Hi, my name is Elder Wilson and I am serving a two year Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the London South Mission and this is my story!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
July 21, 2015
So being the sneaky dad that I am. I snuck on his email account and found this picture today. Looks like he is all packed up and on his way to the mission home before he flies out tomorrow. We are so excited to see him!
Well the day has arrived that I leave England. I can't
believe that it has come this fast. It wasn't till yesterday during
church that it finally hit me that I will be leaving. It has definitely
been the hardest and at times the longest two years of my life, but I have
never been happier and the good times out way the bad by so much. I'm so
grateful for all the wonderful people that I was able to meet and rub shoulders
with. All of you have helped me to become the person I am today.
I have learned so much from my mission and am so excited to
use it at home. From my first taste of England being a mini middle east in
Slough, going to God's waiting room in Hedge End. Chilling with the Craggs in
Crawley, and can't forget the blessed Isle of Wight were I feel I really
started becoming who God wanted me to be. Plymouth with some of the craziest
districts I ever had. Then my 1 week tearing up the streets with Elder Ertmann.
Then 4 days in Worthing with my ginger Elder Gunnell. Then there is Addlestone
where I feel like I met my family away from home. I'm going to miss this great
Ward here in Addlestone. Feels like I'm leaving home now.
I'm so grateful for all the missionaries I was able to serve
with and around. There is truly nothing more inspiring then meeting as a group
of missionaries and all singing Jerusalem. I have been able to experience
so much in the last two years that I won't even attempt to typed it up
here. I just want all of you to know that the number one thing I learned
on my mission that will carry me for the rest of my life is the knowledge that
we are literally children of God and that Jesus Christ lives and is our Saviour
and Redeemer. I know that this is true with all my heart. I know that
they appeared to a humble 14 year old boy and turned him into a Prophet of God
who restored the true church of Jesus Christ to the earth again. All this
knowledge and conviction has come to me though because of simply reading and
praying about the Book of Mormon. That book is the most true and inspired book
on the earth today. I love it, and I live it. Hold to the iron rod and you
will never go astray. There is truly nothing greater then sharing the message
of The Restoration and that Jesus Christ lives, especially with the people of
England. True happiness really does come from serving others and bringing them
unto Christ. I feel to end my last email with the last few sentences from
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green and pleasant land
I love you all so much and look forward to hopefully seeing
you soon! God be with you till meet again!
Well this week was a long one! I swear everything that
could have kept us from finding did. So much service was done, and even though
I love doing service it can be a bit much sometimes when you don't get to do
any finding. Good thing I love these members to death! London was also pretty
epic! That city is so big and so full of life! I wish I could have served there
and contacted those streets! Would have been a hoot!
Some pretty cool things. Big Ben was my favourite and it
felt so surreal to see him. Really cool place. I took pictures on my other
camera so you will all have to wait for when I get home, good thing that is not
We had a really cool DLC (district leader conference)
were we had a great counsel for the new mission training plan. It took three
hours but the Spirit was so strong and it was great! Since we didn't do a lot
of finding this week and Sunday we wouldn't have time either, so I started
fasting and praying that we would find someone somewhere that would want to
meet up and be baptised. Well after Presidents interviews (which were awesome
and my last one) We were on the train and happen to bump in to he Sisters from
Aldershot and were talking to them when the crazy Finish sister looks between
the seats and just starts talking to him between the seats. Was pretty great
haha. Well turns out he lives in our area and we are meeting up on Tuesday! One, I love God and His ability to answer prayers and two, I love Sisters they always
know how to show off and show you how to do things:) Super great!
So two funny moments from Sunday. First one I was talking
to some members about a dinner appointment and then right before they leave she
says oh since your going home we will have to hook you up with a few single
girls we know😮And
then Elder Redd tells me he might give me some referrals and at dinner with the
Tarrs Sunday night Sister Tarr tells me that if her older daughter wasn't
taller she would definitely have me look her up😵 I guess it's good that I am a worthy candidate for
these moms daughters and nieces, but holy cow! I am pumped to date, but the
fact that it's actually possible now is scary haha. I'm going to die!
