Wednesday, December 16, 2015

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

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