Feb 22, 2016

Last Letter

It was such an honor to serve in this mission. To have been able to
walk in the steps of our savior and carry his name everyday on the
name tag was absolutely amazing. (Even though the real "caring" was
taken place by him carrying me and helping me). I am also so grateful
for all of you who supported and helped me in my time here as well
because I know I couldn't have done it alone. It was for sure a team
effort and it's never easy being away from the family for a long
period of time.. But I know that we came even closer through this
experience and it means so much to me. Thank you!

I think most of you will hear most of what I want to say about my
mission in my homecoming talk, but I can add a few things in that I
probably won't be able to say in that time...

The two very special gifts our Heavenly Father has given us is the
gift of the Holy Ghost and the gift of Agency. With these two gifts we
can become like him. There is absolutely nobody holding us back from
progression but ourselves. The word "become" is a word of action. The
Holy Ghost also can't work with us if we don't make good decisions and
use our agency in good ways. And because our eternal progression and
everything relies on our agency, we need to use it well... I couldn't
have learned these two principles better than in missionary work. If
we don't work as missionaries and use our agency to do the right thing
and listen to the spirit, we won't ever help anyone, nor will we help
ourselves. But then that doesn't mean if we always use our agency to
do the right things that all people will listen and join the church,
nor does it mean it will always be easy for us... And that is exactly
the way we learn and progress for ourselves. As we turn outward to
others and use agency in following Gods plan and trusting in him, we
will not only learn for ourselves but we will be blessed with the Holy
Ghost who is and should be the person who helps guide us in our life
with all decisions we make so that we can be the happiest and most
peaceful in the end.
Matthew 16:25 25 "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and
whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
Alma 32:27-28
D&C 19:23

I want to mention the leaders of our church, especially the Prophet
and apostles. It is absolutely astonishing to see men who give their
lives to be in the service of their fellow men. (not to mention the
age of most of these men who travel the world to serve.) The examples
they set, and clear understanding of the gospel that they give us so
that we can make progression and come closer to Christ, is a true
blessing for us. But everything goes back to our agency. If we don't
follow the prophet, we won't know of the "fruit" that comes from the
main source of our beliefs. There are many sources and many opinions
in the world, but honestly, isn't that the reason there is so much
confusion anyway? Isn't that the reason there are 100's of different
churches? And for this simple reason we are told to follow the
prophets to understand what the commandments or "will of God" are so
that we can live happier lives. Many people are still of the opinion
that moments of "fun" is a better and easier way of living. But it's
about being like Christ, following his example, and coming unto him
through following the will of the Father so that we can understand and
know the truth which makes us "free" John 8:32. And we know as it says
in Amos 3:7 how we understand gods will. "7 Surely the Lord God will
do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the
prophets." Notice this verse below says "might" it's because we have
to do something to receive this joy. Also.. "Joy" the word is also a
long term feeling and happiness. And that's what we all are searching
for... 2 Nephi 2:25
"... men are, that they might have joy."

And because we all want true and lasting joy and eternal life, the
last point I want to talk about is the most important to me. It's the
atonement and life of Jesus Christ. He is the one who allowed us to be
set free from everything that can harm or trap us. And I know, that I
know, that I know, that he leads his work in our days. To also have a
knowledge that this world was created by him so that we can be here
and have this earth experience to learn and grow makes me extremely
grateful. It started and will end with Jesus Christ. I think the
biggest thing that has helped me come closer to him has been to leave
myself behind and comfort zone to first study his gospel and word and
then second to share his gospel with others that don't have it, or may
be weak. Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and
enduring to the end. 2 Nephi 31. It goes so much deeper than these
five important truths.. Because his atonement provided a way for us to
experience a forgiveness of sin through the gospel. Alma 7:11-14, Luke
22:39-44, Mosiah 3:7-11. And that is how I truly was able to see that
the gospel was true. I have felt the atoning strength, forgiving
power, and love that comes when we repent daily and try and do our
best to become better. But who can experience of this sweet and
precious truth if they don't use their agency to experience this
change? Nobody... Just like nobody can know how good Costa Vida is if
they never try it (; and if they do try it and experience the
DELICIOUSNESS of the "food/fruit of life" they will be desirous of
more just as I am with eating Costa Vida in one week hahha woooooo!

