Elder Hayden L. Williams

Week #62 - Vijaywada - "Just a spoonful of sugar..."

...Helps the Advil go down!

So my companion came down with a fever sometime around Friday so that kind of tied down our weekend which is usually when we have the most appointments so that was kind of rough. Just gave him some meds and tried to keep him asleep.

Went on exchange with Elder Idso on Wednesday in my area. We were able to meet with the only investigator I have that speaks good English so that was good for the two of us and that night we went to the home of some members and managed to speak enough Telugu to have a really good appointment. The 14 year old son Durga Prasad just recently got the Aaronic Priesthood so we shared with him how important that priesthood is in preparing us for later times in our life and the life after. He speaks English and as long as we don't talk too fast he can usually understand our accent so thats also helpful. The members here definitely understand a lot more English than they speak. Which is both helpful and completely useless if I don't understand their response in Telugu... But hey we get by and will continue to do so until those missionaries way down the line that will be able to learn this language for real and speak it. Once that happens this work will pick up even more, it will be kind of insane. So we have to lay a good foundation now.

I'll think of better things next week. Promise.
Elder Williams

Week #61 - Vijaywada - "Are they eating Lightbulbs...?"

The subject line is in reference to this weeks new Book of Mormon video about The Tree of Life or 1 Nephi chapter 8. When I first saw it I really thought they were just lighbulbs on a tree and then Lehi reached out and ate one and I freaked out a little bit because it kind of looked like he was putting a lightbulb in his mouth... anyway you get it. I used to set up christmas lights in my Grandparents neighbourhood and I once had a lightbulb explode in front of my face and got some glass in my mouth. Lets just say the video at that part made me marginally uncomfortable.

Anyway this week was full of us trying (and failing) to meet with the people we are teaching who are progressing. Everything just kind of worked against us but General Conference was a definite pick-me-up! We had a couple people come and watch but neither of the people we have on date for baptism which is rough.. One gentleman who did come is a 20 something theology student who we are trying to teach but everytime we go over it is less like a lesson and more like some kind of group bible study where we talk about doctrine both of us believe in instead of learning new things... Mostly we are stuck doing the listening. His home is packed with all kinds of books of the religious kind and all he does is talk about them. I thought introducing the Book of Mormon would be easy since he loves to read but well, still hard explaining that to any christian here who doesnt think we need organized religion. He ended up giving US a few books at the end of our appointment.

Anyway, speaking of conference, holy cow am I right?! I think we had at least 3 talks reference Moses' experience confronting the adversary which is like my favorite passage ever! I especially liked Presidents Oaks talk in the first session because he teaches us that if we arent given an answer to something specific then we just need to trust in the Lord. I kind of thought the talk was funny because it was really him saying in a round about way that we dont know the answers to a lot of these things and they are kind of a personal case by case basis between you and God.

Essentially my week as far as I can remember,
Elder Williams

Week #60 - Vijaywada - "Climb Every Mountain"

Well this week we were able to commit another person to baptism. Her name is Minnie and her whole family are members but they haven't been to church in a while but they came yesterday after getting over their sickness from the last couple weeks. Well she is young but she really understands the doctrine and wants to be baptized. Her parents asked if she could be baptized the same day that they were in 2013 and thats in a few weeks so we let them decide. We should easily be able to finish teaching her the remaining things by then.

As for Veni, her mother was out of town this week but she promised to come to church next week so she should be able to watch conference and then we will finalize whether sister Veni will be baptized or not.

Another fun thing I did this week was rock climbing. Not actually, but it felt like it. There is a big hill that a lot of people, including some members that we visit, that live on this hill and as you get near the top the stairs literally turn into stacked rocks or just steps cut into the rocky face. Felt pretty sketchy coming down because it was raining but we did it lickety-split with no accidents.

Ummm sometimes I struggle with what to put on here because it all feels like youve heard it before and I hate writing.

Anyway until I have something else to write,
Elder Williams

Week #59 - Vijaywada - "I'm running out of one liners..."

I do my best to think up some fun catchy starting liners and I did not realize how difficult it can be sometimes. I try to make it fun. 

Anyway this week was good we were able to put Veni on date for baptism. Missionaries have been visiting her for a while and she almost always comes to church she is just worried for her future and is a little scared to make the commitment. She is busy with college, work and also teaching tuitions for some kids. (Tuitions is kind of like forced homework time that you pay for. Don't know how these kids do it here, it would drive me crazy) But it no problem really, so the date we set is changeable if she isn't feeling up to it. But I feel confident that she will commit when she gets everything figured out. 

We have been trying to help a different brother get over his habit of drinking and we go over about 4 times a week. But just when he seemed to be getting better he told us he got a job at a wine selling place. "Great" I though, "just what a recovering alcoholic needs. Access to free alcohol." So we will continue to give it our best with him. 

We have been showing the new Book of Mormon videos to just about everyone we see. It really helps members and Investigators really get into the Book of Mormon. Even if they dont understand the English in the video they can see what the scriptures are telling and as they say, "pictures say a thousand words." Or something like that... Well I figure a 17 minute long video says quite a lot of words in that case so it makes for a great lesson. 

Basically thats it from me this week,
Elder Williams

Week #58 - Chennai - "Here I go again on my own..."

Ummm so sorry I literally have no time to write this but big news. I got transferred again. At this point I am not even surprised. Anyway I am now in Vijaywada with Elder Pupala who was a YSA who went around with me when I was in Kakinada. More on him next week.

I sent a bunch of pictures this week and you know they say pictures are worth a thousand words so this should be my longest email yet ;)

Elder Williams