Monday, February 29, 2016

President's Visit

Hello everyone.  I am fresh from the hair-cutters and feel amazing.

Lepa brought her kids to family night and really really liked it.  She won in Uno!  And one of her daughters brought a friend.  They both have the same name of Hastiya which is very common for that to happen in Russia because there are only a certain number of names.  Anyways Hastiya's (the friend) mom kept on calling Lepa and making sure everything was OK.  Lepa eventually told her that she should just come down and see for herself and that everything was great.  It was awesome to see investigators inviting their friends!  Unfortunately we haven't been able to meet with Lepa or her friend since that night and we were actually worried that we lost her because she wasn't answering but she answered two nights ago and said that she has been in Vlad and has been very busy (she is a taxi driver) but would come to church.  She never came to church but for some reason I feel like everything will eventually work out with her and that she will find the peace she is searching for in our message.

We found another golden investigator out of our area book.  Those things are magic.  His name is Vlad and he is 19.  We called him up and simply asked him if he wanted to play ping pong.  President's letter this week was focused on using normal ways to get to meet people and show that we genuinely care about them and then share our message with them.  He talked about how if we looked at the members that have lasted and have done more than just the ordinance of baptism and then never come to church again.  But the active older members were all found through those means and very few were found through contacting.  So we tried doing the natural approach and when he got there we started playing and could see that he wasn't really into the ping pong so we decided to have a normal lesson.  We sat down and prayed and then found out some things about him.  He believes that this church is true!  He believes it all and is so ready!  There is only one down side.  His parents are way against him joining the church and even meeting with us.  He actually told us that he had to lie to his parents just so that he could come and meet with us.  So we are going to try and work more with him and find some way to help with his parents.  But he is an awesome kid.

I learned this week that when we receive revelation that we may not even know it till far after the fact.  When I got to our apartment in Ussuriysk it was really dirty.  The past couple of days I have been cleaning up most of it.  President Perkinson called us Saturday night and said that tomorrow he would be coming in the morning and checking our apartment and then would also be in sacrament meeting.  If we hadn't been cleaning our apartment for the couple of days before that we would have been doomed.  But it was already clean and we didn't have to worry!  
The AP's came down and spent a day with us!  Elder Lyman and Elder Cluff came.  It was really good to see Elder Lyman again and really good to serve with him again.  And also Elder Cluff. I spent about a week or so with him when I was in Vlad.  We went over to Vlodiyas house who is our crazy investigator who always grabs us and stuff.  He is a funny guy.  We went with Elder Clufff because he was in this city before and had taught him before.  The lesson was pretty good and then at the end of it as we always do we asked him to pray.  He usually won't answer our question or says that he will just listen to our prayers and try everything he can to not pray.  But this time Cluff said it was his last time he would ever see him and he was a little more calm than usual and he actually prayed!! Missionaries have been meeting with him for I think a year now and he never did before.  It was a miracle! 

I received the package you sent when President came.  Thank you so much I will try my best to not open the wrapped presents until the 22, we'll see. :)  And tell Daisy Steed thanks for the letter she sent me!  

We went over to President Zagooroni's house last night and read a chapter of the Book of Mormon in English with him.  Well, he actually came and picked us up and we thought we were going to his son's house who is a less active member.  But what he actually said to us is that we will go over to his son's old house which is now his and read.  Haha he speaks too fast.  Something I have noticed about most of the Branch President's that I have met so far is that they are very classy dressing men.  And always really funny.  They are all great guys!

Well that's all I can remember from this past week.  I forgot my book where I write down what happened.  But I think I got most of it.

I love you all!

Love Elder Wilding

Sunday, February 21, 2016


My Dearest Family,

How great it is to be in this cafe place I call the dungeon because the lighting is so bad it reminds me of Pizza Hut.  I am happy to be writing the loves I love once more while in the service of the Lord.

This week was great.  Many miracles I have personally witnessed.  It is funny, if you pray to see God's hand in your life he will show you.   It is so simple.  Just like the gospel.

So first I had the privilege of being in a trio with Elder Hess.  Great Elder from American Fork.  All the missionaries here are from Utah Valley it seems.  It was because his companion Elder Memmott was on his first chorea trip.  Both are great elders.  Then I had the privilege again of going to Vlad with Elder Crabb and going on splits with Elder Perry.   It was great to see him.  He is so funny.  We were in the MTC together.  We met a lady on the street who says that God answers her prayers all the time and that she will read the Book of Mormon and see what he says about that.  It was cool!

Then we took the 2 hour bus ride back to Ussuriysk and did some area book work.  We went back to as far as we could and found potentials from 2008.  I told Elder Crabb that we were wasting our time calling people from that long ago because most of them wouldn't remember when they talked with the missionaries and I figured half the numbers would have been changed by then.  But he insisted so we called them.  It was the strangest thing.  Almost every single one of the people picked up and remembered the missionaries and some of them wanted to meet.  I learned I need to have more faith haha.  And of those people who picked up was L.  She said she would come to the church the next day and we would meet.  Well we waited for her the next day and nothing happened.  So we called her again and scheduled again and she still didn't come.  So then we told her to come to church on Sunday and she said she would come like she always does.  I wasn't so sure.  But she did come and brought her 2 daughters.  Once again I need to have more faith.  Anyways the sacrament meeting was a little strange because one of the other elder's investigators came and he is a little loud and when the first speaker got up to talk and said hello brothers and sisters, he yelled hello back.  And when she would ask questions, he would answer them.  And everyone would tell him to be quiet and then he would say, "I'm sorry" like 5 times way loud. haha That happened a few times.  And then at one point he stood up while she was talking and went on for a few minutes about some stuff.   After she finished she took him out and told him about how sacrament meeting works haha.  It is funny to see that some people just don't know because they have never been before. 

