Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Week Eighty Nine - "I talked I walked I taught I baptized, the week was good..."

Tom's second to last zone conference in Santarem!

Elders Obidos, Redding, Ramos and Tom!

A crab has Tom's name tag!

Hello My Family!

       Egua do muleque! that pic of terbs and sherm is too cute. I miss my dogs pra caramba now! But pois é. Today is Wednesday, you asked why am I on the comp on a Wednesday. I will tell you why. This Monday we had zone conference in Santarém. Sunday night we got a boat ride there, we arrived at 4 in the morning more or less but just slept until 6 because the boat doesn´t go anywhere after and the taxi was only going to come get us at 6.  So Monday we had our zone conference, which was okay. I thought it was going to be my last already but Papai Scisci says there will be one more in November, so I didn´t have to give my farewell testimony yet. While there in Santarém, I received about a dozen letters from Grandma Win/Winn?Wyn..... forgot how to spell your name Egua que vergonha... But thank you very much for informing me so much about what´s going on at home. I also received a letter from Cindy Neilson. Egua! Rebeca (I think) is already in the 9th grade.... Eeesh Maria! Life passes fast. Thank you very much to the Neilsons for the letter! I also received a letter from my amigão Justin! It was great hearing from him again. Sounds like he passed through some trials in his mission but holy smokes he still cracks me up!  And I received a letter from dad. Thanks for the uplifting words papai! I´m grateful for all the love and support I receive from you and everyone else at home. Sorry I don´t express my love and gratitude as much as I should to all yous at home. Me perdoe, por favor. About the package.... I guess one missionary heard that I said that everyone there could eat what´s in my package (I think he heard wrong) so they decided to open it without asking me if it was true, which annoyed me a little bit... but whatever. Já era. 3 months from now I can enjoy all the the states have. I heard a few missionaries talking in Santarém about how their e-mails also say the same stuff over and over and over. "I talked I walked I taught I baptized, the week was good..." Hey! after this week I will be the oldest missionary in the zone (as in more time in the mission field) and there are only 2 others in the entire mission that have more time than me and my group... Egua do muleque.... EESSH MARIA now I`m nervous!
        But this past week was okay. I talked... I walked.... I taught.... but I didn´t baptize unfortunately. We had 3 people that could´ve been baptized but as the weekend came they all lost the desire.... The enemy works hard against the work of the Lord. But that´s about it for the week. This week is the last one of the transfer. Egua it passes sooo fast!
Did you meet with your mission president this past week?  If so, how did it go? Yes I did. It was okay. As usual I don´t remember much of what was said but the feelings are neat there. There was a video of a talk given by President Claudio Costa of the 70 presidency in the Brazil MTC which was really cool. I think he´s one of my favorites of the 70.

Do you still have the same pack that we bought you at Mr. Mac or are you using something else?  I can't tell from your pictures. I use a pack given to me in my second area. I just use the pac from Mr. Mac to carry bigger books when I´m transferred.

Other than Santerem, is there any other place you really want us to see while we are there? I think all other places are accessible from Belém, without having to get a plane or pay 100s of reais. But we don´t need to stay a few days in Santarém Just one day is fine. I just want you guys to see Alter do Chão rapidão (super fast).

Your dad wants to go on a boat up the Amazon - are there places there that you can just go to and purchase a boat ride? I think there are....

Be thinking about anything you want us to bring you when we come - like more casual clothes, shorts, tee shirts, your converse shoes? I am hoping your mission president is ok with you wearing normal clothes when you are with us. Bring my ipod..... and I guess you can bring some clothes and my converse... my old ratty ones por favor! If I can´t use them, whatev!

Did you get your package yet? Any other packages or letters? Already explained.

Pics! A crab got my name tag!

Pic of the zone conference with a stupid camera in front and a pic of my companion, the 2 Elders from the second most distant area of the mission, Obidos, Elder Redding and Elder Ramos and I.

Unfortunately it seems like the pic of the zone conference didn´t get everyone. But that´s all for this week. I love you all, hope you have a great week. Stay safe and maybe I talk to yas agains Monday. Tchau Tchau!

Love Elder R. Williams

Week Fifteen - Bike Mayhem, Dinners With Members and Journal OCD!

