Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

Hello family and friends!
This week was pretty cool.It was a mostly usual week: delicious popcorn; lots of bike trouble; DA's and such. Last night, we had 2 Dinner Appointments. 2, count 'em 2, dinners. My companion was stuffed after the first one, and I didn't quite finish the second one, but they were good and MAN did I sleep well that night! Right before the first one, I was playing a game simlair to dodgeball with some kids. One person in the middle, and the other two try to hit him, alternating shots. Me, being the amazing baseball pitcher that I am, threw the ball a tiny bit high (about 1 foot) and broke a window pane on the house (This is with a ball which is just shoved together plastic bags). Might I say that, although my accuracy isn't amazing with balls, I have a nice throwing arm =P. Don't worry, I am going tomorrow to pay for the pane (about $3-5) but it was quite the adventure. Needles to say, I won't be playing dodge-ball facing a house again. . .

In other news, on Friday, we had such a great opportunity. We me the Prophet! and by the prophet I mean a prophet; and by a prophet I mean that when we went to see one of our investigators, it turned out that he had invited some visitors at the same time. When they came in, (a man and a woman) the woman introduced herself as "Prophet Priestess governer somewhat or somesort- and like 3 other titles- Brightness", the man was simply Ambassador So-and-So. Yep, we were teaching our investigator with the leaders of another church sitting in. I will not lie, When they introduced themselves I barely suppressed a wide grin and peals of laughter. Every time that " ********** Brightness" said Christ's name, it was something to the effect of "King Lord Hero King Jesus". We continued with the lesson (Teaching Baptism). It went very well, and at one point we asked why the authority was so important. *************** Brightness started going off on how without the authority from God, baptism was invalid such and such etc. etc. By the look in her eyes, she must have been watching as her greatest adversary was being layed out on the wrack and pulled tight. After she finished, we happily said "Yes, that is exactly right! and God only has 1 church, and only one place where that authority lies. That is the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You can know this for yourselves by reading the Book of Mormon and asking God  through prayer as it directs in James 1:5" (I am heavily paraphrasing and condensing, because that was 4 days ago and took a lot more sentences to properly deliver). In the end, the two leaders (one living in Mkoba, and the other visiting from Harare, probably for some sort of conference) had nothing to say against what we had said, and seemed at least a little intrigued. Not sure if it made a difference for them, but I could tell that our investigator was definitely willing to find out for himself. Time will tell, but you know, the Spirit is a wonderful thing. It strengthens the weak, and confoundeth the wise.

Well, after an eventful week, I will try to best it, but give a guy some credit!

Grandma Twila

Do you have a delayed broadcast there or when will you get to watch the conference?
Delayed. It happens in the middle of the night, but they send us dvds so we watch them like that.

I'll see you all later, and while we part, don't do anything I wouldn't do. . . Don't do anything I would do either. =P
~Elder Williams

Mar. 26

There isn't much prejudice, and there are white people in town and stuff, but some kids grow up in the rurals and so us missionaries are the first white people they see, so they get freaked out. =P
~Elder Williams

answer to Mom's letter on Prejudice.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

Why hello everyone!
How are things going for you? Me, I have been making a bigger effort to learn shona than before, so before I go on, Indino zivakuti kereke a Jesu Kristu yemasuva epidzisira evatendi ndeyey chokwadi. Yes, it is a mouthful, yes I am good at saying it, and yes, I know the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is true. 

This last week was fairly slow, not very succesful, and still a good bit of fun. My mtc buddy elder Pehrson is in the same house and we have been having a blast: cooking lots of good food, playing chess (he is getting pretty good) and just having fun.

In the area, I broke a pedal on my bike (not my fault!) and so I got replacements. We had quite a few things pop up during various stages of the week from a missionary questionairre, to exhanges with the ZL's, to a stake conference where we couldn't hear more than one talk during the general session; that one talk was a repeat of Pres. Dube's from the day before during the adult session!

Well, we had a cool experience this week. There was a less-active that we have been trying to see the past few weeks, and even before I got here, and she would always tell the people to tell us she wasn't home. Fast forward to last week. We are contacting and we find a guy waiting for lessons with some JW's (Jehovah witnesses). He seems interested and so we teach him a short first half of the restoration. Turns out he is trying to find the true church and was very enthusiastic. He gave us his address and number so we went to catch up with him.
So, we go to his place of residence and it turns out our less active is his wife! she had become less active because the people in her branch 3 years ago had been just gossiping etc in church and weren't doing the things they should do at church. We talked to them, and finished the lesson of the restoration. Leslie (the husband) is very excited, and even told the JW's how happy he was to be meeting with us (apparently when we stoped by we crashed their lesson, unbeknownst to us). Needless to say, as they walked away they stared daggers at us. . . well, sorry! next time I will try not to carry the fullness of the Gospel of truth; sorry that was a lie, but hey, give a guy some credit!

