Weak things become strong

Hello all!

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!
Sister Waddoups

IMG_1534District Picture
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.

Advertisements

“If you’re waiting for a sign from God, this is it” Morven AME Church sign

Hello!

My weeks out here seem to have trends to them–each week we focus on something different as part of our companionship transfer goals. This week we were focusing on Charity and Love, and man were we able to do a lot of service!

On Wednesday night we received a phone call from Elder Ditty and Elder Jones, the Elders up in Nashville, GA. They were in tears and told us that their Recent Convert, Miss L, was rushed to the South Georgia Medical ER for a possible brain tumor and might have emergency brain surgery that night. They asked us if we were go visit her and make sure she’s doing okay because she has no family who could come down. So we sat with her and talked for a little while waiting for the priesthood holders to come give her a blessing. As we were talking with her, she told us about her conversion story and experience at her baptism. While she was under the water, it felt like time had slowed down and she felt such an incredible peace and pure joy. She said she wants, more than anything, to feel that joy again in the presence of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and is doing everything she can to return to live with them again. That is our goal and our purpose here on earth and why I am out on a mission–to help Heavenly Father’s children receive the pure joy and happiness that comes only through the gospel.

We met with C again this week. This week he asked about the meaning of happiness. We talked about how no matter what it is, the things in life we receive for free–no work involved–don’t bring the true happiness that comes with things with hard work. Like a mission. Or a family. Or playing a musical instrument. Or returning to live with Heavenly Father again. Or the Atonement.

On Saturday we were able to help out at the Young Women’s Yard Sale fundraiser. My goodness I have never seen anything like a Georgia yard sale. I was warned about them, but it was ridiculous! We had a constant stream of cars pulling into the church parking lot and we were able to contact so many people and teach many lessons! It was an amazing opportunity to help the ward and meet people :)

Later on Saturday we helped a woman move–a woman who isn’t a member of the church but has been working with the Bishop and he asked us to assist. We, along with 8 other kids from a nearby Baptist church and two sets of Elders, helped her move into her new house. We were able to feel the love Christ has for her as we helped her do things she couldn’t have done on her own.

“Everybody has an opportunity to be a sunbeam every week”
I invite you to be a sunbeam to someone today. Make a little girl smile. Be the answer to someone’s prayer. Be a disciple of Christ.

Love,
Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Sending love from one of the most beautiful places on earth :)

Sending love from one of the most beautiful places on earth :)