Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Less than 2 weeks to go!

Sent: Wed 9/30/09 7:55 AM

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all are having a great week and are all super excited for conference this weekend! I know I am! It's always great to hear from you and thank you for all your prayers and support! It's been a great week but not a terribly eventful one!

This last Wednesday we got a new district of Elders that is the exact same as ours was! There are 8 Elder's going to Buenos Aires South mission and 4 going to the Dominican Republic. They seem like a great group of guys and I have gotten to meet a couple of them! One of them (Elder Williams) is from Alabama and is a convert of a little over a year (he was baptized in May of 2008). He has such an awesome conversion story and he was actually converted as he was going to school to become a minister for the Assembly of God church. Needless to say he knows the Bible VERY well, but he has a strong testimony and will be a great missionary. Who knows maybe I'll get to be his companion some time in Argentina!

I dont' know how it was for all of you, but this last week was Fast Sunday for us once again due to conference. It was another great experience fasting especially as we've had some special needs in our district, etc. There is never a quiet moment in Testimony Meeting! I was hoping to get the chance to bear my testimony before I leave, but apparently everyone else felt the same way and I didn't act soon enough. I still have one last shot if I get called to speak the Sunday before we leave. :P

Also on Sunday we had Pres. Breinholt of the MTC Presidency in our meeting and he was there to call a Bro. Jensen as a "3rd Counselor" in our branch. I've never heard of that happening before, but he also said that because there are so many Spanish speaking Elder's coming into the missionary in the near future that there would be some changes made. I haven't gotten to meet Bro. Jensen yet, but I am sure he is great! Our Branch Presidency is Awesome! As always I'm convinced I have been blessed with the best district, the best teachers and the best leaders!

I don't remember what I mentioned last week, but Elder McClurg went to the Doctors yesterday and I guess things aren't looking so great. He's been having a lot of the same problems Jordan Fisher was having, and he actually went in to surgery this morning so the doctor could check things out. He told us last night that he's not going to be able to leave to Argentina with us at the same time, and I really hope things work out for him to be able to come down at all. He's been one of my best friends here and he will be an amazing missionary. I'm really worried about him and I'm sure he's having a really tough time with it.

On a lighter note I can't wait for conference this weekend! What a great opportunity to get to listen to our prophets and apostles speak to us! Conference also carries some special "benefits" here at the MTC being that all classes are cancelled on Saturday and there are no meetings on Sunday. I'm sure you can all relate and would agree it will be a nice relaxing weekend! :P Starting with conference as well we are all required to wear a suit at all times which is ok as the weather is starting to get colder.

We should be getting our travel plans tomorrow and I'm very excited about that! I can't believe how quickly the time here has gone by and I hope I have learned enough! I will definately write more about this next week as I get more information.

As a final thought for this week I just want to share something that Bro. Nadauld shared with us last night in the Devotional. He talked a lot about faith, and one thing that really stuck out to me as a missionary was the thoughts he shared about "finding by the way". He bore a powerful testimony of how God will put people in our path as we are doing the things that we need to be doing and contacting everyone we meet. This is something that applies to all of us because all of us who have been baptized have covenanted to take upon us the name of Christ and to live like someone who bears his name should. We never know when one of his children may be in our path, and a lot of times we never know the influence we can have. As we strive to do the right thing and as we follow the Spirit we can all be missionaries in someway and help bring others to Jesus Christ!

I hope you all have a great week and I hope to hear from you soon! Enjoy conference!

Elder Wheelhouse

Thursday, September 24, 2009

MTC Week ???

Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 8:06 AM
Subject: Week ???

Buenas Dias!

Pretty sad that I honestly can't even remember how many weeks I have been here anymore! It's been another great and exciting week here at the MTC! I hope everyone is doing well at home and enjoying the cooler weather! Thank you for all your letters, prayers and support! I got more mail this week than any other week and it felt really good! I am excited to write all of you back today!

I hope all went well at Grandpa's funeral and it sounds like you are all doing really well. I actually recieved his funeral announcement/program at almost the exact time that it was starting. I was pretty emotional as I read over the program and pictured what it was like being there! I really wished that I could have been there but I felt the spirit comfort me and I knew I am in the right place and that everything would be ok! I'm sure it was a great service and I'd love to hear some more about what happened. Also I loved Aunt Yannie's poem that was on the back! It had such a great message and was very thoughtful! I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the plan of salvation!

This last week was our first "Teaching Appointment" that was completely in Spanish! I think we did really well and Elder Hinton always helps me so much! I need to work on my conjugations and learning more VOCAB! The spirit was so strong as we were teaching and I really enjoy teaching in Spanish. We taught an RM that served in Georgia and he gave us some good feedback. Still lot's of room to improve!

