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!  

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


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.

-Elder Wilding

Emergency blankets for emergency situations

uhhh.. that is a big podezd...
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!

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 "" 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