November 24 – Week 6

***Elder Wilkes’ email was short, sweet and simple this week because he was able to talk with us on Tuesday when he left the Missionary Training Center and flew to Tijuana, Mexico.***

This is something that i have learned this week. So with our investigators, when does our work stop?Some missionaries think it stops at baptism, others think it stops when they go to the temple,but this is what i have learned. When we have an investigator we need to build up their faith in christ, then we ask them to repent sincerely, and then we commit them to to be baptized. Once they are baptized that is the gateway for enduring to the end. They receive the Holy Ghost and they eventually attend the temple. But where do we stop helping them? The answer is we stop helping them when they reach the Celestial Kingdom.

Family and Friends, and Missionaries throught the world – I know that it is true. I love all of you and I cant freaking wait to get out of here and help people in Mexico. By general conference my goal is to be fluent. I can’t wait to help the people in Tijuana and Baja California, Mexico reach the Celestial Kingdom!
Le amo mucho,
Elder Wilkes
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November 15, 2014 – Week Five

Greetings from your favorite missionary,

So guess what?  My hand is fully healed now and it looks pretty dope! This week we are getting a new district and we haven’t got one since we got there and we were the newbies, so I get to tell my sweet story again and when no one believes me it’s really funny! Can you send me some pics of my hand when it was cut open and the sharks I caught? They’re on my phone. I really hope Lauren didn’t delete any of them.

So I have good news – I have lost about 4 pounds here in the MTC. I’m getting dog tired of the food here so all I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is oranges and sometimes a banana before gym or something. This week I ate over 30 oranges! It has helped keep me away from a cold and hopefully I won’t get one. The food here just gets really boring and sucky.

This week has been pretty sweet and right now it is snowing! It snowed about 3 inches a couple of days ago, then it melted and now it is snowing again. People think I’m weird because I eat the snow, and I’m like 1 out of 50 that aren’t here from the west, hahaha.

Guess what!?! I got my travel plans yesterday!!! On November 25th I have to be at the travel office at 6:30 a.m. and then we go over to Salt Lake and my flight is on Delta leaving at 11:26AM. Mom, I am going to call you when I get to the airport. I do not have an exact time of when that will be, but keep your phone on and I will call dad too if you guys aren’t together, and depending on time I want to call grandma and paw paw, but if you can be all together that would be great too (: We fly from Salt Lake to San Diego, California and our mission president will meet us there. When i say us, there are 5 people in my travel group. We arrive at San Diego at 12:31 which is a 2 hour flight because of the time change and then we GET TO HOP THE BORDER which will be freakin’ sweet!!!!  Mom, I will send you some pictures the next Saturday with my teachers and everyone because I haven’t taken any really and I’ll take one of me in the snow. I think i jinxed it because it stopped snowing, but this week it should definitely snow more!!

I had an awesome spiritual experience this week that I want to share with all of you. We’ve been teaching this investigator who’s name is Vic. He’s from Houston, TX (and he really isn’t a member) in TRC. Dad, i don’t know if you had TRC, but me and my companion have taught him twice a week for 5 weeks, all in Spanish. It is really, really, really difficult and he asks the hardest questions in the world! Even if it would have been in English its still difficult! But we do our best as the spirit directs. On Thursday it was our last lesson with him and this is what I asked him, “Seguira el ejemplo de jesucristo al ser bautisado por alguin que posea la autoridad de sacerdocio de Dios?” In English it’s the baptism question. He didn’t accept because he still has thousands of questions and doesn’t know for himself yet, but I promised him that if he prayed about it God would give him an answer. The spirit was definitely in that room the whole time. I was shaking when I asked him because it was just so strong. He said he was going to pray about it and he was going to continue going to the spanish branch here in Provo with his amigo which is awesome. Before I left I said, “Contiene estuiando en las escrituras esto cambiar su vida, which means, continue studying the scriptures, it will change your life.

