Monday, January 30, 2012

Dart throwing and other fun things...

scriptures and crazy fun

jan. 30

Hello Everyone!
This week has been pretty fun. I now have a new companion, Elder
Shields. It has been a fun week getting to know him and the other new
missionary in the house, Elder Chikenyanga. As a house, we have
started playing darts daily. It is way fun and is a good house bonding

As far as missionary work goes, this week has been pretty difficult.
We had a lot of people miss appointments, but those who we have seen
are making lots of progress. One investigator, Matthew, has been slow
on progressing. He knows the Bible well, but wants a lot of solid
proof on the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He, in essence, wants
to hold the gold plates in his hands. We are only able to meet with
him every week or so, and he has been having a difficult time reading
the book of mormon. It isn't at all because he doesn't want to try, he
just isn't yet willing to find out for himself in the way we tell him
he needs to. Once he comes to know for himself that the Book of Mormon
is true, he will be a very powerful investigator. As it is, this last
week Elder Shields and I had a lesson with him that really seemed to
make a lot of progress. We talked to him about how it is so important
to listen to the Spirit, and to look at the fruits of Joseph Smith and
the BoM in order to know that they are from God. We will be meeting
with him again this week, and we hope that he will have been able to
push his doubts aside for just a little bit in order to read from and
pray about the Book of Mormon.

I got my scriptures finished and they look great. They quad showing in
the attached picture is Elder Toomers, but the rest is mine. The brown
is Elephant skin, and the white is Crocodile; The case is Water
Buffalo. Elder Toomers is Grey = elephant,
white = crocodile.
If you are wanting something done, hymn books or mini books of mormon
are only $10ish. So let me know (it really is cool stuff)

There were no questions today, and the Zone is ready to leave, so ta ta for now.
~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)

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, January 23, 2012

greetings from Zimbabwe jan. 23

Why hello there family and friends!
This last week we received transfers, and as such, there was bad news and there was good news. My companion, Elder Hayes, got transfer ed to Harare, and my new companion (drum-roll please) is Elder Shields, with whom I spent a nice amount of time over Christmas, and got to know him fairly well (considering it was 3 days).
Presently, I am almost finished with Jesus the Christ (James E. Talmage) and will be getting my scriptures (finished) around thursday. I can't wait to see them. =P
This week, My comp and I were able to be at choir, but we still had only 2 other people. We started working on 'brightly beams our fathers mercy'. It is sounding iffy at the moment, but in time it will be sounding great; we just need to get more people to choir! Other than that, I have seen a few more chameleons and took some fun pictures with Elder Hayes. We ate out 2x this last week, Chinese, and at Nando's, and I made chicken curry twice. Overall however, teaching-wise it was a pretty bad week. People weren't out, and people weren't home, so our lessons and contacts were low. This next week I hope it will be better.
My new comp just got here, and I hope today takes a turn upwards. I was at the email shop trying to get the internet to work for 40 minutes before I even got a glimpse of my inbox, but the emails from those who sent them were nice, and letters received are greatly appreciated.
With nothing else to say, I will move onto questions.
Questions (answers in bold)
Aunt Michelle
I know africa is really big  but not sure what to compare it to. I mean is it as big as the united states or big like  texas? 
not sure for certain, but roughly around 3x the size of America
THe other thing I was wondering and worrying about is In certain parts there is fighting  and dangerous things going on. i believe alot of politics- not sure of the fighting  or what its about but have you heard about it?
I haven't heard anything about that, it is quite peaceful in Zimbabwe siNdebele
then  another thing I was wondering , is language  I thought certian areas spoke french?
There are well over 100 dialects and languages throughout Africa. The 3 in Zimbabwe are Shona, siNdebele, and English
also  what type of money do they use? is it euro"s or european? or is it american?
American Dollar, and the South African Rand
1. While in Zimmy, Have you discovered more about yourself?
Much, the largest how much I didn't know about the Gospel. Also, I am in the process of taking notes (at length) for a book I will write when home. 
2. Have you been in need of your mad spear master skills?
I have yet to find a spear, sadly, and regardless, there has been no danger I have been in besides the puff adder =P
3. What was the most random thing said to you?
not sure to be honest. . .
4. Anyone there play the violin? (besides yourself)
5. Have you answered the question if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it...does it make a sound?
it makes three different sounds actually. The problem is, 2 of them are only audible to monkeys and snails, and the other 4 (puzzle out my math) mesh together in a certain way which, although it sounds cool, can't be heard in an environment which has any form of gravity.
6. What kind of birds are there?  any that make you want to knaw your ears off?
I think they are swallows. They have long tails, and before you ask, I haven't seen very any carrying coconuts north to England. Besides, South African swallows are non-migratory. 7. What was your most remembered lession done so far?
if by lession, you mean legion, I haven't seen any outside of Rome (haven't been there in a while. . . or ever). However, if you mean lesson, then let me 'splainNo, there is too much. Let me sum up.
One person we are teaching has a large problem with the word of wisdom. And on multiple occasions, he has expressed a great desire to have us continue teaching him, because he feels the spirit so strongly (and this while absolutely drunk). For any of you who have spent much time with drunkards, the spirit does not come easily, or be felt by them almost at all. He is making great strides, and although he isn't completely clean yet, he is getting much better at saying 'no' and dealing with his anger issues.
 Well, that said, I bid you all adieu. Until next time.
I will keep you all in my heart and in my prayers.
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)

