Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013       Its Monday already? thank goodness...‏

Happy happy birthday children dear, happy days will come to you all year, if I had a wish than it would be, a happy happy birthday to you from me!
Thats a shout out to Garret :) Im glad to hear he has a surgery scheduled. Keep me updated, its hard to not be able to know what is going on all the time so emails are definitely a tender mercy from the Lord. So keep me updated on everything!

How is grandpa doing? Havent heard about him lately, did you get those pictures printed for him? I dont know if you have sent it yet or not, but when you send the primary book will you send it to the mission home please? And anything that is valuable send there. We are gone all day long and we get mail from the mission home pretty often so it should get to me quickly when you send things there.
How exciting to have so many missionaries out from our ward! I dont recall the picture you were telling me about, wanna email it to me?! Thanks :)

Im glad that Rachel is getting better, as annoying as the numbness is it could be worse! I love the Wights. I got a letter from her! And I will respond... as soonish as I can!

Today we are going down to Wilkes Barre to have a district activity. We are going to go hiking! I am so excited! PA is beautiful! And its a nice day here, its been raining lately but the sun is out and its not burning hot... yet. And its not too humid, well see when we get down there. Wilkes Barre is in our district at the very Southern part by Scranton.

I love this stake! Scranton Stake is awesome! Our Stake President is coming to our next zone conference and he is awesome so I am excited to hear from him the plans for our Stake. The Lord is telling us we are ready to grow, and I am so excited to be a part of it!

Thanks for your words momma. I didnt think you were preaching, and I agree with everything you said! I am learning those things right now, but what I do know is that we are in companionship's for a reason, so learn that reason!

This week was good. I got to go and do exchanges with Sister Suckow! She was my MTC companion and we are in the same district which is fun. We get to see each other once a week for district training. But I got to spend the day in Wilkes Barre with her. That was really fun. And it was nice to not have to think and be in charge. Its nice to just sit passenger and ask questions about who we are going to teach and then getting to know them and trying to help answer their questions in the hour you get with them. The Lord really does guide us to who we need to teach and what we need to say. He loves us so much! And Wilkes Barre was fun...

But I love Montrose :) We talked to the branch council about the Sector Slam and we are going to get that going. We are ready, and able to move this work along. Now lets see if the members are willing to work with us to help their branch grow into a ward.

I didnt realize how involved members need to be in order to get missionary work moving. How valuable it is to have a member going to help you teach and get to know your investigators! Then they have a connection to the branch when you leave, and the new missionaries can use the member as a resource to learn things about their investigators (carefully).

There is so much work to be done and so little time! My district leader told me he thinks I will go to New Jersey next. If thats where the Lord needs me than I will go, but I hope I get to stay in Scranton Stake/Zone and help this work here. I love these people! Its like another family I didnt know I didnt know!

I love you all. Thank you for your letters, prayers, support and everything. I can feel them and I appreciate every one. I would not be able to do the work I do without all of you.

Love, Sister Wilson

So last week I only received a short email from Kindra but here are some edited clips from emails sent to Stuart & Lindy.

I am in the Scranton Stake, and in our last zone training we were told by the ZLs that the Scranton stake is doing some cool things. So first off, our ward/branches cover a LOT of area, they are very spread out. And our attendance is sorely lacking compared to the names on the records. Some of that is due to the fact that church is so far away for people. Over the mountain (which here is just a really big hill) and often people don't have cars. So we are taking the church to the people.

The Stake President Hubbard is meeting with a 70 today to approve small group meeting places.
In PA there are churches everywhere. Most of  them are dwindling and dying off and now their church buildings are sitting empty. So President Hubbard is proposing that we rent their church buildings and have small group meetings. These meetings will be spread through the ward area strategically so that we can get more people to church every week. At these small group meetings they wont have a Bishop or President but they will have a group leader who conducts the meeting. Tithes etc. still go to the Bishop but now it will be easier and more accessible to get to church.
With each of these small group meetings we are going to have a set of missionaries assigned to that group. Which means they get tiny areas! We are getting I think 6 groups in the Valley, which is two different wards, and our biggest wards with the smallest percentage of attendance I believe.
This means we are getting 4 more sets of missionaries to our zone. The two wards in the Valley will be big enough to be their own district. They already split one area in our district last transfer and put in sisters, which they elders have grumbled about because their area was cut in half. But now its getting cut again. Seriously these areas are tiny. Can you imagine having 3 or 4 sets of missionaries in one ward?!
Scranton Stake is ready to grow. And big things are coming.
President Hubbard has been feeling quite strongly about this and I am so excited to be a part of it.
President Hubbard has high goals. We have a goal as a Stake to get 153 baptisms this year. So far we have around 45 I think and were half way through.
The number of members in our Stake are 1,003. By 2015 President wants 3,000. So that they can petition to have a Temple built in Scranton in 2017. This Stake is amazing. The members are hard working and they want it bad. The Stake is awesome and every time we have a meeting with the missionaries I leave so uplifted because we know what President wants and is expecting.

