Monday, November 23, 2015
(Sister Reeder and I having Halloween dinner with President and Sister Loveland) Hello peeps! Happy Thanksgiving week! Ok, I don't have a whole ton of time because we have a zone outing today :D so I will just give you some of the highlights: We were finally able to meet some of our investigators this past week! Ruby and Charles. They started investigating the church at the beginning of the year but then in May or June or something they left Siloam and were in Louisiana taking care of Charles' dad. Any way, we had talked to them over the phone, but we were finally able to go and meet them and have a lesson with them and then they came to church on Sunday and loved it! So we are excited to keep working with them :D Ruby is more excited than Charles is, but she said that Charles wasn't in the best of moods when he went to church and he came back in a very good mood, so hopefully he will open up to us :) Ruby is just awesome. We gave her a gospel principles book to take home with her and she called us later on that evening and said, "I'm just studying in that book you gave me and it talks about the book of Moses. Where is that?"! She is just awesome! We love them both already! Also one of our investigators, Molita, and her boyfriend are getting married. That was the one thing that was stopping Molita from getting baptized, they had to get married. So now that that's happening we have high hopes that she will be baptized soon :D We had 3 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH! AND WE GOT 16 LESSONS THIS WEEK! It has been so nice to see our numbers steadily getting better! All I can say is that we better not get transferred because we are just starting to get things figured out! ...That probably means that we are going to get transferred... We didn't end up getting to see that Bible bashing guy that we met Sunday night. Instead we talked to a nice old couple that had just recently been in Eugene OR visiting friends, and we also met a really cool guy named A.J. and his family. It was funny because we were just knocking on doors, but when we knocked on their door they were like, "Hey! Come on in!" like they had known us forever! Sweet! haha So we went in and were able to talk to A.J. for about 20-30 minutes about how he came to believe in Christ and we talked to him about the Book of Mormon as well. The spirit was there which was really cool, because a lot of times when people who already have a strong belief in Christ and in the Bible hear us say "Book of Mormon" they become really closed off all of sudden and start telling us all the reasons that the Book of Mormon is false. But with A.J. it just kind of felt different. I don't know. He brought up all the same concerns that everyone does (don't add or take away from the Bible) but it didn't feel like he was attacking and he seemed open to learning more. When we asked him if he would like to study with us he said that he would have to talk to his wife and kids about it, but that he might be interested :D So here's hoping! We ate two dinners back to back on Sunday. That was rough. They were both super big dinners and I thought I was going to pop! But I made it through, alright, albeit a little sick to the stomach! haha Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with a less active, Sister Martin. I don't remember if I told you about her or not, but when we met her last week (or maybe the week before) she basically told us that we were welcome to come over but she was not going back to church, period. Well, we had our lesson on Wednesday and we were able to have Sister Bailey with us.Sister Bailey is Sister Martins best friend. Any way, Sister Bailey did most of the teaching, we just kind of sat and distended, and it was so good! It was exactly what Sister Martin needed and as Sister Bailey talked to her she just opened up and told us that she really did want to get back into the church and bring her kids, and have her husband come (he is not a member) and it was just so good! And actually her husband was really nice for being anti Mormon! He actually sat in on some of the lesson and talked to us :D So that was awesome! Member present lessons, man; it works! Saturday was fun because we had the Spanish Elders down to try and contact someone that we had tracted into and we ended up having the wrong address somehow! Any way we knocked the address that we had and a white English speaking girl answered the door and said that Renae (the Spanish guy) didn't live there. She had no idea who that was. Well, then we saw a bunch of Spanish people going into that house! What the heck! So we went back and asked one of the Spanish guys and he said, "He's not back yet." Then the girl came around the corner and said, "Yeah, he doesn't live here anymore." Ok...we went from not knowing who he is, to he's just not here right now, to he moved. ...well great. So instead of contacting Renea we took the Spanish Elders to try and talk to our neighbors who speak Spanish. That was pretty hilarious because we parked at a church about a half block away from our apartment, pointed out the door that they needed to knock and then sent them on their way with me and Sister Reeder in the car peering out the back window to see what would happen :D haha They got to talk to them, and got a phone number, so we shall see. The Elders also took our bike rack off our hands, or rather off the back of our car! So it's nice to have that gone. We had to ask for some help from a guy out chopping wood because we didn't have the right wrench, but he helped us out and we were able to get it off. I tried to give the guy a Book of Mormon to say thanks, but he didn't want it. JUST TAKE IT! Oh well. Alright, I think that's pretty much all my highlights... We had a crunchy rice casserole with Sister Palmer for dinner on Friday night. That was so funny! The rice was completely raw! haha It hadn't cooked at all. Poor Sister Palmer was so embarrassed! We kept telling her it was ok, and it really was! It tasted great, even if it was a little crunchy and I had seconds :D She is so cute! She is the seminary teacher. All I can say is seminary must be a hoot! haha Well, I hope y'all have a wonderful week! Be good and remember who you are and all that rot! haha Love you! Sister Cryer PS Here is a picture of all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in our mission. Can you see me?
