Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 15 - November 30, 2015

Hello, wonderful people! 

Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving week and got super fat and ate tons of food and celebrated!  I just wanted to start off by telling a few of the things I am most grateful for! First off - my family, love them to bits and pieces, most amazing people out there.  Second - my friends, all the way from Paris - Shanghai - San Francisco.  I'm thankful for all of you! You are wonderful people.  Third - the opportunity to serve a mission, I love it so much and it's been the best experience I could ask for!  I love teaching people about Jesus Christ and helping them.  It's so awesome to see what He can do for someone and how their lives can be changed just by following the Savior. 

It was a wonderful week here in South Philadelphia.  Temperature continues to drop and yes, the Christmas decorations have come forth.  Elder Andrus and I totally "pimped out" our place today hahaha, not really but it was good.  

We were SOOO blessed this week, had a miracle and just ugh, Philly never fails to excite.  Always something going on around this part of town which will never let me down!  But first off, I'll share the quotes of the week!

Scripture quote:
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated--
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
This is Doctrine and Covenants (Book of revelations Joseph Smith compiled as he restored the church on the earth ) Section 130:19-21. 

I love this because we receive blessings when we do what we are suppose to be doing.  It's pretty simple, when we are obedient to the rules/commandments we are blessed.  When we are not - then well, we aren't blessed.  It's truly up to each one of us to ask ourselves, "Do we want happiness, do we want to be content, do we want joy? DO WE WANT BLESSINGS?"  "Yes lol, I do!"  Then do what you're suppose to do.  Simple. 

Our weekly quote was:

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth which in turn can lead towards times of greatest happiness

Ugh this is nice.  Haha, it's just like, when something hard comes around do we simply give up and become depressed and say we can't do it?  No.. That's a dumb thing to do... Learn from it, become more knowledgeable, and become stronger.  That's why trials are awesome. 

There was a conference talk that discussed going through things alone vs going through things with others.  It's called, "We Can't Do it Alone," by Elder Robert D. Hales.  I'm just going to copy and paste some of my favorite parts. 

(Click on the link above to read or listen to the talk Elder Wilde is referring to.)

"Why is it that some of us fail to learn the very critical point that we did not come to this life to live it alone?  The “isolated self” shut off from the Light of Christ makes us become fallible--open to delusion.  The balance and perspective which come from caring about others and allowing others to care for us form the essence of life itself.  We need the inspired help of others to avoid deceiving ourselves.  The opposition which we must have is to make us strong; the fire which we withstand is to harden our spiritual steel.  It is clear to me that we have imperfections of body, imperfections of mind and intellect--that we are not perfect.  And for that reason we are dependent on others.  We must be self-sufficient ourselves, but that does not mean independent of help of others.  A just God has placed us here on the planet earth where we experience suffering and imperfection all around us.  And this life and estate are necessary because in this life we experience something we cannot do any other place.  The life we had before and the life we will have hereafter will leave our bodies, spirits, and minds in a more perfect state.  But we did not and will not have the opportunities to give of ourselves in the same way as we can in this life. 

"When I was a lieutenant in the Air Force, our squadron selected as its motto, 'Return with Honor.'  We realized that this motto applied to all members of the flight.  It did not just apply to us as individuals.  We flew jet fighter planes in a fingertip formation.  For a moment, fold your thumb under your hand and look at the back of your hand with your fingers extended. You will see a flight of four planes with a leader and three wingmen.  You are protected on the left and on the right, and the leader is concentrating on his goals.  If for a moment you will separate and put two fingers on either side, you will still see a leader and a wingman, one plane ahead of the other, and one plane on the wing to protect.  We all knew and were taught from bitter experience that a “loner” out of formation was unprotected and would surely be destroyed.  When we are marred spiritually or physically, our first reaction is to withdraw into the dark shadows of depression, to blot out hope and joy--the light of life which comes from knowing we are living the commandments of our Father in heaven.  This withdrawal will ultimately lead us to rebellion against those who would like to be our friends, those who can help us most, even our family.  But worst of all, we finally reject ourselves. When you attempt to live life’s experiences alone, you are not being true to yourself, nor to your basic mission in life.  Individuals in difficulty often say: 'I’ll do it alone,' 'Leave me alone,' 'I don’t need you,' 'I can take care of myself.'  It has been said that no one is so rich that he does not need another’s help, no one so poor as not to be useful in some way to his fellowman. The disposition to ask assistance from others with confidence, and to grant it with kindness, should be part of our very nature.  Loneliness and withdrawal take us as a pawn off the board in the game of life.

