Monday, March 30, 2015

Woody Woody Woodstock

Well everybody, another week has flown! I literally can't believe that March is over! It went by so fast! I have a feeling that the weeks aren't going to slow down, no matter what! This week, to be honest, might have been the roughest one I've had in a long time. We had four investigators drop us, we have Omar close to baptism, but he just has been the hardest person to get in contact with because of his work. Despite these things, we are still pressing onward! We have a few really solid potential investigators that we are working with right now, and I have been able to see a lot of potential within Caribou, and through are increased efforts, those will increase.
Aside from meeting with Omar and discussing the importance of baptism, we ended up getting a ward list from some members of people we need to go and find. One of them, after a little bit of thought and prayer, I decided to go see. When we stopped by the house, we discovered that the man had moved away, and a lady was there instead. She was very nice to us, and mentioned that she had actually met with missionaries before! We asked if she would be interested in taking some lessons with us once again, and she said that she would totally be willing to! So neat! Another lady we met while knocking, and she told us we believed that Joseph Smith was God...and I quickly cleared that concern up. When she found out we believed in modern day prophets, she was very willing to have us come over at a different time. Next week will be booming!
The family we taught last week, (The Garmin's) their daughter actually came to our church this week! It was quite exciting, and the father wants us to come by next Wednesday. Another miracle happened! I was pondering who I could call from our area book, and I decided to try and see how Jason St. John was doing. He was the investigator I first started teaching seven months ago, and I figured he might be interested in meeting up now that the weather was starting to get better, when I called him, he said he wanted to meet again! Miracles!
Aside from all of these little miracles we've had, I had the opportunity to go visit the Woodstock area for an exchange. I got to spend the whole day with Elder Thompson. He's a great missionary, and they just recently got somebody on date for baptism!
Woodstock is essentially the Bible Belt of Canada. There are 20 different churches in a town of 3000 people, and so many people who are zealous about their religion, or VERY rude about it. Elder Thompson and I taught a really good lesson to one of their investigators Bailey, who is pretty solid! We had such a good time street contacting, talking, and meeting with different members, and we were able to get a lot of work done.
Well, that's pretty much all I have to say about this week, right now I'm in Fredericton to go to the Halifax Temple soon! :D I'm super excited to go for my first time. Pictures will be taken. It's will be so much fun! :)
Take care everybody!

Elder Wanlass

Monday, March 23, 2015

A FFLA of Epic Proportions!

Well everybody, it's been quite the week! This transfer has started off strong! We've had some really solid days, some rough days, but overall, the week turned out super great. We started off by heading out to Canada for a couple days! Elder Beacham stayed back in Fredericton, and I had to go over to Truro, Nova Scotia for a leadership meeting. It was such a good meeting, and I learned so much about how I can improve as a leader, and what things I really need to focus on to become a better missionary in general. Plus I got to see my MTC friends Elder Hansen, Elder Astle, and Elder Heimonen! It was so neat, since it had been a solid 6 months since I had seen any of them :) It was a nice little reunion.

A happy reunion with my MTC friends!

After we had that meeting, all of us missionaries were really tired. Five of us got into a car and we were heading back to Amherst to drop two of them off, then to Fredericton, and eventually I would get back to Caribou. So we started driving for a solid 2 hours, and we made Dartmouth, NS, which is right by Halifax! So we drove 2 hours in the WRONG direction! Oh man! We all just kind of laughed about it, but a couple of us got was what we called a FFLA (f-flah) which stands for Fun Filled Learning Adventure. And it was a learning adventure, how none of us bothered to look at street signs, notice we typed in the wrong city for the address, or notice we were going south is beyond me, but hey, we made it to Amherst and stayed the night. Afterwards, we went to Fredericton and I did my first District Meeting via Skype with two districts being involved! Talk about intense! However, it went really well, and I loved being able to teach about missionary work. 

