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 
(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
 - 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.
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! 
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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
 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.

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