Sunday, April 7, 2013

I just feel like an apology is in order. I like writing. I am long winded. I miss my son terribly at times and there is so much I want to tell him about home. I try to be uplifting and try not to burden him with any worries about things here at home. He must focus on his work. But, yes. I know I write him long emails and I don't know how to shorten them. Like my husband likes to say, I like to talk (write) too much. It's who I am. Anyway, I want to thank everyone for their love and support for John and our entire family. I truly hope you can look past the longwindedness of me and join us on this missionary journey.

Michiko Medina
Hello, everyone! I guess the last email I entered was dated from January 7. Let's move on!
I've decided to enter my emails to him as well so you can understand the context of his responses. Of course, there is a little editing but they are still entertaining to read. And fair warning, I do tend to ramble some...

Mom to Elder Crawford 1/13/13:

I need to be whipped with a wet noodle. What a bad, bad missionary mommy I am. I still have not sent your package. To be perfectly honest, I am still looking for that perfect Christmas gift. Namely, that missionary pillow tie (or tie pillow?). We are going to the temple on Saturday as a ward and having a potluck in the park after- it's a family event so we are going to the visitors center. Bishop Johnson and the Garden Lakes bishopric are really concentrating on having the families focus on the temple this year. I think it's a great idea, and I get to go to Seagull and find you some awesome missionary stuff that will be a belated Christmas present for you. It's hard to find everyday stuff for you. Seth named off a list of gift ideas- "No. He can't have that. No, he's not allowed to have that! No. He probably doesn't want that (another tie?)." It was fun being Santa for Elder K and Elder D- they enjoyed their new ties and Southwest bookmarks and of course each got a half gallon of Blue Bell ice cream. But you, son, are a brand new missionary, so give me some time to be creative and don't hesitate to throw me hints either. I expect in your email that you will give me a list of what you need. I miss you so much and I feel guilty that your first Christmas away and you didn't even get a card from us. I hope you know how much we love and miss you and that this Christmas was quite hard for us. It was not the same without you. It just didn't feel right. But food is definitely lasting longer in the house- we've actually had to throw milk away due to getting waaaaay past the expiration date. No more gallons disappearing in one day. Sniff. Oh, the little things I miss Winking smile!
What else? I finally got my voice back. Last week! I lost my voice before you even left! I never did see the specialist- I had an appointment with an ear, nose, throat guy, went, and was then told that they didn't take my insurance. Since then, my voice is better. But if I talk too much or get excited, I lose my voice again. I believe it's allergies. I bet it's cold where you are. Can you believe it's been in the 20's in the morning here? Yesterday, Yoko and Rylee went with the YM and YW up to the snow in Flagstaff- it read 28 degrees in my car at 7:30 in the morning in the church parking lot when I dropped them off. We desert rats are not used to this cold snap. Even now it's 37 degrees at 11pm. Tomorrow our high is supposed to be 50. Luckily, we should be back in the high 60's low 70's by the end of the week. Until then, we just bundle up.
I've been getting more hours at Savers. It's really not a bad gig. Not a lot of money but not too much stress, the people are pretty nice. Lots of busy work and opportunities to talk to people. I guess they really miss you at Blue Bell. Your replacement, Jose, is ok but definitely not as good as you. Jaime is getting more hours though which is good considering the stupid fiscal cliff crap and the expiration of the payroll tax cuts and the increase in the healthcare premiums. Sigh. I get so frustrated with politics but I am so fascinated by the comical goings on of our government. I can only keep faith that Father in heaven already knows the outcome of everything and that if we continue to follow the Savior's example and the Lord's appointed on the earth today, we will be OK. You, my son, continue to serve with your focus on the Gospel. You are responsible for finding those lost sheep. You will have help people recognize the Savior's voice just as I did. You will need to help those who accepted the Gospel and fell away back into the fold. You can do it. You have a great personality and ability to talk to others. Continue to love those you serve. You are a great missionary. I am so proud of you.
It's getting late. Gotta get up early to take Thing One and Thing Two to seminary and then get Thing Three and Thing Four ready for school. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father thought me worthy enough to be your mom and to be a mother to all your siblings. I love all of you so much. I am looking forward to hearing from you and how your week went. You will get a package. Eventually. Soon. And in it will be all the letters we've been writing to you as a family as well as the SD card. You will get a kick out of Daniel and Hanako's letters. Hanako was so excited that you were FINALLY in Ohio. She insisted that you were already there when we told her you were in the MTC in Utah. All the kids miss you, but you are setting such a wonderful example for them especially Seth. He is excited to start taking the missionary prep class in March and promised he wasn't going to miss any more seminary. He wants to go. I can't help but be proud of my young men. But I am worried about the young woman who is still here and the ones who aren't. Pray for them always, k? I love you. I love you. I love you. Have a great week and remember: Return with Honor!
P.S. I was talking to Alyssa when I dropped off Rylee tonight. She expects a nice dinner and a movie when you get back from your mission. Then your apology will be accepted for not having that date you were supposed to have with her! LOL!Rolling on the floor laughing Just kidding! She's sweet and wishes you luck on your mission.
P.P.S. I love you!!!

