Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple

Monday, August 3, 2015

Keep the faith

It's been an awesome week!
I'm So Scared to turn 20 next week! I mean 21 is ok but 20? So old. Elder Rushton's Birthday is on the 10th so we are going to celebrate together next P-Day:) This next week, starting tonight...haha we have absolutely full of appointments which is really awesome and I'm excited for more teaching opportunities! So last Monday we kind of bummed it around downtown, went to the top of city hall and tried to find some new cool places! We found CROWLEY RD. here in Buffalo so that was sweet haha. Tuesday we had a great lesson with a man named R. He says everything he reads in the Book of Mormon answers his question that he has.... I said "Well Elder Page is a new Missionary, and it would be good practice for him to teach, so since you know a lot already could we 'practice teaching with you?" haha he said he would love too! So Elder Page led the Restoration lesson and we both bore a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon! The spirit was strong and It was just one of those moments. It's funny how people just are so afraid to seek for more knowledge and GROW! We visited referrals the rest of the day and then had a lesson with B G. We tried to keep that fire lit under her since no one at her house is a member. We watched the "Our Eternal Life video" and it always makes get a little emotional because a lot of people don't know about the PLAN! Ugh we have to share it!
Wednesday we had a bunch of awesome appointments and they all fell through! It was also extremely hot and we biked all over our area! Thursday we had District meeting, and President and Sister Francis came! I trained on developing Christlike attributes, and we had an awesome discussion! The Spirit was strong. After my training President and Sister Francis did a little training on working with the low hanging fruit. And how to deal with some of the present challenges in our ward. President was truly inspired because he talked about some experiences that he had on his mission. I think It really gave some motivation! I was just praying that the things he would say would have an impact on our District! And they DID! President taught a lot out of Preach My Gospel, some of my favorite things were.... " Sometimes we can't take them out of the ghetto, but we can take the ghetto out them." Or he talked about when working with members teach doctrine and then ask who do you know that has recently 1. Lost a loved one 2. Had a new baby come to the family 3. Recently moved into the neighborhood 4. Is having difficulty dealing with troubled teenagers? Ehem...EVERYONE! Haha But President coming was such a blessing and I know that we can get out there and do it with the Lord on our side as we continue to set our hand to the plough! Friday we had a great weekly planning session! Elder page said " weekly planning seems like it really does help" YES it does! Planning is the difference between good, better, and best results in most cases. We have to plan, and then follow through! I have a testimony of planning even though I have never liked to plan things in my life haha, I've always been more of a list kind of person. But I'm grateful for opportunities to learn and watch the miracles happen, and they have happened:) We helped a new member of our ward move in! His name is I M and he is from Brazil ( Returned missionary, young wife and baby) he is going to be getting his PHD is Musical Compostion from UB! But he was so grateful for the help, and he took us out for lunch at Wendy's:) Siiiick! I really want to be a member like some of these new couples that we have here in our ward when I get home! They know what's right, choose to live the gospel through thick and thin, and they have a sense of purpose and peace even in stressful situations like school. The rest of the day we had ward correlation meeting, and then we went around Lakawana looking for less actives and part member families! Saturday was a good day! We went out to lunch with Miss D S, and had a really spiritual lesson with her. We read Ether 12 and talked about how Faith is what enables us to do the things that Heavenly Father asks of us! It's a principle of action! We talked about the promise that she received in her blessing a couple weeks ago! (The blessing where she was promised that her family had accepted the Gospel and are waiting for her to do that work for them in temples). She said "I've been wantin' to acks you about that promise." She said that after the blessing she felt an overwhelming peace and a feeling of calm and assurance that everything was going to be alright. We asked her what her testimony of the Book of Mormon was, and she said she knew it was true and that she had received an answer that Joseph Smith did indeed restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is going to pray about whether or not she needs to get baptized. She is so prepared! We also let her know that it's not between us and her but that it is between her and the LORD! I can't wait to see what happens next week as she acts on the promptings of the spirit.:) Happy Sunday! Brother S (awesome convert family of two years) was called as the Elders quorum President. I felt the spirit so strong when he was ordained by President Pace in Elders quorum. The Gospel TRULY blesses families! We can progress, make it through hard trials, become better, be clean, have the priesthood, perform saving ordinances for God's children, have peace, experience true joy, and SO many things! I just can't even comprehend all the aspects of the Gospel that bless my life, I was happy for the S:) after church we did studies and then went out to talk to some people! We had an awesome chat with a man named R who we have an appointment with next week. He is getting married and starting his own family, so it is perfect timing to learn about the Gospel! "And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end." -Alma 38:2 Love Elder Crowley

The whip

Hey Yous! So I am just not really that motivated to write this week even though it has been an awesome week! Haha I'm not really sure if that makes sense! The mission is starting to feel a little faster, President refers to it as a roll of toilet paper haha it gets faster the more it goes along, until one day it just roles off the cardboard.
So last Monday we had a pretty fun P-day at the Amherst building, we played V-ball basketball and ran around like crazies haha. Tuesday we were finding a lot, and went downtown to meet with B(owner of Shea's theatre), so Elder Page and I sat on a bench and handed out two Book of Mormons and talked to three less actives number just sitting on a BENCH! B got stuck in a meeting so we went to our next appointment, with T and had a new member lesson with him.:) We had an awesome lesson! We went more in depth with the Restoration, and talked about doing baptisms in the temple; which he was able to do on Thursday! Yay! While we were in our lesson we got a text from B saying that his meeting got out earlier and he wanted to meet! But it was too LATE! So that was frustrating. Wednesday morning we contacted a bunch of people and it was a struggle because hardly anybody was home but we had more success in the afternoon! We found a former investigator named B who could be awesome! We have an appointment with him tomorrow:) the only thing that would be hard for him is that he doesn't like going downtown, so church attendance would be a little hard. But we also planted a few Book of Mormons So I was happy about that:) I just want Elder Page to have some good teaching opportunities so he can get really involved and swallowed up in the work! We have so much fun together with all our inside jokes and weird things we do haha. We are going to start writing a book called "your apartment is a gym." Lol not really that funny, but it is to us! Lol But anyway later that night we had a lesson with one of our less actives M K. I had a really precious moment with one of the three year olds. He came over and sat right next to me, I played some bible videos for him and he said "I love Jesus" and he was like looking up at me asking questions it was so cute. Haha Thursday we had District meeting and ward correlation. I trained on using time wisely, and we set district goals. President Francis called and said that he and his wife would like to come to our District meeting this week. So President will be there this Thursday! Fun fun! We went to Duffs ( the big Wing place out here) and it was so good! Except I spilled sauce on my shirt haha. That night we went with the Kenmore Elders to the New Age bible study. And it was a really great chance to talk about some of our similarities and how awesome the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. Friday we did our studies; then went to help a family move out of the ward. We called it "Elder Page's training wheel move" haha then we then went to do service at an food bank downtown, it was cool because the food bank used to be an old mansion from the early 1900's. It wasn't too bad except for they had these rotten, and juicy potatoes that were donated that we had to move and it was just nasty! After that we changed into our proselyting clothes and met K H (the less active that we met on the bus) for a lesson. We talked about the importance of the temple and we challenged him to read the Book of Mormon (he reads everyday) with the focus of, figuring out what the difference between peoples attitude towards the gospel was. As he continues to come to church and get back on the path that he knows he wants to be on, I know that K will be a lot happier and taste of the joy that accompanies living the gospel! That night we had a great dinner with the C. They were so nice, and they really were some uplifting members to be around. They are the type of people who just make you feel awesome when your around them. Then to finish off the night we conducted exchanges with he Buffalo Spanish Elders. I went with Elder Reed downtown and Elder Neil came to Eggert with Elder Page. Elder Page was like " I don't even know the area! Haha" and I told him that "I had Faith" haha :) Saturday was an awesome day I really tried to focus on helping Spanish find some new people to teach, so we went ham on their area! (We planted 5 Book of Mormons in an hour and a half!) So long story short Elder Page has been talking about this dance called "The Whip" And for some reason we have been hearing the song that does the whip everywhere! (Cars stopped at a light, McDonald's Wifi grabs..etc). So I said "I have to learn the Whip" So Elder page kind of just explained it a little. And it came in handy while on Exchanges. While Elder Reed and I were walking by this house, their was a family sitting on the porch and enjoying one another's company. As we were walking past we just waved hello and kept on walking but I felt like I should go back and ask them how to do the whip. So we walked back and I told them who we were, and said that we just wanted to see what this whole whip hype was all about. Suddenly one of the girls goes and backs her car into the driveway and says " get me my phone!... there is no way you guys don't know how to do the whip you are playing with us." So she plugs her phone in and then just describes it to us (without showing us how to do it) and then told us to do the whip. Haha In my head I was like "Oh boy we can't not do the whip now". So Elder Reed and I broke it down and did the whip, and everyone starts screaming and hooting lol it was SO funny. I'm pretty sure one of the kids recorded it so if that video pops up watch out haha. But after they had a few laughs we taught a restoration lesson gave away the rest of our Book of Mormons and got all their information. And Buffalo Spanish has a return appointment with them tonight! Crazy haha Sunday we sang 'I need thee every hour' in Sacrament meeting, and were just really busy haha We got invited to B B-day party but it was at this really expensive restaurant and it was on Sunday obviously so we didn't go... But hopefully we can meet soon! "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." -Ether 12:4 Love, Elder Crowley

