Monday, January 26, 2015

Another week of mission life...

         Howdy Family back in the ice cold SLC! Hope everything is going well for you guys, this week went by super slow but it was an enjoyable one overall I would say.... 
    First of all, I just wanted to say how much I have been thinking about my Grandpa Crump this week. He’s been having a rough week to say the least and I’m constantly praying for him. We found this grandpa this week and it really made me realize how much I love and miss my Grandpa Crump. Working with him every day for a summer taught me so much and I am so, so grateful for the great example he is to me! Love you Gramps!
    So like I said this week my companion and I randomly found this guy in the street named Miguel Angel. He’s a grandpa and was walking super slow so we decided to take a little bit of a break and chat with him. We ended up following him to his house and taught him a lesson. Well, this whole time I am thinking he is like 70 at the oldest but as we got talking he tells us, 'ya in four months I’ll be 100 years old.' Like, what the heck?? This guy is almost 100 and he was just treckin’ it around Nahuizalco like it was nobody’s business! He’s so awesome! We committed him to church and he ended up going, which was sweet as well! We are hoping to put a date with him this week now! I just feel so nice knowing that even at 99 somebody can do something that can change their life for an eternity!
    In my personal study this week I was reading in Alma 13:28 and found a pretty sweet scripture, marked it and kept reading, but later on that day we were teaching a less active that we have and it just hit my companion like a brick wall, ‘share the scripture your companion read this morning’. So we shared the scripture and it was so, so perfect for the man. He just looks at us and was like, “Wow that scripture is awesome.” I love it.... That experience really helped my testimony grow that we are legit studying for our lessons that day when we are reading in the morning and we need to listen to the spirit to know what exactly it is we need to be studying.
    Also this week we have been contacting like every single person in sight. My companion just wants to talk to everyone visible and it was starting to bug me a little because we would take so much time to get to lessons and he would like starting talking to a guy carrying a huge piece of wood on his shoulders and make him listen to us... So anyway we are walking by a house in a newer area and there was just a guy sitting in his house working on making baskets, so in my mind I thought, ‘I’m gonna teach my companion and lesson and show him how much better it is to talk to people that can’t move anywhere and aren’t so busy’, so we enter this house and I contact this guy. Boy he is the perfect investigator, he didn’t go to church this week but already accepted a date and we are working hard to prepare him. So lesson learned, always teach your comps lessons by showing them how wrong they are and you’ll be blessed... right? Haha No! really helped me learn that the spirit is guiding us and when we have success it’s because the Lord is blessing us. Because the experience was so different I took the time to look back on it and realize how ridiculous I was being with my companion and really do need to have patience with him. Every little experience we go through is to learn something. That is for sure!
   Finally I just wanted to share something I loved that I read in Preach My Gospel this week that says ¨Heaven is a continuation of the ideal home¨ When I read that I was just like wow. That’s so awesome. I just love my family so, so much and it’s such a blessing knowing I will be with all of them for eternity! One of my favorite things to testify about is eternal families because it makes me so, so happy!

That’s about all for the week!
Have a fabulous week family! Love you so much!

Elder Crump
With Miguel Angel - their 99 year old investigator :0)

Study time - love the bench :0)

Monday, January 19, 2015

6. Months.

         I will legitimately be completing 6 months in the mission this week. Where the heck has the time gone! It’s really helped me realize how much I need to give it all I have for these short 2 years I have to serve the Lord! So this week was a rough one as well but there have been lots of blessings that I have had, so here are some of them..
         So Monday of last week was one of the hardest days in the mission I have had, BUT the next Tuesday in the morning I was so, so blessed to have the best Zone Mtg in the mission I have ever had. We had the assistants to the President come and they taught a lot of really powerful stuff. My favorite part though was when they started teaching about love and the different types of love we need to have. It just helped my heart feel so strong about the love I truly have for my Heavenly Father and that everything I am doing here on the mission is to give back for what he has done for me. The end of the mtg we watched a movie that just brought me to tears. It showed all the things we, as normal Mormon families do to raise kids in the gospel, and that literally everything I did growing up was preparing me for these two years. Every primary class every Sunday class, mutual temple trips, everything. The movie was made perfect for me at that very moment and I felt so blessed because Heavenly Father blessed me with exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it.
         Another sweet thing that happened this week was that we were walking down a street we hardly know outside of Nahuizalco, just looking for people that needed the gospel. As what usually happens we came upon a drunk man that started talking to us. Almost always we just say ‘good to meet you’ and leave. But for some reason this time I said, “Hey can you take me to your family??” and he’s like, sure! So we walk with him a little ways and come upon this old guy’s property. Like four golden families that are all willing to listen to us. It was so awesome. Hopefully we will be able to baptize some of them in the coming month, but it really was such a blessing to be guided by the spirit to find such ready families.
         This Sunday the other companionship that works in the same area as us and that we are super close to had a sweet miracle. They literally had a lady come up to them outside the church and say I want to be baptized. It was so awesome for them but obviously for me I felt a little jealous because they have had a ton of miracles this week, put a lot of dates and my comp and I still don’t even have one date. So I was reading in PMG that night, feeling a little jealous, and read in Christ-Like attributes about humility. It says ¨The opposite of humility is pride, and pride is competitive¨ Yikes. That sure hit me hard. Really, as missionaries we are just one big team working for the Lord and need to be supportive, not competitive. Lesson learned? Yup!
         Finally this week I was at a member’s house that I am really close to named Familia Martinez. They are working really hard to be sealed this year but have run into a whole bunch of problems that are holding them back. The dad has problems with coffee and they can’t get a habit of paying their tithing... so we were there two nights ago and the Mom was in tears because they just couldn’t see themselves being able to reach their goal of being sealed in the temple. So I then started testifying to them of how I knew God had a plan for them and that in His time they would be able to enter into the temple. Which was super powerful, but then I told them, “I love you guys, and I’m gonna do everything I can to help you guys reach your goal.” I don’t know why, but it was the first time I have told someone here I love them and it just struck me so hard. I really do love this family. And I want to help them so badly. I’m constantly struggling to develop love for people here in El Salvador and it was such a blessing to realize I had finally done it. I loved this family and really cared, from the bottom of my heart, that they can be sealed. So... this week I’m going to be working real hard to develop a true love for the other people we visit here in Nahuizalco.
         That’s all I have time for but thanks so much for your prayers and love. You guys are the best family in the world. Thanks to some of the members in the ward that sent me letters in the mail this week. As a missionary it’s sooo great to get mail from loved ones. This week I have really been missing the temple and have wanted to go so badly so if all you guys can go once for me, that would be savvy... I promise you will be blessed for it!

