Thursday, January 31, 2013

Continuing in the work !

Hey Family,
Our investigators are doing pretty good.  I feel very happy because we had a few of them come to church yesterday.  We met this girl named Terri who is friends with one of the recent converts in Millington.  This member has taught Terri a lot about the church and gave her a book of mormon.  She has had it for less than a week and she's almost through 1 Nephi.  That's awesome!  Her family is against the church because they've heard a bunch of crazy stuff over the years.  I really think that most of the things people hear simply are not true.  Sometimes people tell us that "we have a different Jesus".  That is simply not true.  Anyway, Terri said that she really feels this is true and that it's right for her.  She is going to be baptized in February.  She said that she sees a passion in all the sisters and elders she meets..for them to sacrifice to come share the gospel with her.  It was a testament to her that it's true.  Also, Debbie was really excited to tell us last week that she had done her reading in the Book of Mormon- she then proceeded to tell us everything that she read.  She remembered an impressive amount of details.  I think the best part was that she was ecstatic...haha.  That she had actually done her reading.  We were just about as surprised as she was excited. haha.  Okay it's not that bad.  She just usually says she doesn't have time to read on her own.  She loves reading with us, but hasn't really made it a habit yet.  But Stephanie is helping her along.  Stephanie is doing soo well.  I couldn't be happier about her.  I've grown really close to her.  I keep telling her that she needs to meet my whole family.  And she will.  She is already planning on coming to visit me when I get married.  I then have to remind her that she can't wait for that because she might not ever get to come.  haha. 
Well we had a wonderful lesson with Debbie last week.  She was really interested in the temple, and Stephanie had been given the video "Between Heaven and Earth", so we watched that.  Debbie was glued the whole time.  The sweetest spirit filled the room as we talked about the blessings of the temple.  Debbie said, "I want to go there".  I wish I could have helped her to better see that she can!  She thinks its unreachable...but it is not.  At least now she has a vision.  We all felt the spirit powerfully..temple covenants are the way we can have happy families and happy lives because you learn the doctrines and principles of the gospel.  That is the gospel that Christ obeyed, and the one God lives.  True joy is to become like God and He has shown us the way. Something we were taught by Elder Kepechke last week was that we need to teach the doctrine.  Elder Packer said, "True doctrine understood(which means with your mind and your heart) changes behavior faster than a study of behavior changes behavior".  So when we struggle with something, we can ask ourselves:  What doctrine do I need to understand that will change my attitude and behavior? 
Oh.  Best part of that lesson.  Stephanie's 21 yr old son Jeremy who lives with her(who doesn't seem very interested in studying with us) was totally listening the whole time from the other room.  :)
When I was in the MTC, my teacher told me a story about his mission.  He talked about once when he was in a trio.  In the middle of the night, the other two elders were straight up teaching a lesson in their sleep!  They were even switching off-bearing testimony and backing each other up and stuff.  Well, I would like to announce that I have reached a pinnacle moment in my mission.  I woke up this morning to find a sticky note on the bathroom mirror saying, "Congratulations Sister Wilde!  You have successfully extended a commitment in your sleep!  " will receive great blessings..."
Thank goodness for my insomniac companion who witnessed that or no one would have ever known.
Hey.  I love you all very much.  I never knew how much my family meant to me...
love sister wilde

