“We are not alone in this work. This is God’s work; We are His servants, He is our Master.” Elder Merrell

Hello!

Favorite moment of the week? S was baptized. Most challenging moment of the week? S was baptized, haha. Literally everything that could have gone wrong with the baptism went wrong.

It all started last Monday night when people shattered glass in the gym door and broke into the church building twice in 12 hours, causing the church building to be on lockdown except for Sunday service, so we were required to push her baptism to Sunday.

We had the entire baptism planned, the pianist, including all the rides for the 12 friends and family (including S) who don’t have a car and needed to be at the baptism (two of which live  30 minutes from the church-they were M and her mom) (miracle of miracles!!) then 12 hours before the baptism we had a lot of people backing out. We freaked out, we solved all those. Then Sunday morning, person presiding was called into work and couldn’t make it, [and about five other things went wrong]. We figured out the rides and figured out the program. Still no one presiding, that’s okay, it’ll work out. Talked to the ward mission leader about filling the font.

We get a call [and find out that person who was going to fill the font was still at home which is a problem because we don’t have a key and can’t find one]. Finally we find someone who tries his key, and it doesn’t work. So we have no access to the empty font where we are supposed to have a baptism in 25 minutes. Bishopric walks out of the bishop’s office and unlocks the font (yay!) Then the elders come with M, her mom, and J (Yay! Miracle of miracles!)

By this time the baptism is supposed to have started 5 minutes ago, and find someone to preside! Yay! We check the font, and miracle of all miracles, the font was filled. It only took 25 minutes to fill instead of the 2 hours it normally takes.

More things happened, more trials and struggles, but the baptism happened!

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S was baptized and she is so excited and so happy! I love her to pieces. I gave her a CTR ring the day before her baptism when we talked about enduring to the end, and she was so excited and she said she was going to wear it every day. I gave one to [her friends] as well, and they have decided it’s their sisterhood ring and they’re going to help one another choose the right and endure to the end. I love them :)

After the baptism, M and her mom came up to us and asked if they could be baptized too! They felt the spirit so strongly and they wanted to have what S had. They are getting baptized on 6 December! So many miracles.

I love you all!

Sister Waddoups

Hello hello hello!

This week has been a good one! The big news is…..S’s getting baptized on Saturday! She is a recent convert’s little sister, and about a month ago she started coming to Wednesday night activities with a couple of her friends who are members, found out that her older brother had been baptized two months previous, and asked us if we would teach her and if she could be baptized! So we have been working with her. She is so awesome and ready!

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They came to Young Women in excellence this past week and sang A Child’s Prayer with the young women :)

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​I love all y’all! Sorry it’s another short one this week :)

“God can turn ‘ti’ around” –Whitemarsh Baptist Church

Hello!

Transfers are tomorrow, and Sister Call is leaving! She’s been here for seven months and the ward is going to miss her immensely! I’m going to miss her too, she’s taught me so much!

My new companion is going to be…..drumroll please……a temple square sister! There is an all-sisters mission on temple square where they give tours and answer questions about the church and its history to visitors from all around the world. These sisters do three months outbound where they go to another mission in the United States and have an experience being a missionary in another state in a ‘normal’ mission. There are three outbound temple square sisters coming to our mission, and one of them is coming to Savannah, GA! I’m super excited.

M is in a nursing home and wants desperately to be baptized! She physically can’t come to church and hasn’t left the nursing home in 7 years, so it’s a slow process to help her become physically ready to be baptized. She loves family history and wants us to take all her family names to the temple. She is an amazing missi​onary–she shares pictures and her testimony on facebook all the time and has given out two copies of the Book of Mormon to her nurses in the nursing home! See–e​ven someone who is inside all day can be a missionary :)

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Last Pday we went to River Street! Super cool old buildings with cool shops. Including an old fashioned candy shop that is famous for their pecan pralines. They are melt-in-your-mouth good.
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Happy Halloween from Elder Pittard and Elder Fadely! (Sister Call and I didn’t have time to dress up for the ward Trunk or Treat. We were lame and just switched name tags. So here’s a picture of the elders instead.)

I love you! Stay tuned for next week where we find out who my new companion is and where she is from!

Sister Waddoups

lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Hello!

Hello!

Sorry, this is going to be a relatively brief one this week!

Last week was really rough, there was a young single adult who passed away on a ward boating trip in a tragic accident on the Bishop’s boat, and the ward was reeling. But as life seems to go, this past week has been amazing! We had so many miracles.

