Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Hey guys! :)
It was great to hear all your voices too! That was definately the best present of the day! However I did end up opening all the other presents you sent! I LOVE them! Thankyou so much. Those ties are AWESOME! On the mission each missionary has what they call an "elite fleet"....which is made up of ties that are incredible and awesome in awesomeness. Those ties were all added to my "elite fleet"! That yellow tie is so cool....and the pink......and the blue! Also I love the scarf! I almost bought one a few weeks ago but then realized I had no money so I didn't! Now Im really glad I didn't because the scarf you got me Sam is WAY cooler! :) And I was in desperate need of that photo album Emma! Thank you so much. Oh...and the juggling balls are great! I've already had another Elder ask if I wanted to sell them! lol I told them no! :)
So I had quite a few people send me gifts and stuff. It was so nice of them! But now I have to get busy writing thank you notes before I forget to do it! It should be fun trying to find the time. I'll have to spread it out over a few days.
Well I'm sorry to hear your still not up to 100% Dad. I hope you shake it soon. Thats cool that you got to read Greg Hansens book. Thats really cool that he wrote and published a book about his trip. I bet he did a great job. I'll have to read it when I get back!
So Mom got you all a coldstone gift card huh...mmmm that sounds good! You'll have to tell me how that new christmas carol movie is.
Speaking of the christmas carol I wanted to tell you guys...you know how we always read a christmas book on christmas eve....well that lady I was telling you about, Sister Happy, (She bought our Cristmas tree) she had us come over and we read a book called "Christmas Oranges". I just wanted you to know, especially you Mom, that I got my christmas read in this year as well! :)
So today is transfer day! I just looked at the transfer schedule and guess what! I was right!!! I'm staying in La Junta and my new companion is Elder Conley! (Who I've been living with for the past month and a half!) I'm so excited! This should be another great transfer! I was hoping I would get to kill off Elder Downs but he's going to Fountain for his last two weeks. Anyways....I'm looking forward to this transfer.
Well, I have a little extra time today and I remember what you told me about writing my testimony out. I'll try to put it in words as best I can.
First I tetify that this gospel is true. It is the same gospel that Jesus taught while he walked the earth. There is nothing more simple and more true. It is amazing to me how quickly the gospel can cure a damaged life. It can and does work miracles. I also have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. That book contains a power like no other. Here on the mission we are taught that the Book of Mormon can resolve ANY concern and I have come to know that that is true. It really can solve any problem...for us or for someone else. I also loved how in Elder Hollands talk this last general conference he talked about how the book of mormon has been through so much and has been attacked for years and years but still stands today as another witness of Jesus Christ. No false book could do that. Only a book set apart by God could withstand the constant attacks of the advarsary. I testify that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. That he truely did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that the same priesthood authority which is neccessary to perform saving ordinances was given to him and has been passed down through the years till today. I Know and testify that Thomas S. Monson is the man called of God to lead and guide the world today. His council is given to all who will listen to his words. I also testify that temple work plays a huge part in the eternal scheme of our Heavenly Fathers plan for each of us. It blesses both the doer and the reciever and helps both progress towards perfection. I love this work and I love the Lord so much. I am so blessed to have the knowledge I do have and I am even more blessed to be given the opportunity to go and share it with those who know not where to find it.
Well....I love you all more than you know. :)
I'll try and write a little something this week...other than this e-mail...but I told you most everything on the phone so it will probably be a shorter one!
Have a great week...Love ya
Love Ben

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hey guys!
How have things been going? How is the newsletter coming? :) Hope your not having any technical difficulties! What are the plans for Christmas? Is it just the four of you or is anyone coming down? Four days till I call! I'm looking forward to it. We're going to be calling from the bishops home I think. He and his family are really awesome! On Thanksgiving he said we could go there to watch some movies and he said: "But you better not show up in white shirts and ties. I won't let you in unless you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt!" We were so O.K. with that! Yeah...their awesome!
Well....we're going to be all over the place this Christmas! We have a buch of people who want us to come over and eat and watch movies and play games! Should be really fun.
Its looking like we're in for a white Christmas! (In more ways than one)...Our mission goal for December is 100 baptisms and its looking pretty good so far! :)
We have Christmas conference coming up on the 23rd and we have to do a skit or something and so Elder Conley and I got permission from President Pfile to play guitars there. So we're going to recite the "Standard of Truth" to music!
Our music fireside is coming up too. That should turn out well. Its actually been combined with the ward Christmas party and so it should be a really nice evening. The primary kids are going to act out the Christmas story as we play music that also tells the story and then they're doing a hayride around the town and then more music and treats afterwards.....and of course Santa will be there! We actually got one of our recent converts to be Santa....he was so excited that he could help with the program.
Oh....I did get grandma and grandpas Christmas package the other day....if you could let them know that would be awesome! I'm going to write a thankyou to them and Uncle Jerry, Aunt Jackie and Zach after Christmas because I want to wait until after I open the gifts!
I haven't gotten your package yet but I did get the e-mail saying you sent it so I'm sure its on its way....heck maybe its sitting by our apartment door as we speak...(well, as I type to you!) But thankyou in advance...I'm excited.
Also...no rush at all but if my belt with the guitars on the buckle is still easy to get to could you send it in the next package that you send....again NO RUSH! But yeah...I guess that those are fine to wear on P day! so that would be awesome!
So dad....have you sold the Volvo yet? How does it feel to have LC back! :) Is Brother Watson going to paint it for you?
Well....hmmm what else am I missing? I can't think of anything I'm forgetting about...other than ELDER DOWNS ROCKS! We are having a blast. This has been an awesome transfer so far!
Well love you all....hope to hear from you soon and can't wait to talk to you on Christmas!
Love you

Love Ben

Monday, December 21, 2009


Dear Fam,
Wow,for some reason I feel like I'm behind in my letter writing but I don't think I've missed a week or anything, have I?
I told you about my Thanksgiving right? I'm pretty sure I did. But if not then let me know and I'll tell you all about it either in my next letter or when I call in eleven days. I can't wait to talk to you guys on Christmas day. That will be the highlight of my day!
To answer your question mom...yeah, all four of us are going to be together for Christmas. Transfers are on the 30th of December I think. I'm pretty sure I'm staying here in LaJunta with Elder Downs though. We'll see how "in tune" I am!
It sounds like you all had a great Thanksgiving too! I'm glad. But I am a little concerned. Did you all have enough pie and cider?! (just kidding!) I got those pics you e-mailed too...thank you.
So shopping on Thanksgiving huh? What happened to my family? lol Sounds like you got some good deals though. That's awesome! I actually splurged a little on the fashion side of things a few days ago. I got some white rimmed sun glasses! I've always wanted white ones and these were a great price and they're approved! Yay!
That's pretty funny about that one girl thinking that you (mom) were dad's daughter! Um...I'm speechless dad. I don't know what to tell you. lol
So you have Elders in the ward now? That's cool. Have you had them over for dinner yet? What are they like? That is really cool and really true, what that one Elder from California said about the gospel being the only message that matters. I was actually talking about that in my letter to President Pfile this morning. It really is true.
Also, thankyou for sharing those things about angels. I still haven't had a chance to read about angels in the Bible Dictionary but I thik I'll do that tomorrow for my personal study. It's true though that some people don't have the gospel because they don't know where to find it...That's why we have to go find them and hand them what they've been looking for and give them the chance to accept.
Oh, thanks for that sheet music! I got it the day after I asked you in my letter if you had sent it. Sorry for my lack of patience! I got it though and gave it to the girl who is going to play it for us and she said that she'll have it ready. Now it's up to me to remember how the guitar and vocal went!
Thanks for the pizza recipe too. I thik we're going to make it sometime around Christmas.
I got all those cd's you sent too! Wow, awesome! Thanks! I just got done listening to the David Archuletta cd. It's really good!
Those scriptures in Mosiah 8 are really cool. I've been so amazed since I've been out at how well the scriptures relate to this work...missionary work. It struck me that that is one of the core messages of the Book of Mormon. Missionary work. These are the latter days. We have to be spreading the gospel. We have the Bible which is one witness. We have the Book of Mormon which is another witness and we are the third. We have to testify to people.
That's really cool that you were able to take Lynette, Maddy and Trevor to the creche exhibit. I bet they enjoyed that.
As you were talking about the Raymond testimonies and the atonement I thought of a quote that I thought you might enjoy. This is from President Boyd K. Packer. He said, "There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the Atonement of Christ." I thought that was so beautiful. The atonement is so amazing!
So Sam, did you love hanging Christmas lights? Yeah, it's always freezing when we hang them! I bet they look nice though.
So how is Jackson doing? I miss that crazy dog! He is such a loveable fella. And I guess I should ask how that darned...I mean, how Snuggles is doing! lol
So your already to finals huh Sam? Well, good luck! Judging by your past success I'm going to guess that you'll do great!
Thanks mom for that article "Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship". That was one of my favorite talks this past conference. I took a ton of notes on it and so it was great to get to read over it again.
Well, I'm glad to hear that your doing better dad. I'm glad it didn't last too long!
So your still trying to perfect the soft boiled egg? Wow, I never knew it was such an art! Best of luck to you lot!
That is so great about the Stakes baptisms doubling! We are just over the one ward here in LaJunta and we just got a new bishop, but he's really missionary minded which is great. We also just got a ward mission leader...the first this ward has ever had! So once we all figure stuff out it should work really well.
Oh, and your welcome dad for your letter. I'm sorry it was a little late. I'm going to do my best to remember to send you all birthday cards but please forgive me if they're late...or worse, if I forget!
Thanks also Sam for the "Morning Toast" Sorry that I don't really have time to respond to the games and stuff in them but I enjoy reading them! I actually came up with a few snigglets but I must have forgot to send them in.
Well, Elder Downs and I had to drop the guy we met in the ally becasue he's never home when his ride goes to pick him up for church. We've been really specific about when he'd be getting picked up but he still is never there. It's really sad but maybe he just needs a little time and space. He has our number.
So we are trying really hard to find, find, find! We know they're out there and this is a great season to share the gospel in! People are more open and receptive.
Well, I'll let you go now I guess! Thanks again for all your prayers for me and Elder Downs and the people we'll talk with.
Love you!
Love Ben

