Monday, August 29, 2016

Wylie coyote: Charity wins!

Here are five things that I've learned or experienced this week, just
in case you wanted to know :)

1. Steers with horns can be pretty intimidating! We went up to try and
visit this guy named Alfredo, and there was this black and white steer
standing in his front yard. It looked pretty content, but as we
approached the front door, it started walking right at us! So we
stopped, thought about a new plan, then walked around to the side
door. The steer followed us around, but never got too close. It was
pretty funny.

2. This Ward is sweet! We finally started going to Ward council and
having more frequent Ward missionary meetings. I've just loved to see
the charity and compassion these members have for the people that need
help. We also started using a progress record to keep track of where
everyone is at. That really made a difference! This Ward is helping us
get things done!

3. Do you have a hard time changing a normal conversation to a gospel
conversation? Do you want to know the secret to talking with everyone
about the gospel? Well here it is! It comes from a quote from Elder
Holland; "But perhaps even more important than speaking is listening.
These people are not lifeless objects disguised as a baptismal
statistic. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and
they need what we have. Be genuine. Reach out sincerely. Ask these
friends what matters most to them. What do they cherish, and what do
they hold dear? And then listen. If the setting is right you might ask
what their fears are, what they yearn for, or what they feel is
missing in their lives. I promise you that something in what they say
will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear
testimony and about which you can then offer more. Elder Russell
Nelson told me once that one of the first rules of medical inquiry is
“Ask the patient where it hurts. The patient,” he said, “will be your
best guide to a correct diagnosis and eventual remedy.” If we listen
with love, we won’t need to wonder what to say. It will be given to
us--by the Spirit and by our friends."(PMG chapter 10, or 'Witness
unto Me' May 2001 Ensign) So there you have it! When you ask people
what's most important to them and what they most need, elder holland
says they will ALWAYS highlight a truth of the gospel about which you
can bear testimony. This way, it shows you care, and they won't feel
pressured, they will feel helped.

4. One morning, we were out walking the streets and we ran into a lady
we've started working with. Cheryl said, before we even got to her,
"I've been looking for you guys!" She told us some cool stuff.
Whenever she sees us, she feels peace in her heart. She is trying to
read the Book of Mormon, but can't understand it well, so we are going
to read it with her soon. I'm excited for Cheryl! I think she really
has an open heart to the gospel.

5. My last point is more of a challenge for you, but it really helped
me organize my thoughts on what I need to be working on. What I did,
and what I challenge you to do, is this. Set aside a little isolated
time and start with a prayer. Then on a sheet of paper, answer these
three questions. 
1: What actual experiences have I had where I have
felt the influence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
2: What things do I currently need the Atonement for. 
3: How I am going to use the Atonement to help me. 

This little activity really helped me see what I need the Atonement for right now and where my testimony is at. It will
definitely help your testimony grow as well.

Well, that's all I've got this week. I hope you all have a great week
and have some good experiences!

Elder Wylie

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wylie coyote: confidence; punch Satan in the face!

Do you want to know what it's like to drive a brand new truck, listen
to inspired general authorities, teach polygamists, or confound
pastors by the Spirit? Well here's my week for you.

First of all, we did get a brand new truck, a 2016 red Nissan
Frontier. I feel very privileged, and know that we need to take good
care of the Lords car! It sure helps us get around our large area. We
will still be biking some because it's fun and it feels good :)

Stake conference was really good! We had a new area seventy in
training, elder Rawson, and a general authority seventy, elder Grow.
Elder Grow has a very funny personality. He was very entertaining as
he called up a whole Ward council and asked them how they were doing
in their callings! It's cool when you sit in meeting like that and
receive personal revelation, not even about what they're speaking on
sometimes! One of the things that he did say that stuck with me was, "Do
your habits match your hopes?" To become who we want to become, we
need to BE who we want to become each day!

We also had the chance this week to meet some people from the AUB,
which is basically a split off from the Lds church. It was so weird
talking to them, because they believe almost everything we do, the
Book of Mormon, Joseph smith, the restoration, the priesthood, they
pray the same, except they believe in plural marriage. I hope we can
help them gain a testimony of revelation and priesthood keys so they
can see where they are missing something.

Now, for a cool story! It started on Thursday when we went to see a
less-active guy. We knocked on the door and he came out and started
talking, and soon enough, we found out he was actually a pastor from
another church! Long story short, as we had this discussion with him,
elder Evans was overcome by the Spirit and he started testifying and
replying with answers to all of his questions. It was amazing to
witness and feel the power of the Spirit that was present. That power
is something elder Evans has been trying to get back, and now he does.

