Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 28 - February 29, 2016

Hello, everyone!  Hope you all had a splendid week!

I feel like I
blinked once and this week was already over, flew by for sure.  I also
can't believe it's basically March!  We had a fantastic week here in
Bayview, Maryland (make sure to say it with a redneck accent).  Elder
Tryon and I are being blessed so much!  The last time this area had
this much success was about a year ago.  It's nice to see our hard work
pays off.  I'll share a few experiences this week, mostly all good hah!
 (Elder Wilde at an investigator's farm.)

 

 (Nice little raccoon, he's friendly)
 (Nice little ferret, he's friendly)
(Nice little lizard, he's friendly)
So this is a miracle - we took a member couple out teaching with us
and we had a SOLID night set up.  However, that solid night just fell
through.  Each thing we had planned didn't work, we were frustrated and
a little embarrassed.  Then both of us were like, "We should go to
Janine's house," (lady taught three months ago, was about to get
baptized, had major health problems, had to go to hospital, nobody has
had any contact with her for the past 3 months), so we traveled the
distance praying she would be home.  We get to the house and to our
amazement the house has its lights on and cars there - knocked on the
door, and she was ecstatic to see the missionaries and members with
us. 

Fast forward a little bit, we shared a message with her and then
we offered to give her a blessing.  After the blessing, she told us she
hasn't felt the Spirit, hasn't felt this much or been at peace or this
much comfort for about three months (the last time missionaries talked
to her).  She was in tears, just bawling she was so happy.  She then
went on to tell us that she got out of the hospital just the day
before and that she has been praying for help.  I don't think it is a
coincidence that everything fell through that night and that Elder
Tryon and I both felt impressed to go see her.  I knew God wanted us to
be there and he did.  We were the answer to her prayer and it was a
beautiful.
 
The very next day, the exact same thing happened.  We took a member out
teaching with us and we had a few solid things lined up - everything
fell through... Elder Tryon and I basically just laughed in the car
and we were jokingly like, "Where does He want us to go now?!"  We knew
that there was somewhere we were suppose to be - so again we both felt
as if we should go see a lady named Sister Rodriguez, an inactive
member.  We had an appointment with her that night at 7:30, but we both
felt we should see her now (3:30), so we go to her house and the second
we arrived she was walking in the door... So we knock and she is
basically like, "How did you know I would be home?  I literally just got
here 5 seconds ago." -- fast forward -- She tells us she just visited
her son in jail for the first time in 9 years and she was so depressed
and so sad and so angry with God that she was about to basically just
go and get blacked out drunk.  She said on her way home she said a
prayer and wait for it - asked for help.  I do not think that us
showing up to her and helping her for the Spirit and preventing her
from doing that is a coincidence.  The Lord wanted us to be somewhere,
so we went.




I watched something this week where Thomas S. Monson -
Leader/Prophet/President of the church said, "The sweetest experience I
know in life is to feel a prompting and act upon it and later find out
that it was the fulfillment of someone's prayer or someone's need."

 
I think it was on Tuesday maybe Wednesday, we were outside knocking
doors, and all the sudden a ridiculous amount of rain just came down
and tons of wind - like 60-70 mph winds, it was crazy.  We were
drenched head to toe.  Anyways, basically as a missionary, you don't stop
working until you're told to - we weren't told to.  Anyways, as we
continued on the day we saw no one outside all day... No one.  Just
crazy winds and tons of heavy rain.  We are still knocking doors and
what not.  It's about 8:30 at night and we roll up to one of our
investigators house and he is like, "What are you doing out there, we
are on tornado watch.  Nobody is suppose to be out."  So we hurry and get
inside, completely drenched, have a short lesson, and then at the end
you can just hear outside the thunder and you can see the sky just
lighting up, wind blowing, rain pounding against the house.  Elder
Tryon and I were like... "This is not safe."   We all said a prayer
together with our investigator, of course, too, asking to get home safely
when we left the house.  The second we opened the door, the rain
stopped, the wind stopped, and the only lighting we could see was miles
and miles and miles away.
Miracles .... I swear.  The Lord blesses his servants!

Anyways, it was a great week.  There was so much more that happened, but
I felt like those experiences stuck out to me.

God bless, love you all.

Elder Wilde.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 27 - February 22, 2016


Hello there!

Well, officially out of South Phila!  I went from the
concrete to the farmland!  I'm in a place called Bayview, Maryland.
Basically as close as you can get to Baltimore and Washington D.C. in
terms of mission boundaries.  This area covers, Maryland, Pennsylvania
and Delaware.  Not all of it, just small parts of each area.  This area
has been known to be a "dead area" where not much work gets done and
their last baptism was 8 months ago - ridiculous!

