Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 19

Hola mi familia!
This week was a ton of tracting. With very little success. Everyone we ran into said they were to busy getting ready for Christmas to let us talk to them for 5 minutes. It was hard because we were just trying to share the 2 minute Christmas video with them, and nobody would let us.

That's basically all we did Saturday and we ended up sharing the video 3 times. It was fine though because it was something to distract me from thinking about the Skype the next day. Because I knew it was going to be a late call, so the longer I put off thinking about it the better haha.

We met a couple new families that could be really good potentials, but we haven't taught them yet so we are for sure. But they appeared to be really interested. So hopefully it goes well with them.
We met with Mario cardiel again and we went away from talking about the bom and focused more on what else he has to do to get baptized.

And we told him that after he does all that, then he will get his answer to the bom being true. He seemed like he liked the idea, and he's starting by coming to all three hours of church. Then we will work on harder things for him like coffee. But that's gonna come with time.

We had another visit with victor and his family. They are probably going to be our most promising family. But we ended up just talking to them, I don't know how we got off topic. But he said he had read all the testimonies of the three and eight and the introduction. He said by next time they would have more questions.

Other than that, we really just tracted. So it was a very quick week, which was nice. We are starting to really make sure we work with the members more, so that's the focus of this week.

I can't believe it's going to be 2017 already. Next thing I know this will all be over, so I've got to make the most of it while I can. I loved being able to talk to you all again, just another short 5 months till I can again.

 Love you all,
Con amor, Elder Williams

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 18

The weather is pretty crazy here. One day we were freezing our tails off. We put like 3 hand warmers in our shoes and pockets. Then the next day it's back up in the 70's and there's tornado warnings all day. But it was way nice outside where we are at. Then yesterday it dropped down even lower than before and snowed/rained, so lots of black ice. But I think it's just going to get colder. So good luck to me this week without car, haha. As far as sickness I'm good, just had somewhat of a cough ever since I left. But still doing great. Making sure I work out pretty hard so I don't put on the southern 30 pounds.

This week was a rather slow one. We seemed to find more suajili and Arabic speakers than Spanish speakers. So it was filled with a ton of knocking and not so much success. But it's ok because that will eventually come. Just gotta keep pushing through.

Monday we had the lesson with victor, the guy that met the church 18 years back. And at first we thought it was going to be another "we're catholic and are never going to change, but we respect everyone else's religion" because that's exactly what his wife said.  but then after she said that, our member started going off about the 10 commandments and how they worship images instead of god. And I could tell she was getting offended. But then her husband jumps in and says he agrees.

That's why he doesn't attend the church. Because he believes in the Bible, but he doesn't like all the false doctrines that are taught everywhere. So we started talking about how no matter where you go in the lds church, the doctrine that is taught is the same. So then we started to teach a lesson, but our member started going off about something else. (He's 81 and a little too excited to share the gospel.
He just always goes off on tangents about where they are from and 30 minute long life stories about what we are talking about. We still love him though.) so we couldn't really teach them. But we invited them to read the introduction and 3 nefi 11. And we are pretty sure he's read it. So we are going back this Thursday with one of our fresh rm's so it should be good.

The next couple days we had straight knocking planned and we only found Africans and Arabians. But we still talked to them as much as we could and then got their address for the English elder here that speaks suajili.

Saturday we had a lesson with margarita again and I invited her to be baptized, and she said yes but she wants to wait until she has more time to come to church every week. So we figured out what she needed to do in order to accomplish that and invited her to do that.
Hopefully she follows through.

Yesterday snowed and was super cold and that's about all that happened. But we met a super nice Muslim family from Iraq and struggled through the language barrier. But it was still nice to find a Muslim family that would let us in to talk.

That's it for the week! I don't know when we are planning on FaceTimeing, but I'll try to figure it out by the end of the day, otherwise I'll let you know by Christmas. We just don't know when our dinners are going to be and our church is at an awkward 1.

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 17

So Tuesday was a little miserable because we had to bike across town to get to an appointment that didn't end up happening. And it was raining and super cold. So we decided to go over to the English elders' apartment to finish our studies. Then we had them take us to our dinner so we left our bikes at their apartment. We later regretted that decision, haha.  It then for English class instead of helping teach I went in with the ward choir and helped them practice. Which actually worked because afterwards they didn't sound like dying cats! Haha. It was a lot of fun though, I miss singing everyday.

