Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dearest Family,
I love you all so much and hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season so far! I'm so sorry to hear about Shawna's father. That is very tragic. I'll be praying for Shawna and her family.

Oops! I forgot to get our measurements, so I'll send a letter today. I don't mean to be naggy, but in case you did send a package, I haven't gotten it yet. Hey, Elder Langston told me something that I thought was a great idea. He said growing up, every week before FHE, his mom would get out everyone's journals and have them write in it for about 20 minutes. That way even if it wasn't everyday, at least throughout his whole childhood, he has a weekly entry. FHE seems to be a great time to do that too. Anyways, I love you so much! Thanks for everything you ever have done and things that you continue to do for me. You've taught me so much. In stake conference yesterday, Elder Brimhall (of the Seventy) said "If God wants a prophet, He starts with the mother." That's so true! It reminded me of the quote by Pres. Lincoln "Everything I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother." I echo those same words. Thanks for everything!

I'm glad to hear you're busy at work. Whenever I'll tell people what you do, they always guess that it's slowed down a ton. But I'm very grateful for the blessings of the Lord upon you and our family. Thanks for all that you do!This transfer has been kind of tough. Elder Langston has been sick and isn't supposed to ride a bike, so we walk everywhere. Also, it's been getting dark and cold very early, so it's hard to find effective things to do, since we're not really teaching anyone right now. Of course, I still have a lot to learn and practice, so we haven't quite seen the results we're used to. If you could pray for my companion's health, so we can work more, and for me to know what to do, that'd be great! I am really excited to talk to all of you on Christmas! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:We saw a lot of miracles on teamups the other day. We were able to schedule an appointment while tracting, and we also got a call from a lady who wants her son to be taught. He's a member, but since we were going over there, a friend of their's who isn't a member, said she'll listen in on the lessons. Also, that night we got a headquarters referral for Danielle Brown, who supposedly has taken all the lessons, read 26 pgs of the Book of Mormon, has a testimony and wants to be baptized! We got a hold of her, but she was busy so couldn't meet us yet, but she said this week will work, so we're really excited!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

6 areas in 6 months

Dear Family,
Things are going great here on the mission! I absolutely love being a missionary!Transfers are tomorrow, and guess what?I'm moving again!!! I'm going to the Ridgeview and Springs 11th wards up near or in Colorado Springs. My companion will be Elder Langston, who was in my district this past transfer. He is a really cool Elder! He's from Hurricane, Ut. I'm really excited but kind of nervous because we'll be flushed in! Your prayers are much appreciated :)

could you send my priesthood line of authority some time please :) It's no rush, but I thought it'd be kind of nice to have.

Benson, Joshua, and Jacob,
thank you so much for your letters and pictures! I just got them yesterday.

Joshua, I'm excited to play on the trampoline with you again when I get back :)

Jacob, I love you. Keep being super cool!

Benson, basketball is awesome too! It's probably my favorite sport :) Work hard and have fun!

Thought:In Elder Holland's talk (None were with Him) he said of the Savior: "His determination to submit to the Father's will was as obvious as it was invincible." How determined are we to submit to the Lord's will in ALL things?Sorry I don't have a lot of time, but I love you all!! Keep up the good work, and have a great week!

Love,Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:Our greatest miracle this week was with Bill Otero. He's a referral that we contacted, but he suffers with verdigo and is kind of hard to get a hold of. On Thursday he called and told us that he had read the Restoration pamphlet that we left him, and was really excited to start the lessons. Then on Saturday we stopped in and miraculously he was feeling well and was ready to be taught. He accepted the invitation to be baptized and is really excited to go to church!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

6 months of serving

Dear Family!
I love you all so much! I do look forward to spending the holidays with you in the future, but to be honest, time just goes by too fast for me to really get homesick. My 6 month mark is coming up in 4 days!! Aaahh!!! I feel like I just started :)
Transfers are a week from Wednesday, and we just found out that La Junta will be getting two more missionaries, which will be a fun experience for the holidays. Hopefully, they (the Lord and Pres. Pfile) won't move me again, but either way, I guess I'll go and do! We had a baptism last Saturday! It all happened so fast, but we are so very grateful! (For more of this top news story, see "Miracle Stories")
The weather is great here right now, but it'll probably get cold soon. Other than the BOM study guide, there's not much I really need in the package. I'm so glad to hear that your scripture study is going well. That is definitely something I will have learned on my mission: to just make it a priority and set aside a time for it. How much are the general conference CD's? Those would be cool to have! Anyways, I love you so much and am so proud of all the wonderful things you are doing. Whenever we talk with the Relief Society President, I think of you and all the great work you are engaged in. Keep up the good work! Thank you for everything you do! I love you.
I haven't got thrown in jail yet, so I think you're safe, but keep praying for me anyways :) I love you buddy!
I still have a book marker for the place you and I left off in the Book of Mormon. I still plan on finishing it with you, so we can go on that ultimate camp out :) Thank you so much for all that you do to make it possible for me to be on this mission, and for all that you have taught me. I know that I could never fully repay you, but I want you to know that I am grateful. I love you so much and hope you have a great week!
How's it going buddy? I'm still waiting for your next letter :) Have you been reading the Book of Mormon everyday? How's cross-country going? Are you stronger than me yet? Do you have "Tennis Shoes among the Nephites" memorized yet? JK, I love you so much! Keep being totally awesome!
Love, Elder Craft

P.S. I've included some of my last week's letter as well.

