Friday, May 30, 2014

Best Day of My Life

Hey there family!! So this week has been ya know, one of "those" weeks. So many good things can't be jam-packed into one week so Satan threw some nasty curve balls. But it's fine because Christ is known for His home runs. Baseball analogy anyone??

So let's get started. I know you are all excited to hear about Thursday (; me too!!

Tuesday we volunteered at the senior center and the ladies there were as crazy as ever. haha! We tried to visit some less actives in Donora and we found the Humbert's. They are pretty interesting. They (a son and his mom) are pretty old converts and kind of contradict themselves. Like when we left, Brother Humbert said he had these blasted cigarettes and he didn't need them but every so often he would get a craving that he couldn't deny. That sounds like you need them and an addiction, but don't worry. We've got a plan for that (: Then we saw Sister Latkanich which turned out to be a huge blessing because her nurse left to get her groceries and her doctor called. He told her she needed to go to the ER because of her UTI and she wouldn't have gone if we hadn't been there. We called the ambulance and got her all comfy while we waited. Once they showed up we went to dinner at the Johnson's. They are AWESOME. Love them so much.

Wednesday was CRAZY. We got SO much work done in one day. It felt awesome! We saw Sue but we got interrupted by her mom's "cremains" coming home. So we tried to see Dena and Marcus but they had a family emergency so we took lunch. Then we saw Vi and she was resting from coming home from the hospital. We talked about repentance and she gave us a HUGE cake that we decided to take to the Book of Mormon class later that night. We taught Marissa about Agency and Accountability. Since she is done with her recent convert lessons we are going through the For Strength of Youth pamphlet with her to help her understand the standards of the church. We also saw Tim and Tanja. We talked about following the prophet and they are such rock stars. They are SO cool. We also saw Brittany. Her mom is more involved in our lessons than she is. Her mom also isn't a member...opportunity? (: We had Book of Mormon class and the Elders did an awesome job talking about King Benjamin's address. After that we had an impromptu lesson with Tanner, our most recent investigator. He is soaking it up like a sponge!! Couldn't be more golden that's for sure!!

So Thursday....BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can I just say, I was star struck. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is the MAN! That was the BEST conference. I can't even begin to describe it. I was so exhausted by the end, but it was so worth it.

We got to our choir practice 20 minutes late because of Pittsburgh traffic. But we made it. We practiced and then we sat on the stand restlessly for 30 minutes. Every missionary was silent and completely absorbed in the Spirit. Finally 2 pm rolled around and Elder Holland entered the room with Elder Hallstrom from the the presidency of the 70. We all stood and he started waving and blowing kisses at the choir (us). He turned and did the same to the congregation. He wanted to meet us all before the meeting so we shook his hand before. When it was my turn, he asked how I was, but I had a look of complete shock on my face (I guess) because he laughed and mimicked my expression haha! It was amazing! He was SO real and so hilarious! What else could you expect from him??? He rarely stood still. When it was his turn to speak, he clipped a mike on and said "So I can be right here!!!" And he shook and elder by the shoulders! He grabbed Sister Aston's face. He looked me right in the eyes as he was speaking. I could feel the Spirit SO strongly as he pleaded with us to never, ever go less active. "We can't afford to lose the shepherds. We are already losing too many sheep." Okay, some jokes. He said he hopes to die in a high priest group meeting that way no one will know, not even him. He recounted a "story" of a few weeks ago a high priest went into cardiac arrest and the paramedics gave mouth to mouth to 5 other men before finding the right man. Elder Holland was describing King Noah and said he was a slob. He hesitated then said, "Well, 'slob' isn't a very apostolic word. But then again, Noah wasn't a very apostolic man." Elder Holland said if we ever went less active, he would hunt us down and ring our necks...but that isn't very Christlike and we shouldn't tell our mothers that. oops. Instead, he said he would come haunt us. We would hear scratching on our windows, look outside and see his face pressed against the glass. haha! Overall, it was a pretty legit experience. He talked about how Christ had to pay everything for our salvation so why shouldn't we have to pay a little? The destination of salvation passes through the Garden of Gethsemane and the Road to Calvary. He talked about how we need to make changes in our lives so we can be the kind of missionaries that God needs us to be. It was so amazing. I can't even write a tenth part of what happened. But I am God's investigator.

