Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Slow Week

Mama, Daddy, and Chris,

Hello!!! I can now say I've experienced Georgia rain...it rained allll day yesterday!!! And it didn't just sprinkle, it poured!!! It was so great, especially since this past week was super warm! I was trying to send some of the rain your way...let me know if it gets to you! :)

This past week was kinda slow...the schools around here were on fall break, so a lot of people were out of town. Sister Fine was sick--she had a stomach bug, but she is feeling a lot better now, yay! This week was also the first time I found myself asking, "Why am I here?" Not that I don't want to be here or anything, but I guess it's hard for me to see what kind of difference I'll be able to make here. I also feel like I need to know so much more than I do, since it feels like I've been here for forever! Sister Fine says I'm really improving, fast, but it's hard for me to see that, I guess.

I had my first real tracting experience! We knocked on doors for three hours this week! We had lots of slammed doors, but we tried to make it fun. Sister Fine says that she likes to sing "Joy to the World" while she's tracting, so we started singing that and some other hymns.

We've been teaching a lady, Darsheda. She has four kids, and she is so sweet! We've taught her about the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ since I've been here, and she already pretty much believes in what we've taught her. We asked her if she'd prayed about the Book of Mormon to know if it is true, and she said that she had and her answer was that she needs to read more. Perfect answer!

Some awkward missionary moments from this past week...
- Walking on people yelling in their driveway.
- Knocking on the door and having a lady answer in just her underwear.
- Telling someone about the Book of Mormon while their dog's doing its business.

Anywho...haha! Mom, did you get to watch the Relief Society broadcast? Sister Fine and I got permission to watch it at the stake center in Cartersville!! It was sooo good! I guess they're working on a book that goes into the history of Relief Society--that'll be really interesting! I loved Sister Thompson's and President Monson's talks! They'll probably be online soon, and they'll be in the Ensign with the Conference talks.

Are you so excited for General Conference?!?! We get to hear the prophet, yayyy!!! I'm sooooo excited!!! Ooh, guess what?! Sister Fine and I had dinner with a Seventy!!! Elder Giddens!!! He and his wife live in our ward boundaries; you can probably find his picture in the last Conference issue.

Mom, I was wondering, is "goll" a Southern word? I've always thought it was just something you said, but everyone here says it, too, haha!

Thank you so much for the letter and the picture of my baby, Emma!! I miss her sooo much, and Mushu and Abby, too!!! Mom, I'm so happy that you got to see Sister Collier! And Sister Rodriguez! Brother Collier shared his testimony yesterday, and he talked about how much Sister Collier loved you from the start, and how I got called to the Atlanta Mission and now I'm being trained in their ward. I saw him right before Relief Society, and he said their whole family just loves us! I can't wait for y'all to meet them! Which sisters are in our ward now?

Chris, I am sooooo excited for you!!!!! Are you freaking out?! I would be! Please give everyone my love and take lots of pictures!!!

Well, I love y'all oodles and bunches!!! I pray for you and think of you all the time! The mission is hard work, but I am trying to do my very best and I am loving it!

Love y'all!!! Miss y'all!!!

Sister Crowe

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fireflies and Cockroaches in Georgia!

Hi family!!

Life is still wonderful here in the Hills of Mars! :) But I have to go back to some things that happened in the MTC that I forgot to tell y'all about last week...

First, Birgitta! Our scary investigator! The MTC has something called the Teaching Resouce Center (TRC), where volunteers come to act as investigators so that we can practice the lessons on real people instead of just role playing with other missionaries all the time. The first time Sister Jones and I went to teach Birgitta, she was sooo intimidating! She had all these super hard questions and she was really intellectual. Sister Jones and I were sooo nervous for the second time we had to teach her, but it turned out to be an amazing lesson! We went in with a prepared lesson, but we barely kept to it--instead it turned into more of a discussion. In the middle of the lesson, Sister Jones shared a personal experience from when her family went through a really hard time when she was younger. Birgitta started to cry and wasn't saying much. At the end of the lesson, she broke character to say that her family is going through the exact same thing that Sister Jones went through. We were all crying. Even in the MTC, where it may seem like "just pretend" or "just practice," we were able to help strengthen someone's testimony and bring them closer to Christ.

Then, some fun stuff! I got to have a makeover! They had this class for the sisters that you could sign up for, where they showed you how to do your makeup for the mission. It was super fun and a nice break from the regular routine in the MTC! And we got $200 worth of Nuskin makeup for free!!! Crazy!

This past week in Mars Hill was great! We had two days of training meetings in Marietta. They're changing the mission programs around the world, and one of those changes is these eight lessons that aren't for the missionaries to teach, but they're supposed to help us become better teachers. They want us relying less on lesson plans and more on the Spirit when we teach people. President Satterfield spoke to us, and we role played some. It sounds like they're having some obedience problems with some of the missionaries in this mission, especially around Atlanta (not so much in my area), so they're really pushing obedience so that we can have the Spirit with us. Oh, and I had fried okra for the first time here in Georgia!!! Sister Mills, a ward member, picked us up after one of the training meetings, and she took us out to this restaurant/bakery on the way home, called Gabriel's...it was sooo good!!! I had chicken pot pie, fried okra, and mac 'n' cheese. So good!!!

We had dinner with the Collier's last night. They are the sweetest family ever!! I love them!! Brother Collier showed me all their family photos, and I got to see the one from your baptism, Mom!! During dinner, Sister Collier asked me where I was born, and when I told her Jacksonville, Florida, she said, "She's a Southerner!" That made me so happy!! :)

Mike is still super strong! Everyone is so excited for his baptism--the Satterfield's are even planning to be there! We're also teaching a 21-year-old, Joe--we taught him the Plan of Salvation last week, and he's preparing to be baptized on October 30!!! We're so excited, but we may have to push the date back...we really want to make sure he's ready to be baptized, instead of just jumping into it and not knowing what he's getting himself into.

I ran into my first Bible basher...we'd knocked on his door to tell him about the Book of Mormon, but he ended up telling us what we believe in. He wasn't too bad--he was actually pretty nice about it, but he encouraged us to read the Bible and really study it, and he said that he hopes we come to the truth. Oh well.

There are fireflies here!!! The first few nights, we'd be driving and I'd see these little flashes of light...I couldn't figure them out, but then it hit me! Also, I almost killed my first cockroach...I was getting my breakfast, and as I was pouring the cereal into my bowl, I saw something moving along the counter out of the corner of my eye...it was ginormous!!! I didn't scream, though, baha! I ran into the bathroom to grab some tissue to get it with, but by the time I came back, it was gone...I got out of the kitchen pretty quick after that, haha!

Dad and Chris, y'all would be so proud of me...Sister Fine and I had a lesson in Halo. We went to visit a less active family to share a spiritual thought with them, and the son ended up talking about Halo for nearly 45 minutes, baha! So now we know all about the Covenant and all of the different weapons and the main characters. And now I know what Halo actually is, haha!

Every Friday, we get to do service at a nursing home--we do manicures for the women who live there! It is so fun and they absolutely love it!

How are y'all doing? Chris, your birthday's in like two weeks!!! You're going to be 20! You're making me feel old, baha! :) Mom, how is church going? Do you like your callings? I'm sure you're doing great! I think of you every Sunday! Yesterday was my first time going to Sacrament Meeting in the Mars Hill Ward, since last weekend was Stake Conference, and they asked me to get up and bear my testimony...I was so nervous! But I guess I should get used to it! I got a card from Grandma the other day! I'm writing her a note today, so hopefully she'll get it this week! How are the cats doing? I miss them! One family we visited last week has five cats...I loved getting to love on them a little bit!

I love y'all sooooo much!!! I can't believe I've been on the mission for a whole month! The days are going by so fast!!! I hope they're going fast for you, too--stay busy, that's what helps! :) I miss you tons, but I'm doing really good and haven't been real homesick since that first night, yay! Hope you have a wonderful week!!! I think of y'all all the time! I'm so happy to be here, and I love being a missionary!!!

Love you!!!!!

Sister Crowe

P.S. Apparently, I mumble in my sleep...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rebecca's in Georgia!!!

Hello Everyone!

We received this e-mail from Rebecca today. She is doing great!!

Hey y'all!!!