Last WeekMIRACLE Stories:It seems so long ago because of how much progress Chris has made, but just last week we taught him the word of wisdom in preparation for his baptism this past Saturday. This guy has grown up with alcohol and drugs, has forsaken a lot within the past year, and just needed to stop smoking. After teaching him the word of wisdom, we knew we'd have to pray a lot for him and we have. Miraculuously, since that lesson last week, he hasn't smoked at all! The first day after he started, he looked miserable, but slowly he got better and better everyday. It's a huge miracle and just goes to show you that the Lord strengthens those who He is preparing for the gospel. We saw a cool little miracle the other day. We were trying to contact a potential, but I got the address and street mixed up, so we ran into some random guy, invited him to learn, and he accepted! We haven't contacted him yet, but he still has a lot of potential. Even though I don't know where I'm going half the time, the Lord still placing people in our path, and it's awesome!
Testimony: I was very blessed to be able to share it yesterday in sacrament meeting. I realized that my testimony is a simple one, but it's the most precious thing I have. Take away everything from me, and I still have a reason to rejoice because of my testimony of this gospel.
Service: On teamups we were trying to contact a potential and ran into a little old lady instead. She was deaf and blind and needed help moving water jugs, so we did. It was kind of cool :)
This weekMIRACLE Stories:Miraculously, three days after we started teaching a former investigator, Julie Gonzales, she was baptized! It was incredible! A lot of her family are recent converts, but she hasn't been coming to church. After being sick, she promised God she would start coming. The past 3 weeks she came on her own, so all we had to do was teach a little bit and organize the baptismal service. After teaching her the Restoration, with some great encouragement and support from her father, she agreed to be baptized, and we are so grateful!The very same day as the baptism, we received a great referral from Bro. Gonzales. His friend, Bill Otero, has been looking for a church. We went over that very day and knocked on his door. He wasn't there, but as we started to leave he pulled up in his truck! He is such a great individual, and he is excited to hear the lessons!
What miracles have you seen from effective planning?:It was a day of miracles, because last Saturday, while we were tracting a street that we had planned the night before, we met Esther and taught her the Restoration. She was very receptive, and seems like a very promising referral!
Testimony: I love the Book of Mormon! I've been reading in the war chapters lately and absolutely love it! I know that it's true with all my heart.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I miss you guys!

Hello Family!
I miss you guys! I hope everything is going well. I'm sure this is a busy time of year, so remember to really focus on "what matters most." I look forward to the day that I can spend in your service and amongst your company. The mission is great though! I get to have so many cool experiences, and get to learn and grow A LOT!

The Larson's sent me a package that was pretty neat. I'm sending a thank you note, but if you could also pass on my appreciation, that'd be great.

Thank you so much for your email! It's really cool to hear about your mission experiences and about your study of Preach My Gospel. While trying to live and breathe PMG, and being constantly instructed from it, it is so interesting to hear your insights and comments on it. Keep it up! It's an interesting experience being thrown around and working with so many different types of personalities! It's a great time to grow and learn about myself, but I very much look forward to when I can play and laugh with all of you again. I definitely have good memories of home. I also have been able to greatly realize how I could've been better, so I look forward to applying these principles at home. How is work going? I sure love you! Have a great week!

Dad's emails are great and everything, but I feel like something is missing when I don't hear from my wonderful mother (I DID SEND HIM AN E-MAIL BUT I GUESS HE DIDN'T GET IT IN TIME. I SENT IT AT 10:34 AM AND HE SENT HIS E-MAIL TO US AT 11:18 AM - I GUESS THERE IS A DELAY IN CYBERSPACE - I FELT BAD). Although, I am quite sure that you're "anxiously engaged in a good cause." Whether it is for your calling, your self, or your family, I know that you're busily serving some one! Which is great and I TOTALLY understand. (But you better write me next week! :) ) I love you so much, and continually reflect on the many wonderful things that you taught me and the great example you were to me. Good luck with your many endeavors. Have an awesome week!

I love you all! Thanks for everything!

-Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:Well Elder Baker was sick on Friday, which was a big bummer because we had a lot of appointments planned for that day, but we were able to see many miracles from it. Two investigators that we planned to see on Friday, weren't home that day, but were the next day on Saturday. We had very successful visits with both of them. Also, Saturday evening when we visited a part-member family that we had planned to see on Friday, they had some family who JUST came into town, and we were able to teach one of them and get a really golden referral out of it.Besides those miracles, on Friday we gave Elder Baker a priesthood blessing and blessed him that he would "recover quickly," and next day we went out to work! The Lord really does watch over us :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emergency Transfer!

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Well, something sort of exciting has happened to me this past week. I moved to Pueblo West, got un-packed, and began working with Elder Anderson for a day and a half. Then we got a call from the A.P.'s saying that I was being emergency transferred to La Junta! So that's where I'm at now :) Elder Conley was working here and got a kidney stone and had to go home for an operation, so I came to fill his spot. My companion is Elder Baker. He is from Detroit, and this is his second transfer. (So I'm "techinally" senior companion, aahh!) He is a great missionary and knows the area well. Everything is going really well, but I sure need your prayers!
I started driving the car (after 5 months of not driving at all) which was kind of weird :) Elder Conley could be back as soon as 3 weeks, and either everything will just be undone or I'll stay here in a three-some.
Guess what? We don't live in an apartment or a member's home. We live in our very own house! It's big, stinky, and pretty messy, but we're trying to change that :)

The address is:
211 W. 5th St.
La Junta, CO 81050

Remember during transfer time or if you don't know my address, you can just send stuff to the mission office and they'll forward it to me. I'm glad to hear that you're both studying from Preach My Gospel. Dad, it's kind of funny, because as a mission we have a focus chapter every transfer, and last transfer it was chapter 8!Anyways, one of the sacrifices that are hard to make on a mission is not going to the temple. I really miss it. I was reading in a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott the other day and I really liked something he said:"What activity could have a greater impact and provide more joy and profound happiness for a couple than worshipping together in the temple?"Isn't that neat?! I immediately thought of my experiences going to the temple with you, Mom and Dad. I look forward to doing it again when I get home. Anyways, I love you all so very much! Thank you for being the best parents and family in the world! I love reading your letters and looking at your photos (but don't worry I don't spend too much time on it :) ). Keep up the great work of the Lord!

Love, Elder Craft

President Letter Excerpts:
We've been staying busy seeing potentials and trying to teach as many Restoration lessons as possible. We have 2 planned for today and will hopefully be able to get some with a date. We have someone with a date but she's on parole, so the earliest is on Oct 9, 2010 :(

MIRACLE Stories:Yesterday after zone conference our scheduled appointment fell through, so we went out tracting for about an hour and got 3 return appointments! It was amazing! After a great Spirit-filled day, the Lord just poured out His blessings upon us and opened the way for us to have 3 more solid potentials.

What miracles have you seen from effective planning?:
We have taught two young girls whose grandparents are strong members of the ward, but they're parents are not. They really want to be baptized, and we've been trying for a while to get in contact with their mother, so we can get her permission to baptize them, but it's been nearly impossible. A few days ago we planned to go to the grandparents home to check up on all of them, and lo and behold, the mom shows up. We went out to talk with her. She doesn't really like us, but at least we got to meet her! We're still waiting to get her permission though.

