Sunday, January 31, 2016

Korea Trip Approaching

Tell Grammy and Grampy happy birthday for me!  

This week flew by!  Wow I am already emailing again.  Thanks everyone for their letters!  I love reading them!  This week was great just as always!  But the next one should be even better because I get to go stay in the House of the Lord!

The Korea trip is fun for a lot of reasons.  We get to go and eat at McDonald's or another American place.  We get to see everyone we were in the MTC with.  But by far the best part of it is the temple.  The other things really don't even compare with the peace in that Holy house.  It almost seems that in 3 months we get worn down.  Luckily for this mission we get to go the temple every three months.  And it kind of lifts us back up and gets up ready to go for the next 3 months.  I remember the last time I was there.  I had the burden of having to train right after my training got finished.  I felt completely inadequate and very worried.  I remember feeling this all the way on the plane and then on the bus ride there.  But once we did a session in the temple.  I just felt peace.  Sublime peace and I knew everything would be ok.  And look it was.  The temple is a beautiful place.

Our hari kriushna investigator E gained a friend this week!  We went to the church to eat dinner and we saw that President Lapin was playing ping pong with one of his friends.  We knew E loves to play ping pong because he plays it with us often so we called him and he came and played with President Lapin and his friend. Well President Lapin's friend had to go not long after E arrived there and so it was just him and E playing while we were eating dinner.   When we walked in they were exchanging numbers and telling each other that when ever they have free time to call and play.  It is so great because now President Lapin can help us on lessons and it isn't just a random guy he doesn't know, but his friend.

I think I have talked about Y the other Elder's investigator who me and Elder Lyman found.  We had a lesson with him this week where we read 3 Nephi 11 and 12.  In the part in 12 where is say "say no more than yea yea or nay nay" I was a little worried that Y would be thrown off by that.  Because it is a little strange.  But after when we were talking about the chapter and what we read he choose that verse as one of the verses he really liked!  I learned a valuable lesson about the words of Christ.  They are powerful and I shouldn't worry about what it might be, the spirit will testify of those words even if I think it is strange.  The scriptures are such a blessing and I love the hour I get to read them everyday!

This week started off warmer but it snowed a little bit.  But Dad sent me some pictures of the snow in Brigham and I think that you have more than us.  I said it started off warm.  It got super cold again somewhere around -35.  But even that is a lot warmer compared to what it was a week or two ago.

Me and Elder De Sandre were contacting and he had a Book of Mormon firmly in his hands.  We stopped this man and asked him if he believed in God.  He looked at us then at our Book of Mormon and then grabbed it and took off.  We followed him for a little while and he never threw it away so I guess that means he is going to read it!     

I went tracting for the first time in my entire mission yesterday.  It was a good experience.  We have only done street contacting.  But Elder De Sandre thought we should try it out so we did.  We went to the domaphone and hoped for someone to let up his because it is locked until someone inside opens it or someone outside has a magnite key thing to open it.  We barely called the first phone when someone came out of the building and opened it for us.  We went to the top floor and worked our way down.  The first guy we talked to was so cool!  He was interested and said that maybe we could meet some other time.  The rest we didn't have much success but it was still really fun.  It is exciting to see who is on the other side of the door.

I hope everyone one has a great week back home and when I write next I should be in a different area. I also can't wait to hear the news of my Panthers first Superbowl victory!

Elder Wilding 
With Elder De Sandre
Stray dogs
The things we find in the Siberian wilderness

Mom note:
We received this letter (and photos) from his Mission President and wife: 
Dear Brother and Sister Wilding 
Our wonderful West Zone Missionaries gathered together in the Irkutsk Branch Building for Zone Conference. We had 20 missionaries in attendance. These missionaries were so thoughtful to present to us 3 red roses, peanut brittle and notes of gratitude! It was so nice! 
In our companionship study, we discussed at length the topic of "Grace" and the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ and the need for each one of us to repent daily. We also discussed the need to teach repentance to everyone as we serve as disciples of Jesus Christ. We talked about every member being a missionary and the need for each of us to continue this pattern through out our lives.  
Of course, Sister Perkinson loves to take pictures of the missionaries during our lunch break because I know that I can get them to smile big for me! All missionaries know that food makes us happier! 
We were grateful to view the proceedings of the World wide Missionary Training from Salt Lake. We were able to discuss the messages given from Apostles of The Lord! We are to teach REPENTANCE and baptize CONVERTS! We are truly blessed to be here serving The Lord in this part of His vineyard! 

