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, April 20, 2015

Transferred to Hilton Head South Carolina

Sister Lunt..Jen's new companion from Texas...and the ward Mission leader
Caught in a rain storm...tornado watch
Well, I feel as if I have stepped into another world and I am serving a “third mission”  I have been assigned in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  It is beautiful here, we live on a golf course and when it is high tide the water comes right under our window.  I spend all the day long trying to catch my breath because all of the trees.. and the green.. is so incredibly beautiful J Our Father in Heaven is the ultimate creator.. I get overwhelmed observing all of the blessings He has given us, for our happiness. There is so much beauty in everything—wow.  Sister Lunt and I have seen a few foxes.. the tree frogs sing us to sleep every night.. we have been warned about the gators’ but we are still on the hunt to see one for ourselves. J
Speaking of Sister Lunt.  I have the most incredible companion. Sister Lunt is from Houston Texas and is as good of a person as I have ever met.  Her testimony and desire to share the gospel and serve others is so sincere—and her smile is contagious.  She has made what should be a difficult time (learning and figuring out a new area) so much fun.
It was 10:00 the other night—we were both utterly exhausted and we were trying to plan for the next day- putting in past investigators.. thinking we were planning people who all lived close to one another, come to find out they were all super far apart.  So… we just laughed.  That’s a strength of ours J I’m so grateful we have been able to laugh instead of get stressed.  Laughing has way better side effects.
This week has been a lot of—where do I turn?! Meeting individuals and trying to find those the Lord has prepared.  We have already seen countless tender mercies and miracles.
We got invited to eat at the Marriott hotel one evening, some members visiting from Utah fed us—can you believe how sweet?!
I felt grandma Welling so close to me this week as I read Mormon 5:23 – I knew that this area, and this work was in the Lords hands.  I always think of Grandma Welling’s faith and trust in Him when she shared that verse with us.  How blessed are we to be in the Lords hands
We taught a recent convert named Henry this week—he is 85 years old.  We taught about building our foundation on Christ and shared Helaman 5:12.. He brought up the parable of the wise and the foolish man.  So we broke out our favorite primary song—actions and all the foolish man built his house upon the sand.. Henry LOVED it.  His eyes lit up and he tried to sing right along with us.  I love primary, and the simple- powerful truths taught there.  And how the music can teach, and invite the spirit.  It brought such a smile to my face
Our ward seems incredible, we are still trying to get to know everyone but we have been informed, especially over the summer about 70% of attendance is visitors.  Wow.
We met the sweetest mother yesterday while knocking doors.  She was overwhelmed, working two jobs.  We talked to her on her doorstep and the sweetest peace came into our meeting.  We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it strengthens individuals and families.  We asked if we could see her again and she listed off her busy schedule to us.  We then taught a little more and promised if she would let us return we would not be coming to add to her stress but to take away from it, we would give her a message that would bring peace, comfort, strength, and direction.  It was the neatest lesson and she said that she would like us to return.  So we will be seeing Mariam next week.
We have seen a teenage girl twice this week and she exclaimed that she wanted to be a missionary too! She saw a man she knew walking down the street and ran and grabbed him so she could introduce him to us.  She then started telling him about the Book of Mormon—(we had taught her about it only a few minutes prior) J I love how, no matter our age, we can feel the pure joy of the gospel and that joy results in a desire to share it.

Honestly we saw so many miracles this week.  It is going to take time to get familiar with the area and the people in it.  We will be doing a lot of finding and starting from scratch but I know that the Lord needs Sister Lunt and I here at this time.

My thought for the week comes from Elder Clayton’s talk from conference.  These sentences filled me with so much hope and they are eternal truths I want those I teach to learn and know--
“Sometimes progress in spiritual things can seem slow or intermittent. Sometimes we may feel that we have lost ground, that we have made mistakes, or that our best efforts to find the Savior are not working. If you feel this way, please do not give up—ever. Go right on believing in Him and in His gospel and His Church. Align your actions with that belief. In those moments when the light of your faith has dimmed, let your hope for the Savior’s love and grace, found in His gospel and His Church, overcome your doubt. I promise that He stands ready to receive you. Over time you will come to see that you have made the best choice you could possibly have made. Your courageous decision to believe in Him will bless you immeasurably and forever”.
Keep on believing in Him yall.  His path is one of light, hope, and peace.  How blessed I am.. how blessed we are to know Him.  I know that He lives and that He is the head of the church.  I know that He never leaves us alone --- ever. 
The gospel is true and I sure love you.

