Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know, I know it was two days ago but I didn't get to wish it to you on Saturday so I am today:) How was your Valentine's Day? Ours was snowy and very cold it probably snowed another two feet and it has been about negative ten for the last couple of days! YIKES! Thanks for the Valentine's Day box and letters! It means a lot :) it is good to hear that you guys are staying busy with church and projects:) Enjoy the warm weather and use it to go outside, do some service, or take a walk (like you guys are doing). Remember that if you are all trying to become more Christlike then you will be able to work together as a family better. Think about two attributes of Christ that you would like to better emulate and then just focus on those this week and let me know how that goes:) You guys are awesome!!!:).... I have had a few spiritual experiences that I will explain later in the email but I have been learning a lot of different things in my studies! Right now I'm focusing on the end of Alma and Helamen leading up to the coming of Christ because It talks about how they dealt with the wars, political affairs, church, wickedness, right before the coming of Christ because that is the exact time period that we are in now. I've learned a lot about Moroni using his military and political power while still relying on the lord. And how to deal with people who do not want to rely on the lord! I don't know how to explain it but I'm learning a lot:) I am also reading PMG a ton and Jesus the Christ. It has been another crazy week full of adventures, teaching, death, service, snow, crying, happiness, meetings. You name it, it happened haha. I'm going to try my best with the time I have, to explain a couple of things that have happened this week! If you have questions about specifics let me know. Elder Willis almost got kissed in the Alzheimer's unit! Some lady was up dancing to the fourties music they were playing there, and then as Elder Willis is talking to another old man he gets attacked from behind and this lady had her lips puckered and everything it was the best:) As we were driving by Oliver street I felt that we should go back the original flower shop we had walked by before. We stopped by the flower shop again and she finally let us do service in the back! It has been really fun:) Since it was V-day she needed lots of help with her hundreds of flowers. So for the three days before V-day we would strip the roses of all there bottom leaves and thorns using pocket knives then cut the bottoms, make the formulas for powder that you put in the flower's water. We also cleaned a ton. The shop where she is located is a hundred years old and she still has the original old English deed! But I can't even begin to count how many roses we did, and both our hands hurt a lot because of how many times we got stabbed! As we would do this we would talk with her about her religious beliefs and what she needed in her life. She said "I have a friend that thinks that God is a part of everything we do in life and that it all happens for a reason. But I'm not so sure about that." And then she proceeds to say "it is the weirdest thing though all the time I have people like you come in and ask me if I need help and I can't explain it." Both Elder Willis and I looked at each other because we know why.:) It just goes to show that the lord is aware of everyone and that he wants us to be successful and happy. We are going to go back and ask her how business was because the blizzard was so bad people might not have wanted to come out and by flowers:/ We had Interviews with president and a meeting where president said that there is a moment on your mission (and in life) when you will give up all your "weapons of rebellion"(referring to the Anti-nephi-lehis) and totally submit our will to the lord! We then taught the APs the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We killed it. We got valentines from S.L. it was gluten free noodles and some chocolates! It snowed a ton on V-day Elder Willis and I woke up did our studies and went out and SPREAD THE LOVE( surfer voice) to the people of North Tonawanda! We went to the H family for dinner they are a cutest little old couple they seem like something you would see in an old tv show, Brother H is an organist and has tuned pianos and organs all his life. They told us the story of how their little girl was playing in the snow one day in an igloo and it fell right on top of her and she ended up suffocating when she was eight. But all the amazing experiences it brought to their lives; including one where their primary president at the time said " I had a dream about your little girl the other night." "She came to me and said that she needed to say goodbye, that she talked to my dad, the bishop and their neighbor (all of whom had recently passed away) and she said she was very busy doing a lot of work but that she said but most of all I spend lots of time with Jesus. And then said goodbye and left." While Sister H. told this story, cute old brother H. sniffled and cried about his little girl that he lost so long ago. Yes I cried happy/sad tears that night. And to make emotional matters worse! Mom and Dad one of your piano wedding songs came on from Elder Willis's CD came on. And that was only the beginning of my 'old people'and 'phases of life' crying that night. LISTEN TO