Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Well.... What to say about this week. 

There has been a lot on my mind lately, and we have done much, but I will give you the update on our awesome investigators!!

Sarah is such a rockstar. She came accross anti-Mormon articles online and had some concerns and questions about it, but she said that she felt a voice tell her to stop looking at it, and trust what she had felt before. She reads, and has been studying this out like no ones business. Her family has been very surprised at this, and even made fun of her, but now things are changing. 3 of her kids came to church and participated in "Singing Time" during primary, (which was adorable) and her mom is now reading the Book of Mormon! She is quite the missionary already!! We asked her how she liked church yesterday, and she said, "There were a ton of deep messages.. It felt like they were talking to me." I love the Holy Ghost. If the speaker speaks and the hearer listens by the power of the Holy Ghost, all will receive a prophetic epistle directly for them. She is progressing so well!!

Dominick is being changed more and more every time we go over there. He readily accepts living commandments that he had not been keeping previously, and I wish I could record his prayers. Last time as he was praying, he paused, and said, "I love you. I love the missionaries. I love the church. Thank you for bringing me to the Mormons." Gotta love that guy!! His date is still June 6, and I cannot wait!! 

Sorry this is so short, but I love you all and I love the work!!

Elder Wheat

Michael is Baptized!!!!!! 5/18/15

Alma 31:38: And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.  

I never fully understood what it felt like to have sorrow swallowed up in the joy of Christ until this week. Sadly, Breana and Jerry were not able to be baptized this week, along with some other sad news from this week, but I want to tell you about all the things that ironically made this week one of the happiest of my mission. 

Dominick is a walking miracle. He had some Word of Wisdom struggles, so that is what we taught him this week. As we shared the 5 things we are to not put in our bodies (alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, illegal drugs, and other harmful and addictive substances), he put his head down and said, "Really? You mean I have to give all that up? Even tea?" We asked him why God would not want us to use these things, and he basically taught himself. At the end of the lesson, he prayed and said, "The missionaries taught me about these 5 things, and 4 of them I can just forget about, but drinking. You know thats something that I enjoy, but I am going to give it up. For you, and so that I can have the holy ghost." He came to us at church on Sunday and reported that he went to a party the night before, but didn't drink or anything like unto it. So proud of him!! We received a challenge as a ward from the bishop to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days. He gave us a hand out to check our progress, and when Dominick got it, he looked at us and said, "I'm gonna do it in a month!" During the lesson, he asked for a pen, and began circling days to act as bench marks, and on the bottom, wrote, "I will be done in three weeks." His progression over the last 6 weeks is unreal!!

Friday was a crazy day. T-calls are in and we are staying together! Hallelujah! But we picked up 3 awesome investigators named Logan (kid with the awesome dreads from a few weeks ago), Marquell, and Sarah. Marquell is in his 30s and is the roommate of a recent convert from the singles ward. Its been a few weeks in the making to meet with him, but we finally got to. It was an unusual first lesson, but that guy is sharp. His answers and insights are remarkable. We gave him Alma 32 as a reading assignment before our next visit, and he began to read right there. He read the whole thing in about a minute and a half, then explained it all to us, and said "its all true." We asked what it would mean to him if everything we taught him was true and he paused, chuckled, and said, "You know its funny you ask that..." thought for a second and said, "It would mean everything. I feel so calloused after everything that has happened the last few years, and I would finally be excited about something again." It was an awesome lesson and we can't wait to keep teaching. 

Sarah is an awesome story. She is the mother of 7 who grew up in a rough home. She grew up going to church with her Grandma and has always had a very sensitive spiritual side, but became overwhelmed by the number of Christian churches and ended up confused about the truth (Sound familiar?), so she stopped going. She was praying for guidance, and the very next day, we came to her door. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel on her front porch, and before we explained the Joseph Smith story, we invited her to focus on how she felt. Listening her describe how she felt as she struggled to find the words was a more eloquent description than anything I could have come up with. Ultimately, she said multiple times, "I just can't describe it." I have told that story hundreds of times, but I never lose that feeling she had. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. She came to church and had an awesome experience. Afterwards, she texted us, saying "So hi! I just downloaded an app that was suggested by a sister called Gospel Library. I was wondering do you have any good suggestions for me to read?" After a few texts back and forth, all we could say was "You're the greatest!" to which she replied, "Well I would not say that haha but with all of your help I will be a much better Sarah." I love the penitent people of this world. She reminds me so much of Amber from Houghton Lake so much. I swear she's already a member.