Ps. Shirley got baptized and we were able to talk right after! She said it was the perfect day and everything she could have ever hoped it to be.  Wayne then got on the phone and said he will receive the aaronic priesthood on Sunday.  I told Him that the Lord is going to need Him to help others and bless their lives and He said He is ready for Him to put him to work J
Love you all, always,
Sister Welling
Good bye to the apartment:)

Saying Good-bye to Forsyth...lots of tears

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 13, 2015

so the word is out--

I will be leaving Forsyth..
I will be training and white washing a new area.

I am heartbroken to leave Forsyth.  I have grown so attached, especially to our group.  But I know it is in good hands and that the work will continue to progress.  Shirley's baptism will be this weekend and I am trying to get permission to call her.

We spent the afternoon at lunch with Shirley and Wayne-- Wayne cried.. I didn't even know it was possible for a man like Wayne to cry.  He said that he was so caught off guard when they announced in church I would be leaving.  He said that because of the testimony that I have they need to send me to as many places in Georgia as possible to help the people.  He is so kind.

Our district spent a lot of time together this week- we did a few meals together where everyone cooked something separate and we ate under the pavilion in our complex.
we went and hiked the Indian mounds in Macon and it was the best time.

We had another zone training this week and our trainings went well.  I love learning from the other missionaries and all being gathered together.  There is something so powerful about a group of young people all united in purpose-- all trying to become their best selves and completely lose their selves in service.  it's powerful stuff really, and ah I love being apart of it :)

I spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday on my favorite topic.. living by Faith.  The gift of being a missionary is that speaking doesn't concern you one bit anymore. Faith is my favorite topic- especially living in the world that we do today where there is so much we can worry about or be afraid of.  I love that because of our Savior Jesus Christ we have every reason to have faith-- for He hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  Faith and fear can not coexist.  how powerful.. there is no more solid foundation to place our faith than in the love of our Heavenly Father.. His plan of happiness.  and the capacity of our Savior Jesus Christ to fulfill all of His promises.  we also got asked to teach relief society.  for relief society because there are so few of us we put the chairs in a circle and it feels a lot more like a discussion. it is so personal and brings the spirit so quickly
 It was a wonderful lesson about Joseph Smith.  What an incredible man he truly was.  I know with all of my heart that He was a true prophet..
It is incredible to think about all of the blessings that I enjoy--
priesthood blessings being given at the hands of my loving father
temple ordinances that make it possible for my family to live together eternally
the Book of Mormon that calms my every fear is the reason for my every happiness and gives peace and direction to a tired missionary and hope in a Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ of whom it testifies.
the fact that I get renew covenants with God and be cleansed every single Sunday as I partake of the sacrament
I get to listen to a prophet of God tell me how to live a life that God would want in today's world.
I have all of these things.. because a fourteen year old boy asked a question.  its incredible to think about, and I worry that I take it for granted at times.

I have so much to tell y'all its always so hard on Mondays to even know where to begin.

It was hard saying goodbye to SIster ANderson- she really wants to marry Stephen.. so you might be hearing from her. :)

We taught S

about the word of wisdom this week.. she yelled-- TEA AND COFFEE?!?!! 

She was freaking out a bit. we taught her the lesson. she stood up and told us to watch her dump all of her tea and coffee out. it was awesome.

Ms. H our investigator-- pulled me to the back during church and started sobbing and asked if I had been keeping it from her on purpose that I would be leaving. .. it broke my heart.

I love this place and it has changed me.

I AM SO GRATEFUL I AM A MISSIONARY.  I am soooooo grateful.  I know with everything I am that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now-- funny how it was so different from what I had planned.  
the church is true.  this letter is very very scattered and I wish I could more adequately express the incredible experiences I have had this past week.. but just know the church is true.

I love yall.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Church is True!

(No Subject)


Dear Family.

