Monday, May 26, 2014

Sister Cropper - May 26, 2014

Dear Family:

Inverno (winter) has arrived in Curitiba and it is COLD. It is rainy and cold and rainy and cold. But we just drink lots of chá (tea) and chocolate quente (hot chocolate!) Things are fine in the Jardim but just like before, we always have our difficulties. This ward is just a mess sometimes! Yesterday we only had 65 people at church. This isn´t a ward! I may have cried a little yesterday. We had some awesome people lined up to go to church that we had talked to Saturday. But when we passed by Sunday, they were nowhere in sight. We called, passed by but nothing. AH! I was so frustrated. I hate it when I feel that I have done everything I possibly can and it still doesn´t work out. But we did have people at church. Two couples that have to get married but they are both awesome. The sad thing is that it doesn´t count for they and us can´t be baptized the next week. 

But yesterday was a very good day. My companion and I were sad about things and it was very cold and it was raining too. But we worked and had many miracles. The best part of yesterday was the Spirit that we had in us. Each lesson and person we taught, had a very strong spirit. I think that we felt very humble yesterday because of things and so it helped us be more in tune with the spirit. Yesterday we found this other couple that the man had suffered so much in his childhood and felt abandoned by God and just gave up on trusting in Heavenly Father. My companion and I talked a lot about the atonement and explained that he was never alone. That when times were hard, God sent angels to help him (we felt inspired to say that). I used the scripture in 1 cor. 10:13 that talks that God won´t give us more temptations than we can bare. I explained that he won; he passed through the trials and depression that he had. The spirit was strong and they are interested in coming to church. 

We have this other couple that we found who are just hilarious. Their names are Ana Paula and Edivan. They came to church last week and it was kind of a mess last week so we decided to visit them later during the week because I thought maybe they didn´t like church. Well they ended up calling US one day because they were sad that we hadn´t passed by and then also made us lunch last Friday. They are super funny and I really love them. They came yesterday as well and were super involved. They told us that the day we knocked on their door, they didn´t want to let us in and Ana told Edivan to say that they were Catholic but we got in and shared our message and it was a miracle. They said that that week, they had decided they wanted to start going to a church again. When we gave them the BOM, Edivan opened it up and found Ether 4:1, which talks how this book is sacred, and that the work of the Lord is beginning. It was cool. 

So this next week will be good, there will be miracles. My one friend Sister D, who actually returned from the mish, gave me some good advice that when I am being obedient, I can demand blessings and miracles from God. Sometimes I forget that!! I know you taught me that as well, Mom. So they will be lots of obedience and miracles this week. 

Dad- so depends on the person but Brazilians are just like Americans because studying is important for a lot of people here. My companion was studying English before and she is super smart. I actually like bragging to people how smart my companion is because she is humble and doesn´t tell people. She wants to get her Ph.D. in English and letters. But sounds like things are going well. I hope you guys have a great week. Thanks for the spiritual thought. The GA was a Brazilian. Elder Torgan.

Love you all, 

Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper - May 26, 2014

Dear Family:

Well I had a good week. Lots of stuff happened. I wish I could just have a nice normal week for once without not normal stuff happening, but I guess that’s not my calling right now. 

We had a District leaders training meeting Friday in Viña. It was nice to see president again because were like best buds which is always chill. I really feel his support when he singles me out during break times to talk with me about my district makes me feel supported. 

I presented how my district was doing during the meeting. I told them our goal was to baptize 7 but we were going to finish the month with 9. I felt pretty grateful for the success we had received in the district because none of the other 40 districts are having very much success. Actually a handful are but they will finish with 5 baptized and 7 baptized. Looks like our district will baptize the most in the mission. We had 5 baptisms in the district this last week, which was crazy. I assisted 3 of the 5. I was very grateful that in the end everything worked out, God won Satan lost. That’s what president told me in my letter this week, he said Elder Cropper the battle is real, but God always wins, and have faith! He’s right because God did win in the end, all the people who didn’t get baptized the last week got baptized this week. We have 2 more to go which are from our sector. I feel more then confident that they will get baptized this Friday. There are both very excited--their parents as well.

