Monday, December 22, 2014

12/22/2014 Merry Christmas This Week!!!

Here is the latest email from Elder Crye in Canada.

- Caralee


Missionary work in Canada is interesting.

It's a struggle just to find people that are interested in learning. Everyone's busy. Everyone has other priorities in their life. Not many people really care about where they came from, why they're here, or where they're going. Not that many know their purpose in life.

Of those that are religious, most are religious due to the traditions of their fathers. They've never really asked for themselves if it's true. This is a problem that we find in people both inside and outside of the Church.

If there's one thing I wish more people did, it's to actually ask those kind of questions and then put themselves in a place to receive their answers.

Every now and then, my companion and I stumble upon somebody that's interested in learning more about the deeper things in life. Perhaps we find them. Perhaps they find us. They actually meet with us. We teach them. We have a wonderful, spiritual experience together. We feel the Spirit. They likely do too, but they may not recognize it. Often, there are things like commandment issues that might be keeping them from having the sensitivity to recognize the Spirit. Their curiosity is piqued. 

Then, we invite them to learn more. We want them to gain their own witness of what we share, not just believe us, but believe God.

We invite them to come to church, pray, and read. Those 3 things are what we often call the "primary answers" in that they're so essential to getting your answer. Just like a seed needs air, water, and sunlight to grow, everyone's testimony needs those 3 things (church attendance, prayer, reading scriptures) to grow. Without any one of the 3, the seed withers and dies.

This week was really really promising. We taught several different people. People invited us in. It was Christmastime. Everybody was happy. Apart from all the shopping and the frustrations that come with it, people are having a Merry Christmas.

Several people wanted to learn more. They wanted an answer. I believed them. They truly sounded like they wanted an answer, but then they didn't show up to church. It's times like this that I wonder what more I could've done. 

I bear you my testimony that I know that this gospel I share is true. I know it as much as I know that I exist. I believe that's a strong claim, but this is truly something that I know.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Every time I remind myself that all those we're meeting "are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." (D&C 123:12)


Elder Crye

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Elder Gary Crye's profile

Elder Gary Crye set up his profile.  It went live on 10/6/2014 and can be seen at:

December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Our zone together at the recent Zone Conference. We coordinated colors. Hopefully you recognize me in the back. I have my right arm around Elder Smith - he's to the left in the photo.

Our transfers are on Dec. 29/30th. We should be here for Christmas. Yeah, just finished week 4 with Elder Smith.

Umm, honestly things are pretty normal here in Brampton. We see the "celebrities" of the mission all the time - the Mission President, our Stake President, and so forth are often at our ward. The Assistants to the President are in the area right beside us. We got about a foot of snow overnight this week. It's since warmed back up.​

This week was pretty weird though. We had 3 different progressing investigators (people that have been taught several times, have shown up to church, are looking like they might be baptized in the near future) just disappear on us this week. They had no relation to each other whatsoever, but their phones were all disconnected, neighbors haven't seen them, etc. We're very confused.

Another photo taken the morning after that snowfall. By the time we had finished shoveling the driveway, we already had another 2 inches.

Elder Gary Crye

December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

I am doing great. 

We saw Meet the Mormons the other week. Solid movie. 10/10. Would recommend, even if I wasn't a missionary. :P

The new Mission President is really pushing for us to be "full-purpose missionaries" in that we invite ALL others to come unto Christ. That means investigators, but also all of the members, etc. We're now an integral part of the ward council in helping everyone receive the ordinances necessary for salvation.

The work in this area is moving forward. We're working very closely with the Elders Quorum to revitalize our ward's home teaching program. Something that's very different here from Lehi is that not a whole lot of home teaching is done. 3 months ago when I came here to this ward, the figure was something like 13% of families in the ward had been home taught in the last month. In the last year, only about 30 or 40% of families had been home taught. So... A lot of our visits and calls that we've made this week were to determine if people still lived at the addresses given and then to determine if they would take home teachers, accept missionaries, or that sort of thing.

