Lord, I Would Follow Thee…

Elder Wilson has had a change of plans. He will need to wait for his visit to go to Argentina. He will be serving in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission until his visa arrives or the Lord tells him otherwise. 

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Elder Wilson on 9/22/14 at the SLC Airport on his 19th Birthday.

 

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Off to Pittsburgh via Detroit.

 

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Provo Temple – MTC 8/13/14 – 9/22/95

 

Dear Everyone,

This week has been so crazy! I can’t believe in 4 days I will be off to Pittsburgh! I honestly think that I know more about Mendzoza than Pittsburgh, but estabien. it turns out me and Elder Smith are the only ones who are visa waiters, because Elder Randall’s and Elder Johnston’s came in today, and not gonna lie at first it was a little tough that I knew I wasn’t going to Argentina right away, I felt like I truly found a family here at the MTC, and right when I felt comforted that I would be traveling to a different country with people that I know, BAM! The Lord has something else in plan! When I found out I just said a prayer to be comforted, and as i pondered after I remembered the hymn “I’ll go where you want me to go” and I remember telling the Lord that in my mind. That I am willing and ready to serve wherever he needs me, and as I thought of that I remembered the words “I’ll be what you want me to be” And immediately I just felt an overwhelming feeling of joy and peace. Because even though I may not be serving in Argentina just yet, anywhere you go there are always people who are in need of hearing this gospel, and I’m excited to learn and to teach! And  I need to become the missionary the Lord needs! It’s crazy how comforting the Lord is, today me and Elder Johnston got to do sealings, and I can’t tell you how amazing that was! Being a missionary it helped me realize that baptism is incredibly important, and even more so what the investigators do after they are baptized. That should also be our goal to help them get through the doors of the temple so they can truly be together with their family throughout all time and eternity! As time gets closer I’ve been a little nervous about kind of being by myself as I travel (there’s other missionaries, but no conozco ellos) and as me and Elder Johnston sat in the Celestial room he showed me the scripture D&C 84: 88 “For I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and on your left.” I know that as I go to this new place I wasn’t expecting that I won’t be alone, that we truly are never alone. I know that I have learned so much here at the mtc, and i really am going to miss  it! This week we were fortunate to hear Elder Richard G Scott and he talked about prayer, he said he wished he could have a personal interview with each and every one of us where we would laugh and cry, but that would be impractical. But that we can do that every night with our father in heaven! He is there and he wants to hear us, he may know exactly how your day went, but he wants to hear it from us, he wants to speak to his children! I can’t tell you what a blessing this has been serving, I remembered my friends before I left would ask why would you serve? There are so many better things you could be doing. But in response to the question why I have chosen to serve is because it is true. Every piece of this gospel is 100% true and I know it with all my heart, and I cannot deny it. And there is nothing you can do that is even remotely comparable to building up the kingdom of God. So I remind anyone who may be reading this that our job as children of God is to help ANYONE to come closer to feel that love. (D&C 81: 5) “Be faithful, stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”And I invite you to keep your eyes open there is always someone we may encounter during our day who is in need of help, it just takes a little time and a little more effort to find them and then to help uplift them, and I promise as you do this you will not be disappointed. God will help you recognize who these people are and then help you help them according to their needs, and how great will truly be your joy! 
 
Mucho Amor,
Elder Justin Lototoa Wilson
 
P.S. I saw Elder Schaap here and it was so awesome!
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Elder Schaap and Elder Wilson 8/10/14 (Justin’s Farewell)
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District Prayer
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Putting on the armor of God
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Elder Jenkins, from another district, answered his door like this
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MTC Classroom
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Elder Wilson and his MTC Companion, Elder Johnston
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Smiling, Change of plans, Alligators and the Bank…


