Monday, December 11, 2017

Light the World

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in New Jersey with the first snow storm of the season this Saturday. Hermana Hopson hates the snow, but I enjoyed it thoroughly! 

We have been trying to incorporate the #LighttheWorld challenges into our finding activities everyday. On Friday we "loved our enemies" by contacting as many dropped investigators as possible (Of course they're not really our enemies, but seeing as they were dropped, it obviously didn't work out so well the first time.) We turned it into a challenge for our entire district, with a point system, and everything (1 point for a contact attempt, 2 for a return appointment, and 3 if you were invited in to teach a lesson right there on the spot). For a little extra motivation we decided that the losers would have to buy the winners pupusas.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce that with a total of 27 points, Hermana Hopson and I will be receiving our victory pupusas this Wednesday at district meeting. But really it was all the Lord's work. We were able to get six return appointments, find an inactive women who doesn't even have her records here, and visit a less active who has been avoiding us lately. We ran into her right as she was getting home from the store, so we helped her take in her groceries. And while my companion was doing the real missionary work of setting up a time to meet and getting the address of a referral, I was entertaining the kids. She has the cutest little boys who were SUPER excited to see us. One of them was pulling on my arm asking for besos, while the other was begging me to come see all the toys in his room. The best though was when they asked me to dance and we started singing Feliz Navidad together while jumping around the living room. So cute. 

On Saturday we started out the day by visiting the residents in a nursing home for #LighttheWorld. We sang some Christmas hymns and read passages from Luke 2 with them. We spoke with the director afterwards, and it looks like we will be able to offer service there on a regular basis, which is really great because we have been looking for service opportunities in our area. Later that night we shared a Christmas message with a family we had found the day before, and taught them about the Book of Mormon. They all have their own copies now that they promised to read in before we see them again this week.

Sunday we had a Christmas fireside with the other Spanish missionaries and members in the area. It was all centered around Christmas hymns and was absolutely beautiful! The spirit was so strong as we used music to celebrate together the miracle of our Savior. 

We've been teaching Hispanics English. It is actually something that I have done in all of my different areas, the program is just better set up here than in other places so we get more students. We teach the classes for free in one of the classrooms in the church 3 times a week. It is a great service opportunity and since we always end with a spiritual thought we end up getting some investigators from it as well. I love English class! It's super fun, and they help me increase my Spanish vocabulary as well. Luckily the people who come are really patient.

Transfers were cool. The Portuguese Elders are being doubled out and they are putting in two sisters who were originally called to be English speaking, but both happen to speak fluent Portuguese. So we will have another set of sisters in the district with us. We will also be losing two other Elders now, and then one more half way through the transfer, which makes me very sad because I loved all my Elders. But that's okay. It's a new dawn, a new day, and a new transfer here in NJ. 

It has been an amazing week, and people really are so much more receptive to our message around this time of year. I wish it would last longer! 

Have a wonderful week everyone! Enjoy every moment of this magical season!

XOXO

Hermana Croft 





Monday, December 4, 2017

#IluminaElMundo

Hello all, y Feliz Navidad!

We are in full Christmas mode here in Kearny. There are wreaths hung up on all the lamps lining main street and we even got to go to the big town Christmas tree lighting. It was awesome, we wandered around handing out candy canes with #LighttheWorld cards on them. We had some people get really excited when we explained what we were doing. 

We haven't had any snow here yet, but honestly I am not complaining. Give me one more week of warm and then bring on the snow. 

So the coolest thing that happened this week was Sunday when we had an investigator come to church for the first time in this area! Nerida is the sweetest little Peruvian woman that we have been teaching since I got here. She took off work to come to church and even went up and bore her testimony. It was amazing! She thanked all the members for being so welcoming and told everyone how grateful she was for the peace and light that we, "her babies," always bring to the house when we come. We also had a less active come and after sacrament meeting both of them were holding on Hermana Hopson and me, refusing to let go as we tried to make our way through the people to class. 