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Two more weeks til transfer

Dearest Family,
Another week has gone by, and now there are only two more weeks of the transfer.  Sis B's mission is winding down.  Quite a scary thought if you ask me.  Two missionaries from the Bartlett 1st ward returned this past week.  They have the missionary glow.  I have been contemplating on my mission-how much has gone by, how little time I have left.  Every morning we wake up to the cd that's in the cd player.  So at 6:30 I hear this horrible efy song that says "what will you do with the time that's left? Will you live it all with no regrets?"  Even more scary thoughts.  At that point I usually choose to think about something else.  haha.  Well  I say that because I want to give my all and do my best.  But it's all good cause there's always repentance. 
Last week we had the privilege of listening to a member from the 70 at our zone conference.  Elder Kipishke.  I don't think I spelled that right.  He's from Germany.  President said we needed to be really prepared and looking sharp because he is from Germany, and you know how Germans are-strict and precise and all that stuff.  At last year's mission tour, Elder Allen from the 70 came.  Apparently the whole mission got chastized pretty bad so everyone was nervous for what would happen this year.  Turns out, Elder Kipishke was the nicest man I've ever met.  There was the strongest feeling of warmth and peace in that zone conference.  I wish you could have felt it, because I can't describe it.  He taught simply and by the spirit.  I came away having been taught so many things that I know came from the Holy Ghost because he never said them.  He taught us to have questions when we come to church, and throughout that zone conference.  When we listen to the speakers in the context of our questions, revelation will flow.  However, we will only receive what we are ready to receive.  It will work as you are humble and as you seek the Lord through obedience.  For part of the conference, he turned the time over to us to ask questions.  One elder asked a question, and as Elder Kipishke began to teach him I was saying " did he see the question I wrote down.."  I swear, he wasn't answering that question, he was answering mine.  I received help with this question that I have had for most of my mission.  You should try the question thing next time you go to church. 
Through my study this week, I have been learning how to rely on the Savior in a new way.  I feel a hope in Him that I have not felt before.   I really love this scripture- "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world".  But obtaining this hope and faith in Christ is not an abstract thing, contrary to what I have thought before.  If it's really true that every person needs to accept the atonement of Christ to be saved, Christ will show the way for us to do that.  It is through the ordinances that the power of godliness is manifest.  It is through living our covenants that we obtain faith unto repentance.  This is what we must do.
Highlight from the week:  Latosha, Jacole, Jeremy, and Debbie set foot in the church building!!!!   This is huge!  We have been trying for quite some time to get them to come to church.  Not all of them came for the church meetings, but we were able to do a church tour with them.  This is where we take them around the building, explaining what church is like, the different places they'll go, the things they will learn.  Most importantly, they will feel the spirit as they enter the church-if they are prepared to receive it.  Sometimes people are not prepared.  That is okay, you just have to wait til they are, and find someone who is prepared.  How many times are we not prepared to learn something that Heavenly Father wants to teach us?  Probably many times.  But how happy He is when we are-when we feel the Holy Ghost and know we need to change.  Change is so cool.  Hey, go read D&C 93:1.
I pray that you are all doing well.  I love you with all of my heart.
love sister wilde

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Long Week

Hey Family,

I'm not gonna lie-this has been the longest week of my life. Well actually I decided it was the 3rd longest. The 2nd longest being the first week at the MTC. I wonder how Cameron liked the MTC. It was great and everything, but I cannot tell you how happy I was to leave. It seems like that just barely happened. It floors me that it was almost a year ago. Sis Edwards and Sis Madril (the girls I came out with) are two of my favorite people. We have become great friends, although I don't get to see them much. I used to see Sis Madril more, but she isn't in my zone anymore. I have only seen sis Edwards once my whole mission! They are actually companions right now in Searcy AR. I think it's crazy that I was with my first comp for 6 months, and now my second comp for comin up on 6 months. A new comp will be a good change...but you all know how much I like change. I am staying in my area for a few more transfers though, for which I am happy. I really love these wards.

People frequently ask us when the huge wave of sisters will come. Obviously, it won't come all at once. But this coming transfer, we will have the largest number of incoming missionaries- 20, including 3 sisters. Next transfer after that, there will be 8 sisters. So basically everyone who is not training next transfer will train the next one after that. My time is running short...President talks about having an urgency in the work. It is easier for me to feel that now than it was a few months ago, although I always tried to have that urgency.

Stephanie is doing amazing!!! She has a testimony of attending church every sunday. Last sunday in gospel principles we were talking about how Christ can change the desires of our hearts. Stephanie doesn't usually comment or volunteer to read in class...she's been trying to get more comfortable. Well to our pleasant surprise, she raised her hand and said, "I used to desire the night clubs, and the drinking, and smoking drugs, and now I desire to follow Christ." Simply and clearly taught. That's all she had to say. The spirit confirmed her testimony. A few days ago, we taught the first lesson to her two sons Jeremy and Martez. I am hopeful that they will see the miracle of their mother's conversion and choose to follow her example. She certainly prays earnestly for them.

I got a call from the executive secretary on Friday at 9:00 pm. He said, "so..we had someone all lined up to speak on sunday, and now she can't. Brother Riddle said, "call sister wilde, she'll do it". So I spoke in church on sunday. It's only been a few months since I spoke in that ward. I think they are getting sick of me. It was my first time ever being the concluding speaker. I'm pretty sure they won't ask me again...don't ask...:)

Although it was a hard week, we saw miracles in our area. We found 11 new investigators-a personal high for us. We worked way harder this week than we have before and have seen the results. I've been thinking lately about something a lady in our ward said. It's sister robison-probably like one of my top 5 heros. Becca is still first though :) She said that happiness is a direction. Sometimes I feel like I know what I want or what I think will make me happy. Being on a mission, I have to sacrifice some of those things...but I must trust that my sacrifice to be obedient to the Lord is my act of faith to first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and know He will then add everything else I need.