Elder Crawford to Mom: 1/14/13

All is well out here. I am doing fine. I messaged grandma and grandpa Crawford, and got some addresses. Hopefully we can contact some of the names and hopefully convert some of the family out here. The weather here isn't too bad.
Can you believe it, I have been a missionary for over a month now. It is pretty amazing. I am not going to lie, preaching repentance is pretty nerve racking but I am getting better. So far we have taught about 40 or so lessons and we are working with 6 investigators with 2 almost ready for baptism. My trainer/Companion is pretty amazing, he has me on an "excelled learning course", meaning he is having me talk when we knock doors and teach. I have a feeling that I am going to be a trainer within the next couple months.
I really don't need anything right now. Plus, I am enjoying the spoils of prior missionaries at the apartment. The only thing I need is a pulled tooth. I had to go to a dentist out here because of an abscess tooth. My face swelled up like a balloon. You probably heard from Sis. Nilsen.
 I am so proud of Seth and how much he is changing. I am proud of Yoko as well for her strong spirit. Give her a big hug for me please. I cant wait to read all the letters you are going to send. Its okay if you don't send a package, I just want to hear from my family!!!!
Thank you and Jaime for all the sacrifice and support you give me. I cant tell you how much its means to me. Give my love and hugs to everyone. I am out here touching the lives of everyone I meet. I am being a shepherd out here in The Great Ohio. I know this is the lords work. I will return with honor!!
p.s. Have Alyssa write me or no deal! haha
p.p.s I love and miss you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will email again next monday

