Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Free to Struggle

Wowie. These weeks are getting shorter and shorter. I can hardly believe it is the end of July. And the weather has been GORGEOUS. Thank goodness. We could use a good change from the ugly humidity!!

This week was a little more difficult than we would have liked but it's week '4' of the transfer (actually week 5 but we have 7 weeks this transfer instead of 6) so we can't expect too much haha!

Tuesday we went to the work out class and the Elders came. They kept teasing us about "jazzercising". But the joke was definitely on them. haha! They couldn't walk for days. An old lady work out class my eye! haha! We had to take time to clean our area book because it looks ATROCIOUS so we spent time updating records and putting everything in the right place. Then we saw Menolly, our 10 year old investigator with Sister Tolliver. We committed her to be baptized on Sept 28 so it will give her parents tons of time to come to church...hopefully. Then we went to the Machowiaks for dinner with Tim and Tonja. We had a lesson afterwards with TJ.....ugh. Who knew an 11 year old could be SO frustrating. He asks THE most random questions. Like "Did God have parents?" "If we all accept Jesus Christ in the Spirit World why does it matter if we join here?" Oookay. Not random, but definitely NOT pertinent to what we are talking about. Sister Machowiak tried to help as much as she could but TJ is one stubborn kid. I don't know if he'll make his baptismal date mostly because he doesn't want to.

Wednesday was pretty frustrating. Week 4 is just humility week. And it doesn't matter whether or not it is a different number of weeks in the transfer; Humility week KNOW when week 4 is haha! We had district meeting...yup. Then we went to Finleyville and Venetia and no one was home. Of course. Why would people be home?! And the one guy who was, lied to us that the Moore's had moved a while back...he WAS Brother Moore. *sigh* gotta love agency. We had BOM class and since the Elders never gave us the book, we totally winged it. It wasn't horrible, but I KNOW how important it is to prepare now. Man.

Thursday was better that is for sure. We went to the senior center to volunteer and it was a mad house. They had JUST dropped the food off right before we showed up and so nothing was ready. The old ladies were running around like chickens with their heads cut off haha! So we tried to step in and help as much as we could. But of course, we didn't know how to cut the cantaloupe right...riiiggghht. So we excused them and did it how we wanted hahaha! We met Sister Stinnett at the church so we could go work in Charleroi and that went pretty well. We saw Jackie then saw Kiana. Kiana now wants to get baptized on August 16th /: Bummer!!! But whenever she is ready is when she is ready. We talked about music and the influence of it. Kiana said "Well, if you take out the swear words the song is only a minute long!!" Do YOU see anything wrong with that haha! Oh man. So we are going to try and help her get some good music that will help her stay focused. Joining the church is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. A lot of people have to give up many things that they have been doing for a long time. And often, they already know it's wrong. Sister Hreha (ray-hi) was really sweet and picked us up for dinner and then we went and saw Aja after dinner. Her daughter, Adrianna is SO smart and wanted to play with us and was pretty upset when we had to leave.

Friday, Sue saved the day after weekly planning. We needed a ride to Donora and she came in and took us there. We saw Eve....more baby advice haha! I seriously don't know what to do with her hahaha! She is crazy! d: Then we saw the Humberts who are a whole other brand of crazy...Then we went on exchanges and had to book it to the Elders apartment and they took us to the Mossers. Everyone was running around like crazy haha! After dinner, we saw Lovely and it was super awesome. I love her! Her kids were super cuddly this week and just wanted to hug us. It was super sweet.

Saturday, we saw Tanner at Tonja's. We meant it to be really for Kiana and TJ but they went to Pittsburgh so we didn't get to teach them that much. Tanner's lesson went alright. Then on to Vi's. Then we had to exchange back and Sister Jones and I went to the Crooks for dinner. They are leaving this week so that is pretty sad. But it was a good dinner.

Sunday Adrianna wanted to sit by me....so I missed ANOTHER sacrament meeting. Oh well. If Aja got something out of it, it is totally worth it. We studied at the church after wards and another huge rainstorm rolled in. I love the rain SO much. It's amazing. We had dinner at the Aders and they are pretty goofy haha! After our dinner, we tried to see Brittany but that didn't work because Sister Ader beat us to it! So we saw Tim and Tonja. They need a lot of prayers, so if you wouldn't mind praying for them, I would really appreciate it!!!! I know they would too! So that was our week. Not super exciting but pretty tiring.

One cool thing I have been pondering this week is from a song and the line is "We are free to struggle, we're not struggling to be free." Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ I am allowed to struggle through things without being penalized because I don't understand right away! I am allowed to make mistakes (so long as I repent afterwards) because it is apart of the learning process. Ideally I would grow line upon line and precept upon precept without making the mistakes along the way, but sometimes I trip up. I am not struggling to prove myself to God, I am struggling to prove God to myself. My Spirit already knows that God is there, but my carnal, fallen man mind has to catch up. I am so glad I am allowed to struggle and that I don't have to earn my way to heaven. It's already been paid, it's just up to me to decide how far I want that payment to get me.

I hope you have a great week!! I love you a ton!! Thanks for your support!!

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Fantastic Week

HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!! You are NEVER going to believe what happened this week! It was CRAZY. The church is so freaking true. I am still kinda is shock about it. It was SUCH a good week! (:

So on Fast Sunday the stake had a fast specifically for new investigators! And that was way cool. Tuesday was just the start of it! We texted Dena and asked if we could set up a time where we could come over and talk. She said we could on Tuesday in the morning so we went! We chatted then Dena asks "Sooo what did you want to talk about??" I nervously shot a look at Sister Jones who just nodded. Dena said "Umm why did you just look at her?? Are you nervous?" I laughed and said "No.....but yes." I explained that we wanted to talk about the gospel and it was extremely important to me. I said I wanted them to say yes so badly and I was afraid they would say no. Marcus explained that he didn't like religion forced down his throat so he would most likely say no, but he would pray about it. Ummm sweet. Because God is TOTALLY going to tell him to listen to us. Dena was a little more quiet during this. She then let Marcus finish and said that she knew we weren't there to just help her paint her house or unpack. We were there from God. When she needed God the most, we came knocking. She said that Marcus and her were uncomfortable with their church and wanted to find one that fit them. That's also the day the sisters knocked on the door for the first time. So we ended up talking about religion for a while and then Marcus said "Well, if your church is true, why isn't it that old? I mean Catholicism and Presbyterian date way back. What about yours?" Sister Jones and I laughed and said, "Well, this will take some explaining. Can we teach you the first lesson?" They agreed and we taught. We talked about the Book of Mormon and Marcus said that it made sense. He also said he wanted to read it to know what it said. Umm go for it. Be our guest!!! (: haha! Basically, I want them to accept the gospel more than anything else in this world. I can't even describe the overwhelming feeling I get when I think of them being baptized and sealed to their kids!!! It makes me so happy!! This is what missionary work is ALL about. Incomprehensible joy. We then had dinner and then went to Tim and Tonja's. Kianna, Tonja's daughter, is home for good now. We talked first to Tonja about smoking. She has gone almost 2 whole weeks without smoking!!!!!! We are so proud of her!! She is making so much progress. It's clear that she wants to go to the temple more than anything. Next was a stop at the Hoffmans. They are so funny.

Wednesday was totally sweet!! We had District Meeting, which let's be honest, is getting kinda old. The same lessons by different district leaders. *sigh* I still try and get as much out of them as I can but it isn't like when I first came out. We went to the Braddy's house after lunch and talked with Sis Braddy about missions and conversions. Then Sister Jones asked if her kids were interested in taking the lessons. Right then, Mennolly pops up and says "I want to be baptized! There is an 8 year old getting baptized and I am 10!!" hahah! So, we didn't specifically teach her, so she isn't a new investigator yet, but she will be this coming week! We then went back to Tim and Tonja's for TJ's lesson. Well, TJ conveniently went to Pittsburgh for the day. Tonja and Kianna were sitting outside when we walked up. We ended up giving Kiana the first lesson and she is all fired up about it. It was super awesome! So we picked HER up as a new investigator. (But we aren't done with the family yet!!) 

Thursday was a test of our faith I think. Everything fell through. But when we went to go organize our area book we got a text from TJ asking us to come and teach him a lesson asap. So we did. He is a typical 11 year old and got mad for some reason. He laid on the floor talking to us through his arms. So like the awesome sisters that we are, we laid on the floor next to him and talked to him through our arms. He eventually sat up once Tonja came and yelled at us for laying on the floor haha! ooops. 

Friday was weekly planning and we beasted it up. We got it all done in 3 hours and set up members to be at ALL teaching appointments. CRAZY. We took Elizabeth, the Bishop's daughter with us to see a new less active, named Sherry. She basically just told us all of her medical problems. Yikes...Then we met up with Sue who is superwoman I swear. She is SO amazing. She drove us to Cokeburg so we could meet with Aja, a recent convert from Washington. Aja is amazing. She is getting married in August and has a little girl named Adriana. Aja wanted to come to church so she asked us to help her set up a ride. No problem, we are pro at that haha! Unfortunately, Aja is probably moving to North Dakota in September. Bummer! 

Saturday was non-stop running from the time we woke up to the time that we laid down for bed! Crazy stuff. We had correlation with Brother Wood then we came home and did studies. Then we went to the Ader's and had lunch with them. They are so sweet. Sister Ader came out with us and we visited Tonja again to make sure she was still doing well. She was (: We met up with Haley, a young woman who is planning on going on a mission. She drove us to the Humbert's and also Eve's. We committed the Humberts to pray every day about the BOM....we'll see how that goes this week. Eve is funny as usual. She was explaining that when you talk to an old person you have to speak really loud and slowly and look at them. When she finished, or so I thought, I asked if she had any advice for us and she said "I'm trying to tell you it!!" We went back to the church, took a picture with Haley then tried to figure out a ride for Sherry on the way to our dinner appointment. The Mossers fed us Brazilian hot dogs again!! SO yummy. We had the spiritual thought. We combined D&C 18:15-16 with Diet Coke and Mentos. Figure that one out (; haha! 

Sunday was good. We fasted for Dena and Marcus to get their answer. So if you can keep them in your prayers that would be amazing!! We went to choir practice before church and 15 minutes before sacrament meeting, Brother Binger, the 2nd Counselor pulls us into a class room and asks me to speak! 0.o Sister Jones was already speaking, so I was the fill in because our WML's WIFE got sick. Oh man. haha! So let the stress begin! I scribbled some thoughts down tried to concentrate on the sacrament but I was SO nervous. Funny story about the sacrament. They blessed the bread just fine then they started to bless the water...and a whole tray was empty as in it was never filled. Bryan, one of the priests blessing the sacrament was like "What the??" So they filled the tray as the other priesthood holders were passing the water. They hoped they wouldn't have to bless it again. Annnnnd they almost made it. They had to bless a whole tray for Elder Martin. Bryan started whispering again "Are you serious!?" It was SO awkward haha! They say the prayer and everyone is confused. Elder Martin takes the water and they sit down. hahahaha! Sister Jones and I were dying we were laughing so hard. But the rest of the meeting went ok. Minus my talk haha! d: But what can you expect? Not much haha! So that was about as eventful as it got!!

So as you can see, it's been an amazing week. I feel so privileged to be serving at this time. I may not be able to see the changes, but I can feel my desires slowly starting to change. I love the scriptures with all of my heart. If nothing else, I have promised to never EVER forsake the knowledge that I have gained here. It's too precious. I love my Savior and I am so grateful that He was willing to condescend so that He could know how to help ME through my difficulties. Who else would show that much love? I love my Heavenly Father with all of my heart because He is willing to let us go for a while so that we can eventually reach perfection, completion, and exaltation. What a wonderful time we live in where the Restored Gospel is on the earth!! 

I love you all and I hope that you have a marvelous week!!! Oh and Happy Birthday Dad!!!! (:

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Monday, July 14, 2014

4th of July

Hello!!! Happy 4th of July (on Friday!!!) I hope you had a great time!! I know we had fun! (: Things are going well in Monongahela! Sister Jones and I are doing really well and this next week is going to be a challenge because we want to get members to all of our lessons!! Talk about difficult, but with the Lord anything is possible.

So Tuesday was a little strange because we made plans and then did something completely different from those plans. Pretty typical actually haha! We stopped in on Dena and Marcus and Dena asked us to come back and help them. Now, I was a little hesitant at first but Dena said she would make sure I'd stay away from windows d: So first we went to the Senior Center and we had a kinda cool experience there. When we showed up they were a little shocked (because it's Tuesday and we normally go on Thursday but it was Tuesday, Mother (;  ) So we ended up helping them with lunch and when we sat down to talk with some of the ladies, Ida, who is in her 90's, said that God answered her prayer. She didn't know how they were going to get everything done that day and we had shown up. She kept telling everyone that God had sent us to help. It was kinda awesome. Love those people!! So we went back to Dena and Marcus' after lunch and I DIDN'T BREAK ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!! (: HURRAY!! It was a miracle! (: We helped them for 4 hours and their front porch now looks great and all put together. They are amazing. We are going to schedule an appointment with them so that we can sit down and have a good lesson with them....finally. We went to the Hoffman's after dinner and Brother Hoffman gave us an RLDS copy of the Book of Mormon. Talk about WEIRD. haha! It's pretty much the same...but not. They kinda left out Joseph Smith's testimony....a little important if you ask me.

Wednesday was totally awesome!! We went to the Braddy's and Sister Braddy committed to pray with her kids at night!! That was the first solid commitment we have gotten from her! And she prayed for us!! Even better!! A little of amazing things happened with this family and I'll talk a little bit more about it in a second. We saw Vi after that and her son is making her stay for all 3 hours now which is probably for the best. d: We were pretty excited about that too because she ALWAYS leaves after sacrament. For an old lady she is moves pretty fast! d: Next was Tim and Tanja's. By the end, we committed their 11 year old son, TJ to take the lessons!!! So we got a new investigator!! We were REALLY happy about that. He is a pretty typical 11 year old but you wouldn't guess that by looking at him. He wears size 13 shoes!!! That is HUGE!! haha! But we are pretty excited to start working with him! Our only attendee at the BOM class was Sister Crook, so we got a little off topic /: We also met with Bishop Paul after that and got his direction for the ward this transfer!

Thursday we picked up the Mckeesport Elders then headed off to Greentree!!! We then met President and Sister Johnson for the 1st time! They are super sweet. They are from Logan Utah and almost the complete opposite of the Tophams. So our mission will have some adjusting to do! But it looks like we are in great hands!! (: I am really excited to serve under them! I even got to see Sister Rock so that was pretty sweet! She is surviving her walk area...kinda haha! Then it was time to drive home and that literally took us 2 hours. We left at 11:45 and didn't get back to our apartment until 1:45 and we had an appointment at 2:30. We scarfed down some lunch then took off to Sue's to meet Rachel. We talked there for a little bit then headed out to Jackie's. Her father in law had a heart attack and she had an infection so we haven't been able to see her for the last few weeks. But we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and it went pretty well! She is learning so quickly!

Friday was the 4th so we had to be in by 6 if we didn't have an appointment /: We had weekly planning then talked with Cheran for a little bit. But we had an early dinner appointment at the Hammonds. They are amazing and had invited some of the Elders' investigators to their house for dinner. It was super great but they definitely have their work cut out for them with Sara!! haha! But she is really sweet and loves coming to church so that's pretty awesome. So then we came home and had to stay in. Fireworks are really loud....haha!

Saturday was still pretty good. We went to correlation and the Elders forgot....same time every week...not hard hahaha! But we came home after having a good discussion on our investigators and less actives. We found out that Eve is BACK in the hospital and she is as wiry as ever! d: She gave us some....ahem interesting advice...we'll let it stay there haha! Next was the Sullivans and they are doing better. Mark is doing better but he was on one for sure. haha! We talked about D&C 4 which was super awesome. Pretty epic section if you ask me! d: Next we went to Barbara's and taught the Plan of Salvation. We are working on her understanding. Next was our lesson with Tanner. He is still bossing it! We talked about scripture study as a formality haha! He is really good at it. Next we tried a lady named Michelle. We've tried her before and both times she wasn't available. We told the people who opened the door that we would be back and they said ok. So we show up and their is an envelope on the door that says 'Sister Missionaries'. So we take it down and it's a letter that basically says she doesn't want contact from the church at all and that we need to respect people's wishes. *sigh*. I try not to take things personally but sometimes it is REALLY hard. I just want everyone to want the gospel!!!

Sunday was another fast Sunday! The whole stake fasted to help us find new investigators! So at the start of sacrament meeting, I turned around to see who came. SISTER BRADDY WAS THERE!!!!!!! (: We were SO happy!! It was amazing!! We ended up spending our evening with some of the coolest people ever!! We saw Sister Honich and Sister Fitch. These ladies are SO awesome!!!! I love this area!!

So this week has been amazing and I have learned a lot. I love being a missionary and I love serving with Sister Jones!! Everything is going great, soooo bring on the trials right!?!? haha! Oh man. But everything is really great!! I hope you are having an awesome time too!!! (: I love you dearly!! Thank you for the letters!! They make my day!!!!!


Sister Kaitlyn Crockett