We got to tutor at the library for a couple of hours. It was a great feeling being able to help out in the community!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Transferred again to Pueblo West

Dearest family,
Guess what?! I'm being transferred again!!! Weird huh? It was a total surprise to me! I'm going to Pueblo West to take the place of someone in my district who finished his mission. My companion is Elder Anderson. He's been in my district this past transfer, so I know him a little. He's a really nice guy. My previous companion, Elder Oakes, is training! It's funny, because every companion I've had has always trained right after I left. I guess I train trainers and prepare them well for greenies! :)
My heart is full at this time because of 3 main things:
-Your package and letters
-General Conference
-My realization of the blessings of the Gospel
First off, thank you so much Mom for the package you sent! I was overwhelmed with gratitude upon receiving it. The scriptures are perfect! That talk was awesome (was that highlighted by Dad?). And everything else was great! I was wondering why you sent me this other coat. It is really nice, but now it makes sense :) I'll send it back though. If it's okay I may have to wait until you send my other one though, because it is getting cold here. Mom and Dad, thank you both for your letters of your insights and experiences. It brings me such joy to read them. I'm so glad to hear about the things that you're doing to learn and live the gospel! I must whole-heartedly agree with both of you that General Conference was absolutely fantastic! It was very interesting watching it from a missionary's perspective, everything seemed to apply in some way. You perfectly listed all of the talks that were my favorites! Pres. Uchtdorf is such a great speaker/teacher with his talks about love, work, and learning. I about fell over with Elder Holland's talk/testimony. I wish that I could testify with same amount of passion and conviction. Also Elders Bednar and Scott, along with many others gave such inspired and inspiring messages. After watching that conference I can more proudly and boldly declare that I know that this church is true! I would give my life for it!
We had a very interesting experience in between the first two sessions of conference. We went out street contacting on our way to lunch and talked to a particular man who was convinced we were wrong. He was bashing us on everything he could think of. He very boldly got in our face and proclaimed that Joseph Smith, President Monson, and us missionaries were all "false prophets." We stared him straight in the eye, tried to show love and resolve his concerns, but then just testified and moved on. These experiences as a missionary are so interesting. It is strange to run across such conflict with fellow Christians, and have them flat out reject your testimony. It sure makes us need to solidify our testimonies though. The more I see different kinds of families, the more I'm so overwhelmingly grateful for the one I have! You guys are AWESOME! I will be eternally grateful for your faithfulness. Keep it up, and remember that I love you!

Excerpts: Well, we've been really working with each of our investigators to help have spiritual experiences, and it's going well. We've had a lot of really spiritual lessons this past week. They each have their own little hang ups, but with faith, work, and time, they'll come out successful in the end.
MIRACLE Stories:This week when we had planned teamups with the high priests we were surprised with two brethren who came to help. That blessing allowed us to teach the lesson we had planned, and Elder Oakes also took one of them to go see some PM/LA families. Shane Bennedict's mother is a member, but they haven't really been coming very much. After visiting with them, Shane and her mother's boyfriend both agreed to take the lessons!We were able to get one of our investigators, Robert Tafoya, to the Priesthood session of conference. His girlfriend, Jenny, watched the other sessions and took very copious notes. We talked to them yesterday and both of them have had good experiences. There was an incident on Sunday where Robert remember Pres. Monson's counsel against anger, and he heeded that counsel by responding well to a contentious circumstance. During the same visit, Jenny bore her testimony to all of us. It was so powerful! We were so extremely happy to see the Gospel take real effect in blessing their lives!Another experience that I had, which was such a blessing to me happened a while back. Upon transferring to another area, I was reading in "The Messenger" and saw the news that one of our previous investigators, Tim Whitty, had been baptized. It filled my heart with joy and gratitude! I'm so grateful to a part of continuous work where we're all working together for the salvation of souls!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I sure love the Work!

Dearest Family,
A mission is an adventure! It's crazy that this once in a lifetime opportunity goes by so quickly. We've been really busy, and I sure love the work. I get to learn and grow everyday. I don't have a whole lot of time, but I wanted to send my love and appreciation.

it tells me three times in my Patriarchal blessing to be grateful. Thank you for being such a wonderful example of that. It reminds me of the story that I heard of a man that bore his testimony twice in a row only saying, "If you want to be happy, be grateful." May the Lord continue to bless you.

I've been working hard to memorize "The Living Christ". I love the intellectual stimulation of memorization :) Thank you for sharing those spiritual experiences you have. They are so inspiring! I can't wait to see Joshua's progress when I get home. Yeah I did run into Sister Sumsion! It was kind of cool :) Thanks for sending the package! All your work is much appreciated. I love you all! (By the way, transfers are next week)
***Remember how important General Conference is! Prepare well to be instructed by the prophets and the Spirit!
Love, Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:One of our most wonderful experiences this past week was at the FHE activity we have every Wednesday night. There are a couple of families in the ward that attend and take turns opening up their home and providing dinner for all of our investigators who want to come. We just spend time getting to know each other, then we have a lesson afterwards. After a big day full of phone calls, arrangements were made for all of our investigators (except one family) to come. We had to set up a bunch of rides with members to get everyone there. Then it was so cool being able to show up (a little late) and see everyone there enjoying food and each others' company!Also, we got free dinner at Chipotle this week! We attempted to use a coupon because we're low on money, but then we each got fed completely free! It was quite miraculous :) I love being a missionary!

What miracles have you seen from effective planning?:Something that has happened more than once is when we are trying to prayerfully set our goals, and we both come up with the same number. It's not an obvious choice either, we just both have the same thing come to mind.Testimony: It's doing quite well! I especially felt the Spirit this past fast and testimony meeting when we got up to share our testimonies.

Service: We didn't get to do as much service as we'd like this week. I did make Elder Oakes some McPfiles though!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The miracle of Fasting & Tithing

Dear Family,
Life is wonderful as a missionary! I really love this work! Yesterday I hit my 4 month mark, which is really weird. We're staying very busy, and I sure hope that I'm making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Your prayers and messages are much appreciated!Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of confirming Al Carter (my first time confirming someone). He is the first investigator that I've been able to work with from the very beginning until baptism, so that was really neat!

Dear Dad,
It sounds like you had a great birthday, which makes me really happy! I sure love you. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling the blessings of the Lord poured out upon your life and family. Remember "there is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven...upon which all blessings are predicated," so you definitely do deserve them! I've often thought about how blessed I've been in my life, and why it is so easy for me. I honestly don't have ANYTHING to really complain about. The thought comes to my mind, that for people like that, the Lord has high expectations for service. Since we don't have to worry about ourselves, we can give more to others. We should "do many things of [our] own free will" and "bring to pass much righteousness." I want you to know that I look up to you a lot and know the Lord is very pleased with what you are doing in your life. Thank you for doing all that you did to get me on this mission. My life will be forever changed!

