Monday, April 25, 2016

President's Visit

Dear home,

This week flew by.  I guess that is nothing new.  President and Sister Perkinson came this week!  They interviewed all of us and Sister Perkinson brought cookies and other treats which were delicious!

Last Monday after we emailed you we went to the store called Moscow and did this ride type thing.  It was basically a roller coaster only it couldn't move forward or side to side, only rotate and go upside down and do flips.  It would have cost at least 15-20 dollars in America.  But in good old Russia, only 200 rubles, which is barely over 3 dollars.  That is one of the nice things about having a trainee, the things about Russia that make it unique and awesome I often forget about because that is just how it is, but Elder Roosa is constantly surprised by how cheap everything is haha.  I sometimes get annoyed when something is a little more that I think it should be but compared to the price in America it is a steal of a lifetime.  Grocery shopping will probably never be the same for me when I get home.  ладно.

Serving at K's is the best!  We get to chop wood for service!  I don't know if it is because I have been out here 10 months or what it is, but I absolutely love cutting wood!  And now that the weather is so nice, service is even more amazing!  He is from Malodovia and he spoke a little of his native tongue for us.  Cool language.

We keep on calling S and his phone keeps on making the beeping noise that we have no idea what it means.  We are afraid that because he is a sailor that he got called out to sea.  He was progressing so fast and wanted to follow the right path to God so badly.  We have no idea what happened.

Spring is here and the town knows it!  They are getting fountains set up and painting the city pretty colors and doing repairs on broken stuff.  And the weather is amazing with a little breeze and cool temperature!  I know it won't last long so I am trying to savor it while I still can!

We FINALLY watched General conference!  It was inspiring.  The talks were all great and I was really impressed with the choir this year.  For whatever session that the Logan choir sang, I saw a few people I know -  that was cool!  We watched the Saturday sessions in a different room in English but on Sunday we watched it in Russian with the members.  I could hear enough of the hushed English and understood enough of the Russian that I was able to get most of what they said out of it.  But conference truly is amazing on your mission!

Learned a truth while planning for an event.  We were planning for game night and in the past it has been good but we didn't ever get that many people so we tried to make it better.  The truth I learned is that a little extra work can make a huge difference.  We planned for it just a little longer and better and game night was way better than before.  The little things make the biggest difference.

Like I said at the top, President and his wife came and visited our branch.  They interviewed all of us and that was so cool.  He is so wise and I love talking to him!  He told me and the others to try to get a more natural approach to people and maybe not always go with the gospel approach, but just talk to people and ask them about them and try and get them to ask us why we are here instead of that being the first thing we say.  Me and Elder Roosa are going to start trying to find basketball courts to play at in the summer!  Russians are so bad at basketball so we should be fine.

That's it for this week.  I don't know if not a lot happened or if I just forgot everything but like I said this week flew.

I love you all!

Elder Wilding
(Pictures from President's visit - letter at bottom)
Elder's Wilding, Seibach, Hess, Artyom, Roosa, Branch President Zagarodny and President Perkinson
What the weather did to my umbrella

Dacha land
My way nice sweater
Statue  - - - Our view
Dacha land
Letter from President and Sister Perkinson:
Dear Brother and Sister Wilding,

It has been a lovely day in Ussuryisk today! We were able to drive up from Vladivostok, which is about a couple of hours away, to visit the Branch. We want to report that we found the Branch in good hands! 

Ussuryisk is a wonderful town because it seems to be very family oriented with schools and play grounds all around the town. That is also true of the Ussuryisk Branch members who understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and honestly do their best to live it!

Today our Sacrament Meeting was the rebroadcast of the 186th General Conference. Saturday's session was rebroadcasted yesterday. We had 23 members in attendance including our wonderful missionaries! The members provided lunch for everyone!

It was a spiritual feast indeed! At lunch we asked some of the members to tell us what was their favorite part about what they had heard. Some of the sisters scrambled to find their notes and read their favorite parts to the rest of us! It is wonderful to recognize their desire to continue on this path of righteous living by following the guidance and council from our living prophets and apostles! 

