Monday, January 26, 2015

No money, no meds

Do any of you understand how hard it is to get prescription medicine without ID, insurance cards, or money? Yes, I learned my lesson of keeping my wallet in the car.

Anyhoo, this week was very slow because of how sick I got. Bronchitis was going around the mission and it somehow got me (even though in my ASL district we don't communicate with people outside our district...). I got to the doctor before I could really even call it bronchitis, so that's good. A couple of the other members of my district were not so quick to go to the doctor and suffered. Elders.... Goodness gracious...

I got to say, the best part of every Sunday is my blue box class. Those deafies are by far my favorite. They always make me smile, no matter what they do. They are so happy to see me, to be at church, to be able to learn, and their sweet, simple testimonies strengthen mine.

I have been made an unofficial counselor in the Young Women presidency. The new YW President, Sister Stewart, saw how much the YW depend on interaction with the missionaries, so now I will be having even more to do with them! Yay! I love those girls. I think I may have officially won them all over *knock on wood*.

So anyways, like I said, not much to report on this week as I couldn't get out of bed. But I love you all! Have a great week! :)


Sister Smyly Crawford

Good ol' Southern Cali weather!

While most of you are getting snow, we have been getting nice 75 degree weather! Just wanted to make sure you all knew that! :)

Not much has happened since I last emailed... Well, except for our car getting broken into... That was fun... But nothing was broken! And even though my wallet and our GPS was taken, everything has been taken care of and we had a back up GPS (shout out to my awesome dad for having me bring it! :) )

Let's see... All my deafies are doing well! We haven't seen much of them since Thursday because of different reasons... Funerals... Trips to LA... Sickness... Sickness is really traveling around right now. Almost all eight of us ASL missionaries have gotten sick in the past five weeks. And one is on his deathbed right now with bronchitis or pneumonia. Not sure which... Either way, I think I may be coming down with that, but we'll see!

It is Sister Stucki's birthday today, so we are going out to have fun! Hurray for birthdays on pdays! :)

Well, that's just about it! Sorry there is nothing much to report! Love ya'll!

Sister Smyly Crawford

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Guess What! It is in the 60s here! :)

This has been one of the most interesting weeks of my life for sure. Between being insanely sick, New Years celebrations, and my lanyard of shame, I am surprised I am not dead yet!

Now that I am not sick, I will inform you, Mother, that I was very sick for two weeks. It started just after Sister Pendleton left. I blame her :) No, but really, I'm not sick anymore. I finally got in with the doctor, who gave me ten days worth of antibiotics for free. Also, I don't know why, but I am weird about asking for blessings. So I am very convinced that I only got better because I humbled myself enough to ask the elders for a sick blessing. Because it was just going going going until then. But hey, I'm better now! :)

New Years celebrations killed the work this week. I am not kidding when I say we had a third of the normal amount of lessons. We had about six lessons over a span of four days, until Friday when I finally turned to Sister Stucki and said, "Sister Stucki, enough is enough. This is ridiculous. It isn't about the numbers, but today it is. We are getting a ton of lessons today and I don't care what we need to do in order to achieve that goal." So that day we doubled our lessons for the week. I feel a bit better about that :) Now I know for next year, though, that New Years celebrations are not the best week for proselyting, so I will come up with other awesome things to do.

Soooo.... It did NOT help my week at all that Alabama lost. And my District Leader, Elder Peck, is an Oregon fan. So in accordance with part of our bet about who wins to who, I am now wearing an Oregon lanyard until the championship game. My lanyard of shame. *facepalm* BUT he is wearing an Alabama wristband until we know whether or not Oregon wins the championship, so that is comforting. I'll have a lot of repenting to do when I finally take this lanyard off  :)

Also, another funny story, we were driving around Santa Ana, when I see this STRANGE thing happening on the sidewalk next to us. I screamed to Sister Stucki to look and what do we see? A man is sitting on a skateboard, holding two leashes, which are attached to two huskies who are running at full speed. That man wins at life. I will send pics of that.

So miracles of the week:

The South Sisters (my companionship and those who were in this area before me) have been teaching Cliff for a very long time. Talk about an eternal investigator. He is living all the laws and commandments. He reads the Book of Mormon and helps teach his wife about it. He practically teaches Sunday School. He prays. He goes to church. He married his wife so she could follow the Law of Chastity so she could get baptized. He follows the Word of Wisdom now. Really the only thing he was missing was baptism. But for the life of everyone ever, he wouldn't accept!! So finally, Sister Stucki and I decided we needed to really decide about what to do. We prayed and received an answer that we should pass him to the elders. And you know what? After all these years and all these lessons, the elders had one lesson with Cliff and he accepted baptism. Why didn't we pass him before? Good question. But he is getting baptized!!!!!!!!!!

Another miracle. My homegirl Ashley Figueroa. We are always working with her family to get them active again. I think I'm practically part of that family now, because of how often I am over there. Ashley, Adriana, and Alisa are your typical teenage punks. But goodness, how I love them. They are warming up more and more to me, and I am flabbergasted. Ashley is the oldest, 18, and she just wants to be done with school. Sister Stucki and I went over to her house and, after chatting with a family friend for a while, went over to the couch and sat with her. That was one of the most adult-like conversations I have ever had with her. She was very honest and sincere. I almost didn't think she could have a conversation like that! But it was amazing to see how much she wants to go have an amazing life, even if she never shows her desire on a normal basis. At the end of the chat, we asked if we could say a prayer with her and that she could pick who said it. Now, on a normal basis, she would be like, "Nooooo I don't want prayers, ewww." Or if she would actually accept a prayer, she would make us do it. But instead of all this, she says, "I will say it!" WHAT. I thought I had died. This doesn't happen on Earth. But it did. She said the prayer. Here's how it went down. A friend walks in the room, and normally when she is there she turns everyone into a major punk. Ashley starts her prayer with that expected attitude, "DEAR heavenly FATHER...... THANK you FOR.... BRAT... and CURLY FRY." (note: I am Brat, and Sister Stucki is Curly Fry. Apparently, when she calls people brat it really is a term of endearment. I'll take it.) But then she sobers. She continues her prayer in genuine thanks for the sisters coming and helping her with achieving her dreams of having a better life, and so on. I don't think any missionaries ever have seen her pray so sincerely. After the prayer she starts joking with her friend again, but then she shocks me again by saying, "I am straight up with these girls. I am exactly honest with them. I show them my real self." I almost cried. To think she trusted me that much. I am honored to know I am among the smallest circle of people ever to have her trust so much as to show her real self. No, this wasn't a baptism. No, this wasn't something that would make a General Conference talk. But for me, and for the Lord, this was a miracle of miracles. And I am so grateful for that tender mercy the Lord gave me in this.

I love you all! Hope you have a great week! May the Lord's spirit be with you! 

Sister Smyly Crawford \|,,|

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I'm Going to Need a Vacation from Christmas

But seriously, Christmas is NOT a vacation. This was probably the craziest week thus far. Not sure why, but still.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love the feel of Christmas. I love the Spirit of Christmas. I love how everyone is nice and happy. It is so great. It is definitely a perfect proselyting time.

I do not even know where to start with what happened this week. So much happened...

District Christmas was the best thing in the world. And Zone Christmas was pretty great too. It was White Elephant and I made a Shave-With-Me Barbie and let's just say, no one wanted to have to take that home. The sister who ended up with it will be here with me next Christmas and will bring it back to put in the mix. Sister Pendleton would be so proud of me for that present.

But none of that matters. What really matters is what happened yesterday at church and right afterwards! Kevin Rico has been confirmed and has joined us in Israel! Yay! He was beaming as he stood next to President Olsen as we all raised our hands to support him. His mother, Maria is so proud. His brothers are jealous as well. I cannot wait to see the rest of the family enter the waters of baptism. We are working very closely with that family.

After church the branch had another baptism! Changa got baptized! He was one of the elders' investigators. He is so great and quite hilarious. His friend, Larry Park, baptized him. Let's just say it was just another day in the ASL program when we had to baptize Changa four times before he actually went completely under the water. If that doesn't describe this program, I don't know what does. I love this place. There is nowhere else I'd rather be.

This week I have been struggling with our investigator, Cliff. He has been taught by missionaries for a very long time. He knows everything there is to know. He teaches his member wife, Michelle, about the gospel. He practically taught Priesthood yesterday at church. He is following the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Church Attendance, read scriptures, say prayers... All he's missing is a dunk in the font! But he still refuses to admit he has a testimony. So Sister Stucki and I have been doing a lot of praying on what to do. I had a great discussion with Elder Peck yesterday about the need to have desire in the gospel. If you look in the first vision scriptures, in two verses alone, Joseph Smith says three times he was going to ask God in only two verses. And then he says it again in the next verse. Because Joseph had that desire to ask of God, he was able to overcome that "unseen power". We HAVE to have a desire to move forward in the gospel. If we don't, there is no progression. With Cliff, he does not have that desire, so he is not progressing. Our job at this point is to help give him the desire to move forward in the gospel. It will not be an easy job; he is as stubborn as me. However, I know with God, all things are possible.

I love you all! Have a great New Year! Make a great goal and stick with it!

Sister Smyly Crawford