Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

Well this week went by so fast! It was not even funny, I am so exhausted but so happy.
Huntington has a lot of decaying areas in the city outside of the downtown area and the Marshall Campus which is still the hardest thing for me to see in my mission is just devastating poverty. It is hard to see people living in conditions that they might as well be in a 2nd world country, the hard part of seeing that is just seeing people that just seem Stuck!  Stuck and surrounded by what seem to be in-passable steep treacherous mountains of problems, addictions and violence. It can be very overwhelming to work in such an environment. Seeing that the problems at large are so huge that it seems impossible to make a dent in the effort to help people.
Following such great success with our Booth at Marshall University on Saturday which was an all day affair and finding so many great new bright young adults...I wanted with all my heart to see even just a few of these contacts to catch the spirit and experience the power of The Book of Mormon as Sister Griffith did back down in Lewisburg...I prayed, really prayed one and as I did so I didn't want the prayer to end it was just of the best prayers I have had in my mission and I knew that Heavenly Father was really listening because I was really sincerely talking with him.  I also asked for help and direction about how to help the others we teach in the rougher parts of Huntington. Then in Sunday School yesterday I heard an interesting quote, from president Ezra Taft Benson"
“Some may ask why we as a people and church quietly and consistently seek to change individuals while there are such large problemsall about us. … But decaying cities are simply a delayed reflection of decaying individuals. … The commandments of God give emphasisto improvement of the individual as the only real way to bring about the real improvement in society” (A Plea for America, Salt Lake City:Deseret Book Co., 1975, p. 18).
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes theslums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment.Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature” 
The spirit was so clearly speaking to me when I heard this, this is one example of many that I know I really know Heavenly Father listens and answers my prayers.

This was also direct answer to my prayer and personal revelation through church attendance, which I feel also came so clearly because of increased faith in the Sabbath day, both for me personally and in my fellow ward members.

Lets get Started Photos...On Tuesday after our wonderful Zone Conference I repeated history by hopping in Elder and Sister Winn's Car with my suit case and crossed the river back down to my old stomping grounds on Prestonsburg KY. I was beside myself with excitement the entire drive passing familiar sites and calling to set up appointments with people I knew and taught.
I love Prestonsburg! Oh and by the way over the past three months now I have lost 25 LBS and am just 5 LBS to go to reach my Pre-mission weight.  
Seeing familiar faces and old friends...A.G.
Sister S.
J.A....from the library and The C. family from Billy Rays.
First thing in the morning after sleeping in my former bed and apartment...Elder Rose and I set out with Elder Winn to see D.L. This experience was the most choice of my mission. 
8 months since leaving Prestonsburg KY I returned to find D.L. just blossoming with the fullness of the Gospel, hearing of the trials of her new faith and seeing how she has let them shape and sharpen her into a mighty latter-day saint. The Lord has also poured out her blessing upon her, including that she was able to move into a nicer home.
Elder Winn: "D. do you know why Elder Wheeler is so happy right now?...lets go to Alma 17 to find out."

"And now it came to pass that as Alma [Elder Wheeler] was journeying from the land of Gideon [Huntington WV] southward, away to the land of Manti [Prestonsburg KY], behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah [D.] journeying towards the land of Zarahemla. 2 Now these sons of Mosiah [D.] were with Alma [Elder Wheeler] at the time the angel first appeared unto him [Teaching D. and Baptism]; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his [Elder Wheeler's] joy, they [D.] were still his brethren [Sister] in the Lord; yea, and they [D.] had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they [D.] were men of a sound understanding and they [D.] had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
 3 But this is not all; they [D.] had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they [D.] had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they [D.] taught, they taught with power and authority of God."
This was sweet token reward of my mission, I am so joyful to see the lord's promises coming in their fullness to others and myself in my is true that this work is the most gratifying than any other.

