Monday, December 12, 2016

Wylie coyote: if this was a job, I'm getting a raise

If I could summarize my week in just a few sentences, I would say this:
The miracle of the week was definitely that Angie Carter came to church! She has been letting things get in the way for a while, but now her mindset is that she will go no matter what. That's the way to be!

The Christmas zone conference was great! Very powerful, with a focus on the Book of Mormon. I learned that we aren't trying to sell the Book of Mormon, but the Book of Mormon is the most effective tool to convert people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We had a couple hour exchange with the zone leaders because they had a lesson where one of them couldn't be, because his asthma wouldn't let him. But I love elder Hatch. He is super relaxed, but spiritual, and also very musically inclined! (He could probably be the organist for General conference). 

That's not a flash exchange I'll be having with the zone leaders either. You know why? Because.... I have been called to be the district leader! Woah! At first I was nervous, but now I'm excited! It'll be a fun transfer with Elder Parrish through the holidays.

Well, that my week short and sweet. Hope you have a happy day :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Wylie coyote: season of change and service

Let me tell you about my past two weeks with a few pictures:

First, here is elder Vincent with Dominic Roundstone. He got baptized on Tuesday, and elder Vincent got to do it! It was his first time, which was cool. Everything went smoothly, and I was able to confirm him on Sunday. It's always such a great spiritual experience when I get to exercise the priesthood I hold. It confirms to me that it's real!

Next, we have the big 5! Too bad there isn't five anymore. Elder Vincent got moved up to the heights! Not too far, but it'll be a change for sure. Oh, and did I mention we have our own car now? That makes things more efficient for sure. Car shares are fun though!

Who are those two people in between us and the zone leaders? They are none other than Marvin Goldstein and Vanessa Joy! All the Billings missionaries got invited to this amazing piano concert as long as we brought an investigator. We brought Donnie and he loved it. Marvin is an amazing pianist and Vanessa has an amazing voice. What a neat experience.

Now that thanksgiving is already over and Christmas is less than three weeks away, we find ourselves in the holiday season, full of joy, gratitude and service! #lighttheworld 
I'm grateful to be serving the Lord at this time, helping bring joy to those who need the gospel. We are doing our best to help Alex, Donnie, and the Carters receive the gospel through faith and repentance so they can experience great joy and blessings.

I hope you all have a great December! There is no snow here in Billings at the current moment, but I'm afraid that could change as soon as tonight! We will see. Until next time, go and #lighttheworld!

May the Spirit be with you
Elder Wylie

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wylie Coyote: imagine that!

I want you to try and visualize some of the rich experiences I've had this week!

Imagine walking into the basement of an 80 year old house built with scrap wood and rocks, and catching a whiff of something nasty, like an overdue cat litter box. Then look to your left and see that there is a compact freezer nicely tucked back in the corner. From the outside, this freezer doesn't seem to be out of the ordinary, but then, as you continue to look at the freezer, imagine someone telling you that the freezer is full of food, but has been unplugged for.......over a year! Yes, and we were assigned to carry it out to a large dumpster. After we carried it out and set it down, we all stood back, and decided to open it. It was disgusting! Ziplock bags full of nastiness and bugs....anyway, you get it.

Now imagine you are sitting at a somewhat fancy Japanese steakhouse where they have the stovetop in front of where you eat. Imagine a Japanese cook flipping his spatulas around as he cooks rice, eggs, veggies, etc. Then, you watch as he takes a small piece of scrambled egg, and flings it up in the air in your direction! He did it twice to me, and I caught them both in my mouth! :) Thanks to the Vances for taking us :)

Now imagine sitting with a missionary from El Salvador in the home of a Spanish family. As he talks with the smart ten year old about baptisms for the dead, you are trying to keep up, even though you can hardly understand what they are saying! 

It was quite fun going on that exchange. Elder Parrish and I enjoyed serving with elder Montoya for a few days. He taught me some Spanish, and I got to actually testify in Spanish at a members home! I said simply, "Mi familia es feliz porque vivimos el evangelio." Now I can actually read the Book of Mormon in Spanish, and comprehend some of it! I love it.

