Santiago Chile

Santiago Chile

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 28, 2015 - Merry Christmas!

Hola familia y amigos,

Wow, this week was full of a ton of things. It was Christmas and Elder Fasshauer´s last week, so a lot of things happened.

On Tuesday, we had our mission Christmas party where all of the mission got together to eat lunch and watch the First Presidency Christmas broadcast. It was really nice to see all of my old friends.
Elder Williams is in the second row from the top in the middle.

On Wednesday, we visited Jecksel. Her dad isn't letting her go to church because she needs to take care of her little brother. We are praying that her dad can change his mind and let her go so we need some prayers in behalf of Jecksel.

We also taught the Word of Wisdom to Pilar that night. She was already living it, so no problems there.

On Christmas Eve, we taught Julio a little bit and his family. They were about to leave so we weren't able to spend too much time with them.

That night we stopped by the houses of a lot of members, recent converts, less actives and investigators to wish them a merry Christmas. It was a lot of fun, and we ended the night eating dinner with the Orellana family. We had to be in the house before 10 and the Orellana family eats dinner at about 10:30, so they made some food for us at 9 so we could still eat dinner somewhere on Christmas Eve.

On Friday everyone was either drunk or sleeping... we did get to teach Pilar. We talked about what Christmas is all about, and she already knew it. She is doing really well, because she is making these changes in behalf of her relationship with Christ, not us.

On Friday, they also called to tell me that I will be training. Right now I am with Elder Covinos on an interchange, and tomorrow we go to the office to pick up our new companions. It will be an interesting experience.

Yesterday, we taught Pilar, and Julio, and the Alberto family, and Elder Fasshauer said goodbye to everyone. It made me think back to Elder Boelter and when he was finishing the mission. It's crazy how fast time flies. Elder Fasshauer was a great missionary and he is truly converted to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Elder Fasshauer and Elder Williams

That´s pretty much it for this week. Oh, I also got to talk with my family which was wonderful.
A four-way Skype with the entire family.

This week we did a lot of walking and it was hot outside. I feel great knowing that the Lord knows the sacrifice we offer Him. He knows that it is hot outside and that no one wants to hear us, but He also knows that we work anyways because we love Him. that was what I gave to the Savior this week as a Christmas present, thousands of steps on a hot road with His name upon my chest.

Love,

Elder Williams

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 21, 2015 - Tarantula Hunter

hola familia y amigos,

en esta semana muchas cosas pasaron.

On Tuesday, we taught J and a friend of hers. Her friend´s name is A. She was wearing black clothes and she had black makeup but she was really nice, and told us that she remembers giving a drawing she made to a missionary. She heard our message and she really liked it, so we are going to pass her on to the other missionaries in our zone to see how she does.

On Wednesday we taught Pilar with Brother Cabezas from the ward. Pilar is a reading machine. For some reason the investiagors always love to read the book  Gospel Principles, and she has been reading that and the Book of Mormon non stop. We taught her the Plan of Salvation this week and we put her with a baptismal date for January.

On Thursday, we did an exchange with the zone leaders. Elder Huarca was just made third companion to the zone leaders because of wierd special changes in another zone, so Elder Huarca went with Elder Fasshauer and I went with the zone leaders to their sector. We did a lot of walking, but we got teach with a young man who just got his mission call to Antofaghasta Chile. It was cool to be able to work with Elder Huber and Elder da Rosa. They get along really well, and they find the way to enjoy the work that we do even if there aren't immediate fruits.

On Friday Elder Huarca and Elder Fasshauer had to go to the temple (it's what all the old missionaries do before they leave), so I was with the zone leaders teaching in my sector. We taught M and D. They are a young family that is really receptive. The dad is a rapper (regatonero) so he has a couple of life style things that he might have to change, but they are a really nice family.
Elder Fasshauer pretending to eat Pilar's kitten

Elder Fasshauer got back and we went to our ward Christmas party. Pilar came. There were invitations to Robinson and Philosiane and Julio, but they didnt show up. It was a lot of fun, and we got to share the Church´s "A Savior Has Been Born" video with the whole ward and invite them to share it with their friends. Internet hasn't made it into all of the homes of the members in this ward, but we know that some will be able to do it.
Ward Christmas party.

On Saturday we found some new people. We found Yiseña. She said that she doesnt believe in Jesus Christ, but the Book of Mormon sounded interesting to her. She doesnt believe in the Bible or in prophets, but she said she would read to Book of Mormon to see what it has inside. I'm ok with that! I trust in that book!

On Sunday, Pilar, Robinson, and Philosiane came to church, but Julio didnt come! We got to teach Robinson that night. We taught him the 10 Commandments. We've been really working hard so Robinson could get baptized this change, but his boss has him working a lot (because they really exploit immigrants here) so we haven´t been able to teach him as much as we wanted. He is progressing well, and maybe its better that he has more time to really savour what it is that we are teaching him.

This morning, we went with Mauricio to go hunt tarantulas. It was a lot of fun, and now we are going to have a bbq with the zone leaders because it is Elder Fasshauer´s last pday!
One of the tarantulas from the hunt!

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I know that what happened 2015 years ago is something that can change our lives today. I know Christ lives. I know that because when people sing His name and of His birth, I feel something different. 

love,

Elder Williams

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Pilar, FHE amd Soccer

Hola familia y amigos,

This week was a ton of fun, and a lot of things happened!

On Tuesday we got to do a service project for the Church here. There was a ton of garbage in front of the church´s gate, so we cleaned it all up. It was really hot and there was a ton of dust, but it was a good time.

The next day, we had interviews with President. Mine went really well. President talked to me about Easter Island a lot, and thanked me for my service there. He asked me if I had gotten used to Santiago, and I said right away "yes", I was trained here in Santiago. It took me forever to get used to the Island, so returning to Santiago was like riding a bike.

We taught Pilar on Wednesday as well. She is doing awesome. She has come to church 3 times, and she is in Alma in the Book of Mormon. This week the goal is to put her with a baptismal date, so we´ll see how it goes.

On Thursday we were walking a lot and teaching new people. We have found a lot of new people, but they arent really accepting the message. It is difficult to set the tone in the lessons. There are a lot of very evangelical people in Santiago that love to talk about Jesus. When we begin to say our message they love to share their feelings about the Savior, but they dont really want to learn too much more about Him, or how to get closer to Him.

On Friday we got to teach Julio. He is the father of a young man named Juan Carlos that we taught last week. He and his family are Peruvian. They are all really receptive. they invited us to try Peruvian tamales. They were so tasty!T hey also convinced me to try rocoto, a Peruvian chile, and when I tried it I almost vomited because it was so hot!!!

On Saturday, we had our ward family home evening. It was put on by the missionary work organization. We did a skit about the Book of Mormon. We told the members to invite their friends to the activity. One family brought an investigator....that was a little lame. But on the bright side, Pilar came and she got along really well with everyone and she really enjoyed it.

