Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Week 88 - April 24, 2017

Hello from the City on a Hill -- good ole' Wilkes-Barre. 

WAYYY up north.  What an........... interesting place to say the least.  Pretty run down, economically depressed, odd city -- I LOVE IT!  The scenery up here is to die for and I'm actually online 45 mins to an hour from the Priesthood Restoration site! 

It was so sad to say goodbye to Elder Andrus, I miss him so much already!  

After I dropped him off at the airport, we went back to the airport a few hours later to pick up the new Goldens! 

The new missionary I am training is named Elder Sandberg.  He is from Grantsville, UT.  He is 20 years old, a solid tennis and basketball player, which means the basketball lineage continues on.  He's a great guy.  I was blessed.

It has been quite the experience already just watching a brand new missionary grow and learn - its pretty remarkable.  Makes me think a lot about my early days as a young buck in South Phila.  Wow I was prideful.  Sorry, Elder Andrus. 

We have been blessed by miracle after miracle in only three days here in Wilkes Barre.  We have found a few families with so much potential.  We invited three other individuals to be baptized and they all said yes.  We have a firm baptism this upcoming Saturday as well! Elder Sandberg is definitely on cloud 9 - as am I.  It is quite a powerful feeling watching your brand new companion invite someone to baptism for the first time.  He about tackled me after the lesson he was so hyped. 

We are taking one of our new investigators to the Priesthood Restoration site on Tuesday which we are super excited for. 

Meredith spoke at the recent convert fireside on Sunday and absolutely killed it -- once again.  I was able to Facetime into it and watch it.  Amazing experience. 

James E Faust once said:  "I wish to speak about the greatest event in all history. That singular event was the incomparable Atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. This was the most transcendent act that has ever taken place, yet it is the most difficult to understand.  My reason for wanting to learn all I can about the Atonement is partly selfish: Our salvation depends on believing in and accepting the Atonement.  Such acceptance requires a continual effort to understand it more fully.  The Atonement advances our mortal course of learning by making it possible for our natures to become perfect.  All of us have sinned and need to repent to fully pay our part of the debt.  When we sincerely repent, the Savior’s magnificent Atonement pays the rest of that debt."


Elder Wilde

 Elder Wilde wrote:  "Elder Andrus got home last week and gave his homecoming talk on
Sunday. Pretty cool that Bracken was able to see him"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Week 87 - April 17, 2017

Hello, Happy Easter!

What a bittersweet ending it was to the Elder Andrus Elder Wilde duo.  We loved serving with each other in the great city of Philadelphia for 7 1/2 months!  So many incredible people we were able to teach together. 

 Seth and Kendy
 "Our main man, Mike from South Phila"
 China town -- always a good time
 The crew at the Grange!

It could not have been a better week to close out our time together in the YSA.  It was an amazing Easter Sunday, and I, like Elder Holland, add my thanks "to Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that Jesus still stands triumphant over death, although He stands on wounded feet.  I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that He still extends unending grace, although He extends it with pierced palms and scarred wrists."
We were able to take Meredith and Tom to the temple on Thursday and we were accompanied by some of our amazing members.  We were blessed to find somewhere around 25 names for Meredith to take to the temple which included both of her grandmas.  It was such a great experience seeing her be baptized on their behalf. 

"Our Thursday temple trip!"
Meredith and Vanita  

Meredith taught her first Gospel Principles class today and absolutely killed it - she is so excited to get her Patriarchal Blessing this Thursday. 

I gave a little talk in Sacrament, it was nice to say a few last words!

This week I will spend a few days with the new Assistants helping them get ready for the upcoming transfer.

Tomorrow is transfers so that should be exciting, always a good time.  Wednesday, we take the departing missionaries to the airport and then pick up the new missionaries a few hours later. 

On Thursday, I will get my golden (new missionary) and then head up to Wilkes-Barre!

In April 1986, a talk entitled "Happiness" was given by Elder Goaslind:
"The implications of the question, “Are we having fun yet?” are profound.  How many people in this world pursue happiness but find that it eludes them?  They contrive pleasures, invent amusements, and invest heavily in recreation.  They go abroad in search of this rare gift but fail to see that evidence of it is all around them; the source is within them. 
Our wise and loving Father in Heaven is concerned for the welfare of his children.  He desires to see us happy.  The very purpose of our lives can be defined in terms of happiness.  The Prophet Joseph Smith said, 'Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.'
The suffering that results from sin is most tragic because through our own choices we can choose to avoid it.  We have that power.  We also have the capacity to repent of our sins and to experience the sweet joy of forgiveness.  If we are unhappy, let us examine ourselves to see where we need to repent.   If we have questions about what we need to do, or not do, we need only listen to our conscience and follow the promptings of the Spirit.
Striving for happiness is a long, hard journey with many challenges.  It requires eternal vigilance to win the victory.  You cannot succeed with sporadic little flashes of effort. Constant and valiant living is necessary."

I thank God for The Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Wilde

Week 86 - April 10, 2017


Well, quite an incredible week!

Elder Andrus and I found out that we are third cousins - we did some
family history work. We share a great great great grandpa Milo Andrus
who was a pretty famous person in the church in the 1800's.  Family
history is remarkable... i need to be better at it!  Pretty funny

We were able to take Meredith to the temple for the first time this
week.  We did some family history with her beforehand and she brought
some names of her own!  She was so excited!  After the temple, I asked
her how she felt and she said, "Well, I felt incredible after my
baptism, but after coming out of the temple, I feel 10 times better."
Meredith was also asked to speak at a recent convert fireside on April
23rd!  She is going to do so great!


