Tommy's Release Date

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

7-26-2011

This weekend has been a bit interesting. It's the weekend of July 24th. I never really realized that it was such a big holiday here in Utah. I'm still not really sure that I understand completely the significance that it has, but there were people EVERYWHERE shooting off fireworks, and it was a pretty impressive sight. Pretty much all of the fireworks that I saw here would be illegal in Oregon. Because of the holiday, the Family History center where we do emails was closed, and we had to do them today.
 
One quick story. I've got about 2 minutes left until we have to leave. We've been having some troubles with an investigator that moved here from Pleasant Grove. She finally decided she wanted to be baptized after YEARS of contact with the missionaries, but she came to the ward here, and didn't really like it. She wanted to be baptized, and to assist up in Pleasant Grove (about 30-45 minutes away from here). We tried to help her with that, but it was pretty much futile. Well, this week she decided that she still wants to be baptized up there because she wants everybody from the ward up there to be able to come, but she says that she's going to start coming to the ward here! CONFLICT GONE thanks to a lot of prayer.  Her sister is moving here in about a week and a half (non-member), and the baptism is the following Saturday. Hopefully the sister feels the spirit and we can begin teaching her a little bit more about what we believe.
 
Love to all!
Elder Williams

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7-18-2011

This week we lost 3 investigating families. One of them is moving to Payson, one of them is not progressing at all and we had to drop them, and another family (golden!) the kids don't speak much Spanish at all so we had to hand them over to the English elders.  They're going to get baptizes though! I'm pretty excited for that.  We've got another family that we're going to have to hand over pretty soon as well. It's kinda annoying. We keep finding all of these GOLDEN investigators, but 99% of the time we have to hand them over to the other elders. As of right now, we've handed over 9 investigators in just the last MONTH who are now preparing themselves to be baptized......O well, as long as I can be a part of the process of someone getting baptized, it doesn't matter.
 
This week we found a bunch of new potential investigators. We were out knocking doors, ane came to this one door. This guy answers and tells us "Yeah, I respect you guys and what you do an everything, but we've got our beliefs, and you know, everyone who follows God, it doesn't matter what church, will be saved." I decided it was time to be a little stubborn. I asked him, "Do you think God wants us to all be confused?" "Well not really" "Then why would he give us so many churches. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if there were just ONE church as it says in Ephesians 4:5 'One Lord, one faith, one baptism' There should be one church of God, and we should be able to know with a surety that we're in his church, and on his right path." He then said: "yeah, that kinda makes sense. I have to agree with you on that." "And shouldn't that church be led by a prophet like it says in the Bible Amos 3:7?" "Yeah, I guess it should shouldn't it?" "We want you to know that there is a prophet on the earth today, and that he is the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Can we come back and tell you why we think we have the one true church of God on the earth?" "Yeah, I'd like that"  BINGO BABY! We're going back this Wednesday to talk with him some more.
 
Last story. So last Sunday, a 20ish year old girl came up to us and told us that her mom wants to listen to the missionaries and get baptized. We were definitely pretty dang excited! So we set up an appointment with her for Wednesday at 6. We showed up right at 6, and the mom comes and answers the door. Apparently she had no idea we were coming over, and her daughter was at work. It was reeeaaaallly awkward. She was budy cleaning, so we couldn't really even share much of a message with her at the door. Anyways, from there we went and talked with a referral across the street, who apparently has basically no interest at all. Next we went to stop by an old investigator. Right as we showed up and got out of the car, he turned the corner. He was pretty excited to see us. We went in and taught a short lesson, set up a return appointment, and left. When we went back for the return appointment, nobody answered the front door. We knocked and knocked, rang the door bell, basically tried everything. We were about to leave when we decided, lets go see if they're around back. Fortunately I'm massively tall and I can see over their fence, because when we walked to the fence and I looked over, there he was working in his back-yard! I called to him, and he looked up surprised (I'm pretty sure I'd be surprised too if I heard my name, looked over, and randomly saw a face sticking over the fence...) but then he smiled and invited us in. We helped him for a little while, then taught him a lesson. At the end of the lesson he looked at us and told us, "you know, I've talked to a lot of people about religion, they knock my door all the time, but frankly, they kinda scare me. There are some people who have the gift of teaching/preaching, and you guys have it. I don't know what it is, but when we talk, I feel something. It's different than all the others." So then we explained to him that we are called by a living prophet on the earth today to preach. The power that he feels doesn't come from us, it comes from God, because he has called us, and given us the power to preach his word, just like Jesus gave all of his Apostles the same power to go preach the word. It was pretty incredible. I'm VERY excited for the next lesson.
 