We've had a lot of success this week with praying for where to go and what to say. This week, through prayerfully planned trips, we finally made contact with a ward member that several others refer to as a "personage of spirit" in that nobody in the ward (except for her mother) has made contact with her for years, but her mother (who is also pretty hard to contact) says that she's always around the home - she's just never there when anybody visits. We had an excellent visit and got new contact information to update the directory with.

There's a talk I've been really studying the last week or two that I'd definitely recommend: Ask in Faith, by David A. Bednar

Elder Gary Crye

Transfer 3, Week 1 (November 24, 2014)

November 24, 2014

So, my companion left me. Now instead of introducing my companion as Elder Mangakahia and having everybody look at me funny and say, "What?" and then just telling them to call him Elder M, my new companion is named Elder Smith. Everybody gets it the first time. That's nice.

Elder Wyatt Smith is from Malta, Idaho. He says it's a small town near Twin Falls. He grew up on a dairy farm in a big family with 7 siblings. He's a nice guy.

This week's been pretty good. Things were pretty hectic with transfers at the beginning of the week, but they've slowed down quite a bit since then. My journal entries each night have gone from 2-3 lines back up to a page or so. 

I'm still in Brampton, Ontario. It's a great place. Most of the missionaries say it's the most "normal" place in the entire mission. Not many crazies out here. Plenty of people from all around the world, but not many crazies.

For those of you asking about snow, it snowed about a foot here earlier this week, but then it melted yesterday and today.

The church members up here are great. Being able to stay in one area for a few months now really has its benefits. It's awesome being able to know most of the people in your ward (congregation). As missionaries, we're constantly playing matchmaker, but instead of romantic relationships, we try to build friendships. As we come to know the ward, it becomes a lot easier to say who would get along with somebody that we just met that day. That, and the members here really are awesome. A while back, I mentioned something about how I love brownies. Last week, the family I mentioned that to fed me brownies. God bless that family. I've missed brownies, especially since we never really have the time to bake decent brownies at home and store-bought brownies always seem to come out too cake-y.

This week, our stake hosted what they called a "Missionary Academy" where the youth got together to learn more about what missionaries do. It was really awesome being able to witness so many youth bear testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His divinity.

In other news, I watched On the Lord's Errand, a biography of Thomas S. Monson. I was watching it in ASL for the fun of it, and found Mary Bonham interpreting. That was pretty cool.

Oh, and I was able to teach about the Restoration in sign language this week. That was also pretty great. Claudia might be the first ASL investigator in the mission.

I love you all.

-Elder Crye

Photo from Culture Night (November 8, 2014)

Culture Night - November 8, 2014

Elder Gary Crye's companion, Elder Mangakahia, presented "A Culture Night featuring Mana The Spirit of Polynesia".  There were several booths, displays, and Elder Mangakahia performed several different dances from various regions. Elder Crye and other missionaries helped out with this event.

Below is a flyer.

There is also a video of this event.  Elder Gary Crye can be seen a few times during this video.

A Day in the Life of A Missionary - a collection of photos

From Elder Crye's email on October 14, 2014 showing a series of photos from "A Day in the Life of a Missionary" when he and his companion were followed by some ward members in the area where they're serving.


October 14, 2014

Yeah, so we had a local event called "Day in the Life of a Missionary" where the idea was to get members to take photos of us throughout the day to post to social media sites.

Also, check out the Facebook page titled "Heart Lake Ward". 

Elder Crye

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transfer 2, Week 2

So last week was pretty crazy with some Thanksgiving plans. I had something like 5 or 6 minutes to accomplish quite a bit on the computer. Writing home was just one of those items.

Huh. I didn't take many photos. Here's one of my companion and I eating dinner with a table halfway into the hall. One of the more interesting rules for missionaries is to not enter the home of somebody of the opposite gender, unless an adult of your own gender is also present. It's mainly to prevent any chance of something bad happening, as well as protecting us from false claims. My companion and I had scheduled dinner with a church member, but we weren't able to arrange for another male to be present, so this happened:

In other news, my birthday was this week. We might've gotten fed even better than at Thanksgiving. The people here are pretty awesome.

