Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 19 - December 28, 2015

Well, hello everyone!

I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful
Christmas and are preparing to have a happy new year!  I want to hear
each of your experiences and how you celebrated and celebrate!  I know
I didn't give much of a down-low of what I did last week, but I can
assure you it was another great week in the field.

This Christmas week was wonderful.  If you aren't aware, missionaries
only get to call home via Skype four times in two years.  Two of those are
on Christmas and two of those are on Mother's Day.  That being said, I
was able to Skype my family.  It was wonderful to see them all; however,
the ultimate highlight was seeing my older brother, Bracken, for the
first time in two and almost a half years.  It was incredible!  We
Skyped for an hour, but it felt like five minutes... It flew by and before
you know it, I was telling them that I would see them again in four and
a half months which I know will just fly by.

Anyways, Christmas Day we opened presents and Christmas cards in the
morning, watched a few Christ - Christmas videos and Elder Andrus and
I made an incredible breakfast for the household!  I'll most certainly
attach pictures. 

After I Skyped home, we had lunch at the church with
many of the members who aren't as... "Fortunate" as others.  It was a
wonderful experience.  We were able to play games, sing songs, and act
out in some skits.  The lunch was incredible.  The bishop of our church
(person who presides over this specific church in South Philly) and
his family put together a wonderful meal. 

Anyways, after that Elder Andrus and I made our way to some less active and investigators' homes who also aren't as fortunate.  We were able to watch videos with them and chat and just enjoy Christmas with a few different families.
(Family that Elder Wilde and his companion spent part of the day with on Christmas.)

Anyways, as we made our way to one family's home, we had a CHRISTMAS
MIRACLE.  It was simply undeniable.  We got onto the train making our
way to our next family.  Of course, as a missionary you greet everyone,
wish them a happy holiday, etc.; however, as I sat down on the train, I
sat next to (few seats away) from a man who must have been in his late
20's African American.  I simply just was pretty tired and
finally was thrilled to sit down for just a few moments and relax.
What came next was in no doubt of my mind, the Spirit speaking to me.  I
felt a very strong impression to wish this man a Merry Christmas, so I
did - he replied with cheer.  I turned away and simply kind of thought
to myself, "Happy?"  What came next is no exaggeration, but I got a very
real and intense feeling of just disappointment and within split
seconds felt in my mind and heart that I simply did not do my job and
that the Spirit was very much wanting me to continue talking to this
man and that my job was not done at all with him.   It was strong enough
that I realized I had to do it and couldn't deny it.   I began talking
to him and as we discussed and talked, he told that he had nowhere to
go this Christmas and that he has been "searching for the truth" as I
felt I should give him a card that had our address and where we attend
church on it.  I checked my back to realize out of the hundred pass-along cards that we were given, I had ONE more in my whole entire
bag... I gave him that and as it turns out we set up an appointment
with him at 2:00 the next day.  A coincidence???   That is not a
We were able to celebrate Christmas Eve at a recent convert's home
with some members of the branch.  As I looked inside the home, I
realized that there were far more converts in the room then there
were born members.  Missionary work at its finest Smiling face with Sunglasses

About a week and a half ago, we asked one of our investigators that we
have been working with for about two months now to fast and pray to
know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was in fact
called to be a prophet in these latter days.  A little background on
Robbie first - he wanted nothing to do with the church.  He said that
the Bible was the word of God and that was it--nothing else.  We pleaded
with him to give us one chance to explain our message and after that
he could continue to meet or we would leave him alone.  He agreed with
the intent that I'm pretty sure he just wanted to Bible bash.  Anyways,
two months ago we taught him how Joseph Smith restored the church that
Christ set up while he was on the earth, etc., and at the end of the
lesson he asked how on earth we could possibly believe that a man
could do this - we pulled out a Book of Mormon and told him that this
book was either written by prophets of God or the devil.  We invited
him to read it and find out for himself.  Anyways, we continued to meet
him, teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ.  On Saturday, we met with
him a week after his fast and he told us that after reading half the
Book of Mormon, he knows that Joseph Smith was called of God and that
the Book of Mormon "was more true than the Bible;" however, we had to
assure him that we love the Bible and stick to both of them, not just the
Book of Mormon.  Anyways, just interesting to see a man go from everything against the church to finally wanting to become a part of it. 
Side note - we
also fasted for him.  He is preparing to be baptized late January.  He
needs to stop with the booze though!  Thank heavens he doesn't drink a
ton haha.

