Yeah, everything's going really well for me. We're keeping ourselves super busy.
A picture of our zone.
[Elder Crye is third from right.]
[Elder Crye is third from right.]
[Caralee Crye wrote] Last night was a wonderful World Wide Devotional for young adults (Institute age). I'm not sure if the missionaries are allowed to attend/watch. Basically, the take-away message I got from Elder Russell M. Nelson is that when we are asked to do "impossible" tasks, with a lot of prayer, wrestling of spirit, and effort, miracles happen. He shared several experiences from his life about this. One of these was the mandate to open more European countries (this was before the Berlin Wall came down) to the mission work. There were several times when his efforts seem to fail, meetings (with European officials) didn't seem to succeed, among other things. With time, patience, and a lot of prayers to seek revelation and guidance from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the European countries, one by one, were able to be dedicated and opened for mission work.
He also remembers when he and his wife and several others [it was a university setting] were asked by the prophet [then McKay I think] to learn Mandarin as the students will need to develop relationships and businesses with China and this, will in turn, will help with future missionary work. Years later, as a surgeon, Brother Nelson was asked to go to China to help train some Chinese doctors with heart surgical procedures/methods. He was happy to use his basic Mandarin skill. That wasn't all. Some more years later after he was called as an apostle, China asked him to return to perform a surgery on a well known star Opera singer. He declined, since he is called as an apostle and no longer working as an apostle. China kept asking him, again and again, to please come do the surgery. He then asked the quorum and the first presidency, and after prayer, was directed to go ahead to do as requested. he flew over there and was welcomed warmly as a fellow surgeon; thankfully, the Opera singer survived the surgery [it also was his last surgery he performed]. This act of service led to continuing friendly relationships between the Chinese people and the LDS Church.Basically, what Elder Nelson was saying is that we may be asked to do things that may appear, or at present be, impossible to do, but with faith, prayer, and a willingness to do everything and all that we can, miracles will happen and the impossible will be accomplished. This is similar to the quote I gave you some time ago and paraphrased, "Seek not only for missionary opportunities, also seek for the courage to do them."
As you know, the MTC is keeping missionaries another week so our transfer dates as of April are pushed back a week. Timing of arrival home is generally the Wednesday of the week after your original release date. You can let your parents know that. Exact information about arrival times, etc., will be made when flights arrangements are made.
We love you and wish you a very Merry Christmas!
I'm hoping that these changes and updates from back home does not distract you too much and that you're still putting in your full heart and focus with the mission work. Remember to stay focused doing the Lord's work. The Lord will make sure that everything for you with education will all come into place.
Pray to him always for guidance and express your concerns to Him. He is very, very aware of all your thoughts, your joys, your concerns, frustrations, and willingness to do things. I remember being told: "Do not just pray for missionary opportunities, also pray for the courage to do those missionary opportunities." I've seen many of these happen while on my mission that miracles can and do happen. That quote, I'm not sure if it is by Elder Cook or Elder Bednar. Brother Crowther made that same quote recently on Sunday when we were discussing in Branch Council about missionary work and the Elders assigned with our branch.
That need for courage is especially true for members. When on a mission, the mantle of missionary is on the shoulders and the promptings are generally stronger. As members not serving full time missions, we do not have the same mantle, but we still have a similar mandate to help seek for those who are looking for His truth. The ability to know when to "open our mouths" (or hands in the case of the deaf) to share with others can be daunting at times and require courage to follow through.
This missionaries will be coming to dinner this Tuesday. My mind has been thinking about possible menu choices. It has been snowing last night and this morning, but it seems the snow has slowed down a bit. It is supposed to snow all day and tomorrow. Hopefully the missionaries should be able to make it to our home tomorrow night. We have about two inches so far.
hope you got your two packages. I'm not sure if you got the birthday one already, or if your mission is holding that to give to you along with the Christmas package. There was an email that said packages would be distributed at the two zone/mission conferences. Perhaps you had the conferences already. How were these conferences and did you learn something that is really inspiring and motivating?
Conference miracle. Heavenly Father answers prayers.
This week we talked as a family about preparing questions for General Conference. J [her son] is having all these great spiritual experiences in Seminary, and now he has some great questions, but there's one that's really been bothering him: Why am I not happy?
[My husband] and I promised him that he would be able to get an answer from an Apostle if he paid attention to Conference.
