Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Letter 5 from Australia

August 23, 2015

Dear Beloved Fans of Elder Wheeler,

This week has been a good but hard week in the Wangaratta area. Elder Kelsch has been sick since Saturday afternoon, so we have been stuck inside our flat for two days straight!! This is our first time out since Saturday morning but all goods. I just hope he is better by tomorrow so that we can go out and get working!!! It has been a good week though!! We got a new investigator!!! Her name is Megan Barlow. We found her in our area book cause she was a previous investigator with some other missionaries. We are really excited about her and have had some great lessons with her so far!! We are meeting with her again this is week and I will let you know how it goes! Now onto some sadder news...We had to drop an investigator! His name was Justin and he seemed really good when we were having our lessons with him, but he just wasn't keeping his commitments and he told us that he just wasn't that interested anymore. So we were pretty sad about that but it's okay. We will just pray that The Lord can prepare him for a later time. On Wednesday this past week I went down to Melbourne!!!

I have what they call "Golden Review" which is when they meet with all of the missionaries that came in last month and just check up on how they are doing with the mission life. It was really good and I enjoyed seeing President and Sister Maxwell and all of the missionaries that I came in with. Since Melbourne is 3 and a half hours away, we had to leave pretty early because before Golden Review we wanted to go to the temple!!! So we left at 6:30, which meant we were all up at 5:30!! Oh yeah, Elder Larsen and Elder Porter from Albury spent Tuesday night at our flat cause they are an hour and a half north from us. So we let them stay the night so that we could all drive down together and so it wouldn't be such a long drive for them! So don't be too mad at me Mum cause I had a sleep over;). We had a lot of training at Golden Review and they all were so good!! Elder Kelsch and I gave a training lesson and it went really well, but I was really nervous cause President and Sister Maxwell were right in the back of the room watching. But it went really good and everyone said we did a really good job, including President and Sister Maxwell! I learned a lot from the other trainings and from the trainings given by President and Sister Maxwell. 

I learned that my purpose as a missionary is to find the lost children and bring them back into the loving fathers arms. Of course I am talking about Heavenly Father and the non-members here in Australia. I love being a missionary and serving my Heavenly Father here in Australia. I can't wait every morning to wake up and get working so that I can find His lost sheep. Heavenly Father loves all of his children the same and wants everyone to return to his fold. It is my job to represent Jesus Christ and go out searching for the lost ones. I love the mission and can't wait for the people I will meet and help in the next 23 months! I love you all. 

Love, Elder Wheeler

Australian Sunrise.
Elder Wiser, Elder Albrechtsen (from MTC) 
and Bryce at Golden Review.
Three Amigos.

Letter 4 from Australia

August 16, 2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

          What a week. So first off I cannot believe that I have already been on my mission for one month!!! I just have 23 more left! Where has the time gone!? It just feels like yesterday I was walking into the MTC and putting my nametag on for the first time! I love being on a mission. It is truly the best experience I have ever had in my life (so far). So this week flew by! I am literally shocked at how fast these weeks have gone by. I would describe the time like this, the hours feel like days and the days feel like hours! It is so true though and it still surprises me! Now, on to the good stuff;)

          This week was great. We did a ton of door knocking and finding and we found 5 new contacts! WAHOO Hah. 5 is pretty good but it still is a very low number, but we are trying and that is all that matters. We have had some great lessons this week, but the one that stood out to me was the one we had with Steve on Thursday night. So like I in my last weeks email, Steve is one of our investigators who has decided to be baptized! He is so amazing and is such a great guy. So every morning Elder Kelsch and I have a planning session, where we plan for the lessons and people we are going to see that day. While we were planning for Steve, I had a really strong impression that we need to re-commit Steve to be baptized. When I told Elder Kelsch that, he was surprised (as well was I) but we decided to listen to my prompting and re-commit Steve. So we went over to his house to have our lesson with him, and as soon as we sat down and asked him how he was doing, he told us that it had been one of the hardest days in his entire life. He told us that he didn't know if he wanted to be baptized anymore because of all the doubts, concerns and questions that he was now having. We asked him his concerns and talked about all of them and tried our best to help him. While we were doing that, the Holy Ghost told me a question to ask Steve and I did. I looked at Steve and this is what I said, "Steve I want you to do something for me, I want you to put aside every single doubt and concern that you just told us, and I want you to think back to the lessons we have taught you. I want you to think about those lessons and how you felt during them. Now based off of that, based off of those principles that we have taught you and the way you have felt, do you want to be baptized?" He looked at me and said, "Yes, I do." I then told him that that is what he needs to. If he has the desire to be baptized, then he should be baptized. I told him that what he is experiencing right now is normal. That most investigators go through a hard time before they are baptized and it is Satan trying to persuade you not to be baptized. I told him that people in our Church are always learning. I told him that he doesn't need to know everything before he gets baptized. I said, "Hey, even Elder Kelsch and I are still learning stuff!" I told him that we have an hour of personal study every morning where we are studying and learning new stuff. He laughed and told us that that makes him feel a whole lot better! After the lesson was over he just kept thanking us over and over again for helping him. 

