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!

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