Lots of other good stuff happened during the week.  You truly see
undeniable miracles all the time out here as your faith is at an all
time high and you are a representative of Jesus Christ to teach his

However, I am currently playing in a basketball tournament for
P-day, so I'm on and off the iPad and don't have the most time to write
a lot.  I will end with sharing a conference talk by an apostle of the
church that I LOVE and then give quotes of the week.

The conference talk is called, "Faith is not by Chance but by Choice," by Elder Neil L. Anderson.  I'll copy and paste the parts that stuck out to me.  Elder Anderson states:

"I ask myself, 'How does the Savior see my faith?'  And tonight I ask
you, 'How does the Savior see your faith?'  Faith in the Lord Jesus
Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air.  Faith
does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright.  Faith
in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to
believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either
growing stronger or becoming weaker.  Faith is a principle of power,
important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the
veil.  By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith
on His name.  The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.

"The Faith of a Young Brazilian.  A month ago in Brazil, I met Aroldo
Cavalcante.  He was baptized at age 21, the first member of the Church
in his family.  His faith burned brightly, and he immediately began
preparing to serve a mission.  Sadly, Aroldo’s mother was diagnosed
with cancer.  Three months later, only days before she died, she spoke
to Aroldo of her greatest concern:  There were no relatives to help.
Aroldo would need to take full responsibility for his two younger
sisters and his younger brother.  He solemnly made this promise to his
dying mother.  By day he worked in a bank, and at night he attended the
university.  He continued to keep his baptismal covenants, but his
hopes for a full-time mission were gone.  His mission would be caring
for his family.  Months later while preparing a sacrament meeting talk,
Aroldo studied the words that Samuel reprovingly spoke to King Saul:
“To obey,” he read, “is better than [to] sacrifice.”  Aroldo received
the seemingly impossible impression that he needed to obey the
prophet’s call to serve a mission.  Undaunted by the obstacles before
him, he moved forward with enormous faith.  Aroldo saved every
Brazilian cruzeiro he could.  At age 23, he received his mission call.
He told his brother how much to withdraw each month from his account
for the family.  Aroldo still did not have enough money to pay the full
cost of his mission and the living expenses for his brother and
sisters, but with faith he entered the MTC.  A week later he received
the first of many blessings.  The bank that had employed Elder
Cavalcante unexpectedly doubled the money he was to receive as he
concluded his work.  This miracle, along with others, provided the
needed income for his mission and his family during his absence.
Twenty years later, Brother Cavalcante is now serving as the president
of the Recife Brazil Boa Viagem Stake.  Looking back, he said of those
days, 'As I tried to live righteously, I felt the Savior’s love and
guidance.  My faith grew, allowing me to overcome many challenges.'

"Aroldo’s faith did not come by chance, but by choice.  How we live our
lives increases or diminishes our faith.  Prayer, obedience, honesty,
purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith.  Without
these, faith diminishes.  Immersing oneself in persistent doubt, fueled
by answers from the faithless and the unfaithful, weakens one’s faith
in Jesus Christ and the Restoration.  'The natural man receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.'
For example, questions concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith are not
new.  They have been hurled by his critics since this work began.  To
those of faith who, looking through the colored glasses of the 21st
century, honestly question events or statements of the Prophet Joseph
from nearly 200 years ago, may I share some friendly advice:  For now,
give Brother Joseph a break!  In a future day, you will have 100 times
more information than from all of today’s search engines combined, and
it will come from our all-knowing Father in Heaven. 

"Consider the totality of Joseph’s life--born in poverty and given little formal
education, he translated the Book of Mormon in less than 90 days. Tens
of thousands of honest, devoted men and women embraced the cause of
the Restoration.  At age 38, Joseph sealed his witness with his blood.
I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Settle this in your
mind, and move forward!

"Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon give us the beautiful assurance
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  I hold in my hand a copy of
the first edition of the Book of Mormon in French, published by John
Taylor as he began the work in France in 1852.  Some or all of the Book
of Mormon is now in 110 languages across the world.  It provides a
spiritual and tangible witness of the truthfulness of the Restoration.
When was the last time that you read the Book of Mormon from cover to
cover?  Read it again.  It will increase your faith.  Although your
beginning fire of faith may be small, righteous choices bring greater
confidence in God, and your faith grows.  The difficulties of mortality
blow against you, and evil forces lurk in the darkness, hoping to
extinguish your faith.  But as you continue to make good choices, trust
in God, and follow His Son, the Lord sends increased light and
knowledge, and your faith becomes settled and unwavering.

"President Thomas S. Monson said: “Fear not. … The future is as bright as
your faith.”   On June 12 of this year, I received an email telling me that
the bishop from a Utah ward, his wife, and two of their children had
been killed in an airplane accident.  Bishop Mark Openshaw had been
piloting the plane as it left a small airfield, when it suddenly fell
from the sky and crashed to the earth.  Bishop Openshaw, his wife, Amy,
and their children Tanner and Ellie were killed in the accident.
Miraculously their five-year-old son, Max, thrown out of the airplane
in his airplane seat, escaped with only broken bones.  I learned that
their son Elder Porter Openshaw was serving in the Marshall Islands
Majuro Mission and that their 17-year-old son, Zane, was on a school
cultural exchange in Germany.  I called Elder Openshaw on Christmas
Island.  Although heartbroken by the unexpected death of his mother,
father, brother, and sister, Elder Openshaw immediately turned his
concern to his two younger brothers.  Ultimately it was Elder Openshaw
and his brother Zane who decided that others could help at home and
that Porter should stay on his mission.  They knew it was what their
parents would want.  As I spoke with Elder Openshaw, I felt his sadness
but also his unquenchable fire of faith.  'I have the confidence,' he
told me, 'and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will see my
family again. … Strength in our trials is always found in … our Lord,
Jesus Christ. … God’s omnipotent hand has been so apparent in helping
[me] and my brothers throughout [this] very difficult challenge'."

Awesome talk.

Hmmm scripture quote of the week is from the Doctrine and Covenants 6:33:
Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye
also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your

God bless!  Love you all!  Have a wonderful week.

Elder Wilde

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day Call - December 25, 2015

All missionaries are allowed to call home twice a year--Mother's Day and Christmas.  Elder Wilde's family enjoyed Skyping with him on Christmas. 
Elder Wilde was pretty happy, also, to get to talk to them--especially to his older brother, Elder Wilde, Sr., who had just returned from serving his mission to Australia Sydney North just two days prior to this call.  That was one happy reunion for the two brothers to talk after being away from each other for 2 1/2 years!  What a great Christmas gift for the Wilde family--one son returning from a mission who had worked so hard, and now being able to talk to another son who is, also, so dedicated in the work in Philadelphia!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 18 - December 21, 2015

Well, I may or may not write two emails this week. This week's e-mail goes out to my brother, Bracken. 

Last night my parents and I received his "dying e-mail" and it brought me to tears.  Elder Andrus nor the other missionaries have seen me cry (and I haven't) since I have been out here until last night. 

I don't want to get into the past, but it feels like just yesterday he was trying to make the decision whether to serve his mission or not.  With a serious girlfriend, hesitation to serve, killing it in his first year at Utah State, and Dota (the video game he played constantly), he decided to serve a mission.  What was a big choice for him, was one that most definitely changed his life.  I noticed that he was most certainly a blob of clay at the beginning.  He was always a better seminary student than I was, but I don't think either of us had the most extreme testimonies entering the MTC.  However over the course of two years, receiving e-mails, hearing his voice a few times, it was as if Picasso or someone (I think he was a sculptor?) had just taken that clay and molded it into the most awesome, beautiful, killer missionary, man, and brother there is.  I am reminded of Alma the younger, not to say Bracken tried to overthrow the church or anything like that haha but more of the conversion - when I think of Bracken and his mission, I think of this scripture:  "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.  Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors." 

(The two Elder Wildes:  Bracken and Parker, as children--always as close as brothers could be.)

