Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week 6

Week 6 already.  Wow.  You can't explain time in the MTC unless you've been to the MTC.  It flies by but also goes by slow.  I think we get some new Russians this week and that's always exciting!  One of the sister missionaries that left for Vlad last week wrote us and told us Vlad is completely different than what she thought.  She said it's hot and very humid.  Everything is green.  I look up the weather for Vlad and Brigham everyday because it is on my missionary portal.  The weather right now is basically the same but it seems like the low is always colder in Brigham.  But once the winter rolls in it's going to be a whole different story!  Especially if I'm in Siberia!  We had a sub this week because Brother Clark went camping.  Her name is sister Gish and she mostly told us stories about her mission!  She served in Moscow.  She said it's a normal thing to see dead bodies in the street because they get drunk stumble outside in the snow and freeze to death because of how cold the nights are.  She said the Mafia loves the missionaries!  Sometimes some of the mafia members convert over to LDS after they change everything in their life.  But sometimes they're connected in it.  She said some Elders in her mission were teaching a mafia person and he said, "If anyone messes with you, you tell me first and not your branch president."  haha The missionaries never took him up on that offer I hope!  Told us some other stories that might scare you mom so I'll just tell you them when I get home.

We did Skype TRC!  We actually talked to someone who lives in Russia!  The man we talked to is named Alexander.  He lives in Moscow and was baptized about 10 years ago.  He served a mission in Samara.  He asked if we knew anyone that was going to the Moscow mission and we told him little deeds and tried to remember all the Elders that were going and he was like what no sisters are coming! Haha our teacher says that he tries to get all the sisters to marry him haha.  He said all the missionaries know him as the "candyman" and that's because he always gives the missionaries candy.  He was talking to us in English like 50% of the time haha.  We asked him if he would read the book of Mormon every day and he said he would try.  We told him it's either a yes or a no and he was like so "do or do not there is no try" and Elder Brower whispers to us that's like Yoda right?  Well, he heard him and said "that is Yoda" and then told us how to say that in Russian!  When we had to say goodbye he did the Spock sign with his hands I think he said live long and prosper but he said it in Russian so who really knows.

Can you send me the book "the missionaries little book of inspirational stories" Elder Perry has it and it seems really cool.  This week flew by.  We don't have our flight plans yet, but I think we fly to Vegas and then from there go to Seoul.  Don't know how long the flight is but I know it's super long.  Some day's I think I know Russian and I'm getting the language but then the next day I realize I know nothing.  I am understanding cases a ton more than I thought I would.  Our teachers say that is the most important thing to get while you're in the MTC because you'll pick up the language when you're there but nobody will understand you no matter how many words you know if you can't conjugate right.  Love all the time we have to study the scriptures!  We have about an hour or 2 a day but it never seems long enough.  It's cool reading them from a missionaries perspective especially the sons of Helaman.  Whenever I read about them I substitute my name in for theirs and Russians in for Lamanites.  The people of Russia need this gospel.  They need hope in their lives.  That's what I can give them.  The poem I sent you yesterday is awesome!  Describes how religion isn't free in Russia and a lot of the time people don't get baptized because their family or friends would disown them if they did.  President Clark told us a story of how a man committed to be baptized and then missionaries warned him that because he had done that they would now prove to him the church is true.  They said up until the time he got baptized Satan would be throwing at him everything he's got.  And that the next few weeks were going to be really hard.  But he has no need to fear because God would be with him.  They got a call 2 hours later from that man saying that all his friends just beat him up.  SO the missionaries asked, "So what are you going to do?"  He said get baptized of course.  That proves what I'm doing is right.  Awesome people in Russia!  I can't wait

Love you all!  

Elder Wilding
Somebody set traps
Way to remember Russian endings to some words

Friday, July 24, 2015


Who Are You, Boy?

Poem to Missionaries from Russian Convert, circa 2000

Who are you boy? For a boy you are,
Journeyed to this land of ours, 
This land where I've endured my days. 
And felt oppression kill my soul 
And force me into some tight mold. 
And teach me that I should not hope,
Unless I care to smell the smoke of dreams that the Red Army tamed.

Who are you boy? 
From this land of plenty, 
Teaching God, if there is any. 
You have all; we have none. 
Do you know what that feels like, son? 
And yet, you ask me to believe in something that I cannot see; 
Some force you say will bring me joy. 
Do you know what that feels like, boy? 
Where you're from, faith is free, 
But it has a price for me. 
When I have pain, I have my bottle. 
Hurt dies quick when you down it with Vodka. 
That's enough to warm my soul. 
I work, I sleep, the days go by--
I'm waiting for the day I die. 
You don't understand this place. 
You say believe, obey, have faith, 
Live life well, serve and give. 
Here in Russia, we just live.

