Monday, June 29, 2015

President Leavitt Leaves

Hello Everybody! Elder Wanlass here! It's been a very good, bittersweet week! We have had a lot of success in finding people to teach, unfortunately, we've also had to drop a few. But we've been seeing miracles happen here in the Kennebecasis Valley! So many people have wanted to read the Book of Mormon, and making that our focus in finding has really helped, I think.

So as of tonight, President Leavitt will be ending his mission. He has served for three years and it's coming to an end. I can't believe that we are going to be getting a new mission president soon, but I know that the Lord calls his servants at very particular times for very particular purposes. I know that God knows my needs, and what I need to be doing is serving in this area. In a similar way, President Pratt has been prepared for the Canada Halifax Mission! He's going to do miracles :)

We managed to pick up four investigators, unfortunately, one of them dropped us this week, which was a little tough, but hey, it's okay :) We taught a couple very religious people this week, and they are both interested in reading the Book of Mormon! :) One of them was named Dawn Stoddard, she works at the Bible College in Sussex and owns a cafe. She fed us some fruit as we talked about the restoration of the gospel. She really seemed to agree with a lot of it. She's friends with some members of the ward here, and she actually went to our church 30 years ago. She had a lot of questions for us, and we had a good lesson :)

We also ran into another lady who worked at the Bible college and she gave us Bubble gum fudge! I didn't even know that was a thing. The important thing to realize though, is that she gave us her information, and she said she would be interested in meeting up with us for a lesson this next week! We have a lot of potential for this week, it's going to be so great :)

We also taught a Baptist missionary in a trailer park, and he accepted a Book of Mormon and everything! It's been so great! :) People here are really starting to open up to the gospel, and we are seeing more people that are interested as time has gone by!

I just want to close with my testimony. I know that this church is true. I know that God loves me. I know that my Savior is always there for me, and each one of us. His atonement is for everyone. Even though our lives may appear daunting, our challenges impossible, and our mistakes dark, we can always count on Christ to give us the light of the gospel. We just have to keep trying! As soon as we begin to try again, to persevere, and to believe, that is when faith becomes a reality in our lives. When Christ can come into our lives.

I love this gospel, I love my Savior. I wouldn't be out here if I didn't.

Love you all!

Elder Wanlass

More beautiful rivers!

Elder Taylor and I after a hard days work.

This is bubble gum fudge from a lady in Sussex.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Hole-In-One Kind of Week

Hello Family and Friends! I hope that you all had a great week! I know that mine has been good, and I can't wait to share it with you all today!

Overall this week we managed to find more people to share the gospel with- four new investigators! It was so cool! One of them that I'd like to mention is named John Hartley. Elder Dooley and I had tried for a long time to get ahold of him, but whenever we tried to set up an appointment or anything, it always ended up cancelling. One day we drove past his house, and I had a feeling to go back and check on him. We drove back to his house and knocked on the door, and he let us right in Joyfully! We had a lesson about God, and we committed him to baptism on July 20! The spirit is truly leading each one of us to the people who we need to find.
Something kind of funny happened this week. We were going street contacting in the main area in Sussex, and we passed this church called the Higher Life Christian Centre. They invited us right in to talk with us. I guess for Father's Day they were letting the Fathers practice golf lessons, well, I'm not a father, but they let us in anyway. I talked with the pastor who had actually investigated the church before, but he wasn't super interested in chatting. Elder Taylor got to show off his mad swinging skills though! So that was good! :) We only stayed for a few minutes since we were working, but people here in the Kennebecasis Valley are just so nice!

Anyway, this week we also talked with a man named Vernon Dempsey. He has relatives over in British Columbia that are from our church. So he is kind of familiar with it. He was willing to let us in and talk with us about the church, and we ended up teaching him parts of the Restoration. 

One cool experience happened on Thursday as well. We were just about to help with some service for a ward activity, but they didn't have anything for me to I decided to flip through some contacts in our phone. I decided to call Christian Gowan, a man Elder Dooley and I had talked with the day before Mother's Day. He said to stop by a different time, but he didn't seem overly interested at all. I decided to give another call to try it out. And his wife Jessie answered. I started talking with her and she said that she was Christian (not her husband, but religion.) and she didn't feel that we were. She thought we worshipped Joseph Smith. Well! I explained to her what we believe, I told her that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I recited the First Vision to her. Immediately, she said "I believe everything you are telling me. I do." We are going to meet this week with her and Christian :) So good!

Yesterday we also were knocking some houses searching for a couple in a blue trailer on a really long and windy road. It was pouring rain, but we felt like we needed to go on. The first door we knocked on let us right in, and we are meeting with her tomorrow :) miracles!

Anyway, as you can see, miracles are happening in the Kennebecasis Valley! We will see success, we will see a baptism! It will happen! I know it! :D

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Wanlass! :D



Monday, June 15, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons....

Hello Everybody! Elder Wanlass here! This week has been pretty good! We found a new investigator, are beginning to teach more people, and things are just starting to get better :) This week has been super sunny, which given the erratic weather here in the Maritimes, has been quite pleasant. Elder Taylor and I have been working hard, and as we continue to work diligently, searching for more people to teach, we will be able to find more people to teach!

