Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Time to get to Work

So I am still here in Chamiza! My new companion is named Elder Brown from San Antonio Texas.  He has been in the mission for a year and a half and is a super awesome guy! We get a long super well.  He is a lot of fun, likes to work, and likes to have a good laugh as we do it all. 

So Monday night to Tuesday morning, we had some huge thunder and lightning.  Viña hasn´t seen storms like that in 30 years or something.  I guess up in the north of Chile it caused a lot of flooding but here we just got a little wet. It has been a little more humid and hot this week due to the rain storm.  I am really looking forward to winter weather here.  The weather is perfect.... but not for walking in a shirt and tie all day. Haha

We are teaching a 15 year old girl named Macarena.  She is super timid and we are trying to really win her trust and help her to progress.  Her sister is an active member and she has a lot of support from her uncles. 

So Sebastian still has the problem with his mom.  She won’t give him permission to be baptized.  We had a lesson with him in a member’s house last night and I really felt the spirit.  I have learned that some missionaries try so hard to really learn the material in preach my gospel (something that is necessary) but forget to follow the spirit and really teach the person.  I really like that about Elder Brown.  I feel like teaching with him is a lot more focused on the spirit and really touching people´s hearts.

We found a few potential baptisms in these past few days and weeks.  It is just hard to be able to find them at their house.  We have set a goal to baptize 4 people this month.  We don’t have anyone with a date as of now but hopefully we can work hard and make some miracles happen this week.

I am stoked for General Conference this week and hoping to receive some guidance.  I think we will be able to go and watch it in the stake center.  I am super grateful for prophets and apostles.  I am going to try this week to really give my all.

Love you,
Elder Crofts

Achupallas Zone Conference Pictures from the Vina Mission Blog

Music Leader

That completo just gets better every time

A sister from the ward made us a cake

We went a little too crazy with the chocolate

We had to make some adjustments for our trio

The sunset from Villa Independencia

Saw Elder Garcia at transfers

We go hard

Elder Brown, my new comp

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015
Hola folks,
This past Tuesday, we had a zone conference and it was SO good! I think it was my favorite up to this point.  We talked a lot about the importance of humility.  I have been studying a lot recently about humility and I have realized that there is a lot that I can improve.  It reminded me of my setting apart and the blessing that President Burton gave me.  I have learned that being humble is something that we need to work on day to day and that if we are humble, our faith and ability to recognize the spirit increases.  We also got to watch MEET THE MORMONS!!!!! oh it was really just what I needed and was super powerful! If you haven´t seen it, SEE IT! If you´ve already seen it, SEE IT AGAIN! and take some notes. haha I especially liked the last family that it showed and it reminded me of just a short 9 months ago when I was getting ready for the mission.  The mission can be tough because there are days where the work is just not going how I hope.  But I just need to remember the enthusiasm that I have always had to serve and let that motivate me to do my best.  The thought "you only do this once" has passed through my head a lot this week.  This is true of everything we do.  We should always give our best because we never know if we will have opportunities like this again.
So I found out that Angelica (from Concon) didn’t get baptized because her companion came back.... so hopefully they can work that out.  But Jessenia (that has the little boy) is going to be baptized this Wednesday!!! I was so happy when I found out! She left behind all of the drugs and is depending on the Savior to overcome her trials.  Her boyfriend came back super drunk and she sent him away.  She is starting to understand what is really best for her and her son! I was STOKED this morning when I found out!
So Cristian didn’t accept the baptismal invitation.  He knows he will have to leave behind cigarettes and alcohol.  We have an appointment tonight and it should be good! He feels like he is trapped in a giant hole and can´t get out.  We are trying to help him realized that Christ has prepared the way, his hand is extended to pull him out, he just needs to accept it.  So if all goes well we are going to set a date for the 12th.
In response to your request about the atonement.  I know that Christ is our Savior.  I know that he paid the price for us and made possible the resurrection of all mankind and eternal life of those who follow Him.  I have learned that at times we feel we really just can´t live up to the expectations, we don’t feel good enough.  We feel like we lack the experience, intelligence, or skills necessary to fulfill the things that the Lord asks of us.  There are a lot of times where I feel like I just don’t have the time or experience that I need as a missionary.  There are a lot of things that I would have liked to do differently before the mission and during my time as a missionary.   Sometimes we have disappointments and feel like our past keeps us from moving on toward a brighter future.  But I know that through Christ we can have a blank page in front of us.  I know that the power of His atonement not only redeems us but also uplifts and strengthens us.  I am grateful for this time I have to represent Him the best that I can.
Love you all, 
Elder Crofts

