Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I am just going to give a brief update on some of the days that I had this last week, to give you an idea of what I have been doing. Dec. 15 - Preparation day started with a zone meeting where everyone just got jacked for not working hard with faith, so the focus of the week was believing in ourselves and trusting in Heavenly Father and His willingness to help and guide us. That night we went out to work with the area book of former investigators and visited people who were being taught in the last couple years!! Major miracle: we met a woman, Aida, and her two boys who were being taught a year ago and the minute she opened the door she said, "Finally, you're here!! I was talking about you just a couple hours ago!!" it was awesome until the rest of the week came and she was no longer interested... but for the night it was a true miracle. Dec. 17 - We went on exchanges with the STL's and I was so excited because they're area is in the ghetto but when I got there - it looks the same as my area in Edinburg but with the backdrop of mexico. Anyway today marks my first time driving in the mission!! Dec. 19 - Christmas Conference! We rode in the car for a total of 6 hours, going to and from Corpus Christi in a single day!! So the day started at 4am and we didn't get home until after 10pm. The conference was fun and I got packages so thanks to everyone that sent them!! Also there was a missionary gift exchange from all the missionary parents - missionary parents are way more impressive than missionaries. Dec. 21 - Sundays are just the best. All my friends out there who don't go to church. Go to church just because it will make you feel good. You get to set aside time to just be with the family - you can dress up and feel like you accomplished something for the day and overall its just happy. Out of time for the day but I love all of you and I am sorry if this email hasn't lived up to your expectations. As far as the spiritual improvement goes, currently I am working on the attribute of humility. I've learned a lot about where our confidence should come from, and that is from Heavenly Father. So simple. Merry Christmas & Almost Happy New Year XOXO -H Boo Crawford

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hardest week of this alternate reality that I am living, called a mission. Rejection and extremely hard work. This last week has been the most difficult since getting to Texas. Nothing worked out, and everything that we had been working for since before I got to Laredo crumbled in front of us. I have never experienced so much fervent rejection in my entire life. Every investigator we had been teaching dropped us. Every less active family that we went to teach told us how much they disliked our visits and would appreciate us leaving them alone. Alright so apparently this is semi-normal for Sister Sainsbury and everyone that dropped us this week has been only semi-investigators for a long time. I am over it. Our zone leaders and district leaders keep saying to focus on who we are already are meeting with but I don't think that is our most effective use of time. So now that everyone has dropped we have an opportunity to work super hard to find new people. This last week I worked harder and fasted and prayed more than I ever have in my life - really its been feast and famine now for the past seven days and I am exhausted but at the same time I am super happy! I don't think I have ever worked this hard at anything ever and been so reliant on Heavenly Father's help. Another weird part of the last week is that we have had five 'zone meetings' now zone meetings usually only happen once a month so to have five in one week is absolutely insane!! Apparently the whole zone is struggling to meet their goals this month and we need to motivational training to get stuff done! Anyway, on Saturday we played rugby as a zone for a zone meeting and we had this polynesian member - Brother Lavalava explain the game. Rugby is all about trust and getting the ball to the other side but you cant throw the ball forward, so you have to just run for it and scrounge around by kicking it. ...well I didn't know what the smokes was going on so Brother Lavalava had me stand by him and he played on our team. Basically I got my own personal coaching session of rugby, and I ended up learning a lot about life! The whole time he kept saying, "stay by me, stay by me, stay by me but slightly behind". And the other thing he kept yelling was, "keep moving forward." When you are in rugby you have to trust the people around you and they have to trust you to be there, I am working on that but I think it is most important that we stay by Heavenly Father and trust Him and then be worthy of His trust. And when we just trust we are able to keep moving forward. There is no point in dwelling in the past but rather we've got to look at all the possibilities we haven't tried yet and go do them! I love it, even though its hard sometimes. December is hard, but holy cow does it make you grateful for my family and everyone. I love you guys and keep moving forward to christmas break or all the other happiness that comes this time of year! LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU H Boo Crawford

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hola Familia!! Bienvenidos - Laredo, Texas! Well first off everyone should know that this is completely different than anything I have yet experienced in Edinburg. Loredo is a spectrum from North Laredo > South Laredo > Nuevo Laredo (in mexico). The whole city just fades into Mexico and so we are right next to the border and everyone we talk to goes to Mexico on a regular basis, except border patrol. I am serving in an area called, 'Country Club' we are surrounding a golf course and we work on streets with some of the biggest homes I've seen since being out here. Our area is opposite of ghetto - that is one thing I am really going to miss - I loved working in the trailer parks... but instead of knocking on plastic doors I now have been knocking on mansions for the last week. Our area is full of the english ward members, mostly border patrol agents but also extremely rich 'mob boss' hispanics, the ones that run the drug crossing and all of that bad stuff. Everyone here is completely fluent in both languages so everywhere we go we can talk in english or spanish and they'll understand.The food reflects the language preference though - I wasn't expecting to miss the mexican food. We eat american food here which is something that my tummy is readjusting to. Its good and the members are super awesome! Goodbye nice house, we live in an apartment but really I can't complain. We are much more elevated in Laredo than in the Valley which is great because there aren't really cockroaches or much humidity - meaning less work in the rain. The living quarters are definitely smaller and dirtier which would be rough but I feel more like a missionary as I walk in the door at night. We live with two other sisters again, and they are awesome! We are all super different, one of the sisters likes to walk around in her underwear ...thats been an adjustment as I've learned to avert my eyes but she's nice and really funny, very confident. Her companion is super adorable and currently on a 'english fast' she hasn't spoken english since thanksgiving and is going until christmas 'solo espanol'. (I am going to try and jump in on the english fast starting the 13th of december and do the 12 days of christmas. On to my new companion - Hermana Sainsbury, she's awesome! Background on her, we were in the same house in the CCM, she came out to the field with me! She is super into fitness and did pole vaulting at UVU before coming out on the mission. Heavenly Father keeps putting me with people that really are intense about food and working out...not quite sure what He's telling me there. I was super excited when I found out that we were going to be companions and that we would be in Laredo together, but I was bummed to find out that she hasn't had much practice with spanish. She was in the upper level spanish class at the CCM and at the time I thought she was fluent but since being with her again, I have seen that my spanish has gotten so much better over the last couple months in the field. The trick will be not losing the spanish that I have learned but I know I will be able to get out of language study as much as I put into it, so here I will just have to try a little bit harder. Since we are the same age in the mission - we are co-companions but since she's been in the area longer she drives the car. It's crazy after being with Sister McMahon I feel like I sorta know how to be a missionary. (side note: Sister McMahon is now a 'sister trainer leader' and will be for the next 6 months) But anyway the area apparently hasn't had any serious investigators for over a year, and so the work has mostly been focused on members. We'll do both and I've learned I really like teaching people and so the focus will shift to finding the people that are ready to be taught. Long update, and not many specific events from this last week but overall its been a good week and I think that it's going to be a good transfer! I'm sorry to say this computer doesn't let me send pictures. This last week I realized that I really do love being a missionary. When I logically think about the things that I do each day as a missionary, it sounds just so bloody awful and hard but this week I realized that I genuinely like it. Who else gets to drop out of school and focus on other people for a year and a half? Also this last week we had a huge push on doing service for people - that's the best way to be HAPPY just Go Do Something For Someone Else. By the way, everyone should go watch the christmas video 'He is the Gift' on lds.org, it will make you happy. Heavenly Father put us here to love each other and be happy so I think we should all do that this week, especially since it's December! Tenga una sonrisa! Love de Laredo, H. Boo Crawford

Monday, December 1, 2014

Well as you can see from the title, I have a lot of packing to do. Alright so this last week was a difficult one, physically and mentally. We worked hard, especially since it was the last week of the transfer - I don't want anyone in heaven coming up to me from Edinburg and saying that I just walked by them or didn't bring them cookies when they needed them...I dont know, I just want to be an angel for the people in the areas that I serve. We called members, planned lessons, made thanksgiving thank you cards and cookies for the members in our area, and biked our little hearts out. My personal goal was to see my current favorite investigator Mario baptized this last sunday but nada. Basically all of our plans fell through....except thanksgiving dinners. Five. Five thanksgiving dinners but only three on actual thanksgiving day! It was rough rough rough but the members who fed us were the absolute sweetest! I'd like to think we biked off some of the food, since it was the end of the month and we had no miles on the car we didn't have a choice! Thanksgiving morning a cut and taped some lined paper together in this long line and brought it to each appointment, we ended up with a list of 200+ things that we were grateful for! Being grateful is just happy, and rewarding! This next transfer is terrifying, I LOVE EDINBURG!! It is so funny and crazy how much you can love people after only knowing them for less than three months...and its sad because with the members - they have had a million missionaries before you and will continue to have a million more after you. But I just love them so much!! Saying goodbye is awful!! And yet I am so excited and ready for the next change. Heavenly Father has got my back, I know that even if the next area isn't what I think I want or my next companion isn't someone I would choose, I am gonna learn so much!! learning is easier when you're comfortable with being uncomfortable it can be so good for us!! Sorry that this last email hasn't made much sense but I love you all and hopefully these pictures will shed some light on the people here in Edinburg and what I have been doing the last week! Sending South Texas Love -Hermana Crawford

Monday, November 24, 2014

cute decor of resturant
sister McMahon and I having lunch the other photo is
Elder Gallman (he grew up with Tess and Rustin Crawford.....my cousins from Gilbert Arizona) HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE The week before thanksgiving.....Life is going so fast. And the ward is so willing to feed us, I don't know how they do it or what I am going to do! I made a list of funny things that have happened each day this last week so I am just gonna give a quick run through! Mon. -NOV 17 After giving the weekly update last week, we were leaving the library and as usual I smiled at the person who was walking in, this time it happened to be an old man. I smiled and turned to say something to sister McMahon when the old man grabbed my arm and I turned back around. He just looked at me for a minute and I didn't know what was going on...he proceeded to ask me if I was 'german' and then went on to tell me that I looked exactly like his ex-girlfriend in high school. I don't know how the conversation progressed but we ended up talking about the word of wisdom - the man hadn't ever taken a drink of coffee, tea, or alcohol in his life and was planning on taking a trip to Salt Lake City, UT in December. We invited him to stop by Temple Square and asked if we could visit more about some of our beliefs to see if they matched with the way he was already living but he was from a town about an hour away from Edinburg and was just visiting. Odd, but so cool. This old man told us about his wonderful health in his old age, I know that his superior health was just a result of living a healthy lifestyle, whether member or not. Tues. NOV 18 District meeting was followed by district lunch and Sister McMahon and I showed the Elders this little house/antique mall/restaurant that we had walked by a couple times in our area. There are really no words to describe this place so I will send some pictures. It was expensive, spanish, completely empty besides us but overall a wonderful experience. The rest of the day was a slight let down as our investigator Mario canceled on our appointment, though his cancelation led us to walk over to a mexican grocery/gas station for Sister McMahon to use the restroom and that led me to buy a bag of granola from this place - best granola I've ever had. The rest of the day was uneventful until our meal appointment with a member, they gave us two gallons of orange juice to take home and we were on bikes, an hour away from our house...so that was good excercise. Wed. NOV 19 This was a hard day, we fasted for Mario's progress but again he canceled on us. We biked all day without much finding success until finally decided to take our 'mormon.org' time for the week. I found a wonderful series of mormon message videos called, "Bread of LIfe" and I would encourage everyone to watch the 'pattern' and 'change' videos. Heavenly Father didn't create us to need daily bread on accident, we have to turn to him and show our thanks everyday simply for the fact that we are still here, everything we have comes from Him. Then that night we also got huge food baskets from the ward - Heavenly Father really does just know. Thurs. NOV 20 Elder Foster, of the seventy came and spoke. He was pretty direct about what our purpose as missionaries should and shouldn't be. He did a good job of refocusing us on the 'strengthing of the stakes of zion' but overall what I got out of it, was we all need to 'build each other up'. Mom said, 'Build Each Other Up" to all of us 100x but I didn't get how important that is. As missionaries we just have to build everyone up, creating relationships between people (leaders, members, investigators) to help each one grow stronger in the gospel. Its so easy, yet not. At the meeting I was also able to see Sister Bentz again, she got me excited for all the other areas in the mission - she LOVES brownsville! I love Edinburg but it will be fun to see where I end up next in south texas. Fri. NOV 21 Uneventful but solid day of member work and mostly food. We taught Gonzalo about family history work a little, actually Sister McMahon was teaching both of us. Families are the biggest blessing that Heavenly Father has given us! And I got a letter from Grandma Rain today, she talked a little bit about Bompa and I just am so excited to get to meet him!! I love families! The rest of the day was meal appointments, my stomach was crying from all the food, 2 hamburger, 1/2 of a 12 inch peperoni pizza, 2 quesadillas, a plate of beans and noodles, BBQ chips, a apple cinnamon empinada and 2 side flour tortillas - this is just two dinner appointments, killing me. Sat. NOV 22 Cookies and being a blessing were the theme for today and the rain couldn't stop us from doing so. We made 36 cookies and strapped them onto the back of my bike and went out and tried to deliver them to some members and our investigator Mario and his daughter (but again he canceled). We ended up giving them to some random people on the street, and meeting a new family to teach - they are so cool! Oatmeal cookies ended up being a great way to meet to people but then the rain came! After delivering cookies to Mario's roommate, we got to our bikes and it starts downpouring! We ride for no less than a minute when I biff it and slide in the mud, boy was that rough but I laughed it off and we rode onward. On the way home we tried to stop by a members house to deliver the last of the cookies and they werent home. While trying to contact a referral in the rain, the next thing we know the Morales, another member couple pulls up and we were able to give them the cookies - they offered a ride but had nowhere for our bikes. The last 30 minutes of biking in the rain were painful, the rain felt like rocks but the memory was absolutely worth it. Sun. NOV 23 Mario came to church with his 5 year old daughter Kaylee!! That was just about the only important thing from yesterday, and we have a family home evening with Mario and the Morales's tonight! Heavenly Father is so good.
Sorry this update was so long but that is a very good summary of the last week!! Hope everyone's thanksgivings are good, don't get sick! Love from South Texas, H. Crawford