Jan. 23 photos. What a guy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

more photos from the hike

Jan. 16 the hike photos

jan. 16 2012 photos

Jan. 16 letter to all

Hello friends and family!
How are you doing? So here is my schpeal for this week (no I don't care if schpeal is spelled right, ok?). I had a fairly average week up until wednesday, when we got a call telling us that President would be having a meeting with my comp and I and the sisters on thursday morning. The anticipation was horrible. We weren't sure if they were having us do something weird, moving us to Zambia, or what. Turned out it was just a special training meeting so nothing big. But afterwards, we did have a nice lunch (paid for by president Dube), so that was nice. 

Choir this week was a bust. We missed it because of the meeting with President, and when we asked about it (we had scheduled for someone else to conduct it) only 3 or 4 people had come. Hopefully this next week will be better. Other than that, this week was average.

Today, however, we finally went with most of the Zone and climbed Chikanga mountain (also called by some of us thumb or thumbnail mountain because it looks just like a thumb). That was a fun and difficult/steep hike. As we got to the top, I pulled out my camera and the battery was finished. . .so I had to swap memory cards to get some pics (with a camera not as cool as mine, so the pics are not as incredible). Pictures sent to my father. Enjoy!

I also got a haircut the other day, so my hair is really short. Elder Hayes said that when they were first starting, he was really scared for my hair. Most people outside of town have never cut a white persons hair, so I had to tell them how. It is pretty funny, but the haircut was good.

This tuesday we are probably getting our transfer calls, so we'll know where we are going next week. I won't be training because we have no new missionaries coming in yet, but hopefully later I will have the opportunity to train =P I hope that I am staying in my present area, so that I can continue to see the growth here. It is nice to see the change since I have been here, and I can see great changes in the coming months. This week, we are going to be eating nice in town a few times, tonight chinese, tomorrow at a great spicy chicken place. It is funny to chow into my chicken while the other missionaries' eyes are watering just from the smell 2-3 feet away, but Nando's does their spicy pretty good; nothing on Thai or Indian food, but when you hope for thunderstorm and you get a rainstorm, you don't complain that it wasn't exactly as you wanted! You take what you're given and be grateful.

Speaking of storms, I am not sure if I have said this yet, but we don't know what a rainstorm or thunderstorm is in the good old US of A. When we get a thunderstorm here, the lightning hits and the sound is a giant smash (crack doesn't do it justice) of loud, continuous (for 3 seconds straight) thunder clap; freaking sick.
now, onto questions.

answers in bold
Gma harper
What was the food you ate for New Years?  What did you eat for Christmas?
New years: pizza and soda
Christmas: soup, ham, veggies, rolls, pork roast, various other items, all over 3 days =P
Gma Williams
Is this the winter season there or is it summer?  Is there a rainy season and then a dry season with no rain at all?
they have hot season, cold season, and rainy season here. As stated before, when it is rainy season (which it is right now) it RAINS. But there hasn't been near as much rain this year as in past years (signs of the times =P)
Do people there have phones?
yes, mostly but not as much in my area. The way it works here is in airtime. If someone else calls, you don't need airtime, only to call or text. Not many use contracts here. They just have a phone and number. Buy time as needed, or just run without.
Do you do a lot of tracting or
 mainly referrals?
In my area, no door to door knocking, mainly just referrals and being approached during lessons or on the street. Also, while contacting we get some people.
Do people there have television?
Some of the
 food that you eat there looks very interesting.  Does it really taste good or what?
Yes. When I get home, I will make Sadza for everyone. I really like it, but some people might not. But because of how cheap it is, it would make a great food storage Item (mealie meal that is), as the meal itself is like $5 for 10kg of the nice brand of mealie meal.
Do they eat many vegetables there?
Some, but more fruits. The most used veggies are onions, Kovo (similar to lettuce but could probably be grown on solid Asphalt =P well, not quite), and peppers.

