***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!
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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
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.