Cardio rocks...I also picked up a sweet running vest that adds weight from another missionary to increase my endurance while staying with slower companions;) I am so grateful I have companions who want to work out as well. 
Made a stop by our loved Taco Bell Elder Cluff be jealous. I walked right in and everyone recognized me:) 
old Friends A.B.
Teaching A.H. again at the Prestonsburg Library with Elder Rose
Visiting my Purple Haired Friend B.L.
It was a little bit of a through for me because of being back in Prestonsburg every time I went outside I expected it to be chilly and cold (because I was there in the Fall and Winter) so my brain was a little confused when I stepped outside and it was green and hot in August! 
M.! B. family
Score! it was just over 200 three months ago.
This letter doesn't even come close to expressing how incredible this exchange was, The members, investigators and community members were so great. and Elder Rose said "it was the best exchange he had ever been on." and inspired him to see what that area was really capable of.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Here are a few photos from the past few days...Huntington is incredible! I am so excited to be here.
This is Elder Hill, he is Elder Tupou's Trainee that he will be training back in WSS. I already heard back from them and things are continuing to go very well and our investigators in wss have warmed up to this brand new missionary very well.
Elder Cluff and I along with the Winns having yet another Kentucky reunion...all of these people have or are serving in Prestonsburg KY (my second area) I am going down to Prestonsburg KY this Tuesday and Wednesday, I am so excited to return to visit and teach recent converts and investigators on my exchange there starting tomorrow.
Huntington is also home to Marshall University, the second largest university in the state, we have a LDS student association that we run on campus and President Salisbury sent me here to apply what we have done with our booths and colleges I have worked on in my past two areas. I am also excited because, C.M.G.  Sister G's (from back in Lewisburg) oldest daughter and her Boyfriend are Marshall Engineering Students, they will be returning next week, how neat is this, Hopefully we will still be able to teach a member of the same family here in Huntington.
Marshall's Stadium, you know something funny that Marshall has made me thing of is Monsters University (the Disney Pixar movie) MU the logo even looks the same, haha.

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10. 2015

I am so happy and really feel that I finished very strong here in WSS!

H.G.  is so happy because of the miracles that have happened in her family too! Her two oldest sons are now regularly attending church with her and reading the Book of Mormon (not just reading it but enjoying it) with her which I know to be an answer to her many pleading prayers and A. (her oldest son) has gained a sincere desire to be a missionary, I hope to hear their Baptism in the next couple months and surely before the end of the year. 

Unfortunately, I don't think that A.B. will be getting baptized on August 22nd, because of the time it will take for him to really get settled into the life of a latter-day saint. But this much is the victory in the past 8 months that I have been here with him he has seen a total change in heart and has felt a true conversion and acceptance of the Book of Mormon! Which is HUGE! He has gone from being very against the Book of Mormon and the church to receiving incredible witnesses of the truth of the Restored Gospel, He wants to get to the Temple and really wants to be baptized...I know he will be one day...soon! He knows it and is obedient to God, I see him merely being patient in waiting for the time of the Lord to deliver the way and means to him. He is an incredible man. I love him so much and he will be a lifelong friend...from the beginning even though he didn't love my beliefs of my mission (which he since has come to love and live) he has loved me and there really was an instant friendship and connection we had. That connection won't end with me leaving. He is feeling and seeing true conversion and the Lord is truly preparing the way for him. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, Subscribed to the Ensign and quit smoking since I have been here 

I am truly grateful and wish to echo the words of Alma  in Alma 29: 1-3...these verses and really this entire chapter are how I truly feel about my time here in Lewisburg.

So Transfer news
President Salisbury has assigned me to serve as a Zone Leader in Huntington WV! Why am I so excited about this...Because Prestonsburg KY is in the Huntington Zone! I will Get to go on exchanges (in my old Apartment right across from the Winn's) and regularly travel back to Kentucky my former area...My area in Huntington is the second Largest City in WV and includes the Marshall University Campus...President has asked me to come serve here and apply what we have done here in Lewisburg...which by the way has spread across the mission and President Salisbury even sent and official thank you letter to B.G.  for his help in setting us up with our game.

I am also happy because I know the Lord is preparing my replacement here and has prepared our investigators for him and Elder Tupou, I really feel that I have done my absolute best here and I saw the miracles and blessings from it. Truly serving with all my heart might mind and strength and I saw the lords promises come to Lewisburg.

