Tommy's Release Date

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Elder Williams' homemade sugar flower





Waiting for a baptismal interview appointment to show up

BAPTISM! May 28, 2012

The last week has been incredibly frustrating! but for interesting reasons. We had interview with our mission president this last week, and after the interviews when we were leaving, something happened, and my companion said: "FREAK!" (That happens to be one of my favorite words btw). President Pitts looked at us and said: "You shouldn't say that word anymore."  From that moment, my companion and I evaluated our vocabulary, and have been trying to take out ALL of the questionable words that we say. We made a competition out of it actually.  I must admit, Completely changing your language is somewhat difficult! I've found it very interesting though. I've discovered that whenever something happens that would make me mad and the word "Freak" comes to mind, and I remember that I can't say that word, and suddenly I'm not mad anymore!  We've also started substituting the word "Fooooooo." It's quite entertaining actually.  Poco a poco la estoy quitando de mi vocabulario.
 
This week has also been incredibly rewarding! WE HAD A BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!! I think I told a bit of the story last week, but she actually got baptized! and Surprisingly she asked ME to baptize her! That was pretty exciting.  Oh, and we got to watch the movie 17 Miracles with them on sunday night as well. Incredible film!
 
So this next week, we're going to have a baptism as well, and for some reason, this girl wants me to baptize her as well! I think people just like being baptized by tall people. I'm alright with that though. I'll tell the story behind this one next week.
 
So we had something cool happen this last week. We were just out knocking doors, because we had nothing else to do really, and all of a sudden this little tiny dog runs up to us. It's owner of course had to follow it, and came up to us. As it turns out, it was a non-member latina, who ended up being interested in learning more. She's been having a LOT of problems with her son lately. He was living with his girlfriend, and then about a week or so ago, the girlfriend basically just left him. He's been drinking himself to death and doing all sorts of drugs and stuff to try to distract himself, and it's been pretty hard on his mother as well. Well, we were able to testify of the truthfulness of this gospel, and teach her a little bit of how it could bring her joy and happiness in this life. She seemed pretty relieved, and happy to talk to us. It was overall a pretty awesome experience, and we're excited to talk with her again.
 
Life is going pretty incredible right now. I guess that's what the gospel does to you: it makes you happy! YAY!
 
Anyways, time is short today (Like usual apparently)
 
Love to all!
Elder Williams

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

Awesome Miracle: Last monday night we were out tracting (knocking doors) looking for people to teach, and we were having basically no success at all, and we saw this white guy sitting on some stairs by some apartments about 30-40 feet away.  Honestly, my first thought was "He's white, we're the spanish speaking missionaries, Why would I waste my time to go talk to a guy we would have to pass over to the english elders. But My companion and I shortly got over that, and went to talk to him anyways.  We walked over to him, and I saw him drinking a beer, and instantly judged him again "This guy is an inactive member who got mad at somebody at church and never went back, and fell in to bad habits" (I feel terrible for thinking that by the way). As it turns out, I was completely wrong. He told us quickly that he was not Mormon, and not really interested. We pushed him a little bit more, and he started to talk, and stuff (I've noticed that people here are often very rude for about the first 10 seconds, as if they've already decided that they're going to be mean to any missionary they meet, but then they realize that we're just normal people, and that there's no reason to be mad, and they become very friendly quite quickly) After about 5 minutes of talking with this guy, he finally told us: "you know, I think God sent you guys here today to talk with me right now" "And why's that" we asked.  He then started to cry and told us that his mother had passed away 2 HOURS BEFORE, and he had no idea what to do, so he just went outside, opened a beer, sat there, and started drinking, then shortly after that we showed up.  I found tht quite incredible, because we had honestly NEVER stepped foot in that cul-de-sac where he lived, and didn't plan on going there because there are really no hispanics who live there.  We testified to that man about the plan of salvation the God has for us, gave him a hug, set up an appointment, and left.  Long story short, my mind was blown.
 
It seems like there has been a lot of death recently in this area. We have about three investigators who have very recently lost family members. It's prety depressing really, except for the fact that it really makes a lot of them open up to th gospel, and want to really learn more, especially about the plan of salvation.
 
Unfortunately I have to go. I don't have much time today, but love to all!
 
