Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Hey everybody!
Hows ya'll doin?!?!? I am doing great! We had a baptism yesterday!!! It was very exciting! There was a bit of a road bump but it's all smoothed out now! (I'll tell you about it in my letter).
So, transfers are today! Guess what the news is!?!?!?!?!.....................
I'm staying in Ulysses for at least another six weeks! I'm serving with Elder Moser. I don't know who he is.....yet! I'm excited. Elder Alonso is off to springs.
Well.....we have to drive to Garden City today to do companion switches. Should be fun.
Well I'm way sorry that this e-mail is so short but I gotta run because Elder Alonso needs to pack up! I'll write a letter while he packs!
Love ya,
Love Ben.

P.S. Thanks for the pics.
P.S.S. Thanks for the long letter Emma!


7-19-2010 letter
Dear Family,
Hey! You're having a great week right?
Well, let's see. What do I need to update you on?...
I have some very sad news. "N" did not get baptized on the 18th. She was doing so well. We were visiting her every day and she had her interview and was looking great. We even saw her Saturday night and told her we had everything and everyone ready for Sunday. She was so excited. There was even a lady in the ward that told us she would bring brownies and lemon bars. Well, then Sunday rolls around and we woke up at 6:30 am and got ready for church and then at 8:00 am we noticed that we had a missed call from her at 6:00 am that morning! When we saw that we zipped over to her house. We knocked on her door and her mom, who had been there for a couple days, said "Who is it?"
I leaned up to the closed door and said, "It's the missionaries."
Then she said, "Oh, well N isn't here." She told us that she didn't know where she was. Elder Alonso and I decided we would still go by the church and print out the baptism program. When we got to the church we knelt down and offered a prayer asking that we would know what to do and that we would be able to accept the Lords will and N's agency. Then we printed out the programs. About ten minutes before church was going to start we went by N's house again. Her mom talked to us through the door again. She said that N had gone to Dodge City for a family emergency. We tried calling throughout the day but we didn't hear back. It was so disappointing. It was hard to work that day.
I don't know why I'm being tried so much. It's been far too long since I have helped someone receive the covenants of baptism. I don't know what the reason is. I really appreciate what you said at the end of your e-mail mom. It really did help to read D&C 122:8. I have also been reflecting on the words of Ammon in Alma 26:27-30. I feel like I understand what Ammon felt. Don't worry, I'm not about the turn back. But I do feel like I'm at a point where the Lord is asking me to "bear with patience my afflictions." It is very hard. But the reason the Lord asks us to do it is mentioned in verse 30: "And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul."
That is why we do it. That is why we stay happy and optimistic. That is why we never give up. Because that one soul is out there waiting, even praying for you. President Pfile has given us a promise from the Lord that there is a baptism waiting to happen in every area. We just have to find them and prepare them by helping them feel the spirit.
We are going to try and see N tonight and give her a date for the 25th to be baptized. I hope she accepts.
I do have to ask...how do you always seem to know how I'm feeling mom? You are amazing! you always say things that help me face all the struggles I have. Anyways, however you do it I really appreciate it.
So, I have to agree with you mom, the stationary that you chose for your last letter was very interesting. I liked it though....it made me want to go write a song.
What's this? You got contacts mom!?!? That's crazy! Do you like them? Now you can relate to how Sam felt trying to learn how to put them in and take them out.
So I think that they are holding the mail longer at the mission office because I have still not received the letter from Sam (including the Morning Toast) that you said you mailed on the 12th. That's already been a week and I just went out to check the mail and it's not there. Oh well...I'm sure it's on the way!
So, Sam and Emma...mom tells me that you have gotten your hands on some HUGE marshmallows! Is this true? That sounds like a ton of sugar! ARe you sure that those are even legal?
Well, the other day we were tracting and we came to the door of a Christian lady. It was very interesting. I figured I would just copy the journal entry about her so that's what that July 15, 2010 paper is all about.
Well, let's see...what else is new? Oh, I think I have athletes foot. Yeah, that's fun huh!? I have a rash like thing on the bottom of both my feet. That's a first for me. I noticed it because me feet were itching like crazy! Luckily we had a spray for it here in the apartment. It doesn't itch anymore and I think it's starting to clear up. I'm pretty sure I'll live.
Well, I better get this off. I love you all very much. Thank you for all your support!
Take care of yourselves!
Love Ben
P.S. How is Francis Cooper? I haven't heard from her in a while. Is Chris still doing the army thing? Tell Sister Cooper I was thinking of her and her family will you? Thanks!