It was interesting because my father e-mailed me a while ago and told me that each of us must go through our own conversion.  It was true, we must.  I have seen this in Bracken and am proud of the man he has become.  He has set an example, a path and a way for the rest of his brothers including myself to continue on to, for that I am grateful. 

It was funny, about three weeks ago maybe a month - not sure, Bracken e-mailed me and was like, "Hey, Elder Wilde Jr.  I'm sending you mail, look for it this week!"  I was totally thinking, "Oh yeah, he's going to tell me how much he loves me, how proud of me for serving, how he can't wait to talk to me on Christmas, etc." (which is what I wanted) that kind of stuff................ As I read the mail, I don't think - I know I didn't see any of that.  The whole entire thing was about how to be a good missionary, what to do, how to do it and why we do it.  Not until I finished the letter it read "P.S. Can't wait to talk Christmas."  Part of me was like... "Are you kidding me?  Where is the love?"  Then I put it in the envelope my patriarchal blessing was in, opened it up and read it over again next Monday - and realized something.  He totally knew that the best love, the best service, was not by him saying I love you but trying to help me see and taste the fruits of the gospel by becoming a good missionary - Lehi said, "And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that MY FAMILY should partake of it also; for I knew it was desirable above all other fruits."  I know he wanted me to be desirous of this fruit and partake of it and this is why he was saying those things. 

It was interesting, this past month I was like hmmm, "I wonder what my brother is doing, what he's thinking about home." - the thing is, at this point for my brother I could probably say for him he's probably wondering, "What is home?"  The amount of hours, the dedication, the sweat, the tears, the laughs, the ups the downs, the "dunks", the transfers, the $1 pasta meals, the beautiful vacation he was on (I'm only kidding), I believe Australia is his home... - to a degree. 

Pretty funny, years ago I remember when we went to Australia for vacation, and I DISTINCTLY remember my brother saying, "If I serve a mission, I want to serve right here." Now, I'm not saying this applies to everyone (cough cough me, Philadelphia? I said language speaking--out of states!  But I love my mission so it's no worries :))  But I can honestly and truly say I know the Lord listened to him and heard him say that and because he had that courage to drop everything for two years and serve, the Lord responded and well out of the hundreds of places he could serve, he was called to that specific place... Coincidence--that isn't a coincidence, right? 

Saying good-bye to each other when Elder Wilde, Sr., (Bracken) left for Australia.  They knew they wouldn't be seeing each other for 3 1/2 yrs.

Now, Bracken was always a handsome kid, but now he's a model?   What the heck... He sent me a photo of him in the mail and not only did my jaw drop but I had to take a double take!   He told me people asked him how he lost his weight and his reply was, "I followed the schedule, I was obedient."  My mission president always tells us, "Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles."  My brother had some ridiculous miracles that were no doubt orchestrated by God due to his obedience.

Anyways I could go on and on about my older brother and the role model that he is for me and my brothers - just wanted to congratulate him for having that "RM" plastered on him now.  Hopefully he remembers that he still has to wait for me to get home before he purchases that ring.  Those ladies at BYU are going to love him, who wouldn't?  I best be receiving some e-mail address to do some serious questioning when he finds "the one."

God bless you, Brother. 

Elder Wilde

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Letter from a Member Couple in Elder Wilde's Mission

(The following e-mail was sent to Elder Wilde's parents from a couple in Elder Wilde's Mission.  The husband is currently attending The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.)

Hi, Brother and Sister Wilde,

My wife Katie and I just had the Elders over tonight, and your son Elder Wilde was kind enough to give us your contact info. We live in the South Philadelphia Branch, and we just wanted to let you know how wonderful it is to have your son in our Branch Family. He brings such a great attitude and cheerfulness to the work, and we have felt uplifted by him and his companion. 

My wife and I just wanted to say thank you for sending your son to our mission.

Best wishes,
Cameron and Katie 

(Parents love to get wonderful e-mails like this from people in the mission!)

Week 17 - December 14, 2015

Well, hello, everyone.  I don't know how it's already mid- December, but it is! 

