Thursday, May 30, 2013

Late hello from GA!!! 5/30/2013

Hey y'all!

How was everyones Memorial day? Hopefully safe and fun! I know we had a good time... we went out and worked instead of having a P-day so that's why I'm late getting this out! Sorry about that... everyone here is out having BBQ's though so it was a good time. Apparently the secret to the BEST BBQ is apple-cider vinegar? Who knew. Interesting something I ate this morning though? Oatmeal... mixed with chocolate protein powder, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The things we missionaries eat sometimes.... it was good though. Also, boiled peanuts? Amazing. Funny story.... my companion and I got off on some dirt road in the middle of no-where trying to find a referral from church HQ... ended up in the tree's... randomly, there was an ANCIENT graveyard right there next to the road. Seriously one of the strangest things I've ever seen...

So what should I talk about today? Man... I've learned soooo much recently! I don't even know where to start.... how about a story? The other night, my companion and I went to an appointment with a family we've been working with... it had been a REALLY long day and things hadn't been going well to say the least... so we were really excited to come and see this family again to end the night. But nope, they weren't home and we couldn't get them to answer their phone.... I went back to the car feeling like I could just stand there and bang my face on the hood for the next hour! I was frustrated.... but I stopped myself and said "No, we're doing our best. Everything happens for a reason." So instead of doing the aforementioned, we got in the car and drove off to visit a member. As we drove, we drove past a hispanic family that was out working in their yard... I told my companion to pull-over so we could get out and talk to them. We were slightly hesistant since there was so many people out there working and they seemed busy, but we were determined to find someone that night to teach. Long story short, we go over and meet Jose and his family. End up having a kneeling prayer with all 15 of them out on the front lawn and then teaching the 1st lesson to Jose. He ended up inviting us back over for lunch the next day. It was AWESOME!!! Another quick story.... same kind of situation happened, had to tell myself the same thing. Ends up we ran into a group of kids playing basketball that I got to play with for a bit before having a kneeling prayer with them and teaching them a lesson.

So ya.... what can be learned from these things? The Lord will bless you... especially as we keep moving forward in the hard and trying times. We recieve answers and blessings after the trial of our faith (check out Ether 12). I know some of you out there are having some problems, and I know that some of you probably feel like you can't do it, that you can't keep going... maybe even like its not worth it to keep going... but remember this, Nephi went to get the plates TWICE before he succeeded, and the the 3rd time when he did accomplish the task... he was at his wits end! He had no idea what he was doing or what he should do... but the Lord took care of the rest... the Lord didn't just make the difference, He was the difference. I promise and testify to each of you that the Lord is there for you... He is there to make up the difference and to make all the difference. Keep going! You can do it... you will do it! He is right there with you.... who will contend with you, whom is thine adversary? The Lord is standing next to you... you need not fear anything... you need not struggle alone in anything.

Y'all are amazing... so much more I've learned and want to talk about but I gotta get going!

Continue to follow the Lord with all that you have. He will abide with you (in you) as you abide with Him... He loves you. God loves you. I love you. I testify to you that He lives. That all sin and all burdens and all obstacles can be overcome through Him.

Y'all are amazing. Take care and have a blessed day!

-Elder Wahlen

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hello One and All

Howdy y'all,

How is everyone? Doing good I hope!

Couple quick stories... met a man named Sonny... he's been married for 56 years!!!! Holy smokes... he's the most awesome guy ever... can only hope we all have a marriage like his... but I'm so blessed to know that it doesn't have to be just for 56 years or even 80+... it can be forever! I hope y'all remember that :) Good way to curb snackage pains? Stick a piece of raw spagehtti (spell check? haha) in your mouth like a piece of straw to chew on. Works GREAT. Ran into a lady the other day who almost called the cops on us for parking in a trailer park... she ended up calling the police off after she figured out who we were... then she sat there for 10 minutes telling us how awesome we are... we're certainly not awesome, we're just lucky to be here... but she wanted me to tell my Mom that she loves us and that we're doing a great work... so there you go Mom! Sorry I forgot to mention that in my email to you!

SO... I have a few good stories this week but I only have time for one... soooo... I'll go with this instead :)
Have you y'all ever looked up "miracles" in the Bible Dictionary? If you haven't... I'd invite y'all to do so. After you do so, write a paragraph about what you believe miracles to be. Wanna hear some of my thoughts? Well, here are some if you want to or not :) Miracles are natural occurances that are divine and Heavenly in nature... they're not unexpected, unplanned or abnormal... they are literally normality in Heaven. We're allowed to witness this "normality" of Heaven when we have faith... so there you go, back to faith again :) Miracles will and do happen in your lives... just keeping having faith and keep looking for them and I promise that the Lord will work (or show you/allow you to see) miracles in your life. Also, since miracles are naturally occuring when the pressence of something Heavenly is there... if you have the Spirit with you... miracles will inheirtantly happen all around you. The Spirit will naturally and automatically cause miracles to occur... almost as if you and the Spirit were a boat going through the water and the wake that it creates is the natural occurance of miracles that follow. Pretty neat, eh?

One such miracle story I'll share... we had scheduled to go on a team-up to an investigators house... our ride was SUPER late so we're sitting at our apartment waiting. I turned to Elder Welch and sad "I'm not just gonna sit here... lets go find someone who needs this message!" So we got up and went to meet our neighbors... long story short, we meet a lady two houses up the road who is looking for a church and was actually researching the LDS faith... not only that, but her sister had died the year earlier and she wanted to know if she could/would ever see her again. It was an awesome experience to say the least.

I know this is kinda a short one this week and I didn't say too much or anything too pro-found... but I just wanna close by saying that each and every one of you will see miracles in your lives, and in the lives of those around you as you continue to do those things that will enable you to have the Spirit and the pressence of the Lord will you at all times. Through yuor faith, miracles will happen. You will be that source of naturally occuring miracles... but not only that, I know that each and every one of you is a miracle. You're divine and Heavenly by nature... you're a child of God! You are literally a miracle... and y'all are amazing. I love you all sooooo much! I hope everyone is doing good and just remember... through faith, prayer and doing your best... you can and will do all things possible. Miracles will happen! They are happening! I promise. I love you, the Lord loves you and God loves you. Sing "I'm a Child of God" for me today and have a blessed day :)

-Elder Wahlen

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day! 5/13/2013

Howdy y'all,
How's everyone doing this week?!?!? I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Mothers Day...!!! Especially the beautiful daughter of God out there... both current mom's and future ones! I love y'all so much! Thank you for all that you do!
So where to start? How about talking about some mom's here in the field. Sister Beckwith (the mission mental health doctor) told me that she'd have me for a son if there was ever the chance... so watch out mom! (just kidding mom, I'm not going anywhere! Not gonna leave the greatest mom in the world... even if it would be for Sister Beckwith). Was able to meet with a lot of older ladies in the ward I'm currently serving in before making my call home... they all told me how much they loved us and they made sure we got the "mom" treatment on this mothers day. We fended off the hugs but there was a lot of hand-shakes and tears.
So... some quick stories. I was able to leave a blessing through prayer with a Baptist preacher... that was a fun and interesting experience! Also went on exchanges for the first time when I was the one leaving my area... that was crazy! I learned a lot of great things though... one of which being that the Zone Leaders have much nicer apartments than us grunts hahaha. It was good though... was able to eat some AWESOME Japanese curry at a dinner appointment while I was out.
So... for my spiritual story for the week... I guess I'll relay this story to y'all. Long story short... some of the Sisters in my District were in need of a blessing. We met them at the home of a less active member who we had dinner with that night... my companion and I were able to pronounce the blessings for them... and wow! Let me tell y'all something... there is real power behind each and every prayer you say. I know without a doubt that all the prayers you've said have been heard and that the Lord sends angels to watch over those that are in need. During the blessing, it was so clear to me that angels were there with these Sisters... the prayers that each and everyone of you say... whether they be for someone else or for yourself or just to say thank you to the Lord and our Heavenly Father.... I KNOW without a doubt that they are heard and that real action is taken in the Heavens and on the other side of the veil to help. I know angels are there for all of you... and I know that angels go with you from the temple. Please, never be afraid to pray. Especially to ask for help. Our Heavenly Father wants you to ask for help! He wants to hear from you! And I know that the Savior wants to help you... He didn't die on the cross and take our sins and sufferings upoin himself so you could suffer, feel lonely, etc. in this life... He did it because HE LOVES YOU and He can take those things from you and help you to overcome ANY obstacle in life. Asking for help isn't bothering him... its actually the opposite. Remember this.... Christ himself set the example for us all by praying for help before taking all of our afflictions upon himself in the garden... even the Son of God, the perfect being that He is... even He prayed and asked for help in his time of need. Follow His example... pray and ask for help. Do so often. I promise you... no matter what obstacles you're facing in life... you will recieve help.
I know the Savior lives. I know He's there for each and every one of you. I know that He carries us when we can't keep going forward and that angels walk with each of us every day. There is REAL help for you... there is real angels around you. Don't fear... have faith and keep moving forward! I'm praying for y'all.
I love y'all so much... and happy mothers day again to everyone!
-Elder Wahlen

