Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week Eighty - A White Thanksgiving, Service, Hymns and The Fridge Magnet!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!  And....nice socks!

Greetings Family and Friends!

   It sure does bring a smile to my face to hear about your week and adventures with the dogs!  I can only imagine the fun it would be with Sherman and Toby in St. George.  I miss those two pups!  Thanks for the pics too.  Is that Rachel?!  The first thought that came to my mind was that Rachel was some random chick that was Christopher's girlfriend!  She sure has grown up!  Everyone else looks the same.  That blue looks really good on Tom.  Glad to hear that Thanksgiving was spent happily together with family!

   Elder Berardy and I had a pretty good week.  The weather was actually pretty good and quite pleasant for the majority of the week, until today.  Thanksgiving went well for us.  We started the day off with service, cleaning up the yard of a member that is overcoming cancer.  A few of the brethren were there, but the four of us Elders did most of the work.  But it was fun!  We cut down trees.  Then we went to another hermano's house to scoop up dog poop and mow the lawn.  Nobody had cleaned up that backyard for who knows how long!?  Poop. EVERYWHERE!  It made me grateful for a dad that understands the importance of regular poop-scooping.  Love you, Dad!  In the evening we had two dinners to go to, both with Hispanic families, Morales and Serrano families. But the food was surprisingly white!  So it was pretty typical.  At the Serrano's, Hna Serrano told me that she had an ex sister missionary that served in Garland come and cook the food so us missionaries could have a traditional "white" Thanksgiving, because she doesn't know how to cook turkey and stuffing and all that stuff.  I told her that every Thanksgiving that I have had and will ever have has been a traditional "white" Thanksgiving, and she took away my last chance to have a Mexican Thanksgiving.  Oh well!  We were well fed and had a good time.  
Angelica had a mild heart-attack the other day!  But she got to the hospital soon enough, so all is well.  But it was a bit of a scare. 
   So we almost went on a double date to Starbucks this week.  We contacted this girl the other day, and we set up an appointment with her for another day.  She didn't want to do it at her house, because her parents probably wouldn't like us too much.  So we asked her where she wanted to meet up, and she chose Starbucks of all places.  She also said she was going to bring a friend, but her friend bailed last minute.  It was funny because the first thing she said to us when we got to Starbucks was "I just read online that you guys don't drink coffee...we can leave if you don't feel comfortable."  But it was no big deal, so we just talked about the Restoration in Starbucks, surrounded by worldly coffee drinkers.  We were sitting at a table by the line, and in line next to us was this rich looking man with a bow tie, and he kept looking back at us, and we could tell he wanted to say something to us. Once he got his coffee, he turned around to us and told us that we should be teaching out of the Bible and not talking about Joseph Smith.  He said some other things, but that was the gist of it.  I just said "alright thank you sir" over and over again until he left.  I feel like we handled it pretty well, stayed cool on the outside, but you better believe my heart was pumping and my blood was boiling on the inside.  It just amazes me how many people feel like they need to go out of their way to degrade us and beat us down.  But it's okay!  I can handle it.  After that, it was terribly awkward, but it was kind of good.  Gabby, the girl we were talking to, had sympathy for us and was just like "you poor boys, that probably happens all the time, I'm so sorry".  So the lesson was a little rough, but she was super kind, and it took guts for her to go to Starbucks by herself to meet up with two weird guys that she doesn't even know.  So props to her!  We are supposed to teach her again tonight.
   Remember the picture of that family we had dinner with?  We are still teaching them.  They absolutely love when we come over, but it has been hard to have real spiritual, focused lessons with them.  They are just all over the place!  So this week, we decided to start our lesson off with Elder Berardy and I singing a hymn.  I have never really done that before, but I wish I would have been doing it all along.  We sang "I am a Child of God" and they loved it.  It even brought tears to Patricia's eyes!  And now we can't go over there without them asking us to sing a song.  I know we are not really that good, and I know that music is powerful and invites the spirit.  It has really made a difference in our lessons!
   We witnessed a miracle this week.  A couple of weeks ago I lost one of my name tags, the magnet one with the clippy thingy to put on jackets.  We looked for it for a while, but I just gave up and ordered a new one.  But I did pray that God would help me find it.  Then the other day, we were just walking down the sidewalk, and by this point, I had entirely given up and forgotten about my name tag.  But something caught my eye, and it was the clip that my name tag was attached to!  But there was no name tag in sight.  So we decided to knock on the door closest to where we found it, and a lady answered, and I asked if she had it, and she smiled and said "hold on".  Turns out they have been using my name tag as a fridge magnet for the past two weeks!!!  Super funny.  Absolute miracle.  God loves me and he does answer prayers!  Who knows, maybe this lady is our next baptism.  We got her phone number, and hopefully we can teach her this week.  How cool of a conversion story would that be?!
   Last night, the Serranos had us over for dinner again, along with the other elders, Angelica, and the two other coolest families in the ward. After we ate, we had a big family home evening and played lots of games and it was an absolute blast!  Hispanic members of the Church sure do know how to have a good time.  It's nights like that that just make my heart swell with love and joy!  It was really good for Angelica too to see a family home evening and have fun with the members.  I love real, whole-hearted fun after a classic family home evening.  Nothing better.

-I got all the packages.  Thank you!
-Pizza on Thursday for lunch, 1:00 would be great!

Love you all!  

elder Williams

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