Mom to Elder Crawford: 1/20/13

Hello, Elder!
 It was good to get your letter (*I have all his letters in a tin box. Please don't expect miracles from me and expect his written letters up here too on a timely basis. I'm just happy that I am posting his emails!!) It came at a good time. I needed the spiritual lift. I've been working more hours at Savers. I actually enjoy it, and I've run into a lot of people. I get to talk to people and keep busy and make a little extra too. I also got a letter from your mission President. I love the picture of you and President and Sister Nilsen (*That one I definitely need to find and post- later). And tell Elder Housari that we appreciate him a lot. I'm so glad that you are doing well.
Not a lot going on this week. We are getting ready to change schools for Seth and Yoko one last time. Their college schedules are ridiculous and the cost of gas and college text books for two students is a little high. I think they are leaning toward going to Westview- they know kids already and it'll be alot easier to get a variance now than later. We were looking at online school but they are both pretty social, Seth wants to do sports, and both want to walk with their classes for graduation. Whew! Three schools in one year. But at least there is choice and we're not stuck. I am so grateful that the little ones go to Legacy and it's right around the corner. Hanako made Principal's List again-straight A's. I volunteer on Fridays in her classroom and I am amazed at the work these little first graders are capable of. Example of spelling words: season, mouth and wheat. In fact, she was one of two reps from her class to go the the school spelling bee and did quite well before mispelling her word. Daniel is struggling with the work he has- he is very energetic and he's sharp as a tack (he is SO much like you) but he is a little lazy. Unless he's excited, he just rushes through to get it done. He gets a little upset when Hanako gets her straight A's but we just remind him that he can do it if he just focuses. He is almost done with his Bear rank in Scouts. I asked Sister Lindemann if we could hold off til Blue and Gold Banquet before he gets it. It'll be that much more of a fuss right?
Yesterday, we went over to Patty Aslett's for David's 6th birthday party. Skylar spent the night and went to church with us. Elder Kamisoko and Elder Dickson are always thanking us for bringing any of the Asletts to church. . . Skylar is not planning on going on a mission, but he wants to join the Marines. We keep telling him we are proud of him for that- that is a form of service in itself. Please keep that family in your prayers.
What else? I'm working more at Savers. I really do enjoy it though it doesn't pay a lot. Oh well. Might as well be doing something I enjoy rather than something I don't Winking smile. There is a lot of stuff I'm learning and I enjoy talking to people and keeping busy. We had our MLK presale today (I usually don't work on Sundays but I had to because they are super busy) and tomorrow is our big MLK 50% off sale. When the night is through, the store literally looks like it threw up on itself with clothes on top of the racks and on the floor. Fun stuff and I mean that almost literally. Lots of work and fun doing it.
Jaime is working hard as usual. He went to sleep by the time I opened your letter. I will leave it for him to read tomorrow. He misses you alot too. He is so much softer than he used to be meaning he doesn't quickly get bent out of shape like he used to. I give you permission to tease him still. He likes it and loves you very much.
I think I am getting what Hanako has. A cough that starts in my chest and it hurts when you do cough. Seth is hankering for some ice cream so we are going to make a Blue Bell run real quick before hitting the hay.
 We all love and miss you very much. I know I get a little distracted and I can't see the blessings that the Lord has given to me right away. But as I will tell you again and again, I am so proud of your decision and your resolve to serve a mission. You will never regret it and you will be so close to your Heavenly Father and your Savior. As a convert, I am so emotionally moved by your mission call and the fact that Seth is planning his future as a missionary as well- I am living vicariously through all of you in a good way. From Scouts to Young Women to Seminary to missions I am so proud of all of you. We send you lots of love from Arizona. I am sending your package on Tuesday so expect it soon. There is a little something to remember Arizona by. I know you think you are a California boy, but son, I beg to differ Laughing out loud. . . We love and pray for you daily.
Love always,
Elder Crawford to Mom 1/22/13:

Im a Cali boy by birth, AZ native by heart! I am glad all is well out there in the desert. Today its been about 6 degrees. Its getting ridiculously cold out here, and February is when its supposed to hit harder. But I am surviving. These past past few nights tracting Ive been having to waddle around like a penguin because of the wind chill.
Westview for Seth and Yoko huh? that's crazy but its for the best right? they will be ranked at the top of their classes lol. I am happy to hear that the family is doing well. Time is flying out here for me. Give some hugs and love to everyone for me.
Ooh, I got my tooth pulled yesterday. the thing was huge!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was decaying and part of the jaw bone with it. I feel so much better now.
Its amazing how missionaries work. Tell Elders K and D, I feel their joy and pain lol. Its not too bad, really. This week we have met some friendly baptists and Lutherans. they wont convert but they were kind enough to let us in and warm up. The people of The Great Ohio are pretty diverse, but I am learning to love them.
Im glad I chose a mission! This is where I need to be right now!!!!! I love and miss you so much.

