Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

Dearest All

It seems a long time in coming, but was joyful when our friend R.H. came to church and loved it, we have been teaching him for about two months, solid individual, he is currently a resident at the "Rescue Mission" Recovery Program, the ward frequently does service projects with this facility and was nice for the ward to see some fruits of their labors there as well, Brother H., first came in contact with church when he lived in Utah for a short while, when he got into the Recovery Program (something very similar to West Ridge Academy which my family is familiar with back in Utah) He asked the staff at the Rescue Mission if they knew of any Mormon missionaries in the area, to which thanks to the Ward the rescue mission was able to contact the Elders Quorum President and then refer us to him. 

He is originally from Huntington WV, which has been nice to have that connection with him having just served there. He once shared a journal entry (song) he wrote of his experience in Utah, it was powerful and pure, having progressed well in his program and arranging with his coach he is able to come to church with us, the D. family (Members - younger Married couple, recently moved back from BYU) Turned out to be excellent friends for him, excited for his continued progress and working with the Roanoke Rescue Mission more.

Also Brother C.M. (one of the ward's recent converts we are working with) received the Aaronic Priesthood this past Sunday, it was great to see Elder Mclune able to do that for one of his own coverts who was baptized shortly before I arrived in Roanoke.

The other big miracle was come Friday, the last day of Dickens of a Christmas, and as mentioned in my letter last week we were really struggling to get a booth for the final day...At last I called the zone Leaders on Friday morning to tell them I didn't think it was going to happen, but when we got off the phone, I just felt the spirit prompted to not give up just yet,.

So we knelt down to pray and brought our efforts to the Lord saying, "Heavenly Father we have put our very best effort to trying to bring 'A Savior is Born' to Roanoke and are at the end of our means, please help us if you want this to happen help us know the way" 

Pondering quietly for a moment the idea came to go down to the Downtown Roanoke office once again, so we went Downtown and came prepared having a proposal and photos of what we hoped to do to help convey our vision. The staff down their first of all was so grateful for the service the Zone had done the past two weeks with the various tasks they needed. When we asked it was like cutting butter this time, they put their heads together and with-in minutes had a space for us, it was miraculous, Heavenly Father really prepared the way, I feel at least in part to our efforts in faith to fulfill our purpose.
The Zone Leaders had to leave the event for a couple hours and asked me to oversee that everyone got to where they needed to be etc. which was grand and kept me happily busy that night. The booth went well we were set up right between the sledding hill and the stage, we were able to rotate nearly all the zone members through the different tasks and to manning the booth, and getting the opportunity to share it, the booth was particularly busy during the last hour of the event.

That is the gist of this week.

The following is a quote, which I particular enjoyed was impacted by from a letter a friend back at Marshall Sister Hh B. sent to me. She was a "rescue" during my time with Elder Davis in Huntington. She along with Brother P.N. (recent Convert who was baptized my last day in Huntington on November 14th), attended the Columbus OH temple on December 11th with their own family names with many others from the Mighty Mormon Herd. #GoHerd

"I think Christmas for me this year has really helped me to see the gift of the people who are in our lives. The people who we influence, and the people who influence us. Much like Jesus was sent by God to be an influence and example to all the Sons of Man and Son of God, we must do the same. I often think about how much better the world would be if we all just thought about how we impacted the lives of the people around us. If we could all be more like Jesus, like the primary song we all learned, to love our neighbors and serve our friends, how glorious the world would be." 
- Sister Hh B.


#ASaviorIsBorn Booth in Downtown Roanoke on the Corner of Market and Salem Ave. 
Elder McClune and I  with our turn at the top of the Sledding hill loading people and sending them off...it was a blast!

​Because Roanoke hasn't seen any snow yet this year...the city hired a company from North Carolina to make some snow...it was fun for all children and adults alike. Again felt a little like working at Lagoon again.

​All the Vinton Ward Missionaires, with our Ward Mission Leader Brother B. The Transfer also brought into the ward Elder Caldwell, (Bottom right) who came out with Elder Davis (two transfers after me)...it is very nice to have an lively "older missionary" in the ward. This was after we helped a new family move into the ward. (Note the License Plate)
(left to right: Elder Bosen, Brother Brevic, Elder McClune, Elder Wheeler, Elder Caldwell)


Wahoo, After nearly a month of searching and going through the processes of getting permission to set up our booth at the Roanoke Star...we as of 3 minutes ago have the permit in hand! So much work! As Elder Davis would say "Were official now boys!" 

A little bit of Downtown Roanoke...it really is a beautiful city, I learned that not only do they have street sweepers every night but they also have a crew that comes and sweeps the sidewalks etc. each night, not a piece of litter to be found, it really does add to the charm of the city.

Elder McClune got another round of "mail order meats" he is having a moment....haha

While we were with the Ward Clerk taking care of a few things the other Vinton Elders were posed like this, it was rather humorous, but I do like the Headline...Optimistic Outlook.

Wahooo...stoked! This took so much work! haha, but it will be much easier next time now.

Last I must give a enormous thank you so everyone who contributed to the Facebook Comment Testimony letter that I received in the mail today​, It was huge up-lifter for me, when it got it and started to read it earlier today I just sat at my desk soaking in the spirit and all the love, I simply sat there and cried, since getting to Roanoke I have been fighting off the thought that in someway I had failed in Huntington and was having a hard time keeping my spirits up between high points here in Roanoke, it was so good to read and feel the love and be reminded of impact of my mission, and to be uplifted by the very people I taught and knew in Parkersburg, Prestonsburg, and Huntington. You all really don't know what an impact it had and how important you are. I love you all and miss each of you in and out of the mission. 


That's All for this week
Love you
Elder Wheeler
-ART

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