Love that talk, it's really great.  If you ever get sad or depressed... Read it! Haha 

I'll share a few experiences of this week. 

1. About a month and a half ago, we left a commitment to a recent convert who was baptized about 5 months ago.  She has had some difficulty getting to church, praying, and reading her scriptures.  So on Friday during weekly planning, we made her a calendar, a simple calendar, and told her that we wanted her to read every single day, pray every single day, and go to church every Sunday and that we wanted her to track it every day on the calendar by writing how much she read a day and then a check mark for if she prayed or not and came to church.  Anyways, we basically made a point system that each chapter she read was one point, a prayer was one point, and church was three points.  We wanted her to have at least 40 points by the end of the month.  We told her that if she got those 40 points, Heavenly Father would bless her somehow.  We had no idea HOW or WHEN, but we promised her that He would bless her.  Ever since I met her, she has been talking about how her rent was too high and she didn't have enough money to afford it.  Tuesday we went over there.... She is in tears, she says, "You guys were right"  We said, "What are you talking about?"  She said, "My rent was dropped 75 dollars a month and I can afford to live here now!"  The one simple thing she needed help with she received because... Why?  She was obedient to the commandments.  That's no coincidence!  That's a miracle!  Not random. 

Ready for another miracle? 

2. We have been working with this man named Robbie.  He is investigating the church.  He has tumors in his feet and pains all throughout his body.  He is progressing really well, anyways.  He has had extreme difficulty getting to church because he has no car and can't walk and doesn't have money to buy a wheel chair, but he told us, "If I had a wheel chair, I would most definitely go to church."  So Elder Andrus and I, during weekly planning on Friday, prayed and prayed and prayed to be able to get Robbie a wheel chair so he could make it to church -- Saturday night we had a few lessons/people we wanted to go to see, but they ALL canceled and ALL weren't home... We were both like... What the heck?!  So we were about to head in at 9:00, but we were both like, "Let's go stop by  to see Shirley and her family" - a new family that is investigating the church.  A family of 5, Catholic/Christian background.  Anyways, it's our second time over there.  We were just stopping in to read the Intro to the Book of Mormon with them then getting home.  Good lesson and we are about to walk out the door and the father says, "Hey guys.  I don't know if you know anyone in need of a wheel chair, but I was just cleaning my downstairs and I have an extra one and was going to throw it out tomorrow morning.  Do you know anyone that needs it?"  I literally looked the guy straight in the eyes and was like, "Are you kidding me?"  I think he thought I was mad or something because I was so stunned he just asked that..... YES, WE NEED THE WHEEL CHAIR!  God answers prayers.......... That again is no coincidence. 

3. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  In the morning, we had a turkey bowl (football) and we had about 30 missionaries come play in it.  Three times.  Played for about 3 hours.  Have any of you become really lazy and then go decide to do a really hard work-out for the first time in 3 months?  Well, do you remember that feeling the day after where you can't move a single muscle in your body and you are so stiff it's almost as if you are a 4x4?  That's what we felt like, we moaned and groaned all the way down the street...  We could not move at all and I'm still sore; nevertheless, it was still such a fun time.  Our team took 2nd place.  I had a 300-pound Samoan guy with cleats step on my toes and my right second toe is SOOO purple and bruised I can't move it.  It's so painful, and then he tackled me.... We were playing flag football and he full on tackled me!  I thought I saw my life flash before my eyes.... He friggin pulverized me.... Sigh. 

Anyways after that we had a Thanksgiving lunch appointment with a bunch of older less actives.... It was very "interesting," but fun time!  Elder Andrus and I were talking to Brother King.  He's like 80 and we were like, "What was the worst date you ever went on as a kid?" He told us a hilarious story about a date with a Nun.  Anyways, then Elder Andrus and I both made up horrible dates on the spot because they asked us, and we made them SOOO funny and outrageous and they all believed it.  It was great.  I'll send the group pic of us. Then after that we went to another Thanksgiving dinner, but this time with a family who lived in the NICE part of town.  It was awesome.  We played Charades with them and just enjoyed and had a lovely time. 
(Dinner appointment #1)

(Dinner appointment #2)
(Elders Wilde and Andrus with their sparkling apple juice.)

Last thing!

