Monday, February 19, 2018

What a LOVEly week!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! 

To celebrate el día de amistad y amor I sneakily decorated H. Hopson's desk with hearts while she was in the shower. Then we went out to Chipotle for a late birthday lunch with a member of the English ward. 
    Later we went to the nursing home as usual to offer service, but since it was Valentine's Day we got to participate in their party! We ran around wheeling people down from all different floors to join in the festivities. They had an entertainer come in and sing old love songs (which were definitely not mission appropriate, but not nearly as bad as the songs we hear at Dunkin Donuts while using their WiFi to do online proselyting) and passed out juice and cookies to the residents.
    That night we ran around heart attacking members of the ward and leaving cookies on their doorsteps on our way to the chapel for the ward family home evening. Bishop taught a lesson about charity, ending by explaining that the greatest love we can share is that of the Savior and inviting everyone to get involved with missionary work (we seriously have the best bishop, what a homie). 

Fun fact: throughout the course of this week, I have had 4 different companions. Scratch that, on Thursday alone I had 4 different companions. I started out the day with my cute little Hermana Hopson, then spent the afternoon in a trio with the English sisters (while H. Hopson was at a doctor's appointment with a senior couple), and then spent the night (and all of Friday) on exchanges with the STL's. 

Saturday night we had the ward Valentine's Day party combined with the Portuguese branch. What was suppose to be a low key affair turned into an all out Valentine dance! Bountiful portions of Latin food, Karaoke, Salsa dancing, and decorations galore. We had an English class student/potential investigator attend who was very distraught when we had to turn down his invitation to dance. Truth be told I was very distraught as well. Latin dancing is contagious! Everyone was up spinning around! Pero esta bien. Yo puedo hacerlo después de la misión.

Have a lovely week everyone! 
XOXO 


Hermana Croft  

Monday, February 12, 2018

I have twenty years!

Well, well, well.
I'm not a teenager anymore. Huh. Weird. 
Thank you for the birthday wishes!

We started out my birthday with a scare from a skunk on the track. And then had a nice long run. (Okay, not that long, but longer than usual. We woke up early to have more time, which is big for me because I don't like mornings or running. But I do love my companion, and it was her hump day.) During which I pondered my life and mentally jammed out to "Fifteen" by Five for Fighting, before heading home to get ready and enjoy a green smoothie for breakfast. I officially turned 20 during studies while reading the Book of Mormon, so that's cool. 

Our celebratory lunch was spent at a local cafe. We ordered a breakfast burrito and chocolate chip pancakes to split; a rather symbolic choice if you really think about it. Pancakes because, I love pancakes and they have generally always been a part of my birthday breakfasts, and a burrito because I have changed since my 19th year; become more Hispanic, learned a little Spanish, etc. My plate was a visual representation of my life right now as a missionary. 

It was a super good week! Lots of rain, but that's good, because I like rain. My companion thought I was a little crazy, but I enjoyed singing and dancing and splashing my way through the puddles on the way to appointments.

The best parts of the week were our lessons with our investigator M----. On Tuesday we taught the Plan of Salvation with the Sunday School President Hermano Cruz as a team up. He was amazing! He befriended M---- easily, casually testifying of the Gospel as they got to know each other, and then helped to explain things during the actual lesson when we got lost in our Spanish. 
Then just last night we met at Hermano Cruz's house and taught M---- the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The entire family was there and they are all now good friends. At the end of the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he said YES! So now we will be working towards getting him prepared for baptism on March 25. Yay!  

Happy Valentine's day everyone! Show someone you love them this week. Here is a scripture for you about the greatest act of love of this world will ever know:

3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—
4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;
5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life
- Doctrine and Covenants 45:3-5

Christ is love. 

XOXO

Hermana Croft 

P.S. Apparently I woke H. Hopson up several times Friday night because I was sleep teaching the Plan of Salvation... in Spanish..






Monday, February 5, 2018

Happy February!

¡Buenas tardes! 

Things that happened this week: 

*Tuesday was an awesome day of miracles! We met with an investigator and taught her the Word of Wisdom. She was very surprised to hear that we don't drink coffee, but said she would do without her morning cup if it meant she would be more receptive to the spirit. Yay! She is a cute little 80 year old Peruvian woman. 
Later that night we went to an apartment complex in search of a man I found on exchanges over a month ago. When we met him on the street he gave us his building number, but not the specific apartment. We decided to start on the top floor and knock all the doors. No one knew him, or cared to listen to our message till the very last door. There we found an adorable little Colombian lady named D---. She has talked with missionaries before, and was very willing to meet with us. We have an appointment set for this week!
As we were walking out of the apartment building we stopped to hold the door open for two men coming in with a bunch of suitcases. Because it was dark and they were in a hurry, it took me a second to realize who I had just seen. When my brain processed that it was the guy we had been looking for, he was already up a floor and a half. Naturally we raced up after him, gave him a Book of Mormon, and got his correct contact information. Yes! 

