Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Hello Family,

The snow's been clearing up here as well. It's gotten a lot warmer and the snow has just mostly melted. There isn't really any left on the streets. There are still piles of it by the sides of the roads though.

My pull up bar was about thirty dollars. I bought it at Walgreens. I don't know where you would find one back at Provo. I'll send you a picture of it so you know what it looks like.
That reminds me that I got all of my pictures ready to send this morning. All I have to do is send it now. I will get that done for sure today.

I haven't gotten the Land's End package yet. We went and checked at the Matson's house the other day but it wasn't there. I did have a letter waiting for me though.

I love the sweaters that I got for Christmas. I wear one everyday. They give me one more choice in my things to wear. It used to be that I really only got to pick out a tie. Now I get to pick out a tie and a sweater.

This morning we finished off my crepe package. Elder Anderson has a really good recipe for the filling. We bought some bananas and mashed them up with brown sugar until it was kind of liquidy. Then we would put that in the crepe with some whipped cream and top it off with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. I had three of them and afterward I was really full.

I kind of have a fitness trainer too. Elder Anderson has been getting me to do some really good workouts with him. The other day we went over to the gym and did a jumping workout. My calves felt sore for a couple of days afterward. He's also helped me do some benching. We have done a lot of pushups and pullups as well.

Spanish has been coming along really well lately. Just the other night we went over and saw Teresa to help her with something. Juan was there to help as well. He was baptized just the week before by Elder Anderson and Elder Mortensen. Anyway, while we were there I heard a couple of jokes in Spanish and I understood most of them. Without anyone really having to explain them to me. I also talked to Teresa for a little while about some scriptures in the Book of Mormon. At that point the Spanish was just coming out. I didn't really even have to think very hard about how to conjugate things the right way.

The way we met Rosa is kind of a funny story. We were over at her apartment complex visiting an investigator. When we were just leaving we saw a man outside cleaning up his house. He had a big box of garbage. We went up to him and started talking to him in Spanish and asked if we could help him. So we took the big box of garbage over to the dumpster with him. When we got back we started talking about coming over and teaching him a little bit. He said it would be okay. When we left and he went back inside we could hear Rosa start to yell at him in Spanish. "Why did you tell them they could come back." She went off on him. It was hilarious. Elder Johnstun and I couldn't help but laugh. When we went back a couple of days later Rosa was the one who answered the door. She was really nice to us and we've taught her a couple of times since. She's been to church once. It was just kind of a funny experience.

Que tenga una buena semana. Les quiero.

Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Dear Family

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!!!

First you'll probably want to know what happened to me when Elder Johnstun left. The last time I saw him was yesterday, the 22nd. I moved in with the Zone Leaders, Elder Anderson and Elder Dudoich. You'll get to see some pictures of them in my Christmas letter.

I got the Farkle and cookie packages. So I think there's only one that I haven't gotten yet. I also got the one from Amy.

We're not going to be using our cell-phones to call. I'll still be calling sometime Christmas morning though. It'll be a surprise.

I don't know if you've heard but we have gotten a lot of snow up here. It reminded me of Provo last winter. And it has been really cold. Usually it's about twenty degrees in the daytime.
The roads have also been pretty bad. Our little cars are definitely not made for it either. Ni modo. Manejamos bien porque somos de Utah.

That big chocolate cake that Sister Matson told you about was huge. I took some pictures of it so you'll get to see it. It was a six layer Wall of Chocolate. I managed to make it through five of the layers. That was all I could do though.

Since Elder Johnstun just lives thirty minutes away from Provo he'll come and see you sometime. He'll be glad to answer any questions that you have. I'll also give you his contact information next week.

Well I'm almost out of time. I love you so much.
Elder Ben Arnold (Benjamin)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some Kind Words From the Matsons

Dear Sister Arnold,

I am glad for this opportunity to let you know how very much we are
enjoying your son. I think that he is as good as they come! He is
always kind and thoughtful of others and you might like to know that
at my house, he is the first to get up from a meal and start the
dishes! You have trained him well.

It is plain to see that he truly loves and appreciates his family.
He has taken some service time to direct us (bro. Matson and I) in
solving several computer problems. some of them have been real
problems for some time.

We will really miss him when he leaves here and hope that he stays in
the area so we can see him often.

Yesterday they did splits with another set of Elders and Elder Arnold
had to take the lead. He did very well and was surprised at how well
the spanish came to him and he was able to converese for 20 minutes in
spanish and give some discussions without a problem and understood
most of what was said.

We both know that he is exceptionally bright but his spiritual gifts
may even exceed that!.

thank you for sharing your wonderful son.

Merry Christmas to you.
Sister Matson

Icy Roads-Investigators at Home

Dear Family,

Christmas time has been amazing. It snowed!!! The roads are even snowy. And the bridges in between Pasco and Kennewick have been really icy. Don't worry though we drive really carefully. I think it's a good thing because most of the people that we know are scared to drive now. That means that most of our investigators are at home more often. And to top it all off it got down to one degree this morning. That's cold. I didn't think it was supposed to be that cold in this part of Washington. I actually would appreciate the long underwear right now.

If you really want to give some gifts to any of the people we're teaching you could just send some games like Flux, en EspaƱol. By the way, I don't think I've told you but I love that game. I've played it with Elder Johnstun a couple of times so we could figure out the rules. The spanish on the cards is hilarious.

Right now there are six of us missionaries covering the Spanish branch here in the tri-cities. So to answer your question we only cover one branch. There is a lot of work to be done though. There's so many good people in that branch too. I hope that I'll get to stay here for a couple more tranfers.

