Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The People and How They Live by Sister Croft

The people here have multiple generations living in each home.  There are some homes here in town and the majority are out on dirt roads.  Every home is heated with wood stoves, so wood is very important.  We have had the opportunity to go wood cutting with a family who generally sells the wood but if there is a family in the branch who needs it the missionaries will get some of that wood and deliver it to the ones in need.  This is critical for the old folks.  The main food at each meal is fry bread and tortillas, with a combination of some meat and potatoes or beans and everything has red or green chilies on it.  Our friend showed us how to make the fry bread and tortillas and gave us wonderful meals from it.  The fry bread and tortillas are made from the same recipe, only the fry bread is fried with lard (!) and the tortillas are heated and cooked on a very hot cast iron flat pan.  (But not fried)  The recipe is basically: 

Fry Bread / Tortillas
3-5 cups white flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

I haven't had the cooking experience yet, but we are going to buy the tortilla pan and I will be an expert by the time we come back.
I even cooked dry beans and put them in my taco soup last week.
Speaking of food, we had potluck Sunday on the 24th of Feb.  We had a great turnout!  A few even waited in the parking lot until church was over and then came in to eat with us and their families. 
Everyone loves to eat cookies!  Alot of times when we visit homes we will try to take treats.  That is what the senior missionaries are all about!  We are given names of less active families and we go for a visit.  We try to help in whatever way they need us to help.  Sometimes it is to fix something, sometimes it is to give them a ride somewhere.  Sometimes we read the scriptures with them, but usually for the elderly it is to visit and talk and we always try to have a prayer with them.   

More to come!

Housing Update by Sister Croft

Well, we have been here in Alamo for almost a month now.  It feels better now than then.  When we arrived on Saturday night we walked into a house that had no heat and no usable stove.  We found out a few days later that the fridge worked but never got below 50 degrees.  Thank goodness we had a small electric heater to keep us warm the first day or two.  We would sleep in the bedroom with the door closed and the heater on.  There is a wood burning stove but the pipe that connected to the ceiling was not connected.  So Monday morning we headed to Socorro which is about 60 miles away.  Thank goodness Elder Croft really is McGyver and he was able to fix the stove pipe and we were able to have a fire that night.  He had worked on the furnace but couldn't figure it out and was ready to call the furnace man.  The next morning he got up and said that he had not checked the thermostat.  That was the inspiration that was needed and we were able to get the furnace fixed.  He installed the thermostat and we've been relatively warm ever since.  We got a new stove and the land lady swapped out the warm fridge for one that is noisy but it keeps things cold!  We got a carpet cleaner and cleaned all the carpets and Scott installed towel racks in both bathrooms.  There were none.  It seems as though someone got really mad and went through and trashed the house.  There are three broken windows that are now taped up, a door is off its hinges (been put back on) and there are multiple holes in the walls.  But things are pretty comfortable now.  Can't complain!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lambs Eat Oats and Dogs Eat Lambs

Actually, mares and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy - but I couldn't help myself!
Mom and Dad helped someone (?) enclose a lamb pen with wood to prevent dogs from getting at the lamb.  Is there a lamb in the photo? Or "Did the dingo eat your lamby?"(reread that in an Australian accent) Mom and Dad feel that it looks more traditional with the additional fortification.  Anyone else care to toss out an opinion? Personally, I think you've got a Rustic Art Nouveau thing going that homeowners in Park City are going to love. 

Sister Croft standing next to a newly redesigned lamb pen - c/o the little lamb protection agency
 Nice Carhart, Mom!
Wow, I don't know about you guys, but the later it gets and the more I post, the funnier I get! Holla at me in the comments section if you think so too!

Prayers of the Faithful

So this is what happens when a Branch President prays for help with the drought.

Big fluffy snowflakes  February 25, 2013

Picnic and a Walk at a Canyon on the Reservation

Mom and Dad had a chance to go on a picnic with Collier and the younger missionaries (Barrus and ____)
They traveled to a canyon on the reservation and after a picnic and a walk, they went home and visited a few families.
I received the following in the email from Mom's phone:
"We went up a canyon and had lunch with the elders and Collier.  We made a few visits when we got home.  Everyone here has at least 5 dogs that love visitors."
Great pic, Mom and Dad!
Going on a walk after the picnic lunch.  Seems funny for men in suits to be wandering out in the desert.  I imagine them hunting for aliens (MIB) or something really serious. 