On Sunday Julio and Pilar came to church. Robinson didn't make it though (I dont know what happened). All of the meetings were awesome and the members were really friendly with them. They all introduced themselves and sat next to them. A brother in the ward gave an awesome talk about the Atonement that the investigators understood because it was so good. Julio and Pilar stayed for all 3 hours!!! It was awesome.

Sunday afternoon, we went and taught robinson. he graduated from chilean high school on friday so we gifted him a neck tie. he was super happy. we taught him the word of wisdom. hes going to have to stop drinking coffee which will be a bit difficult, but he can do it. he is reading the book of mormon, and it looks like he´ll be getting baptized in a couple of weeks. its been hard to teach him, so we sat him down and told him that we want to pass by and visit him more but with shorter visits and he said he was ok with it.

after Robinson, we got to find a Peruvian family that we had taught about 3 weeks ago. We found them again and we had an awesome lesson!!! The father of the family gave a kneeling prayer at the end it was so good! We explained the Restoration and they understood. we were so pumped!! The Spirit was strong and they committed to reading!! Yes! I love the gospel!

It was a nice way to end the week with a lesson like that and it made me think about the importance of praying in your heart. I prayed earnestly in my heat that the Spirit would carry the words of my companion to the hearts of that family and the Lord heard my cry. The Lord always hears our cries, and it is our responsibility to recognize His answers. He loves us, and He wants to help us.

love,

Elder Williams

December 7, 2015 - Hot, Hot Hot

Hola familia y amigos,

This week involved a lot of walking in the sun, but there were some awesome miracles that happened.

On Friday we had a nice lesson with R. We aren´t too sure what happened this week, but we ran into a lot of people that had some hard hearts. R´s brother was there and he was listening to us when all of a sudden he asks "I don't want to attack you or anything but isnt true that Joseph Smith had 40 wives?" How is that not wanting to attack us?! We explained it to him, and he started to raise his voice and say that God only works through His Spirit to talk with men in these days and not prophets. We let him rage a little bit and then we explained the Book of Mormon and he calmed down. The same thing happened to us on Sunday with some other Haitians we had been teaching. We testified that Joseph Smith was a prophet and one man bore his testimony that he wasn't. That was interesting. The cool thing is that we had a Book of Mormon to show him that there is an evidence that Joseph Smith is a prophet. He didnt agree to reading it, so I guess he will never know (unless he repents).


On Saturday we had lesson with Pilar and the family of the 2nd counselro in the bishopric.It went awesome.

The best part of this week was Sunday. Everyone that we wanted to see in the chapel came. Pilar, Robinson, Philosiane, and Alejandro and Dea came! I was so happy!!!! I bore my testimony I was so happy!!! I had been fasting that they would make it.

That´s pretty much it for this week. That which I do not write is my companion and I walking in the street in the sun. Thank you all for your letters and your prayers. I want to finish this email with the following story:

Friday morning we had left to do some contacts in the morning, and we went to go contact a reference. We talked with the lady and she was very nice. She told us that she belonged to a Pentecostal faith and that she was just fine. We showed her a copy of the Book of Mormon and testified that God had called a prophet in these last days. She asked "there are prophets in these days? How can I know that?" I bore my testimony and offered to see if we could explain to her how she could know. I felt the Spirit carry every word I said to her heart, but then she said "no thanks". That just killed me. Here I am with the greatest message in the world, the name of Jesus Christ on my chest, testifying that today there is a prophet of God on the earth and this daughter of God says "no thanks". I hope that she will receive the gospel later in her life, but I cannot help but feel sad to see a heart that will not open up to the Spirit. this message changes lives!!! Why is it that we dont listen? I know that in some ways I am no way different from that lady. I still have rooms within my heart that I need to open up, but my invitation to all of you is that you listen. I will do the same. God wants to speak to us. He does it through the scriptures, through prayer, through men and women that have been given the authority to speak in His name. we need to open up to them to let Him in.

Love,

Elder Williams

Presenting Elder Fasshauer from Lima, Peru.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November 23, 2015 - Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hola familia y amigos,

This week was a lot of fun and a lot of work, so we are happy to be resting today on P-day. 

On Monday night we had a nice family home evening with K and N. We invited Hermano Francisco and his wife Paolo to come with us. K still hasn't committed to getting baptized because she is facing a little oppression from her mother who is Catholic. Paola shared her conversion story which involves her father who was Catholic and wasn't too big on having her get baptized. Paola shared that as her father went to the chapel for the first time to see a sacrament meeting he started to cry. Paola´s dad was really impressed with the Spirit he felt there and ended up really supporting her decision. It looks like the story helped K.

Tuesday we taught J. She is a young woman who is 17. We asked her how her reading went and she had read up to 4th Nefi in 3 days! She told us that she thinks the Book of Mormon is true because it was answering her questions about how she should treat her family as she read it. She is willing to get baptized, but didn't come to church this Sunday because she was visiting Temuco. We are hoping that her parents also give their consent so she can get baptized

We had to enter the house early that night because there was a soccer game, so Elder Fasshauer and I made arroz con leche.

Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with P. Hermano Luis came with us. He is a member of the stake High Council, and he bore his testimony like a champ. P committed to going to church but he didn't show up on Sunday. We´re not sure what happened. We called and he said he couldn't make it, so we´ll see what happens this week when we verify with him.

On Thursday, we taught a family we taught last week. We stopped by in the morning and taught the daughter of the family and the grandmother. The daughter is named Andrea and she´s about 27. The grandmother was super Baptist. The grandmother didn't let us get a word in and she kept interrupting us. Andrea, realizing that we had been trying to say something raised her voice and said "Grandma, youve got to let them speak and show some respect to them, their Jehovah's Witnesses!" Elder Fasshauer and I ended up laughing pretty hard from that.

We found a family of Haitians on Thursday as well. We taught them the Restoration and one of them accpeted a baptismal date for December 13th. We ran into her on the street the next day, and she said she had read the Book of Mormon and felt it was true. We stopped by her house on Sunday and her family told us that she had moved to another part of Renca that is outside of our sector....that´s how it goes sometimes, but we still need to find her address to pass the reference.

On Friday we were walking and knocking all day...and it was really hot, but we helped a young less active man from our ward recognize that he needed to repent, and we set up an interview with him and the Bishop. according to the Bishop it went really well with him, and it might be just what he needs to get going on the mission.

on Saturday we had a ton of appointments. Almost all of them fell through and we were walking

On Sunday, I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about missionary work. We had a lot of appointments on Sunday as well and a lot of them fell through. We were tired and hot and a little short on ideas, but we kept going and we found a new family to teach! They were a Peruvian family and they were really interested in the Book of Mormon. We´ll see how it goes with them.

I just want to finish with what I shared in my talk this Sunday. I want you all to think about the first Sacrament Meeting that was held in this dispensation. How did the people arrive? Were there full time missionaries that invited them to come? No, there weren´t. It was the Smith family and their family and friends and neighbors that they had invited. How did they come to church. They listened to friends and family that invited them to "come and listen to a prophet´s voice". The church was built upon member missionary work, and we need to remember that. We need to invite our friends and families to come and listen to a prophet´s voice, and to remember the Lord Jesus Christ as we take the sacrament.