When Elder Beacham and I got home on Wednesday night, we worked so hard. We ended up finding about 5 referrals, contacted 3 of them, and one of them became an investigator! We asked this older man if he knew anybody who was interested in learning about God, and he said: "My neighbor John Smith might now," pointing to his house. I kind of wasn't sure if it was going to be a real person, but we went to the door, and knocked. He wasn't home, but we turned around, and he was pulling into the driveway. He let us right in and talked with us for a moment. Then I realized that he was a former investigator that the sisters had been teaching for about a month, but he dropped off of the face of the planet! He was really nice, and he said that he would want to learn more about God and the Book of Mormon! It was so cool!

We also had a similar experience later in the week. We received another neighbor referral, and the guy we contacted said that he would love for us to stop by on Sunday so that we could talk. After Stake Conference this week, we went to the man's house, and his whole family was there! The kids really enjoyed having us over, and the parent's seemed interested in the gospel. The kids had even been to our church before with some of the youth of our church! It was super sweet! We asked if we could come by later and they decided that they wanted to visit our church next week! We are doing a church tour with them! It was so cool! :)

One thing that I've really learned this week is opposition in all things. One thing we must all realize is that without trials, there would be no way for us to grow stronger. Without trials, we wouldn't be able to grow taller and strive to become the best we can be. I have really seen the impact that opposition has made on me through my missionary work. It's been so neat to really see how I can grow and change into what God wants me to become!

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

Love Elder Wanlass

Here is a view overlooking Caribou.


Monday, March 16, 2015

There's a Body in There.....

Hey Everybody, another week has come and gone! :) It's been overall a pretty decent week! We've been able to meet with some of our really solid investigators, and overall I'm just very happy with how the work has been going. I don't have as much to report this week, and I'm actually pretty busy today, but I want to let you know that I'm doing well, and I've been working hard!

I have a couple pretty neat stories. One day earlier this week I was looking through some member records, and I found one family that piqued my interest. It was the Lento family. I decided that I would try and contact them, because they have been inactive for several years. Unfortunately, their number wasn't in the records, and I was a little confused on what to do. Luckily, a member gave us a phone book for the area a week ago. I was poring over that, and I found their name after a little searching. I called them, and as it turns out, she was wanting to come back to church. He isn't a member, and his kids aren't either, and they had questions about the church.  How cool is that?! We have a dinner appointment with them this Friday! So exciting! :)

One funny story was Elder Beacham and I were at this old man's house. I was looking at his shelf, and he had several cool decorations, including a coke bottle filled with sand. I complimented him on his choice of decoration, and he said "There's a body in there." Apparently, that was the urn this man used for their son. Strange. I almost burst out laughing, but held it in anyway. :)

Anyway, I'm sorry this letter is so short.  We just have a lot going on! :) I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all! Enjoy your week!

