Thursday, January 29, 2009

Insanely Crazy

Dear family,

This last week has been so insanely crazy. I'm not even going to be able to begin to tell you everything that has happened. First though, I got your package yesterday. It came with one for Elder Blomquist so it was like christmas all over again.

It's really exciting to hear about all the people I know entering the MTC or leaving the MTC. It's a life changing experience. I wish I could tell them all how much I'm excited for them.
We've focused a lot this week on finding new investigators just like last week. Also with visiting less-active members. And we've been having a lot of success in both areas.

Sergio has been a learning experience for me. He has had a very hard time accepting the Book of Mormon and prefers to read from his international version of the Bible. At our last lesson we focused almost solely on the Book of Mormon though and the spirit was very strong as we did that. He had been a little sick and because of that hadn't done any reading. He's going to give us a call when he gets better. Hopefully it is soon. I love talking to him.

Lucia is doing amazing. We actually went bowling with her on last P-day. I don't remember if I told you that or not. She has such a strong desire to change and become closer to God. I'm glad that I could be behind the scenes a little bit and help her. She lives in Kennewick so I don't really get to see her very often. I do get to talk to her on the phone every once in a while.

I haven't talked to Blanca for a while. Since the beginning of the transfer the sisters have been visiting her. Maybe I'll try to check up on her this week.

I have some news that I've been really excited to tell you about all week. This last Sunday we taught a man named Leonar at a member's house. It was through the member that we found him. And we committed him to be baptized. It was so exciting!!! It will be coming up in the middle of February. Right around your Birthday Amy.

Tomasa is an investigator we've been teaching for a while now. She's made a lot of progress lately. She has five grandkids living with her. Three of which are elegible for baptism. And two of which are really interested. One of those two is Santiago. He is an awesome kid. He's in the sixth grade. I had the opportunity to tutor him in math for about a half hour after our last appointment. It was so much fun!

This is to answer Matthew's question about the TI-89 cord. It is just a standard USB to mini-USB. There should be a whole bunch of them laying around the house. You could ask dad. I know he has one for his GPS.

Spanish has been coming along really fast this last week. We study really hard and pray for help from the spirit. I'm able to understand pretty much everything that people say and I'm finding it a lot easier to teach and talk to people about whatever. Sometimes it's still hard to understand people on the phone or if they use a lot of words that I've never heard before. But it's really exciting and I love everything about it.

Thank you for everything my wonderful family,I love you,
Elder Benjamin Arnold

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Elder Blomquist is His Name

Dear Family,

I got your letter this last week. I was very excited to get the map of Mexico. I've met a lot of people from all over and was able to recognize many of the states on the map. I was also excited to see all of the pictures. I felt my nerdy self being fed as I read that other article you sent me, thank you.

This past week has been insane. Spanish is coming along faster than ever. I have to focus really hard and understand everything that the people are saying to us. I've definitely been blessed with the gift of tongues at this time.

Elder Blomquist has been doing really well. He's excited to be here. He has lots of energy and excitement. He's from Arizona. He hasn't really been homesick so that's been helpful. We just go out and work as hard and obediently as we can. As a result we're finding lots of new people to teach. I was really scared at first. I've settled down a lot now though. I'm putting my trust in the Lord and moving forward with the work.

We met a cool guy the other day named Sergio. He's really into the bible and interpreting it in his own way. He goes off on a lot of tangents while we're teaching and asks some pretty deep questions sometimes. Usually he doesn't like our answers. He prefers to stick with his beliefs. This next time we'll focus on reading a chapter out of the Book of Mormon that contains only really simple doctrine and also testifying a lot. Hopefully it'll give him the chance to feel the spirit.

I've also been in touch with one of the investigators that me and Elder Johnstun had in Kennewick. We're going bowling with her and the sisters today. Her name is Lucia, I met have told you a little about her before. She has been making some amazing progress lately. I'll let you more about how that goes.

We're actually in the Kennewick library today and we only have 30 minutes here. The pasco library is down for remodeling. So I only have a couple of minutes left.

