Thursday, October 30, 2014

I have a fine new son! 10/27/14

This week has been one of the funnest weeks of my whole mission!! 

I got to spend Monday-Wednesday with these super awesome missionaries named Elder Hess and Elder Wheelwright. Elder Hess is probably now my favorite missionary in the mission. We are so much alike its ridiculous. We didn't have a car while I was there, so we walked and knock for two days straight, from 11 am to 6 pm. My legs felt like Jello afterward, but we seriously had 2 of the funnest days of my mission! 

But without further adieu, my new companions name is Elder Cade Johnson! He is such a champ!! He is from Saratoga Springs Utah, loves sports, and came ready to work. He looks a lot like Kevin Francom. Its weird haha He is an answer to prayers. He felt a lot like I did when I got into the mission. He was absolutely terrified. He hasn't had any experience teaching and very little experience studying the gospel, but he is picking it up fast. It touches my heart every night to see him studying his scriptures in his free time. And he was in the Isaiah chapters, so even more bonus points to him haha. We are working on just having bear his testimony to everyone we talk to get him in the swing of things, and he is just a stud!!

We only had about 2 and 1/3 days of missionary work in Houghton Lake, so the moment he got home we went straight to work. I took him door knocking right away and we found some really solid people. Miracles are happening in this area like you wouldn't believe. They say its one of the toughest areas in the mission, but we are having people come out of the wood work from all avenues of finding. We already have 6 appointments this week, which feels like more than we had all last transfer... 

It is so much fun to watch him feel the spirit. We got to give his first blessing, and he goes, "Man... That was cool!" I was telling him some of my mission stories and experiences when I was led by the spirit and he goes, "Can I ask a personal question? What does the spirit feel like to you?" I explained the best I could, but the best I could say was, "You will know it when you feel it." 

Yesterday we checked on a potential named Elizabeth, and she didn't answer so we knocked the rest of the street. Upon walking back he goes, "Lets go knock again." This time, Elizabeth answered, and we found out that she really needed us. Her boyfriend is in the hospital and she needs to fix her yard before the city gets involved, so we offered to help and are going back to serve and teach her tomorrow! IT WAS SO COOL! I asked Elder Johnson later that night, "So what did it feel like? Feels like a regular thought doesn't it?" and he says, "Yea, but it feels different..." I was so happy for him!! There is nothing like watching your boy have experiences like that! 

Later on that street, we found an awesome guy named Travis, who wasn't interested at first, but as we taught him about who God is and the purpos of life, he felt the spirit and opened up. He is busy the next three weeks, but is super excited to have us back in 3 weeks to teach his wife and 3 kids. I have come to the conclusion that finding becomes fun when you make it an extension of teaching. When you teach these people restored truths right up front, it allows them to feel the spirit right up front, and almost always results in return appointments no matter who it is. I am so thankful to have the Holy Ghost on our side teaching and touching peoples hearts for me. I know that this work cannot be done without it!

Life is good as always. This is the happiest and most confident I have been in my life. I know that God lives and loves us. The words of a favorite song often describe my feelings, "My God has bled, my soul to save. How can I keep from singing?" 

Elder Wheat 
His first picture of the Lake

Me and Elder Johnson

 Hipster Missionaries

Elder Hess and Wheelwright

Monday, October 20, 2014


I apologize for not being able to write last week. We ran out of time and the Library closed so now I get to report on two weeks worth of work!
Elder Campbell is leaving me, and I will be training again!!! I am so excited!! I hope my son is ready to work!! The weather is getting cold... It hit 30s yesterday and man does that wind cut to the bone. They say this winter will be as bad as last year... Which means door knocking in -40... Bring it on. At least I am not cold AND getting kidnapped in Russia. Ain't that right Elder Skyler Farmer? ;) But for about the last two weeks it has been a whole lot of knocking, and a whole lot of uninterested people, but that is how it goes sometimes. We had to drop most of our investigators and haven't been able to find Megan since our last meeting :( But, I have learned that the Lord asks you to work as hard as you can and he provides a miracle in a avenue well that has nothing to do with what you were doing. I would like to share a couple experiences from this last week. 

