Tommy's Release Date

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

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012

I had the incredible opportunity to go and spend a day in my very first area where I started my mission! Tuesday was Elder Jensen's last day in the mission. He had his final interview with the mission president on Tuesday afternoon, and they didn't want to make us drive back to Heber, just to come back the next day, so they just sent me out with a companionship there, and it was in my first area! Bueno, the missionary who was there had only been there for about a transfer, and was going to get transferred the next day, so he didn't really care where we went (His companion had to go to a meeting in the Mission Home) and so we basically just went and visited people that I had taught about a year a a half ago when I was there.  They did have one appointment though, and I'll talk about that in a minute.  First off, we went to a correlation with the Ward Mission Leader (Brother De La Cruz) Who was quite surprised to see me :D And then we went out and visited people! We went to a couple places, talked with a kid I baptized while I was there who's gone a little bit less active, then went to a family Gabriel and Mirna Cota.  When I was there before, Mirna was about 6 months pregnant, and the pregnancy was really hard on her. She was having lots and lots of health problems, and right before I got transferred we gave her a blessing that she would be alright. Well, apparently the blessing worked, because when we showed up, a 1 year old baby greeted me at the door! It was crazy! Basically like walking through a time machine!  They're working on a few little things that they have to clear up, but before we left, the husband told me that he's going to get baptized, and that he wants me to come back and baptize him before I go home!!! MIND BLOWN!! :D  After that we went to go visit a family that the missionaries had an appointment with.  We no sooner walked in the door, then my mind was completely blown again!  I knew the family!  in April of 2011, we were teaching a couple kids (Mario age 15ish, and Luis age 19). They were really excited about the church, and had a desire to be baptized. Well, we ended up getting them tickets to go to General Conference with us, and them, and another one of their friends who got baptized about 3 years ago, and we were really excited to go. We even got permission from our mission president to go and ride up with them to Salt Lake! So 2 days before General Conference, they tell their dad that they're going, and he tells them that they can't go, and schedules a family reunion that very day so that they will have no chance at going at all. Every time we went over there ever since the beginning, the mom and the dad always gave us the evil eye, and basically hid from us.  After that occasion, the Kids were never home, and I basically never saw them again.  Well, apparently, they both got baptized about a month ago, and have made pretty big changes in their lives! The dad went to the baptism, felt the spirit really strong, and now him and their sister are going to get baptized in a week and a half!!  It was incredible because the teaching appointment was with the dad, and he felt really really bad for hiding from us, and for trying to keep his kids from learning.  The mom is still terca but they're all praying that she'll come around soon.  It was one of the most spiritual lessons that I've taught in awhile.

Anyways, now I'm here with Elder Lopez, and things are going great!  We're seeing some pretty incredible stuff happen.  With this one family, there are like 8 people we're teaching there (slight exaggeration). There's Lulu (recent convert, Grandma of the family, probably about 50-60 years old. Nellie and Marichui (Daughters of Lulu, 30ish, and 11ish years old) and then Yanixza, aliya, chiquilin, and 2 other small kids (11, 7, 4, and younger), and then Lupe (Living with them temporarily, probably about 30 years old). It's been really hard to get all of them on the same page, and to focus, so we decided to make a competition out of it! (because I'm way too competitive of course!)  Anyways, we made a calendar that started yesterday, and goes till the 20th of October, and split each day in to 2 sections. Praying in morning/night, and reading the scriptures/pamphlets that we've left them for 5 minutes. If they do that stuff, they can cross them off for that day, and they get 1 point for each. Also, if they come to church on Sunday, they get 5 points!  With General Conference coming up, they will get like 5 points for each session that they watch as well!  The winner of all that gets to go out to lunch with the missionaries ANYWHERE THEY WANT for free.  It was kinda funny because we went in, and started talking with Lulu (she loves the gospel and is super supportive of anything we do) and then we just sat there at their kitchen table and started making the calendars.  Then slowly everybody started showing up, and were trying to figure out what we were doing!  Finally we told them, let them choose their calendars, write their names on them, and they got started! They've all been reading and praying every single day since! :D :D :D :D :D. 

Another quick fun story before I go.  So this weekend there was a MASSIVE regional conference.  It's like stake conference, but there was a broadcast on Sunday morning from the Marriott center on BYU campus, and all of 146 stakes from the Provo valley, as well as Heber watched it at their corresponding stake centers (Except for 16 YSA stake that watched it at the Marriott center).  About a month ago, I had an interview with my mission president (President McCune) and asked him if the conference was going to be transmitted to Heber as well, and after revising his notes, he told me yes. I asked him where they were actually going to be having the conference, and he told me the Marriott center.  I asked him if we could go, and he thought for a minute, and said "Sure!"  So then he told us to be there at about 8:15, and said that he'd try to see if maybe we could go up and talk with the apostle that was going to come!  So anyways, yesterday the day finally came. I thought for some reason that he told us to be there at 8:15, so we showed up right at 8:15, and the doors were still locked.  At about 8:55 the doors opened (for some reason they started with the door that we were at) and we were able to get in, and got to sit right in the second row!!  So anyways, we sat there for awhile, talked with people, saw Nikki Barney from the ward back at home, talked some more, then President McCune came out and told us that we were going to meet Elder Oaks after the meeting.  The meeting eventually started, and was INCREDIBLE! President McCune spoke, as well as the Primary General President, and Elder Maynes from the presidency of the Seventy, as well of Elder Walker of the seventy, and then finally, Elder Oaks spoke.  He was pretty hilarious, as he spoke of single adults compared to a person in a star gazing club (ask James to explain the rest of it, because I'm sure he was watching it from one of the other stake centers in the valley).  After the meeting, we got to go with about 8 other missionaries, and talk with the seventy, Elder Oaks, and their wives for about 15 minutes, shake their hands, talk 1 on 1 briefly, and then take pictures! IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!  He is a funny, brilliant, and powerful man. I would love to just stand there and talk with him for hours and hours.  But alas, I'll take the chance I had any day of the week.

Love to all!
Elder Williams [See attached picture]

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