Friday, January 31, 2014

Tender Mercies

Hey guys. I hit 9 months this weird. Luckily! I have another 9 months to figure out what on earth I am doing haha! But anyways, sooo, anyone for a blizzard? No? Me neither. Pretty much the pits right now in Beaver Falls. It has been a crazy week so far! Good, but crazy!!

Tuesday, we got to email because of Civil Rights Day. Funny how in high school you would pray for those random holidays. I mean come on! Celebrate everything! The 1st man on the moon, the first day of spring, anything to get us out of school! On a mission, it's a little different. Random holidays just throw you off. I mean Columbus day? Really?? But we are just lucky to email our families when we can! We had dinner at the Schmucks then had to race back to our apartment for our team up with Ruthy. It was SO epic. We saw Wendy and invited her to church talked about how important the little things are; like going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying. She said that she rationalizes things like "Well, I can't go to church because..." "I'm too tired to read my scriptures because...." "I don't have time to pray because..." but she said there really is no "because". There is no excuse. God has asked us to do the little things and they are so simple! Easy, probably but that is where the devil can sneak his toe in the door. It was a really good meeting. Next we visited with a man we hadn't ever visited before. His name is Brian and he served as Stake Young Men's President and some other "big" callings. He was ordained a high priest and is currently been less active for about 6 years. As we talked with him about his conversion, the Spirit was so strong. He said because a family tragedy he didn't know where his faith went and he wanted it back. He explained that he loved the church and he never wanted his name removed from the records. It was such a spiritual experience and simply phenomenal!

Wednesday was district meeting and I was in a funk. I was extremely tired and just so over it. haha! We went to lunch and then waited for Sister Burson to come and pick us up for a SUPER early dinner. We had Impossible Taco Pie....yum. ha. We then had to race to our teaching appointment with a potential named Brenda. We walked up to her door and before we could even say hi she told us that she knew that she couldn't meet with us and that we believed in a different God. We tried to explain that we really didn't but she wouldn't listen. She offered us a NIV Bible and we said we had a Bible and we believed in it, just as she did, to be the Word of God. She insisted we take the book so we did. We flipped through it and all I can say is that it definitely wasn't the inspired text that we are familiar with. It was really heart breaking and a hard way to end the night. No matter how many rejections I get, it still stings to my very soul. But we keep moving forward because someone is seeking the truth!

Thursday was pretty odd. We taught our new investigator, Dobie. I can't really tell where he stands quite yet, but he said that he is leaning toward our church. Which is good, but I don't know how much "real intent" he has right now. We might even start teaching his roommate Anthony. He was in the room as we were talking about Joseph Smith's 1st Vision. He was making coffee but he paused while we recounted it. He even said he would come to church! Who knows!! (: We worked on the area book and did some time and I put tons of Neal A. Maxwell talks on my flash drive! I am SO stoked to listen to them! Typical missionary?? Maaaaybe (: but they are SO good!! We went to Char's for dinner and then she told us to relax. 0.o what's that?? haha! It was so nice to just sit and enjoy the quiet before our Book of Mormon class. We had a rough start but it can only go up from there right?? (:

Friday=9 MONTHS ON A MISSION!!!!!! (:
We did some weekly planning and then went on team ups with Sister L. Neeley and saw Jean and Alice. It was alright. Jean is in a senior care facility and isn't doing super well and Alice is still Alice haha! We bundled up after coming home and prepared to walk to Beaver Falls (about 2.5 miles from our apartment...with a huge hill). We are so low on miles and are trying to be obedient so we walked. I can now tell my children that I walked uphill...both the snow. *win* Buuut it was about 14 degrees with a wind chill so I got sick...and I'm sore haha! it's what happens I guess. But Heavenly Father has really blessed us for our efforts, however puny they have been. To celebrate our 9 months, Sister Hanseen and I went to El Paso. Pretty much the only "Mexican" food place even remotely close. It was probably the best I've had out here. It wasn't phenomenal but I was starving so it tasted pretty good haha!

Saturday was awful because a nasty storm came through and we couldn't go work all day. After napping and listening to some Elder Holland Throw down talks, we meandered around the apartment until we were so bored we couldn't see straight. We tore up some old boxes and got a garbage bag and hiked up the hill behind the apartment and went YOMO. (you only mission once). Apprently some of our neighbors found it super amusing as well and recorded us d: sooo if you see any crazy youtube video from wasn't me!! haha! We made a super awesome dinner of chicken and rice with what little food we had in the apartment (we aren't starving, just lazy haha!) and that was it.

Sunday was scary because the snow was still coming down but it stopped right before church. Sister Biernesser picked us up and we made it safely to church...after Sacrament meeting it promptly started snowing again. We went back to the Biernesser's for lunch and dinner and hung out the rest of the night because of the crazy weather. It is supposed to be in the negatives the 1st part of this week so pray for me!! haha!

Well, that is my week! Pretty crazy experiences I think. Over all though, I have realized how important obedience is. Little things matter, despite how much we might rationalize them. Is it horrible to have more than one set of earrings in? Maybe not. You are still good person and God loves you, but are you going to let a little thing like an extra earring keep you from the blessings Heavenly Father so eagerly wants to bestow upon you? We had an interesting experience with that this morning. It was snowing really hard when we woke up and we didn't know what that would mean for our P-day. We decided that no matter what, we would still do studies and do what Heavenly Father expected of us. In my study prayer, I asked Him for help that as we were obedient that we would see the blessings of that. By comp study, the snow had basically stopped and the roads were becoming clearer. These tender mercies of the Lord are so special to me. I am so grateful that the Lord sees fit to give us such individualized blessings to let us know that He loves us. "Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15)." (Elder David A. Bednar)

I invite you this week to ponder on the Lord's tender mercies according to your obedience to the simple principles of the gospel. If you haven't prayed individually in a long time, offer a simple prayer both morning and night. See what God can do. If you don't study your scriptures as thoroughly as maybe you could, try it every day even if you only get through a verse. See what God can do. If you want to get more from church, prepare through out the week for the sacrament and make your heart and mind open to the things you will learn in those meetings. See what God can do.

I too need to work on this and I am striving to make my studies and lessons more meaningful. I promise that as we do this together, miracles will be wrought, tender mercies will be received, and happiness will abound. Thank you for all of your faith and prayers! I love you so much and can't wait to see what miracles will happen in the next 9 months!! (:


Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nine Months

Well this week has been a whirlwind of crazy! Transfers came and went and now my companion and I are gonna KILL it in Beaver; and it won't even know what hit it. I am so stoked for the next 12 weeks. It's a frightening thought that this Friday is literally my 9 month mark. 0.o HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!? At the end of this companionship, I will be at a year. Please stop time if you would!!

Tuesday was transfer day and so in the morning, Sister Larsen finished packing and we took a nap. It was going to be a stressful day and we needed as much rest as we could get! We drove down to Pittsburgh so we could switch it all up. It was nice to see people I haven't spoken with in a while but I didn't know that many. Transfers time came and I am now serving with Sister Hanseen from Provo and she was in the MTC with me. She was in a different zone than I was, but we came out at the same time. She is 20 and we are basically going to be unstoppable as we trust in the Lord. It will be epic. I am really excited. We got back to Beaver, visited Sister Smego and then went to correlation which was really dramatic. It didn't need to be but a difference of opinions made it a little contentious unfortunately.

Wednesday, we had zone training so we saw everyone again that we had just saw the day before. It was pretty good but hard on the newbies. We went to lunch with our district plus the Beaver Elders and just relaxed. It was a lot of fun. Afterwards, we went with Sister L. Neeley to visit Rasheda and talked about the organization of the church and the importance of Visiting and Home Teaching. Then we went to our dinner appointment at the Rambo's and Brother Rambo actually ate with us which is unheard of. Sister Rambo said that it was because we weren't the Elders (; haha!

