Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This Week's Letter

Dear Family,
I decided a few things.  First, I'm getting smoked by Cameron's experiences.  I'm starting to feel really guilty about driving everywhere.  We walk sometimes...but we definitely don't bike 30 miles a day.  If there is one word of advice I could give anyone that I personally don't know how to accomplish, it is- stop feeling guilty.  But I am humbled to read of Cameron's experiences and touched by his testimony.  It is remarkable that young men give up absolutely everything for 2 years to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Well, I'm in Lakeland.  It's really close to Bartlett- like half of my area is in Bartlett.  But it's just far enough to be painful. And I'm not gonna has been painful.  I think I'm the worst missionary in the world at being transferred.  We've been trying to figure everything out since we whitewashed the area.  Pinkwashed I guess.  It isn't as hard as opening an area, so I really shouldn't complain.  But I have noticed a few really cool things.  We walked into the area with a baptism planned for Saturday.  So we got the opportunity to plan the whole thing and call people in the ward to help out with the program and things.  I think it was a great way to start getting to know some of the people in the ward, especially our ward mission leader.  I actually know a handful of people from Lakeland ward already, having served in Bartlett for so long.  It's also cool because a lot of the people in this ward know the people from Bartlett, so we have a lot of common ground.  I wish you could meet all of these people- they are incredible.  Some of the strongest converts I've met.  The conversion stories are amazing, especially because they live in the south.  So this past week, we prepared for the baptism of Maxey Maxamillion Maxwell.  (Please do not laugh, I'm pretty sure he will hear you.  And if he doesn't, the angels will.  I really believe that.  They record the bad stuff you say so always remember to be nice). We also had the opportunity to participate in a stake young mens activity.  It was an MTC Experience.  The young men got a chance to learn about different facets of serving a mission-like culture, how to cook nutritious food, how to conduct music...Sister Williams and I and the Arlington elders got a chance to teach them about Lesson 1-the Restoration.  Oh yeah.  My companion is Sister Williams.  From Blackfoot ID, third of 6 kids, first 19 yr old in Arkansas Little Rock mission...did I cover everything?  Oh-she's my first companion that is shorter than me.  That's exciting.  And my district leader is Elder Randall (who Elliot worked with at RC Willey).  He's a funny kid.  Anyway..  We taught them about the main doctrines, how to create a lesson plan, did some role plays, bore our testimonies and got to hear some of their testimonies of the Restoration and how it has changed their lives. It was a great experience. Then they got to teach their own mock investigators.  Our investigator Max was there for the whole thing.  Which is awesome because he got to fellowship with the boys and learn about missionary work.  Because missionary work is legit.  If there is another word of advice I can give you it is- please be a member missionary.  The spirit will touch you more frequently and deeply as you share your witness of the truths you know.  Anyway.. After the activity, Max was baptized.  It was sweet because everyone got to be there for it. 
After Max's baptism, we rushed to Bartlett to Kendall's baptism.  I'm so happy that he got baptized.  I got to play a musical number for it.  I was glad to be there..but it was painful.  I just felt like I came home..and after it everyone from Bartlett gave me hugs.  I really feel a lot of love from them.

We were spiritually finding yesterday when Sister Williams felt prompted to go to a certain house. We knocked on the door and no one answered. We waited for a minute and then the lady that lived there actually drove in. She got out with 4 kids along with her. She had the most beautiful family! I can't even describe the beauty I felt as we talked with her. We asked if she would like to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She said yes and invited us in. She is hispanic and had to have her daughter translate some of the things we said. We asked if spanish speaking missionaries could come back and she agreed. She told us about how her brother is suffering from leukemia and that she is going to visit him in Chicago soon. I for some reason felt prompted to tell her of my experience with Ryan. I don't normally tell anyone...I almost hesitate to bring it up now, but I felt like I really did understand what she was going through. I testified to her that there is no way I would still be here doing missionary work if it wasn't for the love and sustainment of my Father in Heaven and His son. There was a special spirit there. I know she was touched because tears came to her eyes after the prayer. I hope the spanish missionaires will be able to teach her.
I have more stories..but maybe I will do them next week.  I love you all. 
love sister wilde

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