Monday, March 28, 2016

Xandaman Update! Week 32: Just beeeeeee yourself and follow Christ!

Well, I think my mission has cured me.
I could tell you about the events of this week, but I'd rather tell
you the affect of the events and how I have changed, because that is
what is significant to me.

Up until Wednesday, during a lesson with an investigator, Steve hunt,
and his friend, who is our bishop, bishop Whitlock, I was really
noticing a difference in myself when we were in lessons and when we
were not in lessons. During lessons, I seemed to switch to a different
mode, which was somewhat preventing me from fully participating in
discussions. During this particular lesson, the way I was acting
really stood out to me, because I seemed to be stumbling over myself
unnecessarily. The lesson went well at least, and somehow I came into
the light of what I've been doing for the past long while. A knowledge
I've had for a long time, that is I need to be myself all the time,
has finally been completely fulfilled in my mind and in my actions. I
feel like I should have come to this conclusion a long time ago, but
I'm glad I've found myself now rather than later. I have truly found
myself by losing myself in the work! It all makes sense!
I hope that wasn't too abnormal or weird :)

Anyway, I also am getting better at giving talks. Elder Rowley and I
got to speak about the Atonement and resurrection on Easter Sunday in
the Second Ward. Throughout Easter Sunday I feel like I have truly
reviewed the life and mission of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is our
ultimate example of patience, endurance, forgiveness and love. I still
can't comprehend the method nor the magnitude of His suffering, but I
am forever grateful for Him. I surely owe Him my diligence, and my
life really! The Atonement of Jesus Christ reunites us with our
Heavenly Father as long as we follow His gospel and make it OUR
gospel. It is an ever-flowing river always ready to make us clean, no
matter how many times we immerse ourselves in it.

We had the opportunity to spend some time with our stake president,
President Cottrell, and learn some words of wisdom from him. He told
us we have a 'diamond-mine in our own backyard' of people to work
with, speaking of part-member families, prospective elders, and
Unbaptized children, and we don't need to go tracting. In fact, some
of our best outlooks right now fall into those categories!

He also talked about how amazing the Articles of Faith are. The
Articles of Faith document has been around for over 180 years and it
still stands unchanged! They state simply the differences between us
and all other religions. We should use them more when we are answering
questions about our beliefs. 

He also referred to a story about a terrorist who was going around a campus somewhere shooting everyone who said they were a Christian. Would you say you were a Christian
even if you risked death at that moment? Think about that one!

I'll end with a cliff hanger, because the full story hasn't happened
yet. We are visiting a less active lady  who is dying of 4th stage
cancer. It's amazing to see her desire to understand and reaccept the
gospel at this point in her life.

Thank you for your interest in my well-being and my adventures! Until
next time...good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight!

Elder Wylie


May the Spirit be with you

Easter dinner with the McIntosh family !

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Xandaman Update! Week 31: peace in a Worland

Here are your bite-size snippets from my week:

* We were asked to judge the pinewood derby cars on Tuesday. We gave
awards like 'most realistic' or 'best use of color', or even 'most
thought provoking' :)

* Mike Ostler gave us and the sisters a tour of the Crown factory,
where they make all the pop cans! There were about 30 million of them
in that warehouse! 

* We taught Anthony Gentilini and set a goal date for his baptism! His
wife is a member and he has caught an interest in the church. I hope
we can help him continue to progress.

* We had dinner with the Lloyds the other night. They are a great
family. They love the missionaries coming over! I played 'come thou
fount' on the piano and elder Rowley sang to it! They said it was the
best missionary visit they've had!

* We had a great lesson with Branson Townsend in the Stotts house! He
is totally getting baptized! His testimony is already growing and he
feels it!

* Eva and her son Andrew are some other recent converts we taught this
week. We had him draw out the plan of salvation. I'll send you a
picture of his masterpiece.

* Joe Espinoza brought his brother, Richard, to church a couple weeks
ago, and recently we asked him if he would like us to come over and
teach him. He was very open to it so we did. For almost two hours, we
answered his questions and revealed truth to him. He has heard a lot
about the church from relatives, but we gave him correct information,
and he recognized that. He mentioned how a lot of what people say
about the church isn't true. I'm so glad we get to share the truth
with him! We went to the Espinozas again to just check on them and we
ended up with a bunch of weird Mexican candy. Lemon salt is pretty
weird :)

* We had a good district meeting, even though it didn't go all as
planned. Elder Hunter (not my mtc companion) is a great district
leader. He's been trying to get our stake president to come speak to
us. Hopefully this week.