Christmas is right around the corner.  I first just want to start off by telling everyone the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus Christ - the Savior of the world--his birth is celebrated on December 25th.  He is the only perfect man to walk the earth and has given us all an incredible example of who we should strive to become. Christmas is about remembering him and all that he did for us--how he performed the Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemene and died on the cross.  We should seek to give instead of receive.  Our church came out with a website to promote the true meaning of Christmas and the website has skyrocketed in views.  The website is:
(Click on the link above to see the two videos Elder Wilde is talking about.)

There are two videos on there that I would highly recommend you watch.  They are two minutes each and easily the best contacting tool missionaries can use.  One of them is called, "A Savior is Born" and the other one is called, "Why We Need a Savior" or something like that.  But I recommend you watch them both! 

(Here are some stats on "A Savior is Born - A Call to Action."

Anyways, this week in Philly the temperature was beautiful, mid 60's basically all week which is unheard of considering it should be in the low 20's at this time of the year.  Anyways, I'll share the scripture and quote of the week and then some experiences.  I actually just got back from a cheesesteak run with President's Assistants.  It was really fun. We went to eight of the best Philly cheesesteak restaurants and tried them all to find the best one.  We made graphs/charts to record our "data" science + math payed off!  Anyways, I'll attach some pics of that too.  

(Just some of the many cheesesteak places Elder Wilde loves!)

We met an Eagles player at one of the restaurants who is also Mormon and he bought us all cheesesteaks.  His name is Brandon Bair, I think? 

(Brandon Bair who plays with the Philadelphia Eagles in the middle; Elder Wilde on the right, and Elder Andrus, far right.)

Scripture of the week 
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. - D&C 88:84

So this week we actually got some Christmas music and one of the songs was called "Angels Among Us" by Alabama - super good song.  Anyways, we listened to it and this scripture came to my mind.  This scripture was Christ talking to the very first missionaries back in 1830 and I have truly felt that at times I have angels bearing me up because just when I'm about to take a breather, I always get a burst of energy and just the adrenaline to continue on. 

Quote of the week 
"God's no is not a rejection ... Just a redirection"
FireFireFire love this, God will never reject you, even when you're making mistakes.  He will chasten you with trials and afflictions and sadness, but that's only because you deserve it and he's trying to get you on the right path.  I've seen it in my life and I've seen it in others. It's true. 

Some experiences of the week 

1. As you may or may not know, my companion is a basketball player for BYU.  He's 6'10. Anyways, the youth in our church were dying to have him teach and hold a little "clinic," so we did and it was a fantastic time.  At the end we played a scrimmage and idk if it was the Stephen Curry shirt I was wearing or what, but I was knocking down treys!  Anyways, it got somewhat heated between me and a member.  They had us over for dinner on Sunday so I knew there weren't hard feelings.  It was great lol - all the young men looked up to both of us and we were able to share a message about church related things and it was just so awesome.  The leaders told us the kids were never that close ever and that activity brought them together like none before, so it was a great experience. 

2. So our area we don't have a problem finding new people to teach.  The people here are ready to learn (some...) but the problem is 99% have an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes and if you want to be baptized, you have to abstain from those things - so we teach all these people but none of them can quit anything no matter what we do.  It's very frustrating because when you serve these people, you actually come to love them and want the best for them and then they are just destroying themselves with all this harmful stuff and they can't quit no matter how hard they try.  Anyways, we have these two investigators - Catholic background, they have a baptismal date for mid-January, and they told us they were going to try and go cold turkey with cigarettes.  Elder Andrus and I went and bought a ton of jolly ranchers they could suck on and brought church movies and magazines they love, but they made it about 12 hours and then we went to their house to check on them and bring them more candy and we saw them smoking through the window and we were both just devastated because when we knocked on the door to ask if they have been smoking, they lied to us and told us no... Why do people lie?... I've come to realize that's one thing I hate most.  Laziness and lies.  Anyways, I decided to read in our missionary teaching guide (Preach my Gospel) about patience and have been trying to implement that into my life. 

3. We had a church Christmas party on Saturday night and that morning we went around for like three hours passing out flyers to less actives, investigators and recent converts we have.  Anyways, the hard work paid off and we had an awesome AWESOME turn out.  We ran out of chairs and room!  It was great!  I was everyone's servant though.  Elder Andrus got a kick out of it because everyone was like, "WILDE, GO GET ME JUICE, WILDE GET ME FOOD, GET ME A BANDAID, GET ME THIS, etc."  I didn't even have time to eat!  It's okay though.  It was great helping and I'm glad I could make Elder Andrus laugh. 

