Thursday, July 31, 2014

Getting to know Elder Harvey

Friends and Family,

So I just wrote like an entire email but I accidentally deleted it, so here it goes again.  This week has been really crazy at the MTC.  I've been pretty sick this entire week, and I'm still trying to get over it.  I've had headaches, sore stomachs, and a stuffy nose.  My hair also grows like crazy, so I had to get a haircut.  Also during these past four weeks, I've managed to crack both of my $20 watches.  I was pretty disappointed both times.

I'll now give a little more information about my new companion, Elder Harvey.  His mission call has been switched two times and that includes two language changes.  His call was switched to Korean here in the MTC, so he was put with the group that is three weeks ahead of us.  During the weeks that he was with them, he worked extremely hard to catch up to them, and just as he was making progress, he got switched down to our companionship.  As one might imagine, he was not very excited about it.  For the first few days, he wouldn't help us or communicate with us about his feelings.  I spent a fair amount of time thinking and praying about him.  On Sunday night, I was talking with him on the way back to our residence and he finally opened up to me.  He told me about how he knew he was supposed to be with us.  As soon as I got back to the residence, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders; I was so excited.  It was a great reminder to me that God truly does answer prayers.

This week I also got to host.  I helped missionaries as they were dropped off by their parents.  It definitely reminded me of the crazy thoughts I had when I was first dropped off.  It feels like yesterday that I entered the MTC, yet it feels like forever ago.  I almost can't describe it.
This week we heard from John H. Groberg, who "The Other Side of Heaven" is based on.  He gave a great talk in which he reminded us how we can share our testimonies of Jesus Christ in all that we do.  He also told a great story about how he made a goal to share his testimony three different times in one day.  Because he did everything to meet that goal, he was blessed by the Lord with an investigator.  I love the speakers here because they bring the spirit into that auditorium so well.  I feel God's love here so much that I'm getting too used to it I think. 

The language that I'm learning is quite the struggle.  I seems like I have to look at a word a hundred times to get it to stick in my head, but it could be way harder if I didn't have the spirit with me.  This week we taught over a 45 minute lesson to one of our "investigators."  I have no idea how it went on for that long.  I was surprised by how much I could actually say.  We also had a great Teaching Resource Center lesson (a lesson with a local member of the church who speaks Korean and volunteers to come in and let us teach them) on Friday.  I love TRC a ton because we are able to have an awesome discussion about this wonderful gospel. 
Lastly, my classes are the highlights of my day.  My teachers are really great and so different.  Brother Christensen energizes us so well to work hard to do this wonderful work.  On the other hand, Brother Sung tells us amazing and deep "parables" that he has learned.  Both of them encourage me everyday to be better and become more like our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have such a strong testimony of the happiness that this gospel brings.  I am so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ which allows me to be forgiven from the many mistakes that I make.  I am also so grateful for all the prayers and support I have received.  I love you all.

Your favorite Elder,

Elder Wheeler

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another Companion?

Friends and Family,

These three weeks have gone by so quickly.  I continue to accomplish so much in such little time.  I am now currently teaching three "investigators."  It takes so much time to prepare for each lesson, but I am certainly improving.  The lessons are now less scripted.  All I usually have with me is a vocab sheet in which I craft sentences in my head during the lesson.  I have been able to feel the spirit so much more when I am focusing on the investigator instead of reading off a piece of paper.  Our investigators also ask some really tough questions which are hard enough to answer in English.  We also do a thing called TRC every week.  During this time, people from around Provo who speak Korean come in and we teach them a lesson to the best of our abilities. 

Something very interesting happened this week.  Yesterday, Elder Bluhm and I got another companion.  His name is Elder Harvey and he is originally from Taiwan.  He was adopted and then lived in Utah.  He was originally called to the Anaheim, California mission- French Speaking, but his language was changed in the MTC for some unknown reason.  So after being with another companionships in our district, he is now with us.  He seems like a great missionary.  I'll make sure to tell you more when I get to know him better.  I only met him yesterday.

On another note, the food here is getting quite old.  At first it tasted pretty good, but it now tends to be sickening.  The Gym opened back up on Tuesday, so I am now back to playing a lot of basketball.  It is such a great time to release all the built up frustration over Korean.  However, I am being patient because I know it will eventually come.  Also, this week about 20 missionaries left our zone for their missions in Korea.  They all seemed really prepared; hopefully, I make it to that point.  On the bright side, about 25 missionaries joined our zone yesterday.  They are all headed to either Busan or Daejon.

This week at the MTC, T.C. Christensen, who produced 17 Miracles, and Stanley G. Ellis, a member of the seventy, spoke to us.  They were both amazing talks in which I felt the spirit so strongly.  Even when I am having bad days here at the MTC, the Lord constantly gives me tender mercies to remind me of His love for me.  For example, after a rough and discouraging day, I was able to teach a lesson that went really well.  It boosted my confidence quite a bit, and the spirit definitely cheered me up.  My testimony in this gospel grows so much everyday as I study and pray constantly.  I've learned so much from that amount of studying I have done.  God inspires me and guides me when I intently listen to his spirit and put forth effort by reading the Book of Mormon.  That book is so amazing, and I encourage all to read it.  I find answers in there to questions I thought I never had, and I always find things that I can improve on.

Again, Thank you for the awesome support.  I feel your prayers everyday and I love to hear from you.  If you want to contact me you can at:

Your favorite missionary,

Elder Chase Wheeler

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Week, New Teacher

Dear Friends and Family,

So it turns out that my investigator was actually my teacher. His name is Brother Sung and he teaches our district at night. I have one class after lunch and another one after dinner that goes until 9:20. We usually spend about one hour teaching, one hour learning Korean, and one hour learning about how to teach the gospel. I love both our teachers, and they are both returned missionaries from Seoul.

I am doing pretty well learning Korean at this point. I know that I just have to be patient at this point with the language and let it come as I work hard. I have started crafting my own phrases such as: 저는 성 형제님을 이해하지 않습니다 (I don't understand Brother Sung). Some days are harder than others to learn Korean, but I know that those days are there to remind me how much I do need God to learn this difficult language. This week we have learned about past, future, and negative tense, along with the two different numbering systems that are used in Korean. My companion and I continue to teach new lessons to both of our teachers now acting as "investigators." Although they are quite tough and frustrating, we are certainly making quite a bit of progress.

The MTC is really great, and I have made tons of new friends in my district. Our district is certainly one of the strongest and most focused in this Korean zone. We all get along super well and there is always someone with a hilarious joke (usually me or Elder Eggleston, who is awesome). He drew a great picture of me which I will send with this e-mail.

Although no apostles showed up, we had two great devotionals again this week. Sundays and Tuesdays are the best because of that very fact. One was focused on love and Charity, while the other was centered on making Jesus Christ more a part of our lessons and lives. On Sundays, two or three missionaries are called up at random to give a talk in Korean on an appointed topic. This makes it so that everyone has to be prepared. Luckily, I was not called on or that could have been a disaster.

Overall the MTC is awesome, but there are some not fun things about it. We have two service times a week which pretty much consist of cleaning toilets and vacuuming hallways and classrooms. Cleaning toilets once is definitely enough for me. We've also had some pretty great soccer games. I usually play goalie, and I've decided that I'm probably better than Tim Howard haha. I don't think that I'll ever get tired of the food, by the way. It's always something different with so many options.

I am seriously so grateful that I have the opportunity to be in the MTC. I learn something new everyday. Not just Korean, but I learn something new about myself and this wonderful gospel. I know without a doubt that this is where I need to be, and I know that this is the true church.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful support. I can feel the love and the prayers even all the way out here in Provo. Any questions? Just email me at or write me through Dear Elder. I'll try to respond on Thursday, my preparation day.

Your favorite missionary,

Elder Wheeler

P.S. Oh and thanks for the donuts mom! They were awesome. You are practically famous in our district. I also love the daily letters. They really do brighten my day. Thanks for being the best mom ever!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meeting the MTC President

Chase also met the MTC president and his wife and they sent us a little note along with a picture:

Elder Wheeler arrived with a big smile on his face--and looks like a fine young man. We have enjoyed getting to know him a bit, and have attached a picture for you to see.

He and his companion grin from ear to ear every time we see them, so they seem to be getting along okay. We are blessed to get to rub shoulders with this noble generation!

Tell his parents THANKS for sending him!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chase's "Crazy First Week"

Family and Friends,

Wow this week has gone by super fast, but the first few days were the longest of my life.  My companion's name is Elder Bluhm and he is from Kansas City.  I live with two other Elders who are Elder Manwaring and Elder Polincky.  They are from Springville and South Dakota respectively. We are part of a district that is going to Seoul.  Our district has eight Elders and two Sisters.  In the big group that came into the MTC on July 2nd, there were 34 missionaries learning Korean.  I am amazed at how fast I am learning Korean.  I can already read, write, pray, testify, sing, and teach in Korean.  However, it's not as fluent as I would like it to be.  We have taught four lessons completely in Korean to our "investigator." The first one of which was on our third day here.  It is truly astounding how much one can learn with and through the spirit.  Don't get me wrong though, this language is by far from easy.

I've had a lot of interesting experiences so far.  During class one day, I got a super bad bloody nose.  I'm convinced that it was because I was focusing way too hard on Korean.  Our district's teacher is Brother Christensen.  He is a returned missionary from Seoul and he brings the spirit into the room like no one else.  I feel constantly surrounded and uplifted by the spirit that is here. Elder Polincky got assigned as our district leader in our Zone that includes 79 Korean missionaries.  Here's a few highlights.  The 4th of July was great because we were able to hear so awe-inspiring music and watch 17 Miracles.  Afterward, we watched the fireworks and had an ice cream bar.  The National Anthem broke out among all the missionaries; it was pretty great.  I've played a lot of basketball during gym time, but the gym is closed down for about three weeks for resurfacing.  So, we have started to play quite a bit of soccer which is just as fun.

I can already tell that Sunday's and Tuesday's are the best days at the MTC.  On Fast Sunday, our meeting was entirely in Korean.  I understood barely any of it.  We then had a great devotional by Josh Wright, a concert pianist.  Afterward, we watched "The Character of Christ" by David A. Bednar.  Its an understatement when I say that talk was life changing.  On Tuesday, we heard from Apostle Neil L. Andersen as he talked about the Holy Ghost.  That was quite the privilege. 

Lastly, the food is pretty dang good for cafeteria standards.  However, I'm not too worried about gaining weight because I ate much more at home anyways.  Thank you for all the wonderful support that I have received.  I can feel your prayers as I put in some very hard work.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Seeing the Nallys

Today Chase ran into the Nallys in the MTC and they sent us this picture!