Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to visit the Texas McAllen Mission this week and we had interviews with Presidente Maluenda on another day of the week. Through all the meetings and experiences this week, I have learned a lot about personal revelation, we get prompted to do things or say things ALL THE TIME. We just often are too slow to react or do anything with what we receive...revelation doesn't need to come on a soapbox or in a vision, they can be small clever snippets of happiness. Meetings are long and obnoxious in the mission, for the most part. But also they can be great times to get those snap shots of ideas to help improve. Started the week with zone meeting on monday and then had tuesday full of service activities - we made 60 oatmeal cookies during our morning companionship study. Then wednesday we had a full day of interviews - basically a full day of trainings on how to be a more effective, happier "missionary" but everything we learn during these trainings perfectly applies to regular life. (coolest training: time yourself when you read 2 Nephi 4: 16-19; hasta "...my sins" and it should be somewhere around 18 seconds : this is how long it took Nefi to whine and then change his attitude, we can all give ourselves 18 seconds before we should just start listing the things that we are grateful for. simple enough right?) Thursday and friday we had some of our investigators get interviewed for baptism and that was absolute chaos. I still believe that agency is the absolute best gift that we have been given. Everyone should be more aware of the little decisions that we make and own them. Happiness is that we can take credit for who we become... and this leads me to saturday! Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke to the whole mission in McAllen. That meant another 6 hours in the car for us here in Laredo... but worth it. "You are responsible to ESTABLISH..." -Elder Oaks was talking about establishing the church in the areas that we serve but this phrase also is a huge principle of the reason we are on earth. Establish means: "to set up a structure or corporation on a firm foundation" "to show something of truth, prove" We have to establish our lives, we have to set them up on firm foundations and have integrity, show through our works the things that we say and believe. We are responsible for how we establish our lives. Last quote, "Adversity is mandatory but misery is optional." Love from Laredo, H. Crawford

Friday, January 23, 2015

There was a lot of happiness this week, and a lot of stories. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time to organize thoughts but here is small highlight of some of the days this week. Jan. 13th - Sister BARTON arrived! Happiness, from the moment she got to Laredo we have been inseperable (obviously since we're companions) but we have genuinely just been best friends and it has made all the difference in the work. She arrived later in the evening on Tuesday so the day was spent getting her adjusted and moved in. Jan. 14th - stress came as I realized that I would have to plan for our area and set appointments for us but then everything just fell into place. We had appointments every hour with different people and the day just flew by, though the last hour and a half of the day was one of the weirdest on my mission. We brought a member to my favorite investigators, the Perez family. Un-knowingly I invited a less active member and her kids (who are the same ages as the Perez children), well it turned into us listening to the member tell story after random story for the whole hour and a half... what do you do? We tried to intervene and tie things back to the lesson but she just talked right over us, never stopping to breathe... this all had a happy ending - the less active family came to church for the first time in quite a while and the Perez family didn't seem phased by the chaos. Jan. 15th - Found a former investigator who was taught just last spring and he had the chicken pox so we are going to come back this week to teach him! Super happy. Also the best quote from sister barton on Thursday, "Wow. It's halfway through January - that means the year is 1/24th of the way over." A chunk of my mission is behind me and happiness, excitement for the coming year and pride at my completion thus far are all on my mind. Jan. 17th - We had zone exchanges and there was also a wedding that took up the whole day! We got to help set up, clean and watch the most adorable couple get married! The wedding was in the church's gym and yet the whole branch contributed to make it special, it was pretty special! Happiness is a choice. Right now, it is super easy for me to be happy it seems but I dont want to be happy only when things are going "good". Thing inevitably crash and the same is true for life you've got to take the good with the bad. The key is to be happy without being indifferent in the roughest moments of the day. Love from Laredo, H. Boo Crawford

Monday, January 12, 2015

'Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood.' Sister Sainsbury and I have been singing that one line back and forth to each other for the past week as we walked in the rain and I think it rubbed off on the overall week and it was the reason we found my new favorite family to teach! The week started off a little weird and it ended a little weird too - tomorrow is transfers, again!! The transfers already seem like they are going shorter and shorter so it's crazy to think about having everything switched around again but exciting. I am staying in Laredo and my current companion, Sister Sainsbury is off to Harlingen. My new companion will be Sister Barton - I am pretty sure I wrote about her in the CCM, but I LOVE(d) HER and I am sure it will stay that way! This week included almost no study time but lots of service and smiling. Jan. 6th - Soup Kitchen in Laredo, as a zone we got to go and completely reorganize and package bags, boxes and more bags of food for delivery to veterans, and we worked there for three hours and by the time we got done you couldn't even recognize the room. On thursday (Jan. 8th) we went back again and were planning on delivering the packages to people's cars but not many came because it was so cold outside. I folded dirty laundry for 3 hours out in the cold and my hands were prunes when we left, a good experience though - I will remember the numbness forever! Jan. 7th - Sister's Conference, another 6 hours in the car, we traveled to McAllen and met up with all 50 other sisters in the mission. Jan. 8th - We found the Perez Family! While walking and singing "its beautiful day in the neighborhood" a man came up and asked why we were out in the rain singing and he referred us to his neighbor. Well turns out his neighbor is awesome - its a mom and her three kids, her son DJ is one of the smartest boys I have ever met and he is 12 (just like you Sloan)! Anyway the rest of the week was focused mostly on them, we had a lesson everyday and the family came to church yesterday! I am so excited about them! The area of North Laredo, well its just like the song "its a beautiful...neighborhood" and so the success level of being able to find and teach people in warm homes has not been very high but my attitude and love for the "work" has grown a ton! Happiness is a choice and success comes when we work hard and smart. Happiness is as easy as repentance; switch your mind and the next thing you know you feel a bijillion times better...not saying that it's easy but in hindsight it is much easier than just being miserable, siempre. Sending you all my happiness, dont worry - I can make more! LOVE YOU LOTS H. mckenna Crawford

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Years! Laredo, Texas welcomed the new year with an intense cold front which caused some painful contacting for the last week! Everyday this week, I wore my only pair of leggings under my only pair of tights and socks on my hands in my pockets. Good thing I got the opportunity to do laundry this morning cause those leggings needed it. Alright well, this week was full of choices to happy. And I feel that I did a pretty good job of choosing the latter - Sister Sainsbury and I have a whole paper full of 'positive affirmations' that we read, yell or sing to each other everyday. ...some of our favorites include... "I am a magnet to success. Everything I touch is success." "Infinite wisdom fills my mind like a mighty river." "I am lovable, loving and loved." "I touch, move and inspire others." we even had a moment this week were we were just jumping on the beds - yelling them at each other...maybe not the most appropriate thing to do but I left the apartment to work feeling like a million bucks. Dec. 31, 2014 - spent on the mission. Well as a special mission-wide treat on new years eve, all the missionaries get to gather as zones and watch a movie - this year we watched 'Frozen'. I loved it. A less active family heard that the movie would be showing at the church so they came and watched it with us, just them and all the missionaries - it was hilarious! Jan. 1, 2015 - Everyone just basically told us to go home until one nice old lady let us in and told us her whole life story when her husband served in the Vietnam War. I love people, I could tell she was just so so happy to have someone listen to her - her husband has gone deaf. She was the best part of that day. We did a great job of getting members out with us this week but every lesson 'no showed' us. Some members decided to just come contacting, but as the missionary - I just felt bad. Hopefully everyone had a good week, and if you went to a lesson with a missionary this week and the lesson was canceled - I would like to apologize. LOVE you ALL! Hermana M. Crawford

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hola Familia! Happiness came through facetime this week! This last week was wonderful, full of food, present delivering, service projects and member karaoke, oh and a pinata. Dec. 23 - Miracles came, in the form of new investigators and teaching lessons. We found three new people to teach today - one family and a single mother. The issue with finding people right before Christmas, they all are going out of town until the second week of January. Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve was one fiesta after another, we went from house to house (like Santa Claus). We had 3 meal appointments and in between them we dropped off gifts to some less active families, it was a great day. Every meal appointment included reading the Christmas story (or Luke 2) except one appointment. Sister Gardiner showed us a compiling of scriptures that she made after her mission, that is a full spectrum of Christ's story - I will be reading it for the rest of my life with my future kids...I will put the scripture references at the bottom of the email. Oh and at the final meal appointment with President Wagner, there was a pinata...who could ask for anything more? Dec. 25 - Christmas on the mission - its really nothing you can prepare for mentally or physically until it hits you like a speed-train and you're left with the aftermath. Learning from the whole experience, people step up to comfort you when you give them a chance. One family in particular, the Reeves, took in the sister missionaries and I will forever be grateful! The members are way more impressive than the missionaries this holiday season, the Reeves family not only opened up their home for us, four sisters, but contacted our parents and arranged the best times for us to each call then comforted us as we ended each call in tears and fed us dinner before we left. Heavenly Father works through us to bless those around us, and through others to bless us - we have to be ready to do what we can to be this blessing when we get the opportunity! The Reeves family were angels for us on Christmas but there was angels everyday. Dec. 27 - Zone leaders decided to do a zone blitz/white wash: everyone goes with a new companion to a different area to work. Sister Hemmingsen and I went to the zone leaders area, right on the border of mexico. I loved it. The leaders were nervous about it being dangerous for sisters but it turned out great - we visited some of their members and met multiple old couples walking the streets (hace fresco). Everyone I met, I instantly loved. There is no good way to describe it, but I just wanted to do anything and give everything to every person. That is how I want to feel all the time, and I know that is how Christ feels all the time except to a far greater extent. It was freezing on Saturday but I couldn't help but be incredibly happy all day. Also we got chased by 2 stray pit-bulls and a chihuahua. Overall a great week. It really makes you appreciate family, I love you guys a whole lot! Thanks for being good examples to me. xoxo -Hermana M. Crawford