Monday, March 30, 2015

A Short Report! :)

Sorry this will be short, but I don't have much time today. I have so many things to say, but I will have to be content with just a couple. 

I was reading in Mosiah studying some of my previous notes and I came across Mosiah 28:3. Verse 3 says "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." HOLY WHAT?! That hit me so hard. I wrote in my scriptures "Why am I on my mission?" Am I here because I cannot bear the thought of any soul perishing in unbelief? It was such a powerful lesson for me. 

Also, we were having a pretty lame week. We lost two investigators and had no one to teach, so we were doing a lot of chapping and street contacting. We reached the end of our day with no visible success (It is always a successful day when you have tried your hardest). While we were walking home both Elder Hatch and I were pretty silent, then our phone beeped and we had two potential investigators text us that they wanted to meet! What a miracle! 

The Lord really is helping us to do this work. He desires for our success. I love Him so much. This work is amazing. I'm sorry. I have to go, but I love you. I am fighting a good fight for the Glory of my God and KING!

Elder Crowe

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

St Patrick's Day in Ireland! Well there's not much happening....

I'm not really sure where to start. It's hard to remember what you know and what you don't. So much happens every day.

Police Cars in Belfast
First, St. Patrick's day is not an Irish holiday, so it was just a normal Tuesday here in Belfast. And everyone gets drunk every day here, so that wasn't much different either. But there was a big segregated gathering of the Catholics and Protestants in the middle of City Centre. This city has so much history, and so much pain has happened here. The police cars look like they could get hit by a tank and come out looking better than the tank.

Elder Crowe's first driving experience in Ireland
I went on my first exchange this week, and because of the driving laws my district leader can't drive anymore. (You can only drive for one year, and then you have to get an Irish license, but they're expensive) So guess who had to drive. ME! And I rocked! It was so fun. I never thought I'd miss driving, but it was so great. And driving on the other side of the road wasn't even weird.

My district leader is so funny. I started to teach him the ukulele and some music theory. We'll just stick with chords next time... hahaha. He’s so great though.

We went to a member’s house for breakfast the next morning and had the biggest breakfast I've ever had in my life. It was easily the most food I have ever eaten in my life. I thought I was going to throw up. But no one ever finishes his meals and I had to beat that challenge! No one has finished one of his meals in several years, so I feel pretty much amazing that I did. Haha That night I was back with my companion, Elder Hatch, and we went to another member’s house to get to know them. They fed us so much food as well - I thought I was going to die in my sleep that night!  

We had a cool experience this week: We were out doing a try by and the person wasn't home, so we tracted a street instead, but no one really cared to listen. As we were walking home Elder Hatch remembered another man we could try by before we went to our flat. His name is Jim, and every time we've tried by Jim before he hasn’t been home. Well this time we went by and he was home! We asked how he had been and how work and family life was. Eventually he made it pretty clear that he wasn't actually very interested in the church but he appreciated us stopping by. My heart just dropped. I knew we had lost him, and I was just getting ready to thank him for his time and leave when I got an impression. I thought of my family, my loved ones, people that I get to spend eternity with, and I decided to bear a quick testimony about how our families can be together forever. Well then his attitude completely changed. He asked us about how our families could be together, and how he could find out if what we were saying was true. It was such a powerful moment, and as we walked away I couldn't help but smile—and jump up and down and hug my companion and scream and shout!!

This Gospel is not just for selected people. We are to carry this Gospel to all the ends of the Earth. The Lord is preparing people. He wants the immortality and eternal life of all His children. I have been praying so hard to be able to see people the way my Heavenly Father sees them. It has been so hard. There are times when I get so frustrated at people. If only they could feel the things inside my heart, then they would understand. Or if they only could see themselves the way Heavenly Father sees them, they would understand. But I can't force people to do anything; all I can do is invite. And I think that is the hardest thing for me as a missionary. I have been called of God. I have the power and the authority to act in His name. I represent Jesus Christ Himself. But I cannot force anyone to do anything. Even when they know it is true, sometimes they say no. I have seen people touched by the spirit and deny it. But all we are asked to do is be perfect in trying. I'm not even close to being perfect in trying, but I am trying to be.

We had Zone development yesterday and it was insane! And I might have been a little too competitive... But that's fine. It was amazing.  J

So much love from Belfast.

Elder Crowe 
Elder Crowe "In the field - ready to harvest!" haha

Monday, March 16, 2015

Belfast - a whole new world of experiences

This week was an interesting one... haha. Elder Tang called this mission the refiner's fire and school of the prophets all in one. Holy cow was he right. I am being refined like nobody’s business. There are so many people that want to hear the gospel here! They just don't really know it yet. Haha.

The capital in Belfast
I am in Holywood, Belfast with my companion, Elder Hatch.

My companion - Elder Hatch

Queen's University Campus

We are teaching a guy named Christian. He's black and from England, and he's studying civil engineering at Queen's Uni. He is so smart, but he sometimes asks us basic questions because he doesn't understand any of the fundamentals. It's a great lesson in different life experiences. He is totally great though; we're going to baptize him.

We also are teaching a less active family, the Coudries. They are such a great family. I love them so much. We got them to come to church yesterday, and then we had dinner at their house. They haven't been reading like we asked them to though. We had to be pretty stern with them and tell them that we can't be wasting their time and our time if they aren't completely serious about getting back into church. They agreed and we are now preparing them to go to the temple so that they can be sealed to each other and their son Anthony who passed away. They had twins and one died. The other, Jerome, has cerebral palsy. They are such a special family.

And, we are teaching these people that we call the "Romanians" because we don't know their last name. They are from Romania and speak very little English. If they could speak English or we could speak Romanian, they'd be baptized so fast. So Elder Hatch and I have planned to receive the gift of tongues—seems like a pretty good plan we feel like.

Speaking of languages, I may be speaking English, but there have been so many times when a person will yell at us and slam a door in our face and I'll turn to Elder Hatch and ask, "what did they just say?" It blows my mind that they understand each other sometimes.

They built the Titanic in Belfast!! Who knew?! I'm also in an area where there is so much violent history. They have the red hand of Ulster everywhere—painted on walls. They have museums; they have police cars that could be run over by a tank. This is such an interesting area.

We got to meet the ward yesterday, which was interesting. A lady named Margaret in our ward googled me and told everyone in the ward about Beyond 5, and some of the other Elders in my zone know about Beyond 5. It just follows me wherever I go. We got some great dinner appointments too. Since I just got out of the MTC, everyone wants to feed us. Older ladies LOVE me. It's the weirdest thing ever. One lady even started telling me about her granddaughter that is 20 and is Northern Ireland’s #1 bikini model and is modeling and in films and lives the street up from us. She invited us over to dinner and told me that she'd introduce us. I'm hoping it's purely to eat and teach a lesson.  Even ladies that we tract their house and they don't want anything to do with us always wink at me or tell me I have a beautiful smile. If they would like to take the missionary lessons, that would really make me smile. 

We found 3 potential investigators just yesterday in between appointments while we were street contacting and walking to our bus. We went "chalking" - see photo below - which is a great way to contact and find people to teach.

"Chalking" - finding people Belfast style

A little story that also happened yesterday: we were doing a ‘try by’ at a guy we had tracted the night before who said we could come back, but he wasn't home. We noticed the couple across the street cleaning out their flowerbed and painting their fence, so we went over and asked to help them. The man told us that the last time he was out painting, guys just like us had stopped by and asked if they needed any help. That was 7 years ago and he still remembered them! They lived in Cork, so we weren't able to teach them, but hopefully we nourished that seed that two other missionaries planted.

The Lord is preparing people for this work. It is so exciting to see stuff unfold. Yes, this week has been full of numerous trials, but the Lord has blessed me so much and sent angels to bear me up. He has promised that when I do all I can, He will be on my right hand and on my left, His spirit in my heart. (D&C 84:87-88) This church is true. The Book of Mormon will change lives. It has changed mine. I love this work. 


Elder Crowe

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On my way to the land of my forefathers!!

It has been a very long two weeks. I honestly don't even know where to begin; so much happens all the time. I have grown so much in the last 2 weeks. I have to get on a bus to head to Edinburgh, so I don't have much time. It's so hard writing; there's so much to say and no time. I love you all, but I am so engulfed in this work. There is nowhere I would rather be. I'm heading out pretty much right now. The power of this place will be missed tremendously. But I know that the Lord has great things in store for me in the COUNTRY OF MY FOREFATHERS! (read like a scott, dang scotts).  

I hope you are all well and studying the scriptures daily. I have found so much strength in the scriptures. I have been surprised as to how much knowledge i've gained in such a short amount of time, and I know it will only continue to grow. 

I went to the temple for the last time in 2 years last night. What a powerful night. We are so blessed to have a temple and these amazing saving ordinances on this earth. The Lord loves us so much. This Gospel should be our whole lives, not something that we just happen to be a part of. In Alma 17:2-3 it talks about Alma and the sons of Mosiah rejoicing when they saw each other again because they had been faithful and were still brothers in the Lord. I can't wait to see where life takes everyone in 2 short years, but I pray that you all will never let a second go by that you do not praise the Lord your God for this glorious Gospel that He has given us. He has saved my soul, and I will forever praise Him. 

Spread this Gospel to every end of the Earth.

Elder Crowe