Saturday, September 27, 2014

Good news and bad news

This week was SOOO long. Like SO long. The days went by fast, but it took us a long time to get to this point. I am not sure why. But I have some bad news (well bad for me ha) I'll share it in my Saturday section...

Tuesday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!) we went to exercise class and one of the Elders' less actives dropped off her baby so that Sister Martin could watch him for a bit. So afterwards we had to drop him off and since we got a ride with Sister Martin it ate away at our day unfortunately. After we got through with our studies and looked less like the walking dead, we saw Eve and she informed us that she was told that she might have a clot in her leg and so she needed to go to the hospital. Well, she couldn't do that until her meals were delivered (obviously!) so we helped her pay some bills, packed up her overnight bag and made her promise to call us when she got to the hospital because we were running late for our dinner appointment. We went to the Machowiaks and had our UBER trunky zone leader with Elder Martin on exchanges. Elder Leavitt goes home on the 23rd so he was pretty excited about that. haha! After dinner, we went to visit Menolly and confirm her baptismal date. We talked about how she wouldn't be able to be confirmed until AFTER General Conference if she got baptized on the 28th. That made me SUPER nervous....and so we talked about alternatives. But so far she is doing awesome and ALMOST ready to be baptized!! (: We also visited with Sister Honick who is active, but she needs a lot of support so we do what we can!

Wednesday we made muddy buddies for district meeting as a good bye for the people who may get transferred in this next transfer meeting. We didn't really think too much about it but we had to use a whole box of cereal because there would be 6 Elders coming haha! During DM we had an interesting activity where we prayed about where the Lord wanted us to be and who He wanted us to talk to. So we prayed and got a few leads. Sister Cook came out with us to go visit Aja and so we got to talk with her about the gospel for a bit. Turns out, her husband Greg is becoming more and more open. We aren't going to push it, but he had a really good talk about it. We had a little bit of a mix up in our team-up times and so our next team-up had to cancel. We were left with a good solid hour and a half and that doesn't really fly, so we figured we would give our new finding leads a try and contact those people. Well, we seem to be SUPER out of tune haha! We did talk with more people though. That was a pretty good thing! I think those type of activities are cool, but it's mainly just to increase my faith and help me get out of my comfort zone. If I have an objective, then I know that it is something I can accomplish verses just aimlessly knocking on doors. I don't know, I am a weird missionary haha! We also saw Lovely and got to talk with her for a little bit. She said some really interesting things that I have been thinking a lot about lately. They meant a lot to me. Members are so inspiried; especially recent converts. We then went back to the church and, as instructed by President Johnson, we worked on our family history. We are supposed to catch the Spirit of Elijah and also collect stories from our ancestors. Sooo any help that I could get with stories about people from my 4 generation pedigree chart would be awesome (Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandmas and their parents! (:  ) We had Book of Mormon class and it went alright. Tim teased me because we were talking about Captain Moroni and I love him. haha! We were writing down attributes and Tim said "I believe, he was his wife." and the jokes continued. I just rolled my eyes. Some people like celebrities, missionaries like scripture heroes. haha!

Thursday we went to the senior center. oh man. Gotta love it there. They are crazy people. Afterwards, we went to lunch with the Scotts. They are so AWESOME. They are both converts but have been members for over 40 basically I was trying to get around saying this but.....they are old. haha! But you wouldn't have guessed that by the way they were talking haha! I love them. Sister Scott was being sassy to Brother Scott about the tip and so Brother Scott folded his arm and started wiping his mouth...with his middle finger. We were laughing so hard! You just don't expect an 80 year old man who has served a mission with his wife and works in the temple to do that! But it was SUPER funny. And bad. Don't do that after that fiasco, we went to visit Vi because she has been MIA for so long. We had a good little chat with her and then went and taught Menolly again. Last week when we taught her the law of chastity, we talked about modesty and doing head, shoulders, knees, and toes to check to make sure your clothes are modest. Well, she wasn't wearing a modest shirt and when we showed up to do a review she told us right up front " I don't pass the modesty test!!!" She laughed and said that she would pick out a better shirt next time. I legitimately love this little girl. She is so smart! We talked about tithing with her. She just gets it. She is awesome. So then we had dinner with the Machowiaks again. Then it was time for us to go with Meg and see Laurie. I love both of these ladies to death!! I just wish that Laurie got it a little bit better. We are going to have to teach her more effectively in the future. When we showed Meg where Laurie lived, she said "If you had told me we were going to Monessen at night, I would have been packing!!" She was serious too! hahaha! I love this ward a lot. 

