Monday, January 26, 2015

"What did they do?"‏

There is a less active member here who doesn't tell dates by the time of A.D or B.C., she actually tells time by B.E. and A.E. Before Elvis and after Elvis ha ha ha=p no but for reals we were teaching her and her nonmember daughter and when ever there was a date or some thing she would ask was that before Elvis? =p

I think it's really funny here every one starts freaking out if there is a clear sky and the sun is up and they start talking about how it makes them so happy and how it makes every thing so beautiful. Because when I see a clear sky and I am driving all i think is " That thin is freaking blinding me!" People up here don't like cloudy days but I love em it makes me want to go out and do stuff. But i guess thats what happens when you grow up in Arizona and all the sun ever does is blind you and get you hot. People are always so shocked that I don't immediately take off my coat and my hats and my gloves and my scarf when I get in a house I normally just keep it all on until I have to take any of it off, Apparently the heat from doing that bothers alot of people, I just think of it as normal being used to being warmer than this.

It's not even cold here though after a while in the low weather you adjust to it and it doesn't really bother you unless the wind is crazy. I think it's really funny when the cold makes your nose hairs freeze together ha ha=p. 

It's also really fun trying to be like Legolas how he can walk straight on top of the snow with out falling in, alot of the snow on the side of the road has warmed up and froze harder so it's possible to do that in some places but if your not gentle you will still fall in.

Elder Adams says that I have the gift of tongues.  There's more to this story but it'll have to wait.

So we were out door knocking on Lockwood and it was a pretty good day so far and we were enthusiastic and had the spirit with us and we started knocking and every house on the street invited us to come back for a appointment except for like 3 people (not including the ones where no one answered). =p 

We have picked up like 4 more investigators this week as well. We haven't even contacted all of our investigators yet but we already have 12 teaching appointments with our current investigators not including the people we door knocked into who set up a specific time right then or other potentials. WE HAVEN"T EVEN CALLED EVERY ONE YET!

I have been living on a budget for the past few weeks. So far in my MSF account I have around 300 give or take I'm not sure I haven't done the math on my watch yet. And if I can keep up the budget that I am using right now where I still am getting the things I need and want I will have over $1200 by the end of my mission to send back to help other missionaries. I have been learning how to cook and experimenting with things since we have tons of things in our cupboards that Members gave us that no missionary knows how to cook and even with us not being fed as much by members I am still saving and eating well.

I slip on ice like 7 times a day, i haven't ever fell, but i normally end up letting out a girly squeal.

The members here are now getting super involved in missionary work we are now getting referrals and they are inviting their friends to learn about he Gospel. We now even have out branch mission leader super motivated and getting members to be that way too. We got a call a few days ago saying "we have a new investigator for you... shes accepted to learn from you" =p 

So Hamilton you know how you told me about using FHE as a way to start finding Investigators. Well that was exactly what I needed. For like 2 months I have had a thought in the back of my mind that I couldn't just figure out how to apply. My thought was how did the church grow so quickly when it first was restored. I believe that people then were super prepared but I believe that very same thing is happening right here right now and it was just a matter of getting it started. I was watching several videos on how the church started and the facts behind it (D&C videos) and it always seemed that Joseph or other missionaries were teaching "Multitudes" of people at once. 
I then read the story of Dan Jones during my lunch break and saw how they put things in the newspapers and members went around like crazy inviting people to learn and giving them "tracts". So that thought came up Well i can do that, but i still didn't know how to effectively apply the teaching multitudes. Well then you told me to use FHE as a way to do it and then I told my companion and since we just keep receiving inspiration on what to do to teach multitudes. FHE would be the way you get members, less actives and investigators to all join together for a FHE. that way it would reactivate, fellow ship, teach, give people a reason to go to church, motivate members to invite their Friends to learn and it would provide a relaxed environment for people to accept taking the discussions with us, 
I have a list written that covers like 42 other positive impacts by doing this. And since there is 2 sets of missionaries here we can go on splits and cover 4 FHE's at once to teach and get appointments for later in the week and then keep that process going and growing. And here in the Alpena branch area is a perfect place for this idea because there is members, less actives, and investigators that all live in the same cities that would benefit from it (only a few of the far out cities don't have investigators...YET, thats what the members are for though) 

In True to the Faith it really throws down on FHE (I stumbled upon that during my studies this week) and says that every one even if they don't have a family needs to be having FHE.

