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...

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