Coming home

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Last photo at the mission home before all flying home

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The Lord is on Thy Side

Hello!

We had stake conference this past weekend and Elder Meredith shared a story from when he was a young man. He was learning how to drive with his brand new learners permit and a few minutes into it, his dad made him pull over; the driving was making him car sick because Elder Meredith was swerving all over the road. His dad asked him where he was looking, Elder Meredith replied with “the road!’ and his dad gave him some valuable advice. He explained that when we aim for just over the hood of the car, we end up swerving from one side of the lane to the other, trying to stay within the lines. But when we raise our vision and look into the horizon, we go a straight path to our destination, and staying in the lines becomes easy. When we keep our sights on the eternal goal, of being with our family forever, of living with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again, and of being eternally and perfectly happy, the rest becomes easy. There are less swerves and we wont feel as ‘sick’. When we follow the commandments, remain true and sure in the path we are taking, and keep our sights on our eternal goal, we will have a smoother, easier, and happier journey. I know it because I’ve seen it happen!

I know that Heavenly Father loves you. If there is anything I have learned on my mission, its that I know He knows each of his children perfectly and knows precisely what they need. He is able to perfectly orchestrate your life in a way that will help you grow and fulfill your eternal potential. Because He knows you and knows what you need, you just need to allow him to take over, because life is always better and happier when you have someone by your side who knows the big picture, who can see the end from the beginning, and who wants you to succeed and wants you to be happy because he loves you! No matter what, the Lord is on thy side.

I love being a missionary. I love seeing the change it brings to people’s lives (including mine!) and the happiness it brings. I have been happier than I ever have been being a missionary. It’s hard, and a lot of growing happens (and man are growing pains painful), but I am happier. Happier because I know he is on my side and wants me to succeed, and because he loves me. Just like he loves you.

Love,
Sister Waddoups

Scatter Sunshine!

Hello!

This week was so full of miracles! We found an amazing investigator who was a former–she’s the cousin of the ward’s ideal convert. He was baptized a few years ago, went on a mission, went to BYU and got married in the temple. Our investigator, Cayla, wrote him his entire mission, is good friends with two of the ward members, loves the gospel, and when we texted to see if she had been praying about the baptism and if the book of mormon is true and she said ‘of course!’. She’s amazing.

We gave  a Jesus pass-along card to the cashier at Wendy’s, and she promptly stuck it on the register “so everyone can see Jesus” :)​

unnamedFun fact: We are so talented that we can hang spoons on our noses.

unnamed-1Love you all!

Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

The Time is Far Spent

Hello from Savannah!

As you all know, Sister Sevy went home last week and I have a new companion–companion number 4 within 4 transfers in 1 area! Introducing…Sister Frandsen! We’re getting along well; we have similar personalities and senses of humor, so we get along great. She’s helping me stay working and happy :)

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Mustaches suit us well, don’t you think?

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J,K, and me

I love them–J was in a lot of pain but they came to church anyway and left after the sacrament to go to the ER. They said they came so that they could feel the spirit because they knew they’d need it. I love them so much! I’m going to miss them when they move to Michigan on Friday.

Our mission president has asked us to bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ whenever we see anyone–member, nonmember, less active. We went to visit a less active family who we have been working with quite a bit, and shared a scripture on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and his love and just bore testimony that he lives and that he is our Savior. Immediately afterwards we sat quiet for a minute, and the mom turned to us and told us that they’d be at church on Sunday. She decided, on her own after feeling the Spirit testify that Jesus Christ is her Savior, that she and her family needed to come to church.

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he knows me perfectly and personally. He knows every physical or emotional pain, every fear, everything wrong someone did to me, everything wrong I did. He knows how those feel, and because he does he knows how to help me. And its the exact same for you. I love him, he is my big brother.

I love you all!

Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

p.s. [we asked her about her current favorite hymn and scripture]: My favorite hymn…our mission theme song is The Time is Far Spent (I think it’s hymn number 266) and that’s kind of my favorite right now (of course, I like it fast, about twice as fast as it’s written). I love each of the verses, but right now my favorite is the third. “The angels are waiting to crown you with blessings, go forward be faithful the promise is sure!”

My favorite scripture is Helaman 10:4-5. I found it the other day and loved how it talked about not fearing man and focusing on the will of God and encouraged me to continue “with unwearyingness declar[ing] the word.” Those are all my favorite things/the things I’ve learned most on my mission all wrapped up in one. It’s my current favorite mission scripture. I love it.

Last transfer + a call for your best jokes

Now, before y’all think I’ve gone rogue emailing on Tuesday, Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day, so all the libraries were closed. Our mission president asked that we email Tuesday after the transfer meeting instead.

Unfortunately, this past Sunday Sister Sevy finished her 18 months on her mission, headed for the mission home in Macon and on Monday she flew back home to California! I ended up staying with Sister Jeppson and Sister Barry (I needed babysitters) and was able to spend a couple days with them until I got my new companion–Sister Frandsen!

Hiking on Pday at Fort Pulaski with Sister Jeppson (not pictured is her companion Sister Barry, Elder Fadely and Elder Wilkins)

Hiking on Pday at Fort Pulaski with Sister Jeppson (not pictured is her companion Sister Barry, Elder Fadely and Elder Wilkins)

The view at the end of the hike--if we hit it at low tide we could be able to hike all the way to the lighthouse and go inside, but we went at high tide so the trail was flooded ​

The view at the end of the hike–if we hit it at low tide we could be able to hike all the way to the lighthouse and go inside, but we went at high tide so the trail was flooded

So many miracles happened this week!! Some of them will have to wait to tell until it pans out :) But one investigator, in our last lesson, told us that she loves it when we come over because when we’re there, she feels so good about herself and has more confidence- she said she knows its from Heavenly Father and that she can’t wait to be baptized so she can get the Gift of the Holy Ghost and have that feeling all the time :) I love her!!

