Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 22 - January 18, 2016

Well, hello everyone! 

To start, just wanted to share that I had a friend
pass away this week, Arron Wolfe.  It's always unfortunate and sad to
hear someone passing away.   I'm sure his family is in need of support
and love at this point.  I was never that close to him, but I do know
he was a great guy.  I'm very grateful to have the understanding of the
gospel knowing that someday we will all be able to see him again.
God's plan for us ensures us the opportunity to be with our loved ones
not only here in mortality but in the next life as well.  Keep them in
your prayers.

This week was a week full of ups and downs - miracles and blessings.

I just want to start out by testifying of the reality of the Power of
the Priesthood.


- I may have mentioned this experiences but I'll retell it -- my first
one was a few weeks into the mission we were teaching a recent convert
who had been baptized a few months before I got here.  Her husband was
not a member and he didn't want ANYTHING to do with Mormons.  He was
Buddhist and just was against us and against his wife joining the
church.  Anyways, one night it was like... 8:55 we had to be in really
soon, so we were hustling to the home, ran passed her home and I just
distinctly remember hearing in my head, "Turn around," so I turned
around and stopped Elder Andrus and it was the convert's home.  So we
walked up to the house, knocked on her door, and she was like, "I have
been praying for help all day.  My baby is very ill, the doctors don't
know what's wrong with him.  Would you please give him a blessing?"--the
father wouldn't allow it basically all week, but it was finally to the
point where the father was like, "Fine, you can try your 'blessing,'" so
we were both like, "Of course, we can do that for your baby."   So we took
out some olive oil, placed it on the child's head, and I had never given
a blessing before.  I was nervous, Elder Andrus assured me just to
listen to the Spirit and give the blessing and rely on the Lord.  That
baby was crying so loud, extreme fever, everything, but the second we
laid our hands on his head that baby went quiet, the room went quiet,
the Spirit was SOO strong and after we took our hands off his head, the
mother was in tears -- the baby was within a matter of moments...
Fine.  We came back the next morning, the baby was back to 100% health.
After I gave the blessing, Elder Andrus asked me if I remembered
anything I said, and I replied, "Not a word," but I knew it was at that
VERY moment I was simply a spokesman for the Lord and that He worked
through me to help that child.  Now, some could (the atheists) say,
"That was pure luck, the priesthood is a joke."  

Okay, let's go on to #2,
but I'm not going in chronological order so just bear with me.
- Tuesday of this last week, we were meeting with Robbie (who got
baptized yesterday) and he was just screaming, moaning, and groaning
and crying (kind of an inside joke between Elder Andrus and I).   Anyways,
he was just in extreme pain, he has tumors in his feet, nerve damage
all throughout his body, he couldn't move a muscle when we came over,
at the end of our lesson the Elder I was with, Elder Pule (he's the
Zone Leader, we were on exchanges) asked if I had given Robbie a
blessing yet, and I said... "No."   I'm not sure why I hadn't, but I asked
Robbie if he would like one (he's 32 yr. old) and his mother said, "Yes,
give him one Elder Wilde!"  So of course I said I would.  Elder Pule
being the massive man he is, lifted Robbie and sat him down on a
(Elder Pule, the Zone Leader, is from New Zealand.)

