Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Dearest All

Okay well the past two weeks have been slow with a lot of FINDING!!! So much finding...working our tails off, I am exhausted...It's been great, Christmas was a time that we got to come out of the shadows (per-say) it made missionary work a little easier, which we took great advantage...but it meant a lot of working and waiting...working and waiting... and again...since yes everyone was so glad to hear our message of the restoration after being introduced to He is the Gift, it opened a lot of doors and left a lot of loose ties that we are now going to have to find and tie down those loose ties turning it into progression. 

We do have three new investigators this week that we were able to follow up on and teach (it felt so good to teach again after a very dry week of finding through he is the gift, with a lot of "great, come back after the holiday") when we left the lesson and it was raining, Elder Cluff and I got in the car and started driving;

Elder Wheeler - "It has been so long since we taught the restoration"
Elder Cluff - "I know it felt so good...feeling the spirit is good"
Elder Wheeler "I know, let's do it again sometime soon. "
Elder Cluff - "how long has it been?"
Elder Wheeler - "like a week-in-a-half..."
Elder Cluff - "too long"

These three investigators came as a product of our booth at the College and from our "live Christmas card", (which we demonstrated at specialized training in Huntington) over all everyone of the 6 new investigators (along with about a dozen promising potentials) we have found this month have come from some exposure to He is the Gift, 

In highlights from this week, on Christmas Eve we were invited to a well known Protestant church that a few of our potential investigators attend, where we were allowed to share he is the Gift (watching the video) with the entire congregation (after earning the pastors trust through a few visits before) I have my hopes that we will be able to teach the pastor one on one the restoration in the coming week. 

One of the families from Game night at the library invited us to their home for dinner and to join their entire extend family for a game night, again such a great non-invasive opportunity to introduce them to the gospel, they invited us back again for next week...I am confident that before the week is out, they (entire family) will be investigators.

we were also able to Skype our families in at J's home and meet her parents and get to know them. 

We are still at it and are just as charismatic and fun as usual...but man am I tired...The new year is promising to bring progression again which I think should wake me right Prestonsburg. love Elder Cluff. all is well.

​Running into Elder Price (on of my MTC Comps) at Wal-mart
 ​The first of Many Frozen gifts that I recieved from Ward Members and family...from Barbra Lyles 
 Christmas ties...well not really...just Elder Cluff's Christmas tie, but it is still a cool photo all the Elder's in the District...I am the Purple Tie #shoutoutmom 
 ​So the weather has been really warm this past week, getting up into the 70's...sunny and clear too...but with all of the ice thawing out and breaking up cliff sides it has caused several rock slides around the this one at a gas station, luckily no one has been hurt in any as of yet
 ​Time to go but here is one more photo...D has been really sick this past week, she has been in the hospital and we have visited her daily since she has been there.  she is in a quarantine so we have had to take all the precautions...and the prayers from home I am sure have helped keep us healthy.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

Dearest All
so Merry the explosion of Christmas Chaos is about to ensue so lets catch you up on the week. We had a specialized training in Huntington and afterward we went to Gabes (basically a Ross that has super cheap nice ties) look what I found while we were there...the only one I might add...not really a Utes fan but...still it was sweet to see Utah.

 we had an early Christmas with A and Sister S before they left.  They got me Frozen stuff and Elder Cluff TMNT was sweet...we got sister S two gold fish...they both died that night...I gave A my Temple recommend case with the Salt Lake City Temple on it...President and Sister Salisbury gave us new custom temple recommend cases with our mission on them. 
 ​This is our new Investigator J she is the children's librarian (the fruits of our time at the library at Game night etc.) Note the Fact of the Day...
So last year...the missionaries put on a How the Grinch Stole Christmas the ward asked us if we could do a play again for the Christmas Party...we said of course and we will top last year's we did a missionary parady of Frozen...with songs like to "Do you wanna hear the Gospel" needless to say we blew last year's show out of the water. # Comp Unity
 The Library also asked us if we would volunteer for their Polar Express event...Elder Cluff and I were Conductors...Elder cluff handed out the tickets and I punched words in them with a hole-punch just like in the movie. 
 I punched 50+ tickets
 the tickets and the bells we tied and gave out after the movie was over. We also served cookies and hot chocolate.

​This is our Polar Express crew, J was an Elf, R (another librarian who was behind organizing the whole event and asked us to volunteer and is also super into Roller Coasters like me) was the engineer...I was the conductor and by the end Elder Cluff was just there...
 Thank you everyone who has send us Christmas gifts...they fit nicely under our tree:)
 ​ light of Christmas and eating and eating....I stooped to the level of ordering a side salad at Arby's instead of Curly french fries...#Don't wanna get fat. #lost man card
 That's all for this week...Merry Christmas From Kentucky Love you all:)

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Dearest All, okay so to bring everyone up to speed on what has been going on 

Debra was baptized and confirmed over the last two weeks and everything went off without a hitch, it was grand. But what was truly remarkable was her testimony that she bore in Sacrament Meeting this past Sunday, a few things struck me, was first of all her gratitude for the ward and Elder Cluff & I...she had investigated the church for ten years and she mentioned how grateful she was for God sending us to her...

