Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan. 26, 2014

Can I just tell you now I am completely scared to come home, especially  after all those "white" people came to church. It was weird, but very spiritual!! 
Man, I don’t even know if I can squeeze all that happened in this week! It’s also cool that as we open our mouths the spirit fills in the words. I feel like it can do that with our typing! My fingers are off the walls right now!! But anyways, Monday we had to go pick up Elder Prete from Negril and also Elder Jarvis- took them to Ochi and stayed the night. Woke up at 5, changed the tire, then drove the 3 district leaders into the training for them at 9- 4. It was a great meeting... it was a bit long and we were last to talk. We were supposed to speak for 40 minutes and got cut back to 10 and taught on follow up calls. Fantastic meeting, many little rebukings by the spirit to me. After that we drove back to Ochi with the assistants for dinner and then did a 3 way split in Ochi, Port Antonio and Mo Bay. Elder Ruesch and I stayed in Mo Bay and drove Elder Prete back to Negril at 6 in the morning. We went to Elder Jarvis’ district meeting here in Montego Bay, followed by some more ways I could improve as we talked about pleading verse begging and improving our prayers. Begging is on our behalf and sometimes quite selfish. pleading is turned outwards and is to bless and enrich others lives. We had a kneeling prayer for the Mo bay area and people to bring the church out of obscurity and also to find families. Elder Ruesch was telling me earlier :”you get what you go for!" We have really been focusing and praying to find families this week, and guess what.. we are working with several. Never Doubt The Little Things! They are where the power lies! Elder Ruesch and I worked on our contacting. and then Thursday woke up early again and left to pick up Ochi and drive Porty to pick up the others, got lunch and headed back. Honest mistake on the speed limit... got another ticket.... cha.
We then stopped in Falmouth on our way back to see some members that aren’t coming and see what we can do in that area. We met some sweet members and also got some referrals down that way. Really focusing the efforts on males and families! Then back home, plan, and off to bed. 
Friday we did our weekly planning, then took Elder Kuehn to the doctor, and then had him show me more of our area and where some members lived as Elder Jarvis and Henderson did a little trade off. It went well and we contacted some more families. Saturday we had to take Elder Agurrie back to the doctor so up to Negril twice and supplies to Sav. Got back in our area to teach Michelle and family, Brian and family, and Winsome and trying to work with her family as well, also while... you got it - finding more families!! Sunday was awesome. Like I said before, 110 tourists from Doterra. Very spiritual meeting, one of the white ladies spoke and two amazing others. They brought some clothing for the branch and gave us a few referrals. We ourselves had 4 investigators at church and the other missionaries had some as well.
Church was packed with I believe 211 people!! It was very awesome and weird talking to so many successful and wise people. We finished the day with some awesome lessons as well. Sorry I’m not good at giving the details of the lessons, all you got to know is they were awesome. Members came and the spirit was felt and they are working towards baptism. Sad part... some when I won’t be here, but happy for them either way! The work is true. It’s Christ’s. We get help and our blessed as much as we put in and give. Bless up. I love this work and look forward to continuing it back home with all of you! Have a great week! ChoW!