I got a good one

Hello my name is Elder 'Crowley' and I would like to share with you the most amazing Book,(First line of the Book of Mormon musical) First of all after a successful delivery and much labor, "my first born in the wilderness" was born! My trainee is named Elder Bridger Page, he is from Gilbert AZ! Elder Page loves to golf, read, have fun, snowboard when he can, travel, and he is super smart. He is the absolute BEST new companion I could ask for. He has a great excitement, and desire to be out here. We hit it off great starting from transfer meeting, and I already warned him that I was crazy!
Yes Senior couples can have a HUGE effect on a ward! The M (Senior couple in the NF ward) have helped the L with temple names, and bought them a fridge. They take the missionaries to places they can't get too, he help locate less actives, and are just such a big asset to the ward. It just comes down to getting creative, magnifying your calling, developing relationships, keeping busy, and not getting discouraged! Sometimes senior couples can do more than young missionaries! I've seen it done, and continuing:) So I'm going to write some details from the week but I want to focus on helping Elder Page have fun on his first P-day, so It might not be as long. So yes Tuesday it was pouring rain and we packed Elder Durfee and then met at the Amherst building. I helped Elder Hawes pack everyone's stuff into the Zone leaders truck and Kenmore's van so we could take it to transfer meeting. I drove the Van out to Pittsford and the Zone leaders drove the truck. I love that drive, it's so green and hilly. Transfer meeting was great but really long, After it was announced who I was training we hugged it out, and then sat down for the rest of transfer meeting. After transfer meeting we went to get garbage plates (it's a Rochester thing) and I was trying to make Elder Page feel like this would be the best time of his life, introducing him to everyone and then on the way home we had a long drive to talk about some aspects of the work. What he's excited or nervous about. It was just really awesome:) Wednesday we had a great morning program and study session, boy he was tired though! Haha I don't blame him. That morning we started the 12 week program (which is the training program for new missionaries, I love it) and we role played. I took the role of Mrs. G. We practiced teaching her how to pray and teaching for understanding. He was dying laughing! haha he kept saying "wow you're an amazing actor" haha he's so nice. Then we went with our district shopping and Elder Page and I decided we were going to buy to get good at cooking! Sick! After that we made a TON of calls and went to go visit people. It was awesome to watch Elder Page's reaction to things as we were biking through the ghetto. We were able to give out three Book of Mormons that afternoon. And Sister M took us out for New Fuji. Thursday we had 12 week meeting with president and the APs and our trainees. Elder Cashmore who was the previous AP just opened up Niagara Falls as its own area with a new trainee. But at the 12 week meeting President really talked us up as trainers, he said that he and the APs prayed about the people that were going to train for six weeks; and they picked people they would want to train them. Yikes! So I hope I can live up to everything Elder Page needs to be a successful missionary! Haha After the meeting we came home and made Chicken salad sandwich yum! We then had district meeting and, ward correlation meeting. I think something stood out to me that day would be that when teaching someone we need to help the person have spiritual experiences themselves, and making them feel like they came up with the idea. After he meeting M M called us and flat out dropped us. Haha not fun, but hey that's missionary work. Friday We still did get to go to Pageant because Elder page had to go for himself. And it was just as incredible as any other time:) my favorite part is when the Savior comes after the Nephites destruction and you just hear this powerful, piercing, but ever so soft..."Behold.....I am Jesus Christ." The spirit is so strong. Well Saturday morning Elder Page and I were able to sleep in (I didn't know you were supposed to get 8 hours of sleep, I've always got up early if we had to stay up late for something like the Book of Mormon play, or a blessing haha) and then went out to our appointment with C. Elder Page committed her to baptism:). Not too sure how it will work out We then were able to talk to this awesome Muslim man named S, and give him a Book of Mormon. He read it the whole bus ride home! Awesome. That night for dinner we made a big chicken taco dinner, we are so Pro! Haha not really but we are working on it.
Sunday Ward council was interesting. And It was Elder Page's first time in Elders quorum, gospel doctrine, or a ward council. At Church I have been trying really hard to build relationships in the ward so we gave a bunch of thank you cards away for various things that people in the ward do. And now we have 4 dinner appointments Lol my idea for this next week is to knock on a members door and say "we are going to be working in your area today and then at the end of the day we will come back and just briefly describe some of our experiences." Hopefully that will help them taste the work and get them excited about things going on in their neighborhoods with THEIR neighbors! So I basically love Elder Page he is a blessing from Heavenly Father, and I feel like I'm training a version of Ethan. Even though these first few days haven't gone as planned with our investigators being flakey, I am going to show Elder Page that being a missionary is fun, we need to have a purpose, and to "love the lord and serve him the very best you can." Love you guys! Elder Crowley