1) A woman requested a Bible on mormon.org, so we went to deliver it to her. When we got there, we met her friend and we talked a little with them. Her son is investigating the church in Florida, and her other son, who lives here in Savannah, was married in our church building a few years ago by our bishop! Small small world. She had noticed the difference the gospel had made in the lives of her sons, that they were happier and better people, and she wanted that. When we came back for a return appointment she said ‘I feel such light when you are here, I feel so happy and like laughing. But when ya’ll leave you take that light with ya’ll, how do ya’ll bring that light with you?’ We talked about the Holy Ghost and the ways it testifies of truth and how to have that light with us. She and her friend are both working towards being baptized on 22 November :)

2) S— and L—- came to church this week! S loved young women’s, and L loved Sacrament meeting. Bishop stood up and talked about how The Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all pain and guilt and humiliation we might feel. Because he isn’t perfect, no one is, and we all have feelings of guilt and pain and we all make mistakes. But that is exactly when we need to go to church–it is a hospital for broken people.

I love you all. Jesus Christ loves you all :)

Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Snapshots

[No general “weekly email” from Lauren this week–she must have run out of time–but here are a few excerpts from her letter to our family this week]:

Look who I found at transfers! Sister Maxfield!

Look who I found at transfers! Sister Maxfield!

The elders are teaching someone who gives walking tours around old town Savannah so she offered to give us a free tour. It was beautiful and so fun!

Very back: Elder Garcia, Elder Fadely, Elder Oldham Centerish: me, Sister Call, half of Elder Jones Front: Elder Pittard and Elder Bennett

Very back: Elder Garcia, Elder Fadely, Elder Oldham
Centerish: me, Sister Call, half of Elder Jones
Front: Elder Pittard and Elder Bennett

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Sister Call, me, Sister Lusk, Sister Ward

Today we had a great district meeting. The district meetings are up on Hilton Head Island so it’s an hour drive there and back. It’s been a crazy crazy week. Tomorrow I’m going on exchanges so I’ll be in Beaufort, probably going onto Paris Island (the huge military training place on the coast). It’ll be fun!

Love you so much! Thank you for the prayers and thoughts, I can feel them!
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Conference, joy, and inspiration

Hello!
Wasn’t general conference amazing?! It’s amazing how when you bring questions to general conference, questions you have pondered and written down, they are answered. Every single one of mine were answered! They are truly inspired messengers of God. If you weren’t able to watch general conference, it is still available! You can still write down your questions about life and search the talks for the answers to your questions. I promise that they will be answered.

We had zone conference this week and Sister Jeppson was there! I love her :)

It was an amazing zone conference–President McCoy (counselor to President Cottle) gave a fantastic training on a talk by President Uchtdorf on fearing God more than fearing man. When the storms come and it’s hard to stay standing and face it/them with courage, to remember who I am: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among this people, that they might have everlasting life (3 Nephi 5:13)” It’s taped to the back of my name tag. This is who I am, and what I do, I am here to give the people of Savannah Georgia the joyous message of the Restoration! That scripture gives me courage when I am stretched our of my comfort zone. Which happens a lot.

We had an amazing experience this week– we were walking down the street and a man called out to us to come over. We shrugged and headed over to the park bench where he was seated. He told us that he met with some sisters last year, and he told them he was done and not to come back, but that he had been thinking about the church lately and about the gospel and the joy he felt when the sisters were coming and he was learning. He saw us walking from a distance and felt that same joy and spirit-and knew we were from that same church. This truly is His work and His message, and I am excited to be a part of it! :)

I love all y’all!

Sister Waddoups
lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Hello from beautiful Savannah!

Hello!

This week has been amazing–we had so many miracles! We’ve been doing a lot of finding this week, but we’ve been able to meet so many amazing and wonderful people! Also, the Woman’s Broadcast was amazingly inspiring–I especially loved President Uchtdorf’s talk. Heavenly Father truly loves each of us no matter what.

The missionaries here have been working with M, an investigator, for a few months now and she desperately wants to be baptized. The only problem is that she lives in a nursing home–she has congestive heart failure among other things– and hasn’t left the nursing home or stood on her own feet for seven years. We’ve been working with the Bishop and the ward with her for a while now, and we’re slowly but surely making progress. She is so amazing–she has such a strong testimony of this gospel and wants desperately to be a part of it.

This week we were looking through the former investigators the missionaries before us kept track of, and found one that was four years old, but we felt prompted to visit her. So we did. Her name is R, and she was so excited to see us. She now has a four month old daughter who is the chunkiest bouncing baby I have ever seen. She’s adorable. We taught R the Restoration and the baby would burst into her baby giggles as we testified of Christ and of the restoration of His gospel. We asked R if she wanted to be baptized with His authority, and she told us she absolutely did, and the baby burst into the biggest set of giggles yet. She was so excited for her mom :)

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Yup.
Ready for some more scenery?
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Looking out to the Atlantic Ocean from Tybee Island, a beach touristy island that our area covers. We didn’t go down to the beach, but stood on a pier thing. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Thank you for all the love and support!