I don't think there could be any greater blessing than celebrating Easter, and watching General Conference.  I felt that I was on cloud nine all week.  What a special weekend it truly was.  
yesterday morning for my studies I read talk after talk on the Atonement-- I think my companion was incredibly worried about me because I could not stop crying. ha. (she thinks its hilarious) but learning more of my Savior and reflecting on His sacrifice for each of us fills me with the purest deepest emotion.  Its amazing how I come to love Him more every. single. day.  
last night we were in a lesson with our sweet investigator Connie, at the end of the lesson I was bearing my testimony of the Savior and I stated in my testimony "I love Him".. she then looked at me and she said quietly, "I know you do".  
I pray everyone I come in contact with will be able to feel of the love I have for my dear Elder Brother, my Redeemer, and my Savior. I pray that they will want to come closer to Him

"live your life in such a way that those who don't know you, but know Jesus Christ, will want to know you because they know Jesus Christ".

After listening to Elder Brent H. Nielson's talk yesterday it made me think of a less active we have been working with since I got on my mission.  I loved how Elder Nielson talked about loving. watching. waiting. and praying.  
Sister Upshaw really was not interested at all when I came into the area, the sisters had been visiting her for a few months but she said the only reason she joined the church was because of her son and because she wanted to quit smoking.  She told us that God told her not to read the Book of Mormon and every time we gave her a commitment she responded- "no". no sugar coating or anything, she was firm in her no's  :) 
One of my companions asked if we could "drop" teaching this less active sister (the term we use with investigators who are not progressing, we stop teaching them so that we can find others who are prepared) I kept thinking about "rescuing the one" and the fact she hadn't told us to stop coming-- 
so we have continued to visit her.  I have spent Sundays fasting for her and spent many days on my knees praying for her and what would help soften her heart to the gospel.  
A few weeks back I felt strongly as we were preparing for her lesson to teach family history to her.
well she absolutely loved it and every time we stopped by since she has done more family history work and has stories to tell us.  That lesson lead to temples, temple work and binding the family for all eternity.  We have given her reading assignments in the Book of Mormon and she has been keeping them! She happily watched General Conference this weekend and felt the spirit that came from hearing the messages our Father in Heaven would have us hear.
she is becoming happier.. and she is making decisions that are bringing her closer to the Savior.  It truly has been the coolest thing to see.  It took quite a few months.. and it took really praying for her, thinking of her, not giving up on her.. asking about her family.. and showing our love.. showing her she wasn't simply a "less-active lesson" to mark off for our goals for the day. It took "watching, waiting, praying, and loving" 

This gospel is so good and I know without a doubt the Savior wants each of His children watched out for. Our Father loves each of us-- the beautiful theme in Conference.. the beautiful theme in the gospel.. the beautiful theme in His eternal Plan.

The church is true! and I love telling others about it!

-We got another companion, Sister Anderson! She began her mission in Forsyth which has been so cool because we have been able to find past investigators! she goes home in a week.  It has been so fun to have her with us.

The work is going great :) Shirley will be baptized the 18th.  I love her sooo much

all is just so good. I always wish I had more time to write to tell you everything.
Sister Welling

March 30, 2015

I heard the quote this week "you can't have a break though until you have a break down" 
I really liked it.  And I love how the Lord will test and try all of us, to help us become humble, so He can exercise His strength through us.  That is when miracles happen.  I have such a testimony that miracles do occur after "our break downs" or the trials of our faith.
soo... I am kind of running out of time.
but it was an AMAZING week. full of miracles as always.  I wish I could write down every detail. Like how we lost something and looked for about twenty minutes for it until we realized we hadn't said a prayer- we prayed and then bam found it immediately how our investigator watched women's conference and the question she brought was how she could better strengthen her family.. and thats what the ENTIRE meeting was on how our other investigator thought women's conference was strange because the choir wasn't wearing robes-- and no one shouted from the pulpit. we have been having amazing lessons, seeing so much progress, and meeting wonderful new people here's my letter I wrote to president

