Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 20, 2013

Hola familia!
In response to Mom - um you can send the homemade treats if you want to, but they will probably be stale. So its up to you - I'll eat them either way :) Thanks for all of the updates on home and family, and I want to you to know that you are all in my prayers each and every day.
This week has been really crazy busy but fun at the same time. So we had special transfers last Monday, and now my companion is Elder Rodriguez. He has 18 months in the mission and is really fun. Talking with him, its clear that with some other companions that he hasn't been exactly the most obedient, but we are doing really good and are really trying to be obedient with exactness so that we can see milagros in our lives. Since he didn't know any of the members or investigators when he got here, I really had to step up and do most of the talking and such so it was fun to be able to push myself to really put myself out there with the Spanish and to see that I am able to do it. Also, Elder Rodriguez is a lot more bold with the members and the investigators and I love it. Lots of the members have been surprised when we don't take "oh well no all my friends are catholic and aren't really interested to know more" as an answer for if they know anybody that we can teach. So its fun as we are working with the members to teach people and its really cool to see the members get excited when they help us teach instead of simply sitting in on a lesson with an investigator.
This next Saturday we have the baptism of a women named Milka. She has epilepsy and is married to a man who was baptized like 4 years ago. So before she didn't get baptized cause she has the fear that when she is in the water to be baptized that she will have an epileptic attack. But we had a really good lesson and she accepted a baptismal date for this Saturday so we are really excited for her to be baptized. In their house like the only picture they have is of the San Diego temple so we have been really focusing in families and how they can be forever if we follow the commandments that God has given us. Also yesterday we starting teaching their daughter who is 14 so we are really excited to teach them.
In our wards we are finally starting to see some members excited about sharing the gospel. In Saturday we had an appointment fall through so we went to talk to a member who sells sports jerseys in the sobre's (the whole flee market type dealeo in the streets) and he was all like oh come with me right now, and we went to one of his friend's house that lived like a block away and presented us with his friend. So we are going to start teaching him this week, and also this same Hermano brought a different friend to church yesterday so we were super excited for that.
This morning I finished reading Jesus the Christ and it was so so awesome. I strongly encourage Benjamin and Jacqueline to read it cause its super awesome and it really changed my perspective on who our Savior is and all of the things that He has done for us.
I'm out of time to write more, but I'm so grateful for each and every one of you and hope you are all doing awesome!!
Con amor,
Elder Crockett