Great view
We are in a trio until Wednesday because Elder Pinillos' (farthest right) companion finished his mission today

Up in the mountains we go

Ward Activity night

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

Mi querido familia y amigos,

This was a good week with lots of learning.  There are a lot of ups and downs and I am trying my best to be constant and firm as a missionary.  Well, we meet a lot of interesting people as missionaries.  The other day, we contacted an Evangelica (Evangelist) who started to say that we don’t believe in the Holy Ghost.  We started to explain things to her but then she just started talking and talking (if you give someone 2 seconds to talk, even if they say they don’t have time to start out, they´ll take 30 minutes telling you about their whole life. haha  We told her that we had to go and invited her to visit the church’s website and´then she suddenly shouted, throwing her hands up into the air saying "LORD!!! Why don’t they believe in the Holy Ghost??!!?!?" We then cut her off and said that we had just explained to her that we do believe in it.  She then paused and said "oh.... you do? who told me that you didn’t?"  Always great to see just how well people know the "Mormons."

We found a new investigator named Cristian.  He is the son of a recent convert and is about 35 years old.  His dad just got in a bad car accident and was in the hospital almost all of this week.  He also split up from his wife about a month ago and has been having some hard times.  We showed up to their house on Monday and he said that he had been hoping that we would pass by so we could give him a blessing of strength and comfort.  I honestly felt like Aaron teaching King Lamoni´s dad.  He said that he would be willing to do the things that we invite him to do so that he can feel better.  He has now come to church 2 times and we are hoping to set a baptismal date for the 29th.  Please pray for him!!! 

So the other day some kids were sitting close to a door that we just had contacted.  After we had finished talking with the contact, the kids asked me where I was from.  They didn’t believe me when I said Chile and I asked why not?  They said that it was because I was not speaking Spanish.  I asked them why they could understand me if I was not speaking Spanish.  A little girl said " are speaking Spanish..... but you aren´ is a little weird....."  haha  I asked them what I could do to improve and they said “a dictionary and a voice recorder.”  Maybe we will give it a try. haha  After, we gave them a card that said "why am I here on the earth?" one of the little boys responded "because if we were in space we would EXPLODE!".  So there you have it.  Our purpose on the earth is to simply not explode.  It was fun and it definitely motivated me to work on my accent. haha

Well this week, I have learned a lot about humility.  It can be tough sometimes to feel like no one wants to listen and we have just been walking mountains all day but I know that this is where I need to be.  I love the line from the Joseph Smith movie "As we build His temple.... He builds us."  I have learned that He can only build us if we let him do it.  I am trying harder to learn from all of the experiences that we pass through in the mission and I am trying my best to be more like the Savior.  I know this church is true and I am grateful for the small part that I can play in hastening the work of salvation.  

Elder Crofts
Sorry, we didn't have tons of pics so...selfies it is!
Elder Crofts & Elder Contreras in the area of "perros y cerros" (dogs and hills)

My district where I'm the new district leader

Hermana Forste

She is from Orem & is friends with Savanna Shaw's brother

There was a big fire about 20 minutes from our house

This is where we do our exercises every morning

Anyone got the time?
Nothing like a nice summer tan line

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

Hola amigos,

Well our two baptismal dates that we had fell through.... But I found out that Angelica (the woman from Concon) was baptized so that was a sweet feeling! Bummer that I couldn’t see it.

