Friday, October 23, 2015
Hello, hello, hello!
We went to the temple today! :) Sometimes I sit there and think, "There are palm trees all around the temple... We aren't in Kansas anymore."
To summarize the last week or so, here are two amazing lessons that happened:
We had a wonderful lesson with Maria on Wednesday. We have started just going over and reading a chapter from the picture Book of Mormon with her, so she can strengthen her testimony in the Book of Mormon and become spiritually self-sufficient. Also, there is nothing else we can teach her until she decides to get married so she can get baptized. We read the second chapter from the picture Book of Mormon this week. We related it to the subject of what a prophet is, what he does, and that we have a loving prophet today. It is interesting as we do this every week that she becomes more and more interested in the Book of Mormon. I love watching that change in her. We had her say the closing prayer. After the prayer, I felt prompted to ask her how she felt when she prayed. Oh my goodness, she blew me away again. She had testified about prayer to me about seven weeks ago, but this time it was the absolute most powerful testimony about the power of prayer I have ever heard in my life. If she has a testimony in anything, it is in the power of prayer. She told me of an experience she had. Their van always had engine troubles. It was one of the big struggles before in getting them to church. She said that she had prayed the engine wouldn't have problems, and since then, the van has had no problems. She made sure to turn to her boyfriend and tell him that it was because of prayer the engine has stayed functioning. She says since she has been praying, she has been so much happier. Before, she was frustrated, aggravated, etc, but now she can tell she is happier, and not only is she happier, but so is the rest of her family. Maria is the best. There are no words to describe how proud of her I am, and how grateful I am to have been able to work with her. She has a special place in my heart.
Annie is one of our young women. She is so sweet. On Tuesday we brought her to sit in our car and listen to half of an awesome fireside ("Break Up with the World" by Hank Smith). This fireside is basically about how we need to "lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better." If there is anything that keeps us from progressing spiritually, we need to lay it aside and replace it with something that will allow us to come to the Savior. These things can be quite the sacrifice, but it is always worth it. Brother Smith quotes President Monson who quotes a man who said, "The best thing I have ever done was to give up something I love to the God I love even more." So, Tuesday night we had her listen to the first half (ending it on a cliffhanger so she will want to listen to the second half). We decided to listen to the second half the next night (Wednesday). We brought pizza and she brought drinks and we sat in our car Wednesday night and listened to the second half of the fireside. She was very into it, and was interested to hear all Brother Smith had to say. In the fireside, he asked everyone to decide something they would "break up" with (to lay it aside). We told her we would ask her to do so as well. At the end of the talk, I watched her face. Something was working in her mind and it worked across her face. The spirit was telling her what she needed to break up with, and she was listening. We sat there for a minute in silence after the talk finished... Then she looked up at me and started to laugh in her cute way saying she didn't want to break up with what the spirit was telling her to break up with, but she knew she had to. When it comes to CODAs, you can't tell them to do anything. You can't make them do anything. But because the spirit was telling her what she needed to do, she accepted and decided to break up with it. It was so cool to watch the spirit work on her. There is absolutely no way we would have been able to do the same work that the spirit did that night.
I love you all! Keep the faith! Work hard in all you do! It pays off in the end!
Sister Smyly Crawford
I had a great week this week. It may have been a week of no luck finding anyone to teach, but boy, just having the spirit with you makes all the difference between a good week and a great week. I am just so thankful for my Heavenly Father and His Son for their constant love for me. I love this north area. Admittedly, I was not too excited to come here six months ago after feeling the love of the south area, but since then I have really come to cherish this area. It is full of so many honest truth-seekers. It is full of people who truly love the missionaries, the gospel they present, and the One they represent. Sadly, after six months, I have to leave the area. I am being transferred back to the south area today (with Sister Richardson as my companion). I absolutely love the south area and I am ecstatic to get back down there and work. However, the north area will always have a special place in my heart. But you know what the best part is? It's all the same branch. I'll see everyone at church I seriously have the greatest mission. There really is no final goodbye with these people Once again, we had a phenomenal General Conference! We were able to sustain the three new apostles, Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund. I would like to add my testimony to those who have already bore theirs that these three men have truly been called by our Savior, who leads and guides this church today. I am excited to hear their counsel to the world in the coming years. My favorite talks were President Uchtdorf's (are we making our discipleship too complicated?), Sister Marriot's (not just because of her accent though, haha), Elder Lawrence (what lack I yet?), and President Nelson's (I love that he expressed his love for the women of the church, and not because we are sweet but because we are powerhouses). I love you all and hope you all are reading and studying your Book of Mormon. It's important. Sister Smyly Crawford