Then, last night, we had another miracle happen. Rachel brown, one of
our solid recent converts, invited us four elders to her house to
teach her mom and sister! That's a miracle right there, because
missionaries have never been allowed in that house because of her dad.
We got to sit down with her mom and sister and share the gospel with
them! It started off with just us answering their questions about the
missionary program, which eventually led into the restoration lesson.
At one point in the lesson, right as one elder was talking about the
Jospeh smith story, elder Evans was prompted to be bold and say
basically this; "Do you know what the Holy Ghost is? How the Holy
Ghost will testify of truth in our hearts? I promise you that as I
read this, the Holy Ghost will confirm to you that this is true." When
he read it and testified of it, the Spirit was so strong in the room.
Then Rachel's sister, Elizabeth, got up and left the room crying! We
all recognized that she felt that confirmation from the Spirit! We
continued to teach their mom and she ended up committing to read and
pray about the Book of Mormon, and talk about it with her husband.

Through these amazing spiritual experiences, I have realized what I
need to do now to improve. That is, I need more confidence in Christ!
I have grown a lot of confidence already, but I feel like I am still
lacking. I feel like I could be more bold and have more spiritual
power if I increase my testimony and knowledge of the reality of the
gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ. That is one of the things I
am going to do for this next year is attain a great confidence in
Christ and overcome all fear. Fear is the opposite of faith, so if you
have fears, which we all do, there is room for improvement.

I hope you all consider how you can increase your confidence in
Christ, because I know you will gain a much stronger knowledge and
testimony of the gospel as you do so!

I hope you all are doing well! Keep being awesome!
Elder Wylie

Monday, August 1, 2016

Wylie coyote update: the gospel is reality!

July is done and gone! Where did it go!? It seemed like there was more
to do in July! But time move on whether we like it or not, so it's
time to hop to it!

There were some great moments last week. Let me tell you about them!
As usual, we have been biking a lot! One day we biked an hour just to
get to dinner! It's fun, except when it's above 90 degrees out and
you're getting roasted! Don't worry, we have sunblock. That dinner was
at the Moses's house. They are a fun recent convert family. The
youngest daughter, Heidi, reminded me of Bree because she was excited
to show us all her Angry Birds books. It's cool to see whole families
join the church. I hope we find a family that's ready! We have one
possibility, so I'm hoping they're it!

We found a fun service opportunity at a Catholic Church. It's a free
lunch for less fortunate kids. So we got to prepare and serve some
food, and also eat some :) It's important to remember not just to only
wait till people come to our church, we should go out and support
other people in their good causes.

It seems like Stevensville is a service hotspot! We have almost too
many opportunities to serve the community! Last week we got to play
bingo with an old man who has dimensia (if that's even how you spell
it). We also met an old lady from Holland who told us they really did
used to wear wooden shoes, and she gave us this advice, 'if you don't
have a sense of humor, you won't make it this long'. Profound :)

The Shannons are some of my favorite people here. I've probably
mentioned them before, but I just have to mention them again! The
shannons have only been active for a few months, and they're getting
ready to go to the temple again. One of the reasons they became active
again was because sister Shannon started worrying about the
missionaries! They weren't getting fed well enough. So she took it
upon herself to take care of the missionary dinner calendar. Now,
sister Shannon makes sure we have a place to eat every night, and on
Sunday, she 'done did humble' some people! Hardly anybody signed up last
week, so she stood up and showed her great disappointment. Let's just
say we are eating well this month :)

Our recent convert Rachel is awesome! She has such a great testimony
and knowledge of the gospel. Hopefully her family will open their
hearts someday. We had a great discussion with her about the plan of
salvation and related topics. She will be a very influential

The most spiritual part of the week was definitely zone training. I
love the Stevensville zone! I couldn't tell you half of how awesome
our meeting was! The Spirit was so apparently present and personal
revelation seemed to be raining down on all of us. I learned a lot
from the Spirit in that meeting. A couple of cool thoughts I learned:

1. There are some things in this world that are unworthy of our
attention. Especially as missionaries, we are 'set apart' to not
take part in worldly activities. However, anyone who has taken upon
themselves the name of Jesus Christ, there are many activities and
things that we should not allot our attention to.

2. Daily repentance is a way of living. Imagine a list of sins we can
commit. Now imagine a list of sins Christ can commit (that list is
blank!). To repent is to strive to make our list like Christ's empty
list. We need to BECOME more like Christ to repent, not just change
our behavior.

At the end of the zone training, I got the opportunity to bear my
testimony. So to end this, I will bear that testimony again.

The gospel of Jesus Christ actually works. I have literally felt the
strength and forgiveness that comes from it. I've literally have had
guilt swept away and peace overcome me in times of stress. Jesus
Christ is literally real and He literally performed an atonement for
all. I keep using that word 'literally', but it describes my feelings
well. Heavenly Father is a literal being who loves us so much and is
closer than we may perceive Him to be. I have literally felt the Holy
Ghost teach, testify, and gift me wisdom and knowledge. Literally. I
know the Book of Mormon is blue and true. In the words of Joseph
smith; "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny
it." That is where I am at. I know it. I know that God knows it. I
cannot and will never be able to deny it. That is my testimony.
Stevensville Zone

Thank you all for your prayers. I feel your sustaining support.