"Elder Wheeler and Elder Cluff, those two are the greatest tag team that God has ever put together" 
 she also bore testimony of how she has searched her entire life with questions she has since she was a child answered and how there is a distinct difference in this church which is his church and how grateful she is to now understand and have the restored Gospel. to put it simply, she has gone from Protestant as all get out, investigator, to full fledged, full tithe paying Mormon that you couldn't tell hadn't been a member for at least a decade. True Conversion

A also got up and bore testimony of his own conversion in equal magnitude, and he met with the bishop and set goals for the temple and priesthood, he is set to receive the Aaronic priesthood this Sunday and the Bishop is working with him and is set to be ordained an Elder in April.

Both of these recent converts have also been on fire in there own recent convert lessons and sharing the gospel.

Unity...Opportunity...and service have been the keys in not only getting progress moving in this area but keeping. Over the past transfer we have been working on being seen, from teaching in places we are seen, attending and participating in every event possible, and serving where ever we can, and He is the Gift has been the perfect tool in magnifying this work and not only tears down walls but brings them crumbling down in a spectacular implosion, making way for new teaching opportunities which we already, rising from the dust, I would not be surprised to see this area have Baptism"S" (multiple) Every Month in the coming year of 2015

Game night at the library = sharing He is the Gift at the end to everyone in the library which brought one woman to tears of gratitude, not to mention two hours of spectacular "table talk" when different people each week and some of the same people asking us questions, why are we here, what we believe and want to know more....we give them just enough to leave them thinking...and pondering...and full of new questions when we meet again, which has led a number of these people to seek us out when they see us around town. The Library has also appreciated both our attendance and as we spread the word about community events such as game night more people have come to the library because "The Mormon's told us about it" not to mention it is great when ward members come to game night with us. The librarians are also coming to our re-showing of the Christmas devotional.

Big Sandy College = Our Recent convert Andrew is a student at the college and another member also works there in the Eastern Kentucky Science Center...we met with the administration at the college and arranged to be able to set up a booth in the center of the campus, in the Freedom of speech zone...the security and maintenance on the campus were very helpful in getting us set-up and even provided power so we could show He is the Gift using one the flat screens from the church that the bishop arranged for us and a canopy provide by a ward member. over the past two days (the last days of the semester) we were able to share He is the gift with around 150 students and built a strong relationship with the school and are planning on another booth on campus on January 12th and through out the spring semester.

In Addition we worked with city administrators and were also able to do a He is the Gift booth at the City's Christmas in the Park Event, as well on the Christmas Parade/Tree lighting ceremony in Prestonsburg and at the "Santa is coming to Allen" event in Allen (a neighboring city in our area)...we had so many events that we had to split to be able to cover all of them.
 Below is the crowed at the tree lighting Ceremony that watched He is the Gift prior to the tree lighting.
Mountain Arts Center = We were invited to attend a showing of the Kentucky Opry, which the lead singer is a member, and afterward we were able to meet the Director and shared He is the gift with him and he asked us if we could get him a copy of it on a DVD to show He is the Gift before the show! (1,054 seat theater) So after a little work I was able to download the video and burn it to a dvd with the help of the IT guy at the library (whom we know better now because of game night), he also gave us the DVD's to use.

I am excited to say that the C family is back investigating the church in full force, a couple of weeks ago we went to Billy Rays Restaurant to see B, and to our joy Brian not only saw us but asked us to stay and wait for the Resturant to close so he could talk to us and he asked all the right questions and wanted to see us again soon...we prayed that we would be able to have un-expected run-in's with him and over the next week we ran into him at foodland, Wal-mart, speedway, etc. all on different days at different times, totally unplanned...then last night we went over to their home to share he is the gift with our live Christmas card and...Both B and K (his wife) welcomed us had us sit down and then B. began to talk about a few of the things that we had taught him and she asked her questions that and settled her concerns and she really opened up with her desire for a stronger faith and understanding her purpose and her struggles. Then an hour later after teaching the restoration, they were writing down both the Ward Christmas party and church this sunday in their schedules...we left their home with Brian smiling and waving from his portch at last this elect family is now investigating together...and I am beyond excited and Hopeful. #Christmasmiracle! 

B also showed us this Music video of a group called Sunday Best, which got their start here in Prestonsburg, so they came back to film their music Video called "home" here in our little city...enjoy their are a lot of sights that we see everyday included in the video...the Lake in the video is Dewey Lake in Jenny Wiley State park and the various city landmarks are all right in the center of Prestonsburg.

If you pause the video at 3:32 you will see B in front of his Restaurant holding the sign for his home in Auxier. 