*We have been a part of multiple musical numbers this week, the most interesting being the one we were asked to perform as a part of a funeral. The Elders have been teaching a woman who's father passed away this week, and somehow they got put in charge of organizing the program for the viewing. None of the family were members, in fact many seemed to be Catholic, but they didn't have a problem with the LDS church coming in and taking care of things. Bishop directed the service, the Elders spoke about the Plan of Salvation, and Hermana Hopson and I sang "Nearer My God to Thee". We were the only ones dressed up. Everyone else was in a mixture of ripped jeans, t-shirts, and snap backs, including the corpse in the casket. It was really weird. 

*We frequently go into Dunkin Donuts to use their wifi, and we have encountered quite a few characters there. This week we got to know a new regular. His name is J-- and he is little crazy, but his heart is in the right place. Whenever he sees us he always tells us to be safe, that he knows God is protecting us, but it's Satan's domain out there and we best be watching ourselves, etc. This week he took it up a notch. As we sat putting in our lesson plans and contacting people through Facebook, he yelled over to the group of hooligans on their phones in the corner of the cafe. Far from telling them to respect us or leave us alone, as I was expecting due to previous experiences with J--, he charged the teenage boys with watching out for our well-being when he wasn't around. "I look out for you, so you best be looking out for these ladies. When I ain't around, you make sure nobody gives them no trouble" 

*We had six meal appointments this week. Not unusual, but the days got mixed up and so we ended up having a couple days with multiple appointments. I always feel a little sick after two dinners.
My favorite quote from a meal appointment came directly after the woman made me get another serving of potatoes drenched in a cheesy sauce: "Hermana, you better eat some more salad or you're going to get fat!". She started out the dinner by telling us how she always lets the missionaries serve themselves because she doesn't know how much they will want or even if they will like the food. Then throughout the meal she continued to demand that I get more of everything. 

*We had an investigator come to church this Sunday and stay for all three hours! M---- is super cool! We met him street contacting last Sunday and have since had two lessons. I am really excited to keep working with him. Fun fact: we asked him what our accents sounded like, if they were super American or not. He said we we sounded like we were from Spain, but I think he was just trying to be nice. 

*Feeling the spirit work through you is amazing! When you are being guided with what to say, you can see the message penetrate through the distractions of the world and reach their soul. The spirit becomes an almost tangible presence in the room/apartment hallway/street corner. 

XOXO

Hermana Croft 

Exploring the sketchy part of the area. This tree is more bundled up than I am. There was a whole row of them all wrapped up in blankets.  It looked like a forest of Dr Seuss Truffula trees. 

 The bishop and his wife. I love them so much! I strive to be like them!

Food I ate this week. This was the "little snack" our less-active promised us on Thursday because she felt bad when she didn't have any food prepared when we visited her on Tuesday. 

 More food. It's called Lomo Saltado, and it's one of my favorite Peruvian dishes. 

A selfie we took after lots of miracles on Tuesday.  


Also, we got a smartphone at zone conference this week! This is us saying goodbye to the dinosaur.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Musical numbers, new areas and baby snakes

Hey family!

Sunday was really good, we set up a bunch of appointments. Random tidbit: I am the designated chorister in Relief Society and Hermana Hopson the pianist. Which is all fine and dandy for her because she can play, but I have discovered I am a rather terrible leader. Being the 4th Sunday of the month, it was the missionaries' turn to speak in sacrament meeting. Luckily neither of us were chosen this week, although my companion will be speaking next month. Instead we were put in charge of a musical number. Hermana Hopson played the piano and I sang a solo. We did a rendition of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to the tune of "Come Thou Fount". It ended up being really nice. Also, I love "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" in Spanish! The words are beautiful!

They closed down the Elders area next to ours (because we are short on missionaries, not every area can stay open all the time) so Hermana Hopson and I have taken on Harrison, as well as Kearny! We haven't explored it that much yet, but we will be seeing a couple members who live over there tonight. It is right outside of Newark, and therefore a little bit sketchier. But we are super excited and there are a ton of really good restaurants. 

Believe it or not, I've actually been missing Oscar a little bit! I think it is because you always write about him with such fondness. I am hopeful that he will be a little calmer when I get home. I think I could enjoy spending time with a little less rambunctious version of that little dog. 

