Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's Always Sunny in Stafford!

Querida Familia,

     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!

Monday, May 19, 2014

I couldn't come up with a title for this week but I love you all so much:) and I'm still in Stafford Spanish

Querida Familia,

     I would like to start off this email by talking about cui. No, I have never eaten cui and I hope I never have to. It's a very fine dish from Ecuador, and I heard that Hermanas serving in Henrico were offered it last week. Hermana Penaloza, who's from Ecuador, said it's called cui because that's the sound the guinea pig makes when you break it's neck :( I ate the panzita and hormigas, but I don't think I could eat cui :(

     Okay I would also like to start off this email by wishing a super happy feliz cumpleanos to my Dad, Hapa. I love you so much Daddy! I hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday! I love my Dad so much because he taught me who my REAL Father is, and that's my Heavenly Father. About a year ago, I was going through some difficult times. I contacted my Dad. Instead of giving me counsel about what to do, he said "Be still and know that He is God." At a time when I was struggling, my Dad reminded me who I really needed to be turning to. I love you Haps:) Be fun!

     This week I've been reflecting a lot on how grateful I am to be a missionary. I truly love my calling. I love my mission so much! There's been a big emphasis the last few weeks on getting the members involved. President Wilson gave us a case study to read through before Zone Conference, which is this Wednesday. We met as a District last week and talked about how we want to implement the ideas from the case study. I realized that I don't know the members as well as I should. I have an advantage because I've served in both Fred and Stafford! I've begun studying the ward list and area book to learn more about who our less actives are. We're going to start having FHE every week with recent converts and investigators and active families. Tonight it's with las familias Santiago (converts) and Balboa! We're also trying to up the amount of member-present lessons each week. We're also going to work with the Sociedad de Socorro to increase Visiting Teaching percentages.

     President Wilson said that VT/HT are divinely inspired programs to help us become more Celestial. If we're at 50% VT, how can we expect to love and care for our eternal increase in the Celestial Kingdom? VT/HT are to help us learn to love each other so that we can feel more comfortable and prepared to live like that for eternity.

     One great member we've been working with is Brenda. She lives in a closed community, so it's impossible for missionaries to tract there. She invited us over for a luncheon with her and a neighbor! THIS is what missionary work it supposed to be! The neighbor was really friendly and sincerely interested in learning! We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she wants to read it. Because she's American, we passed her over to the Aquia Sisters. Brenda said she wants to keep doing this and invite some of her Hispanic neighbors too!:)

     This past week we also had a Spanish Conference in Richmond for all of the Spanish missionaries! The trainings were on things like finding, adjusting to the culture, language study, etc. I enjoyed this one more than the last one...probably because I was still a Sister (i.e. not a Hermana) at the last one and I didn't have a companion with me and I felt out of place. Marco drove us and the Fredericksburg Hermanas (Dangerfield and Lindo) to the meeting and then we went to a Mexican Restaurant after. (YUM)

     I don't think I've talked about Marco yet, but he is awesome! He was baptized early last year and he just received his temple endowment in April. He doesn't speak a ton of English, but he attends the YSA branch now. He uses lots of Spanglish and goes on about whether or not things are "cool" or "swag." In Spanish, people use the word "bien" for LOTS of things. It's used to emphasize adjectives. "Bien dificil" means really difficult, or "Bien Catolico" means really Catholic. Last week he was talking about how "bien swag" he is. It was super funny! I love listening to Hispanics try to speak English:) I gave him a "how to pray in English" handout and he was really excited!

     Hermana Amanda and I are still at the genealogy stuff! Yesterday, we helped a sister prepare the names of her two cousins. Both were murdered in Guatemala at ages 19 and 17. Many of the countries where the members come from are very dangerous. Absalon had two brothers who were murdered in Colombia, too. The doctrine of proxy temple work and eternal families means so much to them! I was able to testify to her of the importance of temple and family history work and how we have help from the other side of the veil. She and I were both bawling our eyes out and I can't wait to hear about her experience after she performs the work:)

     We had two creepy guy stories so I will share those now:

*1) I street contacted this awesome black guy named Derrell. I wanted to ask him if he had any Hispanic neighbors, but of course, I also was going to invite him to learn more. I asked for his number, and he said he would only give it to Hermana Clark if she promised to call him. Haha:) We asked more about his relationship with God and he had some pretty neat stories and he said he's interested in attending church! I hope something good comes of it!

