Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Dear Family,
I have good news...I still don't know about Ulysses but the church in Hugoton is true. The Primary kids sang for all the fathers on Fathers Day. When I found out that they were singing I asked if they had sung for Mothers Day. They said they had. I don't know if Ulysses sang for the fathers or not but I know they didn't sing for Mothers Day. The other reason I know that the church in Hugoton is true is because they gave me a Mr. Goodbar candy! KING SIZE!! I'm not even a father yet.
Last Sunday we had a guy at church. I guess he had talked with Elder Mellville (the last missionary...before me) bedfore so we talked to him a little and got to know him. We invited him to church and he said he'd be there and he was.
The lady I was telling you about didn't end up coming to church. She called us on Sunday morning and told us that when she had told her husband that she was coming to church he flipped and wouldn't let her come. She told us that she still wanted to meet with us. She is going to talk some more with her husband. Hopefully he'll understand and let her come to church and still meet with us. We're hoping and praying that she'll still be baptized on the 4th of July. I have a good feeling that she'll get baptized.
Well Sam, thanks for your letter! I got it and the Morning Toast yesterday when we got back from Hugoton. I loved your description of the crowded picture viewing experience! Man, I wish that I was that popular with the people her in Ulysses and Hugoton. I wish they would all crowd around me and lesten to what I have to say! I'm glad you all enjoyed the pics!
You asked how Elder Alonso and I are doing. We're doing good. He is a great missionary. We don't have any problem communicating anymore. It took me a while to tune out his accent to be able to understand him but now I understand him great. Some of the people we teach sometimes struggle a little though. We taught an older lady the other day and Elder Alonso began to share the First Vision...
Elder A: "I saw...a pillar."
Lady: "Wait dear, he saw what?"
Elder A: "A pillar."
Lady: "I'm sorry, I'm not catching that word."
Then I came in....
Me: "A pillar."
Lady: "Oh, he saw a pillar?"
Elder A: "Yes, I saw a peelar...ove light." (That was how he said it."
Lady: "A pillar of light."
Elder A: "Exactly over my head."
Lady: "Sorry. He saw a pillar of light what?"
That was how the whole thing went for a little while until we realized that the spirit was not here while we were doing it this way. So I said, "We're going to do something different this time. We're going to share Josephs experience with you but don't worry about understanding the words O.K. Just pay attention to how you feel."
So then we said it again and it went much better.
He hates how some people can't understand him but he does have a pretty strong accent. It's getting better though.
So I was glad to hear that you accepted my testimony bearing challenge. It does get easier doesn't it. I was really nervous when I fist came out. I didn't like getting up and bearing my testimony but now it doesn't bother me. I'm glad it's helping you too.
Well, my Spanish comprehension is improving a little bit. I can follow spanish lessons better now. I'm still not teaching yet but after we leave I start telling Elder Alonso what I think their responses were to coming to church, being baptized, reading the Book of Mormon, etc. I am usually right. Then he fills me in on the details. I have started reading the Book of Mormon in spanish out loud to Elder Alonso. He says I pronounce the words very well. He says I don't have much of an american accent. I think it's because I hear it spoken so much.
This evening we were out seeing people and while we were riding to one of our appointments we looked up at the sky and it looked super crazy. It was kind of creepy. As we watched the sky it started to swirl! There were a bunch of circles in the sky. There was no tornado horn blowing though and so we went to our next appointment. They are a less active family. When we got there he came out and we all were watching the sky. It was really strange looking. At this point there was no wind at all and the clouds were still. Then this huge mass of clouds started swirling and churning. It was crazy. I've never seen anything like it before. Over just a few minutes it had formed a huge wall of churning clouds. It was one of those things where when you look at it you feel so small and helpless! Then the wind came out of nowhere. It just started blowing. Then the lightning came. There was a strike that came down not too far from where we were and D (the dad)said, "Wow, O.K. everyone inside."
He got his kids out of the yard and told us that we'd better come in too. About 30 seconds after we all got in it started pouring! The streets were full of water within about 5 minutes! So we just sat inside with the family and ate cake and talked and played with the kids until the rain let up. We were able to make it back into our apartment right on time.
Well, that's about all the news for taday. I guess I'd better seal this up and get it sent off.
Have a great week!
Love you all,
Love Ben


June 21, 2010
Hey fam......(and anyone else who may be sneaking a peak at the personal life of Elder Cryer!)
How is everything going for you all? I hope that the answer to that is "We're doing GOOD! Thanks for asking!"
Well things are still pluggin along here in Kansas.
Last night we spent an hour and a half helping a guy install a screen door! It was one of those nice heavy duty ones with glass and all that jazz. It was hard to install. There were ZERO pre-drilled holes! Let me say that one more time....there were ZERO pre-drilled holes! We eventually got it all figured out. It was funny because the guy we were helping spoke only spanish and I speak english and Elder Alonso speaks mostly spanish but a little english and so we were handing directions back and forth. Elder Alonso handed me the spanish directions and he said "O.K. so what does it say to do?" I just shook my head and he started laughing! The he handed me the ones he had and said "Here I think these are the english ones" then he grabbed the ones I had and he started looking at them and then he said, "Wait....these aren't even spanish! I don't know what they say!" Then after some searching we found the spanish ones. It was funny. Its kinda tricky to install a door when everyone speaks different languages!