Lastly, the best experience of the week. Michael was baptized. Such a sweet experience, he was literally bouncing up and down with excitement. Its funny. At the beginning of the teaching process, I wasn't sure if he was ready for the Gospel, but he has become family to me. We all got to go to Red Robin after (My favorite) and spend some time with his extended family who came and it was a wonderful experience. He asked me to perform his confirmation, which is a huge honor to me. He is a special young man, and my soul loves him.

The words I write do not adequately describe nor convey the feelings associated with these experiences or the love I have for these people. Its something only a missionary can feel. I thank God everyday for my mission, but I find myself never being able to express enough gratitude for all he has done for me. The only way to truly do so is by the way that I serve.

Elder Wheat

Michael's Baptism

Loving life in the mini van #zonesoccermoms

Celebrating another transfer together with a mirror viking/hipster/celebratory brownies selfie

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Makes Me Want to be a Mormon 5/11/15

I love my family. Getting to see them yesterday was one of the highlights of my mission, even if it was over a computer. Its amazing how so much has changed, yet nothing has changed. Mom is still as excited and happy as ever, Dad is still cracking jokes and saying "Now that was funny" at the end, Heidi and Kevin were making weird faces at me, and Stevo is still I far better man than I am. We talk and laugh as if I never left. I love my family so much :)

Watching the Lord work in the lives of my investigators is an amazing thing, and it never gets old. To see them change, and to watch their countenance light up with the Holy Ghost over the course of a few short weeks or months is special. I want to quickly update you on the progress of some of our investigators.

Dominick continues to come and love church. He is a 6'2 black guy with the build of an offensive lineman, with the SWEETEST afro you have ever seen. He committed to be baptized our of "curiosity," but hoping to deepen his commitment, we taught on the covenant of baptism and gave ourselves to a lot of prayer. The way he now understands the covenant is really cool. He finds the promises we make to God to actually be the blessings God gives to us. He said, "You mean if I do the little things like read and pray and come to church, I get to have eternal life, comfort those who stand in need of comfort (His personal favorite) and be a witness for God?!" Such a cool lesson haha Love that guy. We had a ward party and watched "Meet the Mormons," and afterwards we asked him how he liked it. He said, "It was.... Interesting." "What do you mean by interesting" we asked. He replied, "It makes me want to be a Mormon." Elder Alley looked at each other like, "AHHHHHHHHHH" haha. What a guy. Love him to death.

Michael also is doing soooo well. We finished his lessons this week and said, "You know Michael, you could get baptized next week if you want to." He was way excited about that and we moved his date to Saturday. So happy for him. We went over the interview questions and he passed with flying colors. He is so much happier now when we first met. Elder Alley and I have sweet handshakes with him now, so now we are on that level of progression. 

Lastly, Breana and Jerry. We sadly had to hand them off to the neighboring area, but they are so excited for this weekends baptism. There may be some complications, but the Lord will smooth them out. We had one final lesson with them, and the sweetest spirit was there. Since taking the lessons, they have not only grown closer to God, but closer to each other. I wish you all could have heard, seen, and felt their testimonies at the close of that meeting. It will be an experience I won't forget. 

During the opening prayer in that lesson, I had a cool moment. I opened my eyes, and looked at my name tag, and began to flash back to all the times I had gone out with the missionaries before my mission, and how I longed to be one of them. I then had a small realization. I am one of them. This is my mission. These are my investigators. I am what I have dreamed of being since I was 8 years old walking around with my "Future Missionary" name badge. How can I not be happy? Sometimes, we get so caught up with the pain and the stress of life that we get tunnel vision. We focus on the narrow perspective we have without opening our eyes to see where we are. The Lord will take care of those who serve him. There is no reason to be a micromanager in the work of the Lord, for no matter how much we do, it wouldn't be enough... without a Savior. His grace and atonement transcend not only our sins, but our everyday burdens. I see it everyday in my work. The load of being a zone leader for 36 missionaries, carrying a full proselyting load in a large city, and the personal problems and weakness we have, have been overwhelming at times, but somehow it all works. The zone is successful, the work moves forward, and I have energy sufficient for the day by some miracle far outside my own capacity. When you do your best, the Lord makes everything work, if not immediately, then over the time. May we all then broaden our vision, and we will see not only how far we have come, but the Lord's hand in our getting there. 

