Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Refiners Fire

WEEK 2: Vilafranca 
The halfway mark 

Wow. To even think that it's been nine months seems pretty insane to me. Unreal really, time really is such a foreign thing here on the mission, it just goes by sooooo fast. 
But looking back, at the cities I've served in, the people I've met. I see where time has gone. It's interesting watching my trainee, because I remember and can relate exactly to how she feels at times, but it's weird to realize that's not me anymore. To realize how far I've come, and then to know that I have to make the most of the times ahead. Make every moment count. 

Well Vilafranca has become my refiners fire haha, it's so hard at times and yet so amazing. It's been a week of  MIRACLES!! We've been able to work with a menos Activo family, the mom is from Spain and the dad is from Ecuador, and their daughter isn't baptized. The elders were meeting with them before we arrived and things were going well, but they couldn't get them to come to church. Well this Sunday we arrived and were greeting ward members and my companion goes "LOOK!" And in walked the little girl with her mom!!! I couldn't believe it! It was the greatest miracle of all! She has a date to be baptized the 9th of April. So keep her in your prayers!
We also were able to visit Noel, a young mom from Peru. The sister missionaries were visiting her until they were pulled out, she hasn't  had contact with missionaries for months. We found her name in our area book and decided to call her and she picked up and invited us over. The lesson was amazing and she was agreed to be baptized right there! Her date is for the 16 of April

The ward here is all incredible, I've never seen a bishopric so on top of things. They are soooo kind to the missionaries and love missionary work it's amazing. My trainee is doing so well! She's learning so fast and is so cute and so positive. She helps a ton. 

I love it here in Vilafranca, it's smaller than I'm use to, but I feel like the Lord is preparing SO many people for us here. It's truly such an adventure and blessing to be here. I'm grateful for the miracles I'm seeing, for the lessons I'm learning. I love missionary work, and I love my Savior. 
LOVE YOU ALL Two heartsRibbon 
Xoxo Hermana cragun 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chapter one in Vilafranca

Hermana Allen from England- Greenie

Vilfranca-New area
Fantastic market!

About an hour from the city of Barcelona you will find a quiet city near the coast called Vilafranca. It's quiet, with a population of 35,000 and most of the citizens here are Spanish. The work is good, with a promising new frontier. I have found I am more of a city missionary, I like the constant hustle and bustle and places to be. And while Vilafranca is no where near the size of Valencia, something about it reminds me of my first town Sabadell, so it had a comforting, homey feeling to it, and with no one having been down here, my trainee and I do have our hands full. 

MY TRAINEE! My trainee is the absolute cutest. Monday night we went out to work with the new missionaries before they were assigned trainers. Hermana Wiseman (my old companion) is also training and so the two of us went down to Barcelona together. But because Barcelona is where Hermana Wiseman use to work, they gave her permission to have the night visiting members and recent converts. Well one of the houses we went to, the current missionaries from Barcelona passed by with their new missionary- Hermana Allen.  I got the chance to talk to the adorable quiet British Hermana Allen. And who would have guessed it but, 14 hours later we were made COMPANIONS. 

Hermana Allen has been the sweetest, and opening an area has been the CRAZIEST! But it's awesome. We've been able to try and go meet as many members and people as possible these days. We've come home dead tired every night and we wake up to do the same the next morning. But beside all that I have never heard a peep of complaint come out of her mouth. She's quiet, and shy, but when you get to know her she's really just so intelligent and sassy. Haha she's the perfect companion for me and I love her so much.

Vilafranca is amazing. It's beautiful there are so many amazing ward members and the bishop is INCREDIBLE!!!! He loves missionary work and he truly cares about everyone. Our first day here we were out on the streets when a police officer pulled us over and asked for our DNI ( ID papers). Ridiculed us for  being missionaries and then said our DNI looked fake. And well right when I was about to panic he took of his helmet and introduced himself as Bishop Borrut,  hahaha he's hilarious and has been such a huge help. We spent the week meeting members, viewing the area and on the streets trying to create as big of a new investigator pool as possible.

Truly it's been SO amazing, I feel like Vilafranca is a blank page, a white sheet. It's possibilities are endless, literally this city is what Hermana Allen and I shall choose to make of if. This morning as we read our scriptures, I read DC 10:44 : And by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance, and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father.

