Monday, December 14, 2015
Dec 14, 2015 my last mission letter
With a raincoat, happy heart and packed bags I rode down to McAllen from Corpus yesterday morning following the baptism of Meryk. As a 'congratulations' gift, we bought a journal and got all of Meryk's friends to write their testimonies in it; as well we had the chance to write ours. As I wrote it, I realized that my testimony is the most precious possession that I'm taking home with me from the mission, South Texas and all of the experiences that I have had here will be a positive influence on the rest of my life.
Meryk & his grandparents
Some of the truths that I shared with Meryk and I'd like to share with you.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And because of that, I know that Joseph Smith was a called as a prophet of God and we have a prophet of God today - the chain of the priesthood keys hasn't broken since then.
I know that families are essential to progress and that Heavenly Father is truly our Father in Heaven, He has a perfect and unique plan for all of us to make it back to Him. But all of our plans revolve around the Savior.
I know that Jesus Christ came to earth lived and died and resurrected. He is our perfect example, our best friend and knows everything that we go through in life. All sadness, temptations, sickness, sins, pains - anything and everything bad has been overcome by Him. Because of Him, we can overcome all of those things too.
The Atonement is real, and repentance is real. We have to use them in our lives otherwise we'll never be happy, and that is the point of this life.
Happiness is available to all of us, because we have been given the gift of agency; seriously that is the best gift ever.
I know that the companionship of the Holy Ghost is real, we can rely on Him for comfort, counsel and protection. We just have to learn how to listen for Him.
Testimonies are constantly growing and that is the best part. I knew all of these things before the mission, but my testimony of each one of them has grown hundred-fold since being out here, and I can't wait for it to continue growing through the rest of the experiences that I will have in life - it's a process and a short one at that. This life has got to be used to it's highest potential, since it really is not a lot of time until we will see our Father in Heaven again and the Savior, but that is a happy thing.
I love the gospel and choosing the right, now it's time to "go and do" in the words of Nephi.
training in Mexico at the start of my mission
Dec 27, 2015 9:00 am
10018 Farwest Dr SW Lakewood WA
would love to see you
Love from a South Texan Princess,
S. mckenna Crawford
Posted by kenna at 1:30 PM
Monday, November 30, 2015
Dec 7 2015
Happy Late Thanksgiving! And almost, first week of December.
la sister mckenna crawfordBest week ever, except next week will be better. I've pondered the idea of supply and demand a lot lately. When supply is limited - the demand and value of that item is so much higher, so it is with time. These last couple weeks have been going by faster and faster and our decisions in 'how to spend our time' have become more important. There is more demand and less supply and it makes time more valuable - faulty since, in reality the whole mission is so short - all our time should have been looked at with as much value as I view it now...good lesson to learn in application to life.We went on splits, multiple times this week and I chose to spend the week on the bike - since it was the last week for my bike to be able to cruise Texas, and the weather has been wonderful. Another excellent part of the past week was it included 'The Best Day of the Year'.Do you have a favorite day of the year? ...whenever people ask me, for at least the last four years, I tell them - Dec. 2nd and once again, it didn't fail me.Wednesday, Dec. 2nd. - was probably our least planned day of the week, as far as actual appointments and activities go but it ended up being a great day! Everyone, now I mean 'everyone' in our plans - potentials, referrals, investigators, members - they all let us into their homes and we were able to teach little messages all day. We got brownies from one lady and the next door we knocked gave us a cookie and set up a time for us to come back. It was just miracles on miracles (since usually people slam the door in our face, which didn't happen once).Now I concluded that this was a result of a positive attitude. I woke up excited, cause it was "the best day of the year", not knowing that all of those good things would follow.Highlight story; arriving late to the adult session of stake conference and when we walked into the foyer - we recognized the voice of Presidente Maluenda (our mission president who lives 3 hours from Corpus Christi). The story behind this is hilarious but it will have to be saved for another time. Mortified, I walked into the chapel with my 'mini-missionary for the day', a 16 year old who was doing splits with me, as well as my district and zone leader who accompanied us to a lesson on the island. As a result of this lesson though, our investigator Meryk is set to be baptized this coming sunday, more work to do!Love every minute, and keep being happy.
Happy Late Thanksgiving! And almost, first week of December.
Well this last week, we ate A LOT of turkey, and mashed potatoes. Good news, I don't have much that I need to buy from the grocery store this week with all the left-overs.
There were lots of opportunities to waste time over the last week, where we could do the easy thing and just sit and squander an extra hour in the day in warm houses with warm food. In moments, when we are presented with an easy road or a more difficult one, the decision should be based on our 'why'.
What is our reason for doing anything in life?
In the mission, when it didn't seem like a big deal to sit and waste an extra fifteen, twenty, thirty min - I thought of my 'why'? Why am I on a mission?
