Saturday, November 26, 2016

Russian Thanksgiving

Dear my family and friends,

A lot has happened, it is amazing how much more when I write on Saturdays.  Right after I wrote you, we got a ton of snow!  Everyone was shocked because it is still November and this much doesn't usually come until late December early January.  An American member who has been here 10 years said he hasn't seen this much snow this early ever.  Needless to say I am counting my many blessings.

Then the anticipated trip of the AP's coming.  They arrived on Sunday night and they ended up knocking on our next door neighbor's door instead of ours.  Somehow we forgot to tell them we moved ;).  I was with Crabb on the split and it was just like good old times!  We went to 3 people and by the end of our trip Elder Crabb was wishing he served here on his mission!  He denies it but we are in that place.  I convinced both of them to buy fox pelts before they got on their plane back to Vlad.

My Thanksgiving this year was quite different than last.  I actually celebrated it this year.  The Americans invited us over!  They bought the turkey in Japan and somehow transported it here.  It was massive!  We had everything and more, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, pie and all the goods.  It was a day to be remembered.

At church an inactive member brought in his friend and we are going to be teaching him on Wednesday.  I taught in Elders Quorum.  And we are our branch president's home teaching companions now!  He is an amazing man, the elect are here!​

Love you!  Elder Wilding
 Shoveling snow like a boss
 The tree going up

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hello World

My dear family and friends,

To start off, since I am writing this on Saturday this may be significantly shorter because I don't have Sunday to write about.  I'm just joking but it will probably be shorter because of a number of reasons.   But most importantly I still love it out here and am having the time of my life!

We helped a sister and her son in our branch move out of a bad house they were in to a house just across from the church.  Opportunity finally presented itself for me to use those gloves you sent me!  Turns out I didn't need them but I was wearing them on the way to the house looking way nice.

This morning our friend and member who is about a 60 year old Asian man took us out to the cheap market to buy groceries and then to a fish market.  He bought us halibut because he saw my pictures and that we used to catch them in Alaska haha.  Russians are really nice!

We were walking outside of our house to go visit a less active and out of nowhere we hear a "BLAM" and look to our left and see that the snow from of our building fell on a car below.  I don't know how it didn't break the window because it sounded like a gun shot.  They actually put out signs and tape so that people don't walk underneath some of the buildings in town.  The weather here lately has been that it snows at night and then in the morning it heats back up again and the snow starts to melt and hence why the large amounts of snow falling from the skies.

I bought my winter boots!  "Alaskas" is what they are called, they come up to my mid calf and are super warm.  Only cost 1100 rubles.  And that is crazy because off of Sakhalin you can buy them for 700.  Everything is more expensive here.

We had dinner at the orphanage that we served at a month or so ago. Only of the guys we meet there invited us to come with him.  We ended up having hot dogs which is something I haven't had for a while.  And we talked to the owners of it .  They are the Harrison's and are from Australia.  We had a great talk with them and might start to volunteer and help them finish the house.   They moved to Russian 11 years ago when they were 34 and 33.  Pretty amazing people.  Said that they felt that God called them.  Hopefully they will become interested in the church!

I love you all!  

Elder Wilding

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

President's Visit

 Dear Family and Friends,

It is great to write to all of you again after another successful week.  I have been winning the battle with my journal for a few weeks now for whether or not I will write in it.  I might be gaining massive amount of weight because we are back to eating chum chum for a crazy amount of meals.  Only time will tell.  Promised blizzards have been phonies, it just has got colder.  Maybe in the future will we finally get those promised snow storms of which I heard so much about.

We have been getting out early in the morning to try and catch less actives with good success!  Many promises of church attendance.  Many times we have prayed over specific people to be home when we go over and our prayers have been answered!  

One of our less actives works as a seamstress and I had some pants that needed sewing and we went over to her with a member and were able to meet her and also get my pants fixed.  

From Wednesday to Sunday President and Sister Perkinson came down to visit us on Sakhalin.  We went to many members houses with both of them and had interviews with President.  It was good to see them.  Simply being around them we get so much wisdom and knowledge.  Spiritual and temporal.  At one such visit we had dinner with a family consisting of the parents and two young daughters.  One of the daughters who is 5 years old really likes blonde hair and blue eyes and throughout the entire night was giving me drawings she had made haha.  

During President's talk on Sunday he gave a talk where he told Elder King he sent him a talk that he was supposed to print off and give it to all the men in the church.  We spent all of 2nd hour printing and self stapling because we couldn't find a stapler. Turned out a lot better than I thought.

It was a good week as always.  President really wants us to focus on service and getting to know the people of the community.

Love Elder Wilding

Letter from Mission President and wife with photos below:

Dear Brother and Sister Wilding,

We have been blessed to be able to visit the Sakhalin Branch this week. The members are blessed with strong branch leaders and influence of American strong members of the church! 
We are also very grateful for the strength of our young volunteers as they strive to uplift and give support to the branch members. 
The District met at the church early on Thursday. Afterwards we attended Institute.  We met with A wonderful young family that we were able to visit and teach and feel of their desire to return to full fellowship in the gospel inspire of difficult circumstances.
Friday President had Interviews lined up with the Elders and Sisters!
Saturday it started snowing! But that didn't stop us at all! 
We were able to visit a few more families and feel of their goodness and help them find joy in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Sakhalin Branch Building was filled with light and goodness this Sunday as each Elder and Sister took part in supporting and serving the members.

We are very grateful for your love and support! Thank you for your prayers in behalf of this mission and these wonderful Russian Saints!


President and Sister Perkinson

Vladivostok Russia
Another great memory: check out this purple cake that was as delicious as it was beautiful!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sakhalin State of Mind

My dear family and friends,

I am delighted once again at the opportunity to write to you.  I'm greatly blessed by all your prayers and letters for which I am truly grateful.   Also thanks for the package Mom and Dad.  I was informed that I couldn't open it until Christmas so it has been sitting in a corner for a week now but thanks to the use of modern technology, I have been found that I have been living underneath my privileges and actually can open them.  How lucky we are to have email.

I am pleased to say that I am the owner of a fox pelt.  Bought off the Renik for not too much.  She is a beautiful orange color.  I also bought a Shopka that makes it so that my ears will never be cold again.  But I can't wear it outside yet because I would get some strange looks.  It isn't cold enough yet.

We set up for the branch Halloween party but weren't able to attend due to a lot of things I don't want to get into.  We had some awesome snow storms when it was just pouring on us and we thought within a few hours it would be above our heads.  That isn't exactly what happened but maybe sometime soon!  Turns out there is a chess club on Sakhalin and when we went it it was only filled with guys 60 and up.  And when we sat down a man said to his friend, "I thought you said the youth don't play.",  and he may be right in my case because I got destroyed.

We had a cool experience where we went to visit a less active but had no way into her apartment building but on our way there one of our friends who lives there saw us and let us in.  The Lord prepares a way!  She wasn't home unfortunately, but we left a Liahona with an Asian man who opened the door.

While getting haircuts at our members hair cutting studio, her co-worker was there and we started to talk to her.  She was very interested in why we were here and what church we are from  and because a member of the church was there she was able to explain the things that we couldn't!  We are seeing miracles everyday!  Also a miracle we did a service project a little while ago at an orphanage called House of Hope.  While on the streets we met a man we met there who said that ever since that night he couldn't stop thinking about us and was so sad we didn't switch numbers!
And on Sunday we had a marvelous fast and testimony meeting.  A family who has been in America for about a month and a half just returned (they were even in Brigham City) and they all bore their testimonies of the temple becasue they went to many in America.  And the mother said that in the scriptures you read how America is a holy land but when she got there everything was the same as Russia she said.  But she noticed that everyone smiled and that there were a lot of believing people and that she absolutely loved that.

I am so lucky to be serving right now!  I love my time out here and am beyond blessed.

Love Elder Wilding