4. Arlene, a recent convert of the church, was asked to give a talk on prayer.  She isn't very...... Hmmm.... Knowledgeable about the church or just do I say this... She didn't get a proper education - so we helped her write her talk, but she was just talking to us about how she has never been happier in her whole life since joining the church and that she thought prayer was stupid until the missionaries asked her to pray and she said she received an answer to her question and was then finally convinced.  Anyways, she was extremely EXTREMELY nervous to give this five minute talk, so ugh it was so cute.... She grabbed my hand and made me go up to the pulpit with her.  She was just in tears, she was so nervous, so in front of all these people I kinda pulled her to the side and gave her a little pep talk.  She got back up there and KILLED IT.  She was in tears again but not of being nervous, she actually felt the Spirit because when we sat down she said that she felt really good and wasn't nervous after she got up there.  It gets cuter.  She was like, "Elder Wilde, you're like my son, I love you."  I was tearing up, she was crying, it was so cute.... Love it. 

Anyways, I would invite you all to just TRY praying sincerely, pour out your heart and man, let Him work wonders! 


Elder Wilde 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 14 - November 23, 2015

Hello, family ! 

Just want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm grateful for all of you and for all you have done for me in my life!  I truly miss all of you dearly and wish and hope the best for you each day!  You're wonderful people and have all helped me so much along the way.  I wish you all the best of holidays! 

Another week come and gone.  The temperature continues to drop here in South Philly.  I walked outside with just a sweater on and seriously about died, ran back inside and was like "ABORT ABORT!"  It's only around 40 degrees and it supposedly gets negative here.  I have been layering up, but the wind just pierces right through everything down to the marrow! 

Transfer calls came and Elder Andrus and I will be staying another transfer (6 weeks) here together in South Philly, I'm very excited!  
(Elder Andrus and Elder Wilde were pretty excited that they will get to continue being companions for at least another six weeks!)

We celebrated by... Baking a cake!  Haha, good stuff. 

(Elder Andrus had a friend who told him about Elder Wilde even before they met in Philadelphia.  The friend knew Elder Wilde's cousin, Connor Copeland.  Small world!   Then they end up companions!)

Each week is just awesome here... Seriously.  Having said that it is by no means easy.  We are all exhausted 24/7.  We were discussing why we are so tired.  It was interesting because we all agreed that we are use to walking long distances and that isn't what really makes us tired.  We are tired emotionally and spiritually.  It sounds weird and cliche, but it's true.  Very, very stressful trying to teach people all day, but nevertheless the reward is far greater than the sacrifice.  
It was interesting, last week (maybe week before?) we had a Zone Meeting and we were asked to write down:  1. What did you give up and sacrifice to be here?  2. What blessings have you seen being out here?  It was very astonishing to see what I wrote down for myself, the typical answers::  "Electronics, family, friends, school, etc." and then what blessings I have seen and the list just was incredible, and just remembering that everything is the same back home but nothing is the same out here, lives change everyday including my own. Anyways, I just thought it was an interesting experience to share. 

(The Zone Elder Wilde is in.)

Our scripture for the week was out of the Bible: 
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39 

I really like this scripture because well, we all go through soooo much stuff, everyday... People, places, and things we choose to do, be around, and  where we go bring us down and may at times demoralize us due to the mistakes or consequences that come forth; however, I know that the love of our savior far FAR outweighs any thing we go through and that He died for each and every one of us so that:  A. We can be forgiven of anything we have done, and B. We can be strengthened through Him.  I guess we should just remember that next time you mess up or in need of help. 

Our weekly quote was: 
"I have learned that the more you love life, life will love you back" 
Where is the fire emoji when you need it? Fire found it.  Man, I love that.  It kind of applies with the scripture quote, too.  I love it because you can go through a trial two ways -- You can be miserable and dread it and curse God or whoever you want for it and ask the, "Why me?" question or... You can say, "Oh hey, thank you for this trial/hardship.  Now I can learn from it and grow stronger from it."  There is a really good conference talk that I want to attach, bits and pieces about when we encounter difficulty how we ought to react. The title of the talk was called, "Come What May, and Love It."  Below I will paste some of the parts I enjoy and learned from. 

