Santiago Chile

Santiago Chile

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Half way there and living on a prayer

hola familia y amigos
sorry for the Pday changes and the delayed responses to your emails. I'll try to catch up on most of them in the 45 minutes I have. This week is my 3rd in the MTC so I am halfway done with the MTC. We learn so many awesome things here, and the members of my district are awesome. I couldn't survive the MTC without them.
last week during Pday, we were able to stop by Mcdonalds, and that was a great experience. Elder stephens was very happy we got to go because he loves Mcdonalds. I am so thankful for my trio companions elder swan and elder stephens. I needed to learn a ton of things from them before I go out into the field.
Soccer has been more difficult recently with the latinos joining us. an elder from Brazil that played on the youth brazil team and an elder from argentina who also played on a pro team are both at the MTC. apparently, brazil and argentina don't get along too well in soccer, so the games have become a little more intense.
Some fully trained missionaries that were serving in Rancagua are visiting the MTC this week to get some medical tests. its cool to hear from them about what the mission field in Chile is like. they are very nice elders.
on domingo, we had church and sundays are the best at the MTC because we don't have class. we get to listen to broadcasted devocionals from the Provo MTC and they are awesome. we also get to have FHE every other sunday night. after it, herman Doll makes us cookies!
on monday it was so cute. me and my companions were walking back from class to our room. missionaries live on the third floor of this building and chileans that are visiting the temple from far away stay in the bottom two floors. we like to attempt to communicate with them. when we were walking up the stairs to our room, we saw this mother holding the hand of this cute little girl who was trying to hop her way down the steps which were about a third of her height. when she looked up and saw us she said "los misioneros"! it was so cute, and my companionship realized that we are now missionaries, the same missionaries that I looked up to when I was little and wanted to be. it is such an honor being a missionary.
Today was another pday. we walked to a new mall, and while we were in a shop so elder Stephens could get a futbol jersey, I was talking with a man who was working there. when we were planning our day out last night, I really wanted to place a book of Mormon. I grabbed one before we left for the city, and when I was in the soccer store the worker there asked "why are you all named elder". I took that as a signal. he was really nice and he said he loved Jesus Christ, so I handed him the book of mormon: another testament of Jesus Christ. we got his number as well to follow up. it was really cool!
I want to keep this email pretty short because there are a lot of emails I need to respond to.

Elder Williams
 ​where we play football

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Subject: Gooooaaaaallllllll

hola familia!

I can't believe I have already been out for two weeks. Its crazy! Im really starting to enjoy the MTC. the more time I spend here, the more time I realize how wonderful a mission can be. this week we are finishing up meeting with our progressing investigators. their names are Carla and Pedro. they are teachers from the MTC that act like investigators from their missions. it really helps us to practing teaching in spanish. One of the most important things to understand when you are in a lesson is that even though you can't speak spanish, you can still speak by the spirit. Im so thankful for the spirit.

Last night we had an assesment where our teacher picked a couple of elders from our class to teach a lesson in front of the whole class. he picked Elder Smith and Elder Horlacher. they are both awesome missionaries, but Elder Smith believes he has a hard time speaking spanish, and because of that he doesn't consider himself a good missionary (he tells us that frequently). they started the lesson, they got to know the person, and then there was a moment of silence. after that pause elder Smith opened his mouth and asked "what would you think if I told you families could be together forever". I have seldom felt the spirit that strong,  and because of that question, elder Smith and elder Horlacher were able to teach a man about how he could be with his family forever, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ could strengthen his family. 

I know Im only in the MTC and that the people we are teaching here are just teachers pretending to be investigators, but the Lord knows that we need the practice, and he is merciful enough to give us the spirit to help us teach our lessons. Miracles happen here in the MTC. I know it.

Ok let me tell you more about what has been happening here. recently there has been an increase in the amount of chilean bread provided to us at meals. it is now placed on the tables fresh and warm out of the oven. as a result our will power to resist the main source of weight gain for the members of the chile MTC has taken a major hit. I haven't gained any weight yet, and I will try to stay strong. I like talking about the food here at the MTC because lets face it. the free time that we do have is with meals. for breakfast there is lots of warm bread and there is cereal with yogurt. chileans don't really believe in cold milk either. its almost always hot. for lunch and dinner its a lot of potatoes, pasta, fish, and pig. Im not sure how to say pork or ham in spanish so when the lunch ladies ask us what we want we usually just say "oink oink". also, all the desserts here are the same. they are always some type of jello of pudding.

