Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Skype for Christmas

The week before Christmas posted Christmas Eve

Slowest. Week. Ever.
We didn´t teach a lot.
We did visit an nursing home and sang there. that was special.
We went to Leon for a zone conference and had a gift exchange.
We had our ward Christmas party and that was alright too.
I was sorta discouraged this week cause well.....i don´t know. There were times when i felt like i was back at home in more ways than one. that was tough. I prayed to know (and i own prayer.??? weird) "Why am i even here? Heavenly Father, If you really need me here, can you help me feel less alone?" I have never had an answer to a prayer as quickly as in this moment. I immediately had great peace. I don´t even think I can explain it. It was just...right for me to be here. Right after that i read three of the countless papers i have that have helped me in the past: the actual call from the first presidency, My setting apart and a letter from you, Dad. The Race. I am reinvigorated, refocused and ready to work.
I can´t thank you enough for your prayers. I can feel them sometimes helping me and the work here in general.
I love you all so much and can't wait to cal tonight at 8!
Elder Ben Williams
ps Merry Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Closer to Christmas

This week was a weird one. We went and sang as a district in every area. every night at 6 we went to a different area of our mission and sang Christmas hymns to different members or investigators in our area. I loved it, people felt the Spirit. When the district came to our area to sing we went to the house of a less- active member. After we sang to him he was in tears. I know that the Spirit can penetrate the hardest of hearts, that all we need to do is be patient. and if we have the Spirit with us, people will change for the better.
The closer we get to Christmas, the harder it is for me. Don´t you worry, i´m not to the point where i am making myself sad because i miss you so much. I will never be at that point because of what Elder Ortiz told me. If we are disheartened(not sure if that´s even a word. my English is getting worse) for more than two minutes than we allow Satan to get a hold of us, to affect us in ways that impede us from helping others. He told me that when something "bad"happens we can be sad for a few moments and then in those 2 minutes we need to start thinking of a solution. Basically for me that means i have to pray and pray hard. Here in the mission i pray with more sincerity than i ever have before. i can´t tell you many times my prayers have been answered.
I worry about you all sometimes. Every so often i will hear news from the states. people will tell me little parts of some horror story that happened in the states and i have to stop and pray to be comforted because in all reality i have no clue what is going on in the world. i´m glad to hear that you are all safe and sound and that you are preparing to celebrate the birth of the most important person ever to walk on the earth.
Just wanted to share some experiences. Yesterday Francisco came to church. he is a recent convert who because of his work can only attend sacrament every other week. the talks ran a little short yesterday so the bishopric had to scramble to make complete the time. Guess who they asked to bear their testimony. none other than Francisco! I have never felt so happy. His testimony was simple but powerful. it brought me so much joy to listen to what he had to say. Later that same day he received the priesthood. He is going to be a powerful member of the church.
In fact i have awesome news! I´m going to go to the temple! We don´t have a temple in our mission here in Leon but we got permission to go out of the mission to the temple with...(drum-roll)... Francisco and Antonio!!! Can you believe it? they are going to do baptisms for the dead. how awesome! It will be the first time i got through the temple in Spanish. It may be the only time just because leaving the mission for anything is rare. We leave the 5 of Enero...

More good news. We have Three new investigators(silvia, carmen, and diego) Silvia the cousin of the Lagunas, carmen, and Diego (one of the friends of our president of the elders quorum). And Geraldo finally has a baptismal date! the 30th of December! Thank you for your prayers. they are definitely being answered.
I love you and can´t wait to see you (on Skype)soon =)

Elder Ben Williams

PS Please pray for the youth of our ward. we are going to have an activity with them and we need it to turn out well.
Pray for Geraldo.
Pray for Hermano Rico that he will come to church.
Thank the Lord for your blessings.
Keep reading the scriptures.
Pray for all the missionaries in this mission and ask the lord to help them.
Pps. i will write you back soon sam steph sadie and josh
ppps i love the pictures you send me. please send more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 I was home...

Wow. Baptism. That was incredible! i can´t even begin the Spirit that was there. I don´t think i will ever forget it. it was a little stressful beforehand because our ward mission leader wasn´t there. So we had to clean and fill the font. That took forever. I will never forget that craziness. Elder Ortiz told me that it was Satan trying to get to us. He told me we needed to pray but that he didn´t want to pray because he was annoyed and stressed out. I felt a peace come to us after and during my simply stated prayer. that peace just continued to grow during the baptismal service. The District Leader and the Zone leaders all came for the baptism and we had quite a few ward members there. Antonio is pretty tall and was nervous before his baptism. He had to be baptized 3 times because his toe popped up once and then he wasn´t completely submerged in the water. but the joy that emanated from him was evident. i had a cool experience soon after the ordinance was completed. we were watching some video from the church but i wasn´t really paying attention. I was thinking about the baptism. and then it was like i was home. i felt like i was back at the stake center at some baptism with all of you. Do you know why? the people of our ward here are becoming my temporary family. I can´t explain that peace. it was an incredible experience.
The next day was...interesting. We had to give talks and i had to confirm Antonio. Guess what? I had to start over three times, the same as Elder Ortiz in the baptism. The Spirit was stronger in the moment that we were confirming him than i have ever felt. I didn´t really know what to say but i never paused. The Spirit truly guided me to bless this my brother in the Lord.
Yesterday was completely crazy. We were running around preparing for the activity all day. it was insane! i thought Sunday was the day of rest! turns out the past two weeks have been the days where we walk and do things everywhere the most. the activity was a huge success. We only had four nonmembers show up but the miracle was that they all felt the Spirit. Many of the members who are less active who we thought would never come, came. several people were in tears. the Spirit was incredibly powerful. Thank you all for praying for this activity. It was truly a smashing success.
Guess what? I just got your Dear Elders this week. i loved them all. It takes about a month for the mail to actually get to us. Just a heads up.
Time to answer some Josh and Sadie questions.
Elder Ortiz and I ride the bus every single day. We try not to take too many taxis because they are super expensive. We see other Elders in our district every week at our meetings. sometimes we do fun stuff together on Preparation Day. We eat tortillas at every meal and Elder Ortiz tells me that food in Mexico without Chile isn`t food, so yeah we have a lot of salsa and most of it is super spicy. Good Mexico every drinks coca cola but i don`t know. They have this drink called Pinafiel that i like and also that blend fruits in a blender to make juice and that is way good. sometimes the members will give us a drink called atole and that is also way good. i think its the milk from sweet rice or something like that.... Geraldo still hasn`t been baptized. Temple trips here are every 3 months so no Hermano Navaro hasn`t gone yet. but he did find a job which was a miracle.