Dear Mom,
Thank you so much for everything! Thanks for calling about the insurance/immunizations thing. I love you beyond expression! I'm not "trunky" or "homesick" but I do miss you very much! At our last zone conference they told us to "be the missionary your mother thinks you are." That really hit home for me. I desperately hope to give the quality of service that is expected from a son of yours. I can honestly say that I am working hard and making a ton of progress, but I also have a long way to go in the next 20 months. Sister Pfile said we need about $60-100 for the flu shots this fall so we can prevent potential worse medical bills. I'm not sure about winter gear yet, but I don't think I'll use the trench coat thing :)I could use some stamps and letters please :)Thanks again for everything! I love you all so much!

P.S. Say "hi" to Grandpa Craft for me. Tell him I love him!

Copied Stories:We had Al Carter's baptismal service last Saturday, and he was confirmed yesterday. Along with finding and teaching other investigators, right now we're really working with the Foster family: Robert, Rachel, and their four kids, one of whom is old enough to be baptized. We've been very blessed with these people who are very prepared to be baptized, and we're excited to continue to find and teach more!

MIRACLE Stories:We witnessed a very definite miracle this past week with the Fosters' van. Last Fast Sunday as we were visiting with them, Elder Oakes felt prompted to teach them about fasting. We decided to fast with Robert so that they could find and afford a certain piece to fix their broken-down van. Just a couple of days later they told us that someone agreed to trade a good one for their broken one. It didn't cost them a thing, and they were able to fix their van! Because of that, they have been able to get their 6-person family to a church tour the next day and to church on Sunday.
Another miracle we witnessed this past week was in teaching Al the law of tithing. At first it was really hard for him to commit to. With business being slow and hours being cut, he just didn't see how he could afford it. After much prayer and testimony, he agreed to test the Lord and pay the whole 10% first thing. The very next day, his boss talked to him about taking on new responsibilities and probably getting more hours. Also, due to some blessing disguised as trials, something happened so that he won't have to pay one of his bills, and it is quite clear that he'll be able to pay his tithing. The Lord really does provide a way!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Since yesterday was Labor Day, it was a good missionary working day, so today is P-day instead. Dad, I love you so much and hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday on Saturday! I actually have a birthday present for you: We'll be having a baptismal service Saturday evening! Yep that's right; and I'm way excited :)Anyways, it's so good to hear from both of you Mom and Dad. I love to hear about the awesome work that is going on back home. I'm quite surprised about Jacob's flips! I guess he'll be a whole new "little man" when I get back :)I'm sorry to hear about Randy's father. I'll definitely pray for him. I love you all so much and very much appreciate your prayers! Good luck with school Jacob, Joshua, and Benson!

Love,Elder Craft

Here's some excerpts from my letter to President Pfile:

We've been working a lot with Al Carter who is preparing to be baptized this Saturday. He's really progressing and excited! We've also been very blessed with two other families who are taking the lessons and investigating the church. One family, the Fosters, already have a date for their baptisms! Both of these families have come by an ITL ("Invite to learn" or street contact). We've been really trying hard to have diligent and quality ITL's at all times, and we're really seeing the fruits of that effort.

MIRACLE Stories:We've heard some really neat stories from investigators this past week. We talked to Robert in his front yard, and he said we could come back. We didn't necessarily think he'd be super solid, but we came back anyways and got to meet his girlfriend Jenny. She told us when we could come back and teach them both, and we later learned that she had been praying for direction from God right before we showed up! She recognized us as an answer to her prayer.

Also, we taught a man named Tyler Fuqua yesterday. He said that he used to go to a church with a friend, but then his friend had to work on Sundays and couldn't go anymore. Right after he had the need to find another church, we talked to him on the street! He also recognized it as a sign from God.

Area: It's got so much potential, and I love it!
Companion: He's is such a great example to me, and we're really getting along quite well.
Testimony: I've really felt an increase in my testimony of the scriptures. There is such power in the word of God!
Service: The best service that I think we offered was when we stopped to talk to two homeless guys last night. We gave them a bag of cookies and Elder Oakes gave them the socks right off his feet! We talked and laughed with them and tried to cheer them up and give them hope.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pictures from the Mission!

We finally got some pictures of Spencer's mission sent to us! There was only a grand total of 30 pictures, and here are a handful of the best ones. I emailed him, inquiring about the stories behind some of these pictures. The text in quotes and italicized is Spencer's response.

MTC missionaries!

At the airport with his MTC companion, Elder Kyle Staheli.

"The big family baptism picture was for Shawn Ruston's baptism. I got to help teach all but the first two lessons. The family in the picture are the Goodwin's. They're a great family! There daughter worked with Shawn and gave us the referral."

"The frog we almost hit while driving home one night, then we caught it in a box and brought it home! The spider was caught by some oher missionaries. We let the frog go, but I think Sister Pfile took the spider! She thought it was cool, which kind of suprised me :)"
Ew! Gross! Yes, I think he took this picture to scare his sisters! :)

"The other picture of the guy between Elder Godinez and I is of John Souther. He's the private investigator/ex-Raiders player and police chief. He's the one that I got to baptize, which was really cool!"

Oh it's so good to see Spencer's face again, even in pictures! Hope you all enjoyed some pictures from his mission!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Growing in more than one way!

Dear Wonderful Family,
First things first, you better let Benson know that he's gonna have 2 years of wonderful dinners to wrestle with when I get home!My new area and companion are both great! We're living in an apartment this time, and we only have bikes. What an experience! It's really great though. I'm starting to really enjoy biking :) Our address is:

79 Bonnymede RoadApt 120
Pueblo, CO 81001

The Pueblo Zone is one of the highest baptizing areas in the mission, so I'm really excited!My companion is Elder Oakes from Burley, Idaho! He's been out for 6 months and this is his first time being senior companion. He's really doing a great job! He is such a humble Elder. I like him a lot. He is so sweet, kind, and friendly. He works hard and is very obedient. He's a little on the quieter side like me, which is good for both of us. I'm really excited for this transfer and really wouldn't mind if I got placed here for a while. Elder Oakes just moved from an area near here, but this one is new to the both of us. It's been weird moving around to 3 different zones, with 3 completely different companions, all within a few months! I'll start sending a couple of pictures each week with my emails. Here's my MIRACLE Story for the week:One of our first days out working in our new area, we miraculuously ran into Al Carter: a guy who Elder Oakes knew from his last area. He had been to a baptism with some friends in Pueblo West, and had gotten really interested in hearing the lessons. We found out that he lives near our area and got to teach him yesterday. We had a wonderful and Spirit-filled discussion on the Restoration and set a baptismal goal for the 13th of September!Mom and Dad, I'm glad to hear you had a wonderful time in Canada. I'm so glad to hear about your successful and happy times. Keep up the good work! Dad, could you send me that list of "gifts from the mission"? That'd be a great reference. Thanks!Mom, keep up the great work of raising future missionaries. Every effort and challenge is worth it!I know that this work is true! I know that this is the Lord's church. I know that having the Spirit brings happiness beyond expression! Remember that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. Find ways to make it come alive in your life. Also, regularly study the General Conference addresses. There is no better guide than that of our prophets in 2009! Everyone can benefit from every talk given. Just make it a priority. Studying those has become a great strength to me on a mission, and I know that it'll be just as important, if not more, after my mission. Keep the faith! And have a great week!