It's just like when Jesus went to the spirit world he didn't teach every one in his short 3 days there, what he did is organize his forces to get that all working (see D&C 138:29-31)
And thats what we'd be doing and we got our branch mission leader super pumped about this yesterday and he shot the idea (with out us) to the branch president and he really liked it and then several members jumped on the idea and started a FHE group right then and there. we have 3 so far here 2 with members and investigators and Less actives going.(the other one is studying PMG this time and then inviting later) We just need to motivate and set it up so that it happens all over the area. Kinda like how BYU (I think, i don't really know) has FHE groups we are just trying to get that started in every city of the area and several for city depending. 

So far it's been nothing more than anything that I did in Stuco. Get the president in on it. Have "committees" or groups of people arranged who would work together and get a head to lead it out. Talk about Refreshments, games, and lesson (other things like song... as well). This is all stuff i did in school! 

One of the transfer goals me and Elder Adams set was to get something in the newspaper just like Dan Jones did (advertising). We never really voiced that goal to any one at all and yesterday a member showed us the newspaper and it was a whole half page about LDS Missionaries! None of us did it! it was about some missionaries in like Missouri and it some how made the Alpena news!?!?! It talked about sacrifices Missionaries make and what their daily life is like.

Oh man the church is so true! The miracles that we are seeing here is unreal, at this rate if this continues to happen then this mission district will become a stake. Things like this is starting to happen at Gaylord too and we keep telling them all of our crazy things and ideas. 

 Bye I love you have a good day! Don't get shot! Or die on ice!
- Elder Truman Rex Crockett

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Miracle Chapters

This week has been amazing as well, things here are really picking up and me and my companion are receiving a lot of inspiration on what to do to hasten the work. This sunday was really funny because the talk that I gave last week was brought up in every single block of church and people based their lessons on it, and the branch president all he did for his talk was talk about what I said and then read like 40 scriptures on what the blessings of missionary work and how we need to get more involved in the work. The first counselor said this "it was as if a 70 was up there speaking, 100% by the spirit" h aha ha ha ha Oh man it was really highly thought of apparently. But i guess thats what happens when you fast and pray for power when you speak. And the priesthood lesson was all about that. Elder A spoke, and next week the Srs are speaking and then the district president so i set it up I hope they slam dunk it down and get every one involved in the ways we need them to be.

The Detroit temple is TINY! it's about the size of the upstairs of the snowflake maybe a bit bigger than that. We got hammered by traffic though and we made it into the session 10 minutes late when we were going to be a hour early. 

We were out door knocking and a car pulled up we started talking to them and they turned out to be straight up from Greece! I immediately asked if he knew how to cook Greek food and after he told me he did i started telling him how much I love it and his daughter ran in the house and brought me and my companion Baklava!!! Oh man we like died it was so good! 

So we followed up with a person who we door knocked into who said he would be interested and we could share a message with him. he let us in and he whooped out this manual that he had on all of these different religions in the front of the book it says "the truth about other religions from the perspective of a lutheran". It was basically a book for Ministers that was full of anti about every religion so they could keep people at their congregations.
He started reading us the one about "Mormonism" and in the first paragraph it said something like Mormons claim they are christains to help them with their public appearance but they are really a cult...=p ya we got him to close that book after we told him how wrong it was and then we started to get into a discussion about his church and he just kept going and going so i decided I just needed to be super bold and intrude so I did and then it almost came to a bible bash after 
We taught him the restoration, I am really glad i brought in the .50 cal (my quad I have been studying by topics this whole time and I have insane scripture chains that address almost every principal) He was super resistant and he would argue against us saying that Luther was this this and this and we straight up threw down. I have never taught the restoration like that at all in my time as a missionary, he was bashing on us and I felt the heat and all of these thoughts (my companion says they were from the spirit, I would agree but with the tension in the air I didn't feel the peace that comes with it) kept coming to me and my companion and we were saying stuff we never even thought of before that pertained to the restoration perfectly 
By the end of it he was reading the book of Mormon and was asking us sincere questions about what is what and wanting to see us again on a specific time and day. We left that lesson and we were both so glad that the church is true because it would have been impossible to have argued with that man about religion HOLY did he know his stuff!

I don't like bible bashing, but it has been happening quite a bit as we door knock people have just been trying to throw down on us and tell us that Jesus when he died on the cross and said it is done meant that every one is set if they believe in him, I get so irritated that they don't understand his teachings at all.

