Friday, June 14, 2013

June 10, 2013

Buenas tardes!
In response to all of your questions... My companion hasn't said anything about his legs this week so better. We haven't been able to find the man who is an alcoholic and the last time we went to his house his niece came out and was all checkin us out and trying to flirt so that was interesting haha. My legs and back are fine, with the excercising in the morning I do push ups and abs and streches so that my back doesn't hurt. My favorite color of tie hmmmm blue. And the weirdest thing I've eaten: one time we ate tacos from a stand and then like a month later we heard from a member that this stand makes their tacos with dog meat so I've eaten dog and it was really good hahahah :) I haven't gotten the package with shoes or from home and I have to wait to the next zone conference at the end of this month to get them. What did you all send in the package from home? Cause I need stamps and such but I'm not sure what you have sent so I don't know what to tell you that I need. But one question for dad - can you ask John Moore where they bought all those mission coins? Like what company? My bishop here saw mine the other day and wants to know where he bought them to check it out.
Well this last week was better but still not super super good. I just need to focus on working harder and being more bold and confident. This next sunday both of us are going to speak in church and I'm excited to prepare my talk through out this week to hopefully be able to say the things that I need to say to help the members.
Yesterday we had stake conference here and it was really good. We had the session of priesthood in the morning and then the general session. Our mission president and his wife came to speak and also the temple president of San Diego came with his wife to speak. The temple president could speak spanish so he gave his talk himself. His wife doesn't speak spanish but it was fun cause she had written her talk in english and then I'm guessing her husband translated it so she read off her talk in spanish. Both of them spoke about the temple of course and it was really good. I'm realizing that while I was at BYU I really took having the temple so close for granted cause now I really miss not being able to go to the temple. We ate lunch with the family of the second counselor in the stake presidency on friday and he is an architect and has been doing some work with the building plans of the temple. He showed us this little video he has on his laptop of all the layers of the temple coming together and it was really cool. He said that it should be done in 2 years from now soo maybe I'm thinking family trip summer 2015? ;) I have also heard that the famous "Hotel California" that the song is from is somewhere in Baja California so there is another fun fact haha.
With the discourso that I'm preparing the give next sunday in church, the bishop didn't give us a topic so I've been thinking about the things that I can talk about. I was planning on talking about covenants and our dutys to God as members of the church. And yesterday in stake conference a the stake president gave a really good talk about covenants. It was really good as he talked about how our covenants aren't between us and the ward, or us and the stake, but only between us and the Lord, and how its not like we need to prove ourselves to the ward but rather we need to be doing the things personally between us and the Lord to complete with the promises we have made. He mentioned a quote from Elder Ballard about how often we think that covenants should be convenient, and it really made me think of how sometimes I justify things simply cause they are convenient. And then I remember how dad one time when we were talking said that whenever we make a justification we are in the wrong and need to change and yeah I'm just grateful for my parents everyday. :)
One thing that Presidente Carreon talked about yesterday in stake conference was the need to invite out friends and family to listen to the gospel. Its great to share it and we should do that but also there needs to be action and progress and that's what the missionaries are for. He said "And what's going to happen if you ask your friend to come over and talk with the missionaries and they say no? Nothing, absolutely nothing, everything will be normal and simply you are trying to share the happiness that you have from the gospel, your friendship won't change." Okay he didn't say that exactly cause it was in spanish but it was really good cause I know I thought that if I invited a friend to listen to the missionaries that it would be a disaster if they said no and all that. So I'm super happy to hear about all these missionary experiences but also don't be afraid to invite a friend over when the missionaries are there. Have courage and follow the spirit. Benjamin and Jacqueline, first pray alot, and then act on every single thought you have. One thing that has really helped me be able to follow the spirit is something that Elder Bednar said - "that if we are being good boys and good girls, we don't need to recognize the promptings of the spirit to follow them. If we are being obedient and doing the things we should be doing, our thoughts will be guided by the spirit and we can know that we can follow them." There is a really cool story he tells about when he was a missionary in germany giving an apostle a ride to the train station, but I don't want to tell it bad and I'm out of time so search for it. :)
Happy birthday Jacqueline, I'm startled everytime I realize how old you are cause then I realize how old I'm getting haha. Thanks for your example :)
Con amor,
Elder Crockett