I'm in Georgia!!! And I looove it!!! :) :) :)

My last week in the MTC was wonderful! It went sooo fast! On the last day, we were all saying how it felt like we'd been there for forever, but at the same time, it felt like we'd just gotten there yesterday...crazy! Oh, and I got to see the mail truck that delivers and picks up the mail for the MTC...it was a little smaller than a UPS truck. :)

I'm glad I got to talk to y'all on the phone at the airport! It was so great hearing your voices! I'm glad you're all doing good! The flight was good, and President Satterfield met us at the airport and took us to the mission home in Peachtree City. The Satterfield's are sooooo sweet!!! No one can replace you, Mom and Dad, but they are the perfect mission "Mom and Dad" away from home! I was a little homesick that first night in the mission home--I think it really hit me that this is the real thing. But they were both so sweet to me, and President Satterfield gave me a blessing. Since then, I've been fine! I'm eating good, and I haven't cried or anything, yay!

The next day, Wednesday, we all got to meet our trainers. My trainer is Sister Fine from Oakridge, Oregon. She is a sweetheart!!! So loving! And our moms share a birthday!!! How cool is that! She just hit her "hump day" on the mission. Oh, and I have to share some mission lingo with y'all. A new missionary is called a greenie, and my trainer is called my mom. At the transfer meeting last week, I got to meet my grandma--my trainer's mom! Three generations! Pretty cool!

I am in the Mars Hill area--it covers the Mars Hill Ward boundaries (I'm still learning, but I think it falls in Mars Hill, Acworth, and Kennesaw). Guess who is in this area??? The Collier's!!!!! And I got to meet them this weekend!!! They are the sweetest people!!! I think we have dinner with them one night this week. I heard that Sister Collier was transferred! Mom, I know you're going to miss her!! Are Sister Rodriguez and Sister Cottrell still there? I'm sure they'll take care of you, they're super sweet, too! Sister Fine and I live in Kennesaw with a member of the ward, Sister Cruse--she is so sweet, I love her!

I looove Georgia!!! It's sooo green and there are so many trees!!! I was kinda feeling a little claustrophobic the first few days...baha! The people are the sweetest...seriously! Everyone waves and smiles, and the women kiss me on the cheek--they're so loving! And y'all are gonna think I'm crazy, but...I love the humidity!!! I've had dry skin for more than half my life and didn't even know it, baha! I'm having to learn how to love the mosquitos (sp?) as much as they love me, though...haha!

Right now, we are teaching Mike. The sisters have been teaching him since last September (I think), and he just set a baptism day for October 16!!! Yay!!! We're all super excited for him! He is rock solid! He hasn't missed a day of church since General Conference in April; he reads his scriptures every day; he prays...he's just amazing!

Oh, one thing I heard while I was in the MTC was that it might be a better idea for y'all to pick me up from the airport in Phoenix instead of flying to Atlanta to pick me up. I would still be a missionary here in Georgia, so I'd still be having to follow the rules and stuff, and I wouldn't be able to do the things that I'm sure you'd like us to do in Atlanta. So I've been thinking maybe it would be good for me to fly to Phoenix, and then a month or two later, we could all fly to Atlanta? What do y'all think?

I haven't gotten any letters yet, so sorry if you've asked questions and I'm not answering them here! I think I'll be getting mail either tomorrow or Wednesday...we'll see what happens! :) But how are y'all doing? I miss you tons!!! Chris, are you getting excited for England? Less than a month away now! Have you talked to Joan at all? I wrote her a note in the MTC, I hope she got it! Were you able to upload the pictures to the blog? Sorry, so many questions! How are Grandma and Grandpa doing? I'm going to try to write each of them a note today. Tell them I love and miss them! And Carly's married!!!! I was thinking of her allll day on Saturday!!!

Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers all the time!!! I love and miss you soooo much!!! I love being a missionary, and I'm so happy to be here!!! 18 months seems like a long time, but I hope I don't waste a single minute of it!

Love y'all!!!

Sister Crowe

Rebecca's last e-mail from the MTC

Hello Everyone:

Rebecca just sent us this e-mail today from her last p-day in the MTC; apparently, she had some computer troubles that day...

(Hey y'all! Here's my last e-mail from the MTC; sorry it didn't get sent! The computer froze up on me...bummer! But now you get double the joy this week! :) Love you!!!)

Hi Mom, Dad, and Chris!!

