Friday, October 4, 2013

Letter Dated September 30, 2013

Alright! Update for this week! :) Let me just start off by saying that fall here is the most amazing thing!! :) There are soo many trees in Pennsylvania and they are all changing at different times and the more days that pass, the more colorful Elizabethtown gets! :) Sister Walborn and I have been loving it, and really getting into the fall season! :) we bought a yummy fall smelling candle and a candle warmer (since we can't have open flame) and we got some baby pumpkins that sit on our study desks! We have been LOVING it! I wish you all could see it! I feel like this time of  year is making everyone happier! We've definitely noticed when we are talking with everyone, they bring up the upcoming holidays and the beautiful weather! Its cooling off, but its not too cold yet. :)  We're very grateful for the awesome whether, because our teaching pool has decreased.  :( Dalitza is moving to Lancaster, and Dale had dropped us a couple weeks ago, and Mikey told us that he wasn't interested at this point in his life...he feels he's just too busy and doesn't think  his life will slow down for at least four  years.  He was really sweet about it though! And then, Ken and Deb, seriously I love them sooooo much! but Ken is feeling very involved in his Methodist religion, and deb is really interested in our church, but the conflict is causing problems in their we're no longer having them as "investigators" investigating the church, but we're just going to be the best support we can for them and try our best to just help build their faith! We love them so much, seriously the other day Deb told Sister Walborn and I that she thought of us as her daughters! (I'm sorry if I already told you this....I forget what I've told  you and what I haven't) We really enjoy visiting them, last week we got to help Deb plant some succulents and a butterfly bush! It was so nice to be working outside in the beautiful weather! :) Even though our teaching pool has decreased, and its been hard for us to find people to have lessons with, its been so nice tracting in the cooler weather! The other day we were driving to go visit a Less-Active in our ward, and Sister Walborn and I have been trying really hard to find unplanned service opportunities, and there was the cutest old women outside across the street from us pulling some weeds along her white picket fence, and so we decided to stop and go ask her if she needed any help.  We started talking with her and she had said that she didn't need our help, that she had two of her daughters living with her that gave her all the help she needed (however they were both just sitting on the side porch...haha) so we sat and started chatting with her.  We had talked to her about a lot of different things, and got to know her a little bit better.  She said that she didn't believe that God hears her prayers, that she had been praying for a long time for her husband but he ended up dying of cancer and she truly believed that God had just abandoned her, and did not hear her prayers.  It was so heartbreaking to hear about her broken faith, she talked about how she doesn't believe that there is anything after this life, and just a lot of really sad things.  But Sister Walborn and I were able to talk to her about the church, and the happiness that it brings to our lives.  Anna had expressed to us that she really enjoyed reading Amish literature books, because they were easy for her to understand and they made her feel good, and peaceful.  She talked about how she really enjoyed reading, so Sister Walborn invited her to have a Book of Mormon, and to read it.  Anna said that she definitely wouldn't promise anything, but she started right then to open it, and skim through some of the verses in First Nephi, and the power from the scriptures was just tangible for me...and she accepted it, and said she'd put it with the other books that she was reading, and if she felt like it sometime, she'd pick it up to read it.  It was just a cool experience for me.  My strength definitely is not just randomly talking to people we see on the streets, but the thought that just came to me to stop and offer to help her, and then the feelings that I had while we were talking with her...It was just so amazing, I felt so sad, and so sorry that she had felt so bitter and negative towards our Heavenly Father, and I wanted so badly to share the light and knowledge that we had with her.  Sister Walborn and I definitely walked away from that experience feeling very hopeful for her...she was searching for hope, even if she didn't know it, there were just some things she was holding on to that that hope and faith can build on.  We  can't wait to get to see her again sometime soon.  :) There was also another super cool thing that happened! The Zone Leaders in our area have this really awesome investigator, her name is Valerie, and she is sooooo golden! Oh my heavens, they just met her on the street one day while she was walking home from the grocery store, and they just invited her to come to church, she accepted! and so the Elders arranged a ride for her, and there she was....sitting in church! :) (this was a few weeks ago.) Her first Sunday there she was so content and sat listening so closely to the lessons in all three meetings, and after church, she participated in the choir practice! That day in Relief Society they talked about the priesthood, and it wasn't very basic stuff, so I just leaned over and tried my best to describe what the priesthood was and kind of tried to keep her up to speed throughout the lesson, and afterwards, she said that she knew it was true, even though she isn't married and she doesn't have children, she knew that the power there was so important and that she could also benefit from the priesthood.  At the end of choir practice she volunteered to say the closing prayer, and she expressed in the prayer that she was thankful for the priesthood. What? She is AWESOME!!! the only problem the Elders had was that she is a single women and it made it hard for them to teach her, and she is right on the border between our mission boundaries, so guess what? they got permission form President Topham to hand her over to us! :) YAAY!!! :) We were so excited! she told us that she is so excited that we get to teach her, and we can't wait to have our first lesson with her! She is just a rock star! :) Sister Walborn and I had an amazing week, we worked hard, and had fun, and we can't wait to see what this next week has in store for us! I love you all so much and I can't wait to get to talk to you all again next Monday! :) Have fun watching General Conference! I can't tell you how excited I am about that! We get to watch the Saturday sessions at the Jacobs home! and I can't wait! Love you all!!
Sister Thomas

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