Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ben's last mission email

Hola familia,

Zone Conference / Elder Ringwood

Our Zone Conference yesterday was amazing. I felt so uplifted and ready to go work afterward. Four of us that were leaving bore our testimonies at the beginning. I felt impressed to talk about my own conversion throughout my mission. It amazes me how the spirit speaks directly to our spirit what we should say in the very moment that we need it. Following that Sister Greer spoke to us and then President Greer. They are both great teachers. As they were speaking I had many thoughts come to my mind that I quickly recorded. It was more the spirit teaching me than them. Following their talks we heard from Elder Ringwood. It was cool to watch him follow spiritual impressions that came to him. You could see that he was teaching to our needs without knowing what they were except through the spirit. He spoke a lot about getting lost. Getting lost in the sense that we lose our lives as missionaries. That we give up all distractions and dedicate our lives to the work. It was kind of a continuation of President Greer's talk.

Eddy y Blanca

We continue to have spirit filled lessons with Eddy and Blanca. They both came to church this last Sunday. The coolest things about teaching them are the changes that are taking place in their lives and the added happiness they are finding. I love it. It's the best part about being a missionary.


Yesterday all of our plans fell through. All of our backup plans fell through. We prayed. We tried hard to listen to the spirit and go where the Lord wanted us to. We ended up in an apartment complex off of St. John's visiting a few trybacks. Next door to the door we were knocking on there was a guy and woman that was a little older than him sitting outside talking. We walked up to them and introduced ourselves. His name was Rigo and Maria was his mom. We talked to them for about five minutes about different churches, the purpose of life, and why we obey commandments. Then Maria got up and left. She didn't seem very interested obviously. As soon as she left Rigo opened up. As he spoke to us and explained his life situation it felt like his spirit was crying for help. He wants to know how to find happiness in this life and he wants to know how to solicit God's help. Again the spirit guided us in what to say. He had never prayed before. We taught him how to pray and what prayer really is. He said he would pray every night and we're going to see him on Thursday.

Have a great week
And I'll see you all soon
Elder Ben Arnold

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010

Hola familia,


I had my exit interview with President Greer this morning. I think the purpose was for him to get a feel for what our plans are for after our mission. It's nice that he's so worried about what happens to us for the rest of our lives. I really do feel how much he loves us. Right after he interviewed three of us we went to the Portland temple. It was beautiful and a very sacred experience for me. I learned so many things by the spirit. I felt such a peace and didn't want to leave when the time came to. The temple is so symbolic and has much more meaning than it first appears.

Eddy and Blanca

Eddy and Blanca were found just as I left Vancouver a year ago. Eddy came to church a few times and then as happens with many investigators they dropped off and weren't being taught for some time. Well, recently they were found again and Elder Bair and I have begun teaching them. They are both such amazing people and really are ready to accept the gospel. In our last lesson Elder Bair started out by talking about the Book of Mormon. They realize the importance of it and committed to start reading and praying again. Another cool story: Eddy the morning that we had our last lesson completely quit drinking. He called up Blanca and told her to throw out the rest of the beer. She ran to the sink and dumped it all out. He is committed to live the gospel and is going to be very blessed.

Meeting in the Tri-cities

The meeting went well over the four days we were in the tri-cities. I got to go and work in Pasco during the evenings and had some amazing experiences. I forgot how much I missed Pasco and the people there. I don't have any more time so I'll tell you some other day about all the stuff that happened in those days.

Love you all and have a great week

Elder Ben Arnold

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 2, 2010
Hola familia,

This week, starting tomorrow, there is a meeting in Kennewick. It's going to be going until the 6th. We're going to be going over all the new PMG lessons. I'm pretty excited about that. There is a lot of stuff to learn. Hopefully I'll be able to hop into Pasco in the evenings and do some missionary work over there.

The Zone Leaders found this guy tracting and taught him a lesson. He was apparently really cool and was very excited about coming to church. They talked to him about being baptized and he was excited about that so they set a date for him in August. They referred them to us because his wife only speaks spanish. We're still trying to get a hold of him.

Juan is a friend of Arturo, who is a member. Arturo invited him to come to church and he came dressed up in a suit. He really enjoyed church and we're scheduled to go teach him this week. Isn't it amazing how things just work out. The Lord's hand is in everything.

