Monday, June 27, 2016

From Colorado to Germany and then to Korea

Quite a busy week we just had at us, with all this transfer business (so many goodbyes and new companions), and all of our lessons miraculously lining up, we've been struggling to find time to eat!  

Spring is still in the air here in beautiful Ussuriysk!  With May showers that have continued into June (which look like they will be stretching into the coming month as well) and a light sometimes overpowering breeze, I couldn't ask for better weather!  It is going to get so bloody hot soon I am trying to enjoy it while I can.  There were a few days this week when it rained the whole day and the whole night and my new rain coat I just bought got put to the test.  Basically nobody was on the streets though so contacting was pointless.  It was nice to be in the rain though!

On Tuesday night the Nielsons (senior couple from the Novosibirsk mission) came and did a fireside in the church on the 12 step addiction program.  They are from Shelly Idaho.  Anyways they don't speak any Russian basically and needed a translator so we invited our friend S to come and help them out.  He is our investigator and isn't really interested in the gospel yet but he came to the church and did a really good job translating for them.  The next day we dropped Elder Roosa off in Artyom.   It was a blast serving with Elder Roosa!  He is a great elder who will have a lot of success on his mission.  I am going to miss serving with him. While we waited for Elder Staiger (my new comp) to arrive, we ate at "Noodle House",  really good place!  I got some noodle thing I don't remember the name of now but it was tasty.  Then he got there and we took a bus back to Ussurisyk and made it to institute.  Elder Staiger is from Germany about an hour away from Berlin.  He is a gifted soccer player and speaks Russian very well.  He speaks English completely fluent and I think we are going to get along really good!  He is a funny guy and good to work with!

O is progressing fast!  He always comes to the church, he probably checks the church door 30 times a day or something because whenever we are there he comes in.  It is way convenient because we don't have to call him for a lesson, he just shows up!  Mr. W is still in China but we believe he is still reading everyday and praying.

Yesterday night a weird thing happened.  We met a 14 year old kid from Canada.  He was visiting his grandparents and spoke both English and Russian perfectly.  He was just chilling in the play ground with all these other Russian boys when he talked to us.  

It is nice not having companions form Utah haha. Elder Roosa was from Colorado and now I've got Germany.  Everybody just assumes we are all from Utah (90% of the time true) and when you have a comp from somewhere else they are always surprised.  

We have been in a trio for the past half week with Elder Hess.  He has trouble sleeping sometimes and on Thursday he made blini in the middle of the night due to the fact that he couldn't sleep and when we woke up in the morning we  looked in the fridge and there they were haha!  They were so good!  

Love you all!  Have week!  

Elder Wilding

PS:  I am going to Korea today in like 5 hours!  They are opening the baptismal font specifically for the missionaries!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Happy Fathers Day or in Russia Ascension Day

Good Monday everyone!  I'm staying in Ussuriysk!!! Elder Roosa Is bouncing to the west like a Siberian tiger and is companions with Elder Butler who served here.  Every elder who serves here either goes to Vlad or Irkutsk, it has it has been that way ever since I arrived in the mission and even a little before.  And there are no exceptions either.  It's nuts!

My life just got cooler by not having an American comp!  His name is Elder Staiger and he was born and raised in Germany.  He has been on the mission one transfer less than me and speaks good English.  It should be a outstanding transfer coming up!

I have memorized a "pushkin" poem thanks to K our Russian teacher.  He is the best poet Russia has ever known and they love him for it.  They just finished a statue of him and put it on the corner of a street named after him.  It should help us gain some respect from these people.

Mr. W is still pushing away and reading and loving the gospel like anyone could ever wish for but is in China for 1/2 a month.  That means no contact, not even phone calls until he gets back.  He is going to the church there and ask them some questions about the Book of Mormon so we pray that everything will be well with him.

I started on writing my letter home at least a month ago and still haven't got to finishing it.  The paper I choose is so huge I never realized until I got started so I need to do something so I can get it sent this week.  Also went to a dolphin show which was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  He rode the dolphins like a surfboard! And that wasn't even the coolest thing.

For my year mark we burned a white shirt.  It was one of the ones that I came in with with the way huge neck.  I was happy to get rid of it!  It was fun to burn and think about all the good times.  I really have had some good good times!  We had sushi to celebrate and it was better this time than last time I ate it so maybe one day I will come to love it.  Elder Sieboch bought me a delicious chocolate cake!

President Perkinson came to the branch on Sunday by surprise.  It is always good to talk to him.  He somehow always inspires us by just talking to us and not even saying things that I would say to get people inspired.  We are lucky to have him!

Well that's all for this week.  I am going to Korea next week on Monday so I might write a little early next week.  I only went 6 weeks ago but they are trying to get us all on the same schedule.  

Love you all, have a good week!

Elder Wilding

Some tidbits from McKay's companion's letter:
-We took a taxi ride and the driver gave us some free lighters as a promotion. We bought a million incense sticks and lit a bunch of them on fire at once to make a very nice smelling torch. We also burnt Elder Wilding's shirt on his one year mark. We didn't have a great place to do it so we went out on the balcony and put it inside of a pot. Elder Wilding kept holding onto the shirt forever and i thought he was gonna burn himself, but he was able to get it into the pot at the last minute. Overall it was nice to have a little campfire, no matter how strange the circumstances. The lighter finally ran out and I think I will avoid buying more.

-We met a guy who's job is just to spammed instagram with useless information to try and break down the site, kind of like a DDOS attack I think. I'm not sure why someone was paying him to do this but he acted like it was a completely normal job.

