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


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


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


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


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!