May 6, 2013

Hola Familia!
Primero, I am planning on calling you at 6 pm here so 9 pm your time via skype. But, the family that we are going to use their computer, I'm not sure how fast their internet is soooo it might not work super well. But they have a cell phone that has minutes in the US so if it doesn't work I can just call. I have 40 minutes to talk so be thinking of questions you want to ask :) Also, if you could email me info for a skype account that I can log on a use, cause I don't remember my info, that would be awesome. Or if you want to set up a googletalk thing that would work too. Just send me a brief email that I can read quick and figure out what the plan is before I try to call you via skype or something. I'm super pumped to talk with you all, but please don't make fun of me if I talk english really slow cause I have to think hard to say everything right. Hahaha there are lots of times that the things that run through my head in english/spanish combined make me smile as we are walking around during the day. :)
And with the money, the mission has asked us to have a stash of cash for emergencies and such so I've pulled out some to have a stash of pesos. And my companion has wayy more money then me, He is the youngest by like 20 years and it is well pretty obvious in lots of things, money and packages being one of them. :)
Thanks for those notes and such from Stake Conference, I'm going to be thinking about that for a good while now. Its sure something that we all need to work on, if we are going to be really converted to Jesus Christ. Thats so awesome about Prom and all, I hope you had fun Benjamin. Prom at Brownsburg was like Zion compared to the Sodom that Prom at Osseo and PC was hahahaha.
This week was really good, and as we have really good weeks they are also alot harder at the same time. This week, as you can see by the pictures, we had two baptisms, Maura and Jasmine. On thursday they were baptized and it was really cool because alot of the ward showed up so we were super grateful for the support. Elder Vargas and I sang a musical number and now our baptism that we have this next Saturday with Byanca, also we are going to sing because she came to the baptism this thursday and now wants us to sing also at hers so we are excited to practice a primary song to sing. One thing we were focusing on with our goals this last week was our number of lessons with member present, and we almost got our goal of 15. We had 14, and we had the number of lessons con investigators to achieve the "Standard of Excellence" so we were really pumped.
As we have more lessons and are teaching more people, its a lot more fun because as we are talking with so many people and as we are helping people learn how they can come unto Christ I can really feel His love for me and for them personally, because the more I serve, the more I grow to love them. One thing that I've been able to see this week is that as we are working harder and harder for Christ, Satan is going to work harder and harder against us. With the smallest things I was getting so annoyed with my companion and was just almost mad for really no reason. I finally realized that it wasn't well normal and that I needed to pray to get over it. It was really cool because I know that Heavenly Father isn't going to give us the things we need without effort on our part, so I prayed to be able to change my attitude about it all and to overcome the temptation to be annoyed, and even though it took time, I was able to do it. Also, when we are able to recognize the temptations and stumbling blocks that Satan puts in our way, we can rely on Christ to be able to avoid them or overcome them.
Every time that I meet new people and talk with them about their lives, I am humbled more and more and realize the need I have to work as I hard as I possibly can because I have been blessed so much. As we were teaching Maura and Jasmine about families and that they can be together forever, I felt the Spirit so strongly and really realized how blessed I am to have been born in a family that is sealed together for ever and ever. Its something that I never really had thought about before but it is such a great blessing. The family is such an awesome blessing that Heavenly Father has given us and we really need to treasure all the time we have with them. So sorry for always wanting to hang out with friends when I could've stayed home and hung out with family. The whole mission thing is making me have a different perspective on things and for that I am so grateful.
Sorry that my letters are getting shorter every week, we run out of time to email when we have to scan papers and send them to the offices.
I'm excited to be able to talk with you all this next weekend!! Thanks for your examples and all that you do.
Elder Crockett

May 13, 2013

Hola Familia!
First off, this letter isn't going to be as long as the others have been because we talked yesterday and also we found out earlier today that we have special transfers so my companion has to get back and pack all his stuff cause he is going to Ensenada and I'm getting a new companion tonight. So thats should be really fun. :)
Benjamin, with that music, please put all the stuff that madrigals has sang last year and this year, that Stone Rose cd, and if there is extra space like the LOTRs stuff or something cool. Also, please email me seperate cause I don't know your email but I want to talk to you about some stuff not in the main stream letter that gets forwarded to the whole family. Don't worry Mom, I don't want to talk about anything sketchy :)
Also Mom, if you get a friend request or message from somebody named Gabby Jones or Gabriella Jones or something like that on FB, accept it. I sang a special musical number with the primary for mothers day and she filmed one of the practices so that you can see it too. Its in spanish so you might not understand the words, but you can read them in the english primary songs book :)
This last week we had the baptism of Byanca, and it was really really cool. The spirit was so strong and then on Sunday, she had such a different light about her after she was confirmed and she was just shining with happiness. It was really cool to be a part of bringing that kind of happiness into someone else's life.
It was so good to talk to you all yesterday, and 40 minutes seemed so short, but as I was talking with other missionaries who didn't follow the 40 minutes rule, I was glad that I did follow it. Because they were all super homesick and I really wasn't. Not that I don't miss all of you a ton, but I am so busy with the work and the people that I rarely have time to worry about stuff back at home. Thanks so much for all of your support and I hope you all know that I love you all so much.
I'm out of time cause my companion needs to pack, but thanks for all that you do!
Elder Crockett

