Tommy's Release Date

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011

A lot has happened this week. First of all, I got sick again! I've been sounding like a frog pretty much this entire week, and strangely, it's kinda fun to sound like a frog. Unfortunately, I have to also be sick in order to sound like that. Anyways, besides that some pretty interesting stuff happened. It seems that the trend of our investigators moving out on us is continuing. First of all, we have a family who was waiting to get baptized until their father got back from California. Well, he got back, and we had to finish teaching him the lessons since he really hadn't heard more than the Joseph Smith story (But he'd read more than ha;f of the Book of Mormon). Anyways, so we finished with that, they were excited about baptism, and then the boy decided to go live with his grandparents in Mexico for the summer.  Anyways, we were over there, talking to them about when they want to be baptized, and the kid says "August. That way I can be set up to go to seminary, and everything." We asked him why he wants to wait so long, and he told us he was leaving for Mexico that afternoon. He was pretty excited to go be a missionary to his grandparents and share all the pamphlets and everything with all his friends there. So basically, the family is on hold again waiting for the kid to get back. They all want to get baptized together, so they're waiting.
 
Aside from that, we went to visit a family on Thursday evening. The dad wasn't home, but the mom, and all of the kids from the neighborhood were outside making and throwing paper airplanes. We went up, talked to the mom, set up an appointment for Saturday, and were about to leave when I decided I wanted to make a paper airplane. We went over, and started making and teaching all the kids 4 or 5 different ways to make paper airplanes! Next thing I know, they're running around bringing out posters and stuff wanting to make airplanes out of them. So next thing we know, there are about 5-6 massive paper airplanes (probably about as big as the kids) flying around the yard. The kids were prettttty excited about it, and were quite sad when we had to go, but they were cheering "Gracias" "thank you" "Come back again" and about every other thing they could thing of as we climbed in our car and drove off. Now for the sad part.  We went back on Saturday for our appointment, and it was quite apparent that they had moved. We were SOOOO excited for this family! But for some reason they disappeared.  It looked like they'd had to leave in QUITE a hurry. There were a lot of things left behind, but we confirmed with the other people living around there that they were gone. We're working on getting in contact with them to figure out if we can send missionaries to where they live now.
 
Last story. Me and my companion were walking up to knock a door when I got the urge to sneeze, so I stopped and looked at the sun, because for some reason that helps me sneeze. Who know's why. Anyways, my companion stopped, turned and asked, "need to sneeze?" "yep" se he stopped, turned, and looked towards the sun too. Apparently he needed to sneeze as well. We were there for a good 45 seconds, and neither of us could sneeze.  I gave up, turned around, and walked off.  My companion Gave up as well and turned to follow. I looked at him and said "We just had a moment there man" he replied" Yeah man, that was kinda weird."  I'm sure this story probably isn't funny to you, but it was pretty hilarious at the time.
 
Anyways, have a great week!
 
Oh yeah, my mission president told me we needed to put our investigators on date, so we did. 5 investigators got put on date this week, and more to come. It's crazy what a little bit of guidance can do every once in awhile.
 
Love to all
Elder Williams

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011 - A Furby!

I got the package from the ward. It pretty much made my day too! I most definitely wasn't expecting it.  I really appreciate it!
 
We are getting a lot of rain here. I love it! Everybody is complaining about the rain, but I just stand there and smile. I really miss falling asleep with it raining, and then waking up with it still raining. That happened the other day, and it made my day just that much better. :)
 
This week was somewhat strange. We found out that one of our investigating families suddenly moved to Arizona, we got a new investigator who is leaving for Pennsylvania on Thursday, we contacted a referral and found out that she apparently goes to church almost every week, and she wants to be baptized. We asked her "You know what you have to do to be baptized right?" "You have to talk to the missionaries. That's us" She seemed slightly surprised, and got a little bit excited. Basically, we're going to go teach her, and she's going to get baptized :)  Also this week we had our first lessons with the brother of one of the recent converts here. He is really enthusiastic about learning, and he's very interested. We're excited to get about and talk to him some more.  Besides that we talked with an atheist kid, gave him the first lesson, and he really felt something. Unfortunately, his parents are very very very very very very very catholic, and won't let him come to church, and don't want anything to do with us. We talked to them, and they're nice to us, but very set in their ways, and not willing to listen. We're hoping that we can get the parents to eventually listen to us through the kid, but we'll see how that works out. The area I'm in right now is growing pretty quickly. We've been getting a lot of new investigators, and a lot of the older investigators are starting to progress. We're hopeful that we can help them all to progress to baptism, but we'll see how everything happens. 
 
Fun story, we went to a garage sale to look for Latino's to talk to and hopefully teach, and we found a furby for $0.25. It was just too much to pass up, so we bought it. Now, when we get home we can enjoy taking a minute or two to sit on our couches eating otter pops, and talking to furby [furby is a stuffed animal which learns to talk by using voice recognition software]. Fun stuff!
 
Hope all is going well.
 
Have a great week!
Elder Williams

Monday, May 16, 2011

5-16-2011

This week was pretty incredible. We found two new families to teach. One of them was a referral to us from a man who owns some apartments.  He rented one of them out to a spanish family. They were surprised when they found out that he spoke spanish, and asked him where he learned it. He told them that he learned it on his mission. They continued talking about this, and the wife ended up asking if they could talk to the missionaries to learn more about the church. We showed up, and they are an awesome family! I'm pretty excited to see where they go. Unfortunately they only have time to listen to us once a week.
 
