[So, it is totally bittersweet to write this post and close another missionary chapter that I have loved three times over. His last letter had me in tears this morning. Gratefully, these experiences don't end, they just shift to every day life and the process of enduring well on a foundation well built. I love my sweet boy who has grown into a man these past two years.
A mother's farewell to written letters from the heart.]
Monday, July 11, 2016
Well, what a wonderful ending to 2 wonderful years! Elisa was baptized, and we have left a great legacy here with miracle investigators, and great relationships with the members.
On Thursday we saw a great miracle when I knocked a door and found a man named Jose whose wife Narcissa is gravely sick with tuberculosis. When we entered she was having a panic attack, but we offered to give her a blessing, and she suddenly calmed down and began to say that I was the angel she had seen in a dream not long ago that would come back to bless her family. We gave her a blessing and she was very calm afterwards. We came back again Saturday morning and she was looking even better. We taught The Restoration and they accepted a baptismal date for August 20th. For her sickness they weren't able to go to church, but they want to go and I know they'll be going soon.
|Elisa and her husband who baptized her|
Honestly I couldn't have had a better finish than the one I had. Elder Williams and I decided since the beginning of this change that we would give our all, and we were confident that the Lord would do miracles. He kept His end of the deal because we kept ours. I think this change was more filled with miracles than any other change in my whole mission. Heavenly Father is real. He lives and loves us. To deny that would be to ignore everything I have seen and done for 23 months. I can't deny it and I never will. 23 months has caused in me the change of a lifetime.
I can say, as President Uchtdorf, that the gospel works wonderfully, and I couldn't ask for more!
Monday, July 4, 2016
[this is Ben's letter in the way of pictures!]
|Elder Williams and Elder Jackson|
Well, this week we're gettin ready for our last baptism on the mission! Elisa is super ready and she passed her interview last week, but because of a ton of events happening on Saturday we weren't able to do it on the 2nd. But this week is for sure, so Elder Williams and I are stoked!
We went to the temple for the last time on Saturday too, and got to be witnesses for the youth and convert baptisms. One recent convert Emelin went for the first time and loved it so much that's almost all she talks about. She's not always a very spiritual person just because she likes to joke around and stuff, but it was cool to see her feel the spirit and look so content. I love the temple and I'm so glad Heavenly Father let me go to one more time before the end of my mission.
|Emelin, us, Erick getting ready for his mission|
This is the plan of happiness and the good tidings of great joy. I can see it in the faces of all the members of this Church. We are Mormons and we are very happy. At least I am :D
Happy Fourth of July! Viva America y viva Guatemala!
|US missionaries on 4th of July!|
|That is the way food is eaten..... postit note too??|
|Erick who is getting ready for his mission|
|Temple and downtown|
|The Temple Group! youth and new members|
|One Week Left....|
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
|District p-day playing pool|
I don't really have anything to say in the blog letter, but I'll write you. This week I had my last interview with president! He gave a lot of great advice and had us make a list of goals in categories of spiritual, physical, emotional, educational, and financial. I'll share those with you when I get home so you can be aware of what my goals are and hold me responsible for it ;)
Did you guys get my flight itinerary cuz I haven't yet. [Comes home through Houston and arrives at 4:30pm on Wednesday July 13th.]
|Yeah, I don't think he has grown up much!|
Monday, June 20, 2016
|First week with Elder Williams|
I'm simply very happy and content. I can't say every day was perfect this week, but I just feel a great calm like I've never felt in my whole mission. Like Heavenly Father is letting me know that I'm doing a good job. I still have many things that I'm working on and I'll keep working on them til I get em, but I've finally felt that peace of mind that my efforts haven't been in vain.
We had a lot of wonderful miracles this week, mostly having to do with member help and great people who are ready to be baptized. We were able to have 19 lessons with member present (the weekly goal is 20) which was a great achievement, and our investigator Lisa is basically ready to be baptized. Her testimony grows every time we visit them and she really wants to go to church again when her 40 days of bed rest are over (this week)!
|French Frie 'Stache!|
I can't say more than that my joy is full. The Lord has been my support and I almost can't believe that I've come this far. But then I remember how much He loves me and wants me to succeed. All my success is thanks to Him, and I will give the rest of my life to Him.
I love you all!
|Celebrating "1-month left" with ice cream!!|
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Honestly this week I don't really know what to tell you. Elder Williams and I have been rippin it up, and we've been seeing a lot of blessings, especially in working with members. One single adult named Erick who's preparing to go on a mission leaves with us any day we want, plus one of the brothers who was the last stake president and his son are both super willing to help out. Almost everyone we've been working with are part-member families, so we have a lot of support from the ward leaders too, since we'll be reactivating and baptizing at the same time.
Right now we're teaching a less active member named Fernando and his wife Lisa who isn't member. She just had a baby so she's still in her rest period, but she's super anxious to go to church again and this week they should go. She has a baptismal date for July 2nd.
Something I pondered a lot about this week, and I've put into practice is the simplicity of the 13 articles of faith and the principles they teach. Sometimes I struggle to explain gospel principles in a clear and direct way, but I've been studying the articles of faith and using them in lessons. I noticed that the first six are almost directly related to the principles in Lesson 1 and are so straightforward and obviously biblically based that they are undeniable truths. The hard of heart will always deny spiritual truths, but the articles of faith are truly inspired by God and I know they are true.
Love you all!
Monday, June 6, 2016
So talking with Elder Williams we found out that this will be our 7th change total in this zone for both of us! We've both had 3 areas in this zone and we'll finish up with a total of almost 10 months in Zona Nimajuyú! We're Old Dogs that have been resurrected... :P
We had a great week even though it's always a bit rough re-opening an area. I already knew a good number of the members and a bit of the area, so we finished the week on a very good note. We both are very happy to be together and we have the determination to make this an amazing change!
It's amazing how God takes away our fears when we turn to Him with faith. I think one of the main ways I've seen how the spirit works is in that particular way. Sometimes when I was younger I would get super nervous and uncomfortable thinking about some things. I'd even get scared. I remember always being able to pray and feeling an immediate surge of comfort. I recognized that it was the Holy Ghost. I was reminded of those experiences last week just before changes. I was very nervous and even scared of this change. I didn't know if I was going to be able to hold out to the end. I felt like Satan was going to attack me in every way possible to make me baggy. Then I knelt down and prayed for peace. After that I just remember waking up Tuesday morning and going to changes with a huge feeling like everything was going to be alright. And sure enough, I'm here and happier than ever! I love how the Holy Ghost brings things to our remembrance; I love the name Comforter because it's true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have a wonderful week!