Tuesday, April 30, 2013
So i feel much better. It was weird this week.
Contrary to to the looks in this photo....I didn´t ever get hungry. But now i feel 100% and ready for whatever comes next.
Sorta a weird week. We haven´t seen Felipe at all. He sorta disappeared and stopped talking to us. It's a little sad but it happens more often then i would like. I think I´ve told you before that his family is against his decision to be baptized and he wants to avoid problems. It's sad to know that the family, one of the few potentially eternal groups in life, is stopping him from taking the first step into Vida Eterna. I just want to explain something real fast that i realized is different here in Mexico or at least here in Aguascalientes =) Many people, really it seems like EVERYONE IS CATHOLIC! (or has been....) Its kinda weird. It's sometimes feels as though to many it is more of like a tradition than a religion. Not that i´m bashing on anyone, their beliefs or anything. In fact i see a lot of good in the catholic church and I respect the people who follow the teachings of said religion. Its just hard sometimes because i know next to nothing about Catholicism and i feel strange sometimes.... lost even...
We have been trying hard to find new people to teach this week. And it's tough. I have to ask you all to do something for me: prepare your friends to receive the Gospel. Talk to them in the most normal way possible and then invite them to listen to the missionaries. It's not that tough and it makes our work as servants of the Lord that much easier. You have no idea how thankful we are for the members who help us in our work by PREPARING their friends for the message of the restored gospel and then having the courage to share it.
We have received a lot of guidance from the Lord recently and Poco a poco estamos encontrando nuevos (little by little we are finding new people to teach). it's a miracle. But we need more. Something Presidente Del Valle said is always in my mind " esta bien (it is good)(57 baptisms in one month) pero el señor nos pida mas"(but the Lord asks more of us) and its true. Pray for us to continue to find new people to teach. We need all the help we can get.
Las Familias de (The Families) Santa Maria....need prayers. Soon, the bishop is going to speak to all the members in that little Pueblo to see if they want the ward to pay for combis so that they can go to church. It all depends on it they can get rid of their pride. And really I´m worried about them. Pray for them to soften their hearts.
Daniel was baptized! Emma and Anna were not.... But i cannot explain the joy i felt during Daniel´s baptism. One by one the Martinez family is entering into the fold of God. Its the best feeling ever to be a part of this work. I love i each day a little more. i pray that Emma and Anna will be next. They need to trust more in the Lord and have the assurance that the Book of Mormon is true.
On the mission I am learning that if we really need a miracle and if we ask for one, it will come. Prayers =)
I love you all and pray that all is well. To the fam, See ya soon!
Elder Ben Williams
Monday, April 29, 2013
1. Felipe says he can´t be baptized because his family is against it.
2. Emma and Daniel canceld their baptisms three hours before they were supposed to happen.
3. We were in divisiones/ trio for three days with elder Amaro.
4. I got super sick.
That pretty much sums up the week. And yet as I´m writing this i realize that I´m still super happy. I don´t really even understand why. I want to make a list of good things that happened this week.
1. I feel like i figured out how important the sacrament is to me.
2. I gained atrue love for everyone =)
3. A less active member and his family (from santa maria) came to church.
4. I had an interview with presidente Del Valle
5. I feel.....Much better.
More good than bad. Something that there will always be, more light than darkness. Its a beautiful life we live. Every day brings new challenges that could stop us cold or make us grow. Depends on what we choose. Isn´t that cool? I don´t know why but i just feel right now that Agency is the best thing. Its a weird random thought and truthfully i have no clue where it came from.
Ok i have to explain some things. One Felipe. His entire family is against his decision to listen to us or to be baptized. He is very much a family man and I feel like he won´t choose to do something against their will even if he is the Head of the Household. All his children have children and are married and all but they are still very close.
Emma and Daniel are two of the three children of Monica. They had their baptism set. they said they felt ready. And then they called and said that...well that they didn´t feel prepared. so we are giving them time to decide. Its an important personal decision and its something they have to make on their own. Its tough to watch people falter due to doubts. The same gift that Heavenly Father gave us to make choices sometimes works against us. Sometimes we doubt what could happen but we are praying for them all.
