Monday, December 31, 2012

After Christmas

Hey Family,
It was great talkin to yall this past week.  I was worried again that I would get homesick and cry a lot and be sad, but I wasn't.  I totally held up!  It was actually one of the happiest Christmases I've had in a long while.  Not that the other ones weren't happy, but it was fun that it was a completely different Christmas than I've ever had.  We got to go to the Danielson's house.  They have 6 small children.  I almost felt like I was with Jeremy and Chelle's family. :)  Something about visiting with them was so special..there was just happiness in that house.  When we left I looked around and then remembered that I was still in Bartlett.  I felt like I had been transported somewhere else while I was with them!  It was like a world of magic and wonder. 
Well guess what!  On Christmas snowed!  I never thought I would get my wish.  I didn't even pray for snow because I didn't have enough faith that it would come.  But it came.  First time in 86 years that it snowed on Christmas!  It was pretty cool.  There wasn't a lot of snow, however, Little Rock had a blizzard.  A foot of snow, ice, the whole thing.  I was pretty jealous.
Last week we got to go to Midtown with some members and feed the homeless.  It was quite the experience.  We got there and began putting desserts on plates.  I was havin a good time, getting in the groove of it...then the director guy said, "okay now go in that room and have a seat".  We walk in the next room and find a whole crowd of people sitting down with the gospel music playing loudly. We didn't know we were going to need to sit through a 45 minute sermon before the lunch would be served. :)  Which is fine with me..but it was just funny.  It was good reflective time for me...the words fulness of the gospel kept coming to mind.  After the sermon, the preacher came and we introduced ourselves.  We told him what church we were from, and he said, "Oh that's great" and promptly walked away.  He was super nice though, don't get me wrong.  Its just funny sometimes the way people react to us.  Anyway, then we got to serve them all lunch.  I thought it was a great experience.  Helped me get outside of myself, realize how spoiled rotten I am, and made me never want to complain ever again.
Sis B got the flu on Thursday.  yaaaay.  Today is the first day we have seen the sun.  Needless to say, we were both going crazy.  Here's a plus though- I practiced my drawing skills.  My non-existent drawing skills.  But hey, I'm workin on it.  The fruit of my labors should come to you shortly.  I also started memorizing more scriptures.  I'm pretty much going to have the scriptures AND preach my gospel memorized by the time I get home.  No big deal.  We had a good time. 
One thing I've been memorizing is "How to Begin Teaching" from PMG.  This is a section that teaches missionaries the things they need to do upon first meeting someone.  We need to be warm and genuine, show love, and help them to feel the spirit.  I need to play the part of a southern belle :)  Then it lists bullet points that we can share with these people to help them see how vital our message is.  During our mission tour this past year, Bro. Donaldson (of the seventy?) said, "I would be surprised if 10 missionaries in the entire U.S. actually understand How to Begin Teaching."  So, I've tried to focus on it.  One of the points seems to be especially important to me right now.  It says, "Each person we teach has personal challenges and concerns.  No matter what your needs or concerns might be, the Savior and His teachings - the gospel, will help you".  I've been thinking about that.  It is true for every person.  The key to fixing any problem is the Savior.  All our losses really can and will be made up when we place our faith in Him.  It creates a feeling of hope that cannot be described but only felt.  It is my prayer that we will seek through prayer to feel this hope, learn who He is, and in that, find peace.
Well, I must go.  We are having a district nerf gun fight at the church today. 
I love you all.  Stay true.
love sister wilde

Before Christmas

(sorry it is late )

What's up family-
Tomorrow is Christmas. Crazy.  I will be talking to you very soon.  I hope you have all been safe and that you missed me at the Christmas party :) haha.  I have really missed singing with you..Its just not the same here cause nobody knows the good songs, and Sister B doesn't even like to go Christmas caroling.  But it's okay because I'm making her go tonight! Mwhahahahaha.  Too bad we can't sing the good Awayin a Manger.  Or Stars that Twinkle and Shine.  Well, I'll make do with what I've got.  And hopefully I'm not dead by morning due to Sis B's wrath kindled against me. :)
Hey cool story about our legit recent convert Stephanie.  She found us a new investigator named Debbie.  In our lesson with her last week, Stephanie was testifyin!  She talked about how her sister tried to get her to drink a couple days ago, and even put a margarita in her hand, and she totally withstood.  She said she knew it was because she studies the book of mormon every day.  Then she started quoting helaman 5:12! Bam!  It was awesome.  talkin about the rock upon which we are built which is Christ. She even extended the commitment to come to church.  We're gonna get her. ;)
We had an amazing experience on Wednesday. We came across a neighborhood sometime last week and we both had a feeling that we needed to come back to it. Then a few days later while I was praying, I felt again that we needed to go back-that someone there would be baptized. So we went. As we walked, we felt impressed to knock a house. No one came. A few houses down, we met a man and a woman who were talking outside. We found out that the woman lived there, and the man lived in the house that we had just knocked! Her name is Martha. As we talked with her, she opened up a lot. We had a wonderful conversation about how going to church helps us come to Christ. She told us that it was her new years resolution to find a church to go to! As we talked, I thought to myself, "We need to have her meet Sis Carnahan-who is a lady from Venezuela in the ward). We then found out that Martha is from Venezuela! It's perfect! She told us that she took it as a sign from God that she met us, and thanked us for preaching God's word. We were able to tell her then that we knew we were led by God to her door. I know we were-she's the reason we needed to go there.

So I forgot to tell you last week.  Sis B is staying here in Bartlett for her last transfer, and then I am training.  Crazy crazy...I'm excited though.  It's making me pray harder.
We had our Christmas zone conference last week.  Apparently we are allowed to watch a movie at it-and I felt kinda weird watching it. haha.  We watched Brave which is pretty good.  I liked it.  We also had a talent show.  I sang a duet with Elder Streibel while he played guitar-God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.  Also I did a duet on the piano with Elder Ivens while Elder Whelan and Elder Streible sang-Be Still My Soul.  We had a good time.
I am sorry to make this short, but I must go.  Happy Christmas everyone.  I love you!!!
love sister wilde

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Big Week!!

Hey Family!
It seems like I have a lot of big news just in the past week.  First of all, SAM AND STEVE GOT BAPTIZED!  This is very good.  It was a really nice service.  They had a lot of ward members come to support them.  It does seem, however, that Satan really kicks it into gear right before and right after baptism.  And before you go to the temple, and before you go on a mission.  That's what I think anyway.  Sometimes Satan even tries to convince us that he isn't real.  But he is.  Well, the day before the baptism, Sam called us and said, "I dont' know if it's going to work out for us to get baptized tomorrow".  I should have been more braced for this to happen, because I've seen it time and time again.  Well, that's when I started praying.  I prayed and told Heavenly Father that I knew I was asking for a miracle, but to please bless us with one.  I asked that Sam would wake up in a really good mood-so good of a mood that she didn't know why she was in such a good mood.  Well guess what?  I totally got what I asked for!  She called us Saturday morning and said, "I get the priesthood now!  I was reading in the D&C about it and it took me to Hebrews 7.  There are so many answers in the D&C.  I woke up this morning feeling really good about the baptism".  (Imagine angels singing).  It was awesome.  I know she received that peace because she was diligently seeking.  As she continues this process, her faith will increase.  Last night we were talking to her on the phone and she said, "You know, when I was younger, I would pray a lot and I felt like my prayers didn't get answered.  I realized that sometimes, God not answering them was my answer.  It was different than I wanted Him to, but He answered.  But ever since I met yall, it's been like "Hello. My name is God and this is what I think".  She's been receiving a lot of clear answers lately.  That's cool.  Now, I know I'm painting this picture like everything is perfect.  In no way is that true.  There are a lot of surrounding issues.  But one thing is true-implimenting this process of having faith, repenting, reading the scriptures and praying for answers will lead us to Christ which will lead us to be happy.  Now and in the future.  And really, that's all that you need.  Yesterday in church we talked a lot about the horrible events that occurred in Conneticut.  We talked about how it was prophesied that all this crap would happen.  The contrast between all this wickedness and the hope and light of Jesus Christ is all the more dramatic.  We talked about how Jesus was born in this one little place on the earth-a lowly stable- and despite all the bad that was happening in the world, they had that one spot.  That one little light was there where those present could feel peace and hope and life.  That one little place in Bethlehem truly is there for every one of us.  Jesus Christ offers peace and hope to every individual if they will but come unto Him.  Everyone has that opportunity, and it's pretty much right in front of their face.  The relief society teacher played "You are the New Day" you know the one the King's Singers do?  It was still the King's Singers, but it was a different version where they changed the words to make it about Christ being that new day.  Well it made me miss my family terribly (that was pretty mean of her to do that, but I guess she didn't know) but it was really good.
We are teaching this Japanese lady named Kana.  She is so wonderful.  We go to her house with Sister Perry, who is also Japanese.  I love teaching her because I can feel the spirit as we teach simply and clearly.  This is how it usually goes down: We will say a few sentences to Kana in English because it's the only language we know.  Then, Sis Perry will talk with Kana for about 3-4 minutes about what we taught.  She is learning English and is coming along great, but Sis Perry explains things to her so that she understands better.  I really like Kana.  This is just a little illustration of how funny she is:  The other day we had an appointment for 1pm.  About a half hour before our scheduled appointment, she called to ask us if we could change the appointment from 1pm to 1:10pm.  :)  hahah! How cute is that?  Well it ended up working perfect for us, so I'm glad that we were on exactly the same page as she was.
We started meeting with this lady named Melodie-have I talked about her yet?  I think so.  Well this week, she wanted to get rid of some clothes and shoes and really really wanted us to have them all.  She just kept pulling more things out of her was starting to make me nervous about where we were going to put all of it.  She gave us 30 pairs of shoes!  I counted, I'm not even exaggerating.  And tons of clothes-most of which are too big for me, but it was a really nice gesture.  She also gave me this old school wind up metronome.  I was super excited about that one.  I always wanted one of those.
May you feel the spirit of Christ as you serve and give this Christmas season.
I love you all,
   sister wilde

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Great Miracle!!

