Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Monday, June 29, 2015

This week has been wonderful and out of control. We are going through a bit of a dry patch as far as the work goes, no one has come to church with us for over the last month. Now that as a missionary is depressing. 

Yesterday, I spoke in church. I spoke twice actually - english for the family branch and spanish/english for ysa. I spoke on the power of having a personal testimony, but I adapted it a little for both branches. My talk in the family branch was trying to motivate all the members to learn to love Laredo (since most are here as Border Patrol workers) Anyway, I learned while preparing the talk and giving it that the only reason we do anything in the church. The only reason we will ever be motivated to act and live the gospel is because of our testimonies. If we truly know that the gospel is true, we will live it. And yet the only way that we will know that it is true, is if we live it. Basically everyone needs to go back to the basics and always be working on their relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; its that simple. 

Also this week I turned 20 years old. I am not sure whether I am disgusted or happy about it, but either way another year has passed. Our plans for June 24th, were nothing different than a normal day of missionary work but I had been planning on wearing one of my cuter outfits and we were going to drive instead of bike, in celebration. 
S. Hortal surprised me and then surprised me again, and again and again all throughout the day! It was so much fun! She decorated our room with blue streamers and signs - trying to recreate water-skiing for me. Then her mom sent me birthday watermelon themed gifts! We had a watermelon birthday cake at district meeting the day before and the elders made me a banner. Then in the middle of the day, they had me play, "pin the crown on the queen (me)." and then put a pillowcase over my head and we met up with the zone at Olive Garden, craziness. We went to a members, the Peterson family, for dinner and they made me a huge salad with watermelon and lemon cake! It was the happiest meal of my whole mission. 

Sorry for the 'me-centered' paragraph but I had to recognize everything that everyone did for me. It was a super sweet birthday, and I hadn't planned on any of it. 
Miracle from the birthday we met - The Aguero Family. We just gave them a card on the street after an appointment fell through and they invited us back for Friday. During our short first conversation, they found out it was my birthday. So then when we got there on friday, she gave me cupcakes, a flower and a balloon as a happy late birthday - shocking! ...still didn't come to church but we're holding out hope for next week. 

Transfers are tomorrow, starting at 5am in the morning. Hopefully we will find out who is leaving before 10pm tonight. I am already packed, but this is now my third time packing in Laredo, so maybe I'll unpack for a third time as well - who knows. 

Either way, I love Laredo and all of you! Tenga una buena semana!
H. mckenna Crawford

Monday, June 22, 2015

Holi-taquitos it's hot and humid.
Imagine, the weather in Hawaii - like tropical storms - sounds lovely right? In theory it is wonderful but in reality it makes life a little bit difficult as a missionary. Some moments I am freezing because its raining and there is wind and other times I am dying of heat because, well its really hot still. We pack sweaters and rain coats and then have to take them off when we're starting to melt, its an adventure! I don't know how I am going to fair when its time to go back to Washington or Utah - sounds like Antarctica. 

Life as a whole is going pretty good, though once again transfers are here and I am pretty sure that I only have one week left here in Laredo after 7+ months, bitter-sweet. It's like saying goodbye to my mission home. Luckily I will still be here for my birthday on wednesday and still be able to celebrate with all the people that I love, sino of course everyone at home. Twenty. That just sounds super old. 

We haven't had anyone come to church with us for almost the whole last month, and so I decided to spend time during studies in the morning to read more about the reasons that we come to church, it ended up being a testimony builder of the atonement. 
Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us and wants us to remember that plan! 
We screw up so often, I can't say that I have ever been perfect for even a 5 min period of my life. For a lesson that we were teaching this week about the sacrament we took a white piece of paper and had people scratch lines as they remembered a struggle from the week or something that they regret or could have done better and then we told them that the paper would be turned in and graded by how clean and white it was...they could try to clean it on their own before turning it in but they couldn't. We have to use the atonement, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and therefore has clean sheets of paper for all of us, if we turn and ask him. 
This analogy may not make sense in written form but its pretty impactful when you see a ton of pen scratches on a paper. 
Now Heavenly Father gives us that paper and we destroy it week after week but each week we have the chance to go and take the sacrament and review over all the things we had done wrong and change, recommit to do better. We then can pick up our own clean sheet, and heaven knows that we all need it. Also I realized that the atonement applies to more than just what we are doing wrong. All the small worries and trivial distractions can be wiped clean from our slates and taken away when we put the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ first. Simple and yet so difficult. 

Laredo Loves U
H mckenna Crawford

Monday, June 8, 2015

The start of summer as a missionary ........

Hard Work. Life is hard work. The mission is hard work. I don't think I have ever worked so hard in my life, mentally, emotionally or physically. 

As of right now, we don't have that many people that we are teaching; and as a result we have been knocking a lot of doors. I've decided that knocking doors is the ultimate test of a persons conviction, how much do you love Heavenly Father... cause no sane person would stand out in the heat and do this 24 hours a day, everyday. The best part about this realization is that I'm not miserable. We spent all our time outside this week, I am talking about 90 degree weather that will be hitting the 100s this week - the only way we've found to describe the heat is it feels like someone is blow-drying your eyeballs as you are riding your bike, and when we're riding in our car currently because our air conditioning is broken. Horrendous right? 

Well actually no, not so bad. We decided last Friday that we were going to have a week of happiness via dancing; it requires no complaining and when we feel like we are going to die, we just stop whatever we are doing and learn a new dance. It's genius, and happiness becomes such a simple thing. 
Also a couple of miracles came from our happy dances. People noticed us dancing or laughing, as a result we met some cool families and were let into their air conditioned homes for a period of time and were able to share a scripture or a video with them. Lots of people gave us bottles of water. As well, I was able to learn the Bachata, the ChaCha, the Salsa, and Cumbia...I am going to be a latin ballroom expert when I get home. 

The week closed with President Maluenda coming up to Laredo, for a surprise meeting. He called a council with all the branch presidencies and elder's quorum presidencies and then us, as the missionaries to come and make plans for how to help Laredo become a 'Stake' as opposed to just a 'District'. What I got out of the meeting is that I LOVE LAREDO. Hope everyone is loving where they are living and working, life is so much impacted by our perspective. 

Laredo Loves U, 
H. mckenna Crawford

Monday, June 1, 2015

We had 'Inter-zone Exchanges', which means we all packed up and worked in another person's area and stayed in their apartment with a new companion for three days. Before we loaded cars for a 3 hour drive -we did this, why you ask? I don't know why.

This exchange all was based on lie from our zone leaders that a few of us would be headed down to McAllen for three days, so we packed up all of our nicest clothes and the Elders had their suites and then we all met up at the church and were told that we would just be out working in another part of Laredo...I went with S. Sarimiento to 'Southgate' Laredo. Basically it's the hood, and S. Sarimiento is a native from Chile, who has learned english while on the mission. Naturally we had a blast, and I learned new Chilean slang/spanish words. 
At the end of this exchange we all had to share a miracle that we witnessed, I shared two and I will share them both with you now....
First miracle
Although it may seem ridiculous, I truly believe angels were with us. We went to teach a lesson to one of their investigators, "Jesus" or Chewy for short, and we woke him up by banging on the window. His grandmother welcomed us in and guided us to her husband in the back room, who was lying on the bed sick with hip problems. I had been sitting at the foot of this man's bed for almost 15 min when he started to show signs of wanting to sit up. I got up to help him and immediately Chewy's grandma throws a blanket at her husband and S. Sarimiento grabs my arm for me to sit down. The pobrecito was naked but I hadn't seem to have noticed his leg up the whole time, I had genuinely thought the man was wearing brown underwear; I was wrong. That underwear was made of hair, but my eyes were shielded for all of those 15 min and then we had a wonderful lesson with their investigator Chewy. 

Second miracle
We found a family! While walking down a random street, we were acctually lost at the time. We stopped and talked to some people on the street. They had just moved from Nuevo Laredo and were talking to the missionaries over there and have come to church a number of times. They wanted to know where the church was in Laredo and when they could be baptized. (jaw-dropped) 
All eight of these people now are planning on getting baptized on the 21st of June, just three days before my birthday! Pretty neat experience. 

In other exciting news, we had a flash flood while on bikes (since we had no miles to drive the car) but the other sisters picked us up and gave us a ride. The weather is completely unpredictable down here but it makes things fun!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! 
Laredo Loves You
H mckenna Crawford