Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14, 2014
My beloved Family,
Sorry about yesterday! We had interviews with President Kahnlein so our P-day got changed to today.  The interview was so great! I felt the spirit really strong. It was really good!  He seemed impressed and pleased with me and was happy with my Spanish.  He seemed happy with what I was doing and I just expressed my desire to learn as much as I can and to be the missionary I want to be.  I said to him that I finally feel like I know the type of missionary I want to be and how to do it.  I told him how I want to know the scriptures and really be a Preach My Gospel (pmg) missionary and how I am going to emphasize my learning from pmg.
We had cambios last week and Elder Dunn went up to the North to train and be a district leader.  My new companion is from Guatemala and his name is Elder Marroquín.  This is his last change and he just got done with being a zone leader in Valparaiso.  Talk about a blessing!  My Spanish has jumped this week and I honestly feel like I can understand almost all of what people say with exception of strange vocab.  I am really grateful and I am learning a lot.  I feel like President shows he trust me with this privilege! I am going to do my best to soak up as much knowledge and experience as I can from him. This means I will be staying in Concon at least one more change after this one.
Elder Marroquín is REALLY good.  I really like having him for a companion because there is so much to learn. haha.... the other day we ate at a place where they always give us a lot of food.  It was scheduled to be all 4 Concon missionaries at their house but the others couldn’t make it so we ended up eating for 4 at a house that gives PLENTY of food normally. We ate a GIANT plate of noodles with chicken, another GIANT salad, then a GIANT dessert of fruit and cream.  I was pretty happy but Elder Marroquín was on the verge of throwing up and had to lay down when we got back to our pension for about 10 minutes.  I love eating there and he says he never wants to go back. haha

So this week, we contacted a kid from Australia named Jesse.  He is not religious but I was amazed at how hard it was for me to try and do a contact in English.  I was stuttering and felt goofy.  I can talk normal in English with people but as soon as it gets in church vocab or daily missionary routine it is sad. haha
Diego, the kid that lives in the Zone Leaders side of Concon got baptized Sunday! I only taught the 1st lesson and challenged him to be baptized but it was cool to see a little bit of the fruits of my labors.  Our numbers in our side of Concon haven’t been that high but we have been having good contacts and our goal is to have 5 baptisms this change.  Hopefully we can achieve it!

Yesterday we had a contact who was a lady about Mom’s age. (so like 33 ;)...) We were in a hurry so we almost didn’t contact her but I felt we should.   She took a step back at first and showed no interest.  She then saw how young we were and asked why we weren’t home with our mommies.  She talked about how she has kids our age and she was just mind boggled by what we were doing.  She said no to passing by but we gave her the restoration and the plan of salvation pamphlets and seemed somewhat interested in coming to church.  We may never see any results of it but I feel like a seed was planted.

I really feel like I now not only know the TYPE of missionary I want to be but HOW I am going to achieve it.  It feels great to be a missionary and there are things to miss but a lot of things to love.  Some of the rejections sting a little but whatever it takes to hasten the work in these parts.  We are having trouble finding people who really want to change and accept the gospel.  We have a grandma and mom of a member that I am hoping we can get to keep commitments and progress.  We have a daughter in law of a recent convert we are trying to work with that agreed to a baptismal date but can never commit.  Then we had a good contact that we have a lesson with this Thursday.  We have like 12 investigators but we are struggling to get people to really keep commitments and progress. We are having a lot of "oh yeah sure pass by..." then they aren’t there or never progress.  We are filtering out and trying to show people how much happier their lives can be with the message we share.  Thanks for everything and may you have a very happy 14th of October.

Love Elder Crofts

Ps....in answer to your questions just send my love to Amy and give her a big hug for me! And really I feel like I have basically everything I need. Snacks would be nice.... President told me he thought I looked skinnier.  So more high chews and snickers or whatever snack you want to send would be so great! And I don’t know if this is for Christmas but if it is maybe a small family calendar! Thanks!
Elder Marroquin, my new companion

My Spanish has really improved this week

Mission opening of Javiera
We are teaching Javiera's Mom and Grandma

Elder Dunn was leaving Concon so we celebrated P-Day with Papa John's pizza

Elder Dunn's final day in Concon

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Chile is Chill

"by radio, satellite, and internet transmission throughout the world...."