4. As you may or may not know, our church here in South Philly has MANY students attending Wharton business college (very prestigious) and they are extremely busy.  They have kids, school, work, church callings etc.  However, there is a constant theme that all of them portray.  All of them put aside their work at least once a week and come out with us to investigator lessons.  When I asked one of them how he made time to come out with us during his busy schedule, he replied, "Elder Wilde, something I've learned is you have to put your trust in the Lord.  When I pray and ask for his help, I can't expect him to give me that help if I'm not willing to do something for him.  I may not have time, but I sure do make time to serve him and he helps me in return."  I thought that was profound.  Yes, I know we are all busy with school, sports, friends, etc. but, there is always ALWAYS time to serve others around you and do something He wants you to do. 

5. We were able to go and clean that house that is an absolute disaster again this week and this is actually a funny yet foul story.  So this house is INFESTED with mice... Everywhere! One of the Spanish missionaries started tickling my leg and I just screamed!  But anyways, the next time I felt tickling on my leg I didn't want to make a scene because I thought it was the Spanish missionary but no... A few minutes later it was on my "waist area" and Elder Andrus swatted the mice off me, and I was just like I'M DONE!  I'M OUT!  GOODBYE! hahaha It was funny but horrible! 

6. We were waiting outside the subway station for a member and there was this lady and this man just swearing at each other yelling , this, that, and the third - anyways so like 5 minutes passed and I was just like... No, I had to go say something, so I took my iPad out and played one of the church Christmas videos and by the end they were both in tears and both said they had a warm feeling and goosebumps, which I then explained to them was the Spirit they were feeling.  Long story short, we exchanged numbers and we are meeting with them this week!  Super awesome.  They stopped arguing, too. 

Much more happened this week, but I've got to practice piano.  We are performing in church next week and I gotta be good!  Away in a Manger!  Heck, ya. 

Here's a nice little Christmas story for ya from our church magazine. 

"My uncle Ed has always had an infectious love of life.  Unfortunately, he also had a deficient pair of kidneys.  For several years, Ed had been staving off kidney failure through dialysis. The treatments were painful and frequent.  Each treatment wiped him out until the next one, and by the fall of 1995, he seemed to be just a shell of his former vibrant self.  The doctor finally told Ed that if he didn’t get a new kidney soon, his body wouldn’t hold out much longer.  Although only one kidney is necessary to sustain life, Ed didn’t want to ask anyone to donate one of theirs due to the risk that inherently accompanies any surgery.  But there was no choice.  Several close friends and family members were tested to see if their kidneys were compatible.  Only one perfect match was found:  Ed’s sister, Dottie--my mother.  On December 7, many of Ed’s friends and family joined in fasting and prayer in behalf of him and Dottie.  The surgeons who performed the operation were twin brothers. Even more interesting, one of them had donated a kidney to the other.  Ed and my mother were impressed to learn that with each surgery, these two doctors did all that they could and then bowed their heads and left the outcome in the Lord’s hands. 

"On the day of the operation, one doctor removed one of my mother’s kidneys.  As he sewed her back up, his brother carefully secured the donated kidney inside Ed’s abdomen. The surgery was a success, but it remained to be seen if Ed’s body would accept the new kidney.  The antibodies in his immune system were suppressed to improve his chances, so Ed had to be isolated in intensive care to protect him from viruses.  Even after he was released, he had to remain isolated from everyone except his immediate family. On Christmas Eve, however, Ed received special permission to attend my grandparents’ annual Christmas Eve celebration.  Wearing a face mask, Ed walked in the door, headed straight for Dottie, and enveloped her in a tremendous hug.  As they embraced each other, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Everyone could feel the love emanating from them.  A sister had suffered in order to give her brother the gift of life.  It was a gift of love, a gift of sacrifice, a gift he couldn’t provide for himself.  

