Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week 35 - Christmas Phone Call - December 23, 2012

Elder Williams is doing great... he's with the "cook" on the left and Elder Fontes (companion)
on the right.  :)  We've never seem him so happy...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Manga - Week 34

This week was crazy. As usual. And it was super stressful as well. Lets start off with what happened at church yesterday. Because church is always an adventure, and is always when I'm stressed out the most and have the biggest headache. So for the past THREE WEEKS IN A ROW the first conselor in the presidency did not assign talks or anything for church. That responibility is obviously no longer his. So last second, me and President Mounga were scrambling to find people to give talks. I gave one last week as a result of this situation. It's really frustrating, and can't happen. So we are trying to better in this department. And I'm positive that it will get better.
Then, during relief society, the President said that she didn't prepare the lesson so she asked me to teach. But obviously I didn't prepare the lesson either, so I knew just as much as she did about the lesson. So that's frustrating. But we are really trying to help the members become less dependent on the missionaries, we are trying really hard with this. But other than that! The branch is great! I really do love it. I'm learning alot and I feel privileged to serve with these amazing people. But it is a headache and a half!
Saturday, was good as well. We had a lesson that was extremely powerful. The family of Diogo and Gida. they are progressing nicely and will be getting baptized after we get them married next month. They read the Book of Mormon together, pray together, and even write summaries on what they read. It's super nice! We were talking about the importance of baptism, but kinda turned into a testimony metting. We asked them if they have felt and difference in their lives since they've started coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. We asked Gida first. tears began to develop as she explained the peace she feels as she reads the Book of Mormon. Diogo then expalined that without a doubt he has seen a difference. He said that the realationship in their marriage has been better, they are happier, and they feel more purpose. This has all happened in just a few short weeks. these really are blessings of the gospel.
The Spirit was very strong as we testified of these blessings that the Lord is giving their family, and that this is how the Holy Ghost testifys that these things are true. I always feel good after lessons like this. I get even more happy when I se them walk into the church together. They live all the way past the airport too! These families are making sacrifices to come to church. It's a good reminder for me, because before the mission, I complained when I couldn't drive to the church. 2 streets down... I will not complain about that again.
We had a HUGE turnout in the branch yesterday. Most of them are new investigators. By far the biggest turnout since I've been here in Manga. We've been working hard on helping investigators come to church, and yesterday it finally paid off. I'm excited to see the growth grow even more next week.
I've also been teaching the English class that we put on, considering I'm the only one that speaks English in the branch... It's every saturday at 16:00. We usually have a pretty big turnout, but on saturday, only one person showed up. An 11 year old girl. She was super shy as she does talk very much. So it was a task to teach her when she didn't really want to say anything. I'm trying to think of more ways to have people come to the class. We'll see if we have a bigger turnout next week!
Christmas should be good. But I guess we'll only be able to skype for 30 minutes. It'll be nice! But you'll have to add the Hall's as a friend on skype so that it works. Their email is xxxxxxxx. So if you guys could do that that'd be great! Also something I would love in a package is gatorade packets. I've been craving gatorade for a long time. So hook it up with LOTS of packets!
Well, that's it for this week, as much as the stress that I'm having, I'm having even more happiness. It's amazing to see people apply the gospel in their lives and see changes. I love the gospel and I'm so grateful to be a servant of the Lord. Have a good week!


Elder Williams

Monday, December 10, 2012

Manga - Week 33


We had an awesome week here in Manga! A lot of different things happened! We felt the Spirit super strong, and also had a ton of fun! There's not a better combination.
It's been a busy week as we continue to find families and help them progress and receive testimony. Our finding our the past weeks has payed off, and now we have a solid investigator pool. We have about 14 couples or families that as of right now, are progressing. This week we will be working hard in trying to set specific dates for baptism. We believe that we can prepare everyone of these to be baptized on the 12th of January, which would be UNBELIEVABLE! I can't even imagine how that day would be. But we realize that most of them won't happen because none of these couples are legally married. And it's kinda a brutal process. That is the biggest challenge in baptizing, marriage. Especially because many don't have sufficient money to marry. But hopefully we can get at least a few couples legalized to prepare them for the 12th of January. So we'll see how that goes.
We had a Christmas party this week! President and Sister Kretly flew up from Maputo into Beira on Friday morning and they spent they day with all the Elders in the Beira area. Elders from Tete and Chimoio also came down. Friday morning, was the zone conference, and President Kretly gave us a training. It was good to see the growth the mission has seen in the past few months, and I know it will continue to grow. President Kretly emphasizes being "extraordinary missionaries." And the traits we need to have to become like that. I love the advice he gives us, and I'm trying to get a little better each day at the things he teaches.
After the training, we had a nice lunch altogether, so that was super nice! After the lunch, we had activities all afternoon! Different districts prepared different skits and songs, and we played some games as well. President and Sister Kretly also gave us all new matching red Christmas ties! I love ties. So now I have a Christmas tie to wear on the 25th! After the activities we had a SUPER NICE dinner. Best food I've had in awhile. So I was definitely grateful. Overall, it was a great day!
It continues to rain here in Manga unbelievably hard. We woke up yesterday for church, and it was pouring so hard. I have branch presidency meeting at 8 am, so we left our house about 7:30 to leave for the chapel. I figured we'd arrive at the church dry, because we had umbrellas, but I thought wrong. Not only did we get wet, but we were wet up to our waists. The roads were completely flooded, and we had to cross a river (which is normally a road) to get to the church. Haha it was a crazy adventure! Me and Elder Fontes were laughing almost the whole time. And when church started at 9, there was barely anyone there. More more showed up as time went on. It was a crazy day!
One thing that's super sad happened this week... One of our investigators died. David was 49 years old and very sick. His 20 year old son is a member and it was really sad when we heard he dies. He was a good guy. Always read The Book of Mormon and always had questions, but because of health, was unable to come to church and other things. There's already been 3 deaths in the branch since I've been here. Super sad.
Mom, to answer your questions... We walk A TON! every single day. I have no idea how long, but a ton. There are no bike taxis here like in Quelimane, so it's been an adjustment for me. But we walk plenty of miles every single day. Plenty and plenty of miles.
Glad to here the package is sent off! You're sending another? I would love more washable ties from mr mac, contact solution, face wash would be nice, and I thought about something else the other day but I forgot... haha those things would be great!
Glad to hear things at home are going good! Christmas is fastly approaching! Which is weird. Thanks for setting up a skype account. That's how we will be communicating, so that'll be nice!
Well I hope you all have a good week! And make sure you rememeber the true meaning of Christmas! 

Love you all!

