Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14, 2014 - Baptism this week!!

Alright, well I'm going to apologize in advance for how short this is, but not too much has happened this week. Yesterday we got to watch "Meet the Mormons" for specialized training and it was really good! It was just cool to see even more stories about how Mormons are actually normal people, because a lot of people here in Washington don't think we are normal. But it was just uplifting and inspiring! Watching the last part about the Missionary Mom made me miss home just because it showed the days leading up to when a missionary left, but it was still good! My favorite was the Candy Bomber. He is such a stud. Go see the movie! It’s sweet!

So J and J are getting baptized this Saturday! I'll send pictures of it next week! We're so excited for it! And it's my first baptism. I don't get to baptized either of them, which is ok. They asked our ward mission leader, Brother Leppert, to baptize them. It's going to be so awesome. They have investigated for two year and have finally put aside all of their worries and concerns and taken a leap of faith. They're so great. Joanne even went with the other Elders in the ward and taught one of their investigators! And J hasn't even been baptized yet! She's awesome. And so is J. Saturday is going to be a good day.

So we can never contact L. Whenever we text or call she says she's busy and can't talk. So we’ll keep trying, but it's tough when we can't talk to her.

A. We can't really contact her either. She doesn't respond to texts or calls and she's rarely home. Her roommate C (G's mom) told us there have been some crazy things going on with Preston, A's toddler, so life has been rough for her. We're going to try to set up an appointment to have a "make or break" lesson. Hopefully things go well. She was right on track to get baptized until we brought up tithing. Too bad.

Alright, so G. I told him to be honest and I asked him if he was even a little bit interested in the church and he said no. Then his mom text us on Sunday morning and said he needed a ride to church from his friend's house, so we got excited. We showed up at his friend's house and his friend said he wasn't there. So we called his mom and she said that was weird and that he wasn't home. We haven't been able to talk to him since, but there's just not much we can do. We've done all we can and now it's up to him to choose. Hopefully that seed has been planted and it will grow.

Well, that's about it! I hope all has been great for everyone! Hope you all have an awesome week! Love ya all! 

In the words of Jayboy,


Elder Williams

October 6th, 2014

Hello all!

    Sorry about the letter last week. My ride got here early and we had to leave before I got the chance to write the email. I wrote it out and sent it to my mom, so hopefully you were able to read it.
  Anyway, I hope you all had a good week. Our week was pretty good! General Conference is always a good time! There is lots to be learned from those men of God. One thing that struck me was President Monson talking about the Bismark in I think the Priesthood session. We all need to remember our purpose. Our bodies are masterpieces made by God, but if we don’t use them for the right purpose then nothing can come from it. 
Well, onto the investigators.

    J and J are getting baptized on the 18th! It will be my first baptism! I don't know if I get to baptize or confirm either of them yet, they haven't picked yet, but it's the first baptism I'll be a part of on my mission. It took them two years, but they're finally ready. They decided to stop worrying about others thought about them and do what they know to be right. Bishop Borders went over with us and just told them very boldly that they need to pray to have the faith to take a leap of faith to be baptized. It was really interesting, but it makes sense. We can pray to have stronger faith.

    L. We haven't been able to really contact her at all. We found out she has mental issues, which makes things tough. So we'll keep trying to contact her and figure things out. Not sure what’s going to happen there.

    A. She won't respond to us. She won't answer or return our calls and texts. She doesn't want to pay tithing and she's still having a really hard time with smoking. We are having a lesson this Thursday with her and we're going to tell her that she either needs to start progressing or we need to give her some time. We'll see how that goes. We’re really hoping she starts to progress again.

    The last one is G. I've gotten to be really good friends with him. However, he still hasn't come to church. He was going to come to conference, but he said the morning session was to early and then he didn't want to sit for two hours. So we're just going to try to get him to church next Sunday. It's tough, because we want to help him, but he doesn't really want to do anything about it. I was on exchanges with Elder Christenson on Wednesday and we stopped by and he was home alone, so we got to teach him the first lesson while it was quiet and peaceful. It went really well, but then we weren't able to get him to conference. Hopefully something will come of church next week. It just kind of sucks because the afternoon session on Sunday would have been perfect for him to hear. Oh well, just got to keep working.