Dear President Cottle,
It was another great week in Forsyth.
S is preparing for baptism and has been progressing wonderfully. She has faithfully been reading from the Book of Mormon, studying the pamphlets, and attending church. Sunday morning came and Sister Fullerton and I had the impression we needed to fast for her. We were surprised when she wasn't at church and went to meet with her later that afternoon. She told us that she wanted to put off the baptism. We spent time speaking with her and trying to learn of her concern, after some time she opened up to some opposition she had faced from family and friends. They had told her untrue things about the church and our practices. We were able to have a wonderful lesson with her and resolve all of her concerns. At the end of the lesson she cried and she said she wanted to schedule the baptism again-- and that she knew that everything we have taught has been true because she has continued to pray about it.
I am so grateful that we had been fasting for Shirley, I knew we needed that extra spiritual strength to resolve her concerns and to help her recognize her own testimony and strengthen it. I have found over and over again that when we are on the right path that is when the opposition gets the strongest, I am grateful for that oppositition because it tests us and strengthens us if we let it.
I went on exchanges with Sister Bradford in Cochoran this week. She and Sister Smith are doing very well. I am always impressed with Cochoran when I have the opportunity to go there-- the ward is such a missionary minded ward. Sister Bradford shared that one of their strongest key indicators is Referrals. The members and the missionaries truly do work together, just as it should be.
Sister Bradford set a goal to be utilize their desire to be involved in prayerfully planning member presents.
She also set the goal to give "will you" commitments. By doing so, the individual gives a yes or a no and it will help them or progress, or learn their concern.
Sister Bradfords goal for the exchange was to work on Charity. She has a lot of love for the work and for the people. Something I appreciated about her teaching is the way she was constantly sharing the love of the Savior and Heavenly Father to each person we taught. She let them feel of their individual worth and I know when individuals better understand who they are they will better understand Heavenly Father's plan and have more desire to live it.
I really enjoyed the exchange and learned a lot from Sister Bradford.
I have seen so much growth in Sister Fullerton over the past few weeks, she is beginning to feel more and more confidant in talking to others and her faith to be bold and speak up has made for more spiritual and powerful lessons this week.

I am so grateful to be a part of this work and how setting specific goals has helped Sister Fullerton and I push ourselves and act in greater faith. We really do feel more motivated each week and it is empowering. I know that we can become exactly who the Lord wants us to become by setting goals and consistently evaluating and improving each day. I know without a doubt that He can and WILL make our weaknesses become strengths as we turn to Him and rely on His Atonement. how empowering. I love my Savior Jesus Christ whose servant I am trying to be.
Have a wonderful week President!

Sister Welling

Friday, April 17, 2015

"Sister Dalton Was Amazing" March 23, 2015

My dear sweet family,

it was an amazing week.  I don't even know where to begin.

a few highlights from the week--

Our investigator Ms. Hoyt has been a little extra happy recently.. come to find out she has been dating someone-- (over the phone-- they talk every day and they're planning on meeting as soon as possible, he lives in Atlanta) well, they're talking and she hears a tape playing in the back ground and she asks what it is and he replies that it is the Book of Mormon.  come to find out he was baptized about two years ago in Atlanta.  SHE WAS SO EXCITED. I feel like we have a third missionary on our team because he is always following up with her and what she is learning in the Book of Mormon, or in our lessons. 

how awesome is that?!

Sister Fullerton and I saw a woman in her driveway this week and we started walking down it to talk to her-- She started screaming to "leave leave leave" and sprinted, impressively fast, into her house. 

I guess we didn't hide our horns well enough that day.....

shoot. ;)

Sister Fullerton and I were asked to give two trainings in Zone Training this week.  We had our trainings prepared (roughly) a few days in advance.  But the more I was going over one of them the more it just didn't feel quite right.  Sister Fullerton agreed-- we staid up late the night before our training to try to come up with something-- nothing came. 

so.. I woke up at 5:30 the morning of to try to come up with something.  As soon as the alarm went off I knelt down and began to pray.  And just like that the entire training came to my mind as I knelt at the side of my bed.  It was incredible.. I then got up and wrote each though and impression down to go over it with Sister Fullerton. 

