Friday, February 18, 2011


February 14, 2011 Letter
Dear Family,
Today is Valentines day...which doesn't mean a thing to me. But in case it means something to someone then...Happy Valentines Day!!!
We just got done cleaning the apartment. It feels nice and clean now. As I was cleaning I was so grateful for being raised in a clean home and for parents who taught me how to be clean. Thanks mom and dad!
Well, I have six double sided pages of letters to respond to. I guess I better get started!
Seattle sounds like a fun trip. Sounds like quite the hotel you stayed in. The pool was on the 28th floor?! How many floors were there? There is definately a lot to do in Seattle. I know in my few times there I only skimmed the surface! Is it true that there is a restaurant up in the Space Needle?
Ken sounds like a cool guy. That's a pretty dang good memory! I could never do that.
Those pictures of Sam and Emma are fun. Why didn't you get one drawn mom and dad? That's O.K. Emma could probably do just as good!
Dang it. So I have to get two more shots. I hate shots. Well, I guess if I have to then I'll go get em.
I really enjoyed you sharing Emma's FHE lesson with me. It was neat to read those different experiences where you saw the Holy Ghost working in your life. What made it even more interesting was that I've had some neat experiences with it lately as well. I'll share them with you.
While Elder Smith was at the temple and I was in Holly with Elder Dayley we went out tracting in a town called Granada. As we entered the town Elder Dayley turned to me and said, "Tell me what street we need to tract." So I looked down each of the streets as we drove by. As we drove past Elm Street I could feel that we needed to tract that street. So I told Elder Dayley and then we began tracting. After knocking on just a couple doors we met a lady. As we talked to her she invited us in and proceeded to tell us how the missionaries used to stop by and teach and then they just stopped coming one week and had never been back until we came. She also told us that her husband was going through some hard health issures. We talked about the Book of Mormon and shared a spiritual thought. When we left she thanked us and asked us to come back. I know that she was the reason we needed to tract that street.
Another similar thing happened to Elder Smith and I the day after he came back from the temple. We were in Hugoton trying to decide where we would tract that day. We felt inspired to drive out to Rolla, which is about 20 miles away. When we got there we stopped on Adams STreet and started tracting. After a few blocks we knocked on a door and a lady answered the door. Elder Smith told her that we were sharing a message that blessed families. A message about how Jesus Christ has restored his gospel in these days through a living prophet.
She said, "Oh, I'm Catholic."
Then we said, "That's great. We definately promise you that this is a message for everyone and will bless you and your family."
After a small pause she said, "I smoke. Do you mind?"
We told her we didn't mind and she let us in. When we got in she invited her husband and two step daughters to sit in on the lesson. The husband agreed. We taught about the restoration. We got to the part about Joseph Smith and we read James 1:5. We asked her what she would do after reading this if she were Joseph Smith.
She said, "Well, I would go seek truth." Then she shocked us both by saying, "Was Joseph a prophet?" (Tell me she wasn't in tune with the spirit there!)
We told her that yes, he was and we shared the first vision with her...well, with them. Afterwards we testified and asked if they would be baptized. The husband quickly said no. He told us that he had no problem with us but he wasn't interested in changing. Then the wife looked up at us and said, "I want to do it." The husband looked a little surprised but then told us he was fine letting her do what she wanted to do. We taught this lesson on the 12th of Feb. We've been told by the Mission President to extend dates three Sundays out, unless the spirit directs otherwise. Well, three weeks would have been the 27th but I felt strongly impressed to extend the 6th of March to her. So I did. Well, come to find out she wouldn't be able to make it to church on the 13th but she could make the other weeks so it worked out perfectly. Also when we extended the 6th for baptism she asked us what time it would be. We told her she could choose. She chose to do it a 3:00. We usually do them right after church at 12:30 or 1:00 but then later when we were talking to our district leader he said, "Wow, that's interesting that she chose that time because we have Stake Conference on the 6th. So that will give you time to drive back from Garden City to Hugoton." How cool it that! The spirit directed everything there. I love the spirit. We're going to take her on a church tour this Wednesday with some members that live in Rolla. I'm excited.
So those are a couple cool experiences with the spirit that I've had recently.
Well Emma, I showed Elder Smith your drawing of Ken. He like it. He said, "Dang, she's good!" And I must say that I agree! Very impressive.
Well, I love you all a ton. I hope you have a great week.
Love Elder Cryer


