Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MTC Week 6 - May 29, 2012

What up! That's pretty messed up you guys are in San Diego right now... and you went to Phoenix. Did you guys hit up a d-backs game? That'd be sick. Haha but i'm kidding. It sounds like you guys have been having fun! Not everyone gets to spend their birthday at seaworld. So I hope Andrew enjoys it! Sounds like the wedding was good. They actually sent me a wedding invitation a few weeks ago, so i was excited to get that. That's sweet you talked to Kevin Peterson's mom! i actually ran into him last week and was able to talk to him for awhile. I'm so glad him and cory both figured things out. They were BOTH a mess a few years ago. So i acually had a really good week this past week! It started off last tuesday with an awesome devotional. (my boy) Ronald A. Rasband came and spoke to us. He's always been my favorite member of the seventy because he gives unbelievable talks in conference. And he didn't disappoint. He gave an awesome talk on the Spirit. I definitely glad he came. Then last Wednesday, I got to do trafficing! It was so fun. We got to help the new Elder's unpack their car and make sure everyone went in and out of the drop-off smoothly. And tomorrow we get to host! So that'll be fun. I know a couple people tomorrow so maybe I'll get to see them. Funny story actually, do you guys remember Levi Martinez? If anyone would remember, I bet it would be Mom. We were good friends at Sonoma Ranch and he was in the Windrift Ward i believe. I had some sleepovers with him and stuff, and he was my friend that was also one of the primary kids that were able to go on trek. Well anyway, I haven't seen him since the end of 6th grade and I ran into him at the MTC! It was crazy... But the other crazy part is, He is going to Mozambique as well! It was weird. They left yesterday, and probably won't get there til tomorrow. So now there are only 6 Elders in the MTC going to Mozambique. But I think we get a few more tomorrow. Pretty crazy right? I'm glad the kids liked the letters! I sent Andrew an additional birthday crad from our bookstore here, but i guess you won't be getting that for a few more days. The language is coming along... But too be honest, I'm the worst one in the district at Portuguese right now. It's kind of humbling I guess.... But hopefully I pick it up faster with a native companion! Hopefully anyway... Well other than that, nothing too exciting is going on here... I'm starting to go a little crazy being in here for 6 weeks with the food we have. I'll definitley be ready to leave by the time 9 weeks comes. But that's way tuesday's are nice, because after we go to temple, we like to eat in the temple cafeteria. I love it. It's BY FAR the best meal of the week. I didn't think i would, but I'm getting a little nervous about Africa. Probably because it's only 20 days aways. Weird isn't it? We were on lds.org and we were looking at Mozambique with the maps tool on the website. We found lots of huts and crazy stuff like that... It will definitley be interesting. I don't think I have any idea what's coming... Basketball is still sick! I've been playing with this Elder that will be playing for UCLA when he gets home. He's unreal. But i can definitely keep up with him! Although he's obviously still better then me. Oh and it's official, I can dunk a basketball! I'm convinced the rims here are a few inches shorter then 10 feet, but that's not what the guy in chrge of the gym said. I guess i'll take it! It was pretty cool. So i got a lot of Dearelder's and stuff from the family this past week! Oh wait nope. I got one and that it! I guess the Dearelder system was down or something... like for real. So maybe I'll just keep telling myself that, so i won't feel as bad. haha. Send one whenever you guys want! I love getting them. Well looks like my time is up... Have fun finishing up your trip in california! And Happy Birthday Andrew! Love you guys!   Love, Elder Williams   P.S. If you guys could maybe send me some crayola color pencils 18 pack "twistables." I'd really appreciate it. They make an awesome scripture marker. If not, it's fine. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MTC Week 5 - May 22, 2012


