Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Trainee

Hello everybody,

Elder De Sandre flew in this week.  He is pretty tall and funny and good at Russian. He is from Mountain Crest.  He did track and tennis in high school and just graduated this year like me.  I feel like I have seen him before the mission.  I'm sure I have.  I feel kinda bad for him though.  Since we are in Vlad, we don't have any investigators so ever since he got here we have been hitting the streets all day everyday.  And the first day that he got here there was a mini blizzard.  It has been hard being the one who knows the most Russian or just the more senior missionary.  But it has been fun and I feel like I have been strengthened by Heavenly Father because even though it has been hard, it has been easier than I thought.

On Dec 2-3 we are having our mission conference.  President Klebingat is coming from the area presidency.  I am so excited to hear him!  He gave an amazing talk a few conferences ago on approaching the throne of God with confidence.  He came before when Elder Lyman was here and he has told me when you see him you just know he is a called of God.

I also said goodbye to the AP's this week.  I got a lot of cool stuff from them.  Elder Protopovo (from Moscow) gave me a really nice leather bag.  And I bought a shapka (the Russian hats) from Elder Mateer.  Probably the best purchase I have made on my mission besides my coat.  It keeps me so warm.  The wind is piercing in Vlad and it goes right through my beanie.  But it doesn't get through my shapka.  The nice thing about Angarsk is that even though it is very cold, there isn't any wind.  

One of the lessons we taught this week was at Y's house.  He is old and lives in this run down house.  We were trying to commit him to come to church and he starts asking us if we know what rap music is.  We told him yes.  He stands up and starts saying this rap he wrote.  He was doing all these gang signs when he was rapping for us like rappers do when they are on stage.  It was the highlight of my week haha.  From what we understood we think it was about the Book of Mormon.  The best part of it was that at the very end (he was wearing a jacket without a hood) he tries to throw his hood on but he just pulled up his jacket over his head so that he looked like a turtle.  We busted up laughing.  The whole time I was thinking "is this really happening right now?".

We met these three Catholic missionaries from India.  We were talking to them and telling them which church we were from.  Right when we told them one of them gets really excited and asks if we are from the church that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is from.  He said that back in India he would play their songs off of youtube for the children that he taught.  They love Motab like crazy.

It has been a good week!  Hope everything is going well!

Elder Wilding
New companions

Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm Training!

Hey everyone!

I learned this week that I will be training.  My trainees name is Elder De Sandre.  I have seen a picture of him and he looks really excited.  I will still be living in Angarsk with Elder Lyman but instead of it just being only me and him, we will have 4 elders in that apartment.   Elder Lyman's new companion is a guy that is from his home ward.  What are the chances?

I am still in Vlad and it awesome here.  It was really warm when I first got here but now it is very cold.  I got reunited with Elder Lyman this week who stayed in Angarsk and he stayed it was -28 there.  Time to see what my coat is made of.  I am really lucky to have a senior missionary in my apartment because some of the other missionaries are completely solo and are going to be alone in their own apartment.  

It is weird seeing the AP's about to go home.  This is their last full day.  Tomorrow they work until 5 and then they go to the mission home and have a meal there and get interviewed by president.  And then they're off bright and early to the airport at 6:00.  These 5 months have gone by so fast.  The elderly couple the Huntsman's go home as well on Wednesday.  

I got a way nice tie from the AP's and a few other things from them.  We went and taught this man named Y.  He lives in the outskirts of town.  We went into his house that was darkly lighted and there was so much stuff everywhere.  He played Elder Perry in chess and beat him in 3 moves.  It is hard to teach him anything because he is always going off on random tangents and he speaks really fast.  Interesting investigator.  I think he has read the whole Book of Mormon.  He knows all about the church history and when things happened and where.  Hopefully we can help him receive this great gospel.