Anywho... those points of the gospel have meant so much to me in the
last two years. And I know that there is no end to the gospel. We can
get as much out of it as we want. I'm grateful to have a loving family
and friends who encouraged me to make it here and work hard even when
it was hard. I can't wait to see you! Have a great week and I will hug
you all as soon as I can. (; haha. Byyyeeeeeeee!

Alles Liebe,
Elder Brendon Scott Williams

Feb 16, 2016

2 Weeks

2nd to last letter. Well... I've been really really mood swingy about
coming home haha. Sometimes I feel like it's going to be good and
other times I have amazing experiences and I don't know what I'm going
to do haha.
Last week we had an amazing experience ridding in the train on the way
home from our big conference in Leipzig. Oh my goodness it was so hard
saying bye to some of the missionaries that I've become really good
friends with. But it'll all be good in the end :). Sorry got off
track.. We were in the train and a lady was sitting across from me and
so I started talking to her. She was super friendly and we just talked
about normal random things. We started talking about her family and
how her 13 year old son only plays games all day and especially during
the school breaks ( don't worry mom and dad Ethan isn't the only one )
(; haha. And we talked a lot about family and so I showed her my
family history account on my iPad and we talked for a good hour before
the train was coming to a stop. And about 10 minutes before I found
out two amazing things that I didn't think would come up... She told
me her son is looking to get baptized and two that her parents had
already passed away. (Young lady in 30-40) and I was able to give my
testimony of the gospel and I gave her a card. The thing was... I knew
the other elders were going to get in the same train with her after we
got out and so I told them to give her a BOM because of the
information they told me. So they sat next to her as if it was a total
coincidence.. Haha and they asked her a German question and then
totally ended up giving her a Book of Mormon by the end of the train
ride. Now, I have no idea what's going to happen.. She is also from
Bayern and I probably won't hear from her ever again. But there is a
promise given to us all  and it says ... D&C 100:4-6  4
Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for
thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls. 5 Therefore,
verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the
thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be
confounded before men; 6 For it shall be given you in the very hour,
yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.

The very moment I found out what I needed to say and it was the very
moment that I needed to meet this lady. I know with my entire heart
that the Lord works through natural and comfortable ways to share the
gospel. If we are friendly and loving there will always be something
that someone says where we can bear our testimony. I know the Lord
lives and directs his work through those who are ready to help him in
this great cause. I love doing this and the happiest thing is that I
know I will always be able to share what's brought me joy even after
I'm done being a full time missionary.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week as always. Enjoy the
p day pictures. We did a "sight seeing" tour of some cities here in
our area with a member.

Love, Elder Williams

Feb 8, 2016

3 Weeks

 Okay so I was in Berlin for the last time on my mission and it was
an amazing experience. The GBM (Great Baptizing Mission) has been such
a blessing to be apart of. I saw how the Lord doesn't give up on
blessing his servants as we don't give up on him. It's not always easy
to endure to the end.. But maybe that's why it's a big part of the
gospel. Because most people forget that enduring is something that
actually makes us better and more like our Heavenly Father. And in the
end, it leads us to be with him again. Now, it doesn't mean it's the
easiest because of course there is a side that doesn't want us to be
happy and experience the joy that our father in heaven gives to us and
has. We just need to work for it. Satan doesn't care about those that
aren't doing anything. He also doesn't worry about those who aren't
doing any good and following the gospel. He just focuses on those who
want to come to know the truth and the light which is Christ. So I've
had to fight it a little bit but as I have and done my part, I've seen
really cool miracles that have shown me that Heavenly Father is
watching over me and helping me to have the strength to endure.

