Monday, September 30, 2013

Holy Moly!

(little note from Mom--I've been having missionary mail anxiety.  Last week he emailed first thing in the morning.  We just barely got the email for today.  Sheesh!)

Hello Hello!!
This has been a crazy week!! I don't even know where to start! I guess I'll start with the bike situation.  It's so awesome.  WE GOT A CAR!! YAY!!!  My legs are very thankful haha.  We also got a phone! YAY!!! So things are really starting to pick up around here haha. Ready for the big news?? We have an investigator as well!!!! Haha it's a great time.  We have only met with her once so far though.  Hopefully she stays interested and wants to keep going.  We fasted for all day on Sunday and I've been praying for her.  I think she is going to be really receptive.  It's great!  We were also able to teach a few other lessons last week.  So things really are starting to happen.  It's great!!
Sounds like things are pretty crazy at home!! I can't believe I'm missing out on spudnuts and stuff this year.  It's pretty rough.  I think I'm gonna try and make some butterscotch rolls sunday morning though.  Gotta keep with tradition!  Haha
Thanks for sending my knife! I can't wait till it gets here :)  Zoe sent me a letter in the mail and it took about 5 days for it to finally get to my house.  I think there is kind of a long layover at the mission office.  It's annoying.  But I LOVE LOVE LOVE gettting letters so feel free to send one any time :)
I guess I'll tell a little story really fast.  We got a referral from the stake presidents son-in-law Rick, so we decided to go and check it out.  Rick went with us.  The man's name is Leonard.  He's fantastic.  Not really a potential investigator but really great nonetheless.  Anyways, we went over there and when he first saw us through the door we heard him say "Gotta get those *darn* preachers off the porch!" haha but he let us in and this is where the story gets kinda funny.  Leonard is an 89 year old mexican with a paralyzed left foot.  He fell off a horse in his driveway onetime and broke his back and ever since then he's been paralyzed.  Anyways, he wheeled his chair over to the door and let us in and as I walked in I realized something.  He was sitting there in just his underwear!! Some nice boxer-briefs.  Haha all that went through my head was lucie singing "I see london I see france, I can see your underpants!"  Haha it was great.  He is a hard-core cowboy.  He LOVES riding horses and stuff and did a ton of riding in Utah and New mexico and stuff.  Anyways, we had a nice chat.  We tried to bring up the Restoration and stuff but he kept getting distracted and he wasn't too interested.  Even though we told him the Book of Mormon was all about ancient indians and stuff.  He wasn't too enthused.  He said we could stop by sometime though.  We probably will.  It's pretty entertaining.
Elder Seright and I are doing great.  Here's a little more about him. I can't remember what I told you before but anyways.  He's from Coalville UT, he's the youngest of 7 kids, he played basketball, baseball, and football.  He was in the Band and the Orchestra.  He's a ginger.  He's a solid 190 lbs.  He loves to drive fast (but safe) haha. He's just really cool.
The sister missionaries who serve with us in the Yucaipa 4th ward are Sister McHood and Sister Kalke.  From south carolina and texas.  They are really nice.  Kalke is kinda crazy though.  McHood and Seright were in the MTC together.  Kalke has been out a transfer longer than me.  All in all, the Yucaipa 4th ward missionaries are pretty great.

The family we live with is sweet too.  The 17 year old drives a BMW Z4 to school everyday.  Lucky kid.  They also have this SWEEET restored GTO in the garage.  I think its a 67.  I'm super jealous.  One of their sons just got back from his mission in Argentina.  He's a real nice guy.  It's funny to talk to him cause he always starts speaking in spanish and then remembers he's supposed to speak english.  He's great.

Anyways, It's about time for me to go.  We are at the Library today for emails and I'm on a timer.  Most of the time I think we do emailing at the church and we have a little extra time.  Also, when we are at the church, it's easier to send pics.  I'll try to send some next week if we email at the church. 

Love you guys!!!!!
-Elder Wise

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello from Yucaipa, California!

This week has been crazy!  California is a pretty cool place.  It reminds me a lot of Utah.  Except for all the Palm trees.  That's really the only different part.  My mission president is way cool.  He's a really nice guy.  Very spiritual.  He's always tearing up haha.  My companion is Elder Seright.  He's from Coalville UT.  We get along just great!
We have been assigned to work in the Yucaipa area just like that random lady said.  I have no idea who she is haha.  Is that where Ellle said she lived? I couldn't remember.  Maybe you should call K'Ann and ask her.  It's pretty interesting up here though. There is a no tracting rule.  All missionary contacts and referrals come from members.  Elder Seright and I, along with a couple of Sisters, are assigned to the Yucaipa 4th ward.  Yesterday in Ward Council the bishop told them all that missionary work takes priority over all callings, activities, youth-things, and anything else except for family commitments.  They were all given a list of names to go out and contact and try to set stuff up for us missionaries to do. 
It's been a pretty rough week for missionary work though.  Elder Seright and I are essentially opening up a new area and so we had no information at all. We didn't even have a ward list until the second day we were here.  To make matters worse, they haven't even given us a phone yet.  Supposedly, we are gonna get one today.  Apparently some order went wrong in Salt Lake and so none of the phones made it out here.  The next thing that's not so fun is the fact that Yucaipa is the hilliest place I've ever been.  Literally the whole place is one giant hill.  And we are on bikes.  It sucks cause we have to waste so much time riding places.  It takes us nearly an hour to get to some of the houses.  And since we don't have a phone to let them know we are coming, often times they aren't even home.  For the past few days, since we don't have any investigators yet, we've just been going around and dropping in on ward members and less actives and meeting them.  They are all really nice and they seem to like us haha. 
More about the bikes.  There is no way I should still be alive.  Haha every night when we get home my legs feel like they are gonna fall off, but when I wake up, I'm not even sore.  The lord is definitely helping me out.  haha. 

That's sad to hear about Montana's friend :(
One of the things that President Van Cott is really pushing is exact obedience.  Apparently in the past, this mission has had some really crazy elders and the area really suffered.  I've just been hearing horror stories of all these awful missionaries.  It's really turning around though.  Just not in our ward currently haha.  We will get some investigators soon though i'm sure. 
The only really cool thing that's really happened to me this week is that I saw a pomegranate tree.  That was cool.  Haha. 

Sounds like everything is pretty crazy at home! Sounds like a lot of fun though :)  I've been dying cause I just want to go waterskiing so bad.  The weather around here is pretty much perfect all the time for that.  Speaking of the weather, it's pretty hot during the day but it's been starting to cool down a lot.  Everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am to be here at this time.  Even like two weeks ago it was like 10 degrees hotter every day.  Glad I missed that!
Good luck with the swim stuff Sade!
Keven and Skyler, you are gonna love the field when you finally get there! ;)
Well it's about time for me to go, I'll talk to you next week! :)
Love you guys!!
-Elder Wise

An Email from a Stranger

This is Mom.  I opened my email today and found this note from a lady visiting a ward in California.  Missionary Moms Unite!!

Hi my name is Sandra. I was visiting family in Yucaipa Ca. As a missionary mom myself I know how very little pictures we can receive and the more the merrier. So I had your missionary pose for me hope you enjoy the pics.

And she even sent a video!

Thanks Sandra, whoever you are--you just made our day!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

He Made It!

We just received this scanned letter in our email box.  Hurrah!  We've been wondering if he made it or not.  Chances were pretty good that he had.  But still.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Last email from the MTC

Holy Cow! I leave tomorrow! This is weird.  Anyways, yeah I got the Pizza rolls.  They were AWESOME!! Thanks so much! They were a huge hit.  The amish bread was amazing too! Also a big hit.  Haha.

Seeing grandma and grandpa was awesome!! *  Yeah they kinda caused a commotion haha.  When people saw me hugging grandma they were like "What the?..." but Jim and Diane didn't tell me not to hug her so whatever haha :).  And everybody loved grandpa, like always.  I took him around and he met everyone from my zone and he showed them all his painting and stuff and now he's famous around here.  And yeah they all loved the beard and stuff.  Jake walked by as we were talking so grandpa talked to him for a minute about Shannon and stuff so that was cool. Oh and I was thinking, you guys should send me some pictures of grandma and grandpa that I can put in my book.  That'd be awesome.  Oh and the other cool thing was that grandpa gave me his old tag.  It's pretty much the only one I use now. haha

That thing keven wrote is just about the funniest thing I've ever read hahahaha.  I wish I could see that kid more as well. 

YAY! I can't wait for more envelopes :) They are so fun to use!

That's sad about Lars.  I'm glad he's getting better though.

I am probably not ready for the big leagues. haha.  I'm a little nervous about California but I know God will help me out :)  For personal study I've been reading the Book of Mormon.  I just finished Helaman.  Nephi and Lehi are so cool in that book! I want to be like them.  They are pretty much the best missionaries. 
Sorry, I don't have a lot of time to email today.  I have a lot of stuff I have to do haha.
I will be sure and write a real good email next week and tell you all about California :)
Love you guys!

Elder Wise

(Notes from Mom)
Grandma and Grandpa just returned from their mission in Nauvoo, Illinois.  They got home after serving full-time for eighteen months on Friday and received permission to visit Elder Wise in the MTC yesterday.  Grandpa is Santa Claus.  So, he has already started growing out his beard in preparation for the holidays.  Can you believe that they let him in the MTC with a beard?  Scandalous!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First E-mail Sept 10th

Hey guys! It's finally P-Day! YAY!!! The last few days have been crazy. We literally just jumped right into everything.  Mom, in your first letter home you said you wanted the teaching to move along more quickly. * Well, it definitely moves along fast nowadays.  There is so much stuff that they are shoving into just 12 days of teaching.  It's nuts! I'll talk a little bit more about it in a minute.

I'm glad Lucie had a good birthday!! When everyone here heard about how it was her birthday on the day we came in they were sad for her haha.  So I mentioned a few things in the letter I wrote home the other day but you might not have gotten it yet so I'll just say it again.  The first day we were here all the new missionaries met with the MTC Presidency and Aunt Diane totally had me stand up in front of everyone and then she told stories about me as a baby and how cute I was.  It was pretty funny I have to admit though.  The first few days in the MTC were really nuts.  Non-stop classes and studying and everything.  The days just dragged on and on.  

We have had some really cool experiences though.  We just started something called TRC training yesterday.  They have people come in who pretend to be investigators and we go and teach them.  Although apparently, sometimes they aren't pretending.  A couple weeks ago some missionaries were teaching in TRC and the investigator wasn't a member but they got her converted and were able to baptize her while they were in the MTC.  That's crazy! Anyways, Elder Sharp and I are teaching a guy named Carlos.  He is from Peru.  In our first lesson we totally hit it off and he committed to reading the Book of Mormon and to pray.  He seemed really excited about it.  He told us he couldn't wait to start reading and that he was going to try to read at least 2 hours a day.  We didn't bother telling him that that's a ton! We would know cause we do that everyday as well haha.

On Sunday night the MTC has a devotional and it was awesome!! It was about prayer.  After that they show a bunch of films and we get to pick which one we want to go to.  We went to the Character of Christ video by Elder Bednar.  It's AMAZING!! If you can find it you should look it up and read/watch it.  It really is sooooooooo good.  There is another devotional tonight.  And guess what? yup you guessed it.  I'm saying the prayer.  I'm pretty sure Jim is behind this.**  I'm just hoping there won't be a general authority there tonight haha.  

That's fun about Nicole! Good for her.  I don't know if you heard about it Keven but Nicole got her call and is going to Vancouver.

There are 4 elders in my district and we are all going to Redlands.  We have only met two other sisters here on the main campus that are going to Redlands as well.  I don't know if there are any on the west campus.  

I mentioned in the letter I wrote too about how Elder Sharp and I are now Zone Leaders. It's a good time.  Last night while we were in our Residency Hall we were sitting there writing in our journals when all of a sudden a voice came over the loud speaker in our building asking for me and Elder Sharp to report to the front desk of the MTC pronto.  We hurried and threw on our clothes again and as we were getting ready they came on the speaker again and told us to use the emergency phone in the hall and call the front desk. At this point we were both kind of freaking out trying to remember if we had done anything wrong yesterday haha.  Well, we called the desk and they told us to hurry and to bring our consecrated oil cause one of the sisters in our district needed a blessing.  The sister, Sister Pickering, has been having an allergic reaction to something and it kept kind of going away but last night her whole body broke out in giant hives and she was in quite a lot of pain.  They are doing an allergy test today.  But anyways, we gave her a blessing and I think she's feeling better.  That was the second time we have given blessing to the sisters while we have been here.  Last Thursday we gave a bunch of blessings as well because they were all really home sick.  

This morning we were able to go to the Temple.  It was really cool.  That was the first time I had ever actually done any ordinances in the Provo Temple.  It's really neat!  I was kind of falling asleep the whole time though.  whoops.

Congrats on passing your Bio test Sadie! That's great.  I don't have your letter with me at the moment so I can't answer/comment on anything else.  I'll have to write you a letter later.  So be checking the mail.

How are things going Lucie? Are you liking school? Did you get to go to Jump-On-It with Kirsten?  

Duggie!! I hope you are liking work.  I hear it's been pretty busy.  I bet you are making bank.  Way to GO!

All in all, the MTC is pretty great.  I see a lot of people I know around here.  I see Skyler practically every day.  I've seen Jake a few times too.  There are a lot of others as well.  The people in my district/zone are all jealous of how many people I know here.  I think it actually makes my companion a little exasperated sometimes since I'm always stopping to talk to people and we are trying to get somewhere.***  Haha.  

Well this is a really long email.  My fingers are cramping up.  I haven't typed this much in ages.  I miss you all but this is a great time!!  I know the church is true!

Love, Elder Wise

P.S. Could you forward this to Zoe? I can't remember her email at the moment.  I forgot my address book.  

P.P.S. Hey Zoe!! :)
(Some explanatory notes from Mom)
* I am sending Elder Wise copies of my missionary letters home in the same chronological order that he is sending them.  ( I thought it might be fun for him to read them)  For example, I just sent him a copy of my first letter from the MTC.  Next week I will send him my second letter, etc.  Mind you, I was in the MTC twenty-four years ago!!!  My letter lamented that they weren't teaching me fast enough.  Apparently that is no longer the case :)
** Uncle Jim actually had nothing to do with selecting Elder Wise to say the prayer in this meeting.  It just happened to be his branch's turn to say the prayers.  And his Branch President just happened to choose him.  Funny.
***He gets this character trait from his Grandma.  She had the same problem when she was in the MTC.  Grandpa was always having to wait for her.  haha

Monday, September 9, 2013

Letter Home September 7th

Hello!  Hello!!!

Holy cow, this place is exhausting!  I've literally just crashed on my bed every night.  There is barely any time to breath!

Today Elder Sharp and I taught our first lesson.  It was pretty rough.  Our investigators name is Dave, and he's actually just our instructor acting.  He doesn't break character for anything!

One of our teachers today totally reminded me of Uncle Jedder.  Except he's brown.  He's really great!

Elder Sharp and I have been assigned to be Zone Leaders for the week we are here.  Elder Sharp is pretty stressed about it.  I have to keep reassuring him.  I've been able to see Elder McFarland and Elder Drage quite a bit.  Well, Skyler anyway.  I've only seen Jake once.  Everybody is doing great.  Keven is over in the west campus, so I don't see him at all.  Our branch president is a pretty nice guy.  I like him a lot.  His name is President Willes.

Did I tell you about Aunt Diane?  I can't remember.  In the first meeting with all the new missionaries on Wednesday, she called me out and I stood up in front of everyone and she told some stories of how cute a baby I was.  Haha  It was pretty funny!!  All the missionaries were laughing.  It was great.

There are two other elders in the room with Elder Sharp and I.  Elder Barker and Elder Griffin.  They are pretty cool guys.  We all gave the sisters in our district blessings yesterday.  The sisters were pretty homesick and stuff.  That was a really cool experience.  I've never felt the spirit so much in my life as here in the MTC.  It's an incredible place!  I'm told it gets better after the first Sunday.  Time moves faster after the first weekend apparently.  I'll believe it when I see it. haha  Just kidding.  I have faith.

We already have our travel plans.  We leave for California on the 17th at 3:00AM.  Ugh.  I don't know when I'll be able to call yet on that day.  I'll let you know.  I've been notified that I have 2 packages in the mailroom but I haven't been able to find time to pick them up yet.  I'm gonna get them first thing in the morning.  I'm assuming you sent at least one of them, so thanks!!  You guys are great!

Elder Wise

P.S.  The church is true!

Letter Home September 4th

Dear Mom,

Whoa, today has been crazy!  I met my companion, and his name is Elder Sharp.  He's a pretty interesting guy.  Kinda crazy though.  But he's really nice.  For the most part, I've got everything unpacked that I need.  My shirts are gonna need to be ironed.  Ugh.  How is everyon
e doing?  Did Lucie have a good birthday?  Did she ever cry?

We haven't really done a whole lot yet.  I'll have more to report on P-day probably.  I hope everybody is doing good!!

Send me some letters :)

Elder Wise

 (notes and pictures from Mom)

The Drop Off

Aunt Diane was there to greet us!
"And, yes...yes she did."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First Day as Elder

Elder Wise reported to the MTC (Missionary Training Center) yesterday and he is off and running.

He was fortunate enough to enter the MTC on the exact same day as his best friend.  So we made a day of it.  Both families met for lunch at Brick Oven.

It was also Elder Wise's little sister's birthday.  Hence the hats and noisemakers. So fun.

After lunch we headed to the temple for pictures and then we did the drop-off together.  It was so great to be with them.  They are a fantastic family!!

Elder Wise has a  great Aunt and Uncle that are serving in the MTC Presidency.  Aunt Diane met him at the curb as we pulled up to drop him off.  It was very emotional and very fast, but we were glad that she was there to help with the craziness of it all.  She texted later in the day and said that he was all smiles.  He was meeting his companion and the other missionaries in the district.  At 3:00 the MTC Presidency would be meeting with all of the missionaries that arrived that day to welcome them and orient them to the MTC.  At 4:30 they would all gather in the cafeteria for dinner.  She informed us that it is tradition to serve ice cream from the BYU Creamery for dessert.  And then they would start teaching.
It was a great day.  A hard day.  But a really great day!

This post was written by Mom.  As we receive letters and emails from Elder Wise we will post them here.  Thanks for visiting and for your love and support!