Friday, November 25, 2016

Week 66 - November 24, 2016

Hello there!  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Wow, cannot believe November is basically over.  It's ridiculous, feels like just yesterday I was walking the streets in South Phila as a young buck missionary. 
Just finished stuffing myself with all sorts of pie, now I'm lacing up to play some ball and then going to spend time and have dinner with some members! 

 (Elder Wilde showing the posted sign:  "A House is Not a Home Without a Shitzu!"  Elder Wilde's family has two of them!)  

This last week was sooo amazing.  We had a baptism for one of our investigators who I have been teaching since I have been here in this area.  Her name is Beena!  She is from Pakistan.  She is probably the most angelic person I have ever met.  The most darling person out there and seriously always makes me smile.  I have been so blessed to work with some incredible people. 

Our Mission President came teaching with us on Wednesday and then he actually performed the baptism, she requested him to do it.  We had an incredible turnout at the baptism, the room was jam packed.  Needless to say, she is being cheered on by everyone! She asked me to speak on the Holy Ghost and in the morning I was trying to find a story online about someone who obeyed a prompting and acted on it, and I felt my own prompting telling me to share the story of when I was living overseas in China and our house caught on fire.  I was on my way home from a sporting event and I wanted to go hang out with friends, but for some reason I felt prompted to go home and so I did and the second I got home and opened the doors my dogs came running out of the house and so did a black pillar of smoke (looked like the one from Lost).  I talked about how many of our materialistic things were taken from us, but the only untouched item was a picture of our family hanging on the wall.  I told her that if she obeys the gospel and follows the promptings of the Spirit, that her family as well could be together forever.  It was a tear jerker! 

One of the new families we have started working with is from Berma, and I still have no idea how to say either of their names.  Seriously the most humble gracious family I have met. They are refugees and have had a crazy life.  They speak broken up English so it has been difficult to teach them, but the Spirit is always there.  I was having somewhat of a hard day, not that I was down or anything but just some... disappointment/stress just to some prior events that occurred and that to me was just a humbling experience for me.  They are so excited to start coming to church and bringing their kids.  Darling, I'll get a picture next week. 

We had such an amazing miracle - on Friday we missed two appointments and we were just like what the heck!  But the day before we had made contact with a potential investigator - well his mother actually.  The family is from GuangZhou, China.  At the door, when we knocked, the mother was just not interested even though we were there to see the son, Ben. She was about to close the door and I just had a prompting that I needed to speak Chinese. It has been like 5 years - but I remembered enough to be able to ask her how she was doing where she was from -etc.  I haven't seen a bigger smile in a long time!  I guess seeing a white boy talk Chinese is amusing to them!  Anywho, the mother told her son that there is a white kid talking Chinese wanting to talk about God, so he texted us wanting to meet. Anyways, long story short, he is soooo golden and he came to the baptism the next day and then came church the day after that.  He doesn't have any real understanding about God etc. but we have had a blast teaching him!  He will get baptized in December!  He also has a tiny dog named "Happy"... so Asian I love it ha!

Alanna pushed her baptismal date back to the first week of January so her boyfriend from Utah could fly out and baptize her... idk how I feel about that 😐

This upcoming week we will be taking two of our recent converts to the temple to do baptisms for the ancestors who have passed away (baptism by proxy).  We are so far beyond excited.  Elder Lake is really good when it comes to family history work so he has helped Jack find like 9 names.  Amazing!  I'm not quite sure what day we will be going yet, but Monday probably won't be our pday. 

Well, a bunch of other stuff happened this week but I swear every week just gets better and better as you KEEPtheFAITH and EXPECTMIRACLES  (cc Gordon b. Hinckley) - I guess I just want to close by saying thank you to all of you for all of your support, prayers, encouragement - I know that I could not do this without you.  I am thankful for my family, my calling as a missionary, the gospel that I am able to be living, all of my trials. Being thankful is a choice regardless of the circumstances you are in - remember that!  Having said that I would still prefer the good old California weather than to this chilly windy land. 😅

Love you all,
Happy Thanksgiving 

Elder Wilde 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 65 - November 14, 2016

Hello, hello! :)

Wow, what an amazing week we had here in New Jersey!  We are definitely blessed. 
We worked hard and we found 11 new investigators this week, we are super excited to start working with them. 

On Tuesday we had Zone Training that we were in charge of and President Vai Sikahema (Stake President, former NFL player) made an appearance. 
In our Zone Training, we really focused on a chart that we were taught about a few weeks ago which discusses how high expectations and high love can produce miracles if we have that for each other, our areas, and ourselves.  I will try and attach a little chart at the end.  I have a very strong testimony about loving others, loving the area, and just going and doing and letting nothing get in your way.  I have been blessed with some incredible miracles on my mission, one of which I will share in a bit. #letmorebecomewhoyouare *kick when you don't want to kick, stroke when you don't want to stroke* JUSTDO

(Zone Training with Pres. Vai Sikahema)
(Our Election Day pic Voting for Christ.)