The work is moving. Its growing and spreading. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this work. I cant even express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for bringing me here and now. We want to work, we want to share, His work will go forth, and I will try to do my part.

Thank you for your letters and support! I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I pray for you every day! Keep me updated on everything! Thank you for your examples, you have made me a stronger person and have helped my testimony to grow. And now your leaving Rexburg so get out there and share the word!
Okay okay, here is an invitation for you. Do you share uplifting messages via facebook? Try to post an uplifting message on FB once a week. Post a video from, a quote from a talk, or an experience you had that can strengthen others. Its kinda odd but my mission is converting me to missionary work via technology. We can reach so many people and touch so many more lives through the internet. Let us be a force for good among the evil of the world. Go share what you have!

And oh how I LOVE Montrose! The people here are amazing. We just got a new branch mission leader and he is going to be AWESOME! Ill tell mom more about it so check out the blog, and make sure she is updating that!
I also realized that another hard thing about the mission so far is that my weaknesses have been blown up in my face, and some of my strengths I have not been able to use as much because I have a companion.
For instance, I am NOT in any way shape or form a scriptorian. I cant even tell you all the stories in the scriptures let alone where to find them. My strength in the gospel is that I can pull the principle or doctrine out of any story or scripture. And my companion is a scriptorian. It is a good thing because we work together, I can talk about something and then she will think of a scripture that goes with it and knows the reference. One day maybe I will know that... maybe. But not now. And that is something that she does all the time. Its good, but it is just so prevalent in what we do that sometimes I feel like I am not helping the companionship. I know  that I am, but it seems often that I have to rely on her to pull us through and I am trainer, I am supposed to be the one showing her and picking her up when she trips. Not the other way around!
But this week we also had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders (basically the district leader but she is over all the sisters in multiple zones b/c we are spread out). I talked with her for a good hour and I didn't realize the questions or concerns I had. But she pulled them out of me as we were sitting in her car and talking. I realize that I am a person who has to talk things out.
 Okay total side note, that is related. But one of the goals I had when I came out was to never say a bad thing about my companion to anyone else, other than leadership who needs to know about issues. I have been told my whole life that when you get married you want to keep issues within the marriage and not go to your girl friends or your mom and complain. Because then you go back and talk to your husband and the issue is resolved and you have forgiven him, but your mom or girlfriend has not. But I know that when you have an issue you are supposed to take it to the person and not the world. So I figured I should learn to do that now, and make it a habit so I don't have to learn it the hard way once I'm married.
And I think Satan knows my goals and makes those what he works on extra hard. I try to look at the situation and before I confront anyone think, is this something I need to just ignore? Or is it an actual issue? Is it me being nit-picky or is it something that is causing contention.
So I guess I am working on that balance of not taking it to other people, actually talking and confronting an issue (which whether or not you believe me I really do hate and it makes me uncomfortable) and what things I need to just get over. So I am learning a lot I guess.

Lindy, I loved what you said about your telephone experience. I love that because your exactly right! The message that we often leave with people is that God loves us, we are his children, and we can be eternal families as we follow Jesus Christ. That is something that everyone agrees on. And when all else fails that's exactly what I teach them. God loves you. And I love that progression you talked about in sacrament meeting. And I like the thought of preparing every day to be what he needs me to be that day. I have never thought about that before. I have often thought about preparing to come on a mission, and becoming a better missionary, and preparing for the future. But do I prepare for that day? I like that. I'm going to work on that.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keira and I drove over to Rexburg this past weekend to see Stuart & Lindy & Clara and be there for Lindy’s Senior Recital…which was amazing!!! That is the driving Kindra is referring to…

Sister Kindra 7/15/13
To: Lynn & Don Wilson
How was the drive? Did you get to stop very often? It is definitely a long drive and especially when you are the only driver :( but Im glad you were able to go and be there for her Senior Recital and for their graduation and things. Did you go to the ceremony? Or did you watch Clara? Did you get to spend time with them or was her family there the whole time too? I hope you got to see them and spend time with her family, Ive grown to love them more and more as I spend more and more time with them.  Sounds like you guys enjoyed Rexburg though. I like Keiras hair, I think shes died it brown already in the Rexburg pictures, but either way the picture looks dark! haha. Im so glad you got to go to Patriots and Pioneers! That is one of my favorite concerts that they do! I miss Rexburg!!! I cant wait to go back. and I cant wait for Keira to get up there! Thank you for the pictures I love them! Clara is getting so big already! And Lindy and Stuart are gorgeous as ever! How did her recital go? Just tell me everything! haha.
And I hope that you and Stuart and Keira share the stories in my letters with each other because I try to tell different ones in each so that Im not recounting it ten times... mostly because I get bored of telling the same thing.

Lets see, we just got a new Branch Mission Leader, Im not sure that I have ever actually met him but in Branch Council yesterday President Wilcox was telling us that he asked him the same questions we were asking him so it sounds like we are already on the same page which is good.
We found a new investigator this week! We were working out in New Milford area and walking along main street back to the car to eat lunch when this gentleman sitting on a bench said loudly 'these must be the sisters from Montrose!' so we went over to talk. Turns out he is a member from the Susquehanna branch, he then introduced us to the man he was sitting next to and said "Richard I have been thinking about you lately and I know that it is not a coincidence that we are sitting here and that they walked by. I think I was supposed to introduce you to them so that they can teach you." Richard is an older man who had a stroke 4 years ago and spent 2 years in a coma. When he woke up he didnt know anything, not even who his family was. So he is in the process of learning and recovering, and a blank slate. Its an odd problem to have, teaching someone who doesnt know anything more than the basics about the Bible, but its nice because he doesnt know anything about most religions so he is willing to listen to us and reads and talks with us a lot. We will probably see him more than once a week because he said he had to read the pamphlet we left him twice so he would remember what he read for when we came. So he will be one we teach slowly and its back to basics. We taught him about Noah, and once we told the story he remembered but he could not come up with it on his own. Hes a sweet old man so I am excited to teach him.

I havent heard or been able to talk to our Moses man. He cancelled our appointment and wont return our phone calls :(

But we have a man were teaching named Joe. He  is eager to figure out why God gave him his new security job that allows him 12 hours to sit and think and read and then why two girls showed up on his door step with a book for him to read. He I think has already read through Alma by now and hes had the book for 2 weeks I think. He is eating it up! Which is good. But he thinks the Book of Mormon took place in Africa... we told him it was the Americas and showed him the introduction and everything but he still doesnt believe us. Were working on it though. He is awesome.

The members here are awesome. We took Sister Liggett with us to meet her visiting teachie who is less active that she has never met. And I tell you what, the Lord is so smart! He is just awesome and knows what he is doing. Turns out they have a LOT in common! They connected really quickly and she is a sweet sweet lady who was given bad council from someone in the past that didnt make sense to her or us. We dont know what happened or what he meant by it, but now we can teach her the correct doctrine and principles behind her question. And the Liggett's and them have a lot in common and I think they will end up being really good friends. I love sister Liggett, she is awesome! She is our previous Branch Mission Leaders wife. (We got a new BML this week) and she is like our Montrose mama!
There the ones that I dug into the chicken at their house with my hands because I thought thats what they were telling me. But yeah it wasnt.

I love Montrose. We figured out that we live in between 5 churches in town. There is a St. Paul's (Episcopalian), a Presbyterian, Mary's (Catholic), Bridgewater Baptist and a Seventh Day Adventist. All within two or three blocks from each other and we are in the middle.
Its awesome because everyone here believes in God. People will either invite us in to talk about God and Christ, or they turn us away saying we already have a church we go to. But we get a lot of opportunities to serve people. We helped a woman clean up her moms porch for the 4th of July, we helped pick a bush of currant berries with a catholic youth minister. She was really nice and asked some curious questions about the church.
Whether or not people want to learn more or be a part of the church, we are able to be out and about and show people that we are here to help build up their community. We are here to teach about Christ and his gospel and how that can bless them and their families, but also that we are not the crazy Mormon's who just want to baptize everyone. We are here to bring everyone closer to Christ and people are more willing to let us serve them than to teach them in some instances, and so we do. We serve them and they always ask about the church and the different programs and things that we have or that they have heard about. By caring about people and showing them that we are here to help and love and serve, they are beginning to recognize us in town and to trust us and see that we are here to help everyone however we can.
Im trying to think of the fun things that happened this week, but Keira got the crazy story in her email so ask her. That was interesting...
But I love the people here in Montrose and being able to learn and serve them. I know that we might not be able to teach everyone that we have the full truth, but we can show them that we love everyone. That we try to be as Christ like as we can by helping them with whatever they need.
I am so grateful to have this Gospel in my life and how it has blessed my life. In relief Society on Sunday the question was asked: 'how has Relief Society blessed your life?' and I first thought 'how has it not?' I would not be the person I am today without my knowledge of the Gospel. Without the guiding influence of my leaders I would not be who I am today. Without parents who taught me right from wrong I would not have made the same choices I have. I am thankful to the Hazeldale ward for teaching and leading and guiding me to become the person I am today. I am grateful for the Gospel and my knowledge that God loves me. That I am His daughter and that I can return to live with Him again and that I can live with my family forever.
I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and love and letters and support. I know without a doubt that the Lord is guiding me to where I need to be and who I can teach and I can feel the influence of your prayers every day. I love you all!

