Monday, April 22, 2013

change is good, change is great. . . email from 04-22-2013

that has been my motto this week since everything just went CRAZY!!!!! Sister Neibaur's headaches got really bad and the doctors had no answers and medicine didn't help. So President decided it would be best for her to continue to pursue help from home. After a couple hours of phone calls back and forth he finally decided to tell me what he was doing with me. I got put in a trio!!! In my old area! I am back in Atlantic Beach! But here's the catch, we are covering both areas and having to drive back and forth between them every day until transfers on May 1. Talk about crazy! And then on Saturday we got a call that another sister in the mission has to go home for surgery and so Sister Graham (in our trio) is getting sent to Julington Creek today. So we'll be down to 2 missionaries again...covering two areas...CRAZY!!! 

And this is when I discovered the blessing of online missionary work. Because on Saturday when I had intended to go see an investigator in Hendricks, but had to be in Atlantic Beach for some other stuff I was able to teach her via Facebook and still keep in good contact and keep things progressing. It is so amazing!!! Who would have ever thought this day would come where social media could be used as a means to bring people the joy of the Gospel and not just a tool of silliness and time wasting "catapulting birds at walls" as President Uchtdorf said. :) 

I was called to train again this past weekend, you'd think after working a companion to death that they would retire me. But God is having me take another crack at it. Also, in  a new area. Yes, I am ending my mission the way it started. Whitewash training. I just made that realization. Just now. And this is the next thought that came to mind. The Lord is giving me a second chance at something I felt that I had failed at. Wow. GOD IS GOOD!!!! I get an opportunity for redemption. How did I get so lucky?

In a conversation yesterday about how do we help others change without saying straight to their face that they need to improve the good ol' phrase came to mind for me "be the change you wish to see in the world" or others! We can't force anyone to be something we want them to be. That's just not how it works. That's not how the Big Man rolls. :) and I am so happy for that. 

love y'all,

Sister McCracken

Monday, April 15, 2013

oh how crazy was the morning—email from 04-15-13

We had a fun morning. Sister Neibaur had to get an MRI. And wow did it take forever. Luckily I was a week behind in my journal, so I had plenty to keep me busy while I waited. They turned her into a pin cushion though because they couldn't get a vein to inject the contrast. So she is covered in needle pricks that will soon be bruises. That is going to be fun to try to explain...

We had a great week working in the heat. Jacksonville finally decided to warm up. It was great to not have to wear a sweater everywhere for once. We got to make a few trips to the hospital for different members that were there. It felt like old times at St Luke's with Michelle. :) 

Sunday was probably my favorite day though. We went to a different church...

One of our investigators invited us to come to her church. On the sole purpose of showing us how ridiculous they were in comparison to us. And boy was it crazy. The service started out basically like a concert with all the lights out and the band performing. Then the pastor jumped in and was preaching while the band was still going. I was having a hard time keeping up. He preached for a while, and then it went to a commercial...literally...he walked off the stage and said start the commercial...Then they tried to get us all to tithe. What I did have to commend is that they have a food bank and clothes that they give out after services to anyone in need. I just wasn't expecting rock music. And it wasn't a chapel. It was a room with a stage and chairs set up around it. It was very very different. It's a new age church. There was no communion, hymns, or prayers. Well, there kind of were prayers. Just not in the sense I'm used to. There were a few times the pastor locked eyes on us and I could tell he was confused because there were these two young white girls on the back row. And we both wore white sweaters so our name tags stood out. But he didn't call us out or anything like I thought might happen. So all's well that ends well. :) 

Overall it was just a learning experience. It taught me how much our services can seem foreign and strange to people who have had it one way their whole life. I was glad we were invited. The only bummer is that we had to missed Relief Society yesterday to go do it. :( So I don't know anything about this fantastic lesson that some of you mentioned. 

oh oh oh!!! Someone took us to a Hibachi grill on Saturday!!! Oh my goodness! It was so much fun!!! I got salmon...mmmmm fresh grilled salmon right in front of you face. Delicious. We had such a fun time.

I hope it's been a great week for you! It has been for me. 

I love thinking about change every day. It's such a motivator for me. I was studying patience today and it reference Psalms 46:10... I just smiled when I saw that. Be still and know that I am God. My favorite scripture. I love it! I am working on being the change by improving my patience with God this week. I've got to work on waiting on his timing. how about you?

love y'all,

Sister McCracken

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What e’er thou art. . . email from 04-08-13

ACT WELL THY PART!!!! Wow did I love that quote! Isn't it amazing how every general conference they know exactly what to say to address all of the needs that we have. I just loved it. We had a lovely weekend. The ward mission leader's wife brought lunch in a crock pot both days to eat between sessions so that we didn't go hungry. It was so much fun to just spend the day at the church.

Last week was a crazy one. We found some new people to teach. Who then promptly told us on the next visit they were no longer interested. Darn. But hey, we are getting the opportunity to meet  ALOT of different people because of it. And I will never regret that. 

The weather is finally warming up. Hopefully it actually holds for a minute. I am tired of cold weather. It has been an unusually long winter here and the temperatures keep dropping randomly for a day at a time. So I am crossing my fingers that April will be a happy warm month in Florida. 

Funny moment of my week. We were doing some service for a person and I was kneeling down on the floor working on putting together a vacuum when suddenly the 4 year old jumped on my back and yelled "giddy up!!!" We all about died laughing. The mom then explained that anytime anyone is kneeling on the floor the little girl thinks it's her chance for a pony ride around the house. So I learned my lesson in watching out where I kneel down. 

Well, my time is up. Sorry it's a short one. Not a lot of news from this week. 

I think my thoughts for change are simple this week. Be the change by just being yourself. You are meant to be exactly who you are. God made you that way and you will help so many people around you just by shining out your own personality. BE THE CHANGE!!!

love y'all,

Sister McCracken

I’m coming home early!!!!!. . . AGAIN! email from 04-01-13

April Fools!!!! I'm not goin' nowhere! I'll ask for an extension if they'll give one. 

It has been a crazy week in the weather portion of our lives. It started out freezing cold and ended with me taking a nap on the couch on the patio during lunch yesterday. It's supposed to stay warm for a bit. I sure hope so. All the up and down with the temperatures got us both sick this week. Luckily I was healthy while she was sick and vice versa so we could take care of each other. 

We had a great Easter week. It was super busy traffic yesterday morning with everyone headed to their churches. It made me giggle. They do have a tradition that I kind of admire though. Starting the first of March all the crosses outside their churches have this big purple scarf thing tied and hanging from the cross. And then on the Friday before Easter it is changed to black to remind us He was in the tomb, and then on Sunday they were all changed to white. To remind us He is risen. It was a nice reminder for me throughout the month and especially the weekend as we drove around town and would see the crosses in front of their churches with those scarf things. I definitely can appreciate that tradition of the South. 

It was a great week regardless of our sicknesses. We still managed to somehow get a lot done. That made me the happiest. We are just happy for the weather to be warmer again so we can get out and walk around and talk to people. And there are actually people to talk to outside now too. Floridians are wussy when it comes to the cold and hide out inside when it gets to chilly for them. Which is anything below 65 degrees...but I can't blame them...because it is pretty cold... haha I know I got no sympathy for that comment.

Anyway, got to get going and buy some delicious groceries! 

Something I have been learning this week that sometimes Being the Change is merely being happy with what you have and not desiring for circumstances to change. It's all a change of mind. 

love y'all,

Sister McCracken