Monday, February 23, 2015

Blessings from the Blessed...

         Another week down and out family! It literally blows my mind away that Cam will get home this week. She’s been such an amazing example to me in every little way as a missionary and I’m so grateful to have her as a sister. I would be no where near the person I am today without her in my life and it motivates me so much reading about the many things she has done in Argentina. Her faith, dedication and love for the people is unreal and I would give anything to be the missionary she is... and well, was, haha. But for reals, I love you so, so much Cam! Enjoy the family! I’ll be back soon enough!

         This week was a crazy one. We had changes so all the zone is new practically. It’s helped us a lot to have some changes to help motivate us though. I went to Santa Ana twice this week for back appointments. My back has been hurting me a ton at night and I was hoping to get it fixed but both times I went I wasn’t ready because I didn’t take the right pills or I wasn’t fasting. Why I need to fast to take an x ray who knows, but yup! It was exhausting because we wake up at four in the morning to get to Santa Ana in time and so this whole week I’ve just been wiped out but at least I’ve made it to another Pday just fine!

         Another Elder in the Zone gave me a disc of like 70 Mormon Messages and we found one that is called ‘El Valor de la Misión’. It was literally so perfect for my companion. We were super sad because we haven’t baptized all change, have found over 75 new investigators but not 1 has progressed and we were just a little frustrated. So we sat down and happened upon this video. It talks about preparation for the mission but it really had such a strong effect on me and I was just thinking about my bro the whole time. A lot of time I just push on because I want to give him a good example and I hope and pray every day everything will go well for him on the mission and that he can prepare now to have the time of his life. It was just the perfect little spiritual boost I needed to have a good day.

         On Thursday we were teaching Diana, the only investigator that is working on getting baptized right now, and we watched the video called ¨Gracias A El¨. I have literally seen this video like a thousand times with all the investigators that we have but for some reason this time it just moved me so, so much. The spirit was so strong in the room before we started watching the movie and I know that that’s what made the difference. There’s a part when it shows Christ appearing to Mary in the tomb and says HE LIVES. It was just like a wall of spiritual happiness that hit me and I’m sure everyone else too. I KNOW that my Redeemer lives family. And boy is it such a blessing to know that. If you can you should go watch the video. It’s sweet!

         So the best experience that I had this week included Hna Blanca that I baptized in January. She lives in Pushtán with her 8 kids and is the poorest person I have ever met, without a doubt. The family lives on nothing but super old corn tortillas and some chicken legs like every day. It makes me so sad every time I visit them because they really just have like no money at all. Her baby has been super sick and almost died because they don’t have the medicine to pay for his hospital bills. So this past week we taught her about tithing and I’m just like, “Look Hna, if you pay your tithing you will be so blessed and NEVER go hungry.” So she’s just like “OK, I’ll pay my tithing then.” So that was two Fridays ago. So then last Tuesday the Bishop’s wife calls me Tuesday and is like “Hey I need your help to carry a ton of food from the local food store to the house of Hna Blanca.” I was like super surprised and couldn’t understand what happened. So I went to the food store and sure enough there was a TON of food for Hna Blanca. Like we are talking a whole butt load of food people. I have no clue how the Bishop’s wife was able to do it but it was such a huge blessing for Hna Blanca and her family. The smile on her face when she saw all the food was one of the most precious things I have ever seen and it made me so, so happy. I had to carry a bag of food, easily 50 pounds, like 2 miles up and down mountains to her house but I didn’t even care. It was such an amazing experience for her and her family. I know because of the sole reason that she was WILLING to pay her tithing, even if she hadn’t paid it yet, helped her receive the blessing she did. This past Sunday she paid her two dollars of tithing which I know was insanely hard because the 20 dollars she gets is to feed 8 people for 14 days practically. It really ended up being a blessing for me seeing the miracles that take place here on the mission.

         That’s all I have time for this week but love you fam! I’m so jealous that all 4 of you guys will be together this week! Just like 2.5 years and we will all 5 be together once again! Keep it real!

Elder Crump

Is that a happy face on that boy?

