Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 28 - Nashville Providence A - Zone Conference

Hola mi familia! 

This week has been awesome! The main thing is that Mark Garcia and his family are progressing really well! Juana, his wife, actually had her baby last Tuesday, so that was awesome. It's made it hard for us to teach her, but just another week or so and she should be back coming to church. We went over and visited them in the hospital and said a quick prayer with them. The ward is really jumping on this opportunity to fellowship them. They are getting together to get different presents for the baby. They named him Aaron and mark instantly said "you know like the brother of Moses!" He's super funny. Elder Bradshaw and I both looked at each other because we thought of the son of mosiah first. But he'll get that soon.

We had an awesome lesson with mark, Michelle, age 8 almost 9, and joe, age 6. We taught them the restoration really simply and were using the pictures to explain. And when we got to the picture of Joseph smith getting the priesthood, mark made the connection on his own! He said "oh he's getting the authority to teach and baptize" and so we invited them to be baptized on the 25th of march. Mark and Michelle were super excited! Michelle was concerned she would be drowned, but we fixed that concern really fast! And joe was saying a bunch of doctrinally sound stuff about the devil and how he came to be. Mark just kept saying he didn't teach him any of that. And just told him you learn a lot in primary. That family is super awesome and super humble! I can't wait to keep helping them on this path of joy!

Other than that this week was a ton of tracting! We actually ran into an Egyptian and a guy from Iraq at two doors pretty close to each other. And both of them spoke fluent Spanish and 0 English! It was crazy because Spanish was the bridge language for both doors. It was actually really entertaining to hear an Arabic accent in Spanish. Now I know how the Hispanics feel when I speak it haha!

We also had interviews with president this week. Nothing to eventful, he just told us that the lord is blessing the providence area and that if we work hard then the miracles are going to start rolling out. Super motivating! I couldn't get him to tell me about transfers though, it was a nice try haha. 

That's about it for my week! I'm loving life!


🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 27 - Nashville Providence B - 6 MONTHS!!!!

This week was just a blast. I don't know, I'm just loving being a missionary now. Elder Nelson's talk from last conference is true, joy, the truest form of happiness, comes not from your situation, but from how close you are to Christ. And I've found as i continue to strengthen my relationship with him, I get happier.

Now for the week

Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Waldo and Elder Brown. Elder Waldo was Pappin's trainer and Webster's companion right before me, and he was companions with Webster for 3 transfers too. So we had a lot of fun just talking about all the different experiences we had with them. And Elder Brown was in the mtc with me. It's fun to be around him again. But about 8 pm on Tuesday it just started pouring rain and we were about an hour walk away from our apartment. So we just started going. By the time we got back, we were absolutely drenched. But it's ok because we had a lot of time to just talk and get to know each other.

Wednesday we had district meeting and I got to give a training. I trained on how to teach simply, but boldly. The simply part has to do with what you study. If you are studying to the needs of your investigators and not your own needs, then there's no way you can't teach simply. Because you studied exactly to what they need to hear. Then the boldly part was a lot of fun. That has to do with the strength of your testimony. If you don't have a strong testimony, you can't teach boldly because you don't know how true the message and gospel is. I had them read D&C 99, just substituting the name for their own. And also 3 nephi 5:13. With those two I asked, if these are true, then why don't we act like they are. We are servants of the lord and we have power with that. It was a really fun training to give because I was just getting them excited to do the work. And then we watched a little district, talked about it, and then jumped into some role plays. Then that night we had a lesson with Davíd Angelo Opreza, who is one of our most repentant investigators. His wife was working, but we got a really good lesson with him. We set him to be baptized on the 25th of march. And then after we ended he offered to give a kneeling prayer. I am super hopeful of him and his wife getting baptized. 

Thursday we had basically a mission wide conference where two members of the missionary department to give us a training. Which was super awesome. We got to watch The District 3, just a little bit of it. I can't wait for the whole thing to come out. There was so many really good ideas on it. They were teaching 10 lessons a day and every single one they had a member present. But only a few of them was the member actually in the same room as them. They used Skype to either Skype a member in or to make a conference call with the investigator and the member. Basically there's no excuse to not be able to teach a lesson based on how far it is from us. I can't wait to start putting it in action. They also used Facebook and messenger to make groups with an investigator and members in it to have contact with them 100% of the time. The story they shared was the missionaries were in bed, and then at about 11:30 one of their investigators was antied, and so she hopped on the group chat and asked her questions. The members stayed up until 3:30 with her and the missionaries woke up with 300+ messages on their iPad and the concern was already resolved. It turned a situation where you usually lose an investigator to getting her one step closer to baptism. The district 3 was a one month experiment with one district of 3 companionships, with 0 people on baptismal dates. Then after one month, they had 13 convert baptisms. It's so exciting!

Then nothing really happened until Sunday, all of our appointments cancelled until then. But Sunday at church we had 6 investigators there, 10 including the under 8 children. It was so awesome. And all of them went to the second hour, but had to leave before third. They all said they are coming next week! I can't wait to see what happens with all of them. They all are actually showing they want to change and repent. It's a nice change! Haha! Then we went to this rehabilitation center to give a blessing to a less active's non-member sister who recently got in a car accident. She said after that she wants to take the lessons! She's in the Hermana's area but that's ok:) 

That's it for my week! It was a really good week to hit six months! Super busy! It totally does not feel like I've been out for that long. I still have a long way to go, but I can see growth in me and my testimony every single day. It's the best feeling to look back and see how much I've changed the past six months. 

