Love Always, Sister Welling

Love Always, Sister Welling
"I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, & set you & your families free. That is my missionary promise to you & your missionary message to the world" — Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Of Course I know Kent Derricott:)"

Hello my sweet family! 

It’s amazing how every week I read your letters and feel so strengthened and uplifted.  y'all are pretty wonderful people who inspire me to do better and be better- I could never say it enough just how much I love and appreciate you.

It was an amazing week.. It was a freezing week.. It was a week full of miracles.

First I wanted to share this quote by President Monsen that I read in my studies this morning-- I was preparing for a lesson we have tonight with a girl has been going through a lot of trials, one thing after another. 

"Our Heavenly Father... knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.  We know that there are times when we will experience heart-breaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits.  However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were-- better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before".
Exchanges this week.

The Christ-like attribute I have been studying this week is Hope.  I have experienced a lot in these past few years, and I have met many incredible people who have been handed very severe trials for this life.  I feel that my eyes keep being opened to the hardships that surround us.  and I have had to work on staying hopeful towards the future :) I loved this quote by President Monsen that gives us the very reason for our Hope- we have a loving Heavenly Father who has designed the most perfect plan for each individual.  He has provided us a way to overcome this life and each sorrow, heart break, and disappointment—it’s all through our Savior Jesus Christ.  As I have studied about the Plan of Salvation and the attribute of hope I have been absolutely filled with peace and with hope.  His plan is perfect.  We have every reason to trust in that.  He is making us into who we can be each day.

I think I have already told y'all this but I have been reading the Book of Mormon with a question- I started over and have been looking for answers to that question as I read and then I have been journaling what I have been taught.  It has been the neatest experience.  My questions have been how can I better rely on the Lord and show more faith.  I have loved reading and finding answers on every page.  Something thats' stood out to me is that those in the Book of Mormon who truly rely on the Lord are consistently praising Him and expressing heir gratitude.  I have felt incredible amounts of gratitude in the work this week.  As I've been striving to rely fully on the Lord I have been able to better recognize His hand in all things.  

- We found TWELVE new investigators this week
- We met Michelle- a mother of three, who has been incredible to work with.  She came to church with us yesterday and feels that the church is the exact answer to her prayers.  I love how the Lord prepares people, as we taught the restoration she kept saying that it just makes sense.  and before we even introduced the Book of Mormon she asked for it-- and said she is so excited to read it.
- Wayne our recent convert started crying as he shared an experience he had with his atheist son this week.  His son text him and said that seeing the change in Wayne since he started living the gospel and was baptized-- and also seeing the miracles in his life that have occurred since- have brought him the closest he has ever been to believing in God.  That meant the world to Wayne.
-Sister Chidester and I had every appointment fall through one evening, we pulled the car over and said a prayer of where we should go, what we needed to do.. then nothing really came to us, we tried some people, and we didn't meet a "golden family" actually nothing occurred that night but we felt so happy at the end of the night.  I know we were being blessed with peace and happiness, we really felt His love surrounding us, and we marked the night up as a success.
Twiners :))
- A couple invited us into their home and as we taught just railed into us about Joseph Smith how he was a thief and that God would no more restore His church through "a fish" than through Joseph Smith.  They quoted the Bible over and over and then prayed for us that we could find the truth.  
It was amazing comparing the spirit we felt in Wayne's lesson moments before to the absence of the spirit in talking with this couple.  I am so grateful for my testimony, and I'm grateful for the people who question it-- because I have found that it makes me study harder, pray more sincerely, and each time I find it has been strengthened a little more.

I wish I could go on and on... but my fingers hurt ;) I love being a missionary.  I know that the gospel has been restored and is on the earth today in its fullness.  I love that it is Christ's church.  We have Prophets and Apostles, we have modern day revelation-- how lost we would be without it.  I love this gospel.  It is so good.