And the enclosed pictures:

Mom to Elder Crawford 1/27/13:

What a week. It's super late, so I probably won't be writing a very long letter (*Infamous last words, right?). I need to get up at 5.30 or so to get everyone ready to drop Seth and Yoko off at seminary at 6am. I pulled them out of AAEC-their college schedules were crazy and not to mention expensive. It was impossible to coordinate with jobs, school, etc. They start at Primavera High School on February 4. They have 6 week sessions so depending on how many classes they take in one session means they can graduate sooner. This is the school for which Grandpa Allan works so he vouches for it. Seth and Yoko are looking forward to it and I feel it's the right thing to do to alleviate some of the stresses around here. I take everyone in the morning to seminary. Hanako and Daniel sleep in the car; I read my scriptures for awhile and then read some other books while we wait for Seth and Yo. Then we go home, get the little ones ready and off to school. Then I take a short nap before work. Seth is still working on his moped. Brother Ely gave him another moped for parts and is offering to help him look for a bike when he is ready. Did I mention that he found a free dishwasher for us as well? Here I was feeling sorry for myself until slap! I realized that the Elys have been a great blessing and help to us. The weather has been really rainy the last couple of days so I think this doesn't help my mood. Plus I got really sick again this past week. Hanako stayed home Wednesday too. She bounced back pretty quickly but no... not me. I slept from around 8am to 7 the next morning. 24 freaking hours. Even Jaime couldn't believe it. Oh, well. Feeling loads better. Been working a lot of hours at Savers, too. They trust me with cashiering now. Like I said, I kind of enjoy the work. Just wish it paid a little more. But no complaints- every little bit helps. Our lesson in Sunday School today was about the Second Coming. Sister Noble taught it. It's amazing how much I don't know!!! I want to learn more! I'm so grateful that she is my visiting teaching companion as well. She and Brother Noble are the ones that just recently returned from a mission in Quebec and they were responsible for teaching Institute classes there so they are literal fonts of knowledge. And very sweet to boot. Talked to Julie earlier tonight. She was so excited to get a letter from you and wanted you to know how much she appreciated you thinking of her and how proud she is of you. What else? Lots of sickness- Hanako and I were sick-now Daniel, Jaime and Seth are coughing and hacking a lot. Yoko has yet to get sick. I think she uses sarcasm as a shield against evil and germs I don't know smile. No, I slipped, got angry and gave her a hard time before bed tonight so I need to apologize in the morning. She does so much and does it so willingly. She is a good kid. Oh, yeah. Elder Kamisoko finally got transferred to PeoriaCrying face- but we did gain a cool new missionary. Can't remember his name but he is from...drum roll...Samoa! He and Elder Dickson are coming to dinner on Wednesday. We already decided to make falafels. Yummy. I'm so sorry about the rambling and manic single spacing of my email. I waited too long to write to you. Sunday is my day to write but it was busy- church, visiting teaching, reading (I started the Articles of Faith by James E Talmage), helping your brother attempt to make a potato battery for the science fair with a little trip to Home Depot thrown in because we didn't have all the supplies, finding papers and preparing for the coming week and picking up Seth at work. Whew. Who said Sunday is a day of rest? Well, Elder Crawford. Your package is a little late in arriving due to my being sick and busy but it's on its way. . . I am so very proud of you, son. Keep nurturing your testimony. Your service in the mission field helps to strengthen mine. I admire your resolve and your efforts so much and like I told you before, I am eternally grateful to Heavenly Father that he found me worthy of being your mother on this earth. I look forward to hearing from you. Give my best to Elder Housani. I love you.
Red heart Mom
Correction: Elder Housari. Not Housani, right? I need to get some sleep. I love you dearly.
Return with Honor,
Elder Crawford to Mom 1/28/13:
Hey, its all good! Which carrior did you send it through? I will get it when I get it I guess haha. It seems like you have been busy! thats really awesome. I hope all is well. I dont have much to share about this past week because I wrote that letter home. But yeah Im having fun out here in The Great OCM. I love and miss you lots.
This saturday is my first baptism. Its amazing!!!! I am looking forward to more. Give my love to the family!!!! Im really into the paper writing/ letter method haha.
 Love your son, Elder John Allan Crawford
 P.S. I will try to update a few picks each monday.

Mom to Elder Crawford 1/28/13:
I love it! Looks so cold though. We love you so much and congrats on the baptism. Way to go. So much work and you guys are doing your part.