 On Friday,  I had the privilege to go to Berlin and it was like I
was at home. (; haha I had planned that I would visit a few people in
an area that I loved serving in. As I made a few calls that morning
nobody really answered the phone. I assumed that they were at work or
didn't know who it was. There was a point during my study where I
thought to myself "just go right now and try to visit people". I
honestly didn't even think anything of this thought but I followed it.
So we left study about 20 minutes early and headed to the nearest
train station to head over to Spandau the city. As we were waiting for
a train a member called and said he had to work and that he was on his
way to work, so I just told him how grateful I was for him and hoped
to see him again. Suddenly he asked me "where are you"? So I told him
that I was in a certain train station and he said... "ME TOO!!!!"
Haha. With 4 million people and endless train stations how could it be
that we are there at he same time if the spirit haven't of worked with
both of us telling us to 'act'. He didn't know the number and I didn't
know why to leave study early.. But now I know because I followed the
small prompting.

    I have to go but thanks for everything you all do! Have a great
week! I'm excited to see you all so soon!

Love Elder Williams

Sent from my iPad

Feb 2, 2016

4 Weeks to go....

Cottbus has been a good last stop. We talk to tons of students here
and it's really fun. A lot of them talk to us because they are a lot
more open and curious as to what we are doing! We are meeting with
about 2 students and one is from Russia. She is really cool and has
amazing English so we just talk in English :) we are also teaching a
few people from the Middle East. It was the coolest thing we got to
see this week... So an investigator from Syria is here for refugees
and he is such a great guy. He is one of my better friends I've met on
the mission. We can talk so openly about God and the gospel that we've
been able to help him put principles in his life to help govern
himself. He really doesn't like doing what other people say haha but
as we have taught him correct principles, he has applied them and he
has given up smoking and seen step for step progress as we've shown
love and helped him along the way. He is so much happier now too it's
such an amazing testimony builder. I think it was something Joseph
smith said once "teach them correct principles, and they will govern
themselves". Nobody can force anybody to do anything. And nobody likes
to be told they are doing something wrong. But as people follow simple
gospel principles, God helps to do the things he asks of him like
following commandments.

You know... With the little time left and constant chattering into the
ear of "your going home soon" I've been thinking a lot about what this
mission has meant to me. It's unbelievable how the Lord qualifies
those whom he calls. And it's been the biggest pleasure to see who
I've become through a calling that is much bigger and important than I
am. I have learned that even though I've changed in the time serving a
mission, I'm still not prefect. And I'm still not where I'd like to be
with my relationship with God, and my knowing of him. I love how I
don't have to be a retired Mormon RM after coming home and that I can
work my entire life long to help the work of the Lord go forward, and
also continue to better myself as I give of myself. What I want to say
out of this is... don't ever get comfortable with where you are. As
soon as we get comfortable with something our desire and intentions of
progressing decrease. I have been blessed to learn the language so
that I can talk with people and I can't just stop talking to people
now. I need to talk to MORE people. Use the talents you have and grow
on them. Work on the skills that you could better yourself in and I
promise that you will find joy in the gospel. It's a never ending loop
of success and joy. Nobody ever promised it would be easy, but it is
promised that it will be worth it if we give it our all to come to
Christ and KNOW him. Live in crescendo even as the great exemplar did
even Jesus Christ our savior.

I love the gospel.

