Monday, January 20, 2014

Sister Cropper - January 20, 2014


Dear Family: 

There is a large barrier between brazilians and americans. They think we are really selfish and don´t know anything and that makes things difficult sometimes. I have had several companions tell me that I am different than other Americans that they know, that I am more humble and kind. One thing that is hard about Brazilians is that they do really like to control things and so it makes it hard working together sometimes because they have strong opinions. Especially it is hard because sometimes my companion says things and I don´t know if she is joking or not. So it is hard because we don’t know when each other is joking or being serious.

Mother- I did really lose a lot of my perspective and I am grateful for my friends that helped me realize that. And you guys as well. But now i am treating this situation differently. I am standing up for myself. I am not going to lose myself. I do feel more myself and I am trying to be the "lioness" that i was. I have let her walk over me a little bit but now i realize when she is playing mind games with me.

But family, i am feeling better. i feel more in control and myself. it has been hard and SOMETIMES I have cried but I am strong and I know that I have been right. 

Family, I love you. I feel better and have a better control on things than this last transfer. I recognize when I am sad or feeling put down. I love you all so much!! 

About the earrings, I was just lazy and didn´t send the pictures. it was more important to me to send an email than pictures. But i am sending the pictures right now so don´t worry! I am actually happy that I got my ears pierced because I have been needing to do it. 

Anne- Thank you so much for the christmas card!! Oh my goodness, i loved it!!!! 

Mom- Thank Aunt Nancy for the package! It was great and I loved it and loved the brownies. 

Dad- Thank you for the letter and the help!

And yes, I got my ears pierced as well.

Sister Cropper - January 13, 2014


So this last week was okay with the work. Our baptism fell through but we found an elect!! This girl named Lucia. She is 21 and really cute. She has depression which has been really hard for her but she really likes our church. We are going to baptize her next Sunday. She already has a BOM and went to a baptism yesterday so it is good! Sister Alves and I plan on working really hard this week and being very obedient so I know we will have milagres (miracles). Thank you for the scriptures and the prayers. I am definitely learning a lot but even more that I need to give more, I need to think more about my investigators, give more sacrifice and just work.

I am reading in Mosiah now and chapter 4 really helped me the other day ago understand what I need to do with my companion. It takes about a change of heart, peace and service. Especially verses 10 to 26. Also I never mentioned how much I love Jacob!! He is so awesome and I think it is my favorite book in the BOM. Chapter 6 and 7 is great for missionary work! Read it!

Anyways, family, I love you and I am good. Mom don´t worry too much about the birthday stuff. I can buy stuff here. Maybe just send money with Sister Collins. It is just a lot easier.

Oh! I got the package!! Thank you so much!!! I will make the puppy chow TODAY!! I am soooooo excited!

Love you all and hope your week will be great! Stay warm in the cold weather!

Love,

Sister Cropper

Elder Cropper - January 13, 2014


We had an ok week. Its being insanely hard to find.  I’ve never found so little in my whole entire mission. Its not just us-its the whole zone and the other zone as well thats in our city. One of our district leaders reviewed the numbers of this zone from the last year and they only baptised 4 in january the last year and it was one huge zone not 2 like it is now. Well that made me feel a little better because i think were going to baptize 7 in the zone. Don’t know if we will keep with the progression that we were having but we are trying.

Elder H is not being very obedient which is very difficult for me. He wants to stop by members house who have Playstation 3 so he can play a soccer video game that they have. That’s really hard for me because I would love to play video games too lol. But its alright because I’m going to bring down the hammer. I think Elder Honor thinks about himself a lot which makes him a hard companion. I think I’ve progressed in being a little bit more humble and patient with him which is why we haven’t fought recently. 

A Cool experience happened this week in church. I was in the sacrament meeting and noticed somebody who i hadn't seen before. I’ve learned on my mission that as a missionary you don’t rationalize and say oh he’s probably visiting or a friend of a member-I’m sure he’s ok. If you don’t recognize someone as a missionary then its a pretty sure thing that the members don’t know him either so I went by and sat next to him. Turned out that he came to church on his own and actually had come to church the week before ( I was in a different ward). I sat next to him the whole meeting and he had many questions. I answered most of them and then had him read the lesson 2 pamphlet (plan of salvation). He loved all of it. He lives in the area of some sisters so after the meeting I introduced him to them and they did their thing. I think he will get baptized this month which will be great. The sisters said it was an answer to prayer because they don’t really have anyone that’s coming out of the woodwork. I was glad I followed the impression or feeling to go talk to him.

