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!"