Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"The Lord is so good to us and He loves us so incredibly much"

"Mom! I miss you and love you!"
"Yes! I can still make UGLY faces! :)"
"Two words... OH YEAH!"

"Yeah we painted this...not! I wish! :)"
"Hey there! Camera on sport/action mode baby! :)"    
"We look pretty scary right? :) Love you guys!"    
"Our Wonderful District! :) Top: Elder Parker, Elder Hernandez, Me!, Elder Martinez Bottom: Hermana Alverio, Hermana Ellsworth, Hermana Sanchez. They are in a trio Hermana Sanchez is leaving though! :("
"Basically describes us perfectly haha :)"

Hello Everyone!

I hope that you are doing wonderful! First off… I totally met Elder Hallstrom from the Quorum of the Seventy! It was so cool!  It was a shock to see him yesterday at the church! It was a pleasure to meet him.

Well just to let you know everything here is moving right along! It was so cool to here about the new companionship and then to meet them this last week! I am so happy to have Elder Bills and Elder Garcia with us. They are awesome Elders and they are so ready and willing to work hard and to find people to teach! They are already having some success in doing that, which is so wonderful to see! I am happy to have them with us.

This last week was wonderful! I was so happy to see the progression of our investigator! That man is a walking miracle!  He is so humble and so pure in heart. He is already a missionary, in the sense that he knows the importance of preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. It is so amazing to see how the Lord really does prepare His children at the perfect me to help them accept the true and restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I am so grateful and will be forevermore grateful for this wonderful and miraculous opportunity that I have to be here to see that hastening of the Lord's work here. It truly is so incredible!

I am so happy for our investigator! He is getting baptized this next Sunday. He is so happy and so ready! He is such a warm man and is so kind to others!  We taught him this week about the importance of commandments and principles that he needs to commit to live, before he is baptized. The great thing is that he is already living them!  He tells us of how when he reads the Book of Mormon, that he can understand things so much easier and how he loves what he is reading.  I love how he says that here, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is where he feels the truth. He feels good and he feels that he is walking in the way that God wants him too. It is amazing. 

I am so happy to be able to be a part of this. I am learning so much about the Lord and how He provides miracles in these days. The Lord is so good to us and He loves us so incredibly much. I know that to be so true. The gospel is true. I know it, and I know that God knows it! I love you all so much! It is so cool to see all of these great things happening here in New York!  This week has been so wonderful! We are so happy to be here! Love you all so much!

Elder Waidmann

Friday, September 20, 2013

"God placed us in his path"

Well it is a wonderful time to be in New York… let me tell you all! It has been a wonderful week here filled with some amazing experiences! I have loved it and I can say that it has definitely been one week to remember! Our investigator, that we found, or rather, God placed us in his path, about a week ago, is just a walking miracle. This man is so pure in heart.  Everyone…prayers are answered! It is amazing how the Lord just tests and tries us and we continually show our faith and then he blesses us with miracles such as these. It really is incredible.

Our investigator is progressing so well and it is amazing to see how is understanding grows when we teach him the gospel. On Saturday we taught him about the Plan of Salvation and it was so cool to see how everything just made sense to him. He is just so ready to accept the truth. It is incredible how the Lord prepares His children at the right moments for people to bless them with the truth.  Yesterday we taught him about the Doctrine of Christ and it made him so happy.  It is incredible! He wants to receive the Priesthood and really loves the idea of how God has given man His authority to act in his name on the Earth! 

Our investigator is truly a man of pure humility and love, who hungers and thirsts for the truth.  As we were teaching him yesterday about enduring to the end and following Christ, it was so amazing… he asked us in effect "What can I do?" It made us so happy because he said that he just wants to go and teach others and share the gospel with them. It is just the coolest thing ever. He loved learning how, as members of the church, we go and do visiting and home teaching and serve so many others. He says he really wants to be a part of it.  He is just such a humble man and always asks us to pray for him.  Yesterday we gave him a Priesthood blessing at the end of the lesson and he was pleased with it.  He is keeping all of his commitments and promises and loves everything that he is learning.

Everyone, the gospel and the role that missionary work plays is so true and important.  There are people are out there who are really searching for the truth. I love being able to be a small part of this story of conversion for our investigator. I love him and his example to me. He has such great faith and a huge desire to know if the things that he is learning are true. He is an incredible man. He has a baptismal date for the 29th of September and he is excited for it. We are too! It is amazing. 

I am continually learning so much and I am so grateful to be here in the New York New York South Mission. It truly is a blessing. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Waidmann

Monday, September 9, 2013

"Our God is a God of Miracles"

Hello there!