We played soccer today which was fun. I got a little injured which sucks. It wasn't a very loving situation because they just kept playing and no one came over to ask if i was ok. I mean I’m not a baby-it hurt really bad. It’s still hurting, but whatever. Like i said when people get competitive they change-especially Latinos and soccer. What happened was i basically kicked the ball while someone else was blocking the ball. I don’t know how to explain it but it hurt my leg a lot-like the knee area. Anyways i guess something that I’ve always learned is that if someone gets hurt while your playing a sport you stop and help them. Maybe I’m just a sensitive person lol.

Anyways things are going good, were coming up on the year mark. I was talking with a member the other day, she thought i had started my mission here. Actually she asked me if i was still in my training (she’s a returned missionary and knows stuff like that) I don’t interact with her very much so it didn’t bother me that she thought that but i was like come on people hahaha. Who cares-members are clueless sometimes, and not very nice.

I don’t want anything for my birthday. Well maybe an ipod to replace the one that was stolen. If it is at all possible and ipod with  screen so i can select songs. It doesn’t matter if it has video capabilities it just should have internet capabilities like the ipod touch. If not i can maybe just find something here. other then that I’m doing good. I learned with christmas that not getting presents doesn’t make me feel bad. I love getting them but if i don’t its all good.

Dad thank you for the things you said in your letter especially in the end. I always seem to receive a lot of good counsel in your letters which always makes me cry when i read them. Thanks for being a good Dad.

Mary: your companion is crazy and i literally laughed when i read the part about the boy friend and law of chastity thing. She caught ya mary! I think she’s the one that did something bad with her BF before the mission. Vent to the president not other missionaries even though its tempting ( but you know that) I’m happy your going to have a baptism. 

Well got to go love you all!!!!!!!
Elder Cropper

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sister Cropper - January 6, 2014


So the theme for this week is the verb “peidar.” My companion (whenever she passes gas) always says this word to me!! Whenever we are walking on the street she says, “Sister cropper,” I turn and look and she says “peidei.” Literally my companion is crazy. Sometimes. 

So some crazy news, I will be staying in Ponta Grossa for this next transfer with Sister A and we will be getting 2 more sisters! It is crazy because our area is really small and it will be hard to work because in 6 weeks I have already knocked on all the doors here, I don´t know how another set of sisters are going to work but obviously the Lord thinks it will be fine. 

I am a little disappointed that I am staying with Sister A because like I said before she is a little hard and annoying but she has also helped me a lot. One thing that I have realized is to not let the things she tells me get to me. Like when she teases me and tells me I am dumb or my hair is ugly, she is actually teasing me. I just have to learn a lot of patience especially because this last week was hard. Thankfully I didn´t cry because I have cried almost every single week this last transfer but it was hard because she has lost motivation to WORK! My companion who helped me have 50+ lesson/week went down to 15 lessons this last week. It was awful. She is just sick of this area and especially the fact that she is staying and we are getting another companionship makes it worse. But she has talked to our DL about it already and i told President in this last email. I just hate not working. I feel awful and I feel like I am wasting my mission. I hate it especially because I only have about 8 months left!!! 

But all is good, I will live and so will Sister A. One thing that confirmed to me that I am not in the wrong is yesterday when I was talking with the Bishop, he told me that the members think my companion is annoying. I just laughed and said, really?! The fact that he told me that and some other things that happened just confirmed to me that it is not the Brazilian culture, it is the Sister A’s culture. It is just ironic that the Bishop said that because this last week we had lunch with a member and I wanted to go ask if they needed help, she told me before I went to ask,"what are you doing?!" I replied, I am going to ask if they need help making lunch. She then told me not to do that but I just didn´t listen to her and went to go ask. They replied no so I went back to sit on the sofa. She then told me that members are going to think I am annoying because Brazilians like doing things on their own and don´t like it when people ask if they need help! Haha WRONG Sister A! WRONG! Also, she likes praying and asking God a question, and then opening her scriptures and finding the answer from God through that. She asked God if she was leaving Ala 1. She found a scripture that said she would travel to different places so she felt she was leaving. Well that didn´t happen, so that confirms to me that sometimes her revelation isn´t always accurate. 

Anyways, I am good and ready to just work. I just want to work. She says she is ready so hopefully this week we will have more than just 15 lessons! 

A lesson is when we have a prayer, share a message and ask questions and help the person come closer to Jesus Christ. We have been given instruction that after we have taught a part of the doctrine and the person doesn´t understand a part or doesn´t agree, we just need to testify and leave. So sometimes that happens that after we have explained with a scripture and words what a prophet is and a person disagrees or says that their pastor is a prophet or we are and we explain again but they don´t get it, we testify and leave. 

