Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Hi. I'm Sister Crawford.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Well church was canceled, following the cancelation of stake conference this weekend due to Hurricane Patricia, and the mid-Texas cold front. It would've been the only week in my mission without church, but we ended up going to another ward that was holding only sacrament. I've learned over the course of the weekend, that the best place to go when there is a big storm near, the beach! We went running on Saturday morning on the sea wall and were absolutely drenched when we got back to the apartment, but it was awesome. 

Miracles from the storm: 
One of our investigators - John Clapp - saw us on the side of the road and noticed that we weren't wearing any jackets and it was raining (our raincoats were in our backpacks, since you get hot after walking for awhile in 70+ degrees). But he went home, found some old ponchos that he had and then tracked us down. We were out knocking some doors of potential investigators and people who'd invited us back; then John showed up with rain ponchos. Still not sure how he'd found us, we were appreciative that he had taken the time to come and do something nice to get us out of the rain. 

One of our member - the Castillo Family. They saw us on the side of the street and pulled over to offer a ride. We didn't need one at that moment but they ended up driving us around at different times throughout the day, it was a huge blessing to have them willing to put everything aside and just come save us whenever and wherever. 

Sister Castillo & daughter
Random people on the street, invited into their house to dry off, or offered food and water. They repeatedly told us to "go home." but it was an a sincere caring sort of way. 

Other exciting news from the week, Elder Dubei came to visit the 'Texas McAllen Mission', he is from Africa. His insight and the way that he expressed himself reminded me of the character - Rafiki, from The Lion King. Anyway, he was so excited when he talked with us, and it was contagious. I wanted to share with you and African proverb that he shared with us: 
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." 

He connected the proverb to our companionships but I have come to see that it can be applied to families, communities, church and school groups...ect. 
We wouldn't have gone nearly as far (or fast) without the help of people on the island all throughout the weekend with the storm, but we had to accept the service when people offered. Service helps both sides, and I was definitely on the receiving end of it this weekend. 
Also working with other people is more fun. S. Hortal and I had an absolute blast, we danced and sang as we walked in the rain and just were enjoying every minute of it, there is no way it would've been enjoyable without her. We've got to appreciate the people around us. 

keeping mexico in our prayers. lots of love
H mckenna Crawford

Monday, October 19, 2015

The struggle is real, ladies and gentleman. Sometimes you just get attacked with negative vibes and all you can do is look upward and press onward cause there really isn't any other logical choice to progress. 
We had some struggles with our investigators this last week. And their families. I went to the court-house to deal with the speeding week from about two weeks back, that went worse than expected, this also required us to drive all the way up to corpus two different days. Then I got vertigo and threw up for the first time on the mission, before going on an exchange - where we then ran out of food, thank goodness for subway.

Now the problem with all of my problems from this last week was that they're all self-inflicted. There was preventative things that I could've done to stop all of the above from happening but I was behind the curve, just messed up, or wasn't thinking and then was forced to deal with all of the consequences. 

My driving record is officially 'clean' though I am not sure it was dirty before. I had to go and present my case in front of a judge, in hopes that he would explain my options and maybe have some mercy on me. Well, the judge was incredibly nice, but he didn't actually help me at all. I had to pay for court costs, something else and then finally the defensive driving course which all adds up to about the amount of the ticket. In addition, I will be spending the next six hours on the computer taking an online defensive driving course - pobrecita sis hortal gets to sit next to me and watch. 

Something I failed to mention in my last email from when we got to go and visit the USS Lexington, S Hortal and I had a rather creepy encounter with a worker named Jeremy who tried to show us the locked up parts of the ship - like some type of 'special tour' anyway, we got out of there and away from him rather quickly but S Hortal has now been suffering with nightmares. When you're companion suffers, you suffer. Waking up in the morning to nightmares has been a little stressful, though luckily I haven't had any.

Our investigators really boil down to Meryk, his grandparents are from Washington - lacey, lakewood and tukwila area. There is a point in time when as a missionary we are suppose to drop people who are not progressing or who have heard all the lessons before and haven't done anything. Meryk's grandparents are getting cold feet with Meryk's baptism and we've gotten to the point where we have taught him all the lessons, he just has to decide what he wants to do. The mission leaders say, he either needs to get baptized or we need to stop visiting them, we'll see. 
Now for the story on throwing up after getting vertigo. Well it was self-inflicted pain, all starting with a pineapple. Yes, I had bought a pineapple last preparation day and then proceeded to eat all of it during weekly planning on Friday and that really was a bad idea, I felt sick for the rest of the day which cause me to not eat much of anything else until that night, before the exchange we stopped and got an ice cream cone from McDonald's since we hadn't had dinner and apparently that was a bad idea. The 'acidity' from the pineapple and the 'base' from the ice cream didn't sit well in my stomach - weird part was it caused me to feel as though I was spinning until I threw up the ice cream, it was a rough day. Never eat a whole pineapple, ever. 

As I said before, I could've avoided all of these things but I wasn't paying good enough attention. I was transgressing. I didn't know or pay attention to the amount of pineapple that I consumed, I didn't see the "school zone" sign while I was driving, S. Hortal and I didn't know we would be in danger when we wandered away from the elders, but we suffered for all of the above. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to making mistakes. We just have to pay attention and make the best decisions that we can. We will save ourselves a lot of pain. 

Still loving the island, and all of you
H mckenna Crawford

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dr. Suess once said, "A person is a person, no matter how small. but I would like to add that - "A miracle is a miracle, no matter how small." And we're seeing lots of small miracles over here on the island. 
We've been working like crazy over the last couple weeks, just doing everyting that is in our power to meet new people and just do the work. As a result we broke records for the number of people that we were able to get in contact with over the last week. That included knocking doors, having people just go up and introduce us to their neighbors, it was a lot of 'get-to-know-you's. 

We made a deal with one another to not let anyone pass us without just saying hello and then if possible asking them a question about them.
This brought various responses: but it kept us busy and like I said we saw some miracles just from opening up our mouths.
One example; we had packed our lunch on Thursday and to go to an different city that is apart of our area - Port Aransas. While there we sat on their pier until two fisherman came by and started fishing in front of us, so naturally we talked to them. Turns out that one of the fisherman was a member, but he hadn't been since he was baptized at nine. His father lives on the island and was an inactive member of the church as well - apparently he had just moved here and recently became a father, we set up a time to go by his new house to meet his wife and baby girl. Pretty miraculous, at least we were pretty excited. 

walked all day and then..........
Our investigator Meryk, his grandma and grandpa (who are currently his caretakers) are from Tuwilla and Lakewood, Washington. It was just this happy little miracle that I got to hear about home. Also when we discovered this little news, the grandma looked at me and said, "I think that God sent you to me." The grandma isn't a member but Meryk's grandma grew up in the church. Minor but miraculous. 

Miracles are everywhere, and they're usually pretty small. But life is what we make it, so we just have to use the small miracles that surround us for bigger things. 

island vibes, peace, love & blessings

H. mckenna Crawford

Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference weekend, that was the highlight of the week for sure. But a number of other things happened this week. 

I now know how to change bike tires and that is pretty awesome, but I am getting more practice than I would like. We replaced my back tire last week and patched my front tire but then another couple 'espinas' got into my front tire and it popped so I will have to replace the front this week too. 
I can't complain too much though. It popped officially while we were out at the 'community garden'. The sisters a couple sets of missionaries back, arranged with the "community garden club" to gave a planter box and so now we are currently growing watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers and tomatoes. I haven't gotten to try any of what we grow cause it was mostly dead when I got here two weeks ago but we went and replanted all of it and so far its looking good. We get to stop by and water it every couple days and talk to whoever is at their planter box. How cool is that? Who else gets to grow a watermelon and pass out Book's of Mormon at the same time?

Since we don't have 'garden-goodies' to pass out to members. We made some cookies at the beginning of the week and it just happened to be on a day that we were fasting so we couldn't try them. We also didn't have flour so we went and gave them to a neighbor, his name is Kip, and asked them how they were. He told us that they were delicious. And by taking his word, we passed them out to most of our members on the island. That night we broke our fast with a cookie each...and then spit them out because they tasted like corn tortillas....our bad since we did use 'masa: corn flour'. Mistakes were made, but we still got thank-you texts from members throughout the day, probably because they texted us before trying them. 

On a more unfortunate note, I got my first speeding ticket. Heart-breaking moment for me, and the worst part was I was going 29 in a school zone - it was 4:29 when he 'gunned my speed' and the school zone ended at 4:30. I was rather shook up, but the officer explained that I could take a 'Defensive Drivers' course for a couple hours within the next two weeks and the ticket would be gone. ...who wants to waste time doing that though? .... lessons were learned. 

Thoughts from conference, I loved the theme of receiving direct answers from the Holy Ghost. We have the best resource, a perfect companion/compass, and we often neglect to use him. We can ask direct questions and receive direct answers. Often times we just ask for the general things, big principles/characteristics the 'cookie-cutter' but we have the opportunity to fix the acute problems. Finding the small fragments of ourselves that need fixing and working on those first, but we've got to ask what those are. Currently ponderizing: Moroni 7:19

I love progress and the island. xoxoxoxoxoxxox
H mckenna Crawford