Saturday, March 14, 2015

Part of the Family

I am so incredibly happy. Before I started my mission, I didn't think I could be this happy, but I am. I am surrounded by the best people. I am surrounded by love. I am surrounded by joy.

The best part of my week was FHE with my favorite family. This is the family with Ashley, Adriana, and Alisa. The entire family and more gathered around in a kneeling family prayer, along with us four missionaries. We asked Julio, the dad, to pick someone for prayer. He turns to me and asks me to pray. "No, Julio, you need to ask a family member to pray!" I said. He looks at me and says, "You ARE family." I just about cried. I love these people so much.

Remember Cliff? We had passed him to the elders back in December. That man has changed entirely for the good. We were teaching his wife, Michelle, who is a member, and she turns to me and says, "He is so happy all the time. He comes home from work and is so tired, but he is so happy. He is always saying to me that I am his wife and he loves me so much. We even have gospel discussions! He is just so happy and I am so grateful for the missionaries working with him." I witnessed for myself this happiness when we went over there to look for their granddaughter. He sees us and says, "Sister Crawford!! How are you?? How is your mom and dad??" And we just chatted about everything. I have never seen him so truly happy. The turning point to this happiness is when he actually followed through with his commitment to read from the Book of Mormon. This is evidence that the gospel changes lives. The Book of Mormon changes lives.

We drove down to Lake Forest on Saturday to meet a new investigator, named Michelle. Lake Forest is in the middle of Irvine mission and it took us about 45 minutes to get there. But, man oh man, is this woman amazing. I am so excited to teach her. Sh is so happy all the time and is very willing and eager to come to church. She would make a wonderful, strong addition to this branch.

Transfers are today. Sister Stucki and I are staying together! Yay! By the end of the transfer (the 4th together) we will have been together six whole months! We are pretty excited :)

Elder Hayes (well, I guess he's not 'elder' anymore...) came down to visit this weekend! It was great to see him!

We got new iPads. These are the ones that we will be keeping. We are also getting many mission-wide iPad trainings over the next couple of months. Elder Brent H. Nielson came down to give this week's training. He told stories of the missionaries in the Philippines who were caught in the typhoon that swept through recently. One story he told was of a companionship of elders who huddled in the middle of their hose and the wind completely blew away the walls from around them. Know what they did next? They found their way to the nearest center of people and served them. The same can be said of internet use and missionary work. On the internet and technology in general, we are surrounded by typhoons and whirlwinds. We could be swept away in this storm or even allow it to destroy us. We could use it to help us learn and grow. But no matter the insanity of the winds or the speed of the floods, there is always a place we can go to serve others. We always have that choice to go spread love and joy with others, even in the most devastating of places.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Smyly Crawford
Sister Crawford and Sister Stucki enjoying their new Ipads

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