Monday, May 30, 2016

Counsel from on High

Familia Crump,

The news is in people and I’m staying here in Manantiales to finish out my mission! The crazy thing is I will be staying with my companion Elder OrdoƱez another change as well! He will be the only companion I have had for more than 2 changes! I’m excited to finish strong and baptize more people before I leave. The area is improving a lot because our stake president, who has been serving as our bishop as well, finally called somebody to be 1st counselor in the ward so the guy will kind of take his place. It’s awesome because he knows the manuals by memory and sticks to the rules so the ward has already seen a lot of changes.

This week on Tuesday I passed the entire night in the bathroom and just got destroyed from something I ate. So the next day I was suppose to do interchanges in another area but didn’t feel good enough to go...I prayed a lot and just sucked it up and went. So just our luck we didn’t make the bus and I had to walk 3 miles while I was sick...It was really hard but I made it the whole day without a problem. While on the way back though my stomach just went insane and I HAD to use the bathroom, the problem was we were literally in the middle of nowhere. So I finally found a house, ask the random little girl to give me newspaper and made it in time. A true miracle, haha, but using month old newspaper for that definitely wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world.

We had a way sweet lesson with Marcela this week teaching her about the Restoration. She is reading the Book of Mormon a lot and told us this week, ‘I’m not really sure why but I really do just feel like this is something good for me.’ It was really cool too because the members are helping us a ton and we went to eat pupusas with the Familia Olmos and the family of Marcela. 

So something I have learned recently is about getting counsel from on high. I was thinking a lot about how I make choices and what impacts the things I do. Obviously receiving revelation from God is very important and that why we need to read the scriptures daily. It’s the best guide we can get. But another huge help that we have are the people all around us, especially the leaders we have. They are the ones that can give us the real counsel we need. They can be the answers to our prayers. I thought about the leaders I had in Priest Quorum and all the help I received from them. It really did change my life. So who should we look to when we need counsel in life? That’s the key. A lot of people can tell you things to do but who are the people that really want the best for your life? That’s what family and church leaders are for. They really want what is best for you. So if you need help, just go talk to them. Explain what problems you have and let them help you receive revelation for your life. That’s part of their job. I just know that God blesses us with family and leaders that love us and are willing to help if we reach out to them!

All I got this week, GTG play some soccer. Love you all. Best be reading your BofM or ill be really disappointed, haha. Until next week!!

Elder Crump

No description came with the pictures this week...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Peace be unto thy soul...

Family!!! Wow I just love you all so much. I can’t believe it's time to write again.

This week just flew by but we were able to have some good experiences. The finding part of the mission just never ends, and this week wasn’t that great but the good thing is that there’s always next week! It was sweet though because we were able to have all the converts in the area at church this week which is super hard to achieve. I love retention work and it’s so satisfying to be able to teach all the deep doctrine to the converts once they get baptized.

So I just have to say that the Summerhill Ward has got to be the best ward in all of Utah. Thanks for sending the package and the letter.  It’s the best spiritual boost when you get things like that. Beef Jerky here is like gold, so thanks a bunch!

Ugh, already out of time... alright so super fast…a girl we are teaching named Marcela wants to get baptized but we need the parent’s signature. So we talked to her and put the date for June but then had to go talk to the mom. The mom is a member but hasn’t gone to church in like 18 years. So we tried like 4 times to talk to her and set up appointments with members and things but nothing ever worked out and she just kind of avoided us. So finally Sunday it was kind of like a last straw sort of thing and we went to her house to ask for the permission. I have taught way too many teenagers here on the mission that want to get baptized but the parents never let them, so I was real nervous going into the lesson. I don’t know why but I was just so scared for what was going to happen and I just wanted to teach perfectly so that Marcela could prepare to be baptized. So right before we go in, I’m just sweating bullets and said a small prayer in my head to help me out. And just said ‘Heavenly Father, help me be an instrument in your hands’... So then I just felt the warmest feeling come over me that just said, ‘Don’t worry about it. I have everything under control!’ So we went in, taught the lesson, got the permission and now Marcela will be baptized in the coming weeks. What a blessing we have to be comforted and guided by the Holy Ghost. Got to love it.

Well I’m out folks, love ya lots!!!!

Elder Crump

Sometimes you're just desperate for investigators,
so caballos it is!"

The fence sitter at church.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Member Missionaries

Hello Dearest Family... I don’t have a lot of time today but I just wanted to let you all know I’m doing well and continue to work hard.

This week we had the Family Week here in Central America and so our goal was to motivate all the members to participate. We have been doing a ton of contacting here and nothing’s come of it so we focused on using the members. We taught lots of missionary work lessons and gave out invitations to half the world. We were able to see the fruits of our labors when the members brought new people and two of them have already accepted baptism dates...we just need to get the parent’s signature.

So I just want to invite you all to remember what David O Mckay said. Every member a missionary! You guys will be the difference in the work. That’s all for today... SALUUU PUES!!

Elder Crump
The field was white and has been harvested...

Lizard on his door.

One of the few color-changing trees
(It's fall in El Salvador).

Monday, May 9, 2016

A True Testimony

Happy Mother’s Day my dearest Mama!! You could say I’m pretty sad that I didn’t get the memo about Mother’s Day not being the same here as in the USA, but at least we will get to chat tomorrow. Who knows how we got it all right last year, but whatever! We will be able to talk some about my week but just wanted to let you know of a few things that happened...

So the first and best thing of the week was that the Miracle Man got baptized! It was my comp’s very first baptism so that was awesome! Francisco Paniagua is one super chosen man! The baptismal service was great and really spiritual. He doesn’t like to talk a whole lot but he always has a huge smile, which says a lot! He’s almost on page 200 of his BofM as well, so he’s doing amazing. So glad that we could help him change his life and start living the gospel.

This week I was studying some about our testimony and how it is that we can get a testimony. As PMG says, we get a testimony by the spirit and the BofM. So I was studying the history of Alma and how is conversion took place. So we know he saw an angel that told him to stop destroying the church, and that helped him in his conversion. But later on, in Alma 5 I was reading and noticed how he tells the people that he has his testimony by the confirming spirit of the Holy Ghost. Interesting that he doesn’t mention the fact that he saw an angel. Amulek, his mission buddy in later chapters testifies to people that he knows the truth of things because an angel told him…why? Because he was just starting out with his testimony, it wasn’t rock solid because he was just beginning. Laman and Lemuel saw angels and still continued being the same people. Moral of the story, seeing an angel is nothing compared to the powerful witness we can have by the Holy Ghost touching our heart. I love a quote by Joseph Fielding Smith, “When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase.” 

So that’s what I learned this week. We needed that manifestation of the Holy Ghost!! I invite you guys to look for those experiences in your life!

Love you all and we will talk tomorrow! 

Elder Crump

Matthew didn't Skype on Sunday because he thought our Mother's Day was the same as El Salvador's, which is Tuesday.  To his defense, last year they were on the same day.  But we will have the chance to Skype tomorrow, so I'll post pictures next week.

Lunch with Angel Hernandez and his family.
Matthew taught Angel a year ago and he is still a
strong member who has received the Melchizedek Priesthood.

With a tiny pineapple plant.

Baptism of the Miracle Man,
Francisco Paniagua.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Murmur Not...

Howdy Folks!

Atiquizaya is still treating me well. This week was fantastic. We continue to work hard and see miracles every day.

Francisco went to church yesterday so he is all good to go for his baptism this weekend. Like I said last week, we gave him a Book of Mormon last Sunday so he could start reading. Guess what page he is on now? 121…after a week. That’s the kind of investigator we always dream of! So, after seeing that, I was like wow, what a love he has for the book. Then we also bought a recent convert one of those Book of Mormon readers for kids that have the pictures in them. We gave it to him Friday night and the next day we see him in the street, and he says, ‘Elders I’m already on page 48 of the book you gave me!’ Those two experiences just really hit me. There are members of 10 years that don’t read and then you get an investigator and a convert that read more than them in a few days!

So this week I studied a lot about how we shouldn’t murmur. Why? Well, it’s a big problem in the church and all the people want to do is murmur about their church calling, about what the bishop doesn’t do, or why it is they can’t live a commandment for such and such a reason. Obviously the best place to study the topic is the first chapters of Nephi because that’s all Laman and Lemuel did the entire time they were in the desert with their family. So the scripture I liked most is in 1 Nephi 3:6, which is one verse before the famous “I will go, I will do - scripture”.  So I think we miss it sometimes. In the scripture it talks about how Nephi hasn’t murmured but if you look at the footnote it says, ¨Sustaining church leaders¨ So that really hit me when I read it. Sustaining church leaders is so so important. So my invitation for you all this week is that you can think about the fact that you raised your hand to sustain all the leaders of the church. You gave them your support. So when they make bad choices, or do things you don’t think are right, you just have to keep loving them. It’s really hard because it can be frustrating when they don’t do things right or don’t help you with your own calling but that’s just the way it is. I love a quote by Elder Holland. I believe it says, “If you think it’s frustrating when members make mistakes or do things to offend you, just think about how God feels. He is trying to run the perfect church here on earth and the best thing he has to work with is us. Imperfect human beings. I’m sure it frustrates him with all the dumb things we do sometimes, but he just keeps loving and supporting us!” So just love your leaders and show them all the support they need. It’s something I need to improve a lot on and I invite you guys to do the same!

Ugh…I always run out of time. Well, just want to let you guys know that I have a firm testimony that Christ lives. He literally runs the church today and he loves us. More than we can ever imagine.

Elder Crump

No pictures this week but here is a link he sent.  It's the story of his Stake President in Atiquizaya and the missionary who baptized him 36 years ago.  It was in this week's Church News.