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!
(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
(Elder Wilde took these two pictures of Australia Street in downtown Philadelphia for his
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!
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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 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.