Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Letter #14 from Australia

October 25, 2015

Dear all of you,

          What an amazing week it has been. As you all know from last weeks email, Elder Kelsch has been transferred and I am staying in Wangaratta. But here is some news that I didn't mention last week. Elder Kelsch is serving as a Zone Leader in Tasmania and his companion is his trainer!! So cool! Usually you are asked to be a District Leader and then a Zone Leader, but he went straight to a Zone Leader. And you usually don't serve with a missionary twice, especially your trainer, but he is. So that is all some pretty exciting and cool news. My new companion is Elder Ariki (Adiki) Solomon. He is from Hamilton, New Zealand and he is Moari (Moadi), which are the native people in New Zealand. He has been out for 6 months and thought his last area, which was in the city, was bush;) haha. So he has now learned what is really considered bush:) He is a great missionary and a great guy and I can't wait to get to know him and to serve with him!!!

          So a little sadder news...we had to move the baptism to this Saturday, the 31st. They had a family party early on Saturday so they were not able to make it all work. So we will be holding the baptism on Halloween!! That will be a pretty cool day and definitely one to remember!! The girls are so excited though and they can't wait for Saturday!! We also talked this week with Jason and Reagan about holding the wedding at the church for free. We had mentioned it before but they hadn't made a final decision so we thought we would bring it up again. We also talked to them about being baptized!! So we might be holding a wedding/baptism some time soon, which would be so cool!!! We will keep working with them though and I will keep you all updated on how it is going. 

          We went tracting on Thursday with Elder Murray (the senior missionary working in our area) because his wife has gotten a knee transplant so she can't walk and do any missionary work. He has asked us to let him come with us these next few weeks because he hates sitting at home and doing nothing! While we were out tracting we met this boy named Seth. He was just walking home from his friend’s house and he started talking to us. He told us that he is 12 and that he goes to church at 'Enjoy Church'. He told us that he lives with his older brother and his fiancé because when he was little, his parents left him. He told us that because his brother and his fiancé aren't too religious, he walks to church every Sunday. Which is crazy because 'Enjoy Church' is all the way on the other side of town from where he lives!! We told him a little bit about our church and gave him a Book of Mormon. We invited him to church on Sunday and then he had to go. Sunday morning came and around 9:15 (45 mins before our meetings start) he showed up and starting knocking on the door. Luckily Elder Murray was there and let him in. He is so keen and already believes in God and Jesus Christ. We are going this week to start teaching him and to see if we can teach his older brother and his fiancé!! 

          Miracles are happening here in Wangaratta and it is so cool to be right in the middle of the work! I love being a missionary and love all of the challenges and blessings that come from serving. I hope that you are all having a great week and have an even better week. Enjoy Halloween and don't eat too many sweets;) I love you all and miss you heaps!!


Elder Wheeler

Last crazy selfie with Elder Kelsch. On the way to transfers.
Me, Elder Kelsch and Elder Solomon at Transfer Meeting. 
The MTC crew is back. (minus Elder Porter) All of us are now in Australia.
This was at transfer meeting.
Brother Shore was baptized this weekend. He is the man that Elder Porter
and I helped out about two months ago while I was on exchanges up in Albury.
What a great day!!
Absolutely beautiful sunsets in the land down under.
This is like a regular nightly thing for us in the bush:)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Letter #13 from Australia

October 18, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

          As you can probably tell from the subject of this weeks update, Elder Kelsch is being transferred. We got the call on Saturday night, but they forgot to tell us one small detail...HE IS GOING TO TASMANIA!!!! They usually tell you when they call for transfer news if you are going to Tasmania or not because you can't take all of your stuff. You can only take two bags! But they forgot to tell us that when they called us. So we got up to District Conference on Saturday night, and the Assistants to the President were talking to Elder Kelsch and I and said, "Oh yeah, Elder Kelsch, we forgot to tell you but you are going to Tasmania!!" Haha we thought they were joking at first, but quickly learned that they were being serious. So Elder Kelsch is leaving and heading down to Taz. It is sad to see him leave Wangaratta and me but it is time for him to leave. He has been up here in Wangaratta for 5 transfers!! Which is about 7 months! Our time together was short but it definitely was sweet!

