Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3rd Email

As always, Loved the letters and pictures! I am listening to The Devotional right now, and the Music is making me cry:-) This morning I was reading my Journal entries from a year ago and I read about that big storm:-) I have started on a new journal by the way! So Grandpa should like that too, I have actually become really attatched to doing it too. I try to keep The Experiences that I have, and have had Sacred so I store my thoughts and feelings in there. This week has been nothing short and is Worthy in all definitions of a wonderful Adventure:-) There has been crazy Experiences. Our one investigator will still probably get Baptised, her dad is not happy at all that she is getting Baptised. And he is everything to her so this is really hard. I have come to learn that men can be really stubborn haha. Our recent convert is doing great, she got her Dream job this morning working hand on hand with Deaf Children, teaching them. So that is really Exciting!!! Stu has had a rough week but I think things will start turning around more and more. I think I will be playing my guitar and singing at the Mission Christmas party:-) That will be fun! And..... Hmmm.... The ward is really good here, there is an older guy who is kind of like a biker and he is in a band by profession and plays stuff like zz top hahaha. I haven't heard him but they say he is pretty good:-) And yeah I know what the crazy rain is like haha. It's foggy a lot too:-) Apparently it is supposed to be the coldest, and snowiest winter that England has had in a hundred years! So we shall see what happens. It has been really cold this week, but myseriously dry... Like there was all blue skies yesterday! Feels like the last time I saw that was when i first got here!:-) So this is the last week before transfers again... That is way way crazy! Elder Thorup might be leaving but we will see. Ha mabye I'll be leaving who knows! things are good, I have been feeling The Spirit really Strongly this last week. The Plan of Salvation has been Manifested more to me I guess. I Love The Gospel, and I Love our Master, and King, Jesus Christ. I am here for Him, and so people can come to Christ. Life is so Wonderful here:-) I Love you guys! Have an Amazing week. Thanks for Everything. All my Love, Elder Wilson

November 26th Email

Hey guys! I am using a new way for the email, so I hope this comes through... All systems are go for the Skype thing and stuff in Alaska. President said Aye Aye! :-) He is so good! He is doing this new thing where we have a Mission newsletter, So I am super Excited about it. He Wrote an article in it talking about Music:-) How all of us as Missionaries combine our Skills, Interests, talents Etc. To make a Symphony:-) So Lincoln is going be making some big noise!!:-) (But Beauitful, you know how I do) :-) I am glad to hear the funerals went well. Bishop Tesch really did make everyone feel so special. That is such an Amazing abilty to have. Thanksgiving was good. We ate at a recent convert's and our investigator who is getting Baptised. It was a lot of fun.We got INSANELY wet this week! So it was great, it was pretty cold. I Loved it:-) So you won't believe who we started teaching. One of our investigators Husband.... He has a complete change of Heart. We had a lesson with him on Saturday, It went crystal clear. Slicker than snot on a door knob (tell gramps about that one). He is going to be reading The Book of Mormon. Good guy. So yeah I got a violin ha. I am still crazy. The tough part is finding the time haha. But yeah it's good, I am picking it up slowly:-) So in Gospel Principles yesterday we watched "Between Heaven and Earth" It is a bunch of Scholars of Theology, and Ancient Scriptural history Etc. It was Amazing. It got me thinking a ton about the word "Vicarious" To do for others what they can not do for themselves. That is Temple Worship to the nuts and bolts of it. I feel like in following our example of Jesus we need to remember that. When He said that we need to take daily up our crosses, maybe that is a part of what it meant. He did for us what we would be hopelessly, and helplessly lost without. I Love how you guys said it's the little things that gary, and deann did that made up their Greatness. The Atonement wasn't one big thing. It was a lot of little moments into one. And It's the little moments, what we think and do when no one knows are the molecules that make our integrity. Just like one of The Apostles said something like "Moments are the molecules that make up Eternity" :-) Sorry about that, just a random tangent. It was just super good. I like how people go to The Temple here, because it is so far away a lot of times they will go away for the weekend or like 5 days or so. Then each day they will go to Multiple Sessions, I have heard it is a completely different experience:-) I don't know if you guys could do something like that? But it was a crazy week:-) It is so wet here, I think I am starting to grow some gills or something. Lincoln is really good, I feel like I can breathe a lot more here. There are farm fields everywhere. They have The Christmas market next week which I guess is like a Massive thing in europe and I'm here!:-) Sariah would LOVE The city centre here. There is road called Steep hill (It actually is super steep) And It's a very narrow road lined with small little antique shops that look like they are form medieval times, and the roads around that area are still cobblestone. When you think of Old England, it's what it looks like:-) We didn't have a lot of time to find this week which was kind of a downer because of flat tires, and travel time and stuff. So that was a bit of a downer. President Rasmussen is doing some Fantastic things. Teaching us to find By The Spirit, use The Members. Some Amazing things will be happening. We had a lesson with this sort of less-active guy who is a returned Missionary. And he feels like you can't really ever know if God is there, or if we really do have A Saviour. I have thought a lot about that this week too. I think it's almost inevitable, and probably essential to our earthly experience to have those moments of doubt. Where we feel we are in the dark, and alone. But I thought of the song "Awakening" From Switchfoot (Always relating to music...) Where you kind of have those small moments in your life that are like when the people pinch themselves when they are in a dream to wake up. Tender Mercies of The Lord reminding why we are here. I'm not sure if that makes sense. But I Know that you can know The Truth. God doesn't lie. James 1:5. Sorry if that didn't make any sense haha:-) I Believe with all my heart that I am a Missionary for Christ's church today as it was primitively, and in it's latter day way today. It's the same Doctrines, The Same Faith. I would Love to hear your guys thoughts on that too:-) So Elder Thorup got a new backpack today so I bought his old one off him becasue that bag that i got was dying and it was smelly. But we were in this outdoor shop and they had all this equipment and stuff, it just made me want to go backpacking haha. Every P-day I always joke with Elder Thorup and tell him I want to go to Scotland:-) But it's worldly and all that jazz for now so I'm alright:-) Danielle is doing really good. Nicola wants to learn about Patriarchal Blessings so I am uber excited to talk to her about that:-) And her, and Stu want us over for dinner sometime! They have a son named James, and he saw my Scriptures and saw that it said James on it. So me, and him have a pretty cool attatchment to eachother:-) He has minor autism but is on of the nicest kids I have ever met. Nicola called us the other day, and asked us "Do you know what The District is?" We told her it's what we watch to help us be better Missionaries. The She told us that James keeps watching them! A ten year old boy is watching The District!:-) He wants to go on a Mission. Ahhhhhhhh Life is SO GOOOOD!!! By The way, Definetly going baldy locks haha. It's cool though, you got embrace what you got:-) I am definitely smiling. There are tough times, but the best wouldn't be good enough if you didn't have the bad days too:-) I Love England, It's Amazing here. I have also given a lot of thought to how I am in The Breeding ground of The Restoration really. All of those events leading to that morning of Joseph Smith asking for Truth. I do Believe in Christ. I Really do Believe that I was called of God to serve here for Specific reasons. Not only for the now, but also the later. I am grateful for the oppurtunity to Serve Him. Not many get the chance to bear The Name of Christ. I am Grateful for you guys. Thanks for showing me the Path of Righteousness. Teaching me how to be Honorable. I am so Grateful that we went to church every sunday not just when we felt like it. Anyway, I best get going. Have an Amazing week. I Love you an awful lot. With Love, Elder Wilson

