Monday, April 28, 2014

How´s everyone doing up there in good ol Orygon? haha sounds like Shay had a great race last Saturday. Way to go Shay Shay and keep running fast! What are you ranked now as far as the 4a girls go? Is it looking good to make a run for the state championship for the 3000? What about the 1500? Let me know where you are and how much faster you need to get to be first. Also what are you ranked statewide? Haha AND you guys can all talk about Shay’s races because you all have  different points of view. Usually what Shay tells me is ¨My race went good, I got third place and my time was 10....¨ so maybe some more detail would be cool especially with the district and state meets coming up. Keep up the good work Shay and enjoy it!!!
Haha so we have been in kind of a rainy season for the last few weeks. So this last Wednesday it rained SUPER hard. We were with a member who was going to a few of our lessons with us and we ended the lesson and it was pouring like crazy. And where we were at there were no taxis that would go down that street because it was at the bottom of a steep hill. So after a few minutes we all stepped outside to walk up the steep hill and catch a taxi. If we wouldn´t have been with the member we probably would have just walked. But he didn´t want to get wet so we booked it up the hill and caught a taxi. The member was a good sport and got a little wet but we had umbrellas so it was all good. But my shoes are so worn out now that even if I walk in the street that is wet after rain my feet still get wet from the holes in the bottom and on the sides. Honestly every time that it has rained here it makes me mad lol. Just because I have gotten so used to the awesome sunny warm weather here in Bucaramanga. I think this is my favorite weather out of any other. If it was like Bucaramanga weather all year round for the rest of my life,  I would be really happy! 
So it´s my comps birthday this Friday so we went out today to celebrate. We met up with the Elders in our district. Elder Dos Santos from Brazil and his comp from Guatemala, who lives like 40 minutes from where my comp lives. So we all have a lot of fun together. I bought my comp a Colombia jersey with the shorts that go along with it! I also tried on some Colombia soccer shorts but they are just way too short!! Maybe I´ll just end up buying them and wearing them as a joke. But we were walking in the street and something caught my eye, it was a belt, yes mom I finally bought a nice leather belt.....but it is a belt with the Colombian flag on it lol. Red Yellow and blue. Yeah it´s pretty legit lol, I´ll send you the picture! Then we went to eat at Dominoes because that’s like my comps favorite here. SO even thought it was a little far and out of the way we had a good time and sang him a version of happy birthday in Spanish,  english and portuguese. Yeah there were junior high aged kids in Dominoes so I think they got a kick out of that lol. I´m not sure if we´ll do anything on Friday actually but we´ll see. 
So this change has been kind of different from all the other changes I have had for the last year or so. Every change for a long time now I have always had a super set baptism to look forward to. But this change no. It has just kind of puzzled me because we are doing REALLY well as missionaries. I have been becoming the best missionary I have ever been this change but at the same time we have said Ciau to the baptisms. But it has just made me focus on the investigators more and any time I see a small change in them I take it as a success. My main purpose is not to baptize,  it’s to invite others to come unto Christ. Obviously through baptism they come to Christ, but that doesn´t always happen right away or on the missionaries timeline of a few short weeks. God has his own timeline for this specific person, and I have recognized that the teaching process is a journey....a long journey. And everything we do and say within the teaching process is important, it can help or hinder their eternal progress. So basically all of the investigators we have are brand spanking new. Most all of them we found with Elder Castrejon and there are a few that have come out of the woodwork here with Elder Meren. But I am trying to be the missionary with the right vision. Obviously teaching for comprehension that baptism is necessary. But I don´t necessarily need to base my success on the baptisms. I know that within the lesson if the investigator and I can understand each other and move closer to Christ together then it was a success. 
Haha also I just wanted to add this little tidbit:) at lunch on Saturday the family forgot to make lunch. So they called in a delivery, and guess who came.....the last guy who got baptized and married, Sergio Saenz:) I don´t know why, maybe just because I wasn´t expecting to see him. But when I did my heart just filled with so much love for the man! I saw him and jumped out of my chair to help him carry in the food and we took a picture of us ¨in action¨ him working and me, well just being a missionary. I gave him a big hug and then he left. I just wanted to share that with you guys because he is doing great! we still visit him quite a bit and like always the conversion process is a JOURNEY! 
Well to end my letter I´ll tell you kind of a funny story that happened to us this Saturday and Sunday. So Saturday night we got to the house nice and sweaty and stinky like always AND there was no water whatsoever in the whole apartment complex. So I ended up just scooping out water from the top part of the toilet (not the bowl, the other part;) and kinda trying to wash myself off lol. I hate sleeping without having bathed myself. Well we woke up Sunday morning and still no water,  so we ran to the church early in the morning and used the bathrooms. Then we were trying to think what member to call to let us come over and take showers. Then God answered our prayers. The bishop called and asked my comp to give a talk. And we were able to ask to use his shower lol. So we went over to the bishops house (which is fairly close to ours) and took showers. The thing was though, the bishop has a few little kids in his family and I, who am not at all accustomed to locking the door now, did NOT lock the bathroom door. Just when I got done the oldest kid walked in on me drying myself off. I told him ¨EY hay alguien en su baño!¨ he was like woaaa sorry Elder, his mom too shouted sorry lol. It was kinda embarassing but we all had a good laugh afterwards when I was all cleaned up and dressed lol. The water did come back on Sunday night though, so hopefully we won´t have anymore bathroom stunts at the bishops house again;) I sure love you all!!:) you are all the best and I love hearing from everyone that writes me:) thank you thank you gracias thank you!
-Elder Crook 

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