Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 25, 2015

Buenos tardes mi querido familia!!!

Well this was another good week.  On Friday, we had our last zone conference with President Kähnlein and it was awesome.  He talked of the need for us to have works of righteousness.  We should try every day to perfect our works and follow exactly the path that Christ taught.  If we are righteous, we will always be happier.  He shared a video in the end of a man who talked about the things that really are the most important in life. In this video he shared a story of when he had bought a nice new convertible.  He would frequently take his niece and nephew on a ride.  One day, his niece and nephews mom said to them "be careful with your shoes not to scuff up the nice new seats that your uncle has!"  He then took a freshly opened can of orange soda and poored it all over the back seats and said "It is a THING!"  He then went on to say that the next week he was taking his nephew for a ride when suddenly he threw up all over the back seat because he had gotten the flu a day or two before.  He said "I felt so good knowing that I made it so a little 8 year old boy didn’t feel so bad about ruining a THING!".  Something that was also said was "the game is short.... so play hard."  I am trying to "leave it all out on the field" every day.

Oh Juanito.... so I am sure you remember Jaunito.... well it was his turn to give us lunch again.  After a GIANT bowl of noodles and clams,  he gave us both 2 GIANT plates with two pieces of fish that were bigger than any piece of fish I had ever eaten.  I really ate like two fist sized pieces of fish.  He then brought out a GIANT desert and cut it into 4 pieces.  He said that the person that finished 1st would have to eat the last piece.  I ate nice and slow so that Elder Brown would have to eat it haha.  But.... as soon as I finished... "Elder Crofts! You didn’t get another piece! Should I give you something else?" "No Juanito, I really am stuffed don’t worry about it!"  "Oh but it is not fair" he responded.  He then left the room and came back with a box that had a dessert that was the size of my fist.  I just started to laugh uncontrollably.  I have started to get a little bit of a stomach and have lost a lot of muscle mass so I have been trying to eat healthier and he wasn’t helping me out. haha as I continued laughing I moved in my chair a little bit and it made a big screeching noise like it was about to burst into little pieces. That killed me. haha I started laughing so hard that I burst into tears and instead of sounding like a laugh it sounded like more of a girly cry leaving my mouth.  Embarrassing.... but well..,. it happened.  I have meditated about going to a pure water diet. haha

So yesterday, I learned a lesson about not judging people.  A young woman with flaming pink hair was walking in front of us.  I thought to myself "how on earth could someone come to the conclusion that dying their hair flaming pink would be a good idea?"  We passed her and as I looked over she had a lot of different piercings and tear filled eyes.  For some reason, we kept walking and contacted another old man that wanted absolutely nothing.  After the contact, we kept walking when we passed the park where we always run in the morning. We saw this same girl sitting on a bench bawling.  We felt we should go talk to her.  Her name was Fernanda and she was only 16 years old.  Her mom’s boyfriend had arrived at the house drunk and had threatened to kill her.  She has been an atheist for a few years but I think she really felt the spirit as we talked with her.  Tomorrow we have an appointment and hopefully we can help her come closer to God by being baptized.  It made me realize that I don’t know what circumstances people are in so I should not judge them.  Not all people have had the privilege of being raised in a gospel centered home.  I love my Savior and I know he and our Heavenly Father love us so much.  I know this church is true.  Time to keep “playing hard.”

Con amor,

Elder Crofts
In this picture, I was in mid blink. I was about to erase it but Elder Brown said "but if she served in Japan it's perfect." So there you go. Haha Hope you had a great day!

We made Mom's BBQ chicken pizza.

Yes, I do recognize that almost all the pictures have food in them. You can shave a tiger but that doesn't change the fact that he is going to have stripes.

First plate with Juanito

Hey there big guy.

The fish is as big as my fist.

Dessert #1

Dessert #2

My reaction to Dessert #2. Don't mind the rolls in the comes with the dessert...the tears also come with the dessert.

Looks like the poor guy ran out of lives

Almost all of the photos we get from Bobby involve pictures of food, we hope this is an exception!

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

Buenos Tardes!

Well every week seems so go a little faster than the last.  This last week, we had a meeting for all of the DLs in the mission and it was super uplifting.  Some themes that stuck out in my mind were the need to be masters of daily repentance, the importance of being a good example, and the importance of mastering the mission language.  President said that if a gringo doesn’t master Spanish and if a Latino doesn’t master English in the mission it is a sin! So I am trying my best not to be a sinner! haha   President shared a video named "Lift" that the church made not too long ago.  It talked about a woman who got Parkinson’s and was stuck in a wheelchair being only about 60 years old.  She couldn’t lift herself up into bed and was widowed and didn’t have much help from just about anyone.  The ward came together and 40 priesthood holders made a schedule and passed by every night to help her get into bed and to give her company.  This was a process that continued for 7 years.  One man talked about how at first it was a burden and that he and others didn’t want to keep doing it.  One man in the ward said "well.... if you guys don’t want to do it that is fine.  I will do it every night if that is what it takes."  The attitude of the ward started to change and it became a delight for them.  One man talked about how he sometimes had to do it alone and how it was his dedicated training in the gym that allowed him to be able to do it.  When he did exercises, he thought of her. (You can just watch it to get a better idea) but the point is that it made me think of papa the night that he fell up at the cabin.  He couldn’t get up and Mom, Heather and Nana couldn’t help him up either.  Heather came running to me out on the snowmobiles and I had to come back to help him up.  It was hard but I was able to lift him up into the car so that we could take him to the hospital.  It made me think of the importance of always being ready for the trials that come.  If we aren’t prepared spiritually, physically or temporally,  at some point a trial will come and it will get the best of us.  It gave me a stronger desire to prepare myself everyday so I can be ready for the people the Lord has prepared.

So Cristian didn’t get baptized.  He smoked a cigarette Thursday morning so we had to postpone his interview and change it to today.  BUT he didn’t come to church yesterday and we haven’t had time to stop by his house.  I am a little bugged but I don’t feel too down.  I feel like we have done almost all we can to prepare him it just depends on him now.  I really don’t have a desire to baptize someone who is just going to go inactive a week later so we are going to talk with him and see if he really is committed. Hopefully all goes well.

So Elder Brown and I have made a new key indicator. GREETINGS.  We have a goal to have 20 contacts every day so we try and talk with everyone.  It happens A LOT where we go to talk with someone and they just keep walking as if they didn’t see us or they will shake our hand and just keep walking. haha so as we are walking I will ask Elder Brown "How many contacts do we have?" "ummm.... one second.... well it looks like we have 4 contacts and 16 greetings!" haha we are doing a super good job about having lots of greetings.  A lot of people want absolutely nothing to do with us but we are looking for the chosen!

Sorry.... super long but one last thing... yesterday we didn’t plan to go to a certain area but Elder Brown felt we should go there.  While we were on the way, we contacted a woman named Alejandra.  I don’t know why but I felt as soon as we contacted her that she had a son who was about our age and that they were passing through some trials.  Without knowing her situation, we started to testify to her of the plan of salvation and eternal families.  She told us that she has a son who is 20 years old that has had brain damage since birth.  She said that it is a matter of weeks or days for him to move on from this life.  We have an appointment tomorrow and hopefully it goes well.  I love being a missionary and I love the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Elder Crofts

May District Leader training

A member of the ward fixed our cold water problem. Yes!

I decided to repay them by introducing his son to PB & J. He loved it (of course he did).
I had an interchange with Elder Horton to be able to go to the meeting with the DLs

Doing the nightly district calls

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....
Nah we have just had some crazy fog these past few days

A ton of fog

That fog time fun

Two in one banana. Alright!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

Well it was great to talk with all of you yesterday! I hope that it was a great Mother’s Day! I am doing super good here! Elder Brown and I will be together another 5 weeks and I am hoping to make the most of every second.  We enjoy it but really try to do our best.  Cristian should be baptized this Sunday. He told us that he would like me to baptize him so time to shake off the dust. haha We had a super powerful lesson with him about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.  He said that he would live them but now we need to help him understand a little better the Sabbath day.... He left early from church yesterday to go and do some errands in Viña.  So hopefully all goes well in our appointment with him today.

Well as I said when we Skyped, We have had ice cold showers for a little more than 3 weeks.... yipeeeee. Let’s just say we are saving a lot of water.  1 minute showers? not a problem.  (ps.... a cold shower aint so bad if you just keep your body moving.  As lady gaga said.... just dance. haha) ( careful as you dance in the may lead to serious injuries and may cause you to fall)  So yeah.... I am being more careful in the shower.... in my dance rehearsal the other day in the shower I came down to the ground and got some nice bruises. hahaha today I have to buy a new curtain because I tore it down.  How stupid would it be "hey man... why´d you come home early from the mission?"  "Well you know.... I fell in the shower and got a concussion" haha

We are trying to really get the work going here.  It has been a little tough but we have been trying to talk with everyone and teach as much as we can.  This week, we are going to do a competition in our district.  Elder Brown and I made a point system and we are going to do it for a week and 2 days.  All of the district is super pumped and I think it is going to help us have better numbers this week and I know we are all going to baptize this month! Should be great! 

I know this church is true.  I am SO grateful for the Book of Mormon.  I think this is my 6th or 7th time reading it and I always learn so much! I know that Christ is my Savior and I love this time I have to make it known.  Thanks for everything. 

Elder Crofts

Cristian Torres everybody. What a guy!

Well, sorry I didn't really take any pics this selfies it is! Haha

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015

Well, it was a SUPER good birthday! Sorry to hear that things didn’t turn out so well back home.  Last week, we found out that in our zone we have a Subway and a Brownies Factory.  We went and it was SO GOOD! It was so amazing that we decided to go today as well.  In the night time, the relief society president in our ward said that she needed us to arrive at her house because she wanted to have a mission meeting with our ward mission leader.  We got there and it started out everything normal (even though there were more people than I would have thought for just a mission meeting) when suddenly all the lights went out and a big old cake with a candle came floating out of the darkness.  haha They said that they wanted to celebrate my birthday and the baptism (This was the 1st baptism that the ward has had that will actually stay active in about a year)  It was a super great day and I think my favorite p-day up until now in the mission! 

ALEJANDRO!!! So the other day, we were walking along the street when I felt that I should just ask a man walking in our direction how he was doing.  He broke down and said that he wasn’t doing so well.  We started to talk with him and he was super interested in how the gospel could bless his life.  He has been having problems with his wife (or partner.... I don’t think they are married) and really just wants the best for his 2 kids (ages 8 and 3).  He came to the stake conference that we had this weekend and really liked it.  Yesterday, we taught him the restoration and explained to him the happiness that he can have as he understands God´s will for him and his family.  He accepted a baptismal date for the 17th.  It could be a problem because I doubt that he is married but we are going to work with him and hopefully everything works out.  He is always telling us to pray for him and he tells us how grateful he is that we decided to talk with him last Wednesday night.  

Oh Juanito.... a member named Juanito (little John) is an old single man that lives alone.  He LOVES to give lunch to the Elders and man he sure doesn’t hold back.  We ate lunch with him on Thursday.  The entre was a big bowl of soup with a piece of steak that probably was about 14 ounces.  When he brought back the second plate, to our delight it was a plate of a bunch of noodles and a piece of steak that was probably about 8-10 ounces.  When Jaunito went to the kitchen to grab something, Elder Brown turned to me and said "Round two..... FIGHT!" Man he wasn´t kidding.  Juanito came back and told us that he was trying to gain weight and that these noodles were ESPECIALLY fattening.....peeerrrfect. haha He also gave us another plate of the same thing but this time with only about 6 ounces of meat.  Oh I was ready to die.

Well I am not sure if you have heard or not but in Osorno there were 4 sister missionaries living together and 2 robbers broke into their department, robbed them, and violated one of the sisters.  When I found out it just made me so mad to think that people can be so lost and so cruel.  I thought of my sisters serving missions and it wasn´t setting easy with me. So keep them in your prayers! I am sure they need it

  Something I have thought about a lot this week is how there is always room to improve.  I always hoped to come out start working miracles.  I have learned that a lot of the miracles that happen are simple tender mercies that happen that make you know you are doing what the Lord wants.  Hearing someone’s first sincere vocal prayer, or seeing the progress in investigators or members, or reading a scripture that really just hits home, are all signs that God loves us and that he really does have a plan for us.  There are a lot of moments that can suck, when things don’t turn out just as we had hoped.  But we just need to remember that God has a plan for us and that we just need to endure and remember the things that matter most in life.  We shouldn’t lower our expectations, and we also shouldn’t get down when things don’t turn out as we planned.  We turn it all over to God and let him make the results that he hopes to receive.  I love the mission, I love my savior, I love my family and I love my mom. :) Can´t wait to talk to you guys next week.  Can´t believe another Skype session is already here.  Until Sunday.

Elder Crofts

At Subway with Elder Neilson

So happy to eat at Subway that I almost cried

Brownies Factory deliciousness

Edible fat.....yummy

Hermana Cuello (Relief Society President)

B-Day party, Big 19!

Don't remember this hat being on the mission prep list

Selfie with the birthday party guests

Happy birthday

Last district meeting

Picture of our district.  *If you have been keeping track, this is the only picture out of 26 photos this week that doesn't involve food or eating.  All is well with Elder Crofts!*
First plate with Juanito

This was the 2nd and 3rd plate with Juanito.....holy death
I think we killed a whole cow between the 3 of us
Subway # Round 2

Meet the Guaton ( It translates "big stomach".......wonder why?

I wasn't feeling all the mayonnaise......

Maybe next time!

Brownies factory fun