Thursday, December 17, 2015

And then Bob Pickle Called...

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I had an amazing opportunity to feel of Heavenly Fathers love for me. This week has been a bit of a struggle for me. I couldn't figure out what was going on or why I felt so down. I kept working and being obedient trying to overcome it. Then on Saturday night I had a really honest conversation with Heavenly Father and I just asked for his help because I didn't know what to do.

The next day was Sunday and almost every person I came in contact with, I know, was able to be the hands of Heavenly Father to express his love to me. The talks in sacrament meeting were tailored for me and when I would make eye contact with various people they would kind of look at me and smile and I could feel so powerfully the love my Heavenly Father has for me. I'm grateful to know I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father and he wants more than anything for me to succeed. I'm grateful for my relationship with him. I know we can accomplish anything if we ask for his divine help.

Our teaching pool has been low and this week the people we were teaching dropped us, but then Bob Pickle called!! In Preach my Gospel in chapter 9 it says how the Lord will lead us to find people to teach or he will lead them to us; I know He is leading them to us. Bob had been taught by missionaries several months ago and he wants to meet with us again and it sounds like he wants his family to learn of the gospel. I know we are about to find many people to teach, I'll keep you updated!

I love you all so much and I hope you are having a great week! Spread the Spirit of Christ this season.

Sister Williams

First Set of Trunky Papers! Coming Home March 4th!
 The papers to DOOM!! Just kidding! See you in March!
 My Sister Training Leaders made these cute papers using words to describe me. 
 Helping some members to decorate their house for the Christmas season! I love Christmas!
 They call the archway decorations: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. 
                 Cool Nutcracker!

Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm An Auntie!

Dear Family & Friends,

As of December 5th 2015 at 8:12pm I am officially an auntie! My brother and Sister in law, Parker & Ashley, welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Oakley Mae Williams, into the world. She is such a precious little angel and I'm so happy to be a part of her family!

This week was transfer call week and...I'M STAYING! I will be in Crookston, MN with Sister Bowser. Sister Anderson is going to open Bagley, MN and train a new missionary. I'm excited to stay in the same place and to continue working hard in this area.

We had a great experience with using the "A Savior is Born video!" We had planned to go tract Stewart St. and when we got there the spirit prompted us to go knock on the door of a cute, small, white house. A woman answered the door and invited us right in. We were able to share "A Savior is Born" with her and talk about the restoration. We are meeting with her again tonight!

We were able to get in contact with a former investigator named Angel and had a lesson with him this week. He is so prepared to receive the gospel. He told us he has been reading the Book of Mormon and it brings him a lot of comfort and peace. He is a single Dad of five teenagers and wants to set a good example for his children in following God. I'm excited to continue meeting with him.

We go every week to visit one of our members who has Alzheimer's and we sing to her. She can't speak and she doesn't really respond to us other than slight head nods and vacant stares. This time we brought a picture of Joseph Smith's first vision; where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ literally appeared to him. As she held the picture we sang the hymn "Joseph Smiths First Prayer" and her face lit up. She smiled so big and looked into my eyes so deeply as though she were trying to say, "I know this is true." It was a miracle to witness the power of the Holy Ghost bring to Laura's remembrance the truth of the gospel.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve my Savior Jesus Christ. Each day I'm able to testify of Christ; that He Lives and because he lives his Atonement has all power to help us over come sin, death, temptation, affliction, and, sickness. I love my Savior and I'm excited for the chance to show him my gratitude in my service to him.
I love you all!

Sister Williams  

                     Merry Christmas from Crookston, MN! Sis. Anderson, Sis. Bowser, and Me!
                          Got Antlers? 
                               I'm the hulk!  So watch out!
 We preformed at a nursing home and these ladies did a traditional Indian dance. We are teaching the woman in the hot pink dress with short dark hair and the one in the green is a member!
                  My Precious little Niece Oakley Mae Williams! She is the most precious angel from heaven!

