Monday, April 30, 2012

the companions and such...

Well, this is my second African companion, and, just like Americans,
each one is different! My present companion is a great guy and we are
having a blast, working hard, and teaching/baptizing! It is amazing to
see how much of a difference unity makes in fun and efficiency. There
are more similarities than you would think between us, but there are
still some cultural differences. I don't hardly notice anything
anymore though, so it is hard to say. Sometimes I feel like I can't
remember home very well. My mind is so good at imagining, that I will
remember something from years ago, but my mind will substitute habits
or mannerisms I/ those around me have into the memory.
It is getting into winter now, and I will have a member make a pair of
(either cotton or wool, can;t remember) gloves for me with a W on
It is great to hear that Collin did well on his play, I will have to
congratulate him. 
I love you mom! oh, so much.
~Elder Williams

April 30, 2012 name the quote...

Welcome squidward! Welcome Squidward! Welcome Welcome Welcome Welcome!
Welcome to our club!

Hey there family, friends and club mates!
This week has been fun. Elder Nzimande and I had a very successful teaching week, and had a great time using bikes again! we had two people baptized, (I forgot my camera today so i will upload the pictures at a later date) Sister Ruth and her daughter Rutendo. 

The baptism was good, and was followed by a wedding. A recent convert and a member were getting married. It was cool, and really loud (half the time it just sounded almost like the people were yodeling like spongebob and patrick do on the 'CLUB' episode. . . you know, when their mouths make that 'O' and their tongue goes out a few inches. . . ANYWAY). The food was for sure nice!

We just started teaching a family that is SDA (Seventh Day Adventist). I contacted the son, and he had a few questions about God and Jesus. We didn't give him a straight answer, but instead asked him questions and piqued his interest. We set up an appointment and went to see him and his father. We taught them about the nature of God, and about what we need to do to see God again. It was a very spiritual lesson, and when we closed, the father, Brother Nyathi (Neyah-tea), gave a powerful prayer (in iNdebele, so only my comp heard it, as he speaks Zulu which is similar) in which he asked that his family be able to understand the things we taught and to have us come back and continue teaching them. He even closed in the name of Jesus Christ!
Sunday, the son, Trosky, even came to church! We got to stop by and see the family again Sunday night for a few minutes, and I could tell that they really liked having us around.

This week was fun, and I learned alot. I have been continuing my study of Isaiah, and all I can say is: WoW. (no, not World of Warcraft, or Word of Wisdom, just WoW)


Aunt Christine:
do you still play violin/piano/other instruments. has that been something you have been able to use on your mission, your knowledge of musical instruments? After all, it is the language of the world, music!
I haven't played the violin for about 2 years now (since graduating highschool) but there is a lot of singing that happens and whenever I need to read sheet music for anything, it is easy =P not that they have much sheet music here other than the hymns!

Grandma Twila
What advice would you offer to a young man who is preparing to serve a mission?
Get used to talking to people you don't know. Be comfortable with yourself and willing to step out of your comfort zone, you will everyday on mission.
List three things that you did that you feel were most helpful as you prepared.
Well, I didn't do the first one, but I wish I had:
1 Read the entire Book of Mormon meaningfully. study and understand. Mark your favorite things, and know what the BOM is in heart not just mind
2 Pay attention in Seminary and/or Institute. The stuff you learn and mark will be there to help you when you least expect it. The spirit draws on knowledge you already have, not knowledge that you wish you had. If you knew/know it, the spirit will make it more meaningful to you and to those you teach
3 Follow the commandments- live the way you know you should and the Lord will prepare you in the ways that you need to be prepared.

I love you all, and hope you all remember who you are. If you don't. . . well, then "It seems that the one who once did the wanting suddenly wants to be wanted by a different wanting that hasn't been wanted for the sake of wantness. . . eh?" The first one to name that quote will get to tell me something (reasonable) to do that I will then do and try to take a picture of if possible. . . =P

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Hey all you people, won't you listen to me! Oh, I just had a sandwich, no ORDINARY sandwich, it was the tastiest sandwich in the sea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a krabby patty with jelly fish jeellllllyyyyyyyyy! yadabida-booda-bida-boo-dabi-daboodabi-bob-yeaaaaaaaaaa!

yea. . . not a really difficuly reference, but that is besides the point. Well, see if you can get this one:
"Why are you complaining? you can leave whenever you want!"
"No I can't you're forcing me to stay here!"
"Thaaat's besides the point."

