Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sister Cropper - June 24th


Hello all!
 
Sounds like life is rolling on for you all! Things are really great here in Westerville. The work is moving and we are moving with it.
 
First off I forgot to answer some questions last week, yes I have had the wonderful Graeters ice cream and it is sure good! I really like their toffee chip, strawberry chip, and this other flavor but I can't remember the name.
All my other clothes are good. Except for the new skirt that you sent me, it has started pilling a little on the back. I'm not sure what I do but my skirts keep pilling a little! It isn't bad so don't worry.
Yes I was flattered when my mission president called me a lioness.
 
I also have some questions for you!
 
What should I say back to people when we tell that they can be with their families forever? People, usually Catholics or Christians, believe that they already will and when we tell them that, they just say I know! I don't know how to inform them that they are wrong and are misled.
Another question I have is from Alma 20. We were reading it today as a companionship and it states in verse 2 that Alma was told not to go to the king's father because he was going to kill him. So Alma goes to his brethren but then on the way meets up with the king! Why would that happen when Alma was told to avoid the king because he would be killed?
Also, the members here use a bishop's storehouse to provide for those members who don't have the money for food. What do we do in Iowa because I think the closest storehouse is in Chicago? Here they fill up a truck with the orders and drive it around to those who need it. But I don't remember hearing about that in Iowa!
 
Okay so this past week was really good!
 
Monday- P-Day, good we have a good evening. We gad no appts so we tried to see some LAs and investigators who we didn't have an appt with. Nobody really wanted to talk to us that day.
 
Tuesday- We had a lesson with Francis , which went well. We watched Finding Faith in Christ. It was good but she just really not progressing like we want. She says she still doesn't know it to be true but does have a desire to know. Then we had an appt with a LA. He is actually from Iowa and grew up in Bettendorf. We also watched FFinC and invited him to church. He said he would come if we got his parents to pick him up! He was there on Sunday and it was really exciting! He went on a mission to California so hopefully we can help him become more active.
 
Wednesday- We had a lesson with Cathy who just found out she has MS. She keep falling asleep during the lesson and I hate when people are talking and start falling asleep! It freaks me out! Because she has MS, she is tired all of the time but she knows that this is true and wants to join but her husband is writing this controversial book and wants her to wait till he is done with it. That was like 5-10 years ago and it isn't even done. She is an enternagator (eternal investigator).
 
Thursday- ZONE CONFERENCE!!!! Wahoo it was awesome! Really great and the spirit was strong! Loved it all and it was really fun to see my fellow mission friends. One thing that is sad is our mission is splitting. We only have about 145 missionaries in our mission now (because of the split) but we have been told that by next December we'll be back up to 250. Another hard thing that is happening is that our mission president, President Nilsen has cancer. It is actually quite a miracle how it was discovered. He had to go to the ER last week because they thought he had a bowel obstruction. It turned out that all of that was fine but because they scanned his abdomen, they found a cancerous tumor on his kidney. They are having surgery to remove it and because it is in the early stages, it has not spread so he will be cancer free. President was really worried that he wasn't going to live and he has some young kids so he was really worried. He is having surgery in a couple of weeks.
 
Our lessons on Thursday were awesome! We had a lesson set up with a former investigator. Sis Johnson stopped by during mini week and met them. They were super excited to see missionaries again and we set up an appt for Thursday. Her name is Michelle and she knows that it is all true. She wanted to join before but her fiancé's daughters go to a different church and she wanted to do this as a family. We taught the restoration and she just kept saying it was true. So I just stopped and asked her, WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK FROM BAPTISM? She said again it was her family. I invited her to be baptized on July 20th. She was hesitant and she knows she has to be married before she can be baptized. She said she'll pray about it. We have an appt set up tonight with her so we'll see what happens.
 
Friday- Nothing special, not many appts. Just a normal day.
 
Saturday- Had an appt with Luis!!! He is a guy I mentioned a few weeks ago when we were fasting and he chased us down! We finally met up with him this last Saturday! Sister Huffman went with us and it was a great lesson. We taught the restoration again and he is super open and humble. We invited him to be baptized again and he said yes. Then we invited him to church and he said yes. Then we asked if we could make breakfast for him and he said yes! So it was great and he has been prepared by the Lord for sure! He asks us a lot of questions and says that he is finding himself happier and more at peace because he has been praying and reading the bible.
 
Sunday- We made breakfast for Luis (it is something we do in this mission to help investigators come to church. President implemented a year ago. After they started doing it, their church attendance sky rocketed!) and we ended up being a little late to church. Church went well but our teacher for Gospel Principles wasn't there! So I went up and led a discussion on the Sacrament. It went well and we had a good discussion. My companions are a little lazy and just sat there not taking the lead so I sometimes (most of the time) start the lesson or get out of the car first. It is a little annoying.
 
I loved the broadcast last night! To be honest family, I am little disappointed not more was said about in your emails!
It is an amazing announcement and the Lord needs the members to step it up. A sister in my ward said yesterday that the Lord didn't intend for all these missionaries to come out and work while the members sit on their bottoms not working as well! THE MISSIONARIES NEED YOUR HELP!! As members, our duty is to preach the gospel, you find, missionaries teach! Anyways, my ward here is really pumped up and the bishop is having me speak next Sunday about what was said last night and my thoughts. I hope you are helping the missionaries and really praying earnestly for missionary opportunities.
 