Hello my Family!
Wow, what a week!  A good one.  We've seen some miracles this week.  Some great and some funny.  I will now tell them to you.  You know our recent convert Stephanie right?  Well she has a 3 yr old grandson that lives with her.  His name is Jayden.  Cute kid.  Calls us "church people".  When we knock on the door, Jayden shouts from the other side "Who is it?"  to which we respond "church people!"  Once sister B was in the bathroom and Jayden asked me, "Hey church people, where's the other church people?" hahaha.  Well we still visit Stephanie quite often.  And she has begun to be a missionary already!  She introduced us to her neighbor Debbie, who now wants to have studies with us at Stephanie's house.  She teaches her how her life has changed so much for the better because of this gospel.  She's awesome.  Well the other night we were having studies and Jayden asked for a cookie.  A few minutes later he came in and told Stephanie that he had spilled some crumbs and, get this, he asked if he could vaccuum!  Hah!  We had just gotten done talking about how some people don't teach their kids how to clean up and behave themselves.  After that thing happened she said, "See!  I train him!"  A 3 yr old vaccumming.  That's what I like to see.    After he put the vaccuum away he looked at the floor and said, "Oh Grandma, I missed a spot."  Stephanie said, "That's okay, I'll let you finish in the morning".  I told Sister Carnahan about that and she said, "Yes!  OCD children! We need them! They organize our world." I agree...but I think we've already done our part because Mom had 7.  I don't think Jeremy is very OCD but Becca made up for it by marrying Adam. :) haha.
A few months ago, a random lady called us and wanted us to come visit her.  Her name is Millie Marcom.  She knew some members up in Jackson and really missed the missionaries and members coming to her house.  She moved from Jackson to live here with her daughter because she was very sick.  We have visited with her a few times.  The last time we went there, we felt prompted to ask her if she wanted a priesthood blessing.  She received one.  When we went over a few days ago, her daughter informed us that she had passed away.  That made me very sad.  I loved Millie. 
On a semi-related note, not to make light of the situation:  While we were visiting with Millie's daughter Melanie, all her cats started coming in and sitting on my lap and rubbing against 3 of them.  And they weren't touching Sis B at all.  Now, I don't hate cats.  I really don't.  I'm just not too fond of them.  The hair gets everywhere..and that's annoying.  I think I might be getting more charity for animals though since I've been on my mission.  Then Melanie started talking about the one black cat that wanted me to pet him.  She said, "Wow, that cat won't come around anybody he doesn't know!  You must really be a cat person!  They are a good judge of character.  They can tell you're a good person."  well..okay.
We met a new lady named Melodie!  She is very wonderful and is a neighbor of one of the members.  She has leukemia (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry).  We have begun teaching her.  Now, here is the miracle.  She has two cats.  One of them is named Autumn and for some reason, I really like her.  But she doesn't like me!  The only cat I've ever liked doesn't like me.  Maybe I will be able to change her mind.
Biggest miracle.  Despite our efforts, we haven't been able to set a baptismal date with Sammi.  But on Saturday, Steve went to be interview by our mission president with hopes of being baptized on Saturday.  Sammi wasn't on board...but after the interview, but upon finding his progress in having the interview and his excitement about getting baptized, she told us that she wanted to be baptized as well! On the same day! She said that Steve came home in such a good mood and HE CLEANED THE KITCHEN WITHOUT BEING ASKED TO! That is a miracle in and of itself. She really appreciated his efforts to do better and I think that helped her have more patience. Then she told us that she had a conversation with her sister where she began testifying of the blessings that have come since she has been going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - she said that she didn't realize until she was telling her sister that she believed all of these things like the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith being a prophet. We are excited to be holding their baptismal service this Saturday. wooooooo!  I've been waiting for this day for so long. 
I have had a great time reading the conference addresses in the ensign.  I hope you are all taking advantage of that too.  I don't know what else to say except that happiness comes from living the gospel.  I really think that there just aren't two ways about it.
I love you all more than I can say.
love sister wilde

Monday, December 3, 2012

God is in everything!

Dear Family,
This is the warmest December I've ever experienced.  It's tripping me out. Everything is going well.  We are just plugging away and things are good.  Guess what!  I am sitting here typing in the library and totally got a new investigator. :)  This lady next to me just asked for help.  I (miraculously) was able to help her with this computer stuff.  She kept saying, "I love you!  You are beautiful!" Then as I introduced myself, she looked at my name tag and said, "my daughter has been wanting to go to that church!  I have sunday off, we will be there! "  No way.  She said, "God is in everything!".  He sure is.
Get this.  I should get the diligent missionary award because guess what I started doing.  I have started writing scriptures on little notecards and memorizing them while I exercise in the mornings.  I started this past week and I've already memorized close to 10 I think.  Most of the ones I've memorized so far have been scriptures about the apostacy.  Well this has prompted the invention of a sweet awesome game.  The other day, Sis B was touching her ear like it was hurting her.  She had a pretty bad ear infection a while ago, so I asked her if her ear hurt.  She said "No, it just itches".  I said, "Well you know what that means don't you?"  ..."no..".  "Apostacy.  2 Timothy 4:3-4  For the times will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.  I'm brilliant!"  She wasn't even impressed.  But I was.  I then created the scripture quoting game.  It's awesome.  I've already started a page in my journal about it.  She doesn't really want to play, but I will help her to want to. :)
I just got to do something really cool.  Today our district leader called and asked if we wanted to come and help work on the temple.  The temples get new carpets every 5-10 years and it is time for the Memphis temple to get new carpets.  We helped move furniture and rip out carpets and vaccuum the floor after they ripped the carpet out.  It was way fun.  We were talking with some of the workers.  Their job is to go to temples all around the world and lay carpets.  How cool is that?  They get their trips paid for and they travel to really cool places.  They just got back from Australia.  Next year they are going to Paraguay and Tahiti and other cool places.  I was grateful to have such a great opportunity to help with working in the temple-I don't know if a lot of missionaries get to do that.  We were just in the right place at the right time.  It was really fun.  I was also grateful to be able to be in the house of the Lord and know that love and peace and joy can be found there.  It can be found for all who live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There is a lot of crap in the world, but when we cast off our sins, we can experience the peace of the Savior and not be afraid even in this world of wickedness.
I have recently gotten a complaint about my long letters....:) haha just kidding. It wasn't really a complaint.  But I actually have to make this one short because the computer kicks me off soon.  I love you all.  Seeing some people in some pretty crappy family situations lately has caused me to cherish my wonderful family even more.  God doesn't even need to bless me with anything else my whole life cause He already gave me the biggest blessing I can imagine.  Thank you for supporting me and praying for me.  I can feel your prayers.
love always,
sister annalisa wilde

