Monday, November 28, 2011

photos Nov. 28

More photos Nov. 28

photos from the Zone Conf. Nov. 28, 2011

nov. 28 some answers...

Most difficult trial: The members here in Sakubva largely don't have a family sense or what I feel is a strong vision of the Gospel
I am seeing how the difficulties I see are some that have been specially prepared for me to learn and grow in the ways that I need the most growth.
My companion and I both have a love for music, and I feel this is a way in which we can begin to help these people truly understand the gospel they profess to follow.
The people in this area are so caring for those they see. There is a familial sense in the community, but as a result, someone would rather lie to your face than to tell you what you don't want to hear.

I love you so much, and will continue on more in the larger letter.

with love,
~Elder Taggart Williams

NOV. 28 zone conference

Hello family and friends,
I come to you at the conclusion of what has been an eventful week, which concluded (today) quite nicely.

At the start of the week, my companion and I were preparing for 4 people to be baptized. On Tuesday, we stopped by a member's house. Sister D help us teach often, but has been under the weather (I gave here an oil concoction for stomach issues and she is feeling much better now, and didn't have to go to the hospital). When we were leaving, we saw her cat which had apparently tried eating a plastic bag and had been successful in at least passing said article through its digestive tract, if not doing anything to it. But, back to the point, the bag was in the process of being removed from it's body in what I can only imagine was a fairly slow, slightly painful, and really funny to see way. We had Zone Conference on Friday, and in preparation these last 2 weeks, one thing led to another and I was conducting our Zone song: Battle Hymn of the Republic. In the end, they all relented and we followed the ideas I had for the song (based largely on a version of it we did at American Heritage School) and it ended up sounding quite good despite the fact that almost nobody in our zone has a vocal musical background besides myself (not trying to be mean, just stating the facts). The Mission President and his wife were impressed, and Sister Dube (the Mission Presidents wife) even told us we were the best Zone Choir in the Mission. Some people were complaining (mostly jokingly) that they would expect even better next transfer, so I am trying to think of some good hymn Ideas (so far, I have thought of "Be still my soul" or "Where can I turn for peace"). If you have any good ideas that would probably be more to the liking of the other missionaries, feel free to shoot them to me (though not at my face. I can't catch things with my face very well).

On Saturday, we had a zone car wash in town, and despite bad initial organization, it ended up being a pretty big success. We washed a lot of cars (even a bus), got really wet, and met a lot of people.
Sadly, the baptism wasn't as good as we were hoping, but Brother Jerold was still baptized. I was able to do the baptizing, and when we got into the font, the water was a little too low, and there was a large spider in the water, as well as a drowned millepede (I guess they can't float as well as spiders or swim as well as fish =/ ). After re-clearing the font, I baptized Jerold (first time baptizing someone as a living ordinance) and we all ate the doughnuts (the doughnuts here are more like frosted or cream-stuffed scones shaped like doughnuts). As we were planning for much more than we had there, we gave seconds, and took the rest (20-30) home. We still have some left!
Apparently, sister Tinash skipped out on us, and we didn't see her at church on Sunday. Brother Wonder was also no-where to be seen.
On Sunday, we went into our area to pick people up, and we stopped first by Brother Wonder's house. He said he needed to bathe, so we told him we'd be back in half an hour or so. We went around to other investigators, and none were willing or able to come to church. We stopped again by Wonder's place, and he was gone. We asked where he was, and some people said he had gone to work, and others to church. We were almost late so we decided to head to church and hope he was en route as well. We got there, and ended up having 3 investigators at church. 1 who is almost ready to be baptized (wasn't able to this last week because she was out of town when we were planning on seeing her), and Deniss Minuki (the amazing boy mentioned earlier in these letters) who AGAIN brought a friend to church; he isn't even baptized yet, he's 12 years old, and he does more missionary work than most members in the branch, if not the zone.
After church, we went into our area, and around dinner time, we went to see an investigator who is progressing nicely and we saw, guess who: Brother Wonder there. Drunk. We said hello and immediately goes off into the "I'm sorry!"s. It took us a few minutes to get him to admit he had been drinking, and when he finally admitted it, we told him we were disappointed in him and that he needed to go sleep it off and pray for forgiveness. He said thoughts of his wife had made him start drinking again, so we counseled him to pray for help and go see brother Henry next time he grew sad about it. He eventually left for home. After our lesson with Leonard, we passed Wonder's house, and he was out with a neighbor with a cigarette in his hand. I called him over and he dropped the cigarette en route and when I told him he had been smoking he fervently denied it, then proceeded to try and give me a hug and repeat the "I'm sorry" business. My companion and I told him that he needed to stop doing these things he knew were wrong and to go to bed and pray. He tried to give Elder Hayes a hug, but he had had enough and firmly pushed him towards his home. We walked away and Wonder began just calling after us. We ignored him and went on to our next appointment.
Near the end of the day, we stopped by his house yet again, and surprise surprise, he was gone with his door locked (the doors padlock from the outside only). Nobody knew where he was, so on Tuesday we are going to give him fire and then kind of drop him until he gets things together. I can honestly say that the drunks here can be pretty bad. Teaching them is obviously worthless, and it is even worse when they are our actual investigators.

