Don’t you quit

Hello all!

This past week I was able to go on exchanges, zone conference, and stake conference all in one week! Exchanges went well, I was able to stay in Valdosta and Sister C, my MTC companion, is my Sister Training Leader and she came down to Valdosta. It was amazing to see how much she has changed and grown just in the months we’ve been out! While I was on exchanges with Sister C, we were able to witness many miracles.

At zone conference we focused on exact obedience and the blessings that come. I’ve seen how, when I followed the commandments, I’ve had more freedom and liberty. By following the commandments and the guidelines Heavenly Father has set up, we are able to have positive consequences rather then consequences which limit our ability to make other decisions. In an extreme example, if you use your agency to choose to rob a store, the consequence is that you will be put into jail, where your ability to make decisions is limited. The laws of God are similar. You are free to make your own choices and decisions, but you cannot choose the consequences.

Usually missionaries don’t go to the Saturday night session of Stake Conference, but this time Salt Lake asked us to attend as the topic was Hastening the Work of Salvation. It was an amazing session and there were many inspired talks. The Sunday morning session was a Stake Conference broadcast from Orlando to 42 stakes in the southeast. Elder Russell M Nelson spoke about the doctrine of Christ and comparing the doctrine of Christ to a diamond and with nine facets, representing nine of the main points within the doctrine of Christ, including the Godhead, the Plan of Salvation, Keeping the Commandments, and more.

This week we were able to teach a lovely woman, N. She was a referral from the Elders and asked if we could come back to talk to her more. When we came she expressed her feelings that that we were sent from God to help her come closer to Christ to help her overcome her trials and help her find true and everlasting happiness. The entire lesson her three year old son, T, was sitting between Sister Szilagyi and I, quietly humming to himself and playing with the buttons on my coat. He was adorable.

Quote of the week: “Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead–a lot of it…You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”
-Elder Holland, October 1999 General Conference

I love you all!
Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

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“Pause; Ponder; Pray.” CMA Church, Quitman, GA

Hello!
This past week has been FREEZING! We’re talking socks under two layers of tights under leggings cold, and then two days later hot humid rain and two days later a tornado warning! It’s been some crazy weather down here!

IMG_1327Sister Wood was transferred this past Tuesday, and Sister Jeppson’s new companion is Sister Tevi, who’s from Dallas Fort Worth Texas slash is half Tongan half Samoan :)

IMG_1334Sister Szilagyi and I came home from church to find this at our apartment! PS at the door it says “watch your step” because as soon as we walked in the door Sister Jeppson and Sister Tevi attacked us with nerf guns. It’s cool, we got them back later :)

This past Sunday our sacrament meeting talks were Sister Missionary focused! Sister Szilagyi and I both spoke, as well as a sister in the ward who got back from her mission two weeks ago. Sister Szilagyi and I had six investigators at church on Sunday! Six from Miss E’s crew [see last week’s letter]:) Miss E walked in with a bright red 1950s Sunday hat and pocketbook (there is no other description of her purse; it was a pocketbook.) followed by Mr O in his 1950s red suit as well as Mr A in his mustard checkered suit, Mr G with his white soulpatch in his suit, and Miss P and Mr P in their sweats. It was a spectacular entourage.

The talks were all about the change the Atonement can have on us, and I enjoyed studying the actions needed to accept the Atonement into our lives and to affect us. One of my favorite quotes in the pamphlets we use says “In paying for your sins, Jesus did not eliminate your agency or personal responsibility–He will not make you clean against your will.” Just because Christ suffered for your sins and the trials and challenges we experience, it doesn’t mean we’re set, we’re good to go. Christ did suffer for our sins and everything we will ever experience, but we need to take action to allow that Atonement to affect our lives and to be clean again.

Because Christ suffered for every hardship and trial we experience, he knows exactly what we are going through and has a perfect understanding of what we are going through because He experienced it as well. Because of that perfect understanding, he knows exactly what to do to lift us up and help us rise above the challenges we go through, it’s just up to us to come to him.

This might be my new favorite Mormon Message:


I love y’all and hope all is well with you!

Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Sister Lauren Waddoups
Georgia Macon Mission
400 Northside Crossing
Macon, GA 31210

Merry 2014!

Hello!

This week was an amazing way to kick off a new year! We started off by having our own New Years celebration including a countdown to the new year…at 9:00 :)

nye mission style

The Elders made the chicken, rolls, and corn, and we made chocolate chip cookies and the salad, and we swapped food and brought it back to our individual apartments to enjoy the meal. Sister Szilagyi and I had a chocolate chip cookie recipe competition (judged by the Elders) and, for the first time ever, mine lost! (I’m sorry mom, I must not have made them right!)

This week was so full of amazing miracles that I hope I can fully capture the blessings we received. Sister Szilagyi and I went to an appointment we had with a potential investigator, E. E is a 80ish year old woman who is the epitome of a Christian woman. She takes people off the street and gives them a home and food to eat while they try to find a job and get back on their feet. Her front porch, back porch, and a couple sheds in the back yard are all turned into rooms for those in need. Her house is full of nick-nacks and gorgeous velvet curtains draped over everything. When we got to our appointment with her, she had a room full of people sitting and waiting for us to come and teach them. That lesson was one of the most raucous and uplifting lesson I have ever experienced. At one point I was thinking about what I was about to say, and A (the man sitting next to me) turns to me, starts fanning me with a pamphlet, and tells me to “Just spit it out. You got this babe. Ooh baby you got the spirit.” At one point we had a full grown man fanning us and rejoicing and expressing the Spirit he was feeling in a way that only a 50 year old black baptist man can; with a lot of loud praises to the Lord and exuberant testimonies. At the end of that lesson A turns to us and asks if we can come back and tell him more about the Book of Mormon, and where our church is.

Our next lesson with E and the crew went really well, we began reading the Book of Mormon with them. At the end of the lesson E stands up, declares that “these girls are sent from God to tell a message to each of you here”, and calls everyone there to repentance right then and there. She continues on to announce that she is going to set up a caravan this coming Sunday to bring everyone to church and that “if you make a promise to these girls; If you make a promise to God; If you make a promise to God that you will be at church next Sunday, you will be at church next Sunday. You make a promise to these girls, you make a promise to God. You. Do. Not. break a promise you make with God.” She’s amazing! She and A are being baptized on February 1 :)

Another miracle we had was with B. The Elders were visiting a less-active member and a woman came out and talked to them. She told them that she had asked her neighbor to tell the members from her church that she wants to learn about it and get a visit from them. The Elders then told us to come over and visit her, and when we did we had an amazing lesson with her. At church on Sunday she kept running to people and hugging them and thanking them for going over to visit her neighbor; she recognized everyone who had visited with her neighbor and recognized the family and love we have for each other–that pure love of Christ.

I love each of you!
Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

morven georgia

Morven, Georgia. It looks like the set from The Grapes of Wrath.