Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas from Elder Willden

Letter to all:

So I have been transfered to Zone Jonotepe.  One of the best zones weather wise but they sent me to the hottest place in the zone haha oh well.  I´m in a city called Nandaime about 45 minutes outside of Jinotepe and 2.5 hours outiside of Managua.  The city I´m in is a lot bigger than the Bello Amanecer but still they say It´s a very small city here but it´s big compared to where I was.  The houses are nicer, the people are a little richer, but there are still areas with plastic and wood houses.  My companion is Elder de Oliviera from San Pablo Brazil, one of the first 2 brazilians who have ever served in Nicaragua.  He was baptized 3 years ago and his family is catholic and never supported him going on the mission.  He´s been here a change less than me.  I have the same district leader still he got exchanged over here with me.  Elder Cratty is in my district, from Parump, Nevada he´s a good friend of Ben Rencher.  
It´s a litte tough at first being transfered to a new place but I´m getting the hang of things around here.  We have a possible baptism for the 29th.  The only problem with her is that her mom isn´t supporting her disicion.  This P-Day we did some sight seeing at a nearby volcano, Mombacho.  I met a guy from New York, he lives just outside of Palmyra, he told me he had been to the pagent a couple times.  It´s strange to see people whiter than me haha!
Have a great Christmas, remember always to give and to help in this time of year.  Think in Christ not in what you want for Christmas.  I love you all!
Elder Willden

17 December 2012

17 December 2012

Letter to all:

This week went well.  Henry finally came to church again so things look good for him; hopefully he can get baptized this Saturday then!  We brought a young man (Ivan) 17 years old to church, we had to walk 30 minutes to his house and 30 minutes back to the church so he could know where church was at.  

We had a 1 day division; I went with Elder Vargas from Costa Rica 18 years old.  I´m already seeing 18 year old missionaries!!  Strange!  His maturity surprised me, we taught multiple powerful lessons that day, and the spirit was strong!  We taught a lady whose companion was cheating on her. We began to teach her it would be okay and that the Lord will help heal her heart.  Elder Vargas shared a story about his parents’ divorce that touched her and she began to cry.  We gave her a blessing of comfort.

Later we passed by the house of some less actives and they told us that the mother was making strange shouts in the night and has been seeing shadows in the night, it seems like a bad spirit is in their house.  We came by yesterday to dedicate the house and bless the mother but they weren´t there.  Hopefully we can find them and help them with that problem this week.

Tomorrow I find out if I have changes, I believe I will be leaving this area but I´ll let you all know next week.

Have a great week; remember the best Christmas gift you can give to anyone is the restored gospel.  Joseph Smith said the most important duty we have is to preach the gospel!  I spoke about this in my talk on Sunday.  I got after everyone a little bit, the members haven´t been helping us much lately but, we´ll press forward!  Some scriptures from my talk: DC 18:14-16,DC 1:223,DC 71:1, DC 118, Moses 1:39.


Elder Willden

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sharing the Gospel one person at a Time

10 December 2012

Letter to All:

Hello!  We were planning on a baptism for this week and a marriage but they don´t have enough money right now so they postponed it until he gets his paycheck.  Hopefully it comes in time to do it this week.  It´s been a little bit of a difficult week, a lot of appointments have been falling through, people not coming to church and dropping more investigators.  We have to keep looking for new people to teach.  But we´ll find those people god has prepared for us.  

We were teaching a young man named Ivan about the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the middle of the lesson the Spirit just testified and I felt it very strong and my companion looked at me and smiled.  We planned a baptismal date with him for the 29th.  Later we talked to an investigator José and we told him basically that we cannot waste our time with him if he isn´t willing to make changes and come to church as he was drinking beer in front of us.  I wasn´t very happy and he wants us to keep visiting him but I told him our time as missionaries is too important.  I don´t like dropping investigators but it has to be done.

The pictures are of a part of our area called Cuajacillo, there are a lot of trees and farm animals over there.

Have a great week everyone!  Read 2 Nephi 4

Elder Willden

Wherefore, redemption in and through the Holy Messiah; he is full of grace and truth.
8 “Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.”

 9 “Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.”   2 Nephi 4

A Wonderful Baptism

3 December 2012

Letter to All:

Well this week we had two baptisms!  Gloria and Paola were baptized Saturday.  It was great, they were both happy and excited for their baptisms.  Elder Wheeler did a great job baptizing.  