I love you all so much, have a wonderful week,

Elder Benjamin Arnold

Friday, January 16, 2009

He's a Trainer!

Dear Family,

I'm getting really anxious and excited. My new companion is flying in tomorrow. I'll meet him on Wednesday morning and move back into the Matson's then. We should both stay there for at least the next two transfers, so three months.

We'll both learn really fast, Spanish and how to teach. I've had a lot of really good experience lately. Elder Anderson and Elder Dudoich have been really good at getting me to speak a lot of spanish and giving me lots of opportunities to teach.

By the way, I ran into Eugene again. The person I told you about on Christmas that I met in Panda Express. He's doing awesome. I found out where he works and I'll look for him everytime I go there. I'm glad that I've been given the chance to talk to him again.

You can send me the P.F. Chang's card. I'm sure I'd use it. There's one of those restaurants nearby my house. The Matson's took us there once. It was really good and I'll look forward to going back. That was when I ate the really big chocolate cake.

I like that fortune cookie that you got for me. Something that's funny is usually since I've been a missionary all of my fortune cookies are true. I'll copy them all down and send it to you sometime. Maybe I'll just take a picture of them.

I've been doing a lot lately to get ready for my new companion. I've been studying extra hard and figuring out everything that we're going to do starting Wednesday. I'm actually really excited about doing every part of being a trainer. Except that Spanish is going to be really interesting. I haven't built up a big enough of a vocabulary to be able to understand everything. So I'm looking forward to the time when we'll be in a lesson and neither one of us will understand what they said. It will be a memorable journal entry.

I love you all so much and have a wonderful week

Elder Ben Arnold

P.S. I have tried using the new magnesium stuff but not very much. My other one has almost run out. So I'll just switch over and see how it goes. If it doesn't work very well I'll let you know in the next couple of weeks.

I love you, thanks for everything you do!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pasco Pictures!!!

We were so excited to get pictures last week! Hope you enjoy them as well. New pictures on the side bar coming soon!

{Look CaRefULLy!}

{Ben with his current companions and zone leaders, Elders Dudoich and Anderson}

{Elders WILL be boys}

{Ben has nothing but good things to say about this zone.}

{Elder Arnold with the members he lived with, the Matsons. You're a mean one...hhhmmm not the Ben we know!}

{Elder Arnold, Teresa, and Elder Johnstun on Teresa's baptism day.}

{Elder Johnstun and Elder Arnold in front of the Columbia River temple.}

It Was Mostly Just

Dear Family,

Great Gatsby! This last week has been crazy! I have so much to tell you about. I wish I could tell you all about it on the phone. Also we don't have as much time in the library today so this will be a little difficult.

Thanks for the advice on weight control. I haven't really been trying to gain weight so much as muscle. I'm not eating lots of bad food to try and gain fat. I'm eating pretty good but also working out every morning. And by the way my current weight is about 158. Depending on what time of day it is and if I just drank water I can be about 160. I could start eating a little bit healthier of breakfasts though. I just eat frosted flakes with milk. I'll buy some more nutritional stuff next time.

I got the Land's End package. I love all the stuff. The sweater is really soft and comfortable. The long underwear has helped me already many times in staying warm. There were two shirts and two pants. And of course the sweater which I already mentioned.

We keep getting snowed on. The roads were finally clear and then it's snowed twice since then. It hasn't been too much though. It was mostly just slushy so it'll be burned off in no time.

I'm glad my room is being put to good use. Enjoy using it. It's the best room in the whole house!

I'm so excited that you get to go to the temple so soon, Amy. It's a wonderful experience there's lots to learn everytime you go.

You only mispelled three of the spanish words. Lunes miercoles and jueves. Good job though. I'm glad you are enjoying using the translator. Mine has a couple of problems with it and I called the technical support. So I'm sending mine back to them and they're sending me a new one. It's kind of a bum deal because I'm really going to be needing it here soon.

Love you all so much,

Elder Ben Arnold