Monday, November 26, 2012


Dear Family,
I've had a great week.  Has it been another week already?  Man...Thanksgiving is already over.  Luckily I got to have sweet potatoe pie.  Unfortunately nobody here knows about cranberry salad.  They also didn't have Maryann's cheesecake.  It's okay, I got over it.  On Thanksgiving night, me and Sis B took around these little turkeys we made from cutting out our handprints on paper.  We colored them and they were really cute.  We took them around to members and investigators to say Happy Thanksgiving from the sister missionaries.  After a while of being on your mission, you kind of lose your identity as an individual and you become "the sister missionaries". :)
This week I had very special experiences that helped me understand the reality of the priesthood power that is restored to the earth, and the responsibility we as missionaries have to take that to all the world.
I got a special opportunity yesterday to help out in Primary.  Background...there is this really cool lady I met when I got here.  Her name is Becca Robison.  A few weeks ago we went to her house for dinner and she was talking about a new calling that she was about to receive.  She couldn't tell us what it was, obviously, but for some reason, I just had a feeling that I knew.  I then said, "My sister just got called to be the Primary President in her ward.  It's a big job, but she loves it.  Her name is Becca too :)"  Sis Robison then let out a nervous sigh..."Oh really?  yeah..."  I can't remember what she said, but I knew that she was going to be the primary president.  Later she said, "hey I might need your help in sharing time soon.  The lesson is on preparing for a full time mission".  Well I was right, and that Sunday she got sustained.  Well yesterday we dressed up in sunglasses and funny hats, and Sis B may or may not have been wearing a fake mustache, and walked into primary.  Sis Robison said "Who are these people dressed so funny?"  The kids all shouted "missionaries!"  "Well, how do you know they're missionaries?"  We talked about our name tags and I got to tell the children how important and special it is to me to be able to represent the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every day.  It meant more to me than it has in the past.  I get to wear this awesome badge with the name of my family who I love on it, as well as the name of our Savior.  That's pretty cool.  Then Sis Robison brought out her mission suitcase with things that missionaries need-scriptures, white shirt, tie, shoes, helmet, Preach my Gospel...she dressed a few kids in these clothes and then said, "is this all you need to go on a mission?"  Then we talked about testimony.  There's a verse in the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord says to go into all the world and take your testimony to all people.  It doesnt' say to take your companion's testimony, or your parents' testimony, but yours.  Each person's testimony is unique and can influence certain people in special ways.  So really, you're the only one who can be you, so you better be your best!  Sis Robison hid little paper missionaries around the room for the kids to go find and tape to a map of the world.  On the back were things that we need to have testimonies of.  While they found them, we sang I hope they call me on a Mission.  They pasted the missionaries all over the world.  Sis Robison said, "Now we are going to hear our missionaries share their testimonies with us.  There is something special about hearing the testimony of a set apart representative of Christ.  I want you to listen with your ears and with your hearts".  Then we got to bear our testimonies. I know I'm giving you all the details of this sharing time, which you may feel is unnecessary, but this was the most masterfully done sharing time I've ever been to!  She taught the children simply but powerfully.  The spirit there was strong.  She was truly tutoring them in the language of the Spirit.  I was blessed for being there to learn from her.  I think that Sister Robison has taught me more about my purpose as a missionary than anyone except for President. 
I got to go to a baptism for 8 yr old Jayden Thomas this week.  Again, the spirit there was unmistakable.  I felt it deeper than I've felt even at the first of my mission.  I knew it was true-the ordinance was done through the power of God, and the Holy Ghost bore record.  I couldn't get through it without crying.  The mother of the child gave a talk about the Holy Ghost, and it was very sweet.  She bore powerful testimony.  I wish you could have been made me reaaally wish I could have been at Lincoln and Rachel's baptisms. 
Yesterday I asked Brother Perry for a blessing because I needed one.  It was one of the most special blessings I have received.  After, it felt like something inside of me had finally let out and I could breathe.  I felt a holy feeling, a feeling of peace.  Sis B and I were talking after about priesthood blessings, and I commented that I don't think a lot of people know what it truly feels like-I wish they could.  I wish I could help them see the blessings that could be theirs if they would but have faith.  It's a blessing.  We are a blessed people..
My time is short.  I love you all.  Thank you for serving and lifting those around you. 
love sister annalisa wilde

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Dearest Family,
Hey, I had a great week.  I am getting over being sick.  The weather is quite tempermental..I think that might be why everyone has been sick.  Transfers were last week, and we had Sister Russell with us for a few days because her companion went home and she was waiting for her new companion who is Sister Gladden!  I thought Sister Gladden would never get transferred..haha.  So I got to see her at transfer meeting.  It was funny and weird.  She hadn't seen me with my new bangs, so the first thing she said was, "You look different...get away, you look weird!  What did you do with Sister Wilde?"  It was great to see her again.  She was feeling worried because she is out of her little Hot Springs bubble.  She had been there for over a year.  I'm glad that she gets a new experience.  Getting transferred is not fun, but it does help you grow.  When I saw her, guess what she gave me!  Remember when I used to play dominoes with Charlie and Margaret?  Every Saturday?  Well Charlie bought a set of dominoes for me and Sister Gladden.  Isn't that the sweetest thing?  I will always remember him when I play dominoes.  It was a really nice gift.
On Saturday we got to go to a ward council outreach.  We have been doing a few of those in various areas.  It's where a bunch of missionaries get together with one of the wards and go to visit less actives to invite them back to church and help them feel the spirit in their home.  I enjoy doing them.  Well, I went out with one of the members of the ward named Sister Brough.  She actually served in the New York Rochester Mission. :)  I told her my sister had served there.  But Becca is a lot younger than this lady was so I don't think they would have known each other.  While we were out I got to meet a man who was going to be baptized that day.  He is probably in his 80s and is the sweetest man ever.  He reminded me of Brother Bledsoe.  I know now that it's never too late for anything. President Petersen came to the outreach as well and announced to everyone that not only is our mission doubling in the next few months, the number of sisters will be MORE THAN the number of elders.  Within the next months, we will have 108 elders, and 112 sisters.  I don't know where they are going to put them all...I don't know how we are going to train them all either. President said that there will be a set of elders and a set of sisters in every area.  He told me to prepare myself to train.  Things are changing drastically.  I wonder what it will be like.  Its a good thing I think, but very different.  I kind of enjoyed being the minority.  Oh well.
Stephanie is one of my favorite people.  She is the one who just got baptized.  I told her that she would get to meet my whole family someday.  She is so sweet, and has helped me know that I am actually doing a little bit of good as a missionary.  She said that I made her feel truly loved and cared for in a way that she doesn't think she'd be able to feel from any other missionary.  That was kind of her...she also has a real desire to learn.  One lesson we had with her last week, I asked her what she wanted to learn about.  She said, "Everything.  Everything about the Book of Mormon".  It was sweet.  Man, if we all wanted to know the scriptures as much as she does, we'd be in good shape.
Also on Saturday, we did a church tour with our investigator Shelly.  As we walked around, we stopped at the painting of Christ washing the feet of his disciples.  Shelly and I were commenting on how much we liked that story.  She said she liked it because it reminded her of where we all need to be spiritually, and where our spiritual leaders need to be spiritually.  My mind immediately went to my dear mission president...He is truly a powerful servant of the Lord. Humility is such a good quality to have.  The Lord teaches us to become as little children, who are humble. Earlier last week, we were walking down the street and we saw a group of kids out playing in the yard.  I saw one little girl in particular who, when she saw me, smiled and waved.  She almost ran up to me and gave me a hug.  I was kind of surprised at her openness and lack of hesitancy.  I know a lot of kids are really open, but when that happened, it struck me that I think she knows who we are.  Why else would she do that?  I realized that I think I would recognize a lot more answers to my prayers if I could be open like that, and trust that God knows what He's talking about.
This is the coolest thing ever.  This morning I was studying President Uchtdorf's conference talk.  I looked in the footnote as I read a certain sentance, and the scripture reference was Matt 11:28-30.  I was pretty sure I knew what that scripture was, but I decided to read it anyway...Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden...  As I read it, a thought came..."text this reference to Sammy".  That thought was immediately followed by justification.  "She would probably think that was weird if I did that, like I was trying to tell her she needed a lot of help.  I don't want to sound condescending."   I decided to do it anyway. I sent her a quick text with the reference, and that when I read it, I thought of her.  2 seconds later she replied saying, "I was just praying for help.  That is my favorite passage in the entire bible.  That was the Lord telling me He was here with me.  I had just been crying, pleading for  His help.  He must be trying to tell me that it wasn't a fluke because He gave you my favorite passage in the entire book".  I was as blown away as she was.  He really does know her, because I had no idea that was her favorite scripture.  I couldn't believe it.  Heavenly Father is so cool.
I love you all.  Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I wish I could be there with you, but I'm sorta busy converting all of Bartlett. :)  JUST KIDDING!  I miss you guys.  I will especially miss you on Friday when you have Thanksgiving #2.  I'll be taken care of though, I'm sure.
love sister annalisa wilde

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Transfer is Tomorrow!