Now we have to keep looking for new people to bring to the gospel, we have a baptism planned for this Saturday so we´ll see how it goes down.  We have had to drop investigators recently but something Bryan told me really stuck, that the Lord will give us someone even more prepared for baptism.  A missionary´s time is very important and if I use my time how he desires and use it  well, he will bless me to find those chosen people.  Satan really works on the investigators and it saddens me to see Satan winning sometimes.  But I know that I will be blessed to find those truly searching for the gospel.

I read Ether 12:6 to a less active who has problems with coffee and it helped him a lot.

Elder Willden

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nothing extraordinary this week...

26 November 2012
Letter to All:

This week I found out that changes are going to be a week early and there will be changes the 19th of December, I think I´m going to get sent somewhere else.  It´s a bit of a bummer because I won´t be able to spend Christmas with people I know, oh well!  Our baptism didn´t go through this week but she´ll be ready for Saturday.  Saturday we´ll baptize Paola and Gloria, it should be a great baptism!  December will be a great month for baptisms, everyone is getting lined up.

It´s been a long week though, appointments falling through all week, that´s what happens when you start teaching a bunch of new investigators, but a few are very positive.  We started teaching 2 different young men both are 17, they seem very positive.  We are starting to contact in places far away because we are running out of people to contact in the city.

Nothing extraordinary this week...


-Elder Willden

Missionary Shoes - Take a Beating

19 November 2012
Letter to All:

I cleaned my shoes very well so I could show you all before and after pictures of what happens to my shoes daily.

This week went well, we have 2 baptisms lined up for this Saturday, Paola and Henry, so it should be a pretty good week!

This past week went by very fast. Now we are on week 8 of training with Elder Wheeler.  The time goes by way too fast sometimes.  We have been working very hard and It´s getting hard to set appointments because we fill the days up with appointments fast.  Sadly many appointments fall though, but that´s something you just have to get used to with the people here.

Sadly the lady we contacted that had been taught before will no longer take lessons from us.  The husband hates us apparently.  It makes me sad to see how so many evil men impede people to being baptized in the true church of God.  I told her she is always welcome in the church, and we keep seeing her around in the streets.  I pray one day the husband will soften his heart.

These next 2 or 3 weeks should be great ones, especially because we have some solid baptisms lined up. 

Good luck to all, you are all in my prayers.

Elder Willden

Elder Willden's Christmas List - #1 New Shoes!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tall Trees - Strong and Immovable

12 November 2012

Letter to All:

Hello everyone!  This week was a great week.  Elder Wheeler has been progressing a lot, his Spanish is getting better, he teaches a lot more and contacts a lot more, yesterday we contacted 35 people and he did probably 30 of them.  I´m always trying to push him.

We should have 3 baptisms this month:  Maria, Henry, and Paola.  Maria’s partner is less active but he really likes the church and wants to get baptized.  Paola wants to be baptized and Henry is still searching for his answer.  He still hasn´t prayed but when he does I know he´ll get an answer.

Yesterday we were looking for a reference and we asked someone if they knew the person...they didn´t but turns out she had listened to missionaries before and went to the church 2 times but never was baptized.  We taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to pray that night. (I’m not sure if Jonathan is talking about the person they were looking for or the woman they taught.) He is a catholic but never goes to church.  (Most people here are evangelicals).

Changes are this Wednesday, I hope I don´t leave because we have a lot of baptisms lined up for the end of this month and December.  We are starting to see a lot more success and if we keep it up great things will happen.

2 Nephi 32 is a very insightful yet a short chapter that has helped me this week.  Always pray!


Is he praying for rain or bird droppings?

Elder Wheeler looks taller than Elder Willden!
Elder Willden

Giving out the Book of Mormon to Almost Anyone!!

5 November 2012

Letter to all:

This week went pretty well.  We have been working with a lot of new investigators, many very positive but they still haven’t arrived at church.  But many truly enjoy what we teach them and they say their faith has grown.  

We taught a lady and we put a baptismal date for the 17th she said she will work on getting married and if the boyfriend doesn´t want to get married she said she´ll separate from him.  She really likes the church and no longer wants to live in sin so I´m looking forward to her baptism on the 17th!  Also we are working with a single man that’s 29 he may be baptized this Saturday!

I´m excited to see where these next week take us, we have a lot of positive investigators!

Moroní 6 and 3 Nephi 18 are some great chapters about the great importance of church.

Have a great week!

I never get tired of taking pictures with the drunks!