Hill Cumorah Pageant and a Son

Hey Yous! So this week has been really good but not as good for appointments and things going very smoothly haha! You just never know what your week is going to be like here. But we have been getting some meal appointments this week! Transfer calls were this morning and we are all staying except for Elder Durfee (he is going down to Wellsville with Elder Fields) I reserved an appointment at the buffalo library in the rare books section today. They have an original Book of Mormon that you can touch and read from under a specialists supervision! How cool is that?
I will send pictures later. Tomorrow are transfers and my SIX MONTHS! Time to burn a tie!:)
Monday we played V-ball and basketball at the Raintree island apartments (Kenmore's apartment) we were going to meet with B that night but it fell through so I was pretty bummed about that! But hopefully we get to meet him this week:) Tuesday we did a last minute exchange, because no other day of the week was going to work and I wanted to make sure I exchanged with everyone in the district! So that night Elder Neil came to our area and Elder Durfee went to Buffalo Spanish. We didn't have time to grab Elder Neil's stuff so he came to our apartment and slept on Elder Durfee's bare mattress using a shirts as a blanket haha it was so sad! I wish I would have taken a picture haha. All our appointments fell through, and I felt bad because every other exchange I have worked all day! Just so they can feel what our area is like :) haha. But we were able to see L , and follow up on her reading of the Book of Mormon! It then rained the rest of the afternoon and we just barely caught the bus before it started really coming down! Wednesday was zone meeting and Elder Christenson(brown hair in Palmyra pictures) and Elder Haws (bright blonde in pictures) did a great job on their training. They wanted to lighten up the mood a little bit and have people get out of their comfort zone! They stole my idea for a training! We played improv games and applied them to various street contacting approaches in which we try to plant the Book of Mormon! :) It was so fun! I loved it. And it really got people thinking out of the box which was awesome! haha after zone meeting we all went to Chipotle in Amherst (that's the nice area in Buffalo haha) and everyone was looking at us like "what is this army of Mormons doing here?" Haha it was really great to be with everyone. I got sick sometime last weekend! Haha we just had this horrible cough, sore throat, congestion, and it wasn't very fun. haha I think Wednesday afternoon was when Elder Durfee finally got it! But he got it really bad (he was basically sick for the rest of the week poor Durf). We had a dinner appointment with the H family from our ward with all the other Elders! They have a very colorful house and a bunch of cute kids. After that we went to the E (a new couple from BYU-I that are working through his first job in construction management) apartment because we want to build relationships with the ward more. Their apt. was SO COOL! As Elder Durfee would say it was "very cool and hipster". Haha the Building was an old water plant that was turned into a bunch of apartments. They have this huge window and and its all rustic but new! It's sweet. But we had a great lesson with them! Long story short I told them that we didn't want any referrals but we wanted to see how we could help them in their missionary efforts. We ended up role playing with N (the wife) how she could invite one of her friends to Pageant! Will see how it goes:) While we were walking home I got a call from President Francis and I knew exactly what it was about. Haha he says "Elder Crowley can you take the phone off speaker?......The Lord has called you to train a new missionary, would you be willing to accept this important responsibility?!" I told him no. Just kidding haha of course I said YES, so I will be training a new missionary and I will find out which one at transfer meeting tomorrow! Exciting but also a little stressful:) After that we met up with Elder Christenson and Haws for our Zone leader exchange! Well it poured all day Thursday and Elder Durfee was sick as a dog, so he and Elder Haws stayed inside all day. Elder Christenson and I ended up just visiting a bunch of people that are hard to reach, since we had the car:) It was really nice to be in our area with a car. Unfortunately no one was home or anything but hey we tried our best!:) S called us right as we were about to exchange back that night and she wanted us to go give someone related to J a blessing In ICU. It was really cool to see that S would call us and have faith and trust that the Priesthood will heal those who are sick and afflicted. So the ZLs While we were giving the blessing Elder Haws hit the button (on the side) that lifts up the bed and the lady we were giving a blessing to just starts sitting up! It was kind of funny because we walked out of there and Elder Haws said "I can't believe I hit that button, how embarrassing! Haha" Friday morning we had the Train the Trainers meeting which I was LATE to! Because I thought It was Thursday again, and Elder Durfee was sick in bed. So Kenmore Elders ran us over to the Amherst building! It was a really good opportunity to learn from President and listen to some Mission President Seminar talks from the apostles, about trainers. I'm super excited! But I guess it's just kind of that parent feeling of like "what If I don't raise him right?" Haha it's funny because you are their Mission Dad right? So all week everyone has been saying that I am "with child" haha after the meeting I fixed President's I-phone so I didn't feel so bad that I showed up late. Plus he knows Elder Durfee is sick and so he understands :) After the meeting Elder Woerner went with me to go give a blessing to Miss S one of our investigators. We had a nice lesson with her before in which we talked about baptism, the priesthood, and read Mosiah 18. In the blessing the Spirit was so strong! Elder Woerner anointed and I sealed the blessing. It was amazing how the spirit was able to speak through me while we were giving the blessing. During the blessing she was promised that her family had already accepted the Gospel and that they were waiting for her to perform that work for them in temples. I was kind of hesitant to give that promise during the blessing but once it was confirmed to me that It was not my promise but that It was from the spirit, there was a power and undeniable peace that came over all of us. As we walked away I thought 1. Wow what a promise! And 2. We had done the Lord's will. :) We had Dinner with the C which was fun, and then after that played Volleyball with the 'New Age' (the other group of missionaries that live by the Kenmore Elders) missionaries. We invited them to Pageant, so I hope they can go! Saturday!:) Probably my favorite day, because we were able to go to Pageant!!!!
(we get to go once for ourselves, and two times with an investigator). We went with Buffalo YSAs (so our Zone Leaders) investigator named M he loves the missionaries and has been paying his tithing for months now! Super solid. We went and hurried around the sights, and went to Chill and Grill (the place with the HUGE ice cream cones) before Pageant started. When we were walking back to our car from the Book of Mormon publishing site this person drove up on the curb and honked really loud! He was trying to run Elder Haws and I over but what was amazing was we didn't EVEN flinch! In my head I was like "RUN ME OVER I DARE YOU" haha but once we got to the Hill it was definitely different being a missionary! As we were walking up the Antis were just railing on us but we just smiled and waved:) and I felt a little bad but as soon as we got to the top of the little hill that leads into the bowl where all the seats are, about 50 little kids wearing Nephites clothes (from the cast) came running to us screaming "MISSIONARIES!!!!" They were hugging us, jumping on us, and welcoming us from the Antis it was so awesome. It was such a difference of Christlike joy and love:) It just felt like we were famous! Haha I asked "who is going on a mission?!" and the kids were all saying "Me me me me!" What a joy it was to be able to be strong and bear the name of Jesus Christ on our chests and then to be amongst others who are trying to come closer to Christ as well:) Pageant was awesome and the spirit was SO strong! I can't wait to go this week with some of our investigators! We just have to find rides!
I love the Lord and I can't wait for new adventures with my new SON! "No in hallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." Love, Elder Crowley

Fossils in freezers

Happy Sixth of July! Well I hope your Fourth of July weekend was fun and that you were able to remember why we really celebrate Independence Day. I do remember going to that rodeo, (I saw a kid get kicked in the face) the parade up there and having a blast. Chris Matson pulling the boat and leading the ward Parade. I remember our awesome US history trip and being able to have the best Fourth of July Ever! And I loved going to the top of Pikes Peak last year for the fourth as well. Fourth of July (and Pioneer Day) is my favorite holiday except for Easter and Christmas. Almost a week until transfers and my six month mark!:) Elder Durfee has been doing this super hard core southern accent all week! Haha I have been horrible at writing in my journal lately, so I am going to write the things I remember based on our Area Book Planner :) haha Also since our Book of Mormon challenge on June 19th I am almost halfway through the Book of Mormon and am loving the process of highlighting the Savior's name, focusing on Christlike attributes, and when the savior speaks. It is truly evident that NO other book can testify of the Savior like the Book of Mormon can!:) This week has been filled to the BRINK! Tuesday: Our area book now gets all our Headquarter referrals from and we recieved all the ones from the past year and a half, so needless to say there is a lot of names to go through. So that morning I made call after call seeing who had been contacted, who needs stuff still, and who hated our guts :) then we went to a couple lessons. We were riding by this house and this guy (named M) yells out "y'all got some knowledge?" I pulled off to the side and I said "well we aren't that smart but we do have an important message to share." We taught the Restoration on the porch with M and all his nephews. It was super cool because we got the kids all involved and excited about Joseph Smith being their age. I said "who here is fourteen here?" And all these kids yell out their age!:) at the end one of the kids said "I love Jesus" while looking at our name tag, "I do too" I said. :) There are moments like these when you can't help but feel like a true messenger of the Lord sent to teach his children the words of eternal life, and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful to be apart of such small miracles, where the spirit can manifest to me how important each one of us is to our Heavenly Father. Later that night we ran to another one of our appointments with a man named J who knows the Bible really well and just had a bunch of questions about the priesthood and if Christ really is our Savior today. It is interesting to watch how the people we work with literally explain the need for a restoration and then we are able to teach that it has occurred! I told him that a lot of his answers have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that next time we meet I will have answers ready for him from JST and The Pearl of Great Price. Wednesday: We had an amazing lesson with a guy named B who was a referral from some other Elders who he had met out somewhere I forgot! haha we taught him the Restoration and he was loving it and said he just felt so peaceful and like God was pulling him towards him. We told him that if he was willing to act on the things we invited him to do, that he would feel even happier and more blessings would flow. Elder Durfee extended a baptismal invitation to him and he said that he thinks that he will get there He just needs to pray about it. But he was so excited after we left that I can definitely see him taking that step. We met up with the Zone Leaders (I love Elder Haws and Christenson) for lunch and we decided that we would blitz our area and help them with their service project:) so we helped this lady renovate her house, and I felt all manly that I could change out electric plugs and lay down flooring and stuff Haha because I didn't think I could remember but then from my times helping with Dad I somehow remembered! So thanks Dad! Haha While Elder Christenson and Durfee finished up at the House, Elder Haws and I changed back into our Proselyting clothes and tried to visit some people. But no one was home unfortunately. Thursday-Sunday get crazy so I am going to type as much as I can without my head hurting! haha SO Thursday we recruited the Kenmore Elders for a Headquarter referral that Sister K wanted us to go visit on the DAY she gave it to us! So we got down there and it was a nice family who was moving in from Idaho who needed some help moving in. So first of all they were the nicest people, I really could potentially see them getting baptized, and I love service (all the missionaries can attest to that) They had a semi full to the top and they were moving upstairs to this apartment duplex! It was stacked to the ceiling with stuff. Every box was at least 70 pounds each, we weighed one that was 115 POUNDS! Which I know that doesn't sound like a lot but in the summer heat up stairs it was... When we got about halfway through the Semi we find these three outdoor freezers! The first two were a beast to get up the stairs but the last one was twice as big and not only full of food but full (to the top!) of ice. We had to chisel each individual bag of corn, meat, out of the ice (with a screw driver.. no exaggeration) and then haul it up the stairs. At one point her bags of flour that she froze were so wet that they just ripped all over me! I was laughing so hard. (It still makes me laugh until I cry). So because that went so long we missed district meeting and had our ward missionary correlation smelling like rotten meat, with flour, and mouse poop all over us. Brother M was like "what happened to you guys?" Oh and Elder Woerner left his bus pass tucked inside a Book of Mormon and left it on the windshield of this mini van outside the house and it was gone! (The passes are $75) So I told him that something awesome was going to come out of it haha. On our way home we got Elder Woerner a day metro pass. Friday: I had the privilege of going on exchanges with Elder Woerner (pronounced liked Warner, who is the ASL Elder in our district) it was a great exchange and He said that he definitely needed it and learned a lot.:) We had three different major appointments that were on opposite ends of our area so I was praying that we were going to be able to meet them all! After a lot of confusion that morning we were able to meet up with the L at Taco Bell. It was very good to see them and S told me that she had talked to you mom and was felt like Heavenly Father was reaching out to her through you, M, myself, and the F. Elder Woerner and I biked to our lesson with L K (the lady who we gave a blessing to and had an awesome Lesson with on Father's Day) and we taught her the Plan of Salvation. She had lots of questions about what she has been reading,(her Book of Mormon is all highlighted) and said that she prays multiple times a day! She started out with two questions about polygamy, and if women are equal in the church. Which we know the answers to both of those questions. She wasn't sure exactly what happens after we die so the spirit world and the kingdoms of glory were new and very interesting to her. She recieved the message well and you can tell that she wants to take steps to come closer to Christ. M in the Lancaster ward might be helping her get a place out there so eventually her records might move over to the Lancaster Elders. We then ran to the rest of our appointments for the day and all of them were out shopping for the Fourth haha! But we went to this awesome hole in the wall Jamaican restaurant, because some guy said it was good. Haha it was SO spicy and I have had this sore throat for the past couple days so needless to say Elder Woerner kept laughing at me haha Saturday: MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY! Happy Independence Day!:) We started out the morning at the church. I was able to do my first baptismal interview with the Buffalo Sapnish Elders investigator named I! It was such a spiritual experience, to sit and talk with her. She has read the Book of Mormon twice! She will be getting baptized next Sunday. What a blessing it was to hear how her life has changed because of the gospel; the hope and power the Book of Mormon has brought into her life. I have truly gained a testimony of the power of ministering while administering:) As we were about to get on the metro I got a call from D N (a member from my last ward) and he said "did you guys leave a Book of Mormon on the windshield of a car?" I was like yes! He said that was his friends car and he has been talking to her for years about the gospel, and that she called him wondering if he sent the missionaries. So in order to get Elder Woerner's bus pass back we have to visit her:) and she lives right next door to the people we helped move! We then went to help the Kenmore Elders move in a Younger girl named K that needs help moving into a new apartment. And apparently her family left the church when she was young so I don't know if she has even been baptized but I think the Kenmore Elders will help her progress very well:). We booked it to pick up the Spanish Elders and then head over to miss D S (mine and Elder Durfee's investigator) who fed us this huge home cooked meal! It was awesome. We then went and helped the family who we helped earlier in the week finish their move down in Lakawana. Haha When we showed up Elder Durfee said "LDS movers!" haha we then went and met the H family and some ward members at this house for another BBQ. It was so fun and the kids made all these water balloons for a water fight. Sister H got so soaked by Elder Eastman and so she told me to dump marshmallow fluff on his head! Haha it was awesome, I ran for my life! Everyone kept saying "how can you run that fast?" Lol I was like "did no one pay attention to me dumping the fluff on his head?" After that we changed into our Pros. Clothes and braved the crowds at the canal side of Buffalo and Canada for Fireworks with the Zone Leaders. President gave us permission to stay out and watch a firework show and then head home! I was grateful for that:) Sunday: We had a less active of ten years who we met on the bus come to church:) yay! We had a great fast and testimony meeting, this lady named sister C (she is from South America and is one of the most passionate converts I've ever met) went up and said "PLEASE feed the missionaries they are SO hungry." lol I felt bad because it looked like we had payed her to go up and say that. Haha we had a long combined second hour in which we read the recent statement from the First Presidency regarding the Supreme Courts decision on same-sex marriage. It was a very good, Christ centered, and well directed conversation from people with all kinds of views in our ward. Bishop Van Ry truly was inspired while facilitating the conversation and directing it towards our savior, just the same as any other topic. It would take too long to explain but It was just such a good meeting:) I honestly don't care about getting fed as much as I care about developing relationships with the members! So yay for finally getting to know more members:) That afternoon Elder Durfee and I had a Liner with the D Family (really awesome family from Utah) and on their wall they had this old map with pins of everywhere they have been in the world and It was exactly what I want in my home:) Well here we are at the end of the week and I am SO tired but I feel like we have "fought the good fight" for this week. But we ain't done yet! Yous Guys just wait! Love, Elder Crowley