Who are you, boy? 
Why did you come? 
To save a soul who once was numb. 
To teach a wretched, hateful, man who cursed your help, refused your hand. 
I thought that we were worlds apart. 
So how is it that you knew my heart? 
A fraction my age, you calmed my rage; 
Mercy paid my generous wage. 
I should have been left behind. 
It is hard to love my kind. 
Hope in your heart, power in your hands, 
Why did you come to this distant land? 
I know now, it was for me. 
The Red Curtain fell, but I was not free. 
Until a boy from nations away brought me my Lord. 
I bless the day. He led me to weep at my Master's feet. The American boy I met on the street--
New and naive, still in his teens, with a message to bring the world to its knees. 
I thought that the truth would come from another--I did not know
This boy was my brother.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

1 Month Then Russia!


I love P days!!!!  The other days are good as well but P day is always awesome!  We get to go to the temple in the morning and then we do our laundry and write letters home and try to plan a lesson and get to the gym to play some volleyball or 4-square or basketball!  The amount of things we can fit in a day when we plan our day the night before is outstanding to me.  Never knew how much time was in a day.  We had a super good speaker at the devotional last night!  He was an emeritus 70 and he told us 10 steps that if we do we will be a happy and successful missionary.  The steps were simple, and nothing I haven't ever heard before.  And then it hit me.  It's not a complicated thing to be a happy and successful missionary.  All I need to do is trust in the Lord, forget about myself, work hard, love the people and my companion, obey the mission president, love the scriptures and there were a few other steps, but it is basically that simple!  The gospel isn't complicated.  I didn't know of a surety that the gospel was true when I first left my mission.  I believed it was true and that's why I chose to serve but I know now that I'm here.  My testimony has grown and I know this church is true!  I love reading my patriarchal blessing!  I never realized until I was out here but my blessing predicted my mission call to Russia!  

At our district devotional last night a traveling counselor was in our classroom.  He goes around to different districts around the whole MTC.  He was telling us how going to Russia isn't going to be like just going to another part of the world.  It's going to be like going to Mars.  He said there won't be much we recognize besides that there are people there.  They eat food like we do although it is different and they want similar things out of life as we do.  I'll totally be out of my comfort zone but that's a good thing!  One of our teachers said, "There's not much learning found in a comfort zone, and not much comfort found in a learning zone."  That's when I'll learn and grow and gain experience not just for my mission but for my whole life.  In the devotional last night the man said that all mission calls are inspired from God. And he said more importantly than what language your learning, the country you're going to or even the people that are in your area that you will teach, is your mission president.  So basically he said that you get called to your mission president more than you get called to a mission.  When we met our mission president it was amazing!  I couldn't even believe how great he was.  He will have a huge impact on my life and I'm so lucky to have him!    

Our zone leaders left to Russia Monday morning at 3.  They are going to St. Petersburg.  They were great Elders and I'm going to miss them.  I've realized that no matter where you are you will make friends.   It felt that I have known those Elders far over just 4 weeks.  My teacher Brother Clark was telling us how we can't compare ourselves to anyone.  If we just do our best that's good enough for the Lord and he will take care of the rest!  I think about the scripture that I chose for my plaque.  When I am weak then I am strong!  Without the Holy Ghost I am nothing.  But with Him I can do all things!  The speaker last night said we should come back tri-lingual. I should know English, Russian but most importantly the language of the Spirit!  I love it in the MTC.  And yes mom the suit does fit!  The time goes by fast.  On Thursdays we change our bed sheets and every Thursday it feels like I changed my sheets the day before.  But Wednesday to Wednesday takes forever.  Time is a super weird thing.  Still teaching in Russia almost everyday.  I'm getting a lot better at the language!  Me and my companions just go in with the pamphlets for the lesson we are going to teach and the scriptures.  When I first got here I would write everything down I was going to say in a notebook and then underneath it write how it sounds in English!  Haha a lot has changed.  I can talk about some gospel topics really well but just normal conversation is something I don't know how to do.  We were playing rock paper scissors in Russian and the loser had to speak Russian the rest of the day and it was like 11 A.M.  It was best of one.  I pulled out paper and Elder Perry did scissors.  Let's just say that was the quietest I have ever been my whole time here.  I love thinking about the future and how I will know Russian and basically only little Deeds will know what I'm saying.  I really like having him here!  We played spike ball yesterday and it was so fun!  

Well things are going well here!  I was called here for a reason.  The Lord knows I can do it!  