Sorry to chastise you all but I really am disappointed! Members were invited to go! Even non-members! Dad said a little bit but come on, you're the Stake President! What is your plan?! I want a detailed report next week on your plan! (And that means all of you, family!)
 
If you haven't watched it! Go on! Watch it on LDS.org!

 
Also I like my other companion fine but can I just say she has the worst telephone skills on the planet. She said she never called anyone really before her mission and she truly is not good at it. We are going to role play talking on the phone.
 
And I love sis Huffman! [Sister Huffman is the portuguese tutor Mary works with in her ward.] She is awesome!! That is interesting about Brazil! We'll see when I get my visa!
 
Anne and Michael- Thanks for writing! I shed many a tear when I read about Arrested Development. Oh well, it is worth it for the Lord! Also I didn't recognize the subject line so I am spiritual! Anyways, you sound good but mow your lawn!
 
Sam- You rock, you're awesome and way obedient! Stick to what you have been taught!
 
Love,
 
Sister Cropper

Elder Cropper - June 24th



Dear Family:

holy cow. 

Ok so lots of stuff happened this week. where to begin.

Monday:

Rocked the Pday, bought food, zone activity, came back and worked for a bit. We had a good day of work that day for a pday. 

Tuesday:

Craziest day of my mission wanna know why?


Elder P got transfered and is no longer my companion. 
We were working in the street tuesday morning when Elder P got a call from president saying he had been called to be a zone leader. He was super excited and I was excited for him too. After that big discussion last week Elder P and I became more close. We left on a good note. My new companion is Elder B. He has the same amount of time in the mission as Elder P  (they came togeather) Elder B used to be the secretary of the mission (an office elder) he knows everything! maybe not about the work but everything about how the mission works. I love knowing stuff and he loves sharing stuff so we work well togeather. Elder B is good a telling people good job. I will get on little Spanish thing right (but something significant) and he will say wow good job. It makes me feel really good and like I am improving. Elder B is a little harsh sometimes but he knows how to show love in a good amount of ways so it works out. Elder P didnt know how to show love at all. Probably cause he didnt have love (he had a difficult childhood)

After we switched Elder B had me tell him about the area and we worked for a bit.

Wednesday:

We had zone conference!!!!!!!!! I saw President!!!!!!!! and he said 4 times that my Spanish was awesome! Once personally when he was greeting me and the rest during the meeting. He would be talking about having faith or improving or something and then turn to me and say take Elder Cropper for example. Elder Cropper your Spanish is awesome! and then he would make this sign that people from Argentina make i dont know how to explain it. I learned a lot in the zone conference and was animated to start working hard again. I love President. 

Thursday:

Weekly planning was good. It took us awhile because I had to fill Elder B in on stuff. It's been hard being the companion that stayed because I know the area and the members know me. It means that I always have to take the lead or talk on the phone or whatever. But now its ok because i just do it. Heavenly Father had this change happen so that I would have to take the lead. In the beggining I would forget things I needed to do or the way I would do things was wrong (thanks to Elder P) but after a good comment from Elder B or just realizing it on my own part I am super organized and proud of it. 

Friday:

Elder B had to go to Santiago to help out the new secretary with something. I chilled in Viña at the office all day. I was with Elder M, the trainer of Elder B or his dad. He is the registrador or basically the person in charge of records. We were the only two people in the office because there was a zone conference so everyone was gone. I just studied Spanish and the gospel--it was a good day. The people that went to Santiago were supposed to get back at 5 but didnt get back tell 9:30 so we missed all 3 appointments in our area. I had the opportunity to work in Elder M's area though. He works in Viña up on the hill and it was awesome! I loved the hills, the ocean, the houses. I want to work in Viña so bad now! or in Valaparaiso which I here is even oldder and better. We got back to the pension at 10:30

Saturday: We had interchanges I forgot what they are called in English. I was with my good buddy and zone leader, Elder V from Mexico. He speaks no English but we're best buds. He calls me his "gringito" which means 'little white boy.' We taught some good lessons. We taught a lesson to Jose. He was the one who had a dream that he needed to wait for his kids to come home so they could see him get baptised. He said in his dream he was in front of the chapel with his kids when this happened. Crazy experience but the Spirit actually told me during his telling of the dream that it wasn't the chapel, it was the temple. So I got out my picture of the Santiago Temple and said was this the building you saw in your dream. He immediatly started to cry and grabbed the picture from my hands saying that's the building I saw. We told him a little about temples and that in order to enter this building he needed to get baptised. He still said he was going to wait 4 more weeks for his kids to come home so we gave up. He will get baptised just not this month. 

Sunday:

We had church and Elder V came with me. The theme was missionary work and they told me once again 30 minutes before sacrament meeting that i was talking. I spoke on basically the theme of the leadership mission confrence thing that happened Sunday night. I even used some of the same scriptures. I hope my ward understands now (after my talk and that confrence) how important member missionary work is. Night and day difference from giving this talk to my first one my second week. The first one I actually wrote out. This once I just wrote down scriptures and key points I wanted to make. That's the best way to write a talk.

 Mary: Your a beast!!!!!!!!!! take the lead!!!! who cares if they have more time then you in the mission. I have learned that if you want to be awesome and make things work just do it. 

The rest of my letter will be devoted to the amazing confrence we all hopfully saw last night. 

Mary I think this confrence made a bigger impact on us because we see the difficulties of missionary work and how much better it is with the members. Plus what missionary wouldn't want to hear from the apostles! 

