Monday, July 11, 2016

Goodbye El Salvador

Wow. 2 years and it’s over. It’s literally impossible for me to accept. But it’s time for the next page in my life. Time to move on. The good thing is that I never have to forget the people and lessons I have learned here. I wanted to share 10 things I have come to really KNOW during my mission.

1. I have learned that God knows us personally and has a perfect plan for us. We just have to always be willing to be at the right time at the right place and do his will.

2. Christ has literally become my best friend. He loves me and I love him. I understand what he did for me and what it is he asks of me. He is my Savior and my Redeemer.

3. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. It has an indescribable power to change one’s life. If we read it every day we will NEVER fall away from the church.

4. I have learned the God called Joseph Smith as the prophet of the restoration. I know that he saw God and Jesus Christ. He was one of the greatest and most faithful servants the Lord has ever had.

5. The power of the Priesthood is real. As members of the church we have access to that power. Through faith we can see miracles through the priesthood. I have been a witness of that many times here on the mission.

6. The temple is God’s house here on Earth. The covenants we make there are the most sacred, precious promises possible between God and man. If we live up to these covenants we can become like our Heavenly Father.

7. Through working in the Lord’s vineyard we have his promise to receive more happiness than we can imagine. I've experienced that joy as I have dedicated my time to the Lord these last two years.

8. Gods happiness comes through our progress. Trials are essential for that progress. We just have to embrace hardship, learn quickly, and keep pressing forward.

9. Commandments are Gods only way of blessing us. We must be obedient and God will always give us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

10. Charity is the pure love of Christ. It will last forever. I have learned to truly love people and give all I can to help them on their journey to salvation.

My favorite part of the New Testament is Christ’s talk with Peter after his resurrection. Elder Holland says this about the chat they had. 

“What I need, Peter, are disciples – and I need them forever.  I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs.  I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith.  I need someone who truly loves me, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do.
Ours is not a feeble message.  It is not a fleeting task.  It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history.  It is the work of the Almighty God, and it is to change the world.  So, Peter, for the second and presumably last time, I am asking you to leave all this and go to teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

That talk by Elder Holland has changed my life. Peter was with Christ for three years, but then went back to the same thing he was doing before. Fishing. I can’t go back to what I was doing before. I have to live every single gospel principle I have taught these people until I die. That’s my mission. I love thinking of the phrase “What I need Elder Crump are disciples, and I need them forever.”

My testimony has grown so much in the small time I have had to serve and I hope it will carry me on throughout the rest of my life. I love you all so, so much and can’t wait to see you in a few days! 

Salu Pues!!
Elder Crump

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday America!!!


Can’t believe the date on my watch says the 4th of July... It’s insane to think that it’s my last week in the mission. Hard to think my time is coming to an end but it just gives me a lot of desires to work and give it my all these last few moments. My goal is to contact all of the houses in my area before I leave and share with them the best Restoration message I’ve got! I really want to leave the area of Manantiales better than I found it, so this week we will need to work our guts out. Reflecting on things just makes my head hurt so I just want to work, work and work some more! 

This past week the divorce of a lady that has been waiting for quite some time finally went through so she accepted to be baptized at the end of the month. Her husband has been member his whole life and just recently started going again so it will be sweet to have another strong family in the ward.

The coolest thing that happened this week was that I got to do the interview of a guy that had had many problems with the law of chastity and really wanted to get baptized. He had problems with adultery for a long time but the missionaries had helped him start to get ahold of things. He had his date planned for this week and was all ready but then told the sisters he had some problems still. So I did the interview and explained that what he had done was awhile ago and that he hadn’t known the missionaries yet, so I set goals with him to repent and have a long chat with his wife, obviously. The happiness on his face when he found out he could actually get baptized was just priceless and it was awesome to see the affect of the Atonement in his life. The redeeming power of the Atonement is real people. It’s the best feeling in the world knowing that we can receive forgiveness of our sins. Seeing that change in people is the greatest blessing ever.

Literally never have time but well... in a week we can talk all day about what goes on here! Love ya all!

Elder Crump

Matthew and another elder weed eating with a machete (chapiando).

Monday, June 27, 2016

True Friends

My Dear Family,

This week was one of the harder weeks I have had in the mission but well, I’m still happy, healthy and working, so it’s all good!! The good thing about the mission is that even when you are having rough times with the work, you still have the chance to learn a lot and be edified by the spirit. In our area we have more or less 550 houses and we have contacted more than 400 of them. I think people are starting to think we are spies trying to find the info of everyone because we write down the names of everyone and the church they go to when we contact them, haha. The odd thing is that I still KNOW without a doubt that there are people in my area that need to be baptized. There are always people, I just need to find them is all!

During the week I had two interchanges with two completely different missionaries. The first one is one of my buddies from my group that came to work with me. He came and we worked our butts off. It was one of the most tiring days I have had in a long time, but I just felt so good afterward knowing that we had given it our all. Obviously after 2 years there are some days when it’s just so hard to give it everything and I have started to feel like I haven’t been working 100%. But after that day it helped me a lot to continue working. Then I had another change where the missionary is just super ready to go home and we didn’t do nearly as much as we could have throughout the day. Afterwards I was just thinking a lot and couldn’t believe that affect those two missionaries had on me. But it’s so true, the people we choose to be with affect our lives in a significant manner. It’s so crucial that we choose to spend time with friends that are going to uplift us and motivate us to be true disciples of Jesus Christ. My whole life I have been surrounded by people in the ward that forced me to always be a better person. So I just invite you guys to think about who you spend most of your time with...Are they people that lift you up or tear you down? Obviously there are people that need our help and we need to be with them, but we need to pick people that truly have what’s best for us in mind. Just something that’s been on my mind lately...

Another interesting event was we met this guy from Cali that has tattoos all over his body and has had so many legal problems that he just decided to come live here in Atiki (Atiquizaya) where his family lives. He has a ton of money and like 6 food businesses. He saw us gringos, I was on interchanges, and invited us in...So we got to know him and wow, it just blew my mind all the crazy stuff he was telling us about his life and what he had done. We taught the lesson entirely in English and it was the weirdest thing to teach and testify of the Restoration in English. I felt so free to express myself and found a new power in my words. I have worked my entire mission to master Spanish, but teaching in your native tongue is just so much easier. The guy is going to church this week and we will see what happens! We can’t make exceptions for people so, well... we will see how it goes with him!

The rain just continues to come every. Single. Day. Like an afternoon without rain is such a blessing. It’s gotten to the point that I just gave up and walk around wet all day...

But times out and I’m off to enjoy some nice El Salvadoran hamburgers, so talk to you next week!

Elder Crump

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ups and Downs


Well, glad I can write you all another week! Mission life has just become the way of life for me and it’s strange to think time is coming to a close. I have been trying to take advantage of these last days as much as possible and we have been working super hard.

This week we had the baptism of Marcela Choto, which was awesome. Despite the fact that members made fun of her, her Dad didn’t even show up to her baptism and her mom still refuses to go to church, she did it. She reads a ton of the Book of Mormon, does her personal progress and really is one of the most humble people I have known in my time here. I was super happy for her and hope she can achieve everything she hopes in the church. It has also been awesome to work a lot with the family Olmos that are the family that brought Marcela to church. They are converts and everything but already have testimonies so strong and try to share the gospel with everyone.

This week we cleaned up the streets of where we lived.  It’s always great to do service... Everyone passes by and looks at us like, what are you doing? You guys clean streets as well as teach the gospel?? Haha, but It’s nice because then people let us in their house more often because they have seen us working and helping out.

So...besides that, this week was actually pretty hard. We are struggling to find new people and are contacting a ton. My area is rather small and you can cross the whole thing in less than 10 minutes so it’s a little difficult at times. We have found every single young man and priesthood holder in the church directory and are running out of ideas for finding, but hopefully this week we can see some more miracles and find people! I’m just glad I have the chance to work as a servant of God here, even though there are always some rough times!

Love y’all so much!! Until next week!!

Elder Crump

Street Cleanup

Marcela's Baptism