Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Call from Elder Wilde - December 25, 2016

Christmas is one of the best days of the year for both a missionary and his/her family.  It was simply the best gift of the day for both!

 The Copeland Family Christmas Tree Hands we sent to Elder Wilde - Everyone wrote Christmas thoughts on the back.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 70 - December 19, 2016

🌲 🎄 The week of all weeks! 🎉🎁🎀

Friends & Family! 

Hope you are all doing so well!  I cannot believe Christmas is right around the corner.  I'm very excited to talk to my family!  The weather here in Philly has been incredible.  We had a tiny bit of snow the other night, but other than that, we are sitting pretty!

We had another crazy week. 
On Monday, we hosted all of the departing missionaries (33) at the Mission President's home and made a slideshow for them with some of their most impactful missionary moments. It was so inspiring listening to all of these incredible missionaries bearing their testimonies and how their mission has shaped them into a more Christlike person. I felt so inadequate.  There were so many mission legends in that room haha! I will miss many of them.  It was interesting to see how many of them were either my leaders, I led them, I served with them, etc.  We had to wake up at the brink of dawn to get them off on their planes the next morning.  Everything worked out just great.  So bittersweet!

A few hours later, we returned back to the airport to pick up a brand new group (25) of missionaries.  Wow, it was so weird being inside of the airport watching all of these brand new missionaries come out of the sliding doors.  Just a bunch of young bucks.  They have no idea what they are getting themselves into 😁😁😁 just kidding.  They are a solid group.
It was funny.  They had their eyes glued on us.  As they were waiting for their bags, we went and talked to people in the airport about the Christmas initiative.  It was hilarious watching their reactions. 

We spent the day with them.  We made a great new incoming Goldens' video which took what felt like an eternity, but by the end it was pretty good, so that was exciting.  We had dinner with the Goldens (new missionaries). 

That night, we hosted 8 of the English Goldens at our apartment.  It was so fascinating to me listening to all of these young men's stories and answering their questions that they had. Whatever we said, they took as missionary doctrine.  Hopefully it helps them get off on the right foot!  I seriously was in their shoes yesterday!  Great group of Elders and Sisters though. 

The next day, we were back at it and presented some trainings to the Goldens and trainers and made a slideshow for the new missionaries, their area, and their new companions.  It was incredible.  All of the trainers were some of the finest Elders and Sisters we have. Seriously phenomenal!  They are all going to do great.

Friday we went up to the previous assistants district meeting up in Doylestown, Pa.--super rich area.  We have a young single adult investigator up there.  We taught him and it must have been one of the best lessons I've been in.  The Spirit was so strong.  I invited him to be baptized.  He said "yes" and committed to Jan 29.  Seriously such an incredible opportunity we had! 

Most of the week was taking care of administration stuff.  I'm hoping to get more teaching and finding time after next week.  This upcoming week, we get to go to three zone conferences for Christmas.  We are super pumped.  It's going to be great.  We are presenting a few trainings and doing all sorts of fun new activities.  I just love getting to see all of the Elders and Sisters, as well.  There is nothing like being around Elders and Sisters. It will be a great week.  After the meetings, we get to double in to areas and we are going to Bayview for one of them.  I'm excited to go back! 
Last night we had a Christmas concert called, "The Messiah Sing Along."  It was fantastic! 

This week in my studies I came across two things that I thought were fascinating.  In 2 Nephi Chapter 2 (a chapter I have read several times), I read about how we as individuals are things to ACT and not to be ACTED UPON.  During this Christmas season, I hope that we don't let something that someone else may or may not have done "affect" our spirits and wind us down.  We have the ability to choose how we react to circumstances, the circumstances don't have the ability to make us feel a certain way.  Choose to be Christlike! 

Lastly, I thought about how Adam and Eve were in a state of innocence/ignorance in the Garden of Eden.  I asked myself, "Is ignorance/innocence bliss?" (This actually was an essay question I wrote about in high school)  My new answer would be, "No - we cannot have happiness and joy or an uplifted spirit without having 'laws.'  Without laws, there would be no sin, without sin there would be no righteousness, without righteousness there would be no happiness.  Jesus Christ is so vitally important because he gave us the law and because of that we are able to experience peace and happiness in this life if we live the law." 

This Christmas season, I thank my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I thank him for the peace and happiness I receive as I am representing him.  The gospel is the law.  I hope that we may all strive to do our best to live it, learn it, & share it.

Thank you for all you do.  God bless you! 

Elder Wilde

P.s. If you haven't received an Christmas card, let me know today! :)

721 Paxon Hollow Rd., Suite B,
Broomall, PA, 19008 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 69 - December 10, 2016

Hello there!

Hope everyone is doing well! 

Today is my somewhat of a pday.  We are taking time to go to the temple today and run a few errands because Monday is going to be insane with all of the departing missionaries! 
 (Nativity Scene at the Temple)
 (Our tire popped - we had a fun time putting on the new one.) 
(Wells Fargo Center)

To start the week I gave my last zone training back in Cherry Hill which was great.  Man, I learned so much serving there.  It was such a unique experience and had so many missionaries I needed to learn from. 
(Last Zone Training)

Life has been super busy my first week back in PA.  It's definitely been a change of missionary work.  We spent most of the week in the office trying to figure out transfers with President.  We made plans how missionaries would get to their new area from their old area with their new companion.  It took a really long time to figure out.  I think in the end we had to figure out like 90 missionaries transfer plans.  We had to figure out housing and vehicles for each missionary.  We created slideshows, PowerPoint and videos for departing missionaries and incoming missionaries.  We had to find new ways to report numbers to stakes and just so many ridiculous things.  It was a pretty hectic week.  We still aren't 100% finished but hopefully by the end of today we will be. 

It's fun though!  The missionaries I serve with are studs.  We have a super fun time together. 
I have learned so much about just being patient and the importance of listening.  I feel like in all these meetings I'm in lately I have 0 idea what's going on, and then I'm asked my thoughts on something and I'm just like... what?  Oh well, understanding will come over time! 

Anyways, life is good!  Love you all - continue to #LIGHTtheWORLD 

Sorry I don't have much of an email this week, just been busy working on transfers and whatnot.  I'll be better next week! 


Elder Wilde 

P.s. My Christmas card will be sent out today!

721 Paxon Hollow Rd., Suite B,
 Broomall, NJ, 19008 
United States 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 68 - December 5, 2016

Hello, everyone! 

We are already on our way here in December!  This week has been pretty hectic. 

I had to say goodbye to New Jersey.  After one of our meetings, our Mission President asked if I could come and help fulfill a new assignment as one of his assistants.  I am pretty nervous but also excited to learn from my new companion and the Mission President. 
My new area covers part of my old stomping grounds - South Philadelphia!  I will be in the Philadelphia YSA and will be meeting in the chapel next to the temple.  I am super thrilled. Yesterday after Stake Conference, I left Cherry Hill basically right after and went to Philly.  It was fast Sunday and I went up and bore my testimony and just added to what one of the men on the stands said.  I said, "I am thankful for what this brother (I leaned over to ask for his name and he said, "Bishop") excuse me, Bishop! had to say about ..."  Everyone was laughing, it was pretty funny. 

I got to see a bunch of people from the first place I served.  It was so awesome to see them all again! 
My new companion is incredible.  His name is Elder Winstanley.  He is from Colorado and has been out two transfers longer than I have.  He is a super good ball player, but I'll teach him a few things ;) however; every time we play he breaks my ankles to one degree or another.  He did this morning, it was bad.  We are in a trio right now with an elder named Elder Oldroyd (he is who I am replacing) he is from Arizona.  He is the most humble person out there wow. 