Querido Familia,
    Ohhh what a week I had!  Not really.  The missionary life is starting to become normal for me.  Nothing too exciting happened this week.  Just more heat, more biking, more sweating.  More finding, more teaching.  It's just the same old same old now!  But it's definitely not boring.  I had two little mishaps on my bike this week.  One time I just tried to go up these two little stairs, didn't have enough speed, tried to catch myself, almost caught myself, and then fell into a bush.  The other one I can't even explain, but I thought I broke my big toe!  But I didn't, it just bled a little.  But I've decided that I am just not meant to be on a bike, and Elder Crockett finds it to be quite hysterical.  
    We had two dinners with members that I think are worth sharing.  The first was with the Derkowski's, a middle aged odd couple if I ever did see one.  Robert is a skinny readheaded guy, recent convert, and obsessed with herbs that only speaks English, and Pilar is a little Hispanic lady, convert but not recent, and only speaks Spanish.  How that happened I have no idea, but they must be in love!  Robert keeps telling us that the best way to bring souls to Christ is to get down on their level and become one of them.  So because most Mexican men drink, we need to drink with them, just be careful not to get drunk.  It is a view that I have never heard before, but I don't think he fully understands the Word of Wisdom. 
   The other dinner was last night with the Boswell's, and it was probably my most favorite dinner so far in my mission.  They are in their thirties, no kids, recently graduated from byu.  She is a convert from Costa Rica with an amazing, inspirational and motivating conversion story.  Every mission wants to baptize someone and later on down the road see that they are as strong in the church as this woman is.  He served in Japan and told us lots of stories and gave us advice and opinions, which was very enlightening.  One thing he said that stuck out to me is "letting go" of life back home, and once you can do that you can truly devote yourself to the Lord 100% and get lost in the work.  I haven't "let go" yet.  While I don't know how exactly to do it, I need to!   But hearing about other people's missions is probably one of my favoritest things ever.  Every mission is just son insanely different!  But it was a very enjoyable dinner. 
    I started reading the Book of Mormon this week with the intention of starting at the beginning and reading all the way through.  I have only done that once in my life before and I didn't get much out of it because I just read it so I could say I read it, barely skimming the surface.  I finished 1 Nephi today and it's amazing how much of it makes sense now!  Like this is what I have been teaching people for the last 3 months!  It is all clicking for me now and I love to read that book!  It's sad that I am saying this 3 months into my mission.  It should have happened long ago, but at least it's happening.  The Church is true, the Book is blue, and Elder Williams loves you... hehehe! 
     About the Olympics, yes sadly I am quite out of shape.  I'm not fat, but definitely not strong.  I have actually put on fifteen pounds since I left!  But it is next to impossible to work out in the mornings!  But there are missionaries that can do it, and they work out hard too.  The good thing is that there is another Olympics next year and I will be ready for that one! 
-  Kevin Crockett and Sharon Rose are Elder Crockett's parents.  He said he thinks they went to Cottonwood. 
-  I got Grandma's package on Monday, and then the letter a day or two later.  So thank you grandma!  You are good at packing boxes, that thing was loaded!  And the subway cards are perfect, because that is one of our regular places that we go.  Subway and McDonalds, unfortunately.  But thanks for worrying about me.  I'm so spoiled!    I also got a letter from Andy as well.  Thanks Andy! 
-  I do use the face medications for my face and I think I have got suficiente por ahora.  Thanks though!
-  JW's are Jehova's Witnesses, yes.  I have only had one real run in with one, and he just showed off his knowledge of the Bible to us for 20 minutes.  Nice guy though, which surprised me from what I have heard about them.  But there are actually some missionaries that hunt for JW's, or even take lessons from them!  I don't plan on ever getting into that though. 
-  This week was hot to say the least.  No rain lately.  We have had a day or two in the last couple of weeks where it was actually enjoyable outside; sunny but not unbearably hot, and I loved it!  It reminded me of baseball and I wanted to be back in the good ol' days and play!   But this next week is supposed to be super hot again. Not sure when it is supposed to cool off, pero ojala pranto! 
-  I have already almost filled up my first journal and I could use another one soon.  Haven't missed a day yet!   But I want a specific one if you can find it, probably at Deseret.  One like that blue one you bought me for Christmas last year.  It should be down in my room by my bed if you don't know what I am talking about.  But I have that one, and the one I have now is the same but dark brown.  And now I need a new color!  They have red and black and maybe some others.  If possible I would like all my journals to be the same, just different colors, and at this rate I am probably going to need one of every color, at least!  I hope I don't sound too needy, but I might be slightly ocd about journals.  I hope that isn't too much of a hassle for you.  But I've still got enough room for probably 3-4 more weeks of writing left in the one I've got, so you've got time.  Love you! 
-  Thanks for the pic of me perritos! 
    Mom, I'm quite sure most missionaries are homesick for nearly their entire mission, it only becomes more and more bearable all the time.  I'm still homesick, I still miss you all like crazy and everything else about home, I still think about that day I come down that escalator way more than I should, but it is bearable and I am learning to enjoy my time here!  I hope that doesn't make you emotional or anything.  Know that I never stop thinking about the ones I love most, but at the same time I am doing just fine!   Quidence mucho y les amo bastante!  

love Elder Williams

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week Eighty Eight - Take Your Socks Off!!

