Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Virginia is for Lovers and that's why I served here!

Querida Familia,

     Hi everyone, party week has been a lot of fun and I am so worn out and ready to take a nap:)

     On Monday night Hermana McRae and I were able to teach the family of the little Mexican lady that saved our life from the mangy dog! She doesn't speak Spanish, but her daughter and granddaughter do! We're not sure if they'll progress all that much, but it was neat to be able to get to know her a little better! I also picked up on a bit of Otomin, so that might be useful some day...

     Tuesday morning we left early for Spanish Meeting. President Wilson asked me to share my testimony, which was nice because I don't get to share it often in Spanish. JUST KIDDING I do that all day every day;) 

     Afterwards we went out with the Chesterfield Hermanas. I got to do a little exchange with Hermana Stice again! That was fun and hopefully one day she'll send me the picture we took together. I really love that Hermanita.

     Hermana McRae and I got up early and ran which was nice.

     And then on Wednesday we had MLC which was really great and I learned a ton of stuff. And my brain is just so fried right now that I can't tell you about all I learned at this moment.

     Hermana McRae and I then drove to the mission office and left our car there. I went with the Midlothian Hermanas (Powell and Anderson) to work with them and spend the night, and my companion went home with the Charlottesville Sisters. I really enjoyed being with Hermanas Powell and Anderson and I taught their member present how to say "groovy." They were just so sweet to me:) I also couldn't sleep at all and kept having nightmares of sleeping in. So I just woke up at 3:30 and stayed awake until the alarm at 5:45...yay:)

     Then I went to the.... TEMPLE!! With the other outgoing missionaries! It was truly one of the most rewarding days of my entire mission. We left from the mission office early and stopped in Fred and Woodbridge to pick up the other Sisters. There are 9 outgoing Sisters (including one Hermana...me!) and 7 Elders. And then also 4 visitor center Sisters from Nauvoo and T-Square. So we had 13 Sisters and President in one van. He gave us tons of marriage and dating advice...so yay.

     We got to the temple, took a ton of pictures, and then went inside. A member of the temple presidency spoke to us and then we did the 11 am session! It was SO AMAZING!!! I got to see the 2nd new movie, with the golden stairs;) I remembered almost everything! It was so familiar, as if I was going home. But, I understand it a whole lot better than I did 18 months ago. I'm really grateful that I wasn't able to go to the temple regularly on my mission because now I understand the endowment better from just consistently keeping my covenants.

     When I made it through, I walked into the Celestial Room and President and Sister Wilson were there waiting for me! I just lost it and started bawling like a baby. It was as if I was coming home to my Heavenly Parents. I hugged them then sat and cried some more. I felt the Spirit so strongly and really just feel like Heavenly Father is pleased with my meager offering.

     After the session, while waiting for everyone to finish changing, I met President Ezra Taft Benson's daughter in the hall!!! So that was neat:) Her name was Sister Parker. 

     Then we went to the visitors' center and had lunch and took more pictures, which Hapa and Mom said are available on facebook. Then we drove around DC a bit and stopped at the Lincoln Memorial for a few minutes. We drove home and made it back to Richmond at around 8:30. Sister Greer and I drove up our car to Harrisonburg and made it home at 10:30. By the end of it all, I was sooo tired! And I'm still not caught up!

     Friday was Zone Meeting and I had no idea what I was going to share, but the Spirit really helped me give a nice training on the missionary schedule:) And then we kind of weekly planned and went to some appointments. Ana still doesn't want to get baptized, so that was a little sad. But she's still reading a ton and wants to keep learning!

     Saturday was Conference and we finished prepping for the baptism of Alejandro on Sunday. It was super stressful trying to get all of the final details finished, but he was baptized and his family is so happy!:) His sister from Illinois came in town with her husband, and her husband is set to be baptized in May! They have plans to be sealed in the temple in a year:) It's so cool how we were able to find the Cedeno family at the same time the missionaries in Illinois found the daughter. And now the whole family is coming back to church! The Dad is looking to be baptized in the next few weeks as well:) It was a huge tender mercy that everything worked out so nicely and I was able to have a baptism the last weekend of my mission! I feel so blessed and happy and just love my mission!

     Tonight we're going out with Mikelle to see Ana, Geraldine, and the Cedeno family again. I'm pretty sad for my mission to be ending, but excited for what comes next.

     I wish I had more time/energy to write more, but all I can say is that I feel so blessed to have been able to serve a mission. Estoy muy agradecida con mi Padre Celestial por darme esta oportunidad y por hacerme capaz de hacerlo <3 Se que esta es la iglesia verdadera de Dios y que El esta complacido con nuestros esfuerzos de predicar el evangelio!

I love you all so much and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

Con mucho amor,  Hermanita Crandall

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