Elder Williams

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Hi I’m Bennie | Ben Williams, veteran, Elder Williams, single, 26 year old, musician, Mormon..

Seriously, I can’t even begin to describe the number of life-lessons I have received and experienced out here. If it were for that alone, I would be eternally grateful to have been called to West Virginia. But the experiences on top of that–the people, the culture, the companions, the leaders… God truly knows His children. I was born to serve in West Virginia.

As we faithfully, prayerfully, diligently and obediently exercise our duties as missionaries, friends, coworkers, parents, spouses, and children, we can influence everything up to the actual turning of the agency of the people we love, and that is our duty.

I love you and I love the Lord. I know Jesus Christ is in command. He will not allow us to fail. Keep the faith and keep opening your mouth and sharing the glorious message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Something is changing in this area. As we increase in our righteousness, the people are changing with us. It is marvelous to see, and I am so grateful for it. Winfield is a becoming area, a miracle area, and I am so grateful to be here with Elder Goulding, and to experience what we are experiencing here.”

This really is the most wonderful time of the year. I don’t know what it is about Christmas time, but there truly is magic in the air.

I love this work. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior. Experiences like this make it so clear to me that they know each of us. I refer to Heavenly Father sometimes as the Master Orchestrator. The way He orchestrates our lives, placing people in our paths one-by-one to guide us and influence us along our journey. Someday I will understand how. Always I will be grateful that He does. It is magnificent evidence of His love for each of us.

As we adopt the attributes of Jesus Christ, we naturally become more like our Savior. This Christmas season, what better gift can we give to our Savior, our loved ones, and ourselves, than to become more Christlike?

I hope you all know how much I love you. I hope you know how much I love my Savior. I hope you know how much He loves you. You are not alone, and you are never forgotten.

I love being a missionary. I love it. I love, love, love it. I love the scriptures. Every morning we have our personal and companion study, and every morning I sit down and look at my green set of scriptures and my heart just swells with emotion. Every time I am just filled up with gratitude to have them. I love them so much. I love my Savior, and I am so grateful to be on His team here. We are seeing miracles every single day. He is laboring with us.

Magnificent things are happening as the result of the prayers and efforts of members and missionaries on both sides of the veil. This is truly the Lord’s work. I am humbled to be a part of it. Historic things are happening and I keep hearing about them. This is a marvelous time to be alive. I pray that you each of you feel that as I do.

I love you, and think of you when I pray. I feel the Lord’s love for my friends and my family when I pray for you. Don’t ever think you are forgotten. You aren’t.

I love this work. I love my fellow laborers here, my beloved mission President, my companions, my district and zone, they are magnificent individuals. Most of all, I love the Lord, and am so grateful to be one missionary of His 80,000 strong, and growing.

This month I learned that the commandments are not rules or laws assigned by an Omnipotent Dictator; rather, commandments are laws of nature, specifically human nature, which are shared with us by a Benevolent Father who wants us to be well aware of what will make us happy or unhappy in this life.

And now, the Savior commands us to give up our desires, our sins, our selves, for His self, just as He relinquished His for the Father’s. This is the doctrine of becoming “one”.

I love my Savior more than I have ever known.

I testify as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ that there is nothing, not one thing, that any of us could do to earn our salvation or exaltation. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” As missionaries, we are commanded to “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation” (D&C 6:9). That is the message we preach. Christ has made available to all men the glorious blessings of His atonement, on conditions of repentance.

I testify that this is the work of the Lord, and His glory, and that there is no greater joy that I have experienced in my life, nor can I imagine a greater joy, than seeing someone enter into the fold of God.

I love my Savior. Because of Him I am changing every day out here into somebody I was always meant to be.