Posted by Cathy at 5:23 PM
Letter Dated 16 November 2015 Dear Family, Man, I feel like I never write letters anymore! In my last area I played ultimate frisbee all day on prep day and now I clean all day on prep day! Haha. Well, not so taday. I went super fast with my cleaning today so now I actually have time to sit down and write a little bit. So, the Siloam Springs ward had a chili cook off this past Friday, and ME AND SISTER REEDER GOT TO BE THE JUDGES! That was so cool! I have never been the judge of anything so I was thrilled to my very toe tips! And I don't know when this happened but I LOVE CHILI! It's become one of my favorite meals and I have no idea why. Haha. We got to go to the temple on Saturday with one of our recent converts. That was so awesome! We didn't get to do anything, we just sat and watched but it was just so wonderful to be at the temple! The car ride home was pretty fun too! I taught everyone (Drew, Brother Patterson, and Gracie) to play "What's in your milk" and we were dying laughing the whole way home! Drew especially! He thinks he's the funniest man alive! Haha. It was a great time though. When we got back Sister Reeder and I headed to Walmart with the intent to do some OTMing. Well, unknown to us apparently it was national "Everyone who speaks only Spanish congregate at Walmart Day" So many Mexicans! I couldn't help thinking of mom and Sam as I fumbled my way through, "Hola,...Somos misioneros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo...de...uh,...here's a card....the web site" (making computer like hand gestures that probably looked more like a two year old playing the piano) "has...videos de jesucristo....muy bien." Haha. It was so funny! But hey, we gave out three pass along cards and guess what? They were in Spanish! I may not have been expecting Spanish people but Heavenly Father was! I honestly didn't even know we had Spanish pass along cards in the apartment! So that was a cool little miracle. We got to speak in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. That was fun because we got the assignment Friday night. We didn't really have time to prepare for anything Saturday because of the temple so we pretty much wrote/prepared our talks Sunday morning. I think I have spoken in church more in the past year than the rest of my life put together. No joke. Haha. Anyway, I told you about Sunday in my email...Well I actually did miss one thing. Before we went to have dinner with the McWhotrtors we contacted a former investigator, Rick, and he said we could come back! Sunday was just such an awesome day! OK one more kind of funny thing. While we were shopping today I saw a freezer door open in one of the isles. Without even thinking about it I went down the isle and closed the door. Well, Sister Reeder didn't see me go down the isle so when I came out she had stopped and was looking back in my direction with a look of utter terror on her face! It was pretty funny! Anyway, I'd better wrap up, my hand is starting to hurt. I love you all! Sister Cryer
Posted by Cathy at 9:36 AM
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
November 16 email Dear Family, SUNDAY! Sunday was the best thing that happened to us all week! We had an awesome day at church and then I got to take a short nap during lunch, and then we had dinner at the Bishops house. I got to watch the cows being fed. That was cool. Any way, while we were over there we were talking to Bishop about some media referrals that we had received, one for a K Slater and one for a Rebekah Hinkle. "Rebekah Hinkle?!" he asked. "Yes" we said a little confused. "We know her! She is a great friend of our family!" How cool is that?! So we got to talk to them about her a little bit and get prepped to go over and see her, and then we had Bishops son Drew come with us. He is preparing to go on a mission to the Philippines soon. So because of situations with time, we did some night tracting around a less active that we had an appointment to see. I was a little skeptical of that just because in my experience people don't usually like talking to you if it's dark outside and you are knocking on their door. But we went and did it anyways and we had some awesome success! We got two lessons, and invitation to church (we invited him to ours too) and two return appointments! One of our return appointments I'm not too sure about. I feel like the guy just wants to Bible bash, but we'll find out. The other one though I am super excited about! John and Christina. They seem super golden! John's best friend is Mormon and he seemed super open to learning more about it. :D Then we had our lesson with the less active, Sister