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!