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

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