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

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