Monday, October 27, 2014

The Harvest is White Already to Field

Hello Everybody! Things are going pretty nicely in the Maineland. This past week has been fairly slow, but also pretty cool. Now I don't know how cold it is in Utah yet, but up here it is 30-40 degrees all the time. It hasn't snowed yet, but everybody keeps telling me it will snow before Halloween... Which is in four days. So that's exciting!

 We managed to get a new investigator this week! His name is Narayana. (Ne-Ryan). He used to be Hindu, but is really accepting of the gospel, and wants to get baptized if he knows that our message is true! He has been reading the Book of Mormon, and has enjoyed it thus far. We taught him almost four times this week, which is super exciting!

 On Wednesday, we had kind of an interesting experience. While we were knocking, a lady drove up to us and started yelling at us. She had a younger girl in the passenger seat who looked super uncomfortable. She told us to stop knocking, which was okay, because we only had a couple of houses left. She then drove off. After she left, we finished knocking the street, and then proceeded with our day. We came to find out from a member of our church (her coworker) that the lady went back to her workplace and talked about how terrible 'Jehovah's Witnesses' were and that when they knock on her door it scares her son, how we shoved our beliefs down her throat, and all these other terrible things.

Elder Wanlass and his $3 scarf

 The lady complained to her manager about it, and it turns out that her manager was the lady who bought us hot dogs a couple weeks ago for serving in the community. She told us that we were the Elders and that we were the best young men ever, and that we could teach them things that will make them happy. The lady who yelled at us is now in a lot of trouble with her work because she took a company car and an intern over to yell at us, rather than doing her job. So the Lord protects his missionaries!

 The last event that took place this week was an amazing ward activity called the Harvest Social. In Maine, they do this party annually and invite members, nonmembers, investigators, and everybody in between to come and eat food. A lot of it is potatoes and turkey, because that is what Maine is known for, and it was a lot of fun. We had a couple investigators come to it: Randy, Will, and Lisa. Randy and Lisa are brother and sister, and Will is Lisa's boyfriend and a member of the church. Randy is so cool, and he wanted a tour of the church. So we gave him one!

 We were expecting to see all of them at church, but they didn't come... so that's a bit of a shame. Oh well!

 The Harvest Social was so fun though, I met so many members, and I really feel like I'm starting to become a part of the ward here. we also achieved our sacrament attendance goal two weeks in a row now! Hooray! People are coming!

 The scripture I've been thinking of this week is James 2:17-18: "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without they works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

 I love this scripture, because so many people feel that if they have faith, they don't need to do anything else. But their faith will truly be shown by the efforts they put into loving God and others. On the contrary, if you are doing good works, but don't have that faith or hope that truly brings conversion, you will not be able to progress and become better. You need faith AND works.

Love you all!

 Elder Wanlass

Monday, October 20, 2014


Well, this week was a little bit interesting. The first few days were pretty eventful, but the last couple have been a little bit dry.

On Monday, we had the opportunity to go thrift shopping at a store similar to Ross (I hear). I got a coat for 30 dollars when it was originally 200! Best deal ever! It's called Marden's.

Tuesday we went to see a few investigators, and we even got to have a fakesgiving dinner with one of them! They made turkey, peas, fresh mashed potato, and carrots! Potatoes are super popular up here because Maine is a potato state. I guess Maine and Idaho are in competition. The potato I had here was the best one I had ever had. Hands down. Brother Bennett also bought us Subway sandwiches.

Wednesday we went to a very small town called Limestone! I had never been to Limestone, but I ended up getting a collector's pin and met a couple members. One of the members decided to come out on splits with us, so we divided up into Me/Bate and Woodbury/Member. I think it went pretty well! I felt super great knocking on people's doors, I felt happy and excited, and I got yelled at and I was still super thrilled. The coolest thing happened. We weren't going to knock one of the houses, but we decided to anyway, and when I did, a man came out and was super friendly to us. I asked him if he knew anything about us, and he said that he had worked with mormons because he lived in Utah. He told me he was from Layton!!! How crazy is that?! He wants to meet with us and learn more about what we believe. So amazing.

Thursday we taught the gospel to some investigators, raked leaves at the hospital, etc.

Saturday was a pretty good day. We did a lot of member work. We carved pumpkins with the YSA and with a less active member, and I carved the angel Moroni! It looks so cool!

To make up for missing Friday and Sunday, I want to share a scripture I really loved this week.

Joshua 24:15 - And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

I find such power in that statement. If we do not choose righteous things, we are not going to have the strength and power of God with us. As I serve God, I know that I will be able to benefit immensely from my mission experience. I love you all!

Elder Wanlass

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Fakesgiving!

It's Canadian Thanksgiving today, but even more importantly it's Columbus Day! Hooray! This week has been quite busy. We had a lot of stuff going on as far as district training, exchanges, zone leaders staying over, and the President interviews.

Monday: Last Monday after P-day I got the chance to try elegant Chinese food at this place called the Oriental Pearl. By elegant I mean...It might have been the grossest food I've ever eaten. It's a tradition among the missionaries to go there at least once during your time here in Maine. So I feel like I have been a true Maine-iac.