Sunday was one of the most eventful days this week! Our Zone was incharge of providing a Sacrament meeting for the Cafeteria workers that have to work on Sunday. Elder Hinton and I were in charge of blessing the sacrament. There was a great spirit there even though all the "congregation" was dressed in their normal street clothes. One of the workers gave a thought about how they are in the service of "the Lord's annointed". I was filled with gratitude for what they do for us and for the sacrifices they make to be there to feed us on Sunday ( even though I'm sick of cafeteria food ). It was nice having an all English meeting and one of the Elder's in my district gave an amazing talk about prayer! Also on Sunday I had my first opportunity to play the piano in Sacrament Meeting! It was so nice to play the piano again and it went really well! Luckily there are only 50-60 Elder's and Sister's in our Zone so I wasn't TOO nervous.

Also this Sunday I was called as the new District Leader. It was very humbling and I am excited for the opportunity to serve! Along with that call comes the responsibility of getting the mail (excited about that) Conducting district meetings, attending leadership meeting on sunday morning and tuesday night, and interviewing each of the Elder's in my district! I'm excited to meet with each of them! I love the Elder's in my district and I hope that I can help and strengthen each of them in some way as well as our district as a whole!

One of the Elder's in my district that I am rooming with (Elder McClurg) had a visit to the doctor's this week and got some pretty depressing news. He's going through a lot of the same type of problems Jordan Fisher went through and he found out that he might be delayed an extra month or so to get things taken care of. He is going to be an incredible missionary and I hope everything works out for him!

Yesterday we found out that the "Consolate of Argentina" is coming all the way from Argentina to visit all the Elder's and Sister's that are going there and possibly to interview us? Basically I don't know what to expect but I am pretty excited! If someone could give me some information about what a Consolate is that would be awesome! Apparently a lot of missionaries going to Argentina have had a hard time getting Visa's, so they are hoping that this visit will help missionaries in the future with that process. I sure hope I don't have any problems with my VISA considering I turned it in all the way back in May, but who knows!

Last night was Devotional Night again! The choir sang a song called "Behold the Wounds in Jesus Hands" which was amazing! The lyrics of this song were incredible and I hope you can all look it up and read the words about the Savior! This week we had Bro and Sis. Clayton from the Presidency of the Seventy come and speak to us! Sis Clayton talked a lot about how the Lord is always there right be our side and that we are never alone. Bro Clayton talked about leaving the world behind, looking forward and not backward!
It's much easier said than done but it's so important that we remember why we are here and make the most of this time that we have dedicated to the Lord!

In conclusion I'd like to share a thought with you that was given in one of our meeting on Sunday by Bro. Nelson in our Branch Presidency. He said "Repenting and being forgiven does not eliminate facing the consequences of the choices we have made". I had never thought of it that way before but I know it is true! We will be so much happier in this life as we continually strive to choose the right and repent of the mistakes we do make!

Love, Elder Wheelhouse

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 5 MTC

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! Thanks for your love and prayers! As always lots of things are going on here at the MTC and it's always hard deciding what I want to write about. I'm sending home a copy of my schedule that I go by each week that shows you the things I do every hour of the day throughout the week. Needless to say it is always nice to get back to our room each night and I always sleep really well! The food here is getting pretty old but overall I can't complain because everything is pretty much taken care of for us here which I'm sure is very different from how it will be in Argentina!

I hope everyone is doing well with Grandpa's passing this past week. I had thought about it a lot over the weekend but didn't get the news till Monday. Still don't have any details, just got the note on the outside of the envelope. What a great man! I'm sure we all have so many great memories of the times we got to be with him and we all feel very lucky to have known him!He's endured a lot these past several years, and we will all miss him very much but I can't help but think how lucky we are that we know how happy he is right now!

This week was my first week teaching a full lesson in Spanish. It was pretty rough and I still can't say all the things that I wish I could, but it went pretty well considering we've only been here 5 weeks now. From here on out all our lessons will be in Spanish! I think that teaching in Spanish will help us all learn things a lot faster and be able to remember them better. I definately need to practice more and we should probably be teaching 3-5 lessons a day to get it down instead of the 1-3 that we've been used to.

As always one of the highlights of my week was the devotional last night. This week we had the privilege of listening to Elder Holland! It's always so cool when one of the apostles walks in to the devotional and everyone stands, it's very powerful. He is a great speaker and I took lot's of notes. He talked a lot about how important it is to get everything I can out of serving a mission, and how important it is to give all you can for this short time that we have agreed to give to the Lord. He talked about how we shouldn't wish for our missions to be easy, because missions are the closest thing to real life that we will experience here on earth. He said missions are a great opportunity to experience in some small portion some of the things our Savior went through when he was on the earth. I've done a lot of thinking about how missionary life really is very similar to the lives the apostles lived. I love this work and I'm so happy to be here!