I hope that all is well and that life is treating you all wonderfully! Because life is beautiful! It is so great! If we take a step back and look around we have so many things to be grateful for! :)

So as the email title says “Our God is a God of Miracles”… let me tell you why! :) So on Saturday, we were in Sunset Park (which is a park in our elliptical area) looking for an investigator that we had set up an appointment with and sadly we couldn’t find him and he wasn't there.  Before that, an earlier appointment that we had set up fell through because they weren't home and the Dad was at work. So we were walking through the park and then all of a sudden as we were about to sit down and figure out to where to go next, a miracle happened. A man came and sat down right next to Elder Martinez and we started to talk to him.

All I can say, is that prayers really are answered! This man is such an amazing man who is so pure in heart. He told us that he has been looking for the true church but hasn't found it and that he just wants to learn about the things that Christ taught and learn "la doctrina de Cristo" or the doctrine of Christ! It made me so happy to hear that because we study the Doctrine of Christ so much.  Furthermore, that is what we have to teach and offer people! It was amazing! We bore our testimonies to him about how we know that what we teach is true and it is what he has been looking for. He was so sincere and had a lot of questions.

After meeting and talking with him, he came to church early yesterday.  Before church started, we had an amazing lesson with him.  The ward’s Elders Quorum President joined us for the lesson (he is a very strong convert to the church) and he talked with our investigator about many things and happily shared his Gospel knowledge. It was an amazing lesson and our investigator said a beautiful prayer at the end asking to know if what we were teaching was true and if Joseph Smith restored the church! It is amazing how pure this man is and the desire that he has to learn the truth of this Gospel. He is so open and accepting.  After the discussion, our investigator stayed for all of the church meetings and also stayed after to attend the baptism of a girl in the ward who was eight years old. He loved it!  And we are going to teach him today!  Our God is a God of miracles. The Atonement is real and so is God's continuous and loving grace. I just wanted to share that experience with you all.  We are so excited for our investigator to have this knowledge in his life. 

Let me just tell you that this was the sweetest thing ever! Elder Martinez and I have been praying for a miracle for a long time and have been asking, praying and trying really hard to do all that we can to bless the lives of others that we come into contact with. We have been praying with a lot of faith and it is so amazing how God pushes us continually to exercise our faith and then out of nowhere, He gives us the blessings.  

A scripture that I love just came to mind. It is so true for every single one of us and especially in this experience here. It is found in the Book of Mormon.  It is Ether Chapter 12, verse 6.  It reads, “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”  Miracles are real they do happen! It is so true! God even tells us that he will give unto us miracles!! :) In the Book of Mormon in 2nd Nephi Chapter 27, verse 23, It reads, “For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.” 

It is true! It all is!  I am so grateful to testify of these things to you.  I love you all so much and pray for you. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and love!

Elder Waidmann

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"I am so grateful for the experiences that I am having as a missionary"

Here I am outside the Temple!
"Us four on the roof"
Hello Everyone!

Holy moly it is September! Can you believe it?!  I can! :)  It seems as though I just got here about a day ago, but it feels like I have been here for a really long time too … so I am not exactly sure how to balance out the time here. All I know that it is still hot and humid! Oh yeah! Pretty crazy, but that is how New York is! You kinda get used to it, but not really at the same time! It is all good though!

So this last week was really good! We had a great time! Today Elder Beazer and Elder Sefcik are moving out of our pad and moving into their own. It was a beautiful and crazy time having them with us, but now we sadly have to go our separate ways.  It is so crazy because Elder Martinez and Elder Beazer were good friends in high school and they were living together on the mission! Crazy!

In the picture above, I am at the New York Temple. It was so awesome to be there and feel the Spirit.  I love going there! 

So this past week of missionary work was great! We are really trying our best to help others to have this wonderful truth in their lives! The first step is to have people have an open mind and with that, understand that miracles can occur in their lives. It is just amazing! I love it! We are really hoping that we can continue to help people in the ways that they need it! We had some great lessons with people that are wanting to learn more! We really really hope that they can progress and that they can continue to learn and to come to know for themselves that all of these things are true! It is so wonderful to have the knowledge that we do and why we are here and why we have to go through the things that we do. They make us stronger and help us trust in our Savior Jesus Christ and our loving Heavenly Father. They are so wonderful to us and all they want is for us to be happy. 

The work is going great here we are just needing to find some more people to help and teach. I am so grateful for the experiences that I am having as missionary. It isn't easy, let me tell ya… but I love it! It is wonderful how true the Gospel is and how simple it is to live. We are so blessed in this world to have it. I am so grateful for all of you and your love! :) Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I love you all so much!

Elder Waidmann