Monday, January 4, 2016

Letter #20 from Australia

December 6, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

          What a week it has been here in the Wangaratta area! On Monday we got a text message from our Zone Leaders and it said that I had been assigned to be the new District Leader. For those of you who aren't familiar with the terms that I have just used, a mission is split up into Zones. A Zone is a big area, which is then split up into Districts. A District is then split up into smaller areas, and then missionaries are assigned to serve in those areas. Two missionaries, who are companions, are assigned to be the Zone Leaders and are in charge of overseeing the work that is done in the whole Zone, as well as making sure the missionaries in their Zone are working hard and are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Then there are District Leaders. In a companionship, only one missionary is assigned to be the District Leader. I have been assigned to be the District Leader in my District. My responsibilities are the same as the Zone Leaders, but just on a smaller scale and in a smaller area. I work with the missionaries who are in my District and serve them and help them in any way that I can. With their area, their investigators, and their abilities as missionaries. I organize District Meetings each week and give trainings that will help the missionaries in my District improve their skills. I also conduct baptismal interviews for the investigators that have been taught by missionaries in my District and a whole bunch of other responsibilities. Haha. Hopefully that all made sense.

          I am really humbled at this opportunity to serve as a District Leader. At first I was over whelmed and felt inadequate because I have only been out on my mission for 4 3/4 months! I was just barely getting the missionary lifestyle down and now have to adjust to the more responsibilities and work that come from being a District Leader, but after talking to President Maxwell about it all, I felt a lot better. I know that this is an assignment from Heavenly Father and President Maxwell and I feel humbled that I have this amazing opportunity to serve as a District Leader. Okay, moving on now...

          This week was great and one that I really enjoyed! I celebrated my first Birthday on the mission and it was one that I will always remember!! I am now a big 19 year old;) Ha. Thank you to all of you who took the time to send me a Happy Birthday wish on email or on FaceBook through Karyn's and my Mum's page! It really meant a lot to see and read all of them at dinner on my Birthday. 

          We didn't have a baptism this weekend...Max hasn't contacted us in about two weeks and Laurence was out of town again. We aren't sure what to do with Max, but we will keep trying to contact him and hopefully he still has the desire to be baptized. Laurence's baptism will be this weekend hopefully, but don't be surprised if it is changed. Roberta is doing great, but we have had some stumbling blocks with her. Last Saturday, her daughter showed her a 41 minute long anti-Mormon video and it brought up a lot of questions and concerns with her. We are currently working through them and will hopefully help her to work past them all this week and still get baptized this Saturday! 

           We experienced an amazing miracle yesterday and it strengthened my testimony of prayers and how they really are answered! Yesterday,Sunday, we had a sacred music night up in a town called Finley, which is about an hour and half North of us in New South Whales! It was for our District(Stake) and all of the Branchs(Wards) were invited to prepare a Christmas hymn and perform it for everyone. We only had 5 people from our branch want to participate. Elder and Sister Murray, Elder Solomon, myself and Sister Hall, a member of our branch. We only had one practice and we decided to sing 'What Child Is This' and 'Oh Holy Night'. When we got up there, and were listening to the other branchs perform, we realized that two branchs already sung 'Oh Holy Night'. As we were talking about what new song we would perform, we decided to sing 'Silent Night' but to perform it acapella...without any practice. We were the last branch to perform, because we are Wangaratta...alphabetical order. As we got up on stage and started to sing, we sounded amazing!! Everyone took different parts and it sounded so amazing together!!! While we started to sing the 3rd and final verse, the crowd started to join in and sing with us. The Spirit was so strong in that gymnasium and it was such a great way to end an amazing musical night! I know that Heavenly Father answered our prayers and helped us to perform that song like we wanted to!!! 

          I love being a missionary so much! Even thought it has its hard times and times where you feel over whelmed, it makes all of the amazing and great times even better!!! I hope you are able to watch and enjoy the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional tonight! We will be streaming it live through and can't wait to hear the amazing Christmas music and messages! I love you all so very much! Have a great week!!!

Elder Wheeler
Birthday cake made by Karyn Wright (a member).
Birthday dinner!!!

Birthday dinner at an Italian restaurant.
A birthday treat from the Wright Family
The Wright's son Fabian who shares the same birthday as me.
He turned 22 yrs. old and I turned 19 yrs. old.
Birthday parcel from the family! I have the best family ever!!
Birthday tie making me look fly;) hah
One of our Filipino members grandson!! He just wanted
me to hold him all night!! Then he fell asleep! haha

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