Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Las Hermanas de Henrico

Sister Sprunt & Sister Crandall
Querida Familia,

     Hermana Sprunt and I have been working really hard and the area is starting to become something!! We started with absolutely nothing and now we have some really great families we're teaching!
Kelly is the amiguita of one of our members. (I think I mentioned her last week.) We were able to teach her, her mom, and her younger brother Hirlim in the house of the member. The father passed away a few years ago, and Kelly is really happy that she can live with him again!:) She came to church yesterday. We were chatting in Sacrament Meeting, and she said (in a super concerned voice), "I haven't been baptized yet!" Ohh, we can take care of that:) We just want to get her mom and brother on board too. The mom also opened up to us a lot in the lesson, so we're heading in the right direction!

      We were able to teach Maria and her family twice this past week and she's now progressing! Maria is the one with whom we saw the miracles last week--they were at Popeyes and they have a BYU sticker on their car. Her husband, Vidal, reminds me a bit of Absalon. When we asked when we could come back, he suggested the following day. Then he said we can come back every day to teach their family! They are so prepared! They're a little nervous about coming to church, so hopefully we'll find a good fellowshipper family.

     Christopher is not progressing towards baptism...his family wants him to get baptized, but they don't want to reactivate. I don't want to baptized a less-active, so we want them to start coming to church regularly before any covenants are made.

     We had another lesson with Marcelino! In the first and second lesson, we invited him to pray at the end. Both times, he kneels, closes his eyes, and prays without saying a word. (Not en voz alta...) Hermana Sprunt and I just kind of look at each other and wait for him to finish. He says really long prayers. We had a member with us in the second lesson and she was a little confused and thought maybe she couldn't hear what he was saying because she's older, haha.

     We've been receiving a TON of referrals because we've been doing what PMG teaches: pedir referencias a !todas las personas! The past two weeks we got between 15 and 20 each week! A member gave us her neighbor. Her name is Sebastiana and she's golden! She wants to be baptized and she was taught by missionaries a year ago. It was funny though because while we were teaching her, missionaries from another church showed up... Anyway, she seems really great. The only challenge will be getting her and her six kids to church when she doesn't drive and her husband works on Sundays!

     We also talk to everyone. We chatted with this black man named Stan. He said that while he was attending school in Tennessee, something happened with his lease and he had to move out of his apartment. He wasn't sure where to live, but a family friend (named George F. Curtis, a Mormon) offered to let him live in their home. He said they had lots of kids and that in order to live with them, he had to be involved in all of their family activities. He said he did family scripture study, family home evening, family prayer, family talent night, and family movie night. He said that everything he knew about being a father he learned from George Curtis. Apparently George Curtis went on to coach BYU football. How cool is that story????:) He accepted to receive the English missionaries. We never know the power of our example!!!

     Anyway, lots of great things are going on in the mission right now! On Saturday we started our Book of Mormon read-a-thon. I decided to read it in Spanish. Right now I'm in Mosiah 23! I've discovered that I can read about 20-25 pages every hour. We still go to our lessons, but all extra time is devoted to reading the Book of Mormon. Planning is super easy every night;) Our goal is that after the read-a-thon, we'll use the Book of Mormon more in how we teach and we'll have stronger testimonies of its truthfulness. I can already see the effects because we've started using more verses while we're teaching. PMG says that it should be the main source of our teaching!!

     I will also have the opportunity this week to see the "Meet the Mormons" movie that will be available in select movie theaters in October. All missionaries around the world are watching the movie before its release. And we also have interviews with President Wilson! I can't believe how fast the time is flying!

     Speaking of which...I must tell you what happened on my one year mark! Our District Leader, Elder Grange, always asks how he can help. So Hermana Sprunt and I started telling him that we need Chinese food. We get plenty of arroz y pollo y frijoles, but we're not getting any Chinese food. On Thursday, we had just started weekly planning when he called us. He said that we should check outside our door. There was a bag of Chinese food waiting for us!!! And he and his companion had drawn on our car windows with a car window marker. They drew a large birthday cake and Chinese characters on the front window, and they wrote "HONK it's my birthday!" on the back window. It was really funny and a lot of people honked at us that day:)

     Mommy, I missed you a lot Saturday night at the Womens Meeting! I decided to watch it in Spanish. I remember watching a regional conference in Spanish last March, and I understood almost nothing. This time, I understood the whole conference! I'm so happy!:) Except I had a headache afterwards, haha. The Hermanas made funny comments throughout. It was really cool to sit with them in the Relief Society room and and feel the Spirit and understand. I really love my Hermanas and my calling!:)

     Anyway...love you all so much! Pray for me to be able to finish the Book of Mormon this week! Pray for my investigators!