I love y'all. a lot

Love Always,
Sister Welling

ps the stake presidents wife came and worked with us this week.  She served her mission in Japan.  I asked her if she knew Kent :) She said OF COURSE I KNOW KENT DERRICOTT they said they would go to peoples doors and ask them if they had ever heard of the church- they would say no-- have they ever heard of Christ-- no-- have they ever heard of "kento derricotto"? YES-- then they would respond, we have a message from him, and they would let them in. hahaha so awesome.  She also quoted something he had said
"don't be fooled, you never know how much good you are doing"
I love that.  pretty lucky that we know such a famous and wise man :)

Making breakfast....she said it has been freezing!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"It was one of my Favorite Experiences thus far on my Mission"

Oh the missionary life......

Dear Family,

Well it was an incredible week…  It was a little discouraging and completely exhausting but most importantly it was still full of happiness.

Something weird happened this week where all of our progressing investigators had one reason or another that they had to stop meeting with us. Mostly because they talked to their family.. or friends.. or preacher.  It was hard on Sister Chidester and I of course.  Especially when they have felt the spirit and have found truth and peace in the message.  It’s so hard when you care so much for these people and want them to experience all of the blessings of the gospel.  However,  I always know after the work has been hard miracles are coming!

We know that there are others who are prepared and waiting, and we are determined to find them :) We have been knocking a whole lot of doors- which always gives funny stories for the day-
lots of slammed doors and "we've already been saved" 
Last night was raining and FREEZING and every single appointment fell through.  So we were just knocking on peoples doors in the dark and no one would let us in.  Sister Chidester and I would just do really funny things from door to door dance.. or make jokes to keep our spirits up. It ended up being such a funny night

 We love meeting new people, and we have met some amazing individuals that I can't wait to see again.  

I felt overwhelmed by ALL the love I unwrapped in that package I was sent- holy cow I was blessed with the very best family and friends.  I don't know what I did to deserve such loving, incredible people in my life.  I was so touched, and felt so spoiled. 
THANK YOU to everyone! 
Our neighbor gave us a Valentine surprise!  It really was the sweetest thing

It sounds like the Homecoming was amazing, doesn’t surprise me at all!!  I feel so privileged to have made the Beyer board! :)

This week Sister Chidester got sick-- the day we were supposed to give our Zone trainings she was up all night with a fever and throwing up. so I got to spend the day taking care of her.  I love being the caretaker and trying to remember all the things mom and dad do to "make everything better". Its a sweet experience being able to completely serve someone.  I loved it
but then.. of course after taking care of her I had it by that evening.. haha but we made a quick recovery!

I gave a training this morning on charity and love.  It was one of my favorite experiences thus far on my mission.  I felt that the training was just for me.  As I studied for it I felt overwhelmed by the love of my Savior.  I spent so long in the bathroom this morning praying that I might be able to say what the Elders and Sisters needed most and that I could be directed by the spirit.  I felt so blessed because my training went in a completely different direction than I had planned but I knew that it was the Spirit intervening.  I was reminded of my farewell talk-- that I have been called to SERVE.  I love serving the people in Georgia because I get to feel the love of my Savior expand.  

We had an incredible lesson with a less active who for months and months has refused to read the Book of Mormon.  This week we had a powerful lesson on Joseph Smith and the Restoration- and how because of the Book of Mormon we get to know our Savior.  She committed to read 3 Nephi 17 about the Savior ministering to the people in the America's.  This is a huge deal :) pray for Sister Upshaw

I wrote in my Journal this Sunday about our group and wanted to share a little bit with you so you can get to know them a little better :)

" I love Sunday's and meeting with the group in the small Holiday Conference center.  I love hugging sweet Sister Champion and her sister, Sister Jackson as they come through the doors with their walkers.  I love Brother Phillips firm handshake...  I love how every week Sister Hammond tells me that I need to move to Georgia after my mission and marry her son because she needs me as her daughter.  I love the screaming and the running around of T and T.. because that means Sister D made the decision to come to church-- even when she is struggling to find her testimony.  I love the light Wayne and Tremaine- our newest members bring to the meetings.  I love Sister S, her laughter, her dimples, her open arms and sincere heart.  I love how the lessons she teaches in Gospel Principles mean so much to her.  I love the spirit she brings., how nervous she gets, and the way she touches others.  I love my group family.  I love the way they welcome our investigators.  They are so involved and incredible member missionaries. "

I sincerely love my group.
On March 1st we are moving to a three hour block which is a huge deal!  We are adding priesthood and relief society! That means we finally have enough people attending.