Thursday we had a lot to do!! We went to Char's and had a pretty good lesson. She is spectacular! Then we went Carol's son's house because that is where she is staying while she recovers from her surgery. Then we went to Lorraine's and her friend, Doby, was there and we picked him up as a new investigator! He is Pentecostal and believes in the gift of tongues and stuff so that might be interesting...but we'll deal with it hahaha! We went to dinner at the Wright's house and just chilled for a bit then headed out to Wendy's. She is doing good but still not coming to church ): I hope we can help her come back!!

Friday was a long weekly planning session trying to get Sister Hanseen all caught up on the area. It was rough for us because all of our plans fell through. We had dinner at the Nelson's but they were so quiet, we just kinda talked to each other (the missionaries). It was super strange. We stopped by the Green's so that they could meet Sister Hanseen and they teased us about scouting out the Elders....uhhh not happening haha!

Saturday we did time and then made some cookies to smooth over the awkward correlation situation. We saw Alice and she still isn't doing very well as far as having faith in God is concerned which is a little disheartening. After we tried some other people we saw Vicki and Micheal. The kids were bouncing off the walls so while I was talking to Vicki, Sister Hanseen talked about Jesus Christ to the kids. Vicki actually smiled as she listened to Sister Hanseen teach. It was really sweet. Then we went to the Watt's to check in on them and it was a blast. They tell some interesting stories every time we stop by. I really hope we will able to start teaching them sometime!

Sunday was crazy. We had 2 investigators at church and 8 less actives!! Eli and Ashley came, the Stapletons, the Harns, Char and Trent, Lorraine and Doby!!! It was SO cool!!! During Relief Society we found out that Rasheda has a crush on Trent. 0.o oh dear haha! She is so funny! I don't know how well that will work but we'll see. We definitely are not meddling in that one haha! We went to Sister Smego's afterward and it was hilarious. Bishop and Brother Petrosky showed up to give her a blessing and the Elders and Nate showed up to give her the sacrament. Maybe they should have coordinated that haha! Anyway, Bishop suggested Nate bless the sacrament because he is a priest and so Nate pulls out his phone. Bishop said no and hands him the Book of Mormon and sarcastically (in true Bishop Weeks fashion) says "Nate this a book! With pages and words." Nate wasn't about to let it go and says "Yeah yeah we don't want to hear again how you helped Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon." It was SO funny haha! This ward.
Then we went to the Goettman's for dinner and the Biernessers' picked us up for a fireside. Elder Keith Giddens from the 6th quorum of the 70 came and spoke about teaching and the new youth curriculum but it was super helpful for us missionaries as well! It was so good!!

So that was our week! I am so stoked for the next half of my mission and getting to see all the marvelous changes! In Relief Society we were talking about Christ and His roles and names in our lives. One was Father. I've known that for a while and that we are reborn and stuff but that always kinda was hard for me to grasp. As I was thinking about it, it was said that we become spiritually born when we are obedient to His ordinances and keep our covenants. The 3rd step in the gospel of Jesus Christ is baptism. When we are baptized, we are reborn and clean and start a new. So, we are born into the gospel and the Father of the that gospel is Christ. Every week we take His name upon us, as a last name to our last name. We are His children as well! Although most of you have already though of this, I am so grateful for these little times of clarity that I began to comprehend a little more of the fundamental doctrines. I am so glad to be on a mission and to learn what my Savior and His Father wants me to learn at this time!!

Have a marvelous week! Stay Strong and Carry On!!! <3


Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Illness & Transfers

Hello there family!!! Yes I survived the negative temperatures surprisingly!! But here I am!! This week wasn't super great for us because of the weather and also, well. We got sick d: So here is what happened!

Tuesday was a the grand temperature of 2. Cold enough? Apparently not. It was negative 3 the day before. We had to stay inside because the roads were treacherous! We did go to correlation and then to a less active's house so the Elders and Bro Yovich could give her a blessing. Not really sure why we went...ha. Then we went to fax in Rasheda's baptismal record to the mission office. We then went to dinner at the Pamula's. And that is how we survived the frigid weather.

