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 

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