Dearest Family,
Sorry this letter is overdue..the library was closed yesterday.  Well transfers are tomorrow.  AP Truman told us last week we were getting Sister Yuen back and we were stoked!  The tri-force was gonna be back.  To our dismay, that got changed.  But me and Sister B are still here tearin it up in Bartlett.  Well we'd like to think we're tearin it up.  I think we's a great area.  It's a blessing to have the temple so close-I got to go yesterday.  Anyone who is within 30 miles of the temple can go when the departing missionaries go.  It was great to be there.  Everyone was really happy.  As I was there, I felt more than I have before how right it was to be there.  That it really is true.  Then after that, we played speed(the basketball one) with some other missionaries.  We played with them a few weeks ago, and I told the elders that I used to beat the boys at speed but that was in the 8th grade.  Well that time I didn't do so hot cause every time someone would get me out I would beg to stay in just a few more times.  They would usually let me.  Then when I actually did make some shots I would shout "yes!  I'm still in!".  Well I don't know what happened between that day and yesterday because yesterday I was nailing all my shots!  Well, a lot of them.  And I was beating the boys sometimes.  They were like "Sister Wilde, why are you shooting so much better this time?  Have you been doing missionary work lately or just playing basketball?"  I'm not sure what was happening, but it rocked.  I was just happy because you all know how athletically inclined I am....:) It was fun.
We had a breakthrough lesson with Sam and Steve last night.  Things have been rough...Sam has been really sick. One day last week we went to their house to teach, but soon found that their temporal needs were more important to address at that time.  It is true that sometimes you have to help people temporally before they can even begin to be open spiritually.  The gospel isn't something you can just throw in peoples' faces.  It takes caring about someone enough to learn who they are, what their needs are, and in what way you need to teach them.  Anyway, we spent 5 hours cleaning their house.  It seems like everything has been falling apart for them.  But last night we walked in and there was a sense of peace I hadn't felt there in a long time.  The house was straight, and they were all in a good mood.  We began talking about women in the Book of Mormon because Sam had asked to learn about them.  We talked of the mothers of the stripling warriors and how if they hadn't taught them and prayed for them, they wouldn't have been able to step up and defend their families.  They knew it was important to rely on God and follow their leaders with exactness.  We shared Alma 57:21 and I said that our mission president promised us that when we were obedient with exactness, miracles would happen.  Sam said, "do you really believe that?"  I was glad to be able to say that I knew that because I have seen it.  Living the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring more blessings than anything else you can find in this world.  We then went around the room and told miracles that we had seen that day.  Everybody shared one, and I could see Steve's eyes opening- in a spiritual sense.  He is really starting to understand.  I said that my miracle was the peace and love I felt in their home that night.  Steve said, "Really? You noticed that?"  He could feel it too.  It was like finally they stopped long enough to feel the Holy Ghost.  I could almost see it calming them. They need it so badly.  My love for that family has grown so much.  I am praying that our love for them will continue to motivate them to make changes in their lives that will allow God to broaden their perspectives. 
During the lesson, Sam was saying that she has a hard time wrapping her head around the prophet thing and the Book of Mormon.  She said how she was raised to think that the bible was end all be all-the only book of scripture.  Then Steve said, "hey can I share my testimony?" He told Sam..."a few days ago Sister Wilde made me read the Book of Mormon. I randomly opened the book and it fell to 2 Nephi 29.  I read it and I was enlightened.  It really hit the spot.  It talks about how these people said they already had a bible and they didn't need another one."  She opened it up and read the entire chapter out loud.  The entire chapter!  She was like "okay.  I get it".  She didn't say much, but I think that it made her think.  It was really cool to see how Steve had received revelation through the Book of Mormon and then shared it with Sam.  He knows he needs to get baptized!  He just doesn't want to stop drinking beer.
On sunday, we got a new bishop in 2nd ward.  It was a special sacrament meeting.  Bishop Sturgell served for 6 years, and while he said he was relieved, he looked like he was about to cry.  I could see in his eyes the immense love he had gained for everyone in the ward as he pleaded with them to keep the commandments.  He said simply, "happiness comes from keeping the commandments".  His voice had a quiet power and I could feel the Holy Ghost bringing that into my heart.  Our new bishop is Bishop Hale.  He is quite young and I imagine quite overwhelmed.  He got up and just started crying.  He said although he didn't know how he was going to do it, he knew it was right.  Everyone could feel that it was.  It was testimony meeting after that, and many people commented on how right it felt.  God leads this church.
I realized the other day that it is now completely weird to remember that I have a first name.  My name is Sister Wilde, and I really love that.  It feels good to be a missionary.  I think a lot of times, we don't realize what we have.  We don't realize how much spiritual knowledge God has given us and that it needs to be shared.  Just like we become more grateful as we express gratitude, we have more guidance and knowledge from the spirit when we share the knowledge we have already been given.
Hey.  Thanks to everyone who reads my letters- it pretty much makes me feel like a million bucks.  God lives even though we can't feel Him all the time.  He doesn't want us to be miserable.  When we choose to be as happy as we can, He helps us be more happy.  He's pretty cool.
I really do love you all.  I'd be nothing without you.
love sister wilde

Monday, November 5, 2012

Last Week of the transfer

Dear Family,
Another week has gone by, and now we are at the last week of the transfer.  I'm not quite sure how this happens...I have been in Bartlett for almost 12 weeks now.  It seems to have flown by.  I really like this area because of the members and the people I know.  Also, Sister Bridgewater keeps me pretty entertained.  She has supplied most of my mission quotes that will be really funny to read in a few years.  Well, they are funny now too.  She's just funny.  It hasn't been too wet or cold here, although some people disagree.  I then tell them they are kinda whussy.  Well not really, but it's not cold to me. 
We had a pretty uneventful Halloween..but it was still fun.  It was funner than 4th of July was.  4th of July was actually kinda lame..compared to our awesome celebrations we have at home.  But on Halloween we got to see Sammy and her girls Abbi and Lauren when they were dressing up for trick or treating.  Abbi was a kitty cat and Lauren was an angel.  Very cute.  I love them so much-I think they are the reason I came to Bartlett.  I hope all of you can meet Sammy someday..she's pretty cool.  Valerie, and anyone else who is a Nightmare before Christmas fan might be interested to know that Sis B made a Nightmare before Christmas christmas tree!  It's super cool.  The tree has cobwebs and little pumpkins and something else on the top.  I'll send you a  picture because I don't know what it is called. 
Cool story.  We went out teaching with a member named Andrea last week.  I really really like her.  You know those people you meet and you think "man, I'm so glad I met this person.  I wonder how I lived my whole life without knowing them".  We went to see this investigator who is slightly obsessed with Donny Osmond.  Have I told you this yet?  Well, he is going to be the key to her conversion.  We went to her house, but she acted like she was too busy and she wouldn't invite us in.  Then Sis B was quick and said, "Oh, you still have to show us that picture you have of when you met Donny Osmond!"  Yep. Got in the house.  From there we ended up having a conversation about coming closer to God and the Book of Mormon.  The lady said that she had been having a really rough few weeks and felt like God pushed us to her house.  I was excited to hear that.
I have recently found out that Valerie (my dear investigator from Hot Springs), since her baptism last month, has been doing extremely well.  She is now a great missionary, goes out and teaches with the sisters there, and now her sister, her sister's husband, and her daughter are all getting baptized.  Wow, that makes me so happy.  Can you believe it?  All because she wanted to know about Mitt Romney.  She is the coolest.  Also, Brother Bledsoe is doing so well too.  I called Sis Gladden the other day to give her a phone number, and she happened to be with Bro Bledsoe at the time.  She asked me if I wanted to talk to a very special person.  When she handed him the phone, I said, "Is this Brother Bledsoe?"  And he couldn't speak for a few seconds.  He finally said that he was overwhelmed to hear my voice.  We both got emotional..what a sweet man.  He is getting the Melchezidek priesthood soon.  Okay I know I spelled that word wrong, don't judge me.  I'm trying to hurry before the computer at the library kicks me off.  He has also finished reading the Book of Mormon and is on to the D&C.  Hooray!
Do you remember Stephanie?  The lady who got baptized last week?  Well now we are teaching her sister, LaTosha.  She is a trip!  Haha.  Since the first day she met us, she decided to give us nicknames.  Sis B is now redhead and I am smiley.  :)  Funny lady.  Oh, something else about Sam and Steve.  Lauren, their kid who is 6, is a really good reader.  She is in advanced programs at school.  Well the other day I asked Steve if he had been reading the Book of Mormon.  He said "Yeah."  Surprised, I said, "really??".  "Well, no, but yeah.  The other day I sat Lauren down and had her read the Book of Mormon to me".  I sure hope that his 6 year old doesn't read better than he does.  That would just be sad.
So we have the best district ever this transfer!  I hope nobody moves next week, because I love all of the missionaries we are with right now.  Our district leader is the best I've ever had.  And get this.  We have had 4 baptisms in the last 9 days!  Each of the 3 companionships have baptized.  Pretty cool.  Speaking of baptisms, I got the opportunity to go to the baptism of a little girl in the ward named Ruby.  We worked our tails off to get investigators to come with us, but they all bailed.  It was a really nice baptism.  I felt the spirit witnessing that it is a true ordinance.  The sweetest part was that Ruby requested that I should say the closing prayer.  This really touched me because I haven't even talked to her that much.  I felt special that she wanted us there and that I got to say the closing prayer.
We also had stake conference yesterday.  It was good.  What I liked most is that a member of the 70, Elder Giddons I think, told a story about how his wife prayed every day of her son's mission that nothing would happen to his grandparents while he was gone, so he could see them again.  The grandparents ended up getting in a car accident, and died.  She wondered if she didn't have enough faith to receive what she was praying for.  But then she realized that her faith needed to be in Jesus Christ and his atonement.  When we do that, our perspective changes, and even the things we pray for can change.  It reminds me of the words to the hymn "O Savior Thou who Wearest a Crown"  when it says, "no fear of death alarm us, We live O Lord through Thee".  I know this is true.
I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful and fulfilling week as you remember your blessings and the love that surrounds you.
love sister annalisa wilde

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Week Rocked!!