Love,Elder Craft

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Dear Beloved Parents,

Happy Anniversary!!! This is definitely a time for me to celebrate as well! I love you both so much and am so glad that we're sealed together for eternity! I hope you're having a wonderful trip. I love hearing about the happy times that you're having and how you're learning and growing.

Guess what? Tomorrow I'm being transferred to PUEBLO with Elder Oakes! It sure seems like I'm moving around a lot, but I don't mind. This last transfer seems to have gone by 2 or 3 times faster than the first one!

Anyways, lately I've felt impressed to get a journal to use for recording impressions, ideas, and applications that come to mind while I study and ponder the Book of Mormon. So yesterday I got one and this morning I started it with 1 Nephi chapter 1! One thing that came to mind as I was studying was that I felt impressed to do better at following President Eyering's counsel to "remember how merciful the Lord hath been" on a daily basis. I had a great habit of doing that before when Mom encouraged me to, but I need to start doing that again. It's definitely an important element to a journal entry.

Mission experience of the week:On Sunday night we felt very blessed. After a wonderful day at church we attended an 8 yr. old baptismal service where we met a couple of nonmembers, and gave them our number. We know that they felt the Spirit, so we're excited to meet with them later. After that we hit the bikes and were able to teach a couple of lessons on the street. Then we finally were able contact the Brianna's mother, who we've tried to contact for some time. Brianna wants to get baptized, and her mom expressed her concern that Brianna should really know what she's getting into before committing to it. Her mom also agreed to read the Book of Mormon to find out about it herself!

Colorado missionary work is a lot different than Utah missionary work. At home it was a battle for the importance of religion. Here it is a battle for the correctness of religion. We've experience a lot of difference of interpretation and religious belief (and anti-mormonism), and we have to learn to stand our ground. It's hard to see a lot of really genuine people who want to do what's right, but are led astray and kept from the truth because of their current beliefs. It's a great experience for me though! I've had a chance to view and ponder our doctrines in a whole different light. Things like the great apostasy, continuous revelation, priesthood authority, and our potential to become like God have all taken on a whole new meaning for me as they stand in contrast to the views of the world. One day a lady, who we tracted into one day, called us up and agreed to hear more about the Book of Mormon, but she said that she wanted us to watch a video about it first. We try to be open to hear others' points of view to offer to same respect and time that we're asking for, so we agreed. Boy was it an anti-mormon movie! We then do our best to resolve their concerns and bare our testimonies, but at some point we just need to move on.

My thought for the week is to remember the importance of sacrifice. We don't need to worry about being up to date in the ways of the world. We don't have to see every movie or going to every party; just do what is right and don't waste your time with things of no worth. The Lord also teaches us to not run faster than we have strength. Focus on what's most important, and always strive to follow the promptings of the Spirit in EVERYTHING you do. The yoke of a disciple of Jesus Christ is easy and light. Be anxiously engaged in a good cause, then trust in the Lord.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Craft

Monday, July 27, 2009

I love being a missionary!

Dear Mom,

I love you! I've had a great week and I really appreciate your email! My P-day is on Monday, except that one right before transfers. I'm so glad to hear about your wonderful family acitivity. I'll make sure to plan an amazing one for 2012! :)I really liked you're idea about developing healthy habits instead of just following a program. I definitely agree that that is the best way and that it'll last the longest. Just take the good ideas from the programs then do whatever works best for you. Also, I'm very glad to hear about your experiences writing down spiritual promptings. That was actually something I was going to share with you. I've learned and committed to always keep a pocket notebook with me at all times so I can write down the ideas and promptings that come to my mind. It is so handy! Then at night I can review what I wrote down, ponder it, then transfer it to a binder that I use. That way I keep things organized according to topics like: things to do, gospel topics, skills to develop, etc... You lucky ones could use OneNote instead of a binder, but the idea is still the same.Also, I like you're idea about pasting things that I write to my mission president. So that's what the next two paragraphs are:Yesterday we had a wonderful miracle. After Sacrament meeting a young lady, named Destiny, approached us with her friend. She told us that her friend, Brianna Deblois, was interested in joining the church. So we took them out in the foyer to "talk to them about it," and then, of course, we taught her the Restoration and set a baptismal date for the 15th of August. :)Testimony: Everyday I have the blessing of witnessing how important a testimony really is. I can sense the difference it makes in the homes of different members, and I am constantly reminded to hold fast to my testimony! The Gospel is so true and applicable!

Dear Dad,

I figure that you either read or Mom will tell you about everything that I tell her, so I'll tend to direct the bulk of my report to her (no offense :) ). But I do want to say that I love you very much, and I often think about things you have taught me. I really appreciate you weekly messages as well. Anyways I love you all so much! I really trying to work hard, serve, and learn all I can. I had a lot more action in my last area, but we're doing the best we can, and we've been greatly blessed for it. Make sure to study diligently from the word of God. It should be one of your favorite times of the day. The hour of personal study that we get is so precious, and I continually trying to think of ways to make it more effective. I thought I'd tell you a little bit about what we do as missionaries. When we teach the Restoration lesson from Preach My Gospel, we really focus on the part where we share the first vision. That is the only part that we do word for word. We say it very slowly, and pause to allow the Spirit to bare witness. There's such an amazing Spirit that comes when we share it. Also, we are trained to soon after sharing, extend an invitation to be baptized. When investigators feel that wonderful Spirit that comes to bare witness of Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ, it is very hard to say "no" to being baptized. This method of saying it slowly and inviting to be baptized during the first lesson was given as instruction for our mission specifically. And we've been able to see the wonderful results, because of our high baptizing rate. I'm so grateful for my call to serve in the Colorado Colorado Springs Mission! There are so many things that I am learning and experiencing, that I couldn't have anywhere else. My mission president is awesome, and I love being a missionary!