On Tuesday we met with a less active member named Sister Cowell. It was the first time I had met with her, but I have learned what happens when you abandon the gospel. You lose your testimony. She basically denounced her belief in the Church, and when we asked what she thought about Joseph Smith, she responded, "I don't." She said that missionary after missionary have told her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and she has and it never worked. "I give up" she said. It was rather discouraging. We invited her to read Alma 32, which outlines the process of receiving spiritual knowledge and left. I left there wondering what happened to her, and praying to know how to help. She called us Friday and told us to come back. We were very nervous about it, and pleaded with the Lord that he would give us the words to say to her. We went in and talked about what she had read. She asked us why we need the Book of Mormon, claiming that the bible was sufficient. We described it in effect as follows:
Before the Bible was the Bible, it floated around as singular books, such as the Gospel of Matthew or John. Each of these as individuals is wonderful. They teach you about Christ and teach you to look to him that we might be saved. Why then would we need the gospel of John or Mark, if we have Matthew? Because those books give us insight into the Savior and his gospel with scriptures and stories not included in the other Gospels or Books. All 4 work as a puzzle, filling gaps that the other gospels do not include. All 4 are profitably studied together and help us know who Christ is, what he did, and why it matters. The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants work in a similar way. They provided insights about Christ and His gospel not included in the Bible. I cannot think of anywhere in the bible that explains the process of receiving revelation as clearly as it is explained in Alma 32. I cannot think of a greater chapter on the how and why of the Fall and Atonement than 2 Nephi 2. The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants fill in gaps and confirm truths taught in other scriptures. We do not freak out when the New Testament is brought forth with the Old Testament, nor do we reject the Gospel of Mark when it is introduced to the gospel of Matthew. Rather, we rejoice at the further light and truth we receive. Why then, do we condemn new scripture and reject further light and truth from heaven, or at the very least experiment on the word? God continues to reveal more truth to us in these our times. Why are we then content to have less? 

We should examples from our studies of how we use all of the scriptures together. She was very taken back, and began to understand. We bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and of the spirit that is felt therein. She was feeling it too. She mentioned that she feels the spirit when she reads it to and called it a "good seed." We were watching her gain a testimony before our eyes. It was remarkable. The spirit was so strong. Thank goodness the Lord is with our mouths when we share his gospel.

2nd miracle of the week is an investigator named Nora Buchner. She is 80 years old and has been investigating for ten years and has come to church every week for that time. She hasn't been baptized because she is deathly afraid of water. I have fasted and prayed for her, and yesterday it was announced that she is getting baptized November 1st!! It was so sweet to see her smile when it was announced. I feel that every baptism I have been apart of to date has had nothing to do with me, and that is honestly ok with me. It is how it ought to be. I feel like the Lord works all the miracles and I am just along for the ride. 

It is a wonderful work :) What can I say more? The work is hard and exhausting but that's what makes it great! I am having the time of my life! The work is true. I love you all and pray for you!

His Faithful Servant,
Elder Wheat

2/3 of the original district back together and Mission Leadership Conference

For the Beauty of the Earth

"Chad" selfies and our new Superhero shirts a member got us

The District


I know that God has called a prophet on the earth again today, and that the Church of Jesus Christ has again been established on apostles and prophets. Now that that has been said, I will undertake to write some of the tender mercies of the week.

Trade offs in West Branch was incredible. I was working with Elder Newman, who is just a transfer younger than me. He is a remarkable missionary. Extremely diligent and obedient. We saw miracles. West Branch is usually a slow moving area, but we could hardly stop to rest! We met with a young woman named Amber and taught her about the Restoration. She didn't have a ton of scriptural knowledge, but Elder Newman had an awesome visual for teaching prophets that helped her understand perfectly the need for one today. The whole lesson was stellar, until the part where we taught her how she could know. At that point it became miraculous! We read Moroni 10:3-5 and testified that she could know by the power of the Holy Ghost that things were true and she goes, "I felt it as I was reading that. I am excited to read this." We were just like AHHHHHHHHHH!!! Man it was great. It was an awesome day. 

