Elder Hayden L. Williams

August 2019

Week #56 - Chennai - "Ah Yes, He is my Small Father"

Your what?

Small Father. My cousins father.

What? Oh! Your uncle.

Ah yes Elder.

Actual conversation I had the other day with a member in their home. I decided to start making a list of the funny Indian idioms they use starting with "small father". Next on that list is cousin brother or sister. Referring to their cousins gender as well, which honestly I don't mind so much because it tells you more than just cousin. 

Well this week we met with a lot of the less active members in my area marking down their homes. We also met with our Branch President to ask questions about people we had discovered going through our area book of people. We visited a few active members and ate nicely, another expression they use here. Honestly the English here is simple and refreshing. It lets you know exactly what they mean. For the most part. There are moments like when Elder Raja uses the word "deserve" like "own". He said he deserved something and I just kind of gave him a sidelong glance until his companion, Elder Peters, asked him what he thought that word meant. It then went on to a 20 minute discussion on this word and how to use it. 

Got a haircut today and their complimentary head massage. I say massage but it is more like they are just slowly concussing your head. Not sure thats a word but I just made it one. Anyway while they karate chop your head you are left to wonder why this is necessary, if you can think while a 50 year old man is smacking your head that is. 

Honestly just trying to work with members and the few people we have to teach. I'll let you know next week if any of them have advanced at all.

Love you all,
Elder Williams

Week #55 - Chennai - "Here's mud in your eye!"

And virtually every place else available. Well, to be honest I spent this whole week covered in mud because it has been raining a whole lot and our cycles do not have mud flap cover things (not certain what they are called on bicycles). 

Our week was spent putting our area books, the records that missionaries keep about the people we are teaching, into our phones and getting soaked by the rain going to our evening appointments. We kept ourselves in the area nearer to our apartment this week since I was still getting over a sickness and there was full rain daily. Elder Rogers found some new people to teach when he was on exchange but I haven't been able to meet them yet so I'll let you know how anyone progresses. 

Praying for lighter rains this week,
Elder Williams

Week #54 - Chennai - "These New-Fangled Devices are Pretty Nifty!"

So to start I am currently experiencing my transfer sickness as I seem to do every time I change areas. We also have smartphones now, we activated them at zone conference this last week. I felt reservations at first about using these because I was looking forward to being away from them for a while but I am already seeing the benefits in these devices. 

On Sunday there was a 10 year old boy who walked in and sat next to me and my companion didn't recognize him as an investigator from our area so I asked the boy where he lived. He told me the place but since I've only been in this area for a week the location meant nothing to me. But then I remembered I had google maps on my phone and he put in his home address and we found out he was from the 2nd branch Elders area. So that was a way that I really get to see how these devices will help missionaries. 

So my area is Mogappair A and we have 6 Elders living in our apartment. 4 of us are in 4th branch(Mogappair) Elder Peters and Elder Raja, with me and my companionand the other 2 are in 2nd branch(Annanagar) Elder Ostler and Elder Nagaraj.

I went to the home of Abishek this week. He is a 13 year old boy who is super great! He comes to church each week and reads the Book of Mormon sometimes, as much as any 13 year old reads it. We are working on getting his mom to attend as well but it looks like she works on sunday sometimes so that will take some work.

Anyway I'm glad to be in another place where the lord needs me to serve!
Elder Williams 

Week #53 - Chennai - "I Feel Like a Ping Pong ball..."

Well, once again I have been transferred to a new area after barely getting used to the last one! Hence the title of this email... So now I am here in Chennai! One of the largest cities in India. Unfortunately the state language here is Tamil so once again all my knowledge of Telugu is utterly useless to me. Rough. Haha anyway my new companion is Elder Rogers from Orem Utah. He has been out about 4 months longer than me and his last companion was actually also Elder Thivyanathan! (My companions brother) (Note from parents: We got to briefly chat with Hayden this morning. It took up his whole P-day to transfer. He traveled to Chennai with his companion and one other missionary. His now former comp. is now in Chennai as well but a different area. He has very mixed feelings about leaving his last area because after months of getting to know all of the members and re-finding a couple of families to teach, he was able to get a baptism on date for next month. It was the mother of a girl who has been going to church for quite a while. They were not allowed to baptize her until the mother was on board with it. They were finally able to meet with the mother. When she asked why she should be baptized again since she was already Christian Hayden gave her the analogy of him walking into a school to be a teacher. Though he can teach, he doesn’t have the diploma from a credible university giving him the authority to teach. She understood and then set her own date for baptism! He didn’t even get to say goodbye to her, which is sad).

Other big news is that apparently this week at Zone conference they will be rolling out mobile devices for us so that should be fun? I guess? I don't know, there is positive and negative to devices to me but we will see.

Really sorry but that is pretty much all the time I had for this week since I just finished traveling and got this little time to communicate.

More next week!
Elder Williams