Sunday, October 5, 2014
This week was really great! We had a lot of wonderful miracles happen when we were out in exchanges in Muscatine! And we were busy all week, but we weren't busy teaching people. That was a bummer! But things are going really great!
We were able to go on exchanges on Tuesday with The Muscatine English Elders (Elder MacDonald and Elder Nelson) They are companions right now and I was companions with Elder Nelson in the MTC and I trained Elder MacDonald. So it is awesome that they are together and I have the opportunity to be their zone leader. Muscatine is about an hour and a half away. A pretty long drive :( But worth the miles and time to be able to see Muscatine. It's a really beautiful place! I spent the day working with MacD And then Elder Brooks went with Elder Nelson. It was so fun to be reunited with Elder MacDonald again. We did a lot of finding. We knocked on some doors and talked to everyone that we saw and had some success there! We also taught a man named Michael. He has a really cool story. He has been taught by missionaries for quite some time and has had several baptism dates. he just has never been able to quit smoking. A couple of weeks ago he prayed and asked God to help him quit.... Well. God definitely answered his prayer! He came down with appendicitis, an during his surgery they shoved a tube down his throat which when he was recovering he got broncitus (pretty sure I spelled that wrong) which made it so that he couldn't smoke! So the Muscatine Elders committed him to quit smoking and he said he would. I was able to go over there and our plan was to set a baptism date with him. And we set one for October 11th! How amazing. He has been taught for so long and now He is going to be baptized because the Lord answered a prayer. What a miracle! He is such a great man. He bore his testimony to us before we left and he just testified of his knowledge that there is a God and that nothing in his life has been a coincidence. He has been led up to this point. And he is super pumped to be baptized!
On Wednesday we went out with the Spanish Elders! i went with Elder Marting out to a town called West Liberty which is a town full of Hispanics. We did a whole lot of work out there. I obviously don,t speak Spanish but it was really cool to go out and do my best! During our language study Elder Marting taught me how to say the missionary purpose in Spanish! And I know it pretty god now. It's so cool that he taught me that though because on Saturday we started talking to a Spanish lady named Rosa who we offered to help her fix her car. She had no idea what we were saying when we talked to her about the restoration. So I just recited the missionary purpose in Spanish to her and she totally understood who we were and what we do. Then Elder Brooks said Yo se que es verdad (I know it's true) which we learned on exchanges so that we could back up the Spanish missionaries on exchanges. How cool is that? It was like we spoke Spanish! AHAHA. Anyways, that was just a cool little story. On Sunday we were busy all day. We went to church and then drove out Iowa City which is an hour and a half away and we had a stake coordination meeting with the Stake President as well as his councilors and the Iowa City zone leaders. It's a pretty sweet meeting! We report on how many investigators are in our zone, how they were found, how the recent converts are doing and stuff like that. And then they kind f share their vision for how they want things to go. It's really sweet. President Hansen is a great man. And he has a ton of wisdom and knowledge. It's interesting to see how the stake is run! Anyways, we are still on the hunt for people to teach. So if any of yall out there know anyone from Fairfield IA that we could go teach let me know! We had a great week! I love you all! Thanks for all of your hard work and effort to ward bringing others unto Christ. I know he lives and loves us :)
Elder Caleb James Wardle
It is so great to be able to email every week. I really look forward to it! What a wonderful blessing to be able to stay in contact with everyone as I am out here serving the Lord. This week was pretty good. We are trying to be diligent in finding new people to teach but it is coming somewhat slowly. We have had a lot of wonderful things happening here in the past month but now we are just searching for new people to see and teach. We have a ton of things that we could be doing (searching for less active members and teaching the 9 recent converts that we have here) but we know that our main purpose is to bring new people into the fold. So we are searching for new people to teach. Our teaching pool has grown a little since last week. We found a new investigator named Drew! She is really cool. We planned to try to find new investigators and seek referrals from less active members. We stopped by her house where we thought a less active member lived, and it turned out that she definitely wasn't him! AHA. But we taught her the message of the Restoration on her doorstep and she liked what we shared and we invited her to be baptized! And she accepted. It was really cool! We hope to be able to get her out to church and to set a baptismal date for her. It will be great!
