Monday, August 17, 2015

My New Sister 3/17/15

So my time is very short this week, but I want to write about my newest sister Janell :) 

On Saturday, Elder Coziar and I took a 3 hour drive down to Lansing which was worth every second. There was seriously a glow about her as she was all dressed in white ready to be baptized. When she came up out of the water, she put her hands over her face and cried saying "That was awesome..." and as she walked out of the font, she repeated those words 3 times. She sat about two seats over from me and could not stop smiling. I glanced over at her and she looked over at me, and said "I feel so good!" She got up to bear her testimony and just about cried through the whole thing as she told her story.

The last year of her life has been very difficult for her. She found a wonderful church home, but something was still mission. Something told her to look up the Book of Mormon, so she did. I guess we didn't come fast enough the first time because she requested herself twice haha. She said our first lesson changed everything. I have never had an investigator understand things as fast as her. We invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and she says "I mean I'll do it, but I already know it's true... Is that weird? I just get this feeling about it..." We just about swallowed our ties, but it didn't stop there. She asked about Mormon culture and found she fit right in, especially the Disney movie part haha She asked how the missionary thing worked, and we explained that women go on missions at 19. She replied, "You mean I have to wait a whole year???" After her baptism. The first thing she told me was that she was saving up to go on a mission, and that she wants to be married in the Indianapolis temple. Elder Alley and I are already making road trip plans to come back for her going through the Temple. 

No event has ever brought me such joy as this. She alone has made my 2 years worth it, and that is to say nothing about 18 months worth of life changing experiences. There is nothing like a mission. Praise to my God!!

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!

Janell :) 

How big was the TC storm? It uprooted this tree
The Elders of Israel

The Manistee lighthouse

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


So this week I am recommitting myself to writing a good letter, and I pray the Lord will help me do so.

This is the happiest I have ever been on my mission. The area is absolutely on fire and we are working harder than we ever have on our missions. There is nothing on this earth that is more satisfying that serving the Lord with all diligence of soul. That being said, I am being stretched all the time, and the joy does not come without great anxiety.

Jennifer is continuing to fight and struggle. She has had 5 close friends pass away this week, and each death has come immediately following a spiritual break through. After she texted us to notify us of the last one, we immediately went to visit her. Obviously her immediate question was "Why is all of this happening?" You know... This right here is the most amazing thing about what we do as missionaries. That people who are far our senior in years turn to 20 year olds like us for these kinds of questions, and it is a testimony to the reality of our call that we have the spirit to answer these kinds of concerns. We assured her that God is doing everything he can to comfort her in these times, and she bluntly responded, "That's a crap answer." What immediately came out was the response "No its not. It is no coincidence that God sent us to you right before these tragedies. Could you imagine going through this without somewhere to turn for spiritual support. These deaths are not because God is mad at you or is trying to punish you, you are someone innocent who was caught in the crossfire. But God truly is doing all that is possible to comfort you." It was a super intense experience. I don't think I have ever been so bold with someone as I was with her. May heaven help her. I love all my investigators, but her and her family are special to me. I don't know how she is hanging on, but to see her continue to progress is a miracle in every way. 

SImon Shaub was baptized on Saturday, which was such a sweet experience. I have loved teaching him, and it has been special to watch him grow. The spirit was very strong at the baptism, as it always is. He went immediately from the baptism into an interview with President Ensign for the priesthood, and will be going to the temple on August 22. Such a stud!!!

Final story of the week. I got a message from one of my favorite investigators in Lansing named Janell, asking for a favor. I said "Yea of course!! Whats up?" She nonchalantly responded, "Will you speak at my baptism? Its this Saturday." I just about had a heart attack... I am so flipping excited I can hardly stand it. I will write more of her story next week, but she is one of the biggest tender mercies of my mission. I got to talk to Elder Alley on the phone yesterday, and he told me about all the things that she is doing. The YSA ward soaked her in and took her to the Indy Temple open house, and she is very involved with church activities. To cap it all, he told me that she bore her testimony to them in a lesson, and she simply said, "I know the Gospel is true. I know the Book of Mormon and the commandments are true." They asked why the gospel is so important to her, and she responded, "So I can raise my family in it."

I feel like Ammon in times like this. My joy almost exceeds my strength, and all I can think to do is sing "Hallelujah! Praise to the Lord!!" I love my mission with all my heart. I have 6 months to go, and I will not stop or let up until the Lord shall say "It is done." I love it because its hard. Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is the connection in the scriptures between glory and suffering. The purpose of suffering is not really to punish us, but to change us and to refine us. It's not necessarily the pain that purifies us, but pain is a natural consequence of cutting and growing. If life is hard, good. That's how is supposed to be. The road to heaven is hard because its up hill, but I must say that the higher I climb, the more I feel the incredible warmth that radiates from the Son. 

Love you all!!

Elder Wheat


I have no time this week to write, but I just want you all to know that we are being blessed beyond belief here in Traverse City. The work is great, my companion is great, and the work is moving forward!!!

Just wanted to send a picture of a storm that came through yesterday. It left the city looking like a war zone. Trees everywhere. It was unreal!! Just kept singing "How Great Thou Art" the whole time.

Photo cred to Elder Allred