Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! I can't believe it is Christmas already. We just got back from the store and we bought lots of goodies :) Sugared cereal of course. That's a must. Captain Crunch is what I got. I don't even really know what to write about this week. It was good. :) I don't want to really say anything though so that I have stuff to talk about on Thursday! Haha We got a couple new investigators this week :) Jessee, Roman and Michael. Jessee is super prepared and amazing and a member referral. I love those! Roman we tracted into with He Is The Gift and got to teach him the first lesson. He is from Russia and is going into law enforcement. We also found Michael who we think was a potential investigator. He is awesome! Oh, and I didn't email yesterday because we had zone conference. ALL day! It was so awesome though! We got to play dodge ball and watch a movie and play minute to win it and build rockets out of paper and tape and launch them with straws. It was good times :) We also talked about the Book of Mormon. It was a really good zone conference! I am always amazed at how strong the spirit is when we talk about the Book of Mormon! and who knew, but President Shumway somehow got his hands on the gold plates! Pretty awesome :D Also, this is Elder Mo. We got to know him at the Nativity Celebration and he is a hoot! So I got a pic with him. Well, that's all you're gettin' for now. You will just have to wait until Thursday :) Love you! Talk to you soon Sister Cryer

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HE IS THE GIFT.....WATCH IT!!

Hello everyone! Happy Christmas! First of all, have y'all seen the He Is The Gift video? If not, then go on and watch it right now! It is so good. Don't even finish reading this email until you have watched it! chrismas.mormon.org ....................................Wasn't that awesome!!! You should probably share it on facebook or something... ;) Just sayin' Ok, now that you have watched it we can move on. So, this has been a crazy week! Monday seems like a year ago! Haha! That was a crazy day. Right after I finished emailing you we were talking to Bishop and we realized that we had said we were doing a 'He Is The Gift' activity for Family Home Evening that night. Great. Bishop had somewhere else that he needed to be and we had a dinner appointment in 30 minutes. So we had to scramble like crazy! Bit of a stressful evening, but it all worked out in the end and I think people had a good time. At least we hope so. Something really good that came out of it though was that Dylan was there. He is an investigator that we haven't been able to see for a while. He came Monday night to FHE. I got to talk to him a little bit. Then just before he walked out of the room to go home I asked if we could talk to him for a couple of minutes out in the hall. He said yes and we ended up setting up a lesson with him on Friday. When we met with him on Friday he told us that his plan had been to go to FHE and tell us that he wasn't coming back. That he was done. He ended up not saying anything but decided that if we didn't say anything before he left he wouldn't come back. He said he didn't think we were going to say anything, and then when I actually did, he was so grateful. Me TOO! Dang! I would have been so sad if we had lost Dylan just because I hadn't asked if we could talk to him for 2 minutes. I was so grateful that Heavenly Father didn't allow me to loose him by not saying anything. Tuesday was cool. Bishop had a Christmas lunch with his company and invited us to it to eat and then share the 'He Is The Gift' video with his employees. It was really cool and Bishop has had a lot of positive feedback, so that is good :) It was nice to be able to talk to a few former potential investigators too in a non threatening setting. Just casual conversation so they know that we are humans too! Campus is closed now. People are home for the holidays and the place seems dead! It's really weird. We know there are still people around, but we have been really spoiled with campus. We have to actually go FIND people now instead of just being able to step outside and immediately be surrounded by 18 to 30 year olds. So we have to figure out some new strategies. We were recently asked by our mission president though to start setting aside an hour a day to tract with 'He Is The Gift', so that is something new that we will be doing :) CHRIS NEASE IS BACK!!! Did I tell you about Chris? He is a recent convert who dropped off the face of the earth a month or two ago. We called, we texted, we went to his house, we even went to his work! No luck. Then suddenly, Bishop got an interview with him, and we got to have a lesson with him! It was so awesome! I was super happy to see him. Sunday was cool. We went to the Nativity Celebration and got to see The Six perform. You should look them up online. They are performers from Branson. I got a picture with one of them and he even signed my planner. Haha! I felt super dumb, but all the Elders were super jealous ;) Well, that is about all I have time for, dang it! Not enough time! Have an awesome week y'all! Sister CryerBeing photo bombed by the Elders.

Monday, December 8, 2014

EXCEEDING THE STANDARD!

Hey y'all! So this is going to be a super short email and probably a really short letter as well if I have time to even write one! We had a zone outing today and let me tell you, those things are fun but they suck the time out of preparation day! I did get my Christmas package!!!! Thank you so much! I was so excited to get it and I can't wait to start diving into all the food :) Haven't had time yet, but it'll probably happen tonight. This week was amazing! We hit the standard like no one's business! The standard is 20 lessons of which 60% are member present, two new investigators, and 1 investigator at church. We got 27 lessons, with 77% member present, 2 new investigators and 2 investigators at church. Super exciting! We were the only one's in our zone to hit the complete standard. It was pretty exciting. Really quick I will tell you about our new investigators and then I will have to sign off. So, Naji, is one of our new investigators. We met him while trying to contact a less active. Well, it ended up that she had moved about a year ago (awkward) but we got to meet Naji. We talked to him for a while on his porch and we told him what we do as missionaries. We asked if that would be something he would be interested in, learning more, and he said "yeah, can I give you my phone number so we can stay in contact and set up a time to meet?" CAN YOU?! No One Ever Asks To Give Us There Phone Number! It was amazing. So, we have met with him twice since that and he is awesome. His mom is Christian and his dad is Muslim and his grandpa believes that the world is flat and that if you got onto the bottom of the world you would fall up. I want to meet this guy! Our second new investigator is named Jennifer. She is super cool! Her boyfriend is a less active member. His name is Alex. Bishop met him when Alex was planting trees in Bishops yard. They started talking and the long and short of the story is that we met with both Alex and Jennifer on Wednesday and we LOVE THEM! They are awesome and Jennifer is SO getting baptized. Just sayin'. Any way, I had better sign off. Arrrggg! I have so much to write about! It's ok. I will get it all down at some point and someday I'll tell you about everything. :) Love you all! Have an amazing week! Love, Sister Cryer (Dec 8, 2014 email)

AWKWARD!

Dear Family, Happy 1st of December! Sounds like y'all had an amazing Thanksgiving! If only Ben and Alisa would drive out and visit me. Haha! Just kidding. Don't do that. That would be bad. So, we have a new recent convert that we are teaching. His name is Augi (Augustine). He was baptized about a month ago by the Elders in Tulsa and then he moved out here. So we get to teach him! I was pretty shocked though because when we taught him The Plan of Salvation he said the Elders hadn't taught him about it. WHAT?! Anyway, so we are teaching him. So, there was another awkward door knock that I need to tell you about (Friday with Sister Erickson). So we go up and knock on the door. An older gentleman comes out and we start off with, "Hi, we're missionaries...", but then he looked like he was going to say something so we stopped talking and waited....for a while. We were all just standing there looking at each other. Really awkward! Eventually, after waiting for him to say something we finished our original statement, "....from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Another pause. Then he says, "I have your bible." Silence. Then as I was about to respond he finishes, "Thank you much." and closes the door. Sister Erickson and I just looked at each other and laughed. It was so awkward. We did see a miracle on Friday. We were about to head back to the institute after tracting and have dinner when we realized there was another house on the corner that we had missed. After debating for a few seconds whether or not we had time to knock the door we decided we did so we back tracked a little and tracted the last house on the corner. The people there weren't interested but as we left the house and headed to the institute we got to OTM a really nice girl out walking her dog. She gave us her phone number and told us that she would be open to talking with us more. Woohoo! We would not have met her if we hadn't taken the time to knock that last door. This letter is a little shorter than it was going to be. I apologize for that, but me and Sister Nelson were falling apart emotionally tonight as we were trying to write letters so we decided 'to heck with it! and went and played pool at the institute instead. It was good times. We have decided that in order to work hard during the week we need to play hard on preparation day. We decorated for Christmas today. Meaning we got our one and a half foot tall, fake, pre-decorated Christmas tree down from the top of the cupboard where it has been gathering dust since last Christmas, and plugged it in close to the couch in the main room of our apartment. Then we each got one of our socks and hung them next to the tree with thumb tacks. It's now looking very festive in that corner. Well, I'd better go to bed. It's that time of night. Have a wonderful week. Love you all. Sister Cryer

