Happy Memorial Day everyone! Our P-day was pushed back to Tuesday for the holiday. That always throws me off. Sunday is one of the most exhausting days as a missionary, and I'm adjusted to having a break right after. We had some pretty funny happenings on Sunday!
*The family history assistance continues...
During Sacrament meeting, all of the talks were about family history. The Branch is going to have an activity soon where the youth teach the adults how to index! During the second hour, Hermana Amanda and I helped Hermana Silvia. Hna Silvia needed to get her membership record number from the ward clerk's office, so we were waiting there while he printed it. She told me she was really hungry, so we discretely began searching through the cupboards. We located some sprite and cups. When she opened the sprite, it made that fizzy sound, so we started coughing to cover it up. She poured us each a glass and then put the sprite away. Hermano Benavides, who was helping us print the information, turned around and asked what we were doing. We told him we weren't doing anything, took our sprite, took the paper, and got out. When we returned to the classroom with Hermana Amanda, she asked where we found the sprite. Hermana Silvia said "I have no idea" in English and it was super funny:) She and I were crying because it was so funny:) I love this Branch:)
We helped her make an account and add some information about her parents, both of whom passed away. The Spirit was really strong as we talked about the process of being sealed to them! She was so happy! I love being able to do missionary work on both sides of the veil. There is a mountain of family history and temple work to be done in this Branch, and I feel so honored to be a part of it! Next Sunday we're going to help Absalon and Natalia prepare some names!
We were a little bit late to Relief Society, but we got there just in time to hear Presidente Vasquez speak. In order to be a ward, there needs to be 15 worthy priesthood holders. We have 19! However, the Stake President is waiting because he wants the branch to be more self-sufficient. He talked about the phrase "Primero Dios." EVERY Hispanic says this. It basically means: if God wills it (God first). When we invite someone to church and they say "Primero Dios," we know that they're not going to attend. They use it as an excuse. Presidente said that if we're not attending church, we're making God "segundo" or "tercero." We don't come to church as a favor to God, but we do it to demonstrate our love for Him and to learn how to be like Him.
After Presidente finished and left, there were only about 10 minutes left in RS. The RS President started talking about the Fathers' Day activity in June, and doing food sign ups. One Hermana raised her hand and shared her concern--the same day as the activity, there are going to be THREE partidos in Mundial, or the World Cup. She said her husband isn't going to attend the dinner because he'd rather stay home and watch the games. She suggested that we set up a sheet and projector and show the games during dinner to encourage more brethren to attend. Her reasoning was that if we're going to celebrate them, we should do what they want to do. Another Hermana suggested that we change the colors of the dinner to green and yellow to match the colors of the Mundial. It turned into a little argument. And Hispanics are so funny when they argue! They don't want to raise their voices, but they're really blunt. All of us missionaries were looking at each, so confused about what we were witnessing. Good times in RS:)
*On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference with the Fred North and South Zones. (I'm in the North Zone.) Here are some things I learned:
-In the Premortal world, we chose to keep our first estate. Because of that, we're under obligation to keep our second estate.
-After my mission, I have no right to take a break! If I'm really serious about the Gospel, I'll continue to study and apply it.
-As missionaries, we plan every hour of our day. I need to keep up with this habit! If I don't have a plan, then Satan does. I don't want to be busy, but I do want to have a full or abundant life.
-We need to be a little weird/peculiar after our missions - do things that make us different. Nightly planning, companionship inventory, dressing nicely, only going places where we can feel the Spirit, etc.
-"After your mission, will you run to distractions, or will you be a little weird and try to remove them?...The Brethren aren't interested in being a part of the world." - Pres. Wilson
-Make a temple attendance pattern -- this made me think of Clarissa and me at BYU. We celebrated Themple Thursday often:) And sometimes even Worship Wednesday and Families can be Together Forever Friday.
-Read the Book of Moses often with my children. Help make the Temple Ceremonies familiar for my children.
Zone Conference was so great:) I always learn so much!:)
Now I want to talk about Nancy...We street contacted Nancy on Tuesday and taught the first lesson on her porch. She liked it a lot! She mentioned that she's not married to the father of her children, but they're still living together. We talked about how they could be married by the Branch Presidente for free, and she seemed really interested! Nancy started talking about the Bible and how she's living in sin. We invited her to talk about it (and baptism) with her novio. We went back on Thursday to follow-up. She said "I talked about it with him, and we think we want to follow through with this marriage and baptism thing!" And so we put her on date! It was definitely a miracle! Nancy was baptized as an infant, but said she would prefer to remember her baptism!
We saw another miracle with a part-member family. The grandma is a member and she takes her grandkids (unbaptized) to church every week. We stopped by the home and talked to the kids' dad. He said that he felt his kids were too young to make that kind of decision, so we talked more about how Primary will help prepare them. We invited him to take the discussions with his family so that his kids could learn and he would know more about what they learn on Sundays. He seemed genuinely interested! We're going to start teaching them this week!
Lots happened this past week...we had exchanges twice (Hermana Penaloza is the Hermana Training Leader for our zone and Woodbridge). Fortunately Hermana Clark and I can keep things under control in Stafford when she's gone;) And I was able to visit with a doctor so I can begin physical therapy soon! Yay!
We also had some hard times. About three weeks ago, Hermana Penaloza received a call from President Wilson that her Grandma was in the hospital. Yesterday he called again to let her know that her Grandma passed away. She was able to call and talk with her family last night for a while and she seems to be doing okay. Please keep her and your family in her prayers!
This has made me reflect on my family a lot. I really love all of you so much! I hope that you are safe and happy and healthy! I pray daily that God will protect you. If anything was to happen, I hope I can handle it as graciously as my companion has.
Have a happy week, Hermanita Crandall
*PS - So many shout outs!
-Congratulations to Amelia my hermanita! She is the salutatorian of the Lehi High School Class of 2014, and she will be graduating this Friday. And then to BYU she goes... :)
-Happy Anniversary to my parents, Mommy and Hapa! I love you so much and I feel so privileged to be a part of your eternal family! 29 years!!!
-Congratulations to my cousin Elder Erikson who just received his mission call to Ecuador! I am super excited that you'll be learning Spanish just like me! Missionary work is the greatest and most important responsibility. You will be a great missionary and you will LOVE your mission:) Hermana Penaloza is from Ecuador, and she's happy you'll be serving there!