The other family: We were walking around by some apartments, and this lady walks out and tells us they want us to come and teach them. They'd apparently had some missionaries before, and the kids absolutely loved them, and the lady is very very interested in what we have to say. This could be pretty awesome!
 
Last story. One of the investigators that the english missionaries have been teaching got baptized this weekend. It's been pretty interesting because there is another man that lives in the house with this kid that got baptized, but he doesn't speak much english at all.  The english elders ended up inviting us to their lessons with them because this man had been getting increasingly more and more interested in the church, but they didn't speak spanish so they couldn't really teach him. So we went over and talked to him and basically translated what the english elders were teaching. Anyways, the kid got baptized, and they wanted the other man to give the 3-4 minute talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost. The only problem is that this man only speaks spanish, and it was an english baptism, so they needed someone to come translate for him. Of course they ended up asking me to go translate..... Anyways, we get up there, and he's supposed to start giving his talk, and he folds his arms and starts to pray (apparently no one really told him what he was supposed to be doing?) It reeeaaaalllyy caught me off guard,but I ended up folding my arms and translating what he was saying.  The thing is though, that I had to change some things. His prayer was absolutely incredible, and it blew my mind, but I had to make it apply to everyone else, but here is basically what he really said: "Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for letting me be here at Ezekiel's baptism. Thank you for the spirit I have felt. Thank you for helping me change, and for letting me learn more about you. I'm reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, and I'm trying. I feel that this is all true. Please open the doors of heaven. Thank you for everything. And I say this all, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." I was blown away. The thing is, that nobody else there had any idea what had just happened. This humble man, had just felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and had realized, in front of everyone, that the church really is true! Needless to say, we are now going over to just teach him, and he will be baptized soon.  BOO-YAH!
 
The mission rocks! End of story
-Elder Williams
 

Monday, May 9, 2011

5-9-2011

I am beginning to finally feel a bit comfortable here in my new area. The members here are really awesome. Something that has really surprised me is how willing people here are to refer their friends and co-workers to us to have us go and see if they'll listen to our message. We're both white guys, and it amazes me how much people trust us with their friends. It is incredible to see the faith that people have in the missionaries.
 
Story time! Alright, se we decided to go talk to a guy who hadn't been contacted in awhile. When we got there, he wasn't home, but his wife and kids were playing outside. We went up and talked to his wife, and she said he'd be home fro work in about 20 minutes if we wanted to stop by and talk to him. We said we'd be back in about half an hour. 30 minutes later we showed up, and knocked on his door. He was there. Apparently in the past he's listened to the missionaries, but he wasn't really all that interested. This time though, he called together all of his kids, and his wife, and wouldn't let us start talking until they were all there sitting and waiting attentively. We basically just talked about the Book of Mormon, what it is, a little about where itcame from, and left them with a chapter to read as a family until we come back next week. They seemed strangely excited, and so was I!  I'm really excited to see where this family goes.  We've got a lot of people here with a lot of potential. I really hope that we can help them all realize how incredible the church is.
 
Unfortunately, that's all the time I have for today.
 
Have a great week!
Elder Williams

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011

This week was transfers, and they kicked me out of my area and sent me here to Mapleton/Springville Spanish. I didn't like the area at all my first couple days, and I've been pretty nervous because my companion right now is another white guy who's been out about as long as I have, and I was afraid that we might not be up to the challenge of teaching and talking and everything in complete Spanish.  ALSO, my first day here in this area we only had one appointment planned.....and that one cancelled on us. Since then I've been able to meet the people, meet the leadership here, and get to know a little bit about the area and I'm starting to feel a little bit more comfortable.  I've realized something pretty interesting. When we're in a lesson, my Spanish ROCKS! But when we're just sitting there talking to people, my Spanish is not nearly as good. It's kinda annoying. Hopefully some day I'll just be able to say everything fluently and not have to worry about it.  We've taught some people successfully in complete Spanish, and they still want us to come back so I guess we must be doing something right.  In any case, my fears that I fail at Spanish and can't do this are slowly starting to go away. 
 
Story time:
My second morning here, we had to mow the lawn of our land-lords house. They have a LOT of grass! It took 2 hours of straight up mowing, and they only had one lawn mower so it basically took FOREVER! Then later in the week, one of the guys that lives in the house of one of our investigators bought some grass (I've never even heard of this before) and they brought it to his house in 1 x 2 foot sections on crates. He was taking them one by one and putting the grass out in his front yard. We stopped by (in our suits) and helped him our for about an hour or so. When we finished he wanted to pay us. We told him that we didn't want any money. He insisted, so we told him that if we could just come back and talk to him about the things that we believe, that that would be good enough pay for us. FUN STUFF!
 
Alright, so basically I was feeling pretty comfortable in my old area, and now I'm here and I feel like I'm completely starting my mission over again.  Something I really like about this area though, we get fed a LOT! I have eaten SOOO MUCH FOOD here. We actually had 2 full out dinners last night (Don't ask why) and the food here is pretty incredible.
 
More to come next week!
Elder Williams