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