          So now I will be getting a new companion!! I am really excited about that and I can't wait to find out who he is and start to get to know him. I already know that I will love him!! I am a little nervous, because now I will be the Senior Comp and will be in charge of this area. It is just a little daunting, but all goods. We had interviews this past week with President Maxwell and he told me that I am doing a great job with the area and he is very pleased with the work and growth that has been occurring up here. It was really nice to hear and a great reassurance to me.

          So this week was really great! We have been working a lot with Telisha and Shaye and getting them ready for the baptism next week! We did heaps of service this week too! Lots of weeding and lawn mowing! Haha. It is a lot of fun except when you find spiders and it is really really hot!!!! Hah and Elder Kelsch learned not to pull out garlic plants without wearing gloves. His hands have smelt like garlic this entire week!! So the Australian vampires have stayed away, which is really good!!!;) Not too much to report on this week. Just that Elder Kelsch is leaving and the baptism next weekend. But I will definitely have heaps to tell you all next week because I will have a new companion to report on and I will tell you all how the baptism went!! 

          I love you all so much and I really appreciate all of your emails and letters of support and love. I hope you all have a great week and keep up the amazing lives that you all are living!! Remember to keep the Lord in you life and He will bless you!!!


Elder Wheeler

Bryce, the Elders from Albury and Elder Kelsch. (We think we are cool) haha

Made some homemade bread for young mens!!!

Subway sandwich and raspberry white chocolate cookies!!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Letter #12 from Australia

October 11, 2015

Hello everyone,

          What an amazing week it has been here in Wangaratta!!! The work is hastening in my area and I am so grateful for all of the many blessings that the Lord is blessing me with. This is the last week of the transfer, and Elder Kelsch has been here in Wangaratta for about 7 months, so he most likely will be transferred. But that is all right. Whatever President Maxwell feels inspired to do will be the best. This weekend we were able to watch General Conference!!!! I loved it so much!! All of the talks that were given were spot on and I learned so much from them all. We were able to watch all of the sessions, including the Priesthood session, which as well was amazing!!! I tried to not only learn from the speakers and what they said, but from the Holy Ghost and what He was telling me, and I learned a lot!! I won't go into all that I learned, because this email would be so long, and I don't have enough time;) But first let me tell you about my week and what else happened.

          We have gotten a couple more new contacts this week, which is really good, and a couple of them seem really keen on learning about the Church. We taught a lot of lessons, but sad to say, not as many as last week. Elder Kelsch and I have really been working with Jason and his family this week and trying to get the girls ready for their baptism. Jason and his partner Reagan have been trying to save up enough money to get married, but it is taking them a long time. We told them about how we could hold a wedding for them at the church and that it would be free!!! They seemed really excited when we told them that and they are going to talk about it and let us know if they would like to do it.

          Jason and his whole family also came to church yesterday for the first time!! The three little girls came last week, but they all decided to come this week. We of course told them that this week would be a little different because it was General Conference. They said that they enjoyed it and they really felt welcomed by the members of the branch!! Which is really good news to hear because that was Jason's #1 concern about coming to church. He didn't want to feel like everyone was judging him, but he said he felt the complete opposite. We were so excited to hear that they enjoyed it!!! The girls are so prepared to be baptized and they can't wait for the 24th!!!