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Dear Fams,
I am sitting here in Zone Conference trying to think of a good miracle story to share with you.
There's been a ton of things but I only have a few minutes to write to you so I'll have to share the rest later. I think that the biggest, or at least one of the biggest miracles I've seen is the Lord's hand in the work. I've been led to people, I've been told what to say to people and I've seen the Lord bless them. It is really amazing to watch.
I hope the Christmas season will be a wonderful one for you. I know it will be for me as people focus more on Christ and his role in their lives.
Love you all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Hey Everyone....
Well...I have to say that its been a pretty uneventful week. My companion, Elder Downs, is just getting rid of his sore throat and everything else that was wrong with him!...and so we are just starting to get back out and getting to work. I've been able to do a lot of reading and studying and also organizing the apartment!
We have been getting SO much food from members! We are set pretty much for the rest of the month and even some of next. Its very nice because we are all running very low on money! lol Even lower than usual! So its nice that we dont have to worry about food.
We also had a member give us a Christmas tree and some Christmas balls to hang on it! She also got us a tiny little battery powered train to put by the tree! lol She said: "Every boy needs a train to put by their tree!" It was really nice of her.
Well....I should be sending home my picture card with my next letter to you. I think that there is close to 300 pictures! lol
Well...I can't remember really what you asked me in your last letter so I'll answer all those questions when I get back to the apartment and write you!
I did get the cd's you sent though! Thanks so much for the David Archuletta cd (Did I spell his last name right?! lol) I really like it!
Hey dad...have you heard the new Kris Allen CD? I heard some of it the other day and from what I heard it sounded really good! He's got kind of a John Mayer/Jack Johnson sound.
Well Dad I hope your feeling better now! If not...hurry up! :)
Everything is great here...Its no longer snowing. In fact its pretty warm outside today and almost all the snow is melted. The other night though I guess it got down to -14 degrees. Yes thats right....NEGATIVE 14 degrees! I'm glad I was in bed at that time!
Well...again I hope all is well back home! Love you all!