We also set a date this week with a 13 year old boy named Justin. He and his mother were investigating the church in Spring but they told the missionaries that they didn't want to be seen. Well we stopped by and Terri (Justin's other wasn't interested) but Justin was really excited to see us. We set a date with him for November 15th and he is super solid. Hopefully his mother won;t mind him being baptized as we have to have her consent. But Justin is a really great kid and he is super smart. He loves the missionaries and the church. Hopefully we can help him enter the waters of baptism. It will be an incredible experience.
This week was really busy with a lot of traveling. On Tuesday we drove and hour and a half to Iowa City for MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and that was a lot of fun. We council together about what can best help the mission and we report on how our zones are doing and the number of baptisms. Our zone has seen so much success because we have amazing missionaries here! They are incredible! On Thursday we had zone conference in Iowa City again. So we have done a ton of driving this week! And then on Saturday we went to the temple and did an endowment session there. What a wonderful experience. The Nauvoo temple is such a wonderful place. It's the city of Joseph! I love that place and I am so grateful that it's within our mission boundaries and that I am in an area where I get to go! What a blessing!
This week has been wonderful. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us. He knows what we struggle with and He knows what we need. Pray to Him and ask Him to send you the blessings that He has readily available for you. He loves us. I know this to be true. I'm grateful for the wonderful blessing that is to be inviting others to come unto Christ. I testify of his power. It is real. I love each and everyone of you. Continue to share the gospel with others. May the Lord be with you!
Elder Caleb James Wardle
This week has been another full of miracles. We couldn't be happier. We had some wonderful missionaries come into the Fairfield zone this week. What a blessing. It's wonderful to be a part of a zone where so much love exists. Elder Nelson (my MTC companion) is now companions with Elder
Elder Caleb James Wardle
MacDonald who I trained in Manchester, and Elder Nelson just left Manchester. So we have all been companions before and we have all served in Manchester. Pretty dang cool huh?
As for our area and things that are happening... Brianna was baptized this Saturday! What a miracle. She is so wonderful! I had the opportunity of baptizing her. When she came up out of the water she looked up at me and she had the biggest smile on her face. She looked me in the eyes and seemed to say "It's done, I finally made it. And I'm happier than I could ever be. Thanks for baptizing me." It was a wonderful experience and the Spirit was really strong. Brianna invited some of her family members who we are hoping to be able to work with shortly. She is all ready a great member missionary and is doing her part to fellowship and invite all to come unto Christ. Hooray for recent converts who want to baptize everyone they meet! haha. It truly is a wonderful feeling to be baptized and receive a remission of your sins. She is so great and we are indebted to our heavenly Father for the miracles that we were able to witness with her. What a miracle. What a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Kyle was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and both he and Brianna were able to be interviewed to be able to go to the temple this Saturday and do baptisms for the dead. What a wonderful experience. Brianna has been dying to go inside and now she will have the opportunity to do so. Kyle is doing great as well! Crystal moved to Ottumwa on Saturday :( Which was good for her but sad for us because we won't be bale to see her as often as we would like. She is so great and we hope to be able to see her again soon.
Daniel is progressing really nicely. He didn't come to church this Sunday because a nephew of his was in town and he hadn't seen him in a very long time. So he spent the day with him. But we are continuing to meet with him and we are doing our best to help him progress to his date of October 11th. He is a great kid and I swear he gets better at guitar every time we see him.
Other than that we are currently looking for new people to teach. Our teaching pool isn't the biggest but everyone that we have been teaching since I have gotten here have just been solid solid people. And 3 have been baptized! So that's a miracle! What wonderful blessings to be able to receive. Fairfield is an excellent place to be serving! I'm excited for what lies ahead.
I love you all and hope that each and everyone of you can continue to feel the Spirit. I believe in God. I believe that He is there. I believe that He loves us. I love you all. Thanks for all that you do!
Elder Caleb James Wardle
This week was so great. Just so many blessings. Transfer calls came today and Elder Brooks and I will be sticking together! What a blessing. It will be so good. He has taught me so much about how to be a charitable missionary and to just love everyone I meet. I love him. We are working really hard as well! I can't believe that I have all ready been in Fairfield for 6 weeks though... I seriously don't know where the time goes. It's insane.
