Well this is it…..my last post!

Well this is it!  I am super excited! It has been quite the adventure
here in Belgium and The Netherlands. I have learned so much, and
changed so much that I could not sum it all up here in one email.
However, I want to share the biggest lesson I have learned here on my
mission. I learned why I was such a mediocre high-school football
player. I have learned throughout my mission that one thing that I
really dislike is struggle, if I struggle I always try to change the
subject to a strength of mine or just stop what was hard and do
something else. I saw myself do it time and time again,  It is
something that I still do from time to time. A couple of weeks ago Kent
Remington sent in an email a quote that I feel puts it all together
for me and changed my whole perspective on struggle. “Struggle is not
an option, it’s a biological requirement.” I thought I could become
great without the struggle, that I could just skip the growth period
and be who I wanted to be. But it doesn’t work like that, everyone has
to struggle to become great. My whole mission I saw these missionaries
that just appeared not to have struggles or problems, but that was not
the truth at all. These missionaries had just learned something I had
not, overcoming trials and hard times are really just the good times!
They just smiled and enjoyed the fact that it was hard. I think that I
am now getting to that point, because when it’s easy it never feels
fulfilling. I think that a key part of needing struggles in our lives
is that we all can recognize the necessity of a saviour in our lives.
I have seen that the struggles are what make me happy, give me
purpose, and make me grow. But what they have done the most is let me
know that I need Christ, without Him I would not have made it through.
I’m not trying to say that I just give all my problems to him and he
takes them from me, but rather he helps me recognize what improvement
I need to make. Then how to make these changes, by putting people
in my life to teach me lessons, putting me in situations where I am
uncertain how I should handle myself, and other things. He is aware
of what we need to do in life to be happy, He sees things in a
perspective that we cannot, and eternal perspective. I think that the
most fantastic part about all of this is that all we need to do is ask
him for help. I am not going to say I have heard a voice, or seen
any angels, that just hasn’t happened to me. But what I will say is
that I have felt his presence, I have seen His hand in my life. I have
experienced help in moments when I thought I could not go any further,
but somehow I forgot my doubts and was able to continue. I want to
thank you mom, I really could not have made it through without your
support. You have really been there for me my whole life, I don’t know
how I could ever make it up to you for putting up with my crap. But
thank you, I love you!
I have come to a knowledge that we are given problems so that we can
grow and become the people we are meant to be. I am thankful for all the
support from everyone, I hope that throughout this time I became more
of the person I am supposed to be! I have learned so much, and become
so grateful for all those I know and have met in this time. I will
miss it here a lot, but look forward to seeing everyone! I know that
Christ is my saviour, I know that He lives and wants to support us all
if we let him.
The statement we have as a mission is something I hope I will use for
my whole life to help me.
Vrees Niet, Gewoon Doen!
“Fear not, Just do”
Its doesn’t fully translate but it has helped me to forget myself and
do what the Lord would have me do!


Love,

Elder Wilson

Wrapping it up in Leiden!

 

Hello!
Once again I have been transferred.. I am sad that I will be leaving. I will miss the Gouda ward, and all of the members there. It is such a good ward and I made so many good friends there! I will also miss getting to serve around Elder Ord, Sister Stewart-Chester, and Sister Dixon. They have been some of the best friends I have made while being on my mission!
DSC03692
I really only have good memories from serving there! I also don’t know if I have ever learned so much from a companion, Elder Ord has truly inspired me to become a better person and missionary! He will do so many good things for people as he continues to serve.
IMG_6727
However I am very excited about my new area! Leiden! Also I get one of my dream companions, Elder Crowder!!! He has been a mission hero of mine, and so I am super excited to get to serve with him! Leiden is a student city that is super beautiful! It isn’t super big but there is a lot of work to do, I really look forward to spending my last two transfers here!
DSC03407
This past week I got to eat dinner with a less active member, when she invited 2 of her friends to come as well. When we got there the conversation was focused on the gospel, and she had already invited her to come to church and the ward BBQ! It was so cool for me to see. This lady that was there was going through a hard time but the member explained that the gospel would help her. I learned a lot from her, that we should never be afraid as members to invite others to hear about the gospel because it can and will help everyone! I hope that when I am home I will have as much courage to invite my friends to be with the missionaries, and come to church!
I am so grateful for my mission and how much it has changed me, I have tried my best to become more Christ-like every day and hope to do that continually!
I miss everyone and hope all is well!!
Love Elder Wilson

