Monday, July 30, 2012

Quelimane - Week 15

Dear Family, 

Another very fast and busy week has gone by. I can't believe how fast the weeks go! It really is crazy. The days are so long... but I enjoy each day as well. Elder Workman and I had a pretty busy week this past week. We had tons of lessons, and found tons of new families. It's interesting, because all growing up in church and seminary and stuff, I heard that knocking doors wasn't very effective, because barely anyone ever lets the missionaries in. But that's not the case! We can pretty much get into any house we want, and if not, we can schedule a time to come back. It's pretty amazing. But we are crammed with investigators right now! From Tuesday to Saturday last week, we taught thirty-six lessons to investigators. That's a pretty good number. And we should have even more this week, so that's exciting!
Sounds like this week was a good one! I guessed I missed the "every 5th sunday" get together yesterday. Sorry about that. I miss those! They were honestly so fun. And a volleyball set? That's sweet! I would've wrecked everyone's day for sure! So good thing I wasn't there. Haha just kidding.
I can't believe Nick is going to EFY (Especially for Youth) today. He's a growing buddy! Haha but he's really going to have so much fun. Nick, make sure you pick up on all the honey's! That's pretty much the whole point of EFY. Haha kidding again. But Nicholas, if you go in with a good attitude, you'll learn a lot. To this day I still remember my first EFY and I still talk with some people I met there. One of the most spiritual experiences I've had was in my first EFY testimony meeting. I still think about that every once in awhile. So make sure you have a lot of fun, but don't do anything to stupid. You'll have a blast!
Tiff asked some good questions about my area and church and stuff, so I'll give some answers. We only have one ward here in Quelimane, and there is probably about 15 members. But about 87 or so come to church every week. Most of them are investigators. Elder Osborn is very cautious with baptisms, but President Kretly wants one every week! So the baptisms will be coming pretty soon! I'm excited to see the group here grow.
A lot of the people here live in very bad apartments. One's that were built by the Portuguese. So people either live in those, or in houses that they pretty much built themselves. It's kinda cool teaching in huts! But it's really sad when we teach there at night and all they have is a candle for the whole family in a one room hut. Everyone spends their days outside. I kinda relate the living here to camping. Everyone is pretty much camping all the time. Kinda crazy.
The church is only two hours long. We have an hour of sacrament, and then an hour where everyone splits up. Into primary, principles of the gospel, and youth. I've been able to spend time in all three classes, as well as help in primary a few times. I love helping in primary, especially when they sing! They sing so loud! Haha it's really cool.
Yesterday at church, we didn't have the Osborn's or or zone leaders here with us at church because they were traveling. So we had to run church with just the 4 of us Elders. Mom, you would be proud to know that I played prelude music! Whoo! Haha.
But I felt really bad that I wasn't able to play any of the church hymns for that day. So we didn't use a piano. I felt so bad. Usually Sister Osborn plays, but she was gone. If only I knew how!
We do have ovens and stoves, and running water and everything, but most people don't. They cook in these little dutch oven types of things. And they go to wells to get water. It's so crazy to see how people live. And I guess I'm in a "rich" area. Which is what I learned this week. Haha so that was interesting news.
I can't get enough of the kids here. Some of them are scared of us and start crying, but most of them love us! Especially the ones that lives around our house. We chase them around and stuff during lunch and sometimes they'll watch us play soccer. I love them! But sometimes when we're studying they'll try to get us to come out and play. They don't understand how busy we are! Haha
I got an email from Taylor just barely and he's doing good! Same with Cade as well. He is still in Kansas though. He might never get his visa to Argentina. So we'll see about that.
Well, it's been a good week, and I love you all! Hope you have a good week, and don't forget to read your scriptures everyday! 