I don't know why, but this picture of Tom with the puppy just makes me miss him SO much!  He is a dog lover and I remember how cute he was with Toby when we first got him.  I would come home from work and there would be Tom in his chair in the living room with Toby on his lap, while he was playing video games!  I can't wait for this kid to get home - it's killing me!!

Tom and a puppy!!

Take your socks off!

Baptism group for Jaqueline at the river.

Hello my family!

        My week in Orixi was good. My companion got sick again, but he still works, so he´s strong.... We had another baptism, lá in the river again, which was cool. This time I baptized her, her being Jaqueline. Beyond that, I don´t have much to say....... the week was normal. I got an e-mail from Papai Scisci that got me thinking a bit.... this next week will be zone conference, he´s coming to Santarém, we go there Sunday night I think. There´s a chance that it´s my last. Embora ver....

Is it just you and your companion in your area?  I think you mentioned that once, but I couldn't remember, for sure. Yup, just us 2

Did you travel with another missionary to Oriximina?  That picture you sent of the hammocks kind of looked like you may have been with someone.  If not, who took the pictures of you on the boat? Being that this past transfer, the missionary that was here just traded places with me, he went to Santarém one night with his companion, and I returned with his companion.

What's the story on the cow you were standing by?  Was that on the boat? It´s just a cow in the front of the store in which we buy our stuffs.

Out of all the things at home (food, activities, etc.) what do you miss the most about home and that you are excited to get back to when you come home? Music or games.... or Toby...

Still eating at member's for lunch in your new area? yes....

I know you said on the 28th, but any packages or letters this past week?  I can't even remember what was in the last package I sent you that you have never gotten! nope, only next week. Only next week.

Me and a puppy. The next is me, the wife of the bishops counselor and my companion, showing our legs off. Everyone tells me I need to take the socks off.... HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHHA I´m laughing too much.... (sarcasm), and the last is the group that watched the baptism. Jaqueline is the one in the macacão (the white baptismal outfit thingy....)

But that´s all. I love you all have a great week. Only 14 more, I think, and i´ll be home.... Egua.... Tchau

Love Elder R. Williams

Week Fourteen - Silver Medal in the TDM Olympics!