Elder WIlkerson

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

This week has been neat once more. I do strongly believe attitude decides the day. You choose if it a good day or if it’s______. You pick. But after we got done emailing we had to go to Bro Lee’s watch shop in the middle of Samsharpe Square. And guess what happened? Well, we ran into these crrazzzzy bible bashing... children of God. Just a bit confused. Elder Whitlock had warned me of these gentlemen. So we get down there and these old, wrinkly, long bearded, nerdy looking dudes come running towards us with cards and pamphlets... I knew what to do.. kept walking! The other 3 stopped and that was the down fall of our next 30 minutes. Many different religions meet here to preach their beliefs in Christ, all very cool with each other but when it comes to Mormons they team up against us. The main preaching is “we are saved by grace”- unless we are a Mormon!  But just like Lawrence E Corbridge said in conference, look for the biggest dust cloud and there you will find the truth. You got it. These guys ripped into us for the dumbest things. Like you worship the wrong Jesus cuz you believe he is the brother of Satan. And mostly things pointing back to the one thing they are to read and pray about, but went wherever they wanted and by the end the truth prevails. We got talking about the authority and truth. They said you get authority from the bible or the word, but long story short it was real fun and each time they think they are tearing us down it’s just the opposite. You get the opportunity to bear your testimony and the spirit confirms that much stronger! It’s neat- you get what you give!
Tuesday we saw Michelle again. She is doing really good. She is like the only person we got to keep out of our teaching pool so we got to do lots of contacting that day and meet many, many members! 
Wednesday. You know what is. Transfers. Driving or I guess I should say riding all day. It was my turn to relax. Except we had a route to Sav this time. We got to past through Blackriver and see the ocean view there. Got some good pics.. sorry I haven’t sent any... need to get to a safe computer that doesn’t have viruses and we will send them! 
Thursday we settled in the Sisters, so now I get to join my father in sleeping on the floor. We gave the Sisters our stuff, cuz theirs didn’t come in yet. So hopefully tomorrow we will be back on board. But it was cool, we got to help the Sisters learn their area, and take them to many members and the investigators. They really are great. Sister Wilkinson and Hudson go home with our group next transfer and Sister Schwendiman has been out 10 months. Stellar missionaries. They have Kevin progressing and a part member family! And we have Michelle progressing and the other Elders almost have a few as well. Actually the whole zone is doing fairly well! Much more than any I have been here!
Friday we got a gym pass and also did more contacting in our area. Met some elect people, very educated and successful. Our area now is very nice and far out so we are forced to knock some millionaire houses. Challenging, stretching, and quite fun. You know that they are great when they have one of the few Chevy trucks in JA. 
Saturday was a different story, we had tons planned, but an emergency happened in Negril where we needed to get an Elder to the hospital. Well, I wasn’t driving so you can ask me how we got there some other time! And what happened;) But needless to say the missionary is doing well and will recover well. bBt we did get to Negril in 30 minutes.... that ruined all the rest of the day. 
Sunday was a blast! We had those white people from Doterra essential oil company, the people that started the company. Learned some amazing things from them. We also are scheduled to see them again at their hotel this week, they are bringing over 100 people to church next week!!! REFERRALS FOR DAYS!!! Haha, and they are staying in our area!! Haahah! But church was a blast, lots of investigators there(blame it on the Sisters) that’s the joke. When they come. Church full. When they leave. Church empty! But great classes and a great branch missionary meeting after. I’m excited for all that is happening in this work! I can’t believe it, the only down fall and regret I have is I can’t give as much as I am taking away from it, but trying to!!! We also received some referrals from the 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency that took up our night to contact, but they are solid. One is a 7th day pastor’s daughter.... they always are like the country songs. rebellious. Haha! But she is intelligent same way! But short email today I know.. we got to prepare for a district leader training tomorrow. We have been invited to speak on follow up calls for 40 mins. Should be really good and then we have zone meeting next week! Love you, have a great week ya ere!! Bless up.

Elder Wilkerson

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
~Winston S. Churchill

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt,
just how we play the hand.”
~Randy Pausch

