Friday, February 27, 2015
Ok, before I say anything, I just want to give a shout out to my brother, Maxfield, go got a 32 on his ACT. I am about to explode from Sister pride. Congratulations Maxfield :) :) :)
I just had a really great week. I don't even know what to say because it was so great.
My girls, Ashley, Adriana, Alisa, and their friend Jazmin, all came to church yesterday!!! I will admit I cried because of sheer joy. I can already see how much they have changed since I got here and their eyes are starting to show the light of Christ. Also, ADRIANA, ANNIE, AND JAZMINE ARE ALL GOING TO GIRLS CAMP!!! Is that not the greatest news you have ever heard??? AND we are setting up mutual night now. I think we can call this a success.
So funny story... If any of you have seen Lilo and Stitch, you will understand this. You know that part when she has the pickle jar and puts dressed up spoons in the jar, shakes it, and then looks at the social worker and says, "My friends need punishment." Well, Sister Stucki and I were mad at Satan this week, so we got a pickle jar from Elder Bouck and got a yogurtland spoon, wrote "Satan" on the spoon, put it in the pickle jar, and shook it. Problem was, there wasn't enough juice. So we added old Mountain Dew and Apple Cider vinegar to make it look like more pickle juice. Satan has been punished, don't you worry. :)
We had a great lesson with the Elders and Cliff. We acted out Samuel the Lamanite on his front doorstep. Picture to follow. Enjoy.
Anywho, that's about all I can think of! Have a great week ya'll! :)
Sister Smyly Crawford
Monday, February 16, 2015
This week has been one of miracles. The Lord has not allowed me to feel sorrow at all. I am indebted to Him. I had a wonderful P-day with my district on Monday. We all went to a park and laid on blankets while Elder Snow told a story. It was about how the district had to become secret agents to save the world. Don't worry, I was the weapons specialist and the person who has to go in and break out the captives. We all had so much fun. Tuesday was my miracle day. I will never forget how much Heavenly Father blessed me. Sister Stucki and I went over to see a member, Esther. As we entered her home, I am warmed with the vision of my beloved Veronica, sitting in an oversized recliner, like a young child, eating puffy Cheetos. I have never been so happy to see that woman. We had an awesome lesson on the Doctrine of Christ. I loved having to explain faith by doing trust falls with her. After that, we went to the mission office to do some Facebook and VP work. It was then I found out about Grandma passing away that morning. I remember being ok for about a minute, as I had previously prepared for that moment. But then my strength gave out and I put my face in my hands and cried. But then in a moment, I could feel the Lord sending His strength to me and the tears subsided. I knew the Lord was buoying me up. He sent an angel to sit with me and comfort me. Later that day, we went over to Sister Stewart's home for dinner. She hustled us to a back bedroom and there, sitting on the bed, I found my first companion, Sister Pendleton, with a huge smile on her face. I had missed her so much. I will admit, I fell into her arms and cried. I don't know how, but Heavenly Father sent me three angels that day, and even more that I could not see. I remember when Elder Peck's grandmother died a couple of months ago, he told me he would see a day of miracles the next day. And he did. And so did I. I love Grandma. I know she is doing amazing things right now. She is going around to other spirits and telling them, in her own special way, that they should join the church. She is also probably looking down at me telling me I should be practicing the piano now. I have so many memories of her, and I have been telling these memories of her to my friends all week, because why wouldn't I? She was amazing, and continues to be. I cannot wait for the day to see her again! Next four days were full of my wonderful deafies and CODAs. Nothing went wrong with any of them, and it was such a burden lifted. They were all warm and inviting and so very happy to see me. Even my awesome Ashley, Adriana, and Alisa were over the top excited to see me. And that is a blessing. The best part of my Sunday, yesterday, was turning around from interpreting, and seeing Adriana, Alisa, and their friend, Jasmyne, sitting there in a pew at Sacrament meeting. I almost cried. Those girls have not been to church in months. And seeing them there ready for a day of church was amazing. And they stayed for the whole time! Young Womens with them was so much fun, and they admitted they felt good coming to church. There is hope yet to get Adriana and Alisa active again, and Jasmyne baptized! I am so sad to hear about Sister Roberts. She was one of the most Christ-like women I knew. There was nothing she would not do for anyone. I always knew if anything else failed, her love would not. She was truly Mama Roberts for the young women, for there was not a single young woman who did not aspire to be like her. I will miss her dearly. I love you all. I know the Lord has blessed my life with every single one of you, because in my mind, you are all each angels sent here for my benefit. Please continue to search for and recognize His hand in your everyday lives, because I know that as you do this, your world can only change for the better. Love, Sister Smyly Crawford
Imagine: You are going to a home where there are three little boys (ages 3,5, and 8). These are typical little boys, running, jumping, snatching your tag and throwing it across the room to who knows where, and basically your fight or flight instincts kick in in order to survive. You knock on the door. It opens. The next thing you hear is, "IT'S THE MISSIONARIES!!!!!!!! Can I give you a hug???" Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww no one can convince me that is not the cutest thing ever.
Sister Smyly Crawford
This week has definitely been a great one. We had our share of miracles.
One miracle was on Saturday. Every Saturday we drive down to Huntington Beach to visit a less active, Addy, and an investigator, Betty, who lives with her. The problem is we only catch them every three weeks or so. This is a set appointment, same time, same place, same day every week. So it is such a hit or miss. We get down to HB and go up to the door. We knock. No answer... Uh oh. We ring the door bell. No answer... Oh please no... Knock again... You're kidding me. Fine. We start walking away from the house and lo and behold, who is walking up? Addy and her son! Whoo hooo!!! We help carry in the groceries and chat with Addy's son for a bit. We had a great lesson with Addy and she asks very intelligent questions and is very accepting. I love that woman. Afterwards we chatted with Michelle, her daughter for a bit. I'd say that it was a huge miracle.
I have learned so much about the Atonement and about becoming Christlike this week. I knew before my mission that I did not fully understand the Atonement. I knew it would be a great learning experience on my mission to come to understand it better. But boy, I didn't realize how much I would need it. The opportunity it gives me to hand my sorrows over to Christ... There are no words to describe how wonderful the joy one can feel when they finally just hand their life to Christ and trust Him.
I have learned more about patience this week as well. My district leader assigned me a scripture to study (don't worry, it was not a rebuke... I asked.... :) ) . It was Luke 21:19- In your patience possess ye your souls. In my study of patience, I have found that patience is like a shield. It protects us from Satan's grasp as we build our Christlike attributes. When we are impatient, we lost control over our souls. Our mouths speak words we do not mean, our hearts cry false feelings, our minds thing thoughts which are not Christlike. But when we have patience, we protect our souls from actions which would require repentance, which we will later regret. So my challenge to all of you is to develop patience. It will help you become more Christlike. Faith may be the first attribute we need to develop to become Christlike, but patience is the catalyst to becoming Christlike faster.
I love you all! Have a great week! Go hug a missionary (while abiding by the rules, of course)! :)
Sister Smyly Crawford
Monday, February 2, 2015
First week of the new transfer: AWESOME.
We got Sister Munson back from the English program! Yay! We have all our ASL kids again! :)
We had some pretty great experiences with our CODA girls this week. Can I just express how much I love those girls? I am pretty sure we went over there almost everyday after school to help them with their homework. At first that sounds like a pretty pointless job, right? Why are we wasting time with helping with middle school and high school homework? But you know what? This week alone has changed those girls more than I have ever seen. When I first arrived here in Anaheim, those girls were completely different. Ashley would talk to Sister Pendleton some, ignore the rest of us. Adriana, sass master, who would not talk to anyone. Alisa would be on her phone talking to her boyfriend and no one else. Now, it is completely different. They are all super excited to see us the second we walk through the door and start chatting almost without taking breaths between sentences. They immediately trust us with their high school boy drama. They are more and more willing talking about gospel related subjects (which was impossible before). In fact, when we were talking about the boy drama, Adriana pipes up and asks me if she should say a prayer. WHAT. Yes! Yes you should say a prayer!! And she did! Right then and there! And later too! Ashley asked for a blessing when Elders Peck and Duckworth mentioned it. That has never happened! Sister Stucki was chatting their friend, Jasmine, later and as they were teaching, they got on the subject of the Atonement. Jasmine was in tears. She is becoming more and more converted to the gospel without realizing it. No one can tell me that simple acts of service, such as helping with homework, do not have a great impact on people.
On a related subject of how service impacts people... This Sunday I had the opportunity to teach Young Women class. We had our wonderful Annie in there, and another cute girl from out of town. The lesson was on Jesus Christ. One of the questions that was asked was, "What does it mean that Christ lives?" Well, we could say that He is a man with a body somewhere, who has been resurrected in glory. But it is more than that! Christ lives through us. As we live as "example[s] of the believers," we shine our light and testimony for others to see. Our light of Christ shines from us, and no one can ignore that light. I give an example of my wonderful mission president, President Taggart. I know whenever he walks into the room, because it gets brighter. It is not hard to find him in the crowd, because he just shines with the light of Christ. He is one of the most Christ-like people I know. And guess what? We all have that light too! Our friends, our family, the people we randomly meet on the street, their spirits are attracted to our light. So shine that light! Share your beliefs! Be thou an example of the believers! Through your actions an your service, you can change another person's life for the better. You can be a person's savior in that moment.
I love you all! Have a fantabulous week and make sure you share your testimony with at least one person this week! :)
Sister Smyly Crawford