Probably one of the greatest things I have learned on my
mission that I knew before, but have had reaffirmed and strengthened is that
the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and that Joseph Smith is a Prophet.
I have no doubts whatsoever that it is true. Not only have I received the
confirmation from the Spirit that it is true, but having read it 5 times on my
mission nearly 6 and sharing it with the people of England everyday I will
never be able to say that that book might not be true. The power that comes
from it is beyond words. My understanding of gospel doctrines and The Bible
have grown because of reading the Book of Mormon. Most importantly my love and
desire to serve Heavenly Father and my Saviour Jesus Christ has grown so deep
that I just want to stand on roof tops and shout it to the world that they live
and we are their Sons and Daughters! The Book of Mormon is true! I read it, I
live it, and I love it! In the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
"The Book of Mormon [is] the most correct of any
book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to
God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”(Introduction to the
Book of Mormon)
That is the key though. We must not only read the Book of
Mormon everyday, but abide by its precepts every single day! We are Children of
God and I promise you that you cannot feel closer and more of Gods love then
through the Book of Mormon. In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Well this week was pretty much as if I lived on the sun
or more like hell. It was about 90 degrees for two of the days this week and
near there for the rest. And guess what we have no air conditioning!
Luckily today it rained and was super cool and I think I
finally stopped sweating...maybe. I thought England was suppose to be rainy and
miserable. Well the miserable part is still here:). I don't know now how some
missionaries deal with that kind of heat everyday for two years. They are my
Anyway the week itself was actually a lot of fun. We had
exchanges with the zone leaders and I was with Elder Lloyd again, but this time
in Staines! It was another great and memorable exchange with Elder Lloyd. We
had two teaches right of the bat in the morning. Two really solid people and
even extended a baptismal date to one and they said yes! Super cool girl. In
the second teach we get a call from my Sisters saying they need me to come to
Kingston now to give a baptismal interview. We were like we will be there as
fast we can.
They had canceled it that morning so it was a surprise to
us. We get down there and I do the interview which was an amazing experience.
When I told her she was worthy to be baptised and saw the
tears come into her eyes I was just filled with the Spirit and wish I could
have given her the biggest hug. That's probably the hardest thing for me is not
being able to give the sisters or other females hugs of joy or comfort. I don't
say that just because I want to hug a girl, but sometimes words and handshakes
just aren't enough and a hug is the only thing that is needed. So rough being a
missionary. After that though we drove back up to Staines got a quick bite to
eat because we hadn't had anything since breakfast and then went and did an act
of love for one of there investigators and then went to a dinner appointment
with the craziest and best member ever named Carol. She was so funny. She has
this cat and she calls her Satan because as soon as you touch her she claws you
to death. I was like well I'm pretty much the spawn of Satan so I should be ok.
She warned me not to, but I go over and just start petting the cat and cuddling
her. She was shocked haha. So funny,
Alright so that is not even the best part of exchange. As
always Elder Lloyd and I work hard, but play harder. We get to the flat quickly
plan (because this was the hottest day of the week) so we can change.
They have a four man flat so we were like hey it's pretty
much a sauna in here so why don't we sleep outside since they have a backyard.
We chuck the mattresses out there and it's wonderful and dandy and slept so
beautiful and it was cold. Well we forgot one thing. To shut the back door to the
house. Well at about 4:30 in the morning we see this fox trying to get into the
flat. We shoo him away. I then have to go use the toilet and Elder Oh comes
with me. Well I finish and go back outside to sleep and Elder Oh comes out a
little bit after and is like the fox destroyed my bag. Well apparently the fox
made multiple trips into the flat where he ruined Elder Oh's bag, stole a whole
bunch of cookies, ate part of Elder Lloyd's belt, and stole Elder Hartshorns
wallet with all his cards, money, and drivers license. Of course all of my
stuff was ok:) All of us were laughing so hard, but Elder Oh was one angry
Korean. He was making some secret combinations to destroy the fox. I
interviewed him with my iPad on what he was going to do to the fox and how he felt
and it was pretty funny. Great exchange!