Life changing coffee shops

First of all Happy Birthday to Bethany! I hope you have the best day ever and that you know that I'm sending my love from New York! Did you get my card?! Buffalo has really tall buildings, a little like Denver except older. But we are on the East side where there aren't any tall buildings. They have turned most of these houses in duplexes. Bailey ave the Main Street through our area is the really ghetto area. Bars on windows and such. We need to nourish our spirits just as much as our bodies! Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to all be perfect he only expects us to try:) Weakness is not a sin. Nephi said "Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities." 2Nephi 4:17 We learn that even Christ had weakness, but not sin like us. This week.... Monday for P-day we went back to Niagara Falls then up to Lewiston, for the people who just came from Rochester and haven't seen it yet! It was fun to watch them look at it because they all looked like little kids, it was presh. And by the way I've been meaning to say this but Rochester is pronounced like one word not like RAW Chester. I guess that's how you tell a New Yorker from a Westerner. Lol Tuesday we met a barber who was super cool and nice! He was born in Italy and knows French, German, English, Polish, Spanish, and ASL (Elder Woerner in our district is also an ASL missionary so we have been learning sign language) and he cuts hair, can cook, and other cool things; a very diverse guy. Anyway he asked us a bunch of questions about the gospel and after a while he was a little too smart, so I said "your a member" and he said "yes I am haha I am in the Amherst ward." (In his Italian accent) so It was nice to at least meet a friendly face. But Elder Durfee and I ran around like crazies trying to meet people, but no one was home! Blah! isn't that fun when no one answers their phone or answers their door? :) we WERE able to plant two Book of Mormons in the hearts of two people though so I was happy about that:) then we made some calls for L K. Wednesday we had a repeat of Tuesday with people not answering anything. Except one guy named D we thought was going to be solid but it turns out he is like super into his church and was on his way to bible he couldn't meet. Lol we ran into all these little ghetto kids (because school JUST got out here) and they were hounding us to buy their lemonade, but I didn't have any cash I felt SO bad haha Thursday we had District meeting and the spirit told me to discard my training and go over the talk "Swallowed up in the will of the Father" by Neal A. Maxwell from Oct. 1995. It was truly inspired, I also had been looking for on of my favorite quotes by him (I believe you sent it to me once Mom:) ) which I will write at the end of the letter. But it was so sad in area reports to hear the Spanish Elders share their experience of their investigator who had a baptism date just drop them! Flat out just dropped them that morning! After District meeting we took the train back up to Lasalle and met with Miss G; it was a great lesson because we committed her to come to church (which is the LAST thing she needs to be ready for baptism) and she said "as long as your there to greet me at the door, I'll be there." Yay! Hopefully she comes. After that we went over to the H home for dinner with all the other Elders and on the way we listened to a talk about a man who will be a third David (stem, rod, root) in these the latter days, and he shall prepare the way of the lord. He will be great in politics, a leader in military, and spiritual things. I don't know I'll have to study it more. But anyway after dinner we were locked out of our apartment so we had to go to N. Tonawanda to get a key! Wow have they really changed the apartment, and yes I got to see M!:) #whatablessing Friday was a great day we had a lesson with D S who was a teenager in the civil rights movement down in the south! She LIVED it! She is such a nice lady and It is crazy to think some of the things that went on in this country. Anyway the lesson was awesome because we were able to resolve some concerns with her feeling unworthy to be baptized. We discussed the talk "You know enough" by Neil L. Andersen. We are going to help her read her scriptures by calling her everyday. She says she knows the Book of Mormon is true, but just needs to "make time fo da word." As she would say:) but she gave us a couple bags of fruit and cans of chicken which came in handy for our next appointment downtown, because when the homeless people asked me for a dollar and I had no cash I just ended up giving them all our food haha. (Highlight of my week) We had a CRAZY good lesson with B (the owner of Shea's theater, who would always come and talk to us during the Book of Mormon shows, and was super cool) We got a text earlier in the week because he wanted the pictures that we took at the show, and it ended up turning out to a little coffee get together! (No Elder Durfee and I did not break the word of wisdom haha and it was downtown out of our area) We were going to go with a bunch of Elders because we all were there for the show, but I prayed before hand and felt like it should just be Elder Durfee and I. At first our conversation was just about how some of us are old souls, and he said that he felt like I was an old soul. And then we talked about shark tank ( that TV show) money, and how he was once prideful. He wasn't expecting a lesson at first, he just wanted to meet at a coffee shop, but after about an hour of talking he explained why he felt like he needed to meet with us. He said he felt like he should call us and the only way that he had our number was because it was written on the inside of the Book of Mormon we gave him when he flipped it open (we never put our number on the inside of the BOM) . And he thought that there was no coincidence in that. So he texted us and cancelled his plans for Friday night, just to see why he needed to meet with us. About halfway through our conversation he said "I think there is a purpose in just you coming tonight, because if everyone came we might have just acted like friends and never got into the spiritual stuff." We started to have a lesson and he just had a ton of questions about what his purpose is in life, and if the atonement really works for things like that. Which it absolutely does! He talked about how as a kid he loved and he still loves the old Ten Commandments video (reminds me of you Dad) We went over the plan of salvation and he had tons of questions about why we need opposition and why God set Adam and Eve up to "fail". But we read him some scriptures and he understood that you have to fall and get hurt in order to learn and obtain knowledge. And why we NEED Jesus Christ! He also liked the idea of the spirit world and the degrees of glory. Finally we ended with the Book of Mormon. We told him that if the Book of Mormon Is true then that means that God has not left us alone, we have a prophet on the earth, and that we can make it through the things in our lives that seem impossible; just like Moses parting the Red Sea. We read with him Moroni's promise and he just stopped and paused and then kept on reading and said, "I can't stop reading." When challenged to read and pray he said "I will do that, I will defiantly do that." For a minute I saw a searching soul gain a "desire to believe" and "a particle of Faith". Such an awesome lesson. That night Elder Durfee and I tried to figure out how the atonement CAN work. And what we came up with, using the scriptures was that we need to choose Love not Lust. That love and charity are an attribute of Christ, and by choosing to Love and not to Lust we CHOOSE CHRIST. Just like any other choice. And that as we "exercise love the verb, love the noun will come." -Elder Bednar. Our desires can change through the Atonement, and we realize that we can be "yea, born of God, changed from [our] carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters" Saturday. Have I ever said I love the rain? I don't think I have haha Well it dumped the WHOLE day! And we moved three people into the ward. Sunday Miss G never showed up to church:( and I had SO much faith standing by that door! Lol oh well. President Francis came for a Missionary fireside that night at the Buffalo chapel, and it was pretty much a second zone conference because it was just missionaries and a few members! Haha I was able to see M again and some people from the NF ward:). President (he's so good) gave examples from the scriptures of great prophets going through hard times and then through the strength of the Lord they were able to overcome them. At the end he showed one of my favorite Mormon messages called "Good things to come" by Jeffery R. Holland and It really got to me and M haha when Elder Holland calls out to his past self saying "don't you quit. You keep trying." I love that. We have to realize that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way that we can become eternally happy if we endure! :) *"The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!" - Neal A. Maxwell Love, Elder Crowley "Love is a choice." -Elder Durfee&Crowley