Also, we saw President Hess today at the chapel, and he let it slip that Hermana Hopson and I will be staying here together next transfer as well. Needless to say, my transfer anxiety has considerably decreased. It will still be interesting to see what happens with our district though, I think we will have a lot of changes. 

Keep lighting the world! This is a time of giving and the best gifts are the ones we can give to the Savior! 

Love, 

Hermana Croft 


 Profile picture photo shoot...

 I was really excited to get your Christmas package, Mom! It got to me on Thursday, the last day of November...perfect timing! 

 Passing out #LightTheWorld cards with candy at the Kearny Christmas Tree lighting.

Doing a service shift at Ellis Island on Saturday!

 Companion snuggling Sunday night. We were feeling rather sick after a large meal appointment, so we decided it would probably be best to just make some calls and try to set up some appointments for the upcoming week. Also, hanging out in the living room at night by the Christmas trees has become our new favorite thing.

----------------
Here's the profile picture she made for Facebook from the photo shoot she mentioned above. And also a post on her page...

Monday, November 27, 2017

¡Gracias gracias gracias!

Hello friends!
I hope you all enjoyed this week of family and thanksgiving for the countless blessings we all have.

For Thanksgiving (ó día de gracias/día de la acción de gracias) on Thursday, all the missionaries in the ward went to the Bishop's house for dinner. It was my first Thanksgiving feast without mashed potatoes, but true to Hispanic form, there was a lot of rice. We also had turkey and a few other stuffing-like dishes (I wish I could explain them better, but I honestly have no idea what they were). I haven't had too many problems eating things on my mission so far due to taste, usually quantity is the bigger issue, but I was really struggling with one of the dishes during Thanksgiving dinner. My sweet companion saw I was having a hard time and helped me out by discretely switching our plates and then finishing my food for me.

Friday I woke up not feeling super well, but I was sure it was just from the big meal the day before so off to the track we went! Two miles later my stomach still wasn't in the best place, but we continued the day as normal with breakfast, planning, and studies. During lunch I opted for a nap while my companion ate as the idea of more food was not particularly appealing to me. The nap definitely helped and although I wasn't 100%, I was ready to go out and work! The English sisters picked us up, and we all headed over to Walmart to try and do some Black Friday parking lot contacting. We were almost to Walmart when disaster struck. And by disaster, I mean the eggs I had for breakfast. The car ride put me over the edge, and I lost it in the back seat.

Needless to say, we did not end up doing any contacting. The English sisters ran inside to buy medicine, saltines, soup, and more cleaning supplies while I worked with what they already had in the car to clean up the mess. Hermana Hopson, bless her soul, sat next to me and cancelled all of our appointments for the rest of the day, at the same time assuring me that it was fine, and she didn't really like the shirt she had let me borrow that morning.

The rest of Friday and Saturday (I was feeling a little bit better by then, but Hermana Hopson was down) was spent at home. But it ended up being a blessing, as it gave me ample time to write the talk I had to give in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. :)

Other things from earlier in the week:
*Wednesday we had a special Thanksgiving themed ward family home evening at the church. A bunch of people we invited from English Class came, non of whom are members, so that was awesome.
*Tuesday while walking to the church we passed a homeless man on the bridge going into Newark. He was crouched down in a place where the path narrows due to some machinery that juts out, I assumed to take shelter from the wind. Because of this not only could we not see him super well, but we would be only a foot or two away from him as we passed. It wasn't until we were steps away from him that we realized his pants were down and he was actively using the bathroom. At that point we decided against a contact attempt, averted our eyes, and just kept walking as quickly as possible.
*The rest of the missionaries in the ward got sick as well. We think it was just a virus going around, but we also all ate the mystery stuffing on Thanksgiving, so who knows really.
*Hermana Hopson and I have been translating Disney songs into Spanish while looking for potential. It's hilarious. Our favorite is the duet from Frozen with Elsa and Anna.  "Por la primera vez en para siempre"🎶
*A Hispanic man approached us on the street corner talking in English, handed us a flyer and asked if we could donate to a group to help people overcome addictions. We explained that we couldn't donate, but took the flyer anyway asking if we could give him a card. He took the card and started looking at it as I was explaining who we were. After a minute he interrupted me, "Wait. This is in Spanish. Do you speak Spanish?"
ME: "Si, hablamos Español" (yes, we speak Spanish)
HIM: "But... you're white."
ME: "Es verdad" (it's true)
At this point our bus came, so the conversation got cut short. But we left him pleasantly surprised to find two very white young women who could speak to him in his native language.

