Monday, March 23, 2015

Alma 17:1-2

 So R's baptism. It was great I got to go up to it with one of my favorite companions Elder Y. We were the ones who originally found and started teaching him. It was also good to see a bunch of familiar faces at the baptism, but most of all it was good to see Reginald again. In Alma 17:1-2 it talks about how awesome it is to reunite with old friends, but it is even better when your old friends are still in the gospel or have found it while you were separated. That was most definitely the case on Saturday. We got the baptism right the first time fortunately and we had a nice big hug afterword. When we were changing in the bathroom I asked him what got him to this point and he said "the missionaries and the members supported and kept on encouraging me and God helped me make the step and I thank him for it." 
   To tell you the truth I was not sure if he would ever do it, but he did. We just always need to be there to help and invite others who we may not be to sure about, because we all have unlimited potential. If someone has confidence in us the lord does and I have confidence in him so I need to have the hope that people can and will make changes to their lives if I do my part. 
   Other than that Me and Elder B went to a baptist church the other night. It was interesting, a couple of folks tried to "save us" but when we told them that we had faith in Christ as our Savior and that through him we can go to heaven they almost seemed disappointed haha. All they hear about us is that we worship Joseph Smith and do good things just so that we can "earn" our way to heaven. So false. Anywho It was overall a good experience. They were generally friendly and welcoming. 
   That's about it for this week as far as out of the norm things, I love you all! Stay strong and carry on -Elder Wagner

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This week was an exciting one. We found a whole slew of gods elect. Probably the most we have found in a week since I was in Lakeridge second ward. Things are starting to happen here and its great. Speaking of Lakeridge second ward, I got a call form them the other night. Slightly confused I asked what was up. R the Ghanaian who I taught for almost 5 months has finally decided to be baptized and he wants me to do it! So this Weekend ( If I can find a ride) I will be going up to put him under. He has been ready this whole time he just had some road blocks in his mind that he could not get over. He will make an interesting member. He has got some unique ideas that he loves to share during gospel principles that make people kind of nervous haha but that's what makes church interesting!! That is kind of the reason that I liked Farmville so much. There was never a dull moment. 
   That phone call was the answer to so many prayers. I love R so much. I remember on the 4th of July we just went on a walk through the neighborhood with him for about 30min, to watch the Fireworks that people were setting off. We talked about his family, some of his goals and his struggles. He was well aware of our purpose ( we had made it known to him many times ) but just for a moment we enjoyed each others company. I don't know why I love that memory so much but I hold it very dear to my heart.
   I always learn something different form each of my companions And with Elder B I have learned how to really listen to people and what they are saying. He is very good at noticing  important details when people speak to him that I  tend to miss. We are getting along really well. I have also learned how to pick and choose my battles. In the past if I had a disagreement with someone I would stop at nothing to let them know that they are wrong. No matter how insignificant the disagreement was. For example me and Kyle would have heated debates on simple things like the definition of words haha.
Now however if it is something of no consequence I just drop it, or I try to really listen to what they are saying and I usually find that we are both on the same page but don't realize it. 
   The mission is great. I am doing the work and loving it as well (there is a difference). I am grateful to have such a happy family at home and that though there are things that come up. Everything is okay. Continue to pray and read the scriptures daily love -Elder Wagner

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Catch up!

February 24
 I had the wonderful opportunity this week to baptize someone for the first time and the funny part is that I really had no role in this woman's conversion. One of the great blessing of being District leader is that you get to interview those are ready to be baptized. It is so wonderful to hear there strong testimonies and since I do it so often it continually reminds me that people are always prepared to hear the gospel. I had the chance to interview a sister by the name of O . At first she was a little nervous, so I tried to help her feel comfortable and after that happened she just opened right on up. It was extremely uplifting for both of us to talk about the gospel and her progression in it. Anyway she left feeling very happy. 2 days later I get a call from the sisters who have been teaching her that the person who she had originally planned on baptizing her could not make it so instead she requested that I do it. I said I would be honored too. However I have never baptized anyone before so this would be a first for both of us.The Sister let me know a little before hand that Sister O has a fear of water so they did not fill up the font as much as they usually would. I thought there was nothing wrong with that so I did not think to much about it. Fast forward to the baptism. We both walk in at the same time and the water goes a little above my knees and I thought to myself "oh boy.." Sooo it turns out that the third time really is the charm if you catch my drift. Hopefully it was not to traumatic for her haha. Afterwords she did say that it was still very powerful and that she felt the spirit. 
   That's the story for the week. I am staying here in Manchester with Elder B so don't be afraid to send anything over here ;) I love you all stay strong and carry on Elder Wagner 