 (Elder Wilde went from here . . .
to here on this transfer.)


Anyways, I got put with a missionary who goes home at the end of this transfer, 
his name is Elder Tryon who is 22 years old.  He's from Arizona. 


Really awesome guy.  He served
in Southwest Philly while I was in South Philly, so when we found out
we were companions we were both stoked!  However, he is getting somewhat
"trunky" (thinking about home, slowing down on missionary work), so the
assistants told me it was my job to kick start the area and keep him
going!  He's s great missionary, I think they were kidding - but we had
a super great week.  The Lord blessed us in our efforts.  No doubt about
that.  We had the most lessons this area has had in the past 6 months.
In our first week here, seriously - we were blessed.  Some missionaries
are so lazy and just do nothing... Or they want to work but don't know
how to.  This area is mostly Baptist - not sure why.  It's weird seeing
White Baptists.  I haven't seen a Black person yet, which is
unfortunate.  On the bright side I haven't had anyone cuss me out yet
here.  That was a usual thing in Philly.  

Anyways, a member of our church
who is a convert, he was Catholic growing up, knew that wasn't the
true church so went on a search for the true church for several years
and ended up joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"Mormons" - he has a Baptist friend who is a pastor at one of the big
churches here.  He told me that the pastor gets paid like 150 grand...
Then he said that the pastor said he knew the Baptist Church wasn't
the true church, but when you make that much money you're not going to
stop!  Man, I was ticked when I heard that.  Some people and their
churches, so crazy.  This stuff gets me going so I'll go on and share a
few experiences this week.

1. A few months back, a few missionaries did some service for these
farmers.  The farmers invited them back for dinner, but always forgot,
so we saw them in the area book, called them up and scheduled a dinner
with them.  We roll up to the house, smells like straight manure - I've
never really been on a farm before.  We get inside their house, the one
guy - Man... I felt more creeped out than I did my first day in South Philly!
Anyways, they fed us some sort of stew... it was ok - but we shared
an awesome message with them at the end, they both loved it, talked a
lot about how when we are in the service of others we are in the
service of God - talked about how families are eternal and not just
meant for this life (had multiple kids).  It was awesome!  Just a
different environment I'm going to have to get use to.
 
2. The missionaries that were in this area before us, use to meet with
this guy named Tim, so we called Tim up and met up with him.  He was a
Muslim, but found out some of the stuff they did so he left it, and
was trying to look for the true church.  He said he went around to
"EVERY" Christian church and finally he declared none of them were
true.  Then one day he saw two missionaries walking around knocking
doors, and he asked them to come to his house to talk to him.  He said
that they met with him a few times and that he read the parts of the
Book of Mormon, and he still reads the testimony of Joseph Smith
regularly and it keeps him up at night!  He is nervous to get baptized
because he read some anti-literature which was just complete you know
what, and so we are trying to real him back in... He knows the church
is true though.
 
3. We went out teaching with a convert to the church.  His name is
brother Boyle.  Probably about 65 years old, really cool guy.  He told
us his conversion story.  Grew up Catholic, left the Catholic Church,
knew it was wrong - went to go search for the one true church on the
earth.  Of course, just like everyone else and every other story, he
declared that the one true church was not on the earth and that he was
going to give up on looking for it, but before he did so, he prayed to
God to help him find the church - the next day two missionaries showed
up to his door, after they shared 30 minutes of the first discussion
he knew the church was true.  He wouldn't be baptized though because he
didn't want to make commitments - a return missionary visiting came
out with the missionaries one night and told him, "How bout this, you
get baptized, try the church out for a month and if you don't like it,
leave" .. The guy told us, "I haven't missed a day of church since!"
Nothing better than hearing people's live change once they actually
find the truth.

Love you all.  Thanks for everything you do!

Elder Wilde

(A few other people that meant so much to Elder Wilde in his first area:






Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 26 - February 15, 2016

Hey, everyone!  Hope you all had a great week! 

This week was crazy here in Philly!
Lots of stuff happened.  First off, it was the coldest it has
ever been in February since the past 200 years!  It was negative 10 one
day and yes we were able to work in it :-)  We, also, had transfer calls
this week and the video I'll attach shows my excitement - I have been
transferred.  I'm very excited for the future and the new people I will
begin to work with.  I have loved South Philly and it is like home to
me! I love all these people so much.  I'm grateful for the experience I
have had to serve the Lord in this area.  It's been the greatest
experience I could ask for.  I've learned so much, but there is always
more to learn and I have a long ways to go!  

video

Of course, It was
Valentine's Day, had a great day.  Lots of the members' kids made us
little gifts and gave us candy and what not.  It was cute haha!  


