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.”

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