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Savior is Born

Dear Family & Friends,

WOW! We witnessed many miracles this week! First, was Charlie. We went knocking on doors and we met a man named Charlie. We shared with him Joseph Smith's experience of seeing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the spirit was very strong. He was quiet and said he wasn't interested. We left him with a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet with our phone number on it. Well, a couple days later we got a text that said, "Hi this is Charlie. So what do I have to do to become a Mormon?" ....that never happens!!! We were all so excited! We were able to meet with him this week and he wants to learn more and progress in the gospel.

Second, was Lacey. We have a great family here in Crookston that has been talking about the gospel with their friends and they told us to go meet Lacey. She was super open and willing to read the Book of Mormon and had a bunch of great questions we helped answer. We are going to meet with her again this week!

Third, was Lamar. We were knocking doors again and we met Lamar. He plays football for the college and we got a return appointment. We met with him yesterday and he has been very prepared to receive the gospel. He has a strong relationship and faith in Jesus Christ and he recognizes the spirit very well. We are excited to continue to meet with him!

We had a training about planning by the spirit and being able to set achievable goals and we applied this as we were planning this week and in a matter of 30 minutes we were able to see the Lords hand very clearly. We planned to go contact a Former Investigator named Angel. Sister Bowser had tried him about 9 times before but as we were planning that name came to mind.

So we went and knocked on his door and....he answered! Not only that but he is interested to meet with us and we got a return appointment. Then as we walked down the street to get to the apartment building we planned to tract, some other Former Investigatores drove by. They ended up turning around and invited us to come back later that night. Then the first door we knocked on we met Jake and he wanted us to come back. Then we met Bob and Felicia. They answered the door like they were expecting us. Turns out she is a less active member and Bob is searching for truth! It was a very spirit led hour!

I love being able to see the Lords hand in my life. There is a new Christmas video the Church came out with yesterday called, A Savior is Born. I love it! It is so powerful and invites us to Discover Why the Savior was born for us. Click here to go see it!

I love you all so much!
Sister Williams

Here are the Cards and link to website to see the video!
              The text from Charlie!!  What a surprise!
            My reaction to the text!  This never happens!
 We went to an Ugly Sweater Party!! It was super fun, but none of us had an ugly sweater, so we wore cute ones.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Miraculous Miracles

Dear Family & Friends,

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I've been able to witness so many tender mercies of the Lord this week and I know he has such a specific plan for me and for each of us! It has been a privilege to have a glimpse this week of how our plans are all interweaved together.

So I'm in Minnesota again, this time just 45 minutes north of my first area. We had an amazing Zone Conference yesterday and one of the men in the mission presidency lives in my first area. His name is Brother Pickeral. Well, he got up and was sharing an experience of a couple he had witnessed receive their endowments and be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity on Saturday. He told of how 15 years ago missionaries had knocked on their door and taught them the gospel and that they were able to be baptized.

However, they slowly fell away, until about a year ago when two enthusiastic sister missionaries reached out to them and helped them see the vision of the temple. He told how the husband had MS and as he was in the Sealing room he could barely kneel at the alter; but he did and grabbed the hand of his wife and they were sealed together forever. It was truly beautiful to hear. Tears streamed down my face as I realized I knew these people. Then he said their name: The Romo's. I felt my heart burst with joy! Brother Romo has one of the most powerful testimonies and I'm so happy for them!

Then today as I was emailing I opened my email and found out that one of the investigators I was teaching in Minot, Godwin, got baptized on Saturday as well!!  He was so prepared to receive the gospel and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to know him and to help him in coming closer to Jesus Christ.

I feel so happy its like my heart is just a ball of light! I love being a missionary!! I love serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives! My life and who I've become and the changes I've made are evidence that He Lives. The Romo's and Godwin are evidence of the reality of Christ's Atonement and love for us. He loves us so much and I'm grateful for this opportunity to more fully comprehend that for myself in the process of helping others to understand it as well.