…I want to share some things that we have been learning lately:
1. Missionaries are called to do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way
2. Miracles are the Lord’s way
3. Miracles are wrought by faith

Becoming a part of this work is as simple as praying for an opportunity and then walking out the door or picking up the phone and saying hello to a friend. The Lord will guide you. Time is running short, and so many people are still lost. =(

“And thus we see that the Lord will pour out his spirit upon all those who diligently inquire of him, and will lead them to those whom he has prepared to receive his word.”

The Lord is laboring with us! How incredible that is to know! And His way of performing His work is through miracles!

What is the lord’s way? President Pitt taught us recently in a Zone Conference, that “miracles are the God’s way”. We also learn from Alma 37:7 that “the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.” The Lord wants miracles to happen, and they are happening, and they WILL happen, according to the faith of those on both sides of the veil.

To see the Gospel light come into the lives of those who never knew they needed it is one of the most glorious things in the world. I cannot imagine experiencing a greater joy than seeing that light reach someone’s heart watching them change from the inside out. There is nowhere in the world I would rather be.

Please don’t give up on yourselves. As Mufasa says, “Remember who you are. Remember.”

We have to labor with our might, obeying the commandments of the Lord in all things. If we do that, He will labor with us. It’s difficult to find the balance between the good, the better, and the best, but we are working to do it. By the way, SMILE!

Please remember to spend time with individuals. We are all God’s children. Don’t forget about your brothers and sisters. Take a moment to sit with someone who is sad, to help someone who is struggling, to kneel and gather up the bread that someone spilled. Share the Lord’s countenance, which we all bear as members of His church, with each of God’s children.

We are called here to find the individuals the Lord has prepared, but we must do that in each individual’s individual way. Hopefully someone can learn something from what I’ve shared today. As missionaries, we will never be the perfect servant, say the perfect thing, or accomplish everything that we need to do. We just aren’t perfect, and there simply isn’t time. But the Lord has a plan, and that plan is perfect, and his timing is perfect. As we go about doing the best we can, and trusting in him, and listening when He speaks, we will see miracles, and often enough, we will be those miracles.

Well my dear friends and family, I have enlightening and frightening news (for some of you, and apparently myself): Missions are hard.

This is seriously going to be the best transfer ever, and I know it’s only going up from here! Thank you all for your prayers and support, and for all of the cookies that you will send me this month!!

To obey would mean that when your parents tell you to do something, you do it. But to honor means that you do things that your parents would have you do because you want to help them accomplish their purposes. Christ said frequently that he came “to do the will of the Father” and not to do His own will. When we honor our parents, we do their will out of love and respect. In that way, we can become one with them as Christ and the Father are one.
This same principle applies in our relationship with Christ. We are to honor him. To obey the commandments is good, but it is not the ideal. We must honor him in the way we live our lives.

Anyway, this week ROCKED! Today is the last day of my 12 week training, and tomorrow I begin training a new missionary! I guess that means that Elder Raffensparger did alright!

I have learned that Charity is not something I can develop. It is a gift from God, a sanctifying and purifying of the heart that comes as you pray to see with His eyes. It extends far beyond seeing people the way He sees them, and literally becomes seeing the world: places, people, animals, insects, responsibilities, everything under our stewardship and influence, the way that Christ sees them. The whole world is changing in my eyes, everything about myself, the future, what I want and what I do, it is all changing as I develop this vision.

“Don’t stop, walk teach and preach till you can’t, then do it more!” Vann Childs gives the BEST motivational lines!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not begin with Baptism. Repentance must always precede baptism, and faith must always precede repentance. Without faith, properly placed in Jesus Christ, nobody can stand firm in the Gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ MUST be the foundation upon which people build. This includes everyone. Parents, teach your children Faith in Jesus Christ. Missionaries, teach your investigators Faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone needs this foundation before they can build their testimonies.

Many members of the church complicate the Gospel. Elder Raffensparger often says “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple an 8-year-old can understand it.” That’s my weekly quote, by the way, and he’s right. Especially in cases where you’re sharing it, don’t over-complicate it! Nobody cares about the body temperature of translated beings! But EVERYONE needs to know about the Gospel.