We've been helping this cool lady Maira paint a rental house. She is a new investigator that the other elders found while tracting. She's really nice and, after we answered some of her questions about the church and missionaries, we got to basically teach her the restoration while we were painting. She said it really makes sense to her!

The Dolan kids finally got baptized! It was a great experience to be a part of that family. I got to baptize Beau and confirm Sadi the next day. Their dad, Chad, gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost. He's probably one of my favorite people I've met out here. "I might not be the most qualified for this. I smoke, I occasionally drink... but I know that what you are doing is good." His talk and his testimony were so sincere; it was great to have him participate. I was a little worried at first when his kids asked him to talk, but he said he'd do it, and he did just fine.

The carters, whom we work with closely, finally got their car registered so they can get to church. That's a miracle! I love seeing their progress, especially because they have been stuck for years before.

Well, I hope you were able to imagine what it was like a little bit for me for the past couple weeks. Now on to new adventures! Tune in next time to hear how I survived over 4 thanksgiving dinners!

Elder Wylie

Billings Zone
(Elder Wylie top row left end)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wylie coyote: brief

If I could summarize my week in just a few sentences, this is what I'd say:

Being in a trio is an adventure! Elder Parrish is a good missionary! I'm glad he's here to help us do good work and help me learn new ways to do things.

We had our investigator Alex come to church again! He's a cool guy. And we also gave his Romanian friend a Romanian Book of Mormon. He was so happy! Hopefully he actually reads it.

The Carters are doing better than ever! They are a happy family and are still progressing, slowly but surely. I will be so happy when Angie finally gets baptized after years of investigating.

We were privileged to watch the regional stake conference that happened yesterday. It was good to hear from some general authorities, including elder Rasband. The main focus of the broadcast seemed to be about taking advantage of going to the temple. The temple is a very special place and we are so privileged to have 154 operating around the world! Speaking of the temple...

We got the special opportunity to go to the temple with none other than Jennifer Jones! She was the one that my trainer Elder Schneider baptized when I first got to Belgrade. It was so awesome to see her go through the temple for the first time, and also be able to see a bunch of Belgrade members. I love the temple!

You Utah folks, you better be going to the temple every day, because you are so blessed to have multiple temples so close! Out here, it takes most people over an hour to get to one.

Well, that's all I got this week! Thanks for tuning in. Until next time,

May the Spirit be with you,
Elder Wylie

Elder Wylie in the back left, Elder Vincent in red, Elder Parrish far right.
The Threesome

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wylie coyote: where the gospel meets the yellow brick road

When preparation day meets Halloween, it's all day! It's going to be a good day.

Transfers this week! And guess what? Well, you can read at the end :)

We got to see some good people last week. And we got to do some different service. Elder Vincent never thought he would help build a wooden playset in church clothes. Nor did I think we would paint our porch on a rainy day! It's all good and fun though. The paint didn't wash away!

We got to serve with our zone leader elder Tenney for a day! The best part was when we went to teach our recent convert Micah, she invited a bunch of the neighborhood kids to join in, so we had a fun time with them all and showed a good video. Now the neighborhood kids like us and we played some basketball with them.

Alex and Donnie came to church. Alex seems to be pretty solid! He definitely wants to change and become a good person. He can definitely do that as he invites the Spirit of the Lord into his life and strives to keep the commandments.

Elder Vincent went with one of the assistants, elder Syrett, during district meeting to go give a blessing. The man had just been in a motorcycle accident. It was a good experience for elder Vincent and for the people who witnessed the blessing. The family wasn't very active as I heard. I'm sure the Spirit was there to touch their hearts.

The Carters are changing, and it's good change. Angie has been investigating the church for over 8 years and still hasn't been able to successfully live the word of wisdom. But now, as she and James have been working together, praying and reading scriptures together, spending quality time together as a family, and developing Christlike attributes, they have been so much more happy! I'm so happy for them. She is definitely getting baptized in the near future!