I definitely feel inadequate and there are so many others that would be able to fulfill the position better then I would, but I definitely will do my best.  The first big test is next week.  We have 35 departing missionaries and 30 coming in.... yikes! 
We had a baptism right after church for a young lady named Kendyll.  She is seriously incredible.  She is from Alabama and attends Villanova.  She belonged to the Church Of Christ but left it after her brother did.  She was about to give up on religion, etc., when she then found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a friend.  She said it is the best thing that has ever happened to her in her life.  Next week, we will have a baptism for a girl named Felicity.  She is 22 and an accountant for a local hospital here in Philadelphia.  She is originally from Las Vegas but moved out here and she is just absolutely in love with the church.  The Philly YSA is ELECTRIC!  I was amazed at all of these young single adults. 
Anywho.... I'm going to miss Cherry Hill a lot.  I had such an incredible four months here and it went by in the blink of an eye.  I was so blessed to see Beena, Jack, and Michelle enter the waters of baptism.  They changed my life!  I will forever remember them.  I was so blessed to have been able to work along side with some of the mission's bests - Elder Holden & Elder Lake. 
I told Ben Rong, our Chinese investigator, that I was leaving to Philadelphia and he said, "That's not far!  Wherever you go, I go!  You are my brother!"  So I am excited to continue to work with him and have him come to Philly YSA. 

We had a great week. 
We took our recent convert, Jack to the temple.  That was an incredible time.  He was able to be baptized for four of his ancestors.  Truly remarkable experience.  I love being inside of the temple and I learned a lot of new things about the temple this week.  In one of our leaderships meetings on Friday, we had the temple president (who also was a former mission president and stake president) come and speak to us.  After the deeper doctrine part about the temple, he told us, "We go to the temple to find out who we really are, and when we find out who we really are, the adversary has no power of us."  I know we know the doctrine that we are a Child of God, but do we know that is who we truly are deep down inside?  Only the temple can truly teach us that. 

Along with the Temple President visiting us, we had the chief executive of missionary work worldwide come and present to us as well. 

Along with the temple president and the chief executive of missionary work, we had the mastermind behind all of the holiday videos that the church produces come and speak to us as well.

Along with the temple president, the chief executive of missionary work, and the mastermind behind the holiday videos, we had the whole mission presidency and mission leaders right across the street from the temple.  It must have been one of the most powerful meetings I have ever sat in. 

Along with that incredible meeting, we then had an adult stake conference session on Saturday and then a stake conference on Sunday. 

Our stake presidency here in New Jersey is LEGIT.  They get work done and literally Saturday night looking around the room, I was in awe with how amazing and powerful the members of the church are.  President Sikahema (for real Eagles player) talked about how he and Scott O'Neal (current CEO of 76ers) discussed how during the temple cultural celebration they both said that THE CHURCH is the GREATEST organization in the entire world.  It will train, teach, and discipline you better and faster then any IV league school in the nation (coming from someone who went to Harvard business program).  I looked around the room and it was amazing to see how well rounded each individual was.  I am amazed as I listen to the leaders of the church who were former businessmen, doctors, lawyers, some of the smartest people in the entire nation and they left it ALL behind to serve the Lord.  Our former mission president was the CEO of a major company worth billions of dollars.  He received a call from church headquarters one day and they asked him to serve as a mission president (which would mean he would have to quit his job).  He accepted the call to be a mission president, and a few of his coworkers were not too happy that he picked that over his career.  Days before he was to leave for Philadelphia, he told a story about how GERMANY (yes the country) called and said that if he resigned, they would drop their contract (millions and millions of dollars) with the company.  He discussed how he said to them that his choice was final a long time ago. 

Well, apparently as assistants you don't get too much of a pday, so I think we will be off running some errands. 

Love you all! 

My new address is: 721 Paxon Hollow Rd., Suite B, Broomall, PA, 19008

Elder Wilde 

Week 67 - November 30, 2016

Hello there! 