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hello from still the rainy Douglasville of Georgia! 5/6/13

Hey y'all,
How's everyone doing? Hopefully REALLY good... you're all amazing. Did you know that? Each and every one of you... and I love y'all too. Just thought you should know :) Also, I prayed for you today. Yup... so you got AT LEAST 1 prayers worth of blessings heading your way ;)
So to start off I wanna ask for some help... does anyone out there have any creative ideas for what we could do with a family for FHE? Especially if we're bringing someone along who's never been a part of one before... something short, fun and spritual... any ideas?
So a few updates on things... had my first district meeting. That was fun! Slightly stressful, but fun. This district is amazing... there's 2 companionships of Sisters and the Elders are the Zone Leaders... they're gone most of the time doing Zone stuff so its practically my companion and I and the Sisters... kinda strange but they're awesome. The one companionship had a rough go this week... got sick and then their apartment smelled like gas one night when they came home... but they're still out there working! If anyone ever talks bad about sister missionaries.... just give them a love smack from me. They're POWERFUL!!! Also had my first baptismal interview as a District Leader... that was a neat experience. It was interesting... just like when I pronounced the baptism prayer for Sister Bordley, when I did the interview, it didn't feel like it was me talking... very strange and powerful experience. Also went on splits for the first time... that was WEIRD!!!
So a couple things I wanna talk about today... first, lets talk about what it means to "preside". What do y'all think it means to preside??? Any ideas, thoughts, comments... funny jokes? Well, I learned that to preside = to be responsible for the outcome. Sorry ladies, this is gonna be for the guys out there this week... don't worry, I'm including some stuff in there for you too though :) So guys... as priesthood holders in the church, we're called to preside. We're responsible for the outcome of the work where we are... especially amongst our own families. For you Fathers out there... you're responsible for the outcome of your family. You will have to stand before the Lord one day and take responsibility as to how well you led your family back to our loving Heavenly Father... and as we've been told, there is NO greater work to be done than in the walls of our homes. The Lord trusts you to lead the family... to keep them safe... to do as the Savior would amongst your most loved ones. It's so important to keep that in mind as we go forth in life... there is no room to "kinda" follow the commandments... we HAVE to be right on the mark when leading our families through this life. But not only does this apply to the current fathers out there right now... but for those of us who are preparing for future families... wow! We have got to prepare ourselves EVERY day! Our families don't just deserve a warrior and servent of the Lord to protect and lead them... they NEED to have that. The Lord NEEDS to have you be prepared to lead and guide them along this straight and narrow path as the sands on either side wash away more rapidly.
Now, something else I want to make note of... Women... you're so special and amazing. I hope you all know that. I can't express enough through this email how incredible each and every one of you are... and men, please always keep that in mind. As mother days comes up... please, show and express your love and respect to not only your Mothers... but to every beautiful daughter of God out there in the world. Each and every one of them is SO special. We (men) are nothing without them and we're nothing in comparison to them... they deserve not only our love, respect and care... but they deserve that each and every one of us is a worthy, well prepared and willing priesthood holder. Please, always strive for that... always keep in mind the power and special spirit that is there between a man and a women... and please, always respect that. Especially in your famlies. Father or future father... no difference.
I wish I had more time to talk about this... but just know that I love you all and that I have such a strong testimony of eternal families... family isn't just important... family is everything! Center your family on the Lord... whether that be the family you have now, or the family you'll have in the near future... center it on the Lord and build it upon the only firm foundation in the world today which is His gospel. I love you all so much... you're all part of my family and I pray that you're all doing well... sorry if this email is a little all over the place... got a lot on my mind today! But I love you all SO much!! You're all so special to me.
-Elder Wahlen
-PS: Congrats Ruby Jane!!!!