Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 58 - September 26, 2016


This week started another transfer here in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.  Elder Andrus, my previous companion, has left and gone to the promised land of South
Philadelphia -- my birth place!  I must say I couldn't have been more
thrilled to hear that such an incredible Elder was going in there to
help serve those people.  My new companion is Elder Matthew Lake from
Gilbert, Arizona!  I actually served with his cousin, Elder Court Lake,
in South Philly for a transfer.  I am super excited.  Elder Lake is a
funny guy and really hard working, so we are pumped to serve together!
He also started his mission in Bayview, Maryland, which is cool because
that's where I just came from.  We had some funny stories to tell.  Good
times.  Everyone makes jokes with our names, "The Wilde Lake."  I'm not
sure I understand it, but it humors them ha!

We had such an amazing week, busy busy busy!

This last Monday, we had such an amazing miracle.  After our P-day ended,
we were suppose to have three appointments from 6-9.  We weren't able
to have dinner that evening because the member got sick that was
feeding us, so he told us to come over and he would give us money to
go out and eat.  We went over and he gave me, Elder Holden and Elder
Cristaldo $20 which was plenty for a nice meal at Taco Bell :)  Anywho,
we continued our night and both our first two appointments canceled
which was so odd considering we confirmed them earlier.  We were both a
little stressed and thought we should just go have dinner and then
make it to our last appointment.  

As we got in the car, we both felt
very strongly we needed to go drive 15 minutes north to go visit a new
family we have been working with before we had dinner.  As we drove up
and got out of the car, the woman came to the door and was just very
depressed.  We asked what was going on and she told us her daughter had
been diagnosed with some type of illness and they needed her daughter at
a hospital in Philly by the next day.  Unfortunately, this family that
we are working with has had some financial issues and she told us how
she had been praying all day to find the means to pay for her
transportation (bus and train) to get to Philadelphia.  She had been
searching and asking for help but didn't receive anything.  She said, "I
don't know what I am going to do, I don't know what is going to happen
if i can't get my daughter to the hospital and all I need is $20 to
pay for me and my daughter to get over there."  Elder Holden and I
looked at each other and nodded at each other.  We took the $20 and
handed it to her.  She couldn't have been more thankful.  We proceeded
to tell her that we felt inspired to come up here this evening when we
had no plans to in the first place.  It was because of this lady's
faith, prayers, and diligence to search that we ended on her doorstep
that evening.

Wednesday I was able to be a part of another amazing experience.  We
have been teaching this man named Joe for about two months now,
but in the past he had been taught for about six months, so now eight total.
He never came from a religious background, has no belief in God,
anything.  This has been a unique experience for me to be able to teach
him because typically the only people we teach are ones who have a
background of God and Jesus Christ.  Joe is such a kind and loving guy,
super great.  He keeps every commitment but just could not find an
answer.  He isn't the most sincere with his prayers, but it's hard to
be sincere about something you've never been sincere about in the
past.  However, the previous lesson we were over there we got into this
ridiculous discussion about the creation, and ultimately I invited him
to go onto the "Gospel Library" app and to search up the word
"Creation" and to read all of the tags that came up.  

Of course, he kept
his commitment and when we came back the next lesson, he told us in his
own words, "I am starting to really believe that there is a God, and
what you're teaching me is really true."  My jaw dropped.  I was like,
"Wait, really?"  I asked him what brought him to this and he said that
he read a scripture that really really touched him.  In the Book of
Mormon in 2 Nephi Chapter 2 verse 13 it reads:  "And if ye shall say
there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin.  If ye shall say
there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness.  And if
there be no righteousness there be no happiness.  And if there be no
righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery.  And if
these things are not there is no God.  And if there is no God we are
not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of
things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things
must have vanished away."

After months and months of reading the scriptures, coming to church,
praying, and keeping the commandments, he finally realized that the reason
he was so happy was because he was living the gospel because he was
seeing changes within himself because he felt the Spirit touch him.

After thinking about this, I realized that Me as an individual cannot
really convince anyone of anything, but the whole purpose of a
missionary is to help people feel the Spirit and help them have
spiritual experiences as they exercise faith.  I told the member I was
with that night on splits--that was one of the best mission experiences
I have had thus far.

We had a few investigators come to church who are getting baptized on
the 16 of October.  One named Jack, we went to the Goodwill and bought
him a fancy outfit for church for only $15 !  Looks fantastic!

This Sunday at church one of the lessons that one of the members of
the church gave was based off of a conference talk given by the
Apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland entitled, "Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders
Among You."

(Click on the link above to read or listen to the talk Elder Wilde is referencing.)

We discussed a specific verse in the Bible, Hebrews 10:32 which says:
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were
illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;"
We discussed how in our lives we may have such spiritual experiences,
but the second after a spiritual experience occurs, we are immediately
tempted by the adversary because he wants to drag us down called the
"post-illumination affliction" :)  Anywho, the Adversary wants us to
think that we are not good enough, we can't change, we can't reach our
potential, we have no potential.  He wants us to remain and never
become better.  Many people tend to believe this when life gets hard,
when they meet these afflictions or temptations, but in order to
overcome these things in our lives, we need a change of perspective.

After these spiritual experiences, we can either be dragged down and
fall or rise and continue to have more.  It all comes from having a
change of perspective knowing that as our faith grows, we have to live
and do certain things to grow as well or else we stumble.  Most
importantly, my favorite part of what Elder (Apostle) Holland said was
that "we get credit for trying."  As we try our best to do our best the
Lord recognizes and blesses us in our efforts.

I definitely know all of this to be true.  I've had some very
remarkable sacred experiences here in my mission, but everyday I make
silly mistakes and I just kick myself for failing and I forget that
I'm trying my best, but that I need to realize the Lord has blessed me
so much especially on my mission, as I seek to do and be my best.

This morning my grandma invited me to listen to a talk that was given
just a few days ago on Saturday.  Another one of the Apostles spoke.  His
name is Dieter F. Uchtdorf and he gave an incredible talk based on
"Faith."  As he was closing out his talk, he discussed and shared an
experience he had where two young missionaries many many years ago
were in Europe in a place where there was a small amount of converts
and how they had every reason to believe their efforts probably
wouldn't result in helping the people there be baptized.  However, these
young missionaries had so much faith and one day felt very strongly
that they needed to knock the doors of a four story apartment.  They
knocked every single door and got rejected every single time until the
last door of the whole apartment and a young girl came to the door.
The missionaries shared our unique message with her and she went and
told her mom, but her mom told the missionaries to leave because her
husband has passed away to cancer and she didn't want to talk about
God.  The young girl urged her mother to just listen to what they had
to say, so finally the mother came to the door.  The missionaries told
her about how the church had been brought back and then handed the
lady a Book of Mormon.  The lady then read the entire Book of Mormon in
a few days and both she and her daughter were baptized.  The young girl
turned out to be the Apostle's wife - pretty amazing. 

It reminded me of
a story I had on my mission.  I had a lovely member in Maryland who
told me that the reason I wasn't having success in the area was because
I lacked the faith to find the Lord's elect.  I went home that night
and dropped all of our investigators because they weren't progressing,
I prayed so much to know where we should go knock doors the next day.
We felt so inspired to go to a neighborhood (which Elder Lake told me
this week he had tracted before.  There aren't many places in Maryland,
so it doesn't surprise me haha) close by.  As we went, we knocked every
single darn door in the suburb and all these Catholics basically just
told us no (to say it nicely) and the very very last door we knocked, this 

Hispanic lady, Rosa came to the door.  We were showing the
Easter holiday video and she began to close the door, but I felt very
strongly to put my foot in the door and not let her leave because I
knew she was the one.  I did, I stuck my foot in the door, begged her
to watch the video -- four weeks later she was baptized.  The Lord
works in many wondrous ways!

