Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

Dearest All

The area is good, we have met with and taught less-active members and friends, we continue in the effort of finding and organizing (adding, moving and removing records) the Area book and the ward directory. The task is enormous and tedious, however we try to be out and about, doing the majority of the work at a library, campus or other public place. I figure this way it gives Heavenly Father more opportunities to have people cross our path and gives him more to work with.
 The Zone Leaders also allowed us a portion of zone meeting to share with the zone our vision and also the resource that the YSA ward can be for the missionaries, less-active members, and their friends. 

I was a member of two YSA wards before my mission and I absolutely loved them, I didn't think I would like them at first either but the YSA wards provided friends and fellowships which helped me return to full activity in the church and sling-shot me toward my mission and spiritual goals. 

The lord inspired the creation of YSA wards for many reasons but I feel the primary reason is to specifically help YSA aged people facing the most decision filled time of our lives, come closer to Christ and receive the personal spiritual support and focused direction, that a YSA ward can excel at. 
I had the opportunity to share this and my testimony/experience and we explained we are not seeking to "take investigators or members" from other missionaries. (Because we share an area with all of them, but in reality they are not our investigators but the Lord's and Heavenly Father's Children) But rather, if they would like to share this resource with them or you have someone who is YSA aged and invitations to a conventional family ward aren't finding success, to try the invitation to invite them to YSA worship and activities (because what missionary doesn't love it when their is a ward activity to invite their friends too) and see if the YSA ward makes a difference (it certainly did for me) Allowing the missionaries in the zone the option to choose to continue to teach them or to refer them to us if they feel best. Also letting them know that we can get them in contact with the members in our ward if they need a YSA aged fellow shipper for their investigators. Following Zone meeting we received three referrals from other missionaries and one other companionship asked for a fellow shipper for a less-active YSA in their ward. 

So there are things happening here and much more to be seen.

I love our bishop, he is excellent and actively involved with us, he is a ready resource for us and happy to help. Also he pushes us to be working indeed. 

We visited Virginia Western on Thursday and are seeking out the possibility of an LDSSA or similar club, there are members of our ward there, in addition to several other members in other wards that could contribute the membership of such a club. Which should give us similar resources to what we had at Marshall University. 
(we also working with our members at Roanoke College to discover our resources)

So fun story. Our Bishop, Bishop Creamer, is awesome like every other YSA bishop I have worked with at home. Anyhow, he and his wife take us to dinner every Wednesday night, this is at Mac and Bob's a restaurant right off campus at Roanoke College...So everyone told me to order the calzone...I had no clue it was so enormous...

Probably around 3500-4000 was delicious

​So provoked by the bishop and my companion to take the challenge or eating it all in one I take the hit to my pride and not stuff myself or take the hit to my waistline...either way I win and either way I why not...#didit

​This is A.H. the owner of the Newfangled Bride in Salem VA her and her sister are Less-active YSA's and between them and their mom they are awesome to us missionaries, Their shop is sort of our "home-base" in Salem (since it is close but still a short distance from Roanoke) But A. just happens to be dating a man by the name of S., I think my mother and sister may recognize him from his show "Ghost Hunters"...the little things you never thought would happen in your mission. S. is a cool guy along with the rest of the H's. You will likely see more of them over the course of my stay here in Roanoke YSA...we were helping them hang some mirrors and move their counter on this occasion. 

​funny pose for mom

​There was also an Epic 5K and stair race in downtown Roanoke this weekend that we went to spectate at and were able to talk with a few people there. I have gained some sort of sick love of running stairs here...we still go to the stairs near my former apartment here in Roanoke a couple times a bucket list item to run a stair looked like so much fun...this was the 20 story tower that was at the end of the race but the race also included several parking garages, bridges and other buildings again looked like so much fun!

​Posters from the many YSA activities and FHE's that the ward does. 

​One last there is a beautiful recently renovated duck pond park in Salem just up the street from the H's shop and there were a couple resident of muscovy ducks, which brought a smile to my face to see one of my childhood pets:)

That's all for this week
Elder Wheeler

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