Love, Hermanita Crandall

*PS - Shout out to LINDSAY, who sent me a package this past week with a flashlight in it. We got home that night and our neighbor was having car problems and was trying to change a tire. They didn't have any light so I was able to let them borrow the flashlight! Definitely inspired:) Mommy also sent me a package, so thank you:) My zone LOVED the hi-chews while we did zone sports last P-day. We played oompa again!

*PPS - Sorry I will repent and take more fotos. But this is me y mi companera, Hermana Sprunt (at top). Her mom is Peruvian, but her dad is American and she didn't grow up speaking Spanish. Sometimes people get confused when I'm the one speaking Spanish;) haha. But her Spanish has improved A TON and we're working really well together! I love her so much!:)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hola from Henrico!

Querida Familia,

     People. I have just come to the realization that the computers here at the Library are TOUCH SCREEN!!! When did this happen?? What in the world??????

     Also, Hermana Sprunt keeps singing songs, apparently from some famous movie named "Frozen." 

     It must be true! I'm that kind of missionary. This week I will hit my year mark. Everyone I've met in the Henrico branch asks how long I've been out. When I tell them I've been out a year, they shake their heads at me and say I'm basically on my way home. 

     I've also had multiple people ask me if I'm Hispanic, so I think that's a good sign. We called the Branch President one of our first nights to meet him over the phone, and he asked me what nationality I was. I said I was American, and he said I sounded Hispanic. Then I said, "REALLY???" Then he said I no longer sounded Hispanic;) Jajaja.

     Anyway, I'm kind of having a mission crisis because I'm not sure how I feel about going home. I miss BYU football and all, but I don't know if I can part with these people. That and I'm going to miss knocking doors and entering strangers' homes A TON :( There's nothing like serving a mission. I will never get to serve God full time again like the way I can now. I think my heart it breaking.

     So we had a pretty good week of finding and just getting to know the area.

     We were able to see Christopher from the part member family again! He wants to get baptized, but is really nervous about it. We set him on date and then came back later in the week with a baptismal calendar. He earns a sticker on his calendar every time he reads a scripture, prays, has family home evening, or goes to church. Every visit we're going to bring prizes that he can purchase with his stickers. I love teaching kids:)

     Speaking of which, across the street from the Branch Mission Leader live these two awesome kids, Kelly and Hirlim (I have no idea how to spell his name). They are former investigators, and they want to get baptized so bad! The mom is less-than-interested. We've set at least 5 appointments, and every time we show up, the mom isn't home and we can't go in. She said we can teach the kids without her, but we can't enter the home if she's not there. So we've chatted a lot with the kids in the doorway. They say the cutest things. Once Kelly said, "Winnie the Pooh is really evil. Because if you write "pooh" upside-down, it says "400d" which means 400 demons." Where in the world did she get that??? Hirlim also tried to convince us the Hello Kitty is evil because she doesn't have a mouth and she steals other peoples' mouths. Weird stuff. But they're super cute and they want to come to church with the Familia Rosales:)

     We found two GOLDEN new investigators, Juan y Marcelino.

     When we tracted into Juan, he at first started by saying he was Catholic, but we bore testimony of the importance of our message--evidenced by our desire to speak Spanish. He invited us to come back on Saturday. In the appointment, we learned that he's not even really Catholic. He seemed genuinely interested in the message of the Restauracion y dijo that he's going to pray and all. He's also Cubano, but raised in Nicaragua. Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican accents are SO HARD to understand! He was telling us that in Nicaragua he was a fisher (pescador) and I thought he said pecador, which is a sinner. Jajaja we thought he said he was a professional sinner:) 

     Also, earlier I had a difficult time understanding los Salvadorenos. There are a ton of them in Stafford, so now I can understand them better! But I think I understand Mexicans and Peruvians best.

     Anyway, Marcelino was also a miracle. We street contacted him while he was sitting on his porch. He invited us in and really opened up about his life. He lives alone here in the states and his four children live with his parents in Mexico. He's very lonely and works 6 days a week, all day. He has Sundays off, and he usually gets together with a few people to play futbol. The Spirit estuvo BIEN FUERTE in this leccion. He believes that Jose Smith was a prophet and said he'll pray about baptism. He is super golden because he doesn't drink or smoke and he has Sundays off! I really hope we can help him make covenants with Heavenly Father muy pronto:)

     We're also teaching a family. Well, we've taught the wife (Maria) so far. On Friday night, our dinner canceled. Hermana Sprunt has never had fried chicken, so we decided to go to Popeyes. On our way in, I commented, "there will probably be zero Hispanics here." We got our food and sat down to eat, and Maria showed up with her family!!! We were able to meet her husband! It was definitely a miracle:) Who knew that Hispanics liked fried chicken??

     The following day, we were walking in London Towne, our favorite apartment complex (because there are no trailer parks here), and a car drove by with a BYU sticker on it. I said, "Look! A Mormon!" The car parked and MARIA AND HER FAMILY GOT OUT! Apparently they recently purchased the car from a young guy who was about to go back to school and didn't need the car. Two crazy miracles in a row with this family:) Heavenly Father definitely wants this family baptized!

     This past week we also had Sisters Meeting, which was a lot of fun. It was based on the YW theme. There were 8 mini classes for each of the values and we got to pick 4 of them to go to. We also had the usual clothing exchange and Hermana Sprunt and I both found some cute things! I really enjoyed the meeting, especially President Wilson's remarks about our Heavenly Mother and Sister Wilson:) It was super cute. 

     In the faith class, the Hermanas teaching it explained something pretty cool. Dogs don't make kitties and cats don't make puppies. God didn't make mortals! He made baby gods! When babies make mistakes, we don't get angry with them. We need to be patient with each other and especially with ourselves. We have to have faith that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can one day be WITH God and be LIKE God! Sister Miller (my BFF) wrote something chevere in her email last week:

"I feel like I should be able to change and stay changed. I realized...that we can change and stay changed, but change is a process, and sometimes it takes time. I have to...remember that applying the Doctrine of Christ is continual, and not a one time thing."

     Soooo I'm learning a lot about being patient with my weaknesses. I love Ether 12:27. I feel like I have truly come unto Christ in choosing to serve a mission. In so doing, He has shown me all of my weaknesses. It's been very difficult, but looking back over the past year, I can see how many of my weaknesses have become strengths. 

     Hermana Sprunt mentioned the other day that when I street contact people, they are always very respectful to me and it's because of the way I talk and hold myself. People treat me different than they treat girls of the world because I am different. I have grown so much in confidence in the past year. I felt super confident in high school, but it was all superficial. When things got hard, that "confidence" was shattered. Through my mission, I have really come to know myself and know my Savior. I'm a completely different person! 

     I also read a scripture this past week in Mosiah 18, where Alma is teaching and baptizing the people at the waters of Mormon. I only have my scriptures in Spanish with me, but it's verse 30 and it says:
     Si, el paraje de Mormon, las aguas de Mormon, el bosque de Mormon, !cuan hermosos son a los ojos de aquellos que alli llegaron al conocimiento de su Redentor; si, y cuan beditos son, porque le cantaran alabanzas para siempre!

     Virginia truly is un hermoso lugar to me because it is here that I've really come to know my Savior. I knew who He was before, but know I KNOW Him. 

*And last story for the day...

     On Saturday, we had a branch service project cleaning up around an elementary school in downtown Richmond. Someone had set the playground on fire and there was still rubble to be cleaned up. Also there was a lot of broken glass on the black top. (That's downtown for ya!) It was a lot of fun and I got to know some of the members better:) And I got to wear my new BYU RISE shirt!

