Monday, August 27, 2012

2 Year Mark

Hello family, friends and other blog buddies!

Hope everyone is doing well! We had another great week. The weather has been warm-- but last night got really cold and I was able to sleep! Yesterday at church we had 4 visitors-well, not really visitors, but 2 American couples that just moved to Bratislava and will be living here for 8 months! Wahoo! So we got some more help for the branch for a least a little bit. The two guys are playing volleyball for the Bratislava team and their wives are bored here so we are going to try to take them out on teaching appointments. Will be great! Now we just need to find English speaking investigators....
My companion and I are doing well, I really do love Elder Osterloh. We are having a good time with each other. I couldn't have asked for a better companion. The last couple of companions I've had have been perfect. I wish I had been able to recognize the quality of the missionaries I served around sooner. I'm trying to be a better than I am for Elder Osterloh. Don't know what I would do without him.
Last week we had a specialized training, my last as a missionary, so I bore a "closing testimony." A tradition here for departing Elders and Sisters. It was a weird experience. Almost felt anti-climatic. I still have testimonies to share people! But it is a mile stone as a missionary I guess. Saturday was my 2 year mark. We celebrated by contacting all day after weekly planning... fun. :) But today we are hitting up the all you can eat Chinese place in town. My favorite. :)) 

Thank you for the email Joe! I will tell everyone hello from you. Elder MacNeish and Meredith are in the Czech Republic so I prob won't be seeing them. :( But I'll relay the message.

Not a lot of time today, so I will talk to you all next week!

Elder A Williams

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Car Ride

Hello everyone!
Hope all is well. Thanks for the emails and updates. I'm so excited for Logan to actually get to Boston. Will be exciting!
This was a pretty normal week. I did have an exchange in Brno- a nice little switch-up. I drove with a Brno Zone Leader so that was definitely the highlight of the week. Do you know when the last car ride was for me??
Elder Osterloh and I are doing great! He really is a great companion and I'm grateful to serve with him. I'm trying to be a good companion for him-- but I'm really difficult sometimes ;)
Our investigators have been doing really well actually. We've had some breakthrough lessons where they "get it" now. That is the hardest part. Getting a person to that realization. Until a person realizes how important the gospel is if it's true they have to find the answer themselves. It's hard because I'm convinced there ain't nothing we can do or say that can convince a person, or change a persons mind. We just have to invite the spirit and allow it to work the person's heart. I love the people we're teaching right now. They are all really special to me and I really hope they keep hold to that desire and keep reading the Book of Mormon and keep asking God if it's true. Then everything else will fall into place for them.
Tomorrow we head out to Brno for a Zone Conference. If I wanted to be trunky I would let you know that it will be my last. (But I'm far from "trunky" :) ) It's weird-- because on Saturday I hit my 2 year mark and I still have a month to go. But I'm excited for the next couple weeks. I'm SO glad I decided to stay just a little longer.
Love you all! Hear from you soon!

-Elder A. Williams

13 Augusta 2012

Can I just mention how much I can't wait to be able to write you all without having an hour on the clock??
With the "going home comment" out of the way I can say that we have had a pretty good week. Saturday we had another service project where we picked up trash along the canal. Went pretty well. A TON of trash. I'm sure you'll see some pictures on the internet soon. (By the way-- I apologize for NEVER sending pictures) I just never use my camera... Logan- you can do better at that.

Yesterday Elder Bacon and Nichol had their last talk in church. I secretly cannot wait until they leave. It's been hard focusing with them around. They hop on the train to Prague tomorrow morning and it will be much easier to live in denial that I will be released in a few short weeks. 

We've seen some more cool things with our investigators, one of them is doing extremely well and finally came to church! There was a visitor who asked him how long he had been a member, the visitor was visibly surprised when he heard that it is was his first time at church-- thought he was already a member! He had such a good time. It just feels good as a missionary to have an investigator at church. :)

So Elder Osterloh and I had this really cool investigator who was just excited about everything we were teaching him. We were SO stoked for our meetings. He accepted a date and everything the very first lesson. But then he never responded to our messages/calls. We were so confused and little torn up. Elder Osterloh ran into him on exchanges and set a tentative meeting up for yesterday-- he seemed excited to see Elder O and for meeting with us. Over the weekend we had the same problem with reaching him. Then Sunday evening comes around and we find his name in the phone again under a different contact. The number is exactly the same, only it has the area code in the number-- so we try it and he answers in the first two rings! After we hang up we tried the other name we had for him and we got the same result from before-- a dead line. We COULD have contacted him this entire time under this other contact! We were just thankful for the breakthrough that we had finding his actual number. I'll keep you posted on what happens.

I'm excited for the 2nd half of this transfer. There will be some exciting thing happening soon, I'm sure. :) We are going to start doing "power exchanges" where we go out with a different companionship in the city once a week for an hour for some intense finding. Should be good!

Love you! Miss you, see you soon!