Another pair of shoes down the tubes! That's two already :0(

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Never Ending Fight Against Evil

Another week down and out here! We finished the change this week and it’s crazy to think I have been training my son for 6 weeks now. We have had some real rough times but overall it has been a good change and I have learned a ton. We were able to put three dates this week so that really helped lift our spirits and I’m excited to have another change here in Nahuizalco. Here are some of the things that happened this week...

So last Monday we had one of the most beautiful lessons I have had so far with a guy we are teaching that has some problems with alcohol. We brought him to the house of a member family that’s super pilas and just had a lesson so full of the Spirit it was awesome. We walked the guy home afterward and I just was so happy and felt so good because the guy, José, couldn’t stop talking about the spirit he felt and the pure joy that he had. It made me think a lot about the promise of joy we have in our mission calls.... Well, here comes the sad part of the story, José had a date to be baptized last Sunday and everything was going to work out perfectly, but then he caved into the bad friends he has and got super drunk on Friday. The sadness I felt when we found him drunk was just the worst. I was so happy for him and his progress and then he fell. We are still working with him and I know he can overcome his addiction, it’s just rough seeing him so sad and helpless. BUT it was a great reminder for me about how we really will feel this pure joy that it describes in our mission calls!
This week we found a guy named Marlon that has almost read the entire Book of Mormon and still isn’t baptized. For me this is just crazy, haha, so I’m like ‘Bro, why the heck aren’t you a member if you have read so much of the BofM??’ and he’s just like ‘Well I started reading it, loved it so continued reading until I was almost done, but then I looked on the internet one day about the BofM and found a lot of stuff that makes it totally obvious that the whole book is just a fantasy story.’ And I just like wanted to start crying because I was so sad for him. This week we have plans to watch some movies with him about the BofM and stuff but it really hit me that we need to have a testimony strong enough so when we do find that kind of stuff we have the spiritual power to push it away. This is why it’s SO important that we are reading the BofM every single day without fail. The one day we don’t read will be the day Satan attacks us, and that’s when all the doubts starting coming. So family, just please, read the BofM!

We have been preparing three people for baptism these days and there is one girl that is already enrolled in Seminary, in chap 13 of first Nephi, has memorized 6 articles of faith and wants to be a missionary. It’s the coolest thing in the world. It literally just makes me so happy every time I go to visit them because she will say something like, ‘Hey I read this in the BofM this week or hey can I tell you the 13th article of faith because I just memorized it.’ It’s the little joys of seeing people progress like that, that makes all the rejections worth it.
I don’t have any more time this week but I love you guys so much and am so grateful to have such a loving and supportive family! It’s insane that the four of you guys will be all together in just a bit! Have a fabulous week!

Elder Crump
In front of Volcano Izalco that he sees every day.

One of Matthew's friends from Zona Nahuizalco
that is being transferred, Elder Martinez.

The Zona Nahuizalco eating pupusas at
a newly baptized family's house.

Monday, February 9, 2015

"The Powers of the Opposition"

         Another week down and out here in Nahuizalco! My companion and I had some great lessons this week and have been able to focus a lot on bearing strong, direct testimonies to the people so the people can feel that desire to change and become better people. Overall I’m really starting to get back into a rhythm of things and it’s helped me relax and just be a missionary.
   So this week it really hit me the power of the opposition that our investigators face when they start to have a desire to follow Christ in their life and make the changes they need to return and live with our Heavenly Father. We have been teaching the 99 year old that we found last week, and things went down hill really fast. We talked to him and he was totally for being baptized the 15th of this month and we were super stoked and stuff but then this Sunday, on the way to church, he ran into the pastor of his old church with his son that lives in Sonsonate. It ended up being terrible for him. The pastor just destroyed all of his confidence and lied up a storm with him. Our investigator has tons of problems with his knees because he is so old and of course this week when he started to go to church with us his knee went from bad to worse. So the pastor comes and just starts telling him God is punishing him for going to the Mormon Church with a bad knee and a whole bunch of crap. Then on top of all that his family told him they wouldn’t come to visit him if he joined the church. Needless to say the plans to be baptized have been put to a dead halt and for now he isn’t progressing at all. It was just super hard for me to see because it was like he was so close to getting salvation and then the world just pulls him right back down. We are going to do everything we can to help him but we will see what happens!
   This week I was reading in a sweet book that Mom sent me with missionary quotes and I read about a scripture in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that says the foolish things will confound the wise and the weak things will confound the mighty and I just couldn’t help but smile because I literally always feel so ¨Foolish¨ when I”m trying to express myself in Spanish and can’t do it but in the end, I’ll be able to ¨confound the wise¨ because I have the spirit with me! It’s awesome.
   Friday I had to go to San Salvador to get my comp’s residency and it was nuts because they literally just said, ‘Hey go to San Salvador tomorrow, jump on the bus to Sonsonate and from their go to San Salvador.  There you’ll meet a guy named Mario and he will take care of you...’ like what? Needless to say it was quite the adventure and to top it off, I got my first pay per use bathroom experience- when you get to pay for each square of toilet paper you use. Love it!
   That’s all I have time for this week but I love you all so, so much and am always praying for you. Keep praying for Grandpa Crump and I know everything will end up just fine. Keep reading the BofM because it’s literally the best book in the entire world! Love you guys!

