Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016

Dearest all

We are still reaping the harvest from our GPS and loving it, not to mention we have significantly reduced the amount of miles we have used comparative to the same time last month, yet have accomplished more we feel. 

The results have also brought out a higher quality in our teaching and planning, we reached out to certain families in coordination with the Bishop to ask these families to invite recent converts and recent-returning members to come to the temple with them on their next personal trip to the temple (no-later than February), The plans have worked, this past week each of the families asked came with us to teach and visit these recent converts to befriend them. Then they will personally extend the invitation in the near future. This felt like orchestrating at it's best from "behind the scenes" per-say

Members - Recent Converts
The H. Family - Sister D.
The D. Family - The M. Family
The F. Family - Brother P.

In addition the fruits of our GPS Directory has resulted in two new less-active families, willing to be taught and ready to return and a handful of new potentials and appointments with investigators and Less-active members which have our evenings after 5:00 completely booked 4 days in advance this week. Which has enabled us to plan for these appointments with more time ahead, and members coming to these appointments with us, two of which are a recent convert and a recent rescue. It feels less like planning and more like uncovering the lord's long term plan to recovering and helping the less-active and those searching for the truth.

Brother B. who I have mentioned before met with his Home Teacher for the first time in a long time yesterday as a result of these efforts as well, and is really softening to coming to church, I am pretty sure we will see him in sacrament meeting very soon...which will be a very joyous occasion for me:) He is such a good man.

Plus two new friends, one of which (M. F.) is progressing excitedly, and his second lesson became the first Member-Present Lesson we have had since I arrived. We had our ward mission leader come, feeling they had similar interests and lived relatively close. The lesson went splendid Marcus was "astonished" by the Plan of Salvation and described feeling the spirit as "Feeling fuzzy...its a good fuzzy" it is wonderful to have an investigator who is truly a friend and is happy and excited for us to come and teach him more, this shows a sincerity level which invites the spirit significantly.

However a wonderful side effect of this was that the ward mission leader Brother B. bore his testimony to the rest of the priesthood brethren in the ward about how he felt the spirit from going with us to teach.

 Also at the beginning of the new year we planned and fasted for our efforts in working with members and have been inviting members simply to think of the first person who comes to their mind, not to over think it, just the first person in mind who can be blessed by the gospel, and to simply and sincerely invite them to learn more as they are directed by the spirit to do so. 
(This was something I remember President Salisbury invited us to do with members shortly after President Salisbury first arrived in the mission when I was in Parkersburg) 
Doing so has resulted in more spirit filled dinner appointments, and really has helped the members to think of those in their lives (whether they live far or close). It also has immediately resulted in more dinner and lunch appointments with members that did not result from a calendar, but rather members inviting us over individually even the day of from time to time. We made plans with them to follow-up in two weeks or so to ask what they have done and have been reminding them when we see them at church or around town, praying for them, and so on...It has a simple but powerful spirit to it again bringing it back to the basics and I am confident with result in referrals even if just a few but will also help the membership of the ward feel the missionary spirit and joy and keep the work rolling forward in a snowball fashion.

Also both of the recent Converts in the ward spoke in sacrament meeting, which was awesome!



​This is a bit of a mission relic called "The spirit of Elder Hurst"...this stick was found by Elder Cluff on John Cambell's property in White Sulphur Springs (which if you go back through my letters in WSS you will see plenty of) and Elder Cluff was taught to conduct music by Elder Hurst (who was a marching band drum major and frequently conducted music at mission meetings and transfers) After Elder Hurst finished his mission Elder Cluff by popular demand began to conduct the music and added the stick to the mix of things, then when Elder Cluff Went home he entrusted the stick to Elder Numbers who has it in his trust till the end of his mission and with it the duty to conduct the music with zeal!

This is Sister B. or Granny P. as she prefers we have been to see her a few times and inform her of the happenings at church since she has been in this care center a few weeks, she is a 19 year old in an 80 year old's body...and she is actually a sister to sister B. back in WSS, who had us over for lunch frequently there. I have acquired a love for visiting the elderly (at least the really cool ones) in my mission. 

​I went on exchanges this week with Elder Rawle here in Roanoke VA, on this exchange we taught M. F. who is very excited to learn more about the gospel so far we have taught him about the restoration and The Plan of Salvation. Astonished is the best word to describe his reaction as we have taught him. 

​This is R.P. a long time friend of the missionaries in Roanoke, he is the person I mentioned a couple weeks ago who paid tithing...he mentioned to us how he was having money troubles, so we taught him about the blessings of tithing. He felt the spirit and paid tithing a couple days later, two weeks later we asked him if he has seen the blessings from that and...he paused for a moment and then realized that he was at the gas station and the manager offered him $40 to sweep the parking lot for them and $20 to restock the refrigerators with beverages for them. (He doesn't work at the gas station either)...Elder McClune and I certainly had our testimony's reinforced in tithing as a result then boldly R. also crushed his cigarettes. 

​The W. family had us over for dinner last night and we discovered their creative-ness by hanging swings inside for their girls in the winter...it was an adorable sight to walk into their cabin and see their girls swinging away...right before we left we had our turn. the W. home is always a treat.

The W.'s also tracked down a photo of former Elder McClune and framed it and hung it on their wall and waited for us to notice...it was one of those "what-the..." moments we had to take a double take when we first noticed it...then everyone busted up laughing...it was a grand time.​



​Just before leaving our apartment this morning, I came to the realization how much the weight of the end of my mission has hit me since the turn of the new year in a fantastic way...I feel kind of like since the turn of the new year I have caught a second wind...organizing a few of the things the future holds around the quote and the promise of the lord to seek his will first (accomplishment of my mission and his work) and my hopes and dreams will be taken care of...I love being a missionary is a secure feeling to trust the lord.

That's All folks
Elder Wheeler
-ART
Love yins

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