--- love you all so much!! Have an amazing week!  Can we write more handwritten letters?! LOVE YOU

Love always,

Sister Welling

I love these homes!!  Georgia is Beautiful!

Elder Poti's Birthday:)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dear Family,

It was such a special week this week.  I'm so lucky to be serving a mission in the Georgia Macon Mission.

A vital part of our Heavenly Father's work is to draw each of His children, one by one, back into His presence.  I love that our message has always been, and will always be a timeless message of hope and salvation; and that it is personal.

I love in the scriptures how it states more than once if we bring but one person into the gospel how great shall be our joy.  

W's baptism this week was so special.  Family I sincerely felt that joy promised in the scriptures, the pure joy for Brother W, and even though it was only him who was baptized on Saturday I pretty much felt like all of Georgia was getting baptized.  Its so cool to feel this way and just imagine what our Father in Heaven feels, how much He loves this one individual.

Brother Phillips our group leader spoke on Baptism and Elder Poti one of the assistant’s  spoke on the Holy Ghost (when our planned speaker wasn't able to make it last minute)
after W was baptized he sat down in front of us (he has a really bad leg and so couldn't stand) and bore his testimony
He said "this is the happiest day of my life" he said when we first came over he wanted us to teach his daughter-- but he said it took him a little while to realize that he was the one that needed the message.  He said that at first he would make up excuses of why he couldn't make it to church and now he wouldn't miss it- and he even gets his two grand kids up and ready to babysit them there.  He talked about how he has come to know of the love of God.  and how good He truly is.  He spoke of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how God speaks to him through it.  He said he can't wait to share the gospel with anyone who will listen to him.

his testimony was one of the most genuine and sincere I have ever heard, W

will be the absolute best addition to our group.  He is the most passionate missionary.  and will be a wonderful Priesthood leader.

We had our missionary leadership conference this week- so all the leaders in the missions get together and are instructed.  It is a six hour meeting and I always learn a lot, and leave wanting to be a better missionary.  I love how much trust President puts into us and how the mission feels like a really good team.  We're really focusing on setting goals and setting the how behind them.  I know its something I could improve at- setting goals and always striving 100% to achieve them.

Dinner at a members home.  It was so beautiful!
We went on exchanges this week and the sister I worked with is going through a hard time, I couldn't help but to feel a little inadequate to give her advice and guidance.  I had the thought.. I was never trained for this! ha then I thought about dad, and how people come to him on the daily- with things I'm sure he was never specifically trained for.  But dad has always showed his faith and reliance on the Lord and the spirit.  Because the Lord knows perfectly what each of us needs- and sometimes we get to be the instruments to help in any way that we can.

I spoke in church yesterday on virtue- I love virtue.  Virtuous individuals stand out from everyone else.  They have that purity within them that shines out.  Virtue begins in your inner most thoughts and desires.  "watch your thoughts they become your words watch your words they become your actions watch your actions they become your destiny" have virtuous thoughts not only patterns what we will do but it will pattern the outcome of our life.  

The bishop shared a story yesterday that I loved- He talked about his friend who was on his farm with his girlfriend and they had a new colt they were training to lead.  (something like that) and he was trying to impress her and went out and for twenty minutes tried to pull the horse and the horse would respond with a tug a war and the eventually the horse would just fall over.  
then the girlfriend took over to show him how it was done :) and she went and took the horse and walked beside it-- in about thirty minutes he was leading and obeying her
sometimes we want to fix or "help" people by just pulling.  telling them to do something, how to do it, and then we get frustrated when they don't respond the way that we want.
but often times its going to take that patience, standing beside, and walking with them to truly help.

