Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015

The G's are great, H. came to church again. 
A. & T. B. are back!:)
Elder Tupou is awesome!
M.H. and Sons are also great they came to a picnic with us and the ward yesterday.
We had a great successful weekend at the dandelion festival and even got to meet the mayor of WSS...more details next week...very short on time.

My WSS District at 9:00 after a very long and crazy transfer day...
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Elder Tupou and I at the Dandelion Festival in WSS
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M. and sons at Droop Mountain State Park for Memorial day picnic
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WSS Mayor and his wife...wonderful people
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Our Booth...centered around because of him and the scriptures...the city also set us up with wifi so we could do live family search with festival goers.

love you
Elder Wheeler

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

​Meet the Mormons went splendid, while we as full-time missionaries were not able to go, we were told about 70 people attended with about a dozen non-members (The Griffiths included, who said she loved it and wants to buy the film) and a few Part-member families and Less-active members also came. The reception of the film in Lewisburg was great, all the shops around town who we give Carnegie Posters to also displayed the posters from the Lewis Theater Promoting the film. 

​Including our friends at the Irish Pub...notice the Meet the Mormons Flyer in the Window...

​The Day of the Showing we went to a Zone Conference in Lexington VA, where Elder Sawyer and I were the Grand winners for the Cleanest Car in the Mission. I was also seated next to the Stake
President Jones, when he found out that getting Meet the Mormons off the ground here said "you rock" and he informed me that since then the stake has arranged to have the Meet the Mormons shown in theaters in Lexington VA and in Lynchburg VA "Lewisburg is an area we need more an influence in " he also said...Our area was an example in three other instances in the meeting...it was encouraging the see and hear that the efforts that the lord has blessed us to be a part of have such a far reaching influence.

​My longest companion and now good friend Elder Sawyer, going to miss this Elder.

​The Share the Love Lewisburg festival was also this past weekend in Downtown Lewisburg, it was a buy local festival of sorts with artists and such from local areas...it was fun and there was a Lemonade Stand that had you draw pictures for a cup of lemonade...this coming weekend is the West Virginia Dandelion Festival in WSS which we just barely got wind of and so we set off to see if we could still get involved and we made the deadline by two hours  (we actually got a really great spot to right in the center of WSS)...so my new companion and I will be dusting off our stuff from the Chocolate festival and we will be setting up a booth that will be centered around "Because of Him" and the Book of Mormon with a little bit of FamilySearch.org thrown in there...me and my ideas, what can I say Booths are a lot of fun and a great interaction with the community and a huge finding opportunity. After this the Ronceverte River Festival will be in mid-June...the festival organizer surprisingly excited to have us...The Greenbriar Classic over the 4th of July...then the big one the State Fair in August. It will be a busy summer here in the Greenbriar Valley...Each of these booths will have a Larger Emphisis on the Book of Mormon...I will explain why...in Part 2

​This is K.B., a very talented 16 year old member, playing the public piano in Downtown Lewisburg, while we invited people to learn more about the Book of Mormon...by asking "what do you know about the Book of Mormon"...Definitely more forward...but here is the promise Heavenly Father has prepared people already and Elder D. Todd Christopherson when he came to speak to the Mission said "you can tell the elect if they are willing to read the Book of Mormon" "I would not want to be a missionary without a Book of Mormon" "the Book of Mormon is the sickle in which we reap our Harvest"...and in studying PMG Chapter 5 I simply felt inspired to trust the lord more and be more forward with the Book of Mormon...which can seem a bit daring and "gutsy" in this part of the country, where there is wonderful and strong love and loyalty to The Bible...the best part about that is that it comes with a love of the savior Jesus Christ...so what I have discovered it yes there are those people who will not give us the time of day when we talk about the Book of Mormon, but there are more who ask and say tell me about it...from various other things that have truly prepared them...the Book of Mormon Musical is a huge one, and really almost everyone knows someone who is Mormon! Over the past few Days alone we have really had people placed in our path who want to learn more about the Book of Mormon...one man when we were walking in WSS was driving and from his car he asked if he could talk with us for a minute...he pulled over and we he explained how he has taken up preparedness and self-reliance and just purchased a huge supply from Emergency Essentials. He explained he was a pilot visiting The Greenbriar and he Knew UVU and had flown over our temples before...and they I asked "what do you know about the Book of Mormon" the spirit witnessed of what we said and that is where the power is in the Book of Mormon.  He took the book with full intent of reading it and asked for the pamphlet too, he lives out of the mission but it was an answer for me that a forwardness and flood of the Book of Mormon is what the Lord wants. 

​In short...The Book of Mormon is True...the Holy Ghost will witness of it...Being forward with the Book of Mormon is plain, precious and simple I join with Nephi in saying "I glory in plainness, I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus..." (2 Nephi 33:6) It brings a wave of power in simplicity that the spirit can be the teacher to those we invite.

​Another Cool, addition to our week...The Greenbriar has a similar program to the Work and Travel Program at Lagoon, where people from all over the world come and work for the summer...Meet C. from the Philippines...you will see a lot more of him this summer here in WSS...He is my age and also worked at the Westin Hotel in Aspen Colorado before coming here. 
The Green Space in Lewisburg
Dinner with the F's (less-active family) and M's (active)

​The F's (right) and M's (left) both Medical student famlies, who will be staying here over the summer...which oh yes in two weeks or so our ward will go the size of a small branch when most of the student families leave for the summer. the Fords live in in a Pre-civil war cabin on a farm in the country side

Brother M. also being a great missionary himself he prepared a special spiritual thought which he gives to the departing missionaries that really topped off our companionship. About remaining steadfast in our mission and after.

​To top off this letter, an update on the G family, Upon request we Ordered H.G. a full set of Hard back scriptures, which she has been using and enjoying particularly finding the harmony in all the standard works.  We went over the Baptismal Interview questions with her and sister Linsenmeyer and  introduced her to mormonchannel.org she has been reading ensigns like wildfire...she recently asked to learn more about President Monson...and is still moving right along...keep praying for B.G.! 

Love Yins
Elder Wheeler

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

​West Virginia at the End of Winter

​West Virginia in spring...We had a lot of fun taking these two photos...We are up on a Farm House hill up Big Draft in White Sulphur Springs, the winter photo the homeowner's weren't home when we knocked on their door...When we went back to take the spring photo and they were home and outside, and after talking with them for a moment and explained our hopes in getting a spring photo they were more than willing to share their front porch view with us, and they got to know the Mormons a little better....some thought in contrast of these two photographs shows us the promise of hope and renewal.    

The Week was another week of miracles, H.G. continues to amaze me with her sincerity and commitment to learn more...Heavenly answers and guidance have been and will continue to be her's as she applies the time honored practice taught by the savior and prophets modern and ancient of seeking, acting in faith (reading scriptures, applying the principles taught) and asking God with "sincerity of heart and real intent having faith in christ" (Moroni 10:4) "If any man will do his will he shall know the doctrine whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17) and of course in (Matthew 7:7-8) "Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened"

This week in a phone call she told us that she had gone to bed saying the lords prayer in hopes of receiving some guidance as to continue in her search and she said that she woke up in the middle of the night and felt prompted to read 1 Peter 2:5 
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ"
When I got off the phone with her, my heart was racing a little and I could not contain my joy, she asked up to ponder on that and see if that has any significance...the next day when we met with her on her front lawn with her youngest children abounding around playfully, I told her that "when I read that scripture I was excited" she immediately responded "I was too!" She went on to have a number of great questions...and she said that that scripture was her answer to keep learning more and that she had only received an answer from God like this one once before in her life. She also mentioned how "I really want to be in the temple" and had even looked up the temple recommend interview questions...again amazed...the next morning she woke her children and dressed them for church only to discover that her car battery was dead, (she had left the lights on the night before) and with her husband away with one of their sons in Charleston...we had the opportunity to come to rescue and she was determined to make it to church even with the little bumps in the road. We quickly borrowed some jumper cables from a member and set off for her home and we all made it, in time for Sacrament. 

M.H. has been terribly ill with a chronic condition he suffers from, and wasn't able to make it to church this week but never the less he is still heading in the right direction. 

We also after just getting the feeling to keep going, even though our day was almost through, and we met a Brazilian family who had just moved to the states weeks ago and they invited us back especially when we mentioned that we knew another Brazilian family in the ward who has lived in the states just two years...the member family was beyond excited and ready to meet this family ASAP. The Lord is continuing to help us find the prepared and the elect...as we even again found just before our mothers day Skype call  we were again feeling the prompting to keep going even though it was 6:45 and our plan was to call at 7:00 and we still had a mile to walk back to the car and then get to the member's home for the call...we followed the prompting and kept walking up a dirt road to the top of hill and there we met M.M. a very nice individual who elder sawyer asked the right question to and before we knew it half an hour later we were setting up our return appointment with him and reading the Book of Mormon...right as we finished at 7:08 we called home to let them know we would be late and just happened to call right as we were singing my mom Happy Birthday...the lord is so aware and will bless us richly for our efforts especially when the effort is out of our way.  

