Tuesday, May 2, 2017

January 23, 2017

Hey y'all,

I hope you all had a fabulous week! The work in jasper is doing well!! We continue to find more people to teach and the Lord is truly leading his work. Dan's baptism is this Saturday so I have resigned to becoming a slightly neurotic stress case making sure all the preparations are taken care of before Saturday comes. He is so ready though and so excited to make those covenants with his Heavenly Father!

We taught this awesome lesson this week with a lady named Sophia, the lesson went really great! We felt the spirit so strong it was crazy! She told us that she has read all these different books, because she was searching for the truth. When we introduced the Book of Mormon to her she got really excited! In her prayer at the end she thanked her Heavenly Father for helping her find the truth!!! Aaahhhhh!!

Another slightly crazy thing was one of our members gave us a referral, and she was telling us how she is a reflexologist and how she worked on this members feet all the time. So when she gave us the referral, she was pretty set on one of us getting work done by her instead on the more traditional door approach or even dinner with all of us.  That way she would feel more comfortable. So I ended up being the one to do it so I paid some money to get my feet rubbed. But the second we met her we knew she was so prepared to receive the restored gospel. She talked of all these times she worked with Mormons and how she got to sing with the Mormon tabernacle choir, and her time visiting Temple Square and the sprit she felt there. She also told us of her time going to the holy lands with over 70 LDS people, and her. We just sat and listened to her, and the Holy Ghost whispered the things that she needed to know and hear. It was a bit of a sacrifice giving up money to follow a member’s referral, but it was so worth it in the end.

This week has been awesome!! I love you all so much!!
Love, Sister Williams

Visiting the old folks home!

Our favorite resident!

January 16, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been much of the same stuff, only in hyper drive. My new companion is awesome! Her name is Hermana Rodriguez, and she is from Arizona. She had been out the same amount of time as I have so it is a bit stressful to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. She is an incredible missionary though and so sweet! It is pretty easy for us to get along

so it has been fun! This week has been a whirlwind for sure! We picked up 7 new investigators, and two of them accepted a baptism date! I feel like we don't even have room to fit everyone in our schedule we are so booked out now! I have never experienced that so it is weird to adjust to it.

I have learned many things this week, one of which is the power of the atonement. I feel like I experienced every emotion there is to be felt this week, and there were many time that I felt doubt and inadequacy creep in and make me wonder what all this was for. I would have the most incredible lessons with investigators, or less actives, and feel how much God loves them, and walk out the lesson feeling like something was missing in my own life. I felt like there was a hole in my chest that wouldn't close and a heaviness that I couldn't shake. And I found myself thinking that, "I thought missionaries are spiritual giants, incapable of feeling this way." When I entered the mission field I knew that I would experience sorrow, and hard ache, but I always figured it would be for the people that surround me, not for myself. So I got down on my knees and I began to pray, and in that moment I realized that all of the advise and council I was giving to others I wasn't applying in my own life. I wasn't using the atonement; I wasn't being spiritually lifted. I was giving everything I had to this work but because I wasn't using the atonement, I was beginning to burn out. I opened my gospel library app, and open in it was a talk that I had never read before. It was called: The Sacrament- a Renewal for the Soul. Every word I read in that talk pierced me to the core. It was the exact words I needed to hear. In the talk it mentions the enabling power of the atonement, and how without it, the atonement is incomplete. We often think the atonement is to rid us of sin only, we forget the enabling power of the atonement that gives strength and fortifies us against temptation. It also helps us to change and become more fully the person Heavenly Father wants us to be. I would invite you all to read this talk, and pray to feel His strength and love that he has for you. I love you all so much and I pray you have a wonderful week!

Love, Sister Williams

Sister Rodriguez and I helping in primary
Us at a Mexican restaurant low-key trying to teach our waiter

Ran into some of my favorite people at transfers

January 9, 2017

Dear friends and family,

This week has been crazy!!!! I feel like my weeks are always hectic before transfers hit. Emotions are high; anxiety is through the roof. So to start off, transfer news: I will be staying in Jasper, and Sister Spencer is going to Corydon, Indiana, which is the next zone over from mine. It has been a tear filled week for her as well as for me. We have been visiting everyone this week that we knew would miss her. It has been pretty tough on her. This area is the best area EVER so I do not look forward to the day that I get this transfer call telling me I am leaving the greatest area. 

Hermana Rodriguez is coming to Jasper; she came out with me so that should be fun! She seems so sweet so I am super excited for her to get here!! I am really nervous to take over the area! It is HUGE because we cover Spanish and English, so I don't know where I am going half the time. Plus I am with someone who has been out the same time as me so I am not going to lean on the senior missionary this time to tell me what to do and where to go, so this will be a huge learning experience for me! 

Dan is doing great! He has almost been taught every lesson, so that is really fun! We decided that the next thing we are going to do with him is a testimony meeting to really gauge where he is and if he really is ready for baptism. 

Sorry I don't have much time for emails, today is crazy getting everything ready for transfers!  So know that I love you all so much and pray for you daily!!

Sister Williams

Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017

Hey family and Friends!

So for the New Year, our mission is doing something called purifying.
We start with a fast, and during that fast we write down anything that comes to mind that your doing that you need to stop doing to feel the spirit completely in your life. And then for about a month you don't do any of the things on your list. And by the end, you will have aligned your will with God's and miracles can occur because of it. I am so excited to do this! I know that if any of you would do this that you will be blessed so much for it!

So this week I have learned a lot. We have been teaching more than I ever have in my life, and I have officially hit my "I care a ton about these people" stage. Before it was like it wasn't my area, I was still an interloper. Now I feel a part of this wonderful area, and I feel so close to the members. I am involved in their lives and am a part of the things happening there, and I love it. But for the first time on my mission, my whole heart is invested in the people of this area. I have found that my prayers are focused almost completely on them. My love for these people is so intense that I hurt when they slip up or make mistakes. I now understand Nephi, when he said:
"For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." Just yesterday, a lesson didn't go as it should and one of our investigators hardened his heart so much it was like teaching to a brick wall. He has so much hurt from his past that he is bitter and mad at the world.  On the long car ride home I cried, because I realized that I wanted this for him more than he wanted it for himself, he has written himself off as broken and unable to change. That has been hard, but I realized that I need to feel this way, I need to feel so much love for my investors that I want to be a better missionary, It motivates me to do everything in my power to help him.

Dan is going great! He came to church this week and loved it! He is progressing like crazy! We have picked up so many investigators that I have a hard time remembering all of there names, that is kind of a novelty but it's fun! Hermana Spencer is still as awesome as ever! I love her to pieces!!

Love you all so much and pray for you always!
-Sister Emily Williams

Sister Spencer rolled me up like a burrito haha!!
Indiana at its finest

Cute little family in our ward

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

This week has been crazy! We have taught so many lessons my head is spinning, I, however, have loved it! It is my favorite thing to be productive and feel like I am making a difference in someone else's life. We met with this less active member, she has a really hard life and has fallen on beer and cigarettes to supplement, and up until our last lesson with her, she had no desire to quit. We talked about the celestial kingdom, and living with her parents there. By the end she was asking us how she is going to do it? The spirit was so strong and I loved it!

We also had a lesson with Dan again and he is progressing like crazy! We have gotten so many investigators this week; it is so amazing how the lord is blessing our work here in jasper!

This last Thursday we had the mission Christmas zone conference, and I talked to one of the Elders who took over my last area. I asked him how the area was and how Chestnut was, the apartment complex where we were constantly teaching, and meeting people. He told me that they were never in Chestnut. I was shocked! He then said something that may have just changed the way I will do missionary work, he said: "Why would I want high maintenance, low hanging fruit?" I looked back on my experience in J-town, and as I went through each investigator I had, I realized that was all I had, high maintenance people, who always fell through when things got tough. So I talked my comp about it and she and I agreed that we can't knock every door, just to get cold people who are already stuck in their faith. We needed to find the prepared. So we are going to do the Praith thing again. (Pray in faith, that the lord will guide us to the houses that need the gospel) We are super excited to try it out with this mindset! If any of you missionaries try it, let me know how it goes, because IT WORKS!!!

Christmas was amazing!! We spent pretty much all of it with the Scott's! I love them so much!! They are so funny and relaxed that I felt like I didn't have to hold my breath around them. They really made an effort to make it special for us!! We took all of our presents over to there house so we opened everything up with them, it felt like home being with this family, so that was really special! At church, one of the speakers couldn't make it, so I ended up impromptu speaking; this is two weeks in a row that I spoke in sacrament meeting! J

I loved getting to talk to my family! I missed them so much, and getting to see all of them, and talk with them was so incredible! Talking to my family was the highlight of my Christmas! I love them so much and am so grateful that I have a forever family, and although I don't get to see them right now, I can see them for the rest of eternity.

Thank you to all who sent me cards, and presents, I have the greatest support system on the planet! I love you all so much!

-Sister Williams