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

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