Monday, November 17, 2014

This week was good, just a continuation of the thanksgiving season and more experiences to learn and grow from. Creative opportunities to make every situation a little better are everywhere on a mission, and there are alot of fun things to do without breaking the rules - the trick is knowing the rules well enough to not accidentally break any, there is a very fine line! Also I am learning the importance of working for a reward. You have to plan a way to reward yourself for big things, otherwise you never get around to doing the big fun things like cracking a coconut. (I bought a coconut 2 weeks ago but havent been able to crack it open because we dont have the time) Alrighty so this week - I cooked pumpkin for the first time. As in I cut off a big chunk of pumpkin - boiled and ate it..tasted like acorn squash. Now we have left over for pumpkin cookies today! HOoray! We went running every morning, even though it was freezing cold and we run at a track near our house (google map: Edinburg High School -Bobcats) and you can see the track we run everymorning at - running is great but there is a really strong wind that goes exactly opposite to one direction of the track and that has caused me to ponder the attributes of resistance and perseverance! Heavenly Father puts massive winds in our path, we may feel we are sprinting our hearts out but are making very little progress... well the track has another side. Winds dont last forever and after you persevere long enough the wind will eventually be propelling you forward on the other side of the track. Our ability to find new investigators has felt alot like this lately but this week we saw some miracles, random people we had met on the street previously are coming out of the woodwork wanting to be taught - and all of our work with finding less actives has found an awesome family that has a testimony that just needs to be shown love to motivate them back into the church habit! Anyway, life and trails dont last forever! We just have to do our best and find moments to be proud of ourselves! Hardwork brings happiness!! (I even read about it in 2 Nephi 5 today) And agency brings happiness - please read Elder Christofferson's talk from conference - Free Forever. Sidenotes from this week: First off its freezing - naturally everyone wants to feed us and at each dinner appointment that we go to they think that sister McMahon and I are too skinny so they force us to eat more and more and more..until we are sick to our stomaches - but I am learning a lesson on charity from them! lol Tambien, while on an exchange - a woman that I had never met before gave me a sweater because I was "delgado y frio" and then another member that I had never met gave both Sister Tippets and I - winter hats and fuzzy socks! I love South Texas! Muchisimo gracias por su amor - tenga un buen semana! H Boo Crawford

Monday, November 10, 2014

meet resident turtle for 3 years notice the height difference between sister DelAngel and I - she taught us how to homemake floutas (mexican name for tequitos) Lessons have been learned this week. Things just never seem to work out the way that we plan them, yet they workout still the same. Halelujah for that! A lot happened this week but it was all because we didnt stop working. All of the miracles were last minute of the game type things - we founds people at just the right moments, and people stepped in to help us moments before appointments but I will just give a few bullet point events for the week since I don't have much time! The thanksgiving spirit is really coming to Edinburg I must say because this week upon review was full of singing and eating and charity from members and people.... singing -sang in the spanish ward primary program with some other missionaries -joined the stake choir, along with all the other missionaries -we sang on people's doorsteps at least 4 times each day eating -we made over 10 bowls of carmel corn -we delivered all the carmel corn to members and some people we met on the street. -i learned how to make floutas from sister del angel -ate watermelon at a mexican grocery store for dinner one night -we survived 9 dinner appointments (a couple nights we had 3) charitable people: -mario was found, he is our new investigator and just super cool -we had a member present at every lesson this week, and alot of them gave us rides - genuine lifesavers since it rained basically everyday this week! -one random women gave us peanut butter cookies, just because... -anther random person gave us each a carmel apple Basically, life is going good. I love the thanksgiving spirit! Go through the alphabet - start with the letter A and list all the things you can think of that you are grateful for starting with that letter. Then move through the alphabet each night with a new letter! Seriously blessed, super blessed! When we recognize all the things we have been given it will only make us that much happier. And lets be honest, who doesn't love being happy? peace love and blessings everyone, happy november! H. Boo Crawford

Monday, November 3, 2014

Aloha Everyone, We survived the week without a phone or a car and we still don't have a phone but that hopefully will be fixed today! We did a ton of biking, I wish I had an odometer (is that what counts miles?) to know exactly how far we biked each day and in total...cause it was a lot! We endured the end of the month, is basically what I am trying to say and the joy of this weekend has been over the moon! Heavenly Father really promises some sweet blessings when you make it to those little pit stops along the race of life! This weekend was one of those pit-stops for us! We were able to have set appointments for Halloween and then all of saturday and even a lesson right after church on sunday before our regular dinner appointment. When you are doing what you are suppose to and trying your best to use time wisely - life just feels good! We were doing everything that we could to be teaching, and that is what we are suppose to be doing out here on the mission, we were teaching everyone and anyone that we could - members included. I have gained a serious testimony of working hard and enjoying yourself...which leads me to the next lesson that I learned this week. We were able to have personal interview time with Presidente Maluenda this week and it was just so enlightening. Life is SO SIMPLE. _side note: we keep getting lectured about 'consecrating ourselves' or in other words dedicating all of our heart, might, mind and strength to being a missionary_ This sounds nearly impossible but Presiente made is seem so simple, we just have to do our best and all good things are indicators of the spirit. I learned that all I have to do is keep laughing and enjoying all my time here - good or bad - laughter and happiness is really the way to go. I know that when we choose to be happy, nothing can be too awful to overcome and change our situation. I love it. Life is good. Also if life is really rough - I recommend buying a popcorn machine. That has been another source of happiness these last few days! We have been eating and delivering carmel corn galore - and when you eat too much of it and feel nauseus just choose to happy, cause all the yuckiness will pass. Peace and Blessings - cause its november!! H. Crawford
photo with Brother Ayala making home made pizza --SO FUN and DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Edinburg, got to love it! I am staying in the same place this transfer but I officially have a new companera - her name is Sister McMahon! She is from Canada and has been out on her mission for 11 months. So same area, new companion and new outlook. There is so much to do, change sort of snow balls and now there is a lot more changing than just a new companion. We have a goal to start working with a different focus on members and receiving referrals from them. Hopefully this will lead to more set appointments and less tracting! Ill let you know, once our plans become actions! Anyway, a lot of crazy things happened this week beyond just the transfer! We are officially out of car miles. This presents a challenge because we usually use about 20 miles a day on our car and we have 2 miles plus emergency miles for the rest of the month. Good thing I love biking; since thats our only method of transportation for the coming week - holy cow just right that makes me nervous sick... Life is good! Oh we lost our phone, tambien! Actually I would have to say that "I lost our phone" since I am the one who definitely had it last. Setting up member present lessons and calling investigators becomes impossible without a phone so that will continue to be a struggle until we get a new one on thursday! Through the foggy mess of being without a phone, or car. It has been easy to see all the miracles and little blessings that Heavenly Father has given us the last couple days. Found a scripture this morning that I felt applied... In Alma 32: 13 "And now, because ye are compelled to be humble (we don't have a car or phone so consider us humbled) blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth (we are biking and trying to plan out directions better) shall find mercy (we need all the mercy and help we can get); and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end (working hard without a phone or car until saturday) the same shall be saved." Sometimes we are going through a patch when a lot of things are seemingly working against us and thats alright! We just have to humble ourselves and rely a little more on Heavenly Father and recognize the little miracles, cause there's a lot of them! We all have periods of endurance! And we are promised, that those trails wont last forever! Life is good over here in Edinburg, and I finds themselves well wherever they are! LOVE YOU ALL MUCHISIMO! H. Boo Crawford

Monday, October 20, 2014

Well, my first transfer in the mission field is tomorrow, it has been one hectic last week for Sister Bentz and I, we got so much done without knowing what the next transfer would bring. Our investigators required a lot of attention but we were able to get a lot done! This last two weeks one of our former investigators came back and showed personal interest in coming to church and activities, without us prompting him, his name is Gonzalo. We had been working with Gonzalo for my whole time in the mission field and when it got to his baptism date a couple weeks ago - he had dropped us out of the blue. So we stopped teaching him but continued to visit him when we were in the area. (we are currently teaching his next door neighbors). Well this last week we brought up baptism to him again and he wanted it! He talked to other Elders about what he would have to do to get baptized as soon as possible...and he did it! So this last week we visited him to just keep helping him progress. It has been awesome to see his life changed over the last 7 weeks!! He started out as a daily addict to some serious drugs, and although he didnt stop cold turkey...he has been able to quit and surround himself with completely new people, get a job to stay busy and be self reliant. It all started with his own decision to change, and his recognition of the good verses the bad in his life. Gonzalo's progress in changing his life around can be looked at exactly the same way as any one of our goals in life, and I have especially thought about it as transfers have been coming. We can choose a point in time, a goal date, and then make realistic plans to get there. There might be a lot you have to change to reach a goal but its possible to reach any goal with manageable plans! Its like looking up at a mountain, especially with my current view of the mission, and then just breaking it up into small peices, make it to that first boulder...then the next boulder...then the next and before you know it you are looking back down part of the mountain and are super proud of how far you've already come!! "Motivation follows action." Any goal needs to start with a decision to act, a little bit of action and your minor progress will motivate you to get cracking!! Its awesome! Yesterday, Gonzalo got baptized. It was so exciting to see how much work he had put into becoming more of the person that he wanted to become...dont get me wrong he has more to do! But his decision to want to be baptized, and then the actually baptism yesterday are huge steps that I know will help to motivate him to keep getting better!! Everyone: Set a goal and a date, then make plans to reach that goal!! Change whatever part of yourself that you want to change and it will make you so so so HAPPY! Thanks for all the love and support! Oh almost forgot. We got news about transfers yesterday too! Sister Bentz will be heading to a new area tomorrow but we dont know where yet and I will be staying in Edinburg Central and will be getting a new companion to finish training me! Pictures and updates on the big change will come next week! I LOVE YOU ALL H. Boo Crawford

Monday, October 13, 2014

Edinburg Week 5
Popsicles that we got from a bakery and the street we had to walk to to get to a neighborhood! SO PRETTY!
Sister Soliz! She is inactive for about 5 years but we see her everyweek and shes starting to come back to the rs activities! i love her to death though she is one sassy lady!! And she loves halloween so we took a pic with her next to her decorations.
We face painted like native americans for Pday zone activity Sister alvorado! She just recently got baptized and we go and read in the book of mormon with her every week! sHE IS so cute and hilarious!
Another week has come and gone, and my first transfer day is only a week away! That is seriously crazy to think about, but its comforting to know that for better or worse time is always pushing forward! Edinburg Central is doing awesome! Our focus on the less active, recent convert and active members is paying off big time! We had three investigators come to church this last week (and though that may not sound like a lot its a ton). Our work with the members made them so much more willing to walk people to class and sit with them and talk to them! It was really cool to see, and for our spanish investigators the members really help with language barriers too! We passed a field of haybells and so I thought I would take a pic cause they reminded me of the ranch! I made sure not to ruin them though!
Sorry I dont have more time to write but hopefully the pictures will give an idea of what our week was like! Thanks for all the support!! All my love H. Boo Crawford

Monday, October 6, 2014

weekly update Oct 6th Alright, this has been one of the more frustrating weeks as far as time and energy goes, but I really am starting to feel like a missionary. There has been quite a bit of rejection this week but its been more hurtful because it has been from people we have put a lot of time and energy into. We have been working with some people that we thought were great potentials and investigators but when we visited we got dropped or just people wouldn't be home. I still don't know what lesson I am suppose to learn from walking away from a door disappointed and prepared for a lesson that isn't going to happen yet... but I am sure I'll figure it out. Anyway the definite highlight of the week was General Conference!! Some of my favorite talks included Saturday Morning: Elder Todd Christofferson - his talk on agency and accountability was exactly what I have been thinking about for the last while. I just love our ability to choose and act and then the happiness we can feel from doing the right and taking responsibility for it. Saturday Afternoon: Elder Dallin H. Oaks - well overrall he blew my mind but I love our government set up and I want to learn more about the constitution when I get home. The structure of checks and balances is applicable to all types of power, and is definitely inspired. Saturday Afternoon: Elder Klebingat - he was just super straightforward. I completely agreed with the things he said we needed and should do to improve our spiritual self confidence, and the requirements are not just spiritual actions. Looking at the talks and the notes that I wrote I realized - that I got the most out of things that I have already been thinking a lot about and have done at least a little research on! In order to learn more about a specific topic and to get those lightbulbs we have to put in time and effort beforehand. A good lesson I am learning is the resources we have to study the gospel never change but the reason why we are studying and the focuses we have will completely change what we learn. Its all about our mindset! Anyway, think about something that is interesting to you whether related to church or not and then look up key words in the gospel resources that you have and new things will just start to click in your minds! Its seriously so cool! Thanks for the love and support - the prayers make a difference! H Boo Crawford

Monday, September 29, 2014

WEEK 5 TX
member family didn't have time to cook dinner for us so gave this to us instead:) Time is going so slow yet so fast here. I feel like I am trying to drink water from a fire hydrant - semi impossible but kinda fun and painful. The work is getting easier to plan and I feel like I am starting understand my area better, like directions for where people live. So in theory planning visits should be easier but time management is a serious struggle for us right now. Our time is getting stolen by these new meeting that president has implemented. We have to spend 2 hours a day role playing scenarios with either our district or zone, where we fake teach new people and let me tell you its bloody hard! Every one of the missionaries that I role play with are more experienced and speak the language better than I do so they have a lot of critiquing to give me by the end of each lesson. People keep telling me how lucky I am that I am doing this at the beginning of my mission...not sure I feel lucky but def trying to make the best of it. The people here continue to be wonderful though we just aren't teaching any of them. Our investigators are sort of all over the place this last week and its been extremely frustrating, when all you want to do is help and yet people just arent really worried about it. All I want is to teach a family - people that have a schedule and are reliable. Is that too much to ask? Everything about missionary work has made me that much more in love with the concept of families and the eternal potential we have as families. One of our investigators is really interested in learning how to do family history work and she knows that mormons are "into that" so we said that we would teach her... but first we had to ask a member of the ward to show us. Coolest experience ever!! A little hispanic women scheduled a time with us and showed us how to do familyhistory.org and all that and work on our tree. Totes want to learn more about that and spend time on it when I get off the mission! The 'spirit of elijah' is so real. Our families are forever but then so are our future families and through family history work we can serve ancestors that we dont know but love! Everyone should just try to figure out family history - I definetly still dont understand how to do it really but it got me so excited! Life is good and awful but theres a purpose to it. I'm super grateful for all the support, and I want to write more physical letters so send me addresses! LOve You All MUcho! xoxo H Boo Crawford Mission Address Sister McKenna Marie Crawford Texas McAllen Mission 200 W La Vista Ave McAllen TX 78501-2131 United States Email address: mckenna.crawford@myldsmail.com
Edinburg week 4
Things just keep getting better and pressure is compounding as I am figuring out more about the area and our people, the need to converse smoothly in Spanish is probably the biggest struggle yet somehow through the language barrier I really love some of these people and I think they love me too! They laugh a lot but there are some bonds being formed, they love trying to teach us knew words in Spanish so that's been helpful too! This week has been crazy weather again, and along with flash flood thunder storms comes BUGS, we drenched ourselves in bug spray yesterday and I even killed one that was on me as I was putting on the spray but I still came home with at least another 7 bites (not casual). The thunder storms are so much fun here, although they create a few problems for us. For example this Thursday we were both wearing white shirts - lesson learned, always have an extra set of clothes in the car. Side effect for the car - it now wreaks of mildew, hopefully that goes away soon. The biggest problem with the rain has been lessons, because seriously who wants to let two drowned rats into their home to teach about a church they've never heard about...very few. We schedule a lot of appointments though because people feel bad for us so that's nice though! Our new focus is less actives and members down here, we are trying to schedule half of our time re-activating people that are on the records without ever being seen. I love it cause the people know so much about the gospel already and we just get to motivate them and play with their kids and show them that people care - wonderful. We are currently working wth one part-member family who is less active and they are the sweetest people ever. Fernando, the dad, doesn't speak a lick of English but his wife can translate for us pretty good when we struggle. Anyway they came to our mexico independence party with the Spanish ward and they were so cute, their little boy Fernando jr. is my favorite person and he calls us his sisters - experiences like seeing them there make me SO HAPPY! As missionaries we are only expected to invite, and then people can use their agency to make good decisions - those decisions are what make us happy. Agency. I have been thinking a lot about our gift of agency and I think that agency holds the key to everything in the gospel. We get to decide everything, about everything, for ourselves. Doing good wouldn't benefit us at all if we weren't allowed to make the decision to do so. Heavenly Father has set up this earth so that there are inevitable good consequences when we make good decisions and the same for bad. When we follow the guidelines he has set - he will bless us with more than just the inevitable but there has to be a decision - the more conscious the decision the better. ONe of our investigators, Gonzalo has made decisions these last few weeks to quit smoking and drinking and I can see the blessings inside him but inevitable and the ones given to him by Heavenly Father! Its pretty cool. Life is about being happy and we can only be happy when we choose to do so, and our choices should lead us to make decisions (exercise our agency). Time to go once again, but I love and am grateful for all of you! Have a swag week! H Boo Crawford

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hola mis amigos y familia! This week went by so fast which I am counting as another blessing! I have no time to talk today but so much that I want to say!! First of all though - HAPPY BIRTHDAY SLOAN (monday) and TORI (wednesday)!! I LOVE YOU GUYS! Well already some of the investigators I wrote home about last week dropped this week so I guess that is just the life of a missionary! I love them so much and I only knew them for a week so I know that Heavenly Father has got some special plan for them already figured out, no worries. I really am loving the people down here, the investigators, members, and other missionaries. I live in a house with 2 other sisters - they are hilarious and our house is a like way nice! I say thank you for it in almost all of prayers. I live in an interesting little area of edinburg, we are in the ghetto yet not ghetto. Our little house in like the nicest little strip of edinburg and nothing like the streets that we walk and teach on. I love it here and am already terrified of where I will be headed next. Just gotta take things as they come! Our district and zone is also a very small peiece of area so I see the other elders and sisters like everyday, there is no way that is normal but oh well LOVE IT! Hopefully the people here love me as much as I love them....I know the bugs love me! I have turned all my bug bites into scabs, I was reading and it talked about the lepers and then I looked down at my legs and realized that I probably would have been cast out of society back in the day because my legs look like they are diseased...esta bien. I have so much study time here we have personal, companion, language, 12 weeks study and all for an hour once a day which means I am reading the scriptures more than I ever have in my life, particularly the spanish by the time I leave this mission I am going to be a spanish speed reader - fingers crossed! I may not understand it but I could read it to you like nobodys business. This week has been one for the record books also when it comes to weather! We have had non stop rain, like terrential downpour! Its been crazy! Everyone kept telling me how they send the missionaries home if the rain gets too bad but nope. I couldnt imagine it getting worse than it was and we were still out to work. We couldnt drive because the streets were flooded, I am talking water above my knee cap in the streets and we just waded on through. SO FUN! Some of the others were upset but I loved it! Life is full of things that we dont expect and those moments of just dealing iwth your surroundings is totally a decision, you decide what you are going to do and how you are going to feel. I just want to choose to be happy, always, people are here to help each other but you cant help anyone if you cant help yourself. I LOVE YOU ALL and I am out of time! thanks for all the love and support - write me letters! XOXO H Boo Crawford

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1st week in Texas There is so much to write to you all but absolutely not enough time. This week has been so overwhelming, awesome, awful but I made it and I am going to keep making it for the next year and 4 months. Puedo hacer! Prayers are answered, and even when they aren't mutually shared. All throughout my time at the CCM, I was praying that when I got to the mission field no matter where I was serving that I would be able to get a chance to share the gospel with people in spanish and continue practice learning spanish. Well so far basically everyone of our investigators are spanish speakers. I didn't think anything of it this last week as we kept knocking doors and speaking spanish but H. Bentz has been shocked, apparently up until this last week they had been working almost exclusively with english speakers. In fact just about all the english people we are teaching are from their previous investigators - crazy but in a good way! The language has been a barrier yet an absolute blessing. Our confidence levels are not super high in spanish but it ensures that we don't sound condescending when we speak. My favorite investigators are spanish speakers. Here are some summaries of each of them: Omar - He is probably in his late 30s and one of the nicest men I have met. He speaks with patience and listens intently and always adds his own insights to the scriptures that we share with him. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true but like most people here he has a firm belief in fate and so when we invited him to come to church on sunday his reply was - 'si dios quiere' or if god wants. Anyway we are just going to continue to teach him but his reluctance to come to church as slowed the process tremendously. Victor - He is an old man as well, in about his late 50s and he is so cool! He speaks fairly good english or about as much english as we speak spanish so we are able to texmex with him and he does the same. He follows through on absolutely everything we ask him to do and when we invited him to church he explained how seriously he took everything we ask and then said he needs more time to be completly ready to learn more and sincerely ask God. He is so prepared and smart. I get excited for all of our lessons with him. Divisino- He is a crazy old man probably late 60s but he is hilarious and loves to read, he will just take off when he ask him to read any part of the scriptures or in a pamphlet. He loves when we visit and just laughs when we struggle. He is so happy and speaks pretty clearly for an old man, people here the older generations speak more fast and only in spanish while the little kids can all speak english so its weird to be talking to the kids and parents in spanish but the kids ask questions in english. Which leads me to my next favorite investigator. Graciella- She is the step-mom of one of our less actives and her husband Fernando is inactive. We stopped by late on thursday to check in with Joseph, the son, but he wasnt home. They invited us in and we shared a scripture and sang a song. Graciella is pregnant and has a 6 year old son Fernando Jr., who speaks english and spanish without being fully aware even. She started crying when we were singing and we asked if we could do anything for her. She asked us to pray for her unborn baby who they just found out is very ill and will not be living much longer. We offered to bring back some of the other elders from our church to give her a blessing. That blessing took place last night with our zone leaders and it was so special to see the way that the spirit touched her and she cried but happily explained how at peace she felt. We invited her to baptism and it was sweet to hear her bare her testimony about Heavenly Fathers love for families. By far the coolest moment I have had out here. I love their whole family and they are so sincerely sweet, they keep telling us to come by as often as we are in the area. Loving the investigators has been the easy part but there have also been some serious challenges, physically and mentally that I like to compare to the 41 bug bites I have received in the last 7 days. -Bugs. Well they really like my blood and they humidity I think makes the urge to itch worse so I have scabs and red fresh bug bites covering my legs and a couple on my knuckles and elbows. I will soon be investing in bug spray and anti-itch cream. Rough life. -Blisters. I havent had my backpack with my birkenstocks or makeup or spanish scriptures for the last week and therefore my other shoes have given me serious blisters. Like there is dry blood on every pair of shoes I own. -Miles. My bike still hasnt arrived and therefore we are walking like mad-women and when its just too far to walk we have had to use some serious mileage on our car which means when I do get my bike we are going to have to have a good number of only bike days. -Slow. This week has been one of the longest, craziest weeks of my life. I have had fun and am grateful for my area and the people but this is going to be a long year and a half, everyone says time flies soon though so I can only hope. Anyways, I am so grateful for all the support and I am so sorry this email was so long. You guys are awesome I love all the support and love. Heavenly Father is definitely looking out for me. LES AMO!! H. Boo Crawford

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hola everyone! I get a quick chance to update on the last few days and my experience now that I have officially arrived in Texas! SEP.1 - Woke up at 1:50am to say goodbye to our districts elders and then left for our own plane at 3am which was a good time to start the day after going to sleep at midnight. Our traveling was wonderful and we made it to McAllen by 4pm. Also on the plane I casually talked to the man next to me for 2 hours, his name was Dallin and he had a 5 year old daughter Elliot, I ended up giving him a book of mormon once off the plane and a pass along card for mormon.org. Once at the mission home I was the first person out of all 23 of us to get my interview with Presidente Maluenda - it went well but was nerve racking. They fed us croissant ham and cheese sandwhiches and then we went to Presidente's house for a second dinner of lasagna, I thought I was going to explode. Somethings I learned on my first day: ** McAllen missionaries gain an average of 40 pounds on their mission though I have now met 2 elders and one sister who have all gained over 80 pounds - they say the best way to get connected with the members is schedule 2 or 3 dinner appointments each night. Wait what? ** 99% of the people that I will be teaching in my area will be illegals and yet half of the already members of the ward are border patrol so you are not allowed to talk about someone's citizenship ever during your mission The mission president likes to speak in only spanish yet for my interview he had to revert to english because the language barrier was just a little too high. I stayed with all 7 other sisters in a sister missionary apartment and one of the sisters was going home today, holy cow I have another 1.5 years in front of me. But I really am excited. SEP. 2 - Woke up and ate breakfast at the mission president's home, then we found out our areas, I am serving in the EDINGBURG CENTRAL zone. Then we all went to the church for transfers and to find out who we would be serving with. All the missionaries were already there and I saw Eliza Bentz and we got to give each other a quick hug. All of us greenies were sitting in the front and I was the 2nd last Hermana to be called up to find out my companion. H Bentz got called up for Edingburg Central and they announced me and I seriously had to control a freak out and so did she. We went and sat by each other and thought they would have to change it but nope, Presidente Maluenda said it must be inspired. Amazing. The rest of the day has been spent unpacking, shopping, going over lesson plans for later today and adjusting to the area. So now I am officially a missionary chika in the field. I am so excited and yet so nervous. I cant wait to meet the families and the members, I already love it here. Presidente Maluenda talked to the sisters for a minute yesterday and stressed the significance of being called here as a girl. He said that he was told of our importance by Elder Holland when he was set apart, Elder Holland explained that girls have a special way of teaching and touching certain people and girls are not called to the northern mexico mission bordering Texas because it is too dangerous so all the girls in McAllen are special spirits that are sent to McAllen to teach key people who otherwise wouldnt be taught in northern mexico because of the number of illegals that we have. Overall just a cool concept. Thanks again for all the support and love, god bless america and texas. Here we go, H Boo Crawford

Friday, August 29, 2014

Week 5 Awesome 4 days since last PDay and yet quite a bit happened. This is probably my last update before I head to McAllen on monday! I am so nervous and yet so excited. The people that I get to teach are in for a treat, hopefully they like me - more importantly hopefully my companion likes me. No time to stress about it now though so heres an overview of the most eventful things from these last few days... AUG. 22 - This was last PDay so I gave a quick update on the morning but that night we threw a little party for Scheffler that night and had an ice cream party at the tienda in the afternoon. While in the store waiting to buy my ice cream I met a group of native speaker boys. We were standing in line together for 20 min and I think a real bond was formed. I was laughing and they were laughing because I couldnt understand and yet we were still communicating. My whole district and teacher, Meastro Cayetano, were in line in front of me and they were dying as they watched the whole conversation unfold. My teacher said to some of the other elders in line, "They like her because she is happy and funny." I love that! I know that my spanish is nowhere near perfect here and it will only be worse there but I think Ill be able to make a difference just by being funny and happy. Not to mention today one of the same natives bought me ice cream from la tienda just to be nice - wonderful! Anyway lesson learned, Ive decided Ill just always be happy and the language barrier wont be an issue. AUG. 23 - Embadazado, my fake investigator profile "Sophie" found out she is 3 months along pregnant and our missionaries had to teach us about the law of chastity. That was rough for them but they did so good! The whole situation was a surprise attack on them and not what they had prepared for but they handled it with ease. I was so proud of them and they expressed so much genuine love and care, I know that we are learning how to really help people. AUG. 24 - (2 months since my birthday) Sundays are always a good wake-up call to how I am doing on personal goals and what needs to improve. I went to work hard on finishing my spanish scripture marking system particuarly in the bible - it looks awesome! They are colored by lesson and the tabs are broken down by topic within each lesson. AUG. 25 - We took our "goodbye CCM" picture today, heartbreaking but we looked adorable all day since we were matching in red-white-blue coordination. Some of the otra hermanas decided that they wanted to re.write lyrics to a particular song - John Denvers "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and make the words about saying goodbye to our elders (so awkward). Anyway 3 of us are not super keen on the idea of singing it or being apart of it at all so we are going to be doing interpretive dancing or make a funny speech to go along with it to be hopefully more funny and less just weird. _Also I finally talked to this boy who looks exactly like Craig Ballard, we took a picture and Ill send it home but not gonna lie he was pretty cute. After we took the picture he asked if I would send it to him and he gave me his email - he was walking towards the bus to leave for Chile when we took the picture. Elder Scheffler took the picture and said that he was making a move and though I didnt originally think of it like that I got excited at the idea that he definetly was; guilty._ AUG. 26 - Saw a moth the size of my head this morning. I got moms package of letters and stamps with some pictures which was a happy surprise. It got me a little sad at the idea of leaving the CCM now that I am comfortable just like it was difficult leaving home when I was so comfortable there. My biggest fear is feeling completely alone and not being able to relate to the people around me but I know that fear isnt what I need to be focused on right now. Phil. 4:11; we need to be content in any state that were in without focusing on our own wants, I shared it as a devotional scripture and I replaced the word content with happy and I know as we just decide to be happy in whatever challenges we face, well be happy. Thanks for the continued support. I feel so lucky to be here right now and to be going to texas on monday and to have all of you in my life! Keep being good and strive to always get better!! Te todos amo, mucho! XOXO H Boo Crawford

Friday, August 22, 2014

WEEK 4

Okay this week was overrall really good and this week went by crazy fast! I just feel like I am doing so much and yet so little. I dont know how I feel about my spanish, the end of the CCM, or the start of McAllen in just over a week! CRAZY! Anyway this week was full of funny moments and things have just gotten more entertaining as our district has continued to get more comfortable. That is probably what I am currently most stressed about, just re-adjusting to a new group of people since I love the people I am with right now, however I like to think of myself as a happy and easy going person so I know I will be alright! This week: AUG. 16 - Not much happened throughout the day but night class got very entertaining and overwhelming. I love my maestro en la noche perro he thinks Im an idiot in the most kind way possible. I get really nervous when he watches me so anyway we had to do computer language time and we type out phrases that apply to the lessons and for one such phrase I kept getting the spelling or accents or word order wrong and he noticed so he parked himself behind my chair and watched as I got this one sentence wrong, and each time I got it wrong he said, "Boom & you did it again, Boom & you did it again. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom & you did it again. They just gave you the answer but no....Boom & you did it again." I was crying/sweating/laughing so hard, it was rough. Since then he has greeted me each night with, "Boom, como esta?" AUG. 17 - Domingo was bonita. I just really felt like the most important part of the gospel continued to hit home and that is that families can be together forever! Friends who arent members that are reading this- I love you guys and you need to become members solely because your families can be sealed for eternity and its awesome and then after this life you can meet your great and great, great and great, great, great grandparents and just chill with them forever in heaven, LOVE IT! AUG. 18 - Today we started to be the investigators as well as the missionaries so we are now teaching twice a day and being investigators twice a day. We got to make up investigator profiles and I am Tori and Sophie, both have their own back story but do you like who I named them after. Being a fake investigator is awesome, and its good practice for spanish. Also I started to create my own scripture marking system. I have all these different tabs for topics and then the tabs are colored by lessons (Ill send a picture soon when I am finished). Tambien I started an english fast for 48 hours but that ended up being very difficult. Heavenly Father blesses us when we do what we can and even though I sorta failed overrall at the english fast I could tell I was still receiving some extra language help for my efforts. AUG. 19 - I saw a baby!!! In the middle of class i was looking out the door window and saw another teacher walk by with his baby and I ran out after them and was able to say hi to his cute 5 month old baby, SO HAPPY! Now everytime I see that maestro I say, "Como esta su bebe?" and he replies, "Bien gracias hermana. Mi bebe es bien siempre." Love it. This afternoon I burned my left eye and it has been rojo ever since (like up until today and it is friday) possibly the most painful experience ever and definetly the most painful eye injury Ive ever had. Moral of the story dont put a puddle of hydrogen peroxide contact cleaner straight into your eye. No bueno. AUG. 20 - Woke up to a sweet note from mi companera this morning and my favorite cinnamon crackers from la tienda. I continued to go through this day with an eye in more pain than the day previous and it continually was leaking yellow puss, DISGUSTING! I seriously felt like an animal at the zoo the way some people were looking at me. My teachers laughed when I told them the story and master chan told me to keep my dirty eye shut because it was going to give him nightmares (when I type out the things he says they sound really mean but in reality he is hilarious and super sarcastic just so were clear). Mi companera wanted me to go to the enfermeria but I said absolutely not and it was going to get better on its own - and it has slowly but surely. AUG. 21 - In our service project, I learned how to fold fitted sheets - the proper way! Isnt that so cool? And whenever we work with the laundry they play music and I love it so that was awesome. I just was dancing around in this mini warehouse folding some fitted sheets to my hearts content. They mexican workers were dying and one kept taking pictures of me. Also casually got asked out on a date for after the mission by another random elder (who do these elders think they are) I laughed and was like maybe if we ever see each other again after this moment....and walked away. AUG. 22 (today) - Started off on a 6am run with Hermana Johnston and some of the elders. its Elder Scheffs birthday today so were throwing a mini surprise party for him later. Overrall a good week and in four days from now I will be having my next Pday so thats happy too. Be prepared for a final CCM update on wednesday! One more thing overrall about being here in the middle of mexico city - I have grown very fond of the constant sound of fireworks (people light them off daily in remembrance of different catholic saints) and car alarms (I dont understand why this is always a thing but seriously the car alarm sounds never end) both have become part of life here during lessons, study time, meals and bed time. I low-key love it. You guys are awesome and all the support means everything. I dont have a lot of email time but send me physical addresses for some fantastic cards and letters. XOXO ALL MY LOVE Boo o H. Crawford

Friday, August 15, 2014

3rd WEEK

Week three complete at the CCM! Lets go me! We all say this all the time but it is so true! "The days are like weeks here, yet the weeks are like days!" This week went by pretty fast and I am finally realizing that I am still in the [easy stage] I love the CCM! The food is good, the room is small but I love my roommates, like what am I gonna do when its go time? This saturday we are teaching our first real person - at least real in the sense that they are not a teacher! Exciting and yet very nerve racking for some reason. this weeks happenings: AUG. 9 - This day will go down in CCM history as the black plague flu or food poisoning but half our district was hit. We had 4 missionaries break down in the middle of class and run to the bathroom to deal with whatever they were dealing with. One of the elders proceeded to spend the next 36 hours in bed... it was the real deal. I wasnt sick though so happy day for me! AUG.10 - We were only partially at church thanks to the previous days illness madness and we had to rotate companions to make sure the people that werent sick were still able to attend things. I was one of the few at sacrament meeting and got spur of the moment called on to give my talk on baptism - all in spanish remind you. SCARY! I got a lot of compliments so thats good but I dont remember much of it - adrenaline blocked it out. AUG. 11 - Today we established a set time to go and get ice cream everyday, this sounds silly to include on the letter home but its one of my most treasured periods of the day - absolutely marallija! Spiritual note of the day I established my new personal goal of being more temperate - Alma 38:10-12. I just want to use more of myself to listen to others as opposed to be vocalizing my own thoughts. People here need alot of attention and I want to be better at giving it to them. AUG. 12 - This morning started off wonderful! I went on a 6am run with H. Johnston in the rain and that was so needed. It was freezing all day though and for whatever reason I could never warm up. AUG. 13 - Morning class started with exchanging tongue twisters with Maestro Cayatano, he is absolutely hilarious! heres a spanish one for you: {cuando cuentes cuentos cuenta cuantos cuentos porque si no sabes cuantos cuentos cuantas no sobras cuantos cuentos cuantas} We also started a fast for an elder in the branch suffering with anxiety hopefully he will feel more at peace. Tonight I gave the devotional of a missionary being like a watch! Everyone loved it so thanks grandpa hales! AUG. 14 - We fasted through breakfast so during the time we had for meal we went around and assigned each other colors - I was split yellow and tourquoise - love it. I also was able to hear music for the fist time today, it was all spanish jibberish but music none the less during our service project of folding laundry! Walking to class after dinner there were two elders behind us and I turned around and one of them was walking all weird, so I was like are you okay? Then he replied, "Id follow you anywhere, if your following the path of Christ." I said nothing turned back around and walked faster....so weird. Still not sure if it was a pickup line or a conversation starter. & this morning: I was reading in preperation for our next lesson with Jose Luis and I came across the story of Enoch {Moses 6: 21, 26-27, 31-34, 39; 7:1-2 y 69} Anyway Enoch was "slow of speech" and didnt feel capable but through Heavenly Father he was able to do amazing things and bring a whole city to Christ. I LOVE IT. Ether 12:27 through Heavenly Father weak things can become strong. I am definetly a weak thing and I cant wait to be made strong. Closing thought this week is, 99% of my favorite things about the gospel, I still dont understand yet - but hey Ive got the next 17 months to devote to learning about them and then the rest of my life so no worries. LOVE THIS GOSPEL AND ALL OF YOU! Thanks for the support XOXO H. Crawford o Boo

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2nd Week -CCM, MEXICO CITY

HOLA Familia & Friends, Okay well this week went by much faster and easier than the first ten days! I have had weirdness with the companera but its getting so much better. She is no joke smart when it comes to spanish which is proving to be an asset. I am learning so much so fast and as I have began to feel more comfortable I am being way more myself with just everyone - for better or for worse. I think the best way for you to get a small idea of what Ive been doing I will share a brief experience from each day this last week from my journal... AUG 1 - Two hemanas in my district, H. Dupape and H. Johnston started crying more like sobbing mid lesson today because they feel like they dont know what i going on and there isnt enough time to do the homework and learn the language. Im sorry but I am just not that stressed out - though maybe I should be sorry and stressed out. I am proud of myself, I am proud that I am just here and continueing to choose to stay here. This is hard but I can do it. AUG. 2 - Today we wrote letters of encouragement to all of the elders in our districts because some of them were having a really hard time. I used some of the happy letter paper that we got from michaels - everyone loved it. It felt good to do something nice just for them - I seriously wouldnt be able to survive if it werent for my district they are by far the best. AUG. 3 - The most important thing is the spirit and the faith you gain through the spirit that leads to action. Today we heard a devotional about a man who left his wife at home after she broke multiple bones in her leg - he gave her a blessing and she still wasnt healed so he left her to wait at home while he went to work (He was saying that you have to have faith, even when you cant tell a blessing has come immediately) She wasnt allowed to go to the hospital - in my opinion that is silly. Faith requires action. AUG. 4 - Today was our fist day with a break from teaching annoying - marallija! Totally deserve it, teaching is exhausting! Still praying ther is some big secret to make it easier that they just havent told us yet AUG. 5 - Well today was our fist complete fail of an attempt at -solo espanol- where you dont talk any english for a set amount of time! MUY DIFICIL! Its just instinct to break into english when your excited... AUG. 6 - At cena tonight I talked to a native spanish missionary while waiting for my toast to cook... well yeah, he thought I was a complete idiot. His companion kept trying to help me and translate what he would say into english but the guy I was talking to him would say, stop she can do it, stop, stop and then he would just laugh as I would say, lo siento. He was talking like mucho rapido - no comprendo. I mustve answered some of his questions wrong because he just was dying laughing by the end of our convo...I laughed at myself and just walked away. AUG. 7 - Tonight I tried to have a {get to know you} convo with Master Chan, he is our teacher and is only 4 months off the mission which means he is incredibly awkward around the sisters and really tries to avoid most contact. I asked him what he liked to do and what his favorite style of dance was, he looked at me like I was a vampire than said, no se. I continued to coherse an answer by prompting that possibly he was good at the flamingo... for some reason that was really funny to him and I had never seen him laugh before so I started laughing and that ended in tears of laughter - boy did it feel good. AUG. 8 - This morning we got to venture to the MExico City temple and it was amazing! We watched a video about eternal families, and I just cried. I felt so grateful for my family - like seriously you guys are just the absolute best people ever! Also I have NEVER EVER NEVER missed you all more than I do here every night. However, I have also had a testimony strengthener that I know that the book of mormon is truly the words of god and his prophets! I know that families can be together through the temple and that is why I am here. I want to help people learn that the gospel is all about happiness! Side note: this week an elder bore his testimony about feeling sad that he wasnt living up to his own potential and how he is really concerned that he is going to ruin someones chance for salvation because of his lack of focus. Well I just cordially shared that I didnt think that was true in the slightest and we have an opportunity to grow and learn all through our missions. We were given special talents and personalities that will help particular people we meet but no single missionary is so important that the ultimate well being of another persons sole rests on them. ....Not all the missionaries in my district agreed but I shared what I believe to be true so oh well. Overall this week was good. I love all of you and am so grateful for the support and prayers that have been sent my way! LOVE LOVE LOVE Boo or H. Crawford

FIRST WEEK -CCM, MEXICO CITY

Hola! Familia and Friends, Well to start out this email, I just went running and showered and ate lunch so I am in probably the best mood Ive been in here at the CCM - hopefully that will translate to a relatively positive email. Als the mexican keyboards are weird and confusing so there may not be any captial letters or alot of mispelling - oh well. Okay so already the last 10 days have been the most overwhelming and hardest days of my life, and Ive cried silently like a baby basically everyone of them. Its like Im looking up at an 18 month mountain and to say the least its discouraging not to mention all of the little quirks that are apart of life here. Aka my companero. Either way the biggest lesson Ive learned already is we have to live in faith with the decisions that we make, and I made this decision. Now all I can do is get to work and count the sundays until I am home again. SO SO SO much has already happened in these last 10 days - they schedule every second of every day, there is no messing around with time here. Last thursday I met my companion and was placed in district 19D. My district and my teacher are the only reasons I am not already home. My district is so wonderful! Its half girls and half boys and I love each one of them. We have like all types of opposites which is fun and entertaining. [Background on each person in my district: There is Hermana Johnston and Hermana DuPape who are the two that are struggling the most with the language classes but they micromanage everyone and are constanly trying to manipulate situations and say really passive agressive things. There is Hermana Northcott and Hermana Barton, Northcott is funny but she thinks she is good at everything and loves loves loves to tell stories about herself. Barton is probably the most chill sweetest girl ever, I love her and out of everyone sorta wish she was my companion. There is Elder Wagstaff, Scheffler, Anderson, Elison, Hall and Hughes who are all great in their own ways and its thanks to Elder Elison that I am learning the language. Elder Wagstaff, Scheffler and I quote Hot Rod alot which makes me homesick but also I just die laughing. My companion has now started to jump in on the quote game too but shes never seen Hot Rod so its just sorta awkward.] Anyway last night we finished our last lesson with our first fake investigator, Fernando. We got him to commit to baptism and at the end he bore his testimony in English which was super cool - since all our lessons have been in spanish thus far.My companion sorta takes over our lessons once we get in there, she has such a desire to teach in spanish that she gets like nervous excited and cuts me off, its whatever but sorta annoying. Im learning alot from hearing so much spanish though. More on my companero, well to start she absolutely loves loves loves being a sister missionary and I dont think there is anything in the world that she wants to do more. She believes the missionary rules and time schedule to be the word of God and will not tolerate anything to be askew. She is constantly bearing her testimony to me and wont let us take Preach my Gospel translations out of the spanish version - not gonna lie its a little frustrating. Oh also she has a full on opposite direction lazy eye and its most noticeable when she is trying really hard to explain something to you so I basically am looking at it 80% of my days here. She reallyl wants us to be best friends and is constantly trying to be on the same page as me by copying the little things I do like swinging my arms, snapping, dancing, humming whenever and wherever I start doing it. Also shes constantly looking for excuses to hug. I cant even. Now update on the living conditions: I am in a little casa which in theory is super nice but since I moved in last I am in the room with a single closet for 4 girls and I have half a drawer, and a foot of hanging space - so I am living out my suitcase... the 3 other girls fit their stuff in just fine though. I am on the top bunk above Hermana northcott and across from my companion. So hermana Northcott has been sick since saturday night and from sunday to wednesday had bad diahrea which has made for delicious farts wafting up to my nostrils as I am doing final preparations for bed, before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning...Horrifying. Somehow still though I am okay and would consider myself doing good. Being so busy helps with the homesickness. Overall its been a rollercoaster of emotions but these last couple days have been signficantly better. I LOVE YOU! TE AMO MI FAMILIA!!! - this has been the closing line to every single one of my journal entries each night. I CANT EXPLAIN HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR YOU GUYS! xoxo Hermana Crawford

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

interview numero uno.

well first off i'd like to write how completely petrified i am to now be considering myself as going on a mission. don't get me wrong i'm psyched but also i think the thought of the mission is so real and there is no pretense of this fun or anything that it sorta makes me sick to my stomach and i haven't even filled out my name on mission papers yet.

I just had my first interview with my YSA Bishop Bay, and everything went well. I came home - actually while walking home I called mom. She answered and laughed but congratulated me on completing my first step in the mission direction. I don't yet know why but I really didn't like being congratulated. I think I am sorta anti some aspect of the whole mission process and I think part of me is just excited to get out there ANYWHERE away from the madness of peer pressure and status of the different calls people receive. I could be going anywhere from Provo, Utah to Cambodia - and I've heard of both. It stresses me out to think of how other people will react to my call, which is one of the stupidest things ever. My decision to go on a mission should be completely separate from the location that I am called to and yet here I am worrying about the nothings of my assignment. I went to three mission call openings tonight - two of them were going to the exact same mission in New Jersey and the other was called to Rome, Italy. Those are some serious cultural differences but I know that both would bring amazing learning and growing opportunities. Is that bad, a lot of my reasoning for wanting to serve a mission is simply to grow? Anyway, the fear of the mission is already so real for me, I don't know how I'm going to feel when it gets closer to my actual call. Part of me wants to call off the whole thing already. Right now. I know that's awful but the anxiety has already set in. I really am looking forward to the preparation for my mission and the spiritual experiences that I know will come my way just from studying the scriptures from a new lens of missionary eyes. I wish my parents were here. I haven't even opened my call and I am already crying out for their physical support and presence...pathetic. I just have to rely on Heavenly Father. I know that through him everything will be okay.