    Alrighty, sorry there's not much this week. We just don't have too many people that we're teaching. Hope all is well for everyone! Love ya all!

Elder Williams

September 29th, 2014

Hello all!

Ok, First week of my second transfer is over.  And just like everyone said it would be, it was the longest week of the transfer.  And it wasn’t too eventful either.  However, I did get a Gatorade and some Cliff bars from Spencer, my cousin!  He ended up being close to my apartment, so he stopped by.  I wasn’t home, but it was awesome to see that on my doorstep when I got home.  All right, onto the investigators.  It is tough because a lot of them aren’t really progressing anymore, but we’re working with them.

J and J.  They are doing well and love the church and the Book of Mormon, but they let every little thing stop them from getting baptized.  Right now they have some legal issues going on that are causing stress and they want to get those out of the way first.  We keep trying to tell the that they will receive even more help after they are baptized, but they don’t seem to understand that quite yet.  And they love us, the missionaries, but they won’t really listen to much unless the ward mission leader says it.  So we’re working on it.  We want to get them baptized soon.

L.  We haven’t been able to make any contact with her.  She doesn’t even answer or return our calls.  She used to respond to the RS president, but we found out that even that isn’t working anymore.  And the RS president said that L does have some issues, so we’ll see how that goes.

A.  So we have been calling and texting A everyday and getting no response.  We also haven’t been to her apartment because there hasn’t been much progression.  We found out though that she has been out of town for the last week so that helps a bit.  We still don’t know why she hasn’t been responding.  As far as we know, she is still smoking and having a hard time accepting the law of tithing.

G.  So he didn’t show up to church last Sunday and then again on the 28th either.  It made me upset again!  When we went over there tonight he said he was up and ready to go but he didn’t have a ride.  A who normally would have been his ride, was out of town and they didn’t have a phone to call us.  Their only communication is A’s phone and she was out of town.  So he wasn’t at church, but he was ready to go.  That’s progression.  We had a good lesson with G, C (his mom) and MJ tonight.  I feel kind of bad because I did almost all the talking, but even when I stopped my companion wouldn’t say much, so I pretty much just took over the lesson.  I told my companion sorry, but he said it was okay.  I just told them how I know this gospel will help them.  I told them I could be at home with my family and friends and could be getting an education, but that I am here in Washington because I want to help people improve their lives and be happy.  I guess I am comfortable with them because I was really bold and upfront with them.  So G should at least watch one session of conference and then C and MJ might be.  I am worried because G is only 17 and has a lot of potential.  I say it with complete love and kindness when I say he can live a much better life than his parents.  But that doesn’t mean MJ and C aren’t important  We are still working with all of them.  I will let you know how it goes.

Well, that is about it for this week, not too much going on.  I hope everyone is doing great.  Love you all!

Elder Williams

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 2, 2014 -Done with my first transfer!

