Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week Eighty Nine - Army of God, A Call From a Buddy and a Visit From Elder Russell M. Nelson!

A visit from Elder Russell M. Nelson!

Happy, content faces!  David and Elder Keller at dinner with Rosalba!

He loves these rolls!  Texas Roadhouse....the best!

Accidental selfie!

Appreciating being treated to dinner at Texas Roadhouse by Rosalba!

Greetings Family and Friends!  

I love you all and it is so good to hear about what is going on back home.  We had an awesome, crazy busy week!   On Tuesday, we did another exchange.  Elder Clausen, from Kearns, Utah, an elder that I served with for a transfer in my last area, came to Casa Linda with me.  He is a super unique and funny kid.  We had a good time!  Lots of missionaries really dislike exchanges, and they are a bit of a pain, but I really enjoy them. 
     On Wednesday, us 7 missionaries in the ward put on a youth activity for the young men and young women.  There were tons of them!  We taught about the Book of Mormon.  We divided it up into sections:  Elder Keller and I taught a general lesson about what the Book of Mormon is using the introduction to the Book.  It was hard to get them all to be reverent and pay attention.  But we suffered through that, and then Elder Packham and his companion took over for the activity.  We pretty much had a nerf dart war, with pbc pipes and nerf guns, the missionaries against the youth, but we made it super unfair where we had a fortress, more darts, and longer pbc pipes that shoot a lot harder, and the youth had to grab a flag in our fortress without getting hit by a dart.  It was next to impossible.  It was hilarious because Elder Packham is normally a very timid and reserved kid,  but for things like this, he gets super pumped and we get to see the real Elder Packham!  He was the master mind behind the activity,  and he just completely took over and dominated, effortlessly and mercilessly drilling these kids square between the eyes time and time again.  At one point, one of the young men was getting a little mouthy, and Elder Packham yelled "what's that?  I can't hear you, oh yeah, your DEAD!"  You just had to be there.  I really wish I could have got it all on video, because it was epic!  The point that the elders were trying to illustrate was that we had the "army of God" on because we read the Book of Mormon and they don't.  Then the Hermanas ended the meeting on a spiritual note with a story and an invitation.  It all went really well! 
     That night we had to stay up really late to plan for a zone meeting the next day that was supposed to go from 9:00 to 3:00.  Elder Keller thought we could save all the planning for the day before, and that was a big mistake.  But we got it done, and the meeting turned out well.  We went through a powerpoint to teach the 2015 TDM vision, goals and plans.  Then we heard from Sister Taylor, who gave us a training about health and exercise.  We gave a couple of trainings, and then we had the privilege of hearing from our stake president, President Larsen.  That guy is a real spiritual giant if I ever did meet one.  I mean, he writes hymns, for crying out loud!  We sang one of the hymns he wrote at the meeting, called "Here Am I, Send Me".   It really impacted me.  Here is one of the verses, along with the chorus:

When you need a true disciple who will serve thee anywhere,
Who will lift the weak and weary and will show thy loving care,
Just please know that I am ready and my faith is strong and sure.
I am keeping thy commandments, my heart is clean and pure.

Here am I, send me!  Let me be thy loving hands.
Hera am I, send me!  I'll obey all thy commands.
However I may serve thee, I will try to be found worthy.
Dear Father, how I love thee, here am I, send me!  

I almost got emotional as we sang this; the Spirit was so strong.  This is exactly how our attitude should be as Latter-day Saints!  Ready, willing, worthy and able.  I could really do better at having this kind of attitude, all the time, and for that, I love this hymn!  And the words are really stinking with me.
     Then Friday, we had the blessing of being taught by Elder Russell M. Nelson, from the Quorum of the 12, as well as Elder Lynn G. Robins, from the Presidency of the 70.  Talk about a spiritual meeting!  It was amazing to be taught by them.  They are absolute geniuses!  Some of the stuff they said went right over my head.  Elder Robins talked about the power fo the Book of Mormon in conversion, and then talked a lot about success coming from lots of failure and enthusiasm.  He used a quote that I don't have on me.  Elder Nelson talked about our identity, purpose, and destiny.  He was telling us what certain words meant in greek and hebrew and latin, he knew the scriptures like the back of his hand, and we got a bit of a glimpse of how brilliant the man really is.  I almost felt a little crumby after the meeting, because I felt like I was never going to amount to anything in life, compared to Elder Nelson!  Then Elder Keller reminded me that he is more than quadruple my age, and I've got a lot of life ahead of me.  I think the biggest thing I took away from that meeting is that we, as children of God, have a potential that we cannot even comprehend.  We are capable of more than we know.  Learning and progressing are a life long process, and we need to love and be anxious to learn and progress.  Elder Nelson is a prime example of someone who has used their agency wisely throughout life, and what we can accomplish and become if we turn our lives over to God.  I left that meeting with a deeper desire to learn, shoot for the moon, reach for my dreams, and accomplish amazing things in life!  
   Transfers are tomorrow and I will receive a new companion and still be a zone leader.  I love Elder Keller and I have enjoyed our 7 weeks together.  He is a real stud that has taught me quite a bit.  I thought sending a companion home would be hard, and it has been a little difficult.  I am really sick of hearing about home,  plans for once he gets home, people saying goodbye to him and giving him advice for the "real world", and stuff like that.  So I'm ready and excited for the change!  

-If you saw the big mission formal pictures from the meeting with Elder Nelson, I am in one of them, on the back row, next to a super tall white kid. 
-I got a phone call from Elder Haskell the other day.  He told me he had just got done at the gym, eating cafe rio, and about to go on a date.  That kid!  But he told me that he could probably get me a job doing pest control in Orem/Provo, for the summer.  But I don't know what I want to do!  What do you think?  Can we talk about this more next week?

That's all!  Thanks for the updates!  I'm happy to hear that you are taking care of the missionaries and enjoying their visits.  Tell Toby I'll be home in less than three months!  I love you to Kolob and back!  Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Williams

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