Santoy and that just went really well. We committed her to start reading in the Book of Mormon every night with her kids, and to talk to her husband, who is not a member and does not speak English, about having the Spanish elders come over and teach him. So we are going to be praying for her. It was really cool though, because she basically bore her testimony of Joseph Smith and the church, and from there is was really easy to commit her to try and bring her family into the gospel more :D Then we went and tried to contact Rebekah but she wasn't home :( That was the only sad part of the night but it's O.K. because guess what? While we were shopping at Walmart today we met her! It was so cool! We were just walking down the isle and she was walking towards us. So we smiled at her and then she was passed us, and then she stopped and came back saying "hey!" We stopped and turned back to and she said "I'm Rebekah!" Holy cow!!! Heavenly Father is so good at setting things up so perfectly but so not in the way that you would expect! Any way, so we are hopefully going to see her this weekend. So, back to Sunday night. After trying to contact Rebekah we headed over to try and contact K Slater, our other referral. We found his house and knocked on the door and then nest thing I knew the man who opened it was saying "Well hello!" with a huge smile "come on inside and have a seat! I'm sure glad you came!" What the heck! I have never had that type of reaction with a media referral! haha IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We went in and met his wife, Anne and we got to sit and talk to them for about an hour about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and our missions and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement and it was just awesome! They are so great! Super open and kind and just wanting to learn! Any way, it was a miracle and all three of us, Sister Reeder and I and Drew were freaking out we were so excited by the time we left! Basically Heavenly Father blessed us a whole ton and it was pretty much the BEST SUNDAY EVER. I'll tell you about the rest of my life in my letter I think :) Here's hopin' y'all have an incredible week! Remember that sacrIfice brings forth the blessings of heaven! Actually speaking of that let me tell you just a little bit about today: Washing the car. It's always a blast (for me anyway, I think Sister Reeder kind of hates her life every time we have to wash the car!) but today it was particularly exciting because it was raining and super windy. And I was scrubbing. .....I got SO WET! haha But really though, my mascara was running down my face I got so drenched! We had a good laugh when we got back in the car and snapped some pics. Any way, just wanted to tell ya about that! Love you all! Sister Cryer
Posted by Cathy at 2:49 PM
November 9, email....Sorry I (mom) fell a little behind being out of town. Hello everybody! Holy cow, where to even start! So Monday was crazy. So crazy that we ended up washing our car in the dark at a super sketchy car wash! That was fun :) Tuesday was awesome because I got to go to MLC and I learned SO MUCH! I don't even know what I did different to prepare, but I felt like Heavenly Father was just opening the windows of Heaven and pouring out a whole ton of good stuff on me! :) It was so cool! I wish I had my notes with me! I do remember though that I learned a lot about prayer and I was able to set some goals for myself :) We have been asking people who we can pray for, so I am making a list in my planner and trying to have that with me when I say my prayers so I remember to pray for everyone. I also want to record somewhere either in my planner or my journal other things that I want to talk to Heavenly Father about, and then after I pray I want to record anything else that I prayed for. I had that idea during MLC and I am hoping that it will help me to make my prayers more meaningful as well as help me remember what I have prayed for and so recognize when my prayers are answered :) Also, I felt called to repentance with regards to the whole STL thing. I haven't been doing what I should be doing. So I made a commitment to change. How I didn't know, but I decided that I needed to change. So I have texted my sisters a few times to see how they are doing and on Saturday when I got to see them at Zone Training and Train the Trainer I made an effort to get to know them and just spend time with them in general. And ya know what? They are awesome! It wasn't hard at all to be able to talk to them and laugh with them (and boy did we have some good laughs!) and I am excited to go on exchanges with them :) Yeah so Saturday was awesome too! It was Zone Training Meeting and Train the Trainer and interviews with President all rolled into one and then lunch afterwards. SO FUN! And, I got so much good stuff from it! One little gem that I took away is actually a line from Praise to the Man. "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." That is so true! Elder Lopez used to say that to Elder Olson when he was being trained I guess. They would go out and tract all day in the cold and Elder Olson would complain to Elder Lopez and ask why they were out tracting in the cold. "Well Elder," Elder Lopez would respond, "because sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." That is so true! I just loved that! I think I am going to start saying that! So, always remember that peeps! Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! Lets see what was a highlight for Wednesday? ...We got to go into Young Men's for their white shirt Wednesday and do some role plays with them. :D That was an absolute blast! Those kids are nuts! haha We did a role play and taught them the restoration, and they did a great job being very difficult investigators, and then they taught us, and...lets just say that I felt very good about our role play by the time they were finished! haha They were cracking us up! They were in a tripanionship, and there was NO communication between them at all! Big testimony builder to me of teaching with my companion in unity! haha They are awesome though and we had a lot of fun with them! Thursday we had a tornado warning and a sweet thunder and lightning storm :) They have some awesome lightning out here! Any way, that was a pretty cool little tender mercy to me because it was a bit of a rough day of weekly planning.Thank you Heavenly Father! We also got to OTM a lady in Walmart. We had gone in to try and find someone to talk to and low and behold she was standing right there, so we went over and talked to her. She said she had just moved there recently and she didn't have a church yet and would enjoy looking into ours :D awesome! We exchanged info and are still hoping to meet with her sometime. Her name is Janniece. Hopefully we will be able to get a hold of her. We got to go and do some tracting on Friday which was awesome! Work at last! Any way, we got to talk to some pretty neat people. Only one was interested, Jonathan. He is Mexican I think. Any way, we got his info and will hopefully be able to meet with him in a few weeks he said. We also got to talk to a guy named Jefferson. That was a testimony building conversation. He didn't believe us but it always feels good to testify! It's rough when they still don't want to listen though, but life goes on and I am sure Heavenly Father will take care of him. It was the first time he had ever talked to Mormon missionaries he said (what an honor!) so he will have a chance to talk to more in the future I am sure. Maybe he will be ready next time :) We also got to meet Santa Claus. And he told us that we don't believe in the Bible because we add to it. Then he gave us bibles with only the New Testament and Psalms. I didn't say it, but I wanted to say "...doesn't it also say to not take away from the bible either?...This isn't even a whole bible!" haha It was so funny! And legit, he is Santa Clause. He is in the Christmas parade every year :) Saturday, I already told you all the cool stuff pretty much. Well, I guess I have another joke with the assistants now. For whatever reason the assistants like giving me a hard time! We still have the whole deal about time. Not giving me enough time or being late or whatever, but now we have a new joke. "Don't cryer about it." I don't even know how that thing got started but it is so funny how much they love saying it! Elder Whitehead said "usually jokes get lame the more you say them, but for whatever reason this one just gets funnier the more I use it!" haha So he said it in Train the Trainer; I had made a comment about my voice, to apologize for it because I was reading (oh yeah, my voice has decided to fly the coop. It has been gone for about 3-4 days now) and he looked at me and said, "Well, you don't have to cryer about it." Everyone laughed including me as I cried out in denial of letting any moisture escape my little peepers, only to find that I was crying because I was laughing so hard! What a joke! lol Well, I think that's pretty much all my news for today :) I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you dad for your experience from the mission! That was very nice for me to hear. Love y'all! Sister Cryer P.S. Remember, sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven!
