Monday, January 25, 2016

last email!

This last week has been crazy.... So first off big bummer... Kristin's
Baptism was on Friday, but that s when the big storm hit so no one
would give us a ride down. Then her baptism got moved to Sunday and we
found a ride! Then it got canceled again because the Bishop could not
make it. I will have the chance to say goodbye on Tuesday as some of
our last hours in the mssion is spent street contacting in Downtown
Richmond on the VCU campus. Which will bring back awesome memories of
when that was my area with Elder Neuman. I will get say goodbye to a
lot of great friends down there.

Earlier in the week Julie was on date for Sunday evening well it turns
out that her family though accepting of her joining the church wanted
her to wait a couple of weeks.. Her Dad wanted to have a sit down Q
and A with us. So we met at the church and talked. We quickly found
out during our disscussion that he was Athiest. Now this could have
gone a couple different ways. When it comes to Athiests I have found
that there 2 are different attributes that they all have. I guess this
could apply to everyone, but here it is. They are 1.) Either Really
intellignt or really dumb 2.) Either adamant about destroying religion
or indifferent. Thankfully he was the intelligent and an indifferent
kind of athiest. It was a really great meeting and though I am bummed
that we won't be there for her baptism she will have some more time to
prepare which I am not opposed to.

So once the snow hit the whole week changed. People here are very
paranoid about snow, almost annoyingly so. We could not leave our
apartment complex for about 2 days and we live about 3 miles away from
our area. So we spent those days shoveling snow and helping people get
their cars unstuck. People were very grateful and offered us money and
doughnuts... We took the doughnuts haha.

On Sunday I decided to check my snow driving skills. While helping
people get unstuck I tried to my very hardest to pay attention to what
worked and what didn't work. This is what I learned 1.) it's all about
momentum. 2.) if you start to drift, let off the gas, break and then
slam on the gas to straighten out. 3.) when you get stuck ( which will
most definitely happen ) don't just sit there and spin the wheels. It
will turn the stuff that your car is on into an Ice skating rink.

When I came on my mission I felt like a little boy, probably because I
was haha. But I have learned so much about solving problems and taking
control of situations that sometimes I can't help but feel that
missionaries in a lot of different occasions have their heads on more
straight than the adults that they come in contact with. Maybe I am
wrong haha.

This is my last day in the field... The fields of Virginia that is ;)
I know it will be sad leaving but hopefully the only thing I am
leaving behind is a place and people. As far as who I have become, the
lessons that I have learned and the testimony I have strengthened, I
am taking it all with me. The calling as a missionary? I will only
miss it as much as I don't use it and I am not going to give that up
without kicking and screaming.

I am so grateful for all the prayers and letters and support that came
from everyone. I know I have not been forgotten.

I will see you all very soon!!!!

I hate to end with this quote, because it does not accurately display
my feelings, but It fits.

"I'm gettin pretty tired... I think I'll go home now."

Love -Elder Wagner

Monday, January 18, 2016

I don't think the last week of my mission could end any better!!
Today Me and Elder Green Are having lunch with President Wilson. I
told him in my last email that it is hard dying with someone. I think
he finds it amusing haha.

Tomorrow we go to the Temple!!! It has only been 2 years since I have
been able to return and report. When I served in Dale city I was
literally a 15 minute drive away but we still couldn't go.. So I am
super excited.

On Wednesday there is a world wide mission conference. This is the
first time they have ever done this and I get to see it while on the

Thursday will be a day full of applying the principals that we learned
from that conference. Plus we get to go interview one of the district
leaders Baptismal Candidates out in Piedmont. I am pretty sure Elder
Green will be dong this one because I did the last one. Interviewing
people is one of my favorite things to do. You get to talk to someone
firsthand about their conversion while it is still so fresh on their

Friday is Kristins Baptism. Me and Elder Neuman found her down at VCU
6 months ago and now she is ready. We are are going to drive down
together with a member to Richmond to see it. I get to have 3 hours of
quality time with my son not long before I go, which I am super
grateful for :) I am sure he will chastise me on the kind of person I
need to be after the mission.. I am looking forward to it haha.

Saturday we are teaching Ethan's girlfriend and then there is a laurel
who invited her friend over to dinner with us last week. We taught her
and then she came to church that Sunday! We are meeting with her and
the other girl on Saturday. The youth have really come alive in this
Ward! It's to bad we are leaving because things are picking up
amazingly fast as far as referrals go.

Sunday. The girl I wrote about last week who believes in God now( her
name is Julie), she is getting baptized!!! There is a whole long story
about this one and most of it we didn't know until Saturday. It came
by surprise to us. (They were worried her parents wouldn't approve but 
her mom asked her if she was thinking about converting, Julie said yes and
she asked if that would make them mad and the mom said no but that she
wants to be involved and learn with her)

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have worked with her! She is so
full of faith and positivity you can just hear it in her voice. I am
so grateful that the Lord has allowed us to see one more person to
make covenants right before we leave.

In the beginning of the Transfer me and Elder green made a bunch of
goals that we called the Sacred Six Sweeks. I wanted to keep with the
S theme haha. We have tried really hard to make them. Some of them we
fell short on and some we have kept. Whatever the case this last
week will be be very special to me. Every morning I put on my name tag
while looking in the mirror and I make that a moment where I kinda
center myself and remind myself who I am and who I represent. This has
been going on for quite a while now and it has helped me so much. The
day where I am not Elder Wagner will be a very sad one. "But it is not
this day!" -Aragon

I love you all -Elder Wagner

Monday, January 11, 2016

Member Referrals

This last week flew right on by. I love member referrals. I know I
have mentioned this a lot lately but it is so much easier and so much
more effective. More than half the people I worked with who joined the
church had members who led them there. Julie the girl who's boy friend
brought her to a church activity is now progressing amazingly well.
When we first taught her she said that she didn't believe in God. We
then  taught her  all about prayer and asked her to pray every night
that week. We met with her again on Saturday and she said that she did
it everyday. Her Boy friend was surprised  haha. We then asked her "Do
feel like your prayers were heard?" She responded by saying " Ya know
what? I think I always believed in God I just forgot. But now I am
sure there is." She came to church Yesterday and loved it. The only
thing we need to work with now is once again getting her parents on
  How amazing is that?? It kind of reminds me of probably 20
different stories in the Book of Mormon. Sometimes we just forget and
all it takes is a couple nudges to help us remember. "Oh now my sons
remember, remember and perish not."
   There is a priest who comes out with us a lot and he has a
girlfriend as well. So we have kind of been hinting that we should
meet with her and after he has heard about his other friends who are
inviting there friends to church and taking the lessons he has invited
her to meet with us! Now we have got an appointment and everything.
It's a week from now which is slightly disappointing because we won't
be able to teach her all the way through due to us getting transferred
to another area and such.
  I don't know who's idea it was to have me and Elder Green die
together, but it was not a good one haha. He is probably my best
friend on the mission which is good but it's hard not to think about
the end when your companion is brining up home every 30 minutes....
  I am doing my best though!! This last transfer I feel closer to
Heavenly Father than I have ever felt before. I think it's because I
am being honest with him in my prayers. Telling him the things that I
messed up on and what I need help with. And guess what he answers :)
This helped me out so much with the work.
  Miracle time! So there is this part member family in which the
husband is not a member. He comes to church every week and
participates. He has been meeting with the missionaries for over a
year now and yet there has been no sign of him wanting to join. He is
the Sisters Investigator so we see him all the time but we never got
to teach him. Out of curiosity to see what was going on we had the
family sign up on our dinner calendar. We were on exchanges that night
so Elder Green wasn't there. The dinner was fine and I ended up
sharing a spiritual thought about who knows what and his wife asks us
to a have as all little testimony meeting . So she bares hers, then I
bare mine along with my companion, and then... He... Bares his... In
it he said that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph
Smith is a prophet and the this is Christ's church. I was
flabbergasted haha. His wife was watching my reaction and was waiting
for me to jump in and so something, but for whatever reason the moment
had past and we had a closing prayer. During the prayer the spirit
prompted me multiple times, "ask him what his concern is." So just as
we were about to leave I say " I gotta know man, what's your
concern??" Slightly taken off guard he pauses and says I don't really
have a concern, I am just waiting for her Brother to get into town so
he can be there for my Baptism. Now I am watching his wife's reaction.
Her jaw drops and after a few seconds she says "that's it? That's why
you haven't gotten baptized? Honey, he would have flew here last week
if he knew that was the case!"
  Pretty cool huh?? Now things are finally in motion for him and his
family. We will never miss out on anything if we simply do what the
Lord asks us to. Probably the best lesson I have learned out here in
Virginia. Love Elder Wagner

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Becoming A Good Person

Hey family! It's good to hear that you had such a fun Thanksgiving.  Do you know that Elder G and I spend our Thanksgiving stuffing ourselves. Course the stuffing was not as good as your's dad but it was good. We had three back to back to back dinners, I slept really really good that night. 
   This week has been a week of miracles. We found a lot of really cool and interesting people. A Russian kissed me four times on the cheek. I know it's his culture but I still felt really weird. My companion Elder G felt the same way. I feel like all my stories I can't relate very well over email. And I get exhausted when I think about trying haha. I know I am a wimp....
    Lately I have been thinking what it really means to be a good person. A lot of this thought was brought on by Stan our Russian friend. His Mother was a prostitute and he was born in the slums of Communist Russia. He described to us the absolutely evil things that happened to him growing up. Later on in his life He defected from the Red army in the 80s, came to America and found Christ. He is an amazing humble man who just by looking at him you can tell he is filled with love and compassion. He is not the most intelligent, talented, or funny guy, but good radiates from him. 
     I want to be a good man. There is nothing in this world that matters more than developing attributes of Christ. In these last few months my desires have changed. My whole mission I have wanted to become the best missionary possible for good and also bad reasons. The bad being for self recognition, and to make myself and my family proud. Now I view my mission as preparation for the rest of my life. I don't want to come home and be like a lot of other return missionaries I have met out here who rest on those two years as the single most important thing they have ever done and will tell you stories on stories about how great they were and they were Ap and zone leaders and will council you on how to be better, but when push comes to shove they won't even go out of their way to say hi to someone who it's their first time coming to church especially when it is blatantly obvious that that is the case. 
    To me all the bold words, finding and teaching skills you develop don't mean a single thing If you can't apply them to real life situations without the badge and without the expectation to baptize that month. I know I am ranting right now and I need to calm down, but I have been noticing that a lot of missionaries hearts including mine are not in the right place. 
     I have been most impressed on my mission by good humble people whose only desire is to better the world through the gospel. These people are not loud about it. They show it by where and how they spend their time. These people don't have to be Bishops or Elders Quorum Presidents. These people are the ones that call us and ask in what way can they help. That don't have to be poked and prodded to share the Gospel or to sign up for cleaning the church. They do it inherently because they have a testimony of what the gospel has done for them and most importantly have not forgotten about it. 
     I desperately want to be that person and it has taken 22 months for this thought process I have been having to come full circle. I am glad that I am starting to figure this out before I come home haha. 
    Sorry again for the rant take from it what you will! I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you. Love Elder Wagner.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hey all. This week was crazy. So I have calculated and am 98% sure that I am going to end my mission here in Spottsylvania. I am staying here to kill Elder Hopkins (this is his last transfer), and then I will stay here to get the new Zone leader adjusted. After that I will have one Transfer left and it wouldn't make sense to move me at that point. When I first came out it seemed like the mission was a dream and back home was the reality. As I get closer and closer to going home, the mission has become reality and home is the dream. Whenever I think about time my brain short circuts for a moment at the thought that it has been 4 years since I started Senior year. It completely dumbfounds me. And now I am looking at Kysa's senior picture!!! Regardless of all that things are going fantastic here!
   There are 4 people right now that I either have worked with or am with who are only 2 weeks away from making covenants with God. K and P I have already told you about. O  is someone that me and Elder H began to teach but passed off to other missionaries and the newest fellow we met last who's name is J. To get straight to the point I had a hard time trying to set him on date because he became to over joyed with the original prospect of "when you know this is true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the priesthood authority of God?" At this he kept on Saying Yes and how this is something that he desperately wanted and needed. We eventually set him for October 10th.
   Flash back to the day before and we had a little time to tract before our dinner appointment. Some college kids Pulled into the next house so we began to talk to them. They were not interested in the least bit so we moved on. With little success for the rest of the cultasack. We head back to the car. Once again we walk by the house where the college kids pulled in they had all gone inside except for an older fellow who was hard at work in the drive way. As we walked by him. I was prompted to talk to him. I ignored it because they had just rejected us about 5 mins ago. We keep on walking and the prompting comes again. This time I follow it. As we meet the fellow it turns out that he is actually the father. Without hesitation he invites us back the following day. During the appointment he tells us about how his wife just left him and his father dies a month ago. He said " I believe you were sent here." That we were.
   The Spirit will tell you all things which you should do. If you follow him you will be blessed as well as others. If you don't you are missing out. Love you all! Elder Wagner

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 24, 2015

 The other day I was on going on exchanges with some biking Elders and we had a rude encounter. We were not quite sure where to lock up our bikes so we see street sign which was almost on this guys lawn. It was kind of one of those places where the person marks it as his territory simply because he runs his personal lawn mower over it if you know what I mean. Also smack dab in the middle of his lawn he parked a classy muscle car so we figured it was no problem. About 30 mins later we are talking to this slightly slower nice old country guy outside when this old dude pulls up in a car and says (In different words) "Hey get your darned bikes off of my lawn!!!!" I respond matching his voice "Is it your Pole???" He yells back " No, but it is on my lawn!!" Then in a much gentler voice I say "oh we our terribly sorry, that must be such a bother we will remove them immediately." The old dude Peels out and the country guy that we were talking to says in his slow southern drawl "U can park your bikes on my lawn if u want, I wont yell atcha." "why thank you!" says my companion for the day . We were laughing about that for the rest of the day.
   There are a couple cool things happening but the number one is Pat the lady that I wrote about las week/ We have had some really awesome lessons with her since I last mentioned her. She  is so ready. She is one of those people who just wants to repent but never knew how. She is a reading machine as well. Its absolutley lovely meeting with people who want to progress rather then spending all of our efforts trying to get them to want to.
   Well that is about all the news that is news. Finnley is adorable, you guys look great and so does Oregon. The VA is about to get real pretty real soon, as fall starts coming in. I love you all so much and pray for you often -Elder Wagner

August 31, 2015
*A side note - Kaleb was born in WV, his dad went to Dental School in Morgantown WV so we lived there for 5 years then we moved to Waynesburg PA were his dad worked in a clinic 30 mins away in WV.  We lived in Greensburg PA for 6 years and attended a small Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints there. Season was a teenager who got baptized while were in this small branch. )* Their family had the missionaries over for dinner (Elder Wagner and his companion) and made the connections. It's a small world in the church. (Kaleb was 4 years old when we moved to Oregon) I learned about pepperoni rolls from a friend while we were living in WV, they were created so they could take them down in the coal mines for their lunches. WV is know for their coal mines. * K'Lynne
I have really been digging back in my memory lately to my eastern days. It was really cool to meet Season. She is in our ward and known as Sister T. We were talking about our backgrounds and things started to line up! She asked me if my name was Kyle and if I had a little sister named Krystal. I told her the real deal and she remembers everything. She remembered you and Dad really well. She said that Sister Wagner probably won't remember me, but I told her that you would haha. Also I was talking to a member in our ward who is from West Virginia and pepperoni rolls came up. I told him that I had not had an in years! So the next day he went to the store and bought me some! I will send you a picture. I don't think it was the legit stuff though haha.
   So We are continuing to work with Pat. That clever pide piper has really been on her these last 2 weeks. She was so supposed to be Baptized on the 5th but last Sunday morning her husband fell and bruised his kidney and she had to take him to the hospital. This Sunday something went wrong with her pancreas and it put her in the hospital for 3 days! We went to visit her and she said this is either really Bad and God wants me to avoid you guys at all costs or this is really good and the devil wants me to avoid you at all costs. We assured her it was the latter haha.
   Something I learned from that though is Usually God does not take away our trials, rather he gives us the strength to be able to bear them. We learn how to do that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Being here has really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I don't think my testimony is any stronger than when it was when I left. However I have come to know what my responsibility is now because it is true. Sure I know the scriptures a lot better, as well as how to answer the tough questions, but most importantly I am learning how to be a better person. I thought I was a pretty good guy before the mission and I was, but there are so many times when I look back at some of the stuff I did and literally do a face palm. Repentance is real folks!
    We ran into a guy this week who told us that he was raised in a church that taught him that he should not talk to us. He had no idea why, but didn't want to hear the message. When people say things of that nature it really makes me do a double take. I imagine in my head someone putting their fingers in their ears and yelling LALALALA I can't hear you! Usually people do that kind of thing when the other person is saying something that is true and it is easier to just shut them out rather then hear them out. Preach My Gospel says find them that will receive you so fortunately we don't spend to much time with people who do that kind of thing.
   Overall it has been a great week. two members in the ward helped us find new investigators this week which is always amazing. Inviting friends over for dinner with the missionaries is the best way to do it. it can be intimidating but if you have got a good companionship it always turns out well. Try it!!
   Love Elder Wagner