Elder Wilding
Last Sunday with the Elders

Last Sunday with the Elders

Our classroom mascot Vlad

This is for you mom.

Russian Hymn Book - Inside of hymn book with thumb and without
It was suppose to look like I was sitting on a throne of packages but
it just turned out awful haha
Last picture of Elder West *** Last pictures of Elders Larsen and Crookshank and Elder Berrios in the background **** "INVADE FOR MOTHER RUSSIA" *** One of our sisters got a wedding announcement from her crush haha
We put 6 pounds of gummie bears in Elder West's pillow
Pano of classroom

 My desk 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I can't believe it's been a month already!  Time truly does fly!  Meeting a lot of cool people here in the MTC.  I didn't realize that I said Russia would be easier than the MTC.  I obviously know it won't, must of been just a mistake or something.  This week has been good!  We had a devotional for a Emeritus 70.  His name Was Ben B. Banks!  Hilarious man!  Made us laugh then immediately brought the spirit!  We sing in the choir every Tuesday night and I think if you go on the internet you can watch it live but I don't know?  Me and my companions are usually on the screen though!  The Language of Russia is coming!  I can say a whole lot more than I could last week!  And that's all that matters!  Improvement!  The food has been really good this week!  I love saying, "Welcome to the MTC Elder/Sister" to all the new missionaries!  I remember when I was dropped off and it seems like just yesterday!  My teachers are amazing!  I can tell they actually care about us and want us to succeed!  One of my teachers said something really cool!  God didn't send you to fail.  He didn't!  I know I can rely on my Savior Jesus Christ at all times!

I went to the temple today!  Haven't been in 2 weeks because of it being closed for cleaning.  It was my second time coming since I've been in the MTC.  We had a very spiritual time and then went to the cafeteria!  The temple cafeteria is the best food ever!!  Tastes likes angels made the omelets!  Anyway while we were eating our food, a man came up to me and my companions and asked us what mission we were serving in.  We told him Vladivostok, Russia.  To my surprise but great joy he said that is the exact mission he served in only he got back from there 1 year and 4 months ago.  So he came down and sat next to us while we asked him thousands of questions about Vladivostok.  I asked him about the showers and the apartments and he said the showers are always hot, maybe even too hot.  He said that the apartments are usually really nice but he said he had a few that were infested with termites and cockroaches.  He then told me something that he said changed his mission.  He said that he wouldn't only be obedient but would be consecrated.  He said he got really good at planning so that he would know where he was going to be at every moment of the day.  He would make it so if he was on his way to somewhere he would talk to everyone on his way and if somebody didn't show up to an appointment that they would have a back up plan and go visit a member or inactive or just somebody nearby so that they always knew where they were going.  He said by doing this God could consecrate his plan of the day and put people in his path because he knew where they would be going.  I wish I could explain it like he did but he was a super cool guy!  He told us he had a really hard time his first few transfers and that it is really hard when you get out there.  I asked him how long it took him to learn the language and he said there was never really a point where he knew he knew it but he said that one day this guy comes into church and starts talking about how he was abducted by aliens and that he saw God in space and what not.  Even though the guy was straight up crazy he was like wow, I just understood all of that.  Really happy I got to meet and talk with him!  He made me excited and also let me know how important it is to plan and be obedient and always be doing something.  We asked him why he was in the temple and he said that last night he couldn't sleep and so he tried to walking or something and then realized he had a few more hours before he had class so he came to the temple!  God works in mysterious ways!  And good things happen to you when you are in holy places!  I know the reason he couldn't sleep last night is so he would go to the temple and then subsequently meet us and talk to us about Vladivostok. 

Tell Tanae congratulations for serving well!  This week I saw Derek and that was cool!  Our zone leaders are leaving at like 3 AM Monday morning.  Kinda sad because I'm going to miss them.  I don't know why I can't think of anything else to write down, it's like my mind when blank.  I think I'll play some sand volleyball today.  We play 4-square a lot at gym and that's really fun!  My flight is going to be like 30 hours or something like that. I won't get my flight plan for a few weeks.  The Elders that are leaving are flying to Germany and have a layover there for like an hour.  I heard a story where the people filling out the Visas accidentally checked male instead of female and it was a sister.  When she got to Russia they detained her for several hours and then let her go.  She had to remain in her apartment for a month until she got a visa.  That would be awful!

Well, I've got to go but I love you all!  I love getting your letters!  Sorry for not writing many handwritten ones lately but I've bust.  I bought a container of melted cheese to eat with chips.  So I opened it a few days ago and didn't realize you have to refrigerate it after you open it.  Today we opened it and it was growing hair.  YUCK.  It was disgusting and sad because I was really looking forward to eating that cheese.  I met that one girl that Taylor knows that CJ was dating her best friend.  She told me to tell you you're cool hahahah.  

