Saturday, December 29, 2012


Holy Cow! I just snuck onto the computer in the church.

Russia is so cool! I'm so excited for you Stefan!

I'll write more on Wednesday.

Love Ben

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hello again!

Skyping was so fun yesterday. I loved seeing you. It's hard to describe how much fun it is too see you guys. Lately I'm amazed at just how normal it feels to just email and then skype once every few months. I just can't believe how I've gotten used to it. I think it's kind of like getting used to being hungry though. I can do it, but it will be so fun to be back at home. I can't wait to hear about Stefan's call.

Save some Marzipan cake for me.

Love Ben

p.s. I haven't had any picture opportunities mom but I promise I'll get you a picture.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Oh hello dear family/

Guess what? I'm back on the italian keyboard that acts like an italian keyboard so we get to play the punctuation game again. We're emailing from the church again and the computer is sooo slow. It's actually not too bad it just means that when I try to watch the london video for the hundred millionth time the computer goes crazy.

Okay before I forget. Skype- Well unfortunately I don't have the most solid answer to give you. Here's the situation. We're going caroling at the galleria in Milano christmas eve and then we're going to midnight mass at the duomo. Cool huh? The only problem is that we have yet to figure out how we're getting home afterwards.

I think I need to start keeping a gratitude journal again. I was really good about it for a long time but then when I finished by little notebook I never got a new one and kind of fell off the boat. I can tell that it's time to start again. I wouldn't say I've been grumpy but I could say that I could be more positive. Another challenge is that living in four, it's hard to find a second to think about what I'm grateful for. I do love living in four but the only thing I miss is the time to just be quiet. It's nice to just sit every once in a while.

The mountain we climbed last week was really cool. We could see lake como and lake lecco from the top. There was a giant cross on the top of the mountain and we climbed on top of it's big concrete base. We climbed up one side and hardly saw anyone the whole time. then when we got near the top we figured out that there was a road on the other sided and there was a big lodge right at the top filled with old people. The member we went with had sandwiches that his mom made for us so we ate them at the lodge and then went the last little way up to the cross at the very top. We ran down the mountain because we were short on time. My knee has been hurting ever since. It's getting better but still hurts. Besides my knee though I was sore for days. I haven't done anything like that for so long and my body was not used to it. I'm afraid that every time I do anything other than walking or riding a bike when I get home I'm going to have to deal with days of soreness.

As far as mail goes I have been getting your letters. Last week after telling you I hadn't been getting any the next day I got four. That seems to be the pattern. Every few days I get three or four letters at a time. I love the book you've been sending and I actually like just getting a few pages at a time. It gives me time to read it, get excited about what I read and think about it and then I get a new set of pages. I also loved the pictures of Anz. Chipman as a teddy bear. He liked them too...I think. Speaking of Anz. Chipman, this is his week to be the senior companion and it came at the perfect time. He's learned a lot and was getting to the point where he was comfortable enough to start questioning my methods. It was the perfect time to make him start taking on more stuff by himself and it was a good reminder to me to back off just a bit and let him learn for himself.

It's gotten cold here and I'm so glad we take the bus. We had to borrow the other Anzianis bikes for a morning and we got so wet and dirty. It was miserable.

I hope Stefan is feeling better in time for Christmas. I remember when I got my wisdom teeth out it took so long for my mouth to heal that I was afraid that I would never be normal again. I was so worried about having holes in my mouth forever and being able to eat nothing but yogurt and milkshakes.

I forgot to ask last week but whatever happened with the TA girl Stefan? That will be a great question for Skype! That and asking about Hans' dates. I still can't believe the way Hans looks.

Oh no I'm running out of time what else do I have to say....

Work is going well. Actually we've had lots of people not showing up to their appointments so we just run around to appointments where people don't show up. It's driving me crazy. At first it was nice because we were finding lots of people but now no one is showing up. That's just the way it seems to work though.

Think of questions before we skype.

Have a great week and I'll see you soon.

Love Ben

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Love, Ben

Well hello family,

Sorry this email is a bit later than normal. This morning we left early to go climb a mountain with a guy in our ward who is leaving for the New York South mission next week. The mountain was called Cornizzolo. I haven't done anything like that in such a long time. It was so fun.

Where do I begin...

First of all I've gotten two letters but a get the feeling there should be a lot more. Oh well. They'll get here when they get here. The first letter I got though was enough to satisfy me for a while. I can't believe this Noemi! I'm so excited about this. When did she write? What did you tell her? What's happening now? I was so excited about her.