Sooo we got our travel plans last week!!! I fly out on Tuesday, Sept. 7. I have to be at the Travel Office here at the MTC at 5am!!! My plane leaves from Salt Lake City at 8:25am and we get to Atlanta at 2:10pm; I'll be on Delta, 2391. I'm sooooo excited!!!

There's sooo much I want to tell you guys, I don't even know where to start! The MTC is still amazing--I love it here! I'm excited to get to Atlanta, but I'm definitely going to miss the MTC. There's such a special spirit here that you can't find anywhere else, and I looove my district. We're like a family, and we're all split up between three different missions. We're already talking about a district reunion when we finish our missions! I've actually had a cold this past week; it started coming on last Tuesday night, but I'm almost completely 100% better now, yay! The food is still great, too--maybe a little too good, though...I'm noticing a bit of a pooch in my tummy, and we heard last night that the average weight gain at the MTC over three weeks is 5 lbs. Woohoo! Oh, and they had shepherd's pie one day last week for lunch!!! It made me happy! It wasn't as good as yours, Dad, but it was still pretty tasty. Oh, and guess what? I played volleyball with my district on Saturday...haha!!! I totally wish I could see y'all's faces right now! :) It was actually a lot of fun, and I only got hit in the face with the ball one time, woohoo!! :) It was fine, though, and I was laughing a ton!

Oh, and I've gotten to venture out into the real world a couple of times!!! Sister Jones had an ingrown toenail she had to have taken care of, so we got to go on a couple of field trips yesterday and Saturday. We went to the BYU health clinic and the Rite Aid on Saturday, and we went to a podiatrist yesterday. The Rite Aid was crazy!!! It was so weird seeing a ton of people without name tags and talking on cell phones and stuff, and of course they were playing music in there...so weird!!! It was also pretty funny, because I had to sit in the room with Sister Jones while the podiatrist worked on her toenail...I saw one drop of blood and that was enough for me, I stared out the window the rest of the time, haha! And I saw a Georgia license plate yesterday!!! I got sooo excited!!!

We have two new sisters in our room, Sister Anderson and Sister Bartholomew, both going to the Czech Republic. They are so fun and cute, and Sister Anderson (she's from Kaysville, UT) knows Sister Cottrell!!!

Oh my goodness, so every Tuesday night, we have a devotional. Guess who spoke last week??? Elder Holland!!!!! It was amazing!!! He talked about what a great experience the mission is, and he said it's not going to be easy, but we shouldn't expect it to be. Salvation wasn't cheap; the Savior went through so much for each of us, and as His disciples, we should be willing to go through our own personal Gethsemane. It really put things into perspective for me. And at the start of the devotional, we sang some prelude music. There were 2200 missionaries packed into the gym singing "Army of Helaman." Soooo amazing!!! I hope I never forget it! Oh, and there was a cello solo, "O Divine Redeemer." It was sooo beautiful! I don't know if it would be on YouTube, but y'all should try to look it up!

Sister Jones leaves for Colorado Springs on Monday...I'm sure going to miss her! I'll be in a tripanionship with Sister Marshall and Sister Vanderhooft for our last full day in the MTC, and then I'll be a "solo sister" until I meet my trainer in Atlanta.

Let's see, what else...oh, thank you so much for the letters! I love hearing about what y'all have been up to! Dad, I'm so glad you're feeling better!! And Mom!!! You have two callings!!! Greeter and Relief Society Committee!!! Yayyy, I'm so happy for you!!! Don't be nervous, you will do great!!! I remember I was so nervous when I was on the student council at the institute, and there were some days I felt like I couldn't do it, but...1 Nephi 3:7! Heavenly Father will provide a way! Don't get discouraged!

Please tell everyone back home that I love them and miss them, and thank you for the thoughts and prayers!!! It really means a lot! Give my love to Sweet Ponda and Lynn and Cindy Jane! I feel bad, there are so many people I want to write but I only have so much time on P-day...but I will try to send each of them a note real soon! Oh, and I've been taking pictures, too--I will start e-mailing some home when I get to Georgia!

I think that's about it for this week...I love y'all and miss you soooo much!!! I love it here at the MTC, and I'm excited to get to Georgia and apply everything that I've been learning! The gospel is true and Heavenly Father's love for us is real! Yay!

Love you!!!!!

Sister Crowe