Breakfast, Baptism and Area Photo

29 October 2012
Letter to all:

This Saturday we had a baptism, sadly I don´t have the pictures right now.  Maybe next week.  Her name is Helmy she was very excited to be baptized and had to wait for her baptism.  Her parents at first didn´t want her to get baptized into the church but now she got permission and she was very excited.  One of her former missionaries baptized her, he´ll be leaving in December probably.  It was a good experience for him, I’m sure.  We get along well with all of the formner missionaries and work with them on occasion.

This week we started teaching Franklin and we taught him the word of wisdom and he said clearly I’m going to follow it I haven’t drunken for this past week or 2 and I’ve felt a lot better, physically and emotionally.  He really wanted to come to church but work called him up.  We´ll get him there next week!

We have a lot of new investigators to teach and a lot of work.  I´m excited to see where this next month takes us!

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Willden

Baptism for Helmy

Elder Willden's usual Breakfast - looks like cookies and yogurt. 

Elder Willden's Current Area

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tarzan the Jungle Missionary

Elder Willden showing us the jungles of Nicaragua -
 just a shortcut between appointments!

22 October 2012

Letter to all:

Well this week was a little tough but we had a great experience that I want to share.  As we have planned every night the past few weeks I have kept feeling that we needed to visit a certain family, even though they hardly were ever present.  One day we were about to leave their house and a lady from across the street called us over.  We went and she was wondering who we were and if we could help her.  We began to teach her, (Maura).  In our third visit with her, her brother was present.

We started teaching and he was being obnoxious, asking odd questions and interrupting us asking if I had 10 córdabas to give him.  A few minutes later after we prayed and began teaching he said that he would like us to come over to his house and teach his family.

We went to his house right after the appointment with Maura and began to teach him.

He started talking and said that when he heard us speaking with Maura it was a sign for him, a sign that told him he needed to change his life.  He said that we were 2 angels sent by Jesus Christ to support him.

He began to tell me that when he asked me for 10 córdobas that is was for beer, but as we taught he lost the desire completely to drink and said he never wants to drink again.  

He began to tell us of his past and how is father was a drunk and hit them and the mother, the father and mother then later abandoned him for the United States,and his sister, and brother.  They were given an abusive nanny who hit them and he would jump in front of his sister to take the blows.  He told me he was a very unhappy child and one time jumped in front of a motor, and hurt his leg very bad.

He said he didn´t want this life for his children, and that he wants to be a great father, and that the lord sent us here to help him do that.

He opened his heart out to us before we even said a word.  The message of the restoration is perfect for him.  He is one of the people here god has prepared to partake of this wonderful gospel.  But if we never would have planned to visit that one family that´s never there we never would have found him, if we would have rejected the spirit we would have never found him.  The lord truly does have his hand in this work and has people ready to listen.  It is key to listen to the spirit and go and do as it directs.  I hope as a missionary I can better my relationship with the holy ghost and always listen to his counsel.

I pray the lord will bless my friend Franklin to feel the truth of our message and help him and his family come into the waters of baptism.

Regarding the pictures we went to a place in our area called Guajachillo to contact, there are a lot of trees over there. We decided to take a short-cut back to our next appointment and it was a pretty neat place.  This is what I thought Nicaragua would look like!  The one with me with my arms up some of the members said it looks like the first vision haha!

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Willden

Elder Willden Works, Lifts and Eats More!

15 October 2012

Letter to all:

Elder Wheeler is starting to already understand the people when they ask him questions, I remember when I came here my companion had to translate Nica to Guatamalteco haha!  But I´m surprised in how he already understands them.  The problem is that he has a hard time speaking and always speaks in the infinitive form, so I´m going to start teaching him all of the tenses.  I try to only speak Spanish with him but it is very difficult because in 2 seconds I could tell him in English and he´d understand.  I just need to be patient and help him understand the language.

This week was a little tough because I have to do all the talking and teaching.  My Spanish is good enough that I can teach whatever I want but the problem is I’m not the perfect teacher.  I feel sometimes people find me boring but other times they are very interested.

We have a baptism planned for this Saturday with a kid named Leo he´s 9 years old, he doesn´t feel ready to be baptized so we spoke with him and helped him to realize that he doesn´t have to be perfect to be baptized and that the Lord wants him to take this step in his life.

The week has been super hot but one day out of nowhere it rained a ton and the whole street was just a miny river!

That´s all for now!


Elder Willden

A great meal for hungry Elders!

Jonathan's New Weight Set!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two Gringos Together!

Hello to Elder Willden's new companion and goodbye to his first.

8 October 2012
Letter to All:

So I got my new companion my ''son'' as they say.  His name is Elder Wheeler, from Idaho.  He used to play football and is 19 years old.  He doesn´t know much about Spanish...  So I´ll be doing all the talking for a while until he starts getting the hang of the language.  Luckily I feel fairly comfortable with the language and feel that I’m fairly fluent in Spanish.  But I was surprised when I found out he was a gringo.  It'll be tough I’m not going to lie; I have to take the lead in everything now.  The lord wants this for me, it will stretch me to be a better missionary, to work harder, talk more, contact more, baptize more.  I feel I will learn a lot with this teaching opportunity.

This Priesthood Session during conference was amazing, Elder Ucthdorf's talk was great, he talked about what a  great blessing it is to have the priesthood to bless the lives of others.  And the day after I heard his talk I was blessed to give or participate in 5 blessings on Sunday.  The first 2 were sick children of one the sisters in the ward.  Then later I felt that we should go to a certain less actives house.

We showed up and they are watching TV and not listening to us, only the mom listened.  It was a little awkward at first but then she asked us if we could bless her sick child.  We blessed him in the other room, and gave a blessing of comfort to the mother after, and blessed another sick person in the house.  The house was calm after that and the spirit was present.  The power of God changed the environment of the house into one of peace and love.  I felt the Spirit very strong there.  Then I began to teach the family about the sacrament and how important it should be in their lives. Then I felt prompted to share the story of the wise man and foolish man and to tell them that if their family strives to build upon Christ, our rock and redeemer that they will never fall no matter what trials they face.  It was a great experience to feel the power of God flowing through me to help and bless the members of this household.  The priesthood power is real and all worthy men should bear it and constantly look for ways to bless others because there are many who need help in these days.

I am so grateful and blessed to be a missionary of god and hold the priesthood.

Have a great week!

Elder Willden

Don't you just love Jonathan's Smiles?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

24 September and 1 October 2012

24 September 2012

Letter to All:

This week we had a great Sunday. Firstly we had ward conference with 171 people present (normally we have about 90) and 7 investigators present as well.  The stake presidency gave great talks and their testimonies were very tender and pure and they testified with the spirit.

Secondly we had the baptismal interview with Eliezer and he´ll be ready for his baptism the 29th!  He is really excited to be baptized.  He also has great desires to serve a mission and the bishop is already making plans for when he´ll be ordained as an elder.  My companion´s last baptism he´ll send out another missionary!

Thirdly the ward council was very helpful this week, we identified 15 investigators that have recently assisted the church and they are going to help us toward baptizing them.  We have a new ward mission leader that´s a return missionary and will help a lot!

After Ward Council we went with the bishop to teach a family in which there are only 2 members.  It went very well and the bishop got to know them all and befriend them and they all seem very positive.

I believe there will be many baptisms here in the next 2 months, hopefully I will stay here.  Changes are October 3rd.

That´s all for now.

Elder Willden

1 October 2012

Letter To All:

This week went well.  We have been teaching a lot of new investigators and many should be ready for baptism in late October.  We had a baptism this Saturday for Eliezer.  It went very well, the Bishop baptized him.  It was a special experience.  The next step for him is his mission.  He has great desires to serve a mission and already is beginning to prepare himself for the next year.  I am very grateful to help share the gospel with one who will one day soon serve a mission!  It´s a great feeling.

This week they announced the trainers on Tuesday and many in the Zone were called to be trainers.  They all went to the training meeting the next day, Wednesday.  I got a call Wednesday night from the zone leader telling me that I will be training a new  I thought I was in the clear but nope I´ll begin training this Wednesday, without the training everyone else received.  I´m a little overwhelmed to be frank, but I know that it is the will of the lord.  This isn´t something rare in our mission to be called as a trainer with 12 weeks in the field; I know of 2 others that came with me to Nicaragua will be training.  But still it´s overwhelming.  

My Spanish is good enough, I understand almost everything, if they speak well and clear Ii understand everything.  Speaking isn´t too bad either, only in the night when I’m tired I can´t speak too well.  They tell me I have a good accent.  I know the area well.  So it shouldn´t be too bad.  I just hope the Lord can help me be a great trainer for this new missionary, and that we can learn and grow together to become better missionaries.

I hope you are all of good health and always take time to thank God for the many, many blessings we have been given.

Elder Willden

Baptism of  Eliezer

Zone Meetings?

10 September and 17 September 2012

17 September 2012

Letter to all:

This week was good.  We had two really good lessons one day.  First we taught Eliezer a 19 year old Evangelical.  We taught the restoration and we told us he already saw a video of Joseph smith and felt something good when he saw it.  He's been attending seminary for a month or so.  He just has a lot of negative pressure from family and friends and it's a problem for him to be baptized but I believe he already knows the gospel is true.  The spirit was present when we testified about this and he testified to all of us of the truth of this gospel.

We met with another Investigator 20 years old named Alex.  We spoke about faith for a little then about repentance. He didn't know what repentance was so we taught him.  I felt a genuine love for him when I testified that for Christ stripes he can be healed.  That the savior lives and suffered everything for us.  That he can repent and come unto him and have eternal life.  The spirit was really strong and as we told him that he is important to us and we are here to help him return to Christ.  He has much to overcome but for God nothing is impossible.  Not only did Alex get to feel the truth of this message but I did too.  As I teach others and when I teach with a pure love for them my testimony of the Savior grows even more.  Jesus is indeed the Christ, I know without a doubt that he suffered for all of our pains, sins, sicknesses, and more so he can know how to succor us.

Also we had a Multizone Conference we learned a lot about teaching with the spirit and really teaching to people.  We taught actual investigators during the practice.   It was a good experience to learn about the role the spirit has in teaching.  Because he's the one who teaches. 

One of the investigators we had to teach we practiced inviting him to church, he said I have to go, I will go, so then we said okay let’s do a practice in which you can't go to church but he was confused.  So we taught to a different Elder and practiced inviting him to church.  After we finished the investigator also did his own invitation to the elder.  It was funny but also good to see the faith this man already had in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

That’s all for now, let me know if you have any questions.

Elder Willden

I asked Elder Willden why he sent this picture:  Yup that was burning trash, they throw all of their trash behind the houses and burn it or sometimes they just burn their trash in front of their house, not very sanitary..

One boy is part of the family we eat dinner with and the other lives next door who´s parents are investigators.

10 September 2012

Hello everyone!

This week we´ve been visiting less actives a lot, and inviting them to come to church.  We need an average of 120 in order to build a new church, right now we have about 100.  A member gave a lesson in priesthood meeting about this.  He read from 1 Nephi 3 and 17- how we can do whichever commandment that´s necessary.  Also if we have an attitude like Nephi we will have success .Attitude is very important, if we don´t believe anything good will come forth then nothing will.  We should always be animated and have a desire to go do what we can and then ask the lord what more can we do.  The lord knows the way but he wants us to do our part.

Met with a less active member and shared Alma 34:38-41 it´s a great scripture.

We have some new positive investigators that I have great hopes for.  Our old one´s no longer are progressing, but I must move forward with faith.

Love Elder Willden

Sunday, September 9, 2012

3 September 2012 - Baptism

Letter to all:

This week we had the baptisms of Gensi and Cristian.  I baptized Cristian first, the first time I’ve baptized!  Elder Buc baptized Gensi, she was very scared to go into the water.

Their grandma is in charge of them and she said they have changed a lot since we started teaching them, more obedient and kind.  I´m so glad to be able to be of help to them.

Saturday night we passed by a house - a family of investigators to invite them to come to church...they were drinking.  It´s disheartening to see someone you care for and want the best for doing the wrong thing.  We just have to move forward and help them.

This week we´ve been looking for new families to teach.

Elder Willden

Jonathan looks like a giant!

August 27th 2012

27 August 2012

Letter to All:

Well my soles for my shoes are already worn down; I dropped them off with a member to put new soles on!  I can´t believe they´ve worn down so fast, but these souls should last longer. 

 And my bed is too small as you can see in the picture.

Well we didn´t have a baptism this week one of the kids drank coffee on Monday, but they´ll be ready for this coming Saturday.  It´s a bit of a bummer but it´s okay they´re baptism will be great on Saturday!

Many of our older investigators we have dropped this week and some of the newer ones were losing the desire to move forward, Satan works really hard to impede our work.  But by the end of the week one of our families showed progression and came to church and were really positive in our lesson. We should have their baptism the 15 of September.

We spoke with and investigator named Dolando, when we came to his house he was waiting outside with the Book of Mormon in hand.  He had a lot of questions.  He has a great desire to read the Book of Mormon and know if it is true. He´ll receive and answer I know it.  I can´t wait to meet with him again.

That´s about all that I can think of for this week.  

Something I missed last week...  We meet with a member last week and at the end of our short message she asked for a blessing.  Afterwards she told us she had a lot of pain that day and she tried to get a hold of the bishop and couldn´t.  She thought to herself, Well maybe the missionaries will come by.  And we did, we didn´t plan on visiting her that day, It´s proof that the spirit has great power in directing us where we need to go and who we need to talk with.

Have a great week!

Elder Willden