Love,

Elder Williams

p.s. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

December 2. 2015 - Conference

Hola familia y amigos,
Sorry about not writing until today. On monday we had a conference with a Setenta ( an Area Seventy) that came to visit, so our p-day was changed to Wednesday. There a million things that have happened so let me try to explain them.
Last week we went to go and play soccer with the zone, but we got lost and couldn't find the chapel where they were playing so we spent our p-day walking around in the sun. Lame.
On Tuesday I was in an interchange with Elder Da Rosa. He is from my group so it was cool to catch up with him. We taught R that night and we invited Hermano Francisco to come with us. We taught R the law of chastity. He felt bad because he didnt know it was a sin, and he wants to change. Hermano Francisco gave an awesome experience about how the law of chastity has blessed his family, and how now he is sealed with his family.  It was an awesome lesson!
On Wednesday, there was a meeting for all of the district leaders. I went, and we all brainstormed ways to have more baptisms in the mission. A lot of companionships are really struggling with the fundamentals of missionary work (contacts, studies. baptismal invitations). We talked about  a lot of good ideas, and part of the conference was when President released a missionary from one of the branches from his district in front of our eyes. It was like a public execution.
On Thursday we went and taught J . We invited a young man from the ward to come with us. It was a nice lesson, and  is progressing really well. Her dad didnt let her go to church last week, but it looks like this week, she`ll be coming!
On Friday we had district class. It was the day after Thanksgiving so I bought a cake that we all shared as a district. That night I got to give my first baptismal interview. The zone leaders had a baptism, so I came to do the interview. The investigator, Lenin was really prepared and did really well.
On Saturday we found a ton of people. We did come contacts and every other one we found people to teach. We found a young Peruvian man who named Juan Carlos who seems really promising. We also found a family that seem pretty receptive to us, but they are going to have to change a lot of things.
On Sunday we had very little people at church, but Pilar came!!!!! She is an investigator that has never come, but she made it and she liked the church.  All of the talks were about tithing so there are a couple of doubts we have to go over with her, but we were so happy to see her that while I was playing the sacrament hymn when she came in I kept messing up because I couldnt stay focused.
We taught M Sunday night. He is a former investigator who has gone to church about 20 times, but doesn't want to get baptized. Elder Hicks dropped him before I got to the sector, but we stopped by to get to know him, and he seems nice. He was talking a lot, and we couldnt get a word in, but when we testified of the love we have for him and how much God loves him, and the Spirit entered the room, he started to listen. The Spirit`s good at getting people to listen.
On Monday we had a conference with Elder Krasnoselsky from Argentina. He gavve an awesome talk about wanting success. Iif the mission is going to baptize more we need to want to baptize and ask God to give us the chance to do it, and then do it. I learned a ton, but that was the highlight.
That night we had a family home evening with a less active family and a non member. We just asked them the following questions "why did you join the church" and "why do you believe in Christ". Every one finished crying and the Spirit was way strong. Questions are super powerful.
Yesterday we taught P, and it was such a spiritual experience. When Elder Fasshauer shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon he cried. HE NEVER DOES THAT! It was incredible and we are looking forward to the answer that Pilar is going to receive when she asks God (she committed to doing it last night).
That`s pretty much it for this week. Sorry for the delay in sending out my email. I am thankful for all of your prayers that are coming my way. I feel them. I really do. I know that this is Christ`s church. I know that my calling is a calling of power and consecration. I am changing every day here in the mission to become every day more a representative of Jesus Christ.
Love,
Elder Williams

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 16, 2015 - Nix the Hicks

Hola familia y amigos,

Well, the transfers were announced Thursday night, and they told Elder Hicks and I that we are both staying in Cerro Colorado. We got a call on Sunday afternoon though from the assistants to tell us that Elder Hicks got transferred! This morning we went to the mission office, and Elder Hicks took off to another sector, and now I am with Elder Fasshauer from Lima Peru in Cerro Colorado. We were kind of bummed because Elder Fasshauer and Elder Hicks were on their last change, and they both got transferred to a new sector where they don't know anyone. Oh well. Elder Fasshauer is really nice, and he isn't looking trunky, so we are going to be able to work hard his last change

I left my old agenda and journal in the house, so I´ll try my best to remember what happened this week. 

N and K, a part member family, had their oldest son baptized this Sunday. We have been working a lot with them so k gets baptized, but she still needs some more time. Their son, Benjamin, is 8 years old, so it is a ward baptism, but he wanted Elder Hicks to baptize him. We told him that usually other members do it, and that he should pick someone else, but he wanted elder Hicks to do it. Yesterday was his baptism, and we had some investigators that came to see, so it turned out really well.

We found an awesome family that is really religious. they let us come in and they were really receptive to the message. It was nice to find them after a week of not finding anyone. We´ll see how it goes with them.

We are still working with R and P. They weren't able to come to church this week, and because of the baptism, we couldn't visit them yesterday, but we are planning on passing by with a member to visit them this weekend.

We found another new person named P. He was very formal. He was very impressed because we arrived with shined shoes, and exactly at 11:00. Just goes to show that the little things count. he really likes serving the community, but he lives alone. We hope that he understands that the best thing to help his fellow men is the gospel, and we hope that the members will help us out with visiting him.

I'm still walking around a little lost here in the sector so it is going to be fun to open this sector with Elder Fasshauer.

Just want to end with my testimony about repentance and prayer. I always heard leaders and people in church talking about daily repentance. I understand how it works now. I repent everyday as I set goals to become more like Christ, and I track my progress when I study the scriptures and pray to God every night. there is nothing more beautiful to me than repentance, and I am so grateful for God´s plan that has given us the conditions of repentance of man in this state of probation. I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ who lets me be cleansed from my sins.

gracias por todo,

Elder Williams

November 10, 2015 - Play Ball!

buenas tardes todos,

Sorry for writing today instead of yesterday. Every 6 weeks, our P-day changes to Tuesday so we can go to the temple. The temple was closed today so we played baseball instead.
Elder Hicks and Elder Williams playing baseball!

This week was a ton of work. We walked and talked and prayed and preached a ton. 

On Tuesday, we got to teach M and F. They are recent converts from Haiti, so I got to use my Haitian skills from Quilicura. That night we also got to teach N and K. K is not a member and N is getting reactive in the Church after a while outside of it. They have a son named Benjamin who is 8 and is getting baptized this week, and they have two little identical twin girls who are both one year old. We helped K focus on asking God what He thinks she should do instead of her following some of her associates that are putting doubts into her head.

On Wednesday, I got to go to my first district class in 6 months.It was fun to see everyone. I didn't recognize too many missionaries, but Elder Huarca is in my zone, so I got to catch up with him a little bit! That was fun. Elder Hicks gave an awesome class about not setting low expectations for ourselves. It was awesome!
District Class

On Thursday, we met with a less active sister named R. Elder Hicks had been visiting her a while to help her come back to Church. We gave her everything we got. Scriptures, prayers, phone calls, a member to pick her up, and she still didn't come to Church...no!!!!! that's just the way it is sometimes in the Lord´s vineyard. We also taught an investigator named P. She hasn't been going to Church but she has read until 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. We gave her a blessing of health and she said that she felt really good afterwords, and that might be the answer she was looking for. We got to reiterate that this week, when we teach her with a member present.

