Monday, January 26, 2015

Miracles (1-26-2015)

family :)
     Im afraid I will have to be quick this week as we have some appointments and business to attend too. But things are going absolutely great here. My new companions name is Elder Smith and we act as if we were best friends going up. He is a great teacher and he loves to follow preach my gospel. Which I love! We have not stopped laughing since day one. I will be training him on how to be a zone leader. But he all ready knows what he is doing... so there are now worries there. He is a stud! He goes home in two transfers though. I miss him all ready!
    We have three baptismal dates set wit investigators in our area right now. The work is progressing nicely and we are staying really busy. Which I love! 
    Jessie is a new investigator that we found this week. His wifes name is Sherry and they are both 18 and she is pregnant. They are also homeless. So we have a lot on our plates but we also have an amazing opportunity to help them. It's amazing to feel like you are needed. But also exhausting! aha. We taught Jessie for the first time on Tuesday and then we have taught him everyday since. Which has been really cool. And it's what PMG says to do. Which is awesome! he is progressing really nicely and he has been to church twice! They were living in a hotel for a couple days and during that time they had a meeting with the bishop. When the Bishop was finished he called us into his office and told us that we needed to see them everyday and help them pray and read the book of mormon. And that's what we did. And God provided a temporary place for them to live at a less active members home. Which is really cool! It's interesting how the Lord does that! aha. Jessie is working towards a baptism date for Feb. 28th. He is super stoked! 
     Kim is doing really well. We moved her into a new apartment this morning and it is going to be so good for her. It's her own place where she can just feel at peace. We have a lesson with her tonight. Hopefully things go well. 
     Allie we havent been able to meet with in a while which is a bummer. :( But she is a great girl and hopefully we can be bale to teach her shortly.
     Father in Heaven is constantly looking out for me. I am so grateful for all the blessings that I receive each and every day. I am so grateful for a gospel of peace. That the world doesn't have to look so dark and pale all the time. What a blessing.
I love you all :)
Elder Wardle

quick email (1-29-2015)

family :)
     Im afraid I will have to be quick this week as we have some appointments and business to attend too. But things are going absolutely great here. My new companions name is Elder Smith and we act as if we were best friends going up. He is a great teacher and he loves to follow preach my gospel. Which I love! We have not stopped laughing since day one. I will be training him on how to be a zone leader. But he all ready knows what he is doing... so there are now worries there. He is a stud! He goes home in two transfers though. I miss him all ready!
    We have three baptismal dates set wit investigators in our area right now. The work is progressing nicely and we are staying really busy. Which I love! 
    Jessie is a new investigator that we found this week. His wifes name is Sherry and they are both 18 and she is pregnant. They are also homeless. So we have a lot on our plates but we also have an amazing opportunity to help them. It's amazing to feel like you are needed. But also exhausting! aha. We taught Jessie for the first time on Tuesday and then we have taught him everyday since. Which has been really cool. And it's what PMG says to do. Which is awesome! he is progressing really nicely and he has been to church twice! They were living in a hotel for a couple days and during that time they had a meeting with the bishop. When the Bishop was finished he called us into his office and told us that we needed to see them everyday and help them pray and read the book of mormon. And that's what we did. And God provided a temporary place for them to live at a less active members home. Which is really cool! It's interesting how the Lord does that! aha. Jessie is working towards a baptism date for Feb. 28th. He is super stoked! 
     Kim is doing really well. We moved her into a new apartment this morning and it is going to be so good for her. It's her own place where she can just feel at peace. We have a lesson with her tonight. Hopefully things go well. 
     Allie we havent been able to meet with in a while which is a bummer. :( But she is a great girl and hopefully we can be bale to teach her shortly.
     Father in Heaven is constantly looking out for me. I am so grateful for all the blessings that I receive each and every day. I am so grateful for a gospel of peace. That the world doesn't have to look so dark and pale all the time. What a blessing.
I love you all :)
Elder Wardle

New Investigators and an Engagement (1-12-2015)

Dear Family,
Wow, what a week. We were blessed a ton. And it seems like life just can;t get any better. And then more wonderful blessings keep coming. So I don't even know what to do with myself because the Lord is blessing us so much. It's so great. This week we found four new investigators. Our teaching pool has gotten pretty bignLife is just so great! aha. 
A little bit of news. Elder Belliston will be going home on Thursday :( So I will be blessed with a new companion on Thursday. greatest thing about being a zone leader is that you don't have to worry who you will get as companion because you know that they are going to be obedient and they will know how to do great work. So am I excited! 
We taught Kim this week. Twice actually. She is doing really well. And she has really felt the Savior changing her life. Its amazing. She has been ravages with several addictions and now she is feeling herself being freed because of the Savior. It's been wonderful for her to be able to meet with us and we are learning so much from her true repentance. She is amazing.
We met with a wonderful girl named Allison this week as well. She is another friend of a return missionary in the ward. And she just hasn't felt forgiven for some of the things she has done. So we are striving to help her feel forgiveness through repentance. 
I have such a wonderful testimony of forgiveness. It's amazing. Because of the atonement of the Savior we can all feel forgiveness.
So... the engagement party!! 
We were told last night to go to the Clemons house at 6 so that we could watch the CES devotional. And that's what we did... but no YSA people were there. But The entire Clemons clan (there is like 13 of them) and Emily Clemons bf's family was there. So we were invited in and there was a bunch of food. And we were just so confused with what was going on. aha. Wheres the devotional?! Anyways, Edward proposed to Emily! It was crazy! ahaha. I wrote all about it in my journal. It was awesome. I didn't think I would witness that on my mission!
Anyways, I love you all! Thanks for all that you do!
Elder Wardle

