Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My New Area

MAN! What a crazy week! It was extremely long so I am SO glad for p-day! here is how it went.

Tuesday was pretty rough for me. We met with Faith and Agnes for the last time. They thanked me for all that I did but I honestly feel like they did more for me than I did for them! Agnes teared up as we said goodbye...course I was crying like a baby. We came back to our apartment and picked up the last of my bags and said goodbye to Pitt 2nd. Transfers were weird. I was the last one to get my companion (out of the sisters). But I kinda knew her because she had stayed at our apartment LAST transfers. I knew that she was in a tri-panionship and that she was in Carlisle. So I didn't know where we were going. That was because we were getting doubled in. One sister was finished and the other got sick. So up to Beaver Valley Sister Larsen and I headed. It's an hour north of Pittsburgh so I'm still pretty close. We got a call from a member on our way up. Sister Smego (smee-go) invited us to dinner because she knew we were doubling in and didn't have anything planned. We found our apartment and headed out to her place. She had ordered us pizza and yeah. It was cool but weird haha!

Wednesday was district meeting (I like it better on Thursday's...). This district is TINY compared to my last one. 6 people; and 4 of us are sisters! haha! Plus our district is made up of the Cranberry missionaries so we are SUPER disconnected. Oh well. We tracted a little afterwards then headed to our dinner appointment with the Burson's and our Elders. It was weird, not gonna lie. haha! Just this whole transition thing. After dinner, we went to a senior center for the GREATEST service project I've ever seen. It was AWESOME! Families had decorated refrigerator boxes (like one was tall buildings with the Bat signal a the top and the family was all super heroes) and we wheeled in the patients so they could trick or treat. The kids passed out the candy. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Thursday we had ward correlation. It is the 1st one I have ever been to, and I was super overloaded with names and stories of people. I honestly can't tell you who we are working with if you asked haha! Afterwards we saw a less active named Carol. She was super sweet and said she knew she needed to get back to church. That makes it so much easier! We got a call from a member needing help painting her new house. We did that for the rest of the day. She bought us pizza and cookies so it was pretty chill. haha!

Friday we attempted weekly planning. It's super hard when you don't know anyone or who you are supposed to visit haha! It took all day. We had ANOTHER dinner appointment with one of the Nelson families (everyone is either a Neely, Nelson, or Goettman (and yes it is the relatives of Brother Goettman back in Pitt 2nd *weird*). So that was Friday.

Saturday, was a lot of tracting. Yucky. The 1st door we knocked on, he let us in. Great, right? Wrong. He said "The one thing you Mormons got right? More than one wife." Uhhh... "We don't practice that anymore...." *launches into a huge long monologue about what I don't even know what haha! 20 minutes later.....*

We tried a less active named Alice and had an awesome lesson with her. We talked to her about "small and simple things". She said she had been reading the Book of Mormon every day but didn't see the point. I committed her to write down the blessings that she did recognize. By the end of the lesson, she was already pointing out how Heavenly Father had blessed her instead of all the things going wrong in her life. We tracted afterwards and nothing happened. Go. figure. haha! We had a dinner appointment at the Biernessers'. After that we went to the ward trunk or treat. It was FREEZING! Everyone was all bundled up and then went and hid in the church building.

Sunday was usual. Church ran smoothly, had a nice primary program and yeah. It is WAY bigger than Pitt 2nd that's for sure! It was like being in a ward out west. They welcomed us sort of, but I think they just assume missionaries will always be there. In Sunday School, the RS president, Sister Neely came and pulled us out to meet a recent convert, Claryssa. She is super sweet and is excited about the gospel. We are meeting with her on Wednesday. After Church we watched The Testaments during lunch...well, the first part of it. Then we went to meet with another recent convert Claire. She is from China and the sweetest thing. She is so smart and loves the gospel. She is VERY smart. After her lesson, we had dinner at the Petrosky's. They have a boy and 3 younger girls. It was like looking in a mirror. haha! They were cool.

So this was my chaotic week. I don't know what's going to happen this coming week, but whatever it is, it's gonna be AWESOME! haha!

 Write me!! (: Love ya'll! Stay Strong and Carry On!!

Sister Crockett

Monday, October 21, 2013

An area farewell

Sooo...I left my journal at the apartment, so I can't give you a day by day! Sorry!

No, I still don't know where I am going. And yes, the weather has been dreadful. This coming week it is going to be in the low 50's during the day! WHAAT?!?

Sister Crockett's district
 So I am just going to give you some highlights and some low lights...