Love you all!
Elder Wilding
Can't believe it has been ten years.  I think about Tyson all the time.  I know he is here with me.  I watched the Joseph Smith movie and when his brother Alvin dies I feel like I could relate to Joseph a whole lot.  It said that Alvin was Joseph's hero on earth.  That's what Tyson was for me.

I miss him everyday.

Elder Wilding

Me and D-Wank (Elder Wankier)


Wednesday, July 8, 2015


JULY 8, 2015
Already week 3 what???????  The time flies like crazy!   I love the devotionals that we have every Tuesday and Sunday nights!  They are so uplifting!  Last night we got Elder Spencer J. Condie of the 70.  He kinda looked like President Hinckley but more stern of a face.  When he talked he was about the funniest speaker I've ever heard!  Completely surprised me!  He talked about Joseph Smith and the first vision.  What a powerful testimony that man has.  He knows of a surety that the gospel is true and that God the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph.  He quoted President Hinckley a few times and every time he would do it he would impersonate him.  If I closed my eyes I would have thought Gordon B. Hinckley was there because of how good he was impersonating him!  He told a story of how some preacher from another church said to President Hinckley, "That's very egotistical to say you're the only true church."  President Hinckley said, "I didn't say it, God did.  I'm just quoting Him."  He also told of an investigator question the truth of the first vision and he told them, "We have witnesses!  Ask God, he was there."  He phrased it a lot better than I did just now but just an inspired man!

So for the 4th we had a special devotional!  The speaker was very good!  He told a cool quote that one of the prophets said, it was more or less, the day Christ shall come back, I firmly believe the stars and stripes will be flying.  That promise is amazing!  I wish I would have wrote down exactly what he said and which prophet it was, too bad.  After the devotional we all went outside and watched the BYU fireworks from a certain area in the MTC.  Only problem was that there were a lot of tall trees in the way so you couldn't see the fireworks very well.  Still an awesome experience to be able to celebrate this nation's holiday while in the US for the last time in a while!  We got to go to bed later then 10:30!  I think the fireworks ended at 11.

So the Russians celebrate Christmas on a different day than we do in America.  I'll get to wish you happy birthday Dad!  They celebrate it on January 7th!  And that's when I call home instead of the 25th.  I guess this could just be a rumor but some of the elders going to Saint Petersburg said that on New Years everyone gets drunk and goes crazy in the streets so it's dangerous to go outside.  They said that we can watch Disney movies on New Years!  Just to keep us from going out of our room.  Apparently it's pretty wild for about 3 days after.  I really hope we will get to do that!  Everyone here always asks me if I've seen Anastasia.  A Disney movie about a princess in Russia.  I haven't but maybe that's a good thing because I heard the Russians hate that movie.

I am so grateful for my call!  Russia?  What a place to experience!  There is this crazy counselor who works at the MTC and goes around to different branches sacrament meetings and church meetings throughout the day.  He spoke in sacrament and he was talking about the Siberian tigers in the woods.  Haha he was excited about it it was awesome!  Taylor, I meet a teacher here who used to live in Sao Palo or however you spell it.  He served in Brazil and then moved here to go to BYU.  Anyway his name was brother Alves.  Don't worry Bryce I asked him and he said he is not related to Dani.  Anyhow his brother served in Belem and got home like 5 months ago so that would be cool if you served with his brother.  He is really an awesome guy!

It's a privilege to serve!  I only have 2 years to bring as many souls into salvation as I can.  I love it in the MTC!  It's a extremely spiritual place!  It's kinda weird there's some people here that I feel like I have know before we meet in the MTC.  Haha it seems like everyone here is either home-schooled, goes to BYU, or was in band.  Haha my companions are cool though!  Brother Clark who served in Vlad told us to buy mittens so we get skin to skin contact.  He said he would have his hands in his pockets moving his fingers around all day because of the cold.  I started singing "I'm leaving on a jet plane" and it has really caught on in our dorm.  We have all agreed to sing it at the airports because will be always be flying with each other because we will need to renew our visas at the same time.  Maybe in a bathroom or something because we probably shouldn't do that in public!  

Thanks for everyone's prayers and thoughts!  I love being out here!  Best job in the world!  I had this amazing quote from a Russian person  but I can't remember it.  Wait now I do. "If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not the truth."  That's from Fyodor - whatever his last name is- I sent you a different quote of his last week but this one is my favorite! Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Wilding

The packages are awesome!  One request is send more of the mini starbursts!  Those were gone the night we got them!