* Speaking of that, we had Ward conference in the second Ward
yesterday. It was really good and enriching. I got two important
things out of it. One, I received some great revelation about sharing
the Book of Mormon. I need to share it as an OPEN book, not a closed
one. There is a lot of mystery and rumor that could be eliminated if
we all could just share content and scriptures from it! Two, family
history is amazing! A high councilman shared about how families were
organized before the world was, and because of this great work, the
world will NOT be "utterly waisted at His coming", as it states in
Malachi. He showed us some cool functions of the family tree app that
can reveal more work to be done! I'm definitely going to start doing
some family history work someday.

* Elder Rowley has really been helping me with my teaching skills in
an encouraging and progressive way. I feel like I'm actually a decent
teacher now! But as we all know, the Spirit is the one who really gets
into the hearts of those we teach.

* Elder Rowley is very philosophical and poetic. He writes a poem
every month. Here is one for ya:

Why I Desire to Fly
Elder Rowley

"I do dream to fly
Such as to surpass the clouds
And sound a cry which fills the sky
One heard by all earthly crowds

Proclaimed with angelic tongue
Cloven and filled with fire
That hearts may be pricked and stung
Reminded of the soul's sole desire

What beauty there could be seen
The worlds attention then turned
On One Who is Mighty to Redeem
Who salvation for us earned

And saved us from the grave
From care, pain, and woe
And this he has freely gave
To all those whose actions show

A broken heart
The contrite spirit
A renewed start
For those who plead for it

But to the ground I know I'm bound
And weak my frame is to proclaim
An Angel's trump I cannot sound
But still it is the same

My mission here today
None can refute the claim
That with me always stays
I know the Messiah came"

Isn't that great? I know Christ lives today! We have living prophets,
seers, and revelators of God right now! Start preparing spiritually
for general conference so you can get the most you can out of it! Have
a great week!

Elder Wylie

May the Spirit be with you

Monday, March 14, 2016

Xandaman update! Week 30: when the work is good, the good keep working

Welcome to Worland, Wyoming! Population around 5400, temperatures
averaging in the 60's, and most people seem to be older folks. It's
pretty flat which makes bike riding ideal. There are a bunch of people
burning their fields and tractors driving on the streets. We eat free
at Taco Johns once a week thanks to the Lds owner :) There is a Pepsi
plant and a soda can factory (which we are getting a tour of today),
but no Walmart.

There are a bunch of great people here, so I'm just gonna list some off:

* Jim and Sunny Pederson; the nicest, most giving folks I've met here.
We live in their basement, but they offer to take us to lunch almost
everyday! Elder Rowley only takes the offer once a week :) She has
been traveling to Cody everyday for cancer treatments! She seems to be
doing well. They are so sweet.

* Our ward mission leader (for third Ward), brother Myers; he likes to
joke around, but he has a raging testimony, even though his wife isn't
a member. We had dinner at his house Thursday along with the
sisters (we share the third Ward). He called me the other day and said
he talked to a sister Dixon from Highland, and that he once cooked a
turkey for thanksgiving in her kitchen! Small world once again.

* Larry smith (Ward mission leader for second Ward); he is a convert
of about a year and a half, but loves the gospel. He has a low voice
and a patriotic spirit, but very humble and kind to everyone.

* The Edholms: we met with them last night. They have eight kids and
used to live in Orem a couple years ago. They know a few people I know
from school!

* The Espinozas; joe Espinoza is one of my favorite people! He got
baptized at the end of January, and he's already teaching gospel
principles and elders quorum! He's an energetic, funny, and smart
Mexican that KNOWS the church is true, even though his family (parents
and siblings) doesn't. He wants to influence people for good, and he
sure has.

* The meadows; sister meadows and her son, Chris, were recently
baptized, but her husband, max, wasn't, so we are teaching him. He
wants to read the Book of Mormon and is very open to going to church
with his wife, but hasn't yet. Sister meadows is an awesome lady! She
surely didn't grow up in the church, but she is strong now!

* Larry and Georgie live in a nice little trailer, and they are fun to
talk to. They aren't as active as they want to be, but they asked for
all of the pamphlets that we give out! Larry is pretty funny too, and
his language is pretty colorful sometimes, but he is going through a
lot of stress right now. Georgie isn't in the best of health right now
either, but they seem to be enduring it well, especially because they
are turning back to God!

* Then there's the townsends; brother Townsend is returning to
activity after about 10 years of inactivity. His son, Branson, is
about 14 and not baptized. But I can tell you that he sure will be in
the near future! He already knows the Book of Mormon is true! "He's a
spiritual little kid!" as elder Rowley stated it. His dad is super
supportive of him. I'm excited for them!

Those are a few of the great people here. The wards are really good
here. Us and the sisters got to bear testimony and speak in the third
Ward yesterday. It was a really good meeting. I got to bless the
sacrament in the second Ward. I realize how great it is to bear my
testimony and participate in that sacred ordinance. It feels so
satisfying!