XOXO
Hermana Croft

Monday, November 20, 2017

Answers to questions


So the temple was awesome... but we only got this one picture. 
To be fair Hermana Hopson and I tried to take more after, but the Elders were already walking away. And it is just about impossible to herd a group of elders once they have made up their mind about something. 
So this is it. But now you have a picture of my bishop and all the missionaries serving in the Spanish Newark ward with me. 

The bridge to Ellis Island is only used for official service vehicles and the like. We had to stop, make some calls to be put on a special list, and then get temporary badges from a security guard before they would let us cross. 
And no I didn't actually get to work in the family history center that day. Just go and fill out paper work.

As for the Face to Face broadcast last night...
Did I watch it, yes. 
Did I also know the female announcer, yes her name is Eliza Lin, we went to high school together. 
Did I also see Tanner perform, yes.
Did I also freak out when they did a close-up of Rebekah's face, yes. 

The other missionaries got a little mad at me because I kept freaking out. 

We will have Thanksgiving dinner Thursday with Bishop and the other missionaries in the ward. 
I love you! I don't have any more time to write today. Sorry! But I will send a picture of my time in exchanges this week with the STLs 

Love, 
Hermana Croft

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day trip to NYC...

Email early this morning: 
Hola mamá! Lo siento que ayer yo no escribí, pero fue por un bueno razón porque hoy tengo la oportunidad para asistir el templo!!!! Estoy super emocionada! Voy a Manhattan en 1 hora, y después voy a escribir más, entonces no te preocupe. 
Te amo!

I more or less understood the gist of what she said, but put it through the google translator just to be sure:
Hi Mom! I'm sorry that yesterday I did not write, but it was for a good reason because today I have the opportunity to attend the temple!!!! I am super excited! I'm going to Manhattan in 1 hour, and then I'm going to write more, so do not worry. I love you!
-------------------
Email from this afternoon:
Good things:
- We got to see Elva again! I was feeling really down because at first she wasn't answering any of our calls or texts. So yesterday we decided to just stop by. Turns out her phone broke and so she couldn't get in contact with us, so she was super excited to see us and invited us right in! She immediately pulled out the Book of Mormon we gave her last time and showed us a list of questions she had written up while reading it, things she didn't quite understand. We answered them all, and then proceeded to teach the restoration, and she accepted it all wonderfully! We meet with her again this week.

- NYC! Wahoo! We got to go to the Manhattan temple today and it was phenomenal! The bishop took the day off work to take all the missionaries serving in the ward (and it was a crowded car, because there are 8 of us). Hermana Hopson and I were squished in the back with our district leader Elder Loya. But never fear, we had a Book of Mormons distance between the whole drive #scripturepower

- I went to Ellis Island this week! I needed to go get a security badge so they will let me in when I officially go later this month to serve in the Family History center there. We went across this bridge and then through a bunch of confusing tunnels to get to the actual building. 

- A man in Dunkin Donuts called me over while my companion was talking on the phone with an investigator trying to coordinate a meeting place for a lesson. He started speaking to me in Spanish, asking about who we were. We spoke for a second, but he seemed to be having a bit of trouble and surprised me by apologizing, saying he was actually American and didn't speak much Spanish. I laughed and switched to English, responding that we were American as well. This blew his mind. Apparently he and his buddy had heard us speaking Spanish and were wondering what country we were from, thinking Colombia or Spain. 

Love 

Hermana Croft 





Monday, November 6, 2017

The outskirts of the armpit

Its a new dawn.
It's a new day. 
It's a new life, for me...
And I'm feeling good. 