Love Ben

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Remember 2/40

Dear Fams,
How are you all doing? What's the weather like there in Eugene? It's snowing here. It's been snowing for the past two or three days. Not too heavy though...we only have a couple of inches.
Today for p-day we've mostly been hanging around here at the apartment because both mine and Elder Conleys companions are sick. We did, however, do something wild and crazy. There's a place about 10 miles from our apartment called Ryans Pond. A few days ago Elder Conley and I went by it and it was completely frozen over! We tried walking on it and it would hold us for a minute but if we got more than a few feet out it would start to make cracking noises. So we decided we would go back when it was colder and try again. Today was that day. It was 16 degrees and snowing so we headed off to Ryans Pond. When we got there it was completely frozen over and had a little snow on it. We took a few steps out on the ice and it held with no cracking! We took a few more...still good! After walking all over and checking for weak spots and finding none we began sliding on the ice and trying as hard as we could to iceskate without skates! It was really fun. Then we all got back into the car and drove over to Little Ceasars and got four hot and ready pizzas! They were tasty...and warm!
YesterdayElder Downs and Baker were still both sick so Elder Conley and I pretended to be companions again for our dinner appointment. Dinner consisted of elk meat, that he had shot a few days before, gravy, potatoes and carrots. The elk meat was great! Then after dinner Brother________ said, "I shot me a cow the other day. I'll get you two a coat and you can help me butcher it!" So we agreed, of course, and went out. So now I've helped butcher a cow! (Sam, you may not want to read this next little bit, since you just started eating burgers again!)
Anyway, the cow had already been gutted so we were just helping him cut the meat of the bones and the fat off the meat. After we did that for a while he showed us his grinder. So, at that point he took some of the worst parts or pieces of meat and cut them into fist-sized chunks and made hamburger meat out of them We got about 50 pounds of hamburger in about 10 minutes. Then it was about time to go home so we cleaned up, ate some brownies and then went home.
Well Emma, I enjoyed your letter about Youth Conference! Lots of detail! Wow, that was awesome...Sounds like you had a great time! I remember I loved Youth Conferences! Good times. Your host family sounds fun. Right up your ally! Country house, horses, sheep, pigs...that has YOU written all over it. And I can see why Sam would be jealous about that breakfast! It sounds tasty! That's really funny too how that one couple met and decided to get married! I'll have to be careful before I tell people they have to get married!
So have you and Sam and Natalie filmed your Halloween movie yet? It sounds pretty impressive!
Man Emma, you always have a ton of questons! O.K...So what's my companion like? Well, actually, he reminds me alot of Carson! I know what your thinking, "Man, they must never get anything done!" But that's not true! Really all four of us in the apartment are more friends than just companions. It's like we all grew up together! You know, in our last Zone Conference President Pfile said, "Everything is sped up on a mission. Everything happens faster. You learn faster on a mission, you can repent faster on a mission...." And ya know what? It's true. I've seen all that happen. And I've also seen how relationships, with each other and members and investigators, are built so quickly on a mission. Way quicker than when I was back home. So that's really cool.
Another thing President Pfile always shows us is "2/40"
He says, "Elders, when you see this I want you to remember that two years of experience on a mission is equal to forty years of experience without a mission. You will do and learn on your mission what it takes someone who doesn't serve forty years to do and learn."
Wow! I thought that was amazing! Forty years of experience packed into two short years.
Well, I hope dad is feeling better by the time this letter arrives. I'll be praying for him. (And also, just so you know, I'm sending 'feel better' vibes with this letter!)
So Sam, you've started school I know but are you on break for the holidays now or no? Do you even get breaks with on-line school? How are school and work going for you? I bet your kept pretty busy! So have you started any new promising stories lately? Speaking of promising stories...have you finished Charlie Pool? O.K....enough questions already! lol I'll stop. I'll stop.
Well, my brain has run out of things to tell you about and so I guess I'll wrap up.
Again, hope your all doing great...because I sure am! I hope dad gets better soon so that you're all able to be nice and healthy for the holidays!
I love you all lots and lots!
Love Ben
P.S. I mentioned in my last e-mail that we went down to Raton New Mexico the other day but I forgot to tell you the coolest part. I DROVE! Here on the mission you have to have a designated driver and that is usually Elder Conley so he's always the one driving but since he wasn't going, and since Elder Downs doesn't have a liscense right now, that made me the driver! It felt so good to drive. That was my first time driving in almost three whole months! Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you! Love ya!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Dear Family,
Just a quick update....J and S got baptized and they are doing great! Active and happy. I don't know if J has received the priesthood yet because I got transfered but I think he will soon if he hasn't yet. K has received the priesthood and is going to early morning seminary and has such a strong testimony it's crazy! K's mom, got married last week and is getting baptized this Saturday. I'm going to try and get permission from the zone leaders to go to the baptism. They said I probably could because it's only an hour drive from where we are.
Thank you for the Butterfingers! I still have a few left but all four of us have been working on them! Thankyou for the tie as well! You can't have too many I've found. Most missionaries have about 30-50 ties! How do I feel about pink ties? I love em! Really. President Pfile doesn't care about ties as long as they don't have pictures or text. That made me happy!
Well Emma, to answer some of your questions...We can decorate our apartment but that costs money and we don't have much of that and so we're just going to buy a Christmas tree and a few lights for the tree and then we're going to do a gift exchange!
About cooking...Elder Baker (one of the elders in the other companionship in our apartment) likes to cook. He went to two years of culinary school so we've been having him cook and then we do dishes! Although, if you want to send the pizza recipe we want to make it!
As far as quotes that beat Emerson's....How about these:
1) "As hearts change, lives steady." Um.....that's all I can think of right now.
Well, the weather here in LaJunta has been pretty nice. We got tiny snow flakes yesterday but not enough to really call it snow. Actually though, yesterday, when we were driving to zone conference in Pueblo it was 13 degrees farenheit! It was very cold. I was glad we were driving!
A few days ago we went over to an investigators house and they had the cutest little puppy with a TON of energy! She was jumping all over me for the entire 30 minutes we were there and she was biting (gnawing) on my hands! I guess she loves to chew on hands and so they named her Bites! She was so cute.
So yeah, there are four of us in one apartment here. They are awesome! This is going to be a great transfer. Elder Downs is my companion. (Picture) He actually reminds me alot of Carson! He's super cool. We are already best friends! We both like to be sarcastic (not being mean or over the top with it of course) which makes the work really fun. And of course we just use sarcasm with each other, not the people we teach!
Elder Baker, as I mentioned earlier, loves to cook and so we love him! Elder Conley is awesome too! He's been sent home twice for kidney stones and so this is his thrid time out. We're all hoping that he can finish up his mission because if he needs to be sent home again he won't be able to come back out. He actually lived in Molalla, which is about 30 miles south of Portland and so he's not far from Eugene at all!
He was like, "Do you know Kelsey Stutz?"
I was like, "Heck yeah...she was in my student ward."
We were both so excited! We decided that since we're so close we're going to start a band when we get home because he plays guitar and drums and writes songs! Oh, and he plays piano. He is super cool! He's really funny.
Oh mom, as far as Christmas goes, the half size PMG, a photo album, ties, those are a few ideas but really actually one of the best ideas I think is just plain old money. It sounds boring but it's probably cheaper to send and that way I can get things when I need them. Also, I think one of my favorite presents will be the family newsletter!
Well, our area is huge. There are tons of small towns all spread out! Swink is a town a few miles away from LaJunta and a few days ago we tracted the entire town in about three hours! So far Elder Downs and I have no investigators due to the fact that we were flushed into the area. Meaning that there have never been four missionaries in this area. So we have no history behind us and no investigators left behind by the last elders...because there are no 'last elders'.
Oh, so to explain the picture with the cat...we were tracting and we pet this cat at a doorstep and it just followed us for about half an hour while we went door to door. It was super soft and it looked like it had been abused a little. We took a bunch of pics with it.
Well, I can't really think of anything else to tell you about...
We did have a zone conference on Tuesday and it was really good. We spent a lot of time setting up a Book of Mormon so that it's really easy to find scriptures for each of the principles in each lesson. Then we did some role plays and stuff. It was such a good meeting. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much since I've been out. It's really been aparent to me how we have to use the Book of Mormon if we want to truely convert someone. We can help people act differently but only the spirit, which comes from the Book of Mormon, can really help people change.
I just want you all to know that I love this work. I'm glad that all is well back home!
Love Ben

Monday, November 30, 2009


Hey! Hows me peeps?!?!?!?!?! :)
Before I forget.....yes I can play cd's. :)
Well it sounds like you had a fun thanksgiving! I'm glad. Yeah...when Christine and I went to Off The Waffle we were going through the joke basket and we had to skip a couple! lol I mean when you think about it...it is pretty risky reading jokes from Eugenians! lol
Well we had a great Thanksgiving also. It was weird not being around family though! lol It wasn't bad, just really different! :) We went over to a members house for a big breakfast of biscuts and gravy. Then we went over to another members house for a huge lunch of turkey, ham, potatos, stuffing, fruit, rolls, and much more...including dessert. Then we went out to a wildlife viewing area and saw... absolutely no wildlife! lol We just walked around. Then we went to another members house for dinner (which was much like lunch) and we watched Kung-fu Panda. It was a really good day.
Elder Downs and I had a really cool experience the other day. We were out tracting and we saw this guy sitting all alone on a cinder block. We went over and started talking with him. He started to tell us all about his life. How he had been through some really rough times and was now in a situation where he couldn't even see his four children. His wife wouldn't let him near them or talk with them. We started to teach him the first lesson about how God loves him and knows exactly what he's going through. The spirit hit us all like a ton of bricks. Elder Downs and I started to get kinda choked up and the man we were talking to started to cry. We taught him about prayer and he started crying more. He told us that just the day before his sister had called and told him to pray. He said that we were the answer to his prayer. We also taught him about the Book of Mormon. We promised him that if he would pray every day and read the Book of Mormon every day that somehow God would provide a way for him to see his kids again. The next day we got a call from him and he told us, in such a happy voice, that he was with his kids again! It was so amazing to see the Lord help this man. We're giving him a date tommorrow I think so pray that it will go well! :)
Also, the four of us Elders in the apartment decided to put on a Christmas program to invite ward members and investigators to. Its going to be so cool. We got a hold of some guitars and we're practicing in the evenings so that we can be ready by hopefully the 22'nd. There will be guitar, piano, and vocal. In fact...Sam, could you send me a copy of the 'Away in a manger' song we arranged? The one we played at the Christmas program a year or two ago. Do you remember? If you could send me a copy of it that would be great!
Well...I hope your all doing good with everything...work, school, seminary, callings, and everything!
I am doing great! This has been an awesome transfer so far!
Whoops....one minute left!
Love you all tons!

Love Ben :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Dear Family!
Wow, what a day it's been! Transfer day...I'm all packed up now and ready to go to LaJunta. You were right dad, by the time this mission is over I will be a professional packer! If I get moved every transfer I'll have to pack and unpack all this stuff seventeen times! Crazy!
Oh, mom, you'll get a kick out of this. A member gave Elder Oakes and I and two other missionaries in our area, Elder Toney and Elder Burton, each 20.00 to go out and eat somewhere nice! She said, "I better not hear you went to McDonalds!"
So we all decided to go to the Olive Garden. By the time we had ordered dinner and dessert our bill came out to $60.00. The waitress, who we had been talking to about our missions and what it was all about, came back and asked if there was anything else we wanted. We said no and were getting ready to pay when...can you guess?
When she said, "O.K. Well, just so you know, my manager has taken care of your bill this evening. Thank you for following your dreqams and doing something so great!"
The four of us must have looked so dumb! We didn't say anything for a few seconds. We just stared at each other and then at her and then back at each other! We couldn't believe it! A sixty dollar Olive Garden meal for free! Missions Rock!
Well tonight another member of the ward is taking us out to a place called the Texas Roadhouse. Now that sounds like a happenin' place! I shouldn't get used to it though because I hear you don't get too many member dinners in LaJunta! (We'll see if that's true.)
Man I can't believe that I've been on my mission for three full months already! It really doesn't seem that long! Time is really flying. I mean there's only 17 transfers to a full two year mission and I've just completed my first one. Don't get me wrong, I still have a ways to go but if it goes like this first transfer did then it's going to come real quick!
Oh, so just to clarify. So far I have been a part of three baptisms. One boy who was going to be baptized didn't have the support of his family and so we had to move on. It was really hard but it's what President Pfile said to do so we did it! But the other three baptisms were awesome! They're all doing great and one of them now has the Aaronic Priesthood and is a good strong member of the Priest Quorum. His mom should be getting baptized next week, but I'll be gone so I won't be there for that.
Oh...haha..It was really funny. When Elder Oakes baptized Jim he forgot to take the cell phone out of his pocket and it started buzzing (underwater) during the "dunking process"! Jim said thanks to that he'll never forget his baptism! The phone didn't work for a couple days after that but it's working again now!
Well, my bike is still holding up pretty well and I haven't had any flat tires since the last one I told you about, so it's been a while! (Knock on wood!)
Well, it's time for me to run again! (That's the new story of my life!) So I'll talk to you...next week I guess!
Love you all tons!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Hey hey hey!
First off, no I did not forget to e-mail you yesterday! lol This week is transfer week and so our P-day was moved to Tuesday so that if anyone is getting transfered they can pack up and get ready.
Second, I'm one of those people who need to pack up and get ready to go! I guess that I'm headed to La Junta. My new companions name is Elder Downs....sounds nice enough I guess! I'll find out tommorrow if its really true! Yeah so it sounds like I'll be in a house instead of an apartment and there will be four elders staying there all together (Me being included in that four!) Should be an adventure! Its like starting my mission all over again...I have no clue who my companion is or where I'm going or who the members are or anything! lol
Well sam, before I forget....Yes I am very proud of you :) WOW 55 MPH! Thats amazing! Way to go!!!! Lets see, I've only been gone like two monthes or something and your going 55, so by the time I get back you should be zippin around at about...300 MPH? Thats about right, right?! lol No, good job though, thats great!
Well I have to go pack now so that I'm ready to go in the morning! I'll try super hard to write a letter but please forgive me if I don't have time....It may be a short letter!
Love you all tons!


p.s. (You can keep addressing letters to the same address you have been! they'll forward them to wherever I am! Love You!!!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Hey! Hows everyone back home?! :)
Everything is awesome here in Colorado! (Um....about the video, technically I dont think I'm supposed to watch them unless they're approved by the church....so if you can get them approved that would be awesome! ;) but otherwise pictures are the best!)
Sounds like you had a good anniversary...thats great! Whats the new favorite restaurant?
Painting my room?!?!?!?!?! I can't imagine what color could possibly be better than my bright happy yellow! lol thats all good! What has my room turned into? Anything yet?
Good job dad and emma on your home cooked meal! (There wasn't any gravy involved right? lol)
Thats nice to hear that people haven't completely forgotten about me! Tell them all I am doing great, loving my mission, and am grateful for all their prayers in my behalf! All those people you mentioned have been such great examples to me over the years.
Actually yeah....some waterproofing stuff for my shoes would be great.....well at least I think it would. Its actually been really really nice weather for the past week or so but I keep hearing that the cold is on its way. :/ So I'm not completely sure, but it could come in handy!
So this week, on the 13th of November, we have two baptisms! (I know...its kind of a risky day to schedule anything...but just pray really hard! haha) No, they are super excited for it! They've been coming to church and everything. Really cool.
Well, this mission thing is definately really hard work! It's constantly go go go! But it's so rewarding and its like you always have just enough strength to do everything you need to get done. The Lord really does make you equal to whatever calling or task your called to! I've never seen it so much until here on my mission.
Its so crazy....I mean, I remember sitting in sacrament meeting back home thinking: "I wonder what ward I'll be sitting in on my mission? I wonder where I'll be? I wonder who I'll talk to?" And now that I'm here it feels so familiar! Its like I've always been here in Pueblo, like I've known these people all my life. Its the weirdest feeling!
I've also completely lost all sense of time! It feels like just yesterday we were all in Salt Lake together or just yesterday I got dropped off at the MTC. But really it's been about two monthes already! Days can sometimes feel long but weeks fly by! I am beginning to realize that you can't even begin to touch enough lives in two years. It really is short! lol I've got to buckle down, get as much work as I can done, and make the most of all the time I have!
I have also realized that I wish I had spent more time with you guys too! lol (I know you tried to tell me mom! Sorry I had such a hard head!....I must get it from my knuckle head fuzzy brother! lol) I really do love you guys....hope you know that! Thanks for all you prayers and letters and the pictures! Love em!
Well I'm about to get signed out!
Have a great week!
Love ya
Love Ben...(aka - boy, budgy, ben-bo-becky-boy, whoever I am!) ;)


Dear Fam,
So I forgot to tell you some things in my letter and my e-mail! It's still P-day so I figured I'd just write another letter.
So I told you how me and Elder Oakes went to the Goodwill and bought brown suit coats right? Well we wore them to District Meeting last Friday and our District Leader (Whose comp is Elder McCord from the MTC) loved them! He was jealous! So today he called and said, "We're going to Goodwill, want to come?"
So we all went and looked at all sorts of old junk! Elder Hannah (District Leader) and Elder Oakes both found ties they liked, although I thought they were hideous, but, Oh well! So then we decided to go to Ross and look for ties and coats. I found some ties I liked but they were all too expensive for a poor missionary to buy. But Elder Oakes and I both found matching coats! I've been looking for a coat that will hold up in the rain and is lighter than my black dress coat that I brought. Well, I found one at Ross that sould work. It has a hood too, which I really wanted! I'll have to send pics. They're pretty cool looking. Speaking of cool looking...President said that we can have light colored ties that are conservative in pattern and stuff! He said he's fine with light colors. Yay!
Well, I don't think I'm forgetting anything so I guess it's farewell until next p-day.
Love you!
Love Ben


Dear Dad Mom Sam And Emma...and my furry friends!
Thank you so much for the chocolate apple! (And a thank you to the Stewarts!) It's Halloween night and I just got the package today...perfect timing! And banana bread too..Wow! I feel so loved! We also had some candy given to us by a member to hand out to the trick-or-treaters but we haven't had a single one stop by! So Elder Oakes and I are relaxing in our apartment in our P-day clothes eating Halloween treats! Life is good!
As for answering your question mom, please don't worry about me! (Although I know it's your job as my mother to worry!) I am doing well and staying warm for the most part. That neck warmer has saved my life! Although...if you happen to come across waterproof electric socks I would gladly accept them! No, my feet really are all that get really cold, so maybe some wool socks of some kind (they have to be a solid dark color), but yea, don't get worried!
I actually got to go on team-ups with Elder McCord (My MTC District Leader) and while we were out riding our bikes it was snowing and I wasn't freezing at all. It was crazy doing team-ups with him! I mean, we both have only been out about three weeks and here we are pretending we know what we're doing!
Well, the other night we went over to a families house who was scheduled for baptism and they had read some anti-Mormon literature that a friend had given them. So we started resolving her concerns. We talked, read scripture and bore pure testimony. It was such an amazing lesson. By the end of the night she was crying and she told us that she was so grateful for us not giving up on her and she said that she felt so at peace now. It was probably the most powerful visit of my mission so far. We closed by each of us taking turns saying a prayer. The boy, who is 8, said such a sweet prayer...so simple and so sincere. His mother also. It was a real testimony builder visit! It's been a few days since that visit and the boy is getting baptized tomorrow. We're all really excited. His mom isn't quite ready yet so please keep her in your prayers.
So, Emma, you gave a talk on the Holy Ghost in Sacrament huh? Well, I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost too. But it was at a baptism. I was really excited to do it...(Oh, and by the way... I had to whip it together in one hour..that's all the heads up they gave me!) It's really been amazing to me though. I mean I'm surrounded by the gospel and the spiritual all the time and so it's so easy to put together talks and things because it's what we talk about everyday!
I think I said thanks for the 'Witches Fingers' but I'll say it again! Thanks! Those were awesome! I've never seen anything like them! My comp really liked them too! I saved the last one for today...Halloween!
Oh, O.K. So I think that you should all be aware of this...I...yes, me, Ben Cryer. I ate...do you understand? I, me I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day. Now, don't worry. I did go to the emergency room right after and they told me that I should be O.K. (O.K. Maybe not the emergency room....but I did eat a PBJ) It was so gross! The bread was stale, like crunchy stale and they didn't spread the peanut butter or jelly so there were two big globs in the middle! It was awful! On the flip side though, yesterday a family invited us over for dinner and fed us steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, corn on the cob and rolls. It was so good!
Mmmmm! I'm eating those candy corns you all sent me while I write! I love these things!
So my rooms cleared out huh? Who's is it now? Who won?!
Well dad, the days are flying by for me too! There is not enough time to get everything done! It's a busy time, lots to do here in Pueblo. I can't believe that I'm almost done with my first transfer! I only have about two weeks left! I really hope that I get to stay in this area for at least one more transfer!
Well...I am extremely excited for tonight because we get to set our clocks back, which means I get a whole extra hour of sleep! YES!
Well, I better go now. Love you all!
Love Ben