*2) We were walking to an appointment, and these men parked in front of the stairwell while we were knocking the door. They kept yelling "mujer" (woman) at us and some other word that I can't remember but means "blondie." (I think they were talking to me because I have the lightest hair?) Anyway, we forgot something in the car, so we ran back to grab it. While we were doing that, they started getting out of their car and coming towards us. We were really scared so we knocked on a less active's door who lives in the same complex. She opened the door 2 seconds later and immediately invited us in when she saw us! It was definitely a miracle:)

Okay that's enough with the creepy.

     Here's an update on my back...We were lifting boxes for Hermana Santiago to help her move some things into the garage. I was in a lot of pain the following day. I felt like all of my ribs were bruised, which is weird because I had a back injury. I finally called the mission nurse and I think I might be seeing another doctor this week. She said I probably have some muscle/tissue damage and it pulls on the cartilage in my ribs, which is why they felt sore. I think my hips are misaligned again. I'm really frustrated about all of this. I had one bad fall 6 months ago and now I'm worried I'll have back pain for the rest of my life :( My biggest fear is that I won't be able to hula dance anymore for fear of injuring my hips.

     And now I'll share some things about hope because I really hope that I can keep dancing after my mission!:) Romans 5 is one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament! When we have trials, it helps us become more patient, which helps us build experience. Relying on these experiences helps us have hope for the future. Because I've endured certain things, I know that I can endure others. 

     The past few days I've been studying grace and repentance and how those are related to hope. I was feeling very frustrated with all of my imperfections. I'm no where near the kind of missionary I want to be, let alone the kind of person I hope to become. I feel like I keep saying or doing things wrong. However, I think sometimes I demand too much of myself. (Mommy is probably nodding her head right now and Grandma Crandall is probably getting ready to tell me that I'm eating the elephant too fast.) I LOVED "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. I understand better now that repentance is a process of change, not a punishment or a payment for my sins. I can't pay for my sins because I'm not perfect! If the Atonement solves everything that's imperfect about life, then repentance and the Doctrine of Christ is how we apply the atonement to make those changes. This includes even physical or emotional imperfections! I need to stop trying to earn my own salvation because I can't. I need to rely more on the Savior and His perfect grace. 

     I love how simply Moroni explains it, that all we need to do is "come unto Christ." If I deny myself of all ungodliness, and demonstrate a desire to change through my thoughts and actions, then I can be sanctified in Christ. Hope and desires and thoughts and actions and faith and patience and diligence and charity and humility and experience and more faith! I feel like I'm finally beginning to understand the character of Christ.

     I love you all so much! You are so very dear to me:) I appreciate your love and support and prayers. Keep being good and keep being happy:)

Love, Hermanita Crandall

*PS - This is my last month of teenagehood...any suggestions on how to celebrate it? Maybe from Sister Miller, who gave up teenagehood last September?

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Weddingism

T-Shirt says... Fully Rely on God (FROG)
Hermana Crandall
8 Ferguson Dr. #201
Stafford, VA 22554

Querida Familia,

     There it is! My new address! I am still serving in the Stafford Spanish Branch, but now my area covers the northern half of the Fredericksburg Stake. My companeras are: Hermana Penaloza, who was born in Ecuador and moved to New Jersey when she was 16. And Hermana Clark, who was born in West Virginia but her family now lives in Spanish Fork, UT. I love both of them very much and I'm so excited to be here!

     I spent my last evening in Fredericksburg having Family Home Evening with Hermana Warren. I didn't get very much sleep that night because Hermana Agurcia and I had to pack, clean, and prepare the apartment for new missionaries. We left a bajillion sticky notes behind about our investigators, the area, etc. Then on Tuesday morning, the Stafford Hermanas picked me up!

