Monday, June 15, 2015

New Mission Secretary

Dear everyone,

I guess it doesn't matter where I am, because I still end up becoming
a secretary no matter what. I am not complaining though!  This past
Thursday I got to be Mission Secretary for a day. Our lovely Sister
Jameson was out of town taking care of her mother, so Sister Taggart
asked me and Sister Munson to fill in for her. Needless to say, I
thoroughly enjoyed myself. If you had called the mission office on
Thursday, you would have heard, "California Anaheim Mission, this is
Sister Crawford!" I just love being a secretary. 

And even better than that, we had our branch baptisms on Saturday! I
got to say, watching my deafies dress up in white and walk into the
font is one of the sweetest experiences I could possibly experience.
They are so trusting, so loving, so willing to serve the Lord. Some of
them do not fully understand what the entire purpose for baptisms for
the dead is, but they do know that the Lord has required it of them,
and because they love Him, they obey with a happy heart.

This branch teaches me so much about humility. Humility is not just
being submissive. It is having full confidence and trust in Heavenly
Father and His plan. Preach My Gospel describes humility to be a
"willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord
the honor for what is accomplished... You are confident that you can
do whatever the Lord requires of you if you rely on Him." Putting this
perspective of humility in mind, my favorite scripture on humility is
2 Nephi 4:34-35. I know that without my Heavenly Father and my Savior,
Jesus Christ, I would be nothing. It is because of them I have the
strength to keep working and serving everyday. It is because of the
opportunities they give me to learn and grow that I can change into
the person they want me to be.

Have a great week, cause I know I will! Hurray for deafies! 

Sister Crawford

Announcement! Announcement! Annoucement!

Announcement, announcement! Rosalia, Keesha, and Ashley all came to church yesterday! Whodathunk? I am still in shock. See what happened was...

Rosalia has been promising for weeks now to come to church, but since she has started her new job at LAX, she has been working her tail off, and Sundays are her only days off. However, she understands the importance in coming to church. So when we VPd her on Saturday, we made her swear to come to church. She wasn't getting out of it this time. On Sunday, Sister Munson and I were on the edges of our seats. Sacrament meeting started and finished, and the whole time we were looking around behind us at the congregation and couldn't find Rosalia. Gospel Principles class started, and while I was in the middle of teaching, I hear my name and turn around to see a missionary ushering Rosalia in the room! YAY! She had gotten lost, as she lives about 45 minutes away and the drive to the church building from her place is pretty confusing. And of course the first class she experiences at church would be on the subject of baptism... Ha! I was able to teach her after RS, and she showed me her Book of Mormon and all the reading she has been doing. I was able to explain to her some of her questions and committed her to pray about the truth of it, even though she told me already that it was true. She also promised to come back to church next week.

Keesha is the young lady we had met at the Deaf Expo who was golden. She is friends with Annette. We have been trying and trying to contact her for six weeks now, but every time we get to her house, she's not there. So while we were sitting in the chapel, thirty seconds after it starts, in walks Annette and Keesha! What?! Sister Munson and I could only look at each other in shock. Apparently she was going to surprise us by coming to church. She told us that God had told her to come to our church this week. In all the lessons she attended, she was very attentive and agreeable. She seemed to have really connected with the doctrine, especially the lesson about baptism in Gospel Principles.

Ashley is a young lady the same age as I am. She has been taught on and off by the missionaries for a while now, but she has never shown interest in the church. Since I have arrived in the area, she has taken a real interest in becoming mine and Sister Munson's friend. She never really talked about religion, yet she always wanted to keep meeting with us. Last week we were chatting with her, and the subject of the Law of Chastity came up, as she is a big advocate of it. So our first real lesson with her was about the Law of Chastity... I find that kind of funny... Anywho, she listened to our testimonies, asked questions, and agreed. The elders were contacting a referral from her a few doors down, so I called them over to testify as well. She was dumbfounded that there were men who believe in stuff like that! She had never met a guy who would treat women as respectfully as they do. So she randomly turns to us and says, "I want to come to church next week." What?! OK!!! She has never show interest in coming to church!! So we met with her again this week to answer any questions she had about coming, and after assuring her that she wouldn't make any mistakes and she would have friends there, and after she stunned us with deciding to dress modestly, and after she told us that she was still coming even though her great grandmother yelled at her, she decided nothing would deter her. On Sunday our new hearing couple, the Millers, went to pick her up and brought her to church. Thankfully, she knew an investigator who was there (who is getting baptized in a couple weeks who is also the best non-member member present you will ever have). She said she enjoyed it and that she wants to come back next week!

So that sums up the biggest miracle the North Sisters Area has had in a very, very, long time. We are still a little bit shocked, but it is awesome. I am excited.

I hope you all have a great week. Remember to trust the Lord, because He really does have a plan for each of you, and as long as you are humble enough to do as He says, life will work out for the best.

Love you!

Sister Smyly Crawford

Initiative in faith

What a week. Where do I start?

Oh! I have been called as a trainer! We have two new ASL sisters coming into the program on June 30th, and I will be training one of them. Their names are Sister Richardson and Sister Clarke. And here's the tricky part: They are both redheads!!! Yeah, I am still processing that.

On Monday, our lovely Boss family (Peggie, and her daughter Bonnie who is autistic, and Tim who is Bonnie's husband) decided to take the four of us north missionaries out to dinner. At Outback. Wow! So that was fun! We love asking Peggie about her late husband, Mort, because she gets the biggest smile on her face. It is so sweet how much those two loved each other.

Tuesday we taught Adela. She is a blue box signer who has been taught for several years now. We were getting a little tired of her refusing to read the Book of Mormon, so in our lesson we basically told her, "Adela, you are now assigned to read Chapter 1 of the Book of Mormon. We will come in Tuesday next week at 2pm. If you say you have read the chapter, we will come visit you again. If you say you have not read the chapter, we are not coming back again." So we will see what happens tomorrow! She is such a sweet woman, who NEEDS the light of the gospel in her life, but she refuses to do the work for it.

I would like to compare Adela's example to the example of Rosalia's. Rosalia has been reading the Book of Mormon of her own accord every single day. She has been praying about it on her own without us ever having started encouraging her. If she doesn't understand the word she is reading, she compares the scripture to the ASL Book of Mormon. If she still does not understand, she highlights the word and asks us the next time she sees us to explain. She understands the importance of bearing testimony and gaining knowledge. When we taught her Word of Wisdom, she recognized the importance and decided right then and there to follow that commandment.

The difference between Adela and Rosalia is their initiative. They both understand the importance of the Book of Mormon, but only one takes the initiative to act. Nothing in the gospel happens unless we act. Preach My Gospel says, "Faith in Christ leads to action... Having faith causes us to try as hard as we can to learn about and become more like our Savior. We want to learn what His commandments are and then obey them." James 2:26 says, " without works is dead." If we don't act on the commandments of God, we do not have faith. But as we act on the commandments given to us, "He blesses us. He gives us the power to meet life's challenges. He helps us change the desires of our hearts. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, He can heal us, both physically and spiritually." Who does not want to be healed both physically and spiritually? I have a testimony that as we obey the commandments, we allow Christ to heal us. I have a personal witness of the peace and joy we can feel as we allow the atonement to take part in our lives and heal us.

Sister Crawford