45 Wherefore, the blessings which I give unto you are above all things.

What a blessing it is to be a missionary and to be able to be his hands for his work. Till next week. Pray for us to see miracles here in Vilafranca 
Xoxox Hermana cragun Ribbon

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Not the same missionary

There isn't enough time to write today, and even if there was, I don't think I would even know what to say. 
My chapter of Valencia has come to an end, and what a sweet chapter it was. I feel like it was in Valencia where, I learned how to be a missionary, learned how to be dedicated, to love the work, to love the people. And to make the most of every minute. 

My last week was filled with a couple of unforgettable moments. Eating and laughing with our Italian friends who made amazing pizza, teaching a family from Africa, who surprised us with pigs feet for dinner. It was the first (and last) time I had tried it. Saying goodbye to my converts and the members and all the people I love here, which was the equivalency to  having my heart ripped out.  They are all just so special to me, I'm not saying this to be cheesy but I honestly didn't even know I could love this much. Even thinking of them right now makes my heart throb a little. And then the bishop asked me to share my testimony for the last time, I got up there and started bawling basically. I didn't think it was going to be so hard to but it was. I felt like my time in Valencia flew. And as I've looked back on the time I've had, I feel so blessed and happy because I feel like although it was just yesterday I got there, that the missionary I was then, is no where near the missionary I have become and am today. I learned soooo much in my time in Valencia, and I guess that's why half my heart will always still be there.

I gathered up notes and journals and photos and pajamas friends and families too kindly gave to me, and wished I could have given them something more. Wished I could have stayed forever with them. But I guess I've learned that we never grow in our comfort zones, and Valencia has become my home. And the mission is all about growing, so therefore I must go.

I wish I could thoroughly express how much I have come to love these people, or the difficult learning moments I've had that have pushed me into something better, or the friendships I have made that will last forever, but I can't, so these black and white words will have to suffice for now. Just know that I have created memories that will never be forgotten, and friendships with these people that will last forever. 

And now. I leave my comfortable home of Valencia, to go for my new adventure. Opening and  training in Vilafranca 

Xoxox Hermana Cragun 
Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I share the gospel and they teach me,how to apply it

Are there words for moments like this?
As we sat watching the Christ video the spirit filled the room, and for a moment I felt like I sat here watching the scene from someone else point of view. Rita, holding her two beautiful daughters, the sweet music filling the room and the spirit  testifying of the divinity  of Christ. And I couldn't help but cry, because I realized. I never wanted moments like this to end. Is this what people mean about they love the mission. I will never get moments like this at home. To enter into people's homes, to be an instrument for the Lord and to be able to teach them such eternal precious truths. 
Victor, our member, from Nigeria had said to Rita to listen to the them, they were ordained they were chosen before this life to teach. And  I couldn't help but be taken back at that moment. What had I done to deserve this? How did I get so lucky to be chosen to preach the gospel? Then the words words HE LIVES filled the screen and I couldn't but feel my heart just swell
He lives 
He lives
He lives 
I would scream it and fill everyone's ears with these words 
"And why he lives he sings" the most beautiful blessing. Our most precious promise  that we can be like him. That there's someone that knows exactly how we feel. That we can be forgiven start over again have our past erased and be come better everyday. And how beautiful  it is to be his representative. Truly. I would NEVER trade anything for moments like this. There is nothing sweeter or more featuring or fulfilling than moments like is.

And as the video ended, and we got up and wiped the tears from our eyes, Sophia ran and collected a small cheetah print bag and handed it to us to see, and inside lay two presents wrapped in thin hot pink paper written to "elder wiseman and elder cragun" we opened it up to find a bag, and gloves. They explained they didn't have money for it, but they the girls had insisted we have it. (Hermana wisemana bag is so old it's literally in shreds) my heart was so so so so so so full. They literally had nothing; yet they still thought of us. And the needs we had. I love them. I am so amazed of the charity and selfless they have.

I have found that I teach my investigators about the gospel, but they truly teach me how to apply it. And they show it in their diary lives, these people are so Christ like yet they don't even know it. I am the one learning from them and what a privilege it is. 

Still everyday I, so grateful to be here in Spain in such a beautiful country and culture with people from every nation. 

" ...this is my glory, that perhaps is I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance, and this is my joy." 

I love my mission and his work. 
Xoxox Hermana Cragun