We are grateful for Elder Wilding in his service with the members of Angarsk. We are grateful for the many years of gospel training taught in your own home! Thank you for carrying on the work of the Lord there also as you share the Gospel among your family and friends! 

Sincerely, President and Sister Perkinson Vladivostok Russia Mission

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It was -40 Fahrenheit this week. Wait, I mean -40 degrees Celsius. Wait, they are exactly the same temperature!!!

We finally made it!  This week we reached the magical number of -40 where the Fahrenheit (farengate in Russian) and Celsius meet.  To celebrate we boiled water and threw it out our window and unsuspecting victims.  I just joking, it actually evaporated right before our eyes and was mind boggling.  

My zipper on my boot broke this week. Good thing I am in Russia where they have pemonts (repairs) on every corner,  I just took my boot in and they fixed it for way cheap and finished it pretty fast.  The same thing happened with my bag except it was my strap that broke and I took it in and they fixed the broken side and re-enforced the other side without more charge.  I love this place!  

We visit the R family this week.  They have kind of a interesting story.  So Brother R is a Mexican and was born and raised there and Sister R is Russian and she was born and raised there.  They met online and she flew to Mexico and they got married there.  They lived there for a couple of years and then they decided to move back to the hometown of Sister R.  I bet that situation could only be said of this family in all of history.  Anyways they are so cool and were definitely sent back to Russia because God needed them here.  They both served missions and want to help us missionaries so bad!  They have so many good ideas and it is a miracle they are here.  We really need them!

Some of the Russian's here are too tough.  It was -30 the other day and we talked to this girl who was only in a super small coat, jeans and normal shoes.  No shopka, not even a beanie.  No gloves, no boots.  We asked her if she was cold and she said no.  It is definitely a different breed.  It is kinda funny.  A lot of Russian's will lie to us and tell us it isn't cold when it is in the high negatives.  But then when we want to talk to them on the street they will say it is much too cold to talk right now.  They're good people though.

The few days I was without my boots I was basically skiing everywhere.  One time I grabbed onto Elder Lyman's shoulders and he ran and I glided the whole time and drifted when he turned corners.

The others Elders are teaching a guy that me and Elder Lyman found when we were companions but then he just kind of dropped off.  I think I talked about a little bit last letter.  He has been meeting with them everyday now.  He has nothing but he clothes on his back.  He is so cool.  He said before he met the missionaries he was smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day.  Then in one week he was down to 3 cigarettes a day.  Then yesterday he told us that he was thinking about it last night and he said he is done smoking completely.  It is amazing was Heavenly Father can do with someone when they are in the depths of humility with a willing heart.  It also strengthened my testimony of no effort wasted.  When me and Elder Lyman taught him, after the second lesson he stopped picking up his phone.  We could have considered that time wasted meeting with him.  But it wasn't.  He showed up at the church last Sunday because he felt something when he was with us.  And also because he had nowhere else to turn but we were able to see that even though it didn't pan out the way we wanted it to the first time we started meeting with him.  God has a perfect plan for everything and it just wasn't the right time for him.  We are praying that this time is.

It was a really good week and made even better by the fact that my Panthers are in the super bowl.  It is so amazing.  I can only imagine what it would be like if I was home.  But I have been thinking.  This time out here in this frozen land when I get to serve with these people is much more worth it than being home to watch my Panthers win their first super bowl.  I wouldn't change my decision to serve my mission or change my mission to another year or another time even if I could.    What is really important is made so much clearer to me out here.  There is not so much stuff to blur my vision.   I wouldn't go back and change it for anything.

That being said, I am still going watch all the game when I get home but that can wait.

I had a really good week.

I love and miss all of you

Elder Wilding

мне холодно


 (If you look close enough you can see his eyelashes are frozen.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

You Could Say That It's Cold

Good Day Everyone!

It has been another successful and fun week.  I'm so glad I am still in Angarsk.  The language it still a struggle but it is coming!  Thanks everyone for the letters, it is a delight to read them all!