Hello hello hello! A lot has changed in my life this last week, but I love it! I am now in Kearny with Hermana Hopson. She is just lovely, and my shortest companion yet. She only beats me by three inches, unlike the previous three, the shortest of which was a solid 5'8. So happy day, we can share clothes! She has been out for 6 months and is from Salt Lake. 

We have seen a lot of miracles this week, I know we are being guided by the Lord to do His work. Before I got here Hermana Hopson went through all the potential investigators in the area book and made a list of those who looked the most promising. Everyday we have been praying over this list and then choosing 3 people to go out and find throughout the day. We have seen a lot of success from this.

The first day as we were out finding, we were both prompted to change our plans and go look for the family first that we were originally planning to pass by last. When we got to their house, it was vacant and none of the neighbors knew who they were. But the feeling that we needed to be on that street didn't go away, so we pulled up the area book to see if there was anyone in our records who the Lord was directing us to on that street. After a minute or so I looked up and was startled to find a woman standing on the sidewalk just five feet away looking at us. We started a gospel conversation and ended up giving her a Book of Mormon (a miracle that we even had one to give her, because we don't usually carry English Books of Mormon with us, but the spirit had prompted us to put one in our bags that morning). Unfortunately, she wasn't interested in meeting with us again, but did allow us to say a pray with her before with left

On Saturday, we weren't originally going to have time to go out finding because of all the appointments we had set. But then all of our plans for the evening fell through. I feel bad that I was upset about this at the time, because now I can see that it was by divine design and the Lord was just opening up our evening so we could do His will. After praying over the list, we set out to find Elva. She talked with us on the doorstep for a little while and then when we explained that we would like to come back another time to teach her she invited us in right then! She is not a member, but her mother used to read to her from the Book of Mormon when she was little, so she was very excited and accepted one immediately. She told us about her 9 year old son Kevin, explaining that she is trying to raise him right and teach him about religion, but that he has a lot of questions about Jesus. When she introduced him to us she said "Kevin, these girls know about Jesus. Ask them your questions, they can help." Without hesitation he sat down and told us that since his grandma has died, he has been trying to pray every night, but he doesn't know if it is working. We spent the next hour talking to her and Kevin about the Plan of Salvation. At the end her husband came home from work and we got to meet him as well. We have an appointment with them this coming Saturday, and Elva promised to read and study the Book of Mormon this week!

Everything about this lesson was a miracle. I could feel the gift of tongues working in me throughout our whole visit and was able to understand almost everything she said. The light of Christ in her was unmistakable, I could see it shining in her eyes. I am so humbled that God trusts Hermana Hopson and me enough to lead us to this wonderful family that is so prepared to learn the gospel. 

Also, as I have had to speak more Spanish because both Hermana Hopson and I are relatively new, I have felt the Lord's help. I can point to a time everyday this week when I have been blessed with the gift of tongues. And when I do still struggle, Hermana Hopson is in tune and steps in to help. The Lord is matching up our strengths and weaknesses so we really have to rely on one another, and it is awesome! Even though we still don't know each other very well right now we work well as a team.

Here are some fun facts about Kearny New Jersey: 
- We are in a walking area! Yay! (And no, that is not sarcastic. Although there are some challenges involved with not having a car, namely grocery shopping and getting to the church, I have actually thoroughly enjoyed walking every where. Of course, we will have to see if that continues to be the case come winter...)
- I can see the New York skyline!!!! I can only see it from certain places, and apparently the view is better if you are serving in Union City, but I will take what I can get. 
- Kearny is a suburb of Newark. They don't have sisters serving in Newark because it is too dangerous, however there isn't a chapel in Kearny. So we still have to go into to city 5 times a week for various meetings. It is about a forty minute walk, or a 15 minute bus ride (but the bus can be a little unpredictable in its timing). I love it. 

XOXO 

Hermana Croft 

So for Halloween obviously we didn't get to go trick-or-treating. But we did get candy... A member of the English ward decided to treat all the sister missionaries. Just for reference, each package is 3 feet tall and has 18 full sized candy bars a dentro. The Lord provides. Doctrina y Convenios 78:19 #hundredfold


Saying goodbye to Hermana McCoy


We came across that little guy just 30 minutes ago. I have never heard a squirrel sound like that. We decided he must be a Spanish squirrel. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Transfer time!

Good morning Mommy!!!! 

Thank you for your emails this week! It has been so fun to get them everyday, and my companion have been enjoying past Halloween pictures of Hermanita Croft. 

I don't know if I will have more time to write today cause we got a lot of things to do down here! Your guesses were pretty close. Hermana Smith is staying here to train her baby, Hermana McCoy is off to Elizabeth to be an STL (which is very exciting, because depending on how they split the areas she might be assigned to go on exchanges with Hermana Smith and I), I won't be going back to Red Bank because they are closing down that area (nothing was happening there and they have more missionaries going home than coming in this transfer). I will be off to Kearny, a walking area.*  And guess what, I get to go to Ellis Island! Probably not a ton, but once or twice during the transfer! Yay! Also, apparently it is kind of a hood area, so that should be interesting. 

Your pumpkins are absolutely beautiful! I love the día de los muertos designs, they look awesome! In celebration of the holiday our members have given us some pan de los muertos (day of the dead bread), it is delicious and also kind of creepy as it is baked in the shape of a corpse...

Love you! Hopefully I will send another email later today. Tell everyone happy Halloween for me! 

Love,
Hermana Croft 


P.S. Yes, we do have curfews tonight and tomorrow.

* Kearny is a suburb of Newark...Newark being the area that is supposedly behind why New Jersey is called "the armpit of America." She'll be able to give a first hand opinion as to whether she feels it merits the motto or not...should be interesting. ha!







 Car selfies...

 I have no idea what is going on in this picture...

 Looks like maybe they were caught in the rain?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Trio Life

Hello Hello Hello!

Wow. What a week it has been. Let's go through day by day, shall we? 

Monday: Whilst doing P-day activities President Hess called Hermana McCoy and I and told us to pack up our stuff and drive up to Morristown to be emergency transferred. We packed, cleaned up everything and then drove an hour and a half to the mission home. We slept over that night with Hermana Smith and her sick companion. 

Tuesday: Wake up and immediately drive the two and a half hours down to Toms River with all our stuff. Unpacked a little bit to get settled in and then we were off to some appointments! Hermana Smith is still in training (we came in from the CCM together), but leading out the area like a pro!

Wednesday: Our first full day as a Trio! Hermana McCoy and I tried to memorize all the names and people as we spent the day in appointments and learned how to work in a trio. The Sister Training Leaders, who had planned an exchange with Hermana Smith and companion before everything went down, decided to come and double work our area to help us out. So that night we had not three, but five sister missionaries sleeping in our apartment. Every inch of the bedroom floor was covered in makeshift beds to accommodate the visitors. Sleep over!

Thursday: Hermana Smith and I spent the day knocking doors with one STL, while Hermana McCoy left with the other (a major feat, considering neither of them knew the area at all). They left that night after a successful but somewhat stressful day. 

Friday: We made the hour drive up to my old area (Red Bank) for interviews with President Hess. This resulted in all three of us being very anxious about transfers next week. From what we were able to piece together from the different things he told each of us in our interviews, the trio will be dissolved after this week. We are all a little sad about this. 

Saturday: Up at 4:45 to get ready and drive back to Morristown for the all zone conference with Elders Buckner, and Bennett of the seventy and Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve! Super cool! We each got to shake his hand and take a picture with him as a mission. *Side note: For the picture they had us line up from tallest to shortest. And yes, in case you were wondering, I am the shortest missionary currently serving in the New Jersey Morristown Mission.* The coolest thing he said was near the end: "I want you to hear this from my own mouth, The Saviors voice is no stranger to the leaders of the church." Yeah. 