Hope everyone had a good week! The weeks keep going by here. The days seem as long as weeks, and the weeks seem as short as days. If that makes sense. Haha. Thanks for the Dear Elders I got those are always fun to read.
Mom, I´m not sure about the mosquito netting thing, but I not gonna worry about it right now. I imagine they will let us know if we need something like that. In our ´´malaria safety´´ seminar, they told us that your apartments will most likely have screens and things to prevent mosquito's. But if not, then that is when we would need to sleep in. So I guess we´ll just wait and see! We also received our prescription for our malaria pill. We take that starting 2 days before we leave. It´s crazy to think that we leave in just 27 days! It´s not very far away.
Dad, sounds like golfing´s been fun! I´m definitely gonna miss playing. We definitely gonna be playing all summer when I get home. Deal?
I also loved reading your talk you gave in the 5th ward. That's cool you got to talk with Bro Fugal. I love him. He was such a good young men's leader. Make sure you tell him hi for me! I also loved the topic of your talk. I've noticed that you've really strived to help people understand (especially the youth in the stake) the importance of conversion. I've heard you talk about it before, but I don't think I really understood what it meant until I came out on my mission. There is definitely a difference between a testimony and being truly converted. A counselor in our branch presidency was talking to me in our weekly interview for example. He told me that the purpose of the MTC is to change testimonies into conversion in the missionaries. It is definitely important to experience that before you come out here, but also think we he said is true. I thought I had a pretty strong testimony when I came here, and I was converted. But it's amazing how much that's grown in just two weeks.
Coincidentally, I watched one of Elder Bednar's MTC devotionals on this. I loved It. He said that a testimony will never be enough for us in this life. He said that even though we might have a testimony, we are still able to fall away from the Church. He promised us that If we are truly converted to the gospel, we will never fall away.
So how do we become converted? We already know what a testimony is, but being converted is being consistently true to what you know. We need to act on our testimonies. And strive to be like our Savior. That is how. Dad, you also helped me realize the importance of this. I loved your talk, so thanks! You also made me think that it is important that I help investigators to be converted and not just have a testimony.
Anyway, my week was good! Elder L. Tom Perry came and talked to us on Tuesday! That's 3 apostles already. And I sat 4th row for Elder D. Todd Christofferson. So cool.
True or false I get along with my companion? False. We got along great the first few weeks, but it's gotten worse over time. We are having a lot of companionship inventory to clear things up. But we both strive to be obedient with exactness, so that's good. It's just impossible to have the Spirit when there is contention. So we work things out, even though we don't agree on anything.
I ran into Elder Neal Anderson (friend from high-school). He's enjoying the first week at the MTC, but is a little discouraged with the language. But everyone Is discouraged about their language. So I guess that's normal.
Other than that, not else is too new with me! I hope baseball and everything is going good with everyone. When does school get out? Is everyone excited? I would also love another NBA playoffs update. LeBron better take this year! I love him. Haha
Well have a good week everyone! Love you all!

-Elder WIllIams

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MTC Week 4 (Additional Letter) - May 16, 2012


30 Minutes is definitely not enough time for email.  Plus the computers her are super slow so it kills your time.  Especially with me being a slow typer.  Anyway, there are a few things I didn't have to to say.  The first is Mother's Day.  I hope you had a good day day Mom.  I love you!! I was obviously thinking about you all day.  Thanks for all you do for me!  I don't think there's any hygiene needs right now.  But thanks anyway. 

The next is Dad.  The other day I was thinking and I think sometimes I took for granted the fact that I have a father like you.  You've been such a big example to me, and I hope I can be like you one day.  You're my hero! 

Next is the mission plaque.  I think I've decided on Ether 12:27.  I think it might surprise you guys a little. But I read that scripture last week for some reason and I've been thinking about it a lot.  So I guess that one! 

Tell Nick he'll be getting an individual letter real soon and thanks for the one you sent.  And that I'm sorry I missed his play.  

I'll be sending one to Andrew and Morgan as well.  I'm just pretty busy, so I'll try my best. Tell them I love them!! 

Well, I don't know what else to say, but LOVE YOU GUYS! Keep sending the DearElders!!


Elder Williams

PS: True or False?  I've already had to sew on two buttons since I've been here?  It's true. So thanks for teaching me Mom! 

PSS: I think I might have one suitcase too much.  How would I get you guys one?  Leave it here when I leave?  Would you be able to pick it up? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MTC Week 4 - May 15, 2012

Another good week at the MTC! The Sequoia you bought? Sick. I wanna drive that so bad. Haha. Sounds like everything at home is going good. I love getting the dearelders and the packages. But I'm still working on all those treats, so maybe slow down with those for another week or so :) but thanks so much! 
I'm so sorry to hear about the jazz. I'm so glad I left when I did, cause I wouldn't be able to handle that. But look at the bright side, now the Suns will get a better draft pick the Jazz! So that's one advantage to not making the playoffs. Plus, the Suns won just as many playoff games as the jazz did this year... ZERO. So tell that to Kyle :) haha. Other then that, any other sports updates? Is Lebron gonna win the title this year? How are the Heat doing? And have the D-backs turned it around? Hopefully. 
Dad- Thanks for the questions you asked me, it helps me know what to send home in my email. And I love the thoughts you send me at the end of you letters. I'm always reading over those. So thanks so much! 
Let me tell you a little about my daily routine. We wake up at 6:30 and get ready and then go to our classroom and study at 7. Then we have breakfast at 7:30. Then we have class at 8. That lasts for 3 hours, and then we have another hour of study. Then lunch! The food is definitely getting old, and its hamburgers everyday for lunch. haha. Then we have an hour of language study, and then either class again or gym. We switch of having gym after diner and before dinner. Then we'll do our language lab, which is language practice on the computer. We do that for about an hour. Then after dinner, it's either gym or class like I said. Then we plan at 9 and are pack in our rooms by 9:30. Quiet time is at 10, and we should be in bed by 10:30. So there is about 6 hours of class and like 4 hours of study. It's pretty crazy. During class time is when we teach our "investigators." I really enjoy that. So we're definitely always busy here! 
I guess the computers here don't let you pull up pictures from your camera. I don't know why. So i'll have to get some developed and mail them home. 
One way we learn topics/lessons in portuguese is Preach My Gospel. I like to compare my english one to my portuguese one. That helps me a lot. But we've learned most of the gospel words used in lessons, so we just have to remember all the things we've studied. But I think that definitely helps us learn a lot faster I think. 
How has my testimony grown? I think a better question would be how hasn't my testimony grown. Haha kidding. But my testimony has definitely grown. Being constantly in the scriptures, relying on the spirit constantly while teaching, the amazing spirit felt when Elder Nelson and Elder Christofferson came. It just keeps strengthening my testimony everyday, and makes me so much more grateful for what the Savior did for us. It's truly amazing. Plus, I started the Book of Mormon over the week after I got here, because the MTC presidency challenged us to. I'm already in Helaman. So my testimony of the Book of Mormon has definitely been strengthened as well. 
As for basketball, the rule is that you don't need to do the same activity as your companion so that works out good. But I've also enjoyed playing so sand volleyball too! It's nice to be able to go outside after being inside all day. So i definitely love gym! 
Nothing on Visa information yet. But I don't think it will be a problem. The two Elder's going to Angola are actually going to New York tonight to pick up their visas. You have to pick them up in person from the Angolan Embassy. Pretty crazy right? So yeah, they go pick up their visas and then head right back to the airport. Its gonna be a long day for them! 
Well thanks again for all the letters this week! I love getting letter. And I am out of time, but I have more to say so I think I'll write a letter home as well. So you'll get that in a few days. Thanks! 
Love you all!   
-Elder Williams

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MTC Week 3 - May 8, 2012

What up?!

It’s been another good week at the MTC! I can't believe it's only been 3 weeks though. It feels like I’ve been with my companion and district for a long time. We've gotten to know each other pretty good. Nothing to exciting has happened the past week, but we've been working hard! The language is coming along, and we're teaching lessons without language books and just our knowledge. But we talk super slow, so that does make the lessons difficult sometimes. I feel like I’m struggling in the language the most out of anyone in the district, which doesn't surprise me because I struggled at Spanish so much. But I have learned a ton over the past 3 weeks. It really is amazing. The food is getting old already... I have a burger and fries everyday for lunch. It probably not very good for me. But I have to get all of that in before Africa!

Thanks so much for the packages and Dearelders. I love getting packages, and I love getting dearelders all throughout the week. But one thing is that we can’t chew gum as missionaries. So if you would not send me gum anymore, then that would be much appreciated. :) But thanks for the thoughtfulness! I've run into quite a few friends here at the MTC as well and it's really cool. Some people from Pleasant Grove and Arizona, so that's really cool. Plus Neal Anderson comes in on the 16th so that'll be good to see him!

Our zones leaders are leaving for Lisbon today. They were so awesome! Elder Tucci from Melbourne(I love his accent) and Elder Platamone from California. We've gotten to know them very well, and they will be missed for sure!

Sounds like everything is going good at home! Tell Tiffany congrats on the Associate’s  Degree! That’s awesome. That would've been fun to go down there for that. And I REALLY wish I could’ve gone to Nick's play (Joseph).  I would've been singing those songs throughout the whole thing. And obviously small babe (Andrew) is doing work in ball. He’s such a stud and going to do some amazing things with his athletic ability while I'm gone!

I apologize to people in the family who have written me dearelders and that I haven't written back.  P-days are actually pretty crazy, but I should have some time today to respond to those. So thanks so much for those!

I’m still trying to figure out the whole camera thing, cause I hate that kind of stuff. So hopefully I'll figure that out ASAP. Sorry...

I guess sometime at the beginning of June there will be 8 apostles coming to the MTC! That's when all the new Mission Presidents come to get trained. So I bet I’ll get to meet president Kretly!  I can't wait for that.