I Love You Tons!
Elder Ben Williams

from "the activity..."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


This week flew by. i don´t think i have anything new to tell you. so this is my letter this week.

Just kidding! =)

Great news! Antonio is getting baptized! woohoo! this Saturday is his baptism!! His girlfriend is a member and she has been talking to him about the church for forever. he has gone through 2 other pairs of missionaries and finally he is going to be baptized! i can´t tell you how happy i am for him. Its really pretty crazy to think that in all seriousness, i have been in Mexico a month. can you believe it? its crazy!
I feel like i just got here. Yet i also feel like i´ve always been here.
Strange but true.
I got to experience "divisiones" or companion exchanges this week. I was with our district leader Elder Romero. he is from Honduras and speaks super fast. there are times when i can´t understand him. but there are times when i really don´t understand anything. anyway, i was with him working for the whole day. and i learned a ton! Elder Romero told me that the mission is for us to enjoy. we follow the rules and we bring people to Christ but we do it in a way that is natural to us so that we can truly enjoy it. I feel like for my mind for a long time was completely set on the "work, work, work" part of missionary work. But elder wirthlin said this
"come what may and love it". That means whatever is happening in the moment, we love it and enjoy it. basically, i need to enjoy what is happening here and now.
That was like revelation to me. i was a little to serious before, like i had the whole world on my shoulders. now when times are hard( so like every other minute) i think back to that quote, try to smile and continue on. it helps a lot to remember all of you and your prayers.
the other thing i learned was really sad. The church is Perfect. the members aren´t. this fact impedes a lot of less active members from returning, i´ve come to realize that missionary work is more the work of the members than of anyone else. that was different. i always thought everything was the job of the missionaries. as a missionary, i realize that without the members help, missionaries can´t do anything. Chapters 9 and 13 of Preach my Gospel made that completely clear.

Today was the best day ever. we went as a zone to play paintball. here in Mexico its called GOTCHA. funny right. But yeah it was a blast just being with the zone and having fun as missionaries. Its Elder Ortiz´ BIRTHDAY today! he just barely turned nineteen. we celebrated a little with a family last night and it is just great here. i love MEXICO! every day it is better. it is crazy sometimes and i don´t always know what´s happening but its getting better. Christmas is around the corner and i feel really weird, mostly cause you, my family aren´t here. i miss you a lot but i´m focused on the work.

On a different note, i´m glad you are studying the attributes of Christ. I know that reading and more importantly applying these points have helped me tremendously in my spiritual growth. I love reading your emails and learning about your lives. I will try to respond to each of you today but i can´t promise anything..... i need to be true to my word in printing emails and writing the next week. so, if i don´t write you today, next week, i promise =)

I Love you all so much and pray that you are doing well.
Elder Ben Williams
pray for our activity this week that it will go well and that we will find people to teach through it
pray for the family of Geraldo that they can continue to grow in their strength of the Lord.
pray for Lupita( a new investigator)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

We are still figuring out this mail thing, continue to send dear elders and such but i can´t tell you when they get here cause i have yet to get one.... I am glad to email though because I have a lot to say today.
I got bit by my first dog! we pass this pathetic little thing every day and i have(had) such pity for it. one day we were walking past and some other dog barked at us. out of nowhere this little devil was nipping my ankle! i didn´t no how to react! it didn´t bleed or anything, it didn´t even penetrate my pants but it was surprising...dogs here scare me....
The scariest experience i´ve had here however had nothing to do with dogs. we had a reference in an area of town my companion din´t know. (oh by the way we don´t knock doors here. in fact we can´t contact. we work through member references...and the Spirit) anyway we went to this part of town and passed this alley that had a bunch of apartments in it. it was by far the scariest place i had ever seen. i even said so to Elder Ortiz. anyway we were looking all around for this one house and finally asked someone. Guess where our reference lives? in the spooky alley. so we went in. i cannot even begin to describe the darkness there, the smell ( it was terrible) and just the lack of the Spirit. it was physical. i can honestly say that was the only time i have been legitely scared here. but good news! we found RenĂ© Molina! he was our reference. so yeah. that is good...
funny fact: they sell Gringas here. The first time i saw that i was super surprised! prostitution? but no. when i asked Elder Ortiz he told me a gringa in this context is basically a taco with cheese....strange...

Also, WHAT CAN I DO TO STAY SKINNY? the food here is getting to me. I´m not getting fat yet but with the limited exercise and generous sisters, i am going to get there.... Any tips as to what to eat, what to do with my thirty minutes of exercise would be greatly appreciated.

it was hard for me to read and see pictures about thanksgiving. I´m thankful for each and everyone of you. I love you with all my heart and there are times when i just want to cry cause i miss you so much. but i am here to do the Lord´s work. sometimes its harder than others. but it is his work and Elder Ortiz tells me that i need to enjoy the mission cause i will never have experiences like this again. President Uchtdorf recently gave a talk about choosing to be happy. we watched it in spanish on sunday. its way powerful and i definitely suggest reviewing it.

