Monday, April 27, 2015

Helloooooo Hampton!

Hello Everybody! It's been quite the eventful week with transfers and everything! I spent my last week in Caribou with Elder Beacham, and we got a lot of work done! We visited a lot of our investigators, had some good last lessons with them, and we said goodbye to many of the members that I have come to know and love. I'm definitely going to miss them, but I know that I have other places to be. The Lord has a plan for me. We also visited the Amish store for my last P-day, and it was so cool! I got some nice soap, and even a pencil holder for my desk (handcrafted). Maine will always be a part of me now! :)

After transfers, a lot changed! I'm now in an area that also has a lot of potential, super green, very damp compared to Caribou (I'm thirty minutes from the Bay of Fundy) and has rivers running through it everywhere. It's so beautiful, and I'm really looking forward to serving here.  My area covers the Kennebecasis Valley, which includes exotic places like Quispamsis, Sussex, Hampton, Nauwigewaulk, and much more! I have really enjoyed it! The people here are very nice, just like in Caribou, and there is just a lot of places to be worked with!

My new companion is named Elder Dooley, he is from Hawaii, and he loves to surf, play video games, and do all sorts of things. He has been pretty fun to work with, he has been out as long as Elder Beacham had, and he likes Hampton a lot.

At this time, we basically have no new investigators, we have nobody to really we are focusing a lot on finding at the moment, discovering the area, and trying to talk with as many people as we possibly can! :) It's been pretty successful thus far, and I believe that there are people for us to teach here in the Hampton area. I know that for a fact.

One thing I've been really focused on in my studies lately is the Premortal Life, and how God created a plan for us, and has a purpose that he wants to accomplish. God's purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Ours, is very similar, to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored gospel. When we truly understand the Why? in everything that we do, we have a stronger desire to do it! That's been a huge focus I've put on myself, to have Real intent in everything that I do, and to have that desire to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I love you all! I can't wait to share miracles that happen in Hampton next week!

Elder Wanlass

The Bay

Last dinner before leaving Caribou.  Sister Strid made my favorite...homemade chicken pot pie.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I MADE IT TO CANADA (the sequel)

Hello everyone! Well, transfers are here once again! As it turns out, I am leaving Caribou Maine, and I'm going over to Hampton, New Brunswick! I'm super excited, but I'm also pretty sad to leave the ward I grew up in. I learned so much as a missionary, and I learned a lot about how I can improve myself back home, as well as in the mission field. I also think of how many people I managed to talk to when I was in Caribou, and I think of those who will investigate and be baptized in the future, because of my efforts!

So Hampton is a really small town as well! It's pretty close to the bay, and is in the Kennebecasis Valley. I'm going to be the District Leader over the Saint John District, which is me and my companion, and then the Saint John elders and sisters. It's going to be so great! Hampton is the second biggest ward in the mission from what I've been told, which means I went from the biggest to the next biggest! :) Good enough for me! It's going to be weird serving in Canada, seeing the Maple Leaf , using kilometres, litres, and using celsius, but it isn't going to be too bad. :) I feel a strong sense of belonging to the Hampton area, and I'm really looking forward to going there this summer! It's going to be so beautiful and green!

This week was a great one for the Caribou ward! We hit all of our goals once again! We had a blast serving the Lord. It was definitely a great week! We went to this place called Houlton Dairy Farms that opened up this week! It was pretty good ice cream, and it was a great place to talk with many different people!

We had several lessons with some of our investigators. One of the new ones we picked up this week is named Devin Cote. He is Sie Winter's stepson, and he was really cool. He actually came over to church this Sunday, and we met with him a couple different times. We are beginning to build his faith in the gospel, and I really sense that it will make an impact on him. We also met up with Kenny Carmichael and gave him some clothes that were given by the Cubby. He is so grateful, and loves the gospel. He has been reading the Gospel Principles manual like it is a treasure! It is so cool!

One thing that I've been trying to focus on a lot lately is using the Book of Mormon as a central aspect of my missionary work. It is easy to get caught up in all of the other details of the church, and forget about one of the greatest fruits of the Restored church - The Book of Mormon. As such, I've made myself a central aspect to my teaching and proselyting. It's really been a testimony builder for me, and I've seen it impact others as I testify of its truthfulness!

I also had another chance to see the Halifax Temple again! So beautiful!

Well everyone, I'll see you next week in Canada! I'm super excited, it's going to be a party, eh?

Love Elder Wanlass!

The Himes Family

Jared Reed and me

McKenley and me

Here is a cool mushroom tree.

Here is another Halifax Temple picture.  See how the snow has melted since the last time I was there.  Spring is coming!

Sister Creager, Sister Leak, me and Elder Beacham

I stretched just a little too far back and ripped my suit.  Thankfully, Sister Baser fixed it easily.