First - watch this video:

Well, today is my pday, I'm on my way to the temple.  We are taking a recent convert, we were going to take two of them but we couldn't get the other one's paper work done in time unfortunately.  I'll make sure to attach pictures at the end. 

Baptisms were splendid :) SHALL WE NOT GO ON IN SO GREAT A CAUSE? ,
Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward.
Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice,
and be exceedingly glad! - DOCTRINE and Covenants 128:22

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at our bishop's house.  It was lots of fun.  I taught them how to play Scum too ;)

Yesterday we had a unique experience with our recent convert, Beena.  Unfortunately, we didn't have too much time to plan and prepare for her lesson, so we were kind of unprepared on what we should go over with her, but we made a game time decision and we felt like we should go over "Teaching and Learning in the Church" with an emphasis on receiving a calling and serving (which nobody really ever teaches).  Just like 10 minutes into the lesson Beena just starts crying... and wouldn't stop.  So we ended the lesson a little short and the member we were with stayed in the room with her while we got a few things done in the church.  After the Book of Mormon class which we held ended, the member told us that just this morning she had been praying that God would help her find service opportunities so she could help more people.  She wanted to do missionary work like us and that was our exact lesson to her - very spiritual moment for her to see her prayer be answered right in front of her. 

in the Book of Mormon class, we read Helaman Ch 3 and these verses really stuck out to me:

"Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.

Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God."

I definitely know that the Lord is been merciful to me during the course of my life but also so much during the course of my mission.  I feel like I go from failure to failure, but he is constantly there to lift me and help me along the path and has blessed me here and there with such incredible people.  I truly know that there is a place where Justice, Love and Mercy meets. 

We taught a new couple, the Burns.  George (husband) has cancer - we went and saw him in the hospital and he was just beyond excited to have us there.  Yesterday we were able to meet him again and his wife.  His wife is a Jehovah Witness.  We thought we were going to be in for a scary ride, but we had an incredible restoration lesson.  The wife told us, "I have felt like I have been in darkness for such a long time, I just don't know the truth."  The Spirit was very strong in our lesson and she is so ready to dive into the Book of Mormon and begin learning.  George is one funny guy, too, my goodness.  He has such great faith. 

I was able to teach the family from Burma last night.  It was incredible!  We had someone on the other end of the phone who was fluent in Burmese.  He was raving about wanting a Book of Mormon in Burmese (but it has not been translated in that language yet).  He made a funny comment at the end when he said, "We need Joseph Smith back.  He could translate the Book of Mormon into Burmese in a few days!"  This man is so beyond humble though, it is so incredible to see how submissive he is and just eager to learn and grow closer to our Father in Heaven.

Ben and Alanna are both doing great.  They are both going to get baptized the first week of January!  Also Joe, who we have been teaching for quite some time (he is the boyfriend of a reactivated member.  He use to be agnostic but now has a testimony that God lives) is wanting to be baptized - super awesome!  Heavenly Father just makes things happen :) 

I'm sure many other things happened but these are just a few that came to mind.

The church has officially released the new Christmas initiative.  It is called #LIGHTtheWORLD. I t is an incredible two minute video about Jesus Christ and the way he served others, but most importantly it helps us serve and become just like him.  Service has to be the greatest way that helps us feel the Spirit and become more like our Savior. 

This video definitely has such an amazing spirit to it.  I'm so lucky to be a part of this great work at this amazing time.  I invite each and every single one of you to share the video - you can find it on the homepage of

 https://www.mormon.org/christmas/light-the-world?play=hero https://www.mormon.org/christmas/light-the-world?play=hero

It also has an incredible calendar that shows how you can serve others all the way up til Christmas (which has been included at the end of this e-mail.)

Mark 5

14 Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 8

12 ¶Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Here is my Joseph Smith quote for y'all :)  "If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves."

Well, that's about it for me!  Life is good in the service of the Lord!  Thank you for all that you do for me!  I'm getting excited for Christmas!!! 


Elder Wilde