Elder Wheat


I don't think I have ever been this tired in my entire life. I remember before my mission, I used to think how wonderfully relaxing my mission was going to be, because I wouldn't have to worry about papers, or work, or relationships, just the Lord and his work. Well I was totally wrong. This has been the most mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting experience of my life, and it seemed to all come to a head this week. I wake up feeling like I got hit by a truck, study, then go to work. I sit down for a second, then go to the Lord for strength, only to fall asleep on my knees. But I have to say that I have felt the enabling power of the atonement of Christ lift me to a higher state. He strengthens me until the task is complete, then allows me to sleep on and take my rest. Blessed be the name of the Lord. 

So as far as miracles this week, here is a few.

Like I said before, we don't use our cars on Saturdays, which is a good opportunity for us to walk around and talk to everyone we see. This last Saturday, we walked by a man working in the yard, and I called out to him, without a response so we continued walking. After a few steps, Elder Alley stopped and said, "We need to go back." We did and asked him "If you could ask God one question, what would it be?" He replied "How can I be a better follower of Christ?" What ensued was a two hour conversation about the restoration, and while he still wasn't fully on board, I know the Lord sent us back to him. We will see where it goes.

Breana and Jerry are progressing SO WELL!! We unfortunately have to hand them off to the Neighboring area, but to see the light that has come into their eyes and the healing that has occurred in both of their lives has been a special thing. Breana got up to bear her testimony yesterday and said, "We have been putting this off for a long time, but it's time to get this taken care of. We are so excited to be getting baptized." Oh man :) So cool. I cannot wait for their baptism in 2 weeks. 

On Sunday, we were sitting in church when Sister Reed walked over and brought a family to sit next to us. The mom has come before, but this time she brought her sons. Her 22 year old son Logan (Who has the sickest dread locks ever) stayed with us for the day, and really liked Church. We are hoping to start teaching him pretty soon, but pray for this family. I can see them in white already. Sister Reed reminds me a lot of my mom and dad. Always about sharing the gospel, and always bringing people to church. I love having someone just like my mom in the ward. :) 

You know, I feel like my whole mission has been a steady stream of undeserved and unearned blessings. The stories I tell in my emails may not seem like all that much, but that is because words don't fully describe the experience and feelings you have as a missionary. I am sad to say that I feel I am taking these blessings for granted. They have come so freely and so often, that I sometimes see them as common place, while missionaries pray for even one experience like the one's I have had or one investigator like the ones I have taught. I am thankful for what the Lord has allotted me. I am thankful for my mission. 

Today in my studies, I came across a story in Helaman 7 where a missionary named Nephi cries out in discouragement, "Oh, that I could have had my days in the days when my father Nephi first came out of the land of Jerusalem, that I could have joyed with him in the promised land; then were his people easy to be entreated, firm to keep the commandments of God, and slow to be led to do iniquity; and they were quick to hearken unto the words of the Lord— Yea, if my days could have been in those days, then would my soul have had joy in the righteousness of my brethren." His frustration because of his lack of success lead him to say, "I wish I had his mission, because he had it easy. I wish I could go back to that time in my life when things were good. Then I could be happy." For a time he had forgotten the real purpose of his work. Plus, the Nephi he is referring to didn't have it easy either (2 Nephi 4:17, 1 Nephi 17:19, 2 Nephi 33:3). There is no such thing as an easy mission. The purpose of his ministry came to realized when the Lord told him only 3 chapters later, "And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." The blessings of a successful missionary are never baptisms. He doesn't hand them out as a prize for obedience or diligence. The blessing of a successful mission is conversion. To have your heart and will come in perfect harmony with our Father. I am the only convert I can promise on my mission, and I pray that I am delivering that which I can give. In such a course, we should not be surprised when we find the road is long and hard, but with all of you I pray, "Chasten my soul, till I shall be, In perfect harmony with thee.

Love you all

Elder Wheat