On Friday, I got to go on my first interchange in 6 months, so that was fun. I went with Elder Huber (who lived beneath me in BYU actually). He is my zone leader. He is a really great missionary and he loves to talk with new people. We got to teach some awesome people in his sector, including a young woman who´s name was Vaitiare (which is Rapanui for white flower).

On Saturday, we had tons of lessons planned and they fell through. that´s just the mission. We talked with a lot of new people though, and we found an awesome family of Peruvians. They were pretty impressed that in my family we also drink hot chocolate and eat panettone during Christmas. They were really nice and humble and they accepted our invitation to go to church!

On Sunday, tons of people came to church. A lot of the converts, and two of our Haitain investigators came. The Peruvian family didn't show up, but we are going to verify with them. There were a lot of less actives that came,  including the family of a perspective elder we´ve been teaching. Next week, I am going to play the piano in church. They don't have a piano player here!!! We sing acapella.

Sunday night we did divisions with our ward mission leader and the second counselor.The two of them are awesome and are always willing to work with us. I love member missionaries. We taught R and P. They are the two Haitians that came to church today. The first counselor came with me, and we taught them about baptism, and Hermano Hugo committed them to being baptized! They are set for a date in a couple of weeks, so we´ll see what happens. The members really are the key to helping people progress, and it meant the world to R and P to know that there is a whole church full of Chileans who are willing to help them out.

Today we played baseball and I jammed my finger (after hitting two home runs) so it hurts to type, so I'm going to wrap this up.

I am so glad that what I am teaching is true. I know it is true because the Spirit has told me countless times. Sometimes I feel sad as a missionary as I share the most important message in the world with people that don't want to or can't listen. I beg that each of us can listen! LISTEN! The Spirit is talking with us, and we must hear. It is a still small voice that only the humble can hear. We are dedicated to finding those that have been prepared by the Lord to hear His voice. We are doing everything we can to help them hear. I testify that those who are members of the Church can be the friends, mentors, and instructors that teach our lost brothers and sisters how find the truth and hear His voice. please, listen and then help others do the same.

Love,Elder Williams

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 2, 2015 - Renca la lleva

Hola familia y amigos,
New sector, Renca.

Well, this week was crazy..,. I am now writing to you all from Santiago, Chile.I am now in Renca which is a sector that is pretty metropolitan. Estoy con Elder Hicks (from Memphis Tennessee). His companion, Elder Garcia, was the missionary that replaced me in the island. Elder Hicks has one full change left in the mission, and I'm pretty old, and the real changes are in two more weeks, so we don't know if we will continue together.
Elder Williams and Elder Hicks

Okay, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday was me and elder Adams teaching everyone we possibly could and make sure that they were doing well before I left. We took a lot of pictures and I feel very pleased with the progress that we've seen on Easter Island. The other day I was praying and asked God how he feels about what I did on the Island and he told me He was pleased. I wasn't perfect, but I was obedient and I served well.

On Wednesday Elder Garcia arrived, so we had a couple of days to train him and show him how the Island is. He´s from Peru, and he is really tall. He went to military school, and he is a very obedient missionary. 

On Friday, I left. It was weird to be on a plane alone. I got to contact a cool Chilean couple. They had a recently born baby, so I pulled out some pictures of Christopher and we got to talking (the dad worked for Deloitte, so we talked about accounting for a little bit).

I got to Santiago late Friday night, and Saturday because of all of the Halloween parties we couldn't teach anyone so we did a ton of contacts. It was fun to be walking in dusty streets again.

I feel really blessed for having served on Easter Island. I learned and changed a lot. I learned how to love on that island. I noticed that the contacts I did with the people in Santiago were different because I wasn't doing it for numbers, but for love. the people could feel it as well.

I'm excited for what lies a head, but I am far from trunky! I am excited to be serving the Lord Jesus Christ here, because He is my king, and I will serve Him until the day I die.

Love, Elder Williams
Elder Williams on Easter Island!

October 26. 2015-ka oho mai koe ki Santiago

iorana korua,

This week was definitely an adventure, and many things happened that are great for the Island.

On Tuesday we went and visited Luis Chavez. He doesn't have any family here, so the church is basically in charge of him, and since we do almost everything in the church, we are in charge of him. We had to go to his house and bring him his clothes and food and stuff because he is now in the hospital.

That afternoon, we visited M who is working in her camping hotel. It looks like she´ll be finishing that job at the end of this month, so she´ll have more time to hear the lessons and progress towards baptism. We also ran into a Finnish tourist who said she wanted to grill us about Joseph Smith. We left quickly after hearing that.

On Wednesday, we got a call from a guy named Lr. It turns out that about 3 months ago I did a contact with him and his mom, and I had left a card with my number on it. He wanted to see if we could help him with English. We stopped by to get to know him. He was really nice. He wasn't too interested in the gospel, but his mom was, so we are teaching his mom while we help him with English a little bit.

That night, we had an awesome meeting with R. The best part about it was when Rp arrived. We had invited him to come to the meeting (because he is the Young Men President) and he actually came!!!!!!! He hasn't come to a meeting in a while. The Spirit was really strong and we had some great ideas to help the members stay in the church for their classes. We were also talking about having a Ward Choir and changing the church schedule and having the classes first. We are pumped.

On Thursday we had really awesome lessons. We taught J about forgiveness. He is running into some problems with his sister M. M is R´s wife. J doesn't want to go to church because he wants to avoid problems with M. We had an awesome lesson, and he said at the end he was going to go to church. He didn't end up going. We visited him again on Sunday to see why he didn't go to church and he told us that he had offered to throw a birthday party for an orphan here on the Island who had no one to celebrate with. We were thinking "that´s a pretty good excuse". Now he understands that he has set aside the problems with M and focus on God.

We taught LP as well. he is doing great. We taught him about el sacerdocio de Melquisedek (I don't know how to spell that in English so I put it in Spanish) and he is going to start getting ready for it. On Sunday, he had an interview with my companion (the second counselor) and he committed to paying tithing. He is doing really well considering that about 6 months ago he was on the street drinking.

We also taught S and her family that night. They all prayed to know if they needed to get baptized. No one received an answer, so we explained to them that we must ask with faith. That means that we might need to ask more than one time. We invited them to do it again, but to ask in a kneeling prayer in an environment without distractions.

On Friday, we got rid of a giant mound of dirt and plants that was at the entrance of the church, and we turned it into a little flower garden with a stone wall. The things we have to do here in the Island are awesome.

