Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9th 2012

July 9, 2012
Nope, I don´t need to buy a bike. Each area has one. Sky, you thought your bike was bad... ha ha ha! As for leather goods, I have seen some cowboy boots, but we really haven´t looked around that much. Maybe you guys can make a trip down here and pick me up in about two years. I´m sorry, but I laughed a little when I read about the fire in the cabin. I can just imagine how you guys would react and what not. I had it all played out in my head... ha ha ha. Mom that is an awesome experience with your lesson. I´m doing well and I got a letter from Katie Strubble. It was dated May 20th. It takes a while.
Well, San Pancho or San Francisco Del Rincon (the name of the ciudad I believe) is pretty cool. It is smaller than Leon, but still a lot of people. It is also somewhat in the country side. The good ole smells of home. mmm. The other Elders were fritos (or most of them). President actually took out all of the Elders in San Pancho and put us four in. One of them Elder Wright, who was companions with one of my MTC teachers, has been here before and is actually finishing his mission here. The rest of us don´t know anything of the area. The other Elders left us nothing. No notes or teaching records on their investigators or anything. Tuesday Elder Brady and I got so lost. We ended up in the middle of nowhere. We are getting the hang of the area now and the church is really close. We also are the missionaries for Purisma. We road our bikes over there for a contact we had received and it turns out to be the right address and man, but it wasn´t the same one we had talked too. So we taught him. I think he felt bad because we had rode all the way to his house, which was up on the hill. I like the people here. I think the people in Mexico may know how Uncle Alan feels. There are so few people here and so many callings. Actually there are a lot of members; they are just less active... But the active members work so hard to keep the church going.
I also had a weird experience. We were walking down the street and three little boys suddenly appeared. They started walking with us and acting like us. It was fun, when we got to the outskirts of town the game changed into Throw Rocks at the Missionaries. I can now say I have been chased out of town. Well, we actually walked quickly out of town. None of the rocks hit me, but they are lucky I was a missionary... I would have stared them down if I wasn´t. It was kind of a Samuel the Lamanite experience. Also, it rains a bit here. Okay, a lot. I still need to by a rain coat. Maybe next p-day. Our p-day today was shot with our junta, o sea reunión de districto. We had it at 2, which meant we had to leave at 1 to get to Leon in time. So we lost about two hours. We had two weeks of clothes to wash, a dirty apartment (which is now clean), and we still need to buy food and what not. I am glad to be a missionary and have days to clean and prepare for the week. It really is great, even though we feel like we have no time to do everything we need to.
We had an AMAZING lesson with one of our investigators! The first lesson we had with her, she mentioned she knew the Relief Society President. They are neighbors mas o menos. Well, the second lesson we brought the Relief Society President and it was amazing! It makes a HUGE difference when you have a member present for the lesson! Ahhh amazing! Also we were knocking doors Saturday and it was hot and we were a little tired. My comp had decided that there was no point because they would all be drunk anyways or be away from home. I feel like you can´t judge like that. You never know what can happen. So I went up to a door and knocked (well, a fence and knocked). We ended up having an awesome lesson with a member that had already talked to the missionaries like 8 years early. It was a good lesson. I really didn´t think much of it until my companion brought it up in the meeting today. It was a great blessing. I think that is one thing I´m good at. I don´t like to waste time, so I just do stuff. If they say no, well, I did my part. It makes me sad to hear no because I KNOW how much the gospel can help them. If only the world knew! It is so true! The Plan of Salvation is the most important plan ever made and we should follow it!
I know this work is the work of the Lord. I have seen many miracles in the past week let alone the past 7. Oh!!! It is amazing!
Also, they are getting a little more strict here. I guess there was a raid on a Mexican cartel by America and so we have to be in our house by 9. We can´t go to anything American related such as fast food places etc. Also, we have to just be wary of our surroundings and listen to the Spirit. One of my comp´s friend’s can´t do anything because he is in the more dangerous part of Mexico. I´m pretty safe.
Love you all!
Every member is a missionary!
Love, Elder Michael Blake Crouch

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 5th - Camp New Fork Staff

Dad, if you could mail this to New Fork that would be great!

Dear staffers.

Thank you so much for your inspiring and wonderful words.
I love it here in México. It is such a great experience. The mission is the best! No doubt it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I wouldn´t give this up for anything! 

Working at camp has helped me prepare for this mission so much. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. I know we can talk (pray) to him at anytime, anywhere. I know that the Priesthood and Authority of God has been restored to the earth through the Profeta José Smith. I also know that we have un profeta viviente hoy en día, Thomás S. Monson. 

Sorry for my Spanglish, some words are just easier to say in Spanish.
I love you all so much! Keep being the great people you are!
Congrats to all of those who have received their calls or will receive. It is the best!

I hope to return in two years and see some of you again!
Remember that we only live this life once. So make it the best you´ve got!

Dig Deep!

Love, Elder Michael Blake Crouch

First Transfer - July 4th Letter

Well Family, I have made it through one cambio in the mission. I´m not surprised about the mail. I have actually seen mail returned to missionaries opened... But hey, we have email. Ha ha ha. Sounds like trek was pretty fun. It is pretty tough, but I know how you feel. KK, I love the quotes. Thanks for them. Zach, learn how to get in and out of pickles. They are the best. Mom LOVES them to death. Ha ha ha. It is so weird to hear about all of the fires. I hope everyone is okay. We have been getting some good rain here. Dice a Payden y su esposa felicidades para mi. How is all the rest of the family (other cousins, grandparents, y tíos) doing? Manti is a great place. I´ll make sure you get to visit Snow College Sky. It is a great place.
Well.... This past Sunday (ayer) we had cambios. And, I am now in a new area. San Pancho. It is close to Leon. Actually I´m in the same district as the secretaries, assistants, and zone leaders. So every Lunes I get to take a bus ride of about half an hour to an hour into Leon for our district meeting at the Mission Home. I am not going to lie, I was EXTREMELY sad to get changed. We were sure that we were going to stay there because Elder Brady is my trainer for 12 weeks. But, Elder Brady is coming with me. So we ´closed´ our area and are opening a new area (which means we are doing something right). The hermanas are taking over our old area. So we spent most of Sunday night saying goodbye to converts and actually a lot of them ended up balling their eyes out, which I almost did too (Elder Brady makes fun of me, but hey, I´m a Johnson ha ha ha). We had some AMAZING compliments. I am really sad to leave. There are so many amazing people there. Also, we were just getting to the point where the ward was trusting us and willing to help. AND Saturday we had JUST made a ward mission plan... but that is the way of the mission and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked in Azteca. Now we are in San Pancho, and we have no idea about anything. Ha ha! At least I have Elder Brady. Our apartment is nice, and we have a good sink and fans and stuff. The thing is we need to clean it... The other missionaries did not. And we stayed up till 2 in the morning scrubbing our apartment for the sisters. I am excited to work in a new area. It will be great and we have bikes in this area.
One thing I liked about Azteca was there was always a line to bear your testimony during Sacrament meeting. It was great because everyone was so eager, well, I should say, mostly the women. That is one thing the men can work on.
So I know that the Gospel is true and that it doesn´t matter where you are, there is always someone that needs it and new experiences to have. I know Jesus is the Christ with all my heart. We actually have been teaching a man who doesn´t believe in God. But he does to a point, just doesn´t accept it. We don´t need to see it to believe. Air is there and you can´t see it. On occasion you can, but you need to be doing the right things... Same for the Gospel and God. Everything he would say, my testimony of God grew. There is no doubt in my mind he lives. It explains the mysteries of life. Well, not much time. I love you all to death! Remember that every member is a missionary.
I am alive and well and have had some pretty interesting experiences here in Azteca. ha ha ha. But they might be best for after the mission. Ha ha ha. Just giving you a hard time. Love you. I´ll tell you about it later.
Love, Elder Michael Blake Crouch