Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 54 - August 29, 2016

Family, Friends!
First and foremost, Happy Birthday to my 16 year old brother, Tyson.
Love you buddy boy.  Miss you tons!

I hope you are all doing incredible.  Elder Holden and I had a
phenomenal week.  The best teaching week of my entire mission - We are
truly so blessed.  We saw so many miracles.

Last Monday, Elder Holden and I spent the day in Philly with some
great Elders, one of which was one of the Elders I trained 😄, Elder
Andrus.  It's so neat to see him grow before my eyes!
This week, I spent Monday night to Wednesday evening in Sewell, NJ with
an Elder in our Zone.  I won't go into much detail about that, but we
worked hard together, found some fantastic people for them to start
teaching, and hit our goals that we set for that exchange.  Hard work
pays off!  "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the
plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
After that, Elder Holden and I went on splits with some members of our
ward and so we didn't see each other basically all night either, but we
both had a fantastic evening.
On Thursday, we went on exchanges again and I was with an Elder who is
serving in Camden, NJ.  We had a great exchange here in Cherry Hill and
had many great lessons.  We are teaching this one lady who has a
baptismal date and she said something in the lesson that just made me
so sad!  She said:  "I have never felt true happiness in my entire life"
(she's gone through a lot).  She had a problem with drugs, alcohol and
many other things, but then later in the lesson said something along
the lines of:  "The only time I ever felt peace is when I went through
the Philadelphia Temple open house tour, when you elders gave me a
blessing, and when you are with me in my home."  I noted that it is
only because the Spirit of God is what comforts us and in those three
situations it is what she felt.  One of my favorite scriptures says:
"Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my
Spirit, and you shall have peace in me."  It is only through Christ we
can achieve real happiness.
Anyways, finally on Friday, Elder Holden and I came back as a
companionship and spent the rest of the week together.

 (After this pic, the parrot tried clawing me.)
We had a great Sabbath service.  The whole Relief Society Presidency
(the 3 people who are asked to watch over the women in the ward) were
released and the Relief Society President came up to bear her
testimony.  It was so awesome I just wanted to get up and start
clapping, but then I figured that wouldn't be very reverent so I
didn't.  She discussed how it takes a Ward to run a Ward and that she
nor the Bishop could carry the weight on their backs but everyone is
needed, everyone needs to contribute.  She discussed how charity, the
pure love of Christ is the center of everything.  Elder Holden and I
talk about that quite a bit--just how if people don't know you love
them they will never listen, if you do not go down to their level and
truly take the time to KNOW them, then you will never be able to help
them.  It reminds me of something the Apostle Paul said:  "To the weak
became I as weak, that I might gain the weak:  I am made all things to
all men, that I might by all means save some.  And this I do for the
gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you."
I love that last part where he says, "I might be partakers thereof with
you."  Paul was so concerned about serving others and helping them
receive the blessings of the gospel, he did whatever it took!

Sunday we had some investigators come to church and one of them
mentioned:  "I love this place so much, I wouldn't want to be anywhere
Another lady we are teaching who has a baptismal date kept calling Elder
Holden and I "Angels sent from God."  She is such a doll!  Haha

Thank you for all you do everyone!  Love you all so very much.  God bless.

Elder Wilde.

1200 Little Gloucester Rd,
Clementon, NJ 08021
APT 1410

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (one of the Twelve Apostles) gave a devotional of
some sort at BYU this week and I was able to read it one evening.  It
was on religious freedom and I loved his remarks and what he had to
say on atheism.  He says:  " But of course, not everyone agrees that
religion does or should play such an essential role in civilized

Recently the gloves have come off in the intellectual street
fighting being waged under the banner of “The New Atheists.”  Figures
like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late
Christopher Hichens are some of the stars in what is, for me, a dim
firmament.  These men are as free to express their beliefs—or in their
case, disbeliefs—as any other, but we feel about them what one Oxford
don said about a colleague:  “On the surface he’s profound, but deep
down, he’s pretty superficial.”  Surely, Rabbi Sacks says, it is
mind-boggling to think that a group of bright secular thinkers in the
21st century really believe that if they can show, for example, that
the universe is more than 6,000 years old or that a rainbow can be
explained other than as a sign of God’s covenant after the flood, that
somehow such stunning assertions “will bring all of humanity’s
religious beliefs tumbling down like a house of cards and we are then
left with a serene world of rational non-believers,” serene except
perhaps when they whistle nervously past the local graveyard.  A much
harsher assessment of this movement comes from theologian David
Bentley Hart, who writes, “Atheism that consists entirely in vacuous
arguments afloat on oceans of historical ignorance, made turbulent by
storms of strident self-righteousness, is as contemptible as any other
form of dreary fundamentalism.”