So me and Elder Alonso were out riding our bikes the other day in Hugoton (in 104 degree weather I might add!) and we saw a guy mowing his yard and so we figured we'd go and see if he needed any help and see if he'd be interested in learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We rode over and said "Hey Sir, how are you doing?" He looked at us with a blank expression and then continued to mow. Again we said "How are you doing?" He looked at us again with that same blank stare and continued on his way. We dont give up that easy though and so we followed him and said "Can we give you a hand?" Again he just looked at us. Then Elder Alonso grabbed a pass along card out of his shirt pocket and said "Can we just leave you with this card?" and then he extended his arm out so that the man could get the card. The man looked a little flustered for a second and then grabbed the card and shoved it down in his mower and it chopped the card up! We both quickly said, "Well you have a great day O.K." and then we rode off before we started cracking up laughing! I told Elder Alonso that I think that's the funniest thing I've ever seen anyone do with one of the cards that we've given them. It was SO funny!
Well in our weekly letter to President Pfile he asks us to share a miracle story with him and this week I shared with him an experience we had this week with a lady that we taught. It was such a spiritual lesson. So anyways...I copied that bit of my email to President so here it is:
We had an AMAZING lesson with a lady that we found off of tracting. She invited us to come back another time and so we set up to go back the next day. She said she'd talked briefly with missionaries before and so we asked her if she would like to come to church with us. She said no because it was fathers day and her family was going to Garden City for the day. We asked if we could teach her the first lesson and she said yes. When we got to the first vision the spirit was so strong. I knew that she was feeling it. I finished the first vision and testified and then Elder Alonso testified to her and then I got the impression that I had to ask her how she felt. So I did...I said "How do you feel?" There was a long silence. No one said a word for what felt like five minutes. Then she said "I'm never speechless." Then we just let the silence speak some more and then eventually she said "Its like when you hold a baby for the first time.....that feeling that you just can't explain. It feels like your so full you could explode." Then she asked "Do you even know what I'm talking about?" I couldn't help but smile. I said "Yes. I know exactly what you mean. I know because I'm feeling it right now too." Then I asked "Do you know what your feeling?" She looked at us with tear filled eyes and said "Tell me". We both testified to her that what she was feeling was the spirit. We committed her to be baptized and she accepted. Then we went on to testify about the Book of Mormon and then we felt like we should invite her again to come to church with us. When we invited her she accepted without delay. It was amazing to see the spirit in action. She received her witness so strongly during the lesson. Without the spirit we can do nothing.
It really was an amazing lesson. I want every lesson to be that way. Those super super spiritual lessons only come so often it seems. I guess it has to do a lot with how sincere they are about learning but I think to a large measure it has to do with us. It has to do with whether we are relying on the spirit to tell us what to say or if we just get comfortable with our own ability to teach. It has a lot to do with our attitude and our love for that that person that we are teaching. Like it says in the scpriptures....without charity we are nothing. It's true. If we dont love the poeple then they will feel that and it will hinder the spirit. We need to have charity and the spirit before we can expect to have success.
Well....I guess I'd better go get to work. I still have some laundry to do and floors to vaccume and food to buy and letters to write and people to teach this evening! I hope that you all have a great Monday and a great FHE!
I love you guys!
Love Ben

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How-de-do from Ulysses

Dear Familia!
How have you been since we talked last?! For some reason it feels like it's been a long time since I wrote to you even though I wrote to you just last week. A fairly lengthy letter if I remember correctly.
Well first things first...well, I guess second in this case!...Thank you for my box! You don't even know how wonderful it is to have new socks! Now I have enough to last me the whole week! Thanks for the licorice and jerky too. That was a nice treat! It's been nine months since I had beef jerky. Actually...longer than that! And Elder Alonso had never had licorice and so I gave him some and he loves it! You got him hooked. Man, I always forget how much I love licorice until I eat some and then I remember! It's so good. And I loved the pics and videos on the xd card. And now I'm set on stamps too. I am good to go all round!
Well it sounds like you had a good visit with Landon. I like what his Mission President said about leaving our families for two years to help other families be together forever. I love this work! I do miss all of you but I wouldn't trade this for anything. It is sad to see some missionaries be disobedient. Luckily my district right now is awesome. They are all great missionaries. Obedience does bring blessings and it does affect the people we teach. They can feel a difference.
So Mom and Emma, how did the Dipzy's table at Brighter Smiles go? Did you have much success?