Also, if you've got 10 minutes, check out these two websites:
 
www.mormon.org/paora Awesome mormon basketball player
 
Love to all,
Elder Williams

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 14, 2012

Week of miracles AGAIN!!  One of the cool things that happened was this: We've been meaning to have a lesson with her for about a month, but they keep cancelling. Well, she cancelled an appointment with us on Saturday night at 8, but we decided to go contact her neighbor at 8 for some reason. Well, just as we were driving up, we saw them driving off (and they saw us as well). Apparently she felt really bad, because they actually turned around, came back, and let us in to teach her. We talked to her about how she's been with reading and everything, she said she'd been reading and stuff, then we asked her if she'd been thinking about baptism, and she said "Yes, I've actually been thinking about a date as well." (we were planning on putting her on date for the 26th of May) We asked her if she'd been thinking about the 26th of May, and she said "Actually sooner than that..." She wants to be baptized the 19th of this month. That's this next Saturday! Unfortunately there's still a lot of preparation she needs to be baptized, but either this week or the next week she will be baptized by her husband!!! HOLY COW!!!  After that, there wasn't much time left, but we decided to go contact another family that we haven't seen in awhile. As it turns out, they have doubled in number (Their extended family has now moved in to live with them) and they are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! They are super excited to learn about the restored gospel, and they ALMOST came to church yesterday. That would have been INCREDIBLE!  In any case, it was a night full of miracles.  Basically the last couple of days have been all about miracles. It appears that we always just happen to be where we need to be, and when we need to be. It's pretty entertaining. Hopefully our streak doesn't end. We've been praying for miracles every single day, and even been making miracle boxes in our planners and checking it off when we see miracles happen. It's incredible to see the hand of the Lord in our lives, and the more we recognize it, the more it comes!

My new companion: Elder Bishop! He's from Kansas city, Kansas. He's white, tall, loves basketball, loves frisbee, loves to play the piano, plays the trumpet, has been out for about 16 months, has served with about 4 of my same companions, had 3 of the same areas, and we're basically just the same person, except we're different. It's quite fun. Oh, and he's pretty tall too. (Not as tall as me, but he does pretty decent.

Oh, last experience: We got a call the other day, and this guy from the ward told us that one of his friends' (non-member) sons (about 25 years old) Had been hit by a car a couple of days ago, and was in a coma in the hospital, and that his friend had said that it would be alright if the missionaries came to give him a blessing. So we got to go in to the hospital, and give this man a blessing. It was a pretty incredible experience. He didn't get up and walk or anything like that, he didn't even flinch a muscle as far as I could tell, but the spirit of the Lord was strong there and everyone in that room was consoled with the knowledge that the Lord's will would be done, and that everything would be alright in the end.  I love this work! It's incredible!

In any case, gotta go
Love you all!
Elder Williams

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7th-ish 2012

NEW INVESTIGATORS! That's what happened this week, and you know the crazy part about them? We found them all at church. YEP. They just showed up to church, and now we're teaching them :D  We did a LOT of contacting this week. It's kinda frustrating sometimes when people won't open their heart and listen to our message, but every time we find someone who will actually listen, it makes up for that.  So my companion pointed something interesting out to me this week. He pointed out that with basically every single person that we talk to straight out agrees with us, and then says that they're not interested in hearing more. It appears that we're teaching in a way that people can't contradict what we say, they HAVE to agree, because it's truth that we are speaking, but they are so hardhearted that they just don't care, and stick to their traditions.  We actually had a miracle happen the other day. The wife of one of our investigators who's planning on being baptized soon happened to be home the last time that we visited him. Well, we were planning on watching the movie "Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration" but after we said the opening prayer she said: "Can I ask you a question?" Of course we consented. She then told us a story. She said that she was at work the other day, and she saw another Latina working there, and she mentioned that for some reason, she appeared to be glowing, just radiating light. So she went over there and asked her "Do you happen to be a member of the Mormon church?" The lady replied "Yes, how did you know?" "I just knew she said." Then they continued to talk, and that lady found out that we (the missionaries) are already going over to their house to teach her husband, so she told her "When they come over, ask them about the plan of salvation. It took me 10 years to get baptized, and it wasn't until I really understood the plan of salvation that I felt the need to be baptized, and so I did it." When we heard that, we immediately trashed the plans to watch the movie, and started teaching the plan of salvation. She LOVED it! (Her husband as well) and she knows that it's true. She began to tell us the story of how they came here to Utah, and how they have always been guided by God, and how she knows that that plan is true. Now comes the happy sad part. We invited her to be baptized, and she accepted. She knows the church is true, and wants to be a part of it, but she says that she has to wait until she can get her kids through their first communion and confirmation (they're in the middle of it right now) and then she'll get baptized.  These Latino people have some incredibly deep roots in their religion, and it's somewhat sad to see how they value tradition more than the things that they know God wants them to do. Of course it's a good thing for her children to learn more about God in any form possible, but it's holding back her personal progress, and that is kinda hard on the missionaries.
 
Well that's all for now basically. We have transfers this week. I'm staying in the area, and my companion is going to Heber to be with my last companion. My new friend (Comp) will be Elder Bishop! He's another tall white guy, and I'm pretty dang pumped for this next transfer cycle. Well, Love ya all! Peace out!
Elder Williams