June 4, 2020


Clarksville, TN


Elder Clayton

Fifth Transfer in Clarksville

As more missionaries are reassigned due to the quarantine, we are gaining lots of recruits! Yesterday we had transfers and big news, I am staying for a FIFTH transfer in Clarksville. That means by the time I leave this place (assuming I do get transferred next time) I will have been here seven months. So I am staying here in Clarksville and we have received a new Elder. His name is Elder Bolingbroke from Syracuse, Utah and he is super chill and a great guy! He is a transfer missionary from Honduras and speaks Spanish so he can communicate with my other companion Elder Clayton. I'm assuming I will get to pick up a little bit of Spanish so that will be fun. I'm excited to keep going in this area!

On a spiritual note, I was struggling with being here a fifth transfer, and quarantine is a lot of days in the same apartment (I'm sure some of you can relate to that). For those of you who have been reading my emails, I should have been moved on the second transfer, but for some reason my Mission President has been inspired to keep me here. It wasn't making sense, but today we got to talk to Mark. Mark has had a serious question for the past week, "It's honorable that I want to quit smoking and that you are trying to help me quit, but I don't understand why it has to be a requirement to be baptized? I mean Jesus wouldn't turn away someone just because they were smoking." It was a serious question to him-Why can't I smoke and be baptized? I was struggling with how to answer him and as we were talking, I shared with him an analogy. I told him, "Hey look, when you have a jeep and you know you are about to go mudding in your jeep, would you go and wash your jeep right before you go mudding?" and he quickly said, "NO". I asked, "Why wouldn't you?" He said, "Well, I wouldn't wash it and make it all clean before I go make it dirty". I referenced that to smoking; you are about to go make a covenant with the Lord that you are going to stop doing these things, so why would you go get baptized if you were just going to purposely go make that same mistake again? It made sense to him and then he started talking about faith. It was powerful because he 'wasn't feeling worthy enough for all of this stuff'. I just turned to him and said, "Are any of us worthy enough to get into heaven?" He started tearing up. I realized right there that that's the reason I'm here. I'm here to help Mark. Mark understand why he needs to be baptized by the proper priesthood authority. We have explained John the Baptist to him. He's just awesome, so legit, and really working towards baptism and I'm happy that I'm able to be here to help him. At the end of our talk, He specifically pointed at me and said "You. You have helped me understand." It was the reminder from the Lord that I needed. You know, being a quarantined missionary is hard for someone who doesn't like to sit around, but it's moments like that that confirm why I'm here.

The two pictures are of driving past Nashville to pick up our new comp.

Love, Elder Williams


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