Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"I Still Love Mail...just so ya know"

HEEEEEYYY there. It's me, Sister Crockett...I know I've been out for a while and it seems like you don't know who I am but I am still here! And I still love mail...just so ya know d: haha! I got one letter from home this week and one from a mission friend so a little letter love goes a long way haha! No guilt trips or anything. d: Anyway.

Tuesday we went with Lindsey who is a young woman in the ward. We went to work Donora which probably wasn't the smartest idea but hey, we needed to keep busy and there were plenty of people to see. So we saw the Humberts and met Brother Humbert's ex girlfriend/daughter's mother. They have a 3 year old together. What was super weird is she said she knew Sister Rock....I started thinking and then it hit me, a story Sister Rock told me near the end of our companionship. They had helped this lady, Angie, get some gas because she was stranded on the side of the road. Well, she ended up always asking them for money if her friend could sleep on their couch. So legitimately crazy. I started praying that Sister Jones wouldn't give her our number because she had lost it months back. And the Spirit is awesome and we were super unified in not teaching Angie after we explained the restoration to her. It was a tiny tender mercy that we didn't have to deal with another situation. But that incident led us to another topic of conversation that  I'll spare you from at this time haha! Then we saw Sherry and she cried and said she was so glad that we come by to talk about the gospel with her. Talk about making me feel guilty. I really need to work on this charity thing. We also saw Eve and.....she fell asleep again haha! Poor thing. So we peaced out pretty quickly. At the end of the night we made our grandma run. We saw Sister Stoy and she filled us in on what is happening in Ferguson. No wonder they tell the missionaries not to watch the news. It's heartbreaking. Then we saw Sister Fitch and she helped cheer us up a lot.

Wednesday was SUPER stressful. I HATE driving in Pittsburgh. ESPECIALLY when it is raining...which it always is. haha! We had zone conference in Greentree and we had to pick up Mckeesport. So we drove there with time to spare then we had to make our way to the Chapel. Well, we were 40 minutes late because of traffic. And there was a 70 there (Elder Wilford Andersen). AWESOME right? I was really frustrated and it made it worse with the Elders in the background singing "Love at Home". Oh man. These guys REALLY know how to push my buttons haha! After the meeting we tried to get President and Sister Johnson to come to lunch with us, but they had stuff they needed to take care of. So 14 missionaries went to Olive Garden. That's a lot. And when we all ordered our food, some of us had to wait 15 extra minutes because they ran out of Chicken and Gnocchi soup. While we are waiting, the manager comes up and asks us if we have been waiting for a while for our soup. Some of us shrugged, not too long for a busy restaurant. He said he thought we were so he was taking care of the bill. We all sat in silence and didn't know what to do. He really did take care of the check. We found out that our waiter is the one who told the manager, so we tipped him pretty well. We calculated it to be roughly 112 dollars. It was insane. Heavenly Father really blessed us on that one! We only had time to eat and then go to Book of Mormon class. And Kianna gave us the ice challenge sooo that's a thing haha! But she is out of leader!!! We are SO close to getting her baptized. Heavenly Father is paving the way!! (:

Thursday I woke up not feeling good so that was a fun obstacle. We went and saw Dena and that's when we realized that we need to drop them. I felt really discouraged after bringing up the temple with her. It's not their time right now, but it will be sometime. Then we helped with the Senior Center and then we did VT-ing with Sister Lang. Next was our team-up with Sister Hoffman. We tried a few people but no one was home so we saw Tonja. Please pray for her to be able to go to the temple in October. She needs a lot of help. We went to the Machowiaks for dinner and an old missionary came back to visit and he was staying with them. It was super weird. After dinner we went to Tonja's again and did the ice challenge. Not too bad haha!

Friday we survived another weekly planning and then went to Meg's for lunch. We painted our nails and talked with her about life really. She is amazing and it was really good for all of us. We taught Kajhia the gospel of Jesus Christ but she didn't really remember any of the 1st 2 lessons and doesn't have her answer yet so we will be focusing on her for the next couple weeks to hopefully help her work towards getting baptized!

Saturday was crazy insane. We went to correlation and then we helped the Stinnetts clean up the church. The Elders were pretty grumpy about it so that made it a cheerful thing. We got after them when they put the toilet brush in the clean sink so that they could use the bucket for something. Boys. We made them clean the sink again haha! Then we went to the Sullivans and helped them clean up for their company this coming week. They insisted we stay for lunch. This ward is REALLY good to us. They are super sweet and want to make sure we are taken care of! After that we saw the Hoffman's and had a decent visit with them. Brother Hoffman wasn't feeling well so we mainly visited with Sister Hoffman. After that we "happened" to run into Kianna, who "happened" to tell us to go visit her mom at her aunt's house, who "happened" to be walking home at that time and just "happened" to be in the act of smoking. What the heck!? We were so shocked at everything that panned out the way it did. We really focused on the temple when we made it back to Tonja's house. We went to dinner at the Martin's after that and the Elders discovered the zipline. So we all took turns on it. I have never felt so insecure about myself in my life haha! It was super awkward but a LOT of fun. And the old missionary was at THAT dinner appt too. haha!

