Sunday, December 28, 2014

Weekly Hisashiburi Mail

Last time I e-mailed was a few days ago on Christmas, so let me tell your everything that has happened in between then and now.

Grandma Tanaka came back to Nakatsu from Nepal and brought some Christmas presents back for us (see photo). We had Christmas dinner with her and her husband, and brought our almost-investigator Kajiwara-san. We made Christmas cards for each member, including something we're grateful for about them and a thank you note. We talked to a lot of people about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. And heaps of funny stuff too but email time is when I get my maji on and pretend like I'm not a baka. 

Love Elder Wheeler

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Weekly Christmas Mail

Merry Christmas!

Last night we had a Christmas activity here in Nakatsu (north of the south-main island of Japan, Kyushu) which had a great turn out! Hope you all have a great Christmas, because I certainly am. Here, enjoy some photos. 

Tell me which is your favourite.

Love Elder Wheeler

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weekly Water Mail

We dendo'd a bunch this week, and my companion is in the close-to-dying stages of a cold (not really), but we also ate a lot of hotto motto this week.

We invited a guy we were housing to be baptized and he this was what his response would be like if it were in English 'yeah man I go to this waterfall like every year and go under this waterfall and get wet and it's way sick, water is so good isn't it'

We also housed this American girl and we were like 'we usually do this in japanese, what do we say now?' but she was way cool and didn't hate on our clumsiness and we invited her to check out the He Is The Gift video on

Christmas is soon so we are doing 12 days of Christmas with our investigator Etou-san, by finding nice little things to do for her every day and then we are giving her the Joy To The World DVD as a gift!

That's all, 
Love Elder Wheeler

Selfie with santa hat the Nobeoka members gave me, my companions glasses, and the sweetest birthday necklace my papa (Elder Rogers) gave me for my birthday, with my dying companion in the background and his spider man toy.

Other photo is our matching ties. Yeah!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Nakatsu Mail

I was transferred from Nobeoka to Nakatsu, another pretty rural area (my specialty!) which has about a 10 member branch here. They already treat me like their best friend so I feel especially loved!

Yesterday was my birthday and because President loves me so much he brought all the missionaries (not on islands) to Fukuoka, the capital of the mission, and had a sweet conference/special training from the director of the MTC, Brother Heaton.

My new companion Elder Malaska is way too funny, especially his wake up calls that involve him speaking like a Radio announcer, chugging some fanta and then accidentally spitting it out all over the ground, all before I have finished my morning prayers. 

I love Nokeoka and all my friends there, but I am so ready for Nakatsu and all the adventures this place will bring! Also I have been a missionary for a year, that's scary. 

Photos are our last Eikaiwa in Nobeoka, and then the last photo we took together before I left on the train!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekly Wheatley Mail

Elder Wheatley goes home this week, he finishes his mission, so we visit a million people so you will recieve a million photos.

Investigator Update!
Yasuyo, mother of our investigator family who Elder Culverwell and I found and started teaching back in July, has come to Church a few times recently - even though we haven't been able to teach her all transfer because she has been busy. She came this past week, and so did Elder Tashiro, and area seventy who also did a great fireside after Church which Yasuyo stayed for. In fact, Elder Tashiro really directed and applied it to Yasuyo and helped her see what a miracle it was that she started learning about the Gospel, and how it has and can continue to help her and change her life. After the fireside they spent quite some time talking, too. I know Yasuyo had a spiritual experience and after a while of her not really going anywhere, I really feel like she is ready to start hearing the lessons and progressing again.
Last night we had our last lesson with Asuka, a long time investigator. She has a number of problems, but last night we had a really spiritual lesson in which we were able to identify the Spirit, and testify that we knew that she could feel it too. Same as Yasuyo, I feel like Asuka is really starting to progress and to go somewhere.

Photos: Elder Tashiro and I, our branch with him, and then our last lesson with Asuka and also Watanabe Shimai who is the BEST member missionary

We did service, pulled out a tree, had lunch with our man Mayan who is the coolest Nihonjin on the island(s), and had dinner with the famous Nobeoka family - the Kais.

Had another dinner at an Italian-like restaurant, checked out some okay swords, and visited Haruka and took some weird photos like usual I guess

Elder Wheatley's face, Elder Cope and Ayaka shredding the piano/violin combo, Final Maccas adventure with Tomohiro and Yamamoto Shimai (a Less-Active we have been working with) and her family we met for the first time this week.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Bonfire Mail

Yosh. On Friday we had a Bonfire complete with smores, Eikaiwa students, some new friends, a few members and some yodaki like rain. It started raining pretty lightly, so we just continued under some umbrellas (as seen in the photo) but then it got way heavy after an hour and a half but it was fun while it lasted!

On Sunday we had an open house and thanksgiving activity which was great too. Our members are the absolute best!

We also went to the Fukuoka Temple with our branch, an easy four hour drive up. Was way cool, but some of the other members snuck off before we got our photo.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekly Dendro Mail

Good week.
We commited to go finding for 3 hours every day, and we saw a few miracles and gained a few potential investigators.
So, yeah!

Here's a photo of us eating with our Branch President.

I forgot to say this but this week we put forth our faith and commited to finding for 3 hours a day, along with the rest of the mission. We did it and had almost 50 random-at-the-door (best way to describe it I guess?) lessons which is incredible and was really fun.
One man we found on the street and invited him to Church, and he came the next day, and will meet with us this week. What a miracle!
I have come to love finding more than I did before, and I felt like I have really grown from this week!

Love Elder Wheeler

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekly dendo mail

This past week we went up to Kumamoto for Zone Conference, had some fun at Sushi Rooo-whatever, took another dumb photo with my Dad Elder Rogers who is Kumamoto zone leader, had a sweet Family Home Evening activity at our Church which included Tim Tam Slams, aaaand took a lot of photos. So prepare yourselves.

Love Elder Wheeler

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekly Sakana deeesu mail

Since Umeda's baptism most of our investigators have dropped so we have been doing quite a bit of finding lately! Umeda is the best though.

We had stake conference this week so I was reunited again with my Dad, and also some other good guys.
On another day we ate fish and went in to the woods.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekly Zombies Mail

With Umeda being baptized last week, our lessons with non-members have gone straight down! But that's all good because she is a legend and loves meeting with us.

This week we zuuuutto prepared for our Halloween party which was a huge success, around 50 people came, heaps of non-members and friends which was great. Us four missionaries dressed up as zombies, and I wore one of those cool hats that Samuel L. Jackson always wears for some reason.

Nothing else to report on, so here are some delicious photos

Ja ne!

Photos: 1. Brains! 2. (almos) everyone together at the Halloween party

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weekly Baptism Mail

Let me tell you a little story.

On Ishigaki, my first area, I was transfered just a few weeks before our investigator Nakamichi was baptized, but I wasn't annoyed or disappointed in any way because I knew it was right for me, so I continued singing 'I'll go where you want me to go,' and during my first week in Nobeoka (in June) I saw an awesome miracle! An Eikaiwa student, Umeda Nozomi, came up to me and asked if we had a Church website where she could learn about the Church. Ever since then we have been teaching her, and she has gained a lot of faith.

Through her desire to learn and know, love of the Book of Mormon, countless prayers, hard work on not only her part but of the part of many members and missionaries, and many, many miracles and tender mercies from the Lord, she was able to overcome what was holding her back from just taking that extra step of faith and this weekend... she was baptized.

Elder Wheatley baptized her and I confirmed her the next day, and I have been just extactic. The Spirit was so strong at all her meetings leading up to her baptisimal service, at the service itself and at Church the next day. She even bore her testimony and shared her conversion story at her baptismal service.

The miracle of a mission!

This week was transfer calls, and all four of us are staying here in Nobeoka - this will be my fourth. I will be transfer 7, gettin' old ;)

Mata ne

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekly Ya'll Haters Is Done Mail

Someone give me a beat, I'm gonna drop this miracle,

So Rieko Shimai, a recent convert from last year, has a young family with two little girls, but for the longest time her husband has been quite against the Church to the point that a few months ago we were careful about contacting her, because we were worried about her husband.

We had a dinner all together last month, and her husband came, and he really connected with Elder Wheatley! He, Takayoshi his name is, was faced with a decision at work that humbled him. One day he came out of an argument with his boss and saw us riding past his work, he waved, and what we found out later was that at that time he thought to himself that he wanted to meet us again. So last week we went over to their place for dinner, he came down to welcome us at the bikes, and during the evening he said recently he has felt that family prayer is an important thing... despite never having done it, or ever wanting to!

Flash forward to now, he has been talking to his wife and he wants to not only meet us again, but wants to hear the missionary lessons. His heart is changing, and it has been a huge testimony builder that the Lord sends us where we need to be, because this change of heart has started to happen both as Elder Wheatley was transferred here, and as the Lord has put certain things in his life for him to humble himself.

It doesn't sound that spectacular, but it is a huge miracle. We have an appointment this week, it's so exciting to be a part of this! Also Umeda has a baptismal date for October 18 but she wasn't sure if she could meet that date, but we will be meeting tomorrow, so there's a cliffhanger for you!

Photos: 1) Elder Just and I bought these sweet gold snapbacks

2) Got some new suteki photos for my wall, what better way to show them off than to pose with my decent sized Kumamon fan and yanki swag?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekly Beach Life Mail

We went to the beach last P-Day and we liked it so much that we went back twice! Once a few mornings later for the sunrise and to play frisbee, and again later in the week, but it was just before a typhoon came so it was crazy windy and I nearly got blown into Oz.

Oh yeah so I guess another typhoon came. We went outside to see if it would work if we shampoo'd our hair in the typhoon rain but the rain stopped.

It's all coming together with our investigator Umeda! his past weekend she fasted to recognise an answer from Heavenly Father that this Church is true, and she came to the full 3 hour program for the first time in two months (this was her 7th time to church in a row). Tonight we will meet her and will extend to her a baptisimal invite, to be baptised on October 18! I'm so excited.
I've really gained a lot of love for her, and a long with that, our other investigators. I've learnt patience and in helping her become more Christlike and to look towards God, I have realised that I have done those two things myself!
The miracle of a mission!