Love you!
-Elder Williams

Monday, July 23, 2012

Quelimane - Week 14

Well, this is weird. It feels like I was just barely emailing like 2 days ago. Haha. Time flies! It's so crazy. It's been a another good week!
Glad to be able to hear from all you! Sounds like the family and everyone is doing good.
Small Babe, I'm super pumped about small babe's baseball tournament. That's unreal! 41-1 over two years is unbelievable. I wish I could've been there for sure! But I know he''ll be winning a lot more state championships once I'm home anyway, so I'll be around for those.
Nick, that's tight you'll be trying out for the soccer team. I know you'll do great! Obviously you'll do great. And if Coach Bayles is still the coach, then tell him you're my brother. He loves me. He used to let me watch march madness with him in class, while the student teacher was teaching. Haha so he'd love you! But I don't think he's the coach anymore... but we'll see.
Mom, the organ huh? That's super tight! That would be pretty scary playing in front of everyone at church, but you'll do great. And that's crazy that you have 3 callings now! They're definitely keeping you busy.
Dad, I too hurt sometimes not being able to be home with everyone. The family is quickly changing and I want to be a part of it! It's almost like I'm dead over here with little communication, and everyone is living thier lives over there. But that's what sacrifice is all about I guess. It would be selfish of me to live the gospel, and not go around and share it with others. So I know this is where I'm supposed to be. And sounds like trek is going to be unreal. Trek really can change lives. I look back on my youth, and trek really helped me to be able to feel the Spirit better. Those experiences were some of the strongest times I've felt the Spirit, until the mission obviously. You're really lucky to be able to have a big part in helping the youth get on missions. So I'm excited for next summer for you!
Tiff, Taco Amigo. Bahaha! Haha I think this is hilarious. It really is a good job. Good environment as well. Plus you get to work with Britt and Hudson! So that's tight! I honestly miss taco amigo so bad. I miss the coke with the perfect ice balls, the fries with the taco amigo fry sauce, and a big amigo. So delicious. Way better then rice and beans. Haha. Sounds like you had a good run in the call center. Haha. But I'm super excited for you guys to move in. Tell me how it goes!
Britt, thanks for the email! Oh wait... Haha just kidding. I'll probably get it in a few minutes anyway. Hope everything is going good with You and G. Love you!
Morgan, Good luck with the dance tryout! I know you did great! Love you!
So it was a good week here in Quelimane. I finally met President Kretly and his wife. They bought us dinner on Tuesday night, and then they had to leave for the week but came back yesterday for church. They both spoke, and then President Kretly gave us his training. He's given thousands of trainings all over the world, so he knows what he's doing. He has many plans for our mission and wants stakes NOW. He has a plan to have 2 stakes by the end of the year. One in Maputo, and one in Beira. There is yet to be a stake here in Mozambique. He says there is no excuse why each companionship shouldn't be getting 2 baptisms a transfer. It was a way cool training! It made me even more pumped and ready to serve. He already knew me because of my video, and Uncle Rusty. SO that was cool. But I got to know him a lot better this past week, and I'm really excited to be able to work with him more. You can follow his blog at Obviously I made the blog. Haha.
Their son also came with them for the first few weeks. He returned from his mission from Tokyo about a year ago, and he know Parker as well! So that was kind of cool. He's a cool kid, and speaks fluent English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. Pretty crazy.
This week was a good week teaching as well! I can understand most of what everyone says and I can respond. It's pretty amazing how fast I picked things up. I  KNOW there must have had help to help me learn the language. The Spirit is definitely helping me. I seen the gift of tongues first hand. And it's humbling.
As for Cornelio, we are still working with him, he's chaged his life to live the gospel. He pretty much teaches the Principles of the Gospel class. It's amzing. We continue to teach him and help him prepare. I love him to death. Plus, he's super sick. Haha
A few of our other investigators are planning on getting baptized next month. Jazilla, Hotencilio and Helena, and Raul. They have commited, but we could be commiting a few more this week, so I'll let you know! I don't really have a crazy stories this week, since we did have our water. But I did get to dribble a basketball for the first time in awhile! These kids had one and they let me show them my ball handling abilites. They were in shock. It was pretty sweet. I even saw a kid wearing a steve nash mavericks jersey! Haha it was sweet. We've also seen a BYU shirt, and diamondbacks rec shirt. It was sweet! Everything everyone wears is given from people in the states. So sad.
Well I think that's it for this week! Wasn't very intersting, but I'm doing well! I hope you all have a good week. I do miss you all like crazy, but I can honestly say I have not been homesick once. President Benson promised if we work to our full potencial, we won't be homesick. SO I'll continue to go hard, and know I have been working hard. I've already seen a big change in myself. Have A good week! 
Love you!

-Love Elder Williams

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quelimane - Week 13

What up?

Man, the weeks really fly by here. It's crazy. Sounds like you've guys have had a fun, busy week. Glad you had fun though! That's too bad that it was really hot and stuff like that while camping. Did you go to go home to a hot shower and electricity? Haha.
That's good you were able to go with the Bushnell's as well. I got an email from Bronson in Portuguese, so that was really cool! I understood the whole email, so hopefully I'll have time to respond back to him!
Like I said, this week was was really good! Except for that our house didn't have water for a few days. It's pretty discouraging coming home after walking around in the hot weather and being covered in sweat and not being able to shower. And then doing that for 3 days in a row. Haha I definitely felt pretty dirty! But we have water now, so it's all good.
Thanks for taking care of that letter and sending it to AC's Mom. I didn't have much time to do that, but I will definitely have time next time. It's good to hear how all of my friends are doing throughout the world. And I'm glad you're able to talk with my friends Mom's as well! I hope you can continue to get to know them better!
Nothing too crazy happened this week, but I did have few amazing experiences. One specifically stands out, and I'm still thinking about it. Let me tell you about it.
So on friday, our district did splits. I was really nervous for this day, cause my companion was going to be going with our district leader in his area. This means that I was going to have to show my area to another Elder (the district leader's companion.) Since it was my area, and he didn't know our investigators or the area, I was the "leader" I guess for the day. I was going to lead all the lessons and the Elder I was with was going to let me take control. But I ended up growing in the language that day a ton, so that was good. But anyway, we had an appointment later that night with a family that we had met by knocking doors. We shared a brief message that night, and the wife especially had looked really interested. We were very optimistic for this family. Which is why I was nervous to not have my companion there, cause I didn't want to blow it with bad Portuguese. But, we went to the lesson anyway. Obviously.  When she answered the door, she said her husband was gone. We were bummed, but we felt like we should go in a teach her anyway. So we went with it. I led everything, and everything came out naturally. I ended up teaching her the entire Restoration, with asking her questions here and there. The Spirit was so strong, and when we started talking about Thomas S. Monson, she broke down. She said she couldn't explain what she was feeling but I told her that it was the Holy Ghost testifying that this was true. And that President Monson is the prophet of God. We even set a baptisimal date to work for! All in one lesson. It was the coolest thing of my life. It was, and still is humbling that the Lord lets me play a major part in changing this ladies life. Our message is so important. We're helping change lives for eternity. It's super cool. So that's something really cool that happened this past week.
President Kretly comes into Quelimane on Tuesday, tomorrow. He's taking us to dinner at like 7, so that will be fun. But I'm a little nervous to meet him! But way excited as well.
One thing I've really grown to love on my mission is scripture study. The Book of Mormon is so good! I love being able to study it everyday. We take it for granted I think, but we NEED the Book of Mormon in our lives. Especially living in the world, it's a good reminder everyday of what's important. I want to challenge Nicholas, to read the Book of Mormon everyday until I come home, and to read it all the way through. Even if it's just a chapter a day. I've become a better person when I put in a real effort into scripture study, trying to learn more. I want to challenge everyone to do it! It's really not that hard to find a little bit of time everyday. You'll be blessed if you do!
One thing I really enjoy doing is playing soccer every morning. Some times, some locals come and play with us too! So fun. Some of them have some real good skills. I'm getting better too. Haha it's pretty fun!
Our other investigators are going good as well. I've developed a real love for them. I honestly take a bullet in the face for every single one of them. Which is impressive considering a few months ago I "hated" everyone I'd see on the street. Haha so that is getting better.
Morgan, thanks for the message! I love you too! Have a fun summer!
Small Babe, Good look with you baseball tournament. And yes, i will be gone for awhile, but don't think about it, and it'll fly by!
Nick, start preparing for your mission now. You can't prepare too early. Do whatever you need to do to find good friends. That's the biggest influence on teenagers. We have amazing parents, but sadly in this world, we think our friends influence us more. So pray everyday that you can find good ones.
Mom and Dad, Thanks for the awesome example you have been to me. My patriarchal blessing says I will be "eternally grateful for my parents" and I've already felt that. So thanks so much. I've learned so much from you. Just keep having FHE every week. It's easy to get distracted, but those 3 kids need to gain testimonies on what's really important. And so far you are 3 for 3 raising kids, so I know you'll help them as well.
And Mom, one more thing. This is the day you've been waiting for for my entire life. Haha because this is the day that I tell you I regret quiting the piano. Haha will you teach me when I get home? Don't let Nick and Andrew quit. Haha they'll regret it.
Well, I hope you all have a good week! You're in my prayers.
Love, Elder Williams