Wednesday was pretty rough. A lady in our ward, Dawn, had a baby girl about 4 months ago. Last Sunday they announced that the baby passed away. We were asked to go to the funeral. Isabella's (the baby) grandma, Bernadette, came up to us as we walked in. We expressed our condolences and gave her a hug. She stayed by me before the funeral. We got shuffled into the viewing. It nearly broke my heart; she was SO tiny. Bernadette turned to me as we stood by the casket and asked where her granddaughter was. I don't really remember what I said or how I said it, but she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I thought so. She is too perfect."

We helped with the luncheon afterwards and Sister Garvin asked us to come over afterwards to recover from the funeral. Sister Garvin, Sister Winsor, and Sister Stocking made little ribbon owl clips. I helped Bella (Sister Garvin's daughter; about 3) put every single one of her ribbon Disney clips in her hair. Which Bella, in turn, put in my hair! Sister Garvin took a picture -__- she promised to send it sometime haha!

Thursday was my last district meeting with this district!! And the topic?? "Lock your hearts" by Spencer W. Kimball. Awesome. Sister Stocking and I are the only Sisters in the district, so it was SUPER awkward. Whatevs. We survived haha!

Afterwards, we went and visited Agnes. She is progressing SO well. We have been reading the introduction of The Book of Mormon with her because she wants to be able to explain it better to people she meets. 0.o oh alright! haha! One of her friends is a minister and he hated Mormons because he thought we were a cult. She explained we weren't but he wouldn't listen. So when she watched General Conference, she sent him a part of her favorite talk without telling him it was from us. He wrote back and told her it was very good and obviously inspired. She told him it was from the LDS church. He was shocked but has acknowledged that we ARE good people haha!

We spent the weekend baking to say thank you to our ward council. I wrote some thank you notes to the members that I got close with. There is a girl named Lexi here that is 15 but you swear she would be older. I just encouraged her, in my note, to stay strong. But she wasn't at church yesterday! I gave it to her mom who thanked me profusely. Apparently, Lexi has been struggling with feeling loved and accepted.  We ended up dropping off some cookies at their house after our dinner appointment at the Machan's. Lexi came and gave me a hug. She started crying, saying that it meant a lot to her. She then found out that I was getting transferred which made her cry even more. She begged me to stay, but I can't really do anything about it.

I may not be here to baptize anyone. I may only convert myself. But it is people like her, people like Faith, people like Agnes, like Sister Garvin, and so many others that I am here for! It makes it worth it when the ward members that did find out that I was getting transferred begged me to stay; asked me not to go because I had "just gotten" here. Life goes on, friends move, families grow up and time passes, all too fast sometimes. But the one thing that remains constant and steady is our Savior Jesus Christ. He lives and knows us perfectly. He helps us when we cannot help ourselves. I found an awesome scripture that illustrates this: Romans 8: 35, 37-39.

Agnes and Sister Crockett

We are MORE than conquerors with Christ on our side. Miracles happen everyday, you just have to see them!

I love you all and look forward to my next adventure; wherever that may be! Stay Strong and Carry on!! (:


Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Special Visitor

Soooo I don't really want to give a huge long email today (plus they are kinda boring to read.) So I'll skip to the good stuff.

We taught Faith this week and talked about the temple and family history work. She is SO excited to work towards that goal!! She really wants to go into the house of the Lord and to experience all of the blessings you can receive there! We are gonna get her some temple prep stuff to help her out.

We met with a media referral named John. Now. There is a VERY important lesson to be learned from this story. We met at a restaurant with some members, Brother and Sister B. We find out that John is recovering from an addiction and doing well. Brother B also recovered from that same addiction. PERFECT right? Wrong. We didn't get the opportunity to teach at all because Brother B taught for us. We couldn't get a word in edge wise. Brother B cut everyone off, including his wife, John, and the waitress. Although we appreciated them coming, when he turned to us and said "Would you teach the Restoration now?" We felt deeply humiliated. As missionaries, we are instructed to teach simply and concisely. Give 'em milk before meat. The lesson was extremely deep and at times theological; leaning on the wisdom of man and not of God. Doctrine is what we teach and that is all. When we left, we asked John when we could meet with him again and he said "No thanks girls. I've got him." We were extremely taken aback. We left disheartened and confused as to what had just taken place. If the missionaries ask you to help in a lesson, keep it simple, let them teach, bear your testimony. That is all there is to it.