Questions for you to google for me:
What is the history of Valentine's day?
What do apples do to your metabolism?

I love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love you! 

(And you know it's for real, because I didn't use copy and past to write "love" that many times. I typed each letter.) 

XOXO

Hermana Croft








Monday, January 22, 2018

Staying in Kearny

Here we are, another P-day and another transfer...
Hermana Hopson and I will be staying together in Kearny. Which I am okay with. We've got some new goals for this next transfer and it will be nice to have a companion I already know really well for all of the upcoming celebrations. 

Fun fact: I think I am going to have the most celebrations with Hermana Hopson than any other companion. Here is the evidence: 
- Halloween (our first day together)
- Thanksgiving #sosick
- Christmas! 
- new year's 
And, now what will happen during this transfer:
- Groundhog day
- My birthday
- her hump day (it's the same day as my birthday actually)
- Valentine's day (I am going to show her how to celebrate, because she has always hated Valentine's day)
- Rebekah's wedding (thank you for getting me a bridesmaid dress! I am excited to see it! What are her colors again?)

Kearny is very safe. There are definitely more drunk and homeless people here than in Kaysville, but we are friends, so it's okay. There have been a lot of fires recently, so we have heard sirens because of that. Funny story: this weekend we were talking to a drunk man and he told us how he knew all about the Mormons from the musical. He then proceeded to sing and do a little tap dance immitation of one of the numbers. It was hilarious!

We are given food Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and sometimes Tuesday. But in Kearny we only ever have one meal appointment a day. Also, on Wednesdays, we take the food to go, so if we don't want to eat all of it we don't have to... But usually we do still eat all of it (because it is delicious), just not all at once. :) 

I love that we have been able to learn so much about President Nelson! We were able to watch the broadcast, and the spirit was super strong!! I am going to watch it again sometime when I have time and WiFi because there were a lot of things he said I really liked. 

Love you!

Tú hija, 
Hermana Croft

Odds and Ends:
1) Jorge (my favorite Colombian man from English classes) seems to think I look like Drew Barrymore. 
2) My mission is expanding and we're going to be getting more of New York!
3) We are texting a less active young man everyday to remind him to read the Book of Mormon. We send him a joke with the reminder, and if he can tell us what he learned in his reading that day we send the answer. The only problem is I am running out of jokes...

❤❤❤❤

Also because it was the last week of the transfer we had to deep clean the entire apartment.

This is the cute nightgown I bought myself for Christmas! And also, my feet are getting toughened up from walking so much.
Boundary changes of July 1, 2018. This also affects Mason McCleary and Jackson Reynolds from our ward at home since they are in the New York, New York South Mission right now.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Monday!

Hola!

Funny story: last night after dinner with the Bishop's wife, Hermana Hopson and I were headed home really quick to drop off the extra food she had given us (because Hispanics always feed you and then send you with even more for the road) before an appointment with an investigator. We ran into the nonmember husband of a less active we have been working with. He invited us in to the family party that was taking place with all the extended family, all of which are a variety of less active and nonmembers, most of whom happen to live in our area. Yes! 

We stopped in, intending to say a quick hello before heading back out. Understandably, Hermana Hopson needed to use the restroom after our big meal, so I was left to entertain the family. The small talk took a turn towards my family, and before I knew it they were looking at pictures on my tablet. "¡Que guapo es su papá! Y bien joven, ¿cuantos años tiene?" All the Peruvian woman were smitten with my Dad. 

We ended up having to cancel the appointment with our investigator and just go home because Hermana Hopson was rather ill, but it was fun (and also stressful cause I was alone for most of it) to be able to see them.

This week we did 2 Hour Power. It was a mission wide challenge. We all prayed and fasted to know where the Lord would have us go finding from 5-7 on Saturday night. Then, right before we all headed out we got on a conference call and said a prayer together as a mission. It was super cool. Hermana Hopson and I were door knocking and were continually rejected. At about 6:40 a woman let us in to chat. At 8:20 we left with a promise to visit again the next week. She and her husband had actually talked with missionaries before in Costa Rica, but it was a long time ago, so they had lots of questions. 

XOXO
Hermana Croft 

This is a picture of Hermana Hopson and I at Zone Conference while everyone else was doing car checks. Technically I am the designated driver of the companionship, but since we don't have a car, we changed my title to the designated walker. If you look closely, you can see the GPS in Hermana Hopson's hand. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cold hands, warm hearts

Hello!

I have been missing y'all a lot this week. I love the pictures and descriptions of all of your holiday festivities. So many people I love all in one place. Cousins, friends, family, I feel like my circle of love is just growing! Now, not only does it include my cousins, but their spouses, not only my siblings, but their friends, plus all the other missionaries I have come to know and love serving side by side here in New Jersey. 

