Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Email day!!!!

Steven says that they are learning at the MTC at an accellerated pace.  It is awesome!  Elder Bednar came and spoke to them the other evening and he gave out over 200 phones to all the missionaries.  He said, "I know what you are thinking!  Don't you DARE call home!"  They were given to the missionaries so they could text him questions that they wanted him to answer.  How awesome is that!?  Technology shared by an Apostle of The Lord!  Steven said that it was awesome to be taught by an Apostle.  

Most of the elders in Steven's district have gotten the flu bug that is going around at the MTC.  Luckily he hasn't.  Steven is a hand washer and I am sure that is helping him not get the illness!

Here is a photo of his district he sent.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Provo Temple

It is COLD and snowy in Provo, Utah.  Williams Choro (Elder Williams) loves it!  He and his companions got to go and walk around the temple grounds on their p-day.  The temple is closed until January 6....so he is excited that it will open before he leaves for Japan so he can attend a session in it.  He says that he is ready to go to Japan!  The "food is starting to repeat itself here at the MTC". He says that he loves the crinkle cookies though because they remind him of home and when we make them. That is the Williams in him!  It's all about the food! ;) He will be heading to Japan in no time!  He is sending home a video of him sharing his testimony in Japanese.  I know it will make me cry!  Happy tears!

Merry Christmas from the MTC!

Here is a photo of Steven's district in the MTC.  The elder behind Steven to his right is his companion, Elder Moulton.....from Texas.  Steven says that he is very respectful and kind and feels humbled to be his companion.  What more could a mother ask for?!  One of Steven's teachers in the MTC sent us an email and included this photo.  She says that he is doing a great job learning the language and tries to do better every day.  She shares that he is a great example to all those around him.  She is grateful to us for sending our son on a mission.  

Christmas was a difficult day for Steven, but I am sure he kept busy and enjoyed the visit from General Authorities.  He did not get to call home due to the number of missionaries in the MTC.....over 2,000!  They each got 20 minutes to email home throughout the day.  Steven took the time of 5:30 am (Provo time).  That is 4:30 am here....so needless to say we were not able to email back to him.  We did email back and forth on Tuesday though....his p- day.....until Jan. 3, then Thursday becomes his p-day.  It is great to feel of his spirit and feel his testimony growing each day!  

Steven shared that the two shirts that turned pink in the wash were cleansed miraculously.  When he got up the next morning he noticed that they were both white again???  Prayers are answered!

In the Doctrine and Covenants 4:3 we read....Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work.

I found this...."We all owe a debt of gratitude to the missionaries that brought the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to someone in our family tree.  The desire to serve God is for past, present, and future missionaries, who are willing to wear the badge that identifies them as a defender of the faith.  Truth is treasured in this quote: In this family we serve missions."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Notice....no sister missionaries in this district!  Steven says that they are bummed about that....but are getting along just fine.  Also, no elders from Utah in this district. They say that that is a first!  The elder to Steven's left, just in front of him is Elder Bills from Idaho.  He shares a room with Steven and Elder Moulton and the elder behind Steven on his left is Elder Schuh and he is from Brazil. He is Elder Bills comp.  Steven shares that they all get along great!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Email is awesome!

We were able to receive email from Steven this last Tuesday.  It is his preparation day on Tuesdays.  He says that he is having an "awesome" time in the M.T.C. He uses a lot of Japanese words in his emails and sometimes it is hard to understand, but he says that they have totally immersed him in the language and it is making it so much easier for him to learn.  On his first day the teachers spoke to all the missionaries in Japanese.  He said that they spoke so fast it was hard to keep up with them.  He loved it though.  He and his companion (doryo) are teaching an investigator (kyodosha) in Japanese (nihongo).  He loves it!  I was so afraid that he would be so home sick, but he is being kept so busy that he doesn't have time to think of being sick.  The very last thing I told him when he left my arms at the M.T.C. was "Get to work and love it!"  He is doing just that!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The elder who helped Steven and a small glimpse of the missionaries on the curb.

Elder Williams at the Mission Training Center

Watch out MTC! Elder Williams is here!

Well, today was the day that no mother is ever prepared for!  Elder Williams entered the MTC.  I pondered on the story of Hannah in the Old Testament.  How she prayed and prayed for a son.  She was blessed with Samuel and had promised to give him to The Lord, to serve Him all the days of his life.  After Samuel was weaned, Hannah courageously and with great faith took her only son to the temple and handed him to Eli to serve The Lord.  She only saw him once a year.  I thought how difficult that must have been for Hannah!  But!  The great blessings she received while Samuel was in the service of The Lord!  She had many more children.  She had great joy and praised The Lord.  Hannah is my hero!

When we pulled up to the MTC yesterday there were no less than 200 elders and sisters lined up along the sidewalk.  They had special tags on that said HOST.  As cars pulled up to the curb an elder (or sister) would walk up to the car with smiles, faith, excitement and love to great the new arrival.  It was amazing!  I began to bawl at that sight.  The elder who greeted Steven told us he was going to Finland.   He could tell I was struggling to keep my composure and took the camera out of my hand and said, "Let me take some pictures for you!"  As you can see in the picture, I didn't want to let go of Steven AND I was crying!  He then collected Steven's luggage and I hugged Steven.  The elder came over and said, "Mom, he is going to love it here.  He will be an awesome missionary!"  I began to cry hysterically.  He and Steven walked down the sidewalk to enter the MTC and the elder turned to wave good bye and told Steven to do the same.  Steven had a great big smile as he waved. We pulled away and I cried and cried.  I cannot wait until his first email or letter!  I am not counting the days.....but I have been able to mark off two days on the calendar so far!!!  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Salt Lake City

Here we are spending a couple of days as a family in Salt Lake City.  It is beautiful.  It has been snowing and with Temple Square all lit up for Christmas it is lovely.  We have met so many missionaries all around the city.  They have shared stories and experiences with Steven and how their missions are wonderful.  It calms my heart.  They all welcome him to the work and have helped him to feel accepted and loved already.  It is awesome.  

Tomorrow he reports to the MTC at 1 pm.  We are stopping to visit with Sister McKnight for a bit before he enters.  She lives 15 minutes from the MTC.  He is excited to see her.

Steven and Steve went through a session in the Salt Lake Temple today while Sheri and I shopped and shopped.  This new mall here in SLC is awesome!

Elder Williams is ready to serve!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Here it is!

Today we head out for Utah!  Last night Steven was set apart by President Merrill.  It was very special.  We had an open house for Steven on Friday.  It was nice.  It started to snow and when people started showing up, the power went out.  It was fun to sit in the candle lite and visit.  Thank you to all family and friends who show love and support to our family!  It makes it so much easier to send him out into the world!

As a mom I am feeling quite emotional.  Although, I have to say that this last week I have felt a lot of peace.  I know this is the right thing and my little boy will be kept safe.  President Merrill asked Steven to share with our family what serving a mission means to him.  It was very humbling to hear my son share the feelings of his heart.  Words cannot be spoken that could help one understand the spirit and testimony that was in that room last night.  All were in tears.....even Sheri!  All I can share is that Elder Williams is ready to serve and love the children of God in Japan!

The snow was very special to Steven.  He has been praying that it would snow before he left.  He shared that he felt Grandma Fox telling him that all was going to be ok and that she was very proud of him when it started to snow.  When we took Grandma back to Plymouth, Utah for burial....it snowed.  When we had her funeral here in Grass Valley it began to freakishly snow just before the funeral and stopped after it was over.  Then the snow came the day before Steven was to leave for his adventure!  Grandma Fox loved the snow and would watch Steven and Sheri play in it for hours.  She would even sometimes pray for a little snow.  It reminded her of her home growing up in Plymouth.  Snow is a bit of heaven for the Williams family.  

Life is good!  Farewell, Elder Williams.  Our two years has begun and what a wonderful two years it will be!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Steven after he received his endowments at the Sacramento Temple. November 16, 2013

Time has flown!

Today was Steven's last Sunday home.  He is excited, a little nervous, but ready.  The missionaries came over last night and gave him great advise and shared their testimonies with him.  It comforted him and ME! Saturday evening he will be set apart as a missionary.   

Life has been absolutely crazy in our family. Steve's mother, Coleen passed away 2 weeks ago.  Steve tore his rotator cuff and bicep and will be having surgery as soon as we get home from Utah.  He can no longer do the paper route, so after 10 years of waking at 3 am we will be retiring and actually get some sleep!  With all the craziness, we sit down  as a family and count our blessings.  We do indeed see the hand of The Lord directing our lives and blessing us with blessings unimaginable.  How greatful we are for the gospel in our lives!