We are grateful for your son and the time and talents that he is sharing here in Ussuryisk! Thank you for your many prayers in behalf of all of the missionaries around the world, and especially for your prayers in behalf of our Vladivostok Mission. 

President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia Mission

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Walking On Rain

Good Morning everyone!!!  It is exactly 12:14 over here in far east Russia and the heavens are open pouring down rain as well as blessings.  I got my nice Renick sweater on, everything is good!

As well as my sweater I bought a Panther's hat.  Who would have thought that I would find that here?  Not me.  Right when I saw it, I lunged right over to the cashier and bargained for the hat.  I seriously got it for about 3-5 dollars.  It was a steal.  All the people from China run the Renick down here.  And some of them speak less Russian than me.  All they know is numbers and да.  But they seem to make a decent living because they all have the newest iPhone.  

Speaking of the weather, the umbrella I was sent out here with had it's first test.  I was out for maybe 10 minutes and the wind and rain destroyed it.  The wind first caught it up from underneath the clothes and broke the little wire parts but before long the "solid" main pole snapped in half.  But I like the rain so I probably wouldn't have used it anyway.  Russia:1  Umbrella:0

I was able to watch the first session of conference.  We downloaded on the church computer and transferred the file onto a flash and watched it at home.  I was really impressed with all the talks.  Especially the talk given by Elder Hallstorm.  When he read the words from the 7th verse of How Firm a Foundation, the spirit of God entered my soul so strongly and lasted until he finished the lyrics so that I could never deny what I felt.  It was an amazing experience of which I immediately wrote about it in my journal.  I was taught the more you value what the Lord gives you the more you will be given.

And as for investigators,  S:  He came into our lesson and said that he had been memorizing scriptures haha!  He acts on things we don't even invite him to do.  He didn't come to church last week and he told us that his faucet broke and was spraying water all over the place right around the time of church. He told us he thought it was the devil keeping him from coming. We told him he was right and that since he has a baptismal date Satan would try his best to keep him from it. He is so wonderful!  We taught him the word of wisdom which he basically already follows and also tithing and fasting.  He committed to follow both!  
V:  He is changing!  When were at his house in earlier lessons it was sometimes hard to breath because he never showered.  But he showered now and cleaned up his place and was wearing nice clothes I had never seen him wear.  The gospel is amazing what it does to people.

We went less active finding and went clear down to a place that could be called Pakistan.  It looked just like what I would image Pakistan looks like.  There were even people that are most likely from Pakistan who lived there.  It was a strange place.  But it was fun!

Please tell Brother Swalwell and Sister Hillman thanks for the package!  It was so great to receive it!  It means a lot!

During language study Baba A called us (she is the lady that we take the sacrament to her house) and said we needed to help her fix her TV remote because it was broken.  We went over there and all I had to do was put the same batteries that were in the remote in again and everything worked.  Then she had us sit down and told us everything about her life.

On Saturday night Elder Hess called and told me that the following morning I would be giving a talk.  Haha missions.  I wasn't stressed or concerned at all though.  I don't know why.  I was able to do it too without any sweat.  It was cool.  Everything went well.  It is probably because I prayed first.

Sister P is going to the temple in Korea this week so we have been helping her on family search find her ancestors to do.  It is amazing that even these people in Russia can find and go do the saving ordinances for their ancestors.  She is so excited for the temple!  It takes great sacrifice for them to go.  But that doesn't discourage them in the slightest.  It only makes the temple more sweet.  Their examples are amazing.

So yesterday on our way home.  Three Asian's yelled at us in English.  They wanted to find Burger King.  They didn't speak any Russian.  I gladly showed them the way and on the way down I talked to one of them.  He spoke English fluently.  He was from Seoul and was on vacation here.  He said he loves Russia and that it is very beautiful and now he plans on learning Russian because he liked it so much.  It was cool to talk to him.

Well, that does it for this week.  I hope you all have a good week and attend the temple.  


Elder Wilding

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Sweeter the Oats the More Pitiful the Deadman

Hello family and friends!  I am delighted to be able to write you!  I love to read your letters and learn of you!  This week was exciting as ever.  One of my favorite quotes I have ever heard about Russia is this: "Things that just don't happen, happen in Russia" and that is how it often seems haha!