     On the drive home, we drove past an LED billboard and I saw the BYU logo! It was announcing that it was game day, and UVA was playing BYU in Provo:) I didn't even know and I wore the right shirt! And BYU won:)

     Okay well that's all for today. I love you people so much and I'm so grateful for all of your prayers and love and mail! Especially Millie...LOL your letter made me laugh and smile so hard;) jaja.

Que tengan una buena semana <3 Con amor,

Hermanita Crandall

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Times in Henrico

Querida Familia,

     It really happened this time! I am officially out of Stafford and now serving in the Henrico Branch!(pronounced Hen-RYE-co)  I live in Glen Allen, which is just a few miles outside of downtown Richmond.

*New Address: 4049 Gaelic Ln. L, Glen Allen, VA 23060

     On Monday night, Hermana Quinones and I got to say "bye" to a few people. The Ward Mission Leader Hermano Morgan took us to Sweet Frog, which was really nice of him. I also stayed up to nearly midnight trying to finish packing.

     On Tuesday I went to Train the Trainers Meeting again, and I wasn't near as nervous. I met my new companion, Hermana Sprunt. She is half Peruvian (mom's side) but doesn't speak a lot of Spanish. There were 4 new Hermanas, but she was the only one who spent 6 weeks at the CCM in Mexico to learn Spanish. The rest already spoke Spanish. I felt really honored that President Wilson knew he could trust me to help her! And more so, that the Lord thinks I'm capable of helping her!

     During the luncheon before Transfer Meeting, one of the office elders gave us a new phone (well, new to us--not brand new.) and some apartment supplies, so we knew that we'd be opening an area. He also said that we only lived a few miles away from the church. So we figured we'd be in the Henrico Branch:)

     After the meeting, we asked him about our car, and he said that the APs said that they forgot to get us a car. So we got a ride to our apartment and started unpacking a bit. Fortunately our District Leader was at Transfer Meeting (he's also training) and he gave us some information about the Branch. We called the Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Rosales. His wife came to pick us up a while later and was able to take us to dinner at a member-owned restaurant (La Cabana--SO GOOD!) and to Walmart.
Crandall - Sprunt in Henrico Walmart

     Our apartment is brand new so we had almost nothing. We had furniture, but almost nothing else. No food, no plates, only two spoons, no other utensils, some cups and bowls, a few pots, and a handful of English pamphlets and pass-along cards. Hermana Rosales was super helpful and kind! By the time we got home, we weren't really able to do much else except call
a few people.

     On Wednesday, we had a mini meeting with the other missionaries in the Branch. Hermana Mejia is finishing up training Hermana Powell and Elder Grange is training Elder Beatty. They gave us the names of a few lessactives to visit and told us more about the Branch. We still didn't have acar. so the Hermanas picked us up and took us to a gas station to get a map and to the Library to make a copy of the branch list. We live within walking distance of a Fedex Office store so we were able to laminate the map and whatnot.

*We're going to get kicked off the computers early so I'll try and sum it up:

     The area we've been given is north of Broad St. and Parham Rd. Everyone we've asked so far says that all of the Hispanics live SOUTH of Broad and Parham. So we're doing our best:) The missionaries already here didn't have any investigators up there, so we really are starting with a clean slate! They each had a small stack of former investigators to work through and the Hermanas found a potential investigator sheet from 2002 in their Area Book. Most of the phone numbers are changed or disconnected, but it might help us find areas where the Hispanics live.

     We didn't get the car until Thursday afternoon so we did a ton of walking! And we talked to every person that we saw. It was a relief, though, when we got the car and were able to get to know the area a bit better. We've talked to some pretty crazy people. There is a HUGE Arabic and Indian population here. I've mistaked so many of them for Hispanic, but now it's a little easier to tell them apart. We met this one black preacher who told us that we're all black, but some of us have less melanin. I think I have a whole lot less melanin than the rest of you people. He also said we're Jews so that was neat.

     We did find one Hispanic couple, from la Republica Dominicana. We taught them and they seem promising!

