Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Slovakia!

I have arrived in the country safe and sound and LOVING it! :) I'll do what I did for my day at the MTC and try to explain all that has happened in the last 60+ hours...

I left the MTC at 5:00 AM for New York. We had to get up around 3 to get ready and eat. Our flight took off at 8:30 and arrived in New York around 3. During our layover we had out last American meal at Wendy's. A couple ladies walked past us jabbering with each other in Czech. Sister Anderson freaked out. "They were speaking Czech and I didn't catch any of that!" At least we recognized it was Czech, right? I just hope that Slovak is easier... lol From NYwe we had a flight at 5:45 pm for Prague. We finally arrived in Prague at 7:45 Tuesday morning. We met the mission president and his wife at the airport along with the two Assistants to the President (APs). President and Sister Irwin are two of the sweetest people I think I've ever met. The AP's tried to secure a cab and I was amazed with how it was possible for them to communicate in Czech. I felt right at home with them in the Mission Home. We had a little orientation with Elder and Sister
Anderson (they emailed you already); they are the office senior couple-also very sweet. We were able to have a mini interview with President Irwin. He mainly wanted to get to know us personally to see where we should go and who we should be with. We then had a small lunch and then went off to see Prague with the APs, Elder Anderson and Elder Thompson. (ps there are about 7 Andersons in the mission now. lol) Prague is a beautiful city and there are no words that can describe it. Really. I took a ton
of pictures that I'll try to send next week. We saw everything! Or anything that you could see in 6 hours-- and I'm not quite sure what we saw exactly, we had just arrived and was going off of about 6 hours of sleep since Sunday, so I'll have to check my pictures again... At the end of the tour we got to a small namestia- or town square- and the APs put us in groups: Sister Anderson, Elder Bacon in one and I and then Elder Nichol and Sis. Bartholomew in another. Then they said, "Go talk to someone!" We didn't have much success at first, we went for the old ladies as they look much less intimidating. Boy was I wrong. But we shuffled the groups around and we actually got a couple numbers to give to the Prague missionaries. It was a little easier because almost everyone we talked to knew a little English  But we tried to speak a majority of the time in Slovak/Czech. We did that for about 45 minutes and then went to a Czech restaurant. The food here is soooo good, but soooo heavy. Definitely what I needed.

Around 6 we went back to the mission home. That night Elder Bacon, Nichol and I slept in a hotel by the mission home. It was probably the best night sleep I ever had. It was a nice and cozy
hotel- more like an apartment. The tubs are pretty goofy in that they're pretty deep and you don't stand in them. There was also NO hot water. But I'm told it'll be better in Slovakia. ...fingers

We rolled out of bed around 7 (see, best night sleep) and had breakfast with the President, his wife and the Sisters. The APs were back as well as two Sisters that Anderson and Bartholomew are replacing. After that we had another short meeting where we went over the dedicatory prayer of Slovakia and the APs gave us an orientation to the language study program and some other details that we're expected to do here. Everything was really brief. They are going to hold a longer training meeting in Brno next week where we'll get the meat. President Irwing recognizes that we can't take everything (more like anything) in the day of arrival. So I'm excited to see Czech Republic again. We'll also be back in Prague for a Christmas conference. It'll be really nice to see Prague over Christmas as well as the sisters. It's like they’re slowing weaning our district apart....
We then met the trainers and were given our assignments. I'm paired with Elder Bodily and we will be spending this transfer in Trencin! (cue everyone hopping on Wikipedia figuring out where that is and what's so great about it) Elder Bacon is with Elder Fish (I know, weird combo) and they will be in Zilina and then Elder Nichol is with Elder Wilson and they will be in Bratislava.