I seriously don't even know where to start! so I am going to let the photos tell the story, but oh my goodness Exciting stuff from being invited by President Salisbury to present our creative success, (particularly our Mormon Trivia Game and booths) at MLC (Mission Leadership Council), where President & Sister Salisbury, the Assistants, and every Sister training leader and Zone leader were present, he distributed our game to the entire mission! 
To having four wonderful friends (Investigators) at church...we are just seeing miracle after miracle here in Lewisburg.
I suppose the best report is just my own feelings, I have loved serving here in Lewisburg, I am truly joyful and just can't contain it about how much I love White Sulphur Springs...Because this area has also been the area I have felt that I have received and am receiving my greatest conversion. 

The Ward with the start of the New School Year at WVSOM (medical school) brought 14 new very active returned missionary member families, between the less-actives returning the L.'s have been working with returning to church (about 4 families) and our investigators and the 14 new member families, we have literally been running out of seating in our little chapel. 
The Medical School also invited us to be a part of their resource fair which was yesterday (thus our half p-day), and it was awesome be so included in the community...all the other community organizations and business at the resource fair recognized us and took the time to talk with us and we were able welcome the new class of 216 students to Lewisburg.

Also the Medical Students there is 20+ families now in the ward had a get together dinner at the school yesterday and we before we left took the time to share a spiritual all the Member students, sharing an insight that one of the Deans from the school administration shared with us that when they looked at the different variables of what measures Student success the largest factor was actually LDS students...I thought how magnificent is this! That even as these Students perform well in school they create a reputation of the blessings of the Gospel and invited them to remember the lords promises to those on his Errand, in D&C 136

The Glk. Family (mother, two daughters and one granddaughter) have come to church over the past couple weeks! As you also know their youngest daughter M. has just been taken under the excited wings of the Young Women and is going on her exciting Trip to Utah this week, All three of them are reading the Book of Mormon and are progressing!

Sister G. returned yesterday after a week long trip to Pennsylvania for work and to visit family, she was also very excited to learn about the new temple in Philadelphia PA and full indents on going to the Open house with as much of her family as possible next spring. Sister G. Also got her answer that the Book of Mormon is true and she wants to be Baptized when she finishes the Book of Mormon, this was a very sweet moment for me, since meeting her and her family back in March of this year she has just been a mind blowing faithful miracle the whole time, and is the perfect example of a sincere searching heart, backed with the real intent needed for a spiritual firework show to take place! And it has! Her finishing the Book of Mormon should hopefully give us the time to finish teaching her 17 year old son who has come to church twice now, and bring him up to speed with his mom and hopefully they can get baptized together.

"T." is also progressing and came to church this past week which was his 2nd time and is also reading right along

there are so many more miracles after miracles but you would be reading a novel instead of a letter so I must let it suffice at this

You know the craziest thing of all is from these blessings which I know are from our desire to be obedient and receive the Lord's blessings is that even today, we had the problem of investigators wanting us to come teach them...but not having the ability to reach them all in a day! They are truly excited to share what they are learning and show they kept their commitments. 

Elder Wheeler

I really can't contain my excitement. Lewisburg Rocks!

I am in hurry so sorry the photos are out of order.

​This is us and M. at the Pioneer day party hosted by the B.'s who really know how to throw a party, I was with Elder Johnson #2 who is the zone leader. 
Us with our Zone Leaders after our long early morning drive up to Charleston for MLC
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On our way back from a zone meeting in Lexington I noticed this sign a while ago and thought it would be great if Elder Myers could get a photo with that sign...
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Elder Tupou and I at the resource fair at WVSOM (medical school)
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Elder Tupou and I at the Medical Student Cafe Rio dinner (because they are all from out west too, and there is no cafe rio here in West Virginia) in one of the classrooms at the School.
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Us and T....we really enjoy his big blue suit...he also has a purple one. T. has been great! 
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So I thought this would be fun to sent since all of you have sent things to the Mission office from time to time, this is the Mission Office on the Top Floor.
not sure if I already sent this, but this is Sister G. being taught by Elder Myers and Elder Rassy at our District Meeting

Elder Tupou will be training a brand new Missionary here in WSS! 

Alright well this is just a sneak peak to my letter, we have lunch appointment we need to get to, but know that I love you so much mom and am so grateful for all that you have done for me and my mission. 

​By the way I noticed This Rock in the Green Space in downtown Lewisburg. I love our name:)