February 14, 2011 e-mail
Hey everybody!
Well dad...I was extremely sorry to hear about your brutal loss at sorry. You have my deepest sympathies. I'm sure you would have won if they hadn't cheated. ;)
Thanks for the update on the Masons. I'm glad that they're doing good. I can't wait to see that family again! I can just picture Carson standing in the middle of the store while verbally releasing his disgust of dumb customers! That's....well, that's Carson! I still remember the time they took me in that huge walk in freezer at Cash and Carry. I bet Carson and Jodi remember that. I did get a nice long letter from mom but I don't remember seeing anything that mentioned where Carson is going. I'm pretty sure I would have seen it if it were there. Either its in a letter that I haven't gotten or it was a forgotten detail. The most recent letter I got was the package...which by the way, thanks a TON!!! I have actually been craving peanut M&Ms for a while now and just never got any!!!! It was an awesome treat. But yeah, I'm still dying to know where he got called to.
Now, more on the package....I always love watching the videos that you load onto the card. It looks like my sisters are still just as crazy as ever! I was impressed with those dancing moves to the Owl City song "Hello Seattle". I heard that song at a Sonic one day. Good song. By the way...have you ever heard of Sonic? I had never heard of it until I came out here and I didn't know if they have them on the west coast. Its basically just a drive in fast food restaurant. Anyways...nice moves! And I have to say that that was some of the finest head bobbing that I have ever seen dad. That takes true talent.
So you finally got to see the new Harry Potter movie. Was it worse than all the others so far? I guess I didn't miss a whole lot then. That's O.K. I haven't been going through withdrawals at all. I really haven't missed watching movies too much. Now music is another story but I'm doing good! I have to say that "mission music" (A.K.A. the same music over and over and over and over and over again does get a little old. But there's just enough variety to keep me from going completely insane!).
Speaking of movies (No I haven't watched any movies...I was just reminded because of our Friday pizza and movie nights) Me and Elder Smith were given some frozen pizza dough and so we made a chicken, bacon, BBQ pizza. It was really good. I will never get tired of pizza. It is awesome!
So yesterday the temp got up to 81 degrees. Not bad considering it was negative thirty four a few days ago! Its supposed to be nice all week we hear..and then get nasty again. Yippee!!! Not. I would be perfectly fine if it just stayed nice from this point on.
So transfers comes up next week. I've been asking a bunch of people what their predictions for me are. Everyone has said something along these lines. "Just give up...your never leaving here." and "You'll be here until you go home." and "If I were you I would just have my records transferred out here." So, according to "everybody" I'm staying. I really don't know. At this point it can go either way. I'll be interested to see what happens with me.
So I have another cool miracle to tell you about but again I'm out of time. So I will fill you in in my next letter.
Thanks again for the package and for everything!
Love each of you!
Love Elder Cryer