100 days…

Hello,

I didn’t ever believe anyone when they said that their mission flew by
because up until this point mine was going very slowly! But today I
only have 100 days left! Its crazy, it makes me nervous for how fast
this little bit will go by… Hopefully I will use it well.

 

DSC03313

The baptism for Sjaak went really well! There were a lot of people there and he
was super happy! He invites us over every week to eat and makes really good classic dutch food, I really like it a lot!

This last week I have done a lot of reflecting on my mission, thinking
about what I have done, what goals I have accomplished, and what
growth I feel I have made. But on the other hand all the things I still feel like I
have to do. In doing so I thought about a testimony that I heard from
a member in the Gouda ward not too long ago and I think what she
described, summed up the biggest lesson I have learned on my mission.
She talked about the scripture 41:10 at the when it says “wickedness
never was happiness” but it was really cool in dutch because the word
they use for wickedness is ‘Goddelooshied’ which translated back to
english is Godlessness, so really what that scripture was trying to
say is that we can never be happy without God. I know that this sounds
really simple, but in hearing that I thought about it for a really
long time, I realized that even though I have experienced a lot of
trials here on my mission and that it has been very difficult. I do
not feel that I have ever been so happy, which I attribute to the fact
that I have never made more of an effort to make God a part of my life.
That as I am not ‘Goddeloos’ I am happy, but I see all the times that
I was ‘Goddeloos’ were the times that may have been easier but I know
I was not happier. So I think that the biggest thing I have learned on
my mission, is that I am not perfect and that I will always make
mistakes. But that as I try or put an effort into making God or
Heavenly Father a large part of my life that I will be happy, life
won’t necessarily be easy but at least I can find happiness in the
trails that I am required to face.
Being here in the Gouda ward has been one of the best experiences of
my mission, I have never gotten to work with members so much, or gotten
to know the members so well. It has been really cool to feel so
supported by the ward. On top of that we have seen a lot of success
and have had the opportunity to find and teach some really cool
people! This last week we saw a really cool miracle. We had lost
contact with one of our most positive investigators, but on Wednesday
we were walking to an appointment with someone else and there she was
walking the other direction! She saw us and smiled, and began talking
to us telling us that she was going through a lot of things and was
feeling angry about a lot of things. Then she told us that the reason
we had lost contact is because she didn’t feel such an important topic
should be spoken about while she had such feelings and that she wanted to
be happy and have a clear mind when we talked about it. But the
coolest part was we got the chance to testify that the Gospel can help
with things of this sort that she can pray for help to go through
these trials with Heavenly Father and that she doesn’t need to do it
alone. This was contrast to what she had grown up learning, so she
agreed to setting up a new appointment for us to meet and to pray for
help! It was a small and simple miracle but I was grateful that I got
the chance to testify to someone of the things that I have personally
experienced and received help from.
I miss everyone back at home, I hope everyone is doing well!

 
Love,

Elder Wilson

 

 

So many miracles!!

Hallo! Hoe is het iedereen?? Ik hoop dat alles gaat goed met jullie!
Deze week was een heel goede week voor mij!
This week was super good! We threw a 4th of july party for a family of 9 from our ward, where the mom is an American. They have us over and feed us all the time!! It was super awesome! The sisters made a Canadian and American cake, and we had burgers and
smores! I made a salad haha but it was a really good one! It had apples,
cranberries, feta, walnuts and a dressing I made myself! I was pretty
happy with myself that I was able to make it!

DSC03272
It has not been too warm yet which has been nice, but it is supposed to warm up soon so…
hopefully that isn’t a problem.
This week we saw a ton of miracles! We found 2 couples that are super
positive! They both invited us back and committed to read in the book
of mormon and also said they would get baptized if they came to know
it was true. So now comes the hard part, getting them to keep their
commitments. But then we had one super huge miracle, we were on
exchanges with a good friend of mine, Elder Thornock. We had just
taught a super good first lesson to someone and we were biking to
another place, when we stopped a lady who was walking on the sidewalk
to talk to her. We told her who we were, and what we were doing. To
that she replied that she was in the middle of converting from Islam
to Christianity! We asked her if there was another time that we could
speak with her about reilgion and she asked if we could come the
following morning!! (That never happens!) So we went the next morning,
and taught her and at the end of the lesson we were about to finish and
then she asked (also never happens) how do I follow Christ? What do I
need to do?? So we then on the spot committed her to be baptized
August 27 and set up a return appointment to talk some more! It was so
awesome! But the miracles continue….. as we were leaving her house we talked to a lady that was baptized in the Dominican Republic but lost contact with the church.. So she asked us if we would come over and tell her about the church here and stuff! So
we are going tomorrow! Then after that we found the nicest lady from
Curacao! It has truly been a week of miracles and I feel super blessed
from it! But I can tell you that I know that it has come from the
lord. That as I have done all that I can to be worthy and work hard,
he puts people in our path that he has prepared. It has not come from
me, but I do feel as though that as I have tried to make my missionary
skills better, the Lord blesses me more abundantly. It has been
fantastic! Also,  a lady that I was the first to teach got baptized
yesterday!! Making it my first convert I have had my hand in helping
come unto the lord. I don’t really feel as though I deserve all of the
blessings I have been seeing in the last little while, it has been
crazy.

I hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Wilson

Ommord

Hello,

I have been transferred to a place called, Ommord. My new companion is Elder Ord, I have been released of all responsibilities pertaining to being a zone leader, which is nice because I can just go hard on mission work now.

The new town is very small, a lot smaller than my previous two areas. But I am looking froward to trying to get some stuff going. It is very close to Rotterdam I actually live in Rotterdam city limits. Which is nice I have already had the chance to see a bunch of people from Rotterdam south which was super awesome! I am looking froward to serving here. We have a pretty nice apartment, pretty old but it is in good shape with a nice kitchen and everything.DSC03225 (1)

The Ward is super awesome! It is the Gouda ward that we go to. We have had a dinner appointment every night!  We have met some really cool families, one has 7 kids and it is so awesome going over there. Their mom is american so it felt a lot more homey and comfortable there. I really like the kids as well, they like basketball and other sports so we have lots to talk about!  Also our bishop and his wife are super famous violinists from the Ukraine! The Gruupmans is their name. They are super nice. We ride bikes everyday here, which is an adjustment from all of the other recent areas I have been too haha but its good I really enjoy it! My bike is finally getting a lot of use again!

DSC03217

This week consisted of a lot of contacting and finding, we knocked on
a lot of doors, talked to a lot of people on the streets and taught
some lessons! We are just busy trying to get a pool
of people to teach. We have already seen miracles! For example we
were walking on the street and we came across this man who I would not
normally have contacted but as we approached him I
felt a distinct prompting to talk to him, as we talked to him he
accepted a book of Mormon! We later switched phone numbers and now we
are trying to set up a time that we can go teach him! It was a
testimony builder to me that the spirit does lead you to those that
are prepared!

Also another super cool experience this week! I was at church and following our service is the young adult service and in the doors walked a lady
from Thailand named Jenny or Jinny ( I am unsure) but she was
baptized by an Elder Darby from Calgary! In the city of Lampang where
Auburn served! She said that Auburn had just left previous to her
getting to Thailand. But she said that all of the missionaries of the
Ward as well as the members spoke very highly of her and the area saw
a lot of success while she was there! Jenny said that it was said that
Auburn was one of the best! SO we talked for a while and it was a
super cool experience! If you could maybe pass that along to Auburn
that would be awesome!