Well I finished the Book of Mormon the other day which makes a total of twice read on the mission so far. I love it more and more each time. Personal study has been mainly devoted to reading the Book of Mormon but I also read a talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer (from June 25 1982) called "The Candle of the Lord." It's a really good talk about the spirit and personal revelation. That is my focus right now. I want to be better at receiving and following personal revelation. President Pfile has been stressing that lately as well. Without the spirit we are wasting everyone's time...ours included.
Thanks for enclosing the info about Wagon Bed Springs. We still haven't made our way over there but maybe one of these P-days we will.
Well, I still have not receive Bishop Hansen's letter but I'm looking forward to it.
So, we went over to C's house the other day to see how she was doing. I've told you about C right? She was atheist most of her life but was agnostic when we found her a few weeks ago. Her family is super nice. Anyway, she has been reading the Book of Mormon that we gave to her and she's already in 2 Nephi! She's awesome. So we went to answer some of her questions. Before we left we said, "Well, we might be getting transferred...we don't know. Hey, in case we do will you do something for us?" She said sure. So we said, "OK...will you write a letter to each of us telling us things that we do well and then ways we can improve?" She said she would! So we basically did a comp inventory but with our investigator instead. So we swung by later and picked up the letters. It was funny. And then we ended up not getting transferred!
So the last few days while we've been tracting we have been seeing a ton of Jehovah Witness flyers. So we always take them and write something on them just for the fun of it before we throw them away. I saved a couple that I'll send with the letter if I remember.
WEll...I love you all very much. I hope everything is going great for all of you.
Love ya,
Love Ben

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We're still in Kansas Toto!

Well how are you all doing?!?!?
I am great! So since transfers was coming up our whole district has been making transfer predictions. I was the only one who said that me and Elder Alonso were going to serve together again here in Ulysses and Hugoton. Elder Alonso was sure that he was getting transfered but I said "Elder Alonso...just live with it. You just need to accept the fact that we're serving together again." He was just like: "No...I'm getting transfered. No question." Well guess what..........are you ready for this? Guess where I'm serving? I'm in Ulysses and Hugoton AGAIN!!! and I'm staying with Elder Alonso. I knew that was going to be the transfer call! I knew it! I am so excited that I get to stay again. I love this area so much! Well....its more like I love the people! I want to settle in here for a while. We'll see if that's what I'm supposed to do or if the Lord will need me somewhere else. But there you have it. I'm still here!
Well I tried playing those videos that you put on my XD card on my camera but it wouldn't play them. So I tried them on the computer here at the library and they worked! I was so glad! I loved the magic show put on by Emma and Natalie! Very well done! The music fit perfectly too! And wow Emma.....that takes talent to jump through a rolling hula hoop! I'm impressed. Although it looked like you missed a couple of times! :) Still impressive though.
So I'm glad to hear that your still the tiddly winks champion dad. I could be mistaken but I do believe that I may have seen some cheating going on by Emma in one of the videos. I was under the impression that only the tiddly winks were supposed to move. It looked to me like the base was moving as well due to the fact that Emma was holding it and attempting to catch the flying tiddly winks! :)
So you still haven't taken the table out of the shop this year huh? would have been out about 2 months ago if you were here! Last Thursday it got up to 108 degrees! The wind was actually hot! We were riding our bikes and sweating like dogs! (Actually to be a little more accurate we were sweating like two missionaries riding their bikes in 108 degree weather!) It was crazy hot! It was super nice yesterday. The sun was out but the breeze was nice and cool. It reminded me of Oregon sunshine!

So'll have to tell me how you felt you did on your test. I always hated those tests but I'm sure you did great.
So whats this about you going to dances Emma? You don't actually like those things do you? I hear that you are a dancing fool! Is this true? :) Have you made any new friends since I left? I've made a ton of friends since I left! :)

It was funny that you were taling about how "this too shall pass" in your email dad. Every transfer I feel that more and more! This transfer went by SO FAST! Its kind of scary that six weeks can go by so fast. I really do only have a short time to be a full time servant/messenger for the Lord. I dont have any time to waste. I wish I could start over knowing what I know now. I feel like I've wasted too much time learning how to be a good missionary! I guess all I can do is work as hard as I can for the remaining time and continue to learn and become better. times up so I'll let you all go. Love you all.
I hope that you have a great week. I'll talk to you later this week in the form of a letter and then I'll email next monday or tuesday.
Take Care,
Love you
Love Ben.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Dear Family!
Well, it's been a pretty good week all in all. It was disappointing that none of the baptisms went through. But life moves on. Like I mentioned in my e-mail, we have not given up on them. We will give them a new date to work towards as we help them overcome their various challenges. The pretty solid ones that we have are Wendy, Tracy, Rachel and a new guy we found and taught the other day who's name is Mario. Some of the challenges are pretty tricky and we and they only have so much control over them so we'll have to wait and see what happens while at the same time still helping them work towards baptism.