Family and friends, I know that the Book of Mormon will change all of your lives; it has changed mine. I never knew how good it felt to invite someone else to come to Christ because you know that they will be so much happier in being closer with our Savior. Friends and family, the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues is real! It was just an awesome experience to teach Vic. Hopefully he will get baptized someday. I can’t wait to go preach to the people of Mexico. It will just be awesome. I love all of you so much! Dad, I continue to pray for you everyday and also everyone in my disctrict prays for you too and we all hope you will get a job soon. Last sunday i fasted for Melanie and it was hard because they had steak sirloin and shrimp for lunch, but I have been praying for her everyday! I really hope she gets better. I love all of you and remember Rule:1 Don’t get out of the boat, the old ship Zion. And Rule2: HOLD ON TIGHT, with both hands.

I have to go get my haircut and destroy my disctrict in basketball. I will talk to you all next saturday. Madie i am mad at you because you didn’t send me a Dear Elder this week. Dad let me know who wins the race and the championship in Nascar tomorrow!

Love you again,

Elder Wilkes

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November 8, 2014 – Week Four

Como Estan Ustedes! Mi vida en la CCM is muy bueno. Mi espanol es getting better, but i still have a lot to learn. This week was pretty much the same as last week and the week before and the week before. TIME IS MOVING TO A CRAWL. It sucks. I just want to get out to Mexico and Enseno las  personas de Tijuana.

So this week we had three devotionals. The one on sunday night was by Russell M. Nelson’s wife, I forgot her nombre. The other two where of the Seventy, I also forgot their names. One of them was at the Marriott Center and we got to walk there and it was really awesome. His talk wasn’t that long, but it was really powerful. It was on tenacity. i think it was by David F. Evans yall should look it up.

Guess what! my highlight of the week was… I got a package in the mail and it was from Larry Daugherty and I had no clue what it was. When I opened it he sent me a FRESH CAUGHT SMOKED SOCKEYE SALMON for me and my district. It was litterally the best fish I had ever eaten in my life. Dad i got your letter about Jeff Gordon and that really pisses me off, There’s another elder here thats going to the Philippines and he’s from Nashville area. He’s the only one here who likes and follows Nascar besides me so i give him updates from you guys. His favorite driver is Jeff as well. That really sucks that Brad Keselowski had to do that, Jeff will get him back next year.  Now it is gonna be really hard with two more races left to win the CUP but I think he can still do it. Mom I did cancel my Netflix account. I made sure I did so before I left because it was on my Discover card  and I didn’t want a balance on there when I left.

My teaching in Spanish skills is going along great.  My Spanish teachers here said I have came from great lengths on how my lessons are now. Me and my companion started out teaching five minute lessons and now we can go on for about 30-40 minutes, all in Spanish. it is quite amazing. also last Sunday me and my campanion taught our disctrict meeting with our branch second couselor in there. We taught about how a person can understand and recognize the spirit.  He said it was so good and that this Sunday in district meeting the MTC branch president is going to join us in there as well.  I never really thought I was a great teacher but people keep telling me I am.  I guess Ether 12:27 is alive! if you have faith in Christ he will make the weak things become strong.

I’ve been reading so much of the Book of Mormon this week I really love enjoying reading the scriptures. I’m half way done here at the MTC and I’m also halfway done reading through the Book of Mormon. Next I’m going to read the Doctrina y Covienos which will be sweet! Today i have a challange for all of you. Read 2 Nephi Chapter 2.  We went over that chapter in class the other day and I picked it out. It’s one heck of a chapter so pay attention what is going on in that chapter.

I love all of you guys continue to be great to everyone and continue to serve God! I love all of you and I know our family will be blessed and has been blessed because of our faithfulness and because we have 3 missionaries from the family out in the field and also like 7 out in our ward! By the way mom or dad is my plaque up yet? Ask bishop if he gets my emails, tell him I love him as well! Madie, Lauren, and Jordan keep reading your scriptures everyday. It might not sound important but it is. I read almost 20 pages a day and pray about 20 times a day as well. I have kept all you in my prayers. Dad I have a lot of faith that you will get a job soon. I heard you were getting bored and i know it isn’t as hot outside anymore so you can borrow my golf clubs and go golfing sometime! Dad i read this chapter in the BOM yesterday about the importance of High Priests. It’s in Alma, i think 16 or 17. I know it was in the teens you should read that as well! And tell me who wins tomorrow in NASCAR and give me some basketball updates too i know it started now! Also I did the cinnamon challenge with two other elder in my district because we get really bored. haha  I’ll send the video of that to you guys next Saturday it was really funny. I love all of you. Thank you all for the cokkies candy and the awesome salmon!!!!!