I love this quote with these pictures.

“These church steeples, everywhere pointing upward, ignoring despair
and lifting hope, these lofty city spires, or simple chapels in the
hills—they rise at every step from the earth toward the sky; in every
village of every nation they challenge doubt and invite weary hearts
to consolation.  Is it all a vain delusion?  Is there nothing beyond
life but death, and nothing beyond death but decay?  We cannot know,”
they say, “but as long as man suffers, these steeples will remain.”

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 53 - August 22, 2016

Greetings :)

What a splendid week we had here!  Friday I hit my year mark.... It
didn't feel any different, not sure if was suppose to or not.  I
celebrated with a good night's rest :-)

Elder Holden and I have been so blessed these past two weeks, the work
is going very well!  We are so excited for how things are going.

I was able to go on an exchange this week with a brand new missionary
in our Zone.  We had a great time!  He serves in a walking area, so when
he stepped foot in the car, he about passed out everywhere we went!
I role played with him basically the whole day when we were driving,
walking, etc. He expressed a little frustration not feeling adequate
and what not, and I just remember what the apostle Paul said:  "And my
speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"

I expressed to not rely on your own wisdom but just trust the Lord and
the Spirit will lead and guide us in what to say and when to say the
words that we will be filled with.  We had a great day and even had
someone commit to being baptized!

We had a special leadership training our mission president conducted.
It was nice to see my previous companion + zone leader ++ other Elders
I've worked with in the past.

We focused on a section of scripture in the D&C (121) and many of you
are familiar with it, but it discussed the importance of having Christ
like charity and being virtuous, true and faithful at all times.  I
learned a lot and recognize that I definitely have things I need to
work on to better be able to serve others.  Sometimes I get caught up
and just think why are missionaries doing this or that or hitting this
standard or that standard when I need to be focused on building them
up and helping them learn from themselves - same thing goes for daily
life though!  Build others and help them see the good of themselves,
inspire them and they will achieve great things!

One of our investigators named Beena (I mentioned her last week, she
is getting baptized on 9/11, and I'm pretty sure she's from
Pakistan...) is super solid.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation this
week and she was just taken back--so happy to have learned the truths
that we teach how families can be together forever and how we can
receive certain ordinances for people who have not had that
opportunity to do so they, too, can live with God.  She is so filled with
the Spirit.  I love listening to her bear her testimony.  It is so sweet
and so pure!

The highlight of my week was last night, our very last lesson.  We are
teaching this 30 year old guy and a 10 year old girl and we taught the
first lesson, the Restoration.  It was a super powerful lesson (as they
always are when teaching the truth!) and at the end, we asked this
young girl what she thought of the message and she replied something
along the lines of:  "You missionaries are so young (coming from a 10
year old) and you leave your families and go places you've never been
and talk to people you've never met, people get upset with you and
don't listen to you... People should be thankful for what you are
doing for helping them learn about Jesus.  I'm thankful for you".  I
think that made my entire first year!  Sweetest thing ever... 😪

We had many other amazing things happen this week, but I just want to
share how thankful I am for the amazing things I've learned and who
I've become this past year and am so excited to continue to serve and
do everything I can this next year.  I love this work, I love the
Savior and his father and am so grateful for the gospel.

Love you all,
Elder Wilde

P.s. We saved a raccoon... It fell from a tree inside of a dumpster
and after ten minutes of poking and jabbing we were able to help it
climb inside of a box and then we scooped him out and let him run free

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 52 - August 15, 2016

I am in New Jersey!  My companion is Elder Holden.  He is from Lehi,
Utah.  We are both brand new to the area.  He has been out for about 20
months.  He's a stud of a missionary, super excited to learn from him.

