Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I cannot believe how fast this week has flown. Holy cow! So much has happened! Let me get right into it.
So the Church Missionary Department (the Bosses in Salt Lake) came to our mission this week, and wanted to go out teaching with the nearest zone leaders. Thats us. Brother Radford (Head of IT at the MTC) was there to evaluate how we do, and would then present a training to the whole mission... My GOODNESS was I nervous. My confidence was still a little shaky, but thankfully the Lord was with us! We had some incredible lessons and a great night. Afterwards, he said, "You guys are excellent missionaries, you seriously did not give me much to work with for my training." It felt like a weight lifted from my shoulders. He had a lot of very kind things to say about us which I needed to hear.
I want to just tell you about some of our awesome investigators. Ixchel (36), Evan (9) and Isaac (12) are a part member family who they just started teaching before I got here. Man are they solid. All of them, even Evan read like its no body's business and are sharp as ever. They love the church and the ward and are ready for baptism on February 21st!
Next is Jenica Sanchez (18) who is the biggest sweetheart. She has been investigating for a long time, but needs to get married to her member boyfriend before she can be baptized. She has a goal to read the book of mormon and has finished 1 Nephi in just over a week!! She is so excited to be married and baptized on the 21st as well. You can't help but love them!
Finally, we have Aubrieanna Richardson (17). Her mom was baptized about a month ago, and we invited her to take the lessons too. She was very hesitant, but her progress is incredible. We met with her 4 times this week, and this is how its gone.
Sunday: They met with her once before, and committed her to read Alma 32. Not only does she read, she highlights... We taught her the restoration, and invited her to be baptized, and she said no because she already was in a pentacostal church, but when we invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to find out if its true, she felt a voice tell her "of course its true!"
Tuesday: We went over with Brother Radford, and had a crazy distracted lesson on the Plan of Salvation, but her little brother was going crazy the whole time. He settled down, and we began to talk about speaking in tongues, and the Holy Ghost. She had some major concerns about authority, because she believes her baptism was by that authority. She read all of 3 Nephi in two days and loved it. We invited her to pray to know if this was the right church.
Friday: She had a dream that she was supposed to go to our church, and feels that this is right but was still uncertain about authority. We invited her to read and pray about the Restoration pamphlet.
Saturday: She recieved a testimony of restored priesthood authority while reading. She said, "Ive made my decision, but I am just not sure when." We jumped for joy and committed her to baptism on February 21st.
As if that isn't enough, I get a call yesterday that one of my investigators, Ethan Valentine, who I taught once in Grand Rapids is getting baptized on February 7, and he wants me to go!! I was so suprised and honestly very flattered, but this has been such a miracle.
I suppose that the scripture Ether 12:6 is true. Miracles happen after a trial of faith. The Lord has blessed this area so abundantly and I am praying with all my heart that they make it to their baptisms and beyond!! The Lord has been so good to us and has heard my prayers. This week was still a struggle at times, but it will continue to get better. Dad always taught me that a mission is a marathon and not a sprint, and I think the Lord is teaching me to pace myself. I have seen enough to know that the Lord is in the trials in our lives and that it always gets better if we continue to push forward. I have experienced enough to know that he is there and that he loves us, even in times of doubt. I am not perfect, but I am trying, and I am thankful that, because of the atonement, that is enough.

1 and 2. From the MTC to our year mark! It is crazy how fast its gone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Lord Wins Again 1/20/15

I'll be honest... This was probably one of the toughest weeks of my mission. I realize that most of my emails sound so upbeat and positive, and honestly this one will too because missionary work is that awesome, but this work really is hard. I was called to be a Zone Leader, which means I am in charge of leading, training, and inspiring 40 missionaries to be the best they can be. I remember as a young missionaries, I looked up to the Zone Leaders as the standard of what a missionary should be, and now I am one. I'll be honest, I was horrified... The sense of inadequacy was overwhelming at times. I had never felt this way before, and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I felt completely alone. Honestly, looking back on it, every aspect of the work was going great, except for how I felt.

Questions and doubts have been filling my mind for the last 3 or 4 weeks and it was extremely hard to deal with. My mind reflected again and again about how my dad taught me that God is looking for those that will work when they don't want to, and that's what we did. What I couldn't understand was why I couldn't feel the spirit, especially when this was the hardest I have worked, and the most obedient I have been my whole mission. How could Satan have so much power over me that he could fill my head with these feelings of doubt, guilt and inadequacy when I am doing my best to follow God. While I fully recognize how foolish this experience is, I feel like the lesson applies to everyone. I had a talk one night with Elder Jeppson, who went through a very similar thing at one point in his mission.  At one point of deep discouragement, he went to where he could be alone, knelt down, and cried out, "God where are you?" He said it was the first time he had ever actually heard the spirit speak. Into his mind came the thought, "Elder Jeppson, this is your time to shine." When I heard this story, immediately the story of Job came into my mind. Why did Satan have so much power over him when he was doing everything right? Because Job needed to learn something about Job. It was his time to shine and his time to grow. The Lord wants to see what we will do when we feel like he isn't there, and if we hold out faithful, we will recieve the blessing. 