The next day we ended up walking so far and we didn't have time to pick up our bikes. So we were walking a ton. But it was totally worth it in the end because we needed up on a road we would t have tracted otherwise. And we came in contact with a super golden investigator. He answered the door and after a little bit he's like "wait what church are you from?" And we told him and he was like "oh! I went to that church for like 3 months 18 years ago and I loved it, but I moved to Atlanta and lost contact with them." Then we said there's a reason we found him then. We asked if he had a bom and he said he did in the past and loved it too. So we gave him another and set a return for tonight at 6:30!
Thursday we had to walk again which wasn't too bad, but this time it was to get our bikes so that's probably why it wasn't bad, haha. Then we had dinner at grandma morenos house. She told us to call her that. So the branch here is basically 3 huge families, and she's the mom of one of them. But she always gives us so much food. Like that time was 3 huge burritos each. We luckily convinced her to let us take one one for lunch the next day, because we were dying! But she also always has a referral for us. Because she rents her rooms out in her house to a ton of Hispanics. So she just invites one of them to come talk with us and we usually can do the first lesson. It's pretty nice actually, haha.

Then Friday was the mission tour with elder klebingat. Holy cow that man is a powerhouse. And he's German so he was super bold with us. But it was really, really good. I learned so much from it and a lot of things I can improve on.

Saturday we had a kid go out with us who just got back from his mission and it was awesome. He suggested we go to a family friends house. And it ended up being a possible investigator that we had been trying to get in with. So with this kid we got to talk with this guy for awhile. He owns caracasville. You can look it up online. He's such a good cook. And he invited us back over for the 27 because he is busy up until then.  Then that night we met a family from Costa Rica and sat and talked with the mom for a couple hours. It was cool because we taught her the restoration and she agreed with everything. Up until we said the bom is another testament. She says that wording makes it another bible. So we tried explaining it for awhile. Still don't know if she fully understood. But then we invited her to be baptized and she wasn't ready to say yes. Because she feels like then evrythings she's ever done before doesn't mean anything. Including he baptism in 87. So we tried explaining it doesn't mean they have no value, just that it wasn't done by the proper authority. We really just shouldn't have invited her to baptism yet. But I got it back to her reading the bom and finding out if that's true. And then after she can decide about the rest. So hopefully when we go back Wednesday she's there. But she was super awesome and I've never talked so much during a lesson.

Sunday was a highly productive/unproductive day. Haha. First reason is we had a lesson with Manuel before church and got him on date for January 7th. And I really think this ones going to happen. He's already come to church three times and is planning on staying. So just gotta make sure he knows the bom is true! Then right after church we booked it over to Nashville with the Aldays and went to the walk through Bethlehem. The actual event wasn't that cool, but it was a perfect opportunity to talk and gain their trust for a couple hours. Then afterwards they took us out to eat. whoops. Haha. We mad a judgement call and decided it was ok, and it it was good we did. Another long time to talk to them. And we got them to come to the Christmas dinner this Friday. Now we just need to get in and teach them! They keep canceling on us because of their daughters swim meets. But I think it will be easier now. Then we came back to the apartment and did 12 week for the last time! (It's the first 2 transfers in the field training thing) it's bitter sweet. Because it's super boring, but now we have to leave the apartment at 12 instead of 1. So another hour to tract when nobody is home! Yay!

That's the week! Love you fam!

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 16 - Hermitage

So this week was an interesting one. We had exchanges from Monday night until Wednesday night. And I took over the area so I had to really test my Spanish?? but it went rather well in that aspect. I could really feel the gift of tongues helping me. Because I didn't have elder Webster here to lean on. That was a fun couple days and I'm so glad I have elder Webster back. Except transfers are this next Tuesday so I'm not sure if we will be together that much longer. I have a feeling I'm going to a new area. But we will know for sure on Saturday!

On Tuesday we had district meeting/ interviews with president. Nothing really exciting there. Just got to talk with him for a couple minutes.

Best white person moment of the week! We knocked on a door at 7:30(not even late yet) and the wife answered the door with the husband right behind her. We said our normal missionary thing and then the husband comes out and just starts yelling at us. He was like "this is a no soliciting neighborhood, get out of here." We reply with "not soliciting and if he knew any Hispanics around." He says "not in here, you're going to try a different neighborhood. And you have no right to be knocking doors this late at night. You're scaring the crap out of people. I had a gun pointed at the door when you knocked. Now get the **** out of here." We replied with "alright have a merry Christmas." His face was priceless, he couldn't believe we were so cool about it haha. Couldn't stop laughing about it for the next little bit haha.

