Tommy's Release Date

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

This week was a really good week!  We ended up having to drop a bunch of people who haven't been progressing, but with the extra time, we've been able to find some new people to teach as well! There is a man who lives here in our area who I believe is pentecostal. Him and his wife actually apparently go out and do some preaching of their own. Well, when we knocked on their door, the husband was really receptive, and we shared with him the message of the restoration. He seemed quite intrigued, and was listening attentively. He asked some awesome questions, and we left him to pray and read the Book of Mormon. When we came back about a week later (We had some crazy stuff come up and weren't able to get back any sooner) they let us in, and told us that his wife was going back to Mexico. (I think there are some family problems, and her mother might be close to passing away).  I was surprised how accepting of us they were, and how much they opened up to people that they're really never met before, and everything. We left them to read from the beginning of the Book of Mormon where it talks about Lehi and his family having to leave everything behind to go do hard things, and hopefully they read it. By the time we left, they were in tears. Unfortunately, the wife is now back in Mexico, but we're excited to go teach the husband again tonight.

So lately my companion and I have been diagramming the Book of Mormon (aka we made a list of all of the chapters in the Book of Mormon and are now writing by each chapter just the very basics, such as who is talking, and what's going on) And we're linking together all the chapters that are a connected. For example, we linked 1 NE 3-4 because they're both about getting the brass plates. It's been pretty incredible, because the order of things in the Book of Mormon is really starting to make a whole lot of sense, and I'm beginning to understand a little bit more the whole context of when things are going on, and why, and all that great stuff!  Also, We've been trying to memorize the whole entire Sermon on the Mount (in Spanish) Book of Mormon version. It's been actually kinda hard. I was surprised. The order of things is impeccable, and it's hard to get things just right. I can't even imagine hearing those words first hand for the very first time, by the very mouth of Jesus, and just having my mind completely blown! It would be pretty fun, I gotta admit!

Well, the church is true. I get a greater knowledge of that every day. It's slightly unfortunate because the more miracles I see, and the greater testimony I receive, the harder I have to work to make sure that I'm exercising my faith, because lots of things are no longer faith, they're knowledge, but I'm alright with that! ;).

Love to all!
Elder Williams

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

I finally go to do something that I've been wanting to do for awhile! This Sunday at church, they had two people giving talks, and neither of them spoke Spanish, and they invited me to come up and translate for one of the speakers! It was pretty cool, he would say a sentence, and then I would translate it and say it in Spanish. It was really fun. It's basically like a massive puzzle that you have to put together and doesn't end until the translating is over. It really gets your brain going. I LOVE IT! Now I just want to try live translating where you don't get a break to think about what the person is saying, and then translate it, but where they are talking in to the mike, giving their talk, and I am sitting in the back with a mini microphone translating what they're saying as they talk, and having it transmitted to people with headphones that need the translation. It seems like that would be incredibly difficult, but incredibly fun!  In any case, this week was pretty fun!

On Monday, we got to drive out to Roosevelt again, pick up the missionaries, and take them to Provo, where we stayed the night. The next morning, we all got up, and went to a big 3 stake zone conference in American Fork. The zone conference was pretty incredible! I learned a lot about the effect of my mission on the rest of my life, as well as how to be even better while I'm here. One of the big things that they talked about was silence. In the American culture, we hate silence. Someone always needs to be talking. President McCune is an incredibly successful business man, speaks Japanese, and would often go to Japan to negotiate with other companies. He mentioned how the Americans always had things that they didn't want the Japanese to know, and vice versa. During the meetings, the Americans would talk, and then when the Japanese would leave silence, they would get nervous, and talk some more, and more and more, and at the end of the meeting, the Japanese would know everything, and the Americans would know nothing.  He then mentioned that when they allowed the silence to happen, and waited (an uncomfortably long amount of time I'm sure) for the Japanese to respond, they were finally able to get the information that they wanted and needed. He also mentioned that the leader or head of the Japanese group almost never talks, he just sits there and observes. He then applied that to missionary work, and how there is ALWAYS one of us who is not talking, who should ALWAYS be observing, and trying to discern the needs of the investigators, and seeking revelation on what to do next. I really liked that example! We also did a role play where we had to just wait a little bit longer than usual, take our time, and not rush things. If we had nothing to say, then we should say nothing until the words are put into our heart by the Holy Ghost. It was a really cool role play, and I'm excited to apply the principles even more in my mission. 

After the zone conference we drove the missionaries back to Roosevelt, took the van back to Provo, and finally got back to Heber by about 10:00 (I committed to drive the speed limit for the rest of my getting places is taking a LOT longer! It's annoying, but I'm hopeful that God will bless me for my obedience to the laws of the land....we'll see how long this can last).  There was also a fun escapade of dropping off a mattress for some other missionaries, and having it fly out of the back of our truck on the way there, and then having someone try to steal it from us.....good stuff!  Apart from all the red tape and driving that we've been doing, it's been a really good week though!