Apparently there's a video of our zone (basically all the missionaries in Brampton, Ontario) doing the haka, a dance from New Zealand popularized by their rugby team, the All Blacks. It can be found at a Facebook page titled something like "Canada Toronto Mission 2014-2016".

Today, I want to share a bit about thankfulness. 'Tis the season, and all.

So something that we've been doing is asking people what they're thankful for. On the bus, most people tend to respond with 'family,' 'friends,' 'being able to provide for my family,' or occasionally 'God.' 

I know that when we think about what we're thankful for, it reminds us of what's important in life. What's really important.

There's a scripture from the Book of Mormon from a prophet named Alma that I really like. He's giving some counsel to his people. He says,

"And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive." (Alma 7:23)

One way to do those things is through prayer. As we pray with faith, we ask for specific blessings we need and thank God for specific things. When we do so, we express our thanks to a merciful God that has given us so much. We are reminded of what's important to us. We think about what's actually important and we gain an eternal perspective.

Prayer is a commandment, and God doesn't give us any commandments just because He wants us to do things - he gives us commandments so that we can be blessed by obeying.

As we pray and express thanks, we gain a closer relationship with God. We experience much more joy, especially when we concern ourselves with things that are eternally important, rather than worldly desires.

I know these things are true.

I hope you all can pray with a little more thankfulness in your hearts.

It's been a great two weeks,
Elder Crye

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Canadian Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada.

Really pressed for time today, but I'm thankful for all the support from people back home.

Hope life's good.

I'm doing well.

-Elder Crye

Monday, October 6, 2014

Transfer 1, Week 5

He forgot to post this on here last week.


This week, my companionship and I witnessed our first baptism!

It was the wonderful woman we've been teaching to read, and so our story actually begins there. Her name is "Sobriety." For reference, her husband is pretty deaf and his eyesight isn't great, but he can read. Their relationship has historically been loving, but kind of distant.

This week, we read and taught Sobriety the LDS Hymn #308 - "Love One Another". At the end of the lesson, her husband joined us. It was the sweetest thing - we were all able to sing "Love One Another", and we got him to put his arm around her! Her smile was so wide!

Then, on Sunday after church, we held Sobriety's baptismal service. We'll say that everything ran smoothly, because apart from some preparation coming down to the wire, it really did run smoothly. The service itself was amazing. You could really feel the Spirit. Sobriety looked so happy, and the testimonies were great. President and Sister Clayton joined us, so naturally, we asked President Clayton to follow us in bearing testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ while Sobriety changed out of baptismal attire. Following her baptism, we sang "Love One Another" as our closing hymn. I don't think Sobriety saw it coming. Her husband put his arm around her again and she practically started crying. It was the cutest thing!

Man, it's been a great week.

Missionary work is awesome.

PS: Multiple cameras to look at make pictures difficult.

Yours truly,
Elder Crye

Transfer 1, Week 6

Well, first things first, I'm staying here in Brampton with my companion, Elder Mangakahia. I was not transferred.

It's been an excellent week. :)

Sorry if my post's a little short this week - I'm using most of my time today applying to vote by absentee ballot and researching some issues. (You should vote too!) 

General Conference was great! It's where our prophet and Apostles speak to us. It's especially cool since you can gain a witness that the message they share is true, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

If you're ever curious about why we do missionary work, check out the talk by David A. Bednar. It's great stuff.

This week, I really strengthened my testimony while preparing to teach investigators. I learned a lot through Biblical mentions of restored truths (that we can learn more about through modern prophets or other additional Scriptural texts, like the Book of Mormon). I love that you can find accounts of things like a pre-mortal existence, baptism by immersion, or giving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. I know that we teach Christ's Doctrine and that this is His church on earth.

Some interesting, but not particularly spiritual moments this week:

1) My companion did some pirouettes in front of the temple.

2) Got a humorous fortune cookie. I don't think they understand missionaries aren't looking for romance in the slightest. 