Hola mis personas favoritas en todo el mundo!
  Alright alright alright.  Grandma is so funny.  I love her to death and am looking forward to the package.  Elder Crockett got a package this week, but it was just sitting on our door step when we got home at night.  I'm in no rush for shoes, so I think it would be best to just send them with Dave, as long as he is okay with that.  Landon is finally in Thailand?!  Sheeesh that was a long time in the mtc, don't know if i could have done it.  But how exciting!  Billy is leaving, Toph is leaving, the whole world is leaving!  I love to see the work being hastened and I am honored to be apart of this historic time!  Mom I know you worry, but there is no need!  The Lord watches out for his missionaries, you need to have faith and know that!  Like the other day, Elder Crockett dropped our phone in the middle of the road.  It got ran over TWICE!  Not a scratch on it.  That right there is a cellular device of the Lord.  If he protects objects like phones, how much more do you think he will protect his own children doing his work?   I'm still cautious Mom, I don't want you to think that i have the attitude that I can do anything just because I'm a missionary.  I'm cautious, I have common sense, and I will be okay!  Trust in the Lord, because he is watching out for me. 
     This week had it's rough spots, but it was still quick and I got through it.  Elder Crockett almost 20, is from Cedar Hills and he went to LonePeak.  He was a starter on the football team that won the state championship two years okay.  He is a really cool kid, and is funny too. This last week he had knee problems, and that slowed us down a bit.  But he got some drugs and he is almost good to go now.  He is definitely not as easy to get along with as my first two companions.  We have our disagreeances, but that is typical for the first two weeks of a transfer.  It's just part of a mission, too:  learning to get along with everyone and loving everyone.  We had a really good night teaching last night and I feel like we are starting to click as a companionship. 
   Tuesday we had a district meeting.  Our district is only four elders, Elder Williamson being our district leader.  He has been out 18 months and he is hilarious.  He really likes to Bible Bash and argue with people, because he is really good at it.  So our meeting was about how to counter a JW.  Probably not the best topic, but I'm sure it will come in handy some day!  Elder Williamson calls me dad, even though he is like twice the size of me, and I get to go on an exchange with him tomorrow!  After the district meeting, I went on an exchange with his companion,  Elder Wood, to their area.  Elder Wood is the Elder I sat next to on the plane ride here.  I was really dreading spending an entire day with him to be honest, but it wasn't bad at all!  I think he is a really nice kid.  And i got to be in a car for a change!  It rained really hard that day, but we had a good time.  
    Thursday we had the 2013 Dallas Texas Mission annual Olympics.  We do it once a year, and we meet up with 3 other zones and compete in a series of events, physical, mental, and spiritual, as companionships.  There were events like push ups, jumping jacks, free throws, speed walking, and memorized scriptures, memorized parts of pmg, and a few others.  My companion and I are both terrible at the memorization stuff, but he was a football player, and I consider myself to be pretty fit, so I thought for sure we could win one or two of the physical events.  Boy was I wrong.  We did horrendous!  I am out of shape to say the least!  I had high hopes for the Olympics, but we were a big dud, and I was planning on going home empty handed.  Then during the award ceremony, our name was called and we got a silver medal!  I didn't even know what for at first, bc I wasn't paying attention.  But we got the silver for the WORD SCRAMBLE of all events!  It's probably the one event that no one tries on, and I did all the work for it, but at least it's something!  Next year I am going to train big time for the Olympics, bc the zone leaders won the gold in almost every event.  I'm not okay with that!  
    Yesterday, for the first time in my mission, we actually had an investigator keep their word and come to church!  It felt really good, and she is very promising, and I really think she is going to be baptized soon.  Pray for Gloria Vera!  
-no letters yet, but I talked to the Hermanas that now live in our GP apt and they told me they have two letters for me.  Don't know how I will get them, and it might be a while, but I'll get them! 
-no washer and dryer in our apt, only some that the entire complex shares. 
-yes we have been eating out more than I would like to and I apologize!  mostly bc of Elder Munday; he asks us to come eat with them all the time!  But I am trying to cut back on that.  We mostly go out for dinners though, bc the ward here is so busy with work and school that we don't get fed as much by them. 
-I can't think of any places you could send me gift cards for.  There are lots of cool looking bars/restaurants, but they aren't chains.  So you don't need to worry about gift cards.  Although some simple, cheap recipes might actually be nice.  I'd appreciate that. 
       I miss y'all and love y'all bastante!!!!  Make this week a little more exciting so you have something out of the ordinary to tell me.  Haha!  Stay righteous.  Pray.  Love life. 
con mucho amor,
              Elder Williams


Monday, August 12, 2013

Week Thirteen - Loving Lakewood and The Big D (Dallas)!

David's district in Grand Prairie!

The GP District!
David on David Drive!

