Monday, July 28, 2014

"Boys! Good news, I got my head stuck in a bucket" Elder Cropper - July 28, 2014


Dear Family:
So this week’s quote comes from Elder J. He’s very good at accents. This line he said in a Christopher Walken accent. It made me laugh quite a bit. 

I am doing well--we had an ok week, it was great except for the success in the work. I forgot to tell you guys but like a month ago when i was in Olmue I was helping at a ward activity. We were serving like waiters and a ward missionary activity and while walking up the stairs I fell and my knee hit the edge of the stair. It hurt really badly and the nurse actually told me to stay inside for a couple hours. Anyways it stopped hurting really bad after a few days but every once and a while when we walk a ton it starts to hurt again. Nothing really bad. I would say from 1 to 10 like a 2 or 3. Just enough so that I’m like “hmmm what happened?” I don’t limp or anything. Well I was feeling my knees and trying to find a difference and there is a difference in the one that hurts and the other one. Its like a little tiny part that goes down almost a crack but I wouldn’t call it that because that seems too extreme. Anyways, if I push on it just the right way I get a sharp pain but it’s at the 2 or 3 level so it’s like nothing. Anyway, called the nurse and she said I might of cracked my knee. She said she was going to call the wife of pres. to see if I could get an x-ray but she just said I need to baby it and that after my mission I might need surgery.........what? lol anyways so I talked with her a little more about it, described a little what had happened and what I was feeling. She said it might just be a dent or something in the cartilage and it will heal with time but I need to go easy on it. Well the stuff she said to me in the end made me feel better and like it wasn’t a huge deal. Anyways I asked for a blessing from my comp right after. By the way Elder J has a gift for blessings. He said in the blessing that I would be able to complete my mission no problem and that if I was obedient and had faith I would never have trouble from the knee for the rest of my life. He said in the blessing that when the pain comes from my knee its just a test to see how faithful I am. Anyways I’m not very worried about it. Hopefully I can get an x-ray to see what it is. 

So we had that cool conference this last week with Elder Zeballos. Elder J and I talked about it afterwards and we felt that there wasn’t anything really big that we felt we needed. It was just a bunch of little stuff. Conferences are always nice to just allow you to feel the spirit again, see president, and commit to be better. After the conference we didn’t have lunch so we went to subway with the assistants. Elder J and I are friends with them both. Elder S was my companion in the MTC, and I was Elder S ZL in La Serena. Elder S is probably one of my best friends in the mission. Elder J has been companions to them both as well. It was fun to eat lunch with them. Elder S told me that my group flies home the 10th of Feb! 2 weeks earlier. They do that now with missionaries because that’s when the transfer cycle ends. So instead of just completing my 1 year and 5 months mark this last week I will be completing my 1 year 6 month mark in a few weeks. How terrible, I feel old. 

Elder J is a ton of fun. We both felt that we need to take it down a notch sometimes and focus on the work. I would say that Elder J is passing through a hard time. He says he wants to be done with his mission and start his life. He says that he has nothing big to look forward to in his mission. He hasn’t baptized in a while and our sector is being pretty hard so I think that’s why he feels a little down. We both are pretty open people so I think I can help him. 

The zone did great this month we finished with 12. Feel like I didn’t do anything. Just a couple of baptismal interviews and verifying--but whatever. The zone finished with the highest in the mission so that was cool. We will see how August goes. We have that big training meeting this week so that will be fun.

So Bishop Moose emailed me today and said that they are going to get plaques for all of the missionaries in the ward. He says I need to send a good picture and a scripture that I like. I picked Helaman 3:35 

 35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

Ahh I love that scripture. So I’ll have to find a good picture to send. If I cant find one ill just take one. I have a huge pimple on my nose so we will have to wait till that one goes away.

Mom- I’m not sick anymore. It stopped the day before changes like 2 weeks ago. I did buy the electric blanket, but I’m warm enough in my new house now that its ok. 

This week was a little better with the work. We had 2 investigators that came to church yesterday. Johan and Carolina. Johan is the 9-year-old son of a recent convert. We will baptize him this next month ( I hope). Carolina is the wife of Mario. We teach them both Mario just couldn’t come because he had work. She loved church but didn’t like that people were on their phones a bunch (she’s got a point) She needs to talk to her boss and get Sundays off. The balls in her court. If she does it she can get baptized this month.

Well that’s all I got family. Hope you all have a great week, Love ya.

Sam
Elder Cropper

Sister Cropper - July 28, 2014

Dear Family:

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

So the time has come. My last transfer has arrived. I am completely scared! So anyways, transfer are happening Tuesday and nothing is happening here! 

