Monday, September 28, 2015

100 Days Plus

What a week!  So fun!

I think you saw the pictures of the hammock we made!  IT'S AWESOME!  

We had a lesson with a man named Denil this week and he has been taking the missionary lessons for a long time and we read a chapter with him in the Book of Mormon.  Mosiah 4.  After reading the chapter he said I have now come to the conclusion that we were created by aliens.  Haha what?  Then he drew that whole plan of salvation or at least what he thinks.  Then he also said that he believes that the universe is God and we got created by atoms rubbing together.  To be honest he has no idea what he believes.  He was vacationing in Thailand for the past month or so and that is why we haven't met with him till now.  Everyone in Russia goes and vacations in Thailand it seems.  

We got home and I had just started to take some of my clothes off and get ready to prepare and eat dinner, when Elder Lyman got a phone call from an investigator saying that they wanted to meet.  We had the rest of our day planned out so the only time to meet would be during our dinner hour.  We agreed to meet instead of eat.  Had an awesome lesson with him and then went to the other lessons we had planned.  The Lord always provides for those in his service.  At our last appointment the lady we were teaching fed us.  Even little things like just getting a meal because we chose to skip a meal, the Lord is always with us to provide tender mercies and even mighty miracles.

A patriarch is coming to our mission in November and since this branch is so new, nobody has their patriarchal blessings.  They are all way excited! 

Elder Lyman told me something that his stake president told him before he left on him mission that I really like, "If you're not having fun you're doing something wrong."  For some reason I feel like I sent this last week.  If I did, I'm sorry.  I really like that though.

Nikolai is going to be baptized this Saturday!  YEAH!!!!  He lives with 2 members and that is the best environment for an investigator to be in.  He accepts everything great and says he will live it.   His baptism is going to be awesome!  We have fasted for him and pray for him a lot!  He has been incredibly prepared by the Lord!

My Russian is really improving!  It was like a light switch!  I was just studying one day and for some reason cases just starting making a ton of sense to me!  The gift of tongues is real!  I can speak way better now!  Especially in prayers!  I like learning the language a lot more now because I can understand why it is the way it is!

In Russia it is considered bad luck if you whistle indoors.  We were at this grandma's house with the sisters and one of the sisters just has a habit for whistling.  She did it and the grandma smacked her fork so hard down on her plate that it almost broke!  She got so mad at her haha!  Then a little while later she whistled again on accident and she got even more mad haha!  She said you won't be doing that once all your money is gone and no one will want to marry you haha.   She really doesn't like it.

All in all another fantastic week in Russia!!!  Great place!  Blessed to be able to serve here!

I love you all 

Elder Wilding 
View from the mission home in Vladivostok
Whoa!  And, check out the billboard.
We made a hammock!
My study place (he always had an organized desk!)
Our plan of salvation and our crazy investigator's plan
Hari Krishna (doing service)
View from our apartment
Bank haha???
Me and Elder Lyman
People do this when they get married I think
xpam (temple)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Russia, I Can't Believe I Have Been Here For a Month

Woah so this week flew by!  

Hit my month mark in the beautiful land of Russia!  A week full of miracles.  We also had my first zone conference.

I had borche for the first time!  We went over to Slavas and taught him a lesson and his wife fed us borche!  Borche is delicious!  I never have been one to like soup but I like borche.  I also had another first.  I took the lead in a lesson!  It was on Adam and Eve and how we can't truly understand the atonement unless we understand our fate without Christ.  Elder Holland gave a great talk about it in last general conference.  I can't wait for general conference!  Elder Lyman is telling me it is so much better on your mission.  We watch it a week after you guys will because of some reason that I don't know.  They are doing something new now President Perkinson was saying, we are partaking of the sacrament and then watching conference instead of just skipping it that week.  In zone conference for a portion of it we watched a leadership meeting that happens before conference and in it Elder Holland said that the sacrament is the most personal ordinance we do in the church because it is the only one we repeat for ourselves.

I learned soooo much during zone conference!  A lot about the prophet Joseph Smith and how we need to teach about what makes us different than any other church and focus on the Book of Mormon.  But the main focus was on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and making it a delight.  That is what the 1st presidency and the quorum of the 12 apostles have been focusing on this year.  If we keep the Sabbath Day holy our faith will increase.   We met a man on the streets who was talking to us and asking why in all American movies everyone uses Apple products, he was cool though and we tried to get his phone number but he said he lost his phone.  When me and Elder Lyman contact it seems to go by fast.  He told me a quote his stake president told him before he left.  If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong.  That is so true.  Yeah missions are hard and discouraging sometimes but you can always have fun and love them! 