On Wednesday we had a mission tour where one of the Seventies, Elder Cordón, came and visited us.  The guy is amazing and so funny--we learned a ton.  Where to begin on what he taught us. 

He taught us how true faith leads to mental and physical action.  Elder Cordón focused on remembering who we are and what we are called to do.  He discussed how Moses was going against a world superpower, Egypt, but he was shown the worlds and knew that Egypt was simply just a speck according to all that he had seen which gave him significant power to "beat" Egypt.  Moses knew he was a Son of God and because of that, he could expect to accomplish the impossible.  He discussed how we need to invest in others like Christ invested in us and that we need to treat people with the potential they have.  He focused a lot on our choices--the big and small ones we make and how they open the doors of opportunities. 

My personal favorite was when he quoted Neal A. Maxwell:  "God does not care about our abilities, he asks about our availability, then if we prove our dependability, he will increase our capability." 

On Friday, we had a mission leadership conference where Elder Cordón continued to teach us.  He taught about the significance of having a vision, making goals, setting plans and then executing.  He talked about how there are three types of workers.  One who lays down bricks, one who builds walls, and one who builds cathedrals - we must have a vision in mind at all times or else we forget the true purpose of what we are doing.  This can apply to all aspects of life.  He discussed the importance to always be looking ahead but evaluating in the present and how we should be thinking ahead always, but if we are not, we must at least be thinking and with all necessity must be working NOW. 
(My main man, Elder Cordon from the Seventy)

We were also able to fast with our investigator, Beena, on Friday that she would be prepared for her baptism on Saturday.  She is ready to be baptized this Saturday and it is finally set in stone.  We are so excited for her.  We have been praying and fasting for her, there was a moment in her lesson that I leaned in and looked in her in the eyes and being filled with the Spirit asked her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and commit to being baptized on the 19th - the room was dead quiet for like 15 seconds and then I said, "In this church we follow the promptings of the Spirit and I know with all certainty that it is telling you to say yes." - she said yes. 

(A family we work with.)

We had a mini-missionary this week - Alfonzo, he's 19.  This has been my 3rd mini- missionary.  They are all so funny and unique in their own way.  He was following us around taking notes and what not--it was cute.  Nice kid. 

On Sunday, one of the members gave a talk and he quoted some of Ray Allen's retirement letter as if he we were writing to his old 13 year old self.  There were a few points that really stuck out to me. 

Don’t ever put yourself in the position to wish you could hop in a time machine, Ray
Listen:  God doesn’t care whether or not you make your next jump shot.
God will give you a lot of things in life, but he’s not going to give you your jump shot.  Only hard work will do that.
How do I sum up nearly two decades in the NBA?  What do you really need to know? What’s truly important?
You’ll get to play against your heroes:  Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler.
You’ll play alongside Hall of Famers:  Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade.
Sometimes you’ll be afraid.
Sometimes you’ll think you’re out of your league.
But you’ll keep showing up every day, putting in the work.
You’ll put up more than 26,000 shots in your career.  Almost six out of 10 won’t even go in.  I told you this game was hard. 
Don’t worry, though.  A successful man is built of 1,000 failures.  Or in your case, 14,000 misses.
You’ll win a championship in Boston.
You’ll win another in Miami.
The personalities on those two teams will be different, but both teams will have the same thing in common:  Habits.
Boring old habits.
I know you want me to let you in on some big secret to success in the NBA.
The secret is there is no secret.
It’s just boring old habits.
In every locker room you’ll ever be in, everybody will say all the right things.  Everybody says they’re willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to win a title.  But this game isn’t a movie. It’s not about being the man in the fourth quarter.  It’s not about talk.  It’s getting in your work every single day, when nobody is watching.
Now, the most important question in your life isn’t, “Who am I supposed to be?” or even, “What do I have to do to win another championship?”
It’s, “Daddy, guess what happened in math class today?”
That’s the reward that awaits you at the end of your journey.
Get your work in, young fella.
Most people will never really get to know the real you.  But they’ll know your work.

Living the gospel is hard work - a testimony is the culmination of gospel routines and habits over a sustained period of time which help us become someone great. 

Love you all,

Elder Wilde 

(The mini-golf crew.)
(Roxy look-alike)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 64 - November 7, 2016

Hello there, friends & family!

It was a great week here in Jersey.  Couldn't have asked for better
weather either, my goodness!

We were for sure busy this week and will be even more busy this upcoming week!
Michelle got confirmed in sacrament meeting, that was very exciting.