 Sister Wilson   

Monday, July 8, 2013

So we FINALLY  got an email from Sister Wilson that was longer than 3 sentences telling me she didn't have time to email!! Yea! So here is her latest update. Thank you to all those who are writing to her and keeping her posted on your lives and activities. It makes a HUGE difference to get letters!!

July 8, 2013
Sorry that I haven’t emailed you a great email in a few weeks. Lets see transfers.
When I got here (in May) they had all the goldens (greenies) and the trainers meet in the chapel. They had the trainers all introduce themselves and then we all headed to the gym. They had trainers line up on one side and goldens on the other. They would call the trainers name and then make them go out to the middle, then they would call the goldens name. The Elders always end up going first. They are funny because they always run up and hug each other in a big 'bro hug'. Then they do the sisters and were sweet and nice and golf clap, while the elders hoot and holler and are loud. It was fun, I was also picked last! Again. seriously dead last out of all 30 of us. Im always last, should have seen it coming. Then we went into the chapel again and the trainers introduced all the goldens to everyone. It was a fun experience.
When I got my golden ….hey did it a little different, they were trying to cut down on time so we all went into the chapel and they said they would be matching us up in there. Oh and they started with the Elders because President was still matching up the sisters. CRAZY! So we were in the chapel and they called the trainer, you said where you were from and where you were serving and then called the golden. The guys were still kinda rowdy, loud bro hug and a "wheres my boy?!" comment made with each one. Then they finished the elders and excused them so they could start driving.
Well President still wasnt done matching up the sisters. So they invited us trainers to share our experience of the first time we invited someone to be baptized. I talked about our investigator Donna who I invited to be baptized and she said 'I already have been', which lead into a discussion about the Priesthood and how we believe that we have the only true authority from God, that’s always fun to answer the question "So you think my minister is not a man of God?!" Always a big discussion.
But I shared and then the Assistants came in with the list. They called the trainer up, we said where we were from etc. they called the Golden and then instead of hoorahs and yelps from the elders, there were 'awes!' since it was a room full of sisters. I started laughing the first time, as did the assistants.
We ended up staying that night in the mission home since we are kinda far from Montrose in Broomall. Which was nice. I was able to spend a little more time with President and Sister Schafermeyer. I ended up getting to hear the last bit of family prayer that we did with everyone in the home that night because I was in the shower. But I got to hug sis S and shake Presidents hand and say thank you one last time.
And now we have a new mission President Anderson! He is great. They did a mission tour and came around and met everyone, Sister Anderson introduced herself and said "you’ll have to excuse the tears, I have a tender heart" which I love. Im going to start using that, because believe it or not I am a cry baby and I do have a tender heart everyone!!!
My Golden is Sister Oveson, she turned 18 in May, and she is from Nephi Utah. She is super excited and ready to talk to ANYONE. Its  been a great experience so far, she is pushing me already which is good but unexpected.
The 4th if July was fun! Montrose, small little Montrose is the place to be on the 4th! They had shops on the green, which we got to go wander around and talk to people. The Elders came up from Tunkhannock for it as well and they brought signs with them 'free Book of Momon' and 'Free Bible' and they actually passed out almost 18 of them I believe which was good. They talked to a lot of people and had an easier time than we did because people walk up to signs and ask you questions, where as they run away when your wandering around with a name tag and probing questions... we eventually figured out some better approaches but it is hard to walk up to someone and ask them if they want to strengthen their family, or wondered if their marriage could last after they die and they look at you like your crazy. But we figured it out. We also found some people at home that we have been looking for FOREVER which was good. And we got to help some shop keepers take down their tents and they let us teach them a little bit about the restoration and we got their information. They live in New York however so they are in a different mission, but we will pass it along.
What else? Oh Susquehanna! That is where the Aaronic Priesthood was restored. The first time we went and met at the chapel there and played some games ate food and then went and visited the sight.
This past week we went up to have Mud Monday 153 minutes of mud. It was interesting. We played games and ate which was good. Then we went to the site by the river and it was really muddy last time we were there so the Zone Leaders planned to have a mud fight on the bank. And I said heck no! There is no way I am doing that or allowing any of the missionaries I associate with to have a mud fight on the bank of the river where the Baptisms took place. That is a sacred sight and I will not let a group of missionaries desecrate that sight in such a way. And so once I realized what they were planning I stopped and said no. Luckily other missionaries felt the same way. So we took the Goldens to the bank to see the river and then headed back up to find a different spot.
We found one, but it was very wooded and rocky muddy. Which sounded perfect to the ZLs. So they set up the relay in the woody rocky mud. And we were running, army crawling, scooting on your bum, crawling on your hands and knees etc. My leg was the last one, and I had to crawl up this gravelly muddy bank. It was fun, and I did cut up my leg a bit. Not bad but enough to leave a scab. One of our investigators Louie saw it and in the prayer he offered prayed that 'Sister Wilson would stop cutting up her pretty little legs'. He was sweet.
But yeah, thats what we did in Susquehanna. It was a really spiritual experience the first time because we went down quietly and took some time to stop and look and ponder. I got to watch the water of that river rush past and think about everything that has blessed my life because of the events that happened in this county. How lucky I am! Thats why I am out here, to share what I have with others.