 I'm blessed to be in Angarsk right now!  Ruselan is still working and can't be baptized yet but we taught a guy named Nikolai yesterday the Restoration.  He has already been to church twice but we could never find time to meet with him.  He is friends with one of the members and lives with him and really wants to be baptized.  He will be baptized 12 days from today!  God is preparing people like crazy here in Angarsk!  That was one miracle but the other big one was that we were sitting in church after and talking to president and the members (President Perkinson came to Angarsk Branch for church) and a family walks in.  A man, a woman and a child.  It was a family!  That's just what this branch needs!  The man is from Mexico and has served a mission, he speaks no Russian at all but speaks English and Spanish.  His wife also served a mission and used to live in Angarsk.  She speaks a ton of languages like Russian, English, Spanish, French and who knows what else.  They moved here like 2 days ago and thought church was at 1:30.  It is amazing that they came!  This branch needs strong members like them.  Sealed in the temple and he worked at the Mexico MTC for a long time.  My only question is why would they move to Angarsk haha?  God works in mysterious ways!

Met another man on the street and taught him a lesson in the church.  He was walking and I started talking to him and then Elder Lyman came in and asked him if he had time now we could teach him.  We taught him and scheduled a baptismal date.  He said he had no family in Angarsk and no job and was wandering the streets looking for something.  He found it!  He said he would come to church if he could but he didn't know what the next day or even the next hour.  Sad when peoples life is like that.

I am still loving Russia and trying to learn this language.  It's definitely not easy but also definitely possible!

I love you all!

Elder Wilding

Subway for lunch!
Sister Perkinson wrote about McKay:  This is one Happy Elder Missionary! A Happy missionary is a missionary that is choosing to work hard and enjoys the results of his labor!
The West Zone

Dear Sister Wilding,

Today has been filled with many blessings from Our Heavenly Father as he has inspired and has given many promptings for our West Zone Missionaries in Zone Conference! 

The Lord has a mighty work that He is depending on all of us to carry forth! It is an awesome responsibility! We have been blessed by each of the missionaries individual testimonies! In our Zone Conference we have focused on how to "teach in the Savior's Way", "teach the Book of Mormon as the Keystone" and the convincing "power of the Restoration"! We are visiting the new branches and helping train the auxiliaries, and sharing the importance of "Reverence and Preparation for the Sacrament". It being an ordinance that we renew for ourselves weekly! 

This is one Happy Elder Missionary! A Happy missionary is a missionary that is choosing to work hard and enjoys the results of his labor!

In preparation for our Subway lunch! What a great group! We feel truly blessed to be serving with these fine "Armies of Helaman"!

Thank you again for your love and support and your prayers in behalf of our Vladivostok Mission! We love your son!

President and Sister Perkinson

Vladivostok Russia

Monday, September 14, 2015

I've Been Here For Almost a Month!

I can't really figure out pictures sorry!  But hopefully I'll figure it out eventually.  Fun week!  Last P-Day we went to a Pravaslavni temple.  They are big and there is absolutely no place to sit.  There are a lot of cool paintings inside but they wouldn't allow us to take pictures inside.  I got a lot of cool pictures of the outside though!  We made salsa this week!  Sadly it seems that all of our appointments have been falling through but so is missionary work I guess.

We meet a man named V'larry on the street the other day.  He is an atheist but agreed to talk with us more and seemed like a really great guy.  Hopefully we will be able to meet with him this week because we couldn't meet with him this past week.  We found him in Center.  Basically every Russian town (or at least the ones I have been in) has a place called Center where all the stores are and other important buildings and where the most people are.  We go there a lot to contact.  We take buses a whole lot but also walk a ton because we are trying to not spend a ton on buses.  The buses we take to Irkutsk are about 80 rubles a person (I think the ruble is at 68 for every American dollar) and it is about an hour long ride but we get reimbursed for the long ones.  They are pretty fun to ride!

I now know how to ask for referrals!  And they actually understand me!  It's really exciting when the people actually understand me!  Especially when I say a whole statement!  My average day is wake up at 6:30. Workout/shower/eat breakfast.  Then 3 hours of study and sometimes an extra hour because of training.  Then we eat lunch.  After that we hit the streets and either teach or contact til usually 5.  Eat dinner than go contact and teach again until 9.  Then planning and that's my average day.  On Tuesday we have service which is usually Hari Krishna.  Monday and Wednesday are institute which is taught by a member that we sometimes participate in.  Friday is game night! And Saturday is sports night!

Ruselan wasn't baptized.  He got a new job that makes him work from 7-10 everyday with no days off.  We have to push back his baptismal date probably about a month until they finish with the project they are working on.  It's sad but he says he reads the Book of Mormon every time he has a chance so we are we still really excited for his baptism to happen!

I was thinking about how my mission is the biggest mission in the world and I am as faraway as possible from the mission home.  That means that me and Elder Lyman are the farthest missionaries away from the mission home in any mission in the whole world!  Crazy that I am in Siberia right now!  I hope I get to stay in Angarsk for the winter but who knows how it will all work out.  We have zone conference this week and I'm excited for that!


Elder Wilding  

PS sorry I didn't send this earlier, in an attempt to send pictures it somehow closed my email and wouldn't let me log back in.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Russia! I love Russia!

Another awesome week in the USSR!  Me and Elder Lyman are in a cooking zone and we make so many good things!  Especially smoothies!  We made peach cobbler and had some ice cream and it was like the best ice cream I have ever had!  They don't sell tortillas at the store so we made homemade ones and had breakfast burritos!
We are teaching a new investigator named Ivan.  He is a really cool guy!  He reminds me of a Who off of the Grinch. Anyways he is a perfect investigator in some aspects.  For one he calls us to meet instead of the other way around haha.  He will call us and set up an appointment and then text us right after to confirm the appointment and then sometimes call again to see if the appointment is still on.  Haha he's awesome!  We didn't ask for a referral from him but he gave us one anyway!  He really likes English and loves speaking to us in English (which really helps me.)
Our investigator Ruselan is going to get baptized this Saturday!  He is really excited and so are we!  He loves the Book of Mormon now when he really used to only like the Bible.  If all things go well by the next time I write we will have another member of the church in Angarsk!  A girl we teach about every week named Tanya (she is a new member) said that if I want to gain a Russian accent I need to speak clearer and make my mouth wider.  She also speaks really good English.  Seriously so strange how many people speak English in Russia.

Our service this week was "Hari Krishna" or at least it was for them.  They are a religion and they make food for the homeless and we serve it to them.  It is really fun!  They have this Arabic music going on in the background that just says hari krishna over and over again.  I am convinced that is the only lyric in the whole song.  We serve casha (oatmeal) and soup.  We get to eat before and you would be so proud of me mom I actually ate the soup.  They make us take off our shoes and put on these sandals and an apron.  A ton of people come in and are asking for stuff and I have no idea what they're saying so I just smile and say "Da".  I like doing it, it really makes you appreciate all you have because all of these people that come have nothing.

Just like in Puerto Rico when we went and all the lawn mowing or weed cutting is done with spin trims.  That is exactly how it is here.  There was one nice grass field that I have seen here but everything else is just weeds and Elder Lyman said that the grass field we saw was the nicest he has seen on his whole mission.  It rained!!!!!!!!!!!  I love the rain and it is way fun walking in it!  Hopefully it keeps up!  

We had a branch activity where we walked down to the river and had a campfire roast type thing.  They brought some Russian meat that tastes amazing and roasted it over hot coal.  Also we had this Russian salad that is simple and I thought I would hate but it is actually very good as well.  All it is, is onions, tomatoes and cucumbers and a whole lot of mayo.  They love their mayo here.  We were suppose to bring a change of clothes to the church where everyone was meeting but we forgot and we decided to head back home to grab them.  We had to run because of time and we ran all the way back home in the rain.  When we were about 30 steps away from our door I joked to Elder Lyman what if our keys didn't work.  It was at that time when we realized we didn't have our keys and we ran for nothing.  Defeated, we walked back in the rain.  Our church clothes got all smoky but it was still way fun.

We were walking in center contacting and a guy stopped us and asked where a certain building was.  Elder Lyman told him sorry we weren't natives and that we didn't know where it was.  They guy asked where we were from and he said Texas (he was born there) and I said Utah.  When he heard that he got super super excited and ran into his car and got his friend and started videoing us telling him that we were from America.  He said him and his friend were from Novaskbirsk and were on a Siberia trip and documenting the things they found.  He was so shocked Americans were in Siberia he had to get it on video haha.  We didn't even know he was videoing and thought he was taking a picture for the longest time haha.  

School started here the same day it did for Taylor.  A lady asked us if we were coming for school when we were talking to her.  Great Week!

I love you all

Elder Wilding