Love,Elder Craft

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Flushed" into Missionary Work

Dear Dad,
I'm glad to hear that work is busy. Thank you for sharing your testimony and experiences. They really do help! I love you so much and feel extremely lucky to be your son.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for your email and card! I really enjoyed that. It's good to know that you guys still think of me. I pray for you often. I don't mind hearing about all of your wonderful adventures and plans. I'm just glad you guys haven't gotten boring :) It's something to look forward to, instead of a distraction, cause I'm having a ton of fun as well. I know I need to share more of my actual missionary experiences with you guys, but after my journal and writing the president, sometimes I forget to tell you as well.My new companion is awesome! I really like him a lot. He's from Virginia and actually went to BYU as well. He's very good with people and is very obedient. There's a lot that I'm learning from him!We got "flushed" into our new area (meaning it's new for both of us), so we're pretty much starting on a blank slate: no solid investigators and no idea of where to go for everything. So I don't have a whole lot to report on, but oh well, it's been a really good experience. I often think about how as a missionary I'm being forced (if I want to be successful) to do a lot of things that you've been wanting me to do: be social! Maybe you could just send me the first aid merit badge pamphlet, which is on my shelf, instead of the big book. Yeah I could use some good Spanish notes from Brittney (maybe just copies). I'm trying to set aside 15 minutes a day to study a foreign language to get in a habit of learning languages like the scriptures advise. And Spanish is very useful in this mission. I want to work on bearing my testimony in Spanish, then directing them on how to learn more.Some more ties would be much appreciated :)Could you please send me the talk: Ask in Faith, by Elder Bednar? Thanks!Also, I heard of a audio talk given by Jack Rose that sounds really good. It's called: Living after the manner of happiness. You should look it up; I heard it's really funny and inspiring.(The other day I had mashed potato tacos, which were really good. Tortilla folded over cook meat, mashed potatoes, and cheese, then fried and served like a taco)Good quote I heard: "The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war." Be grateful for all that you have and work hard!Anyways, I have lots more to tell you about, but it'll have to wait. I love you all so much! The gospel is true! Share it!

Love,Elder Craft

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Transferred to Monument, Colorado

#1 email
Guess where I'm being transferred to tomorrow?

Monument, Colorado!!! My companion will be Elder Petters :)

I've had a great first transfer, but I'm also excited for my next one!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I love you all!

P.S. If the handbook says to only use email with "immediate family," should I only write Grandma and Grandpa Craft with actual letters?
If so, then I need there mailing addresses. Thanks!

#2 email

Dear Dad,
Thank you again for your email. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun, but not as much fun as me!

I really love that idea about work. One of the hard things about being a junior companion is that the senior mostly sets the pace for how hard we work. I could take the lead more, but it's a balance between not trying to be controlling or pesty and also having fun, keeping the Spirt, working in unity, and staying yoked to my companion. We've been able to have success and I've learned a lot this transfer, but I'm excited to have a new start and set the stage for a whole new level of diligence.

Your testimony always strengthens me. Thanks for everything!

(Mom got a letter too but it was more personal so I didn't post it)

#3 email

Okay I got on another library computer, so I can continue my weekly report :)

I really miss Joshua for some reason. He's such an awesome kid! Will you give him this message:

Hi Joshua, it's Spencer! I'm a missionary right now and I get to teach people about the gospel, the prophet, Jesus Christ, and the scriptures! I'm having a great time, but I miss you a lot! You're such a great boy! Remember to always be happy and nice, and be obedient to
Mom and Dad. Keep smiling big and remember to pray a lot to Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for praying for me! Keep reading, working, and playing hard! And take care of my room will ya? I love you so much Joshua! See ya!

Hey Mom, could you send me my Spanish notes as well? There's no rush, but they're up in my closet, in a grey filing bin. There should be a seperate folder for Spanish. Thank you so much!

I read a really amazing talk by Pres. Monson recently. It was for my companion who will be going home soon, but I think we could all benefit from it. It's called: Finishers Wanted. Try to pick out the quote that I want posted in my home some day :)

Hey Mom, I wanted to tell you a little bit about Sister Pfile, so you're confident that I'm being taken care of. She is so nice! She was a nurse and so she's really concerned with all of our physical well-beings, but she's also a very spiritual person. She told me the morning after my first night out here that she imagined that she would like my mother a lot. I confirmed it wholeheartedly, because I know that it's extremely hard to find anyone who wouldn't love to be your friend! Maybe you'll get to meet her some day :)

I have one humble (but sincere) request to make. After the Corolla breaks down (if Benson doesn't use it up until I get back), could you PLEASE hang onto it for me to play with when I get back? It's kind of a cool street decoration, and I think that I'd be in paradise getting to take that thing apart. (Assuming you comply) Thank you so much! :)

I love you all!

#4 email

I did have some pictures for you, but my camera just went dead, so you'll have to wait until next week :P

One thing I'm looking forward to is coming back and having good gospel discussions. I had an idea for family study: you could get the student manuals for each book of scripture, and at the end of each chapter are good questions that you could discuss as a family.
Some one recommended a book that sounded good to me. It's called The Last Lecture and it's about a professor who finds out he's dying to he offers one last lecture with all these words of wisdom. Apparently it's about following your dreams and stuff like that. Maybe you could look it up on Amazon or something like that.

I decided that because I get to go to so many dinners that I should keep track of all the good ideas. One time we had olives in the spaggetti sauce, which was really good. You should try it! Another time, we had
baked potatoes that were glazed with cooking oil and seasonings, which made the skins yummy to eat :)

Anyways, that's all for this week. In the future I'll be writing a lot more about missionary work. I am writing down my experiences and all the wonderful things I learn. There's just so much to tell you guys!