OK so skyping... I'm not exactly sure. I'll let you know more details next week. If I understand right though you should be free anytime. For once we won't have to worry about church times either. I asked mom last week when you have church because every time I've called home it's been a Sunday.

Wow I cannot seem to think of things to write about this week. It sounds like there's a lot going on at home. Do you think Stefan is going to go to France? I wouldn't be surprised. With the shortened MTC times I expect they'll be taking advantage of people who already speak a language. Speaking of which, do you guys realize what a big deal this is? I figure you do. Mom wrote a pretty good email about it, but do remember what I said about the hastening a week or two ago? It's a constant topic of conversation among the missionaries. Everyone seems to have a renewed sense of duty and need to preach the gospel. There's also a real sense of preparation. We're getting ready for a huge wave of missionaries right when I go home and along with that lots of baptisms. This is a real true sign of the times. And along those lines I loved moms blog post. I can understand why she would be hesitant about writing it but I think it was good. I also think that it's more and more important for good people to be good and not be afraid about it. Technology addiction is a real problem. I also love how insistent mom was about how careful we are about guarding internet connection and stuff like that. It's a huge problem. Parents who think their boys can be trusted don't know anything about testosterone. So many adults seem to be so oblivious but I think it really takes a team effort and it is so important. That's one of those things that I just have a fiery hatred for. Argh. When I think about this scriptural phrases like fighting like lions and dragons come to mind.

Checking my email for Stefan's call- I still haven't asked. I bet I'll be able to though. We have a computer in the church that I can use so it shouldn't be a big deal. My prediction though- like I said- France.

Anz. Chipman is doing well. It's amazing to see him learning and growing. He doesn't realize how well he's doing though. I learn a lot from him too. We have very different strengths. I'm smart. I get things done. I'm organized and efficient by nature. He's kind, thoughtful and cares about people so much. It's good for me.

How am I doing really? I'm doing well. The hastening has been on my mind a lot. I really feel a difference lately. It's also good to be training. We get an extra hour to study in the morning and we follow a great training program that takes us through PMG really well. I really feel a need to be on the right side. Good and evil are separating quickly and it's only getting worse. I'm getting ready for the war.

Oh I love you. I could write all day but unfortunately I need to go now.

Love you lots. Love Ben

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

lots of love

Hello dear family

Oh dear. For the second week in a row I'm writing on an italian keyboard that the computer thinks is an english keyboard so don't be surprised if my punctuation gets a little crazy. We "how did ben really want to punctuate that-"

Well what's new> Where do I begin> What do you want to hear about>

Let me ramble just a little bit to begin with. I loved the pictures of California. they were so cool and it made me so excited for next year. Then I remembered that Stefan won-t be there. Still exciting, but also sad. What are we going to do for the next ten years? The next time we have everyone around for the holidays I could have my own six kids! Before I forget I have to say thank you to the Mitchells for both of their envelopes of letters. They were so nice and made me laugh forever. I also felt very flattered getting another letter from Lizzy even if it was just because she needed to send a letter asking for money to ten people. Sorry I cannot send any money but I was happy to get the letter.

This week went well. Good old Anz. Chipman is doing well. I don-t remember how we got onto the subject but yesterday he told me that he hates being told what to do. I just burst out laughing because I tell him what to do all the time. When I asked him if I had been driving him crazy he just smiled. I think I'm naturally a slightly bossy person and I do need to remember that he does know how to do plenty of things without my help. Anyway, for this week I've decided to not tell him how to do things unless he asks for help or is in serious danger.

In other news our work got a nice boost this week when we had a wedding and a baptism within two days and we got lots of great referrals. The ward here is really good at bringing people to activities.

Does anyone else feel like it's just become too normal for us to just email once a week? Sitting here trying to think of news and stories I just can-t believe how normal it feels to see pictures of people I hardly recognize and hear you reminisce about past trips and parties that I wasn-t even there for. And then I don-t remember what I've already told you about or what you would want to hear about. It feels weird but the weirdest thing about it is that it doesn-t feel too weird. Well I'm just a mess of weirdness now. My hands are getting cold because it's getting cold here and this room doesn-t have the heat on.

Oh I love you guys. I miss you a lot too. I'm really happy to be here too though.

I love you lots. Have a good week.

Love, Ben