On August 19, 2015, Elder Parker Wilde began his two-year missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). This blog is intended for those who want to share his experiences for the next two years as he serves the Lord and the people of the Pennsylvania Philadelphia English Speaking Mission.
Monday we had dinner with our Mission President and
his family, that was tons of fun. They have such a great family. This
week is transfer week so we have been crammed getting ready for
transfers, as well. It's been great!
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we had trainings
with the new missionaries that came out five weeks ago and we also had
trainings with all of the mission leadership. It was a lot for sure, but I definitely enjoyed it. President Randall is seriously the most
incredible person, I have no idea how he does what he does. Baffles me.
We got to see Tom this week. Tom is doing well. He is getting baptized
on Sunday. He is super excited, great, great guy - pray for him.
The highlight of the week was teaching Meredith.
Meredith is a graduate student at Temple University. She is studying
Counseling. She had a boyfriend on a mission and he introduced her to
the Book of Mormon. She read pretty deep into it until he wrote her off
basically. They then reconciled just before his mission was over and she
went out to his homecoming in Provo the other week. She went to church
and toured Temple Square but didn't make anything out of it. On her
flight back to Phila, she had a layover in AZ. During her layover, she
said that she had the most overwhelming spiritual impression that she
was in the wrong and that she should have never have put the Book of Mormon down and that she needed to get back and begin reading again and
meet with the missionaries. So, yes this is where we came into play :)
We taught her twice this week, both lessons were phenomenal. She wants
to get baptized on April 9th. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ
and Plan of Salvation - she wanted to learn more about repentance and so
we gave her a talk to read about repentance, "The Divine Gift of
Repentance," by Elder Christofferson:
(Click on the link above to read, listen to, or watch the talk that Elder Wilde is referencing.)
After reading the talk, I asked her this
question: "We would love to hear your thoughts on this question: With
this new view of repentance, what change or what action are you going to
make/take in your life? It could be forgiving someone , it could be
sacrificing something, it could be obedience to some principle, what is
it that you need to do to repent and access the atonement?"
She responded: "It's interesting you ask that
because I have been trying to not drink which normally isn't that
difficult, but since this weekend, I am around my family and drinking is
such a huge part of Greek culture. Just being in a party setting, I
figured it would be really difficult and I probably wouldn't be able to
abstain, but last night, I didn't drink anything and it wasn't hard at all
not to.. and it was almost easy not to (which has never been true
before) so it really stuck out to me when I read 'one's very heart and
desires change, and the once-appealing sin becomes increasingly
SHE IS INCREDIBLE!! I'll attach a pic of us at the temple.
(Elder Wilde and Elder Andrus with Meredith)
(They, also, had a Skype call lesson with Meredith while she was in Florida during the weekend.)
Kelly is doing well. She has been super-swamped with
her double major, school work, and AA program she is involved in - we
are meeting with her this upcoming week. We are excited to see her
again, it's been too long :/
Tai, our Vietnamese buddy, has committed to be being
baptized on March 19th. He has been to church eight weeks in a row now...
are you kidding me?! This guy is amazing.
I got to Skype call my older brother in to a
baptismal interview this week - that was pretty cool. His Mandarin is
incredible. We interviewed a 16-year-old girl together.
I love the quote from Jeffrey R. Holland: "If we
give our heart to God, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we do the
best we can to live the gospel, then tomorrow--and every other day--is
ultimately going to be magnificent, even if we don’t always recognize it
as such. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants it to be! He wants to
bless us. A rewarding, abundant, and eternal life is the very object of
His merciful plan for His children! It is a plan predicated on the truth
“that all things work together for good to them that love God.” So keep
loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing.
Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
Love you all, thank you for your support - Work Hard & LOVE!
What a busy week here in the grand city of Philadelphia!
(Valentine's Day Dinner--Mexican food--tacos for days!)
On Tuesday, we had a really good District Meeting. I went to Elder
Moreno's District Meeting. He was an Elder that served in Southwest
Phila while I was in South Phila, so I got to know him pretty well. It
was a pleasure to see him. It was all focused on the Book of Mormon. I
love this quote about the Book of Mormon from Ezra Taft Benson: "It is
not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does
that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ,
though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There
is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the
moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater
power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception.
You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “The words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance."
