Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Week 100 - July 17, 2017

Friends & Family,

I simply want to express my thanks and gratitude for your support and love these past two years.  I truly could not have done this without you. 
This has been an experience, time, and journey that would be impossible to ever forget. 
I couldn't be more blessed to have been sent to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mission. 
I love South Philly, Rising Sun, Cherry Hill, YSA, and Wilkes Barre.  I love each companion, each member, each non-member that I was able to come in contact with -- I learned SO much and have become someone I never thought I ever would. 


The Gospel & Atonement of Jesus Christ are the most REAL, POWERFUL, and DIVINE gifts.  I would be completely lost without them both. 
The Book of Mormon has helped me repent and has changed and brought new perspectives, principles, and peace into my life that I have not found anywhere else. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true and living Church of Christ here on the earth and has the power, the authority to seal families together for time and all eternity... is there anything greater than knowing that?

In John 16:33 it says:  "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  I am sure of MANY things, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that if you want peace in this world, it will only ONLY come through following the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

To close, I share a small poem I read months back that explains where I was before and because of my mission -- It has put Christ at the center of my crossroad. 

"He stood at the crossroads all alone,
The sunlight in his face.
He had no thought for the world unknown--
He was set for a manly race.
But the roads stretched east, and the roads stretched west,
And the lad knew not which road was best;
So he chose the road that led him down,
And he lost the race and victor’s crown.
He was caught at last in an angry snare
Because no one stood at the crossroads there
To show him the better road.

Another day, at the self-same place,
A boy with high hopes stood.
He, too, was set for a manly race;
He, too, was seeking the things that were good;
But one was there who the roads did know,
And that one showed him which way to go.
So he turned from the road that would lead him down,
And he won the race and the victor’s crown.
He walks today the highway fair
Because one stood at the crossroads there
To show him the better way."

These were days never, ever, to be forgotten.

In faith, 

Elder Parker Wilde 

P.S. HOMECOMING INFORMATION

I will be speaking in Sandy, Utah on July 23rd at 9245 South Quail Run Drive, Sandy, Utah 84093.  Starts at 1 pm. 
I will be speaking in Danville, CA on July 30th 2949 Stone Valley Road, Danville, CA 94526.  It starts at 10 am. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 99 - July 10, 2017

Hello!

Wow, what an amazing last week it was here in the grand city of Wilkes-Barre, PA!  This week flew by in the blink of an eye, I swear!
 
Monday, I had my last ever District Meeting.  It was awesome.  I loved being a District Leader for such a great group of individuals. 
 
 (Elder Wilde and Tai.  He is so proud of how strong in the gospel Tai is!)
 (Elder Mitchel with Elder Sandberg and Elder Wilde)

Tuesday was obviously 4th of July.  We watched fireworks off of someone's deck and ate well that evening 🙏 
 
Wednesday, I had my departing interview with President Randall.  He is the most incredible man.  Honestly, I can't wait to see him up on the pulpit in Salt Lake in a few years. 
 
Friday, I had my departing temple trip with all the missionaries leaving this transfer.  That was amazing.  President Randall and the Temple President spoke to us before the session began and wow -- incredible experience. 

Saturday, I went back to the temple again with the stake and did baptisms and then another session -- that was once again wonderful. 
 
Sunday, I went down to Philly again and baptized Rachel, who was one of the investigators I taught in the YSA when I served there.  It was such a remarkable experience. 

 (Meredith and Rachel)

I honestly could not have asked for a better ending.  Brother Fletcher drove all the way from Maryland to Wilkes Barre -- 10 hours of driving total.  Couldn't be more thankful for him.  Love the Fletchers. 

 (Brother Fletcher)
 

I am so sad to leave Elder Sandberg.  We had such an incredible time together. 

 (Elder Wilde calls Elder Sandberg, "My little son."  He was Elder Sandberg's trainer.)
 (Elder Wilde entitled this:  "We out here Reapin' !")

This week we have our departing missionary experience at the mission home on Tuesday, and then I will spend the last week of my mission in Cherry Hill!  I am so excited to go back and see everyone!!!
 
All is well - I will send my very last full time missionary email next Monday!!
LOVE YOU ALL. See you soon!

Elder Wilde






Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 98 - July 4, 2017

Hello!

