Sunday, December 30, 2012

Well hello family! It was a very merry Christmas Week

Well, hello everyone! How are you all doing this week?? I can imagine that things have got to be pretty crazy at home for all of you and I wish that I could be there to be with ya!
This week was a pretty busy week but didn't quite give us all of the results that we wanted to see. But all in all it was a pretty dang good week! We were able to set a baptismal date with one of our investigators for the 27th of January and I am way excited for that. He is progressing well and we finally pinned him to start working for a date. We've talked about Baptism quite a bit but he always was like "I have to think about it..." so this week we were a little more looking to help him overcome his "I will think about it" attitude and pinned a date on him and gave him the steps to start to come to know this is true (he already knew them all but ya we reviewed).
We also had a pretty large miracle in that one of our awesomest investigators (our Chinese super atheist). He was able to come to church this week! And he did!!!! It was awesome. I really enjoyed having him there and I translated the meetings for him into English. However, his gospel understanding is still getting there so I am working with one of the members in our ward to get the meeting translated for him into Chinese. It will be pretty good. I did get him a Gospel Principles Manual in Chinese so he's in pretty good shape as far as it goes for understanding the doctrine. We did also work with him this week to help him recognize the spirit this week and it was a pretty good!
So in other news I just got a fun phone call in the which my stress level went up a LOT. President Furniss will be coming to my district meeting tomorrow!!! I'm nervous haha. But ya. I've thought about what I am going to talk about but haven't quite got it all the way figured out yet. However, I am confident that it'll be a good meeting!
Let's see what else..... I talked to ya'll over the phone like a week ago so I don't know exactly what else I need to tell ya.......!!!
Although I will tell you about our investigator that has a baptismal date and something that he said that I thought was really cool. We have been meeting with him for a while and we were teaching him the Gospel of Jesus Christ last week. When we got to the Gift of the Holy Ghost I made sure that we really went over what it feels like. We shared the scipture Moroni 7:13, 16-17 and then talked a little bit about recognizing the spirit. We asked him if he thought that the things we were teaching him were good or not. He said: "ya I think they are good, the things that you teach are things that help me to be just a better version of myself." I thought about just the things that I have experienced and it's so true. The reason why the things that we live are hard is because they invite us to do exactly that. They invite us to be our BEST selves. No settling for less (만족하면 안되지!!!!) always trying to be our best.
I really thought that was a true statement and I just love knowing that as I try to live the gospel, although I am not always perfect, when I do live it I am being my best self! And like Mom always tells me, we gotta be our best selves :)
So ya this week as far as actually for once responding to something you said in your emails about the newsletter just go ahead and say: Josh says this: 힘들아야지 발전하고 발전해야지 기쁨을 경험할수 있다.(It's gotta be hard for us to grow, and we have to grow if we wanna experience joy)
That's the story of my mission from day 1. And the great thing is, it's true...but God is gonna help us through it!
Love it. Just absolutely love it here. Please pray for my investigators, my district, my companion, me (if you get the chance). Ask that we can have the spirit and do the things that God wants us to do.
Love ya'll! Have an awesome week!!
Elder Josh

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to let you all know that I love you!!!
즐거운 성탄 보내세요!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This was a good week filled with Miracles!

Dear Familia!!!
안녕하세요!!! 장 지내시죠? 제가 여러분들을 너무 사랑해요!!! [Hello!  How are you?  I love you too!!!]
Anyway this week was awesome! We just worked hard all week. It started off with District Meeting on Tuesday which was absolutely awesome. I prepared pretty hard in advance to make sure that all of everything just went the way that I wanted it all to go! And it just was good. We had the spirit with us as I was able to talk about focusing our purpose on that of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only do we share it but as President was telling me this morning in our District Leader Training call we have to be living that as well. Continuing to have faith to exercise it to repent, although we can only be baptized once we can partake of the sacrament receive the holy ghost and then to continue to endure to the end. I know pretty simple to say but truly as we live it I know that we will see huge blessings. That's how it has been for me in missionary work and it has been the best!
Wednesday we saw a huge miracle in working all day then just before we were about to go in we decided to go visit a former investigator and they were totally willing to listen and invited us in and they actually both became investigators. They also introduced us to their son who is currently living in America and I got to call and talk to him and refer him to the missionaries in that area! It was pretty sweet
SO ya then we went ahead and went to the Christmas Party on Thursday. We all went up to 대전 [Daejeon] and had a big old massive party! It was the best. I had a great time. It does help that I am in the older part of the mission these days so I have a lot of people that I enjoy hanging out with and talking to... although I am starting to realize that I am more close with the Koreans than the Americans.... weird.... anyway! Ya that was fun, we actually got to watch a movie (Madagascar 3) and I laughed so much. It was hilarious, I forgot just how funny movies can be, haha. But ya then after that we had a sweet devotional where we got to think about Jesus Christ and it was just awesome.
Then to go ahead and finish off the week we had a baptism on Sunday. Brother 송 and his daughter were both baptized and next week they will be confirmed. I am way excited for them, they need this gospel so much and it is just bringing their family together. Although I didn't do any of the teaching (like literally all I did was follow up over the phone and at church) but it was still sweet to see the members take this one on their shoulders and get him and her baptized. Our ward mission leader baptized them and it was awesome!
All in all things are going well. I am having a good time training Elder Miller. I am learning a lot and discovering that as I train him on the things that he needs to learn that I am retraining myself to become a better missionary.
It has just been a really good experience. I hope ya'll know that I love you all. I sent an email to Mom about the Skype next week and I will send you a quick one next week just to make sure that all the details are confirmed and then we will go ahead and talk to you on Christmas Eve!
Love ya'll!!!!! Looking forward to next week!
크라우더 장로!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My first week as a trainer/district leader!