This week was great. We had a baptism this Saturday. Kyle was baptized! He is a 21 year old kid and probably one of the funniest people I have ever met. He is so funny. But he has changes so much just in the 4 weeks that I have known him. He used to live in Des Moines, and Elder Swenson who is now serving here in Fairfield with us, worked with him when he lived there. So Kyle has a huge testimony that God lives since he sent Elder Swenson after him a second time. Elder Swenson baptized him and confirmed and the Spirit was so strong. On Saturday after Kyle's baptism he called us and asked if he could knock on some doors with us. And of course we said yes. When we were with him we told him to pray about where to go. He prayed and led us to a few doors. He was super excited. He is very hyper so we asked him to just listen on the first five doors and then we would let him take the leader after he got a feel for how things went. But at the first door a lady said that she was grew up catholic and everything but wasn't really interested in changing churches. Then Kyle looked at us and said "Can I say something?" And of course we said yes. He looked the lady in the eye and just bore a powerful testimony of the truthfulness of our message. He told her about his upbringing in the Catholic church and the joy that would come from giving our message a chance. He talked about his baptism earlier that day and bore testimony of that as well. What an incredible man He has become. That is why we are missionaries. To watch others make the steps toward happiness in this life and the life to come and then to hear them bare testimony of the things that they know to be true. He is incredible. And He is preparing for a mission and will make a great missionary. We are so grateful that Kyle was baptized. It truly was a miracle.
We are continuing to work with other investigators. Brianna passed her interview that took place after Kyle's baptism. She is very excited and Elder Brooks and I just can't get over the amazing fellow shippers that she has. They are incredible. She has so much support and it has been amazing to see her understanding of the Doctrine grow. She is truly a Daughter of God. She will be baptized this weekend. It's been a miracle to work with her. We are truly blessed.
Other than that we are currently looking for more people to teach. We are busy now but we don;t want to have nothing to do once all of the people we are working with are baptized. We do have another 16 year old kid named Daniel on date. He is super solid and we might push his date up. That would be sweet! Anyways, I love you. The atonement is real. I testify of it's power and the love that our Savior has for us. I love you all!
Elder Caleb James Wardle
Family and friends,
Thanks so much for all of the wonderful emails. You are all stellar! Man, Life is so good right now. Elder Brooks and I continue to see tons of miracles as we work hard and we have so much fun doing it. I don;t have too much time today because I have to email President about the transfer recommendations for our zone since we see these missionaries weekly and know a lot about them. And that takes awhile so sorry if this is short :(
We were able to teach a good number of lessons this week. Somehow in such a small we manage to stay really busy. I'm not quite sure how it happens. But it is really great to see the hand of the Lord help us stay busy. As we receive spiritual promptings and act on them the Lord will give us people to teach. Its incredible :)
This week we taught Kyle and he will be baptized this coming Saturday. He is super funny. We were learning about baptism in gospel principles and talking about what baptism was for. And he leaned over to me and said "I thought baptism was to make us invincible?" And I burst out laughing cause he said it in such a funny way. He's a great kid and we are excited for him to be baptized and he is excited as well. His baptism is this Saturday at 2 and we are stoked!
Brianna is progressing really well. We had a lesson with her on Saturday night in a members home. And she said that she was feeling uneasy about her baptism date on September 13th and thought that it was coming too soon. She also felt that she would receive some ridicule from family and friends who aren't members of the church. So on Saturday night we kind of just threw everything into the Lords arms. There was nothing else that Elder Brooks nor I could say that would convince her that baptism is the right step for her. So we told her to fast and to pray and supplicate to the Lord for confirmation as to whether or not this was something that was right for her. It was very humbling to say to Heavenly Father that we needed his help. And we do in our prayers all the time. But this time it was like... "O.k. Father we have set you up pretty good to be able to testify to this women that this is something that is right for her. We pray Father that a miracle will happen. we can;t do this alone. this is your work. so help us in it." And then we fasted on Sunday that something that was said at church would be beneficial to her or that she would feel more comfortable about things. And then church went great. And then we had a lesson with her on Sunday night in the Bishops home and talked to her again. And she felt better about things! We asked her all of the interview questions and she felt good about them! What a miracle! We did all that we could to invite a miracle to happen and it did! What a blessing. I know that as we put faith in our Heavenly Father he will bless us with the desires of our hearts. We as missionaries need to do all that we can to invite miracles to happen in the lives of others. Fasting works. Faith works. I testify that the Savior lives and I love you all so much!
Elder Caleb James Wardle