Anyways, 

FAMILY love you all! sorry I ran out of time. I love you and thank you for the letters. Mom for my birthday, more clothes? I am an 8 probably now. Just send what you think I would like. Only more skirts! 

Sorry couldn´t send a picture. Next week I will send one! I love reading your letters so thank you! 

Love, 

Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper - January 6, 2014


So funny thing from this week happened in the consejo meeting of the mission this last friday. Two of my friends Elders B and Elder T said this to me as I walked past them. 

“Elder Cropper we don’t care what your Mom says about you on facebook, you’re a great missionary.”

Anyways I thought it was really funny. Just a nice comfortable poking-fun American joke.  

I struggle as well just like Mary with my companion and how he makes fun of me. It’s difficult to deal with and I get offended. Elder H and I got in a really big fight this last week. He said something that I didn’t like so we fought Wednesday in the night. We were sitting and going over our day. I was adding up numbers and didn’t hear something he said so I asked him to say it again. He told me to "plug in" or pay attencion in spanish. Anyways I didn’t really like that I think I had some built up emotion from feeling like i was being cold to the ward, anyways I asked him to not say that so he said it again, I asked him to not say it 2 times more and every time he said it again and started laughing. Well I had just about had it. I told him he was a rude person and I didn’t like how he joked with me. It basically digressed from there. I said some stupid things and he said some really stupid things, he actually kind of threw a temper tantrum. Anyways we’re fine now. I think me being more obedient helps. Because if I tell him we need to do something (that needs to be done with obedience) he can’t say anything back. Elder H only has like 2 months left so i think he’s “walking out the door” a little.

WE had the big mission meeting this last week and it was really good. I prayed that it would go well and make me excited and not sad or bummed. Well prayers were answered--it made me really excited to work and be better. 

These last few days have been really enjoyable just because of the obedience thing I think. I’ve really been trying to focus more on the beauty of just being a missionary. I was thinking during my study time saturday that “wow, I’m a missionary. Why am I getting all caught up in what other people think about me, I need to enjoy this time and focus more on sharing the gospel then on how many baptisms we have in the zone or what does my mission president or bishop think of me.”

Dad: Thanks for the scripture i really liked it. 

I received two letters from you guys as well as a package from the Laws and you guys! Thanks for the stuff!!!!

your package had sticky notes and some other stuff in it.

Mary having native companions is tough, but you grow the most......rock it dude!

Dad, love ya man

Well got to go,

Love, 
Sam

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sister Cropper - December 30, 2013


Dear Family:
Hello all. I was very excited to read your emails. Thank you for the love and worry. I am a lot better now. Things were just being hard with my companion and it was just a bunch of things going on. I have been feeling a lot of stress and nervousness and I haven´t really felt myself for a while. SO I had a little bit of depression on thursday NOT because of you guys or that I talked to you but just other things that were building up and finally came out. Since I have arrived in Brazil, I lost a lot of my confidence and especially in teaching. I would get scared to start lessons and even just have a conversation with people. Like Sam said before that he is more quiet in espanol, I am really quiet in portuguese. Also, my companion and I were having troubles but we talked it out more and figured things out. Now I am really good and I plan on not crying AT ALL this week. My companion and I are completely different and it was just hard because she didn´t understand me and I didn´t understand her. But we are a lot happier and are joking around a lot more. There isn´t tension or a bad spirit. And I am sleeping better. I told Jack (Sister Monteiro) and she said the key is to take a shower at night. It is really hot here and she said that the key is to jsut take a shower at night so I have been doing that and it works like a charm! 

ANYWAYS, so this is the last week before transfers. Next week I will know what is going on and if I will stay or go. I always don´t know what will happen, only Heavenly Father. 

Oh by the way, my companion is making me get my ears piereced today so next week I will send pictures! AHHHHHHH I´m not scared just a little nervous. 

My mission president is definitely different but I really do love him. I know they may seem a little crazy but they are like my second parents. I do trust them and they love me so no worries about them. And if I baptize someone that wasn´t ready for baptism or has an ongoing problem with the word of wisdom after baptism, it is on my mission president not me because I am just following what he wants. 