Then that night we had three dinner appointments in a row. So. Much. Food. I made the unwise decision of wearing a dress that was a little snug that morning because I wanted to look nice for Elder Rasband. During second dinner I was so full my dress was begining to really constrict my ablity to breath. So when the  member left the room for a second to get something I wasted no time in grabbing Hermana McCoy and having her help me unzip the death trap (yes, it was tight enough that I couldn't undo it on my own). Luckily I also had on a cardigan, so you couldn't see that my dress was fully unzipped for the rest of the night. Needless to say, I  don't think I will be wearing that dress again any time soon. Maybe fast sunday. We all felt super sick by the end of the night.

Sunday: Up early again to head up to stake conference in East Brunswick. We had to be there early because of the special guest. That's right, Elder Rasband chose our stake to visit out of the six he was offered. Why? Because it is where he served when he was a missionary. You can read a cool story about his experiences in Scott's Plains NJ in his last conference talk by "Divine Design". I have gone to that area twice on exchanges, so that's cool. The spirit was super strong when he gave an apostolic blessing to the stake. 

Other things:
*Transfers are next week. We will definitely be split up, because Hermana Smith has been called as a trainer! She is going straight out of her own training to teaching a new missionary! She is a rockstar!
*There are a TON of Jews in Toms River! It is one of the biggest Jewish populations in the world. 
*Hermana Smith told the ward my favorite food is vegetables and now all the members are making us veggies. They are so sweet! And we are a little bit healthier for it :)


Have a great week! 

Hermana Croft 



Monday, October 16, 2017

Unexpected transfer

Buenos Dias!

You should be getting an email from Hermana McCoy with a video. Why? Because my life has changed since I emailed you this morning. (Julianne emailed a quick good luck message early this morning to do with something she knew I had going on today.) We are getting emergency transferred to the very south-est area of the mission. I will be in a trio with Hermana Smith from the CCM so that will be cool to spend some time with her. Her companion has been having medical issues the past two transfers and now they are sending her home on a plane tomorrow for emergency surgery. I don't know exactly what is going on, but she was dying (finishing her mission) this transfer anyway, so luckily she is only leaving two weeks early. Hermana McCoy and I are packing up our stuff and leaving our apartment today to move in with Hermana Smith in Toms River. We were driving to the grocery store when President texted us asking us to call him. 

So, got to go pack. Then say goodbye to the neighbors. Then probably drive for around 4 hours to get the other sisters to the mission home and then back to the south again. Who knows if I will be coming back to Red Bank after transfers, so it's a little sad I can't say goodbye to any of the members. We might be coming back up to Red Bank once or twice to meet with an investigator, but other than that the area will have English missionaries, but not Spanish for the next two weeks. Our ward has Spanish elders as well but just in a neighboring area, so they will probably take care of the members in our area for the next little while as well as their own. So it should all be fine. It sure is an adventure! Hermana McCoy and I are going to try and hit one of the restaurants here that we have been meaning to try before we leave. 


A few other things that happened this week:
* A member called me fat during dinner together (because Hispanics are just super honest about that stuff) and then 2 hours later one of our new investigators who can't pronounce Croft, called me Hermana Cow. That was a rough day. 
* My companion and I were trying to find a less active last night, but his address was impossible, mostly because they changed all the street names. So we asked a man sitting on his porch for directions and ended the conversation 30 minutes later with him offering us $100 just for whatever we needed because we told him he couldn't take us out to a fancy dinner because it was Sunday. No he wasn't hitting on us (He was actually going to invite his girlfriend to dinner as well), Hispanics are just very very giving people. 
* I watched one of the members eat a chicken foot with the nails still attached and everything. Luckily I didn't have to eat the foot myself, just the chicken it used to be connected to cooked together in the same pot. 
* We met a woman one the street who stopped us and told us she was a member, but hadn't been to church in three years. She then gave us her name, number, and address and told us to come over that week. Super cool! Definitely a miracle. She speaks english so we will be passing her on to the English sisters.

Sorry I don't have time to write more! Have a good week!
Hermana Croft




Monday, October 2, 2017

Happy Autumn

Buenas Tardes! 

