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.

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!
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! 
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!
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!
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!
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!


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!


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!
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!
President and Sister Perkinson
Vladivostok Russia

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