Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Week in the MTC!

Dear Family!

This week has flow by. Honestly the time has gone faster with each passing week, and now I have my reassignment, as you all know! I'm very excited to be going to Houston East--in fact I really don't think I would have it any other way even if I could. In answer to your question Mom, Yes I will be going to Houston with one Elder from my district, Elder Zendejas, who is an awesome elder. Only two people in our district (Elders Rogers and Graff) actually got their visas in time to head straight out to Londrina; the rest of the district is spread all over the country from vancouver washington to virginia.

In other news, I was stripped of my voice this week! I woke up one morning and it was almost completely gone. It has been getting progressively better each day, but in the meantime it has been sad to not be able to sing hymns and whatnot, or to sing them in a very limited and very gravelly bass.

Um there is not a ton more to say. I'm really excited to talk to you all! Let me know what numbers I should call at what times to actually be able to reach people while I'm in the airport. I don't know about that package, but that's not a big deal. I hope everyone is doing really well.

Somebody said at some point this week [and I jotted it down in my planner without providing a reference for myself]: "The day a missionary is happy is the day [s]he cares more about others than about him/herself." I think that is true not just of missionaries. What does it mean to follow the will of the Lord if not to love and serve others?

Talk to you soon! Love you all! Special thanks to Vivi, Grandma Hamblin, and Brother Minor, whose letters complete me.

Com amor,
Elder Wilder

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Familia! Today I received my reassignment! It was a trial of patience because we expected them to be in our district mailbox at noon but they didn't come till dinner time. I think I was more nervous and excited than for my original call. Anyway so we all gathered to read them and when my turn came I read that I was called to

TEXAS HOUSTON EAST! For obvious reasons this was super exciting to me. I am VERY excited. I leave on Monday at 2:30 in the morning. I have a two-hour layover in Dallas from 10:05-12:15, which means I will be able to call home!

PS mom is anna still putting these emails on the blog? I ask because I think Jordan's mom will probably find this interesting.

Love you all! Looking forward to talking to you!

Elder Wilder

Week 4: September 20, 2013

Dear Family,

It has been a busy week! Mom, I got made a zone leader last Sunday! I figured you would be really proud of this, while Justin would scoff and say that being a zone leader in the MTC means nothing. Either way it is a lot of fun but takes the small amount of spare time I used to have and negates it. This week was a lot of fun. We got to host new missionaries into the MTC and then Elder Rogers and I got to orient the two new districts in our zone. They are a squirrelly bunch. Bringing them to meet the Branch Presidency reminded me just how crazy and eccentric our Branch President is. He walked in 15 minutes late and said, "You finally got here!" followed by his favorite and oft-used line, "Welcome to the True Church." Then he turned to Elder Rogers and I and said, "Never play defense," and then promptly laughed heartily at what was apparently a pretty funny joke. I still have no idea what he meant by "never play defense", which makes it all the better.

Elder Rogers got his visa! Because we are only TEN DAYS from shipping out [TEN DAYS!] he will be remaining here in the Provo MTC and will leave the same day as the rest of us. I don't have any news on my visa (mom maybe you could call church travel or something just to double check that things are actually happening), so I am preparing to receive my reassignment about a week from today! No, mom, they generally don't make a special effort to send people to portuguese-speaking missions; but yes it would be super cool to go to Florida. I actually thought about it just the other day. They also apparently have Portuguese missionaries in Boston (and probably other major cities) but I suppose I oughtn't get my hopes up. Here's to a UT Provo reassignment.

Parabens to Justin on the big move. Also thank you SO MUCH Viviana for sending me letters! They always make my day. Mom, if you want to send me something in that package, send stain remover. Thanks!

Here's a spiritual thought - lite: There was a woman who spoke at one of our devotionals the other day (apparently her husband helped produce 17 Miracles) and she said something to the effect of: "If you are struggling right now its because God wants you to struggle, because it will help you to grow." I genuinely believe that. As some other speaker once said, "Life is a classroom". But, like, a really fun classroom.

So yeah, I will be getting out of this joyous prison soon and into the field! Looking forward to that!

Thank you all! I love you so much.

Elder Wilder

Week 3-September 13, 2013

Dear Family,
Well it is week number 4! Thank you so much Mom and Dad for the letters and the package! I won't waste time trying to describe exactly how much they make my day, but there are two letters wheeling their way to Medford for you. The mangos and the chocolate were DELICIOUS.

So yes Mai, I will be leaving at the end of this month, and from the looks of it I will not be making it out of the states right away. I'm kinda excited though, as I have said before. They used to send pretty much all the reassigned missionaries to Salt Lake (which would be cool enough) but this last week we saw a wave of really cool reassignments. The ones I heard were: NYC south, Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston. All super cool missions. So you never know. 

Anna: Congrats on your volleyball games! Who cares if you don't win? You're still an awesome loser:) but seriously, you're a great athlete, don't worry about who wins or loses. BTW I am getting pretty professional at volleyball here at the MTC. It is my favorite exercise activity. I can bump, set, and spike like nobody's business. So be ready for me when I come back dude.

Rachel! Glad to hear you're enjoying school! I loved middle school. Just remember to look out for the kids that aren't as cool and quick-to-adjust as you. 

We could actually hear the cheers from the BYU UT game from the MTC campus as we tried to do language study. It was a little bit heart-wrenching. Hard to be so close to campus and yet so far away. And we saw the storm coming in from our fifth-story classroom window! It was interesting to watch. 

We get to host new missionaries next week which I guess means I'm starting to get to the tail end of my MTC experience. It has flown by.

Well, I am pretty much out of time! Love you all! 

Ate logo,

Week 2-September 6, 2013

Hi family!

