Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 11th, 2014

Becoming attached to people then having to say goodbye, is one of my least favorite things. Luckily, I am not the one leaving (I am NOT getting transferred! Woohoo!) but their are 2 couples from the University Branch here in State College that are both leaving for grad school in Texas. They, the Hatchs and the Boyers have both taught me so much!! In the email from my mission president this week, he was counseling us missionaries (in regards to transfers) to focus on what our purpose truly is and not get caught up in worrying about what area we are in, if our companion is right, and what leadership we have been asked to fulfill. Instead, he quoted President Clark who said, "In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve, but how." This immediately struck my heart because I have been given such great examples to follow! Tim and Tavhata Boyer were those members that my companion and I felt comfortable asking for help no matter what the situation was! They were our "go-to" fellowshippers for so many people we were/are teaching because they served so diligently at all times. They have strong testimonies of the Savior and our Heavenly Father's love for each of His children, and they are not afraid to share it with those around them. :) I have truly come to realize that Heavenly Father sent me on a mission, not just to learn how to be a good missionary at this point in my life, but to teach me, by the examples of those I would meet here in Pennsylvania, how to be a good missionary for the rest of my life! When we truly love this gospel, our desire to share it with others will grow! I feel blessed to have met these wonderful people.
Sister Bradshaw and I had a wonderful week! We had a lesson with Darien at the beginning of the week that was a total answer to my prayers. We felt unsure about what to teach Darien, because of the suggestions that we were getting from other people, but after praying about it we decided that the Plan of Salvation was what he needed. As we prepared and studied, we felt more and more confident this was the right decision. As we sat down for the lesson and asked to begin with prayer, Darien decided that he WANTED to say it!! :) It was a beautiful prayer in which he asked God to help him better understand what he needed to do in his life, and asked to feel His love. Darien started off the lesson by asking us a question that had been on his heart, "I've been thinking a lot about why God would send so many of His children here just to have them never learn about Jesus Christ... I mean if there are 7.8 billion people out there and only a small percentage know about God, doesn't that seem unfair that they didn't get a chance?" ....holy cow! The plan of salvation answers that question perfectly Darien! :) It was a wonderful opportunity for us to teach and testify of God's merciful plan, in which he accounted for all situations and circumstances, providing each of His children the opportunity to learn about and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ - whether in this life or the next. We are so blessed to have this knowledge!
The most beautiful part of our Heavenly Father's plan, is the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I have been reminded of this over and over this week, through my studies, our lessons, and the conversations I have been able to have with many people. The Atonement is not just to pay for our sins, but any change that we desire to make, can be made through the enabling and strengthening power of the Atonement. I KNOW this is true! I hope we can all more anxiously apply the Atonement in our lives :)
I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!
Sister Walborn

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