Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

Wow, President Salisbury wasn't kidding, when you said this area was a "strange beast". It was tough just to know where to start, we spent hours talking about people and working with our area book and trying to review what has been done and do our best to create a plan. I was truly looking forward to Sunday more than I ever have before in my mission.  

Thankfully Sunday truly delivered, I received a warm welcome to the ward, which was very encouraging. I loved the two YSA wards I was a member of back home, and remember why now. I love their lively activity even with a small group, the lesson conversations are excellent and sacrament meeting is dead silent reverent, you could hear a pin drop. We were able to talk with president Clark from the stake presidency on Sunday as well. 

I feel like there are some un-tapped resources in the area, I look forward to trying to be involved with Virginia Western Community College and Roanoke city...Working with the Downtown Elders I hope to be involved with the large Easter Festival that will take place in Elmwood Park this spring, in Downtown Roanoke...with a large emphasis on The Book of Mormon, featuring the saviors ministry in America.  

The area is unique in because it is actually a different stake, it is part of the Buena Visa YSA stake and not the Roanoke stake...the ward boundary is actually the same boundary as the entire Roanoke Stake, which means we share an area with about 20 other different missionaries, which has a feeling of "everything is ours to work with, but nothing is" it's weird but we will make it work. We work exclusively with YSA aged people. 

There are 3 colleges in the area. Roanoke College (which is a Lutheran school, so not a ton we can do on campus there, proselyting wise, but there are members in the ward that go to school there.) Hollins University which is an all-women school. (there we stick out like a sore thumb, but we can work there so we will see how that goes...) and then there is Virginia Western which is the equivalent of SLCC in Utah, it has a fairly large campus and is a public college so we can work there too.

President Salisbury and the stake presidency have also tasked us with an effort to essentially clean up the ward roster...because there are so many members that come and go all the time it has become so cloudy as to how many actually people are actually in the ward.

The past few days has given us time to organize our self so we are ready to accomplish what the stake would have us do in insuring records are in their right place. 

The week topped off by teaching a man named N.S., he has been learning with the missionaries for a little while now and is one of the most excellent individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, I am sure you will hear more about him over these two transfers. 

But I am excited...Here is a quote that really stuck out this Sunday "Vision without work is dreamery...Work without vision is drudgery...Vision with work is Destiny" - Ezra Taft Benson 
With that we have work to do. 

Love Elder Wheeler
-ART

Below are a few photos I ran out of time last week to send...

Last visit with Brother M.P. a recent convert in the Vinton Ward
Having some companionship inventory
Final visit with Sister D.
Visiting the wonderful Granny P...Elder McClune was stoked because he finally beat me in a game of Uno

​Kabuki dinner (a very nice habatchi grill) with the H's...so there is a bit of a story here, #1 We felt like Abraham for a moment, we were all walking into the restaurant, we had a reservation and all, when the Zone Leaders called and asked us if we could cancel our dinner plans and run to the airport to help pick-up some new missionaries and their luggage (their flight was deviated to Roanoke instead of Charleston because of Fog)...so we cancelled the reservation and just as we were about to drive off the zone leaders called back and said we were not needed...so we ended up waiting 45 min for a new table to open up...but it worked out because we had to wait we ended up sitting with a nice couple (far right) about to be married this spring, and got to talk with them and they got to know the Hodges we shared with them a bit about eternal marriage and made some new friends. Then as we were leaving there were some other people who ran out of gas and happened to be our neighbors, so Brother Hodge who had picked us up was able to give them a ride to get gas and they accepted the invitation to let us come and share with them more about the gospel.

Transfer Morning IHOP Breakfast...Elder McClune loves pancakes!

​Intro Elder Wilkenson...Millitary man, newish missionary...great Elder.

That's all for this week, should have more time next week.

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