Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

Well I am pretty sure I have said before that I don’t like dogs here in the mission.... well just in case, I don’t like dogs in the mission. haha The other day we left a family night with the bishop and right as I stepped outside of his fence, a little rat dog came up and bit my calf.  Luckily, my mission-toned calves were so firm that the dog almost broke his jaw and ran away like a little girl. :)  No, it didn’t bite me hard and I didn’t even have a mark on my leg so everything turned out alright.  

My companion is the opposite, he LOVES dogs.  He always is petting them and showing them some love.  The other day we were waiting outside a less actives house when he started to pet a dog.  After a minute or so, my companion got distracted and was looking up in the sky.  Suddenly, I saw the dog come close to him, lift up its leg, and start to pee on my companion´s shoe. hahaha I almost fell over I started to laugh so hard. So that´s about it for dogs as a missionary;  The mean ones bite, and the nice ones pee on you.  The take home message? Stay away from the dogs.

So it looks like my Thanksgiving wasn´t quite the same as yours.  Nobody celebrates it here but still every house we entered on Thursday gave us food.  We were stuffed and I really had NO desire to keep eating.  Just when we thought we couldn´t be any fuller, another person would give us more food.  So I guess my after feeling might have been about the same but it sure wasn’t the same as a Thanksgiving turkey dinner! 

Well I know I talk about him every week but Humberto is awesome! He finished the Book of Mormon and has now read one of the church´s manuals about the priesthood and is half way done on the second. What an AWESOME guy.

Well sorry for making this email a little long but just one more thing.  The other day I was studying in “Preach My Gospel” and it told me to write about my thoughts on the purpose of the mission.  As I thought about why I am here, I realized that I came because I love God and I love and want to serve those around me.  Looking back now on this past year and 5 months, I have come to realize that the person that has been served the most is me.  I love the mission and it is definitely the most selfish thing that I could have done in my life. The Lord really does immediately bless us as we do His will.  I love you all so much! 

Que tengan una buena semana! (Have a good week)
Elder Crofts

Humberto is awesome!

Family Night with the Bishop's family

Interchange with Elder Mcmurtrey

Our last district meeting least the dog has good aim

Let's get cutting

La Familia Bernales. He is our Ward Mission Leader and she's the Relief Society President. What great people!

Elder Brock's last day in the mission!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 23, 2015

What an awesome week! 

Humberto got called to stand up in stake conference and will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood here soon.  We still have been struggling to find people that progress but we found 3 new investigators in the last week and we are hoping and praying that they will progress!

So as missionaries, we ALWAYS offer our help and try to serve people.  A woman carrying her groceries, we are there.  A man carrying wood into his yard, we are there.  So the other day we saw a woman that was carrying some small stones into her front yard.  I saw her and quickly offered our help.  Right as I said that I saw that she was making some sort of shrine for Virgin Mary.  Luckily she said that she was fine but I imagined what it would have been like to see two missionaries helping to make a shrine for Mary. haha 

I had an interchange with Elder Brock on Tuesday and we walked A LOT.  Like I don’t think I will EVER complain after the mission about walking because I have gotten so used to it.  Chile’s soccer team played a World Cup qualifier at about 8 so we basically just wandered looking for people to teach.  Highlights of the day? Some guy asked us for paper to smoke marijuana.... umm..... no? haha  and Elder Brock also got splashed as a car drove through a puddle that was on the side of the road.  It was just like the movies and I think the first time I have actually seen it happen. haha

So I am thinking that this will be my last full week in Villa Alemana.  Changes are on the 5th and I imagine that I will get transferred.  I heard a story this week that I really liked.  It talked about a little girl who was at the beach and for hours would throw the beached starfish back into the ocean.  One man, after watching in awe for a few minutes, came up to her and asked her "Little girl, why are doing that?  You are wasting your time. Doing that just doesn’t make any sense".  To which the girl responded "It makes sense for the starfish."  It made me think of the many days I have had here in Villa Alemana working and trying to save all of the people that I can.  I haven´t brought a lot of people into the church and some might say that my time here just doesn’t make any sense.  But I know that it makes sense and I know it makes sense for the few that I have been able to help and I know it definitely makes sense for God. I love the work that I am doing and I love my Savior.  I hope you all have an awesome week! (I mean how can you not? Thanksgiving sure makes for a good time!) Eat lots of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and banana cream pie for me! I sure you love you all! Thanks for everything!

Un abrazo!
Elder Crofts 

All of these photos were posted on Facebook by some of the members in Villa Alemana

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 16, 2015

Humberto is the CHAMP!

Hola queridos!!! 

Well it was a crazy week with zone conference and other activities in our stake! Some of the highlights of this week:

Humberto taught part of the class in gospel principles on Sunday.  He called us throughout the week and had us pass by his house so he could practice and prepare himself.  He taught about the signs of the second coming and did an AWESOME job. On Sunday morning, he left his keys locked inside of his house and didn’t have his key to open the HUGE spiked fence that surrounds his house.  He tried calling one of his neighbors that has a spare key but they didn’t answer.  So what did this determined, 61 year old man do? He tried to climb the fence to get to church on time.  It was a challenge, but guess who was in the church 15 minutes early ready to give their part of the lesson.  That´s right, HUMBERTO! He is so awesome and it looks like he will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood this Sunday in zone conference.  So that is basically the highlight of this week.

In zone conference, we had an activity where we had to come up with a cheer or chant.  I had two Polynesians in my group so what did we do? The Haka! I still remembered it from having done it in sports in high school.  I remember how the Atagi´s told me I had to do it with the scariest face I could, have my tongue out and make a whole lot of noises.  So that is exactly what I did. haha.   Let’s just say it wasn’t even close... we won :) 

I just started the Book of Mormon again and I am studying about the Godhead, justice, and mercy.  I only am in 1 Nephi 3 but already have learned so much.  God loves us so much.  All of His blessings are available to ALL of His children.  If we come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, He will pour the blessings down upon us.  I love being a missionary.  I love the Lord and I am trying to convert myself more and more every day to this amazing gospel.  Have an awesome week! Love you guys!

Elder Crofts
The sisters continued teaching their investigator even though they are now in our sector.  So, I guess it a baptism for all of us according to President Diaz.
I don't know...we just showed up and I did his confirmation . It was my first time doing it!

Saw my pal Elder Ashcraft in the zone conference we had!

This is the fence that Humberto had to jump. I repeat, HUMBERTO IS THE MAN!

Family Night

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

"Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power" D&C 123:17

So our little sector got bigger this week.  The sisters from our ward got transferred to go be with another sister who´s companion had gone home.  So all of huanhuali is now OURS :) We have had a lot to do and are trying to strengthen our relationships with the members, converts, and investigators from the other sector.  

So Carmen doesn’t really understand very well.  We explained the law of chastity to her and she got a little offended and says that "nobody does that anymore".  We are going to have to go REALLY slow with her if we want to help her be baptized. Hopefully it works out.

Last Monday we got together as a zone.  Elder Avila had his birthday on Thursday so I decided I would try a cake recipe that I had found.  I made an AWESOME German chocolate cake for him.  I thought it was super tasty and everyone seemed to like it.  So the kitchen life has been going well! 

Humberto moved here from the north for work.  He has other family members that live in another nearby ward but it doesn’t seem like they are too interested.  We have asked him but I will keep persisting.  He also doesn’t know very many people that live nearby because he is always working. He works with a less active and we are going to have a family night with the both of them and an awesome active family tonight.  Hopefully, the less active has family members that aren’t members so we can baptize them. 

So one day we had gone through almost all of our plans and had not had much success.  We decided to say a prayer to know where to go.  I got a prompting and we acted upon it, nothing happened.  Another prompting, the same result.  It made me think about Nephi and his brothers.  They went back to Jerusalem to get the plates like the Lord had directed and nothing happened.  Then Nephi felt prompted to give Laban their riches in return for the plates.  As a result, they lost their riches AND didn’t obtain the plates.  I am sure Nephi thought that his plan was what the Lord was guiding him to do but they weren’t the results they had expected. His first attempts may not have worked out, but he had learned to be obedient to the promptings which God had given him.  It had prepared him for the last attempt that he made.  Later that day, he was "led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things that he should do" which eventually led him to find Laban who was unconscious and drunk in the street.   In my opinion, I think Laban was drunk because he was celebrating the riches that he had stolen from Nephi and his brothers earlier that day.  In every way possible, the previous failures helped them to be ready to act when it would really matter.  We may not have had any big miracles, but we are learning to follow the spirit and get to where the Lord needs us.

The truth is I am doing great but it has been hard to really keep our enthusiasm high and work with everything.  Elder Avila had never been in a sector more than 2 changes and was starting to lose hope for our area (good thing we got the other part of huanhuali!)  I try to talk with everyone and I am keeping my spirits high but sometimes.  I think I need to try to make the daily work more fun.  I don’t have a problem with working my butt off and getting to the pension exhausted, but it seems like Elder Avila really depends upon me to keep his spirits high.  So hopefully I can be a good example and get things going! 

Hoping for a better week and lots of success! Love you all
Elder Crofts
I saw this tennis court the other day and almost died! My companion wasn't really interested in the idea so I imagine that the great idea will have to wait..haha
BBQ Chicken pizza with Elder Bermudez

So for those who keep track of the pictures of Elder Crofts versus the pics of food, this week the total was Elder Crofts 4 and food 8.