Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Becoming a Better Missionary Everyday

Hola familia,

You wrote me a lot of great emails this week. I'm so happy to hear how everything is going at home. Life just keeps getting better here in Washington. I learn how to be a better missionary every day.
My Spanish is coming along great. I can carry out pretty good conversations with our investigators. I feel like I'm learning so fast. I'm even comfortable with talking to people at the door while we're tracting. Sometimes I don't understand what they say. Usually I get it though and can answer their questions. I love Spanish.

I don't know what we're going to be doing on Thanksgiving. We probably have a dinner with a member. The members we're living with are out of town for a week. We're also not supposed to go tracting so we'll just visit members and our progressing investigators.

We've had a lot of amazing spiritual experiences lately. We got prayed to somebody's door the other day. We were over visiting Blanca and she wasn't there. When we were leaving Elder Johnstun told me to pull over in front of this other house. When someone answered the door we saw a woman inside who was crying. They immediately let us in because they had just been praying for help and comfort. That was cool.

Another similar experience happened when we were driving to an appointment and we missed a turn. We saw a lady sitting on the curb who was crying into her hands. We parked in an adjacent parking lot and walked over to talk to her. She was still crying when we got there. We talked to her for a little bit and asked her if she needed any help. We gave her a way to contact us later if she wanted to. We feel like we'll see her again soon.

I think that Satan must be trying extra hard lately to hurt people. There are so many things going wrong in lots of people's lives. Look for lots of opportunities to help people. You may not be able to do very much for them but even small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

We eat with members most of the time. We also have food back at our house. And occasionally we eat at fast food restaurants. We're very well fed. I'm never hungry, except for on Fast Sunday.
I would love a sweater and sweater vest for Christmas. I've borrowed one of Elder Johnstun's and one of Elder Mortenson's before. They are very handy.

What are you going to be doing for Christmas? Are you going to go down to southern Utah for new years eve again?

Work hard, and remember to read and pray every night.

I love you,
Elder Ben Arnold

P.S. Will you look up Josh's address for me? I think that Elder Johnstun ran into him one time here in Kennewick. We might could go on exchanges with him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Querido Familia,

I got my package that you sent. I was thrilled to open it. You put lots of goodies in it for me. I already ate all of the candy and the dried apples. I keep forgetting I have the dried cherries otherwise they would already be gone. Don't worry about me being hungry. I am very well fed. I eat as good as I did in the MTC. Which means I eat three meals a day. And I'm always completely full at the end of every meal. I've probably started gaining weight again but I'm not sure since I don't have a bathroom scale.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is definitely the strawberry jello. It's been my favorite for as long as I can remember. That's why I would always try to get you to make it Mom. You were just too good at turning it back over to me. Haha.

The people that we are teaching are amazing. I'll tell you more about a couple of them in my letter. Most of the people that we talk to are very receptive and are willing to talk to us. Something funny that always happens is they're always willing to schedule an appointment as long as it's not today. And then when the day of their appointment comes and we show up they would again prefer to just reschedule it for a different time. I think it's hilarious. It's the same with giving prayers. Whenever you ask anyone to say a prayer they're always willing to say the next prayer, but when the time comes to say the prayer they always insist that we should pray.

Keep "stretching" Jonathan. I expect you to be taller than me when I get back. How much longer until you pass up Dad?

Don't worry Mom. I'm not lying when I say that I'm happy. I promise you that I am. I love being a missionary.

You're so close to getting your call Amy. Aren't you excited!!! I am. Don't worry, time passes really really fast. Just enjoy where you are now and things will move forward faster than you can imagine. Thank you for all of the many wonderful things that you have done for me. I love your letters and all of the fun creations that you come up with. I don't know what I'm going to do when you leave on your mission. Teach Matthew and Jonathan your ways. Haha.

Matthew, I've got someone for you to play pingpong with! It's my companion Elder Johnstun. He leaves on December 23rd. He'll find you sometime. I don't think he believes me how badly you would beat him so you'll just have to show him. Haha.

We use the pass-along cards and the pamphlets all the time. We have lots of them on our supply shelf. We also have plenty of Book of Mormons. We get all of them through the mission so we don't buy them ourselves. My two favorite pass-along cards to use is the one with the picture of the Salt Lake Temple and has questions of life on the back. The other one I like is the free Finding Faith in Christ DVD. With the picture of Christ on the front. They help a lot on doing a door approach and for doing street contacting. We use the pamphlets during our lessons to give the people something to look at as well as to study when we leave.