I am staying here in Jardim Botânico with my companion! We are happy. We have a great relationship and I am glad she will be the one to send me off. But we both have a feeling that there will be an emergency transfer during this next transfer. My mission president likes to transfer people for no reason at all so we are pretty sure that is going to happen. 

Last week was really good. We had a baptism yesterday! It was a blessing and miracle. But it is hard not to be sad because we had three set up to be baptised but two of them fell. One because he told us he had to go to this meeting at the last minute Sunday and couldn´t go to church so he couldn´t be baptized. And the other at the last minute was all freaked out to be baptized because of his girlfriend that doesn´t even live here. He told us that it is hard for him to resist having sexual relations with her and that when she comes, he wil most likely do it with her. We explained about the doctrine again to him and focused on repentance but he just flat out freaked out and didn´t want to be baptized! We explained to him that the Holy Ghost would be there to help him resist temptation. We read 1 Cor. 10:13, Isaiah 30: 21, Alma 39, and a ton of other scriptures but he didn´t listen. I was very frustrated. 

But we arleady have a baptismal date for next Sunday so there is nothing to complain. We had three new people at church yesterday. We have been blessed here and we will continue on working. 

The baptism we had was great! Oldolphe is from Haiti. He is super hilarious and fun. We talked about baptism with him last Monday and he got super excited and talked about how when we are baptised we are officially called Christ´s children and he got super excited. So it was a really good baptism and he will be confirmed next week. 

It is really surreal to think that this is my last transfer. I am very sad. This morning during personal study, I began to cry because I am so sad to think it is coming to an end! I do love my mission, despite the challenges. I haven´t been perfect but one thing that my mission leaders always tell us to not focus on the past but to focus on what we can change in the future! 

So I will be always changing the future everyday, I am grateful for all the prayers! 

Mom- I cracked up when you told me how you are just lounging around. When I get home, we can lounge together. You guys are so awesome about that activity! Keep it going! But also prepare the missionaries, because when I get back, I will be helping out with the work! 

Dad- I glad you had a great weeek. Thank you for the spiritual thought. I loved it. I have studied about that but it was a great reminder. Have a good week! 

Sam- You are awesome and you will clean the mess all up! 

Anne and Michael- Love you and hope you have a great week. 


Love you all! 

Sister Cropper 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"An Embarrassment to the World" Sister Cropper - July 14, 2014

Dear Family:

I think spelled embarrasment wrong. Dang it, I can´t spell anymore! 


So as you guys know, Brasil played awful this last week because they did! Lost 7-1 with Germany and 3-0 with Holland (called Orlando in portuguese!) It was the only thing people were talking about this last week. Brasilians were really embarrassed. Tadinho. But life moves on and thank goodnesss the cup is over so that we can work everyday. But I did like the time that we had to study. I read lots of conference talks. 

This last week was good. Andrielle doesn´t have a son so I don´t know what happened last week! But it is a problem because Andrielle moved back with Jailson and now they are both living in sin and baptized. Plus she isn´t living in our area anymore so we can´t even talk with her. Lots of people we teach like the lie to us and tell us they will do things but don´t. 

But we found some Haitians! They are super cool and speak lots of languages. We teach them in English and Portuguese. They are here for work. Three of them went to church yesterday and really liked it. We will baptize them. 

It was a little frustrating this last week because we had a ton of people set up to go to church. But when we passed by yesterday morning, no one was up and answered. 

Conceição is good but she didn´t come to church yesterday because she decided to go to another. She is cool but she can´t be baptized because of some past things she did. It´s a little complicated but she can´t be baptized for a while! She is neat but we will see. 

On Saturday, we were visiting some people in the morning and got to a point which we didn´t know what to do. So we were going to try and call someone. At first we were walking to one phone but I remembered we were close to another, so we went a different way. We saw one of our investigators and began talking with her outside when all of a sudden this man was behind us! He asked us if we were JW´s, I said NO. Then he asked if were Adventista, again said, NO. We explained who we were and he said, "Exactly who I am looking for!" So basically, a friend gave him a book from our church and he loved it. He went to church the sunday before (in the wrong ward) and loved it. He told us he wants to continue going! He lives in our area (maybe we followed him home). He actually didn´t want to tell us his address because he lives with people that are very religious and don´t want to change religion. He started on a search for religion because he had a stroke (he is a little older). He is a nice guy and we will see what happens. We explained to him where the ward is but he didn´t go to church yesterday. Bummer. Interesting how the Lord puts us in the place where we always need to be. 

