Elder Hayden L. Williams

February 2019

Week #30 - Ramamurthy Nagar - "Late email!"

Sorry that I couldn't tell you last week that I spent yesterday in the hospital. I only learned after the time to email was gone last week that I was going to spend this monday in the hospital. My companion had a hernia a couple months ago that he has been living with but we finally got a surgery scheduled so I spent the day waiting in the hospital with one of the office couple missionaries. We then spent last night in the mission home. I don't have a lot of time this week to update y'all but let it be known that I am fine and my companion will recover in a few days until then I will use other Elders if anyone I am teaching gives us an appointment.

I'll make sure to call next week. Haha I am so glad I can say that now.

Sorry for the short email but I love you all and I will send a longer email next week, promise!

Elder Williams

Hello friends and family of Elder Williams (the white one),

Haha, if you remember from his first email from this area, there is another Elder Williams in his flat that goes to the same ward who is native and dark so the members started right off referring to them as the white one and the black one. Anyway…we did not hear from Elder Williams this week. I checked in with his companions mom and turns out his companion had hernia surgery so they were at the hospital all p-day, will spend the night at the mission home, and will return to their area tomorrow. They knew this surgery was coming just not when it would happen.

Just didn’t want to leave ya’ll hangin’!

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.

- 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

Week #28 - Ramamurthy Nagar - "10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck!"

So this week was pretty busy with our busiest day being Saturday where I unfortunately woke up with some neck pain. Still went about all the work it just made it a little harder. 

Calvin couldn't come to church this last week as he got sick. Brother Babu's foot is still the size of a small moon so they also couldn't come but we gave him a priesthood blessing on Friday and he is going to see a different doctor so hopefully they can find the cause of the swelling. 

At one of my voice lessons with Charles I felt the impression to ask him if he wanted to be taught the gospel but I had already learned from him that he was now going to his friends church because he promised him so I didn't say anything. It was at this point that he said,"Hey is there some way I can learn more about your church?" It was like a slap in the face to me. I can't believe I didn't listen but the Lord always finds a way. Anyway he lives in the ward boundaries of Lingarajapuram so those Elders will teach him the gospel and I will continue to teach him music. 

I seem to find a new language every single new family I talk to. There is a member family in our ward named the Touthangs from one of the North Indian States really close to China. The native language that they speak is Cookie. No joke. It doesn't have writing anymore but it might have been what turned into the Chinese alphabet. 

Transfers got pushed back a week because President Mortensen is going to Hong Kong for some meetings so we will see in a couple weeks what changes come. I am really learning a lot in this area and I am excited to see what other things come about.
Elder Williams

Week #27 - Ramamurthy Nagar - "The Lord is calling people"

Literally. We had someone call us this Thursday saying he was calling back after getting a missed call from our number. Well we never called him so my only other solution is that the Lord called him. So we met him on Saturday to see how we could help him and if we needed to teach him, somehow our conversation turned to the point where he said that he was trying out for a church choir that is pretty big here in 2 months time to prove someone wrong that he can sing. So Elder Halford said," Hey my companion could teach you to sing if you want." Charles, that's his name, as it turns out has never really sung before in his life so he seemed excited to learn. We had a good lesson on basics on Saturday and Tonight I will be teaching him a little bit more. Honestly teaching people other skills is a great finding tool and it can really open people up to the gospel. It is why we have people teach free English classes and teach piano and honestly you can teach anything on the mission that you know how to do. 

Well I was in an appointment this week with Sam's family that I mentioned last week and turns out Brother Babu was in a bike accident this last week and his foot was swelling like a balloon, so they couldn't come to church this week. After an appointment with them this week I walked out of their home and found only one of my shoes where I left it. I looked around confused until Elder Halford found it out in the middle of the road where a dog had used it as a chew toy. Nothing a little glue couldn't fix but for the rest of the night I wasn't the biggest fan of the street dogs. 

Calvin came to church again this week, and it looks like we will be able to continue teaching him but the rest of his family will not be joining in on any more lessons because of their relatives telling them not to. 

Overall we have been doing a lot of working with members this last week in order to get more referrals since they are far more likely to progress. It all just takes time though and ultimately it is up to the person we are teaching if they will accept our message. All you can do is invite the spirit into the home and let him begin his work. 
Elder Williams