We got a new account and card for our money. That's why you don't see any activity in my bank account. We get more money at the beginning of every month. Mostly it's just for food but we can use it for anything missionary related. Like buying bathroom supplies also.

Having a wonderful week. I love you.

Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Good to See Your Face!

Holding a weight behind his head. Our skinny boy has gained some weight!

Ben's companion Elder Johnstun.

Playing basketball on pday. Looks like he is about to get dragged down.

Settling In

Hola familia,

The library was closed yesterday. Since that's the only place we have to email we had to do it today instead.

I got the Halloween card that you sent. I absolutely loved it. I'm so happy every time that I get a letter from you.

Yesterday I played really hard. My whole body hurts really bad. I'm sore all over. Mostly my legs though. It's just so much fun to play basketball. I can't hold myself back.

Have fun at your concert Amy. I can imagine how excited you are to go. I'm getting very anxious for you to get your mission call. I can't wait to find out where you go.

I bought a frisbee this last week. We've played with it a few times in the morning. It reminds me of all those good ultimate frisbee games at Wavetronix. I've been trying to play tennis. We have a bunch of places to go play. We just need to get some rackets and I have to convince Elder Johnstun to go. He wants to go though so it won't be hard. I'll probably be really rusty.

I've taken a lot of pictures recently. Although I won't send them to you until probably next week. I'm also going to send you your birthday present mom. Then you'll have the opportunity to meet Elder Johnstun and get a tour of the place that I live.

I've been getting worse at writing in my journal lately. I still write every night just not a whole page. I'll have to fix that tonight.

My nerdy self is still in me. I have this constant desire to use a computer for more than just emailing. Don't worry though, I've never even touched a computer outside of using it for email. I'm always telling Elder Johnstun how a laptop could help make missionary work more efficient. Maybe that day will come. He thinks that's pretty funny.

We haven't been able to go to the temple yet. We get to go once a transfer. I think we're going either next p-day or the following. I'm getting pretty excited about that.

The days just keep flying by. I'm afraid that these two years are going to be over without me even noticing it.

You should send me pictures in letters or on an SD card. The internet is pretty slow here. And I don't have too much room in my inbox.

Have a good week. I love you.

Elder Ben Arnold

PS I can't remember the address of our house. So I'll just send it in the letter that I write.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Sorry that I haven't been very informative yet. When it comes time to write you I forget everything that I wanted to tell you. I'll mostly just try to answer all the questions that you had.

I email here in the Pasco library. I can print out my emails. I don't know how much it costs. I get the first three for free though. It's not a big deal though. Probably only a couple of cents.

I don't have any gloves. I haven't really needed any yet but they will probably come in handy soon.

My companion, Elder Johnstun, is from Mona Utah. I will be sending some pictures home today with my letter from last week. That way you can see what he looks like.

We live with members, the Matson's. They're an older couple and they're awesome. I actually don't know our address right now since we just moved last Saturday. As soon as I get another letter through the mail I'll let you know what it is. I'll also take some pictures of our house so you can see what the inside looks like too. It's really big.

I'm excited to get your package Amy! I'm sad that they won't be coming in those cool bags anymore.

The weather has been just like Provo. I love it. It's starting to get a little bit cooler now. It doesn't rain very much. There's really not that much in the way of trees and plants. In that aspect it is also very similar to Provo.

We've been so busy. The first several days here in Washington we worked right through dinner. And didn't eat until 9:00 when we went back to our house. In those cases we would just stop by a McDonald's or something like that. Recently though we have had a lot of dinner appointments with members. The food has been really good every time. It's also not very spicy. They probably do that because they know that we're gringo's.

I didn't vote. I was planning on it. Then I forgot to send the letter to get my ballot. I've had a hard time remembering things like that lately. I guess that's why they give us planners.

We rode our bikes quite a bit at the end of October because we were out of miles on our car. We've been a lot better at using our miles efficiently though so we'll probably not need to ride our bikes too much.

I'll tell you about some of our investigators in the package that I send home. We're teaching a lot of people who are really prepared. It is so cool to be a part of this work.

I love you lots,

Elder Ben Arnold