Monday, August 31, 2015

   Well there was a little bit of Provo  and a ton of rivalry here in Spain this past week, as the BYU basketball team came and  destroyed the European team last Monday. I don't think I've ever been more invested in a basketball game in my life before, and I don't think there has ever been such competition between missionaries before in the history of ever. Dont worry, still good Christ like competition that is. But anyway it was so much FUN!! It was almost like I was back in the states cheering on my college team again. But probably better because this time around I'm a missionary in SPAIN. and it doesn't get better than that.
  Well this week was one for the books, lots of work and lessons and contacting. I feel like every week I learn something more, something new. And I love that! 
One of our investigators from Gambia is doing soooo well! I remember when I was in the MTC my teacher telling me one on one, that I would never forget the experiences I would have on the mission. That there would be moments here on the mission that I wouldn't have anywhere else in my life, one of those would be to hear your investigators pray. Maybe that sounds like such a simple thing but there really isn´t anything sweeter than hearing someone pray for the first time. Seedy has such simple and pure faith, and I love the spirit he brings when he prays with us. Ugg africans are just the best.
  Anyways Ramon and Carla are both doing great still :) Carla's family wants us to spend Christmas with them this year. Haha even though that's still months away I kind of hope I'm still here in this area because the truth is I love that family and the people here. I really think I could serve the rest of my mission in this one city and be soooo happy.

Well thats all for now. One last thinggggg. I was reading a scripture from Mosiah about the atonement it said "and with his stripes we are healed". And something came to my mind, even though this experience isn't from my mission I wanted to share it anyways. 
A couple months ago I got to go to Dachau in Munich Germany. ( When she was on study abroad).  Dachau is a concentration camp that I'm probably spelling wrong right now but that´s okay, anyways its pretty heavy, meaning its really sad. To see all the inhumane things that happened there and the way the people were so brutally treated...Well on that same trip my friend Cassie and I planned to go to church in Munich. We spent a couple of days in Zurich and planned to take the bus back to Munich, well long story short we almost missed the bus back to Germany. I remember praying soooo hard and running with everything I had to make the bus and by some miracle we did. A couple hours later we were sitting in the congregation  in Munich. 
 Well I barely speak english and spanish, and I definetly dont speak German, so I think its fair to say I had NO idea what was going on in sacrament that day. But one of the speakers looked out and saw us there, and in his best english told us the general confrence talk he would be speaking about. Cassie and I opened up to that talk and immediantly my eyes went to the scripture... "and I know my sheep and they are numbered". Well the spirit hit me so strongly in that moment. I knew that Christ knew me, he knew my situation, he had known my fear of missing the bus and being left in a different country. More than that he cared about me. He had me numbered.
  I learned so much about the atonment from that five day trip. Jesus Christ lives and loves us, we are his sheep and he is our shepherd. Sitting in that congregation with people I had never met, in a language I didn't speak, in a country I had never been to before, I had never felt more loved and more at home.
 I know that Christs atonement heals us from every sorrow we will ever feel. From our personal Dachau´s to our smallest moments of almost missing the bus, Christ can heal us. I am so happy to be his representative here on the mission and so lucky to spread this message of hope to all these people here in sabadell.

LOVE YOU ALL!!! xoxox Hermana Cragun

Monday, August 24, 2015

 loves her choc milk
 actual snail mail being sent
 but milk doesn't like her- going lactose free
 Ramon with the Hermanas
 little C and a letter she wrote her
Dear World,
I hope you know that this little town of Sabadell and the inhabitants there of, have a special place in my heart, as well as my companion/sister/mom/best friend Hermana Stott. I feel like the Lord has blessed me by putting me in the most amazing area with the most amazing people and culture.

Ramon has a BAPTISM DATE PEOPLE! Prayers and fasts truly do bring blessings. He didn´t want to be baptized till January,  I reminded him that God said if you love me, keep my commandments, so why don´t we start living the commandments today? He just stared at me stunned and then laughed and said, wow you´re right! He thought for a second and agreed that he needed to be baptized earlier and we set a date in Sep. 

This week I also learned a lesson about not being afraid to listen to the spirit. On our way to district meeting I saw this lady and thought I should talk to her, but  I wasn't sure if it was the spirit or me just wanting to talk to her. So I didn't do anything. At district meeting we talked about the importance of listening to the spirit. A quote was shared by Elder Bednar "whether it's the spirit, or your own thoughts, IT DOESN'T MATTER". Well I vowed to always act on those promptings. Later that day we were headed somewhere and were running late, I saw a different lady and felt I should talk to her. We were late, and I knew if we stopped to talk to her we would be even more late but those words came back into my head. I told Hrm Stott we needed to talk to her and as we stopped her, she clapped her hands and said! "YAY! I have been wanting to talk to you!" okay WHAT. that never happens here haha. but just goes to show you should ALWAYS act on the promptings of the spirit. 

Well that's all for now. Also, if you want a chance to see me and my comp and our two friends Seedy and  Rafa in action, tune into the BYU v. European Academy game tonight (or really today your time). Cause we'll be there. So who knows, you might just see us. Thaaaank youuuu President and Hermana Dayton. GO BYU. 

Hermana  Cragun

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Obedience brings blessings

 Maddie and little amiga C

 Cragun y Stott with the Elders and youth from ward the ward
 Sunset in Sabadell
Its me writing on Tuesday. I forgot to mention that the week of transfers preperation day changes, im sure everyone was very worried. Don´t be, Im still kicking it out here. Me and Hermana Stott are still comps this transfer (thank goodness) and still in Sabadell, which is good because I feel like my work in this city isn´t done yet!

This week was great :) lots of teaching and door knocking and contacting. It´s awesome because I feel like slowly, very slowly, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labors. My first day in this town we had zero investigators haha I remember riding on the train and Hermana Stott nervously telling me that we had like no one to teach. But now we have a ton I dont even know how many, and a lot of them are progressing. The menos activos we visit are beginning to re activate. The best is when you walk into the church and see them sitting there and they just wave at you knowingly :) best thing ever. Two of the boys we visit even are beginning to consider a mission, I really hope so, I think they would be amazing if they served.

Our investigators are doing great :) Little C oh goodness my darling little girl. She is the one I'm especially proud of this week. We were sitting in class when an Elder stuck his head in and was like ¨Hermana! someone is here for you!¨ So me and Hermana Stott walk out and see little C with her dad C at the door hahaha. Little C begged and begged I guess to come to church this week so her dad came and dropped her off. I got to go to primary with her and what not. My eight year old girl  comin to church on her own :) All the ward members think we look alike though, they kept stopping me and asking me if she was my sister. Nope. I wish though! 

Also, I accidentally made a lady run into a pole this week. hahahaha I feel so bad. The thing is, the culture here is to kinda just keep to yourself, so when I say hi to people on the streets its really surprises them. Ive had people just stop dead in their tracks and look at me honestly confused and be like... ¨do we know eachother?" Well this week I said hi to a lady, and she just kinda stared at me as she kept walking and well...ran right into a metal pole. Anyone thats heard me laugh knows that its not very quiet, so I had to exhort everything in me to keep it together. Poor lady.

Well anyways that´s it for this week, just one last thought though before I go. 
People often write me and ask how did you know you were suppose to go on a mission? The truth is, I never felt like I received a solid "answer" that I was for sure suppose to. There was even a moment in my life where I thougth that a mission wasnt the right thing for me. This week I was reading a talk called Obedience Brings Blessings, I came across one line where it said that "to obey is better than sacrafice". I dont know what it was in this phrase but something just hit me strongly. I could feel the spirit telling me in that moment that I had been obedient to His will. I realized in that moment that Heavenly Father really had given me an answer to go on a mission, he had given it to me years ago. I had always grown up wanting to serve, I had always grown up feeling like I should. I didn´t receive an answer at 18 to go because he had already told me years and years before.
If you want to serve a mission, GO! If you are considering a mission and feel like you haven´t received an answer, really stop, pray, and ponder about it. Maybe you like me have already received your answer, but you weren´t aware of it. And lastly, if you have a call and your life is falling apart, don´t give up. Like President Holland once said "Cast not away thy confidence". A mission is the best thing. The hardest thing, but the best thing. I know more than ever now that the Lord wanted me to go on a mission, he had told me at a young age, Im grateful I choice to be obedient to his will even if I didn´t fully understand it at the time because a mission really is the best thing ever. 