To top of the week, we went to Vumba this morning as a zone, and that was awesome. Some amazing views of Mozambique coupled with great looking foliage and awesome pictures made this morning a great one. I apologize for the less than amazing quality of the pictures (Dad, if you really want to you can get me a good camera, just not too good, and send it to me). But, nonetheless, the pics are pretty good (I will get a few from my comp). Sadly, there was little or no wildlife at Vumba, but it was a gorgeous view. Sorry, in the pictures with us on the ground, the first one was an attempt to take it while down and staring up into the most painful sunshine I have ever seen, so I was taking that blindly-ish. We also got some good-ish in the air pictures. One of them was a small hill, but the other 2 (the better ones) are over a 2 meter -give or take- (6ish feet) drop at the golf course. The others in this one are just of scenery at Vumba.

Questions I have been Asked (by Mackenzie. Come on people, ask questions!):

~How is it with your companion ?
I love my companion. We both love music, and I think that is one way that we can help the people here to appreciate the gospel more. We get along well and he is a good trainer. We work together well, and he really loves the people. 
~What is your favorite thing about being In Zimbabwe?
The scenery here is incredible (as illustrated by the pictures). It is kind of weird to think that I am here in Africa, as I just view it as home(ish) now, so it feels normal.
~What random thing do they not have there?
Everyone has a cell phone, (incoming calls are free) and they all have a color tv (even those who live in 1 room), but we don't have public bathrooms. When they do, they smell horrible and are mostly just holes in the ground in a small cement building used by over a hundred people as there go-to bath house / toilet.
~How is the language coming?
I am learning the language pretty nicely. I know almost all of the greetings and farewells as instinct, but most everything else is going to take some time.
~Have you seen any spiders?!
very few. Someone who I talked to at the MTC who grew up in Durban South Africa and has been to Zimbabwe before told me that any of the Big animals won't just pop up. You have to go looking for them, and as you know, I WILL NOT go looking for spiders of any notable size. The biggest I have seen to date was the one in the Baptismal font (maybe an 1 1/2 inches in diameter with legs at normal extension) and it was fairly largeish. 
~What is the worst thing they eat there?
I have never been a fish person, but I love chicken. They eat both mostly the same way. Cook it whole, adding lots of salt to the fish, and then they just eat it. They don't separate it into pieces, or de-bone it or anything. If you want boneless chicken, go to a restaurant or de-bone it yourself. They eat the whole chicken here (and fish). Guts, bones, everything. In fact, I once got chicken and sadza at Spar (common good quality grocery store) last week and had what I believe was probably chicken liver or some other organ. This was just an average meal like when you go to a deli. I also have had fish here. It tastes pretty good (not fishy really) and didn't realize until I started crunching the bones that there were so many spine bones. I figured it was already in and just crunched away. I did not, however, eat ALL the bones, or touch any of the head. . . this time =P
~Is it hot or cold there right now?
they have 3 types of weather here. Rainy, hot and hot/sunny
Rainy is a constant downpour, hot is overcast and upper 80's to 90's, hot/sunny is 100F and very sunny (Elder Hayes is very burnt). 
~What is your most favorite thing you have learned so far?
I honestly can't answer that, because there has been so much. Learning to love the people I am teaching even though they lie to me so much (they do it because they don't want to say what I don't want to hear). So I guess tolerance of things I don't like at all. 

