Tommy's Release Date

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

Monday, September 26, 2011

What the crazy week?!?!

Title for this week: '"What the crazy week?!?!" Everything was going along pretty normally until Thursday night. At about 5 o clock Thursday night, we received a call from our mission president (we had just knocked the door to go in to our dinner appointment.)  Anyways, he asked if we had room for an extra bed in our apartment. My companion told him yes, then he asked to talk to me. He then asked told me that there was a missionary coming to our mission straight from the MTC who would be in our mission while waiting for his VISA to go to Argentina, and he told me that I would be training him for the time that he'd be here (Probably 3 weeks).  In any case, not only are we now a trio, but I'm training a new missionary who just barely completed his 3rd week as a missionary.

This is kinda confusing, because my companion is the Senior companion, and he's also the District leader, (and he's going to finish his mission in about 2 weeks) but I'm the trainer for the new missionary. It's a very strange balance, but so far it's been working out pretty decently. It's pretty exciting to have a trio too. Before this transfer I kept thinking "I'd like to have as many experiences from as many different aspects of the mission as possible. Well here's the new things I've been experiencing so far this last 4 weeks: White washing an area, Being someone's last companion, training, being in a trio, having a new missionary come in in the middle of a transfer, and I'm sure there's something else that I'm forgetting.

A little bit about the new missionary: His name is Elder Arroyo, he's from Arizona, 21 years old, going to Argentina, likes to do tricks and stuff (such as back flips, free running, that kind of stuff). He's eager to learn, to teach, and to participate in the lessons. He'll be a great missionary. Hopefully I don't mess him up :P

Ok, I've only got time for one awesome story this week, then I have to go. So a couple days ago, we received a referral for someone names Erika de la torre. Finally last night we were able to make it over there where she lives. When we knocked the door, this lady answers and is pretty excited to see us (She looks somewhat familiar to me). After talking a little bit she tells us that she loves the church, that all of her family are members, and that she really wants the church for her daughters, and that maybe she'd like to be baptized as well (Her daughters I don't think are old enough to be baptized). Anyways, we set up a return appointment, and were about to leave, when I asked her for some reason, of she had any family in Provo. She said yes, her dad named Salomon, and her two brothers.  At that moment, my mind basically exploded! Want to know why? Because we baptized her dad about 6 months ago! She said she'd been talking with her mom just the day before, and her mom has been trying to get her to go to church, and she said that if the missionaries were to stop by, that she'd accept them. Now the thing is, the referral we got that took us to that house, was not for her, it was for somebody else that lives about 2-3 blocks away, apparently they gave us a wrong address, but the referral cam before she had even talked with her mom and told her that she would accept the missionaries.  There's so much more to this story as well, she's been around about 2 or 3 of my other recent converts over in Provo, while I was there teaching them! WOWOWOW!

Anyways, unfortunately, I wasn't able to go try the 72 oz snow cone challenge, but we're planning on going there right after this, so that we can all try it. Results next week!

Elder Williams

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sept 19, 2011

First of all, the important things. There is a member here in Payson, who owns his own snow cone shop. He gives free snow cones to the missionaries. Now, this snow cone man also has a massive snow cone challenge that nobody has ever finished. It's a 72 ounce snow cone, that you have to eat in 10 minutes. If you finish it, it's free and you get to rename the challenge, and if you don't finish it, it's $7 (or $3.50 for missionaries). I'm thinking about trying to do that as soon as I'm done writing this email. Also, it's pretty exciting, because he layers the entire thing. You get to choose 4 flavors, and he gets to choose the other 2. It's a nice warm day, so hopefully it'll go right down.
 
Besides that, this week has been pretty incredible. There's some pretty incredible stuff going on here in Payson, and I'd love to say it all right now, but I think I'm going to wait to see how everything comes out and then tell the whole story. Suffice it to say that there is a family here that is turning their lives around completely, starting to come back to church, and they're planning on getting sealed in the temple and working their way towards that. I really hope that they can accomplish that goal before I finish my mission in a year from now. That would be incredible to be there as a missionary!
 
Besides that, we've got another guy who just randomly showed up to church a couple weeks ago, and we asked him if we could go over to his house and talk to him a little bit more about what we believe, and he said he needed to think about it. When he left, I thought that would be that last time we'd see him, but the next sunday he came back to church, and yesterday he showed up again! We went up and talked to him just a little bit more, and found out that going to his house to teach him would probably not be the best idea. I think the people that live with him in that house are not very open to the members of the church. We told him that we could teach him there in the chapel, and he said that would be awesome! We've got an appointment with him this week.
 
Another experience, we were eating at a mexican restaurant for dinner one evening (The owners are members and invited us to go eat with them). Anyways, we were there eating, and then this lady walks up and basically tells us that she just moved back to Payson from California, and she wants to meet with us. 
 
