Monday, December 12, 2011

This is it!

This is ridiculous. I'm out of time. I'm getting the boot. And it really stinks. I'll get over it eventually and to be honest I don't think it's actually hit me what's going on. It just really....stinks. So instead of getting all down about it and thinking about all of these great people that I'm going to miss, I'm going to write my last e-mail to you as if it wasn't the last e-mail I was ever writing on my mission. Are you ready to pretend with me? ok here we go!
AFFE IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!!!! WWWWWWWHHHHAAAT?! I know right? IT's nuts! I'll get to actually see her get baptized before I go. She'll get baptized on Saturday, on Sunday she'll be cofirmed and on Monday I'm headed to Halifax. Is this like every missionaries dream or what? Before you get to thinking anything, no I did not talk her into it. I did want to. But I didn't. She just came to church on Sunday and in Relief Society she turned to us and said,"oh actually my friend isn't coming from Toronto so I can get baptized before January 3rd since he won't be here to see it." I was close to freaking out at that point but wasn't sure how soon she wanted to get baptized. She waited a couple of minutes and then turned to us again and said, "And maybe I could get baptized before you leave Sister Crane!" I replied with, "THIS Saturday?" "Or Friday," was her oh-so chill response. That's when the freak out actually happened. I feel bad for the Relief Society teacher, although I think I hid it well enough. After church ended we then hurriedly went with her as she asked each member to give a talk, or baptize or her or say a prayer at the baptism. I'm so excited! Affe has been ready since forever. And I got to teach her pretty much from the her start when I got here. So this has been 5 months now and I'm so pumped! She's so ready. AH!
Our Relief Society Christmas party was on Saturday and it was awesome. Kylie, our investigator came. It was exciting. I ate a lot of sweets and pretty much died from a sugar coma. I also played for them while they sang Christmas carols and after I got done one of the Sisters there says, "oh we're going to miss Sitser Crane aren't we?!" It hillarious because they will all miss me but only because I'm the only one who plays the piano! haha This talent has def. come in handy out here. I also love how this week I've been asked to pray more than ever before. It's kind of ridiculous. Everyone wants me to pray since it's my last time, little do they know how many "last times" I've been having. And their adding up. Oh well. More blessings. Or something.
Oh oh OH so the Elders had a baptism last Saturday and our investigator Vivian came. She's the one that is so incredibly in tune with the Spirit and is from China and is the sweetest thing ever. Ok so she tells us after she watches the baptism that as she saw Eileen go under the water she had this feeling of, "I want to do that!" and her heart was beating really fast! She also said it wasn't like the movies or what she's seen on TV about baptism, but it was more "sacred". Woah. Where did she learn that word?! So amazing! I wish I could be here for her baptism, but she's going back to China for a few months to visit so I'm hoping when she comes back she'll get in contact with missionaries!
The Lord is blessing us greatly. It's incredible. I can never repay Him for what He has done for me by allowing me to serve a mission. I know that I'll be such a better person for it. I'm so grateful for the chance to learn and grow and especially to witness so many amazing tender mercies and miracles. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! What a blessing to serve the Savior. I really don't want to ever take off this name tag. But I am grateful that my service to Him doesn't end when my mission ends. I get to continue to serve Him each day for the rest of my life. How exciting is that?! Someone once told me that in the church you have to learn to say "next." Things are always changing and always moving and you can't live in the past or future you need to live in the present. And as each calling comes you have to learn to say, "next" and be able to move on to the next adventure. So after this week I will say next and take what I've learned here and apply it to my continued life of serving the Savior. I testify that He lives!

