Monday, May 19, 2014
Wow. What a great week. Things have really been picking up here in Des Moines! We found three new investigators this week which was amazing. The Lord really blesses those members who are focused on missionary work. And I will explain those blessings later on.
First I just wanted to start off by saying that I am so grateful to be a missionary. It's the best thing I have ever done and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve. I do have a testimony of this work. I know that the best way to help others is to bring them unto Christ.
On Monday we stopped by the Henry's who are members of the ward and they are probably our best ward missionaries as well. We committed them to inviting Ian and Bethany (husband and wife) to have dinner with us on Sunday. They had been to church before to see the baby blessing of another family. And the Henry's have had dinner with them before just never with the missionaries present. So they were pretty much ready to meet us. Yesterday we had the dinner and everything went great. Ian is from Nigeria and came here when he was 18. He went to a Catholic boarding school and was baptized into the Catholic church. Bethany grew up as a Southern Baptist in Illinois. But they have recently been looking for a church to go to. Well dinner went great. They are both very talkative and it was awesome to hear there stories and just have them interact with the Henry's and us. Afterwards Brother gathered everyone around and we shared the message of the Restoration with them. They were very accepting and when we invited them to pray about if the church was true they gladly accepted. We then invited them to be baptized and they said if they knew that the church was true they would be baptized into our church. They were so prepared and it was amazing to see them grow closer to God just in the 2 hours that we were with them. The henry's have definitely got the right idea about missionary work.
On Saturday we met with a 23 year old man named Say who doesn't speak English. he is from Burma and speaks Karen. So we had a good friend of ours, Aung Yo Trae there to translate for us. We held the lesson at the church and gave him a quick tour to help him feel comfortable. We then taught him the Restoration and he accepted everything and due to Aung's awesome translation skills he accepted the invitation to be baptized as well. It was an awesome lesson. it was great because we asked Aung to translate the Joseph Smith story into Karen and while he did I felt the same amount of Spirit that I would have if the message was shared in English. What a testament to the truthfulness of the that event. No matter how it is said or given the Spirit will always testify of it's truthfulness! Amazing!
I love you all. Thanks for all that you do. It was a great and full of a lot of great miracles. Just so you know, our District found 12 new investigators this week! That's amazing! I love you all. I appreciate all that you do.
"Regular scripture study will fill your day with the influence of the Holy Ghost. Consider taking time each day to read them. In this way your ability to recognize the needs of others will improve and you will be strengthened to fill those needs."
I love you all!
Elder Caleb James Wardle
This week was great. Last night I got Skype my family which was awesome.
I love them so much and they inspire me each and every day. I love the opportunity that we have to be on missions but also to still remain in contact with Family. It's great to feel of their love and support.
Well, this week there isn't too much to report. We did have some really good lessons with some awesome people though. We met a man named Girmay and taught him Saturday night. Girmay is from Utopia which is awesome and he really wants to start coming back to church and he said he would like to learn to play the piano. Which Elder Standage and I could definitely help him with. So hopefully he goes somewhere and the experiences we have with him are uplifting. It was crazy because he lives in a pretty ghetto apartment complex... and we called him and he said he would come outside and find us. But he didn't come out for like 10 minutes... so we just waited in the parking lot forever! And people were staring at us wondering who the heck we were. So it was pretty crazy. But things turned out well. He really liked us and invited us back.
We also took a member of our ward out with us named Aung Yo Trae. Aung is from Burma and speaks Karen. He is a sweet kid. He is 22 and he and his family joined the church in Salt Lake. He is awesome. And we went to 3 different places and he translated everything for us... So that was definitely an experience. he is a sweet guy. And he would make a good missionary. We had a lesson at the church that we needed him to translate for and the appointment fell through... but he called the person we were trying to meet with. His name is Say. Aung talked with Say for like 10 minutes and hung up the phone and then said that Say was going to come to his house and follow him to church in the morning. So that was awesome. Say seems pretty interested in the Gospel as well. So hopefully we can teach him in the future. Well I love you all. Keep hanging on to your testimonies. Thanks for everything you have given me. I appreciate each and everyone of you. Happy Mothers day!
Elder Caleb James Wardle
Thank you all so much for your continual support to all the missionaries out in the world. It is probably one of the most significant things are church does, and one of the hardest and most rewarding. So please never stop praying for all the missionaries out there. We need your prayers!
Well, this week was great. Lots of lessons and lots of miracles. We taught Dianne Robinette again this week and asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon and if baptism into our church is right for her. I guess she practices Unitarianism? Which basically just means that she is united with all faiths because we generally believe in the same God and Jesus Christ. We will see how things proceed with her.
We met with an investigator named Jimmy who has been very receptive but not willing to keep commitments. I'm not quite sure he understands everything we say and he hasn't necessarily understood what our purpose is. That is somewhat of a struggle for us with some Liberians, is helping them understand that our sole purpose is to help them come closer to Jesus Christ. So we will see where things go from there. We recommitted him to read the Book of Mormon. Hopefully he does so.
We also met with comfort and her family and we invited them all to be baptized on June 21st. Her grandson Calvin was very excited and accepted the invitation. Everyone else had a few concerns about being baptized so soon and did not feel that they were ready. We invited her and those family members that were in attendance to pray about it and ask Heavenly Father if that was a day that would be right for them! Hopefully there prayers are answered and we can Work towards that day. But ultimately we will help Calvin the most so that his baptism may be spiritually uplifting for the family. We hope to see great things come to pass.
We had some super funny experiences this week as well! On Saturday we helped out with a sports competition called the Iowa Games. And we were assigned as a zone to the basketball tournament. We helped keep score and we get sunburned so bad! Like absolutely Toasted. I didn't think it would be so bad. But I currently look like a lobster which stinks :/
On Sunday during fast and testimony there were a couple Liberian members of the ward who got up and did some awesome chanting clapping and singing as part of their testimonies! I was crazy! It's like I'm in Liberia. It's great! One lady had her kids up there singing for like 10 minutes... and she was like screaming in her language and crying and then she went back to her seat and just laid on the ground crying. It was nuts!
Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all that you do and for all of the great influences you are in my life. I love you all and miss you so much. Please continue to grow your faith in the Savior and I know blessings will come. If you simply strengthen your faith in the Savior, you will grow in Charity for all those around you.
Elder Caleb James Wardle