* The Article E. Wilson was talking about *

If we could part the veil and observe our heavenly home, we would be impressed with the cultivated minds and hearts of those who so happily live there. I imagine that our heavenly parents are exquisitely refined. In this great gospel of emulation, one of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like them in every conceivable way so that we may be comfortable in the presence of heavenly parentage and, in the language of Enos, see their faces “with pleasure” (Enos 1:27). President Brigham Young (1801–77) said, “We are trying to be the image of those who live in heaven; we are trying to pat[t]ern after them, to look like them, to walk and talk like them.”1 I would like to peek behind the veil that temporarily separates us from our heavenly home and paint a word picture of the virtuous, lovely, and refined circumstances that exist there. I will speak of the language, literature, music, and art of heaven, as well as the immaculate appearance of heavenly beings, for I believe that in heaven we will find each of these in pure and perfected form. The nearer we get to God, the more easily our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things. Language God speaks all languages, and He speaks them properly. He is restrained and modest of speech. When God described the grand creational process of this earth, He said in measured tones that “it was good” (Genesis 1:4). We would be disappointed if God had used “awesome” or other exaggerated phrases. Britain’s Ben Jonson said: “Language most shows a man. Speak, that I may see thee.”2 Our language reveals our thoughts, virtues, insecurities, doubts—even the homes from which we come. We will feel more comfortable in Heavenly Father’s presence if we have developed proper habits of speech. I suppose that the language of heaven, properly spoken, may approach a form of music. Did C. S. Lewis have this in mind when he wrote, “Isn’t it funny the way some combinations of words can give you—almost apart from their meaning—a thrill like music?”3 At the birth of Jesus the angels appeared and spoke, not sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). We now try to capture that beauty in song, but the original angelic utterance was in spoken words. In his biography on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Van Wyck Brooks relates that Emerson was invited to speak at the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the great poet Shakespeare’s birth. After proper introduction Emerson presented himself at the pulpit and then sat down. He had forgotten his notes. He preferred to say nothing rather than words not well measured. For some, it was Emerson in one of his most eloquent hours.4 Refinement in speech is more than polished elocution. It results from purity of thought and sincerity of expression. A child’s prayer on occasion may reflect the language of heaven more nearly than a Shakespearean soliloquy. Refinement in speech is reflected not only in our choice of words but also in the things we talk about. There are those who always speak of themselves; they are either insecure or proud. There are those who always speak of others; they are usually boring. There are those who speak of stirring ideas, compelling books, and inspiring doctrine; these are the few who make their mark in this world. The subjects discussed in heaven are not trifling or mundane; they are sublime beyond our most extended imagination. We will feel at home there if we are rehearsed on this earth in conversing about the refined and noble, clothing our expressions in well-measured words. Literature Is Friday evening a frenetic flight to see where the entertainment and action will be? Could our society today produce an Isaac Newton or a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? Can 85 channels and uncountable DVDs ever fill our insatiable appetite to be entertained? Do any unwisely become addicted to computer games or Internet surfing, thereby missing the richer experiences of great reading, conversations, and enjoyment of music? I don’t know whether our heavenly home has a television set or a DVD player, but in my mind’s imagery it surely has a grand piano and a magnificent library. There was a fine library in the home of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s (1910–2008) youth. It was not an ostentatious home, but the library contained about 1,000 volumes of the rich literature of the world, and President Hinckley spent his early years immersed in these books. To be well-read, however, it is not necessary to possess expensive collections of literature, for they are available to rich and poor alike in the libraries of the world. President David O. McKay (1873–1970) was inclined to awaken daily at 4:00 a.m., skim read up to two books, and then commence his labors at 6:00 a.m. He could quote 1,000 poems from memory. He referred to the grand masters of literature as the “minor prophets.” He was a living embodiment of the scriptural admonition to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118). My wife and I recently spent four years on Church assignment in Eastern Europe. We often traveled on the Moscow underground subway, called the Metro. We noticed the bowed heads of the Russian passengers, for they were reading Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, or Pushkin—and, sometimes, Mark Twain. The people were poor, but they were not obsessed with their poverty. They possessed the rich tradition of Russian literature, art, and music. President McKay noted: “As with companions so with books. We may choose those which will make us better, more intelligent, more appreciative of the good and the beautiful in the world, or we may choose the trashy, the vulgar, the obscene, which will make us feel as though we’ve been ‘wallowing in the mire.’”5 Of course, the scriptures stand paramount among good literature, for they are not founded on the opinions of men. Music If we could peek behind the heavenly veil, we would likely be inspired by the music of heaven, which is probably more glorious than any music we have heard on this earth. When some music has passed the tests of time and been cherished by the noble and refined, our failure to appreciate it is not a condemnation of grand music. The omission is within. If a young person grows up on a steady diet of hamburgers and french fries, he is not likely to become a gourmet. But the fault is not with fine food. He just grew up on something less. Some have grown up on a steady diet of musical french fries. This would be a good time to sift through your music library and choose primarily that which uplifts and inspires. It is part of the maturing process of your eternal journey. This would also be a fine time to learn a musical instrument or improve musical skills now partially possessed. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “We … live in a world that is too prone to the tasteless and we need to provide an opportunity to cultivate a taste for the finest music. And likewise, we’re in a world that’s so attuned to the now. We need to permit people to be more attuned to the best music of all the ages.”6 Recognizing the penetrating influence of great music, Oscar Wilde had one of his characters say, “After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own.”7 After the first performance of Messiah, Handel, responding to a compliment, said, “My lord, I should be sorry if I only entertained them—I wish to make them better.”8 Haydn “dressed in his best clothes to compose because he said he was going before his maker.”9 Some events in life are so sublime that they cannot be imagined without the companionship of beautiful music. We could not have a Christmas without carols or a general conference without sacred anthems. And there could not be a heaven without music of surpassing beauty. President Young said, “There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven.”10 It would be punishment enough to go to hell and not hear a note of music for all eternity. Art, Appearance, and Attitude What I have shared about bringing great language, literature, and music into the home may be said with equal truth of great art—perhaps tastefully displayed in our heavenly home. It may also be said of our physical appearance and manners, the order of our homes, how we offer our prayers, and how we read God’s word. I once visited briefly with the great actress Audrey Hepburn while she was making the movie My Fair Lady. She spoke of the opening scene in the movie in which she depicted a modest, unpolished flower girl. Her face had been besmirched with charcoal to make her seem part of her surroundings. “But,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “I was wearing my perfume. Inside I still knew I was a lady.” It doesn’t take expensive perfume to make a lady, but it does require cleanliness, modesty, self-respect, and pride in one’s appearance. Many years ago an associate of mine decided he would please his wife by sharing with her a specific compliment each night as he arrived home. One night he praised her cooking. A second night he thanked her for excellence in housekeeping. A third night he acknowledged her fine influence on the children. The fourth night, before he could speak, she said, “I know what you are doing. I thank you for it. But don’t say any of those things. Just tell me you think I am beautiful.” She expressed an important need she had. Women ought to be praised for all the gifts they possess—including their attentiveness to their personal appearance—that so unselfishly add to the richness of the lives of others. We must not let ourselves go and become so casual—even sloppy—in our appearance that we distance ourselves from the beauty heaven has given us. Some flippantly say, “How I look has nothing to do with how God feels about me.” But it is possible for both earthly parents and heavenly parents to have unspoken disappointment in their offspring without diminished love. President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), sixth President of the Church, owned few things, but he took care of them. He was fastidious in his appearance. He pressed his dollar bills to remove the wrinkles. He allowed none but himself to pack his overnight bag. He knew where every article, nut, and bolt of the household was, and each had its place. Would this be true of the environment in which you live? Is it a house of order? Need you dust, clean, and rearrange before you invite the Spirit of the Lord into your home? President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) said: “The Lord does not intend that the Saints shall live always in dens and caves of the earth, but that they shall build fine houses. When the Lord comes he will not expect to meet a dirty people, but a people of refinement.”11 David Starr Jordan, former president of Stanford University, wrote: “To be vulgar is to do that which is not the best of its kind. It is to do poor things in poor ways, and to be satisfied with that. … It is vulgar to wear dirty linen when one is not engaged in dirty work. It is vulgar to like poor music, to read weak books, to feed on sensational newspapers, … to find amusement in trashy novels, to enjoy vulgar theatres, to find pleasure in cheap jokes.”12 Your Father in Heaven has sent you away from His presence to have experiences you would not have had in your heavenly home—all in preparation for the conferral of a kingdom. He doesn’t want you to lose your vision. You are children of an exalted being. You are foreordained to preside as kings and queens. You will live in a home and environment of infinite refinement and beauty, as reflected in the language, literature, music, art, and order of heaven. I close with the words of President Young: “Let us … show to the world that we have talent and taste, and prove to the heavens that our minds are set on beauty and true excellence, so that we can become worthy to enjoy the society of angels.”13 Even more, may we become worthy to enjoy the refined society of heavenly parentage, for we are of the race of the Gods, being “children of the most High” (Psalm 82:6). One of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like our heavenly parents in every conceivable way so that we may be comfortable in their presence. The nearer we get to God, the more easily our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things. May we become worthy to enjoy the refined society of heavenly parentage, for we are of the race of the Gods, being “children of the most High.”