I also want to talk a little about what I have heard from home. I have heard that my younger cousin Chase just got his first deer. It is so good to hear that my family is learning to hunt so that in the last days, they can put food on the table! I am so proud of you Chase. My brother, Collin is getting his Patriarchal Blessing soon and I am so excited for him. I know that mine has changed my life so much, and that the council provided therein is so vital for us to listen to. Collin, don't take your blessing for granted (or any others of you who might). It is important for you to read it often. I read mine almost every day. My sister Athen went to church all by herself! everyone else was tired from traveling, but she still wanted to go and did it all by herself. She is such a big girl, and I am so proud of her.

I love you all, and think of you often, 

~Elder Taggart Williams

Remember: Pray always, and look to the Lord. Write often, and live life to it's fullest.

Doubt is the seed of failure. ~Taggart Williams

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. ~God (D+C 6:36)

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, November 21, 2011

More photos Nov. 21

Nov. 21 photos

You are the best. I am so glad that you are my mother for thousands of reasons, most of which I won;t comprehend during this life, but I know that God had a plan for us. I am so grateful for everything that you do for me, and have done for me. I was walking today and we saw some stone statues (small) for sale. We went to see and they were amazing, and CHEAP. I mean, they are like the size of your wood sculptures (hope, love etc. the angel ones), very beautiful, and made of a good looking stone. I got a Lion and a lioness, for $5 dollars a pop. I will get some for the kids (kenzie --> aren). I saw some of families (parents kissing and 1-3 kids in a circle, top to bottom) of a very similar style to the aforementioned wood sculptures of yours. I talked to the artist and he is making me one of a family of 7 (about 6 inches tall) for $15!!!! i mean, holy crap! So if you and Dad end up picking me up here in Zim, we will have to come to Mutare because the area is beautiful and you would pass out when you saw these sculptures and some of the other things.
It is awesome to hear about the birds and Ginger: I know that God looks out for us. I have talked to you about my outlook on life, how I expect and prepare for the 'universe to open a way for me'. When we do this, expect it, and give thanks to God, I know that he will help us time and time again. Whether it is turning a group of ravens around to circle over you, or to turn every stop light you see green for you, or to give you countless other opportunities throughout your life, He will always help us; even in the smallest things we do.

with love always, 
your son, ~Elder Taggart Williams

Nov.21 dinner

I had my first DA (dinner appointment) on friday, and I haven't eaten that well in ages. I was quite surprised at the quality of the home cooked meal. In one of these pictures is the chef (someone we are hoping to get to church, who we gave a priesthood blessing as well on sunday) and Brother Henry, our most powerful member at church. He knows practically everyone in Sakubva, and helps us out so much in the teaching department. The other pictures contained herein are those of the horizon of an adjacent area to mine. I was there on a companion exchange with my Zone leader, Elder Blad. I took those pictures around sunset. I apologize for the quality, as the mountains here are nowhere near as close as in Utah.
~Elder Williams

Remember: Pray always, and look to the Lord. Write often, and live life to it's fullest.

Doubt is the seed of failure. ~Taggart Williams

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. ~God (D+C 6:36)

Nov. 21 a rambling letter of love...

To all of you expecting a nice hefty letter to tack onto the previous ones, I apologize, but this one will be a little shorter, or at least less beefy (speaking of beef, mom I still need the recipe for curry chicken).

Hello friends and family!
This past week has been pretty good, but it was also non-spectacular (at least, there is nothing big in particular which I feel the need to mention; nothing which has been so incredible that it will take up an indomitable amount of space like unto that which has been seen heretofore in my letters). I have mentioned almost everything note up to this point, and so without any specific questions from any of you regarding the scenery, people, lifestyle, or anything else, I will invariably have to ramble on in what I hope is an interesting manner. A way in which I can keep you all entertained while still painting a picture of my life here; leaving nothing left out which would be thought of by any of you to be interesting or important. If I leave anything to be desired, please do not hesitate to inform me of that which you would have me say, describe, or otherwise reveal to you. I have no problems in finding the desire to write you long letters (as can be gleaned from the paragraph herein which conveys little new information; rather it continues on in a form of speech not fit so much for oral conversation but rather for long, boring letters containing interesting words which are fun to write and read; the aforementioned reason aside, it gives nothing except unnecessarily long sentences giving no more information than a more simple way of saying exactly the same thing, just less blandly), however, I can and will run out of things to write about if I do not have topics or questions suggested to me beforehand. 

