Monday, June 25, 2012

Finishing a transfer, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012

Hey dad,

So, I wrote a little this morning and attached the photo of the letter [transcribed below].  As you will read, I will stay here this transfer and Elder S. will leave.  (He is sitting next to me looking at pictures of anime characters right now because no one sent him an email).  So, I’m ready to deal with a different problem.  I’m ready for a transfer.  I won’t have much time the rest of the day because Elder S. wants to visit some members here.  

I did remember that it was your B-day.  I hope it turned out great. Did you get any cool presents? The B-day “cake” sounded really good -- I miss pies.

Today we made lunch for Magno, Marilene, Kezia and Cristian.  I attached a picture of them.  I made oatmeal pancakes and made maple syrup.   They were really good, but surprisingly Kezia and Cristian didn’t like the pancakes (too sweet!).  But, that was fun.  Unfortunately, the Mapleine that I had left after Elder A. stole some spilled because the lid was not screwed on tight, so I only had enough to make the syrup for the pancakes today.   

Oh, I will be paired with an American that is finishing up his mission.  I hope he is hard working because I feel like I need some help learning more about how to be an effective missionary.    

This week we had a pretty cool experience.  We have had a referral for more than a month from this guy who teaches karate at the Stake Center here.  The street that he lives on doesn’t show up on the map and so we have been looking for his villa in the wrong spot off and on for a month now.  Yesterday I said to Elder Souza that we should look for his house again because an appointment fell through.  Somehow we found his house about a mile away from where we thought he lived and in a place that I didn’t know existed.  We ended up teaching him about the Book of Mormon (the introduction) and he stopped at the end of the second paragraph and asked, “but what do I have to gain from this book.  What does it teach?”  I said, “Let’s find out.”  And we read the third paragraph with him.  At the end he said, “Wow, that’s exactly what I need in my life: peace.”  He is a really cool investigator and I hope that he will continue to learn and grow.  I think it’s interesting how the Spirit works to guide us.  I was ready to give up looking for him, but in the right moment it all worked out.  

I love you, Dad, and happy belated B-day!

Oh, and about the rock rings, I will do without or I was thinking that I could pay an investigator of ours that has his own wood shop to make me some out of wood.  But that’s about it.

I love you all and thanks so much for your letters and e-mails!!!  Eliza, Emma, and Dan, thanks for your e-mails!!!

Mom, you’re awesome!

Ben’s handwritten letter, 6/11/12 

Dear Family,

This past week has been interesting.  I am really glad the transfer got here.  Elder S. has been hard to work with.  He has been waking up in the mornings grumpy and hard to be around, and apparently he has some eye problem that gives him headaches when he reads (this started to develop when we started to not get along real well).  So this week he has been sleeping during comp study.  That’s been frustrating but easier because I can just continue my studies and not have to do everything in the comp study.  I am going to stay here this transfer and Elder S. will go to the next zone over.  I will get my new comp tomorrow his name is Elder Harris, he is finishing his mission here in the next few months.  I really hope that this transfer works out better.  But it will be strange having an American comp.  I really hope he isn’t trunky and lazy, that drives me nuts.  I’m going to work hard to be a good comp for him.  I also feel like I’ve hit a wall here, its been super tough working with Elder S.  But I think I have learned a lot too. 

Happy B-day Dad!!!  Sorry -- it was yesterday.  Did it snow there in Moscow?  I hope you’re planning some crazy adventures for us when I get back.  Did you do anything special yesterday or where you swamped with church stuff? 

You know I’ve been wondering, do the missionaries in our ward have lots of lessons with members?  Maybe you guys could plan a family night invite a family and the missionaries.  That is something we do frequently here and it is pretty nice something low key, an activity, short message about families with the missionaries.  Then at the end, the missionaries can explain what they do and mark another day to visit them again (with the help of the family).  Just a thought.  It’s really frustrating here when families don’t help much in the work because without the members, missionary work is almost impossible. 

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