Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple

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