Friday we got to meet our new mission president!
President and Sister Gubler (goob-ler) are the best! Wow are they awesome and
so full of life! He has some great ideas and they are both so full of love!
Sucks I only get them for two weeks:( They are in our ward though and they came
to church which was awesome being able to get a little personal time with them.
He was super loving to me and kept telling everyone that I'm staying for
another two years so sorry mom and dad President said I got to stay so there is
that;) I was able to get my first date set up for when I go home as well.
Brother Jones daughter Elsa came up to me after church and was talking to me
and asked when I go home. I told her and then she said hey me to! The best part
is right after that she says,"I can't wait to see you in Utah because then
you can give me piggyback rides and I can sit on your lap." Haha she
cracks me up. We also were able to have a dinner appointment with Bishop after
church. His family all went to Utah so we spent the afternoon with him and a
really great family he baptised in Kingston when he first moved to England.
They were a proper miracle!
So it's been a great week, but we are struggling to find
people to teach. Keep us in your prayers and for the hearts of the people to
soften to the gospel. One of the greatest lessons I have learned on my mission
is obedience. Obedience is key to everything. When we obey we show our faith
and when we do everything the Lord commands us to do with exactness we receive
these promises, His Spirit to be with us(John 14:15-16 and sacrament prayer),
we gain power(Alma 17:2-3), miracles(Moroni 7:37) and we receive
blessings(D&C 130:20-21). As I have obeyed the Lord I have seen how he
fulfils all of these wonderful promises. Who of us would not want to have His
Spirit to be with us more, or to have power to do whatever the day brings, and
who doesn't want miracles or blessings. They are all ours to have if we will
just follow Jesus Christ and strive to do the will of the Father as He so perfectly
showed us. I am obedient not because I can't see, but because I can see. I know
that Jesus Christ lives. I give my witness with the Angels that beautiful
Sunday morning, "He is not here, for He is risen." I know this to be
true with every fiber of my being and is why I have spent the last two years of
my life proclaiming it to these wonderful people of England!
I LOVE YOU ALL TO SHREDZZ!
Dinner With Elder Lloyd and Carol! Don't mind my fat face
Can I just say that i love you people so much!? I find it
hard to wake up and not smile. I know a lot of us have trials and the world
just seems to keep trying to kill itself, but what makes me smile is the fact
that I know that we all have a Loving Heavenly Father who is in control and as
long as I do my best I know myself and my family will be alright. Over the last
two years I have come to know and understand more and more everyday by what
Christ meant when he said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). I hope you all will be able to
feel this peace like I have. I will tell you now though that it cannot be found
in anything the world has to offer. No amount of money, no government, no
popularity, and no sin will ever bring that peace. In simpler words used by a
father to a son,"Wickedness never was happiness."
Anyway it has been a pretty dang good week! Mostly
because all we did is find. The people seem to be softening up a little bit
more. The English tend to be nicer when the weather is hot and nice. In fact
the English pretty much reflect what the weather is like. I call it the English
forecast (I just came up with it right now). We didn't have to much success
finding, but it was one of those weeks where I felt like a did all the Lord wanted
me to do just simply because I followed the Spirit. On Wednesday we were
suppose to teach this guy. He flogged us and I just had this impression to go
to Woking which is quite a distance away. So we went there and had like an hour
and half we could be there. We ran over to a less active we had been teaching,
but her husband needed a little bit of a break. We just talked to her at her
doorstep but it was the greatest visit ever! She was like yeah I have been
reading the Book of Mormon more. We asked her if she felt a difference when she
read and didn't read and she was like yeah when I read I don't get angry as
fast and I feel more calm during the day!
She also has been praying out loud! She didn't do any of
these things when we were teaching her, but she said she felt like since we
weren't coming around for a bit she needed to step it up. AWESOME!!