     We also saw a great miracle Sunday night. One older couple in the branch asked us to visit their daughter in law. She's less active, and she has a 9 year old son that wants to get baptized. The father (or son of the older couple) moved back to Mexico and that's when they stopped going to church. We tried calling her, but decided to stop by when she didn't answer. The son, Christopher, still has a strong desire to be baptized! The teenage daughter said that she wants to come back to church! We called the Elders later that night and they said that they previously haven't had any success with the family. It was really great and I'm super excited:)

     And last thing.......The Fisher family was baptized on Saturday!!!! I taught them while I was in Accokeek. They went through 5 different Elders and 5 different Sisters, and were finally baptized! They've been investigating for 14 months. President and Sister Wilson gave us a drive up North to attend the baptism and Sister Olsen and I were able to share the message of the restauracion at the baptism! The Spirit was really strong and I know that they will be great leaders in the Church!

Okay love you all:) Have a great week!

Love, Hermanita Crandall

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Last email from Stafford, for real this time

Good-bye Sister Quinones
      People, just letting you know that I jammed my left ring finger while playing oompa today and it is really painful to email ya'll. Oompa is like ultimate frisbee mixed with basketball mixed with football americano. You can only take 3 steps with the football, and you can pass it, and you try to make it into the basketball hoop. It was tons of fun, but my finger is seriously puffy:(
     You know that part in "Phantom of the Opera" where Carlotta tells everyone "I'm really leaving"? That's kind of how I felt yesterday as I said goodbye to all of my friends in Accokeek and Stafford Spanish. Because I'm really leaving this time! It was kind of surprising and crazy because I had a really strong feeling that I'd be staying. All day Saturday (transfer call day) I wasn't nervous and I hardly thought about it. When it was 10:30 PM, we thought we were safe for sure!
     Then at 10:40, we received a call from President Wilson... I almost didn't answer it. He told me that I was the last call of the night! He apologized, but said that I'd be moving and TRAINING again. This means I'll either be opening an area or whitewashing. I'm kind of nervous, but I'm also super grateful that I was able to train Hermana Quinones first so that I have some experience training. But I do feel bad that another Hermana will finish her training. I'll let you know next week where I end up!:) Until then, you can send mail to the mission office!;)
*So here's about our week...
     We have one investigator who I think they'll end up dropping soon. The lesson was just so sad. They're very offended that we can't give them rides in our car, but we can give a ride to a member who's going with us to a lesson. I tried to explain it as best as I could, but they accused us of being unChristlike and said our leaders were "equivocado." I went home and prayed and cried about it. I started thinking about my purpose as a missionary. I'm here to invite people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel - faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I can give temporal service, but I'm really here to do spiritual service. Christ, before healing anyone, forgave them of their sins. He came here to heal us spiritually before healing us physically/temporally. If we were allowed to give rides to people, it would distract us from our purpose.
3rd Trip to Gov't Island :-)
     On Wednesday, we did an afternoon exchange with the Fred Hermanas! I went to Fred, and Hermana McRae came to Stafford. Hermana McRae is the blonde one I'm with in one of the Government Island pictures. She's also training! We wanted our trainees (Hermana Quinones and Hermana Romero) to have an opportunity to lead in their areas so we organized a half-day exchange. It was a lot of fun!
     On Thursday, we had Sister Redd with us because Sister Nelson went to the temple with all of the departing missionaries. We did weekly planning so not much happened;) haha.
     Zone Meeting was Friday and they announced that at the end of the month of September, the whole mission is taking the week off to do a Book of Mormon read-a-thon!!! I didn't even know this kind of thing was allowed;) But President Wilson said that it's not likely we'll have another opportunity like this in our lives--to read the BOM in one week--and he wants us to be able to do it on our missions! I'm super excited:) Stay tuned for more details!
     Saturday was super painful because we had some morning appointments, then came back to the apartment to have lunch and finish studies. (As part of training, we have to do 2 hours of companionship study a day.) Hermana Monica called us at 2 pm to ask if we were coming for lunch. She had signed up for Sunday, but somehow got mixed up and thought it was Saturday. She also needed some help, so we decided to go over. This was after we had already eaten. So we ate there. And then we had dinner at 5, so we ate again. During dinner, I was so stuffed that I thought I was going to throw up on the plate. Oh the woes of being a skinny Hermana;)
     But we had some great lessons that night despite the stomach ache! Miguel Angel is progresando and he loves church and loves the messages we share! When he prayed, he thanked God for sending us to share His word with him. It's so cool when that happens!
     We also had a great lesson Sunday night with Yuri! We finally got her husband involved! We did a Noche de Hogar con la familia Morgan. Her husband was just going to drop her off with the kids, but we talked him into coming in. Hermana Morgan made lots of food and we talked about the temple and eternal families. Yuri was so sad that I'm leaving! But she's a great investigator and I know she'll keep learning after I leave.
Branch President Vasquez & Family
     Anyway, I'm really grateful that I was able to spend 11 months of my mission here in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area. It feels like I'm leaving home again! I've learned and changed so much here! I'm excited to take all of this and apply it in my next area. While praying this morning, I felt the strongest confirmation that this is the right time for me to leave. Heavenly Father wanted me to feel like I was staying to help me stay focused and to help me love the people even more. Last February I received a priesthood blessing from Brother Houtz that said that my heart would expand to love more than I thought possible. I finally understand what that means!
     That's all for this week! I've got a lot of packing ahead of me! I love you all so much! Thank you for your support and love:) Thank you for the occasional BYU Football updates. What would I do without you???
Con amor,  Hermanita Crandall