Will Robinsons baptism was scheduled for this week. He was interviewed and ready to go, but I get a call from Houghton Lake the morning of the baptism to tell me that it wasn't going to happen. That was pretty much the last straw for me. "Are you kidding me???" I thought. This was the 3rd time on my mission that an investigator was within days of baptism, and it cancelled at the last moment. I was seriously about to snap. Apparently, his parents got into a HUGE fight over Will being baptized and ended splitting up. I can only imagine how Elder Johnson must have felt to be 18 years old and be called to solve this kind of major family dilemma. I was very frustrated and angry, and I went into my room and prayed. All I could ask was why. Why is this happening again. Why am I feeling this way. Why does it feel like I am talking to my bed spread. I just remember, (unfortunately) saying, "Father, if you are there, please help this baptism come through. Will needs this in his life. Please don't let this happen again." I calmed down after a little bit, but for the next two hours I was on edge waiting for updates from Elder Johnson, who handled it all like a champ. He called me about 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave that the baptism was still on. Oh what joy and marvelous light did I behold. 

Elder Johnson was able to reconcile the family and save the baptism. What a stud. We arrive right when it starts, only to find out that the font wasn't filling. There was a leak in it or something. To quote Elder Johnson, "Satan is going hard on this one!" We managed to fix it with some wax paper and everything worked out. The service was wonderful and it was so incredible to see Will and is family (members and nonmembers) there to see him make that covenant. It was an incredible experience. I love that young man! He really is a little brother to me! 

The feelings of inadequacy and guilt didn't go away all at once, but on Sunday in sacrament meeting, I felt impressed to go through the week and list out every blessing I had recieved that week. As I did so, I recieved a testimony of the lyrics of a him. "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. The Lord truly was with me all week, though I didn't see it at first. Life is good :) Things aren't perfect still, but honestly, life never has been haha At least now I have the assurance that things will get better if I keep doing what I am doing :) I am thankful the Lord gave me Elder Jeppson. We could not be more different, but all we do is laugh and work. I love the ward, and I love my zone. I love everything about the work, especially because it's hard. It messes with your emotions, but man is it worth it because it always ends in joy!

God bless you all!

Elder Wheat

Wills baptism :)

Elder Jeppson

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Transferred to Lansing 1/12/15

It has been a bittersweet and hectic day to say the least. Saying goodbye to everyone in Houghton Lake was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I got to sing a solo yesterday for the first time, and afterwards, the first counselor in the branch presidency got up and gave me some of the nicest complements I have ever been given. Afterwards he said, "this kid is on fire, and it would be a wasted opportunity if we didn't invite him to bear his testimony." Normally I don't get emotional with this kind of stuff, but it was hard to hold back the tears. Though the week was very successful, I didn't feel very good about it, and the spirit I felt Sunday was just what I needed.
It has been FREEZING this week. The wind chill got down to -20 for most of the week and the normal Temp hovered at about 0. And we walked most of the week. haha Elder Johnson must hate me, because the whole time I was singing "Oh what a beautiful MOOOOORNING! OH what a beautiful DAYYYYYYY!" haha I am weird... 

So exciting news... WILL IS GETTING BAPTIZED SATURDAY!! I am so happy for that kid. It kills me that I might not be there, but we had a great week with him and he is so ready. He is already talking about his mission. What a stud.
Amber and the Cowarts are excellent. It was so hard to leave them, but Amber's life has changed dramatically. Who she is now is not who I met 6 weeks ago. God has become her whole life, and is becoming an incredible woman. She once had her kids taken from her by CPS, and now she reads the Book of Mormon to them as a bed time story. She is one of he most incredible people I have ever known. Her and her family are like my family now. It was very hard to say goodbye.
We had about 40 people at church which was amazing to see. I very thankful for all that has happened in Houghton Lake. That little branch is on fire, and I hope it continues. I am so bummed to leave, but I am so excited to be in Lansing. The work here is on fire, and I look forward to working with Elder Jeppson. He is from Kaysville UT and has been out 18 months. I am so excited. He has been a zone leader for about 3 months, so he gets to show me how to do missionary work! I am so excited. Life is good in Michigan. It is a new start and I am thankful for it. I am learning a lot and my life is changing. This will be an adjustment, but I will rely on the Lord and move forward. I love you all. God Bless you!
His Faithful Servant, 
Elder Wheat

Amber :)

The Gees!!!

Me and my boy!!

So funny story about this family. They were the ones who bailed us out of a ditch on Christmas eve, and we knocked into them 2 weeks ago haha They had us for dinner to!!!! The Feldmans

My mission family, the Carothers

Big Will and Little Will!!!!

Best district in the mission!!

Monday, January 5, 2015


Well winter came all at once, but from the sound of it, it did for everyone else too haha Today it was sunny with a high of 5 degrees (With out wind chill) and we got about 8 inches of snow in two days... It was a lot of fun to walk in haha 

I barely got to be with Elder Johnson at all this week with back to back trade offs, but it is good to be with him again!! I'll be honest, this week has been a total blurr for me, but I feel like I have learned a lot from all that happened. 

