Tommy's Release Date

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 27, 2011

This week was definitely an interesting one. To start off, we got home on Saturday night, and realized that our car was completely out of gas, AKA, we rode around all day Sunday on our bicycles. Once again, my bike is most definitely too small for me, but I find it hilarious. Anyways, we were riding down the street, and all of a sudden a car goes by. A girl stuck her head out the window and yelled F*** JESUS! That made me pretty mad. Seriously, I don't care if people try to tear me apart piece by piece, but when they're ignorant enough to just say something like that, I got really disappointed.

Besides that, this week went pretty awesomely! We had a pretty awesome experience fasting with one of our investigators, and she finally made the decision to get baptized after listening to the missionaries for 8 years!!! EIGHT YEARS! It pretty much blew my mind.  Besides that, we were able to meet a BUNCH of new people this week, and we're very hopeful that some of them will turn out to have a real desire to listen to what we're saying.

I've noticed something pretty incredible while I've been out here on my mission, especially lately. When we go out talking to people, and knocking doors, when the people first answer the door, you can tell that they're kinda annoyed that we're there, but then after about 15-20 seconds, a lot of people change completely. I'm not sure really what it is, but I've noticed it a LOT. They say "Well there are many rivers that flow to the same ocean" meaning that they believe that as long as you believe in God, you are saved, but after we start to talk a little bit about prophets, and how Jesus was baptized specifically by John the Baptist, and how Jesus started his church in the middle of all the other churches, and a lot of other things, people really begin to realize that "Wow, these guys just might be right." and then they let us schedule a return appointment.  We even had a guy this week who told us "Don't waste your time on me, I'm Catholic, my family is Catholic, we're not worth your time." We told him, "Do you know what we do as missionaries? We talk about Jesus Christ, and more specifically we 'Invite others to come unto Christ' This is what we do as missionaries. As long as we're talking about Jesus Christ with you, it is not a waste of our time at all. When can we come back?" and we got a return appointment.  I've really learned this week that almost everybody is willing to listen deep down, you just have to find that desire within them. Up until this last week I've been really lenient with people and if they said "Don't waste your time on me" I would reply, "Ok, have a great day" and we'd leave, but it's incredible what can happen if you just TALK to people. It's incredible!

Final story for the day. I'm not sure if I already told this story, but if so, too bad. Here it is: We were out knocking doors, and an older lady answered the door, and told us she wasn't interested in talking to us at all.  We asked here if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with here, and she said "Not with your philosophies!" and shut the door. I think she gave me and my companion wayyy too much credit. There is noooo way I would ever be able to come up with a "philosophy" as good as the one we're sharing. We were quite grateful at how much credit she gave us though.  Hopefully somebody else finds this at least a little bit funny. If not, o well, I tried.

Have a great week!
Elder Williams

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20 2011

Today marks my 8 month mark! 1/3 the way done! That seems pretty crazy doesn't it?
First of all, a few intereting notes about this week.
On about Thursday, we were driving around when we saw a stream of water soaring through the air, so we decided to go investigate. When we got there, we found a firetruck, and the guy on the top directing the stream of water was watering the grass by the church by shooting the water a couple hundred feet into the air, and then letting it fall to the ground slowly.  We went up and talked to him, and he told he was just exercising the motor of the fire truck, and decided to water the grass at the same time. Our car was kinda dirty, so we asked him if he could wash it for us. At first he was hesitant because he said "It'll take the paint off of your car" So then we asked him if we could go across the parking lot and have him spray us from there, and he accepted. So we drove across the parking lot, and he gave us a car wash from his fire truck!
What else? We went to a couple yard sales this Saturday to try to find some people to teach, and got some interesting stuff while we were there. (BTW, I love being a missionary in Utah! Nobody will let us pay for anything at the yard sales) I got a couple puzzles, some more speakers, and some other random stuff, and we got a referral to go teach!
We went to contact a former investigator this week, and when we got there he really wasn't interested at all, but his wife (member) let us in, and called him over to come talk to us. He slowly warmed up to us and about 5 minutes later, someone outside honked. His wife quickly went out the side door, but he stayed there talking to us unphased. About 2 or 3 minutes later she came back in, and we figured that whoever had come, was gone. We found out that this guy has an uncle that lives in Beaverton, and could be my neighbor as far as I know. He's going to tell me the address the next time and we'll see if I know where it is.  We eventually set up a  return appointment and left. When we left we saw that the people who had honked were sitting there still waiting for him. Apparently he liked talking to us so much he didn't even tell us he had to leave. I'm very hopefully he'll be there tonight when we have our appointment!
Last thought, I'm a little short on time today.
We went out knocking some doors, and found a man named Joel (He's Latino btw) Joel is blind, diabetic, has cancer, and something else I don't remember, but the thing is, he still goes to work every day (as a mechanic) and lives his life like anybody else.  He became blind, and discovered he got cancer about 6 years ago.  Not only partially blind, but completely blind. It was fascinating talking to him! He told us something very interesting that I really liked. He mentioned to us that depression, sadness, stress, justification, and like 3 other things like those don't come from God at all. There's a scripture that says that not even a twig of a tree moves save it be by the will of God. That means that God is completely directing our lives, and that we have no need to be stressed, or depressed or sad or anything, because it's all by God's will, and he has a plan for us.  FUN STUFF
Anyways, I got to go.
Have a great week!
Elder Williams

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

Can you believe that in 1 week from tomorrow I'll have been out for 8 months? Time is FLYYYYING. It's crazy.