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quelimane - Week 12

Whats up!

First of all, did Steve Nash really get traded to the Lakers? That's the worst news I've ever heard in my entire life. Who did the Suns get in return? I need to know.
Haha well anyway, the week went by so fast! The days seem like weeks, and the weeks seem like days. I go to bed exhausted every night because we walk all over. But I'll get used to it.
Sounds like camping and 4th of July and everything was fun. I really do miss doing those things. They were so fun! And I bet it's weird with only the 3 kids at home.
The Portuguese is coming along. I feel differently about the language every single day. Some days I'm very confident and I can understand people, and other days I feel completely useless and that I'll never learn the language. But I always go back and think at how much I've learned in such a short time. It really is a miracle. I've noticed that when I really focus on what the investigator is saying, and do my best to understand, I always know what to say. The Spirit is willing to help when we give an effort.
One thing I've really enjoyed this week is my personal study. I found a way to study the scriptures like never before. There is a difference between reading the scriptures, and studying them. Reading them is wonderful, and we learn so much when we read. But when we really study, we get SO much more out of it. It's crazy. I look forward to that one hour of personal study each day. I was an idiot in the past for not studying as much as I should have.
So President Kretly is here in Mozambique! We meet him the 18th, and I'm pumped. The zone leaders went down to Maputo for a training by him. President Kretly is a serious business man, so he means business. He has some big goals for us in making stakes and wards within his time. He thinks everyone needs to step it up here. Which is good, cause everyone can always do a little better. He's the perfect president for me, and he's definitley gonne help me to be the best missionary I can be.
The food here is... interesting. I decided to try to take up cooking this past week, and it didn't work. I made rice and beans, and rice and potatoes and the world's worst tasting hot dog. Haha so bad. Two of the Elder's in the house realized that I didn't know how to cook for myself so they took me under their wing. The three of us cook together, and we made homemade salsa and homemade chips, and we have a good week of food planned for this week as well. I'm glad they offered to help me. I needed it bad. I was getting sick of the peanut butter and jelly, and the tasteless oatmeal. Haha.
Our investigators are going good. President Kretly has the goal of each companionship get two baptisms every transfer. That's a lot. But definitley possible. We're teaching quite a few people right now and a few families as well. There are a lot of Muslims here, and we need President's permission to teach them, because Muslims can be killed for betraying their faith if we teach them. Even killed by their own families. There was an awesome Muslim family we were teaching but they told us not to come back because it would be to hard for them because they are big examples in their faith. They loved everything we had to say too, so that made it hard. But hopefully they'll get a chance to except it later.
The shower here is... interesting. The hot water doesn't work. It's the worst thing. The Elder's say I should just get used to cold showers. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. Haha plus the power goes out like twice a week. It's the worst.
Oh and it is impossible to avoid mosquiotes here. Our apartmnet is full of them. I'm constantly swatting them. Such a pain. Hopefully my pills continue to kill the Malaria! Haha kinda scary.
The beach last week was sweet! The Osborn's said we could go into the water up to our ankles. Haha. But it was way warm! We played football and had sandwhiches and tried catching crabs. So much fun. There were fishermen all up and down the coast selling fish one the beach. The biggest tuna's you'd ever see! Some shark as well. It was crazy.
Well anyway, I don't know what else to say.. If I think of more during my email to President then I'll write more.

I Love you guys! 

Be grateful for the way you live!


Elder Williams

Monday, July 2, 2012

Photo - Bike Taxi!

Elder Williams on a bike taxi... the major form of transportation.  The fare is about 18 cents.  

Quelimane Week 11 - July 2, 2012

What up!

This place is so sick. You have no idea. I'm glad you guys have been able to read the Osborn's blog. I'm glad they have one. Then you can know how I'm doing throughout the whole week. Did you see my shaved head? Haha I look like an idiot and it's so weird. One of the Elders in the house cut it. That's how I'll be getting my haircut for the next 2 years I guess.

So yeah we had a baptism last Saturday, and it was super different then the average baptism. The font was just a giant tub of water outside the chapel. It was crazy. Plus the membership in Quelimane pretty much doubled in one day. Haha.

The people here are so nice. It's crazy. They don't have a thing, but they are so happy! Everyone loves saying hello and they are so friendly. They are also so willing to talk about God. It's funny cause whenever we are tracting, we'll go and knock on a door, and at one of the houses we hadn't even had the chance to say anything before he invited us in! So crazy.

Funny story about that actually, so one day we're walking up and down the street and we see a huge house. (mozambique standards). And we decided to go and knock on the door. So this lady answers the door and we explained how we had a message about Jesus Christ. She invited us in and then we sat down. Then she went and invided the rest of the household downstairs for our message. But it was super awkward cause as I'm sitting there, I'm looking around and noticing pictures of Nuns around the house. Then, down the stairs walks like 7 Nuns. Haha funniest thing ever and so awkward as you could imagine. So we shared a brief message and left. We laughed about it later, but just kind of a funny experience!

We have a lot of investigators as well! Usually our days are full of lessons. Which is good cause it helps me learn the language faster. But since me and Elder Workman were both new to this area, most of the people we teach we found the first few days, and marked return appointments. So pretty cool!

One investigator specifically is Cornelio. He is about a 22 or 23 year old kid, and actually a singer with a top 5 song in Mozambique. He so nice and honest and wants to know God better. But he's been struggling with addictions. The past week we've really been trying to get him to recognize the Spirit in his life. So Saturday night, we challenged him to pray that night and ask if the things we had been teaching is true. And he committed to doing that. As you could imagine, I prayed hard that night for him, and even fasted for the purpose of him to recieve an answer. The next morning at testimony meeting, he got up and bore his testimony that he had recieved an immediate answer. I was so pumped! I honestly love him and I'm so glad our prayers were answered. Now we are gonna help him continue to get over his addictions so he can be baptized. Super cool experience! And I know I'll have many more where God answers our prayers and helps an investigator.

The work that we are doing is so important. Last night, Elder Workman and I had like a 2 hour chat which actually ended up being a very successful companion study. I realized that nothing really else matters in the world then the gospel. And we have the ability, through the spirit, to change lives forever. And it really does hurt when someone rejects it. They don't understand the importance of our message.  It also hurts not being able to say everything in Portuguese I want to say because of my limited vocabulary. But I know I'll learn over time.

There are also some sad things that I've seen here. The people treat dogs and cats like garbage. I've never seen so many dead dogs in my life. It's the worst.

My bed bug bites healed. Finally! But they got replaced with some pretty wicked spider bites. Haha they hurt so bad. And itch like crazy. Hopefully it's not to serious?

We had the opprotunity to "pilar" rice with an investigator the other day. It's the african way of breaking up rice or something. Super fun. You guys should look it up. But it's funny cause the people think it SO funny to watch a  white person do it. So they all gather around. Especially all the kids! They gather around and just laugh. Haha it's so funny. I love the kids. They are all shocked that they are looking at a white person. One little girl even cried when she looked at us and ran anyway. Maybe she's never seen a white person before? There are honestly NO white people here. It's nuts.

The Osborn's are taking us to the beach today! Whoo! So pumped. We're gonna play football and have food and everything. Should be fun. I'm curious to see how nice the beach will be. I guess Quelimane doesn't have a very nice one. But it's probably still pretty.

Well, that was my week! They say the first few weeks in the field are the hardest, but I really do enjoy it and I'm happy! But it is hard. I go to bed exhausted everyday. It's amazing how much my testimony has grown each and everyday. I'm glad I'm here!

I hope you have a wonderful week. 

Love and miss you!
-Elder Williams