          So we found a "white tail spider" in our flat on Thursday night. Which wasn't a good sign at all. So there are four main spiders here in the state of Victoria that you really have to watch out for. They are the "White Tail", the "Huntsman", the "Red Back" and the "Wolf" spiders. So Red Backs and White tails are about the size of a 50-cent piece. The Red Back spider is basically the Australian Black Widow and is just as dangerous and just as deadly. The White Tail spider is a very intestine spider. It is all black and then on the very tip of its tail, it has a white dot. (Don't worry; I have pictures of the one that was in our flat.) Their bite will not kill you (usually), but it will eat your skin. And it gets better!!! Every year around the time that you got bit by one, your skin will start to be eaten again. The Huntsman spider is a spider that is about the size of a bread plate but it is a good spider because it eats Red Backs and Wolf spiders. But it doesn't eat White tails, so yeah. Oh and they can run about 3 yards per second. Hahah -_-... (This is my (Lisa Bryce's Mom) input here  Just an FYI: I looked these up online and they are disgusting!!)

          I loved General Conference so much! It was so amazing to hear from our living Prophets and listen to their council. I learned so much and I can't wait until the November Ensign comes out, so that I can study and read their talks over and over again. President Thomas S. Monson gave one quote that I loved. He said, "It [life] is not easy, but our eternal salvation depends on it." I loved that quote so much and it really applies to us all. We knew the plan before we came down to earth. We knew the struggles, trials and hard times that we would go through in this life, but we still asked to be sent here to Earth. We knew that this was the only way to get a body and to become like our Father in Heaven. Our eternal salvation does depend on this life, and the choices that we make. I know that is scary to think about and it definitely is for me too. I have made my fair share of mistakes in life and I regret them all. But how wonderful it is to know, that we all have a Savior. One who submitted himself to the will of the Father. Who then suffered, bled from every pore, and died for every single one of us. How grateful I am for Him and for that ultimate act of love that He did on my behalf and on behalf of us all. "Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me." 

          I love you all so much and miss you all. You may ask how I can miss you all individually, but yes it is possible, and yes, I do!!!:) Have a great week and remember to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ and to thank Heavenly Father for all that you have, because of Him. 


Elder Wheeler

Time to go pull some weeds, of course in style!!!

<<<WARNING>>> This is a picture of the White Tail spider in our flat.
Do not look at if you are scared of spiders!!!

<<<WARNING>>> This is a picture of the White Tail spider that was in our flat,
now caught inside a container. Do not look at if you are scared of spiders!!!

This is me and Riot at church on Sunday! Riot is the son of our investigators
Jason and Reagan. He is 2 and lets just say his name fits him very, very well;)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Letter #11 from Australia

October 4, 2015

Hey all,

          What a hot week here in Australia! We have reached about 32 degrees Celsius, which is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  I realize that isn't that hot, but for coming right out of the winter cold and straight into that kind of heat, it is hot! Haha but all goods, just glad to be able to wear short sleeve shirts.  So what a week it has been. We went to the Mansfield Zoo last Monday for P-day with our district, and that was amazing!!! I loved seeing all of the animals and especially feeding them all. I was like a little kid running around the zoo for the first time, with a bucket of food throwing it into any animal cage that I saw. It probably wasn't the most dignified thing that I could have done, but I did it. Haha. I have a lot of very cool videos and pictures so be looking forward to seeing them. I will only send a couple of my favorites so if you want to see all of them, ask me when I get home in 21 months. Haha:) 

          This week was full of heaps of lessons and tracting, which is great!! Total lessons taught this week was 17. That is the most that I have ever taught in one week!!! But it is still not enough for me to be satisfied, so hopefully we get more this week!!! It was the Australian Football Grand Final this past Saturday, which is basically their Super Bowl, so we did not do any tracting on Saturday. Drunken Australians watching Footy don't like to be interrupted, especially by two young boys talking about religion. So that day we just did a lot of studying and talking at the Senior Missionaries home in our area. They were super nice to invite us over for most of the day and even bought us Maccah's (McDonalds) for dinner. 