But none the less Sister Cropper is right. Where are the plans? It is the job of the members to find not the missionaries. The job of the missionary is to invite someone to be baptised and teach the lessons. Everything else could be done by a member. 

I received a lot of revelation during that conference about how I can be a better missionary. One is love. The most effective missionaries work from love not to get numbers. I decided that I got too caught up in having 3 baptisms that I didnt focus on each person individually. Paula is getting baptised this weekend so I am going to focus on her. I also realized I need to go by the Spirit more often, oh and work harder. If I am trying my best Heavenly Father will not let me fail.

Ok well thats all I got people. 

Mom Send packages to the mission home. The address is on my facebook. its something like 4 norte 1114 viña del mar chile. I love you all and I am doing great. Don't think I'm a little down when you read this email. I'm just a focused guy now thats all. Focused about the work. 

Love,
Elder Cropper


Ps those BYU application papers never came. Plus I dont know when is the best time to apply or really what to do. any ideas? 

Pss love you guys

Psss felt my first earthquake this last week. it was nice a small but awesome. lasted for like 6 seconds. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sister Cropper - June 17


Hello Family, 

So this last week was really good and it was a great experience for me because I was forced to do things on my own. It was a little nerve-wracking at first but I took a deep breath and tried to remember all that my trainer and other companion had taught me. It was a really good that I was forced to be on my own because I came out of my shell more and I had to teach my first lesson by myself. I was nervous but after the member told me that it was an awesome lesson.

The Motab was awesome and I loved it! It was really beautiful and the spirit was strong there. There was a good crowd and people seemed to really enjoy it.
So we had transfers last Thursday. We got our new companion. Her name is Sister Stewart. She is from Spokane, Washington. She is a nice girl and is 19. I was worried at first with just having Sister Hughes and I together because she has some problems. She has some self-confidence issues and Satan works really hard on her self-confidence. I am really glad I had Sister Johnson with me these last 6 weeks because we were both able to help each other, and help Sister Hughes understand that she is a wonderful missionary and that she says good things. Now Sister Hughes is a lot happier and we get a long well. We work well together and I feel we are effective teachers. She has gotten attached to some members here and thinks it is okay to go let out one of the member's dogs during our prime hours of proselyting. It is super annoying. For example, last week Friday she had an appt and I was going to go visit some potentials in the area with my mini. She then decided to not go to the appt because the person hadn't texted her back to confirm and she was going to go with her mini and greenie to let out the member's dog. I went and worked while she let out a dog. It took her about 40 minutes and I set an appt with the potential and she let out a DOG. I did not come out on my mission to let out dogs and do visiting teaching with members who we don't need to visit. I was really worried about how to approach the situation in a kind way and I prayed hard to Heavenly Father. When the issue comes up again, I know how I will approach it.
 
Don't worry about my journal, I update it and plan on catching up today. I still try to write down what happened. I just need to get on a schedule of writing in it every night. I know, Dad, that your journal means everything and I need to write it all down, it is easier now that planning only takes us 30 minutes. It took longer with my other companion, Sister Johnson.
So thursday was a good day. I was sad to say good-bye to Sister Johnson because we got really close and became really good friends. She is thinking of going to BYU and so I hope she does because we both decided we would want to live with each other after our missions. I had to give my first lesson on the Restoration last thursday and I was nervous but it worked out and I did well. I had another lesson with an investigator and she hadn't read so we read Moroni 7 and the spirit was strong. Plus we figured out why she is holding off baptism. Her husband told her several years ago that he was going to write a book on the atonement and transcendents (I don't know how transcendents fits into it all. Her husband is a little weird, haha) and so he didn't want her to get baptized yet. He wants her to wait until the book is published! Well that still hasn't happened and I'm not sure when he plans to publish it. We'll discuss it more next week with her.
Then that evening we met with a new LA that moved into our area. It is actually kind of amazing how it happened. She was baptized when she was 8 and grew up in the church until she moved away from home. After that she stopped going and hadn't been to church for 20 years. The bishop asked us to stop by and visit her because she had just moved in. She had just moved from the town next to us and had been in that town for several years. The Elders would stop by periodically but two years ago had come by at a bad time and her husband had yelled at them. Now this is my guess but she was probably put as a DO NOT CONTACT and she said after that nobody stopped by. I asked her if she still believed the doctrine to be true and if she wanted to come back to church. She said yes to both! I gave her a BOM (because she had lost hers) and gave her a reading assignment. Because she had moved, we were able to visit her and now are helping her get back to church.

