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 DavĂ­d 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