We went searching for a less active and the map we had took us onto a high mountain overlooking Vlad.  I wish I would have had my camera on me.  It was so beautiful, you could see all the tall buildings and the ocean.  I always forget that we are next to the ocean because we mostly just stay in center.  

I'll bring my camera next week and hopefully then I will have more time to write.

I love you all!

Elder Wilding 
With the AP's

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Time In Korea

Wow this week has been crazy.

I spent 2 or 3 days in Angarsk but right now I am in Vlad.  This is my travels, I took a bus from Angarsk to Irkutsk and then from there jumped on a plane and flew to Kharbarosk.  Had a long layover there and actually slept on the bench seats in the airport.  After the layover finally ended I flew Vladivostok.  Was in Vlad for a very short period of time and from there I flew to Korea.  Once I got in Korea I took a bus to the center of the town and ran to the temple.  The bus drivers in Korea wear suits.  Completely different from Angarsk. After we got off the bus we ran up this hill and couldn't really see anything but all of a sudden the angel Moroni pops out and it is completely stunning.  Korea itself is absolutely amazing.  It is basically futuretown.  Big buildings. Flashy neon lights.  I felt like I was on a different planet.  Once we arrived in the temple we just immediately did a session.  We would have gone and got McDonald's but we just had no time for it.  It actually turned out to be quite fine though because when we were just sitting in our rooms (in the temple, it isn't in the actually temple temple but it is connected to it) and one of the workers brings to us pound cake and milk.  Korean people are so nice.  I love bowing down to everyone because they always do it back.  And Korean sounds so cool!  Walking the streets of Korea is so cool!  It was so warm there.  Then after all of that we woke and took a bus to the airport again.  I stood in a line in the airport for about 2 hours, then jumped on another plane and now I'm in Vlad.  It was so much traveling in just 2 or 3 days.  I was so tried and jet lagged.  But it was so fun!

I love Vlad!  I didn't know if I would like the big city feeling of it but I do.  There are always people to talk to on the street and it is not as cold as it is in the west.  I was walking the other day with one of the AP's to go check out a hotel for the new elders that are coming in and on our way there we saw a black guy on the street.  That alone was pretty surprising because he is the 2nd black person I have seen on my whole mission, so of course we talked to him.  He spoke no Russian.  We asked him what he was doing in Russia.  He told us that he was bringing football to Russia and he coaches a team here.  He also told us he played in the NFL.  He played for a couple of teams but the only one I can remember is the green bay packers.   His name is Bobby Rome.  I have never heard of him before but I'm sure if I looked him up I would find him.  He pulled his hand out of his pocket and on his hand he had 3 rings that looked like Superbowl rings and a really expensive diamond watch.  He isn't very smart walking around in Russia with that on but he could probably fend for himself just fine.

I met a man from North Korea in Vlad.  It has been a really fun and exciting week!

I love you all!

Elder Wilding
On Korean bus with Elder Brower

Korean Temple

Monday, November 9, 2015


Mom, you can finally relax.  I bought my coat.  To say it is warm would be an understatement.  It is a shark force.  That is the name of it.  It is probably the best name I have ever heard!  On the inside are these words that make no sense haha.  I'll send a picture.  Time keeps on flying so fast.  How am I almost already done with training?  I honestly don't know.  It feels like yesterday I was at home chilling with Mr. Cat.  

