Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Week Thirty Six - Transferred to McKinney, A Car and Elder Malpartida!

Well, I want to start off by apologizing to y'all for not sending an email on Monday. The library was closed, and we had lots to do! So emailing was just possible that day. But here I am! And I think I have quite a bit to tell you. I feel like so much has happened since the last time I emailed that I can't remember any of it! So it's a good thing I have my trusty journal with me today!
So like I said last Monday, we went to the Perot Museum of science and nature. I was really looking forward to taking bunches of pictures, but of course, as soon as I took my camera out, it died. So sadly, I don't have much to show for that trip, but it was still a good time! We got to race a cheetah and a t-rex!
Tuesday was interviews. My interview was short and sweet like always. President Durrant gave a training on problem solving. Apparently he is tired of everyone coming to him with their little problems. He said he disagrees with only one thing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and that is how sheltered and pampered kids are. President asked us who earns Eagle Scouts? Unanimously, everybody said "MOMS". And I'll be the first to admit that I would not have gotten my Eagle without my parents! Whether it be parents, youth leaders, bishops, teachers, we have someone holding our hand every step of the way. He blames this for the cause of all his winy, dependent missionaries that don't know how to solve a problem. It is somewhat sad, yet true, and I got a lot of what he said. While I don't consider myself to be a winer, I definitely wouldn't consider myself to be a good problem solver either, and I could easily make a few changes and improvements. President Durrant earned a fine living simply by being a problem solver. Problem solvers are successful and appreciated. Everybody likes a problem solver! I want to be companions with a problem solver, I want to be in groups with the problem solver, I want to work with problem solvers, I want to marry a problem solver, I want to teach my kids to be problem solvers. I need to become a PROBLEM SOLVER!
Now that I look back on the week, most of it just consisted of eating. Sadly, the highlights of my week were mostly big meals. However, a few nights ago we got a text message from Luis Moren at 1:40 in the morning, just asking us if we were awake. Of course, we weren't. Luis is a young, cool kid that Elder Crockett and I found, we started teaching him, and he was progressing real well. Luis was my favorite investigator in Lakewood! He was different than everybody else I ever taught. He was respectful of our time, communicated and let us know when he wouldn't be able to make it to an appointment, he was dependable, he was smart and was actually getting it. One night, out of the blue, he texted us and said that this wasn't the path that he wanted to take. I was heartbreaking, but I just left it at that. He asked for space, so I didn't push anything. He had our number and the Book of Mormon, the ball was in his court. So the fact that he texted us last week was a very good sign and made me ecstatic! It made me feel good to know that when he was going through a hard time, he texted the missionaries of all people! So I hopped all over that chance and told him I was leaving Tuesday and wanted to come say goodbye. He let us come over on Monday. He wasn't doing too good. He looked pretty bad. I could tell he was in pain, doing things that he knew he shouldn't be doing. While we never got it out of him what exactly is going on, we had a great lesson with him, and we are back in with him! He agreed to start visiting with us regularly again. He said he feels better just from talking with us and that we are the only ones that actually listen and understand him. I have come to love Luis. If Luis got baptized, my mission would be made! And I truly believe he will be.

Transfer calls came late Saturday night. We were one of the last ones they called and I was going bonkers waiting for it! But here I am now at the McKinney library sitting next to Elder Malpartida! So Sunday and Monday I spent the majority of the days saying bye to people and packing. I couldn't believe I had to pack. Moser Garden apartments were my home! It was weird and stressful to pack up and leave. It was bitter sweet. My whole time in Lakewood I have been ready for a new area, but as I was actually leaving, I was a bit sad. I had the privilege of getting to know some incredible people, serving with great companions and friends, and making great memories. The Lakewood chapter is definitely one I won't forget. Nearly a quarter of my mission was spent there. That's loco! It is very frustrating to be leaving right now. Elder Haskell and I had so much going on! Far more than I ever had my previous 5 months there. Sometimes I ask myself why? But then I have to remind myself that God is wise, he knows what he is doing, and he has a plan for my mission. I trust that Elder Haskell to take care of business without me.

So my new area is McKinney. I serve in a Spanish branch and my area is the whole stake. This stake is BIG! But do you know what that means? CAR! I'm in a car, I'm driving, and it feels oh soooo goood. My companion is Elder Malpartida, a goofy little guy from Peru, but he lived in New Jersey for 3 years so he knows English fairly well. He is 21 and only has 6 weeks in the field. But he is easy going and funny, and we shouldn't have a hard time getting along.

Yesterday was my first day in McKinney and it was quite alright! The apartment was an absolute disaster, so we cleaned for a couple of hours. Then we went to a tool shop where our branch mission leader works, as well as another member. They are a couple of cool dudes. They are constantly joking and I never know when to take them seriously. The one seems to be a great mission leader, much more involved than anyone in the Lakewood ward. Apparently the branch is super gungho about hastening the work, and that will obviously be a huge help. We had a dinner with a lady named Hermana Mondragon. She has a big fancy house. She is married and has 3 kids, one of which is serving a mission in Houston. But, get this, he is the only member! So she is just like you, Mom! A missionary mom that is not is not of the faith! She has had missionaries over for dinner nearly every Tuesday since her son has been gone, and that's 22 months! She is super nice and loves missionaries. Her answer to everything is "si dios quiere", or basically, "all in the Lord's timing". She likes to talk. A lot. It nearly made my brain burst from listening and concentrating so hard to understand her 100 mph Spanish for 2 hours! I struggled with my Spanish yesterday. I don't know if it was because now that I have a native Spanish speaking companion people use more advanced, regular Spanish rather than dumbed down gringo Spanish, or we just talked to abnormally fast and hard to understand people, or my Spanish is still just not quite up to par.

But after a day in McKinney, it is quite obvious that this will be very different than Lakewood and I am excited. With a native Spanish speaking companion and a Spanish branch, I will be much more immersed in the language and I will hopefully make big strides in my speaking ability. Lakewood was very dense and concentrated. McKinney and its surrounding areas are more spread out. We drive a lot. We smelled skunk like 6 separate times last night. I feel weird. I am a little stressed and uncomfortable. I forgot what it felt like to change areas. New companion, apartment, area that I don't know, members that I don't know; this is a big change! But it will just take a little bit of time. It's a good change. Somewhat of a fresh start, I guess you could say. I feel rejuvenated and ready to go!

-I have now gotten a letter from both you and Dad. I don't remember when though. Yesterday, the day I left, Elder Haskell called and said I had four letters in the mail. Not sure who from, but he said he would forward them to me.

-600 S. Graves apt. #1905

McKinney, TX 75069

-I'm set on treats. I packed all I still had from Christmas. Rick Rodriguez, the guy we had Thanksgiving dinner with and took us to the Blue Fish restaurant, took us to Trader Joe's and insisted we get more snacks. So I am set, probably until Easter!

-the only things that come to mind that I could use right now are a new journal (if you can, the same kind that you sent me last time, either black or blue) and a camera memory card. One is full, and the other one might be close, but I'm not really sure. On top of that, just send me your love and that's all for me!

Welp. I think that is about it. Much love.

Elder Williams

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