It's to serve, and love other people, and as a result serve the Lord. The minute that I thought about it, the decision was easy to get up and do the 'less appealing' but 'more fulfilling' option. In those extra minutes when we left from appointments 'ontime', basically no one answered their door. But we still felt good cause we were giving it everything that we had, we tried to take a more 'difficult route'.
Working hard, makes you feel better about everything. And that is definitely what we did this last week, also we had a lot of support from people on 'thanksgiving break' - we even had a cute mini-missionary for the day on Saturday who came out and visited people with us all day long.
Happy note, we also got to go to the aquarium on Monday, and I made friends with the cutest giant turtle.
Overall, life is good and it's moving quickly.
S. mckenna Crawford
Posted by kenna at 12:03 PM
Monday, November 23, 2015
In celebration of thanksgiving this week - I will go ahead and list somethings and events that I am grateful for from this last week.
1. folding chairs, what john clap sat upon as he read aloud the Book of Mormon to us and we pulled a bunch of weeds in his yard
2. vocal cords, laughing after we knocked the 15th door in a row and no one was home.
3. cars, since we spent five days on bikes
4. construction paper, for cut-out hearts to attack doorways of the people after they canceled an appointment
5. non-iphones, (people can't see when or if we received their messages) since we had three investigators text us on wednesday that they didn't want us to come by again and we just went by anyway - "what text message?"
6. watermelon, I am always thankful for watermelon - and I bought some last week
7. gardens, we harvested some squash and ate it on Friday
8. 'sweet swirl' frozen yogurt, for when our dinner appointment fell through but we weren't near the apartment
9. my yellow nikes, and our morning runs on the sea wall
10. jean pants, since we got to do service projects three different times this last week.
11. tights, since now it hit 60 degrees and my acclimated legs thought that they were popsicles.
Also I am grateful for the opportunity that I had yesterday to give the longest talk that I've given thus far in my life - 25 min people...that's right - and the meeting still ended early.
While studying for that talk, I looked up the definition of 'grateful'.
Grateful (according to my little-janky dictionary): feeling and showing appreciation for something that another has done or given.
Now think about when have you 'felt' gratitude recently and then how have you 'shown' that feeling? The best things that we have to be grateful for are those things that Heavenly Father has given everyone access to, we just have to magnify them.
I am grateful for my family and the plan that Heavenly Father created that we can be together forever with Him. I am grateful for my time to be able to serve as a full-time missionary and I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ps; I love the Book of Mormon.
Love y'all and Happy Thanksgiving
S. mckenna Crawford
Posted by kenna at 11:25 AM
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Back to the grind.
Well some fluke stories from this last week, all of which required extreme planning and then nothing seemed to work out. We worked hard, we tried to bring people with us to every set lesson and appointment that we had, which means more people to call and confirm times and move appointments. Three lessons. One mission wide meeting. And two service projects.
We had organized with three new investigators times to go by and have a lesson, and for each of these three investigators we set appointments for the beginning of the week. We called members - and that requires patience as the first number of people that we called couldn't make it. After we had found someone to come with us and confirmed the time on both sides, we went and all three fell through - then we rescheduled for later in the week and they all fell through again.
We had been told on Monday that we had a 'Mission-Wide Sister's Meeting' on Wednesday, at 11am, and we would have to ask a member to drive us down to McAllen (three hours away). Well we called basically the whole roster, and then sweet S. Buckner told us that she could drive us down (apparently we even woke her from a nap when we called). Well Wednesday morning I woke up in a slight panic with the thought, that the meeting started earlier. I texted some people to confirm the start time and we were again told, 11am. Well then we're driving down to McAllen and we get a call from the assistants at about 10am - "where are you sister's?" ....yes, we arrived an hour late. Humiliating as we were sitting with S. Buckner, and she felt awful but it wasn't her fault or ours either, just faulty communication and therefore bad planning.
Then we set up a time to go and teach a craft at a rest home with S. Deal. Well the craft finished quickly so we went out and tried visiting some of the less active members who lived around her that she knew - not a living soul was home. Straight up, we took this cute grandma out and knocked nine doors, and not one of them answered. After about the fifth door she turns to me and says, "Is this normal? I vote we never do this on a Thursday again." Our efforts were being made, but it just wasn't what was suppose to happen.
~side note: when S. Deal dropped us off at the apartment, somehow my thumb got smashed in between the front and back door - we thought it was broken, it looked broken. Moments after entering into the complex, I passed out....S Pirir tried to catch me but apparently I was too heavy so I woke up with a headache on the floor.
The second service project was deep-cleaning a woman's house but on our way there, our investigator Meryk called and said that he was waiting for us at a member's house and S. Pirir nearly killed us as she about tried to do a U-turn on the highway.
Miracle is we're all still living. And even though our plans didn't work out in the way that we had hoped and arranged and worked for. Heavenly Father has got his own plans and His plans are better than ours.
