Friday, September 27, 2013

I am an Investment!

Hola Familia!!

Another COLD day in Pennsylvania for ya! It's been a crazy week and so wonderful all at the same time!! We unfortunately didn't get to much teaching because Sister Stocking caught a super nasty cold with the change of the weather! But we did do awesome work when she was feeling up to it. (: So here is how this week went!

Tuesday, we got up at 6 so that we could pick up some sisters and make it to Zone Conference by 8:30. Pittsburgh traffic is CRAZY!! Zone Conference was from 9-3:30 and was super good! We talked about grace and mercy. We prepared for it by reading "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox and "In the Strength of the Lord" by Elder Bednar. It was awesome to read and think about. A part of Brother Wilcox's speech says that Christ made a huge investment in us. I had never thought as the Atonement as an investment before. As I was pondering some scriptures, I felt "You don't invest in something you know is going to fail." Now, I'm not super brilliant in investments and things like that but as far as my limited knowledge goes, this hold true. You invest in things you KNOW are going to grow and progress.

I am an investment.

I am of worth because Christ paid the cost for me.

I am not perfect but I will become so with some hard work and a lot of grace.

Isn't the gospel simply wonderful?!?

We went on exchanges after Zone. I finally left my area for once!! I went all the was to Washington d: It's about 45 minutes away. It was really cool to see what else is out there besides Pitt 2nd! I was with Sister Cohen and we talked a lot about charity and improving our relationship with Christ.

Wednesday, I was still in Washington and we taught their investigator, Mary. We even committed her to baptism! It was remarkable! It is so amazing to see how people can progress in the gospel and you can totally see a change in their countenance! The Light of Christ truly shines through everyone. We went with a member to go and visit some other Less Actives and it was a great exchange. When I got back, we saw Merrilyn and opened my package from Mom. THE JAM SURVIVED!!!! MMMMMMMM (: so yummy!! Then we went to Book Of Mormon. Pretty typical I'd say d:

Thursday was when Sister Stocking got sick. I made her rest and she slept the day away, poor thing. I woke her up and asked her if she wanted me to cancel our dinner appointment with the Machan's, but she wanted to keep it. So we went out and had a great dinner. They are an awesome family! (: We came home after that so that she could get some more rest.

Friday was weekly planning but Sister S was still feeling under the weather...we tried to see Brooke (OUR NEW INVESTIGATOR!!!!!) but she wasn't home d: ha. yeeeah. better luck next time. I came home to a sweet package from Gramma Asay! I feel SO loved this week!! (: you guys are awesome!!  We met with Martha and Dave (some less actives) and had a great discussion about the line of authority. The only thing keeping them from church is their crazy work schedules! /: oh well! we keep trying anyway!

Saturday, we updated our progress records and tried to keep it slow paced for Sister Stocking. We had dinner with the Caslers and found out that Sister Stocking is kinda related to them (her uncle by marriage is Sister Casler's cousin--it's a connection not a relation I suppose haha!). We went and tried to contact a referral but....uh he wasn't happy to see us. So we commented about the rain that we had all day and tried to keep it light and friendly. One good experience at a time. Then we went to the Killens. Sister Killen really wants us to work with her less active daughter, so we get to make an appointment to see her!

Sunday was your typical Sabbath day! Our ward mission leader, Brother Capizzi, was on fire. He made an awesome ward mission plan and had some great ideas! Hopefully this won't just be talk but will turn into something else!! *fingers crossed* Agnes, Faith's friend, came to church!! Our investigators won't come to church but someone we aren't teaching any more will?? ha! We were SO glad to see her AND the Mancuso's came again!! Mandee really wants us to start teaching them so they can get back in the swing of things! Gladly!! So it was pretty awesome! I am hoping that Sister Stocking will get to feeling better this week so we can have another splendid week!!

No matter how rocky things are, being built on the foundation of the Savior is the only thing that will keep us grounded. I read Matthew 7:24-27 this week and I couldn't help but notice that either way, the rain is coming, the floods will rage and the house will take a beating. The only difference is that the foundation of one is stronger than the other. Have hope for the future. "All things will work together for your good."

I love you all!! Thanks so much for all you do!! I wouldn't be out here if it wasn't for your examples to me!!


Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Focusing on the Positives

Hola dear familia!! Start of a new transfer and lemme tell you. It was a GREAT way to start it off! (:

Tuesday was transfer day so Monday we had to say goodbye to our Elders. Elder Davidson went home on Wednesday and Elder Thomas got transferred to Sommerset. We went to Faith's with Sister Christensen (the Relief Society president) and Bishop Haroldsen. Faith's friend Agnes told us that she had been reading the Lorenzo Snow book. For fun. Who does that?? haha! She is happy being Catholic, but she likes what we's only a matter of time! (: We taught about faith in Jesus Christ and priesthood blessings because Faith wanted one for herself and also for Makayla, her 9 month old daughter. So we got to meet the new Elders when they came to give Faith and Makayla a blessing. There is Elder Coke (our new District Leader) and he's been out 9 months, and Elder Whipple has been out 3. After the blessing we went to Mark and Heather's for dinner and a lesson. We tried to commit Heather to baptism....she said she'd think about it. Oh dear. They also promised to come to church....but it was a good lesson. We talked about the Restoration and Heather was talking about getting sealed as a family. Hopefully we can help her get there!!!!!

Sister Stocking making cookies.
Wednesday, we dropped off some banana bread to Sister Machan, thanking her for all the meals she gives us. And she gave us some homemade chicken noodle soup. haha! She is so funny. We took out her trash to thank her; hey service is service! (; Then we went to Sister Garvin's to see how she was doing and we ended us talking to her for a long time. She kept saying how much she loved having us over. We have some AWESOME ward members here. I just love them. We went to Book of Mormon class after dinner and tried to keep it gospel focused...some people get a little distracted ha.

Thursday was District Meeting. It was different. Nothing bad, just different. We are just trying to get used to a new district again. We keep changing so much! But I guess that is for the best. Then after lunch with the district, we went and taught Sister Lisica's neighbor Lillian who is 93 years old. Probably wouldn't have guessed that. She is super spry for 93 haha! We taught the Plan of Salvation and Sister Stocking did an awesome job illustrating that this is a Plan of Happiness, and not a plan of "you get to stay with your family and you don't." It was a pretty good lesson and we ALMOST got a return appointment but Lillian was super busy for the next two weeks appa rently. haha! We had dinner with the Winsor's and they had a tree fall down in their back yard on Monday. We offered to come on Wednesday and help remove it along with the Elders. They were glad for some help. And we were glad to have some service!

Friday was weekly planning. Blah. After weekly planning, we talked with Sister Newsome. Yeah. Friday was rough haha!

Saturday we hacked up a fallen tree, and none other than Brother Mancuso was there!! We have been trying to see them for over 3 months and then voila! He is there!! He came because Brother Olsen was helping out the Winsor's too and knew they were looking for a chainsaw. (FOREVER ago, we watched Brother Mancuso open up his brand new chainsaw and show Frankie (his son) what REAL toys were). So we talked to him a little bit while breaking down a HUGE tree. It was a lot of fun! As he was leaving, Brother Mancuso said that they were coming to church on Sunday and I stopped dead in my tracks. WHAAAAAT!?!?!?! I couldn't stop smiling. I was so happy!! After all these prayers and  trying to meet with the Mancuso's, THEY decide to come to church. Heavenly Father answers prayers when we act in faith and keep trying our hardest. He makes weak things become strong. He makes miracles happen when we trust Him with all of our heart and will.

Some goofy pictures of us.
Sunday, the Mancuso's came. :D BEST. DAY. EVER. I talked to Mandee a little bit and Sister Kimber. It was so good to hear from her!! They stayed the entire block too! The Elders and Brother Olsen cornered Brian and talked with him during Gospel Principles. Mark and Heather didn't come, which was extremely sad, but we don't believe in giving up around here! haha! After Church we tried to see a potential investigator named Madeline, but she is NEVER home /: So we went to dinner at the Kimbers and it was awesome!!

 I can't help but notice the tender mercies that the Lord has given me to help me make it through the difficult trials. The wonderful Ensign article by Elder Holland, studying grace for Zone Conference, being able to meet with our investigator finally and ALMOST committing her to be baptized (so close!), serving some ward members and making contact with a Less Active member we have been trying to meet with for 3 months, and then them coming to church!! Overall, it has been a GREAT week. When I have been focusing on the positives, everything feels better. It doesn't necessarily go according to plan, but I feel better prepared to handle the situations that do arise.

Love you all!! Here is to another week full of potential!!!

Love Sister Crockett

Keep Smilin'

Dude, I'm in Pittsburgh! :D

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Patience and Humility are NOT "Doormat" Attributes

Hey there family!!

How's it going?? I'm doing well in Pittsburgh! Another transfer has ended!! (: Still kicking it in Brentwood, but I have a feeling it may be my last! 6 months in this area is a LOOOONG time! haha!

Nothing has gone according to plan this week. We had all these wonderful plans and they fell through! /: oh well! Such is life.

Tuesday, we didn't get to email last Monday with it being Labor Day and all, so Tuesday was our emailing day! We had lunch then headed to some appointments. We had dinner with Sister Scheiffer and then headed over to our meeting with Faith. She is so sweet! Makayla, her daughter hasn't been feeling well and she was wondering if there was anything we could do. Well, as sisters, probably not, but we know some swell Elders that hold the Priesthood. (: So we are gonna have the Elders give her and Makayla a blessing. Faith is wonderful, she didn't know about Priesthood blessings and when we told her about them she was so happy! These moments make it easy to serve. Then we went to a meeting with Sister Olsen because she is the Meetings Coordinator for the Relief Society. We uncovered some drama, but also some of her GREAT ideas to help us get people to come! (: It was a great day!

Wednesday, we had District Meeting because the Elders had a move on Thursday. We played Jeopardy (sisters schooled--not that that matters d: ) and then roasted some hot dogs for lunch! It was a lot of fun! Afterwards, we went to visit Sister Lisica and her mom, Sister Bugher. Sister Lisica originally planned to have us teach her neighbor, but that didn't work. So we just talked with them for a little while, then went to Book of Mormon class! Some Less Actives we found a while ago, Martha and Dave, came too! It was awesome! The Smith's came as usual and were great fellow-shippers! It was fantastic!

Thursday, we tried to see Dana but she said she was still sick, so we haven't seen her in a while. /: After lunch, we tried to see some more less actives and then tried a potential. Well, her address was wrong, but we saw her drive away, so we are gonna have to stalk the building. (: That's what we do best!! (: We made contact with a less active named Hal. We've been trying to see him for WEEKS. Turns out he turned Presbyterian when he joined the army, tried to visit the ward (when it was still a branch) in the 60's and has never been back. He goes to the church literally .5 miles away from our building. He is a pilot and is gone a lot but he was happy to see us. We are gonna try and see him next week. After that we had dinner at the Burnett's and then updated some records.

Friday, was weekly planning. Half-way through we got a call from Hal. He was taking one of his students flying and wanted to know if we wanted to tag along....ummm maybe not so much haha! In the white handbook for missionaries it specifically says no private planes. d: So we had to decline and continued the oh so wonderful planning session.

Saturday was transfer calls. Obviously we didn't get one haha! Elder Thomas did however. And Elder Davidson is going home in 2 days so the Elders in our ward are getting all shuffled around! We went and did some service at Sister Lisica's and then went to the Adult Session of Stake conference. They talked about temple work in every single talk. Oh goodness haha! I saw Sister Montgomery there so I got to talk to her for a little bit! That was super weird haha! But it was nice to see her again.

Who ever said girls can't "hold" the priesthood?! ;)

Sunday we went to Stake Conference and everything was about Missionary work! President Topham even spoke which was super cool. He said that while everyone was supposed to be catching the wave of missionary work, we were getting hit by the wave haha! There are over 250 missionaries in our mission right now. And of those, 2/3 have been out less than 8 months. Once we all finish training, it'll be fine, but it is pretty fresh around here haha! That was our week!

I've been studying patience and humility this week (advisement from our District Leader, Elder Davidson) and the conclusion I have reached is that these aren't "doormat" attributes in the sense of being patient and humble doesn't mean that you let everyone run over you. It's about hope. I can acknowledge that I am coming up short as a missionary. I am not a perfect teacher and I don't know that answer to every question, but I KNOW I have been called by a prophet of God to share the message of the Restoration and I know that that message is true. I find hope that as I am weak now, I will be made stronger in Christ. Elder Hansen (a friend from home) wrote me and said too often people take their problems to God and complain about how big they are. What God wants is for us to take Him to our problems and tell them how big He is. Patience and humility are hard attributes to have, but as we hope for a better world (Ether 12:4), all things will be made right in Christ.

I love you all! I hope you are doing well! Carry on and keep the faith!

Sister K Crockett

The flippin sweet praying mantis we found at our apartment.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Joyful, Rainy Days

Can you believe it's September already?!? My oh my how time has flown! We are definitely looking forward to the fall weather out here! The leaves are starting to change and it is simply gorgeous! Plus a huge rainstorm yesterday helped!

Rainy Day Yesterday
 This week hasn't been super great for us. But here it is.....

Tuesday, we just tried to find some people we hadn't met with yet/in a while. A sweet old lady named Mareta was so happy to see us. She has been working Sundays and misses the gospel in her life so she asked us to come back on Saturday. Jennifer was the complete opposite. She was not too thrilled to see us and when we asked if we could practice teaching, she quickly declined and said she wasn't interested. Agency is such an interesting thing when it comes down to it.

Wednesday we were out trying to find less-actives again. No one was home (or if they were, they didn't answer the door). We had dinner with the Bishop and his wife and he didn't know who would be good for us to visit, so we are just gonna try everyone. We had our Book of Mormon class. It went pretty well and we got another member to come and she is trying to bring her non-member friend this week! (:

Thursday, I got sick. We went to District Meeting and I was fighting a headache all through it. When we came home, I talked to Sister Topham and she said I should just sleep so that I can get better. So I did and when I woke up, it was time to go see the Relief Society President.  So we went and met with her and then had dinner.

Friday, we had a bomb weekly planning session! It took all day, but we made some GREAT plans for this week. We tried to contact some potential investigators but the Pirates game was on apparently and no one answers the door when their sports games are on. Mareta called and cancelled our appointment for Saturday because she had to work.

Saturday, we played softball with our ward in a stake softball tournament. It was a lot of fun (even if I did terribly). That took basically all day by the time we got cleaned up. Then we went to Sister Katchmark's for dinner and she made her fabulous lasagna for us! It was so good. Elder Palmer asked Elder Davidson to serve him he did. TWO of the largest pieces of lasagna ended up on his plate. It is a good thing fast Sunday was the next day...haha!

Us being goofy.
Sunday, there was a girl named Hanna visiting from Kentucky and we were the first people she saw when she walked into the building and she asked if she could sit with us. We agreed but the whole ward thought we got a 3rd companion and so we had to explain to everyone. After Church we had a SUPER awesome lesson with Sister Shoup. Sister Kimber came with us and was totally perfect for her. They related to each other really well and it was so neat to see how important members are in lessons. Sister Shoup teared up the whole lesson saying that she was grateful someone else was feeling and dealing with the same things she was–that she wasn't alone.

Monday was Labor Day (as you well know) and so we couldn't email. We went to the ward picnic and helped set up the primary activity. Then we went clothes shopping and played football with the Elders. There was a HUGE rainstorm that started to blow in when we got home and cleaned up. We went to see Dave and Martha (some less actives we finally saw last week) and get their phone numbers and set up an appointment with them. As soon as Martha shut the door, and we started to walk away we heard her shout "YAY!!" :D Incomprehensible joy right there.

And it only got better:

There is a lady in our building named Madeline and she had started to learn a little bit about the church when she moved. We kept running into her on our way to our apartment. Sister Stocking suggested that we try and visit her after we tried to see some other less actives. So we knocked on her door. No answer. We waited, knocked again, still no answer. Then the handle rattled. Madeline opened the door and looked so happy to see us. She hadn't heard the door but her 85 year old mother did and both were thrilled we were there. We set an appointment for this Sunday to visit with her again. As the door shut behind us as we turned to leave, we heard Madeline say, "Momma, I am SO glad you heard them knocking on that door!" Oh what a wonderful day yesterday was!!! (: I am so excited for this coming week! It is going to be great!!

I love you all and hope to hear from you!!!


Sister Kaitlyn Crockett