Elder Caleb Wardle is currently serving in the Iowa, Des Moines mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He reported on August 14, 2013 and will be serving for 2 years. He will be emailing once a week and they will be posted here. He would love it if you sent him a letter!
This week was great. We had a great time serving the Lord and seeking to bring his children home. On Monday after we emailed we went to play basketball as a zone, but before hand we went shopping. I decided to save my money like a champ, and Elder Mortensen ended up buying a new pair of basketball shoes. Luckily, our feet are the same size he gave me his old pair which were 60 bucks and practically in new condition. So I was stoked about that! I didn't even need them and the Lord just planted them in my lap. It was super cool. On Tuesday we were stuck inside again so nothing happened. We did make some phone calls though which was great. Wednesday was great. We stopped by Jose and Jessica's to talk with Jose about his documents and about how things are going. Turns out that the birth dates on his birth certificate and his baptismal certificate are different, and we were planning on using those to get them a marriage license in Coe county. But the dates had too match. It's amazing that the once we think we had everything figured out, something else comes up. It's amazing to see how much of influence Satan has had in the lives of the Lord's elect. It's crazy how a simple error (an incorrect ate on a document) in 1984, can have such a large effect in someone's life 30 years later. Satan knows what he's doing. But we are pushing just a little bit harder. We know things will come to pass.
On Thursday we had a great District meeting. I was able to train on following the Spirit and it went really well. The Spirit shows us the way and I am grateful for it.Thursday night we had a lesson with Jose and talked about tithing and Fast offering.
He said he would live the law of the tithe once he had an income. We invited him to fast on Sunday with the purpose of being blessed in finding a way to get them married. On Friday we went out to Independence and saw Brother Ledtje. He is doing well and is fighting strong with his cancer. We shared the Restoration with him and invited him to seek for answers to his prayers. He is such a great guy and we love him. Before we stopped by Brother Ledtje we tried contacting some less actives but didn't speak with any. Most weren't home. When we were knocking on a door, I remember looking around and seeing all these houses. And cars buzzing by. And I just thought to myself... Wow! There is so much work to be done! SO Much! How do we do it all? There are about 6,000 people in Independence and only two member families live there. I see that town growing so much. They need the gospel. If only we had two cars so that we could be out there more.
On Saturday we taught Jose again. We went through the baptismal interview questions with him. He is so ready. We just have to get him MARRIED! He talked about repentance and how much it has meant to him. He also said that once he is baptized he plans on staying in one place (religion). He will be such a faithful member.
On Sunday we fasted for some sort of revelation as to how we can help Jose. We spoke about him in P.E.C. and in the middle of church a brother in the ward came up to us and gave us a number for an organization called seeds of hope. They help people like Jose get work visa's and getting all of there documents lined up so that they can become legal. So hopefully that was the answer to our prayers. At Priesthood meeting, Branch President Johnson asked Jose to give the prayer. Jose said the prayer in Spanish and I felt the spirit so much as he prayed He is such a great guy. I don't speak Spanish but he said thank you for the missionaries, and my heart just about jumped out of my chest I was so happy. He is so great.
I want you all to know that I have a testimony of fasting. I know it is real. I know that the Lord gives us blessings when we fast. I love this gospel. This week we have 10 lessons lined up. Which is more than I have ever had in a week before. Manchester West is really taking off. Statistically, a new are doesn't baptize until about the 3rd or 4th transfer. And we are are so close. We have plenty of investigators. Transfer calls are next week and there is nothing worse than getting transferred and leaving the new missionary coming in with an amazing amount of work to do. But I feel confident that the new missionaries coming in will feel comfortable. We have a wonderful branch to support the missionaries. And miracles are happening. Pray that the weather doesn't stop any of our appointments. Hopefully this week will be filled with miracles. I love you all! Thanks for all of your prayers in our behalf. I know that the Lord blesses those who serve him and I am grateful to be a missionary.
Well, this week there isn't too much to report. We didn't teach any investigators this week due to the weather and I wasn't feeling too well. But Jose did come out to Julio Weber's baptism which was great. The weather has been absolutely crazy here. Yesterday we had Blizzard warnings and we couldn't go out. The wind chill today is about -55. So it's been rough. The work hasn't progressed like we would like it to have. But we are making things work. On Sunday we only had Sacrament meeting due to the weather. It's just been crazy. Iv'e really been reflecting on how much I have been blessed lately. It seems like the blessings just continue to come. It's interesting how the Lord works. And it's been amazing to see how happy we can truly become when we are doing the Lord's work. My heart really goes out to those we are working with. I love them all so much. And I have tried to lead with that love in all of the appointments and lessons we have. When people see how much we care about them and when we make them feel important, it's then that they feel important to Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to just truly feel the love the Lord has for me.
By way of good news, we have figured out a way to get Jose and Jessica married! In our county Jose needs some form of government issued identification in order to get a marriage license. But he doesn't have any. But over in Coe county in Chicago all he needs is his birth certificate translated into English and notorized, and then a copy of his baptismal form from when he was baptized in Mexico. And he has both of those things! Now it's just a matter of getting him to Chicago to get the license and then getting him back there once they have received the license to get them married! So we are so excited for them! It's going to be great to see them start living the way the Lord wants them to live and then Jose will qualify for baptism and everything will be great! President Jensen told us that everyone has a hurdle to jump over to enter into the waters of baptism, but He has never seen one as complicated as Jose's situation is. So we are pretty dang relieved that we now have the ability to help him come closer to Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary and I love this gospel. Always remember to pray. And remember that trials and tasks are simply just opportunities to excel!