Sunday, February 13, 2011


February 8, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,
Well, I have a bunch to tell you! I've been learning a ton lately. I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll start by replying to Emma's letter.
It sounds like you all have some pretty fun missionaries in the ward. How often do they come over for dinner? Did you brag about your record time when they came for dinner?
So how did your week without a schedule go? It looked like you survived until the weekend because you looked alive and healthy in the Seattle pictures!
You mentioned that you and mom were going to try to make lip balm. How did it turn out?
Last week we went out tracting in minus 34 degree weather(that's including the wind chill). It was bitter cold. I don't think that I've ever been in weather that cold before. We were out tracting for about an hour and then we came in and warmed up for a bit before going out again. It was not the most enjoyable thing ever but I was bundled up pretty decently. It hasn't gotten that cold since then but it's about minus 20 right now. It's 2:30 pm and it's been snowing all day. There's a good two or three inches on the ground with some drifts about two or three feet deep. I'm glad it's p-day today so I can stay inside!
Despite the fact that it's minus 20 degrees I still decided to make some frozen hot chocolate. It's really good! Elder Smith and I drank it all up. I think that next time I make it I may try it with just three hot chocolate packets so it has a slightly milder chocolate flavor. But it was way good.
So last Friday we had a four hour district meeting! It was very long but it was worth it. The Zone Leaders came and trained us on how to have a more effective first visit with people. They were teaching us how the HOly Ghost can meet any need that anyone has. We have to figure out waht every individual needs and teach everything to that need. We need to help them understand they 'why', which is the Holy Ghost, and the 'how' which is baptism. It is a very effective, but very hard way to teach. Then we role played teaching it.
The next awesome thing that happened was Zone Conference! It was divided into three workshops. 1)The assistants talking about the do, feel, know teaching 2)President Pfile doing role plays of the first vision 3)Sister pfile talking about planning.
The assistants wanted us to focus on four things in our teaching:
1)Solid Commitments
2)Direct and Simple Teaching
3)Baptism and the Holy Ghost
4)Use Effective Questions and Follow up Questions
President wanted us to focus on four things:
1)Inspired Questions (How Why What)
2)Promise Blessings
3)Commitment Driven
a)Say, "We invite you" not "We want you"
b)Be more bold with love
c)Ivite them to do things more than once
4)Use the pamphlets
He told us to have them write down their baptismal date and other commitments. "A goal not written down is nothing more that a wish."
Sister Pfile focused on how we can plan better. One thing she said is that, "The faintest ink is better than the strongest memory." She encouraged us to write down everything in our area books and daily planners. She said, "Missions are to be invested, not just spent." She also said, "The spirit pays attention to those who pay attention."
I learned so much from Zone Conference. But the coolest part was when we got to put it all into action. When we got back into our area we went to see a former that was taught a little bit some two years ago and who we felt strongly impressed to go see a few weeks ago but could never get in contact with. Well that evening she was home and so were her two sons. We had the most awesome, spirit guided lesson. I asked questions that I know came from the spirit because I had never asked them before and I've never heard them asked. We felt like we taught exactly to their needs. When we extended a baptismal date they accepted. Then we had a kneeling prayer at the end of our lesson. We all sat in silence after the prayer for a minute or so so that the spirit could touch each of their hearts. It was amazing. I'm very excited to see them a tchurch this Sunday.
So, if you have any question in your mind let me say this. I love my mission. Yes, there have been hard times. Yes I have been discouraged, disappointed, and at times heart broken. But I am grateful for all of those times. I really am because it is in those times that I feel the need to change, to improve. It is during those times that I am taught about the Atonement and my personal need for the Savior. It is in the midst of my trials that I can experience the Lords peace and be given the change to grow. And I know that it is through those trials that my delicate testimony is changed into a sure foundation, which 'foundation of God standeth sure.' (2 Timothy 2:19)
I have been learning so much lately and I love it!
I also love each of you so much. Thanks for everything you teach me and do for me. I am grateful for my family!
Take care! I'll talk to you next week.
Love Elder Cryer
P.S. How is the job search going for you Sam and Emma? Any potential jobs?

Included in this letter was a second letter dated February 1, 2011. It follows:

Dear Family,
So does this look a little different? Yes, I am typing this letter. I found this old typewriter hidden away in the back of our apartment her in Ulysses. I thought that you might enjoy a typed letter!
So today has been extremely cold. We did about two hours of tracting. It stung our skin. It was minus 34 degrees...that's what we were told. It felt like it too! We didn't stay out in it for extended periods of time though. Oh, this morning we had to fill up the car with gas. I got out to pump the gas and when I grabbed the gas pump handle my hand froze to it! No joke. My hands were numb within mere seconds of being out in the wind and the cold. It makes for a good story...but it wasn't very fun at the time! I've never been outside in that cold of weather.
So I've been really enjoying having my sketch pad. I like to be able to have something fun to do on p-day. One of the last pictures on the picture card that I sent home was a rough sketch of the cover of PMG. What do you thing? It's not quite as good as my picture of the Christus. I love drawing pictures of the Christus. I've been working on drawing people as well. I'm really beginning to get better at getting people to look real.
We just went out to see some less actives. We are teaching the husband of a less active memeber. We went by to see how his reading of the Book of Mormon has been going. We're going over with a member tomorrow to teach him the third lesson.
So for dinner tonight I made Elder Smith some of my famous chicken, strawberry BBQ sandwiches. He really liked them. I want to do some more experimenting with them. I want to try to make it with blueberries instead of strawberries. It sounds so weird it might actually be good.
Well, I think I'll hold off for right now and blab on some more a little bit later...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