Also this older man called Miyawaki has come to Church three weeks in a row, and he read a Liahona from cover to cover so we started teaching him.. and he is pretty funny. But I can hardly understand him, and he thinks I can. That makes for some interesting moments, actually.

Heard some great news from home, particularly about UYC. Send me more photos onegaishimasu.

P.S. No we didn't go swimming at the beach

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Weekly Get Pera or Die Trying Mail

Hora! Chanto read this.

Went to Kumamoto, big city with heaps of people, hit up this sick castle, then I got to Dendo with my Dad (Elder Rogers my trainer). It was way nostalgic but this time I could understand and speak that one language. Kind of.
This morning we got up at 5 and went to the top of this mountain with our Branch Mission Leader to watch the sunrise which was cool but I feel like a zombie now.
Our investigator Umeda is the best, she came to Church for the 6th time in a row, and is still reading and praying every day, and has told us she wants to fast with us this week to be able to recognise answers to her prayers (after we spent a great lesson on how to recognise the Spirit and recognise answers).
I asked the other Elders about what we did this week, Elder Just said: Went to a castle, then went broke.

That about sums it up.

Bye. Elder Wheeler.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekly Kumamotes Mail

I'm in Kumamoto city, a 4 hour bus ride from our area, and today we are going to check out this castle and tomorrow we are getting training from our leaders. Last night I stayed at my dad's house. He is really proud of me now that I am a big boy.

This old dude at a vege store was so fascinated with my companion, Elder Wheatley, and I (being gaijin), so much so that he grabbed my companions face and is like, "Yep, this is the face of an American," and grabs my face and moves it around a little "Yep, this is the face of an Australian." So that was flattering.

Mayumi, our investigator with a baptisimal date for next month, met with us and her friend who is a less-active member who referred Mayumi to us, and we taught them an awesome lesson. Before we even brought it up, Mayumi mentioned her baptisimal date and said she will be baptised on that date. She said she wants the gift of the Holy Ghost and it really seems like she has a sincere desire!

Umeda came to Church for the fifth week in a row, her insecurity about her family's view on religion is what has been stopping her from really commiting to being baptised, although she had a date recently (the date has now passed). We taught her this week about Temples and Family History and even gave her a My Family pamphlet to fill out with information and stories about her relatives and ancestors - and she absolutely loved it! We told her that we know she can be baptised in the near future and that we will want to make another goal with her to work towards, as the recent one has passed - and she, unexpectedly to be honest, said that she would like to make a goal for within 3 months (earlier in the week she said if she makes a goal to be baptised it won't be for a year). Her testimony is growing stronger and stronger every day, and so is her desire to be baptised.

Also this old guy we met at a party on my previous companion's, Elder Culverwell, last day turned up to Church today.. he is way hard to understand though but he is preatty cool! Old dude rocks this snapback, he knows how the real world is. Word.

Photos wa our district went out to lunch in Beppu and we took a dumb picture, us four Nobeokans took a dumb picture together, and my Dad, Elder Rogers, were working out when someone took a dumb picture of us. 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekly nanbashiyottoka Mail

That's Kummamoto ben for 'what are you doing!'

Elder Culverwell, my companion was transferred to my bean area - Ishigaki! I have a new companion who is two transfers away from dying, Elder Wheatley from Idaho. Elder Keikyu, the other missionary in Nobeoka, was transferred to Miyako, the island next to Ishigaki.

Yesterday we did this crazy activity in like some jungle and that was way sick.

I have too many photos to send to write a good email so here is what I wrote to Kaicho, livin' large in the copy and paste life.

Elder Wheatley is a good bloke, and already we have seen some fair dinkum miracles!

Umeda, our progressing investigator with a baptismal date, doesn't feel ready for baptism just now, and has a few problems with her family, but I can tell you she has becoming more and more ready. She has made lots of changes in her life, she is living the word of wisdom and reads the Book of Mormon for half an hour each night before she sleeps no matter what. She came to Church for the fourth time this week!

Yasuyo, the Mum of our investigator family, was well-receiving of us this week as it was the first time we attempted to share a scripture with her in a while and it turned into a great discussion about God where, again, in her own words and thoughts caught herself in a state of realization that, contrary to what she's thought her whole life, relying on God can bring so many more blessings than a life not. Great step in the right direction for her and her family, since we have been rebuilding our relationship with them!

Mayumi, our new investigator who was a referral from our less-active member, is amazing! She came to Church and accepted a baptismal date for October. In her words 'I want to be baptized, because I want to be clean.'

So there's that!
Awesome week, as always, and I feel like I am working closer and closer with the Lord as each prayer, each disappointment and each triumph passes! Elder Culverwell did so much for this area so I am so excited for him in Ishigaki - my old area!

Photos: Elder Culverwell and I at Yasuyo's and her family's house with a few friends the night before he transferred.
Our last photo!