The Journal Entry July 15, 2010
We just came in from tracting to eat lunch. We just got done talking to a 'Christian' lady. She was crazy! She kept telling us what we believed (which was all wrong) and then when we corrected her she would just shake her head and say, "NO, that is not what you believe."
She kept saying, "Mormons don't know what they believe."
We just smiled and said, "Well, we know what we believe!"
She told us that we don't pray to Jesus Christ, that we don't believe in the Bible, that we aren't Christians, that we practice witchcraft and a lot of other things. She told us that we are wolves in sheep's clothing going door to door preaching false doctrine. She brought up that whole Revelations scripture about not adding or taking away from the Bible.
I said, "Well if you would read the Book of Mormon then you would find that it teaches the same as the Bible."
She said, "Oh no it doesn't teach the same."
Then I said, "I don't think I would say that until I read it and knew what it said."
She went on the explain how she has studied Mormonism and read lots of books about us. She wouldn't listen to a thing we said. She kept telling us what she believed about Christ and the central role of the Atonement. We just kept saying, "Yes, that's what we believe too!"
She said, "No, you believe that you get to heaven by your works. You think that by doing this mission thing you'll get a higher place in heaven."
Of course we tried to explain that that wasn't true but of course she didn't listen! I don't get what's so hard about listening to what we have to say and then pray about it to know if it's true.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Hey everyone!
WOW!!! 22 pictures to look at! That was exciting! It looks like all is well.....at least, the house looked like it was still standing!
It looks like you had a great birthday mom! That breakfast looked delicious! I'm just a little jealous. (Is it just me or have you been eating more strawberry and whipped cream filled delectables since I left?) Speaking of that...have you gone to "Off the Waffle" lately? I remember those were so good. But anyways.....Yes, I love your body pillow! Did they buy all those covers for it it did they get you a whole new pillow? And I love your popcorn bowl! "More popcorn please"....that's exactly what I think when I reach the bottom of the bowl! That's neat.
Hmmm....so you couldn't blow out all the candles. I don't think that's good is it? I will keep that on the DL! We'll just keep that to ourselves!
So you got the happy birthday song through a megaphone! I bet that was a privilege! (Especially since it came from the Masons!)
So you mentioned that you would have loved to try some of my fried rice...well, you might just get a chance to try it! It still isn't gone! I made a TON. So I might still be eating it when I get off my mission in which case I'll let you try a little! :) (O.k. so I'm joking, but seriously its still not gone. I think I'll eat the last of it today for lunch......thank goodness!)
So is this the first time that Emma and Avery have gotten together since I left or are they hanging out more? I love the Cottles. They're an awesome family!
You mentioned that its been hot. Well same here. The last week its been up in the
100's and yesterday it reached 108 I heard. I'm getting used to it though. It doesn't bother me that much. I would rather it be 108 instead of what I was dealing with in Calhan where it was 20 degrees! I like the heat better.
Well I have to say.....your description of the removal of "Chewey" wore me out! Six hours? Six trailer loads? 7-8 foot root? Let me clarify because I think I might be confused.....did this actually happen or were you merely explaining a horrific dream you had last night? :) Wow....so the pampas grass is gone huh? Did you get that approved with airlines? I'm pretty sure that was a pretty major land mark used for navigation. Not to mention that the earths rotation has probably been majorly affected by its removal. (!!!) (Not to mention the severe affects it had on your back dad. I will pray for you!) You know whats funny?...I remember that football! I'm actually surprised that you didn't find more hidden in the encircling grasps of the great "Chewey"! So no Fred huh? I guess we have to keep wondering.
Well I enjoyed getting your letter this week mom and the pictures that came with! (I'm glad that you like my present Emma!)
Oh.....look at that, I'm out of time...again. (I think that's the story of a mission!)
Well, I'll talk to you later! Thanks for the pictures and letters and e-mails! I love em all!
Hope you have a great week!
Love you
Love Ben

