Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 20, 2015- My Life as a Missionary

i know i say this every week, but seriously, the time is going by so fast. this week disappeared. i cant remember all that happened. 

tuesday was the birthday of hna Chura, the other hermana missionary here in the ward. just so you know, the four of us missionaries, hno R and M are all best friends. so tuesday we all played a trick on hna Chura. we met up with the hermanas in the lavanderia where R and M work and while we were talking to the hermanas R and M pretended to get into a big argument about a bag of clothes that M didnt fold. hna chura believed it and got all sad and concerned and in the end margareth quit her job and left the lavanderia. and hna chura was freaking out because she and hna alonso are who helped M get the job in the first place. R asked us to help him fold the bag of clothes and hna chura was almost crying and then suddenly she found in the bag of clothes a small box of cake and chocolate and a note that said "happy birthday hna Chura- its a prank" and she freaked out and M came back and we all sang happy birthday! and hna conde secretly filmed the whole thing! it was the best! she believed the whole thing! 

that night we also had a noche de hogar and celebrated her birthday with sopaipillas and cake. it was super fun. they are all my best friends. 

this week we had intercambios and i stayed in our sector and the new sister training leader came to be with me, Hna Call. shes from kentucky and she is super sweet, she only has one transfer more than me. we were able to see a lot of miracles together and it was fun to lead the sector. but i did miss hna conde haha

on friday we also had zone conference! zone conference is the best. i sang in a small choir and it turned out really well. the presidents wife, hna obeso lets us call old companions on her cell phone so i called hna jenkins! it was so great to talk to her. she told me that the part member family we originally found together, the mom and dad were getting married that day and the dad was going to be baptized next week! so amazing! she also told me that Vand B have been gone on a 40 day vacation... which makes sense why they sent me the photo of hna baker. 

i`ve been participating in the stake choir here, we have stake conference next week s we've been preparing for that. im singing in an alto pàrt and its weird haha. but its super fun. i love singing. 

we had ward council on saturday and not very many people came. so on sunday we had a mini ward council. the thing about chile is that ward council is always super noisy, people talking over one another and yelling to get the attention of other people.... luckily our ward mission leader is putting people in their place. which is a good thing because ward council can be a little crazy. 

i taught music in primary again, there were only 3 kids so it was a lot easier. im glad i worked at ymca. 

I know that this is the work of the Lord and i am so grateful to be part of it and for all the blessings my heavenly father has given me along the way.

thanks for all the emails! hope you all have a great week!

hermana Williams

April 13, 2015- The Fastest Week of my Life

hola familia y amigos,

Im serious, this week went by so unbelievably fast for hna conde and me. we don't know where the time went. 

this week was transfers so tuesday we had our district meeting and it was a big deal because two elders in our district were sent to osorno and punta arenas and their sector here in valdivia was closed. so to say goodbye our district leader elder F made and brought french toast and we had a district brunch haha. it was pretty fun and we all took pictures as a district and zone. 

we`ve been teaching R a lot this week. we shared some talks from general conference and he loved it. we asked him what his goals are and he said to go back to the temple... we almost cried, it was beautiful. we`re gonna try to get him to be ready to go by august 12 when hna conde goes home and will go to the temple in santiago. 

the recent convert of the other hermanas, M now works for Hno R and they've become friends and she invited him and us over for a noche de hogar. we taught a short lesson and then ate once and hung out like best friends. M is 24 years old, has two little sons and she`s the best, shes like our best friend, big sister, mamita. and she wants to be friends with my mom and dad on facebook!

we also taught D this week. ever since he started classes at the university its been really hard to teach him and his phone doesnt work half the time and he hasnt been coming to church regularly. he goes home on the weekends and some times there isnt a bus early in the morning to take him to church. so we taught endure to the end and the importance of prayer, scripture study and church attendance. we hope that he can start to rearrange his priorities. he said he would come to church this week. 

the stake president here asked me to sing in the stake choir thats getting ready for stake conference in a couple weeks. im also going to be singing a duet with another sister missionary and im singing alto... which is weird for me but is fun. on sunday we had a practice and we did divisions where i went with hna V and hna conde stayed with our member friend C, my first division.. it was weird haha. 

i went with hna V to the stake center and we ended up attending a setting apart of a missionary from our ward who leaves tomorrow (today) apparently setting aparts here in chile aren't that secluded to just the family because there were like 20 people there and no one minded that i was present haha. i still felt super out of place but i was cool to be there and experience it all over again, and in spanish. 