We found a ton of really promising families this week. One of them we knocked on their door at 8:30 and they let us in and we didn't leave until 9:45... whoops. And we didn't even teach anything. But we just talked about how they had met with the missionaries a year before and somehow lost contact. But they were super nice and awesome and we just sat and got to be their friends. This Sunday, if we get permission, we are going to go to something called "walk through Bethlehem" with them and just really get a solid relationship with them. But they would seriously be the coolest members:)
We also were able to come in contact with margarita at her house at 8:30(seems to be a pattern with us). But we just ended up helping her clean her whole kitchen, because her two grown kids who live with her don't help at all. But so we were there till ten..... mega whoops. It's ok, it was for a good cause haha.

Yesterday we accidentally slept in until 8... both of us turned off our iPads the night before and didn't realize the other did to. So elder Webster luckily woke up naturally. But we freaked out and go ready super fast. We had to end up not doing language study, so it was a costly hour and a half. But at least we didn't do it on purpose! I set up my alarm clock from the mtc so that wouldn't happen again haha.
But church we had 2 investigators show up and a less active family too. And the mom of the less active family even got up and bore her testimony! It was awesome. One of the investigators was a golden investigator just placed in our laps. We met him last week at church when one of the most recent converts brought him. He stayed all 4 hours last week and 5 hours this week (we had dinner after church and then we taught him the first lesson) but the lesson went pretty good and we had his friend with us so it was super easy. He's already planning on staying at his church before we started teaching him so we just have to get him all the info and get him baptized! Haha, that's the power of member missionary work:)

That's about it for the week. Love you all and I'm praying for you!

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 15 - Hermitage

Hola mi familia,
This week went by super fast because we had thanksgiving in the middle. And it was a lot of fun.
Monday we tracted for a while in the area around an appointment we had and didn't really find anyone. But then the appointment went pretty good and we invited them to be baptized once they knew it to be true.

They said yes, but we aren't sure if they really understood our message. Because then we invited them to church and they both said they couldn't. But if they did understand and it really is just work then they are another promising family.

Tuesday was a day full of tracting into black people, and then nobody showed up to English class. So we tracted even more haha. But we did end up finally finding a Hispanic house and got a return appointment with them!

Wednesday was district meeting and I did my first training! It was on chapter two, how to study effectively, which the actual training part was super boring that even I could tell. But then we got to a role play thing and I had a lot of fun with this one. So I had both English companionships take mine and elder Websters iPad with an ensign pulled up in Spanish. I told them they had 5 minutes to figure out what it's saying and then each had to explain it to us. They were freaking out and thinking it was talking about El Salvador and not the savior.

Elder Webster and I were dying haha. Then I got up after and related it back to effective study. If they had an hour to read these, they could have used more resources like google translate or found the talk in English. But because they didn't "prepare" before hand they couldn't. And then I said it's the same with the gospel in English. If we walk into a lesson without studying it out before, it will be just as if we were doing it in a foreign language. I was pretty proud of that one.

Then the rest of the day we had stock full of appointments, which every single one of them fell through. Then we ended up in an area we hadn't tracted yet. So we knew there was someone here that god wanted us to find, we just had to find them. So we started our selective tracting. Basically we knock a door and wait until they say they're not interested, then ask if they know any Hispanics around them. Yes- we go to that house. No- we skip a couple houses down and do the same thing. It's usually pretty effective and we do it because we don't like white people anymore. But we ended up finding a family who just moved her in the last couple weeks. But they were super nice to us and let us share the whole restoration. But at the end she said she doesn't want to get her religion and ours confused. But we are going to keep trying her because we know there is a reason we found her.
Thursday was definitely not a missionary day haha. We woke up and went straight to the turkey bowl. Which was an absolute blast. It was so fun to just relax for awhile and just have pure fun.  all of us missionaries couldn't walk for the next couple days though, we are all has-beens now haha. Then we went and got ready for the day and went to our district dinner at the ebys. I was really disappointed when it wasn't deep fried turkey, but it's ok I forgave them. But that was a ton of fun and the dad got me super excited for a lot of things. He shared a ton of mission stories and got me really excited to get back to work and work my tail off.  After that we went to our branch presidents house for dinner. Now Hispanics like their turkeys spicy haha. The outside was glazed with a spice and the inside was stuffed with a ground beef/vegetable mix. It was really good but I had already eaten two plates before that so it was a struggle to eat another.

After dinner we played nertz with one of his kids and the kids wife.

Then the rest of the night we just did personal/language study. It was a fun day.

Friday we met with margarita Anderson again, she's the one that the whole branch knows but we couldn't find her. We just kept getting to know her and how we can help her get to church. Then we shared the Christmas video with her. then we had weekly planning and more tracting. Lots of fun.
Saturday we met with Maria again and had a partial lesson about the plan of salvation. It was really hard because her kids kept coming in and distracting us. But we got it out sort of and shared the family proclamation with her. But we will keep trying to get her converted.
She is probably our most promising one.