Basketball here is just sick. I was able to find some pretty good guys that play, but I wreck there.  I honestly almost threw it down so hard on this 6'4 guy it was so dirty. But the sports here can get really competitive. To be honest, I don't know if it's a good idea to have sports here. Cause it can cause a lot of problems with some elders. But it is a lot of fun!

I apologize again on my typing skill. I'm a super slow typer, and we only have 30 minutes.  If there is anything else you guys want to know, then send me a dearelder and I’ll respond to you.  Or if I think of anything else to say then I'll write another letter quick. Oh and sports updates por favor? D-back? Anything?

And in these letters I just get all my thoughts out, so sorry about the unorganized letter. Hopefully they get better!

Well I'm getting so frustrated right now because my computer keeps freezing up. I'm going to lose it. So I better get off before I break this thing.

But I just want you guys to know that I'm working hard! And I'm trying to be the best missionary I can be. The church is true. And I can't wait to go share that with Africans in 6 weeks. Keep sending letters! Love you guys!

Love, Elder Williams

PS:  Mom, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY THIS SUNDAY! They made it very clear we won't be calling, so I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be thinking about you! And thanks for everything you've done for me! I love you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MTC Week 2 - May 1, 2012

Ola meu familia!
Its Tuesday and that means I get to send another email home! Thanks for the email you've sent me, it's good to hear about what's going on at home, even though I don't really think about it much. And keep sending through dearelder.com! We get those twice a day, and whoever sends me one will get an individual letter from me :) haha. But it's been another good week! It went by actually pretty fast. A lot faster than the first week. It's been an interesting week for our district though. We had two Elders go home on friday. They both had some things they needed to take care of. One of them was going to go to Mozambique, and the other to Angola. It was disappointing to see them go, but at the same time we know they're doing the right thing. The district does seem right though even with them gone. Those two Elders didn't really work very hard and had a bad attitude about everything. Plus those two also had very serious girlfriends back where they lived and one of them was even engaged. So the moral of the story is... don't get a girlfriend before your mission! It can get you into some trouble like it did with these two Elder's. But we continue to pray for these elders and hope everything works out good for them.
So last Tuesday was our first Tuesday night devotional. We had no idea who was gonna show up, because you never know until they walk in the room. Well, it turns out that it was Elder Russell M. Nelson! We were shocked when he walked in, and the Spirit was so strong when he walked in testifying that he truly is a seer and revelator for us today. I will never forget that feeling. He talked about the 9 aspects of true doctrine which are: The godhead, the plan of salvation, the Atonement, dispensations, prophets and revelation, priesthood and priesthood keys, ordinances and covenants, marriage and family, and commandments. Super cool talk, and I got a ton of notes. Hopefully more apostles will continue to come! 
It was cool to see you guys talked to Kyle after I had lunch with him! I was shocked to see him. But super pumped as well! He said you guys are doing some type of blog? Tight! You can edit some of this if you want, because I realize I have poor grammar and typing abilities. Also thanks for all the letters from everyone in the extended family: G-ma, G-pa, Kyle, Kyle, Paula, Jarrett, Tanner, Hunter, and Hannah. Those letters definitely made me smile!
As for class wise and everything, it was a good week! The portuguese is coming along, but its easy to get discouraged. Today, me and my district are actually doing an all portuguese day! No english. But it's actually a lot tougher then we expected. Haha... so we'll see if we can make it through the day. Last night we got a new investigator which is our teacher. His name is Italo. Elder Porter and I were able to go in and get to know him, ask him about his beliefs, invite him to read the Book of Mormon, and share our testimony's about it. We did all that without looking at any notes or books. So that shows how much of the language we're learning!
The food is getting old, but it's good every once in awhile! the unlimited chocolate milk and coke (caffeine free) definitely makes it better! Gym is also still sick, they opened up the field outside so me and my district have been playing soccer the past few days! We gotta get ready for Africa!
The worst part about the MTC, is that they get you so pumped to get out into the field! I just wanna get out to Mozambique so bad. But it seems like forever away. But it's alright, we'll continue to work hard and take advantage of the time we do have here.
You guys bought a Sequoia? That's sick! Send a picture of it!
Sorry i''m kinda running out of time. thanks for the packages! I love getting the treats! It wasn't peanut butter popcorn, but it was like kettle corn or something? Still good! Glad baseball and the play went good! I know everyone did awesome. Sad to hear about Sis Dayton. I'm glad I’ve gotten to know Bro Dayton better recently. Well I better go! I have so much more to say so maybe I'll send a letter too! Goodbye!

Elder Williams