After the assignments we managed to separate from the sister sans tears (We held up a lot better then with Elder Freeman) and off we went for Blava! This is about 11:30 am. After a couple subways (I just love big cities with the public transportation) we got to the train station and hopped on a 4 hour train ride to Blava. From there another tram/bus and dropped all of our luggage at the church building. In Blava the church building is the first floor of an office building and is pretty nice. From there we went down some sketchy alleys (again, I just love big cities) and got to an internet cafe were I am right now. It is now almost 7 pm. We will be staying in Blava til Friday. So two days (it should be Wednesday, right?) Tomorrow morning we have to get a medical card to use the health system here and we need a physical that requires a return appt. the next day. We also have to do something else with the attorney here-- not sure what it is. For the
past 3 days I have just stood around until someone tells me to do something or go somewhere. It's an efficient system for sure, I don't want to get in the way.

My trainer told me a little bit about what's going on in Trencin. He had to reschedule 6 appointments because of this Bratislava stay. 6!! He told me to prepare for miracles and I told him I expected them :) One of our investigators is a family and some other very promising individuals. He's expecting a baptismal date from one of them soon. We'll see!

I am so happy to finally be in the country! The MTC was an extremely humbling experience and the past 3 days have been an even more humbling experience. Not sure how much lower I can go, but I'm sure I can go much lower. But I know that I just need to get "myself" out of the way so the Lord can work through me.

Well family and friends, just to reiterate, I'm safe and happy and still appreciate and feel your support and prayers. I love you all!!

From Blava with love,
Starsi Williams

ps, Mom can you forward my emails to: and They were in my branch presidency. I forgot to copy President Creer's email address- its in one of my bags- but I'll give you his next week.

MTC to Prague!

Arrival letter from President Irwin

26 October 2010

Dear Brother and Sister Williams,

We have welcomed your son, Elder Adam Gregory Williams, to the Czech Prague mission. We have attached a photo of him with us, which was taken today just after he arrived here in Prague, along with a picture of him with the missionary group that he came with. Elder Williams will bless this mission greatly with his enthusiasm and dedication. We love him and pledge our best efforts in directing his service here.
Your son, Elder Williams, has accepted a call that will change his life and the lives of those with whom he is serving. These first few months will be full of new and challenging experiences, and your support in the form of encouraging and uplifting letters will help him greatly.
Our greatest hope is that each missionary has a positive and growing experience, which will help give him a foundation for a lifetime of service to others. We appreciate the time you have spent raising your son to be such a responsible young man. We thank you for your willingness to share him with us.

With warmest regards,

David R. Irwin
President, Czech Prague Mission

Adam arrived in Prague Monday evening our time-it was Tuesday morning Czech time. They had a busy day Tuesday. The secretary there emailed me and said,

"Elder Williams and the rest of his group are on a Prague walk right now to see some of Prague while they are here. They will get to see the Prague castle and Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, etc. You can put those places into “google” on the internet so you can see how beautiful those sites are. They will be leaving tomorrow to go to Slovakia. Elder Williams is such a kind and loving person. We are sure everyone is going to love him and that he will do a great work in Slovakia."

After the tour they were to go out and speak to people on the street. When Adam called us Monday morning, he spoke his introduction of himself in Slovic-which sounded great to us so we asked what he will say to after he introduces himself and he said he will look at his trainer to take over from there!

So by now, he should be in Slovakia! We shall find out what city he is in and who his companion is when he emails next week...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pictures finally

Elders Nichol, Bacon, Freeman, Meiling, Williams, Sisters Bartholomew, and Anderson

Elder Bacon and me

Our "Band" Picture

Matching tiesSide parts

I dont know what we're doing

I found our Branch President Creer's nametag
This is my impression of him.

Our room--Elder T and T are packing

The district studying hard Sunday morning
Anderson, Nichol, Bacon, Freeman, Bartholomew, Me


We cover a lot of ground

Our classroom

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last P-day!