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Miracles in the ghetto

Hey Yous guys! So I live in Kenmore (where it's nice and not ghetto) but our area is called Eggert which is the east side of Buffalo but church is in downtown Buffalo, so every week we are all over! It is a rough area but not once have I never felt unsafe or unsure. I have the bus system down! And I just love the moments that Elder Durfee and I have in the ghetto, haha chasing busses for blocks (litterally we chased this bus for forever and finally beat it and go on all sweating and everyone is looking at us like these people are crazy! But let me tell you people are really funny and if you are super happy they are too. We see about a gazillion (not that many) cops every day chasing down someone! Lol so there must be a little bubble around the missionaries I am doing alright. It is more challenging in some ways, and easier in others. But I think your attitude changes everything and how you look at a situation determines how bad or good it is. Plus I guess we just have to realize that if we are doing our best then that's all we can do! I just feel a little overwhelmed because there are quite a few less actives. I just want to fix everything! But I know that I can't. In less than a month I'll be burning a tie! :) A member gave me his bike but it is a road bike, and we need shocks and a little wider tires with all the potholes and street trash we ride through. So I am taking Kenmore's car on Wednesday to try and exchange it at a bike shop. Well it's been another crazy but awesome week here in Buffalo! :) So last Monday for P-day we had marshmallow gun wars in the cultural hall with all the tables set up and everything! It was so fun! And the weirdest thing happened we were all sore the day after....? I think it was because we did about a thousand squats each because we were popping up and ducking down every time we shot a marshmallow! Haha cleaning up the mess was fun too :D Tuesday we started our morning early, riding in the rain to meet with one of our investigators named M. We rode all the way down to Lakawana and we were sopping wet from the rain, but I didn't mind:). We had a great lesson with him, I was so happy to hear that he had read the first twenty chapters of 1st Nephi! We had a really amazing lesson and answered a lot of his questions on agency and why bad things happen to good people. It's funny how we sometimes take our knowledge of the gospel for granted, like its no big deal that we have our big questions answered haha. We went to lunch with Brother G who took us out to lunch with the Kenmore Elders. Later that afternoon we got a call from a Bishop down in San Diego we had the privilege of giving a non member sister a blessing . Wednesday we had zone conference! It was a very spiritually uplifting day but it was also very long because it was an 8 hour conference! The whole focus of the conference was "Flooding our mission with the Book of Mormon" as a mission we are going to give out 1,000 Book of Mormons by the beginning of August! (our zone agreed to hand out 350 of those #BuffNorth) And to assist us in this we are going to place the Book of Mormon in our own hearts, by reading it as a mission in a little over a month. President gave us a fresh new copy and we are going to use different colors to highlight. (Anytime he Savior's name is used, anytime an attribute of Christ is mentioned, anytime the savior speaks, and anytime the Father speaks.). I'm super excited as I place the Book of Mormon in my heart!:) My favorite part of Thursday was a lesson we had with a lady named Miss G. She is hilarious! Anyway she has almost been baptized like three times but is always too afraid to follow through because she likes her comfort zone. She says she believes in priesthood keys, she knows that we have a prophet on the earth, she knows the Book of Mormon is true, but she just doesn't feel the same when she goes to our church. So we gave her a lesson on Christ and the apostles, specifically when Jesus came back and said "Peter do you love me?" And then after Peter's response quick response the Savior said "feed my lambs" we also watched bits and pieces of Jeffery R. Hollands talk "The first great commandment" (one of my favorites go watch it!) which also talks about this scenario. We told this story of how Peter and the apostles go from being fishermen, to apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ and then Just return to being fishermen. And Christ having to come back, and have the same conversion, on the same shore, having the same meal; and compared it to Miss G life. She said it wasn't the missionaries, but it was her who needed to change and take the steps she knows she needs to take. So this next week she is going to pray and ask Heavenly Father "what is it that she needs to sacrifice in order to be baptized?" It was very cool, because we didn't know what we needed to teach her but the spirit guided well!:) Friday the appointments that we had fell through :/ but it was a good evening because we met some other missionaries from "The Way" church who the Kenmore Elder got to know, and played V-ball with them and talked about the Bible and Book of Mormon. They have missions around the country even one in Castle Rock right next to Parker! They are our age, have jobs while they are hear, wear normal clothes, and try to start what's called a "fellowship" or a mini church while they are out here. They were super cool, fun, and they are coming to pageant! Saturday I went on exchanges with Elder Eastman (pretty new missionary, from West Valley Utah, and is really cool). I love having the opportunity to minister to, and serve these Elders. And help them think of a few ideas to rub off some rough edges with their companions haha. My pants ripped and not a single person we visited answered their door. BUT the miracle for the day was handing out a Book of Mormon to this solid guy! :) Happy Father's Day! Yesterday was awesome I truly was uplifted and spiritually fed most of the day! So we didn't have any morning meetings because it was, Father's Day lol. Sacrament was awesome! The speaker C B compared the teaching model of Christ with the woman who touched his clothes, Christ said "And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." And how we often apply D&C section 4 to missionary work but if you apply it to being a father it is just as relevant, and applicable. Later on in the afternoon we went and visited L! ( the one who we gave the blessing to earlier in the week) We taught her the Restoration, helped her pray (because she has never prayed) and it was the most sincere heartfelt out pour of a prayer! And in the prayer she asked if the things we taught her were true! The spirit was just SO strong. :) words can't describe experiences like that. It was the best lesson I have had on my mission! Then trekked it home and I called in numbers to the zone leaders. Today we are going to Niagara Falls because all the Elders that transferred from Rochester haven't seen it yet. (I promise I'm not getting sick of one of the wonders of the world haha) "And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks." - 1Nephi 14:1 Love, Elder Crowley:)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Visiting Bof M musical contacts

