Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Dear everyone,  

This week was awesome!  It started off by me buying a way stylish hat from a store nearby.  I don't know how to describe it other then by a movie I have never seen but all the other missionaries call it this.  A "newsies" hat.  Or like a golfing hat.  It is great.  So many people wear them down here.  I got a gray one to match my suit.  Apparently it makes me look English though.  We went back to the hospital this week to try to speak with the doctor.  And when his nurse was talking to him she said that two English men want to talk to him haha.  We went in to see him and he asked us what we wanted to know and stuff.  But we were only planning on setting an appointment so that we could come back later with planned written down questions but he wanted it now so I asked how he became a doctor and he said something like 6 years of school and then something online and then he told us that until I was studying that anything he told me would be of no use to me because I wouldn't be using it and then we left.  Even though it didn't go how we planned, we learned something.  You have to go with prepared questions or they will kick you out.  We are going to try a different hospital next week.  

While going through the area book we came to a mans name and this is what it said "АКОП" but the last letter was written to look like n. And we thought it might possibly be the singer.  So I called him and said "Hello, is Akon there" haha.  Turns out his name is A_ _ _ and he is mostly from yzbakistan or something because that is not a Russian name.  There are a lot of people like that here.

Lesson with V_ _ _ _ _ _ was pretty good.  We said that God was his Heavenly Father which he kinda struggles with understanding.  And he also prayed!  But the shocker is when he arrived to church for sacrament meeting!  He came right after the sacrament was administered but he still came!  This is huge - he has never come before!  Elder Crabb called him and told him it was his last Sunday in this city.  Speaking of that we got transfers this week.  Elder Crabb is going to Vlad to be with Elder Lyman and I am staying in Ussuriyisk and will be training again.  My new Trainee's name is Elder Roosa.  I know nothing about him besides the picture that I have seen on the transfer paper.  He looks like a great guy though.  I am excited to train again but this came as a huge surprise.  I thought for sure me and Elder Crabb were going to be together another 6.  I am going to miss him.  I have been immensely blessed with great companions on my whole mission.  Training is fun but the fact that I will be the one with the most Russian is always a little daunting.  But I have learned that the Lord qualifies those he calls.  A promise that I am the uttermost thankful for.  I couldn't have made it this far without that promise.  God is good.  Elder Roosa arrives is a few days and I will take a bus down to Vlad with Elder Crabb and then he will go on his visa trip and I will spend a day or two in Artyom with Elder Gardner until Elder Roosa arrives and then I think we are going to get a ride back in a van.  Logistics for this mission are crazy.  I don't know how they do it.  

On our weekly service this week for Brother Constantine.  The other elders found 3,200 rubles on the ground in the middle of the street.  They picked it up figuring it was ours and then came and did service and then after when they realized that it wasn't ours we didn't know what to do.  So we prayed that God would inspire or give us revelation to whose money it was.  After the prayer we still didn't know, so then we knocked on doors.  We went door to door asking if anyone had lost money.  We didn't want to do this at first because we figured that everyone would just say yes and then try to guess the amount but to my surprise and pleasure everyone was honest and actually tried to help us find the right person.  It might have just been because we were four Americans in a tiny little farm land place but the word got around and people started popping out of their houses to come watch us.  We went to this Asian lady's house and rang the bell and she came out and said that she lost nothing.  So we headed back out to the street when she comes running out of the house with her son and asks how much we found and we said we wouldn't tell her and then she said was it 3,200?  And we were surprised and said yes and gave her the money.  It turns out her grandson was walking home and it fell out of his pocket.  It was a miracle for God to answer our prayer that fast and directing us where to go.  Then after on the way home we all stopped and had a prayer of gratitude for the help.

Thank you so much for the birthday package it was awesome!  Somehow I manged to wait until my birthday to open the presents.  I love the presents!  Also Sister Perkinson called me and wished me happy birthday which was so nice!  I had a great birthday.  I didn't really do anything but Elder Crabb gave me a jar of peanut butter which was much better than a cake!

Thanks for all the letters and support.  I love serving out here!  


Elder Wilding
My birthday presents
My way nice hat and birthday Panther pajamas and socks
Our way nice meal
Tiger of Ussuriysk
My district

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 37? I don't even know...

Hello my beloved family and friends!

Where to start.  I guess where I left off.  So after emailing you all last Monday we as a district went bowling.  I personally prefer the curve approach and was able to get a strike or 2 with that approach but mostly gutter-balls.  It was fun though.  It is 1000 rubles for a lane for an hour.  It pretty cheap when you separate it between 4 people.

We again taught Vo this week.  He was a little sick so he had so trouble reading.  But at the end of the lesson he prayed after some persuasion.  He is still progressing along but couldn't make it on Sunday because his condition worsened I guess.

And V.  We had a baptismal date for him in 2 weeks.  And as Satan always does when people have baptismal dates he made his life go crazy.  We retaught him the restoration and had a great powerful lesson and he told us that he knew it was true.  And as a branch we watched the face to face with Elder Holland and he came (everyone said the translation was bad) and we thought everything was good.  But on Sunday we were walking home to have dinner and we saw him on the street and started to talk to him.  He told us that we couldn't meet anymore.  He said his parents told him that we were a cult and if he meets with us again than he is no longer their son.  So that was sad but he still believes it and we pray that one day his parents hearts will be softened.

We got a new investigator named E.  He only has one eye.  He isn't too interested in the gospel but he comes to English practice and game night.  He is a good guy.  He has been through a lot.

Oh yeah, Elder Lyman called me this past week and told me that Egor was baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And Elder De Sandre baptized him!  It was so amazing to hear that!  He is the best and so special!  It so cool  to see that a person that I found entered the waters of baptism.  It is amazing to be a instrument in the hands of the Lord.  I hope so much that I will have the opportunity to make it back to Angarsk one day and talk to him again.  The work works!

At K's for our weekly service activity we rolled seeds mixed in dirt into little balls so that when he throws them on his field that the birds won't eat them.  And we chopped wood for him.  I really like chopping wood.  It is so satisfying!  I will send a picture of his hut thing that he calls a Mormon center haha.  He also made a oven out of bricks and mud and whatever he could find.

We called Va.  He lives in the coldest city on earth, at least that is what I hear.  He lives in Ya-kootsk.  We usually call him about once a week and meet with him over the phone.  He is trying to do missionary work down there.  I love him!  We were teaching a lesson and then Elder Crabb passed me the phone and I started to talk and he yelled "wilding hello" I couldn't help but laugh a little considering he doesn't know English.  Who knows, maybe one day we will get to go visit him or get a branch organized down there.

Spent quite a lot of time at a doctor's office.  We went following Presidents direction of finding someone who has the profession we want to become.  Well, we went to the building and waited for the surgeon but he was really busy and had no time to talk with us so we have to go back another time.  I didn't mind waiting though, the chairs in that place were so soft.  I could have sat there forever.

This gospel is becoming so much more of me now.  It helps me see what is really important and I know that this work which we are engaged in is true.  Whenever doubt or confusion hit me I always go back to the Book of Mormon.  It's true.  It's the word of God.  No man could write such a book except he be inspired of God.  It is just too much for a man to do by himself.  But he did have God's help and he translated it in such a short period of time.  But without that book.  Without that evidence, I don't know if I would still be a member of this church.  I always go back to it and it is such a source of comfort and power.  I love the Book of Mormon and know that it is truly God's words. How lucky I am to have an hour every single day  to study it's teachings and ponder it's words.  I know it's true.

Thanks everyone for all the letters and the support.  They make a difference.

Love Elder Wilding
 K's thing
 His oven ↓

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Bear, a Fajita, and an Accidental Temple Attendance

Hello Dad, Mom, Brothers, everyone else,

This week was another one of those good ones.  March is practically halfway over and doesn't seem to be slowing down.  But I rejoice once more that I am able to write this email to you and enjoy another p-day.