"As I watched them, with tears streaming down my face, it dawned on me:  this could be what it will be like to meet the Savior face to face.  He did something for us that we are unable to do for ourselves.  Only He, being divine, was able to endure a sacrifice so great that the law of justice would be satisfied.  And only He, being perfect, was worthy to atone for the sins of all mankind so that the law of mercy could be extended to all who accept Him as their Savior.  As I savored these insights, I recommitted myself to do all I could to show my appreciation for the Savior and His sacrifice.  I would strive to live my life as a disciple so that someday I might be worthy to enter His presence, embrace Him, and personally thank Him for loving me enough to make such a sacrifice."

Elder Wilde

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 16 - December 7, 2015

Hello, December! 

Sheesh, months are zooming by!  It was another wonderful week here in Philadelphia.  I came down with something about mid-week and felt like crap ever since, but it was still an awesome week.  First thing first is I'm SOOOOOO excited to talk to my family via Skype on the 25th.  My older brother, Bracken (Elder Wilde Sr.), gets home from his mission in Australia in 16 days.... It will be the first time I will talk to him and see his face live in two and a half years.............. So yes, I'm very excited!  Secondly S/O to my younger brother Tyson for making the soccer team, and S/O to my beloved Warriors for continuing to just dominate. I have been blessed with some - what we call, tender mercies out here on the mission which consist of me having dreams of The Finals; however, I'm not quite sure if I should call it a nightmare or tender mercy because I have to wake up from it and I'm like noooooo!

Scripture quote is from The Bible

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
       - Deuteronomy 11:26-28 
Have you ever noticed in your life when you do the right thing that 99% of the time something good comes out of it and when you do the wrong thing, 99% of the time something bad comes out of it???  Same principle here - you'll receive blessings when you follow Him and well - won't have blessings if you don't.  Pretty self explanatory.  If you want to be happy, just do as he asks. 

Weekly quote (I chose this one because it made me laugh)

Challenge is like a dragon with a gift in its mouth, tame the dragon and the gift is yours.

Come on, how could you not pick a quote that talks about dragons? 

This link that I'm about to attach is one of my favorite videos that I get to show people. Considering Christmas is right around the corner, it's Important to remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas.  Yes, getting presents is nice, giving presents is even nicer ... BUT the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior - Jesus Christ.  This video is two and a half minutes. Give it a watch.

(Click on the link above to watch the video Elder Wilde is referring to.)

When early December rolls around each year, we are privileged to hear a short message from leaders in our church - and it was fantastic, you can go to to watch it.  If you ever have the opportunity and time to watch the short movie about Thomas S. Monson's (prophet of the church) life, it's worth it, it's on and it's called: "On the Lord's Errand - the life of Thomas S. Monson". 

(Click on the link above to watch the video of the life of President Thomas S. Monson)

Anyways, in the magazine called, "The Ensign," the church puts out, there was a short message he added and I would love to copy and paste it because it applies to EVERY ONE of us... 

"Another Christmas season is upon us and with it the dawning of a new year.  It seems as though only yesterday we were celebrating the Savior’s birth and making resolutions. Among our resolutions for this year, did we resolve to make time in our lives and room in our hearts for the Savior?  No matter how successful we may have been thus far with such a resolution, I am confident we all wish to do better.  This Christmas season is the perfect time to examine and renew our efforts.  In our busy lives, with ever so many other things competing for our attention, it is essential that we make a conscious, committed effort to bring Christ into our lives and into our homes.  And it is vital that we, like the Wise Men from the East, remain fixed upon His star and 'come to worship him.'  Down through the generations of time, the message from Jesus has been the same.  To Peter and Andrew by the shores of Galilee, He said, 'Follow me.'  To Philip came the call, 'Follow me.'  To the Levite who sat at receipt of customs came the instruction, 'Follow me.'  And to you and to me, if we but listen, will come that same beckoning invitation: 'Follow me.'  As we follow in His footsteps today and as we emulate His example, we will have opportunities to bless the lives of others.  Jesus invites us to give of ourselves:  'Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.'  Is there someone for whom you should provide service this Christmas? Is there one who awaits your visit?"

Short and simple huh?  So is there anyone you could reach out to, anyone who could use some lovin'?  I challenge each one of you to reach out to someone in need, emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically. 

I'll add a few experiences of the week! 