Sunday we had (technically) 6 investigators at church. We had David and Julie, their son, Mario cardiel, and then two guys we had never met before. But we will count them haha. One of the guys even stayed for 4 hours!(1 hour of choir for Christmas after) so we are going to try to meet with him next Sunday.

That's basically the whole week. I love you all and I'm praying for ya:)

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 14 - Hermitage

This week was pretty stock full of miracles! We were finally able to come in contact with investigators and possibles that we have been trying for the past months. One was a former that has been investigating the church for 10 years. But because of things like her husband and now their family business, she hasn't been able to come to church. But we finally came in contact with her Saturday and met with her and talked about her life and how she loves this church. She just has to figure out how she can change her business schedule so that not only she doesn't have to work sundays, but also all her workers. She says she wouldn't have a clean conscience if she made them work and didn't work with them. She is so kind and I really think if we can help her figure that out, she will be baptized the next day basically! She's so awesome!

The next person was a house that we knocked forever ago and they answered and the chat went really well. But after that we couldn't ever find them at their house. Until Wednesday, when we taught her the restoration and she had a ton of really good questions and knew the answers we were telling her were true. Then we set up a return appointment for Saturday and it was another great lesson. We read 3 nephi 11 with her and talked about other things about the restoration. The spirit was totally there. And when we ended, we taught her how to pray and invited her to kneel and pray with us. It was probably the most sincere prayer I've ever heard! She was bawling and I was too because of how strong the spirit was. I really hope that she will continue to have spiritual experiences and eventually be baptized. I really think she will! There were so many other little points that I could see the hand of the lord in our week, but those were by far the greatest! I'm so happy to have this opportunity to be a missionary and I have already learned so much, and I'm just starting. I can't wait for the adventure that's waiting ahead.

Tuesday we did splits with members and I was in charge of our English class during it. But no one showed up so it ended up being an hour and a half of an 80 year old member teaching me Spanish. He started with the basics and I couldn't figure out how to get him to teach me the stuff I needed so I just started asking about his conversion story. It was so much fun just to talk to him and it probably helped my Spanish more than just sitting and watching.

I think that's basically it for this week. The rest of the time was filled with tracting and not really promising lessons with investigators. But it was a fun week and this week is going to be amazing! We aren't allowed to tract thanksgiving so we can have 3 dinners for 2 hours each, play football for an hour, and unlimited service. It's going to be so fun. I can't wait.

I'm definitely going to be missing all the food back home though. Especially the potato rolls. But it's ok. I can have them when I get back.

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 13 - Hermitage

Howdy mi familia!
This week went by so fast! But it was filled with a lot of good stuff!
Mostly because we had a lot of service and meetings. To start off, on Tuesday we went to the bishops storehouse to do service. And we were there from 7:30-3. It was super tiring but sooooo rewarding! I loved seeing all the people it was helping and also just knowing how many families would be helped with all the food they have there. That took up most of the day and we didn't even get into proselyting clothes until 4, so that was a little weird. What's crazy is the missionary area that we were covering for does that every single week on Tuesday.

I don't know how they have energy the rest of the week. Haha The next day we had zone meeting, which was just a super long meeting about how we can all get better and be better teachers. I learned a ton of really good stuff, but it was still really long. We were trained about the Christmas initiative this year and I'm so excited to use it to spread the light of Christ! It's going to be amazing!
then the next day we helped a nonmember family move into our area from the ap's area. It was just us and the English elders moving in a huge uhaul truck. But somehow it only took us like 2.5 hours. And that was with putting all the furniture exactly where they wanted it, which was a little annoying. The ap's had 6 elders helping them and it took them 5.5 hours. So I don't know how that worked but somehow we were flying.

But then we ate dinner with them and asked if we could come back and teach them a little. They said no, which was a little disappointing and surprising. But it's their agency so can't be mad.

Friday was a really good day. We had an appointment with David and Julie. And it started out like it was going to be a train wreck, because our member was going off topic so much. But somehow we pulled it back with a lot of help from the spirit and got a really good plan of salvation lesson in. At least half of it. But we got to the purpose of this life and asked if they would be baptized on the 25th. They were hesitant, so we watched a quick video about the power of prayer and then invited them to kneel with us and pray to get an answer right then. While Julie was praying I was pleading with the lord to have them feel the spirit. And my body was just overtaken with the spirit.

I didn't know if it was just me or if it was really the spirit until after the prayer. I opened my eyes and Julie was bawling. She said that she was going to be baptized on the 25th. I'm so excited! It's going to be hard to fit half the plan of salvation, all of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the commandments into 4 lessons, but I think we can do it with a little help:) we didn't see them at church yesterday, so we are going to figure out what's up and try to get them there next week. They just need to go one more time to qualify for baptism. So pray for them! They are so close!

Saturday we taught a couple full restoration lessons which is crazy because normally we can barely teach half of it before they start asking thousands of questions. But they seemed to go pretty good and we will see how they are going this week.

Yesterday we finally met an investigator that the whole branch knows and wants us to baptize her. She is basically ready to be dunked today, other than that she works 24/7 which is why it took us a month and a half to come in contact with her. She was really close to being baptized 10 years ago but her husband stopped letting their family go because of the word of wisdom lesson. But her husband died last year and so she said there is no one holding her back, just the family business that she now has to run. So we are going to work with her on that.

Thank you all for your prayers and support, I can really feel it. I love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 12 - Hermitage

Hola familia!
So we got transfer calls Saturday. We weren't worried because they don't really split up trainees/trainers. And the other two elders in our district didn't get changed either so we are excited. We have a lot of fun together on pdays.

So for the week not much really happened. But there were a couple awesome experiences that I could really see the lords hand in our work.

Wednesday night I saw a miracle unfold. It all started two Wednesdays ago. So we had a member who was supposed to go out with us but he got the flu and couldn't come. But he said that he would come with us the following Wednesday. Then we had an appointment with a part member family on Tuesday, that they cancelled and moved to Wednesday. And that member ended up being the perfect person for it. This guy is an eternigator who has been investigating the church for 10 years now. His one problem is he wants to have some physical evidence that the Book of Mormon actually happened. And when he said that the member started giving him some. And the investigator was super surprised because before everyone had just told him he just needs to have faith. This member actually started to address his concern and even ordered a book that explains a lot of solid evidence that it really could have happened. We are going back tonight to address more of it, but if all of that hadn't happened, he probably wouldn't be progressing still. He still has a way to go but this could finally be the start to him getting baptized. His daughter gets home from her mission in December and he really wants to get baptized soon after, he just needs to really believe first.

Then on Friday we were in an area knocking doors and not having any success. So we said a prayer if whether we should go somewhere else or keep knocking. We decided to leave for somewhere else. The second we got out of the fenced area there, Elder Webster's tire popped. So we couldn't keep going. So we went back in and knocked a random door. And it was the first Hispanic we had found all day. I just thought it was really cool, because god isn't going to let us miss someone who is possibly ready. It was kind of a really funny miracle. I was laughing really hard. But God will work in mysterious ways to make sure it happens.

We finally got back in with Davíd y Julie after 2 weeks! We were expecting to get dropped or have to really work in the importance of having us over. But the lesson went really well and hey just explained why they couldn't meet with us or go to church. Basically life happened. But we invited them to baptism again and they said they want to know more before that. We didn't see them at church but we will continue working with them and have faith:)

Yesterday was kind of a disappointing day as far as missionary work goes. No one showed up to church and we couldn't find a single Hispanic for the 3 hours we could work. But it was a good day because we fasted and got to hear from the whole branch and their testimonies. It's a great way to get good at switching between dialects fast:) and also after church every fast Sunday the Hispanics here have a lunch in the gym. It's the greatest thing ever. I ate probably 2 pounds of homemade crab salad. So good. I think we should do that back home. Just an idea haha.
But that's basically it for the week! Love you all

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 11 - Hermitage

Hola mi familia!
This week was kind of a fun one. Mostly because I got to go on my first exchange at the beginning. I had a blast on it and I learned so much from him. Mostly how to contact with English people. Because it's basically 80% of the people we find, so we might as well try with them. I learned a lot of how I can improve myself as a teacher. He really knew how to connect with people. I also thought I would send out a menu of what ate that day. Just like I said I would.

Tuesday night- 6 eggs, 10 pieces of pizza, 1 piece of cheesecake, 2 pieces of cake, and 2 helpings of chicken spaghetti. Basically we had one dinner with a member and 2 others with random people that didn't really want to listen but invited us to dinner. So we used it as an opportunity to share our message with them. Haha

Wednesday after district meeting, we went and picked up a teacher in our branch and brought him out tracting with us. We trying to do that with all the boys to get them wanting to go on a mission. But the first door we knocked on really got him used to the mission experience. The guy opened the door and his dog came out and started sniffing us. Then the guy noticed our tags, picked up his dog, said  "no thanks I've already had my fair share of mormons" or something like that, and then flipped us off while he slammed the door. The kid was so wide eyed it was hilarious. Elder Webster and I were just laughing at it and he said "now you know why we don't like to tract into white people." Ha. We had a lot of fun with him though. Later that night we had an appointment with Anna and Julia, which we brought a fresh off his mission member with us. So we had basically 3 missionaries there. Luckily we did, because I hadn't spoken very much Spanish since Monday so I couldn't really speak it. It takes a little warming up to it if you go without it for awhile. But the spirit was definitely there during the lesson. With the members help we were able to resolve some of the doubts they had, especially with Julia. I don't remember what day, but we tracted into a woman who said that it's not just to only allow certain people into our temples. But during it I could really feel the spirit helping me know which way to take it. It really did bring scriptures to my memory that fit in perfectly. It was all in English, but it was something that just reassured me that the spirit is the teacher not me. It made me want to work even harder in my studies so that I could have it happen in Spanish.

We possibly helped a less active family get back on the path to the temple. We talked to them about what was keeping them from going and then just taught what blessings will come from following those commandments on top of being sealed for time and all eternity. I really love this family so much and I want them to go to the temple so bad. So we are going to help them in whatever way we can. That's all the spiritual stuff that's happened this week. We are losing contact with David and Julie so that's going to be super sad if they drop us. But we are just going to try to get more creative in how we come in contact with them. I honestly believe if Hispanics didn't have to work so much here, they would all get baptized. That's kinda what we think is happening with David. He has two jobs and just wants to sleep otherwise. It's really a sad reality at how little people can get paid if they aren't full citizens. But they still will work so hard to support their families. That's one thing about Hispanics, they will never give up on their families. I love it. :)

Friday night we had día de la cosecha, or or basically just trunk or treat. There was a ton of games, including Mexican bingo. It was a lot of fun, but the investigators that said they were coming didn't end up coming. But there were a few possible investigators that the members brought that we made sure to meet. No investigators at church so we gotta work on that. But we know there are people here ready to be baptized, we just have to find them. So we pray everywhere we go. But I'm loving it out here!
Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 10 - Hermitage

Hola mi familia!
This week was kind of a blur. Like yesterday I saw we had an appointment with someone. And I thought that it couldn't be yet because she said come back in a week. And then I realized it had been a week! But anyways for the rest of the week.

Monday night we ran into a family that wasn't interested at all. But they were taking groceries in so we helped them out. Then they invited us to stay for dinner. And while the wife, Rosie, was cooking we taught Juan, her husband, most of the restoration. It wasn't anything special and then we started eating. And rosie told us we were coming back every Monday from now on. And she said she would make shrimp for today. Which I'm sad because I'm going on exchanges with my dl so I'm going to miss it! Oh and for the next day if we run into any Hispanics I'm going to have to do it solo because the dl is English speaking.  Good luck to me.

Wednesday we had the temple. And I absolutely loved it. I got direct answers to questions I had, one in particular was what date we should ask David and Julie to be baptized. And I got an answer then talked to Elder Webster later and he had the same answer! It was really cool. Then one of the members from the English ward took us to l and l Hawaiian grill. It was soooo good. He said there is a couple in salt lake, so I'm definitely going when I get back. But he spent so much money on the 4 of us.

Thursday and Friday were pretty long because we couldn't find any Spanish speakers. And when we did I hadn't spoken it for so long I couldn't really speak it. But other days when all we are talking to is Hispanics my Spanish is a lot better.

Saturday we had a great lesson with David and Julie again. We brought the wife of our branch mission leader and she absolutely nailed it. She made sure they knew that the Book of Mormon was about their ancestors. We invited them to be baptized but it didn't feel right to set a solid date yet. Next time. But they said they will pray about it and if they feel it's the will of the lord they will.

Sunday I had my first talk in the field. I had to write it the morning of, and it was super hard because I had a massive migraine. But with a little prayer, I made it through writing and giving it and I think it went pretty well. We missed David and Julie at church so we are going to find out what happened. But other than that, I think thats my week. I'm loving it and I can feel all of your prayers.

Next week pday is from 1-9 here because of Halloween, so that will be fun. I can't believe it's week five of this transfer.