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Dear Family,
Well, I just got done deep cleaning the fridge. Fun fun! It was getting a little dirty. I vacuumed and swept and mopped and wiped down all the counters. I'm tired of cleaning now. I've got all my laundry in rotation now. Getting ready for the week.
So I told you in my e-mail that I had a miracle story to tell you. You know that we've been working with 'W' for some time now. Well, her boyfriend was not happy that she had been meeting with us and was really unhappy when he found out she was wanting to be baptized. He has been a bit of a problem for quite a while. And he wouldn't meet with us. Well, 'W' called us two days ago and told us that she had something to tell us.
She said, "I always go to bed with my BooK of Mormon and the pamphlets that you've given to me and read them before I go to sleep. Well, when I woke up this morning they were all gone. When I went out my boyfriend told me that he had something to talk to me about."
I asked him what it was.
He said, "I got hold of your books this morning and started reading them. I like what they say."
"So then," she said, "he started asking me a bunch of questions."
Man, when she told me that I was so happy. It's like a dream come true! I don't know what will come of it but I know that the Lord is preparing something. 'W' should be getting baptized on the 25th of July
We are also working with another lady. Her name is 'N'. We found her last week and taught her the first lesson and the spirit was really strong. She accepted to be baptized on the 18th of July. She also said she'd come to church with us and she did! She was there yesterday. It was great too because every second Sunday the ward has a 'linger longer' where they serve a potluck meal. So 'N' stayed for that as well and talked to some of the members. It was neat because we found out that she knows 'J' (who was just baptized about two months ago and is doing great!) We're looking forward to 'N' baptism this Sunday.
So the other day we were walking down the street and we saw a guy walk out of a house and go to his car. We went over and talked with him. We found out that he hasn't believed in religion for some time and that he was confused about God. He also told us that he was just visiting his sister so he wasn't from around here. We asked him if he would be alright if we shared a wonderful message that would help him in his life. He agreed. I asked if he would say the prayer to start us off and he did. He said, "That is the first prayer I've offered in many many years."
We went on to testify and teach. About 5 minutes after we started talking to him another guy came out of the house to take the trash out. He went back inside and about two minutes later the sister of the guy we were teaching came out with a camera and started giggling and taking pictures. I figure it must have been amusing to her that her brother, who was not religious at all, was talking to two LDS missionaries. It was funny. So, now Elder Alonso and I are famous!
Well mom, I enjoyed getting your letter! The days are flying by way too fast aren't they?! I really can't believe how short the months seem to be lately.
It sounds to me like you and Sam and Emma had a good trip to Florence. Were they low on pretzels? How is Dipzy's doing? Has it grown any? Has the website been doing anything? I don't even remember...did we leave the website up or not? So, what's this trap door in the bathroom? Do I have an explanation in the letter from Sam that's on the way?
That's too bad that Jackson go sick. Did it ruin any of your plans? I'm glad that he's doing better now.
Well, I'm really wanting to pick up the pace on this whole learning Spanish thing but I don't know where to start. Any suggestion? I think the hardest part for me will be patience!
Well dad, you asked if I have gotten sick of my fried rice. Not yet, but I did make a TON! More than I thought. I've only eaten half of it so far! I still have another full weeks worth! It's pretty tasty though!
Well, you asked how I feel about how I'm doing. Honestly I feel like I'm doing great. The only reason I say that is because I feel like I am learning and improving. I'm not at a stand-still. I talked with Sister Pfile at interviews and asked her how I can become better at clearing my mind so that I can be more open to receiving personal revelation. She gave me a few suggestions and the she said, "Elder Cryer, this is a skill you're learning. Be patient with yourself. You will become better at it the more you practice it."
So I really do feel like I am growing.
Leading with love is another story! No, it's getting better but I'm still not very good at it, I don't think. I still don't have the D&C 121:36-46 leadership down yet. I still have alot to learn. President encouraged me to study...not read, but study those verses. I am going to do that because I want to lead with love. I just don't know how to yet. If I could lead like you dad then I would be happy. I just don't get how you do it but you are a great leader. A good example for me.
Well, we have to go help someone move a couple of dressers. Maybe they'll feed us too! You never know.
Hey, they did feed us! We had Pizza Hut pizza. Not the good ole homemade pizza but it was not bad. They ended up not even needing the dressers moved! So we helped move a couple of other small things and then we ate.
Well, I'd better get this in the mail before the mailman comes to pick it up.
Love you all!
Love Ben

