Elder Hayden L. Williams

Week #70 - Indiranagar "I feel like I am on repeat..."

Well friends, another transfer another area. That makes 7 areas in 16 months.. I am back here in Bangalore just in time for winter! Nothing like back home but at night it makes it into the 60° Fahrenheit range and it feels amazing! After summer in Chennai I feel great, don't even need to use my sweat rags.

I am serving in the Indiranagar ward with Elder Edwards. We whitewashed this area (whitewashing is where two Elders go into a new area that neither has any knowledge about). It'll take us a while to get used to the area and learn the names so bear with me there isn't much to report this week. 

I'll let you know next week,
Elder Williams

Week #69 - Vizag "Together again, again..."

"Its so good to be together again, again." Oh muppets, what a slice of my childhood you hold.

Anyway the subject line is meant to refer to the fact that once again I find myself in the city of Vizag. Apparently the police showed up to the Elders apartment here looking for me since I am registered as living here. So on Thursday at noon I checked my email and discovered a flight ticket to Vizag from Vijayawada for 6 pm that night. I freaked out a little and then called my mission president where I discovered the rest of this story. He told me to pack all of my things since transfers are this next week so sadly I don't think I am going back to Vijayawada which means that once again I am going to a new place after only 2 transfers in an area... So many places.

At church yesterday I got to say hello to a lot of members that I knew a year ago. Many did not remember my name but they knew my face and I'll take that. They are really awesome here, I really love the city of Vizag. I kind of consider it my home here in India though maybe that is because it was my first city... who really knows. No clue but I love it anyway.

I dont know why group emails are so hard. Anyway I have pictures from this week and last, so if that saying is true about pictures being 1000 words than my email is pretty long this week ;)

Elder Williams

Week #68 - Vijaywada - "I do my job! Kind of..."

So in preparation for the Light the World campaign we were told this last week that we need to have an activity this week which we thought was rather sudden since we just had an activity planned by the missionaries. However, it introduces the whole branch to the service that we can provide in the month of December so we gots to do it ya know? We got these nice passoutable calendars in Telugu that my companion said do not make a lot of sense but they are what we got so we will make do. 

Minnie was baptized yesterday after church and I got to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost which is a really special experience since you also get to pronounce a blessing on the individual and I am always grateful for any blessing I get to perform because it shows your love and service in a very real way. 

Lets see... I lost my voice on Saturday from a cold. Let me just say, missionary work-you know, the work you do by talking to people-is very hard when you can't talk to people and don't know sign language and your companion isn't super confident with his own teaching skills. Nevertheless! It can be done! ish... Basically you find things to do that don't directly involve speaking or teaching, like making posters and decorations for an activity, hence the subject line. My voice came back enough in time for Sunday though so no real issues.

This weekend we get to travel to Rajahmundry for Stake Conference which will be fun. Maybe. The traveling part I mean, Stake Conference is always great. We are traveling to Rajahmundry by train and if any of you have been reading my letters since the beginning you might remember that I hold no love for the Indian Train system as it tends to be overcrowded and smell of coffee. Though supposedly this time around we are in the A/C car so hopefully thats better...? 

Haha anyway thats my life,
Elder Williams

Week #67 - Vijaywada - "Activity of the year!"

Well this last week we had a super great activity for childrens day on Thursday. We had about 150 people show up which is the most amount of people I have seen show up to an activity. About 50 of those were friends and family who are not members which is an incredible number for that! I was running the ring toss game which was really fun. We made over 200 donuts for the donut on the string race which was hilarious to watch. Overall a very successful activity.

Minnie is all set to be baptized next week after church. She chose Elder Puppala to baptize her and for me to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. So that is going to be the highlight of this next week.

On another note Suresh Antony who I taught in Bangalore will be getting the Melchizedek Priesthood soon and that is a real highlight. Its good to hear that he is still really active in the church and that he will be able to bless others lives even more. 

Oh, funny part of the week, Mary, Sandeeps mom, was not able to come to our activity because she said it was cold outside. I kind of just stopped and blinked, it was about 80° F outside with 90% humidity and she was cold! My sister-in-law isn't even that bad! 

So thats kind of my week, and I got a lot of pictures of the activity so thats fun.

Elder Williams

P.S. - From our call with Elder Williams: When we talked to Hayden last night he told us about giving a talk in church yesterday…on Grace. He said that he started off his talk about when his cousin Grace moved to town and attended the same elementary school as him…he did not like her because she would kick him and pull his hair back then. So when his primary teacher was teaching about how we are saved by the Grace of God he told the teacher “no thank you, that is not for me. There is no way Grace is saving me!” Apparently this translates well in another language and culture because everyone laughed. He then shared the principles of grace, faith, and action and scriptures from the New Testament to show how Paul built these concepts upon each other to make them interrelated. He and Grace are 2nd cousins so we only see them occasionally but they continued to see each other almost daily, growing up together into Jr High and High School, were in choirs together, and became friends which makes this story even funnier because we never knew it😆

Week #66 - Vijaywada - "Lockdown!"

This week started well with a Zone Conference of 6! It was hilariously small! There are only 4 of us missionaries in the zone and then President Thomas and his wife. It makes it a really personal conference which is both good and bad. Good because you get to know him and he you, but bad because there are only so many people to pick on. So we did so many roleplays with just the two companionships. (Roleplays being when you act out a lesson with someone trying to focus on one or two points you are trying to improve on.) We talked a lot about the importance of asking questions to gauge understanding. 

Then we had a really good Restoration of the Gospel lesson with Sandeep and his family, honestly probably the best one on my mission. They understood it really well and said they always believed that none of the churches they knew followed Christ's gospel. That is probably the best thing you can ever hear someone say. Unfortunately Sandeep couldn't make it to church on Sunday due to work but we will be visiting tonight to answer any further questions on the Book of Mormon.

Saturday as we were getting ready we got a message from the Mission President telling all Elders to stay inside for 2-3 days due to some controversial legal action up north and possible demonstrations, so the 4 of us were stuck in our apartment for the last two days only coming out to go to Church. 

We have an activity we have been planning for this Thursday, Childrens day here in India. It is pretty much going to be a carnival with a bunch of fun games for the kids after a short devotional. There will only be 3 of us missionaries there running it so we are relying on members a bit (Elder Dass is heading off to the MTC). This should be a really fun activity as the kids in this branch are crazy! I sat in Primary yesterday with them and pretty much went deaf with some kid screaming in my ear, boy I missed Primary. 

Anyway that is pretty much it for me,
Elder Williams