Monday, October 7, 2013

Week Twenty One - Amigos Finally and a Pull Up Bar!

Elder Crockett and David at the church for conference.

David hangin' out waiting for an investigator that didn't show.

Happy Monday!
       It's weird, I think it's safe to say that typically Mondays are the most hated day of the week by the majority of people.  NOT AS A MISSIONARY!  I literally smile from ear to ear all day.  Tengo GOZO en mi alma hoy!!!   So first off, I did get your package, and I am terribly sorry for spacing on that last week and causing you a bunch of stress and worry.  I thought it was old news and I had already told you about it!  But thank you, everything in there was exactly what I needed.  The flask is perfect.  You are the best!  Secondly, congrats cousin Ryan!  I am so happy for him.  I was thinking about all my cousins the other day.  I really wish I would have read their emails and followed them when they served.  Even Tom too for that matter.  I could have had such a better idea of what a mission was and how to prepare.  I am thankful for their diligent examples to the baby in the family.  FELIZ CUMPLIANOS EMILEE EN VIERNES!  I hope you still have a letter to open that day.  Enjoy your big day!  I laughed at the missionaries coming over.  Hearing stuff like that is so different now as a missionary.  I can relate!  Did they just come over to share a message or did you have them over for dinner?  I'm glad Toby got some company!  Squirrels are everywhere here, Toby would go absolutely bonkers!  Weather here lately has been just splendid.  I could probably live in Texas if it was October year round!  Saturday was my first day in Texas where I actually thought about putting a jacket on. I didn't necessarily need one, but it was dark and grey and windy with some misty rain.  It was very refreshing! 
   On to my week.  This week was pretty stinkin fantastico!  Elder Crockett and I are starting to get along really well.  We are actually becoming amigos!  He has a very serious girlfriend that he is planning on marrying as soon as he gets back.  Her birthday is actually on Thursday.  I am going to write her a letter telling her how great Ellder Crockett is, and then I'm going to tell her not to marry him until may so I can be Elder Crockett's best man.  Just kidding, we aren't that good of friends, but I am going to tell her to wait so I can come to their wedding!  When Elder Crockett is in a good mood, he is lots of fun.  The only thing is that up until now, he was rarely in a good mood.  So we are really gellin right now.  He gave me a haircut the other day.  It's not the best, but it was free and I am at least presentable. 
    We helped a guy named Bobby move the other day.  You can't serve in Lakewood without becoming friends with Bobby.  He has been a member his whole life, but you wouldn't guess it when you look at him.  He has big earrings and a lip ring, and he wears a fedora to church on Sundays.  He has multiple personality disorder and he always tells us that we don't want to meet Fred, who is apparently his "evil" personality.  He is an interesting guy to say the least, but of course we were happy to help him.  He likes the missionaries. 
      We had dinner with Mike Rivas the other night.  He is a member, ward missionary, with a long and dark history in the Navy.  He is another interesting fella, but he too loves the missionaries.  He lives in a little hut type a thing in the back of someones house.  It's a neat little place!  He bought us Chinese.  The whole time we were eating I was eying a pull up bar in the corner; one of those you put in a door frame.  I knew he was too old to use it, so I asked him if he did, and he didn't, so he gave it to me!  Exactly what I was hoping for all along.  Score!  Then on the way home from his place, a very strange guy stopped me and asked for a Mormon Bible.  In return he gave me his preferred book of scripture, the Bhagavad Gita.  I love collecting treasures like that!   He lives in a Hindu temple, had a buzzed head with a few long ones on top, and had meditation beads in his hand with a funny little sack over his hand.  Too odd and too into his religion to take the time to try to set anything up with him, but he's got the Book he needs, and I'll let the Lord take care of the rest.  The people you meet in Dallas... haha! 
     So I'm in a really difficult area right now, for Spanish elders at least.  I've been talking around, and it seems like Lakewood is an area that missionaries come to, not having high expectations, and with that attitude that they just need to suffer through their time here and pray they don't stay here too long.  It's difficult because it is an English ward.  We have multiple investigators tell us that they would come if they could actually understand what is being said.  Sometimes it feels like I'm working toward a lost cause here!  So Elder Crockett has turned our focus to less actives and English speaking Hispanics.  We aren't having much success with that either.  People just don't want to keep their commitments!  They don't want to put in the effort needed to get their own personal answer.  It is very frustrating, but we did find this kid a couple weeks back named Luis.  He is 20, plays college soccer, and is already about to graduate college somehow.  He is different than anyone I've ever talked to here.  The first time we met him we asked him to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon before we came back.  We went back a week later and he actually read!  Not only that, but he had even started to mark verses with a highlighter!!!  He asked us to come over every Thursday.  He is golden!  The hard part is that he leaves town every weekend for soccer, but soccer will be over soon and then he can start coming to church!  I have very high hopes for this man and I can see him going somewhere.  He needs your prayers!  Luis Moren. 