So this next week will be good. It is starting to get colder here but it isn´t too bad. Yesterday was my mission president´s b-day so we are doing a suprise b-day party for him. All the missionaries (except Ponta Grossa (I think)) are meeting at a church building and we are bringing foood to share. I will make brownies. 

Dad- Thanks for the letter. It was good to see that your week was good. Thanks for the forgiveness!!! I will ponder about what you said! Also, loved the picture. Almost began crying because I miss you guys! 

Mom- Mother, I will be ever grateful for the recipes!!! Brownies turned out great and the member was SOOOOOO excited when I made them for her and gave her the recipe. You just made one Brasilian woman very very happy. Cool that our whole house can have electricity. People here put tanks of gas in their home. It is really dangerous but very convenient to have gas right there. 

Anne- HOLY FRICKIN´ COW. What a beautiful home that you have! And thanks for the cute pictures of Jane. She is so big!! Thanks for writing about your friends. Aw. I know how you feel. It is just like a missionary companion. We become good friends and then leave and are never sure that you will see them again. Stay strong! 

Sam- Glad you had a better week and that transfers went well. Miss you tons and I am so proud of you!!! 

So I have been taking the Ensign from our ward building. In the library, they have tons of old Ensigns in English. I began to read the General Conference from May of 1988! It was cool and I found a poem I really liked:

Who does God´s work will get God´s pay,
However long may seem the day, 
However weary be the way. 
No mortal hand, God´s hand can stay, 
He may not pay as other´s pay, 
In gold, or lands, or raiment´s gay,
In goods that perish and decay; 
But God´s high wisdom knows a way,
And this is sure, let come what may-
Who does God´s work will get
God´s pay. 
(Anonymous) 
From a talk from Ezra Taft Benson

I really liked this poem. 

Hope you all have a great and wonderful week!! 

Love,

Sister Cropper 

Elder Cropper - July 14, 2014


So Germany won, I knew they would. 

This week was a pretty good week. Jenny came to Church and she said she love it. We made sure we brought lots of members with us to the lessons with her. She’s got a lot of people she knows in the church she she’s ready to go. We have changes this Wednesday and I probably will go to I might not see her baptism, but that’s ok. 

This week i got a little sick, and I still am a little sick. Just a lot of stomach pains. It was hurting me a lot but now its not so bad. It comes in waves of 8 hours or so. I hope it goes away, haha i get depressed when i am sick lol and i don’t like that. 

I had divisions with my Zone Leader Elder Mickelson this last Friday. He’s a great friend we know each other from La Serena. Sadly he was with me right when I got sick. I was so sick that I called the new mission nurse asking her what i should do. She gave me some ideas but told me I couldn’t go home because I wasn’t sick enough =(. haha I hung up the phone and was just like....ummm.....well just lost all hope in the world, how am i going to get through this day feeling like I do and not die. Well I drank some Gatorade (one of the things she told me to do) asked for a blessing from Elder Mickelson, and then decided to have faith in the blessing, and the words of Sister Cluff telling me that I wasn’t sick enough to go back and rest (even though I totally was, I mean come on people I know my body) anyways we walked out the door and literally with every step I felt better and better. After walking for 5 min I felt like basically 100 percent again. It was bizarre and a miracle. The only down side was that Saturday night it came back and last night as well. Don’t really know what’s up but whatever. Hopefully I don’t die.

I forgot to mention it in my letters but the sister missionaries had two baptisms, one two weeks ago and the other last week. I as the DL have to interview them and they both asked me to baptize them. It was kind of funny. One is named Isabell--she’s like 80. And then other is Lorena--she’s like 50. They are both really nice and funny. It was cool to baptize again.

My converts here in Olmué, the Soto family, had a very difficult weekend. They basically ran out of money (they have already received help from the church before) Money from a health license they thought they would receive got delayed in the mail so they had nothing. The Bishop ended up helping them even though that have received a lot of money from the Church already.

Not a lot of news this week. We have transfers and I think I’m gone so I’ll probably be writing you guys from a different place. Stay tuned.

Love you guys,

Elder Cropper

Sister Cropper - July 7

Dear Family:

So I feel like it´s been years since I have talked with you guys. So funny. This last week was good. To tell you guys about the world cup, the only crazy stuff is during and after the game that same day. The other days we work are the same, nothing changes and so it hasn´t been hard to work. It only is a little annoying the days when Brasil plays because we have to be in the house during the jogo and after. Like you guys saw, with my last p-day, we had to stay in the whole day and sometimes the jogo occurs twice in the same week. But it will end this Sunday! Plus the jogo is at night so people come to church. 

