Monday, November 24, 2014

Holy Crepes! I'm The Elder!

Well, it's official, I am The Elder. At the Food Pantry we serve at, they have deemed me with that title, and Elder Knowles as the Other Elder. I got a promotion!

This week has been pretty nice! We have had a couple solid lessons with J. involving tithing and the Book of Mormon! No problems there, he is still almost ready for baptism! December 13! One really exciting thing about that day is that the ward is doing a Christmas activity on that day, so he will get baptized while we are celebrating Christmas! :D

On Thursday we had a really cool lesson with Sie, a recent convert. We watched the talk by Tad R. Callister called "The Blueprint". It's such a powerful talk, and I love the testimony born at the end of it. Christ's church is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it! It's a great talk to help build your testimony in how amazing our church is, and why the restoration of the gospel is so important to everybody--members and nonmembers alike. We also had a lesson with Brandy about enduring to the end.

We also met with the O'Connell family. They are converts of about a year and a half, and they have such strong conviction of the gospel. I love their family!

On Friday we had interviews with President Leavitt, which went well, and I feel like I am doing well as a missionary. President is a very uplifting person to talk to, and I'm glad that he is such a great guy! He told us that we need to use our Facebook's a lot more to contact potentials and members. He got after everybody in the mission for not using Facebook enough :P Back home it was usually the opposite...

On Sunday we had a pretty fun day! A lot of people come to church on Sunday! It's really cool! After church Brother and Sister White invited us to something called a crepe off! And guess who got to be the judges?! You got that right! The missionaries! They made some really great crepes, and I loved spending time with the family!

One of the crepes the Elders judged.

That's about everything noteworthy that happened this week! I hope you all have a fanTASTic Monday! :)


Elder Wanlass

Selfie with Papa's tie he gave me.

Elders and Sisters serving in the area with our friend Brandy.

Banana Bread to take to our awesome investigator.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Most Beautiful Gift

Hey everybody! How are you? Well, this week went alright for me! We had zone conference on Tuesday, so we got to travel all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Zone conference was alright. I still get a little intimidated because I don't know most of the missionaries in my mission yet, but I will over time!

Elder Knowles and Elder Wanlass

So far, our prime investigator, J., is doing really well. He still wants to get baptized, and he has just started a stop smoking program, so he should be ready for baptism by mid-December. One of the members, Brandy Downer, decided to give a quad scripture to J. since he was going to get baptized soon. He has really enjoyed reading his scriptures, and now he has a set of all of them! He told me that "It was the most beautiful gift he had ever received!" That really touched my heart.

Speaking of gifts, a couple members up here named the Stepp's went down and visited Utah this past week. I guess, in a crazy turn of events, they ended up visiting my home ward! They met my mom, and were able to talk to some of the members of my ward! I even got a gift from my Priests/Teachers quorum! A quarter of a donut! It truly is a beautiful gift...

I also got a piece of newspaper that dates back to the 1860's, and I held a Bible that was from 1890. This family named the Mandevilles' gave it to me, and there house was built way back then! They are such a great family! They have 10 dogs, a pig named Fernando, and a mechanical horse riding simulator, that, yes, I rode. The members here are so great!

One of the coolest guys I've met on my mission thus far would have to be Brother Bennett. He is 6'8", a Texan, and works for border patrol. He likes having the missionaries over, and he talks about his mission in Mexico City. He always gets me pumped to do missionary work, because I want to have as many fun stories as him. He bought us lunch on Friday at an Italian place.

One of the greatest things about my mission thus far has been having the spirit constantly with me. I think that it is one of the greatest gifts that anybody can possibly receive. Sometimes being a missionary is difficult, but because of your support, and the love of the Savior, I know I can do anything :) The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!

I love you all!

Elder Wanlass

Monday, November 10, 2014

Green Jello, Goodbyes, etc.

Hey-llo everybody! It's great to hear from all of you! This week felt pretty long because of transfers, but it has been really good! This week was pretty fun, because both Elder Woodbury and Bate were leaving, we said goodbye to a lot of the members in Caribou/Presque Isle. It was a bittersweet moment, but on the plus side, we had green jello! Apparently nobody eats jello except in that's cool!

