Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Hola familia,

I'll start by answering some of your questions. I haven't seen the Matson's because they moved to Boise. That was one of the reasons why we moved out of their house. Because they were going to be moving soon.

I did run into Mayela Poulson while I was at a baptism in Connell. I was really surprised because they were living in Pasco when I was here last time. I did the baptismal interview for the lady that was baptized. She was really cool. And Mayela had been working a lot with her and was really key in getting her baptism to happen.

Felix is doing really well. His baptism is on the 5th of September. He's really ready to be baptized. The only sad thing is that he's only up here in Pasco temporarily. He's moving back to Mexico in November I think. He was just up here to help support his sister for a little while. He's excited to go look up the church when he gets back to Mexico though. So he doesn't plan on falling away from the church. We've had really good lessons with him lately. He always does most of the reading that we give him so he's prepared for the lessons. Then he always asks questions when he doesn't understand something so we actually know that he's understanding things. It's a lot a fun when you get to teach somebody like that.

I saw Leonardo a couple of times this last week! I saw him actually just last night. We had a family home evening with several members and investigators at a park. We had a little lesson and we had some refreshments. We also played some soccer and a little bit of frisbee. It was a great experience for Leonardo to become better friends with some of the members and get him even more excited about the gospel. Sadly he couldn't come to church this last week due to a really weird situation in helping out somebody that he didn't really know. He really wanted to come to church and he was pretty bummed out.

We've also been meeting with Teresa and she's beginning to do good as well. She's working in the apple fields right now. Hopefully she'll come to church this next week.

This last week while we were tracting somebody tried to throw water on Elder Godinez and me. They missed though. The Lord was protecting us. It was actually really funny. We can take the scripture being mocked and spit upon almost literally now. haha.

I think it was this last week that we had another ZLC. So we had to drive all the way back over to the Dalles. I sure have had to spend a lot of time in the car lately. I did get a letter written to Francisco on the way over though. I hear that he's doing really well, as well as some of the other people that we were teaching.

I memorized my address and then I forgot it again. I can tell you as much as I can remember though. It is off of "Cartmell" in between 19th and 20th avenues. And it is apartment number 108. The apartments are called the driftwood apartments.

I love you family

Elder Ben Arnold

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One year since Ben entered the MTC!

August 18, 2009

Hola familia,

This last week has just flown by. This whole next transfer is going to be gone pretty quick too. The first year of my mission has gone by very quickly, especially recently.

I don't know if I've ever told you much about Elder Godinez, my new companion. He is from North Carolina, originally from Mexico, Morelia. He's lived in the US for quite a while because he speaks English without any accent. And he speaks Spanish perfectly as well.

Moving back into Pasco is amazing. It's so good to see all of my friends that I made before. I've talked to Teresa already but haven't been able to get a hold of Leonardo.

When I got here, the Elders had been teaching a guy named Felix who was already set up with a baptismal date. He's really neat. The other night we were getting this call from a Private number. Every time they called it was while we were in an appointment. I felt like I should answer after about the fifth time and it turns out that it was Felix. He doesn't have a fixed work schedule or a cell phone, which makes it kind of hard to find him. We had gone by his house twice that day to see if we could catch him there. He felt bad about that and obviously tried really hard to get a hold of us. Then we were able to set up a time to go and visit him this week. He is one of very few people that are taking initiative and being active in their part of preparation for their baptism.

Isn't Amy's Spanish amazing? She's already writing that much and hasn't even been out for 6 months yet. Do you have a Chilean accent? While I was in Vancouver I met one of the sister missionaries that served there and she spoke really well. She didn't have a Chilean accent. I just thought that was interesting. Keep up the good work Amy.

We're living in an apartment. I'm sad to not live with members anymore. It's just different. It was a little messy when I first got here due to Elder Waldo finishing his mission and the chaos involved in that. In my spare time, which is limited, I've managed to go through and organize almost the whole apartment. It's involved throwing away more than 5 big bags of garbage. I'm pretty sure missionaries have been living in this apartment for just about a decade. And there's stuff that has been left since the first set of missionaries: clothes and other things that nobody was ever going to use. So I got rid of most of it. I was already mostly familiar with the apartment and with our whole area since I had already served in Pasco for six months. It's been fun to be able to jump right into it and start working.

I seem to be getting more and more tired. We've been teaching a lot this last week. Like actual sit down appointments. It's making me really exhausted mentally. My favorite part of missionary work is definitely teaching people. Especially in their homes. And in Spanish. The thing that makes it fun is not just teaching but asking questions. It's a challenge to get them to share their obstacles and doubts with us. Then when you do find them out and share and expound on the scriptures to help address their concerns and help them repent, it's such a joyful and exciting work!

I want to throw this part in for Amy. My last week in Vancouver I did a training on being a missionary of order. Being organized and more than just that but teaching in a way where we don't just teach but do as I was talking about before, teaching the person. Addressing their needs and helping them to change. A part of being a missionary of order is keeping records 100% up to date. Updating the area book every night as a part of planning. Then during daily planning and weekly planning not just writing down numbers and planning on where to go but to receive personal revelation on each individual investigator. It's hard to explain the whole thing in one paragraph. It's taken me my whole mission to figure out all the little things that go together into being a missionary that is organized.

I'm not sure what my new address is. We live on the northwest corner of Cartmell and 19th. It's right behind the pizza place. It's just right off of Court st.

I feel sorry for you Matthew. Having wisdom teeth taken out is not very much fun. I remember how much I bled and was uncomfortable. Anyway, hang in there and remember I love you.

