We went knocking, not really having anyone to see. We went up into the hills of Anaheim to an apartment complex that we had in mind from weekly planning (WP). We started walking around the complex and one of the goals I had set during WP was to be more Bold! So we hadn't knocked on any doors yet but I talked to a couple out walking their dogs- nobody was interested... As we walked through the slightly lit complex, trying to decide where to knock I looked at a set of 7 or so doors and said "Let's knock those."
So we knocked the first...the second and no interest but the 3rd was awesome! A YSA aged girl named Alia opened the door (Fully not just cracked like 99% of doors haha)... As Elder Henriod started the conversation she just smiled, nodding her head. I came in and asked her if she believed in Christ--Yes. I asked what she thought of His perfect example-- she expressed a deep love for the Savior we all look to for help. From there I asked her if she was familiar with the Bible and the account of Christ's Baptism?? She said yes and so right there I asked her if she would follow His perfect example and be Baptized by the Proper Authority of God? (Sorry to build up the suspense...) -- She said that she had already been baptized and goes to a local Catholic Church. We taught of the Apostasy,BoM-- and she was willing to read it, being late at night we asked if we could come back and share more about Christ's original church and how it has been Restored and is led by a Prophet here and now! She said yes and that 8:00 any night would be perfect. I am so grateful for these experiences because they are what keep pushing me week after week!
We were knocking one day and I probably had my favorite door contact where I handed out a BoM! It was a young High School girl named Alexia. We started off with a simple question of " Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" she said yes and so we started to testify of his church being lost after his death and resurrection, followed by a lesson of the Restoration w/ Joseph Smith. I had her read the promise that is given in the introduction of the BoM and asked if she would like to find out for herself if it was true?!? She smiled and said I would love to!!! She is in High school though so we passed her to the YL3 Elders and can't wait to see her progress towards baptism!
All of us who have served missions know the disappointments and questions we have as we lose investigators. I am so impressed with Adam's continued strength and testimony through these experiences. He admits it's hard but can see the bigger picture: "Well, Spencer has dropped us, he just wont respond to anything...Txt, call, or even a knock on the door. UGH How long do you keep seeing these things fall through? I have faith, I really do, but sometimes I wish it was easier. The thing is, is that it's not easy and Christ had to die for us to get something done. We are not asked to do that but to try our best and endure, enjoy, and love this life that we have been given. I will not give in and I will do this for the rest of my life, this is all for The Gospel of Jesus Christ, this is His Work and His Glory and He deserves every breath. I love this work and will continue to see miracles out here." He also bore a simple testimony of the Book of Mormon: "I just finished the Book of Mormon again and will try a 31 day challenge next! I love the Book of Mormon and will share it forever!"
Here is a little information on what he does as a zone leader:
"I am so grateful to be a missionary at this time. The work is hastening and I just pray that we can receive the strength from Heavenly Father to keep up! We have one extra meeting with President Bowen each month where we are trained on what to train the zone. It is a really cool experience because it is in his home and there is a special spirit there. We go on splits with all the District Leaders in our zone and possibly the A.P's each transfer, and of course if there is anything that comes up we would be the ones that take care of it and go on temporary splits."
Grandma and Grandpa Wardle wanted a picture of all of their grandchildren in a line with numbered shirts. Because Adam is gone, they asked me to send them a picture they could use to make a full size face of him. Then, they had his Uncle Mark stand in Adam's spot (#1) holding the face in front of his.
Adam's siblings are Derek #2, Ashlee #6, Jaxon #9, Jordan #13, Emilee #18, & Kenzee #24.
Later, Grandma sent Adam a package with letters and notes from everyone on the vacation and she included his full size face picture. Here is the result:
"I think I've had more fun with the full size pic of my face haha! We have taken some pics with it and messed with people while driving... when the person looks over with Munguia having it over his face and then they see me as well we get some funny double and even triple looks! It always brings a smile to their face :)"
I thought this was a neat story about Adam's testimony of the Holy Ghost.
"We got a referral from some other missionaries. His name is Spencer - 25 and an assistant Pastor who has his masters in the Bible...and is working on his 1700 page doctorate paper...I felt a little small and like it was worthless to spend any time with this man because I don't have any of that. But, I have something that he doesn't and that is the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I don't need any of what he has to be able to testify of what I know and when the spirit testifies of the truth that I say, the battle is over. He is now a new investigator, is reading the Book of Mormon, and is praying to know if it is true."