while i was gone in divisions our investigator I accepted a bautismal date for may 22! yay!!! that was a miracle. she`s been sharing with missionaries for over a year, since hna baker opened up this sector. so we are super excited. its a hesitante date because she still has to pray and recieve an answer but its still a big deal. 

im excited to be a missionary. and i´ve realized the importance of never losing your love and awe and gratitude for  the atonement of Jesus Christ. because its something we need every second of every day, especially as missionaries. i know that this church is true and im so grateful to be a servant of the Lord. 

thanks for the emails, have a great week! 

love, Hermana Williams

April 6, 2015- General Conference is the BEST!

i dont think there is anything worse than when a missionary sits down at a computer in pday to write the family and the keyboard is sticky and doesnt work... and you realize that this is going to be a long hour....
so if there are random words grouped together its because the space key on my keyboard is sticky and i lack the patience to erase and try again. forgive me haha.
this week was really good and went by really fast. i guess i should start out with telling you what you`ve all been waiting for, transfers......... hna conde and i are staying together in the same sector for another transfer. and the other hermanas hna alonso and hna chura are staying too, so nothing is changing in the ward Miraflores.
we had to drop some people from our teaching pool this week but we also found some new people and some great families so we are excited and we want to find more.
the family here in the ward that is from california invited us over for dinner and a noche de hogar on tuesday but it turned into a trying to get the three kids into bed because we ate dinner late and it was past their bedtime. it was crazy. we didnt get to share anything spiritual with them but it was still fun. lots of spanglish.hna conde was stressed out haha.
i discovered this week that chile does not celebrate april fools day. they dont even know what it is. so that was boring.
the rain has come to valdivia! it was pouring on and off all week. right now its sunny but you never know what will happen next. im enjoying the cooler weather.
we didnt do anything special for easter. there were a couple members that gave us chocolate and candy.
General conference was the best! i dont know why, but its ten times better as a missionary. there was a room set up to watch in english and that was wonderful. i loved the focus on the family and the pla nof salvation. i loved elder holland's talk too and i loved elder bednars. there were a lot of questions and prayers answered and it was glorious.  

during conference i got the overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my mission. i feel so blessed for everything i have experienced here in chile. all the people i`ve met, the things i`ve done, the miracles i`ve seen. the good and the bad. the tears of pain and the tears of joy. it has all been worth it and i am so grateful. Heavenly Father has already given me a better life than anything i could have ever imagined.
I know that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and that his atonement and his resurrection are real and available to all. I know that he leads His church through a living prophet and apostles. i know that families can be together forever. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints really is the church of Jesus Christ on the earth.
love, Hermana Williams

March 30, 2015- Gracias a que Él vive

today i complete 8 months in the mission and this is the last week before transfers and time is going so quickly it needs to stop. plus this week is general conference and i can't believe it. 

the email is late today because we went on a field trip to a big national park and took a hike and pics and we just got back to valdivia. so this email is going to be short because we still have to go grocery shopping. but a ton happened this week im going to try to cover it all. 

we had a ton of ward activities to get people pumped for ward conference yesterday. on monday there was a noche de hogar and birthday party for a hermana in the ward and we sang karaoke haha. chilean mormons are crazy =)

wednesday we had a international food and dance competition. hna chura and hna conde cooked and danced from peru. they cooked aji de gallina and it was super rico. i baked brownies from the US and i tap danced... again. it was a big hit and tons of people came. rodrigo brought his kids and it was awesome. 

then on friday there was another noche de hogar about family history and our investigator A came with her three kids which was a miracle. 

saturday there was a huge ward lunch but only 20 people came... including the 4 missionaries. on saturday we also presented the new video the church put out (Because He Lives) gracias a que Ël vive for easter and to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. we decorated a classroom in the church to look like the sepulcre and we showed the video and it was super spiritual and went really well. afterwards we had everyone take photos with a banner that has the #graciasaqueËlvive so they can put it on facebook. 

this week we taught J again... and we´re going to drop him because really he doesn't want to do anything he just wants to learn more facts and information. we showed him the talk by President Uchtdorf from last general conference about gaining a testimony of truth and light and he told us it was all brainwashing.... it was sad. 

we taught I with a member, the returned missionary in our ward, A and it went well. she is more receptive and open with her ideas and opinions and shes come a long way. instead of saying flat out no to going to church she says she will try. 

hermana conde was super sick all day thursday and then she passed it me on friday so we weren't able to work like normal. 

ward conference was sunday! i played the piano, and im getting better. i also sang with hermana V. we sang nearer my god to thee. and it wasnt bad, considering that my voice was rough from my sickness friday. 
there were tons of people in the church. 97. which is a lot. normally there are only 55 or 60

I invite everyone to look up and watch the  new mormon message "Because He Lives" on youtube and the Church website its a beautiful video to help us remember the meaning of easter and what it means for each of us in our day to day life. 

