Monday, July 29, 2013

Week Eleven - Furious Encounter and You Can't Judge a Person By Their Socks!

Elder Sheffer in his chair.....

Elder Sheffer, Bishop Ankle Socks and Elder Williams!

Hola mi familia! 
This week has flown by!  I've almost got my first transfer in the field under my belt.  That's loco!  Time really does fly by when you look back. 
    Last week I forgot to tell you about my exchange with Elder Hammond, where I went to his area for a day and night, and his companion came to GP for a day and a night.  It was interesting to work with a different missionary in a different area.  I think we have exchanges once every transfer, an opportunity to learn from other missionaries and see how they approach the work.  Elder Hammond is an interesting missionary to say the least.  He was in the mtc with my companion, Elder Sheffer, and I was shocked at how different they are.  Elder Sheffer is soooo much further ahead than him.  In Spanish and just being a missionary in general.  I could talk more fluidly than Elder Hammond!  Which isn't saying much.  And I know you can't compare missionaries to missionaries, bc everyone is going to progress at their own rate.  But it just showed me that it isn't just going to come.  If you work hard and get comfortable with being uncomfortable, trusting in the Lord, you are going to grow much faster.  So that transfer motivated me to work harder, so in 3 months I can be like Elder Sheffer, amazing missionaries with my Spanish for how long I have been out, rather than being like Elder Hammond who still has no confidence in his Spanish or teaching abilities.
    Monday I had another memorable experience.  I won't give details, bc that would take a while, but basically a member pulled up behind me, demanded to talk to me, and ripped me a new one for being too far away from my companion on our bikes.  Yes, maybe we were a little too far apart in some people's opinions.  But what I had a hard time with was her reaction.  She was absolutely FURIOUS that we were too far apart on our bikes.  She yelled at me for 10 minutes.  I couldn't understand why she was so mad and she couldn't just say "hey, don't you think you and your companion should stay a little closer together?" but she was furious and it was a joke.  I couldn't believe it.  I have always been no good at thinking of things to say right in the moment, and I really admire people that can do that and really wish I had that skill sometimes. but in the moment I didn't really say anything.  After the fact, however, I thought of so many things I should have said and I really just wanted to let her have it and make her feel like the 8 year old girl throwing a fit over something so ridiculous like she was.  But I didn't.  Not only because I couldn't think of what to say in the moment, but because I shouldn't.  I'm a missionary.  I have two years to be nothing but friendly and act like the Savior, no matter how people treat me.  But you know sometimes I really just want to give people a piece of my mind!  Just let them know how I REALLY feel.  but that's going to have to wait a couple years.
    So that was a good start to the week!  But other than that, it was a pretty typical week.  We stayed busy for the most part, had a couple rough, slower days, but it was a good week.  Last night we were in a lesson with someone named Dios Dado, which literally translates to "God Given". weir huh?!  But he was really nice and interested in what we do as missionaries.  During that lesson the thought came to me; "you know Elder Williams, this is pretty fun".  Talking to people and teaching the gospel really is fun!  Even if it is in Spanish and I can't understand much, it's fun!  There are parts of the work that are not fun, of course, but when I can really fulfill my purpose and share the gospel with someone, this is fun! 
   Elder Sheffer and I are starting to have a lot of fun together. He is hilarious!  The first few weeks I didn't like him much, personality wise.  He has a weird sense of humor and I never found it funny until now.  His jokes are smart and make you think, but we are like best friends now!  The other day he made a quesadilla with spicy pepperjack cheese, jalepenos, spicy Louisiana bbq sauce, and some super spicy "combustion" powder.  Every single thing on there was spicy, and I just thought that was unheard of!  He is a flippin  strange kid, but we sure do have a good time.  I really hope we get another transfer together, which I think we will. 
   Our bishop here of the Spanish ward is white, he served a Spanish speaking mission in SLC ironically.  He wears ankle socks to church, and up until yesterday I never thought I could respect a bishop that wears ankle socks to church.  Up until yesterday, I really didn't like him for multiple reasons.  In our Sunday morning meetings with him, he just makes us feel like we are doing a bad job and nothing else.  He doesn't help at all it seems like.  I just don't get that loving, goofy, caring vibe from him that I can from the boss bishop of LC5th, Bishop Wonnacott.  But yesterday bishop Weenig gave us a ride to dinner and we just got to talk as people, or former missionary to current missionary, in English, and it completely changed my view of him. He is a good guy, you can tell he was an awesome missionary, and he is  a good bishop that knows what he is doing.  Maybe not as good as Bishop Wonnacott, but he gets the job done. 
I have been emailing Elder Lambert the last couple weeks, he didn't say anything about his brother, but good for him!  Oh and I read Tom's emails too.  I really wish I would have done that for his entire mission, I very much enjoy them. 
I'm fine with Jeff sharing parts of my emails with other peeps, of course!  I'm just curious to know what parts?  I really didn't think I had written anything worth sharing, but that makes me feel pretty good haha.  
That's awesome to hear about Christopher.  That sounds like an awesome experience and I am super excited for him! 
Haven't gotten the shoes or any other package yet.  But I'll check today.
P days we do laundry first thing, then ride to the library to email, then get a ride from a member to Walmart to get groceries, then come back to the apt. and clean a wee bit, and relax.  If we weren't on bikes we would probably do a little bit more, but after a week of biking, we really just enjoy a day of rest.  I usually try to take a nap, but I have only actually fallen asleep once.  It's weird, I don't think i'm going to be able to take naps.  I just lay there and my mind runs tooo much and I just feel like I shouldn't be napping, no matter how tired I am.  But p day ends at 6 and we get out and hit the pavement! 
We wear missionary clothes whenever we are out in public, no exceptions. But there are some English elders here that we see at the library and they don't follow that rule.  But one of them also flipped us off one time, so we are kinda confused about them. 
Grand Prairie is different but not drastically.  I don't know how to explain.  It's just another town!
We haven't had to speak yet in sacrament meeting, but i'm sure it's coming! 
I don't think the gift cards would be against the rules, but there really aren't any chain restaurants here that I can think of.  Not only that, but Elder Sheffer doesn't like to take too much time to eat when we don't have to, so we just go to places like subway, bk, mcD's, or try places they don't have back home.  So gift cards probably wouldn't do much for us. 
Double check my address, it's 2304 for the apartment number.
Welp.  I'm out of time.  I hope I got everything without too many typos.  I love emailing.  I want to apologize for my first few emails from the field.  I realized a week or two ago that I was just being a baby!  Now I just want to get out there and have the best experiences that I can so I can share them with you every Monday! 
I love you all and you are a big motivation for me.  Family is a gift from God, and you are the best gift I have in my life that I cherish more and more every day.  Hasta la proxima lunes! 
Elder Williams

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