This has been a bit of a rough week. We didn't missionary (yes I am using it as a verb) that much. My companion was sick on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we had an appointment and it was real cold, so we weren't out that long. Thursday was the blizzard (super cool to watch the snow blowing around through the window) so we hunkered down inside for most of the day. Friday was mostly spent indoors, be it teaching lessons or doing online Facebook proselyting. Saturday was the most freezy of all the days, but Hermana Hopson still wanted to go knock in the 5 degree weather cause she was feeling like we hadn't done anything. This amplified the slight cold I was starting to get ten-fold, and we both lived to regret it later that night when I was up till dawn hacking up a lung in an attempt to breath and she was up all night listening to me (at about 3 am she grabbed her blankets and spent the rest of the night on the couch upstairs). Sunday started 9 am church for the new year, with 7:30 am ward council (We left the house before 7:00 to catch the bus. It was chilly).

After church was super good through, cause we got to teach a new investigator who is amazing! She met with the missionaries about a year ago (Sister Morgan Hall, actually. The girl who lives in the other half of our neighborhood) and when we invited her to read the Book of Mormon, she responded that she has already read it all the way through and she knows it is true. The only thing that is keeping her from being baptised are her family ties to the Catholic church. She doesn't want to disrespect her parents by switching religions. 

Odds and ends:
*One morning I was telling Hermana Hopson about a dream I had the night before. I thought it was super cool because it was all in Spanish. She responded, that she had guessed I was dreaming in Spanish because my sleep talk had been in Spanish. What?! From the interrogation following this idle comment, I was able to discover things about myself that had previously been unknown.
 1)apparently I talk in my sleep on a semi-regular basis
 2)whenever I sleep talk, I sound like something is upsetting me
 3)sometimes it is all in Spanish
*I ate cow stomach for dinner last night at a member's house. The texture is very similar to cow foot, super rubbery. 
*A guy we met street contacting, and then taught a lesson to while he ate his lunch in a local restaurant, told me he thinks I am a real person, but my companion is a robot. He even asked her if she had ever been in the military because she was "super intense". She was not amused by this.

Love 
Me

---------------------
This card came snail mail a few days after Christmas accompanied by a handwritten note...


My Dearest Mother,
     You will have to excuse me for not having a nice Christmas letter all written up, because I know how much it displeases you when people just send pictures. However, as a missionary I don't have much time to compose long elegant narrations of my doings. So I will have to go by the old saying: A picture is worth 1,000 words.
     So here are 4,000 words for you. Eh, maybe a little less than 4,000. I'm not sure a selfie should really count for the full thousand, do you? Unfortunately, we don't have many other options whilst out proselyting. So selfies it is!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOU!

                                   --- Hermana Croft

P.S. Yes, that is my phone #.  No, don't call it.

PICTURES:
1) The first snow of the season!
2) El Libro de Mormon
3) Our fall photo shoot
4) Snuggling while nursing our food babies after a meal appointment. We were also making phone calls in an attempt to be productive.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Right now

Hello!
I am sitting with my feet propped up, drinking orange mint ginger tea, and feeling very content. 
The pictures I just sent over are from Christmas dinner (In my jammies) and ringing in the New Year today at noon. 
Thank you for all the pictures from your adventurous week. I kind of forgot that y'all would still be celebrating throughout this week, cause it has been very back to business for me. No more laying around the house in my sweats reading my way through the stack of novels I got for Christmas. To satisfy my craving for reading, I have jumped back into "Jesus the Christ". It is the most novel-like book I've got right now, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. 

I love you! 

Hermana Croft 

 When 3 companionships with lessons at the church got juked simultaneously. (Our investigators cancelled last minute/just didn't show up). 


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Feliz Navidad!

Christmas Day was also P-day. So as well as skyping with Julianne, she also emailed back and forth with me throughout the day and sent a lot of pictures. Here's a few odds and ends from our Christmas chat.



































* She called at 8:00am, which she knew was actually early for us. Because unlike other families, we tend to sleep in on Christmas day and frequently don't get around to actually opening gifts under the tree until around 1:00. She expressed concern about her suggested time and wondered if we would like her to call later, even though that time of morning would work best for her. I told her we'd happily get up in the middle of the night to talk to her and that 8:00 would be great. So we set alarm clocks and at 7:55am every one was making their way upstairs to the computer. 10-year old Lilian didn't even once complain about having to wait to see what Santa brought, knowing that her filled stocking was sitting just one room away.

