Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Service brings happiness

Hey everyone! This was an awesome week. I had so much fun teaching and serving everyone. I had so many wonderful opportunities to spread some of Christ's light with others and being able to see the effect on them.

We received two new elders this week! Elder Nestman and Elder Clark. They are both from Utah. They are excited and ready to work hard to bless this branch. We are blessed to have them here.

Sister Clarke and I went over to a couple of hearing leaders' homes and helped them with their ASL. They were so excited and motivated to learn and improve for the purpose of communication with the deaf people at church. I love when they are motivated by this reason and not to just learn a language. It gives them so much more charity for the people, who return with even more love.

Remember two weeks ago when we were very bold with Nadia and told her we could not help her unless she read the Book of Mormon? Nadia is legitimately reading the Book of Mormon. I was suspicious she had just been pulling words out of the Book of Mormon and texting them to us just so she looks like she is following her commitment, but when we arrived at Starbucks to meet her, I don't even know how to describe what I saw. I took a long look at Nadia, turned to Clarke, and said, "She looks normal. She looks like a normal person." That's really the best way I can put it. Her usual countenance of being unfocused, distracted and agitated had given way to a happy, smiling, calm Nadia. It was amazing. We started talking about things and she pulled out her phone and showed us tons and tons of screen shots from 
Mormon.org that she had been studying. And she randomly started sharing the story of Joseph Smith getting the plates, all the details and plot line there. She had actually studied it. And she did this with other parts of the Book of Mormon. She recited memorized scriptures. Wow. She reads alone and with her kids every night from the Book of Mormon and Bible. We asked how she felt when she read and she thought for a while and replied that she felt peaceful. She said all the arguing was going away and it was calmer. She even quoted Galatians 5:22 when she said that. So, we shared 2 Nephi 2:5 and Alma 5:40. All people know good from evil and whatsoever is good is from God, so if she recognized the book was good, then it was from God. She said that she believes it and Joseph Smith to be true. We committed her to continue to read but to also pray about the truth of what she is reading. I just can't get over the difference in her countenance. I know the Book of Mormon is powerful, but it's so cool to watch it change someone like Nadia.

We had a nail painting party with Bonnie :) :) :) That just about sums up my happiness for the week. Bonnie Boss and nail polish. She was so happy to see us. Peggie went out of town, and we wanted to hang out with Bonnie and serve her, so we went over and she pulled up about a minute after us, and Tim pulled up right behind her. She got out of her car and saw us and just started laughing. So cute. She did a fist pump that we would paint nails. It was so great. We had plenty of fun. But she texted us the next morning saying how happy she was we came and did her nails and how she loved us. She seems very happy recently, and I like to believe that is from her diligence in obeying the commandments. Thus far, she is still on for baptism this Sunday! Please keep her in your prayers! :)

Wonderful things from church:
-Serafin (hard of hearing and only speaks Spanish and signs Cuban) gave the opening prayer in sacrament meeting.
-Eugene Walker (deaf) fearlessly went up to bear his testimony.
-Bob (blind and hard of hearing) bore his testimony. That was a testimony. Right there. Yes.
-Principles was about baptism, and we had investigators there.
-Israel (deaf and branch mission leader) was testifying and teaching.
-Lori and Lupe (both deaf) were literally cheerleading in the back row for everything Elder Snow taught.
-Edward (hearing CODA age 4) sees me, "Sister Crawford!!!!!!!" And gives me a big hug.
-Brandon (hearing CODA age 7) said I can take him home and keep him.
-Brandon came up to me several times and gave me the biggest hugs and didn't let go, just cause he loves me so much.

I love you all! You are in my prayers daily! Continue to read the Book of Mormon and strive for a stronger testimony!

Sister Smyly Crawford

Ps. Quote of the week:
"You and Sister Crawford have something in common!"
"What? Superior to everyone else?"

Hahahaha some things don't change ya'll.

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