To close, I'm very excited for General Conference next week, having
the opportunity to hear the words of the Prophet, Apostles and other
leaders of the church.  It is Christmas to a missionary to hear them

Love you all, thank you and God bless!

Elder Wilde

P.s. Sorry this one is long

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 57 - September 19, 2016

Hello, friends & familia !
What an amazing week it was here in PA & NJ!  Definitely one of the
greatest weeks of my mission if not the best!
Sadly, we just got transfer calls ... Elder Holden will be leaving
Cherry Hill, NJ.  I'm sure he will go train and just create some work-horse of a 
missionary with the last two transfers he has left.

 ("We took Elder Holden to Rita's for lunch.")

Tuesday we got a call that there was a new missionary arriving early
from Paraguay and that he would be staying and working with us for the
week.  His name is Elder Cristaldo, he is 24!  He is a hip hop dancer,
he flies planes, and is just a straight stud.  We've been having a good
time, but sadly he is leaving tomorrow :(
We had to push Beena's baptismal date back due to the temple
dedication, just wouldn't work out.  She's doing great though.  One of
our lessons we had with her we taught her about baptisms for the dead,
she was in tears.  She was so excited to be able to be able to be
baptized in the place of her ancestors and family that has passed
away.  The font in the temple is out of this world amazing! 

We had an incredible lesson with one of our new investigators this week. She was
very hesitant to listen to anything we had to say and was very
standoffish about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and there being only
one true church.  By the end of the lesson after sharing tons of
scriptures & bearing testimony, she had committed herself to read the
first two books of the Book of Mormon by Saturday without us even
asking!  After the lesson, the member told us that that was the best
missionary lesson he has ever been in!  We were thrilled.
We met this new family of four close to the Camden area (most northern
part of our area) and taught them the Restoration, an incredible
lesson, and all loved the story of the Book of Mormon.  They constantly
thanked us for coming to their home and sharing with them this
message.  I'm excited for them!
We spent two days cleaning and setting up the temple.  I'm not sure why
we were constantly cleaning.  It had to be counterproductive - so many
people in there, but anyways great time.
Saturday night we taught one of our investigators and then watched the
cultural celebration with him and his family.  It was really cool!  I
got to see three of the young men and women I baptized from South
Philly and Bayview.  It felt great to see them participating in an
event like that.  The cultural celebration told the story about William
Penn, the founding fathers, Joseph Smith, and the temple today and how
if it weren't for William Penn and the founding fathers (Constitution
and Bill of Rights), the Restoration of the Gospel would have never
occurred.  Pretty neat!
Sunday, however, was the best.  After 7 1/2 years of the Philadelphia
temple being worked on, it was finally completed and dedicated.  Elder
Holden and I were actually extremely lucky to be one of the few
companionships that was asked to go help with parking at the temple
which also allowed us to be inside the temple for the dedication.
We woke up at 4:30 a.m. and got home that day at about midnight, so it was
a long day all at the temple helping out, but incredible of course!
"What an incredible weekend it was.  The cultural celebration put on by
the youth was incredible and inspiring. T he temple dedication was
beautiful.  It was fantastic to see familiar faces but even better to
see the faces of the Lord's chosen servants.  I have a strong testimony
that this church like the Apostle Paul said is:  'Built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being
the chief corner stone'."
One of the most incredible experiences of my life, I got to meet Elder
Christofferson, one of the Twelve Apostles.  He came into the room that we
were in the temple and introduced himself (we were in a small room of
about eight people and I was next to the door) and the Sprit he brought
into the room was electrifying.  The man is simply incredible.  He was
dressed all in white and just spoke so powerfully, the Spirit was so
strong just literally standing right next to him shaking his hand.
I helped park President Eyring and just seeing his smile and him wave
and say hello... My goodness.
He gave such an incredible dedicatory prayer (set apart the temple to
Jesus Christ) and the temple was definitely filled with the Spirit.
Definitely one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  I will
never forget it.  So much hard work from so many people went into all
of this.  The City of Philadelphia now has the House of the Lord in it!
It definitely is a beacon to everyone around.
After the dedication, I got to see a lot of people from the Bayview
ward and South Philly Branch.  It was amazing to see everyone.  It felt
like a big reunion haha!
Anyways, it was just such an incredible week.  I'm super excited for
this next transfer and to get a new companion and to learn.
I definitely have such a strong testimony after this weekend that the
Prophet and Apostles who lead and guide Christ's one and only true
church are absolutely and no doubt called by God, and they are so
inspired and filled with the Spirit and not one person could deny it.
I know Christ is the chief cornerstone of this church and leads and
guides this work.  I love it so much and am so humbled to have been
a part of this temple and this work.

Love you all,

Elder Wilde.

P.S. To summarize what happened this weekend in a few minutes.

(Click on the link above to see a short video of the activities Elder Wilde is talking about for the dedication of the Philadelphia Temple.) 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Week 56 - September 12, 2016

Hello, everyone! 

Another fantastic week come and gone in the blink of an eye. 

Everything is going really well.  We are excited for Beena.  She is going to be baptized Sunday night!  She is incredible. 
Our week was very very busy. 

Tuesday I was able to go on exchanges with a missionary in his area just south of me.  It was fun!  Pretty cool miracle.  They have been having a bit of trouble finding new investigators to teach - Two Sundays ago, Elder Holden and I were praying that they would see a miracle and get three new investigators (which would be the first time In awhile) and last night when they reported numbers, they told us they had three new investigators!  Pretty amazing.  Proud of them. 

Wednesday was fantastic as well.  We went on exchanges again but this time with the Assistants.  The Elder who left this area to be the Assistant came back for the day so we had a very fun exchange together visiting some of the people he use to work with!  He was actually one of my very first Zone Leaders back in Philly, so it's cool to be able to work closely with him again.  Great guy! 

That evening we met up with my companion and the other Assistant and took a tour of the temple.  We brought Beena and some other investigators - it was amazing.  We had such an incredible time!  The temple is beautiful. 

On Thursday, Elder Holden and I had our first Zone Training together which was simply incredible!  We had such an amazing spiritual training.  After about an hour and a half or so of training together, we did a separate training where I trained on "Vision" and Elder Holden trained on "Goals."  I based my training off of Brigham Young, the early saints, and Salt Lake City -  a few things that stuck out to me --

 "It was by faith that Brigham Young looked over [the Salt Lake] Valley, then hot and barren, and declared, “This is the place.”  Again by faith, four days later, he touched his cane to the ground … and said, “Here will be the temple of our God.”  

To continue on, there were a few other quotes I used - "Behind us is a glorious history.  It is bespangled with heroism, tenacity to principle, and unflagging fidelity.  It is the product of faith.  Before us is a great future.  It begins today.  We cannot pause.  We cannot slow down.  We cannot slacken our pace or shorten our stride."  

"I stand in reverent respect for Brigham Young.  He saw the Salt Lake Valley in vision long before he saw it with his natural eyes.  Otherwise I doubt he ever would have stopped here. There were greener lands in California and Oregon.  There was deeper and richer soil elsewhere.  There were great fields of timber in other places, much more water, and climates more equable and pleasant.

There were mountain streams here, it is true, but none of them was very large.  The soil was totally untried.  No plow had ever broken its hard-baked surface.  I marvel, I simply marvel, that President Young would lead a large company … to a place where there never before had been a sowing and a harvest. …

They were travel-worn, these pioneers.  It had taken 111 days to bring them from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley.  They were tired.  Their clothes were worn.  Their animals were jaded.  The weather was hot and dry--the hot weather of July.  But here they were, looking down the years and dreaming a millennial dream, a grand dream of Zion.
I stood the other day on the old docks of Liverpool, England.  There was practically no activity the Friday morning when we were there.  But once this was a veritable beehive. During the 1800s, tens of thousands of our people walked over the same stone paving on which we walked.  They came from across the British Isles and from the lands of Europe, converts to the Church.  They came with testimony on their lips and faith in their hearts.  Was it difficult to leave their homes and step into the unknown of a new world?  Of course it was.  But they did it with optimism and enthusiasm.  They boarded sailing vessels.  They knew the crossing at best was hazardous.  They soon found out that for the most part it was miserable.  They lived in cramped quarters week after week.  They endured storms, disease, sickness.  Many died on the way and were buried at sea.  It was an arduous and fearsome journey.  They had doubts, yes.  But their faith rose above those doubts.  Their optimism rose above their fears.  They had their dream of Zion, and they were on their way to fulfill it."

To close I asked what vision we have of our areas, our companionships but more importantly our lives?  What do we want to be able to say when we take the tag off, where do we want to be in 5, 10, 20, 40 years?

Anyways, the spirit was so very strong and I know that we were all inspired to ponder pray and think about what visions we have for our work, our companionships, our lives, families etc. 

After Zone Training, I went on an exchange with one of the previous Assistants, Elder Hopkin, he is such a gem.  We had a fabulous day.  We had some incredible lessons -- the highlight of it all was that our Mission President wanted to come teaching with us that evening, so we took him to three appointments from 6-9.  My goodness, I have not ever been around someone so filled with the Spirit before.  He is simply incredible.  We had a wonderful evening together!  Definitely learned so much from him. 

Friday we went to the temple again.  It was the last day for the open house.  We took an investigator named Jack.  He has been investigating the church for 15 years... We had a very powerful lesson with him and he has accepted a baptismal date for October 16th.  We are so excited for him.  So many missionaries put time and effort into helping, I feel so blessed to be able to be the one to finally help him into the waters of baptism.



I guess to close, Congratulations to Michael Anderson for giving his Farewell talk and leaving for Peru, that is incredible.  Good luck!  

I love you all.  Thank you for your support and your prayers. 

Elder Wilde 

1200 Little Gloucester Rd,
 Clementon, NJ 08021, Apt. 1410

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 55 - September 5, 2016

Hello, everyone! And hello, September!
What an exciting week we had here in Jersey!
I was sick basically all week but who cares about that, we went out
and did work!

On Thursday, we were able to go to the temple with a couple of
investigators.  They both fell in love with the temple and one of them
has accepted a baptismal date for October 9th.  He is in love with the
church!  His name is Joe, he expressed how much peace he felt and how
he was overcome with the Spirit as he went into the temple and came to
church the past few weeks.  He loves reading the Book of Mormon and
says he learns so much when he reads.  Good ole' Joe!  Pray for that
feller :-)


On Friday, we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council).  It was my first one
and it was incredible.  I learned so much; however, whenever I made a
comment, I sounded like a dying dog yelping so that was fun.  I got to
see some incredible Elders!  Elder Andrus was there, Elder Uriostegui,
Elder Jolley, Elder Drake, Elder Tuttle...  Many many more of course.
Just being around them, I was like... Man we have some top notch
missionaries here.  I felt inadequate knowing there was so so so much
more I have to learn!


So, September 2nd, 2015, was my first day in Philadelphia and I went
with Elder Andrus and the Assistants to the best cheese steak
restaurant in Philly called Gooie Looies - and on September 2nd, 2016,
I went again to the cheesecake restaurant.  I didn't put the pieces
together until I was about to dive into my cheese steak, but wow was it
dejavu (however you spell that word)!