Blessings, blessings blessings (1-5-2015)

Hello :)
It seemed like with such a wonderful Christmas that the Lord would hold off on some of the blessings he has been giving us, But we were wrong. He has blessed us so much! I guess it's because we have asked for them. Funny how that works? After Virgilia was baptized we had 9 investigators who we thought would progress. But for some reason we just had the hardest time getting in with them. So we were back at square one. Well, the week before last we found 3 new investigators and then this week we found another 3 and then 1 more this morning so we are truly being blessed! On Saturday, the weather was great. So we decided to let the North Elders borrow the car (since theirs is in the shop) and we just went a knockin! And it as amazing! We just found a ton of people to teach. A fifth grade teacher named Sammy, A nineteen year old named Erica, a women named Tammy and the list goes on. It was amazing. It seemed like everyone was interested! So we will definitely follow up with all of them and see where things go from there! But a little about the new investigators that we found this week:
Tammy, is a young mom who lives with her son and boyfriend. She is super great. We talked with her for about 10 minutes on the doorstep and gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet. She is great! Totally prepared to hear the Restored gospel. So we just invited her to be baptized right there and then set up a return appointment. We have an appointment with her today. We also taught a woman named Kim after church on Sunday. A week or two ago, Elder Belliston and I were talking about how awesome it would be if someone would just show up at church who we could teach. And then we thought, well the Lord won;t do it unless we pray and ask for it. So we did. And yesterday, Kim came to church! She is so great. She has plenty of addictions that we will need to help her get over. But I have never seen someone so repentant. She cried throughout the whole lesson. Telling us that she wasn't asking for anything physical. She didn't want help from the church. And then she pointed at her heart and said "I need help here." It was a beautiful opportunity to testify of the Savior. "Kim, Christ can heal you. We know this, because he has healed us. We want to help you, adn we can show you how to use God to get over these things that tie you down." It was an amazingly spiritual experience. We invited her to be baptized. And she had concerns. Not knowing enough and things like that. But we read D&C 20:37 which showed her that she could be ready. We extended the date of February 28th. She is wonderful and will one day enter into the waters of baptism. We love Kim. She is truly humble. 
After church we went and saw a former investigator named Kenneth. He is a stud! 18 and knows his bible super well. And he just wants to follow Christ extremely bad! So we invited him to be baptized as well and pray about the things that we share. He knows the bible like the back of his hand. And he would make such a good missionary. That kid is so prepared! 
We also taught a lady named Margaret Henderson this morning. She is super great. She is part of the TM movement. Which means that she meditates a lot! But she absolutely loves the Book of Mormon! Hopefully things will progress with her as well! The Lord is truly blessing us.
The Lord is truly blessing us. Continue to pray for blessings, and if it is the Lord's will, he will grant them to you. But we must also be thankful for the blessings that we do receive.
I love you all. Thanks for all that you do. I thank the Lord for the blessing that you are to me. Please continue to love one another.
Love always,
Elder Caleb James Wardle

I Love You! (12-29-2014)

Hello family :) 
This week was absolutely wonderful... Plenty of miracles to go around. We had such wonderful Christmas. The members here took very good care of us. We didn't get many pictures though. I don;t know why I didn't think of that. But everything was really great. We spent Christmas eve at the Bishops house. He has such an excellent family. And we really enjoyed being a part of their Christmas. We ate dinner and then read the Christmas story out of Luke. And then we were able to go deliver some presents to some kids who were less fortunate this year. Then we went and visited one of my favorite members of the ward. Brother Rogers! He has Parkinson's and struggles to walk and talk. But he has such a powerful testimony of the restored gospel. Visiting him and his wife was the best way to celebrate the life of the Savior because he has lived a like the Savior. What a great man. On Christmas day we ate breakfast with our ward mission leader and his family. It was amazing! and then I had the opportunity to skype my beautiful family! What a blessing. Everyone seems to be doing really well. And then we opened some presents that we got from the Cornicks. All of us missionaries got ties and a shirt. And we got Brother Cornick a tie. We made Rena (Brother Cornick's wife) a super sweet pop up card and then we tied a blanket for Pato. It turned out really nice! Man! I love that family!
Our Christmas was super great. By far the best Christmas I have had. We just got to serve the Lord! It couldn't be any better. 
Elder Belliston and I found 3 new investigator's this week. That was a big blessing. We have just been putting in the time looking for those who will allow us to teach them. Everyone needs the message. But some won't accept it. We are on the search! And we will soon find some wonderful people who are ready to make a covenant with Father in Heaven. 
As far as miracles go, yesterday was probably one of the best days on my mission due to the fact that I know for sure the Hand of the Lord was guiding me. I had the opportunity to interview to interview Pato (the ward mission leaders daughter) for baptism. Pato is 19 and has had a wonderful life. She has been taught by the North Elders but Elder Belliston and I feel very invested in her conversion due to the fact that we eat dinner with her family every Thursday. Elder Belliston has been on a few exchanges and taught her a couple times as well. She is so great. In the interview we just talked about life and her concerns and struggles toward becoming a disciple of Christ. She came into the interview not knowing whether or not she would commit to being baptized on Saturday. And the spirit led the entire discussion. After some tears were shed and the spirit felt, she has made the decision to be baptized this Saturday. What a miracle. It was amazing. Somehow, the questions that I was prompted to ask through the spirit led her to be taught in such a way that she made a positive decision and step towards following the Savior. I have never felt like such an instrument in my life. The Spirit was so strong. I am grateful for my testimony and the impact that it has on others to choose for good. God is real. he guides his children. Everything about my life and things that I have been through, matched up exactly with a concern that she had and she was then able to see the similarities and what that meant. God has orchestrated my entire life for so many reason. But up to this point I feel that this is the biggest. It was amazing. 19 years of Father in Heaven putting things into my life so that he could use me to help another one of his children to enter into a covenant with him. I will keep you updated on Pato. But she will be a life long friend. The Spirit of the Lord is real. I know that. Because of my experiences. I testify that the Savior lives and loves us. 
Thanks for all that you do!
Love always,
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Merry Christmas (12-22-2014)