We had an awesome first week here together.  We are already being
blessed!  We spent most of our time trying to make our way through the
ward lists and setting up return appointments, basically just trying
to meet everyone.  Tons of nice people that we are very excited to work
with.  We taught a lot this week and we were definitely blessed with
finding some great new investigators.

(Click on the link above to learn more about and see interior pictures of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Temple)
The ward is a lot smaller then anything I've ever been in.  I think it
has somewhere around 50-60 people... Maybe?
It's cool though, everyone knows each other and when our investigators
arrived everyone jumped on them so that was super cool to see as well.

One of our investigators who is named Beena, accepted a baptismal date
for September 11th.  She used to be Hindu (from India) and then when
she came to America learned about Christianity and now she is learning
about the church.  She has such strong faith and we are very excited
for her - She loveeeeeed church.

So both coming into the area new, the apartment had hardly any food,
so one night after an appointment, we didn't have too long and so we
decided to eat out.  We ended up going to Chick-fil-a, and as we were
there, this lady named Mary came up to us and she worked there.  She
asked if we were LDS, and she told us how she had a friend on a mission
and that she had read the whole entire Book of Mormon and went through
all of the discussions on her own and how she use to meet with sister
missionaries years ago but they left and nobody came by.  Anywho, she
was asking tons of questions and wants to meet up again this week -
super prepared!  We are very excited.  Chick-fil-a is a place of
miracles! :)

Yknow, tons of awesome stuff happened this week it would take me too
long to type it out!

Elder Holden and I have had a great time to get to know each other, but
we have spent a long time talking about what makes a good missionary
and a good disciple of Christ.  We came to the conclusion that
everything revolves around charity.  All of the people we work with,
all of our friends and family - everyone in the world just wants to
feel loved and that they are trusted.  I definitely have seen as we
love these people as God would love them, they have a special drive to
them, they have increased faith and desire.  There are sadly so many
less active members out there and truly if we were to do our job and
just love these people, they would come back to the fold--maybe not
right away but over time.  Anywho, that is a principle that I'm still
trying to work on, loving everyone I meet.

I'm super thankful for this gospel.  I'm excited to go to work here in
Cherry Hill.
I miss Bayview, I love those people so much.  So grateful for all of
the incredible experiences I've had there.  I won't forget them!

Love you all,

Elder Wilde

1200 Little Gluocester rd
Clementon, Nj, 08021
Apt. 1410

P.s. I've never had a year in my life go by faster... SLOOOWWW DOWN!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 51 - August 8, 2016

Hello there!

What a splendid and eventful week it was here, to say the least.
We were blessed with another baptism and it was incredible.  

Also, after six months of serving here in Bayview, MD, I have been asked to now go
and serve elsewhere as a Zone Leader.


I am going to miss this place - it was so bittersweet to say goodbye
to everyone.  I'm going to miss all the wonderful people that I've been
so blessed to work and serve with.  I'm so thankful the Lord allowed me
to be the vessel in helping many of his children enter the waters of
baptism as well as help more of his children be more active and
obedient faithful disciples once again!  All we, like sheep, have gone
astray - but the Good Shepherd will always gather his flock!

Destiny was baptized by her cousin Tyrelle, who is an interesting
young man but nevertheless he performed the task (it took him three
tries :D)  The young women jumped all over her and fellowshipped and
loved her.  It was really great to see the whole ward come together and
love this young girl.  She will be taken care of - no doubt.

On another exciting note:   After months of making crab pots with
brother Trenkle and fellowshipping with him, we went over to his
house Tuesday night and had one of the most spiritual lessons I've had
on my mission.  It was actually our first lesson with them.  It wasn't
even suppose to be a lesson!  Anyways, after bearing testimony of how
the gospel can rekindle broken relationships, bring peace into our
life and allow our families to be together for time and eternity, I
asked them if they would attend church just once as a family before I

It was the best thing ever to see all five of them show up,
dressed up with smiles.  I fasted and prayed that the ward might come
together and allow them to have a very spiritual experience.  Before
the meeting closed, I was able to bear my testimony and just express my
thanks and gratitude to the ward, but more importantly how we need to
magnify our callings so we can help all of our brothers and sisters
return to the church.  Anyways the second the closing prayer ended, many
of our members just attacked them with love and threw their arms
around them and it was awesome.  The wife absolutely loved it, kids
felt loved.  I know that helping that family was one of my key purposes
here in this area, and I pray that soon they will all enter the waters
of baptism and go to the temple to be sealed as a family.