Well, elder Vincent and I are staying here. But here's the catch. We're getting a third companion for a few weeks! His name is elder Parish. I'm excited to see how this trio goes. Trios are usually pretty fun, but it takes some extra effort to stay focused :)

Well, don't get sick today. Watch out for clowns. And don't worry about how old you are, just go get some candy :)

Elder Wylie
Driving out of the church parking lot can be scary.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wylie coyote: on, on to the victory

What's a 'linger longer'? I went to my first one yesterday! It was pretty fun to have a Ward dinner after church. It works out well because we have church from 2:30 to 5:30! It's pretty late, but it's starting to grow on me :)

Well, I think we passed our observation. Just kidding, it wasn't a test. There was no cameras or anything. Just a nice lady from the MTC that came up for a couple three days to observe how we use technology in missionary work, as well as how we use and apply the 12 weeks program. She was pretty fun to have around. She gave us some good advice, and bought us and the other elders lunch! Fun times.

We got to do some service at the temple! However there was some miscommunication. We heard we were 'changing bulbs', but instead we came and found out we were 'planting bulbs', haha. It was still fun. I got to see a recent convert from Stevensville, Rachel brown! She is doing well, and so is her family, who are not members. But she said her sister finally is starting to have a belief in God, which is great.

The Dolans are still around. It's pretty rough because their baptism date keeps getting pushed back. Not because they aren't ready, but because we have a bunch of conferences coming up and they aren't here every weekend. We are trying for the end of the month, but if not, it'll have to be half way through November! It'll happen someday. The Dolans bus wasn't starting up for a while so they couldn't move it. But just the other day, he called and told us it finally started! It was a miracle! But then it died again. At least he knows the problem now :)

The Carters are an interesting case. We have hope for them, but the Ward has lost theirs. They seemingly haven't progressed in the past few years they have been working with them, even though they show desire. We are working closely with them right now, and we are really trying to help them get out of the rut they've been in for a while. They have hope!

We had a cool meeting with Donnie the other day. He's a solid investigator. Anyways, long story short, we found him working on a members truck one night. The member, brother deters, let us in for a minute to talk. We ended up sharing a couple of scriptures from the Book of Mormon and talked about the Holy Ghost. When we described what it was and what it felt like, he said "I've been feeling that for the past 15 minutes" (how long we had been there). That was cool to hear from him. He's definitely getting baptized soon.

Last cool story. For the last night we were with sister Carlson (lady from the MTC) we set up a lesson with a sister Beck and her non member roommate. When we got there, her roommate bailed on us, so it was just sister Beck. We soon realized we were actually there for her. She was in a really rough spot and felt a little lost. I had the thought come to mind to share a quote from a talk called "How to obtain revelation and inspiration for your personal life" and share my experience with personal revelation. She was crying while I shared that and afterwards she told us that's what she had been told earlier that day from some members of the Ward that came to visit her, and that was just what she needed. 

It was really cool to witness that touching miracle of revelation. I do have a strong testimony of receiving personal revelation though. I have literally prayed and studied and have received divine inspiration. It works. 

Well, that's all for this week! Thanks for reading! Until next time,

May the Spirit be with you,
Elder Wylie

Monday, October 10, 2016

Wylie coyote: roller coaster of a mission

What a crazy week! Let me tell you a little bit about it.

First of all, Micah's baptism was sweet. She was happy and said she feels different. It was cool to have her mom come. She was definitely touched by the experience, shown by her tears. 

At church on Sunday, we were so blessed to have so many investigators show up!  We had Micah of course for her confirmation. Then there was the two Rinnert boys, James and Jason. They are in the process of being adopted into a member family, so we have began to teach them. They can hardly focus when we do, but we get through by presenting visuals and such. 

We also had Donnie show up and sit with us. He was invited to church by a member one day and now he is coming almost every week! We are teaching him while he has some unresolved legal issues, so when those are cleared up, he can be baptized!

We also had The two Dolan kids, Bo and Sady, who live in the school bus with their dad and two older siblings. That bus would be pretty fun to live in. You could go park at Walmart for a while and be right by the store! Anyways, the Dolans are set to be baptized on the 22nd, so hopefully it will work out!

