Monday, June 29, 2015

Weddings, Comps and a whole lot of work!

Good Morning Family Crump! Your happy son checking in from downtown Chalchuapa! Haha. I hope everything went well for you guys this week and were able to see the many blessings in your lives that God is always giving us. My companion and I were extremely blessed this week so I’ll have to tell you all about a few of them!

First of all my comp is Elder Chavez from La Paz, El Salvador!! He has like 13 months in the mission and is a tad rebellious at times but he’s changed a lot so far in the mission and I know we are gonna have success together! It’s funny because he was the companion of Elder Treglown before (Dad, thought you’d be interested in that)! But ya, he is a funny dude and we get along just fine so I’m excited for the new change here in Buena Vista!

This week we had a ton of crazy things happen but for the time I think I’ll only be able to talk about two of them…so the first thing was the wedding and baptism of Angel!

So Saturday we were able to marry Angel and Claudia, which was insane, and then afterwards Angel was baptized. We were really hoping to be able to baptize Claudia as well but she just isn’t ready yet. But anyway, it was one awesome day. I’ve never planned a wedding before obviously, but wow is it one heck of a job! Like the whole morning Saturday we spent planning, buying, moving, decorating and all sorts of stuff so that the day would be a successful one! Luckily a few members of the Relief Society helped us out a bit so it all turned out sweet. Obviously, with just two missionaries alone it isn’t gonna turn out too well, haha. But the wedding was great. Our president of the branch just became a lawyer so it was cool because he was able to marry them. Claudia was crying like the whole time. After we had the baptism of Angel, which was sweet too. It was hard because we started over an hour late because we had to wait for family that had to travel here, but the whole service, wedding and baptism, was over in like less than 2 hours, so that was a huge miracle! Angel gave his testimony about how he had come to know the Church was true and it’s just the coolest thing to hear testimonies of converts. The best thing of all is that his testimony is based upon the feelings he has felt while in church and praying, because of the Holy Ghost, and also because he’s been reading the Book of Mormon. That’s the best kind of testimony there is. A lot of people get baptized for different reasons; a lot of times for social reasons, so that’s why it’s the most motivating and happy thing in the world when someone has a true conversion through the Holy Ghost!!

Also this week we were able to have another miracle in the fact that we had 97 people in church! It was the most amazing thing for the lil’ rama of Buena Vista. The usual is a max of 85 and while I have been here it’s almost always like 75, but yesterday a ton of less active families we have been visiting came to church, so it was sick! Carlos and his wife came again and are progressing a ton now. They are way more happy as a fam and I know if they continue things as they are they will be able to go to the temple soon. Also, a family that hadn’t been to church in like 11 months also went, the five of them.  Plus Alfredo went, who now has a meta to be baptized the 11th of July. Overall it was one heck of a sacrament meeting and just made me super happy to see a little of the fruits of our labors here. To see a whole family in the church again is just one of the most rewarding things ever.

So that’s about all for the week. I sent a ton of pics of the wedding and stuff. We also ate awesome tacos at Carlos Perez house when my comp left and the other pic is of the few priesthood holders here in the branch. I don’t have any more time but have a fun week, love each other, and have patience. Remember to read and pray as a fam and everything will go just great! Hopefully Gpa will stay on the up end of things as well! Love you all so, so much!

Elder Crump

Tacos with Carlos before Elder Hernandez was transferred.

With some of the Buena Vista priesthood men.

The artist: Elder Chavez, Matthew's new companion.

The wedding of Angel and Claudia.

Angel with his family at his baptism.

Elder Chavez, Angel & Elder Crump :0)

With Elder Chavez.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day...Happy Day...Changes Day

Well my dearest family. The mission is awesome. And it seems as though another change has come and gone and I can hardly believe it. So my companion has changes Wednesday so I’ll have to let you know next week who my new comp is. It’s been a roller coaster ride with Elder Hernandez but I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more from him than all the other companions I have had. He’s a great guy and I know he will have a lot of success in his next area... So ya, I’ll be here in Buena Vista at least another 6 weeks!