(Click on the link above to read or listen to this talk by Elder Wirthlin)

Quoting Elder Wirthlin:  "When I was young I loved playing sports, and I have many fond memories of those days. But not all of them are pleasant. I remember one day after my football team lost a tough game, I came home feeling discouraged. My mother was there. She listened to my sad story. She taught her children to trust in themselves and each other, not blame others for their misfortunes, and give their best effort in everything they attempted. When we fell down, she expected us to pick ourselves up and get going again. So the advice my mother gave to me then wasn’t altogether unexpected. It has stayed with me all my life “Joseph,” she said, “come what may, and love it.”      I have often reflected on that counsel.  I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.......... How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t--at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life. If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness. Over the years I have learned a few things that have helped me through times of testing and trial. I would like to share them with you. Learn to Laugh The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim? There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.......... 

"The second thing we can do is seek for the eternal. You may feel singled out when adversity enters your life. You shake your head and wonder, “Why me?”... Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.... Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering. He understands our grief. We experience hard things so that we too may have increased compassion and understanding for others. Remember the sublime words of the Savior to the Prophet Joseph Smith when he suffered with his companions in the smothering darkness of Liberty Jail “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” With that eternal perspective, Joseph took comfort from these words, and so can we. Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome.... The third thing we can do is understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."

Anyways, I'd love to hear your responses and what you think about that!  I'll share a few experiences of the week. 

1. I shoved a massive thing of cake in my mouth in one bite which I was super hyped about. Then later that night this guy dropped his half wrapped Whopper on the ground and didn't eat... Idiot right?  I unwrapped the uneaten part and went to town... Omg it was so good. 

2. Kevin was confirmed a member of the church on Sunday and received the Holy Ghost/Spirit.  That was SOOO awesome. 

3. HAHA this story is funny - so last week I told you about the guy that was a plumber who was super drunk who went to the family's house that needed help with their plumbing, and then he got kicked out of the house because he was SOOO messed up.  Anyways, so this Thursday we had a bowling activity and the plumber's son who is a member of the church but hasn't come to church in 6 years, we got him to come and his dad called me and was like, "Why didn't you invite me?" (he was very serious), so we were like uhh... "You can come, too,sorry."   Then the Accordos, which is the family that had the plumbing problem... We invited them and THEY showed up..... I seriously thought a huge brawl was going to break out because they DO NOT like each other... But Elder Andrus and I left because we had an appointment to be to, so we didn't get to see anything... Lol, the Spanish missionaries said they all kept their distance though. 

4. We have been meeting with a man named Pete for about a month now.  He's awesome, really looking to change his life so he can be a better example to his family and just is "trying to go down a new and better path."  So, after a few lessons with him, we kind of remembered that he was a smoker, drinker, etc. did some stuff he shouldn't be doing, so we were like.. We have to go over the Word of Wisdom lesson.  We were both super nervous because it was like a make or break.  If he says "no," then this is it.  "If he says "yes," then wow heck yea!  So, he comes to the church for a lesson and gets off his motorcycle smoking a cigarette, goes to the side of the road gets a HUGE thing of coffee and walks into the church, and both Elder Andrus and I just start laughing.  Anyways, mid-way through the lesson, it's going fantastic, Pete basically says, "Listen, I feel really guilty for doing all this stuff.  I didn't know it was a commandment, I feel horrible right now."  Of course we calmed him and basically told him, "It's okay, etc."  Anyways, he says "yes" he will quit everything over time and be clean by his baptismal date (December 20).  We walked out of the lesson and he just says, "I feel good, I feel great, I can't wait to be clean."  It was amazing... The spirit was SOO strong during that lesson... We went home to tell the other missionaries about it and we seriously didn't even remember anything we said - I think at that moment we both realized, we are simply mouthpieces for Jesus Christ and he is speaking or using us to do his work.  Anyways - miracle. 

There was a lot of other stuff that happened this week, but I'm somewhat lazy to explain the rest!  Haha but just yeah miracles happen everyday... I'm being watched out for - no doubt. Also, shout out to my younger brother for making the Monte Vista soccer team... He's a stud!  And one last thing ... GO WARRIORS!  15-0?  Are you kidding me... Ugh, what I would do to see my Boy Curry drain a three. 

God bless! 

Elder Wilde
 (Some random pictures Elder Wilde took.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 13 - November 16, 2015

Hello!  Hope you all enjoyed your week!

Well, I just hit three months, just like that!  Blink of an eye lol.  Transfer calls are on Friday... Pretty nerve wracking!  Hopefully Elder Andrus and I stay one more transfer together, but he could be gone.  Pray for us haha!

