Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Thought...


I think I will declare it my birthday at least once a month. Getting mail this week has been super fun!
Mail shout-outs and double Boy-Howdies go to: Annabelle & Daniel for their sweet chubby li'l hand print art, Judie McFarland, Tracie, Sister Webber, Helen & Cecil, Jon & Angela & the 3 L's (Logan, Landon & Lincoln), Heather Call, Gary & Debbie Gessel and my sista's Debbie and DeeDee for their super awesome birthday surprise boxes! Thank you every one for thinking of us! We love you and miss you!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Spending Fast, not fast enough!

Oh my, I cannot wait to share with you what has been going on this month with our "Month long fast". Today is January 28th. We have 3 more days to go.  Our month long spending fast began as we were seeing so many people that we visit, that really have nothing. We decided to see what it would be like to do without, and we needed to make it long enough that it wouldn't be comfortable. It began easy enough. I thought we made adequate preparations for not visiting the store each week. I'm sure Walmart thinks the Mormon couple must have left town. This is what we are down to.
Ron finished the last bit of his favorite jam, which we cannot find in Dodge City, Kansas (surprise)

I ate the last piece of bread for toast today, which may or may not have had a tiny bit of mold on it (I stopped looking closely at our food after about the middle of the month.

We are down to the last 1/3 cup of milk which has soured so badly that I made hot cocoa with it this morning just to mask the taste...Ron ate it on his cold cereal (he has more of a cast iron stomach than I do)
We have one egg, which we are both insisting the other gets to eat, and we used the last tablespoon of sour cream in our left-over taco soup, just to jazz it up a bit...only to figure out that it was NOT sour cream, but old left-over blintz filling that was put into a recycled sour cream container.
It was one of our goals to not let anything go to waste, so we've literally used the last drop of everything.
The only things we have spent money on this month is gas (we use a LOT of gas because our ward is spread out so far and wide) and medicine...for some reason, I've needed more than my fair share this month : P
It has been an exercise in frugality and self control, but also in seeing what it's like to do without. There are many people here who really don't have the means to run to the store when they are low on milk, or need jam & peanut butter. I have never known what it's like to be in need of anything. Even if I've run out of eggs on a Sunday, I know I can run over to our friends the Gessel's and borrow some. A lot of these people don't know their neighbors, or are too afraid to ask for something as simple as borrowing an egg for fear they will be found out that they are not "legal". Many of these folks fly under the radar, and as a result do without basic needs. If we have learned one thing from this, it is how truly blessed we are.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two of these things...

The other night we went to a “Diversity Night” at the nearby elementary school, celebrating MLK day. Starting this Wednesday we will be teaching English to the parents of the students who go there. (more posts on that to follow) When we walked into the multi-purpose room, the Sesame Street song immediately came into my head…

                               "...Two of these things are not like the others...."
Now, I realize everyone has their backs turned from the camera because they are watching the program on the stage...but trust me, with the exception of the principal, who is so white he's blue, we were the only white people there! And we got some pretty interesting stares until the principal had us stand up and he introduced us as "Senor y Senora Williams, who will be teaching English but if you can understand what I just said you probably don't need to take their class." *cricket cricket cricket*

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Birthday Girl!

It's not easy pulling off surprises on your companion on a mission.   You are together all the time, so how do you surprise them?   Well, thanks to Erin who mailed me some decorations, and thanks to the fact that Sister Williams is a very sound sleeper, I was able to sneak out to the living room after she fell asleep last night and I decorated the place for today's birthday festivities!
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!   I love serving a mission with you!  -Elder W.
We shared chocolate birthday cake for breakfast (ala Bill Cosby) with Sister Kartchner who's birthday it is on Sunday.
Ron made the cake and a delicious dinner with food remnants (remember we're on a month long spending fast...oiy!) from the fridge. It was fun to wake up to our decorated apt. Thanks Erin, for the "Birthday in a Box"!
BTW I laughed my head off when Ron told me how he sneaked out of bed to decorate after I was asleep! Picture a parent putting a cranky baby down in it's crib then commando crawling out of the room... backward! Awesome!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting mail makes us JuMp for j0Y!

After a week long drought of NO MAIL(except for two pieces that were misdelivered to our slot by our substitute mail carrier) We got mail! And  Ron celebrated by kicking up his heels! ...And I vicariously celebrated through him, after my run in with the player-piano!
...He did like 10 perfect "kick up his heels". (Who knew he had it in him??) I kept snapping them too early or too about picture number 8 I was laughing so hard I could barely snap the pictures!
Mail shout-outs go to Patty, Sister Elma Ray, Holli Burns, Erin and Becki.
Virtual double fist pump to the chest to all these fine ladies and their amazing Ninja-like mailing skills!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Missions aren't for sissies

One of the things we try to do on our mission is service.   We want to help others whenever we can.   We had an opportunity to serve a woman today who needed help moving.   The two younger Elders offered to help and asked us if we would too.   It was quite a job, lots of stuff, but it all fit into the rental truck. 
The biggest thing of course was the piano.  One of those old fashioned very heavy pianos.

We dutifully fastened it tight to a piano dolly and the three of us pushed while Sister Williams and the lady guided it up the ramp onto the truck.    It seemed to be working fine except...............

 The darn thing ran over poor Sister Williams' big toe!    Thankfully, it wasn't broken, but it sure is colorful and painful!   She was such a trooper, she stayed and helped till the job was finished before she allowed me to take her to the E.R. for x-rays.     All in day's work here in Dodge!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Ever had a day where everything just fell into place? Like every righteous desire of your heart was given to you? That is our day today! There is a part member family that we have been teaching since the first week we came to Dodge. Our first visit with this family just the mom sat in. The second visit the mom’s boyfriend joined us half way through our visit. Since then, each week we have been teaching mom (member), mom’s boyfriend (non-member), and mom’s son (member). We kept thinking, “He needs the blessings of the Gospel in his life, what is holding this guy back from getting baptized?” (We aren’t the first missionaries to have taught him) He is what we call a “dry Mormon”. He comes to church every week and does everything he should, without having the blessing of having the Holy Ghost in his life nor the blessings that come from holding the Priesthood. We were thinking it must be a lack of faith on his part. …or maybe on our part. *We decided to get very specific with our prayers in asking Heavenly Father for guidance in teaching him. To bring the exact words to our minds that we need to say to this brother to get him to finally commit to be baptized.

*Light bulb moment!! We finally figured out the more specific we are in what we ask for, the more specific our Father in Heaven is in giving us what we want.
Ron’s Spanish was as perfectly spoken as I have ever heard it.
At the end of our lesson today, Ron said “…will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?” Sounds simple enough, right? Trust me, it’s scarier than you might think! Then our investigator answered “Si.” After talking through a few details and dates, we left, walking down their front steps our conversation went something like this:

Me: I think this is what it feels like to be high.

Ron: How soon can we high five each other?

Me: Right after we offer a prayer of thanks.

Ron: Are they looking out their window?

Me: I don’t know, don’t turn around.

We got into the car, drove around the corner and offered a prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father. Then we high fived each other and squealed like stuck pigs!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seven days without mail...

MAKES ONE WEAK! Just a reminder...we love mail : )

This was our sunset tonight...just before the sun touched the horizon the sky was orange. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Awkward Family Photos

The Elder's hosted game night at their apt. this week. It's always fun to get together with the Elders and never knows what we'll be doing. Maybe seeing Bishop Bunkall for orthodontia would be a good idea! We're going to miss these guys at transfer!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Having a great time....

A trip to the Arkell's is always an adventure

It's so much fun to go to the Arkell's. They live about twenty miles from Dodge in a town called Spearville, but it's always worth the drive to visit them. They are one of the really solid families in the branch...with nine kids, they almost ARE the branch! Six pretty little girls and three darling, energetic boys. Brother and Sister Arkell are the most calm parents I've ever seen. As you can imagine with nine children 15 yrs. to three months old, it can get pretty crazy at their house, but Sister Arkell speaks so quietly and the older girls take turns with all the younger ones and help cook dinner. While teaching the second oldest daughter some guitar chords all the other kids gathered around....Ron was in his glory! : )

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How did THAT get in there??

Are you wondering what this is a picture of? It's one of those gnarly Tumble Weeds stuffed into a car in our church parking lot yesterday morning! Maybe it is on its way to being delivered somewhere....perhaps a picture will follow in a future post. Crazy kids!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

*Writing Sr. Missionaries keeps our postman employed

This has been an eventful week. Zone training yesterday took us down to Liberal Kansas. This is about half of our zone.
Remember, Liberal is the home of Dorothy Gale...from the Wizard of Oz. It is also just a hop-skip-&-a-jump from the Oklahoma border. So of course we had to go to the Okie sign.
...And windy!! Holy Cow!! When I got back into the car I had dirt and pieces of corn husk stuck to my face! You've heard of Tumble Weeds...these guys have ROCKET WEEDS!! They do not tumble across the road, they shoot across! And some of them are as big as Ron! This is a baby tumble weed that Ron is holding.
We ate at Gordita's....lot's of food (like make you hurt lot's) for cheap!
I'm getting so fat. (Just thought I'd put it out there.)
Now for the mail shout-outs for the week: The winna winna chicken dinna goes to Tyler, Nathan & Bryce for their awesome artwork. And to my wonderful long lost friend Deb Hill! Thanks for thinking of us!

Trip to Kinsley

We drove up to a little town about 40 miles east of Dodge (still in our ward) to touch base with some members who haven't been seen in a while. We made our second visit with one of our favorite little ladies, 89 year old Dolly Belle. Dolly has lived a most interesting life... following one scoundrel husband to Africa, raising two boys on her own and outliving both of them. She joined the Church at nearly 40 years old, married a "dry Mormon" in LasVegas, and cared for him during his eight year battle with  Alzheimer's until he passed away three years ago.
Dolly Belle
One of the fun things about having our ward spread out so far and wide, is that we get to drive through these fun little farming towns. There is always something interesting to see in these little towns. One of our favorites things to do is to go into a little grocery store and talk to the locals. One older gentleman in Jetmore (another little town about 39 miles from Dodge) saw us taking pictures in his town one day and when he saw us in the market he said "I saw you taking pictures. I almost called the police on you."  We had a nice little visit with him.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Anniversary dinner on the farm

Kevin & Sunny Brinkerhoff
This adorable couple made us dinner for our anniversary. It was delicious food and fabulous company. Ron and I are just fascinated with the life of farmers. Some of the most awesome people we've met in our ward and stake, farm. I have surely gained a new appreciation for the hard work and dedication it takes to be a farmer, and the grit it takes to be a farmers wife. I could never live this life, because I'm too much of a Pansie, but I'm grateful that there are those who do. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Operation Snowman

I'm not namin' names, pero.... someone was involved is transporting frozen contra ban across town.
Yes that's a snowman Ron is carrying and putting in the backseat of the car!       Naughty naughty Elder Williams!

The BEST two years!

I am blessed to have the most amazing companion ever. Indulge me for a moment while I step away from talking about our mission on this blog to pay tribute to the man who has "put the sparkle" in my eye. My wonderful husband of two years treats me like a queen. Even when I least deserve it. He speaks to me and about me with respect. He counsels with me as an equal. He loves his children and his grandchildren, and he loves mine too. He loves his mama. He speaks of his first wife with respect, love and admiration. He is the same gentle man in the courtroom, at the pulpit, or in the parking lot of a grocery store after a fender-bender. He looks for the good in others, and he brings out the best in everybody. He shares his talents freely and encourages me to express my talents too. He has never had a discouraging word to say... And he makes me laugh...every day. Happy Anniversary Ron. Thank you for the best two years. I love and adore you!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sending a letter to Sr. Missionaries makes you wealthy!

Our mail shout-outs for last week go to: Sonia aka Abuela, Bro. & Sis. Cousins, and Holly Wiersma. You may all watch for your check in the mail!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

NOT Jimmy Stewart

Oh "Hank" (aka Trick Knee Guy) why oh why can't you be more like Willie Kreuger and invite us in for hot cocoa??
We are learning that everyone has their agency. Sometimes even the most crusty ol' guys need to be given a second (or third) chance. Life has not been good to our friend "Hank", and he let us have it with both barrels on our most recent visit. It was truly upsetting to see how sad a life this man lives. After he barked at us not to come back, he turned to walk away and I saw that his bony little shoulder came through a rip in his dingy gray t-shirt. He has no family. He has no friends. He has no visitors. He served our country in the military and we should thank him for that. Perhaps that was the beginning of his spiral into unhappiness. We just wanted him to know that Heavenly Father is mindful of him. He is a child of God.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not where we teach...

On occasion, my sweet husband takes me for a ride to look at the "pretty" houses. It's not where we usually  ever are just lifts my spirits to know there is architectural beauty out there. (I know, I'm weird like that) This is a sweet little house for sale that we walked through during an open house one afternoon between appointments. It was built in the 1930's, and while it needed a little love, it had good bones and some fun character. It sits across the street from a pretty little park on a tree-lined street.
We probably won't post any pictures of the homes that we do visit...not anytime soon anyway. Maybe at the end of our mission, but not now. Just take my word for it, they don't look anything like this.
This is one of our favorite homes in the same neighborhood. It's not for sale, but it looked so pretty after the snowfall, I had to snap a picture of it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013

Feliz Ano Nuevo!
My goal this year is to be as good of a person as my companion (Elder Williams) is.
...and what do two ol' missionaries do on New Year's Eve when the Elder's and Sister's have to be in by 6:00 p.m.?
We put a super fun, 1,000 piece puzzle together that Erin sent us for Christmas!