Photos will come in Part 2.

Love you 
Elder Wheeler

So these photos are from the past two weeks sorry if there are any repeats. 
Quick service opportunity for the P's a Part Member family, who is fairly home-bound...west Virginia grass comes back with a fight, we were covered in grass when we were done. and we were only getting the patches of grass that he couldn't do with the riding lawn mower. 

​More Friends from Parkersburg at our Zone Conference...this is me and all my friends I went on exchanges with in Ravenswood while in Parkersburg...Elder Thomson (the elder closest to me in the gray suit) in in my district again he has become a really good friend in the mission. 

​Heading out for Lunch in Lexington VA after Zone Conference

​Elder Price and I meet again from the MTC both passed our year marks now...

​This is the potential investigator J.S. who we went to go see play music a few weeks ago at the Pub (see letter 9.4) we was nice enough to restring a guitar that we had in our apartment, which M. H. mentioned to us that he was looking for a guitar for his oldest son L who recently picked up playing the guitar at school for his Birthday, J. took us the music store to purchase the strings and then he did the work for free and we delivered the guitar to M. to give to his son.

​M.H. and his son L....we were sure to make J. a custom photo thank you card for all his help.
More in Part 3
Roasting Star bursts courtesy of the M's
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Rocking my super cool Wheeler Jacket...my mom is so cool

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Our Subaru in it's natural Habitat...favorite mission vehicle I have driven yet...I have become a big fan of Subaru...they really are awesome cars.
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Did I ever mention that the White Sulphur Springs Ward is full of Adorable kids.
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And plenty of loving parents to accompany them
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This is Brother M....enough said...he is a pretty cool dude, he is the Air Traffic Controller at Greenbriar Valley Airport (LWB)
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Some "Lagoon-Style Corn" for dinner:)
The Ward campout was great, even though we didn't stay overnight we were there till dark and back at dawn...it was huge help in our relationship with members even though none of our investigators were there...it was a huge leap in the unity with the mission and the ward.

Helping out A.B. with leveling his backyard, by hand...he is building a shed to store stuff from his attic and turn the attic into a bed room to make room for his soon expected 3rd child. A. remains a good friend and we continue to share gospel conversations with him.
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Our District P-day to Lost World Caverns Which is around the bend from where we live...there are plenty of videos that I will send home that accompany this adventure...including, since we were the only ones in the cave that, we sang a few hymns and the echo was awesome! from Left to right; Elder Pulson (District Leader) Elder Kovak (who is from Switzerland), Elder Yocum, Elder Sawyer, Elder Thomson and Elder Wheeler
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The L. family at lunch with the B....we love this family
The Cave was huge needless to say we had a lot of fun on the self guided tour...and being the only people down there...
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This one is for you mom...haha this is the natural entrance to the cave which is a 120 foot shaft...that was capped off, the cave was discovered when a farmer who owned the land was dropping dead cattle down the hole and after a while noticed that the hole never filled up and eventually someone went down and discovered the cavern. 
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Again the cavern was huge!
Helping New investigators H.& P. M. move into Lewisburg
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District Lunch at Aprils, we have become quite the regulars at Aprils after district meetings and they are always know exactly what we want.
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With the Help of Sister L.F. (less-active) we made an extra special "Notify" for the G's...it was a lot of fun and great time with the F's too.
Conclusion in part 5

In the Works for the past few weeks has been the Public Showing of Meet the Mormons in Lewisburg...we got he ball rolling and after sharing the excitement of the film with members the ward got on board and the  theater has been wonderful in showing and promoting the film here in Lewisburg. Working the Public Affairs of the church has been interesting too.
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Because the Ward members donated enough to make the showings free, and has been promoted in Lewisburg WV and Covington VA The Film opens this Thursday in Lewisburg

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We also helped J.C. move stuff from his storage unit to his new barn we helped him build...notice the trusses...country as they may look they are as strong as the hoover dam.
Spring time lessons with Sister S.
West Virginia is in full Sacred Grove status...this was taken from the top of the hill where Elder Sawyer and I were when we called home letting you all know we would be late after teaching M.M.