My Dear Family,
My week rocked.  It was walk week again, but I've come to realize that I'm pretty grateful for the times we have to walk.  It forces us to be more bold and talk with everyone.  Plus I need the exercise.  The problem is, I don't know if it was the weather or that our week was a little more stressful, but I got sick.  Not too bad though, just a cold.  Which isn't nearly bad enough to stay home.  Staying home is the worst thing ever.  Sooo boring.  Plus then you aren't working.  You only get real joy and happiness after you've worked for something.  Listen to this.  We were walking a lot one day, and passed by a Jiffy Lube with people in front waving at cars trying to get them to see the sale they were having.  I started talking to this lady about how we like to wave at cars too.  It's funny to look at the reactions people give you.  If they're cool they will wave back.  She was super nice.  I told her we were missionaries for our church.  Turns out she's dating a member who lives in New Mexico!  We asked her if she wanted to know more and she gave us her phone number.  Stuff like that is cool. 
There are so many Romney signs in front of peoples' yards.  I know I'm not supposed to say anything about politics, but I'm just stating facts.  We count the Obama signs we see far I think we've seen 5.  But it is true that many more people are finding out about the church because of Romney and their minds are becoming more open.  Have I told you about Bellvue Baptist Church?  Well its the BIGGEST church I've ever seen.  I don't think as big as the conference center, but what I like about the conference center is that a lot of it is built below the ground so it doesn't look huge.  Anyway, this baptist church is found in Bartlett and let's just say that they don't think too highly of mormons.  I actually had a nightmare about it the other night.  We were teaching an investigator, and then these people came barging in her door with name tags just like ours except it said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Bellvue Baptist".  I ran screaming from the house. haha.  Well back to my story.  Our conversations with people who go to that church don't ever go too far.  I am not putting their church down.  They have a very nice facility.  And they are wonderful people.  But we tracted into a guy who is a security guard at that church and he actually listened intently as we told him what the Book of Mormon is.  He stopped us in the middle and said, "Wait, isn't Romney a mormon?"  We said yes, and he listened even more intently.  Pretty cool.  Well President says the flood gates are opening.  This is a direct quote "Elders and Sisters, it's going to start raining.  Raining converts!" Our mission currently has 18 sisters and within six months will grow to 34.  Things are changing pretty dramatically I think.
THIS IS SO AWESOME.  Guess what happened.  We walked to the church to wait for our ride once last week.  Random time, random day.  We were waiting outside when a man pulled up, got out of his car, and came to talk with us.  When he found out I was from provo he asked if I went to provo high.  I said yes.  He said, "Did you go to Dixon?"  I said yes.  "Did you know a Mrs. Tippetts?"  "How could I forget my seventh grade science teacher?!"  I said.  "Well Mrs. Tippetts is my wife".  What the!  I expected him to say that she was his cousin or sister in law or something.  But his wife!  haha.  I was really surprised but it made me really happy.  He served in my exact same mission 30 years ago.  He came on business and stopped to do a session at the temple before he went home.  What a wonderful little thing.  It totally didn't even have to happen but I think Heavenly Father made it happen because He likes to be cool like that.
We had dinner with this great member family who remind me of Jeremy and Chelle.  He even looks like Jeremy I think.  As I talked with the wife, she told me about how her maiden name is Hale.  Come to find out that it is her family that owns the Hale Center Theater in Utah!  Luckies.  Isn't that cool?
We had 2 Halloween parties this week.  One for first ward, one for second.  They were a lot of fun.  On Friday I dressed like Sis B and Sis B dressed like me.  She decided to cut her bangs like mine...but cut them a little short.  She said, "great, now I look like a stupid little dutch boy".  She really didn't, but there was no convincing her.  She walked around all day trying to imitate me.  Here is her best.  Now imagine this in a very high voice.  "Everything is WONDERFUL!  I love everyone!!!!  If we could just have more love in our hearts, I think that more people would get baptized!!!".  I walked around all day trying to imitate her by saying "If these people don't get out of my way I'm going to punch them in the throat".  haha!  We had a good time.  The second night, we went to Donna's house right before the party.  She found out I didn't have anything to dress up as since Sis B was going in her power rangers t-shirt.  So she went right to work.  She ratted my hair and put it in an old lady bun and gave me glasses and a black shall and high heels and I went as a snooty old librarian.  It was very convincing, seeing as a ward member told me that when she first saw me she thought "who is that old lady?  I've never seen her before". hahahaha.  Score.
We had 2 primary programs this week.  Best sunday of the whole year.  I remember Mom telling me to tone it down in church when we watched the primary program because I was laughing too loud.  It's not my fault that they are very entertaining.  I was not disappointed this year.  It was the best!  Honestly though, I felt the spirit as they sang.  I know it's important to try to be like Jesus and choose the right.  One of the primary programs blew me out of the water because they sang every verse of every song.  They sang "I am a Child of God"  complete with the descant on the third verse (which people don't normally do).  Then they did a verse in Japanese!  And THEN they did the fourth verse, that people don't even really know about.  I was impressed.  They sang every verse of Follow the Prophet.  Most of the verses were sung as duets or solos by the children.  The best part was at the end when they sang Choose the Right, but the pianist did a little arrangement of it, and on the third verse the congregation joined in.  It wasn't one of the cheesy kind of endings when the organ gets way too loud and the chorister is too enthusiastic and you almost wish you would have left before they did that song.  It was just good because you could still hear the children singing and the spirit was there and you could focus on the words.  "Choose the right, there is peace in righteous doing. Choose the right, there's safety for the soul".  I knew that those children knew why it is important to choose the right, and they strive to do it.  When we choose the right, we receive the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that we are growing into the people God wants us to be.  Why wouldn't you want to do that?  He will sustain you when you do.  I know that's true because I have seen it.  I know God loves His children, so He provides safety for our souls through His son and His gospel.  And the Book of Mormon. (remember that talk by elder Holland?)
THEN last night we had a baptism!  It was kind of was Stephanie's baptism.  I was very happy to see her get baptized because she has been working for this for a very long time.  She has gone through trials and tribulations.  I have never seen so much support from a ward for a baptism.  There must have been 30 people there to support her.  They really cared about the preparation and making sure there was someone from the Relief Society presidency to welcome her...our ward mission leader is the best I've ever seen.  He made up really nice programs and made refreshments.  It's nice to have people who care about the work we're doing and help us.  So be member missionaries!  All of you!  It's important!  Did you know that you have the best thing in the whole world?  The restored gospel is what everyone needs.  It is the only way to peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. 
I love you all,
Sister Annalisa Wilde

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween is near

Dear Family,
The weather is so nice here in my favorite month of October.  I am excited about Halloween.  I'm getting into the spirit by sharing my favorite Halloween songs "Halloween Cat" and "Boo boo boo boo, I'm a ghost to scare you", but only with the people who will appreciate the treasures that those songs really are. :)    I think me and Sis Bridgewater are going to dress up like Nephites and Lamanites.  I'm not sure how much of a distinction we'll be able to make though, because a lot of people we meet think we're actual sisters.  This makes Sis B sort of mad...I'm not sure why, because we are opposite in literally every other way.  I continue to be amazed at the crazy stories she tells me, and she always has more.  Last night she was telling me about how she was a cage fighter in high school.  A cage fighter.  She learned to fight and defend herself in elementary school, while I was probably playing piano or something.  The contrast is hilarious.
Well, we had to go to the doctor this last week for Sis B and while I was waiting, I decided to see if I could name all 50 states.  I had actually been working on it for a few weeks, but I was missing one.  Just one, and neither of us could figure it out.  A few days later, we were at an investigator's house and asked them to look up which state we were missing.  It was Wyoming!  Sorry Mom and Dad, I don't know how I forgot that one.  Plus that's where President is from too. Whoops.  I could remember Vermont but not Wyoming.  Anyway, that doesn't really have anything to do with missionary work. 
I got to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday.  It went well!  The topic was Recognizing the Spirit.  I spoke about how we can better receive and recognize the Spirit when we pray in faith.  This is really important.  We learn in D&C 42:14 that if we don't pray with faith, we cannot receive the spirit and can't teach.  When we do this more frequently and sincerely, we can begin to develop Christlike attributes like humility.  This helps us overcome the natural man (Mosiah 3:19) and allows the spirit to work with us.  We begin to desire the welfare of others above our own.  I talked about how few people understand this principle better than mothers do.  I shared how touched I was to find out from Mom that I was remembered in every prayer offered in my family, and that it wasn't until then that I realized that my mom and dad hadn't just been praying for me every day of my mission, but every day of my whole life.  The spirit witnessed to me that those prayers were heard by our Heavenly Father.  What good we can do when we pray for others!  When we pray in faith, our desires begin to change, and we can better understand God's love for his children.  We will have the desire to respond to the Savior's call to serve our brothers and sisters, and we will do it becasue we love Him.
Last week we had a zone conference.  Somehow one of the APs found out that I sing, but what he didn't understand was that I don't sing alone.  I don't like to...I need Michelle or Sharlie or Elisa or Kynsie or Chelsea...but none of them are here.  So he asked me to sing, and I was obedient.  I ended up roping Sister Kenworthy into it (mmwhahaha) and we did a duet while I played piano. It was really fun to sing with her.  We sang "Be Thou My Vision" from that book Mom gave me.  I had a good time.
We are working with a wonderful lady named Stephanie.  She knows the Book of Mormon is true!  Do you know how cool that is-to find someone who will read the BOM, pray about it,  find out it's true, and then continue reading it?  Man, it's priceless.  The more I read it the more I think to myself "There is no way on earth Joseph Smith could have written this".  If it wasn't the word of God, then it wouldn't be the way by which we can receive revelation.  We really can receive personal revelation through it.  And every time we get a bunch of anti, it really helps me to read the Book of Mormon.  Sometimes it really hurts my feelings to hear the horrible things people tell me about my church.  But, its good because then I get the opportunity to teach them what is true about our church. 
I hope the family is well-you seem to be from what I hear.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers for me.  I really wish I could be there to watch Return to OZ with yall...but hey!  I finally found someone who actually knows what that movie is!  It's Sister Bridgewater. :)
I love you!!
love sister annalisa wilde