I guess on a really sad note, as we were driving in South Philly on
our way back to Jersey, we were on the same road as one of the
converts I had in Philly, his name is Robbie.  That guy has been
through the RINGER.  He grew so much before my eyes and just an
incredible conversion story.  He battled drinking alcohol for a bit and
then eventually came clean.  As we were driving by the house, there was
someone outside so I yelled in my cracky voice if Robbie was home and
the man replied, "Yes," so we slammed on the brakes, parked, and got out to
see him.  He came walking down the stairs (he has tumors in his knees
and in his feet) and he had a beer in his hands... I don't think I
have ever been so devastated in my entire life when I saw that.  He
told me he just got out of the hospital, he had been having
seizures... Anyways he wasn't in the best condition, but after a few
minutes of speaking with him and talking to him, I asked if I could
take the beer from him and he said, "Yes," and so I threw it away.  There
are sisters in South Philly right now and they don't visit him so I
was pretty.... Unhappy.  Anywho, they will be leaving Philly soon.  I'll
stop ranting though!
Last night, we had a neat experience.  We missed an appointment at the
very top of our area, and it was like 5:30, we were both pretty hungry
because we were fasting all day.  Anywho, we had dinner planned for
5:45 and it was at least a 20 minute drive home.  So as we started
driving back, I just felt a strong prompting we had to visit this
inactive member I remember someone mentioned a few weeks ago.  We
stopped at his house and he welcomed us in with open arms.  He told us
how missionaries and members haven't seen him for the past 10 years or
so and how grateful he was for us coming by because he wanted to start
coming back to church.  He has had a hard life, he discussed how he use
to be Catholic and he investigated the church for a long time and just
didn't really want to join, but one Sunday, Elder Ballard (one of the 12
Apostles) was in town and Elder Ballard came to shake his hand.  This
man was overcome with the Spirit so much, more then anything he
has felt in his entire life, and he said he just looked into Elder
Ballard's eyes and knew right then and there on the spot the church was
true.  He was baptized the next day.  His wife left him for joining the

He was very faithful in the church for a long time until he
met another Catholic lady who he married and some stuff happened with
him in the church and he stopped going.  He and his wife went through
the Philadelphia Temple open house last week and right after the tour,
he told his current wife that he was coming back to the church (she is
very against the church) and he expressed that his wife wants to
divorce him for coming back, but he knows he has to come back...
Anyways, that was a very spiritual lesson.  His name is also, Joe.  Pray
for him.
I guess on an ending note, I was able to do a baptismal interview for
an 18 year old this week.  His name is Nick, he was born Catholic.  His
father doesn't go to Catholic Church but is very opposed to the Church
of Jesus Christ, and his mother is an active Catholic who is on good
terms with The Church of Jesus Christ.  I asked him, "How did you come
to know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Jesus
Christ's church on the earth today?"  He replied, "Elder Wilde, I have
been to every denomination you could think of... I have read it all, I
know what everyone believes.  Nobody comes close to what the Book of
Mormon and the church teaches.  I felt the Spirit so strongly as I read
the Book of Mormon, everything the church taught made perfect sense...
I knew it was true and I'm ready to face persecution from my family,
friends, anyone.  I just want to be a part of Christ's church."  He was
baptized on Sunday.  Super cool kid.

President Monson stated:  "To be a Latter-day Saint is to be a pioneer, 
for the definition of a
pioneer is 'one who goes before to prepare or open up the way for
others to follow.'  And to be a pioneer is to become acquainted with
sacrifice.  Although members of the Church are no longer asked to leave
their homes to make the journey to Zion, they often must leave behind
old habits, longtime customs, and cherished friends.  Some make the
agonizing decision to leave behind family members who oppose their
Church membership.  Latter-day Saints move forward, however, praying
that precious ones will yet understand and accept.  The path of a
pioneer is not easy, but we follow in the footsteps of the ultimate
Pioneer--even the Savior--who went before, showing us the way to
                        “Come, follow me,” He invited.
                        “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” He declared.
                        “Come unto me,” He called.

The brightest and best thing that came from this week was that one of
the people I found with my last companion in Maryland was baptized
this Sunday.
She was drinking 20 cups of coffee a day and smoking a pack of
cigarettes a day... Over three months, she became clean from all of that
and was now baptized!  I'm so proud of her and my wonderful companion
for doing the Lord's work diligently!  LOVE YOU, MARYLAND!

I love you all, thank you for your support.  God bless

Elder Parker Wilde