-Elder Williams

ps. Yes I know Elder Ruiz. He was the AP here. He just left last week. Small world! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Manga - Week 32

Dear Family, 

Well, another week just flew by. I can't believe how fast time flys and that the month of december and christmas time has already come. Sounds like everything back home is going well, and things here in Manga are going well as well!
We recieved transfer slides this week, and me and Elder Fontes will be staying together for another transfer! So that's good. I'm glad we'll have another transfer together, and I think we'll see some real progress that we've been working for over the past few weeks.
An interesting story happened yesterday during church... so every Sunday at 8 am we have branch presidency meeting. It's usually an ideal time to have the meeting, and usually everyone always shows up. But when me and Elder Fontes showed up at 8 am yesterday, nobody was there. So we waited a little bit... 8:30 passed. Still the branch president and first conselor didn't show up. 8:50... still no one. Church starts at 9! So at this point I got nervous because yesterday was President Mounga's week to prepare the sacrament meeting. because it was his turn to dircet. He needed to prepare Prayers, songs, talks, etc. So left left me with 5 minutes to prepare the meeting. I assigned prayers, chose hymns and prepared to conduct the meeting. Then, at 9 o'clock, I started the meeting. Without the bresident and without the first conselor. They straight up didn't show up. So frustrating. President showed up halfway through the meeting, and the first conselor didn't show up at all. Things like this cannot happen. A lot of things need to change if we really want a change in this branch and in this area. Completely unacceptable. And it doesn't help that right after church, the president goes straight home. It puts a lot of pressure on me and the executive secritary. So hopefully things will change.
Other than that, I don't really have any new news! Besides the fact the now I am the only english speaker in my house. I'm really excited as I get to improve in the language even more than I already have. So that will be really nice!
I enjoyed my scripture study this week as I did an in depth study of Jacob chapter 5. I never really like Jacob chapter 5 very much, but now I love it! And I understand it as well! As I diligently stufy the scriptures I have expanded my capacity to understand those deep chapters that are difficult to understand. I really have grown a love for the scriptures as I diligently study them daily.
Today should be a fun activity! We are going to the beach here in Beira with some Elders here in Beira. We're gonna have lunch and play some frisbee! I love frisbee. It'll be just like when me and Nicholas used to play frisbee every single day on Manly Beach in Australia. Those were good times!
Dad, obviously I still have that little bag that you gave me. It's with me right this very moment! It's quite handy and is the perfect size. Fits perfectly in my pocket! Thanks so much!
Mom, congrats on playing the organ in church! That's awesome! I know you did awesome :) You'll have to teach me when I get home!
This week we're going to have a sweet christmas party here in Beira! I'm not really sure about all the details, but I'm pretty sure it will be with all the missionaries in the Beira area, and President Kretly. I'm excited to see President Kretly and learn more for him. I really have learned so much from him in such little. We as a mission really are lucky. I have no doubts that he was called of God to be the mission president here during this time. So I'll let you know how the party goes! I think it's this Saturday, but we'll see.
So I really don't have much more to say. I'm trying to use most of my internet time trying to figure out how to send pictures. Ireally struggle with computers and technology. Not my strong point... But I think I'll be able to figure it out.
Well I hope you all have a good week! I hope clear creek will be good and everything at home! Have a good week!

-Elder Williams
ps. I don't know if you've already sent a package, but sister hall gave me this Beira address: 
A Igreja De Jesus Cristo Dos Santos Dos Ultimos Dias
Elder Williams
Caixa Postal NR. 1396, Beira, Sofala,
Mozambique 0000

Monday, November 26, 2012

Manga - Week 31

Hello family!
I hope thanksgiving was good back home! I had a really nice thanksgiving feast here in Africa! Oh wait... nope I didn't. But I still had a good thanksgiving! Sounds like thanksgiving at the Anderson's was fun! 
We had a crazy week. Lots of good things happened! But as well, we had some disappointments. We had two investigators baptized on Saturday, Luis and Nobre. So that was exciting! I had the opprotunity to conduct the baptismal service, so that was a good chance as well!
Speaking of conducting, yesterday, I conducted sacrament meeting for the first time. I thought I would be nervous, but I wasn't! So the was good. I know I'll feel more comfortable with time too, as I have more experience conducting. Me being the second counselor in the Manga 2 branch presidency, I will have plenty of opprotunity's to conduct many more meetings.
This past week we didn't have very much success finding new investigators... We do plenty of street contacts during the week, but it's difficult because we call those people to set up a time to meet, and they don't show up. That happened a lot this past week. But President Kretly teaches that when a situation like that happens, we need to be proactive. Which means we can't feel depressed but we need to just move on, and find others. So me and Elder Fontes are trying better to apply being more proactive.
If only you guys saw how much it rained last night. It rained like I have never seen it rain before! I honestly got scared. The power was out, but we had non-stop light because of lightning. Like dead serious. Within like 20 minutes of the rain, our apartment was flooded! It was coming through our kitchen door pretty fast! It was like 10:00 last night and we were all scrambling trying to sweep water out of our apartment, and stop water from coming in. It was crazy! But quite an adventure as well! It's still actually raining right now. It was difficult to get into the city, and right now, I'm soaking wet! 
When the power goes out, it makes it very difficult to sleep... we have an air conditioner in our room, but when the power goes out, words can't describe how hot it get. And you get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Even with the nets. The power went out twice this week, so that's two bad night's sleeps this past week. Haha. But it all good. And when the power goes out, no water as well.
Me and Elder Fontes are priesthood blessing like crazy. It's super nice! I didn't give very many in Quelimane, but here we've had members and even some investigators ask for them. The Spirit is so strong when we give these blessings, and it really helps the person's faith grow as they build a testimony on the power of the priesthood. I'm so grateful for these opprotunities and hope that The Lord will continue to give us these chances.
That's good you guys are sending a package! I don't know how it will work... but we'll see. I talked to Sister Hall yesterday, and she said that today she will give me a good address that you guys can send a package to. So I'll let you know that next week when I get it. What did you put in the package?
Before I forget I wanted to ask a question... Do you guys still have my mission call? Or did we lose it? I want to keep the letter forever, so if you guys could look around for it, I would be grateful!
Too answer mom's questions... The house we live in is fairly nice! I think it is a bit nicer than the Quelimane house, so that's nice. But it's absolutely nothing compared to your house! Haha.
I actually eat pretty well, we have an Elder in the house the loves to cook, and he cooks super good. So we cooks for everyone in the house every single day. It's super nice! But maybe it's not good because I'm not really learning how to cook... oh well.
The other Elders in the house are nice. A missionary house is not exactly what I expected... I really am trying to be an example on the way we should act to always have the Spirit with us.
Well, my time is up! We are going to go play soccer, so that should be fun! But maybe we won't because of the rain... I'm not sure. But I hope you all have a good week! Love you all!