*Here's a little bit about the people we work with most:

     Jose - He missed a baptismal date in April so we're continuing to work with him. One of his roommates is a recent convert, who just entered the temple about a month ago. He knows it's true, but he's hesitant to change his life. 

     La Familia Santiago - They were baptized in January! They have a teenage daughter who I absolutely adore:) The Mom has lots of health problems so we help her out around the house. She also made us a delicious Bolivian dish for lunch this week:)

     Brenda - She's sort of less active, but she normally attends the English ward. Her younger sister passed away recently and it's really helped to build her faith. We're going to be having lunch with her and her neighbor tomorrow! Yay member missionaries!

     And then we have a ton of less-actives and less-active investigators. It's much harder to find Hispanics in Stafford than Fredericksburg because Stafford is a suburb of DC. Most of the people who live here are government employees or Marines on Quantico Marine Base.

     On Friday, the Branch had a really fun activity for Mothers' Day! The men in the ward decorated Thursday night and did all of the cooking. All of us women just got to enjoy while they served us and did a mini talent show! My camera died, but my companeras took some pics...hopefully they'll send some my way;)

*And here's the activity you've all been waiting for...


*Absalon and Natalia were married and baptized on Saturday!

     It was supposed to start at 5, but most people didn't show up until after 5:30. I've learned to have everything begin 1 hour before I want it to begin;) There was some drama about who was going to make the cake and who was going to decorate it. There was some confusion about programs. The water in the font ended up being icy cold. BUT it all somehow happened:) And Absalon and Natalia were very happy! I felt the Spirit most strongly when we sang the opening hymn, "Las Familias Pueden Ser Eternas." I know that they will be a forever family because of their decision to be baptized. Presidente Vasquez bore his testimony at the end about how their faith will bless many generations to come. 

     The after party was so much fun! There was a lot of food and dancing and music. By about 8:45, us missionaries started cleaning up. We left at about 9:30, and the dancing was still going strong. The Hermana Vasquez told us that they didn't leave until after 10:30!

     On Sunday Absalon and Natalia were confirmed during Sacrament Meeting and Absalon received the Aaronic Priesthood in Elders Quorum. I am super happy for them and I feel privileged to have been a small part of their conversion:) I really feel like they will be active all their lives! I hope I can come back in a year to see them sealed in the temple!

*Speaking of hope...that is the Christlike attribute that I'm studying this month! Here's what I've learned so far:

-President Wilson said, "Hope is to feel good about who you are and where you're going."
-Hope comes when we have faith in Jesus Christ and the promises he's made to us.
-Hope is the anchor to my soul--it keeps me in place. For this, hope is demonstrated by temperance, optimism, enthusiasm, confidence, and patience. We can feel peace in maintaining a hopeful eternal perspective.
-D&C 138:14 - "Firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection." I love the word glorious here:)
-D&C 128:21 - The revealing of priesthood keys (the mysteries of God/ordinances) will confirm our hope a little bit at a time. This includes the ordinance of the sacrament.
-Pres. Faust: "The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death."

*I'm very happy to be studying hope this month because it is such a positive attribute!

     This week I have my notebook with me, so I want to share more about what I learned from Elder Bednar and the other visiting General Authorities!

-Temple = Lord's University / Mission = Study Abroad

-That which is bitter to endure is sweet to remember.

-When I have children, I will hope that they struggle on their missions, but overcome.

-I ask someone a question with a predetermined answer, then I'm making them an object because I'm asking them to guess what I'm thinking instead of thinking for themselves.

-Observe, listen, and discern. THEN speak. If I don't take the time to observe, listen, and discern, then I might as well be talking to myself.

**This is the one that made me think of Mom: Doing everything for my child will cripple them. I need to teach them how to get their own answers from the scriptures instead of letting them rely on me for their answers. It's the same way with investigators. They need to know how to use the scriptures--not just know that they're true.

-"This Kingdom is a laboratory, not a museum"

-Don't look to an external factor for how I'm doing spiritually.

-If I'm not learning from my prayers, then I need to stay on my knees longer.

-You can't give away what you don't have, and once you have it you can't give it away anyway. You can only teach others how to gain it.

-Reading isn't in the territory of revelation. Searching and studying are!

-"All of the faith and all of the worthiness in the world will not change God's will!" (This made me think of the Savior. He was perfect, but even He had to submit to the Father's will.)

-"If you don't want to sleep at night, go study in the scriptures what happens to covenant breakers." (Sometimes Elder Bednar gets really passionate;)

*Apostolic blessing: For my desire and diligence, as I am good (not perfect) and do those things which I am supposed to do every day, I will become who I hope to become, endure, and never fall away.

     What a great meeting:)

I love you all so much! Happy Mothers' Day to all of you lovely woman in my life!  Love,  Hermana Crandall

*PS - I ate ormigas at Presidente Vasquez's home last night. Hermana Clark took a video of it, so hopefully I'll get that to you someday. Ormigas is a really fine Peruvian dish of giant ants. I ate about 5 or 6 of them. :P

*PPS - Please write!!
Hermana Crandall
8 Ferguson Dr. #201
Stafford, VA 22401

Monday, May 5, 2014

Farewell Fredericksburg???

Agurcia - Crandall - Steiner - Ormond - Penaloza - Clark

Dear Family,

     Weird news. I'm being transferred to Stafford.

     I thought FOR SURE that I would stay in Fred with Hermana Agurcia, we would get a third companion, and then Hermana Agurcia would be off to Temple Square (she leaves May 14th).

     On Saturday night we waited for a transfer call, but none came. We were a little confused because we thought an AP would call us at least to let us know we had another companion coming and we needed to prepare. We talked about it with Hermana Penaloza, our Hermana Training Leader (she's in Stafford), and she said we could call the AP's Sunday night. We did, and the Elder said that we had a third companion coming. We followed up with Hermana Penaloza.

     This morning, Hna Penaloza called us again to let us know that the Zone Leaders said that I was being transferred to Stafford. Hna Agurcia would stay, and I would join Hna Penaloza and her companion Hna Clark to be threesome. We were VERY confused. I love Hna Penaloza and she's a great missionary, but I thought that maybe she had misunderstood because English is her second language. 

     An hour later the AP called us to let us know that BOTH OF US were being transferred. I'm going to Stafford, and Hna Agurcia is getting switched to English, but she's staying in Fredericksburg. (Either the White Oak, Hartwood, or Massaponax ward.) A few minutes later Hna Penaloza called us and said the same thing. And then an hour later the AP called us again and said that Hna Agurcia could attend Absalon and Natalia's wedding/baptism and he reaffirmed that we were both being transferred.

     SOOO I'm in the same branch, Stafford Spanish, but now I'll be serving in Stafford. By the end of this transfer, I'll have spent half my mission in the same zone;) Except those weird three weeks in Mechanicsville/Richmond East Zone.

     It's kind of a huge headache because now we have to pack this afternoon, clean the apartment, and leave LOTS of notes for the incoming Hermanas. Fortunately I'll be in the same branch, so I can still help with the wedding/baptism and all.

     I'm also worried because the apartment of the other Hermanas doesn't have an extra bed or desk or closet space. And it gets weirder! Sister Olsen is being transferred to the Rappahannock YSA Branch (still Sister Training Leader) and so we'll be living in the same apartment. And guess where that apartment is located??? In the Accokeek ward. I'm not really sure how this is all going to work out. I'll find out tomorrow, and you can find out when we skype on Sunday:) I don't know the exact address. If you were planning on sending mail to me this week, just send it to the Jefferson Davis address because the new Hermanas can bring it to me.

     ANYWAY... What I really wanted to talk about was Elder Bednar.  And I'm dying because I left my notebook at home, but I will put some things that I remember and what all happened:

     We spent the night in Stafford and got up super early! A recent convert, Marco, drove us, the other Hermanas, and the Rockhill Sisters to Henrico (close to Richmond). (Member rides were allowed to attend the meeting.) We sat quietly waiting for about 45 minutes and then he came into the room! Everyone stood up and the Spirit was SO STRONG!