It is quite the week we have had! I have been really REALLY focused on trying to do a good job with all the responsibilities that have been put on me. I know that I'm going to make some mistakes eventually but I'm trying my best to make it a good experience for Elder Miller and for my District.
It has been just a busy week. Running all over the places to meet with people and to pick people up and to just do the things that we gotta do as missionaries. We have been having a really good experience teaching one of our Investigators! He has been meeting with the missionaries for a while now and I have been encouraging him to read the Book of Mormon every day. Which resulted in me starting the Book of Mormon again! (So now I'm reading it in two places at once!!) But its such a blessing the Book of Mormon. I love the many blessings that it brings into my life and I love that I can learn about the Savior through it!
This week I have really been learning a lot about the feeling of being inadequate. To explain a little more I have just been stressing about how I am going to try and lead this District and then also somehow train a new missionary. I am fervently praying for assistance and I feel like God is guiding me through little things. I just hope that He will keep it up! I need all the help that I can get.
But ya as far as things go I'll just tell you about Elder MIller. But before I do that I would just like to say it is kinda funny that we have the coincidence of me starting my mission as a Greenie with Elder Miller and the First time that I train I train Elder Milller.... WEeird righT??
Elder Miller is from Missouri and is an only child. He's a really hard worker and is learning Korean like a boss (in fact he's studying right now while I am emailing) It is just a blessing that I have someone who is so excited to get out and work. It is just great. He is learning how hard it is to learn Korean and I am kinda getting an opportunity to fill in those areas of my Korean foundation that were missing! SO it is a great experience for me. He's teaching me a lot!
Anyways I did want to talk about one thing...... Brother 송 got his Baptism Interview!!!! and he passed! BUT he delayed his baptism this week because he wanted his wife to be there! SO he will be getting baptized next week! I am excited for him and am planning to be on him this week before he get's baptized so that he continues to keep the Word of Wisdom because he needs to. But I am confident that he will be good!
So ya, that is the week. Exciting right!? I have been very grateful for all the Letters. From Brother Kahn, from Sister Lysenko, from the family, it has been awesome! It's been great!
Love ya'll so much. Hope you know that! Have an awesome week and I will look forward to hearing from ya'll next week!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another week in 전주 [Jeonju] plus this week it is TRANSFER CALLS

Well, hello there family it has been a fun week here in 전주 [Jeonju] serving in this threesome with Elder 황 and Elder Benson. It has been an interesting week culminating with fast Sunday yesterday and just another fast Sunday miracle (cause for some reason Miracles ALWAYS, without exception, happen on fast Sunday).

SO I'll tell you about our miracle. First 3 of our investigators came to church this week! It was so cool we have been working really hard with a couple people and hopefully they will make the commimtent soon to come out. But three people did come and we had a chance to do a member split and talk with them. Me and Elder Benson went together and talked with one of our investigators and then Elder 황 went with our ward mission leader to talk with the other one. The spirit was so strong in our meeting it was awesome. I could feel that the spirit was in the room and Elder Benson (he hasn't been on his mission very long so still working on the language) said that he could feel it too. Also our member that was present said that he felt it and I talked with the investigator later that day and he said he really could feel something.

Long story short that was really cool, but that wasn't the miracle.

The miracle happened with Elder 황 who went and taught one of the part-member families in our ward who's husband has been one of my investigators. The Ward Mission Leader has been taking the lead in teaching him (because of the Korean culture he doesn't feel like he needs to listen to 20 year old's even though we are called of God...?) but ya. So he has been coming to church for a while and this week they decided that it was time to get baptized. So they set up a date for next week and that is looking like it is going to go through! It's a father and his daughter which is way cool! We just have to really diligently follow up with the father this week to see to it that he can quit smoking.

Pray for him please (His name is Brother Song).

Anyway the other interesting thing is the phone call that I got this morning from President Furniss. As I mentioned in the Title of the Email today is Transfer Calls. And I got some responsibility thrown on my shoulders. President asked me to train a new missionary... and he also asked me to be the district leader here in this district. So it is going to be an interesting time to have to try and help a new missionary learn how to do missionary work and then also to try and help this district to be successful. WOW... prayers would be much appreciated

But ya it is really cool. I am going District Leader here and Elder 황 is going Zone Leader of the 전주 [Jeanju] zone. So the two of us will be in the same house which is fun. 

Also just to add a fun little thing. Elder 조 my companion before the emergency transfer is going senior and he will be serving with Elder Benson (Elder 황's trainee). So it will be really good. Elder 조 will do great I think. He's a stud and helped me to stay on top of things. Wahhh!!! I'm excited.

Anyway I just wanted to let ya'll know the same testimony that I shared yesterday with our invesigator (and cooly enough the same testimony that Jenna shared in her Email to me today!)

I know that God lives. I know it. He has established a plan for us to be happy. Sometimes it is really hard to do everything that we have to do to be succesful in this plan. Sometimes God asks us to stretch and to do more than we think we can. But he's there every step of the way. And all we gotta do is reach out for His help. All we gotta do is look for it. He's there, he's promised us help. He said: "Ask and ye shall receive" go read the scriptures and see how much you find that phrase. You think God is kidding? He loves us and he's gonna help us whenever/whatever/however. 