-Elder Williams

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manga - Week 30

Wow, another week goes by. I feel like I'm at this internet cafe all the time, even though it really is only once a week! It's crazy how fast the weeks are.
First of all, I wanted to apologize to you all about my letters. I know I don't answer nearly enough questions that you all ask. So I'm sorry. Haha I'll try to get better and answer all the questions that you all ask me.
This week was another good week as usual!
I would say nothing exciting happened, but that would be a lie, because exciting things always happen! We are anxiously engaged in finding, and teaching right now. So we stay pretty busy. It's been good to see how new families we've found over the past few weeks, have started to make and keep commitments such as reading the Book of Mormon, and praying. These families really do see and feel a difference when they read and pray together. It really is amazing!
We found this amazing man Ugenio this past week, we contacted him right in front of his house and he was extremely interested so we marked a time to visit him and his family. We actually ended up return that night, and me and Elder Fontes taught them about our purpose and the Restoration. They were really interested, so we marked to come back two days later. That night, (Thursday) we ended up focusing a lot on the Book of Mormon. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I've been a part of on my mission. Towards the end of the lesson, we said he had a question for us. He said, he drinks and smokes every once and a while, and wants to change. He wants to do what's right and wants God to be happy with him. Words cannot explain the way in which he spoke. he spoke from the heart, in the most humbling way I have ever heard a man speak. I could feel the desires of this man's heart. All he wanted to do, was follow God. The spirit was unbelievably powerful as Elder Fontes and I bore testimony that God loves him and that the things we shared with him were true. They could not deny the Spirit that was there.
Another powerful lesson we had this week was with a man named Paulo. He's a young guy that has a wife and 2 young sons. We've had a good feeling about this man, and I know he's felt the Spirit in past lessons. As we sat with him, we were following up on the commitments we had left with him. We invited him to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. As we asked him how the reading and prayer went, we were surprized with his response... After a few moments of silence, he said, "it was very emotional." As tears filled his eyes, we knew that he had received an answer the the Book of Mormon is true. We testified right then the it was the Holy Ghost testifying that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was called of God.
Very powerful lesson. Now we will work on the other people who live with him. Brothers, sisters, and their families to sit with us as well, who quite frankly think it's all a big joke. But clearly it is true, because Paulo received an answer from God. 
Thinking about these stories and experiences I had this week, really made me think. They sound like stories you'd hear from all sorts of missionaries. Because these things really happen. People are looking for the truth, and finding it through Christ's true church here on the earth. Everyday, God is answering prayers and helping these people find the right path. It's just humbling that God trusts me to play just a big role in helping these people. I will never forget the experiences I've had.
Dad, In this moment, I want to apologize for not helping you as much with like work and stuff around the house. Plenty of times you woke me up early on Saturday mornings, and I didn't want to help, or didn't help at all. SORRY! I honestly feel super bad. When I get home, I'm definitely gonna help a lot more. And continue to make Nick help you. And the small babe.
Sounds like things back home are going good! I hope Nick had a good birthday! 15 already? It really is crazy.
And dad thank you for those comments about my patriarchal blessing. I honestly think about that line all the time. And I had never thought that maybe that time had already passed. But I don't know... I really do have amazing friends! That's good you got to talk to Joe and President Wilkes. I can't believe Jason has been out a whole year! Time is going by way to fast.
Well, packages? I have a feeling it wont happen. Cause I have no idea about my address or anything. But to answer your question about where we live. We live on Passagem De Nivel. But our area is on the other side of the freeway, even past the Manga 2 church. We walk over the freeway everyday, and it it beautiful! Our area is after the freeway, until about the airport. A little past. So you guys can look up the street I walk everyday.
Well I hope you all have a good week! Have a good thanksgiving! Love you all!

-Elder Williams

Monday, November 12, 2012

Manga - Week 29

Another crazy week here in Manga! We've had a lot of good things happen, but some disappointing things that happened as well... typical week I guess.
We have found a lot of new investigators over the last few weeks, so now it's just a matter of funneling it down to the ones who will fulfill commitments. We had a few new families at church today, so that's always super exciting! But at the same time, we had some that should have been there, that didn't come. So that's super disappointing.
We had an opprotunity to do a nice service project this past week. We helped a famaily add an extension to their house. We used cement blocks and cement. My first time doing cement work, and it's actually more difficult than I thought! But the family was grateful, and I was grateful to help.
The next day, something very sad happened. A member of the branch died and the funeral was this past week. He was an inactive member, and died in a motorcycle accident. What's sad, is that last week, Elder Delgado and Elder Monteiro ran into him on the street. He was telling them how he was inactive and things like that that were going on in his life. Elder Monteiro said, "Well you better start coming to church! If you died right now, what would be the state of your salvation?" The man agreed and said he would come to church the following Sunday. But three days later, that man was killed. It probably wasn't the best comment thaat Elder Monteiro could have said, so the story really is tragic. Crazy right? Just a lesson on how fragile life really is.
The funeral was so sad. People crying and screaming in African dialect that I cannot understand. They are completely without knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. It made me think how sad and scary it would be to live in this world without a knowledge of the gospel. It gives me even more drive to teach these people.
My love for these people continue to grow as I serve them every week. Something super embarassing about that happened this past week. A man with complete physical disablites was walking down this dirt road, and me and Elder Fontes decided to contact him. As I talked to this man, this helpless disabled man, and looked him in his eyes, the only thing I could think of was how much I loved him. I got teary eyed DURING THE CONTACT! It was probably super weird for him, as some white guy is talking to him and crying. But I'm not sure exactly what he thought.
That's one thing that I'm trying to apply in my life, is looking at people through Christ's eyes as he would see them. Sister Kretly taught this to us at a zone conference, and as I consciencely strive to do that. There is a HUGE difference. It gives us a big push to help these people that much more.
Another thing that happened this week, is that we talked to President Kretly on th phone. He talked to Elder Fontes and said that he wants to see baptisms in Manga 2. I could not agree more with him. That is exactly what I want! Baptisms in Manga 2, but also, I know that's the Lords will, and that what needs to happen.
Whatever President Kretly says, I will do, because I know it is inspired of God. I have so more respect for that man, and I know that his way is the right way here in Mozambique. I honestly doubt that no other mission has a mission President like him. Like honestly.
So that will be our goal over the next weeks and months. Baptizing people. We invited quite a few people this past week, so we should see the baptisma adding up over the next few weeks. I'm super excited for that.
Allthough sometimes it feels like the work is slow, I know Manga has potencial to explode! Just like Quelimane is experiencing know. But it's completely up to the missionaries and if we truely have a desire to change this area. If we keep doing what we've been doing for years here in Manga, nothing will change. But this area needs to change so we need to do things different. With hard work and efffort, I know we can help change Manga!
The branch is great! I have a lot of responsibilties though, including doing tithing after church, meetings before sacrament meeting, and getting a lot of phone calls from the 1st counselor in the Branch presidency. But I'm learning a ton! And it's super weird to have people give you their tithing envelopes... haha way weird. But I'm learning a lot!
Sounds like thing back home are going good! Is it true Obama beat Romney? There is no way that would happen... I got to know. I was heartbroken when I found out.
Well, Have a good week everybody! Love you all!
Love, Elder Williams

