pretty much everyone in the ward here knows, because it was such wonderful news for me-I told everyone! :)   LOVE YINZ!!