Monday, October 15, 2012

Missionary work is a Funny Thing!

Dear Family,
What a week.  Missionary work is a funny thing.  It goes by way slow at the same time that it goes by way fast.  I have realized over the past week though that all the bad stuff you go through is completely worth it when something wonderful happens.  Even if it's small.  One particular day last week, we were really striking out.  Alll day we would drive, knock doors, drive, knock doors, drive...and nothing.  No one was home.  We went to the home of one of our new investigators and she had pnemonia so she couldn't let us in, but even talking to her on the porch for 5 minutes was really awesome.  We sincerely thanked her for talking with us.  I was getting down this past week because we haven't been able to set any baptismal dates...well at least we had one.  That was good.  But whenever someone in the zone sets a date, they text everyone in the zone to tell them.  And we were getting texts left and right!  We really wanted to help people progress, but things weren't going too good.  Anyway, I learned something yesterday that really humbled me.  All that time I had been feeling bad for myself last week and then this is what I hear from a ward member who had us over for dinner.  He served his mission in Greece.  I was interested- I had never heard of anyone going there.  I asked him what it was like to serve there.  He talked about how Athens was pretty yucky, but then he served in a near by country, the name of which is escaping me at the moment,and it was a gorgeous place.  He said "the food was good, the people were.....well...I could count the number of progressing investigators I had on one hand."   NO WAY.  His whole mission.  He worked his hardest every day, and no one listened.  He said he didn't get invited into anyone's home until a year into his mission.  He talked of how he came to measure success as a missionary in a new way.  Instead of baptisms, he measured it by the seemingly small things like if he got to bear his testimony that day, or if he placed a Book of Mormon or  serve someone that day.  This was a lesson to me.  I'm pretty sure I'll try really hard to never complain again.  Especially because we are working with a legit family right now.  They are coming to church and reading and we have become really close with them.  They just want to be closer to God, and there isn't anything more precious than that, I think.
Do you want to hear a crazy story?  So the day we were striking out, I was praying for opportunities to talk with people.  While we were at the gas station, I saw this little old man in a hawaiin shirt and a cross necklace shuffling his feet over to pay for his gas.  I thought, "I really need to go talk to him."  When Sis B got back in the car, I said, "we need to go talk to that guy getting gas".  She said, "I don't know what to say to him".  "Well, neither do I but we have to".  So we walked up-it was the most awkwaard approach ever.  We had no idea what to say.. haha.  We were like, "hey sir, how are you today?"  Then he started talking to us like he knew us or something.  He said, "fine fine, how is everybody over there, are you keeping things under control?"  I played along and said yes...he started talking about something he needed to go do, and we gave him a passalong card and left.  Pretty awkward, but I felt better.  Anyway.  Back to our striking out day.  No one was home, blah blah...then.  It's 8:15pm and the day is still not over.  I prayed in my head that Heavenly Father would help us know where to go.  Then came the thought "Lisa Eck".  We go to Lisa's house all the time and she's never home.  But I suggested it, we went, and she was home.  As we visited with her, a knock came at the door.  She opens it, and who do I see?  That same little old man with the hawaiian shirt and cross necklace!  I was so surprised!  My mouth hung open and Sis B just laughed at me.  This man is Lisa's DAD!!!  Haha how crazy.  We saw him twice in the same day.  We are hoping to be able to teach them all.  
We have recently begun volunteering at an assisted living home.  We go in once a week and do manicures for the ladies.  They are so fun and nice to us.  One lady I was visiting with last week was telling me about her son who had died when he was 21 and how she still missed him very badly.  I told her she would see him again.  As we talked, I just looked at her and listened.  She surprised me when she said, "You know, it's just really nice to have someone to talk to.  Your mother raised a wonderful young lady."  She talked about how she loved when people would play the piano.  I told her I would play for her sometime, and asked if she had been there the week before when I was playing.  She said, "Oh yes, you played 'In the Garden'".  I had played that song.  She told me she had remembered that all week.  She began to cry.  It was touching to me because of the reason I got to learn that song.  I learned it because Brother Bledsoe requested it for his baptism.  I always think fondly of him when I hear or play it now.  I was able to share with her that I was a missionary who taught people about Jesus Christ and that we will be able to see our loved ones again.  I told her that I got to meet a very special 90 year old man who taught me that song and I played it at his baptism.  With tears in her eyes, she said, "Oh that is wonderful".  Then she reached into her pocket and handed me a little snickers bar- her winnings from bingo that day.  How precious is that!  
I hope you all have a great week, and remember to do small things to help people.  
I love you,
sister annalisa wilde 

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm going to the temple!

Dear Family,
I get to go to the temple today..actually in 30 minutes.  So sorry that this letter will be short.  Also today Sister Carnihan is giving us a tour of St. Jude hospital.  You know the famous one that Robin Williams talks about on TV?  Yeah, it's in Memphis and she works there and is giving us a tour for our P-day.  The members here are wonderful.  I love them.  I was so grateful to them yesterday when Sammy and Steve came to church again.  They were kind to them and they feel welcome.  It's so important to just do christian things.  I loved the Relief Society broadcast on Saturday-especially when President Eyring said that when we care for others that the Lord will continue to invite us to do so.  It will sometimes be inconvenient for us, but how much greater the blessings for both us and the people we serve.  Once Jeremy told me that he never regretted any of the times he has chosen to serve in the church.  I feel the same.  In sunday school yesterday we were talking about obedience and the scripture from Mosiah 2, I think it's verse 24, that says that when we obey the commandments, God immediately blesses us.  The teacher asked if anyone had an experience with that principle.  Steve raised his hand-(I was so proud!  Missionaries feel about investigators sorta how I think moms feel about their kids) and he said that he decided to start going to church the week before and when he did, he was able to sell a freezer they had been trying to get rid of and one of the members of the church offered him a job. The blessings really were immediate.  Now, obviously it doesn't always happen this way.  But we know that Heavenly Father keeps His promises.
I don't think I've ever been more excited for general conference in my life.  We are inviting everyone to it.  It's going to be great.  Also, Sister Yuen is leaving us on Wednesday.  Sad sad.  I will miss her.  I don't think my life will be complete without a Hawaiian companion.  I think I might be in Bartlett for a long time..I'm not sure.  I wish I had good stories to tell you, but I can't think of anything at the moment.  Usually I write a list throughout the week so that I don't waste any time when I'm sitting at the computer.  I didn't write one this week.  It was a normal week-exciting that Sammy and Steve are progressing. Their little girl Abbie (2 yrs) is really growing on me.  I always liked her, but yesterday I think was when I realized that I loved her.  We went to their house last night and Sammy was busy making cupcakes for Sister Yuen as a going away present.  She even had little hawaiian cupcake liners.  It was sweet.  Abbie is like a hurricane sometimes so she had been banned from helping in the kitchen.  I went in the other room to play with her.  She started dancing to music and I danced with her- and I realized what a precious little girl she is.  People don't give her enough credit cause she mostly goes around ruining things.  She really is a cute kid though.  It reminds me of Max-he's a good kid.  You just gotta be patient with him and give him a chance. :)  I miss all my nieces and nephews.  Anyway, as we were eating cupcakes, I spied a cheap guitar that looked like it was from toys r us or something.  I tuned it to the best that it would go, and then for part of our spiritual thought Sister Yuen and I sang Nearer my God to Thee while I played it.  I figured no one would really notice that the guitar was still pretty out of tune.  :)  Oh well, good enough for me.  Also I got to play the organ again yesterday because Sister McCune was sick.  I also filled in for her when the ward choir sang yesterday.  It felt just like old times of ward choir in Grandview 2nd ward.  I thought mom and dad would be proud of my participation.  It was willing participation too, just so you know.
Well I'm going to the temple.  I love you all and pray for you. 
love sister wilde

Monday, September 24, 2012

Zone Conference in Bartlett

Hey Family!
I can't believe that the transfer is almost over.  We found out that Sister Yuen is being transferred to Maumel AR (spelling?).  It was actually her very first area that has since been closed.  She is going to open it again!  She is excited but nervous, and we are sad to see her go.  It will be weird because we will always feel like something is missing.  We call ourselves the tri-force.  It just won't be the same without her.  We really do have a good time together.  We may or may not have been singing 'You Can Make the Pathway Bright' in our best/loudest/craziest opera voices in the car yesterday.  I'm pretty sure people could have heard us from across the street.  We were very excited yesterday though because Sammy and Steve came to church.... !!!!  Seriously, you don't even know how awesome it was.  We randomly knocked on their door (they are the ones that we helped with the yard sale) 2 weeks ago and now we will be friends forever.  Steve is probably around 6'6 and is a rugby player and Sammy is a firefighter.  They have their two little girls who also came to church.  Their 6 yr old ended up knowing one of the girls in her primary class because they are in the same class at school.  Sammy told us after church that she had never been to a church where they felt so welcome.  It has been a joy to be her friend and teach her about the gospel.  The gospel is real.  It can reach everyone and bring the power of God into their lives.  That's the cool thing.  It can reach everyone because it is for everyone.  No one is excluded from it.  You don't have to be rich or pretty or educated.  It has the power to connect us with our Father in Heaven who has a personal love for us.
We had a zone conference this past week, which was in the Bartlett building.  This is very convenient for us because we only have to drive about 2 minutes to get there.  We live 2 minutes from the temple.  I have been blessed in my life to always live in a town that had a temple, but I think this is the closest I've ever lived to one and who would have thought it would be on my mission.  We have ward temple night tomorrow and we get to go because we have recent converts who are going to do baptisms. I. am. stoked. Anyway, back to the zone conference.  We always have to do role plays.  I mean, we always get to do role plays.  haha.  They are...good but you have to be really serious about it or you won't get anything out of it.  So we were doing a role play with some other sisters and I was playing their investigator.  I didn't know anything about her except that she is 16 and talks a lot.  It was interesting though because when I prayed that I would be able to help those sisters learn something about their investigator, something cool happened.  They asked me if I would be baptized.  I said, "Well, I've already been baptized at my mom's church. "  After the role play they told me that the girl really had been baptized at her mom's church and that would probably be one of her concerns.  I didn't know that before and ended up saying something that was actually true.  It was pretty cool.
Another thing I learned at zone conference was an answer to my prayer.  President shared a talk from a general authority that included a letter from a missionary saying that he felt they were so close to becoming effective missionaries but felt that something was missing.  After talking with one of his leaders he received the advice to do a 24 hour fast from food and water. During this fast he was to make a list of all the things that "poke" at his spirit.  Afterwards, he would do a 40 day "spiritual fast".  Each day he would do his best to work on this list, whether it be to stop doing something he shouldn't be doing or start doing something he should.  At the end of the day he would go to the Lord and account for his actions that day, see where he failed, and pray for more strength the next day.  At the end of the 40 days, his desires had changed.  He had allowed the Savior to change him.  It completely changed his missionary work and he had the power of the Holy Ghost.  This is truly the power we need in missionary work.  It is the only way by which we can be successful.  If it is by any other way, it is not of God.  This challenge is what I need to do, so I'm doing it.  Wanna try it?  Doesn't it sound fun?  If you do, you should tell me and then we can do it together.  It's like spiritual boot camp. :)  
I pray for you.  I love you all.  Have a wonderful week.
love sister annalisa wilde

Monday, September 17, 2012

2 more weeks of this transfer!

Dear Family,
It's crazy that there are only 2 more weeks left in this transfer.  It has gone by fast.  Unfortunately I was very spoiled in Hot Springs-we lived with members and had full car.  The area is huge though, so it wouldn't really make sense not to have full car.  We just had our walk week-my second in the mission.  I am glad that I'm not spoiled as much anymore because missions are supposed to be for working!  Work work work all the time and if I don't I feel really guilty. I try not to feel guilty but just do my best.  It's good to be pushed though, and I feel that I have been this transfer.  I have gotten better at contacting-which is my weakest point I think.  We actually met this nice family(a couple named Samantha and Steve and their two kids) that lives next door to a part member family we are teaching, the Lackeys.  Noah Lackey who is 15 has been running with Steve, the 30 yr old rugby player.  haha.  At first when we knocked on their door, Sam said,"Oh, we're already Christian" and was about to shut the door.  As we talked with her more, she completely opened up and started telling us about the yard sale she was getting ready for, and..well basically her life story.  It never ceases to amaze me how talented these Southerners are with talkin :).  We had a great conversation with her and ened up helping her a lot with her yard sale.  I found myself getting personally invested in it, and when people would come and look around, I would guide their attention to items I thought they would like.  I enjoyed being a little sales girl and was really happy when people bought stuff!  I think their yard sale went pretty well.  We realized yesterday that it feels like we've known Sam and Steve forever but really we've only known them 2 days.  Funny how that happens.  I think that's the way that it should be.
A great thing that happened this week- we finally were able to contact a referral. This woman is named Chelle, and she works with our ward mission leader. She has been going through a rough time and is in the process of moving.  We have gone to her house probably 3 or 4 times and she wasn't home. We felt impressed to go to her house again yesterday and she immediately opened the door. She let us in, and actually let us help her pack things up and move.  So many people turn down our help.  I'm sure they have their reasons, but we are just missionary girls!  We don't look like the mafia like 3 elders would standing at their door step.  Anyway, she let us in so that was really good. She expressed to us that she had low spirits that day and felt overwhelmed about life and moving. She had prayed earlier, explaining to Heavenly Father her need. Then we showed up and helped her. She said "Everything happens at the right time". I felt so happy to be able to get in touch with her and have her be so positive to us and the church. She told us that she has actually had a Book of Mormon for a few years-she bought one at a yard sale once! How funny is that! She paid for it.
I find myself singing that Paul Simon song more frequently...."I'm talkin about Graceland, Graceland...Memphis Tennessee, I'm talkin about Graceland".  Did you know that Elvis was taking the missionary lessons in Hawaii when he was filming a movie at the Polynesian Cultural Center before he died?  And apparently there is a sister in the Southaven ward who works at Graceland.  One day when she was younger, she found the Book of Mormon that one of the Osmonds gave him.  She decided that if it was good enough for Elvis, it was good enough for her.  She investigated the church and got baptized.  AND, another lady that wrote a book about Elvis came to Bartlett about a month ago.  She called the sisters for a Book of Mormon and other literature so that she could take it to Graceland.  She wanted to give it to Elvis's daughter because apparently it was Elvis's request that his daughter find out about the church.  All these things I never knew...
We had a great day at church yesterday.  In Relief Society we talked about being on the Lord's side of the line.  When we are even an inch outside of the line, we are in the tempter's power.  This stuff is important- cause when you are keeping the commandments, you are entitled to the Lord's blessings.  When we are not, we see the consequences.  They may not be immediate, but they will come.  The closing hymn was "Be Thou Humble".  This song touched me.  It really reminded me of Mom for some reason.  I think it just reminded me of the way she serves and trusts God.  "Be thou humble in thy pleading, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee, Shall bless thee with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares".  She bears her testimony to me of this almost weekly.  He does care.  People talk about "tender mercies" from the Lord all the time.  Sometimes I think, well how can you really know that was from the Lord?  But when you receive spiritual confirmation of things, you just know.  The closer you live to the spirit, the stronger that knowledge is.  The other day I was eating a nectarine, and I know that that nectarine was a tender mercy from the Lord.  Let me explain. It had been a rough day.  Sis Bridgewater got sick so we had to stay in the apartment alllll day.  I was sorta going crazy.  I just wanted to get out and work and not sit around. Well, we had a sister who was planning to come out with us that evening.  Since Sis Bridgewater was still sick, Sis Yuen stayed with her and I went out to see a few of our investigators with this sister from the ward.  I was kinda scared...haha.  I don't know why, I've done it before.  Anyway, it was a good experience but when I got home, I was just really happy to be back with my companions in the apartment, having accomplished something that night.  Why eating a fruit helped me realize this, I don't know.  But it was awesome.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and please remember how blessed you are.
"As if everybody here knows exactly what I'm talkin about..."
love sister wilde

Monday, September 10, 2012

Great things are happening!