Scripture to ponder. John 8:29-32

Love Elder Williams

Jan 26, 2016

Great Week :)

Well, honestly it feels a little bit surreal knowing I have 5 weeks
left on the mission. Of course of course I am feeling a little bit of
trunkyness but it's not holding me back :) There is no better feeling
in the entire world knowing that the next person you talk to on the
street could be the next person you help to accept the most important
message anyone could ever receive. We had such a great experience last
week. We were able to have a conference as missionaries around the
entire world. It was sooooo amazing to be schooled by Apostles and men
who are called of God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in a simple
and deep way that all can understand and that all can feel the power
of the Holy Ghost that comes from their simple yet powerful
testimonies. They helped us to understand literally what the world
needs right now. And they helped us to be better teachers. It wouldn't
sound surprising if I said the world needs REPENTANCE does it? Sounds
like nothing new haha. But it's one of the most precious truths that
help us to come to get to know the savior and come closer to him.

   We talked with people about the gospel of Jesus Christ on the
street. It's seriously the simplest yet most complex subject anyone
could ever study and learn about. Its  the 5 most important steps to
return to God and have a true and lasting joy in our life here on the
earth. 1 faith in Jesus Christ 2 repentance 3 baptism 4 receiving the
Holy Ghost 5 enduring to the end. And so me and my companion decided
to change our approach and talk to everyone about baptism. I can't
even tell you how amazing that was... I don't think I have ever had so
many wonderful conversations on the street with people haha. They were
so open about it because the people here have some sort of connection
to baptism. Most are either Catholic or Protestant and they are
baptized as kids. We ask them, "what does baptism mean to you?" or
"why do you think people get baptized?" and nobody ever knows why. Its
a tradition that has been going on here for YEARS. And it gave us the
perfect opportunity to give our testimonies of Jesus Christ and his
atonement which allows us to leave all the mistakes we have ever made
behind us in the water and come up as a new person. I really am
grateful that I have learned how easy it can be to share the gospel.
There isn't ONE person on this entire planet that doesn't either want to
be LOVED or FORGIVEN. And that is exactly what the gospel of Jesus
Christ allows us to receive. Even being forgiven from someone you
truly love think about the feeling that you get... Now just imagine
that from our Heavenly Father. It truly is a blessing. I love you all
and hope that you can apply the principles of the gospel of Jesus
Christ in your lives. It will make you happier than you can describe
with words. Have a wonderful week!

Liebe Grüße, Elder Williams

Sent from my iPad

Jan 19, 2016

Cottbus here I come. :)

Liebe Familie und freunde,

   Well... 6 weeks left and I'm heading to the city of Cottbus to die.
(It's where my first mission president lives) Gosh the time went
really fast here though and I loved it so much. Elder Spencer and I
really have become good friends and I'll miss him. We had so many
miracles especially in the last two weeks as we followed the teachings
we took out of the scriptures and the promptings we had.

   We had some dumb things happen to us hahah but it's okay it turned
out being the best for us. (: good learning experience.... Sooooo we
kinda got the down side of the trade when we found out that I had to
trade the car with other elders in a different area. The car they had
got spray painted on New Years night hahah. But the branch president
here owns a car shop and so we have to trade all the bad cars in and
out of the area. For that, we had to ride our bikes everywhere the
last few days and if you look at the pictures you can only imagine how
fun that had to have been for us haha (:
Especially with the hills here.

   Honestly there isn't a lot to share this week. I've still been
studying a lot in the bible and D&C. It is really a blessing to see
side by side all of the restored truths that a person never could have
thought of. But rather, have come through the hand of the Lord to
prophets and apostles whom he has worked through since the beginning
of time with Adam. I'm grateful for the truths and teachings of latter
day apostles and prophets. I listened to both of the talks by
president Monson from this last general conference and I'm not going
to lie, it felt like I was watching them for the first time again. We
are forgetful and need REPETITION. Because repetition brings
conviction. And conviction brings happiness to our souls. Live in
crescendo and give an ear and time to the teachings of the prophets
who reveal to us all the struggles and trials of our latter days, so
that we can do our best avoid them and live in happiness. Indeed, it
is a commandment to follow president Thomas S. Monson. Commandments
bring true and lasting joy when we follow them. I love you all!!

Liebe Grüße, Elder Williams