Saturday, May 31, 2014

If you love Him you will feed His Sheep

Hey everybody! sorry you didn't get this email Monday. They switched p day just for this week because people are home for the holiday.
   As a missionary we are very limited to what we can do. Honestly we need about a 100 hands to be effective, but we only have four so every little thing that members do to help the work along is so crucial. You may receive a call from the missionary's and think "can't they find someone else to help?" and on the other side of the phone the missionaries are thinking the exact same thing. But the truth is that every investigator is precious and so we only put them into the hands of people who we trust. And the people we trust are the ones who are truly converted to the gospel. I know the missionaries are so grateful for everything you do :)

  I love Bednar's talk that you mentioned (Bear up Their Burdens with Ease, April 2014) I could write a novel just commenting on the subject material.
  As far as missionary work goes it has become harder to differentiate what things I should share with you because the abnormal has become normal and those amazing spiritual experiences happen on a regular basis. To some up the work here we have a lot of investigators and we teach a lot and there is some progression. We went to dinner with a fellow named Reginald last night. I tried some things I never thought I would eat. Like squid, Octopus, Crayfish, some weird stuff that had the consistency of deep fried snot it was great! Anyway this guy Reginald is really Awesome he has a testimony of the BOM and of Joseph Smith but he won't agree to a baptismal date. He has some block that we haven't quite figured out. But I am sure we will. Anyway I got to get going love you guys continue to serve because if you love him you will feed his sheep : ) I love you all and pray for you reguraly -Elder Wagner
Took a spill into the only mud puddle in our area haha

Monday, May 19, 2014

When we keep the commandment we find happiness

Hey family! Life in Virginia is pretty awesome as usual! Mom I am so glad that you are going out with the missionary's! It really does give you a ton pf perspective. In Farmville most everyone we taught were very poor and when they saw a couple of white guys in white shirts and ties they immediately thought we were there to judge them, but to their surprise it was the exact opposite. We were there to help them and after talking to us for about 5 seconds they could see that.
    Woodbridge is the exact opposite of Farmville. Just about everybody works in DC for the government and are very well off. Fortunately we don't do any tracting. We just ride our bikes around and offer service and talk about the gospel with those who are outside and if that goes well they will let us inside!
    Last week we saw a couple of black guys playing basketball and our appointment fell through so we challenged them to a game of 2 on 2. Me and my companion are perfectly unified so we destroyed them haha. While we were playing all the neighborhood guys came out and started watching us and taking videos. After the game one of the black guys we played said " the lord has blessed you fellas with many gifts" haha. Afterwards we taught everyone in the neighborhood another lesson, but this one was called the Restoration ;) We didn't have enough Books of Mormon to hand out by the end of it haha, but there were enough for the ones who were actually listening. It was super awesome.
    It is awesome having a supportive ward we have members come out with us to almost every lesson. I cannot tell you the difference that makes. Everyone can see how devoted the missionary's are but when they see members who aren't missionary's but are just as devoted it kind of blows them away.
   Funny story time. So a lady in our ward works for Safeway so she has access to all the food that has expired that they are going to throw out. The food is still good though! Its mostly just different kinds of bread with some sweats as well. So instead of throwing it all away she gives it to the missionary's. We take a couple of things and then donate the rest of the food to the homeless. Beside global foods there is this forest that has this huge hobo camp, we call it tent city. Apparently this has been going on for years but this was going to be my first time doing it. So we both walk back there with this huge bag of food into the middle of the camp and ask some guys where we should set the food so that everyone can have access to it. This guy walks up and is like "The best place to put that is in the trash can! We don't want bread we want meat." someone else pipes in "Bread is bird food and I aint no bird" and to put the cherry on top someone else said " Don't you Jesus boys know that Jesus didn't eat no bread he ate meat!" I was flabbergasted... Jesus was a JEW!!!!! all they ate was bread! To make a long story short we end up walking out and setting the food beside the trail. On the way my companion whispered "I never thought I would meet a prideful hobo" haha so that was interesting..
   Me and my companion are getting along great we are both goofy crosscounty kids so I am super grateful to have him! Chapter of the week is Mosiah 4, When we keep the commandment we find happiness. soooooo KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!!! haha love you all! look for opporitunities to share the gospel Love -Elder wagner

Monday, May 12, 2014

Embrace the awkward

My companion is awesome. We push ourselves everyday to be better missionaries. In the mission we have this saying " Embrace the awkward" Cause there are so many circumstances that are just plain weird like teaching the resotoration while wadling on your bike trying to keep up with a fast walker or slipping up while teaching a lesson and both you and your companion know it etc.
I loved talking with all of you it was so great to see all your faces I truely am blessed to have such a loving family that includes extended family :) I love you all -Elder Wagner

Our attempt at preventing rain from getting in our shoes it didn't work haha

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Elder Bednar

This past week has been crazy... I guess I will just start with Elder Bednar. Woah. That really just sums it up. He truly is an apostle. The missionaries around these parts call him Shrednar because he just tares people apart haha. At one point he said "if you want to grow a beard as soon as you get off your mission those two years were in vain." That was like a slap to the face! I had just talked to Elder Jorgensen about how that was the first thing I was going to do haha.
But he mainly talked about the difference between a testimony and conversion. They are not the same. The only thing I can do to maybe explain it better is to read a talk called "Converted Unto the Lord" by David A. Bednar. That is my HW assignment for all who are reading this and if you don't read it, having just read this you will be held accountable ;) ahaha. But really it is an amazing.
In other news I am being transferred!!!!! And be for you even ask I have no clue where. I won't even be able to tell you where I am at till next when I email you next week. I do know that I will be biking so I am probably going to be in more populated area.
It is hard thinking about leaving Farmville though. I have developed some very close friendships with the missionaries, our investigators and the members of the branch. Believe it or not I am not looking forward to going to a ward. Simply because when you are in a branch you really are a part of a family. Me and Elder Jorgensen had a especially close bond with the branch president he is an amazing man and I hope that someday I can be like him.
I am looking forward to new challenges and new people. These 3 months have zipped right by, because we have worked so hard. And I expect no different in any other area that I serve. That is the one thing that I will never go back on. Get up at 6:30 and work till 9:30. I have 2 years and I have no intention of wasting this precious time that will dictate the direction I will go for the rest of my life. I love you all and look forward to skyping with you. I have got some pretty crazy stories to tell and I can't wait to hear yours -Elder Wagner

This is a link the the talk Elder Wagner mentioned by Elder Bednar,

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"yes lords!" and "thank you Jesus's"

Hey home sounds like things have returned to normal. Except the part about Mom giving a thirty Minute talk!! Where did that come from haha. So a storm is moving up this way? I hope it is not any worse than the one we had last week. There was this huge thunderstorm striking all around us. One was so close it hit a power line near by and knocked out the electricity for like 5 hours. I took a couple of videos that I will send to you guys one day or another.  I got your package thanks a ton for the music and goodies. I am now in possession of 4 toenail clippers! And Yes! I do use them! It’s just that my right foot is about half an inch bigger than the other foot and a lot of the socks I have are pretty thin so they wear out pretty easy.  The package was super appreciated though, there is nothing better than getting a box that says Elder Wagner on it :)   I am looking forward to skyping with you guys too, but I have no idea how that whole deal is going to work. Mostly because I probably won't be in Farmville. The thing is that we don't know if we get transferred till this upcoming Saturday and even then we don't know where we are going till Tuesday.  By the way a three way Skype should work so long as the members computer I am using can handle it.                          

Now for Missionary stuff. These past couple of months I have held Elder Jorgensens hand much more than I would like to admit haha. Now before you start jumping to conclusions you have to realize how people pray around these parts! When they pray holding hands is a must, and just last night I discovered a new aspect of prayer. It was late and we had just finished a lesson with an interesting fellow and I offered to say the closing prayer. So us 3 guys held hands as is customary and then I began to speak and immediately I hear a big MMMMMHHhhhmmm! Yes Jesus! I almost started to laugh but I quickly caught myself as I probably would have been struck down by lightning. I tried to continue to pray with real intent but it was very difficult with all the "yes lords!" and "thank you Jesus's". Sufficed to say I was not able to get use to it so I cut the prayer short haha. People here get very excited about God and we will get plenty of Amen's until we start talking about Joseph Smith haha. That part though is the best because it's when you can see that their wheels in their heads start to turn instead of just mindlessly agreeing.                      
 I have got myself a soccer ball and am working on my soccer skills during the hour that we have before we go to bed. I should be pro by the time I get back haha.                   
 This Saturday We are going listen to Elder Bednar at a special Mission conference so I have been preparing myself by reading a hand full of his talks. Man that guy is a great teacher. One thing he said that kinda sunk pretty deep was that " Life lessons are caught not taught." This concept is pretty important in missionary work. We are trying to get them to make one of the biggest changes they will ever make in this life and believe it or not it does not come through teaching thee perfect lesson. If we can just get them to do 3 things consistently and with real intent they will be converted. 1.) Pray 2.) Read the Book of Mormon 3.) Go to church. That is it. I can throw 100s of balls at someone, but unless they make an attempt at grabbing one we can never play catch. Otherwise they will just be standing there with balls bouncing off their face. It may take a few tries but it is possible. I remember teaching Kysa how to catch a ball back in the good ol days and now she is pro! right Kysa? ha ha           
Well the work here is like the tide when it goes out me and Elder Jorgenesen Scramble to find those precious souls that have been washed up on the shore before the tide comes back in to take them back to the Ocean of worldly life. So far we have had some special moments with people but have not been able to get them home before the tide washes them away.
Though we are teaching a wonderful lady named Nichole! She is scheduled to be baptized on the 24th of May so we are still holding!!!!! And it seems that she is holding on as well :)
Anyway all is good here I learn something new each week and am loving the opportunity I love you all, stay strong and carry on - Elder Wagner