On Friday we participated in a mission tour. It was up in Cranberry so it is about an hour drive AND we had to pick up Swissvale sisters (about 30-45 minutes away) AND be there at 7:45....AM. mmmm. I got up at 4:45 so that we could get ready, and leave by 5:45. We left 20 minutes late, forgot something, got lost, and arrived 10 minutes late. Sweeeeet. Sister Arnold (Elder Arnold is in the 70) was teaching the sisters about stress, go figure. I got to see Sister Montgomery and she was super sweet and checked in with how I was doing. Then we went in to the big meeting with Elder Arnold. It was super intense! He was telling us that as a mission, we are doing really well and have the potential to do even better. Lunch time rolled around and Elder Arnold excused the sisters first so he could address the Elders. He had them shut the door after we left. We were SUPER curious about what was being said, and we found out that he told them to Lock. Their. Hearts. I regret to say that a LOT of missionaries are having issues staying focused. We are having a whole training on it for District Meeting. It happens I guess. We came back from lunch and had another long meeting. When we got ready to leave, Elder Arnold told us to be gone in 5 minutes....uhhh ok? So we were. It took us a good solid 2 HOURS to get home with it being a Friday and rush hour. We came home, slammed some dinner and ran to Steven's house with Sister Scheiffer. It was a pretty good lesson and he came to church! So that was pretty sweet.

Sunday we had 7 Less actives at church! 7!!! I can't believe it!! It was AMAZING!!! Steven and Dana and Claire and the Mancuso's and the Killens!! It was awesome! The Lord really works miracles for you when you try and exercise your faith.

So this week was pretty crazy and P-day was super weird with Columbus Day being observed apparently. Thank you for all your love and support! I can't wait to hear from you all!

Oh and I was talking with the Assistants yesterday and they said I was getting transferred so my address will change in a week! On to a new adventure! Stay strong and Carry on!!


Sister Crockett

Thursday, October 10, 2013

'Twas the Week Before General Conference

Dear Family!!

Another week has come and gone in Pittsburgh!! It has been unusually warm and humid here, but Mother Nature is seeing to it that I freeze. It has been rainy ALL morning and sitting at the comfortable temperature of 52 degrees. -__- Hello FALL!!!

Tuesday, we went the Baldwin Health Center to see a less active named Ron. He had a stroke and can only say "Okay" but we like to visit him anyway. We took the Diffendafer's with us so that we could get more members involved. We shared President Monson's story from last conference about obedience and Ron started laughing. He understands a lot! Brother Diffendafer related his conversion story and it was wonderful! The Spirit was so strong as he talked about searching for the truth. After this wonderful appointment we headed over to a random street to tract. It didn't work, go figure! We then went to Faith's apartment and talked with her about General Conference and how she could watch the Relief Society broadcast. She was really excited because she had missed it. We tried to meet with Mark and Heather after dinner, but Mark forgot and was gone. We will have to reschedule that one. /:

Wednesday we cleaned a member's refrigerator out with the Elders. Well...with 5 people and one refrigerator....I held the trash bags and let the Elders do the work. Elder Palmer ended us stepping on a ketchup packet they had missed and covered the we got to clean that too haha! We went to the Fidler's for dinner. They are a new family in the ward and expecting their first baby at the end of this month! They are awesome and super nice! We went to Book of Mormon class and got into the Isaiah chapters. It went alright for the most part!

Thursday I took the time to count a few of my many blessings and blessed I am! It was great to see how much the Lord loves and cares about even the smallest things! We went to district meeting and it was the same old same old. We tried a whole bunch of people who weren't home or wouldn't answer the door.

Friday we did weekly planning and then went and visited with Agnes because she was feeling upset about things in her family. She is the sweetest thing. She said that since her family is so far away from her, we are like her family. She said that she knew she could find comfort in visiting with us. Oh the faith of these women! It is a humbling experience to meet with her! When we left, it was in an outright downpour. I ran up to get the car and was drenched from head to toe! It was AWESOME!!!!! After dinner we tried Justin, a less active that we have been trying to see for a long time, and we got a semi-return appointment!! Woohoo!! We then prepped for the Missionary Superbowl!! (;

Saturday we watched General Conference at 12 and 4! How weird is that!?! It was getting dark when we finished the last session! In between we went to lunch....yeah...Buffalo Wild Wings was NOT my idea d: We came back and finished up the last session. After Conference we went to a less active's house, Steve, who had a pretty rough background but is determined to remain faithful, despite his circumstances. He actually served his mission here! It was really neat to talk with him and to see his faith.

Sunday we finished the morning session of Conference and then went to the luncheon that they were having (mostly we went from the Relief Society room to the culture hall). We cleaned up then went to the Kimber's for the last session. We watched with them and then had dinner. They are so dedicated to the gospel. They want to have a "Mormon Night" with their neighbors so that their neighbors can understand what they believe. Not to force their neighbors to convert, but to help them understand why they do what they do! It was a great night!!