I am just gonna skip to Sunday because everything else was pretty average for the week. Weekly planning (which led to me getting sunburned) and some visits with people. I do want to tell you about this miracle that happened yesterday.

So Friday though, during weekly planning, I looked at a sticky note from last weeks' planning. It had a question mark with a baptismal date of June 14th. That following Sunday, last week, we picked up Tanner as a new investigator. So noting that the date was set in faith, we began to plan for our next lesson with Tanner. It ended up being yesterday and we were both pretty nervous about it. We really wanted to set Tanner with a date. So we went to the Aders' home for dinner and Haley and Tanner came over later. We started to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ (being cleansed from sin, faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). We got to the Holy Ghost and the Spirit kept coming. It was so powerful there. Tanner even bore his testimony and it was awesome. Sister Rock then asked him to be baptized on June 14th. He said "Yes. That should work!" Everyone was in tears. He said he knew that the church was true and we bore testimony to him that he was making Heavenly Father very proud (sorry Dad!) of the choices that he was making at this time.

I am seriously so mind blown as to how this happened. Heavenly Father is definitely in control. I want to share the lyrics of a song that we recently got from another missionary and it describes how I feel very accurately after this week.

What Do I Know Of Holy?

I made you promises a thousand times. I tried to hear from Heaven, but I talked the whole time. I think I made you too small. I never feared you at all. If you touched my face, would I know you? Looked into my eyes, could I behold you?

What do I know of you who spoke me into motion? Where have I even stood but the shore along your ocean? Are you fire, are you fury? Are you sacred, are you beautiful? So what do I know, what do I know of holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured you out. I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about, how you were 'mighty to save'. But those were only empty words on a page. Then I caught a glimpse of who you might be. The slightest glimpse of you brought me down to my knees.

What do I know of you who spoke me into motion? Where have I even stood but the shore along your ocean? Are you fire, are you fury? Are you sacred, are you beautiful? So what do I know, what do I know of holy?

What do I know of holy? What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame? And a God who gave life it's name? What I know of holy and the One who the angels praise? All creation knows your name. Higher than heaven above, what do I know of this love?
So what do I know of you, who spoke me into motion? Where have I even stood but the shore along your ocean? Are you fire, are you fury? Are you sacred, are you beautiful? Lord, what do I know? What do I know of holy?

Have a wonderful week! I love you!!

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Good Feelings

Well hey there!! Another week has come and gone and I can hardly believe it!! Pretty crazy!! It ended with a bang and I can't WAIT to tell you ALL about it!

Tuesday we went to visit Sue and chatted with her. Her mom wasn't doing well and so we tried to distract her by reading the Relief Sociey/ Priesthood lesson, The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon and we had a pretty good discussion. We went to Dena and Marcus' and Dena was surprised when we showed up because she told us that they weren't married and she thought that made us hate them. Ummm no. Sad? yes, but we'll change that! (: They were really happy to see us! We hope to invite them to take the lessons this next week! No one was really home or interested as we tried a whole slew of potentials. We had dinner and went to Tim and Tanja's for a lesson. They taught US baptism and confirmation and rocked it! We were some tough investigators haha!

Wednesday we went to Sister Braddy's house. She isn't progressing and she is a return missionary. It's really discouraging because I know that she can reach the potential that we see in her! I just hope that she can see it. We went back to Tanja's after that and talked with her. She is trying so hard to quit smoking so she can be ready for the temple later this year! Any prayers you can offer in her behalf would be awesome! We went to lunch with some members and the Elders. It was pretty good and we had some much needed fun. We ended up seeing Brittany's mom, Vi and Sister J Hoffman later that afternoon. We tried to share to messages with them, some were more successful than others. We tried to hold Book of Mormon class but that didn't happen. So we helped some people with family history.

Thursday was pretty good. We went to Sue's to comfort her because we found out that Sue's mom had passed away on Wednesday. We talked with her and then went to Jackie's. We taught the Plan of Salvation and she is understanding more and more! It's wonderful! We finished Marissa's recent convert lessons so that was pretty awesome!

Friday was Zone Training. We had to practice for Elder Holland's thing on Thursday! We are singing "Behold! A Royal Army!" We tried to start Weekly Planning and but had to go to dinner at Bishop's house. We had a really good time. And that led us to the end of the day!

Saturday we went to Sue's mom's funeral. She was Methodist but their chapel was occupied and so they did it at our church. It was led by their pastor and we watched a Mormon message, Because of Him.

It was really neat and very sweet. We helped with the luncheon the best we could. We came home and finished weekly planning. We had a lesson with Sister Latkanich. She is the funniest old lady ever. She basically insults us without realizing it and it is SO funny!!

Sunday was AWESOME!!!! Like THE best!! We went to church and Sue's husband, Bud, came to church!!!!!!! WHAT!?! It was their anniversary and that's what she asked for! All of our faces dropped when he walked in. And Elder Sheffer is getting transferred so it was kinda his party. We peaced out, had lunch, then went to the OTHER Hoffman's. Haley, the daughter has been working with her boyfriend and he finally said that he wanted to take the lessons. Tanner said that just having us there he could feel "something." Ummm that's the Spirit. (: Sis Rock and I were so in tune with the Spirit so it turned out to be a fabulous lesson! He accepted the invitation to be baptized!!! WHOOO!!!!!!!! We finished talking with the Hoffman's after Tanner left then went to Sherrie's house, our other investigator! We talked with her boyfriend, Jim. He was kinda interested in what we had to say so that was pretty exciting! We finished lesson one and asked her to be baptized and she said YES!!! 2 investigators want to be baptized!!!!! I can hardly believe it!! It's amazing!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (:

This week has been amazing! I am so grateful for the work we were able to accomplish this week! I really feel like an instrument in the Lord's hands and I am so grateful for that!! (:

I hope you all have an amazing week! I know I will!!! (;

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

He Misses Me

Well this week was exciting. In more than one way, ahah! Pretty crazy and up in the air. I don't know how to explain it, but it was good.

Tuesday we went to a work out class and it KICKED MY BUTT. I couldn't walk until about Friday. Great fun haha! But there were a lot of non members and we ended up talking to them for a bit. Chelsea is a member's daughter-in-law. She is 21, and said since we are close to her age we can be friends haha! They have already talked about inviting us over. SWEEET. We went to Sue's house and talked about everything in the gospel. It was so wonderful! I always learn so much from her. Then we went to Sherrie's, our investigator. She talked for 2 hours straight. BUT she did ask a question about Joseph Smith so we started teaching the Restoration. But right as we got to the 1st vision, she told us a random story about somebody who did something that I really don't want to know about. No filter. But at least she is starting to read the Book of Mormon. She did say something that leads me to believe that she can really progress in the gospel. She said "Right when I felt that I needed more God in my life, 2 girls knock on my door with the book that my grandfather used to read out of". Her grandfather was a member of the church. MIRACLES HAPPEN.

We then went over to Marcus and Dena's. We helped them get a little more settled in. They really want us to just come over and hang out, which isn't allowed, but it's a good step in the right direction.

Wednesday was district meeting with our zone leaders.

 As we were eating lunch, we were told that our zone would be singing at Elder Holland's conference....there are 6 sisters in our front of the entire mission....and Elder Jeffery. R. Holland. WHAT!?!?!? They said don't worry, just practice in your district meetings before then. Well, we have zone training this coming week and then Elder no practice. Nervous?? Just a little haha! Then we went to help Dena (found out they aren't married) then went to Tanja's and talked about quitting smoking with her. It's a tricky one, but I know the Lord can help her if she wants His help. Then we went to the cemetery and placed flags on the graves of all the Veterans. Over 4,000 flags were placed and it was an amazing sight.

Thursday was really amazing for me. I prayed to be able to do what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I wanted to be guided by Him and have the courage to follow through. We went to the Senior Center and there were a LOT of people there for their annual Dart Tournament. They throw darts....pretty stinking hilarious haha! Another senior center in Charleroi wants us to come help them on Wednesdays. We are spreading the word haha! Rachel, a recent RM, came and picked us up and we pounded out the lessons. We saw Sister Braddy, and her husband smoked the entire time we were there, like 3 cigarettes in 30 minutes. That was awesome. We saw Marissa and talked about the rest of the commandments. We also saw Vi and had an awesome lesson with her about scripture study. I am so amazed how awesome our lessons were because we had a member with us. It didn't seem like a big deal, but it made a huge difference.

We got home and briefly talked with Cheran and comforted her because she is going through a really hard time. She said she was SO glad we were there right then. We had to leave for our dinner appointment but we promised to talk to her later. After dinner we were contacting a referral who promptly shut the door on us when I said "Hi we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" We got back in the car, I noticed a man sitting on his porch with his son running around. I knew I needed to talk to him, but we were already in the car. Sister Rock asked if everything was ok and I said it was but I had seen that man outside last time we tried to contact the referral. She asked what I wanted to do about it, so I got out of the car, grabbed my bag and a copy of the Book of Mormon. We walked up to him and I introduced us. I asked if he would be interested in strengthening his faith in Christ and he asked how. I said through talking with us he would better understand how to do that. He would learn how. I offered him the BOM and he accepted and said we could come back on Monday or Tuesday evening. That is what we plan to do. I felt SO good because I had followed through on what I had prayed for earlier that day!! I know the Church is true because I felt pure joy when I was doing the will of the Lord. I don't know what will happen with Bryan, but I did my part!

Friday was a disaster. We started to do weekly planning and I found termites swarming in our abandoned study room.

We called the mission office and the landlord and packed to move out for the weekend. It was so crazy. They were EVERYWHERE. I swear I didn't sign up to go foreign!! We got permission to stay at Sue's (it was a big deal because her husband really doesn't want anything to do with the Church right now). We then booked it to our appointment with Jackie. She had some basic questions after we watched the Restoration video. We tried to visit other people after that, which made us late to our dinner appointment because our GPS likes to get us lost! After dinner we saw the Cobert's. Their son is on a mission but they aren't members. We showed them the old Mother's Day Mormon message "To Every Mother" and she really like it, which is a pretty big deal. Tender Mercies Happen!

Saturday we went to correlation then went home to do weekly planning. It took FOREVER it seemed like haha! Then again, 3 hours is a long time. We went to the spaghetti dinner fundraiser the Young Women put on. It was fun. A lot of non members were there and Cheran came with the Martins. It was really awesome because her kids were begging to go to church the next day. Cha. Ching. hahah! We visited Sister Honick and talked about Mother's Day with her and it was really good. She is a sweet lady.

Sunday was MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So awesome!! (: We went to church and Cheran came with her kids!! Plus tons of less actives were there and it was tremendous!! I was glad that Cheran came because everything was very direct and simple. Love it! The Church is so true! We went to the Ader's home and helped get lunch ready. Then it was time. I GOT TO TALK TO MY FAMILY!!!!! :D I was so happy!! It was hard to say goodbye because I know that is the last time I get to speak with them until I come home, but it was still wonderful to see everyone! I was so glad I had that opportunity.

Kaitlyn's family enjoying her call home on Mother's Day.
I love my family so much. They support me in everything I do; good bad and crazy. Talking with my family really helped me realize an important lesson that I think Heavenly Father was trying to get through my thick skull: He misses me. As excited as I am to be on my mission, I am excited to go home and be with my family again. As excited as I am to be on earth, I am excited to go home and be with my Father again. He misses us all immensely and it's hard for Him to watch us go through hard things, but He knows it is what is bringing us home to Him. I know God lives and is my loving Heavenly Father. He gives me things I need to survive this world, not necessarily things I want. I love Him with every fiber of my being and I know He hears my prayers.

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day and a fantastic week!!

All my love,

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Monday, May 5, 2014

What Can YOU Do?

Hey everyone!! May the 4th be with you?? I know I know...a day late! But it's still hilarious!! (: I hope you all had a good week because we did here!! It started off rough with both Sister Rock and I not feeling good but still feeling well enough to work. Basically, the worst. haha!

Tuesday we went to Sue's and got into some deep doctrinal discussions. Basically the Church is SO true. Sue wanted to try and share the gospel with some of her neighbors so we walked around her neighborhood and talked to who we could. We tried to visit people after lunch but no one was home. Finally it was dinner time and we made it to the Mon Valley Cloggers rehearsal. Turns out that Sister Rock is a boss at clogging and tore it up. I was so proud of her!!

Wednesday was exciting...NOT. We were doing studies and I noticed a fly and I asked how on earth it got into our apartment. Then Sister Rock saw another one and I noticed another. I asked where the heck they came from and then I saw it. A HUGE swarm by our window sill! We started freaking out and cleared our stuff and ran to the Martins (our neighbors). They weren't home so we went back and called the mission office. We called the landlord and apparently we have termites....really flippin bad!! Who said PA wasn't a foreign mission??

After that adventure, we went to the Senior Center and did some service. We tried contacting a referral and then tried our investigator, Sherrie. No one was home and we had a member with us so that was pretty awkward. As we were heading to do some work in Charleroi, we got a call from Tanja who needed help moving her sister in law. So we went there in our skirts and moved some boxes. It was great!! haha! We then went to dinner then the Book of Mormon class. No one showed up so we went to do family history. A lady from the Senior Center showed up with boxes and carts FULL of family history. It was blowing all of the family history consultants away. Debra was organized and has a lot to add to the Church's records! It's going to be wonderful! And of course it was pouring as usual! So we helped her get her stuff to her car quicker. She is going to come every Wednesday now!! It's wonderful!

Thursday we had district meeting and drove the Uniontown Elders. We did a "role party" (cooler name to get us pumped for role plays). Elder Jenkins and Elder Klima were supposed to rely on the Spirit and teach the Plan of Salvation. Elder Packard was an investigator named Bob and was crazy!! Everything the Elders taught Bob was wrong. Bob laid in to them. He said that he was tired of his family and all of the trials he had (then proceeded to complain about them all) then when the Elders talked about being equally yoked with Christ, Bob said he left all of his burdens at the feet of God. It was so funny because there were some very "special" things that were said to get into the role play. haha! But that's basically how everything goes here. There is no solution to complaining. haha!

On the way home from district meeting, our GPS tried to get us lost...and it succeeded. We wandered around for FOREVER then finally got back to drop off the Elders. We then booked to Jackie's house. She is a less active member and we recently started visiting her. She has been coming to sacrament meeting and we are trying to help her understand more of the doctrine. Then we contacted a referral and the grandma answered and said that the family attends a "Charismatic Pentecostal Church" so they weren't interested. Lost to the rock band again. When the family moves out, we'll probably go and try again.

We taught Marissa the "Big 3" after that; the law of chastity, the law of tithing and the word of wisdom. Luckily, she is good so we didn't worry about it too much haha! On the way to our next lesson, we turned left down a street and everyone started honking at us. Then we way street. We had to turn around and it was the most awkward thing of my life haha! Plus pretty scary, but it's all good. No one was injured...maybe Sister Rock's pride, but other than that, we are good.

We had a very good discussion with Vi about the Savior by sharing 2 Nephi 25:23 and 26. She made a really good comment about how when she sits outside and she lefts her mind wander then something just takes over. That really got me thinking about that. When we meditate and allow our spirits to over power our natural man, that's when Heavenly Father extends revelation. Pretty amazing.

We went to dinner then talked to Tanja about the Sabbath day. Pretty good lesson.

Friday was weekly planning and we accomplished it! Then we went to Dena's old house and packed her kitchen up so they could move by Saturday. Then we went to the Johnson's for dinner and played the Flour game. SO stressful. haha! I'll explain it some other time but when it was Elders vs Sisters, Sisters won!! just saying haha! We saw Gina and Mark and again, they fed us dessert. Silly people haha! But they really are sweet. We had a decent lesson.

Saturday was really busy, but it was good. We cleaned Dena and Marcus' new house so they could move in. We had a member help us. Then we had correlation and rushed back to meet the moving truck. Bishop Paul, Brother Wood (our ward mission leader), Brother Houser, and the Elders all showed up to help. It was SO awesome!! They were so grateful and happy to be moved in so fast!
We went to dinner and then to Brittany's and talked about Joseph Smith history and all was well! We saw Tanja again and got her a ride to church.

Sunday was pretty good. The whole testimony meeting was on missionary work and it was FANTASTIC. Loved it a lot. We studied at the church and then went to dinner. Everything tastes better on fast Sunday haha! But it was nice. Then we tried to see Sister Fitch but she didn't seem to be home. So we started to drive away, and we saw her walking. We stopped and walked with her. She had a really hard day so she was really glad we stopped by. She is so sweet.

So I have a little challenge for you!! Our fast and testimony meeting was all on how simple it is to share the gospel!! So, see what you can do to share the gospel this week. Make brownies for a neighbor, tell someone about your weekend, just try and bring it up because you are helping their perception about the members of the Church become a positive one. By small and simple means are great things brought to pass!! Have a wonderful week!!

All my love,
Sister Kaitlyn Crockett