I know that Christ lives, i know that he is the savior of the world. i know that this is his church and im so grateful that i can be a missionary. because he lives, there is always hope. 

thanks for all the emails, have a great week!

love, hermana williams

March 23, 2015- Time Flies

Well the time really is flying by because i´ve already had to start in on my third journal of the mission, I´ve written every day so far and they all seem strung together. i feel like i still have only 4 or 5 months or something. but next week i´ll complete 8, crazy. this week was fast and busy. 

D gave his presentation in his law class on the church. he thought he only had 10 minutes but really he had 25, so he had to think stuff up on the spot but he said it went really well. the professor liked it a lot and said he would read the book of mormon. no references yet but maybe in the future. 

we took our new super bueno investigator P. we had a really good lesson with him, he was super receptive and said that he wanted to find out for himself first but he has desires to be baptized. he has some problems that we still need to help resolve first but hes on his way. 

we found another giant orange bug in our house! it was under my bed! i used the vacuum attachment to suck it up and dump it outside. there was still  a lot of screaming. and we filmed it again. 

the 17th was st patricks day, chile does not celebrate st patricks day or even knows what it is. i completely forgot, the other missionary, hna alonso had to remind and pinch me. 

this week was a milestone because it was the first time i had to hide food in my backpack during lunch. we had lunch for the first time with a little old lady in the ward and she cooked us sooooo much meat. and the meat wasnt that good and we were dying. so when she was in the kitchen we wrapped sausages and potatoes in napkins and hid them in our backpacks and fed them to a dog later. it was rough. but no harm done. 

a couple weeks ago we received a reference for an older sister.  Her husband passed away a couple months ago. we weren't able to contact her for the longest time because she was in the hospital but this week we found her. she was a little hesitant to let us in at first but we immediately started asking about her family because she had tons of photos on her walls and that got her talking. she told us about her husband and started crying, she said that she still misses him everyday and its painful for her. it was in that moment i realized that we were meant to be there to help her. we shared words of comfort and listened and prayed. we´re going to come back to visit her this week. 

we taught H i cant remember if i mentioned her... but we taught her more about the book of mormon and invited her to really read and pray to know if it was true. and she told us that she wanted to stick with her bible and that we could maybe pass by to see her next month but right now no, shes not interested. it was rough. 

we were finally able to contact M its been like a month almost. we finally found her in her house! we´re not sure if she is still interested. we invited her to the noche de hogar in friday but when we went to pick her up she wasn't home and didn't answer her cell phone... again. 

we visited J to see how he was doing. he doesn't hate us haha. we´re still friends. and we´re taking things slow to start teaching him again. but he said he would come to a ward activity next week so we´re making progress. 

we received a reference of a new part member family in the ward. the dad is member, the mom and 3 sons no. but they have a lot of potential and the mom wants to be baptized! a new family! we are so excited

miracles happened this week because our investigator I prayed out loud in front of us for the first time! she also came to the noche de hogar with her granddaughter, she had never been in the church before! it was great!

the noche de hogar (family home evening) this friday was a talent show that young men and young women put on. it went really well, there were tons of people. people sang, danced, did magic tricks, there was karaoke. i sang memory from cats (hna veronica picked it out for me) and even though it was in english people liked it. 
and R came with his kids! we didn't even have to call him. his kids are the ones who are starting to push him back to the church haha. 

on sunday i played the piano again... im improving. ive also started teaching primary now.... or rather im in primary to help the gringo kids translate and then i end up leading the music and then teaching and wrangling all the kids and its the YMCA all over again but in spanish.

that night we found a new family to teach and have three new investigators: J, M and X and it was a miracle! we were super excited. 

we have ward conference next week and we have lots of activities planned to get people pumped so we can have a higher attendance. im going to sing a special musical number with hermana veronica for the conference. 

thanks for all the emails! hna conde and i are doing really well and we're excited to work. the transfer ends in two weeks but we think we´re going to have another together. there is still a lot to do here. i Know that God answers prayers and miracles are real :)

love, Hermana Williams

March 16, 2015- The Dark Side

hola familia y amigos!

This week went so fast, i cant believe we`re already half way though march! 

On monday there was a group activity for all the hermanas here in Validivia and we played volleyball, but then hermana Alonso hit the ball over the fence into someones yard so volleyball ended... but we did zumba! there's an hermana here who is trained to instruct zumba and she had some songs and it was awesome. i want to be zumba instructor when i grow up! haha. 

tuesday we taught J, the older man who likes to talk a lot. we taught him the plan of salvation and he said that it makes sense and he didn't disagree with anything. but he refuses to read the book of mormon and pray about the things we taught him. we took a leap of faith when the spirit was strong and invited him to be baptized... and he said absolutely not. he doesnt want to change religions, he doesn't even want to pray and ask God if the church is true because he doesn't want to change his mind. he told us that changing his religion, catholic, would be like denying and changing his own mother. 

we actually had a lot of people tell us that this week. we invited another older lady, H to be baptized and she said the exact same thing. and then we invited A and she said no too, for the same reason. we`re still going to be teaching them but as of right now we don't have anyone who is ready to get baptized. 

we had interviews with president Obeso on wednesday. he interviewed us first as companionship and reviewed our area book, which is unusual and then he interviewed us individually. it was a really spiritual experience for me, i now have a really strong testimony that mission presidents are called of God and that they receive direct revelation for each missionary. 

we woke up on thursday and realized our electricity had been cut. so we did everything in darkness. we spent all day thursday and friday trying to figure it all out. and had to come home thursday night to complete darkness. turns out the company we rent our cabaña from mixed up the codes and we`ve been paying forth other cabañas electricity and we had 6 months worth of fines o pay, thats why they cut our lights. so we paid and got it all figured out and there was light once againl. 

saturday our ward had a ward council training to help get us animated to go visit and rescue less active members and our goal is to get them to assist ward conference. we had a huge lunch together then training and presentations and i sang a hymn at the end to get everyone pumped to go out and visit menos activos. 

we also got together with our investigator I and she taught us how to make sopaipillas which is kind of like fry bread but better and its really typical to eat here for onse.
Saturday we didn't have any investigators come to church but we did have a miracle happen.........R came to church!!
R from the lavanderia and his three children showed up about 15 minutes late but they made it and and it was beautiful and i almost cried and we took a photo! it was amazing, there were some old friends of his in the ward that were crying for joy too. 

D was asked by on of his professors in the university to give a ten minute lesson on the mormon religion so we prepped him for that and gave him a whole bunch o materials to use and pass out. hes basically going to contact 40 people, we`re hoping he'll get some references for us haha. 

things this week were good, we had a lot of plans and lessons fall through and a lot of people tell us no. but we`re continuing with faith. we had a lot of fun this week together. 

 thanks for all the letters and love and support. I love my mission and im so grateful for this experience. i know that the church is true. 

have a great week! i love you!

love, hermana Williams

March 9, 2015- A little roasty toasty and lots of miracles

hola familia y amigos,

its been so hot that a volcano erupted! okay not really, but for real, the volcano in Pulcon erupted and its been spilling lava this whole week, thats the big news here. I think they are evacuating only people who live close to the volcano and the missionaries in pulcon. we are super far away so we`re safe. 

the weather was super weird here though, its been ridiculously hot and then on saturday it poured down rain all day and it was beautiful. i had to pull out my rain boots and rain jacket again. and then i stepped and dog poop and it really did feel like punta arenas again haha. 

we had a lot of members come with us to lessons this week which was a miracle because these past couple of weeks we´ve had zero. our sector is the outskirts of the ward boundaries and super far away for people to walk or take taxi so its hard to get members to come with us. but this week was a whole lot better. 

we had intercambios and i was with hna Pettitte in my sector and it was crazy leading a new sector but we had fun and found lots of new people. 

we taught J. and it was disappointing. we were able to teach him between 7 and 7:45pm before closing his shop and when there are no customers and we talked about every topic possible, priesthood, baptism, book of mormon, joseph smith, plan of salvation, everything. eventually we asked him to pray right then and there to know if the things we taught him were true and we got down on our knees to pray and we stayed there for like 20 minutes because he refused to pray. he was way too embarrassed, he didnt want to kneel, or say a prayer in front of us, he wanted to close the doors and windows to his shop so no one would see him because he was so embarrassed. we kneeled and waited for him but he just kept saying no... we testified, we felt the spirit, we prayed for him, but he wouldnt do it. 
it was rough... he says he knows he needs to pray and read but he just wont do it. maybe this isnt his time, even if we want it to be. but he is just not progressing and we dont know what else to do. 