This week was great!  We had a few really amazing things happen that I
am going to tell y'all about - but I gotta fill you in on some quotes

Scripture quote:"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore
I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his
strength I can do all things" - Alma 26:12

I really like this and it applies to us all.  Everything that we have
in life is because of our Heavenly Father.  He grants us life, he
grants us happiness - all things.  We would be nothing without him.  We
should not say (I am guilty of this), "I did it by myself, I
accomplished this on my own, I earned this by myself, etc." - boast.
We have been helped every step of the way, so give Him the credit, not

Weekly quote:We live to die and die to live again.

Anyways, I actually read some interesting things in the Book of Mormon
this week - A prophet in the beginning of the book 600 years before
Christ came, prophesied that a man would sail here to the promise
lands (Americas) and would discover it due to him being led by the
Spirit of God:  "And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who
was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I
beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man;
and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my
brethren, who were in the promised land."  Obviously, he prophesied
about Christopher Columbus and so then I went and tried to find
personal accounts of Columbus and how he sailed to the Americas and
found this -- “‘Our Lord,’ said Columbus, ‘unlocked my mind, sent me
upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed.  Those who heard of my
enterprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed.  But who can
doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?"

Anyways, I found it interesting how a prophet in the Book of Mormon
prophesied about Columbus like 1800 years before it happened.
Then I was also reading how the Lord told Joseph Smith that the Civil
War would happen in 40 years.  Joseph Smith noted it in the D
and Covenants (Book of Revelations) and it just so happened 40 years
later - the Civil War happened.... Say what?!  Pretty cool!

Next last cool thing.  I was reading how the Lord told Joseph Smith in the
Doctrine and Covenants how he INSPIRED the founding fathers to write
the Declaration of Independence and inspired them to make sure this
land was a land of religious freedom -- isn't it interesting how the
dollar bill says "IN GOD WE TRUST"?  Go re-read the constitution.

Okay, well that was just some of the interesting things about my
studies this week.

Here are my experiences

1. Last night, Kevin was baptized.  Elder Andrus baptized him, and I
will be confirming him a member of The Church of Jesus Christ this
upcoming Sunday.  More specifics about the baptism.  I never have felt
so much peace and happiness in my life and felt the Spirit so much as
I watched him be baptized.  It was single handedly one of the greatest
experiences I have been a part of.  As he was getting changed, he was
just smiling and smiling, and I asked him, "Kevin, how do you feel?"  He
said to me, "Well, I can't stop smiling, that's for dang sure, but I've
never felt so clean in my life."  Man, I thought I was gonna burst into
tears, so hard to keep it together!  Elder Andrus and I celebrated by
baking a cake Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat

2. I think on Thursday we were invited over to a member's home.  He is
from Vietnam and his son just left on a mission, so I think he was
missing him a lot and just invited us over to hear about the
missionary life.  He spoke little English so it was an odd dinner
trying to communicate back and forth.  He fed us Pho, which is one of
my favorite dishes.  I loved it, but then he whips out this
"Cambodian/Vietnamese chocolate milk" good glory... It was SOOO bad, I
wanted to puke, but we had to drink it.  Then after we did, he went and
got MORE for us... Elder Andrus and I couldn't stop laughing.  Anyways,
as the dinner went on, I asked him about the war in Vietnam and if he
was a part of it.  He said that he fought for South Vietnam for four
years and then when North Vietnam took over, they threw him in a
concentration camp for five years........ He was getting very
emotional so I quickly tried to change the topic and asked him how he
met his wife, but anyways.... Just an amazing experience to hear about
him... He doesn't have too much money, but he was able to put his four
children through BYU Provo and UPenn.  They were converted when they
moved here to America in 1995, and he expressed how he found a peace of
mind through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the missionaries explained to him.

3. Ughhhh unfortunate event happened to us--funny to hear about but
sucked to happen... We were going to a member's home for dinner who
lives in the Hood - honestly, so use to this area that I can't even
consider it Hood anymore lol, but we got to his house and all of a
sudden, Elder Andrus looks at me and just starts freaking out when they
weren't looking, BED BUGS all over his leg!!  So then I check mine and
my sweater has these friggin critters everywhere!  CODE RED!!  Lol We
went home and just threw EVERYYYTHING in the heater, burn those
buggers haha.

4. We got Cheesecake Factory before interviews with President Eyes so good.

5. I actually just now got back from the city.  We went to LOVE park,
Redding terminal, Rocky steps, the temple for our church being built.
We got some Amish milkshakes,  donuts and pretzels... SO good.  Elder
Andrus and I were both like:  "This would have been such a great date
if we had babes" lol  It was a sweet day though so far!


