Monday, July 27, 2015

1 Year. 1 Mission.


Good to hear from all you guys this week and to know everything is going well. I’m so proud of my amazing bro. Zacho. You are a champ man. I can’t wait to listen to your talk. You are gonna be an awesome missionary. It really is the greatest blessing in the world to represent the Lord and bring others to him. You’ll love it.

So this week was, as always, super chivo, como dicen aqui... and the miracles just never stop coming. Here’s just a few of the things that went down.

First, yesterday in Sacrament meeting I got the blessing to watch my convert bless the sacrament for the first time. Boy, oh boy was is sweet. He was nervous out of his mind and didn’t want to go to church solely because we were gonna make him say the blessing. So we just told him he didn’t have to do it, brought him, and then sat him down in front of the Sacrament table, haha.  He was kinda mad but after a good chat we convinced him to do it. He only messed up once and then said the prayer perfectly fine. I just felt so, so happy for him. He’s like ‘Next week I’m so gonna do it again, and I’m gonna do it perfectly this time!!’

Another sweet thing that happened was that we were blessed to have a cat die in the corner of our house! For like two days we thought it was just sleeping there or something and didn’t give it much thought. But after two days it started to smell terrible so we tried to get it down. Needless to say it had gotten caught in the barbed wire of our house and died there. So when I tried to get it down it was still caught and halfway fell off, which is when I took the picture. So enjoy, haha!

This week Orbelina and Cecilia were able to get their temple recommends and they were just so content holding their little cards when they left the branch president’s office. We had explained how important it was to always have a recommend and now they both are gonna go to the temple next week. They both have already worked with the family history people in the ward and have family members they are going to take to the temple and do the work for them. So sweet.

The last thing of the week is that we were able to put two dates for this weekend. One is with Diego, and I’ll have to talk about him more next week but the other is with Luiz. Luiz has gone to church for two years and every single Elder that comes here tries to baptize him but never can, so when I got here I tried a little, but then realized it just wasn’t gonna work and decided the best thing would be just to be a friend. So the entire time I have been here I just treat him as a friend and not once have taught him a formal lesson. He always goes to seminary and so he understands all the doctrine but just never wanted to get baptized. Well this week he’s just like, ‘Elder Crump, I want you to baptized me. We can do it this weekend.’ Oh it was so sick. I’ll have to tell you more about it next week when I have some time, but for reals the Lord is blessing us so much and I’m so happy to be able to be a missionary!

Love you all so much!

Elder Crump

Only a teenage boy would think this was a cool picture to send home.
My question is; what's the purpose of the barbed wire in the first place?

Matthew loves Elder Chavez.
Nice to see a container of Ajax on the counter :0)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Seeing the Change

Ahh.... Time flies people. I don’t know how it’s possible. Well thanks for all the updates on life back at home. I always love hearing from you guys. Life here in El Salvador. Awesome. Just purely Awesome. Things just get rolling and it’s great to see the work of the Lord here in our branch coming to life. So as always a ton of stuff happened but for this week I think I’ll just tell you about Alfredo and his baptism!

So Saturday afternoon Alfredo was baptized and Sunday in church he got confirmed. It was one quality experience. I found Alfredo three months ago just walking around in an area that we didn’t work much and randomly decided to knock on his door. He has a little store called ¨The Faith¨ and I’m just like, I got nothing to lose! We taught him about baptism, and he’s like sure I will be baptized! So I was super pumped. Well, what I didn’t realize was, there was a lot of work to be done. Alfredo is super shy, doesn’t have a lot of friends and didn’t have a direction in his life at all. There are four major commandments you need to live to be baptized and he wasn’t living a single one of them. So slowly but sure, with coffee, reading the scriptures, buying on Sunday, looking at porn, respecting his mom, he changed. It was so amazing to really see a change in someone. A complete life direction change because of this gospel. All the rest of my converts changed, but not nearly as much as Alfredo. I had wanted to find somebody that I could really make the total difference and Alfredo was definitely that kid. He now has good friends in the church, has a ton more self confidence and, the best part of all, has a super strong testimony of the BofM. When he gave his testimony after his baptism (the best part of every baptismal service). I just felt so content and proud of him. The Lord and his atonement changed him, and now he understands the potential he has as a child of God. Seeing the change in people is the best thing in the world.

So that’s all I want to type this week, haha sorry, I just have a lot to do, but have a happy week fam! Love you all lots!

Elder Crump

Alfredo's baptism (on right in white), Josue, the priest who baptized him
and the young men in the branch.

Matthew, Josue, Alfredo & Elder Chavez

Monday, July 13, 2015

Missions. Rule.

Well hello there family! Glad to hear all about Cali and the great time you guys had! It does make me a tad jealous but the mission life is just a lil better. Sorry, haha. But for reals, I’m happy to hear everything went well out there and that Zacho could go through the temple. What a blessing.

Elder Chavez and I had a real quality week this week and were seriously so blessed in so many things. The first thing is that we were finally able to put an official date with Alfredo. He will be baptized this Saturday. Well at least we hope, haha. He was totally good to go but then yesterday in church a girl treated him super badly and that made him real mad. Hopefully we can cheer him up today so he’s good to go for Saturday. It’s gonna be so sweet because one of the priests here is gonna be the one that baptizes him and he’s super stoked. The changes that Alfredo has made with almost every commandment is just the most amazing thing ever!

Last week a kid named Diego went to church and this week we were able to put a date with him as well. It’s just insane how much of a blessing it was for us to be able to find him. He is already living all the commandments praying and going to church. We will just be focusing on the Book of Mormon this week and he will be good to go in a few weeks! The only thing he has to do is get his grades up, (I’m helping him with his two bad subjects that happen to be Math and English haha) and then his mom will give him permission to be baptized! Seeing their friends get baptized has been great to help motivate the teenagers here in the branch to get the mission fever and start preparing for their own missions.

