Monday, February 24, 2014

The Fakeout of the the Century

Hello family!

So I have had my share of visa-has-arrived fakeouts during my stay in Texas but this one was the best. Last thursday we found a message on our phone from Elder Cook, the guy who handles all the missionary finances. He said something to the effect of, "Hi Elders, I just wanted to let you know I put $35 on Elder Evans' MSF card for Elder Wilder [because I am a visa waiter I don't get my own card, my money is put on my companions card] Anyway, I know Elder Wilder is leaving on Monday so be sure to pull that money off for him." So Elder Evans and I were both like,

"WHATTTT?" As you can imagine this made it difficult to continue with weekly planning (though we did anyway.) That whole night I was, in the back of my mind, nervously awaiting a telephone call from president. Didn't come. The next morning at District meeting, the Assistants showed up at the church building. I went up to Elder Wright and said, "Elder Wright! Do you know anything about my visa?" "Yeah," he said, "Didn't you hear it came in?" "What?" "haha just kidding. Your visa hasn't come in, that's the french visa waiters who are leaving on Monday."

There are four parisian visa waiters who are probably at the airport right now preparing to board a plane. Apparently Elder Cook got me confused with them.

The good news is, though, that apparently my FBI clearance did come through this last week! So we are one step farther along in the process.

This week we taught a lot of lessons but found no new investigators...sad. but we did manage to find two lost sheep (this is geeky missionary lingo for a member of the church who for whatever reason has been inactive for years and has disappeared off the map as far as church records are concerned.) One of these lost sheep actually stopped US one day as we were walking down broadway and said, "Hey I need another one of those books!" Her name is Danni Porche, she is ex-military and pretty cool.

None of our investigators came to church :( but Sister Apolinar, the lady who was inactive for years after the death of her husband, came to church for the second time in a row this week! Yay!

thats about it. Love you all!


Monday, February 17, 2014


dear family and friends,

whoa. I cannot believe this week has gone by this fast. Wait did I say that last week? These emails probably get boring.

Well things are going well here in broadway 1 west. We found a lady about a week or so ago via miracle, a member of the church who went inactive after her husband committed suicide about three or so years ago. After having a really wonderful visit with her on saturday (during which she fed us a delicious mexican soup) she agreed to come to church on Sunday. She said she had been talking with her son just a few weeks before about how they needed to go back to church. And so she did! and she had a wonderful experience.

In other news, we got six new investigators this week! Which isn't bad. Its also actually not all that great for this area, now that I think about it, but it is a new record for our companionship, so thats good.

Also, another one of my investigators from back in Liberty was apparently supposed to be baptized this Sunday but wasn't...the only explanation I have been given so far is "ward complications"...I will have to give the Liberty Elders a call today to find out what happened. In any case, Hopefully Steven Kelly will be baptized next week!

But yeah. Things are going well here. I feel like God is trying to boost our confidence. Like, "hey, I'm gonna throw you a bone this week." 

It's a good thing I am not a prophet because, if I was, the scriptures would be about as eloquent as that last paragraph.

I love you all! 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Houston, baby

Dear all,

I am in HOUSTON! This is very cool for me. Elder Evans (my new comp) and I have been flushed into the area known as Broadway 1 West. Flush is a missionary term for when all the old missionaries are transferred out of an area, and an entirely new companionship is brought in. Being flushed into an area is quite an experience because neither you nor your companion have ANY idea what you are doing. All you really have to rely on is the area book; unfortunately, the last Elders in this area lost their area book (I don't really know how that happened exactly, because the area book does nothing but sit in the apartment all day). Luckily they threw together a few teaching records for their current investigators and a few of the recent converts and less actives so we're good to go.

One of the first questions we were asked when we got to the area was: what happened to the puppies?? Apparently the last Elders had adopted a dog which had then borne a litter of presumably adorable pups. We really can't say what has become of them because when we arrived at the apartment, the only critters that greeted us there were some less-than-adorable cock roaches. The lady who dropped us off at the apartment (who is a super awesome, no-nonsense relief society president, btw) referred to our complex as the "roach motel". Well. She was right.

We live very close to downtown Houston, and even closer to Hobby airport (Hobby is literally probably a five minute's drive away.) Our teaching pool here is far more diverse. One of our investigators is a recovering drug addict, another is a Cuban New-york expat. We have met people from Nigeria and Mali, and taught a first lesson to a Hindu man from India. 

Our area is also a bike area, so I get a lot more exercise. The days go by FAST here. There are so many people to talk to ALL the TIME.

Oh, and a family back in Liberty that I taught is set to get baptized this Sunday! So hopefully I can find a ride to go back for that.

my new address:

Elder Wilder
7950 Bellfort
Apt 133
Houston, TX 77061
US of A

much love,


Goodbye, Liberty!

Dear all,

We got transfer calls on Saturday night. Elder Hendershot and I are leaving. Transfer meeting is tomorrow, so tomorrow morning will look something like this: wake up, drive out to kingwood, meet new companion, discover new area, drive to new area, get to work. This is exciting but sad. I LOVE Liberty. I really can't wait to visit again. I love the ward, tiny and unusual as it is. I love our investigators--many of whom are so CLOSE to baptism, and some of whom are no where near. One of my favorite investigators, Keith (who falls into the latter category), said to us on Saturday evening, "Tell them that they can't transfer you, because there's this guy named Keith here in Liberty who still has doubts, and you three are the only ones who can help him out." He texted us later on that evening to ask us who was being transferred, and when we told him, he texted back: "Mikayla and Michael are crying." Mikayla and Michael are their adorable 8 year old twins who usually just call us "the cool guys." haha. Anyway, there are so many people here that I will miss. I take comfort in the fact that Liberty is in Texas and not Tibet, so it is likely that I will be able to come back and visit someday.

Well, that's really the big news of the week. I would give y'all my new address but I don't know where I'll be. All President told me was that I would "really love" my new area. (of course he says that to everyone).

Oh also: Our ward had three baptisms this week! All three were from Dayton, which is the town just up the road from Liberty. Its strange because the church building is here in Liberty, but almost every member in the area lives in Dayton. That's okay though--hopefully the families we've been teaching here in Liberty will be baptized and become a firm foundation for more growth. That's what I pray for anyway.

Well, I believe I will be able to email briefly tomorrow to let you guys know where I am...we shall see.

Love you all! Thank you for being so wonderful.

elder wilder