Monday, January 25, 2016

Look at her last name!

Maddie with Elder Obando and his wife in Spain

Bishop Obando with his wife in the 90's making breakfast
Look at her last name"

Well this week was a crazy week so prepare for a long email. Sorry everyone.
The week began with Juanita , our cute little investigator turning 24! So we surprised her with a birthday treat and decorated her door. I had bought candles ready to sing when I realized that I didn't have any matches! But then I remembered that I live in Spain and everyone smokes so we knocked on the door of her neighbor and asked for a lighter, which they had, lit the cake cake and sang snd surprised her. We got invited to her birthday that night which we attended, and that night Juanita got ENGAGED!!! So happy for her. It was cool because the next day as we talked about her wedding and now it would be and she invited us out to her sealing one year in advance :)) 
Juanita will be baptized this week! 
Sunday we taught Jordan who is aaaamazing. He hasn't been able to meet as much because as work but he is still doing so well. As we taught him about  temples and showed him pictures he stopped us and said "wait, this reminds me of a dream" he then explained a dream he had two nights before, where he walked into a beautiful big room with stairs curving as they went upwards. The stairs were white, everything was nice he said. At the bottom stood a man who said "preperarte" and then the dream ended and he woke up. "What does it mean?" He asked us. We smiled "it means that baptism is not the end Jordi. Just like you are preparing for baptism right now, you must prepare yourself to enter the temple as well." He promised us he would.

Saturday marked a historic day for Valencia. All the wards and missionaries gathered together on Saturday afternoon as Valencia held a dedicatory for the new church that is going to be built here, making 2 different buildings and 3 soon to be 4 (hopefully) new wards. Members who have lived here since the beginning of the building of the first church in Valencia were able to get up and talk and share their testimonies. It was so cool to be able to hear their experiences and testimonies as they have seen the church grow here.
The service ended with a member of the seventy- elder Obando- sharing his thoughts and testimony.

As the service ended my companion and I made our rounds saying goodbye to missionaries and members before heading out when all of a sudden I found myself in the path of the member of the seventy. I went to shake his hand and thank him for his words when he stopped me. "Hermana Cragun" he smiled. I nodded my head, his pronunciation of my name was surprisingly good, which doesn't happen too often here. "I have a question for you." "Yes?" I asked. "Where did your father serve?" His question took me back. "Costa Rica" his smile grew wide. "In the 90?s" he asked. "Yes!" I said my excitement growing. "Do you know my father?!" He smiled, "I do." "How?!" I asked. "I was his bishop in Costa Rica for a while." He then called to a woman who was taking to a group of members from the churn and said to her smiling gesturing at me, "look at her last name." The woman looked at him, then at me, then at my chapa and then back at him "no puede ser." (It can't be) "ask her where her father served" he said laughing at her astonishment. She immediately rushed over and I confirmed to her that I was indeed the daughter of Jason Cragun, she had many questions about where dad was these days how many people were in my family. Everything. Then she shared something that really changed things for me. "We have seen many many missionaries pass through our ward, but it's has been over 20 years and we have never forgotten about your father. You don't see a lot of missionaries like him. We have been trying so hard to find him but we never could. This week especially he has been on our mind so much, but we could still never find him." As her gaze dropped to me, I heard the words in my head "and now you have found his daughter." 20 years later, more than 5000 miles from Costa Rica the lord had led a former bishop and as his wife to the small dedicatory service in Valencia, where a former missionaries daughter stay working as the full time missionary now. I left that day with his words ringing in my ears "look at her last name" 

Something clicked in that moment. I realized, I represent something out here on my mission. Both my parents chose to serve missions, and they left a name for me. They left an impression, and it was my choice what I would do with my name. 20 years later his bishop- now member of the 70- still remembered my father for all he did. What would others remember about me 20 years later? The Cragun name to me means missionary work. My parents served missions, i am serving, my siblings will all serve, and someday my children will serve. But I realized there's another name I hold on my chapa. Christs name. I don't need to be a full time missionary to hold his name, that's some thing I've taken, we have all taken, upon us since baptism. What does it mean to hold his name upon us? What are doing with his name? 
Hermana Cragun

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