So first, V just keeps on progressing.  It is wonderful!  He still won't come to church for whatever reason but now he does his reading assignments and has good questions.  Last lesson he asked why we are not supposed to pray to icons.  We gave him the scripture in Exodus about the commandments.  And then when we were at the church doing something he came and told us he read it.  The weird thing about him is that he will come to the church, just never when we want.  My first week here he came right after church ended.  And several times he gets mad at us because he says he goes to the church at random times during the day and it is locked.  We have to explain to him a thousand times that we don't live there and that he should call us first.  But all in all he is learning and progressing and it is great to teach him!

We started the English Book of Mormon reading club this week.  Or at least the first week that anybody came to it.  We have English practice at 630 and reading club at 600.  Seems to be a success so far and hopefully we will get more people to come to English practice as well.

To all the women happy holidays.  On the 8th of March it was Women's Day.  And then yesterday it was pancake day but it has a deeper meaning than just that.  President wrote something about it and I haven't had the chance to read it yet.

After the conference me and Elder Crabb have decided that we need to sacrifice to become more consecrated.  We (on our whiteboard) drew an altar and placed things on it.  For example, one of the things we have on our altar is to have timely meals and be out of the door before 12.  They aren't really crazy sacrifices and it is stuff we try to do anyways but we know that when we put things on "the altar" we will become more consecrated and show God that we are willing to sacrifice.  And sacrifice brings the blessings of heaven.  Then if we keep whatever we put on the altar, we add another thing.  And then if we keep both, we keep on adding one a day.  But if we don't keep them, we don't add anything else on until we keep all of them.  It is really good and I know it will bless us.

At the conference President talked about slowing down during the learning process.  He says so many times we go too fast and then when we get out of our comfort zone on the streets or somewhere we go back to our comfort zone of what we know and remember.  But if we hurry the process we won't have that knowledge in our comfort zone.  It is hard to describe now that I am writing it but it was really good!

We do service now at a member's house.  His name is C and he was not active when I got here.  He is about 5'8 and has a long white beard.  The service we do for him is that we travel all the way out to dacha land (where all the gardens are) and cut wood for him and cut tall grass with a sickle.  It is fun to do the work and on his yard he wants to plant trees and he has this half built probably not the safest house type thing that's cool to look at.  Then after the service we sit down with him and have a spiritual thought.  He gave us dates to eat while we talked and dates are delicious!  And now that he is active again he just wants to see the branch grow and go out with the missionaries and do all the member missionary work.  All we had to do to get him back was go visit him.  It is a miracle we found him!

Last P-day we went to the zoo!  Many massive bears and and some wolves.  The zoo also has a lion but it only comes out at certain times and we went too early.  But it was awesome!  We went with one of the other Elder's investigators.  His name is A and he does the Olympic sport where you are on skis and go flying down the steep hill and see how far you can fly.  He is so great!  Then later that week we went over to K's (our Russian teacher) and made fajitas for her family.  She has 2 little boys.  And then we went to a a Russian Orthodox temple to buy a Bible and when we arrived the bell tower went off and then multitudes of grandmas come storming in the building and doing their service. There I am standing there having no idea what is going on.  It was funny and we managed to get out and it turned out they ran out of the Bible I wanted.  

We have been teaching repentance and it is good too because some don't really understand it.  Vlad came to church!  Another miracle!

This week was good as always!  

Hope all is well.

Elder Wilding
Kram art
Average bus
Vlad helicopter
My dream car
Getting our studies in
Sharma, quite possibly the best food in the world
Crazy huge rare almost Costco type store

Monday, March 7, 2016

Elder Kacher

Hello once again to everyone.  The ice that lines the sidewalks is starting to melt and the weather is quite pleasant.  I remember when I first got in the country sweating and being so hot.  And then it got so cold.  But as for right now the weather is perfect!

We got a new investigator named A.  He doesn't believe in God but says he doesn't have proof that there is no God so he is open to what we teach.  He loves fishing and loved the pictures of the salmon and halibut in my picture book.  We found him in the area book and called him and found out he lives in the building that our church is in.  The area book is magic.  It has so many good people just waiting for us to call.  I look forward to teaching him!

We meet with Vlad again this week.  He is the investigator whose parents are super against the church but mostly just Americans.  He told us he was going to come to the conference we had on Sunday with Elder Kacher of the 70.  But then he texted us that morning and said his mom wouldn't let him.  But we will keep working with him.

BVolodia continues to progress!  It is a miracle to see his heart change.  Lessons are so much different know.  They just feel different.  He is reading Book of Mormon and praying.  Before he maybe got a verse and a half of the Book of Mormon and then says that he is tired and can't read any more and usually completely rejects the invitation to pray.  But since we haven't given up on him he is changing.  As Elder Crabb says "If we keep bringing the spirit and let him experience it, that is what is going to make the difference", or something along those lines.  And it is true.

 So this conference was pretty interesting.  All the members in this zone, that is members from Artyrom, Ussuriysk, Nahodka, came on buses to Vlad. Nahodka is about 4 hours away.  Anyways the Vlad sacrament room was packed.  All the missionaries had to stand out in the hall because of all the members.  The purpose of the conference was to hear Elder Kacher of the area presidency and the 70 speak.  He doesn't speak Russian so there was a translator.  Saturday was our conference with him.  He has an amazing story.  He is a convert at the age of 19.  He was born somewhere in the eastern states and when he graduated from high school he hopped on a plane to Austria to ski.  When he was there he had a strong feeling that he should go home.  He did and then had a feeling that he should go live with his friend who lives in Utah.  When he got there he was baptized.  A year after that he served a mission in Tahiti.  

He is a really great man.  He discussed many topics with us on how we need to make sure our investigators actually repent and about how we should be using the Book of Mormon more and many other things but the thing that the spirit taught me was that the gospel is love.  Everything that is done in the gospel is out of love.  It really hit me hard.  I always knew that but it just hit me harder this time.

The reason Elder Kacher came to our mission is because they are going to organize a district in the west.  That is one of the necessary steps before a mission can be organized.  And they are having a big conference in Ulan Ude.  And I heard that Egor is going to get baptized down there during the conference!  That is a miracle!  Right around the time I left he was starting to progress and then Elder Lyman told me after a lesson he asked if he could get baptized.  I pray and hope that all will go well with him.  I love him so much!

This week was another learning experience.  Now it is just time to apply what I learned.

 Everyone have a great week!

Elder Wilding
At the Zoo
Zone Conference
 Dear Brother and Sister Wilding

We have been blessed this week to be edified by President and Sister Kacher, General Authority of the church and Area Presidency of our mission. 

We have been encouraged to be urgent and use time wisely! We have been instructed to increase our ability to be led by the Spirit! We were reminded to teach Repentance and Baptize Converts, those truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

We were asked to have faith in Jesus Christ to overcome any mindsets that we may have. We were asked to learn to seek answers to questions of the soul thru the Book of Mormon and then teach this in our missionary work. We were asked to teach repentance as a blessing in our lives and that the atonement is for all people, no matter their past. We were asked to really work with less actives and seek to be led by the spirit.

Vladivostok Russia Mission Statement

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among his people, that they might have everlasting life. (3 Nephi 5:13)

We are a Preach My Gospel Mission!
We live by consecration.
We sow exact obedience.
We grow mighty faith.
We harvest precious souls.
We expect and facilitate daily miracles.
We talk with everyone.
We find with faith.
We teach repentance and baptize converts. 
We are happy, dignified and hard working!
We Love God and show charity for all His children.
We are the Vladivostok Russia Missionaries!

We have a desire to live the Mission Statement that we recite daily in our studies and when we gather in District meetings and Zone Conferences.

We love sharing the gospel with your son and we are grateful for your prayers in behalf of our Vladivostok Missionaries!


President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia Mission