August 9, 2015
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