Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Come What May and Love It!"

This week was another toughy. And yet it was worth it. I am constantly reminded of the talk "Come what may, and love it". Its something that helps me in the moments i get discouraged.
We finally found Francisco. He fell back into old habits, namely drinking. Its weird to talk to him. I know its the same man we have taught countless times but his very countenance has changed. It was hard to listen to him explain why he "returned to his nets". He is one person to pray for. Pray for him to remember the covenant he has made.
Santa Maria is still in a tough spot. No one has money there. But i have good news, we found someone there we can teach! She is the sister of one of the members there and is looking for God due to the many challenges in her family. If we teach them i know that things in her situation will change.
Turns out Ortensia (the sister who came to church last week) lives in our area! The only problem is her daughter is in the Hospital and we haven´t been able to see her all week...
Guess what?! this week i got the first ever letters from home this week! woohoo! Now we know...mail here is slow. Elder Ortiz got a letter that was sent the 14 of November and the letters i got were sent the 21 of December... It was something very special for me to read from different people about their lives and to get a couple Christmas cards. I think i´m going to try to send some letters home this week if i have time(which i think i will) so look for a letter in the coming months ;)
We had Interviews with the president this week. He is and incredible man, truly a man called of God. I felt peaceful and at home in his presence and what he told me was exactly what i needed to hear in that moment. It was nice just to talk to him for the short period of time that i did. He is going to address us as a mission very soon.

Keep up the good work. Fight the good fight. Don´t stress Joshua 1:9. Trust in the Lord. All is well.
I love you all more than i can explain!
Elder Ben Williams

Yep that´s an iguana

I love these things =) there all over here. this is the first time i got to hold one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weekly Letter Home

The time i have for the computer isn't very long and as badly as i want to tell you everything that happened this week, it is impossible! Especially when I write individual emails to the fam. I can share some of the the miracle that happened this week. Sunday morning as we were leaving for church we got a call. The woman on the other line asked for SeƱor Ortiz. She said she was looking for God and that she had heard about our church from someone. She asked what time the meeting started (church) and guess what!? She actually showed up! Turns out that a person we had contacted a couple of weeks before had been talking to this woman and she told her that the Mormons "Hacen Milagros" (work miracles). So, the previous "contact" testified that we had helped her(we gave her a blessing that she might be able to see better, she´s pretty much blind) and that testimony led her friend (the lady who came to church the other day) to us. Neither of the two are actually from our area but it doesn´t matter, the work is the same. The Lord guides us to those who are looking for the truth.
Speaking of truth, first I want to say thanks for sharing I Corinthians 2:1-5 I quite literally needed to hear that because as far as the language goes, this week was one of the toughest. We were teaching a lesson and in the middle of it my mind went completely blank. I couldn´t speak Spanish. It was scary and more than a little discouraging. But later that same day we taught again and the words just flowed. I know it wasn´t just me.
I knew it was the Spirit. We were in a family night and the dad was sort of, well, teaching false doctrine. Elder Ortiz and I had the opportunity to teach truth. When it was my turn to speak the room got quieter. The words just flowed. It felt right. This was my first experience like that. I pray there will be many to come.
As I have studied today I´ve learned a lot. One thing I learned is the importance of being humble. (Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel has a section on that). This is where the Lord wants me to be and I know it. My life is different. I´m a missionary. I´m just barely realizing that (jk) and some days are just weird...but I am doing wonderful =)
I love you all. Remember, everything will work out. Just make sure to thank Heavenly Father when it does.
Elder Ben Williams

My Zone!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year

You know some weeks are really weird. Like this week. Guess how we started the new year? in the rain! I am relatively certain that it has never rained in Vegas on new year´s day but this is mexico. Needless to say, the first day of the year was pretty dreary wet and hard. You would think people would be in their houses due to the rain. We walked all over town that day, and we didn´t find anyone. That was harsh. This week was kinda like that. We went to Santa Maria on Wednesday to see why Geraldo didn't come to his baptism. We had or guesses but hearing it from his family was tough. No one in Santa Maria has the money to pay for the buses to and from the church. It isn´t just his family, everyone in that little pueblo is suffering. They don´t have work. They need to be nurtured by the gospel but there isn´t anyone nearby to help them. It is way hard sometimes to see the problems of other people and to be unable to help them. Please pray that they can find the means to come to church.
In contrast to that sad event, we went to the temple this week! But in a way that was sad too because both Francisco and Antonio failed to show up. Basically, the reasons we had to visit the temple didn´t come. But we went anyway because we had already payed for a seat on the bus.Guadalajara is warm and reminds me a lot of California. The temple in Guadalajara is small. its the same model as the one in Oklahoma City. But it doesn´t look real. It is beyond beautiful!

The temple. I´ll admit i was kinda scared to do a session in Spanish but it wasn´t that bad. I can tell you this: i feel most at home in the celestial room of the temple. I ca'pt explain the feelings I always have there. It verified my testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel. Doesn´t matter the language, the Church and the feelings of the Spirit are the same. I know that now more than ever.

I was reading earlier this week about the changes that are in process in the church's curriculum for the youth.
It isn´t enough to simply be a member of the church any more. We can´t just go to church and have everything be fine and dandy. We have to be converted to the gospel of Christ. President Eyring gave a talk Come Unto Christ March 2008. It is truly incredible. I pray that you will come closer to the Redeemer this year and I know that the new lessons and such that the church is giving will help you all to do so.
I love you tons and well miss you....but I know the Lord wants me to be here.
Elder Ben Williams
Ps pray for us to be able to find people to teach!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

So this is santa answer the kid's question, it is the only part of our area that is even relatively like Nacho Libre.

This is my Zone and President & Sister Del Valle and their 4 daughters.

Ward Christmas party.


This week was really slow. Christmas day was one of the hardest. But not because we could´t find anyone to teach. We visited everyone we had planned to visit. And thus began the problems. You know how we always have tons of leftovers the day after Thanksgiving? Well here in Mexico everyone makes tons of food the 24th of December. They spend all day preparing it and don´t actually start eating until like 10 at night(that´s actually early according to Elder Ortiz). Anyway, back to why the 25th was hard. EVERY HOUSE WE WENT TO GAVE US TONS OF FOOD!!!!! Best day ever, right? well yes and no. Lets just say that after ten tamales and a ton of ponche(punch...oh hey it actually looks the same...) eating enough so as not to offend anyone is way difficult. When we went to eat at the home of a recent convert i had to pray that i would be able to eat. That was a first. But yeah, that´s how it was. no biggie. The rest of the week was pretty normal.
Except one day that we had a temporary change of companions. it was out of the blue. I was paired with an incredible guy. He´s had a tough life and adjusting to the mission is tough for him. Its tough for everyone. We spoke a lot in English and i think that helped a ton. It was weird to be away from Elder Ortiz but it was nice too. This Elder just needed a friend.
Weird. I feel like we forget that sometimes. That we are all human and other people have problems. Really all we have to do sometimes is Listen with Love and all of the sudden everything is alright.
So yeah that´s pretty much it for this week
Oh and Gerardo(i´ve been spelling his name wrong this whole time) didn´t get baptized. He didn´t show up Sunday( the day of his baptism) but its because his family is really humble and the bus that the ward usually pays for to bring the members from santa maria to the church didn´t ever show....that was tough.but such is life.
I love you all a ton! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

ps pray that we will find new people to teach and that our recent converts can make it to the temple(we are going with them Saturday which is super rare in this mission)