Monday, November 5, 2012

Manga - Week 28

Crazy week here in Manga! But a good week as well. I'm finally starting to get used to the new rountine in my new area. Me and Elder Fontes did have a successful week this past week. I've really wanted to focus on finding this past week. We have a lack of investigators, so me and Elder Fontes wanted to change that.
We were successful in street contacting, and then calling those people, as well as occasional finding in houses as well. We ended up with 16 new investigators this past week. Those are people that we sat with, and marked return visits. So that's promising! That is an extremely high amount of new investigators in one week. When we do as much contacting as we do, we really do have a consistent stream of potential investigators. It's really exciting!
It was nice to play basketball with some of the guys last week! I haven't played since the mtc, so obviously I was a little rusty. But it was still a lot of fun! It was also good to get to know some of the Elder's that I haven't yet got to know.
Last P-day, we were all cleaning the house, and me and another Elder went outside to take out the trash. The sadest thing happened. I guess the kids that live around us, just LOVE missionary garbage. When we threw the 2 bags in the dump pile, 3 or 4 children were literally fighting and tripping to get to our trash first. I watched them as they ripped open the bags, and searched threw it like a kid looks through his stocking on Christmas morning. Honestly. I was completely blown away. It was an eye opener to me, that we really do need to be grateful for what we have. 
I get along with all the Elders in the house pretty well. I've kinda turned into a peace maker, cause I don't want to cause tension in the house. There are some Elders like like tension. It makes no sense to me... But I have respect for everyone in the house and everyone has respect for me. So I plan on keeping it that way! 
The church building here in Manga is a lot nicer than the one in Quelimane. Manga has two bulidings, one is expectionally nice, with a baptismal font inside and everything. But we are in a warehouse. It's still pretty nice, and it has a bishops house and a few classrooms. The Branch President is a cool guy. He's a about 30 or 35 or so. He actually served a mission in Maputo! It's funny, he reminds me exactly of Akon. Looks just like him! I'm excited to get to know him better and work with him more in the branch, with my new responsibiltys in the branch.
Sounds like everything back home is going good! Glad Halloween was good and everyone had a good time! And sound like the weather is PERFECT!
The weather here is actually pretty nice as well! It's a lot hotter in Quelimane, but it's a lot cooler here so that's nice. But I know it will get hotter over the next few months.
So right now I'm emailing from Beira. It takes us about an hour to get here from Manga. We get here by the means of Chapa's. Which are small vans that is pretty much the means of transportation here in Mozambique. Quelimane is the only city the doesn't use them really. And you would be amazed at how many people they cram into these vans. Honestly like 20 people, sometimes more. Thre is no way that these Chapa's are bigger than our car at home. It really is an art how the fit that many people in. Haha! But it's a cheap form of transportation, so that's nice.
The mangos definitely do not get old. We are now at the point where we are not paying for mangoes. The member love to give them to us! People gives us plastic bag fulls everyday, It's crazy. After we come hhome and do weekly planning, we like to spend a few minutes and eat all the mangoes we have. I love them.
Well, looks like I better go. Time to go to our shopping! But I hope you all have a good week! I'm happy here in Manga, even though the work really is stressful. It's amazing to see people change there lives for the gospel, and in the process, my life is changing as well. I love this work, this gospel, and our Savior.
Have a good week!

Love, Elder Williams

ps. Nick- Seriously? Beades is no longer on Sportsnation?? What happened? But it's all good, I love Charissa Thompson as well. :) haha

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manga - Week 27

This week has been one crazy week, full of change. Maybe a little too much change. It was so hard for me to leave Quelimane. I didnt think it would be too hard until the night before, it actually hit me. We were doing weekly planning for the last time in the area, and I just broke down. Flipping through the pages and names of people that I had found, taught, and helped progress over the past few months. It really was so hard for me to leave. I can not wait for the day when I can go back and visit the amazing city of Quelimane again. Quelimane will forever have a place in my heart. I genuinly love those people there.
But I am now starting a new chapter here in Manga. Manga is portuguese for Mango. You would not believe how many mango trees are here in Manga. Honestly, there are as many manga trees as there are people. And over the next few weeks all of them will be getting ripe. There are already plenty that are ripe right now, and they are SO GOOD! they honestly cost nothing because there are so many of them. So I pretty much just down Mangos all day. It super nice.
I was completely shocked when I arrived in my new area. The area covers a large area, but we have like 6 investigators. There is a lack of work here. So I hope that things will change. This next week, we will be doing plently of finding new families. That is what we need right now. There is no excuse why we should have a limited amount of investigators.
Elder Fontes is a cool guy, and has a strong desire to be a exceptional missionary. He is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and speaks as much english as I speak Chinese. In other words, he doesn't know one word of english. Haha but he is a good Elder, although hasn't been taught very much until he arrived in the country.  So I hope to help him develop these habits with me. I thankful for the opportunity that I have to help him develop as a missionary, and I know that I will learn things from him as well.
Sounds like things back home are going good! I love hearing about whats going on at home. But I continue to stay focused on the work here. Let me know where those guys will be called this week! Our ward is having a lot of missionaries! So thats super cool.
I'm having a lot of opprotunity to speak portuguese at this point in my mission as well. In Quelimane, i lived with mostly americans, so it we always spoke english. But right now, I live with a brazilian, 2 cape verdians, and one from Portugal. So only portuguese is being spoken in the house. But its super nice to expand my vocabulary!
I'm still unsure about packages being sent here to Beira, but Im still finding out. Hopefully everything will work out and ill get a package! That would be nice to have for Christmas.
Well, I dont have much time today. sorry about that. It took a long time to get here into the city, and now we are going to go play BASKETBALL! dead serious. A bunch of Elders are getting together and we need to be there at a certain time. And because we got here a little late, we dont have much time to email. But I am excited! First time playing since I left the MTC.
So I need to go. But good news is, computers here are way nicer, so I can send pictures home! But only 5 at a time and I have plently to send home. So I will start that next week. I hope you all have a good week! I'm happy here, and working hard!

Love, Elder Williams

"Leaving the church during a trail of faith, is like leaving a storm cellar during a tornado." -Elder Neil L. Andersen. I love quotes!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Photo - Last trip to the beach in Quelimane