    The highlight of my week was, of course, General Conference!  I have been looking forward to that weekend for months it seems and it went by so fast, it's already over!  I was really excited for it, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.   It made me kinda homesick actually.  Watching conference at home on the couch with my Padre is much better, and then going to Priesthood session with the same guy, and then going out to eat with all my amigos in the ward.  Or something like that.  What did you do for conference pops??  I hope y'all watched it!  Even though it just made me miss home, I still loved it.  For the first time in my life I spent 10 attentive hours watching General Conference.  No naps! We watched it at the stake center in the chapel.  I almost had to watch in Spanish due to sound issues, but thank goodness it got fixed and I could watch in English.  There were like 8 other missionaries there, and just a few members.  But it was a nice break and I learned tons.  I wrote down 6 questions prior to conference that I wanted to be answered by the speakers, and they were all answered!  I have no doubt that those men are inspired men of God.  There is no corruption in the leadership of the church.  How could anyone watch a guy like Monson, Eyring, or Uchtdorf speak at conference and have any question that they are leaders of the true Church of God!??  Those guys are nearly inhuman!  President Uchtdorf is a life changer when he speaks!  He gives the best pep talks, and I think if we could get the whole world to watch his first talk in the Saturday morning session, the whole world would be converted to Mormonism!  I LOVE CONFERENCE.  I love the leaders of this church.   It was a good break, got to rest up physically and be spiritually edified at the same time.  But now it's back to the grind!  Oh, and I saw McKay and a few other young men from the stake in the Priesthood session choir.  How neat! 
      Thanks again for Tom's and Ely's emails.  Ely's make mine seem boring! Hahaha! But I enjoy them both greatly.  
-no packages or letters this week. 
-there is a mail station at the apartment where everyone gets their mail, but we all have our own little mailbox.  
-I have not yet had to speak in church yet, and I would imagine that is very rare in this ward, just because this ward is pretty strong and they always have speakers.  
-Sundays typically consist of a PEC meeting at 7:30, church from 9-12, then lunch, and then we hit the road, go to any planned appointments we have, stop by people we know, and find nuevos investigadores.   After 1 oclock it's just like any other day. 
- thanks for the quote.  It's so true!  One of my biggest fears is having regrets at the end of my mission.  but all you can do is work hard!  I've been trying to find a journal type notebook with thick paper, so I can write quotes and stuff in with a sharpie.  So if you come across one, send it to me! 
-I put a little more thought into Christmas over the week.  Here is my Christmas list:
 _photo album
 _an nice English scripture quad with my name on it. 
 _CD's, maybe of Vocal Point, Alex Boye, idk!  Missionary appropriate music, but not choir music.  Individual artists that sing positive, happy music.   Or I could send my ipod home and you could put some new stuff on there.   Tell me what you think would be easier. 
 _Pens.  I think I'm addicted to pens.  I like sharpie pens or staedtlers for my journal writing.  Maybe a nice matching pen and pencil so I can look professional with them in my pocket.  But not so nice that I don't even want to use them! 
 _a Polaroid camera.  I met this missionary, Elder Kevin Helaman Walter, a man that I have the utmost respect for, that has a Polaroid camera and it makes it look like he served 30 years ago!  It is the neatest thing I have ever seen.   I'm hoping you can find a cheap one, maybe on ebay or something.  I'd imagine they are pretty hard to find, so that is something you don't need to worry about to much.  But I just thought it would be super neat to have one! 
Mother, just know that I am a missionary, and part of being a missionary is being conservative and sacrificing.  I don't need any of this stuff for Christmas.  I don't need anything for Christmas really.  I will be happy with anything you send to me!  These are nothing more than ideas. 
       Well, I had a magnificent week, and I think I will make this next one even better.  Y'all make sure Em has a great birthday, and give Toby loves for me.  I love you and miss you all, more than words can describe.  I pray every night that God will let you know how much I love and miss you.  Enjoy the blessed lives that we have.  Recognize the Lord's hand in our every day lives.  Hasta luego!  
   con amor,

              Elder Williams 

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