This week was another week of miracles.  This man we met on the streets a few weeks ago is named Yuri.  He loves life!  He is just a happy person who finds everything funny and everything brings him joy even though he is very poor.  He knows English very good as well.  And he loves the word "yup" haha.  Well, a few weeks ago we got his number and told him to come to English practice but English practice came and went and Yuri wasn't there.  We called him but he was always native stupen (which means their phone is either off or they didn't pay their bill so their phone is shut down) like everyone else in Russia.  We were sad because he was really interested and we really wanted to meet with him.  Well then at Hari Krishna, our service project where we serve food to the poor and homeless, he showed up!  Right when he saw us he said, "It's Destiny" He would look up to the sky every time he said it too.  He said the reason he wasn't answering his phone is because he had it on a lanyard around his neck and his cat hit it into some water.  He kept on saying it was destiny that we met again.  We invited him to English practice again and he came this time.  After the practice  we taught him the first lesson.  He said, "I already believe all this".  When we asked him to be baptized he said, "When and where?".  He is so solid and so prepared.  We set up another time to meet with him but he didn't come.  We were bummed again because of how golden he is.  Yesterday we were contacting just like we always do and we saw him, waiting at a bus stop!  We went up and talked to him and he apologized for not coming to our meeting.  He said he was working and couldn't make it.  His job is to shovel snow and there is a lot of it now.  He has been reading the Book of Mormon and we are going to meet with him tonight.

It snowed a few inches this week.  Everything is ice now.  To get rid of the ice they have the workers with shovels of course, but they also have these tractors that have on the front of them these huge brushes the size of a side walk in length that are made up of spin trim wires.  They work like a lawn edger does and just completely obliterate the ice.  They look like a lot of fun.  Might want to get one of them for home haha!

I am going to Korea this week!  To renew my visa.  SO excited, I get to sleep in the grounds of the temple and do a session or 2 in the temple!  Then I will be in Vald for like 3 weeks.  We are having a mission conference (our whole mission).  We don't have that many missionaries but that is completely nuts because of how spread out we are.  So it wouldn't be very smart for me to fly to Korea, and come back to Angarsk for only like a week or 2.  So I will be serving with the AP's for a little while which is going to be awesome!

The mission really makes you appreciate everything you took for granted when you were at home!  Thanks for giving me a great life!  

Elder Wilding
Your son in his coat
Shark Force inside and label
Russia - Angarsk
Russia - Angarsk
Chicken Alfredo
 *Mom here... I added this forecast for the next couple of weeks...

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween (Galloween) PartyHalo

Dear Family,

This week we had our Halloween party at the branch.  It was really fun and a lot of non members showed up!  We carved apples and played the Oreo minute to win it game, relay race of wrapping people in toilet paper like a mummy and the game where you tie a balloon to your leg and try to pop others without getting yours popped and the donut on a string game (well actually bagel because we're in Russia) and bobbing for apples.  The took it over and did a great job.

A lot of miracles this week!  This man was outside on the street passing the church and for some reason just came in and we taught him a lesson and it was way good and he said after the lesson "maybe God sent me", he doesn't know how right he is.  Another one was we had forgotten a book that we needed for a lesson at the church so last night we went there to grab it and one of the members in Angarsk was there with his friend teaching him about the gospel, we got there and taught him the first lesson.  If we didn't forget that book we would have never been there to teach Mark's friend.  Oh and Nikolai is going to get baptized this Saturday!

Me and Elder Lyman have been speaking only Russian from 1-9 everyday.  It's hard and requires a whole lot of hand actions but I think it is helping my Russian improve a lot.  And bought a muffin pan!  English practice wasn't as good this weekly as the past weeks because there weren't as many people there as there were missionaries and we had the question of the day "how do you deal with your problems" we thought people were going to say exercise or listening to music or something and we were going to turn it into how we can turn to God and he will help us but people started telling us about their problems and were basically venting haha but it was good!

We were walking and saw a Panda bear on the side of a building and it was wearing a Chinese chef hat and was cooking Chinese food so of course I thought it was panda express but when i went and checked it out I was deeply disappointed when it was only a sushi place.  A bird landed on my shoulder as I said in the picture I sent you!  We didn't even have  any food and all the pigeons surrounded us.  They are everywhere in Angarsk.  

I am going to buy my coat today!  I love all of you!

Elder Wilding

Me and Elder Lyman's Halloween costumes

Halloween Party
Elder Lyman's amazing creation

Pigeons surrounded us and one landed on my shoulder