We also had Tracy come to church. She has been before, but this time was really good. She is the roommate of a recent convert in our Ward, sister Beck. Sister Beck is so awesome! She takes care of our dinner calendar and feeds us a lot. Tracy hasn't seemed too interested until last week. We were over for dinner and we gave her a large print copy of the Book of Mormon, since she can't read the small print. She appreciated it and we openly invited her to read it and pray about it. As time goes on, she is slowly becoming more open to it. Exciting!

One more person that came this week was brother Jackson. Basically, he has been less-active for about a year and a half, and has been in hiding. Miraculously, we moved in next door to him and started visiting with him!  Now he is coming to church and is going to keep coming. That was some inspiration to our housing missionaries :)

We had a zone conference last week as well. There was good discussions, testimonies, and food. Two ideas that stuck out to me:
  1. If we are going to 'teach repentance and baptize converts', we must have a repentant attitude ourselves. It's pretty hard to help someone else repent if we aren't willing to ourselves. The spirit will not be there and there will be no power behind your words. So have a repentant attitude so you can feel the joy of Christ and share that joy with others.
  2. President shared the analogy of the two wolves inside each of us. There is a bad wolf who is prideful, angry, selfish, etc. and there is the good wolf who is very Christlike. The wolves are comparable to the natural man and the spiritual man. Which one wins? Well, which one do we feed? Are we feeding the natural man or the spiritual one? That is the question.
 The last people I will mention are the Carters. She is the one that we found while looking at our lists and was amazed that we came the day she was praying for help. Basically, Angie is not baptized, but has a testimony of the church and the Book of Mormon. Her husband is less-active, but is now showing some signs of wanting to come back. Missionaries along with the Ward have been trying to work with them for a couple years, but are still stuck. Last night we talked about the atonement with them and set some goals with them to help them progress. They are going to start by reading the Book of Mormon everyday! Then, they are going to get their car drivable so they can make it to church on their own as a family! Then they are going to start trying to live the word of wisdom. Then, Angie has made a tentative goal of getting baptized in December. That is a lot of stuff to accomplish! But elder Vincent and I still feel like there is hope and as we work with them closely, and as they start inviting divine help, they can accomplish it. I know it.

In my experience, missionary work is more spiritual and mental work than physical. I don't mind riding my bike 15-20 miles to get around or walking across town. What's hard is the intense spiritual focus and the mental challenges that come when we find and teach and work with people. That's what the actual work is in my experience. Either way, it is a great and marvelous work that brings joy into individual and family lives.

Thanks for lending your eyes to my words for a few minutes. Tune in next time to hear about us getting observed by a church employee!

Elder Wylie

Who says missionaries are always serious?
(Alex in middle w/coat in air)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wylie Coyote: our keystone, our cornerstone

Greetings, my fellow brothers and sisters. How awesome it is to be a
servant of Christ! In the midst of some stress and pressure, I've been
able to find joy and satisfaction in my increase of abilities and my
relationship with God and Christ. I am doing well! Elder Vincent is
still adjusting and discovering the nature of the mission, but he is
getting a hang of things pretty good. I'm getting along with him and
we are learning from each other.

We are working with some good people up here in pioneer park. Micah is
getting baptized this weekend! It's pretty exciting. It was a miracle
from the beginning of how she was found. The missionaries helped her
grandma in a Walmart parking lot and ended up teaching her grandkid.
Be like Christ wherever you go and great things may come of it. Also
the Dolan kids who live in the sweet school bus are still progressing.
They didn't make it to conference so their baptism probably won't
happen until next weekend. But that's probably better than rushing
them too quick!

We got to meet a sweet guy named Donnie too. Brother Wilson, a local
Ward member, went on Craig's list one day to seek help to build a
computer. He found a guy and invited him over to come help. They
became friends, he invited him to church, and he came! Now he is
slowly working towards baptism! You never know who's ready to accept
the gospel!

We were looking at people to visit from our area book one day, and
decided to visit a part member family that hasn't been seen in a
while. When we knocked on the door, she was quite surprised to see us.
She basically told us she was praying and crying earlier that day to
Heavenly Father about her difficulties. Without meaning to, we showed
up at the right time. Her husband is pretty less-active, but she also
told us she 'isn't a member yet'. There is some hope in that home!

