|Elder Williams is middle right (yellow tie)|
Monday, August 27, 2012
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!
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 9:06 AM
Monday, August 20, 2012
I can't believe how fast the weeks go. Like seriously. I swear I was just barely sitting in front of this computer sending an email home. I didn't think it was possible for weeks to go this fast. But, they do. Haha. It was another amazing week here with some good experiences, bad experiences, and a variety of inbetween. Well, not bad experiences, just hard experiences. But it was definitely a good week!
We've been sooo busy! That's because we have so many investigators, and it's busy to find time for them, while finding 35 new potential families a week as well. (President Kretly's goal for us). Yeah, President doesn't mess around. It's so sick! I love it.
We were able to give more of our investigators baptismal dates this week, so now we have about twelve or so. And that will be getting even bigger this week! So I'm excited for that. Hopefully I'll be around to see these amazing people get baptized though. I don't know how long I'll be here in Quelimane! But hopefully for a lot longer. Me and Elder Workman will have our first investigator here in Quelimane get baptized here this Saturday. So I'm really excited for that! His name is Raul. He's had a rough life including his baby dying, and his wife leaving him. Plus, he is actually extremely sick as well. So he excepted the gospel super fast. I'm really excited for him, and I'll be looking forward to it. We taught him every lesson, and we get to see him be baptized. And I guess a lot of missionaries don't get that chance cause Elder's are always coming in and out of areas. So that's really cool!
Some of our investigators are progressing so fast! Some people are so ready for the gospel, and it's just a matter of us finding them. For example, we are teaching this women now named Dominica. She is an unbelievable woman. Interesting story on how we found her. So one day, (about a month and a half ago) we were knocking doors. This lady let us in, and we shared a brief a brief message with her on God's plan for us here on the Earth. She was super active in her faith, but she had a friend that would be interested because she had recently lost her husband in a freak accident. So she gave us Dominica's number. We called her that day, and met a time and a place to meet. But she never showed up. So that was the end of that.
But then, we were at one one of our investigators house, Jazila. And there was a women who happened to show up there who was friends with Jazila. We introduced ourselves, and she said she had some Elder's number, but never called. Then when she gave us her name, we put it all together. So we made an appointment to go to her house, and we taught all the lessons except for the commandments all in one week. She will be getting baptized very soon, and she is so ready for the gospel. So it's amazing the "coincidence" of us running into people ready for the gospel. God is guiding us each day to find these people. It's so cool!
We also have other families that are progressing really well. So I'll keep you updated on them as we find out where they are going this week. But we did lose one family this week, that we thought had a lot of promise. Jaime and Jubete are a young couple with two young kids. We have been teaching them for a few weeks, and we thought they were progressing nicely. They even received an answer to prayers about the Restoration! So it was really hard this week, when they told us to not come back anymore. They know it's true, but they didn't understand the need for another baptism, or a second baptism after they've already been "baptized." We tried everything to help them understand. But it is their choice. It hurt to lose them. Quelimane needs a family like that in the church. And they needed the church so bad. But maybe one day, when other Elder's knock on their door, they'll invite them in again. I know that'll happen one day.
So that's just a little bit about the people we've been teaching. I'll try to talk about a few investigators each week and tell you about everyone we've been teaching.
Oh yeah, I gave a talk yesterday in church! It was the first talk I knew about in advance and could prepare for. Elder Osborn let me choose my own topic, and I choose to talk about sacrifice. I talked about how The Savior made the ultimate sacrifice, so it's easy for us to make some commitments and sacrifice our lives for him. I think it was important to share, because most of the people that come to church are investigators. So hopefully they'll start keeping more of their commitments! But I was so nervous. And I'm worried that people didn't understand me. But people said they understood, so that's good. But after the mission, I will be grateful to give talks in English, to members. Haha that's childs play compared to talking in a different language to people who already don't know the material. So it's a lot of pressure to give good talks here! Cause I know they truely do help these people.
So I actuallt had hot showers this week! WHOO! First time in like a month. So that was nice. You honestly have no idea. It was like Christmas. Haha so we'll see how long the hot showers will last. And oh, you won't believe the size of spider I saw last week. Unreal. It had a really small body, but the legs were ridiculously big. Each leg was like the size of my hand. Haha it was crazy! But that's the only one I've seen.
We do have a chance to teach at church a little bit. Whether it's gospel principles, or primary, or youth. I love helping out in primary. The kids honestly never get old. Haha I love them!
This past Saturday, was by far the busiest day since being out in the field. You won't believe how many lessons we taught. Me and Elder Workman taught 14 lessons in one day! We were so busy. That's the most he's had in one day in over 2 years now. That means we got to help 14 families come unto Christ in one day! And we taught 44 lessons to investigators during the week. Not including us teaching recent converts. So that shows how busy we are! My companion's time is coming to a close in about 3 weeks... But I'm glad he's not "trunky'' and he's still going hard. People would have no idea that he was going home so soon. That's the kind of missionary I want to be when my time is coming to a close. He's definitely a good example, and helps me a ton. He's definitely a good guy!
Well, sounds like everything back home was good this week. I love hearing from all of you and everything about what's going on. Sounds like a lot of things are changing! But definitely for the better. Good luck with school this week, and getting ready for preschool! Sounds like a busy week. Let me know how it goes! Have a good week and love you all!
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 8:13 AM
Monday, August 13, 2012
Sounds like it was a busy week back home! Everyone has a lot of things going on. First of all, I just wanted to apologize for not telling Britt and Geoff, and also Mom and Dad a happy anniversary. I was trying hard to remember last week so I could put it in my email, but then I forgot... so sorry about that! But I hope you all had happy anniversaries! I can't believe it's already been a year for Britt and Geoff. So crazy. And 24 years for Mom and Dad? So crazy.
And also we have a birthday this week! I can't believe Morgan is already turning 7. She's growing super fast! That's hilarious she wants to go to the mall for her birthday. Should be a fun day. Happy Birthday Morgan!
That's good you were able to sit with Elder Petersen and look at pictures and stuff. I bet it was a little over-whelming for him with all that family there. But I'm glad you guys got some good info! Considering I haven't sent one picture home... sorry about that. I gotta start taking more pictures! I'll take a lot this week I promise. That doesn't surprize me that he said Quelimane was his favorite place. I honestly love it. The church is just starting to get going, and it has so much potential. A lot of missionaries want to serve here I guess. I could honestly stay in my area for the whole two years. And I wouldn't mind at all! I love my investigators and there will be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of members here after two years. I know it.
So let me tell you a cool story about one of our investigators, Cornelio. We had a really cool story with him this past weekend and it really helped strengthen my testimony about keeping the sabbath day holy. So Saturday night, we went to go visit him and teach him. When we got there, we got talking and he said that he wasn't going to be able to make it to church the next morning. Since Elder Petersen started teaching him in April, Cornelio has not missed one Sunday of church. Pretty amazing. But Cornelio's conflict this week was that he had a really good opprotunity with his music on the past Sunday. (yesterday). There was a huge music event going on, and he was supposed to go and sell cd's and he also had a show planned. This kid doesn't have anything, and his house is smaller then my bedroom back home pretty much. So this was a huge opprotunity for him to get his name out more, and he was even supposed to recieve money at this event yesterday. But during our lesson we talked about sacrifice and keeping the sabbath day holy. He said it's a really hard decision for him, and he didn't know what to do. Especially because there would be people waiting for him at the show and they would be mad if he didn't show up. But he said "it's better that those people are mad at me then God." So he decided he'd come to church. What a sacrifice! Unbelievable. I was so excited when I saw him walk through the gate for church yesterday. He straight up didn't show up for his show. What a stud. He even brought a referral! So we'll be teaching her this week. It's amazing to see people give up their lives for the gospel.
This past week we also had some good insight from President Kretly on what he wants to do with the mission. He said our baptismal rate is embarrassing, and we need to step it up. Throughout the whole mission, he wants one thousand baptisms per month. And I'm honestly not kidding. So that's our goal that he wants us to work towards. And I think it's possible as well. We just have to be all in and give everything we got. I guess when Elder Scott dedicated Mozambique he said it would be the African standard for the church one day. And I think that will be true, but we have a long way to go. So I'm ready for it!
You guys shouldn't be too worried about what I'm eating or anything. I cook with another Elder in the house and we seems to do a pretty good job. But I have gotten more skinny since the MTC... But I'll be doing push-ups and sit-ups so that I'm not to skinny and scrawny. Haha.
But yes, the toothpaste is the worst. It's from South Africa, so it's not to bad. But it's definitely not American toothpaste. Haha oh well. I just brush more often to make up for it.
Also, yes there isn't contact solution, but it's all good because an Elder left behind 2 bottles of it full. So that should keep me good for a few more months. I'll keep you updated.
The language is coming along and I can understand a lot now actually. It's amazing how fast I was able to learn! But I still have a long way to go obviously...
Justen Kho told me he's going to Hong Kong... Bahahahaha! I knew it. I've told him that for years. But I'm excited for him, and I know he's going to be an awesome missionary. Hong Kong is in for a treat!
I'm so glad Cade finally got his visa! I was thinking he wasn't going to get it at all, and he'd be stuck in Kansas. But I'm glad he finally gets to go down there. You'll have to let me know when he gets down there!
Also, l got Dear Elders last week, and that was a treat. I love getting those. I got a nice letter from Sister Squires in the ward. So if you could tell her that I got it, and thanks for the letter, I'd really appreciate it! It really did mean a lot.
I don't know what else to really share, with this limited time, but when does school start back home? Is Nick excited to start seminary for the first year? That's super weird he's starting seminary. I wanna hear all about school!
Well I love hearing for you all! I really love reading every word. I'm fine here in Africa, and I hope you all have a good week!
Love you all!
ps. Church is true :)
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 8:17 AM
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
I really loved the emails this week. Sounds like a lot of fun stuff is going on back home and that everyone is super busy! But that's good. First of all, that's super crazy that you talked with Elder Peterson. I'm in his last area right now! I took over all his former investigators. But that will be really cool to be able to talk to him. You'll have to tell him that we are doing some great things in this area and we have probably about ten investigators with baptismal dates. And that number will grow this week as we're planning on taking that next step with a few other investigators. So I'm super excited for that! I've heard all about Elder Petersen from the Elders in the house. He left like a few days before I showed up here in Quelimane. Sounds like he was a great missionary!
That's good that Elder Osborn is sending you pictures! Someone's gotta do it... haha. But I think one of them is with Cornelio and Gil. Cornelio is in the white shirt in that picture. That is who we've been teaching for awhile, and things are going well with him. Maybe tell Elder Petersen that Cornelio will be finishing up the Book of Mormon here in like two weeks. He's such a stud. And where those pictures are at, is where we have church. It's just a really small chapel thing right now, but that's because Quelimane is the newest area in the mission. So hopefully we'll be able to get the ball rolling here and get some more strong families.
Dad, that's so cool that you were able to run into your mission president. That's so amazing. I bet that was a cool experience for you. We've talked about your mission before, but I wish I would've asked you more about it and some of the experiences you had. But missions really do change lives. It's amazing how our testimony grows when we are constantly worrying about how we can help others peoples testimonies grow. It's pretty amazing.
Life here in Quelimane is still amazing! I made it through my first transfer, and our house stayed the same for the most part. We lost Elder Tanner, but we gained another Elder that I knew from the mtc. So I'm excited for things that are going on here. The people are so nice. I've never seen anything like it. Haha it's so weird. I think I got used to being the minority now. And I think now I'm used to not seeing white people. I'll see an occasional one around the city and it's so weird! Haha.
The language is coming along, and I can pretty much understand most of whats being said. I just need to better conjugate my verbs. But it's definitely getting better everyday. It's easy to improve when forty-four lessons are being taough a week. Cause I improve a little bit each lesson. But the people here are so nice, and are SO READY for the gospel. It's amazing to teach some and then have them start crying because this is what they've waited for in their lives. And it really does happen. I'm so blessed to be among these amazing people. And I love serving them. I miss everyone at home, but I would not want to leave this people either. I would not mind staying in Quelimane my whole misson. Haha but that's obviously not gonna happen.
I get along with Elder Workman, my companion very well. His mtc group has already gone home, but he wanted an extension. He'll go home after this transfer. He's definitely making the most out of the time he has left. I'm glad I got the trainer I did. He knows his time is coming to an end, so he makes the most of it. It's amzing to see how much time missionaries really waste. It's sad. But me and Elder Workman are getting results because we are working hard. And God is helping us because we're doing our part. That's so important with missionary work.
Also, I got Dear Elders this week from Nana and Pops and some friends back home.
Nana and Pops, I love getting those and they really do encourage me a lot. Thanks for everything you do for me! I love you!
But mom and dad, maybe if you could put this email address up on my blog, that would be apprecited. No one gets hand-written letters here. And I'd love to hear from my friends back home through email. Even though I might not have time to respond... But that would be greatly apprecitated!
Well I better go, But I want all you to know that I'm happy! I love doing his even though it is exhausting every single day. Don't worry about me over here :) I'm fine, and working hard. Love you all!
ps. The church is true.
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 5:46 AM