Elder Hayden L. Williams

Week #29 - Ramamurthy Nagar - "Hello from the other side of the world!"

Hello Family and Friends of Elder Williams

What a blessing the announcement from the Church was that missionaries could call home on p-days! We had a nice long chat with Hayden. He told us about:

Indian culture and customs
- He loves the beautiful colors that they all wear. He says that Church is just a colorful affair. The Saris the women wear are bright and beautiful and from the finest silks that he has ever seen. He explained that most Indians have only one name. The surnames really only denote a high caste so many do not have surnames.

Language
- They have one Church member in particular that will go on appointments with them to help translate. Though many of the members speak Telegu, many investigators speak Tamil so this one Church member who speaks both along with English will go with them to help. Another language some speak is Kanada which is just not something he can ever grasp. His favorite is the one he spoke of last week, Cookie. So he wanted to send a shout out to our friend Cookie and say “Hey, not only are you a treat, but you are also a language!”;) haha

Investigators - So many are open to believe what they teach but struggle to realize that there are differences between churches, and that those differences are important. They believe everything. Update on Babo, his foot is doing better and their lessons are progressing. The lessons with Calvin are continuing and I told him to let Calvin know that his cousin had a baby this week and named him Calvin! Small world;)

Weather – It just hit 32 degrees Celsius, which is almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s really heating up!

Pollution – both in the air and in the water. His hair is becoming brittle and is falling out. He is lucky to have his Grandpa Williams genes which provides lots and lots of hair so this shouldn’t be a permanent thing;) He tries using filtered water to wash his hair but that doesn’t seem to help. There is a shampoo he will try next. He just ran out of his shampoo and soap that he was sent over with so now he will go native. (And not the native you are thinking of, Dean;)

Indian Food – He is loving the food. He says that his favorite is a dish called Monkey Rice. He says that it smells like smelly feet but the taste is amazingly wonderful. He is used to his mouth being on fire all of the time and prefers that to ever drinking their buttermilk or eating their curd rice. He just can’t stomach it! So we told him to just say he was allergic;) haha Also, chicken livers are the worst thing he’s ever tasted.

Questions – He loved being filled in on the general happenings at home but his first question was about our family friend, Stefani, who was able to go to the temple and be sealed to her family shortly after Hayden left. Her baptism after so many years made an impact on him as he loves Dean and Stef so much. He was super sad to miss that and wanted to hear all about it.
He was super happy to talk to us (me by Skype and Dan joined on speaker phone once he landed in Chicago). All the missionaries in his flat were so excited to talk to their families that they got up early and headed over to the Church where there are 5 computers for them to use. We got to end our call with our family tradition of reading the scriptures together and having family prayer. With Dan traveling out of town so often for much of the kids lives, we made sure that we were all on speaker phones to check in at night to read and pray together. When they leave home for college they do that on their own but when we are back together, it is so nice to do that together again. Being able to do that now, even with the 3 of us in 3 different locations was a real treat.

Seeing his happy, smiling face was such a boon to me! Hayden’s words don’t always convey what is in his heart, so seeing is believing! Thank you to all of Hayden’s family and friends who read his emails and support our boy! We love you allJ
Hugs, Sandi
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