Monday, October 31, 2016

Pik Chekova

Hello one and all,

Oh man, I put this off to the end again, sorry!  Even more snow has gathered on the ground since the last time I wrote you.  My winter clothes from last year.  I just need boots and I'll be set.

A few church members took us hiking to Pik Chekova, a famous mountain on Sakhalin.  I for one reason or another did not bring enough warm clothes on the hike and everyone looked at me like I was crazy.  One of the members was nice enough to lend me his scarf.  It was pretty warm most of the hike considering there was snow all around us.  The only part that was bad was when we got to the top and it felt like we were on Everest -  the wind was blowing so fast.  We didn't stay there too long fortunately, and I still have all my fingers and toes.

During Russian Practice S our teacher told us a little about the history of Russia.  It sounded a whole lot like what happened in the Book of Mormon to me.  A lot of people denying the throne but instead of judges, imposters took power.

There was a representative of the institute program who visited and we have a conference with him.  Despite the meetings we played Floorball which is street hockey in a multi purpose room and we went bowling.

We had some more home teaching and had an awesome lesson with a member we went to last night.  He has had many experiences of when it was obvious that God's hand was in his life.  It really does seem that when people live righteous lives they end up having some really amazing things happen to them.

Good week!  I am still loving it!!!

Love Elder Wilding
Hike to Pik Chekova

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Snow Is Upon Us

Dearest family and friends,

Snow is on the ground!  And that means that we are just that much closer until it is covering the cars.  We talked to a woman today that said you can go to sleep with not much snow out and then wake up and open your front door and only see white.  And then she proceeded to do swimming motions showing how see gets to work when it's that bad.

Transfers came and went without any changes on our end.  Me and the King are together another six.  I was nothing but glad.  I don't really have any desire to leave this place and am hoping to spend as much time here as possible.  The sisters stayed as well.  

We took a hike on Monday in a thick fog.  We didn't have much of a view when we reached the top.  You could say we were in the clouds.  I wish I would have had a jar on me to catch a cloud in.  I've always wanted to do that ever since I was a little kid.  We climbed to see an old crashed USSR airplane which everyone had heard about but no one had seen.  That remains the same to this day.  We couldn't find the thing.  It was a shame but alas, we had a good time.

In the coming week we may be participating in an English club at our local library.  We'll see where that goes, we might have to make some kind of power point.  I don't know. Anyways, my sisters that where in the MTC with me go home at the end of this transfer.  Talk about time flying.

A large part of our week was spent working on less active work and making lists and seeing who we can go visit and whose info is correct and whose isn't and so forth.  We got into 2 houses with positive people inside.  We are hoping to bring them back to the fold and I think we have a really good chance with one of them.  The work of this next week will be largely spent on going out to more people.

I taught priesthood in church.  We had a home teaching appointment.  We made a huge batch of chum chum that lasted us more than half the week.  President has us send him every night a miracle we saw that day.  We are truly blessed.   I would invite you do do the same.  Expect and record the miracles you see.  If you don't expect them they won't happen consistently.

Life is good!  I love the members and love it here.  

Elder Wilding
King's coat inside out
With statue of Lennin
That says Utah smoke, Soback
What a beauty - Sakhalin temple
What we built, smile rock, fog

Monday, October 17, 2016

Salutations From the Island

Salutations from the Island,

Moving is.. at last.. 100% complete.  The agreement is signed, the rent is paid, and all has been moved over and put in it's proper place.  I would say that Elder King and I, are at high standings with our landlord who is no rookie in the field of cheese storing.  Until Monday night our fridge was the harbor of 12 pie-sized containers of cheese.  But it is gone now and we sleep better.  Our humble abode is quite the place, my mattress got upgraded from top bunk twin to normal level queen. We are living like Kings! (pun intended)

As for the rest of my week, our good member/friend M (who built his own house) asked if we could come over and help him with some of the exterior work.  Which meant roof work and making scaffolding (on and off the roof).  My drill skills have never been better after that fateful day of service.  Or more exactly my unscrewing skills.  You just have to line it up on the line.   They fed us fish soup before we got started, salmon to be exact.  To the shock of myself and all others I did not want throw up and die but actually found it quite normal.  Then for dinner we had fried rice with squid in it, game changer.  Somebody better tell Scott.  

We played LEXICO (language learning game) with our pal P on Friday at game night.  He is actually the only one who came but that didn't hinder our fun!  We were dying laughing the whole game.  The game has three levels of hardness and P took the top level every time.  Me and King had to go on level 2.  

We also taught L the gospel of Jesus Christ because her parents want her to have all the lessons before she gets baptized (she is already eight and her parents are active members).  And then had family night with them.  I love their family! 

