Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week Thirty Three- A Great Christmas and Catholic Cuban Grandparents!

Prospero ano y felizidad!

   It brings a smile to my face and joy to my soul to hear that everybody had a merry Christmas and that the holiday season is still rolling without me!  I was thinking that the holiday season would be a dreadful time as a missionary... boy was I wrong!  Of course, I missed you all greatly, but I was treated really well here and had a bright and jolly and merry and ring-ting-a ting-a-ling Texas Christmas!  Christmas eve was spent with the Fennegan's, who invited all the coolest members of the ward over for dinner.  Then dinner at the house of one of the English Elders' investigators, and then almost another dinner with the Alvarez family, but we were so full we just had to say hi and get outta there.  Christmas day, we opened presents with the Romney family.  They gave us all nerf guns, which was a big mistake.  We had breakfast there, skyped there, and then had an amazing dinner with Jess and his family.  Jess and his wife are very high-end, and they sure know how to put together a dinner and spoil their guests!  They cooked one of the best turkeys I have ever eaten in all my life, and beef tenderloin, and monkey bread, and much much more.  Christmas was superbalific! 
   SKYPE.  It was great to see the fam on Christmas!  It was kind of weird.  I don't know how to explain, but I'm sure you know what I mean.  Skype just doesn't cut it for me.  I just need hugs from y'all!  But it was better than nothing, right?  I enjoyed all the presents.  Tom: did the scripture case come from Brazil?  I have wanted a case like that for my whole mission, but you just can't find that kind of thing around here!  So thank you!  Em:  the scarf will be put to good use, and it will be nice to have something other than just plain black socks to spice up my look!  So thank you!  Dad:  I have actually been meaning to ask for those books.  How did you know?!  All the missionaries that have read "Jesus the Christ" say it is an absolute must read before returning home.  So I plan on getting started on that one real soon here.  The book of family memories is exactly what I wanted and needed.  Like I said the other day, I didn't want it to end!  I have an incredible family.  Mom, I love you.  Dad, I love you.  Em, I love you.  Tom, I love you.  Toby and Sherman, I love you!  It doesn't get any better than the family that I have!   I had to go pick up my second Christmas package at the post office on Friday.  The jacket is super soft and will help out on those chilly days, and ya did good on the ties, Ma!  I like them so much, I'm scared to wear them!  I have a GRANDISIMO box of sweets and goodies that I don't think I will ever see the end of.  I am set in that department.  Christmas away from home was everything I hoped for and more.  Thank you to all those that took the time to send me cards and gifts! 
   This week was a wild week.  I can't remember all of what happened.  But I do want to share a lesson we had the other day.  We received a referral last week for an 18 year old kid that wants a Book of Mormon.  We have stopped by his house many times, but he is never home.  Saturday, his 16 year old brother was, so we shared with him the message of the Restoration.  We were watching the brief Restoration movie, and all was going well, until the highlight/most important part of the whole movie.  Right when Joseph Smith got to the grove, right before the vision that changed the world, the kids grandparents walk in the door.  They were from Cuba, grandpa dressed like he was 17 years old with designer jeans and a Jesse James t-shirt, and according to his bracelet, he was "100% CATHOLIC".  They did not like us in their house.  Grandpa blew up, and rambled on and on and on in Cuban Spanish, which I cannot understand a lick of.  But apparently he said that knocking doors in Cuba would get you shot, and he wants it to be that way in this country.  It didn't bother me too much, but it just amazes me how often that happens.  I think I said this a while ago, but so many times it seems that during the most important part of the lesson, the most spiritual moment of the lesson, whether it be in the middle of a prayer, during the First Vision, or right when something clicks for the investigator.......the phone rings, a crying baby, fighting children, or Catholic Cuban grandparents come walking in the door and totally kill the moment!  I can't let it effect me, because there is nothing I can do about it, but it makes it easy to see that Satan is hard at work, doing all he can to prevent the truth from spreading.  It is just more evidence to me that I am working for the right cause.  We truly are building up the Lord's kingdom!
-I will send off thank you cards soon.
-No plans yet for new years, but from what I have heard, we will probably be asked to stay inside new years eve night.
That is exciting news about Ariel!  I am happy for her.  Funny that you are fb friends with Elder Haskell's mom too.  From what I have heard, she sounds like a fun and cool mom!  I briefly said hi to his family on Skype Christmas day.  Good people! 
Well, we are about to hit a new year.  The GOLDEN YEAR is what they call it.  The start of a new year is always refreshing.  2013 may have been the fastest year of my life, and I am expecting 2014 to be even faster!   I am excited and motivated to make this next year GOLDEN in every way possible!

Elder Williams  

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