On Wednesday, we had our last Zone Conference for the transfer. It was
sooo much fun and so enlightening. Every time we get up and sing, "Redeemer of Israel," I get so hyped up. We got to do some really great
trainings. I was sitting up on the stand preparing for a training on
"Listening Skills" (my parents are probably laughing really hard that I,
Parker Wilde, gave a training on listening), and I just had this thought
come to me, "Because HE [God] listens to us, we must listen to others,
so we can help others listen to Him." A few missionaries asked where I
got that from?! and I told them, "I heard someone say it once (the Spirit
(Valley Forge East Zone)
Due to just being pretty busy, we hadn't had the chance to go on
exchanges with any of the Zone Leaders this transfer so far, so this
week we went on three back-to-back exchanges. Exhausting, but
(Exchange with Elder Baker)
On Thursday, I took Elder Baker from Reading, PA, and brought him down to
the YSA. We had three great lessons, but my favorite was with Tai, our
Vietnamese investigator. He is sooo much fun to teach. He came so
prepared after reading, "The Plan of Salvation," pamphlet multiple times on
his own. He was teaching us! We are so excited for how things are going
with him. Pray for him, he's making incredible strides and sacrifices.
On Friday, I got to return back to the Promise land of Cherry Hill with
Elder Smith! I came out with him and actually roomed with him in the
We had a great time together. I got to see a few of my amazing converts
from Cherry Hill. It is always the best time whenever I get to see
Beena. She is the closest person to God ever, I swear... wow. She is
doing so well. It means the world seeing others doing so well.
contrary, it hurts a lot when someone you care about isn't doing well
(obvious statement). Alana, my investigator I taught and was sooooo close
to help getting baptized has gone off the deep end. Her member
boyfriend just has not been the best influence unfortunately. Pray for
On Saturday, I got to spend some time with Elder Mpolmby. He is from THE
Congo. He was a model up in NY and got to spend some quality time
modeling for Kanye West. Anywho, not that that matters, right!? He actually
serves in the land I was born in! South Phila! I got to see the Yeams, a
family we taught, reactivated, and baptized. Kevin, the 17 year old who
is a junior, is saying he wants to serve a mission after he graduates... I was soooooo pumped to hear that! Two of my incredible converts now,
Destiny and Kevin, are both going to serve missions. LOVE IT!
We had an incredible day at church yesterday (Sunday).
(Destiny, Elder Wilde's recent convert, on the right.)
(Our good friend, Wayne. We love him!)
We had this Chinese women from Beijing on vacation for two weeks. During
introductions, she said she has been looking for our church and glad she
has found it. Knowing China, I knew she could not be baptized in Beijing,
but she could go to Hong Kong. I pulled her aside and we taught her the
first discussion and invited her to be baptized and she really wants
to! We are planning on teaching her everything this week and then
baptizing her on Sunday or next Sunday. Her name is Serena, she is super
cool. She has a great testimony about God already from before. We hope
everything goes according to plan! We are going to teach her in just a
We also had a self-referral come named Meredith! She has a member
boyfriend who went on a mission and invited her to learn more. She has
read 3/4 of the Book of Mormon and then the member boyfriend broke up
with her so she stopped being interested. However, she flew out to his
homecoming the other week to see him and on her way back on the plane,
she had a super strong distinct impression she needed to learn and get
baptized. We are teaching her on Thursday! She is super cool. She's a
graduate student at Temple.
To end the week, we went to a fireside/devotional where the Navy head
coach spoke to us. There were like 300-400 people there, it was packed.
President Vai Sikahema is good friends with him, so he had him come up to
speak. President Sikahema also invited some former Eagles players who came, as well as some college football students. Some incredible stories
were told, lots and lots of fun. The importance of following the guidance of the Spirit on all things and
sticking up for what you believe in was definitely reemphasized to me
as these gentleman spoke.
What a fun week here in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission!
This week we had two Zone Conferences and our third one was canceled because of the snow! Philly just can't make up it's mind, one day it will be like 60 degrees and then a few hours later it will be snowing.
Our Zone Conferences are sooo much fun - our mission president continues to amaze us all. Elder Andrus and I did a few trainings on: Listening, asking inspired questions and teaching to concerns. That was lots of fun! I'd say my favorite part of Zone Conferences is at the very end when we sing our mission hymn. It is an incredible feeling looking out at a group of 70 missionaries one day, another 70 the next day and another on the last day. I feel a great amount of love as I scan the room at all missionaries that we get to serve in one way or another almost every day.
Kelly continues to shine - she is amazing. One night one of the other Young Single Adults in the ward invited her to come over and be taught in her house - she came and he invited likes five other young single adults. It was SO much fun teaching her with all the other members. It was a riot, she has been integrated so well, we are hyped for her
baptism. Everrryyone loves Kelly.
Tai, our Vietnamese investigator, never ceases to amaze us either. On Sunday he brought his Vietnamese girlfriend to church. It was soooo cool. They both enjoyed it and they didn't even understand what was going on - but I do know that regardless of the language that we may speak, the Spirit is the only universal language that we can all feel/understand. I know that is what Tai feels as he comes to church and that is why he continues to come back.
