Elder Hayden L. Williams

August 2018

Week #4 - MTC - "We are the three Amigos!"

"...and Amigos together are we!" Good movie and song. Since there is just the three of us left it feels appropriate. 

So Elders Jue, Wolcott and I have been alone here at the MTC for three days now and we have been completely forgotten. No Ohana for us here if you get what I mean. They told us just to keep going to our classes so we have and there are no teachers who ever show up to teach us so we have practiced teaching each other and watching every single movie they have available on LDS.org. In other words, I think I finally understand what you felt with your extra two weeks Cody!

So I finally got to meet the other Indian missionary here at the MTC! Her name is Sister Mungamuri and she is probably the nicest person this side of the World. She is also from my mission from some small town that I haven't heard of and I think she said her brother is serving in my mission so I guess we will have to see if I see him. Someone else that I saw this week was Mason Gardiner! Somehow I missed getting to host him because I was hosting again this last week but that's ok. I also don't have a picture with him because when I greet him I get the standard kind of unexcited greeting from him but I am pretty certain that he is happy to see me. 
 
Wow that's crazy about Nadine, I can't even imagine her in college... Wait, does that mean Corinne is in college now? Mercy... 

I am so sad that I had to miss Dean and Stef's sealing! I love them so much and I am so happy that they were able to go to the temple after waiting so long! Ahhh if this is how I feel for every person that I teach that gets baptized I am going to be so happy!

So that has essentially been this week. By this time in 4ish days I'll be in India so talk to ya when I talk to ya.
Love you all,
--
Elder Williams

Week #3 - MTC - "The Lord will lead the way!"

Recognize that one Dad? You should because you wrote it. I was listening to my playlist and heard this song by you followed by one of grandpas songs and then a little later I heard the song that I sang with Lauren. It was really cool to hear all of us sing one after the other.

So right after I emailed last week we went to the temple like we are allowed to on P-days and we had all decided to go do some temple sealings because some of the Elders had never done it. When we showed up at the office as 8 Elders, however, what I thought was just a temple worker was a little annoyed because apparently missionaries go and do sealings sometimes because they think they are fast, which was not why we were doing it. So this worker pulled us into one of the sealing rooms and when he introduced himself it turns out that he was the Temple President and then proceeded to lecture us for the next thirty minutes about how we should go do initiatories and so when he was finally done we did go and do that but it was just annoying that he assumed we were only doing it because it is "faster" which is debatable.

On Tuesday we had Elder D. Todd Christofferson come for our devotional which was cool but he only ended up talking for 45 minutes about the recent announcement made by the Prophet about how we are going to be pushing to get rid of nicknames like "Mormon" and "LDS" so it wasn't so much of a spiritual powerhouse meeting. 

So on Wednesday we got to host the new missionaries coming in and the first one that I was able to host was an international Elder that got here the day before but he was just the best. His name is Elder Plucena and he came here from Dubai but he is originally from Luzon, Philippines. We had a good conversation and he is just on the other side of my residence building.

Other than this it has just been classes that are getting pretty repetitive but it's ok I can feel the spirit in every one we have. No news on when I get to leave or where I get to go so I will try and keep you all updated.

-- 
Namaste,
Elder Williams

PS So I am going straight to India! But I have to stay here another week because my mission president is at some sort of conference next week and asked us to stay here. I leave September 3rd

Week #2 - MTC - "Its been a long road..."

"... Getting from there to here. It's been a long time, but my time is finally here!"
That one is for Dad. What show is this song from? ;)

This week has felt forever long! Hence the opening song... It has been really good but at the same time I am so ready to hit the field! We met a missionary from Bengaluru this week. It was incredible to talk to him because he served over there for a month waiting for his visa and in that one month he had 6 baptisms! Sounds like the people are ready over there. He is going to Tempy (?) Arizona on his mission though. Speaking of Elders that I saw, I saw Elder Keaton Fuller for the first time in over a year and he has changed about 0% so that was fancy to see him. I also got to see Brother and Sister Larsen in the hall between my classes. She recognized me and came up to me because I don't think that I have seen them since I was probably in that ward so they were super nice and I got to talk for a few minutes with them. 

Ok me and my companion have had multiple witnesses of God's amazing sense of timing. So the first day that we were here we got separated from the rest of our district while going to a workshop and while we were heading there we were stopped by a Brother leading an Elder into the meeting and asked us if we would be a trio with him until after the meeting and I looked at his badge and realized his name was Elder Jue and that we had been looking for him for about 3 hours since he had never shown up. Now that would have been enough for me and Elder Baker to have a witness that God is really there, however that isn't the end of the story. Yesterday me and my companion were walking to class and a couple Elders stopped us and asked if we would bring someones ID card to the front desk of the main building because they were dressed in P-Day clothes and you need to be wearing a white shirt in the main building. So we agreed to take it and we looked down at it and realized that it was the card of another Sister in our zone. So we told the Elders that we were her zone leaders and we all just kind of freaked out for a second realizing how good God was at timing this kind of thing. So just kind of a cool story from the past week.

