Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week Ninety Nine - Conference and Zone Meeting!

Happy Easter!

Thank you, Mommy!

Looks like breakfast!?

David enjoying Easter breakfast!


Hola y Feliz Lunes!

What a joy it is to hear about your week.  I love y'all!  I am happy that all is well.  We had a pretty superb week!  Let me tell you about it:
On Wednesday we had a zone meeting and interviews.  We prepared for it the day before.  We heard from a variety of different missionaries who gave trainings on a variety of topics. We did lots of role plays.  We heard testimonies from the departing missionaries in the zone.  There's four of us!  Throughout the meeting, President Taylor was doing one on one interviews, but he poked his head in a few times and shared a few things with us all.  He talked a lot about ordinances and the covenant path and how the covenant path is the happiest place on earth.  We have been focusing a lot in the mission recently on ordinances and covenants, and President Taylor always wants us to have this question in mind - what is this person's next ordinance?  Whether they are recent converts, less active members, or investigators, they all have an ordinance to work toward.  All of us have ordinances to prepare for and work towards.  President Taylor did us missionaries the favor of reminding us what our next ordinance is. . . yikes!!!  But anyway, ordinances and covenants are what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has to offer that no other church, place, or human on this planet does or even can.  Ordinances and covenants are what help us fulfill our purpose of "inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel".  We can't come unto Christ without them!  President Taylor shared these few key verses with us that I will try to remember forever: 
D&C 84: 19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.  20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.       D&C 136: 4 And this shall be our covenant—that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord.
Ordinances and covenants bring the "power of godliness" into our lives!  How amazing is that?!  I'm happy to be learning the importance of ordinances and covenants! 
I was thinking that my interview was going to be my exit interview, but he only asked me one exit-interview question and said we will postpone the rest until the Tuesday before I leave.  He showed me my picture that we took in the dining room and sent in to the Church with my mission papers.  I guess I've grown up quite a bit since then!  The rest of the interview was a temple recommend interview.  That guy has every one of those questions memorized, and he rattled them off like nothing, staring into my eyes the whole time. But I passed!  
We got to the chapel at 8:00 that morning, and we didn't leave until 5:00.  All went really well, but it was a long day!  

GENERAL CONFERENCE.   We watched all 10 hours of Conference at the chapel we attend regularly, and we enjoyed every minute of it.  There were multiply talks that I felt were directed specifically to me, one of those being from Elder Ballard in the Priesthood Session.  That could not have come at a better time!  Many of the talks that really resonated with me came from members of the 70.  I don't know what it is about them; whether it's a different energy that they bring, a simplicity, or just the fact that it's a new or less familiar face, I loved their talks!  But then you have the favorites, like President Uchtdorf, and Elders Holland and Bednar, who never seem to disappoint.  Elder Holland's story was INTENSE!  It had me on the edge of my seat, literally!  I'm glad, Mom, that you got to see their talks, and I thank you for watching!  It is all just too good, and I cannot wait to get the GC Ensign in my hands to study their words more closely and apply the teachings in my life. As I watched Conference, especially the Priesthood Session, I felt a deep love and appreciation for the Brethren.  All those that we watched this weekend are true disciples, bright lights in a dark world that needs them, and righteous influences for good.  They inspire me to do the same. Oh how I wish I could just give President Monson a big hug and sincerely thank him for all he does and is!  and all the other great men in my life - Bishop Wannicot and Bishop Hatch, Andy and Andrew and John and other young men's leaders and ward members, President Durrant and President Taylor, multiple brethen that I've met on my mission, Tom and Dad and many more. I would hug you all if I could.  I love you all, and I am so blessed and lucky to have incredible people in my life.  You inspire me!
I <3  G E N E R A L  C O N F E R E N C E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

Sunday after Conference, a member from another ward took us to contact a referral that he had met the other day.  This member served in the Salt Lake South mission, and spent two weeks in Murray!  Serving a mission in Utah would be a real trip.  But this referral was a lady from Mexico, but has lived here a long time.  She is a professor at a little college in Downtown Dallas, and she is super intelligent.  But she is the worst chatty Kathy that's ever talked my ear off!  We thought we were just going to go drop off some Books of Mormon and set up an appointment to come back another time during the week, but she talked and talked and talked, nearly taking up our whole night!  But the good thing is that before we left, she apologized for talking so much, and said the next time we will be the professors, and she will be the student.  She asked for a Book of Mormon in Spanish, Russian, and Arabic, because she is trying to learn those languages.  And now she wants one in Chinese!  She is a bit loca, but it helps that she is intelligent and likes to read.  She will be interesting to teach! 
Things are going better now and starting to pick up.  We are witnessing miracles, and we can see more on the horizon!  I have no doubt that this is the Lord's work, and there is no other work more important!  

-got Grandma and Grandpa's package, and I am eating one of the cakes as I am typing this email.  I've shared them with missionaries so they get all eaten up before they can go bad!  They are deeeelish!  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!
-the cookies were edible and deeeelish!  I don't remember you ever making cookies like that.  Where did you learn how to do it?!
-For now, my two favorite talks were by Elder Wilford W. Anderson about enjoying the music of the gospel while dancing the gospel dance, and Elder Kevin W. Pearson about enduring to the end.  I felt like there was so much from their talks that I can and should apply RIGHT NOW!

At the Priesthood Session on Saturday I saw lots of familiar faces from the Lakewood ward and they all asked me when I was finishing up.  It was strange, bitter sweet to tell them I only have 3 WEEKS LEFT!  3 WEEKS!  I am excited! and I am enduring joyfully to the end.  Thanks for writing.  Love y'all to Kolob and back!       Bye!

Elder Williams

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