Love ya'll tons, I am loving the Christmas package. I am thoroughly enjoying the letter a day thing (you have no idea). I thank all those who wrote to me. It means a lot :) I love ya'll and hope you are all doing awesome!

Take care have a great week.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

This week was just WACKO!!!

So this week was absolutely ridiculous. The first two days went just like normal but then all of a sudden out of nowhere on Wednesday I got a call from President. And he told me he needed my companion... :( I was intensely sad like you have no idea. We have been working so hard and then all of a sudden he got called away....

So it was a sad week as far as the companion goes. I really enjoyed working with Elder 조 and I learned a ton with him. I have been feeling like a really good missionary with him and it was exciting and fun and just to be honest felt so good!

So he is now up in 수원 but I did not get a single new companion, nope... I got two. I am now in a threesome with the other two elders currently serving here in 전주 (Elder 황 (who you will remember was my last, last companion), and Elder Benson (are second transfer missionary)).

So we have been working hard together and we were able to see some really cool miracles including an out of nowhere call from a guy who wanted to meet and learn about the church. That was really cool, we talked to him about a lot of things and it was just a cool expereince to get to bear testimony and then to also see him come to church this week!

It was way cool. 

Also this week was Zone Conference. President and Sister Furniss came down from 대전 to visit us and to help us become better missionaries. It was an awesome conference and I learned a lot. I also spoke quite a bit. When the assistants got up to do their part of the training they made me translate for both the Koreans and the Americans. (Because one of the AP's is a Korean and the other is an American) So for that part of the training i just went back and forth translating from Korean to English and then from ENglish to Korean. It was really intense. I have never had a hard time speaking but I gotta say the words got all mashed up in my mouth when I am trying to translate that much. But nonetheless I gotta say it was really fun.

So I wanted to tell you about one of the investigators that I met this week from China. He is an absolute hard core atheist and it is a real challenge to teach him and help him to have faith in God and in Jesus Christ. I have thought a lot about how we might teach him and I have studied the "Teaching People without a Christian Background" part of PMG probably 20 times now (okay so maybe that's an exaggeration but i've read it a lot). The thing that we are taught is to bear testimony and then to rely on the promise in Moroni 10:3-5.

I've read the Book of Mormon. I have thought about it, I have prayed about it, I've lived according to the things that it teaches. You wanna know what I've learned? I'll tell you. When we follow God, he blesses us. God does what he says. And the crazy part about it is I feel like most of the time we don't even recognize it. Looking back (20:20 hindsight right?) it's always easier to see where God has guided our lives. I know that God really does guide us. I can promise you that he does. He helps me so much. It's when I really am giving my 150% percent to God that I can feel him right there. It's hard I'm not gonna lie. But he's there, I know he is. He guides us and I want ya'll to know that too. :)

I am extremely jealous when I look at Thanksgiving pictures (I ate pizza that day) but it looks like it was a good time and I'm glad for you!

Hope ya'll had an awesome week, and I hope that this week is even better for you all!

Love ya,
Josh (because no one calls me Josh anymore and I have to remind myself sometimes what my name is....)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wow! Busy Week

Well, hello there family! It is such a nice day to hear from all of you. Especially since I dreamed that I got to be with all of ya'll last night and when I got up it was a little sobering to realize I am still in Korea. It is a blessing to be here, but to be honest (cause I gotta be right?) I miss ya'll a lot! It was good to hear from you and all of the cool things that you are doing. Jenna is a genius....a lot jealous... I thought about college a while back when I was in the office and I remember that it was just frustrating to realize how many classes I have to retake because of my slackerness..... kinda annoying. So Jenna keep it up!

Kellie is in a cast, thank heavens she is such a good sport about it all. However I do wanna sign it. Seeing as how the last time Kellie was in a cast I was the one that put her in it.... Dangit.... Sorry Kells.

Alissa... 역시.... just rocking it as always. Keep working hard in the basketball (it is a lot of fun I know you know) and futsol is absolutely crazy. I have seen it played here in Korea and it is so fun to watch. (Dad upload me some video!)

Katie!!!! Sorry about the rough week bug.... :( I hope you keep working hard though. Remember that I love ya and whenever things are rough just go snuggle with the dog (You know they always say that Dogs are a man's best friend but I guess they could do the same thing for women...or Katie Bugs.... :))))

Mom/Dad: Wow It is so good to have your prayers. I need them a lot, this week we worked really hard and I dropped into bed every night exhausted. (But it remains fact that I hate the mornings, I'm a night person 150%) But thank you. I am really feeling like I'm getting a lot of guidance out here and it is an absolute amazing experience to see hard work become something awesome

This week was just great, me and Elder 조 are working really hard. Like really hard. We were able to find 4 new investigators this week (one of whom isn't sure if he wants to meet us anymore though (one of the downsides to this teaching english thing is even though we tell people in advance that we will teach them about our church as well sometimes it just doesn't process and they got really freaked out when we start teaching them about the gospel.... I ain't no ENGLISH TEACHING MONKEY!!!! AHHH!!!)

그래도... it was an awesome week and we were able to find some really prepared people. I have been having an awesome time trying to become a better missionary. I have been recently going back to the curiculum that we got in the MTC and have been studying that and it has been a huge help. I don't think missionaries in the MTC really realize exactly how important the things they are learning are. I am just absolutely loving the stuff that I am "learning" (i guess you might call it "relearning") and it has been a blessing for my mission this last 2 weeks. (Mom next time you meet with a missionary make sure that you drill the point into his head that the things that he is learning are INCREDIBLY important).

ANYways.. I finished the Jesus the Christ book as well as Preach My Gospel this week. I was reading them both a while back and now they are all done! It was a testimony strengthener and definitely was a blessing to me to understand a lot more about Jesus Christ. Then also to understand how I can do missionary work better. 

This week especially I was studying for one of my investigators in Alma 32. And I wanted to share something that I recently discovered (I don't know if I was just stupid before or what) that I thought was really cool.

About halfway through the Parable of the Seed it talks about how when the seed grows up in your heart you will have a "perfect knowledge" that the seed is good. As I read it originally however I always thought that all of a sudden it calls that perfect knowledge not perfect in the next verse (I know thinking about it in hindsight I was kinda foolish). But as I thought about it a little more it talks about two different things in this parable. First the Seed. Then the Fruit.

The Seed is the thing that we can know of a surety is true when it begins to grow. It becomes larger and larger and we know of a surety that that thing is good. But the Fruit is the thing that we still have to wait for. After we have first exercised our faith to find out if something is good. Even if we find out that thing we may not be able to see the true blessings of it if we do not CONTINUE to exercise that faith. We must continue to exercise it till the end and then we will get to taste of the fruit. And we already know that it is gonna be good.

I thought that was really cool (again I could just be figuring out something ya'll already know) but it made me appreciate this chapter a lot more especially as we talk about our investigators. As we planned to use this (unfortunately our appointment with the investigator that we were gonna teach this moved... anyways) it was truly a great experience and I am excited to help him try to exercise his faith and find out if the Book of Mormon is God's word. It is awesome.

I have been trying to work more on focusing on my investigators and truly lately it has been a big help. We have been receiving a lot of guidance and are finding some really prepared people. Gah I love missionary work. I love getting to see God's hand in the lives of those I'm teaching. It is hard when they don't recognize that (we are teaching one atheist) but it is cool.

I want ya'll to know that I have a testimony of this gospel. A testimony of God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and loves us. Each and every one, that he sent His Son, His only Begotten Son, to Atone for our sins. I know that the Atonement is real, that it can bless our lives if we let it. I pray every day for you my family. I pray that God will help you in your lives. In the things you're doing. I pray that he will bless your testimonies I do it every day. I want ya'll to know I love you so much. I love you SO much!

I hope you will always remember that ;)

Love ya tons, talk to ya next week!

Enjoy the pics (the one with me and not elder 조 is the atheist investigator :))

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This was alright...weird though

Dear Family,

This week was an interesting week. We have been watching "The District" quite a bit this week and have been discovering that we wanna be much better missionaries than we are. It is especailly hard considering that the people in The District are all serving in america and then atmosphere is so different. But the Lord's work is the Lord's work wherever in the world so we are trying to figure out what we can do better.

We however were able ot find some more people to teach last week. We found a way former investigator (but he is one interesting story) and then we also found a man from Canada this week. THe two of them are both very interesting and we don't know exactly how we are supposed to do anything with either of them to be honest. The teaching process can be done but the bishop says the former investigator doesn't need to be baptized and then we have to try and figure out the logistics to teach our other Investigator because of his wife. We just won't be able to teach if the wife is there so we are trying to 소개 her off to the Sister Missionaries so we can help out our investigator. 

However last week we were able to find a couple great possibilities for this week so it should be a pretty good week as far as finding goes. We had a pretty good discussion this last week with one of our investigators who is at kind of a crossroads where he needs to commit whether or not he is going to live this gospel and get his answer or not. We are praying for him and hoping that he makes the right decission.

So, this week as we have been working we have really been trying to teach our investigators better and fulfill our purpose a lot more. Sometimes, especailly here, it is easy to forget that we are "helping people to come unto Christ." People often times because of the concept of 정 here (sorry that has no translation but it's just like a measure of how close you are with someone. So if you have a lot of 정 then people will listen to you, on the flipside if you have no 정 with someone (for example investigators) they don't listen to you). It has been really hard this last week to realize that there aren't a whole lot of people here who "convert" to the gospel. Sure people get baptized all the time. But the concept of "conversion" here is a very rare thing to find. We are trying to reevaluate and rededicate back to our purpose which is to get people to convert. To have a testimony of this Gospel. A true and abiding testimony. 

I count myself lucky as I had the experience of truly seeing someone convert on my mission and it is a blessing to me that I have truly seen this gospel bless their lives. I want to help more people like that so I am trying to change the kind of missionary that I am and become the powerhouse missionary that I know I can be. It's a rough process as it involves trying to break some okay habits and make some great ones (nothing harder in life than knowing that what you are doing is good but that you have to do better, and above that, knowing that doing better is gonna be HARD).

So ya. We are trying to be more spiritual. To focus more on our purpose. To be those Preach My Gospel, powerhouse, amazing missionaries. 

Let me tell ya it's tough. Keep me in your prayers will ya, especially specifically that I will have the guidance I need so that we can be that kind of Missionaries. I need it a lot. 

This week however we had the awesome experience of mission tour! Elder Ringwood (the Area 70 here) came to visit our mission so me and the other elders in 전주 zone all piled onto a bus and headed down to 광주. It was a really weird feeling walking out of the 광주 Bus Terminal. Kinda like going home.... It was weird (the exact expression would be 그립다).

We heard about a lot of good things from him and it was a great experience to learn from an inspired man like him. But....I don't have my notes on me so I can't tell you exactly what he talked about. (OF all the things that I have developed on my mission one of them is an incurable dependence on To-Do lists... why? Because I am the most absent minded person ever. If I don't write it down, and then on top of that remember to look at it later, it totally slips my mind. This usually leads me to set alarms and things like that on the phone so I remember.....Even then, sometimes.....I forget....I just kinda turn off the alarm....Dangit)

Anyway I just want you to all know that I have a huge testimony of this gospel. Not just because I teach it all day, but because I watch how it changes me when I try to live it 100%. I watch what happens to my thoughts, my actions, everything when I truly do EXACTLY what my Father in Heaven has asked of me. This week just as I have been trying to focus on my purpose more I have been blessed with opportunites to fulfill my purpose. When I have recognized those opportunities and truly have done my best to seize them, I see miracles. I have a testimony that when there is Faith, there will be miracles. But when we Exercise Faith, we get to be a part of the miracle. It's been awesome to be here. I love 전주. It's the best

I read your emails all at home and it sounds like everything is just coming down back home. Espeically with Heather and Tony's family. Gosh.... But I will share with you the scripture that I share with people. Because as I have learned through my experience here, when you have nothing else, it's all about your Foundation.

Helaman 5:12:

 12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon thearock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Especially for Heather and Tony I know ya'll know this. You are an example to me of this principle and I think it's awesome. Thanks for the example and know that you are in my prayers!

Love ya'll!!!!

Elder Josh Crowther

SOrry I don't have any pictures this week. I forgot to grab my Camera when I left the house.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another week in 전주!!!

Well, hello there familia!

It was an absolutely fantastic week, not just to say that it was great but I mean it was great. We had an awesome week were able to set some baptismal dates with 2 of our investigators and we were able to find 4 new investigators this week. 전주 is seriously like a 구도자 landmine. It is awesome there are so many people here interested in learning about the gospel (or at least that's how they appear at first). It has been an awesome first week with elder 조 and just ya it was great I loved IT.

This week especially we just worked hard. When we weren't meeting people or something we were talking with people and always in route to do something new and fun. We have been all over working with people learning English (that was our 4 new investigators last week) and just a lot of other stuff. For some reason (Even elder 황 my last last companion who lives with us (oh ya i'm in another 4 man house by the way) says that something is just exploding recently) everything is just going right. It has been awesome! Well except for this weekend where we had 5 appointments set up and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM cancelled... but they all called in advance to let me know so that was nice. We were at least able to call our members and let them know that they didn't need to come.

However this week I have been realizing just how exhausting this work is. We played basketball on saturday with some guys who were actually pretty good and we just went at it (Dad you will be happy to know that yes I can still dunk even though my once slim stature is no longer so slim, yes you might call it dunlops...)! I however am now exhausted. Just work work work work work ALL week long. And then just exhausted. I die every night. Then I get Resurrected in the morning (seriously that's what it feels like). I swear I am not conscious when I sleep because the last couple of nights we have gotten like phone calls and stuff in the middle of the night and our phone isn't on vibrate like RIGHT by my head. I just sleep through it. However that does just remind me of high school and dad getting mad at me because my alarm would wake him up before it would wake me up

But it has been good. We really have been seeing a lot of miracles here with just people who will talk to us and the little things that happen day to day that just make everything just so crazy! Yet so cool. We have had the spirit with us and it has been SO cool. 

It has been good to be out of the office though. I have gotten back in my groove I feel like and I am starting to get a little better every day. I am trying to be a better person trying to develop those Christlike attributes trying to prepare for lesson and to be the missionary that God wants me to be. I am still a young missionary (despite the fact that dad thinks that I am like on the downhill stretch or something I dunno, I swear he's trying to make me trunkie!! Hahah) and so I am still trying to get over the fears over losing investigators and stuff and trying to just be better prepared to teach this gospel with boldness and rely on the promise that "the elect will harden not their hearts." It truly does work though! That's one of he cool things that Elder Clark when he came to teach us talked about. That we as missionaries are looking for the elect. We have to be bold to find them but they are here. I know they are. We are gonna find them, teach them, and convert them to Christ!

So lately, I don't know if I have told you, but I have been reading Jesus the Christ. IT is an aboslutely FABULOUS book. I have grown so much in knowledge because of that book and with knowledge comes power. I hope to be able to use the things that I have learned to bless the people in this area. It is so much fun to do this work. But I ain't gonna lie, it's tough. 

But like I said before.... 힘들어야지 발전할 수 있다....


So ya, loving it here. Hope ya'll know the gospel is true. I do. I love Christ, I love the Gospel. It's just true. Nothing else to it. Remember that God lives. He loves us, He answers prayers. Always. Don't go expecting things in your own time but do your best and leave the rest to God. *whispers* he does a pretty good job. 

Send the fam and friends my love and I hope ya'll know as well that I love you tons. You are the greatest. I love to brag about my family. You're the best family in the world. I love ya'll and know that you're in my prayers every night. If you get a chance keep me in your prayers too okay?

Love ya!
Elder Josh Crowther
크라우더 장로

Sunday, October 28, 2012

hello family

Dear Family!!

Well, hello there familia! This is Elder Josh and it is quite an interesting week/day already. So I just got off the phone with my dear friend Dustin [Chung]. Ya, I got permission and all and he's doing so good. Dang it was really interesting. He speaks Korean and I understand it this time. It is really different! But crazy and really fun. It was great. We will keep in touch and see if we can't meet up with him (and his grandparents ㅋㅋ sometime)

So me and elder 조광진 are just absolutely going to tear it up here in 전주. I love it here. It's an awesome ward and when we got here the first thing that we got to see was a member baptize one of his daughters. It was so awesome to see a soft-hearted father get up there and sing a song to his daughter. He was all choking up and stuff and it was a really cool experience. The church is so awesome.

So my companion Elder 조 is absolutely a stud. He just got out of military service before he got trained by Elder Jolley. He is a super star. Works hard, is patient with me as I try to learn this difficult language and try to figure out how to do this senior stuff and best of all, I am his second companion (I'm not training this transfer). It is great.

전주 is so cool! The church is huge here - has an indoor basketball court and everything. Love it. It reminds me a lot of the 첨단 church but bigger which is a ton of fun. The ward here is hilarious and the work here is going pretty good. The members seem like they have a ton of interest which helps a lot and we are always welcome at the members houses to eat and talk which is great because 전라도 food is the best. 

We did get to meet with two of our 구도자 this week and they are so cool. One of them is an absolute stud at English and he has a baptismal date for 11/11. Hopefully we will be able to stick him to that. He wasn't able to come to church this week however because of army recruiting things but he should be able to come next week and then from then on as far as I am concerned.

The other guy that we got to meet with has been meeting with the missionaries for a little bit. He attends the 장로 교회 and he is a way cool guy. But I think that was one of the coolest lessons that I have had because we just went off. He was asking all these things and he had all these doubts about the Book of Mormon and stuff because of what he has been taught to believe in his church. But I was able to use just about everything that I have learned from reading the Jesus the Christ book in like one sitting. We answered all his doubts and stuff like that and pinned it all on his faith. He blatantly told us that he is excited to meet with us more. 

Overall the new area is great. I pray every day for guidance and things are just seeming to fall together. It is great. I love it. I love the gospel and the peace that it brings. I love the Holy Ghost and how through just little things he guides us every day. It's so cool. I pray that I will be able to see success here in this area and to help people to come unto the gospel. I love the mission! Gah it's so cool.

So lately the words just kinda fall out of my mouth (in Korean) and my language is getting kinda sloppy. So please pray for me. Need some help. I'm praying for it too and trying to slow down a little bit to help things get better but it's hard to slow down your speaking once it gets comfortable. Gah. There was a point not too long ago that it was awesome. I could say what I want, it came out pretty fluently and ya. SO, let's try to get back to that.

So love ya'll tons! Hope ya'll have a good week. Enjoy some of the pictures!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

HEY!!!!! 저는 떠나간다!!!

Hey, so today is TRANSFER DAY....

And guess what...??????

I'm getting Transferred! 아싸 [Yikes]!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

It's been fun here in the office but I have got to say that I am excited to be getting out of here and back to the field. I am so excited. I will be going to 전주 [Jeonju]. I will be serving with Elder 조광진 one of the new missionaries to our mission (he has been here for 3 transfers). I will also be going Senior Companion.... (no pressure right?)

It is so crazy here though. I now have two "greenies" here in the office. But since I am leaving I will be getting to serve in one of the coolest areas in our mission. 전주 is one of the few wards in Korea that has a basketball inside and I intend to use that to its FULL capacity. Koreans surprisingly like basketball alot if the facilities are provided. So I will probably try to use basketball as a way to find some investigators (I have heard of a lot of stories of people who were found and baptized through basketball here) and we will see how that goes. 

But ya it has been a busy week. Transfer prep week is always like that. This week however it has been kind of weird. Elder Carter (if you remember my second companion) is going home this transfer.... SOOOOO weird...... I don't know exactly what to think about that. But ya. I have however been busily planning how I can be a good leader with Elder 조 and we are going to absolutely tear it up in 전주. 

Ya, I am excited to be getting out of the office. (Not that I haven't loved it here) but I'm really, really excited.

So we did spend a busy week of getting to say our goodbyes to all of the people in our ward and we have some activities planned today to hang out with most of the missionaries going home. So it'll be a good day.

Ahhhhhhh, so excited

Anyways, I love ya'll. I have to go upstairs and clean (we have to do that before new missionaries come ALWAYS) but ya. I hope all of you know that I love you and that this church is true. I love it, I love the church. Specifically lately I have really loved sacrament meeting. Elder Clark's talk at conference is a good one and I recommend it to all of you (he gave a more firey version of that to our mission when he came for Mission Tour here)

Love ya'll TAKE CARE!!!! Talk to you more next week!

Elder Josh

Sunday, October 14, 2012

내가 진짜 좋다 (I'm real good)

Wow, well hello there family. How ya'll doing? I attached some pictures for ya'll to see! I wore my new suit for the first time at conference and I have got to say it was absolutely a 대박 week. We were pretty busy during the actual week itself and then the weekend came. It was so awesome. We got to watch conference! AHHHHHH.

I have to apologize to all of you because I don't think God made conference for anyone but me this time around. Every single talk addressed something that I was looking for and I don't know if anyone else got the things they needed! It was truly awesome. I loved Elder Holland's talk, I think I always do. But especially this time around. He is just kinda my motivational style, up in your face, loud, direct, no messing around. It got me thinking again about obedience and gave me a renewed surge to try and be more and more obedient to what God wants me to be doing as a missionary. I also Like Elder Nelsons talk where he addressed the world "Talk to the missionaries." It was funny when I was in the MTC he came and visited us and his granddaughter was there. And he called her and a couple other missionaries up and was talking to all of them and he shook a bunch of their hands and then he all of a sudden goes and just gives her a huge hug.... Like I swear everyone in the audience was just like "I thought that wasn't allowed!!!!!!!!" I remember thinking: "Well he's a general authority I guess he can do what he wants...?" Then he tells everyone that this is his granddaughter and we were all like "Wahh!!" It was way funny. 

As I listened to conference I kinda caught onto a theme in the conference. Almost every single speaker made specific mention to how through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven. It was really a cool thing for me because I, being a very self critical person, needed that a lot. I do want to testify to all of you that the Atonement is real. I have felt that power in a way I can not even begin to describe. To feel the weight of sin LITERALLY lifted off of your soul is the most amazing feeling I have ever felt. That is not an excuse to sin, but it truly is a blessing for if we slip up on the way up the "heavenly highway"

I really loved that Conference a LOT. It really was a blessing to me to hear the words of our inspired leaders. I truly want to be so much better, gah if I could have faith like them that'd be so cool.

It is weird, transfer week is almost here and I am not that busy. I study Korean during the day. Training when I need to and ya. I am going to go into overdrive this week so that I can get Elder Palmer 150% trained. I am excited for this next week I gotta say. It's gonna be busy come the weekend. Wah, gonna be busy.

I did however get permission to try and vote. So I registered to vote online I'm gonna vote! Haha. 

So good to see all the pictures you sent. I like getting pictures from home. It's fun to see what you are all doing and brag to everyone about my family. Ya'll are the best and you're worth bragging about. So I'm gonna do it!

I love ya'll tons. Hope you know that. So good to hear from ya and see your smiling faces. One of these days I'm gonna get to see ya'll in person and that'll be awesome! It's crazy. I'm kinda an old missionary. I don't feel like it.... But I am... But then I think about like Chase... He's ancient. Weird.

Anywho, remember that I love ya'll and that I keep you in my prayers always. 

Elder Josh

(P.s. I attached one of my "manuals" ya'll could come and do the Financial Secretary job if you'd like!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

네가 연차 대회를 보고 싶다!

Well, hello there Family! It has been a pretty good week here in the 대전 선교부. I had a pretty good week. And a really good fast sunday which was nice. But ya lets see.... what's went on this week.,......

Ah, so I managed to find a way to keep myself busy all week which was nice (thanks for the prayers mom :)) and it was a pretty good workweek. I got a nice training built for Elder Palmer that will help him out as he adjusts to the Financial Secretary Job (which is coming along alright!!). It has been an absolute wild week. With these "non-busy" weeks (basically any week that I am not preparing for ZLC, incoming Missionaries, outgoing missionaries, etc) I have got to find projects. Lately I have been working on some stuff that president has asked me to find/make for him and that is coming along nicely. I also got a chance to go through the SMMR computer and kind of clean up some stuff. Then I also decided that I am not much of a trainer in words (because things to me just make sense) but that I can pretty effectively make Manuals. So I have been doing that for both the SMMR and Financial Secretary Jobs of late. It has been pretty good experience and I can usually just refer any questions that I get to the Manual because I already wrote it down with diagrams and screenshots and everything... (maybe I'll send you one to just give you an idea of what I do)

This week was also nice because we were able to find 2 investigators this week. One of them is a college student but he changed his job schedule late this week and said that meeting in the future would be hard, but it's okay because we have some other possibilities that are pretty good! The next guy is a man who lives ni a city called 옥천. It's about one hour from 대전 and we can just take a bus there. He is learning english for this test called the OPIC (An oral profficiency test) and I have am drilling him like Dad drilled me in Basketball. He has a sample test book and I basically just make him do each of the sections of the test to me each time we meet. I may not be much of a Grammar teacher but I can Coach. And so I'm just making him do that over and over. He however as an investigator is going to be a little tough. Kinda stubborn because he has done a lot of study and so even though he reads the 몰몬경 he doesn't get anything out of it, He doesn't even remember it. Kinda difficult but me and Elder 구 are working on it. He's a good guy and he's way honest which are two good qualities and we hopefully while we meet with him we will be able to help him out.

So this week we really kinda buckled down toward the end of the week and just worked. It was really good, it was fun and ya. I liked it. But ya it was just a good week. I really did have a happy good week.

SO, I have heard so much about conference and it kills me because I like the only one in the mission in a position to get on conference, but I can't. I have to wait a week till the rebroadcast here..... It kills me... The link is right there..... AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I never thought I would come to like General Conference quite as much as I do now. I love it. I absolutely crave it. It's the best! But we don't get sacrament meeting which is hard (I absolutely love sacrament meeting and getting to partake of the sacrament too) but I guess hearing from the Prophet is a good enough reason :)

But ya, so exciting to hear that Jenna made cross country state!!! That's awesome! I hope you kick some trash Jenna. Start off strong and finish the season on top 'aight? Make your brother proud! (Already am :))

Well, I love you all so much. I hope you know that this church is true. I hope you know Christ lives. I have had a really REALLy good time lately reading Jesus the Christ. It is interesting to see how your thought process changes when you wanna be like Christ. I love having the moments where i remember things that Christ said or did while he was here and how I can do similar. It is cool. Christ lives, I hope ya'll know that. His Atonement is real. I testify to that. The Atonement is truly real, it heals us and makes us better. It makes us better than we could ever possibly imagine. We just have to be willing to let Christ do that to us. I am trying every day, it's hard, but it is so cool to see when Christ begins to have an influence on your life. I hope I get to have more of that experience and that you all too will get that experience.

Love you again, take care, have an AWESOME week

Elder josh!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

추석........and Interviews!

Well this was definitely not an easy week by any stretch of the imagination. Phew, but I am glad this one is over and we can start a new one.

This last week was just... bleh... one of the things that I really love about the Mission is that you really find out a lot more about who you are. I am changing every single day and it is just awesome. BUT this last week was just one of those stretching weeks and it was not pleasant at all. I just was weird from like Wednesday or so on (I'm fine now however I just like was wigging out before but that's when you really come to appreciate having President Interviews.)

So we did a whole lot of 광고 this last week. Put up fliers and stuff all over the place just to advertise our English program and try and find some people who are willing to learn about not only English but the gospel as well (if you remember I did this a lot when I was in 평택 with Elder Scoville). We had a really interesting time just talking as we walked everywhere within like a 2-mile radius of our house putting up these advertisements. It was quite the achievement I have got to say. I don't think that I have ever put up that many 광고's at one time before. But we did it!

We weren't able to meet with our favorite family this week because of the Holidays so we just met with some Less Active members and did a whole lot of 광고....And ya, that was the week. We did also have president interviews and that was probably the highlight of the week. I got a chance to just sit down and talk with my inspired Mission president. It really was an awesome experience and I am SO glad that the interviews came around when they did. I just have gotta buckle down and keep working. But one of the things that I really need to start doing is take some more time to actually enjoy myself. To be happy, to enjoy this experience because I've been just plugging away at it for the last year, and it has been really good, but everyone I meet keeps telling me I need to just kinda enjoy this a little more. Ahhhhhhh... as I have been talking a lot with Elder 구 during like Companionship study and all I have really discovered something about myself that is kinda interesting.

In my mind, there is only one way that I really feel like I progress. (BTW this doesn't translate correctly) 힘들어야지 발전할 수 있다 that's how you say it in Korean, in English it'd be like: It has to be difficult in order to progress. I really am the kind of guy where if it's not hard, there is no satisfaction to it........I don't like that. So if you have any tips on how I can be a little more grateful for the things that are just given that'd be awesome (because there are a lot of those). Frankly I wanna be able to be appreciative and find great satisfaction in even the things that God just does for me. Ahhh... any tips?

But ya, so I figured I would take a little more time in this email to kinda respond to emails that I have gotten from ya'll. So here we go! (Say that with the Super Mario accent please :))

So first, Mom (this will go in order of the things you asked in your email [I'm just looking for question marks]):
Korea's weather right now is AMAZING. Ahhh it is so nice. I love it, there is always a little breeze and the sun has been shining the last couple of days. Absolutely remarkable! Everyone was right, President even said so himself: "We live for October in Korea." And it is just that good. We get a chance on the weekends to get out and it is fun. And then yes. P-Day as well is always good, as long as I get my nap hahaha.

Brother 성 is doing awesome.... hold on so how did you type 성? Copy and paste? He came to church yesterday and told us that his baby is doing well, is healthy and already getting a little bigger! So excited for him. We haven't been able to meet him during the week to just kinda catch up with because of the baby but we will try and meet him this week (I told him to call us if he gets a spare second).

As to the girls's sports: I find it awesome that they are doing so well! I hurt for Kellie though, I know that pain and it SUCKS. I do however recommend those neoprene sleeves that you wear over your shins. I don't know if mine were just so minor that it helped or what but those made a big time difference. Maybe try giving those a shot? That might help Kellie out. Alissa is getting so Big. It is crazy. I look at the pictures of the family and it is just crazy. They are like the 3 towers (jenna, kellie, alissa), well I guess it is now (Jenna, Alissa, Kellie). Jenna running fast which is great to hear about, I don't even wanna try to keep up with that. I'm too fat. Ha. Alissa and Katie are rocking the soccer and that is just awesome! Alissa, go ahead and wear #11. Wear it proud! It's a great number! And Katie bug... Wahh, love that we are all doing so good. Although I am curious if people actually still call you "bug." That'll be interesting. But ya keep up the good defense! 

Conference for us is in 2 weeks... All of it... so that'll be fun but it'll be great to see and hear from the Prophets and Apostles. I'm really excited for General Conference!

Elder Palmer is coming along great, he doesn't have any sort of computer background at all so that is kinda hard but you know. Take it one step at a time and he'll get it. in my interview with president he said that I basically have till the end of this transfer to train him otherwise there is probably the possibility that I will have to stay another.

And ya. Love you too Mom!

To Dad:
I already kinda told you about my life this week so I'm skipping that question. Ha!

Now skipping down to the language question, language is coming alright. I am understanding more and more every single day and it is getting to where I have a hard time talking to people who don't speak Korean because even when I speak English it makes more sense to say some things in Korean.

The office is hard, now that I don't have much to do I am just getting everything done too fast so I have free time. There are some days that I do training but there are other days that I literally just sit around..... All day.... I have to wait on my companion to do translating work so that is unavoidable but ya. I just gotta keep finding things to do and then find the 정신 to do them all even though none of them really need to be done...

We don't have a whole lot of people to teach but we already have two people next week who have said that they wanna meet so we will be able to meet with them. One of them is actually today! So it is awesome! Just gotta keep remembering that I am helping in a different way. 

As to Christmas... I don't really know, I'm gonna need alot of things later and I don't know if I really need anything now. I'd like to buy a nice new suit for the winter. That'd be cool but other than that. I'm good. Just your prayers and maybe like some Reeses Puffs. :)

And to Mom and Dad: Happy 22 years! Wah does it feel like? was it fast? Wah! Congratulations! I love you both so much!

Take care all and I hope you know that I love you!

Elder Josh