Hello Family :) This week has been wonderful! I have grown to feel the love of the Savior more and more. The Christmas season is a wonderful opportunity to invite others to come unto Christ. Yesterday, Elder Belliston and I made it a goal to talk to everyone that we possibly could... no excuses. Whether they were walking down the street next to us or climbing a tree or in a hot air balloon. We tried to talk to them. It was really kinda fun! There were several times that I would tell Elder Belliston to pull over and then I would run after people who were just pulling up in their driveway. It was pretty fun! And we just handed out a ton of "He is the gift" cards. It was great!
We are working to get our area up and running again. Our only progressing investigator was baptized this Saturday. So we are looking to find new people to teach. We had some really great meetings this week that we got to attend. Mission Leadership Council was one and then we had Zone training Meeting on Friday. I love that meeting. The spirit was so strong. I have been getting tons of letters from all of you! Thanks so much for all of your support as I have been on my mission. I love it all. I am so grateful to be a missionary. On Sunday we had the opportunity to teach part of the gospel principles lesson which was on Missionary work. And basically, I didn't know how to describe how I have felt as I have been a missionary except that I have never been happier. Elder Belliston will sometimes say things when we are driving like " I have the absolute best life. I feel bad for everyone else in the world" or "I love being a missionary. I have never been so happy." And then I chime in and say... "Elder Belliston your wrong... I have the best life ever!!" haha. It truly is the most wonderful thing that I have ever done. I know my Savior lives. And he loves me too. :) Thanks for all of the continues support. I love you all!
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Family (12-15-2014)

Hey guys! This week was amazing. We were super duper busy the entire week though, and not in our own area! That is always a bummer. But we were able to get a lot of work done for other missionaries. On Wednesday we went out to Muscatine for exchanges there. We were originally going to just have trios in each area (Spanish and English) but Elder Nelson ended up being sick. So we unexpectedly blitzed the Spanish area. I t was awesome. The Spanish Elders white washed the area this transfer so they are just being super diligent and looking for new people to teach. Those Elders are so great. I went with Elder Roberts and he is just an absolute stud. He just got called as the District Leader so I trained him a little bit on his calling. But he really new everything. And we just went out there and did the work. We knocked a bunch of doors and we talked with everyone that we saw. It was amazing. We just worked super hard. And we saw miracle after miracle after miracle. Elder Roberts and I found like 20 potential investigators and 3 new investigators. And the area really needed that. I love Elder Roberts. We had so much fun!
Thursday was zone conference. We did a skit in which I was the narrator. It was pretty funny! I would attach a video but these emails don't let us. bummer.
On Friday I was with Elder ontiveros on exchanges here in Fairfield. And we just tried to recover some of our old investigators and get them all rolling again. Set up lessons and everything. So that was productive. 
And then Saturday we went to Nauvoo with one of investigators. Virgilia is awesome! She has had so much to go through with her mom though. Her mom has gone crazy and is basically working for Satan. It's a real bummer. She just comes over and yells at Virgilia telling her that she is joining the church of the devil and that she is a demon, then she truns the kids at school against Virgilia's daughter Harmony and they start calling her a demon. Anyway's it has been a super big bummer. But Virgilia is holding strong and hasn't smoked. whoooo. She knows the church is true. It's amazing! And she loved Nauvoo! She wants to move there! And I love Nauvoo! I love the temple so much. The knowledge is endless. And it really has helped me throughout my life. I am so grateful. Virgilia is so amazing. Hopefully things go well the rest of this week for he baptism this Saturday. 
I love you all. Thank you for diligently serving our Lord and Savior. I pray that things go well for you all. 
Merry Christmas!
Love ya!
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Super good week (12-8-2014)

Hello Family :) This week has been super good. We fasted yesterday for the stake of goal of 72 baptisms. And really felt the Spirit as we fasted. I'm so happy to serving in Fairfield for another two transfers. Things couldn't be better. We had a ward Christmas party last night! And there were probably 20 people who weren't affiliated with the church there! Our ward is amazing! Everyone is inviting and sharing the gospel like crazy. I love serving here. Right now our biggest prospect for baptism is Virgilia. She is so great! She is super involved with everything and we love sitting down and meeting with her. She has made so much progress and is striving to her very best to be baptized on the 20th of December. The only issue that we are running into is that she needs to quit smoking. And as far as we know Saturday was the last time she had smoked so as of right now she is good to go. So hopefully she hasn't since then. It seems as if she is doing well though. She is so cool! We are so excited for her. So please pray that she has the strength to stop. 