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 9 - Hermitage

Buenos días mi familia!
This week was really one of those weeks were the days felt like weeks and the week felt like a day.
One of the reasons could be that we had zone conference this week. I really loved it because it taught me what I need to improve on. But it felt like an eternity because it went from 8-4:30. There was a ton of training and sooo many role plays. And if you don't know yet, I hate role plays haha. They expect you to ask inspired questions and have the spirit but it's so hard for me because I know they are just missionaries and not someone who really could use the message. But I still learn from them. :) I guess I will give more details about my companion. (Someone asked for more) He's from Ogden Utah and he turns 20 in 10 days. He's been out for 14.5 months now. His Spanish is really good, which is awesome because it is making mine improve so much. He's kinda quiet, but it's ok we still talk a ton. The only thing that bugs me about him is his driving. The (death) box in our car tells us when we need to fix something about our driving, like our speed. So it says to slow down once you are going 7 over. So instead of going 6 over everywhere, he likes to accelerate as much as he can until it registers it and then he slows down usually to 10 below when it says he's good. He thinks it's faster that way. It's not haha. But really he is awesome and has a great spirit with him. I'm glad he's my trainer. He always asks what I think we should do instead of just making all the decisions. It's awesome. But that is all the stuff I can think about for him. Now for the rest of the week.
This week I really learned what the scriptures meant by "after the trial of your faith". From the start of the week we weren't finding any success. Every single appointment they either cancelled on us or weren't there. Which meant we had to spend most of our time tracting during times when no one is home. The people we could find didn't want to listen. 90% of them said "I already have a church" and would just shut the door and lock it. Sure we found a couple who were nice enough to listen, but they didn't seem interested in what we had to say. But then Friday finally comes around. The beginning of the day is looking the same as the rest of the week, but the last thing we have scheduled is an appointment with one of our solid investigator families.So we knew that it wouldn't fall through. We really tried to find a member to go with us, but no one would answer our calls or texts. So we went anyways. They are from Venezuela and the husband, David, has been living here with the son for a year working. The wife, Julie, just moved here a month ago. What's really awesome is that a week after Julie showed up the branch president married them. And that was before we started teaching them. They also don't drink or smoke so all the things that are usually a problem were already solved before we started teaching them. When we got to their house, we spent a good amount of time just talking to them. But then after a little while, we started with a prayer and began our lesson. And the spirit was so strong during it. We taught the restoration and really focused on the dispensations and priesthood authority. They ended up teaching each other most of the lesson after we would explain some parts. When we got to the point where we asked them to pray about Joseph Smith, David responded with "I don't need to, I already believe that he was a prophet". He said it so convincingly. We still committed him to pray about, but it made me so happy that he could feel the spirit that strong during the lesson. We are going to start to teach them 2 times a week now so we can get them prepared for baptism. We are going to commit them with a solid date this next lesson after we teach the Book of Mormon really solidly and 2 nephi 31, but I have faith that they will say yes. They have gone to church 3 times now, and the first time was the day after our first lesson. Julie didn't go yesterday because she was fixing something at their house, but David did. The only thing we struggle with is David is always falling asleep because of his crazy ours he works. But we have started just asking him a bunch of questions during the lessons to keep him involved. But just that one lesson made the rest of the weeks hardships worth it. On Saturday we had another lesson at the end of the day with a Honduran family. It's a single mom, Anna, and her four children and also Anna's mom, Julia. They have known the church for 10 years now, but the last lessons they had with missionaries was 6 years ago. For some reason they didn't have a teaching record so it was a miracle we found them. Anna has the potential to be baptized really soon. She really understands the restoration and knows there's a need for the priesthood power. Julia on the other hand is going to take awhile. She has been a catholic all her life and is one of those really stubborn ones. She always tries to stump us during our lessons but Anna usually is the one to answer her moms questions. It's really nice because they are questions that would stump us haha. Our goal is to start bringing a member with us every time to help us explain things better and also to convert Anna first. Once we do that we believe that she will be able to convert her mom. But we will see in the coming weeks. But this area could be seeing a few baptisms soon. Maybe not while I'm here, but hopefully it is. Last thing for the week. For dinner last night we had menudo. Which is just a fancy word for cow stomach soup. It's basically the same texture as fat off of meat. But also my mind knew it was stomach. I have a picture of it, but we couldn't finish it. Luckily the member told us that most Hispanics don't even like it, so if we don't like it we don't have to finish it. I also tried some fried pig skin. That I could tolerate more, but still not good. But it was the first experience I've had so far with weird authentic Hispanic food.
I think that's the week!