We all should have received an email like this...

We finally have communication.  Our address is: 
Alamo, NM 87825
Our land line number which is good for when we are home is:
ZZZ-ZZZ-ZZZZ (I pulled the numbers because this blog is still public)
We now have internet!  We will see how skype is here!
We love you and hope all is well for you.  We miss you!
Love, Mom and Dad

Hopefully you received that email. If you didn't, comment on this post and I'll get in touch with you with the correct phone number and PO Box.

Hauling Wood - a Croft Talent

February 16, 2013 (a little behind on the posts)
So of course Mom and Dad have been placed in the right mission. They spend quality time hauling wood. Many of you know that growing up in the Croft home meant that many Saturdays each year, no matter the season, would be spent hauling wood. Maybe it was because we just got a fresh batch of wood, maybe we were just moving one wood pile from a shed to another shed, or moving it closer to our house, or moving it further away from our house, or moving it from the inside of the garage to the outside of the garage, etc.

Mom says of that day, "We have two trailers and three chain saws with 8 people working to fill the trailers.  Collier made burritos with pork and red chilies and home made tortillas.  So good but so hot, my lips are still burning!"
The red hot chili pepper burrito

Elders working hard or hardly working?
Collier Nelson takes a break
Filling a trailer

Elder Barrus hauling wood
A load of wood to be proud of...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Albuquerque Temple

The Albuquerque Temple with Elder and Sister Croft as well as Collier and his mother, Nora
A view of the Temple as they were leaving - Updated 2.25.2013

P-Day and a boy named Tigger

The oldest church in Magdalena (how old?) 
Well, Mom and Dad were able to have a P-day on Monday. Which means they had a preparation day. In other words, a chance to relax a bit and get things in order for the coming week. They explored the area by truck and on foot. They found the oldest church in Magdalena. (Pictured above) They said it was good to get out and get some exercise.

Monday evening they were able to hold a Family Home Evening with a family in their area. Lucita prepared dinner for everyone, they had a lesson, discussed a scripture and then, of course, played a game. Mom says that even Elder Croft played charades!

Lucita is the grandma, Tigger is 3 years old, and Zach is 8

A Tale of Two Baptisms

Well, since Mom and Dad aren't sending me any content with which to post to this blog, I'll just go ahead and fill it with my own. After all who doesn't love to hear about me?

This past weekend, our oldest daughter, Ava was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The baptism was held at 3:00 pm at the Seattle Stake Building in Burien, Washington. Ava was really excited to get baptized and has been trying really hard to make good choices and do the right thing in the weeks leading up to this event. She was just glowing the whole day. That morning Grandpa Stan, Jamison, Larissa, and Baby Boston flew in from Utah. They were in town to get ready for the auction next month so it worked out well to have the baptism that day. From our local crew, Allison, Eric, Kera and Cam as well as Tucker, Misha, Harli, and Bentley were all able to attend. Matt had Army and Brenda had to take Grace and Rae to their skiing lessons. Several other friends and good neighbors attended. Ava was really brave because the water was not warm at all. Her only request was that she didn't have to get dunked in cold water. Not sure what happened with the warm water, (Evidently someone is supposed to arrive 2 hours early and turn on only the hot water until it has drained the hot water heater, then wait around for it to warm up and then turn it on again) but she survived. After the shivering and the shaking from hypothermia subsided, she was able to smile again and said that she felt really good. We are really proud of Ava for making such an important choice in her life. We were also grateful for all of the friends and family that were able to attend. Those not in attendance were missed but you can check out the pictures below and give Ava a big hug the next time you see her.
Now, Mom and Dad also had their own baptism to attend. A lady named Valerie and her two youngest sons were baptized the same day Ava was baptized! Check out the picture below. I'm sure we'll hear more about this in the near future when Mom and Dad get internet...(hint, hint)

Justin, Ava and Kelly prior to Ava's baptism on February 9th 2013

Ava and Justin just before the service started

Valerie and her two youngest sons were baptized on Saturday February 9th 2013.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


A view of the house
Mom in front of the Alamo Chapter House (not sure what a chapter house is) With their actual house in the background.

