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
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