March 2, 2015
 There are so many good restaurants in Virginia it is ridiculous. We went to this place called Don Pepe's for lunch. It's basically a better version of Si casa Flores. Anyway we stuffed ourselves and then my body reverted back to the good old days where we would have a good Mexican lunch and then come home and fall asleep to the fishing channel, waking up 3 hours later well rested and ready to begin something else. Though I didn't do any of those things my body reacted like it  Not happy haha. It reminded me of all those Saturday lunches though which was pleasant.
   As far as the week goes it has been the usual. Me and Elder B are getting along really well. It took us a while to figure each other out, but those companionship's always turn out to be the best. We had a pretty funny story this week. The conclusion of it is that I was left stranded in the middle of the country at night beside an unknown road, completely by myself for about 6 mins. Which for someone who has never left a person leave his side for the last year it was quite bizarre. 
 This is what happened. We go to contact an investigator with a priest at about 8:30 at night. She was not home so we go to hop back in the car. Elder B takes shotgun and J gets in the drivers seat and I attempt to get in the back but the door is not opening. I try again and it still is not opening. The car begins to pull away. Thinking they are joking I walk to the end of the street where they are going to pull out. They get on the main road and I wait for them to slow down and pick me up when they reach me. Trying to be funny I act like a hitch hiker trying to wave a car down. I was then shocked when I received the same treatment that most hitch hikers do when the car wizzed by me at full speed without hesitation! For about 30 seconds I don't even know what to do. I check for the phone and thank God for it being there. I then begin to call the priest multiple times and he does not pick up. Half laughing and half annoyed I send him a simple message saying "your missing something."
   After waiting for a couple of mins I finally receive a call from the priests phone and here my lovely companions soft sarcastic voice say "Elder Wagner. Where are you?" haha. They drove back and got me and it all worked out, but it was a very weird six minutes for me that I have no intent on experiencing for a while. 
   Later when we were talking about it I asked why they did not pick up the phone. They said they thought I was trying be smart and get them to involve me their deep conversation they were having by calling. When they checked their messages they asked "what do you mean we are missing something?" When I did not respond they looked at the backseat to find me missing. I won't forget that story anytime soon. 
  I love you all and am so happy to see a happy healthy baby. Whenever I look a the pictures of her I can't stop smiling :). I look forward to seeing her practically 1 year old self! -Elder Wagner

March 9,2015
The Suprise Birthday party was awesome. I noticed the decorations when I walked in, but did not think anything about it. Then she kind of gave me a knowing look and said that we are having lemon cake to which I became a little suspicious. Then she told me to uncover the main dish. When I saw it I almost started tearing up. Not because I was excited to eat it or anything (though I was excited for that ). But for the first time in a long time it I could really feel true genuine love from someone else. I felt someone actually cared about me as a person for who I am  and not as another missionary who is trying to get them to do something that they don't want to do. As missionaries it seems that we just surround ourselves with a lot of people who would rather not be around us or some that are simply because they have to. Companions ward members investigators etc. So it was one of the few moments where I felt truly appreciated. It really meant a lot to me so thank you. That was probably the best gift I have ever received :)  
   I feel like every week is the same so i don't really know what to write you haha. We found some investigators we lost some. However me and Elder B have noticed a common trend amongst almost all the investigators we have found in the last couple weeks. Many have lost someone dear to them. Grandma's, Grandpa's, children, siblings and spouses. A lot of the times we run around with a blindfold on. The blind fold is the distractions in life. We get so well rehearsed in our daily activites that we don't look where we are going. It turns into habit rather than conscious decision making. Then something bad happens and the Blindfold is ripped off our faces and we see everything. The good the bad, and yet just because you can see does not mean you know which way to go yet. These are the kind of people we have been working with and it has been a blessing to see such humble and open learners. Some are still looking at the negative things, but at least their eyes are open.
   In other news we got into a royal bash with a fellow christian :) It started off nice and friendly but when he started saying that we worshiped Joseph Smith and that we have to earn our way into heaven things got a little heated. This kind of discussion took place for a while and then he said " Oh and you guys believe that everyone is a child of God.." To which I  replied with a hint of surprise in my voice said "you don't??" He said "Nope!" At that point I just walked off, my companion quickly followed. Experiences like that really get me riled up so I try really hard not to get involved. Occasionally I get roped in though. Good thing I can change my ways through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh sorry never mind once saved always saved! regardless if I don't even TRY to keep the contract that I made with God. Okay I am done ranting. 
   I love you guys with all my heart and because I do I am going to DO everything in my power so that others can feel that same love within in their own family and have that for eternity. Christ has given us a gift and a great measure of whether or not we appreciate that gift depends upon our actions. Yes we will slip up, but that is what enduring to the end means. Try your best and God will make up the rest. Love Elder Wagner