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April 29, 2013

Hola Familia!
First off Dad it was fun to get some spanish from you but Daniel la verdad es que no pude entender casi todo de su espanol porque no creo que googletranslate sabe como hablar espanol bien. ;) I finally got mail this last week and I also got your package so thanks! The backpack straps were not those caribeeners, but I´m sure I will find a use for them haha. The straps are the grey waist strap that is removable from my backpack. I´m sure they are in my closet somewhere but maybe they are in a box or something. In the next thing that you send, if you could send like 30 US stamps that would be awesome. I´m not planning on writing a bunch of letters, but it is easier to just write them with an US stamp and give them to somebody who works in the US to put in a post box. Mom I can print them off but I have to pay to do it.
That´s really fun to hear about choir and everything! Take advantage of every opportunity that you have at brownsburg in choir because after it is all over you are going to have random relapses of depression because you will miss singing songs that madrigals sing. Even at BYU the choirs were different, so treasure it all you can at brownsburg. In response to your question Benjamin about exact obedience, it depends. I think that before a mission there aren´t a whole ton of rules so its harder to measure your obedience. In the MTC it was really easy to be exactly obedient and I could see immediately the blessings of being exactly obedient. Here in the mission field, it is harder. Because you have a companion and very rarely will anybody know if you break a rule or if you don´t follow something exactly the way you should. And also its harder to recognize the blessings of it immediately like in the MTC where there really wasn´t much to distract but here in the mission field there is always a lot going on so if I don´t look for the blessings of being exactly obedient and if I´m not striving to be exactly obedient then it is hard to see it. But I know that when we are exactly obedient we can not only recieve a TON of blessings but also somehow we can understand all of the things that we need to do better and the temptations of the adversary are easier to recognize and avoid.
This week here in Tijuana has been good but really busy. We have a baptism with Maura and Jasmine this thursday so we are really excited for that. We have been contacting alot in the street and have been meeting a lot of people that we are excited to start to teach. On saturday, we had a goal to get a certain number of new investigators and we needed two more before lunch to reach our goal. So we prayed specifically for it and right down the street we talked with a guy who we have passed like 5 times everyday who details and restores cars for a living. Gilberto is super awesome and reads the bible and prays with his wife and son everyday but never has liked the idea of churches because he feels like the majority of people at church just listen and agree and he doesn´t think that its right that the people teaching just take their take on the bible and preach it. It was really cool to talk about his beliefs and he told us how much he admired us because we did this everyday all day for 2 years. He said that out of all the churches, the testigos de Jehova and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints had always been different in his eyes because both of them have people walking around sharing the word, and he figures that if we are spending are time trying to share the gospel its because we really have a love for people. I had never really thought of it like that but now I´m really praying and trying to have more love for people.
We got a new zone leader, Elder Holm, and he is awesome. He´s a farm boy from the middle of nowhere Utah and is just a hard worker and has really been pushing our zone to be better and its working. We had a zone conference last week and he showed us a video that his older brother had made and sent him and my goodness it was sweet. It had some clips of general conference talks and such and then had pictures and words talking about all the missionaries in the scriptures, like how Paul baptized 8,000 in one day and others, and how asked questions like what is the difference between them and us? It was really cool to think of the potential that we have as missionaries to be able to work as hard as we can to bring the gospel to everyone. There is a quote in Preach my gospel that talks about how as missionaries and members of the church, we need to share the gospel not to bring up the numbers in our church or not to have more baptisms on record, but to open the doors of the Kingdom of God to His children, and that there is no one else in the world that can do that except us. So we are super excited to work harder and try to get our wards to start helping us out to be able to help allow more people to get back to our Heavenly Father.
Today we had to go to the mission office to go to the border to sign some stuff for visas. All of the elders from my MTC district were there and we got to talk and be together for a good couple hours so it was really really fun to catch up and trade stories about the mission so far.
On Saturday there was a young womens program in the stake that was called Obra de Amor and it was to start up a dealeo where all the leaders and youth are going to contact all the less actives girls and at the same time try to get references for the missionaries. So all the missionaries in our zone were there and President Carreon spoke and it was really fun to hear his side of the missionary work and his view of all the stuff we do. We also sang a special musical number called Te HallarĂ© mi querido Amigo. It is super sweet and I´m pretty sure there is a version in english. It talks about how before we came to this earth that we were blessed with the opportunity to recieve the gospel, and that we had friends before that we need to be looking for now to help them find the gospel. The spirit was super super strong and I know that each and every one of us have people in our lives that are just waiting to be invited to hear the gospel and that we have the responsibility and obligation to do so.
I´m so grateful for every one of you! Also I´m excited to skype in less than 2 weeks. :)
Con amor,
Elder Crockett