A quote comes to mind of one of my favorite talks, Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence by Elder Klebingat that says, "When these trials come, the adversary’s minions begin broadcasting that you did something wrong, that this is a punishment, a sign that Heavenly Father does not love you. Ignore that! Instead, try to force a smile, gaze heavenward, and say, “I understand, Lord. I know what this is. A time to prove myself, isn’t it?” Then partner with Him to endure well to the end."
Life is never perfect, but it sure is good.
S. mckenna Crawford
Posted by kenna at 2:05 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Island life, is good.
S. Hortal has officially flown the coop, and left me for the second time to go down to Brownsville. My new companion is S. Pirir, she was born in Guatemala and lived there for five years before their family moved to Utah. She is the third child of ten kids and is nearly 26 years old.
The weather here is starting to change, we're getting cold fronts regularly and rainstorms occasionally, but it's been fun. I love knocking doors in the rain, I was asking S. Pirir what she liked to do before the mission and she was a latin ballroom dancer, naturally I asked her to show me some of the basic steps to her favorite dance, and now I know how to salsa.
When you are left to know and do things on your own, you realize how much you don't know. At first the adjustment is a little frightful but then it becomes manageable with just persistence and patience. This last transfer, there were two other elders in our ward but then they both left and we got two new elders in our ward - the members and the new missionaries both keep contacting us to get information and questions answered. But heaven knows that I don't know most of what is going on, but it's been great. In those moments that I don't know what to do its been an opportunity to say a prayer and regain perspective.
This last week we started inviting the members out to introduce us to their neighbors. We were visiting with S King this last week and she mentioned that one of her neighbors had just moved in and then we asked if we could go and meet them with her. We said a prayer and S King started asking all of these questions of what specifically we would say and do; well I sure didn't know. It terrified me, but that is when I just said a prayer and trusted in Heavenly Father that it would be fine. Small and Simple things are what guide our lives.
We went and met her neighbor, they let us in and showed us their home. By the end of our visit the women offered to teach us how to sew and cook her special 'arroz con leche' and 'mexican rice'. It was a huge testament to me, even when you may not want to do something, if it's the right thing to do and you trust in Heavenly Father. The lord will provide.
happiness comes through trusting in the Lord. I love being a missionary!
S mckenna Crawford
Posted by kenna at 7:37 AM
Monday, November 2, 2015
This has been quite the adventure. We had meetings and activities planned for almost every morning starting at 8am this week. Now, almost every single day of my mission up to this points has been spent with "studies", starting with personal study at 8am every morning for an hour. I was shocked over the course of the last week, the impact that it had on the day to have to 'make-up' studies at different times in the day or just cut them to 30 minutes, like seriously, having time to read, think and write what I have been learning in the scriptures makes a huge difference in the overall tone of the day - especially as a missionary. I didn't know how precious it was to me, until this week, as I had to adjust for all of our scheduled meetings.
Anyway, the previous preparation day was spent - the entire day - on the king's family computer, as I watched defensive driving video after defensive driving video following each hour long clip with a quiz...and there were 6 videos to watch. Sister Hortal cleaned the King's home and folded there laundry as I sat on the computer, that poor cute girl. But she didn't complain.
We had zone meetings and interviews for the whole zone with president this last week as well. President counseled me to learn 'who I am' and 'what I want' then fight for those things. Its definitely a principle of integrity and it's left me to ponder on the power and potential of agency. When you make decisions for ourselves, we don't have anyone to blame or praise when things fail or thrive, but it's so easy to pass off responsibility when you have a companion to counsel with. I guess, I need to have a bigger opinion, without losing the ability to listen. Interesting topic to ponder.
The weather has been beautiful and horrendous. The wind and rain really picked up on thursday and was suppose to stay through the weekend, the power even went out in our whole apartment complex for most of the day on Friday, which is when we do our weekly planning - so that happened in the dark. Luckily, Saturday it cleared up in time for the tricker-treaters, though here on the island only one street on the whole island passes out candy - like thousands of people go to this one street, "Hawks Nest". We went around and 'Boo'ed all the members on the island and asked them to put 'Casper, the friendly ghost' on the door of someone that they'd like us to visit. Hopefully we'll meet some new people through our little friend, it was a fun week.
In closing, my watch broke this week. Heartbreaking, it lasted this long without a new battery and then it died on me. I will be getting it fixed today, but it made me think of counsel that my Grandpa Hales gave to me before I left on the mission, he said, "Be like a watch."
-with busy hands always doing good work.
-with an open face always turned outward, looking for the opportunity to serve.
-well regulated, steady and dependable, worthy of other's trust.
and full of good works.
...I know that there was more but those are the ones that I have thought a lot about since my watch broke. I hope that when I end the mission and for the rest of my life, people can look to me and rely on me as much as their watches.
waves of love from the gulf headed your way, hope this letter finds you well.
S. mckenna Crawford
Posted by kenna at 10:59 AM