Teri and Justin are doing ok. Teri's daughters boyfriend just got out of jail and moved back in with them, and has been causing a lot of problems to due his alcohol abuse. He has threaten to take the kids away and other stuff when he is drunk and it's just a dumb situation. I probably would have called the cops by now. Who knows. Maybe she has. We will probably end up moving Teri's date back to the 27th of December. Hopefully we can get her done smoking. And Justin can definitely be baptized by the end of the year as well. So we will see what happens. Hopefully things go well. 

Elder Belliston and I have also been teaching a Messianic Jew named Jamie. She is awesome. Super good knowledge of the bible and of spiritual things. She believes that Jesus is the Savior and that baptism is essential, but she also still practices the law of Moses. I'm not 100% sure how that all works but she is striving to come to know that the Book of Mormon is true. So we will see how things go from there :) Hopefully she can gain an answer and let the Spirit truly teach what is right :)

Other than that we really aren't teaching anyone else. I have been thinking a lot lately about the importance of the Spirit. And I've come to believe that no matter what, if on my mission I have tried to lead to people to gain testimony of certain principles so that they would see why baptism is important (Priesthood Authority, Joseph Smith being a prophet ETC) when truly the most powerful thing that I have been able to invite someone to do is to ask God if this is the path for them. That;s powerful. IT puts all other things aside, and helps them gain the strongest relationship that they can with Father in Heaven. When God speaks, people listen. And if our ultimate goal is for people to enter into the waters of baptism then the only thing we have to do is help people have an experience where Father in Heaven can testify to them that he truly does want them to enter into a covenant with Him. And the best way that we can do that, is by having them gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Because if it is true. Then they will know that they need to be baptized. And that is huge. 
I testify that the Savior lives. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I have been taught those things by the Spirit of the Lord. And that's all that matters. The Spirit can withstand any thing else. It;s amazing. I love this work and I love the Lord. I testify that participating in the work of salvation can bring us out of the rutts and bumps that life can bring. It will save us :) 
I love you all. 
Elder Caleb James Wardle

I'm Staying!! (12-1-2014)

Family :) I am staying here in Fairfield :) Hooray! That means I will be here at least another two transfers since Elder Belliston goes home in January. It will be the longest I have served in one area and I am so stoked because this ward is absolutely amazing. And I love the people so much! I think most of all I just love the feeling that is here. The missionary work is blossoming and the zone that I have had the chance to be a leader of is full of some of the best missionaries this world has ever seen. I'm sure of that. And I love them so much. They are all super stellar and have been so diligent in sharing the testimony that God has given them of His son Jesus Christ. They aren't afraid, because they know it's true. This week our lessons were low. We taught 9 all together when we are usually around 17 or so. But the blessings this week have just been so intense. And I couldn't ask for more. 
To start off, we had the privilege of finding a brand new couple to teach this week. Since February of this year, the missionaries in this area have found at least one new investigator a week. And Elder Brooks and I were able to keep that streak going due to the hand of the Lord and Elder Belliston and I have as well. But this week was rough. We were super busy and didn't have time to knock a single door. We went to both district meetings and Thanksgiving kind of got in our way of proselyting and so last night we were just desperate to find someone new to teach. But, we had two meetings in Iowa City to go to right after church and then a dinner with the Bishop and an investigator named Virgilia at 7. So we were booked! But amazingly we got out of the Bishop's house by 8:30 and were out knocking some apartments. Well, we knocked and knocked and knocked but no one really came. And we had five minutes before 9 oclock when we had to be inside. (The rule is you have to be in by 9 unless you are in an appointment, in which case you can stay out till 9:30) so we needed someone to let us in quick! Well we finished knocking an apartment complex and decided that we would go kocnk some houses right next door since we didn't really have time to drive somewhere. So, we headed away from the complex to try a couple of doors, and we just look ed at each other and said "Where are we supposed to be?" And then the name of a potential investigator that Elder Brooks and I had found like 2 months ago popped in my head. And we hadn't seen her for that long either... So who knows? maybe she won't be interested still. But we only have five minutes! Well, it felt right so we decided to go. We pulled up to the apartment complex and Sammy's windows were dark. But we tried anyways. And sure enough she let us in! And her boyfriend was there and we taught him as well. The Lord gave us two new investigators last night instead of one because we exercised our faith. It was amazing. We got of there and Elder Belliston and I just kept saying over and over again, that was so cool! What just happened? And things like that. Holy Cow. The Spirit was so strong. And we were pumped. I know that the Lord guides us in this work. And when we have righteous desires and work hard to share what we have, the Lord provides a way. 
Another miracle: Virgilia has been progressing very nicely. And we had a lesson with her last Tuesday about the Plan of Salvation. And it was amazing. She start to remember the pre-mortal and life with God. And she remembered hearing about the plan. Oh man! It was incredible! That lesson was insane. We just felt the Spirit so strong! And so did she! At the end she started talking about her kids serving missions and sharing the gospel and about how excited she was for her baptism. Well, later in the week she told her mom about her baptism. And her mom said she was fine with her being baptized as long as she did her research. And she did. On you tube! The worst place to research the truth about the Book of Mormon and the temple! aha. So at church on Sunday she has tons of questions. Racism against African Americans and the Priesthood. Polygamy. Becoming Gods and Goddesses. Free Masonry and the temple. Anyways, it was a great lesson! She really responded with a wonderful spirit. There was no contention she just really wanted to know what was true and what wasn't. So we explained everything as best as we could and separated fact from fiction. It was awesome! And the Spirit was so strong. Her biggest concern was that her daughter (who is half black) would be growing up in a chair where she couldn't blossom because of racism. And I had the opportunity to bare wonderful testimony of what the church has done for my family, specifically about being sealed in a wonderful interracial family with my main man Tony. And the Spirit was so strong. Tony isn't any different than any of the other kids at church because he looks different. And I love him. He is my brother. The Spirit was strong. Just as it has always been around him, and with things pertaining to his salvation. The day he was sealed to our family. his adoption. And his soon to be baptism :) How amazing. I love this gospel because of what it has done for my family. In no other faith could there have been Priesthood Authority exercised so that Anthony could become a Wardle forever. I love this Gospel and I love all of you so much. 