After that we remembered this guy we talked to who said
his son in law and daughter were Mormons and to come by in a couple weeks. Well
that was like almost two months ago so we ran down there quickly. We knocked on
the door and this guy comes out and says NO, and slams the door in our face. We
were like ok they don't like Mormons and started to walk away. Then this girl comes out saying sorry excuse
my brother. Then another man (with a sick ginger beard) comes out. They were
the people we were looking for and their names are the Hookers:) In my prayers
I told Heavenly Father to bless the Hookers and how grateful I was to meet the
Hookers. It was great:) Anyway they just moved back to Woking and are getting
settled in and coming to church soon. Super awesome couple. The girl looked
just like Nancy(exgirlfriend not aunt) but with short blonde hair. It was
Super cool day that was. The next day we had zone conference
and it was awesome! Love my leaders. President Millar leaves tomorrow and we
will then have President Gubbler. Bitter sweet moment. After though we only had
two hours to work and we had some solid people to stop by and before we went
out I was looking over a list and got this feeling to go stop by this guy out
in the middle of no where. At first I thought it was just me wanting to be a
waster but I felt pretty strong impression to go there so we just went and did
it. Travelled way out there and he wasn't in. On the way back when we were
close to our flat and having no success I see down the road a guy who was
preparing to be baptised but we had lost contact with him. I love how the Lord
blesses you more then you could ever imagine when you just listen to His
Spirit. Meeting up with the guy this week so should be good!
The rest of the week was great. Had a wonderful dinner
with a former investigator named Keten. He is a great guy, but is a transgender
and wasn't interested in our message, but we are best friends with him. He
loved Elder Redd and I and fed me for my going away party haha. Love Keten!
Went to a born again fellowship that was held by one of our investigators named
Ramond. Lovely bunch of people showed up including this crazy Italian lady who
loved us so much haha. Was a lot of fun being able to see how other people
worship. Different, but their hearts are still so big and full of love. I love
them so much! I also had to give a talk in sacrament and said goodbye to
everyone because most of the American families are leaving for holiday before I
go home and then everyone freaked out because they didn't realise I was going
home as soon as I am. So now the dinner appointments are all full:) I love
being loved haha. One of the biggest things I have come to learn on my mission
is that Love is the most powerful thing out there. The love I have for the
people of England just cannot be described using words. I was physically born
in America, but spiritually born in this great land of England. I'm going to miss this little island and it's
It is super hot here so I can't wait to have air
conditioning again when I get home. Will be nice to not sweat when I sleep:)
Pray I don't die from sweating! I also know I have it easy compared to some of
you, but I'm use to the cold so leave me alone haha. I love you all to SHREDZZ
and have a great week! The church is true!
The born again fellowship. The dark guy and the lady he
has his arms on are our investigators.
In the email to his mom today Collin gave us stats from his mission which are fun to see.
Suits: Total of 4 but two destroyed
Shoes: 5 destroyed shoes
Shirts: 13 Destroyed shirts
Trousers: 4 destroyed trousers
District Leaders: 13
Mission Presidents: 2
So Collin did not send a family letter today but sent a bunch of pictures. He is doing well and is excited and sad to be coming home in just one month! We will miss getting his Monday morning letters. He arrives at the Salt Lake Airport July 22nd at 8p for those that want to come out and see him come down the escalator! We will be having his homecoming on August 9th at 9am at our Ward House Chapel in Herriman.
His look when missionaries freak out about going home
Just some swans we pass by a few times a week. They are so
cute! Swans are very aggressive and are confused if they are snakes or swans
since they hiss haha.
Well this week was pretty much awesome! Monday and
Tuesday were mostly finding. We found a really cool guy named Andy that we
taught on Friday. He doesn't really have a belief in God, but is willing to
read the Book of Mormon and pray. He even told us that he would pray for us
next time. Pretty cool dude. Morris is doing quite well too. Met his mom for
the first time which was great because she is a less active member. We met her
and then she sat in on the next teach and said I will be at church on Sunday. God
loves us so much here in Addlestone!