On a separate note, one of the Apostles of the church came to visit the
Philadelphia temple and he took a group of Catholic Priests on a
private tour... Game over.  He spoke to the youth at an event and
apparently when he walked into the room, all the chatty teenagers
(members and non-members) went absolutely silent and you could feel a
pin drop.  A few of the non-members said they felt the Spirit so
strongly when he walked in, and they weren't even sure why!  Haaha.

Well, I love all of you and I thank you for your support.  It means the
world and more.  I LOVE THIS WORK!

God bless!
Elder Wilde

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 50 - August 1, 2016

Hello there, everyone!

Can't believe it's August already... Wow.  We have transfer calls this
Saturday.  I'm ready to go and help/serve a new area, but it will
definitely be bittersweet.  I do love this place and have seen a lot of
great things!  

We are very excited for Destiny to be baptized this
upcoming Sunday.  She is amazing!
We are hoping to take Amy to the Washington D.C. Temple either this
Saturday or next Monday.
We had a great week.  We were able to confirm Josue and Siclali in
Sacrament Meeting which was so awesome.  Everyone in the ward is so
happy to see that family back in action, they are wonderful.
Thursday was pretty cool - a few weeks or so ago one of the members of
our church was unable to get off his couch because something went
wrong in his spine and he literally couldn't move a muscle.  He was in
enormous amount of pain and it was so sad, such a sweet guy.  He's
worked all his life - anyways, he went to tons of doctors for tests
and he had no cartilage and so they gave him meds and they just
weren't quite sure what to do to help him.  So his wife prayed that she
would get some help for her husband and that he would get better.  That
night we prayed to know what we should do for our upcoming day and we
felt strongly to go and see that family - so we did and we gave him a
priesthood blessing.  So long story short--we came back this last
Thursday and it was smiles all around and he was walking and ready to
go back to work and had his strength - he and his wife both were so
I know that as I've been strengthening my own faith and doing my best
to stay worthy to hold the priesthood, that I can be a vessel in the
Lord's hands.  I've been blessed to see people be healed several times
during my mission and it has strengthened my own testimony so much.
I'm grateful to hold that power and authority from God.

Here is a funny story - we were talking to this atheist guy and he was
just going on and on and on about all this nonsense and he was like,
"This spider right here is more useful than you are!  It can spin webs,
it helps the environment, and spiders are beautiful creatures.  Can you spin
webs like those spiders?"  I was like, "Not that I know of.  I know
Spiderman can, though, so that's pretty cool" ... He didn't like that.
I thought it was witty.  Anywho, that was an interesting conversation.
I'm currently studying in depth the Book of John which is incredible
(my favorite book in the Bible)!
One chapter that really touched me was John Chapter 10 - which
discusses how Christ is the Good Shepherd and how he will always
protect his sheep and will find all those who are lost and help bring
them back to him.  Anyways, I won't go into depth but it was beautiful
imagery just to think about Christ keeps all of us safe as we come
unto him and how we can be protected from the Law of Justice (the
wolf) by coming unto him and utilizing the atonement.

Other than that I read a great poem I'd like to share
Does the journey seem long,
The path rugged and steep?
Are there briars and thorns on the way?
Do sharp stones cut your feet
As you struggle to rise
To the heights thru the heat of the day?
Is your heart faint and sad,
Your soul weary within,
As you toil ’neath your burden of care?
Does the load heavy seem
You are forced now to lift?
Is there no one your burden to share?
Let your heart be not faint
Now the journey’s begun;
There is One who still beckons to you.
So look upward in joy
And take hold of his hand;
He will lead you to heights that are new--
A land holy and pure,
Where all trouble doth end,
And your life shall be free from all sin,
Where no tears shall be shed,
For no sorrows remain.
Take his hand and with him enter in.

Love you all, thank you for your prayers and support.

Elder Wilde