I love you all! 
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Super Blessed :) (11-24-2014)

Forgiveness (11-17-2014)

Dear Family :)
Im just going to start saying that now since you are all like family to me :) Elder Belliston and I had a wonderful week. Full of preachin and teaching and inviting people to be baptized. That is probably one of the greatest experiences on a mission. Inviting one of Gods children to make a covenant with him. Holy cow. The spirit is so stinking strong when you invite. And usually the response is generally uplifting. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges in Washington. That place is pretty cool. The Elder's don't have too many investigators currently so we went looking for some. And it was stinking cold. Last Monday it was 65 degrees and then the Lord played some games with me and shot the temperature down to 25 the day that I would have to be walking in it. So that was fun! I have been bundled up pretty warm the past couple of days which has been good. On Wednesday we just went out and did our thing. Talking with everyone and driving all over the place. And then on Thursday we drove up with the North Elders to our mission tour with Elder Cardon of the Seventy. He gave a sweet talk in conference awhile back so if you get a chance you should check it out :) But the mission tour was great. We had a Mission Leadership council with him before the meeting where we talked about the culture of the Iowa Des Moines Mission. And ultimately just sitting in that meeting, I was just pondering how much I have loved my mission. It has seriously taught me so much. I have made wonderful friends, and just learned things that I never that I could know. The traditions in this mission are absolutely amazing. There is just a spirit of obedience here that is unlike any other thing t hat I have been a part of. Elder Cardon is a great man. It's always fun to hear stories form members of the seventy who have sat at the feet of the prophets and apostles. Elder Cardon says that Boyd K. Packer's hates these five words "I'm sorry to disturb you" Elder Packer is just as much a servant as anyone else. So he is never disturbed because he is doing the Lord's work. That's pretty amazing 
On Friday, I wasn't feeling too hot but we still did work. Taught a few good lessons. On Saturday we made some cookies and tried to get as many people out to church as we could. People really like cookies. We got one of our investigators out to church named Virgilia and then set a date with her for December 20th! Hooray! Hopefully things work out with that. We will try to get her to feel the Love of God and the truthfulness of the message with her as strongly as possible. Miracles are happening!  Virgilia has had an interesting life. Full of questions of what to believe and where to go to church on Sunday. So we spoke with her about the message of the Restoration. And she really enjoyed. She has decided to pray about what is right :) Hopefully that goes stellar. Yesterday there were some pretty amazing talks at church. oooh I almost forgot! Elder Belliston and I sang Jesus the very thought of thee in Sacrament meeting. It went really great. He has a wonderful voice and we have seen or been in a lot of the same musicals so we are just constantly singing Broadway and Disney. It's awesome. In Sacrament meeting we learned about forgiveness. It was a great talk! And I studied it again to day. And forgiveness is everything. I love the scripture that talks about how when we don't forgive we have the greater sin. So we need to forgive everybody. I love the Lord and  I love this gospel. It has brought me so much peace and joy. 
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Wonderful Week (11-10-2014)

