Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm a little off my groove today, as I don't have my planner to help me remember what I did this past week. It felt like a loooong one.

As well, today is Elder Bodily's birthday! My trainer is 21 today! Elder Bodily, do you remember when we went bowling and went out for pizza for your birthday??

The districts three baptismal dates (Here on known as "BD"s to protect their identities) have continued to progress and we missionaries have been scheming of ways that we can make them become friends with each other. Operation Friendship started on Tuesday when Elder McGowan and I had an exchange. Elder Bodily and Stansfield met with our baptismal dates (BD1). They taught him about tithing and he accepted everything, no problem (I'm telling you, these people the Lord sent us are amazing). They also penned down a date that works for everyone. The 6th. This coming Saturday! After their meeting Elder McGowan and I met with their first baptismal date (BD2), a young woman who is just so prepared. She is just eager to help and to do things that will bring her closer to God. We had a combined meeting with her and BD1. BD1 helped us teach the plan of salvation. He was such a pro! Sharing testimony and even scriptures! It was so amazing. We decided that we would move BD2 date up to the 6th so that they could be baptized together! (Furthering our sneaky plan to get these people to bond with each other) Then we met with the other date, BD3. This time BD1 and BD2 helped us teach her. We were going over the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what it means for us. At one point Elder McGowan and I just had to sit back and let them talk and share amongst themselves. Then something I didn't expect to happen, Elder McGowan and I shared our favorite passages of the Book of Mormon, (FYI-- I shared 2 Nephi 4:27 to the end:) and then asked if anyone else had a favorite scripture. ALL of them had a verse that they said was their favorite. All 3 of them have been reading the Book of Mormon for less than a month and in BD3's case, about a week, and already they found something that spoke to them. It was such a cool experience and the best 2 and half hours of my mission. It was such a testimony builder for me that the Book of Mormon truly is a book that will bring people closer to their Savior. His hand has been in all of this. Elder McGowan and I ended that session with a prayer of gratitude. We just felt we needed to. We want them to form a solid support system between themselves, independent of missionaries and we're on the way. We had a little game night with them and went bowling together for pday, Operation Friendship is well underway. :)

Today we did have kind of a bombshell, especially after the experience I just described. BD1 told us that his father does NOT want him to be baptized. Right now, we are not exactly sure what will happen. I'm worried that if he doesn't get baptized this week he will never be baptized. He has to respect his family, for sure. But at the same time he has to do what he needs to do. I'm grateful for parents that support me, even when they would have rather I do something different (is that proper English?). We will see what happens with him this weekend. Til then, the other two are on track. One for the 6th and the other for the 27!

It's amazing how difficult this experience of "the mission" has been, and how all of those difficulties melt away into nothing when I consider the miracles that I see everyday. I am slowly growing with more confidence in my my God, that through Him, truly anything is possible.

Except when it comes to cell phones, apparently.
A couple days ago our phones stopped working. We can receive calls, however, we cannot send texts or outgoing calls. It sounds like someone forgot to pay a bill. Whoops. We've been managing without it but today we just got a text from the APs (this is just a Slovak phone problem, the Czechs are fine) saying that it'll be about another week.... so we're going to have buy our own SIM card and buy our own credit. Which definitely makes things interesting... It feels like I am a missionary in the 80s or something ( I guess even the 90s). Setting up meetings and just hoping that they will come having no way of cancelling or confirming...

Thanks for all the updates friends and family! So excited for you Michelle! And I'm glad you had a successful move Catherine. I hope the deathly humidity up in Ames wasn't too bad! As well, congrats to the team at the USAO for a job well done! I was flattered that I was on the thank you list! (Still waiting on that t-shirt from Danny....)

Miss you all and love you more!

Elder Williams

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