I would like to share two quotes with you guys from Thomas S. Monson. I have been studying about him a lot lately and have found so much inspiration
in his teachings and have grown a large desire to be better in the
eyes of the Lord as I learn more about him!
The first of the two quote is “No person can escape the influence
of his own example” I really took this to heart, because we are only
as good as our example. I have been striving to be the best example
I can be in obedience and work ethic and have noticed a difference in
how happy I generally am. Also the second “The wisdom of God
oftentimes appears as foolishness to me, but the greatest single
lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man
obeys, that man will always be right.”- Thomas S. Monson
I love that so much because I think that something I have noticed is often times revelations are given to prophets and other leaders
of the church that seem very large and impossible to fulfill, and it
may seem ridiculous to us. But God sees things in ways that we don’t,
allowing him to guide his leaders in ways we don’t always in the
moment understand.

Elder Wilson

Herding Sheep

Hello!

This week I went to Amsterdam with the APs which was super awesome!
I was able to work with Elder Da Silva whom I really like a lot! He has taught me a lot and I
really enjoy being with him! We went to this place called the Bijlmer, It is an African community in Amsterdam, and let me just say I was the only white person I saw for multiple hours.haha even Elder Da Silva is Portuguese. But it was super awesome we
taught some super awesome lessons and I learned a lot!

On our way to meetings this one day we came across these people herding sheep. We were stuck behind them for like an hour it was super annoying but it was a nice day and it was funny seeing them all just bounce up and down! Haha We ended up turning around because we needed to travel 10 more kms down that road and who knows how long that would have taken!

DSC03091

 Last week we taught the plan of salvation to a lady that knows her Bible really well. During the lesson I realized I did not know as much on the topic as I previously thought
I did. So this past week I dedicated my studies to learning the plan
of salvation better. Everyday I would just find all the scriptures I
could on it and try my best to understand what it was saying, through
doing this my testimony was strengthened in the scriptures as well as
modern day revelation through prophets and in this case especially
Joseph Smith from reading  in the D&C so often. But I now would say I have a
much greater understanding of the topic, and I can share that with
people much better than I previously could. One thing that really
stuck out to me was in D&C 70,  Joseph Smith received visions on the
three kingdoms of glory, and I have a really strong desire to be
numbered among those that will be in the glory of God. In verse 69
it says “These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus
the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect
atonement through the shedding of his own blood.” I find it super
comforting to know that these men are not perfect but made perfect
through the perfect atonement.

DSC03093
On another day Elder Groesbeck and I taught an awesome Spanish lady that does not speak English or Dutch. But it was successful and we got a return appointment! However next time we will be bringing a joint teach that speaks Spanish.

DSC03086 (1)
Tilburg is a good city! It is just all college students so people try
to avoid you or are interested in conversation but people are quite
non-committal here. It can be kind of annoying when you talk to
someone for like 20 minutes on the door then they just tell you I have
my own ways I just like listening but I don´t want anything more. I suppose that is better than getting yelled at haha
DSC03074

Have a great week!

Elder Wilson

Keukenhof

This past week was really great! I am super tired though! It was busy one! We had zone conference and we also went to the temple which is always so awesome!! I was able to feel really at peace for a while which was really nice to just slow down and not worry about mission life for a while. I have felt pretty stressed lately with the feeling that I need to be performing better and helping others more. It can take a toll. So luckily I did have any other responsibilities for the zone conference, it was the APs and a couple other people.
The rest of my week was pretty good! We went to a stake conference in Brussels, and we drove by the airport where the attacks happened…. There was a ton of military all around! It did not feel good to be in that area, it had a very sad feeling.. But the conference was really great and I was able to see a lot of members from the Antwerpen ward who I have missed a lot! Also the stake president gave a very good talk! I really like him he is one of those people who you just feel loved by, and want to be better by just being around him! Also, we had to write a big report on the zone this week which was very tiring and long but we finished it on time!
Elder Wilson

I’m fine!

Hello!!