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


July 12, 2010
Hey! Guess who it is............its your all time favorite missionary in the whole flippin world!!! .............................(RIGHT?)
First things must come first............
I hope that you have a great day today! How neat that I get to e-mail you on your birthday! So who's cooking dinner for you tonight? What are you having? :) Well, even though I'm in Kansas know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you a happy birthday!
Well how are the coolest people in the world?! Hopefully good! I am doing great. We just had interviews yesterday which were great and we have two baptisms coming up. Both of which are looking good and solid! I'm so excited. Its been a long hard dry spell but the Lord is blessing us for our persistence.
Well, like I said.....interviews were yesterday and they went really well. President didn't really tell me very much. He said "Elder Cryer, your doing great and your learning. If I give you all the answers then you won't learn. Sometimes less is more." That was the bulk of what he told me. He also said "Elder Cryer, thank you for stepping up and working extra hard. Tell your dad that your doing great." I told him I would....so.....Hey dad guess what?!?!?! I'm doing great!!!!!!!
So I got my package the other day! Thanks a ton. I'd been missing my gummies! And it's great having my watch back! $1.00? Is that really all it cost? That's crazy. (Crazy awesome!) And those sour gummies were an awesome treat! Thanks for sending me all the stuff I ask for! I think I'm good for now. (I can hear you sigh in relief!) At least....I'm good for a couple more days!
.....Oh, hey...I just got your e-mail!
Yeah, interviews were going to be today but they got switched last minute. Don't worry, you're not the only one being kept on your toes! This is the second time that they switched the interview day on us. No one can seem to make up their mind! Interviews were good though, like I mentioned above.
So you all got to go to the famous lake house! I've heard all about that but I never got to go. It sounds like it was fun. It sure looks like it was nice and warm and sunny from what I saw in the pictures. That lake looked very tempting! I have to ride past the city pool every stinkin day! They've got slides and fountains and diving boards....it looks so enjoyable. Especially when its 100+ degrees outside and your wearing slacks, a white shirt and a tie while your riding a bike.....oh, did I mention that we're riding against the hot wind? Yeah...a pool looks really nice!
Man, that cheesecake looks tasty! I could go for a piece of that right now!
Oh.....looks like my times up. I'll reply to the rest in my letter! I got a cool miracle story to tell you!
Well, love you (thanks for getting an email off to me even on short notice!)
Talk to you soon,
Love Ben.

P.S. Remember to have a great birthday today mom!

HAPPY 4th!!!

July 6, 2010
Happy 4th!
It sounds like you all had a good fourth of July. I missed watching the fireworks and having a fire in the backyard. Like I said in my e-mail we just worked on the 4th. I think I know why everyone always thinks that we're with the Jehovah's Witnesses. We don't celebrate holidays as missionaries! We're always working!
Well, we have interviews coming up. They're this Monday. Hey, that's mom's b-day! I'll let president know...maybe I'll get a special phone call home! Um, yeah...not a chance that'll work but what the heck, I'll still let him know!
Wow...I just got done spending two hours in the kitchen! I made myself a tone of fried rice. That way I won't have to cook all week. I cooked all the rice and then breaded and seasoned the chunks of chicken and then fried them and then I fried some onions and peppers and then cooked some egg and mixed it all together with some sauce I bought. it took forever to make but it tastes super good. I'm starting to appreciate more and more all the dinners you made me over the years mom. Actually, EVERYTHING you did for me! It's hard to keep up with everything!
Well tonight we have dinner with a recent convert in the ward. She was baptized right before I got here. She loves to cook for us and feed us. She is also wanting to do a special musical number in sacrament meeting. She wants to sing 'I Need Thee Every Hour' and she wants me to play the piano. I've been taking a few minutes on p-days and before church on Sundays to try and figure out an arrangement. I've got a pretty good idea so far. We'll see if it pans out. She said she wants to do it but she wasn't even brave enough to go ask the bishop if she could and so I had to ask for her. We'll see if she'll get up and sing for a crowd.
My bike chain is making all sorts of funny noises. I need to oil it. Other than that my bike is still holding up fine.
So, Sam, have you written any more stories? I remember you telling me in a letter back at the beginning of the year that you finished the first draft of your Charlie Pool story. Have you revised it at all? Is it going to be on the market soon?! Have you had any luck with publishing your poetry?
So, a couple days ago I was looking through the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible and I found a couple of neat things. JST Gen 17:11-12 talks about baptism at eight years old and JST Gen 50:24-38 is that scripture in the Book of Mormon about how the Bible and Book of Mormon will come together. I think it's in 2 NEphi 3. Anyway, I thought it was interesting how those scriptures were lost and how much confusion there is today because they were lost.
Well, I know that this letter is short but I can't think of any news. Hope your all doing well. Take care.
Love you all,
Love Ben