Wednesday, I was on splits with one of the members and we went and
visited one of our investigators, Cynthia.  Elder Holden and I knocked
on her door about two months ago and she was on the phone with someone
talking about how she needed to get back to church but didn't know
where to go because she just moved to the area.  In our lesson, we
taught about obedience and sacrifice.  She works a ton on Sunday as a
nurse in New York and she is always on call.  Anywho, at the very
beginning of the lesson, I asked her if she had been reading the Book
of Mormon and she told me she was one step ahead of me.  I asked her
what her favorite chapter was in 1 Nephi and she said 6.  I was trying
to think what she could have liked so much in that chapter considering
it is only a few verses long, so to help me out, she quoted two or
three verses in a row without having her book open.  I was impressed.
To lead into the lesson, I, of course, went to 1 Nephi 3:7 and she quoted
that too!  She told us that she is "addicted to reading the Book of
Mormon" and that "it is the only thing that has brought her peace
throughout the day."  She has a baptismal date for November 26.

I went to Camden New Jersey with an Elder that is about to
finish his mission.  He has five weeks left and what's interesting is that
he actually started his mission here.  We walked forever I swear.  I
haven't walked that much since Philly.  My legs were dead when we got
in.  We had a small miracle, well he did.  Not so much me.  He had taught
this man named Pete when he first started serving in Camden, and Pete
was sooo close to getting baptized but something came up which
prevented him.  The Elder got transferred and the Elders after him
deleted Pete's teaching record.  Fast forward 18 months + later, no
Elder has ever gone to see him.  The Elder I was with remembered where
he lived.  We went and saw him, he was sooo far beyond happy to see the
Elder.  He said he had been reading the Book of Mormon everyday waiting
to get baptized.  He will be baptized in a few weeks.  It was a unique
experience to be a part of.  I slept well that night, too :)

Friday, we received a referral for a young lady named Alanna.  The text
message we received was, "She is interested in joining the church."
Elder Lake and I immediately dropped what we were doing to go visit
her, but unfortunately she wasn't there.  Later in the note, she got the
note we left when we dropped by and she called us.  We met with her and
on my goodness, the most prepared, solid, amazing person I've met on
my mission.  She is Catholic (not really), she has a boyfriend at Snow
College in Utah.  He gave her a Book of Mormon, she read it all, then
she read all of the Doctrine and Covenants, then she read all of the
Pearl of Great Price!  She said, "The Book of Mormon and this gospel has
filled those empty parts of my soul, and I know that this is all true,
and I want to be baptized"... I was like, did you just pull a Preach
my Gospel answer on me?  She came to church on Sunday and the ward just
was head over heals for her.  She is super enthusiastic and outgoing.
All of the ladies were hugging her, and she must have felt like a
celebrity.  She will be baptized on the 26th.

We had a Stake Meeting with the Stake Presidency and the Mission
Presidency Sunday morning eeaaaarlllyyyy, and as we were going through
our monthly reports, they stopped at one of the names of someone in our
ward, Brother Szary.  He had come out with us 27 times in the month of
October and was present in 45/130 lessons in October which is amazing.  He
came out the most of every member in the Stake, but also the
entire Philadelphia Pennsylvania mission.  Our Stake President, Vai
Sikahema (former Eagles player), got up and bore his testimony in
Sacrament directly towards how thankful he was for Brother Szary, so
did I as well.  He is incredible.

This week, one of the families that we have been working with came to
us in need of a blessing.  We have reactivated the mother and she is
super amazing, love her tons, and she called us and asked if we could
give her oldest son a blessing.  He was super nervous for one of his
tests to become a police officer, so we came over and I gave him a
blessing.  He told me after the blessing that all of his fear, him
being nervous and bad feelings, had gone away and he was in tears just
so thankful.  The next day for the first time, the whole entire family
came to church and the mother was just so thankful.  I sat by them
during sacrament.  It was so good to see them.

I would like to share a few scriptures that I have read that have
really stuck out to me this week.
Luke 22:39-44

"And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and
his disciples also followed him.
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter
not into temptation.
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down,
and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as
it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

In a moment of agony and distress, the Savior himself cries out to his
father pleading for help and strength and asks if there is any other
way that this suffering could take place, but in the midst of all of
this he humbles himself to the dust of the earth, tells his father if
it is HIS will, he will do it.  How often in our lives when we go
through a hard time or are stressed, we put ourselves first and not

The last sentence says his "sweat was as it were great drops of
blood."  Have you ever thought that your name was written in those drops
of blood?  What are we going to do to make sure those drops of blood do
not go in vain?  The price has already been paid; whether we accept and
utilize this great gift and show our thanks by our actions is
completely dependent on us, not others nor our circumstances.

There is a great scripture in the Book of Mormon that also teaches us
a tad bit more about this experience - Mosiah 3:7-8

"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst,
and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death;
for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his
anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of
heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning."

He has suffered and has taken upon himself all of our temptations,
pains, hungers, thirst, fatigue - everything so that we don't have to
be on our own, so that he can walk with us supporting us one moment to
the other.

Happy November, love y'all.

Elder Wilde

🌺Enjoying my Jersey Weather🌸 :)