Sister Crane

Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't ever announce over the pulpit that your going home in 2 weeks. Everyone gets all nastalgic and includes you in their testimony and it's down right embarrassing. Blasted nastalga. Sam is one of those that got up and bore her testimony and oh man she is so awesome! She made Fredericton what it is for me and I couldn't be more grateful for her. Naoise (10) was so cute after sacrament meeting she ran up to me and screamed "NO!" she took my hand and told me with tears in her eyes that she didn't want me to leave. I explained that I would come and visit and that this only meant she would get another friend because another sister would come. Naoise is the sweetest. I can't wait for her to get baptized.
So did you know that this is my 2nd to last e-mail home? I'm going to try and make it good but honestly it's all a blur. We got 6 new investigators this week and in case you're wondering if that's good or not IT'S AWESOME! Cosette is one of those. She's Sam's friend from work and she's AMAZING! We started teaching the restoration and she couldn't stop smiling. I stopped talking and asked her what she was smiling at if there was something wrong and she replied with, "It's just so wonderful!" WHA? Where do these people come from?! It's AWESOME! Scott is another new investigator, we met with him once and then he came last night to institute and the Christmas devotional! Seriously how can you go wrong with the 1st presidency? Affe is doing so awesome! She loves coming teaching with us and is so excited to get baptized in January. I feel a lot better about missing it, because the reason she wants to wait is b/c her best friends flying in from Vancouver and he'll see it and maybe he'll decide he wants to get baptized too!
We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday and it was so much fun! Ryan and Jessica came (the ones who live across the hall) and they brought us each a christmas present! I just about died. They are the nicest. (Man do I sound enthusiastic today or what? It's because being a missionary makes you so happy) So at the party we were in charge of the music, we put on a few Christmas classics, frank sinatra, bing crosby, it was a hit. And then I played for everyone while they sang Christmas carols. What is it about Christmas parties that make everyone so cheery and friendly? I don't know but I love it! We even had a ton of our less-actives come to it! It was the best.
Last night Jessica and Ryan had us over for dinner. Ryan said it was the least they could do for us since we've been teaching them. Again, who are these people? SO cool! We committed them to start having family prayer and at the end we all knelt together and Ryan offered the prayer. In it he said, "I pray that one day we'll be with you, Lord, and our family forever." AH! love it.
Vivian's doing awesome! In our lesson on repentance we committed her to repent every day and she replied with, "but what if I don't sin everyday?" I was kind of taken back and then thought, "good!" We then explained how sometimes it's just about being better, not neccessarily the big sins but small things too.
Can you tell we're teaching a lot of people? we are. the most I've ever taught EVER. 23 investigators this week! 23! It's so cool. I love Fredericton. I love my mission! I love it! I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven. I recieved exciting news about 2 of my recent converts in Truro who hadn't been going to church and they went to church yesterday! This was such a huge answer to prayer and it made me realize that even when I'm not there God will take care of these people I love so much because He loves them MORE. What a huge blessing, to know they they'll be ok. I love this work. I'm not leaving this place till I give everything I've got!
Sister Crane

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chinese people are awesome. I'm over this whole teaching Canadians thing. Chinese people are where it's at! Affe (from China) is on date! hip hip hooray! Jan. 3rd! woot! (we're trying to talk her into sooner you know since I won't be there for it but we'll see...) Vivian who is also from China is sooooooooo amazing! Ah! She has the BEST questions EVER!!!! She asked this week if God ever gets tired of hearing us pray, if we could ever pray TOO much. Of course I reassured her that that's not possible but what a great question! AND we got 2 new chinese investigators! woot! They're both students at the local university here and it's so cool to teach people who don't know anything about God. With all of the Chinese people we've taught they each have brought up that they think they should pray to God only when they need something or when they're having a bad day. It's so neat to teach each of them that they can pray to God and should pray to Him no matter what, even if it's just to thank Him. Oh man sooooo cool! I feel like I've now served my mission not only in Canada but China too. Except I get the perk of speaking my own language. The best is that Affe comes to our appointments and translates words that maybe they don't know in english like "baptism" or "authority." Man I love this job.
So our next door neighbors are now being taught! See guys you can talk to you neighbors and it works! Seriously they live literally right across the hall. Jessica is a less-active and Ryan her fiance is not a member. They have 2 adorable kids, Lilly and Logan. Lilly had her birthday party this week so we stopped by to give her a present. We got her a coloring book to use at church. And guess what they totally came to church! It was so cool! Lilly is seriously so adorable. On Saturday after her party we heard a knock at our door. (no one ever knocks on our door by the way so it was kind of weird) We open the door and there is Lilly with a little goodie bag from her party and 2 princess crowns for us. She said that her Mom said she could come give it too us and told us that she, "loved us with all her heart." haha who is this kid?! It was pretty cute.
We have a couple more new investigators too! We're teaching another person from Iran and 2 other girls. I just feel like God is pouring out His blessings on us right now. It's so amazing! The church is true! Another thing He's pouring out on us is SNOW! We had a massive snow storm on Wednesday and President told everyone that they weren't allowed to drive. bummer. That's never happened before that I know of, so the roads must have been really dangerous. So sister Lorenc and I found other productive things to do, one of which was taking awesome pictures in the snow. I am kind of glad that it snowed before I left so I could go knock doors in the snow one last time (well maybe, it could snow again for all I know).
I can't believe it will be December this week! Pretty crazy. I'm so grateful for the people I've been meeting. I'm constantly reminded of the good that planting seeds can do. We got let into a door last night and she said it was because last time she saw missionaries they saw she was having a bad day and stopped her on the street and asked her if they could help her with anything. She said they were just so nice and it seemed like the thing that Christ would do. These 2 missionaries will never know what an impact it made on this woman and how because of it we have an appointment to teach her this week. Charity never faileth! And good examples can have a huge impact. We may never know just how much. Have a great week! Go do some good act and have fun with it!

