Monday, March 31, 2014

My 20th year started and will end...... serving the Lord

Doesn`t that title sound cool! I actually feel proud to write that on the computer screen, but not too proud in comparison to what He did for us, one full year of my life is nothing. I`m really happy that you guys could have such a good spring break.  The pictures look super awesome and it looks like you guys enjoyed yourselves! Everyone says that once the kids are in the mission the parents start going on more vacations lol, but I think we took just as many vacations when I was there. Plus I`ve been in Colombia for a while now and ya know Colombia NEVER gets old, It`s just a paradise!!! It made me laugh when Shay told me that Rodney did her workout with her, that’s exactly how I remember him lol. Tell both Rodney and Kim hi for me and that I love them!! 
So it`s kinda weird knowing that I`ll turn 21 here in a few days.  When it hit, my mind jumped back a couple of years to when I got my driver’s license to the part around the picture that says ¨under 21 until 04/06/14.”  Back then I didn`t really pay attention to that but I know the thought crossed my mind ¨where will I be when I turn 21.¨ I definitely wouldn`t have guessed Colombia lol, that was 5 years ago!!!! I think my license expires right? That’s just too weird! But oh well, the time will just continue to pass faster and faster, but it`s not how much time passes, it`s what I do with that time that counts. All I can say is that I love you guys with all of my heart and soul and that we`re on the right track:) 
So this week I got to go on a split with my district leader E` Dos Santos from Rio de Janeiro Brazil. This guy was E`Albrechts comp for 5 months in Yopal. He`s super legit and started the mission when I did. So we had a fun day together. It`s just awesome how cool some of these south of the border guys are! Him and Perez are just so chill but fun at the same time and like to work hard. So we took a couple pictures that I`ll send to you guys. It`s super legit as well getting to know these guys because now if we ever want to take a vacation to Chile or Brazil or Colombia or Peru I`ll have the inside scoop:) 
So this week has just been kinda normal, for some reason we felt the opposition hit us like a wall. We had an investigator super excited for his baptism last Saturday.  He had come to church for more than a month straight and had been reading really good and everything. But the last Saturday before this one he called and said ¨you know what guys, I`ve thought about it real hard and, I`m not going to get baptized.¨ That kinda hurt, but I didn`t let it get to me real deep down like a few of the other times. Obviously I still feel sad and disappointed in his decisions because he basically chose to not get baptized and chose to keep breaking a commandment, but you just can`t let it get to you and let it weaken you. At the same time it felt like everything got hard all at once! haha honestly almost every night I have come home just feeling physically, mentally, and spiritually drained. But it has helped me comprehend the importance of scripture study in the morning and singing hymns as well as taking the sacrament. It`s been a great experience though because I haven`t gotten down or discouraged or I don`t think so. I`m still just my happy self all go-lucky and laid back:) So remember how I told you guys that I had found the key to being the best in whatever we chose to be. Well I got to thinking about that and it really requires focus and dedication and time. So I thought to myself ¨what can I study as a missionary that deeply to really become an expert on.¨ Then one of dad’s letters came to my mind from quite a while ago. He said that he hoped that I would be able to become a better leader on my mission, and become better at recognizing the spirit. SO I have been studying deeply word for word on how to recognize the spirit, and so far it has been super cool!!
Anyways I just want to tell you how much I love you guys and how thankful I am that you are my family:) My testimony has grown quite a bit here on my mission and now I feel like I have a little bit more of a direction in my life. Being here has really changed how I see the world and the people in it. It has really made me straighten out my priorities in life and has helped smooth just a little my communication and interaction skills. I love this time in my life and am really enjoying it:) Have a GREAT week!!!!
-Elder Crook

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