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

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's...Fathers' Day!

Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure when Fathers’ Day is up there in the USA, but down here it’s on Friday so HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY DAD!!! It’s impossible to express how proud I am to have a dad like you. I think the greatest way to thank you is by living all the many lessons you have taught me. It’s something I strive to do everyday. It’s one of the coolest things to be able to show all the people I teach a picture of you, Zacho and me at the Conference Center and tell them that my Dad ordained me a deacon, teacher, priest and elder.  So thanks Dad for always being the best example and I love you so much!!

This week was full of interesting stories and experiences. So the first experience of the week was a little update on Kevin and Mauricio, two kids that we have been teaching. So we found them a few weeks ago because we have been trying to reactive their grandpa. They spend the weekend there and live close to our house. This week we were able to put dates with two of them and their sister. But what happened was that we found out the mom has her church records in the church next to ours. So they went to church but we had to pass the reference over to the missionaries in the other ward because they have to be baptized where the mom’s records are. It was rough because in total they are 5 brothers and sisters and all of them want to be baptized, which would have been awesome, but the Lord’s church is a church of order so they will have to get baptized in the other ward. At least we got to play a part in their process of becoming members! 

Marcela continues to do fine and will be baptized this Friday. She asked us on Saturday how many times somebody can go on a mission because she wants to serve a lot of different missions.  So we had to explain that it’s a one time experience! She’s going to be one of the best converts I have had.

This week in sacrament meeting one of the kids that passes the sacrament had to pass the sacrament to his mom, so the lady was sitting right next to me and when her son goes by, she couldn’t take the sacrament because she wasn’t worthy. The kid just looks at his mom and then keeps going...It really hit me having to watch that and it made me realize one of the major problems the people here have. It’s very rare that the parents give good examples to their kids, so the kids end up being the same as their parents and things never change. Having to reject the sacrament from your own son has to be one of the hardest things yet the people continue in the same sins. I just am so grateful for the blessing of having you guys as my family and having parents that really teach by example.

Last cool thing this week is that after we had worked the week and had to pass the reference of Kevin and his family to the other missionaries I felt pretty bad obviously... So we just went down a little path and I guy was standing there, and asks us, ‘Are there Mormon churches in Mexico?’ I told him yes...and asked why? He then tells me the whole story of him and his family.  But they live close to us now and they need to find a church to go to. His wife has a Book of Mormon and listened to the missionaries before. So tomorrow we are going to visit them and see what’s up, but I hope they end up being positive because it would be a true miracle!!

Love you all so much. I know this church is true and that the gospel changes lives. I’m a living example of it!

Pictures: This is a normal El Salvador house in the pic and last week I went to Chalchuapa real fast to eat lunch with Diego and Luis that I baptized a year ago!

Elder Crump

Monday, June 6, 2016

Wisdom of the Old...

Mi Amada Familia!!

Looks like it’s time to report on mission life here once again. I literally can’t handle how fast time is going. This past week was a great one and I have learned a lot in my studies about the Priesthood. I picked apart all of D&C 84 and 107 and it made a big impact on me. The Priesthood is such a huge responsibility and blessing in our lives. It’s organization is perfect and the keys really have been restored upon the earth again. I have obtained such a strong testimony of those truths while I have been serving and know that I have the true power of God.

This week we continued to help Marcela progress towards her baptism. She went to mutual, a family home evening and is already working on her Personal Progress, so things are great. We also found two other kids, Kevin and Mauricio that accepted the invitation to be baptized, we just need to get them to church. Hopefully this week we can work some magic and see more miracles with them!

On Friday we went out to a little town that’s like 30 mins from where we live, and there we met a member named Felipe. We had found him in the records of the church and wanted to go see if we could help him go back to church. So to our surprise we find out he was one of the first members in Ahuachap├ín and started the branch there, but then left the church after a few years. It’s crazy because he is 95 but can still go jogging and do squats and stuff. Probably because he has eaten nothing but corn and beans all his life. But while we were listening to his countless stories that grandpas always have, he said some stuff that really impacted me. He was literally one of the founders of the church in the west side of El Salvador and a true pioneer. Why was it that he didn’t stay in the church though? He didn’t believe in one of the basic doctrines of the church. Revelation. He thought that his ideas where better than the current leader. He thought that things couldn’t change in the organization of the church over time. It really hit me that God needs people here on the earth with priesthood keys so that they can receive revelation for the church. Once we receive that revelation, we MUST follow it. If we don’t understand why, that’s why faith exists. Felipe is a great guy and down right hilarious. But the problem was that he didn’t have the trust in God revealing truths to his servants on earth.

Well that’s all I have time to write. Love you all. Have fun in Italy Mom!!

Elder Crump

Felipe (right) talking with a member that went visiting with the missionaries.

"The baker in our ward that had his birthday. And seeming as though I
eat his bread almost every day, I had to buy him a cake."