Sunday's here have become probably my favorite day of the week. My companion has a couple meetings, which is nice for me because I get extra study time! I love the scriptures more and more everytime I read them and for the first time in my life they are really coming to life for me and I'm finding more and more ways to apply them to the things I do. Some of my other favorite things about Sunday are Choir practice, the food, the firesides and of course movie night! This week we watched The Testament! What a great movie about an amazing event! Also, this week in choir we sang "This is the Christ". I have realized while I've been here how much I can improve on Always remembering our Savior and the things that he did for each one of us. One reason I love reading the scriptures is because it really does bring me closer to Him and that's where I want to be!

Well I think that's about all, I hope you all have a great week! I hope to hear from you all soon!

Elder Wheelhouse

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Almost 1 Month!

Wed, 9 Sep 2009

Hello everyone!

Another busy week here at the MTC. Lot's has happened but once again I find myself struggling to decide what to share. I love being here at the MTC! As a district we have gotten the chance to talk to a couple people that served in our mission and ask them some questions. It was fun to learn a little bit about the people/culture, but I also learned some suprising things. I am still very excited but also a little nervous for the day we leave. I can't believe I have almost been here a whole month!

To start off the week we lost 4 elder's in our district that left for the Dominican Republic at 2 am on Tuesday morning. It was pretty weird having them gone for the first day or so, but now we are used to it. First thing we did the morning they left is rearrange the classroom, and e have a ton more room now which is nice considering that's where we spend most of our day. Of course we still miss them and we're hoping to hear from them soon, but I'm sure they are doing great.

I don't know if I mentioned last week that we got a new teacher. His name is Hno. Shulca and he's from Ecuador. He actually served his mission here in Utah and learned english at the MTC. This fact gives me a lot of hope for learning spanish! He is an awesome teacher and has already helped us learn so much. He has a very strong testimony and I think he fits in really well with our district. I'm convinced we have the 2 best teachers at the MTC.

Fast Sunday this week was also a new experience for me here at the MTC. It is so much easier to fast when you are busy studying and focusing on other things! I have learned to love personal study time almost more than anything else while I have been here. It's amazing how much you can learn from the scriptures and how it applies to us even today! They truly are/were inspired words for our day. Anyways the fasting went really well and along with fast sunday came my first Mission Conference. The MTC presidency spoke to us for about 2 hours and I learned so much! Luckily to break our fast they gave us a really nice dinner. I'm getting pretty sick of all the cafeteria food. (Eating at the temple last week was fantastic!)

Of course I must mention the devotional last night since that is usually the best thing that happens all week (next to getting letters). Last night the speaker was Pres. Hinckley's son, Richard G. Hinckley. It's amazing how much he reminds me of Pres. Hinckley! He shared a great message about the articles of faith and how important they are for missionary work. We are so blessed to have these simple, yet profound statements that even a child can understand what we believe in. As missionaries we strive to teach with simplicity, so he challenged us to keep the articles of faith in mind as we teach. It's amazing how many questions can be answered simply by sharing one. Of course he also shared some great stories and passed on the love and support of the First Presidency.

Without hearing too many details I heard BYU had a big win this weekend. It's amazing how sheltered we are here from the outside world. I really have no idea what is going on out there! This is probably for the better but of course everyone here was pretty excited about the game. Sounds like they are going to have a great season!

My spanish I think is improving more and more each day. We are starting to prepare to teach lesson one in spanish, and we will be teaching exclusively in spanish starting next saturday. Of course I am pretty nervous, but I think I can say more than I think I can. Reading through Predicad Mi Evangelio and El Libro de Mormon, I am suprised on how much I can understand. Of course reading and speaking are two different things and I think it will be quite a while before I am completely confident with conjugating verbs, etc. I love the language and I am always excited to learn more!

My thought for this week has to do with Humility. A couple days ago Hno. Cragun shared a quote with us about Humility that I think made everyone feel a little guilty. It talked about how pride is trusting in yourself more than God, and comparing yourself to others. I think the hardest part of humility is submitting your own will to the will of God. I think too often we think we know what we want without taking it to the Lord first. This is pride. While I have been here at the MTC it has been a lot easier to involve the Lord (through prayer) in everything we do, because basically everything we do (even gym) starts and ends with a prayer. Prayer is a great way to show humility because we are recognizing that we need the Lord.

Anyways it was great hearing from Mom, Kristine, Grandma and Grandpa this week! I hope everything is going well for all of you! Strive to be humble and always remember to go to the Lord in all things!

