Monday, October 13, 2014

October 6th, 2014

This week has been full of craziness and pure JOY! To start - last preparation day (a week ago today) missionaries serving all around Pittsburgh came together at the Point State Park to play ultimate Frisbee!  It probably doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but if you look at almost any well known picture of Pittsburgh or even the fun Pitt t-shirts, so many display the Park with it's massive fountain. It was neat, and it made it very real that I am truly in Pittsburgh! Woohoo!

From Tuesday night into Wednesday, I got to go on an exchange with my Sister Training Leader and good friend who was in the MTC at the same time I was! We had quite the time together! We had a surprise service activity where we spent 4 hours frantically packing up a house. A random lady, who is coming out of an abusive relationship, was leaving to another state with 4 young children and hadn't packed up a single thing in her home. When we walked into her house, I just wanted to burst into tears! Immediately after walking into the house, the living room off to the left had the four children sprawled out over a flat cardboard box that had nothing but a soiled flat sheet over top of it and all around them were the remains of the previous night's McDonald's dinner. The youngest child, just a small baby was screaming at the top of her little lungs and the mother, between giving us directions on where to start, would yell at the baby to cut it out. So, we went to work! There were mounds of clothes, toys, food, garbage- you name it -that we gutted and packed up for her. We had to call in the assistants and another set of elders to come and help, because we knew there was no chance we would be able to accomplish it all on our own. The assistants had helped her the night before as well, and when they arrived and saw the progress we had done, they were amazed by how much better it looked from the night before when they had first arrived! Which was pitiful because we hadn't felt like we had accomplished hardly anything! (in case you can't tell - it was BAD)
After listening to that poor little baby scream for the next little while, one of the assistants looked at me and told me that one of us sisters needed to hold her and that we had permission to give her some love because it was very apparent that what the mother was doing was not working. So, we continued working as fast as we could, taking turns holding the kids and trying to keep them calm. The whole time as we were trying to help, I found myself getting discouraged that these poor little children were in such terrible circumstances and that nothing we were doing would help them to really get out of the problems they were dealing with. Heavenly Father seemed to sooth my worries, and when we were nearing the end, we gave the mother a Book of Mormon. She said thank you over and over, telling us that we were angels for helping her! I don't know if that lady will choose to read the Book of Mormon, but I do know that because of our service and prayers on their behalf, that family will be blessed in some way. If nothing else, it helped me realize how lending a helping hand and being willing to help in a time of need can be an answer to someone else's prayer. It didn't seem like much what we were able to accomplish for her that day, but as Elder Holland helped me remember in conference, "What we do is only a drop in the ocean, but if we do not do it, the ocean will be one drop less.."

Which leads me to the pure joy of this week - CONFERENCE! Holy cow - this conference was truly the greatest I have ever experienced. I was able to see so clearly how the Lord really does hear my prayers and is anxious to help me find answers to them. I was especially touched by Elder Jorg Klebingat's talk about the importance of having confidence before God. His 6 tips to help accomplish this confidence were so inspired and I am excited to readily apply and do better with each of them. Towards the end of his talk, I felt that he was speaking directly to me when he said, "acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don't become immobilized by them!" The Lord wants each of us to be happy and to provide us with strength to overcome our weaknesses, not to be held down and hindered by them. The Savior's Atonement is REAL. I know that as we turn to the Lord for help, He will send what we need to achieve our righteous desires and goals. 

I love this gospel! And I love all of you!! I hope that we can all review over and over the inspiration that we received this weekend. We are so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to receive personal revelation, and to hear the word of God directly from His prophet! Let's take advantage of the blessings available to us :)

Sister Walborn

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