That same night, we had a ward family home evening in the church. We got there early to await a sister from our ward who was going to help us make pizza for the treat. She didn't show up, so I made the pizza on my own. It turned out good, and the ward loved it. P, the construction worker who is visiting from Santiago gave the message. he talked about baptismal covenants and taking the sacrament which was amazing because he has been less active for more than 20 years!!!! The island has really changed him. Friday was his last day here, so the activity was a goodbye party family home evening. Lots of investigators and converts came, so we were way happy. President called us during it to talk to us, and he called right when everyone was laughing during the games party of the family home evening. He was a little concerned but we explained to him what was happening and he was okay. 

President called because he was concerned about the branch. I, our Relief Society President called him this past week and told him that he had let us hanging out here in the Island. He hadn't been calling us or sending people to check on us and that he had left the missionaries doing everything. She had also complained that M was doing too much in the church and that because of all of the church stuff we, the missionaries, didn't have enough time to do missionary work. The President called us to give us some counsel. It is true that we feel that President isn't communicating enough with us, but that part about M doesn't make sense. He has given one talk and he doesn't come to any meetings. We are still working hard though. We had a baptism while the Relief Society President wasn't here, and she hasn't been on the Island for the past month. We called her the next day to tell her that if she has concerns about the branch she needs to talk to us and Brother Tuki. If she calls the mission president it looks like the church is a disaster. We´re still trying to clean up the results of that phone call.

On Saturday, we helped M prepare her first talk in sacrament meeting. We are asking her to speak about forgiveness to help J and m who were both going to be in church this Sunday.

Sunday morning we found out that there was an election for the Rapanui. They are determining if they are going to allow the national parks association in their island or not. According to Brother Tuki, if there are elections, the church can be let out early so they can vote. We thought that we were going to only have sacrament meeting, but Richard announced after the sacrament that the meeting was over. M was there with her mouth open thinking "i thought I was going to give a talk today?" we tried to change Brother Tuki´s mind, but he wanted to end, so we did.

The election was crazy, we didn't even go near the city center because there were people protesting so the Rapanuis didn't vote. It was crazy. they had the cops there and everything. If you want a real political thriller, research Easter Island.

Sunday we taught C, a less active member, and we taught T. He isn't listening to his parents and doesn't want to study or work or anything. We taught him that laziness doesn't come from God. We hope that our message got through.

That's pretty much it for this week. This week I learned a lot about patience. Sometimes you just need to kick back and watch the Lord work at His pace, instead of interfering with your pace. I know that this is His work and that He is in charge. I think Him for His spirit that guides us in our paths as we do His work.

Love 

Elder Williams

P.s. President called me earlier this week to tell me that I am going to Santiago this week, so my time in the Island is now over. they are buying my ticket, and I should be in Santiago before Halloween.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 19, 2015 - Bob the Builder

Iorana korua,

Well this week was a ton of work, but the work was different. It was more physical than spiritual beause it was the last week for the construction workers that are here to fix the church and they needed our help. Don't worry though, we still helped some souls as well.
Another beautiful sunset on Easter Island

On Monday night we had a family home evening with R, L M and P. P is one of the construction guys that is working here. He lived in Paraguay for 35 years, so he taught us how to speak a little Guadní. Manga ru!

On Tuesday we had a nice lesson with C. He is a less active man we found. His wife is really Catholic but she lets us teach her. We taught them about Jesus Christ. They have a lot of experience with the missionaries, so we were looking for a different way to get into their hearts. We shared a video about Jesus Christ and talked about how they have the responsibility to teach the gospel to their son. We asked them if they prayed as a family or if they were reading the scriptures. They realized they weren't. They said they would, and like that they can start to feel the Spirit entering their home! Yes!

We taught the law of chastity to T this week. He is a different T (not Jake´s brother) and he is living with his girlfriend. He was really receptive and he said he was going to talk about marriage with her. T was awesome!! He told us "yeah! I could get married after my baptism!" We had to explain to him that it doesn't work like that, but we were pleased with his enthusiasm.

We also found out that Ivan (Jake´s dad) has a cancerous brain tumor, and it looks really bad. Please pray for him.

That same night we had an awesome lesson with M. She was there, her two non- member friends were there, and also  R and L were there. Mega lesson about baptism, and now C., M's  friend is thinking about getting baptized! We´ll see what happens.

On Thursday, the construction workers rented a car and they invited us to visit the Island with them. We went with them and changed our P-day to that day. Today we will be working all of the afternoon. There are some awesome photos from that trip.
Elder Adams and Elder Williams on their P-day
One of the photos from the car trip around the Island

Saturday morning, we did a ton of yard work at church. The church looks so good right now. The construction workers repainted and we mowed the lawn and everything. It looks great!!!! We had a great lesson with J that night. He told us that he loves receiving us, but he can´t go to church anymore because his sister, a recent convert, has been fighting with him a lot. He told us he wants to get baptized, but not while his sister is fighting with him, so we need to help them resolve the problem! Whoa! We aren't too sure how we are going to do it, but the Lord and the Spirit will be involved heavily.

On Sunday, we had a nice lesson with the P family. They are a less active family that haven't come to church in a while. They are going to come to the family home evening tonight and they said they´d come to church next Sunday.

This week, I've really seen the importance about a testimony of Jesus Christ. It is a lot easier to teach people the gospel when they already have a desire to follow Christ. I think in the lives of my investigators and in my own life I haven't always been able to tell the difference of knowing about Christ from being converted to Christ. They are two completely different things, and I invite you to think about what could be that difference.

Love,

Elder Williams

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 12, 2015 - 26

iorana korua,
 
Whoo, this week was a lot of fun and we were busy little guys. On monday we went to Vinapu. That is where all of the toppled Moai are. In the 1600´s and 1700´s there were big wars on the Island and something they did to kill the enemy's energy and power was to topple the Moai. Until about 1960 all of the Moai were toppled, but the restored them with time. In Vinapu there are a lot that are still toppled. That same day we ran into an ex- branch president from the Island. We found him compeltely high and drunk on the street. He couldn't find his house, and he didn't know where he was. Moral of the story -dont mix pain meds with alcohol.
Toppled Moai in Vinapu.

Elder Williams at Vinapu

On Tuesday morning we got a call from President Videla. There was a sister from our ward that went to visit the temple but she didn't have a recommend so we had to rush to the chapel in our PJ street clothes to see if she was paying tithing. That was a classic island church moment. On Tuesday, we also went to visit M. She´s been working a lot managing a campground. While we were talking with her, we saw this Korean guy pass by us with his groceries and he did a double take. He drew nearer to us and was smiling and freaking out a little bit. In broken English, fragments of Spanish, and a translating app he told us that he was a less active member (or old investigator-I'm still not sure) from Korea and he had lost contact with the missionaries. He was really impressed that there were missionaries here, and he was seriously really happy to see us. He said that he is going to go back to church. M later told us that after we left he gave the beer he had just bought with his groceries to the campground because he didnt want to drink it anymore. That was cool. We also met a British woman who called our church "utterly redicuolous". it was cool when she said it because it sounded like a Harry Potter spell (Ridicuolous!)

On Wednesday it rained a ton. I got a little sick because it was changing temperatures a ton and the rain was off and on.

On Thursday, we got to meet with T. It had been a while since we had seen her. She´s been really sick, but she was able to come to church this Sunday. Thursday night we were finally able to visit R and M. They are the only complete Rapanui member family here on the Island. We were a little concerned because it had been a couple of weeks since they had gone to church, but they started off saying. "we just taught our youngest daughter how to pray, listen!" They came to church this Sunday so we were pretty happy with that.

On Friday we did a service project for DJ best´s mom. DJ best is the most popular DJ on the Island and everywhere we go his music is always playing. That night we had an awesome lesson with S and Hermano Tuki who came to teach with us. The spirit was so strong, and they really listened to him and his testimony. S went to church on Sunday for the first time.

On Sunday we had 26 people in church. It's been a while since weve seen that, but the most awesome part was that there were 14 Rapanui natives that came. We've never seen that many in the church at one time. It was awesome! The testimonies were great. Elder Adams bore his testimony in Rapanui. I bore my testimony about Christ, and I would like to end with that. 

I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know He is because His Spirit told me. When I read the scriptures I get goosebumps when I read about His life, and I feel that they are not just stories, but they are really divine evidences that He is the Christ. I love Him, and I am trying to convert myself to him every day.

Love,

Elder Williams

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 5, 2015 - Conference Party!

iorana korua,

Wow, this week was definitely an adventure!

On Tuesday, a giant box arrived at church with my name on it. It was from Cecilia from Quilicura and it was a giant box full of food. She had called me about 3 months ago asking if we had food. I told her we did, but I guess she wanted us to have more! We don't have to grocery shop anymore! Thanks Hna Ceci!

Tuesday night, we stopped by M´s house. L´s been bothering her a lot recently and she is thinking of moving to another apartment because (and I don't know if Ive mentioned this before) because she lives 2 doors down from him. Ly was there to talk with her as well. Ly is doing great since her experience last Sunday. She and Richard have gotten back together again!

On Wednesday, we helped the construction workers in the church clean the windows and we had a nice appointment with L P. He is getting involved with the church again. He is doing really well, and he went to 3 sessions of General Conference this week!

On Thursday, we were doing research on something called Ana tehe tama. J, one of our investigators told us that he would read the Book of Mormon if we could tell him what was the story behind Ana tehe tama. We spent the whole afternoon in the library, asking old people and trying to find out the story. We are pretty sure that there is no story because we have asked everyone and no one knows. 

On Saturday we got into Conference mode. We were in the church the whole day because we were in charge of renting the projector, the internet connection, and opening the church. The first session, M came, but she couldn't stay for the second session.  We were the only ones watching the second session, so we watched it in English! 

Saturday night, we had a completo (hot dog) party before the Priesthood Session so people would come. It didn't work too well, so we had 25 completos for 6 people. We ate well that night.

On Sunday, we saw more people in the church to see conference. We invited a lot of people and we even had a lunch during the sessions so people would come. We still missed a lot of people there. The power got cut during the first session in the morning so don't ask me about the last 3 talks of that session, because I haven't heard them.

Sunday night we had a nice lesson with Cl, I, J, and M together. It was about obedience. Many of the people present in the lesson weren't present in Conference, so we talked about what the Prophet had talked about-keeping the commandments. Elder Adams said something really cool. He said "we cannot justify our own sins". That was a response he gave to the statement that "its easier to be obedient as a missionary than it is for a normal person".
Maybe it is hard for us to keep the commandments, but we still need to try. We need to focus on Christ and His Atonement so we can do it. The sins that have caused me to stumble in the past do not affect me now because I have learned how to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change me. I learned to trust in Him as I read the scriptures, as I fasted, as I ´prayed and repented, and as I listened to my parents, friends, and family bearing testimony of Him. I know He can change us, but we need to take the first step, and call out for Him.

Love,

Elder Williams

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 28, 2015- Margarita Baptism

Iorana korua,

Wow, this week was absolutely crazy. there were a million things that happened, and most of them happened this weekend

On Thursday, we got to teach LP. He is one of Elder Boelter´s converts, and he is a recovering alcoholic. He isn't able to go to church often because of health problems, but he always reads his scriptures and prays. This Sunday he was able to come to church!

That night we visited M. We came ready to teach follow the Prophet, and when we arrived we saw that L, her ex boyfriend was there with her, and she was with a lady named C. C is a less active member that has caused some problems with the church. We arrived and we were kind of thinking "what is going on here"? Everything ended well, and we taught M, and she committed to following the Prophet

We also taught J that night. He is a little like St. Thomas. See to believe. He is making good progress though because he reads and he receives us. We are working with him so the Spirit can answer his prayers. It´s a battle, but it means everything in missionary work.

On Friday, R and his family arrived from Santiago! Yay! Our only Rapanui family returned to church! They were able to visit the temple while they were there to do a tour, and they met up with Elder Swan and Elder Espinoza.

Bad news, our Relief Society President left the same day for Chile to visit her daughter for a month. She will be greatly missed, and she took us out for sushi before she left. Yum!

We visited L that same day. She is R's wife. R is our first counselor. Recently, R and L  separated, so we stopped by to see how she was doing. Not too good, but not too bad either. We are not sure what is going to happen with them.

we visited M that same day.She is doing really well, and she is getting close to committing to get baptized. She´s starting to ask about dates, so we hope she takes the plunge. As we shared the experiences that M, J, and R had been through she started to piece together that she has no reason to wait.

We had M's baptismal interview that night as well. :)

On Saturday, M got baptized!!!!!! There were a ton of members and investigators that came to support her. I got to baptize her in the ocean, so that was cool. Afterwords, we had a ward dinner at M´s house who lives right next to the Moai in Tehai.  It was an awesome day!




That same morning two construction guys arrived from Santiago to repair some things in the church. They are contracted by the church, so they are both members. It was fun to say "welcome to the Island, we have a baptism in 2 hours". They will be living and working in the church.

On Sunday, I got a phone call from Luis Droguett!!!! He and Carolina were my first converts. They called to tell me that they were sealed, and they called to see how I was doing. They told me that Elder Muñoz is getting married really soon!!!! They are both doing really well, and it was great to hear their voices again. 

We visited M and when we arrived we saw L drunk. He was really drunk and M was giving him juice and water so the alcohol would just leave. I don't know what we are going to do to help him. Things are really bad with him and his current girlfriend, and now he is bothering M by getting drunk and visiting her. 

We had a nice lesson with J last night as well. We watched the Restoration with him and his wife . We have been trying to teach  her for a while now, and we finally did it. She had some awesome questions and they both committed to reading the Book of Mormon.

Okay, here comes the best story of my mission....

Sunday morning we got a call from L. She called to tell us that she was going to go to church, but only for Sacrament meeting. This was a surprise because she hasn't gone to church for the past 2 months. She also is getting separated from her husband who is the 1st councilor in the Branch, who was going to be in the meeting. She wanted to go because she is a friend of M and wanted to see her get confirmed.

Okay, L came to church, but there´s more. Elder A, that same morning got the impression that he had to ask R to share his testimony about visiting the temple in Chile. Right before Sacrament meeting we asked R to do it and he said okay. In R´s testimony he mentioned how originally he and his family weren't going to have time to visit the temple until he got a call from LAN Chile that told him that his flight was changed from Thursday to Friday. With that he was able to go on a tour of the temple. He did the tour of the temple and entered until he got to the desk. He didn't have a recommend so he couldn't go further into the temple, but he said that the Spirit was awesome.

Sunday night, we visited L and she told us that the experience that R shared changed her life. L is a recent convert, and for the past couple of years she had always had questions about the temple. She didn't know that one could still enter the doors even if they don't have a recommend. She had wrestled with that doubt for along time. She said that as she heard that, she felt something come over her. She felt the need to follow Christ, and she explained to us that "for the first time in my life, I feel like I want to follow Christ". She said that as she sat there looking at her husband on the stand she realized that the arguments they had had were because of her not understanding the gospel, and she realized that her husband was not fighting with her, but he was teaching her. She said that because of what happened in Sacrament Meeting she "wanted to stand up and run to her husband and apologize and hug him". 

It's crazy how the Lord worked through so many people so L could have such a spiritual awakening. the Church is true!

Love,

Elder Williams
Ovahe Beach




 

Elder Williams at Ovahe Beach

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 21, 2015 - TSUNAMI !!!!!!!!!.....PSYCH

Iorana korua

Well, let me just start off by saying that I am not dead, and the Island has not been submerged by giant waves. there were tsunami alerts, but tsunamis dont really make it all the way out here, so everyone is ok.

On Monday we got to go to Orongo with J. (J´s brother). Orongo is the giant Volcano here on the Island, and it has a crater inside. Only Rapanui natives can enter but, J let us come with him, and it was awesome!!!! It was really quiet and beautiful. it is left untouched by the touristy people. It was a very spiritual experience because it is also the place where supposedly there is the highest concentration of Varua (spirits of the ancesters).
The crater at the top of Orongo
Elder Williams, Elder Adams, and J at the Volcano Orongo

On Monday, in the letter from the President to the whole mission, he included a story about missionaries that purified themselves, or in other words, they fasted, made a list of all things they did that distanced them from the Spirit, and then they stopped doing them for forty days. On Tuesday we started our fast to try the same thing. We´ll see how it goes!

That day we did a service project for Ida in our ward. We also started our new English class. Everyone here asks us to teach them English, so this week we started teaching English to the community in the library. About 20 people came which was awesome. At the beginning of the class we told the people "we are missionaries and our number one priority is to teach the gospel, so dont be afraid if we leave you with things to read or if we want to teach you our message in your houses, that´s just what we do."

On Wednesday we found out their was a tsunami warning. we called the mission office to see if everyone was ok in Santiago. It was all good. We were worried about the missionaries on the Island of Juan Fernandez. About 4 years ago almost the whole island died there because of a tsunami. Everyone in the Mission is fine though.

We taught L this week. He´s not doing too well so we are just starting with the basics with him again.

We taught J R. He´s a guy we met playing soccer. He is R´s brother in law. He´s gone to church a couple of times, but its difficult to find time to teach him. He is very concerned about his income and he works a lot. We were able to teach him about the 10 commandments, and the Sabbath Day. What a great commandment for those that work a lot. He said "I am just so tired all of this work" and we said "well, you can follow the commandments and take Sunday off. God wants you to rest". He said he´s going to stop working on Sundays, but he didnt come to church this Sunday because of a prior commitment

On Friday we celebrated the 18 of september!!!! its Chile´s Fourth of July and it lasted 3 days. We started off by passing by Main Street where we saw all of our investigators watching the parade. We reminded them to go to church. In the afternoon we were in the house of J and we ate shish ka bobs and played this fun game where you through metal plates in mud (chilean horseshoes).
Elder Adams and friends playing Chilean horseshoes

On Saturday we were making some phone calls in Tehai when a Swiss toursist asked me if he could use my bike to retrieve a camera filter he left in his hotel. I was thinking "I dont even know this guy" and then I thought "what´s he going to do, take my bike on the plane", so I lent him by bike. He came back 10 minutes later and we gave him a pamphlet. maybe he´ll get baptized in Switzerland!!

On Sunday we had a pleasant surprise when an Area Seventy that was on vacation visited the Branch. He had forgotten to pack a shirt and tie, so we asked him to bare his testimony in his down jacket. It was a very powerful testimony and a very spiritual Sacrament Meeting. Elder Adams and I played a musical number. We sang and hummed How Great Thou Art while I strummed quietly on hermano Tuki´s guitar. We were a little concerned because we had both been sick during the week and our voices werent doing too great and there was an Area Setenta and we werent a hundred percent sure that we could play the guitar in the church. Everything went fine and there was an awesome Spirit after we performed.

We found out that Ingrid, the Relief Society President goes back to Chile next week!!! We are going to miss her a lot and she has realy helped the Branch and it is going to be a lot harder without her. We called the counselor of the Mission President to tell him what was up, and he said that a senior couple arrives soon in the Mission but President Videla doesn't want to send them here! so....WE´RE IN CHARGE!!!! just kidding, the Lord is.

We taught M last night. she accepted Diezmo like a champ, but it looks like her work situation might be challenging, so we might need to wait more on her baptism. The good thing is that she wants to get baptized and she is very excited.

That´s pretty much it for this week. There were a lot of people partying hard during the 18, but we were still able to have 6 investigators in the church. We are doing well, and we are ready to rest this pday, because things have been crazy and this week will be even crazier.

I´ll just end with my testimony about Joseph Smith:

He is a prophet.

If you´re not sure, read the Book of Mormon with that question in mind, and then ask God.

Love,

Elder Williams

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015 - LOST

 Hola familia y amigos,

This week was definitely an adventure, but then again, every week is an adventure here.

Monday, after I wrote, we went fishing with Ivan and Tonga and all of the family. I had a huge fish on my line, but it broke off, but I landed another one right after. I was the only one that caught something.

Just so you all know, in the mornings we spend a lot of time at the church doing paper work and sending emails to the mission offices in Santiago.There are a million things to do here on the Island, and there is no one else that does them other than the missionaries...we are bishops, secretaries, pianists, choristers, and most importantly MISSIONARIES! but hey, it's fun.

We met a crazy guy on Tuesday. He said he had a two wheeled skateboard that could fly. It's been a while since we've  found a crazy person like that.

On Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with I. We felt impressed to read the story of Enos with him, Because I. has been really trying to get an answer, and while we were reading it we asked him if he had tried kneeling while he was praying. He told us he hadn't. He said he would do it, but we are way excited because I. is really searching and the Spirit is getting to him!!!! YES!!! 

On Thursday we taught M.. It was awesome. We went over the baptismal interview questions, (because she says she isn't ready to get baptized) so we asked her if she believed Joseph Smith was a prophet and she said "I don't know".  That was when we were like-- "there´s your problem" so then she said "I guess I need to study and pray about Joseph Smith". She is so smart!

On Saturday we helped I with a little bit of yard work, and he said he was going to go to church because he hasn't gone in a couple of weeks.