Tuesday: The Zone leaders came over for the day, which was pretty fun. I got yelled at by my first lesbian today, which was admittedly pretty funny. People overreact really bad sometimes to the missionaries asking them questions.

Wednesday: We had exchanges with the Woodstock Elders! So Elder Woodbury went down to Woodstock, New Brunswick, and Elder Craig came up to Caribou with Elder Bate and I! He is such an amazing missionary. He is already training an Elder and he has only been out a couple months. Usually you don't train until you've been out at least 3 and a half. We met a couple potentials, but nothing really happened today. I also scheduled a meeting with one of our investigators: Lisa, on Friday at 8. (This will be important for a little later.)

Thursday: We picked up Elder Woodbury and traded Elder Craig back, and we went to a new investigator's grandmother's house. She is a 13 year old girl who wants to get baptized into her Grandmother's church. She will be learning from the sisters from here on out, but this means I'm going to contribute to 2 baptisms by the end of this transfer!! The people of Maine are pretty accepting of the gospel. It's fantastic. It's mainly through members that we find people who want the gospel. We also met up with a recent convert named Brandy who gave us a few presents from her trip to New Hampshire! I have a pin on my shoulder bag already.

Friday: We had a miracle happen today. I set up an appointment with Will and Lisa on Friday, but unbeknownst to me, we had a less active visit already planned for Friday night. We were about to call Will and Lisa and tell them we would have to reschedule, but before we did, the less active family cancelled on us. So we went to do a lesson with them, and another guy was with them. It turns out it was Lisa's brother. As we started teaching, he started asking us questions, and I felt a strong impression that I needed to talk about the Book of Mormon. As we talked about it, he looked like he really wanted to know more, and he is investigating the church now! If I hadn't set up that Friday appointment, we never would have met him. It was amazing!

Saturday: Another Miracle!! We spent a lot of time knocking and street contacting today, which I feel like I'm starting to become more comfortable with. As we walked down the street, a car pulled up and this guy asked "Are you Jehovah's Witnesses?" and we said no, and that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ, and he said "Me too!" It turns out that he was a member of the branch in Caribou 40 years ago. We weren't even planning on knocking that street! After talking with him for a bit, he bought us dinner at a really good Italian place called Napoli's, and he wants us to teach the owner of the restaurant, who is one of his good friends! We also get free food from there occasionally because we are missionaries. It was so cool!

Sunday: We had a few investigators of ours come to church! A couple came with their two kids, and they seemed to know a lot of people and they liked it. Hopefully they will be interested enough to come again! After that, we checked on a few potentials in Presque Isle, and then went home.

It's been a great week. Many more to come!

Love you all!

Elder Wanlass

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Hope I Don't Get Stephen King'd!

Seriously, Maine has it's graveyards right next to the roads. No fences, no sidewalks. They're just there, watching the cars as they pass. Ominous. No wonder Stephen King wrote all his books here.

Anyway, hello everybody! It's been a great week in Caribou! It was actually a little slow because of General Conference and Zone Training in Canada, but other than that, It's been wonderful!

On Tuesday, we had a lot of service activities. Particularly stocking and handing out food pantry items, as well as having a 2 and a half hour orientation at the hospital we want to serve at. It was alright I suppose, but it took way longer than we were anticipating. After that, we went and knocked doors on Milk Street. (Yes. Milk Street.) Let's just say, the carton was empty. Everybody here either has their own religion, or just disregards anything we say and closes the door. We got a referral for this big black guys house. He was super nice, but he kept telling us that the Bible was the only word of God. He then said he loved the work we were doing despite disagreeing with us.
We also went to a members home and ate dinner with them. They had a slide from the top floor of their house to the bottom, and I got to go down it! Who needs stairs?

Wednesday was kind of a boring day. We had Zone training, but not much else. We went to a Members house and they had a pigpen with a black potbellied pig living in their dining room. Then we drove through moose country. The woods are creepy at night.

On Thursday, we went to Canada. Because my mission is dual countries, we cross the border a lot, and we went to see members who live in Canada, and we had dinner at their house with members and nonmembers alike. They gave us Rice and Chili (A Newfie Tradition) and then we went home. I also got to commit our new investigator Jason to baptism! He is such a great guy, and he really desires to become a better person. He's already been to church 3 times and we just had our first lesson with him.

Friday was a little bit of a slow day, because people keep cancelling on us. We went to a gas station though to look for a member, and a couple of nonmember ladies saw us and offered to buy us all food and drinks. They insisted. My companions got Hot Dogs and I got a Diet Coke!

The weekend was filled with General Conference and it was amazing. We stay at a lot of members houses watching it, so it's pretty cool. I will say, I do miss the mountains and many of you, as I was watching conference, I thought of all of you watching it, but 2 hours earlier in the day than me. good times...

We also had a chance to go to another church on Sunday. One of our investigators wanted us to come, and we decided to. It was different. It seemed to be a blend of Pentecostal and Christian Rock band. The Preacher didn't look too happy to see us at all. Let's just say, I can really tell that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, because it feels warm, peaceful, and calming, rather than strange and irreverent.

I love you all, and I hope you all have a fanTASTic day!


Elder Wanlass