After I talked with president a few times in the meeting Friday he came up to me afterword’s and said, So your district is going to finish with 9 Elder Cropper, well if you don’t get the 9 I’m going to send you to Siberia, haha that made me laugh. I like it when he jokes around. I really enjoyed the meeting Friday. I think it was the best meeting I’ve ever been to in my whole entire mission. 

Saturday was a rough day, we had a few disobedience things happen in our companionship, we made goals to give more; it was a good bonding moment. Saturday night was terrible because I got sick. I woke up at 4 feeling super hot and like i was going to throw up so I went to the bathroom and low and behold I THREW UP. I don’t like throwing up haha, Anyways I felt better in the morning so we were able to go to church and baptisms as well as work afterwords. I still feel a little sick and am having some trouble with diarrhea, but I brought a 7 up and took some pills so I’m feeling better. I’ve been getting sick a lot lately. 

Were going to have a mission conference this next month. Elder Robbins of the presidency of the seventy is going to come so I’m excited.

We have changes coming up soon. This is the last week of changes, and we begin a new change this next week. This next week I will only have 5 changes out of 17 left. Pretty crazy. Its nice to have a good relationship with President and God because I know that whatever happens which changes is what needs to happen. Good feeling.

Ok got to go thanks for all the prayers and such. Hope you have a good week.

Elder Sam Cropper

Sunday, May 11, 2014

BEST WEEK EVERRRRRRR!!! Sister Cropper - April 28th

Okay so I think this was one of the better or best weeks of my mission. So after Tuesday P-day we had a mission conference and it was really good. Our mission hasn´t been baptizing as much this month and so my mission president was focusing a lot on the spiritual side of things and it was great! He shared a story about a 70 from Asia and how he was converted to the gospel. He told us how the missionaries’ hadn´t had success the week before and so they decided to work on P-day (which is crazy but sacrifice is important!) and so they began to knock on doors. Well this 70 worked everyday of the week but on that Monday, he happened to be sick. Because of that they Elders found this man and later he was baptized. My mission president explained that if the missionaries hadn´t gone and worked, they wouldn´t have found this man! So later that day I was just thinking a lot about that because as I had written in my last letter, our week before wasn´t successful. So I was praying a lot that day and me and my companion were praying a lot. At night, we had gone to the church to do something and then returned to work. Before we left, we went and prayed in the kitchen. We asked to know where we should go. I felt that we should go and visit this reference that we were already planning to visit. So we went and stopped by. The time that we had stopped by was perfect because she studies every night until 11 and so she wouldn´t have been there if we hadn´t stopped by. Plus she usually is home during the day but she doesn´t like her landlord so she makes it like she isn´t there so the landlord won´t bother here! We began talking with her and we felt to teach the first lesson. So we began and I explained about prophets. After we explained and continued on, she asked a question about prophets and explained that she has been wanting a guide for her life, someone to tell her that she is on the right path, she is doing things right. She asked if we had one today! Right then, when she asked that question, I wanted to cry!! I almost did because I was so grateful that Heavenly Father answered our prayers. I felt like Nefi a bit because he didn´t know why he was going the way he was going but he followed the prompting. 
She said that she already read some of the Book of Mormon. She traveled this weekend but she will definitely go to church this next week! 
Another was the next day. My companion felt that we should go and visit this one person who hadn´t answered when we visited them before. When we stopped by she wasn´t there but we began talking to the young man that was there. We found out that he didn´t live there. He had already talked to missionaries before but never went to church. The elders had promised him that his life would change if he went to our church. So we talked to him about that and we taught the second lesson because both of his parents have died. It was interesting because only he was there, waiting for his friend to come back and he doesn´t live there so if we hadn´t stopped by, he never would´ve heard about the church more. 
Another was the next day, a man that we knocked into. He wnted to go to church and was really interested. He works one day and the next doesn´t. I had knocked on this house many times and never talked to anyone. But that one day he happened to be there! So we invited him to church and he came yesterday and really enjoyed it. Later that night, we taught a young woman that works at a store we pass by a lot. She actually friended Anne on facebook and wanted to send a message. (Sorry Anne, my pesquisadores are crazy and like to friend my family members whom they don´t know!) She hasn´t been to a church in forever and has been wanting to be more spiritual in her life! The next day we passed by her work and she had already read everything we gave her in the BOM! She went to church yesterday and really liked it. 
Another was yesterday. The night before when we were planning, my companion felt we should try this one guy one more time. During the day we were knocking on a lot of doors and then decided to go try this guy one more time. We actually had knocked into him once before and he said to come back but we forgot. Then two weeks ago we did a street contact and it happened to be him again! He remembered that we hadn´t passed by. It was a bit embarrassing. But we passed by again and then he happened to not be there! SO yesterday we passed by and he was there but really weird and we almost didn´t go in because he was saying, oh you guys know if you want to share a message or not! Usually when people say that we don´t go in because we usually can discern that they aren´t interested. But we decided to go in. It was the best decision every because we started talking to his wife, asking if she had talked to missionaries before. she responded that she almost was baptized! So she sat down, and so did her husband and we talked with them. It wsa a great lesson and they really want to change and got to church. they said they have been feeling something missing! It was so funny because we were handing them the Book of Mormon and she said out loud, honey let´s grab it together! So the took the BOM together. I started to kind of laugh but she was dead serious about it. Now my companion and I are going to give people the BOM together, haha.They were super nice and wanted us to stay longer, but obviously we can´t because we have to find more eleitos!! 
Something that we did differently this week as well that we learned in training last Wednesday to focus on the feelings of the investigators. We focused a lot on how they were feeling and that the Book of Mormon is here to confirm the feelings they already felt. I think this gave us more power when we taught people and people were more sincere and receptive! 
So we will continue! And we will try to baptize someone this week because we haven´t had a baptism this transfer and we are hungry for one! 

The transfer ends this week so I may have p-day on Tuesday again. Just a warning. A part of me wants to stay here because of our new investigators but another part wants a new area. Already 6 months here in Ponta Grossa. We will see. Only the Lord knows. 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!!! 

Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper - April 29th

Dear Family:
Well my mission was changed yesterday in a 20 min conversation I had with President. Let me tell you about it. Maybe I feel uncomfortable writing nice things about myself but you’re my family and I’m just really quoting president. 

Well we had changes and nothing happened, we both stayed here in Olmué. So I was a little bummed by that, just a little. El Diablo was really getting in my mind telling me big things were going to happen. Well nothing happened so I became kind of bummed or in other words a little humbled. I just decided I was never going to be a ZL again. It wasn’t going to happen and I could either be bummed about it for the rest of my life or get over it and be happy. SO I decided to be bummed about it and ruin my just kidding. NO i decided to just let it go! I thought of a story Dad told me once about his home ward and a fast and testimony meeting that they had one Sunday (I think it was from Dad). Anyway, he said that all the kids were getting up saying they were willing to die for the church. We after a lot of kids getting up, James E Faust who was in Dad’s ward (because that’s where he lived) got up and said. "We don’t need more people to die for the church, we need people to live for the church". So how did I apply that to my life in the mission? There are lots of missionaries who are willing to be a DL, or ZL, or Train etc. if asked. But there are not many who are just willing to do whatever God wants them to do. Like just being a normal missionary and working hard. So I decided to be that missionary. 

Anyways so I still had a few questions about my mission and my life so I decided to do something a little different (for me) I’m not one to do weird things. Anyways I said a prayer and that took out a sheet of paper and started writing. I would write down a question I had and then think about it and write the answer I felt. So I did this for like 6 questions. All different types like. 

What can I do better?

Have I repented of all the things I’ve done wrong?

Stuff like that

So I began to write down answers the answer for the 1st question was: You already know what you need to do better.

The second answer was another question which was something: Have you given up everything (consecrated missionary) 

So to that question I wrote well? Am i not doing that?: And I felt the instinct impression that I just need to be more like Christ.

