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!