after teaching J we had a lesson with our recent convert D and that helped us feel better because D is perfect. he reads his book of mormon and prays everyday, he`s even started sharing the gospel with his friends in the university and wants to invite a friend to a lesson with us. we`re teaching him about family history and hes 100% on board and he already wants to serve a mission and hes perfect. we are very grateful for daniel. 

we had another miracle this week. we left to work in the morning on saturday and saturday mornings are rough. but we went to visit a new contact and we saw a girl hauling chopped firewood from the street to the back of her house. here in valdivia everyone uses wood burning stoves to heat their houses and now that we`re approaching winter lots of houses have huge piles of freshly chopped wood that they have to stack and store away behind their house. so we saw it as an opportunity to serve and we immediately started helping her carry wood and started talking. she was a little hesitante at first but let us help when she realized we werent going to take no for an answer. then three other people came out from the house to help. they are all around the age of 20, 2 boys and 2 girls, three are siblings and the other boy is the boyfriend of one of the girls. they were super nice and we helped them out for over an hour and afterwards they invited us inside for soda but we were already late for our lunch with members so we had to leave. but we are gonna come back and visit them this week. it was awesome! i have a super strong testimony of service now!

we were finally able to contact our old investigator C and her friend P that we only taught once! and they came to church on sunday! it was a miracle and now we have a lesson planned on wednesday for P!

I also played the piano again, i was able to practice a couple times this week so it went better than the week before. not perfect, but better. 

well thats all i really have for this week. the time goes by really fast. thanks for all the letters and love and support. have a great week!

love, hermana Williams

March 2, 2015 The Plague Part III!

Im serious, it struck again. I woke up early saturday morning with a terrible stomach ache and the runs. i was in the bathroom and in bed all day and felt awful and ate nothing. i was better by sunday though. I dont know what it was i ate... we did have completos... i think they betrayed me. 

The weeks are flying by so fast! On Monday after pday we went and had a noche de hogar with an Investigator, I and we made peruvian food with her and her granddaughter. Hna Conde made Sopa Seca and papas with huacaìna. super rico! sopa seca is a deilcious pasta. Hna Conde has been teaching my about peruvian culture a lot, which is a lot of fun. she teaches me their slang, like instead of "tranquilo amigo"  its "suave causa!" its super fun. 

we had cambios this week, hna maready from our ward left and hna Chura came. Hna Chura is from Peru and actually came from a different sector here in our zone. shes really sweet and gets along well with us. I am now the only gringa and its a little lonely sometimes haha, the other three like to talk about tv shows, music, celebrities, etc. from latin america and i have no idea whats going on so i usually just sit and listen or space out haha,
 Hna Snyder, a hermana in our zone and who was in the ccm with me was sent to punta arenas! so i sent my love with her to hermana Jenkins and V, B, and N.

Not sure if i already told you, but we`re teaching an old man named J.who likes to listen to us just to learn more about other religions. hes really sweet but very stubborn in his beliefs haha. he told us he doesnt want to read the book of mormon because hes afraid he`ll start doubting his own religion. which means he realizes that its probably true haha! we`re gonna work with him but he has a lot of potential. 

Things with J. have slowed to a stop. we`ve decided to put him on the back burner for now because he`s really not progressing. for the past month we`ve come into the shop almost everyday and explained and read the book of mormon with him but he still doesnt read or pray or do anything. whenever we try to commit him to something he says he`ll try but he wont commit to anything. he`s not willing to make changes in his life, and we`ve invited him 100 times, we`re given him his opportunity and now we just kind of have to take a step back and see how he uses his agency. he needs a lot of prayers still. 

as mom and dad already know, the new gringa family took all four of us missionaries out to dinner! to a really nice chilean restaurant. we didnt know how nice it was until we got there and we felt kind of bad but they told us that they are both ( hno y hna) converts to the church, and they want to thank us for our service as missionaries because without the missionaries they wouldnt´have their forever family. it was so sweet! and there family is the cutest! there was a lot of spanglish, it hurt my brain but it was really fun. Hno B is an artist who paints landscapes  and hna B does theater set designs. 

we are continuing to visit R, he`s doing fine, still doesnt feel ready to come back to church. but the other day we shared the "Because of Him mormon" message video and some verses from alma 32 about growing our seed of faith. but he has become our best friend and always wants to give us food.

