Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hola familia,

We have transfers again. How did that happen? We find out this Saturday what is going to happen so I'll let you know next P-day.

Jorge and Claudia came to church this last week. They had come a lot before I came but hadn't been since I got here. We had a lesson with them last night. Brother and Sister Garcia came with us to the lesson. We watched The Testaments with them. We then talked about how that family was beginning to be torn apart by the world but through Christ they were united. Jorge and Claudia have had problems in their marriage like every other family. They felt the spirit as we watched the movie and then talked about it afterward. Claudia and Sister Garcia both started to cry a little at the end of the video. Sister Garcia shared her testimony how the gospel has blessed her family. She also shared her experience with her baptism and how clean and close she felt to her Savior afterward. I saw a light go on in Jorge and Claudia's eyes. They saw hope for their family. How important it is that members are involved with teaching people investigating the church.

Last P-day we went fishing in a members private pond and caught 8 rainbow trout. We cooked them this last Saturday for lunch. They were really good.

Today we're going on a hike. We're probably going to go back to punchbowl falls. We're going to be leaving in about a half an hour. We're going to try to make it farther up the trail this time. We only saw about half of the falls last time.

Elder Uribe has been sick a lot this last week. Poor guy. He's just about better now. It gave me some time to get our room and area book and journal all organized and up to date.

I love the Book of Mormon. I carry around a copy in English always. One of the kind that we give out to investigators for free. I always use it in my personal study in the morning as well. It hasn't failed me. Every time that I have a question or concern I've been able to find answers and guidance in that book. I know that it is true and that we've been blessed to have such a great tool. As I search my soul in its pages I find peace and hope. Through that book I have come to know my Savior.

I love you all
Elder Ben Arnold

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hola familia,

It was a lot of fun talking to all of you. It's insane how fast that short time goes by. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed Mother's Day, mom!

This morning we went on a hike up to the punchbowl falls. That's why I'm emailing so late today. We had a lot of fun. I got a little dirty and a little wet from the various falls along the trail. The best part was at the very end. There was a really high bridge that went over a really narrow and deep part of the river. There were two steep walls of rock on either side. It was so high that when I threw a rock down it made a really loud slapping sound. Almost like a gun but not quite that loud.

Elder Uribe and I have been riding bikes and walking all of this week. It's been good exercise. And we've been doing more finding during the day. The only thing is that it is hard to get to all of our appointments. The reason why we're not using our car is because it is at the dealership. A warning light came on saying there was something wrong with the airbag. It turns out that there is a serious problem in some of the electronic connections. The airbag could've gone off at anytime. It's weird because it is a 2010 model chevy malibu. It's okay that we don't have it though because the Lord has blessed us in many ways and has made up for not having that form of transportation.

One way that he's blessed us is by getting random rides from members. One day Elder Uribe and I were out eating dinner on the lawn of a school. We had a long walk ahead of us that we weren't looking forward to. Just at that moment a young man who just returned from his mission last summer pulled up and asked us if we needed anything. Perfect! Saved once again.

This morning we woke up early and went and taught seminary with Brother Boyle. I enjoyed that a lot. We covered Mormon 1-6 and focused on the principles of wickedness never was happiness and how we need to repent now and not procrastinate. There were about 8 kids in the class. That's the perfect size. I love teaching small class size groups.

We've been doing a lot of service for members lately. Cutting lawns and helping in gardens mostly. It's been great because we're building a lot of trust with the members. We also get to see them a lot more because we've been getting rides from many of them.

Due to the hike we're a little short on time.
Everybody have a great week
Love you all
Elder Ben Arnold

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hola todos,
!Feliz dia de las madres!

This week we've been busy saving the world! We've been saving lives through teaching. Which reminds me, have you received the new Ensign which has the Conference Talks in it? I don't think we're going to get ours until next zone conference, next transfer. Maybe you could send me one before then (hint hint wink wink ;)

Our progressing investigator pool is kind of funny. They are all friends or related in some way and they all live in the same apartment complex. I'm pretty sure that is how each of them were found.

The list goes as such:
Andres and Isabel
Jorge and Claudia
Julio and Griselda
Mario and Viviana

Andres and Isabel are going to be baptized at the end of May. They are a really awesome family. We always have awesome lessons with them. Isabel reminds me of a bunch of friends back in Pasco. The only thing they are waiting for to be baptized is some final paperwork in their divorce so they can get married.

I met Jorge when I was here before but we never taught him or his wife. We had a lesson just the other day on the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about baptism. It is amazing how the spirit guides both us and them during lessons. We are now helping them unite their family through the gospel. It is amazing how people can be healed spiritually and emotionally through the atonement of Christ.

We met Julio and Griselda when we were at a lesson with Jorge and Claudia. They asked us if we could teach them. We were excited about that. Especially since it is usually the other way around. We've taught them a couple of times now. They didn't see the difference between our religion and all the others after our first visit. They felt confused. We had only talked to them about the gospel and a little about the plan of salvation at this point. We were then able to teach simply about the ministry of Christ, apostasy, and the restoration. The spirit was very strong in that room. It was one of the stronger lessons I've had on my mission. Elder Uribe felt the same way. We had our Ward Mission Leader with us as well, President Alder. He was a mission president in Chile. He was also very impressed with the lesson and how we responded to their questions and doubts. It was just an awesome lesson.

We taught Mario and Viviana yesterday. We taught them about the plan of salvation and they ate it up. It was simple and powerful. We read a lot from the Book of Mormon. I love reading from the Book of Mormon with investigators. At the end we talked about baptism and discovered that they are willing but don't feel prepared. We asked questions and dug a little deeper and found that they have never prayed about the Book of Mormon or the things we taught. So they didn't have a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the restoration of the priesthood. We testified and committed them to pray about the Book of Mormon together.

It's been amazing to me how as we've committed people to be baptized all of their concerns and needs have come to the surface. We're then able to refocus and respond to their specific needs and help them make progress towards baptism and one day going to the temple.

This work and this church are true. I have been guided by the spirit many times to be able to help people overcome trials and questions that they have. I had an interesting thought that there is no way you could get 50,000 young men and women to go out and do what we do if it wasn't true. The gospel has changed my life and brought me more happiness than I can express.

Elder Ben Arnold