Another cool thing that happened last Tuesday was with this other LA named Krystal Mckinney. She is by far the coolest person EVER! She is deaf and older but super awesome. We saw her on our directory and there was no info on her in our area book so we stopped by. There is this big deaf community here in Westerville so when we first got there we figured she was deaf and had a hard time communicating with her. We were able to set up another appt and found an interpreter. We met with her last Tuesday and finally heard her story. She grew up in West VA and had married when she was in her 20's? She married a man who was also deaf She had a daughter with him and lived in OK. She said that there was something funny with her husband but it seemed like everything was okay. So one day she was coming back from a Rodeo and she came home and her husband was with another man! So she divorced him and moved out! After that she met another man who was hearing and they got married. They were together for 22 years and had 4 boys. Her husband began writing a woman in Australia and she would ask him about it and he would keep saying, don't worry about it, we are just friends. Well just before 9/11, her daughter was going through a tough divorce and custody battle and so Sister Mckinney went to go help with the kids. Her daughter was living in Hawaii and so she was there for a couple of months. She was planning to go home on Sept. 18th but her husband called when 9/11 happened and told her to wait and not come home. Then he called again, later that week or something, and told her he was leaving her and took ALL of the money. She was completely shocked and did not understand what happened! She lost everything and after that decided to start over.
While she was staying with her daughter, her daughter became interested in the LDS church. She went to support her daughter but then began taking the discussions and was later basptized. She knew that this church was true and later her daughter and grandchildren were also baptized. Her daughter later remarried and was sealed with her new husband and her children. She then moved to Florida because her daughter's new husband owned a house there. Sister Mckinney lived there for 4 years and then her son-in-law wanted to sell the house so Sis. Mckinney moved up here to Ohio to live at the Deaf Coloney. In florida and here she had been searching for the church but for some reason could not find it. She has lived in Ohio for 3 years and been searching. About a month ago, just before we stopped by, she met a couple at the Deaf Colony who are LDS. Then a few days later, we stopped by and were able to help her find the church. She said that she immediately called her daughter and told her she found the church and her daughter said, well it is about time! If we had not stopped by, she would've still been searching and looking for the church! All of the missionaries in this area before us had skipped over her! Truly awesome! Now she is going to church and I hope will one day go to the temple! 

Sam- Good luck with your numbers and baptisms this week! Keep on working! 

P.S. My shirt that you go the stain out of now has a hole and my dress we got is starting to deteriorate so I am losing some clothes!
P.P.S. My hives are all good, the predisone worked and there are almost gone! 

Love you all and I think about you often but I am usually thinking about missionary work!
Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper - June 17


this week was blahhhhh. Let me tell you why
Well actually it was really good to start but then it became horrible.
Monday:
Rocked it Pday and everything. Such a good day of work. We only work for 3 hours on pday and we walk everywhere but we had like 3 lessons two others and 1 with member plus we gave out two books. Bam! fullfilling weekly goals
Tuesday:
Tuesday another good day. normal day of work. We had 2 lessons with member and 3 lessons with Menos Activos. another good day of work.
Wednesday:
Another good day of work 3 other lessons and 2 lessons with Menos Activos difficult day elder powner and I had a good companionship inventory ill talk about it later
Thursday:
Not as good of a day. All of our scheduled lessons werent there except one. We taught 2 menos activos that day. We stopped by a sister in our ward who had fallen and broken here arm this last week. We stopped by to give her a blessing of health. Usually I anoint in Spanish and then Elder Powner blesses. However this time Elder Powner felt like I should give the blessing so he tricked me and minced the words in Spanish and said I would do the blessing and he would anoint. ( I don't really like that he tricked me but whatever) Anyways I didnt really have time to say no and I really felt like I should so while He was giving the annointing I was figuring out from my white missionary handbook (in spanish) how to actually give a blessing. In english its easy to do a blessing but in spanish when you give a blessing you have to use a whole different form to conjugate your words. The "tu" form as opposed to the "Usted" form. An example is "Te Bs\endigo" is "thou I bless" and "le bendigo" is "you I bless." We are supposed to use "thou" but its a form in Spanish I never ever use. So I just had faith that I needed to give the blessing, I said a prayer before I actually put my hands on her head and then I just did it. I have no idea what I said. I finished the blessing and it turns out she was crying. Elder Powner asked her why she was crying and she said she didnt know why she just felt the spirit really strong. I told her it was my first time giving a blessing in Spanish and she ahh that is why i am crying. It was an awesome experience and really was the highlight of my week. My week was going super good until Saturday but I'll talk about Saturday in a sec.
Friday:
Friday was super busy I got 3 letters from grandma! and a letter from Mom and Aunt Nancy. I read Aunt Nancy's last night and it really made me feel better because last night I was feeling pretty down I will tell you why (again) in a little bit. We had district meeting Friday which went really well. Elder Powner's best yet (don't worry I told him that) after that we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and then went out and did some work. We had to end the work early because we had a ward activity and then a song practice because we were going to sing in ward conference last Sunday. We basically worked for maybe 3 hours but we felt the effects. We had 1 lessons with a menos activo that day and nothing else besides contacts in the streets. Horrible day. We still hadn't had interchanges this friday night so Elder Powner called the other elders and asked them if we could change until Saturday night. I went to paies de gales (country of wales) ward for that Saturday but sadly without any stuff because we didnt have time to go get clothes or tolietries. Elder Powner asked me to sacrifice so I did but it sucked. I didn't shave for a whole 2 days so i looked grungy. That was the start of when things started getting bad.

Saturday:
I changed with Elder Coronado from Peru. He speaks very fast and isn't very helpful with people who are learning but whatever, I understood him. I do not work well with Elder Cornado because he's not loyal to president. The first thing he asked me Friday night after we changed was if I like president. I gave him a funny look and said of course. He told me he didn't like president because they have had some issues in the past. He told me that he had some pretty bad companions in the past which if that is the case you re supposed to report them to the president but Elder Coronado didn't do this he just tried to work it out with them. Then when he later had an interview with the president (during a regular interview) he told president why their area was struggling (because of his companion and how lazy he was) and president basically said that he was bad and was guilty for not reporting his companion. He also told him he wasn't obedient. Elder Coronado told me he just didn't care what he said. (stupid) He later asked me what I thought of the whole not going into a woman's house without a man rule. I asked him why and he said he didnt care about that rule and he gave me some example of when he was at a house and a woman stopped them because she needed help with something in her house but there wasn't a man there. He said he and his companion weighed the options of obeying the rule or giving service to this women and they decided it was better to give the women service. He then again asked me my opinion so I looked him in the eyes and said in my opnion it is always better to obey the rules. Then I told him that he could have just made a return appoitnment and then brought a man. Stupid elders. I hate it when elders are disobedient.
Sunday:
After we changed back Saturday night I asked Elder Powner how the day went and if we had success. He told me we were going to have 3 baptisms tomorrow (Sunday) but now we were only going to have 1. Diego (14 year old) didn't pass his interview Saturday and Jose ( the man I was going to baptize) had some dream that he told the elders about Saturday and this dream basically showed him getting baptized with his kids. Sooo he didnt get baptized either. Then Sunday our other lady who was going to get baptised didnt because she got sick.....ugh.....3 baptisms to 0. Frustrating.
All is good now though. today is pday and we had a zone activity which was fun. I have a picture from it. We just had a picnic. We have a big zone conference this week with president which will be fun. But I am excited for this week and ready to take out the trash.
I really don't have time, but basically my talk with Elder Powner was this: he told me the only reason he wanted to train was to better himself and not however he trained. So he doesnt care about my progresson. And then we learned from a question he asked me that I have no respect for him as a leader and I don't trust him. So I struggle with authority and he struggles with love. At least we know what we have to work on.
GOtta go love ya!
Elder Cropper

Sister Cropper: June 12 B


Oi Minha bonita familia!

So I may be getting my visa soon!!!!!! Other missionaries that came out with me have already left (we'll two) and I was talking to minha amiga Sister and she was saying that she had to sign this paper and they told her her visa is being finalized and she'll get it in July. She turned her visa stuff when I did. And an Elder just left Monday and he turned his stuff in when I did. I sent you that thing that says that my visa is still processing. We'll see. I'll ask president tonight. I haven't gone to MoTab just yet. It is actually tonight and I cannot wait!!!
This week has been absolutely crazy!!! SO MUCH CRAZINESS BUT IT HAS BEEN AWESOME!!! Sister Johnson is being transferred. We just found out about 15 minutes ago that she is training and being doubled-in (she'll be in a new area and she'll share it with Elders). Plus my trainer, Sister Hughes (the tall one) just found out she'll also being training. So she'll be training both me and a newbie. I plan on helping her a lot because my companions keep telling me I came pre-trained and I had an interview last Friday with President and he told me I am a lioness. Haha. I didn't believe him at first but I guess he is right. My companions keep telling me that I am.
Anyways so I'll go through the week with you guys:
Monday- Awesome, fun day. We went to the Zoo. Really fun.
Tuesday- I woke up in the morning with this weird rash/hives on my right side of my abdomen. I took benadryl that night and some anti-itch cream. Earlier that day we went to pick up a sister because it was zone training. We are the closest sisters to the mission home and so we get a lot of sisters. Tuesday was a good day.
Wednesday- we had a mission fast. They seem to always do it the week we have fast sunday. That was a hard but cool day. We have been praying constantly as a companionship to find those prepared for the gospel. It was at the end of our fast that day and we were having a hard time. It was really hot and we were walking around. We obviously hadn't eaten or had a drink. So we walked to this appt we had and this woman stopped us and asked who we were. We talked with her and she was interested in us coming back. Our appt wasn't there (like always) and then we went back and tracted around the area because we had an appt like in 45 min in the area. So we tracted around and then were walking to our appt and Sister Johnson saw this guy waving at his door. She thought it wasn't to us and didn't say anything. Well the guy chased us down and asked us if we were Jehovah's Witnesses. We get that SOOOOOO much. So this guy is talking to us and says how he has been searching and trying to read the Bible. His Sister is a JW and so he wanted to stop us and ask about the Bible. We talked to him for a while and taught him the first lesson. Our mission has been extending baptism after the first vision and we have found it to be really successful. Surprisingly I hadn't extended yet and so Sis. Johnson told me I had to extend at the next door. So Luis was the one. I prayed in my heart if it was the time to extend and I felt prompted so I did and he said yes!!!!!!! (It is a very conditional extension. We ask them if they come to know that what we have told them is true, then will they be baptized by the proper authority that has been restored.) So that was pretty awesome and my compies were really proud.
Thursday- It was a normal day. We taught people stuff. I called the doctor last week about my cat allergy issue and he told me that claritan is about the worst allergy medicine to take. He said that allegra is the best and then ordered me an inhaler too so I'm all good now. Last week I had a really hard time on tuesday night and got like no sleep because of all the people that have cats!
Friday- We had a specialized training and interviews and so we had no time to weekly plan before our Minis. It was a crazy day and we were all super stressed about the minis and finding enough appts and service.
Saturday- Got our minis and mine came a little later because she was taking the ACT. We found out Friday evening that 2 of ours dropped out and then Sat. Sister Johnson's other mini never showed so we only got three.
Sunday- Really awesome Special Stake Conference. Elder Gerard from Northern VA was there and spoke. Great meeting. The Stake President invited each family to think of a family to invite to be taught the lessons. We get so much support out here with missionary work. It is grand!!!

So I'll just talk about the mini experience. We have received answers to our prayers about finding those who are ready. I have talked to so many people and we as three companionship have found so many new investigators. Things are just booming and the Lord is really guiding us to those who are ready. We have found so many people and have extended so many times. We only have about 5 BOMs left for the rest of the month and we just got 16 on Wednesday. It has been awesome and I have grown so much just training my mini because I do the door approaches by myself. It has been really awesome. I wish I could write to you all of the stuff that has happened but I don't have time.
There is a member who served in Iowa and he has given us a lot of advice with missionary work. He served in Davenport for a while. His name is Brother Beddoas. You should ask around. He has helped us a lot with street contacting and praying for help from ministering angels. I wish I could write more about it but I don't have time. I am actually behind on my journal writing because we just don't have time. Yes chastise me all you want. I wish I could write in my journal!!!! 

Sam- You rock and keep on going!! Goals are always amazing and if you put forth all you can, the Lord will put in the rest and help you fulfill your goals.
I love you all and hope all is well!
Com amos,
Sister Cropper 

Sister Cropper - June 12 A

I got this today. i'm writing my big letter now. I like want to cry! I'm not ready to go yet!


Missionary Department
50 E North Temple ST 3WWSalt Lake City, UT 84150-5400RE: Mission Visa Status Update
Missionary Department


Attention Missionary:
Please review the attached document concerning your visa.  If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your current Mission President.
Sincerely,
Enclosure


June 07, 2013
Missionary Department 
50 E North Temple 
ST 3WW 
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5400

Sister Mary Cropper 
19 Clairedan Dr
Powell, OH 43065 
United States

Dear Sister Cropper:

Thank you for your diligent service in the Ohio Columbus Mission. We know that, during this time of waiting, you have gained valuable experience in faith, knowledge, and perseverance that will help you feel the blessings of our Heavenly Father in your work. The people you are working with are truly blessed because of your service.
We continue to work through established procedures to obtain your visa to Brazil. Church Travel tracks the progress of your visa, is in regular contact with the consulate of Brazil, and receives on-going updates as to your visa status. Your current mission president will be notified as soon as your visa is granted.

May the Lord bless you as you continue to focus in your current assignment and strive to reach out to those who are seeking the truth.

Sincerely,
Eduardo Gavarret Assistant Executive Director

Monday, June 10, 2013

Elder Cropper: June 10

Dear Family:
Thanks for the letters! This week was good I guess. I wrote last week that we had crazy goals, well the crazy goals did the trick because we worked super hard but sadly we did not hit all of our goals. We have 6 lessons with members but only 3 other lessons which is stupid! Other lessons are lessons without a member by the way. I think we had more lessons with member this week because bringing a member with us is something we can control. Other lessons is something we can't control because that is dependent on other people 1. being there 2. people letting us in their house to teach them. We took out the trash with lessons with menos activos though. Again because that is something we can control because we have a list of like 300 so if one isn't there we try the next one. Our goal was 15 and we got 15. The Standard of Excellence in the mission for one week is 10. We hit our goal in contacts which was awesome. Everything else we were close to the goal but we didn't hit it. This week however was one of our best weeks. For this week we made goals that are a little more getable...i don't know if that is a word. Anyways for example in our best weeks we have gotten 6 lessons with a member present, but this week our goal is 7. Tricky but we can do it at the same time. 


We had 3 interviews for baptism yesterday. Paula, her son Diego who is 14, and a man named José. Paula passed and so did José but Diego did not. Elder Alverez our zone leader says he doesn't have a testimony and that he feels like his mom just wants him to get baptized so he will be with the rest of his family. He also told Elder Alverez that Paula, his mom, only wants to get baptised because her husband was. Needless to say we are going to work and focus on Diego a little more this week. After the zone leaders were done interviewing Jose they told him that he needed to pick someone to baptise him and he picked me! ahhhhh so this next sunday i am going to baptise someone in Spanish. cool stuff.

I am excited for this week. This Wednesday we have zone meeting and those are always fun. The week after that we have a zone conference in Villa Alemana centro (center of villa alemana) in their stake center with our zone Villa Alemana West and Villa Alemana zone. The awesome thing is president is gonna be there!!!! President was in our chapel in las Americas last night which is insane because that never happens ever. Turns out our stake president invited him to a meeting. Sadly Elder Powner and I did not get to see him because we were showing Jose around the church and president left while we were doing that. bummer.... 

I am losing insane amounts of weight. So much that I am starting to notice it. The main place that I have lost it is in my face, I think. My pants really don't fit me-- like they curl up when I tighten my belt but it's all good. I lose so much weight now that I just don't care about eating. Like I eat healthy so I have strength but if a member wants to give us some cake we eat it and then go to another house where a member gives us cake I wouldn't turn it down.

Mom and Dad you guys are busy! And you are doing such nice things for the ward. How are you guys just not dead, like all the time. Good job nice people keep on keepin on!

Dad

Thanks for the quote. I like it and its actually something I have thought about before (like that concept) Its really the best thing you can do because then you wake up in the morning and say ok yesterday i was nervous to do this, scared to do that or i did this wrong but its a new day and Im gonna start over. 

Elder Powner and I do fight a good amount. The lastest one was about the phone. I had the phone because I was looking at the calender on it to write down dates in my planner and Elder Powner asked me for the phone back. I asked him if I could have the phone today to practice talking on it and anwsering calls. He said no that he needed to have it because he was the district leader, and I asked him where in the crap in the missionary handbook does it say the district leader needs to have the phone. I feel like he pulls these district leader rules out of nowhere. I liked what Elder Sachez told me about mission rules last week he said that 1. we're not living the Law of Moses here. and 2. making up rules that aren't in the mission handbook is wrong. I feel like Elder Powner makes up a lot of rules. If I could have it my way Elder Powner and I would just sit down and talk each rule out and decide what do to do as a companionship, not just him saying how it is and me blindly obeying. Elder Powner likes to blindly obey and I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing. Nonetheless Elder Powner is the senior companion and I always need to be more obedient to what he says, and believe it or not, I am making progress. For example during exercises this morning I had just finished an exercise and was resting for a minute when Elder Powner said "Vamos Elder!" which means, "lets go Elder." I hate it when he does this! Can I please just run my exercises on my own and not be corrected in every single thing I do. ugh. Anyways thats what I thought in my head but I just told him ok and started doing a different exercise. Sorr--I was just doing a little bit of a vent session there. Like I said earlier i always need to obey Elder Powner more and i try every week to do that I make progressionn--I'm just not perfect yet.


HAVE FUN ON TREK!

By the way I havent gotton mail in like a month and a half so maybe my camera thing did come afterall. We will see Wednesday

Love ya!

Elder Cropper

PS

Mom I studied your topic in proverbs. Under your sentance you have one word that is linked to the word humility. I looked up a ton of scriptures onhumility  so if you want them just ask. I will share one because its one of my favorite scriptures. D&C 67:10  ugh love it! 

Ciao! Adios! Les amo!

Sister Cropper: June 3


Hey all! I love you so much and miss you!
Okay so I have NOT heard anything about my visa. They will not tell me anything until it has been accepted and then I will leave. That is cool that the missionaries got their visas. Maybe it will happen soon but I hope it waits until after this next week.

We have some really exciting things happening in my mission. So first is that this Saturday the Mini-Mission starts in the OCM (Ohio Columbus Mission). A ton of youth have signed up. About 170!!! And about 50 or so are Sisters. So we only have about 40 full-time sister missionaries. Guess how many my companionship is getting. Just guess. We burst out laughing when they told us on Friday!
WE ARE GETTING SIX MINIS. Yes I said SIX!!!!!!!! There will be 9 of us in our area and in our little tiny apartment. I, the greenie who has been out for a month, will be training 2 missionaries. I barely know what I am doing!! But it will be great and we will get so much work done!! It will be a crazy but an amazing week. We will get a lot of support and help from our ward. Our minis get here this next Saturday.
So the other awesome thing that is happening next week that I haven't mentioned yet is the MoTab is coming to Columbus!! And our mission president was determined to get us there. Usually we wouldn't be able to go because it would cost too much but President Nilsen did it! We are also taking all the minis too. So it will be an amazing week and a wonderful night next Wednesday

Anne, Baby Jane, and Michael- I am sad Jane got sick!! That is a true blessing that Michael could give her a blessing. Awesome stuff. All three of you looked great and happy!! Good luck on the move and send me pictures of your house! I will be sad when I get back and you won't be so close to us! I will for sure come and visit you all. Michael, when do you start working? Tell Jane I love her and she is the cutest baby in all the land!
Sam- Keep on keeping on! I love you and think about you all the time! I am so glad you decided to go on a mission and I know it will bless your life! You're freakin' awesome!
So cool stuff happened this week. Well let me give you a background story. Two weeks ago, we were visiting an old potential after trying to see our appointment with our ward mission leader. We visited some old investigators with him and also his home teachie but no one answered. He left to go be with his family but we still had some time before curfew so we went to find! The wife of our potential said he wasn't interested so we decided to tract around. Everyone was saying no and we got to this one house and no one answered. We started walking away and an older man came out. He wasn't really interested but we kept pushing because we have been trained to push through the no's. He was starting to become a little annoyed so we left. While walking to the next house I told my companions that "I was sick of this." Meaning, I was sick of the no's and wanted to find someone who was ready! We went to the next house and started talking to Marty. Marty is a whole 'nother story and I don't have time to get into it but he was probably a no but we kept talking to him and got a return appointment. I thought that was a little blessing because no one was really interested on that street. 
Well last Monday at the memorial day picnic for our ward, the bishop's wife came up to us and said that her co-worker/friend said we came by and wants a BOM. She said that she wasn't there but her husband answered. We were really confused at first but then realized it was the man that lived next to Marty! Because we tracted at that time, the man answered, told his wife we stopped by, which sparked an interest in his wife! Our bishop's wife has talked to her before about the gospel but now she wants a BOM. I'm so excited!!
We also saw Dream man yesterday. He read in the BOM and wants to meet with us but won't set up a time. Our investigator's are still poopy heads and won't come to church. Also this last week I felt the spirit really strong in our lesson with Francis. I don't have time to write about what happened but it was amazing!!! 

I have P-Day on Wednesday because it is transfer week! So don't expect a letter until Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love you all and thank you for your support! I hope all is well. I wish I had more time to write but I don't!
Love, 

Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper: June 3

Dear Family:
Oh crazy week. The worked stunk, like we basically did in a week what we should have done in 3 days with some things, pero todo esta bien porque fijamos metas locas para esta semana no como metas un poquito loco, mas como muy loco por ejemplo usualmente teníamos seis lecciones con miembros, pero esta semana nuestro meta es ocho. Este es solamente un ejemplo. oh lo siento estaba hablando en español porque estoy un poquito cansado yo voy a hablar en ingles ahora. Anyways what I basiically said was that we set a bunch of new crazy goals for this week. Well really I set a bunch of crazy goals for this week and my conpanion agreed to do them.  Good example, of one of the new goals is, 15 lessons with Menos activos or less actives. The standard of excilence is 10 in our mission but I don't care. I prayed about it and felt like 15 was the number so were gonna do 15....BAM! Or another example is 8 Books of Mormon given out this week. The standard of excelance (I dont know how to spell that word..) anyways its 7 in our mission, one a day, but were going to give out 8 which is funny because we dont even have 8 to give out. we have like 4, but who cares because we are gonna do it. anyways...


So this week was crazy. Last Monday it rained like a mother. We finished shopping at around 3 and were on the bus home and it was raining so bad that water was coming over the steps to get on ther bus. I guess this wouldnt be called raining, more like medium amounts of flooding. Anyways it wasent bad at our apartment because we are at the top of a hill. We ate avocado and tuna for lunch my new favorite food (Mom your probably gonna tell me its constipating so i await your reply) After that we made a chess board! and played chess, ate food all while it was raining out side, good day. Tuesday we had interchanges and I was with Elder Lopez. We didnt work very much because I had my docters appointment for athsma in Viña. We left at around 1. go to the mission office at 1:45. It was cool to see president and my picture hanging up on the wall with all of the other missionaries. After we got a sheet I needed we went to the mall and got burger king (chill) and then went to the docters appointment. It was a women docter who didnt speak any english but it was really fun. She like gave me every single athsma  medicne known to man. I now have both a inhaler for emergencies and a long term one. my athsma is now a 100 percent better no issues here now. After that we booked it to the train station, and got an Icecream because Elder Lopez Insisted )it was awesome) and then went back to his area to work. We had a few lessons that night but it was kind of slow because of the rain. It was nice to go to Viña and see it again. I loved seeing the ocean and eating the good food. The only casualty was my awesome umbrela. I was actually in the process of showing Elder Lopez how awesome it was when one part just ripped. I am going to see if I can sew it back togeather today because it was a really good one. Every other day was normal except Friday. We had interchanges again but this was because all of the district leaders in the mission had a training meeting in Viña so I was with Elder Sanchez the companion of the other district leader in our zone. Elder Sanchez is a beast. He is from Utah and speaks both english and spanish which is awesome. I really liked being with him. Something coolo that happened at the meeting that Elder Powner was at was that it turns out Elder Powner and I Had the most Baptisms in the mission for the month of May kinda cool. No we just need to raise the bar and get even more! 

Elder Powner and I are doing well but we fight a lot. I always think hes got a lot of pride about being district leader and he knows better then everyone, oh and that he is the only person who has the anwser. He gets frustrated with me because he thinks I have pride and dont want to obey his every whim. In reallity were both right so lots of work to be done.

Investigators are doing good. We have 3 baptism dates which is good but we need more. We need like one more really progressing investigator for me to be happy, but thats funny because thats what I say every week and then we get one and Im still not satisfied.

Your trip sounds amazing! I wish I could have been there with you guys. I cant wait tell you all come to see chile. Just this week I added something to the list of places we need to visit when Im done in 21 months. Oh by the way I have 3 months in the mission. Actually its a little more then 3 months. 

Mom dont worry about the charger thing I can wait. Well I need to go thats really all that happened this week. Thanks for your emails everyone. 

Mom good luck with all of the stuff you have to do

Dad go to sleep and good luck with your stuff too

Anne and Michael good luck with moving love you guys

Mary keep on keepin on sista! dont be afraid to slap your investigators, and by slap I mean slap them with the gospel!

Elder Cropper

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sister Cropper: May 28, 2013

Hey all! I'm sorry my letter is late! All is good but it was memorial day yesterday and the library was closed. I only have a little time right now because one of our appointments went over so less time to write emails. Plus in 20 minutes we are going to do a church tour with an investigator. Tuesdays are always super busy!
So thanks so much for sending the pictures! I loved seeing you guys and it almost made me cry!!! It sounds like you are having a ton of fun on your trip and I'm really glad because i was so worried that you were going to miss me too much to have fun. ;)
Everything is really good here in Ohio! We are finding a lot of people, the hard part is just helping them keep their commitments and to come to church. Several of our investigators refuse to come to church!! It is super annoying. The one we are taking today soon is one of the ones struggling with church. She has had some bad experiences in the past with churches not being about God and she said she wants to know that this is true before she comes to church. I think the church tour will really be amazing for her and she will feel the spirit.
This last week we talked to a lot of people. One that really stuck out to me is a man named Richard. We found him 2-2-5ing a LA home. He said that he is a spiritual person but isn't 100% sure God is there. He sometimes prays to know if he is. He shared a dream that he had once that he was walking down a tunnel and there was a door opened with a light on. He knew God was in there so he went in. When he went in he saw that God looked exactly like him. He asked God how it was and God told him that it was possible because he knew everything about Richard. 
When richard was telling us this he began to cry and said that he holds on to that dream when things get hard. I was really touched by this and we gave him a BOM to read. We tried our best to get a return appt. but he said he was super busy with all of his memorial day stuff. We are for sure following up!

Thank you so much for the package!! I felt bad for complaining about my clothes so I was going to write and apologize!! That is funny what my president wrote. The clothes you gave me are plenty!! Thank you thank you!!
I'll write more next week! I am running out of time now. I'm really good though and I'm trying to be obedient and a good missionary! I'm focusing on feeling and recognizing the spirit more.
Love you all and stay safe!!
Sister Cropper