Elder A. Williams    

 August 6, 2012
Baptism Anniversary
Hello everyone
I woke up this morning unable to believe that it was August 6-- again. A year ago today Marek and Ivet were baptized! It was really nice to remember that day during my studies and I couldn't believe that they have been active members of the church for a year already. Time really does fly and in a couple weeks will be Lenka's anniversary too. I have a feeling that these dates will forever be imprinted in my mind. :) I was in a little bit of a slump-- but remembering what this is all about has helped me put things in perspective. And in 2 weeks we'll have another baptism! This work seems a little insane at times. We see so little obvious success that any normal person would feel like quitting. But instead it refines us into better people who are more equipped to serve. Instead of feeling like this is useless I started seeing success in other areas. That is what the Gospel of Christ does to us though, right? It transforms us and, as one that needs a TON of improvement, I am grateful for that. This week my area hit standards for the first time. I have NEVER hit standards before. (Standards are mission-wide goals for our "key indicators" things like # of lessons taught, # of investigators, etc). Our investigators are progressing and coming to church and are loving the gospel. Elder Osterloh and I found one woman last week and he had a lesson with her whilst on exchanges so I wasn't there. But she was really excited to come to church and both her AND her husband came. They had a son who drowned at 19 so she had a lot of concerns about post-mortality. It was fast and testimony meeting and BAM! first testimony was all about the plan of salvation and forever families. She LOVED church and the atmosphere and wanted to bear her own testimony but we ran out of time. (NEVER happens) It was such a good Sunday and I am really excited to start teaching her and her husband this week. Elder Osterloh and I are having some great experiences together and I'm looking forward to the next couple weeks as our people start meeting with us more. Glad to hear Logan made it to the MTC ok. Gooooood luck with the food. It got old for me real fast. You're lucky you're there for only 3 weeks.... It's gotta be weird at home with just Aaron and Mom and dog. (Let's face it, Dad pretty much lives at the airport) What am I going to do??

Love you all!!
Elder A. Williams (<--- the "A" is there so we don't got confused with the other Elder Williams!) :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Slovak Front

  July 29, 2010


Thanks for the emails this week! (I missed you all last week...) And
the letters, Family, I got your card the other day, and Julie, I got
your letter/pictures. Thanks!

This past week was a good one. Elder Osterloh have been able to find
some cool investigators this past week-- we were just shy of our goal-
but we've been pretty good. We have a goal of getting 3 new
investigators every single week of the transfer-- which would do
wonders for this area. At first I was a little peeved that I got sent
to such a slow area-- but it'll give me some more opportunities to
work as hard as I can to the end.
On Friday we had Specialized Training in Brno and among a lot of
things we talked about our studies and how we can improve. It was
definitely inspired because that has something that has just died for
me this transfer. I used to love my personal studies, but very
recently I can't get into them. At the end of last transfer I finally
finished all of the standard works and the missionary library, so I
think that had something to do about it. But now I have some new found
motivation to get some more things out of my personal study. :) I hope
that is something that will stick for me post mission; personal
scripture study. The scriptures are really full of stuff that we need
in day-to-day life.

Glad to hear things are good at home. It'll be an exciting week,
that's for sure! I'll be thinking of you Logan Tueday night! (Well,
early early Wednesday morning for me) I'm kind of bummed I miss yet
ANOTHER setting apart of one of my siblings. But oh well. Aaron will
get a lot of attention... per usual.

Reasons why Logan will be a great missionary:
-He is a Williams
-He has excellent examples of missionary siblings ;)
-He works hard
-He likes (and knows how) to have fun
-He knows who he is and he is confident around others. He has a clear
place in his peer group and is fearless with them. He doesn't let the
teases or the taunts of an older sibling stop what he wants to do. He
goes out and does it. I've always been impressed with how consistent
he is. Growing up he lived for scouts and would insist on setting the
timer for when it was time to go (often times it was set to go off in
2 or 3 hours). It used to annoy me SO much because Scouts was, and
continues to be, the bane of my entire existence. But Logan never
allowed himself to be influenced and kept doing what he enjoyed. (even
though it was something as dumb as scouting <-- my own opinion :) And
that's how he has always been. Doing what is right because he wants
He is going to see a ton of miracles if he keeps that up. The
opportunity to serve like a full-time missionary comes once and I'm
confident Logan will make the most of it!

I love you all! Hear from you all soon!

Elder Williams

July 19 2012

Another Transfer!!!

Hey everyone!
I am way short on time this week-- I'm sorry about that. But I am
alive and happy in Bratislava still. :) I am serving with Elder
Osterloh who has been serving in the Czech Republic for the past year.
I'm pumped for a new transfer and excited that it's my last. (A good
kind of excited. Not a OMG-I-just-want-to-go-home but a
OMG-I-can't-believe-it's-already-here) I'm not going to get "trunky"
so don't worry about that. (that being said, I have been craving Taco
Bell a lot more frequently...)
Our investigator will be getting baptized on Saturday! We are all so
excited about it! It's been a long time coming, but he is so prepared
and excited for it! I just love it. I love being around people who are
coming to know that these things are true and are getting EXCITED
about it!

I'm in a very large district this transfer:
First is our fearless District Leader Elder Osterloh and I together. Elder O is from Utah
then Elder Robison (my boy :) and Elder Nichol who are
training Elder Marriot together. Elder Marriott is from CA 
My old companion Elder Clem and Elder Bacon are
together (again) training Elder Hammond, a cowboy from Logan, UT.
With the Senior couple we are quite the group! Some really new missionaries and some really old ones. Love it. But Elders Nichol and Bacon are leaving in 4 weeks for school so we'll become a normal Bratislava district soon.

Everything is good. Hope things are good with you all! Glad to here
the CA trip was fun. Happy Birthday Grandpa! Sorry I missed out.
Buuuut I will see you all soon. :)

Love you,
Elder Williams