Posted by Cathy at 2:43 PM
Monday, November 2, 2015
Hola! (Look at that. I put a little bit of Spanish in there) So how are your lives going? From one end it sounds like a crazy awesome and hot adventure, and from the other end it sounds pretty tame and domestic and damp. So...Not sure what to say further on that. haha Well, my week has been great! Missionary work has been kind of different the past week and a half since I arrived in Siloam. I didn't tell you this in my last letter but my companion is dealing with depression right now. It is something that she has dealt with in the past but not for a while and didn't think it would be a problem on her mission. So it was a bit of a shock for everyone that she is struggling with it again, and the consequences are that we don't get nearly as much time out of the apartment working as we normally would. I am often times alone in the morning exercising in the apartment and then doing studies while she gets some extra sleep. We are meeting with a counselor as well to try and work things out and that takes up time. Any way, so things have been quite different. But, Heavenly Father knows what He's doing, and He put us here together for a reason. So I am just doing the best that I can with what I have been given and trying to help my companion to work through this and stay out on her mission. If you could keep her in your prayers that would be awesome. The work that we have been able to do has been mostly trying to contact people that are supposedly investigators but have not had their records updated since spring time this year. ...The Elders were not very good at updating records, bless their hearts. So there is no way of knowing if they have been taught recently, if they want to continue learning, what they were taught, if they were dropped, NOTHING. So that's been fun. So yeah, lot's of phone calls and trying to stop by and talking to our ward mission leader about people. And it's not just that way with the investigators. It's that way with our recent converts and less actives too. Fun times! We have been able to contact a few people and have some return appointments so we are excited about that. We even picked up a new investigator last night! His name is Eddie and he reminds me a little bit of Jaren. We had gone over to visit the Hurts. They are sort of recent converts who have gone less active. We thought they might even have gone back to their old church. That was not the case when we got there though. They let us in and they were so excited to see us and talked about how much they wished they could come to church, but their health just wont let them anymore. Any way, they brought their grandson (or some kind of relation) out to see us because they said he might be interested in learning about the church :) That was Eddie. We aren't totally sure yet what kind of interest level he has, but he is willing to learn and he said he has already read the entire Book of Mormon! That was a shocker! A good one though :) I have made some animal friends this week :) My companion doesn't like animals very much. So every time there is an animal somewhere, usually a dog, I try and distract it so it doesn't bother her. So the other day I made friends with what looked like a bloodhound puppy, a boxer, and a chihuahua, and a gray cat. I've actually gotten a lot more comfortable with dogs on my mission! haha I have learned that if you can get the dog to come to you, then everything is good, but if you are the one moving towards the dog and it's not moving, then you might end up being in trouble. So I just get them to come to me :) And it's worked out pretty well so far. We got to play volley ball with Bishop and his family as well as Juan. Juan is an English teacher from Colombia and he is here with a group of his students. The kids are staying with various families around town and he is staying with the Bishops family. So we played volley ball with them and had a blast! I got hit in the head with the volley ball. That was pretty funny! Drew, Bishops son (he is 18 and getting ready to go on a mission) decided to try serving the ball as hard as he could in a time out. Well, let me tell you, that kid has got a great serve! The only problem was that my head was in the way. I wasn't looking when it happened so it cannoned into the side of my head, and it was so hard that I was literally pushed over and had to side step so that I didn't topple like a domino. haha It was so funny! I was cracking up and Drew was laughing and in shock and apologizing all at the same time, and Bishop kept asking me for about 10 minutes if I was really ok. Good times. There is a place here called the Mana Center that is kind of like the outreach in Alma. It's a lot slower paced though, but it's fun. Everyone there is super nice :) The lady that is in charge of the whole deal though, Marla, loves missionaries! She has pretty much adopted us. I guess the first missionary she adopted was Elder Connor. Funny because I know him. He was in my first district! Any way, ever since him Marla has just kind of adopted all the missionaries that come through. She feeds them and they would go over and help her with yard work and stuff. So we got to go over the other day and help her plant some bulbs and flowers in her yard on Friday. That was so much fun! I never really thought I would miss yard work, but it was so nice to just get down in the dirt and plant stuff and rake leaves and chop up roots with a shovel. :) Plus it was a beautiful day that we got to go over :) We got to have dinner with President and Sister Loveland on Halloween. That was a blast and a tender mercy! The blast because we love President and Sister Loveland and it was so fun to be able to spend some two on two time with them. The tender mercy part because being Halloween we were supposed to be in our apartment by 6pm. LAME! So when they called and offered to take us out to dinner because they were in town, we literally started jumping up and down because we got to get out of the apartment! Well, I am running low on time and I still have to email Pres. so I am going to sign off for now :) But I hope you all have an awesome week! I am sure going to! Love Sister Cryer P.S. Sorry about the lack of pics from my end. :/ The computers here don't have a way for me to plug my camera in. So until further notice you probably wont be getting any pics...
Posted by Cathy at 3:26 PM