LION VIDEOS!!!! (sorry randomly inserted comment, couldn't help myself, I was able to condense the one. . . I think my camera makes the files super extra too large. . . =/ idk why)

maybe a bit botched up, but begger's can't be choosers. . . and I haven't watched that in like 2 years. . .
Well, now on to the important bit. . . COOKIES! nope, sorry, that's next time (spoiler alert. . . no not really, I am just kidding)
the REAL important bit is that now I have a new companion, Elder Nzimande, from Durban, South Africa. He is a really cool guy and I am excited to have him as a companion. Well, It is going to be fun! I also had my first oreo on mission, and I will upload the file so you can see it too! *it is Elder Nzimande Narrating/filming.

We had an enjoyable week together, and this next transfer is going to fly by and be a blast, I can't wait!

In other news, we had a father we have been teaching (Brother Muchenge) Finally come to church! I am so excited for him. He is working towards being beptized on the 12 of may, and will hopefully be ready. Once he gets dunked, his wife will too, and then it will be the whole family! (all the children are already members). Well, I apparently like the word 'well' alot recently, so we'll see how that goes, but it is time for questions.


Gma Twila:
Has it been a bit of a challenge to adjust to native companions who come from such a different culture?  I think you must look at it as an adventure.
Well, for the most part, the companions I have had are from either states or SA, which is similar to states, but the culture even here in Zim isn't too weird. My last companion was still very Zim in his mannerisms, and we didn't really have challenges. I like to think I adjust easy anyway. . . =P
What is a typical days menu for you?
Eish, gotta think about that one. I eat alot of Chicken, Sadza, Rice, and Mince (ground beef), as well as Kovo and other greens. A typical dish will be a meat, starch, greens, and soup mix. 
Do you do most of your own cooking or do members invite you over often?
We do a lot of our own, but we also have been getting DA's alot more recently. I saw/see members often and they now enjoy feeding us.
Do they drink milk there and do they have cold cereal?
They have alot of stuff here for both food and hygiene etc that I never thought they would. Yes they have Cold cereal (kellog's cornflakes, frosted flakes etc. Not any General mills names though.)
Do they have any good places to eat out?
oooohh yea, Nando's is way awesome, Shangrilah (Chinese), various other nearly american resturaunts. Very much like South African cuisine.
I want to hear about the children there!  
What are they like?
Well, they are children, just like back home, but a lot less monitored. There aren't really cars everywhere as much as in states, and kids will just go and play around with their friends near home. 
What is school like for them?
School here is very similar to home (if public) except there are always uniforms. There are also alot of boarding schools. 
Are you in more of the country side or the city?
Cityish. I live just 1 comby ride away from Gweru Town. 
Are there lots of families located in the cities?
Not as high density as the areas where most missionaries work. 
Is the winterish time coming soon for you?
Yup. Gweru gets the coldest in Zim, and June is the peak of the Cold season.
Do they have mainly market places for shopping?
Grocery stores in town (Spar, OK, TM) is what we use, there are also lots of flea markets and street markets for food and clothes.
Where do people get their clothes from?
Lots from the States, as well as from south. Some are also made here in Zim, but I think most is from USA or SA

Well, to close for the week I would like to apologize for not having much of a big spiritual experience this week. I was sick on tuesday and wednesday with a fever, did some nice sudoku and sleeping on wednesday, and worked hard enough with my comp to make up for the missed/slow days. I also had some DELICIOUS chicken soup made by the couple missionaries in my area, the Eyres. It was a fun, eventful week, and I am feeling much better now!

Love you all tons, keep on keepin on!


Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Before I begin, Sorry to all of you that wanted to see the video of a lion yawning, it was about 1mb too large to send, and I don't know how to compress the files on these computers, and they have no editing software (I zipped the file and it was still the same size).

And now onto something completely different. *SCHBLOOM!!!!* 

Well hello there family and friends,
I hope you are all doing well, because I am right now =P (except for my finger, that kind of hurts. . . sticking it in a fan in the middle of the night while half asleep does that to your finger. . . Don't worry, we found the cover for the fan. . . won't happen again) But on the bright side. . . of the earth, the sun is shining. Well, the point is. . . the end of the needle. However, despite these truths, transfer calls came this Friday. Elder Nyoni got moved to Harare, and my new companion is Elder Nzimande. This last week was pretty fun and chaotic. We had general conference on saturday and sunday (we watch all sessions in a row, 4 hours saturday, 6 on sunday with priesthood session) so, might I say, that was excruciating; it was, however, still a great experience. 

On the subject of teaching, this week was mostly drab. Nothing really special or interesting comes to mind other than my first experience teaching a non-Christian. I had a lesson with a muslim and that was interesting, but not anything out of the ordinary. We have 1 person preparing to be baptized next week (a young teenager) and then two more (a mother and daughter) the week after that. All three came to at least 1 session of conference and enjoyed it, so that was also good. My new companion got here about 15 minutes before I came to email, so I will talk about him next week. 
onto questions!


In what way has your heart felt the biggest growth?
Probably in the amount that I read the scriptures, I am learning even more to look for the hand of God in my life. It is helping me, especially as a missionary, to allow myself to yield to the spirit more often. I have also had the opportunity to give quite a few blessings (even last night I gave a blessing which was the first a Ward missionary ever participated in, and that was cool!). I feel that I have really been learning to allow myself to be God's hands, rather than my own. I still have work to do in that area though! =P

What have you already gained that is making you more then you had previously thought of yourself? 
Honestly, the best way to describe what being on a mission does for you is to relate it to Dungeons and Dragons. (Bear with me)

In life, just as in DnD, you are constantly gaining experience and 'growing levels', surpassing obstacles that at one time are very challenging and eventually become typical experiences which are easy to overcome (remember Elder Eyrings talk about mountains to climb on Saturday morning session). As life goes on, we continuously develop skills and attributes, gain feats (or abilities) and truly become who WE are. As life begins, we grow levels very quickly (low experience req between levels) we advance fast, but in comparison to later levels, the things we know are still very basic.
Going on mission gives you, in my opinion (from the added strength from God), a large chunk of temporary experience. For a time (2 years) you are in essence a lvl 4 with the capabilities and knowledge of lvl 12. While on mission, you continuously obtain new knowledge, experience, abilities, etc. You may, hypothetically speaking, grow from level 12 to lvl 13 or 14 while on your mission. You are doing challenges, dealing with stresses and strains, and coping with things that a lvl 12 character would do, while you are still technically a much lower level. (try doing what a missionary does every day without being set apart. It is like a lvl 4 character trying to do a CR:10 or CR:12 quest; frankly it is not possible)
When you are released, that extra chunk of experience and abilities (such as strength of testimony and other benefits of being a set-apart missionary) leave. You no longer have the added Umph of being a full time servant of God (you always hear people talking about the things that they had on mission that they lost after being released such as the indomitable testimony a missionary has, or the conviction behind what they say with the additional strength the Spirit gives his/her words). However, the amount of experience you acquired between levels 12 and 14 while on mission, is worth far more than an increase of two levels for a level 4 character. After mission, you retain the things you increased on (experience gained, skills acquired, knowledge of things etc). So you may now be a level 10 or 11, where someone at your present age would normally be maybe a lvl 6 or 7 (quite a difference in experience and capabilities). As you can see, even on mission, you get out what you put in. 

As a missionary, if you do what you are supposed to do, you learn things everyday. You learn at an accelerated rate things that normally wouldn't be learned until later in life. You find out more about yourself and find out your weaknesses and ways to fix them, again, only if you focus on that. As time goes on in DnD your character sharpens their abilities and patches in weaknesses that weren't apparent at early levels. As I have tried to apply this same principle in real life, I have been working on the things I need the most. I will pray about the things I should study that day or week, do so, and find out it is perfectly applicable to what I need to work on or improve the most at that time. 

To more directly answer the question, I feel that the thing I have improved on the most thus far is humility. As I have learned more about it and improved, I have made jumps back and forth to thinking I understand it. I am constantly learning, and constantly growing. I can't wait to see what I come out like after mission, I feel for sure that I will be much more than I was before in every way.

Well, I love you all so much, and hope to hear from more of you soon.

~Elder Taggart Williams


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Photos of lions and missionaries. Doing the Lord's work.

EAster week

Well hello everybody!
I hope you are all doing as well right now as I am, cuz I just had a pretty good week.
Step one: the funny stories
  • In a lesson teaching plan of salvation.
    • Me: "Right here, it tells us 'Adam fell that men might, and men are that they might have joy'" (2 Ne 2:25)
    • Investigator: *not even missing a beat* "Is it talking about sexual joy?"
    • Me: ". . . *takes a breath* No, (insert 2 syllable name), . . . It's not."
  • Cutting squash into small cubes for the couples Dinner.
    • *Me cutting with a very dull knife doing something cool to make it fast and easy*
    • *duly named* Traffic Director: *takes knife and squash* "Elder Williams, You are doing it wrong!"
    • Me: "You don't even know what I'm doing!"
    • TD: "Yes I do." *proceeds to ruin what I was doing with the present piece*
    • Me: "What the crap! Your ruining it! give that back!"
  • Walking with Lions at Antelope Park, Gweru.
    • Me: "Man, this is so cool! I am walking with a lion cub!" (still pretty big)
    • Lion: *stops walking, sits down and begins eating horse poop*
    • Me: "Well, I guess lions are more like my dog than I thought they would be =/ "

Step Two: The summary

  • Well, this week was pretty nice. We ended up dropping some investigators who won't come to church, and that was fun. We have been shifting the focus as a mission to Fathers/Father led families, and so that is taking some getting used to. Transfers end is this week, so tomorrow I will find out "if I stay or if I go" (name that song! . . . I can't =P). 
  • This week we had a couples dinner on Saturday, and despite lots of annoyances with planning (not being told what We were expected to do until after it was supposed to have been done), was quite fun. We had a few less actives and part member families come, as well as an investigator couple. It was lots of fun, and there was good food too! Yes, I got some =P
  • This morning we went to Antelope park and I got to walk with Lions. Yup. That's right, I walked with Lions. Fetching sweet, lemme tell you. It wasn't the coolest thing ever in the world, but I can mark that off my bucket list! Walk with/pet one of the 'big cats' *Check!* (see pictures) Yes, I got to pet them =P
  • There is a guy in my Ward who is deaf, maybe dumb, and other things, and he is a cool guy. This week, after sacrament I was just hungry and thirsty and had nothing! He comes up to me right after I think this, and motions me to come over, and open my backpack. He then pulls out a bag of Guavas for me! What a God-send! After Gospel Principles, I recieved a picture/note from him with a homemade frame. It was such a cool gift, I really appreciated him for it. For a few weeks after sacrament meeting, I have written some things down for him and given him pamphlets for lessons (which he keeps =P). His name is Brother Petros. See picture. 
Well, no questions for this week as well, but I still love you all. I am attaching a video of the lion so check the blog for that!

love you all, stay well, and take luck
~Elder Williams

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Well hello everyone!
Crazy to think, but yes, I am almost 6 months out. *p.s. Nathan, if you don't get your papers in soon. . . Dokarova (i'll beat you)
As for news, I have had an interesting week, from doing service at a deaf school, to watching general conference late at night and *surprise!* still falling asleep for some talks, to going to the army museum here in Gweru. Well, all is fun until someone gets hurt and none of that happened this week, so we're good.

That's right, we went and did a service project at a school for deaf children. It was fun, we did some gardening, and also got to play with the kids. It was lots of fun, and we had a good time right up to the end. I am attaching some pictures here, the rest will be put up on the blog as usual =P (by my daddio)

We also got to watch some of General Conference (starting from 6pm-8, then 10-12) and that was fun/tiring. I really enjoyed Henry B. Eyering's talk in the first session about trials. It was cool to hear, and I can't wait to be able to watch it all again when I can take notes and stay awake! We also made a jack-load of popcorn this week, and enjoyed that quite a bit. Bike repairs meant lots of time fixing my bike and still having the pedals brake, but it is all working now I think.

My house also went to a war museum and saw some cool things. I got a picture of some spears and a shield which I wish I had sooooo badly! as well as some other cool things.
Next week on P-day, we are going to antelope park, where I will have the opportunity to walk with LIONS!!!!!!!! it is going to be cool =P

On the missionary work aspect for the week, we were pretty cramped due to the service and conference so most our days were only half work days, but we managed to survive. We had a baptism on Saturday, for both 2 investigators, and a child of record. The young boy, Ngonizashe, took a nice big breath right as I put him under the water and came up sputtering, but he was ok after a few minutes. The problem with the baptism was: I am a pants size 32. They had no belt. The pants they have were either size 28 or 48. . . so I had [-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------] this much extra fabric that I had to tie up. It was pretty funny, and everyone kept laughing, but hey- them's the beans. Other than that, the baptism went smashingly. We are currently teaching a father who is in his late 60's i think, and he doesn't speak amazing english, but it is passable. As we are teaching him (3 lessons now) he is wanting to learn, but when we started talking to him about how baptism needs to be by the correct authority and that authority lies only in the true church of God. He started seeming pretty sad, but then his fellowshipper bore his testimony that it was true and how he could know that the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is true if he prayed about it, the investigator looked a lot happier (not sure if that story made sense, but that is how I am going to leave it). When the difficult moments come, what a blessing it is to have a good fellowshipper there to help the investigator to feel the extra love and strength added by a third witness.

We are having a couples dinner this weekend for both investigators and members so that will be fun, and it will hopefully get us a jack-load of referals too.

there were no questions this week, but always feel free to ask! 

I love you all, 
~Elder Williams