We continued with the blessing, and in the blessing I
specifically remember telling him that if he remained faithful and
relied on the Lord, he would "bless you and lift you up."  Anyways, the
blessing ended and the very VERY second we ended that blessing, he got
up - SHOT UP - and said, "I'm going to get the mail downstairs, where
are my shoes?"  My nice little Asian eyes, were probably the biggest
anyone had ever seen them.  In my head I was like, "YOU WERE SCREAMING
THE PAST HOUR AND YOU COULDN'T MOVE, WHAT?!"  He acted like nothing was
wrong, he just walked away... Got his mail, came back and was fine....
So we came back a few days later (Friday) and Elder Lake was like, "You
think he will be ready and healthy for the baptism?"  I asked him, "Do
you think the Lord wants him to be?"  (Yes was the answer to that
question) and yes when we saw him he was standing cooking us burgers
walking around.  Yesterday Robbie walked down those steps into the
water and was baptized and told us his legs felt great.  The lord
prepares those who are willing to prepare themselves.
(Elder Copeland with Robbie at his baptism.)
- A few weeks ago, well a month ago, maybe I can't really remember - a
member of our branch suffered some sort of stroke or something, the
doctors weren't really sure.  They found some sort of bacteria or virus
in her blood that was in turn soon to kill her and the doctors
basically told her that she could very possibly die soon.  Well, that's
what she told us, I don't know if they told her that, so the branch
presidency along with us were able to go give her a blessing - it was
only a few days later we came back and she wasn't there... We were all
like.... "Do you think she..., yknow?"   So we went to the nurse and
she told us, "She got better way faster than anyone.  She was close to
dying, but she is at the rehabilitation center now."

I have many other things that I could share ,but I don't like writing
lengthy "essays" so I'm just going to leave off with a story I read
this week which does a great job about discussing trials and what
missionaries go through to a small degree:

"When my mission seemed tough, I’d think about wrestling. I t required
hard work too.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I was very small for my age.  I
was 5′2″ and weighed 105 pounds.  When you’re 5′2″ and 105, not many
coaches want you playing basketball, unless you have exceptional
talent, which I didn’t.  You also don’t make a very good linebacker for
the football team.
I was sitting in the gym one day watching the basketball tryouts, when
the wrestling coach walked by and said, 'We need a few tough guys your
size who can wrestle for us.'
I thought to myself, 'Obviously I look pretty tough to the coach, so
I’ll give this wrestling a try.'  I told him I would do it.
My first problem was finding the wrestling room.  After some searching,
I found it was three stories under the basketball court in an
unventilated, very dimly lit cubicle.
"As I entered the room, I found the first thing you need to overcome in
wrestling is the odor produced by 50 young men sweating in a room with
no air circulation.
I found the coach. Instead of being polite and friendly as he had been
the day before, he seemed grouchy and mean. He pointed to a kid across
the room and said, 'Wrestle him.'
I looked at the kid and thought to myself, 'This will be a snap.'  He
was shorter than I was and looked as if he had missed a few meals.  I
turned to the coach to say he had made a mistake and surely there was
someone else I could wrestle.  As I did this, the kid grabbed me and
for the next three hours gave me a wrestling lesson I’ll never forget.
He rubbed my face in the mat and twisted me into positions I didn’t
think possible.  Finally, after three hours of mat work, I thought we
were done.  Not quite.  Up to the halls we went, where the coach led us
in wind sprints and jogging.  Finally, four hours after practice began,
we were finished.  I sat on the bench in the locker room totally
"The coach called me into his office.  He said, 'How much do you weigh?'
I replied, 'About 105.'
He said, 'You’ll be wrestling 98 in three days.'
That was 7 percent of my body weight. 'I’ll have to go without
eating,' I protested.
He said, 'I know.'  So to my surprise, a wrestler not only had to work
out for four hours, he couldn’t eat after the workout.  I made weight
at 98 pounds and put up with this difficult schedule for three weeks.
Finally I had had enough.
"I went home and told my dad that I was going to quit.  I thought he
would be elated after seeing how much I had suffered.  Instead he said,
'I never took you for a quitter.  I always thought when you started
something, you finished it.'
Well, if he was going to say that, I certainly would not quit now. I
said, 'I guess wrestling is not so bad after all.'
I stuck it out.  For four long months I stuck it out.  It was never
easy.  In fact, it was the most difficult thing I had ever done.  It
wasn’t glamorous.  The basketball team got all the recognition.  They
got the nice locker room and all the new facilities, and the entire
school showed up to their games.  The school had to assign four members
of the pep club to go to wrestling matches.  No, it wasn’t glamorous.
But much to my surprise, at the end of the difficult season, I had a
feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I had never felt
before.  The most difficult thing I had done in my life turned out to
be the most rewarding.
"The Lord has never promised that obedience to his commandments would
be easy or glamorous.  What he has promised is a great feeling of
satisfaction, a blessing of inner peace which comes only from adhering
to the principles of the gospel.
"Joseph Smith certainly was not given an easy responsibility.  He and
his family and members of the Church were persecuted unmercifully.  It
wasn’t glamorous.  He was laughed at, beaten, tarred and feathered.  In
fact, he gave the ultimate sacrifice when he gave his life.  This he
did because the Lord commanded him to do it.
"There was a prophet who chose for a time not to follow the Lord.  Jonah
was commanded by the Lord to go to Nineveh.  He chose not to go, but
instead boarded a ship to try to escape.  The sea became very rough and
the boat was about to capsize.  Jonah knew what the problem was and
requested he be thrown overboard.  Jonah was swallowed by a big fish.
After three days and nights in the belly of the fish, Jonah was
repentant, and the fish spat him upon the shore.  Jonah went to Nineveh
and convinced the people to repent.  I’m sure he had great satisfaction
in doing as the Lord commanded.
"I certainly don’t want to compare myself to the great prophet Jonah.
But I had an experience in my life where I was greatly rewarded for
doing something that, although very difficult, was what the Lord
"As a young man, I prepared to go on a mission.  Every returned
missionary I had heard said it was the best two years of his life.  I
interpreted this to mean that a mission was easy and glamorous.  In a
vain and arrogant manner, I figured the Lord would want someone of my
ability and talent to open up China or Russia or India.  At the very
least, he would want me to serve in Japan or Europe.
I sent in my papers and eagerly awaited the moment when my call
arrived in the mail.  When it finally did, my mother and I opened the
letter.  In big words at the top of the page, it said, 'You are hereby
called to the Colorado Denver Mission.'
"My heart sank.  I thought, 'How could this be? How could the Lord do
this to me?'  And to add insult to injury, they included a map of the
mission.  It included small towns in eastern Utah and parts of Wyoming.
I thought, 'This is not exotic.  This is embarrassing.'
I looked at my mom and said, 'Mom, I’m not going to Colorado on my mission.'
She looked at me and said, 'Let’s talk to your father when he gets home.'
When my father got home, I said to him, 'Dad, I don’t want to go to Colorado.'
I thought he would say something like, 'I never took you for a
quitter. I thought when you started something, you would finish it.'
Instead, he said, 'Son, I’ll support you in whatever you want to do.
If you want to go to Colorado, I’m behind you.  If you don’t want to
go, I’m also behind you.  But before you make that decision, I think
you should fast and pray to see what the Lord wants you to do.'
We fasted and prayed until the next evening.  When we finished the
fast, we knelt and prayed.  In the end the Lord gave me a witness that
Colorado was where I was called and where I should serve.  As we ended
the fast, I said to my dad, 'I guess Laramie won’t be so bad after
He looked at me and said, 'Yes, it will.'
"I found that a mission was not easy.  In fact, it was the most
difficult thing I had ever done.  Working and living 16 hours a day for
the Lord wasn’t easy.  I found a mission was not glamorous.  People
laughed and scoffed at us, dogs bit us, and doors slammed in our face.
But as everyone who applies himself on a mission knows, it is the most
rewarding experience of one’s life.  The Lord blessed me beyond my
ability to receive it, and I felt an inner peace and satisfaction I
had never felt before.
"The Lord promises us blessings of inner peace and happiness.  And that
is really all that truly matters.  I testify that the only way to true
happiness is through obedience to the Lord’s commandments no matter
how hard it is."
I'll attach pictures of the week, it started snowing, Robbie was
baptized.  It was a great week, I'll leave out the tough part - smiles
all around :-)

 (Elder Wilde and the snow!)
God bless.

Elder Wilde

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