Lastly,
I have now been out for six months!  Time FLIES.  It feels like I got
off the plane yesterday!

My e-mail this week will consist of the left-over part of the 14 day
"Love One Another" challenge and a few experiences we had this week.

Day 6:  Forgive somebody who has wronged you

Hmmm, well I'm trying to think.  Today I didn't really need to forgive
anyone.  It was a great day because I went to the temple in D.C., but
let me give an example of when I did forgive someone.  I remember we
were teaching this Italian couple, who were SO close to being
baptized.  They just had to remain clean from cigarettes and they were
ready.  I remember going to the store with Elder Andrus and just buying
this and that to help them abstain from smoking.  Took it to their home
gave it to them, gave them church movies to help them feel the Spirit,
set alarms on our i-Pads to call them to check up on them.  I thought we
did everything - said basically, "If you have any urges to smoke, call us
before you do."  Later that day, they called us and basically said they
ran out of all the stuff we got them, so we went and got them more
stuff out of our own money.  We go to the house to give it to them and
we see them both smoking.  We knock on the door and watch them hide
everything and spray the room.  We ask if they were smoking and they
promised us they weren't and that their friend was just smoking in
here.  Anyways lied right to our faces and I was about ready to just
UNLOAD on them I was so ticked.  Right before the words left my mouth, I
remembered what Jesus Christ said to Joseph Smith:  "And if he trespass
against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt
forgive him."  I simply changed my attitude and said to them, "We saw
you smoking, you lied to us, but please don't lie.  We are just trying
to help you.  We forgive you, but please don't do it again."  They were
both in tears and were so sorry - idk  I think that was a very humbling
moment for me to forgive someone who looked me in the eyes and lied.
Forgiveness is important.  Don't hold grudges.  It's not worth your
time.

Day 7:  Don't criticize actions or circumstances

This transfer for me has been very tough.  This first four weeks I
basically did all the work while my companion took the credit - I
could care less about "credit" because our success is due to the Lord.
However, after four weeks I was straight up just gassed, frustrated,
irritated whatever you name it with my companion.  Anyways in my head I
questioned my mission president, the assistants to the president, I
was like, "Where are you getting this revelation from to put us
together?!  I can't work with him!!"  That's the thing though, I
continued to criticize the situation and asked myself what the heck
they were thinking, but really when I actually humble myself and
really dig deep and think why on earth I am with him?  I get my answer
every time after I pray - because I need to learn how to lead with
love and have patience.  Patience is one of my worst attributes because
I want results and I just want to go out there everyday and do it--just
work alongside with a great missionary.  As I humble myself (even
though it's very hard to do), I realize that I need to be thankful for
my companion putting me in a hard situation where I can learn and
grow.  I still have a long ways to go, but I feel like this transfer
I've grown the most.


"And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, ...  and they
began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.  And thus we see
that the commandments of God must be fulfilled.  And if it so be that
the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them,
and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the
thing which he has commanded them..." - 1 Nephi 17:2-3

Day 8:  Show mercy to someone

Really have no idea how I showed mercy to someone, couldn't take them
to the ring ;) haha!  Anyways, Elder Lake showed me mercy today.  I have
been trying hard recently to get to KNOW Elder Lake, so I asked him to
teach me Pokemon... Yes. I know.  Anyways as he taught me, expressed
interest, (yes it was hard to like Pokemon) and just tried to
understand him a bit more.  I feel like we grew a little bit more close.
Anyways, I told him that we should play a match against each other and
he obviously could have just massacred me but he showed mercy by
taking it easy and I appreciated it so we could play longer together
and bond more.
 

"But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves
before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver
them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all
cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards
them that put their trust in him." - Mosiah 29:20

Day 9:  Give 10 minutes to really listen to someone

Well, today I actually got to have a great experience!  So when I lived
in Shanghai I knew this girl, Paige.  We are still good friends and we
use to go out a little bit.  She's awesome, she's at Drexel and I was
able to see her today. 