Sister Crane

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Woah woah woah. What did we even do this week? It was nuts! So many lessons, so much stress. It was kind of crazy. There have always been moments of that on my mission, times where you get so stressed you can't even think clearly. People tell you sooooo much stuff and you listen A LOT. It's kind of insane the amount of information that you take in. And every now and then you get an overload and start shutting down. Sister Lorenc and I both hit that point. We became so exhausted and became zombies for a few days but some how recovered as you always do. I don't know how you recover, because you don't just get extra sleep or something. I feel like it's one of those times that God just gives you the strength and energy that you need for your calling. It's awesome.
So even after a paragraph of typing I still really couldn't tell you what we did all week. Sam is doing awesome. She comes teaching with us and goes to YSA and is just so cool. She's told us some more details of her life too that have made me realize how much God prepared her to meet us on the bus that day. It's pretty incredible how God knows us each individually. Sister Lorenc and I have been talking about that a lot she had a good analogy for it. It's like we're the quarter in the candy machine. God made the machine, he already filled it up with candy and he sticks us in and then he turns the knob and there you go! That's all we are really, the quarter. What a blessing it is to be apart of HIS work.
We've been working with a lot of members lately and getting a lot of dinner appointments. It's funny because we weren't really getting many dinner appointments until I announced in relief society that we would be happy to have kraft dinner (mac & cheese) or Mr. Noodle (Top Raman). bada bing bada boom. None of them have fed us that but I think they all realized how desperate we are :) I love going and seeing members. Lately we've been doing this scripture challenge with them and while they do it for a week they pray about their friends. They are all so willing to share the gospel it's so awesome!
I wish I could think up more details about the work but the weeks are so jam packed and all I can think to add is that I know that this church is true. I know that God answers prayers. I know that he sent me here for a reason. It's a priveledge to serve, and I love doing it. Have a great Thanksgiving week!

Sister Crane

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pictures from the baptism

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sam got baptized! woot! It was so awesome! She was so happy and so excited! She got baptized on 11/11/11 and it was also remembrance day in Canada (US has Veteran's day). So that day we went 2 hours early to go fill up the font. We start to fill it up and it's ice cold. I mean ICE cold. The St. John river would have been warmer. The heater is broken, so we grab an older member that happened to be in the building and he got us a ladder to get to the attic. So here we are in our skirts climbing this huge ladder to get to the attic. We try reseting the water heater and it's still not working. The clock is ticking and I'm thinking there is no way we could let someone go into something so cold! So we head over to the mother's lounge to fill up hot water into buckets and transfer the buckets to the font. The old fashioned way, you know. A member of the bishopric came to fix it and by the time Sam got there it was fixed. However there wasn't time to fill it up with hot water so it was more like kind of cold instead of freezing. When we told Sam about it all she responded with, "Even if it had been freezing I would have jumped in!" The baptism went smoothly from there on out. She did get out and mention that we could check baptism and polar dip on the bucket list though. :) So I guess it wasn't as warm as I thought.
      I can't express the joy I felt just witnessing this awesome baptism! This girl seriously is icredible. I've never seen such enthusiasm for the gospel not even from members. It's nuts! She kept thanking us for everything and even said, "I couldn't have done it without you." I laughed really hard at that and said, "ya, actually you could have!" We all looked at eachother and laughed thinking, ya that's true. Seriously she had been so prepared by our Heavenly Father.
     Yesterday our lesson with Elaine was awesome! Elaine is from China, she's the one that fed us all that good Chinese food. Elaine is so cool because she does this whole reflective listening thing. When we're done talking about a subject she will recap what we've told her in her own words and then recap what she needs to do. She shared this really cool experience with us too! She said that last week after we taught her how to pray she thought she would pray to ask for help on her test the next day. So before she went to bed that's what she did. Then as she was lying in bed she had this feeling that she should look over her notes from a lab she had that week. So she got out of bed and reviewed her notes. Then when she went to the test the next day there were only 3 questions on the whole test and one of them was all about that lab that she had felt prompted to study! How cool is that?! After telling us this she told us that she wasn't sure if she was just lucky or if God had helped her. We explained that God helped her and that the Holy Ghost gave her that feeling. She looked at us and smiled and said that she believed that it was God too. Then she looked puzzled and said, "but why would God help me? I've only been learning about Him for 2 weeks, He should help you guys more than me because you know more about Him." This was my favorite part of the lesson because then I got to explain how much God loves her and that He loves her just as much as He loves me and because God loves her He will answer her. I told her that God had been with her, her whole life, she just didn't know it was Him. ah! Chinese people are so cool! I love teaching them this basic, simple, yet HUGE principle, God is our loving Heavenly Father. Never has that principle meant so much to me as it does now! I've taken this information for granted for way too long.
     I'm so grateful for all of these wonderful experiences. I feel like that's all my letters home say now. But it's so true and I could never repay my Heavenly Father for being a witness to so many wonderful blessings. I'll forever be grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has helped me endure so that I could make it to this point and see these blessings. I'm so grateful that God knows more than I do and sees so clearly my future. I hope that I can trust in Him more throughout my life because of the experiences I've had here.
Sister Crane