Other than working with these people we have been doing a lot of tracting. Tracting in and of itself really isn't that bad...I mean it's not that good either but it's not that bad. But lately it's been hard because it's been about 90-100 degrees everyday. And yes, the wind has still been blowing but it doesn't help because it's hot too! So we have been taking advantage of every spinkler we find. Whenever we see a sprinkler we go and stand in it until we are drenched! (We have our right hand coving our pocket on our shirt so our pass along cards don't get wet!) It's amazing the difference it makes! It literally makes it feel 30 degrees cooler...and it makes the wind feel cool. And then of course we are completely dry within about 10-15 minutes. It's fun.
So, the other day we were tracting and we ITL'd a couple of Mexican guys and they were frying pork they said. They asked if we wanted any. Elder Alonso said no but I said sure. (I can't turn down meat!) So they said, "Grab a piece." So I grabbed a piece and then realized that it wasn't pork was the skin. Fried pig skin. Luckily I've had it before (thanks to Jodie) and so I knew that it wasn't that bad. After I started eating it I saw the pigs feet at the bottom of the pan and then over by the big bowl they had everthing cooking in I saw a camp chair with a plastic bag on it and there was the pigs head! It's a lot different eating pig skin out of a bag that you boght at Winco and it's another thing to eat pig skin with all the pigs other body parts scattered all around you! It was pretty crazy. They didn't do the best job at removing all the hair either and so I think I ate some fried pig hair too!
So the other day (this is not the same other day that I ate the pig skin) we were ding more tracting and I found a dollar bill! It was so exciting! Usually I just find pennies but this time it was a dollar bill blowing in the wind. So then a few days later after church Elder Alonso and I were in the foyer and one of the YW from the ward was also in the foyer waiting for her parents (the Arillanos, who are an awesome family by the way!) and so we were talking and some how money came up and I said, "Hey, guess what, speaking of money, I found a dollar bill the other day while we were out tracting."
"That's pretty cool," she said. "Guess what I found blowing int eh wind the other day though?"
"What?" I asked.
Then she said she found a hundred dollar bill.
"No way," I said.
"Yeah!" she said.
"You're lying," I said.
"No I'm not! she said.
"Are you for real?" I asked.
"Yeah, I really found $100.00!" she said.
"Well, thanks for making my story look pathetic!" I said.
It was funny. Can you believe that though!? I wish we would have been tracting that street instead!
So, I think that I have invented or discovered a new flavor combination. Now, this is prabably going to sound gross but it's not. It is AMAZING!!! So lately for lunch I've been cooking some chicken (diced) and then covering it in BBQ sauce and putting some pineapple in it and then putting it on a bun. It's the Elder Cryer BBQ Blast Sandwich. Well, I went to make on e a few days ago and then I realized I had no pineapple left! So I thought well, chicken a BBQ sauce will still be good. But I still wanted to have some fruit with it so I washed a couple of strawberries. Then a brilliant thought started creeping into my mind...What if I put the strawberries in instead of pineapple? So, eventually I decided to try it. Oh my goodness! It has to be one of the tastiest flavor combinations I have ever tasted. i know it sounds weird but Mmmmm! If you want to try it just dice some chicken and cook it a then add some BBQ sauce (I'm using Sweet Baby Rays Hickory and Brown Sugar!) and then add the diced strawberries. Just slap that on some bread or a roll or something and prepare to be amazed! (You may not want to let this get out in the public until we patent the flavor combination!)
Well, I was so excited to get your patriarchal blessing Emma! I read it right when I opened the letter. Wow! What an amazing blessing. I guess dad was right when he told Sam that you were/are quite the amazing sister. Does this mean that I have to be nice to you as well when I get home? Be sure to read your blessing often. You were promised a ton of blessing and now it's up to you to secure them for yourself. Aren't these blessing amazing. It's like being able to get a glimpse of who we were before we came to earth. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it agian. I love my blessing. It has helped me so much. I think it's so neat that our whole family has their blessings ow. And they're all so amazing!
Well, I'am adjusting well to my new area. I still remember when I left Pueblo Colorado. I did not want to leave. I was sure that it was the best area to serve. And I felt that same way when I left LaJunta, and the same way again when I left Calhan/Falcon. It is so hard to leave these areas I serve in because I come to love the people there. And yet I love going to new areas because there are even more amazing people there too! I do love where I am at right now. I have already formed great relationships with some of the members and investigators.
Well, don't worry....I haven't chased after any storms. They actually do pretty well at coming to me! Except for the tornados. Those have just been around Ulysses. Dang it! A few weeks ago...about 40 miles away from us they had baseball size hail! That was exciting to hear about.
I hope the sun comes out for you so that your garden can do well and turn green! It's June so the sun should start coming out soon. It's sure been showing itself here!
So Mom and Emma, your littledate sounds fun. I could go for a burger and fries and milkshake right now! Actually just a milkshake would be good. Oh gosh, that dating issue of the New Era was so funny. Sister Boyd (and her daughters, kailey and the Falcon ward) were reading us all of their favorite parts! We had some good laughs too!
So how was dinner with Landon? I bet he gave you some very animated reenactments of things that went down in his mission. Has he changed much?
