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


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