Hna Conde and I have developed obsessions with the Book or Mormon  recently. all we want to do is read the book of mormon. im in Alma 52. Alma the younger is my favorite person in the book of mormon. we`ve started looking up "palos" or scriptures that make us want to work harder. like alma 5 haha. 

on friday we had our normal noche de hogar and hna V and I did a special musical number and sang abide with me tis eventide, it went well. we had plans to bring our investigator M to the noche de hogar and we took a taxi to pick her up, but when we got to her house she wasnt home and she wasnt answering her cell phone, we called her mom but she didnt know where she was either. we were worried about her and 
we havent been able to contact her since. 

saturday night was a huge city wide event ¨"Noche Validiviana" to celebrate valdivia and the end of summer. the streets and costanera were packed with people, street venders and people cooking asado bbq. there were tons of boats on the  water all lit up and at 11pm there was a huge fireworks show. we couldnt attend, but on our way back to the house we walked through the festivities and watched the fireworks from our window. 
it really was the end of summer because yesterday and today its cloudy and today it rained. 

sunday i had to play the piano for sacrament meeting. hna maready always did it and now that shes gone its my new job, because im the only person in the ward who knows how to play piano now. yeah mom.... now i regret not practicing and dropping piano. you were right. im sorry, please forgive me... because sunday wasnt terrible but i definitely need to practice a lot more. it was rough. so i´ll be doing that every sunday until they transfer me or find someone who can actually play. 

i spent all or sunday translating for the gringa family. hno B just received a calling as young mens president and i had to translate his class for him. it was exhausting, but fun. 

i completed 7 months. i feel like i just completed 6 last week. 

hna Conde recieved her carta moroni. its the letter the mission office sends you when you only have 5 months left in the mission and it has all your travel `plans and information to go back home. it has a image of the angel moroni on the front thats why they call it carta moroni, its basically the dread of every missionary. we filmed her opening it. 

this week hna conde and i learned in alma 32 that even after we`ve experimented our faith and grown our seeds into huge fruit bearing trees we still have to remember to nourish what we have. because if we let our tree wither away, its even harder to grow it back because we expect it to be a huge tree again right away. this is why we have to always nourish our faith, strive to grow more and more. 

i know that this church is true, i know that with the help of the Lord i can do all things. 

thanks for all the letters and love, have a great week. 

love, hermana Williams

Feb 23, 2015 Six More Weeks

Hola familia y amigos!

I can hardly believe that this cambio is over, these have been the fastest 6 weeks of my life, i still feel like i just got here. we heard about cambios this morning, Hna Conde and I are staying here in valdivia for another transfer. we were pretty sure we were going to stay together. Hna Maready, the other missionary in our ward is leaving though and her companion hna Alonso is going to stay and be paired with Hna Chura from España. so im going to be the only gringa here! its a big responsibility. 

Hermana Conde and I are excited and happy to have another cambio together. she`s become my best friend. 

this week nothing that big or exciting happened but it was a good week. The first miracle is that no one got sick yay! we were actually able to work normally. 

J is progressing like turtle in molasses... but we're visiting with him pratically every day. he has a hard time remembering or just putting in the effort to do the commitments we leave with him, like praying or reading the book of mormon. he came to church one time with us and the teacher of gospel principles asked him to give the closing prayer and he freaked out because he wasnt comfortable doing it. the teacher told him to have the missionaries teach him to pray and the next week he can give the prayer in class. This freaked him out even more, he told us that he does not want to participate in the church, he just wants to sit in the last row and be invisible. so now he doesnt want to come to church on sunday or any activities because he`s afraid. its been rough. he needs a lot of prayers. 

R the menos activo from the laundry mat is doing great. still doesnt want to come to church but has expressed to us that he has desires he just has to get over his pride and fears. he did give us a reference and he wants his kids to go to church. he's super sweet, he wants to take us out to lunch because he`s so grateful for us always inviting him. he needs a lot of prayers too. 

we were finally able to contact A, the almost snake that came to church with us a couple weeks ago and he came to our ward noche de hogar. im about 90% sure he is a snake,. all he wants to do is talk to me and its creepy. but we also think he has real desires to learn more about the church. so we're going to procede with caution. we had a lesson planned with him but he stood us up and didnt answer his phone. vamos a ver. 

