Tommy's Release Date

Since you asked, Tommy will be returning to Beaverton on October 25, 2012.

Monday, January 31, 2011

1-31-2011 More miracles

This week has really been an incredible one. I've seen some pretty miraculous changes in people. Changes that I never imagined were possible.  We went to visit this one family, and the first time we went to visit them, they didn't even really believe that God existed, but now after only 3-4 visits, they seem so much happier every time we come. They eat up EVERYTHING that we teach them, and they are always hungering for more every time that we come back.

Also, we have another family. They have been on date to be baptized before, but they need to get legally married before they can be baptized, and they never got around to it. This has been going on and off for years! The dad has known the Book of Mormon is true for YEARS and is still not baptized. But we finally sat them down and basically told them that if they didn't do it now, that their daughters were going to grow up, get baptized, and get married in the temple, and that they wouldn't be able to go. We told them a lot of other things too, and I felt kind of bad about it, but they decided to get married and baptized on the same day, 4 days after the mom's birthday. INCREDIBLE. 

The most crazy thing of all, is the way that people look at me though. I've had a couple people here that when they look at me, they don't look at me as an outsider, as some white guy speaking broken Spanish in their home. They look at me as something else. I don't know how to describe it. It almost feels like they're looking through me to look at someone else. At times, I feel like I'm out of place in the Spanish world here, but in moments like that, I feel like I fit in perfectly.

I want you all to know that God is real, that he loves us, and that he has a plan for us.

Hasta Luego,
Elder Williams

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

I don't think I've ever had bigger mood swings in my life than being here on a mission. It's kinda hilarious actually. First I get mad at myself because I want to be fluent at Spanish, then I realize that I've been speaking Spanish for a total 3 months now, then I go somewhere and speak almost perfect Spanish, which makes me happy of course, then I see somebody do something stupid and get annoyed, then we go to a lesson and teach, and the person didn't keep any of their commitments which is even more annoying, then we teach an incredible lesson and I get all happy again, then we realize that we're 20 minutes late for our next appointment and I get nervous, then we show up to their house and they're not there, so we go knocking doors or contacting, and find someone who really wants to learn about the gospel and I get excited to go back and teach them more, then we eat, then more and more and more. Basically every single half an hour of my mission I have a different attitude. Anyways, days are too short. I don't understand how anybody ever gets anything done outside the mission. We have all day just to teach and bring people closer to Christ, and it seems like we hardly have time to do that. With all the distractions out in the world I honestly can not comprehend how anyone ever does anything.  Anyways, I'm learning, and I'm growing, and this is definitely the best time of my life.  Alright, I'm sorry this is kinda short, but If things go right this week I should have a really incredible story to share next week.  I hope life is treating you all well!

Elder Williams

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011 Email

Good afternoon everyone, I hope life is going well, and if it's not, then do something about it. Life is too short to mope around, and it's so much more fun to be happy anyways. Alright, that's enough advice, now to talk about my life! This week was pretty freakin awesome. We baptized a family who has an incredible story. They've been taught by the missionaries for YEARS, and we were finally able to get them to get down on their knees and pray, and guess what?! They got their answers that the church is true! We didn't really plan how it would all work out, and I don't think we could have planned it out as well as it went, but it basically ended up that every time we would go over there, a different member of the family would be home, and we would have a super spiritual lesson with them, and then later that day we would come back and a different member of the family would be home and we'd have a super spiritual lesson with them, and then we'd show up some other times and they would all be there together and we'd get them to tell each other the things that they had felt, and the things that they had learned. It was all pretty freaking incredible!  Right now, we're working to find more people. We kinda slacked on that for the last couple weeks, because we've been teaching so much. I don't really feel bad about it because we were using all of our time wisely, but now we've got the problem that we're baptizing our whole teaching pool and soon we'll have nobody left to teach! We'll figure it out though.  Fun stuff.  I'm not really sure what else to say. The work is going great, I love the opportunity to dive in to the scriptures every single day, and I love the opportunity to be a part of people's lives, and to see the changes they make. I've been so humbled to be a part of this. The way that people look at me is so different than I ever expected to be looked at. Their faces seem to be searching, and they look at me as if I have all the answers, and that we're the only place they can go to get their answers. I love telling them that there's hope in this life; that they have a purpose here, and that God loves them.

Ahh, one last funny thing from this week. So I'm getting better at Spanish, to the point that I can understand a lot of what's going on, and I can interject with my ideas and commentaries a lot. Now this causes a little bit of a problem, because every time that I say something to someone in Spanish, they think that means that I'm fluent or something, and they start to talk a little bit faster. As soon as I understand what they're talking about and reply again, they talk just a little bit faster. This pattern continues until they reach maximum speed (Except for Puerto Ricans, I don't think they have a maximum speed) and I basically get lost in the dust and have no idea what's going on.  I think the best analogy I can use to describe this would be to say that it's a lot like Tetris. Sometimes you just fail miserably right off at level one (usually people just start speaking to me in English when this happens) but other times I'm successful and get up to level ten, and I can stay there for a little while, but there inevitably comes a point where I have absolutely no idea what's going on and all I can do is stand there and say "que? "cual?" "repite por favor" "otra vez" "No tengo una idea de que esta hablando"

Anyways, the work goes well, the Spanish goes well, and I'm loving every minute of it!  If you're thinking of going on a mission, then do it. You'll never regret it, especially if you commit to yourself that you'll give it your all and never regret it.

Con mucho amor, como siempre,
Elder Williams!

Baptism Pictures (1/2011)

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011 Email

This week was an interesting one. Most of our investigators left for the Christmas season, or had family over and didn't really want to hear from the missionaries, but I'm definitely excited because this week they're all coming back and we'll be able to really get some work done. 

Miracles are happening left and right, and I'm honestly amazed at how much God loves his missionaries.  It seems like we're always in just the right place at just the right time, and I love it.  Let me share just one of my many incredible experience:   Alright, so for those of you who don't know, I'm allergic to wheat or more specifically, gluten (I'm Celiac if that means anything to you), anyways, yesterday my companion forgot to call our dinner appointment and tell them that I had allergies, so we showed up and they had made lasagna. Yesterday was fast Sunday, and I had been fasting for like 30 hours (accidentally of course seeing as I forgot to eat lunch on Saturday), and so I decided to just eat and see what happened. I ate and ate and ATE because I was freaking hungry, and a strange thing happened. NOTHING. I had absolutely no reaction at all to the gluten.  Now this doesn't mean that I'm going to go around eating all the wheat in sight, but I have faith that as I do my best to avoid wheat while I'm here on my mission, the Lord will provide me with strength when I need it.  Oh, and also, Regular lasagna tastes weird.

Alright, here are some other things that have happened while I've been out here on my mission:
-I learned how to solve a rubiks cube in under 2 minutes and 30 seconds
-I learned just because you know material doesn't mean you can teach it.
-Listening to people is the best way to teach
-Shoes don't polish themselves
-If I sleep on my side with my knees slightly bent, my blanket is almost long enough, and my feet almost don't go off the end of the bed)
-The Latino testimony meetings are incredible
-The Latino people are also incredible
-The hardest part of life is always going to be getting out of bed in the morning. If you can successfully pick a time to get up, and actually get up at that time, then chances are that you will be successful in life.
-If it's less that 10 degrees outside, you're going to be cold. Don't even try to avoid it. Don't try to run because you will slip on ice, and don't go really slowly because you'll still probably slip, and you'll just end up being colder. Just do what you usually do, and don't be stupid.

Alright, now that I've successfully made a list, I think it's time for a spiritual thought: I think this scripture is in Enos (The Book of Mormon) chapter 1 verse 6 "And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie, therefore my guilt was swept away"  Basically my thought is this. God can't lie. How great is that?! That is probably my favorite part of being a missionary. We teach people, and then we tell them: "Alright, so we don't want you to believe us. We want you to go ask God through prayer, and he will tell you if these things are true. People lie, We tell you one thing, someone else tells you something completely contradictory to what we say, which means what one of us is lying. But there's always one God, and he will never contradict himself, and he will never lie. When we learn things from God, and not from man, then we know it to be completely true."

Sweetness, I hope life is going well for everybody, and thanks for all the notes and cards and stuff. It's weird being away from family for Christmas, and it was great to feel the support of all of you.

Tengan una buean semana! Es un mandato!
Con Amor, como siempre
-Elder Williams

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sister Williams with Elder Williams' District! 12/19/10

Kimberly got the chance to visit Elder Williams in the MTC.  Here is his whole district with her!!!