I finished the Book of Mormon here in 5 weeks! What a perfect book! What a perfect week! 
Monday= we spent cleaning the house that the sisters will be moving into. We also split the areas again, and the sisters will be taking the bulk of our investigators. They are taking everything from the meadows of Irwin towards Lucea. It will be great for the branch though to have sisters and they just bring a special spirit to the work! One of them is named sister Wilkinson. I think President Brown was sick of mixing up our names so he banished us to this side of the island! Haha. But the other 2 coming in as well are power house missionaries! 
Tuesday we did a split with Elders Kuehn and Laffyette in their area to help them build up a teaching pool since they are in a new area. It went really well. We did lots of contacting and talked to some very successful people. It was good to just boost everyone’s faith and have some fun. I went with Elder Laffyette. One of the more cool stories was we stopped to talk with these gentlemen...moments in we find out some are taking meth. But minor details, it’s quite common... but we get talking to them and this one guy is trying to shut me down... and I never have felt like the spirit had given me the answers as fast as they came at that moment, I felt like Elder Holland for a minute. And eventually this guy just eases off and says " I believe you. Ya, I believe you. You know true Christians don’t judge and run off just cuz we smoke. Respect, I want to learn about your church" and puts out his spliff and the other guys do too. I don’t know where they will go, but just another faith building experience. They come in all shapes and forms! 
Wednesday= we traveled to district meeting in Sav to meet the Sav and Negril elders there. It was a great meeting, mostly about comp unity, and then we went to a dentist appointment for Elder Henderson afterwards. I am scared to find out what has happened to my mouth after the mission, even though I have no problems now. I feel like it is a gift of the spirit, to not feel pain.. haha! We had some good lessons that night, one of which was with Natanya’s sister. She had studied out the plan of salvation pamphlet and loved it, too bad the sisters get her now as well. Haha, oh well, one work this!!!
Thursday= since we moved the elders in with us, we had to paint their old apartment for the 3 sisters coming in. Took about 6 hours, but looked great of course!!  At night we did quite a bit of contacting in Ironshore (our area) a part we haven’t spent much time in! One guy we talked to walked out and said he had to go look for his other 3 wives... ha, not funny, I caught him in his joke. But he was interested to learn for some reason. People are funny. 
We also got to meet with 2 other potentials in... you guessed it, the sister’s area. They are great! One named Nadeen and one named Mack. Both very interested in the gospel. One drives taxi and the other cleans cars, haha. 
Friday= Friday was a shock! Michelle had read like 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon! and retained it all! Very cool. Just got some minor things to work on with the family, but wants to come to church. She is in our area, haha! We also got introduced to a man named Kevin by Pres. Allen. He is 27 and is an accountant, but has a terrible smoking addiction. We have been working close with him, and he’s making some progress. President gave him a blessing.. it was just really cool for me to see how much members care about their friends and helping them. I look forward to doing that with some friends back home! We all should -this restored gospel is the only way for happiness in this life and the eternities! 
Saturday= service for Sister Brown moving chalkstone... boy, I’m sore. New Year’s resolution.. get back in shape. It’s not going well. We did like 30 an hour and was dead!!!Bbut soon finish it!
We also got to go see a recent convert who lives by a less active that is quite frankly against the church. The other elders said they were quite rude in their conversation. Different story when we went. Elder Henderson is a powerful missionary and the spirit is sooo cool! Tender mercies and blessings seen make you want to work that much harder to guarantee that spirit will be there to back you up!! The ones that are rude just walked out cuz of what they felt and the recent convert we got to talk about missionary service more seriously, good experience for all I think. 
Sunday= church was great. Kevin came and is working towards 22 Feb baptism. We went and saw Michelle again with Tyrone, Sis. Chensang, and Bro Sterling. Then we went to see Patricia's boy, Karby. He is a strong Rasta, but nothing caught his attention more than we are a non-paid ministry. we was very interested in the Book of Mormon. We had some deep talks, but I think more than anything it was cool to see like a flicker in Pat again, that maybe this might be something amazing if Rasta man is convinced!! Very cool. 
We were dropping people back at home and saw the elders heading to a recent convert’s house. so we thought we would prank them and say we told them we would teach Jennifer today... they acted confused, but did see the truck and blocked our tires. They left a note on the windshield. It basically said the wiggers will never win! Well we had a spare padlock so we changed it before we went up to see Kevin and wrote them a rap in a chastity pamphlet and taped it to the door. Coincidence again, we saw them heading home after Kevin’s and took a back road home and parked at the neighbors one road up and watched them find out they got pranked! Haha, missions are fun, lots of hard work, but fun as thrilling and spiritual uplifting as well. 

Well, I love you all once more. Keep up the good work, remember to add God in your setting of goals and making plans, and account to him daily. He is diligently involved in what we can become. Bless up and nuff love!

