Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Final Week of the CCM!

Howdy Family!!!

         I seriously can’t believe that I have been out for a month! It’s just flown right by and it just goes to show how I will have to make every moment count while I am out here!!! So this week was quite the spiritual one for me... I loved every second of it! But here are a few highlights...

- We held a District testimony meeting last Sunday…they are usually the best things ever, but after everyone had given amazing testimonies and we were all crying a ton, my good buddy Elder Smith decided to bear his at the last second... and this is his little story.... He lives in Nebraska with not many friends and people involved in the church, his sister eventually got into drugs and nearly killed herself, this made both his parents leave the church for some reason, making it really hard to stay active... but he did, by going to church with his friend Justin... but Justin died two months later... Elder Smith was devastated... He wanted to just die right there on his bedroom floor... but luckily his loving home teaching companion was prompted to call Elder Smith and drove 3 hours to come give him a blessing... Long story short, Elder Smith came on a mission, his parents are still not active and it was just amazing. It really made me realize how truly blessed I have been my whole life, with so many amazing examples that are strong in the church.

- Random Fact, my amazing Spanish teacher here, Hermano Bonilla, a returned missionary, drives about 90-100 mph (yes, mph) here on his motorcycle every day. He has cops try to chase him down like literally every day and he just loses them. Perfect example for us, haha.

- This week I have read about three fourths of the BofM and it has been such a blessing! Before I left I didn’t have the strongest of testimonies about it but just by reading it and truly feasting upon the words of Christ, I have developed such a stronger testimony. It’s amazing!!

- Regarding this… my challenge for you all is to get that desire or addiction to read the BofM! You should be dying to be able to read it every night! If you don’t have that, make sure to pray every day for the desire to feast upon the words of God. It will truly bless your life.

- My favorite quote for the week: "The Lord’s calm, reassuring voice speaks peace to our minds, and offers safety for the soul to those who choose to stand in Holy Places". I have known this to be true, as I have had the amazing opportunity to constantly be in a holy place the past month.

- Our last district meeting we also sang the song "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" and it was so spiritual. I know that if anyone can meaningfully sing that song, with all the strength of their heart, they can gain a testimony that Christ truly is our Savior and Redeemer. It is the most powerful song ever. If you try, you can have the spirit every single time you sing it.

- Our President of the CCM left for majority of the time I have been here but he finally came back last week after having had a pretty bad blood clot... and boy am I glad he is back! He is a spiritual giant, and every single devotional he gives is the best advice ever! He is so motivated and such a great example for me!!

That’s all for the week, I love being here and I am so, so excited to get out into the field next week! I’ll be taking a bus across Guatemala & El Salvador to get there!! It will be quite the adventure for sure! I hope everyone has a fantastic week, and may the Lord be with you!!

Elder Crump

This is the Guatemala City Temple.  Matthew gets to go every P-Day.
It is pretty much across the street from the CCM

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The MEN in the Army of the Lord

Hola Familia!!!

         I can't believe it’s already another week down here in the CCM! The days drag on at times but weeks go by sooo quickly! The best part about being here is the fact that I am literally living and spending my entire day on consecrated ground. The whole land here has been blessed and you can just feel it. It’s so awesome having the Spirit so strong wherever you go!! So a few things that happened this week...
         My favorite moment from this week came on Thursday when this tiny little Guatemalan guy here pulled some of us aside and showed us the details of a scripture I have read so many times... it’s in Alma 53: 20. In this verse it is talking about the Stripling Warriors and it says earlier on in the verse... “they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage”.... then at the end of the verse it says “this was not all…they were MEN who were true at all time in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.” So in explanation, they are described as young men in the beginning but MEN at the end of the verse. Just like them, we here are all young men; physically, but spiritually, we can and should be MEN. True at all times. I just love Helaman’s Mighty Men, hence my blog name, and so that scripture about them, and how they are just like us, really hit me. I love it!
         So throughout all of my High School career I used Pilot G2 pens, but never once managed to go through an entire one (all of the ink) without losing it... well, last Friday I finally completed that life changing achievement, haha. I used a brand new pen all the way through because you seriously never stop writing here! Quite impressive I know.
         All my life I have harassed my beloved father about using 3x5 cards in his pocket to be able to keep track of what he needs to do and remember... well Dad, guess who currently has probably 9 cards sitting in his chest pocket right now... this guy! Gotta love the great example I have had my whole life!
         My quote for the week, from the Liahona: "Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future" - President Uchtdorf.... that quote just really hit me... especially how it pertains to missionary work!
         It is unreal how much the gift of tongues applies to us here in the CCM... The first couple lessons I taught four weeks ago were 100% written and my Spanish was totally terrible... now four weeks later my companion and I teach almost hour long lessons in total Spanish without a single notecard. It’s amazing. The Lord has blessed me so much to quicken my learning and I’m so very grateful for it.
         We watched the Restoration video this week on Sunday and pretty much it’s just perfect. It’s literally impossible to not feel the spirit while watching that, especially when they start singing “Praise to the Man” and the end of it... so if anyone is missing the spirit in their life. I definitely recommend watching that!
         Finally my challenge for you all... Here in the CCM one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the power of listening. It is sooo essential for us to listen to our investigators every word and act upon it... so, for everyone at home, try listening more. You learn so much more by listening to people instead of talking. People will truly know you care about them when you are willing to listen to every word they say!
         That’s all folks! The CCM is one heck of a place! It’s crazy I have already been here a month and how much I have had my testimony strengthened! Have a marvelous week!!

Elder Crump

La Limonada, Guatemala City - the largest slum in Latin America outside of Brazil.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hump Day in the CCM!

         I can't believe my time here is already half way over!! It seems like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to my lovely family in the airport!! Mission life is the best life. There is absolutely no doubt about it!! This week was quite an eventful one. So here is a little of what happened.

- First off, on P day of last week we got to go into downtown Guatemala City to go on a mini tour and stuff! It was amazing! It felt so nice to just finally walk somewhere outside the gates! Haha! We went to a relief map that is in the city that is a map of the entire country made back in the early 1900's. It’s insane how accurate it is considering they did it all riding a horse and using old surveying equipment. We also visited this crazy market which was quite the experience. I obviously bought something within five minutes. A Guatemalan National Soccer Team Jersey!

- We had a talk about asking questions in our life. Joseph Smith was the greatest example of this because in everything he wasn’t sure of, he would ask God. This is what the entire D&C pretty much is. Cool thing to think about.

- We have district and zones here in the CCM and I am the District Leader. I don't really like being responsible for other people’s difficulties at times, but hey, you do what you have to!

- One of the Elders in our district had a big kidney stone this week, which he’s never had before. He reminds me a lot of my brother because he’s a strong, loving guy, who plays football and such. It was so sad because he was bawling as he was being taking to the hospital... they ended up having to do surgery to remove it. Cool part of it all was the priesthood blessing he received from his companion. It was such a powerful moment.

- I read about the sons of Mosiah this week in my scripture study and it’s just so reassuring to know that even though you have lived anything but a perfect life, you can still be an awesome missionary. Just like Ammon, my favorite BofM hero. He led thousands away from the church but brought many more back unto it throughout the rest of his life.

- We were teaching an "investigator" a few days ago and she was telling us she got revelation to live with her boyfriend, didn't like going to church at all, couldn't get answers to her prayers, all while chugging coffee. Good practice I suppose!

- We had the privilege of watching the most amazing devotional by Elder Bednar that he gave to the MTC a few Christmases ago. Never before have I had a talk hit me so hard, and answer so many of my prayers at one time. It was literally the best talk I have ever heard. One of my favorite parts was him talking about gaining a testimony and saying " The witness one can receive through the power of the Holy Ghost far transcends that of the 5 senses". It’s just awesome knowing that we have the gift to feel in our heart that Christ is our Savior. We have something better than seeing or hearing him. Amazing stuff!!

         That’s about it for the week, besides that I got the most amazing scripture case ever down here. I can't stop thinking about how awesome it is, haha!  But I hope everyone has a fabulous week! I love all you guys and am so grateful for all your prayers and the love you show for me! I love being a missionary. It is the best gift God has given me!

Elder Crump

Sunset as Matthew was leaving Salt Lake.

Looking towards the temple from the Guatemala CCM.

Shopping in Guatemala City with his companion,
Elder Craig.  Matthew loves this guy!!

Guatemala CCM District

Monday, August 4, 2014

Two weeks down!!


         The CCM is just amazing down here! I have already adapted to the concourses of cockroaches creeping across me each night and the rats biting my toes. All have some real creative names by now!! Haha Chiste!!! Life down here is soooo awesome! I've never been in a place so spiritual and so specifically run by the Lord himself!!
To start off I have to say Happy Birthday to my sweet Grandma Karen that died of cancer years ago. No other person I know had more Christ like love than that woman, she was such a blessing for the short time I knew her. Also, someone ever so dear to me will be celebrating his birthday this week, my loving FATHER! He has been such a strong leader in our home and has allowed the holy power of the priesthood to sink deep within the walls of our house. The amount of love he has for me and my family is beyond comprehension and I’m sooo grateful to be able to call him Dad. So, Happy Birthday Dad. I love you!

So here are some of the more prominent experiences from the week:

 - In priesthood this week our leader shared a scripture in D&C chapter 84 verse 33 about how when doing the work of God, he helps us by renewing our bodies each day... and it just really struck me as the truth because every day you wake up so incredibly tired but no matter what, you finish the day just fine and wanting to learn more. It’s amazing!

- So as my family could probably attest to, before I came on the mission one thing I dreaded most was fasting. My body just essentially went into comma mode each time I would fast. So here at the CCM we had to fast for 24+ hours which, leading up to it, I was deathly afraid because I could barely last maybe 18 at most at home. But I prayed fervently, and fasted for a purpose in which I truly cared, and I got through the day as though I had been eating all along. It was such a testimony builder, that as long as you exercise enough faith, God can bless you with what you desire.

- A fun fact, we are the only MTC in the world to have a refreshment time each night, which consists of chocolate milk and amazing, delectable pastries! That is almost always the best time of day for me! :)

- We teach two lessons per day now to each of our teachers and although it is extremely difficult and takes a whole bunch of planning/ memorizing, it’s definitely worth it. My companion and I have learned so much already about lessons and can already feel the spirit so strongly.

- Literally everyone calls my companion and I “The Twins” because we wear a lot of similar stuff, I guess kinda look the same, act the same, like similar songs and sports and have the same scripture on our mission plaques etc...... So one day while arguing we weren't twins with everyone, we found out we have the exact same birthday.... needless to say we definitely didn't win that argument! Haha

- One of my favorite missionaries here, Elder Laing from Orem, gave an awesome story about missions.... In the Book of Mormon it mentions Samuel, A Lamanite, a lot while it is introducing him and stuff but later on it refers to him as Samuel, THE Lamanite, after he has conquered his fears and preached on the wall to the wicked people. Just like Samuel became THE Lamanite, we too as missionaries have to become THE missionary, not A missionary. There are thousands of missionaries in the world today, but that doesn't matter when you get in the home of someone and change their lives for eternity. For them, you are THE missionary. Just a cool thought.

- My favorite quote for the week: "Your mind is like a field, you will harvest whatever you plant in it, so long as you nourish it with faith".

- My challenge for you all: whenever you have a spiritually uplifting moment in your life, you HAVE to write it down. I have learned this while down here in the CCM. God gave you those experiences to build your testimony on, but what good are they going to do if you can't look back on them when you need that spiritual strength. Not everyone can be a Scott Crump and write a novel every day in their journal, but I know it’s essential to at least write down those testimony builders when God blesses you with them.

         Well that’s about it for the week! I am so grateful to be down here, and although it’s hard beyond belief at times, I know this is where I need to be. And I can’t thank my God enough for the blessing to be able to serve in His name! 

Love you guys,
Elder Crump