Monday, July 25, 2011

Hey everyone!

How is everyone doing?? It has been quite the week. Maybe too much for one email, but I will try.

On Tuesday we had a specialized training and I spent my final moments in Brno before having the head back out to Slovakia. I really hope I get to spend at least a transfer on the Czech side of the mission, it was definitely a cool experience. Specialized Training was really good. President talked all about church and the importance of getting our investigators there. It's been something that I've been trying to focus on the last transfer- and my new missionaries have embraced the goal to always have an investigator at church every week. I was glad that that concept was reinforced at the training. I've realized that we need to challenge the people we teach more. Not in an obnoxious, radical sort of way, but challenging in a way that gets them to understand WHY all the things we teach are important. After the training we spent the night in Bratislava, had possibly the best halusky ever, props to Elder Tenney, and in the morning Elder Stansfield and I began the trek east to Kosice. 7 and a half hours later (we got on the slow train.... never again...) we arrived in Kosice. Right behind was President and Sister Irwin for interviews! (they were scheduled to come for the big wheelchair ceremony, more on that later) The APs tagged along and we did some finding together. Always fun.

It never ceases to amaze me how much President Irwin knows his missionaries personally. He lives over 600 kilometers away, and has over 70 other missionaries to take care of, act as the ecclesiastical leader of 2000 members in 2 different countries, and yet, he manages to remember the problems and concerns of me in my tiny little branch and district. Wednesday night we also held our North American Party for our English class. Huge hit. I'm sure sister Stiles has more on that on her blog....
The next day was the long anticipated Wheelchair ceremony. The church gave 500 wheelchairs to this organization and they held a little ceremony for us. Our job was to smile for the camera and "present" some of the wheelchairs. It was something different and enjoyable. Do I have pictures? Of course not. I'm sorry. :( I'm awful with pics, už vieš...

The work here in Slovakia is picking up. An experience was shared at training from the Elders in Banksa. (Elders Andersen, Nichol and Wilcox) It goes like this: President Irwin had given them a referral to check out. He was someone who was recently baptized in England while he was working there (along with 12 other Slovaks!) and wanted the missionaries to teach his three sisters. They went out to meet him, as he lives a little outside of town, and when they walked in the house they found 17 people who were waiting for them. They were mostly family and some friends who had noticed the change in this young man after he returned from England. They knew that what the missionaries were teaching could have a real effect in all of their lives. As Elder Andersen put it, "They were waiting to be taught by representatives of Jesus Christ". So far 9 of them are slated to be baptized. It was an experience that those elders will never forget. And that happened here! In Europe!
In Kosice, we have three miracles ourselves. All young adults who have readily accepted the message we share and are so excited to follow their Savior and be baptized. By the end of August we will have 3 new solid members. Each of them are inspiring to me and I am so impressed by their willingness and their faith. Getting to the actual baptism for my investigator has been quite the ordeal with conflicting schedules, but it will happen and I am trying to be patient. He wants it to happen soon!

The prophet Daniel described a stone cut out of the mountain without hands that gradually filled the whole earth, we are witnessing that happen here. I am so excited and so blessed to see it happening before my eyes. I know that it is only a result of the Lords hand. He truly is preparing people, we missionaries just have to worthy and willing to put in the work to find them all. My testimony of this work is increasing. I am so impressed with anyone who is willing to open their mouth and challenge people to learn for themselves the truth that we have. It's hard, I didn't do it before, but it truly can make all the difference for those who are truly seeking answers.

The upcoming week will be a normal one. No travels, thank goodness. Excited to see what happens....

Some shoutouts: Congrats Brooke Steinpries (I used to know how spell that last name...) on the wedding announcement! I expect an announcement in the mail.... And to the successful delivery of the newest member of the Morris' family. Wish I knew his name..... (an update would be nice guys) And to Mara for the successful move to St. Louis, LOVE the apartment! As well, an apology for not getting letters out. I know its been awhile but know that I love you and I'll get them out. (I have like three for you Catherine... whoops)

Hope everyone is doing well, thanks for the love and support!

Elder Williams

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