Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

Dearest All

It was a grand week, we worked hard and diligently, not all with ease either, which I suppose is why it was a great week, because it took work and even though we didn't see any immediate results (as I have been blessed by often over the course of my mission) I felt the spirit and simply that the Lord was pleased with our efforts and felt Preach My Gospel's measure of success more so than ever before, dedication.

It is has not been easy to stay motivated with my usual excitement in this area...Tuesday was proving to be my make or break point, we had a day full of plans and appointments resulting from the efforts of last weekend...then one by one every single one cancelled or rescheduled, turning to our back-up plans which was a finding effort or some 6:00 I was tired and a little down on myself, when we came in prepared and ate dinner and following the meal, and about to go out again & my heart was heavy, and sat down while waiting for my companion I looked up to the picture of the savior in our dining room and the spirit brought to my memory the words of a scripture I had read recently.

Alma 26:27
"27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

Encouraged by this whisper from the spirit, I pondered and remembered that The Savior and remembered him and brought sight that our afflictions are so small, I am so blessed with every luxury a missionary can enjoy. That doesn't mean our challenges aren't challenges but it certainly brought the perspective of how do-able they are.

We prepared to head out into the cool evening, blessed with heavy cozy coats and gloves, we prayed and walked around our wonderful high class neighborhood, instantly I felt better, full of hope and motivation, we did end up meeting two hopeful families that night (which we plan to see this evening, now back in town from their thanksgiving travel). However what I learned or rather reminded of most is that the Lord knows and he knows me, knows my heart...We put forth our best efforts in-spite of disappointments and I felt incredibly successful as a result simply because we were dedicated to doing what the lord wanted.

We kept that pattern and attitude through the rest of the week, and again on thanksgiving with no teaching appointments planned, we turned to the promise in the Missionary Handbook under Sundays and holidays

"On Sunday, spend as much time as possible proselyting. Sundays, Saturdays, and holidays are excellent opportunities for finding and teaching because many families are together and are at home."

So we planned a day full of primarily finding with one visit to a friend and another to less-active, we wanted to be tactful so not to be obnoxious to family dinners and such, but not just do nothing or overstay at a members home for our dinner that evening, we prayed that the Lord would help fill our evening with purpose...we set out again, armed with thanksgiving scriptures to share from the Book of Mormon. I just felt the motivation from the spirit and a few hours into our day about to move on from one finding activity to another...I looked back and saw a family outside playing a game with their children and just felt inclined to walk that way rather than head to the car...not having a clue of what do or say, right as I was about to talk to this family, a voice from behind us called out "Elders! Elders!"
Behind us was a woman by the name of R.F. in her car with her children...she explained she was a member from Philadelphia PA, in-town visiting her mother who is not a member of the church, she invited us for dinner to which we arranged to come for dessert following the dinner provided by our bishop and his family. She gave us the address, which ended up being kiddie-corner from our apartment...full of joy and excitement the rest of the day was easy, plans worked out and the day flew by...after dinner (to which the Bishop was happy to dismiss us early so we could go to this appointment), We arrived greeted by the member we met earlier and her husband and their 4 young children, happy to discover that their mother also was hosting their next door neighbors for thanksgiving,

The cherry on top was that the Husband was wearing a Marshall Shirt, and had attended UVU, and the wife was related to people I knew back in White Sulphur Springs our table conversation with the members sparked the conversation with the non-member neighbors to which the members explained and shared their conversion story (The wife joined when she was 17 or 18 and met her husband shortly after he returned from his mission).

It was grand but you get the picture, the end of it was that the Lord answered our prayers and the blessing came from applying one of the Lord's promises. We later visited the neighbors and the non-member mother again with a thank you card and "A savior is born" the neighbors were happy to see us again and I am extremely Hopeful about their potential! 

Everything is falling into place for the booth at the Roanoke Star, the final permission from the director of the park we should have tomorrow. The ward has provided all the supplies and again my excitement builds each time all the pieces come together, like many events in the past.

We are finding our tails off and also experiencing a tremendous success with 3 Less-active members (one of which is now a rescue) We are treating them just like a recent convert, meeting with them in member's homes and the spirit has been ever present in these returning lessons, particularly with Sister Dawson.

In fact in church this past week she came up to us after and told us that following our lesson with her the day before Her boyfriend who came outside for only a moment or two said later to her after we had left with tears in his eyes that he knew we were "called of God" and that he thinks that his mother is a member of the church in Mexico, A big answer to her prayers and humbling for Elder Mclune and I...feeling the spirit of that and letting it sink in, I sometimes forget how others see us when they feel the spirit, grateful to be a missionary.

Elder Wheeler

Hope everyone enjoyed Star it what it looked like from our end...we actually met someone who is learning about the gospel with the missionaries at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg while we were up here on Wednesday...almost without fail we have met members of the church and their families from all over up here at the star each time we come up here.
Fun fact I suppose...made in Roanoke since 1902

Turkeys deep frying in Downtown Roanoke on Thanksgiving, following the Drumstick dash 5k I love running, didn't run this race but I do live the atmosphere around the race.

Enjoying the last of the fall colors.​

Another member family from Tennessee came up to the star on thanksgiving, and I was pleased to see their Golden doodle.  ​​

​Thanksgiving dinner was very elegant at the bishop's home, Bishop Horchler and his family purchased this old plantation mansion from the city a couple years back and have been renovating it since...the inside is spectacular...and probably among the top 3 of my finest dining experiences ever.

​These are the F.' much fun and the answer to our thanksgiving prayer as mentioned above...there were so many little details in this day that just let me know that the Lord loves me and knows what will make me happy, I imagine he enjoys seeing our joy in our reaction to the little things he arranges...

So we walked in and E. (the husband) was wearing the Marshall shirt that is over my shoulder...I said "no way did you go to Marshall" (it was the first bit of Marshall swag I have seen since I arrived in Roanoke) he said no "I just got this shirt at a thrift store for $1 in PA" but he did go to UVU to become a the night went on conversation was very easy and their family is absolutely adorable. Before we left I said "now I have to get a photograph with you and that shirt"...and "he said do you want it?" Before I could answer he had changed and gave me the shirt...we all had a good laugh about it, but it really was touching as small as it was I really felt Heavenly Father's personal love for me, knowing how much I do miss Marshall, but am happy to be here in Roanoke too...small and silly some may say but it really was impactful and Heavenly Father went far beyond in an answer to our prayer.

Fits perfectly, Shout out to the HERD!

That's All this Week
Love yins
Elder Wheeler

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