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!

Monday August 25th - First off, this week was rough.

   First off, this week was rough. There are two companionships in my ward. One of the elders, Elder Groll, in the other companionship is going home tomorrow because of anxiety issues. He's prayed and prayed about it and they've going home is the best option for him. One person he baptized a couple weeks ago told him he was needed at home more than in Washington. He's an amazing missionary, but he's been fighting anxiety attacks for the six months that he's been out...and this is the second time he's had to go home for that reason. He started in Brazil, had to go home for eight months, and now has been here for six. So I've been in a tripanionship this week. Elder Christenson came with us while Elder Groll was in the valley with a member who is a psychiatrist. It's been interesting. My companion, Elder Silver, and Elder Christenson didn't get along too well, so I've kind of been the mediator. It's been interesting. That's all I have to say about that.

     Ashley, one of our investigators, is doing alright. Her roommate MJ was riding a mini motorcycle and he got hit by a car. The car hit him, ran over him, and then drove away. Super scary. He broke his femur, shoulder, and has two huge gashes with staples and road rash everywhere. I think I talked about him last week, but he drinks a lot and smokes a ton of weed (the smell of weed is everywhere in Washington). But he's in the hospital now. We got to go give him a blessing and it was a good experience. It sounds strange to say, but I think this is what both he and Ashley need. By the way, MJ is married and Ashley is living with them, so there are no law of chastity issues. Anyway, he is in the hospital for about three weeks, and they can't smoke in the hospital, so this is the perfect chance for them to stop. MJ is getting closer and closer and Ashley just needs to stop smoking. But I think this may be the point where MJ realizes that God is telling him he needs to change his life, because he's right there. It was an unfortunate accident, but they said if he wasn't wearing a helmet he would be dead. So we stressed to him that he is here for a reason. I think this is bad short term, but good in the long run. We'll see.

     Some other investigators, Joanne and her autistic sister Jackie, will probably be put on date this week. I'm super stoked for them. She's very nice to me because I opened up with her the first time I met with her (it was the day after I got to Washington) and told her I was scared. She's been awesome to me ever since. 

     Ok, so this is what I really wanted to talk about. I've been struggling. Missions are hard. It's no secret. I've just been really thinking about home a lot and it's just been tough. I knew I couldn't come home, but I was struggling a lot. So last Monday Elder Groll was at our apartment and he saw the talk "Doors of Death" on my desk and he was like "You gonna commit suicide on us?" Just joking around. So I told him about Jayboy. All I said was that my uncle died and that I was close to him. That's all he knows about Jayboy. And Elder Groll didn't know I was having a tough time with the mission either. But last night his companion asked him for a blessing and after that blessing Elder Groll looked at me and said "I feel impressed to ask you if you want a blessing. Do you?" I was going to say no, but I thought about it and I said yes. I have to tell you, Elder Groll has a talent for giving blessings. He is so in tune with the Spirit. It's truly amazing. So he gave me a blessing. Wow. So one of the last things Jayboy told me was that, if Heavenly Father would let him, he would be with me on my mission. I've already felt him, but in the blessing Elder Groll said, "Your Father in Heaven has allowed your uncle to be with you on your mission." Boom. That was the first amazing thing. So again, I have not told Elder Groll that I've been having a tough time. In the blessing he said, "Alex, as you are struggling and preparing to quit, you need to know that your Father in Heaven is proud of you, your uncle is proud of you, your family is proud of you, your loved ones are proud of you, your future wife is proud of you, and your future children, who are still in heaven, are proud of you." It was unreal. It was one of the most amazing blessings I have ever gotten. And then he kept telling me I was here because I have amazing potential as a missionary. He said a lot more, but that's what stuck out to me the most. Then, to top that off, after the blessing he turned to me and said "I just feel impressed again to tell you that your uncle helped me give you that blessing. He was there. I could feel him. I hope you could too." It was such an amazing experience. Priesthood blessings are real! They are so amazing!

     Well, that was my week. Pretty crazy. It's still hard, but after that blessing I know that I have to put absolutely everything into my mission and if I do the blessings that come from it will be incomprehensible. I miss and love you all! Talk to you soon!

Elder Williams

Monday August 18th - Well, one week in Washington is done.

Well, one week in Washington is done. It was probably the slowest week of my life. So my companion is Elder Silver and he is from Sandy and he went to Hillcrest. He's a nice kid, but sometimes I'm not quite sure if he likes me. He seems kind of uninterested when I talk or ask questions, but it's getting better. I think he's just getting used to me as his companion. We're starting to talk more and he seems a little bit more interested, so that's good.

So my area. I'm in the Beacon Hill Ward and we are living in what I've been told is the poorest neighborhood in Washington. The neighborhood/town thing is called Hillyard and it's strange. It's so different. And all the people are so different. It's not like Utah. At all. There are old, worn down houses and it's just dirty everywhere. Our area is a bike and walk and bus area. I've only used my bike once (pictures of it next week) and we've walked a ton and we bought bus passes the other day. It's strange to ride the bus because I've never done it before. I live in a small apartment, but it's not as bad as it could be. We didn't have a shower for the first few days because the ceiling was moldy because the shower above us was leaking, but that got fixed and we have a shower now. Before we got it we had to use a shower at the manager's (of the apartments) office. 

We got a phone on Friday. Apparently this area hasn't had a phone for 3 1/2 weeks, so it was nice to finally get one so we can call people. It's nice because we don't have to ask random people to use their phone.

My first investigator that I met is Ashley. She's like 26 and she's a single mom with one two-year-old, Preston. She lives in probably the worst possible environment. They're some apartments on Euclid (one of the main streets) and they're terrible. They're just dirty and gross and it's hard to feel the Spirit there. She lives with another young couple who don't really help her. She's on date for September 13, but she's struggling with smoking. Her roommates smoke and drink and just aren't helpful with her goal of baptism. However, MJ, the guy roommate, is slowly listening more and more to what we're saying. He's becoming more interested, so it's my goal to get him baptized or at least start lessons with him. It's going to be a process though. I totally forgot marijuana is legal here, so that's another huge struggle for people. So we're working on them. We taught Ashley a lesson at a member's house the other night and it was so much better. We just need to get her out of her apartment.

So we've only had one dinner at a member's house so far, the Watsons. They are very nice and they're the family that let Ashley come over for the lesson. But there was a ward BBQ on Friday that we got to go to. The people in the ward are all nice, different, but nice. The bishop, Bishop Borders, is awesome. He's such a great guy and he's so supportive of us. Brother Leppert is the ward mission leader and he's great too. He lets us go over to his house on Sundays so we can do our laundry and he feeds us while we're there. He's also taking us to Dairy Queen sometime this week.

On Friday I got to go on splits with a missionary from the Marshallese branch. His name is Elder Meacham (meek-um) and he's the coolest guy. He's from Pleasant Grove and he loves basketball and he's just awesome. We (he taught and I listened) taught three lessons in Marshallese. That language is insane. He would look and me and then I'd teach something in English and then he'd go back to Marshallese. One time he wrote something down and looked at me and said "Teach this." and I was like "I don't read Marshallese." and he laughed and was like "Oh yeah! Teach repentance." It was a good experience, but I'm happy I didn't have to learn Marshallese.

While we were at Brother Leppert's last night President Mullen called and told me about Jayboy. It's bittersweet. It's sad because he actually passed away, but good because he was ready and he's in a much better place. It sounds really selfish, but it's kind of exactly what I needed. I've been struggling, a lot, but when I heard that I remembered what Jayboy told me that night I was set apart. He's with me now. He's the one helping me get through the days. He said he would be with me every step of the way and I know he's now starting this journey of my mission with me. Last night I was laying in bed and I couldn't stop crying, but then I felt like someone's arms just wrapped around me and gave me a hug. I know it was Jayboy. I know it with all my heart. I love him so much and I'm going to miss him, but I know I'll get to see him again. Read the talk "Doors of Death" by Russell M. Nelson, it was a huge comfort to me. As well as Mosiah 16:8-9. Awesome verses.

Well, this whole mission just feels like a dream. It truly doesn't feel real at all. It's a two year long dream that will end when I get back home. Nothing feels real. When I write letters or get to email it's like I'm kind of waking up, but not all the way. When I'm writing and emailing I'm in between sleeping and being awake. I just keep thinking I'll wake up in two years.

I hope I'm not missing anything. If I remember something I'll write it down and send it next week. I love all of you and I love hearing from you!

Elder Williams

Saturday, August 30, 2014

13 August 2014 - I was pleased to welcome your son, Elder Williams to the Washington Spokane Mission this week.

13 August 2014
Dear Sister Williams,

I was pleased to welcome your son, Elder Williams to the Washington Spokane Mission this week. I’m happy to report that he arrived safely. I had the privilege of meeting and associating with him the day of his arrival and note that it is evident that he comes with a great desire to serve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Elder Williams understands the role of the Holy Ghost in accomplishing the work here in the Washington Spokane Mission and has committed to live worthy of that power.

After prayerful consideration, I have called Elder Silver to serve as Elder Williams’s companion in the Spokane Washington area. It is our objective to call only the best missionaries to serve as trainers and I believe that your son is in excellent training hands. We expect that your missionary will serve in this area for the next 6 to 12 weeks as he begins his mission.

I have enclosed photographs of your missionary and assure you that Sister Mullen and I will love Elder Williams. Our great desire is that his time here will further establish him on the path of righteousness, as well as bless the many people he will serve.

Attached are the new updated recommended guidelines we have for parents. These guidelines are based on many years of accumulated missionary experience, especially those guidelines concerning personal contact with your missionary. Elder Williams needs your good example. I sincerely request that you consider them for the benefit of your son and his fellow missionaries.

The mission has a website where you can see what is happening in the mission. Go to: washingtonspokanemission.wordpress.com

You can send mail to your son at:

Elder Alex Williams
Spokane, WA
Thank you so much for sharing Elder Williams with us. 


Donald E. Mullen, President

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 12, 2014 - The're only greenies once in their mission.

Green breakfast.

On their way to meet their new companions. 

Hi all,

We had the privilege of housing you missionaries last night. We picked them up from the mission home about 9 pm yesterday. They had been up since 3 am and hdd been out tracking every since they arrived in Spokane. So, it was a long day for them. When they got to put home they went straight to bed. Well, at least they're rooms. They were pretty excited because they talking till 10:30.

In honor of their first day, we had green smoothies and green breakfast burritos (See picture.) The're only greenies once in their mission. The 2nd picture is just before they left to meet their new companions for the next 6 weeks.

They are great young men and will be a asset to our mission here in Spokane.

Have s great day!
Brother and sister Uptain

August 7, 2014 - Alrighty, one week down.

With his companion, Elder Pendell.

With his district. 

Alex with Jake Flynn and Spencer Evans.

Alex with Ethan England.

​Elder Pienaar (middle) - from South Africa going to Las Vegas and then my companion.

Alex with Davis Johnson.

Elder Barr - from California going to Las Vegas. 

August 7, 2014

Alrighty, one week down. Literally the longest week of my life. It feels like I've been in the MTC for a month. But I only have a few days until I get to go to Washington! I can't wait to finally get out there! So we've been teaching our progressive investigator Josh (really our teacher and we're just role playing) and he accepted to be baptized! Elder Pendell and I were so excited! It's just a role play but it gives you such a good feeling. Then we are teaching our TRC investigator (real investigator working at the MTC) and things have been going well. His name is Chad and he is a super nice guy. He was atheist but he said he knows there is a God now. Our conversations have been good and he's been asking us questions that we've been getting answers for him and he is very grateful for that. He is ready for the gospel! He just needs that little push! It's so fun to teach people! That's what gets me through. It's so good to help people see how the gospel can bless them and see them become happier. Josh has been happier every time we go to teach him. I'm so sorry I don't have pictures, I forgot my memory card, but if I have time to come back later today I will send them. P day is the greatest thing ever. It's so nice to finally relax but it's weird because we don't know what to do with our time. But it's still nice. So we got new elders yesterday. It helped me so much because it almost forced me to stop being so selfish and thinking about myself and just love the new elders! It's weird to think that I'm technically the veteran even though I've only been her for a week. But they are all cool guys and they will all be amazing missionaries. I know exactly what they're feeling. It was so so hard for me the first few days, but it's getting better. So I saw Weston Monson right as he came out from getting his name tag, so he was super fresh to the MTC. He looked terrified. He eyes were still red and he just looked like he wasn't quite sure if this is what he wanted to do. But I felt the same way and Jon Deiderich (if that's how you spell it) and I just ran up to him and gave him a big hug and told him we loved him. I saw him this morning and he looked a lot better. He said he was doing alright. I also saw Robby Borden and he was the same Robby as always. Super stoked about the gospel and so excited to be here and ready to teach. Both of them are going to be the best missionaries. So I've been eating a big salad with every meal and I've done my push ups and sit ups every day and I'm not fat.....yet. I'm going to work my hardest not to. My pants have gotten bigger. I've gotten to play basketball almost every morning, but it's so different. Missionaries are terrible at basketball, but it's still fun to lace up and play a little bit. My companion is still weird (and so am I) but we've gotten along well and I just have to love him. He doesn't really talk when we're giving lessons. Like at all. Sometimes I just have to stop talking and look at him so he'll say something, but that's ok. We're helping each other and improving every day. Coming here has made me realize how much I don't know. I'm so happy Brina challenged me to read the Book of Mormon or else things would have been that much harder. That challenge was such a blessing. Well I leave on Monday and that's kind of crazy. I'm so ready for it though. I'll be calling between like 5 and 9 am, but I don't know much other than that. I'll call a few times if you don't answer but turn the volume up on your phone. I love hearing from everyone and getting the letters and packages! I've gotten two packages from Dana Johnson, one from Steve Johnson, one from the Crofts, and one from the Bengtzens. I love them all so much. The other elders are all jealous because I've gotten six packages, but when I open them and share the food with them they are happy again! So thank you everyone for all of them! You are all in prayers and I think about you all the time! There is so much that has happened so I hope I'm not forgetting anything! Oh! Spencer Evans is in Romania now! It sucked to have to say goodbye to him again, but I love him and he's going to be an amazing missionary. The people of Romania are lucky to get him. I miss you all and I love you so much! Thanks again for all the letters and packages and prayers!
Elder Williams

August 30, 2014 - Wednesday was literally the longest half day of my life.

Bro. White - his MTC teacher from Grandma Vicki's ward.

Hey everyone! Well I don't have a ton of time to email. We got here on Wednesday and our first P day isn't until this coming Thursday. We only have one P day the whole time we're here. Wednesday was literally the longest half day of my life. It took so long to get to the end of the day. It feels like I've been here for a couple weeks. I just can't wait to get to Washington. We leave a week from Monday. We're leaving here at 4:30 in the morning and we're flying Delta and the plane leaves at 8:59 am, so tell Ronnie so he can find me if he's there that early. It would be awesome to see him. I hope you got my written letter, they told us to send one quick one on the first day. I can't think about home or else I get distracted and then it gets hard. I just have to think about what I'm doing here and why I'm doing it. Brother White is one of my teachers and his parents are Eric and Maylene (if that's how you spell it), so I think you know them. It's nice to have someone who knows people I do. I've seen a bunch of kids from school. Davis, Matt, Spencer Evans, Derrick Neff, Ryan Tatton, Matt Pettit, Jake Flynn, Henry Christensen, and there are probably others that I'm forgetting. I got a package from Dana Johnson today and it had a nerf basketball hoop and a coke and some oreos. She's so nice and I love her, so tell her thank you. Add her to the email list too.  Anyway, it's not bad here. I don't love it like a lot of people had, but I guess it's not awful. I'm just excited to get out in the field. Thank you for the support. I love you guys so much!!

Elder Williams