Tuesday we had a crazy rain storm come through, and Elder Durfee and I got caught right in it haha. We were walking (because I still didn't have a bike) to a library to request some of his information back that he lost with his wallet from his home state, when this wall of rain comes in (you could literally watch it come) haha. We were soaked to the bone and we could not find the library so we stopped inside a Tops (that's a store here) and we ran into a member of of the church who said "Elders!" I was so happy to meet someone who recognized who we were. He gave us a ride to the library which was such a blessing, even though we still had to walk home it was nice to know the lord was watching out for us! :) Later that day we met a ton of really solid people who were referrals from the Book of Mormon show! We were able to teach a couple people he restoration and then they wanted to learn more! All I have to say is bring out the font and let's come unto Christ! Wednesday we did our morning studies and our usual morning routine. I have loved reading about Alma and Amulek's missionary experiences because I think we can draw a lot of knowledge from their missions, hardships, and successes. At lunch we met the Spanish Elders and gave them a bunch of supplies. And that is when Elder Niel let me borrow his bike (what a blessing) so now that I had a bike we were able to bike all the way over to the Galleria mall which is out of our area, but we had permission to leave it because that is where J worked ( the one who is a Disney animator and wants to missionaries over) we got there and she wasn't working until the next night haha so we were a little disappointed that we biked all that way. But we met a guy named A who has been going to the Amherst ward and some one referred him to us, and he lived close to where we were! So it was meant for us to stop by, he was really friendly but said that we would have to come back next week. He does want to meet with us though which is promising. Thursday we had district meeting and my training was on developing teaching skills and how we can become master teachers. It was a really cool to see all of the other Elders contributing and learning from one another! We had an awesome lesson with a guy named M who wants to become a member! And he is really pumped for pageant and things because he has always wanted to go but never had the chance! So as you can see we are having miracles pop up all over but we might not see if the people are actually going to follow through until next week! Later that night we went back to the Galleria mall and met J! She was super happy to see us and gave us her contact information! She has a bunch of wood she needs to burn and just doesn't want to burn it all by herself so we are going to go over there and hopefully teach a lesson! But she agreed to come to district meeting and be a "practice investigator". Friday we rode around like crazies met a much of crazies too haha Saturday we had exchanges and Elder Reed came up to Eggert and Elder Durfee went to Buffalo Spanish with Elder Niel. Elder Reed and I got a ton done! And we were antied hardcore by this guy on the street, he was yelling, spitting, and everything. But we kept our cool and afterwards this guy sitting on his porch who had no teeth so his English was a little slurred. said "don't listen to him he's on crack". Lol It was a great exchange and Elder Reed was a lot happier after he left:) Church is true! Elder Crowley

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Book of Mormon Musical

Hi guys! So this has been one of the longest weeks of my mission! And one of the most interesting haha Last Monday we said goodbye to lots of people hat I wanted to see before and Elder Rushton and I were running around like "chickens with our heads cut off" (as Elder Rushton would explain it) to get things done. We had a last little game night with the F and then we went and helped the L get their rotten meat refrigerator out of the basement! (remember that Ethan?) but it was nice to have a last memorable experience with them! Haha and Yes I got pranked by the gunman of North Tonawanda and they actually got me! They built it up for the whole night and then Mike and Elder Rushton kept really good faces which made it so much more believable. So when I saw a black masked man open the door to our sunroom I was like this is not happening right now, we turned off all the lights and ran into the kitchen and Elder Rushton was "freaking out" we called M (because he said to call him if we see something suspicious) and he came down to "save us" but I was like M don't be stupid we aren't worth it! hahahaha but again I felt that feeling of "I'm not going to die" after about two minutes I realized that it was a joke and I went marching outside to get mad at J! I'm glad they came because the adrenaline rush got me out of my sad feelings of leaving and made me feel like there would be more good times to come! :) Tuesday was transfer meeting, and I was glad we got to go. We were able to go because we had to bring our truck up to exchange for a new car! it was a great transfer meeting and it was nice to see some of the missionaries that I came out with. We went and grabbed some five guys for lunch and then headed back to our Amherst to exchange out stuff. Then Elder Rushton and Elder Hunt dropped Elder Durfee and I at our new apartment and then peaced out! The Kenmore Elders (E. Eastman, E. Woerner) have a van and they will sometimes drive us around to the store on P-days so since we all didn't have food we had to run to the store and get some! The other Elders had to be to an appointment in like an hour though so we basically had 30 minutes to shop for the whole week and it was kind of stressful in a way because there was no GF bread and it was like the only chance we would have to get food. Once we got back our apartment I realized that our area is way bigger than I thought it was, It's the entire east side (which is the most ghetto) of the buffalo metropolitan area. That night was a pretty hard night. Wednesday we helped a family move into the ward that morning and that was a good feeling to have something solid going on, and to meet at least one member of the ward! We also went to a district leader training which President conducted, and that was an awesome chance to learn from President Francis. The other Elders in our district called us that night and said, "Are you going to the Book of Mormon play?" I was like are you serious? I came in on the week the BOM musical is in town!? Heck Ya!
I went from having one of the worst nights of my mission to one of the best nights of my mission! So yes this whole week we have had permission to stay out later to stand out side and hand out Book of Mormons answer questions and teach people! :) We have been getting home around 12am each night after riding the metro back to the UB campus (they have one main subway here in buffalo so it's cool) so yes we are all a little tired after having a week like this. We were all super smiley and answered lots of people's questions, and about 80% of people responded really well! We handed out over 120 BOMs and gave away a couple thousand cards and Hill Cumorah pageant cards. The cast was super cool with us and the house managers always came and talked with us! I had the chance to talk with one lady named J who is a Disney animator and is super interested! Lots of people took pictures with us so that was fun:) Thursday (get ready for this) Elder Durfee and I were excited to visit some of our referrals so we bike into our area (our apartment is about 3 miles out of it) but Elder Durfee wasn't feeling well so we had a couple of detours but then I kick in my city map skills and I find us a bus stop a couple blocks away I was able to find a stop but we waited there for like 30 min, And while waiting I had a drunk guy trip and spill beer from my shins to my feet! Lol the bus never came so we biked to another stop and were able to get on with our bikes! (some buses can't take bikes) we get to the Utica metro station and I was so happy that we would be able ride the train the rest of the way to the church. But Elder Durfee left his wallet on the bus we just got off so we biked the rest! Poor Elder Durfee! He lost his MSF card, Home Card, $50, temple recommend, license, and most importantly BUS PASS! We had a great district meeting! I did my training on becoming Legit! Or in other words developing Christlike attributes and having real intent haha. Then finally that night we took care of show biz ;) and had lots of success and lots of laughing moments so ya! Haha Friday we helped a lady in our ward named Sister H move from her upstairs apartment to a downstairs one We met an inactive lady named M K. We weekly planned and then another great adventure amongst the crowds.
Saturday Sister H was going to take us to the temple but since Elder Durfee didn't have his recommend we decided it would be easier to catch up on some referrals after the matinee show. We stood outside the show with just the zone leaders and us, because all the other Elders went to the temple. And long story short I was on the back side of the theater with Elder Christenson, and Elder Durfee and Elder Haws were in the front. My Bike got stolen (no exaggeration) 5 FEET AWAY from E. Haws with the lock snipped and everything! Can you believe that? I've had it for two days and it gets stolen in broad daylight five feet away from us missionaries. So as a result the people we were going to visit did not get visited haha. That night T T (a recent covert as of last week) took us to a Chinese buffet and that was truly a blessing:) Sunday we met our ward mission leader (he was just called last week) his name is Brother M from Canada, he is passionate about his new calling as well so we are hoping for more good missionary work! Church was good but I got Elder Durfee's sickness so that was fun! Haha after church we went to the matinee show and then we had the last show of the week last night! Which was really fun but also a little sad because I loved doing that! So despite the hard week I am smiling away and I know that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." -Philippians 4:13
Started from the bottom now we're here! Elder Crowley

Going to da ghetto!

