Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!!

С Рождеством!

It was awesome to see you and talk to you on Skype!  Crazy to think that next Christmas I will be there.  I honestly don't want to leave. I was planning on telling you how we are in Russia and didn't even have a white Christmas but today the snow picked up and we are in the middle of mini blizzard right now.  Who knows maybe we will end up with a foot before it ends just like you.  My Alaska's (my boots) have hardly had any tests this whole winter, but I think these would be warm even in Siberia when it is -40.  Hopefully snow won't stop until Russian Christmas (7 January).  

As I mentioned in my Skype call we have our investigator Nikolai on date to be baptized on the 14th of January.  We found him in the area book, his chart looked great and for who knows why the elders stopped meeting with him.  He looks a lot like Putin and Harry Potter mixed.  Ever since we committed him to baptism he has stopped smoking.  He has tried in the past with no success but he said this time it is easy for him. Prayers have been answered every day and he is on his 5th day already!

We went sledding on what seemed to me like a pretty lousy hill with some branch members but it turned out to be super fun!  We bought sleds for 70 rubles a piece (they tried to charge us 346 for one, but we caught it, it was a problem with a price tag) and those babies flew!  

The Severukins were in our district meeting and we also held a mini MTC for them since them just started their mission 2 weeks ago and didn't have anything like it.  It went well, we have plans to go serve at a orphanage and maybe a few other places.  Actually we took about half a day with the sisters and just walked around town from building to building asking if we could serve.  Most people told us that they had nothing for us to do then we went to a Japanese museum and were met with the same kind of talk, we persisted and the manger lady came down and told us that we could and gave us free tickets to the museum right on the spot!  It was a miracle!  

Thanks for all that you all do!  New Years has a lot more celebrators in Russian and I haven't heard yet but we will probably go home early on New Year's eve.  The branch is having an activity but we can go.  Have a Happy New Year!
Love you all!

Elder Wilding
 Christmas tree making
I was a wiseman
Christmas Party
 With Elder Lawrence

Monday, December 19, 2016

Builder, Welder, Frisbee Thrower

President came on Friday and leaves tonight.  He came with a couple from Moscow and a few of the humanitarian representatives around the mission.  The purpose of his visit was to set apart the Severrookins (a senior couple from Sakhalin) for their full time missionary service.  We will be blessed to have them in our district for 2 months before they start to travel around the mission. President was pretty busy so we didn't see him a ton but we had breakfast with him today and got to talk about the branch and what is about to go on in the future.  He is a smart man, it is always good to talk to him!

We had some fun service: 

-A sister in our branch asked us to put doors back on her dresser that she took off so that she could wall paper her house.  We had marginal success at first, actually no success because it was impossible to line everything up but right when we started to get things going her son came home and and convinced her to just put them underneath his bed.  I was also confused.

- We went to see our friend Max at his warehouse and he let us use his welder!  Not really service but oh well.

-Also not service but I like how these points look.  We played Frisbee outside with a Frisbee that a member purchased in the Netherlands for us (it lights up so we could play in the dark) and after maybe 45 minutes in the cold it broke :(

We had good lessons with investigators and are expecting a lot of success in the future!  Me and Elder Lawrence feel good about he future.

Love you
Elder Wilding

PS: We climbed "лягушка" which means frog.  Pretty easy hike met by a high incline at the end, apparently it is magical.  We slide down on the way back and I felt like Indiana Jones when he jumped out of the airplane, it was so steep!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

So I Guess I'm Famous

Dear family, friends,

We were in Vlad with the WHOLE mission and I finally got to meet everybody.  It was good to see some old companions and reminiscence about good old times.  10 volunteers gave departing testimonies and I don't know if there was a dry eye in the whole room.  Now 3 of my companions are home; Berrios, Lyman and Crabb.  Conference was so good, Elders and Sisters shared stories of miracles, baptisms and reactivation's.  There was a good feeling in the room.

I should start writing better letters considering multiple people told me that before they came in, they read my blog.  Apparently it is the first one that comes up when you search for the Russian Vladivostok Mission blogs.  I didn't even know "Many Are Called But Few Are Frozen" was the name of it, that's genius.  

We were blessed to go to the Korean temple after zone conference with about half of the mission.  I was on the flight that all the missionaries returning home were on.  I think I told them like 10 goodbyes before that just thinking that it would be the last time I saw them, but we just kept on seeing them.  

Elder Lawrence and Sister Kapralova just entered the team on Sakhalin and we are glad to have them!  Sister Kapralova is from somewhere in the west in Russia.  I have always wanted to have a Russian companion but since we don't have any Russian elders I am getting the next best thing.  And Elder Lawrence is incredible! He may be the funniest person I have ever met!  He has only been in the field for 3 months and speaks like he has been out for well over a year.  It motivates me to be better.

In the Korean airport we saw this little Asian girl maybe the age of 5 or 6 just standing by herself and Sister Kapralova wanted to see if she could talk to her.  She knew a total of 4 words "I'm sorry", "Bye" and......... "cooked meat" :).  And she was yelling those at her "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, bye bye bye, cooked meat cooked meat" haha!!! I can't even imagine what the poor girl was thinking haha.

On the plane back to Russia, I talked to a woman named Roma (a man's name in Russia) who had a tattoo in Arabic but the skill color that made me think she was from Africa.  Turns out she is from the Philippines.  Anyways she spoke perfect English and married a Russian man that she met when he was traveling in the Philippines.  Really nice lady, I got her email and gave it to the Vlad sisters, she wanted help learning Russian.

Well, that will do it this week!  It was a good one!


Elder Wilding

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sakhalin: Transfer 3

Добрый День  

I'M STAYING!!!  Elder Lawrence from St. George is flying here after zone conference with me and our sisters.  Sister Arrington is staying and Sister Kapralova who is Russian!! is coming.  And also serving on Sakhalin is a senior couple named the Severookin's who are also Russian!  They will start their mission in a few weeks in the eastern half of our mission.  They live here and I have already known them for a while.  So that means that district meetings are going to be held in Russian!!  How exciting and that a lot of papers are going to have to be translated from the advanced English of our leaders into Russian.  I'm excited!

I don't know why and I don't know how, but we haven't gone grocery shopping for like 2 weeks maybe 3 now and we still have food.  We should probably go today but we'll make it even if we don't.  We are leaving Monday (hence why I am writing today) and are returning Thursday night.  9 volunteers are going home on the 7th. This zone conference a ton of time is going to have to be devoted to departing testimonies.  Elder Crabb who I served with in Ussirysk is one of those returning, when we were together he had a little more then I have right now.  Life's crazy.

I got my hair cut.  She told me she was going to try something new and I really had no say... and now I have find of a fo-hawk. 
 As you could see in the pictures when the construction crew was constructing that massive Christmas tree, one of their trucks popped on its side haha, besides that I haven't heard of any other accidents.

We met with an most interesting man - Ки.  His name was in our phone so we gave him a call and finally got to meet.  He was just in Moscow and had a meeting with Putin.  He showed us pictures.  He works in politics and is a very funny guy. 

Last night was the going away party for Sister Bouwhiss and Elder King, talk about a try out!  The place was packed with people.  My sisters that I came in with are in the group that is going home.  Luckily they go early and me late!  

The snow keeps on coming down!  The future looks good.

Elder Wilding
 The tree going up