I was a little worried when I logged on this morning to print out my emails and didn't see one from you guys! But I guess it was like 6am your time so that makes sense. This week has been great! People are right when they say that missionary life feels like both the longest and shortest experience of your life. (Does anyone say that? Well its true.) I have been here just over two weeks, but it feels like I am in some sort of time warp like in Bill Murray in Groundhog's day where I've been waking up and doing more or less the exact same routine for my entire life:

Wake up. Curse the alarm clock. Get in the shower. Bless the shower. Go to breakfast. Go to class. Study scriptures. Practice lessons. Go to lunch. Teach mock investigators. Exercise. Go to dinner. Study language. Get distracted. Get back on task. Pray. Pray. Pray. Hope for a letter or a dearelder (side note: I could probably handle a few more of those. Thank you Vivi for sending me one! It totally made my day! Also thank you once again to Brother Minor, to whom I owe about half all the letters I have received!)  Go to residence. Get ready for bed. Portugues prayer. English prayer. Blessed sleep. Cursed Alarm clock....

 At the same time, I can't believe I've already been here two weeks. I can't believe how much I've learned in that amount of time! I can't believe how much I still have to learn. The Portuguese is coming well! No word on visas, except to say that reassignment is a very regular part of life here (like breakfast or death). Personally I am excited at the chance of reassignment! We'll see what happens.

Rachel! Glad to hear you got into Algebra. Mr Dick is a very cool teacher huh? Middle school is fun. You are going to have a good year!

Mom I hope you are staying sane. Sounds like you all are very busy. Everybody had better treat Mom very well!

Hope Dad is doing well! Tell Justin congrats on his thing and it is about time he moves out.

Congrats to Anna on volleyball and whatnot! Hope her love life is simmering down a bit. (Anna are you posting this stuff on the blog? I hope you are not planning to edit anything;)

Oh and I need Sam (brother sam)'s address. I wrote him a letter.

I think I forgot my shoe-shining kit, so maybe Sam could send me one in a package? BTW just to shame y'all, Jordan's mom actually sent me a package while was in Provo dropping off her daughter. Between her, Brother Minor, and Vivi, I have to wonder: what is it with non-blood-relatives that makes them so much more apt to send me things? Is it something in the Wilder blood?  (In our defense, I think he received a package later that day!)

Hope you all are doing really well! I pray for all of you every night. 

I got a new sd card reader so we shall see if I can attach some pictures.

Elder Wilder


Week 1: August 30th, 2013

Oi Familia!

My P-day has finally arrived! Its every Friday, but missionaries don't get P-days during their first week in the MTC, so we pretty much had the maximum possible time from MTC entry to P-day arrival.

The MTC is fantastic. It is exhausting and ridiculous and very rewarding. I am learning MUITO in a very short amount of time. My teacher, Irmão Rodrigues, is fantastic. I feel the spirit every time he teaches us. He also speaks perfeito portugues e ingles, because he was born in São Paolo, grew up in the states, and served his mission in Portugal. He is also a ridiculously handsome guy, which makes class very entertaining because all of the sisteres in our distrito have what might be termed "missionary crushes" on him.

I LOVE my district. My companion, Elder Rogers (ala Best Two Years) is fantastic and a lot like me, which makes it easy to get along (because who wouldn't get along with me? just kidding). Elder Zendejas does a great job as our district leader, and Elder Graff takes the role of the tough, gruff, tri-cities WA elder. Then there is Elder Copenhaver, a portly, bespectacled Elder with a lisp and a fantastic sense of humor, who before his mission worked variously in construction, a chicken processing plant, and composing the epic 21st century masterpiece BERGENSTOFF, a story about "Five modern day children who are magically transported back in time to a mythical land filled with satyrs, centaurs, and troblins (half-troll, half-goblin). The author himself treats us to renditions of this epic work when we jog with him during exercise hour. Then there is Elder Edwards (in brazilian Portuguese we call him Edgey-warjees) who is the always reliable New England ginger of the district, and Elder Wambach, a hidden gem from Montana. He doesn't say much, but what he does say is either inspired or hilarious or both. We also have five (formerly six; one received her visa and is now in São Paolo) sisteres in our district, who are all really wonderful. 

We spent our first week teaching Larissa, que é Brasileira. Except that Larissa is not really Brazilian, and her name is not Larissa. Her name is Amelia Jean Wells and she is from Utah of all places, and after we finally committed her to baptism, she became one of our instructors along with Brother Rodrigues. It is hard to decide who is a better teacher--Irmão Rodrigues or Irmã Wells. Even though they weren't real, the lessons with Larissa were very instructive and kind of nerve-racking, because unlike Sister Wells, Larissa fala solo Portugues. And even though we knew she wasn't a real pesquisador, we were still psyched when she decided to be batizado. It is incredible how much we learn in here. I am already reading O Livro de Mormon em Portugues and entendendo most of it. I think my five years of Spanish was a HUGE help, but a lot of it seems to be divine intervention. Muito obrigado a Deus.

It is definitely exhausting here; I spend about half of my day feeling 100% ready for a nap. But I am glad that we don't waste time here. It makes you feel like you are using every day to its full potential. 

Thanks to Brother Minor for all his letters! There should be a response winging its way to Medford for him. As to err'body else, let me just say that letters are the best. Also, Sam: Send me a package already! It costs two bucks via BYU mail.

Mom, Dad, Justin, Vivi, Sam, Anna, Rachel, Grandma Hamblin, Grandma McSheffery: I love you all and miss you muito! I hope you all have a good week.  Até logo!

Elder Wilder

PS I just tried to attach some pictures that I took during our temple walk but haven't figured it out. If I do figure it out before my email time ends, I'll send them in another email.