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Hey guys!
(I just put a nice long letter in the mail today, so i'll try not to re-tell anything!)
Well...its been a crazy week! We had one family who's baptism fell through. They got antied. So that was hard to let them go but this mission is really working on sifting. Finding those who are ready to be baptized and moving on if they are not ready yet to fully accept the gospel. So that was sad because they know everything and they understand it, they just aren't ready to live it.
We did have a baptism on the 30th and that went really well. (I'm pretty sure I wrote about that in my letter though!)
Well, for Halloween we had to be IN our apartment at 6:00pm so that we wouldn't get into any trouble! We went to Chipolte at 5:30 and got a burrito (I dont know if they have a Chipoltle in Eugene but if they do you should go! It is really good and only $6.00 for a nice big burrito). After that we went back to the apartment and just hung out. We ate a bunch of candy and just chilled! It didn't really feel like Halloween at all!
I'm glad Sam had a Happy Birthday! (I did wish you a happy birthday Sam, but I sent the letter on Halloween so its gonna be late. Sorry...I didn't forget though! ;) How old are you now? lol 22? 23? 13? 41? I can't remember! lol
Thanks for the advice on no riding through muddy fields! lol I'll do my best not to!
Well I'm about to be logged off!
Love you all tons!
Love Ben :)

Monday, October 26, 2009


Hey! Hope all is well!Wow, what a week! I was so glad to get the neck warmer! It snowed the same day that it arrived...(for the second time!) Yeah...the first day that it snowed was not my favorite day to date! lol Luckily the first day it snowed was on the same day as our weekly planning, so we got to stay in the apartment until about 2:30, but when we did end up leaving to go visit people it was snowing/raining and there were huge puddles all over! Pueblo has a horrible drainage system because they don't usualy get to much moisture! Anyway, it took us about 10 minutes on our bikes until we were soaking wet! I had about 4 gallons of water in my shoes alone! But we did what all good missionaries should do...we kept going! By the time we arrived at our dinner appointment/lesson we were so soaked it wasn't even funny. lol I could barely move my feet at all they were so cold! But yeah...we went into their home (after taking of and draining our shoes) and absolutely drenched their floor! We felt so bad! We were dripping all through dinner and the lesson! Then we went to FHE at the Gogartys home and visited and tried to dry off and while we were there we arranged to go see another family that evening! Now this is where the story gets good! haha O.K. so we wrap up our conversations with everyone and then get ready to go by putting on our wet shoes, wet gloves, wet coats, wet....well, do you get my point? :) So we hop on our bikes and we're off. Well Elder Oakes had a brilliant idea that we should take a shortcut instead of staying on the wonderfully paved, hard, clean bike path that we were on. So we take what is usualy a very large, hard, dirt area which leads over to the highway (which was where we needed to get to). So off we go. Now, here is a very interesting fact about dirt. When it gets wet guess what?! It turns into a very wet, sticky, brown substance called MUD. Yup, you got it. We were in our lowest gear on our bikes and we both got stuck and had to jump off our bikes before we fell off into the mud! So there we were, two missionaries, in what used to be nice, clean, very handsome looking suits, now covered in mud up to our knees! We looked awful! Our tires got so cacked in mud that it was hard to even push our bikes! We finally made it out though and arrived, a little late, at our appointment.Well I have to go now but I will write more about whats been happening!Love you all!And thanks for the witch fingers! I love em'! Best halloween treat ever!
Love ya,

10-19-2009 OH, THE PEOPLE I'VE MET!

Dear Peeps,
Wow, crazy p-day today! I'm exhausted. I barely had time to sit down and write this letter! Like I said in the e-mail that I sent today...Elder Oakes ran over a screw last night. so taday we had to walk our bikes and laundry over to the Gogerty's house (Bishop Gogerty is a ward missionary and is an awesome guy! I love their whole family!) But yeah, so we took our bikes and laundry over there and we started fixing his bike but he was replacing both tires as well as the flat tube, and after we fixed the flat tire(back) we started taking the tire off the front but he popped that tube too! So then Sister Gogerty said she'd go get another tube from Wal-Mart so we wouldn't have to walk. So while she was gone we went to the library (he borrowed one of their bikes) and did our e-mailing and then we went back to the Gogerty's and fixed the other flat and then Sister Gogerty insisted that we go and have fun before our day was over and she and her daughters would do our laundry for us. We tried to get her to let us do our laundry but she wouldn't let us! lol So then we went out and did our shopping...(real fun, I know!) and then we went out and ate dinner at Ruby Tuesday. It was quite a spendy meal for a missionary dinner...my meal came out to $14! We won't be doing that too often but it was fun once! I got a burger, fries and a slice of cheesecake.
Sam, you asked how my first tracting experience was. Well it was good. I was kind of nervous but I just told myself, "Your going to be doing this for two years, like it or not, so just get over it!" It actually wasn't too bad. The Elder I went with told me he would do the first door and then it was my turn!...GULP! It's actually not bad at all. I just say which church I'm from, share a quick gospel message and then ask them when I could share more of the message with them. Usually we get turned down and then we offer to help them...with anything...again, we usually get turned down and then we're on our way.
I have run into some interesting people out here! One guy yelled at us for ten minutes about how he really knew the Lord and we didn't because he served in a war and we were just knocking on doors. He said, "Why don't you just go over there to Iraq where the people can use your help and where the Lord wants you and then you can come and talk to me about the Lord."
I got to bear a strong testimony that I knew that I was exactly where the Lord needed me and that the people here in Colorado need the Lord just as much as the people in Iraq. It really strengthened my testimony about why I am doing this work. It was neat.
I also ran into a 'naturalist". H basically believed that there was and is not God. He "knows" that the earth and the humans just happened. He kept asking things like, "Have you read the bible?" I answered yes then he asked, "What is the only domestic animal that is not mentioned in the bible?"
When I said I didn't know he laughed and said, "You don't know that?!" hahaha!
"It's a cat of course. What's wrong with you two?"
We didn't spend much time with him!
We have had a few people listen to us, and a lot of people that don't listen are still really nice to us, but the fun ones are the crazy ones!
So is the house all decorated for Halloween? I think I'll miss being home for the holiday season! Hey, but I found out that any and all Christmas music is approved so if you want to burn me any of our Christmas cd's and send them that would be awesome! Also, if you come across any more ties I'd love em! I've worn all my ties that I brought a gazillion times already! Back to the cd thing...I really like that Harry Connick Jr. cd!
Well, hope your loving seminary Emma! I remember those cold, early mornings! I loved it though. YOu can learn so much...if you want to!
Oh...guess what! The Gogerty's daughter plays the guitar and she let me play it! I was SO SO happy! I guess that in this mission they let you buy musical instruments as long as you can fit it in your suitcase when you transfer to a new area. So technically I could buy a small travel guitar! But, first of all I don't have the money...and second, that's not really why I'm here! I think....actually, I know it would be a distraction! But still, I got to play one!
No snow yet but everyone says it's coming so we'll see! It's been really nice the last few days, up in the 70's. I'd be O.K. if that lasts a little longer.
Well, time for bed. Got a busy, busy day tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get another family (a mom and a son) set for baptism tomorrow. In this mission we are expected to commit people to baptism on the first lesson we teach! Crazy, I know, but it works!
Well, I'm off to bed.
Love you all, and thanks for all your prayers!
Love Ben

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Battle of the Tires continues...