What an absolutely lovely weekend it has been here in New Jersey. The weather has turned the corner into autumn, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. There are leaves to crunch underfoot and the sheer amount of acorns near both our apartment and the church astounds me. These are even more delightful to step on than the leaves, if you can believe it. I tried to refrain from crushing them at first for the sake of the squirrels that are collecting food for the winter (because there are seriously a TON of squirrels here!) But sometimes when you are knocking doors and having no luck, you need the simple pleasure of squishing an acorn to the pavement. 

The spirit was just in the air this conference weekend. We watched all four sessions at the church, 3 in English and 1 in Spanish. My notes from that session are a little confusing. They are all in Spanglish and I've got a lot of unfinished sentences where I couldn't quite understand what was going on. I'm sure I will get a lot from going back over these talks as I have time. Frankly I'm sure I will get a lot out of re-reading ALL the talks. I really loved Elder Jeffery R. Holland's talk, and Tad R. Callister's is perfect for a less-active we are working with. As I watched, taking my own notes, the names of people we are teaching would pop into my mind and I would write them down. By the end of the conference I had just about everybody's name scattered somewhere throughout my notebook. Needless to say, my lesson plans for the next couple weeks are going to be centered around the revelation we received this past weekend. 

In between sessions on Sunday we experienced some serious miscommunications with a less-active man we were supposed to meet up with to teach. After he didn't answer the door we wandered to the side of the house where we heard some men talking. They knew our less-active, but wasn't sure where he was. Upon discovering we spoke Spanish they asked if we were from Spain (cause, white girls) and when we responded no, we were American one became especially interested. I picked up the phone and tried to call the less-active again, so I wasn't listening too closely. Soon words like beautiful, and boyfriend caught my attention. I tuned in right in time to hear an approximately 40 year old Hispanic man propose to my companion. She declined saying she was only here to teach about Christ. He offered to listen to all the lessons if she would marry him afterwards. To which she responded that she was only 19 years old. All the better, he said as I tried to interpret both the conversation and answer the less-active who I had now got on the phone, in my brain. Using the phone call as an excuse, we left in a hurry. This is actually the second time Hermana McCoy has been proposed to on her mission. Apparently it is an easy way to become a US citizen. 

The war with the crickets rages on, and unfortunately the battle territory has grown. We are now experiencing attacks on two different fronts, with the little guys appearing in the kitchen and bathroom. I was all for continuing to use the 409 cleaning spray to keep them at bay, having found it to be effective in preventing them from retreating to safe ground (namely holes we have discovered in our baseboards) mid battle. However Hermana McCoy was feeling increasingly guilty about this after a less-active (whom we were attempting to bond with over funny bug stories) pronounced our methods to be inhumane due to the bleach component in our cleaning spray. We were left at a stand still, with Hermana McCoy refusing to use the 409, but also being unwilling to go out on the front lines herself with some other weapon. Luckily the Lord has provided for His servants, and in this our time of need, we were able to fall back on the skills we have acquired as missionaries. Thinking from the cricket's perspective, as we would when planning a lesson for an investigator, we started with the end goal in mind and worked backwards from there, weaving backup plans in as we went. With companionship unity as a guiding force, we were able to concoct and execute a flawless plan of extermination. When victory was certain with the bug securely trapped under a tupperwear box (that has now officially been dubbed the bug box, and will never again be used to hold food), we opted instead to extend the hand of mercy and slide a piece of cardboard beneath the box so we could deposit him outside (a great distance from the apartment). I felt a little like Captain Moroni throughout the whole process. 

Well, happy fall everyone! We have enjoyed listening to all the messages from conference, now it is time to apply them to our lives! I hope to be able to go in the the next General Conference ready for increased revelation having taken the counsel of the apostles to heart over the past six months and as a result grown more into the person God wants me to be. Love you!

XOXO

Hermana Croft 



This is one of the crickets. He is a little on the smaller end. In fact, come to think of it, this is the very cricket we captured and then let go outside. 


This is the park by the river where we ate sack lunches today and read emails.
Acai bowl: yum!


 The face mask is from last Monday.

  
 Pretty houses and a fun Little Free Library in Red Bank.