Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Monday, September 29, 2014

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