First, a story. On Friday afternoon we were doing our weekly planning session, looking through some of the maps, trying to figure out which ones we should knock, and which ones we should save for later, that kind of stuff, when I came upon a map. On this map there were two houses circled, each of which had Spanish names. I didn't want to take out the map and carry it around if it only had two houses marked on it, so I just decided to write down those two addresses in my planner.  Later that day one of our appointments cancelled on us, and we were trying to figure out what we should do about it. I opened up my planner and saw those two addresses, so we decided to go knock them. We came to the first house, knocked, not interested in the slightest. We went back to the car and were about to leave when I looked down at my planner and realized that the other address I had written down was right next door.  We got back out of the car and went to knock it. When we knocked, a 20 year old man named Jesus answered the door and invited us in excitedly. I assumed was a member, but after a minute or two, we found out that no he was not. He offered us some water, and told us that the missionaries used to come over and talk with their family, but that he was never really a part of it, and he's really interested in learning about what we believe. He said they always let the missionaries in and offer them water and or juice, or basically whatever they need/want.  We scheduled a return appointment, and left. When we came back for the appointment he was just as excited, and we had a really really good discussion. He said that if he were to come to know that the church was true, that yeah he'd get baptized. BOO-YAH. Basically we're really excited to get back there and talk some more with him.
Next story: We were out knocking doors, and we found this older Spanish lady out sitting on her porch watching some kids play outside. We went and talked to her, and it was pretty apparent that she wasn't really interested in talking to us, but she was nice anyways, so we stayed and talked. She is quite Catholic. "Have you ever talked to missionaries before?" "Yeah, they gave me some book that's kinda like the Bible" "Oh nice. The Book of Mormon?" "yeah that!" "Well have you read any of it?" "Yeah,I've read it." "We how much had you read" "a lot" "Like one chapter, two chapters...?" "Pretty much all of it" "Well do you think it's truly the word of God?" "Oh yes yes it's a great book!" "Well what does that mean if that book is the word of God?" "Who knows?" *insert thought bubble: "I DO I DO, LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT!"* "Have you ever heard of Joseph Smith?" "No, who's that?" "When do you have time that we could stop by and baptiz...I mean teach you about Joseph Smith?".....  I'm pretty sure she won't get baptized anytime soon, because she is VERY catholic, and she told us that she would never give up praying to the Virgin Mary. I asked her why she prays to the Virgin Mary, and she said "Because she's the mother of God"  Well what does that mean? We pray to God because he's our Father, and because he answers our prayers. God can do everything for us, so why do we need to pray to someone else who has no direct relation to us? We've got God on our side, what more do we need? Needless to say that the second commandment says basically to pray to no one but God.....I just don't understand.
Anyways, We had transfers this week. My new companion is Elder Chavez from El Salvador. We speak Spanish ALWAYS and I love it! He's been in the mission for a total of about 4 months. FUN STUFF!  Also, My first night with him we went and ate with a family Chavez. Not only was that somewhat ironic because his name is Chavez as well, but also I found out that my sister (who is on a mission in San Fernando, California) is living in the house of the father of Sister Chavez! That was pretty awesome.
Well that's all. Have a great week,
Elder Williams

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

I realized this week that I absolutely FAIL at remembering names! Somehow my companion can remember basically everyone, and when we look at the list of dinners, he knows what family it is, and what house and everything, whereas I basically fail at that. Somehow I never really realized that before, but it's something that I'm definitely going to be working hard on for these next couple of weeks.  Also, ITS TRANSFER WEEK! I'm staying here in this area, and I'm getting a new comp named Elder Chavez. All I know is that he's from El Salvador, and that he speaks Spanish. I'll fill in more details next week. Oh, one more thing, I'm senior comp! That pretty much means nothing, but I thought it was kinda cool.
Alright, so last week I mentioned how basically all of our investigators are moving. Well one of our favorite families (the one who we made a bunch of paper airplanes with, and then they suddenly disappeared 2 days later) happened to move in to half of the house of one of our investigators who got baptized this week! (Our investigator Gabriel owns the house, and the Corales family moved in). Anyways, we showed up for an appointment with Gabriel to set up his baptismal program, and when we got there we saw the 4 Corales kids outside playing (we were VERY surprised) Anyways, we went up and asked them where they lived, and they pointed to the blue house behind them (Gabriel's house) and said, "That one!" We went inside, and there were their parents! WHHHHAAAATTT?! It blew my mind. Anyways, so we went in and talked to Gabriel, and the whole time, Jose Corales (the dad) sat in and listened. You know what was even better? Basically all Gabriel wanted to do was bear testimony to Jose! He kept telling him about how of a difference the missionaries had made in his life, and how he needed to get baptized!  It came off a little bit straight forward and blunt, but I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time!
That's all for this week.
Elder Williams