It's normally a really big struggle to get the kids to pay attention to General Conference, so today [my husband] and I thought we'd do something a little bit different. We attended Conference at the chapel.
As we all filed in, most of the kids looked like they were about to fall asleep. We pulled out some candy to help them pay attention. J was awake, but not really alert. He was on his phone.
I said a silent prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help J pay attention to Conference.
At that moment, the awesome missionaries got up from across the room and sat next to J. They pulled out their notebooks, ready to learn. J followed their example and sat up straight. He got his notebook out.
The very first talk: President Uchtdorf, an Apostle of the Lord answering his exact question.
When he was a student, Elder Talmage was once approached by a man offering to sell him an excellent oil lamp. Elder Talmage already had a lamp he felt was satisfactory, but he allowed the lamp seller to come up to his room to demonstrate.“We entered my room, and I put a match to my well-trimmed lamp. My visitor was high in his praise. It was the best lamp of its kind, he said, and he had never seen a lamp in better trim. He turned the wick up and down, and pronounced the judgment perfect.“‘Now,’ he said, ‘with your permission I’ll light my lamp,’ taking it from his satchel. … Its light made bright the remotest corner of my room. Its brilliant blaze made the flame in my lamp weak and pale. Until that moment of convincing demonstration I had never known the dim obscurity in which I had lived and labored, studied and struggled.”Elder Talmage bought the new lamp, and he later suggested what we can learn from the lamp seller as we teach the gospel: “The man who would sell a lamp did not disparage mine. He placed his greater light alongside my feebler flame, and I hasted to obtain it.“The missionary servants of the Church of Jesus Christ today are sent forth, not to assail nor ridicule the beliefs of men, but to set before the world a superior light, by which the smoky dimness of the flickering flames of man-made creeds shall be apparent. The work of the Church is constructive, not destructive” (in Albert L. Zobell Jr., Story Gems , 45–48; see also The Parables of James E. Talmage, comp. Albert L. Zobell Jr. , 1–6).
Dear Elder Gary Crye!I hope all is going good in the mission field. Brother Almond is thrilled with the news that you found one of his former investigators. Keep us updated with what is going on with you and your companion.
We had stake conference over the weekend. The theme on Saturday centered on Ward and Family Councils. This seems to be a continuation from the last stake conference a few months ago. Sunday's conference had a technical glitch. The two satellite buildings (ours and another ward building to the North) were unable to access the intranet to contact the Stake center. We had so much trouble as apparently the church server was down (according to the high councilman). We (and the North building as well), sang songs and shared testimonies while we waited patiently. After one hour, we finally made connection through, I believe Skype, or something similar, to the Stake center. The sound quality was horrible as we dropped frequently, even though we could somewhat see (there was also visual static). Nevertheless, we were able to get most of what is going on for the final hour. Basically, there were nine speakers (we missed half of them in the first hour). Funny, but when we finally made connection, it was at the time when our own Sister Bullock was speaking.
One of the high council suggested we (from both buildings) could move over to the Stake center, but another from the high council said "there is no room at the Inn". Some left early for home before the first hour was over. The rest of us who waited and stayed had an enjoyable time singing and listening to testimonies. Wonderful impromptu meeting the first hour.
Hello Elder Gary Crye!
We're hoping you're enjoying your new area now that you've transferred recently. How is the missionary work going? How is your companionship? Any interesting stories?
Were you able to get any letters and/or packages from the deaf branch recently? We'll be sending another one to you soon for your birthday. Is there anything you wish, need, or desire to replace? Candy, food, certain clothing, or funds for clothing?
We've had more families moving into the branch. I'm not sure if it is indirectly related to the missionary-minded work we're doing. It is nice to see our branch grow. We did lose a couple of families that moved out because of jobs elsewhere. I suppose it all sort of evened out.
We love you. We pray for you. The branch speaks of and prays for you constantly.
I hope you got our package by now. If not, it may be another week perhaps.... I hope everything is in there. I know there has been situations where customs may open a package to make sure everything in there is "allowable".
I will end with a verse I like from 3 Nephi 16:20 that says:20 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.I like how it says, "salvation of God". There is a lot of meaning in those three words. The salvation of God is really the salvation of all of us... it is central to His plan. I know He lives! I know He loves us and His gospel is true. The things He teaches resonates with what I feel--the spirit confirms to me and my life and my experiences show to me--the truth of why we are here on this Earth.