Monday, January 27, 2014

Hello from the warming city of Conyers!!!

Howdy howdy,

How's everyone doing today?? Such a beautiful day today, isn't it??? I sure hope so... beacuse it certainly is here. It's been a blessing lately that the weather has warmed here in Conyers as my companion and I have ran out of miles and have been blessed with the opportunity to get our walk on... we lovingly refer to our feet as Lamborfeeties (get it, Lamborgini and feet put together... I know, missionary humor).

Alright... so I only have 5 minutes left... so I'll share a short experience. This last Sunday was regional conference and we had the blessing of hearing from Elder Nelson of the 12... and something amazing happened for me personally. Elder Nelson had many amazing things to teach us and I certainly learned much from him... but the thing that was most amazing was his closing Apostolic blessing upon all of us who were listening. He began to say the things he was including the blessing... but then he paused for a brief moment... and I thought he was going to end in what he was saying and close the blessing.. but then he said "I sense there is a desire and need for a blessing of healing and of good health..." and then he went on to include that in the blessing... and as he did so, I felt such an amazing warmth come over me... now, for those of you who may not know.. I haven't been feeling very well as of late... but this blessing and warm feeling... it felt like he had pronounced it just for me. I felt so much better afterwards... and I've been feeling much better since.

 So why do I share this???? Well, for me, it's one more miracle to helps me to know that this church is true... and that we do indeeed, have a living prophet and 12 Apostles here on the Earth today. Gotta run! 30 seconds! Love y'all!

Elder Wahlen

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pics and more pics!

These are pictures from a zone training meeting

Elder Wahlen was in charge.  The first picture is with

his new companion.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hello from the "who knows what the weather will be like today" city of Conyers, GA!

Hey y'all,

It's a beautiful day today... but who knows? Maybe it will be so cold the water pipes will freeze or maybe we'll have flash flood and tornado warnings accompanied with rain, winds and hail... or maybe it will just stay nice outside at about 68 degrees... I dunno. We've seen all of these this last week :)

Things are going great here in Conyers! What an amazing day to be alive and to have another opportunity to learn and to grow. I'll probably touch on a few things today.... so again, I apologize if I make no sense or if I jump around to various topics and experiences...

So, how about an experience to start things off for a change? I know, right? Miracle. Anyways, the other day we went to a place called Panera Bread for lunch... it's much like Paradise Bakery or Kneaders for those of you who know those amazing institutes of food... but anyways, my companion and I went there with the other set of Elders here in the ward as I had promised to take them there one day to experience the greatness of the food thereof... so we all piled into the car and drove ourselves on over to the nearby PB. We pulled into the parking lot, found ourselves a nice little parking space and were about to spill out of the car and dash for the doors (which expel wonderful smells of freshly baked goods, btw) when we thought to pause for a moment... and pray. Just a simple prayer... a simple prayer of faith and desire that during our time at lunch that we'd be able to find someone who we could help and share the gospel with. So we prayed. Short and simple... and we get out of the car. 

Next thing we know, we hear the blaring of a car horn behind us.
We each turned around (slightly confused and concerned) just in time to witness a car backing up into another car that was patiently waiting to enter into a parking spot in the parking lot. Bang! The front car fails to hear the warning blares of the car behind and unfortunately the two cars suffer a bad case of fender bender. Standing there confused and feeling pretty awkward, the 4 of us watch as the drivers exit the car and begin the blame game. We stand there for a moment before deciding it would be best to avoid the spirit of contention that was mounting and get to our delicious lunch... so we go and we enter into the PB. We begin to order our meals, even joking about the incident that had just occurred a bit before a lady enters into the bakery and begins to order her meal alongside of us at the next door cashier.

 Lo and behold, the lady turns out to be the driver of the car was in the rear that was hit by the backing car. We continue ordering our food as we acknowledge her presence... but we can't shake the feeling and visual indications that the incident that had just occurred with this women and clearly shaken her and rattled her a bit. She seemed frantic and stressed out... and of course, shortly after seeing her in this state, the spirit takes the opportunity to whisper to us to help her. We simply ask her if she's doing ok to which she quickly responds no and explains how she is feeling. We offer a smile and some kind words... but then we offer to do something for her which we had just done not so many moments ago... we offer to pray with her. Surprisingly, she accepts the invitation with a smile. We then go and find a somewhat secluded spot in the bakery to sit together and to pray with this wonderful daughter of God... Elder Sandoval then offers a short, simple but faithful and loving prayer in behalf of this women and her situation. The prayer concludes and then the tears and emotions start to flow... this women begins to tell us how much the prayer had helped and then proceeds to tell us how things are going in her life. She tells us of family struggles, financial problems, spiritual difficulties, etc... and we sit and listen. As she finishes, we express our love to her and share a brief message about who we are, why we're here and who we represent. We collect her information just before she leaves to take her food to her family and we make plans to call her that night to setup a time to come see here....

Now, long story short... this women later agrees to meet us at the church. She comes to the church with her 3 kids and not only are we able to give her a church tour... but she and her whole family are able to witness a baptism that is taking place that day. She then agrees to come to church... and does! She comes the next day with her whole family... and then that night she agrees to come over to a members home to be taught more about our faith. They come, the spirit teaches and now the family has agreed to be baptized.

Wow... what a miracle!!!

I know and testify that prayers are answered... and that God will lead and guide you to those who are in need as we pray for the opportunity to reach out and help someone... help someone be helped, help someone come closer to Christ, help someone learn of the Restored gospel. I invite all of us to do this each and every day and then to act in faith.

-Elder Wahlen

Monday, January 6, 2014

Leadership conference pictures

  These are pictures
from a leadership
conference.  if you look
real close you can
find Elder Wahlen

P.S. Elder Wahlen wanted
        me to give a huge
        thank-you to all of
        you who sent cards,
        letters, and gifts
        for christmas!

It's 2014

Howdy y'all,

How's everyone doing this fine week in the 2014??? Isn't that crazy? It's 2014!!! Wow... what a great time to be alive and to be serving the Lord. What are some of your New Years resolutions???
So I'm not exactly sure what to write about this week... this last week was nuts! Adjusting to the new area, companion getting violently ill... meetings that are 1 1/2 hour drive away... all sorts of crazy!!!! I'll say this much about my new area though... this ain't down town ATL anymore!!! Wow!! What a change... I'm still trying to get my bearings here... I feel so out of place haha. I feel like I started the mission all over again! Feels like I don't know anything anymore... but it's a good thing. A new start... new lessons to be learned... a chance to take a fresh view of myself... really, it's a chance to repent :)
Wow... as crazy as things have been though I've learned so much already... where to begin? I can't think of a specfic experience off the top of my head... so maybe I'll share some of what I leanred and share a miracle experience next week :)

Always be ready, worthy and willing to serve the Lord. We watched a movie for mission council this week... it's about the story of a man named Epharim Hanks... I can't remember the name of the movie but it's a companion film to 17 miracles... and wow, it's a GREAT one to watch. I'd invite each of you to check it out.... there's many great lessons to be learned from it and it certainly changed the way I see a lot of things in my life and in the lives of others. But anyways... one of th biggest things I pulled from that film is to always be ready for the Lord... and worthy! The Lord will open more doors to us the more prepared we are.... and how do we prepare oursevles? We have faith and we're obedient. Faith and obedience go hand in hand... you truly cannot have one without the other... they are synergestic and they are the two things that propel you through the gospel and the eternities as we progress to become more like our Heavenly Father. As we do those two things... we will be prepared by the Lord to do His work.. and He will use us as we remain worthy of His calling. Now, none of us are perfect... and many times we fail to prepare adequately to do His glorious work and to answer His call when we are called upon... but we must do our best to become clean and worthy by relying on the Atonement. We utilize and rely on the Atonement of Christ through repentence... by praying and asking God for forgiveness... and then we go out and we CHANGE to become better. We set goals and make plans to improve... each and every day of our lives so that we can continue on this journey and contiune to be an instrument in the Lords hands...

I've seen this time and time again throughout my mission... especially during my time in ATL. Now, I don't know how many of you know this, but during my time there I was struggling with some health problems... and I'll be the first to admit, that it was REALLY hard some days to stay strong and to keep doing what I've been called upon to do and to keep going out and working hard... but I did it. No matter how terrible I felt, I kept relying on those 2 things I spoke of... faith and obedience... and then when I did fall short (and all of us do... me especially) I repented and literallly relied on the Lord to get me through all things and to not only make up the difference, but to be the difference in what I was trying and hoping to accomplish each day... and what I found was that the Lord consistently trusted me with opportunities to serve Him... to be His hands... some small examples of this was often times on the days I felt the worst, the Lord would bless me with the chance to pronounce a priesthood blessing for someone. I didn't understand why at the time... but looking back now with the perspective I have, one thing that I've pulled from those experiences in that the Lord trusted me enough to perform such an act because I had remained faithful and obedient despite the opposistion I was facing... now, please don't misunderstand me here... by no means am I saying that I was perfect or that I'm someone to look to our admire as I certainly made many, many mistakes and failed to prepare myself in other ways for other opportunites,.... but as I did my best, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to serve and witness miracles.... and I can now promise and testify to each and every one of you that the very same thing will happen to each of you as you contiune to remain faithful and obedient through ALL things... and I know that the Atonement is ALWAYS there for you to lean upon and rely upon to get you through all things... and the more you turn to the Savior and the Atonement for help... the greater heights you will reach in your personal life and the more often the Lord will turn to you to help aid Him in His work... which is to bring the gift of the Atonement into EVERYONES lives... and to help them return together a family and recieve the greatest gift of all which is eternal life. Each of you can remain not only worthy and prepared to be utilized by the Lord through faith, obedience and now I've added repentence..., but you will find more happiness and joy in your life than ever before. I promise :)

Again, I appologize if none of that made any sense.... as I seem to always go off on random tangents about things when I get going in my writing of these... but just know that I love each of you so much. I know that Christ lives and that through the Atonement that all things can be healed, forgiven, lifted and overcome... and that one day, we will all stand together and rejoice in ultimate glory and happiness as we return to be with our LOVING Heavenly Father and our LOVING elder brother, Jesus Christ. They love you. I love you. We always will. Seek them out and ye shall find... and as you rely on them, they shall rely on you to do the great work which we've ALL been called to do; the work of salvation. Remain clean and pure through faith and obedience and continue to serve and love all.

Have a blessed day!
-Elder Wahlen