How cool it was to have this apply to me this conference.  I really missed going to the priesthood session with you dad and the normal “Jakes over the Top” shake after!  But it was an amazing conference!  I learned a lot and more than ever before I know that we have living prophets of God on the Earth.  I was praying to receive an answer about surrendering my heart over to the Lord and I really felt that I received an answer.  I loved a ton of the talks and I felt like all my needs were being addressed.  The 3 English speaking Elders in Concon (me and Elders Dunn and Wadman) watched the conference in English in a room of the church on a small TV.  Our connection died in the Sunday morning session so I had to listen to the prophet in Spanish and it was good but it was hard to get as much out of it.  I already put the talks on a penn drive to listen to while we have time in the mornings and in the night.  Elder Dunn got sick yesterday so the mission nurse said after the 2nd session of conference to just go get warm and get rest.  We got back and he went right to sleep.  And me you may ask? Surprise, surprise, I ate.  I decided I would improvise with the food I had and made a little sausage cheese burger with lays.  It was nice and relaxed.  I then studied my notes from conference and went to sleep.  I had a little headache with some chills yesterday but I just took some Tylenol before I went to sleep.

So, we found 7 new investigators this week!!! We were really working for it.  Three of them are a family.  They just had their 23 yr. old son die so we taught them the plan of salvation and the spirit was really strong.  Everything was right where we wanted it.  BUT THEN.....this lady who was visiting their house just started going off about things that had nothing to do with what we were talking about and was throwing all sorts of false doctrine out there and would NOT let us talk.  Elder Dunn almost had to constrain me from going straight up gorilla on this lady.  We both were DYING.  Finally, Elder Dunn turned to me and whispered and said "JUST TALK!!!" So I started talking and gave a resume of the plan of salvation and bore testimony as well and as powerful as I could.  The spirit came back, (as I bore testimony this crazy lady was nodding her head in agreement with everything I said even though she was saying the exact opposite....what do yah do?)  We invited them to pray to know if what we taught them was true then we left.  

Right after, we SPRINTED back to the mission opening of an awesome member named Javiera.  We only had about 5 minutes to be back to the pension so we sprinted and barely made it.  We were sweating and it took like five minutes to catch our breath for the prayer.

I had an intercambio with Elder Tousley.  He only has one more change than me and my Spanish is more advanced so I was SUPER NERVOUS. We ended up having one of the more successful days of my mission and the spirit we had was really strong.  Not once did I struggle that day with understanding anyone and I was definitely blessed with the gift of tongues.

I also had an experience with a contact (sorry lots of stuff this week).  We talked with her and she seemed interested and she accepted the invitation to take and read the Book of Mormon.  While Elder Dunn marked the spot to read, I testified to her of God’s love for her, that she is a daughter of Him and that He wants to bless her more than she can know.  I then said that this book is the gateway to these blessings.  Her eyes began to tear up and Elder Dunn handed her the book.  She was choked up a little bit and struggled to talk.  It was a sweet experience.  She doesn’t live in our sector but I am convinced that she will accept the message someday.

What a blessing to be a missionary.  Some days aren’t too great: other days there is nothing better.  But the Lord blesses and qualifies those whom he calls.  I am grateful for the countless blessings that I have received and am receiving because of my decision to serve a mission.  The church is true and should ALWAYS be the 1st priority.  I love and miss you all! I pray for my fam, friends, and fellow missionaries often! Dios le bendice.

Con amor,
Elder Crofts

Companion exchange this week with Elder Tousley
Me doing what I do best
The sunsets here are unbelievable
The ocean is in the background

District Meeting

After running back from the mission call opening of Javiera

Elder Dunn at our pension

Elder Dunn sick and out cold
Cutest girl in all of Chile