Hijole hijole hijole!  
   Idk if that is really how you spell that, but I love saying that now and I don't really know what it means, but I am quite sure it is appropriate.  It is similar to "wow!"  or "holy cow!"  would be my guess.    Well first of, exciting changes in the ward!  I have been thinking that Bishop Wannacott's time has gotta be up soon.  I was kinda hoping Dad would be the new bishop haha but Bishop Hatch will be a great bishop!  Like i have said before, i love to hear that you are going to farewell's and homecoming's!  Zach Baker and i have been exchanging emails off and on over the last few weeks and he is an awesome kid!  I really admire him.  I think about Ely con frecuencia and I need to email that kid!  We meet sooo many people here from Honduras!   Thanks goodness about the shoes!  I haven't been able to get them off my mind and i have felt so terrible bc i already wasted a pair of shoes bc they didn't fit, and if another pair of shoes went to waste i would be sick!  I have been praying lately that my shoes would turn up somehow or this could just be resolved and figured out.  Prayers are answered HALLELUIA!! do you spell that word? I know that is way off ha!  I like the idea of having that guy bring them as long as it doesn't turn into too much of a hassle.  I will attach our phone number and address at the fin de esta correo electronico. 
   Okay now on to my week.  Hijole yo tengo tanto para decirles!!  I am in Lakewood, aka Lake"hood" and our area covers downtown Dallas!  It is about a half hour bike ride there (so yes we are still on bikes, but esta bien bc it is super flat here) and we go down there once or twice a week to visit a less active that lives in a homeless shelter.  He has a very interesting story and i will probably tell you more about him in the upcoming weeks.  Lakewood is awesome.  I love being able to look down the street and see all the skyscrapers so close!  GP was more suburbia or whatever you call it while Lakewood is city.  I love it.  There is so much more going on, so much more to see, so many more people to talk to.  We had by the coolest crossfit gym all the time. I miss the gym!   But i have a plan to offer the owner eternal salvation in exchange for one free workout every Monday.  To me it sounds like an irresistible deal but i don't really see it happening.  I have already met so many REALLY INTERESTING people here.
   Before coming here, I heard nothing but bad things about Lakewood:  it's ghetto, not enough Spanish, it's slow, a dead area with very little success, and no one likes it here.  I love it here and can't see what people are talking about.  When I got here Elder Crockett and his previous companion had 0 progressing investigators, so we did nothing but find this week and we led the entire mission for new investigators this week with 25.  That feels good!  The zone leaders called us last night and made sure that we knew how proud they were of us bc numbers like that just don't come out of Lakewood.  I really don't even know how we did it or how that hasn't been happening before, because neither of us really know what we are doing. We just work hard.  I really see a lot happening this transfer and I am stoked! 
     Elder Crockett is a good guy and i really like him.  He is only two transfers ahead of me, like Elder Sheffer.  I feel really bad for him because all of his companions have been terrible, and it shows.  I trusted Elder Sheffer 100% in his Spanish, teaching abilities, and all his decisions.  I never doubted him and I always felt like he did the best thing possible in every scenario.  Elder Crockett, not so much.  We have a few disagreeances, but he is still a good missionary trying his best, and even though his Spanish isn't as good, I like the way he works with people more, and i think he is better at connecting with people.  Our Spanish is about the same, which is not very good.  But it will be a very good growing opportunity for the both of us bc up until now, we have both been able to rely on our companions way too much.  Now we are both going to have to step up and take charge.  Spanish is becoming fun. I get frustrated and impatient at times because i feel like Elder Crockett isn't giving me enough chances to speak, and he feels the same towards me. With Elder Sheffer i was fine with sitting back and letting Shef do all the talking, but now I just want to TALK!  In Spanish!  It's a weird, sudden change that just came out of nowhere!  We are going to have to learn how to share the talking time, bc we both want to talk and lead the contacts and the lessons. 
     We live in an apt on the third floor, which is rough at the end of a long day on a bike. But i like it.  Maybe not as nice as GP, but I like it. The first thing I see when I come out of the door is a pool and I don't like it.  I never thought a pool could look so tempting on my mission!  This week was long, mostly bc we had hardly no food other than roman and eggs, and we don't get fed by members here very often.  I was hungry all week!  And the apt is dirty because Elder Crockett's companion before me was Elder Downer and he just went home and didn't bother to clean the apt.. So we are gonna do a deep cleaning of the apt today! 
      We have a lot of contact with the English Elders in our area; Elder Munday and Elder Langford.  Elder Munday(6 months in the field) is from AF, his dad is was a mission president twice and is now a member of the 70.  So obviously he has been well taught by his dad and he likes to show that off.  I can't help but love the kid, but sometimes he gets on mine and Crock's nerves.  Elder Langford has been out about as long as me and reminds me of a red headed, nerdy version of Jared Heldt, or actually more like Kirt Heldt.  He is very professional.  They live with a member and have a car.  They give us rides often and they are cool dudes.  It is the coolest feeling being able to talk Spanish in front of them and they have no clue what we are saying and it drives them nuts! 
   We played basketball the other day with some morenos and i almost got out of missionary mode!  One of them in particular was running his mouth and talking trash and it got competitive and I really wanted to show him what's up.  So I probably won't play ball with them again. 
   There is only an English ward and a ysa ward here.  It's a super nice chapel and going to church yesterday made me feel like I was home!  The people are mostly white, young and attractive and pretty well off.  There was a farewell yesterday and it brought back some memories!  Late that night we rode by the house where the farewell was at and they invited us in to finish off the rest of the food.  They are a really cool family, the Romney's.  Brother Romney was a mission president in Mexico.  One of their sons is in the BYU group Vocal Point, and he did a musical number in sacrament meeting.  prrrrretty neat!  it's a really cool ward, but i feel intimidated by the young attractive rich people.  It is also a real bummer that it is an English ward. That is really going to slow our Spanish down, but we will just have to work harder at it! 
     I love this work and I know that it is the work of God and He is helping us out.  I had a very spiritual experience this week that strengthened my testimony in the Priesthood as well as the influence and power of the Spirit.  The authority of God is on the earth and with it we can bring souls to Christ.  I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks with great excitement! 
I didn't send Charlotte a thank you card, only grandma.  I don't have her address, but i would love to send her one if you can get me here address! 
I haven't had much of a chance to listen to talks yet.  This week was difficult to get good studies in bc i was getting settled in. 
Address:  2315 Moser, apt 321.  Dallas TX. 

We email at SMU, a college, and we don't have a time limit!  wooohooo!  and it is easier to send pics here i think, so that's what I'm going to try now.  

