Tommy's Release Date

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Almost April!

Guess what?! I get to go to general Conference LIVE on Sunday morning!!! It's blowing my mind! Elder Clark and I have been listening to Conference talks every night as we go to sleep, and I gotta admit, I'm pretty dang excited for conference this time around. It's crazy to imagine that I'll be going home shortly after the next general Conference. Time is going by WAYYY too fast!

Other interesting news, we have TRANSFERS this week!  My companion Elder Clark will be going to Heber, and I will be staying here training a new Zone Leader (He's actually been out longer than me apparently) here in South Orem.  Should be pretty dang exciting. 

Fun things that have happened this week: Last Monday evening we stopped by a lady named Sonia. A couple of months ago, apparently the missionaries asked them if they wanted to come to church, and she said "NO."  Well we just found out this last week that her main concern with that is that she thought they had to be baptized before they could even visit the church. We told them that they were more than welcome to come as visitors. She and her husband got really really excited and said that they're going to come a couple of times, and if they like it, they'll probably get baptized! It's crazy how one little tiny misunderstanding can hold people back that much.  In any case, we went back, and her husband wasn't home, but Sonia was there. We taught her an incredible lesson about prayer, and by the time we left, she was basically glowing. I'm pretty sure that she was actually radiating light. It blew my mind. Needless to say, we are VERY excited to see what happens with them.

Another interesting occurrence; The missionaries have been teaching a lady from Venezuela for a long time. She works a TON, and even though she doesn't work on Sundays, she's been using that as an excuse to not come to church. It's fairly interesting because she is very intelligent, and reads the book of Mormon, knows that it's all true, and has a desire to even be baptized, but just has been very slow to get around to acting on that knowledge.  Well, we stopped by the other day, and while we were talking to her, she told us that that week her 14 year old son had told her that he didn't believe in God.....at all. Not even close.  That really struck her, because she realized that her decisions to not go to church (Whether the Mormon Church, or any other church) or read the scriptures often, or even pray were really making a difference in the lives of her kids as well, and one of which is now basically atheist.  That hit her REALLY hard. It really impacted me as well. Needless to say, she was very humbled, and she showed up to church this week with her daughter.

It's almost sad sometimes to see how set people are in their ways, and how much it takes to jolt them in to reality, and to realize that they really do need God in their life. I've heard people say "I don't need God, I can do this all on my own."  It's nice that they think that, but I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.  When Judas Iscariot realized what he had done, and realized how alone he was, he was so incredibly depressed that he went and hung himself.  Put God first, not last, and watch your life change. I dare you.

Ug ug ug ug ug. So much I want to say, and absolutely no time to share even the smallest part.  My apologies, but I have to go

Love to all!
Elder Williams

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

Week of MIRACLES! So there's a couple who have been investigating the church for a SUPER long time, and they both want to get baptized, and have incredible testimonies of the church, but they aren't married, and didn't have any desire whatsoever to get married.  Well, the wife had to go to California for a couple weeks, and she just got back a couple days ago. Well, our first lesson back with them, they told us that they're going to get married and baptized! YAYAYAYAY and technically it's all supposed to happen in about 2 weeks. We'll see what we can do.  We told them that they have to stop drinking Coffee, and they committed on the spot to stop.  I think that counts as a pretty decent miracle?
 
Also, we had some other pretty cool things happen. We got a referral from a general authority, we  found 7 new investigators, we've got an investigator who has completely given up alcohol, and is working on giving up cigarrettes so that she can be baptized, oh and one more quick story that I almost forgot about: We were eating dinner with this one family, and then we realized that one of the guys who was there in not a member of the church. We started talking to him about everything, and he said that he's heard it all before many times from both missionaries and friends, but that maybe it was time to take things more seriously. He said that he was talking to someone recently and told them that the only reason he wasn't baptized yet was basically because he was a coward.  We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and he said "Wow, I've been trying to find a book to read lately, and I was actually looking for a book to download, and was actually looking at downloading the bible, but never quite got around to it.  He started to recognize that maybe we were there for a reason at that time, and that he really did need to pay attention to this stuff. Hopefully he actually acts and we can start to see some progression with him. It was pretty cool, because after about a years and a half it is pretty easy to tell when people are just humoring you and honestly don't have any interest, but this guy seemed actually legitimately interested in making another effort with this stuff.  Cool beans
 
Well, Time is up.
 