THIS..... Brother G is a legend up here in NT. he was the sports announcer for the buffalo bills, he fought in WWII, he was the public announcer, a world class barbershop quartet member, everyone knows him, has lead the lds music for the church for about fifty years but finally became an actual member about twenty years ago. He turned 90 last week and is the most mentally smart and social old person I've ever met! He is my favorite. So the H thought that we should go sing to him because he is world famous you know? And that he needed a blessing because he had a little cold. So we called him after our dinner appointment and he said that he was just crawled into bed and that he would love a blessing but that we could stop by tomorrow. I told him to have a great night and to get some rest. Anyway the next day (Sunday) I get about ten phone calls in the afternoon telling us that he HAD DIED in his sleep last night one week after he turned 90! I WAS THE LAST PERSON TO TALK TO HIM IN THIS LIFE! All I could do was laugh and then cry..just a little, because it's truly humbling to see what really matters in life and how choices affect whether or not we are calm about leaving this life or whether we will wonder if we gave it everything we had. We still had church yesterday even though it was freezing cold. President Francis told everyone to stay in doors but our zone was like two degrees warmer (still in the negatives) so we were still allowed to go to church. We had a modified sacrament meeting where Brother S gave an improvised talk on the gathering of Israel and we had like half the ward there. Last night the L had invited us over for a family get together party, and we had an awesome discussion with several of the men about religion and basically taught a discussion right there over spaghetti and Pepsi haha it was so awesome. All these grown men looked like little kids asking 19 year olds questions about life, the scriptures, and what steps they need to take next. (We have appointments with two of them this week, I'm so pumped) But after that we had another dinner with Brother G who is a recent convert and lives upstairs from us he is great:) so yes I had three meals last night. Some last minute stuff is that missions are AWESOME! And hard. Soggy rice and broccoli is the way to go, we gave lots of blessings this week, Christ is the way, I'm burying my funky socks, companionship wrestling happens everyday, we need to start running but it's just SO COLD, my back sometimes feels like it's going to break when we shovel, cars are a blessing, snow is fun haha LIVE EVERY MOMENT LIKE ITS YOUR LAST! LOVE YOU! Elder Crowley

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Snow, Snow, Snow

Well it has been a very interesting week with some exciting things!I'm trying to think about what has happened this week because it has flown by! So my first P-day (last week) was good we cleaned shopped and did our laundry at the laundry mat down the street. We then went to the church in Amherst emailed and played basketball and ordered tons of pizza and wings because it was too cold to go outside. Then we split back up and went back to our areas. Elder Willis and I went to a recent converts had dinner and FHE with them, we played the electronic version of life and Sister Y found out that I was GF and she made GF brownies (I was so happy). And the Bishops wife is GF and so is the elders quorum president so I have not had a horrible time with regards to never seeing a GF food again haha We went to the palmyra temple on Friday and it was amazing I loved it! Very small but just as amazing as any other temple. Looking into the sacred grove from the clear window was simply incredible and the snow is beautiful (when your not in it) and when it is just lightly falling in huge chunks. The young men's president in our Ward drove us the hour and forty minute drive to the temple and then took us out to lunch afterwords before heading back he is awesome. Later the older high priest group leader who went with us said that when they were first married every time they wanted to go the temple they would make the trek out to Utah, then they went to the Washington DC temple, and now they have the Palmyra temple two hours away and it is such a blessing! I LOVE THE TEMPLE SO MUCH! We had been talking with a lady who had committed to baptism with the other Elders before we came in but has been having things come up. We could never get into see her so we were starting to think we'll great she probably is going to drop us soon when I had the feeling that service was the way that we would get into see her, so late in the afternoon we stopped by and what did we do of course? Shovel. We shoveled that 3 feet off her driveway like it was nobody's business. Then right as we started to drive away the husband comes out looks around and motions for us to come in. (Elder Willis and I looked at each other with the slightest grins haha), we got in, got to know them, and are teaching them tomorrow! :D I swear shoveling is the best because we have met more people through it than any other thing we do. We counted up the money we would have made if we would have taken people's offers and it was like a hundred and fifty dollars in one afternoon! But we would just say no thanks but here is a card to learn more about us:)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Welcome to NY! First week...

