Monday, February 24, 2014

Week Forty One - Some Awesome BBQ, Finally and Five or Six Kids, At Least!

David, Elder Malpartida and some hermanas at Cain's after lunch!
   I am super sorry to hear about Susan.  I cannot imagine how the closest people to her are feeling right now.  Susan is the last person I expected to hear after reading that you had some sad news to share.  You are right, a tragic event like that really is eye opening.  It is in times like that when the Gospel and the Savior can be our biggest help.  I will definitely keep Chris and Susan's family in my prayers. 
A weekend trip to St. George doesn't sound half bad right now.  And neither does a weekend alone with the pups!  Glad to hear you all had a peaceful, enjoyable weekend. 
   Elder Malpartida and I had a decent week.  The highlight was on Friday when we had a Zone Conference, and we were blessed with the visit of Elder Stanley G. Ellis, a member of the 70, and we had the privilege of learning from him and his wife.  He gave a talk in General Conference about a year ago called "The Lord's Way".  It was a great conference and I learned a bunches of good stuff!  It is always neat to see guys like him (meaning 70's and Apostles and probably the First Presidency) in a less formal setting than the one you typically see them in (meaning General Conference).  They all have so much personality, they are super funny, and you just wish you could be in their presence at all times.  They are incredible examples of  devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.  Meeting people like Elder Ellis really just shows ya how much further you need to go, how much more you need to change, and what you can reach in this life.  It gave me a clearer picture of the kind of missionary I want to be, as well as husband, father, friend and disciple. 
They have 9 kids, 28 grand kids, and still have the energy of a 35 year old!  After meeting them, I have decided that I am going to have a big family, 5 or 6 kids at least!  I just think the neatest thing in the world would be to watch your children grow up in the Lord's way, the more children the neater!   
   We have an investigator that works at a restaurant called Hutchins, and apparently it is in the top 50 BBQ joints in the country!  He hooked us up with a free meal and ooh baby was it good!  I remember everybody telling me before my mission that I would be getting plenty of good BBQ here in Texas.  Now that I think about it, I think that was the first BBQ I've had my whole mission! 
   We had dinner with an older couple the other day.  They like to feed missionaries and invited us over.  They are converts of 25 years or so, and they shared their conversion story with us.  She was easy, and desperately wanted to be baptized early on.  He, on the other hand, was an ex marine, tough guy, and one of those people that argues for the fun of it, just because they are so stinking good at it.  So when the missionaries(a senior couple) came over, she made him sit in, and he looked at it more as an intellectual game than anything.  The sister missionary would usually end up leaving in tears because he was so ruthless in his arguments.  He read the entire Book of Mormon in three nights, only with the intentions of finding more stuff that he could argue.  But basically, what it came down to, is he said that there is absolutely no way that somebody with a brain could read that book and not know that it came from God.  There are more details that make the story better, but I don't want to write it all.  But I love hearing peoples' conversion stories.  It makes you see that God really does know his children and knows what they need, that he has a time for everyone, and it's different for everyone.  You can learn a lot from conversion stories, especially as a missionary.  I already knew that the Book of Mormon was the keystone of our religion, and ultimately the key to conversion, but now I KNOW that the Book of Mormon really is where the power lies! 
   We taught the Restoration to an old Hispanic Evangelical couple this week.  When we first met her, she had some misconceptions about the Church, and I had to convince her into letting us come over to clear those up, using the Bible.  When we got there, she answered the door, giant Bible in her hands, ready to go.  We showed her and her husband verse after verse in the Bible supporting all the points of the lesson.  We didn't bash, they accepted everything we read and said, and I thought it went really well.  In the end, they basically said "Yeah, you might be right, you might be the true church, but we are members of the Evangelical church, and at least we are better off than the Catholics.  The Catholics need you guys more than us" gotta be kidding me!?   Then, after even more convincing, I talked them into letting us come back.  We have an appointment with them tomorrow.  Who knows how it will go, but the purpose of missionary work is to give the world it's chance, and I honestly feel like I gave them the best chance possible.  What more can I do? 
   Welp.  I don't know what more to say.  That's about it for this week.  No questions this time?!  That's a first.  But thank you for the pictures!  Toby hasn't changed a bit, Dad's looking better than ever, and Tom needs to go on a date.
Does Tom eat anything you put in front of him now?
Love ya!
Miss ya! 
Until next time!
Elder Williams

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