Quelimane - Week 26

Well, change is always happening here in the mission. It's so weird. Sometimes I feel like I've been in Quelimane forever, but today, it feels like I just barely got here. It's amazing how time flies.
We just recieved transfer slides a few minutes ago. And it is not anything like I expected! I figured I'd stay another transfer here in Quelimane with Elder Andrade, or I would go to new area. And it turns out, I'm going to a new area!
I've been transfered to Manga. Which is an area in Beira. Beira is the second biggest city in Mozambique, and President is putting a lot of missionaries there because one of our goals is to have a stake in Beira, and in Maputo. So I'm glad to be a part of that.
There was one thing imparticular about the transfer slides that completely caught me off guard. Not only am I going to a new area, but I'm training a new Elder. Not only am I training a new Elder, but I'm training a Cape Verdian. That means I won't be speaking English for awhile!
Over my first few months in the country, I've learned a lot. I learned a lot of things from my trainer, Elder Workman. I know that trainers have a big responsibility. A new missionary will do and learn things through example. I'm excited to help Elder Fontes (my new companion) develop traits and characteristics that will make him an extraordinary missionary.
I never thought I would be training this early in my mission. As a matter of fact, just 6 weeks ago, I was still technically being trained. But I know that President Kretly has a lot of faith in me, but also, I know that The Lord has faith in me. So I'm excited for the opprotunity to bring the gospel to the amazing people of Manga.
I'm excited for a new chapter in my mission, but I really am sad to leave Quelimane. The people I've met, experiences I've had, I will never forget. Yesterday, after the Principles of the Gospel class, Elder Osborn asked me to offer the prayer because it was most likely my last church meeting here in Quelimane. After he announced it and after the prayer, Elizabeth, one of our investigators came up to me and asked if it was true. I explained the situation and that we still didn't know for sure if I was leaving. In that moment, she broke down and started crying. I found Elizabeth about 4 months ago. Some of my most spiritual experiences have been when we teach that women. She has an unbelievable testimony, and is waiting on a husband to get married so that she can get baptized. She thanked me for finding her, and then walked away as she still had tears in her eyes. It was an extrememly tender moment for me as well. I know, that I personally was chosen to teach her over these past few months. She thinks that I've changed her life forever, but really, it's the Gospel of Jesus Christ that changed her life. And as I was a part of it, she changed my life. I will never forget the people that I've met here. It really does hurt to leave them.
Since I'm not going to be in Quelimane anymore, I guess you shouldn't worry about sending me a package. I'll figure out the package situation once I get to Manga and let you know. Somethings I might want in my package are ties, contact solutuion, and american candy? Haha. But I'll let you know next week about the mail situation there.
I'm glad to here about the experiences at home! Tiff's missionary experience, the family reunion, etc. Sounds like everyone is happy and doing great! 
Well, I super don't know what else to say! Other than the new that I'm being transfered to Manga and that I'll now be training. I'm anxious to get that and start this new chapter in the mission. I'll be leaving for Beira either tomorrow or Wednesday. That means, another long, hot, uncomfortable bus ride. Haha. But hey, it's all part of the experience. It should be an interesting week, and I'll let you all know how it goes! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quelimane - Week 25

Hello Family!
First of all, I want to apologize to my amazing sisters for not wishing them a happy birthday last week. I remembered, but at the same time, it totally slipped my mind. So I'm sorry! But I hope you both had a good day! And it sounds like you did. And of course Brittany went bowling... haha
We had a good week this past week, including watching another one of our investigators getting baptized. Gildinho was baptized by a young man who was recently baptized named Rema. I've walked with Rema a few occasions when I was companionless for a few days before the start of this transfer. It was a great baptismal service. The Spirit was strong, and everytime there is a baptism I feel the Spirit testify that this truely is the Lord's church and we truely are making a covenant with our Heavenly Father.
Me and Elder Andrade are getting along better. I honestly try so hard to be the peacemaker, it's alright, we do usually end up figuring it out in the end.  I try so hard to get to bed on time by 10:30. And as a matter of matter of fact, I can honestly say that I NEVER am late getting to bed. It's a habit I've started since day one.  I'm trying so hard right now to be the best missionary I can be, and the last thing I am is a lazy missionary with a bad attitude.  But I guess I'll just keep doing what I know is the right thing. 
About the package, that would be great! I would love to recieve a package! The Osborn's told me last week the Quelimane is better than any other city when it comes to sending packages. And I guess it only takes 2-3 weeks here to Quelimane. But the problem I would hate for you to send a package here, and then have me get transfered. So I'll let you know next week about a possible package. And I'll think of some good things I want in there as well.
As for the work, it continues to go on! We have a continual pool of new investigators as a result of the daily contacts that we are making. So that's nice! We have many progressing investigators, but some of them have problems getting to church. We call and even go by peoples homes before church every Sunday, but sometimes it still doesn't work. But I know that we shouldn't give up and continue to help them get to Church. As missionaries, we need to do our part, before investigators can do their part. And that's so true.
I'm glad you got to see pictures of the youth activity that me and Elder Andrade put on. It actually was a big hit! Over 20 youth came, and I shared a Bible story, and then we had a fun game for them to play. We had certain questions from the Bible and Book of Mormon. And it actually got super competitive! Which I love!
So to sum up this week, it was amazing. Like every week. The weeks go by like days. There are plenty of hard times, but there is plently to be happy about. Quelimane really is starting to see Real Growth. Which is a big goal that President Kretly has for the mission. It's happening, and I know it will only snowball from here.
The Church is true. Christ's Church is on the Earth today. Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the spring of 1820. The Book of Mormon is true, and I know that there is no way to salvation except through the Savior Jesus Christ. I'm so lucky to have this knowledge. And so grateful to have the chance to share it.
I love yo all so much. I hope you have an amazing week!
Love, Elder Williams
Quote of the week: "You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub." -President Gordon B. Hinckley (actual quote)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quelimane - Week 24

Bom Dia! 

I hope you all had a good week back home with conference and everything. Conference was amazing. We actually got to watch one session live! Saturday morning session. It was night time here, so that was a little weird. But the Osborn's invited us over and we all were there for the big announcments. I can't believe it! 18 year old missionaries, and 19 year old girls? The work is going to progress so much more now. It'll be interesting as we see 18 year olds showing up in this mission over the coming months and year or so. But yes, I too feel bad for Natedog. Haha but oh well. I know that this is now the time when it needs to be put into action.

I loved the talks from that morning. Quentin L. Cook, Ann Dibb, and Russell M. Nelson. One quote that I wrote from Elder Cook is, "Men will be responsible after this life for every tear their wives shed." I had never really thought about that before. But a super good quote!

And I loved Sister Dibb's, "I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it." That really is the attitude that we all need to have. And Elder Nelson's, "Ask the missionaries!" talk. It was funny because when he said that missionaries can even help you with family history, I got a little nervous and I hope no one asks me about that. Haha because I don't know much about it! But what a great session it was. I woke up saturday morning, unbelievably excited. It felt like I was going to Disneyland. We don't realize how cool General Conference really is. So I realized I have a new obsession: Conference! We're watching another session tonight at the Osborn's. I honestly can't wait.

We also got to see Sunday Morning's live as well. In portuguese. But we had to leave halfway through President Packer's talk because we had a lesson at 19:00. That's too bad because I heard Elder Holland's talk was unbelievable. So hopefully I'll get to watch it on tape within a few weeks or something.

Dad, I love the journal entries. I have a few pages in my journal the sound just like that! But I love the advice, and I've learned that to love someone, I need to serve them. So with Elder Andrade, I look for little acts of service. Whether it's his dishes, shining his shoes while he's in the shower, make his bed, etc.  I know that its up to me and I will work hard to make everything work okay. 

Our investigators are progressing nicely. Yes, we're still teaching Cornelio. His testimony is unbelievable. He's beginning to invite friends, and teach people where he lives the gospel. I wish you guys could meet some of these people. Unbelievable.