It's been about five years since I've seen her.
Anyways, it was pretty nerve wracking seeing her and I'm sure vice
versa.  Anyways, we were able to catch up for 20-30 minutes or so, but
as we were able to talk I was truly able to listen and understand her
life clearly and same with her.  It's great to have a real conversation
with someone who listens with love.  I was able to share a message
about Christ with her and give her a little pamphlet and basically
said, "This is why I'm out here, I want this for you," and she accepted
my invitation to read it.  Listening with love is truly the best.  "If
you listen with love, you will never have to wonder what to ask"

Day 10:  Speak kindly

Haha oh man, hmm!  Well, it's kind of funny, every I mean EVERY morning
everyone outside is just cussing about something... Yelling, swearing,
arguing - whatever it is, you name it these people are doing it.  It's
SOOO aggravating.  The worst is when the high schools get out and
you're on public transportation.  All these high school girls are just
cussing up a storm.  I remember one instance on my mission, we saw
these four girl college students, on their doorstep drinking smoking
and swearing left and right.  We stopped to talk to them and I remember
one of them dropped their cigarettes on accident and I crushed it and
she swore at me, haha it was funny.  Anyways, I basically asked them why
they demoralize one another by being so rude and swearing the whole
time and they were speechless.  I read a scripture in the Bible to them.
It reads:  "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but
that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace
unto the hearers."  They were all just silent - basically told them
that they were all sisters and need to treat each other with respect
and act like the daughters of God they are.  I'm not sure they were too
pleased, but the guilty take the truth hard :-)

Day 11:  Say thank you to somebody

I feel like this one means a lot more to me than it means to other
people.  I feel like as missionaries we say thank you quite a lot, but
people don't to us haha.  I was in Southwest Philly for the day, and we
had a lesson towards the end of the night.  We were teaching three
Liberians and they told us of their experience getting here to America
and the hardships they faced back home.  Anyways, mid-lesson one of them
gets on their knees and just starts bawling about how thankful she was
to God for allowing her the opportunity to come here to America.  It
was a humbling experience to see someone show their thanks.  I'm gonna
switch things up though, back in the good old days after going out on
a date, I think the thing that made the date or not was whether or not
I received a thank you.  I'm sure many other people would say the same
thing.


"And ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever
blessing ye are blessed with." - D&C 46:32

Day 12:  Focus on everything you have in common 

with everyone you meet

This is one is hard considering we meet tons of people every day.
Honestly and as cliche as it sounds, the only thing we REALLY or I
really have in common with them is that we are both children of a
loving Heavenly Father and that is how I try and view these people before I
talk to them.  It is it definitely not easy at times but it is truly a
lot easier for me to approach them without hesitation and offer them
the message that can help them more than they can comprehend.
 

"For behold, are we not all beggars?  Do we not all depend upon the
same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both
food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches
which we have of every kind?" - Mosiah 4:19

Day 13:  Offer up a genuine compliment

Today we had somewhat of a miracle - we went through our appointments
faster than we expected to, and we had like 30 minutes until our next
one and so we checked our branch member list and realized we were
literally standing right in front of a less active home, so we knocked and
this old lady opened the door and invited us in (it was frikin
freezing outside by the way).  She was really great and she invited her
Catholic, 25 year old grandson down to meet us.  We shared a message
which they just LOVED and I was at first nervous about teaching the
Catholic guy - Joe.  He's probably the first intellectual person that
has a college degree etc., but anyways we did our best to invite the
Spirit and the lesson was just SOO good.  One of the best.  He accepted
the Book of Mormon (first Catholic to really have that real intent)
and plans on reading it ASAP.  Anyways, afterwards we expressed our
thanks to them and complimented them on how lovely of a family that they
have and what a splendid opportunity it was to talk with them.  Later
tonight, Joe texted us and complimented us and said how thankful he
was for us coming over and how impressed he was that we were willing
to sacrifice two years and walk in this ridiculously cold weather.
Anyways it touched me and I was grateful for it.
 

"... I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and
am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness;" -
Mosiah 7:12

Day 14:  See everybody you talk to through 

God's eyes

I didn't do too good of a job about that, it's hard to do.  Especially
when you got frustrated with someone.



This week I was asked to give another talk in district meeting.  I
chose to speak on working hard and the importance of having faith, hope,
and goals.  I'll attach bits and pieces.

It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the
effort.  We must actually make the effort.  It’s in the doing, not just
the thinking, that we accomplish our goals.  If we constantly put our
goals off, we will never see them fulfilled.  Someone put it this way:
Live only for tomorrow, and you will have a lot of empty yesterdays
today.
 

In July of 1976, runner Garry Bjorklund was determined to qualify for
the U.S. Olympic team’s 10,000-meter race which would be run at the
Montreal Olympics.  Halfway through the grinding qualifying race,
however, he lost his left shoe.  What would you and I do if that were
our experience?  I suppose he could have given up and stopped.  He could
have blamed his bad luck and lost the opportunity of participating in
the greatest race of his life, but this champion athlete did not do
that.  He ran on without his shoe.  He knew that he would have to run
faster than he had ever run in his life.  He knew that his competitors
now had an advantage that they did not have at the beginning of the
race.  Over that cinder track he ran, with one shoe on and one shoe
off, finishing third and qualifying for the opportunity to participate
in the race for the gold medal.  His own running time was the best he
had ever recorded.  He put forth the effort necessary to achieve his
goal.  As priesthood holders, we may find that there are times in our
lives when we falter, when we become weary or fatigued, or when we
suffer a disappointment or a heartache.  When that happens, I would
hope that we will persevere with even greater effort toward our goal.
Our hopes can lead to dreams which can inspire us and lead us to
action.  If we have the hope to do better in school, that hope can be
realized by dedicated study and sacrifice.  If we have the hope to play
on a winning team, that hope can lead to consistent practice,
dedication, teamwork, and ultimately success.
        