I've never been so excited to watch General conference! It was
awesome. We watched the first two sessions with our sweet neighbor
brother Jackson. He is a pretty cool guy. He has a copy of the Book of
Mormon in every single language they've printed! Including braille,
ASL, and trukese! He also keeps track of all the new wards, branches
and stakes created all around the world! Did you know there is a whole
bunch of branches in mainland China!? Anyways, we sadly didn't have
any investigators watch conference with us. We should have had about
4, but instead, 0. However, we are having a baptism this weekend and
next weekend for the kids we're teaching so that's good.

I want you to consider the power of the Book of Mormon. It was
definitely brought up in conference, about the power of the Book of
Mormon in conversion. Here is Nephi testifying about the Book of
Mormon: 2 Nephi 33:10-11; "And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew,
and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in
Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if
ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they
are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they
teach all men that they should do good.
And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye--for Christ will
show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at
the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar;
and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these
things, notwithstanding my weakness."

The Book of Mormon is true. Following the doctrine taught in it brings
us closer to God than any other book! Make it a part of your life a
little more than it is right now, and you won't regret it.

Have a great life this week!
Elder Wylie

 Almost a normal face!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wylie Coyote: eternal growth

I've pretty much known my transfer news for a couple weeks, but here
it is. I'm going to Billings! I'm actually gonna be right around the
mission home in the pioneer park Ward. And on top of that, I will be
training for the first time! I'm pretty excited. It will sure be an
adventure getting doubled in training. But I'm ready for the

I'm happy for the time I've spent in Stevensville. The area seems to
have improved, which is good. I know there are going to be people
baptized here soon. Elder Evans is staying here to take care of
things, and he is training too! His curve ball is he is training a
Spanish speaker! He isn't even a Spanish speaking missionary! But
elder Evans is so excited because he gets to learn with him and he
loves languages.

There was a baptism for an 8 year old kid this past weekend. His
family has been struggling spiritually so it was really cool to have
their family there for the baptism of their son. We might be able to
start teaching the grandmother, since she isn't a member and she came
to the baptism!

I forget if I said this already, but here you go: we also found a
family to teach from the less-active list. Tim is a member, but his
kids and wife are not. His wife isn't interested, but they are a super
nice family. He looked like a pretty rough guy when we first
approached him, but now we know he actually wants us to come teach his
kids! Sweet!

On the other side of the spectrum, we were trying to visit a
less-active lady on the list, and we didn't even make it out of the
car before this guy comes out and tells us to turn around. "Not a good
time! You can just go back down the driveway. Bye!" Then as elder
Evans was helping me back up outside the truck, the guy keeps yelling
at him! "I'm gonna ask politely. Get the *beep off my property! It
says no trespassing! (It didn't, haha). I'm gonna call the police!"
Some people are hard to understand. I don't know what he associated us
with, but it's too bad. Hopefully someday in the future that guy will
open up.

Overall, I'm doing great. I'm learning, growing, and will be growing a
lot more. Next week we will see how stressed I am :)

Last thing: if you haven't seen it yet, look up the video
"#beenrestored" on Facebook or YouTube! It's a sweet rap video about
the restoration that was made in our mission! Woah! Anyway, watch it,
share is, and enjoy it :)

I hope you all are doing great! Keep it up!

May the Spirit be with you
Elder Wylie

Monday, September 5, 2016

Wylie coyote: Montanan livin!

*the following is best understood in a Montanan accent :)
Here in the Bitterroot valley, many people that feed you will say they
grew everything on the table themselves. And isn't that the truth! And
those are some of the best meals we get. Heck, I've probably had fresh
corn almost everyday last week! It's real good!

Also here in the Bitterroot valley last week, we had the Ravalli
county fair! You've got the rodeo and the rides, but all we got to do
was sit there at the family history booth and wait for people to come
to us. We weren't running it for sure, but the awesome family history
people were. There was a good amount of people that were interested in
family history, but not in the church. Oh well, that's a start.