Do they eat bread like we do or is it just that cornmeal stuff?
Yes, lots of bread. It is only $1 a loaf, and tastes good.
Looking back on before you got your mission call, what would you have thought about Zimbabwe?
Probably the same thing I thought when my mom read it: Where in the world is that again?

I love you all, but love the work here too much to come home yet! ;P
stay well, or Srai Zhakanaka as we say here in Zim!

~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.

Jan. 16 replies to Mom's letters

Taggart reply to below paragraph...
the welcome to zimbabwe sign was right next to a reservoir which is a primary source of power for Zim. There aren't too many areas like that, but near a big important thing like a power source, there were.

On Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 6:49 PM, Domonique Williams wrote...
I just got to put the photos up from last week on the blog and show them to Aren and Athen.  They loved the zebra, but are very sure it was a baby (little) zebra and wanted to know where it's mom was.  On one picture you were showing a chameleon, and in the background was a railroad.  Aren said "you need to fix it".  and then he said "no, I need to fix it, let's go there" Also, in your welcome to Zimbabwe sign there was another sign behind saying that it was a restricted area keep out.  Are there many areas like that in the country?  Places that are not open to public, are they owned by the gov't. or by private citizens? Are you able to go anywhere or are there "parks" that are only for the wildlife too?

Love you, Elder Williams
On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 8:01 PM, Domonique Williams  wrote:
do you use your sandals much?   I read some elders are loving having them.  Also do you need a raincoat?  Can you buy one?
Taggart wrote...
I don't have a raincoat, I have a snow coat. Elder Hayes has a thin/light but very effective rain trench coat from Cabelas. If you found one of those and accidentally sent it to me, I wouldn't mind. I don't use my sandals in the area, because (as you know I am bad at reading instructions sometimes. . .) they are open toed, and the rule is closed toe. But all is well, as both my proselyting pairs of shoes are waterproof. However, when they have a 'good' missionary shoe, they never thought of Zim, so I am going to try and find a good pair of ecco's here (a very good sturdy shoe with a strong sole). They are european make, so Elder Hayes says they may have some here. I will let you know if they don't. I had one pair of shoes have the sole come apart. They have been repaired, but I don't know how well they will be. My other pair apparently has a somewhat foam sole, and holds up nice. The sole will probably be worn down almost 100% on the insides withing another few months. I am not sure why dad, as strict as he is with buying nice looking clothes that work, allowed me to get foam soled shoes, but w/e.

 Dear Taggart,
I am loving you...
Today we learned about the plan of salvation in Sunbeams.  I enjoyed it, but my favorite part was when we showed all of the planets and that God created them when we were with him in Pre earth life.  The children were inthralled seeing all of the things He made.  We had ward conference today and our choir did the prelude music and a number in the service also.  We did really well singing, I know that my redeemer lives.  I had Aren and Mackenzie go home after Sacrament as usually conference is long in primary and he isn't good at sitting yet and Mackenzie has been staying up late training this week for her new job at Culvers, a fast food place that Bishop Ward is starting.  We loved going there on Saturday as a family and eating the food for free, it was for them to practice.  Tomorrow is Martin Luther King day and the young ones have a dentist appt.  Aren has been given an old broken airsoft pistol from Collin and is now in love with guns and is trying to work himself into a frenzy in bed because he doesn't have it in bed.  Yesterday he fell asleep with it cradled in his arms like a baby.  It really was cute, but he gets in trouble a lot because he forgets to no shoot it at people.  Tonight I visited a few blogs of other missionaries in your area.  An E. Finn and an E. Haltom. E. Hayes' mother has not posted new ones on her lds blog yet.   They both had some interesting photos.  He is an area called the Blues?  What does that mean?  I also saw something that said bulawayo area, maybe it is short for that? I also saw that he had a rat on his plate as part of the entree!  yuk, I think it was for real. I think I am allergic to rat for anything.
Love you...
 We sent two packages for you trying to keep them small and inconspicuous,  We sent you some peppermint tea and another one, I think for allergies. and also some q-tips and something else.  I hope they get to you.  Oh yea, of course candy too.  : ) As a family right now we are reading Killing Lincoln, It is a book on all of the true events and people leading up to Lincoln's death. We have your cousin Jessup here with us this weekend and he really is a great kid.  I was sad I missed you on line last time and though I don't know what to say, if I get you tonight I will try and have a quick conversation with you.  would you mind sharing your experiences with conversions and such?  YOu might not think they are very much, but to me they are beautiful.  Every detail makes a story better, don't assume we already know. I think your writing will make it very real for us.  My mom doesn't like to write, because she says she has nothing to talk about, because her life is boring.  I hope she writes you soon.  She wrote me about 4 times while I was in college and I was the one to call home, so don't take it personal if she doesn't do it.
 Still no snow in the west and midwest and people are getting worried.  We might get some this week,but can't tell for sure yet.  I remember when I read once that keeping the Sabbath was directly related to wether we have droughts or not.
love you..
 Have you heard of the Khami Ruins in Zim? I am going to look them up tonight and see what they are.  I know that there really are some old, even religious ruins in the  Africa countries.  I have always been interested in them. You never told me if you had heard about the tribes in Zim that are known to come from the Jewish people.  have you? Kenz is playing a very romantic era piece right now and I always get carried away in my mind.  I can see myself under a large tree in the summer and just listening and reading as I enjoy the world around me.
This week I am hoping to finally get to use my new snoeshoes for my hiking group in the mountains!  Hooray!  bishop Ward is very interested in how our family is.  He said that he is impressed with Mackenzie and you and how we all have to have jobs at 16.  I am lucky to hear feedback sometimes on how people admire us.  Sometimes I have to do what I feel is best and feel somewhat as an outcast because we were so different in this family.  but the truth is I would never have done it any other way except even more of the same and better.  I loved receiving mail from you.  Are you going to mail the family art to us that you sent photos of?  We can put $ in your acct if you would like to do that.  It might make it so you don't have to carry extra.  Other missionaries do this.
Love you..
 I am hoping that you are happy, healthy and wise.  and oh yeah, I am Loving You.


ps.  not a very spiritual note, but The Hobbit comes out in the winter of this year and the previews look great!

Taggart wrote...
Blues is short for bulawayo.
Aren with a gun is hilarious!
For packages, I have heard and been told that it works to put Jesus pictures on it, so it looks like religious materials. I guess that a picture of Jesus reminds them not to steal a little =P
Thanks for sending the packages, I will let you know when I get them
I haven't heard of those ruins or anything else like them, nor have I heard anything about the Jews.
As for the packages, I haven't yet bought your statues (animal statues that is) but if you want me to send the family one, I will try to find it's weight and let you know how much it would be to send it. It is $15 per kg, so I will let you decide. My present plan is to just get what I need, because I have room in my suitcases, and when I am planning to leave for home, I will likely leave almost all of my proselyting gear here for members to have, and use my suitcases largely for taking home souvenirs and such. If you and dad end up picking me up and doing some sight seeing, there will be even more room for them =P.
Also, as I said in a previous email, I am getting my scriptures and hymn book covered, and can have a set done for anyone of you who wants one. Maximum price I would estimate for a quad is $140 (that includes cost of the Quad combo itself, shipping, and the skins/covering if they are the nicest like mine. ex. Full snake/croc = $60 where Elephant = $20) I can also have hymn books or small boms or whatever covered. Hymn books and BoM's are about $10 to cover, and weigh very little, so they would be very cheap. Point is, If you want me to have anything like that done, or even wallets and scripture cases, I can get it done. Prices are reasonable, and they finished product is NICE and COOL!

love you tons!
~Elder Williams

Monday, January 9, 2012

even more photos Jan. 9

Cleaning out the baptismal font and baptism photos

more photos jan. 9

Dancing with the guys before a lesson.

Pure, 100%, American made SADZA! and MAAAAAN was it good!
and what a candle lit dinner! (No power all of Saturday and Sunday)