I loved the suspenders story! I can just see that whole situation! I had better never be a trail boss because I will refuse to wear pants that are too big by design! Either I will be a very fashion conscious trail boss or it ain't gonna happen! Good job though,'re a better man than me! (Did you get any pictures of Dad in his wedgy pants with his too small suspenders?)
So the 'no sugar diet' only lasted three days!? That's too funny. I'm impressed you managed it for that long! Well, good luck on the 'less sugar than normal diet'!
Oh, before I forget...thanks for J's address. I'll write them a quick note.
Well, I just got a package from Sister Pfile full of Spanish stuff! Let's see...I've got a Spanish and English dictionary, a Spanish Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, a Spanish Preach My Gospel, and a missionary vocabulary and phrases book. Looks like some good stuff! I can't wait to start teaching parts of the lessons in Spanish. I've been starting most of the conversations with the Spanish people. I'm starting to get pretty comfortable doing that.
Well, I'm going to go pick up my package from you guys in about three hours! I'm so excited!
So today while I was shopping for food I bought some stickers! Kids always love stickers and so I bought some Cars stickers, some Kung Fu Panda sickers, and some random stickers. Now the kids will love me! I've juggled for a few people already as well and they love it! And Elder Alonso makes them balloon animals. We have a regular little Mormon circus going on! The kids get a kick out of it!
So I finally figured out what I'm going to do with my old scriptures. There is a recent convert here in the ward who has been wanting a quad but can't afford one. I am going to see if she wants mine (even though the Bible Old Testament is a little mixed up...which I'll tell her). I'm not using those old ones thought and so hopefully she'll be able to use them.
WEll, that there's all the updates I done can think of.
Love you guys! Have an awesome week!
Love Ben

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


June 7,2010
Hey guys!
So first of all....WOW SAM!!! (yes, the videos worked great...I was able to play them) Hula hoopin around your neck! I am impressed. I never knew that two years of college could get you so far in life! You are a flippin hula hoopin pro! :) That was pretty impressive how you did it around your neck. With such grace too!
Well I'm glad that you got my box o.k. I'm glad that the charger works for you as well! I wasn't sure when I sent it home if I should or not. I almost just left it up in the closet for someone else and then I just thought...oh what the can't hurt to send it home! So I'm glad that it wasn't a waste!
So Carol was able to give you the hat too! Oh good. She said that she wasn't sure if she could take that because she didn't want to squish it. I'm glad that she got it to you. See you remember telling me that you wanted a cowboy hat from my mission? You didn't actually think I'd do it remember? Well now you can wear proof that your brother goes to all lengths to make his sisters happy! (That goes for you too Sam but I don't remember you telling me anything you wanted!) I bet you fit right in at the Roadhouse Grill with your hat Emma! You'll have to send me a picture of you with your hat on! You even have a brush to brush it with! :) Hope you enjoy it.
Well I aint yet done gotten my's package (Oh whoops....I forgot that you might not be able to understand the native tongue of Kansas!) I haven't received my package yet. I am going over to the Eglys house tonight to pick it up. I'm excited! I hope that those pictures that you put on the card do work! And I'm excited for my gold toe socks! (Only a missionary would be so excited to get socks!)
Well thanks so much for fasting for us and for our investigators. Sadly none of them were able to be baptized yesterday due to lots of different reasons and complications but please continue to pray for them because we are trying to help them overcome these obstacles and challenges. I believe that they will still be baptized. We are re-extending dates to a lot of them. Some for the 13th of June and others for the 20th. Thanks again for your fasting though because although they were not baptized we have seen some great progress with them (Especially yesterday.)
So you watched 'Suits on the loose'? I remember watching that once! I dont remember much of it but I remember it was funny! I dont remember the beer scene but now I have one of my own! It was a funny experience! And far as I am aware we are real missionaries. We are the real deal! :)
Man, sounds like you did quite the deep clean on LC! What type of air freshener scent did you get? (Not that it matters!) She must be looking mighty fine! Its so sad to think that my girl is going out with another guy! I didn't even get a dear John letter from her! lol
So Jordan graduated seminary! Thanks for telling him congrats for me! Thats awesome. I did get a letter from him a few months ago so maybe he wrote another one. I dont know! We'll just have to wait and see.
Well good luck with your walking dad! You'll reach your goal in no time! Keep up the good work! :)
So you got the HTC droid incredible! I think that I saw that phone (or a version of it) when I was in La Junta. A member was showing it to us because they had just got it and were super excited! They said theirs was just the new 'Droid' phone....not the Droid incredible. But it's a good phone huh? You and your seems like you always have a new one! I'm jealous! Our mission just got new phones but there still pieces of junk! :) We're not even supposed to have them because they have cameras on them but we got permission from Salt Lake because our other phones were dropping all of our calls. We were told that we CANNOT use the cameras on the phones at all or else we'll probably lose the phones. But we have the nicest phones of all the missionaries church-wide! Its funny because sometimes the camera will turn on accidentally while its in our pockets because of the button on the side and so sometimes while we're walking we hear the camera start taking pictures inside our pockets! Its funny!