My companion has taken to calling the story of us being fed as by the Devout Catholic as "the feeding of the 3" 

I am really grateful for the talents that I have, we were door knocking and this lady said she would be interested in hearing a message but was busy at the moment we came back a few days later and she wakes up her boyfriend to hear us and He moved the guitar off of the couch for us to sit down since the chandelier was at my shoulders and it was only a matter of time till I hit it. (that has happened twice this week by the way). 
We got in a guitar conversation and he played a bit and then he let me see it and since they had a beatles poster on the wall I busted out a little 8 days a week and he thought that was cool and then I started a little "are you gonna be my girl" by jet and he started freaking out! I didn't know the little solo riff and so i stopped and he sang that part and I started freaking out that he knew it because I have never really met some one who actually knew any thing about Jet and he told me that he loved the band and he told me about them more than I knew 
And then we started talking about Moddest mouse, Killers, Jimmy eat world, and he brought out his ukulele and we had a jamm session. Sorry I totally messed all of this up this is two different lessons combined. But any how he basically became super tight with me and turns out he is the reason why his less active friend married his wife and has taken lessons with the missionaries before. (no record) And is really close to some active members and lives 1 door down from a Less active who loves to meet with us. Taught the restoration he read the book of Mormon on his own wanted to learn more.

That less active that lives a door down from him was super sad because her son went to prison one day and we felt like we needed to go over and so we did and she was crying and told us a lot of stuff and then mentioned her ukulele at one point and I asked her to bring it out and I started playing it for her and she stopped crying and got happy and started playing music for me and singing in Micronesian and and wanted us to come over again. 
She was really happy and in a good mood when we left. We came over the next time and her X husband came in in a super bad mood talking about how bad life is and how nothing good has ever came since he was born. My companion was asleep sitting next to me (I didn't know he was, i just thought he was really silent, because he would give a word here and there, but he told me after he didn't remember anything ha ha) I then just started bearing testimony to him about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I whooped out several "How to begin teaching" bullet points. And he really opposed it (why has every one been doing that lately?) and then I addressed his concern and only had to battle him a little and then bore testimony on how the atonement has helped me (he's a non member) and how I could teach him how to use the atonement in his life to help him be happy and be free of every bad thing. And he agreed We're going over this week.

Things here are INSANE how the work is picking up I have a white board of investigators that had like 4 names on it 2 weeks ago and now we not only filled the whole board but are doubling up on the lines! were at like 14 now ha ha =p.

The church is so true! Bye I love you! have a good week! Don't get shot!
-Elder Truman Rex Crockett

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Temple Tuesday

So the only time you don't tell me to "don't get shot" I am heading down to Detroit for the day... ha ha jk I won't get shot.

So we got a new mission rule where we are now allowed to go to the temple twice a year for our selves and once a month with recent converts and Less actives who we activate. So We are heading down to Detroit with the Sr. Missionaries today and going to the session for all of the missionaries who are leaving the mission. When ever you go to the temple that becomes your P-day so sorry if I made you freak out or something mom =p.

From wearing my snow boots so much I now have little callouses on the top of my pinky toes.

So I went to district meeting and Elder E (sr. Missionary over in Gaylord) jumps up and starts flipping a biscuit (a good one of course) and starts telling me how his grandson was serving with Hamilton down in chile! Small world.

I have now witnessed the negative degrees, during the heat of the day.

I have told you about some of the miracles that I have been seeing but this week topped them all. I cannot tell you how many I have been a part of and the best part of it all is not me or my companion who is doing them AT ALL! In one day we taught 7 first lessons and placed 6 book of mormons and set return appointments with 4 people and there are others who want us to follow up with them. And it's in times like these that We are like horrible at doorknocking and actually doing things that these miracles are happening. 

We were out i was wearing my thermals my jogging pants (the material stops wind from cutting you with cold) and my church pants 3 pairs of socks (wool for 1) 3 pairs of gloves (takes ages to put on) hood, two hats, scarf over my face..... any ways basically only my eyes were showing. ha ah thats not even part of the story I started to tell at all. 

We were out doorknocking and we knocked a whole street and didn't even get to say more than like 4 words at any door. And we knocked on this one guys house and the same thing happened and he started telling me how much of a devout catholic he is and how his friends would whoop out a shot gun if we met them. and we turned away after we knew there was no point and he paused and said "would you guys like a warm meal?" we were a little shocked before i let out a "um.....Yes please" 
It turns out that he started cooking some food and when it was finished the meal multiplied far beyond what he put in the oven, he had too much food to deal with (kinda like how Jesus feed like a million and a half with one fish or somethin) and he didn't know how he was going to have it all not go to waste and so he let us in and he fed us it was good he was super worried that it was way to spicy for us but Ganders don't even understand spicy really compared to some things back in the motherland. 
And in that time we had really good conversations and I strung the conversations into the Restoration lesson and he opposed the things we were teaching him at first (elder a was still eating)  I started bearing testimony that made him feel the spirit and seemed to soften his heart. Oh man I felt like Elder Holland in that lesson, I was super straight up with him, and he would try to bash us but I stood up to him super boldly (dang it now i feel like I am boasting) and I would bear testimony to him. At the end of our time there he committed to reading the Book of Mormon and he was offering to give us rides places and to have us over for dinner again. a devout catholic =p 