The branch, for the first time in forever, had an assistance of more than 100!! Yippee!

We had quite the experience this week with my companion and I and obedience... My comp just one day shows me he has a smartphone and I’m like bro, you can have that! He’s like I know, I’m just gonna sell it.... So I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to take it because it would make him mad at me... I prayed a lot about what I needed to do, and simply enough I just called the ZLs, created a genius plan in which the ZL could get the phone and my comp would just hate the ZL and not me. It was perfect haha. So that was a grand relief to not have the phone in the house anymore.

Last Pday I was able to go to lunch with my first convert, Christian. He has been a little less active as of recent and so it was good to have lunch with him and his friend to keep him motivated in the church. It really is a blessing I have to be able to remain in contact with him because as I was thinking a lot this week, all this work I’m doing just to baptize, but if my converts don’t even stay in the church, what am I doing? So that just made me super happy to see him and share lunch together.

Last thing for the week is that last Wednesday I went to the area of the Hermanas in Refugio to do an interview for a 20 year old kid named Jonathon… So I’m just doing the interview, everything normal, and I asked him the question regarding the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He just looks at me and is like, “Elder, to be totally honest, I’m not really sure if I know he is a prophet. It’s been so hard for me and it’s just been a trial.” I’m like, “Have you prayed?” He’s like “Ya, but I just don’t know. I want to believe but ... idk... I just need to like be there or something to know.” I told him, “Jonathon, I have been to the Sacred Grove, where Joseph Smith translated the BofM, in the Kirtland Temple and the jail where he died and guess what... even after all that I still didn’t have a testimony man.” He just stares at me... I tell him, “Only once I started testifying to others here in the mission is when I truly knew, without a doubt, that he was a prophet of God. You have to have the faith. So tell me, ‘I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet’, and then tell me how you feel.” He did it. And boy was the spirit so strong. He really did have a testimony of Joseph Smith. The faith he has is amazing. It was just such a testimony to me of the faith people can have. I had been blessed to go to so many places, grew up in the church and still didn’t have a testimony of the prophet and here this guy had heard the First Vision once and another missionary say they knew it was true and was already willing to believe, even if it meant a complete 180 degree change in his life. What a powerful example.

So that’s all for the week. The pics are interchanges with Elder Slack. He’s the grandson of the temple president that helped me when I got my endowments. He’s been with me like my entire mission and goes home this change. The other is when I had lunch with Christian. So yup, love you all, be obedient and you’ll be blessed! Have a fun week!

Elder Crump

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4th of July - El Salvador Style

Well as Zacho would say, "Yea MURICA" haha.  I can't believe it was already the 4th of July here. Crazy stuff. We didnt really get to do a whole lot here to celebrate... fireworks aren't allowed and we didnt have time for a BBQ... But I did buy my little flag, said the Pledge of Alligience, listened to MoTabs "God Bless America", and bought ice cream so that's good! haha I wanted to buy a full size flag but it was 30 bucks... so I partied with my little one instead. It's just so different being away from the states for the 4th of July. It's made me appreciate so so much all the freedoms we have at home and the great blessing we were given to have forefathers that fought so hard for liberty.

Besides the 4th of July, this week was a more normal week for my comp and I. Normal as in awesome and crazy because a normal week on the mission is always like that. We had some sweet lessons, and have been focusing a ton on just bearing the most powerful testimony possible to the people. My companion knows how to teach quite well so the quality of our lessons is awesome and I can almost always feel the spirit so strongly when we testify of the principles of the gospel. It's the most satisfying thing to leave a lesson after having taught the Restoration and just having the feeling in your heart that you have shared the message God wants you to with all his sons and daughters.

This week we were finally able to find the problem Alfredo had and it was just the coolest thing how it all happened. We were watching a little video on the law of chastity and then we asked him, "Do you have any questions?"  He said no and we were about to leave because we had no idea what else to teach.  We have already taught the commandments like 3 times to him. So we are getting ready to pray to leave and the thought just came to me.. You haven't taught ALL of the commandments... So I start thinking... and thinking and all of a sudden it hit me that we never said anything about pornagraphy. So I'm like "Dude, do you know what porn is?"  He's like "No...." We explain it and boom. Problem solved. We helped him out with his addiction and now he is going to be baptized this weekend or the next. It's just such a blessing we have to always be in tune with the spirit and know what to say exactly when we need to say something.

It was awesome because the church attendance this week stayed super high at 95 and a lot of the less actives came once again which was great. Carlos Linares and his family are doing perfect, they stayed for the three hours for the first time and are super happy. Oscar Castillo and his wife are taking the temple prep classes which is great for him as well. I talked to an Elder that was here before I got here and told him about how Oscar and Carlos were going to church and he couldn't believe it. Oscar had pretty much slammed the door on him. It's just cool because everyone really does have their time and people are always ready in the Lord's time, not our time.

I already don't have time, so the last thing from this week is that I woke up Thursday and my lip was just huge.  I have no idea how it all happened but it was so swollen.  I took a pic a few hours after so you can see. I'm pretty sure it was like a spider bite or something, but it was just the most embarassing thing in the world to have to leave to work with a mouth so messed up. But I just laughed it off and embraced the fact that everyone I passed buy on the road stared at me, haha. Gotta love it. So ya that's  all or the week. Enjoy Cali fam.  Zacho, the temple is the greatest place on Earth
. I love it there. Talk to ya all next week!

Elder Crump