AAAHH. long letter this time sorry. Love you all though and hope you are doing well! xoxox Hermana Cragun

Monday, August 10, 2015

Opposition in all things

  When you get called on a mission, your call tells you that "greater happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced." Truth. Right there. What they didn´t write, or what I guess I should have put together was that there is "an opposition in all things" therefore, with happiness never yet experienced is also sadness, haha never yet experienced.
  I think discouraged was a good way to put my feelings for this last week. In shortest terms, Aaaaaanything, anything that could have gone wrong this week, did.  As we got back to our piso last night, we sat down, and well, cried hahaha.  But we knelt down and we prayed and we still thanked Heavenly Father for all the blessings that we had. And as we prayed I realized there were so many blessings I had been given I hadn't seen before.
   Henry B. Erying said that, "If we have faith in the Lord the hardest, as well as the easiest times in life, will be a blessing". I loveeee this and believe it with all my heart. If we put our trust in Heavenly Father, if we put our trust in our Savior, our trials can be turned to strengths. Maybe the hardest times won't be the happiest of times, but they will become some of our most valuable of times. We can truly be refined through our afflictions if we submit to the Lord, we can become someone we never thought we could be, someone that He wants us to be.

  That night our district leader called us and congratulated us on our week. (Shocking right?) I guess between everything that was falling through I hadn't actually stopped to see the work that we had done. He told us that currently we are leading the district right now. I hadn't even realized it but Heavenly Father had not only helped us meet almost every goal we had set this week, but he had also helped us exceed past them. We had accomplished more than we thought we could.
"R" also called us, he told us he was sick and that was why he wasn't able to come to church. He also told us that he had been praying, and that he knew someone was listening, he could feel it. He told us he realized that he had been baptized Catholic, and that if he died right now, he would die a Catholic, haha he told us he didn't want that. He told us that he knows the Book of Mormon is true, and that he wants to be baptized. :)
I am grateful for my Savior and my Heavenly Father. Sometimes it's hard to see it in the moment but our trials really are a blessing. At least they can be if we turn to the Lord. I know that trials are given to us to help us, that our Heavenly Father loves us and is more than aware of us and our situations, whatever they might be. If we put our trust in him, he will shape us into the person we are meant to be.
xoxox Hermana Çragun

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

No time to write

Pday in Barcelona no line and free for missionaries

 Sagrada Familia

 Sagrada Familia
Little amiga

Bon Dia :) (im working on my Catalan)
No time to write this week AH so sorry, but it was another great week her in Sabadell. "R" came to church and fasted with us this week, he loved testimony meeting and said he felt something just touch his heart so strongly. The spirit is the best :)) He´s progressing quickly, and he wants to be baptized soon but he still wants to learn a little bit more before he does. But we are so happy to keep working with him, hahaha he never fails to make us laugh and he loves to learn about Christ. He really has been so prepared!
C´s family invited us over for lunch this week, PAELLA. so good. but I thought I was going to die of eating so much by the end. 
"S" is a new investigator from Gambia, he keeps telling us he wants to be a missionary like us and teach religion, but we keep telling him he needs to be baptized first hahaha. But he really so great, he is so nice. We had dinner with him this week and he told us about what it was like growing up in Africa, the things he has seen and what not. It was so sad, and so shocking. It was a really big life check for me. I really am so lucky to live in the states, I think I forget that sometimes.

This week we also had a zone enfoque, and the missionaries that were leaving got to share a couple of thoughts about what their mission has taught them. My district leader is among the missionaries leaving this next transfer and I loved what he said. "My mission taught me that true happiness, I mean TRUE happiness, comes from the gospel. The rest is just show. And that those that are happy now will be happy later, those that are unhappy now, will be unhappy later." it just hit me so hard. Its so true. all of it. Happiness is a choice, its not a destination. And true happiness, the kind that just fills your whole heart and never goes away, only comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Going on a mission has been the best choice I have ever made :) I love these people, this work, and I especially love my Savior. I´m so happy to be here!
Love and miss you all :) xoxox Hermana Cragun