Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Well that was unexpected" [McKay's Last Mission Email]

***Hello family and friends of Elder Wilding.  There have been some big changes the past couple of days concerning our son McKay and the Vladivostok Mission. We received a phone call from Salt Lake on Saturday informing us that McKay would be returning home in four days instead of 46.  We got a phone call today informing us he will be coming home even sooner.  He arrives on Tuesday May 23 at 7:45 pm on Delta Air 311  His mission has been dissolved and is merging with the Novosibirsk Mission which is directly west of his. The official church press release from the First Presidency is below.  We are so grateful for your support of him through these past two years and have faith that the Lord's servants have been guided in this change.  We will be grateful to get him back on American soil! Our prayers are with the other volunteers as well as his Mission President for their obedience and faith in doing what they have been asked to do, as well as with the Russian saints who will feel a great loss from this change. 

Thank you again for your support!  
Jodi  
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What's Up! 
I'm coming home!

This week was crazy, probably the craziest week on the mission. It all started back on Friday night when we were on a lesson with Konctantin. We didn't even start the lesson yet and got a call from the AP's saying that we need to come to Artyom with the 1st River Elders either that night or in the morning. They told us that we would be having a meeting with President Perkinson tomorrow at 8 in the morning and that we should be praying to accept the will of the Lord. Well, right at first we are freaking out having no idea what is going on or what will happen. We don't know if it is just us or the whole mission. So we ended up just reading the testimony of the 3 witnesses with Konctantin, saying a quick prayer and ran back home. We took a taxi (because of how late it was the buses had stopped running). We get there and find out (to our relief) that the whole mission will be on this meeting and not just the two of us. That night we spent there, I didn't sleep much. Not because I was nervous but because everyone was talking forever and I couldn't fall asleep. So the next day we go to the Artyom church building and see President his wife and Elder Samaykin of the 70. Before we start our meeting we had to get the rest of the mission there through Skype. They just told us that Elder Samaykin was here on assignment from the 1st Presidency and that last Thursday while in the temple they received revelation regarding us. He told us that your mission (the biggest mission in the world) and the Novosibirsk mission (the 2nd biggest mission in the world) are getting combined. And that a new mission president would be coming in about a month to preside over these combined missions and that due to the fact that it is now one mission it doesn't need two mission presidents and that the Perkinsons will be going home. Along with 4 elders who would of ended their missions in 6 weeks but now will be going home this week. And that 10 Elders who would have gone home in 3 months will be reassigned to stateside missions to finish their labors. It was a shock. It was a complete shock. Then the Perkinsons talked to us for a little bit and bore their testimonies. A lot of people were crying, mostly the ones going to the states. After the meeting president gave me Barr and Perry our departing interviews. It was really good, unexpected but good. I received the news that we need to move out of our apartment as soon as possible and that we would be closing the area. They said we would learn when our planes leave as time goes on. 

So that's basically the story. I am going to miss Russia a lot... But I'm going back to America! I can't wait to see all of you! It has just happened so fast! I love you all! The mission was the best decision of my life! I have loved every second out here! It has been sooooooo fun! It has changed me! I love the Russian people! I love to be a missionary! It has been the best time of my life.

See you soon

-Elder Wilding


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First Presidency Announces Mission Merge in Russia

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement Saturday regarding the merging of two missions in Russia:
The First Presidency announces that effective July 1, the Russia Vladivostok Mission will merge with the Russia Novosibirsk Mission. Doing so requires fewer volunteers to staff the combined mission. In anticipation of this change, volunteers from the Vladivostok mission who were to be released in July will return home in late May, and volunteers who would have returned home in August will be reassigned and complete their service in missions in the United States.
President and Sister Perkinson, who have presided over the Russia Vladivostok Mission for the past two years, have been released. We are grateful for their years of faithful service. The Europe East Area Presidency will supervise the combining of the two missions.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Happy Mothers Day! С Днём Матери!!!

Привет) -- (that is how the Russians do smiley faces, without eyes)

I wish all the mothers and especially my own mother a very happy and rewarding Mother's Day. None of us would be here without you, thank you for all you do and all you have done! A mission is a perfect place to be on Mother's Day because you come to realize just how much your mother really does do you for. Skyping home today was happiness! 

President Martino of the 70 and Elder Drachov (also from the 70) came and visited our mission this week. We had an awesome zone conference about how we can improve our work and had principles taught that will bless me not only on my mission but forever. The invitation to act is always the most important part. That is the only way we will become. Elder Martino taught the difference between a follower and a disciple...a disciple wants to become like who he is following. And not only wants to but works to. Elder Drachov is so so funny! He is from the neighboring mission and really had good experiences with missionary work that he shared with us. And he has 6 kids! That is almost unheard of in Russia. He told me that I looked like President Monson! I don't know if I agree, but of course I was flattered.

A lot of members flew in from Sakhalin for the District conference that was held the following day and it was good to see some familiar faces. We had the great opportunity of taking Вася (a 17 yr old from Sakh) on splits with us into the work! All of our plans worked out which in itself was a huge miracle! He is a great teacher and a exceptional young man. He will be an outstanding missionary!

On Victory Day we were able to see the parade and take in a little of the Russian spirit of this special day. They had so many casualties from WW2.  We were able to see the posterity of those who died carry a picture of their ancestors on a stick during the parade. The crowd was as it seemed numberless and it seemed that there was no end in sight of all those hosting a picture. There was also many cool military vehicles. We were able to meet with our friend from Zambia who brought his friend from South Africa. While we were together we ran into people from India (they area lot darker than the movies show) Brazil and a few other countries. All these people are at college at the university on Russian Island. When we were walking around by then it was amazing and funny at the amount of people that asked to take pictures with them. They say it happens everywhere they go. And someone joked that they should charge 50 rubles for every picture. If they did they would be loaded in no time.

I know this is God's work. He leads and guides His church through His living prophet Thomas S. Monson (who apparently I kinda look like). I love when the members of the 70 come. They are proof of what happens to a person when they live a Christ centered life.

Love,
-Elder Wilding
 SKYPE ON MOTHER'S DAY!

Emergency blankets for emergency situations

uhhh.. that is a big podezd...
Xpam
Look at our stairs
One of the elders got pooped on by a bird!

Letter from his Mission Pres and wife:
Dear Brother and Sister Wilding

This weekend has been a wonderful uplifting and spiritual gathering for the members of the church here in Vladivostok! 

Saturday morning we were early in our seats prepared to greet the Europe East Area President Martino and the Area Seventy Of East Russia Gracho for a marvelous spiritual feast! We were encouraged to build the foundations of the branches where ever we serve! We were invited to prepare a 3-5 minute talk on Diligence. Elder Sanders and Sister Arrington were called upon to deliver.

We reviewed Images of Christ and read brief reviews of what the Apostles taught about Christ at our last General Conference. We were encouraged to ponder these messages and seek for more personal revelation each time we study the words of Christ.

We were encouraged to read the white handbook as to the opportunity to talk to our mothers on this Mother's Day. We do hope that you enjoyed you Mother's Day phone call and we honor you with good choices! Thank you for your prayers in behalf of the work of The Lord!

Sincerely,
President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia


Monday, May 8, 2017

Just Like Old Times

Hello everybody!

I feel somewhat lucky I am able to write this letter today. This day has been quite a fiasco. To start off we went to our main place where we always go but for whatever reason "myldsmail.net" would just not load. So after 30 minutes of juggling with that we went to another place in Center which worked for about 47 seconds flat, and then out of nowhere the power went out. We planned on waiting there until the power came on but after 10 minutes of waiting the workers said that they don't know when the power will be back on and that they are closing up the store right now because it will probably be a long time. But all hope was not lost, we knew of a different place about 15 minutes away on bus that we could go to. But, that was closed due to Victory Day, a holiday that will be tomorrow. On our way to the place that was closed, we saw a different internet cafe that none of us have been to before. We went in to try it, but it was a super dark and sketchy place. And to add to that, their computers had no internet. As a last hope we came back to the 2nd place we visited and to our great pleasure the power had been turned back on and now were in business!

This has been a nostalgic week, mainly just because me and Elder De Sandre were on splits and he made pizza. He has a gift! We met up with a man named Ivan who I met at a bus stop a week or two ago. We met near a church and started talking to him and an older guy comes up to us and says "Mormons?" and then tells us he knows a lady that goes to our church. After he left we looked around and Ivan was nowhere in sight. We went searching for him, he simple disappeared. No longer having plans, we decided to go to a soccer field to see if anyone was playing. We went up to about four teenage kids and they said we could play with them. My soccer skills are not up to par.  We were having a great time laughing while we tried to play. After the game we got their numbers and planned to meet up again. 

On Thursday to Saturday I was on splits again but this time with Elder Barr. We had a really good time. His investigator, V, took us to a lighthouse! It was super small, I took some pictures and I will send them next week. He is very interested in the gospel and a really nice guy! And on Friday we had to set up a projector for a "Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration" movie night. It was a lot of what happened today trying to write. Running there and back and then to another place. The activity went good! And on Saturday we had a picnic with the branch! It was a little windy you could say. That is actually a huge understatement. The wind was incredible. Also, it was a miracle because when we started the picnic, the weather was rainy and cold but we decided to hope for the best and have it anyway and despite the wind it was really nice weather.

Another miracle: on our way to the picnic an 18 yr old girl comes up to us and asks, "You're Mormons right?" (now that the coats are off we are getting recognized a lot). We affirmatively responded and she told us that she goes to the ДВФУ (the college in Vlad) and is studying Mormons. She told us that there is a lot of negative info about us and wants to do a report showing that we are good normal people. What? This never happens! She was way cool too! 

Well, it has been a fast week. I have been getting a lot of sun and my arms are feeling it. 

Have a fantastic Victory Day! 

Elder Wilding

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Service With the Nuns!

Gracious Greetings!

I actually took notes in my planner this week of what happened so now I don't have the excuse that I don't know what happened. I wish I would have done this sooner, it takes like 2 minutes to do it but it is the difference if I will remember my mission or not. Also because of this my journal writing has gotten better! What a awesome week we just had. 

To start it off we had a radical family home evening with a recently married couple who has a frenzy for Farkle. We discussed the beautifully simple truths of the doctrine of Christ and they feed us some tasty pastries. Later in the week they called us over to help them do a pemont (repair) on their house. We pulled up the roll out floor lining in one room and then helped them lay down a new floor. My allergies were going nuts the whole time. Speaking of service we officially are out of the old church building. We had one last sweep of the building. After that we were asked to transport around 30-40 suitcases from the 4th floor to an apartment that is just a block or two away.  The suitcases belong to all the elders and sisters who brought two to their mission (you usually have one and keep one in storage). It went fast because all 9 of the volunteers was there to help.

On Tuesday we helped our investigator K get started on his family history. Before we started he showed me pictures of the outside of a zoo that he went to. He let his kids go in but he wouldn't go. He said it was because it was too dangerous haha. Then on the way home that night on the bus I got a phone call from an Elder in Artyom and two 30 year old women got very excited when they heard me speaking English. They always think that we're Brits!

On Wednesday we met with a tall less active that is involved in a pyramid scheme. I spent basically the whole time trying to convince him that he was in pyramid scheme to no avail. Poor guy. And Elder Bacon found this guy from San Diego in the same cafe we were in. After that we went and met with our friend J from Zambia and he had with him his friend from South Africa. They showed us their campus and we saw how cool it was. 

We had service with the nun's! There are two nun's living in Vladivostok who are from America and they called us up to see if we could come and help them clear out their attic. The house they live in used to belong to someone else and there was SO much junk in there. Let me list a few of the things we found: a dog's skull, a mouse caught in a trap who had been there for probably 5 years already and so many fish movies. I was on the wheel barrow the whole time and when they brought things down from the attic, I wheeled it over to the dump that was a football field away. We moved a lot of stuff and put some of the things in the wrong area and had to move it again. Then nun's also fed us lunch! We had chicken with rice with some amazing jam! We were able to hear what they believe and we told them what we believe. 

I love this work! Hopefully we can start teaching more in the future!

Elder Wilding

Dear Brother and Sister Wilding

It truly is a blessing to serve The Lord and His children here in Vladivostok where the Church is stronger and the people are so friendly! The opportunity to meet together as a Vladivostok District once a week and review names and talk about spiritual matters is a wonderful blessing! 
We welcome Sister Jossie from the West and realize that this is her last transfer before her 18 months come to an end. We also welcome Elders Gee and Elder Barr from Artyom who travel far to get here and are always welcome. Elder Wilding invited us to prepare for Zone Conference with the Martino's by reading Alma 4-7.  Elder DeSandre offered a prayer and led us in the Mission Statement. 
Our topic of spiritual discussion was from the Preach My Gospel, chapter 3, lesson 2 second half of the lesson where it talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ for as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We talked about the spirit world and judgement day and the three degrees of glory and how we are truly blessed to have this knowledge! It gives us even more reason to be urgent and diligent in our desires to share this Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We humbly kneel together as a District before the Lord to plead to know how best we can accomplish His work among His people. We are grateful for your prayers and support as we strive to do our best daily.

Sincerely,
President & Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia

Monday, April 24, 2017

Workin in Churkin

Morning good everyone! (You can say it such in Russian)

It is now time for my mind to pull up all of its hatches so that my memory of this last weeks events can come back so that I can give at least a decent report of what has been learned and what has happened these last few days. It has been said that you never learn something until it is taught to you 7 times in 7 different ways, that appears to be true. 