Elder Crawford to Mom 1/28/13: (*As you can see, we were fortunate to be at the computer at the same time!)
Its been pretty interesting lol. I love you lots. Write you soon!
Mom to Elder Crawford 2/4/13:
Dear Elder,
I'm slightly upset. I was just finishing up my weekly email to you and poof! My email was deleted. Boo hiss! And you know how I ramble on...
Anyway, I hope you had a great week. How was your baptism on Saturday? Hope you have continued success in the mission field. It's a great start. I told a couple of people and they were like "Whoa! He moves fast!" Keep fighting forward, Elder.
Not much going on here. Seth and Yoko started back at seminary at the Garden Lakes building. We have it down to a pretty good science-the little ones bring their blankets and books and hang out in the car while the older two go to class. We get home and then get the little ones ready and off to school. Today, Seth and Yoko start the new online courses. It seems to be working out better- Seth can work days at Fry's and we are actually saving money. And I think Seth and Yoko like being at home. I mean they work well together and they get socialization with only church kids. They are going to Primavera-the same school Grandpa Allan teaches for. I need to contact the local school districts- Sister Johnson came in one day and told me that the district is always looking for substitutes. I in return told her how Sam can apply online for a job at Savers. They have been giving me lots of hours and I really do enjoy it, but I am away more than I like. Daniel has been acting up a lot more so maybe subbing is a good way to go.
This may be one of the shorter emails you get from me, but the message is always the same: I love you and I am so proud of you. No matter how tough times may be (because being on a mission is not all unicorns and rainbows), endure to the end and remember that you are the Lord's servant doing His sacred work. I love your testimonies that you bear in your letters. You are maturing so much- not only into a responsible young man but also in the Gospel. You are an inspiration to me. I love you so very much. Return with honor.
Elder Crawford to Mom 2/4/13:
Thanks for all the love and wisdom you share!!!!. Today is a short day, as a zone we are going to the air force museum. I got the package hahah. That calender really made my day, and i love it. It sits right above my desk. This morning I wrote a letter to everyone so I hope it gets there soon:) The baptism was amazing, we had about 50 or so people come out. I shared the message of the restoration all by myself, and it was such a spiritual experience for me. Elder Housari baptized and I confirmed on Sunday. Dave is pretty cool, He is in his 60's and really loves the lord. We have another baptism coming up for a 9 year old named Sofie.
The work is progressing out here so much and I am happy to be a part of it. This next Monday I will post pictures from the baptism and the museum. I wrote to Seth telling him that you guys should send some pictures sometime. I like to hang things up where we study. I put Hanakos and Yoko's pictures on my closet door.
Ill tell you what, so much happened on Saturday. Because the roads are iced over, we had an accident in the morning. Good thing is though is that we hit a members car ha-ha. I wasn't driving but Elder Housari and I are fine. Thats when the package came and really made my day. then we had the baptism that need. It went from bad to better, to great.
I love and miss you guys so much! Give Jaime a big hug for me. Tell him I missed a Christmas feast haha, and congrats on ghetto santa haha. I love that guy and Im proud to call him my dad. Any word on a promotion yet? Give the clan a big hug for me and tell them I am doing well. I wish you all the best and I pray for you as much as I can.
 2 months down, and 1 baptism. I love this work!!!!!!!!!!! Give my love and if you like, Give my email address to seth and yoko.
I will Return With Honor!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder John Allan Crawford
Now, on February 13, Elder Crawford sent a bunch of photos. Here goes!


So that's it for today. I know we are in April, so I still have a ways to go. But I hope that you are enjoying Elder Crawford's journey. And consider yourselves lucky as well- not very many people get to peek into the "psyche of Michiko" either. To be honest, I feel a little exposed having my emails out there. But it's a journey that both John as a missionary and I as a missionary mom would love to share with our family and friends.
I hope that you all had a wonderful conference weekend, and I will be back picking up where I left off. Until then!
Michiko Medina