|One of my favorite pictures of my boys. In the airport coming home from our Alaska cruise.|
This past week, I heard an interview with a guy from a band called The National. In the interview, he talked about his relationship with his brother. They were nine years apart, in age and totally different personalities. He left for college just when his younger brother was entering adolescence and those teenage years. He was lamenting that his brother probably could have used having him around during those years. But, since then, his brother had joined his band as a "roadie" and they were finally getting to know each other. Something he said really struck a chord with me. He said they were getting to know each other as people and not just as siblings. He was loving having his brother around and to turn to and had written a song about his regrets of not being there for him. Haven't we all been through that at some point - the point where you actually like your siblings as people and realize they are more than just your brother or your sister? It made me realize that I don't think my boys have had that chance, quite yet, to get to know each other as people. They have been conversing through e-mails, Tom from Brazil and David from the MTC in Provo. They are encouraging each other and giving each other advice, which is incredibly heartwarming for me to see. Dave told me I should print off their e-mails to each other and save them for them. I thought I would put a page in my blog and add it to their missionary books. I absolutely can't wait to see the relationships my children develop with each other as adults. Will they turn to each other for advice, will they enjoy each other's company, will they stay involved in each other's lives? I can only hope so. The bond you have with your siblings is unique and comforting, at least it is for me. You have been through the same childhood and you have the same values and priorities from your parents. So here's to siblings and brothers....that special bond that will get better with time!
HI DAVID! or... no.... ELDER WILLIAMS! How´s it going! Are you liking the MTC. It must be great that you have friends with you at the same time in the MTC, but don´t forget about your companion. He needs to be your best friend right now because you´re stuck with him for the next... how many weeks? anyways you´re stuck with him 24/7 so love him and serve him. And also your district, love and serve them too. Many of the Elders from my district in the MTC became very good friends of mine and it´s going to be awesome to see where they all ended up in their mission at the end. Enjoy every moment of your mission, especially the MTC because it will pass fast. I want to e-mail you a story but copying it isn´t going right, right now, so next week I´ll send it to you and you read it. I think it will help you out a bit.
I love you David, have a great week, and.... enjoy every minute!
Love Elder R. Williams
Elder Williams! It's Elder Williams! I just got the first week in the mtc under my belt and it has been crazy!!! So much to do, so little time! thanks for the advice Brotha, I miss and love you. Please send that story when you can, I would appreciate any advice or expectations you can give me! So far I've only gotten advice from newbies, i wanna hear from a veteran like yourself!
Spanish is killing me Tom! I'm the worst in my district and it makes me so frustrated when i cant understand or say what i want to say, i just wanna brake something sometimes! But the tough spanish sessions pass, and the rest of my day is very enjoyable. My companion is Elder Powell, from Las Vegas, and he is a great help when it comes to the language, we get along really well and it isn't hard to love him. My district is small with only five, all Elders. so we have grown close already and we have a good time!
Boy this is stressful emailing when i have an hour time lijmit! I have too many emails to respond to, i'm sure you know the feeling. I wish i could tell l you more, but hopefully you understand. have mom forward my family email to you! let's write every week! I can't believe i'm doing this!! thanks for your example, love you!
HEY ELDER WILLIAMS! I´m happy that you are liking the MTC. It´s a great place to learn, and don´t even worry about the language (don´t get frustrated, I`m saying, yes worry about the language, study hard and memorize and practice practice practice), it´ll be a million times easier when everyone around you speaks the language. How many more weeks to go? Enjoy it, it passes sooo fast, and don´t waste a minute. It will probably never be easy, but it was also never easy for our savior so why would it be for us. Give it your all David and good luck this week!
Love Elder R. Williams
Elder Williams, hehe
You are awesome. I can see how much you have grown just through your emails. You are a spiritual giant and I'm sure you are doing some serious spiritual damage where you are at. You show me that I have got a long way to go. I think if we can send short emails to each other every week you can help me out a lot. I have never been more frustrated than I get in my classes when my teachers aren't talking to me in strait spanish at 100 mph's. It doesn't seem like i have learned a lot, it definitely isn't coming as fast as i wish it would, but when i really look back to where i was when i got here, i have come a long way. I can pray in Spanish, and teach a little bit to my investigators in spanish. it's broken spanish, it isn't pretty, but it is usually enough to get across what i want to say, and i just pray that the spirit will tell them things that i can't.
I am having a lot of fun. I never get bored, my district is a lot of fun and quite often it keeps us from doing what we are supposed to do. But i look forward to everyday and i am muy muy feliz!
I want to hear about your first weeks in brazil and in trying to learn the language! I'm sure it was a lot different for you, but i am curious to know and would love some more advice!
I know you are loving your time in brazil. i am happy for you and i really do look up to you like as an older brother. I love and miss you!
Elder Williams. hehe
OPA! Tudo bem Elder Williams? Hey I read your e-mail that you sent to everyone at home It sounds like you are having all the problems that I had when I was there, which is normal and it appears that you have already recognized that. But, you´re happy, so I`m happy, and you´re enjoying it, which is good. The advice I want to share with you is: talk with your companion. Think of stories to share with him and past experiences. Doing this you will have a lot more in common and will be a lot closer. This is something that I had a lot of difficulty with, and still do. I´m usually just not thinking of things to say, but communication is important between companions. If you can´t think of a story, think of a question to ask your companion, it can be about anything, just try to get yourselves talking a little more (I doubt that this is really a problem for you). The other thing is that when you are teaching investigators, don´t be afraid to take the lead and don´t be afraid of making mistakes. You will make them, that is a fact, but your teacher understands and he is there to help you. Don´t always rely on your companion because he´s in the same situation that you are. Take action and do before being asked to do. Okay? Study hard David and never stop. Good luck this week. I love you!
Elder R. Williams
Gracias par la advice! haha spanglish is sometimes the best i can do. but I will remember that. We talk quite a bit, but we also have quite a bit of silence, so I'll try to do that cuz that really will probably strengthen our relationship and make us more effective teachers. The weeks are flying by already, 3 down, 3 more in the mtc to go! but nothing too exciting happened this week, everything is starting to seem the same and blend together! but i love being a missionary! it's crazy!
I'm starting to talk more during our lecciones. I'd still say my companion leads most of the time, but there are some lessons where i talk just as much as him. My teacher makes fun of me cuz i make up words in nearly every one of our lessons! Hope all is well. I'm sure it is. finish strong Tom, the end is in sight for you eh??!!