So I am very distraught to announce that I have not yet seen conference.  For some reason in Ussuriysk they had planned to watch it on the 25th or around there.  When I tried to change it it didn't work so I will be going through a least one more time of writing you before I hear the "pleasing word of God".  Although there is a loop hole.  We have already downloaded them all on the computer so I have already watched the women's conference and Saturday morning conference during dinner and after 9:30.  Although that is good, I am sad to say that my journal is lacking because of the conference watching.  But I am recommitted and I am only a few days behind.

We had a miracle and received a new investigator named Sergei.  Maybe I talked about him last letter but he just showed up at church and said he is looking for the truth.  The news for him is that he believes it and wants to get baptized!  We set a date for the 23rd of April but he called yesterday and said he couldn't come to church due to him being really busy.  So we will move that back but our hope and faith is still high and we love him!  He is honestly searching for the truth.  And we promised him he would find it.  He speaks English and I want to say he speaks fluently but he doesn't have the grammar down completely and always says "in the" before everything but he uses the biggest most abstract words that we have no idea how he knows what they mean let alone knows how to use them in a sentence.  Also another miracle about him is that when we met him on Sunday, I lost his number.  And I was in the galls of bitterness because of my stupidity.  But he came to English practice and everything worked out!  We were reading the Book of Mormon with him in English and the part where it says "600 B.C" he read as "600 years before Christmas" haha!  I guess he wasn't actually wrong, but it was hard to not laugh haha.  And when we asked him to get baptized and explained how it would be he said, "You are going to give me a dip haha".

So the title of my email is an intriguing Russian tradition.  I don't think that it is still practiced.  But how it goes is that after the funeral of a dead person everyone gets together and has a big feast.  Some traditional Russian foods are always served at these things such as blini and casha.  Or crepes and oatmeal.  And this is how it goes, if the person who died was a really really good person and everyone was sad that he died then that means that the casha (oatmeal) would be loaded with sugar.  And vice-versa.  If it was a bad guy and no one was all too sad that he had passed - the casha would taste awful due to the lack of sugar.  So the better you were, the more the sugar.  The worse you were, the less the sugar.  Therefore the sweeter the oats the more pitiful was the death of the dead man.  

Oh yeah haha, I never hung up the stuff you sent me for my birthday mom until Elder Roosa informed me that it was the 6th of April and that it was Jesus Christ's birthday.  So we hung it all up haha.  It brightens the place.  Oooh also me and Elder Roosa both have the same birthday and both had a companion in the MTC named Brower.  It is good having a new companion right out of the states.  He is shocked by how cheap everything is haha.  I guess it is something I just got used to.  

Went over to President Zaggoroni's house twice this week.  He played guitar for us both times and had us sing I am a Child of God in English for him both times.  Haha I love it!  He is such a happy man!  He is always so big on that!  You should be happy now.  Not down the road.  Not when you get to heaven but now.  I like that attitude.    

It rained twice this week as well.  I love the rain!  I hear it rains a lot in this city!  I am so happy!  

Roman, a potential we called out of the area book, came to church!  He calls me Elder McKay.  It is fine for right now but when we start meeting with him he will change.  

I am sure more is happening but thanks to the women's and Saturday morning session of conference and also to my own forgetfulness, that is all I remember .  

I love you all!

Elder Wilding
Dacha land

Elder Memmott?
Elder Memmott?

Bowling with Elder Crabb

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Different Companion. Same Apartment.

Hello everyone!  Happy General Conference!  I can't wait to watch it!  General conferences out here are amazing!  

With transfers comes change.  And 2 of the members of our district left. Elders Memmott and Crabb.  And to celebrate the great time we had this past 6 weeks, we went bowling.  We bought 2 lanes.  And then the 4 of us just kept on switching back from lane to lane and I think by the end we got in something like 5 games in in a hour.  After bowling we went to dinner at the nice restaurant "Skaska".  I got a pork steak.  Pretty Good.  The place was fancy.  We ordered off of iPads.  I felt like a state missionary for a second haha.  I thought it would be cooler than it was.  I think I just prefer a regular menu.  Then to end the night 3 people in our branch had birthdays all on the same day.  And 2 of them were exactly the same age.  What are the chances?  We had a family night/party for them.  