Week Eighty Seven - Falling Out of Bed!

Tom on the boat taking him to Oriximina!

Relaxing in a hammock on the boat!

With a cow....

On a bridge.

Tom with a bunny!

Oh my gosh!  It's hard to believe that we will be able to hug and kiss this guy in just a little over three months!  So proud of him and he just looks so incredibly happy in these pictures!  Love him like crazy!!

Nossa! What news you have given me! Egua! Bishop Hatch, é? Bacana! I would´ve liked it if the bishop that sent me out was still there when I arrived, mas tudo bem! Hey.... Zach Baker is Blake Baker´s brother?.... I´m confused... but anyways. My week was good. Lots of teaching. We taught 27 lessons this week which is quite well because we generally only get 20 lessons in a week.My companion got sick this week, I think it was a virus, but he still worked, so he´s quite the missionary. I fell from my bed and partially broke the fan. I think, while I was sleeping, I got up and tried to descend from the bed but I forgot that I sleep on the bunk bed. I might´ve been partially awake, but I had my feet dangling off the bed looking for the ground but didn´t find it, so I just jumped... Egua... .but I´m okay. Hrrmmmm what else happened this week.... OH we ate pizza with the seminary students. The pizza here is okay.... but they don´t put any tomato sauce on it so they give you ketchup packets which isn´t so good. Also, my companions birthday was yesterday. He has 20 years of life now, so Para Bens to him! But everything here in the mish is normal. So....

What does 'fubeca' mean - you use that a lot and Google translate doesn't translate it to anything.  What does it mean? Fubeca means slacker.... more or less.... it´s someone who doesn´t do what he´s supposed to.... like wake up 6:30  instead of 7:30, like my companion, so he´s a fubeca....

Any packages this past week?  Or letters?  If so, from who? Nope, only on the 28th will I receive mail.

Is the weather in Orixi any different than in Belem? In Belém, almost every day after lunch it rains. Here it only rains from time to time. But they say at this time of the year it almost never rains.

In that picture of you and two other missionaries in the river - was just one person actually getting baptized?  Two of them didn't look like they were actually getting baptized - maybe just goofing around? That picture was of me, my companion, Camila, being baptized by my companion, the first counselor of the bishop, Rodrigo, who is drowning his wife, Dayane, and I´m putting in her cousin to do the same.... I think it´s her cousin.

What's the name of the river you go on to get to your meetings - is it the Amazon? I think it´s Rio Tapajós

One more question that's kind of long.  In looking at the calendar, we are wondering if you would have a problem in waiting to speak in church for your homecoming until Dec 22nd?  Grandma and Grandpa want to come up for that and it's so close to when they come up for Christmas, the closer it is to Christmas, the easier it will be on them.  Meaning they won't have to come up twice or stay up here for a couple of weeks.  We will get home on December 3rd, so that's almost three weeks before you would speak in church.  If you have a problem with that, will you let me know?  On the one hand, it will give you lots of time to prepare, but Dad says most missionaries speak at church as soon as they return.  Just let me know how you feel about it and if you want to push it up to closer when you get home, that's what we'll do.  Hrmmm...... IDK.... I´ll let you all at home decide this one. For me qualquer um tanta faz (any one will do)

I think these are the ones you asked for. And the others, me at the side of a vaca and me holding a coelho. Cool, huh?

But that´s all. I love you all, have a great week. Stay safe, protect yourself from the malities(?) of the world. Choose the right, Conserve tua rota! The church is true. I love you all have a great week, protect yourself from the malities(?) of the world..... I love you all..... stay safe..... Tchau!

Love Elder R. Williams

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week Twelve - First Transfer - Headed to Lakewood!

Elder Sheffer - David's first companion and trainer!

