Monday, December 29, 2014

Feliz Navidad & Happy New Year!

         Ahh, it was sooo great to talk to you all this Christmas. I wish I could have talked to you guys for a lot more time but that’s all right. Christmas week here was insane and really had its ups and downs. Here’s what went down though:
         First of all last Monday we got to go visit this super sweet waterfall called La Golondrinera here in Pushtán. It’s so beautiful and reminded me of visiting all the pretty waterfalls we visited on our family vacations. It’s in a canyon that’s just covered in trees and stuff and literally something that would be in a movie. These pictures don’t do it justice at all. But ya, that was pretty rad.
         We had a Christmas activity on Tuesday, which really boosted my spirits for Christmas time. The best part was I was able to hang out with all my buds from the CCM that I love. I’ll send a picture we took together. These guys are like my true friends here on the mission and it’s weird because we were only together for like 6 weeks but we are seriously so close and they are just great. It was also great to see Elder Craig. He’s still probably my best friend in the mission, even if I hardly see him at all. We watched a little Disney movie, played games, exchanged presents and had a spiritual time, which made for a great day.
         Christmas Eve here was pretty normal.  We just taught a bunch of lessons to people that didn’t want to listen to us at all. Which was rough. Idk, it’s hard because we have to work but the people here just want to spend time with their family, not really with us. So we felt really bad when we forced the people to listen to us because they aren’t going to say no if we ask to enter.       
     Christmas day started off super well. I listened to Christmas music all morning and opened my presents from you guys and the Andersen family. Skype was really great until it ended, haha.  Afterwards I was just super, super homesick and didn’t work too well the rest of the day. Our Christmas dinner, no joke, included a tiny tortilla and a skimpy chicken leg. All the other members didn’t want to receive us for some reason. It was really rough for me that night and by far one of the hardest nights I have had on the mission because I just couldn’t get the image of my bro crying when I said bye on Skype that morning. Luckily the next day we were super busy so I didn’t really have any time to be homesick and stuff.
         Blanca... our investigator wasn’t baptized yesterday ;( it’s was really sad. But hopefully everything goes fine these next few days and she will be baptized on Wednesday. I’m praying like crazy everything will end up fine. The wedding was fine though. Super low key. All the kids just devoured the cake because it was probably one of the first cakes they have ever eaten in their life.
         I don’t have any more time this week but I’ll write more about the week next week. We are going to Tazumal today, so that will be sweet! Have a great week! Love you guys!

Elder Crump
Mission Christmas party.
Matthew is at the back of the circle sitting
on the floor next to the elder in the green shirt.

The Nahuizalco District brothers.

El Salvador Santa Ana Mission Christmas picture.
Matthew is on the very back row, right in the middle,
kind of in front of the bush. A disadvantage of being
one of the taller missionaries is being on the back row
- and Matthew really isn't that tall :0)

La Golondrinera
A hike through coffe plantations to get there.

CCM Bros - Elder Craig is third from the left.

Noe & Blanca with their eight children
after their wedding.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Merry... Christmas?? Say what I seriously cant believe its already Christmas time. Boy does time fly out here on the mission! Its been a crazy week and luckily enough I havent been homesick very much at all. Thanks to keeping busy and the nice Christmas spirit that is here in Nahuizalco, everything is just dandy! This week was a good one so heres a few highlights...

So first of all I have to explain a little about our here in Pushtan. So before I got here the missionaries were just baptizing like nobodys business. Elder Slack baptized 11 in like 2 months here which was crazy but then practically exactly when I got here the Catholics and Jehovahs Witness just started going nuts and now they literally like follow behind us and just destroy everything we just taught to our investigators. The problem is the people here are really humble but a lot havent had too much schooling so they just kind of believe anything of what you say. Which is nice for us... until the catholics come.. So anyway we were super close to marrying the guy named Enrique and his wife but then last week the Catholics just bombarded him with a bunch of crap and now hes like ant mormon practically. Its the worst. Its gotten so bad that my comp is seriously planning on having a show down sort of thing with the catholic leader here haha

Thursday night we had a little reunion thing with all the guys that are members in Pushtan. There are like 5 of them that have there family and stuff. But they just wanted our help on how to to a home teaching visit with the less active families and stuff that live around Pushtan. It was sweet because I knew exactly what to teach and tell them all thanks to my great pops back at home. He was an awesome example of how to be a good home teacher and really helped me to understand how to do an effective visit. So I was then able to help out the men aruond here and they are now doing their quality home teaching every home. Hooray for being raised by such a great Dad!