Saturday we had to clean the capilla, that was fun and took us forever. its a big capilla, okay not that big but when you have to mop and all the floor is tile its hard haha. 

yesterday was super awesome because we were able to contact two nuevo investigadores and teach them! 
a couple weeks ago we recieved a reference named M and we found out her mom is miembro less active. we were able to contact M but never actually time to teach her or anything. but yesterday we were finally able to find her and she let us in and we taught her the restoration. shes about 17 years old and we werent able to find her for a long time because she was in the hospital.

we were able to find A, a reference some elders gave us. we taught her once and then she said she would be gone on vacations until march. we passed by her house last night and she was home! it was a miracle! we were able to teach her more about the book of mormon and we read the introduction. and her little daughter was sleeping so there werent as many distractions. it was great. she said that she really does want to know if the book of mormon is true. 

yesterday at 9am the bishop called me and asked if i could give a talk in church that day. it was me and one other speaker. i basically taught the restoration and the book or mormon and bore my testimony of everything. it went okay. 

i translated for the gringo family again in primary. primary is chaotic here. theres only 6 kids in primary but they`re in charge.... it was rough. but it was fun translating english and spanish. the dad of the gringo family, who barely speaks spanish was called as young mens president. he needs your prayers haha. we're gonna try to visit them this week to help them with spanish. 

yeah i have to wrap this email up but i just want to say that I know this Church is true. that Heavenly Father listens to and answers prayers, Im so grateful to be a missionary. 

hope everyone has a great week!

love, Hermana Williams

Feb 16, 2015- Happy Valentine's Day!

Well this year was the most uneventful valentines day ever... Hna Conde and I bought chocolate... and that was about it haha. 

This week went by unbelievably fast, i cant believe that this upcoming week is the last before transfers. 

I met an hermana in our ward, Hermana V, who has been gone this whole time for vacations and she loves to sing. i think she took classes and she was trained a little in opera. she has the best voice here in chile that ive heard. She is absolutely hilarious, she speaks broken english to us all the time and her favorite word is freaking. we were sitting in a meeting together and she heard me sing during the opening hymn and then afterward grabbed me and a hymn book and said "Your voice is freaking amazing we need to freaking sing together right freaking now" haha so we harmonized to a whole bunch of songs, she sings alto and i sing soprano and everytime i see her all she wants to do is sing its fun. 

we had intercambios this week! I went to the sector of the hermanas leaders with Hermana P from santiago chile! she was really sweet and i learned a lot from her. but I missed hermana Conde! it made me realize that we're like best friends now and i wouldnt want anyone else as my companion right here right now. she is so funny and we get along really well, we`ve adjusted to one another and formed our own little family with our own little traditions. i have a lot of fun here with her everyday. 

with the other hermanas missionaries in our ward we planned our ward family home evening. it was valentines day themed and we decorated the cultural hall with hearts and streamers and balloons and everything. we invited all the members and all our investigators and went to pick people up and everything but in the end only 2 families came.... Hermana V and her son and an investigadora de las hermanas and her daughter. 4 people. but we had the noche de hogar anyways and it went well. 

we werent able to teach A this week, but we did call and talk to him. he didnt remember hermana condes name but he remembered mine and he said "oh yeah the rubiasita, yeah i wouldnt forget her name, hermana williams" yeah.... we're pretty sure hes a snake. but we're gonna try to teach him with a member and see what happens. 

With J we were finally able to finish teaching him the restoration. it took us two weeks to get through everything because there were always people coming into his store, interrupting and he has a hard time focusing and remembering things so we had to explain the apostacy like four times. but we invited him to be baptized and he didnt say no! haha we put him on date for march 14, with the promise that he can recieve an answer to his prayers whether the things we're teaching him are true. so he just has to keep praying and seeking. 

During the week we take our clothes to a laundry mat (where people wash the clothes for you) where a less active member washes our clothes for free. His name is R and he hasnt gone to church in 2 or 3 years. we dont know the whole story of why not. but hna conde didnt actually know he was member until recently, hes a returned missionary and everything. so everytime we go to drop off or pick up our clothes we invite him to church or a noche de hogar and every friday we go to his lavanderia to see if he can come with us to the noche de hogar. he never can, but he is always very grateful that we come to invite him. 
this week when we picked up our clothes, in the house we found two bags of candy and a note tucked in the bag. he wrote us the cutest little note ever. how grateful he was for us because in the 2 years hes been washing the missionaries clothes we are the first to invite him to activities or show that we care about him. before, all the missionaries just came to drop off or pick up and that was it. he said thank you for helping remember that he has worth in Gods eyes. it was so sweet we almost cried! we taped the letter to our wall!