Some things have happened with other missionaries that were big trials for Adam. One resulted in a quick transfer shortly after he became a ZL. I won't go into any details, but here are some things he said about his trials:
"This is my 3rd of 5 comps that I have had to deal with this same problem. I guess the Lord knows I am stubborn and will do what he asks me to do (meaning he makes the companion take necessary steps). Sometimes I wish I had easier trials than I do, but I know that they make me stronger and bless my life to come." "I had to step in and be strong in the situation. We talked a lot this past week and things got taken care of...I have to control the phone now and I feel like I have to babysit him... but hopefully he can push past it so I wont have to worry. The Lord has placed me in this situation with 3 of 5 companions... and it's not like I pray for these type of trials. I know that helping my comps makes me stronger, and I'm glad that the mission president, and the Lord trust me with these problems." I feel bad that he has had to deal with these trials but it's nice to see he recognizes them as experiences that help him to grow and become stronger. Adam was excited for this transfer and to have a companion who is obedient and diligent. His new companion is Elder Henriod and he came from the YSA ward in Fullerton. He had been a ZL since April. He is actually from Washington state but the far East side by the Idaho border, a town called Clarkston. He said that a week in and they are already good friends. He is looking forward to working hard and making some progress in the area.
Adam is constantly writing about how much he loves and appreciates us (he means extended family too). Here are a few quotes:
"I hope all of you had a blast at Bear Lake with the Wardle family and with the Lovell's for the 4th! I miss you all so much more around the big days during the year. I never really noticed how much I love all of you until I was separated for just a short time. It doesn't help that I 'most likely' won't have any fireworks to shoot off...I always loved doing the show!"
"The letters from everyone were wonderful!" (He is talking about the letters he received after both the Wardle and Lovell reunions when everyone took the time to write to him as part of vacation.)
And..."Yes I got your Bear Lake Novel haha and I loved it! It sounded like so much fun and I could just imagine me being there with all of you. I also got the Lovell package with all the letters I love that idea so much and It's awesome to hear from everyone...but now I am behind about 60 letters and not sure how I'll get back to all of them haha!"
"You are always in my prayers and thank-you for putting me in yours. The days go by slow but the weeks/months/transfers seem to fly by. Let me know what you think about that I need to improve on...besides writing... :) I love you all!"
"I truly am so blessed to have a loving family that supports me back home!" "Haha the one thing I miss about the family wards would be the lil kids... we were at the church building on Sunday while the other ward was there and of course there was this cute lil girl who was shy at first but then started to open up and reminded me of Kenzee so much!"
Most of his letters end something like this one:
"Thank-you for all your prayers, they are for sure felt in times of comfort. I'm doing great and time can barely catch up to how fast the mission is going by! I love you all so much, have a wonderful week!"
Adam seems to love the days he gets to do service.
"Good day that started with service! We sanded and chipped off all the paint of a 3 car garage from 7:30-12! We were pretty beat afterwards but all worth it."
"Dinner was with the old Bishop. We helped their son put a skateboard quarter pipe together, that's my kind of service!"
"Glorious Day! We were able to be in b-ball shorts and a t-shirt and blessed with service all day! Started off by helping a family move out of a house the size of ours in Provo. We worked from 9-11:30 and filled a semi-truck! The church is amazing! Then from 12-5 we were in the canyon setting up canopies, tables, tents, booths, and a flag pole for a cub scout camp. We had a blast and were beat by the end."
I love how he always mentions how wonderful it was even though they are "beat". If you think about it, we always feel better after working hard and seeing the fruits of our labors. It feels so much better to be "beat" after accomplishing something than to be tired from doing nothing.
He goes on to say:
"It felt so nice to be in the outdoors getting the closest to camping I can. Afterwards we went to the Stake Pioneer Day at the park. We had fun talking and playing and then an older man came to us and asked us to sing with him - 'You are My Sunshine' was the first and I was instantly trunky for the Petersen campout which I think you are actually on!!!"
He was right, we were on the campout just as he was wishing he could be there. I'm so glad my kids have the opportunity to get together and camp with so much extended family. They love it and they love all of you! Thanks to all who make it such a great tradition.
This is what Adam wrote when he was first made a ZL in June, he had been out 9 months.
"Wednesday...started the day off with a nice ZL meeting, sorta teaching us how to be a ZL-basically a DL with more responsibility. Being around all the other ZL's I feel super young because all the others are past their year marks. I relate it to being the lil brother who follows his brother and his friends around and is welcomed but stands out and maybe not as cool as the rest....It will just take time I'm sure."
It's kind of fun to see him in the "little brother" shoes. He's never experienced that before.
So in an earlier post I mentioned Adam is now a ZL in a YSA ward. Here are a few things he mentioned about being in a YSA Ward.
"I found out our area is a little rough for finding efforts because we don't have any colleges or anything that would attract YSA people specifically to our area. So, we will be working a bunch with members and hope/pray for referrals."
"Dinner was sweet! It's sorta like going over to a friend's house and chillin because you can relate to them so much easier. We played some darts waiting for the food."
"Gonna be honest...being in a ward where everyone is around your age is just fun! Everybody is single and to watch them try to flirt is funny, what a great environment!"
I can't find the exact quote, but I remember him saying how it's ridiculous how the girls in the YSA ward flirt with the missionaries...he even said, "Ashlee, you'd better never do that!" I guess it's fun watching the flirting among the YSA people but it irritates him when they flirt with the missionaries.
"We came to realize something...As a YSA during the summer, why on earth would you be sitting in your apt. during the middle of the day...you wouldn't! We tried potentials from 12-dinner and not a single soul answered the door! People are either working or playing during the day during the summer."
The biggest challenge he has found in the YSA ward is that they have had to give away most of the people they have found to teach. When knocking doors they don't know the age or marital status of who lives there so they often find people for other missionaries to teach and rarely find young single adults. When people let them in, they teach the first lesson and then pass them to the other missionaries. It would be easier if there was a college associated with the ward but since there isn't, it makes it difficult to find people. They are relying on members a lot and there haven't been many referrals. With the difficulties in finding, this is an observation Adam made: "This past week has been pretty good and I think both of us know what we are to do in this area, at least for now. That is to work with the less active/recent converts and make sure that they are solid."
Here are a couple of quotes from Adam about how he feels about the Priesthood: The Priesthood Power is something very dear to me, because I know it is the literal power from God and when a member of the church is worthy we have the Authority to act in his name. With that Power and Authority like it says in Luke 1:37 "For with God, Nothing is impossible". I have seen miracles on my mission with the power of the Priesthood. I am so glad to have grown up in a household with a Priesthood holder, I didn't realize how it effects a home when one is not present, but when a older woman in our ward told us how grateful she was to have Worthy Priesthood holders in her home. It hit hard and I decided that the Priesthood will always be in my home for eternity. I see every type of family out here, and those with worthy priesthood holders in the home always seem to stick in there even when hard times come about. I hope our family can all be in the Temple when Kenzee gets married, picturing that gives me the chill because of how wonderful that would be. I know I will be there! I hope to be an "incoming family " into the Celestial Kingdom.
Here are some quotes and an experience from Adam about prayer. "OH I Iove the ability to pray to our Heavenly Father, experiences are wonderful and I love letting my testimony grow!" "I love little experiences with prayer they mean so much." Adam needed an answer to a question and tried going "up the line". (This was right before he was made ZL.) They called the ZL's who had him call the AP's. He tried 5 times with no answer. He called the ZL's again and they told him to call President Bowen. He tried twice with no answer. He called the ZL's again and they told him to go to Heavenly Father through prayer. He said, "In the middle of my prayer, President Bowen called. It was a really cool experience - simple yes - but a good one."
Adam's letters have been a little sparse lately but he has been writing a little more in emails so I'm starting to do some copy and paste posts.
Well on Thursday I was called by President Bowen, to be a Zone Leader- not knowing which area, but meant I was leaving my area for sure... Then Saturday night was transfer calls and we got all the news. I will be serving in the Young Single Adult ward of Placentia PYSA in the Anaheim East Stake. It was probably the easiest transfer of the entire mission. I moved two floors up in the same complex so I was moved in by Sunday night, pretty nice. Elder Josie will be training some greenie! and is pretty excited about it so I will be " Big Poppy Wardle" - Josie my son and his trainee my grandson haha mission talk I guess! Elder Johnson is going home and I have tried to aquire as much info from him as possible, and I have sure learned a lot and have a lot to look forward to if I can follow his footsteps. Zibs will be training in his area as well with his companion dying (going home) so yes he is staying in the Anaheim mission, hopefully I'll be around him some day!!