     We first heard from Sister Bednar, Elder Robbins, and Bishop Davies. Bishop Davies sang us a line from that one oldie song that Dad probably likes: "I feel good nanananana." When Elder Bednar got up to speak, he said that he was going to share that with the Brethren when he meets with them next. Then Sister Bednar ran up to the mic and said, "David, you like those kinds of songs too. Whenever we hear them on the radio, you make me guess who sang them." HAHA. So funny:)

*And another funny moment...

     Elder Bednar said, "Sisters, I want to explain to you the difference between Elders and Sisters. If a Sister earns 99 A+'s and one B, she will beat herself up over it. If an Elder gets 99 F's and one C+" and then he beat his chest and said "I'm the man!" Yes, I witnessed Elder Bednar beating his chest. He then said that us sisters are good enough:) I love him.

     We were assigned three talks to read before the meeting. He started by asking what we learned. Missionaries raised their hands and then he called on them to respond. When they did, he asked them another question to help them elaborate. It was neat to see how people received revelation right in front of our eyes! He then asked us to compare this pattern of teaching to the Oprah Winfrey show. Rather than asking questions for entertainment, or searching for specific answers, we were trying to learn from the Spirit. More than that, we wanted to act upon what we learned.

     Then we did the Q&A. Before we started, he asked how many people had received answers before asking questions. I was one of them:) Here are my questions and the answers I received:

*1. How should I respond when I discover that someone I'm dating struggles with pornography? Should I continue to date them and help them? Should I immediately break up with them?

     Elder Bednar gave an apostolic promise that if we set aside time every day for self-reflection, that we will receive promptings about what should and shouldn't be a part of our lives. I've been trying to do that every night. If I keep up with this, I will know which man should or shouldn't be a part of my eternal life. And when you put it this way, why would I ever want pornography to be a part of my life?

*2. How can future missionaries be more emotionally self-reliant? (This wasn't actually my question, but one that mom asked me.)

     Elder Bednar also said that self-reflection will make us more emotionally stable because it will strengthen our relationship with God. We will no longer need to rely on worldly things to help us manage our stress. (I received some more revelation on this, but I don't have my note book with me...sorry:(

*3. Sometimes I pray and pray and pray for something, but is this really useful? What is the balance between my petitions, my willingness to act and make it happen, understanding God's will, and respecting the other person's agency? For example, I prayed and prayed that Tanya would go to church (back in Accokeek) and I did everything I could, but she just wouldn't go. How can I make my prayers more useful while trying to respect someone else's agency?

     Don't pray for things to happen. Elder Bednar gave a bad example and good example of a sacrament meeting closing prayer. BAD: "Please help those who didn't attend this week that they can attend next week." GOOD: "Heavenly Father, when we leave our meetings today, we are going to visit those who didn't attend church this week and invite them to come next week." He said that in this example, the only thing we should ask for is inspiration so that we all don't go to the same less-active's house. Don't pray for the missionaries unless you're willing to do something to help them. Don't pray for good health unless you're going to visit a doctor.

*4. As a missionary, we have a really specific purpose. What is my purpose after my mission? 

     A lot of the focus was about how to stay converted after our missions. Someone asked that question specifically, and Elder Bednar had a heyday with it:) Sister Bednar stood up and shared an experience. Once in a Q&A session, an old man stood up and said, "the missionary who baptized me left the church. How can I help him come back?" She said that question has haunted her ever since. One of my purposes after my mission is to stay a missionary as much as possible! Elder Bednar said that if we don't feel weird after our missions (trying to adjust back), then we wasted our time and we didn't change at all. He said there are many things we've given up that we shouldn't take back.

     I know that Elder Bednar is an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is a special witness of our Savior. I feel very privileged to have been able to learn from the true teacher, the Holy Ghost. I have learned so much about how to be a conduit of the Spirit. I have so much more to share, so I guess that will come next week;) stay tuned!

Okay I'm out of time. I love you all SO MUCH and I look forward to seeing my beautiful family this week:) 

Love, Hermana Crandall

PS - Absalon and Natalia. MAY 10TH. So excited:)