Today we said goodbye to the latino elders that arrived with us. the latinos only stay for two weeks. last night we took some pictures with them and said goodbye. there was also a great devotional that was given sunday night by the mission president of Sanitago south. I understood about 75% so I was pretty proud of myself. Elder Swan, Elder Stephens y yo said goodbye to our roommates Elder Torres and Elder Ore. they are both very funny and we will miss them a lot. 

because the latinos are leaving, we have been playing something called gringo ball. every morning we play soccer, but now that the latinos are gone, the gringos actually have a chance to hold onto the ball. we ran over to a nearby park and played on a court there, and I actually scored a goal! scoring a goal in soccer has been one of the goals in my planner for the past week and a half, so it was nice to check that one off the list.

sorry that the Pday schedule is a little crazy, but my Pdays should either be on tuesdays or Wednesdays here at the MTC. today we are planning on going to a new mall in santiago where it is rumored that a McDonalds is located there. my companions are craving big macs so we decided we should go. 

Im so thankful to be here at the MTC. Im thankful that I get to be a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ. I didn't really understand what that meant when I left, but I am beginning to understand that my role here is to act like Christ, to love the people of Chile like Christ, to teach and lead the way Christ taught and led. All I want is to practice and learn as much as I can here, so that when I enter the field, I will be able to share with the people of Chile the way to have joy in this life, that same way being our path back to our Heavenly Father,

Elder Williams

Picture 1: Left to right. Elder Williams, Elder Stephens, Elder Swan
Picture 3: left to right. elder torres and elder ore
last Picture: us saying goodbye to elder torres and elder ore

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Subject: soy un misionero

Hola familia,

I am very excited to write to you. I can't believe that I am actually a missionary and am writing letters and having p-days and stuff! a lot has happened since Sunday. in the morning we wake up and we have personal study, breakfast and then ejercicio. the latino missionaries love playing soccer so that's what we do almost every morning. It is very important to be good at soccer here because if you aren't, you miss out on a lot of opportunities to spend time with the youth and share the gospel with them. on our way to soccer every morning we see lots of dogs. they don't belong to anyone and they have fleas so we don't touch them. we almost saw one get hit by a car multiple times because he likes to chase them.

For those who have never been in the mtc, know that you spend a lot of time in a classroom, so its not really possible for me to tell of really interesting things that happen throughout the day. you spend about 8-10 hours a day in class and it can be rough. We find relief in hanging out as a district outside of the building at our "spot". *o el punto. we also teach investigators that are teachers that act like non members. we are working with pedro y carla. it is rough teaching in a language you don't know, and part of me wishes that it were possible to dedicate 2 weeks to just learning spanish and how to teach the lessons and then having investigators, but it is important to always practice.

Also here's a crazy thing! I ran into hermana todesco from our stake! she had a meeting in the MTC because it was in her mission and I got to see her.

I went to the temple on Tuesday. It was very nice but very packed. we fit 100 missionaries in a room meant to seat 80 and it was very packed, but the chile temple is beautiful. I have a roommate in the MTC who will go to the temple for the first time today and he is very awesome. he is from argentina and his name is elder torres. he speaks english very well and we love to joke with him a lot. he is a convert and he is the only member in his family. He left behind a very good job to come here to chile, and he is such a great example to me.

I feel like I didn't tell you too much about my companions on Sunday so I will do so now. elder swan is from farmington Utah. he has the best laugh you will ever hear. he went to hood college in maine on a swim scholarship. he is about 6 foot 6 and always has a smile on his face. elder stephens went to BYU with me and he is awesome as well. he is from sacramento california and he used to run for BYU's cross country team. with two collegiate athletes as his comps, guess who is usually the last one to arrive at the MTC when we run back from the parque :)

today, wednesday, is Pday, but I've heard that it can change from week to week, but I don't know. on P days we get to go outside the MTC (or the prison as we like to call it) we went to liders which is a grocery store. on our way there, elder stephens ran into his best friend who is serving in Santiago sur. after that we went to the market and some elders got some treats. after that elder swan and I went and got a hair cut. now we are back here in the MTC writing.

The MTC is a lot of work. it is very stressful if you and more importantly your companion do not know how to manage time well and plan. I would say that the greatest problem we have our district (except for the hermanas) is that we have not yet realized who we are supposed to be as missionaries. somos representivos de Jesucristo. we are still learning that it is not about ourselves, but it is about helping our companions, other missionaries, and our investigators. we shouldn't have time to be worrying about ourselves

Just so every knows I am doing much better health wise. I came down with a cold last week and it is almost completely gone.

Also I have an hour to write on Pdays, so I will try hard to write as much as I can and respond to as many people as I can.

Love you all lots,

Elder Williams

P.S. Happy birthday to Evan and Phil