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