Dearest Family,
I feel like I have a lot to tell you this week.  There are a lot of great things happening.  The work here is the same but soo different.  Once Joe told me that it was funny how the seasons don't really make you feel that different.  It's either hot missionary work or cold missionary work.  I sometimes wish that I could be more like Valerie and forget what season it is when I'm inside.  Unfortunately, I have been painfully aware of the fact that it is summer here.  But great news!  We had the most delightful day on Saturday.  It was perfect football game weather.  I got so much happiness from it.  Other random realizations from this week:  Sister Bridgewater always teases me that I messed up our chance to have BYU initials because she is sister Bridgewater and then we have sister Yuen, but my name doesn't start with U.  Then I figured out that Wilde makes a Y sound and Yuen makes a U sound, so we really can be BYU.  Then, this member pointed out to us that we each represent all the BYU towns!  I'm from Provo, Sis Yuen is from Hawaii, and Sis Bridgewater is from Idaho.  So we really are BYU!  hah.
We went to a member's house for dinner this week, the Carltons.  By the way, the members are really good about feeding us.  Every night.  It is really nice of them.  Anyway, while I was there, I felt the most wonderful spirit in her home.  The kind of spirit that cannot be imitated, but only acheived by keeping the commandments.  I commented to her about this and she then told me of how a few years ago, they watched dear friends of theirs go through a divorce.  They realized that they needed to be deliberate about FHE and having family prayer and scripture study every day.  I could tell the difference.  Simple as it may sound, there is nothing like having that spirit in your home.  I remembered a time that someone walked into our house to see Dad and the first thing she said was, "Wow, you can really feel the spirit in here".  That taught me a lesson about the importance of what my parents were doing for their kids.  As Sister Carlton talked, I felt a motivation and vision for my life in the future-that I wanted this same spirit.  I want to provide that for my family.  It comes from following the prophet and keeping the commandments.
I had a meaningful experience with a mormon message by President Eyring this week. The message is called "Choose This Day". In it, he teaches that we should search the scriptures daily to know what service the Lord would have us do that day-and that service brings about the change in us made possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We should not procrastinate rendering this service, for we do not know how long we will have on this earth to become like Christ. I think of my Grandpa, who lived a simple and service filled life. He did not procrastinate serving the Lord, and was therefore able to reap blessings and joy. The miracle of serving the Lord is that as we do so, we feel his love, which President Eyring says will draw us continually back to His service. It also allows our love for the Lord to increase, until nothing can separate us from it (Romans 8:35-39). My favorite thing that Pres. Eyring says is to pray to Heavenly Father and say "It doesn't matter how little things I am able to do, just let me know what I can do. I will obey. I know that I can with thy help". Well, something like that. That wasn't an exact quote. We shared this message with a less active lady and it touched her deeply. She was too emotional to speak. She did come to church the next day and stayed longer than she has in quite some time.
Get this.  We had a media referral come in a few weeks ago.  We went to contact her this week. Her name is Sheronda.  On the media referral, there is a box where the person can leave a comment about what they want to know or if they want a Book of Mormon or something.  In the comment box Sheronda wrote, "What's up with the mormons". hahahahaha.  We went over there.  At first she was apprehensive because she really wasnt expecting people to come to her door.  As we talked with her, she opened up and I could see her surprise turn to astonishment that we would go out every day and teach about Jesus and help people.  She told us that the other day she woke up and in her mind kept coming the words, "the book of jacob.  book of jacob."  She didn't know why- so she looked in the bible.  No book of jacob.  She looked online and came across  We were able to explain to her what the Book of Mormon was and that there is indeed a book of Jacob!  How crazy!  She loved it.  I will let you know what happens with her.
Yesterday at church I ran into this missionary who (long story) is serving in the family history center at BYU and is here with his parents to go to st. jude for some health reason.  Anyway, I met his mom.  The son said, "She's from provo".  When she asked my last name she then said, "You wouldn't know a Diane and Jeff Wilde, would you?"  ...I can't express the feeling I had.  I thought she'd ask me about one of my aunts or a distant cousin or someone that I didn't know, I didn't expect to hear Diane and Jeff!  I felt this proud/grateful feeling as I said, "Those are my parents."  She said she knew they were because I looked like the perfect mix of my mom and dad.  how crazy!!  She went to high school with my mommy!  Anyway, her name is Deborah Robertson Sheets.  For some reason that I didn't know I started talking to her about the choir my mom sings with and how much she has loved it over the years.  I didn't realize that this lady actually lives in Provo. But when I said it she said, "You know I have really been wanting to do something like that.  What is the name of the choir?"  I thought it was cool that I didn't know why I was saying something but it ended up really helping her.  Missionary work is like that if you pay attention.  Sometimes you don't know why you are saying stuff but it really helps people.
Well, I gotta go.  I love you all!  Oh and congrats to Cameron for getting your mission call!  I'm telling everyone I know!
love sister annalisa wilde

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 2 of the Trio in Bartlett

Dearest Family,
Week two in Bartlett.  Our trio is actually a blast.  It feels like we've been together for much longer than a week and a half.  Sister Bridgewater has us constantly laughing.  We've noticed that we are all completely different but somehow it all works out.  Also, they are the fastest girls at getting ready that I've ever met in my whole life!  I thought I was fast, but they put me to shame. :)  The morning routine runs like clock work.  No one has a hard time getting stuff done.  It's like we all had this unwritten, un-talked about mutual agreement about how everything will run, and no one ever has any problems with it.  This is nothing short of a miracle.  Blessing from Heavenly Father.  You know, I've been thinking about how the Lord says that He prepares places for us.  Like in Come Come ye Saints, they say, "We'll find the place which God for us prepared".  He promises us that the field is white, already to harvest, which means there are people prepared to receive the gospel.  From my experience in Hot Springs, I know that I was supposed to be there to meet the people I did.  God prepared that place for me.  Similarly, I have faith that God has prepared another place for me in Bartlett.  Although I don't yet see the ways in which this is true, I think I will know the longer I serve here.  Yesterday in testimony meeting, this lady got up and talked about how her and her husband felt prompted to move to Memphis, even though they had been all settled in their home where they were.  Somehow she came across that scripture in D&C where the Lord says something like "I will go before your face.  I will be on your right and on your left and will send mine angels round about you"...something like that.  They've been here a few months now, but just last week she was taking a walk with her 4 year old daughter.  She was talking about how they were blessed to have friends next door to their house.  And on the other side.  And across the street...and behind them.  And it dawned on her that the Lord had fulfilled the promise in that scripture, quite literally.  She had a sweet spiritual confirmation that He had prepared that for her.  That really touched me.  I have felt the spirit too many times to deny it.  I can and have explained it away as something else, but the fact of the matter is, I have experiences once in a great while where I feel something that I know I couldn't have made myself feel.  I couldn't have created that- God did.  He created us and because He did, He knows what we need.  Who better to give us what we need than our creator?
Well Bartlett is an insanely nice place.  It's like the nicest town I've ever seen.  All the neighborhoods are picture perfect.  They actually all look the same and most of the time I have no idea where I am.  The people are good.  We are over two wards.  It gets confusing because I can't always remember who is in what ward-and I don't really understand the boundaries, so I especially don't know which ward my investigators are supposed to go to.  Also, sundays are like a marathon.  We go to both church meetings.  So we have church non stop from 9-2 and then we have mission correlation meeting for 2nd ward from 2-3.  Also, it was fast sunday yesterday. was crazy.  But how cool is it that there is a TEMPLE in the parking lot of our church?  Its on the same street that I live.  Pretty cool, except I can't even go inside.  So I guess pretty cruel.  It's great though, because the people we talk to have seen the temple, and it gives us an opportunity to talk about it with them and they can visualize what we are talking about.  It's kinda crazy to be in a new area, after I got so used to the other one.  There are things that are harder, but I think I've grown in the past two weeks.  We had some crazy weather last week though.  As you've probably heard, hurricane Isaac has done a number on New Orleans and is moving its way up Mississippi.  We had severe thunderstorms and a tornado watch on Saturday night, so Sis Yuen, Sis Bridgewater and I spent some time camping out in the bathroom cause it's the safest place.  We brought in couch cushions and watched the Testaments.  We had a good time. 
Brother Bledsoe is now passing the sacrament in Glenwood!  Isn't that wonderful?  He has a calling too.  He's pretty proud of it.  President Palmer named it something like assistant to the Branch President.  He arranges the hymnbooks, and every time a new person comes to the branch he is to take down their name and information and give it to President Palmer.  I'm so happy that he has a calling.  That was one of the things he was worried about before he got baptized.  I don't know if I told you that already, but he said he was worried that he wouldn't be around long enough to do a good job.  But he is gonna be around a couple more years yet if I have anything to say about it.  He and his wife are planning on being sealed in the San Diego temple next year.  You better believe that Sis Gladden and I are driving to California for it. :)  They are doing so well.
I hope you are all having a nice time at the cabin going 4-wheeling and watching movies and playing pool and settlers and eating mom's salsa and aunt Denises' congo bars.  Don't worry, I'm fine here. haha jk. I'm doing good.  Life is good.  I love you all!
love sister annonisa wilde