Unfortunately, that's all I have time for this week.
 
Have a great week!
Love to all
 
Elder Williams

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/12/2011

For those who don't know, my birthday was 3 days ago, and it was probably one of the less exciting birthdays I've had, but it still had some highlights! Let me describe some of them. First of all, we got together as a district to play some sports and exercise in the morning. When we were just about done, all of a sudden, a bunch of food appears out of nowhere! (Not a ton of food, but just some random stuff). That was pretty exciting. Then when we went out of the chapel where we were at, the sister missionaries had decorated our car. (Did I ever mention that we have a purple car?)  They had cut out paper cupcakes, and put "HAPPY BIRTHDAY 20 ELDER WILLIAMS" or something like that. It was pretty exciting. One of them had her birthday this week too, so I'm trying to figure out what we can do back to her. We'll see. Anyways, besides that, I got sung to by a 9 year old El Salvadorean girl (That was pretty awesome!) and we all went out as a district to eat lunch at a Chinese place, and we ate habaneros. (Way too hot). I'm pretty sure there are still holes in my tongue from the burn.

Also this week, we visited an inactive family who has an unbaptized 9 year old, committed them to come back to church, and to prepare to be baptized. We also committed the dad to prepare himself to be worthy to baptize his son. We weren't really sure how committed they were to this, but then they showed up on sunday to church! They haven't come in almost a year it sounds like, and they only stayed for sacrament meeting, but they were there nonetheless!

Besides that, we've started teaching a 25ish year old man from Honduras. He is really dedicated to learning what we have to teach him. The lady who cuts his hair told him to come try the church every time he would go in to get his hair cut, and eventually, he decided to come! He's come three weeks in a row now. Just yesterday, he was working ALL NIGHT on Saturday night, and didn't get home until about 5 in the morning Sunday morning, but he was still there at church at 9.  I think all of us could learn a lesson from that. And he's not even a member of the church.

Last thing for the day: A couple days ago, we were searching for someone, and ended up knocking a door in an old folks care center. An older lady from Puerto Rico answered the door and said "Come in! Come in! You're just who I needed. We came in, and she said she needed a blessing, and had been praying that someone would come help her.  Yeppp, pretty much blew my mind too.

What have I been learning the last couple weeks? Patience, humility, and tolerance. Fun stuff

Love to all,
Elder Williams

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011

From Mom Williams: Anyone wanting to send a "Happy Birthday" message to Tommy can mail it to:
 
Elder Thomas Karl Williams
Utah Provo Mission
2520 North University Avenue, Suite 100
Provo, UT 84604-3819
 
Week 1 in Payson: A lot different than anything I have ever known. The people here are pretty friendly, and there are a lot of Latinos! There are  lot of people here who don't want anything to do with us at all, but they've all so far been pretty nice about saying it.  It's been hard trying to catch up to all of the investigators the sister missionaries were teaching. They didn't leave us any appointments at all, they just told them that "The new elders are going to be stopping by in the next week or so."  I'm not going to lie, it's been a battle. We don't know when people are going to be home, we don't know the area, we get lost pretty much every day, but it's coming slowly, and we can see the potential that this area has. It's got A LOT!  We've also been seeing a lot of miracles lately. The members here seem exceptionally excited and ready to help the missionary work here. This last Sunday was Fast and Testimony Sunday, and we had 4 people show up that had never been there before!  and at least 1 of them has never talked to missionaries before. Everybody was introducing themselves to the new people, and I think they had a great time. After the meetings we went up and talked to one of the guys who had come and asked him if we could stop by his house to teach him a little bit more about what we believe. He said he needed a little bit of time to think about it. We couldn't really push him so we just gave him some material, our phone number, and left.  Remember this part, I'm going to come back to this guy shortly in my email.  Anyways, Elder Nunez and I were the first up there to share our testimonies, and it went really well. Words just kinda streamed out of my mouth. It was pretty incredible, because for the rest of the meeting, almost all of the members in the congregation who shared their testimonies mentioned something about what we had shared "And like the Elders said...." or "you know, I really like the way the missionaries said this and I'd like to continue with that a little...." things like that.  I really feel the support of the ward here. The young men are pretty excited too, because they haven't been able to go out with the missionaries in a while (There have been sister missionaries here for at least a year of two).  Ok, now back to the other story.  This P-day, we got invited to ride in a mini train in the Labor Day Parade here in Payson. We got permission, and our entire district basically, rode in this little train through the parade.  About half the way through the parade, we look over to the left, and we see this guy who had come to church and told us he wasn't sure if we could go over to his house, sitting out in front of his house. He saw us in the train and just started laughing. FOUND!  Anyways, time is short, and we gotta get back to work. Have a great week!
 
Elder Williams