Monday, March 29, 2010

A Tongan Transfer

Dear Family,

My new companion is Elder Tauteoli from West Valley, Ut. His parents are originally from Tonga. He's a great Elder. He played sports in high school (football, basketball, baseball). He's very disciplined, humble, and ready to work. So I'm really excited for this transfer. Our first day out I started praying for Elder Tauteoli as we were tracting, and I realized I couldn't remember how to say his name in my prayer :) But now I've finally got it down! (The vowels are pronounced like Cow, Hey, and Ravi(oli).) He's also got a great sense of humor, which is cool.

Also, we got a new car! It's a RED 2010 Corolla. It's the car the AP's were driving and it only has about 1200 miles on it. (The previous one had 55,000!). So I feel incredibly spoiled. It's a VERY nice car (nice interior, new car scent, etc...). It'll probably be the nicest car I drive for quite some time. So here I am doing missionary work full-time in the best mission in the world, being entertained by a greenie, and driving a beautiful new car. Can life get better? I submit that it cannot!! ....and it sure beats riding a stinky old horse! (no offense Mc-whatever-your-name-is). But I still would very much enjoy pictures of your new-found paradise :)

Some one recommended a book to me for when I get back. It's called "Pure Religion". Apparently it's about how the gospel is all about service, and stuff like that. They said it is very good. You might want to look it up.

We had a visit with our Ward Mission Leader the other day and he said something that really stuck me. He said, "Every member is a missionary whether they like it or not. We just need to teach them how to be more efficient missionaries." The prophets don't say "Every member SHOULD be a missionary." They say, "Every member IS a missionary." And it's so true! When we took upon ourselves the covenants of baptism, we accepted that responsibility. I've seen the impact that members have on other people quite a bit on my mission, for good or for bad. Mostly for good, which makes people more interested in what we have to say, but I did run into a lady who said that she's had some bad experiences with some of our members, and it's hard to argue with that, because it's only fair that people judge the church by what the people are like. That's why it's so important, for us a members of the one true church, to faithfully "stand as a witness of God at all times, in all things, and in all places." People are constantly watching us and as President Uchtdorf counseled, we need to be known for our love for God and our fellow men. We must always act like disciples of Christ, and be willing to share the gospel whenever we can. Children are the best examples of this. They are fearless! When they share the gospel, they are doing it out of love, and so it's not awkward, hesitant, or unclear. No wonder the scriptures say, "be like little children." They are our examples of what disciples of Christ are like, because their light of Christ is not tainted or dimmed with sin.

I testify to all of you that I know this Church is true! God is our loving Heavenly Father who is perfectly aware of each and every one of us. He sent His Son to suffer and die for us and to show us the way to return back to Him. The Book of Mormon is inspired of God. Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and President Monson is the Lord's representative on the earth today! Listen to the words of our living prophets like everything depends on it, because it does! Listen to them like they're your guides through the most dangerous jungle in the world, and follow every word of command with exactness. I love you all and wish you a wonderful conference experience this weekend! (Strive your best to be worthy of the Spirit this week, because the Spirit is the master teacher).

Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:
Neal Kermas was our only investigator with a baptismal date, and we've trying to contact him all week, but because of his work, we haven't been able to. He had only been to church once, and we were under the impression that he was out of town and couldn't make it to church. Anyways, as I was greeting people before Sacrament Meeting, lo and behold, in walks Neal! He came completely on his own! Later we were able to teach the gospel principles class with Neal and one other investigator. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was something they both needed, and it went well. It was quite miraculous!

Transfer day was pretty cool. After a quick planning session we went out to teach Jared Rubino for the second time. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and it went well. Then we went tracting and were able to get into 2 doors and teach both of them a lesson. Neither ended up being solid, but we were blessed with valuable teaching experience. I can tell this transfer will be awesome! We were ITLing and came across a couple who were moving a washer and dryer up some apartment stairs. They said we arrived at just the right time. Afterwards, we ITLed them, taught a 5 min. Restoration lesson, left a Book of Mormon, and will be following up in a week. It was a miracle!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

100% Faith

Dear Family,

Well, I'm staying here again, which I'm happy with. I'll actually be getting a new missionary again as well. I'm now in suspense as to what he'll be like. Please pray for me! :)

