Friday, March 22, 2013

It's Tough to Know Where to Start

It was a great week. We found like 8 people to teach(which is a miracle cause i feel like we haven´t taught a lesson in eternity) we had companionship changes... i don´t know what it is in English. Basically i was With Elder Dahlberg instead of Elder Dominguez for a full day. we have a family that we are teaching and they are most likely going to get baptized. We got to talk to Elder Ortiz, Nuestro presidente de area.

Elder Dahlberg aka Loco,is the blonde to the right. My companion, Elder Dominguez is on the far right.

I guess I will start with the Divisiones. Elder Dahlberg and I were in his area all day. I learned a lot that day. I learned that the majority of the companionships here in Aguas have the same difficulties we do, one of them being actually finding people who will listen to us. It was kinda nice not to have the responsibility of knowing where to go and who we could visit but at the same time i felt bad for Elder Dahlberg. He is kinda new to the area and still doesn´t know the streets too well. He seemed to be stressed and i was wondering if I appear the same way in our area. Any way we had a cool experience that day. We were walking all day looking for people to teach and we passed by the home of an investigator of Elder Dahlberg and Elder Romero. They weren´t home. Suprise!!!! we went and taught some less active members and then Elder Dahlberg said" Vamos a regresar y ver si Angelica ya regresó" so we went back to the house of Angelica, his investigator and guess who was waiting for us?! Angelica and her Friend. We taught them the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was Really a spiritual experience.

Anyway moving on to the stuff that has something to do with our area(Americas). Elder Dominguez and I had a pretty weird experience the other day. We asked a lady if a certain bus passed for our house and she said yes and then asked us if we were elders. And of course everything started. This woman was an investigator 6 years ago. She said she has no desire to change her religion but she opened up to us because we offered to help her with her chores. And so we now have another 3 people to teach.

The cool part about that experience is it led us to another. She( the bus lady) introduced us to her friend, a guy who sells hamburgers. He lived in San Diego 13 years and speaks perfect English. Naturally i was all about that. We talked for a long time and he told us that the reason he came back to mexico was to be closer to his family. That is way cool. Especially because he made in an hour (in the states) what he makes here(in mexico) in a day. That is ridiculous. We pray for him and his family.

We Finally have a family to teach! not sure if i talked about the super weird reference from a missionary who served here 18 years ago... Anyway we found one of his old investigators and her family and they are the best! Its a family of four, a single mother and her three kids.

Elder Ortiz came. Not my former companion but the Area President here. He talked to us collectively about being a better mission. His wife spoke and said we have to try to be perfect in some aspect of our lives every day. In chapter 6 of The teaching of Lorenzo Snow it has a whole bunch of info about that. Its really pretty weird. Its a commandment to be perfect (Mat. 5:48) but none of us will be completely perfect in this life. Crazy. Anyway that was the week.....

Pray for Elder Dominguez and I to Become more perfect every day. I love you all a ton and can´t wait to read what is happening in your lives. I hope all is well in Zion and that you can see the hand of the Lord in your every day life. I know i can.

I love you!

Elder Ben Williams

P.S Shout out to the person who says i look fat in my pictures. thanks =) I did gain 15 pounds so far. I´ve got a little bit of a belly. But with 30 minutes of exercise and a ton of super delicious food it was sort of inevitable.

Shout to Rachel Lynes, congrats on your mission call to New York!! I´m way excited for you to have the opportunity to serve the Lord. There is nothing in the world that is better. You will love it i´m sure =)

Shout out to Brycen, congrats on your first time to the temple. Love ya bro! =)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Be of Good Cheer

Definitely had to apply that phrase this week. We worked hard with little or no results during the first few days of this week. And then Elder Dominguez got sick Thursday night.

I just want to tell you all how grateful I am for my Leaders and for Personal Revelation. I feel like what my leaders ask me to do or help me to recognize here in Mexico leads me to personal revelation. I said that the beginning of this week was terrible. Because it really was. We had a lesson planned with and investigator and a lot of work to do in the Ward with the list of 50 members who are currently not attending our Sunday meetings. Everything started off fine. We were looking for people and preparing for our lesson when BOOM all of the sudden our investigator canceled on us. It was something we were banking on that day. But hey we always have back-up plans here in the mission. But it turns out our back-up plan wasn´t willing to let us in. so We improvised. We started working with the list of names in our ward that has people who no one knows. We walked everywhere. And found no one. Super depressing right? It would have been if i weren´t a missionary.

I started to become depressed the next day. Because the exact same thing happened. Our investigator´s canceled. Our back-up plans didn´t seem to be home(or they were avoiding us). Everything was falling a part. We walked everywhere looking for people on our list again.
I was really discouraged.

Why am I telling you all this? For two reasons. Missionary work is tough. And well, what happened next was wonderful.