We had a Family Home Evening with Jorge and two of his kids this last week. We watched a video at the church and played a little ball with them. They all really enjoyed it and built some good father son relationships. Then Jorge came to church yesterday. He's a really good guy and I'm glad that I've been able to know him.

Break the fast
The branch had a big dinner after church since it was fast sunday. It had actually been a while since we had had one. Whenever there is food involved extra people always seem to show up. Whatever gets them to church. It's fun to try all of the different kinds of food that the various people bring. There's always a big variety. Especially with all of these people from different countries.

Elder Bair and I have become lumbermen. We've been helping Hno Woodland debark some huge logs at his house. After we get all of the bark off then we sand it with an electric sander and stain the logs. He's building an entry way over his driveway. It's a project that he's been wanting to do and now with our help he's getting it done. Along the way I'm learning how to work with wood. The other day I learned how to pour concrete. That was an experience.
Love you all. Have a great week
Elder Ben Arnold

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 20, 2010
Hola familia,

We went bowling today. The first game I scored only an 82. Kind of sad. But then I got 131 the next game! I tried hard to redeem myself.

We taught Debra four times this last week. She's opened up a lot to us and we're figuring out what all of her doubts are. She's really close to coming to church. We really need to start working with her husband more. She is such a good lady. She ironed all of my shirts and pants last week. She's taking good care of us.

Orson Pratt Arnold
He was a stake president up here in Washington and moved down to Orem when he left. President Alder wanted me to ask you mom and dad if you knew him or could do a little research to see if we're related.

The Atonement
This transfer we're focusing on studying the Atonement as a district. There is so much depth to understanding what all happened in the period of time between the garden of Gethsemane and His resurrection. I come to realize how important this work is as I increase my understanding of what our Savior did for us. Mom I have an assignment for you. I need you to order a book off of amazon. It is called "The First 2000 Years". It is written by Cleon Skousen. Let me know if you can find it.

Sister Arroyo is a convert to the church but her husband is not a member. I tried to teach them a year ago but didn't have much luck. He wasn't very interested. Since that time some things have happened in their lives and now we are teaching them both together. We had a lesson with them and President Alder just the other day. The lesson went great and we're looking to set a baptismal date with him by next Monday!

This is Ricardo from Columbia. I went on exchanges with him last night. The appointments that we went to were not there. We had a great conversation in the car though. He was interested in what I did for work before my mission. I pointed a couple of SmartSensors out to him and he thought that was really cool.

We painted a members shed this week with Elder Hortin and Elder Prawitt. I got pretty sunburned from it the first time we helped. It was actually quite a bit of fun and it helped them get done a lot faster. The best part about it was the conversation that we had between Elder Bair and I and the other two.

You'll have to fill in all the details in your mind. I'm having a hard time getting my brain to function correctly. It's having a hard time remembering all the things that happened this week.

Love you all,
Have a great week
Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hola familia,

This has been a great week. I feel very calm and excited to do the Lord's work.

Just what I expected and was hoping for. I will be staying in Vancouver with Elder Bair this transfer. In fact our entire district is staying the same minus one change. Sister Kendell who has been with Sister Pleshek in the Spanish branch will be going over to Kennewick. Sister Pleshek will be training a new missionary. Elder Hortin is staying here and getting a new companion. Elder Becerra got called to be a Zone Leader and will be going to Pasco with Elder Montoya.

Elder Bair and I went to the Chiropractor this morning with Elder Tolman. There is a member in his ward that will do it for free for missionaries. So I got my back all tuned up. Apparently he's going to be able to help me with the bad circulation and occasional numbness that I get in my arms and hands. It was kind of fun getting all twisted and tweaked. He was able to help me get my back back in alignment due to my bad posture.

Yesterday was amazing. Everything just happened. Everyone was at our appointments. All of our lessons went well. The spirit was just really strong all day. Maybe it was because last week we worked hard on days when nothing was happening and it was really hot. So I'll tell a few of the cool things that happened during the day. We went with the Boyle's to dinner at a pizza place. While we were waiting for them to show up a guy named Tim came up to us and started to ask us some questions. It became apparent that he wasn't a member. He said he had always been interested in finding out more about the Mormon religion. Who better to ask than a couple of Mormon missionaries. He also came back to us a second time to get our phone number so he could ask us more questions.