It has been a lot of fun just being able to have a nicely
balanced week of finding and teaching. Makes for much better days and week!
Wednesday we were knocking and this one guy wasn't very
fond of us asking him about his religion and trying to share ours. It was
getting heated real quick until he recognised my American accent and was like I
love America. The whole mood of discussion flipped 180 degrees. He wasn't
interested in the end, but he said that he would take me on a tour of London
before I go home! Before we left he was like I'm serious about London so you
better be back. I may not be able to baptise many people, but I'm good at
making friends and getting free stuff!
Had a great dinner Sunday with our ward mission leader
and his family.
He is the one with the four daughters. It was funny
because while we were helping getting things ready his second youngest Elsa
came up and started holding my hand and was like can you please come play uno
with me? I told her "go ask your
mom first if there is anything you can help with then I will." So she
bounds across and asks her mom, who has her set the table. She then comes back
and grabs my hand and says can we go play uno now? I told her to go ask her mom
one more time so she runs over real quick. Her mom has her do some things and
then I picked there new puppy up and he fell asleep in my arms right away so of
course the girls start freaking and saying how cute it was that the dog loved
me and then started taking pictures (mostly Elsa haha). Such a cute and fun
family. Brother Jones was able to spend 4 hours with Elder Holland in a
priesthood leadership training and recorded his testimony at the end and then
shared it with us and wow was it amazing! All I have to say is parents with
struggling kids, just love them and keep your covenants and I promise it will
be worth it in the end. Love my ward mission leader! Which leads me into the
highlight of my week!
So Friday I went to London to listen and meet Elder
Holland! It was a fun trek there because I've never been to London and it is a
sweet city! The AP's had me guide everyone to the chapel because it was quite a
walk from the Station. So I had like half the mission following me around
London haha. Hyde Park Chapel is beautiful and an amazing place! The best part
of course was having Elder Holland walk in and just feel the Spirit enter the
room like a flood. I was able to shake hands with Elder Holland and listen to
him for an hour and a half! It was probably the most amazing thing ever to
happen to me! Any of you who doubt or don't think God has once again called
Apostles and Prophets again, I testify to you that he has and these 15 men God
has called to lead us our holy and truly chosen by God. I have never felt such
an out pouring of love for one person before. When I shook his hand I was
filled with the Spirit and love of God so much! There were so many things I
loved about what he spoke about. We were joined with London Mission which was
cool to see people I hadn't since the MTC.
But our two missions were where Elder Holland served his
mission. Man does he love this country! So here are the things I learned from
him that I really liked.
- We are apostolic for the two years or 18 months we
serve as missionaries. Elder Holland is a capital "A" Apostle and we
are lower case "a" apostles.
- They send us to the temple to prepare us to the best of
their abilities for our missions
- Everything is built around the law of obedience
- When we say we are the Only true and living church, we
are not saying no other church has truth in it, we are saying we are the only
church that has God's full authority to preform saving ordinances for
- The war in heaven never finished, it was just
transferred to earth
- The road to Salvation always goes through Gethsemane
and ascends to the top of Calvary
There was so much more I learned and that was said and I
wish I could share it all with you, but more importantly I wish I could share
the Spirit and love that I felt in that meeting. If you ever have a chance to
listen to an Apostle whether you are a member or not do it!
I bear witness to you hat God speaks to us this day
through His chosen servants. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father lives
and that Jesus Truly is the Christ and that he is our Saviour and Redeemer. To
those of you who are not members I specifically speak to you. This is the truth
and there is no other way to fully accept Christ and His Atonement then by
being baptised by His authority into His church. I know this is the way and
that there is no other way. Christ's arm is out stretched always and all you
have to do is grab on and trust him in what he says. I love this Gospel and the
light, love, peace, and joy it has brought into mine and my families life! In
His holy name, Amen.