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Elder Wilson and Elder Johnston
A Smile is truly the best thing you could ever put on, don’t ever forget that! Just keep smiling! One thing I’ve learned here is to “Sonrisa Siempre!” As members and as missionaries people are always noticing us, and a smile should be one of the first things they notice. Smile even when you’re feeling down inside, and as you continue to smile, you’ll feel so much better. One time I thought I threw away my scriptures when we took out the trash and didn’t realize it until I was in class. Me and my companion ran back, and on the way I ran into a jeep, twisted my ankle on a rock and got stabbed in the face by a bush and one of the best pieces of advice I heard was from Katy and it was ‘Learn to laugh at yourself!’ We had such a good laugh and it has honestly helped so much. The other day we were in class and my shoulder was really itchy so I itched myself with my pen, thinking it was closed, but of course it wasn’t and I ended up with a big cloud of scribbles on me, it was hilarious! The whole class was busting up and to make me feel better my teacher Hermano Humbert drew a mark on himself. It was awesome! 
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I have some news to tell you, I’m receiving a new temporary assignment mission call in the states! Because my visa was not received, me and my companion Elder Johnston, Elder Smith and Elder Randall will all be temporarily reassigned. At first, we were so devastated by the news because we were so excited to serve in Mendoza, but one of the things that brought me so much comfort was the hymn, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.” And it helped me so much because I sincerely prayed to the Lord and told him I am willing to serve wherever he needed me and I just asked for comfort. I was ready to serve wherever the Lord wanted me to serve, then I was reminded of the words, ‘I’ll be what you want me to be’, and how, where I go is important, but more importantly is the missionary I become, and how I learn to serve. That no matter where, there are always people who are searching and in need of the gospel and how important it is for me not only to preach the gospel, but to live it.
 
Here is an amazing talk Sister Hartman who is married to Brother Hartman (counselor in our branch presidency) gave. I loved it so much that I asked for a copy of it! I really love the story of the alligator because it truly shows how much our Heavenly Father truly loves us. If anything, what has grown in my testimony is the knowledge that I truly am a son of God. Soy un hijo de Dios! The song, “I Am a Child of God”, has so much more of an impact on me now! I know more than anything that I truly am a child of God and that he truly has given me loving parents, I seriously am so blessed!  That’s another thing I am also learning about, gratitude. Elder Pataia (from Rialto) is seriously one of the BEST elders I have ever met. He always says, “Another day, another blessing.” And it’s so true, every day the Lord gives us a day to do whatever we can with it. We can either waste it or use it to help others come unto Christ. I love the Joseph B. Wirthlin quote, “Gratitude is the the mark of a noble soul.” The first thing Nephi talks about in the first verse of the Book of Mormon is expressing his gratitude for being blessed with so much. And one thing our teacher invited us to do was to say a prayer every now and then of truly giving thanks to the Lord and only expressing gratitude for all of the things we have in our lives, especially the things of eternal.
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Me and THEE awesome Elder Pataia from Rialto, CA
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Me and my favorite, Brother Hartman
Excerpts from Sister Hartman’s talk…
“Some years ago, on a hot summer day in South Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole, behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks and shirt as he went.
 
He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming towards the shore. His father, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together.
In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could. Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him.
From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug of war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. 
A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.
Remarkably after weeks and weeks in the hospital the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And on his arms, were deep scratches where his father’s fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved.
The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pants legs.
And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my dad wouldn’t let go.”
You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. Not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret.
But some woulds are because Heavenly Father has refused to let go. In the midst of our struggles he has been there holding on to us.
Heavenly Father wants us to protect us and provide for us in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead.
The swimming hole of life is filled with peril – and we sometimes forget that the enemy is waiting to attack.
That’s when the tug of war begins – and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.
You never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through. Never judge another person’s scars, because you don’t know how they got them.
“Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.00 it carries over no balance from day-to-day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
 
What would you do? Draw out every cent of course!! Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
 
Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
 
There is no going back. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
Your mission clock is running! Make every second of everyday count on your mission!
I cannot believe I am really going to be leaving this place for good in a few days! I’ve honestly loved it so much here and everyone I’ve met here has helped me and blessed me so much with their examples. I’m nervous to enter the field, but so excited too. But one thing I am sad to do is to say good-bye to my amazing district. And I remember one lesson our teacher Hermano Croft was explaining the phrase ‘Adios’ to us. He told us in the olden days or something, the phrase was, “a Dios” (to God) meaning God be with you! And I know that even though we are all splitting up, God will be with each of us! Just like in Alma 17:13, “And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken”. Alma says goodbye to the sons of Mosiah, yet they all trust in the Lord that they will see each other again, because how great is this work! That is something I am just barely beginning to understand! 
 

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Nuestro Distrito!‏
You are all amazing and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love each and every one of you! Always remember the Lord knows you and is aware of you and your struggles, and if we don’t ask for them to be taken from us, but instead ask for strength, we will have the power to change our circumstances! Thank you all so much! 
Mucho amor,
Elder Justin, Lototoa Wilson

I Feel My Savior’s Love‏

This week has been such a blessing! I can’t believe we are more than halfway done! This week we talked with our maestro about what the best reason to come on a mission is, and it is LOVE. It is love for our Heavenly Father and love for our brothers and sisters in Argentina. We read in Alma 36:24-26, how once you have tasted of the fruit you will grow a love and a need to share the fruit with others. Our maestro told us if you do not have a desire and feel you want to share the gospel with others you have not felt the atonement in your own life. And I thought about how much comfort and peace this gospel gives me.  That I can be happy because I know how much our Heavenly Father loves each of us and I know how much he wants to help us. I have been so blessed in my life with an amazing family, amazing parents who showed me the importance of a temple marriage.  Who raised me to know of the truthfulness of the gospel for myself. For an amazing ward who did not speak about charity but lived it! So many of my materials I have here, people compliment me on them and ask where I got it, and I say Idk my ward got it for me! I love GG1 so much and think about them every night! I’m so grateful to have amazing older siblings, who’ve shown me the kind of missionary I should be, and I’m so grateful for their amazing examples. I’m so grateful for my younger siblings who teach me so much! I miss joking and laughing with all of you so much, but I’m not even worried because the Lord will watch over both of us and one day we will ALL reunite and laugh with Dad and Uncle Sonny Uncle Mac, Uncle Joe, Aunty Carlene, Aunty Kat and so much more. I’m so grateful for a Savior who made it possible to know that I will see these loved ones again. To know that the grave hath no sting.
 
I actually recently had an amazing experience, the other day as a class we watched the mormon message ‘Because of Him’ video, and while I watched it I thought of all the things I can do because of Him. Because of Him, I can smile because I know He loves me.  Because of Him, I know my family is being watched over. So after we say a prayer and in the middle of the prayer, I don’t know how else to describe it.  But I think it was a vision or something shown to me by the Spirit. I could see it all so clearly. In it, I saw a man on the street and he had these dark cloths covering his face. People would walk by and some would put more cloths on him.  He seemed so uncomfortable just standing there, but it got to the point where he had so many ugly and dirty cloths on his face, that he just seemed to accept it. He just looked like a pile of dirty rags with legs. This continued until the street was empty and a man came up to him. From the angle I was at, I couldn’t see the man’s face, but I knew exactly who it was. Every fiber in me testified to me, that that was Jesus Christ. Not because of what I could see,  but because of what I felt.  And I watched as one by one, he began to take the cloths off of the man’s face. The next thing I knew my whole point of view changed and I watched as I felt the cloths on my shoulders grow lighter and lighter, until finally I could see the face of my Savior smiling bright at me. I learned two things after this experience.  1) I realized that I was that man, that all of us at some point in our life we all are. I also realized how amazing it felt to have the cloths taken off my face. It was funny because there was so much. I almost forgot they were there.  All I know is how amazing it felt to have them taken off.  2) I realized I need to see everyone the same way my Savior sees me. That the entire time He was able to see me as I could truly become and that He loved me so much He was willing to save me.  And I need to see others, with that same love the Lord has for me. I really hope this makes sense, because it was so real to me! I love my Savior so much and can feel His love so strong especially here in the MTC! I love this gospel so much and know that it is true. I know that the Plan of Salvation is real and that Jesus Christ truly lives to bring us safely home! Estoy muy agradecido por la oportunidad a ser un misionero de Dios!!! Harrah for Israel!