So like I said, this last week was really good but yesterday we had two really awesome miracles. Like amazing. So saturday night we were talking and I felt that this lat week wasn´t the same as before. I asked my companion what we could have done differently and we both felt our faith wasn´t the same and our desire had dwindled a little as well. So we decided we needed to really excercise more of our faith. We had fasted the week before so Ilson (it is actually Ilson and not Wilson!) could be baptized (he was!) but because it was fast sunday yesterday, I felt we should fast. Well also, Andrielle, last week, was no where to be seen. We passed by several times a day to talk with her and confirm about receiving the Holy Ghost but she was never there! We even tried to find her work which ended up not happening. So we were really worried about her and the people we had confirmed to come to church with us, couldn´t go. Plus Ilson was working a lot and we couldn´t confirm about church with him. But I prayed to Heavenly Father on satuday and said, "look, I have faith that all will go well, I have done everything that I could´ve and I am asking that thou wilt put more faith where my faith isn´t enough and I am putting everything in thy hands." Well Sunday morning, Andrielle wasn´t there but Ilson was all ready for church! At church, Rosicler and her son arrived late and we left to show her son where to go and Andrielle was there! I still don´t know how she got to church but really Pai Celestial did it because it was a miracle. 

Another miracle was with an investigator that was at church yesterday. She hadn´t received her salary yet and so she didn´t have money for the bus to go to church. We told her not to worry about it. We showed her this video that we received from our mission (they gave us a dvd to show videos to help investigators with different difficulties). The video talks about a family that had very little money but received a miracle and had money enough to go to church. Well during church on sunday, Conçeição (that is her name), was putting her cell phone in her jacket pocket during RS. She felt something weird, and found 50 reais! Truly a miracle! She told us after that it was a miracle and was exactly like the video that we had shown her the night before. 

Thanks for all the letters! I am glad everything was fun at the wedding! Haha, I completely forgot friday was july 4th! Thanks for the compliments but I am not the best missionary. There are people here that baptize 14 people in a transfer. But I am eternally graeful for the blessings, miracles, and lessons I have learned on my mission. I am trying to make everyday worth it. My time is running so short and I pray everyday that I am learning and doing everything that Pai Celestial wants me to learn. 

Love you all family!! 

Até próxima semana! 

Sister Cropper  

Elder Cropper - July 7th



Dear Family:

Ugh what a terrible week last week, this week was better. I was really frustrated on Tuesday and didn’t know what to do. Anyways i just happened to be finishing the Book of Mormon and I read these verses in the end. 

 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
 34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.
Well those scriptures kind of gave me the hope, push, shove that I needed to get on my knees, cry a little, pray, give my heart, might, mind, and strength to Heavenly Father and the work for the rest of my life, and then sit back down again to set some goals. Our week was a lot better. Our numbers were terrible or have been terrible, but this last week they were normal to good. We found a lot of new investigators, which was really nice. There is this girl named Jenny, well she’s not really a girl because she’s 30 but I can’t really express myself in English well so we are going to leave it at that. She has shared with missionaries before and she’s pure like I’m going to get baptized. She asked us for a blessing of strength and she asked me to offer it. Pause for a second, I used to get so scared to do blessings before the mission but its nice to not feel that anymore. I think the only thing i feel is the responsibility. Anyways so she said after the blessing that she felt really good, like really good and she told us that her mind was totally clear and she knew what she needed to do. So anyways were going to teach her this week and we will see what happens. 
This is supposedly my last week here in Olmué. I have 6 months here, which is a lot of time. I think i will got this next transfer cycle which is this next week. We have a mission tour with a seventy who is going to come. Elder Zeballos I think. He’s from the area presidency and he’s Chilean. I think the only one in the 1st quorum of the seventy. 
I wrote the comment header for this email as everyone bashing Brazil because that’s what they are all doing haha. We enter a house and bam “Brazil just bought out the FIFA”, or “Brazil just isn’t playing very well right now.” Naymar (a brasilian player) is out for 4 months because of his knee, “doesn’t matter because he couldn’t play anyways.” Then the second I ever make a comment about the United States to change the subject or something they start saying things like. “Oh Elder the United States played really well. The qreengos (not how its spelled in Spanish but its how it sounds) didn’t know how to play before but now they do. I think the Americans are going to do really well next time.” haha stuff like that. They hate Brazil and love the United States. Weird. 
Yeah so that’s my report.
Love 
Sam