Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween from PTC!

Happy Halloween y'all!

I know it's early but by the next email it will have already passed! 

So I just want to share some miracles with y'all...

The ward here recently had your classic "Chili cook-off" to celebrate the season. All were encouraged to invite their friends, families, neighbors, etc. everyone to come and see who we are and what we're about as members of the church. The event went great! So many people came and so many families... but one amazing miracle that happened was that a young couple showed up all on their own... how did they come to be there? Well, they found one of the printed invitations the church had made for the event on the floor of a Publix store. The crazy thing is that they just moved into the area and have been looking for a church... so they decided to just show up and see how it was! They LOVED it and we were able to meet them and swap information. They're now planning to come to church this next week and we're looking forward to meeting them.

That's not the end of it though... we met an older couple in line at the store while we were there getting lunch... turns out the father found a Book of Mormon on the road one day... and he's been reading it! He even told us that he believes that it could be true... but that he's waiting for a spiritual confirmation. We swapped information with them as well... and the next day they called us to setup a time to meet with us!

It's amazing how the Lord will provide so many miracles in our lives as we do our best and pray for his help. I testify that He is there and that He wants to help us! He wants to help all of us... He will place us exactly where He needs us and exactly when He needs us to be there if we'll just keep doing our best to hear His voice and follow Him.

I invite each of you to continue to pray for opportunities to help others and to be the Lord's hands in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I promise that He will provide as you pray and ask and then do your very best with whatever amount of time or energy that you can provide. This will bring so many miracles into your life and you will help so many people that are need!

Enjoy the tricks and treats and know that I love you!
-Elder Wahlen

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello, Hello from another transfer week here in PTC!

Hey everyone,

I'll probably keep things short today... it's been a crazy busy week and a crazy busy day! Just a small snippet from today's schedule... started off with transfer calls at7:00am. I was on the phone non-stop until 11:-00am calling missionaries and informing them of their new transfer assignments and helping resolve any concerns, questions, etc. that anyone had. Right at 11:00am we jumped into an office correlation meeting with the entire office staff of the mission to prepare for this weeks transfers. Since then, I've been trouble shooting and figuring out different logistical obstacles to this transfer that will involve well over 100 missionaries. Pretty crazy... but so much fun! So much more to be done too!

I just wanted to share something this week... this work really is so simple. We're here to help everyone return to live with God again together as a family in Heaven. That's the end of everything in this life... there's nothing more grand or great to look towards. And to think... all the hundreds of cars out here... all the hundreds of suits, shirts, ties, shoes... all the thousands of hours studying the scriptures.... all the thousands upon thousands of dollars spent to keep the missionaries fed... all that we do out here for the Mission and for Missionaries... is all to the end that we go and find some people and open our mouths and talk to them about that end destination and how to get there. To simply hold a conversation! Isn't that amazing? There's so much power, time, energy.... so many sacrifices and so on and so forth... all to the end of having a simple, genuine and loving conversation about Gods plan for us and the promised blessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.... but we do it because of the people! They're our brothers and sisters! They're our family! We all want to be together forever, don't we? I want to simply testify of this work... and why we do it! We do it because we're family. We're family with God and we're family with each other.... and we're meant to be together in happiness and joy FOREVER. It's only because of our loving BROTHER Jesus Christ who lived and died for us so we can be together forever. I know this is why the church is here... for families... ETERNAL families! I know that's why we need to talk to everyone and share OUR gospel... our families gospel... this is all of our's plan and all our's work... and I know we can do this together with the help of our loving Heavenly Father. 

I invite each of you to pray for the vision that our Father in Heaven has for each of us individually and together as one big family... pray to see others as He does... pray for chances to help our brothers and sisters... and I promise that you will receive answers to those prayers.... and opportunities!

I love each of you so much. Have a great week family!
-Elder Wahlen

Things that Elder Wahlen didn't share:  He is staying on as an assistant to train the new assistant.  His companion 
Elder Webster is going to be a traveling assistant.  He is sad to see Elder Webster go but excited to train the new assistant Elder Savage, who if you have been following this blog you will recognize as his companion from his stay in Atlanta.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey y'all,
How's your day? How are you doing? I hope and pray that all is well!

As you can see from my subject line, I want to invite every last one of you to go see "Meet the Mormons". It's amazing! Be sure to bring something to dap the tears away... but more importantly, be sure to bring a friend or family member with you! It's a great opportunity to help others see who we are and what we're about! You'll love it... if you don't, email me and I'll refund your ticket. Will you do that? I promise that you'll feel the spirit as you watch it and it will increase your faith!

Things are going well here in Atlanta! This last week we had zone training meetings nearly all week... which also meant the Temple nearly every day all week! It was a blast... I love no other place more than the Temple. There's no place like it. I'm so grateful that we have Temples and I'm especially grateful that I've had the opportunity to attend the Temple so often as a missionary. What a unique blessing and gift. I invite y'all to go to the Temple as much as possible... and if you're not there yet, that's ok! Keep working towards it! Set it as a goal and never lose sight of it! Everyone is welcomed there as we all prepare ourselves adequately. I promise as you do so and as you enter into the Temple (whenever that time will be) that you will not regret it! You feel the Spirit so strongly and it will be an experience that will build you up and draw you closer to the Savior and to our loving Heavenly Father.