Seeing as though I didn’t get to talk about it last week in my letter. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY POPS!! I literally can’t express the amount of love I have for you and how grateful I am to have a dad as awesome as you. Throughout my time here on the mission I’ve been able to look back on every single experience we had together and it almost always corresponds with a general conference talk or some scripture or something. In the moment I have to admit I sometimes thought you had no idea what you were talking about and well, now I know... tenia toda la razon, haha. I laugh so much when I think about when you took Zacho and me to Butterfield Canyon and talked about girls and having respect for them. Zacho and I were just like laughing the whole time and couldn’t figure out what you were trying to get at. We just wanted to eat the hot dogs and get out of there. Years later the things you had said came to my mind and I realized how important the lesson was that you were trying to teach us. I could tell about a million other times you taught me important things but I think the most important is that I love you Dad. You’re the best father in the world and I’m so grateful to be your son!

Hmmm, there’s a whole bunch of things I would like to say from this week. So first thing is that Elder Alonso came this week to a meeting we had and he taught us so many awesome things. He is so powerful and the spirit he carries is unreal. So he was talking to us about studying the scriptures and taking lessons out of stories that we don’t usually catch. We were talking about Lehi’s vision and how we could compare it to the Plan of Salvation. He’s like, ‘How many sons did Lehi have...6... how many partook of the fruit? 4. Nephi Sam Joseph and Jacob. How many didn’t take the fruit? 2.Laman and Lemuel. So.... 4/6 decided to partake of the fruit. Which is the same amount of people that decided to come to this earth. 2/3 of the hosts of heaven chose to come to the earth and follow the plan of Jesus Christ. While the other 1/3. (Laman and Lemuel) chose to follow Satan’s plan.' Hopefully that makes sense. It’s just crazy how someone could understand that. So ya the meeting with Elder Alonso was awesome.

I made a new record this week of not going a single day without eating rice and chicken. Yippee, haha!

I finally got the Liahona from the last conference session in English. And I thought listening to the talks the first time was amazing!

This week was so sweet because the guy who we are going to marry this weekend went to church. Alfredo was able to go as well and stayed the whole three hours, which is huge. And the best thing of all was that Carlos Linares, who had problems with his wife getting assaulted and stuff and who we have been visiting a lot, came to church for the first time in 3 years. Boy oh boy did I have the biggest smile on my face when I saw him walking through the chapel doors! It was the coolest thing ever. He has been through so much but was finally able to understand that it doesn’t matter what we have to go through if we are able to make it to the temple as a family. I’m excited to continue to help him progress and prepare to enter into the temple in the coming months.

That’s probably all I have time for this week. Zacho, I’m jealous of the cruise bro. That’s so rad. Dad, I hope yesterday was a good Father’s Day. You’re the best. Grandpa Crump and Stevenson, I have to say thanks to you guys as well for being such great fathers and grandfathers. You guys are some of the best examples in the world! Have a great week fam, love ya!

Elder Crump

Zona Chalchuapa with Elder Alonso.
Matthew's on the first row of elders, sixth from the left (sort of).

Elder Hernandez eating a mango.

Study time :0)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Family Miracles

As missionaries always say, "Another fantastic week here in the mission field!!" Sometimes weeks are hard, some tiring, some filled with success, others not so much, but practically every time I write on Mondays I can honestly say the mission is the best! So this week was a little bit of everything, but it was definitely like every other week in the mission, jam packed with miracles!

We had a real quality lesson with one of our progressing investigators named Alfredo, he had a baptism meta... which now fell because he didn’t go to church ;(  but he is still preparing to be baptized and should be able to do it next change. But anyway, so we brought one of the teens in our ward that is a recent convert and just asked him to bear his testimony. He had a ton of problems to be able to be baptized because his family didn’t support him at all but in the end it helped him a ton to strengthen his testimony and actually have a strong testimony before he got baptized. It was just the best thing for me to hear because like Brigham Young explains, it’s not about the knowledge one has or the eloquence in their testimony, it’s about the conviction and actual beliefs one has obtained. Pablo, the kid that’s the convert, just gave his strong but simple testimony and the spirit instantly filled the room. You could totally feel that Pablo knew, without a doubt, every single word he was saying. I loved it. Share your testimony people, it doesn’t matter how simple it is!