Russian practice has now moved to 10 am.  And it is now at our teacher's house.  She got a new job and she doesn't have that much time so we will be doing that form now on.  

It rained!  Twice!  It was beautiful.  I hear it rains in Ussuriysk a lot.  Unfortunately one of the days Elder Roosa forgot his coat and got a little wet because it was coming down hard.  век живи век учись (Live and Learn).  That is one of my favorite Russian phrases.  I think my all time favorite though is как нельзя лучше which means "couldn't be better". I found out that Russian Easter is on May 1.  I get 2!

Me and Elder Crabb took a bus to Vladivostok.  And then slept in Elder Lyman's apartment there.  Then we woke up the next morning and there was just something different in the air.  The new elders had arrived.  We took a bus and then walked up the hill to President's house.  We arrived to the smiling faces of President and Sister Perkinson as well as Elder Bacon (not Kevin), Baugh, and Roosa.  They all looked about a 100 percent different the picture we saw of them.  We had a little conference and Sister Perkinson made us an amazing breakfast!  It was so good.  Then we talked and had a discussion from about 9:30 to 1:30.  I learned a lot even though it was for the new missionaries.  Then right after that we made our way to district meeting in Vlad.  On the way there we were contacting and I was shocked Elder Roosa knows Russian fantastically.  He speaks so much better than I did when I first got out of the MTC.  I couldn't understand anything and everyone thought I was speaking English to them when I was speaking in Russian.  But that isn't a problem for him.  I am lucky to be training such a great Elder!  He is from Parker, Colorado.  Loves to ski and actually worked at a little place called Aspen as a lift worker.  I really like him.  I have been blessed with great companions my whole mission.

On Saturday we met with Sister P.  And we planned to talk about preparing for general conference and asking questions but the spirit took it a different way and we ended up talking about miracles and her conversion story.  She said that she was working in this little store when two boys in white shirts and nametags came in and needed to buy something but were in a hurry.  She was interested because you don't see that everyday so she told them to stop and she wanted to talk.  But they were on their way somewhere and didn't have the time so they got her number.  Later they called her and said let's meet.  At that time she didn't really want to but she did anyways.  They met in a bus station and did the first lesson.  When they got to the first vision she said the elder pulled out the photo of Joseph Smith and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and she was drawn to it.  See didn't know why.  And when he related the first vision to her in Joseph's words she said that her heart burned so hot inside of her.  And she was scared and told them that she had to go because she didn't understand it and thought that maybe it was hypnotizing or some magic thing and she was scared because she had never felt like that before.  And she left.  Lucky the Elders were persistent and got to meet with her again and to make a long story short...she was baptized.  It was a very powerful lesson.  I shared the miracle of E.  (He got baptized the same time as Eg).  And how when me and Elder Lyman found him he hated life and had nothing and was smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day.  But now that he has the gospel he loves life and has a job and a phone and he told us, "Ever since I have been meeting with you I just don't want to smoke."  He met with Elders for a week and in that time he went down from 2 packs a day to only 2 a day.  And now he has finally quit.  Conversion is a miracle and watching it in someone's life is truly amazing!

I love it out here!  Thanks for all the letters!  They mean a lot!  I love you!

Elder Wilding

Sister Perkinson sent us these photos and a letter (at bottom).
Training meeting with Pres. Perkinson
With Elder Roosa (new comp)
With Elder Lyman
Dear Brother and Sister Wilding,
It is always good to report on what has been going on in our mission. We sent home seven missionaries and received three new Elders straight from the MTC yesterday. Today we invited three Elders to come to the Mission Home for breakfast and a few hours of training prior to sending them out on the streets to actually start their mission.

We are grateful for their training service today!
I think they are ready to hit the streets! 

Thank you for your prayers in behalf of this mission! We love your son and we feel grateful for the many hours of 
at home preparation for this time in his life. The gospel is true and changes lives for good! 
Sister Verna Rae Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia