Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wrong Roads and Mountains to Climb

Dear Family!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!! (this week)

How is it going down in the land of the warm weather?? I am freezing my booty off up here!! This has been the worst winter in PA for 20 years. Oh. goody. haha! Somehow I knew this would happen. The weather really affected our week though, which is pretty typical. I'll explain.

Tuesday we were without a car because we dropped it off for a cosmetic fix up on Monday. It made planning super difficult last week but we had good support from the members at least! (: The Elders didn't manage to tell us that they had cancelled correlation which put a huge damper in our plans because it was too cold to tract. We waited for the Amazing Char to come and pick us up and we tried to visit a whole bunch of people who either didn't want us there or just wasn't home. We went to Brighton Hot Dog Shop before our lesson with Anthony because Char likes to spoil us haha! We taught Anthony the Plan of Salvation. He likes to play the devil's advocate and asking super deep questions (i.e. Do you believe that you can see people who have already passed away?). He is just testing to see if the doctrine that we believe holds up. It's kinda awesome. He promised a lot that he would come to church if we could find him a ride, so we were counting on him all week. Sister L. Neeley came and picked us up from Char's house and took us back to her home. She had soup for us and asked if we would listen to her play the piano. She is phenomenal!! It was so good. We talked to her a lot about our lives and what motivated us to come on a mission. She kept warning us about a terrible storm that was coming in, but still we doubted. We came home and packed our bags because we were going to stay in Cranberry that night and go to District Meeting the next day with the sisters. Ruthy picked us up and we beat the storm there.

Wednesday we woke up and got ready for the day. We started personal study and were half way through comp study when we looked out the window to see a FOOT OF SNOW!!!! That is a BIG deal in PA. We spent a good 20 minutes taking the ice and snow of the car so we could get to district meeting. I, being from AZ, wasn't thinking and wore flats....dumb? Yeah, I know now. My feet were SOAKED by the time we got to the church building. There was so much snow and ice everywhere because it had snowed, then rained, then froze, then snowed. Crazy weather!! And it was STILL snowing. We went to lunch and then had to call Sister Neeley. The roads were horrible and so we ended up spending another night in Cranberry. We came back to the sisters' apartment and because my feet were little icicles, Sister Gates heated up these slippers called "Hot Booties" (basically a bean bag slipper) and I snuggled under my Christmas blanket and we talked. We got bored and Sister Gates made us work out and it kicked. my. butt. SO BAD hahaha! I am so out of shape it is not even funny. Good thing I have a while before I get home! haha! But we did find out a bit of bad news....our apartment reeks of cigarette smoke and so our clothes smell disgusting. And we never knew!! It makes it a little bit difficult to teach the Word of Wisdom when you smell like an ash tray. So we might be moving apartments but not for another couple weeks so don't worry, you can still flood my mail box (;

Thursday we finally made it back to Beaver Falls! Sister Neeley came and got us after studies and then we picked up our car. It was so clean and shiny and whole. Sister LaFond (who is moving to the wonderful state of Arizona in June) picked us up and got a first hand look at missionary work in Pennsylvania. We tried everyone we could think of and literally no one was home. We finally did see Carol and it was a good visit. After being dropped off we saw Lorraine and she isn't doing too well in the gospel. She didn't agree with the word of wisdom, but frankly it is because she doesn't realize that there is a prophet who is receiving that revelation from God. You can argue all day about it but when you realize that God is speaking to the earth through a living breathing prophet...there really isn't that much to argue. We went to Sister DeBaker's for dinner and she is SO sweet to us. Her daughter, Shyanne, called and was asking what her mom was doing and she said feeding the sisters and we heard Shyanne say "AGAIN?!?!" hahaha! I think she is a tad jealous but it is so much fun to be at Sister DeBaker's house haha!

Friday was the dreaded Weekly Planning. Long story short, we went to correlation with Ruthy and she is the bomb when it comes to member missionary work. LIKE AWESOME! She really helps us out a lot.

Saturday was a busy day for us! We worked on the area book then did mormon.org time and it was great! There was an awesome Mormon message called "Wrong Roads" by Elder Holland. Check it out. (:

After lunch we tried Barb, a referral from Brother Yovich. She was extremely receptive. The Lord's timing is so precise. We had a good discussion on the Book of Mormon and she said she would read it and pray to know if it was true (it is). After dinner, we went to Sister Bishop's house and had an awesome lesson on studying the scriptures and she said she wants to study better from God's word. Oh how I love the gospel! We came home and started our work as a taxi service. We called so many people for an hour+ trying to find a ride for Trent, Sister Bishop's son, and Anthony, our investigator. Finally we managed to get them rides when some poor members took pity on us. What a long night!!

Sunday is seriously like my favorite day of the week!! (: I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! I mean how awesome is it that we get to partake of the sacrament EVERY WEEK! It's SO AWESOME!!! Anyway, so we got to church and Anthony didn't come because he was sleeping. I had a really hard time with it until, during the sacrament, I was reading the words to "I Stand All Amazed", like I always do and I realized that I did all that I could and it still wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to get Anthony to church. But as I pondered the Atonement I realized that Christ made the Atonement because He knows that no matter what I do, it will never be enough. He knew that I would need His help to reach my potential but it would always be up to me to take His hand. It was such a good meeting yesterday because it was Cody's, a boy in the ward, farewell to Boise Idaho this week. It was awesome in Relief Society when we talked about the Plan of Salvation and I had some "Ah ha!" moments on simple doctrine. When you go to church to be spiritually uplifted and fed, you will be. God has promised us that.

Bishop Weeks and his wife took pity on us and since we didn't have a dinner appointment invited us over for dinner. We went to Sister Smego's then to Bishop's house. He left half way through to go to Cody's setting apart. We talked to Sister Weeks and it was a great visit. All in all, a fantastic Sunday, as usual. (:

Well, that is my week in a nut shell. Pretty crazy right? I mean, no earthquakes, no big bugs, not even a horrific storm. Nice and quiet United States with little to no physical challenges right? But what about the spiritual? What about the mental and emotional? Rejection, disappointment, slow moving work, little involvement from the ward. Although the challenges we face vary, the purpose is the same. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. How great is my calling! Now take this to a non-missionary level. Some people face physical challenges: blind, deaf, crippled, exhaustion. Some face mental and emotional: depression, fatigue, anxiety, loneliness, crisis of faith. All of these challenges are big when you go through them; the mountain we are called upon to climb. They seem impossible until we reach to top and see the breath-taking beauty. Sometimes we don't reach to top until we are resurrected, sometimes it was only a hill instead of the Everest we saw before us. No matter what the challenge or concern may be, the Savior and His teachings, the gospel will help you. The Atonement is far more reaching than repenting of our sins. It is far more than feeling peace after forgiveness is obtained. The Atonement allows us to get to that point; to climb the mountain. It is literally the propelling force. Strive this week to remember the promise you made to God when you were baptized and when you pressed that cup to your lips yesterday. Remember that no matter the trial, Christ has already been there and is going through it with you. You are never alone.

I love you so much! There is no way I could be on my mission without your love, support, and prayers. Thank you so much!! Stay strong and Carry on!!

With all the love that I have,

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

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