Speaking of Temples, we're teaching a part-member family now that wants to be sealed in the Temple! I'll give you the short version of their story.
One day my companion and I found some time to go out and work our area (this has been a VERY rare occasion). We went out and tried finding some people to teach! Unfortunately we didn't have much luck in doing so. Slammed doors, rejecting waves of "get off my front-porch" and lots of doors with simply nothing behind them. We started to feel a bit discouraged as the day started to wind to a close and we had yet to see much good come from our efforts... however, we decided that keep our faith, vision and attitude high (why not?) and keep working hard and trust the Lord that He would provide a miracle for us. We eventually prayed over a list of names of members in the ward that we had been assigned to go and see... and as we did so, we felt prompted to go see a specific family. We went to the home and we were welcomed with smiles and warmth. They invited us in and we sat and talked. We soon found out that the father has been inactive for years, the mother is a non-member and all of their children are non-members. We also found out that the grandmother was a member and living with them in their home. Sadly, this strong but time worn women was coming to an end to her days here on the Earth and was expected to pass away at any moment. It was very hard for this special family but they knew it was time. We taught and testified of eternal families and said a simple prayer with them before departing. They invited us to come back sometime soon as we left. Fast forward 2 days later and my companion and I are sitting at the church when we find out that this grandmother had indeed passed away in those short couple days. We reached out to their family and expressed our love to them as well as other members of the ward. Several days later, after we had been thinking and praying much for this family and for their recent loss, we receive a text message from a member of the ward. In the message, she tells us of her recent conversations with this family. It turns out that following the death of the grandmother, the family began to discuss the gospel and the church... and the importance of eternal families. It eventually led to them deciding that they want to be together for time and eternity... and they wanted to learn how they could do that. They had reached out to this member and asked her if they could sit down with her sometime and discuss "being sealed together as a family".
Since being informed by the member of this families desire to be sealed together for forever, we've been able to go back and meet with them again and share more of our message of eternal families through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.... and miracles have been happening! This family is so open and so loving and have such a desire to be together forever. We're now working closely with members of the ward to teach them and prepare them to take the steps that will lead them to the Temple and to being sealed together for time and eternity.
It's been humbling to be a part of this family's journey thus far and it's been humbling to be a witness for Jesus Christ and His promises to all that come and follow Him.
I know that God led us to them at exactly the right moment when He needed us to be there. I know that He knows all of our needs and I know that He will send us help when we need it. I know that God answers prayers and that others are often times answers to those prayers. I also know that God needs more willing hearts to humbly ask Him "What do you need me to do today? Who do you need me to help?". I know that God will show you where to go, who to see and what to do as we seek Him out in honest and pure prayer with real intent. I know that when hard times comes, that's it's so important to keep going and to never give up... because your miracle is just on the horizon.
I invite each of you to seek God out in prayer and ask Him to help you have a more willing heart to serve others. I invite each of you to trust Him and have faith that He will lead and guide you to those that are in need. I invite each of you to keep going! To keep putting faith and trust in the Lord no matter how hard it gets! Better days and many miracles are ahead! I promise that as you do so that you will be made an instrument in His hands and bring so much joy, even eternal joy to many of His children and our eternal brothers and sisters. As you do so, you will find more joy and happiness in your life than ever before!
I love you tons! Have a blessed week.
-Elder Wahlen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hello from the ever cooling air in GA

Hey y'all,

How's everyone? I'm going to try and be fast and furious.
First of all, I testify that this church is true! Christ is the head of this church and He has a living prophet here on the Earth today who leads and guides it! Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet here on the Earth!
I LOVED General Conference. It was amazing! Big themes for me? Personal revelation, Prophets, the sacrament and agency.

Quick experience:
After the conclusion of General Conference, my companion and I had a decision to make about whether to go into the office to work on reports, etc. or to go out and try and teach people. We decided the most important thing was the people and so we prayed specifically to find someone that was being prepared or who was prepared.... not just someone though, a family! After we prayed we felt we should go try and see some of the people in the ward that we had been given to work with. My companion felt inspired that we should go see a specific family a few minutes down the road. We went there and prayed before going to the door and knocked. Long story made short (as these almost always are) the family came to the door and invited us in. The family turned out to be a part-member family (father is non-member) but their daughter is preparing to serve a mission. 

As we talked, we realized that this daughter was someone we knew from when we served in the YSA ward. Turns out this daughter is 22 years old and has a very similar story to mine. The mother of the family was telling us how badly she wanted her daughter to have a great mission and to "find herself" as she served the Lord... my companion and I shared our stories and testified to her of the blessings of serving a mission... both the ones that will come to her daughter and her family. The mother began to cry and the spirit was so strong! She thanked us for coming over and told us that we were an answer to her prayers. Later she talked to us at the door and told us of her desires for her husband to be changed fro her daughters service... we again felt prompted to testify of the blessings of a child serving a mission and sharing the gospel. It was powerful!!! We're now going back to meet with the family again and we've even established a good relationship with the father (who apparently isn't a big fan of missionaries typically).

Isn't God amazing!!??? God led us right to where we needed to go. Right to who He needed us to see. This is just a small experience we had with many others that happened this week! But what I've learned is that God loves all of His children and wants to help them all.. but He needs us to be His hands! He needs us to be like the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and seek out those who are in need and to follow the Spirit in doing so. I testify that as we are willing to act in faith, live a worthy life and humbly seek His guidance and help in prayer that He will lead us to his children that are in need! There is no greater joy than being an instrument of God and serving His children. We are all imperfect but He will allow us to experience His work if we so desire and as we act upon the Spirit. I invite each of you to review the things that you learned from General Conference and then to prayerfully apply them in your life. I promise you as you do so and as you seek the Lord more and more in your daily life through prayer and a righteous life, that you will see many more miracles in serving others and in turn, you will see many more miracles in your life. 

I love y'all so much! Prayer works! This church is true!
-Elder Wahlen