I love y’​all!
Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

PS please send on any and all jokes you have! I would love to hear your favorites :)

Hello!

This has been a fantastic week! So many miracles and blessings have come and I was able so see so many amazing people and role models!​

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Our group who went to Fort Pulaski on Pday
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Look who came up to Macon for the missionary get together after the mission conference with Elder Anderson! A! She was baptized the week before I was in Valdosta a year ago! She is one of my role models.
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 This is K–she is one of my favorite people. She is one of our investigators and at the special stake conference our stake had with Elder Anderson, while we were sitting waiting for it to begin and watching the choir practice, she turned to me and told me she wanted to join the choir. So we did. K never knew anything about the church, but as soon as we met her she wanted to know more and wanted to come her an apostle come speak to Savannah and wants desperately to be baptized! She has had so many trials and struggles in her life, and is excited and ready to change her life! One of her favorite parts of the conference was when Elder Anderson said that change is needed and necessary and can only come through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That’s when she knew that she needs this in her life. :)

 

Love,
Sister Waddoups

Also, on a side note, this week we were meeting with our ward mission leader and I told him “We axed her….” Darn it. I’m losing all of my grammar abilities haha.

Hola!

Hello all!
I hope you had a Very Merry Christmas!
This week was filled with service and miracles and good will towards men.
Elder Fadely and Elder Wilkins made our district a fantastic Christmas dinner-turkey included- at the end of District Meeting

Elder Fadely and Elder Wilkins made our district a fantastic Christmas dinner-turkey included- at the end of District Meeting

The ​S​avannah district's reenactment of the Nativity (ties, scarves and sheets can do wonders for a costume)

The ​S​avannah district’s reenactment of the Nativity (ties, scarves and sheets can do wonders for a costume)

P-day around historic Savannah--St. John's Cathedral. Absolutely gorgeous!​

P-day around historic Savannah–St. John’s Cathedral. Absolutely gorgeous!​

The fountain at Forsyth Park​

The fountain at Forsyth Park​

We went Christmas caroling with a family in the ward, and we had a magnificent time. Many of the people we caroled to were so appreciative of the added joy this season. One of them was an older woman whose husband passed away last December and was having a difficult Christmas season this year with out him, one was a woman who was by herself this Christmas season, and one was a father who asked us to keep singing and ran upstairs to grab his two kids from out of the bathtub to listen to us sing about our Savior’s birth.

​We were able to do so much service this week–helping an older woman living by herself decorate her Christmas tree, help a member pack up to move, serve food at the Salvation Army Christmas Day to the homeless, Christmas caroling, and little acts of service along the way. Life is good when you’re in the service of your fellowbeings.

As a Christmas miracle, M (who a few weeks ago decided she didn’t want to be baptized and didn’t want anything to do with the church) has prayed and received an answer that she should be baptized! She is back on track to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

I love you all, and I wish you a happy and safe new year!

Sister Waddoups

Merry Christmas!

Hello all!

At the beginning of this week we had two baptisms solid and set for two different women, both with the same name, M! However, they went way different than I thought they would be. It was a good lesson on humility and trust in God’s will. [The first M] doesn’t want to be baptized anymore, so we called off the baptism.

The second M was baptized on Saturday! However, she ended up needing to be baptized in the Pooler Ward, even though her fellowshippers are here in the Savannah Ward. So, we call the Pooler Sisters Tuesday night and tell them that they have a baptism on Saturday with M! We called M and told her, which we thought would be difficult to do because when she moved into the Pooler Ward we originally tried to have the ​P​ooler sisters teach M, but she told us she was going to our ward with ShaMyrra or not at all. So we were nervous to tell her, but when we did she said “Oh good! That way I’ll be able to have a ride more easily to Young Women and church every week. I’ll miss you, but it’s okay, because the church is the same everywhere and Jesus in in every congregation of your church, right?” Absolutely. Miracles.

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​​Sister Jeppson (remember her? I was in Valdosta with her, and she’s one of the Pooler sisters!), M, and me after M’s baptism (note the CTR ring on her right hand–she wears it every day :)

M going to the Pooler Ward was probably one of the best things that could have happened. She has a ride to church every Sunday and to Young Women every Wednesday, she was completely welcomed and enveloped into the ward, and her mom has been completely welcomed and involved in the ward.

What is a better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than with a baptism and a fresh start?

The Church has put out an amazing video about the true meaning of Christmas–the Jesus Christ is the first and the true gift to the world from our loving Heavenly Father. If you haven’t seen it yet, do it right now: christmas.mormon.org

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#HeistheGift #SharetheGift​
I love you all! May your days be merry and bright!
Sister Waddoups
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District plus friends Pday last week! We went to River Street, a main touristy spot where the street is like it would look in the 19th century. ​I​t’s super pretty. left to right: Sister Ward, Sister Sevy, Elder Wilkins, Elder Fadely, Sister Jensen (who is actually home off her mission now but was in Savannah for her mom’s work!) me, Elder Turnbull, with Sister Muegge and Elder Garcia in the background.​