Also this week, I got tired of my wart so I burned it off. . . with hot needles and a knife (see pictures for after image). It was my first time attempting such a method, and needless to say I don't like fire as much as ice; but I think I did pretty well =P man, I was singing 'Come, Come, ye Saints' pretty loudly for a few minutes there. . .

Onto questions!

Aunt Michelle:
Now you did say you have moved to a different area, so did you fly there? drive?  how many hours away from where you were first at?
Yes, we drove. 3 1/2 hours to Harare, and another 4 from there to Gweru
SO  how big is the church there?
One of the biggest and nicest chapels in Zim for my area, about 160 members, and more than double that in less actives.
Well do they have a choir at church?  how about  activities nite?
not yet, but hopefully soon. I will be pushing for that in the coming meetings =P
how  are jobs over there do people work? if not working what do they do?
Many do I think. Not sure about percentages, but alot of people drink when they aren't working, and many do while they are.

Grandma twila:

Did I ever ask you if you use phones there? Do most people have phones?
Yes, we have phones, but the system is different than in the states (will explain another time). Here in gweru, yes most everyone has a phone. 
How often do you have a Zone conference?  Do you always go to the mission home for those?
Every 2 transfers. The mission has 8 Zones, and 4-5 seperate conferences, the farthest ZOnes being 5-6 hours from the mission home, and only 3 being within 2 hours, so no. They have them in the respective Zone areas. 
Are you still in a Branch or do they have wards there? 
I am in a ward/stake here, but there are branches in the stake 
What are your favorite things to cook there?
Sadza =P and Chicken Curry
Do they have regular grocery stores or is it just like open food markets?
Do you use American money there?
yes, and the south african Rand
Is your new apartment there 
about like your old one?
My last was probably the least nice in the mission, and my new one is way awesome. Will remember to take pics next week
Do you still have to do your laundry 
by hand?
Your new comp
Elder Nyoni, from Bulawayo and also South Africa
The new place
Gweru, Mkoba
Crazy animals
going to get to ride an elephant and walk with lions this transfer (no joke)
What are the hobos like there?
Sometimes almost naked (holey clothing) and always begging for money. Many however, are probably not really in need of anything. (that is how many were in Mutare) 
Do they call them hobos?
I don't think so
What is the weirdest thing you saw this week?
ummm. . . well, I had a salvation or damnation lesson with a less active member of the bishopric, if that counts. It was cool, I always love those lessons. *If you don't keep all the commandments, you can't be saved. . . But! If you keep all the commandments and teach others to do so, you will live with God forever, isn't that great?!?!?!?!?!?
Do you know how much we love you?! TONS!
probably more than you love french toast

Dad, I need the recipe you use for:
Maple syrup
Curry beef stew

I love you all, and I hope you all know that!
Srai Zhakanaka

~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)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a little note to Mom March.

There are sometimes sensitive things that happen that we aren't supposed to talk about with people back home for multiple reasons. Know that I am safe and am looked after by someone with the most kind and gentle hands. All will be well, you have no need to worry or fear. I love you so much mom =P
It is great to hear about the kids, make sure to always give athen and aren hugs and kisses from me! I miss them alot, but don't worry; nothing can or will distract me from the work of the Lord.
In my new area, I may have the opportunity to either ride an Elephant or walk with Lions during a Zone activity. Either one would be way fun =P I don't know how soon I will be able to get the scriptures covered, but I will keep you posted.
love you tons!
~Elder Williams

March 5, 2012

Well, I have lost count of my weeks and am too lazy to go look in my sent mail box. I think it is something like 15. . . give or take like 10. 

