Monday, April 28, 2014

Transfer 6!

Well it is day one of transfer six. I am excited! I am staying in Broadway with Elder Evans, and Elder Evans has been made a district leader...hopefully the power doesn't go to his head! haha just kidding its not. Although I like to pretend so. As missionaries we all have to have texting signatures so that at the end of each one of our texts it automatically says something like, <Evans&Wilder>. So lately any time I text another missionary, I modify our signature to say some variation of  <DISTRICTLEADEREVANS&packmulewilder>. Yes, I know its dumb.

Sadly, our district leader, Elder Jones, and his companion Elder Willey are being flushed out of their area. I'm pretty sad about that.

Things have been going well in the work. Gracie and her daughters are still progressing towards baptism. She has said that she has a testimony of the gospel and of the restoration, but she is still really nervous about being baptized. Part of this might have been because she attended the baptism of a paraplegic(sp?) man who ended up having to be dunked three times before he was fully immersed...anyways we are still hopeful that gracie and her daughters will be ready for this saturday. We are having a family home evening in the home of a member tomorrow so we'll see if that helps.

Sunday was the birthday of Neil, who is probably my very favorite member of the broadway ward. He is a big, burly, thirty five year old guy with a slight mental disability. When he was younger, his family got in a car crash. His sister died, Neil was left with brain damage, and the family was left emotionally shattered. But then missionaries found them and they joined the church. Now Neil's mom is the relief society president and works tirelessly to help the members of the ward and the missionaries, and she usually brings Neil along for the ride. Neil is just about the sweetest, funniest, most genuinely loving guy I have ever met. He always comes up and greets investigators and less active members at church with a warm smile and makes some weird, funny off the wall comment. He's a great guy. So: happy birthday to neil!

Oh and I met a brazilian lady at church the other day and struggled to say anything to her in portuguese without accidentally slipping into spanish. I can still read portuguese just fine, but apparently my conversational abilities are pretty shot. oh well...

love you all!

Elder Wilder

Monday, April 21, 2014


dear family and friends,

whoa. I am currently beginning the sixth week of what I believe is my 6th transfer. whoa.

Well, we had a really successful week this last week. We managed to get lots of members out to lessons with us and just had lots of success. We now have a baptismal date set with Gracie and her daughters Mina and Melanie, as well as with Kelly, the lady whose son just received his mission call. They are all set for 3 May! The sisters in our ward also have a baptism set for that date, which means there should be five people getting baptized on the third of may! So thats pretty cool.

We had exchanges this last week. I got to go up to the NW area again with Elder Willey. Elder Willey is awesome; I love going on exchanges with him. For one thing he always insists on going out to eat for dinner every exchange--which is fun because Elder Evans literally never goes out to eat. So we went to this hipsterry place called Bohemios where I got a really really delicious sandwich. Also, the northwest area is really interesting. We talked to a homeless man named Mark who was fascinating if a little vulgur, and a medical student named Caroline who was super smart and was the first person I had ever met who actually asked about key indicators. haha.

But yeah, things are going really well here in Houston. No news on the visa, though I have heard several stories of long-time visa waiters getting their visas just recently--so, who knows.

As I mentioned, we are in week 6, which means transfers are next week. But I feel certain I will stay here. Elder Evans might become a district leader for his last two transfers. who knows. we will see.

love you all!


Monday, April 14, 2014


hello family,

I can't come up with a good title for this email. I don't really know how to summarize the last week in a couple of words, or in a couple of paragraphs. But let it be known that it has been a good week, once again!

Gracie is still doing great. She has a baptismal date of the 26th of April. We're very excited. We are also having great success with a lady named Kelly Bradley whose son is a fairly recent convert and is planning to go on a mission himself. We had a really wonderful lesson with Sister Bradley and the Bishop's wife, Sister Guajardo. It was fantastic.

Sorry, this email is not going to be very long. I don't have a lot of time today because we are having a special bi-zone p-day over in Baytown. we will be watching The Saratov Approach, a movie about a missionary in Russia who gets kidnapped and all of the subsequent shenanigans. Hopefully it will be good. Although it doesn't really matter, because when you are a media-starved missionary, anything is good. Sometimes I like to tell other missionaries that the Saratov Approach is about my older brother. Of course that's not true. At least, not as far as I know... Those russian missionaries are full of dark secrets.

well, that's pretty much it. Things are good. We've had some fantastic weather, which we don't expect to last for long. Transfers are coming up in a couple weeks, which I cannot believe.

love you all!


Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference 2.0

Dear family,

So general conference was this week! (obviously.) It was way fun! Gracie and her daughters were able to make it to one of the sessions, and seemed to enjoy it. I hope that all of the women have seen or will soon take the time to see the priesthood session, because it was really good. Especially Elder Oaks talk, which declared that while women in the Church are not given priesthood keys or offices, they are in a very real and literal sense endowed with both priesthood power and authority--not just in regards to the temple endowment, but in regards to all church callings and other ordinances. I appreciated this definitive statement by Elder Oaks. 

Oh, another note from conference: that 70, Elder Aidukaitis (I do KYE cheess) was the same seventy who toured our mission a month or so ago! When the conductor announced that Aidukaitis would be speaking, all of us missionaries went "no way!" haha. 

Another interesting note: if you want to watch general conference in English at the Broadway building, you have to go to the Relief Society room, because the majority of the members who attened church at the broadway building are spanish speakers.

So in between sessions on Sunday I taught my first real lesson in Spanish. I speak spanish all the time to contact spanish speakers we meet on the street, but this was the first time I actually sat down and taught a lesson. It was fun! Just so everyone knows it wasn't on purpose--what happened was: we had set an appointment with a potential investigator from Honduras who seemed to be quite proficient in English, but when we got to the appointment, he had a friend there who spoke pretty much no English. So we went from teaching in English and translating as we went to just straight up teaching in spanish. Luckily one of the members that was with us also spoke spanish, because Elder Evans barely speaks at all. Anyway, so we will be handing Jean Carlos and his friend off to the spanish Elders.

There were a ton of great talks this conference: I particularly enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk and pretty much everything that came out of President Uchtdorf's mouth. 

Other than that--well it has been another fast week. The transfer is flying by. I feel like there were some other things I wanted to write about in my email today but by the time p-day rolls around I honestly can never remember anything. Its terrible. Anyway, I love you all very much!