Family and Friends! How are ya? I hope things are going swell and the weather isn't harshin on anyone's mellow too bad. Today is actually beautiful. 65 degrees :) hooray! But this is supposed to be the last good day until Spring. I guess we will have a day here where the high will be like 21.... So yeah. Winter is definitely here! It came so quickly! 
We had a wonderful week here in the Fairfield South area :) We found five new investigators and set one of them on date. We were teaching a boy named Justin awhile back who had a baptismal date for a really long time. But we could never get in contact with his Mother to get consent for him to be baptized. And lately we have had a hard time meeting with him. But on Saturday we got a hold of his mother Terri and taught her and set a date with her for December 20th and then she came to church on Sunday! Miracles all around :) She just has to quit smoking in order to be baptized. But she did mention to us that she doesn't want to be baptized without Justin... Hooray!
She is doing well. A couple of our baptismal dates fell off. We weren't able to get in contact with Daniel and he didn't make it to church. We are going to try our best to reset a date with him this week. And Jessica's father gave her a hard time about meeting with us. So she called her fellowshipper and said that she doesn't want to meet with us again. But we will definitely get her back :) She is great girl. And she will definitely be baptized in the future.
We taught a number of different people this week. A Messianic Jew, an ex gangbanger from Chicago, her friend, and a single mom with two kids trying to make ends meet. The Gospel is for everyone. No matter who you are, it will change your life! And I have a wonderful testimony of that. 
Because it is the season of giving (all though it should always be) some members here have been taking really good care of us. Every Sunday we get notes on our door or in our mail box that are anonymous. And they have some awesome clues that we have to piece together in order to find a care package of food. For instance this week all of the Elders in the Fairfield ward got a slip of paper. When we placed them together they said "do YoU WaNt sOme MOre? bEcause I was just wonderiNG?" So all the capitalized letters are Y,U,W,N,O,M,O,E,,N,G and it unscrambled to the words Young Women. So we went to the Young Womens room in the church and found a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate so that we could make smores :) How cool is that! This ward is the best! ahaha. Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week! Stay strong, and keep pushin on! 
Love ya!
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Family and Friends :) (11-3-2014)

Hello! How is everyone doing? Things are going great here in Fairfield. Plenty of people to work with and everyone is so amazing. We currently have 5 people scheduled for baptism here in the Fairfield ward. Two here in the South area and the North Elders have 3. So things are going great! This week was insanely busy for us. We had a meeting last Sunday (Stake Coordination Meeting) that took all day, a meeting on Tuesday (MLC) that took all day. A meeting on Thursday (Zone Training Meeting) that took most of the day. And then Stake conference on Saturday as well Sunday. So this week has been crazy! We have just been trying to make sure all of our investigators are doing o.k. and that they are progressing. Daniel wasn't able to make it to church this week. That was a bummer. So we had to move his Baptismal date back. He had a friend come in to town that he hasn't seen in a really long time and he had to take him back to the Bus stop on Sunday around noon. So that conflicted with his church attendance :( bummer! But we are doing all that we can this week to get him there. He is such a good kid. And everybody needs to be baptized! So we are doing all that we can. We also met with Jessica this week. And she is progressing really nicely. She is scared to enter a new church for several reasons. Her pastor at her church that she currently attends is definitely going to give her a hard time. She has been baptized before and doesn't know quite yet if God wants her to be baptized again, and she would have to drive a half hour every Sunday to church when she currently drives about 5. This week we just really focused on baptism for the remission of sins. We told Jessica that this (Nov. 22nd) was the first day in her life that she would truly access the atonement. And it was her day. Her special day to make a covenant with God. And we think that helped her a little more. Instead of focusing on Priesthood authority and going about baptism that way, we felt that helping her gain a testimony through prayer and church attendance would be better than just simply giving her an understanding of the Gospel. Faith and testimony trump understanding. She is progressing really nicely though. Pray that she can continue to experience the blessings of the Gospel. She came to church and really enjoyed Stake Conference. What a blessing it is to hear inspired words from inspired Leaders of God!
Other than those two we are really just trying to grow our teaching pool by focusing on talking to everyone and opening our mouths. And knocking more doors! It actually works :) It's awful when it is all you are doing. But it is important to at least some sort of finding every day. I truly have a testimony of this wonderful gospel. Its true! And I know that! I'm grateful for the holidays. Elder Belliston and I carved some sweet pumpkins on Friday. I love you all so much!

Family and friends (10-27-2014)