Anyway, there was more but I forgot so that’s how it went. Anyways that all happened like Friday, on Saturday the ZLs called us letting us know we would be having Scheduled interviews with president (it was a planned thing, the 3 month interview with President) Anyways I just prayed a lot that my interview with the big boss man would go well. I had already been humbled about all the things I was worrying about so unlike every other interview i had ever had with president i went with NOTHING to confess or tell him or seek council about. 

Anyways so I walked into the room and before we prayed he asked me, Elder Cropper are you happy, Of course I said yeah I’m really happy. So he said good.. Then we prayed I said it, just followed the spirit, he said after the prayer he always loved to hear my prayers because there were really spiritual.

Anyways he started by first asking me if I needed to talk about something I said no, but then I said yes because I remembered something that happened while I was in La Serena (a mission rule breaking thing) that I just wanted to apologize for. He thanked me for always wanting to have a pure heart.

So after that i just told him i had been really humbled by coming to Olmué, that my perspective on my whole entire mission had changed I told him the story about the living and dying for the church, I told him I was trying to be more like Christ. He asked me if I had been humbled enough, i said yes but maybe not because I’m still here in Olmué, he laughed but then I said yeah I feel pretty humbled. 

Anyways Then he asked if there was anything he could do to help me, I had nothing so I thought about it for a few seconds, and then just asked him how I could be a better district leader. He laughed and said I already was the best. Which was ok. Then president just kind of started talking about how I was an amazing missionary; very special missionary and one of the best in the mission. He said we just needed to look at the numbers to see it. He said "Elder Cropper you’ve baptized every month for the last 7 months, You are the second highest baptizer in your zone, And the highest only has 2 more than you but has 6 months more time in the mission (my zone leader) He said I had baptized more people in my sector in the last 3 months than my zone leaders, He said I wasn’t the ZLs district leader but I was still showing them the example. Then without me saying anything he said he didn’t know why my mission had been so weird, but that he had followed the inspiration from God while doing my changes. He said that he doesn’t put people where he feels he needs to put them he puts people where God wants them to be put. He told me that I’m one of the best and I just needed to go where go wants me to go because he (president) had no say in the subject. He told me that He doesn’t know what God has planned for me the rest of my mission, but that it doesn’t matter because wherever God puts me I’ll work hard. He helped me understand that if president was doing changes it would be different, but he doesn’t do them, God does and God knows better what I need.

He told me that he could see I had been truly sanctified in my mission, and that if I kept going I would be the best. (Best what-I don’t know), in the end president said like 6 things I needed to hear, and some of those things he said we direct quotes from that little pray, paper thing I did. I told he was obviously a man of God because he quoted those 4 things directly, he told me I was obviously in tune with the spirit because I had received the answers in the first place.

Anyways then we talked about a few more things and we ended. Changed my mission that interview, Felt the love of president and understood that I just to go where I’m commanded to go and take out the trash. 

Well anyways that’s the stuff. We have a baptism this Saturday. His name is Jaime. He’s so awesome. We have another baptism in 2 more weeks, two girls, Patricia and Fransica. Grandmother and Granddaughter. We also found a family yesterday of less actives that want to come back to church and baptize their children, they have 5 lol. 

Anyway, so life’s going good, just trying to keep up a high level of righteousness and not be disobedient. In this moment I’m also trying not the throw up because I’m sick. Good things its Pday so we wont have to loose time if I sleep all day because we can already do that. 

One of my new favorite sciptures this week is the following.
2nd Nephi 33

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.

13 And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come.

14 And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day.

15 For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen.

I like this scripture because Nephi knew that what he was saying were the words of God, and that they would be used to judge all people in the last day. I also like how he was obedient to the end, and I must obey. That’s how i feel sometimes. you just gotta obey.

Thanks for all of the letters.

Oh I made a new goal for my life. I want to be a temple president one day, how cool would that be! And if the temple president isn’t in the books maybe just a worker, but still.

ummm ugh I don’t feel good lol. I just have a sore throat, my body aches, i had a temp of 99.4 when we left, and now I feel like throwing up a little, haha what a bummer. 

Hope you all have a good week, Keep the commandments. 


Elder Cropper