February 8, 2011 e-mail
Well hello! is Tuesday, not Monday. No...I did not forget to e-mail yesterday! We had our Zone Conference yesterday in Garden City. was such a good Zone Conference. I learned a ton of stuff that will really help me become a better teacher. I took tons of notes. I'll have to tell you all about it.
Speaking of mission stuff...Carson has still not told me where or when he's going. I am still in the dark. He's probably doing that on purpose but I really want to know. :)
So you were right. I didn't get your e-mail last week. But I guess that's fine because I got two this week!
That's nice that you were able to see grandma and grandpa for a little bit. That's not so good that grandpa got sick. That's no fun. I think that I may have gotten some mild food poisoning a little while back. Nothing horrible, I just didn't feel too hot for a couple days. Luckily it didn't last long.
Thanks for the jokes. A few of them are pretty "groan" worthy, but a few of them actually got me to laugh. I enjoyed them. :)
The pictures were great too! It looks like you had a fun time in Seattle. That's a cool place. I'm looking forward to going back there. If it doesn't overlap the time of the cruise I want to go to my usual Tran Siberian Orchestra concert!
That's neat that you were able to go to the temple there. I have never been there. At least, I don't remember ever going there.
Elder Smith just hit his year mark a few weeks back and so he'll be going to the Denver temple on Thursday. He'll be traveling on Wednesday and wont get back until Friday in the later afternoon. President asked me if I'd be alright just staying by myself for those few days in Ulysses. I told him that would be fine.... O.K. maybe not. :) I'll actually be going to Holly for those few days and will be serving with Elder Dayley. Elder Dayleys uncle was the bishop in Calhan when I was serving there. And Elder Dayley was trained by my trainer (Elder Oakes) the transfer that I left. So we are brothers as far as the mission is concerned. So I'm really looking forward to it. Elder Dayley is a really cool guy.
So I sent home my picture card last week. I hope that it got to you alright. Just let me know when you get it!
I did attach some pictures for you as well. Don't ask about the deer leg. It was just completely random and so I had to take a picture! I also put a picture of the zone at our Zone Conference yesterday. Then I thought you might like to know who I'll be on team ups with.
It is snowing pretty hard right now. Im not sure how much we'll get but they're saying that it should snow tomorrow as well.
I have an awesome miracle to tell you about. I'll share it in my letter though because I'm out of time. But there's somthing to look forward to!
Love you all a ton,
Love Elder Cryer


January 31, 2011 Letter
Dear Family,
How's it going? It is dang cold here! We went in to Charla Segers hairshop today and got our hair cut...again...for free! Charla's awesome!
Everyone is beginning to realize that I've been here forever! People are always making comments about it! The Primary in Ulysses is getting ready for a presentation in October and they asked me if I wanted to play violin for it. They said, "You'll probably still be here." Then they asked, "When do you go home?" I told them September and they said, "Oh yeah, you'll be back!" It was pretty funny. I really do hope I will be able to come back and visit. I've already had someone offer to fly me out the first week of December for the Christmas parade that they are part of and they want more people to help. Just an option.
Well, I have to say I loved the videos on the card...that was a fun treat. You all look great! (and the house looks good too!) (And I love your hair dad...Looks simply amazing!)
Are you still liking your hair Emma? it looks great.
So Emma, you're going to England in July? Man, so you will get back right before me! Crazy. I bet your going to have such a good time over there.
So all you girls made soap huh? It sounds like a pretty intense process! It almost sounds dangerous.
So Sam, time for a new job huh? Anything you're wanting or just something other than school? I've been praying for you to find something.
What's this about Emma looking for a job? No way. That just boggles my mind. That would be sweet to sell cards with her cartoons. You'll have to let me know how that goes.
How is the P.T. Cruiser holding up? You should just trade it in for the Charger! I have become a lot more familiar with cars since I've been out. It just kind of happened!
Yes, that is the family of four I was telling you about. I appreciate your continued prayers for them. We are still struggling with them. It's really hard. I really care about this family but I can't make choices for them. It's been pretty difficult but I'm just hoping that there is a really great reason that this is happening. Maybe there's a miracle waiting on the other side.
So enclosed are some letters to go back to the seminary kids that wrote to me. I thought they might enjoy a little note back. If you could get them to them that would be great!
Well, I love you all! Have a great week.
Love you,
Love Elder Cryer!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