This week was stellar! There is so much work to do and not enough time to do it! It's been pretty amazing to be a part of the Fairfield ward and to see the progress that the ward has made over time. I really feel like a member of the ward more so than just a missionary serving in it. It's pretty interesting to be part of. Elder Belliston has been teaching me so much about being unified with the members here. We have had meetings with the Bishop to see what he would like us to do, we have been trying to set up lessons with the ward council members to get names from them of who they are focusing on and asking them if there is anything we can do to help. And I really feel like we have seen a lot of success in so doing. And we have gained a lot of trust from the members of the ward. It's been pretty remarkable to see the change. This week was really busy. We had a few meetings to attend and several reports that we needed to write up for those meetings. So we spent a lot of time in and out of the library. And although we have spent a lot of time just doing things that don;t necessarily involve teaching and helping others, we know that it is the work that the Lord would have us be doing. And as we use our time wisely He will bless us for our efforts in working diligently. It's been really hard to balance everything. But as we prayerfully figure out what the Lord would have us do and as we strive to be the Leaders that He would have us be, the area has kind of taken care of it's self. And what a blessing that is. This week is going to be another crazy one. We had a meeting after church in Iowa City that took up our whole Sabbath. Tomorrow we have MLC (Mission Leadership Council) which lasts from 9 to 4 and we usually don't get home until 8. Thursday we have Zone training meeting which will take up more than half of the day and then Saturday and Sunday we have Stake Conference. Which will take up more time than usual as well. So it's going to be a crazy week!
Daniel is doing well. He is still on track to be baptized on November 15th which is exciting! He has just had a super hard time getting to church. He has had doctors appointments and ten this past week he went to his grandmothers house because she isn't doing so well. So it has been hard to help him there. But he is doing great and he loves Jesus more than anyone else in this world. We are just really excited to help him make his first covenant with the Lord. Pray for him :)
Jessica is doing well. She did scare us a little bit though... We had to reschedule an appointment which she was o.k. with. But she called the other day and told us not to come. So we told her we wold reschedule for another time. Well, we knew that something was going on so we had member set up a lesson with her! And it worked! So we got in one more time. And we just tried to help her understand why we were there. And she is less scared now. So hopefully things go well with her. We have a return appointment so pray that things go well with her! 
I had the wonderful opportunity of going to the Nauvoo temple this week. I love it there. It is so beautiful. We were able to do an endowment session and we basically had the whole temple to ourselves. Which is sad because you would hope more people would be there! But it was more peaceful for some reason. Just us missionaries and a couple of other people. It was great to just sit and ponder the creation and receive revelation for what I can do better. I love the temple. It's an excellent place to receive revelation. And I know that the covenants that we make there are real. 
I love you all! Thanks for all that you do!
Elder Caleb James Wardle 

Family and Friends :) (10-20-2014)

Hello! What an amazing week I have had here in Fairfield. First off, Elder Belliston is my new companion! He has been on his mission for 21 months and is one heck of a missionary. Probably one of the best of in our mission. So I am lucky to have him and to be able to learn from him before he goes home. He is a wonderful area! And he is enjoying it just as much as I do. We are getting along well and are very unified in what we want to do for the zone. He is working hard until the very end and he is so dang good lookin! AHA. He played highschool ball and he grew up in Highland Utah and went to American Fork UT. What a stud! I do miss Elder Brooks though. That guy and I got along so well. It's like I lost a brother! But it's ok because now I just get another! AHA.
Wow, this week has been fun. We found a new investigator :) Her name is Jessica. Her grandmother Connie is a member and she came to church on Sunday for the first time that I have been here. And then we went out to a town called Keosaqua to attend a little family home evening event that they do every month. Jessica (25) came with Connie and then Brother McConeghey told her what the missionaries do and she was interested in learning more. So we went by on Tuesday morning and taught her the restoration! And she accepted an invitation to work towards November 22nd as her baptismal date. And then she came to church and brought her younger sister with her as well. So things are looking good. We also taught a guy named Crispin who is datinga member of the church. He has been to church before. We taught him the Restoration and gave him a church tour and set a baptismal date for November 22nd as well. We saw him again on Friday and talked about the Book of Mormon with him. But we asked him where he lives and.... He lives on the North side of town. Bummer. So we had to pass him off to the other missionaries Elder Swenson and Elder Law. And they have had a hard time finding investigators. So it's great to just hand over a super solid investigator and just make another missionaries day :) 
We are still working with Daniel. His date is for the 15th of November and he took work off so that he could be there. He has hard a time coming to church though because his mom sort of runs his life and schedule. He had a doctors appointment that he had to go to. But we are fairly confident that He will be baptized on the 15th! WooHoo. As for other investigators, we are looking for more! A good missionary is one who is constantly finding. So that;s what we are focusing on. We have a lot of dates right now but we want to keep finding new people to teach so that when those we have now get baptized we don' waste anytime building back up our teaching pool. Other cool news! Brianna took a road trip to the east coast with her family this weekend and suddenly ended up in Palmyra and went to the Sacred Grove! Wow. How many recent converts do you know who just show up at church historical sights on a whim? Not many! So that was fantastic! Things are just stellar here. I hope you are all doing fabulous and that things are going swell. I love you all!
Elder Wardle!

Transfers! (10-13-2014)