Elder Dahlberg got deported =) He had trouble with his Visa and had to go to Texas to Renew it. Crazy right? So Elder Amaro stayed with Elder Dominguez and myself for three days. We ate a lot, laughed and had a good time. Its way hard working in two areas at a time. we would spend half the day in Americas and half the day in Viñas. And i feel like it wasn´t very effective. Two is the perfect number. 3 is overkill.
I got way sick thursday night. I want to but that in the cleanest way possible so i won´t give details in this letter. Lets just say i have a ton of meds and they kinda make me tired. But the good thing is that i´m getting better, fast =)
We need help here in Las Americas. We need to find new people to teach and fast. If we don´t, we are going to get tired out. Please pray for us to be able to teach well and for the members to help us find the people who the Lord has chosen to hear the message of the Restoration.
I love you all, now more than ever. I feel great and we are all good here in México=)
Elder Ben Williams
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
"This is one of the coolest streets ever!"
Ok so what do i say about this week........um.....
I guess i will start with Monica and her family. Her kids still haven´t received their answer about baptism. I don´t know what exactly we can do to help them. We give them sections of scripture to read and invite them to pray about it sincerely. I don´t think they take what we say and actually do it. Its kinda sad. We try our best to help these people and they don´t want what we have. Monica was confirmed yesterday. She is excited to start doing her family history work.
Felipe was doing really well until had nightmares and couldn´t sleep. He told us that he needed time to reflect on his dreams and didn´t want to see us until tomorrow.
We had divisiones this week. First time as district leader, woohoo! i was with Elder Amaro in viñas todo el dia. It was tough. Viñas is an area that has little or no support from their ward. It helped me appreciate the support we have.
Soon i will be calling you all via skype =) I can´t wait! i love hearing from you all in your emails and such but seeing you and hearing your voice is way better.
Sadie, I was just thinking about you. We had a little girl get baptized in our ward the other day and it made me think about you. I know that your baptism will be the start of something incredible and that you will remember it your whole life. its a beautiful feeling, something that is tough to describe until you´ve been baptized. keep on reading the book of Mormon and be an example forever! I love you tons =)
Hey just for fun, look up La feria de San Marcos. It takes place in part of our area and we are not allowed to go there...its like the strip in vegas in a way.
I hope all is well in Zion....or Vegas.....whatever...and I can´t wait to hear from you all again.
With all my love,
Elder Ben Williams.
ps Elder D. Todd Cristofferson is coming to Aguascalientes soon! =) sweet huh?
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A lot happened this week. Yesterday Monica got baptized! =)
Don´t know if you remember Monica. She has been ready for baptism since she stopped drinking coffee two weeks ago and told us last Sunday that she wanted to change the day of her baptism so that her boyfriend could come. So she was baptized yesterday. We almost couldn´t baptize her. it wasn´t due to a problem she has with the gospel or anything. We didn´t have any water in the church! yep. scared us half to death. We got to the church turned on the boiler and everything was all fine and dandy. after sacrament meeting we went to turn on the water like we´ve done in the past. and nothing. we went into the bathroom and tried using the sink. nothing. the first thing that came to my mind was "someone does not want this to happen." I said a silent prayer in that moment and really it was something beautiful. We started thinking of ways to fix everything. We called the members of our district and asked them to start filling the font in there church. we talked to the bishop and his counselors and they told us to look for the custodian of the church. as luck would have it, he didn´t come that day. So we continued to pray. I thought that maybe someone had forgotten to pay the water for the church. then, out of the blue, water started filling the font. someone had shut off the water and Hermano Capetillo opened it in from up on the roof. It was literally a miracle. Usually it takes hours to fill the font. yet we had sufficient to baptize Monica in exactly the right moment. I can´t explain it better than this. Trust in the Lord and miracles will happen.
The pictures you see there is of Monica and her family and her boyfriend. the kids who are a tad older are her children. They have a baptismal date for this Saturday. We pray for them to receive their personal answers (James chapter 1:5) and to know of the truth of this church and be baptized.
Felipe came to church with us! he is seriously one of the coolest people i have met in my life. I just feel happy around him. You know what he told/asked me in one class? he commented "this class has a lot of higher doctrine, right? looks like I´ve got a lot of reading to do." Sweet! he is an incredible man. One of the things that surprised us Sunday is that he came to church in a suit. There are members of our church that come to church in jeans but he came in a suit on a hot day. Can you say "de oro" ? I feel as though he has been prepared since.... well forever! His baptismal date is the 27 of this month. Of course we are praying for him to follow what he feels and keep his commitments with us but more importantly with the Lord.