​Last for today...my GPS reminded me that I have been out for a year...and not to waste a moment.

love yins
Elder Wheeler

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

I don't have a ton of time today, the weather here has been excellent and we are going to be enjoying one of the Greenbriar Valley's treats...spelunking with the district. Interesting to note the city of Lewisburg was actually built on top of a rather large cave system in-fact most of the city's storm water runs through caves...it should be a real treat.

I am understanding more about how heavenly father answers our prayers and Nephi means when he says "for we know it is by Grace that we are saved after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23) The G. Family has been wonderful, I love this family it has been an absolute privilege to teach and visit with them. H. G. (wife and mother of the family) she is super mom, It has been so admirable to see her in the way that she simply strives to do nothing but serve her family and be a good mom....speaking of which

​I love you mom:) Happy Mothers Day

H. has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and has been reading, mormon.org, ensign, family proclamation, and pretty well everything else we have left her, It brings me back to the days of Teaching Vicki in Parkersburg, along with Cody and Debra...all these people who are sincerely interested in seeking the truth...and the promise from god given throughout the scriptures that if you seek you will find.

As a missionary my role is to be the best help we can be to them through that process and...when I met this amazing family I want to be the absolute best I can be and consecrate my efforts for their gain, and you want everything to be perfect for them...now of course we are not perfect teachers, and over the past week as I was reading the scriptures, they really spoke to me in 2 Nephi 33: 1-5 that when we speak with the Holy Ghost as our companion it makes our weak (human) teaching mighty to them and carries it to their hearts (to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost we need to be obedient and study the scriptures and what heavenly Father wants us to teach) then after all that we can do the Holy Ghost fills in the rest and that is most powerful when we really strive to do all we can do...I testify that this is true principle I have seen it and it was humbling and again as I read those verses in 2 Nephi 33: Particularly verses 3 and 4  when I felt is so clearly that Heavenly Father was speaking to me through these scriptures, I was so full of peace and joy and assurance that the lord has heard my prayers and my cries for this amazing family and will consecrate my prayers for their gain.   

I Know Heavenly Father has been mindful and watching over this wonderful family, H. along with her three youngest Children came to church this past week and again I know heavenly father is in the details, the ward was full of perfectly noisy happy children right along with H's family and the spirit was present, I even said a little prayer in my heart, hoping one of the ward members would come up to share the testimony while holding one of their children and sure enough it happen:) H's three children did very well through nursery and primary and "had fun":) The ward members were wonderful and helped her every bit of the way. The L's continue to be an excellent friend for H. and B.
H. particularly enjoyed Sunday School and again I know Heavenly Father is truly at the Helm of this ship, and when we are unified with him as his crew we can be a ship moving full steam ahead.

After church we followed up with H. and she said that she enjoyed it, and asked us to pray for her husband B. who is not as interested as H. as of yet. We are hopeful and desire for B. (who really is an equally amazing dad as H. is a mother, so is energetic and excited to see his children and volunteer time for  their extra-curricular activities) to share the same enthusiasm and effort that H. has put forth. B. is awesome too, he really has had a good history with his family in the Methodist faith growing up...I try to put myself in his shoes and see that he has found happiness in faith and remember Elder Bednar's talk "Come and See" (Oct 2014) and that the restored Gospel builds upon those wonderful positive experiences from any faith and acts of faith in following the savior and I know heavenly father is pleased with anyone doing their best with what they have and know. I trust Heavenly Father will continue to care and watch over this spectacular family.

Well short on time and just about time to leave I love you all and please send every prayer you can to the Griffith family, Heavenly Father answers prayers, I know it.

Elder Wheeler

​M. and his two sons also continues to progress and is moving right along for Baptism on June 6th.

​Hobo dinners with the F's (less-active family) out on Triple C Farm so tasty

​We also cut Grass for J. another less active member who is suffering from a liver disease that makes it very difficult for him to get out, really great guy...west Virginia grass is another story.

We have been catching B at the baseball fields where he coaches little league offering our help and supporting him and his family in the games.

​We also had an fun ward camp out in the Greenbriar state forest...more photos from this and rest of the week...will have to wait till next week. have to Jet.

Love ya
Elder Wheeler.