Hola mi amores! 
     So this week was really good.  My first transfer in the field is already over!  Looking back, its insane how fast it went by.  The last six weeks seem like just one big long day.  Every thing from the day I met Elder Sheffer til yesterday all seems like it was just yesterday!  You know, the mission is reeeally short when you look at it in certain ways, or really long when you look at it in other ways.  And I go back and forth between thinking that it's super short and super long, but I still can't get over how fast this transfer went by.  A departing missionary gave us some advice when we first got here: "be the fat kid at scout camp and just jump in!"  I feel like I haven't really jumped into the work yet.  I've kind of been tip toeing in like the skinny kid at scout camp that you can see all of his ribs.  Almost going through the motions, and relying on my companion a lot.  I've still been working hard, don't get me wrong, but I could be doing more, and loving the people more.  So now that this transfer has come to an end, I know it's going to be the same thing when my two years are up.  It's going to go by so fast and I will wonder where all the time has gone!  It's really easy to have regrets when time goes by like that, so I am determined to JUMP IN this next transfer! 
    So nothing too exciting happened this week that I can remember, other than Elder Sheffer and I crashed on our bikes.  We were being too goofy and I rode into him and we both fell!  It was hilarious, especially because we fell right in front of some guy.  He probably thought we were such dummies!  It's times like that when I really wish I had a camera crew to follow me around!  Wouldn't it be cool if the church made every mission a movie?!  Just a little food for thought. 
      This week I was able to get a glimpse of how big an impact we can really have on someones life as missionaries.  Familia Soto is a family that was baptized the Sunday before I got here, a mom and 6 kids,, ages 3-15.  Her life is ridiculously hard, as you can probably imagine, and she spends all her time working or sleeping.  We have grown really close with the kids bc they are always outside.  So we can rarely catch the mom, bc she is always sleeping, but the other day we visited her and she said she has no food, and no money to buy food or pay the rent, and her and her kids hadn't had anything to eat all day.  And for some reason she fed the sister missionaries the night before with the last of her food!  So we, along with the sister missionaries, rounded up some food and took it over to her that night.  It felt good, and she LOVES the missionaries.  She cries nearly every time we come over.  I see like three women a week cry during our lessons, just because they are having such a hard time and they trust the missionaries and believe that we can help them with their problems.  I can't, bc I don't understand what they are saying, but Elder Sheffer does a good job of comforting them and helping them.  I just say "Hermana, tenga fe y todo bien."  Or something along those lines.  I wish I could help more than that, but it still feels good to help. 
    Yesterday and church we had fast and testimony meeting, and I bore my testimony!  It was weird, I didn't really get nervous, and my Spanish flowed really well.  I didn't say any "umm's" or get stuck or anything. The bishop only corrected me on one thing too!  Even though I still don't understand much haha it is crazy to me how much Spanish i have learned in not even three months.  It's even weird to pray in English now!  Elder Sheffer forgot how to say "significance" in an English lesson the other day and it was hilarious!  He said "signifkie" and he knew it didn't sound right as soon as he said it but he couldn't think of the word.  I hope that starts happening to me soon!  He has fallen in love with the language and I really admire that and his approach to learn more.  He has taught me so much and set such an awesome example for me. 
   But sadly, I am leaving him tomorrow.  The last couple weeks there has been a little bit of drama here in GP.  There are eight missionaries here, English speaking elders and Spanish speaking elders, and one of each as well for Hermanas.  All are on bikes except for us.  We cover the south part, which is the biggest area, and the hermanas cover the north part, much smaller area.  And this new transfer they are putting a third pair of Spanish speaking missionaries, so we have to divide up the area now.  Ultimately, President makes the call but the Obispo has a lot more say in it than we do, and none of the missionaries here were in agreeance with his decision.  I just couldn't believe he wore ankle socks to church, but Elder Sheffer and the Hermanas were quite upset.  But we all figured it is in the Lord's hands and we will go where the Lord wants us to go.  So between talking with the AP's, President, and Obispo for the last week, we thought we knew for sure what was going to happen this next transfer:  we were going to go to the NE corner of GP and the hermanas would move to our apt to cover the south side.  It was practically set in stone.  But we got a call from the AP's Saturday night saying that Elder Sheffer is going to train another new missionary, still in GP, but I am going to Lakewood with Elder Crockett!   It was so unexpected and I didn't even know what to think.  it took me forever to fall asleep that night.  I was really looking forward to another transfer with Elder Sheffer.  I haven't met Elder Crockett yet but he was in the mtc with Elder Sheffer and Sheff says he is super funny.  I don't know where Lakewood is,  but the few people we asked at church said it was downtown Dallas and a really rich area, but nobody sounded to sure.  Come to find out, after talking with a missionary that served there, it is one of the most ghetto areas in the mission with muchos morenos y espanicos.  I'm so excited!  It is sad to leave Elder Sheffer, but a change of scenery isn't going to be a bad thing. 
      So sometimes I feel super happy, sometimes I feel a little down.  But one thing that picks me up is thinking about the people I have met and the friends I have made just in the first few months, as well as the people I will meet and the friends I will make in the next 21.  That makes me really excited for what has yet to come.  You can't get this anywhere else. 
 Yeah, so that's the big news for the week, I'm heading to Lakewood tomorrow morning!  So hold off on the packages.  I got the ipod package and a few letters from Sister Peterson, but that is it.  I am super sorry about the address mix up, sorry!  Because I got that book a while back from grandma, I figured you had the right address.  But everything else I have had to go check with the front office for.  I am going to check with apt 2403 today to see if they have gotten anything of mine, but I don't know what else I can do about the shoes.  This makes things difficult, but I have faith that they will turn up! 
-riding a bike has gotten easier, but I definitely haven't developed a love for it, and my legs have never stopped being sore, but I am used to it by now.  Elder Sheffer and I take turns leading, so I can usually keep up with him unless we are in a hurry, bc his hurry is mas rapido than mine.  Idk if i'll be on a bike or in a car in Lakewood, but I am fine with either one. 
-it's been hot here, haven't seen rain for a while.  But people say it is still only going to get hotter.  What scares me is that people also say this is a mild summer....iyiyi! 
-Em- I miss you BASTANTE! 
-I just started cooking eggs and throwing them in a tortilla which is really good and much more filling than what I have been eating.  but I eat yogurt and granola(so your granola you sent me is perfecto!) as well as pbj's and hot dogs and microwave burritos. 
-I don't need anything at the moment, but i'll send my new address next week and i'll make sure it is the right one this time.  So any one that wants to send me something can! 
Holy tolito my emails are long!  Be honest with me, are they too long?  Like do you look at this and think "ugh why does he do this? I have to read this whole entire thing?"  Because that's what I think when stuff it too long.  Just tell me the truth would ya?! 
Alright so that's it for this week.  I hope I remembered everything.  Sounds like life is good back home.  Thanks for the iPod!  Elder Sheffer has good music but it was nice to hear something different.  Josh Groban is magical! 
I can't wait til Monday comes around again.  Quidense mucho y que tengan una semana magnifico!  Hasta la proxima lunes! 