Love you guys all so, so much!

Elder Crump

Juayua Falls

With the zone at the falls.

With his companion, Elder Barrios.

Matthew with one of his MTC buddies, Elder Jepson.

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Training my...Trainer"

         Well, Happy P Day family, hopefully you guys have all had a great week and enjoy the new start to the New Year... First, I just have to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my big, little brother. This Wednesday will be his BDay and I have to make sure he realizes the great brother he is to me. Growing up he always tagged along when I went to hang out at my friends’ houses and it bugged me so, so much... and now, well, I would do anything to have him come hang out with me for a day. He’s always been such a great example of a hard worker and somebody that actually cares about you. I know he will be an awesome missionary and change the lives of hundreds of people. So, Happy Birthday Zacho! Keep enjoying those slopes while you can!
         So this week was by far the most stressful I have ever had in my life. Being a trainer is wayyyy harder than I thought it would be, especially when I still cant speak Spanish near as well as I would like.  But luckily I’m slowly getting the hang of things. My companion is Elder Barrios from Guatemala and boy is he one animated little guy. He was ward mission leader before he came out here so he’s like beyond excited to be a missionary. He’s really helped push me to a whole new level of work and so hopefully we can reap the rewards and baptize during this change/transfer. It’s super crazy though because I’m technically training him, but in a lot of ways he’s training me. He already knows how to teach the lessons and pretty much already came trained, so that’s helped me out a lot.
         This week we found a super positive family that really made me excited to teach them and stuff. We committed them to go to church and everything and I was beyond stoked to get them to church and things. Sunday came around and they were nowhere to be found. I asked around for Jose and couldn’t find him. So we went back later that day and I ended up running into him on the way there - 100% drunk and his hands and arms covered in blood. Boy was that rough. Needless to say we probably won’t be visiting him more, but it’s definitely sad to see him so helpless. I’m praying this week we can help him out in some way or another without getting too close to where it’s dangerous.
         Also this week I had an experience really different that affected me a lot. One of our investigators has been coming to church every so often and Sunday she told us of an awesome spiritual moment she had last week while she was about to go to sleep and got a spiritual answer while she was asking if our church was true. She said she felt an unexplainable feeling that everything we had told her was totally true and that she should be going to our church. HECK YA!  I’m praying she can take the steps and make the changes she needs to to be able to be baptized this coming month.

That’s about all I have time for. Thanks for your prayers and everything. Love you all so much!

Elder Crump

Blanca's baptism day with Elder Guzman.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Officially a Missionary

         Well its official folks, I’m a missionary. I broke my first pair of shoes out here on the mission haha. This week was a bit of a rough one but overall it ended awesome because we were able to baptized the Hermana Blanca. Boy was it pure awesomeness! It was super hard to get everything coordinated.  We woke up insanely early and had a million things to do and places to go but did it all...while fasting of course, but! It was totally worth it! Its been stressing my companion and I out a lot and so it was great she was finally able to take that one extremely important step to her salvation.
         Also this week I had my birthday, which was a little bit sad for me because nobody really remembered here but at least my companion bought me a doughnut at the end of the day! :) haha
         For New Years the little kids here literally lit fireworks the entire night. It was insane. But something super funny is that all the people here that make the fireworks, and really anything in general, put "Made In China" on the package. Why you may ask? Because made in China means pure quality here in El Salvador. If something is made in China it’s gonna last for sure. Maybe that gives you a little bit of an idea of the economy here, haha.
         The highlight of my week was the baptism but also the testimony meeting we had on Sunday in church. One of the missionaries here is leaving this week for his house and so everyone bore their testimony of the things he had done for them. The testimonies that they bore were seriously so powerful and sincere, it was unreal. The people were so grateful for the things that the Elder had done for them and the changes he had helped them make.  It was awesome. It really motivated me to someday be in the same spot. With people that I truly love and have helped turn their life around. It is always nice to be spiritually regenerated as well. 
         I don’t really feel like writing anymore because this week was really hard, but I do want to say thanks to the Stevenson family for sending letters to me for Christmas. The package actually came just a little bit ago and it ended up really helping me a lot. This week I have just been super depressed and I got the package Friday night. After reading all the nice letters and seeing the pictures I was a lot happier and it really helped me remember why I’m out here and what my purpose is. It’s such a blessing to have an extended family that is so supportive and that are such good examples to me. So thanks to all you guys and love you so much!
         That’s about all this week. Oh I did get the chance to go to Tazumal (Mayan ruins) too, so that was really fun. I’ll send some pictures. But have a fabulous week family! Love you all so, so much!

Elder Crump

Matthew & Elder Guzman at Tazumal

The Nahuizalco zone at Tazumal

Officially a missionary :0)