This week was Valdosta’s Azalea Festival! Aka hundreds and hundreds of people all in one location. We were able to talk to so many people from all over the Valdosta area and we met so many amazing individuals. At one point we were walking on the sidewalk, smiled at a little girl, and she ran up to us and gave us both huge hugs. We didn’t know her, she just wanted to talk to us and give us a hug.
At another point, we walked past some volunteers from the air force, and one of the volunteers face changed as he walked past. We thought nothing of it, and continued walking. A few seconds later we heard ‘hey!’ as well as running footsteps towards us. We turned, and it was the same guy coming towards us. He said ‘You’re missionaries right? I’m Mormon! I’ve just moved here and I’ve been thinking that I should find where the church is and start coming back!’ Miracles happen every day. We also found an investigator who we had lost contact with and were able to set a new appointment and a correct phone number, ran into some members, and some investigators!
We had our second ever Valdosta Book of Mormon class this week! However, it wasn’t very well announced, and so we had six missionaries and one investigator who, along with her five kids (ages 15-2) and husband, has been meeting with us for a little while. At the Book of Mormon class she brought up a concern her 8-year-old has–he’s been praying but didn’t feel like he was receiving an answer and she didn’t feel like she knew how to help him. Elder H addressed her concern with a beautiful analogy–as the sun is rising in the sky, you don’t usually notice it’s rising until all of a sudden it’s above you in the sky. It’s a gradual process with a brilliant result, and that is how he receives answers to his prayers–he gandually receives an answer or a testimony and all of a sudden it’s bright and warm.
Her youngest is 2 years old and loves the Bible. She has a children’s Bible book which she shows off to us every time we are over. Her mom said that she can’t wait until she knows the Book of Mormon better to teach her the stories from there! This week we went over and acted out 1 Nephi 3-4; Nephi getting the gold plates from Laban. And man was it a hit! The whole family was involved and the 8-year-old played a very dramatic Laban!
My favorite scripture this week was Ether 12:27:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I love that not only through Christ can we overcome our weaknesses, but they can also become strengths!
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature” -Ezra Taft Benson.
Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can we change to allow our weaknesses to become strengths, and enhance our divine qualities! We are all children of our Heavenly Father, and like we have characteristics from our earthly father, we all have inherited characteristics from our Heavenly Father, divine characteristics. By developing these characteristics we can become increasingly better individuals and children more similar to our Heavenly Father.
I love you all!
Elder Greene, Elder Konopasek, Elder Gearheart, Sister Waddoups (me!), Elder Ditty, Sister Szilagyi, Elder Jones (I know, he’s HUGE! He’s 6 foot 9 inches. He makes Elder Hunsicker look normal height!), Elder Hunsicker, Sister Jeppson, and Sister Tevi.