          I am so grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and for the ability to listen to its promptings. When I was little and I wouldn't listen to my mom, she would say something that all moms say. "I am talking to you, are you listening to me?" Heaven is constantly saying that to every single one of us. "I am talking to you, are you listening?" In order to hear Heavens promptings we need to be doing everything in our life to allow us to hear them. We need to be reading in the scriptures, praying constantly, loving one another and allowing ourselves to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and The Gospel. We also need to slow down in life. In this day and age, everyone is constantly going somewhere, doing something, posting something, or watching something, etc. SLOW DOWN. If we fill our life with worldly things and worldly sounds, we don't make time for Heavenly things or Heavenly Promptings. Remember what is important in life. Remember the people who matter to you. "It's not WHAT we have in life, it's WHO we have in life." Always remember that and I promise you that you will feel closer to Heaven and its promptings. This I testify is true and will bless you all so much. 

          I miss and love you all so much! Be safe and remember that you are always in my prayers!


Elder Wheeler
Karyn and Steve's House having fish and 
chips (chips are french fries, but bigger).
Lizzie their dog.
Steve our investigator at church.

Elder and Sister Murray over for diner.  
My companion Elder Kelsch.
Gave myself a haircut.
Remains of my haircut.
Nice haircut!
Hungry Jacks, Australia's version of Burger King.

Letter 3 from Australia

August 9, 2015

Goodaye Mates,

          What a week! I don't know about you all, but my week has flown by. It seems like I was emailing just yesterday! But hey, I am not complaining. I love Australia and it is absolutely amazing. I love being out here and serving my Heavenly Father and helping His children come closer to Him. But, I will not lie it is tough. This week has been both very successful and hard. I will start with the hard parts. Elder Kelsch and I have been tracting and knocking doors for hours everyday and we have not had any success with it.

          Wangaratta has a lot of older people in it, which is great, but they are very set in their ways. Most of the doors that we have knocked on have been older Australian men, who don't want to talk to you about anything. Not even about how their day is going. I was told before I left on my mission that the Australian people would be tough to teach but I never expected them to be this tough. We got yelled at by an old Polish guy who only spoke Polish.  Elder Kelsch and I just stood on his front porch for 10 mins. as he yelled at us. We didn't know what to say or do cause neither of us speak Polish. I was really hoping the gift of tongues would kick in and I could just speak Polish back, but sadly it didn't;) haha. But it was a cool experience and Hey, it makes a great story!! We also have had a ton of doors this week where they open the door with a smile, and then once they see us they instantly frown and glare at us. Then when we ask them how their day has been they say, "It's been great until now." haha ouch. Those doors hurt, not going to lie. But hey, we keep knocking and keep our faith up, cause we know The Lord will put someone into our lives that we can help and teach. 

          Now onto the good news. Elder Kelsch and I have been teaching a guy named Steve, and he decided that he wants to be baptized!!! Some other Elders who were here before Elder Kelsch and I found his wife and him. They taught Steve and his wife Karyn and baptized Karyn, but Steve still didn't believe it all. He also smoked and drank a lot so he had some work to do before he could be baptized. He told the past Elders that he wanted to read the entire Book of Mormon before he got baptized, and he has been reading it so much. Every day we go over to visit him he is farther than he was the day before and he has a list of questions about what he read. He has even read more than his wife, and she is not happy about that cause he isn't baptized and she is. haha. He also has been going to church every week for 2 months and he really likes it. But he still didn't know if it was all true. So this week Elder Kelsch and I helped him with that. We went over how we can receive answers to our prayers with him and also challenged him to pray everyday, both morning and night. We also went over the Stop Smoking Program with him. (Which is a great program that the church uses to help people quit smoking) He has done all of the steps everyday for almost a week now! (Which is how long the program goes for. 15 steps, every day for a week) He told us that he has not had a desire to smoke or drink this entire week. He is doing great, and after we were done teaching him on Wednesday, he called us up and told us that he wants to be baptized. He told is that he was saying his morning prayer that day and he felt the spirit and he started to cry. He told us that he knew then that he needed to be baptized. Elder Kelsch and I did a silent freak out dance while on the phone with him cause we were so happy. His baptism date is the 29th of this month. We are so happy for him and his decision,