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Again???

Querida Familia,

Have I told you lately I love you?:)

     Last Monday was the greatest ever because we had a lesson!!! It was our first time having a lesson on Monday night this transfer:) Poor Kathy has come out with us every week on Monday, and our lessons always fall through! But on Monday we were able to visit with a less active:) Little miracle. So grateful:)

     We've been having a really hard time getting investigators to keep their appointments. Last transfer we were teaching twice as much as this transfer. It's been pretty discouraging. There are quite a few Hispanics in Stafford, but there's only one good area for knocking (which we lovingly refer to as "Hispanic Heaven"). The rest of them are scattered in neighborhoods, and we have to rely a lot on referrals from other missionaries to find them. I've spent A LOT of time in Hispanic Heaven because it's located in Accokeek. When we walk down a street, I can point out who's American, who's Hispanic, who's a former investigator, and who's a potential. We contact everyone on the street, but most I've already contacted before. We've been working on creative ways of finding so that we can change up our teaching pool!

     Also, I believe I mentioned about two weeks ago that in my interview with President, he asked me to pray about whether or not I wanted to stay another transfer in Stafford. I haven't decided what I want to do, but I fasted about it last week and feel like I need to stay 6 more weeks. It's kind of hard because that means I'll have spent more than a year in the same area. It's definitely taken a lot of humility to keep working hard and to not feel burned out from doing the same thing in the same place. However, there are also some exciting things coming up in September that I don't want to miss out on! I'm also so attached to the members here that I don't know how I'll be able to adjust to a new area. I guess we'll just wait and see on Saturday with transfer calls:)

     Oh, and also, a boy from Accokeek came up to me on Sunday and asked, "Sister Crandall, are you ever going to leave this place?" Hahaha:)

     On Friday we had Return and Report, where all of the trainers and trainees go to Richmond for a follow-up meeting. We got word that the meeting would be at the Grace St. Church in downtown Richmond and it was going to be a full-day meeting. (Normally it's just a half-day meeting.) I knew that something was up! And before we left Friday morning, the Sister Training Leaders stuffed a bunch of Mormon.org cards and English pamphlets in our purses.

     After lunch, we were separated into different companionships. Trainees went with trainees, and trainers with trainers. Then they put us on the streets in downtown and told us to talk to everyone and we had an hour and a half! I was with Hermana McRae, who is training in Fred. We had about 10 good conversations on the street. 7 of the people became potentials, and 5 of those 7 accepted a baptismal invite! At the end of the street contacting blitz, President took count of all of the potentials. We came up with about 70 referrals, 12 of whom had a baptismal date!!! It was SO COOL! And if you people didn't know this before, I am incredibly bold :) I absolutely loved it! When we made it back to the church building, it hit me so powerfully that I will never have an opportunity like this for the rest of my life. Being a missionary is the coolest thing. I have special authority and power to share the message of the restoration. I'm different from the world because I've been set apart. I want to be a missionary forever:)