We had a really good devotional on Tuesday from President Kearon of the presidency of the 70. He is British and a convert so he was able to tell us the importance of baptism and how we should never be hesitant in our invitations and that was a really powerful experience for all of us. My whole district chose to sing in the choir which was a really good choice since the director is a super awesome person who gives us his own devotional while we practice. We sang "More Holiness Give Me" and Brother Egget, the director, taught us why the author wrote it and more about that. It turns out that the writer of this Hymn also wrote my favorite hymn which is hymn 335 "Brightly Beams our Fathers Mercy." Brother Egget taught us a few things about that song too like the importance of the lower lights when using lighthouses which I had never understood until he told us about it. Lower lights are to be lined up with the light of a lighthouse which will allow a boat to safely go into port if it lines up the lights. So like the song says we are assigned to care for the lower lights so that we can lead people into the port of the gospel, and so that is what I will do for the next two years.

My district has gotten really close in just the one week which we all find incredible. All of us have taken a kind of role in the district. We have our picture mom who is Elder Jue because he has an incredible camera and stops us all the time to take pictures. Somehow I became known as Dad because I wear Dad sandles and I try and keep all the Elders in line, not to mention that I am a year older than all of them. It occurs to me that I didn't introduce the Sisters in my last email so we have Sister Ayala from Mesa, Arizona and Sister Sedlacek from Bountiful who are both going to the Detroit Mission. Sister Thomas is from Mesa as well and Sister Berry is from Surprise, Arizona which is kind of surprise to all of us since we didn't know it existed and both of them are going to the Pittsburgh mission. They are all really incredible and I am sad that they won't be serving in the same missions as the rest of us.

I am so glad that I made this decision to serve a mission. See Y'all next week!
Namaste,
Elder Williams

Week #1 - MTC

One day out of the house and Mom decides to go change everything, sounds about right. 

So yesterday started as a really good day, we were kept busy the whole day so we wouldn't feel homesick which worked. My companion, as you guys already know, is Elder Baker from Saint George, Utah. He is incredible and so much fun to work with. We see two sides of every lesson and then we get to share our thoughts so we get taught twice which is super awesome. So Wednesday we met our Zone Leaders and they lead us around the campus and showed us the buildings which was nice, they were called to be Zone Leaders on their second day which they said was unusual and they leave Monday. Then right as me and Elder Baker were feeling comfortable being Missionaries, our whole district met with the Branch President and he called me and Elder Baker to become the next Zone Leaders starting on Sunday. That threw us both for a loop as we are now just as lost as we were the first day. Lesson learned. Never feel comfortable in the work. The Lord is an expert pitcher and will throw that curve ball. My Branch President is President Dyck (Dike) and he is super awesome and kind. He does not do handshakes but rather hugs so he is my kind of President.

My best experience of the week (2 days) was when I was a little homesick on Wednesday. This passage appeared in my head, "Those who save their own lives will lose it. But those that lose their lives in the service of the Lord or His Gospel shall save it." The next day we were talking about turning ourselves outward instead of inwards and to focus on the work and others instead of ourselves. In our meeting yesterday with our Branch President, his counselors and their wives we even watched a Mormon message from President Hinkley where he quoted this exact passage when he was feeling homesick on his mission. This felt pretty incredible to me that the Lord works in familiar patterns but are still individualized to each of us.

So my district is 8 Elders and 4 Sisters all speaking English. 4 of the Elders are going to Bengaluru and the other 4 are going to New Delhi so we have all the Indian Elders in our one district. The Sisters are all going stateside with 2 going to Detroit and the other 2 are going to Pittsburgh. My batch going to Bengaluru are me, Elder Baker, Elder Hugie and Elder Hakanson. So Elder Hugie is 6'4" from Vienna, Virginia (that's near Julie right?). Elder Hakanson is a shorter red haired fellow from West Jordan. The New Delhi batch is Elder Allred from Syracuse, Utah, Elder Wolcott from Spokane(?), Washington, Elder Jue (Jew) from Livermoore, California and Elder Brady, our District Leader, from Gilbert, Arizona.

So they really did not have a good selection of scriptures and the like so I would like a small Preach My Gospel, they gave me a big one and it barely fits in my shoulder bag and I do not want to try and haul that to India, and a bible that includes D&C and the Pearl of Great Price. I will be returning the Bible that I bought yesterday.