In the words of my companion...

Elder Crye

Monday, September 22, 2014

Transfer 1, Week 4

Hey! I'm glad to hear from all my friends.

It's been a great week. Every week's a great week when you choose to be happy. :)

This week, I want to write about Fernando. He's this very friendly man from Sri Lanka, who has lived in Canada for a while now.

A week or so ago, Fernando approached us, crying about his wife, Pania.

His wife is in New Zealand. She has cancer, and Fernando barely has enough money to pay for her chemotherapy treatments. He's living very humbly right now. He was very worried about her, so we prayed with him that he could be comforted. We also arranged to meet later at the library.

There, he told us all about how the prayer we said with him enabled him to sleep well that night for the first night in weeks. He mentioned how he goes through bouts of anxiety and depression from worrying about his wife, Pania, but that our prayer enabled him to find peace.

We sent missionaries to his wife in New Zealand, using the form. They successfully contacted her and gave her a blessing, with Fernando on the phone to translate. He explained how it was a deeply spiritual experience for both him and Pania. His wife was formerly Buddhist, but ever since that blessing, she wants to become a Christian. Fernando mentioned how his wife was able to significantly reduce the amount of pain medications she was taking since the blessing. Wow. He thanked us profusely and wants us to baptise him and his wife. He says he's had a lot less worry since we've come into his life.

Christ's Atonement is powerful. The priesthood power of God allows us to help others. I know it.


Here's a picture from the conference where we met and learned from Elder Craig A. Cardon, of the Seventy. I'm in the top row, on the far right of the picture. I just don't have enough time to write about that too.

-Elder Crye

Monday, September 15, 2014

Transfer 1, Week 3


It's been a pretty decent week.

I'm a little disappointed that not many of our investigators showed up to church. Don't they understand that church helps them build a relationship with God?

Last week, my companion and I took a selfie at the temple in Brampton, Ontario. It's literally right next to the chapel that we attend on Sundays. We also had Zone Conference for the missionaries and Stake Conference for all the members around here. I'll probably write a bit about those next week.

There's this investigator we've been teaching. Her name's Sobriety and she's from Guyana. She flagged us down, literally from a 5th-story balcony as we were walking past her building. Her life's a bit of a struggle. Her husband, Rohan, has cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and is mostly deaf. (No, they don't know ASL - I wish...) They came to Canada so that he could get chemotherapy. She's like the perfect housewife - she works very hard and keeps the house spotless. The thing is... she can't read.

So, the past two weeks, we've been teaching her English as a Second Language (ESL) on top of sharing brief messages about Jesus Christ.

Last week, we were struggling to get through the alphabet. We were teaching her the sounds for each letter, and we could barely make it from A to F. Then, out of nowhere, on Tuesday she could read! It was amazing! My companion and I just looked at each other, mouths open. Somehow, we got from barely being able to make out the sounds for each letter to being able to read nice, complicated sentences like "You can know for yourself that these things are true by asking your Heavenly Father in prayer." She could actually read that. Slowly, of course, but she could make sense of it. Whoa.

She later related to us that over the weekend, when her son and husband were out of the house, she knelt down in prayer on her balcony. She asked God sincerely, to the point of tears, for help in learning to read. After that experience, she could read. We asked her if she'd ever been able to read before. She responded in the negative. Wow.

It reminds me of some scripture verses I've been sharing a lot recently, found in the Book of Mormon. In Alma 7:11-13:

"And [Christ] shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people,

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."

From these verses, we understand that Christ's Atonement, or sacrifice, covers a lot more than just sin. A lot of times, we tend to think of it as just being a tool to allow us to repent of our sins. However, it covers all your pains, sicknesses, feelings of regret, guilt, or shame, that brief feeling that hurts you when someone says something that you don't appreciate, and really just about anything.

It even covers all the little mistakes you make when you're trying to learn something. Through Christ's Atonement, you can call down the powers of Heaven to help you improve at something, or in learning something new. That's what Sobriety did this week, and it was amazing.