Wednesday was EXTREMELY dramatic. Because of the freezing weather, a pipe burst in the Cranberry building and we spent most of district meeting cleaning that up. It was CRAZY. We couldn't do much "because we are girls" and the Elders had to be the big boys around there so we sat in the chapel..out of their way. whatevs. We had District Meeting and then went to lunch. We weren't able to see that many people which was disappointing but we did get a return appointment with a potential!!!! (: And we saw Mike and Vicki. Vicki has lost about 15 pounds since we last saw her which is not good because she is MAYBE 65 pounds. She did gain 7 back and is supposed to be getting a feeding tube soon. She was actually pleasant which isn't always the case. We had a pretty good visit though.

Thursday is when I got sick. I couldn't stay awake because I slept bad the night before and I had a sore throat and head ache. We managed to get out of the apt which helped a lot too. We went to Char's house and then Paige picked us up to go visit Rasheda. Rasheda ran in to some anti material because she was "curious" what the other side of the story was and wanted some help studying the Book of Mormon. We cleared up her concerns and said she didn't feel like her faith was shook at all, which is a good thing. Paige took us to dinner at THE best sub shop ever (sorry Ned's). Like this was the BOMB.COM. So good. But they only have it in one place: Midland and we NEVER go there ): Afterwards, we went to the Relief Society activity on homemade cleaning/beauty products. Not super helpful out here, but maybe in the future haha!

Friday, again. Sick. It was bad. We had lunch and then I drug our sorry butts out of the apt and did some missionary work. We did see Lorraine and Julian and had a nice lesson with them. It took forever because they are all over the place but it was good. Then we had dinner and then went to Wendy and Mel's. It wasn't super great because she left the TV on...Leverage. ugh. TV is so mindless and pointless. I'll learn some day.

Saturday was pretty disastrous for us. Transfer calls. We hurried through weekly planning and then went to the Green's. We had lunch, no call. We went to the church to help set up for a wedding reception, no call. We helped make food for the reception, no call. By this time I am literally freaking out and want to curl up in a ball because my stomach is in knots. We ended up finding out that they weren't calling until 9:30 PM!!!!!! Ugh. So we made it through the night and then the phone rang. I stared at it for a little bit, truly terrified of what would be said on the other line.

"Hello. This is Sister Crockett."

"Hello Sister Crockett, this is Elder Jones. How was your day today?"

"Fine. What do you have to tell us??"

"Oh not much. What was your favorite part of the day?"

"What is happening with transfers?!?"

"This is Sister Crockett??"


"Oh. Well, I need to talk to your companion."


"Hi this is Sister Larsen."

"Hey Sister Larsen, how many times this week did you wear an infinity scarf?"

"NONE! Why??"

"Oh, sorry! You are toast! Gonna have to transfer you!"

Our Zone Leaders think they are hilarious. I AM STAYING IN BEAVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (:

Sunday, was all goodbyes for her. We saw Sister Smego, the Biernessers and Sister DeBaker. Everyone tried to sign up for dinner that night. We ate with the Biernessers AND the McBrides...luckily we spaced it out enough so it was more late lunch and later dinner. It was hard to see this all take place because we have had a pretty good run. These 3 months have simply flown! I have no idea WHERE the time went! I mean we were here for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Years. Pretty long time and yet, not so much! crazy!

Well, I look forward to my adventures in the Beaver Valley Ward and can't wait to hear from you all!! (: I'll be better at writing someday! But at least the work is moving forward!

Love you guys and I'll talk to you soon!!


Sister Crockett

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Year and The Plan of Salvation

Well Happy New Year everyone!!

You guys ready for some NEGATIVE temperatures? It is week 6 of transfers and I don't know where I'll be in a week and a half. I can't believe transfers are next week! Crazy how the time flies! So, I'll dive right in to the week in PA!

Tuesday, being New Years eve really put us on a time crunch. We had to be in by 6 pm. We did go to the McBride's again for dinner and we heard some bad news...Elder Cox was coming home the next day. So we are back to a one Elder system. It's hard on the ward and work but we cope. We also heard that one of our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Draper, went home too!! It's so scary how many are leaving!