I love you all so much and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for the opportunity to devote all my time and attention to serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for who I'm becoming. I'm grateful to be able to view others as they truly are, children of our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for the Atonement and I would like to invite you all to Discover Why Christ's Atonement is applicable to you.

Sister Williams

Here I am with the Romo's about a year ago! I'm so happy they went to the temple!
 This is me with Godwin when I was in Minot!
 We were tracting and met this really nice guy named Mike and he offered us a pop!
 Turkey Socks from My lovely Grandmother!

Monday, November 16, 2015

By Small and Simple Means Are Great Things Brought to Pass

Dear Family & Friends,

This week was great! I got settled into Crookston and we have been working hard. We have spent a majority of the week contacting people. One of my favorite parts of missionary work is being able to have meaningful conversations with people--To be able to know what matters most to them, what their concerns are for themselves and their families, and helping them to see how the gospel holds the answers to everything they are seeking after.

We had a great lesson with a couple of investigators this week named Jo & Heather. We wanted to help them see how the Book of Mormon answers the questions of their soul. They wanted to know why God would allow so much suffering and pain to occur in our lives and what their purpose in life is. We invited them to read 2 Nephi 2 and to pray with that question in mind before and after they read. We came back a couple days later and they had a change of heart. As they read from the Book of Mormon they found the answer to their question and had the desire to learn more and to come to church.

I know the Book of Mormon is true and if we read it with real intent and a desire to know if it is true the Holy Ghost will reveal the truth of it unto us. I love being able to turn to my Father in Heaven in prayer with my questions and concerns and then to open the Book of Mormon and hear his voice through its pages with all the love of a tender parent as he helps me along with gaining the truth I need line upon line precept upon precept. I'm eternally grateful to live in a time where the truth and fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth. It is a testament and evidence of God's love for us, his children.

I love you all so much and hope you have an excellent week! Turkey Day is around the corner.  What are some things you are all grateful for? Email me your responses!

Sister Williams

The Book of Mormon-- If you want a copy let me know!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gordon Stanley Lunt

Dear Family & Friends,

This week I received a phone call from my Mission President's Wife telling me that my Uncle Gordon had passed away. I knew he wasn't doing very well and when I received the call I was happy to know that he had been released from the pain he was experiencing and from the limitations he had in this life. 

I had the most wonderful opportunity to go to the temple after I found out about Gordon passing away. I went seeking comfort and to know he was happy. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and warmth run through my body during the entire temple session. As I sat in the Celestial room I knew he was there and he was so full of joy! I know he is doing missionary work there in the spirit world. I know he is able to do so much more now and I'm excited for the day when we will have a joyful reunion. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to strengthen my understanding of the Plan of Salvation through this whole experience.

I wanted to share some of my favorite memories about Gordon. With Christmas just around the corner (yes I know Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet) Gordon would always have a Santa hat on for most of the month of December and sing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" all the time. He was a hard worker and I will never pass a Burger King without thinking of him. (He worked there for over 30 years) He taught me a lot about my divine identity as a daughter of God. He always made sure I knew how I should be treated by others, especially men, and I knew if I ever had a  problem he would be there. He had the biggest heart of anyone I know! He loves hugs and I will miss his whiskery kisses on my cheek. He always said "Take it easy" instead of goodbye. He was one of the greatest missionaries I know. He wouldn't let one person go by without engaging them in a conversation which would usually result in him telling them he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

I love him so much and I will miss him, but I know he is so much happier now and I know he will be watching over me. I love you all so much.

Take it Easy,
Sister Williams

Uncle Gordon and me before I left for the mission field! I love this guy to the moon and back again!
   We are so cute! Gordon and I hamming it up!
 My new companion, Sister Anderson. We came out together and she is from Temecula CA!
  Sister Bowser and I. She is doing her #FIERCE pose! We are in a trio now. 
 Three bedin' it! Mine is in the middle. The apartment is great and it has all the alarms and window locks and all that jazz =D
 Sister Richins and me (Mother and Daughter) after we went to the temple!
 Taking over the Mission Home! We got to stay there for a couple days and had the house all to ourselves so we had breakfast for dinner!
 My photo wall!  All my favorite people and places in all the world!
 Elder Renlund meeting me in my mission when he came to visit in September, just 3 weeks before he was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  What a wonderful man he is!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Joy is Full

Dear Friends and Family,

Well get ready for the latest addition of the traveling adventures of Sister Williams! We made it to Philip,SD on Thursday and settled into our apartment. Philip is cute. It is a small town of 800 or so people and everyone waves to you-- it is quite pleasant. We are part of the Rapid Valley Ward so we traveled there for church yesterday and started to meet the ward members who were surprised & excited to see us...they didn't know their ward was getting Sisters! We found out our area boundary and we will be covering Philip, Kadoka, and Wall. It is going to be exciting to find the people the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel at this time!

We went to Rosebud and Winner on Tuesday and Wednesday to do a goodbye tour of the areas. I am going to miss these people so much. Our time together was short, but I feel so blessed and grateful to have had the time to get to know the people in these areas that I did. I took a bunch of pictures with everyone so I will post those with comments.

My ponderizing scripture this week is Doctrine & Covenants 42:61

If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.

I love the promise given in this scripture that as we ask we WILL receive revelation and the knowledge we are seeking after. As I've been on my mission I have truly learned how to receive personal revelation. It has been one of the greatest personal blessings I've received from serving the Lord. My relationship with the Holy Ghost has grown immensely as I've been able to recognize him teaching me and giving me promptings to follow. Through this I've also grown so much closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father. I better understand the Atonement and through it have realized my Divine Potential and the Potential of those who surround me.

Our Heavenly Father wants to give us everything he wants us to obtain eternal life and his gospel is the plan he has given us to accomplish this goal. I'm so grateful for my family and the influence they have had in helping me along this path. There have been many times as I've been in the mission field where I will reflect back to a time and have been able to recognize how the Lord placed specific people in my life at crucial times to help me continue on the path I've embarked on and oh how grateful I am to know his arm is always extended to me and His tender mercies abound on my life. I love you all so much; my hope is that each one of you will be able to taste of the sweet joy which comes from living the gospel.  The joy which comes from living the Fathers plan now is a foretaste of  the eternal joy we will have as we dwell in His presence forever.

Sister Williams

      Last Day in Valentine, Nebraska!
 This one is for Dad--he sent me the BOMB card so I did this.
 This is Wyatt, Tory, and Piper-- I love this Family SOO much. It hurt parting ways they are such great people!
 This is the Barreto family! They are the best family I love them! Shout out to Jill Barreto and Sissy's CafĂ© in Gregory, SD.  Everyone should make the trip to Sissy's--they have the BEST food ever! Especially PIE =D
 It is Autumn and it is still surprisingly warm! It is going to be a good winter this year!
A gorgeous lake we found in Burke.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

All Inclusive-Exclusive Group

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, it has been a whirlwind of a transfer and today we just got transfer calls and we are in for another whirlwind transfer! We are staying together, but we are being sent to Philip, SD to open and start a group, which is even smaller than a branch. BUT the apartment there isn't ready yet so we will be living in Valentine and driving to work in Winner everyday until President Hess calls us and tells us to go move to Philip. There will be Elders covering the Reservation and once we move they will cover Winner too. President is trying to buy a house in Winner and once that is secured then that branch will have their own set of missionaries. It has been pretty crazy, but I'm excited for another new adventure!

Since I don't know where I'm living if anyone would like to send me a letter go through the Mission Office address:

North Dakota Bismarck Mission
Sister Makaela Williams
101 Slate Drive #7
Bismarck,ND 58503
You can also e-mail me and I will more likely receive your message:
This week my ponderizing scripture is Alma 41:14

 14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

This life is a time to prepare to meet God. I know my mission has been a time for me to prepare for the rest of my life. The habits I've developed, knowledge I've gained, experiences I've had have all prepared me for what is to come and I will be eternally grateful for this time I have to serve the Lord. He has allowed me to be his hands in this area and it has helped me to see how his hand is always in my life. I love you all!