And now onto something completely different*.
*(bench explodes)

Well hello friends and family,
If you got that reference, good for you. If not, go watch monty python's flying circus (sorry, am I not supposed to ruin it like that?). Well, This last week we received our transfers, and I was moved to Gweru, in Mkoba. I spent the first 4 1/2 months on mission In Sakubva, so parting was a little difficult, but hey. What's done is done. This week was difficult in missionary work, but it ended nicely. We had a very good amount of investigators at sacrament, and I was able to say goodbye to some good friends I made while in Mutare. The parting letter written my Justice, our most recent convert, was touching and brought tears to my eyes. He was my first so far who I feel truly understands what it means to be a latter day saint. 

In my new area, I have first African companion, and it is going to be fun. I just met him today, and his name is Elder Nyoni. He grew up here in Zim, but moved to South Africa with his family about 5 years ago. He seems like a great guy, and I can tell that this is going to be a fun transfer. Also, one of the other elders in the house is Elder Pehrson! He was a good friend from my district in the MTC and now we are in the same house (which has now been given the new name of "the party house") He likes to cook, or "play with pots" and since I do to, and mission introduced my nearly perverse love of food-we are, needless to say-going to cook/eat a lot this transfer. I have been doing very good at staying active, so even though I eat a jack-load I am still weighing in at a constant Buck-Fifty, so. . . good stuff =P
There aren't any stories That I have from missionary work this week, but I will share a good one about myself in the questions.

so, let's hop to it.

Grandma Twila
Have you boys ever tried the "Gallon challenge"? They say it is impossible to drink
a gallon of milk without throwing up; but there are Elders who
are determined to do it. Never happens. yuck!
I haven't, because... I enjoy not throwing up. Elder Shields has tried it. He obviously failed =P (back home)
Do you remember the first time you really KNEW that the
GOSPEL was TRUE.  How about your testimony of the Book of Mormon?
Story time!
At some point in my younger years (I honestly can't give more than an estimate of an age range of 10-14), I was at a fireside or something and the speaker was talking on happiness. He said that "happiness is a choice. Every day you wake up, and you choose whether to be happy. Other people and incidents that happen don't make that decision for you, only you can make the choice of whether to be happy or not". At that time, I really took it to heart, and always tried to make that a centerpiece in my life: that is, to make the choice to be happy everyday.
Throughout my life, I have always accepted the Book of Mormon as a good thing, and as scripture etc. etc. and it was strengthened by the fact that I knew it helped me to have an easier time 'choosing' to be happy. However, as time progressed on, my testimony of the Love of God and of the Atonement grew, while I still really had just an 'I believe the book of mormon is true, and that Joseph was a prophet' attitude. I never really knew
 that they were true. While on my second transfer on mission, I realized this, and that If I were to truly help my investigators gain an unshakable conviction of the prophet and the Book of Mormon I need that unshakable testimony myself. So one night, I got down on my knees and really asked to know if these things were true. My mind was flooded with memories, scriptures, and thoughts which helped me to know even more surely of the truth of all of this. I have always believed they were true, but having a true and pure knowledge of things is something I strive for, and I feel I have so much more of this now. Just as my pursuit of happiness helped me to believe that the book of Mormon is true, in turn, knowing so much more surely of it's truthfulness has helped me to more strongly maintain an attitude of happiness at all times. Both Elder Shields and Elder Toomer said that that was something they learned from me this transfer: to be happy and work hard always.
Do you have any other funny stories that you have not shared?! Share them, mister!
One day, while my companion and I were in the area, I needed to go to the bathroom, and there were no convenient trees nearby. We went to one of the public bathrooms (these things are nasty and smelly by the way)So, I go to go in, but the sign is faded which says men/women (in shona as well, so what I can see I don't know). I poked my head in and back out, but saw nothing decisive as to the assigned gender for this end of the bathroom/shower complex. My companion had no clue, so I stuck my head in a little farther. In a jiffy I was walking around to the other side, knowing full well which one was the women's room and which the men's. Upon leaving the men's room, I had a similar assurance as to the correctness of that conclusion. Well, that was quite an adventure I deign to never repeat. 
Have you been staying in the same place the whole time?
 I just moved for the first time. (see above)
Do you have a nice landowner person?
only ever met her once, and she seemed nice. . .
What new thing did you learn this week? :) 
I am not taking questions today. . . haha just kidding. It was probably in patience. I have been doing my study on patience and there really is a lot to it. I will go more in depth at a later date, but suffice it to say I am really enjoying my studies at the moment.
I love you all, and wish you the best this coming week! I forgot my camera cord today, and the computers here ion Gweru don't have an SD slot, so pics/ videos will need to wait until next time. 

Srai Zhakanaka!
~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)