That's how the Savior works with us.

I love my Savior Jesus Christ, with all of my heart.  I love doing His work.

The church is true and I love all of you! :)

Love always, 
Sister Welling

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Finally Feel Like A True Southerner"

Hello my dear family!

I was reading in Preach my Gospel this week the first page- it is the letter from the First Presidency and it reads
’ We compliment you on the great opportunity you have to be a missionary". 
 I looked up the word opportunity in the dictionary and by definition it says
1. a favorable combination of circumstances, time, and place.
2. A chance for advancement.

I loved that, I truly feel I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. and everything I am doing is helping me become better, and its helping me help others do the same.  The mission I am now serving is the best opportunity I have ever been given.  I feel so humbled and blessed to be serving as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. :)

I couldn't believe I hit my one month mark on the 29th!!  I can't believe how quickly time is passing.. 
On that very day Sister Chidester and I went to visit a former investigator to find him not at home.  We were leaving when I noticed two men working in their yard across the street.  My companion and I kept walking to our car and I felt a continual tug to go and talk to the two men.  Finally as we were about to get in the car I stopped being stubborn and suggested to my companion that we head over.  We met D.J. and Wash and shared the message of the restoration with them.  We invited them to be baptized and they both accepted.  Wash kept saying "I really needed this.. I really needed this" and he was so sincere.  I couldn't help but think how long Wash would have had to wait to hear of the gospel if I had just gotten into my car like I had originally wanted to do. 
We have already met with them two more times and they seem just as excited about keeping commitments and learning more than they were in the first meeting-- its incredible how the Lord is preparing people everywhere.. I'm so determined to find them :)

Stake Conference was incredible this week.  Elder Zwick and Elder Parker came to set apart the new Stake Presidency. 
Something that was shared that I really loved was in Mark 10:12-14 when Christ is blessing the children. The speaker said that there is no doubt the ones bringing the children to Christ were the parents.  The parents were the ones taking their children to the Savior, so He could touch them.  he said, that needs to be our purpose, to lead our children to the Savior to be touched. We need to teach our children to have the desire, the testimony, and the courage to come unto Him.  He said that in our homes "we need more experiences with the sacred and we need to make them more simple" .. the most important thing we put deep into the hearts of the children is the testimony of Christ. 
how beautiful is that?

Elder Zwick said that it is not enough to just pray and ponder but we also need to prune as well :) we need to be willing to change everyday. 
I love that this gospel is a gospel of change.

Our investigator Wayne was interviewed for baptism this weekend and President Fussel had us sit in at the beginning of the interview which was really neat. He talked about the parable the Savior taught "the first shall be last and the last shall be first" .. the workers in the Vineyard.  He said that we are all equal in the gospel.  and that Wayne knows enough and that he is right where he needs to be.  The spirit was so strong in the meeting and Wayne is so eager to be baptized which is so neat to see.  He said to us that the LDS church is no lazy man's church :) -- isn't that the truth?! I'm grateful that it keeps us busy with so many good things, keeps us in line :)

I had grits this week and loved them- I finally feel like a true southerner
I have bruised knuckles from knocking on doors- I finally feel like a true missionary :)
I am getting real good at my Yes Sir, and No Ma'm
all the billboards here are incredibly tall to reach over the trees
I love using y'all :)
exchanges were awesome this week- I had the opportunity to work with Sister Christensen- I love learning from other missionaries
and I love y'all.  Thank you for all of your support. We are blessed to have this gospel in our lives. so blessed. 
I testify that there is the most sincere joy in trying to become more like our Savior.  I testify that there is so much peace as we come to understand the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father and feel of His perfect love for us.  I testify that we will feel hope and a sense of purpose as we begin to understand His plan for us. 

the church is true and I love you!

Love Always,
Sister Welling

it was POURING rain last night.. we were knocking on everyone's doors and they all thought we were crazy to be out in the dark and the rain and during the super bowl.
we told them our message is THAT good :)