Okay, so I have a funny story. You'll read at the bottom about us getting a church tour with one of our investigators, Neal Kermas. He is a single guy and is kind of shy, but really nice. Anyways, the Garza family that did it with us is a young couple with a 5 year old boy named Enoch and a two year old girl. They were sooo cute! The kids basically led the entire tour, which made our job really easy. They were so excited to show Neal everything. They showed him how the piano, the microphones, the speakers, and everything worked. They even were singing primary songs as we walked around (things like "Follow the prophet"). Anyways, something that Enoch was doing was holding Neal's hand as we walked around. At one point, they had let go and we were all standing in a group. As we started walking away, Enoch came a grabbed my hand, which I thought was very nice of him, but he did give me a couple of weird looks. After a little bit he realized that I wasn't Neal, and so as we were walking down the hall, he let go of my hand and went over and grabbed Neal's hand. It was hilarious!

Anyways, gotta go. I love you all so very much!

Elder Craft

P.S. Be careful with the horse! Have fun, but not too much fun. (Dad, you especially. You're not 18 anymore :P ).

MIRACLE Stories:
We tracted into a new investigator last Friday, Jared Rubino, and taught a first. He seemed really interested, and happens to live right next to our old ward mission leader. We have a return appointment for Wednesday.

Last Saturday we got a call from Neal Kermas, an investigator we were trying to contact throughout the week. He had the day off from work, so we decided to do a Church tour. We had some new ward missionaries come assist with the tour, and then we did a lesson afterwards and set a date for April 3rd! He came to church the next day and is progressing quite well. It was purely miraculous!
We planned to see a RC whose been going LA recently. We planned to see him and were able to have a nice visit. He agreed to take the new member lessons which he missed out on!

On Sunday we did quick teamups for an hour or so. Our appointment fell through, so Elder Bosen and I went tracting and ITLing. The very first ITL we got an appointment for next Saturday. Then the very first door we knocked on we got an appointment for Tuesday. For some reason our faith is strengthened on teamups and then the miracles just flow. I just need to learn to have that 100% faith all the time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Lehite Missionary

Dear Family,

I'm glad to hear that the move went well. What is your new address and phone number? And what's up with the outside buildings that Mom was talking about? Anyways, it sounds like a pretty nice place. I'd enjoy some pictures it you have time. I can't offer any money, but I'm sure if you tell Angela that pictures need to be taken, she wouldn't mind helping out her poor little brother some time. :) Thanks!!!

Dear Benson,
No, I'm pretty sure I'll beat you at basketball too! Missionary work doesn't deprive you of sweet skills, you know. Remember Ammon? He beat those robber guys at their own game! And with one hand behind his back (or at least that's how I like to imagine it)! Now, I don't mean to compare myself to Ammon, but I'm just just wait! Actually in all seriousness, since we both love basketball, and we just happen to be brothers, we're going to have to get together and practice some sweet moves that we can use to dominate on the court against all the old guys :)
By the way, so far you're passing at the "Write once a month challenge," so good job. Keep it up! I love you Benson! Keep being the kind of person that brings out the best in others.
Love, Elder Craft (the 2nd of 5, that have yet been born)

Dear Mom,
Great job surviving the move! And guess what? A month or two ago I got to hold a 5+ foot boa constricter, and I couldn't help but think of you. I'm sure you'll learn to love the surprises and adventures that country life will bring! I love you tons! Have a fantastic week!

Dear Dad,
Remember the Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it :) Plus, you gotta stay in shape, so I can have someone to wup on in racquetball when I get home :) JK. I truly hope everything is going well for you in every aspect of your life. I'll keep Grandpa in my prayers. Thanks for the update. I love you, and wish you a happy and successful week!

Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:
Mike LeBosco came to church yesterday! He was a referral from Sis. Guasp (a newly called ward missionary), so we gave him a call on Friday. He was busy at the time, but said he'd come to church, and he did! He hit it off pretty well with our ward mission leader, and we're very excited to begin teaching the restored gospel!
Because of Elder Allen's sickness, we weren't able to get a whole lot of work done on Friday, but we did go out tracting for a little bit, and I was really praying for a miracle to happen that would encourage him. So we planned to go to a certain street, and the very first door we knocked on a young man named Tommy, about 17 years old, let us in and seemed excited to talk to us. He said that he hasn't lived there long and was actually looking for a church, which is always good to hear, but he couldn't meet then, so we got his info and scheduled an appointment. It was a very clear and immediate answer to prayer!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Carpe Diem!!