Things are fine where I am, to be completely honest I didn’t even hear about the attacks until 7 hours after it happened. Without social media you stay very uninformed. In the days following the attack I heard lots about it, it was fairly strange to hear because I have been in both of those places mulitple times. I can hardly imagine that it happened. Also I have met the senior Elder a couple of times in Brussels so I was very sad to hear that he was involved. I am within 150 kms of where it happened but it feels as though it is much farther away. There is lots of Isis members here in the Netherlands, which means it is likely something could happen here. However I feel safe and as though nothing bad will happen. Attacks like these are no reason to stop living, the best I feel I can do is go about daily life and continue to help people understand the love that Christ has for them and hopefully help them to stop doing these terrible things.
This week was just a normal week.. Sadly we did not have appointments or anything on Easter Sunday, so it didn’t really feel like Easter. It just felt like another spirit filled day, where I felt a lot of gratitude for our Saviour and his sacrifice for us. I really love reading in Nephi and the way he talks about how he saw his seed in a dream and he saw that their Garments had been made white through the blood of the Lamb. It just makes me grateful to know that through faith and action my garments can also been  made white despite my imperfections and everything. It truly is a miracle the Atonement, because I just feel so blessed to feel the love of God and Christ through that power.
This week we had a couple really cool experiences and I would like to share one with you, we were knocking doors and we ran into a recently baptized member who had also recently broken her foot. When we saw her she invited us to come to her house and have some juice and snacks with her. When we went inside I saw that she didn’t have a lot and the week before she expressed to me how she couldnt do her work with a broken foot because she delivers mail. But when she invited us in we had a good discussion with her, and then she just began to bear her testimony to us. I could feel so much sincerity behind her words as she expressed her love for the church and for her older Brother Jesus Christ. It was immense the way she talked about her conversion, later she offered us almost all the food in her house and drinks and anything. She was just offering things to us because we were missionaries trying to spread the word of Christ. It made me realize how real the Atonment is and how it can really effect people. I thought it was so amazing that she was so willing to do all that for us. It also just makes me realize how lucky I am to live where I live and have the family I have. But I know for certain people like her will be blessed so much in the life to come.
Another hard week, but another week of progression.
Love,
Elder Wilson

Transferred to Tilburg!

Hallo!!

Well lots good happened this week! We had a mission Leader counsel at the mission home as we do every month! It was pretty good I enjoyed it and learned some stuff. ( that picture with us 4 in suits is us at the mission home with the APs)
Also we got a lot of referrals of people that live super far away so we had a nice day in the car going around to a bunch of tiny towns looking people up! It was super fun, and our trip  took us to Germany and Belgium! haha while in Germany we found a potential investigator and got his address! It was super awesome, literally the first person we talked to was a potential! However he did not speak dutch so I am not sure how much he understood.  Also this week we received transfer calls. I will be getting transferred to Tilburg! I will be getting a new companion who was just serving in the office and was my district leader a long time ago. I am sad that I was only able to serve with Elder Harrop for such a short time, but I am super excited for Elder Andrew! They are moving the Zone Leaders to Tilburg so I will be `white washing´ It will be super weird because it does not happen very often. But Elder Andrew is one of my favorite missionaries so I am super excited!
Packing up all my stuff sucks and I will need to throw stuff a bunch of stuff out when I move on Wednesday.
Love Elder Wilson

The latest

 

January 25, 2016

It’s been a great week! I had a really cool interview with President Bunnel, normally interviews last about 10-15 minutes and mine was about 90 minutes haha But the cool part was he asked my opinion on every person in my zone, on how I felt as though we could best help them, what I thought they needed to work on and kind  of just things that president needed to know. But at the end he told me something which really touched me and helped me feel of great worth to the mission “I really respect you and value your opinion.” I know that is super simple and all. But I really appreciated hearing that, I think to me,  one of the best feelings is to feel respected. Recently that is something that I having been striving after. Sometimes it can be harder to be respected rather than loved. I feel it really comes down to your actions and not your words.
We have some really cool investigators that are really progressing right now! 1 is Julliette she is a 23 year old girl who is going to school to become a lawyer. She is one the coolest investigators I have had on my mission. She is super sincere and is really seeking to learn it is so cool!
Then we have a couple Dave and Kiona! They are sooo awesome! They do not have a  car so they ride this super sick tandem to the church for all our lessons! It is so awesome! They have both had some crazy experiences and lately they have been opening up to us! We recently showed the restoration dvd and the spirit was so strong, we got to testify of it and they also found it super cool!
These are truly some of the best investigators I have had on my mission! I am loving the work here right now!
I will actually be getting a new companion on friday! Elder Harrop I know him pretty well already so I look forward to being his companion! But I will really miss Elder Parr.
DSC02544