This week, we found two new families.  We are only teaching the Moms right now but if we help them progress it could turn into some good things! One of them is really active in her other church but still feels like she lacks something and the other is really interested in the plan that God has for her family.  So hopefully we can make some good things happen! Yesterday we had 96 people that came to church (15-20 more than our average in my time here).  We had two investigators that came and a lot of less actives that have not come in months that we visited and got to come! So that was a sweet feeling.  I am the designated piano player of this ward and I think of how I should have practiced a lot more when I was younger every time I have to play.  I am super jealous of Amy. haha 

Well one of our investigators is a little tough to find.  But on Tuesday, we did a service project for her.  She wanted us to patch up some holes in her roof.  We got there and she didn’t have any materials to do anything so I was  little lost in what we should do.  I was on an interchange with Elder Haro and in the end I had to go straight up Jackie Chan and jump up on top.  She is super poor and her house shows it.  The wood is rotting and the roof is made of tin sheets....let’s just say it was a little sketchy.  It was super hot and I was sweating buckets.  I finally covered up the patches with some tin sheets that she had behind the house.  Now the tough part getting down..... Really the only option was too jump but it was pretty high up there and I could imagine Dad´s reaction getting a call saying that his son was coming home because he had broken his ankle jumping off of a roof.  So as I meditated what I should do I really was just uncertain.  The thought then came to my mind "say a prayer".  I said a quick silent prayer and seconds after we found an old mattress hidden behind her house.  Elder Haro brought it over so that I could jump.  I was still a little hesitant but trusted in that the prayer would be answered and I did it.  Everything turned out fine and it was a safe landing.  This woman is really depressed and told us that she thought about killing herself last week.  Her husband recently died and she feels like her life his hopeless.  I read some verses from Alma 36 with her (one of my favorite chapters) and bore my testimony to her of the Savior and that there is always hope.  She started to cry and said that she wants to be baptized and the whole deal but she never comes to church and never reads what we ask her to do.  She is not progressing and it is a bummer because I know how much this really could change her life.

So.... there are a lot of drug problems.... like a lot. haha we were walking down the street and some car was just parked in the center with two guys sitting in the front seats.  The man in the drivers seat called to us and told us that he is looking for a clean, drug free young man to come and work for him but can’t find anyone. (as his companion is enjoying some lovely cocaine to the side of him)  He clearly was drunk and was full of wisdom. haha He then told us that he had listened to the missionaries before and that he didn’t believe that the message was true because the missionary had a nice watch so he clearly had his heart in things of the world.... aye aye aye.  He then said that he would be baptized if we answered correctly 2 of 3 questions.

1. "What is half of 2 plus 2?"  "2" I responded.  "NOPE 3!!!!"

2. "How does a woman’s menstrual cycle happen?" as I thought for a second he then shouted something and drove off...... haha Elder Contreras really almost fell over dead he was laughing so hard.

Well, I am always exhausted every night and it is tough not having people that really progress.  But I am working hard and know that this is the Lord´s work and that if I am worthy of his blessings they will come.  I love the sacrament and the atonement and I know that it is through Christ that we are saved.  I love you all. 

Con Amor,
Elder Crofts

Letter from President Kahnlein


Dear Crofts Family,

It is a pleasure for me to greet you and to inform you that your son, Elder Robert Dawson Crofts has been assigned to serve as a District Leader in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission. He has demonstrated a sincere desire to serve the Lord while sharing the gospel, and he has diligently set forth a good example to his companions. His responsibilities have increased along with his opportunity to help others.

I thank you for raising your son in such a dedicated way and pray that our Heavenly Father may bless your family while your son serves in this great work.


Federico M. Kähnlein

Mission President

Chile Vina del Mar Mission