Con amor,
Elder Williams

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 8 - Hermitage

Hola mi familia!
This week has been awesome.
It started off great right after pday was over. We went out to an area right near our apartment because we only had a couple more hours. But we found like 6 new investigators! I really have learned that time is precious out here. My companion and I make sure that we are out finding or teaching until the very last minute every night. Something Wednesday night really clicked. We started the day really not finding anyone home and finding people who weren't interested at all. But then after dinner we were finding people left and right. I also haven't talked or taught better since I've been out. It felt so good. I really could see the gift of tongues at work. I was so grateful for that. Then Friday I got my first flat! Haha, I think it was something before I got it. Because when I first got the bike it was flat and when we pumped it up it would go up but not really hold pressure. So it was a really slow leak. But I got a new tube and it's working great now. Also that night we were going to an appointment and we went to the address it had. But it was somehow wrong, even though I double check all of them before we leave. But it was really good because we found this girl who lives on her own with her 1 year old. She had been robbed earlier that day, and lost all of her money for her baby and bills. So she was having a terrible day. But we came by and talked to her and she seemed interested in what we had to say. So we will see where that goes. Then right after we found where the appointment was supposed to be and the person was barely pulling up. So we would have missed her as well if we had gotten there on time. The lesson went really well and we referred her to the sisters in the area. It kinda sucks to have to do that because we come to love them in the first couple lessons but because they speak English we have to refer them. But this was just a lesson of how god has weird ways of making miracles come about. We will see how both of them turn out:) Saturday was a little sad. Every appointment we had fell through. And we also got dropped by two investigators. One of them told us her husband didn't want us coming back, because we were elders. He was fine with the hermanas coming over before us. She was really close to baptism, so it was really disappointing. We also ran into some baptists that were so scared of us. They had been taught we were devils or something. It was actually kinda funny. But the good things about Saturday. I got to ride 14 miles on my bike, so that will keep me from getting fat. And at about 8 we met this really cool baptist. He talked with us for about 45 minutes.  One of the things he said was "who am I to say you guys are wrong. One day we could be walking up to the gates of heaven and we see each other and remember each other. Then you walk up and go straight through and I'm stuck outside. We will just have to wait till that day. But until then I'm going to respect all" it was refreshing. He had a lot of wisdom, but also some crazy things. Like he said he saw the second coming in day dreams 3 different times. They were weird stories, but he fully believes they were signs. Sunday was relaxing. Because we got to go to church which took up most of the day. But it was also tiring because I had to focus really hard to know what was being said. Something I liked that I learned during priesthood was that there is two purposes to the refiners fire. One is to make us better after. But the other is to see if we are pure gold or fools gold. It's god's way of seeing if we are really all that we appear to be on the outside. Because through trials we show who we really are. I really liked that lesson Side note for Emilie,  we have a Honduran investigator right now. I think of you every time we teach her.
Con amor,

Elder Williams

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 7 - In the Field

Hola mi familia!
This week has been crazy and awesome! I'll start off with where I'm at. I'm in a town called hermitage. It's right outside Nashville. I'm about 10 minutes away from the airport. This is the second best Spanish area after providence. Because that area is a ward. But the member help here is amazing. Last night was the first time we didn't have a member going out with us. We are also fed every night. The food is so good. I'm going to get fat so fast here, haha. My companion is elder Webster. He's been out for 14 months now. His last area he was in, he was there for 8 months. He's awesome at helping answering my questions about the language and forcing me to talk sometimes. The language is coming along pretty well, I don't talk very much yet but I am able to understand most of what's being said. It's hard sometimes because the people here are from all the Hispanic countries. The
majority are from Mexico so they are way easier to understand.

Oh I almost forgot! I finished the Book of Mormon the Friday before I left the mtc. I read 65 pages that day. I enjoyed it so much. Now for the lessons I learned this past week. I've learned to love tracting. That's pretty much all we did last week. It was the first thing we did when we got here. We found 4 new investigators just in those few hours. We have spent a lot of time meeting all the current investigators, so that ate up most of our time. We sat last night for a couple hours last night talking to an eternigator(met the missionaries 2 years ago) as she told us about her life. I was able to follow pretty well. She has read the bom multiple times and knows it's true. So we don't know what's holding her back but we will find out next visit. One of the nights we got back to the apartment 30 minutes early so we decided to knock some doors. It wasn't looking very good until the last door. We found a guy who is looking for a church with the right feeling. He seemed very interested in what we had to say.  He's an English speaker so we can only teach him one lesson but it really taught me the importance of using all of our time. We were able to get an entire family of investigators to come to the Sunday afternoon session. It was so amazing especially because we had just met them. They really seemed to love it. I loved watching the general conference as a missionary. I got so much more out of it than I ever had before. That's all I can think of right now. But I'm allowed to email until 6 here so if you have any questions or anyone wants to email back and forth I'm available.
Con amor,

Elder Williams

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 6 - Nashville

Hey y'all
I'm in Nashville! I love the mission president. We have been up since 11:30 your time and got here at 1:40. One of the ap's is a Spanish speaker and we bombarded him with questions. And everything he said was good. There are so many Spanish people here. Enough to have 8 missionaries in one ward. And we get to use Apple Music on our iPad so that's going to be awesome. There's a chance I'll be in Kentucky tomorrow but we won't know till the morning. My p day will be Monday.

I think that is everything about today
Love you all,

Elder Williams