Well....I gotta run. Love you all. Thanks for everything you do. I will get that package you sent tonight! YAY!!!
Take care, have a great week,
Love ya,
Love Ben
P.S. Just so you know, this letter that I'll send tommorow probably wont be 8 pages long! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 1, 2010
Dear Family,
Whew, it's hot here today! I'm dying! We just got back from shopping and sending off your e-mail...(Well, Elder Alonso sent off his own e-mail, but you get the point.) Did you ever get my e-mail last week mom? I did send one to you guys! I hope it made it.
Som mom and dad, your still walking? What weight are you trying to reach dad?...or is that too personal a question to be asking?
Wow mom...cut sugar out of your diet?! How is that going for you? I would die! I would have said the same thing that Sam and Emma said. "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!" I would take dads advice and investigate the source of that impression. It sounds like a darkside impression to me as well! (But good luck all the same.)
That's neat about your scripture study you had the other night...when Emma suggested D&C 6. I'm going to read that tomorrow for some of my personal study time. I have found myself turning to the scriptures more and more as I've been on my mission. One of the reasons for that is that as a missionary I don't have too many other options of things to turn to! But also my love of the Book of Mormon has grown a ton since I've come out. It is the ultimate tangible source of strength, hope, help, guidance, and comfort. I would say that the next best source would be our Patriarchal Blessing. Speaking of which, have you received the hard copy yet Emma? I can't wait to read it. I loved reading your journal entry about your experience receiving it. (Good detail! Way better than my journal entry I wrote after receiving my blessing! I can't describe how I feel as good as you can!) One thing that jumped out at me was where you wrote: "When I stepped outside I looked around at the beautiful world and felt peace I guess." I still to this day, two and a half years after receiving my blessing, remember stepping out of Brother Bullocks house and looking around as I walked to the car and as we drove home and having that same feeling of peace and awe for the beauty of the world around me. I remember it just like you described it. It's an amazing experience huh? I remember that I had the same feeling after I was baptized...I just wanted to do it again!
I have enjoyed reading over your blessings again dad, mom and Sam...(and of course waiting for yours Emma!) I sure do have quite the amazing family! And don't worry mom...I will keep them sacred. No one will see them but me.
So how was your beach house trip? I loved the pictures. And Jackson even got his own pillow in the house! How did he do coming home to his hard cement step outside? I bet that was a slap in the face!
So, when are you (mom and Emma) heading off to your Spanish immersion school in Costa Rica? (note from Cathy - we are just dreaming at this point!) That sounds like fun! My Spanish is immproving very slightly. I talked to a Mexican guy the other day and said, "Hi, how are you?" and asked what his name was and told him who we were. All by myself! But I'm still not teaching in Spanish. Sister Pfile called me the other day though and is going to send a few books to me that will help me. One book has a bunch of phrases in Spanish used for teaching the lessons out of Preach My Gospel. I wish now that I had studied Spanish back home! By the way...good luck on your oral report Emma!
So people still remember who I am back home?!! Tell Ken and Lynette and Sharon and Francis and John P. and Landon and the Mason's "Hi" back! I hope they're all doing well.
So the yard has finally reached an 'easy to maintain' status? That's good. I was looking at our family picture the other day and just had to laugh. There are so many colors and it's so green and pretty! I was thinking how crazy it would look to take our house and yard and put it in kansas. It would probably be worth 10 million dollars!
Well Emma, thanks for your letter too! That was a nice long one! I'm glad that you felt amazed and humbled to be my little sister when you read my blessing. That's the way you should feel. O.K., O.K. just joking...maybe that's a little prideful of me to say! No, but really...thanks for that. I'm sure I'll feel the same thing when I read yours. (Only I feel amazed and humbled to be your big brother, not your little sister!...just thought I'd clarify!)
So you're thinking about doing basketball? That would be fun. I'm sure you'd do great if you 'get your mind in the game'! And fencing too huh? Like picket? or more like chain link?...Oh! fencing like swordfighting! I bet you'd love that too. I had a lot of fun doing that. We could fence when I get home!
So you asked me if I can listen to Boogie Woogie piano music but I'm afraid that that would probably fall under the 'merely entertains' genre...which is not allowed. I'll just wait for that one I guess.
Well, P-days in Kansas are pretty un-eventful. Basically the most fun we have is sitting around talking about all the fun things we would be doing if we weren't in the middle of nowhere! We've been talking about going bowling but just haven't. We just shop, email, write, clean the apartment, and eat. That's about it. Yeah, I know...sounds fun huh?
Well thanks again for your journal entry about getting your blessing. That's interesting about the star. Have you figured it out yet?
Thanks for your letter as well Sam! I am loving Ulysses! It is great. The people here are great. And yes, so is Elder Alonso. We get along great...most of the time. It's hard being senior companion. I would take junior comp any day. We just had interviews with President and I asked him how I can be a good senior comp and what authority really comes with that. I told him it was hard and he just siled and said: "Elder Cryer I knew exactly what the Lord was doing when he told me to put you in Ulysses with Elder Alonso. He's making a leader out of you." It is hard, but I'm learning and I am still enjoying every minute!
Well, the weather out here is (or has been) HOT! about 90 degrees Farhenheit most every day. The humidity has been unusually high lately too. And we get lots of thunderstorms. (About 1 per week). Tracting has been hard! We rely on sprinklers to keep us cool!
So it sounds like Jaron and Levi put on a good show acting as the twins! I love that play. (A Midsummer Nights Dream) That's one of my favorites. I can just see Emma and Natalie dying to be up on that stage!
So Carol, the lady who brought (is bringing) my box to you was asking if you were going on a mission when I told her I had an older sister. I told her what you told me you were thinking in your last letter, about finishing school and then going. Her face lit up and she said "Hey, that's exactly what I did!" So that was neat. I'm sure that if you are supposed to serve a mission you will feel when the right time is.
So you say we have a remarkable sister huh? Go figure. So have you started to her?
That's too funny that you have those boys trying to guess your middle name! I do the same thing! I always get asked...well mainly just by the beehives in the Calhan ward...but they ask what my middle name is and I just say "Guess." So they throw out a name and then I'll just say something like "Maybe" or "Oh, that's close!" or "Really? That's my middle name?" or "Hmm...ya know, I can't remember." It drives em crazy! So don't tell them ok! That's too funny that their only ideas are John and James! They're not going to get it too fast at that rate! Kids are so funny!.
Well, we're teaching three people who have a fairly solid date for the sixth of June, although we may have to drop one because we just found out that they have court on the seventh and could go to jail for a while. We'll have to see about that one. But T is looking fairly solid, as is W. Oh, funny/cool story with W. We were done for the night and it was time to come in. So we were riding our bikes down this just happened to be the same street that W lived on. As we were riding we saw a car coming towards us. It slowed down as we got closer to it and then they rolled down the window. It was W. She said "I was just thinking about calling you." We said "Why?" and then she pointed to the passenger seat where we saw a 12pk of beer. She said "I tried to trust in God and be strong but I still bought it." I said "Oh, don't want that. Let us take it for you...we'll get rid of it for you." She smiled and then sincerely asked "Really?" we said of course we would. She took a deep breath and said "I don't know...I don't want it. I've been sober for a month but...I don't know." Then she laughed and said "Besides, if I give it to you it will look like I'm buying beer for young people!" We laughed and said "W...don't worry, it's dark so no one will see, and there is no one around, and our apartment is only a couple blocks away. Please W, let us take it for you." She finally agreed to let us take it. Then she said "You know, there is nothing stopping me from going back to the store later and getting some more." So we said, "How about this...your house is right here so how about you park your car and then give us the keys and then we'll drop the keys off again before church in the morning?" She laughed and said "God sure put you two in the right place at just the right time didn't he." Then she smiled, parked the car and handed us her keys. It was an amazing miracle. So we quickly rode home, trying desperately to make sure no one saw the two LDS missionaries riding home with a 12pk of beer! We succeeded and got home and disposed of the beer in a manner that no one will ever be able to have it. (No, we didn't drink it!) Of course, we also got a couple of memorable pictures! I told President and Sister Pfile about it and they just laughed. They thought that was so funny. I guess they've seen one other companionship take beer from an investigavor but instead of getting rid of it they just gave it to someone else! Yeah, didn't make any sense to me either!
Hey! Guess what? We just went and checked the mail and I had a letter! It was from three people all at once! Let's see...Mom, Sam, and Emma. I'm going to read it....
Wow, that was exciting! Definitely a different format but it is fun to read that way. I can picture you all sitting at the computer imagining you're talking to me but really just talking to a computer screen! So you saw two dead seals? Had there been a storm recently? And there were vultures there too? Dang...that's pretty cool! You should have taken the skull Emma. Grody or not, how many people can say that they own a seal skull? I mean, come on.
Well I can't wait to see this beautiful beach front property with 'very airy and lovely views from all sides' in the Morning Toast!
Dang got just as spoiled as Jackson! A double bed all to yourself?! I'm stuck here in Kansas with a bag full of rusty springs to sleep on. And my feet hang off the end!
Mmm...the Seafood Station! That's good fish n chips! It's a good thing you didn't get there any later! Because Mo's is not a comparable backup choice.
So you can do the hula hoop huh? Hopefully Dad can send that video clip. So you even tried to do the hula hoop and walk at the same time!? Now that would be funny to see! I bet, Sam, that your description of it looking like a constipated duck is pretty accurate! So I was wondering what you all were doing in the hula hoop were jogging huh? You peeps are pure craziness!
Dad, you found a Japanese fishing weight? Those are those glass ones right? Did you keep it? That's a neat find.
I know...we were/are spoiled with that projector. Even big TVs look small! Although I don't really every see TV screens any more. Just when we show our church movies to people. So the bulb is still going strong? That thing has lasted a long time! Let's see if it makes it to my homecoming! Yeah, I doubt it.
