Monday, September 16, 2013

Week Eighteen - Spanish Sleep Talking and Staying in Lakewood!

A little bit of downtown Dallas.

A giant robot tried to take over Dallas. I'm sure you heard about it on the news. I barely escaped!

The fearless district of 3.

My companion now knows that I have the coolest mom EVER!

The first thing we see every time we leave our apt. TORTURE!

A little bit of the apartment.

Down Town Dallas. I took this picture from a McDonald's super close to our apartment. I thought it would give you a good idea of how close we are to the heart!

Lakewood English and Lakewood Spanish at the Ward building.

Mi querido familia,

MOTHER!!!  What were you thinking?!?!  I can't believe you bought us pizza!  It was one of the few times that we got home after 10, and we had just come from downtown, which is a long straight bike ride so we were dripping in sweat!  I don't know how long he had been waiting or how long you had been talking to him on the phone, but we got it!  Yes, it was nice to hear your voice.  He had his phone on speaker and I heard you say "just tell him that his mom loves him!"  It was so unexpected, I didn't know what to do, or what to think, or what to say!  I loved it but at the same time I didn't.  It made me miss you more than I already did!  I heard my mother's voice!!!   But we definitely enjoyed the pizza, I've missed that stuff!  And like I already said, my companion now knows that I have the coolest mom EVER!  Muchisimos gracias Madre! 

Well apparently one night this week I sleep talked my companions ear off.  He said he had a full on conversation with me, in Spanish, and my Spanish was super good and fluent with a good accent!  He said I wouldn't shut up and in the morning I found him on the couch.  Hahaha!  sorry Elder Crockett

Well, transfer calls came Saturday night.  Lots of missionaries will meet up with other missionaries in the area on call night to wait for their calls together, so we went to the English Elder's place.  For the last two weeks I have been hoping for a change, whether I go or he goes, I thought I was just ready for a change.  But just the other day I started thinking it would be nice to keep things the way they are, then I don't have to start over in a new area, start over with a new companion, I don't have to pack and starve for the first week in a new area, and we can just keep chuggin along. The English Elders got a phone call and Elder Langford is going to Tyler Texas.  We did not get a phone, so I'm staying here for at least one more with Elder Crockett!   Which I am okay with, but it's still kind of a bummer because the days leading up to call night you are just constantly thinking about what's going to happen, what could happen, and the anticipation about kills ya!  So the night was just very anticlimactic, but I'm okay with staying where I am at.  But there are a few small changes.  The other Spanish area that our district leader was in is getting shutdown, so now we are the only Spanish elders here and we have to join an English district, Elder Munday's district.  We aren't too excited about that.  Elder Munday has a VERY strong personality and is difficult to get along with sometimes.  But this transfer should be good.  Elder Crockett and I know we need to make some changes and we are determined to make this transfer better than the last. 

Wednesday, Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Tad R. Callister came.  We had to drive to Fortworth.  Between the two missions there were over 500 missionaries there, it was insane!  He probably did visit Elder Lambert's mission too.  I heard his just kind of going from mission to mission right now.  But I got to shake his hand!   They are so different in person, but now more than ever I know that man is a man of God.  He gave us somewhat of a training.  He talked a lot about not comparing yourself to other missionaries, which I am definitely guilty of.  Being in a room with 500 missionaries was very intimidating and I felt so little.  But he talked about the importance of only worrying about improving yourself.  He shared a story about a missionary who he served with, who at the time had only been a member for a year.  He got baptized and went on a mission a year later.  He said this missionary was so much stronger than him spiritually, which he couldn't get because he was raised in the church by very strong member parents.  A future apostle!  Everyone is raised differently, everyone is going to start their mission at a different point, and everyone is going to progress at their own rate.  Elder Andersen said he could never ever imagine himself being an apostle when he was at the missionary age.  That was really interesting to hear.  We are all on the Lord's time, and conversion will come, line upon line, precept upon precept.  Patience is another thing he stressed.  I learned a lot.   I liked it a lot because it wasn't all about missionary work and investigators and all that, but it was personal and more about how to better yourself as a person.  Super neat experience it was. 

Last night we had a missionary fireside for the ward.  We had a decent turn out and I would say it was a success.  Elder Crockett and Elder Munday spoke, as well as our ward mission leaders and the bishop.  I was able to get away with program hander outer and nothing else.   This ward would be one of the best in the mission if only we were English elders.  The ward is awesome, filled with lots of young, super strong members.  Almost everyone here has just graduated from BYU and are now doing internships or going to dental school here.  The members are great, I just hate this ward because everybody is exactly where I want to be!  Back from their mission, finishing up school, starting a career and a family.  I am very jealous at times, but I must endure : )   I know I will never be able to have the life I hope to have until I finish my work here in Dallas. 

-biking is pretty easy now.  It's flat and doesn't seem to be as windy as it was in Grand Prairie.  Elder Crockett isn't a very aggressive biker either, yet he doesn't like it when I pass him.  It's funny, I'll pass him sometimes and he immediately speeds up and gets in front of me without saying a word.  Haha! 
-No packages or letters this week. 
-Spanish is okay.  The start of a new transfer is like a new year.  I have lots of goals and resolutions that are taking effect today!  Improving my Spanish is one of them!  I know we need to speak Spanish as much as possible, but it's just too easy to get away with English here!  It's a very frustrating situation, I just need to learn self discipline. 

The mission life is quite alright.  It is starting to cool down a bit here too, and sometimes there is a refreshing, cool breeze in the air.  Something I could get used to!  But thanks for the quote padre!  It's so true.  I'll add it to my collection.  That quote and some of your comments remind me of a couple of other quotes:

"the comfort zone:  the place is a dreamkiller"  -?

"Your mission will be as you desire it to be.  You can return a new man or return and still be kinda wimpy."
                                                                - President Swenson, my mtc branch president. 

So it's all on me.  I'm determined to make an impact here and I will be satisfied with my mission by the end of this!  I'm going to try to send a couple things home this week, as well as a letter or two.  If you send me a package soon, I could really use an oil flask, you know the ones you can put on a key chain?  I think that's what they are called.  You can find them at Deseret book.  I had no idea missionaries gave so many blessings!  Yesterday I was asked to give a young boy a blessing as he started up the new school year.  I had no idea what to say!  Pero esta bien.  Todo bien!   I hope y'all have una semana magnifica!   Les amo y les extrano bastante!  Hasta la proxima lunes! 

con mucho amor,
             Elder D. Willliams

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