Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 15th, 2014

WOOHOO!!! We had an adventure packed, stress-filled but incredible week! Where to start?!
Okay, so I need to skip the beginning of the week and get right to Thursday. We had zone conference here in State College, so missionaries came in from the 2 surrounding zones and we had a lot of wonderful training. We reviewed the lessons that we learned from Elder Wilford W. Andersen when he came to visit not too long ago, including the importance of our calling to instruct, edify and act! As people, we cannot learn to rely upon God simply by acquiring the "head knowledge" that could teach us in essence, how to do it. We must also have our hearts acted upon by the Holy Ghost and receive a witness, or "heart knowledge" about WHY it would even be important in the first place. Once the people we teach clearly understand the Gospel in their mind, and then have the Spirit touch their hearts as to why it is necessary in their life, then we act by inviting them to act! It was an incredible reflection of the Gospel as it applies to each of us. From day one of my mission I was told that everything I learned would be important for me to remember, whether or not I was wearing a name tag. How true! This specific training was neat because each day as I am trying to learn more of the teachings of the Savior, it won't do me much good if I am not allowing those teachings into my heart as well as my head, then putting it into action to set that example for others!
After our zone conference, we walked up to a member's home that we had never been to before because they were part of the State College 2nd ward, but had invited us over for dinner. They had 2 adorable children, an almost 8 year old boy and a cutie pie 2 year old little girl. We played with them as dinner was being finished up and just as we sat down for dinner, there came a knock at the door. The member went to see who was there and in walked our mission president!! :D The member (Rachel) that had invited us for dinner, is President and Sister Johnson's niece! It was SO much fun to have dinner with our mission president and his wife, and to be able to see him in a more normal setting where he was talking about his family, telling us stories about the heroes in his life, and he even rebuked my companion for saying the local ice cream is better than Aggie Ice cream! (Sister Bradshaw attended Utah State before her mission where President and Sister Johnson were attending when they met) It was a really neat, surprise experience! Afterwards, they drove us to our new church building where we got to give them a mini tour and express our excitement and gratitude to be here in State College for this special time!
Which leads me to the Open House and dedication which happened on Saturday! That was really, really cool. I feel SO blessed to have been here for this time in the Branch's history. This building has been prayed and fasted for, for over 21 years. A member of the current branch presidency was part of the "Nittany Branch" when it was first organized, and he was asked to speak as part of the dedication. It was an emotional talk, and Brother Owen told the congregation stories of the students who were there right from the beginning and how they clung to each other and the gospel, building the true family-like connections and feelings in the branch that still exist today! I am so grateful to have learned so much from these wonderful people. :)
The gospel is true!! I know that there are so many blessings available to us and the people around us, and as we are diligent in keeping the commandments and doing what we know to be right in ALL things - the Lord is there to guide, direct, and use us as instruments to carry on His work. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Walborn

p.s. pictures: 1) The four of us university sisters with our Branch president - we are all attempting the very attractive double chin look! haha 2) Sister Bradshaw and I wearing our BML's t-shirts as we made 2 HUGE batches of cookies in preparation for the open house! Woohoo! LOVE YOU!

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