*WOW so much has happened in yet another amazing week as a missionary!!! Days go by so slow but the weeks go by fast. ( kind of weird how that works) but ya it has been one crazy week! It started out at 2:30 a.m. obviously as you know catching a bus from the MTC to the airport. Loved talking to you guys and you know everything that I told you about the MTC. We then flew from SLC to Detroit and it was a pretty bumpy flight and I was stuck in the middle. I didn't really sleep too much (the lady next to me had the flu too so that was fun wondering if my first week in the mission would be spent in bed haha) then after our layover we flew from Detroit to Rochester in a smaller jet and met a man from France who was very interested in the gospel and what we were all doing! It was great! Once we got to Rochester we met President Francis and his wife. They are SOOO awesome and President Francis is exactly what I need in a mission president, he is like 6'7" is so happy, and motivated and Sister Francis reminds me a lot of Aunt Ann. Our luggage got lost so the AP's had to go back to the airport to get it later! The night we got there we were overloaded with more information, PowerPoint slides, and new things to sign and fill out. Then president proceeded to do interviews which lasted until 3:00AM!!! My interview was the the second to last and YES we still woke up at 6:30 a.m., so I basically had 7 hours of sleep in 48 hours haha but I'm all caught up now! The next day was a really cold day so we bundled up and went to the Church history sights. It was a bitter sweet experience being there without the family but exciting also because I love this area so much! The snow was falling so beautifully and the fog was so bitter but it looked like something from a movie. When we went into the sacred grove President invited us to find our own spot and make a promise with our Heavenly Father about what we were going to make our mission, and then at the end of our mission we will go back and report to our Heavenly Father. #socool At the transfer meeting we listened to the departing missionaries testimonies and it was so sad because they said they would give anything to be in our position starting their mission again because they loved it so much :,) I SAW TAYLOR HUNTER! It was so nice to have yet another friendly face. My new companion is Elder Willis who is from Snowflake AZ. He snowboards, lived on a farm, can sing, knows everyone in the mission, has the best laugh ever, loves big breakfasts, and this is his last transfer so he has six weeks left :(. We get along great! Right after the meeting we were sent to the outpost of the mission (North Tonawanda/Grand island about two hours away from the mission home) which is the only area he has never been to so we both were going inblind. The other set of Elders cover Lewiston and Niagara falls (so we might go to Niagara falls for P-day) we all attend the Niagara Falls Ward and we love it we have an awesome ward. Many inactive members but very strong people much like the our old Minnesota Ward. Brother L is our Ward Mission leader and treats us like his own sons. He, Bishop and us are really motivated to turn this into a missionary and temple focused Ward. Yes I have an IPAD! Our mission is a pilot mission for technology and a senior couple from Rigby Idaho is over all the technology. We do what's called Internet Proselyting where we talk to people about the church and can teach people over the Internet it's awesome! We can also chat over Facebook (we use our iPads for everything) and we have a phone so I'm like what changed? HA! Elder Willis and I have been using all our miles in finding the inactive members and have met some really interesting people. One old man said "it's too cold to be talking brethren" thinking that he was going to let us in and then he said "go HOME" lol, it was great. Some people don't have TWO MINUTES! I'll admit I've had a few moments wondering why we waste so much gas, effort, time, resources, walking in the bitter wind, to invite people to come to Christ who don't even care. But then I remember what's it's all about and I realize that I have the key to happiness and joy in their life and that they don't understand what it can do for them until they apply principles, and we as missionaries just extend the invitation. Because who is to say if they get a chance to hear the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ or not? Not me. ....Elder Willis and I have spent this last week building relationships in the community in local businesses, the members, and other people. We are all set up for service so far in this local flower shop and the nursing home and as always I'm sure we will be shoveling. They call us "the mormon boys". I sang to this blind Polish lady in the nursing home who came during WW2 from Poland and she said that it sounded and felt like heaven and I literally saw her lightup with the joy of her years singing in Poland. :,) The spirit was strong. We get to work with some of the people in the Alzheimer's unit and it is like working with a bunch of strong 4 years olds haha. Our apartment and North Tonawanda (which is and Indian word meaning swift waters) is a town thrown back to the the fifties, is the flattest place I've ever seen, and it is famous for lumber and making carousel horses. We are going to visit the museum soon for fun. Lots of families here have really hard past lives and current lives and I just feel bad that there are only two of us to help this community out.. but that's why we have a WARD!!! #membermissionaries So some last minute info is... Elder Willis and I almost got hit by a car and died not even exaggerating, our sink exploded, this town is full of old people, astronauts and famous hockey players, we listen to vocal point and belt it in the car, the door freezes shut, snowball fights are a must, I can't believe I'm here, we are going all the way back to the temple on Saturday, it's -5 degrees right now, I have a frozen smile, Everything is not always good and dandy and everything is not horrible either:) Elder Crowley