Something else exciting, we were invited to go to the Baptist church this week. We invited Bud to come to our church and he said Ill come to yours if you come to mine, so we went. I liked it. I have never been to a Baptist church. I knew more people there than I thought from around town. They were really friendly and greeted us and said it was good to have us. They sang a lot, and we stood and sang along with a band which was a different experience. A little louder than the LDS services, but I liked the songs and I caught on quickly and was able to sing along which was fun. Then Pastor Bob talked about communion and how we take communion together and thats why we wait for everyone. Which he shared after the crackers were passed around, and previously consumed by the LDS Missionaries. We were on the front row and didnt see that they were holding their crackers and waiting, I would make a bad Baptist.... But then passed out the juice and we waited for everyone with that one. So we figured it out eventually!
Then Bud came to our services and it was a fast and testimony meeting. Sister Oveson and I both got up and shared our testimonies and Bud thanked us for sharing. Then he came to sunday school class, Sister Oveson taught Gospel Principles on talents and Bud participated a little bit even. After wards I told him he could take one of the manuals and he did so hopefully he will read some of it.
Elder Crump was talking with us and him afterwards and asked what he thought, he said that he had greater respect for the Mormon faith after attending one of our services. And that he had a few friends who expressed they wanted to come so he might come with them. It was really cool to learn and be able to see how an investigator might feel having to walk into a church where they knew no one, and having enough faith in the missionaries to be there and not leave you alone. I felt very out of place walking into the Baptist church, but Sister Oveson walked up and sat second row, so I followed to the front and it was really good to be up there and listening to the Pastor and learning more about their beliefs.
I did get to see the broadcast and my comp was in the Marriot center with everyone, how cool! It was awesome to hear of the changes they are making in missionary work. And the next Sunday was 5th Sunday so we had combined third hour and they talked about technology and and the different resources we have and can use.
Is it weird that my mission is converting me to using more and more technology? President Anderson told us that we are going to be getting tablets (like Ipads) to be doing work with to keep our records and use to teach lessons and everything. Ill tell you more about it when I know more. I told Stuart about how FB works, ask about that email and let me know what questions you have.
I love you all and miss you! Thank you everyone for the letters, your support is greatly appreciated and always puts a smile on my face to see/read who is thinking of me. I love you more than I can tell you, the church is true! And thats all I have to say about that.  J Sister Wilson
Something funny…..we were talking to this guy about what we do and that we teach people about church and we swapped info and stuff and just before he walked away he asked: "so after you guys are done with all this stuff what do you do? Do you like to party? Or are you not into that?"
... well someone missed the train there..... he will be an interesting on to teach... if we ever get to. He said "yeah, we can meet up at one of your meetings or something and go from there"... yeah. Promising huh?     But flattering none the less 

LOVE YOU SO MUCH! The Church is true, so go tell your friends!