Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scriptures Equal Power

Hola familia,

The baptism of Francisco went great. He’s so solid. He’s been reading a lot out of the new Gospel Principles book. Which by the way I have enjoyed very much using. Elder Hortin performed the ordinance of baptism and I confirmed Francisco. It was a very neat experience. I felt impressed to tell him about sharing the gospel to people around the world. We’ve lately been talking about how we’re going to try and help him to serve a mission. He’s 23 years old.

Scriptures equal power. I testify with Amy. If we would just read our scriptures everyday we will always progress forward. I’ve seen too many investigators, members, and missionaries that are stuck spiritually speaking. They seem to have negative attitudes or they just don’t enjoy church as much as they used to. Missionaries may not be excited to go out and work. They just don’t have the vision. The reason is because they are not effectively using their study time or not studying at all. As we read the scriptures we receive revelation and inspiration. We receive the motivation and desire to do the Lord’s work. We are excited and have a vision about what we do. As we leave the scriptures by the side of the bed and let our busy lives be filled with things of the world we hinder our spiritual progression. There is a direct connection. Other things like church attendance and Family Home Evenings help but can not replace daily scripture study.

Today I saw an interesting contrast between worldly things and godly things. We went to the 7:00 am session at the temple. At which I was taught several amazing truths of the gospel. I received guidance in my own personal life as well in how to help those around me. Almost immediately following our temple visit we went to the mall in Kennewick to buy some new shoes for Elder Hortin. It felt so dirty inside of there, in some stores more so than in others. There was a drastic difference between the spirit in the one and the other. How wonderful it is that we have places on this earth like temples where we can escape from the filthiness of the world, spiritually speaking.

I was saying earlier that I love the new gospel principles book. The main reason is because of its simplicity. As I’ve taught the basic, simple, pure truths of the gospel in place of complex analogies or stories we see more success and have more effect on those that we teach. The spirit can bare witness of pure doctrine more than it can an analogy or doctrine that is doctrine at all but rather an opinion.

This last week we spent a large portion of time preparing for our monthly stake meeting. It went very well. There was a lot to report on. The meeting was effective because lots of action items have come from. We were able to point out many areas of weakness and strength that have influences on missionary work. We have an amazing Stake President, President Montierth, as well many other amazing, spiritual giants of leaders.

Transfers are coming up. We’ll find out what happens at ZLC this upcoming Friday. It’s strange to me again to look back on this transfer and see how quickly it has gone by. I should be staying here for at least one more transfer. I love Pasco!

Love Elder Ben Arnold

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Eugene and Francisco

Hola familia,

Things have been busy this week. We had interviews yesterday, which is why we’re writing today. There was a lot of planning for that and also for a Stake Meeting coming up. We focused on teaching simple and true doctrine during interviews.

Hey something exciting. We just got back from shopping at Wal-Mart. You’ll never guess who I ran into. If you remember last year while I was in Pasco I met a man named Eugene. It was in the Panda Express. Well I saw him today. He walked past and the spirit made me recognize him immediately. I called to him and went over and started talking to him. He’s been slowly doing better. He has missionaries come and visit him frequently. This was an answer to many prayers. I wanted to be able to talk to him one more time and the Lord in his own time gave me the opportunity.

While at Wal-Mart we also got a new lamp because it’s really dark in our apartment. And my chair broke. The whole back part of it broke off. I got a new, cheap, comfortable plastic chair.

The internet is being really slow right now. There are a lot of kids on facebook and playing online games. Either they are out for lunch or they don’t have school today. That’s one nice thing about the winter. Usually we use the library when they are all in school. I might even be sending this letter to you in the mail.

We have a baptism this upcoming weekend. His name is Francisco. I don’t remember if I told you but this is the guy that during the first lesson when we were talking about the apostasy said, “So then Joseph Smith was called to restore the church so that we could have all of those things again.” At the end of all of our appointments he asks us when we are going to have another lesson instead of the other way around. He says that he loves learning the new things that we are teaching him.

We’ve been finding a lot of people to teach through the Vargas family. They have a lot of family and friends.

A lot of the training that we’ve received lately has been on finding new investigators because that’s been really hard lately. There just hasn’t been enough time with all of the progressing investigators and people on date. But we need to keep finding otherwise our pools of investigators go down.

Love Elder Arnold

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vargas family wedding and baptism


January 5, 2010

Hola familia,

First, we had a baptism on Saturday. Yisel and Ana, the daughters of the Vargas family, were baptized. It went really well. Ana was a little nervous but got over it and she did a good job. They are 11 and 8 respectively. The water was pretty cold. We couldn't start filling up the font until late because there was a primary meet the teacher in another ward that morning.

We've been so busy lately. There's so much to do with not very much time to do it all. We've had two Elders living in our apartment with us for the past few weeks. They just moved out yesterday. It feels empty in there now. There will be less distractions in the evenings though, so that will be good in that way.

The Pasco Stake has been seeing a lot of success in missionary work lately. For this month of January we're looking at just under 30 baptisms, which is just less than half of the total number baptized in all of 2009! It's been mind blowing.

We're teaching a young man, 26, named Francisco. He's a really smart kid. Maybe I can't call him a kid because he's older than me. He's been coming to church for a little while but haven't started teaching him until more recently. We were teaching him about the apostasy and the falling away of the church after Christ. Then he made a comment about that's why the church needed to be restored. Elder Hortin and I just kind of sat back stunned. I've never heard anybody say that before. Or understand that that quick. He's committed to be baptized on the 16th of this month!

There was another baptism in the branch this last Sunday. In fact there were six people that were baptized all together. One family, and two others that are really good friends. Investigators of the other Elders and the Sisters. Each one of them had somebody different baptizing them as well. So there was a lot of people dressed in white.

There's been a change in Pasco in the last few months. All of the missionaries are catching it and you can see the vision in their eyes. It's so much fun to be around so many missionaries that have that mindset and desire to work.

I love you all
Elder Ben Arnold

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Past

December 30, 2009

Hola familia,

This has been an amazing last week. Everything has just been going so smoothly and I've been so happy.

Jose was ordained on Sunday. We did it right after church. It was a very spiritual experience for me. Before the actual ordination I was worried that I wouldn't be able to remember all of the things that I needed to say. Heavenly Father helped me out though and brought it all to my remembrance. Jose has been stepping up a lot lately. He's recognized that he is the head of the house and he needs to be a spiritual support for them. Receiving the priesthood has helped him to see that responsibility that much more.

I've already started putting the pictures in my journal. It also makes it easier to remember all of the things that I did during the day so I can write about them.

I had a really neat experience just a couple of days ago in my personal study. I was searching for an answer to something. I was really bothered by it. And I needed some spiritual confirmation from Heavenly Father. As I finished praying I stayed on my knees for a couple of minutes. A name of one of the seventies came into my mind. I went back to my desk and felt impressed to open my November Ensign, which is the conference issue. I was again impressed to look down the list of names of the speakers. I slowly read each name. When I came to something like the 7th name it stood out at me. It was the same name that came to me at the end of my prayer. So I turned to that page and began reading. At first I wasn't sure where this was taking me or how it was going to be an answer to my prayer. My answer was in that talk. And as I read different parts of it the spirit confirmed those things to me. Whenever the spirit comes over me that strong it makes me cry. I felt so joyful and so close to my Heavenly Father. Just as Amy testified I testify that our Heavenly Father loves us and is always looking over us. "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you."

Thinking back on past Christmas' I can't remember any presents that I received. The things that I remember is decorating ginger bread houses with my family. I remember not being able to sleep at night in anticipation to open presents. So me and Matthew played a football game on the computer all night. I remember being with my family and those that I love. Christmas one year ago the thing I remember most is talking with my family. And I'm sure that is the thing I will remember the most about this Christmas.

Love Elder Arnold

PS Feria means fair, that's the word Amy couldn't think of.