Hey everyone!First off thanks for sending that neck warmer...(I'll be needing it very soon!)...its actually been really nice the last week or so. Short sleeve weather! But they say snow is on the way. We haven't had any snow yet though. I'm in the Pueblo area which is the warmest area in the mission! I was very glad to get that news! Speaking of my area, you know Elder McCord, the elder that was in my district at the MTC? Well, he's in my district here too! Its really fun to get to see him every week at district meeting! He's a goof! lol We have a great time seeing how many people we've talked to and if we have any baptisms set up! :)Speaking of baptisms. If all goes well I could get to be part of 8 baptisms in my first transfer! 3 of those 8 people are really solid and I don't see any reason why there baptism won't go as planned and the others are a little iffy! But we're hoping and praying for them. Elder Oakes and I are having a blast! We knelt down to pray the other night and finally after thirty minutes of talking and laughing we actually got to the prayer part (does that remind you of a certain family!...OURS! haha) anyway, so we finally said our companionship prayer and then we went in to our room and got changed and ready for bed and brushed our teeth and stuff and then knelt down to say our personal prayers....we finally started praying after another HOUR (no exageration!) of laughing, talking, and then laughing a little more! So yeah, we're getting along fine!Just in case you care....he is about my height, and has short wavy hair. he um.....well I'll send a pic! He likes to mountain bike and camp and stuff and also likes to watch movies at home on their projector (Sound familiar!)Also just so you know....my bike is doing fine. I've had three flats so far though but there is a guy in the ward who fixes up all the missionaries bikes and stuff so he just got me hooked up with triple thick tubes with that slime in them! So I hope thats the end of the flat tires for a while. I'll still have to be careful though because there are thorns all over the place! But nothing has fallen off of my bike! (knock on wood!)
Oh...funny story. So yesterday I fixed my flat tire and put the nice tubes in...well last night on the way home from dinner we were riding along when Elder oakes hits something and we hear this "ping..ping..ping..ping..ping" and so we stop to see whats wrong. We were looking at the tire when all of a sudden the tire deflated instantly! It was just like a cartoon! lol one second the tire was inflated, the next second it was flat as a board! We soon found the cause. A two or three inch screw had gone in one side if the tire and out the other! (I took some pics) So we had to walk the rest of the way to our apartment...a mile...while I walked alongside my bike and while elder Oakes carried his!
Well once again..I'm out of time. I'll fill in anything I forgot in the letter that I'll send. (If I answer any questions more than once, or say thing more than once its because of the crazy mail dilivery overlap. Because I'm pretty sure I answered some questions that you asked again in your last letter to me! lol which doesn't bother me, I'm just saying! lol)Really quickly though...yes I did get my XD card back...THANKS! and yes I did receive my shirts and suit and all the AWESONE goodies...along with the cinnamon puddles! (Love that name!)Love you all tons! Glad your all doing well! Thanks for your prayers!Love you!Ben

Monday, October 19, 2009


Dear Family,
Hey! Thank you so much for the treats! Nothing gets better for a missionary than to find cookies, poptarts and candy corn amongst his shirts and suit! That was an awesome treat! As a missionary we're kept on a pretty tight budget so we can only afford what will get us by for the month! But yeah...thanks so much. Those home baked cookies took me right back home.
Well, it's my first p-day so this is the first chance I've had to sit down and relax and write! I'm so busy every other day!
The day we flew in to Colorado we got off the plane and met President and Sister Pfile and then we all went to the mission office and ate a meal and then we were out tracting! Yes, it felt rushed to me! That night we went to the mission home and talked for a bit about everything and then went to bed. The next day was training in the morning, tracting for a few hours and then more training! I don't remember the order very well I just remember going from one thing to the next. Anyway...on Wednesday the 7th I got to meet my trainer (first companion). His name is Elder Oakes. We were both kinda reserved at first but the last few days we've been cracking up! lol We're having a great time learning together.
When we arrived at the apartment on Wednesday he said to get a few things out of my bags because I needed to go buy some food for myself and then we had to go to a teaching appointment, so I only had about 20 minutes to unpack.
I was like: "What!? Teaching appointment? Are you crazy? It's my first day out in the field!"
But I guess he wasn't crazy because I went and taught my first lesson on the first day out!
It's been really busy but really fun. So far I've taught 17 lessons and I've only been out for four days! What's really neat is that last Friday I got to extend the commitment to a father and daughter to be baptized! We have their date set for November 6th! That was a neat thing to be a part of.
We've also been working with a bunch of other people. One lady is so close. She wants to be baptized but she doesn't want to give up smoking. Another family really wanted to be baptized but then a friend got them all anti-mormon. So, it's hard to work with some people. You know...we start teaching people and then Satan goes crazy. He knows that we're teaching truth and that the spirit is witnessing of the truthfulness of what we're teaching, so he does everything he can to put a stop to it.
Well, let's see...Oh, here's a funny story. So you know how we had that teaching appointment the first night? Well, we got done teaching and went to get on our bikes to go to our dinner appointment and my front tire was flat. My tire went flat within three hours of me arriving in my area. So we had to walk about 5 miles to our dinner appointment!
Dinners have been really good so far actually! Of course part of that may just be because it's real food! haha! But yeah, I've had potato and chili, chicken, salad, rolls, spagettii (or however it's spelled!) and burgers and tater tots. So I'm surviving!
Every Wednesday we go over to the Gogarty's house (Brother Gogarty is a ward missionary) and have dinner with our investigators and then we have a gospel lesson/discussion. The Gogarty's are super nice! They remind me of the Masons! I mean, we had no place to do our laundry this transfer and so we asked them if we could do it at their house this p-day. They said, "Oh yeah...use it whenever you need it. If we're not here just come in anyway!" Really nice people.
Um...the first two days here were pretty warm, like in the 60's or so but yesterday we were out riding our bikes and tracting when it was down to 26 degrees! So cold! In fact...you know that neck warmer that I said I wouldn't want?...I want it now! If you wouldn't mind sending it sometime that would be awesome!
Oh, mom. Do you remember you replaced my scriptures because I was missing some of the Book of Mormon? Well, I was looking up a scripture today in the bible and I saw that my bible is all messed up! Ezekiel (pg 1048) jumps to Jeremiah (pg 1017) and then comes Lamentations and then it repeats Ezekiel up to pg 1048. So I have two books of Ezekiel up to chapter 17 but then I'm missing the rest of the book. And then pg 1048 jumps to pg 1113 which is Daniel chapter 8 and then I have all of Hosea and Joel and then Amos comes back from chapter one until chapter 8 and then it skips back to Daniel chapter 8 and then repeats Amos 1 through 9! I can't believe it! Two quads in a row all messed up! I didn't think that was possible.
I like the idea of themes for Friday night movies, but, um...yeah I think dad should be in charge of picking the theme at least six out of the twelve months!
Well, I know how Emma likes to know little details about my mission, so here are a couple.
First of all, we have no cold water! It is either room temp or hot, so if we want cold water we have to refrigerate it or leave it outside.
Also, after flushing the toilet you have to push the handle two more times or the flap won't seal and it will be trying to fill the tank forever! But if you push the handle a third time it won't seal. You have to be very precise with this toilet!
Also, since I got here I have been sleeping without a pillow. I guess they don't provide those and so I just stuffed my bathrobe into the pillow case and used that! lol I went out today though and got a pillow!
Well, I'm glad to hear that everything is going good at home. I was sad to hear the news about Aunt Sharon but I can only imagine how happy she is to be home with Uncle Carl. That's the beautiful thing about our Savior's plan. There is really no need for us to ever be sad! He always provides a way for us to be happy!
I hope you all know that I love you and miss you and pray for you often. Don't get me wrong... I love my mission but that doesn't mean I don't miss home! Keep writing as often as you want. I could never get enough! I love hearing from all of you!
Love Ben
P.S. Hey Sam, good luck with all those petri dish experiments. That sounds fun!
P.S.S. Mom, let grandma and grandpa know I said hi and that I love them. I'm glad they're getting better! I keep praying for them. Oh, and I think I'll do that same activity in Alma 5. That would be a good personal study activity for me!
Love you all and thanks again for the package!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hey....it was great reading your emails! Hope all is well back home! (From what I've been hearing it sounds like you all are doing great!) Just so ya know, I sent a letter yesterday so you should be getting it pretty soon.I love getting your letters and emails (even though I can only check emails once a week). Sorry I didn't email yesterday. It was my p-day but because of Columbus day all the libraries were closed. Yeah conference was great! It was so great watching it surrounded by 2,000 other missionaries. (Although I missed going out and getting a treat with you dad...I thought about all the past times though!...Hole in the wall, Carls Jr. and the famous McDonalds shake that had all the syrup still at the bottom, unmixed! Good times!) President Hollands talk really was amazing! I love hearing from him. It has deffinately been the most talked about talk here in the mission! Very powerful.
I wish I had gotten to talk with you longer at the airport but it was SO expensive and I had to go figure out where my gate was and all that fun airport stuff! (And again...I was sad I missed you Sam!...you better be there Christmas day! lol)
President and Sister Pfile are so cool. Right when I met them as I got off the plane I loved them and felt like I had known them all my life! They are so cool. We stayed at their house the first couple nights and had an interview with both of them and got to know them a little better and also to begin training! But they really are awesome. President Pfile has a great sense of humor. He knows when to be seriouse but he knows how to have fun! :)
I'm glad Emmas enjoying seminary! Yeah...day before yesterday me and my comp, Elder Oakes, were riding our bikes around town ITLing (Inviting To Learn...instead of OYM, Open Your Mouth) and it was about 26 degrees! Yeah pretty cold. So tell Emma I know what its like to be tired and freezing cold and I sypathize completely! haha!
The members here are great. I have been fed every night (except one) and actually have not run into a meal that I havn't enjoyed! (Knock on wood!) Tonight we had pizza.....storebought :(......and homemade icecream! But yeah...members are great! I'm about to get timed out but I just want you all to know I love you and love hearing from you! (I can tell who really loves me because I haven't gotten a single letter from any of my friends! lol) But I'm having a blast out here serving the Lord in Pueblo Colorado.
Just really quickly I wanted to share something I heard in zone conf today. They said that as we search to help our investigators find themselves we in turn will find ourselves, and as we search for answers to their questions our own will be answered. I thought that was a cool promise. Also they said...the scriptures aren't there to back us up....we're there to back the scriptures up.Well, I'm timed out in like 3 minutes! so, love you tons and hopefully I'll hear from you soon.


Ben and his district at the Provo Temple next door to the MTC.


Writing home from the MTC!

Studying in the MTC

All going to Colorado Springs.
L to R: Elder Thomas, Elder Hubbard, Elder Slade, Elder Cryer
Ben Cryer and Spencer Keables. Two boys, born 6 weeks apart in 1990 to best friends are now in the MTC together.

Colorado Springs, here I come!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meeting President and Sister Pfile


Dear Family,
I arrived safely at the mission home here in Colorado. President and Sister Pfile are awesome. I could tell that I was going to love them right when I met them.
Well, we stepped off the plane, met them, went to get a bite to eat, and were out tracting within an hour! They get you out fast!
It was great hearing all your voices today...except for the fact that Sam was at work. Sorry I missed ya.
So, Elder Slade and I went to get something to eat at the airport before we flew out...right after I got off the phone with you...and the guy ahead of us insisted on buying us lunch!
"Get anything you want," he said. "I have a son on a mission so it would be my pleasure."
I thought that was so cool of him.
I have no more time to write. Just want you to know that I love you all!
P.S. My bike is here, and the Elders that are our temporary trainers are in charge of setting them up! Sweet!

More details from President and Sister Pfile:

Dear President and Sister Cryer,
We are so excited to have your son, Elder Cryer, here with us in the Colorado Colorado Springs Mission! We've enclosed a photograph taken shortly after his arrival to reassure you that he made it safely, that he has been greeted by people who love him, and that he's still smiling!
Upon arrival he enjoyed dinner at the Mission Office, went tracting and then went to the Mission Home for orientation, a testimony meeting and to spend the night. The next day after breakfast and companion study he went to the Mission Office for more orientation. After lunch he was then teamed up with an experienced training missionary who took him out tracting (which settles the butterflies and builds confidence). Three hours later everyone reconvened in the Mission Office and returned to the Mission Home for interviews, supper and a devotional. The next day they arose, had breakfast, companion study and went out to ITL again. After this he met his companion and immediately traveled to his new area of service.
We are so pleased to have him here, and we are dedicated to helping him succeed as a missionary. We ask you to encourage your son to follow the mission rules with exactness. This is a key to his safety and success. We have realized that some missionaries don't understand the direct correlation between obedience and revelation. Without the closeness of the Holy Ghost the missionaries experience discouragement and lack of confidence. And that closeness with the Holy Ghost only comes through obedience. The elders and sisters who are exactly obedient are the happiest and most successful. Thank you for your prayers and support in this important matter.
It was wonderful to get acquainted with your son, and we have confidence that he will be a valiant, devoted and inspired missionary.
Thank you for helping him prepare for this great calling.
President Brian L. Pfile

Sunday, October 4, 2009


(Warning: Missionaries only have a small amount of time to e-mail so beware the typo's.)

Hi everyone!Everything is great here. Super busy, but super good. Like I've been saying...I'm learning so much here. I'm even learning how to learn! I have been teaching lots of lessons (to fake investigators) and so I'm really starting to get familiar with the principles and I also get to bear my testimony a TON!!!! Its so great here.Every day I have personal study and also companion study. I am actually really enjoying companion study. We mostly study, and practice giving, the lessons. But yeah we also discuss scriptures and stuff.Guess what?!?!?!?!? I got the picture with Spencer! yay! Its been so cool to see him here! It makes me feel a little less alone! and I've seen kacey figget.Well mom I'm glad to here that you are having a successful blogging experience! :) oh...and I happy to report that I have only gained like two pounds here at the MTC! hahaWell sam I'm glad that work is going well for you and hope that you don't get too overwhelmed when school starts! Your so crazy good at remembering things though that I bet you wont struggle hardly at all at school and stuff! ;)Um...yeah i think thats fine if you look through my "journal" (i dont know what made you think that that word was plural!) Its just on my blue and red shelf in my room. In that little center compartment area thing! :) get that? :)Um...well emma my companion is really fun. We laugh quite a bit together! I sent a picture with my last letter so you should get to see him them. I labled the back so just look for Elder Slade.Thats right...you started seminary. PAY ATTENTION to sister Hawes! lol She knows so much good stuff. she can teach you so much! I loved seminary....you will too! :)About your "lightbulb" thought. Your so right! We all do make mistakes and God knows we will. But by using the atonement we can be forgiven and show heavenly father that we love him and are willing to try again and so better! (Your so smart!)Thanks for the Twinkie reminder! Ill make sure to do that before I leave.I wanted to share something else I heard that I thought zou might like. I rememeber that you mentioned that you had a hard time distinguishing when ideas were your own thoughts or the holy ghost promting the thoughts. Well i heard something that Elder Bednar said. It was something along the lines of.......if zou aer living well and keeping the commadments then it wont matter whether its your thoughts or the Holy Ghost because your thoughts will be in line with truth.....I thought that was so cool cuz ive wondered about that same thing.Well the Provo temple was cool. I got to do an endowment session with my district. thez didn[t have the question answer session though. I wish thez would have. I[ll say hi to....um....whats his name if I see him today!well Im out of time.Love you all!!!!Ill write you soon.Ben