Elder Wilkerson

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

This week has been splendid! We got a lot done, as a zone and as a companionship! We have been working again through the members a lot. We tried giving them a break, but it was apparent that is not the way of the Lord! As we find through them, the work hastens, and it is time for that! The fundamental for the week was teach people not lessons. It’s been really fun to push myself to talk to more people and grow as you try to connect with them on all sorts of levels and realize everyone needs the gospel and it is something all of us can have in common. Rasta or rich. Shack poor or skanky. EVERYONE needs it. Wednesday we had the opportunity to go on splits in Ochi with our new district leader Elder Jones and Cox. I went with Elder Cox on bicycle and have already set the goal to go running a few days. I am WAY outta shape!!! EVERYTHING fell through, but I loved it. Gave me and him both a chance to bond and then express our testimonies ALL DAY, and just grow! So much fun! Funny enough though, we must have found an ELECT person cuz we went to a specific house, and they were great and then when we met back up in the night Elder Henderson and Elder Jones went to that same house hours later! The spirit is so boss! Another sweet moment that day was we took additional studies with them as Elder Cox is still in training, and randomly in the middle Elder Henderson asks Elder Cox why he came on a mission? The spirit was sooo strong as he talked about the atonement, we all got to listen to this powerful, yet simple testimony on the atonement. And from there he was in tears and felt like he wasn’t doing a good job. We got to bond them and Elder Henderson shared some spot on thoughts to lift and bless. I am blessed to serve with such a spiritual giant!! He shared this story if you can find it. It’s great, and I’d like a copy. It’s called: "Marks of a man." Just kind of compares the start of a missionary’s mission and then another at his end, compared to the mission of Christ. Look it up! 
Thursday we woke up at 4:30 to get to Kingston on time, clean the truck for inspection and then have our 7 hour long MLC meeting. It was fantastic! President Brown for his doctrine part threw down on Doctrine and Covenants 84 and expressed how the temple was the central point of the restoration compared to the rest of time that the other prophets, even Jesus Christ was trying to establish. Gosh I wish I could get recordings of these, or at least attend them for the rest of my life. So many power house people I have been blessed to know! I’m shore my grandparents and parents are same way, but I’m slow to realizing it! 
That night we traveled back to Ochi where I had the opportunity to interview a police man, who usually gets to do the grilling, for interview for baptism. I don’t think he was too comfortable with that. Haha, but very prepared anyhow. Ochi had 2 baptisms this week, and the zone is having them frequently.
Friday morning we headed back to Mo Bay, completed studies and weekly planning, and had pine sauce. We got to sit down with a new investigator named Latoya, she is great. I love when investigators like to take notes during lessons, that always puts a smile on my face! She is cool, but most likely moving to Canada soon.
We also got to meet with Joy again. Her friend Kassandra came as well. Both hearts were softened and actually Kassandra works with our branch president... we didn’t tell her what his duty was, but now we have a bulwark of strength working behind the scenes!! They just need to read and pray, but we aren’t letting them go anywhere! Oh, they would look so good in temple white! We had a pretty successful saturday as well. Nothing has stuck out too much in my mind though, so let’s talk about Sunday. Church was great! Man, I love the first week of new years! I love the going out strong, and starting a new. It’s great! New attitudes, energy and desire to do what’s right. Too bad years don’t start every 4-5 months when we forget or stress! But church was wonderful, too bad no investigators but lots of less actives back! The cool thing bout today though is we learned that sisters will be coming in the area. We had to split it again. Move the biking elders in with us and switch their area more close! Plus sisters will have a car, so half our work is gone! Very sweet and sad to a degree, but we still have zone limits to see all the wonderful scenery that I haven’t taken pics of for you. I’ll repent... soon! :) We also got to sit down with Patricia again. Her baby’s father is back. He is a Rasta, but is very interested in the church and another set of scripture on this our continent and especially how the church is strictly volunteer work rather than how churches out here are structured as businesses! It’s perfect to get Patricia going as before it was the problem :) Tender mercies all around! 
But, like I said, we need to move the Elders today and find a new house so we are out of here! Love you all! Set some SMART Goals. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic.Timely! Take care and have a blessed new year!!