con muchisimo amor, Elder Williams

Week Eighty Six - Baptism in the River!

Tom, Camila and Elder Tobias.

Tom by the river.

Baptisms in the river!

Good Morning Família Williamees!

             I hope all is well at home. My week was another good one. Last Monday night, we watched The Best Two Years, holy smokes that movie is funny, and probably funnier than the last time now that I´m a missionary. Teaching this week was normal. We are teaching a lot of youth here because there´s a girl who gives a lot of references but they are all young, like her. We had another baptism. Camila was baptized in the river, because the chapel didn´t have water. On Tuesday night we got a boat ride to Obidos, which is another little city about 2 hours from Orixi. Every 15 days we go there to have a district meeting. Nossa! Obidos is pretty much just up and down, the whole city, so I´m glad I don´t have to walk around there much. We returned to our area Wednesday about mid-day and we got to watch Hotel Transylvania, which looks funny(I say looks because in Portuguese I didn´t understand much and the boat is loud). In church on Sunday we had 3 visitors and they all liked the church a lot. One is a girl who has been taught by the missionaries for about 2 months but for some reason she never made a visit, until yesterday, and she said she liked it pra caramba and wants to continue there. And she took her brother with her, who also liked it pra caramba! AGORA! now I´m happy. Unfortunately, no one can get baptized this next week because everyone needs to go to church one more time. But who knows, maybe a miracle will pop out of nowhere.
          About your week.... do you guys eat with uncle Ken every week? It seems like in every e-mail for about 2 months now you mention that you guys ate with uncle Ken.... not that it´s a bad thing.... I guess very little really is happening at home then. Yeah mom, you already told me what Jeff said... I hope that´s the case because I´m kind of feeling like fubeca right now..... But I´m working!... oh boy... it´s hot in the lan house right now, there´s no air conditioning(?) BUT!.....


Where was that pool you were sitting by in that picture you sent home and were you just dying to get in it? It´s at the house of the family that Elder Fox baptized while he was here, more than a year ago. Yes I was dying to get in. Elder Fox jumped in one time, that fubeca!

How do you like your new companion?  Do you get along with him, ok? My new companion is cool, very laid back and relaxed but he likes to work.... he´s also fubeca, just a little.

Any packages or letters this past week?  If so, who from?  Now that you are out in the boonies, it's probably going to be even harder to get packages. I sent one such a long time ago, I can hardly remember what was in it! My package is in Santarém right now but I think I´ll only get it the week after this one.

How do you get around in your new area?  Mostly walking or do you still take the bus? There are no buses in Orixi, nor are there street lights. It´s just about the most laid back city ever.

Have you had to talk in sacrament meeting, lately? Nope :)

Some pics of Camila´s baptism. The river´s pretty pra caramba.

But okay, just this today. I love you all. Do you want to say something? No, sorry I thought you said something... I love you all... again.... but that´s it for today... again..... Have a great week... again..... and again.... just a few more times.... Stay safe .... Go with God!... peace of the Lord!

Elder R. Williams