Elder Wanlass

Monday, March 9, 2015

The King of Caribou

Hello Everybody! Another week has come and gone! They just seem to be moving faster and faster with each one that leaves! This week overall went alright, but on Sunday we had a super great day of work, filled with lessons, people came to sacrament, and we just felt a lot better about everything! So, 5 weeks later, we are back to transfers. Essentially, what is happening is.... I'm staying in Caribou for yet another transfer! :) I'm actually really surprised, not many people stay in area-rs this long. Elder Beacham will be staying with me, but along with that, I'm actually going to be a District Leader for the Maine areas! How crazy! When a missionary stays in an area long enough, they become the King of that area, and that is happening to me with this transfer! How exciting!
As for the Sisters, Sister Smith is trading places with Sister Leak in Houlton, ME, so she will still be in our district. Sister Fenn, on the other hand, is going all the way to Newfoundland! What a change! It's sad to say goodbye, but I'm looking forward to the changes, because I know they are inspired by Heavenly Father. Sister Creager will be coming in place of her in Presque Isle. My mom and her mom grew up in the same neighborhood, so that's neat!
This week overall has been relatively bland compared to the last few. Elder Beacham got sick, so the work was a little harder to do, but I still worked on things, so that was good.
Omar is doing fantastic! We had several lessons with him throughout the week, and they went really well. He was actually invited by the Elders' Quorum to come to the temple trip on April 11, and he is super pumped for it! We had a lesson after church this Sunday talking more about their purpose, what they do, and what they are like. He's loved the whole thing, and I'm so happy that he is getting baptized soon! :)
The YSA has become very strong down here, between the members, Omar, interaction with Houlton youth, and the returning missionaries, it has grown a lot since I first started my mission here. I hope that we will be able to continue finding those that are prepared to hear more about the gospel, and I know that the Lord is constantly leading us to those people that need our help.
We found a couple new investigators. One is named Ian, he is a member's boyfriend, and he's a really cool kid. He is interested in the Book of Mormon, and we had a short lesson with him on Monday about what it is and how we can know if it is true or not. Truly, conversion begins from reading and pondering the Book of Mormon. We also met with this lady named Christy, and her husband doesn't really like Jesus Christ. I don't even know how that is possible, but okayyyyy. We will see how that one goes, but she seems nice and open to learning more. We shall see.
Anyhow, this week has been good! Sorry this letter is a little shorter, I don't have as much to talk about, but I will talk more next week for sure! :)

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Wanlass

Sister Fenn, Sister Smith, Elder Beacham, me and our awesome group of friends from the Caribou/Presque Isle Ward.

The Baser Family

The Morrow's gecko

The Harmony Bluff Ward (my home ward) Laurels sent me letters.  That was a fun surprise!

Monday, March 2, 2015

No Noodles were Harmed Except the Ones in the Microwave

What a week! It seems like the time just continues to fly! It's been a pretty good week, to be honest, we've gotten a lot done, we've talked to a lot of people who have been interested, and we've taught quite a bit of lessons. Most of them have been with our investigator Omar. Omar is such a cool guy! He literally believes the church is true, accepts all the teachings of the church, and is just super solid! We actually just had a lesson two minutes ago with him. :) We got to show him who Thomas S. Monson was, and let him listen to the talk Obedience Brings Blessings. That is a great talk, and because we have been talking about the commandments with him, it really applies to everything we've discussed! :) He is going to be baptized March 28! Set the dates down everyone! :)

Other than that, we've had a few pretty neat experiences. On Tuesday we went home teaching with a member. We made a stop at an inactive lady's house. Her name is Erinn. As it turns out, she has a husband and three kids who are not members of the church. As we continued to talk and laugh with their family, we started learning more about their family situation, and how one of the kids is having some severe health issues. Immediately, in front of everybody, I told them all in that room that the message we share is one of eternal families, and that we will all be able to live with our families forever because of Jesus Christ. All of the kids (especially the one with the health problems) said they wanted to have us back, and the parents agreed. We have a lesson set up with them for this next week, and I know that I was inspired to say something to that family.

The rest of this week had been filled with lots of work!

One funny story is the sisters gave us a referral for this black guy named Broly (pronounced Brah-lee) Well, we went to talk with him a couple days ago, and he is like 6'4", and really nice to us. We started talking about the church and how we believe in a modern day prophet, and he said: "I know! That's me! Where you been all my life?!" Then he gave us a hug. It was HILARIOUS! Let's just say that we are not teaching him in the near future. :)

We also had a pretty dreary experience with a cup of noodles....I put one of those Maruchan quick noodles in the Microwave, but I didn't exactly read the instructions, so I put it in the microwave, and let's just say I didn't get to eat anything that day.

That's pretty much all I want to share, but I hope you all are having a great week, and I know that the Lord has called me to be a representative of him, and to stand in his place. I love my Savior, this work, and I will do my best to complete it! :)

Working hard!

Here is Omar!

Mandeville's chicken got frostbite on his feet and one of them fell off.  So now sadly, he just stumbles and hops.