Elder Wilkerson 

Marks of a Man
As I jumped on board my flight from Miami to Salt Lake City, I paused for a moment to catch my breath. Seated near the front of the plane was an excited young man, probably 19, sitting with his parents. His hair was short, his clothes new and sharp. His suit was fitted perfectly; his black shoes still retained that store bought shine. His body was in good shape, his face and hands were clean. In his eyes, I could see a nervous look; his movements were that of an actor on opening night.
He was obviously flying to Utah to become a missionary for the LDS church. I smiled as I walked by, and took pride in belonging to the same church where these young men and women voluntarily serve the Savior for two years. With this special feeling, I continued back to where my seat was located.
Marks of a ManAs I sat down in my seat, I looked to the right and to my surprise saw another missionary, sleeping in the window seat. His hair was also short, but that was the only similarity between the two. This one was obviously returning home, and I could tell at a glance what type of missionary he had been.
The fact that he was already asleep told me a lot. His entire body seemed to let out a big sigh. It looked as if this was the first time in two years that he had even slept, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
As I looked at his face I could see the heavy bags under his eyes, the chapped lips, the scarred and sunburned face caused by the fierce Florida sun.
His suit was tattered and worn. A few of the seams were coming apart, and I noticed that there were a couple of tears that had been hand sewn with a very sloppy stitch. I saw the nametag, crooked, scratched, and bearing the name of the church he represented, the engraving of which was almost all worn away.
I saw the knee of his pants, worn, and white, the result of many hours of humble prayer. A tear came to my eye as I saw the things that really told me what kind of missionary he had been. I saw the marks that made this boy a man.
His feet, the two that had carried him from house to house now lay there swollen and tired. They were covered by a pair of worn out shoes. Many of the large scrapes and gouges had been filled in by countless polishing.
His books—laying across his lap—were his scriptures-the word of God. Once new these books which testify of Jesus Christ and his mission were now torn, bent, and ragged from use.
His hands, those big, strong hands which had been used to bless and teach, were now scarred and cut from knocking on doors.
Those were indeed the marks of a man. And, as I looked at him, I saw the marks of another man, the Savior, as he was hanging on the cross for the sins of the world.
His feet, those that had once carried him throughout the land during his ministry, were now nailed to the cross.
His side, now pierced with a spear, sealing his testimony with his life.
His hands, the hands that had been used to ordain his servants and to bless the sick were also scarred with the nails that were pounded to hang him on the cross.
Those were the marks of a great man.
As my mind returned to the missionary, my whole body seemed to swell with pride and joy because I knew, by looking at him, that he had served his Master well.
My joy was so great that I felt like running to the front of the plane, grabbing the new missionary, and bringing him back to see what he could become, what he could do.
But, would he see the things I saw? Could anyone? Or, would he see just the outward appearance of that mighty elder, tired and worn out, almost dead?
As we landed, I reached over and tapped the returning missionary to wake him up. As he awoke, it seemed like new life poured into his body. His whole frame seemed to fill as he stood up, tall and proud. As he turned his face toward mine, I saw a light that I had never seen before. I looked into his eyes. Those eyes. I will never forget those eyes. They were the eyes of a prophet, a leader, a follower, a servant. They were the eyes of the Savior. No words were spoken. No words were needed.
As we unloaded, I stepped aside to let him go first. I watched as he walked, slow but steady, tired but strong. I followed him, and found myself walking the way he did.
When I came through the doors, I saw the returning missionary in the arms of his parents, and I couldn’t hold it any longer. With tears streaming down my face, I watched these loving parents greet their son, who had been away for such a long time, and I wondered if our parents in heaven would greet us in the same manner. Will they wrap their arms around us and welcome us home from our journey on earth? I believe they will. I just hope that I will be worthy enough to receive such praise, as I’m sure this missionary will. I said a silent prayer, thanking the Lord for missionaries like this young man. I don’t think I will ever forget the joy and happiness he brought to me that day.