Monday, January 26, 2015

"The darkest part of night occurs just before the sun arises."

Hey family, This week has been ups and downs. Being on a mission makes you super aware of your weaknesses. I am really effective if I know the area and I know the members. When that happens the ball is rolling really fast. However when I am moved to a new area I get really scattered brained for about 3 weeks. I forget names incredibly fast, I get lost, I lose things myself (which is why I used the credit card to pay for groceries last week cause I lost my msf card). All of these things decrease my confidence in myself which then affects everything else I do. Fortunately I am just leaving that stage, but I never like going through that process haha.
   There is a quote in batman which says "The darkest part of night occurs just before the sun arises." That has definitely been true for most of my mission. This last week we were having a pretty rough time. Then on Sunday everything clicked. We found a ton of solid potentials the kind that we pray for every night one door right after the other. It was absolutely amazing. For example, we were talking to this girl who was very interested in the BOM when all of the sudden this guy from the apartment above us brings both me and my companion a glass of water with ice and then walks off. We scheduled a return appointment with the girl we were talking to and set off to find this guy. The first door we knock on is his and he begins to tell us how the man he respects the most owns this zoo that he worked at and is the bishop of the ward there. He was delighted to meet with us! and wants to learn more.
   To cap it off though we found a young family that let us in and at first the husband was skeptical but as soon as me and Elder B got warmed up with how to begin teaching he did a complete 180. It was one of those times where both their eyes locked onto mine and they were listening with their hearts when the first vision was recited. The spirit rushed into that room real quick. From that point on it was just a home run. Such an awesome expereience. 
   Thats about it for this week here are some pics from Dale city

 P is the one that is closest to me and M his long lost friend baptized him

Me and Elder Peterson goofing off

Love the tie (Oregon ducks tie)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Area, New Companion

 I am now in the Manchester Ward. It is by far the largest ward I have been in so far. My new companion is Elder B he actually came out with me, but at about 5 months he went home because of a family crisis or something. So now he is fresh back out with me and it is kind of weird. 7 months ago I was a different missionary than I am now. So we are both in different stages. It is kind of confusing. I am now in a house with two other Elders as well. It is a lot of fun, but I think the work goes on a lot better when it is just you and your companion that live together. That way you are more forced to get along with each other haha. I am sure everything will work out though. I have now had 8 companions and by the end of each one I have always loved my companions to death.
  Over here in Manchester we have just been trying to figure out what is going on here and getting to know the ward. It is pretty diverse. We have every class of people you can immagine. Millionaires, middle class, to straight poor and everything in between. Which is really great cause it allows for the ward to support eachother in different ways.
  I am in a car again which I am not to disappointed about around this time of year haha. Fortunately the weather has been pretty mild thus far minus one huge Ice storm. They don't have those in Oregon! Everything freezes. I mean everything. There will be about 3 inchs worth of ice coating cars, mailboxes, and blades of grass as well. 
  I will really miss Dale city I made a lot of friends and found a lot of success. No area is perfect and it is what you make of it.So I am going to make this Area my favorite this far. 
  In the mission (and probably every mission) there is this big debate about numbers. "It is not about the numbers it is not about the numbers." I was listening to President Wilson talk about this and he said " we had 5 baptsims this last week and we are grateful for it, but I Know there are so many more people who are prepared in Virginia this week than 5." That really hit me. There are 100's more willing to accept the gospel and the only thing that inhibits that is our vision and our faith to find. This involves setting goals. So I set one for myself to baptize once a month till the end of my mission. It is a pretty big goal but there are so many people who are prepared here we just have to find them.
  I loved that you guys are involverd in missionary work. It makes me happy and I know it makes you happy to though it might be hard to realize at times. members of the ward truley can hasten the work they just need the vision. 
 The Book is blue and the church is true Elder Wagner

Being Transferred

Hey all! Thanks for the Duck tie! It is just subtle enough that you can't tell what it really is till you look real close. It is perfect haha. I forgot to bring my Camera to day so I can't send any pictures.. which is really unfortunate cause I had all the pictures of the baptism on there that I wanted to show you. I'll be sure to bring it next week.
   The baptism was amazing. I had to throw it all together 3 days before it happened by myself cause my companion was unconscious. Needless to say it was hectic. For example the bishop almost canceled the baptism cause he didn't think that P had a testimony. Others were asking me to put it on another day because no one would be able to make it.  I lost the only key to the baptismal font 2 hours before the baptism. We had someone from another ward Baptizing P and the bishop was unaware of it (my fault) and he was going to make one of us jump in a suit and do it. P had to be dunked twice. One of are speakers forgot that he was speaking and all the while one of our investigators was lost on her way to the baptism. 
   Despite all of that it was the best baptism I have ever attended. Once me and Elder P were able to locate the key we had an hour to fill up a font that took two hours to fill. So by ourselves we began filling up water pitchers  in the near by kitchen and rotated between filling them up and dumping them into the font. We filled that baby up in 45mins. We personally called members and invited them to come to the baptism. The ward mission leader thought we might have 10-15 people there. We had about 30. P was Baptized by one of his best friends that we were able to track down from Sierra Leon that he had not seen in 3 years till they were reunited in the men's bathroom 10 mins before it started. He brought a recommendation from his Bishop and he was able to baptize P. The other person who was speaking unknowingly planned to talk about both topics that we needed. So it was alright that the original speaker did not show up. We got our investigator there and just in time for it to start. She had a great time.
   The crowning moment however is when P bore his testimony. WOW! It was so powerful. In it he said these words. "Elder Wagner and Elder P I want you to know that your efforts with me will not be wasted and that you are more than friends to me, we are brothers. Most of all I cannot wait to partake in the blessing that come in attending the temple both for my ancestors and for me." I will cherish that moment for ever. Life is made up with failed plans, chaos, unexpected trials, and doubt. If we endure and have faith we will be able to take part in complete joy for just a few moments that make all the difficulties beforehand worth it. 
   In other news I am being transferred and am becoming a District Leader whatever that is... I have enjoyed my time here and will miss many but I am glad that it ended right. 
 I love you all have a great week :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

I am so glad Oregon won!  The one year that I won't be able to see them win they probably will. I wish I had a duck tie to wear on game day haha.  
   One of the ward missionaries is a big SEC fan. When I brought up that there prized star got beat and that they don't have anyone going to the championship game he got pretty upset haha it was great.
   So P is going to be baptized this week! I am so excited. That guy is just amazing. Hopefully he can help us convert all of our other African friends. I will send you picks and everything. I have been practicing "I Like to Look For Rainbows" on the guitar I don't know if I will do it at the baptism, but I might surprise everybody ;) It is weird I never had any desire to be a good singer, but it is such a useful tool to use. We are advised to sing at every lesson but it is kind of hard to do when we sound like a bunch of pelicans. So I have been practicing singing. I am not much good but I am much better than when I left from home haha. 
   Transfers is this next week. I have no clue if I am staying or going, but I would be happy with both. Elder Peterson has been getting really sick these past couple of weeks on and off so we have not been able to get out much besides to the lessons that I have been trying to schedule. It really is not a good idea to be sitting in the house all day. You begin to get complacent. Which as in emails before I have indicated is the worst thing that can happen. So I am thinking I am going to get a new companion.

   Other than that not to much to report I am glad that you are all staying busy and happy I love you very much Elder Wagner

Some scarfs that members made us for Christmas. We went and racked leaves that morning