“He Lives”

One of my most amazing experiences here, just happened on Tuesday. I received like 5 dearelders and I was feeling like a boss, but I  couldn’t read them because we had devotional so I just kind of forgot about it. But at devotional I saw Sister Willis so I went up to talk to her. And she was actually the one who told me of Uncle Sonny’s passing, and immediately my heart just sank, I was in a room with thousands of missionaries and yet everything was silent, I was ready to just cry right there in front of her. So when we all sat down and started to sing the prelude hymns I just started to lose it, and we sang “We Are All Enlisted” and as I sang the words “joyfully, joyfully” I cried a little more because my heart was not in it, and because I was not joyful. My heart ached so much for my dear  cousins and aunty who I knew would have to have the feeling of waking up and realizing that their Dad wouldn’t be there to make breakfast or say good morning or just laugh with them. And as I sat there I put my head down and just prayed. I opened my heart to the Lord and just pleaded with Him that they would be comforted and that I could feel His love. And the Lord answered. Our last hymn we sang was “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” my favorite song! One of the songs that brought me so much peace after Dad’s passing, and as I sang the words “He lives to silence all my fears, He lives to wipe away my tears” I cried not this time because I was sad, but because I felt peace. Because I know those words are so true.  Because I know with every fiber in me, that Jesus lives. That because of Him we need not cry, because we will see our loved ones again.  And that because of Him I know that one day our entire family will be reunited again, and how great will be our joy! When I got home I found the very first letter I received my very first day, from Uncle Sonny and I just felt so bad that I never responded last week because it truly meant so much to me, I just didn’t have time.  So I said a prayer that I could be comforted and after I prayed, I asked my companion if he had his scriptures and thankfully he did, because I had a feeling the Lord was trying to tell me something.  So I flipped open the scriptures and no joke I opened them up and the very first scripture I see is, Alma 17:10 “and the Lord did visit them with his spirit and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.”  And I was. I knew that that was the exact scripture I needed to read and I was so grateful that I knew the Lord was aware of my troubles and my pain and that he was right there to comfort me. One of the last things Uncle Sonny wrote to me was, “Don’t worry about your family. The Lord will take care of them.”  I know those exact same words apply to his own family. That the Lord will take care of them, and that I know Uncle Sonny will continue to take care of them on the other side of the veil. I am so grateful for my Savior and for this gospel and for the comfort it truly brings to me. I am so excited to share this glad message of the gospel with others! ” O sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my redeemer lives!” I know He lives and loves each and everyone of us. and I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to serve Him.

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Two Incredible Dad’s and their missionary kids. Kapolei, Hawaii 2009