Elder Craft

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Dear Mom,
I'm so sorry about last week. I was totally rushed in my emailing so I didn't get to nearly as much as I wanted to. I hope you understand and know that I love you! After emailing last Monday I didn't have time to write letters because we went to a member's home who had a huge slip-n-slide. It is an activity that missionaries have done for years, but last Monday there was a horrible accident. Elder Peterson, in our district, landing at the bottom funny which broke his C4 veterbrea in his neck. He was temporarily paralyzed from the shoulders down. Me and a couple others helped stabilize him until the ambulance got there. He had surgery that night (with one of the best doctors in the country for that thing), and he is doing a lot better. He can move his arms and hands and is making progress. He'll probably need months to recover, but it is very hopeful. Our mission president gave him a blessing, which sounded really good. It was definitely a crazy experience. Please don't worry about me; it was just a freak accident, but I do realize that we need to be very careful. Your prayers are very much appreciated!By the way, I know I did all I could have done, but I feel responsible to be very familiar with the things I've been taught in my EMT class. Could you please send me my EMT book that's down in my closet, so I can review it?Transfers are next week, and I'm moving but I don't know where. I'll email on Tuesday next week.I'm learning a lot out here; especially when it comes to people-skills, which I'm sure you'll love to hear. I get tons of practice, and I'm being molded to become more like you! I try to wave, smile, and say "hi" to everyone. My companion says that his social skills sky-rocketed while being on a mission, which I totally believe. I bet you can't wait to see me after two years! :)One of the most frustrating things that makes me want to go home, is that I am learning so much about how I could do better at home, but I have to wait two years before I can actually apply it. Oh well, I'll have to keep being the best missionary I can be and do the great work that is before me.Were you ever going to send some copies of the Book of Mormon with your testimonies? I sure could use a couple :)I think your temple idea is awesome! It really would be such a cool experience. I wish I could be there to do it with you :) Oh well, I guess in two years.Anyways, I love you so much Mom! And I so incredibly appreciate all of your packages, letters, and emails! Some missionaries are just dying to get some, but I don't really wait for them, it's just a great bonus when I do! I'm glad you're doing well, and I hope you continue to receive and recognize the blessings that the Lord has in store for you.

Love your son,Elder Craft

For everyone:I highly recommend Alma 5 as a great chapter to study and ponder in depth. Set goals according to the impressions the Spirit gives you. I love you all!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chiropractors & Schedules

Dear Family,
How are all of you? I sure do love all of you very much!

Dad, thank you so much for the email. The words of wisdom are very helpful and inspiring! I love you so much and hope you had a great Father's Day! It stinks that I couldn't call you :(

Mom, thank you for your letters and support. I love you so much! How is your calling going?

Anyways, how much does it cost to get an adjustment at the chiropractor? Because I get them for free. There is a member who does it for the missionaries. In fact, the very first day I got out here, he brought me into this chiropractor's office for the first time in my life, and laid me on this moving bed while this stranger started twisting my body in weird ways while cracking joints I didn't even know I had! Needless to say it was a traumatizing experience. :PI eventually got over it and he's a really nice guy! :) Right now we're trying to convince his secretary to take the lessons :)

I decided to create a recommended reading list for all of you: In the March 2009 Ensign: the article about family general conference prep and the article about learning to share the gospel. In I think the June Ensign: the article "Our refined heavenly home"

Random thoughts: I'm not sure if you have access to them, but if you could get a hold of the Preach My Gospel DVD's, that would be a great mission prep tool for the boys and for you guys.

In the MTC, while reading the scriptures as a class, we would stop after every column to discuss. It really helped us pay attention and think about it more. It also made it more meaningful, so I think that could be a great practice for family scripture reading.

In my martial arts class at BYU, my teacher said that the two highest levels of learning are: teaching and application. Those ideas have come to be very meaningful for me in gospel study. I think that as you study the scriptures, talks, or anything, take time to do both of those things. Either really talk to someone, write it down, or just do it in your head, but make sure you do it! Think of SPECIFIC goals you could set as a result of what you've learned. Also, figure out how you could share that principle in your own words with someone else.

In the MTC we all progressed a lot! It was a very effective learning experience. In the mission field, we continue to be effective and successful, and I've realized that it is because of our organized lives. We have a schedule. We spend time every night to plan the next day (trying to have something meaningful done every hour of the day). We have a set study, exercise, sleeping, and cleaning schedule, and we stick to it! We have many routines as missionaries in the MTC and in the field, and that allows us to make the most of our time. The same is true with Church. No one misses it because its routine is set in stone. The youth have an amazing experience at EFY, and it's because of the order with which everything is done. I think the same care should be given to our daily lives and with our families. God's home, mind, family, church, and life is one of order.

I need to go, but I love you all! Have a great week!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Baptism

Dear Family,

I hope you don't mind if I just write to all of you at once :)

Dad, thank you very much for your letter and testimony.  I really appreciate those inspiring words of wisdom, and I'm very glad to hear about your growth and success.  I hope your back gets better.  You just need to go easier on those young guys :P  Oh yeah, I don't know if you've received my letter, but I guess I was a week early!  Oh well, I love you and Happy Father's Day!

Mom, I really appreciate your letter and all the love and support that you have given me.  That "greenie" package was somewhat unexpected, but it made me laugh :)  Some of that will actually be really handy.  I'm actually wearing that tie right now!  Keep up the good work of keeping everyone healthy!

I've kept a list of a bunch of random things to write you about, so I apologize for this letter not being organized, but I just don't have the time :)  So here are some of the things that I've been experiencing:

Everyone in Colorado has dogs!!  Well actually, there are a couple who don't, but that's it!  So I'm really used to dogs climbing over all my nice new clothes!

Guess what?  I eat desserts!! Pretty much anyone who offers me a treat and expects me to eat it in front of them, I will.  The very first thing I had was a root beer float, which was really good, but made me sick to my stomach!  Oh well, now I'm used to it :)  But I still don't eat any on my own, which actually takes more discipline!

Oh yeah, by the way I baptized someone on Saturday :)

His name is John Souther.  He's probably in his sixties, and his wife is a member.  My companion taught him all the lessons before I got there, so we just set up the baptismal service for him.  Right before it happened, he decided to let me do it because I haven't done one yet.  So that was a pretty neat experience.  He was a line man for the Raiders back in the seventies; he was a police lietenant; and now he's a private investigator and driving teacher.  He's a really funny guy, and I'm so excited for him! (My companion helped me lift him out of the water because he's kind of big).  Then we stood in the circle to confirm him yesterday. Right after the baptismal service on Saturday, we tracted and found a young lady, taught her the first lesson, and set a date for the 27th!  Needless to say, it was a great day!

We have a baptism this Saturday for a guy I helped teach all but 2 of the lessons to.  It's exciting, but I've just been blessed with the wonderful condition of the area and a great companion.  

I gotta go, but my thought for this week is: 


Don't just survive it, endure it, or even like it.  You've gotta learn to take every little thing in life and LOVE it! Always strive to find the joy in the moment, and as you do this with a grateful heart, you'll be blessed with an added measure of the Spirit to uplift, guide, teach, and strengthen you.

I love you all!


Elder Craft

Monday, June 8, 2009

Castle Rock, Colorado

Hello Family!

Thank you so much for all your letters, love, support, and prayers. I have really felt and appreciated them.

I don't know if my President told you, but I'm in Castle Rock, Colorado! It's at the very top of the mission (speaking in terms of geography and wealth :) ). We get fed every night and the people here are very friendly. I'm living in the basement of some members, which is really nice. We have a car because our area is so big (we cover 3 wards) and don't really use our bikes. Oh well I like the bike anyways. The camel back bag they gave me is nice, but it's not big enough for my missionary stuff. Should I give it back or just save it for home?

Just continue to send packages and letters to the mission office because they forward them to me after that. Thanks!

I love you all very much! It's hard not to miss you, but I'm doing my best.

I'm very happy to here the news about all of you. I'm glad everything is going well. Great job Mom and Dad! You guys are awesome!

My companion is Elder Godinez (Go-dee-nez). He was born in Mexico City then moved to Chicago when he was eight. He's a great guy. He's helping me a lot with "making it real" when I teach. He speaks Spanish which is so helpful because a lot of Spanish people are very receptive when he speaks to them in their native language. We have gotten several appointments that way, and it sure makes my job easy! I just say, "Adios!"

It's been a busy week, but I am getting used to it all. The Adversary is working on me like all other new missionaries, but my reply is: "Is that the best you got?" It's hard, but very rewarding. I've felt the Spirit and an incredible amount of joy these past few days. It's hard to know what to say and how to handle unpolite rejection (which doesn't happen that often), but I'm sure that it will get easier as time goes on. I definitely love missionary work! We've been able to give a couple of blessings, set several return appointments, and share our testimonies!

Last transfer (6 weeks) my companion baptized 7 people, and still has left a lot of potentials for us to work with. However, we did find 1 new guy who wants to be baptized and were able to set the date for two others. We should have a baptism this Thursday for a guy in his sixties named John Souther. I didn't teach him the lessons. We just went and met with him, practiced teaching a few things, and set a date.

Anyways, I need to go soon, but I would challenge you all to study the last chapter of the Book of Mormon and set a goal to apply one of its principles. I know that you are watched over and that the Gospel is true! Don't hesitate to share spiritual truths with others. I love you all!

--Elder Craft

Friday, June 5, 2009

1st letter from Colorado

We received our first letter from Spencer from the mission field. We also received a letter from his Mission President, Brian Pfile with this picture with him and his wife. Spencer's letter:
Hello Mom, Dad, and Family!
Tonight is my first night in the mission! I really love my mission president and his wife. I've had a great time so far. This afternoon we went out tracting and "ITLing" (Invite to learn). We would just talk to everyone on the streets and thenobviously go door to door. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but I definitely have a lot to learn and improve. We just were given an orientation, a lot of paperwork, and a wonderful dinner here in the mission home.

We received news that the MTC was put on quarantine at about 7:00am this morning (just an hour after we left!) Nonone will enter or leave for atleast two weeks! I'm so glad we got out of there. By the way, I hear that Colorado Springs drivers are the craziest ever! Ha ha, anyways I love you all so much! It was great talking to you this morning. Thank you for all your support! I miss you all, but I'll keep working hard! The Gospel is true!

Love, Elder Craft

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Greenie Package

I sent Spencer a "greenie" package today with all kinds of green things in it. This is his first week in the mission field. I thought a fun package full of green things would be fun. This is the poem I wrote to go with it. Kind of cheesy but Spencer will appreciate my style.

This is for our greenie son
Who is serving a mission and having fun

There is so much work in the kingdom to do
Obediently striving and always true

A mission sometimes is very hard
But you won’t ever catch your trainer off guard

Being green is not so bad
The color will fade and you will be glad

You will have learned all the ropes of serving a mission
All the good and the great and the opposition

After working hard at the end of the day
Take a little time and obediently play

You can give away the contents of this box
To some child you are teaching and they will think you rock!

We love you Elder Craft
We hope we made you laugh

Week 2 in MTC

This is the email we got from him last week. He is now in the mission field in Colorado Springs! Here's his latest email:

"I love you all so very much!

Thank you for all of your wonderful and loving support!

Give Brittney a hug for me because, behind Mom, she is in the lead for most letters. I've already gotten two! Even Katie Marie has been drawing pictures for me :) I guess I'm the first missionary she'll be writing.

Anyways, thank you so much Dad for your letters of wisdom, love, and support. I really appreciate it.

Just to let you know I am on a time limit, so sometimes I have to go kind of fast.

Well I leave Monday morning and there is a pretty strong possibility that I can/will be calling home while we wait for our flight. So if you think that's a good idea, then it'll probably be between 8 and 9:30am this Monday. I'm really excited to get out there!

Anyways, usually I'll try to have a spiritual thought prepared, but today I'll just share my testimony:

I know the Gospel is true! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's church and that it is lead by a prophet of God: President Thomas S. Monson. These simple truths that are testified of so often are so incredibly significant! The Church is not a social organization, culture, or even lifestyle. It is the work of God! I know that blessings of the gospel and blessings of the Spirit are predicated by laws of God. There is no greater ambition than to feel, understand, and follow the Spirit! Gotta go! I love you all!"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Week 1 in the MTC

Here's the first letter we received from our missionary, these letters may be edited. 

"Hello Family!

Remember me still? You know...Elder Craft :)

Today is my first preparation day...finally! So now I have my email account and am all good to go. I am loving my experience here at the MTC! I love you all and hope you're doing well. Thanks for your letters and package. I really appreciate it.

I love you so much! Thanks for everything: helping me get packed up, the letters/package, etc...

I love you and miss you very much! You've been such an amazing father to me!

Just a thought: I would highly recommend that you regularly study from and teach the Preach My Gospel lessons/chapters to the boys for FHE in preparation for their missions.

Well I don't have much time left, but I can check my email next Thursday. I'm working on having an email list, so if you want to, Dad, you could give our family my address if they'd rather write me that way.

Remember the kind of Spirit you feel in the temple, on your mission, at church, or at some really great fireside? Strive to have that Spirit in your home always! The gospel is true!"

Going to the MTC!

Hi all! We have finally started a Craft mission blog, since we now have our first missionary in the MTC now (Missionary Training Center). We will be posting some of his letters that we receive and pictures as we get them.

Here's some pictures we took of the day we took him to the MTC!

He's all packed up!
Everyone who was there that day!
Past, present and future missionaries!
The only girlfriends who will be waiting for Spencer!

"New Missionaries Enter Here"

The Temple