Friday was weekly planning and we felt pretty confident neither of us were leaving. It went fairly quickly and we both planned on seeing our plans through for the week. Done and done. We went to the Kerry's to drop off some brownies to thank them for all that they do and Sister Matthews (Sister Kerry's mom). She is 96 years old and thinks she can still drive her car. No. way. haha! I like the Kerry's a lot. They are super cool. So after that we decided to do some time at the Charleroi library. Well, it was closed, so Sister Jones started texting people and I looked down the street. Walking towards us were 6 HUGE guys and none of them were wearing shirts. I said "Sister Jones, let's...go make plans in the car." So she looks up and sees them walking towards us and agrees. By then, they had seen us and we booked it to our car. They started hollering at us and walking in our direction. We got in the car as they started waving at us to come down. No freaking way. I locked the doors and drove toward Tim and Tonja's house. And that is about as scary as it gets in my mission hahaha! No big deal. We talked to Tim about it and he said not to worry about it, we are always welcome to come to their house if anything like that happens again. We talked about Kianna a little bit. She is in some hot water. Not good stuff, for her at least. Sister Jones and I were relieved to hear it. We went to dinner after visiting with them for a bit. Then we went to the Aders and had a lesson with Tanner by a fire. Yup, a legitimate fireside haha! It was sweet. Tanner's parents are starting to ask more questions and look into what he is doing. Leading by example is the way to go! (:

Saturday we did some work on the computer to get everything up to date. It took a few hours but it was totally worth it. Then we went to Tim and Tonja's and talked about missionary work. We took Tonja with us and saw Marissa. She is as funny as ever haha! Love that girl. Our next appointment fell through and so we went and got ice cream with Tonja and just talked about life with her. I think she needed it. Sometimes it is the little things that matter most. Then we went and talked to Brother Ader about Menolly's baptism and some concerns we had. He really helped us get back on the right track. Only by members and missionaries working together is the work going to hasten. Truly, it is just us trying to keep up with the work. The Lord is going to move His work forward whether or not we are involved. But wouldn't it be better to be involved?? now, the bad news. Late Saturday night, we had finished planning and were getting ready for bed. I kept in touch with a few sisters to see when transfer calls would be coming. They came at was really bittersweet. Sister Jones is getting transferred. I am finishing my last transfer in Monongahela with the ward that I love, but without one of my favorite companions. I am really nervous about getting a new one, but I know that it is for a reason. My mission president is inspired. 

Sunday was bitter sweet as well. We came early to get a picture with Bisodent (Bishop/President) Paul and well, we ended up cleaning the floor in the girls bathroom because the toilet overflowed. What a disaster. Well, after choir practice, Menolly got her baptismal interview and she passed with flying colors!! She also said that Elder Martin was a goofball...just like her! Haha! well, she's not wrong...haha! So we took lots of pictures and stayed after for a baptism of a little girl. Both Menolly and Tanner stayed for the baptism! It was super good! We went to the Aders and had lunch with them and Sister Jones and Elder Jackson said good bye. Then we had to go to the Mosser's for dinner. SOO MUCH FOOD. It was good, but I was SO full. Well, in between the two meal appointments, the Elders locked their keys in the an hour and a half later...we finally made it to the Mosser's. It was a mad house there but it was a lot of fun. I like them a lot.

SO that was our week! A lot of ups and downs but good things happened. It will be a trying week but good things are to come I am sure!! Wish me luck!! 

So, this is an awesome quote in PMG by then Elder Henry B. Eyring. I read it in my studies and I hope that you enjoy it!! "The Lord sets His standards so that He can bless us. Think about those blessings: He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. He promises personal peace. He promises the chance to receive holy ordinances in His house. And He promises those who endure in living His standards that they will have eternal life....Because we love the people we serve, all of us want to do better in lifting our Heavenly Father's children to the faithfulness and purity they need to have all the blessings of the Lord....You begin by holding up the Lord's standards clearly and without apology. And the more the world drifts from them and mocks them, the bolder we must be in doing that".

I love you!! Have a great week! You are in my thoughts and prayers!!

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Departing Testimonies

This week has been a little bitter sweet I have to say. There were lots of ups and downs, but luckily not too emotional. It was just very dramatic in our work and experiences. Overall, it just went really really, really fast.

Tuesday we had zone conference so we picked up McKeesport FREAKING early because there was NO way we were going to be late again. Well, Pittsburgh traffic disagrees, so even with 30 minutes extra, we were still 10 minutes late. Tell me how that works haha! We were instructed by President Johnson to wear proselyting clothes (aka white shirts and ties for the Elders and skirts for the Sisters) at ALL plausible times. SO you would expect with a softball tournament this weekend for the Pittsburgh stake, plausible to not wear pros. Nope. Supposed to wear a skirt. But I'll get to that in a bit. We couldn't help but laugh and be obedient. After lunch we had departing testimonies...yup. I was one of them. I felt SO sick (not because Sister Jones and I caught a cold this week) but with the thought that that was my last zone conference and I am going home. I hugged Sister Cook so tight and asked her where on earth our time went. She shrugged. It's gone too fast. We eventually left on the long rush hour traffic back to McKeesport and then to our dinner appointment at the Langs.

Wednesday was a weird day all the way around. We went to Sue's to check up on her and it turned out to be inspired. Who knew right? Her family is going through a lot right now so we focused on what we do best: talk about the gospel! It was a really good visit. Then we had a lunch appointment with Sister Machowiak and the Braddy's. Sister Braddy is doing amazing!! We are so happy with the progress that she is making! Brother Braddy on the otherhand....well, he told us that he believes in the possibility of a higher power...but for all he knows he made us all up in his head. Needless to say, it was an interesting conversation.....When we couldn't explain things to him, I felt prompted to just bear testimony to him. I looked him in the eyes, with little kids running around and the door bell ringing, and said "I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is real and so is His Son, Jesus Christ. Without the Atoning grace of my Savior I would not be here right now telling you this." And that was that. I am so grateful for the Spirit and promptings from our Heavenly Father. There is no way we could even function as 20 year old kids/missionaries and still manage to help people find the truth. No way. Next we went to Eve's. Silly silly Eve. I love this lady a lot. We then went to the church and met Rachel for a team up. We then went and talked to Aja for a bit! She is expecting a baby!! (: We were really excited for her! After catching up with her we went to BOM class. It was pretty good....I just wish that more people came!

Thursday we went with Sister Martin the Relief Society President, and saw Sherry. We asked her what was new and she said that she was moving. We asked her when and she said tomorrow. Oh. Okay. It was super awkward. We read from the Book of Mormon and then said goodbye to her. Next we went to the Hoffman's and talked with Sister Hoffman for a bit. She is really sweet and wants to come back to church but Brother Hoffman's health is so poor. It's a sad situation. After dinner we went to see Laurie.  And Laurie wasn't there. We talked with Lovely for a bit about the changes that happened at stake conference. WE explained that because Bishop was called to be the 1st counselor that there will need to be a new Bishop. She volunteered for the job haha! We explained that it didn't quite work like that...haha! Laurie finally showed up and we talked for a bit. We need to get reading the Book of Mormon with her, but she is so busy that it is hard to catch her in general!

Friday after weekly planning we went with Sue and saw Jackie. She is doing pretty well. But with her grandkids over it was a little harder to get a good lesson in. But it was still pretty good. We talked about baptism and confirmation. We also saw Vi finally! She has been up in Erie for a month and we had no idea! d: So strange! And she'll be leaving again pretty soon, but she is doing pretty well. The Elders had a scare with bed bugs...our whole mission is having an issue and we told them that if they gave us bed bugs that they would be the ones to come and clean our apartment. They weren't too fond of that idea haha! The scare turned out to just be a flea, but still disgusting! We went and taught Menolly about the 10 commandments. She is keeping ALL of her commitments and is doing SO well! It looks like she will be able to be baptized at the end of this month! We got to work on reading the Book of Mormon but as long as her mom is progressing in the gospel, it looks like Menolly will as well!

Saturday was WAY fun! The stake softball tournament!! We of course had to have correlation so we texted Brother Wood the night before and moved it to 7 am. Well, the Elders didn't really know that. But we had the same amount of time to get ready and we beat the Elders to the church by 10 minutes and Elder Martin was still tying his tie when he walked in...Pretty sad that 2 sisters had time to straighten our hair, put on make-up AND pick out an outfit in the same time it took one to shower, shave and put a tie on....we had correlation and the Elders were SO out of it. haha! Then the Hoffman's (different ones) had us over for pancakes and deer sausage. Pretty good. Then we went to Washington to play our skirts. haha! Oh man. We looked RIDICULOUS. All these missionaries were running around all dressed up playing softball or whatever and we couldn't help but wonder what non-members would be thinking when they saw us haha! I played catcher for a bit and the skirt came in handy when the ball bounced off and I could just pick it up and throw it back. But try playing outfield haha! Sister Jones and I were on the left and right side of the field and Elder Hebdon (a zone leader in Pittsburgh) was playing center. Mainly it sounded like..."Hey! Elder Hebdon can you get that one?! k thanks!" "Elder Hebdon, you run raster than us in skirts will you get that one? Thanks!" you get the idea....haha! The Elders were laughing at us but I'd love to see them trying to run and play softball in a skirt! d: President Johnson showed up after lunch and after seeing the state of the white shirts and ties....he regretted his decision haha! We even went ice blocking in pros! We are pro's haha! We ended up playing Ultimate Frisbee and having a BLAST!!! It was a LOT of fun! (: We talked to Tim and Tonja afterwards and got an update on Kianna. Not good, well, for her...but for everyone else, it's a definite answer to our prayers. We came home after our dinner appointment to a La-la Loopsy infestation. Dumb Elders got into our house haha! Those dolls are SO creepy. haha!

Sunday was pretty good. I missed the sacrament last week a lot! We had lunch with the Aders and we were helping cook lunch. Sister Jones and I were making comments about how much we have learned about life on our missions, especially how useful cooking will be (woman jokes aside) even if we don't get married. Well, Preston pipes up and says "Well, I don't think you'll have to worry about that Sister Jones." I about fell over I was laughing so hard. He didn't seem to catch it at all. Oh man. Got to love awkward moments. We did studies then went to Sister Fitch's and had a mini dance party to get her didn't work. So we just looked like fools. No big deal haha! But we did have fun! (: haha!

So that's pretty much our week. Not too bad, but it was a struggle losing some investigators. But it's all part of the job. I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel with everyone and seeing the Atonement change bad men to good men and good men to better men. I'm pretty sure that is a GA quote from someone, but I don't know who or when it was said. But I do like it. I love the gospel because it brings peace where the world lacks it. The gospel is true and Jesus Christ lives and loves us.

I love you a lot! Thanks for the support!! (: Have a great week!!

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Go Bold or Go Home

So this week was CRAZY intense and I am SO glad it is p-day so we can finally breathe. It wasn't the good kind of "everyone wants to get baptized intense" but it was still good.

Tuesday we talked with Sister Braddy. She is doing SO good!! It's awesome because at the beginning of Sister Jones' and my companionship we didn't know what to do with her and now she is reading the BOM every night and praying with her kids!! We are so thrilled!! (: We talked with Tanja for a bit then met Kianna down at the library to help her get ready for her job interview. The things we do for that girl. We ate ice cream with her afterwards to congratulate her for getting a job interview. Then we to Giant Eagle and bought some stuff to make brownies for Sue with Sister Fitch. We had a really good time.

Wednesday we went to District Meeting in Mckeesport and then went to lunch afterward. Sometimes I love our district and then other times I wonder what goes through their heads haha! Boys...
Rita came and got us after lunch and we got to spend the entire day with her! I love her a lot! (: We saw Lovely and played with the kids. Then we went and taught Menolly. She is doing good minus the 3-minute attention span. But she is looking to get baptized on the 28th!! Maybe this one will actually stick ha! Then we got ready for dinner. We ate with Ian's parents. Ian is a missionary that was dating Rita's daughter. Ian's parents aren't members so this was a pretty big step. They aren't super interested either, but that's ok. We shared Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. It's a little intense, but go bold or go home. haha! It was super good though. We had a nice visit.

Thursday was not according to plan at all. Slightly frustrating but what are you going to do? haha! We talked to Cheran for a bit. Next was the good ol' senior center. We got in and out pretty fast. Which was nice. haha! Luana called us and invited to lunch so that was fun. We got to see them and Juliana for a little bit. I love them a lot! (: We drove to Sue's house and made a cherry nut cake for her anniversary. I am learning SO much on my mission haha! Then we met with Laurie and she is trying to re-arrange her schedule to come to church but it isn't working that well. We will be working on studying the BOM more with her in the future. We then went to dinner at the Cooks.

Friday we did weekly planning then saw Sherry and read the BOM with her. We tried to see Eve, but she wasn't there strangely. So we then updated some teaching records and went to Sister Honich's house and had dinner with her. We left and went to read the BOM with Kianna. We finished the chapter and she got up and left. I asked her where she was going and she responded "Brea's" and walked out the door. Now you have to understand....she is on house arrest. So ya know, not supposed to leave. Then we got Brea's number to try and find Kianna and she barely knew who Kianna was or where she was. She straight up lied to my face. I wanted to cry myself to sleep. Sister Jones and I were so distraught. We found out where she really was and what she was doing. Basically, she did everything we committed her not to do. I don't understand how we invest so much into people and then they can just break your heart like that. It was a rough night for us.

Saturday Sister Jones and I both started to get sick, but we muscled through the day like champs haha! We did time with Tanja. She spent the whole time looking up "historic prayers" on mormon channel because she was asked to give the opening prayer at stake conference with 2 General Authorities there. Silly Tanja. haha! We were laughing. She is so funny. So then we saw the Hoffmans. Brother Hoffman at least didn't yell us ha! We ran to Eve's and then were told we had to be at the Elders' apartment in 20 minutes. We had a quick scripture with Eve then went to dinner. We decided to mess with the Elders a little bit since they told us 20 minutes before we had to be at their apartment. Sister Jones and I pretended that we were mad at each other and the Elders squirmed pretty good haha! We got to the Mosser's for dinner and we acted like we were best friends. Then we get in the car to leave and we are fighting again. haha! Poor guys didn't know what to do haha! I know, we probably should be nice, but it was too hard to resist. We had a good laugh. We went to stake conference with Sue and her sister, Sherry. It was really good and all about missionary work. Elder Teh and Elder Kunz were there because they were going to SPLIT the Pittsburgh stake!! What the heck right?! We were SO pumped! One stake closer to a temple!!!!

Sunday we got to Greentree early and sat with Bishop Paul's family. It was  a pretty big deal because they haven't added a new stake in the Pittsburgh area in over 30 years! They made the announcement shortly into the meeting. In the Pittsburgh Stake: Monongahela, Oakland YSA, 1st ward, 7th ward, Mckeesport Branch, Uniontown Branch, Greensburg ward, and 3rd ward. Those last 2 were previously in the North Stake. In the brand new Pittsburgh West Stake: 2nd, 5th, and 6th ward, Washington, Wheeling, and Wintersville wards. Then they announced the new stake presidency. For Pitt, a President Peterson (stake president) , President Cavalier (2nd counselor) and as 1st counselor Bishop Paul! ): Sister Jones and I just started crying. How could we lose our Bishop?!?! We learned a HUGE lesson in sacrifice yesterday. Bishop's wife was crying a lot. Poor family has gone through a lot this past year. The oldest Paul daughter left on a mission, the 2nd daughter went to BYU and now he is in the stake presidency. We went to lunch with the Aders then we went to dinner with the Bingers. We talked to Tanja for a little bit. We are trying to get her to see the importance of the temple. We also talked to Kajhia. Her mom doesn't want her to come to our church anymore. ): Week 4 is a beast.

So as I said, we learned a lot about sacrifice. When the Lord calls, you answer. Although I wish things had gone a little bit differently, it's not my opinion that matters. God calls who He needs. The same things goes for me though. I am sure some where shocked that I was going on a mission. But I received a call from the Lord. I am His servant. No one else's. "God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called." The gospel is true.

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

Sister Kaitlyn Crockett


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I am so grateful for MY trials

Wow. Can you even believe that it is September today!? Where did August go?? So crazy. We had a pretty good week, but we got some big p-day plans so I'll have to keep it short!! (:

Tuesday we went to Donora to see Eve and it ended up being a rescue kind of situation. Her oxygen wasn't working but there was no way I was gonna try and fix it, so we called her aid who was able to fix it. When we finally finished that, we went to go try and see Tim and he was home! For once haha! We still have to finish his recent convert lessons. So we started to teach about the Priesthood and he basically taught us. Kianna was asking all sorts of questions and Tim was answering them. Basically he knows WAY more than Sister Jones and I combined and he has been a member for 11 months. Talk about being schooled haha! Then we went to Laurie's and talked with her for a bit about baptism. Sister Jones was SUPER bold and told her that if she didn't come to church, she couldn't be baptized. Laurie's response? "Well, I am about to text my manager right now and tell him I'm done! I need to go to church!" She is amazing. There is so much faith in that home!

Wednesday we had DM and then we stalked Tonja. We couldn't find her anywhere so we just started walking down the street in hopes that we could find her somewhere. We reached the main street in Charleroi and we see her across the street! It was insane!! Totally Heavenly Father helping us out on that one. After a quick visit to Menolly's, we had dinner with Brother Alton. He is the best!! Like so sweet and you would never guess that he is turning 90 in a few months. So we survived Book of Mormon class and that was our Wednesday.

Thursday we went to the senior center and we prayed really hard for charity. And Heavenly Father definitely answers prayers. It went a lot smoother than it has in the past and they were really grateful for us being there! (: We went with Sue and saw Marissa and the Hoffmans. Basically with all the conversations we had I am so grateful for the trials I have. I can definitely handle them haha!

Friday was super weird but like nice all at the same time?? I dunno we still had to weekly planning haha! We left right after studies and saw Jackie. We had a really good conversation and talked about following the prophet. That morning in studies I was reading Preach My Gospel and the 1st sentence under following the prophet about truth. And I realized that in Amos 3:7, God promised to speak to prophets to help us out down here. And if God never changes, as truth never changes, we would always have a prophet. Right?? Oh man. SO cool. I love the scriptures! (: So then we went with Rachel to Lovely's and the 2 little girls, Ceyona and Divine, fell asleep on me. It was so cute. They were on either side of me and had their heads on my lap. They are the cutest things in the world! We talked about the importance of scripture study with Lovely. It was awesome! After seeing Kianna and reading the scriptures with her, we came home and weekly planned.

Saturday was a lot of service! We helped a family move and then we helped Tonja take apart a bed frame and get it up stairs to TJ's room. What a long day. It was good but it definitely made for a physically exhausting day.

Sunday was a good fast Sunday. When we were giving our progress record to Bishop Paul, the Elders started motioning to us and mouthing something that looked like "Preston's here." He is a kid in the ward so we are thinking "and we care why??" Finally they caught up to us and said "President's here!!" Oh yeah. That we care about. The ward was in a frenzy when they found out. It was really cool (: He interviewed each of us and basically just talked about transfers (no I don't know what's happening).  After church, we talked with Cheran who is our neighbor. Next, we went the Hoffman's and taught Tanner. It was super good. Then we went to dinner and finished studies. Busy busy day.

So everything is going great!! I love you all and hope that you are having a good Labor day!! (:


Sister Kaitlyn Crockett