Love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Ben Williams
ps the mission is weird. our mission president gave us permission to go see ice age 4....not sure how i feel about that. but i am slowly learning the norms of this mission....

Note from Lorene: If anyone wants to email Ben some "stay skinny and 30 minute workout suggestions", send them to me and I can put them in my weekly email Sunday night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


...from last week at the MTC

....and the first week in Mexico

Elder Ortiz and myself first day!

This is from today. some members of the district gathered and we made tortillas and ate lunch together.

Noche de Hogar with the less active members of our ward

I am trying to learn as much as i can and in all reality the hardest thing is adjusting to the reality of the mission. Sometimes i have to remind myself that i am no longer at the MTC. These are real people seeking the truth and for some reason they have accepted me and my companion as bringers of truth. Old people ask us for advice. People who have so much more experience than i will have for another 40 years. That is insane! & yet, I know the Lord is guiding me. I have bben set apart from the world, quite literally, and I am focused on helping others come to salvation. That is gratifying.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dear Family....I love you all!

Dear Fam,

I just want to share a little more of what has happened this week.
1. We have an investigator with a date for baptism. He got really sick recently and wants to change. Pray for him please. His name is Geraldo.
2. We are preparing a man to go to the temple but he has a problem with the word of wisdom, specifically smoking. Pray for him to be able to overcome it.
3. Pray that my companion will be more obedient. Now before you go thinking he is breaking rules, he really isn´t. or at least I don´t know. So really actually pray for me to become accustomed to things here, especially the culture.
4. This was the first day that I missed you all so much that it almost made me cry.

Sadie and Josh, Mexico is so different! Nope, I haven’t seen any horses here but there are tons of dogs. They are everywhere! I can’t believe how many things have happened in the past week. Church was different, our ward here only has 90 members and guess who gave a talk? Me! I can hardly speak Spanish and they had me give the I am glad that you are reading the Book of Mormon so much and I love you!

Sam! I can’t even begin to explain Mexico. It’s crazy... it is nothing like Vegas.... well there are tons of cars and stuff but that is about the only thing that is like Vegas. The church building is tiny and really...different, but the church is the same here. It’s hard for me to adjust to all the cultural things here. For example, we eat breakfast at like 7 and then we don’t eat till 2! crazy! Dinner for like everyone is at like 9 or 10 at night. I love you.

Linz, just wanted to share real fast something with you. My companion has repeated multiple times to me that the reason we are out here is to invite people to come unto Christ, not to baptize. So in preparation to serve the Lord, I would suggest a study of the Savior´s characteristics. Preach My Gospel chapter 6 it has a ton. Just a suggestion. Good luck with classes and everything. I love you.

I don´t know when or if I will be able to write a letter, which is tough for me. It is wonderful here. It is busy and different but wonderful. Just to give you like a visual idea of what Mexico is like, think of the houses on D street. That´s what it looks like. Now think of really happy humble people. That is what it is like. I can´t believe Mr. Cap passed away. After I read that I felt like I got punched in the face. I love you Steph and hope you are praying hard and relying on the Lord for guidance. Elder Bednar gave a talk this past conference about giving up our weapons of rebellion. It was powerful. It’s definitely worth reviewing if you have time.

Mom & Dad, Pictures next week! Promise. Also I don´t know when I’m gonna be able to write hand written stuff... I only have so much time and Elder Ortiz doesn’t seem to like writing letters much, I´m going to try to write as much as possible.

I love you all so much! Pray hard, play hard and turn to the Lord when times are hard.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I don't even know where to start. This is so crazy! I can't believe I’m actually in Mexico! ahhhhh!!!!!! I can't even begin to tell you what this place is like. It is beyond anything I can compare. I’m just gonna give a brief little overview of the past two days.

Basically we arrived in Leon and drove straight over to the mission office. We dropped off our stuff and then all 17 of us new missionaries went over to the mission home for la comida which is basically like lunch...only it’s at like 230 in the afternoon. We introduced ourselves to the president and his wife and well everyone that was there. It was kinda strange because presidente del valle had the gringos speak Spanish and the Mexicans speak English. Apparently it is my job to help my companion learn English. Crazy! Anyway, we slept there that night and the next day we met our companions. My companion is elder ortiz and he has been out here 6 months. He is 18 years old and is a great missionary. He is my trainer for the next three months. After that short time I will be a trainer. Can you believe it!

So my mind is really sorta exploding. I don't even know what to say or how to say it. I guess that is sort of why they give new missionaries a preparation day right after they get to their area. Speaking of which, I am in Amerigas, Aguas Calientes.Elder Ortiz keeps saying this area es lo mejor and in all seriousness I believe him. We are in the middle of a pretty big town and it’s really pretty nice. Sorry cause I forgot my camera but some day I’ll post some pictures for you. I am surprised at how much Spanish I know...and how much I still have to learn. Elder Ortiz and I are going to visit some families today for la comida and also to teach some lessons. I am so excited! I know I’ve already said this is crazy but let me just add this...I already love it =)

Real fast I just want to give you some info. You can still send me letters! It may take a tad bit longer to get to me and for me to reply but you can send them. Dear elders to. And even packages which may or may not make it to me. I’ve talked to some people and they told me that the stickers and such don't really matter. If someone wants the package, they will take it. And in all seriousness I don't need anything, ok. The address you should send it to is as follows

Mision Mexico Leon (accent on the o of mision the e of mexico and the o leon)

Elder Benjamin Williams

Calle Torre Vieja #128

Colonia Arbide

Leon, Guanajuato 37360

and I can probably send you letters back...maybe... but yeah. vamos a ver. this address will not change by the way. What happens is you send it to the mission office and they send it to me. Ok that is all that I really have to say.

I love you tons!

Elder Ben Williams

Ps please pray that my head will stop spinning! I feel super overwhelmed but I’m still smiling. There is a lot for me to learn but that is ok because you know what, it will all come in time =)

pps my new preparation day will be Monday.

Please Send Letters for Elder Williams to:

Elder Ben Williams
Mexico Leon Mission
Torre Vieja #128
Col. Arbide
37360 Leon, Guanajuato

This is the address of the mission home where letters and packages to Ben can be mailed. When we are notified of Ben's first assignment the address for letters may change.

Another option for writing to Ben is to use
 Select "pouch"
Elder Ben Williams
Mexico Leon
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The District & Elder Lloyd

Final Week At the MTC!

I feel as though this week breezed by. I am trying so hard to remember what happened but there was just so much! I'll do my best to just give the best parts but you may have to bear with me because my memory is pretty shot. My preparation day is today (Saturday) and that definitely threw me off a little. The reason for that is because yesterday was in-field orientation. I'll talk more about that but I just wanted to explain first why my "electronic journal" is a tad late this time.
I think I’m going to start this letter in the middle of the week. It isn't because nothing happened last Saturday through Tuesday. It's just I really want to talk about Wednesday. Why? Because that was the day i got to be a host. Mom, you sent me a letter last Wednesday talking about how new missionaries may be greeted by me as their parents dropped them off on the curb. That is exactly what happened Wednesday. MY district and I had the pleasure of showing incoming missionaries their rooms, classrooms, and really just taking them on a tour of the MTC. I hosted one person. His name is Elder Jones. He's from California and is on his way to Budapest, Hungary. Can you believe it? When he told me i was in awe! He was the first future Hungarian speaking Elder I had ever met. Then I took him to his room. There were so many Hungarian speaking Elders! it was like a secret part of the MTC I had yet to discover. That experience was strange but really wonderful for me. It was weird being the old guy on campus and helping my fellow servant of the Lord get used to life here at the MTC. The best part was when I dropped him off at his classroom. All of you future Elders get ready. Your teacher is gonna speak to you in your mission language the minute you get to class. Elder Jones seemed to be alright until his teacher greeted him in Hungarian and then proceeded to say things at a mile a minute. I could literally feel his confusion. I think I may have understood her better than he had. That brought back memories of my first day...oh nostalgia....
Anyway, that was a really fun different experience. As was our last lesson with Brother Lloyd. Brother Lloyd taught....or rather refocused us that night on our purpose as missionaries.
That purpose is this: To invite others to come unto Christ to help them receive the Restored Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, to repent, be baptized, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. But he put it in different terms. What we are really offering our Brothers and Sisters is eternal salvation. We are bringing them into God's kingdom here on the Earth and preparing them to be with into the eternities. I feel as though with that in mind, my desire to share the word has augmented.
I mentioned In-field. I really don't have too much time to really talk about that. Basically, it was helping us realize our responsibilities outside of teaching such as finding, using the members, etc.
Sorry I can't write more. I just don't have the time. I just want you all to know how much I love you. You are my favorite people in the whole world and I can feel your prayers. I am sorry to those who have in recent days written me because in all honesty, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to write back. Today I plan on writing mostly to my family because I really have no clue what mail is like in Mexico so I will just keep you posted (ha! no pun intended) when I get there.. I hope you understand.
Remember who you are and who you represent.
Once again I Love You.
Elder Ben Williams
Ps pray for me as I leave for Mexico Monday Morning =) I leave the MTC at 5 my flight leaves at 8:20.
pps Pray for the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. From what I have heard, they need all the prayers and help they can get.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Next to the Last Week in the MTC

Mi Familia,

The weeks are flying by!  I can't believe that next week is my last here at the MTC! WOW!  I'm so excited to get to Mexico and start teaching the people there. I am so blessed to be here at this time and in this place.  It was real nice being out in the world and seeing the world.  I was really pretty surprised to see that the elections are still going on (because I already voted by absentee), that people wear clothes with name tags and that some people us less than celestial, gospel-like words.  It was nice to be there (in Dallas) and to remember my purpose as a missionary.

Believe it or not, going to Dallas wasn't the only great experience I has this week.  On Sunday we has Brother and Sister Roach come speak to us.  They did something in a devotional that I have never seen before.  They spoke as a tag team!  One of them would start a topic and as they changed to a different subject, the other would step in.  It was so different!  I liked it a lot and i learned a lot, but this is what i found was most important:  "There are no small rules"  and "We need to decide once to be obedient."  I feel like someone will always mention obedience to us missionaries at some point i our devotionals but that just means it's way important, not only for us but for everyone, every where.
Another experience this week that was extraordinary was a lesson we were taught on Monday.  It was about teaching people for understanding.  Before this point, I thought that Elder Souza and I were pretty great teachers.  Now I know that I have a ton to learn.  Hermano Lloyd was teaching us and the most important thing he kept telling us was to "Ask inspired questions." What does that mean?  It means that we put ourselves in the shoes of our investigator and consider what they know.  We try to understand what they need most in their life then we "turn to Heaven" searching for the divine help they need.

We got to practice this way of teaching. Doing so was the most powerful spiritual experience I've had here.  I've never relied so heavily on promptings of the spirit, and doing so blessed me tremendously. 

I was reading some scriptures in the temple today and I came across Alma 31.  It talks about the Zoramites and their vain, repetitive prayers but the parts I like best were from verse 30 to the end of the chapter.  Sometimes what he says in those scriptures is exactly how I feel. 

Seeing as this is my last week here, and I really don't know how good Mexico's postal service is, this may or may not be the last time you hear from me (in my handwriting)  for a while. I just want you to know how much I love you all,  You are my favorite people in the world and I'm grateful for every moment I've had to spend with you, the good and the less good.  I pray for you all the time and can feel your prayers for me.

Les amo,
Elder Ben Williams

Friday, October 26, 2012

On the Outside

This was one of the fastest, weirdest, best weeks here at the MTC. I'm sure you could probably guess why. Being outside the MTC for any span of time is strange and exciting. Being in Dallas for two days was almost overwhelming....
That's mainly what I'm going to talk about because....well it was the biggest change here in the mission since...well since forever. I met Elders Storm and Christensen in the travel office here at about 10 am on Tuesday morning and we drove all the way to the Salt Lake City Airport with this big Samoan man who was from Australia and had just moved to the states a short time in the past. He was cracking jokes and just smiling and laughing the whole way there. When we got to the airport, we were almost like celebrities. Everyone was waving at us and asking us where we were going and everything and it was so exciting =) people offered to pay for our food and were generally just super kind to us. On the plane ride to Denver we really didn't have the chance to share the gospel cause well almost everyone was Mormon. That first flight was where Sister Jana Thorley stopped me and took my picture with her phone and reminded me of who she was. I cannot believe she recognized me! its been nearly ten years since i last saw her! I'm so grateful for her and her picture taking because guess who forgot his camera at home.... anyway we flew all the way to Dallas with her and her daughter and then we parted ways and started looking for our ride to wherever we would be staying because really, we had no clue. A man named President Manion, the first president in the mission presidency in Fort Worth picked us up and took us to his home where we spent the night.
   I really don't have much time but I have so much to say so if you don't mind I'm just gonna give some quick details before the event that i really want to talk about. we went to the Mexican consulate and got our Visas
 (that place was like a Mexican DMV just so you have an idea). I found out i can understand and speak sufficiently.....sometimes.... We went on a "tour" of Texas and drove past this place called the Gaylord Texan (sounds weird). its a resort and it is humongous! they have a firework show inside the building every night! We also visited the Dallas Temple. we weren't able to go inside cause they are cleaning the place but it was so beautiful. That temple is humongous! it is shaped a little bit like the Vegas temple and that reminded me of home. after that we went to the Dallas airport and after talking to one of Mat Winn's cousins(crazy who you meet in the airport!) we boarded our plane for Denver.
This was the best part. I sat next to a woman that i know only as Kim. She is a Cornerstone Christian and she has 4 kids and 13 grand-kids (CRAZY!). She is an operator of heavy machinery and that is what Denver had in store for her. She is incredible. I talked to her for the entire plane ride over, talking about the prophets and the Book of  Mormon and the Atonement and just everything. And she just drank it in! she said that she totally believed that God lives and loves her and that everything in her life is from him. She told me her sister in law is a Mormon and she has gone to church with her and has a Book of Mormon at her House next to her bible(much to her father's chagrin) and that because i talked to her, she definitely wanted to read it more. I shared a lot of my favorite scriptures in the book of Mormon with her and i felt like she was just eating it up. I also gave here a card and told her to look up the words of a modern day prophet online and she said she would. I have no idea what is going to happen because of this experience in her life but I know it changed mine. Talking to her gave me the courage i needed to talk to other people and i know i won't hesitate to talk to anyone in the future because of her. What a great woman. Pray for her to accept the gospel, if that is our Heavenly Father's plan for her.
  Recounting that story just makes me so happy ! we got to Denver and were on that plane for like 3 hours because it was snowing so much the plane had to be de-iced. i talked to a man on that ride too but it was a lot different then my experience with Kim. He is from Idaho, and is retired. He used to be an elementary school teacher. now he does in-services for schools all over the country. He was a family history fanatic and had a book he was reading about his ancestors and had tons of stories about his people. It was good just to listen to him for a while.
  We finally got back to the MTC at like 12 am and i was so beyond exhausted. So yeah that is all.
I do have a request though. I'd like to write people on their birthdays so if you could send me you name and birthday that would be great. you can expect to hear from me somewhere around that date if you write me.
Love you all!
Elder Ben Williams

Monday, October 22, 2012

I've Learned....

Dear Fam,

What a beautiful work we live in!  I love this place so much!  I can't believe how blessed i am to be here in the MTC.  At this time.  It is one of my greatest blessings.  I can't wait to see what it's like in Mexico!  Every day my excitement grows and I am about to burst with love of the gospel and well everything!!  It was a great week, as every week here is ( great that is)  & as always I learned tone.  Before I talk about my week, I just wanna recap a little of what I learned. 
From a video in workshop I learned: "Without a goal, life is pointless."  I need to se daily, weekly, eternal etc. goals.  If i do I will be able to see my personal growth 7 also the blessings of the Lord.  I'm glad i learned that.
I also applied the knowledge that going through the motions of church work does not allow growth.  I have to do things because I know they will help me grow to know my Savior.
I mentioned that Elder Bowen came Tuesday night.  He is a powerful , passionate speaker.  The most important thing I learned or that I felt applied most to me is this" Open your mouth. do not be afraid, be bold!I learned that when we have faith the spirit will guide and even if we don't see the result then & there, at least we will have done our part.
That really struck me as a missionary.  I need to play my part in bringing sheep back to the told.  That was a powerful experience for me.
I love that I can see how to change and that he is providing a way to do what he has asked. I am changing the way I read the scriptures and it help my study become a ton more effective.  First I pray, asking questions that I need answers to.  Then I search, both by topic and in my daily chapter reading, for answers to my main question.  I stop and ponder each verse to see how it applies to my life.  this is the pattern I've developed and it help so  much with getting into the scriptures.  My challenge to you is to find a pattern for yourself ::) Good luck.

I think about you all a lot. Everyday, something reminds me of each of you, my family, individually.  I'm so grateful that ours will be an eternal family if we follow god's commandments. I love you all so much and pray for you all the time.  I hope to hear from you soon!

Te Amo!
Elder Ben Williams

P.S.  Before I leave I'd like to receive a letter written in your handwriting with your testimony in it!  That would be the best gift ever:)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Email for week of Oct 19th

To my Beloved Family,
   What a week! Can you believe that in a little over Two weeks I will be in Mexico? Woohoo! I'm so excited. I love it here at the MTC and all but it isn't "the real deal" you know? Anyway, learned a ton this week but before that i have some people to thank. Grandma Brown thank you for your letter and also for your prayers. I hope you are healing quickly and you can expect a letter from me this week. To all my Williams cousins who wrote me messages and sent pictures to me, Thank You! I love your pictures and your wonderful messages. I will try to write you all at least a little today... but i'm not sure how much i'll actually be able to finish so maybe next week you (in Janel's mailbox) will receive notes from me. I love you all so much and can't tell you how much it means to have you all right me. Its really nice for me =)
  This was a weird week. Elder Souza was gone on Wednesday in Vegas. I have never felt so weird. It was like i was constantly missing something and i had to remind myself that Elder Souza was gone. It was just kinda awkward all day. I had to tag along with other members of my district and i felt useless. But he came back yesterday and now i'm all good. I think. Big news! I'm flying to Dallas Texas next week on tuesday to get my visa! Finally! For a while there i was a little worried i would be reassigned or something. I'm really excited to fly and talk to actual nonmembers and hopefully share what i know about the Gospel with them. I'm also kind of excited just to be in the outside world. I know it is gonna be beyond weird to go from my sheltered existence here at the MTC to the "real world", but i know it will be great. (Does anyone know if i can take a razor on the airplane?)
    In other news i ran my fastest ever mile this week (5:49) and Elder Bowen came and Spoke to us on Tuesday. He had so many great things to say that i can't write them down but i will send in my letter a little about what i got from his talk. I really feel like my time to write emails is short here in the MTC I know I will have more time in the field but right now I feel as if my emails are really discombobulated and confusing and i'm sorry about that. hopefully my letters home make a little more sense. I just wanna end with one of the most significant things i learned this week. Hermano Lloyd told us that sometimes we have to limit how much we help  others. We cannot take from them the opportunity to grow.... That was powerful to me, especially because a lot of the time i just want to give people what i know but i know they have to learn it for themselves. that was a powerful lesson for me.

 I pray all is well in the outside world and I love you tons!
Hope to hear from you soon
Elder Ben Williams

Friday, October 12, 2012

"That is some alarm you've got there!"

Elder Williams with Elders Anderson & Madsen 
Elder Madsen had an alarm that we all used to wake up to.  Well obviously he is no longer here so we've had to evolve to use my alarm, which by be the loudest alarm I've ever heard.  any way, I'm' on the top bunk so in order to get the alarm I have to jump out of bed and hit it.  Seeing as it's my alarm, when 6:15 hit the next day I went to get the alarm.  Before i was out of bed I heard a loud CLANG! and then felt Elder Souza's head under my feet.  He told me later "When I heard that alarm, I jumped up and banged my head on the bar of the bunk, just about knocking myslf out.  Then as I was reaching for that alarm, I got kicked in the face.  That is some alarm you've got there!"  Maybe that disn't too funny.  But is was funny here at the MTC.  Well that's all folks! Hope to hear from ya soon!

This is me "squatting" Elder Souza.

This is what i look like as Elder Souza fireman carries me up three flights of stairs every gym time!

Incredible Responsibility.

Dear Fam!

I say a lot in the emails but I love writing letters, it is helpful to get my feelings on paper. We taught a lesson Wednesday night. We felt the spirit testify of the true the entire way thorugh.  We shared scriptures that seemed to clear up questions and taught well.  It wasn't just us though.  I really think the spirit was speaking through us. That was humbling.

Remember I said we have devotionals on Tuesday and then have District testimony meetings after? Well Elder Bednar said a lot of good stuff.  But it was his what his wife said that sparked this thought:
" What does being Mormon mean to me?"
I was thinking about that while I was listening to Elder Bednar and after.  In testimony meeting I heard myself say: "This is the only true church on this earth."  Yea well a lot of people have said that "but think about it!  We are possessors of the whole truth, the most light in this world. And we have the divine responsibility to share it.

Later that week Hermano Lloyd had us read D&C 18:10-11 " Remember the aworth of bsouls is great in the sight of God;   For, behold, the Lord your aRedeemer suffered bdeath in the flesh; wherefore he csuffered the dpain of all men, that all men might repent and ecome unto him.    

 That is the price! The life of a divine being even Jesus the Christ.  That is why missionary work is so important.  It is our responsibility to make sure that the greatest gift ever given isn't wasted. The antonment is that incredible gift.  It is my job as a missionary and your job as a member of the church to make sure this gift is used.  

I know now why I am out here. To do the will of God and bring others to eternal joy in and through christ. What an incredible. responsibility.

Conference @ the MTC

  So much  happened this week, I'm really not sure where to start... Conference basically blew my mind. So much spiritual gold. I hope you found at least one thing that you were looking for. I know I did. I felt at times the Speaker was speaking directly to me, but it wasn't what they said that got me most. its what I personally felt. Wow. I thought Sunday couldn't possibly get better. Then Chad Lewis spoke to us that night. CHAD LEWIS!!!! members of the lakes stake will remember when he spoke at our youth conference a while ago. What and incredible experience. He is so humble and was really good at connecting with us 19 year old boys. 
 But his visit was completely and utterly trumped by the speaker Tuesday night(ps don't know if i told you this but we have devotional every tuesday night and a member of the 70 or some other person will speak to us. its always really great) Guess who our speaker was. Elder David A. Bednar. I wish you could have been there to feel the Spirit as he walked in with his wife and everyone silently stood out of respect. He brought with him a greater Spirit of peace than i've felt in that building ever before, and that is saying something because as i've said before, the Spirit here is always strong. He reviewed conference with us and gave us a way to make it more meaningful in three steps. Doctrine. Invitation. Blessings. As you reread the Talks of this Monumental Conference, Listen to the Spirit and try to Pick out these three things and apply what you feel to your own life. I was blown away by him. 
 After tuesday devotional we always have a testimony meeting as a district. The Spirit from that incredible Meeting carried into that solemn assembly. I love the feeling of brotherhood here. 
 Speaking of brothers, Two of the members of our district left for the Colombian MTC Wednesday. It came as a surprise to all of us and especially to Elders Madsen and Anderson. They were technically supposed to leave two week ago but that had some problem with visas which has apparently been cleared up completely. I am so excited for them. Keep them in your prayers.Many of the members of my district have been flying places for a day to Get their visas. Yesterday Elders Farrow and Balli Went to Boise to get there's and Guess who is Going to VEGAS!!!!! if you guessed are probably wrong. Elder Souza and Elder Farrell are going to Vegas this coming week to get there Visas. I am the only one in the District that has yet to receive a travel plan to get a Visa. But it will come... I hope... 
I feel that some people think that being in the MTC is hard and truthfully some days are. but overall, this is the best time of my life. if any of you 18 your old men(or soon to be 19 year old women) are apprehensive about serving here is my advice: PRAY! Pray sincerely to know if this (the mission and specifically serving now rather than later) is the right thing to do. I know that if you listen to the voice of His Holy Spirit you will receive an answer. 
I love you all and pray for you. Good luck with everything! 
Elder Ben Williams

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Conference Thoughts Continued

This letter (not email) was written after conference (October 6&7,2012).

Wow! What a historic day for missionary service!  In case you missed it young men can now go on a mission at 18 and young women can serve at 19!!  For any of you thinking about serving, DO IT!  Get your papers in ASAP and get serving!  Any of my feminine friends who have the desire to serve, pray and ask if its right and then go for it.  I know some of you (my friends male and female) are struggling with what you want to do with your future.  Some of you wonder what you will do with the next year. Might I suggest missionary service as an incredible option!  I promise you won't regret it.

Whew! That was a lot.  I don't know about you but I feel as if today I was spiritually fed to the point of bursting.  So much of the teachings of God's messengers can be applied in my our lives. I challenge you to pick things that struck you and to act on them.  Just do it!!!

Sunday, What a spiritual feast!  I feel like because I was looking for answers, I found them in the words of the prophets and God's chosen servants.  I feel like there is so much I can apply but I've narrowed my list to 6 things I've heard that were specific to me:

1. Act immediately on promptings of the spirit.
2. Be exactly obedient to God's laws
3. Be faithful and eliminate things that stop faith
4.Love everyone but especially the Lord God
5.Submit to the will of the father
6.Be converted to Christ and never turn back.
I hope all of you will apply the things you believe were meant specifically for you to hear.  I love you all!  Gotta listen to Chad Lewis now!  Talk/write you soon1
                                Elder Ben Williams

Saturday, October 6, 2012

MTC photos

                                                                          The District

                                                             Elder Williams and Elder Souza

                                                          Elders Grant and Williams

Friday, October 5, 2012

Today Marks One Month in the MTC

Hey Fam!

Today marks on entire month in the MTC!  That is insane!  Time is flying by and I have the feeling it isn't gonna slow down any time soon.  I'm learning lots, growing lots, thinking lots....a lot of "lots" Oh well.

Lots happened this week.  Lots happens every week (OK seriously I think I have a problem with the word "lots")  Fast Sunday is the first item on the list.  Elder Souza fasted for missionary type stuff, like learning the language, having the spirit more abundantly with us, and for our investigators to keep their commitments.  It really wasn't that hard to fast here.  In fact, I think this may have been the easiest 24 hour fast I've ever done. The speakers(and movie) that we listened to fed us spiritually to the point of bursting.  First and foremost there was the song. Some guy sang a solo. He had an incredible boice but what really got to me were the words.  O Lord My Redeemer is the name of the song.  Look it up.  It is beyond incredible.
The speakers said a lot but this is the most powerful thing that stuck out to me the most wasn't exactly something they said.
One of the speakers said something like "The Lord is preparing people in your mission for you to teach." I immediately thought, "someone (or more than one) is waiting for me to teach them.  Someone in Leon is waiting for me"  I was floored.  I can't wait to get out there to find out who needs to hear what I have to say.
We listened to a talk by Elder Holland on Sunday as well.  He said that missionaries need to make the mission "part of their soul." He said that both the good and the bad can mold us into better more converted disciples of Christ.  Another thing he said was, "The way to salvation is through Gethsemane." We have to struggle (physically, spiritually, emotionally) if we truly want the Lord to save us.  WOW!
I get the feeling that I need to tell you, despite what it may seem in some of my letters, some days are so hard!  We were in one teaching situation and we thought it was going really well until "Andres" answered his cell phone right in the middle of the lesson.  I was shocked, astounded and ever a little angry.  How could anyone be so rude?! We went back to our classroom and I was beyond discouraged.  I started wondering what I was doing here.  I felt like I was wasting my time.
Then my comp just asked if I was ok.  I don't know why but that simple gesture lifted my spirits but it did.  I started turning my thoughts outward thinking of the true reason I chose to serve a mission.  To serve the Lord through service to others.
One of the most significant happenings of this week occurred that same night. I was praying, asking forgiveness for my selfishness and bad attitude.  I was also giving thanks for each on of you (my loving fam) by name.  As I got to Josh, I immediately thought also of Sarah Annie.  I felt compelled to thank the Lord for her, specifically for her presence in my life.  I can almost feel her love at times. and that specific moment of prayer was on of them. How grateful I am that we will have the opportunity to be with her (and the little brother) in the next life.

anyway, those were a few of the happenings of the week.  Typical week in Paradise :)
thanks for the package, I love the clothes!  It is so nice not to be formal for a short span of time.  (I love the jeans!  Whose are they! oh Ben's :)) I alos loved the cookies and treats but most of all I loved the notes!  I love hearing from you all.  I also love to get photos :)  Hopw you all are well and enjoying life and the blessings we have!