I have a strong testimony about Family home evening.
We had that Family home evening with that guy and his family that I talked about last week and oh my goodness that was so much fun! We started by watching some specific bible videos about Christ and then we started teaching The gospel of Jesus Christ and then I whooped out one of my favorite scripture in the Book of mormon about the GOJC and c then asked me where that scripture was from and then Elder and Sister W went crazy talking about the book of mormon and how it came to be. and by the time they were done C asked me for a Book of Mormon and he had tears in his eyes and was super happy. He told me I have to come back on Wednesday after work so we can talk about it more. We then played a game of charades where teams acted out bible stories and the other team had to guess it (c's idea) Man that was hilarious it was so much fun.

I gave a talk in church on sunday they asked me to speak for 10 minutes but i knew I had to speak for more i just kept receiving inspiration on what to talk about. By the time Sunday came the other two speakers who were assigned to speak with me were called by the district president and told to stay home because he felt like they shouldn't make the trip that day. So I had all of sacrament meeting to speak really. I spoke for 35 minutes with out even breaking a sweat ha ha. Oh man it was good i spoke on why the atonement is necessary and how we use it and how we need to share it by being missionaries (basically all from PMG and confrence talks). 
I bore testimony at the end and really the only part of that I remember is "I am only a 18 year old boy from Mesa arizona where the low is 55 and the high is 71 degrees.... (I looked it up right before) But i know with every fiber of my body and soul that.....
After I sat down President E stood up and bore a really good testimony about the things that I taught and  then we sang a song and bro C came up for the closing prayer and bore testimony about the things I said and how he is excited to see how "powerful his testimony is when I am 55 and a apostle" ha ha.

I heard from some one yesterday that Jesus smoked weed..........
I'm not sure that is sound doctrine on how it's acceptable for you to smoke weed.

We got S the investigator who got baptized to start a family home evening group and invite people over to it. He couldn't get any of the members of the church to go but he got his friend who isn't a member to go. I taught the lesson and he told me how he once took lessons with the missionaries but he stopped because he wasn't comfortable with the people at church and the new missionaries after the 2 got transferred. So I figured well i guess i just have to get super tight with him. TURNS OUT HE IS A MMA FIGHTER!!! ha ha he is a new investigator =p.
Ya as soon as S said something about him doing a cage fight we became like best friends to where he was giving me slack in Uno and not bombarding me with draw two's. I am going to be a Pro at Uno by the time I am home I swear, I have played it for FHE like 12 times.  He goes by George of the Jungle when he is fighting, and he has tried to call out several professional fighters (I can't remember who at the moment but it's one of Will's favorite fighters) He has a thing against BJJ just because he tried to muscle out of a armbar and because of the way he tried to do it he had to get shoulder surgery. Hes all about the Ground and pound style of fighting. He never really was trained at a place other than for wrestling but hes from Detroit so ha ha. Ya i didn't even ask if we could teach him after the closing prayer he started telling me his phone number and when he is available for us to come over to teach. He then asked me after he gets baptized what does he have to do with him tattoos. =p  

I went door knocking yesterday and the first door that answered invited us in and it turns out he was a former investigator and as soon as we sat down he started filling this brown paper bag with venison that he just shot and "really spicy" hot sauce =p. And he gave us a day and a time for us to come over without us even asking him. 

Miracles like what i have been experiencing this week given a lot of meaning to the Standard of truth "...but the work will go forth boldly, nobly, and independently..."

A referral we had just died it was that 91 year old man who was a paratrooper in the very first division ever in the USA. he did 50 pushups every day until like 2 months ago. 

Because of all of the FHE's we've been doing we now are only down to like 4 packs of oreo's, every one and their dog gave us oreos during Christmas for some reason.=p I can't complain though about anything at all, i love every single bit of what is happening here.

Oh by the way i didn't get transferred if you didn't pick up on that yet.=p

God is great, Deer is good, and Ganders are crazy =p
Bye love you don't get shot!
- Elder Truman Rex Crockett

Monday, January 5, 2015

God is great, Gingerale is good, and Ganders are crazy!‏

Michiganders are crazy!

I was driving to Atlanta to go and do trade backs and we get hit by a blizzard snow is coming from every where, we can't see out of any window, and the visibility of the road is limited to 5 feet in front of the Jeep there was snow EVERY WHERE! and it came super suddenly too so I was going maybe 50 when we were hit by it and sliding, and you are literally driving into nothing, I had no clue of anything at all no lines on the road, no road reflectors, no street lights out there in the woods, oh man that was super scary my speed dropped dramatically when we got in that because I could be going straight into who knows what in a manner of seconds. And as I am driving through this some freaking Gander kicks it into 4 wheel drive (I assume) and passes me at like 50 miles a hour and then all i see is his tail lights fish tailing and then disappear in the distance... From me talking to people, alot of Ganders have some type of God complex when they kick it into 4 wheel drive and they end up in the trees or the pit. Just yesterday there was 4 deaths in Michigan because of driving in the snow.

It's also really funny because when it snows all of the lines in parking lots no longer are valid parking places, people park where ever they want i saw a guy today park straight in the middle of 4 parallel parking spaces not parallel at all, people just romp straight on the side walk and park, and every one who can't see the lines in parking lots just make a guess at where they used to be and every one else will try to line up with them and they get way off of where the lines were. Also with the Lines for the roads those all the sudden are non existent as well you basically drive where you can see the two lines from all of the previous drivers who went the same direction as you are going so you can see where the double yellow lines are totally being driven on top of and passed because every one follows the same tracks so you don't slide around. Driving in snow is very interesting, very funny, and scary when the snow is just dumping on you.(it's 3 degrees F up here, not including the ripping wind, But it's sunny =p)    

But Oh man all of the driving I am doing up here is making me a pro at driving distances I drive about 1300 miles a month and I ride a bike maybe 40 if I am lucky ( I love the bikes, minus it's not fun romping over snowbanks in a beach cruiser, It just takes off your chain every 3 times you do it) I am going to be a champ at driving to places like Showlow because of my mission. 
Did you know Michigan has it's own Christmas song, it's a classic up here it's something along the lines of "Da Yoopers Rusty Chevrolet" I haven’t heard it but I hear it's funny.

So i lost my name tag like a month ago, It was my magnet one, I have been using my pocked one and clipping it on the outside of my coat and it tends to be side ways of upside down because of the places I have to put it, and I was about to reorder one on thursday and then that day I went over to a investigators house and he was like "Look what I found in the middle of my yard" and there it was, it was super random, It was a miracle in it's self that he found that in the snow in his big yard let alone all of the places it could have been lost in that time period.
While in that lesson he realized that I was swaying (unintentionally) to the super quiet music that his wife was listening to in the other room and he asked me if I knew that song and oh man we got in a super good conversation about that type of music. I don't know what song that was but it was one that Dad loves and that helped him open up so much because he basically likes everything that Dad likes we talked about the Beatles, Styx, Boston...... that type of music. Talking about all of that really helped him feel comfortable around us and be alot more open with his questions and concerns.

I was fed Crab for new years MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNNN!!!! that was so good! had to break the shell and every thing, then we had like butterfly cut venison the next day.

I do not want to be transferred this week I am praying that I don't have to leave because things here are Picking up!!! and we keep picking up families to teach for reals if we baptise all of our investigators that we just got in this last transfer we would have 20 baptisms. I am seeing loads of miracles! And i really, REALLY want to see all of them continue to progress. 

Yesterday I needed a good start to the day so I went to the Glory rack and picked my tie. Oh and that showed in the rest of that day ha ha ha. I was thinking about C and C during sacrament meeting. They are two neighbours who I talked to during my second week in Alpena and we all bore testimony to each other and We had both of them crying after we were done bearing out testimonies (well just the longboard story for me) and they really wanted to have a FHE with us after that and I have called several times but there must have been a bad number because It never worked and we didn't write down their address so we could come back. But I forgot about them until I was in their neighbourhood later that day and I remembered where their house was and I knocked on the door and Big C opened the door and he started freaking out just like really funny and then he told me that his neighbour C was talking to him two day before and he mentioned that we never had that FHE together and they were really wondering how they could get ahold of us.=p and then we knock on their door =p. OH man ! The church is so true! Plus his family is like the only black family you will find in all of Alpena.   

DANG IT!!! I still have like 3 more miracle stories to tell!
I gotta go Bye I love You! 

-Elder Truman Rex Crockett