Happy fourth of July -- I hope you all have a wonderful day and
remember the men and women who have fought and are fighting to
preserve our freedom.

We had another great week here in Wilkes-Barre. We set a new individual named
Christine with a baptismal date and are continuing to see more and
more of the less active members come to church.

I had my last ever district meeting yesterday -- it was so
bittersweet.  I love being able to share my thoughts and experiences
with missionaries.



This is my last week in Wilkes-Barre.  I have been asked to speak in
church on Sunday, and one of my investigators from the YSA is getting
baptized on Sunday and she has asked that I be the one to baptize her,
so I am very excited for that!

This week is super busy for me -- departing interview, departing
temple trip, Stake temple trip, lots of things going on.  I can't
believe only two more weeks left.
"Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it
shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other
nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who
is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have
written."

I'm grateful for not only this land and the liberty that we have been
given and the knowledge that if we serve God, it will always be
preserved - but I am even more thankful for the life and freedom that I 
have been given especially now as I have been able to fully focus on
serving the Lord.  I thank God for letting me serve his fellow children
and don't know where I would be in life without this opportunity.

Love,
Elder Wilde

 (Elder Wilde said he enjoyed seeing someone's ingenuity with this work-out set-up!)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 97 - June 26, 2017

Hello!

Keeping it short and simple this week.

Teresa got baptized.  She is amazing.






I got my flight itinerary -- my heart dropped!
We have been working with less active and inactive members and we had
  ten of them came to church yesterday -- AMAZING!
The senior couple here in Wilkes-Barre is the best -- literally love them.
I had interviews with President this week - I love that man.  He is amazing.

ALL IS WELL.

Just live the gospel and you'll be happy -- til next week.

In faith,
Elder Wilde

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 96 - June 19, 2017

Hola,  #FinalFour

All is well.
Teresa is on fire again - she is hyped for her baptism on Sunday. 
We got a new senior couple in Wilkes Barre - where were you when you needed you two months ago...?!!  They in two days have already been so helpful.  Their son is actually the Director of Missionary Work at the MTC and I went out teaching with him when I was an Assistant.  It was cool, now his parents are my senior couple!  Small world!

Elder Sandberg is a stud.  We are having a great time. 

We had 11 people at our Book of Mormon class this week - it was awesome.  It was interesting.  I noticed something I hadn't noticed before as I read.  When Nephi and his brothers were commanded to go get the brass plates from King Laban in Jerusalem, they at first decided who would go up by casting lots -- leaving it up to chance.... that failed.  The second time they brought all of their wealth with them in hope to exchange the plates for their gold and silver -- that failed too.  The THIRD time Nephi followed the Spirit.... the task was accomplished.  It just goes to show that luck/chance/wealth cannot accomplish the purposes of God -- only the Spirit can. 


We have mostly been focusing on bringing back less actives/inactives.  We have seen some great progress! 

We had a mission conference this week with Elder Kipsochki (not sure how to spell it) of the Seventy.  He was great.  I had a neat experience - well kind of, but that's for another time! 
We are staying pretty darn busy.  I'm not sure how its mid-June already, but alright.

I read a devotional by Elder Oaks from October 2003 about timing --


The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing.  If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? 
Proclaiming the gospel is His work, not ours, and therefore it must be done on His timing, not ours.  There are nations in the world today that must hear the gospel before the Lord will come again.  We know this, but we cannot force it.  We must wait upon the Lord’s timing. He will tell us, and He will open the doors or bring down the walls when the time is right.  We should pray for the Lord’s help and directions so that we can be instruments in His hands to proclaim the gospel to nations and persons who are now ready—persons He would have us help today. The Lord loves all of His children, and He desires that all have the fullness of His truth and the abundance of His blessings.  He knows when groups or individuals are ready, and He wants us to hear and heed His timetable for sharing His gospel with them.
If we have faith in God and if we are committed to the fundamentals of keeping His commandments and putting Him first in our lives, we do not need to plan every single event—even every important event—and we should not feel rejected or depressed if some things—even some very important things—do not happen at the time we had planned or hoped or prayed.  Commit yourself to put the Lord first in your life, keep His commandments, and do what the Lord’s servants ask you to do.  Then your feet are on the pathway to eternal life. Then it does not matter whether you are called to be a bishop or a Relief Society president, whether you are married or single, or whether you die tomorrow.  You do not know what will happen.  Do your best on what is fundamental and personal and then trust in the Lord and His timing."
In faith, 

Elder Wilde 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 95 - June 12, 2017

Hello!