Later in the week, we had trade-offs with the Zone Leaders, and I was with Elder Stevenson. He plays volleyball, from Hemit, CA and is basically another version of me. We had SOOOOOO much fun. But I do want to share one experience from our time together. It was pouring rain Friday morning, but we decided to walk to Megan Maupin's house, a potential we found this last sunday. She wasn't home but a few hours later, I felt that we needed to go back and knock again. This time, she was home and let us right in. She has a 3 year old son named Tyler who is seriously the most adorable thing. He would run in throughout the lesson with a toy in hand and shout, "Watch this!!" and he would chuck it across the room. He wouldn't stop, though his mother tried haha Elder Stevenson came up with a system that one of us would teach while one of us would play with him. It was wonderful!

She explained to us why she had stopped attending churches. She initially invited us back because she wanted Tyler to grow up in a church, but after some thinking she felt that it was time for her to come back. As we explained the restoration of the Gospel, she had this look of excitement on her face I don't think I can ever forget. We asked what it would mean to her if Christ's church was restored again to the earth, and she said, "Then I would have somewhere to go!" She immediately accepted the invitation to be baptized and ran to her calender and circled November 8th. It was a wonderful experience. It has been almost 2 years since this area has had someone on date, and Elder Campbell and I are fortunate enough to see it happen! The Lord is good! When we got up to leave and and we said bye to Tyler and he goes "Bye bye?" and we go "yea we have to leave!" He says, "I go bye bye with you?" Our hearts melted but we had to say no. She couldn't stop thanking us for coming. It was one of those missionary moments that you treasure. I pray that this will work out for her. I know how much this gospel will bless her life.

How lucky I feel to be here in Michigan. It gets colder, wetter, and darker by the day, but there is sunshine in my soul (Excuse the cheesy Hymn reference). I know that the work I am engaged in is not my own, it is the Lords. I am thankful to be along for the ride! 

His faithful servant,
Elder Wheat

Welcome to the Mission Field!

The person we went to see wasn't feeling well, and as we walked back to the car and saw their yard COVERED in leaves, We said, "This looks like a service opportunity. We don't have this many leaves in SoCal. Its kinda sad.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Missionaries sang as they walk and knock.... 9/29/14

and walk and knock and walk and knock and walk and knock.... AAAAAAAAAND WALK!!!!!

That right there was pretty much the story of the week but IT WAS SO GREAT! Haha Highlights of the week also included going to Oscoda and getting to see Lake Huron! The work moved a little slower this week but reminds me a lot of my first transfer in Grand Rapids. Things are starting to pick up! We found some really wonderful people.

My trade off in Oscoda was definitely one of the more interesting days of my mission. It was full of awesome spiritual moments and some that were just plain nuts. We visited this couple named Jeff and Sandy, and pulling up to there house made me think I was in the back woods of Alabama. They lived in an old, big, country house, and they had this trailer and this tree in the front yard that made me feel like I was on Beverly Hillbillies, but they were the sweetest people. Jeff, unfortunately was plastered drunk. Jeff stands about 5 foot 6, looks like the Hulk, and has this super sick curly blonde mullet thing going on. He would go on about how bad things were going and how we wants God and that he wants to change. We asked him later in the lesson if he wanted to change and he would go "no man... lifes good lifes good... You wanna work out?" I can't exactly describe what happened, but it was an interesting lesson. At the end, Elder Giovinini says, "We should pray." And Jeff suddenly cuts him off, stares up into the distance with the most Epic face I have ever seen and shouted, "LORD! God! Jesus! Heavenly Father!" and every other name associated with God. He delivered the most epic prayer I have ever heard. I looked up part way through and Elder Giovinini had this surpised, confused, mouth happen open look on his face that I will never forget.He held it for 30 seconds. I felt so bad, but I was trying so hard not to bust up laughing. But they did give us hot dogs and apple pie, and they were an incredibly sweet family. Jeff is just a beast haha.