This week we had zone conference, which is a time for all of the missionaries in New Brunswick, Maine, and PEI to gather together and learn more about how to become better missionaries! I got to see my Maine district once again, which was really nice. Elder Beacham is doing well, and one of the investigators we found together on my second to last week in Caribou (Devin Cote) just got baptized! Miracles happen, and I know that people are constantly being prepared to hear of the gospel and become members of the church. 

This week was Hampton's annual yard sale day, so as such, many people were outside and driving through Hampton. Because of this, we wanted to get people to see us, since most people weren't home. We decided to set up a lemonade stand and give out free lemonade, copies of The Book of Mormon, the Bible, etc. It went pretty well, even though we didn't talk to as many people as we would have liked, it still got us out there and was something different than exclusively knocking. 

Hampton has definitely been a good area to work in. It's taught me a lot about myself, about the way I work with people, and about my Heavenly Father. I will always try and think of ways that I can serve him, that I can become a better person, and ways that I can use my agency for a good cause and bring to pass much righteousness. (D&C 58:27) The ward here is great, the people are fantastic, people in general are nice to us and willing to talk.

I hope you all have a great week! :) I know that I will!

Elder Wanlass

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Fresh Start!

Hello everybody! Elder Wanlass here! This week has been a really exciting week here in Hampton. It was transfer week, and a lot of work has been done in such a short amount of time.  I have a new companion named Elder Taylor, who is from Logan Lake, British Columbia. He is officially my first Canadian companion! Such an achievement, considering half of the mission is Canadian and I'm coming up on halfway soon enough! Elder Taylor has been out 10 1/2 months, so just a transfer longer than me. Because we both have been out for quite a while, we are on the same wavelength, and working as hard as ever. This weekend we managed to find 9 new potential investigators that all seemed fairly interested.

It was funny, because we started out Saturday thinking we were going to go to Sussex, but as it turns out we decided ultimately, to stay in Hampton and knock a street that hadn't been knocked in a while. We met a lady who had just barely moved from Halifax and wanted to meet with us! How exciting is that!? We also met three other potentials that seemed fairly interested as well. Miracles never cease!

We also went to a community event for a new trail opening, and we decided to offer our services in any way possible, unfortunately at that time, there was nothing they needed us for, but they asked us to email them for later...later that day, we knocked around the neighborhoods in our apartment, and we found a lady who saw us at the event,  and she wants to feed us! She's not even a member! What the heck! :) #onlyinhampton (this is my hashtag for this area, because things like this happen to us ALL the time.

Anyway, we should have at least 5 new investigators this next week, we've been seeing so many miracles, and God has been helping me so much.

One thing that I especially love to know and focus on is the fact that God knows us each individually, and wants us to become like him. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in conference that "his aim is much higher" for us. Because of Christ's grace and atonement, we can all return to live with God once again. We are NEVER alone. Even though sometimes Satan wants us to feel that way, we will always have somebody to turn to. Our Savior.

In D&C 19, we read "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink-Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."

God loves us so much that he sent his son to this earth that we could be saved, reclaimed, and made stronger. I love my Savior. He helps me in every way imaginable. I am truly a different person because of what he has done for me.

I love you all, remember Jesus Christ every day! His Atonement is our greatest gift!

Elder Wanlass

Elder Dooley and I found the road to Damascus!

Cool tunnel we get to drive through.

I'm keeping a safe distance from the Sisters. :)

Day of transfers!  Saying goodbye to Elder Dooley who is headed for Nova Scotia.

Monday, June 1, 2015

I think it was JFK's birthday this week....

Well everyone, transfers are here once again! Not too many interesting things happened this week unfortunately, we've been trying to do our best to find people to teach, and it's been going decently, we've had people say yes, but we just need to get the commitments to sit down for a lesson. :) So right now we only had one lesson with a new investigator named John Kennedy. (Hence the name of the email :) ) It went pretty well, he had met with sisters back in 2012, but they stopped meeting with him for some reason. I don't really know why.

Anyway, other than that, the biggest thing is the results of transfers. I'm staying here in Hampton and getting a new companion named Elder Taylor. He's been out for 10 1/2 months and I've been out for 9, so it will be the first companion I've had who is older than me in a while. :) Elder Dooley is getting transferred over to Truro, Nova Scotia, so that's pretty neat! I think that he will really enjoy it there.

Other Than that, we haven't had too many super exciting things happen.

I've been really thinking about what scriptures apply to me and the work right now, and I think that one of them is Helaman 10:5. In it, God is talking to Nephi telling him how thankful he is for the diligent missionary work he had done. He promised him afterward that he will reward Nephi with any blessing that he can ask for, because he knows Nephi will ask in righteousness.

"And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will."

This blessing will go to all of us who are truly seeking to become like Christ in every way imaginable. As I strive to be diligent, strive to have faith in Christ, and strive to work as hard as I can, I will be blessed. No question about that.

I love my Savior, I want every person to know that this is true!
He lives!

Love, Elder Wanlass

St. John, NB District

Packages from home are the BEST!

The Hampton area has some beautiful rivers.