That training ended up being my favorite, even though it was put together so last minute I knew that it was the message that Heavenly Father wanted someone in the Zone to hear... or needed me to hear :) It was about how we were not sent her to fail-- the importance of getting back up each week when we don't reach a goal.. or things don't go as planned.  We talked about the plan of our loving Heavenly Father and how we can succeed through the borrowed will of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I read the poem that Brother Tanner used to recite to our sunday school class-- "The Race".  It was a neat experience and a good reminder that He is always in the details, and He is always willing to help.  We just have to sincerely ask, humble ourselves before Him, and seek His assistance.

Sister Dalton and her husband came and spoke to the women twelve and older in our stake.  It was one of the most powerful meeting I have ever had the opportunity to be apart of. 

Brother Dalton said that he and Sister Dalton turned to one another as they walked in the building and she said "do you feel the same thing that I feel" they talked about how the spirit was almost tangible.  Brother Dalton talked about how special we all were, how divine. 

That we have a covenant relationship with our Savior, and we get to give all of our lives to Him. 

He talked about the love. the respect. the Savior has for each of us. 

that we have an elevated and exalted place prepared for us in His Kingdom as we follow Him.. as we give our all to Him.

Sister Dalton spoke about the great privilege it is to be a woman on the earth today, and that we truly are a marked generation.

That we are establishing and building up Zion -- fearless of the consequences.

She said that we have been RESERVED and PREPARED

that we were tutored at our Fathers knee.

That He trusted us to be sent here to earth at this time when the need for strong spirits is so great

That there has never been such great OPPORTUITIES along with such great OPPOSTITION for His children

she shared Alma 13 that we were prepared from the foundation of the world, exceedingly good works

exceeding faith

we each had exceeding faith in the plan.  the plan of Salvation

we fought in the war of heaven, we fought and we won. 

our weapon were our testimonies, words, and faith

we were the strongest and the most valiant

She talked about the importance of virtue, and how it has been lost in todays world and that we all need a return to virtue.  every house, every heart.

We get to become pure every week.  we have the Holy Ghost which means we will never be alone. 

a principle of ASSURED SUCCESS

She said this of us missionaries, "it takes the elect to gather the elect.. their purity is changing the world"

we are flooding the world.

She told a sweet story of when she was in Poland she was meeting with the mission President and his wife when she heard her name being yelled-- four sister missionaries came running over to her and spoke with so much love and enthusiasm for the work.  There was a Polish man sitting near them.. and after moments into their conversation he turned to Sister Dalton and said.. "it appears the army of God has come to the earth.... and they are wearing skirts!"

she said that we need to be articulate advocates of the Father, and the family.  That we have been endowed with the power to do so from the temple.

she said "we sometimes live far below our privileges-- you are not to be led by the women of the world-- you will lead the women of the world"

you are different in happy ways

one virtuous woman led by the spirit will change the world.

needless to say her talk was incredible.. And it was amazing that while she spoke she almost spoke the promises word for word that were given in my patriarchal blessing.

I feel so empowered being a woman of the church, a daughter of my Heavenly Father, and His servant for truth at this time in my life.

There is no where I would rather be and nothing I would rather be doing.

We were in the parking lot of an apartment complex this week when I saw out of our rearview window a woman screaming into her phone.. and then she hung up and put her head in her hands

we had an appointment at the time, but I knew we needed to talk to her.  We went over and had one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been apart of on her door step.  She said she had been feeling so far from God.  And she was searching for peace or any kind of direction.

...I love that we as missionaries get to be an instrument in His hands.. to help His children that are in need

-- we had a few special experiences like that this week where He put us in the right place at the right time. So amazing to be apart of

Yesterday our investigators took up more seats than the members in our group.. wow.  (I won't mention how many members were there) but none the less it was still a very happy day.

I loved the testimony of President Benson and I want to add mine to it..

"With all my soul, I love Him.  I humbly testify that He is the same, loving, compassionate Lord today as when He walked the dusty roads of Palestine.  he is close to his servants on this earth.  He cares about and loves each of us today.  Of that you can be assured.  he lives today as Lord, our Master, Our Savior, our redeemer, and our God.  God bless us all to believe in Him, to accept Him, and to follow Him."

as I put on the name tag that bears His name each and every morning I feel a sacred power and love for my calling as a full time representative of the Savior Jesus Christ.

I love Him

and I love yall..

have a wonderful week

Love always,
Sister Welling