Monday, July 8, 2013

Elder Cropper - July 8th

Dear Family:

Yeah so this week was pretty crazy. Ugh it all started out on a happy Tuesday morning last week while I was studying Spanish. The assistants called my companion Elder B and asked him to serve as a District Leader next change, and as a trainor. I was super excited for him and was turning back to my Spanish when I heard the assistant say, "Puede pasarme a Elder Cropper," which just means "can you pass me to Elder Cropper," anyways, he then preceded to call me to the position of district leader in the mission. It was actually kind of funny because the first thing I said to him was "oh no," he started laughing and then asked me if I accepted. I told him that if God had called me to be a district leader then I accept. He told me that God had called me to be a district leader and that as a DL I needed to be an example to everyone. Anyways, the conversation ended and I went and said a prayer--that's about it. Now obviously I was very nervous but we knew that Elder B would be DL, and I would be too, we just didn't know who would stay or go. If I had stayed I would have known my whole area, all my investigators, and my district. If I went I wouldn't know anything, plus it would be my first transfer in the mission. Well they called us again Wednesday morning and said I was leaving and Elder B was staying...ugh...just talking about makes me remember how nervous I was.
We went to the transfer meeting early because Elder B had a speacial training meeting for trainors. I went tracting during this time in Viña with another elder there. He has one more change than me (extra 6 weeks). Changes are transfers. Anyways, we were doing contacts and he was correcting me on a lot of technique things like "try to do your contact this way," or "try not to go into the gospel so fast." Yah know--because he has one more change than me so he has a little more experience. I welcomed the criticism but I thought it would be funny if he ended up in my district and I would have to start giving him advice on contacts and so forth. Anyways, we had transfer meeting and President called my name and said "Elder Cropper usted va a servir en Forestal B con Elder H, Elder Cropper como Lider De Distrito," and that was it thats the way transfers work. Elder H, and I hugged and walked out. I asked him how much time he had in the mission and he told me 4.5 months and then he asked me how much time I had and I told him 3 months, he probably thought I was joking at first but none the less I said "take me to our area." I serve in the city of Viña Del Mar now--the heart of the mission where President lives, where the mission home and office are. My zone in the mission is also Viña Del Mar. I serve in the branch Forestal with Elder H. Our area is divided with the Zone Leaders they are in our branch as well. Elder H is 19 and he is a good missionary. I have lots to say about my experience with him so we will start now. Elder H is struggling. He has never taught a lesson by himself, is Spanish is very rusty. His last companion and trainor wouldn't really let him take the lead so he is struggling. 
My area--let's talk about that for awhile. My area hasn't had a baptism in 2 changes or 3 months. And before that like half a year or maybe more. They have been working with the same investigators for the last 6 weeks but they have not been progressing. When I came to the area I asked my companion if they had any set appointments for the next couple of days. He told me "no," which is crazy because I left Las Americas with at least 4 appoiuntments everyday for the next 4 days, and then he told me that his past companion didn't really like to make set appointments. He told me his companion just liked to get numbers so they would past by the same people everyday. I then told him we would then fill our agendas with people to visit from the ward (members) menos activos and people that are our investigtors. he said that he didn't know who to visit and that his companion had always done everything.  
I apologize for all the venting but it will end shortly.
So basically, my companion is struggling, my area has not been worked for 4.5 months so we're basically starting from scratch. and... my district is the lowest baptising mission in the mission, or at least it was. And on top of everything I don't speak Spanish 100 percent, I don't have much time in the mission, and I am the youngest district leader thats ever been called in probably mission history.
So what do you do when everything sucks and you dont think you can do it? Well first of all you say a prayer, then you recognize that you've been called of God to fix all this mess, and then you go fix it. Ugh it's very hard. It was very difficult last week with my first district meeting and all. I felt like an ox on the pioneer trail just puting one foot in front of the other even though you want to give up every second. Ugh--it was horrible, it's just horrible thinking about it.
Ok enough of tha--now things are getting fixed. We've worked hard the last few days which has made Elder H happy because he actually feels like we are doing something. Some Elders in my district are going to have a baptism this next week so that fixs that. I think things will turn out all right in the end.
Even with all the changes and Elder H telling me he's glad I'm here and I'm called of God to fix this area, he still hasn't been all there. Well I figured it out the other day thanks to the Spirit. We were having a companion study and I read a scripture about being worthy to live with God. Right after I read it, the Spirit told me to wait 30 seconds and then ask Elder H if he was worthy to be on a mission. So I did just that. It was a long 30 seconds and Elder H just sat there reading the scripture and thinking. I asked him if he was worthy to be on a mission and he took a big sigh and said no. Supposedly,  something had happened the week before his mission. He wasn't sure if he needed to go to president so I invited him to tell me what had happened. It was a large chastity issue so I handed the phone and told him to call president. Hopefully he can get an appointment with president today. I don't know if he will stay or go. It was a big enough issue that I can't put a guess on it, but it's president's decision anyways. So anyways add this to the list of crap that Elder Cropper had to deal with.
The moral of this week is that Heavenly Father calls you to do hard things like be a district leader in your 3rd change, and you think "Well-wow-I don't feel ready but ok." Then Heavenly Father adds more difficulties like a companion who is having problems or a new area, or a branch that is not very strong, or an area that doesn't have a stable missionary work foundation, and you say, "Woh-wait-I wasn't sure I could even do the first thing and now you want me to do all of this other stuff?" That's basically how I feel right now, but it's ok, because just like the ox--I move one foot at a time and eventually I'll find myself in the Salt Lake Valley or something like that where I can take a break.
I'm doing good but I've been better, I will feel less nervous as time goes on. 
Hope you guys have a good week, Thanks for all the letters. Please say prayers for me that I will be able to figure it all out.
Love you all,
Elder Cropper

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