MOM- don´t be irritated about the clothes thing. And yes I am wearing those skirts! I will make sure I take more pictures with them. I think because I was wearing the same things. For example, this one day I wore the stripped blue and white shirt with my gray skirt (my other skirts were dirty) and my brown shoes. That was a while ago and I really wasn´t looking good and I knew it. I am paying more attention now and looking better. But really I wasn´t putting 100% into how I look. I just have to embrace the brazilian way right now. For example, my companion thinks it is disgusting that I put my pajamas on again after I take a shower in the morning (because I like to stay in them before I put on a skirt!) or she thinks it is disgusting that I don´t wash my skirts after every time I wear them! Haha brazilians have very strong opinions sometimes. 

It sounds like your Christmas was really good! I am glad you guys had a good and relaxing time. Happy new year by the way!! Holy cow, already 2014!! 

Elder Cropper- Hello! I am glad things are great in your zone! WAY to go!!! Faith is so important, a mission rule we have is to read Ether 12 EVERYDAY! But is good because it is a really important chapter and I learn something new almost every single day. 

Anyways, we are planning to baptize 2 people this week. One is a sister of the girl we baptized and the other is this guy we found who says he was already baptized but he literally knows nothing about our church or baptism. So we asked him that if he needed to be baptized again (he didn´t receive the holy ghost and we´re not 100% sure if he was baptized) would he? He said yes! So it is happening! 

Anyways, family love you. Thank you for the prayers! I am a lot better and working on getting back to my old self! Don´t worry about me! I will be fine!!! 

Love,

Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper - December 30 2013 (This is my favorite letter so far)


Samuel Cropper

Well it was great to talk with you guys! I was really excited before, really mellow during and all bummed out after all was said and done. It’s a little hard for me to talk with you guys because I’d much rather just be there. But also I’m just used to being here and I think i just don’t think about the fam. Something my mind does automatically. 

Thanks for the advice! i really liked it and I am going to apply it. Challenge accepted Mother and Father. I like being obedient but i also go through high points and low points I’m kind of a lazy person and like to do things in my own way. Not very much of a sacrificer. I’ll have to work harder on that. I’ve decided to start January 1. I could start now but i always find power in beginning at some kind of new phase. Kind of a weakness but we go step by step. 

This week was really good, our investigator Elisabeth got baptized which was awesome, I attached a photo in an email. She asked me to baptize her which was very nice of her. My first baptism that i performed in spanish. I was really nervous (my first area) but this one was just joyful and spiritual. I know she felt he spirit because I could feel it very strongly. Not like a fire burning but more of a calm just being there doing the right thing. I feel like the spirit was testifying to her that what she was doing as right and maybe a little to me as well--that i was doing the right thing; if so, an answer to prayer. I now have 10 baptisms which makes me happy because my goal is 24-one for every month. I have 10 months in the mission and 10 baptisms so were right on track. I like my baptismal goal for my mission because president wants us to baptize at least every month with the vision of baptizing every week. 24 baptisms seems much more reachable then 104 when the highest baptizing missionary in the mission baptized like 44.   

I had a good week with maybe one little difficult thing. Elder H and I had an interchange division thing with Elder F in our zone. Elder F told Elder H that he feels I’m cold and not very nice and that there are members who feel the same. for example the bishop. This mad me feel a little bad. Elder F and the bishop like to talk about soccer a lot which, well I’m not very good at talking about that. I think they want me to so how be more friendly because they want to be better friends with me. So I’m focusing on that a little more. They focus a lot on soccer here now. We play every Monday with the ward. I’m not very good at soccer and i really get nervous and anxious about it because the boys who we play with (young men) sometimes get mad when I mess up and complain. it’s not very nice and i struggle with it. The Elders don’t really help me either. I tried talking about it with Elder H and he didn’t really give me the time of day. To me playing competitive sports is like drinking. People change when they drink and they change when they get competitive. Anyways today i decided to just be a little bit nicer, focus on cheering people on and trying to have a good attitude. I think it worked out a lot better. There were still a lot of hot heads though.   

Cool spiritual experience for the week-well it actually happened last week. I read the BoM often for my personal study. Recently the mission president asked us to read the BoM  as a mission so I started again from the beginning. Well one day i started my personal study and began reading from the beginning. Well while i was reading and marking the things president wants us to mark I felt the presence of the spirit really strong--s strong as if i were in the temple. It really amazing actually. Well i was thinking to myself “wow why do i feel the spirit so strongly?” While i was thinking on that I read 1 nephi 1:12 which says 

 12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

Well i thought that was pretty cool and a strong answer to a silent prayer. 

So invitation is read your BoM everyday because it will help you resist temptation, receive the spirit, and just feel good.

Love ya all!

Elder Cropper


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!