Another experience that was amazing: We taught Debra and Alejandra. She asked us about blessings during the lesson. She wanted to receive one. We gave her one and afterward as we were talking to her about how she felt she described a feeling that she had which started in her feet and went all the way up to her head. She then began to cry and we sat there in the silence for a couple of minutes. After the blessing we watched a short video about when Christ came to the Americas and healed many people. I had never seen this video before my mission. In fact I hadn't seen it until just a few months ago. As we watched the love that Christ had for these people and how much they loved him a peace filled the room. There was no other place on earth that I would've preferred to be than there. I love the gospel.

I taught Emilio while I was here a year ago. He even came to church one time. Well we found him again and we taught him last week. He then went to play soccer with the members of the branch. He made good friends with them all. And he came to church this last Sunday. We got his son, Emilio, who is three, to go to nursery. Members are awesome. They have so much capability and influence on helping people come to church.

We've been doing a lot of yard work for the Nihipali's. We've just about got the front yard all cleaned up. So we'll be moving to the backyard and the garden soon. Last Wednesday they took us to lunch at a Chinese buffet. The food was good and it was fun talking to them. They are very good people.

Edith and Marco
Edith is pregnant and is going to have her baby on Wednesday. We took Sister Reshke over to their home to meet them. They kicked it off really quick. Now Sister Reshke is going to be taking care of the kids while she is in the hospital. And she is going to arrange to get them dinners for the next couple of nights. We should hopefully be able to start getting them to come to church now. We're going to be having a lesson with them at 3:00 today so in just a few hours. I'll tell you how it all goes next week.

This is the Lord's work. I love being a missionary!
Love you all
Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Hola familia,

Pres Greer

So President and Sister Greer are pretty cool. I'll forward a picture that they took with the whole zone. They're both pretty funny and you can tell that they love all of the missionaries. I've only met him the one time. In the little meeting that we had they had each of us introduce ourselves. Sister Greer talked about their family a little bit. Then they told us about a whole bunch of changes that are going to be happening. New training that they got in the MTC. For example, our zone conferences and interview cycles will only be every other transfer now, every three months instead of a month and a half. They have a whole bunch of new PMG lessons and videos that the church just barely produced. The videos are footage of real missionaries doing real missionary work. It's hundreds of hours of camera men just following missionaries around. I'm excited about that. The Greer's seem to be really excited and ready to go to work.


We now live with the Nihipali family. They are from Hawaii. They are both very nice and the place we live is pretty good. It's a lot different from the Boyle's. We are living in more of a separate part of the house. So we don't see them quite as much. Elder Bair and I rearranged the furniture and stuff the way we like and we feel at home.


My birthday was intense. President and Sister Greer and the AP's called me the morning of my birthday and sang to me over the phone. Then they sang to me again at the meeting when we met them. We ate lunch on my birthday with Sister Boyle and a few other missionaries including Elder Hortin. Then we ate dinner with the Church's and they threw a surprise birthday party. When we got there we thought it was going to be just us and then four missionaries popped out of the closet and the Boyle's showed up later. I forgot to mention that I ate strawberries pretty much all day long. Then at night we went to Sister Drown's house and had strawberry shortcake with Tillamook Oregon strawberry ice cream. Wow I got spoiled. I got your package grandma. My favorite part was the cookies. They're almost gone already.

4th of July

It was like a war-zone here. We had a hard time going to sleep on Saturday and Sunday. It literally sounded like bombs were going off every few seconds. The only time I watched any was while I was in the bathroom. I opened up the window and I saw big explosions in the sky slightly obscured by a large tree.

Have you ever driven on the wrong side of the road?

Listen up close this is a story you'll never forget. We went on exchanges last night with the first counselor of the Branch Presidency, Hermano Garcia. We were talking and having a good time as we were driving to our first appointment. Elder Bair and I were both giving him directions as he was driving us around in his little white honda. Well, we tell him to turn left at the next light and he does. Only he turns a little bit too early. I shout to him, "Not here Hermano, not here!" And all of a sudden we are on the wrong side of the median. We see a bunch of cars coming straight at us and another person on the other side of the median honking at us. Hermano Garcia eyes got as big as watermelons. He doesn't know what to do. Elder Bair tells him to keep driving until we got past the median. After about 200 feet we make it and are back on our side of the road. We all let out a sigh of relief and busted out laughing. I kind of sat there stunned. And said to myself, "Did that really just happen?" That's something you only see in movies. Then Hermano Garcia says, "Well we're okay." I couldn't stop laughing all night.

Just another week in the life of a missionary.

Love you all
Elder Ben Arnold