           This week I really tried to study my scriptures and not just read them. I knew that in order to make it through my mission, I need to not just read them, I need to feast upon them. I thought about it this way, whenever we just read the scriptures we are just eating. But when we really study the scriptures and try to learn something and get something out of them, we are feasting upon them. (And trust me, there is a difference between eating and feasting. Eating is when Elder Kelsch and I cook for ourselves, and feasting is when we have a dinner appointment at a member’s house.) We all need to feast upon the scriptures. Not just read them to say that we read them and check it off of our "daily spiritual to-do list". I would challenge you all to feast upon the scriptures. If you already are, than great! But if you aren't then really try to. I testify as a representative of our Savior Jesus Christ, that you will see more blessings in your life. He will bless you. I promise you all that. 

          I hope all of you have a great week and continue to do amazing things. Remember to pray always and Read your scriptures. I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. 

Love, Elder Wheeler

Letter 2 from Australia

August 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow I am finally in Australia and can I just say that I have never been so cold in my entire life! Yes I said cold not hot. Australia winter weather is just like Utah winter weather except there is no snow and it is a bitter cold. I had to go buy some sweaters to wear cause I didn't bring any, because I thought it would be hot, but I was very wrong. But no worries.

The mission office is right next to the Melbourne temple, which is small but beautiful!! I love it and got the chance to go to it with the Branch on Saturday, but I will talk about that later. I love my mission president and his wife. President and Sister Maxwell are truly amazing people and I can't wait to get to know them better. So on to my trainer and area.

So my companion and trainer's name is Elder Kelsch. He is amazing. He is from St. George Utah and has been out for about 13 months now. He is the older brother that I never had. I love him and have already learned so much about missionary work from him. The area that we are in is called Wangaratta (Wang-ger-retta). It is about 3 and a half hours north of Melbourne, out in what Australians call "The Bush". So we have a car. Ha. So I am nowhere near the city of Melbourne. But I am not in the middle of nowhere, so don't think that. That is not why they call it the bush. It is basically like out in the country, is what it means. I love this area. Our flat, or apartment, is really cool. It is nothing special and I didn't expect it to be, but I love it. It is a small home and has 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms. We sleep in the same room and have desks in it to study and then use the other room as our exercise/storage room. I will include some pictures of it.

 We don't have a ward, or a stake, cause we have a branch. It is very small but the members in it are so strong and so great. There are about 20-25 active members in this branch but at church yesterday I counted 16 members who were there, not including Elder Kelsch and myself and the senior couple assigned to our area. Elder Kelsch and I are the Young Men's leaders, so we will see how that goes. We do a lot of tracting and door knocking in this area, which is great!! I love door knocking. We have had a couple of great doors and a couple of funny and scary doors that we have knocked on. I have had some doors opened and then slammed in my face. Most of them say something along the lines of..."Sorry Mate, not interested." Another one that was super scary that we got was "IT"S THE BLOODY ELDERS." (Which is not a swear word here hah) But it ended up being a member’s home and the dad, who said that, is a small and funny Irishman. He did it to scare me cause he knew I was new. Apparently Elder Kelsch had been in on it the entire time. -__- Ha it has been good and fun to see how the people react. The whole town of Wangaratta has been tracted and door knocked so many times that people know who we are, but we continue to knock on their doors because we know that we will find those elect few that are ready to hear our message. 

Like I said earlier I got the chance to go to the Temple on Saturday with the branch. The branch tries to go every month and we were fortune enough to get permission from President Maxwell and go. We won't be able to go every month cause it took the entire day because of the travel time, but it was amazing. Elder Kelsch and I didn't get to do an endowment session because we had to help with the youth and the baptismal session. We didn't baptize, we just confirmed and were witnesses, but it was still super cool to go in the temple. 

I love this area and love being out on a mission. Thank you all for your support and prayers. They really do help. I love you all so much and love hearing from you all, so feel free to send me an email and an update on how you are all doing. I think letters and packages take about 2-3 weeks to get here so keep that in mind when sending stuff. I would love to receive hand written letters as well, but only if you can. Thank you again. I love you all sooo much!!!


Elder Wheeler

Elder Wheeler and Elder Kelsch in front of 
the Melbourne Australia
Temple where they did baptisms for 
the dead their first week.
My house.
My car.
My desk.
My closet.
My bathroom.
My bedroom.  My bed is the brown one in 
the background.