You were right Amy. I wasn't jealous of you having to study for Chemistry. Haha. I don't know why but that reminds me that I got to direct the Matson's how to fix their computers. I'm not allowed to touch computers but at least it made me think. It gave me a good chance to stretch out my knowledge of computers.

Nice job on the Spanish mom! (Nosotros hicimos galletas con chocolate) It's exactly right. Estoy animado a comerlas galletas (I am excited to eat the cookies). I promise I'll speak Spanish when I talk to you on Christmas. I'm going to forward a separate email to let you know when we can call. I'll give a set time next week after I get your feedback.

I love you, love you, love you. Have a great week.

Elder Ben Arnold

P.S. By the way I have heard from Elder Burr. He's doing really well. I've also heard from Elder Cahoon. He's doing good too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


(He refers to himself in this letter by Benjamin because I have taken to calling him by his full name since he left.)

Hello Family,

I'm sorry that this email has been so delayed. The computers were down at all the libraries on Tuesday. Then we had zone conference all of yesterday, I'll tell you more about that. So I haven't had the opportunity until today to email you.

I've been really bad at writing letters and sending you my pictures lately. This next week I'll do better though. Sister Matsen got me and Elder Johnstun some Christmas cards with our pictures on them. Which reminds me that we got the house all decorated this last week. We helped the Matsen's out with putting up the Christmas lights up outside and with putting up their tree. I was glad to be able to participate in the decorating.

I've been taking a lot of pictures recently so I'm excited to send them home. I'll probably just send them on an SD card since I've collected a lot of them (oops).
Thanks for keeping track of my money mom. By the way that big purchase from BestBuy was just a Spanish and English translator. Which I have been using all the time. I would recommend getting one for Amy before she leaves. I'll tell you what kind it is so you can check it out. I don't have it with me right now though.

It hasn't been very wintery here. The temperature is usually in the low 40's or high 30's. And it hasn't snowed yet. It hasn't even threatened to yet.

Benjamin would love some jerky and fudge! I don't know if Christmas would be the same without getting some jerky in my stocking. And I can't ever say no to that fudge.

I love how you're now a plant nerd Amy. Now you know what I felt like about computers. I've been so excited about your mission call. I've told everybody about it. They also all think it's really cool that we'll be able to speak Spanish to each other when we get back. And that we'll be back at almost the same time.

Jonathan, I want to see how you're DS works with cooking in the kitchen. That's something that I would love to play with. Tell me more about it the next time that you write.
Congratulations on your drivers license Matthew! I'm excited because I know you're really excited. How's school going? What's your absolutely favorite class?

The confirmation of Teresa went great! I was pretty nervous but I had prepared really well. The hardest thing about it for me was talking in the Tu form. As missionaries we don't do that very much since we're supposed to use the Usted form. Other than that though it was awesome.

The half-time show at a baptism is just the time while the people are changing after the baptism. It's only about fifteen minutes. Sometimes we watch the restoration as well.

This is my average daily schedule:
6:30-8:00 wake up, exercise, eat breakfast
8:00-9:00 Personal Study
9:00-10:00 Companion Study
10:00-10:30 or 11:00 Spanish Study

Then we go to our scheduled appointments or visit the people we planned to from the night before.We eat lunch at about 12:00.Then it's the same thing again. Going to appointments until dinner. Which is usually with a member. We're supposed to be done with that by 6:00.Then we continue working again until 9:00. Which is when we're supposed to be back to our house. We plan for a half hour then get ready for bed. Then we turn off the lights and go to sleep at 10:30.

I love you all so much,
Elder Ben Arnold (Benjamin)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crepes and Jello...Reminders of Home


Yes!!!!! You got it Amy. I'm so excited. I would've jumped up and down and gone crazy but I'm in the library. I'll have to wait until I get out to the car. Haha.

It sounds like you've all had a pretty exciting week. Don't worry I didn't miss out too much. I had a really good week too. The highlight of my week was that we had Teresa's baptism just this last Sunday. It went perfectly. I got to give the opening prayer and do a half-time show with Elder Mortensen. All in spanish of course. Elder Johnstun did the actual baptism so I'll be doing the confirmation this upcoming Sunday. I'm a little nervous but really excited. I've already got everything I need to know down.

Blanca hasn't been baptized yet. We've had some things to work out. She will be though. I'll keep you posted.

I got your package this last week. I loved it. Elder Johnstun was in a different room when I opened it. When he came back in I had all the food neatly organized on my bed. I was so excited to cook some of my own food. I think it was that next morning that I cooked us some crepes. They were very good and it reminded me of all the times I made them at home. I'm also really excited to make the strawberry jello. That is one of my favorite foods in the whole world.

For Thanksgiving we weren't supposed to go out and proselyte so we mostly just visited some of our progressing investigators and members. We ate a really good Thanksgiving dinner with one of our investigators. She is married to a member and his whole family are members.

We haven't decorated our house at all. I think Sister Matsen will probably do that though. So I don't think we need anything.

On Christmas I'll be calling you. When it gets closer I'll tell you what time I'll call. I'm really excited to talk to you again.

I love all the things that you're doing with the DS Jonathan. Keep it up and you can show me all the things you can do when I get home. Until then, write me a letter and tell me all about it. Maybe you could make a movie of it so I can see what it looks like too.

Congratulations on your ACT score Matthew. Especially good job on your math score. I knew you had it in you. By the way I love seeing you wearing my clothes. It makes me feel like I contributed to a good cause. You can wear them all you want.

When that Click 500 manual gets done Dad I was wondering if you would send me one. I just want to see it in it's final state. That sounds pretty nerdy, huh. Tell me more about how that project is going. I love hearing about that kind of stuff. I'm a deprived Electrical Engineer right now.

I love you so much,
Elder Ben Arnold