Sister Williams

            The wide open beautiful place that I call home!  South Dakota!
 Me, Sister Richins, Clark, & Stone--we all live together in Valentine, Nebraska
            District of Red--We are all wearing some red--can you spot it?
 Cute family of all boys! I served around this family when I was in Fargo and then they moved to Winner.
 This is how you find a house in the middle of nowhere.  Sis. Richins is trying to figure it out.
 It's pheasant hunting season! What better place to come than Winner, South Dakota?!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Traveling Missionary

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, this was a crazy week! I wasn't in my area at all this week. I ended up traveling to Pierre, SD and then on to Bismarck for a Missionary Leadership Council meeting which was amazing! We were able to go the temple--in total there were 66 missionaries in the session and it was a great experience. I learned a lot from the MTC Directors that came to train us and I am excited to apply everything they trained us on. Then I spent a couple days in Pierre with the Sisters there working in their area, meanwhile my companion was working in our area.

Eventually, we made it to Sunday and we both were able to speak in the Rosebud Branch on Becoming More Christlike. Next Sunday we are speaking in the Winner Branch again about "How Our Missions Have Changed Us." I'm so excited to be speaking so much--I love giving talks.

We had a really neat visit with a woman from the Rosebud Branch named Belinda. I love her so much. She grew up on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona and then married a Sioux while going to college at BYU, so then they moved back to his Reservation here. She was telling us a bunch about Native American Culture and the entire time she was telling us these things, it all related to the Book of Mormon. Serving on the Reservation has strengthened my testimony so much of the Book of Mormon.  I know it was written by the ancestors of the Native Americans.  I'm truly grateful to be serving here.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. It contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have gotten closer to my Savior by reading and applying it to my life and I have found the answers to the questions I'm seeking in its pages.  I love you all so much!

Sister Williams

            Cool street art on the Reservation
 This is Patty Busch. She is in the church Branch and has lived on the Reservation for 40 years. She is the sweetest woman you could ever meet!
 The Barker Family! I love these people--They are so sweet!
 While in Pierre, I was with Sister Clark and we drew  the Plan of Salvation in chalk!  Bucket list item!
 This is the Pierre Zone at our Zone training meeting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Rosebud Branch of the Vineyard

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, it was another exciting week in the life of a Sister Missionary! We spent a lot of time tracting on the Reservation this week and I have loved getting to know the people and their culture. They are so in tune with the spirit and have a strong relationship with our Creator. It has been great going out with the members of the Branch and working together as missionaries and members to bring about the Lords work.

I love serving in a Branch. It has a very different feeling than a ward. It really feels like a family and the love of our Heavenly Father can be felt so strongly through the spirit which is there. We were able to teach the younger half of the Primary on Sunday and conduct singing time and it was so much fun! Those kids are so great and full of the spirit.

My Ponder-ize scripture of the week is found in Doctrine & Covenants 29:34--

"Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created."

The thing that stood out to me today as I pondered this verse is "that all things unto me are spiritual." I thought of how often we categorize our lives; this is my school life, church life, work life, home life, etc. But if we are truly striving to become like our Savior, our thoughts and perspective need to be aligned with His. ALL THINGS unto Him are spiritual. As I go throughout this week I'm going to strive to think of everything in a spiritual way and perspective. I'm excited to see how my thoughts will be purified and I know it will help to purify my heart.

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Sister Williams

      The primary kids! =D  They are the cuteset.  We got to teach them music last Sunday at church.
                     Navy Blue Matching District!  We are small in numbers, but mighty in Spirit!
     No need to send my traditional Christmas PJs this year-- I bought myself some Little Mermaid ones!
              We named our Jeep Jericho!  Hi Ho Silver, and away!  It gets us where we need to be! Lovin it!
                          Ponderize the scriptures