Le Amo Mucho,
Elder Wilkes
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November 1, 2014 – Week Three

Hey Mom and Dad, family and friends! This week has been slow to a crawl and it also kinda seems like it went by really fast! Dad thats so awesome that Jeff Gordon has the point standings and I also heard the giants won the world series which sucks but it’s okay! Tell me who wins the race tomorrow and the standings for after the race. I hope Jeff Gordon wins it! I’m sorry you weren’t able to get that CSX job, but it really is for the better. I’ve been keeping you in my prayers and I put your name in the temple a few times and also me and my district are fasting for you and also that we can learn Spanish.  I have a lot of faith! Pray for me because Spanish is really tough. The MTC blows somewhat and everyone is starting to go crazy haha because it’s pretty much a prison here. I really just want to get out to the field in Mexico and it’ll help me learn more.

My goal of finishing the Book of Mormon by the time I leave is getting closer and closer. I’m in Mosiah 12 and I can definitely understand them more and more and I enjoy the stories that are in there. This week I have read over and over and over that “if you keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land.” So dad, keep the commandments and you will be blessed with a job soon.

Those are some awesome pics that you and mom took while you were in Peru! I can’t wait to go there when I come back home so I can be a translator for y’all! I’m really looking forward to being out in the field.  I want to go and get out of here and starting teaching and baptizing! My Spanish teachers told me I’m doing really good with Spanish but it doesn’t feel like I am. I’m able to ask basic questions to people and to be able to put sentences together.  I can understand really well what someone is saying when they talk, but to respond back in Spanish is really hard.

One of the teachers here is named Brother Meek, he’s from Knoxville. He was in the other Knoxville ward and I told him we were in Maryville and in Farragut ward but he was in the other ward. He’s lived there his whole life. I don’t know if y’all know the Meek family. He gives me updates on the Vols games, but it’s not really an update because I already assume we’ll lose. haha Hopefully the Vols will be blessed with winning games since I’m a fan and I’m serving a mission. I also met this older elder named Elder Clark. He’s from St. Simons Island Georgia, or Brunswick area. He’s going to argentina and it is weird because we went to the same youth conference together about 4 years ago when it was in the Marriott hotel. He’s pretty awesome.  I showed a picture of you guys to my district and zone and EVERYONE said that I have hot sisters. haha So Madie and Lauren, you have several elders to chose from here when they get back haha because they all want to meet you. There’s also two other elders here that are from Florida, the Tampa area, and they’re awesome guys to talk to.

Everything is going just fine here! Lauren read your scrips everyday. Jordan read yours and mom and dad and Madie read them everyday. Jordan its freakin sweet that you can do all that! Keep skating and skating and try to get sponsored!!! Mom I hope everything is going well at work and I hope you settle a multi million dollar case soon! I really enjoy all the dear elder letters because it’s easier to know what to say when i get on. Thanks for more cookies grandma! I shared them with everyone and everyone enjoys them! If you can find a way to send some banana pudding that would be sweet too. haha (; Thanks for the Halloween treats mom and the Mountain Dew. Last night for Halloween we just had like a little fiesta with chips and dip and a whole bunch of candy and food and it was pretty sweet! I think I’m loosing some weight here as well, the food here runs straight through your body which kinda sucks but it’s something to get used to for Mexico. Everyone loves my camo scripture case and can you send me a real tree camo tie to match it?? ((:

My hand is pretty much healed but I keep a bandaid on it most of the time because I don’t want it to get split open, but its 90 percent healed. Also can you send me some more vitamins because I’m almost out. People that take their vitamins don’t really get sick here, so I have been told, and luckily I havent gotten sick. I saved you 40 bucks because I chose to do the oral typhoid immunization so it’s only 42 bucks and I finish taking it tomorrow. You’ll get a bill in the mail. I love all of you guys! Love you grandma and pawpaw. Love you more mom!! By the way, this week on Tuesday we might have the prophet or one of the 12 apostles come speak to us because it is getting broadcasted to all the MTCs in the world, so it will be someone big! LOVE YOU. I have to go. Para siempre dios este con vos!

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