This week was great! Everything is good in Vladivostok. We still are experiencing a drought of new investigators but we have a good likely candidate in a 26 year old college student from Zambia. He is a 7th day Adventist, speaks great English and Russian and hopefully with fill the truth of the gospel message. We were going to meet on Sunday but he said it was too cold for him to wait until we make it to center (40 min. bus ride) so we are meeting this Wednesday after Russian practice.

Also we have been working with some promising less actives. One, Hope, who is a mother of 3 children, was so happy to hear us when we called. We talked about repentance on our lesson and it went great. Another less active we are working with is named K and he is a way tall and pretty funny member who said himself that he wants to come back but doesn't see it as a huge priority yet. We are going to keep on working with them and keeping on going through our area.  We don't have a ton of actives in Churkin and therefore we have a lot that we can work with.

I gave a talk on Sunday. It went good, Sister Jossie who goes home at the end our this transfer and Sister Thomas both bore their testimonies because they are new to the branch. It is still fun having church in a 5 star hotel. The staff always brings in like 50-60 water bottles and 4 microphones and has everything set up like we were having a huge conference. I think sometimes the workers are surprised at the little kids running out in the halls haha. 

The gospel is true, the doctrine of Christ is the means by which we can make it back into God's presence. The weather has been warm lately with a few cold days.

Love,

Elder Wilding

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter!!!

Happy Easter! 

Russia celebrated this marvelous holiday on the same day that you all did in America, which is a rarity. We celebrated the holiday in remembrance of the Savior and His resurrection. The members brought us boiled eggs and candies and even cupcakes which were gladly received. They have a special greeting in Russia that I talked about last year where you say, Jesus is risen and the person you say it to responds with, truly He is risen. It is a great tradition they bring with them from their Orthodox church. Although I heard it a lot less this year than last. We are lucky to have knowledge of the Savior and his atoning sacrifice and have the hope that that brings! 

We live like 40 min. away from the center of the town where we usually meet with people and don't make it home for dinner a lot so we have been eating out a lot. The "burritos" food stand is a favorite for dinner, where they sell Sharma. I haven't had Chum Chum in the longest time because at the grocery store where we shop they don't have any of the sauce packets. I have been eating good lately though....he senior couple fed us right after a lesson we had at their house.

On Saturday we had a picnic on Russian Island! We played Frisbee and roasted hot dogs and explored the place we were at. It was a good activity! Me and Elder Bacon had to leave before the activity ended to make it to a piano recital of one of our friends. He is a talented man.  He said he practices (based on how he feels), like 2-6 hours everyday. He did well and at the end this funny Korean man ran up and gave him flowers.

We met with a new man named D that was just in our phone and we finally got a hold of him. He didn't smoke or drink and was a really tall nice man. The day after we meet with him though he texted us that he is moving back to his home town way far away that very day at 5:30 and then after that he was going to work on the sea for a year. It is too bad, but he brought one of his friends who we can meet with in the future!

Church in the Hyundai went great again! We had the huge room this time and it is really really nice.

It was another fast week! We have the commandments for our good, to keep us from regrets and sorrow! The more I am out here the more and more that becomes clearer.

Love,

Elder Wilding

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Work Goes On

Transfers came and I'm staying in Vlad! Home of the best Sharma I have ever tasted. Me and Elder Bacon will be serving together once more. This transfer was weird, almost everything stayed the same, and the only change in our district is that one of our sisters is leaving. Plus 2 other sisters are coming.  And the work goes on as it always seems to do.

I still have not yet watched conference in English. I have watched all the sessions except for the priesthood session in Russia, and from what I got out of it we had a really awesome general conference! It was great to hear the words of our living prophet and his invitation to read the Book of Mormon everyday. One of our investigators who we met with after asked us what the Prophet said, we of course excitedly told him!

We have officially moved out of our old church building and are in the Hyundai Hotel, a 5 star hotel. It is a really nice place. The first time I walked in it I heard the obviously not Russian people all speaking English to each other which is not a common site in Russia. We have two fairly same rooms constantly that we have if we need to teach lessons or hold district meeting or other stuff like that, but on Sundays we have a large hall that holds 250 people (way more that we need) for 5 hours.  So it turns out that sacrament meeting will be in the big hall and then after that the primary and other groups will go to the two smaller rooms and have their classes there while the rest of us stay in the large hall.  We watched conference there last Sunday as a branch and it went well! 

We went to our Branch President's house and brought dinner with us and ate with them. They are a hilarious family and we were laughing the whole night!  This was our first time going there and we got on a bus at a non ideal spot and we road the bus for 1:30 before we made it to our destination. And I forgot a book to read on the way! Now that I have been on my mission this long I have come to appreciate long buses. 

We had a fantastic Russian practice with one of our members who works at the large university on Russian Island and teaches Russian to foreigners. She is teaching us Russian the way the schools do it and I think I like the way I did it better.  Too much homework.  I'm on a mission, I don't got time for that!  But the lessons are fun and she can answer all of our questions.

Still on the lookout for new people to teach. We found a place designed for street basketball that was actually pretty cool! We played some basketball and made some friends. We are on the look for the elect and trying to find natural ways to meet them.

Thanks for all you do!

Love,

Elder Wilding
The Aquarium
 The City (Vlad)
 The hair cutting process
 Russian Basketball

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunny Days

March is already behind us with less madness than in previous years. April Fools came and went without many pranks even though they celebrate it here.  I should have done something but I kinda forgot about it. Transfers are this Thursday and I am about 99% positive that I am staying. I could see me moving to a different apartment with a different companion but I would be surprised if I left Vladivostok. We still haven't seen conference, we will watch it in the Hyundai Hotel next week. But with that let's get into what happened last week:

On Monday we had family night with a great couple who recently got married.  For the majority of the night they were just making blini. I can't complain though, Prussians make really good blini. After our spiritual thought we played Farkle and they liked it more than I thought they would which is good! Then on Tuesday it was our turn to be in charge of Culinary Night. Sister Crookston of the office couple gave us a really good recipe to make called "Dutch Oatmeal Cake".  It was super tasty and everyone got a ton because we had, lets say, less than we expected.  

We made it out to Russian Island on Wednesday to meet up with a member that I knew in Ussuriysk who was our Russian practice teacher. The Campus is amazing! It is very nice and new and has a lot of foreigners that attend. We saw one of our friends there (that we meet at Burger King) who is from India (if you saw him you would guess that he is from Africa) who is studying to become a doctor. In Russia it is only 5-6 years of study. But he doesn't speak Russian so I don't know how his studies work out. Anyways, Russian practice was good as ever but she gave us a ton of homework that we have to do before next meeting next week... It was pretty simple stuff but it is so many assignments.  Russians hold true to their saying, "Repetition is the mother of learning".

Like I said we have been playing a lot of basketball lately, honestly maybe too much but we are trying to find new ways to use our talents to find people. We found a nice free place where we can play and we have meet some cool people. Not only have we had the opportunity to play but we also got to go and watch "Spartak", the professional team of Vladivostok, play! They have a player on their team from America who is a potential investigator. They were down the first 3 quarters and most of the 4th, but came up big at the end and won with a big lead. They had this one guy that was absolutely awful until the last 4 minutes but he came out to be the hero and he was giving signatures after the game.

We were able to go an splits with the Elders in center and I got to go to their apartment. Talk about a view, they are on the 9th floor I think and they look over the bay and it is beautiful. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to their investigator who is close to baptism. The lesson was good.  The gospel really is true, and the meek and humble of the earth will find it.

Also a big part of this last transfer has been us moving the church out of itself. We will be moving to a temporary new location (the Hyundai Hotel), which caused us to box up everything in the church and move the chairs and whatever else was there, up to a different room that they rented. Part of this moving involved us taking down the projector screen. It seemed simple enough, unscrew the screws and it would come off but when we took them off it stayed where it was about 10-15 feet in the air.  We left to go do something else when a member goes and tries to work with it and all of a sudden it crashes to the ground, bringing part of the ceiling with it haha.  Fortunately nobody got hurt!

I love you all! I love to be out here!

Elder Wilding

Monday, March 27, 2017

We Are All Enlisted

Thanks everyone for wishing me happy birthday! 

As I said zone conference fell on the 22nd and I got surprised with a big chocolate cake and the whole zone sang me happy birthday.  I was in the kitchen getting food ready for zone conference and then Sister Perkinson grabs my arm and drags me to the front of the room where we were having zone conference, turns a white board that was next to me around and there was written "Happy Birthday Elder Wilding". Then everyone proceeded to sing but then did an arrangement that I have never heard before where they sing the three birthday songs but it sounds like just one. Needless to say it was a fantastic birthday that I won't forget about for a long time. 

Zone conference went great! As I said I was in charge of the food and the company that we hired to deliver lunch showed up more than a hour late which sucked but we ended up just having a cake and ice cream break, went back to zone conference and started up with that again until the food came and then we took another break. You never know how much goes into these things until you have to do it, and I had a relatively small part and it made me be more grateful for the other zone conferences that I have had. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and the Gathering of Israel and Mastering Ourselves. We even had a Russian branch member come and teach us pronunciation which as I have said before is the hardest part of the language. I came off wanting to be better and try my hardest.  President Perkinson always is good at getting us motivated.

I met a couple of guys who study at the university on Russian Island. There was three of them and one was from Iraq, the other from Syria and the last from Yemen. I have never met anyone from those countries before. They spoke great English and were super cool and nice. Just another reason why missions are SO COOL! You meet so many people that you never would have met before. I'm having a blast out here still!

On Tuesday we have an activity called Culinary Night were we usually prepare food and explain how we do it in English and it gets a lot of people to come, like 30-40. This week because of construction going on in the church Elder De Sandre showed how to do 1st Aid because he was a medic back at home. It was a riot, he is hilarious! He got ketchup to symbolize blood and used the crowd as his volunteers to show how to act in a variety of solutions. If I came out with anything form his training it is how to remove gloves that have blood/ketchup on them.

Then on Thursday I went and did splits with Elder De Sandre and it was just like the good old days back in Angarsk. At night we were going through the pictures he took in Angarsk when we were together and I really started to miss those times. Back when it was me, him, Lyman and Sumner in the same apartment. Those are some of the funnest times I have ever had in my life.

On Saturday we were able to play basketball at a indoor court. I started out pretty bad missing lay up after lay up but by the end I was draining 3's to my surprise. Then on Sunday we took the sacrament to a old lady who has 7 pets, 5 cats and 2 dogs. Her place actually wasn't all that bad and she was super nice.

The work continues, we don't have any super solid investigators as of the second but we have K that we are working with and once it gets a little warmer we will be hitting the streets playing basketball and doing other things in order to find new people to teach.

-Love
Elder Wilding

From Sister Perkinson:
Dear Brother and Sister Wilding

It is warming up a bit here in Vladivostok and was the perfect day for the East Zone Conference. It was our last Zone Conference in that very room and in the building that we have known to be "our Vladivostok Branch Building". We will soon be in a temporary location until our new building (which is in the final stages of construction) is completed--we are hoping to be attending church there by January 2018!
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Our visual was a triangle of *Russian Language pronunciation at the top, *The Plan of Salvation and *The Gathering of Israel at the base of the triangle. Sister Perkinson taught the Plan of Salvation, Andrei -- a Russian English teacher helped with our pronunciation! 
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Then we surprised Elder Wilding who was conducting the meeting, with singing "Happy Birthday Trifecta" to him and splurged with cake and ice cream before lunch!
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Then Elder Gee did an amazing job teaching us what he had learned about the Gathering of Israel! It was very well done! We had beautiful musical numbers a Medley by Elder Barr on the violin and a quartet by Elder Gee, Elder Barr, Elder Lawrence and Elder Baugh. Well done!
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Opportunities were given to share ideas of great conversations with our friends about the Book of Mormon, The First Vision and the need to pray, Study scriptures and attend Sacrament weekly. Elder Gee organized a buzz session down the halls of the building! President concluded with a topic on turning knowledge to intelligence. The spirit spoke to each of us individually and the opportunity to share what we learned benefited all who were present!
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We are grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that guides us in our lives and we are grateful for your prayers as we diligently seek for daily guidance to Do The Lord's Work here in our perspective areas in the Vladivostok Mission! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the source of our light!

Sincerely,

President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia
Elder Wilding did a great job conducting the Zone Conference meeting. He is also our Vladivostok District Leader! Today we took a picture too!
Birthday Cake for McKay made by Sister Perkinson

With Elder De Sandre

The sign on the building says Eat Drink and Dance (be merry)



Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring is Almost Here

What a fast week. 

Things are starting to warm up. You can walk outside without a coat and feel pretty safe that a babushka won't yell at you for not dressing warm enough. Mornings are still cold though so I still go out with a coat. 

Sorry for not sending photos.  At the place which we email it is a little hard to send them but I should have a lot for you coming next week.

We are starting to get a feel of the work now. We meet with an old investigator from our phone (who I actually met a year ago while on splits in Vlad) and just walked around the city with him and talked. He has been investigating for several years now. Our meeting went pretty good. We agreed that we would read the Book of Mormon together and then play chess after. I am on the lookout for a chess club in Vlad. We met S from that in Sakhalin and it is a great place to meet people. The only catch is that when you play chess you usually think more and talk less. V (a friend we met at family night) is a complete master at the piano. He has memorized so many classical music songs from the great composers like Mozart and Bach and Beethoven. We met with him this week, we were hoping that he would be interested in hearing about what we believe but after talking to him it seems like no. It's too bad he is a great kid.

I gave a talk in church. My topic was the Holy Ghost. I told of story where we were removing bushes out of the yard and Dad had a feeling to tell Taylor to move from where he was and then when we started and the chain came untied and flew to the place that Taylor was at just seconds earlier. My talk went well!

On Saturday night Elder Barr and Elder De Sandre performed a concert in the church. They played a lot of different stuff like Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons and stuff like that. We had like 70 people show up! They did great performing! I was really impressed. They had a a few other people help them out. They had a violin, a piano, drums and a guitar. Me and Elder Bacon made banana bread for it. A group of 16-19 olds showed up at the end. They were nice.  Whenever they would talk about something and want to say that it is cool they would say "that is a beautiful topic" haha. It was a good way to meet people.  It almost makes me wish that I knew how to play an instrument... almost.

Zone Conference is on my birthday. I hope you all have a great week!

Love

Elder Wilding 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Woman's Day

Already more than a full week in Vlad.  I still don't know the names of as many members as I want, but the city is starting to become less of a puzzle. That is not to say that I no longer get lost because that literally happened on Saturday, late at night and we had to call a taxi, but a mental map is starting to be made in the brain.  

We had a busy week.  Every Monday in Vlad they hold a family night at the Crookston's (a senior couple) apartment.  They have a spiritual thought and have us translate.  I had translated this time and it went well.  There are some phrases that Elder Crookston said that were really hard to translate and so I took a long round about way to convey the idea.  Then we had food and played a game.  We met a guy there who is a piano teacher and he sounded interested in meeting!  Then on Tuesday we have culinary night which is an activity where a companionship teaches how to make some dish and when they finish showing how they pull the pre-made finished product out of the oven.  It is basically a cooking show.  And at the activity we speak in English.  We had 38 attend last week!  It was nuts!

The 8th of March was Woman's Day and our branch presidency had the idea of doing hand made cards for all the sisters in our branch.  So we helped make those and they ended up looking like the ones I made when i was in 1st grade but it's the thought that counts!  Then on Sunday before we gave them out we sang Love At Home for them.  It was fun. The branch is awesome here!

One of the returning members that we are working with told us about a discount that was going on for the Aquarium on Russian Island.  We got in for half the price.  The aquarium was stunning!  We also got to watch a dolphin show which not only included dolphins but a walrus doing sit ups.  The place was huge and they had a lot of animals.  We all went down as a district.  We also got to help one of our members remove a cabinet in their house.  The cabinet was too big to fit through the door, we kept on jiggling it and trying to force it through with little success.  Then they brought us a hatchet and told us to go to work!!!  You should have seen it, me and Bacon in an apartment staircase wailing on this huge cabinet with a mini ax.  We kept all of our fingers and toes but the cabinet took a pretty bad beating. 

The AP's came on splits with us this week and ended up sleeping over for 2 nights. While on the split a crazy generous member took us out to a little coffee shop and bought us so much food. Then he drove us home. We didn't even ask him to do any of these things, he is just that kind. 

We were also able to attend an American football practice!  You heard me right football in Russia.  They are the only team in this city and probably aren't much better than a average high school team but they are the champions of the east of Russia.  They kept on asking us for advice and thought it was sick that we played in high school.

It has been a very eventful week!
 
Love,
Elder Wilding

Monday, March 6, 2017

Churikinhood Living

At the start of this week I said all of my goodbyes and wrote in a few members transfer journals.  We went over to a sweet families house on Monday for FHE and gave them one of my name-tags.  The mother has a tree that she made out of name-tags with probably already around 20-30 names.  I was honored to leave it there.  That leaves me down to my last and final name-tag that is magnetic.  I don't know what happened to my others, but maybe they will turn up one day.  Then the next day we taught R the Plan of Salvation (which went good) and ended up going to another family's house for dinner.  I played one of the kids in chess that almost feels like a little brother to me and he beat me, it wasn't even close.  I beat him last time and was planning on leaving with that winning streak but he insisted we played.  Serving with Elder Lawrence these last 2 transfers I consider some of the funnest of my whole mission.  It never really hit me that I was leaving until I was already gone.  I really miss Sakhalin.  

We flew in to Artyom on Wednesday day and traveled to Vlad to try and meet with a man that Elder Lawrence met on his plane to Russia.  He wasn't there unfortunately but we had Sharma so I was happy.  Then we flew to Korea the next morning and were able to get into two sessions and perform baptisms and confirmations. Actually, that was the first time I have ever baptized anyone. It was excellent being in the temple. It always gets me ready for what is coming next.  It is a great feeling.  The next morning the Nielsons (senior missionaries there who are from Brigham City) took us up to a little outside work out area.  It was a great trip!

We made it back the next day to the motherland safe and sound.  We finally made it to our apartment Thursday night.  We are in the area of Churkin also now as Churkinhood.  It is a good place.  Kinda away from the center of town.  It takes 40 min. by bus to drive to the church. The city is HUGE.  We take a lot of buses and a lot of our money goes to those bus drivers.  The city is super hilly and extremely windy.  I get sore just from walking around and it is much colder than Sakhalin.  The branch is amazing!  So many cool and nice people live here.  Apparently the activities we have get huge attendance.  I have heard a lot about his city and whether or not they are true only time will tell.  I'm happy to be here.  Being whitewashed is a little bit of a struggle.  We don't know any of the members or investigators and sometimes when we call they are a little confused.  Getting to know the city is a fun adventure.  We haven't got lost yet! Elder Bacon is great!  He is from Arizona and has been on the mission a little over a year.  He is a wiz with directions and only needs to be somewhere once in order to know how to get there again.  It is 100% thanks to him that we haven't got lost yet.

I love you guys!  

Elder Wilding

***The photos below are from McKay's Mission President's wife along with this note:
Here is our new Vladivostok District: Chapman, Gee, Barr, Carlson, Jameson, Wilding, DeSandre, Williams, Burningham and Bacon. 

We want to thank you for your part in preparing Elder Wilding to serve the Lord here with us! 
He is a good Elder and is now serving as the District Leader here. 
We thank you for your many prayers in our behalf! 
 
*(2nd photo)-Saturday we discovered a little secret! Several Vladivostok Priesthood Brethren were gathered at the church doing 
some secret crafts! We are not sure what they are for, but we have a hunch because in Russia "Women's Day" is soon!
 
Sincerely,
President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia

These are from McKay: 
*I had to crop out the Russian
 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Goodbye Sakhalin

Hate to say it but I am leaving the island.  I have enjoyed every second of my time here and would have liked to stay longer but it seemed like a transfer was imminent and I wasn't wrong.  I guess all good things must come to an end, at least in this life. I'm going to miss the mountains. I will be now serving in Vladivostok, the big city, the city the mission was named after.  My new companion is Elder Bacon who came in the same time as Elder Roosa, I've met him when he first got in and maybe once after that.  I looking forward to serve in Vlad.  I may go broke very quickly though because of the Sharma.  I was already there for 3 weeks over a year ago and enjoyed my time.  I am going to be serving in Churkin or as I hear people call it Churkin hood.  We are going to be whitewashed in, which just means that neither I or Elder Bacon has served there.  He is coming from Irkutsk and I from here.  I will be flying there on Wednesday and then to Korea and the temple and by Friday evening I should be in my new apartment.

On Saturday our investigator and also chess teacher S agreed to come to the church and teach our members which were interested who to improve their chess game.  He is an absolute genius when it comes to chess and loves the game.  Two  of our young men came and it was a good activity!  One of our young men plays really good and it was interesting to watch him play against S.  He plans to come back every Saturday and do the same kind of activity, hopefully more people will come and so that he can meet some more members.  I have a good feeling about Sergei, I think he'll find that this is the true church.

At just about exactly the same time I am leaving so is an American couple that has been here for 10 years.  The Severukins have left to continue their mission in a new city and a different American couple is leaving in about a month.  The branch is losing so many people so rapidly!  There was a going away party for the Jones and for part of it, me and Sister Kaprolova (who is also leaving) had to go up and do some game where they would say a normal object and we would relate it to the gospel. We had a friend of ours come.  Either this week or last we had an awesome miracle!  We had an activity going on at the church and a lady walks in who used to come to things.  She had moved away because of work and just got back.  We got her number and she asked us to invite her to activities!  

We had our last mini MTC and district meeting with the Severukins, like I said before they and now serving in a different city and will not return for 10 months.  They are awesome!  I am going to miss them, but there is a chance that I will serve with them again if I stay in Vlad for the rest of my mission.  They are planning to serve there in approximately 4 months.

I gave my parting testimony and said all my goodbyes on Sunday.  These are good people, I will miss them.  I made a ton of good memories here.  The future looks bright though! 

Love,

Elder Wilding