Sunday for all of you people keeping track (Mom) was my 16th month mark. I have about 2.5 months left on my mission. I don't really know how to feel about it yet so I am just gonna keep going along until well, I'm just gonna keep going along haha! We went to church and then there was a court of honor immediately following so we stayed for that. We took lunch and did some studies then had to peace out for dinner at Meg's. They are so much fun to be around. Kiley is the only girl and she took my nametag and said I was now Kiley and she was Sister Crockett. We told her she had to ask the Elders really nicely if they could take the sisters home (because she was a sister missionary) and Elder Martin said "Well, only if you give me a hug!" So she ran up and gave him a hug. We tried to stop her because Sisters do NOT hug elders. But well, couldn't really do anything. Then she started pushing Sister Jones over and that REALLY couldn't go down haha! So awkward. So that was our evening because no one would let us in haha!

So we had an interesting conversation about how we can't grasp all of our sins. (we were listening to a Hillary Weeks song) and what crossed my mind is that the only One that can hold all of our sins in His hands, is the One that has holes in His hands because of those sins. This made me think about the gospel because it doesn't make sense to give up 18 months for a church; to put school on hold, family on hold, friends on hold, everything. And it still works. I am happier than I have ever been and it is because I don't have to worry. I know that everything is in the Savior's hands; His broken hands. Elder Andersen, the 70, came and said that faith is submission to God's will. I am trying to submit to His will. I am trying to have faith. And that is all He asks of me.

I love you all very much and I hope you have had a good week! I hope this week brings more miracles and more happiness to you!!

All my love,

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Humbling Experience and Worn Out Shoes!

Well, there must be something about week 1 with Sister Jones and I...it was a rough week for us! It went ok, nothing major happened, but we weren't at the top of our game. But we survived and are VERY excited for a new week to get going! (:

Tuesday was a struggle for us. Everything we planned on doing fell through. /: Literally everything. And we called President Johnson about Kianna getting baptized on Saturday and well...he said she couldn't because she was is on probation ): So we are working on that. It's really sad and Kianna was NOT happy, but it gives us more time to prepare her and finish teaching the lessons.

Wednesday we went to District Meeting and met Elder Klima's new companion. That was exciting. I feel like I am just getting everyone that has ever served with Sister Hanseen. Elder Martin now Elder Johnson. And Sister Jones was trained by the sister that took my place in Beaver with Sister Hanseen. So weird. Anyway, we went back to the church and Sister Paul came out with us and we tried to visit Laurie, but she was at work so we made our way back to Charleroi and tried the Braddy's but they weren't home, so we ended up at the Hoffman's. Well, Brother Hoffman was not happy about us being there apparently and we got into an interesting conversation about grace....basically how he doesn't understand it. So I committed them to read Brad Wilcox's "His Grace is Sufficient". It's an awesome baseline for grace. I love that talk so much. Sister Paul dropped us off then we went to Tim and Tonja's for dinner and that was super awesome. Kianna was super embarrassed around the Elders so it was REALLY funny to watch. She stuck me and Sister Jones on either side of her. She is a hoot and a half. Then we went to BOM class and we didn't have the manual so that was fun. It didn't go too badly once Sister Jones and I got in our groove. But that was just how our week was going.

Thursday we visited Dena and talked about the gospel a little bit. We asked if her and Marcus had prayed about it and she said a little bit. But not since a few days after we taught the first lesson. She said they had said they didn't want to change at this time. And then she threw this at us. She said that she had once asked Marcus "What if we are wrong?" Now, you might disagree with how I responded, but this is how it happened and I have no regrets. I told her there is no right or wrong as far as worshiping God goes (except maybe human sacrifice...but I didn't say that) however, that happiness that she is looking for so desperately is found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ taught in the His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She looked at us and we knew she was going to talk to Marcus again that night. If they will come to church I know they will make the changes. She is already giving up smoking and they want to get married sooner than planned so they can be right in the eyes of God. I have never seen people be more prepared than they are right now. God is definitely running the show around here. So we left and did some service at the senior center. After that we went and went to Menolly's to have a lesson. She had promised last time that we were there that she would read the scriptures and well, she didn't. So we brought up the promise that we had made to bring her a treat for playing the game. We threw her excuses back at her. "Sorry Menolly, we were REALLY busy last week and we just didn't have time." "There were a lot of other important things we needed to get done and we couldn't bring ourselves to go to the store." "We are sorry Menolly, maybe next time!" Well, she wasn't too happy about that and she realized where we were going with it. She said she would REALLY read the scriptures next time. So we brought her the candy and told her that it was really important to keep our promises, especially to God. Sister Braddy even spoke up and said that she would read the scriptures with Menolly. That was a HUGE step and I was kinda floored that she would agree to do that. Then was our trek to get our oil changed. It took FOREVER and was a huge waste of time, but it was necessary. Then we had FHE with the Machowiaks with Aja. That was a fiasco and a half, but it ended up working out.

Friday was weekly planning. And you should be pretty familiar with how I feel about that by now. haha! Then Sue came out with us and we saw Kianna. It was good to have another Mom's perspective but I think that Kianna responds better to peers than adults. I dunno what we are going to do with her. We went to a YW's grad party and got to talk with the Stinnetts. They are SO cool. I love them a lot. After dinner we went to Lovely's and got to talk to Laurie for a bit. We talked about the temple but it turned to the plan of salvation. It was a really good discussion and Lovely kept testifying of the truth of the gospel. It was pretty epic. I love them a lot. They are so funny. I wish you could meet them. Some day.

Saturday we found out that our ward mission leader's wife is pregnant and that's why we haven't seen her in weeks!! We were so happy for them! But she is apparently REALLY sick. So that is no bueno. We went to the Sullivans again and cleaned some more then Brother Sullivan made brunch. It was super yummy. They take good care of us. Then we visited with Eve and the poor lady fell asleep on us!! We were talking and she just conked out! haha! It was kinda funny actually. Next was Sherry and we just read the BOM with her to keep her reading. She is still struggling with smoking so we aren't really sure what to do with her right now. We then saw Tonja and really started pushing the temple with her. We showed her the store.lds.org website so that she could kinda know what to expect; but that turned into a whole new lesson with Kianna about the law of chastity. Basically our consensus was to have the Elders teach it to her....this will be interesting. They are REALLY excited about it. d: oh well!

Sunday was good, we didn't have any crazy experiences like last week; in fact, hardly anyone was there! Which was pretty sad. After church we went to the Lang's for dinner then went to the Aders and had a lesson with Tanner. It went really well! I was really happy with it. He is making huge progress and studying like a prophet. I don't even know what to teach him anymore haha! He is so awesome!

So this week has been a pretty humbling experience. We all need those moments. With Kianna not receiving permission to be baptized, Tanner's parents forbidding him, and TJ flat out refusing I turned to wonder "Why is all of this happening? Why am I teaching people that can't be baptized?" I had to realize that I am not the one teaching them and it's all on God's timing. I want more than anything to see Tanner, Kianna, Kajhia,  Laurie, Menolly,  and Dena and Marcus to enter the waters of baptism and start their journey towards eternal life. If I am robbed of that experience, then it is fair. God timed when they would need it and it isn't up to me. One of the hardest things is to accepts God's timing but it's perfect, is it not? That's all that matters. I have done what I could and the rest is up to Him.

I love you all very very much!! You are my favorite people in the entire world and I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett


Sunday, August 10, 2014

A 14-month Milestone

Wow. We'll have to keep this short because I AM GOING TO PITTSBURGH!!!! Whooo it's going to be a blast!!! (: Can you believe that it is already August!? Mind blown. And here was our week welcoming in the new month.

Tuesday was fun because I didn't feel super great. But definitely not sick enough to stay in!! d: We went to the work out class and Sarah came, Sue's daughter. She is so cool and we really want to start getting her back to church. She has already quit smoking for 3 weeks!!! (: She's on the right path! Then we saw Brother Kray who is a less active we hadn't been able to see before. We talked with him about the church and he said that they were offended several years ago over tithing. Come to find out, it was all a miscommunication. *sigh* pretty common unfortunately. We got a call from Kiana and she said she didn't want to get baptized anymore...oh boy. But we had a lesson set up for Wednesday so we waited until then to talk with her and sort out her concerns. We saw Sister Honich and she cheered us up a little bit. Thank goodness for awesome members!!

Wednesday was really up and down. We saw Dena and it seemed liked she was less convinced that she should meet with us. I guess they met some lady who "talks to God"...and conveniently goes to her parents church.....RIIIGHHT. We are going to keep tabs on them still. If they don't accept it now...they will in the future. That's for sure!! We had district meeting.....yawn....But afterwards we got to see Menolly and she is doing really well. We are probably moving her date back to make sure that Sister Braddy is regularly attending church. Then we saw Kiana and she is still getting baptized August 16th!! She thought (through no fault of her own) that she had to literally be perfect to be baptized. Nope. Not quite. So she is ready to be baptized. (: Then we invited her....umm relative (it is Tonja's niece who was adopted by Tim's mom...talk about confusing!!) Kajhia (Kay- asia) to talk with us. It went really well and she wanted her own copy of the Book of Mormon! During Kajhia's lesson, Kiana told Tonja who was talking about Joseph Smith, that she forgot the best part: "There were TWO personages above the brightness of the sun!" It was awesome! We worked the family history center and had Book of Mormon class. Annnnnd we'll leave it at that.

Thursday was the senior center and they literally left EVERYTHING up to us then got mad when we didn't do it their way. hahah! Old ladies man, you never win. After lunch we tried to drop off a talk to Tonja to help her but she wasn't home so we went to Tim's mom's house (she lives next door) to ask if she would give it to Tonja. She let us in and told us "You won't get me!" We were a little confused until we realized she was talking about teaching her the lessons...and yes we will. She started insulting Kiana in front of her and Kiana finally spoke up and said "Grandma! I am not stupid and I know what I am doing!" She quoted a scripture from the Book of Mormon and bore her testimony of the truth. It was EPIC. We were totally stunned and so was her grandma who kept telling us she didn't know what she was doing. Kiana knows what she is doing. And it's awesome!! (: Later, Marsha (Tim's mom) told Tonja that she had had a lesson with us (she hadn't......) After dinner was the relief society meeting. Sister Jones was so excited. So excited she couldn't stand....or run for that matter. haha! We were helping Sister Lang set up her display and Sister Jones went to get an extra hymn book and she was running back towards me. I glanced at her and then I hear a BOOM. Then she was gone.....on the floor. I was dying cuz all I could see were her eyes between the chairs. HAHAHAHA! I was laughing SO hard. The activity was pretty awesome. Sister Braddy came so that was a HUGE plus (:

Friday was one big stress case after another. We had to get team ups set up for this week and that took a lot of time. But after they were all set up, it was good. Then we went to Sue-per woman's house and Rachel met us there. She took Sister Jones to got to Aja's and Eve's while I went with Sue-per woman to Finleyville. At the end of this team-up, Sue and I got in to see the Sullivans. We haven't been able to see them ever and they live in a mansion house. Literally this thing is insanely gorgeous. We were afraid to sit on their couches. They were really nice and we talked about faith with Tammy, the mom. She bore her testimony to us about faith and when I invited her to church she said she didn't have a testimony and couldn't see herself coming unless she was "moved to". ): It was REALLY sad. Because of that appointment, we were REALLY late to our dinner appt but the Lang's were pretty chill. We found out there that Tonja was stranded in Pittsburgh. We didn't know much of the situation but as we were coming home, she called us on a weird number. It was Marsha's number. She asked us to find a ride for Kiana's doctor's appt the following day. But we were really concerned about them being at the point at 9:30 pm!! So we call 7th ward missionaries (Sister Rock) to make them aware of what's going on. By the time we think to call Bishop EVERYONE'S phone died. We couldn't help them. I was definitely a stress case that night. haha! Oh man. (They made it home at 2 am and everything worked out)

Saturday was a really long and good day. We had correlation and the Elders were moody. Probably because they had only seen 3 people in 5 days....rough. I don't blame them. It's pretty discouraging to not have a lot to report on. After studies and lunch we saw the Humberts and Dave said he wants to start coming back to church!! After we were correcting his false doctrine. Next was Sherry and we just read the Book of Mormon with her. Next was Vi and Marissa. They are both doing pretty well. We had a dinner appt at the Hammonds and Tanner came. We were able to teach him the 10 Commandments and it went really well (: Next were the Hoffmans and they are always pretty goofy!!! (:

Sunday was good. We went to Ward Council and then Aja told us Sister Robker didn't show. So we struggled to find her a ride and Sue-per woman saved the day. She went to get her!! It made me so happy and relieved!! So everyone made it safe! (: Then we had dinner at the Stinnetts. They are AWESOME. Love them. Next was Tim and Tonja's. They are super cool. And then we saw Sister Fitch to end our night. All in all a good day.

So I finished the Book of Mormon today during studies. Sadly it has taken me 14 months to read it but the things I learned from it were priceless. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon testifies of His divine mission. I love my mission and I am so grateful for the things I have learned.

One more insight. I was reading Jesus the Christ this morning and I am reading about the betrayal. Elder Talmage cites D&C 76 talking about the sons of perdition. In verses 36-37 it talks about how they won't be redeemed and that the 2nd death will have power over them. It made me aware that if the Atonement had never happened this would have been everyone's fate; no point to life. But it did happen, and I am redeemed. This will not be my fate as long as I trust God and do what He asks of me. This is why I am on a mission, to help others escape a fate worse than can be imagined. The Gospel is true and the way to return to live with God.

I hope you have a good week!! I love you!!

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett