Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Been Chili!

This week has been quite long, to be honest! It's been awesome though, and we had a pretty successful week and achieved all of our goals :) So that was fanTASTic! This week we managed to pick up a new investigator named Omar, he is so cool! He is 22, part Jamaican, and has a huge love for our church due to how family oriented it is. He's investigated the church before, but he is really eager to meet again and commit to learning more. We had a pretty spiritual lesson with him earlier this week! :)

We also have another investigator named Adam. He's in the marines, he has a love of God, and he is super sincere about learning more. We talked with him this week about the Book of Mormon, and how we can learn the truth of it for ourselves. One scripture that comes to my mind is D&C 8:2. "Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which dwell in your heart." I had the opportunity at learning about the Holy Ghost this week, and it's really cool when we see how our obedience, our desire to do the work of the Lord, and our actions affect our ability to use the spirit to help others.

A couple funny things also happened this week! Elder Knowles got pulled over for speeding :P Lawlz! He didn't get a ticket, so that's good! But It was still pretty funny. We also had a YSA activity and we played soccer! So much fun! :)

The major thing that happened this week is all over my Facebook. It was the ward's chili cook-off! It was pretty cool to see so many members and nonmembers! All of our investigators also ended up coming to it! They all were fellowshipped, many members helped with that, and we all played basketball! It was so much fun! :) We got to be the judges of the many delicious chilis and cornbreads. They were all so tasty!

The weather here has been particularly strange, according to what everybody has said. It's been fairly warm, (around 15F and up) and we haven't had that much snow. However, we are supposed to get a NorthEastern this week, so that should be quite the adventure! Hopefully we will be able to finally get some snow! :)

Oh yeah! The verdict on transfers! :) I'm getting a brand new missionary from the MTC! I'm both excited and a little nervous, but I think I can do it! :) Bring it on! Thanks for all your support! I love you all, and I hope you have a fanTASTic week!


Elder Wanlass

Here we are at the ward chili cook-off.  Elder Knowles and I are with Omar, Erin Patton and Adam.

Here is the Gilliam Family.  They cooked us a delicious fish dinner this week.

Here is one of the members, Sie Winters.  He feeds us some great food since he is a chef.

This is the majestic Mars Hill.

This is the food pantry where I serve.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

That was Easy....

Well, my friends, another week has rolled around! I can't believe how fast time has gone by! This week admittedly, was a little tough. A lot of our lessons had fallen through, so that left us with a lot of time to find people instead. It was actually pretty fun. We have been calling formers and also talking to people in restaurants, gas stations, stores. It can lead to a lot of interesting questions. People usually think we are the Jehovah's Witnesses, but then once we tell them that we aren't they are put at ease a little bit, so that is good.
Because times can get tough on a mission, I decided for the heck of it to buy an 'Easy' Button, and at the end of a hard day, I can get a little chuckle out of it. It really works! :)
Aside from that, we did the usual stuff, we played speedball, served at the Food Pantry, I'm getting pictures for those places next week :) So stay tuned!
One other really cool thing I've seen here recently is they sell live lobsters up here in Maine. Right out of the tank! So cool! :) For the sake of it, I bought myself a stuffed Lobster with 'Maine' printed on the side.
As far as our investigators go, we have a couple that are pretty solid. A. is a member's fiance, and he has questions about religion in general, and I feel that in the future he will be able to baptized. He accepts everything we say, so that's good. We just got to keep him coming to church! Another one is named A. , and he seems like he can be baptized really soon! I believe that he could be.
Aside from those things, I would like to talk a bit about "The Spirit of Elijah." (Malachi 4:5-6)  One thing our mission president wants us to do is fill out our own family history booklet and think a lot about our ancestors. As some of you might know, I have a lot of ancestors that lived in my mission boundaries. As I looked at my family tree, and saw some of my relatives that lived around here, I realized that the Lord wants me to find somebody out here. It really helps keep me going when times can get tough. My Heavenly Father knows who he has called, and he has called me here. I know that as I continue to work hard, I can feel of my Heavenly Father's love even more. Have a great week everybody! :)

Maine lobster

Monday, January 12, 2015

Nondescript Title and a Good Week!

Hello everyone! :) This week went pretty well overall, and we saw a lot of miracles and exciting things happen! I just didn't know what to put for the title of this email, to be honest... well, let's see how this goes!

This week we played an awesome game of speedball! I scored like 7 points, which is really good for me! :) The sister missionaries played this week too, which ended up being a lot of fun! There was like twenty-ish people there, members and was a lot of fun! :D

Later on in the week we had the zone leaders stop by for visits, which went pretty well! Their names are Elder Torrie and Elder Tusa. Elder Torrie is from Alberta, Canada, and Elder Tusa is from Australia! It was pretty cool to work with both of them, and we got a lot done.

I had a couple cool experiences this week. As I've mentioned, our mission President has encouraged us to use our area book and Facebook together to find people to teach, and this week using it I've found three people who wanted to receive the missionary lessons! One of their names was Jenni, and I added her on facebook. I started talking to her, and I asked her if she had talked to missionaries from our church before, she said no! So I added somebody with the same name, but it was an entirely different person! She's a single mother, so the sisters are going to be the ones to teach her, but it was still really cool to have that happen!

Another miracle that happened occurred on Saturday. We were buying gas at one of the gas stations, and when we went in to pay, the cashier asked us if we knew Sie (one of the members of our church). When we said yes, the guy said that he worked with him in the kitchen at his other job. We continued to talk to him for a bit, and I gave him a pass-a-long card. I didn't think anything was going to arise from it, but the next day the sister visited Sie, and he said that his friend from work sounded interested in our church! It was so cool to here! It's true, you never know who will be interested in learning more about the gospel. We have so many potential lessons that could arise for next week! I'll let you know how things go! :D

Thank you all for your support! Sorry this letter wasn't as long as the past few, I'm a little sick at the moment. I should be better next week, but until then, I love you all! :)

The Magestic Caribou (and Nathan)

I told you the Mandeville's have a pig.  His name is Fernando, and he was super calm this week so I was able to take a picture.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Twenty Fif-Dean! #believe

Ha...Dean puns. Hey everybody! It's been a good week in Caribou! We've been able to get in contact with a few more referrals, some don't want to learn from us, but a couple do! :D So that's good! As of late we have really been able to use Facebook as a tool to help get members involved in the work, as well as get in contact with teenage potential investigators. It's really cool to see how the Lord is having us utilize technology for the good of the work.

New Year's was fun! We had to be inside our apartment by 5, however, we still had some fun. I drank some sparkling cider, we played Nerf gun wars, etc. It was a good time. We also spent quite a bit of time cleaning on New Year's, so our apartments could be fresh and look clean :) It was set aside specifically for that! So that's good! :)

This week we got to teach one of our investigators named K. She is one of the young men's girlfriend, and she seems to be pretty serious about the church. We talked to her about the restoration of the gospel, and she learned a lot from the lesson. We also got to teach A. for a bit. Both of them have pretty strong support in the church from family and members in general, we just got to help them commit. It can happen! I believe it will!

That leads me to my motto for this year! One thing I think hinders missionary work (as well as anything in life) the most is the negative outlook we all sometimes carry with us in our hearts. I've definitely been able to see a difference in my life when I have faith and when I don't. It can lead to discouragement and depression. However, I know that we look up and have Hope through the Atonement of Christ, and as we carry faith with us, we will be able to succeed. That's why my motto for this year is #believe. If you believe something can happen, for a righteous cause, then it can happen.

One other highlight of this week was our ward mission leader, Brother Dean, took us on an adventure to a couple of the towns we don't go to as much because they are pretty far away. The funniest part was by far the adventure to Perth-Andover in Canada. We were looking for a few members with the last name Bear. (Brother Bear?) We drove around town a couple times, and we realized that they lived on a national reserve. We stopped by one of the houses, and it was a dead end. Elder Knowles decided he would go and talk to a random person to see if they knew where we could find their house. As it turned out, they did! When we went to go talk to them, Brother Dean said: "We are looking for Bears." and the guy mentioned something about seeing a grizzly bear down the street. So funny!
We also stopped by somebody's house and on their garage was written: "Don't Open. Dead Inside." Hmm...creepy! We ended up talking to one of the guys that lived there. Super nice, but I don't think they were interested.

Anyway, I hope you all had an amazing New Year! It's good to hear how all of you are doing! Love you all!

Elder Wanlass :D

Bro. Dean and me on our adventure!

The frozen river of Perth Andover.

My motto!

This is where I live.  Notice the Flamingo in our apartment window?