Well, I'll keep it short and simple these next few weeks!
Teresa didn't get baptized this week - but she will be baptized on the 24th.
Latoya, Sariah, and Alexis went to Philly for the summer which is SUpER
unfortunate.
Maurice is like the smartest kid I know - we had dinner with him at
the Bishop's house this week.  He's doing well!
 

We met a new lady, Belinda.  She's 25, has 5 kids, and will have another
one in three weeks.  She's super cool and excited to learn.
We have been working with a less active family named the Browns - they
all came to church this Sunday which was great.
I organized (I don't even know what the right verb/word is for it) a
garden this week.  It was pretty hot.  It was lots of fun though -
well... something like that.

I read a great talk this week --
"Attached to his memo was a “Peanuts” cartoon that pictured Linus
standing with a nice, firm snowball in his hand as Lucy enters the
picture.  She surveys the situation and makes this comment to Linus:
“Life is full of choices.  You may choose, if you wish, to throw that
snowball at me.  You also may choose, if you wish, not to throw that
snowball at me.  Now if you choose to throw that snowball at me, I will
pound you right into the ground!  If you choose not to throw that
snowball at me, your head will be spared.”
Then Linus, throwing the snowball away with a disgusted look on his
face, said, “Life is full of choices, but I never get any.”
 

Linus is right that life is full of choices.  But I have found him to
be wrong in the second part.  Decisions are before us every step of the
way.  Richard L. Evans said in the film, "Man’s Search For Happiness:
“Life offers you two precious gifts. One is time, the other, freedom
of choice--the freedom to buy with your time what you will. You are
free to exchange your allotment of time for thrills. You may trade it
for base desires.  You may invest it in greed.  You may purchase with it
vanity; you may spend your time in pursuit of material things. Yours
is the freedom to choose.  But these are not bargains, for in them you
find no lasting satisfaction."


 
Life is all just a choice.  We chose to come here, we choose what we do
while we are here, and we in large part - choose where we want to end
up.  Choose you this day whom ye will serve.

Love,
Elder Wilde

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 94 - June 5, 2017

Hello!
 

Wow, cannot believe for a second that it is ALREADY June...... my last
full month of service as a full time missionary.  It is going to be a
very busy month as well!
 

Everything is going well here in North Eastern Pennsylvania.  We had a
pretty busy week.
 

Teresa is prepared to be baptized on Saturday!  She is SOO on top of it
- she's going to be so great.  She seriously is a hoot and a half,
reading the Book of Mormon with her is SO fun.  She has so much
energy.
 

Latoya is acting... different.... but her kids are still doing really well.
We had a really good lesson with them - it is so fascinating listening
to them pray from where they were to now where they are... it's always
my favorite part of the lessons, hearing them pray.
 

Maurice is doing well.  He is a handful for sure, but he is SO smart for
a 12 year old.... he read the children's Book of Mormon one night for
an hour.... he's solid.
 

Elder Sandberg is doing well - it's been really cool to see him develop
as a missionary - especially his teaching skills.  We spend a lot of
time role playing and practicing, and it is the most rewarding thing
being able to look back at the beginning and see where he is now.  We are
getting buckets together, too, 26-0 here in WB, lol good times.
 

This weekend we had Stake Conference and it was phenomenal.  Our Stake
Presidency and our Mission President spoke - they all did an
incredible job.  I feel like the theme was at least in my mind to quote
President Monson:  "Your future is as bright as your faith."  I
absolutely love that quote -- everything - our joy, our success, who
we are, what we do, etc., is all dependent on our faith.  It empowers us
to act and do things but even more importantly it changes us and
allows us to become the person God intends us to become.  In the words
of Dallin H. Oaks:  "The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the
gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly
account.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to
become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."



I read something fascinating this week in my studies:  “People are not
better off when they are given maximum personal freedom to do what
they want.  They’re better off when they are enshrouded in commitments
that transcend personal choice--commitments to family, God, craft and
country.”

 

Life is all about making and keeping covenants that bind us to God.
God's commands will always be strict but will never be restrictive.
Commandments and covenants, if lived, will liberate us from the world.

In Faith & With Love,
Elder Wilde