Hey Family and Friends!
This is the last email I'll ever send from the MTC!! :) I am so excited about that!
It's been a great week and it started off with my travel plans! We got our itinerary on Wednesday last week!!!! I leave Monday October 25 at 8:44 AM! We have one layover in NYC for two hours and then we arrive in Prague 8:45 AM Tuesday morning! I leave for SLC airport around 5 am so expect a call then. I don't think I'll have time to call in New York. I think I'm going to just buy a calling card at the airport and use that. Any other ideas?
Also, my cough is gone for the most part. Those pills Staci sent (thank her again for me!) really did the trick. It dried me right up! And who woulda thunk that vick vapor rub on the bottom of your feet stops night time coughing? Definitely going to remember that one. Every now and then I feel like I'm coughing some gunk out of my lungs. But I'm drinking plenty of water and trying to be healthy.
We've covered all of our language grammar lessons already and have been reviewing. I've accepted that I really can't learn anything new in a week and the skills I have now will have to make do for my first big day as a "real" missionary. Our teachers have been just telling stories about the mission and what needs to be done to get the work going. A common theme is that the members there just need faith that they're not the only members of the church. It's still an obscure church over there. Only about 50-75 active members. My day looks like a meeting with the Mission President (of course) an orientation, then a walking tour of Prague (SO excited for that!) THEN they bring you to the namestia, or town square, where you go out and contact! In Prague! To REAL people who aren't teachers! To CZECHS!! Uhhh... I hardly know Slovak, let alone Czech! But I'm determined to just go out there and give it my all! Whenever I think about it I get so excited/feel-like-I'm-going-to-throw-up! I'm nervous about meeting my trainer. I know he'll be great. I just hope I don't frustrate him.... lol
Thank you family for the package! And then the cookies! We've all enjoyed them and everyone loved their Halloween goodie bag. Thanks for the long underwear. They've revolutionized my sleeping experience. At least for the first couple nights. Now they've cranked up the heat in the rooms. :( It's like I'm back in AZ. A shout out to Catherine as well for her fabulous package. And to the Wood family. Their letters were particularly encouraging. I am SO lucky and blessed to have so much support back home. It was definitely a good week. :)
Brother Capik, a member of my branch presidency, thanked us as a district on Sunday. He said that we are one of the most unified districts he's ever seen (we do absolutely everything together) and that we are "model missionaries". So don't worry mom, I'm doing a good job. haha
Tomorrow my district was chosen to be "host Missionaries" meaning we have to escort the new missionaries coming in. I'm pretty sure Brandon Larson is coming tomorrow so I'll keep an eye out for him.
Almost out of time, but I've loved the MTC (totally ready to go though). Last week Bishop Edgley gave the devotional. I'm really going to miss all of the devotionals and firesides we have here, they are always so good!
Welp, I'll talk to you on Monday!!!!!
Elder Williams

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Another week here at the MTC. The big highlight is that I have been sicky all week. It started little over a week ago with a voice of an old man who smoked for 40 years. Very attractive I know. And now I have this cough that will not go away. I used all of my de-congestion medication already and have started my second bottle of cough medicine. Geez, I sound like a perscription drug abuser..... I have a feeling that I'm over it though. I hope.

The TRC last week went so well! Elder Bacon and I taught the first lesson IN SLOVAK! It was insane! There were a few times where I had no idea what our investigator was saying, but we managed to pull though it. I wrote out everything that I wanted to say but after just chatting with him (Bryce) and asking him questions we went in a completely different direction but I survived! This week we have to teach the second lesson and the word of wisdom. Again, I'm soooo nervous about it. The second lesson has a lot of specific vocab that I haven't been studying as well as I should... We'll see how it goes on Thursday I guess.I just can't wait for that moment where I just know what everyone is saying and I can really start getting to know and teaching everyone!

I only have two more weeks here at the MTC. I am so ready to leave this place. Elder Nichol made a comment the other day that pretty sums it up, "Elder Williams is just burnt out." Definitely true. However, I'm torn. I'm ready to leave HERE but not so ready to get to Slovakia. I am incredibly excited about leaving so soon but whenever I think about it I feel like I am going to throw up. Haha We now have scheduled in "story time" from each of our teachers when they teach. They get us SO pumped to go.