I love you all. I am grateful for your prayers.

love sister wilde

Monday, January 7, 2013

I know why I'm here.

Dear Family,
I have experienced the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ this week.  I know why I'm here.  I learned much and received revelation.  Did you know that you can receive revelation every day if you wanted to?  This scripture has come to mean much to me.  "Ask and it shall be given unto you.  Seek and ye shall find.  Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For everyone that asketh, receiveth. And he that seeketh, findeth.  and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, who if his son ask bread will give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your father who is in heaven give good gifts to them that ask Him?" (3 Nephi 14:7-11).  I have seen true miracles this week.  One is with my companion.  Earlier this week, we were driving in the car, laughing hysterically about something like we normally do, and then all of a sudden something dawned on me.  It was one of those lightbulb moments.  I realized, Oh my gosh, I love Sister Bridgewater SO much!  I need to tell her.  But wait, I have to find a way that she wont think is too corny cause she doesn't like that stuff.  So I decided to say, "Hey, I need to tell you something.  But don't freak out cause it might be kind of cheesy."  she was like "uhh okay.."  and I told her how much I loved her.  And then I haven't been able to stop crying since.  I don't cry constantly..but it's kinda funny how easily I cry.  It's not dramatic crying, it's spirit crying.  Which is okay cause that's the quiet kind of crying.  Today we were doing our daily white handbook reading and we got to the part about transfers where it says, "If your companion is transferring but you are staying in the area, make arrangements with your district or zone leader so that you are never alone".  But since I was the one reading that part, I took my own liberties and said, "If your companion is transferring but you are staying in the area, make arrangements so that your companion never gets on the plane." hahaha.  I bet I could do it.  She underestimates me.  mwahahahaha.
Sis B taught me how to rely on the Savior this week.  I was feeling really horrible yesterday, but knew I needed to help someone else so that I could stop focusing on myself. We were able to see an investigator that we haven't been able to make contact with in a while, and it was healing to me. Shelly was just the person I needed to see. We felt the spirit together.  I didn't realize til Sis B pointed out to me that that was the answer to my prayer.  It sounds simple, but there's really a whole lot more to it than just can't really describe what it's like to feel the spirit or how you know that God is real or Jesus is the Christ.  But I do know that when you exercise faith by reading the scriptures, going to church, and praying, no matter how little faith you may feel you have, you can know.  By the power of the Holy Ghost, you can know.
We went on exchanges this week.  First one I've ever done! I got to go to Collierville and serve with Sister Yuen.  It was great fun.  The exchange was inspired, and I will tell you why.  We went to see this part member family called the Millers that Sis Yuen has been wanting to see for quite some time, but had never met.  We went there, and the husband, Kyle, answered the door.  He immediately invited us in.  We met his wife and his two kids.  It was kind of awkward...they didn't say much, and we were fueling the whole conversation.  But I knew that it wasn't the kind of awkward that is like "get out of here..why are you still here" it was more like they didn't know what to say.  
    Interlude:  The day before, Sis Tumanuvao (sis yuen's comp) was asking us if we had ever met someone with one of those faces that you just automatically love.  I totally know people that I just automatically love.  The first person that came to mind was Elliot.
           I will now return to the story.  As we talked with Kyle, I realized that he reminded me so much of Elliot.  Not just because he had a wicked beard like elliot does, but something about his eyes-I just felt so deeply that I wanted him to be happy and that I would do anything to help him be happy-which is how I feel when I look at Elliot.  So I told kyle that he reminded me of my brother Elliot and that Elliot was really cool.  Sis Yuen said she thinks it touched him.  I asked them if they would like to take the missionary lessons.  Kyle looked at his wife, smiled, and they both said yes.  It was a sincere yes-something you don't see that often.  Anyway, I just know that meeting that family was not an accident.  I pray they will find what they know they are missing.
Real quick.  I wanted to update you on dear Bro Bledsoe.  He is doing so well! He gave his first talk in sacrament meeting last week! He has finished reading the Book of Mormon and the D&C and is now on to the Pearl of Great Price. They are doing temple prep classes, and all is on track for their goal of being sealed in the temple later this year. What a precious miracle I have witnessed.
I love you all. 
love sister wilde