Hey guys! so transfers are tomorrow and I ammmm....... Going to EGGERT! which is in downtown Buffalo with Elder Durfee and we will be walking in da ghetto! We bus into our area and then bike around. I am the new district leader over Buffalo.
Tuesday we worked with a lot of former investigators and less actives, nothing really came of it so far. But we did have a great time helping out at Northgate! We helped feed the Alzheimer's unit lunch and worked with some of the music therapy people who work with them! It was really cool. This one resident named L just gives background commentary to everything that goes on in the room and it is so funny! Like really sometimes I think they need to start a reality show here! Wednesday we had a lot of appointments set up that we were really excited for but all of them fell through so that was fun! Hahaha for the past couple of days I've been watching bits and pieces of the LDS face-to-face live questionnaire with Elder and Sister Bednar. I have loved it so much! Even though it is directed for youth I believe we can all learn something from it. I have learned that the process of learning and becoming is something that occurs over time. If we are being sculpted by the master sculptor then he would rather sand us down overtime slowly. Instead of making a painful experience for us by taking big pieces, or hammer swings into our lives. We are able to become refined strong and beautiful, and we ourselves can't see all the angles that the Lord can. It doesn't occur with just one event or experience but like grains of sand we at molded into a pearl! Thursday we had district meeting and we talked about prayer and how we can make our prayers meaningful and more aligned with the will of Heavenly Father. That night we had dinner with M and the F. Over dinner we talked about how they are starting their life as a young couple (like you said last week Dad they are working so much, he is going to school and they are such a big asset to the ward...I mean talk about stress) and we played a game called "and it came to pass" which is like Uno but a little modified and Book of Mormon style! Haha it was a lot of fun:) Friday I felt like we had a successful day but I was so tired that night. We started the morning by doing service at the Riviera theatre; we swept piles of popcorn! And we were able to take out the trash backstage (I know exciting right?) haha Elder Rushton and I might have snooped around a little bit as well. After my "boring same sandwich lunch" as Elder Rushton calls it haha we weekly planned then went and mowed miss J lawn we spent the rest of the afternoon focusing on less actives. Some were nice some were mean, but the best thing happened! We met this family named the B who are snowbirds (leave for winter down south;) ). Their house here in N.T. Is beautiful, it has all these pretty flowers and they have just redone the whole thing! Anyway we had a great chance to talk with them. They have had some pretty rough experiences that occurred right after being baptized many years ago. (Can't really talk about it) but despite setbacks they continued to press forward in faith, but after a while their testimonies were shaken and they have had a hard time coming to church. In my prayers line night before I finally got my answer to the story of the 99 and the one lost sheep, and why they 99 have to stay back while the Shepard goes and finds the one. I believe their are two answers the first is that the lord has gone ahead to prepare a pasture for us up ahead, but that particular night I was led to the scripture Alma 37:34 which says "Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls." So I shared this scripture with P right on the porch and she started crying as she read it! We bore our testimonies of our love and Heavenly Fathers love for them. A truly great experience:) Saturday a lady in our ward asked us to help her put up this paneling for her 95 year old dad who wanted that particular type even though it was from the seventies. Her son was doing it but quit because it was too hard and so poor K, who works two jobs just needed our help. So we got started and let me tell you this job was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be. It was so tedious, the temp was 85 degrees plus outside so it must have been a lot hotter in the house (no one has air conditioning here it's crazy), we were there for 4 1/2 hours, and we were not making hardly any progress. Sunday was a great day because the J and K were confirmed! Lots of less actives showed up to church! :) but it rained all day and it was awesome! There is nothing better than just pouring rain:) the Nielsons (the new temple senior missionaries from our ward) gave great talks about the pioneers and how we must be modern pioneers whether you were baptized yesterday or sixty years ago. Elder Nielson gave a powerful testimony about not giving up, and that people need us! Once we have learned to fly with the Eagles we must not walk home with the turkeys. ( I have always loved that analogy) Well missions are still hard, but they are still the best ever so as long as we have the Lord on our side (which we always will) we have nothing to fear for the journey. Love, Elder Crowley

It sure is nice :)

Happy P-day! Another great week ended with J baptism yesterday! YAY!
So for P-day last Monday we went to the mall over in Amherst with some of the other Elders. That night we had another delicious dinner at the F with J and the Chinese family (R L and their mom who are one of our investigators) we had a lesson on the importance of worshiping together and how the Gospel blesses our lives. We invited them to sacrament meeting and told R and L that all we want is for them to have that happy feeling of having a newborn baby (they just had a baby) all the time. Afterwards we played a game that they play in the Philippines and I don't know quite how to describe it but we all ended up laughing so hard we cried! Haha :) On Tuesday we got J baptism program figured out. When we visited A (polish lady from Northgate assisted living) she said, "You guys must be the happiest people on earth because you get to do what you love, and help people all the time. Some people hate their job." So true A, so true:) we were able to have lots of really solid contacts that afternoon. Wednesday I went up to Lewiston for companion exchanges with Elder Tanner and ya haha :D But at our dinner app. We had a great discussion on faith and how it allows Heavenly Father to be more forgiving, merciful, and more receptive to our cries. Because if we had a perfect knowledge of everything we would be held to a higher standard and less faith would allow for more strictness and less forgiveness to the laws we break. So faith is a gift to be able to exercise and allows for a more repentant sinner, a more loving and merciful God, and an overall better learning experience here on earth. I am grateful for faith! We had zone meeting and I thought that it went pretty well I love getting all together and learning from one another and being able to discuss concerns, and achievements! We got our #BuffNorth NYRM T-shirts! They look awesome:) We talked a lot about what a happy missionary is. And there isn't one right answer but it was a very cool topic. Elder Knudson (who is leaving for home) bore his testimony about how throughout his mission he has learned to not only follow the commandments but keep them. Keeping them means they become a part of who you are. After zone meeting Elder Rushton and I went on a very long street contacting venture and ended up talking to only about two people (no one was out). Friday we had our studies, weekly planned, had lunch and then we did service for the Riviera theatre this time we went through a stack of papers from last years volunteer hours sheets, and put them into the computer! After about 2 hours of doing that I thought I was dyslexic because I could barely process one more name, and my eyes were doing funky things! Later that afternoon we spent most of our time trying to invite as many less actives to church this Sunday because we knew we would be gone in Palmyra on Saturday! We went over to the L that night and helped S with her talk and figured out details for our road trip the next morning!
Saturday was the big day for PALMYRA! I love the sites so much, and I love having them as a resource to teach and testify even more then just from a pamphlet:) We started late because well you know how it goes with road trips;) haha once we got to palmyra the first thing that we did was take the L to the Book of Mormon Publishing site and they really liked that! J says that was his favorite part, and I loved watching their family piece together more facts and things together from the things we have taught them. We then went to the Hill Cumorah and ate lunch at the top of the hill on some picnic benches that they had. It was awesome to look out and imagine the last big battle occurring here with over 250,000 people! And I felt just right at home on the top of that hill haha, from the times that I had been there before. I would have never thought that I would be a missionary standing on that hill!
haha It almost seems unreal. The Nielsons (the new Temple senior couple that is in our ward) came up from Zions camp to meet us and come with us to our next stop which was the temple! I love the temple! They told lots of really awesome stories about the Palmyra temple that I had not heard before so I was grateful for them being able to help make our temple stop more of a memorable one for the Lingles. The Nielsons will be really heading the effort to get the L to the Temple with names and such! I'm so grateful! After that we went to the Joseph Smith farm and through the sacred grove and it was as good as ever:) we went back to the Hill Cumorah Visitor Center to have a tour and Sister Hunter was our tour guide! She bore some powerful testimonies and truly had and impact on J as she talked with her about missions and such! Finally we treked it home after a long but awesome day at the sites! Sunday was a very sweet experience as we were able to have the baptism for J, and K !LOL I baptized J and Elder Fields baptized K. And yes I said J full name perfectly haha K was wearing these two white dresses and they were so heavy when she came up she fell back! And then once she found her footing she yelled "YAY!!!" with her hands up in the air! K truly demonstrated what it means to feel the joy of redeeming love:) C F, and S gave talks and Bishop gave a welcome to the ward. The spirit was strong and I wouldn't have had it done any other way! The GOSPEL IS TRUE! "you don't need to to walk where Jesus walked to walk as Jesus walked." And you don't need to pray in the sacred grove to have a witness that the gospel is restored. But it sure is nice ;)
Love, Elder Crowley