Before I continue, I do want to share a small experience upon arrival to Zimbabwe en route to the transfer house. We were driving along the road (utter chaos surrounding us, while I am in the corner of the car, seeing oncoming traffic in the right lane, instead of the left), and as I looked to the right, in a field there were some Zebras and a Giraffe. It was pretty awesome to see that. Sadly, I have not seen another sight akin to that involving wildlife in the area, as the game reserves are controlled tightly, and not much is allowed to roam free near cities.

I have been reading recently in Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage and I find the book to be insightful (obviously) and interesting (no duh). I good read, and I would suggest it to any of you in need of a good book to read; although most of you will probably need to keep a dictionary next to you (not because of any failings in the area of intelligence on your part, but largely due to the level of language contained therein). I am thoroughly enjoying my Mission thus far, and plan on continuing in the pursuit of such an experience throughout my stay here in Zimbabwe.

On both Christmas and Mother's day, I will be allowed to call home (for an amount of time which has not yet been revealed to me) and I would imagine that any who are listening in will notice a quite dramatic change in the way I speak. I have had to slow down my speech a bit, and do things such as roll my r's, emphasize t's, etc. It is quite interesting, and somewhat funny to hear myself speak.

On my way to the email shop, only 2 hours ago, we stumbled across a corner of the road selling sculptures made out of stone. They were very good looking, (I will include some pictures in this weeks emails) and they were very well priced. The artist had a variety of different sculptures (all amazing). I bought 2: a Lion and Lioness. I have included pictures in this email of the artist and of the pieces I bought. 

We have a baptism coming up this week, and have 8 people who are ready to be baptized. The question is whether they are willing to go to the effort, as some took quite a while to even come to church. Others will need permission from a parent in order to do it. I am really hoping that everything works out with all of them, but there are about 2-3 that are most likely getting baptized, and 1-2 that will for sure.

This area is really growing fast, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I am so glad that I am able to be here; it seems so weird to think that I am in Africa right now! If any of you have questions, concerns, stories to share with me, or anything else, feel free to send it/them. I am much faster at typing than my companion and as a result, I need to sit here for a while reading after I finish. He has more people who write him and ask questions I think. . . hint hint, wink wink, cough cough, shrug shrug, smack smack. . . 

good bye all, take luck, and stay well
~Elder Taggart Williams

p.s. If my photos aren't coming through, do let me know, as I can't always tell if they worked. 

p.p.s. To: any of you playing TES:5 Skyrim, (ahem, Dylan)
I know it is amazing, but you need to stop at least for a little while in order to still go to school and stuff. (Sorry, I was supposed to say this last week, I forgot)
Remember: Pray always, and look to the Lord. Write often, and live life to it's fullest.

Doubt is the seed of failure. ~Taggart Williams

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. ~God (D+C 6:36)

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Nov. 14 Taggart learns a language

Hey all,
I forgot to talk a little about the language here!

When the people here speak english it is much slower than I am used to. I need to talk slowly and pronounce the t's and such more heavily. In contrast, Shona is spoken very quickly here and without knowing the words, I honestly can't tell most words apart. I know the Lord sent me here to learn a language rather than in the MTC because had I been forced to stay 9-12 weeks in the MTC to learn a language, there is no possible way I would have survived. I kid you not, I would have gone crazy (well more technically insane than I presently am, let's face it. I am pretty crazy already!).

Learning Shona makes me miss the good old days of French (not the teacher or the class I had, but the language itself), so when I get back, I am probably going to delve deeper into that cavern as well. (I am going to try to learn more french)

love you all,
~Elder Williams

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Nov. 14 what is a comby?