We met a lady who got baptized into the LDS church when she was 8 (none of her family were members of the church, she just felt that it was right, and de hecho, todavia siente igual, aunque sus acciones no siempre lo reflejan) anyways, she ended up getting married to a Catholic guy, and he was really not that religious and was in to some questionable things... She really wanted  to help him out, and knew that he would not accept the LDS church at that time, so she started trying to help him by taking him to the Catholic church, even though she didn't really believe in it's doctrine. They had kids, and although she shared her experience and how she got baptized in the LDS church, her actions in the Catholic church spoke louder than her words, and her kids are confused Catholics (aka they're not really sure what they believe, but they consider themselves Catholics because they always went to that church with their parents.) So now, we're found her, and we're starting to teach her and her husband, and he seems really receptive, and the light and spark is starting to light within the wife as well. She's starting to remember how she felt when she got baptized when she was 8, and now she wants her entire family to come with her to the LDS church. (She's been inactive in the LDS church for years! ) It's a really cool experience to be in their house and teach them the gospel. I am so glad to have this opportunity to be a missionary, and to help bring light to the lives of many people. It's truly a unique experience!

Love to all!
Elder Williams

Monday, August 13, 2012

Five VERY happy missionaries!

August 13, 2012

This week was absolutely crazy! We had to go in to Provo for a Zone Leader meeting on Tuesday (INCREDIBLE MEETING!) I really love our new mission president and his wife. They are really doing everything possible for all of the missionaries, all of the other leadership in the mission (aka stake presidents and bishops) and really pushing as hard as they can in every direction. He and his wife have been going to as many baptisms as they've been able to get to, as well as going and taking the missionaries out to lunch just to talk. I am incredibly impressed. So on Thursday we were planning on going out to Duchesne (about an hour away) but that evening we felt like we needed to go up and spend the evening with those missionaries, so we left right after dinner and went straight out there and spent the night there knocking doors, and teaching with them. It was a really good thing we went up there, and a really good experience (I got to go with Elder Rantz from OREGON so of course it was incredible!) Anyways, the next day we had our first ever ZONE TRAINING MEETING! Aka, Elder Jensen and I got to train all of the missionaries in our zone for 2-3 hours. It was a really incredible experience. We found out how young our zone really is. Out of the 24 missionaries in our zone, 4 have been out between a year and a half and 2 years, 0 between 1 year and 18 months, another 4 between 6 months and a year, and 16 MISSIONARIES BETWEEN 0 MONTHS, AND 6 MONTHS!! Soooo much greenie fire, I love it! Our zone is doing pretty incredible. Anyways, on Saturday there were a couple of baptisms in the branch! A family of 4 just got baptized. They are incredible! Apparently the dad wanted to get baptized about 8 years ago, but then they moved out to Park City, and his life got wayyyy crazy and he didn't have any time to meet with the missionaries any more. Well, finally things calmed down 8 years later, they moved back here to Heber, and requested that the missionaries come and baptize he and his family. Moments like that absolutely blow my mind!  We spent basically all Friday and Saturday morning inviting people to the baptism, but unfortunately nobody that we invited showed up :(.  Our mission president, President McCune actually came and baptized the father of the family! It was a pretty incredible service.  Well unfortunately we've gotta get going. We have to leave for Roosevelt in a little while... btw, I wrote a tag for the Hymn Redeemer of Israel. I'm sending it attached.

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Williams

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

First interesting event that happened this week was on Tuesday morning! We were in the middle of studies, and all of a sudden we got a knock at the door. Elder Jensen went to go answer it (We thought it would be other missionaries). He opened the door, and to his surprise he saw two short Hispanic ladies at the door. THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES! He started talking for a couple seconds, then I came to the door. You could see the shock on their faces when the giant (I) suddenly appeared in the door. They were trying to share a scripture with us about how God's name is Jehovah, and how we should say "Jehovah" every 3-4 seconds (obvious exaggeration added) and while she was sharing the scripture, her finger was physically shaking, and her voice sounded a little bit scared. This was all in Spanish of course (I'm pretty sure somebody told them we lived there, because that started talking Spanish from the instant that the door opened...).  We asked them a few simple questions, and were thinking about teaching them on our doorstep :D But then the main lady (who had out her Bible and one of the watchtower magazines) put away her stuff, gave up, and they left.  I was somewhat disappointed. I hope they come back sometime so that we can talk some more. I kinda doubt it though. Then we had transfers on Wednesday! We now have 4 OREGONIANS IN OUR ZONE!!!  In other news, we've been making a new Zone Plan of Action for our zone, and as a part of it we asked all of the missionaries in the zone for their 3 favorite scriptures! It's been a really cool experience to go through all of the favorite scriptures and see how many incredible things the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price really have!  Lastly, we were trying to go find some new people to teach, so we looked at this one map, and noticed some apartments on the extreme end of one of the wards, and we decided to go contact them. We drove over there, and felt that it wasn't quite the right time, so we went somewhere else, and went back to the apartments about an hour later. We parked around the corner, got out, and walked up to the apartments. Right as we were walking up, a car pulled up, and a lady got out. We went up and talked to her, and found out that she had just moved in the night before. She had been replaced in her old job at Park City after being there for 4 years just from one day to the next, and basically lost everything. Apparently she didn't even get her last check that was supposed to be for about $1,000. CRAZY! She also mentioned that she had talked with missionaries before, and almost got baptized, but then crazy things happened and she was never able to follow through with it.  BOO-YAH! Unfortunately, she didn't speak Spanish :( so we had to pass her over to the English elders. but that's alright, it was a miracle none-the-less.

The church is true, the book is blue, and even you can know it too!

Elder Williams