Roger Bannister was a medical student in England who had an
ambitious hope.  He desired to be the first man to run a mile (1.6 km)
under four minutes.  For much of the first half of the early 20th
century, field and track enthusiasts had anxiously awaited the day the
four-minute-mile barrier would be broken.  Over the years many
outstanding runners had come close, but still the four-minute barrier
stood.  Bannister dedicated himself to an ambitious training schedule
with the hope of realizing his goal of setting a new world record.
Some in the sporting community had begun to doubt whether the
four-minute mile could be broken.  Supposed experts had even
hypothesized the human body was physiologically unable to run at such
speeds over such a long distance.  On a cloudy day on May 6, 1954,
Roger Bannister’s great hope was realized!  He crossed the finish line
in 3:59.4, setting a new world record.  His hope to break the
four-minute-mile barrier became a dream which was accomplished through
training, hard work, and dedication.  Hope can inspire dreams and spur
us to realize those dreams.  Hope alone, however, does not cause us to
succeed.  Many honorable hopes have gone unfulfilled, shipwrecked on
the reefs of good intentions and laziness.

41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it
did show unto them marvelous works.  They were slothful, and forgot to
exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works
ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for
he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a
wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
29 But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth
a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness,
the same is damned.

It is not easy to give up our personal priorities and desires.  Many
years ago a new missionary in England was frustrated and discouraged.
He wrote home saying he felt he was wasting his time.  His wise father
replied, “Forget yourself and go to work.”  Young Elder Gordon B.
Hinckley went to his knees and covenanted with the Lord that he would
try to forget himself and lose himself in the Lord’s service.  Years
later, as a mature servant of the Lord, Elder Hinckley would say, “He
who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets
himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and
in eternity.”

If you knew me before I was out here, I was never really the hardest
worker ever.  I felt as if I could truly get out of things or just do
it 50% and be like ok, whatever, it's done.
 

The second I got here, I committed to myself I would give it my all
everyday because of how much my family and I have been blessed and how
much I am in need to give back to the Lord.  I must say there is
nothing - NOTHING greater than to be able to look back and say I did
the best to my ability and being able to look where the work started
to where it is now.  The worst feeling is knowing you didn't do enough
or that you could have given so much more.

Love all of you guys.  I'll attach some pics of the members in my
church, today.  I'm going out to say bye to the people I worked with.
God bless.


(Elder Wilde said:  We did some service work at a children's hospital in their warehouse. It was like
5 degrees.  Haha!) 












Elder Parker Wilde

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Week 25 - February 6, 2016


Hey, everyone, today is my P-day. 

I'm on my way to the Washington DC Temple.




Anyways, transfer calls are next Sunday.  Part of me wants to
leave, experience other places of the mission, but part of me wants to
stay - so much more work to be done here in South Philly.  Can't
believe I've already spent six months here after this next week is
over.  Why does Valentine's Day have to be on transfer call day?!  Haha.
I guess I'll have to go to one of the universities and find a
valentine for the day ;) lol NOT.
Anyways, I've been doing this fourteen day "Love One Another" challenge
the church put out and that will be my weekly e-mail this week.  

Day One:  Show patience with someone

Today I showed patience with Brother Gibson, Elder Lake, and the lady
we were about to have a lesson with.  We were going to an appointment
and we got there a little late, and Brother Gibson still wasn't there.
Elder Lake knocked on the door three times, but she didn't answer.  She
was on the cell phone talking to someone.  Elder Lake said that we
should leave and that Brother Gibson wasn't even coming.  I was patient,
though, with the situation and said, "Just wait.  She will answer and he
will come."  A few minutes passed and I knocked on the door this time,
and she finally came to the door and answered and Brother Gibson
turned the corner at the same time as well.  Patience.  Don't give up
too easily.