Lastly, we had our zone conference last week here for the Wyoming
zones. It was really good. I could definitely tell that each topic
discussed was divinely inspired! I learned I need to improve on
helping people move forward from where they are at, and not ask questions
to mostly guide them where YOU want them to go. Also when we are on
the streets, we should look to serve first, then teach. We should just
try not to spit the gospel at people before we gain a little trust.

Missionaries are students of the Lord. I'm not the best teacher nor
the most energetic, but I know for a fact as we do our part, as I keep
our covenants, the commandments, and do our best, God will surely add
his power and strength and guidance to our efforts. All I can say is,
do your part, and turn to God!

Elder Wylie

May the Spirit be with you

Long day!

Side job

Monday, March 7, 2016

Xandaman Update! Week 29: a change of scenery!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016:
    We were all standing along the hallway by the door after district
meeting, when elder Syrett motioned me and elder McKell to come over.
At first I thought he just wanted to compliment the dimple on my tie
as usual. But soon enough, as he closed the door behind him so no one
else could hear, I realized it was a little more critical than that.
    "Did President call you?"
    We both slightly panicked and checked our phones.
    "Looks like we got a voice mail", Elder McKell was surprised.
    "You missed a call from president?!"
    "Well, we turned our phone on silent for district meeting!", Elder
McKell sounded a little defensive, but Elder Syrett understood.
    We went to our car right away and sure enough, president Wadsworth
wanted us to call him back. After a brief game of phone tag, he
finally got through to us.
    "Hello Elders!" He stated quite enthusiastically. I was listening
intently to what he was about to say. "I have a situation that is
going to impact you elders. I need you to be here in Billings between
6 and 7 tonight. Elder Wylie will need to pack his bags. He will be
going to Worland Wyoming, and his new companion will be Elder Rowley."
    All I could whisper at that moment was "holy crap", and at that
moment, my mission went a completely new direction. However, I was
calm, and I knew it was right.

So that day went to scrap, and we packed our bags and drove for two
hours to the mission home for a dinner with President and sister
Wadsworth. I hadn't been back there for 6 months! It was quite fun.
When we walked in, I met Elder Rowley and elder Zanin. Elder Adam
Rowley has about 6 months left. He is a robotics champion from
Monticello, Utah. He is a great teacher and a fun missionary. Elder
Zanin is from Brazil, and he is in Belgrade with elder McKell now. He
speaks Portuguese and is learning Spanish and English.

Anyways, back to the story, sister Wadsworth made us pre-buttered
pancakes and sausage. (Yum!) President convinced me to try ketchup on
my sausage. It was actually pretty good! After we talked and ate,
president called the assistants, elders Topham and Crane, to put us to
work for the remaining hour of the night. I went with elder Topham.

I knew elder Topham a little because he did exchanges with us a few
months ago in Belgrade. Their car is currently getting fixed, so I got
to ride around in the big transfer van! It was fun. He is a drummer
for a band down in southern Utah, so we share some interests. We went
and visited this guy that owns a couple towing businesses. He is an
unlikely soon-to-be member of the church, but as I listened to his
experiences along with some colorful language, he is a good man. He
was actually outside of his shop towing a car when we talked to him,
so we got to stand and watch him literally flip a car upside down! It
was very entertaining. Billings is the biggest city in Montana, so we
got to see some sketchy parts of town, known as the 'south side'. It
felt a lot different than what I'm used to. I was surprised we didn't
see a drug deal going down by the way elder Topham described it!
By 9 pm we went back to the mission home, got some sleep and left the
next morning back to our areas. I'm now driving a 2014 Toyota Corolla.

It was a three hour drive from billings to Worland. Elder Rowley was
mustering all the navigation skills he had to get us back home :) We
made it safely.

We live in the basement of the Pedesons, who are very kind and giving
older couple. They took us to Taco Johns when we arrived. They are
willing to take us out to lunch almost everyday! They give us too
much! But I'm very grateful for them.

The work is hoppin' down here! We have almost 5 people on date for
baptism and a few other progressing investigators. We serve in the
Worland second Ward, and we share the third Ward, which has only been
around for a year, with sister Wagstaff and Sister Parsons. We are
working hard, having fun, meeting new people, teaching good lessons,
and of course, helping people move! It's great to be in a new area! I
think I needed it. I love Belgrade, but I needed to move on!

I'll give you more info on the people we are working with when I get
to know them better. I haven't actually met them all yet.

Elder Rowley was on a robotics team with a couple of his friends, and
they made it to a world competition in Disney world! They did really
good. He has a lot of cool articles and study material he has gathered in
the past year and a half that I enjoy reading. A very smart man he is:)

I'm grateful to be here in Worland! I'm actually now in Elder
Schneiders district! Good thing too because I have his bike lock and
CD's :) That's all I've got for you today! Love y'all! Bye.

Elder Wylie

May the Spirit be with you
New companion and area! Elder Rowley in Wyoming.