Christ knew of these prophesies when he ministered among the Jews. He knew that he'd feel all these pains for every single person that ever walked the earth, was walking the earth, or would walk the earth. And he still made that sacrifice for us, because he loves us.

I know that He lives.

-Elder Crye

How I Email Home

This week, a few people asked how I email home.

On preparation days, usually Monday, some other missionaries and I visit the local library and use their laptops.

Alternatively, the Family History Center at our chapel has some computers that we could use, but we've mainly been going to the library.

No. Unfortunately, we don't have iPads yet.

Yours truly,
Elder Crye

Monday, September 8, 2014

MTC / Provo Temple Pictures

Here are the pictures that Elder Gary Crye sent me to have it posted here.


Transfer 1, Week 2


It's been a great week.

It's been a lot of fun. I have some pretty good stories.

1) Investigator Drama

[Note: 'Investigator' is a term that we use to describe someone 'investigating' the church.]

There's this investigator, named Lamar*. We've met him once, taught him a single lesson, and then we set a return appointment. We passed him a day or so later on the sidewalk and said hello. That night, he canceled our return appointment for unspecified reasons.

A few days later, we get a call from Sister Palmer, the Church Public Affairs Agent in the area. She tells us that Lamar was threatening attorneys saying that we were bothering him.

Okay, then. Sorry for saying hello. We won't contact him again.

Later that night, the Mission President over all of the Canada Toronto Mission, President Clayton, texted us saying he wanted to see us. Wow. This must've been serious.

Well, his visit had nothing to do with Lamar. He just wanted to come work with us for the evening. That was a lot of fun, but that might have to be a story for another time. We laughed about Lamar.

2) The Stormy Friday Night

At about 7:30pm Friday, Elder Mangakahia and I were left without anything scheduled besides just finding potential investigators. We had just finished teaching a lesson. The sun was going down in a glorious sunset and it was nice and warm. However, about two or three minutes after we stepped outside, a strong, cold breeze blew. Thick, dark clouds rapidly covered the sky. The temperature dropped dramatically - we thought it might hail. Suddenly, it was pouring rain. This wasn't just a drizzle, it was the kind of weather you really shouldn't be outside in. It was the kind of weather that would break cheap umbrellas. That is, if we had any umbrellas with us.

There was nobody outside, so we decided to go tracting. In the rain. We knocked on a few doors in the immediate vicinity. No answer. We finally got someone to answer the door at a house down the road, but they weren't interested in our message at all. They, if anything, were irritated that we interrupted their 8pm dinner. We continued down the road. A few houses later, this man named Sam ran after us, waved us down, and gave us an umbrella. He then ran back to that one house that answered the door. We were a little discouraged by this point, but life was good - we now had an umbrella. 

I kept laughing - the whole situation of being off in Canada... in the pouring rain... and knocking on peoples doors with absolutely no success is still pretty absurd to me. Perhaps that's a normal experience for the veteran missionaries out there. Our approach clearly wasn't working. So, we did what any missionary would do and prayed for inspiration on where to go. 

Both Elder Mangakahia and I got this feeling that there was somewhere that we needed to be, but that we were in the wrong place. We played a game of warmer/colder directly to this one specific house several blocks away. We knocked, and a man named Ned answered. He was curious and we shared the entire story of the Restoration with him at his door, and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He has a close friend from our church that attends the chapel to the outside of our boundaries to the northeast. He wasn't interested in a return appointment, but he committed to praying about our message and said he'd talk to his friend about it. 

That story's cool, just because of the experience in finding Ned. The Spirit can really guide us.

3) The First Lesson on the Temple Grounds

We have this 16-year-old investigator, Gurpreet. He showed up to church after just a street contact, inviting him to church, and handing him a card with the chapel's address. He's this really bright, very independent kid. We weren't able to meet with him for a lesson last week, but this week he showed up to church again. He likes it a lot. However, the especially cool part is what happened afterwards. We offered to ride the bus home with him - he, like Elder Mangakahia and I, uses the bus system as his primary method of transportation. 