My dear Family and Friends,

Before I begin, I feel I should give my email address to all of you. Emailing me will be difficult without an address, eh?
As I said previously, feel free to send me messages. I get on the computer on Mondays around 11am, and am about 8 hours ahead of MT (Utah/AZ)
I apologize for the poor quality of my pictures sent last time, there is a setting on my camera I didn't understand or see and it was trying to take close up pictures. I fixed this, but I don't know If I have my camera on my person today, so we will see about that.

If any of you have questions, feel free to ask either my sister or my parents, as they are in charge of my blog/ facebook. 

There were some things I forgot to mention in my last letter. For my area, and also throughout much of Zimbabwe, a primary form of transportation is Comby. I don't have any pictures, but feel free to type it in on the internet (good old internets =P). Imagine a large van, with 4 rows of seats, where they shove 4 people per row and 2 extra up front, so you are squished shoulder to shoulder fitting about 20 people. They then drive around and drop people off, and yell to other people which route they are on in hopes they wish to feel like sardines en route to their destination as well. As bad as that sounds, it really isn't horrible, as long as you get a window seat. In the morning though, when we are heading into town, we go maybe 400-500 feet and stop again to try and pick up more people. At night, it is fast because we get to the comby and they are mostly full already. We just jump in, pay 5R ($.50) per person, and drive off. They, just like everyone else here, drive on the left side of the road (so weird at first); they generally make little care to avoid pedestrians (no ped. rights here in Zim. Just try not to get hit) and would have almost no speed limit it weren't for the periodic speed bumbs (just called humps here) every few hundred feet or so. The tires here must be well made because they seem quite resilient when it comes to constant pot-holes etc. They generally have decent music playing, but it is usually pop and not my preference at all. What I wouldn't give for the radio to play a little 30 Seconds to Mars or maybe some Muse. . . but alas, they don't like Rock down here (I mean, really. What the crap?!?).

It is pretty flaming hot here (about 45C, or 98ish Fahrenheit), and I am fairly tempted to buy a hat (ugh). I have never liked hats myself. I really miss being able to wear my sunglasses (during the day and at night. . . =P you know me). I can't wait until the rain finally starts, I am so bloody tired of it feeling like a humid AZ. I mean seriously, I am sweating more this past week than I have the past year and a half combined.

I am really enjoying the food here in Zimbabwe. There is lots of good fruit, and mango, avocado, and guava (ahhhhhh yea baby!) are coming in season very soon. The bananas in the US suck. I kid you not, here we have bananas that are about 10-20 for a dollar (smaller than in the US) but are pretty much the most amazing thing in the world. Mostly, I eat lots of sadza and chicken when we are out, and rice and soup at home. We are also going to be making lots of chips (French Fries). I made some the other day, and they tasted kind of amazing (not the: I haven't had these in ages amazing, but the genuine kind). Next Monday, I will be making chicken curry (or curry chicken, whichever it is called. The yellow one that we made with pheasant last time for any of you who had some) for my roomies and I and it will be very delicious. (I need the recipe mom, hint hint, wink wink. ;-P )

We had a baptism on Saturday, but what was going to be 3 baptisms turned out to be only 1. Nonetheless (*chuckles* I love that word =P), it still turned out to be very good and I was happy to be a part of it. Cleaning out the font beforehand was enjoyable, if icky. There were 2 frogs, a large beetle (about 1.5 inches, give or take about .5 inches), and 2 millepedes. As most of you know, I can't touch creeping and crawling things for my life, so my comp had to take care of the frog, and I used a broom for the insect. I thankfully haven't seen any spiders larger than a pin-head, because if I saw one as large as I have heard there are in some areas, I would probably wet myself, faint, and be eaten (that would require one about the size of my hand). So let's keep our fingers crossed (Though I have to say, if such an incident were to be recorded minus the being eaten, that would be incredibly funny).

I talked last time about the Chippo family (I am pretty sure I did at least. . .) The family with the boys who came to church and the younger one who is very smart etc. Anyway, the father is really starting to warm up to us and what we teach, the trick is to catch him when he hasn't been drinking. When the people here drink, they go the extra mile. They have little reservation, and to make it worse, most men here drink. As a result, about half of the people who approach us or call us over have a little glaze in their eyes and are so excited to talk to us, ask for a free bible, invite us over to Bible study, or offer us a drink. We have even had a guy hug us and not let go. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't keen on causing him damage because he was absolutely wasted, and I didn't want to put out an aggressive air towards others, as I am not sure how those watching would take that. My problem was solved when one of the people we were talking to pried the guy off of me (and it took some effort). When the drunk went after my companion, another guy kicked him to keep him off. That was the worst experience with a drunk we have had (so not really bad at all), but teaching them is, obviously, a waste of time. I would be surprised if half of them remembered us within 20 seconds of asking us to teach them. What we end up doing to get them to leave us alone, and also to everyone else as well (for non-drunks to get the name of our church around rather then get them to leave) we invite them to church. EVERYONE says the will come, and EVERYONE fails to show up (big surprise). The people here would rather be polite (tell you what you want to hear) than be honest.

Even though I have been out here on my Mission for just over a month now, I can honestly say that it is going to continue to be amazing. I am so excited to be able to share the gospel with those whom I meet that have been prepared by the Lord to receive His word. It is humbling to see the conditions these people live in, and that they still have a positive outlook on life. They are happy people and even when they lie to your face, they do it out of love (as ironic as that seems). I would encourage any of you (even women) who are debating on a mission to make it a priority and to ask the Lord to help you. Remember to pray always, and put the Lord first in your life. You will never in your mortal life comprehend even the scale on which He helps you. If I hear any of you (or hear of any of you) saying that there is ANYTHING you don't want the Lord's help in, I will laugh and cry at the naivety which you show. Your Father in Heaven literally wants to help you in every aspect of your life. If you doubt me, think of who you are listening to when you decide not to pray to your Father. In 2 Nephi 32:8 it says:
"...For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray."
If you doubt what I say, you would be fools to doubt what a prophet says. So remember. When I say pray always, I mean ALWAYS.

Good bye all, please feel free to write more. I love you and think of you often.
With love,
~Elder Taggart Williams

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
Hello from the beautiful country of Zimbabwe. I have been here since Wednesday, and will be able to email every monday for a few hours. My Living arrangements are simple: I have running water, sometimes hot, a stove that works usually, and I have electricity! (from about 8pm-ish to 9 am-ish) I also have a fully automated, do it yourself, hand-washing laundry system with racks to dry my stuff on built into the room right over there! It is exciting, the food isn't that bad, (alot of it is similar to american food) and amazingly, they have bottled Coke ($.50 or 5R for a glass bottle of sprite. . . oh so delicious!). My trainer/companion is Elder Hayes from Phoenix, Arizona, and has only been in the field for 12 weeks. He is a pretty awesome guy, and I am glad that I will be serving with him for 2 transfers (12 weeks). I am serving currently in sakubva, an area in Mutare. Sakubva is the poorest in Zim, and it is humbling to see what the people live like. Most have only a small home (1-2 rooms) with occasional power and running water. Most people eat sadza, (pretty much corn meal and water) which tastes kind of like straight cream of wheat. It is full of carbs, and is fairly tasteless without a soup or relish on it, but isn't bad by any means (it is ridiculously cheap). The chicken here is good, and the beef mediocre. Presently, my schedule generally looks something like this:
6am: wake up
7:30-10:30: study
11am-7pm proselyte
8-10:30 finish up for the day
They always said this would be the hardest work of my life (yes, the infamous they), and I believe that I am currently in one of the most physically intensive missions in the world, but the only way in which it surpasses my childhood is that we are going 7 days a week for 2 years, as apposed to just Saturdays, for ages 5-15.
Almost everyone here speaks passable english, as it is taught in school, but almost everyone (in Mutare at least) speaks fluent Shona. I am learning, and it is going pretty aribo (good).
When proselyting, we usually walk between appointments, and don't generally approach people about the gospel. However, We have lots of people ask us to come in and share our message with them, or just set up an appointment to do so. So many of the people here are ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most people here don't have a set religion, just a church they attend more than any other. The society is so close knit here that nobody has a problem or is even surprised when we refer to them as brother or sister within seconds of meeting them. They already have a sort of feel for each other as almost family, and the prospects of family provided by the Gospel seem so natural to them.
Right before I got here, there were two women who walked into General Conference (It played here just 2 weeks ago, not live) and they can't speak more than a few words of English, but afterwards they went up to the missionaries and told them that this was their new church and they wanted to be baptised. Sister Maconi was baptized last saturday (oct 28), and confirmed yesterday. Sister Rebecca will be baptized this coming Saturday. There is an amazing member here, his name is Brother Henry, and he does almost as much missionary work as missionaries (or so it seems). The branch here in Sakubva has about 30-40 active members, and is in need of a strong leader. It is likely that once Brother Henry gets the Melchizidek priesthood, he will be made the branch or district president, (he has only been a member for a few months) and it is likely they may ordain him to be an elder before the usual year. He is so strong, and knows practically everyone in Sakubva, member or not. As you can tell, he would make an ideal leader for this area. His knowledge of the gospel is smaller than average, but he knows and understands more than most who have grown up in the gospel, and his passion to help others is greater than most people I have ever met. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to become a general authority in the next decade or so.
A friend of Brother Henry's is Brother Wonder. We met with him on friday, my second day here in Sakubva. Our first lesson was a little difficult because the sun was almost down about halfway through so we had little or no light. However, Brother Wonder was so excited to learn about the Gospel. He was excited for us to come back the next day. He told us that his wife had passed away about 10 years prior and so we taught him second about the plan of salvation. Both he and my companion were crying by the end, and the spirit was so strong. His Mother and son will hopefully meet with us next visit, and he has a friend who only speaks Shona who will likely come as well. We taught Brother Wonder about the commandments (Word of wisdom, chastity, and tithing) and he was so ready to stop drinking tea and coffee. It is inspiring to see him work towards becoming like Christ. He came to church yesterday as well. It was awesome to see him there, and he will be baptized on this coming saturday as well. Most of the baptizing and blessing done here is done by members rather than missionaries so as to help create more permanent bonds between members.
We had 6 investigators in church yesterday, though I can't take credit for more than 2 of them, as i hadn't even seen most of them before church. There is a family where the mom and both sons are interested in the church (and my gosh, the youngest son, maybe 10-13 years old easily understands more about God and the scriptures than the rest of his family and most kids I have met. His mind soaks up what we teach him, and he brings up deep questions for us that I would think few investigators in the world have thought of before). The problem, however, is the father. He is resistant to what we teach, as their family, for generations, has been in the same church. Without their father knowing, both of the boys came to church yesterday (what desire to learn they have!), but did ask us not to let their father know they had come. They said they enjoyed church and I hope they will continue coming. I will share a quick story about this family, and then move on.
Last night, Elder Hayes and I were finishing up our day and decided to drop in to see the Chippo family (above mentioned). We wanted to get home soon, as it was fast sunday, and there aint no rest for the wicked (good song by the way), or the righteous on Sunday. Anyway, as we went into the home, I said a quick prayer that we could get done quickly, as I could barely stand up. (It was 6:30, and I had had no food and little water all day, and the walking in Sakubva is far from chill and easy. The sun had been beating down, blah blah blah, I was pretty bloody tired) Before I finished the spirit pushed (more like shoved) me into adding an or: OR break through with the Father. (*sigh*, it took longer than a quick scripture normally would =P) We shared James 2:17-18. Faith without works is dead. . . etc. etc. and we focused primarily on the father. He asked a few questions and we discussed faith and works. He was very interested. Then, surprisingly, he started asking a few questions about the book of mormon (good thing my companion was ready because the shock practically rendered me speechless and I still can't remember what he asked). So we started talking about it, and his son (the younger one, though both are intelligent, this one just astounds me as stated previously) asks us what the picture of Moroni burying the plates in the hill Cumorah was about (can you venture a guess right now? haha). We explained and I added that they would enjoy reading from Moroni's words as he talks a lot about faith and charity (which we had been discussing prior to this). The father seemed genuinely interested. As heretofore he has been adamantly against what is in the Book of Mormon, this was, as we had wanted, a huge breakthrough with him. Tomorrow I hope we can go see them, and that the Father won't be drunk (The drunks here are common, annoying, and teaching/talking to them is generally worthless).