This week an elder returned home from his mission to our ward. so that was the big deal in the ward all this weekend and he gave his homecoming talk. his name is A and he served in England so of course when we met he started speaking english to me. he was a really good missionary and we're hoping that the bishop will call him as ward missionary or something. 

theres a family in our ward who just moved here from california! the mom is from santiago and the dad is pure gringo and doesnt speak spanish. they have three kids under the age of 8 and they are the cutest, they can understand spanish a little because there mom speaks to them in spanish but they cant speak or read it. so i helped out the dad all during church to translate and i translated for the little kids in primary. it was so fun i loved it! theyre a great family and we`re super excited to work with them and help them learn spanish! 

hermana conde got sick again on tuesday but other than that we're doing okay. im being eaten alive by bugs... its like mosquito bites that itch and never go away. and i dont have any itch cream me with me, its all in my other suitcase that hasnt come yet. i should be getting it this upcoming week. 

im having fun here and enjoying Valdivia. its still hot but there have been some more cooler days this past week. it should start getting a lot cooler in march. 

It is amazing to me how much the Lord blesses us. In ways that we cant even imagine or even in ways that we dont see until later. so often i want an answer or a solucion in the very moment i want it but most of the time Heavenly Father gives us still small voices and tender mercies and feelings of comfort when we really need them, not necessarily when we want them. we really have to keep our eyes and hearts open because we cant control when or how God gives us answers. but i know that he always answers His children. he loves us. 

i know that this church is true. and sometimes i feel like such an imperfect person that i dont do this gospel justice but i know that the God can work through me and it is a huge blessing to be able to be an instrument in his hands. 

im so thankful that families can be together forever. and im so grateful to be a missionary. 

love, Hermana Williams

Feb 9, 2015- The Plague Part II


This week we werent able to work very much because we were hit by the black plague. Monday was rough, like i already explained. I will never eat Pichanga ever again. (pichanga is french fries, meat, tomatoes, avacado, cheese and other vegetables all mixed together with oil) It was like my first episode with the plague in the ccm all over again. i spent the whole day just trying not to puke, so we didnt go out to work monday night. 

Tuesday the pichanga released its wrath on hermana Conde and she was in bed sick for most of the day. so i hung out and read the book of mormon. im trying to read it all in spanish and im in alma 17 now. the other hermanas in our ward, hna Alonso and hna Maready got sick too from the pichanga. 

wednesday i woke up with a sore throat and stuffy nose. i tried to work like normal but while we were teaching J. I was literally falling asleep and i lost my ability to speak and translate spanish because my brain felt so fuzzy. so we went home and i slept for the rest of the day. 

Thursday we worked normal! yay! we had a puertas abiertas activity in another ward and we got all the missionaries together to go contact and invite people to come. we walked alot and talked to a ton of people, there was a competition of who could get the most referencias and we tied with the other hermanas in our ward and our leaders de distrito. we won chocolate!

we ate pasta like five times for lunch this week. it was rough... people love past here. 

friday i think i relapsed in my sickness because i felt more miserable than i did on wednesday. so i slept basically all day. i didnt think i could sleep so much. 

this sunday J. came to church! he wasnt able to stay for the third hour but he still came! and we think he liked it! all the members were super nice and talked with him. 
we also had another investigator come, A. we left our house to work on saturday and this guy in a pick up truck pulled up and stopped and asked if we were mormons, he then asked us for one of our pamphlets. he said he has shared with elders before and he wants to learn more. we invited him to church and he said he could probably come and then drove away. and then he actually come to church! he only stayed for sacrament meeting. we dont know much about him... we think he might just be a snake... but i have faith!

D. received the priesthood yesterday! and he got to bless the sacrament for someone that was sick! it was so awesome! seeing young men recieve the priesthood is the best feeling ever!!!! 

we were working last night with nothing to do and we found a cat that looked like it was about to fall over and die. it was just skin and bone and covered with flees and couldn t make a sound. so we ran back to the house and brought it milk to drink. there wasnt much else we could do, hopefully it survived the night. but that was our service project this week. 

yesterday we got to the church and i looked down andi realized i was wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe..... i knew deep in my heart that one day this would happen. it was only a matter of time. and it had to be on sunday, in th church, when we had two investigators. haha, there were a couple of members who got a real good laugh but nobody really noticed haha. i spent the whole meeting trying to tuck my feet under my chair so people wouldnt see haha. 
so no mom, i didnt have switched shoes in the baptism but yesterday yes.  

there are only two weeks left in the transfer and i still dont feel used to valdivia yet. There are a lot of opportunities to grow here. This week was hard because i was sick and i felt like i wasnt doing anything with my life. But i know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. because this week i had a prayer answered. sometimes he wont answer right away and sometimes we have to keep asking but he will always help us. we are his children and he loves us. I know that this gospel is true. i really am thankful for my mission. 
thank you for all the love and support, have a great week!

love, Hermana Williams