Miracles happen if you look for them. We didn´t have anyone to teach a month ago. and now.....it all has to do with faith. We need to keep on finding more, exercising prayers and faith. Will you join us in praying that we can find more families to teach?
Our Mission President, Del Valle is incredible. I love that man and i know he needs our support. We always pray for him to continue helping us in this work by his leadership.
I love you all. You are always in my prayers.
Elder Ben Williams
I seriously felt like i was just in General Conference in the MTC like a week ago. Not really sure what exactly is happening to time here.
Anyway I´ve got a lot to say and only a short time to write. First off just want to let you all know that I know Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God. I quite literally felt he was talking directly to me in one of his talks. He always speaks by the Spirit and if we listen by the Spirit, Revelation just sort of flows. I´ve got a lot of new goals that i decided to set after conference. I feel like the Lord is guiding me to become converted every day of my life and with my process of conversion I am trying my best to help others understand the full importance of what we know to be true. I love being able to receive revelation like we always do in conference. And we have the ability to receive this same powerful guidance daily. I´m working on receiving the daily revelation i need to keep on moving forward in the work of the Lord and I´m doing it by reading the Book of Mormon.
We had a cool meeting as a Zone this week. Elder Rummler helped me to realize something i probably should have seen years ago. Here it is: the Heroes of the Book of Mormon(Ammon, Abinadi, Nephi, Moroni, Abish etc.) WERE NORMAL PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!
We can become like them if we wish. I don´t know why i thought that what these men and women from the Book of Mormon were superheros. They had their challenges. They were Spit upon and rejected and suffered in enumerable ways. One thing that they had that maybe I lack is Unbreakable Faith in the Lord. So I am looking for ways to create and achieve that kind of faith. Who was it that said in this past conference that we need to take what faith we have and build on it? I don´t remember. It was tough listening in Spanish sometimes. But Its one thing that i learned form the Men chosen of God to Guide us this weekend. Cool right?
This week went by fast. Monica and her family are ready for baptism=) They came to conference and felt the Spirit strongly. I think they all feel prepared to make the first covenant with the Lord which is Baptism =) I am so proud of them and feel a love for them that is unlike any other.
Felipe couldn't come to conference. I feel it is partly our fault. We didn´t pass by for him. He hasn´t answered our phone calls. but he is progressing quickly. He is seriously one of the most Christ-like men i have ever met. I Feel like he has been preparing for our words since the beginning of his life. He is a wonderful man and I pray that he wasn´t offended by what happened this week with us not coming to get him and all and that he is alright.
What was your experience with General Conference like? Incredible. Spiritually liberating, full of good words and council and revelation Are you excited for this week? This week is going to be incredible. I can already feel it =)
Did you watch it in Spanish?Sunday we watched all the sessions in Spanish. Saturday we watched them in English(at least...those of us who speak English did....) Did you have investigators in any of the sessions? Si. Monica and her familia =)
I Love you all tons and can´t wait to read your letters!
Elder Ben Williams
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
so this first picture is of the Zones in aguas calientes with Elder Ortiz, our area president
This week we had cambios. and guess what?
I´m still in Americas, Aguas Calientes. I just have more responsibliltiy because i am now the Lider de Distrito.
Don´t ask me what exactly that means cause i still don´t really know. Its weird. I felt like i was going to leave Aguas because i have a ton of time here. but as i was putting small unimportant things in my bags in preparation for the cambios (it was just a cautionary measure) I stopped and felt/thought "what are you doing? you aren´t going anywhere" Weird right? it was like i already knew what was going to happen. Elder Dominguez was telling me a couple hours before los cambios " a lo mejor usted se queda aqui como lider de distrito." he basically told the future. I ´ll keep you updated to the duties of a District Leader when i figure out what exactly i´m sposed to do....
This week was slow. Its a week where a lot of people leave town for who knows where. Thursday, Friday and Saturday the streets were completely empty. It was weird. But that´s how it is here. We saw a processionals, or a bunch of people representing the death of Christ, and well....it was weird. people yelling and others singing. We didn´t get too close. We didn´t want to see eveything that was happening but we heard a lot of weird things. the good thing is Aguas is really mild when it comes to Semana Santa(this past week) in some places in Mexico the people beat themselves with whips until they bleed. In other places they actually crucify a man representing Christ(they make sure he doesn´t die but it still sounds gruesome...) It was good to remember the resurrection of the Savior though. Made me feel like repenting =) And thats always a good thing.