We taught this older gentleman named James Finlayson, a retired military chaplain, and had an awesome lesson with him. We started talking about the Plan of Salvation and then it somehow turned into the restoration, and the whole time, he is quoting the Book of Mormon the whole time without realizing it. He was super excited about the idea that he could find out for himself that it was true. He was a really cool man. 

The people as a whole remind me a lot of King Lamoni from Alma 18 in the Book of Mormon. They believe in "the great spirit" but know nothing about what, who, or why he is. These last 3 weeks have really made me thankful for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. When we understand who God is, life itself will begin to make sense. The Lord has let us to a ton of people this week, and quite a few of them are families. We have been fasting and praying to know where to go and what to say to these people and the Lord is making things happen. The ball is moving forward slowly, which is the hardest part sometimes, but thank heavens it is moving. This week has been special. Even though all we did was walk and knock and walk and knock, we saw small and simple miracles that have meant the world to me. I know that the Lord is taking care of his servants. I have never felt more love and compassion in my life. I am finally coming to know who the Lord is. Oh what joy fills my heart each and every day. I wish I had the words to tell all the details of the days here, and what it means to me, but the only way I feel like these things can be understood is to serve a mission. 

Love you all!
Elder Wheat

Me and Lake Huron

Lake Huron

If I were a candy bar....

Me and the Comp after moving some rocks...


I wish that everyone could feel the joy that I feel. I wish that all of God's children would accept his plan so that they can experience the feelings that I do every night as I say my nightly prayers. I wake up with a song in my heart and all I can do is smile. I understand how cheesy it sounds , but there joy in knowing how your Heavenly Father feels about you. If only the world would listen. I feel like Alma at times as he cried out, "Oh that I were an angel!" But regardless, the invitation is open to all. Come. Join with us.

The week has been a good one in Houghton Lake. It is a tough area. I feel like everyone is angry with God, but they have helped me to dive a little deeper and find out what kind of a parent god is. He really is the ideal father. We have helped a few people understand his nature by comparing the way they behave as parents. "Have you ever told your kids no? Why?" We asked a woman named Amy. "Because the thing they wanted wasn't the best thing for them. You tell them no because you have something better in mind for them." We helped her understand that God had not abandoned her. That God sometimes with holds things from us because he knows better than we do. That he wants to play a role in our lives, but sometimes we act like disgruntled teenagers and turn away from him, complaining that he doesn't care and doesn't understand, when we are the ones who shut him out. We had an awesome lesson with her. I was able to relate to her very well. She was shocked when she found out I was 19. She was awesome! She committed to daily prayer and scripture study. I really do testify that it works! Draw near to him, and he will draw nearer to you.

I also have found that many here feel as though they are failures. When we asked a single mom named Shannon how she thought God felt about her. She said, "I think he is ashamed of me." We were able to testify to her with all our hearts that God is not ashamed and never could be. We asked her how she would feel if her daughter made a mistake and came to her for help. She said that she would love her no matter what and do anything she could to help her through it. We were able to share that God feels the same for her. We testified that through the atonement, she could be changed, and be made 100% whole. We shared experiences from our own lives and how the Gospel makes it possible. We also shared that she was out in Middle of Nowhere, Michigan but we were led to knock on her door. God had sent us there to help her. As she prayed, she broke down, and said, "Thank you for sending these men here. I pray that this works. Amen." She is the sweetest lady.

The last experience I wanted to share was about a man named Robert. He felt as though he wasn't being a good enough dad. He was overwhelmed, because he didn't feel like he was making the right parenting moves. As we talked to him about this, we felt prompted to invite him to read the Book of Mormon with the question, "What kind of parent is God?" He was very interested in that. He was a fine man. I know that reading the Book of Mormon or the Bible with similar questions will help change us. I hope that he does it, for it will help him come to know how God feels towards him.

These people are amazing and they don't even know it. I love these people with all my heart. What I wouldn't give to help them realize who they truly are. We are children of God, brothers and sisters, working towards the common goal. This is true regardless of class, creed, race, or appearance. Let us love and serve one another in anyway that we can, and we will be filled with this love! 

Elder Wheat

Michigander for Life!