Love, your Brother, Son, Friend, Elder,
Elder Ben Williams

Monday, October 1, 2012


My week started off with the Bountiful Temple dedication. It was truly incredible. I feel as though everytime I tuly listen to an apostle of the Lord I learn something that applies to me. As they were dedicating the temple I had the thought that my body is a temple. In order to have the Spirit of the Lord more abundantly, I need to dedicate myself to him. In order to do his work, I need to turn myself over to Him to allow him to work through me. I hope that makes sense.
Elder Golden of the Seventy spoke to us and spoke a little about Faith. He said that in order to increase our faith, we must increase our personal righteousness. That was pretty powerful. Then we listened to a talk by Elder Bednar. Look it up. It was an Answer to the question, "How do I Know if its the Spirit or Just me" the Answer? QUIT WORRYING ABOUT IT. Try to find  the talk, it was powerful. He gave it here at the MTC.
I was humbled yet again this week. Everyone in my district is ridiculously smart. way smarter than I can ever hope to be. Its humbling to be surrounded by such inteligent people, a little scary even...
Wonderful experience this week. Elder Souza and I taught the most powerful lesson yet to our investigator. It wasn't us talking. I wasn't even sure exactly what we said. She told us afterwards that she couldn't really understand us. It was the powerful spirit we had with us that compelled her to come closer to Christ. Elder Souza said, "That felt real. I felt as though we were speaking to a real investigater." Wow. That is all I can say.
Couple funny things happened this week. One was Elder Souza's back problem... that really isn't funny. But when you have ice stuffed in the back of your church clothes and half of the bag is sticking out so it looked like he had a rabbit's tail, that is kinda hilarious. Mostly cause he was so embarassed by it.
Over the past couple weeks, I've come to realize something else; everything is funnier in Spanish. Mostly cause half the time I don't understand what was said. That is like the best thing ever. The jokes my district has are all ridiculous, yet we find them so hilarious. We may or may not be loosing our sense of humor and trying to find it in simpler things. I like that though.

Viva Mexico!
Elder Ben Williams

Friday, September 21, 2012

This week was tough. It was good, but tough

Hey ma (and any one who reads the blog.)
This week was tough. It was good, but tough. Here's why.
Each week Elder Souza and I teach "investigators" (who are actually our Spanish teachers). It's basically role playing taken seriously . We got a "new investigator" this week and got to know her a little. Her name is Ana maria she is 45 has two kids and lives with her boyfriend Luis. She runs a a book shop and is catholic. Any way, we thought that since she was religious and owned a book shop that she must have read the Bible and that she new a lot about prophets and that kind of thing. Advice for future missionaries: never assume anything. Turns out, she didn't read much and didn't know anything about the prophets. Elder Souza and I had counted on her being well versed in the Bible and at least having a basic knowledge of its contents. We were so wrong. Basically, we were caught off guard and instead of relying on the Spirit, we panicked. after our discussion, the teacher pulled us aside and humbled us. She basically said that we need to speak more Spanish all the time, study better, and rely on the Spirit in our lessons. It was like a Spiritual punch to the face. Yet, I think we needed it. We are already improving on many aspects of our lives and I know we will be better because of this experience.That's the best part about the MTC. You can be completely uncertain as to what you are doing here one day and find renewed purpose the next.
 I wanna thank my Dad for his well timed words of wisdom. Every one of his letters has come at exactly the right moment to buoy me up and keep me going. Thanks Dad. 
To everyone else, WRITE ME! Dear Elder makes it easy and in 6 short weeks you won't be able to use it anymore. I promise to Write you back =) I'm glad i am here and i love you all.
With all my love,
Elder Benjamin David Williams

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I´m not going to lie. This is tough! The MTC is very structured(which isn´t a bad thing). The structure makes things a tad bit easier but there is so much going on. Its overwhelming but not in a bad way.  how much we have to do here. Yet i Love it. the spirit here is stronger than any where i´ve ever been before. that alone makes it wonderful. my companion, Elder Souza, is from california but he lived in a tiny town(so small, i forgot its name...) He is a great example to me. He speaks Spanish well, better than i do. I was surprised when, on the second day we had the opportunity to teach an investigator. in spanish. we tried to teach him to pray. which seemed silly since i still don´t really know how to pray in spanish. but it was a good experience. i think. its incredibly humbling to be here. i have come to know that i need to rely so much more on the savior and the Spirit, especially when my companion and i teach. its hard, but i´m glad that it is. i feel like the level of difficulty has caused me to have to grow in leaps and bounds over the past few days. i can´t wait to see what will happen after a month or two =) my p days in the future will be on fridays so if you want me to write you back in a hurry, send letters before then. I love and miss you all!
Con mi amor,
Elder Williams
Ps Congratulate Mitchell and Josh for me! That is awesome for them!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5th Finally Here

The Farewell Crew

Grandma Brown
Aunt Shannon



Big Squeeze for my big sis

Bye Mom

Never looked Back

Monday, September 3, 2012

Missionary Training Center Address

PS This is my Mailing address while I'm at the MTC. Write me!

Elder Benjamin David Williams
MTC Mailbox # 357
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Family Night....All Day!

These are a couple of pictures with my fam. what a great last day =)


So I'm not officially a missionary. That all happens tomorrow. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be going to the MTC and from there to the actual mission in Leon. Of course I'm a tad nervous/sad due to the fact that I won't be seeing my family or friends for the next two years. But I know that I have been called of God to serve the people of Mexico. That makes leaving a little easier. Not really, but a little. I only hope that I am an adequate servant of him.