Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

Alright, A new exciting chapter begins! I am so beyond stoked! Kentucky is Awesome, I don't know what it is about this state but it just feels like Utah, the ward is great, and everything is just more up-to-date, so let me begin with the features of my accommodations here in Prestonsburg, My new companion Elder Cluff (who is the district leader, yep I am a district leader comp for the 4th transfer in a row, which is sweet) Elder Cluff and I are probably equally sarcastic and I am elated to work with him! 

Second our apartment is sweet! it is a new construction 3 story town house with a Garage! oh yes and our awesome 2013 Toyota Corolla is nice too, sure beats a bike! and the best part is we have a delightful senior couple from Idaho lives right across the street from us. and our neighbors are very quiet, (we live next to a grave yard) 

Prestonsburg is a town of about 3,225 people, the city reminds me a lot of Park City, namely because there are actual mountains here. and the town just has that feel we are completely surrounded by mountains on all sides and Prestonsburg is set nestled perfectly in between them, there is a small college here and a beautiful state park in our area, with a gorgeous lake and resort on the lake, the town is well and alive with oil, gas and coal, we have a ward of about 80 regular people and it is in the Louisville  KY temple area.

The work here is promising, there are number of great potential investigators I have met so far, and one investigator named Debra that I hope you will get to hear more about as she progresses, we had a fantastic lesson focusing on the Great Apostasy and the Book Of Mormon, we will be watching The Testaments with her this Wednesday.

Welcome to Prestonburg
 Meet Elder Cluff. Love this man!
 Service in Elkhorn Park...the jeep is the neighboring Area's car in Martin...Elder Buttars is in Martin, I served around him in Parkersburg when he was being trained in Vienna 
 Pushing the Caretaker's Truck out of a ditch in Elkhorn Park...the man in the white sweater next to Elder Cluff in Elder Winn our neighbor across the street.
 Hey look at me I am a Wheeler-barrow...haha, the other two missionaries are Elder Buttars (the red head) and Elder Alley (they both just happen to be from washington) Elder Alley is the brand new missionary that just arrived in the WVCM...which  by the way I think we should change the name from the West Virgina Charleston Mission...to the Kentucky Awesome Mission with some West Virginia...because Kentucky is just that awesome...all in favor as I!
Elder Cluff and I go to visit our potential investigators and tract...hey it looks like i am in Utah!

 Crossing over the border to Kentucky

so we were heading home through Jenny Wiley state park, and we saw lots of fog and a sign that said Haunted Pontoon Ride and we are like...okay so we have to stop and check this out!...so we did...and it was sweet! not to mention we were able to ITL a good number of people while we were there....it was actually really cool, it was like a haunted Jungle Cruise at Disney Land that the state park put on except themed to zombies.  on the lake there was also haunted camping in the campground and a haunted hay ride, it was a lot of fun and actually very productive.

us on board the state park pontoon (so for all you sticklers out there, this was a "Public Boat"...not a "private Boat" so it is legal by the Missionary Handbook) about to be scared out of our minds...everyone on the boat loved us...it was great.
 the rest of the people on board
 one of the stops...around the lake, so the story was we are with the State Park Ranger and patrol, and we are going to investigate weird stuff happening around the lake. and we run into a couple of zombies fishing for body parts, a grave yard were someone shoots us (that was actually scary), a man that was hung in a tree by a dock and then we get boarded by a chainsaw  zombie...it was actually really well done.



Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

Dearest All

Well as the title says This is my last week in Parkersburg, I have been here for 6 months an entire quarter of my mission! So the big question I am sure each of you is wondering is where am I getting Transfered to...well it's NOT IN WEST VIRGINIA...or OHIO...or...VIRGINIA...Or Maryland That leaves only the Great state of KENTUCKY! 
That's right I am going to Prestonsburg Kentucky, funny thing it that it is another "P-burg"
My New companion's name is Elder Kluff and wow am I excited! I already had half of my stuff packed before I went to bed last night and could hardly sleep, Prestonsburg is much smaller than Parkersburg, but still has a ward...and a CAR! yay! I will have a car for the winter whoot whoot! Apparently we I will also live in one of the nicer newer apartments in the mission, across the street from an awesome senior missionary couple! (Elder Cheveiler who is serving in Ravenswood here in the parkersburg zone, just came from Prestonsburg and gave me the whole scoop on the area last night)

Well if you can't tell I am excited to have new adventures, but I am also sad to be leaving all of these wonderful people here in Parkersburg, first and foremost The H family who have been a home away from home and our two amazing Recent Converts Vicki and Cody...oh yea did I forget to mention that Vicki was baptized and confirmed this week and Cody was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood...Vicki's Baptism brought a feeling of completeness of my time in parkersburg, and over the last three days we found an amazing elect new investigator; Jennifer who lives directly across the street from Vicki, I am so amazed at her street (which now has four member families which live with-in two blocks on Oak Street) we met Jennifer when we knocked on her door and she mentioned that she had seen us across the street with vicki over the past few months and her curiosity peaked and she came over and sat on Vicki's porch and listened to the entire restoration lesson and she said "I have always had a faith in God, just no where to put it" Vicki bore and amazing testimony and Jennifer really opened up bringing forth her concerns and her trials having recently had a miscarriage of her and her husband's first pregnancy...This lesson was a wonderful conclusion to teaching in Parkersburg, and it is my testimony that god prepares individuals and circumstances for us to teach and It is a truly awesome and divine experience to be the lords tool which he uses to comfort and deliverer the message of eternal families, the restored gospel an on...I know that this work is truly Heavenly Father's work, and I LOVE being a missionary in the WVCM.

Love all of you
Elder Wheeler
ART

Look what I found on the side of the road on my way to Ravenswood for an exchange!

 Little Utah Road in Ravenswood
 Utah Lane in Ravenswood

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Dearest All


Bad news first This week was a hard week for finding, we only found one new investigator, I think as the weather turns for the cold and the rain came down 5 days this week, our usual means of finding (simply talking to everyone) was not as effective, simply because there we not as many people outside. So we have had to adjust our usual finding methods, worked up to the very last second, but fell short of our goal by one ITL, One member-present lesson, and two new investigators...I really feel that there were opportunities both were I didn't say enough and opportunities that I had to invite but we passed them up, my prayerful resolve this week is to study harder and more meaningfully this week, I really want to find treasures in the scriptures that I will want and be excited to share more than usual, I hope and feel that this will help our finding and bring a close to our incredible transfer and get this area ready to carry-on into the winter months.

Okay How about some Fantastic News now! Vicki, came forward after conference and set a new date for her Baptism October 18th! We have seen Vicki everyday this week, she is ready now and she sees it to...on Monday she by her own desire gave up Coffee, not even a single headache and by Wednesday handed us her coffee can to dispose of! Just goes to show that Heavenly Father truly does strengthen us and can change our desires as we are willing and have a desire to change!

(Here is a little fun insight for you, so after we dumped out the coffee in the trash we both signed the can and Put it in "The Place of Records" - under the stairs in our apartment, which is really neat because a decade of missionaries have come and left their name and short account of their time in Parkersburg on the wood framing)


Vicki has now attended church for 12 weeks has been investigating for just over three months, quit smoking 2.5 months ago, I was reading in Preach my gospel this week about baptism and Confirmation and the line "making and keeping commitments will help and prepare investigators for their baptismal interview, baptism and membership in the church" I have no doubt that Vicki will be a strong active, participating, contributing member of the church. I am so beyond happy and it has been a grand week!
Vicki's Baptism will be small, the member families that have been on the front line with her, (the Haroldsen's, the Sheets and the Nelsons) along with Brother and Sister pool, (who have been friends two decades strong with Vicki's sister and her husband, who will also be attending and Brother pool will be Performing the baptism) I look forward to this weekend with great anticipation and great gratitude! What I hope will be one of the top spiritual highlights of my mission.

Cody was also confirmed this week and completely un-provoked by us, he went strait up during testimony meeting and bore a beautiful, testimony which brought Vicki and myself to tears...He has been looking and longing for this church and love for so long, coming from being an orphan at age 4...heavenly Father has reached his hand out to him, and Cody Grasped his hand and is clinging to it, not letting go....God surely does live!

Well I have my sweater (love sweaters by the way) and the leaves continue to fall and winter is just over the Horizon...here we go WVCM lets do it!



next week will mark my first 6 months of my mission an entire quarter of my time I get to serve, fast at times, slow at others but for the most part feels just right, I have had a few whispers in my ear from (little birds) that I will be getting transferred to a new area, and With Vicki's Baptism coming up this weekend and all the adventures in-between here in Parkersburg I feel complete in Parkersburg...Never the less I am excited to go and do, whatever and where-ever the lord will have me go. I am exited to go see another part of the mission!



(FYI the next Transfer is on Thursday next week so P-Day will be on Wednesday next week)

Love 
Elder Wheeler





 Elder Pinie, (he is on the Southside of Parkersburg, so we work with him alot and share downtown with them) who is the last visa waiter in the mission he is going to Brasil next week, he is seriously one of my favorite missionaries I am jealous Brasil gets to take him for the rest of his mission, (he has been here in the WVCM for one full year)
 Me holding Vicki's Coffee can (Victory!)
 Elder Pinie and with our Matching ties, we had been looking at those ties for over two months  and they went on sale for half off at JCPenny so we both excitedly made the purchase!




Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Dearest Family and Friends

Tasting some of the fruit of this labor in the WVCM (the lords vineyard) have been sweet and joyous this week, with Cody's Baptism and General Conference. This was my first General Conference as a missionary in the field and it adds an insightful new perspective, as I listen to the talks listening for guidance, direction and otherwise personal revelation, but also seeking direction for our investigators and now recent convert, Conference was filled with moments of personal refection and how I can improve to be more effective, as we enjoy some of the sweet taste of Baptism (this first that the North Parkersburg Area has seen in just over a year.) 

On Friday night during the pouring rain, we left our dinner appointment (where we taught Che using the Inspired Words that president Salisbury gave us, invited her to come to conference with a question or two and began working to set goals for her progression) only to be stopped by the increasing rain making biking a bit precarious, so we conveniently were near Vicki's home, and we waited out the worst of the storm on her porch and talking with her, teaching an unexpected lesson, it was marvelous and prepared her for conference, (my words cannot describe how much I truly feel a love and dear compassion for Vicki and she is the incredible example of true sincere, diligent, conversion)...now late for our next appointment, we peddled through the now lighter rain as it quickly got dark. Elder Myers was riding and talking on the phone (with the member we had planned on meeting to come to Cody's with us)...when out of no where I saw that here was a section of the sidewalk missing, which had filled with water in the rain, I slowed down to stop as to not soak ourselves in the muddy water, but combined with our wet brakes, short stopping distance, and Elder Myers one handed riding, he came crashing into the back of me and a grand ruckus our bikes went out from under us, but by some miracle we both managed to land on our feet...but the best part is that with all the noise of our crash was heard by a woman by the name of Terra who came outside to investigate, began to talk to us and within 30 seconds asked the "what is a Mormon" and the rest was nothing short of divine intervention as we taught about the Restoration and she set up to attend conference and Cody's baptism...We are very excited to keep working with her and her two children (8 and 10) To finish up what was already a grand night we made it to Cody's apartment where all the "brotherly love" came out and the spirit touched us all as we talked the night before his baptism, to see his gratitude and progression, nothing short of joyful...Upon departing Cody's into the stormy night again, Elder Myers and I could do nothing but Shout at the top of our lungs for joy "whaooooo!" and we retired to our apartment eagerly awaiting all that this weekend had in store between Cody's Baptism and General Conference...Heavenly Father is so cool in how he does his work and I am so grateful to be that missionary riding in the rain and crashing to find his next elect! 

Vicki and Che attended general Conference and Cody's baptism and Che set her own date for baptism and Last night after a lesson with Brother H's, and feeling the personal touch from Elder Bednar's talk Vicki set up her baptism Interview for this Friday! we are so exited for what is next!

Church is True and I love being a missionary! 


Love 
Elder Wheeler
ART

P.S. we are going to Charleston today for a pre-screening of Meet the Mormons!  so I will not be online after I send this email, but elder Myers and I will come back to the library after we get back from Charleston probably around 5:00 EST...hope to talk to some of you then, love ya
 
 Cody's Baptism, the other woman is his Grandmother, who is now Belpre's investigator.
 ​Cody and all the Missionaries serving in the Parkersburg Ward between sessions of General Conference on Saturday.
 
​(left to right) Elder Myers, Sister H, Vicki, and Che at the linger longer between sessions of Conference on Sunday
 Cody cleans up nice!