How's the zip line coming along Jonathan? Isn't it crazy that school is starting already?

I love you family,
Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to Pasco!

Hola familia,

This last week has been pretty hectic. There have been lots of things that have come up that took time out of our missionary work. But we've still gotten some good things done.

Right after I emailed last week we started the long drive over to Kennewick. We mostly just talked and slept. We had the Zone Leader Council that night. Elder Bruce C Hafen from the first quorum of the seventy was there. We reviewed a lot of how we're doing as a mission and areas that we could focus on to improve. They really wanted us to share our true feelings and be completely open with them. It was really interesting.

I found out that my new companion is going to be Elder Godinez and that I'm going back to Pasco! I was really excited to find that out. I got to see him, Elder Waldo, and Elder Dudoich and a few other people that I'm good friends with.

Elder Becerra is going to be training the only Spanish missionary coming out this transfer. He's really excited and nervous. I'm super excited for him.

On Wednesday I got the fun job of driving all the way back to Vancouver. My leg felt really weird after we got back. It started to cramp up a little bit while I was with Elder Becerra that night.

We had zone conference on Thursday. Elder Hafen talked to us. It was really good but also really long. We started at 9 in the morning and we didn't end until about 4 in the evening.

On Friday we took Sebastian out with us. We picked him up at 12 and then took him back to his house at 8 when we had an appointment with his family. The day was pretty slow. We didn't teach a ton of people. I think a big part of that was because it was Friday. Everybody likes to leave and party because it's the beginning of the weekend.

Cornelio has been out of town lately as well as Roger and Deysi so not anything new to report for them.

We found a new investigator named Angelina. We couldn't go to her appointment and we didn't have her phone number. And when we went back she had been waiting for us. We felt really bad about that. We apologized and she let us in. Elder Becerra were trying a different technique today. We were going with just soft cover copies of the Book of Mormon. No backpack or anything else. Angelina let us into her house. We introduced the Book of Mormon briefly and then just read to her out of it. We just shared everything that the spirit told us to. The lesson was so amazing. The spirit was very strong and she was very interested. Elder Becerra read out of Ether 12 and I shared the conversion story of Alma the younger. We left her with a very strong commitment to read Mosiah 2 and then to pray and even to come to church this next week. Sadly I won't be here to see her again. Something feels really special with her though. She's an older lady probably in her 60s or maybe 50's.

The mini-missionaries did not sleep with us. In between the two days they went home and slept there.

Congratulations on your AP tests, Matthew. You're a smart kid. Put some of that brain power towards studying 3 Nephi 11 to the end of 3 Nephi this week. Focus on how Christ teaches the people. And then think how you might be able to apply that as if you were a missionary. Notice also how much he loves the people and is not just teaching them to teach a lesson. Especially in chapter 17, I love that one.

Jonathan that same assignment goes to you. Tell me about how the zip line is coming. Take some pictures of the construction of it so I can see everything you had to do to get it up.

I was just measured not too long ago and I was right at 6'2". Matthew might've caught up to me already. We'll have to measure up in a year.

I'm leaving for Pasco tomorrow, Wednesday, early in the morning. I have to drive to the Dalles. Then I should be free to do stuff for the rest of the trip. I plan on catching up on the millions of amazing letters that I haven't yet responded to.

I won't have time to send pictures until I get to Pasco. Sorry I've been so bad about that too. I've got lots of good ones though!

Love you family

Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Moving Again

August 4, 2009

Hola familia,

Don't have too much time today. The library's internet was down so we had to go to a different library in southern Vancouver. The other reason that we're rushed is because I have to go to a meeting with the other Zone Leaders in the Tri-cities. I'm going to be a Zone Leader. I found out on last Monday when I got a call from President Belnap. So I won't be staying in Vancouver. I'm guessing I'll be going back to Pasco but on the other side. We'll see though. There's still lots of possibilities.

Ricardo came to church again. This time Sebastian came with him. They both seemed to really enjoy it. Just yesterday we talked to them again. Daniel was there as well. The lesson went super good. We extended the baptismal invitation. They committed to be baptized if they got an answer. It seems that Ricardo already has got an answer; he just didn't want to voice it in front of his two sons. We'll talk to him about that a little bit more during this next week.

Jacob should be visiting soon if he hasn't already seen you. I gave him something to give to you. I'll explain later if you have any questions about it.

We had mini-missionaries this week. A couple of priest age boys came out with us for two whole days. It was a blast. They both enjoyed it and we got a ton of work done in our area while they were here. Elder Becerra and Gabe were riding bikes while David and myself were in the car. Matthew and Jonathan if you ever get a chance to do that, I would say do it. You'll learn a lot and get excited about serving a mission.

That's so exciting to hear about Teresa's mom being baptized. Missionary work is just so much fun and brings so much joy into everybody's lives.

I got your letters mom. It is really fun to see the pictures of everybody and see how they're doing.

Francisco received the Priesthood! He's doing really well. He might be getting married soon. I'm going to miss him a super lot.

We met a new guy named Cornelio this week. He's very interested in what we have to share. The entire time during the lesson on the restoration he was on the edge of his seat. He shared his own feelings and was very open with us. I haven't really seen anyone like that since Francisco. He was also, just like Francisco, very anxious to get a copy of the Book of Mormon and to begin reading it. I'm sad that I won't be able to see him finish his progression and come into the church.

Sorry that there's not any more time.

I love you family,

Elder Ben Arnold

PS Thank you everybody for the letters you have sent me. I'm trying really hard to respond but I'm not the best letter writer. Expect them to come soon though.