Monday, December 1, 2014

BEING BOLD

Merry Christmas!!! I can hardly believe it is December! Especially because just two days ago it was about 65 degrees. I do not understand the weather here! Oh well. It sure is cold today! We had some sleet last night so it is pretty icy and snowy looking today. So me and Sister Nelson had an awesome week! I won't be able to write about everything in the email but I will just start with Monday and give you some of the highlights and then I will give the remaining highlights in my letter; how's that :) So, the highlight on Monday was a Thanksgiving dinner at 1st and Calvary Presbyterian Church on campus. The church just put on a dinner for all the students in the area who wanted to go and they invited us there as well. There were some people from the ward that showed up and me and Sister Nelson got to talk to a few people while we were there. It was really nice. The best part though was after the actual dinner. We were talking to Brother Andrew and thanking him for the wonderful dinner. Then, I don't remember how it came up but we gave him an invitation to the nativity celebration that our stake is putting on. He was really excited about it and said that he would love to go and it looked and sounded like it would be amazing. We, of course, agreed whole heartedly! Then, he gave us the best surprise ever! He said that he was going to advertise this event for us! He said they could photo copy the invitation that we had given him and put it on all there tv screens and internet and who knows what else, but he said they could get it pretty much everywhere so that students would know about it. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! That moment alone made the evening totally worth it! The next best thing about that night was that Brother Andrew let us help him clean up. He was practically the only one there and he was just cleaning up all the tables and chairs by himself. That would never do! So we asked if we could help and he said that if we really wanted to we could take the table cloths off the tables. We were off like bullets! It was me and Sister Nelson, Lauren and Alvin. We had a race to see who could get the table cloths off the fastest and in less than a minute the tables were clear of cloths. Then we set to work folding up chairs and breaking down the tables. Those things went away like clockwork! We assured Brother Andrew that we knew what we were about. As Alvin pointed out, as Mormons, we have been doing this sort of thing since we could walk! Haha We had so much fun and me and Sister Nelson really enjoyed doing some physical manual labor and service. Loved it! After that we headed to the institute and did some facebook stalking of less actives with Lauren and Alvin. Good times. Lets see, Tuesday. Tuesday was fun. We taught a lesson to Zach. He is doing good and finally moving out! Yay!!! The lesson was really good though. We had Lauren with us and she bore her testimony of the atonement. Wow! The spirit was so strong in that room! So good. We tried something new on Tuesday. A survey on campus. It is actually going to be a pretty effective tool I think :) We came up with some questions, like: do you believe in God? What church do you go to? Do you believe in the Bible? Do you think God could give us more scripture in addition to the Bible? What do you think of when you hear the word Mormons? etc., We had a lot of fun doing this survey with people and I was really happy with how many people actually stopped to talk to us. I think that as we keep doing it we will see some pretty cool things come from it :) Wednesday we had district meeting. After district meeting we were going to catch a ride with the Marshfield Sisters but that didn't end up happening because their rides car broke down and wouldn't start. Great. haha. So we just sat in the building for a while and planned for a Christmas fireside that we were thinking of doing to introduce the He Is The Gift Christmas Initiative. There was a lot of planning that went down on Wednesday... We were coming up with ideas left and right :) Sister Nelson has some really creative ideas on how to find people to teach. It is going to be a great transfer! We made some cookies during our dinner hour and then went out that night to deliver them to less actives and potentials. We actually ended up finding a new potential when we knocked on a less actives door and found out that she had moved about a year ago. Awkward. We ended up talking to the guy though, Naji, and he said he would like to meet with us and learn more :) SWEET! We will be seeing him tomorrow hopefully. Thursday was Thanksgiving. Hallelujah! It was such a great day! As you have already seen I caught two fish! Best Day Ever! I was so happy! There were some other things that happened as well though ;) When Bishop picked us up in the morning there was a turkey trot going on. Man was I frustrated! Hundreds of people right there, and we couldn't talk to them. Not being allowed to proselyte on Thanksgiving is so dumb. Well, maybe not, but right at that moment I thought so. I thought of all the He Is The Gift cards that I could hand out and all the people I could call to repentance and it brought a little tear to my eye. lol On the drive up and back me and Sister Nelson brain stormed with Bishop about finding ideas and about how we could promote the Christmas Initiative in the ward. We came up with some good ideas and got Bishops stamp of approval to do a fireside at his house on Sunday (yesterday). He also told us that he thought we should talk about the Christmas Initiative for the third hour at church. Since it was the fifth Sunday everyone would be combined. We thought that was a great idea so he said, " awesome. You can plan it." Oh. When we got up to Bishops parents house they made us feel right at home right away. Bishops mom came up to us and I said "hi, my name is Sister Cryer." to which she responded with "My name is Grandma," and gave me a big hug! Everyone was super nice and fun and we had a great time visiting and talking to everyone. There was so much food! I ate two full plates and dessert. After that we went out with Bishop and his Sister and niece, Hailey, and tried to catch the horses so that Cara could ride them. (Cara is a girl in the YSA that came to Bishops with us). In that attempt, we failed miserably. But we had fun trying. One of the best things about the day though, I got to take a nap. (Sigh of contentment). It was amazing. If I can just say, the Nothums know how to buy couches! So comfy. :) Friday we had exchanges with the Springfield 2nd Sisters. I stayed in our area with Sister Erickson. I was little more confident this time than my first exchange! It was a really fun day, but I missed Sister Nelson. Sister Erickson was great though and I learned a lot from her example. We didn't have a whole ton of stuff planned so we went tracting a lot. We met a lot of nice people :) and we got some funny stories from that tracting time! One door we knocked on this guy with long gray hair and a red bandana wrapped around his head came out. We started talking to him and he said, "I read your book!" "The book of Mormon?" I asked. "Yeah." Sweet! That's what I was thinking. I asked him how he had gotten it and he said "I bought it. I wanted to read it." "What did you think?" "I think he's a kook!" Oh. Not so sweet! Haha! Then he went on, "But you don't, so that's ok. I don't think I'm material for your next convert." Then he flashed the peace sign with a "peace out" and closed the door. Ok then! Me and Sister Erickson had a good laugh as we walked to the next door. Another time we knocked on a door and small pack of little yappers started barking away like there was no tomorrow. A lady came to the door and rolled down a window type thing in the glass screen door to talk to us. We introduced ourselves and talked to her a little bit about what we were doing. She responded with "well, I'm not very talkative so..." and pushed the screen up a little bit to close it. Sister Erickson said "do you like videos by chance?" "I'm just going to reclude myself from it entirely" she said, all the while slowly pushing the glass on the screen closed. We managed to get an 'Ok, have a nice night' in before the window closed completely and she was gone. Again, we had a good laugh as we walked to the next door. Saturday was fun. We got to go to the Nothums and help Sister Nothum decorate for Christmas. She had a ton to do and she had to have it done that day, so we helped her make some treats for the fireside on Sunday and decorate THREE Christmas trees. Brylee (the Nothums granddaughter) was our work boss while we were there. She was so cute! You could tell where she helped us to decorate the trees because she could only reach so high. So the bottom of the tree was so jam packed with ornaments that you couldn't tell if there was a tree there or not! Sunday was awesome! The third hour went really well and the spirit was there as we talked to the ward about missionary work and the Christmas Initiative. It was really cool and I was glad that I got to be a part of it :) We also found a really promising potential investigator. :D We went over to The House of Seven for lunch after church and to teach Antwain and Sydney. Sidney wasn't there but Antwain was and another guy that we didn't recognize. His name is Charles. Any way, we had lunch and then pulled Antwain outside for a lesson. On our way out I turned to Charles and asked if he wanted to come. He said sure! Woohoo! So off we went and talked to Antwain about church attendance. (He hasn't come for several weeks now.) Cool experience during that lesson :) We had talked to Antwain about church and why we aksed him to come. Why goint to church is so important. I asked him if he wanted to know that what we had been teaching him is true, because we are claiming to be the ONLY true church. He said that he did want to know and we explained that coming to church would help him to know if our message is true. Any way, at one point, after he had finished answering a quesion I realized all at once that I didn't know what to say. I had absolutely nothing. Great. Before it got awkward though, Sister Nelson turned to Charles and asked him what he thought about all this. He started talking and oh boy, he is so going to be a new investigator. He said that he had never heard anyone claim to be the only true church and that he was really interested in learning if that was true for himself. He said that he would love to meet with us and learn more. We tried to set something up right then but he didn't know his work schedule. Frustrating. But we are really excited! After the lesson we compared notes and Sister Nelson told me that she had really felt like she needed to ask Charles what he thought about what we were saying, hence the reason I didn't have anything to say. I wasn't SUPPOSED to say anything! And then she said that she was grateful that I had been so bold in my statement that this is the true church of Christ, because that is what caught his attention most. So cool! The fireside at Bishops house went really well! A lot of people showed up, despite it being such short notice, and the spirit was there really strongly as we all shared our thoughts and feelings about Jesus Christ and how he has been the ultimate gift in our lives. Me and Sister Nelson put a lot of thought and prayer into that fireside and we were so glad to see the Lords hand make it what we had hoped for :) We even had a non member there! Well, there are some of the highlights :) I hope you all have an amazing week! Love you all Sister Cryer (email Dec 1, 2014)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dear Peeps, First of all, Sister Nelson says hi :) I LOVE Sister Nelson! She is so fun! We have had a great few days together since she got here on Thursday. I was sad to see Sister Reese go. Me and her had some good times as well, plus she knew what she was doing! Haha! But me and Sister Nelson are taking the bull by the horns and we are determined that this is going to be an amazing transfer and full of miracles. So, I did buy boots on Monday. I couldn't wear them until Tuesday though because I water proofed them and they had to dry. But man! I had no idea that feet and legs could stay so warm! It was heavenly to go outside in those things for the first time. We also bought Jon (Atwell, recent convert) a tie. That was kind of a funny experience to be a Sister missionary in Walmart and ask a Walmart employee, "Excuse me, could you tell me where the men's ties are?" Somehow it just seemed like I shouldn't be asking that. haha We did the booth on Tuesday at MSU. Have I told you about the booth? Probably not, because until Tuesday it hasn't been that effective and so was not worthy of mention. However, because of it's success on Tuesday it is now worthy to be talked about a little :) So, the booth is just what it sounds like. A booth. LDSSA (LDS Student Association) reserves the booth and then we can go on campus and promote activities of family history etc. It's located in the PSU building on campus and it allows us to actually stop people and talk to them. WOOHOO! So, our success on Tuesday, I am convinced, is due mostly to the fact that we had candy. The night before at FHE part of the activity was sticking candy on family history cards that we could hand out to people at the booth. There is nothing that draws in YSA's like free candy. So, we handed out family history cards and candy and we also had a bunch of invitations to a Nativity Celebration that we got to give to people. When people wouldn't stop to talk to us, Zach (a member of LDSSA) would chuck a family history card with candy attached and yell, "Free candy comin' attcha!" That worked really well too! haha There was one point at the booth where a huge group of Mexican kids walked by. They ALL stopped to see what was going on, and I suddenly found myself backed up against our big LDSSA sign surrounded by at least 10 Mexicans who did not seem to understand the concept of personal space. I had to try really hard not to start laughing! Sam, this will interest you. People in Missouri say 'whenever' a lot. They pretty much use it in place of the word 'when'. So instead of saying, "When I went to 1st grade" they will say "Whenever I went to 1st grade." It's crazy! Any way, I pointed it out to Sister Reese and Lauren a little while ago, but they didn't agree with me. They hadn't noticed that people used it in place of the word when. Well, we were talking to Brother Lawson on Tuesday and he confirmed my observation. He was saying something and said the word whenever, and then he interrupted himself and said, "Have you noticed that people here use the word whenever a lot?" HA! Take that! In the mouth of two witnesses shall the word be established. Sister Reese was stunned! Hehe So, Zachs baptism went really well! :) I was so happy for him. It was funny though, he didn't realize for some reason that there would be a bit of a fuss made for him. Not anymore than anyone else but he seemed to be under the impression that only the people who needed to be there would come. So he was getting all teared up when other people showed up for him. He even started crying when he saw that we had made programs for his baptism! He has a bit of a soft heart. It went really well though. The spirit was there. Zach has come a long way :) So Wednesday was a bit rough. We were late for everything it seemed like and there was confusion about dinner and just all sorts of things. However, one good thing that happened was that I got to go to Lamberts, home of the thowed roll. Oh yeah! I almost caught the roll too! It glanced off my thumb though and landed on the floor. The guy didn't throw it right! That is the only reason I didn't catch the thing. Lets see, Thursday was transfers. We were almost late because the Assistants were about half an hour earlier than they said they would be. But it all worked out and we got Sister Reese off safe and sound. Friday was pretty mellow. Weekly planning. We did try to visit some less actives, but no luck. Me and Sister Nelson were talking though later that night and we both feel like we are going to learn something this transfer. Like, learning in the hard way. Oh well. It will be a good growing experience I guess. Saturday was fun. We got lost visiting less actives with Angela and then we got to meet a recent convert that had just moved into the ward; Augustine, or as he likes to be called, Augi. We also got to help someone in the ward move. Hurray! Service! Funny story about that though, we got back to our apartment a little bit later than we had planned after less active hunting so we had to scramble to get our service clothes together and all the stuff that we would need that night at the meetings we had for stake conference. In our mad rush we forgot that we would need to put on our service clothes before we left though and so we got over to Helena's house, about 4 doors down from us, and then ended up changing there! It was so funny! Me and Helena were cracking up about it. Any way, after moving Elizabeth we went to the Priesthood leadership meeting which was really weird because we aren't priesthood holders! Me and Sister Nelson and Sister Moon and her companion and Sister Shumway were the only females in the room. The only reason we went was because the meeting was about missionary work. President Shumway had the floor pretty much the whole time, which was awesome. I could listen to him teach all day! I always learn so much. I got to do a role play with Sister Shumway as well. That was a little intimidating, but it was fun. I actually got a compliment on my role playing skills from one of the brothers there. haha! Sunday was awesome! We went to Stake Conference and then had a lesson afterwards with a kind of recent convert (baptized a little over a year ago) who is returning to activity, Christine. That lesson was a bit different though because Christine's mom was there and she had invited Ryan and Caleb and Anthony and we had invited Dannah. When I got into the room and saw everyone I immediately thought, the lesson we were planning on isn't going to work in this setting! So during the prayer I prayed for guidance on what we could talk about. Then we just had a discussion on what we had learned from stake conference and we eventually got around to Christine and how she had come to know that this was true and how she knew that being baptized was what God wanted her to do. It was actually really good, and we were able to include Annett (Christine's mom) in the lesson. It was a testimony to me of letting the spirit guide the lesson and the things that I said. I really felt like the questions I asked were inspired by the spirit. It was a cool feeling :) Then we had a Thanksgiving lunch at 'The House of Seven' (originally named 'The House'. We have since renamed it. All seven girls in the house approve of the name). We got to help them cook a little bit and we got to do the dishes for them. Then we had some active member lessons at the institute and a lesson with Augi. We got back to the apartment at 8 for dinner and made German Pancakes (our oven pancakes) and sat on the couch and told each other funny embarrassing and awkward stories. We were laughing so hard we cried! It was very much needed and we had a great time. Well, I think that's about all my news... at least all that I can think of right now. I hope you all have an amazing week! Love, Sister Cryer

Monday, November 17, 2014

LOTS OF POTENTIAL BAPTISMS IN THE WORKS

Well look who's home!!! That is crazy! It feels like Caleb just left on his mission. And now Jaren is heading out on his. These guys are growing up so fast. Haha! So this week has been really good. It snowed yesterday! It is sunny and bright and a nippy 25 degrees. I will be buying boots today. :) We had transfer calls on Saturday. ...I'm staying! Yaya! Me and Sister Reese were both very happy to hear that. And so was Bishop! He does not like shot gunning. So I will be here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The next transfer is on New Years Day I think. Pretty crazy. Any way, Sister Reese it going home. She is super excited, and I am excited for her, but I sure and going to miss her. She has been an amazing trainer for sure. We have had a lot of fun together. My new companion is Sister Nelson. ...and now you know as much as I do! The area is doing super good right now. We have a baptism tomorrow. Zach is getting baptized. He was our walk in :) We are so excited for him! He is so ready. We had an awesome lesson with Mark last Monday. We taught about the restoration and the spirit was so strong! We invited him to be baptized and he accepted! He is thinking and praying about a date right now. We are so excited to follow up on that and see if he has set a date yet. :) Ramiro is doing good as well. It's been slow work with him, but he is beginning to progress. He has accepted the invitation to be baptized as well and he is thinking and praying about a date. WOOHOO! We are also teaching Dylan. We had a really great lesson with him on Friday. He is thinking about a baptism date as well. So, some news about family history: I am doing it! My family history. And the reasons why I am doing it are very clear to me! Ok, I will stop singing now. :) We have been asked by President Shumway to do 5 hours of family history work a week so that we are prepared to teach other people how to do their family history work. It's been fun. Sister Reese is actually studying family history. That is her major at BYU so she has been a very capable teacher; which is good because I need all the help I can get. Any way, I got to help Ramiro start his family tree on Friday. We had a blast doing that :) That kid is hilarious! We were constantly laughing at something as we put his little family tree together. He called his dad and got some information about his grandma, and his great grandparents. It was so cool! I had a neat experience with family history the other day as well. Me and Sister Reese were just inside the institute and she was teaching me how to search for names. We were trying to find information about Fletcher Lowe. And we may have found a gold mine! We were getting so worked up and excited! The thing is, we are not sure if the Fletcher that we found all this great info on is our Fletcher. Sigh. So we are going to have to find out. But it was cool. It's the closest to success that I have ever come in family history work. :) Well, I had better go. I am running out of time and I still need to write to President. Love y'all and have an amazing week! Sister Cryer

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SHORT AND SWEET

Dear Family, I can't believe it's November already! We've actually had some cold weather for a change the past few days, which has been nice. Not today though. Today it's probably around 65-70 degrees, sunny, and lots of wind! The leaves are blowing everywhere. I LOVE IT! Thursday, after Zone training we went to have dinner with Michael and Emily. They just got engaged. They are amazing people. We got a bit of a late start and we had to change our restaurant of choice from Olive Garden to Ruby Tuesdays because of very long lines at Olive Garden. Those things combined with the fact that our food took a while meant that Sister Reese and I shoveled our food down in the car as we drove back to the institute for our 7:00 appointment. Lo and behold, our 7:00 ended up not working out. That figures! So we went back to the apartment, laughing at our predicament, and got bundled up against the cold. Then we headed back to the institute , talking to people as we went, to meet Joh at 8:00. He actually ended up being late, which is funny because he always gives us a hard time about how we're late. While we were waiting for him to show up though a girl came into the room and sat down and said, "I know this is weird but I need help and you are the only people I can think of that might be able to help me. I am having a hard time letting go of something." "Uh,...is this normal for missionaries?! I wondered. Her name was Taylor I think. Anyway, so we talked to her for a little bit and tried to help her out. It was interesting though that she just came in and started talking to us. On Friday we had a lesson with a guy named Dylan. Dylan is a member referral from Cysco who actually just recently started coming back to church himself. Anyway, we had a really great lesson with those two. The spirit was there and Dylan accepted the invitation to be baptized. The only problem was we hadn't been able to find a girl member so we had to do the lesson outside and once the sun went down and the wind kicked up it was cold! Haha! But it all worked out. Like I said it was a really good lesson, plus when we got to our dinner appointment they gave us some hot water bottles to hug and that warmed us right up. Well, sorry this is kind of a short letter. Have a wonderful week! Love you all. Sister Cryer (Letter dated 10 November 2014)

Monday, November 10, 2014

A MIRACLE

Well hello my beautiful people! This week has gone incredibly fast! In fact, this whole transfer has gone by in no time at all. Transfer calls are on Saturday. Sister Reese will be going home, and who knows what will be happening with me! We are both hoping that I stay. Shotgunning is a bit rough, plus I love the ward I am in! But what will be will be I guess. I got my hair cut on Monday :) It took about 2 hours even though we didn't cut off very much and that's why you didn't get a letter from me last week. Sorry about that :/ But you will get one this week! I will make sure it happens even if it is just a one liner. Want to hear something exciting that I should have told you last week in my email? ZACHS BACK!!! Our golden investigator who dumped us to work things out with his girlfriend texted us on Tuesday (28 October) and told us that he wanted to start meeting again. Me and Sister Reese were in the little closet at the institute where the computer is when he texted and we started freaking out! We were bouncing in our chairs and laughing and high-fiving and all sorts of things. I think that was one of the happiest moments on my mission so far! So, we are teaching Zach again, he is doing so good and he is going to be baptized next Tuesday. Any way, that is kind of old news since it happened a while ago, but it's new news for you :) So there ya go! So on Thursday we had our zone training. WOOHOO! It was so good. And not only was the meeting amazing, we had interviews with President. That was the best! I love President Shumway. I only got to talk to him for about 15 minutes, but I was only supposed to have 10, so I am counting my blessings. :) In district meeting we talked a lot about what we had learned from zone conference with Elder Packer. (Speaking of Elder Packer, in my interview with him he told me to tell you, mom and dad, thank you. Apparently for bringing such an awesome person as me into the world ;) You did a good job apparently). So we just kind of went over our notes and then discussed what we had learned and felt. It was really cool to hear what everyone got out of it. The spirit was really strong. We also got some instruction for a member of the Stake Presidency. I forget what his name is, but he talked about our responsibility to invite. It was really cool. He challenged us to invite in our ward councils and to invite the members to invite. The mission is going to be downsizing here pretty soon (290 missionaries right now to 190 or something like that) and so we are going to need the members help to keep up the work. Really good meeting. Also, we talked about the story of the Brother of Jared. How he brought stones to the Lord and asked Him to touch them to give light. If you look in the footnotes in that section, Ether 3:1 footnote c, molten means skill. We talked about how without the Lord, we just have a pile of rocks; but when we use our skills that we have been given and developed to further the work, and then we go to the Lord and ask Him to sanctify our efforts, we will be successful. It was so cool! So me and Sister Reese have been trying to think of some creative ways that we can try to find people to teach as well as involve the members in the work. Things that we can do, and skills that we have. Then, no matter how out there they may be, we can take them to the Lord and He will make them work. Some of the ideas that we have come up with were a hot chocolate stand on campus, drawing cartoons of people, and getting a small group together and singing hymns on campus. Any other ideas that we might try? :) Saturday there was a football game at MSU. The ward was doing a tailgate activity on campus with the rest of the school (it's become a wet campus. We were one of the few dry groups) and Bishop wanted us to go to that so we did. It was a little bit strange as a missionary. There was music going and a lot of loud noise in general. We had three investigators there though that we got to talk to so that was good. :) We left once most everyone had been through two or three bottles of beer though. Didn't want to stay and see all that craziness. Sunday was a good day as well. We got 6 lessons. One of the doors that we knocked on in the evening a guy from Nigeria answered. After talking for a few minutes he asked where my name came from. I told him that it was an English name and he said he wasn't surprised, he could hear a slight accent. WHAT?! Then he told Sister Reese that she looked like she was English. We both went away from that door very happy and were talking about accents the rest of the evening. We had dinner with the Mangelsons last night. There daughter, Kaite Gamble, is in the singles ward. They are a crazy family! Just to give you an idea, we talked about constipated goats at dinner. Yeah. Good times! Well, I better email president now. I love you all! Have an awesome week and remember to say your prayers :) Prayer is so important! I have really been learning that. I can't do any kind of missionary work without the Lords help. He is the one that moves his work forward. I just need to keep pace and I do that through prayer. By asking, He is able to involve me in the work :) Prayer works!!! Love, Sister Cryer Forgot a story: I had a neat experience on Tuesday. We went out to dinner with a member at a little soup and sandwich place. While we were there we saw a little family come in and look for a table to sit at. Their little girl (she was SO cute) really wanted a booth by the window, but there were none available. So they sat down at a table in the middle of the restaurant. I felt like we should offer them the booth that we were at, but I wasn't sure how to approach them and say "I couldn't help listening to your conversation, do want our booth" in a way that wouldn't sound weird. I should have just done it, but I didn't. Any way, they ended up sitting in the booth right next to us when it became available. I talked to their little girl a little bit, and then we finished our meal and left. As we walked away I couldn't help but feel like we should go back and talk to them about the gospel. Before I knew it though we were in the car and driving away to go visit someone else. They weren't home though and we were still close to the restaurant so I asked if we could go back and explained that I thought we should talk to that family. So we headed back. Stopped at a stop light right by the restaurant we could see the family through the windows getting up from the booth and leaving. NO!!! WAIT! The light turned green and we zoomed into the parking lot and jumped out of the car just before they got into their car. I walked over and started talking to the dad about family home evening after the initial introductions. I asked if he and his family would be interested in learning more about how to have family home evening. He said he didn't think so but he really appreciated us coming back to talk to them. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a pass along card and invited him to call us if he ever had any questions or if he ever became interested in learning more. Even though nothing came from it that I can see, I am so glad that we went back! The Book of Mormon is in one more home than it was before. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

LOTS OF NEW INVESTIGATORS

Hello all!!! Sam, that penguin is so cute! I love it :) Is it the type of clay that you bake? The tables look really good! How long did it take to do that? Three years? Something like that. AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM! Lest you doubt my affection in any way I will tell you that you can expect a letter from me brimming with devotion sometime this week. I will write it today :) I meant to write it last week so that you would have it on your birthday but I didn't write it down on my to do list so I forgot. Well, this week has been a really great week! WE GOT FOUR NEW INVESTIGATORS! We got one on Tuesday. Brittney. She was a referral from Brother Dela Fuente. She is so sweet! She is super excited to learn about the church and the gospel and she wants to be involved in the church as much as possible. She loves coming to the activities. :) We got another on Thursday. A few Sundays we had tracted into a girl named Ashley. I think I told you about her. It was right before we had dinner with Whitney. Any way, Sister Reese and Sister Erickson taught her when I was on exchanges and the lesson went super good. They weren't able to set up a return appointment right there though. So we had been texting and calling and trying to set something up but with no response. So on Tuesday we stopped by. We knocked a few times and then just before we left, who should come walking up the stairs. Ashley! We were able to talk to her for a few minutes and then set up an appointment to meet with her and teach her more. Bingo! New investigator. We got another new investigator on Saturday. His name is Mark. He was an investigator a while ago, but he was dropped. We got back into contact with him because Ryan had let him borrow his scriptures and he came back on Monday to return them. We got to talk to him and set up an appointment. His lesson on Saturday was really good. We didn't teach the restoration like we were planning to, but we learned a lot of stuff about Mark that we needed to know. We have a lot better idea of where he is coming from and so how to help him and work with him. The end of the lesson was my favorite part. We were talking about how he would know if our message was true. We read Moroni 10:3-5 with him. Then we asked him if he had ever received an answer from God before about anything. He said yes. The answer had come in the form of the questions and doubts about the church that he had been attending. He said that it happened over time but he broke away from that church and he knew that was the right call. We asked him how he knew that. After a pause he said, pointing to the scripture we had just read, "I guess through the things it mentions here. That's what I did." It was so cool to see that connection happen for him and to have been an instrument in helping him to make that connection! Then we got another investigator on Sunday. Remember Sydney, Antwains girlfriend? Yup. She came to church! That was a miracle because we thought that they had broken up, and Sydney doesn't have a phone so we had no way to contact her. So we met with her and Antwain after church and answered some of her questions about church. She said she had really liked what she saw and she is excited to learn more :) WOOHOO! And lets give credit where credit is due. Bishop wanted us to get 40 lessons this past week. ...That is a lot of lessons. We usually get around 20 and that is the mission standard that President Shumway has set. But, we tried to do what Bishop wanted, so we worked really hard to get lessons, and though we only got 21 lessons, I honestly think that we wouldn't have gotten as many investigators if we hadn't been been working so hard to get to Bishops goal. Really quick, funny story. So me and Sister Reese have kind of taken up matching up the older members of the ward. It is so hard not to do because there is no reason that these people should not be married! Any way, so we have some fun conversations before bed at night. And so far our match making is totally working out and coming true!!! It's pretty crazy but we are totally calling it! By the way, Sam you should move out here. There is a guy in the ward named Caleb and I think you might get along :) He is super smart, he speaks Spanish fluently, he travels for work (so he wouldn't be around all the time lol), he has been to Jerusalem, he plays the piano, I think he sings as well; yeah, he is just great :) So...just sayin'. Well, that's all I have time for. Got to save some stuff for the letter! I love you all so much! Have a great week! Keep being awesome! The gospel is true! Love Sister Cryer (Letter dated November 3, 2014) P.S. I have been learning so much about the atonement. Something that I have known for a long time but have just started to really connect and understand is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is how we access the atonement. A lot of people think that we lay too much store in our works. That we work out our own salvation and that we believe we are saved because of our works, but that is not really true. If you look in the scriptures it tells us that in order to be saved we must rely wholly on the merits of Christ. So, by the atonement and by grace we are saved, absolutely, but it that saving is made conditional on our faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. Ah! This is just so cool. I could think about it for hours!

Monday, October 27, 2014

AN AWESOME WEEK

Ok, that is a pretty cool bow tie. You can tell Brother Farrier that I approve :) Lookin' good mom. Haha! Dang those rolls look good! We had some pretty tasty rolls that Sister Bird made for us at the zone outing last week. THAT IS A TON OF WOOD CHIPS! Wow. ...I don't even know what to say! Haha! I wish I had been there to help. One thing I have noticed on my mission is that just about any kind of physical labor is really enjoyable. I do so much mental work now that I miss all the cleaning and yard work and dishes and everything. Is that weird? Well, It has been a really fantastic week. And guess what? I remembered to bring my little note book with me, so I can actually remember what happened. :) I don't think I will get all of it in the email, but I will have time to write a letter today too, so have no fear. A couple of funny things first though, before I get into the details of the days of this last week. I got your letter on Saturday Sam. :) Hurray! Thank you for all of the rules that you sent regarding the letter A. I liked the color coding by the way. That was really nice. I do have to correct you on one thing though. You said something to the effect that you hoped I was staying ward in the chill October weather. No worries there! We have only had one really cold day so far. For the most part it is in the 70's or 80's still. Sunny and warm/hot. The trees are changing color but nothing else seems to be aware that ITS OCTOBER. Pretty crazy. Thank you for the well wishes on staying warm anyway though. I am definitely doing that. Haha! So funny story from a Sunday or two ago that I don't think I ever told you about. In sacrament meeting one of the talks was on faith and how it works and how to use it. It was a really good talk, but I won't go into much detail here except to say that there was a story about two sister missionaries who ran out of gas in the middle of no where and decided to put water in the tank and pray for it to turn into gas. After all, Jesus turned water into wine. It didn't work and the point of the story was to illustrate that unanswered prayers don't mean you don't have faith etc., etc., Any way, after sacrament meeting Jon ( He was baptized a little bit ago.) came up to me and said that during that story he was thinking "Cryer would do that." What?! I laughed and said, "Yeah well, it would have worked for me. I would have had enough faith." That got both of us laughing. Ok, so on Tuesday I had an exchange with Sister Smith. She is one of our Sister Training Leaders. I had a blast serving with her for a day! It was super fun. I got to go to her area which was nice because I didn't have the stress of trying to make sure we had things scheduled for every minute of the day. I didn't know the area, so I could help and advise, but in the end it wasn't my decision. That was awesome! It was a really fun day though. Sister Smith is a hoot! The first lesson that we taught that day was with Sister F. She is a less active, and it was really different for me because she is around 40 years old. I am used to teaching YSA's so that was kind of different. It was an interesting lesson. We were talking about family history and how people who die without a knowledge of the gospel need our help to progress. That got her onto a train of thought about the spirit world and we found out that she believes that peoples spirits go into animals after they die, and while they are waiting to be resurrected and receive their own body again. ...Uh... not really! Haha! We tried to talk her out of it, but to no avail. Eventually we gave up and just moved the conversation on. The other thing that was kind of bad was I called her by her first name. Singles ward has ruined me. Our second lesson of the day was with an older couple. They are less actives as well and they are so sweet! I love them! Brother N actually used to be a branch president. So he has a lot of knowledge and he hasn't forgotten any of it, he is just out of the habit of going to church. We taught them the restoration. I was able to recite the first vision and the spirit was so strong! Brother N told us that he knows that what we were saying was true. "I know this is true" he said. Yes! Now he just needs to know it enough to do something about it. I think they are getting there. :) Sister N is really receptive to it as well, she just has trouble with coming to church because Sunday is when they do things with their kids and grand-kids. Any way, it was a really great lesson, and we got Brother N to cry. He felt the spirit. He knows it is true. It was so good. :) That was my favorite lesson of the day. After that we headed back to the apartment to do the exchange report. Sister Smith gave me a ton of good advice. I have been a little overwhelmed with all the things that I am trying to do and study. She said that as long as I am living the five anchors I am good. She also suggested that I try color coding things and categorizing everything under one of the five anchors. I thought that was a great idea, so I am going to try doing that for a while and see what happens. :) Quick funny story. Sister Smith asked what my favorite type of music was. I told her that I really liked the old jazz and big band. She said she wasn't surprised because my tone (when we were singing the hymn that morning) kind of sounded like that style. Really?! Sweet! :) We also taught Hermico and Skylar. They are Samoan. Skylar is 9 and Hermico is his mom. My first time teaching a child! AHHHHH! I felt SO unqualified. I didn't do a whole ton of talking, Sister Smith did most of it, but I helped a little. :) It was a good time though. At first we weren't sure if we were going to be able to teach them because we were knocking on the door for a while and no one was answering. Samoans sleep a lot. We just kept knocking and after a while we heard movement in the house. Then we saw the curtains on one of the windows move and suddenly there were cute little brown faces peering out at us. We went over to the window and tried to tell the kids to go get there mom. Then we went back to the door and knocked some more. We got in eventually! and were able to teach a lesson about baptism. We had dinner with Sister N. I ate everything except the mac and cheese. You have spoiled me mom! The stuff was so grose. I tried to eat it, but eventually I had to stop. I felt like if I ate anymore I might be sick. I felt bad that I hadn't eaten everything. But I honestly think I did my best! We tried to contact a referral after dinner but no luck. As we were getting back into the car a dog ran around the house and got to the car right as Sister Smith closed her door. He got up on his hind legs and looked into the car and then walked around a bit. He actually looked like a pretty friendly dog, but you never know. Any way, that is my first dog story :) I GOT TO PUMP GAS FOR THE FIRST TIME! That was really awesome! I have never done that before. We had been thinking of going to get Andy's but we didn't have time. Pumping gas was just as awesome though! I didn't even mind that we didn't get Andy's :) We have had some miracles in the area! We have been doing a ton better on getting lessons, and we have been working on finding every day so that we can meet the standard of 2 new investigators a week. When I got back from the exchange we were already almost at 3 new investigators and 7 lessons. We are usually at 7 by Wednesday or Thursday, so we are definitely seeing Heavenly Fathers hand in the work! Fasting really does work! So that was Tuesday :) We had an awesome District Meeting on Wednesday. We talked about the atonement. My favorite part was when Elder Swainston had us all share our favorite scriptures about the atonement. It brought the spirit into the room so strongly! And the really cool thing was that all but one or two of them were from the Book of Mormon. We had a lesson with Anthony, and then we were planning to have a lesson with a potential but he never showed up. Dang it! I was really hoping. He had sounded like he really would come when I talked to him on the phone. Oh well. We also contacted a less active and he is going to be coming to the Halloween party that the ward is doing this Friday. He has a friend named Felix as well that we got to talk to a little bit. Well, I say we. Really it was Kalia, one of the members with us, that talked. We could hardly get a word in edge wise! I had to laugh about it when we got back to the apartment. So, who was the missionary in that situation? haha! Thursday was a really good day. We have a less active that we are working with named Jon Mayer. (I try to convince people that he is the singer, but no one seems to buy it.) He is doing good. We are working with him on prayer right now. He has done some things in his life that he regrets and he doesn't see how God can trust him or why he would want to hear from him. We are helping him to overcome that. Any way, it was a good lesson. After that lesson we went to see a girl named Alex and ended up teaching her as well as her room mate Bonny! That was awesome. They are super open to new ideas and learning, we are just hoping that they are actually learning to find truth. Cool experience in that lesson actually. We asked Alex what it would mean for her if our message was true. She said that was a great question, and could she ask us a question. We said sure and she asked what we would do if the Book of Mormon wasn't true. The minute she said that I felt the spirit testifying to me that the Book of Mormon is true. It was amazing and I said that in answer to her question, I couldn't tell her because the Book of Mormon is true. It just is! I suddenly realized that I had come to a point in my testimony where I literally couldn't deny the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It was amazing and I got to bear my testimony to them that the Book of Mormon is true. It was so cool! :) After dinner we didn't have any one signed up and no scheduled appointments so we headed back to the apartment to start weekly planning. As we sat down on the couch to start we both had the feeling that we needed to be out working and talking to people. I looked at Sister Reese and said, "Do you feel like we should go out?" "Yes" she said. Dang! It was a little chilly, not to mention dark and we didn't want to do it. But we did. The minute we got outside the apartment we saw a guy sitting on the other side of the street. We walked over and talked to him for about 20 minutes, gave him a book of Mormon and got his number. It was awesome! We also got to contact a referral that we had gotten a long time ago and give her a book of Mormon. Friday was a bit rough. Not much happened. Most of our lessons canceled. Zach, he was our golden investigator, texted us to dump us. That was a bit depressing. He is trying to patch things up with his girl friend and he doesn't want the church to get in the way. NO! We tried to get him to meet with us one more time, but he said no. For now we have asked him to pray about it, he says he is going to keep reading in the Book of Mormon, and we are praying for him. Saturday was pretty slow as well. Sunday we went and had lunch with Alex and Jenny (another one of her room mates) and Travis (Jenny's boyfriend). Travis is a religions major and he had a bunch or historical biblical questions for us. Eventually we told him that we couldn't answer all these questions he had, but if he was interested in learning if the church is true we would be happy to help show him how he could find out for himself. He didn't really ask any more questions after that. Sunday night we did a little bit of tracting and were able to meet a few people. Michael, we left him with a Book of Mormon, and offered to teach him more. He seemed interested but he wasn't sure that he could commit to anything because of his schedule. We also met a girl named Lyra, and set up a time to meet with her on Wednesday. We are not sure what her interest level is right now, but we will find out! Love you all! Hope you have a great week :) Love, Sister Cryer (email dated 27 October 2014)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

IMPORTANCE OF SERVING ONE ANOTHER

Dear Family, So we had another zone outing today. Super fun! We played a game called quad ball. You play with a volley ball on a basket ball court and basically you score a point by either shooting a hoop, scoring a goal, getting a touch down or knocking down one of the opposing teams chairs in the corner. You can only throw or kick the ball, and you can't move when you have the ball. It's super fun actually, even though I was absolutely no good at it! I did help to score a couple of points. :) We carved pumpkins too! It was SO FUN! Me and Sister Reese were very matchy in our Nothum shirts and matching hats that Brother Bird gave us. We get to keep those hats! We were sitting on the swing and the sun was in our eyes and the next thing I knew Brother Bird was offering us a handful of hats and told us to choose whichever one we wanted and we could keep it. SWEET! So that's what we've been up to today. The week has been pretty good. Our teaching pool is so small right now. We only have two investigators! But it's ok. There is so much potential in the area, we just have to keep working and be patient. I am studying patience right now! haha Yesterday was awesome! Me and Sister Reese were a bit stressed about our teaching pool so we decided to fast and we saw so many miracles! We had a goal of 6 lessons and 2 new investigators. And guess what????? We got our 6 lessons (the exact goal too; 4 member present and 2 other) and we got one new investigator. We tried SO hard to get a seconed investigator but it just wasn't meant to be I guess. It was still really good though, and even though we only got one new investigator, because we were working so hard to get another one we were able to set up three appointments with potential investigators for this week. I will just tell you some of the miracles that made yesterday so good :) So, we got our first lesson right after church with Zach. He has recently broken up with his girlfriend and so he wanted to stay busy. He asked me what he could do and I said, "How about a lesson?" because we need lessons! I didn't say that part, but that's what I was thinking! So that was great. Then Whitney sat in for his lesson and invited Sister Reese and I over for dinner. She had invited Helena and Laura as well, so we could share a message and BOOM! That was another lesson! Before going to Whitneys house though we went over to 'The House' and taught Jessyca's friend, Antwon. NEW INVESTIGATOR. Then we headed over to Whitneys house. Dinner wasn't quite ready yet so we decided to go out and do some tracting and OTMing in the mean time. We walked outside and I saw a guy across the road. I yelled 'Hi!" across the road and waved. He looked at me like, "Do I know you? I don't think so." It was really funny, but we were able to get across the road and have a lesson with him! Woohoo! Ten we did some tracting in an apartment complex. Only one person opened their door of the eight that we had time to knock on, but she was awesome! She actually let us in and we were able to talk to her and have a lesson. Not a new investigator, but we set up a time to meet with her again and she seemed really interested! Went back and had dinner. Shared a message/had a lesson with Laura and then tried to go visit a lady named Rose. She has a non member room mate that we wanted to talk to but...she didn't want to talk to us. So that didn't work out so well. NO! What were we supposed to do now? That was our last lesson and new investigator! We said a prayer and then made some calls. Sister Reese made me call because she says I am better at it, I guess because I sound happy and excited. Any way, we were able to get a hold of two potentials, one of which we have been trying to get a hold of for forever! and set up appointments for this week! Whoohoo! No new investigator yet though, and we still needed one more lesson. We headed back to our apartment and talked to the girl that lives below us. I have been wanting to talk to her for a while, so we finally did! We gave her a book of Mormon and had a short lesson with her, but no luck on the new investigator front. We had a few more minutes until 9 so we walked over to see a memeber, Christine, and follow up with her about her room mates. She had said that they might be interested. We got to talk to her, but no luck on the room mates. Ok fine. We admitted defeat on our second investigator, and I was a little discouraged for a minute, but then as I looked back at the day and saw all those wonderful things that happened and all the things we have set up for this week, I couldn't help but see how Heavenly Father had blessed us. It was such a great day! When we do our part (and we did! We worked so hard!) Heavenly Father blesses us. So, a bit of a side note here. Flippin' everyone in the YSA ward is getting married it seems like. What's up with that?! I mean, I know that's the point and everything, but seriously! Ok, so you know Laura? We were teaching her English. She is going back to Colombia! NOOOO!!!! We are going to miss her so much, and it's so sad because she doesn't want to go back. That's the hardest part is she is not happy about it. She want's to stay. But any way, she is going back for an interview to try and get into a really good teaching position I guess. We will miss her. I am disappointed because our last lesson with her is on Tuesday and I will be on exchanges! She is leaving on Wednesday. I will have to see if I can get a picture with her today. We got to do service on Saturday :) That was really fun. It was at a place called Habitat for Humanity (we got lost on the way there. Just sayin'). Basically people just donate things like tools, furniture, light fixtures, paint, gardening tools etc. to this place and they re-sell them. They also had this ancient bible in a glass case. It looked like it could have been the original that Nephi took from Laban. Hmm. I guess they probably wouldn't have been paper though. It was really old looking though. Anyway, our job was to open all the paint cans and put a dab of paint on top of the lids so people could see what color was in the can. I was paint dabber. It was some good times. I love giving service! So, I found a really cool scripture today in 2 Corinthians ...4 I think. It talks about how representatives of Jesus Christ need to act in certain ways and it pretty much lays out what we should be doing as missionaries and members of the church in order to set a good example for those around us and to teach the gospel effectively. It's good stuff. I'm trying to think if there is anything else I can tell you right now. The week has been kind of slow just because our teaching pool is so low. Sunday was pretty much the only exciting day! Haha! We have been visiting a lot of less actives. (Can I just say, I am really learning the importance of home and visiting teaching?) Well, I ran out of time! Love you all! have a wonderful week :) Love, Sister Cryer (email dated October 20, 2014)

Monday, October 20, 2014

CELEBRATING TWO MONTHS AS A MISSIONARY

Dear Family, O.K. I have my list in front of me of all the things that happened this week. In my email I told you about having pasties and ginger beer; what I didn't tell you is that I got to show off my knowledge of English history and tell them about the history of pasties as a meal for coal miners. It was nice to be able to contribute something interesting and educational to the conversation. On Thursday we had a lesson scheduled with Zach. Have I told you about Zach? He just walked into church a couple of weeks ago because he was writing a paper about the Mormon church for his religions class. We got to have a lesson with him after church and he said he genuinely wanted to learn about our church. Sweet! That was three weeks ago now I guess and he has already changed so much. When we first met him he had a beard and long hair. The second time we met with him he had cut his hair and shaved his beard. The third time he had quit drinking coffee (before we had even taught him about the Word of Wisdom) and now he is figuring out the situation with his girl friend so that he can live the law of chastity. He is GOLDEN! Anyway, back to my story about Thursday. We had a lesson with Zach but we couldn't find a girl to go with us. So we ended up having to have the lesson outside. There is a small covered area right outside and we just took a few chairs out there to do the lesson. Well, that was all well and good but it was pretty stormy, and windy, and it started to rain. Any one of those things would have been fine, but all three of them together was a little much. The wind was blowing the rain under our little covered area and making it a little hard to have a spiritual discussion. So we handed him a pamphlet, told him to read, and that we would talk later. After some tracting in the rain we got to go out with Lauren and try to see some less actives. Lauren is so fun. I just love her. We always have some good laughs when we go out with Lauren. She actually did some face book stalking and found some less actives for us which was pretty great. I've told you about Andy's haven't I? It's frozen custard. It's so good. Sister Reese and I are always craving Andy's. It's ridiculous how good it is. So, funny thing the other day. I was in the kitchen making hot chocolates in preparation for weekly planning and I felt kind of off. It was the same feeling I have a lot when we are in the apartment. As I stood there looking around and trying to figure out what my problem was I suddenly realized, I couldn't see outside! We only have two windows in our apartment. One in the main room above Sister Reese's desk and one on the back door. The blinds on these windows are always closed, and that was the problem. There was no natural light, no view, no anything. As I thought about it I realized that at home there is not a single room without some kind of window and I guess I have just gotten used to being able to see outside. Crazy, right? Anyway, I asked permission from Sister Reese and I open the blinds now. It's no where near as nice as our big window in the living room at home, but it's better than no window at all! Weekly planning day last week was fun. We got lots of good plans together, but we were so tired afterwards. Seriously, by 10:00 I was tired to the point where everything was funny. Sister Reese and I were laughing at the smallest things and I couldn't think straight. Actually, one of the things that we were laughing really hard at was a not all that funny joke. "So there's this Chinese contractor and he is in charge of building something. So he tells one guy to draw up the plans, one guy to buy the land, and one guy to get the supplies. Later he meets and the first guy shows him the plans that he's made. The second guy tells him he bought the land. But the third guy in charge of supplies is nowhere to be seen. Then suddenly, he jumps out of hiding and yells, "Suplize!" Haha. Get it? Anyway, it made me laugh so hard, even though it's not that great. We had lunch with Helena the other day. We were super excited to eat with her because she always makes really healthy meals and we hadn't been eating too great the past few days. So we were excited for some GOOD food. Low and behold we get over there and she had decided she wanted junk food. So we had fries (a ton of them! I guess they were left over from an activity) and fried chicken and soda. NOOOOOO! We didn't even really have ketchup for the fries. They did have a bottle but there was almost nothing left. Laura, (Helena's friend) had to get a spoon and fish out the last precious drops. It wasn't nearly enough for all of her fries though. At one point during the meal I looked over to see her absent-mindedly swirling a fry in her now non existent pile of ketchup. "Are you getting anything?" I asked. She looked up and then down and started cracking up. It was pretty funny. She loves ketchup apparently though. She said that she would even keep a small bottle in her locker for lunch when she was a teacher. We got to visit a member of the ward named Katie on Saturday. Her roommate has a pet hedge-hog! I didn't know that was even a possibility! The whole thing was a little sketch at first. I was just sitting there minding my own business when I heard this scratching noise coming from a little pen in the living room. After a few minutes I realized that something was moving under the little blue blanket. Freaky! But before we left she pulled back the blanket and showed us the hedge-hog. O.K. so it got really cold, really quickly on Saturday. I think the weather is finally realizing that it's October! I even had to break out some of my sweaters. It was a little rough that night though because the van that we were in with Cara did not have a functioning heating system. We were all three so cold as we drove around town trying to get to a less actives house! We were all laughing the whole time over chattering teeth as we frantically tried to get the heat working to no avail. Good times. One of our recent converts who we have been working with, Katie,(there are way too many Katies in this ward, just sayin') was in the hospital for a while with a spider bite. It was not a pretty sight. We got to go and visit her quite a few times though which was good. The last time we visited her was last Monday. She is out of the hospital now and doing a lot better. There was a band competition at MSU on Saturday. We got to hear so many drums! It was so cool. You feel pretty intense walking down the street with a plastic Walmart bag full of proselyting clothes in hand, a badge on your chest and 20 drums beating out a jungle rhythm. It was pretty great. The plastic bag thing was because we were going to do service at "The House" and then go from there straight to an appointment. Service was fun. We did some more painting. Last time we painted the bathroom dark purple if you will recall. This time we painted the window and door trims bright green. These girls like color! I shudder to think what the next people who live in that house will think! Hey something I have heard some people say is that if you read in the Book of Mormon for five minutes before you do school work your studies will go a lot faster and smoother. I don't know if that's true, but it's something that I've heard. I'm praying for you (Sam and Ben and Alisa) You can do this! Sam, you asked what I've been studying in the scriptures lately. Well, right now I am pretty much just reading through the Book of Mormon. The mission has a goal to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover by our big....(I forget what it's called) meeting in December. So I have been doing that. I am in Alma right now. I'm doing something a little different this time. I got a brand new paper back copy of the Book of Mormon and I am reading that copy. As I read I have the question in mind of, "How can I become a more consecrated missionary?" Then as I find answers to that question I mark and write in the margins. It's kind of cool because I don't have any of my markings in this copy and so I am able to get new things out of familiar scriptures. Pretty cool. Mom, I have to say that the prayer in General Conference that you mentioned in your letter stood out to me too! It's such a comfort to me to know that all of you are being watched over and blessed because of my service. Well, I think I'm going to knock off and mail this because my hand is starting to hurt! Love you all! Hope you are having a great week so far and that you enjoy the weekend. Love Sister Cryer (Letter dated 13 October 2014) P.S. So, what's happened to the upstairs? Have you sold all my stuff yet?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

INVASION OF SPIDERS AND PASTIES IN A DOUBLE DECKER

I GOT A PACKEDGE FULL OF SPIDERS!!! What a great surprise that was! I was not expecting that. The apartment is now decorated up and looking a bit more ready for Halloween. :) And guess what? Sister Reese doesn't like candy corn, so I GET THAT WHOLE BAG TO MYSELF. :) I love that picture that you took that is not a selfie dad! That takes talent. You should teach a class or something on non selfie group shots. OK, so I had a whole list of stuff that I wanted to tell you all about, and guess what. I forgot the list. NO! So I will just have to try and remember. First of all, way out here in the middle of the united states, I got to eat pasties with a ginger beer inside a red double decker bus. WHAT?! That's right. It was SO good too! We went out to dinner with Ryan (he is the Elders Quorum President) and Christine, and Ryan knows his way around town as far as food is concerned. It was so good, and so fun! I am now in my second transfer. I am still in Springfield Missouri with Sister Reese. ...I told you that I was in a singles ward right? I can't remember what I have told you and what I haven't. Dang it! So much happened this week and yet I can't remember! Grrrrrr. Oh, something funny I just remembered. So one of the girls in the ward, her name is Whitney, took us out for dinner the other day to Fire House Subs. It's a sandwich place and it is really good! Any way, a pickle comes with the sandwich if you want it. So when the food came, Whitney took a bite of her pickle and her face was priceless. It was quite obvious that she didn't like it. But she kept eating it! She proceeded to tell us that she knows that she does not like pickles, and yet she craves them. Walking down the isle in the grocery store she will see pickles and think "Pickles! Those look so good!" So she buys them and then she tries to eat them and she hates them. And yet they sound good to her, even right after she eats them! Isn't that crazy? I wish I could say it how she explained it. She is so funny. Any way, it reminded me of you Sam. :) "I have many memories connected with pickles." Shoot. I literally cannot remember what happened this week. You are going to get a really long letter today. OK, here is something. A little miracle. So on...Tuesday we had Jessyca sign up to come out with us. She came to pick us up and we had absolutely nothing. We hadn't been able to set up anything! Great. We felt so bad. Any way, we went out and tried to visit a less active. We got lost. That seems to happen a lot when we go out with Jessyca. Our less active wasn't home. Her dad answered the door without a shirt and told us that she wasn't home from work yet. There are a ton of men and guys here that just walk around and lounge around the house without shirts. Awkward. Haha! Any way, so that plan hadn't worked. We came up with a plan B though. Jessyca has a friend named Antwon. We had talked to him a little bit and were hoping to get him interested in learning about the church. So she called him up and asked if he wanted to go out and get some ice cream and talk about the church a little bit more. He was with his girl friend, and we were able to convince both of them to come! Hurray! We went and picked them up (got lost on the way) and then went and got some ice cream. Sydney (Antwon's girlfriend) was actually a lot more interested in the church than Antwon was. She has been church hopping for a while I guess and we asked her if she wanted to come try out our church. She said she would love to! We told her when it was and she turned to Antwon and said "We're going to church on Sunday." Way to tell him. I like her. It was a cool miracle. I think we were probably supposed to see them. That's why we couldn't see our less active, and why we didn't have any plans that evening. At least I like to think so :) ...They didn't actually end up coming though. I don't know why because she had seemed so excited about it. Both me and Sister Reese were sure they were going to come. Still not sure what happened. Oh, so funny story about Antwon and Sydney. Just a little bit of info about these two really quick. Antwon is black. Sydney is white and very sarcastic. Ok, with that said I can tell the story :) While we were eating ice cream they were talking about maybe just walking home because it was getting a bit late and me and Sister Reese needed to get back to the apartment. Antwon was worried about Sydney walking home by herself and was talking about walking with her. She said she wasn't so sure about that, and Antwon started to say something to the effect of he was going to protect her as she walked home when Sydney said, and I quote, "I know I can kick butt, I'm worried about them hurting you." We laughed so hard! Here is this little white girl telling her black boyfriend that she can take care of herself in the sketch side of town but she is not so sure about him. It was so funny. Any way, hopefully they will come to church next week. Well, gotta go. I will attach some pics and stuff and I will write a really long letter when I get back to the apartment :) Love you all! Have a great week. Sister Cryer P.S. Have y'all seen Meet the Mormons? IT IS SO GOOD. You should go see it. ... and bring a friend. Haha! I am a missionary, what can I say :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

CONFERENCE IN A TREE HOUSE, THE ZOO, CAVING, AND REVELATION

THE INTERNET IS WORKING!!! Ok, so some house keeping stuff first; the mission office got my driving record, so I should be good to drive now. Thanks dad! Also, I got a package!!! Thank you so much grandma! What a treat that was! I got a little brown slip of paper in the mail telling me that I had a "parcel" to pick up at the post office. I managed to nip in just before the place closed and then had to wait until 10:00 to open it. That was hard. Haha! What a treat though. I had fun trying to get through all the layers! I opened the first box to see another and I opened that to see another and I was cracking up by the time I actually got to the goodies inside :) So mom, you asked in your letter if I needed anything. I am hopefully going to be getting some boots in the next few days...I think I am doing pretty good. :) Wasn't general conference amazing??? I got so much personal revelation it wasn't even funny! It was amazing. We got to watch the Saturday session at Bishops house and that was a blast. He has a tree house! Like, a legit tree house. So cool. We had zone training the other day. I love district and zone training. I always learn so much. President and Sister Shumway talked to us over a Skype thing. That was great. Any way, during the conference I gained some new insight to the atonement. People always talk about how Christ can carry our burdens for us, we just have to give them to him. I had never really understood that because it sounds so easy, and it's usually not as easy as all that. But really, if you think about it the burden that we carry around is sin, and sometimes sin is hard to give up. That's what makes it hard. Because in order to use the atonement we have to allow Christ to take our sins and weaknesses away. We have to sacrifice those things, and that can be hard. But as soon as we do that, Christ enables us to continue on without those burdens, even when we miss them in a way, and become better than we were before. So when I am tired and I don't want to work, in order for the enabling power of the atonement to be effective in my life I have to sacrifice that desire to go lay down and take a nap, and as I do that, asking for Gods help, then I will be enabled to go out and work like I am supposed to. Kind of bad example but hopefully it makes sense. It was such a cool revelation! Ahh!!! So much to write about and not enough time! The reason I don't have to much time is because today we had a zone outing. (Drum roll) We went caving!!! IT WAS SO FUN! We got so muddy! There were quite a few tight spaces and at a couple places we had to army crawl through mud and water. Then at the end of the cave there was a mud slide. It was so hard to get to even though there was just the tiniest little slope that you had to go up to get to the slide because it was so slippery! I ended up just kind of flinging myself at it and then rolling over and down the slide. SO MUCH FUN. I went head first once. That was a good time with all the muddy water at the bottom. Haha! Didn't know I had it in me, did ya? I will send pics of that. :) I don't know if I will be able to write a letter today, maybe a short one. Not sure. We still have to clean the apartment so... yeah. That is the only problem with these outings. They eat up the time! Oh, Bishop caught a tarantula in a popcorn bag and made me hold it. The bag, not the tarantula. But still. I didn't know they had those things here! That is so sweet of Avery! I love that girl! I just think she is awesome. :) It's kind of weird to think of people looking up to me... :) Well, gotta go. I will attach some pics of the zoo (district outing) and caving (zone outing). Sister Reese didn't go caving. She just waited outside. The girl in the pics with me is a member of the YSA ward. Her name is Cara. Love you! Have a great week!!! Sister Cryer P.S. I am working on the Christ like attributes of charity and humility. :) We can work on stuff together!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD

Dear Family, OK, I am so sorry for the totally lame email this week! (She emailed to say she didn't have time to email.) We went to Bishops work to email and the internet wasn't working! So we spent a really long time fiddling with computers and lap tops and i-phones etc. trying to get on the internet! In the end I pretty much only got to email President. I felt so bad because when I first got on I had a really short email from Elder Dixon so I shot a quick response to him, and then the internet went all weird again and I didn't have time to send you an email! I didn't even have time to read your email to me. Anyway, it was kind of lame, but kind of funny. Guess what!? I received a little brown note in the mail informing me that have a package at the post office! Woohoo! Thanks! (She doesn't know it is from grandma and grandpa.) OK, now for the news. Yesterday we went to teach a guy named Zach and his neighbor Tina. Unfortunately Zach wasn't there. We talked to Tina a bit but didn't get too far. She has a five year old daughter who is autistic (so cute). She would come up to all of us every five minutes or so, wave, and say hi. She also had a puppy, so there were some distractions going on. Her husband was there as well, without a shirt on. Somewhat awkward. We don't think anything is really going to happen with that family. We left a Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back, but she said she didn't have time. Which I thought was off because earlier she had been talking about how little she gets out and how bored she gets when her husband goes to work. So, I don't know how both of those can go together. Anyway, after the lesson we headed back towards Dannah's car. (She is one of our ward missionaries. If 'bubbly' had to be impersonated, Dannah would be the one to do it! Dakota told us about a conversation he had with Tina's husband before we got there. Apparently he was adament that Mormons are polygamists. Poor Dakota. He explained it, but the guy wasn't taking any of it. Talking about if afterward we suddenly wondered if he thought Dannah, Sister Reese, and I were Dakota's wives! We all started cracking up. Poor Dakota! We had a baptism on Saturday. Jon Atwell. It was a bit of a crazy day. We had a ride to the Stake Center. We were leaving at 12:00 so we could fill the font and set up chairs and stuff and be ready for the baptism at 1:30. Then at 12:00 we find out there was some mis-communication and we didn't have a ride. Great! We started scrambling trying to find a ride. We called the Elders and they said they would start the font for us. But we still needed a ride. No one seemed to be around or answering their phones. Eventually we just started walking towards 'The House' in hopes that someone would be able to give us a ride. By the time we got to the institute we had a ride. Angela came and picked us up. Just shows that as we act Heavenly Father blesses us. So we get to the Stake Center....and the doors are locked. We started cracking up about how stupid this was! "Jon is getting baptized. Give up already. We've won!" We walked around the building trying doors and then the Elders let us in. Then Jon was late, to punish us for being late to his lesson the other day. But anyway, the baptism itself was great. The font had enough water in it and the spirit was there. The next day Jon woke up late so we had to do his confirmation after the sacrament instead of before. I barely recognized him when he came in because he shaved his beard. It was funny though because he always tells us off for being late, and now look at him. HeeHee! It was great though. He was so happy. So, remember Zach that I talked about earlier in the letter? He was supposed to come to church on Sunday. He didn't come, which was really sad. We had a member giving him a ride and everything and I was sure he would come. But another Zach came! He is writing a paper on our church so he just showed up on Sunday. Ryan took good care of him during church and then we got to meet with him after church and talk to him. He is really open to learning. Not only to write his paper but also for himself; to know if this church is Christ's church. So we are excited about him. Can I just say that Heavenly Father blesses us as we try to do his work. If I am learning anything on my mission it is that faith is a principle of action. As we put forth effort, blessings come, and often not through our efforts, but simply because Heavenly Father see's that we are trying. We have been teaching a sweet Chinese lady named Sally. We had a lesson with her last week and I was able to testify of the Book of Mormon and that if she would read it she would feel God's love for her and that she would know the Book of Mormon is true. We were about the close when she asked how we knew the Book of Mormon was true. What a great question! I got to testify to her of the spirit and how I know the Book of Mormon is true because of how I feel when I read it. The spirit was so strong. I asked her how she felt and she said, "Happy." "Me too. That's Heavenly Father telling you that He loves you," I said. She said a beautiful prayer and afterwards she was just smiling. So was I! I couldn't believe how strong the spirit was. It was amazing. It's the best thing in the world to be a missionary and see someone feeling the spirit! That's all I have this week. Love you all! Have an amazing week. Love Sister Cryer (Letter dated 29 September 2014)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

THE ATONEMENT IS REAL

Dear Family, Phew! We just got back from our outing at the zoo. It was really fun! I'll have to send some pictures with my next email. I love all the stories from home. Any more raccoon in the grapes? Why did the office wait until I was gone to get puppies? Whats the news from Ben and Alisa? So, guess what? Matt and Kelsey Delafuente like dancing! Kelsey clogs (which is kind of like tap....a little) and Matt has done a ton of different types of dance. I could hardly contain myself when I found out. We were over at their house for dinner and they were talking about what they did during the week. Kelsey mentioned clogging and it just went from there. They agreed to practice up and put on a little show for us next time we are over for dinner. I am SO excited! They made us brownies too. They were so good. I haven't had brownies in SO long. Can I just say, that I miss your cooking mom. We went to 'The House' for lunch and had lunch. It was ALL meat. Bacon, sausage, chicken, hot dogs. There was a salad but it had bacon and chicken in it....plus a lot of the grease that said meat was cooked in. That was a bit of a rough meal. I was craving fruit and vegetables so much. Breakfast is usually fine and dinner is usually really good, but lunch (at the apartment most times) is a bit rough. Oh well. I have made it this far and it makes dinner that much more enjoyable. Gross story of the week. We were at a Stake Relief Society meeting. They served us breakfast and then had some people speak to us about love and unity. So, I am sitting there enjoying my breakfast when suddenly a fly casually buzzes down and settles in my orange juice! Not on the cup. IN THE JUICE. It was the grossest thing ever! It swam around a bit, swirling around in my juice. Sister Reese put her napkin on top of my cup so it couldn't get out and so I wouldn't absentmindedly take a drink. Anyway, it kept swirling around until it finally drowned in my orange juice. It was so gross. I kept glancing at it throughout the meeting and shuddering at the thought of accidentally drinking it. YUCK! Spiritual experience of the week. We had a lesson with Jon on Saturday. We were teaching him about missionary work. We were helping him understand why we do missionary work. That it's not just something we do because we were taught to do it or told to do it, but that we do it because we have felt the joy of the gospel and we want to share it with others. Sister Reese shared a scripture (Mosiah 28:3 I think) that talks about the sons of Mosiah and how because they had sinned and then been forgiven they hadto share that with others. I felt prompted to ask Jon if he had experienced that same thing. I told him he didn't need to answer out loud but to think about it. Then I was able to testify to him of the atonement of Jesus Christ and explain that that is why we share the gospel. To share the knowledge and joy of the atonement. I love feeling the spirit work through me! I hope Jon felt the spirit. I think he did. I know I did. The atonement is real and it works! I know it! Love you all! Love Sister Cryer (Letter dated 22 September 2014)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

THE PEOPLE HERE ARE AWESOME

What ho family! 21 policies???? WOOHOO! Well whether I had anything to do with that or not, I am so happy for you dad :) I have been praying for you in your work and Sam, I have been praying for you in your work and school, and mom, in your work at home and the things that you are doing. I don't have a whole ton of time today. We got put behind schedule a little because I had an eye appointment (Bishop Nothum is getting me contacts!!!) One of the Bishops in the wards here is an eye doctor and somehow Bishop worked something out. He just came over one day and said "everything is taken care of, you just need to call and schedule an appointment." I couldn't even say anything I was so shocked and grateful and amazed that he would do that. So yeah, I am wearing contacts right now). Any way, so we have gotten our shopping done, and this afternoon we have a district outing. We are going to the zoo. Not what I would have chosen to do, but it should be fun to hang out with the district peeps. All that to say that this might be a bit of a short email and letter this week, but I will do my best to give you the good stuff. :) First of all, I had a dream about Jack and Gus (Sam's gerbils) last night. Yeah, not you guys, Jack and Gus. It was the weirdest thing! Actually, I guess you were in it as well Sam. I remember you were playing with them outside and they got away from you and all of a sudden there were tons of gray and white gerbils everywhere and we couldn't tell which ones were Jack and Gus. So, get out the dream interpretation stuff and give it your best go! So, mom you asked about the ward :) I will do my best to tell you about some of the people that I am getting to know. Oh! Before I forget, thank you grandma for the letter and pictures and the $5! What a treat that was to hear from you! Glad everything is going pretty well. And Sam, you did the chicken dance?! Wow. I don't know whether to be impressed or concerned. Ok, so the ward. The ward is so awesome! Let me start with Bishop. Bishop Nothum is amazing. He is a hoot to be around. He is always teasing and giving people a hard time. Before I ever met him he sent me and Sister Reese a text and told us that we should stand on a street corner on campus and Sister Reese could play the flute and I could tap dance. That should get peoples attention. HOW DID HE KNOW I COULD TAP DANCE????? I was so confused how he found that out. When he came over to give me a blessing I asked him about it and he said that he had looked me up on facebook. These YSA bishops! He is really moving the missionary work forward in the ward. He is calling ward missionaries left and right and has some awesome ideas about giving them specific assignments to further the work. Helena (don't pronounce the h) is our relief society president. She lives about five doors down from us. She is from Colombia and her food is amazing. We have gone over to eat a couple times now and it has been SO good each time. She has a friend from Colombia living with her right now. Her name is Laura. They are both so sweet and awesome. We just love them. Laura is not a member and we have been able to teach her a little bit about the gospel. It has been a challenge though because she is still learning how to speak English. We are going to start helping her learn English though a program that the church put out where you teach people to read using the Book of Mormon. Apparently it works really well for just teaching people how to read and speak English as well :) We are all really excited to start that. Ryan is the Elders quorum president. He is awesome. ...Hmm. I'm not quite sure how to describe Ryan! He has taken us out to dinner several times, and he has been able to do some lessons with us. Yeah, I don't know. Haha! He is just great. Everyone in the ward is just really awesome. Everyone is a lot of fun and really open and welcoming and friendly. Most people are willing to help us out with rides and lessons and I drew little cartoons of me and Sister Reese on the last exchange calendar, so maybe that encouraged people to sign up for dinner and exchanges too ;) We had a baptism yesterday!!!! Jackie got baptized. I will attach a picture at the end. She actually had to be baptized three times because Bishop turned the faucet off too soon and there wasn't enough water in the font! It was super shallow so they eventually had to have her kneel. Oh well. It worked out, and she won't forget it! Bryden Brett was the one who baptized her. He is a friend of hers in Branson and guess what? He is really good friends with Dele! Apparently Dele lived in his families basement for a while! Small world. Any way, you should look up the Bretts online. Yeah, I met the Bretts. :D Well, I have to go, that is all I have time for right now unfortunately. I will try and squeeze in a letter today as well and tell you some more stuff. Love you all so much! Have a smashing week! Sister Cryer (email dated 22 Sept 2014)