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.)

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