Friday, May 22, 2015

Week 19

HI :) It's so good to hear how well you guys are doing! I love our family TOO! And I think that everyone is growing so much:) I am doing pretty good:) I am now feeling a little tired these past few days just because it's now getting hotter, but I am trying to focus on turning those service opportunities into teaching appointments ;) and holding on to the rod even when we cannot see the light ahead. We are unstringing our bows today! So this week my journal has been kind of neglected haha so I'm going to have to write based on he highlights I can remember! Monday we went hiking along the gorge and it was so incredible! The water up here is a lot more greenish blue and there is a lot of history up here! We haven't been getting much rain this past week, but Monday night we did! It was pouring harder than I have ever seen haha I almost felt like I was in a tsunami. You could look out the window and it looked like you were going through the car wash! I got a migraine that night that lasted for about a day but it's all good:)
Tuesday helped in the Alzheimer's unit and fed them lunch, haha that is always a good time when they can only remember who you are for a minute! They are the greatest, I can wait to see these people on the other side of the veil when they are resurrected and be able to associate all together:) We visited potentials in the afternoon and It is interesting to see that when you show the Lord you want to find those who are ready to hear the gospel often times you will run into someone in another way that you weren't originally doing or expecting! We had a great lesson with J and are continuing to prepare for her baptism this Sunday! We spent an afternoon at this Catholic school. It was kind of awkward being in a strictly Catholic school and a Mormon Missionary sitting on this bench. But I had a nice conversation with the front desk Lady and she seemed to really like what we do as missionaries! Wednesday we had district meeting and had a discussion on looking for clues in teaching according to someone's needs, whether it be in a lesson or you just met the person on the street. I really liked the training Elder Fields gave! The rest of the the afternoon we spent finding people to teach and talking with A B about his testimony of the Gospel and his excitement to be baptized. Thursday we had interviews with President and then taught the APs the laws and ordinances lesson. It was nice to see president again. We helped brother G move that night. Friday we made a ninja move to get some supplies to A B. We gave him a triple combo, KJ bible, finding faith in Christ, and the rest of the pamphlets) it was nice to see him in person since I had seen him with Elder Willis:) Saturday was a pretty stressful day considering we got a text from A B revoking his testimony because he thought we are a polytheistic religion and he got into some anti-stuff! But we were able to resolve his concerns with man, becoming like heavenly father. We went to the farmers market off Robinson and Payne, and had a great time with M inviting people to our ward's strawberry social that they have in the summer! There were a lot of really cool farmers and merchants there including the Amish with all their homemade goods. I may or may not have bought some gluten-free cupcakes. We then visited some people on Grand Island and proceeded to head to the adult Saturday night session of stake conference which I have to say might be my favorite meeting we have in the church. We had an area 70 come and join us for the conference and what a pleasure it was to have them there. I will share some of the things that I learned by the spirit or by various comments that were shared. I learned that any form of repetition even in ordinances can either lead to increased the learning or complacency. And that the sacrament is the only ordinance that we partake of more than once for ourselves, we should strive to make it our priority to make the sacrament a sacred experience. Elder Perkins shared an experience of his early family counsel l while him and his wife were serving as mission presidents in Taiwan they thought of having family court haha and you would have an accuser and and defendant over dumb things like "Johnny looked at me cross eyed." and pretty soon their children thought the things they were fighting about were kind of dumb. I also wrote down that by doing family history work we keep the chain going both forwards and backwards, we will receive spiritual strength and added protection as we unlock the gates for those in the spirit world. We will become more like the Savior, as we become saviors up on Mount Zion. Think about it you're actually doing as Christ would by inviting others to partake in ordinances of eternal life it also United earthly family and causes them to work together:) sometimes we think about breaking the chain forwards if we don't live the gospel, but we can also break the chain backwards if we do not save those who have gone before us. Sunday the conference continued and it was another great meeting! We were in the choir sight reading and it was great! We sang "This is the Christ" and "Praise to the Lord", both very powerful pieces! The Church is true, we must all keep holding on to the Old ship Zion as tight as we can because that is the only boat with Heavenly Father at the Helm.
"Oh be wise; what can I say more?" -Jacob 6:12 Love, Elder Crowley

Thursday, May 21, 2015

We be skypin yo

Hello hello again! Yesterday it was so good to talk to you guys:) and like I said just think next time that we skype it will pretty much have been a year :)
I can't remember all we did Monday so.. Tuesday! Haha Tuesday was just kind of regular day but it was been one of my favorite days because pretty much everything we did went well. We had to cut our morning studies early because we scheduled our service at the Riviera Theatre earlier. We helped N. gate with their cinco de mayo party, it was fun making tacos with them. A was not having a good day she said "oh good thing you guys are here, Get me OUT of HERE! Go call he police and we can run away!" Poor girl :( Later we visited one of our potentials whose house almost burnt down! In my studies on Wednesday I learned about how when Jesus was sleeping on the boat in the storm it was a sign that he was in a good healthy condition to be able to sleep through something like that. "He lived according to the laws of health, yet never allowed the body to rule the spirit; and His daily activities, which were of a kind to make heavy demands on both physical and mental energy, were met with no symptoms of nervous collapse nor of functional disturbance." -James E. Talmage. We must realize that we are human and must follow Christ's example even in temporal affairs. We had district meeting in the bed of our truck outside while E. fields gave a training, it was time for something different. Thursday we mowed A 93-year-old lady's lawn. Her son called and asked us to, even though it was out of our area. We realized that after we had committed to do it, but it was only 2 miles out so we figured what the heck! We got there and her whole lawn was covered in weeds! And all she had was an old-fashioned push mower Haha it was fun though:) Friday we helped J with his car and changed the oil. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn new things and him helping us develops talents. We had a great lesson with J that night on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was good chance to teach someone according to their needs again. Saturday we helped the GI (Grand Island) Rotary club with their adopt a highway clean up. We caught a snake! And E. Rushton resolved hat he would "never litter again." Haha our outdoor work was not done for that day because we went to the H and helped them clean up their flower gardens around the house! It was 90 degrees plus humidity! They have this old piano from the 1800s from London that I am determined to buy one day! Haha we told them that we would meet them at the Olympia (the Greek restaurant) Sunday HAPPY MOMMYS DAY! You guys know everything that happened that day :) Love YOUS, (everyone in New York says "Yous guys" haha) Elder Crowley

Peter Whitmer Farm Training

Hello! I'm still alive! And only a 41/2 hour plane flight so I'm really not that far away:) I am feeling really healthy and my stomach has felt a lot better since being out here! I stopped eating apples and that has stopped my stomach aches and I try to stay away from dairy but when I do have it I eat it with one of those lactose pills. I take a probiotic once every three days usually and I think that has helped as well:) So Monday we went to the Niagara Falls aquarium. It was fun and we had some good laughs:) Tuesday we had exchanges and I went with Elder Fields to Lewiston. We had a great day street contacting in the falls! We gave away a ton of cards and I was able to give two Book of Mormons away on the street! It was awesome because that doesn't usually happen in N.T. Haha Wednesday we had a two and a half hour drive for our specialized training at the Peter Whitmer farm! It was such an awesome training and it was great to be right where the church was organized. I also got to see Sister Taylor Hunter again!
We had different rotations into different rooms throughout the day. I will just describe some of the things wrote down. Some of my favorite scriptures that we studied are Alma 5,7,58,2Nephi 2. In the Peter Whitmer log home we were given a tour by the Oslers (the site directors) it was pretty familiar to me and it reminded me of coming with the family. I wrote down that when Joseph was translating he was always ready to translate based on the next word, he never had to read the paragraph before to understand where he was at. He could just continue where he left off. I also wrote down that the Urim and Thummim were clear stones that he would look into, and sometime he would put them into a black hat to see the words better. Emma said that when he would come to a name he would spell it which meant that he was actually seeing the words. But Joseph always said that he translated by the gift and power of God. He translated it once and was done! President Francis talked to us about having Elder Holland come and speak to them at the new mission presidents seminar when they fist got called. To paraphrase E. Holland said that "when your missionaries ask, why is his so hard? Why is this painful? Is there some other way to do missionary work? You tell them that we must all feel a part of the Atonement because salvation isn't cheap!" President Francis went on to say that time is not relevant to God, it is only something that we understand here on earth. Which means that those three hours that Jesus spent suffering in the garden were actually longer. Jesus paid for each of our sins individually and also our infirmities. It was a performed ordinance, an individual ordinance performed for each of us by the Savior. When we ask "Why is this so hard? Why do I have to go through this?" Remember someone has already asked that before when he cried out "Abba!", and that person was also the most pure and perfect of us all. Thursday we helped out at Northgate like usual, we took A (the polish lady) for a walk and she loved it!:) I know that her and I will be good friends in heaven. My driving record came, so I sent it in to Elder Clement! We gave a Ukrainian man a copy of the Russian bible and Russian restoration pamphlet. We street contacted along the canal. We went out to a Chinese buffet for dinner with M and ended the night with a POS lesson with J and A M. We sorted books with J on Friday at the N.T. Museum. We had a great discussion with her about different Gospel topics and resolved all her concerns, it was awesome! She really likes the atonement because she thought that we all have to be perfect to go to church haha. I can wait to see where she goes in life, I think she will be a great mom and a great addition to God's army! We had a full day of service on Saturday! We went to Grand Island early to help set up traffic cones, tents, and barricades for the lawn mower race that happened in front of town hall. J came along for our missionary shenanigans pretty much all day. It was nice to do service all day, and we made contact with a lot of people. In the afternoon we helped with the Rotary club's hotdog sale at the same lawnmower race event. It was really cool to watch these "lawnmowers" more like go carts zip down the road! I think the top speed was 75mph. The Rotary club it didn't sell as many hotdogs as they would have liked to, but the old man were fun, the local band was okay, and it was such a beautiful day. After that we did service for the Riviera Theatre! We had to book it back home and then change into our proselyting close while eating dinner on the way. We got to the show and we're ushers. The show was "yesterday "A tribute to the Beatles. J came with us and it was so fun all these old ladies ushered with us, and at intermission people were really starting to get weird after a few visits to the bar ha ha. But we still got out in time to be home so that was good! We're going to be back on Tuesday to clean so that should be fun. I love old historical things especially theater, so this is really fun for me. Some last minute things that I have learned this week are to do what you love but don't be stupid, take time to enjoy life, love people, and if we are in a situation where our faith is being tried we should rejoice because that means we are on the right path. My favorite quote from the week is... "In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf Love, Elder Crowley