Man, this week was great! But a bit of bad news :( We got transfer calls this morning and Elder Brooks is going to be leaving. That's so sad! He loves Fairfield and he has a whole ton of recent converts here! And they will miss him dearly. Hopefully I can hold down the fort here. I owe so much of the growth that I have had over the past couple of months to Elder Brooks. I will miss him :( But the Lord has other things in store for the both of us and we need a fresh start. We like each other a lot! And yes, it is possible to be too comfortable with each other. But he will forever be a friend to me. And he loves being a missionary. Besides that bit of sad news the only other disappointing thing is that it has officially gotten colder. But the Spirit keeps us warm.
Sorry that this email is a little bit later today. We were with an investigator this morning who we were able to set a date with! His name is Crispin and he is a super cool guy. He is "dating" one of the young women in the ward and she referred us to him. We taught him to day for the first time and he was really receptive! We set a baptismal date with him for November 22nd! And we are so excited to be able to continue to work towards that day. He is a great guy but has not had too many experiences with prayer and church in the past. So we are hoping that we can open his eyes spiritually speaking :) But he is a great attribute to our teaching pool. We were able to get back in with Daniel Farrel this week and reset a date with him for November 15th. He is such a great kid with a stellar testimony. He just had some family matters come up. that he had to deal with. But he will definitely be baptized by the end of the year. We have another investigator named Justin who is 12 and man he is sooo funny! He makes us laugh every lesson we have with him! We were teaching him and we asked him if he prayed about Joseph Smith being a prophet and he said yes. We asked him how he felt and his response was I wanna be with the MORMONS! ahaha. I died laughing. What a good kid! We just need to get his mama on board with everything and make sure she is ok with him getting baptized. Hopefully we can help her be baptized afterward as well. We found two new investigators last week as well. We met a girl named Danni way back and we finally were able to set an appointment with them but we ended up only being able to teach her husband Brady... and this guy is literally yoked out of his mind! Like huge! He used to do olympic movements when he is in football and was trying to qualify for the olympic trials in wieght lifting but he ended up hurting his back. He showed us his gym the other day. And that place is sweet! And he really wants us to join but we aren't allowed to be members at gyms. Bummer. Elder Brooks ans I work out every morning anyways. The other new investigator that we found is Whitney. I didn't teach Whitney because we were on exchanges, but Whitney was a referral from a recent convert and she is supposedly super solid. So we will work with her as well. Things are looking really great for our area right now. Plenty of work to be done and tons of people to see. It still amazes me how we have so much work to be doing when we only have 4,000 people on our side of town! But it's happening and we thank the Lord every day for the wonderful miracles every day! Well I love you all and hope you have a great week. Keep praying for those that you love. There is more power in prayer than we sometimes realize. And there are plenty of things to thank our Father in Heaven for. The church is true and I know that the Savior lives, loves us, and atoned for our sins! Keep working hard :) 
Love ya! 
Elder Caleb James Wardle

Hello Lovelies :) (10-6-2014)

This week was so great and filled with some amazing amazing miracles! The first is conference of course. I love being able to listen to the prophets and apostles speak to us. It's an excellent opportunity to learn and grow and to seek revelation from Father in Heaven and hear his chosen mouth pieces on the Earth today answer our prayers. What a blessing. Lately I have had some doubt as to whether we truly do have a prophet of God on the Earth. I will explain why: Back in Des Moines we taught a less active man who served a mission and and then joined the Hindu faith (I think it was Hindu...maybe Muslim) and since has left the Hindu faith and doesn't necessarily know what He is anymore. He had a lot of concerns after coming home from his mission about some things that he read. He wondered if there was a prophet of God on the Earth, if Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God ETC. and once he kind of lost testimony of those things, He lost his faith in Christ and then in God. He said that he went to a lot of different religious leaders to try and seek truth and look for what was right. He went to a mosque and then felt a wonderful peace there while he was praying. He said he felt like He was being hugged by the Spirit while he was asking if there was a God. So he continued ti study with that particular religion and decided to join with them and their beliefs. Since then he has lost faith in that religion but he still fells that God is there because of the Spiritual experiences that he had. SO we were meeting with him and trying to understand his concerns, and he posed a wonderful question that for awhile confused me but has since helped me receive revelation that we do have a living prophet of God on the Earth today: If Thomas S. Monson is a prophet then why doesn't he prophecy like prophets of old and say things like "Thus saith the Lord" or "It has been revealed to me in a vision" or "God has come down and has spoken to me and this is what he said." And that question really bothered me. If Thomas S. Monson is truly a prophet of God then why doesn't he tell us that he is receiving specific revelation for our day or adding more doctrine to the Doctrine and Covenants instead of just delivering a message about love that has been almost over killed in the scriptures. We tried to disprove the man by telling him that he has. For example: The lowering of the mission age. ETC. He said that he would have preferred Monson to come out and say "the Lord has revealed to me that all worthy 18 year old young men are now able to serve missions" rather than "Our experiences with 18 year old missionaries has been positive and through tests we feel that they can serve." And that question confused me as well. So I have been thinking about it for a really long time now. And I went in to conference searching for a specific answer to a specific question: Is Thomas S. Monson truly a prophet of God? It wasn't until Elder Eyering's talk on Sunday morning that I received my answer. When he testified of the prophet I felt the Spirit testify to me that he is truly a Prophet of God. Then everyone else after Elder Eyering in that session talked about the Prophet! Sharing their testimony and witness that he is a Prophet of God. I know, through the power of the Spirit, that Thomas Spencer Monson is a Prophet of God, chosen by our Father in Heaven to be his mouth piece in these the Latter days. What a wonderful conference miracle! The Lords ways are higher than our ways. But if we ask with a sincere heart we can find truth in matters that we cannot comprehend ourselves. What a wonderful blessing. The fact that we have a Prophet of God is a wonderful manifestation of his love for us! What a miracle :) 

I guess I am just on a conference high! AHAHA. But this week was really great. We found four new investigators and are always looking for more. We met an African lady from Cameroon (like the only African in Fairfield) and we are teaching her and will hopefully set a baptismal date with her in the near future. Oh! We also got to see Meet The Mormons this week! Holy cow that;s a great film. Go watch it! It's amazing! I'm grateful for all that you do for me. The spirit has been so strong this week. I love you all :) I know tht the Savior lives and loves us!
Elder Caleb James Wardle