-We were teaching a guy and he was complaining about how many drunks there are in Russia. I tried to say "That's not just in Russia, that's in America, in the whole world" but he thought I said "America is the whole world". He got a bit offended but my buddy Elder Wilding was able to explain it before he got too mad.

Letter from his mission President and wife (with photos):
Today is Sunday, and if we were in the United States we would be celebrating "Father's Day. So Happy Father's Day to you. So today we met at the Ussuryisk Branch and enjoyed a wonderful Sacrament meeting with these great missionaries.

Elder Wilding led the music. Elder Roosa and Elder Seibach gave beautiful testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And Elder Hess sang a beautiful solo, "Abide With Me 'Tis Eventide" that he had pre recorded of himself accompanying. 
We had 36 in attendance at Church. Three branch members spoke about the blessings of the Temple, Charity and the Law of Chastity. Then President Perkinson had the missionaries stand and recite the Vladivostok Mission Statement, which the branch enjoyed very much. 
Sometimes the members have a mixed emotions about transfer week, because some of their current missionaries are being transferred to other cities. Above all, the Ussuriysk Branch members are grateful for the service of these fine missionaries! 
Thank you for your support, your prayers and your testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Thank you for doing your part to share the "good word" there at home.


President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia Mission


Monday, June 13, 2016

Year Mark Pending: 5 Days

Dear my fantastic family and my good friends,

If I had forgotten that my year mark is almost here, mom definitely reminded me by sending me a lot of hump day camel pictures haha.  It is almost here and it is incredibly weird.  I don't feel like it has been that long, not even close, maybe a few months and that's all.  But I look back and I guess it has been almost a year.  I have had many fun times, happy times, sad times, home-sick times, laughing times and of course spiritual times.  It is true what they told me, when I look back at the first year I only remember the good times.  I'm glad I decided to serve and to be among these wonderful people in Russia.  I'm grateful for all the things I've learned and all the things that have happened which have changed the person I am.  I know it has made me a much better person to serve.  It is amazing how much we receive when we serve.  Almost always it seems to be more than what we give.

The reason I am writing a little later than normal is because we just climbed a mountain with our good pal S!  He is a investigator who told us he knows this forest and he wanted to take us to it.  It was awesome!  We got some good pictures even!  We hiked to the top through this forest!  It was awesome to be in nature! I miss camping so much!  The air was fresh and it wasn't too hot.  We found a tiny river bed and climbed down that and then went to the biggest river in Ussuriysk and sat down and relaxed.  The river reminded me of Alaska when we go and fish in our waders.  The water was low and there was a little rock beach in the middle.

An interesting thing happened on Tuesday.  I met a computer spammer.  He said he spams Instagram and takes everything he uses from America. He was a kind of a weird dude.  Also we had splits and me and Elder Hess were together.  For lunch we decided to have Burger King.  It was good. I haven't had fast food in a while and that was normal, but later that day we met with our taxi driver friend who we befriended not too long ago.  After talking for a little he says, "Let's go to Burger King". We didn't want to but we did anyways. Our cashier worker had tattoos everywhere and maybe the strangest tattoo I have ever seen.  His lower left arm from his wrist to his elbow was just black. The whole thing was black covered in ink.  Anyways to make a long story short, I order two sandwiches and he gave me three and now I never want to eat Burger King again. I felt like throwing up.

I almost forgot, last Monday we made real Borsch with Sister R!  It was delicious and tasty and we loaded it with mayo!  The Russians know how to eat!  We just got some thunder today and it was wonderful!  Thanks again for all you do and for your example and for the support.  I love what I am doing and I love all of you!

Elder Wilding

Monday, June 6, 2016

Shaurma and a Taxi, plus Boris

Dear Dad, Mom bros and everybody else,

It has probably been our most effective week together.  Lessons were lining up and we were having fun having a good time living life in Russia preaching the gospel teaching new investigators, even eating some apple pie. I love being out here!  Russia has been good to us this last week!  And also how could I forget I even got some wood!

So to start off this past week we had a good P-day when I cut Elder Hess's hair.  I think I did a pretty good job!  Then after that we had family night and played Yahtzee card style and the ward enjoyed it and B came who showed up on church the day before and he loved the game and then we had an awesome lesson with B after with Sister P!  

On Tuesday we went to service at K's and cut a ton of wood!  And then headed down to Vlad to be on splits with the APs.  We slept there and had a really good time with them!  The next day I was with my hometown missionary Elder Bodily and we had a great day where I finally got a Bible in Russian, got some more stuff out of storage and had a lesson with a girl named H who is progressing great! I ate two Shaurma's and was in heaven. I traded my tie to Elder Gray for his.  We then went home on a way nice bus for like an hour and a half.  Buses are super fun!  The next day we had district meeting and painted a room in a kindergarten school place!  I got paint all over my hands trying to paint behind this coat rack type thing. Then we met again with B and found out that he works everyday besides Monday through Friday so it will be hard for him to come to church again.  But it was still a good lesson! Our taxi driver was cool on the way over and he gave us his number and we met with him the next day and he brought his girlfriend.  He isn't super interested in the gospel right now but he is really nice.  He took us to a hill over the town and we overlooked Ussuriysk.

On Saturday we had sports night and I got to throw around a football which is something I haven't done for a long time.  It was great!  We played soccer and again I tried to cross it and it went in the goal!

Then on Sunday we went over to S's and he made us a homemade apple pie!  And we met with this guy who came in the church whose name is O.


Elder Wilding
Doing splits with my hometown boy Elder Bodily