Elder Romero, our district leader, called us Wednesday night--the second day in a row that everything fell a part. I told him that today was a crummy day. HE suggested i read three things: D&C 123:11-17, Jacob 5:74, And The Importance of the Messenger By M. Russell Ballard. And it was like he flipped a switch. I realized from these scriptures that i need to change my attitude. It was that we were having a bad day. There is no such thing. Every day is what we believe it to be. So I´ve decided that every day is the best day ever, that we will find people and that we will be guided by the Lord. It doesn´t matter what other people do. What matters is my reaction to what happens, my thoughts and my desires. If I want to Find people, We will find people.

And even with Elder Dominguez Sick, I saw that what I´ve learned is true.

Elder Dominguez was feeling terrible on friday and so we came back to the house and he went to bed. I was looking for something to do and guess what? we have a new neighbor. She and her family were moving in that very day and didn´t really have much help. So I was there in exactly the right moment in exactly the right place to provide service. How crazy! I feel very strongly that we need to teach this family and I feel the gift of service that We gave will help us in that desire.

So yeah. That´s what happens when you change your attitude and do what the Lord asks despite the challenges and countless excuses we could give.

I love you all so much. 6 months in the mission and I learn something every day, every second. A lot of the time I learn things that will help me here and now and when I am with you guys once again. Keep up the good work. Show your love for others and continue being the best you can be=) I love you!

Elder Ben Williams

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Temporary Family

Here they are. The youth and others from my ward. I love these people. Almost as Much as i love all of you =)

The temple is incredible. I can´t explain it well enough.

Another week in the best mission in the world =)

Lindsay is going to Japan!!!!!!!!!!woooohhhooooooooooooo!!!!!!

I´m happy for you linz. Its something i really can´t explain very well. Just....Joy=) something beautiful. It fills my soul.

I totally forgot what happened this week when I read the news about Lindsay's mission call. Its sorta coming back to me....and ya.


Thursday i taught English and realized that it is a lot harder than learning Spanish. With English we have a ton of rules & we pick and choose which we want to follow. If you aren´t born speaking English it is beyond ridiculously hard. With the Hermano that I am teaching we move really slowly. I forget English. But i still can´t explain everything in Spanish. Its an awkward limbo type of experience.

Friday we went to Santa Maria. The people are ready. They have a hunger to hear the gospel, but they really don't have much of anything else. They can´t afford to go to the Church, some of them can´t even read & often it gets tough to be among them wondering how we can help. At one time the members who are there had a Casa de Oración but the strife that exists between some of the families there ruined that. Pride!!! Pride destroyed the work of the Lord. And this pride exists even among the must humble people i have ever met. Have you ever read Alma 29? that´s sorta how i feel right now.

Anyway we taught a lesson there Friday to a man Named Juan Lopez. He is the father of a lot of the members that live in Santa Maria. One of the first thing he asked us is when he could be baptized. What?! that was one of those moments where i was taken aback We were super excited and we immediately taught him to pray and we taught him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. It may be a little tougher to teach him then we at first thought. We need to slow down the rate at which we teach just a little and make sure he understands. With faith and a desire to change all things are possible. And tal vez, con sus oraciones, he will have help in his desire to know Christ. We pray for him to understand what we teach, and to feel it is true.

Saturday we went to the temple and it was incredible. Our ward had room in the bus and asked us if we wanted to go. When President gave us permission to go I almost shouted for joy =) We woke up at 2 in the morning and traveled 3 1/2 hours in a bus to the temple(be glad we have a temple so close.) We were surprised to find a ton of people already in the parking lot of the temple. IT was great. Wonderful. Beautiful. I came with questions and i found the answers.

I admire our Mission president and think maybe many are really under appreciated at times, but President De Valle has such a Spirit that you feel it whenever you are in his presence. We pray for him to be supported in His Calling.

I love you all and Pray all is well in Zion=)

Elder Ben Williams

Ps Shout out to Dad! 50 years of life and countless experiences =) I Love you pops!!!!!!!!!

Also Congrats Lorenzo and Caroline! prepare for the best 2 years( or year and a half) of your life!

Gotcha...otra vez!

After three letters telling us of the fun and countless photos...I decided to withholding this would be leaving something out of the Ben's mission least the PDay part of it. Apparently Ben is becoming a huge fan of this Mission President approved activity....PAINTBALL!!!! It's called GOTCHA it is a favorite PDay happening... Here is the proof.

First time with Elder Ortiz within the first month of the mission.

Elder Ortiz sees the value of the face mask....(pun intended).

An Ear-full.....

The Second time....with Elder Dominquez

One Elder is just happy to be here, and the other Elder taking it a little more seriously this time....

Then yet another trip to Gotcha City....

Yeah we look awesome

"The one in the middle is the holy ghost" Elder Dominguez, translated by yours truly =)
we are Cholo