Date

March 3, 2020

Area

Clarksville, TN

Companion

Elder Clarke

Love is in the air?

Let me just start out by saying that chances are I will be moved to a new area next transfer. I have been building great relationships-with the kids at the bus stop, the neighbors, the ward and the religious group that meets at McDonalds, to name a few-but apparently one person has different intentions. I was going into teach Book of Mormon class and a 60 year member that we have been working with her and her two boys stopped me and asked to speak with me privately. I told her I can't do that. So outside of the church building she told me that she had a dream that I was going to have a great life with many blessings and that I was going to marry her! But wait, it gets better. She doesn't know that one of her sons had already told me that he wants to date me. Now, I've sworn off girls for two years, I am absolutely straight and I have zero interest, so this poses a problem. So, instead of getting emergency transferred, I will be avoiding that member's home for the next two weeks and focusing on the the people that want to learn. They did not prepare me for that in mission prep! Sad for me though because I am really enjoying the investigators and the area.

On a positive note, we have four new investigators that I am excited about. One is a boy and his mom across the street. It rains a lot here so one morning it was pouring rain while I was getting on my bike. The neighbor was watching me and I turned to her and said, "some days this job is awesome and some days it rains!" She asked me what our job was and I told her. Now she wants to take the discussions! Her boy and I get along great. He is the only white boy at the bus stop and he likes football so we have two big things in common! When I go running every morning for exercise (my companion watches me run in circles-he is more of a musician, he has his electric guitar with him that he plays for us!) I talk to the kids at the bus stop while I run. They found out I like football so now for 20-30 min every morning I throw a football around with 20 kids at the bus stop. It's awesome! Also, from this group, we are meeting with a family that has three boys, 10, 14, and 16 on Saturday. I'm pretty stoked for that one. You never know how much can come from simple, kind interactions.

As for the McDonalds' men, we ran into this group, mostly African-American military men from different religions, who meet twice a week to discuss religion. They bring all their different bibles and religious scripture and compare notes. We asked if we could bring our Book of Mormon and they said absolutely, but fair warning, we talk about controversial subjects like gays and abortion so you can't get offended. Well, I have already been desensitized to bold being here in the bible belt full of blunt people living in a military town. This town couldn't be any more red and I love it! In fact the Trump wagon came through this week. Not that I'm full Trump but I am republican and these people like to talk politics. Anyways, back to the McDonald's men, we are looking forward to bringing some real insight into their gospel discussions.

Speaking of military town-which I love by the way. Maybe it was because my great-grandpas fought in the wars and I've grown up with the stories but I love these stalwart people. On the flip side, when a member, who is a hair dresser, offers to give you a haircut, you take it! Well, I learned the hard way that she is used to doing military hair cuts. When she was done, I realized I didn't have any hair on the sides! My hair can't grow fast enough this time. But at least I can wear a hat on pday?!

This week pday was awesome! It started out usual with shopping and basketball at the church but then a member took us mini golfing and go-cart riding. To four elders that was epic!

My focus this week has been to "be seen of God, not of men". Through the days, we teach a lot of individuals, classes and groups. We do service and I talk to everyone on the street (some things never change, I know). We meet with a lot of members for dinner and enjoy interacting at church. There are always numbers and associations that come up in meetings. What I have learned is that I love people and teaching and stepping up when it's needed. I also realize that even though I am fairly new on a mission, I graduated young, worked a lot and did a year of college. Most of the elders here are young and haven't lived on their own and are still somewhat naive (I had to explain to my companion what the facial tear drop tattoo was after he expressed how cool it was). I know I am here for the Lord and if I focus on being seen of God and not of men then it doesn't matter who gets credit or what the numbers are. We all have different abilities and contributions to give at different times and as long as we are doing our best the Lord sees our efforts and blesses us and those around us. It is that individual relationship with God that matters most.

Have a great week!
Elder Williams




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