Anyways, it was a splendid week!  People out here think us missionaries
are like their own personal therapists/stores..  We had some people
call us and were asking if we had some T.V. Antennas....... What?  I'm
a missionary not Best Buy!  Then this one family had a plumbing issue
and they were calling us telling us to do something about it, and so
we were trying to find someone all week and finally we did.  The man's
son is less active in the church, so we went to go contact him and his
father said he was a plumber.  So we sent him over there.  Little did
we know before he went he got straight BLASTED drunk and puked
everywhere in the house and just couldn't walk...  They were not so
happy with us - oops.  We tried!

LOVE YOU ALL!  God bless.

Elder Wilde

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 12 - November 9, 2015

Why, hello everyone!
Hope you all had a wonderful first week of November!  I know we did here in Philly!  It's still surprisingly "warm" (about 45 degrees) and just another week that was over in a blink of an eye!  I have this little inspirational quote book that I have and one of my favorite things I read this week was as follows:  "Who decides if you are happy or unhappy?"  Dr. Peale answered, "You do."  He told about having a conversation over dinner in a railway car with a couple during a trip.  The woman, dressed in designer clothing, declared the rail car dingy and drafty, the service poor, and the food terrible.  Her husband, in contrast, was an easygoing, enjoyable man.   During dinner, Peale asked the man what business he was in.  He said he was a lawyer and his wife was in manufacturing.  This was surprising, as she did not appear to be the industrial type.  So Peale asked, "What does she manufacture?"  "She manufactures her own happiness," replied the man. 

UGH that's straight fire!  I think it's so true because we can all decide whether we want to be happy or not.  We can let people TRY and get in our way of being happy, we can let trials TRY to stress us out, we can let ________ TRY and make us unhappy... OR we can decide whether we want to be happy or not.  Our happiness is in OUR hands not others.  Don't let anything get in your way of being happy!   There are people, places, and things that can take that comfort and joy away from you if you ALLOW it to... So really, don't allow it to, right? 

The scripture of the week is found in the Bible - Matthew 10:39 and it reads: "He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." 

I love that scripture so much!   I feel like we can all find ourselves when we are in the service of others and trying to show kindness and be an example to others!

The weekly quote was:  "The man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty, since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty that he can find his potentialities." - Charles de Gaulle 

I also really like this one because if we don't have sorrow, then we don't know happiness; if we don't have pain, we don't have joy; without trials we wouldn't grow stronger! 

I'd love to share of some experiences this week! 

1. As you know I've been trying to learn piano, which I have improved a lot and bought a book to help self-teach myself!  However - living in Shanghai for six years, I remember some of my Mandarin and there is a 16 year old boy from Beijing that moved here two years ago named Tian Xu.  He met with missionaries for a while when he moved here and was almost baptized but was scared to commit.   Anyways, he hasn't met with missionaries for a longggg time, and the bishop of our church called me up and was like, "ELDER WILDE, GET OVER TO TIAN XU AND SPEAK CHINESE TO HIM!!!"  So, I was like... Alright haha I'll try," so we go over to his house.  I speak to him the best I can in my torn apart Chinese, and he was just STUNNED a white boy in Philly speaking Chinese?  He asked US to come inside... So we did and I still tried to continue speaking to the best of my ability, and we walked inside and he had a piano, so I asked if I could try and play.  He said, "Of course," and I played "Apologize," by One Republic and he was like, "Yeah, you're okay," and I was like, "Oh, wow, thanks!"  I asked to watch him play and he said, "Of course..."  Little did I know, Tian XU is the second best piano player in CHINA and was asked to come here to Philly by some really famous musical school to play and perform here... Anyways, there is a parable in the Bible which talked about Christ giving 5 talents (money) to one man, 2 talents to another, and 1 talent to the last.  The man who had 5 doubled his talents to 10 and then the man who had 2 doubled his talents to 4 and the man who had 1 talent hid his talent under the ground.  They all came back to Christ and told him what they did.  He was furious with the man who did nothing with his talent and took it away and gave it away to the man who doubled his... Point of the story is, we are all given talents (not money) from God+Christ and if we don't make the most of our talents, they will be taken away from us.  I told this to Tian XU in English because he understood a little and I challenged him to come to church and play piano for us!  He did. Anyways, I'll attach a little bit of him playing. Most amazing thing ever. 
(Elder Wilde with Tian Xu.)
I've been trying to teach Elder Andrus some Chinese and then I tell him to talk to people that are Chinese around and he tries and they don't understand him.  Then I step in and help him out and Elder Andrus gets so mad because he can't speak it correctly lol.

