Monday, October 27, 2014

On the Up End

Howdy Family!

Can’t believe another week’s already gone by! Luckily this week went a lot better than the last one, thanks to your prayers, I’m sure! I really am so blessed to have all you guys back at home, and also in Argentina, supporting and praying for me. You’re the best.

So this week I learned a lot about the mission but I don’t have a ton of time, so I’ll just share a couple of things.

First, we have been teaching quite a bit of older people recently for some reason and it’s taught me so much patience, but also makes me think a ton about my own Grandpa Crump back at home. Just like him, our investigators are a little stubborn at times and like to be a bit of a hassle, but all you can do is just love them. I now try to think of every older person we teach as my own Grandpa, and convey the same love I have for him, to the people here. It helps a lot. I think back on the many hours I spent working in the park with my Grandpa and know it was a blessing-to teach me patience and an understanding of how older people, well... function, haha.

Another thing I have learned with my companion and the investigators we have, is to just worry about their lives instead of my own. Pretty much people want to talk about me, me, me, and don’t really care to listen to what the other person actually wants to say. We teach with members here and it’s just really difficult because all they want to talk about sometimes is their own lives and how they use the gospel. When really we are all there at the investigators house to help the investigator, not to talk about how great our lives are. So this week my goal is to try really hard to share the experiences I have had in my life with total humility and then just sit back and listen to what our investigators want to say. Even if it means hearing a Grandpas-hour-long-war-story. It’s all worth it in the end.

My companion decided to change a whole bunch of stuff recently and it’s been a little rough adjusting, but things are definitely on the up end. This week I have learned to just laugh when he gets mad and focus on the people we are teaching, not on my comp. Really, overall things have gotten much better than last week and it’s been such a blessing. I can finally make my comp laugh and we are doing a lot better, relationship wise, than last week. Thank heavens, haha. He may use my bar of soap and eat all my food all the time but that’s ok. I’ll get over it. I just gotta do my best to continue to love him is all. 

That’s about it for the week. It was a good one and definitely made me a lot more excited about the future here out in the field. Times get rough yes, but everything is already on the up end of things so I’m just hoping next week gets even better! It’s crazy to think of how terrible I felt last week at this time but how I have already gotten a little better. I really have been blessed. Love you guys!!

Elder Crump 
Matthew, his companion and other elders at the El Salvador San Salvador Temple

The Chalchuapa Zone at the temple.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mission Life is Real Life

Howdy Family!!

         Well the mission life has finally hit me as real life! This week was by far the hardest week I have had yet on the mission. I got my new companion on Wednesday, Elder C from Nicaragua. He is pretty cool but just super... different and I definitely am struggling to build a good relationship with him. The day we became comps I was literally sick to my stomach the entire day just because I missed my old comp and I don’t really know why else. That night I wrote like a million pages in my journal and couldn’t think of anything but coming home. The next morning and day was practically the same and for some reason I just couldn’t get a hold of myself. It was extremely difficult but… here I am just fine now.
         While watching Elder Johansen leave it really struck me how much love he had for his converts and how much his converts love him. It really has made me think a lot and I hope someday I can be able to cultivate that kind of love with the people I am teaching. For now it has been a little hard but I feel like I can do it. The people Elder Johansen taught might not know everything there is to know about the gospel and everything but they have a love that will carry them through the times of doubt that they may have. And that’s what I want my investigators to have as well.
         Last week or the week before I can’t remember Elder Johansen and I were contacting in Rosario and I just randomly decided we needed to knock a door ... or door ish thing haha and we found three families in this house. At first they were a little unsure of us but after a little bit they let us teach a little lesson. One of the families, that were actually just visiting relatives in that house, is named Family Galicia and we are now teaching them in their own house in Cuidad Real. Last night we taught a lesson with them, our third lesson, and it seriously went like perfectly. They are reading all the stuff we leave, inviting us to dinner and are super eager to learn more. It’s perfect. It just made me realize how essential it is to just listen at the random thoughts you have and to act on them! Because now we have a sweet family to teach!! Miracles definitely do happen here!
         Well that’s about all I have time for... I’m praying constantly I can start working a little better with my comp and we can just be friends. It’s just sooo hard to communicate. BUT such is mission life so I’ll just take it a week at a time!!  Hopefully you all have a good week! 

Elder Crump

With his trainer Elder Johansen & Kevin

Tazumal District

Elder Johansen and his two sons
(missionaries he trained)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Final week of this change (my comp heads home)

         And thus my first change out in the field is over! It’s insane that it’s already come and gone. Time is insane down here! So here are a few cool things of the week...
         This week we fasted for one of our investigators named Daniel Sossa. The one I talk with about soccer a lot. He is totally ready to be baptized but doesn’t feel totally ready. So we decided to fast for him and for some reason it was, legit, one of the hardest things for me. We were walking around all day and I was on the verge of passing out the whole time. It was rough. So he was the last appt for the day and so we were just praying we would be able to put a date with him... well he didn’t accept one at all. It was super sad. After we left I was walking and talking with my companion and it was really weird because I like wasn’t mad at all. Normally people would be pretty frustrated if they did all that for nothing, but really I was just sad for him is all. It’s cool how the mission changes you.
         Random thing I think you guys might want to hear. The bottom third of my planner, in my front pocket is like always drenched. Why you might ask? Because I’m sweating like no other all the time here. Hooray for humidity!
         We gave this Hermana in our district a blessing this week and it was a really, really cool experience. As soon as my companion and I laid our hands on her head I could just feel her faith. We have given a lot of blessings before but you just can’t feel the power as much. It was just super sweet to feel the faith that the Hermana had in the priesthood and it made me realize and hope that I have that same faith.
         I have been having a hard time staying motivated throughout the days here. I think there are a few different reasons for this but primarily I feel it’s because I don’t have the love for the people that I should have. People usually say it’s super easy to love the people you are serving but It definitely isn’t coming so easily for me. It’s not like I don’t like the people here in the slightest. They are awesome. I just don’t feel like I have the pure Christ like love I really should have. Hopefully this week I will be able to improve because it is really starting to take a toll on me. I just don’t have that intense desire to serve every day....
         So I’m killing my companion in two days and will be getting a new one. It’s crazy how fast our time together went. But I can say that I am extremely glad for the time I have had to work with him. He has taught me so much and has been a great example of so many important things on the mission. It really makes me sad he’s leaving. Luckily I will be able to see him again in a little less than two years from now! He’s a really cool guy!! Hopefully my new comp is half as cool as him!

That’s it for the week. Thanks for everything you guys do for me. You’re the best. Have a great week!!

Elder Crump


Math's Comp :0)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference is the BEST!

         How is life back in the good ol’ states everybody!? Because life down here in El Salvador is just grand! My companion and I had a great week and I loved conference more than anything!! 
         It is crazy how much different you view conference when you are out on a mission. Every single thing that is said takes on a totally different meaning! I really loved Elder Uchtdorf’s talk about obtaining a testimony and I was so, so happy that we brought Daniel to that session because he really enjoyed the talk and it helped him a bunch. My comp and I pretty much just want to show the talk by Elder Bednar about missionary work and wanting to share the gospel with everyone before every single one of our lessons. It was so perfect. Everyone just make sure you all go back and read the talks you liked because there is always more to learn!!
         My companion and I buy cakes for anyone that we know that has a birthday... partly because it is a really good way to build trust and friendship... but also because it’s nice to eat cake all the time! Haha, it’s no wonder I currently have four pennies to my name though....
         So this week I definitely had the chance to contact some buses. If you don’t know what that means, it is done by standing in the front of the bus, packed full of people, and preaching to the entire bus in a language you don’t even know. Pure awesomeness. Never in my entire life had I thought I would be able to do that but now it’s not even bad at all!! It’s a great way to try and share the gospel with as many people as possible!
         We were teaching a lesson this week out in San Sebastian Saltrillo when a baby just walks in the middle of the room and goes to the bathroom. I’m sure it’s not the most uncommon thing in the world, but I couldn’t help myself and just busted up laughing. It was hilarious.
         I tell my comp ¨We are seriously such gringos¨ Like every second. Because literally, everyone is always staring at us.
         I really liked what an Hermana shared this week in our Zone meeting about repentance. Just that we sometimes think it is impossible to totally stop doing a sin we currently have but really we just need to focus on putting more time in between each sin so that eventually we won’t be sinning any more because there will be so much time in between each time. Just a random thought I really liked, if that even made sense at all.

That’s about it for the week. Mission life is crazy hard, but crazy awesome! This is the last normal week I have with my comp before he leaves so hopefully it’s a great one! 

Love you guys!

Elder Crump