Now onto the fun stuff:
The Children here are so fun! They love playing soccer, and their soccer balls are small, tightly rolled up grocery bags (about 5-6 inches in diameter). We will occasionally stop and play with them, but on Friday, there was a guy watching them who called us over. He wanted to hear a discussion. As we started all the children gathered around (maybe 20 of them) and we proceeded to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them all, with the man translating, and ample participation from the children. It was an amazing experience, and hopefully we will be able to teach them another time. I got a picture, but it is on my comp's camera as mine was not on my person nor would the picture have been of passable quality for such a large photo with my budget camera.

I had an interesting experience one morning when passing a school (by the way, imagine how funny it is to see a sign for a primary school partially obstructed by the barbed wire fence on top of the wall. . . hysterical). There were lots of small children. The kids always like to say hi to the Murungu's (white people) as my comp and I are 2 of the maybe like 5 white people in Sakubva (if that). I was excited to give them all hi-fives and fist-bumps, but couldn't understand what they were saying (shona takes lots of practice, but for 5 days, i am doing pretty well). I just felt like a celebrity, and after about 30 seconds, I bid them all farewell, and returned to my comp. He promptly informed me that they had been calling me a satanist. Oh the shock and hilarity I felt, and looking back I can't help but laugh. I still need to remember that word. . .

One problem here in sakubva is that the members as a whole don't associate much with non-members, so there are lots of rumors about our church (bowls of blood in the baptismal font, we are vampires, satanists, etc.). If only the people would make more of an effort to fellowship others and share the gospel like brother Henry does. Even so, as it is we have great success: teaching 5-10 lessons per day, and most of them we have a member present as well (usually either Brother Henry, or Sister D. I won't tell you much about her, but she is a cool person.).

For all of you who want to send me letters, I believe my sister has posted the criteria needed to be followed for pouch mail. I am able to send envelopes, but for some reason, you can't. Because it takes about 2 weeks for a letter to come from the U.S. and for a reply to go there, I am allowed to email all of you on P-days. However, even though it isn't instant, I would absolutely love to receive actual, tangible, hand-written, heart-felt mail from you all. So feel free to both email and send letters.

For emails, I will be at a computer emailing from about 11:00 ish for a few hours on mondays my time, which is 2:00am sunday for you guys. . . which I just found out as I was writing this. So, if you feel like staying up past 4am in order to some-what instant message me, feel free. But don't feel under pressure (also a good song).

What I love most here:
*The people
*The Life (trees here are awesome)
*The Rain (haven't had much yet, but when it does it is pretty nice) 

What I miss most:
*Music (I miss my rock. . . can you tell?)
*You Guys (I love you all. Write often, and know that it took me 3 tries to correctly capitalize that W back there. . . enjoy that little info)

Everyone who is reading this I am aware or unaware is reading this (yes, including YOU!) send me a small message so I know you are reading this.
That way, when I am writing this, I can keep you in mind so that when you are reading this after I have written this, I can give you advice about stuff while I am writing this and so you can know when you are reading this I am writing this for you. (If that redundant use of redundancies didn't give you a headache, you can have a candy bar. But you are buying, as I need to save my money.)

But know that I love you all, and I will say that you are all in my prayers, but that will be subconscious; because, to be honest, most of you aren't being thought about consciously at all throughout the day, as there are a lot of you, and I only have so much time and we all know my memory isn't the best. But, I love you all nonetheless (which is, by the way, my second favorite word), and my heart is with you indubitably (which is and always will be my favorite word).

Love from:
Elder Taggart Williams

Special notes:

ALL: Read the scriptures daily and pray always. I never realized what a difference it makes until just recently, don't make the same mistake I did. If you want to send me something package like, get it to my parents and they can include it in a package. I don't have ANYTHING I need right now, as I have enough stuff packed for a full 2 years (minus food, shelter and water). . . thanks mom =P.

Nathan, Dylan, Stephen, and anyone else preparing for a mission: Do your papers NOW! Even if you aren't wanting to leave for a year, get everything you can, done right now. You won't regret it, and it will give the Lord room to work in your life if you don't wait for one thing to be ready before doing everything else (*ahem* Nathan. . . dot dot dot).