 Wow! It's already been six weeks! Isn't that crazy!? Well this week has been pretty crazy. This morning I got to go fear busting again! Haha but this time I was the older missionary...but not by much! I got to go break in a brand new, fresh out of the MTC, super green missionary! Haha and it was really fun! I went with Elder Terry, from Lehi. He was a super good kid and he's going to be a stud for a missionary. He had no fear at all. He just went out and talked to people like a champ! I only had to do like two examples and then he did the rest! It was super fun! But that's why the email is later, so sorry about that.
     So a couple of things happened this week I want to quickly tell you about. First, Elder Silver and I were walking to catch the bus and three 12 year olds rode on their bikes up to us. They were like, "What are you guys doing?" Then as they got closer they were like, "Oh, you guys are the church nerds." I was like, "Of course we are! We love church!" And then they did something that surprised me. They started calling us names! Terrible names! They started swearing at us and calling us names that have to do with certain body parts! I was so shocked! Haha I kind of got frustrated and I was like, "How old are you?" and they were like, "Why do you care? Why does that matter? You guys are just church nerds and you want (expletive) in your mouth." So I was like, "Let's see where you are when you're 18 and then maybe you can talk to me." And Elder Silver was so frustrated that he said, "You'll be smoking weed like your dad!" And then he walked away. Haha the kids didn't like that. So I was like, "Pray to God tonight. He will help you." And they were like, "We'll pray for you, but not for the guy in glasses!" Haha it was quite ridiculous, but pretty funny and we got a gospel conversation (something we keep track of) out of it. Haha kids are just interesting.
     Next thing. I would like you to look up and watch the Mormon Message "The Hope of God's Light." I got to watch it in the MTC and then again the other day and it is amazing. I don't know if you have seen it before, but if you haven't, or even if you have, go watch it again. It's definitely one of my favorite. That one and "Mountains to Climb" are two of my favorite. I'm so grateful I was told to read that talk. It's super good! It constantly helps me out! So yeah, watch those! And all the Mormon Messages are awesome too! So watch them! They are great missionary tools!
     The next thing is transfer calls. They were last night and I was getting so anxious and nervous. I'm just barely starting to love my area and then I thought I would get transferred, but I didn't! So no worries! I still have another six weeks in Beacon Hill South!
     The last thing is I just want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and gifts. I got some incredible things that have helped me out a ton! So thank you everyone! There will be some pictures in some other emails in a second!
     Alright, so onto the investigators. J and J are doing great. We helped them move their living room around the other day and they just love the missionaries. They have some legal stuff going on that they want to get done before they get baptized...ugh...but they do want to get baptized, which is good! So we're just working with them and helping them get through all of that stuff so they will get baptized! We're just trying to help them know that they will see lots of blessings that could help them if they get baptized! They are great ladies!
     Next is L. She's still pretty crazy. But now she won't answer our phone calls and she didn't come to church yesterday, but we're trying to do all we can to get in contact with her and help he be baptized! Because she knows she needs to get baptized!
     A. M. Oh man. She is just having the hardest time stopping smoking. She went four days without smoking last week because she was with her grandparents, but then she started again as soon as she got home. She said it's her environment that makes it so hard. And I also have no idea what it is like to be addicted to something, so it's hard to help her too. But we're doing all we can. We're giving her all of the reminders we can. She came to church yesterday, but she's not really progressing. So Elder Silver and I have talked and prayed about it and we feel like we need to tell her (in a kind but bold way) that she needs to either start progressing again or we need to give her time. So we'll see how that goes. She knows it's true and wants to be baptized, so we're praying that she will be able to have the strength to stop smoking!
     Alright, so this is my favorite part of the week! G (I've been spelling it wrong this whole time). So last Monday I went back over to there apartments on Euclid with a brand new outdoor basketball and a hand pump. As I walked up his mom, C, and step dad, MJ, were outside like they usually are and they started to laugh! They didn't think I would actually do it! A, G's friend who is usually at their house, was outside too and he was like, "G! Elder Williams is here to play you!" So G came to make sure I was there, then went back inside and put his basketball shorts and Kobe's on and we all walked up to the school to play. So the first thing I noticed was that the rim was a little bit short. So I threw the ball to Gand told him to dunk it and he tried, but the ball kept slipping out of his hand. So me, being slightly cocky, went up and dunked it. MJ was on the side of the court on his wheel chair (he is the one who got hit on the motorcycle) and he was like "Oh s**t." And G was like, "I'm not scared." And I was like, "Haha you're not supposed to be. I'm just getting warm." So A said he would announce the game, we decided to go to 11 by ones and twos and we started. Bang bang bang. Game over. I beat him 11-4. Haha I shot as good as I have ever shot and it was so fun! Needless to say G wasn't too happy. So he was like, "Double or nothing to five." So I said, "Alright, when I beat you again you will go to church for the next two weeks." He shrugged it off and we started to play. Two minutes went by and the game was over. 5-1. Haha everyone was like, "G has to go to church!" MJ was like, "D**n! He played hard for Jesus!" And I told him he was exactly right! Well I gave G the ball and pump anyway and then he walked back home, not too happy. So we went back and I walked in and C, G's mom, was like, "He stormed in and yelled, 'He didn't tell me he was good at basketball!'" Hahahaha I just laughed! Elder Silver went in and talked to G and cheered him up and then he was good. So I went in and told him that playing that game had absolutely nothing to do with who was better at basketball and had everything to do with getting him to church. I told him that the church has blessed me so much and I know it can bless him, so basketball was the best way I could think of to get him there. I just tried to help him know that the gospel has made me happy and that I'm his friend and I want to share that happiness with him. So then it got even better. G was like, "Well, I have to make sure nothing is going on on Sunday." So I yelled, "C, do you guys have anything going on on Sunday?" And I walked out of the room with G and she said, "Nope." So I laughed and said, "Alright, G can come to church then." And she was like, "Yeah, and I'll come with him." And then A was like, "I'm planning on being there!" Then M, A and C's friend who was there yelled, "Yeah, I'll come too!" Then I looked at MJ and he was like, "What the he**? I'll come too!" Haha so they all said they would come! So we went back every day to make sure they were still planning on it and they said they were. We went over Saturday night and G was like, "Yeah, I'll be there tomorrow." So I planned on it. Well Sunday morning came and A, M, and C were the only ones who showed up. I was like, "What the heck!? Where's G!?" C told me that he had gone over to a friend's house on Saturday night and they hadn't heard from him since. So I was happy those three came, but I'm mad G didn't. I'm mad because I care. I know it will help him out, but I know he might not be ready yet. So I'm going to keep trying. It really made me sad when he didn't show up. Elder Silver and I are going over there in about an hour to talk to them and we decided we want to mess with G a little bit, so we're going to tell him that he missed his chance to go to church with me because I'm being transferred. Maybe make him feel a little bit of remorse haha. But I'm just going to keep trying to get him to come. Maybe yesterday's sacrament wasn't for him. Hopefully this week's is! Either way I will keep trying! I'll attach a picture of us after the game and then Elder Silver recorded it, so hopefully I can find a way to get that to you! And hopefully I'll have a picture of us next week at church!
     Well, that's about it for the week! It's a pretty long one! I just want to let all of you that I know the church is true! I know that God has a plan and a time for everyone and that we need to accept that plan, even if it may not make sense to us at the moment! I love ya all and I wish the best for you! One of the scriptures that has stuck out a lot to me recently is 2 Nephi 32:8-9. Prayer is huge! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Our Father in Heaven is just waiting to consecrate our performances, so don't hesitate to pray to Him! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Williams

