Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

Dearest All, sorry this letter took so long to send I think you will see why...because it is long...enjoy, love you all. Hope to connect with you all today.

The week has been great! The new year always has people in the mindset to become better
and do better with personal goals.

I was reading the Book of Mormon on New Years Eve, in Helman 10 and felt the spirit giving me direction, rather briskly & directly I might add. In Verses 3-5 the lord is pleased with Nephi for his "unwearyingness".

"3 And it came to pass as he was thus pondering—being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works ofdarkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings, and all manner of iniquities—and it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold,voice came unto him saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which havegiven unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own lifebut hast sought my willand to keep mycommandments.
 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, will bless thee forever; and will make thee mighty in word and in deed, infaith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy wordfor thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will."
I felt the spirit calling me to repent and improve my attitude in regards to the remainder of my mission (which wasn't bad, but just wasn't as good as it could be) which is a short time. In reality I am tired as I am sure you every missionary and president will agree with me in treasuring those hours at night when the lord lets us rest our physical bodies. While still excited and hard working I feel but I lost a bit of my zeal just was a little dull this past transfer and recalling what I learned in MLC's (Mission Leadership Councils) past about working out of a slump, getting back to basics. (Elder Davis explained and taught this so well) Thus the spirit gave me my new years resolution to work with unwearyness...

I desire and have felt through my mission what the lord promised to Nephi "I will bless thee forever" and that he is pleased, I know he knows me, loves me, is patient with me and also is ready with a firm hand to help direct me for good and but the heat on to futher the refinement process of my mission and life.

The past few days since the turn of the new year, I have felt so much happier, full of energy and zeal, joyful, all feelings I have felt before but the abundance has increased. Simply by getting back to the basics, sharpen my basic skills a little more and with a repentant (improvement seeking) attitude everything is better (as it always is it is like the gospel is true or something), studies especially, I treasure the time to study the gospel, it is the spiritual rest and rejuvenation that sleep is to my physical body

Oddly enough right after studies on New years eve I began to feel the symptoms of a sinus infection coming on...I thought oh great I make a new years resolusion to be unweary then get sick immediately afterward, but it held off for the most part till the end of our working day which was conveniently 6:00pm (President Salisbury asked all missionaries to come in early that night for New Years Eve) we ate dinner, weekly planned and retired to bed.

New Years day to my dismay I found myself rather ill, while we managed to go to district meeting and kept the two appointments we set that day. But for the most part was laid-up, recovering. However, upon returning to our apartment from an appointment feeling rather drab, and having the thought of unwearyingness in mind, thinking how can I salvage this day yet?

Right as I was about to get out the car and go inside, an idea came to mind (that certainly was put there by the spirit) to grab the GPS and the ward directory and use the down time to input the entire list into my GPS. I had heard of other missionaries doing it but never did take the time (let's face it a few hours of entering names and addresses from a long list has never seemed appealing).

After sleeping a couple hours, I began the process and found myself captured in the activity, actually enjoying it. Also missionaries from the past couple years have kept a very well noted and organized ward roster, that we are able to "stand on their shoulders" this got me excited to meet these people and work around their homes and neighborhoods.  After dinner I enlisted Elder McClune in the cause and between the two of us working together we managed to input every name and address in our area over the course of about 3 hours, we also called many of these people and confirmed addresses and numbers etc. It was the most productive sick day ever, we were both full of the spirit in this activity, went to bed feeling a days hard work had been done.

The next day I was on the mend and back on my feet we set out with excitement to use our new tool...AMAZING Best idea ever! We chose to go visit a recent rescue (Sister D.), park the car at her home and then use the GPS to walk and work around the area We easily filled 3+ hours using this GPS Directory and stayed with-in 1-1.5 miles of the car, set-up to visit with new less-active member we didn't know, and also met a great new potential, not to mention many people on the list were just happy we stopped by even if they didn't want to meet at the moment.  I know this is not a new idea but it is a fantastic one and I highly recommend it!

The next day was the same story meeting Less-active members, and finding potential investigators (one of which is a family from Lewisburg WV and the wife attended Marshall University and the father is an Engineer, you can imagine my excitement in meeting them. Not to mention his mother's family are members of the church in Mississippi) The other thing is, doing this made is so easy to GET OUT OF THE CAR and walk. The family I just mentioned we met while we were walking past their home, as he pulled in and he walked out to the curb and started talking with us mentioning that when he was single living in Lewisburg the missionaries would visit him. It is simple and we pray the lord would prepare people around the names and addresses listed in the directory and he surely did and will.

We also have barely scratched the surface with this great tool. As we go we use the different symbols on the GPS to color code and categorize locations on the GPS as active member (which we also got to know and help some active members we didn't even know were in our area), less-active, part-member family, potential, former and current investigator. I am confident that doing this will keep us busy in every aspect of missionary work for at least the rest of the winter and likely clear to the end of my mission. I don't think we will ever find ourselves with nothing to do or not know what to do. 

This is the most effective and efficient (especially on miles) planning activity and tool I have ever used, wish I did it in every area, but it is also especially effective here in Roanoke because the area is smaller compared to most with so many members (active or less-active) living with in 10 miles I have ever seen in my mission.

Very excited
Elder Wheeler

District meeting on New Years Day, in Bedford VA (Left to right; Elder Rawle, Elder Moyle, Elder Bosen, Elder Caldwell, Elder Wheeler, Elder McClune)
Post New Years cheers
We also discovered a PHO restaurant in our area! was a swell treat and we made some new Vietnamese friends.
I also introduced Elder McClune to PHO...he is a fan. There will be a few more trips to this restaurant in the future.

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