November 19th Email

Hello! That is hard to hear about Bishop Tesch, and Sister Davis. They really are Valiant souls In Christ. So..... One of our investigators was Baptised:-) It was Amazing. we talked to her Husband, and his heart is being softened. I really hope he Humbles himself and listens. The Baptism was so so so good. Another lady we are working with is getting Baptised on December 9th too. So things are going really good. I am 99.9% sure that I can Skype Cody, and Charlyse in Alaska!:-) And I am pretty sure I can Skype to you guys all at the same time:-) President Rasmussen is all about talking to your family. He always tells us to write to you guys:-) ALASKA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAaaaAaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. One of our investigators texted us the words to u2 "Beautiful day" this morning!:-) Ummmm yeah, Thanksgiving??? So crazy. I think we will be eating at a members home:-) Oh, so I went on an exchange in Nottingham this week with Elder Boyce from guana:-) That was pretty sweet, he is a good guy. It was a pretty crazy awesome week though. President Recieved Revelation to go by Un-Baptised children over 9 in the part member families, and to pick out 5 former investigators to go by. Some Amazing things are happening. The Lord is pouring out the Blessings. There is some really good people we picked up teaching this week, so it should be really good. Oh, before i forget I think the guy who wrote that article's last name is Callister but i can't remember the rest. I am pretty sure he is a seventy as well. I really enjoyed it. I don't really know what else to say haha. Smoked turkey?? That sounds super good! Tell everyone I Love them an awful awful lot:-) Well I guess they might read this haha. Anyway, Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!! :-) I hope it is Great for you guys. I always am Re-evaluating my self in everything. Like our Purpose is to Invite Everyone to come unto Christ. All I want is to do The Father's will. But as an Imperfect human, my pride can sometimes get in the way. Missions teach Humility:-) At least for me haha. One of my Goals is to be a Really good Companion, So I am trying my best for that. I think it's really Important to be open-minded. And to have a super good sense of Humour:-) I Love life!!!!:-) It is Amazing:-) Well, I am going to go write President an Email:-) You guys are Great, Keep it up. I Love you all so much. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!! With Lots of Love, Elder Wilson