"And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and
that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile
against (others)... lest ye become sinners like unto them." - Alma
34:40

Day Two:  Overlook someone's shortcomings

This morning our appointments all fell through, so I asked Elder Lake
what he thought we should do.  He couldn't think of anything for like 30
minutes, and he was getting very frustrated because I wouldn't tell him
what we should do.  He came to the conclusion that he wanted to
practice his street contacting role playing, so I asked Elder
Uriostegui to come upstairs and help us be the contact.  As I very well
could have gotten extremely upset at how the role playing was going,
instead of rebuking, tearing him down, I as nicely as I could, helped
him on things that he could do better and tried to understand him and
his personality more and how it may be hard for him to do this.  After
an hour or so, I saw much improvement.  I saw his potential, not his
weaknesses, and in turn at the end he was better.  I know that because I
overlooked his shortcomings, he felt more loved, involved and
encouraged.  I too learned for myself that I am a lot more happy when I
help someone the right way rather than tearing them down trying to
build them back up.
 
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give
unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient
for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble
themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak
things become strong unto them." - Ether 12:27

Day three:  Look beyond looks

Well, this one was interesting.  There was an Asian guy on the Temple
campus and he was wearing some really goth clothes.  He had studded
shoes, ripped black pants, dyed hair, popped collar, just a very
interesting getup - for an Asian, too, I must say.  Regardless, I tried my
best to view him as Christ would and knew that it was my calling to
share the gospel with everyone, so I went up and talked to him, spoke
some Chinese, he was amazed.  Anyways, he immediately told us that he
was interested in God but didn't know much about him.  We did some
basic teaching as we walked him to class.  He was extremely into it and
really wanted to meet with us again!  It was a great experience.  We all
tend to judge someone based on their appearance, but if we do our best
to view others as Christ would or their own parents for that matter, we
will be able to really serve them to the best of our ability.
 
"But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world.  For
because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the
meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their
treasure is their god.  And behold, their treasure shall perish with
them also.  And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most
pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of
you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren, ye are
lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high
heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your
brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they." - Jacob
2:13

Day 4:  Resist the impulse to categorize others

Hmmm, okay so today on our way to zone training, we were on the train
and there were three girls that were students at UPENN across from us.
Anyways all three of them kind of looked at us and then turned around
and started asking each other who and what we were, etc.  I overheard
them and immediately told Elder Lake, "Those girls are talking about
you!  Go talk to them with me!"  Elder Lake was like .... "Uhhhh no," but
I urged him to follow, so he did after a few attempts.  You could hear
them whisper to each other as we got up, "They are coming!"  Haha, so we
walked right up to them started talking to them, introduced who we were
and what did, and then Elder Lake (I think he was almost about to go
into shock), but he was able to get a few words off, proud of him.
Anyways, we were able to share a short message about families and
Christ which they loved, got all their numbers, gave them pass-along
cards, and invited them to church.  If we were to categorize them as the
"prideful, smart, rich, white girls" then we probably wouldn't have
said anything to them, but we didn't, and we were able to have a great
conversation!
 
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For
with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged." - 3 Nephi 14:1-2

Day 5:  See a situation through another person's eyes

Sister Carmandi, a 60-year-old lady called me as I was knocking on
someone's door and so I picked up, and she just went on and on talking.  She
could talk for DAYS.  Anyways she started to tell me how she was so
sorry that she couldn't have us over for dinner (we didn't even know
about dinner?) because her husband's brother is in the hospital.  As I
remember today's commitment, I instantly was reminded that I needed to
truly listen and have empathy and see her situation as if I were in
her shoes.  As I did that, I spoke with more love and compassion than
I had at the beginning, and I just began to notice how much more of a
loving conversation we had.  I learned that it's important to put
yourself in others' shoes and at that point, you will truly understand
and love others.
 
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I
know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." - 1
Corinthians 13:12

That's it for this week,

Elder Wilde

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 24 - February 1, 2016

Hello, everybody! 
What an awesome week it was here in Philly!  Just a
little reminder this upcoming Saturday may or may not be my P-day.  I
will try to get an e-mail off, but it may be early in the morning when
it comes!  I'm headed to Washington D.C. to take the people that I work
with here through the temple for the first time.
 Anyyyywaaysssss can't wait to get married in the Oakland Temple (goals).
 
Letsssss see, this week was great!  We had the opportunity to confirm
Robbie into the church and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I got
to baptize Kayla and confirm her as well! 
 
 (At Kayla's baptism.)
   
(Kayla's baptism.
Elder Wilde wrote:  "So last baptism we didn't have a big turn out and I 
wasn't too happy, made some phone calls visited some houses and look how
 many people came!) 
Elder Lake, my companion, was like, "I've never seen this much success in an area before, and you've only been out 6 months!" I simply replied, "When we do what He wants us to do to the best of our ability, we will blessed and rewarded." Hopefully that lit a little fire under Elder Lake.
It was especially nice to get out of South Phila just for the day.  I
went on exchanges with Elder Lake's cousin who is also named Elder Lake.. 
He serves in Southwest Philly.  I went there and that place is
just so prepared, everyone wants to hear what we had to say - well,
that day at least. 
 
