Monday, May 6, 2013

Sister Cropper in Westerville - #1

Haha so that is what people call Ohio here, the Great Ohio! It is pretty great. 

So Family! 

Hey! How are all of you? I'm doing well! Things here are good. It really takes some time to adjust to the life of a missionary but I am getting use to it. I'm glad that I have some time here in America to share the gospel. I find it helpful to learn how our cultural responds to our sharing the gospel. We do A LOT of tracting here. A lot of door-to-door contact, street contacting (which I absolutely hate), and reactivation. We have a lot of less actives here in the Westerville area and so that is what we have been doing for the majority of the time. We are teaching a few people and two of our investigators came to church yesterday. I haven't met all of our investigators because several of them were out of town this weekend. 

So I wish that we could teach lessons all of the time. Teaching lessons put you on top of the world! We taught a lesson on Thursday (the day we got here) and it was so fun! The spirit was strong and it went well. After a lesson, you feel so pumped up and ready to go. Unfortunately, here (at least at this time) we don't have a lot to teach and that resorts to tracting. We have something here in the Ohio mission called 2-2-5. That means, when we go visit a less active, we go and knock on the doors around the LA (less active) house. My companions have told me that they have found great success in doing this. 

So I guess I'll tell you guys all that happened after I talked to mom on the phone. We had no time to call in Atlanta! We had to travel all the way to a different terminal and so it took a while to get there and there was no phone to call on. Our mission President was there when we got off the plane! It was so great to see him and he is so awesome! We went to the mission home with all of the missionaries that arrived (I think like 30 or 40) with us. We had lunch and training. All of the sisters slept in the basement. We were packed! So my mission president did own Cafe Rio and several other businesses! They have a son in Ecuador right now on a mission. They have a daughter who is married to one of their former AP's. They have 3 children living at home. One is going to BYU in the fall, a son who is a Sophmore in High School and a son who is 12. I interviewed with President Nilsen that night and he told me that he felt I was going to be a great missionary. He was very complimentary and told me that they get missionaries like me once a while who change the mission. He was nice to say that! I don't know if I am that kind of a missionary but I do want to work my hardest. 

So I feel that finding here has been hard. I was looking in my journal today and I read a passage from when I was set apart. I was told that some would decide to not get baptized but that my goodness would continue on with them and they would remember that. That gave me comfort because I feel that this area might take us a while to find people. 

We write the President every week and this is what I wrote him and what I wanted to share with you guys! 

So when we arrived here on Thursday evening, we had an appointment that night with a woman named Jamesetta. She was found by Sis. Anderson and Hughes. She had talked with her Pastor about our religion and had some questions for us. When we arrived, we talked with her daughter because Jamesetta ended up being late for our meeting by about an hour. Her daughter's name is Lexi and seemed interested in knowing more about the church. When Jamesetta arrived, we answered our questions and invited her to pray right then to know if The Book of Mormon was true. She did and the spirit was strong. We went over on Friday to help her with her yard and brought with us two members. She came to church with us on Sunday, she was late by about an hour, but was able to listen to Elder Uchtdorf speak. I hope that she keeps her commitments and that she can feel that this gospel can help her in her life. 

So some miracles that we have had has been with some of the Less Actives. We've noticed that when we plan to visit them the night before (with prayer), we find them in their homes when we go to visit them. One of those LA's is Robert Besaw. His parents are very active right now and he even served a mission. When we were getting to know him, he talked a lot about his mission and how much it changed his life. He said the reason he doesn't go to church anymore is because of the hypocrisy of other members and that they were not as respectful to the fact that his son's had dangerous food allergies. He also said he felt the members did not care for him like he wanted them to. I also feel that there is something else going on. We will continue visiting him, we also talked to our Ward Mission Leader to double check who his home teachers are because he said he would let them come and visit! 

We did some street contacting on Saturday, which was interesting. It was definitely hard and to be honest, I did not like it! It became a little less awkward after a while but I definitely need some more practice! 

I'm a little frustrated because there is some much to learn and I know that with time I will become a better missionary. It is hard because I want to do and be my best now! It is frustrating when we knock on doors and everyone here in Westerville states that they are comfortable with their religion! It is a bit annoying!! I know that is has only been about 5 days since we began working in this area, but I feel that it is going to take a while for us to find those really searching. I pray every day to Heavenly Father that we will be led to those in need of this gospel. 

Another frustrating thing here is the ward. I love them and they work hard but the missionaries prior to us did not set a good example of what our purpose is. Several members have come up to us and asked us when we are coming to visit. All three of my companions and I have the impression that the missionaries before us would maybe go over to member's houses to hang around, make cookies, chat, and not use their time wisely! We are puzzled a bit as to how to get out of this situation. We do not want to offend them but we also feel our work is too important to not say something! I have prayed about it and I am still pondering. If you have some suggestions President, that would be great! 

So I have started the Book of Mormon over again. I was reading today and thought it was interesting how Nephi speaks with such force and strength to his Bretheren. It amazes me that he is able to soften their hearts to hear his words. I thought about myself and wonder how can I be like him. 

Thank you for writing me Mom and Dad! I loved reading them! I don't have much time to comment but thanks for writing me! I will print out your emails and write a hand written letter about it today! 

So I get to call you guys on Sunday. In my mission we only get 40 minutes and we can only call. I'm not sure what time but Sister Santillan, the one who sent the pictures will send you a text telling you what will happen. 

I love you all and I can't wait to talk!! Have a great week! 

My address:

4302 Executive Parkway 
Suite 223
Westerville, Ohio 43081

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