What happened this week? we had a lesson with Monica and her family. We know that the only way you can know the church is true is 1 reading the Book of Mormon 2 Praying and asking Heavenly Father and receiving an answer from Him and 3 going to church. They are doing Two of the three. We are praying for them to read. That´s all they need. They are a wonderful family, they really are. I love them all. we also are praying that they will have a spiritual experience with General Conference this weekend.
Felipe is incredible. I just feel like he is so ready. We taught him this week and found out that he is a super charitable guy. He gives to the poor, and he gives his best. He loves his family more than anything and really its something beautiful just to listen to him talk about his life´s experiences. we have a lesson tomorrow with him. We pray for him to be ready to accept what we have to teach and to understand the importance of our message. He told us he wants to come to General Conference with us so we will see what happens.
We found a couple new people this week. José and Enrique Valdez. They aren´t related. They just have the same last name. We are going to see them Wednesday. we are excited for them and hope that they will be prepared for our words.
Random events of the week:
We got lost twice. =) once we were on a bus and we didn´t know exactly where to get off. after like 20 minutes we decided we needed to look for a different bus. we were in a different zone and we had no idea what to do. Then we met the elders that were from that zone. They were confused at first but they helped find the bus that took us back home. It was weird.... and then we got lost in Santa Maria on the bus home. Such is the life of a missionary.
Contacted and man covered in blood.
Not really a contact. more of a "do you need help?! need a hospital or something?" kinda thing. He said he was fine. we kept walking and found a ton of police and an ambulance and we told them that he was walking in the opposite direction from where they were looking. Who knows what he did.....
Ate tacos of pig eyes, pig brain, and cow tongue. and they were all delicious=)....come to think of it i don´t know why i didn´t take a picture of that....... don´t worry I´ll take one the next time
Love y'all and hope all is well in Zion =)
Elder Ben Williams
Last week the kiddies were talking about spring break.... is it all ready that time of year? What in the world? Where did the time go? I swear i was just opening the call the other day and now.... its almost been a year.... weird. I feel like the time here accelerates every day, every hour. Its tough at night when i feel like i´ve just fallen asleep when the alarm goes off. And then there are the pictures of you guys. When did you all get so old? Sam, are you seriously going to be a Freshman next year? I suddenly understand why dad doesn´t want us to have birthdays.... Don´t grow up so fast!
So this week was full of new experiences some good some better =) you probably saw the picture of Pati in Baptismal clothes. She is a really sweet girl and she reminds me of my little sadie. Are you getting ready for your baptism? Are you almost done with the Book of Mormon? Anyway, we are praying for her family to be more active in the church,and that she will be able to see the difference her baptism has in her life.
This is Pati. she is 9 yrs old and is the newest member of the church in our ward. She is from Santa maria and the dude in white is me =)
We are still teaching Monica and her family. They are a wonderful family and i feel like they were prepared by the Lord to listen to us. But they weren´t here all weekend. we teach them again tomorrow night.
Speaking of Tuesday(tomorrow is tuesday right?) we have a date with a person we found the other day. His name is Felipe. It was a weird experience. We were looking for some former members of the church in the shadiest part of our area. I was with Elder Romero in Companionship Exchanges and we were not really finding anyone on the list... This man passed by and waved at us and said"hola Elderes". BOOM! obviously he needed to talk to us. We went over and introduced ourselves. He told us he went to church with some members once and had listened to missionaries before and that he was an editor to a magazine. Most importantly he told us that he really likes to read. We pulled out a Libro de Mormon and he said he would read it that night. He told us if he came to know the Book of Mormon is true then the 13 of April would be his day. He is what you called prepared. We will be seeing him Tuesday and we pray for him to obtain his goal. We pray for him to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. IF that happens, everything else follows.
I love you all and hope you are enjoying yourselves and that everything is going well. Keep on going strong in the Gospel. I know you Read the Scriptures personally every day and pray meaningfully. Our Heavenly Father is listening. speak to Him =)
Have fun this week and be safe =)
Elder Ben Williams