Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

What a wonderful spiritual week! (even though I spent the first 3 days of the week ill in bed with a 100 degree fever. I caught a nasty bug that everyone out here refers to as the "Ohio Valley Crud"....However, between, my encouraging conversation with president Salisbury at speciallized training, and a few letters I received over the week from home (thanks Mom, dad, pops and mamajo), along with an absolutely inspired ward conference, I feel closer to the savior and have really feel the charity and love of the savior and felt the spirit present in our teaching, particularly in my own testimony...plus the changing of the seasons, has me in an all around grand mood (there are so many trees out here and they are all turning orange it is beautiful, plus the air is cooler and it hasn't been humid in at least 3 weeks!)...I feel renewed and stronger, really I feel victorious. 

I think I also experienced how, a parent feels and just a bit of how heavenly Father feels about each of his children when they blame him for something...After specialized training we came back up into Parkersburg and set out to work with Che, but could not find or contact her, and she didn't come to church this week either, but on Sunday night we were having dinner with a member and Che called the member while we were there, so we were able to get the report on the last 4 days that we had been out of touch...she had felt that she didn't get the credit she felt that she deserved for her efforts to quit smoking and so she said that she "smoked six cigarettes to spite me"...granted I really didn't give her the attention or the praise that she deserved, much of which i credit to being super sick while we were teaching her...While all I could really think of was how we could better help her and I was so excited to come back up and share with her a video President Salisbury gave to us along with some advice he gave to us. We were ready to work at her pace and help her...but I imagine that is how heavenly father feels when I turn away or disobey him, when he is always trying to reach out and sometimes I blame him or turn away from him, when he only wants to help and love me...but unfortunately her friend in Idaho recommended to her that she stop meeting with missionaries and just attend church and let the ward take over...so it may be some time until Che will allow us back into a teaching situation.

But in other news, Cody has just about completed all the missionary lessons from Preach my Gospel, and his baptism is all planned, we recommended a member of the ward, perform the baptism and he asked Brother E, (the member he has become great friends with)...not to mention he has just been tearing through, the Gospel Library App, reaching all of Alma, and he has found a particular interest in the doctrine and covenants, so much so that he has read, sections 1-51! We are working on getting him set up at the institute at Marietta college. He has so many perfect questions and comments in church. October 4th can't come soon enough for him. He committed and is living tithing, Law of chastity and word of wisdom this week...his only hang up was tea...to which he said "well I guess I better just trust god...no more tea for me"

Vicki, set a date at long last, December 1st...this lesson was wonderful, she was surrounded by some children in the ward, on a cool evening, outside on the deck of a members home, we had just watched the "50 inspiring words" that President Salisbury gave to us, which invited the spirit so perfectly, and then we read D&C 20:37...she saw the changes that she has made and her desire to not only live it and "emulate" the teachings of the gospel but also to share it with her family, it was so wonderful and one of the best if not the best moment of my mission to date! Heavenly father's love could surely be felt by all present and it was the grand conclusion to our week...we were also able to teach Vicki's daughter and son-in-law the restoration. 

We have a lot more going on of which I am very excited about, including a family of four (with two teenage daughters) who have go back clear to April, asked to come to church and mutual this coming week, and another young single adult who is talking on investigation of the church...relating it to how "it took 4 years for Joseph Smith to get the Plates...just because I haven't received my answer yet doesn't mean it wont happen"

Love
Elder Wheeler

ART
 ​We also got out in the Hollar's this week with a member (brother brown) to go contact some referals given to us by Vicki Wilder...WV sunset...almost heaven
 ​This one is for my mom...I think she will get a kick out of this goofy photo..."I have some business with Elder Myers"
 Sick days...I was actually on a two-day exchange with Elder Chevelier (from Ravenswood)...so lucky for Elder Myers he missed most of me being sick, we still managed to keep a few of our appointments with our top investigators, but a lot of the first part of the week was spent sleeping...it was NOT FUN! but I do owe Elder Chevelier a huge thank you! He was the absolute best! we did play a few board games to past the time...I do think that it is also incredible how the lord still provides a way for us to  reach all of our goals for the week, in the four productive days we had left! Goals set in faith are always achievable despite unforeseen circumstances, if was also act in faith!
 ​At Specialized training this week, I also experienced how exciting it is to see a former companion again...This is Elder Carter...MY MTC COMP! We walked in and saw each other and in sync screamed and ran to each other to give each other a big old hug and then catch up...we haven't seen each other since the day we arrived in the mission field.
love ya Elder Carter!



Mom and Dad

Ah, well as the work gets more and more exciting and promising here in the WVCM, the less time I am finding to write let alone compose my thoughts to share...Never the less, if there is one thing I need to improve on it is writing in my journal a more complete account of the days adventures and experiences, because ...why write about it when I could be out finding more...haha jk, that is just my lame excuse...because I am so tired at the end of the day, It seems like I have all sorts of energy right up till 10:00...then the holy ghost goes to bed and we go with it.

So aside from our awesome investigators and the experiences I have shared in my main stream letter. I wanted to let you know how I am doing;

This week I had the opportunity to go on a short exchange with a brand new elder (Elder Numbers) in Marietta Ohio, while Elder Myers and Elder Cox (the District Leaders) had a meeting with the Zone Leaders.

Elder Numbers had been out in the mission field for 3 days! A fresh of the plane Greenie! So he and I had about two hours to go and walk around Marietta and work in the area, Marietta is a very nice, very historic city about 30 min north of Parkersburg, with huge trees and a rather large college campus, so we walked the streets by the campus and talked with a few people and three interactions were notable to me, 

1 - A woman in her mid-twenties who was carrying Flowers and walked past us.

2 - A teenage boy who attended the Church of Christ

3- An elderly man in his late 70's

in each case, they had a different concern and interest in the gospel, and as I worked with Elder Numbers I noticed and had a big flash back to my first week of my mission, as I saw elder numbers observe and look to me for what to say and how to answer each person's questions, as I quoted scriptures and taught about the restoration, the Blue print of the Church, Family History, etc. on the spot. I saw, how much the mission has changed me and how much I have learned and progressed as a missionary...then as we walked back to meet the other elders...Elder Numbers asked me the same questions I had asked on my first exchange...I offered him my advice, which was really and simply to loose yourself, observe and love other missionaries and it will be like a sponge in a pond, we absorb the missionary life and its funny how we don't really notice an "all-of-a-sudden change...to now I am missionary" but rather it comes bit by bit and every elder's teaching and experience is different and unique but heavenly father uses our different and unique traits and personalities to preach his gospel, incredibly effectively! I have noticed again and again, that the lord continues to raise the bar on us, I am never done learning, but it is neat to see how far come and improve...to really be myself but I see how the lord has helped me become more of my best self.

Saturday night was a grand night for Elder Myers and I, We were on cloud nine, after attending a baptism with Cody and having dinner with another one of our investigators, it was sunset about 7:00on a cool evening, Elder Myers and I walked in our lovely downtown, where there was a fine dinning event happening and a good number of people we were able to meet and talk with, we were still in our suits and fit right in to the party...at the Blennerhasset Hotel, I felt like I had gone back in time to the 1920s with all the fancy dresses and such...but as I took a deep breath and just looked around I saw how lucky I am to be here in parkersburg and be with elder myers and have all my family and friends to love and support me...I prayed gratitude to heavenly father as we walked on and home.

love you 
-ARt

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