Saturday night we had dinner with C and Cr. They are a new part member family we found. C seems promising to have him back in the church. His wife, Cr is pretty set on being Catholic, but the Spirit is amazing, So it can change people.

On Sunday we had only 15 people at church. Poco. But 5 of them were investigators. That's good for our missionary responsibilities but bad for our bishop responsibilities....

That's pretty much it for this week. We were a little sick this week as well, but we are doing our best. The Island is awesome. I'm not going to lie. There is a lot of temptation here to waste time. It is very difficult, but in our prayers we ask for the Lord to protect us from temptation. We tell Him about our days and what we did, and He tells us what we did well and what we need to change through His Spirit.

Love,

Elder Williams

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 7, 2015 - Mahana Tapati

Iorana korua,

That was how to say hello to all of you friends and family of mine in Rapanui, the language of the Island. This week was a lot of work, and we are exhausted. We have ridden a lot on our bicycles and we hiked a mountain! 

On Monday, we went fishing! We made our own reels and we found our own spot and we went fishing and we actually caught fish! we did it without other Rapanui present so we feel pretty proud of ourselves. We ate the 5 fish we caught for lunch.

We had a nice lesson with M on Tuesday. She is progressing well and she is inviting her friends to church with her, and now her friends love going to church. She always comes with Cl and K, and they participate in the classes, and they love the Spirit they feel at church.

On Wednesday, we taught the guy that usually fixes our bikes. His name is C. He is really awesome, but he is always working and we had to teach him while he was working on a bike, but he did say he would read the Book of Mormon.

On Thursday we got to teach M.. M is about 40 years old and she is Rapanui. She is awesome! She told us that she feels really good when she goes to church and that when she went to a baptism at the church she felt the Spirit really strong. We are trying to help her take the plunge when Ma. gets baptized. She bore her testimony on Sunday and she said she was going to get baptized, but she is waiting for God to tell her when. It was awesome because after her testimony, a sister that has been visiting the Island for three weeks gets up and gives her testimony and says, speaking to M, "Don´t wait for the Lord to tell you when. If you know it is true, what are you waiting for. He wants you to commit and make the decision."  Elder A and I were silently rejoicing on the inside.

On Friday we taught T. not the convert T, but another investigator named T. He is R's friend (R is the convert of Elders S and M). He is doing really well. We read the Book of Mormon with him. He has a long way to go, but he has already gone to church and he has R to help him out.

We also taught J that night. He is doing really well. He didn't read the Book of Mormon but he recommitted and he told us "come ready to ask me questions" and then he gave us a homework assignment and now we have to research a cave here on the Island as our part of the deal.

On Saturday. we had a ward activity and we climbed the highest volcano on the Island. It was pretty cloudy when we got to the top, so we couldn't see anything, but it was fun and we had a lot of investigators there.
The hills surrounding the Terevaka Volcano on Easter Island.

This is what the view looks like from the Terevaka Volcano without clouds!

That night we also found a new family. Cr works in the prison here on the island. He is less active. He fell away from the church about 15 years ago. His wife C isn't a member but she is really nice. They just moved here to the island, and they are awesome! They wanted to make us food but we were fasting so we couldn't...

On Sunday, I bore my testimony.....IN RAPANUI!!!!!! It was fun. There were about 20 people there at church including a couple from Utah. The brother was from Tacoma. His name is brother Dixon...maybe someone knows him. We were missing a lot of the members because they were sore from the caminata and some went clubbing Saturday night to say goodbye to R and M who leave to the Continent on Tuesday. (don't worry they didn't drink, they just went to dance, but M and J went too. Weird to see an old  companion from the mission going to a disco with his girlfriend)

That's pretty much it for this week. We have biked a lot and we are so tired!!!! I want a nap!!! but hey, its all for the Lord so it is worth it.

I want to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. His Atonement has saved us from an eternity of misery. Without Him we would be angels unto a devil, but the salvation He bought with his precious blood has given to all of us a better future in the eternities. I know that He lives, and that His sacrifice has saved us all.

love,

Elder Williams

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August 31, 2015 - Tired

Hola familia y amigos,

Wow, this week was insane! There was so much to do!

On Monday we had a goodbye party for Elder S and Elder E. More than 30 people came (which is a lot for the church here on the Island) and we almost didn't have enough food for everyone.

On Tuesday we went to the airport and we said goodbye to Elder S and Elder E. It was tough to say goodbye to Elder E after having spent 4 months with him. We found out that they arrived well and they are going to be companions in the sector where Elder S was serving before they called him to the Island! They will do well there.
Elder S, Elder A, Elder E, and Elder Williams.

Elder Williams and Elder E

Good bye Elder E and Elder S!

That night we got to teach one of the investigators from Elder A´s side of the Island. It was awesome because we got to teach the whole family of the investigator. J is the father of the family we taught, and we got to meet his wife, R and his two twin girls (5 years old) and his son M (8 years old). I already knew J because I had played soccer with him a couple of times. It was an awesome lesson. The kids were acting pretty crazy but when we started to pray and teach the Restoration they got real quiet and attentive, and their parents were amazed that they were paying such good attention.

We had a lesson with I that night as well. I. is T. and J's dad. he usually goes to church with them, but he has always looked at the church in a silly way. He looks it at as a club and really has't tried to search to see if its true. This lesson was different. He found out on Monday that he has a tumor in his brain. It hasn't metastasized yet, but he is still concerned and he told us that now he really does want to know. Brother T. was with us and he is a convert to the church and he shared his testimony with I. and it really helped.

On Thursday we went to a hotel called Explora. A while back they asked Elder S and Elder A to teach some English classes, and they met some cool people to teach by doing it. We went to teach another class and I realized that it wasn't just any hotel, it was a really nice hotel. Top of the line. So that was cool. More photos coming this week.

Thursday we taught C. and F. C. is an ancient investigator and has been investigating for 20 years! While we were teaching it occurred to me to share the story of my great grandfather and how he almost sold off his crops the day before the Great Depression started. we used it to teach how we shouldn't wait to repent and it worked. C said he is going to talk with his lawyer on Monday.

On Sunday I learned a valuable lesson. the hymns "Abide With Me" and "Jesus the Very Thought of Thee" are not sung a lot in Latin America. I played them both and no one knew how to sing them...awkward...on the bright side, we had an awesome lesson with M. and now she wants to get baptized and she picked a date. I won't tell you when it is cause I dont want to jinx it, but photos should be coming in a couple of weeks or so.

oh, some of you asked for more information about Elder A. He is 20 years old and from Farmington Utah. He likes to fish and ski. He actually was in the same FHE group as Melanie in BYU and he and I had a class together in BYU but we didn't really know each other there. He is the oldest of three brothers and he has been in the mission for 19 months. 

We taught a total of 44 lessons this week. we are tired. we are going to try and go fishing today because we are super tired. There is a lot to do here in the Island, but with the help of the Lord we can do it. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ, if it wasnt, I would probably be swimming in the ocean instead of knocking people´s doors. Because our message is true, we are doing all we can to spread it so it can bless the families of Easter Island.

Love,

Elder Williams