Lovelovelove

Sister Waddoups

I think I’m gonna like it here!

Hello!

I love Savannah!

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Imagine in the background (little orphan) Annie singing “I think I’m gonna like it here!” These are pictures from my neighborhood, no big deal. There are some dangerous parts of Savannah (like there is in any big city) but the area is split in half and the elders have the down town and we get the islands. Sounds like a fair trade, right? haha

​This week I attended my first ever low country boil. Pretty much a southern thing where they take freshly caught shrimp (because they can do that because we’re right on the coast) potatoes, sausage, and other such delicious things and boil them in huge pots and it is delicious. Remember how I didn’t like shrimp? Well…..I hadn’t ever had fresh low country boil shrimp. I am a fan.

All the missionaries in the zone were in a talent show. Elder G wrote a parody to “I’m Yours” where an elder gets dear-johnned and realizes his priorities were all off and he needed to focus on Christ, and guess who sang the part of the girl who dear-johns the poor elder? This sister. So that was fun and interesting. Elder P got it on camera, so I’ll steal it from him. I can’t send videos from the library computer, so we’ll watch it when I get home haha. It was really fun.

I’m running out of time, but my new address is [on Wilmington Island just south of Tybee Island and Hilton Head; I won’t post my address here but contact my mom for my local address].

Love you all!

Your Sister Waddoups

lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Goodbye, Augusta!

Hey!
Guess what!
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Shannon was baptized!
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Me, Sister Hathaway, Shannon, Joey

Anna, Leah, Aaron, Nate

I love this family so much. There are no words to describe my feelings.

Shannon’s baptism was amazing- probably one of the most powerful and spiritual baptisms I have ever attended. She is amazing–this gospel has brought her so much joy and happiness. She is a different person today than she was when we first started teaching her, than she was last week. We talked to her after her baptism and she said “everyone told me I’d feel something, but I feel something. I feel amazing.” The spirit was so strong, it was undeniable. This is why I’m a missionary–to guide people towards true and lasting joy and happiness. I know that this gospel changes lives because I’ve seen it in others and I’ve seen it in myself. That is how I know this church is true.

 

In other news, I’m being transferred tomorrow! My time in the Stevens Creek ward has come to an end. I’ve grown so much in this area. I am a different person than when I came here. I’ve made some lifelong friends here and grown so attached to everyone. Stay tuned for next week to find out where I’m going and who I’m with!I love you all!

Sister Waddoups

lauren.waddoups@myldsmail.net

Miracles and miracles!

This week was a week of miracles!

We have been talking to and helping a woman whose husband has been battling throat cancer. For the past three months he’s had a stomach pump and it’s been touch and go as he undergoes radiation therapy. It has taken a huge toll on her; she has struggled under the stress and pressure of being a caretaker 24/7. We would stop by and talk with her, talk about Christ and his love and care for her and her husband. This past week when we stopped by, she had visibly changed. She saw us and just beamed. Her husband’s cancer, which was at a stage 4 at the previous test results, was now at a stage 1. The cells are still deteriorating, he is hungry and eating for the first time in months. It has been a huge miracle.

We lost contact with another woman for a few weeks; she is constantly busy and gone at work whenever we would try to visit with her. She was a very solid investigator, she had been to church multiple times and she had agreed to be baptized at one point. She is so loving and caring and watches for those around her and helps all those in need. Last night we drove past and finally caught her at home! We talked with her and her 14 year old son and she asked when she can be baptized! She set her own baptismal date of October 11th :)

There is a recent convert in our ward who has been struggling– she was raised Muslim in Iran, and when she went back for a funeral this past spring she received a lot of pressure to stop going to church and stop reading the Book of Mormon. The ward lost contact with her after she told a member about it, and the ward has been really worried about her. This week Sister Hathaway and I were finally able to make contact–she invited us in and we had a wonderful lesson with her. We asked about how she felt at the time of her conversion, and she recognized that the happiest she had been was when she was reading the Book of Mormon and was attending church and praying. She said she wanted that happiness again and realized that in order to have that happiness, she needs to continue to read and pray and attend church. It was a huge miracle that we were able to make contact with her and that she was so open to us about the things she’s been struggling with and that she was able to finally recognize why she was so happy and what she is missing and needing to bring back in order to have that happiness again :)

Lauren district
We were doing service this Saturday and the Elders accidentally cut down a tree with a nest of baby squirrels. The poor things were terrified.
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I love you all!
Sister Waddoups
400 Northside Crossing
Macon GA
31210