This week we had some sick elders.  On Monday Elder De Sandre got sick.  On Tuesday Elder Sumner got sick.  And on Wednesday Elder Lyman got sick.  Luckily, actually by the grace and mercy of God I was spared from the sickness.  Just like I was in the MTC when everyone got sick who was in my room.  Heavenly Father has truly blessed me with good health like I was promised.  It's a huge testimony builder for me and a miracle.  Even with everyone sick I only had to stay in on Monday.  That was okay though because it was only for 3 hours that we would have been proselyting and I got a lot of Russian studies in.  I went out with Elder Lyman on Tuesday and it just like the old days.  On Wednesday Elder De Sandre was healthy again so we went out when the other elders recovered.  Everyone is healthy now and going to work.

I don't know it was kinda weird this week we talked with so many Jehovah Witnesses.  I have been surprised by how many I have met in Russia.  We were walking home with a member and I asked them if they have fallen this winter and it was like magic, right when I said that the member fell haha.  

The temperature dial right before we left the house was between -38 and -39.  When I go out my shopka and scarf just freeze up way bad and I'll try to take a picture and send it next week because it is pretty cool looking.  About every time I go out this week my eye lashes have froze.  It is a really cool feeling.  But right when we go inside everything melts.  My guess is that it got -40 Celsius in the night and that is actually -40 Fahrenheit as well.  It's good though.  I can say I know what cold is.  But honestly when we layer up we are perfectly warm.  We just have to go in stores or others places every once in while.

We had a really good lesson with Egor this week.  He came to the church and we simply read a chapter of the Book of Mormon and bore our testimony of the truthfulness and expounded on the chapter a little bit.  He told us he would read everyday.  He is a really special guy going through some hard things right now and could use the good news of the gospel.  We are lucky to be teaching him.

OK, I know I said this last week but I am actually going to send a ton of pictures this week!

I love this mission of mine!

Love Elder Wilding
Your son at Lake Baikal
Welcome to the throne
Hotel in Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Beautiful Blue Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Beautiful blue Lake Baikal and my way nice hat
Lake Baikal
Me just loving Baikal
Me and Elder Lyman at Lake Baikal

Just a taste of what it gets like getting gains in the frozen tundra

In center or в центр

In center or в центр

Approaching Santa's ice sleigh reindeer from the front and frozen trees

Tell Bryce I say, "peace"...
New Years
Our way nice set up
Nesting dolls

Monday, January 11, 2016

Christmas Deliveries

Hello everyone!

This week was really fun and we had a lot more lessons then we usually do so we weren't on the streets so much which was nice!  I got your package!  Thank you it was really great!  It was so cool to get all that stuff from you!  Also please tell the Swalwells and Hilmans thank you from me for sending me a package!  

It is about -36 right now so you would think that my allergies would be under control because everything that I could be possibly allergic to is frozen.  Wrong.  My allergies have been going nuts this week.  Worse than it has been in a long time.  But the Lord has been there when I needed Him and when I gave my talk in church I didn't sneeze once and also during district meeting I didn't.  

We have been delivering our pictures of Jesus to the members for Christmas and it is really amazing to see the the look on their face when they open it up and realize that it is Christ, the Savior.  I love delivering it to them.  But one of the members we gave it to was a little too zealous and put it up on his wall as fast as he could without securing it properly and it fell to the ground with a  big bang.  Luckily the frame didn't break or the glass and all there was was a little dent.  That was a miracle in itself.  The only bad part of the lesson was after it when he insisted on giving us something to drink.  He only had green tea (which he thought was OK but we told him it wasn't and he said he would get fruit tea from now on) and we told him we wouldn't drink it, so he grabbed these two little milk cartons out of his fridge and gave them to us.  That milk was either sour or poisonous or something because it was completely awful.  But I somehow managed to get it all down but when Elder De Sandre drank it he thought it was just as bad as I did but he made the mistake of drinking the cup of boiling water that was on the table.  I felt bad for him but it was funny what he said when he just kind of yelled, "oh that's hot" haha.  He had a woman over at his house when we came and she was on the lesson and we gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it!  She also said she would come to church but didn't this Sunday because she was sick.