We also had some good times at the ol' folks home, commonly known as
the living center. No one was really interested in bowling so it ended
up just being me and elder Evans. The couple three people we had at
the beginning ditched us for the pot and never came back. The next day
we came back and had dinner there with our man brother fisher. He's
pretty funny, and he made sure we knew he loves the Pittsburgh pirates.
We also had the annual Ward potluck down at sister Olson's house.
There was a good amount of people we didn't know, so it was good.
Elder Evans and I almost proved ourselves at horseshoes, but lost 9 to

*Okay, enough of the Montanan, now on to the spiritual side ;)
We had a few good visits with people. We have one lady, Karen, who
really appreciated us showing her the part in the Book of Mormon where
Christ visits the Americas. We have another lady, Dana, that has had
missionaries come on and off for a long time. She does want to come to
church, so we're gonna make sure her dog gets taken care of so she can
come. Then there is Cheryl again. We have a lesson with her tomorrow tomorrow
and I hope it goes well. I can tell she definitely has an open heart.

Final thought of the day. Our Ward mission leader shared a spiritual
thought yesterday that was pretty sweet. We had helped him last week
give the sacrament to his wife and another member. His wife was really
touched when she got it. She said it was really eye opening to see the
tray with only one cup in it for her. The gospel really is a personal
and individual thing, even though we do it with other people. Christ
died for you! He suffered for you! Remember that each time you take
the sacrament.

Well, thanks for reading my weekly excerpt. Hope you enjoyed it.
Elder Wylie

I found a chicken! El pollo!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wylie coyote: Charity wins!

Here are five things that I've learned or experienced this week, just
in case you wanted to know :)

1. Steers with horns can be pretty intimidating! We went up to try and
visit this guy named Alfredo, and there was this black and white steer
standing in his front yard. It looked pretty content, but as we
approached the front door, it started walking right at us! So we
stopped, thought about a new plan, then walked around to the side
door. The steer followed us around, but never got too close. It was
pretty funny.

2. This Ward is sweet! We finally started going to Ward council and
having more frequent Ward missionary meetings. I've just loved to see
the charity and compassion these members have for the people that need
help. We also started using a progress record to keep track of where
everyone is at. That really made a difference! This Ward is helping us
get things done!

3. Do you have a hard time changing a normal conversation to a gospel
conversation? Do you want to know the secret to talking with everyone
about the gospel? Well here it is! It comes from a quote from Elder
Holland; "But perhaps even more important than speaking is listening.
These people are not lifeless objects disguised as a baptismal
statistic. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and
they need what we have. Be genuine. Reach out sincerely. Ask these
friends what matters most to them. What do they cherish, and what do
they hold dear? And then listen. If the setting is right you might ask
what their fears are, what they yearn for, or what they feel is
missing in their lives. I promise you that something in what they say
will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear
testimony and about which you can then offer more. Elder Russell
Nelson told me once that one of the first rules of medical inquiry is
“Ask the patient where it hurts. The patient,” he said, “will be your
best guide to a correct diagnosis and eventual remedy.” If we listen
with love, we won’t need to wonder what to say. It will be given to
us--by the Spirit and by our friends."(PMG chapter 10, or 'Witness
unto Me' May 2001 Ensign) So there you have it! When you ask people
what's most important to them and what they most need, elder holland
says they will ALWAYS highlight a truth of the gospel about which you
can bear testimony. This way, it shows you care, and they won't feel
pressured, they will feel helped.

4. One morning, we were out walking the streets and we ran into a lady
we've started working with. Cheryl said, before we even got to her,
"I've been looking for you guys!" She told us some cool stuff.
Whenever she sees us, she feels peace in her heart. She is trying to
read the Book of Mormon, but can't understand it well, so we are going
to read it with her soon. I'm excited for Cheryl! I think she really
has an open heart to the gospel.

5. My last point is more of a challenge for you, but it really helped
me organize my thoughts on what I need to be working on. What I did,
and what I challenge you to do, is this. Set aside a little isolated
time and start with a prayer. Then on a sheet of paper, answer these
three questions. 
1: What actual experiences have I had where I have
felt the influence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
2: What things do I currently need the Atonement for. 
3: How I am going to use the Atonement to help me. 

This little activity really helped me see what I need the Atonement for right now and where my testimony is at. It will
definitely help your testimony grow as well.

Well, that's all I've got this week. I hope you all have a great week
and have some good experiences!

Elder Wylie