Tom has still been K/O'ed because of his tonsils. We haven't been able to see him this last week - but we will this week and he should be getting baptized by the end of February!
This week we had a recent convert fireside in Wilmington, DE. Our Mission President asked us if we would come and support that and, of course, I was all over that because i served in that zone! I got to see a few of the people/members I served and served with. I
was most thrilled when i was talking to one individual that we taught and baptized, Destiny. She told me how well she has been doing. She has been going to seminary, going to the temple, and is preparing to serve a mission in two years and has already been inviting and bring friends to church. She is incredible!
I also got to see the Fletcher's, a lovely couple from the Bayview who never ceases to amaze me with their kindness and devotion towards serving missionaries and those around them!
Last night, driving home from Wilmington, we got a call from one of the Young Single Adults that's on the rowing team for Temple University. She was in need of a blessing - we were a ways away so we called on two other individuals, but unfortunately those two both have not received the Priesthood yet. Elder Andrus and I made the decision to go and give her a blessing, and I am just so grateful for the opportunity God gives us to serve others and allow us as flawed humans to hold such a valuable gift. Small acts of kindness go such a long ways. Not our small act to her, but her small act in asking us - WE were thankful.
This week in preparation for our conferences, we were asked to study, "The Challenge to Become" by Dallin H. Oaks. It was an incredible talk and there were two things in the talk that really stuck out to me:
1. "The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts--what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts--what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."
2. "Our needed conversions are often achieved more readily by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquillity."
I am thankful for the hardships and trials that I have been able to go through. I hope that you all prayerfully ponder what hardships and trials you have in your life and what the Lord is trying to teach you.
We have had another week here in Phila! Went by so fast... already onto the third week of the transfer. Crazy.
Our investigators are all doing really well.
Kelly is just the
most amazing person out there. She is just soaking everything up like a
sponge. She loves loves loves the gospel and is just so on top of
everything. She made a comment the other day how if somebody would have
told her four years ago that she would be meeting with Mormon
missionaries preparing to be baptized, she would have laughed in their
faces, but she says that this has been one of the greatest choices she
has ever made. She talked about how the 12-step program for overcoming
addiction has direct parallels to the gospel, and I told her it's how we
get atheist people to live the gospel without them realizing it. She,
being a former atheist, got a kick out of that.
The members are
literally like arguing to come teaching with us to see our
investigators... we brought our dinner calendar to church for the first
time today and I think it was gone for like 30 minutes and by the time
we got it back, the whole month had been filled out... wow.
Tai, our Vietnamese
investigator, is doing so well. He is the sweetest kid ever. He took a
picture of Elder Andrus and me and posted it on Facebook and all his
Vietnamese friends were commenting. It was funny. We have some great
members who fellowship him. He just reads and reads and reads "Gospel Principles" in Vietnamese. We also got him a Vietnamese Book of Mormon,
investigator who is getting baptized in three weeks, just got his tonsils
taken out. We were able to see him before the procedure, and I was able
to give him a blessing. It was great. It took a lot of humility on his
part to accept it as he has never really received one before, but I am
grateful for Tom. He's a good example to me. Pray for him.
This week, I was
actually able to see one of my former investigators from Cherry Hill--
Alanna. She is so awesome. She hasn't been baptized yet, but she is going
to be coming to the YSA next week. We were able to have dinner and a
lesson at her house. It was fun to teach her again, she is so great. She
is actually engaged now........ but her wedding isn't for like two years?
Not sure how that works out, but okay.
We had our Mission Leadership Council with all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders this week. That was fun. The Area Seventy,Elder Kunz, came and
presented to us--pretty cool guy. He knows what he is talking about. It's
always fun being around the Mission Presidency and other guest speakers
listening to what they have to say and being able to train alongside
them. Our Mission President is going to be a General Authority, probably
an Apostle - he is seriously the most incredible person.
(The Lineage--far right to far left of which missionary trained the next missionary.)
We got some noise
complaints a few weeks ago with all of the incoming missionaries and
departing missionaries, so we have been forced out of our apartment. We
had one day to move - we failed. It was such a hassle, taking down and
putting back up 10 bunk beds alone is no fun. Oh well. We were allotted a
bit more time.
Today for p-day we
get to spend with President planning for Zone Conference which is on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week. We are super pumped to go see
the mission again! We are also picking up a golden from the airport,
should be fun!
Well, not too much
more to add. Life is good, the Philly YSA is great,
the gospel is true. It makes one happy, just live it. The Dream Team