We were walking out of the chapel towards the bus stop when he asked us a few questions about the temple that we were walking past. The gate was open, so we suggested that we all walk around the temple grounds. He agreed to that suggestion. So, we walked around the temple and discussed our missionary work.

Somehow, the conversation led to baptism, and he was interested. He had no idea what baptism was, so we explained it to him. He liked the idea, and asked what he needed to do to be baptized. Elder Mangakahia and I looked at each other, somewhat in shock - this was perhaps the best investigator ever.

We handed him one of the calendars that we use to help people track their reading/praying - to visually see their progress in coming closer to God - and flipped it over to the back. The back has a little checklist of the things you need to do to prepare for baptism. Some of the items have some LDS jargon like "Word of Wisdom," but it's generally pretty understandable for investigators. We explained that a large part of our work as missionaries is to get people to understand all the items on the checklist. Gurpreet then asked about Joseph Smith. Elder Mangakahia and I looked at each other again. This was indeed the best investigator ever. 

Elder Mangakahia and I then taught the entire message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. We taught about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. How He loves families and blesses them. How He calls prophets on the earth to teach people how to get closer to God. How prophets have authority, much like how police officers have the authority to give you a traffic ticket and ice cream trucks don't. How you can ask God if prophets are actually called of God. How all the prophets taught about Jesus Christ. About how people gradually reject prophets and fall away from God. About how this is a pattern that's happened throughout history. About how Christ came to the earth. About Christ's Atonement - that sacrifice and subsequent resurrection - that Christ did out of love for us. About how Christ and his Apostles, and thus that authority, was lost from the earth. About how a new prophet was needed. And about Joseph Smith. Convincing evidence of what we've said is the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith uncovered it, and translated it by the power of God. It's another testament of Jesus Christ. You can find out, for yourself, if all these things are true by learning about them and then praying about it.

And so, we taught the entire first lesson on the temple grounds. That's the kind of story you can tell to your kids about how you converted.

Not just that, but he said he really wanted to be baptized. We told him to pray about it first, but that we were very excited for him.

4) Lesson from a Catholic

We met a guy on the street, inviting him to pray about the brief message that we shared. The thing I really like is something he shared with me - that he really appreciates the way we do what we do. We INVITE. We don't just tell people that things are true. We invite them to find out for themselves.

It's been a great week. Being a missionary is fun.

With love,
Elder Crye

*Names of people not directly affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been changed. I'm getting a little sick of putting this asterisk on each email I send home, so this is the last time it'll be here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Week in Toronto

Just finished up my first week here in the Toronto area. It's been a great first week.

I'm in Brampton, so something like 30 minutes northwest of Toronto proper. Specifically, I'm in the Heartlake South area. It's pretty packed here, but there's only a few skyscraper/apartment buildings in the area. It's interesting because there's literally this underground culture - almost every house has another tenant in their basement. I've met people of all different religious beliefs: Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, Jews, Christians of all denominations, Buddhists, and a few athiests. Haven't met any Confucians or Shinto (Japanese religion) believers yet though, so I can't cross that off yet. :) Everyone's so diverse here, it's crazy.

The weather's been great so far. Nice and sunny. It's definitely more humid than Utah though, and there are no mountains to be seen. The only sources of direction I have are streets (with not-so-useful names like Queen Street, instead of 700 North) and the sun when it's still up.

My companion is Elder Mangakahia, from Melbourne, Australia. He's great. We get along really well. He's all I ever could've hoped for in a companion. He was formerly a professional ballet dancer that performed in the Sydney Opera House. He's a great example for me, especially with contacting people on buses. He's so great at striking up conversation with people and then redirecting it to the gospel of Jesus Christ or missionary work.

For those of you that this means something to, my companion is our District Leader, and this week, we achieved all Standards of Excellence!

This week, I want to share a few stories. 

The first story is that of our investigator, Duna*. She's this really nice Hindu woman from India. She's a grandmother, who lives with some of her children and grandchildren. Communication with her is a little difficult since her English isn't great, but she can understand simple terms very well. This week, we taught Duna about the Plan of Salvation. She likes everything that we taught and she has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. However, she doesn't want to be baptized. In her words, in her heart she really wants to be baptized, but in her head she doesn't want to, since she says it won't work out. Her entire family is Hindu, and she doesn't want to convert since she would likely be ostracized. Having investigators with testimonies not getting baptized due to their families is heartbreaking.

The other story is a time when I could really feel the Spirit. It's the story of when we met with Raj*. Raj is a former investigator that we met on the sidewalk last week. Raj is this Hindu man with a firm belief in "All religions - one God." As I would later find out, he was previously dropped for not following up on commitments to pray about what was taught, etc. We met him on the sidewalk and he asked us to come over later that week. Even from a former investigator, having someone invite you into their house to share a message, unprompted, is an offer that you don't turn down as a missionary. We got there and he had some juices laid out on a table for us, surrounded by a few chairs for us to sit down on. He wanted to share a bit about his beliefs with us, so we agreed to spending the time roughly half/half. The most interesting part is what happened roughly in the middle of our meeting when we began to share our message. It was absolutely fascinating, since there was some back and forth as we were beginning. Whenever he would speak, primarily in his belief about this Diety Cycle, I could not feel the Spirit at all. When we would share, and bear testimony, the Spirit would come rushing back so strongly. Perhaps it was the contrast that made it so much more memorable, but that was a day that I could really feel the power of what we were sharing. Long story short, Raj refused to pray about the message we shared on the grounds that he had already logically deduced that his religious beliefs were true.

Those were some of the more interesting, but disappointing, stories of the week. We've had a lot of success though. This week at church, several of our investigators came, including one that we just invited to church on a street contact and haven't taught yet. That was very exciting. 

Life's been good here in Brampton. It's also great having the only temple in Ontario within our area. So many people know where the temple with the little golden angel on top is.

With love,
Elder Crye

*Names have been changed

Friday, August 22, 2014

Second week at the MTC

This week's been great. 

Still haven't figured out the photo situation.

I fly out to Toronto early Monday morning, so by the next time I write, I'll be in Canada.

Things have been pretty crazy here. I've had several deeply spiritual experiences. I'm getting more used to inviting people to baptism.

On a not quite so personal level, there's something I'd like to share.

As we've been meeting with investigators, one of the really deep questions my companion and I have been asked is "why would God take his gospel away from the earth?" We initially responded that we didn't have a great answer and would come back. This is what I came up with that I really liked:


We start of by stating the question, and then ask the investigator to read 2 Ne 10:23. We describe what agency is, and then launch into a block quote from Our Search for Happiness (pg 74) in the section under Coping With Adversity that says,

"If there is a God," the empathetic observer might wonder, "how could He allow such things to happen?"
The answer isn't easy, but it isn't that complicated either. God has put His plan into motion .It proceeds through natural laws - which are, in fact, God's laws. And because they are His, He is bound by them, as are we. In this imperfect world, bad things sometimes happen. The earth's rocky underpinnings occasionally slip and slide, and earthquakes result. Certain weather patterns turn into hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and drought. That is the nature of our existence on this planet. Dealing with adversity is one of the chief ways in which we are tested and tutored. 
Sometimes, however, adversity [in this case, read: apostasy] is man-made. That is where the principle of agency again comes into play. Keep in mind that we were so excited about the plan Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ presented that we literally "shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). We loved the concept of mortality and the exciting notion of moral agency. But because we'd never been mortal before, I'm not sure we could fully comprehend the impact of agency on our lives.
We tend to think of agency in a personal way. Ask someone to define "moral agency," and they'll probably come up with something like this: "Moral agency means I'm free to make choices for myself." But we forget that agency also offers that same privilege to others, which means that sometimes we are going to be adversely affected by the way other people choose to exercise their agency. 
Heavenly Father feels so strongly about protecting our moral agency that He will allow all of His children to exercise it - for good and for evil. Of course, He has an eternal perspective that helps Him to understand that whatever pain and suffering we endure in this life, regardless of its origins and causes, it is only a moment compared with our entire eternal existence. 

At this point, I bear testimony that God cares about our agency.

Then, I emphasize that God still shows his love for us by giving us inspired people, such as the Reformers or those of other faiths. 

Finally, explain that when people were ready, God willingly restored His gospel on the earth again.


I know that God loves us.

With love,
Elder Crye

Friday, August 15, 2014

First Few Days at the MTC

These last few days have been great. This is our first Preparation Day, but this is only my third day here.

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I believe I'll have some by next Friday.

I've been called as the District Leader of our small band of 8 missionaries. I've found out that there are two other districts of English-speaking missionaries en route to Toronto, Canada, for a total of 25 of us. They're a fun group. We tend to eat together. The food's pretty good - just like the Cannon Center at BYU. I've been drinking probably 5 glasses of chocolate milk with every meal. :)

My district has been nothing but supportive. They're great. You can really feel the Spirit in the classroom when the Elders or Sisters share their thoughts. We're all going through the same challenges, so it's great to have someone to talk to about those challenges.

From what I understand from the amount of paperwork I've been given relative to others, the District Leader is the busiest calling you can get here as a missionary. My companion's put up with me admirably. I'm doing just fine keeping up with all the work. My time at college and growing up in the church has prepared me well. 

My companion is Elder Bernards. He's great, and I'm not just saying that because he's sitting next to me in a position to where he can totally read what I'm writing. We get along well and have several shared interests. We both played the saxophone in high school, and we both enjoy running. He's from Layton, Utah, so he's not from too far either. He hasn't given me any trouble. I'm still working on getting him to speak up when we talk with "investigators."

These first few days in the MTC, we've mainly been focused on learning the missionary purpose. It goes as follows: I'm here to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

The one thing I've really noticed here is that you can feel the Spirit in almost everything you do. I've done some things that I don't think I would've before. Most notably, is that when meeting with "investigators" in workshops, we've covered topics that, personally, have never been a concern in my life. For example, the topic of the age of accountability and how infant baptism is unnecessary just isn't something that I've ever worried about. I've always just accepted it as true since that's what I've learned in church. It never really bothered me one way or the other. However, as a missionary, I've learned that I need to have a sincere testimony of the things I teach, and that those random topics really do come up. So, because of this, at night I've been praying for confirmation that the things we're covering are true. I've received such confirmation through the Spirit. I can say that I know, for sure, that infants don't need to be baptised and that they can return to live with Heavenly Father again. I don't think that I would've been able to say that before, mainly since it had never come up. But now I know those things, because I have a strong feeling in my heart that they are true. That's definitely been a growing experience for me. 

I'm really surprised that we've been encouraged to invite investigators to be baptized within the first (or sometimes second) discussion with them. That definitely still feels sudden to me. 

I ran into Elder Griffin, Elder Clair, and Sister Mortensen from Lehi. Also, I saw Elder Roberts, my ex-roommate from BYU, here. He's going to Colorado. 

Overall, I'm doing just fine here in the MTC. I haven't really had any struggles. Everything's come pretty easily. As I mentioned, I've been well prepared. I know that especially with the Lord's help, I can accomplish everything that I need to. I'm still adjusting to the missionary schedule, but what fresh missionary isn't? 

I love you all and I'm excited to head off to Canada.

-Elder Crye

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Preparing to Enter the MTC


I gave my farewell talk last Sunday on 3 Nephi 5:13. In my opinion, it was pretty good. :) If you wanted a copy and didn't get one, just send me an email ( and I'll get it to you.

I enter the MTC this Wednesday. I'll be set apart Tuesday night. It's finally starting to feel close.

There's not much time until I leave, so things are getting a bit more frantic.

There's now nothing between me and entering the MTC besides showing up at things and tying up some loose ends with packing. It still hasn't really set in that I'll be leaving for two years.

I'm excited.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

First Post

I've been called to serve an LDS mission to Toronto, Canada, speaking English! I report August 13th! AAAHHHHH!!! :)