Elder Hayden L. Williams

Week #43 - Gajuwaka - "Looks like we are getting an upgrade.”

Well it seems like our mission has been selected to get mobile devices soon. It will really help us in our missionary work because our area book which has a record of people we are teaching will all be digital and we will have access to more digital resources. That will be super useful though I was looking forward to two years without a phone, though that may sound strange. 

Well this last week we had a baptism. It was the mom of two young women who have been members for about 7 years. Her name is SriDevi (pronounced ShreeDavie). It was kind of last minute that we learned she could be baptized and our mission president told us to do it that weekend so we had the baptismal service Sunday morning so that she could be confirmed that day. So she has been taught for the past 6 years or so on and off. I remember the Elders in Gajuwaka talking about her and her progression. She apparently decided near Easter that it was time for her to be baptized. So that went well, her daughters were so happy that she was able to get baptized. 

Another miracle I was able to see was that the Elders in 1st branch here in Vizag baptized a family of four that I actually started teaching when I was here the first time. That is really an amazing thing to see out here when you feel that your everyday actions are not amounting to much. 

Elder Wilson and I are doing well here. We get along really well and we react the exact same when an appointment bunks on us so it is actually super funny. 

Anyway it was a good week this week so I'll see you all next week. See you of course being a relative term...

Elder Williams

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Week #42 - Gajuwaka - "Oh sweat. How I haven't missed you”

So first note, Vizag is so much hotter than Bangalore. All the missionaries talk about how the best climate in the mission is Bangalore and I understand now coming in the middle of summer to Vizag. 

I had also forgotten how few people speak english here as well. But at least I am back to just a Telugu area so I can focus on learning only one language so that will be nice. So my apartment has 4 Elders in it, Elder Wilson and Elder Skidmore are both from Phoenix Arizona but went to rival high schools so they did not know each other. Elder Gaddala is from Mumbai and he is fresh from the MTC so that is fun to see. Elder Wilson and I get along really well, we have some similar personality traits that let us bond. You can't tell fully the relationship until later but I think we will do just fine until he finishes his mission here in July. 

So Elder Wilson is actually 1/4 Indian. His grandfather is from right outside Kakinada so he still has a lot of family over here in India. One of his great Aunts lives in our area with her daughter so we have visited her home a couple times for lunch. Elder Wilson has been able to visit family in each of his areas which is really cool. All of them are Hindu and uninterested to learn the gospel but it is still really nice to be able to meet them, because otherwise if not for the mission I am not sure he ever would have met them. 

Another big plus is that I actually get to wear my mission tag now. I went 4 months in Bangalore without it and it's not that you forget that you are a missionary but it just doesn't feel the same because people can't identify you with the church without it. They all thought we were students although it isn't too much different here but it is just easier to correct them when you have the Saviors name on your chest. It makes you feel a lot more like you are representing the Lord. 

Im getting really bad at taking pictures I know... I promise I will have some for next week.

But until then, just stay in the shade. Its a lot better that way.

Elder Williams

Week #41 - Ramamurthy Nagar - "Here I go again”... to Vizag!

A little bit of music trivia again for ya. Hint it is from the 80's classic rock.

Well I got the transfer call this week and looks like I will be heading back to the city of Visakhapatnam. Not to the same area or branch but not too far away. I served in 1st branch the 1st time and this time I will be in the Gajuwaka Branch serving with Elder Wilson. I served in the Gajuwaka branch for a week if anyone follows these emails close enough to remember when I was there with Elder Trainor.

It was sad to say goodbye to some people so soon, because I thought I had some more time here in this area. Saying goodbye to Suresh Antony was especially hard since we had become such great friends.

Sorry not much time this week as I am leaving for the airport so until next week I'll tell you all about it next week.

Elder Williams

Week #40 - Ramamurthy Nagar - "Hi I'm Danush, come my home"

Well this week while we were walking around an area near a members home when a kid I had seen before a couple times came up to us and invited us to his home. We went to his home and met his older sister and mother. The sister speaks really good english and asked us where Danush found us and laughed when we told it was just by the side of the road and he invited us here. It turns out his sister, Sithara, wants to take some music classes so I'll be helping her and Elder Schurr will help her little brother learn the piano. They are Hindu so I am not certain if they will be interested in our lessons but we will do our best to help them in any way that we can.

As per the rest of the week we visited Babu and his family where we are now helping the youngest son practice his english by using the Book of Mormon Storybook which has the pictures to go along with the stories. 

Other than that the other three elders in the apartment took turns getting sick except for me so that was really fun. I am still fine so here's hoping that I remain healthy this week.

Well Elder Lowe got transferred last week but Elder Tolbert came back to be with Elder Nathaniel so they are currently covering two areas while Elder Schurr and I are back to just covering our area.

Elder Williams