Besides that, the rest of our week was dedicated to an assignment president gave us.    We are trying to find which less actives would most likely come back and put them on a list in order to see who we should work with first, more or less.

I love the Island.  I read out of the Liahona and found a thought I really liked:  The more we do the things we know we should, reading scriptures, praying, serving, etc.  We become more like God.  Thus increasing our capacity to experience the joy he feels.  And God is number 1 in the world of happiness.  The more we are like him the happier we will be.  It just makes sense.

Love you!

Elder Wilding


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Moving Success

Good afternoon brothers and sisters,

To start off I would like to let everyone know that the move was a success!  I myself absolutely hate even the thought of moving, but considering that our door (when opened with too much vigor) hits the door that we moved into, it is alright.  We had the miracle of moving into our neighbor's house!  Moving was basically stress free and even joyful.  The new place costs the same and is nicer.  I have no complaints.

The grind keeps on going, we had I think two activities at the church, one of which turned into quite a nightmare.  The 1st activity of the two was a Elder Cook's devotional he did for the youth.  That went without any problems. But our 2nd activity which was life size Clue had a different outcome.  So to prep for the game we made life size dice (of which I am actually quite proud) and the sisters made the cards.  We set up the rooms and taped the floor in order to make spaces for the players to walk.  We had good attendance, unfortunately due to the fact that it is incredibly hard to describe the game in Russian, most people were confused including me. 

Somehow I came off the victor anyways and we started to clean up.  While ripping off the tape we found that it didn't want to come off and left a huge mess on the church floor.  We were devastated.  We tried to scrub the left over sticky pieces with  a sponge but to no avail.  One store was opened that sold steel wool and saved our life's.  Now the church is clean but looks like it has an interesting tan line.  The floor where the tape was is whiter than the rest of the floor.

We went to the Exon community for family night at the Argyles and they fed us tacos!  I am afraid that I am going to lose my Russian because almost everyone here speaks English.  

Gladly, I was able to watch General Conference in English.  That was amazing as always!  

One of the English families told us of service at a half way home for orphans called "House of Hope".  They had a fundraiser and we were able to be there and assist.  They didn't have a ton for us to do but it was good being there and getting to know people.

The cold has started.  You will get funny looks if you go out without a coat.  You would think that if you survived a winter in Siberia you would never be cold again. 

Elder King and I keep on loving Sakhalin!  I pray all is well with you.

Elder Wilding
What happened to the floor
Sign I made for the fundraiser
Japanese candy

Monday, October 3, 2016

In the Hollow of my Hand

My beloved family and friends,

Life on a mission is like a train that takes a long time to get going but once it picks up speed there is no stopping it. But time on Sakhalin (I have been spelling it wrong this whole time) is like that train except that train grew space ship wings and is now moving at the speed of light.  I love it here!!!

"What even happened this week?" is what me and King always ask each other before we come.  I hope I can remember more this week.  So Monday we bought groceries, wrote home and then we went home and cleaned our house. You might say it was revelation because our landlords came over and told us we have to move.  Their house is getting repaired or redone and they are going to live in our house.  We spent a good chunk of time on the internet searching for new apartments.  We are hoping to be out in 2 weeks.

We had Russian practice and I learned that in English we used to have the ты (informal word for you) which is thee but the language changed and nobody uses it anymore.  Who knew?  We also got interviewed by one of our local Russian leaders and the whole thing was in Russian.  Speaking of Russian we traveled to a Russian Orthodox temple to see if we could serve with them.  We got the number of Father V, but due to one thing or another we haven't got to call him yet.

We had the chance to do a little home teaching.  We found like 10 museums we could go to and ask for service.  We also found a chess club and even some volleyball courts.  We went to one of the museums.  They didn't really have service but we might come back with a member and it will go better.  Then we had institute and I was the object lesson.  I was tied to a chair to represent the fall.  During the lesson however I managed to untie myself unawares to the others. Plus our teacher made cinnamon rolls after!  

On Friday we went on a beautiful hike with a investigator and some of the members.  We hike up a ski resort that had a gondola.  Even though there is no snow they still ran it but we didn't take it on the way up.  We hiked passed it and almost got lost in the forest that had many fallen trees until we reached the top of a different mountain then we had originally planned haha.  The peak was amazing!  We sat at the top and ate sunflower seeds because Russians love them.  We ended the day with sport's night.

We had a great fast Sunday and strengthened our relationships with the members.  Conference will be shown next week but I was able to hear about half of the women's general session including Elder Uchtdorf's talk.    

It was a good week!  I love it on the island!  


Elder Wilding  

Temple in Sakhalin
 The hike
 With Elder King
In the cabin you can get fresh clean water.  Gondola
The hike
A Sobaka, the temple
Giant nesting doll
Possible new apartment for you mom