Random fact about here. People literally have like zero problems with smoke. We are literally teaching a lessons and they just start a fire inside the house to cook their dinner and such. So like thirty minutes later you can imagine the amount of smoke in the house and how badly I want to just die. Im like seriously bawling and have the worst runny nose ever and everyone else is just all jolly and happy. Gotta love it!!

Things were a little rough Wednesday between my companion and I. The problem is he is the senior comp and doesnt have much time left in the mission so he just does everything all by himself. Like planning and calling people and such. So we did our weekly planning and I just sat there most of the time and then hes just like, ive got something to say. Im like ok, go for it. So he then just out of the blue just starts railing on me for all the stuff I do wrong as a missionary and the things I need to change. Super random. Some of the stuff wasnt even correct either. and then he just got up and started getting ready. Growing up ive never been to great at taking advice so that was really hard for me to just get machettied super hard like that. So im just sitting in my chair. Deciding what to do and quite surprisingly, atleast to myself, I just wrote the things I need to change in my planner and brushed it off. The next day my comp got mad at me again because I had started making my breakfast when he needed to get his Preach my gospel he had left at the Zone Leaders house. Im just like Breh, you gotta tell me you want to leave! So I got ready super fast and left. I got back and was just really really mad. Cuz things had been building up and stuff. But then, by pure coindince im sure, happened to be in Chap 6 of PMG which is Christlike attributes. So of course I read abot patience and realized I was being dumb and needed to calm down. Ever since then everything has been totally fine and my comp and I are doing great again. Its really weird how it all panned out but I can certainly say once again Ive learned a little bit of patience! You think I would have learned the first time haha

Finally this week we had a sweet activity on Thursday where all the missionaries here in Nahuizalco sang in the city square and we had movies playing on a projector screen. President Spjut came and everything and it ended up being a really spiritual and fun night. Also a great way to kind of bring the Christmas spirit here. People are already inviting us to eat Christmas day and stuff as well so hopefully it ends up being a savvy week! haha Wish all you guys a merry Christmas and enjoy the time you get to spend with the family! Love you!!

Elder Crump
Zone meeting in Nahuizalco square with Pres. Spjut

Monday, December 15, 2014

Baptizing all the Catholics...

         Well family, it’s another week down out here in the mission. We had an HQ week and have really had some quality lessons with our investigators, which is awesome. My companion and I don’t have any dates right now, which is weird for the area but we are working real hard to put dates in the near future. But here are a few random things that happened this week.
    First off I just want to make sure everyone understands how awesome the “El es la Dadiva” thingy is. Or “He is the Gift’. A ton of the missionaries are talking about it and I just wanted to give my input on it. It’s awesome. We have contacted a whole bunch of people because of it and it’s really made my testimony of the Atonement of Christ grow a lot. We watched a few videos with one of our investigators about the atonement and Christmas and stuff and all of us in the room just sat there in awe for like two minutes after the video ended. The spirit was so strong! So if any of you haven’t looked up the videos or found out about He is the Gift, do it.
    Here in El Salvador it’s extremely hard for people to say my name. Who knows why, because it’s so short and everything, but still. It’s crazy. I’ve told some of our investigators my name a thousand times and they still can’t remember it. So as of recent, people for some odd reason have just started calling me something different. I have no idea why, they just do. One lady only knows me by Hermano Juan. Another huge family all calls me Elder Rocky. Another old man always calls me Grump. Another group of kids call me Elder Jelly? or something of the sorts. It really doesn’t bug me at all. It’s just I literally always have to pay attention to the names people say because, before I know it, it’s my own.
    I did interchanges a whole bunch this week and I learned a ton from my Zone and District Leaders. One is Elder Slack from Copper Hills. He’s my District leader and it was so awesome to talk to him and teach. We taught lesson one with one of our investigators and it was crazy how well we worked together and how strong the spirit was. We just both bore our testimonies of Joseph Smith, said a prayer and left and I was almost 100% sure the lady’s mouth was still hanging wide open, hahaha.
    My companion and I were in a lesson with an older lady this week and she’s just super Catholic and doesn’t want to go to church with us. She likes our message and stuff, she just won’t go to church. So anyway we go to visit her, determined to be straight up with her and tell her all about our purpose as missionaries and find out if we should continue to teach her or not. So we are talking with her about baptism and stuff and my comp’s just like “Hermana, in truth, as Mormons we came here to baptize all the Catholics in the world and help them realize how mistaken they really are. Está Bien??? (Is that right/ok?) The Hermana is just like, “Asi es (yup)...” sits there for like 20 seconds and then suddenly realizes what she agreed with and stands up and starts going nuts on us for messing with her, hahaha, it was so funny.  The only downside is, we can’t go back now. But still it was hilarious.
   Another story with an old lady this week was that we have been teaching her for quite some time now. Her name is Sebastiana. She’s like super Catholic too and just likes hearing the word of God like the majority of people here. So we are teaching her about the Sabbath day and everything and after like 30 mins finally get her to say she might go to church. Or as the people here say ‘If God gives me life or If God permits it I will go’. It’s hilarious. Anyway, we left and were just like - ok that’s for sure the last visit we are going to have with her. Sunday comes around and guess who just randomly shows up at the church? Sebastiana! And she brings her son that is 25 and wants to serve a mission as well! His names Orlando and super positive, which is awesome! It’s just crazy how the Lord works to help us find the people we need to teach!
         That’s about all I’ve got for the week. Rather that’s all the time I have. Enjoy the Christmas times people. It’s the best time of year for a reason. Remember to read and pray everyday and you’ll be happy! Have a marvelous week!! Love you all.

Elder Crump
He loves these kinds of pictures :0)

With the Christmas tree he and his companion bought.

The total Bro Zone.
I believe Elder Slack is on the far right.

The view heading back to Nahuizalco from Santa Ana.
I think it's the valley where he worked before, Tazumal.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December, say what?

Well I seriously cant believe its already December! Yikes time really does fly! But today would be the very special day for my awesome sister Cami!! Feliz Cumpleaños Hermana Crump!! You are such a great example to me and I have always looked up to you so much! I know you have brought tons of people to the gospel in Argentina and they will be forever grateful for all you have done. I really can’t express in words how much of a blessing it has been to have an older sister like you! So finish strong and see you soon!! Love ya!!

So this week was just dandy. We taught a lot of really good lessons and have quite a bit of investigators that are coming along nicely...

First off this week we continued to visit the sister that already hates me a ton for cleaning my hand... and the first time we went to visit her I just had a grudge really and didn’t really say much during the lesson. I felt suuuper bad afterward and promised myself that I would try to be better next visit. Four days later we went back and I tried so hard to be the nice, forgiving missionary I should be and it made a huge difference! All of her 7 kids are just in love with me now (it probably helped that I gave them cookies) haha, but ya, our lesson went way better and she’s on track to be baptized again, which is awesome! So ya, that was a cool lesson I learned of getting over things that really don’t matter in the long run!

Here in Nahuizalco there is a member that owns a Pupuseria so you know what that means...? FREE pupusas all day every day!!! It’s so sick! We just stop by there every night and get like 4 or 5 pupusas! Such a blessing! (Mom’s note: a pupusas is a traditional El Salvadoran food. It is a cornmeal tortilla that is filled with a blend of cheese, cooked pork or chicken, or refried beans. See pictures below).

Where we work in Pushtán there is a great view of the surrounding area and it’s pretty sweet because you can see tons of mountains & volcanoes and the ocean! It’s just a massive blue blob out there! Haha.

My companion and I get along really well and we teach our lessons quite smoothly together which is great! In addition he doesn’t steal my food or stay up till midnight every night so everything is just gravy!!

Also this week we are working on contacting references of a sister in the ward and we found this teenage boy named Miguel. He is 17 and, boy oh boy, was he prepared for us! We just start teaching like we usually do with new investigators and teach about Christ and his plan for us... My companion then asks, “Do you have any questions?” and Miguel says, “Ya I want to serve a mission like you guys, what do I need to do?” Me: “Well first you need to be baptized, are you willing to do that?” Him: “Oh, umm ya that would be good wouldn’t it. When can I be baptized?” My companion and I: HALLELUJAH!!!!!! hahaha So ya hopefully if everything goes well he will be baptized by the end of the month!

Just in case you all are wondering, it is indeed winter here and still 90+ degrees every fetching day... We walk to our area in like 30 mins and when I finally get there, I’m drenched head to toe. It’s just pure happiness.

Spiritually wise this week, I was sitting in a lesson thinking to myself. I haven’t felt the spirit very strongly for a while now. I wonder what I am doing wrong... so we leave that lesson and go and find this lady that’s in her house. Five minutes into the conversation she’s just crying a whole bunch and saying how all these people in her life have passed away recently. We starting teaching little parts of the Plan of Salvation and it just hit me like a huge wave of spiritual awesomeness that our message is exactly what this lady needs in her life and the Holy Ghost really is guiding us. HQ moment for sure.

That’s about all I have time for this week. Love all you. Miss you lots, especially during the Christmas season! I’ll miss all the fun things up there! Hope you guys are all enjoying your nice Christmas festivities! Love you guys!!

Elder Crump

A stream Matthew crosses everyday on his way out to his area.

Area around Pushtan.

Area around Pushtan 

The Santa Ana Volcano by moonlight.