Exciting work...the ward continues to support us in every aspect and what really makes all this even possible is the unity Elder Cluff and I have...Sister Scott related us to Sherlock Homes (Elder Cluff) and Dr. Watson (Elder Wheeler) or The Green Hornet (Elder Cluff) and Kato (Elder Wheeler)...The work is not just going forward but the spirit is taking the city by storm.

 Merry Christmas From all of us here in Prestonsburg.

 p.s. Over the last four weeks pieces of my letter that I send to President Salisbury he as included in his own letter to the entire mission! We must be doing something right.


Those have to be the coolest things I have gotten in the mail.....ever!

Moms are awesome:)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9, 2014

Okay so since we were cut short last week because of transfers, which elder Cluff and I are staying together till at least January 15th yay:) We are super excited to be together for another transfer especially over the Christmas season. so I have two weeks of photos to catch up so I am going back to thanksgiving to now.

Thanksgiving dinner 1 of 3 at the M families after the Turkey bowl (a very intense short field football game in their horse pasture, 33 years in the running of Martin ward vs. Paintsville ward.) 
 ​sharing our Thanksgiving message after dinner #1
 Dinner Number 2 at the B family's Elder Cluff got a little nauseated from eating too much after playing football, but Trish thought he was showing symptoms of a diabetic attack (Elder Cluff is not a diabetic by the way) so she stuffed frosting in his mouth with her finger...Elder Cluff was not happy but Elder Buttars and I thought it was hilarious! 
 finishing up at the B's....Elder Cluff does not feel good in this photo...we also did not notice that there is an underwear commercial on in the background...The B's is always an interesting and genuine Kentuckian experience.
I promise to finish this eventually...but we have to go back to the college, today is the last day of the semester. Here are a few photos from our He is the Gift Display on Campus, the college has been super awesome at helping us and they provided us power to run the video. thank you Gepharts for sending that awesome Christ banner.

 ​it was a smashing sucess, we shared the video with at least 70 students, we had a spot smack in the middle of the campus, and we are doing the same thing today. by the end of the day one student even said, oh I just saw this on Facebook...He is the gift is working!

this is the booth, the bishop set us up with a monitor from the church and the table is actually my study desk from our apartment and our little Christmas tree and my neighbors from back home sent us this awesome banner with all the photos of Christ from the new Bible videos etc. we had all of the Standard works out on the table as well. which students were able to read and look was a smashing success and the college was super helpful in getting us all set up.

The name of the restaurant you asked about is: 

The man next to me in this photo Brian who is our investigator, over the last week we have run into him at a different place unplanned everyday, and we shared fry sauce and Wheeler Sauce with him to use in his restaurant...he is putting it on the menu to be served with fries and chicken under the name "Mormon fry sauce"  

p.s. we are online finishing up our emails this morning since we spent our entire p-day yesterday on the college campus with our "He is the Gift" Display

p.s.s.I don't think I have ever seen or held coal until I came to Kentucky, It literally just falls off the side of the mountain, in some places here.  The Coal I have is from Elk Horn park, which was land donated by Elk Horn Coal, (the big coal company in town) there are huge loads of coal trains which leave town about every two hours. Coal is still a big business and a big employer here. we do service in Elk Horn Park every now and then since the church uses the park quite a bit. so this coal came fresh off the mountain where elder Cluff and I hiked to get it:) I am going to wrap them individually and send them home in a flat rate box.

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

Transfer 6 alright! 

First of all good news! Elder Cluff and I are together for the Holidays and through at least the new year! The Destined Divine companionship continues! 

I really don't even know where to begin this week, between Debra's baptism, Thanksgiving, Andrew's confirmation, the kick off for "He is the Gift", the Kentucky Opera, the Science Center, Kentucky just keeps getting better! 

Okay this is going to be a long letter of photos, so let's go back to the beginning of this past week, this the view of our cozy little town of Prestonsburg Kentucky nestled nicely in our little valley, as seen from the Town Branch Bridge over the Big Sandy River. Downtown and the library is strait ahead.

 we are overseeing our area...majestically I know right.
 We also discovered that Elder Cluff is actually related to sister S....they are 5th Cousins! long shot but they they are family and we just baptized her future husband...(even if she doesn't know that yet.)
This is at the Mountain Arts Center, home of the Kentucky Opera, which Sister S is one of the head singers, we were able to attend the opening night show and are meeting with the director to include "He is the Gift" in the show. in the lobby of the the theater they had lots of Christmas displays up for photo ops. Here are a few. 
 Look out, this is going to be one wild ride! 
 ​Did I ever mention Elder Cluff loves Titanic! 

We actually forgot today was p-day so we have an appointment at noon but we will be back about 1:30 today to continue writing this letter. Pray that this appointment works out, his name is Adrian, we are teaching him in the library on the college campus, with Andrew. Exciting!