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)