Love, Elder Wheelhouse

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Week 3 MTC

Hello Family and Friends!

So much has happened this week but I'm having a hard time figuring out what is worth mentioning in this email! I hope everyone is doing well at home and as always thank you so much for your letters, emails, and packages! I grow to love this work more and more every day and I look forward to the day that I get to put this training to use! Once again I'm sorry that I haven't gotten the chance to print off any pictures, but I am planning to get some printed off today so hopefully you should have those by the end of the week.

To start off I guess I will talk about one of our activities that we do on a regular basis that I haven't mentioned yet. A couple times a week my district goes to the Referral Center where we either make phone calls to verify that people have recieved there orders of free copies of the book of mormon, church videos, etc., or our district also has the opportunity of doing live chats with people who get on and have a question. Both are great opportunities to teach people about the Gospel and to bear our testimonies! I have had a couple great chats with people that I think are very receptive to the gospel and could end up getting baptized. As a district we have set some "key indicator goals" for how many baptisms (we're shooting for one baptismal challenge!) return investigators, new investigators, and lessons we want to teach to people through the RC! The other day I spoke with a guy named Adam who had questions about the Spirit World. I gave him a brief lesson on the plan of salvation and challenged him to read more on the subject in a talk on and to pray about the things he's heard. I actually set up an appointment with him for later today to talk about his thoughts and feelings and hopefully I'll get a chance to teach him some more! He said he found great comfort in knowing that he has a loving Heavenly Father who wants him to be able to return to live with Him.

As always the devotional last night was another highlight from this week. I've been singing in the MTC choir with a couple of Elder's in my district which has been a lot of fun. Last night we sang an awesome arrangement of Redeemer of Israel. Anyways, the speaker last night was Elder Sybrowsky (spelling?) of the second quorom of the seventy. (Dad, apparently he worked at Dynex, did you happen to know him?) Both he and his wife spoke to us and they introduced their family, many of whom were in attendance. Before speaking individually they stood up as a "companionship" and talked to us the importance and significance of having a companion. They have 9 children, 8 who have served missions and the last one who will be turning in his papers this week. They expressed their love for missionary work and they both shared the conversion stories of their families which were both amazing! He also shared a story about how yesterday as he was eating lunch at a "secret location" in the church office building, he sat down with L. Tom Perry and talked about how he would be speaking at the MTC that night. L. Tom Perry asked him to pass on how important it is that we always stay with our companions and that we love them, watch out for them, and take care of them. It was a great devotional and as always the Spirit was very strong.

Elder Hinton and I are still getting along really well! He has been doing an awesome job in his assignment as district leader and I really look up to him in so many ways. I'm so happy I got a companion that is easy to get along with. Our district has grown so close and it's going to be sad this week as our 4 Elder's headed to the Dominican Republic leave on Thursday. Tonight we will be carrying on the tradition of singing "God be with you till we meet again" in spanish, which is always awesome! I actually got a video of us singing last night which hopefully I can get to you before we leave for Argentina!

I really haven't noticed much improvement in my spanish which is pretty discouraging! Then again, I probably haven't put as much effort into learning it as I could have. I am learning more and more every day, but I think I really need to sit down and set some goals that will help keep me motivated to increase how much I learn every day. I am confident that the language will come, I just hope it's sooner rather than later!

This past week we lost one of our 2 teachers, Hno. Rollins, as he went back to school and had a schedule that wouldn't work with the MTC schedule. He was such an awesome teacher and we all learned so much from him! He was kind of an awkward guy, but he had a great spirit and a hilarious sense of humor. One day to practice our spanish he set up a classroom like an airplane, and we had to talk to other passengers on the "secreta avion" in spanish as he stood at the front with a headset on his head and pretended like he was a pilot. It was pretty ridiculous but we all had a good laugh and I actually think it did help our spanish! We got some good pictures with him and Elder Day (An elder in my room that is an awesome artist) put together a nice card for him that we all wrote in. I think our new teacher is going to be really great! His name is Hno. Shulca, and he's a native speaker which will help our spanish a ton! Tonight is our first class with him.

Well it looks like I am about out of time so I'm going to wrap things up. I hope you all have a great week! I would like to leave you all with a challenge that my branch president, President Nelson, has given us on a regular basis as we have been here at the MTC. The challenge is to Pray every single day and ask Heavenly Father to give you more Charity. We learn in the scriptures that Charity is the greatest of all the gifts of God and I know that that is true! If we strive to have greater Charity each day I know that we will not only be happier ourselves, but in a way Heavenly Father will also be able to show His love through us in a way that brings joy and happiness to others. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!