Love you all!

Elder Williams

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 26 - Nashville Providence B

This week was actually pretty cool. First off the ward had 5 convert baptisms on Saturday and it was so cool. They were the first convert baptisms I have seen. And I taught two of them once on exchanges, so it totally counts as one of mine, right? Haha jk. But while they were all getting changed after they got dunked, Elder Bradshaw and I taught everyone else there the restoration. It's actually a really great time to do that. The spirit is already so strong from the baptism, then all we had to do was explain to everyone why that was and the spirit just did the rest. Most of the people there were members, but there were a few investigators there, so hopefully that touched their hearts in some way. Then two of the new converts took us all out to IHOP. There were 16 of us in total. Over half of the Spanish elders in the mission were there. It was way fun. After IHOP we had like 5 lessons to teach in the last 3 hours of the day. So we were running like crazy back and forth to get through all of them. And everyone said they would be coming to church and they sounded really excited about it. Then, of course, none of them showed up yesterday, so that was disappointing. But I can bet money it was some opposition put in their path so they couldn't come. We are meeting with all of them soon, so we will find out what held them back and help them to make it next Sunday

Tuesday we taught Mark Garcia, who is really prepared to accept this gospel. He's had a ton of different addictions in his life that he has been able to overcome, but now he says he can actually feel his soul and that he's missing something. So we taught about the Holy Ghost and how he can fill that gap now with joy and peace. So keep him in your prayers for us, I really believe he's ready to make this amazing change in his life. And possibly his wife and kids. 

Wednesday was an amazing finding day, it so awesome. We were able to find 6 new investigators and 4+ potentials. So that was a really awesome day. One guy even was driving by us in his work van and stopped us and asked for a pamphlet and the address to our church. That was way weird but still cool. 

We also went to this super cool, kinda ghetto, panadería(bakery) to give some service. We helped wash dishes, talked with them all in Spanish the whole time, and got free fresh out of the oven pastries. Win/win/win. 

Other than that it was just the normal tracting the rest of the time. I've really been working on different door approaches and just trying to bear my testimony to people rather than saying what sounds right. And it's seemed like it's been working better. I'm still just trying to better myself everyday, and just trying to really trust in the lord with everything I do. 

Love you all and know I'm praying for you!

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽


IHOP (After Baptism)

IHOP (After Baptism)

The Artists of the Apartment.  Elders Williams is the Winnie the Pooh (Sent to his mom for her Birthday)
Let it Rain

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 25 - Nashville Providence B

Hola mi familia!

This week has been stock full! I'm absolutely loving it here. 

So I'm surrounded by a bunch of spiritual giants. One has this transfer left and then the other 2 go home in June. And one of them is actually a giant, he's 6'7". And it turns out that the other two elders here are the zl's, so I don't have to worry about having a bunch of exchanges. Which I'm excited about because elder bradshaw is super awesome. 

The first day we had a trio because one of the other elders was still technically ap and was helping with incoming and outgoing missionaries. So after the three of us dropped off our stuff we went out to tract and eventually we found a bunch of Hispanic kids getting ready to play some fútbol. So we decided to play with them and see how it went. Afterwards we got basically all their addresses and they told us to come by whenever. Lot of fun and pretty cool experience. (I'm not good at soccer but I started picking it up)

Then that night we went to the hospital to give a blessing to a less active member that got in a really bad car accident. That was a very spiritual experience, and after we finished the blessing he was out like a rock. 

Wednesday we had district meeting which was a blast because my district is all Spanish missionaries, so we can do most of it in Spanish. The rest of that day was really just tracting, not much excitement there. 

Thursday we went and did service at the animal shelter for awhile, lots of good stuff to do there. He rest of the day we went around and just visited with less actives and tried to teach them. We also gave a blessing to a member that was super sick. 

Friday after weekly planning we went and tracted a street where we found a couple really good prospects. One of them was an inactive mom that was interested in having us over to teach her non member husband and 9 year old daughter. So they could be baptized in the coming months. We also found a guy that was super humble and really feels like he's dying spiritually and needs something to give him life again. We've got a return appointment with him tomorrow so hopefully he will be there. 

Friday night we set up for a wedding for some investigators that are getting baptized next week. It reminded me a lot of setting up for the other weddings we have had, especially because I was on the streamer duty, which was basically like running all the lights that we did at Emilie, Katie, and Megan's weddings.

Then Saturday we were running around town getting last minute things for the wedding, then we had the wedding and didn't get done with that until about 5 and had to clean up. So that wiped the whole day almost, but it will all be worth it because they really feel like this ward is their family now. Then after that we went and gave 4 blessings to a family that needed some nerve calming because they had to go to court today to try and get citizenship. Those were actually the first blessings I have personally given and it was really cool to see how powerful the priesthood is. 

Sunday was fun because I got to do the translation of the whole thing into English for the members that don't speak Spanish. That was kind of scary but I think I did pretty good. I got lost sometimes when people were going off on different stories, but that's ok, it was mostly just fluff. 

After church we went around on bikes and I got to meet all of our investigators we currently have. Cool thing is that almost all of them are from Honduras. I thought that was really cool, and I thought Emilie would too. :) 

That's about it for this week, I'm so happy right now and I can't wait to see what the lord has in store for us in the coming weeks. 

Love you all!

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽

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