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Busy at the MTC

Hey mom and dad and Sam and Emma! Sounds like you are all busy but good! Glad to hear it.
Well Sam, before I forget...The first letter you sent got to me on the 24th of September. Although I think the weekend slowed it down. I just got the second letter and the "Morning Toast" today (September 25th). I can't even tell you how fun it is to get mail! It's the one thing that adds variety to my day!
O.K. So Emma, you said you wanted "a day in the life of Elder Cryer" so here goes.
First I wake up at 6:30am and get all showered and dressed and ready for the day. Then...Oh by the way, getting dressed means slacks, white shirt, tie, jacket...yeah, you get the idea! It took me a few days to get used to it but now it's normal...anyway, then our district (there are 8 of us) meets in a classroom that's located about six buildings down from our dorm and. We study for 45 minutes and then at 7:45 we go to breakfast. I've found that cold cereal is my best option. I prefer that to rubber eggs and cold sausage and pancakes! But anyway, then we head back to the class and then we usually have a teacher and so we learn from Preach My Gospel for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. I love both my teachers! They are both return missionaries, of course, about 23 to 26 years old.
Then we have gym. I usually either run or play basketball. But we do that for an hour and then we go to lunch and eat more cold rubber and then we have more class and after that we usually have either TEC (Teaching Evaluation Center) where we get to get help on teaching and knocking on doors and street contacting and all sorts of stuff. Or we go to TRC (Training Resource Center) where there are teachers who act as investigators and we get to go in and teach them and ask them questions and stuff. It's really cool. We can also do the RC (Referral Center) where we go and call people who have requested the Bible or Book of Mormon or Church DVD of some sort and ask them if they received it and how they have enjoyed it and we get to bear our testimony to them and ask them if they want the missionaries to come by their home and share a message with them. I love the RC! I haven't had much luck but every once in a while I get a ringback tone so I get to listen to music!...Just joking...that's not why I like it so much!
Then we have dinner, go to class at 6:30pm and have class until 9:00pm Then we plan for the next day and then at 9:30 we go back to the dorm and get ready for bed and lights out at 10:30 pm. And then guess what?! WE DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!! (Are you satisfied Emma?)
You got the job Sam! That's great! That's gotta feel good to have a steady source of income, not that you need it! (I'm just joking!) And last driving lesson...your on a roll! Your gonna be flyin around town in no time! Well...at least to the library and bookstore! (Keep me updated)
Hey mom and dad (and everyone I guess!) I am loving the MTC. We have had a ton of firesides and devotionals and meetings. I am learning SO much SO fast!
Today at lunch my district leader (Elder McCord) sprinkled a bunch of salt all over me, so after he left I got a bunch of pepper in my hand and just held it until I saw him again in the classroom. Then I walked up to him and said, "Hey, Elder McCord, your collar is all messed up...here I'll fix it for ya." So I messed with his collar and dumped all the pepper down his shirt! I told him we were even now but he thought otherwise!
So here I was just writing home when he sneaks up to me from behind and dumps a ton of the Goldbond powder all in my hair! Oh my goodness...let's just say that Goldbond powder , gel and water do not go well together. It turns into a very hard white compound! It took me 20 minutes to get it all out!
Well I hope that grandma and grandpa will be doing better soon. Tell them I love them and they're in my prayers.
So, I'm not sure if you know or not but I fly out on October 5th. We fly out of Salt Lake at 1:45 and arrive in Colorado Springs at about 3:17. So come October 2nd or so you may want to start sending letters to the mission home because letters that come to the MTC after I leave just get tossed I guess. Anyway...I hope I got you filled in pretty well! It's so hard to keep track of everything and I can't remember what I've told you and what I've written in my journal!
So, I love you all...your all in my prayers! Take care.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lovin' the MTC

Dear Family,
O.K....So I really have no clue what to write about! So much has happened in the last week! The days have started to blur together.
My district is awesome. We get a lot done but we have a good time while we do it! We all get along so good...it's great.
Me and my companion got the chance, for the first time, to go teach an 'investigator', (they were just acting) the first lesson, The Restoration. I was pretty nervous at first but as we got to talking with her I had a great time! I was able to teach her and bear testimony to her that what we were telling her was truth. I could feel the spirit while we were talking with her. It was so neat!
Tonight we got to attend our first Tuesday evening devotional...I missed Elder Holland last Tuesday. I was a day late, dang it...but yeah, tonight we got to hear from Elder Clayton from the Seventy and his wife. I just wanted to share a couple things I really liked. One thing that Sister Clayton shared was that "every mission faithfully served is a magnificent experience." I thought that was so cool. It's not about where you serve...it's about how you serve. Then Elder Clayton told us to not waste a single minute. Every minute wasted is a soul lost. He also told us to not look back. He said to not dwell on home or friends but to throw ourselves into our mission. So much good stuff!
I am learning so much here. How to learn, how to teach, how to rely on the spirit, so much.
We also got to go walk around the Provo Temple and took some pictures with our district. I have about 90 more pictures to take until I send the card home. Hey also, I would love a copy of our family picture to have! Just a 3x5 would be awesome.
I don't remember if I've told you about the food here but if I did then her goes again! There is a ton of food here. It feels like we're eating all the time! But the food is getting worse everyday! I can't wait for a real home cooked meal!
But yeah, I'm lovin' my mission so far even though it's barely started!
Well, I really need to go to bed now.
Love you all tons!
Elder Cryer

Thursday, September 24, 2009

From Elder Cryer

Hi everyone!so its my first p-day and I only have a limited time to write so please excuse any spelling errors!I hope everything is going good back home! The MTC is so awesome...I'm lovin it. My district is so cool.Today we get to go to the Provo temple and so I'm really excited for that.Hey tell the Brashers thank you SO much for the cookies that they sent. I got to eat a few of them........the rest of the guys in my district helped me quite a bit though! :)So, I know that every missionary talks about the food but....I'm going to anyways! there is deffinately plenty of it but lets just say that I cant wait to get out to Colorado and eat some home cooked meals! Last friday I missed our home made pizza SO SO much! I dont know how im gonna survive!So have you tackled my room yet? lol :) Are my guitars safe!?!?!?! :) just joking! there is no rush!Well...Hope all's going well with sam and emmas school. Did sam get the Job?Cant wait to hear from you!Love yaBen.....or Elder Cryer! ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Elder Cryer's First Letter Home

Hey Everyone,
Well, first day in the MTC...I don't even know where to start!
I guess I'll start by telling you that I am still alive, yes I have survived my first day! It has been a very long day, full of so much information that I couldn't tell you half the stuff I've been told! So I will tell you a few highlights.
I met my companion pretty quickly after I arrived. His name is Elder Slade. He's really cool...he plays guitar! But yeah...really cool guy, I mean...Elder! Hey guess what dad...I found out that his dad served in the same mission as you and he's around the same age. Pretty cool, I don't know if maybe you served with him.
Also, I saw Spencer! I didn't get to talk for very long, just said hi in passing because I had to catch up with my companion, Elder Slade, who didn't see me stop to talk with Spencer but yeah it was awesome to see him.
As for the food...not bad. Not great. But not bad! The good thing though is that you can have as much as you want!
So today was mostly just orientation and “get to know you” type stuff, but we also had a couple meetings that we had to attend also. The first one was mostly a meeting to welcome all us new missionaries, and the second one was where we had to observe and also teach an “investigator”.
Anyways...the people here are great and the spirit's strong!
Well I need to go get ready for bed.
I love you all!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Elder Cryer's MTC Address

Hey everyone,
Ben....I mean Elder Cryer is now at the MTC. If you want to send him a note he would love it.
Elder Benjamin Eric Cryer
MTC Mailbox #118
CO-COSP 1007
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New to the Blogging World

Hey everyone,

We are entering the 21st century...finally. With Ben leaving next week to serve a full time mission we thought that a family blog site might be just the thing to help all of us share information about his growth and experiences. Much easier than trying to forward e-mail and photos etc. So Ben is taking time to help me learn how to set up and manage a blogspot. I hope I can get the hang of it before he leaves.