Sunrise on the way to Zone Conference in Albuquerque 2.8.2013

Sunset in Socorro - (pretend you are looking out the window of a moving vehicle)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

I keep picturing Dad as McGyver fixing and taping and tying and building as they move into their home in Alamo. Feel free to watch the first 40 seconds or so of this video and you'll get into the spirit of it! Mom and Dad went from staying at the Marriott while at the MTC to a newly rented apartment - which means they have some work to do to get it turned into a working missionary home. They have a good attitude and will soon be settled in to their new digs. This is why the post is called "Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire".  Luckily there wasn't a real fire and lots of fry bread instead. :)

So Mom and Dad finished up a few classes at the MTC on Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and then drove to Southern Colorado where they spent the night.  The next day, Saturday the 2nd, they finished the final leg of their journey.  By the time they got through the mission office in Albuquerque and down to the town of Socorro, stopped at Walmart for supplies, and then on to their home on the Reservation, it was about 5:00 pm. The two young missionaries, "the Elders", took them to their new home and said, "Need any help? No? Ok, see ya later!" Mom and Dad found a few windows that were broken, the furnace is broken but to make up for it, the stove/oven wouldn't stay off. Dad kept turning it off and would find it a few minutes later going full force. He found the pilot light to always be on and igniting the gas coming through. Talk about recipe for disaster! So luckily, Dad is also known as "McGyver" and figured this out before it caught fire or blew the place to bits. (My own interpretation of what would have happened)  They did get the bed set up and were able to pile on blankets in order to stay warm the last two nights. They also have a little space heater so that helps with the no furnace thing. Evidently, the owner of the home that the previous missionaries stayed at told the mission office that they wanted to raise the rent $50 a month or so.  They gal in the mission office secured another home just down the street and told them that if they fix those things, they'll rent the home. Well, that didn't happen so that is why Mom and Dad are dealing with this.  Last night, February 3rd, I got the following text from Mom.  "Just got back from splits,("splits" see below ) not unpacked and have to speak in sacrament next week. Our house has no heat and stove needs replacing. Other than that, things are great on the Rez." Way to have a good attitude! I just spoke with them as they were headed in to town to get a new water filter and other supplies to make repairs to the windows. Knowing Dad, things will be whipped into shape fairly soon.

"splits" are when two of the regular missionaries go out to do visits with other members of the ward or in this case, other missionaries. This allows them to make twice as many visits but still be compliant with the rule of staying with a companion. The member or other missionary becomes that companion for the evening.

Mom and Dad said that the Branch Mission Leader is really awesome. His name is Collier Nelson and he has been a member of the Church for about 5 years. Before they went on visits last night, they went to his house and he made them fry bread. Yum! The two "young" missionaries that are also serving in the area are Elder Larson from Ogden, UT and Elder Lish from Pocatello, ID.

They also said that they've had a chance to visit about 5 families and they've been so impressed with the strong spirit and the testimonies they've heard so far. They are looking forward to settling in and getting to know these people. They love them already.

Below are several pics from the first few days.

Church Building - The Alamo Branch view from the truck

Brother Collier Nelson - Making fry bread for the new missionaries!

Elder Croft, Brother Collier Nelson, Elder Lish and Elder Larson

Elder Larson making fry bread

The Missionary Training Center

Packed to the ceiling of the truck!
Driving to the MTC in Provo in a snow storm! It took 3 hours.
Elder Croft standing in from of the famous map pointing to their mission

Elder and Sister Croft pause for a photo in front of the famous map at the MTC in Provo
Sister Croft in the lobby at the MTC.  First Day Butterflies

So Long, Farewell...

So Mom and Dad had their official "farewell" address to the members of the Stoddard Ward congregation on January 20, 2013. From what they told me about the meeting, it was a wonderful experience. I know that they were nervous and spent a lot of time preparing their talks. Mom spoke first on "The Tender Mercies of Christ" based on Elder Bednar's talk. Tender Mercies April 2005 Conference Address Then Jason Nelson sang "Because I Have Been Given Much".  This was very special because he wrote an additional verse. Jason is an amazing vocalist and currently sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Dad spoke on Divine Nature based on the scripture 2 Peter 1:4-7 .

Mom and Dad said that they didn't take any pictures of that day so if anyone has any they'd like to post, please send them to me.

Kelly Rees