So idk if I have told you guys this, but I haven’t seen a one dollar bill in like 5 months. They just straight up don’t exist here. Everybody just uses the one-dollar coins and that’s it. It really weighs down your pockets.

I miss Mom’s homemade bread more than anything in the world but I recently found the guy that passes for our sector of Buena Vista and now he passes for the house in the morning with freshly made French bread ( or so they call it). It’s the best. Now all I need is honey butter, haha.

This week we had one of the greatest miracles ever. So I have been praying that I would be able to find a family I can baptize and help prepare to go to the temple. I just really want to help someone reach that goal more than anything. So last Friday I was with Elder Evans on interchanges and we go to visit a reference that we didn’t exactly know much about them. Well turns out he just got here from Rio Zarco and was listening to missionaries for quite some time there. He got beat up and almost killed there so he had to come here to Buena Vista. So he’s been preparing to get married and baptized and now my comp and I have the huge blessing to be able to finish their preparation and help them be baptized in the coming weeks. It’s so awesome. He’s the humblest guy ever and understands so much about the gospel already! It’s such blessing to be able to help families prepare to be an eternal family and I can’t wait to continue teaching them!

That’s all for the week folks, love you lots. Keep being good Latter Day Saints. Talk to you next week!

Elder Crump

Hna Estrada - Matthew says she's amazing!

What you drink when you have digestive problems.
It's the worst!
(Luckily Matthew is on the mend.)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mission Life

My mind literally can’t understand how fast time can go by. But alas it’s already June. So this week was full of ups and down and more ups…(because I’m a missionary there’s always more ups than downs) but this is some stuff that we did…

So this week we were looking for new investigators a ton because we don’t have hardly anyone right now.  So we were just contacting houses and sometimes it’s just rough telling everyone we are missionaries and them ignoring us or whatever... so my comp and I, although we probably shouldn’t have, just asked some people for a random person we made up to try and start a conversion better with people, just to get them talking and stuff.  So we come up with the name Rodrigo who’s like 14 and contact a house, asking if they know Rodrigo, nope they didn’t know him (obviously) but then didn’t want anything to do with us.  We then go to the next house, and ask for a Rodrigo, the guy’s like ‘Oh he isn’t here right now but come back later.’ So we go back later that night and find Rodrigo and his family. None of them go to church and none of them are baptized. Miracle? You bet, haha. Hopefully they can progress!

As a companionship we have had some problems with not having the spirit a ton in our lessons for some reason... My comp has a bit of a problem with laughing without control (like laughing in the middle of a blessing) so I had always kinda blamed him for not having the spirit much in our lessons. But this week I was reading in Preach My Gospel and realized that there were a lot of things I wasn’t doing that I needed to improve to really have the spirit in our lessons. I think that happens a lot in life when it’s just so much easier to blame somebody else for the problems we have instead of claiming them for our own. Maybe it really is their fault, but there is always something that we can do a little better to help the situation. So this week I’m gonna be working hard to fix what I can to help our companionship out.

Last thing this week, so Jonny, the son of Orbelina that recently got baptized, left to Honduras this week and the Hna Orbelina was super, super sad. She didn’t want him to leave at all and didn’t want to go to church or anything without him because he was like all her motivation to be baptized and stuff. So this week we had a sweet Family Home Evening with her and some hermanas of the church, and one of them offered to bring her. She’s like, ‘You know what, I’m gonna go to church all by myself, because I know I need to be there.’ So she gets there, it’s testimony mtg, and she bears her testimony about how hard it was for her to say bye to her son, because she doesn’t know when he will come back again, but that she knows this is the true church because she actually feels the spirit here and so will never stop coming until she’s dead. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, Hallelujah, amen!! Haha, it was a sweet testimony. But it’s so true that the spirit alone that you can feel in the church is a testimony that it’s the true church of God on the earth. So if you guys aren’t feeling a spiritual experience in church each week, you gotta change something, because every week we have the blessing to go to the Lord’s house and feel it!

That’s all for the week folks. Love ya. Congrats Zacho, you’re the best bro ever!

Elder Crump

His comp in cowboy boots :0)

The church they live next to.