Elder Crump

The view Matthew has walking home from Pushtan.
He walks home by flashlight.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A taste of the joy...

Wassup my lovely family!? Another week has passed by here and it’s crazy how times just a ticking! This week I have finally been able to relax a bit and Saturday was the first day in 3 weeks I haven’t had a massive migraine so hooray for that! I’m finally starting to get a handle on being a trainer and the things I need to do to have a great son. Here are some of the sweet things that went down this week...

We were out in Pushtán where all of the houses are just sticks and tin and we starting teaching an uncle of one of the members here. The guy wasn’t really that positive and so I asked him what he wanted out of our message. He said he wanted nothing but that we should give money to people here in Pushtán to have a better life and home, especially me because I’m gringo... So as usual I felt bad and stuff but then I started to explain to this guy that I knew without a doubt that money doesn’t buy happiness. He then flipped out and was going off about the gold statues and buildings we have that reach the heavens and that’s how we receive all of our blessings. It was quite comical to say the least, but then I just looked him straight in the eyes and said, I KNOW money doesn’t make you happy, your niece literally lives in a shack and has nothing but she is 100 times happier than lots of people back in the U.S. because she LIVES the gospel. She KNOWS Gods plan for her and for that reason alone she is happy. I finish bearing my testimony and the guy just sat there with nothing to say...So the guy still doesn’t want to listen to our message... BUT at least I know that without a doubt that happiness is only achieved through this gospel. It was a sweet moment.

I was reading in Alma 17:13 today about when the sons of Mosiah and their friends all separated and went their own ways to teach the gospel because they knew it was what they needed to do and because they knew they would see each other again. It just made me so happy thinking of all the friends I have around the world and that we will all be able to get together and share of the joy we have had bringing souls unto Christ.

This week I had been thinking a lot about the fact that I have been inviting people to pray about the message of the Restoration for literally 6 months, to probably more than a thousand people and that only two had actually gotten a definitive spiritual experience to know that the Church is true. To be honest is even made me start to have some tiny doubts. So this week all I wanted to do was have someone tell me, ‘Yes I prayed like you said and yes, I did receive an answer’, but then Sunday night came around and still nothing had happened. I was really disanimated (Spanish version of disheartened) to say the least... But that day I had been on splits with the Zone Leaders and my comp stayed in our area, so I got home and started talking to him about how the day went and how were our investigators. He just gets a huge smile on his face and says, ‘Diana got an answer man! She knows the church is true!’... Boy oh boy was I so happy!! Diana is a 17 year old girl that we’ve been teaching and her two younger siblings are just waiting on her to be ready to be baptized, so we wanted her to receive an answer so badly! She had told my comp that she prayed about Joseph Smith and felt a warm loving illumination in her heart and she then knew for sure he was a prophet. Ahh the joy I felt hearing that was just so awesome! It’s those moments when you get a taste of the joy a missionary can get that just make things worth it! We are hoping to put the date with her this week and so I’m super stoked for all that!

That’s about all I have time for this week but thanks for all you do family. Keep praying for Gpa Crump. You all better be reading the Book of Mormon like Cami said. It’s literally the best way to spend 10 minutes of the day. Have an excellent week Fam! Love you so much!

Elder Crump
Just hangin' out with his comp in their apartment.
Gotta love the green walls :0)

A District meal? Who knows?