Like a Mighty Army

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Me and my companion Elder Johnston
Buenos Dias Familia!
I’m so sorry I forgot to tell you that my P day was on Thursday in the letter! And we also didn’t get one last thursday. But estábien. Oh my gosh where to begin! First off the MTC is amazing, West campus is way different than Main and alot smaller but the spirit here is so strong! Me and my comp Elder Johnston have had so many experiences here in the short time we´ve been here! The first Friday of our first week we had to teach an investigator named Roberto and we saw a little video about him and why he wants to meet with the missionaries, and then we just had to go out and teach him in Spanish! I was so scared and the lesson went okay we were a little all over the place and our spanish was not that great, so the next day we had a lesson with him and we totally scripted out what we wanted to say in spanish, and we said things in perfect spanish but we were just missing one thing…the spirit. Because everything was planned on what we would say we were not relying on the spirit and putting our faith in the Lord. So sunday came and it was just WOW. We were reminded about our purpose as missionaries and the spirit there was amazing, one hermana spoke and one thing that hit me, she said ¨The spirit almost always asks us to do hard things¨ And like a ton of bricks that hit me.The Lord needs us to step out of our comfort zone, because there is no growth in comfort zones. And for us that meant relying on the Lord in our lesson, so on Monday when we met with Roberto we planned what we wanted to teach but we didn´t write anything down really, and we prayed so hard that we would be blessed with the gift of tongues and mostly the gift of understanding. And the Lord provided. We were able to communicate with Roberto and understand him and what his life is like we taught him about faith and repentance and we testified to him the Lord loves us and wants to forgive us of our sins and that his arms are open, and the spirit was so strong there. We may not have spoke with perfect spanish, but he understood and we understood him, because the Spirit does not speak English or Spanish, but the spirit speakes to the heart, the spirit speaks to those who are meek and willing to listen. I love being a missionary so much, the other day our branch president asked us to pick a christlike attribute that you are having trouble with, and to set a goal of how you want to accomplish it, so I picked patience. Later that day we got to watch a talk given by Elder Bednar entitled ¨Character of Christ¨ and in it he speaks on the importance of developing the character of christ. He testified that the character of christ always looks outward when the natural man would look inwards, so my goal is everytime I am feeling impatient or grouchy, I have to say something nice about someone else or something I am grateful for, because if I am spending the time on expressing my gratititude and what I do have, then I am not dwelling on what I don´t have. I invite anyone reading this email to pick a christlike attribute they want to work onand write it down! It seriously helps, I love this gospel so muc and I know that Christ lives I know he knows each and everyone of us and loves us so much. I love being a missionary and the oppurtunity I have to serve others, the gospel is true my friends! I love being a part of God´s army and I know He truly provides.
Con Amor,
Elder Justin Wilson

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We saw Sister Willis at devotional! And we almost hugged, but its okay we remembered! (Sister Chantel Willis is Sister Natalie Wilson’s best friend from BYUH.)
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Elder Paul!
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Elders Randall, Johnson, Benedict and me
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The LIFE cereal at the cafeteria is labeled “Eternal Life”
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Our district at lunch!
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So…these are our gyms, they just look like marshmallows
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​I love my district soooo much!!!!
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Hermana Harris and Hermana Blair!
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Work hard, play hard. After 50 minutes of studying we take an 8 minute break to play games together!
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The Texans…Elder Smith and Elder Mauthe
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Hermana Ellgen and Hermana Matheson!
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Elder Pixler and Elder Baesler!
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1st letter from the MTC

 

 
Mi Querido Familia,
 
Estoy muy gracioso ser un misionera. El espíritu aquí es muy fuerte. Te amo la oportunidad aprender como ser misioneros, y servir. Yo se que Jesu Cristo vive y tiene mucho amor para ti, para mi, y para las personas en la tierra. 
 
Okay I really hope that made sense, but the MTC is amazing! I love being on West Campus because everyone here is Spanish speaking and me and my companion get our own shower and bathroom! But mostly I love it here because of the Spirit that is so strong here. I really do love you all and I love the MTC! My companero es Elder Johnston from St. George, Utah and he is awesome! He has a great spirit about him and love for the Lord and others. He just graduated too and is pretty much in the same boat as me! We get along extremely well and have similar personalities, and I think we make a great team! In fact, my whole district is amazing. It’s only the second day, but we all refer to each other as family! We share our own apartment with Elders Randall and Benedict and they are a crack up! Also, Elder Tollefson’s friend Hermana Harris is in my district and she is super cool!
 
One thing I’ve especially loved here at the MTC is all the learning we do. Day and night we are filled with information and it’s so hard to keep up with all that is being thrown at us. But one thing that brought me comfort was a quote that said, “There is no growth in comfort zones, and no comfort in growth zones = Most of the time if not all the time, it is not until we take that leap of faith or jump off that high dive that we see we had to go through that to grow. And I know that is so true, and that I’m exactly where I need to be and I love you all so much and hope to hear from you soon!
 
Con Amor,
Elder Justin Wilson
 
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Elder Justin Lototoa Wilson and his “first companion,”
Jerry Lauvao Wilson before he entered the MTC.
3 years ago, Justin was Jerry’s “First Companion”
before he went to serve in the Denver Colorado North Mission
Grateful to see his brother return the favor!

U.S. PA Pittsburgh Mission Argentina Mendoza Mission August 2014-August 2016