After the meeting L met with us and we did the restoration lesson with her.  It was really powerful and she said she would read the Book of Mormon and come to church again and come to activities and it was awesome.  She said when we called her it was a miracle because the first time she met the missionaries was in America.  She was there a long time ago.  And then when she heard our American accent she knew she had to meet with us.  God prepares people!  I know that is true!  The only sad thing is that she can't fund her children, (who apparently are really good athletes) the training they need to be Olympic athletes.  She used to be really wealthy but something happened with a fire and she only has enough money just to get by.  But that is really good that she even has that.

I have been reading like crazy!  I love reading!  I want to get way smart!

On a sad note one of the babushka's (in the Branch) cat died.  She called us over to help her get to the vet and they had to put the cat down while we were there.  She was really sad.  And then this Sunday she came to church which she never does because it is hard for her to get around but after when she was trying to leave she slipped on the ice and broke her arm.  We feel so bad for her.  It seems like she can't catch a break.

A sister here made us blini and set up a table cloth with homemade lemonade.  I love this branch!

My companion is Elder Crabb who is such a good elder!  He is from Orem and is really dedicated and good at Russian.  He is really funny and I love serving with him.

I can testify that prayer works because this morning I looked for forever for my camera and couldn't find it anywhere.  Then I said a prayer and found it almost immediately.  Prayer works!

God is protecting us out here.  We were talking to these 2 really drunk guys and this guy on a bike stopped a little far off.  After we were done talking and started walking away we crossed the guy and started talking with him.  He wasn't interested in our message but said he stopped there just in case anything happened.  He was like a guardian angel on a bike.   Oh and just so you know mom we are 100 % safe at all times and nothing bad ever happens.

I hope you all have  a good week!


Elder Wilding
Me and Crabb by a giant turtle
Well, I do

The home boys (me Crabb and Butler)

The sunset that didn't work
Korea Temple

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Week of Traveling

Dear Beloved Family and Friends,

I have been on many buses this past week.  I went with my zone leader to all the areas in the zone.  We went on splits with the elders there.  We traveled to Vlad on a 2 hour bus, then took an hour long taxi to Artyom, slept there and woke up and went on splits with Elder Gardiner and Elder Sebach, slept there one more night and then woke up early in the morning and took 3 hour bus to Nahodka, went on a split there with Elder King and Bates.  Slept there that night and then took a straight shot bus home to Ussuriysk that was 4 and a half hours long.  It was really really fun seeing all the elders and seeing their beautiful cities.  Especially Nahodka.   A city on a bay.  I think it is the biggest port in all of Russia.  It was really pretty there but the whole time I was there It rained a lot and I found out I had a hole in my boot.  But I brought extra shoes so it was fine.

In Ussuriysk twice a week we have Russian practice.  That's right I said Russian practice.  We get to sit down and one of the recent converts who speaks no English teaches us Russian.  IT IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!  I learn so much!  This is what I needed so much.  To be taught Russian from a native Russian.  We get to ask questions and it is all coming together.

One of the other elder's investigators lives next to us.  We communicate with him through the windows by turning on lights.  He is honestly the coolest man I have ever met.  He does the Olympic ski jump thing where the jump is way long through the sky.  Also he told the elders he had to run to Vlad to buy a suit so that he could come to church.

OK I planned bad, sorry.  The highlights of this week were, I have a cake by an awesome member with peanut butter in it.  I learned a lot on the trips!  I read our heritage and feel lucky they had it so much harder than us and we have so many more advantages than them.  

I am so sorry I am out of time!

I love you all!

Elder Wilding
Chinese New Year
Hari Krishna

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Hello everyone!  Currently my Panthers are playing their Superbowl in the United States and I am sitting in a internet cafe in Ussuriysk.   The place we went to email in Angarsk was really nice but this place is more like a dungeon.  Meaning the lights are really low and it is just weird.

This week was awesome!  I got back form Korea not too long ago and we were able to attend the temple when we were there!  Wow was that awesome.  We were in such a rush to make it to the temple and to get to the session on time and everything was hectic but once we were in the temple me and Elder Barr were able to sit down for a few minutes in front of the organ and just listen to the music and relax and get in the right mindset.  It was so peaceful there in that holy house.  

So as I kind of said last week I am in an new area.  It isn't Angarsk but I think it is about the same size.  But drastically different.  First of all it actually reaches the positives some times and I heard it snowed like 5 feet just like a week before I got here.  I am currently serving with Elder Butler and Elder Crabb.  Elder Butler is 2 transfer younger than me.  Elder De Sandres age and Elder Crabb is 6 months older than me.  And when the transfer actually takes place I will be serving with Elder Crabb.  And he knows Russian really good and I really like him!

The branch here in Ussuriysk is so strong and a little bigger than Angarsk.  Yesterday we had the most spiritual testimony meeting I have ever had on my whole mission.  We also have this kinda crazy but really funny investigator named V who calls us "who-li-gan-ee" or hooligans.  He is really funny and I like teaching him.

Here we are actually teaching a lot and when we were in Angarsk we didn't as much so it is really cool to be able to do that.

I really love it here and it is snowing quite hard right now.  It is fun to change cities but I am going to miss the other elders and Angarsk.  I hope I will be able to serve there again maybe at the end of my mission.  We have no sisters in my area but we do have another set of elders.  Korea was fun and I met a really funny man who spoke some English and I got a pic with him.

In Korea people would ask questions in English and I would accidentally respond in Russia haha.  The language is coming!

I hope my Panthers win!!


Elder Wilding