Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

Dearest All

Do you all realize after today that there will only be 10 more P-day emails in my mission, that is nuts! That being said I better make the most of them, I hope that my emails can express my love to all my family and friends at home and those I have met and come to love in my mission...and there are so many of you. I don't know what I am going to do without this weekly account to review my week, it will be strange but I imagine Facebook will fill that void.

Well the week was amazing where to start.

​Lets start here...let me introduce L.K....She is pretty much a missionaries dream, she is a solid recent convert of about 6 months, she is tenacious (even more than me and that is saying something) Super excited to share the gospel and is active in that desire to share the gospel, she had been out of town my first two weeks here and so for a while she was just this mystical shadow that I wasn't sure was actually real or not. But turns out she is real and she is awesome.
So on Tuesday, we met her at Virginia Western Community College, where she is a student, we set to work on establishing an LDSSA (LDS Student Association) at the school, and after meeting with the administration and getting the necessary paperwork etc. we sat down and enjoyed a lunch that she had brought for us in the student center, and we shared with her a little lesson that we had prepared, and then a random man by the name of R. came and sat down at the table and asked who we were and what we were doing and complemented us for having "Jesus Christ" on our name tags, he began to ask all the right questions and the little lesson we had prepared for L., morphed into a nifty plan of salvation centered discussion, in fact L. was teaching right along in unity with us. Over the course of this two other girls came and sat down with us and we were attracting a little crowd, after a while as the crowd dispersed one that stayed behind was a girl by the name of L. M., she explained to us that her family are mostly members of the church but that her parents are less-active and she was never baptized...over the course of this conversation I started to put some puzzle pieces together and discovered that she was actually the youngest sister of C.H. (Aka Mamma H./Sister H.) from the Vinton Ward...later after catching up with sister H.  and telling her that we met her sister on campus, all were elated and excited for what is in store over the next couple months.

So to establish the LDSSA we needed to find a faculty member and some interested students, like at Marshall I pictured that there would be members both active and less-active as well as friends that would be hiding in the woodwork, So Laurie set to work on social media and we later had the idea to ask the Roanoke Stake President (again we are actually part of a different stake the Buena Vista YSA stake) and there are members who attend Virginia Western that are scattered between the many wards in the area. so we needed to find them and let them know about our efforts to establish the LDSSA. President Bohon announced it during the Saturday session of stake conference. To our joy sister H. called us and put us in contact with her friend who is a faculty member and a member in the cave spring ward. Also other missionaries have so far referred us to 4 other students in their wards...the Lord certainly provides.  

Also this week we received a referral from the Salem Elders for a guy named D.S. (19), who they had met at a basketball game at the stake center. They were super excited for us to go and meet him...We texted him and set up an appointment for the next day. Literally 20 minutes before the appointment I had the idea to invite L. to come with us, so I sent her a text and it was like in the cartoons BOOM she was there! In fact she beat us there. The lesson was amazing I would rank it among the top 3 best lessons of my mission. The spirit was incredible, and the lesson was truly tailored to D., L. was able to answer many of his questions and relate to him having come from similar backgrounds. 

Then Sunday night came and with is another massive snow storm and this time it came with a nice topping of ice. So Monday was very slow and spent working with and around the snow. But our evening was salvaged with the help of L., we had originally planned to visit with D. but he was snowed in at a friends house and rescheduled for Friday, but L. said "well in that case lets do something else"...so we brainstormed, and came up with the idea to go to dinner (since FHE was cancelled) and invite other ward members and friends, (most people had spent the day inside bored so the invitation was welcome to most that were near by) L. invited a girl named C.C., who has actually been attending the YSA ward for nearly two years and investigating far longer than that...C.C. even holds a calling but is not yet a member of the church. Over the course of the dinner we were able to get to know C.C. and learn her questions, C.C. had also been able to go to the Washington DC temple a couple weeks ago with some other ward members and was able to sit in the waiting area in the temple and explore the visitors center, she told us of how she felt the spirit at the temple and she had a big grin on her face about that:) C.C. even applied to graduate school at BYU for next fall. It was a good dinner/lesson, we were able to get to know this wonderful dry Mormon and even set an appointment with her later this week, which was significant because, L. informed us afterward the C.C. had decided to previously stop having discussions with missionaries...the week was all around fantastic and felt like a week which could be read right out of Preach My Gospel. 


​Also our idea to have a family History centered float in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Downtown Roanoke has taken off! The theme again is "Are you Irish" the YSA ward is handling the parade and the Roanoke stake missionaries are going to hopefully be running a live family history booth at the festival that will follow the parade. 

​Also we were able to meet with the chaplain at Roanoke college, there had recently been a change in the last year of the chaplain. Chaplain C. was awesome to meet, good family man, he is from Wyoming and thus knew and grew up right around members of the church. He was very willing to work with us and there are quite a few members of the YSA ward who attend Roanoke College and the Bishop has asked us to work with them and the chaplain on establishing the LDSSA there as well...I really hope to have both LDSSA groups at Roanoke College and Virginia Western up and running and strong by the end of my mission. 
So also happy valentines day all...we were able to help out the H. Cut some flowers...which turned out to be a perfect place to catch young guys oddly enough who were coming to get flowers for their girlfriends. It was a funny moment that I wish I could be a fly on the wall and watch as these guys come in and sit down in the back and Elder Wilkinson gives me the signal...and I start to make conversation with him while Elder Wilkinson helps get his flowers ready...one in particular by the name of Z.P. set an appointment with us said "thanks for reaching out guys" plus to our joy D.H. gave us some back-up even though she has been less-active for 20 years or so, she was simply honest and said it what she enjoyed about meeting with missionaries and learning along the way...it was grand and fulfilling. Plus I learned a thing or two about flowers and life experience, from D. who is their flower helper, super nice man retired and fascinating stories, I especially love to learn from and hear the stories of people who are older and have had lasting, successful, happy marriages, like D. 
Well that about wraps up this week...Love yins
-ART
Elder Wheeler

P.S. ​We both sacrificed our thumbs a little cutting flowers...reporting to A. H. haha





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