2. I wrote last week about how we met with three Catholic people, Linda, Joe and Severio.   Anyways, they lost their mother about a month and a half ago and all don't have jobs and live off of something called S.S.I.  Anyways, they have like NO food in their house, so we helped them get a food order in from our church.   Monday night after my P day was over, we went over there for a lesson.  Joe was having a tough day.  The top of his bathroom wall fell through due to plumbing, people were saying some nasty stuff to him, he's a heavy smoker.  Anyways, his son came over and I saw them walk outside to smoke some weed mid-lesson and I was mad, but of course I didn't say anything.  So he comes back inside, can't walk to save his life, and falls right on top of me... So I was a little frustrated now, but I wouldn't let it really bother me.  I was eager to continue the lesson.  He sits down and then he starts smoking his cigarettes right in front of me and blowing it in my face.  Little bit more frustrated.  Then his phone starts going off and he is shouting on the phone, the lesson just turned into a disaster - I asked him to put his phone away and he got RIGHT into my face and shouted at me and I was wanting to swing SO bad, but I kept it together and just relaxed.  Anyways, few days pass, Thursday their food order is done and they got hooked up with SOOO much food and so we took it into their house, and Severio, who is awesome, just started kissing me (not on the lips) and was bawling his eyes out.  He was so thankful and then Joe was like, "Thanks!"  Linda was really happy, as well.  Anyways, we come back Saturday and Joe gets on his knees and just apologizes his heart out to me saying he will never disrespect me like that again, begging for forgiveness-  imagine that - 50 year old man on his knees apologizing to a 19 year old... They ended up coming to church on Sunday and loved it.  It was a great experience. 

3. Kevin, one of our investigators, is getting baptized on Sunday.  I'm super excited for it!  Hopefully, I can baptize him, but we will see!  He's super solid, 15 year old kid, really nice. 

4. We had a mini-missionary join us for four days whose name is Blake.  He is 19 preparing to go on a mission.  One thing I've learned out here on the mission is just not to complain because complaining doesn't get you anywhere and won't fix a problem, but he very much so tested my patience.  Anyways, I won't talk much about that. 

5. I've become pretty decent at making omelets!  Just thought I'd throw that in there Face with tears of joy

I'm trying to think about what else we did this week.  We just had TONS of lessons and stuff which was great.  Really can't remember much.  I'm sure lots of other stuff happened and I just can't really remember.... Anyways, it makes sense why they had us stay in on Halloween.  There were a few shootings literally like right down the street and four people died.  Now cops are on every corner. 

We are currently having like a 20 person ping pong tournament at my church, and I'm in the semi finals, so wish me luck Smirking face

Love you all soooooo much!  I'm grateful for all of you and everything you do for me - your constant support means so much!

Elder Wilde
(Elder Wilde's brother who is on his mission in Australia sent this picture to show him that he is staying fit.  Pretty impressive!)

(Elder Wilde says this is his "future" dog.  He must have really liked this dog because I didn't think he liked any dog better than Rosco!)
Elder Wilde, also, included this very inspirational talk:
(Click on the link above to watch or print this talk that Elder Wilde included this week.)
"Hold on Thy Way," By Elder Koichi Aoyagi, Emeritus Member of the Seventy.
Put God first, regardless of the trials you face.  Love God.  Have faith in Christ, and entrust yourself to Him in all things.  Koichi Aoyagi stated , "On March 11, 2011, I was standing on a platform in the Tokyo Shinagawa train station to visit the Japan Kobe Mission.  At approximately 2:46 p.m., a 9.0-magnitude massive earthquake struck. I was not able to stand because of the intense shaking, and I held tightly to a stair rail. Lights on nearby ceilings began falling to the floor.  All of Tokyo was in a panic. Fortunately, I was not injured, and four hours later, I was relieved to learn that my entire family was safe.  On television there was a stream of terrifying, shocking footage.  A massive tsunami surged into the Sendai mission area--sweeping away everything in its path:  cars, houses, factories, and fields.  I was stunned by the tragic images, and I wept.  And I fervently prayed that our Heavenly Father’s protection and assistance would be upon all the people living in this region that I so dearly love.
Later, it was confirmed that all the missionaries and Church members were safe. However, many members were affected, losing their family members, homes, and household possessions.  Nearly 20,000 people perished, communities were destroyed, and many people were forced to leave their homes as a result of a nuclear power plant accident. 
Disasters such as this are wreaking havoc in many parts of the world today, causing much loss of life.  We are warned that disasters, wars, and countless difficulties in the world will occur.  When trials such as these suddenly come upon us, we may question, 'Why do these things happen to me?' or 'Why do I have to suffer?'  For a long period after I converted to the gospel, I didn’t have a clear answer to the question 'Why am I given trials?'  I understood the part of the Plan of Salvation that says we will be tested.   However, in reality, when it came to this question, I did not have a conviction that was powerful enough to adequately answer it.  But there came a time in my life when I too experienced a major trial.
When I was 30 years old, I was visiting the Nagoya mission as part of my work.  After the meeting, the mission president kindly arranged for the Elders to drive me to the airport.  However, as we reached the intersection at the bottom of a long hill, a large truck came barreling down from behind us at great speed.  It rammed into the rear of our car and propelled it forward more than 70 feet (20 m).  The terrifying part of all of this was there was no driver.  The rear of our car was compacted to half its original size.  Fortunately, both the Elders and I survived.  However, on the following day, I began experiencing pain in my neck and shoulders and developed a severe headache.
From that day, I couldn’t sleep and I was forced to live each day with both physical and mental pain.  I prayed to God to please heal my pain, but these symptoms lingered on for about 10 years.  At this time, feelings of doubt also began creeping into my mind, and I wondered, 'Why do I have to suffer this much pain?'  However, even though the kind of healing I sought was not granted, I strove to be faithful in keeping God’s commandments.  I continued to pray that I would be able to resolve the questions I had about my trials. 
There came a time when I found myself struggling with a few additional personal issues, and I was agitated because I did not know how to cope with this new trial.  I was praying for an answer.  But I didn’t receive an answer right away.  So I went and talked with a trusted Church leader.  As we were talking, with love in his voice, he said, 'Brother Aoyagi, isn’t your purpose for being on this earth to experience this trial?  Isn’t it to accept all the trials of this life for what they are and then leave the rest up to the Lord? Don’t you think that this problem will be resolved when we are resurrected?'   When I heard these words, I felt the Spirit of the Lord very strongly.  I had heard this doctrine countless times, but the eyes of my understanding had never been opened to the extent they were at this time.  I understood this was the answer that I had been seeking from the Lord in my prayers.  I was able to clearly comprehend our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation and understand anew this important principle.
In Abraham, the Lord God declared, 'And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.'  The principle is that the God who created the heavens and the earth knows the grand design of this earth, that He has dominion over all things in the heavens and the earth, and that in order to bring to pass the plan of salvation, He provides us with many different experiences--including some trials--while we are on this earth.  And the Lord said the following to Joseph Smith: 'Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. … 'Therefore, hold on thy way … , for God shall be with you forever and ever.'  
The trials of this earth--including illness and death--are a part of the Plan of Salvation and are inevitable experiences.  It is necessary for us to 'hold on [our] way' and accept our trials with faith.  However, the purpose of our lives is not merely to endure trials.  Heavenly Father sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Redeemer so we could overcome the trials we face on this earth; in other words, He makes our weak things become strong, He atones for our sins and our imperfections, and He makes it possible for us to obtain immortality and eternal life.  President Henry B. Eyring stated:  'The test a loving God has set before us is not to see if we can endure difficulty.  It is to see if we can endure it well.  We pass the test by showing that we remembered Him and the commandments He gave us.'  'Hold on thy way' is a key choice during times of trial.  Turn your heart to God, especially when you face trials. Humbly obey the commandments of God.  Show faith to reconcile your wishes with the will of God.
Let’s now consider that rear-end collision in Nagoya.  I could have died in that accident.  Nevertheless, through the Lord’s grace, I miraculously survived.  And I know that my sufferings were for my learning and for my growth.  Heavenly Father schooled me to temper my impatience, to develop empathy, and to comfort those who are suffering.  When I realized this, my heart was filled with feelings of thankfulness toward my Heavenly Father for this trial.  Put God first, regardless of the trials you face.  Love God.  Have faith in Christ, and entrust yourself to Him in all things.  Moroni makes the following promise to such people:  'And if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.'  I sincerely testify that God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, live and that God’s promises to those who 'hold on [their] way' and love Him will be fulfilled even in the midst of trials, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Wilde