June 3, 2013

Hola familia! 
In response to your questions, Mom no I don't have a copy right now of the conference talks. If you could send me one in english that would be awesome. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get one in spanish but if you could send me one in english that would be great. Dad I'm sure the boots have arrived but they go to the office so I only get packages when I have a zone conference, which isn't until the 28th of this month sooo I'll let you know in 3 some weeks. And Mom about the journal, I've written every day since I started the mission so I'm hoping to continue to do that :)
To be honest, this past week wasn't the very best that I've had so far. Elder Rodriguez has had this problem with his legs through his mission where they hurt really bad for a couple days and then nothing for a couple months. So early last week he was complaining a lot about his leg so we got a ride to the doctor that the mission uses and went with him and all. (I was convinced that they are just shin splints or something) So this doctor gives him some injections and other medications to take without really looking at him very well and is just like yeah come back in a week. Elder Rodriguez has never really taken medicine before and was acting like I was offering drugs when I offered him ibeprofin haha. But so I learned how to do injections to give him them but then the next day he started trippin out cause he could sleep and his heart was going all fast and then he had the hiccups for 2 days straight. In the end, we ended up going with every member in our wards who are doctors and turns out he has just been eating too much chilli with everything and his stomach was over irritated by the medications and his legs hurt because we walk all day everyday. But all of it is resolved now and I'm hoping that we are going to have a really good week ahead of us this week. :)
But also this week I learned some things/realized some things that I need to work on so that's good too. One day we were going to eat with a family and they called us to tell us that they were going to be late so we went to visit a near by family in the ward. Hermano Jones (he's from Utah) always is really blunt with us and its awesome cause we get to learn more about what we can do better in the ward from somebody who tells us how it is. So we were talking about stuff and he asked us if we thought that everyone is going to be judged equally in the day of judgement and then followed up with if we thought that all missionaries are going to be judged in the same way. I answered without really thinking that no we are going to be judged according with the blessings that we have recieved, because with greater light comes greater condemnation and all that jazz. We didn't really talk much more about it with him but afterwards I was really thinking about it and realized that I not only need to work my hardest everyday with everything because I should be a good missionary, but because I have been blessed so much and have the responsibility to be the best missionary I can be. I'm not sure if the explanation I've written conveys the thinking that I did about this, but all in all I realized that I need to step it up and I shouldn't ever be content with the missionary I am. One thing that one of the teachers in the MTC told me once that I really liked is that we should be happy about how much we have grown, but we shouldn't settle and be content with where we are. Something like that.
Even though that this last week wasn't all that good and was kind of hard cause all of our investigators that were really progressing are having problems and more problems, it is still so awesome to me that at the end of the day I can always look back and see where the Lord worked a miracle in our lives that day. For example, yesterday we were walking to visit a family cause our appointment with an investigator fell through, and this clean cut looking man that was walking the other direction in the street stopped us and was like "hey I have a big problem, I'm an alcoholic big time and when you guys walked past me something in my head said to ask you for help so I don't really know why I'm talking to you but I am just desperate for help." It was really cool to be able to see how the Lord has a plan for us in everything and that when appointments fall through, we still are in the right place at the right time to help somebody. We are going to teach this man tonight so I'm excited to see how we can help him and to see the Lord work in his life.
I'm out of time but thanks for the updates and the emails! Everyday I realize time and time again how blessed I am to have the family I have.
Elder Crockett

May 27, 2013

Buenos dias familia!
In response to mom's questions - With the spanish, of course there are still a TON of words that I don't understand, but I can understand what people are saying the majority of the time and I feel comfortable listening to people speak in spanish and I can understand what is being said without effort.. not sure if that answers your question or not. :) And Sara got engaged?? What the heck?? With who?? The baptism on saturday went great! Attached is a picture of everyone who was involved in the baptism on Saturday. If you could make sure to include like 30 or 40 US stamps in that package that would be great.
Its so fun to here about all of the stuff going on at home, but its crazy at the same time because I don't feel like I have been gone long enough for all of you to be finishing up school and moving on to the summer stuff. Maybe because here it always feels like summer outside :)
Well today starts a new transfer so I'm officially no longer training. I have a new district leader and a new zone leader that are both americans but I don't know either of them yet but I'm excited to met them tomorrow in our junta de distrito. Elder Rodriguez and I are here together for most likely 6 weeks more and then I'm probably going to be transfered. Things here in our area are going really well, we are working really hard and have some really good investigators that are progressing. With Elder Rodriguez we are working really hard and walking really fast so I'm alot more tired at the end of the days and I think I'm losing a little weight too haha.
This baptism that we had last Saturday was really really cool for a couple reasons. The other man that was getting baptized was an investigator of our zone leaders and the Hermano baptized him was baptized at the same time that we had a baptism like 2 months ago so its really cool to see him progressing and growing in the gospel. Also, our investigadora Milka, was just so happy. She has epilepsy and the missionaries had taught her on and off for several years and she never wanted to get baptized because she was afraid that she was going to have a seizure when she was baptized. So we taught her and gave her a blessing a few weeks ago with one of the counselors of the bishopric and she has just been improving healthwise since. Its been so cool to go over to their house to teach and to see her so much better and to see her excited to learn more. I was asked to conduct the music during the baptismal service and it was such a cool experience to see her and her husband so happy after she was baptized as we were singing some hymns waiting for the other people to finish changing. Super cool experience.
Last week our lesson dealeo in our district meeting was about listening to people and listening to the Spirit to know their needs and how/what we need to teach them. So this past week I had been really focusing as we are talking with people to really look for the ways that the gospel can bless their lives and what things they need to hear. It was really cool to be able to see the difference and to be able to listen to the Spirit to know what questions to ask them to get them to really open up. We were contacting this man, David, and it was just super cool as we were talking with him to be able to get him to go from a gruff guy who didn't seem like he wanted anything from us to crying as he shared experiences with us. (He really speaks in spanglish, and its just really confusing for my companion but I really don't notice that he changes back and forth between english and spanish but its pretty funny).
I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be out here in Tijuana sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with these people. Before I never really understood how everyone was like "oh the mission is the best two years" because sometimes the 2 years part seeming super long makes one focus in the time being spent, but it really is such an awesome experience and I'm so happy to be out here.
Thanks for all that you do and the examples that you are for me.
Con amor,
Elder Crockett