I got my new companion, Elder Knowles. He's really cool, he's been out on his mission for 22 months and is turning 21 in December! He is really athletic, and rumor has it that he can dunk a basketball and he's only a couple inches taller than me. So that's exciting!

We haven't had any major snowstorms yet, and many people think this year will be a bit milder. I don't mind it either way, I can't wait to get -40 degrees :D So much fun!

Other than that, we've been meeting a lot with members. Since I'm the only missionary left that has been in Caribou for a little bit, we all are trying to get to know people in the ward as well as find new people to teach. J. is doing a lot better. His uncle died recently, so I was a little nervous about his smoking and drinking. We have a meeting with him this Wednesday, so hopefully things will go just fine.

On Saturday we went to The O'Connell's daughter's wedding reception! It was really cool, and we got to talk with a lot of nice people from the ward and from around town.

All in all, this week has been good. Next week my letter will be longer, I promise.

The scripture I've been focusing on right now is D&C 58:26-27.

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;"

As we are constantly looking for ways to help others and to share the gospel, we will be blessed for taking initiative and doing what is right, not what is easy.

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Wanlass

The Amish park their buggy's in the parking spot!

Green jello!!

Our farewell! (with Elder Bate & Elder Woodbury)

While we were walking.....

This is the Balloon of Peace in Caribou.  Colonel Joseph Kittinger from the U.S. Air Force, lifted off  from Caribou, ME, aboard this helium-filled balloon. (1984)   86 hours later, he came to rest in Italy, having completed the very first solo transatlantic balloon flight. 

My new companion is Elder Knowles from Logan.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Snow Way Out!

Well, This week overall has been pretty good! Unfortunately for us, a lot of our lessons had fallen through due to people cancelling on us. and it was Halloween, so we couldn't go out during that day. However, we still did some pretty interesting things!

On Tuesday, we went over to Sister M's to talk with her about Jason, and how he is doing. She was super stressed out at the time, and we really needed to talk to her. I got out my mini hymn book, and talked about how hymns bring us happiness and comfort when times are tough, and we sang "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" After the song was over, the whole room was awe. The spirit can always change things from chaos to peace.

A lot of people have been freaking out about the Ebola virus that is going around. A lady up at Fort Kent (a town in my area) who traveled to Africa to help fight it refuses to get quarantined from it, and so a lot of people are scared to death right now. We have taught a lot about the peace that comes from the gospel. Specifically to members.

On Wednesday night, there was a Trunk or Treat at the church. I really feel like I've started to get to know the members better here, despite only being here for a transfer. It was fun to see so many people involved in dressing up, games, and bringing food! The ward in Caribou is so great! We had to leave in the middle of it, because we had a couple lessons to do. We went to Will and Lisa's, and as we were about to start the lesson, a couple blue flashes in the sky happened. All the lights on one side of the river went out. However, before we left for the Trunk or Treat, I had felt prompted to take my little blue flashlight and put it in my bag. That was amazing, because I hadn't been carrying it at all week. We proceeded to teach lessons in the dark by flashlight and candlelight. It was such a powerful experience. With Will and Lisa, we've really been trying to help them read the Book of Mormon. They have been reading it, and they are really starting to gain a testimony. I know it!

In other news, it snowed last night, and it looked dark at 4:30... FANTASTIC! :)

Snow at 4:30 p.m.

We found out the results of this transfer...So, I am definitely staying in Caribou, but what is surprising is that BOTH of my companions are going to Canada, and I'm getting a different companion. The two sisters by us went home, so essentially, I'm the only missionary with any knowledge of the area at all. It's a little freaky, but I'm comforted by knowing that I'm not doing this alone. We had a CES devotional last night about building our foundation on Christ, and I know that as I build my foundation, the Devil's mighty winds will never shake me! (Helaman 5:12)

I will never forsake :) I love you all! I hope you have a fanTASTic week!


Elder Wanlass

Selfie with Elder Woodbury