We bought some orange juice this week.  I missed that stuff so much.  I used to drink so much of that stuff back at home.  We bought 3 containers of it and it wasn't long before they were all gone.  

I think I said in my last letter how I lost a lot of my stuff.  Well, I found a lot of it this week!  Thank goodness, I was starting to think I was cursed.  

We delivered another Christ picture to another member and while we were there they showed us a pictures of their wedding.  I think I now understand why pictures of ancestors or just old pictures looked like they were always mad or not satisfied.  I think in America and other places we have figured out how to smile.  But in Russia some people are still figuring it out.  They did a lot of the same poses that most wedding couples do but they just weren't smiling and it looks kinda funny.  I think that is where the stereotype comes from that Russians don't smile.  Because these people are always going and laughing and smiling.  But just not for a picture.  

I have so many pictures I need to send home so I will end it here.

I love you all

Elder Wilding  

Monday, January 4, 2016


Wow it is already time to write again!  

We went to Baikal today.  It is a beautiful place there.  I drank the water right out of the massive lake.  The water was so clear.  Baikal is so huge!  It looks just like the ocean.  If only we had fishing poles.  After looking at the lake and taking pictures we went to the main reneek and I bought a nesting doll for you mom (it's purple) and a few other things.  We also ate плов which is like fried rice and chicken and pork and also шашлыки which is like a shish kabob.  The food was good then we hopped on a taxi back to Irkutsk and from there a bus back to Angarsk.  It was fun and I would definitely want to go again but it is in total four hours of travel so it isn't something you want to do every p-day.  

I almost forgot, this week was New Years. HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE!  The Russians love it so much.  It is their favorite holiday.  it is basically Christmas for them.  They still have Christmas but it isn't as anticipated for as New Years.  When we went out on New Years the streets were basically empty, I guess everybody partied a little too hard the night before.  Seriously it was odd how few people were on the streets, we took a tramby and we were the only ones on it and they are usually loaded.  It was still fun to be what you could of called a ghost town.  We had to go in at 5 pm.  We did weekly planning in that time instead of doing it on Friday.  And then we played ping pong the rest of the time.  Somebody sent Elder Lyman a mini ping pong net and a ball and two small paddles.  So naturally we moved our kitchen table into the living room and had tournaments of ping pong.  You need to send me one of those mom!  The whole time we played we could hear fireworks outside and could see a few.  It is actually kind of funny because they celebrate for about 10 days.  It starts on New Years and ends a little after Christmas (Jan 7th).  So we will be out contacting and fireworks will be going off behind you or in front of you.  It is so fun!  I wish it was like this all the time!

The struggle this week is that I have been losing stuff like crazy.  I lost my book that I have been keeping for 19 weeks about what happens in the week so right now I am having trouble remembering.  i also lost a hacky sack Elder De Sandres  mom gave to me for Christmas and just yesterday I lost my planner.  It was a good time to lose it I guess though because we were on our last day but this is just getting out of hand (literally!). 

It has been getting warmer and we have been on the streets a lot so that is a blessing.  The transfer ended this week and all four of us elders are staying here in Angarsk but the sisters are both out of here but are staying together and going to Khabarovsk I think.  I get to train Elder De Sandre for 6 more weeks which I am excited for.  Oh I just remembered something!  Last night when we were calling the sisters like we do every night they didn't pick up and their phone was native stupen.  So me and Elder Lyman figured that we would run over to their place to just make sure everything was OK.  We ran there and once we got there this police car pulled up with his lights on and asked what we were doing and Elder Lyman told him we were checking on our friends.  They asked for our documents and we gave them to them and everything worked out, they thought it was a little strange that we were running at 10:30 at night but everything was fine.  We called the sisters through the door phone but it was just ringing and nobody was answering.  Then the sisters called us and said that somebody was outside of their door calling their room haha.  They could see us through their window but thought that we were somebody different.  We told them it was us and they were so glad because they were so scared before they knew.  Haha that was the first time I have had a police even talk to me my whole mission.  They were really good guys though.

Well sorry I can't really remember much else that happened but I am going to buy another notebook so that I will next time.  Tell Weston поздравляю for me.

I love you all!

Elder Wilding