Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Shocker of all shocks. I got transferred, I had failed to mention in my last update that transfers were this last week, but I was convinced that they wouldn't effect me too much. 

I am now on North Padre Island with S. Hortal, my MISSION HIJA otra vez. We were pretty stoked about it, and I couldn't be loving the island more. It is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen, we live right across the street from the beach, and we go running there in the morning on 'the sea wall'. 

The members here in Corpus Christi are the sweetest people, and they spoil their missionaries. Our coordination meeting follows a weekly dinner appointment with all the ward missionaries and us, (the ward missionaries rotate providing the dinner). 
Everyone here lives on the canals of the gulf of mexico - everywhere we go there is an ocean breeze and sand particles blowing in the wind, I will try to send pictures but they don't do it justice. Knocking doors again is slow going, and most people here don't have a very warm reception to missionaries on their doorstep. 
Reputations are a silly thing though, I am excited to be here and being rejected doesn't scare me - I love getting to know new people, even the ones who don't want to listen. 

Reviewing the week though, it should've been a rough one. Our first day together we had to take the car for a repair, though we both thought that we would just sit for an hour or two and do our studies then drive our car home but we were wrong. We left the car there for the rest of the week and had to call and organize rides back from Corpus Christi to the Island (20-30 min drive). Then the remainder of the week was on bikes. 
Slight problem, my back tire is popped and the front has a leak. As a result we saw miracles throughout the day during the four or so times we had to refill the air. Three times, I just opened my mouth and asked some random person if they happened to have a bike pump - we were at the beach, at a gas station and in the middle of a street near 'town' and all three times there were people who were able to help us. Miracles. 

Another bump in the road.. our air conditioner busted in the middle of my second night in the apartment. Our apartment complex has a green house and pool in the middle of it and 'boy-oh-boy' it gets hot. At about 2:45pm in the middle of the night there was a loud sound (I thought someone was weed-wacking the plants) and then a crash. I jumped out of bed, as did S. Hortal and said, "someone's breaking into our house with a weedwacker." Well no. Actually it was our air conditioning unit exploding. 

The next two days, we planned and studied outside of our apartment each morning and night and cried/laughed ourselves to sleep in the 100+ degree room temperature. 

I love it here. Also I love the Holy Ghost - yesterday I was able to give a talk about the Holy Ghost in the baptism of a man named 'James'. I read part of the song, "Let the Holy Spirit Guide." All the lyrics in that song are true, often we don't rely enough on Heavenly Father and simply trust Him and the impressions that we receive. It was a good talk, and a good lesson for me. I love you all, hope its a great week. 

xoxoxo H. mckenna Crawford

Monday, September 21, 2015

I am currently working on living in the moment, which my missionary brain sometimes works ahead in our schedules - always trying to stay 'one step ahead' of our day. I always told myself that it was a matter of preparation, since no one likes going into a situation unprepared but this week taught me that there is moderation in all things and if being 'prepared' is pulling you away from enjoying the moment around you then you've got to change something. 

Tuesday (Sep. 15th) was S. Eggett's birthday and it was full of surprises for her, we visited members who had prepared full birthday meals and parties. We had our own birthday party with the missionaries on Monday, the Presidente and Sister Maluenda came and brought a cake. It was pretty special. Anyway, we ended the night with a piñata and a blow-up house - I had no idea what was happening. Now this was one of those "once in your mission" type of events but guess what I was doing... during the piñata, I was alone at a table, fingering through my Book of Mormon for something to share as a 'spiritual thought' for the birthday party. Now as good as my intentions were - I was missing the opportunity to make a memory with everyone at that party - and there was basically the whole branch. 

Later in the week, we learned some new things and had some 'extra-ordinary' moments. I feel like this area is full of opportunities to learn new things but I get worried that I am losing my "missionary purpose" when I get sucked into enjoying the moment; wrong. 

We learned from a member, who hasn't been able to get to church for the last while, how to paint. She loves loves loves to paint so we decided to have her help us learn. (When people are able to help you do or learn something, they love you more - another learning from the mission.) Painting takes a while, I started to stress and then calmly reminded myself to just enjoy the moment. 
We weren't doing the usual 'missionary lesson' but as we continued painting we eventually started talking about her many past 'art teachers' and why some are better than others, she said the best art teachers are "the ones that let you express yourself". So true. 
We then started talking about how Heavenly Father must be the best art teacher of all cause we are pretty 'free to express ourselves' down here on earth. We have to learn who we are and make good decisions, that's when we'll look back and enjoy our class here on earth. 

Sat (Sep. 19th) we learned how to make crepes in the wee-hours of the morning for a missionary breakfast from S. Wells. Again, not conventional and it took up a good part of the morning but we learned something new and it was so much fun. I just had to enjoy the moment. 

Interspersed through all the fun activities we also had some drop lessons and found some new people. Good and bad, we just keep going. A quote from church yesterday, "Stumbling blocks and stepping stones are made of the same material." We have to enjoy the rubble and move forward.

Long email, sorry about that. Lots of love. 
H. mckenna Crawford

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

There was not a lot of change within the last week but life is going great. 
The current focus is just getting all of these YSA members to work, and they're exceeding our expectations, I am so proud of them. 
We put in a lot of effort this week but didn't get to see much of it's fruits.  Gratefully, multiple members helped us out a ton over the last week.

We were eating dinner with one family and three of their kids are in the YSA branch, we finished eating and were on bikes. We got out to the bikes and had about 30 min before we needed to be home. We were 5 min from our house and had a potential investigator who lived about 15 min away on bikes - so we had time to get there but not enough time to teach him anything. We turned around and knocked on the Espinosa's door again, then we ended up taking the family and two other friends who were at their house over to visit the potential - knocked a door in the dark with a crowd of 7 people. Joseph didn't answer but I know Heavenly Father saw our efforts. 
Another effort to get people to take action, was with a kid named Andres. He is one of my favorite people down here, hilarious and loud as can be. We walked with him from his house to the nearest chapel with 'LDS Employment Services' to try to help him get out there and get a job. Well we walked about 30 min to the church (longer than expected) in the middle of the heat of the day (literally it was noon) and we come to a sign that says they were closed for the day. Then we walked home. Once again, the effort was made and though our plan failed, I know that Heavenly Father saw our efforts. 
And again, we walked around 'South Texas College' campus with another member from the branch for an hour as we visited different offices, in search of proselyting permission on campus grounds (the YSA is so awkward). But after multiple stops and about an hour wandering in the sun we finally arrived at the right building and office center - and the person in charge of 'religious public relations' or whatever was gone for the day so we'll be back later. Again, our plans failed but when we put in our effort and I know that Heavenly Father sees it. 

There was a huge push by our mission leaders to 'hit the number goals' and we'd see the blessings. A lot of our efforts were not rewarded with numbers this week but I feel okay. 
Our stake conference was this last week and a big focus topic was the temple. Due to the illegal traffic from Mexico - the Rio Grande Valley, contains a lot of people who aren't able to make it up to the temple in San Antonio or down to the temples in Mexico but everyone who is worthy can have their own temple recommend. 

Having a temple recommend while knowing that you cannot attend any temple, brings the same feelings as when you put in all your effort in a day and don't get any numbers. The spirit brings peace of mind, and confidence that you are doing what Heavenly Father wants you to do. In fact that is one of the greatest blessings of the temple is a more abundant presence of the spirit, we need the spirit. 

Life is good. Peace, love and the spirit headed your way.
H. mckenna Crawford