General Conference was awesome! I really loved how much they emphasized The Commandments and having God as our priority and motive! Heavenly Father is here help us, but we have to be obedient and give our whole heart, strength, and mind. I am so excited to go back and study the words of the prophets and leaders of the Church! I encourage you to do the same!!

Love you all! Hope you are doing well! Stay Strong and Carry On!



Saturday, October 5, 2013

You are too pretty to be Mormons!

 Hey there familia!!

How's it going?? This week wasn't SUPER fantastic but it started out pretty unbelievable!

Tuesday, we met with Faith again and Agnes wants to start learning again!! So, we picked her up as a new investigator! She wants help understanding the Book of Mormon and we are happy to oblige! The next big thing was dinner at the Katchmark's. Brother Katchmark isn't a member but he is a hoot and a half. Sister Katchmark makes lasagna you could DIE for! Oh man. It is SO good. Then we went to visit with Bailee, the 1st counselor in the YW presidency. She is so sweet and bought us pizza because she didn't know if we would be hungry. She made us take some and it was super delicious!

Wednesday was probably the strangest and BEST day of the week for us. During companionship study, Sister Stocking decides she REALLY wants Taco Bell for lunch. I figured, hey, why not? So we went and on the way out a lady holds the door for us and says "Hey sister, where are you from?" I answered and she said "It's good to see somebody wearing Jesus Christ on their lapel. Have a great day!" I was smiling so big because we usually just get blank stares. Then we went to a park after picking up some froyo (frozen yogurt). There was a guy with his two grand kids there and he waved to us. We walked up the hill to the swings and he comes over to introduce himself. Dave ends up talking to us for over an hour about the gospel and what we believe and he commends us on being so young and coming out on a mission. We answered his questions and he said he would be at the park a lot with the kiddos and told us to stop by again. Oh, don't worry. We will. (;

A caterpillar we found.
 We then tried to contact some people we hadn't met with before. As we start to go into these apartment buildings there is a girl sitting outside in a wheelchair. We said "Hi" as we walked past. The guy didn't end up being home and so we walked out again and the girl still was there. We said "goodbye" and hadn't even made it down the sidewalk when we hear "Yinz Mormons?" oh the universal question! So we talked to her for a bit and gave her a Book of Mormon, a Restoration pamphlet, and our number. As we were getting ready to leave she said "Yinz should think about changing religions. You are too pretty to be Mormons!" Well, thank you! I didn't know unattractive was a requirement to be Mormon! They didn't teach us THAT in the MTC....*awk.ward.* ANNNYWAY. We had a dinner appointment with the Bishop. I realized he reminds me a LOT of Mr. Brooks....(Band director at Mesa High School) get the idea.We went to Book of Mormon Class and the Elders decided they wanted to teach so, we didn't object. Martha and Dave came so that was AWESOME!!

Thursday was District Meeting. Just the same ol' same ol! Afterwards we saw Dana and gave her an Illustrated copy of the Book of Mormon to help her teach her kiddos! She was so excited about it. We invited her to the broadcast, but she didn't make it ): Then we had dinner at the O'Connor's and it was pretty good. No one can make chili like Mom can though... (;

Friday was Weekly Planning and that was that.

Saturday was a little disappointing because everyone we planned to see wasn't home. Saturdays are hard days for us. We got ready for the awesome broadcast and went to the "light dinner" before hand. It was "light" because people would be fasting....ummm ok? haha! The Relief Society Broadcast was pretty great! Just the pre-game show for the Missionary Superbowl this weekend! (; It was a little weird watching it at 8. We didn't leave until 9:45! Wowser. It was late for us!

Sunday was awesome because I got to take the sacrament!! (; (Relief Society broadcast). But really. IT was awesome! The sacrament is so important and I love having the time to think about my Savior and His Atonement on my behalf. We came home and did studies. I have been studying the New Testament and it is AWESOME!! I am in Luke and I love reading about the Savior's life. I am so grateful for a prophet on the earth today and for Joesph Smith and his translation of the Bible because it makes so much more sense. The Bible and the Book of Mormon truly go hand in hand when we use them together to understand the fullness of the gospel! Gotta love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where we can KNOW these things. Heavenly Father never intended for us to dwell in darkness--spiritually or intellectually either! I don't know how I studied the scriptures for less than an hour a day! Crazy! There is so much to learn and so much to find comfort in! (: The gospel is true!! Learn it. Live it. LOVE IT!!

Hope all is well on the home front! One more week down! (: Love you all!
Stay Strong and Carry On!!! Alma 17:2

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett