Monday, January 4, 2016

Xandaman update! Week 20

Pondering a from a long drive:
First, did you know most of the areas/zones in my mission are bigger
than some big city missions?
Second, much of Montana seems to be a Couple years behind in some
aspects like technology and development, even though we have iPads.
Third, it's pretty heart stopping when the mission president calls
your companion during sacrament meeting.

I knew there was going to be a lot of change this week. One of my
companions, elder potter (who got the call from president), is going
to be a district leader here in Bozeman. Elder Schneider is headed off
to Thermopolis Wyoming. As for me, I thought I was leaving too by the
way elder potter explained it, but no. I'm staying here in Belgrade.
The catch is I will be covering both Belgrade wards instead of just
the second Ward with elder Mckell. It's cool because I already know my
area and my companion pretty well (elder Mckell has been in the first
Ward). I'm super excited to meet some new members as well as expand my
boundaries.

We have had a great last week as a trio. We got to spend some time in
Three forks and Manhattan. They sure are fun little towns. When we
went there Wednesday, we dropped some stuff off at the apartment,
which is basically a one room shed/side house, and went to the little
food bank for some service. We got to take cans of food down to the
basement, which is actually and old nuclear fall-out shelter. It still
has the little 'fall-out shelter' sign in the stairwell. It felt like
I was in a creepy apocalyptic movie.

There are some cool members in the Three forks Ward. The rummelharts
are a fun, interesting family. Sister rummelhart loves to be kind of
the missionary mom for the area. She is very good at sewing and fixing
clothes. The Camerons also love the missionaries. We had fun with them
and the young kids and had a great lesson with them. The dad isn't a
member, but I hope someday he will. He has been taking lessons for a
long time. Then there is the blanchards. We walked in to their large
new house and they immediately had us set up a foosball tournament.
That was almost too fun probably.

Because of transfers, we had to help elder potter pack his stuff. He
had stuff in three forks, as well as Ennis, which is almost an hour
drive away. Montana has some beautiful landscape. With the snow on the
hills with some sage brush peeking through and dark trees up on top,
the hills looked like perfectly cooked marshmallows, haha.
Also last week, we got to help the iversons finish their basement. We
got to tile the bathroom and paint the ceiling for a few hours.
Somehow, service is super fun on the mission. More than it would be
at home :)

I don't know if you remember Angela, but here is a little background.
First of all, a couple of months ago, we met this guy on the street
that was really high on something. "Come talk to me!" We kind of
hesitated, but we couldn't not talk to him. He basically just talked
about how he had Jesus in his heart and could go kill everyone in this
valley. We got away from him as soon as we could. We had a deep
feeling that he really needed help. A few weeks later, since all our
lessons fell through for the night, elder Schneider made the right
decision for us to go out to the river rock neighborhood to work. Even
though it was pretty late, we found a miracle investigator. She just
happened to be out shoveling her porch as we walked by. She basically
said she wanted to read the Book of Mormon and follow Jesus Christ.
Later, we stopped by her house to see if she was home, and the crazy
guy answered! He is Angela's husband. It seemed like a miracle he
didn't recognize us. We came back another day and elder potter was
prompted to give her a blessing. She felt the spirit very strongly as
he gave it. She told us some of her current struggles through a few
tears. I felt sorry for her and Garrett. I'm so happy we have what she
needs and she is so willing to follow it. 

Our lesson with her on Saturday was amazing. I don't know if I'll have a better lesson ever!
We brought the spirit, bore testimony, taught with unity, resolved her
concerns, and put her on date for baptism! I got nervous as the lesson
got to its climax because I knew I was the one that would extend the
invitation. "Angela, will you commit to be baptized..." Then she cut
in and said, "oh, I've already been baptized." We paused for a moment,
told her about the priesthood behind it, and she said, "I would be
willing to be baptized again." I'm amazed at her openness and faith in
Jesus Christ.

I love my mission. We are out to find those who are ready. We aren't
just planting seeds anymore, we are in the harvesting season. I like
something that brother Iverson said from our Ward about training his
dog: "focus on obedience, then use their strengths". We are the Lord's
'retrievers'. If we are not obedient to our master, we are not going
to find those that are ready and prepared by him. We also need to use
the strengths and talents that we have, for that is what sets us apart
from everyone else and why we are called to where we are.
I love the gospel and the visible glow it brings into the lives of
Gods children.
Thank you for all your support and love!

Sincerely,
Elder Wylie

May the spirit be with you


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