          This Sunday was great!!! Jason and Reagan and their daughters promised us that they would come to church, so we went over to their house Sunday morning to see if they were up and getting ready. Jason told us that Reagan had had the baby on Saturday morning and that she was getting home from the hospital today, so they probably wouldn't come to church. He told us that they would come next Sunday. We said okay, but then asked him if the girls could come to church with us today? He said yes, and made us promise that we would take good care of his three girls. We promised him and told him we would walk to church with them. After about 30 mins of waiting, Telisha(11), Shaye(8), and Lela(5) all walked out in their dresses with the biggest smile you have ever seen. They loved church so much!!! We asked them what their favorite part was, and every single one of them said taking the sacrament. We then asked them why we take the sacrament, and they answered with, "Because it is how we remember Jesus and how He died for us." They all knew that the bread represents the body and the water represents the blood. We are so happy that they came because now Telisha and Shaye can be baptized on the 24th of this month. 

          I love being a missionary and love being blessed with such amazing miracles and blessings each week. The Lord is truly aware of us all and what the desires of our hearts are. I love this Church and I love being on a mission and being able to do the Lord's work. I look forward to watching General Conference this next weekend and hope you all enjoyed it this weekend.  I love you all so much and hope you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Wheeler

Mansfield Zoo

I'm a little Joey and Elder Kelsch is a Monkey

So we ate some of the kangaroo food and this happened...JK.
My little Joey Companion!

(Background music plays) "Let me tell you 'bout my best friend"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Letter #10 from Australia

September 27, 2015

Dear Everyone,

          What an amazing week here in Wangaratta!!! I have some pretty good news about two of our investigators, but I will get to that in a little bit. This week was a good one and we did a lot of work, but didn't teach a lot of lessons. We kind of slacked on teaching, but only because our days got smashed with service and long car rides. So overall it was a pretty successful week. 

          So on to the good news about our investigators!! TELISHA AND SHAYE are getting baptized!!! Telisha and Shaye are the two daughters of our investigators Jason and Reagan. We have been teaching them and their 4 kids since I got here. We have had a lot of struggle with them coming to church and keeping their commitments, but we haven't lost faith. It was a total miracle and we were guided by the Spirit to go and visit them. We had an appointment planned with one of our investigators Michael, but he wasn't home. So as we were trying to figure out whom to go and see, we both had the feeling to go and see if Jason and his family were home. They were and they quickly invited us in and we started talking and teaching a lesson. All of them were listening and really engaged in the lesson. (Which is a huge miracle because usually Jason and Reagan aren't really paying attention and Ryatt their 2-year-old boy is going crazy) But this time, they were all quite and they all could feel the spirit. I know they could. So as we were getting to the end of the lesson, we asked Jason and Reagan if the girls could be baptized, and they said yes. WAHOO!! So we set the date right then and there for the 24th of October. Then Reagan and Jason said something so amazing. Reagan said, "If the girls really want to commit and do this, then I will commit to coming to church with them each week." and then Jason said, "Yeah, I will go to and support them." It was so amazing and the answer to my prayers!!! Telisha asked if Elder Kelsch would baptize her and Shaye asked if I would baptize her. What an amazing day that will be!!!

          This week was also Zone Conference up in Finley. Which went so well and I learned heaps!!! It was really good to see President and Sister Maxwell and the Assistants to the President. They all gave amazing trainings and I loved the meeting so much!!! So this week we got a phone call around 8:30 in the morning and were told that we needed to go over to a members house ASAP to help with service on her property. We spent 4 hours there helping her weed, garden and mow her lawns. She has such a big property that we didn't even finish. I mowed her lawn for about 3 hours, and I probably only finished half of her lawn. It was crazy but so good to do!!! All I can say is thank heavens she had a riding lawn mower!!! Hah

          It was such a great week and I enjoyed every minute of it. I love service and love seeing our investigators set a goal and a date to be baptized. I love this area and love the people. Being a missionary is hard, tough and very discouraging at times. But the moments when you have success, make it all worth it. I hope you all have a great week. Remember to be good and say your prayers. Keep the Lord in your life and He will continue to bless you.

Love you all. 


Elder Wheeler

Canola oil plant field. There are so many fields of this plant.