Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 50 - Nashville Providence D

Hola mi familia!

So this week I got kinda sick of spending 100% of our time knocking doors. Because we weren't really working with many of the new investigators that we had found in the past weeks. So it was leading to a really long list of new people with no progress on them. So I decided that we were going to focus on cutting down our list to find the ones that were ready to progress. And it worked out really well, as we spent our time going from one investigator to another, we talked with anyone that was out and about on the way. So we figured out the repentance level of many of our investigators we have currently, put a pause on a lot of them, and found 11 new people with return appointments. And time just flew by this week. It didn't feel like a drag because we weren't knocking for hours on end. 

One of the investigators that we found this week was a pretty awesome miracle of how we found him. So about a month ago, at the beginning of the last transfer, I was on exchanges with Elder Webster and we talked to a Hispanic that was really drunk at the time. But we gave him a card and I asked him where he lived. He pointed on the map at some apartments that are at the bottom of my area. So fast forward to last Friday, it was about 8:25 and we had nothing to do. And suddenly that same apartment complex came to mind. It was a bit of a bike ride and it was really close to time to head in and we would have maybe 10 minutes to find while we were there. But we decided to go and see what we could find. I was thinking the whole time that the guy from the exchange was probably the only Hispanic there, from what I heard, and I was right. But that didn't stop us from coming across him again. He was the second door we decided to knock! And he told us of how a few days after we saw him a month ago, he was driving drunk with a friend in his truck and ended up getting in a bad car crash. His trunk ended up flipping a few times. But everyone got out fine, but he ended up going to jail for a few weeks. He told us of how from the moment of the crash, he decided if he didn't stop drinking then, he never would. And he hasn't since. He's actually spending time with all his kids and his pregnant wife. He told us the one thing that really caused him to change was realizing that if he continued, then his family would be left alone. He was really glad we came and found him. We are going to go teach him and his family tomorrow. I have very high hopes for this family. 

That was a testimony strengthening experience of always listening to where the spirit is telling you to go. I just have to be humble enough to listen. And then act. It's something I'm working on, and I'm improving slowly but surely. I have a long way to go still, but I'm better than I was. And that's what really matters. 

Love y'all and hope you have a great week!

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 49 - Nashville Providence D

Hola mi familia!

I'm super excited for this transfer here in Providence. It feels like a 180 turn from last transfer. The new missionaries are very excited to work hard and see the blessings that come from it. It feels like the work is really progressing now. 

Elder Jones is awesome! He is from Boise! He lives off McMillan and Eagle road. He went to centennial high school. He was supposed to come out in he same group I was in, but ran into some health issues and had to wait for a bit. He's been out for about 6-7 months now. He is really humble and just a great missionary. I'm grateful for the chance I have to work here with him. We've tried to come up with ways that we can help each other be better missionaries, and one way is that once we leave the apartment, it's 100% Spanish between us. We still have a long way from being perfect at it. But I feel like it will help us speak better so that we can just worry about teaching the amazing Hispanics here!

We saw some really good progress with the family henriquez that we found last Saturday. When we stopped by the first time, they hadn't been able to read much in the pamphlet, but we finished the restoration with them. At the end we committed them to read the introduction of the Book of Mormon. And then Saturday when we taught them again, they not only read it, but they had taken a highlighter and a ruler and marked the parts they thought were important or that they liked. It was super cool. Then we read the first chapter with then. And they understood it well. We invited them to church and they said they couldn't this Sunday, but the next week them and their 4 kids would be there. I am really excited to work with them. We plan on bringing a member with us on Tuesday and then setting a Baptismal date with them. And to think this family was found during a less productive time to knock doors on a Saturday! 

We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the traveling assistants yesterday. And it was a great learning experience. I got some ideas on how I can continue improving and learning how to forget myself and get to work. I also got some ideas of how to work with a district full of sisters and how I can know their needs easier. It was a great night. We also had a really cool blessing happen. While Elder Tolman and I were biking to an apartment complex to knock some doors and a suburban passed by and yelled "Elders!" He turned into the parking lot next to us and came over to talk to us. He was baptized 7 years ago and hasn't been really since. But he just barely moved here Friday from Houston and was heading to the store to get food. He gave us his number and we got him the address to the church. He said he will be there next week without a doubt. He just kept saying how grateful he was that he found us there. It was a huge testimony to me of how if we are just going about doing good (heading to knock doors) that the lord can place in our paths people that are ready to repent and help strengthen the ward.  I love this work!

On Saturday we went to the primary pioneer day activity. It was a lot of fun, but it was super hot. Like 100 with 85+% humidity. But we just walked around a lake and sang hymns and told pioneer stories. The kids in this wars are super cute. And I've been here long enough that they all love me. So that was a lot of fun. 

Other than that, the week was crazy normal. Haha. Just lots of finding

I love y'all!

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 48 - Nashville Providence D - Transfers - Still there

Hola mi familia!

We got transfer calls this Saturday. And I'll be staying in Providence for at least another 6 weeks! I'm going to hit 7 and a half months here. And I couldn't be happier. I will be receiving Elder Jones. He's been out for 6 months now and been in Clarksville, TN the whole time. He will be my first comp that's younger than me in the mission. I'm really excited because he will still have the greenie fire for the work. Something you don't find in missionaries about to go home. So it's going to be a transfer of really hard work, but I know we will see miracles because of it. 

I wanted to share a scripture that I read during scripture study this week that I thought fit a theme we've had recently in my mission, Grit. Alma 8:9-10 So Alma gets to Ammoniah and finds them taken hold of by Satan, and yet he labors diligently, wrestling with the lord in mighty prayer. Many times I feel like I find someone that's obviously very deep in sin, and I find myself with little faith that they could change. Whereas this is the point when I should work even harder to help them in their path of repentance. Because many times, it's these people that are ready to change. And it might not work the first time. Alma had to return and change his tactics of preaching the Gospel. I just really love this story because it's a great example for missionary work. 

This week was a great one. We had a lot of really cool blessings happen. The first one is that Wednesday night we had a ward rescue night. All of the presidencies in the ward and all the missionaries here met at the church and we went out to try and help our less actives return. And we all had a lot of success. Almost everyone got in with someone, and they were people that don't normally open. I had the opportunity to visit Carmen and Miguel. They were really happy to see me again. We were sitting there and talking fo  a little and Carmen just said "We are going to read right?" I could just see the hunger for the spirit in Carmen. She knows what she needs to do, she just needs to develop the faith to do it. We read a chapter and then left. The next day they read a chapter on their own, and Miguel actually read another alone. It was great. I know Carmen with get baptized eventually, I can just see it in her eyes. 

The other blessing is a family we found. We were knocking during a time of day that normally Hispanics aren't home. A lot of times it feels like a waste of time, but when things like this happen it makes it all worth it. We knocked on a door and a guy opened it and after we introduced ourselves he let us right in. We did half of the restoration and then he started talking about how he doesn't go to a church because he feels like they are all businesses. And all I could do was nod and smile the whole time he was talking. Because I would be frustrated as well if I didn't know about this church. He said that every time he goes, he goes to hear of God but the first thing they mention is money. After he finished I just felt like I needed to bear a simple testimony that this wasn't our goal with them and that they could trust us. I told them if they want to find peace in their lives, then this was the way they should go. They were really receptive and wanted us to come back. We have a return appointment this week and I can't wait to meet with them again. 

We also finally had a lesson with someone we found 4 weeks ago. We missed our first appointment for some reason and we hadn't been able to set a new one for some reason. But we finally got in and it started with just him. Eventually his wife came out and listened. Then at the end he was concerned about  being baptized twice, so we talked about knowing if the priesthood was restored. And so he said he would read and pray to know. He also mentioned how he was going to make sure his three kids would be there the next time so they can all learn together. He said it without us even asking. It was awesome!

All around a great and stock-full of blessings week. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to continue working here in Providence. I love the members here and for their simple but powerful faith. I know that with the lords help, we will start to see miracles here in Providence really soon. 

Love y'all!

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 47 - Nashville Providence D

Hola mi familia!

This week was really fast! On Tuesday we went on exchanges and I went with Elder Atkin this time. It was a good time for him and I to brainstorm ideas to better the work here in Providence for next transfer. I also learned that I could try a little harder with non-hispanics. At least give them a card with the English missionaries number on it. Elder Atkin is really good at that. We had to go in at 8 because of all the fire works and drunks, and nothing too fun happened. But it was still fun to hang out with the zone leaders for the extra time.

We talked with José and Yeimi and walked them through the divorce process and then based on how long that would take, set a new date for Yeimi's baptism. We set it for the 26 of August. This should give Jose's ex enough time to come back from her trip to Honduras and then for José to talk with her to set up a court date. We did find out that we don't have to wait till the very end of the process for Yeimi and José to get married. Once the first paper is signed and filed, they can get married that same day. So that was great to hear, instead of 3-4 months down the road, it is just over a month. I might still be here when she gets baptized! I've already been in Providence for 6 months! Time really is flying here. I can't believe it.

We also continued working with Ilda and her sister Fatima. We found out that it's going to be tough to get Ilda's boyfriend to marry, for some reason he's really against it. Even though they have 2 kids and have been together for 17 years. I don't get it, but we are just going to keep bringing the spirit and hope that it helps soften his heart.

I'm really impressed with elder black and his determination to give it all until the end. I'm excited for this last week with him!

Love you all!

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 46 - Nasville Providence D - Happy 4th of July

Hola mi familia! Happy 4th of July!

This week was awesome!

The best part of the week was definitely Sunday. Yeimi and José came to church again and absolutely loved it. They were able to stay all three hours this time. At one point I looked over at Yeimi and she looked like her eyes were watery, so I think she really felt the spirit during testimony meeting. Then we took their 3 year old daughter to primary, and they were a little nervous because she is really shy and hasn't been around other kids before. But it turns out she loved it too! They tried to leave third hour because they thought their daughter would be hungry, but when they went to get her from primary, the daughter wouldn't leave. She was actually avoiding eye contact so she wouldn't have to leave. It was super cute. So they stayed for third hour. And it was great because José had the chance to have an interview with bishop and talk about his situation with the divorce/marriage. It was all around a great day of church. And I counted and there were 17 investigators/less actives that were able to attend today. Some of them were brought by member friends. It was the fullest gospel principles I've ever been in. It was just awesome. 

We also were able to meet with an investigator that we found last week. Her name is ilda. She is from Honduras, la lima. Which I'm pretty sure was one of Emilie areas. But while she was in Honduras, she was going to church for about a year and a half, and she wanted to get baptized but she couldn't because her husband was here in the states and they weren't married yet. So fast forward 6 years and she is now here. We only met with her for a few minutes, but she told us how she wants to get baptized, but it would just take time because her husband doesn't really like Mormons and they still aren't married. But we told her that we would love to start teaching her the lessons again to work with her to be baptized. We also found out that her sister, who was baptized 6 years ago, lived with ilda and wanted us to visit her as well.

 It was a super cool blessing to find them, because I've been feeling like we are finding a lot of people here, but no one was really sticking out as "coming forth"(d+c 20:37) but now after this week's progress with José and Yeimi and with this new investigator, I feel like I've found one of the reasons I'm serving here at this time. 

I love elder black and he is really determined to work his hardest to the end. There is a lot we can still do in the next two weeks. 

🇺🇸Elder Williams🇲🇽