 (Elder Wilde said:  "When you go from church to a Monte Vista football game." 
That was Elder Wilde's old high school in California.  These were his same colors.)
 
 The Elders met an elderly 90-yer-old woman who was playing the piano in an establishment 
in downtown Philly.  Elder Wilde had brought his piano book of Mormon hymns.  He asked
her to play one of the hymns and he would sing with her.  At the end, everyone 
started clapping and asking who these Elders were.  Elder Wilde stated, "It was 
awesome!" 
(Elder Wilde in front of the Philadelphia Mormon Temple which should be done in the next 
few months.)

(Elder Wilde took these two pictures of Australia Street in downtown Philadelphia for his 
brother, Bracken, who just returned from his two-year Mormon mission to Australia in December.)
The people in southwest are very humbled and
prepared due to their past history.  They came here from South Africa
and all live in this one area. 

We saw miracles!!! I'll share a few short ones:
- as we prayed before we walked out the door, we asked that we may find
those who want to hear our message.  We opened the door and the first
person right out the door I just start talking to - he was ALL about
it and wants to learn more.  They will be meeting with him regularly
now! 
 - One of his appointments fell through so we were doing street
contacting and we passed this guy, didn't say anything to him but we
both just stopped, turned around and stared at him and were like - are
you thinking what I'm thinking?  Yes.  We ran back to him - turns out he
was praying earlier that morning to find a new church because his Baptist one was not 
the right one for him.  He asked for a Book of
Mormon - he will be baptized no doubt. 
 - Here is the best one.  So the Spanish missionaries in my apartment
basically are having trouble in their area, not too much success.  I
told them I'll talk to Spanish people as we go out and try to find you
some... Which I didn't really at all, but anyways coming home from
southwest waiting for the bus, this lady from Ecuador came up to me
asking for a pen.  I gave her one.  I got my pen back and walked away
waiting for the bus.  I felt a very strong impression to turn myself
back around and talk to her - kind of like a "that's it, that's all,
go back" so in the little Spanish that I knew, I spoke to her.  She was
very interested, Catholic, knew her church wasn't right, anyways long
story short, she and her husband now have baptismal dates for a month
away - it will be the first baptism the Spanish missionaries will have
in 6 months.  Miracle.
 
