Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 18th, 2014

This last week we got to visit Amish country and meet some Amish families! A week ago today, a family named the Synders gave us a "tour" which included going into the homes of several Amish families that they have become close friends with over their years living in the area! It was such a neat experience!! There is so much that we can learn from the Amish. They live very simple lifestyles, they are extremely hard workers, they love and cherish their family, and they are genuinely kind people. The only part that stinks is that they don't believe in taking pictures of themselves... so I couldn't get any pictures with them. But I was able to get lots of pictures of the whole experience! The Snyders are wonderful people, and part of what I took away from the experience that I wanted to share with you is the importance of the commandment to, "love thy neighbor." The Snyder family have not been afraid of sharing our values and beliefs with the Amish people they have come in contact with, and simply by being friendly and loving, they have fostered real friendships with these wonderful people. The mutual understanding and open minded attitudes have allowed them to learn from one another and really love each other! Heavenly Father has asked us to love all people, and I found out this week that it is easy to love these wonderful Amish people who live here in Pennyslvania!
This week as we met with Darien several times, I felt Heavenly Father helping us tremendously. Darien is having a hard time finding faith, and holding on to it. Because of that, we asked him to read Alma 32 in hopes that he would understand that our loving Father in heaven does not expect us to have unshakable faith right away, but if we have a little faith and are willing to put forth the effort, He will help it to grow! Well.. it ended up going a different direction, which I know is because it is what Darien needed. He focused in on Alma 32:16-17, and was confused that God would ask people to believe and be baptized "without stubbornness of heart." He felt that if he isn't stubborn, but simply accepts everything then it wouldn't stick! He also didn't like that in verse 17, asking for a sign from heaven is NOT good. He looked at us and asked, "is that fair?" He made the point that we live in a world that moves forward based upon the results or evidence that we find, so why would God tell us to go against our nature and NOT look for a sign. Because of this, Sister Bradshaw and I had to really listen to the Spirit in helping Darien with his concern! We answered his question with two reasons:
1) Because God sent us here to progress and become more like Him! In order to do that, we must put off the natural man and instead, do what He has asked us to do. Which in this case, is to have faith and not need to see to believe!
2) Because receiving a sign or experiencing a singular miraculous event does NOT help us to develop faith. Sister Bradshaw and I were able to share with Darien 2 experiences from the Book of Mormon. The first, is the story of Nephi and his brothers when they return to Jerusalem in order to retrieve the plates and because things go wrong initially, Laman and Lemuel become angry with Nephi. An angel appears and and rebukes them, but also tells them that the Lord will deliver Laban into their hands so they must go back once more! The very next verse after the visitation from the angel says, "...Laman and Lemuel began to murmur, saying: How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands?"
The second story, was that of Alma the younger. We explained his experience of persecuting the church and living in wickedness and after receiving a visitation from the angel himself, he turned his life around and tried to do everything in his power to choose the right! It seems at first that this paradigm shift was caused because of the miraculous event he experienced, but we were able to share with Darien that Alma did not have a testimony of the truths of the gospel because of an angel. Alma 5: 45-46 says, "...Behold I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety? Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit..."
The Lord wants each of us to know for ourselves that this is His restored gospel on the earth, and that the teachings in it are necessary for us to find happiness. I know that if Darien applies himself to a sincere study of the Book of Mormon, and praying to our Heavenly Father to know if it is true, he will get an answer! I also know that promise applies to all of us! :) "But if ye will nourish the your faith with great diligence... by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet.."
Are you ready for a crazy miracle that happened 2 days ago?? One of our investigators named Kat told us that she wants to get baptized on August 30th!! :D We have been teaching her for a few weeks, and last week we committed her and her husband (he is a RM - they were just married this year after he got home from his mission) to pray about September 6th for her to get baptized, and when we came back this week she decided it needed to be even sooner than that! :) They are so cool! She seems more like a member already than an investigator, so it feels really special that we get to help her officially make this covenant with God that will change the course of her life and open the door to so many blessings for them! She is SO wonderful!! She and her husband are wonderful cooks, and for the past few weeks when they have had us over, they have taught us how to make some really good food! She told us that next week she doesn't have a lot of work because of an issue with their building, so she wants to have us over to help bake and then whatever we make we can bring to people along with a Book of Mormon! :) We, of course, loved the idea!
Miracles happen every single day! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here. Thank you so much for all of the incredible support, I wish you could know how much it means to me! I know this gospel is true, and as we live it day in and day out, we are showing our Heavenly Father that we are grateful to have it! I hope you have a wonderful week! LOVE YOU!
Sister Walborn
p.s. Pictures: 1) Sister Bradshaw and I visiting the Amish! We got to go into their Dry Goods store and try on some of their everyday apparel... haha  2) Me with the literal pizza pie that we made with Kat and Codey - so good! LOVE YOU!!

No comments:

Post a Comment