Well I just can't believe that you read and slept at the beach house. Why would you spend all that money just to do things that can be done at home? Unbelievable. I will never understand.
So Sam, you built a web page! Good job Sis! I'm so proud of you! That's what I'm going to start telling people now. "Yeah, it's not a big sister just built a web page. No, I mean it's not a big deal...she's just like...amazing!" Man, how could you hate that? I used to do that for fun! Did you build it with HTML? (Where you typed the code).
That's too bad that you missed the Rhody Festival. That would have been fun. But it sounds like you have lots of reasons for missing it! No parking, self conscious, tootache, does the list go on?! Well, I'm glad that your 'very powerful medication' helped you Mom! Hooray for very powerful medication!
Well, I think I've said enough...let me see...holy flipping cow! Four full pages! What got into me? Well, as always...thank you for your pryaers and letters! I love you all.
Take care, be nice, stay happy, don't read too much!
Love Ben

P.S. I came across this scripture today in my personal study and it really struck me. Are you familiar with this one Dad? It's 1 Timothy 4:13-16. It is all about magnifying our priesthood. It applies really well to missionary work. Because it talks about how as we "take heed unto [ourselves] and to the doctrine" we will save both ourselves and those people who hear us, or in other words, the people who we teach. I think those verses apply to all priesthood callings. Anyways...I thought it was neat and just wanted to share it with you.
Love ya!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


June 1,2010
HI guys!....and girls....
How are you all doing? I'm glad that my card made it safely home! I don't want to lose another one! So the sounds not good on the computer either? Hmmm....that is the only downfall to this camera. I love it except for it's mic. Well I will try to remember to speak up. :)
About the mexican food....I am actually starting to acquire a liking for it. Oh my goodness....guess what I ate last night. We ate at a Mexican families home (members) and they made me a hamburger with avocado and mayonnaise and UN melted cheap cheese slices! And here's the crazy part.......I....Ate......It! Can you believe that? It actually wasn't that bad. But wasn't that good either! But yeah I'm starting to eat stuff with tortillas and stuff!
So your memorial day was rainy huh? I'm not really that surprised! Our memorial day was about 90 degrees until the evening and then we had a lightning and thunderstorm move in. No rain though. We get lightning about once a week out here. Its crazy! I love it though. So how was your rainy Memorial day? Did you have fun? I'm sure you did! :) Did you end up doing your game night? they had a pre trekers ball?! Wow...they go all out! So you didn't square dance dad? No cotton-eye-joe for you huh? I bet Emma had a ball! (no pun intended!) Am I right Emma? I will be praying that you survive this trek dad? Good luck.
That's neat that you got to hear from Landon and Mark. Tell them hi for me as well! How do they feel about being home? What are their plans? Let me know when the wedding announcements come out!
Was the girl who talked to you at YSA conf Sister Burton? Jesselyn (sp?) Burton? I did get a letter from her but I don't remember her mentioning a mission to Phoenix AZ. Maybe its a different girl. But if it is Sister Burton then the reason I haven't written her back is because the envelope got lost in transfers and so I cant reply because I lost her address! If you see her again (and it is Sister Burton) please tell her that I'm sorry I haven't replied but I don't have her address. I will write back to her if I have her address!
So most people here have a big stone in their front yard with their name carved into it and the other day while me and Elder Alonso were tracting we saw a stone with the name "Underhill" on it. Isn't that the name that Frodo gives the bartender in that bar in the first Lord of the Rings movie? I wanted to go knock on the door and see if any hobbits lived there but we didn't have time to get to that door. It was funny though. Not really a very common name ya know!
So I never got the story about finding a hula hoop on the beach. Those were some funny pictures! How are the Hula hoop skills doing in the Cryer family? The pictures made it look like there's a little room for improvement! :) That picture of Jackson cracked me up too! I miss my fuzzy brother! :) And he got to join you all in the beach house! Man, what a spoiled dog! I still remember our last beach house trip before my mission...Thats a fun way to spend time at the coast! It looks like you all had fun. It looked a little chilly though. Did it warm up while you were there? It has been so hot here lately. Me and Elder Alonso keep our eyes open for sprinklers while we're tracting and we run through them every chance we get! The other day we decided to have a little fun with it. We ran through a sprinkler and just got drenched (knowing we'd be dry in five or ten minutes) and then we knocked on our next door. A lady came to the door and said "Oh my you two are drenched!" We just smiled and said "Yeah...its really hot out here.....not much you can do but sweat." She about died! "Oh my goodness do you need some water?!?!?!" Then we decided to tell her the truth! We said "oh no....we're fine. Actually we just ran through that sprinkler" and then we pointed over to the sprinkler. She just laughed and said..."You two scared me!" and then we went on with our missionary talk. It was really funny.
Well I'm glad that you're all doing good. I have to go but I'll look forward to your letters and I'll get my letter off soon. Love you! Have a good one.
Love Ben