D&C 18:10 “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God”. Remember that what we share with people is not a new church, it is the keys to salvation, the only path by which anyone can re-enter the presence of our Father in Heaven, and it is necessary for EVERY person on the Earth. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the Earth again, and we have it in its fullness. We cannot let fear stop the work from progressing.
I pray that each of you will feel what I feel. I hope that you will go to a secluded place, if you have not already done so, and kneel and recommit yourself to seek and find and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more dedication than you ever have before.

“Members should fill the planners of the missionaries so much with teaching appointments that they don’t have time to tract.” When I heard this I fist-pumped in the front pew and everyone laughed

Quote of the week: “preach hard! Love hard! Live hard, walk hard! Be hard? Eat hard! Read scriptures HARD! Convert hard, be Elder Williams hard!”
-Vann Collin Childs

Meekness (n) Willingness to allow others the opportunity to learn or grow.
In the spirit of “meekness”, I will leave all other clarification out, and trust you to apply the word yourselves. =)

I have about TEN SECONDS to write today, but I only have one thing to say: the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth, and it is led by a prophet of God. That Prophet-President holds the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, the very keys that Jesus Christ told Peter would be the rock upon which His church would be built.

…BEING A MISSIONARY IS FANTASTIC! I love seeing the Lord’s hand guiding our steps.

THE CHURCH IS TRUUUUUE!!!!

I hope that all is well, and that each of you are spending time in the scriptures daily. I have had experiences this week when I have needed to know something very specific, and because I was willing to open the scriptures, the Lord was able to guide me to exactly what I needed to know.
Read from the Book of Mormon every day. No excuses, no exceptions. There is power in the pages, and it will improve your life, I promise you.

So my companion met a man this week while I was on an exchange in the area of Russell, Kentucky (which is absolutely gorgeous by the way, and I may have found my future home, no joke)…

The church is true. Jesus Christ is your Savior, and He is my Savior, and He is everyone else’s Savior too. Our Father wants each of His children to come home. Never forget.

The Lord knows where His sheep are. He knows who is ready. Pray for His guidance and He will tell you when to open your mouth.

Basically, every time something good or advantageous for us happens, every time we have success in missionary work, every time one of our investigators makes a breakthrough, we say “The church is true!” Well, pretty much everything that is taking place in our lives right now falls into one of those three categories. My testimony has grown in leaps and bounds this week that the Lord is aware of His missionaries, and that He wants his work to progress.

The Book of Mormon. IT IS AMAZING! There is no other physical object like it in all the world! The Lord speaks to those who carefully and prayerfully study its pages, and WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT?! Oh man… read the Book of Mormon! Seriously, read it. It’s amazing.

Get out and enjoy the world! Go walk around and teach people how to smile! Show them that they are children of God and that they are not forgotten. Don’t tell them, show them.

Ohio is incredible. Elder Raffensparger is the man. I thought about what I might say here last night, and there are no words to describe what I have learned and experienced these first four days. All I can say is that it is God’s work and I am so aware of it. God loves these people. I love these people. I am so incredibly stoked to be here.
There is no better place for me to be.

I love this work, I love the scriptures, and I love my Savior! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

I promise to go forth in my mission as an obedient and faithful missionary, and to bear testimony of the truth of the Gospel at all times, and in whatever ways I can. Each of you has become part of the Lord’s work through your sacrifices, and I promise to be faithful to that work forever. I pray for each of you, that the Lord will bless you for the sacrifices that you have made for me, for Him, and for all those whom I will serve on my mission and in the life that follows.

Through your love, your prayers, and your examples, I bear you my witness that you have brought one soul unto Christ.
“I go now to share that love with the world.”

Today has been a better missionary preparation day that I could have ever planned or imagined for myself. I truly have a testimony that God is a master orchestrator, who molds and shapes our paths for our good, always for our good.

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