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.) 

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