 This is Elder Wilde's favorite Hispanic missionary!
 Hmmm trying to think what else happened - Oh!!!  Tang Lou!
So last week we shoveled this lady's snow, right?  Well, she was from
Cambodia and was Christian, but again knew her Baptist church was not
it.  We told her we would come back and teach her, so we came by a few
days ago and she wasn't home but her husband was home, super nice guy.
Just as I was about turn away, I was impressed to just ask if we could
come in and share a message.  So I did, he allowed us in and we taught
him the first lesson - Tang will be getting baptized and I'm sure his
wife will be too in a month or so.  He couldn't read English too well
though, so we ran back home (mile or so) looked everywhere for a
Cambodian Book of Mormon - I remembered I had ONE sitting on my window
seal.  I snagged it, last one in the house, and ran back to give it to him.
Awesome! 
This week I was asked to give a talk to the Elders in our district,
and I chose to speak on Patience because that's something that I am
lacking at the moment.  I put together a quick talk and I'll post it.  I
think it went well! 
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Today I have been assigned to speak on a Christlike attribute of my
choice.  I chose to speak on patience.  Patience is the capacity to
endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering WITHOUT becoming
angry, frustrated or anxious.  One of the greatest examples of patience
was Joseph Smith and the early saints of this restored church.  We all
recall the persecution that Joseph, his family, and the fellow Saints
went through.  Innocent people being killed, homes being torn down,
families being separated, jobs were lost, no food on the table, the
same set of clothes on their backs, plagues that spread though the
lands they dwelt in - the list goes on.  Some may think, "If there is a
god, where is he and why wouldn't he help these people?" 
 As you look at your own life and you look at the life of these early saints, it is
important to remember that "the individual trials and problems that
befall any of us, all we need say is that in the wisdom of Him who
knows all things, and who does all things well, all of us are given
the particular and specific tests that we need in our personal
situations."  As we remember the beautiful plan that God has laid out
for us "from the foundation of the world," we know that we are here to
experience opposition.  Nephi says it best as he speaks to his
firstborn, Jacob:  "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition
in all things.  If not so righteousness could not be brought to pass,
neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor
bad."  However, I haven't spoken too much on the patience part yet - how
we deal with our trials, our afflictions is why we are here.  Is life a
big test or is it not?  Is God testing our faith or is he not?  Are we
here to grow and become stronger, wiser, more intellectual and
faithful servants of Christ, or are we not?  Are you expecting life to
be rainbows and butterflies? 
 Forget that there is some Utopia here on
earth.  We are here to experience the ups and downs - yes life is
indeed a roller coaster.  You can either sit through the ride and wine
about how scared and how hard it was to get onto this ride and how
your parents forced you to get on, or you can put your hands up, smile
and "enjoy the ride."  Yes, in other words, when something scary,
unfamiliar or difficult comes your way, take the counsel of Elder
Joseph B Wirthlin and "come what may and love it."  "Those who are
happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming
stronger, wiser, and happier as a result." 
 My talk was not on adversity, however, it's on patience, but without adversity you
wouldn't need to have patience, right?  Let's get more in depth on what
patience is.  Patience is related to hope and faith.  When you have
patience, when you have CHRISTLIKE patience, you hold up under pressure
and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully.  The early saints
had hope and faith that each new place they traveled to would be THE
place - it was not so.  They continued to suffer.  However, with the
knowledge of this restored gospel, their faith and their hope
flourished even in times of difficulty, after many years of suffering
they would all be blessed to a permanent safe home in the Rocky
Mountains. 
 We all say to others in difficulty:   "God's timing is
perfect, you'll be okay," but when the time comes around that you are
in difficulty, do YOU remember that saying?  As the saints were being
killed and things were not going the way as they should have been,
Joseph was locked in a small cold chamber - a prison, being fed little,
with no heat for six months in what must have been freezing
temperatures, he had the faith and the hope that God could help him
get through this tough period.  He would fall to his knees and plead
for help - as we all must do.  We can learn from this experience as
Josep spoke to the Lord about the troubles of the saints he said:
"O God, where art thou?  And where is the pavilion that covereth thy
hiding place?  How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea
thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people
and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries? Yea,
O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful
oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy
bowels be moved with compassion toward them?  Remember thy suffering
saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever." 
 The Lord would reply to the Prophet saying:  "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." 
 I want to make something clear... The Lord did not say if thou endure it decently, if thou
endure it okay, if thou endure to 50 percent - he said if you endure
it... WELL, he would bless him.  We can learn from this experience, we
must - we need to learn that A) 99% of the things we go through,
someone has it 10x worse!  Are you cold walking with your big bulky
jacket with your other three layers on underneath, sure maybe a little
- imagine what the pioneers went through, more than twice the amount
we walk a day with nothing short of thin cloth around their bodies,
and no they did not have electric heaters installed in their carriages
nor did they have Temperpedic beds like Elder Uriostegui has.  Are you
scared of speaking to somebody about a message that could save their
lives because you don't want to face rejection.  I guess when Joseph
Smith was tarred and feathered, he was a little bit scared too - my
apologies he wasn't.  He continued to preach the word of God. 
 Are we all a little upset when that one person doesn't e-mail us that week?  Ok
fine yes maybe a little.  Focus on the Lord though.   Don't focus on that! 
 To end my message on patience, I want to read a passage - a familiar
passage about our Lord and  Savior:  "And he shall go forth, suffering
pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and he will take
upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy,
according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to
succor his people according to their infirmities".  To succor means to
support in times of trial which because of the atonement Christ made
is exactly what he and only he can do for us. 
 I have a testimony that Christ knows us individually.  He knows what we go through, 
he knows
what struggles and "pains" we have, he has gone through this all...
there is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or
heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I will ever confront in
mortality that the Savior did not experience first.  In a moment of
weakness we may cry out, ‘No one knows what it is like. No one
understands.’  But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for
He has felt and borne our individual burdens.” 
 And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and
that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; ... But that ye have
patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye
shall one day rest from all your afflictions.  As we strive each and
every day to serve just as Christ served, we may begin to realize that
what we say is what Christ said, what we do is what Christ did, we are
following in his footsteps to the best of our ability. 
 A poem written by a missionary concludes with Christ saying to the missionary,
"We have a lot in common, but there's a difference between us, you see
.  I
endured to the end and finished my mission, so follow and do like me."
Two years to serve, the rest of our life to look back on it.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
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 Anyways, I'm currently on my way to go get the best donuts in Philly,
The Amish know what's up! 
 
 (Best donuts in Philly--made by the Amish!)
 
 (Best pretzel Elder Wilde has ever had!)
 
Take care and God bless!  Love you all.
 
Elder Wilde.