Thursday, December 26, 2013

Week Thirty Two - First Christmas Away and Serving!

Jess Johnson and the missionaries at the Dallas VA for a service project. 

Buenos dias mis amigos y querida familia!

My last email before I can see your beautiful faces!  I can't believe it is already almost here.  I just can't believe it!  The last 7 months feel like they have been a dream.  I am happy to hear all is well at home, with the exception of all the hospital visits.  That is terrible to hear about Elder Pratt.  You will have to keep me updated.  Y'all are in my prayers!  Keep your spirits up because all will be well because it is Christmas! 
Rachel Wyss gets to come to the Texas Dallas Heaven and be a Texas Dallas Heavenary?!? (President Durrant replaces the word "mission" for "heaven" because this mission is as close to heaven on earth as it gets, with the exception of the Temples of course)  But what a lucky missionary!  That is crazy exciting, and that is only four short months away!  What a coinkadink.  Is she English speaking?  I would love to hear from her and I could fill her in on the TDM haha! 

Well Elder Haskell and I had a mas o menos week.  Our teaching pool is expanding and we have a few people that are right on the edge of being progressing investigators, but this is a difficult time of year because everyone is so caught up in the franticivity of the Christmas hustle and bustle!  But I think we've found some keepers.  We met a young couple named Frank and Yolanda.  We just talked to them a couple of times outside their apartment before we were actually able to have a lesson with them, but the other day they had us over for dinner, they let us share a message, and we were in their place for nearly two hours!  They gave Elder Haskell and I a bottle of cologne that smells halfway decent!  They are nice and they like us.  I really think they will go somewhere.  We are also teaching a blind guy named Antonio and his family.  But mostly Antonio; he is always home!  And he never hesitates to let us in.  But Antonio is difficult because he doesn't listen well, not to mention he can't read, see pictures, videos, or any visual aids whatsoever.  So it's always interesting.  But he just talks and talks and talks, thinking he is actually teaching us something when we already know everything he is telling us.  He is repetitive and it's hard to get a word in with him.  He drives Elder Haskell crazy, but I think he is hilarious.  He gets SUPER excited when we say something he is familiar with, and he has lots of energy and is super animated when he talks with us, using his hands more when talking than anyone I've ever seen before.  It's a little obnoxious, but entertaining at the same time. 
The weather was nice early in the week, and there was some construction going on in our apartment complex.  Monday the Hispanics working insisted that we eat lunch with them, so we had some tamales and real Mexican tacos.  They were just really impressed by the fact that we could speak Spanish, and they liked to joke around with us.  It was funny. 
Saturday, about 10 missionaries helped Jess out in sorting all the clothes and getting them ready to be sent off to the 3 VA's in the area this week.  It took a long time, lots of counting that made my brain want to explode, but he got us pizza, so it was worth it.  Then today we went to the Dallas VA with him in the afternoon to serve food to all of the veterans.  We didn't get to talk to any of them.  We were just in the kitchen putting plates together, while others delivered the plates to their rooms.  There were lots of volunteers.  It was a neat experience.  I love to serve!  It makes my heart swell with gratitude!
   Wednesday we had specialized training, where nearly all the Spanish missionaries got together to learn from President Durrant.  I got to see all my old companions, which is always a treat and a half!n  President is a funny and creative guy.  Also very smart.  He said something the other day that I have never really thought about:  the most faithful members of the Church are the ones that know the most.  The more knowledge you have, the more converted you are.  All the leaders of the Church are practically walking Church encyclopedias!  They are incredibly smart and know an insane amount of knowledge. It makes complete sense to me.  I believe that so many people turn us and our message down simply because they have  misconceptions or false ideas about the LDS Church, or they just flat out don't understand or know enough.  If they would just take the time to learn or research for themselves accurately, it is the only thing that truly makes sense!  So let us all continue to expand our knowledge of the Book of Mormon, the Gospel and doctrines of the Church, Church history, and whatever else so that we can come closer to God and Jesus Christ, and be ever more converted to this amazing Gospel! 
-Christmas day, we will be going to the Romney's for breakfast and to open presents, and we will probably be skyping there in the afternoon, some time in between 11 and 3(Texas time).  It will be difficult because there are 4 of us, and they have a daughter that will be skyping home from Chile around that same time.  We might split up and have two of us go to another members house, but we just haven't figured that out for sure yet.  But I will try my best to make it be sometime in between 1 and 2.  I should be able to call you Christmas morning around 11, and hopefully I will be more sure about what the plan is by then.  But we are still going to Jess's for Christmas dinner, around 3 or 4. 
-the beginning of the week was really warm, I went short sleeves until it got late, but I think Friday is when a cold front came in, and it has been chilly for the last few days. 
-Emilee, le extrano BASTANTE! 
-Elder Haskell is from Salem Hills, Utah. 
So last night, we had dinner with the Myers family, a nice family with 3 young daughters, a beautiful home, great food, and even a gospel discussion about Christmas.  Couldn't have asked for a better member dinner.  But the thing that killed me was after dinner, Brother Myers said to his 3 girls:  "Go get your coats on girls, we are all going to take the Elders home, because after we drop them off, we're going to go look at CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!  That right there was a dagger to my soul.  The things I would do to be able to spend a Sunday night looking at Christmas lights with the fam right now!  Nevertheless, duty calls.  The Lord has work to be hastened, and building of the Kingdom to be done.  I am happy and being treated well here.  May you all get the most out of this holiday season and cherish every minute of it!   FELIZ NAVIDAD
con mucho amor,
                 Elder Williams

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