I think I have mentioned before that there is a recent convert to our church - Brother King. We made him that little journal book.  Anyways a few years ago, he had some friends that were living on the street and he told them they could move in until they found a place. These two people that moved in are hoarders - let me describe the house to you:  Trash that is piled on top of each other that add up to a bit taller than me at some parts of the house.  I'd say on average, the garbage is piled up to about 5 feet.  The two hoarders smoke and smoke and smoke--that's all they do.  We spend 5 minutes in that house (or less) and we are just FUMING of smoke.  Anyways, the church  has been working really hard over the course of a few years to try and get inside that home to clean it.  Finally after three years, it came to a point where everyone was about to be kicked out of the house unless it wasn't cleaned up, so yes... The missionaries were summoned.  Two hours in, 15 massive garbage bags later, dozens of mice encounters, losing perhaps 5 years of my life due to second-hand smoking (that may be an exaggeration), we made but a small dent in the home.  After thanking them for the honor and pleasure it was to finally help clean the home, the hoarders bid us farewell with colorful vocabulary - yes, I heard every swear word in the book on my way out.  The hoarders weren't too happy about us cleaning the home.  Anyways, thank heavens we went to Goodwill to buy clothes before because good glory those things are filthy, don't judge my outfit Face with tears of joy
(Elder Andrus and Elder Wilde in the clothing they wore to clean the house.)
(Elder Wilde spotted the Deloitte office and had to snap a picture.  Elder Wilde's father is a partner in Deloitte, which has office throughout the entire world.)

(Elder Wilde's Mexican Elder who sings lullabies to him at night.)
(It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!)
(Elder Wilde with his Zone Leader.)

Well, I have mentioned many times a man whose name is Wayne.  He's my Black friend. Anyways, we go over to his home every week for a lesson and we knew that they had a few bed bugs in the home, so we always were on the lookout - however, little did we know these buggers multiplied quickly and the house was infested.  Mid-lesson, Elder Andrus starts squeezing my leg and I look over to see a mass amount of bed bugs all over his arm, crawling everywhere on him.  So then I checked his back and wow, they were everywhere! So I casually was like, "Elder Andrus and I had a really hard workout this morning (we didn't).  I'm just gonna give him one of the massages I learned in China," so I started to smack his back for like 5 minutes, killed a whole army of bed bugs - Anyways, long story short we got home and threw our clothes in the dryer, burnt those things alive - woke up the next morning with bites... EVERYWHERE all over us both.  It sucked.  I hate bed bugs.  But it was funny.  After being with my boy for this long, I may or may not have used excessive force hitting him to get the bed bugs off, lol. 

This week, we really had just lots of lessons and my brain is mush trying to think of what happened, but this comes to mind as a great lesson. 

There is a less active lady in our church, she is mid 40's, she's single and anyways, she went through a bit of a hard time, started drinking alcohol, then it led to addiction, anyways that led to severe depression.  She is very closed off and will only let a handful - not even - amount of people talk to her because of what's been going on.  Anyways, Mike our recent convert who is just the biggest boss out there (he's the blind guy with the German shepherd) he's good friends with her because, well he use to drink too and with her sometimes, but he stopped when he got baptized and anyways he's good friends with her, and Elder Andrus has spoken to her once, so after a lot of begging and pleading, we got into her home to watch the Christmas devotional our church puts on - it was wonderful, she hasn't drank in 3 weeks which is very impressive for an alcoholic to do.... Anyways she has told us how it's affected her and she basically told us, "Doing what God and Jesus Christ want me to do, I've seen far more positives than any alcohol ever did me," and she told us how through the Atonement and through prayer, she doesn't have those cravings anymore.  We have heard miracle stories from her because of her following the Lord's commandments - anyways. Just really an awesome lady. 

I think that's about all for this week.  We just got back from taking our Christmas pictures and wow...... Good luck every other missionary in the world beating ours!  I hope to have them done and out to all you wonderful people as soon as possible!  I can't show the picture now or tell where we took it because it's a secret Grinning face with smiling eyes 

Also, Elder Andrus thought it would be funny to play me today and basically faked a phone call from the President of our mission saying we were having an emergency transfer.  He just told me he was kidding like right now... I'm so ticked, I'm gonna have to beat him in ping pong or basketball now. 


Elder Wilde