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