Light saber in hand upside down!
At the Fireworks

Elder Barr's Aunt is amazing!!!!  She sent us an entire meal!  
Me with Tanforce
With Elder Dallin
Our room decorated for the 4th * With Jordan * The view from my room (sheep) * The MTC gets to some people

Elder Dallin and Elder Robinson

The Russia Vladivostok Mission includes much of Siberia and some of the harshest weather on the planet, including Yakutsk, the coldest city on earth.  Their average daily temperature in winter months is -37 F!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


July 1, 2015
WOW! I can't believe it is already my third Wednesday here!  The weeks fly by!  I wrote down all the things I wanted to write you on this notepad I had but when I went to the laundry room I forgot it in there.  Learning more and more about the importance of obedience.  Especially in Russian missions.  My Branch President told a story of 2 Elders who served in St. Petersberg.  The 2 Elders were walking down the street and there were construction workers 8 stories up.  The construction workers weren't paying attention and they dropped a board off the building and it flew down and hit both the elders right on the head, split there head open and knocked them right out.  The Stake President of the stake they were in was a neurosurgeon and said if it would have only hit one of them they would have died.  He related it to exact obedience because if they weren't walking side by side, one of the elders would have died.  He said some missionaries don't get along so one is about 10 feet away from the other.  If those missionaries weren't exactly obedient, and did that, one of them would have died.  So I've got to be obedient in everything even if it doesn't make sense why I would need too.  They both were stitched up and finished their missions.  One of the them became a AP.

Meeting my mission president was amazing!!!!!!!  He is the most awesome guy ever!  I am so fortunate to have such a great mission president!!!!  He is funny and does cool handshakes and he said the counsel he will give us in the mission isn't just for the mission, but for life.  I know he will have a huge impact on my life and my mission.  They are doing something now where 6 weeks before you come home you meet with your mission president and decide and plan what you will do when you get home.  It sounds cool and should really help!  Hope he doesn't convince me to get married like the month after I home. :)  Although I would guess I'll be married before Taylor.

All the apostles and the Prophet were here all last week.  It was the mission president seminar so we had to eat in the gym instead of the cafeteria.  When we talked with our mission president, he told us how Elder Nelson specifically called out and talked about the Vladivostok mission during the conference!  He said that was the only mission specifically talked about during the whole conference.  He talked about how the elders are so obedient there.  Crazy to think I was called to this mission.  It is the highest baptizing mission Russia by far!  Most Russian missions get about 30-35 baptisms a year.  Our mission has 60 something and we're only half way through the year!  I heard somewhere that if there is 1 more stake created in Russia that Russia can get a temple!  So that's the goal.  Get Russia a Temple! 

The food here isn't terrible.  It actually sometimes is really really good!  But there is this smell to the cafeteria that makes me sick but after you're in there for a while you get used to it!  Getting along great with my companions!  They're really funny people!  And they have a love for the gospel!  Temple is closed for cleaning for 2 weeks so didn't get to go to the temple today which is sad.  Congrats Grampy and Grammy on  the anniversary!  The devotionals here are great!  Still haven't had a apostle but the speakers are amazing.  Surprised a little at how I don't miss my phone at all.  

Brother Clark (one of my teachers) who is a great guy told us that everything that has happened in our lives has prepared us for going to Vladivostok.  The lady that cut you off or the guy that ran that red light and almost hit you.  Everything that has happened has happened so that we could be the type of people that the Vladivstokians need.  He said he was talking to a man at church once (when he was in mission in Vlad) and this man had gone through countless missionaries but finally one arrived and he got baptized.  Brother Clark asked what made this one different and the man said,  "He had orange hair and I have orange hair so I trusted him."  Little things can make the biggest impact!

Glad to hear everything is good at home!  Really enjoy getting your letters and packages!!  The treats you send are great!  I wrote all your questions down on that pad but I don't have it so sorry if I didn't answer all of your questions.  Oh they won't let us chat in the MTC mom.  The MTC choir is fun!  Let me know where Cooper gets called to!  Hope it's Vladivostok!  I have seen Tanforce and Jordan and few other people from Brigham up here!  Super cool seeing people you know!  Tanforce has such a deep voice now I could hardly recognize him.  Love you all!!!!!!!


Elder Wilding 
With my Mission President and his wife.  President Perkinson and our district.

 *Elder Brower's cat paw  *Sleeping is awesome  * Desperate times call for desperate measures *MTC when the new missionaries arrive *Laundry room *BANE