* Julianne kept breaking into Spanish. Bryan was able to understand her well, though the rest of us had to ask for translations. She said that her first few transfers she had companions who had been out longer and would take the lead in most Spanish conversation, which led to her relying heavily on them. Her current companion in Kearny, Hermana Hopson, has only been out one transfer longer than Julianne. So she found herself having to speak more and share the responsibility of conversation and teaching with her companion...the two of them working together more equally. Which meant of course that she became more and more comfortable with the language and is finally feeling confident. She sounded great. Bryan says she uses a lot of Spanish slang. haha!

* We asked her what her favorite Spanish word was, I can't spell it or even pronounce it, but apparently it's peanut butter. She just likes the way it sounds.

* She's also learning a little Portuguese and even a tiny bit of Italian.

* When asked about her family, she shows pictures and says invariably every one comments on how young her parents look. (Yay!) Recently she showed two little boys a picture of her older sister Rebekah in her wedding dress that I had sent her from dress shopping last week. They were convinced that Rebekah must be a princess. And if that was the case, then Julianne being her sister must be a princess as well. Julianne said that no, she was a Hermana. The boys thought that was pretty cool, and decided they wanted to be a Hermana too when they got a little older. Julianne laughed and told them that actually they would be Elders.

* She loves Newark, actually...even with it being the Armpit of America and all. She says it is indeed stinky and a little sketchy, but she is hugely enjoying all the Spanish people and cultures she comes into contact with...so many Latin and South American countries represented there.

* Julianne said that she and Hermana Hopson had spent Christmas Eve at the Bishop's home and had dinner there with the other Spanish missionaries in the ward. Afterwards they all set up a hot chocolate stand on a nearby street corner. Later that evening she and Hermana Hopson had a late night Christmas Eve snack in their apartment of oreos and peanut butter before dragging all their blankets and pillows out to sleep by the Christmas tree. (Just like our tradition here at home.) Then early Christmas morning they opened their presents. At the appointed skyping time they walked over to the English Sisters' apartment because they had wifi. Julianne said she must've looked very festive as she walked the few blocks wearing her red Christmas pajamas we had sent her, a bright green coat, the scarf she had received from her grandparents, and then of course her missionary tag. haha!

* I told Julianne I got a text from her Bishop the day before. He said, "Hello!!! this is ----- Family. today we have a special Christmas dinner with the Newark NJ missionaries and this pictures are our gift for you." And then he added two pictures. Julianne smiled really big and said, "It was in English? Wow...I've never heard him speak in English before." She really loves her Bishop in the Spanish ward.

* Our Bishop here at home told us the release date he has for her is December 24th, 2018...Christmas Eve. But Julianne said she had been told December 19th. Regardless, we'll have her home with us for Christmas next year. Yay!

* We had Julianne offer a family prayer for us in Spanish. I didn't understand much of what she was saying but we were all a bit emotional by the time she finished. We passed the laptop around so she could say goodbye to each of us in turn, and by the time she got to me we were both wiping away tears. We shared a goodbye and I love you and miss you...and then she ended the call somewhat abruptly, I think because she didn't want to see me lose it completely, which then of course would make her start crying harder.

We only got 45 minutes this time. Rebekah was always allowed to chat a bit longer. But those 45 minutes were really wonderful...so much trademark Julianne personality, smiles and laughs. She looks and sounds really happy which makes the missing her a little easier to deal with.
-----------------


-We ate Oreos as our Christmas Eve treat. And then got a little carried away taking pictures...

 - The Christmas Eve hot chocolate stand with the Elders. I love them. 

 - Christmas morning around the tree, looking in my stocking. 

 - The Christmas activity with the ward, "Noche en Belén" (Night in Bethlehem). It was amazing! They transformed the gym into a little market and everyone was given a bag of coins to buy their food. We all ate sitting on the floor and then they opened the curtain to reveal the primary kids ready to perform the nativity. We all participated by singing different Christmas songs throughout the program. It was super fun!


- The cute little Peruvian boys who think Rebekah is a princess. I love them so much! There is something just so dang cute about little kids speaking Spanish. 
-Christmas Zone Conference

Monday, December 18, 2017

Snow!

Sorry I haven't emailed much today. Twas a little crazy being the last P-day before Christmas.

This week I was a missionary. We spent a lot of time in the church because my companion's musical abilities are being exploited by the ward at every available opportunity, which happens to be a lot with all the musical numbers during this time of year. 

Our area book was a mess, so we have been trying to clean it out by going through all of the potential investigators. So far we have been able to get in contact with quite a few of them. Because of this we pick up 3 new investigators this week. Yay! 

Well, I don't really know what to write... cause I will be skyping you next week!

Love you!!!!

Hermana Croft


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...