Wednesday we tried Alice and gave her a short lesson on the Sabbath day and faith hoping she would come to church, but that was really to no avail! She won't come to church or progress, so we are gonna have to slow down our visits to every couple weeks. We then went to District Meeting and since we felt really left out without a third companion (Cranberry Elders have Elder Waddoups and Cranberry Sisters have Sister Walborn) we devised a companion for ourselves. We received a thing of pretzel twists and drew some eyes and lips on her and gave her a name tag. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sister Wives. (; aren't we clever? The Sisters had lunch because boys are gross even if they are Elders. By the time we got home it was time for the ward new years party at the Wrights' bowling alley. I'm a little sick of bowling so I just talked to the members for the time, BUT I got to wear pants and that was a HUGE plus.

Thursday it snowed all day and that made it super difficult. We had correlation and then found out some people had moved and then went and saw Char which I love to do SO much! We talked about service and it turned to charity which was fun to talk about. Then we had dinner and went to our lesson at Lorraine and Julian's. We were handing over Julian so he could be taught by Elder Waddoups since Julian is 9 and needs some good role models in his life. Julian didn't like him at first (you are so boring! You are making me go to sleep! *fake snore*) to begging him not to leave (man that woman (his grandma) is CRAZY!! *whisper* can I go home with you??) it was so funny! We had a good time and we know that this is the Lord's work so it doesn't really matter who is teaching him...we're all on the Lord's errand.

Friday was weekly planning and it only took us 2.5 hours!! Record!! haha! It was so cold though! We went to Alice's to confirm that she would come to church on Sunday and we got her to commit! yay! Except she didn't that was sad. But then we went and picked up Sister Walborn for "exchanges". It was weird but still fun. We saw Wendy and had a great discussion with her. It was good because her husband wasn't there and she could be very open. Then we tried a guy named Brian who was ordained a high priest but has since gone inactive. He wasn't happy to see us but told us to come back we will (:

Saturday was especially tough. I didn't sleep well the night before and it was just rough. We had to work on our area book some and then Sister Walborn noticed some names of guys she went to EFY with. We then went and visited them and their parents (one is on a mission) and it was kinda weird not gonna lie haha! We then dropped her off and came home. I got the package from mom. I was SO excited for my gramma dress and Daughter of a King book. I then read the letter from mom. Luckily, she warned me for the last part. Oh dear sweet Andrew; he is so lucky to be with our Father again! We'll miss him but I am so grateful for the plan of salvation and the knowledge that I have that I will be with my family forever. Nothing can take that away.

Sunday we had a marvelous testimony meeting! It was all about the plan of salvation and eternal families. I cannot deny that God hears and answers my prayers. After church, we went to Sister Smego's and got trapped in by the Elder and the Bishop. When everyone left, we went to visit Linda and Debbie and then tried a referral. Denise is not a member but her mom was and Sister R Neeley wanted us to drop off family history stuff to her. Denise was happy to see us and when we gave her the packet she almost started crying. "It's my mom's birthday today. You have no idea how much this means to me!" We asked if we could come back and she said sure next Sunday. Then we went to dinner at the Petrosky's which was fun! They are goofy and we talked about all sorts of weird things. Ya know missionary work.

Just some thoughts about Andrew and the plan of salvation. My heart is really twisted right now. I am so happy for him because he is free and able to be with Heavenly Father and family again, yet I feel for Ken and Brenda because this isn't easy on them I am sure. I remember his impeccable timing and sweet smile. I wonder what it will be like to see him again; healthy and standing to greet us again. Oh how great the plan of God!! How marvelous to know that he is safe and free! How wonderful to know that we will be together as a family forever! I am sure we will all miss him, but he is so much better now! I am sure he is happy and cheering us on.

So this week has been especially weird for us. Knowing that I go home this year is a surreal experience. I am almost half-way through my mission and I don't know where the time has gone or what I will experience in the remaining 9 months. I know that it will be great and I am so happy to be on a mission; especially in Beaver! I will let you know a week from today whether or not I will be in Beaver for an additional 3 months or if the Lord calls me to another area! I love you all very dearly and you are in my prayers and thoughts!

Make this year amazing!