We have plently of progressing investigators, but one thing is that it's hard for us to get some to come to church recently. We call to remind, we go by their houses, but they still sometimes don't come. It's really hard. But that's why we need to find those people who are willing. I just really struggle dropping people. That's my biggest struggle right now. It's just so hard to know for certain when is the right time. That is why prayer is so important.

We should have an investigator getting baptized this week, but we'll see. He has had a rough past, and I've been praying for discernment on when is the right time, and if he truely is ready. After a few months, I genuine feel that he needs to be baptized at this time. I really have been extrememly cautious to know for certain. His name is Gildinho, and he's 20 years old. He studys the Book of Mormon like crazy, and has a strong desire to serve a mission as well. I'm really excited for him to make this important covenant with our Heavenly Father.

About the houses, my area is the city, so we teach most people in apartments or even houses. Some apartments are nice, and some definitely aren't. But we do teach occasionally in huts as well. Every once and a while there is a random hut and there are also areas in our area that our just huts. So we kind of get the best of both worlds. Oh and that triple combanation I sent home? I have one just like that with me. I had two in the MTC, so I figured I'd send it home and have one waiting for me.

One more thing, we found a... BASKETBALL COURT here in Quelimane! I'm so pumped. I haven't played for months, and I can't lose my athletic ability now. So maybe we'll have tme to play today, we'll see.

So that's kinda been my week this past week. I do love the work, and the people here in Quelimane. I knew the mission doesn't always have easy times, but I'm becoming a better missionary every single day because of it.

I love you all, and I hope you have a good week!
Love, Elder Williams
ps. Next week, I'll have my letter for my friends. Com Certeza.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photo- Teaching in Quelimane (Church Porch)

Elder Andrade & Elder Williams

Elder Andrade & Elder Williams

Monday, October 1, 2012

Quelimane - Week 23

Dear Family, 

Well, I don't even know where to start. This week was very interesting.  I know more than ever that the Lord put me here in Quelimane for a reason.  And I think the reason is to learn patience. I'm committed to the work and always want to do the right thing in all we do.  I'm committed to hitting our goals and pray that we will continue to find great investigators. 
The MTC taught me humility, my first 2 transfers taught me charity and love, and know I'm learning patience. 
Our family Jazila and Joyce didn't get baptized this week... but hopefully within the next couple of months.  
I also got the world worst haircut this past week! Haha i was kind of funny. I was the first white guy hair that the guy did, so he struggled. Haha it looked so bad. People in the house were saying that it made me look like a mexican. And it's kind of true. Haha I guess I'll just wait for it to grow out.
We continue to find more families, but it hard cause most of the contacts we make actually live in another area. One area here in Quelimane is huge! So they get a lot of our contacts. But it's alright, as long as we are getting real growth here in Quleimane!
I'm still happy. I know this is the true church of God on the Earth today, and I'm so grateful to be here in Mozambique to share it with other people. Thanks for everyone's example to me!
Mom, I'll send that letter for all my friends. Thanks for reminding me! I hope your getting to know my friends' mom's a little better as well! Love you!
I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Elder Williams

Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo - Quelimane Chapel Construction

Elder Williams, Elder Christenson, Elder Andrade, Elder Sorensen
Elder Andrade, Elder Christensen, Elder Williams, Elder Sorensen

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quelimane - Week 23

This week definitely went by super fast. It was kind of a crazy week. Still adjusting to everything that's going on, and all the changes. Me and Elder Andrade are getting along. But it's super weird. We have such different teaching styles so we're still trying to figure out how to get used to each other so that we can teaching more effectively. I got so used to teaching with Elder Workman after teaching hundreds of lessons together. So we're slowing adjusting. He likes to use a lot of scriptures. And that's good cause scriptures are important! Also... he LOVES to sing. Non-stop. So that means he especially likes to use hymns at the beginning of lessons. And it's a good idea cause it invites the Spirit. We're slowing adjusting and I know we'll find an affective way to teach together. But he's a super nice guy! It's hard to understand his English every once in awhile, so it's easier to speak portuguese. But he's a super nice guy! As we get more used to each other, we'll become closer as well. 
Our investigators are coming along! We have about 18 progressing investigators right now, and we'll be adding to that as we find new people each and every week. This week we'll be up in the twenties I'm thinking. We have a family getting baptized on Saturday, Jazila and her 9 year old daughter Joyce. They have been so ready for a long time. So I'm so happy for them! We also found an awesome new family a few days ago, Realdo and Elsa. He asks the perfect questions, and the Spirit is always so strong when we teach him. And I know he can feel it. He asked if God provided the world with a proof that Joseph Smith really restored the Church. Answer? The Book of Mormon. So I hope as he reads he will grow a testimony and know that Joseph Smith really did restore the true church of God. He is one of those that is already to recieve the Gospel.
We have also found some other really nice families as well, who I think will progress very nicely this next week. It's been nice to have some more finding time lately as we drop the investigators who aren't keeping commitments. That's one of the hardest things for me. Dropping investigators.
Now I'll answer the questions that dad asked me. My camera, is fine. And I am taking pictures! The past few weeks we've been trying to send pictures but I guess this internet cafe doesn't really work with sending pictures. So I'll hold on to them and send them when I can. Sorry about that!
What brings me the most happiness? Probably when and investigator is keeping commitments and when they recieve answers to their prayers. I love that! And I actually love doing little acts of service for others. I'm always happy when I do that. Which is weird... cause I used to hate that! But that's a good change! But easily the best feeling is to see people change their life through the Gospel and Atonement. The other Elders in the house are great. Elder Christensen from Idaho is a super good missionary, and also Elder Sornenson, from Mountain View in Mesa. So we actually have a few mutual friends cause he know some people from Gilbert. And also Elder Berg from Lehi, and Elder Gibson from southern california. (sorry I didn't tell you that earlier).  I get along very well with everyone... they're all nice guys!
What do I wish I would've done better in my teenage years? Scripture study. I always read the Book of Mormon, but never really studied it. That Book is amazing. I feel bad it look me so long to develop a real love of the scriptures. And I wish I studied the Bible more as well. But my biggest help growing up, Seminary and friends. I honestly believe seminary is so important.
So that's what Small babe (Andrew) and Coke Dean (Nicholas) can do to better prepare. Scriptures, Friends, and Seminary. So important.
Sounds like everything back home is going well! Football, work, school! Sounds like a lot of fun! I love hearing about things that are going on, so keep me updated!
Nate dog (friend from High School) is finally leaving on his mission! Whoo!!! So pumped for him. Go up and talk to him for me as well after he speaks and tell him I love him. Like for real. I do. Haha.
So I got a terrible rash this past week! So painful! But it only lasted for about a day or so. It was super weird. But I'm good now. I don't kow why I told you that, but just figured I would! It hurt so bad you don't know...
A cool experience I'll share we'll quick. So we are teaching this women Pasqoa. She has developed a testimony, and so this week we reviewed the Plan of Salvation with her. Her neighbor is catholic and sat in the lesson with us. We were talking about what will happen after this life, and Pasqoa's friend asked her if she actually believed all that stuff we said. And Pasqoa said an unbelievable testimony to her! It was so cool. It's cool to see people's testimonys grow. And that Pasqoa doesn't care what her neighbor thinks, because she knows it true. Such a good example to us all.
Well, I'm out of time, so I'll talk to you next week! Keep asking questions! And I'll keep working hard. The church is so true.
Love, Elder Williams

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quelimane - Week 22

Bom Dia!
I hope you all had a good week! It's been crazy for me with all the change that's been going on. New companion, new Elder's in the house, etc. First of all, let me apologize about saying my companion was Elder Mendes. The transfer slide has his name and his picture, but then I got a phone call later in the day saying I was getting Elder Andrade. I'm still not sure exactly what happened... But the point is I have Elder Andrade as my new companion. 
Elder Andrade is from Cape Verde though as well. But he actually speaks english pretty well! I was surprised. I was looking forward to speaking just Portuguese with him, but we pretty much do that anyway I guess. Our area is UNREAL. I was super nervous to show the area, but it went really well! We have unbelievable investigators that are progressing nicely. Some families we are just waiting on getting married before baptism. Many people that are "married" aren't married legally. But we're making progress! And we're finding families that are legally married. For example, Octavio and Candida. They are a great family and have been coming to church as well. The are EATING UP the gospel. It's so cool. I could see all 6 of them getting baptized soon. We have a family getting baptized on the 29th. Jazila and her daughter Joyce. We've done family home evenings over at their house with the Osborn's, and Jazila is so ready to be baptized it's crazy. She's been ready for awhile. She just wanted to make sure for certain. And we helped her realize that she is ready! So I'm excited for that. The families baptisms will start snowballing pretty soon.
Me and Elder Andrade get along great. He was a little shy the first few days, but everyone's a little shy around someone new for awhile. He's been on the mission about a year I believe. It's a good opprotunity for me to grow in the language by leading lessons Elder Andrade is still getting to know the people we teach. But me and Elder Andrade are already starting to get in a rythmn. We're getting some serious work done. It's a lot easier then in the past now that I can understand everything people are saying to me and can respond intelligently. I feel a lot more efficient now that I can communicate with everyone. Such a blessing.
Yesterday was a good day cause almost every single one of our progressing investigators came to church. Except for one... which was sad. We went out a little early and walked with some people to church so that they wouldn't forget. And we had a really good turnout yesterday! Except yesterday after church was hard after some difficult lessons. We ran into this house and realized we had never talked with anyone there, so we decided to go for it. It ended up, the guy was married legally and everything! And he definitely knew the Bible very well. Right away, he started "bible bashing" with us. It was such a joke. I had a feeling we should get out of there asap, but we were probably there a little longer than we should've been. The Spirit is never there in those types of settings, and so now I know to leave those situations right away. But we did find some other people yesterday to teach, so that was good! I also saw a monkey yesterday! Super sweet. We were actually in an apartment complex, and we saw a big monkey climbing around on some bars! I don't know how it got there, but it was super cool! We also saw a HUGE bat the was dead in the road. It's tough to see animals when we're in the city part, but still cool!
Like I said, I hope everything at home is going well! New job, school, play, church, work, etc. I love hearing about what's going on back home and that everyone is doing good.
As for me, I'm doing SO GOOD. I'm so happy here. I've really learned some qualities that I have that I never really realized. Before my mission I thought everyone was an "idiot." Haha. But I really grown to love others, and I love serving. I always look for ways to serve other Elder's in the house. When I'm serving and putting others first, I'm happy. That's an important thing I've learned. I love this work, the people, MY AREA, and I never wanna leave Quelimane. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and I'm so blessed to be here.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don't forget to read your scriptures! Reading is not fun, but there is a difference between reading, and studying the scriptures. Dig in deep! There is such good stuff in there. Each verse has many different things we can apply to our lives. So grateful for the Book of Mormon. Have a good week!


Elder Williams

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photo - New Companion (Elder Andrade)

Elder Williams & Andrade 

New District in Quelimane

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quelimane - Week 21

Dear Family, 

It has been a crazy week! Losing my companion, being the only person responsible for every living soul in my area. It's a scary concept. This is probably the thoughest time for me right now during my mission. But I know I'll learn a lot once it's all over and once I get back in the rythmn of everything.
Yesterday was especially scary for me, because I showed my area! I'm walking with members until my new companion shows up. So yesterday I walked with Patel, he's nineteen and I have been a missionary for a longer time then he's been a member. So as you could imagine, I was terrified to walk and teach with someone who didn't really know what he was doing. I ended up doing all the talking in every lesson, all day. I prayed so hard that the Lord would help me understand so that I can help my investigators. And he definitely blessed me! Tomorrow I'll be walking with another member as well. And we have a big day planned! So it should be interesting.
We just recieved the transfer slides seconds ago. My new companion is Elder Mendes from Cape Verde. That means he speaks one language... Portuguese.  I know it will help me grow in the language a ton.  I'll make it very clear that we'll be working hard. We can't  ruin the progression of our investigators that we've worked so hard for.  He should get here probably Thursday.
Sounds like everything at home is going good! Soccer, school, work, church, more play, sounds like everyones busy!
Dad, let me know about you work of work! Where's your office at anyway?
You guys are all in my prayers, but I would have you know that my focus is here and the people in my area. I've grown to love this people and I would honestly do anything for them. But I love hearing from all of you!
Britt, You can do it! If this is something that Geoff is supposed to do, the Lord will help you. I feel all alone as well, especially knowing that the only chance these people have for salvation is because of me. So I feel alone right with you! But the Lord is always there.
Nick, keep it up in school! I know it's tough to be a teenager, but keep doing what's right and you'll be happy. And I know you'll find friends that will help you get on a mission as well. That's what's important. And I hope you serve in Portugual! And the vans? I don't really care. Take whatever makes you happy!
Small Babe, you better keep reading the Book of Mormon and being nice to Morgan! Love you!
Morgan, hope school is going good and dance! Love you!
Tiff, keep staying busy! It's good for you. Haha love you!
And Mom, I'm glad your preschool kids love you! I don't blame them, you're the best! I love you so much and thanks for everything you do for me!
Well, I don't have much more time, but this week will probably be a hard week to be completely honest. But I know if I do what's right, the Lord will help me with my investigators. Although this work is difficult, I love it and I am happy! President Holland said it best, missionary work isn't easy because salvation never was easy.´
I'm so grateful to be here in Quelimane and the Church is SO true. Wish me luck this week! Love you all!

-Elder Williams

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Photo - Zone Conference in Beira

Zone Conference in Beira, Mozambique (Zach is left center facing)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Photo's - P-Day Fun... Feeding Crocodiles

Before.... the feeding. 
After... Happy Elders.  