Meredith also received a calling in church this week and is going to
be a Gospel Principles Teacher and is teaching next week on eternal
marriage!  She, also, is going to receive her patriarchal blessing soon!
She picked up one of our investigators and brought her to church without us 

even knowing.  She's pretty solid.

Tom received the Aaronic Priesthood this week.  We will be going to the
temple with him on Thursday (yes, Meredith will also be going).  He is
doing so well.  He has read about 3/4 of the Book of Mormon now.  Pretty

Unfortunately, Tai hit a major stumbling block with his family and won't
be able to be baptized for a few years.  He is doing great though.  He
has come to church for three months... consecutively, reading, and
praying.  Amazing.  Pray for him.

Elder Andrus goes home on the 18th, and I am getting transferred on the
18th as well.  I will be training a new missionary for my last three
months of my mission.

Our mission President and his wife took us out to dinner and gave us
both ties and wrote us a nice little note - I'm going to miss serving
closely with them so much...

I'm heading up to Wilkes-Barre, PA!  It is literally right next to
Scranton, PA.  So, first order of business (probably not though...) I
need to go get pictures of all "The Office" stuff in the vicinity and
get myself a t-shirt from there as well.  I am, also, only an hour away
from the Priesthood Restoration site and since we are so close, we are
able to take an investigator up there as long as we have a ride!  I am
super excited for that, especially because this week Elder Andrus and
I were suppose to go to the Priesthood Restoration site for three days
to help out with a mission tour, but it got cancelled... Anywho, it is
bittersweet to leave this amazing ward behind and all of these people I have 

been so blessed to work with.

Just to quote a little bit from general conference the other week:

"There is a place for everyone [in the church] who loves God and
honors His commandments as the inviolable measuring rod for personal
behavior, for if love of God is the melody of our shared song, surely
our common quest to obey Him is the indispensable harmony in it.  With
divine imperatives of love and faith, repentance and compassion,
honesty and forgiveness, there is room in this choir [church] for all
who wish to be there.  “Come as you are,” a loving Father says to each
of us, but He adds, “Don’t plan to stay as you are.”  We smile and
remember that God is determined to make of us more than we thought we
could be.

I testify that this is His restored Church and is the vehicle for
bringing the teachings and saving ordinances of His gospel to all

I thank God for the experiences he has allowed me to have -- Elder
Holland said it best when he said:  "These kinds of sanctified moments
remain unuttered because expression, even if it were possible, might
seem like desecration."

Elder Wilde

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Week 85 - April 3, 2017


Wow, what an exciting week it was here in Philadelphia!

First thing first -- the #PrinceOfPeace video came out and is on
https://www.mormon.org right there on the home page. Watch it and share it.

On Monday, Mark Jarman, the Director of Training at the Missionary
Training Center in Provo and Jason Mitchell, the Director of
Administration at the Missionary Department flew in to visit the
mission and conduct some trainings.  We went and met them at
President's home Monday evening.

Tuesday we had the opportunity to go out teaching with Mark Jarman....
I swear, just when you think you finally started figuring missionary
work out, you learn that you don't really have it figured out........

We had some "wonderful" lessons with Tai and Meredith, but wow did I
learn a lot about what I need to improve upon!  I'm excited to apply
what I was taught by him.

The next two days we were in Delaware and then Northern PA for two
leadership trainings.  Brother Jarman and Brother Mitchell trained us
all on the doctrine of Christ and our missionary purpose with a focus
on the importance of the Book of Mormon, prayer, and helping others
attend Sacrament.

I learned something interesting -- Prayer connects us to God, The Book
of Mormon (another testament of Jesus Christ) connects us to Jesus
Christ, and then as we partake of the Sacrament, we receive an added
portion of the Holy Ghost.  Thus these three things if not being done
on a routine basis prevent us from having access to the Godhead.

I actually had the opportunity to use these new teaching skills
directly after our Thursday training with our new investigator,

Meredith came teaching with us for the first time after having only
been a member of the church for a total of... four days.
We taught Rachel (another temple student, first lesson) at the chapel
across the street from the temple.  We gave her a tour of the chapel,
taught a 5-10 minute Restoration lesson, and then read 1 Nephi Chapter
1 verse 1 and discussed that for about 20 minutes.  She was on Cloud 9,
so we invited her to be baptized and she said yes and so she is
getting baptized at the end of April.  Then we taught her how to
pray, and she prayed for the first time on her knees with us.  After the prayer she said, 

"I feel so empowered and feel so different from
before," and I said, "That's the Spirit!  God allows us to feel that
whenever we have made a correct choice or when he wants us to know
something is true."

Friday, we had golden re-training which is where all the new
missionaries and their trainers come and meet back up after four weeks
and we do additional trainings.  It was a really great time.

Meredith is working on her family history (and she lives right next to
the very first street made in America, so we got a good pic of that)

for the temple trip on Friday.  Tom, our other recent convert from
Doylestown, is getting the priesthood this week and then going to the
temple on Friday for the first time as well.  Tai is getting baptized
on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.  Does life get any better?

General conference was incredible, as usual.  Just read the Book of
Mormon like President Monson advised us to.  Stop being of the world -
you'll only find despair.  Be ALL IN, lukewarm commitment never got
anyone anywhere.  Stop looking around you and look up more - the praise
of man won't ever bring everlasting satisfaction.  Get a dictionary so
you can understand what on earth Elder Holland said.  The church is
true.  I love this city.  Love y'all too.

Elder Wilde