Tommy's Release Date

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

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

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