January 31, 2011 e-mail
Well hello again!
So have you gotten my most recent letter yet? Sorry that I was so late in sending it out. I wasn't late in writing it I just forgot to send it until Thursday. Don't ask me why! :)
To answer your question. Yes, I did get my picture card...thanks! I should be sending my other one back pretty quick here.
So, on Friday and Saturday it was beautiful! We had 70 - 80 degree weather. Guess what we have today. It is currently 21 degrees and we're expecting snow. This evening and tomorrow they're saying that we're expecting wind chills of anywhere between about negative 15 and negative 25 degrees! All I can say about that is "DANG THAT'S FLIPPIN COLD!!!!!" I don't know that we'll be doing much tracting if it really is that cold. We'll just have to do little bits here and there so we don't get too cold! You mentioned in your letter that you've been having some nice weather. Is it still around?
Oh, speaking of weather. Someone told me that Seattle Washington had a bunch of flooding. Like three to four feet of standing water through the city. Is that true? That's a lot of rain!
So the Dews gave us a coupon to Pizza Hut a few days ago. It was for a free medium two topping pizza and breadsticks. We asked if we could have cheese on the breadsticks and she said yes. Well I guess that it cost to get the cheese on them and so she gave us the coupon back! So then a couple days later when we were in Hugoton we went to Pizza Hut again with an investigator. The lady there let us have a free salad too! Well, by now I am sick of Pizza Hut....and then we find out that our dinner appointment the next day is taking us to!!!.......PIZZA HUT!!! Dang it! So I am officially sick of Pizza Hut now! :)
So it sounds like those new windows are treating everybody pretty well! I bet they do look nice.
Me and Elder Smith took some time this morning to do a little deep cleaning. We went through all our cupboards and threw away all the food that we will never eat. We also threw away some food in the refrigerator. Then we swept and wiped stuff down and it looks great!
So how was your visit with grandpa and grandma? Did they end up coming down on Thursday? How long did they stay? I hope they are still doing good!
So we just found out that on the 10th of February Elder Smith will be going on his Temple Jubilee. So I'm thinking that on the 10th and 11th I'll probably be in Garden City working with the Zone Leaders. At least, that's what Elder Moser did when I went on Jubilee. So that should be fun. Our zone leaders are really great missionaries. They like to have fun, they're not power hungry, and they know how to work! They're cool.
So we're teaching a couple people right now. Two of them only speak Spanish! (I may have told you this already) It doesn't make any sense that two Elders that don't speak Spanish are teaching people that only speak Spanish but...we do what we have to do! It's nice because it forces us to take a member. (Because we need someone to translate!) So its actually worked out pretty well. We're making some good progress with them which is nice. We are going to be going out to a lot of the surrounding towns this week to try to find more people to teach. Because just like it says in PMG..."nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach." So the more people we're teaching, the more stuff will be happening...which is what we want.
Well its time for me to run. It doesn't look like your e-mails come through yet so I'll get it next week.
Take care!!! Love you all
Love Elder Cryer
P.S. I'll try to remember to actually send my letter when I'm done writing it this time! :)


January 24, 2011 Letter
Dear Family,
I'm sorry for that unintended dirty trick about transfers! By the end of the e-mail I totally forgot that I forgot to tell you where I was! It's a good thing that I remembered that second e-mail!
So, Sam, how are you enjoying your slightly easier schedule? Is math going good? What exactly did you mean whe you said you are focusing on your writing? Do you have any new projects or are you still working on Charlie Pool? Is that almost publishable? I love hearing the stories you tell about the kids at school. Kids are so random? They crack me up? And they're blunt and straight to the point.
So how long have you been Relief Society President? I bet you do a great job. You are a very patient, compassionate person. Much more than I am?
Iam amazed at your goal to read the entire standard works in one two languages. Wow! That is quite the goal. I wish you luck.
Well Emma, I was sorry to hear that you weren't feeling good a few days ago. That's awesome that you were able to experience that priesthood blessing though. It really is an amazing thing. I'm grateful for the priesthood too.
In our Ulysses Ward Conference we talked a lot about D&C 93:40. "But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth." I am so grateful for parents that have done that for us, aren't you? You, Sam and I are pretty darn lucky.
Well, the reason that I started my last letter with'familia' was just to switch things up a little. I'm doing horrible with Spanish right now. Since my companion is English speaking we get no time to study it.
Well, what do I have to tell. We went to have dinner with a part member family a few days ago. We asked if there was anything we could do to help them. The non-member husband said that he needed help putting up plywood under their covered deck out back. We said we'd love to help. We could tell by his reaction that he wasn't expecting us to help. He looked shocked and said, "Really? For real, you'd help?"
Finally we convinced him that we weren't joking and we went and helped him for about an hour. It was really nice to do some hands on work for a change. It reminded me of all the projects that we did, dad. Good ole' Bob & Bill Dur. Good times.....
January 28, 2011
Dagn it! I keep writing these letters and then forgetting to send them. Don't ask me why. It makes no sense. I'm way sorry. I'll try to do better!
Love you!
Love Elder Cryer