     Anyway, it was a great meeting:) It ended at 3, and our ride (Marco, of course!) said he couldn't make it until 4. And then the traffic was really bad, so he didn't make it until 7! So we did weekly planning in the church there and then stopped at Panera Bread for dinner. Yum:)

     On Saturday, almost all of our appointments fell through again. By dinner time, I was super grateful because I knew for sure we'd get a lesson with Hermana Monica. But, I guess she accidentally signed up the Fred Hermanas to eat dinner at the same time. There's a mission rule that missionary companionships can't eat together. So Hermana Quinones and I ate really fast before the other Hermanas showed up. Even our dinner lesson fell through :( So we knocked and talked all night. We contacted a family chilling outside, and I was super determined to share a lesson, even if it was outside and we had to stand up for 20 minutes. Fortunately we finished just as it got too dark.

     Then, we had an investigator who said we could stop by. We went over to her trailer and her son answered. He let us in and we sat down. He was watching a Jackie Chan movie, and we asked him to turn it off. He said that the remote was in the other room. Like 50 people got shot while we waited for him to come back... Anyway, he said his mom was coming and he left. Hermana Quinones and I sat quietly waiting for about 25 minutes. When it hit 8:50, we finally just left a note. I'm pretty sure we could hear her in the bath tub and on the phone;) hahaha. Embrace the awkward.

     Sunday was really great because I enjoy taking the sacrament each week. That and I really love Spanish services! Hermano Schroeder spoke, and he never learned Spanish so it was funny to listen to him and I was impressed;) He said that they do emergency drills in their house where they have to use their emergency preparedness stuff to cook meals. I thought it was a really clever idea!

     Sunday night we were finally able to teach Miguel! He came to church last Sunday and LOVED it, but he wasn't an investigator. Now he's an investigator:) Hopefully he'll be at church next week too!

     Yesterday felt really off, because it was a Monday, but not P-day. We just contacted and tracted all day. And we ran into a Testigo de Jehova! He was really nice. He asked us if we were tracting a street, and we said no. Then he asked who we were already teaching on that street, and said he wouldn't contact them. I thought it was very nice of him to do that:) 

     On the next street over, we contacted a man on his porch, and he surprise-fed us right then and there! It's like getting a surprise on Christmas, except that surprise is really hot food when it's already 90+ outside and it's an unwanted surprise. He gave me a tostada (crunchy tortilla) with this giant slab of BBQ meat on it. Then he gave Hermana Quinones a soft tortilla with a little piece of meat on it. Why do they always give me more??? Anyway, we were trying to share the Gospel, while eating this really hot food, and we were already sweating because of the heat. Good times. Then pretty much 5 seconds after we left his porch, it started to pour rain. The weather here is much more bipolar than Utah! 

     We were driving out of the trailer park, and were stopped at a red light, and the guy in the car next to us was making some motions. I rolled down Hermana Quinones' window (it was raining..) and he rolled down his window, then said, "I just wanted to say hi." It was a 20-something black guy....hahahaha:) It's always them.

     We also had a great dinner with the Schroeder Family and we invited Hermana Schroeder to read the Book of Mormon and I really hope she does! Everyone pray:) And she made us hotdogs which was awesome because I haven't had American food in a while.

     Well people. I hope you know how much I love my mission! I can't believe that summer is over and it's September again. How does this happen??? I also want to express my love for the Book of Mormon. I finished it again this past week:) I really love that book and I know it is true. I'm so grateful for all that God has done for me to confirm my faith. I know He's real and I know He's there.

     I also want to express love for a special friend of mine........Her name is Clarissa Sheney Wilcken Miller, and I just adore her. Two years ago we became roommates at BYU and she has changed my life:) I have learned so much from her about what it means to be a true friend and a true disciple of Jesus Christ. She really loves the temple and she taught me to love it too through her example! I love her so much that I would even kill a giant spider for her in the bathroom at 4 in the morning. And I would even jump and dance and click my heels together in the rain. I'd probably even do zumba or wear my T-shirt like a nun or watch The Hobbit in the middle of the night or pet a camel for her. Happy birthday Clarissa! I love you so much!:) The people in North Carolina need you;)

Have a happy week mis amigos!

Con amor,  Hermanita Crandall