Quelimane - Week 20

Hey family!
Sounds like a good week back at home! Everyone sounds like they are plenty busy, so that's good. Wow, I don't know where to start with this past week, so I'll start with saying something to the small babe.
Small babe, MOW THE LAWN. No excuses.  Andrew, you need to be a good example and  mow the lawn so that your mother doesn't have to. If I hear that Mom ever mows the lawn, then I'll be disappointed in my small babe. So do the right thing babe! I know you will. Love ya!
Haha, this past week for me was crazy. I literally thought I was going to die this past week. Because that bus ride from Quelimane to Beira is unbelievably painful. Obviously I had a middle seat (bad luck). Try 15 hours on a bus with hard seats, worse leg room than the back seat of the suburban, and bumpy dirt roads so we´re bouncing all over the place. On top of that, add no air conditioning while driving through the African desert, while wearing a suit jacket, while everyone on the bus smells terrible cause they don´t take showers. What a day. I thought I was going to die. But it was definitely a good experience, one that most missionaries in the world don´t get to have. And the view from the window on the ride there, was UNBELIEVABLE. It was like a national geographic magazine the whole way there. We drove through a mixture of jungle, desert, and sagebrush. It was crazy. And it´s crazy cause there are even little mud huts in the middle of nowhere. Some of those people probably haven´t even seen white people before. It´s so crazy. So it was a long day, but I grateful for the opprotunity, and the things I saw. So I wasn´t complaining about the situation, I promise. I really am grateful for it.
The zone conference was super cool! It was good to be able to meet Elder and Sister Renlund and hear their message for us. Elder Renlund talked about page 10 of Preach My Gospel, and how we can be successful missionaries. Sister Renlund talked about helping people make commitments, and how we can better teach the commandments.
It was also a pleasure to hear from our amazing mission president and his wife. They really are amazing. He talked about our potential, and being extraordinary missionaries, not ordinary. And Sister Kretly talked about our health, and that we needs to keep our houses clean. She´s all about clean!
It was also good to be able to meet some more Elders in the mission as well. I got to know some new people, and I got to see my entire MTC district as well. So it was good to catch up with them and see the different experiences in the different cities. I also got to talk with Elder Martinez again. It feels like we're in sixth grade all over again. Haha. He´s a good Elder, and maybe we´ll be companions one day!
Another posotive thing about the conference was that I was able to understand every word the President and Sister Kretly used during their trainings. The Language is really coming along fast, and it really is a miracle. But it is a lot easier to understand their Portuguese, because they speak correct and conjugated Portuguese. Which isn't really the case here.
But I'm so grateful I'm growing in the language, because this week I lose my trainer. Elder Workman flies down to Maputo on Friday, and then flies back to the US on Monday. It´s amazing how fast time flies, and that I´m already getting a new companion soon. But I won´t be getting my new companion until sometime next week. So we'll be walking in three-somes here until then after Elder Workman leaves. I'm pretty nervous abut getting a new companion. Especially because I would be showing my area to my new companion. But it´s a huge opprotunity to grow as a missionary as well. I´ll let you know who my new companion is when we get transfers and everything. Should be interesting.
Our area is still going unbelievably, and I´m so excited about it. We found another UNBELIEVABLE family this past week. Octavio Cossa, and his family. He´s got two sons Kelvin and Marvin who are 19 and 21. They are such studs who are already reading the Book of Mormon and praying. I´m so excited for them, and seeing how they progress. We should be making baptismal dates for them this week! So excited.
This P day (today), we are going to do something super sick! We're going to feed crocodiles! And what are we feeding them? Live chickens! Haha dead serious! The Osborn's are taking us at 13:00 (1:00pm). It's going to be crazy. I'm sure we'll get some crazy pictures! I'll let you know how it goes!
Well, I hope you all have a good week! I love getting emails from G-ma and G-pa, and Nana and Pops as well. Even if Nana and Pops address the email, "Elder Bushnell". Haha! But I understand, cause they're used to writing him. But I did get a kick out of that. I love all my granparents! Thanks for everything you do for me!
Well, have a good week everyone! Love you!

-Elder Williams 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo - Beira Zone

Elder Williams is middle right (yellow tie)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photo - Fun at the beach!

Current Elders serving in Quelimane.  Left to right, Elders Steel, Sorenson, Gibson, Berg, Williams and Workman.

Walking on Water...
Catching crabs...
Bury the Elder!!

Quelimane - Week 19

I'm writing a lot later than usual today, but that's because the Osborn's took us to the beach this morning! It was so sick. We go once every transfer, so it's nice to be able to go and do that! We ate on the beach and made steak sandwiches, threw the football around (horray!), and even helped some fishermen fish! It was pretty cool. We also ran up and down the beach catching stuff like crabs, 2 jellyfish, and a swordfish! It was a lot of fun. I'm sure the Osborn's will send you some pictures. Question, are you able to pull pictures off their blog? Hope so, cause I feel bad for not sending any home yet.
It was un unbelievable week this past week with the baptism. One of the best things I've experienced, is when Raul stood up and bore his testimony after being baptized. It's amazing to see testimonies grow from nothing, to strong testimonies. I hope I get to experience that a lot more! And I know I will. Other than the baptism, we were also super busy! We are so busy because we have to find 35 new families each week, while having 48 marked lessons. So it makes it pretty crazy. But I love doing it!
Sounds like everything back home is changing. Can't believe Nick is in 9th grade, and sounds like Britt and Tiff are having a lot of crazy changes in their lives as well with school, and the Air Force and Navy and things like that. Sounds crazy... But glad everything is going good!
Mom, about tackle football, his body is precious and doesn't need to take that kind of beating young. You don't need to put him in tackle football until later. He'd be able to catch up with everyone easily. 
Oh, one thing that was cool this week, was that I taught my first district meeting! That was fun! I taught on "The Spirit's role in conversion" and that us as missionaries need to do certain things so our investigators can feel the Spirit. I thought it went ok. Hopefully I helped the Elders out at least a little bit.
This week is a short week for us here in Quelimane. On Thursday morning, we'll take a bus and ride all day to Beira. We're having a mission conference with the north half of the mission. President Renlund an area seventy will be doing the conference. So I'm excited about that! We drive down all day, and we're staying the night in a small village, Dondo overnight. The conference is Friday, and we drive back all day Saturday. I heard it's a crazy drive, and I'm excited to see a lot of the country! Considering I've only seen Maputo and Quelimane so far. I'll have to get some pictures! I'll let you know how the conference went as well.
Well I didn't have much time to write this week, and I'm sorry about that, but we have some lesson planned from 6:00-9:00pm. Including my first dinner appointment at (8:00) so I better go. But I want all of you to know that I'm happy! I love missionary work and I'm working hard everyday. It really has already changed my life. I so blessed to be part of this amazing work. It's humbling that God would let me be a part of these people lives, and play such a big role in helping them find the truth. I hope you all have a good week!


Elder Williams