That's all
 
Elder Williams

Monday, July 11, 2011

7-11-2011

WEIRD WEEK! Last time I wrote was tuesday, and that night I think I ate something bad. I'm not sure exactly what, but I'm thinking maybe some rotten eggs or something, because at about 1 o clock the next morning I started puking. Between then and for the next 12 hours I made about 6 trips to the bathroom to experience all the food I had eaten in the last 24-ish hours for a second time. I do not understand how the cows ever get used to eating their food multiple times. I most definitely do NOT enjoy it. The apple juice isn't too bad though ;)  ANYWAYS, I called our mission presidents wife to get permission to stay home, because I basically just couldn't go anywhere. Even just the trips to the bathroom I didn't have enough strength to walk, I had to crawl. So yeah, at about noon we're sitting there, and it's just barely starting to get warm/hot outside, when all of a sudden we lose power. One of the generators blew. So we were left without electricity.........without air conditioning. For about the next hour I was laying there with otter pops on my head and my stomach trying to keep myself cool so I wouldn't puke anymore. About half an hour later, I got fed up with it can called the other elders. They all came over and gave me a blessing, and we left for one of their apartments for the rest of the day.  I had no more problems for the rest of the day, but I still didn't feel great so I stayed the rest of the afternoon in their apartment trying to eat (I was hungry, but had no appetite whatsoever at the same time). Besided that, it's been a pretty good week. Yesterday we were driving around trying to get in contact with some old investigators when we randomly drove by a house with some old investigators we've been trying to get a hold of for about 2 months. To our surprise, there they were outside! We went over and talked to them, and they were really excited that we came by, and are excited for us to stop by again and talk to them some more. Besides that, we had Fabio's baptism this week. There were a LOT of problems trying to get it all set up, but eventually everything got worked out, and the baptism got started about half an hour late. It was awesome though! Fabio is an awesome kid.
 
That's all for this week
Elder Williams

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

PAAAARRAAADDDDDEE!!!

To begin, there is about 1 thing I like about Utah, and that is: The sun here doesn't burn me all that much for some reason. In Oregon I could be out in the sun for half an hour and turn BRIGHT red, but here it's not so bad for some reason. Kinda weird.
 
Second of all, FORTH OF JULY! All of the Provo Utah missionaries (yep, all 140 of us) got to march in a massive group in the Provo Parade. That was preeeety exciting. I felt like a celebrity. Everybody was going CRAZY for us. It was pretty awesome.  After that, my companion and I stayed in Provo for a little while to go visit a few of my recent converts there from my last area. It brought back a LOT of memories.  It was really incredible to realize that as much as I love these people, they all love me just as much if not more! I've always heard the stories of the link between missionaries and their converts, but I never really thought I'd be a part of that, and I just realized yesterday that it really does happen. Somehow, in some form or another, I became someone's missionary. They're all from completely different backgrounds than me. One is from Brazil (we taught in Portuguese) a bunch from Mexico, a couple from El Salvador, Peru, Chile, and somehow I've become one of their missionaries. Like I said before, my mind is being blown on pretty much a daily basis. One of my converts gave me a stuffed animal bear made of Alpaca fur. It is SOOOOOO soft, and it looks just like a mini Ewok!
 
There are a lot of really awesome people here who really want to learn, but for as many people we find who actually want to learn, there are about 10 more who say they're interested, but really want nothing to do with us. It's kind of frustrating, but the work continued regardless.
 
You know, lately I've been thinking about trying to learn Portuguese, Italian, and/or French when I get home. That would be pretty dang awesome to be able to communicate in 5 different languages! We'll see about that though. I'm not sure I'm willing to put all the time necessary in to learning it all. We'll see!
 
As much as I don't like the water here, it's really dry, the air is really thin, and it's really hot, I'm somehow enjoying myself here quite a bit! I'm not sure how that makes sense, but somehow it does.
 
Until next week
 
Elder Williams