Just wanted to send some pictures from my birthday! Thank you everyone! Love ya all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 15, 2014 - Well hello everyone!

September 15, 2014


     Well hello everyone! It was good to read all the emails from all of you! I love them! They are definitely the best part of my P day! And today things have been dumb. We went to a community center to email (like we usually do), had enough time to send one email, and then the internet stopped working. So we waited for like 45 minutes and it never started working so we finally left and went to the church. So I'm finally emailing! Haha I'm just happy I get to email.

     Ok, so I'll talk a little bit about the week before I get to investigators. On Tuesday we got our haircuts at a cosmetology school. They were only $3.50....if that tells you anything. They were terrible. The guy doing my hair cut the sides to where it's almost bald. Haha it's pretty funny, but once I put some gel or something in it it doesn't look too bad. Haha but never again will we go there for haircuts.  I don't have pictures of after the haircuts and if I did I wouldn't send them! Haha but I have some pictures of some stuff we did last P day that I'll send in a minute.

     We also had a day of service this week. It was something our ward put on. We went to the Euclid Apartments, which is where Ashley lives, and cleaned them up a little. They are the dirtiest and nastiest apartments ever, but we made them look a little bit better. We planted some shrubs, weeded, trimmed, edged, and put down some grass seed. It was a good time!

     A.M. - She hasn't smoked for five days, which is awesome, but she hasn't been coming to church, so she's back off date. She can no longer be baptized this transfer, so hopefully I get to stay so I can see her baptism!

     L.C. - She called us on the phone last week and we went and visited her this week. She's insane. Super crazy! But she knows that Christ is her Savior and that she needs to be baptized! She's gone through some tough things. Her daughter, who is addicted to meth and heroine, tried to kill her. Her husband was abusive and stole from her. But she's a good lady. She told us how she has visions and how when she lived in Seattle she could meet someone for the first time and know everything about them. And then she told Sister T (a sister who came with us) that her (Sister T) children would all be members before Easter. So that was kind of weird. But she's on date for October 25, which is awesome!

     J and J. They are ready to be baptized and they told us so. We haven't set a date for them yet, but they want to be baptized. They're doing awesome! I think they drink tea and coffee, but they said they would stop! So that's awesome! They should be baptized within a few weeks, hopefully before the transfer ends. They're great ladies and they are so good to us.

     So that does it for our investigators, but I thought I would give an update on G. So we went on exchanges with the other elders in our ward from Friday to Saturday. I was with Elder C in the south part of the ward, which is the area I am always in. Elder C is awesome and we came to Washington at the same time. He's super chill and so I told him, "Let's go visit the people at the Euclid Apartments." He thought it was a good idea. So then I said, "You know G. You will let me do this, but Elder S (my companion) probably wouldn't, so I'm going to do it with you. I'm going to challenge G to a one on one game." He was like "YES! THAT'S SUCH A GOOD IDEA!" So I put on my crappy dress shoes and a dirty short sleeved white shirt and I was like, "I feel like I'm lacing up for a game again. This is weird." And Elder C was like, "You are lacing up for a game, just in dress clothes." So we headed up there. We decided that I would tell G that if he won I wouldn't bother him about the church and if I won he had to listen to what I had to say about it. We were both so pumped. Well we showed up and G, whose family is really poor, doesn't have a basketball. AHHH!!!!!! So I came up with another idea on the spot. I said, "Alright G, I'm going to go buy a basketball and we'll play. If you win then I'll give you the basketball, but if I win then you have to come to church with me." And he said he would! We shook on it and everything! So I bought a basketball today and I think we'll be going over there tonight! I'm so excited! When I play him I'll get a picture so you can see him. He's such a good kid. And he's going to be at church next Sunday. I hope I still have a little bit of playing skills in me! I'm just so excited for that!

     Well, that's about it! We had a ward barbecue on Friday and that was fun. Oh! It's gotten so cold. It was like just this week that it's been really cold, but it should be warmer this week. I'm not really looking forward to the winters...haha but it will be good. Thanks again for everything! I love ya all!

Elder Williams

 This is a goat that is really a vacuum that sucks up trash.

And this is a clock tower. Both of them are in downtown Spokane.

You may have noticed I am only doing initials, just to be respectful of the people Alex is writing about.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014 -So this week was better.

So this week was better. Emails from people really helped me so much. I've come to realize that I'm being so selfish. It's ridiculous how I've been acting and I need to apologize to everyone because I know my selfishness has been clear in my emails. This mission is not about me. This is about bringing others unto Christ. It even says it in the missionary purpose. I need to forget about me, love others, and lose myself in the work. This is a great and marvelous work and I'm lucky to be a part of it, so I need to start acting that way.

Our investigators...Ashley is having a really hard time stopping smoking. We're trying really really hard to help her, but the environment is just making it extremely difficult. So we're going to keep in contact with her, but kind of give her a break. Maybe she just needs some time. MJ came back from the hospital though, which is really good and he's already learning how to walk. They said it would be eight weeks before he could do that, but it's been four weeks and he's been given the green light to walk. It's amazing the miracles that the Lord performs. However, we went over the night he got home and he was smoking weed, so there's that. We're still working on him.

Geno. He's such a good kid. I'm trying so hard to become his friend and he's actually warming up to me. I talk to him about sports and he's really into it and we're becoming good friends. He talks to me so much more than he did before. I told him I would go over on a P day and play basketball with him and he told me he was going to dunk it on me. I told him that would never happen, but he is half black, so it probably will happen. Oh well. I'm just stoked to play with him! It's going to be fun! But I am gaining his trust, so I will start sharing the gospel with him soon. He's so ready it's scary. But, sadly, the other night when MJ (who is Geno's step dad) was smoking weed he handed Geno the blunt, and he took a hit. I was like "NO!!!! DON'T DO IT!" I told him it wouldn't help him in sports. As I continue to gain his trust I'm going to be more bold with him. When I feel like he can take it I'm going to ask him where he wants to go in life. What he wants to become. Because that kid has so much potential. He's such a great kid. I'm just going to be honest with him and tell him that he can become more and do better (and it's kind of mean to say) than his mom and step dad are doing. But I'm going to be really really careful about it. We need to become really good friends, but I think we will be soon. But then I'm just going to tell him that the gospel can bless his life in ways that he can't even imagine. It will improve the quality of his life so immensely. I'm so excited. It's going to be awesome. 

Joanne and Jackie! We taught them the Plan of Salvation with Brother Leppert (mission leader) and it went really well. We cleared up some things she was having troubles with and she's feeling better. She said she's still worried about what her family will think, but the other day she told Brother Leppert that she is finally ready to be baptized! She has investigated the church for two years and she is finally ready! And I get to be a part of that! I'm so incredibly lucky. So she's going to some youth baptisms this Saturday and then hers and Jackie's should be soon! Oh, by the way, Jackie is her sister who has autism. Joanne is in her seventies and Jackie is in her sixties. They were my first lesson, we taught them on my second night here, so this is so cool to see. And they really like me. I was honest with them on that first night and I told them I was scared but that teaching them really helped me, so ever since that they have been so good to me. I am just lucky.

Well, those are really our only investigators. Last night some lady named Lora called us and told us she was struggling a lot so she prayed and the answer she received was to be baptized in God's church, so she called us! She wants to be baptized, so we're going to start teaching her on Friday! She told us how demons and evil spirits have been in her house and how they scare her and her family. It's super scary stuff. Satan is powerful, but we have God and Jesus Christ on our team, and because of Them we will always win. I hope all goes will with Lora and that we will be able to baptize her soon! 

So that's just about it. Not a ton of new stuff happening, but it's been good. This week has been good. I'm getting along really well with my companion and we've been having fun. I'm out of the tripanionship and we both really miss Elder Christenson, who came to Washington the same time I did. But we still get to see him a lot because he's in our ward, so that's good! His companion, Elder Cheney, got here last Wednesday and so we have four elders in our ward again! Bill Kelly bought all of us the same tie, so we all wore them to church yesterday. Needless to say we got a lot of comments! It was funny though! All is well in the Beacon Hill Ward!
I love all of you so much and I am so grateful for you! 
Elder Williams

September 2, 2014 - Alrighty, another week is over.

  Alrighty, another week is over. The days drag on forever, but the weeks go pretty fast. We only have the two investigators and neither of them are really progressing, but we're working on them. Ashley is still smoking and Joanne is worried about what her family will think if she gets baptized. Kind of dumb. However, there's a kid, Geno, who is a junior in high school and he lives in Ashley's apartment. Her roommates are Geno's mom and step dad. He's my goal. I want to get him baptized. The more we are over there the more he listens and seems intrigued. He plays football, so I started talking to him about just football, no gospel, just to build that trust. Then I'll find a way to relate it to the gospel and get into it later. I think he's ready.  Anyway, MJ, the guy who got hit on the motorcycle is doing a lot better. He's actually Geno's step dad. He was supposed to be in the hospital for over a month, but he's coming home this week. The blessing worked. 

   Other than that not much has really happened. It's hard to get a ton done when we have to cover two areas that are huge and we don't have a car. We walk so much. So much. But it's good. I enjoy walking actually. We just talk to people we see on on the streets. It's interesting. So a "lesson" is a principle taught, an invitation extended, and a prayer said. And we're told to teach lessons for quantity, not quality. Super weird to me. So most of our lessons are like three minutes long and we really don't have too many of them. I've been here for three weeks and we've had two set appointments the entire time. I don't know, it's just kind of strange to me. 

     Well, other than that there really isn't much to talk about. I'll be out of the tripanionship, which I've just gotten used to, tomorrow. It'll finally be "normal," if that's possible on a mission. 

     Oh yeah! I need to tell you about Bill! He's probably in his seventies and he's divorced. He's the party guy of the ward and sometimes crude and inappropriate. Sometimes he gets out of hand and we have to tell him to tone it down, but for the most part it's not too bad. He's hilarious and he kind of keeps the missionaries down to earth. He's strange though. He gets offended really easily and he was pretty much inactive, but he's so good to the missionaries. He gives us rides everywhere, he brings us food (he's brought us ice cream once a week every week I've been here), and last night he took us to Dairy Queen. However, he told us the other day he sent the signed letter saying he wants his name taken off the records of the church. Apparently he's done that a few times.  I don't know. He's a pretty good guy, but just interesting. But he's super funny. 

     So that's about it. We're going downtown today, so I'll send some pictures next week. Love ya all!