I'm going to miss this place and the people that I have grown to love.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Potentially My Last Week in Caribou :(

Good day everybody! This is Elder Wanlass in Canada at the moment! Things have been going well here in Caribou, we've seen so many miracles, we've picked up new investigators, and we have just seen so many blessings come from keeping the Lord's commandments and constantly doing his will.

As for this week in general, we were so blessed. I actually have to get going soon...My mom will copy my stories over from her email :) I am running out of time on the email time. But I love you all, and wish you all the best!

**Here are the stories that Elder Wanlass shared with his family.**

This week was really good for us and our investigators! We met with Kenny Carmichael again, and he came to church this week as well! So cool! He really has a strong desire to come to Christ, and he is at a stage in his life that he really could be baptized! Kathy Lyons also attended church this week with John, and they both really seemed to enjoy it! I think that we will start teaching them the lessons, they seemed open to having us over.  So that's good! :)

This week we also stumbled into an older lady who had investigated the church a while back. We were knocking on a street searching for a referral, and when we knocked on her house she shouted! "It's the Mormies! Come on in!" Her name is Lois. She said that she almost got baptized a while back, but decided against it because of smoking. She seems open though, and who knows, maybe she is ready now! We also had a super neat miracle yesterday with a new investigator named Eric Peterson. I may have told part of this story before, but I'm going to tell the whole thing because it is pretty cool! :)

Elder Beacham was searching through the apartment, and out of the blue he found this record under a pile of books in our apartment for Eric Peterson. Now, we didn't know how much potential he had, because when we called him his mom said she would get back to us. The next week we were at the Judd's (some awesome member's) and they gave us a referral for their next door neighbor. We went and contacted them, and as it turns out, the mom of Eric answered and gave us his information! By another miracle, we were able to get a lesson set up with him, and he said that this was a good time in his life, and he agreed to baptism!

Elder Wanlass :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Miracles!

Hey Everybody! Happy Easter! I hope you all loved conference, and found joy in the words of the prophets and apostles. This week Elder Beacham and I have seen many miracles, and I've really enjoyed the many different talks about Christ and his Atonement, really highlighting this Easter Season. Probably one of my favorite combinations of talks ever must have been Jeffrey R Holland's powerful talk about Jesus Christ never leaving us alone, followed by Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk on how the grace of Christ gives us hope and meaning to the work we do. I absolutely loved it, and I know the investigators who watched it loved it as well.
We've been very fortunate this week and have had the opportunity to see many miracles. First of all, on Monday and Tuesday we were in Canada the whole time. I was lucky enough to get to go to the Halifax Temple! It's so pretty! :) Definitely worth the 7 hour journey! After that, President Leavitt instructed us in ways that we can improve our missionary work and find more people to teach. It was really nice to be able to meet with other missionaries and learn from one another. Once we headed back to Caribou, we did an exchange with the Woodstock Elders! Elder Thompson came over to Caribou with me, and Elder Beacham stayed down in Woodstock. We got to teach a lesson to a man named Michael Garmin, who is the father of the family we met a little bit ago! It was so cool to be able to teach him, he really seemed to appreciate the Book of Mormon, and has read some of it already.

Here are some pictures from my Halifax Temple visit.  I felt like I was back in Utah!

After that, Elder Beacham and I were fortunate to pick up 4 new investigators! That rarely ever happens in one week up here, however, we were fortunate enough to have them contact us and not vice versa! One of them named Kenny, called us and told us that he really needed help, that he wanted to take lessons again, and that he was going through a really rough time. We went over to his trailer and he told us he wanted to be baptized and called us missionaries from "his" church! So Cool!
We also got in contact with a church headquarters referral, and it was an older gentleman named Rick. He had ordered a Bible, so we took it to him, and then he asked about what our church believes. He then accepted a Book of Mormon as well.
The other miracle involved a lady named Kathy Lyons. The missionaries taught her with her inactive husband back in 2011. I had tried getting in contact with her since October. Each time we did talk with her, she said that she wasn't interested in our church at all. However, on Saturday night, she gave us a call and told us she wanted to come to our church. When we explained that General Conference was going on, they invited us over for the Sunday morning session, and fed us and we explained that we had a modern day prophet. She really seemed to like it.
We had another investigator (Jon) also watch the first session of conference. He loved how family driven our church was, and with his little girl, he really felt the spirit and understood a lot about our church. He has been reading the Book of Mormon right now. All in all, we have about eleven total investigators right now, which is more than Caribou has had for a while! The Lord's work truly is moving forward. Just like the hymn "High on the Mountaintop" goes. Let's all remember what the Savior has done for us, his sacrifice, the restoration of his church, and allowing us all to come closer to him.
I know that these miracles were only because of him. I love my Savior, and I feel like in my toughest weeks I have come to understand his sacrifice more than ever before. I encourage you all to think about Christ, always. I have to go, but I love you all!

Elder Wanlass

This is on Sweden Street. The street I have lived for the past 6 months.

Here is my District!

For my sister Reagan. :)

The World's Largest Ax!  (just because)