Love to all!
Elder Williams

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012

The work has been a little bit frustrating lately, but there are definitely little miracles intermixed within the goop.  We've been trying to get everybody to go to church. We had about 8-9 people last week that promised that they would go to church, and another 8-9 this week who also promised that they would go.  Last week we had 0 actually show up, and this week we had only 2.  We're not really sure what's holding people up. It seems like they are legitimate about coming when we invite them, but then something happens and they don't show up. I'm not sure if it's laziness, or what not, but I really don't understand it.  We're going to have to make it super clear to them why we invite them I was thinking something as follows:
 
What is the purpose of life?:
The scriptures say the following: Alma 34-32: "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God, behold the day is this life, is the day for men to perform their labors"
-So the purpose of life is to prepare to meet God? Do you believe that?  If you were to die right now in this instant do you think you'd be ready to stand before God and enter in to celestial glory?  Why are you wasting your time with everything that has nothing to do with your salvation? Sure, sunday is a great day to go out and go for a drive, or to play soccer, or stay at home and do nothing, but that does you NO good.  Get yourself off your couch, and come to church!
 
So many people say "Yes, God is my #1, yes my purpose is to return to live with God" but it seems like nobody actually does anything to back that statement up. "They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk."  "Actions speak louder than words"....there are so many idiomatic expressions that express the same thing, but nobody seems to actually understand the principle, that if you don't act, nothing every gets done.
 
As frustrating as it is to try to help people receive salvation who are too lethargic to get out of bed to show up to church at 1 o clock in the afternoon on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, or to actually be at home when we have an appointment set up, We've been seeing some pretty awesome things happen. It seems like we're always in the exact right place where we need to be to find the people that we need to find.  The other day we were knocking some doors at an apartment complex, and this Hispanic guy comes walking up, so we talked to him.  Turns out he's from Oregon! And he's been here in Utah for about 2 weeks. The missionaries were teaching him there in Oregon, and he was going to church and everything, but when he moved here, he didn't really know where to go to get in contact with the missionaries or find out where the church is.  In another instance, we were talking with a family last night who when we invited them about a month ago to come to church had said "no", and when we invited them again, we found out that they thought they had to be baptized in to our church before they could come to the Sunday services. When we told them they didn't have to be baptized to come to church, they excitedly accepted the invitation, and said "We're coming to church the next couple weeks, and if we like it, we'll keep coming, and probably get baptized!
 
Last cool experience. We got a phone call the other day from a man, telling us that he had a friend who was a non-member who wanted a blessing, and to possibly talk with the missionaries.  We set up an appointment, and yesterday we were able to go over there an give her an incredible blessing.  She's probably about 20 years old, and has a brain tumor, and is scared that she's going to have to have surgery and everything.  It was pretty incredible, the entire family was there (all non-members) and the fellowshipper anointed her, and then I pronounced a blessing upon her. As we did that, the spirit filled the room, and everybody felt the power and the holy ghost confirming to them that this act was done by the proper authority.  We have an appointment with all of them tomorrow :D
 
Love ya!  Btw, today is my mom's birthday, so go do nice stuff for her today!
Elder Williams!!!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Beginning of March 2012

Week of CANCELLATIONS!  We had a grand total of 24 cancellations, with a week high of 7 cancellations in one day! Somehow we still managed to get about 20-ish, but it was definitely a pretty sluggish week.  However, we did find a couple new potential investigators!  It seems like as a missionary, we always have pretty dang perfect timing.  We had some small miracles happen every day, but nothing terribly huge to note, however we did have a couple interesting experiences. Hopefully someone finds them slightly amusing.

1. We were knocking doors last night, and my companion remembered a house that he had gone to a couple months back, and we decided to go there. It was about 7:45. We went there, and the family we were going to contact live in the basement, so we had to go around the back of the house. We went back there and knocked the door, but nobody answered. Then this guy steps out of the shadows and says: "No hay nadie" (Nobody's home) then stepped back in to the shadows, and continued smoking his cigarrette, and talking in a verrrrrry hushed voice on the phone.  We tried to talk to him, but he completely ignored us.  I was definitely creeped out.

2. We haven't had too many incredible stories this last week, but a lot of the missionaries that we are over have been seeing some pretty incredible things happen! People have been waking up in the middle of the night with incredible desires to be baptized, having dreams, basically receiving their incredible answers from God that he is there, that he loves them, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The mormon church) is his church here on the earth.

Unfortunately,once again, I don't have much time to write more, but life as a missionary is pretty incredible.  I find it incredible how much even just one or two measly 20 year olds can do to help the lives of others if they just open up their eyes and hearts to look for it.

Love to all!
Elder Williams