February 1, 2016

I really like my new companion!  Elder Harrop is super awesome!  He comes from Eden, Utah right by Ogden he’s 19 and has been on his mission for about a month longer than me. He is one transfer ahead of me. We get along really well and have a lot of similar interests and feel similarly on a lot of topics which leads to good conversation. But he wants to be a lawyer as well.. so when we don´t agree it can be interesting….. However we both understand that nothing is personal so after we discuss a topic we disagree on, we move on. He is a super good guy I am super excited to be comps with him!
This week was super busy, we had to make something called a zone vision that will give the members of our zone guidance on the things we will focus on as missionaries for the transfer. I will send you a copy in the mail next week! Also because it was transfer week I had to be at the Utrecht station all day long to make sure people got to and from where they needed to go. So that was a super long day.
We got to do the mutual activity this week! So we did this activity where we shared analogies we had made to the gospel and then we had them make their own, it was super fun!
I miss you guys and love you lots!!! Hope that all goes well and you get some more nice weather!!
Love Elder Wilson
DSC02579
Isn’t this an awesome basketball court!
February 6, 2016
Well, this week consisted of probably some of the most painful nights of my life, I got the flu or something then also food poisoning of sorts.. I was dry heaving quite a lot and I had a ton of cramping. I was pretty sad because this was the first thing that has inhibited me from doing missionary work. Other than that it has been a good week! We got to teach some cool lessons and find quite a lot of people! The temple was super good! Experiencing it in Dutch is always a good experience, that really gets me to focus! I went in with a question of how I can use the last 8.5 months of my mission the best, and the answer I got was not one that I expected. Work harder so you don´t regret it. The reason I was surprised was because I felt as though I have been working hard! But I guess the Lord feels as though I can do more. Hopefully I will have the ability to do all that I can do and not regret any of it.

I have really really enjoyed being with my new companion, he has taught me a lot already. We have been working with Harry a lot lately! It has been so fun having all three of us just going and doing work!
Something that I have always struggled with on my mission was a desire to knock doors, mostly due to the limited success seen. But this week we have seen a lot more success knocking doors than I ever have! It has made the work much more enjoyable to do! Also my Dutch has been steadily improving which has made it easier to communicate with those around me! Often times I worry that I am not improving at a very fast rate or at all, which can really bring me down. But I have found a lot of answers and comfort in prayer to know that I am and that it doesn’t go unnoticed. It has been cool for me to see prayers getting answered!
Love Elder Wilson
DSC02637
February 15, 2016
Hello!
If I had to pick one day of this past  week that was the best day, I would have to choose yesterday. That would be because we knocked doors for a couple of hours at night and in doing so we set up 3 appointments to go back and teach for this coming up week. As well we found 3 other people that would like us to come back and teach them about the Book of Mormon! So  it was a pretty cool evening. Also this friday we went to the wards sport evening, it was a lot of fun we got to play soccer and football!  It is super strange playing sports in another language. The stuff they say when people score is super funny. For example the young people will always say”Lekker Billy” or Lekker some ones name or or just Lekker Which means Delicious or they would say “Netjes” which is to be classy. It’s just super funny. When I get home I am going to use Dutch expressions when I play sports, mostly just because I think they are funny.
It has been going well with our investigators! One now has a baptismal date for March 12! Which is super cool he is a man from the Congo named Francis. Then we have another two, Dave and Kiona. They are super cool and are making quite a lot of progression and have shown to have a really true desire to know if the gospel is true. They have probably been some of the coolest people I have taught simply because they are very educated and express themselves very well.
Love,
Elder Wilson