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

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