Sending home Elder Johnson (left) and Elder Roberts
Elder Johnson is someone Adam has really looked up do so far in his mission. He never got to be companions with him but did go on splits with him and has been in his zone. Adam was very impressed with his work ethic and his spirituality. He felt like he could learn a lot from him and said he wanted to be the kind of missionary Johnson was. Even though they were never companions, he felt like Johnson was one of the greatest influences for obedience and diligence on his mission. He is really going to miss him.
Adam's zone has 11 Elders and 4 Sisters. It covers Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda. He said it is a pretty nice area.
Adam's new companion is Elder Munguia. He is El Salvadorian and from Brooklyn, NY. He only has 9 weeks left of his mission. Adam feels like he needs to keep him busy so he won't be too trunky.
As I was upset about the laundry set up, a few days later I talked to the housing coordinator and he said we would be moving to a different complex furnished with yep that's right a Washer and Dryer! Oh I was so excited ( never thought I'd be excited over doing laundry...) This complex is pretty new and super fancy so I'm glad we have been blessed with southern California hospitality :)
The missionaries (especially Adam) really seem to love B-Dubs. They go there for birthday lunches, after district meetings, and for any other excuse they can come up with to go. Here is a fun post from one visit to B-Dubs.
"After District Meeting on Thursday we went to B-Dubs for lunch and I am now a part of History! I tried the Blazin Challenge! Eat 12 of their wings straight from the fryer, drenched in their hottest sauce Blazin, and then all in my mouth within 6 minutes."
"It got all over my face and scalded my mouth but I finished with about 30 seconds left and beat the challenge! It was so much fun!"
Training is going great and we get along the best out of the District which is awesome because the spirit cannot reside if there is contention. Whether that it be in the car, apartment, or on the street. If the spirit is not there, we are not to teach. The spirit is there and we have a great time working for the Lord.
I just love this boy! He may be Elder Wardle and he may be growing spiritually by leaps and bounds but he is still Adam and he is still a boy. Here is part of a letter that I just loved even though I did roll my eyes a bit!
"Exchange day with Elder Rogers was awesome! We see each other a lot anyway being in the same ward but we have a ton of fun with the whole day together! We taught a Less-Active, looked for some other people but no luck. When we exchanged back, we cleaned some because we are moving to a new apartment. We started by taking an axe to a chair and table so it could fit in the dumpster and ended up mixing cleaning chemicals for a nice boom! of white stuff in the dumpster. Haha, it's still me out here."
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. I know my Savior Jesus Christ has Risen and lives and guides us in our lives today. We need to take the time each day to remember what he has done for us. Not just Easter/Christmas, not just Sunday, but every day of the week. I have come to love him so much out here all from reading and praying, the simple primary answers.
The day after they got their greenies, they had a training meeting. Adam said, "Wednesday was an awesome day! Our training meeting at 9:30 went well. I walked in and there was Trevor! I mean Elder Zibetti, I'll have a hard time with that one. It was so nice to see Trevor. I'm glad he is out here. He is out of the zone but we should see each other now and then." For those who don't know, Trevor is Adam's friend from our ward in Provo and they also played baseball together. When we first moved to Provo, Trevor was one of his first friends. It is so much fun for him to have Elder Zibetti in his mission.
Ok, so I am wayyyyy behind and Adam is going to be mad at me so I'd better get going. Summer was way too crazy without any spare time. So, here goes.
Adam stayed district leader and became a trainer on March 12, 2013. He was so excited for the opportunity to train. His area was split due to the new missionaries coming. He was excited about it because his MTC companion who he loved was coming with his greenie to share the area. He really was happy about being able to work with Elder Rogers again.
Adam's greenie, Elder Josie, is from Panguitch, Utah. He was in the National Guard before his mission and came ready to work. Adam was happy to have someone who really wanted to work hard. All of Elder Josie's "firsts" were fun for Adam. On the first day he took him out to knock doors. He said, "He (Elder Josie) is very humble and eager to do the work. We stopped a man in the park on the way back to the car and Elder Josie was able to hand out his 1st Book of Mormon!"