Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Sorry, I have to cut this email short.. gotta go pick up my terrible bike at the shop and we went and got a Pricemart card today to save money and get some better food!! Took up like all the day along with house cleaning..  
This week was pretty alright. We found lots of potentials through service and just talking to everyone around the appointments we were already at! Our only progressing investigator is moving to the other side of the island!! Romario is going to get baptized in Mo Bay and he is ready so that will be cool! We are all on the same team, so whatevas!! I’d say a next person that is coming on good is Jackie. She is a friend of a former Branch President, her yard is one of the quietest in Jamaica, could feel the spirit so strong. She left to NY for 3 weeks, but I feel good bout this one! We have lots of males that we are working with. All have word of wisdom issues, but church attendance is our first problem. We have had really solid lessons with them all though. But really our power is through less actives right now, several want to still serve missions and we are going to help them do that!! A lot of them are Catholics too.. I don’t understand how people can’t see the whole picture, the restoration breaks it down so smooth. I’m so thankful for the simple truths of the gospel. I’m thankful I could grow up without having to be on that search for truth even though I think it would be cool to be a convert. Thankful I could avoid many tricks of the devil as we have the commandments and church leaders to guide us and keep us safe. In zone meeting this week we learned a lot about taking what we gain from our head to the Heart, then into action. Been really studying on how to make that process happen and I think it all comes down to humility, prayer and the spirit. Also learned lots bout gratitude (Mosiah 2:18-21) this week. Thankful to be out here learning sooo very much. I know sometimes you may wonder from the sloppy emails I send, guess I need to work on that as well. Well, that’s all I can think for right now. Bless you all and please have a wonderful week! 
Elder Wilkerson
Does Mr. Mac replace shoes, someone said they do if you send a picture.

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

Well, what to say bout this week! It started rough but we pulled out just fine! All I can say is I think we go through pride cycles thinking we got this work figured out, but I forget this aint my work, and His ways are higher than mine! But we got some pretty sweet things gwan this week. Some cool learning experiences from this week was 1) seeing the Johnson family. They are less active and have had missionaries going there every week bout twice for 11 months. So I was kinda fed up with no progression really so we planned this awesome thrown down on acting. We watched “where your treasure is” from this April conference, and asked why do you think we watched that video out of anything we could do? He took it pretty hard at first, but the cool thing about it was God threw our plans out the window and the spirit did an excellent job. Opened Brother Johnson right up to us! It started us, it stopped us, and let us sit in those awkward silences for awhile. but it was perfect and brought out his testimony. Yes, we were prepared to throw down with love of course. but sometimes all those people need is a big hug, someone to listen, and show a little support. Nothing big and dramatic. Not a fancy lesson. but feeling the spirit, reaffirming their testimony and LOVE! Gosh, I need to love more, I realized we all feel down at some point and time, and someone has to and I would say that is why Home teaching is sooo Important!! Wow, I really hope that is happening before I leave JA!! 2) was with Jody. And we know that she just hates the Book of Mormon and refuses to read it. She says we have to convince her it’s true. I don’t really like that word. I think that’s the spirit’s job, but I learned that lesson soon after. We prepared many scriptures from the Bible, how they testify of the Book of Mormon. We watched a marvelous work and wonder- talked bout how Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled and then read a few more references. Of course we couldn’t read JUST the verses that emphasized, but the whole chapter, which I had never done before. but it was cool how it was more powerful and we didn’t get tripped up like many people do as they try to BEND the scriptures to their view. We finished by watching Lawrence E Corbridge’s talk about Joe Smith from this last conference as well. It was sweet! The spirit was strong probably for the first time with us meeting with her. She put up no front this time. So cool how the spirit is key for all of the Lord’s great work. I have decided the spirit is GLUE! We pray for it to STICK things in our REMEMERance, we pray for it to enhance our studies, we have it to tell us when to open our mouths and when to GLUE them Shut!! As we are prepared.. or do  all we can, then we will not be confounded before men. But if you don’t try, you really are on your own, no matter your calling, position, or personal knowledge and intelligence.
I am so thankful for that lesson from the spirit this week! Many other great things going on. Mainly with less actives and things happening in the Ward! We had two white families move in for business and will be staying here 3 years. But one, Bro Dewey, is the bishopric. Great to have some more experience to drive us forward faster and better! 
Spiritual experiences LIFT our faith! If you haven't had one lately, I'd encourage you to pray for some! They WILL come and you Will recognize them. Seek after the gifts of the spirit, for there are many and many blessings to obtain from these. I love you all and thank you for sharing and strengthening me with your gifts, skills, talents and love. Let us continue to lift, inspire, motivate and bless!!
With Love, Elder Wilkerson
P.S . Romario is progressing and on date for July 12th baptism! A week after TAGE! So excited for that Big guy! :)

Playing around.. at a salvation army project..waiting for the truck.

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Man, sometimes I wish they had a brain usb drive so I could just stick it in an email cuz you probably don't get all the great stuff cuz I’m lazy in typing or just a lack of time! This week was pretty good I must say. In district meeting we focused on helping people work towards being progressing investigators and we were all kinda lacking in extending baptismal dates. Thankfully we got a boost on that. Really, even if they shut it down quick, we can help them more as we are bold in our message and really help them see the importance of this gospel! We had one investigator at church, but he came late. So that will be the focus this week for shore. So many little things to focus on. And really that’s all it is. It’s the little things that will help them progress not a few big things. We have been working with several less actives which is going to help us in our finding, teaching and baptizing. But we had many good lessons this week! Georgia we had to buckle down and had a lesson on Matt 7:13 on the gate and that she is at that point. Make it or break it.  She is prayerfully thinking about it. So we will soon see what happens. Sister Genius is working for July 19th, but missed church so hopefully we won’t have to push that back.  She is doing well otherwise. The other one that we have working towards a date is Romario. He is 13 and a referral from a member in Montego Bay. He came to church late, but loved it and his aunts want him to be baptized. One is a member, the one he lives with isn't. So hopefully she will sit in soon. She refused Sunday, but kept peeking in on the lesson so we will keep being persistent with that one!! But he is going to be baptized on the 13th of July. We have others to work with, but are more stubborn at this time. But many members are preparing people to be taught. It’s going to be a tough transfer again, but I'm excited to see some progression in this area. Much growth will come from less actives. We are re-teaching all the missionary lessons to less actives and many are excited about it. It’s been a great experience. They think they know it, then we go through it and they don't understand a simple truth which totally clicks and sparks them back on fire! Had 3 less actives back that are working towards being fully active and all 3 are men! So cool! I got sick a bit this week. Elder Ruesch wonders if I'm getting lactose intolerant.... get really bad gas when I eat cereal now or cheese sandwiches... ? What do you think mom?  I bought some yogurt to clear out maybe bacteria? But yeah, even though we don't have a lot of investigators to teach I feel really blessed in bring back less actives. That is just as important. I’m really starting to see the importance of the worth of every soul. Why it takes us so long to see things.. I don’t know. And then can forget so fast! But I am thankful for this opportunity to serve learn and grow. Elder Bateman is being transferred to Negril to be the Branch President. Pretty  cool to see my MTC comp stepping it up! Crazy to think that might be his last area and after this next transfer that my next area may be my last as well. It’s really picking up! Almost 8 months or 70% done. So scary. But love you all and so thankful for the support. Bless you all and have a great week! 

Elder Wilk

 Flouring Elder Sandmaier for his birthday.
 Waffle challenge
Our District

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

The Stake Conference details! 
The first talk by SISTER BANHAN:
 one of the pioneers, gave a talk on genealogy and missionary work. She said something cool: " If you are afraid to share the gospel with the living, don't be afraid of the dead!!" 
 PRESIDENT BROWN: spoke after. giving 6 things to do to drive this stake into Lucifer's heart! 
1) open your home- you got pics of Jesus there, sing good songs there, pray together! Let people feel the spirit that resides there!
2) open your mouth- D&C 33 just ask people to come to church!
3) open your heart- love everyone- be genuine whether they except the gospel or not
4) open the doors of the temple- get a recommend 12+ 
5) open the doors of the chapels- sick and tired of hearing people say our doors are only open on Sunday- fill them with activity! we play, laugh and worship here!!
6) open your wallet!- will a man rob God? In tithes and offerings. Show your faith!
ELDER CORNISH: talked about how Mongolia has about the same amount membership as we do.. but other end of the temperature scale hitting -57f  he talked about how precious this gospel is to us? How much is it? 
Talked bout fearing god more than man and then gave the analogy of a dog chasing a car and finally catching it and not knowing what to do with it! Same with us.. been chasing a stake and finally caught it! Now what will we do with it?? 
 We got there before the session started and Elder Holland walked right by me. I was so shocked I couldn't say anything or even stick my hand out to have it shaked, haha. It happened too fast.. plus he looked whipped!! But I texted my Mission President right after and asked him to say hello for Grandpa since he grew up with him. He shore did, so no worries on that note! 
He shared a story about Frank (his dad) and how he smoked when he was asked to be the Sunday School teacher! He is so  good at telling stories!!! I would butcher it if I rehearsed it to you. You probably know it anyways, it has been given in past conferences. I’ll let you search for it!!   He told the Bishop he couldn’t accept the call cuz "i smoke!" The Bishop told him "Frank, that’s your problem, not ours!" He looks at his son (Elder Holland) but he just shared boldly that we can’t judge who is prepared for the church, or our message! REVELATION WAS: God is working on those coffee drinking, cigarette smoking, non tithe paying people all the time!! Don’t you think he isn’t! The question is, are you?? And says "alright when do you want me to start?" he talked bout he never saw his dad without a pack a smokes in his pocket. He thought you buy a pack you get a shirt, or buy a shirt you get a pack!! Then there is a huge crash in the kitchen! Miss big ears, my mother, is listening through the walls. She claimed she dropped something! Oh give me a break! She pulled the whole cupboard down!! He taught the class, threw his cigarettes out, and saved his family.  Hastening the work of salvation is a big topic, but call it what you want - home teaching, extending a calling, missionary work, call it what you want.. but make shore it happens!! 
Then he just told us his greatest fear is that God would tell him he had left a song unsung, that we can’t be silent and mute with the gospel dying inside of us!
Sunday was good. We missed some due to having to refresh the server when something went wrong.. but it was good nonetheless I feel like Saturday is always better though for those that stick out an extra effort for some more teachings!! 
But for the 1st jamaican stake 
President is: Andrew Lue (my 1st Branch President on the island in Spanish Town)
1st con: Royce Brittian ( was the other Spanish Town Branch President)
2nd con: Patrick Medley (from the Blvd Branch here in Kingston)
Stake Patriarch: Bro Macpherson (Sister Macs husband that feeds us every week.)
Those people shared their testimonies then Elder Cornish spoke.
He talked lots on following the counsel of our Priesthood leaders, and how obedience binds Satan. You get to make that choice and decide if you want that joy to be eternal!
Elder Holland: Talked bout flipping any other organization in the world, releasing everyone and calling new people would cause chaos! But nope, not here. every hand goes up to sustain them! Then he talked bout Elder Cornish how his career was saving babies and how he would have to sustain their life and compared it to the support we give. It’s not just well, good luck, hope everything turns out ok. But more like when Moses had to keep his arms raised and his homies had to support him! We have to support as well, it’s gonna be rough! Then he talked about how we will go more places than Christ. Can travel more land, talk to more people and left us with his Apostolic blessing! Pretty awesome. It was a great first conference! 
And we will just leave it at that for this week. Many less actives back, and at least the work is going on solid there!! Love you all, thanks for your support and prayers. God speed.

Elder Wilkerson

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 2, 2014

Hello home!
This week I don’t really know what to report on! I’m thankful for being humbled once more to realize who's work we all truly are doing. It’s not mine, it’s not yours. It’s the Lord's! We are slowly but surely getting somewhere in our teaching pool. I think the Lord just had us at a low to force us to work with the members and now as we build up the forces before going to war with the world that we will succeed much more than us trying to do it on our own! Every member a missionary, we may not have it all together but together we have it all! Less active work is the approach we have been taking! It is sweet. We are working with a brother that has been less active for 8 years.. came yesterday with the family! Small and simple things, great things brought to pass. Some simple love, simple testimony, a simple text can go a long way. Pray for the simple ways to serve and they will come. I promise they make a big difference. If not in your life, in anothers. Georgia came to church this week, but no real commitment yet.. again just keep showing genuine love and care. Especially the members.. and miracles will eventually happen. I can feel it. In Zone meeting we talked lots about Love, if you can’t tell and Desire. And our first approach with people!! How to make it a good one so they don’t slip through our hands. The key is to be genuine! Really care! Love! And this past week, I tried to think of these people as my family, picture them as my mom or dad or brothers and that I am going to do all I can to help them understand in a loving way that THEY NEED THIS GOSPEL! They may not know it, but we do! Testimony means everything. It sways people in everything that they do! What they eat for breakfast, to watch on tv before bed. And it’s the only way the gospel will roll forth! I know it. Members backing up missionaries, missionaries backing up members. We have some sweet referrals set for this week and these I can feel great about that these people will go somewhere, cuz they have multiple people who love and care enough about them. I challenge everyone to do what we have been doin with our members here. To Roleplay!! 1)Grab a bag and put random items in it 2) everyone from the family pulls out an item and let’s say you’re on the bus. 3) you got 90 secs to use the object they have (the person to the left of you) has to use the object in your hand to relate it back to the gospel and invite them to church or to meet with missionaries! Pretty fun and helpful to get feedback on how to do better and helps us have the desire to Open Your Mouth and speak Miracles. I know that as we really seek to share the gospel with friends or loved ones, we will receive an increase of joy that can come from no other source. I promise the spirit will give us what we need to say to help them find the hope and peace they need in their lives. That is my testimony and I pray we will all open our mouths more. Especially my brothers :) I know it’s possible, Im seeing the love through action down here in Jamaica! I love you all so much, I love this the Lord’s work of saving Our Brothers and Sisters, I know this is the one true and only organization that will allow us to return to our loving father in heaven! Bless up! This is the last time I come to you as a missionary from the Constant Spring Branch! So excited to see elder Holland Saturday at 7-9 live! Jamaica Kingston Stake here we Come!! Respect!

Elder Wilkerson