Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week Thirty Four - "There is Power in Kindness and Friendship"!

David and his little Christmas tree, presents and stockings! 

This e-mail from David really got to me.  We have tried to teach our kids the power of kindness since they were small.  Dave and I always told them to treat people with kindness because you never know what difficulties they may be facing at any given moment.  We taught them to be friends with everyone at school, even the kids that maybe didn't seem to have a friend or were difficult to be friends with.  David has diligently practiced this since he was small and he is still making us very proud! 
Greetings to my beloved family and friends,
   I am happy to hear that all is well back home and y'all had a fantastic New Year's!  The first few days of the new year have been great!  We had a very successful week.  We didn't teach as many lessons as normal, but the lessons we did teach were good, spiritual lessons with some solid people.  We are starting to see some people take steps toward progression, and also recognize those people that won't be going anywhere.  We are getting some progressing investigators!  Things are picking up. 
    We taught a lesson to a 16 year old girl the other day, and at the end we asked her if she had any questions.  She had one:  "Do y'all play sports?"  Pffff!?!?  After listening to the mind blowing message of the Restoration, that is the only question you have?!  I just don't get some people.  And some people just don't get it!  But what can you do? 
   We were knocking doors the other day, and came across an older Catholic lady.  She told us she wasn't interested, and said she was busy with her daughter who is struggling with health problems.  You can't do anything but respect that, but I just offered to say a prayer with her before we left.  She accepted, and by the end of the prayer, she was crying.  Did she change her mind and let us in?  No.  But it was obvious that it made an impact on her.  That right there is a seed planted.  Who knows where it will lead to, but it solidified a valuable truth in my head.  You never know who people are, what their circumstances are, what they are going through, or what they need.  You can never underestimate the power you have, the affect you might have on someone, or the difference you can make in someone's day or even life.  There is power in kindness and friendship.  There is power in words and in prayer.  It's like the quote you shared with me, Mom.  Everyone we cross paths with will have an impact on us, whether it be positive or negative.  Let us all strive to make a positive impact on all those we come in contact with. 
   Yesterday was easily the best Sunday of my mission so far; at least as far as church goes.  We had 6 investigators at church!  SIX!  That's twice what I had on my next best Sunday!  We are teaching a lady from El Salvador named Lucia, and her 11 year old son William.  Lucia tells us all the time that she wants her son to be baptized and learn the Gospel, but she doesn't quite understand yet that it is just as important for him as for her!  But she works on Sundays, and is currently building up the courage to ask her boss for Sundays off.  But William has now come to church the last two Sundays.  The first Sunday, we thought he was 12, so we got some of the young men to take him to class with them.  In the next hour, we were trying to find him to check up on him, but he was nowhere to be found!  The last place we checked was Primary, and sure enough, there he was sitting on the front row next to kids a quarter of his size, and they were singing the Hello song to him.  "How on earth did he end up there?!" we thought to ourselves.  We were worried and felt bad that he had to suffer through that, but he came out of Primary with a big smile on his face.  Elder Haskell asked him if he wanted to go home or go to three more hours of church, and he said three more hours of church!  It wasn't until yesterday that we found out that he was only 11 and primary was where he belonged, so that was a relief.  William is a very timid kid, and the only time we can really get anything out of him is when we talk about his Pokemon cards. 
Two of the others we had at church were Daron and Cheryl, a couple that we found and will soon have to hand over to the English Elders.  We met Daron Saturday night, but couldn't even teach him a lesson because he just talked our ears off!  But Daron is the definition of a BFG.  He is an absolute teddy bear.  He is huge, benches 700 pounds, but is super humble and wouldn't hurt a fly!  I sat next to them in Sacrament meeting, and Cheryl was filled with lots of loud and unnecessary "amens" in the middle of people's testimonies.  It was awkward, and I was hoping that she would catch on and realize that we don't do that, but the ward understood.  Then they both got up to share their testimonies and I was TERRIFIED!  They grew up doing church differently and I just wasn't sure what to expect, but they both only took about two minutes and shared great testimonies.  What a relief that was!  They were already expressing desires to be members of our church.  They called me their angel and expressed great gratitude for us missionaries.  Cheryl was crying throughout the meeting, and they both participated in classes and really enjoyed it!  They are "golden investigators" if I ever did see some. 
We had a whole slew of children that belong to a less active that came to church yesterday for the first time in a long time.  We had a member bring her less active daughter's friend that we will start teaching on Tuesday.  And a few months ago, Elder Crockett and I had a lesson with a man that was married to a lady that was just recently baptized, and he was desirous to be baptized as well.  Sadly, they got in a big fight, and he left to Corpus Kristy to stay with family.  Now, he's back!  And more serious about baptism than ever!  Things just seem to be falling into our lap right now. 
   I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday.  The first time I did that since Grand Prairie!  I didn't realize it had been that long, and although I bare my testimony daily, it is still very hard to do it in that setting.  But I've made a goal to bare testimony in every Fast and Testimony Meeting this year.  Only 11 more times to go! 
-I received Dad's letter, but not Mom's yet.  I think I got a few more Christmas cards as well.  I can't remember if that was this week or last.
-New Year's Eve was a pretty typical day.  We helped someone move, and they bought us CiCi's for dinner.  Then we found a bunch of thug kids playing basketball down the street from the church and invited them to the church to play us on a real court.  Maybe not the best way to spend our night, but it was good church exposure.  Now they call us and want us to come play all the time.     New Year's Day was a typical day as well.  A cold and slow day knocking on doors for the most part.
-Weather here is very up and down.  One day we'll need our jackets, the next we won't, and the next we will need our jackets, coats, scarves and earmuffs, and still be cold!  Saturday was a beautiful day, yesterday was miserably cold, and today looks sunny but cold.  You just never know here! 
-Pizza on Thursday at 3 or 4 our time wouldn't be a bad idea.  Yes, Haskell likes meat lovers!

S/O to my favorite English missionary in the whole wide TDM, Elder Munday.  He has been here with me in Lakewood since day one, and we have formed quite the friendship in these last 5 months.  He is a great example to me, a strong Priesthood holder, confident in the Gospel and knows how to teach better than any missionary I have ever witnessed.  Yet another great and true friend for life that I have made along the journey.  Love ya Munday!

A great start to 2014, and my weekly updates will only get peachyer!  Love ya!  Miss ya!  Have a good week! 

Elder Williams

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