The other day (same day that I was "burnt out") someone found a CTR ring inside their tater-tot casserole. First of all it was a tater-tot casserole, gross. Second, a ring? grosssss

I really wish I had more exciting things to talk about. Sorry about that. I mostly just sit in a classroom all day or get annoyed by other Elders... Here's hoping that in two weeks time I'll have SO much to say! :)

Love and miss you all!!


ps I haven't gotten the package yet, but thanks so much in advance!

pss: here's a strange request: can you tell the Horlachers I said hi? In church on Sunday I was thinking about the talk Nicole gave at my farewell. I really appreciated what she said about me being an example for going on a mission. It made me feel redeemed a little for being such a poor example to the teachers/deacons for not going for so long. They are such a great family!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Po Slovensky!!

Another P-day down. Only 3 more to go! Yikes!!
The time here has really sped up and last week feels like it really didn't happen. Motivation and diligence really makes time fly by!
The week really took off on Thursday where we had our TRC and had to teach a lesson IN SLOVAK! ("po slovensky") We started out doing our "task" where we had a mock dinner appointment. I, of course, forget every food word so I was pretty lost. Elder Bacon, Nichol and I taught 4 people. One lady, Eva, was from Prague and was here for conference. She is so nice! She served a mission in Mesa so is pretty fluent in English. (Not that I ever heard a word of it) Then we had 2 other RMs from Czech and one from Slovakia. So the Slovak RM was interpreting when we couldn't understand. Czech and Slovak are similar, but they are definitely different languages. Our lesson went so well. I understood most of what was said, but struggled so much in communicating what i wanted to say. It's so frustrating recognizing a need and understanding a question but being unable to answer or help meet that need. One day though...
I hope you all enjoyed General Conference. It was so great! My district managed to stick together for all of the sessions. So far we've never sat apart for a devotional or a meal. We're convinced that we are the closest district. (It helps that we're so small) We had to show up about an hour and half early to get a seat in the Gym. We managed to snag front row seats where the deaf section is (They only have one deaf Elder) and sat in front of a nice tv screen. It felt like home almost. Then when it started half the screen was taken up by an interpreter and the visual and audio was off (Not that that would matter to someone who can't hear...) Sister Bartholomew and I loved it but everyone got so distracted. Needless to say, we didn't sit there again.... Priesthood session was great and Elder Bacon enjoyed himself. He was gone all day so I stuck with elder Freeman and Nichol. It was kinda nice having a day off from Elder Bacon, but I kinda missed my shadow. We all welcomed him back that night with applause. They sounded SO GOOD! All of the sessions of conference was amazing. I love experiencing things as a missionary. I felt that every single talk really applied to me. The counsel I received from those great men and women will really help me out in the field and in life beyond the mission. I just wish I had investigators now! Something that really stuck out to me was Elder Holland's talk. I need to do a better job at recognizing everything that everyone does. From the leaders down to all the "helpers". I loved his comments about his parents and I couldn't help bu think about Mom and Dad. Both of you have done and sacrificed so much so that I could have the life I enjoy. Sometimes, ok, most of the time, it went without thanks but that never deterred you from giving more. I love both of you so much! :)
Something else that was amazing this week was last Friday, Elder Bacon and I have a Teaching Appointment and we had to teach the plan of salvation and tie it into the Law of Tithing. It was such a good lesson and I couldn't help but wish that I was going stateside. I just want to teach people SO bad! I can't wait 6 months or however long it'll take to get this language down! But the best part about this lesson was at the end the teacher told us to really help the investigator understand the Pre-Earth life. She asked if they knew that they had a relationship with God before this life how do you think their prayers and attitude towards God would change? I had always known this concept but it really hit me this time thinking about in a context of prayer. We all knew our Heavenly Father. (He knew us and loved us, and still does of course.) Why wouldn't I want to rekindle that two-way relationship? So cool!
Got your Dear Elder about the package coming soon, thanks in advance! Did you find my check book? It would be great if you could throw that in. And mints! Gum is outlawed here. (What isn't?) And I know I've said this for weeks but pictures coming soon as well as the copy of my wallet stuff you keep bugging me about mom. Also, no worries about the shoes. They just had to be broken in is all. That seems to be a common thing with Eccos.
Thanks all for the letters that keep coming. The support is fantastic and I'm working on responding! :) BTW Morgan, your letter seems to top everything anyone has ever sent!

Love you love you love you!!

Elder Williams