Most of the exciting stories happened Friday. We met with a man named Maurice, who we've been meeting with for awhile now. He was kind of a slow burn, but we hit a break through this week. He has been recognizing the changes that have been coming into his life, and after we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he came to the conclusion that it was all going to culminate in baptism. I must add that it is a really cool experience to watch one of your investigators receive revelation for themselves.

The Cowarts are so excellent. I feel like they are one of the reasons I was called to serve here. When I was on trade offs, they told Elder Johnson they were moving to Roscommon (if you haven't heard of it, thats ok, because I never did either), but we didn't get an address or a phone number, only a general idea. I was terrified we were going to lose them. I was praying big time that we would find. We knocked on 4 houses. One invited us back, one let us in (who is super solid) and the 4th one was Amber Cowarts. It was a miracle haha We had an awesome lesson with her. That woman is SHARP! She loves the Book of Mormon and basically taught us about the tree of life ahha I love that family so much. They are the greatest people on earth. Sadly, Amber can't get baptized yet, but she can't wait for the kids to in a few weeks. 

Last night we were watching a training video called The District, which is about 8 missionaries and their experiences. Watching that filled me with love and gratitude for all the experiences I have had, the lives I have touched, and the lives that have touched mine. If there is anything I am thankful for that Heavenly Father has blessed me with, it would be my capacity to love. Love is the root of happiness. I overwhelms me know how God must feel about each of us. I think the lesson that changed my life is understanding that God is a parent. Everything he does just makes sense now. Transfers is this week, and it is driving me crazy to think this could be my last week in Houghton Lake. I'll be honest, at first I didn't want to come here. Now, I can't stand the thought of leaving. Nevertheless, I will go where He wants me to go. It is my prayer that I will prove worthy wherever I am called. 

Elder Wheat

Happy Winter!

Friday, January 2, 2015


So it turns out... My district is full of musically gifted missionaries, so we now have an occapella group haha We performed at our half mission party and it was actually pretty sweet haha I would send the video but the file is to big... 

I have to start with the sad news... Fred wasn't baptized this week, but the good news it that he will be soon. Now back to the miracles this week. 

Christmas was absolutely awesome. It feels so good to talk and laugh with my family again. My mission has made me love my family more than I ever have, yet I am not homesick. It is interesting. We had an awesome member family named the Gees feed us and they got us some sweet presents! haha
We have a super sweet investigator named Will Robinson. He is 14 years old and is a stud. He is already talking about serving a mission! He is basically teaching himself the lessons haha He has a date for January 17 and we are super excited for him! This last lesson was really cool. He said, "I feel like this life is a path, and God is our destination, but Satan sends squirrels running across to distract us." It is really cool to watch an investigator recieve personal revelation... Just sayin! His closing prayer was the best. With about as much humility as one could have he said, "God, thank you for this lesson. I actually got a lot out of it today. I am going to stay away from the squirrels now. Please help me so that I can meet with you in Celestial Heaven." Hearing people pray like that just makes me happy. It is always a special and sacred experience for me. 

The Cowart family is still fantastic. Destiny called her Grandma and said she needed church clothes and Oriana asked if it was possible to be baptized on Christmas. It is always so sweet to be with them. We had another great lesson with them in which we asked how she feels when they meet with us. Amber (the mom) got this unforgettable look on her face and started stumbling over her words about how she just feels light. She finally concluded saying,"You know how you asked me to pray? Well I've been doing that for the first time in my life before bed, and when I do it, it just feels like... my body gets light, and my insides just start... Expanding..." I couldn't help but laugh because I have never heard the spirit described that way, yet I have felt that feeling before haha It is such a sweet experience to teach them. Her 15 year old daughter asked why she goes to a mormon church and she goes,"Because they are all about love and family. Like you should hear these guys talk!! The way they teach just makes sense!!"

Lastly, is a new family we just picked up. They are why I believe Fred didn't get Baptized, because we needed to meet them. Blake and Amy are 19 and 20 with a month old baby. It seriously feels like I am just teaching my friends back home. Blake is a stud baseball player and Amy is the sweetest girl. Blake told us he met with missionaries in Texas. We have had some awesome lessons with them and they love us already. We invited them to be baptized in the second lesson and he goes, "I have a confession.. I was actually baptized Mormon, and I did baptisms in the Temple too. I didn't know how to tell you." Elder Johnson, Amy, and I got this shocked look on our face like WHAT??? Hahah That family is so solid, he is already a member. Her questions are awesome, and the spirit is there when we teach. We are so blessed to know them. There are so many wonderful people in Houghton Lake.
It just hit me how long I have been out. 11 months. I swear I just got here. It is unreal how fast the time flies, and I wish it would go slower, but if the last 11 months have brought this much to my live, I can only imagine what will come next!!

Elder Wheat

Some of my best friends on earth. (Elder Sinsel on the left knows the Walker fam mom!)

Our LA Gingerbread temple

The district!

Elder Johnsons mom made us the ties we are wearing and the Gees got us everything else

This investigator collects vintage clothing. The jackets and hats are all from the 50s. He let us keep the Jackets and the tie I am wearing in the other pictures. That tie is hand painted from the 50s