July 6,2010
Hey everyone!
Well it's been an intense week. Some big disappointments but also some big miracles. The big disappointment is a really long story but basically what it came down to was that "W" did not get baptized. It was a very sad time. Surprisingly it was also a very intensely spiritual time as well.
As for the big miracles.....We tried visiting a former a few weeks ago but we found out that they moved. We talked to the guy who was living there now but he wasn't interested. Yesterday we tracted into his trailer. Instead of skipping his trailer we knocked on the door. He said "Oh hey guys how are you doing? Come in, come in. I have really been wanting to talk to you guys and see what you're out talking about. I need a good message in my life today." It was a miracle. The Lord prepared him over the past couple of weeks. We taught him the first lesson and committed him to be baptized on the 18th of July. He accepted. It was a really neat experience. I guess that his wife was in the hospital because she was having a baby! He said that his wife is not really into organized religion but he told us that he was determined to get his family going to church. We told him that we would be happy to help. He is a really cool guy.
So....how are you all doing? It sounds like you all had a good fourth of July! We didn't really do much celebrating. First of all we aren't allowed to light fireworks, and second we had to be in our apartment at 9:00pm and it doesn't get dark until around 9:30 or 10:00pm. And we couldn't see any fireworks from our apartment. Very sad I know. It really didn't feel much like the fourth! It was pretty neat though because in Hugoton the city decided to celebrate the fourth of July on the third and do all their fireworks displays on the third because they didn't want to do it on a Sunday. I thought that it was neat that they wanted to respect the sabbath like that.
In Ulysses they celebrated on the fourth. We did use our genius to get ourselves invited to a fourth of July BBQ! Man, they had a ton of food! Mostly meat. It was heaven!!!
Everyone was doing BBQ's over the weekend. Most people weren't too thrilled when the Mormon missionaries came riding up on their bikes and tried to spark a conversation. We managed to get a couple going though. We didn't do any tracting. We just rode around and talked to people. We also went to the jail and visited someone there. Our district leader called us while we were in the jail visiting and so we didn't answer. When we got out I called him back and said "Hey Elder M, I'm really sorry we missed your call. We just got out of jail though.....anyways, what can we do for you?" There was a slight pause on the other end of the line and then I explained. It was pretty funny!
Oh man.....dad....I got to ride in a '66 Mustang on the 4th! We ate at a members home (Who have quite a bit of money) and then when we were getting ready to leave their son got up (who got back from his mission not too long ago) and said "Hey elders....I'll take ya home." We walked out to one of their many hangers on their farm and he pulled the cover off of his '66 Mustang. Man it was pretty! It was bright orange with two white racing stripes down the center. We rode home in style...top down and everything. (I won't mention the part about where he forgot that he was out of gas and so we broke down on the side of the road in the middle of the middle of nowhere and had to wait for his brother to bring some gas and rescue us....ecause that was just embarrassing!)
So Carson has been hanging out at the house huh? Tell him I'm waiting on a reply to the letter that I sent him!
"Forbidden Planet"...wow that sounds intense! Its bad huh?! Could you see the zippers on the costumes of the forbidden aliens? :)
So the pampas grass may be gone when I return? Its just dead now huh? That would be a hard job. You'll have to wear armor so that you dont get cut to death!
So you all got together with Laura and Kevin and Jasmine? Did you ever tell me that they were coming to visit you? Not that you need to tell me everything that you're doing in your life but I don't remember hearing that they were coming. I love the pics! So...Kevin is Lauras son right? and then Jasmine must be Kevins daughter right? Jasmine.....that name sounds familiar. Was she even born when we went to Florida as a family? I don't even remember if I've met Kevin! Anyways....looks like you all had fun.
Well....I dont remember if I've done this yet but even if I have I'll do it again. HAPPY B-DAY EMMA!!! You have to tell me all about your birthday.....and the trek!
Now its moms turn. HAPPY B-DAY MOM!!! I wont get to email you a happy B-day this Monday (the 12th) because I think that interviews are that day and so I'll be emailing on the 13th instead....I think. I hope that you have a great b-day though! :) (Is your back feeling better? You look great in the pictures!)
Well I gotta run...
I love you all tons~
Have a great week....thanks for everything,
Love Ben.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Update from Ulysses

June 29, 2010
Dear Family,
Man, where did June go? This month went by so fast! I can't believe that day after tomorrow will be July 1st. But before we get off the subject of June I have to say...Happy Birthday Emma! I hope that you had a great "get back from trek and throw a huge party" birthday! :) What did you get? What did you do? I can't wait to hear all about your b-day and the trek. You have a lot of writing to do!
Well Mom, is your back feeling any better today? I hope the answer to that is yes. I hate to think of you lying on your bed in pain. Good job for laughing and smiling even though it's hard...I need to work on that too.
My suits are holding up pretty well. I have never gotten any of my suits wet but the black pinstripe suit needs dry cleaned I think. I think I'll wait until right before I go on my jubilee at my year mark. My slacks on the other hand have been getting a frequent soaking. They're holding up fairly well as well. The seam right below the pockets on both sides has started to come undone but nothing I can't fix with a needle and thread. I'll try and remember to take a picture next time we drench ourselves in the sprinkler!
Wow, I thought seeing the pigs head was gross but that's not nearly as gross as blowing up its bladder and playing with it.
Wow Emma! A test score average of 99%...that's flipping incredible! (Don't get prideful!) I'm very impressed. I bet you're pretty happy!
About the pretzels Mom, I'm sure they'd be o.k. waiting a little longer. Just whenever it cools down over here.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the "Candle of the Lord" talk. I really enjoyed it as well.
Well Emma it sounds like June 5th was a difficult day for you. Two pretzels sold in two hours...that does sound very familiar! Remember how I practically yelled at that girl in a desperate attempt to sell a pretzel? "We have samples!" Ah, what a day.
Well I'm glad you like your cowboy hat. I thought you would. Right when I got it I thought 'I have to find a way to get this back home to Emma.' And I did. :)
I had to have Elder Alonso translate your Spanish to me. That is exciting! So now you're all done with school!
Yeah, we can play games on P-day (if we have time!) Are you making your brother a traveling checkers game!? That'd be awesome. :)
You Touched My VIOLIN! >:( ...Well, I guess that's fine. :) I trust you'll be careful with it.
So Emma, I hear from good sources, including yourself, that you have become a "Social Caterpillar." Is this true? It sounds like you've been having a good time with your friends.
I do like the Dipzy's business card. Man, that is an amazing design job. I wonder who did that? :)
Well like I said in my email we had an amazing zone conference last...well, it was yesterday! I took a ton of notes. I'll see if I can share some of the things that I learned.
We talked a lot about how to get personal revelation. President Pfile taught us the foundation blocks to receiving personal revelation: Obedience, Listen/Ask for it, Repent, Humility.
If we are doing those things then we will be open to receiving revelation. It looks so simple but really it's not. We have to really work at it. But it's well worth the effort. Like Julie B. Beck said in this last conference "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life" (pg 11 of May 2010 Ensign).
President also taught us how we can better use the church buildings to teach and also why we should respect them.
I am learning so much about the spirit and how to let is use me and guide me. It's been neat.
Well, I better let ya go. My hand is aching and that is about all the updates for you. I hope you're all doing great and are staying happy!
Take care!
Love you,
Love Ben

P.S. Mom, no I can't bear my testimony in Spanish yet. I've not been giving my Spanish a whole lot of attention. I need to step it up. I am still working on it though.

P.S.S. I forgot to tell you...last Sunday I gave my very first Sacrament meeting talk on my mission so far! I almost went ten months without speaking! I was asked to speak on D&C 18:15-16. A typical missionary talk! It went well I think. I have always thought that it woudl be hard to talk for 15 minutes but I was actually having to cut stuff out! I had so much to taok about!


Hey Family!
Well It sounds like the trek was a great (once in a lifetime) experience! I can't wait to get Emma's full length, full detail, full blown description of the trek! I'm excited to hear all about it. So Dad, was it even more walking than Eagle Cap? Because I seem to remember that you had some pretty good blisters on that hike! :) Did you get any blisters on the trek? It does sound like, from what you described, that you did a ton of walking. I thought they were going to have horses for you....did they decide against that? I've been offered to go horseback riding a few times while I've been out. I wish I could but of course its against the rules. Well...I would ask more questions about the trek but I'm sure Emma will fill me in. I will say that I am glad that you weren't lynched dad! It sounds like your lucky there were no trees!
Thank you dad for your advice on how I can be a better leader. I really do want to be able to lead in a loving way but it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm jealous of your ability to lead with love and so I'm grateful that you were willing to impart some of your wisdom with me! I've got a lot to work on.
Well this e-mail is coming on a Tuesday because yesterday we had an AmAzInG zOnE cOnFeReNcE!!!!! :) It was without a doubt the most spiritual zone conference I have had on my entire mission so far. I tried to write in my journal my feelings about it last night but its so hard to convey in words....impossible in fact (Especially for me!). I can't tell if the zone conferences are getting more spiritual or if I am. Maybe both, I don't know. All I do know is that I felt the spirit so incredibly strong yesterday. It filled my whole body up. The best way that I can describe this zone conference is like this: Its like there was teaching going on on two different levels. The first level was the things that were being said. The actual words being used. The second level was so much deeper than mere words though. It was like my spirit was conversing with the spirit of the Lord inside of me and I was trying to listen in. I almost feel like I learned more yesterday than I even know I did. I think that my spirit understood more than my mind understood and now I have to learn what I was taught yesterday. Does that even make any sense? I know that I am not good with words. I wish I could describe everything I felt yesterday. I did have a very spiritual experience yesterday that I will share with you in my letter. President shared a personal story with us that he said he doesn't share with many people. I'll explain in my letter. :) But this zone conference was all focused on how to be eligible for, seek for, receive, and follow personal revelation. Man it was good! I'll share some of my notes in my letter.
I must say that my love for both President and Sister Pfile has grown so much since I first came out. They are two very amazing people and have become very special to me. I am really very sad that I wont get to finish my mission with them.
So this last Sunday we were driving to church in Hugoton and I almost ran over Fred! (O.K. maybe it wasn't Fred but it was his cousin I think!) I just barely missed and then I turned to Elder Alonso and said "Did you see that?" He answered my question by saying "See what?". I swung the car around and we got out and introduced ourselves. That's how Fred was found right?...crossing the road? Well we took a couple pics and then headed to church. We didn't take him with us because it says in the white bible that we cant have pets. :(
We went over to a members house for dinner on Sunday and they were roasting hot dogs over the fire. It was fun. I haven't done that for a long time! Then we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. Elder Alonso had never had a S'more before and you should have seen his face when he bit into it. He did not like it at all. I think that it was too sweet and gooey for him. He likes spicey food! He did manage to finish it despite sister "S" saying "You really dont have to finish it if you dont like it, really you wont hurt my feelings." It was funny. I enjoyed mine though!
Well mom how is your back doing? I was so sad to hear that you were laid up in bed again. I know how hard it is for you to deal with that (Well, I dont know really how hard it is because I've never been there but I do know its hard). I hope it heals quick. I'll pray that it does.
Well I gotta run. We have a busy, hectic P-day today.
Love you much, take care
I love you
Love Ben