Dear Family,

I love you all so much! Time really is going by extremely fast. I hope everything is going well. Carpe Diem!! (Seize the Day)

Dear Jacob,
Happy Birthday buddy!!! You're such a big 5 year old boy! I love you soooo much, and sure miss you! You're such a strong, handsome, smart, and awesome little brother. I can't wait to play with you when I get back. Be a good boy. Love, Spencer

Dear Mother,
I'm pretty sure my email is without the period. I'll try to send a letter for Jacob's birthday, but at least you can give him that little note for starters. Thanks! Good luck with the move. It sounds like quite the project :) And I bet it would be emotional moving after living there so long. Remember I was in 2nd grade when we moved there. Isn't that crazy?! We've had a lot of good times in that house, however, future days are going to be even better. I know that for a fact. I love you so much, and will definitely be praying for you this week :)

P.S. Could you send me my perfect pushup thing in the next package? It's no rush, but I think it'd be nice to have. Thanks!

Dear Dad,
Thank you so much for all you're love and support! I always appreciate your counsel and encouragement. A member in one of our wards said about a mission: "You have two years to do it, and the rest of your life to think about it." That's true for a lot of things, but it definitely gives me a sense of urgency for my mission. The time goes by too quickly. Anyways, I love you so much! Have a great week!

Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:
Last Monday we called Neal Kermas, a potential we tracted into, to see if we could teach him that day. He didn't answer the first time, but he called back a few hours later and we were able to teach him 30 minutes later! He had absolutely no concerns and accepted a baptismal date!

We've started teaching Dillon Jack who is trying to get active in the church again. He was interested in doing the stop smoking program, and so last Thursday we gave him a short preview of it, and he decided right there on the spot to start! He was already prepared and willing, and all we had to do was teach the principles.

Yesterday we found out that a Spanish referral we gave a couple of weeks ago was getting baptized. It was so exciting!

Miracles you have seen from planning:Last Tuesday on teamups, we planned to tract a certain street where a less-active member with an unknown address lived, and we were not only able to find the LA, but we also found a new investigator Glen Casner, who we've started teaching. It was a cool miracle :)

We lost contact for a few days with one of our investigators, Chris Brown. However last Friday we planned to just stop by at a time when we thought he'd be available, and we were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation! At the end of the visit when we were scheduling a return appointment, he wanted to do like a week and a half later because school was busy, but Elder Allen promised him that if he'd take out time to meet with us in the midst of his school work, he'd be blessed to do even better at his assignments. Chris accepted the promise, and we have an appointment with him tomorrow!

Righteous Leadership D&C 121:34-46

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for your prayers, support, love, example, and faithfulness! I love being a missionary and have been very blessed by the Lord in so many ways.

Thank you for choosing me to take your flat self on some adventures! I'm glad to hear that you still remember me :P I hope I can do a good job at helping out with your school project. Anyways, I love you so much Joshua and hope that you are still smiling and being a great boy! Love, Spencer

Dear Dad,
Thank you for your great example of diligent and meaningful scripture study. I'm am so incredibly blessed to have a righteous father! You've always been an inspiration to me as well, so thank you!
I'm sorry to hear that work is kind of slow :( But I do have faith in King Benjamin's promise (Mosiah 2:41), and I know that as you continue to be righteous the Lord will bless you with anything you may stand in need of. We actually did a "resolving concerns" role-play this morning in companionship study, where we addressed the concern of an investigator who is too busy with work, family, and other stressful things in life. We used the scripture found at the end of 3 Nephi 13, where the Savior says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you....take no thought for tomorrow...for tomorrow shall take thought for things of itself (or something like that)." Anyways, the message from the Prince of Peace is to "be still and know that I am God." Of course it's hard to do in stressful times, but when we diligently seek the Spirit's comfort, our burden's may be eased. I love you more than you know and will be eternally grateful for your great leadership in my life!

Dearest Mother,
Good luck with the move! I'm sorry that I can't be there, but know that in the future whenever possible, I'll be the first to come and help! About that one address, if it's not in my area, did you just want missionaries sent there? And what is their situation? I'll look for their address, but if you still have it, could you re-send it? Sorry for not following up with it sooner.
I was reading the other day about the two prophets of the last days who will be killed in the streets, and I was just wondering: where was it said that their names will both be David? It's not super important, but I was just wondering if you knew or not.
Anyways, I decided to do the "Scripture of the Week" on a personal basis, so I'm starting this week, and I decided to let you know each week what I learned from last week's pondering and application, and what I will be doing for the coming week. This week I chose: Doctrine and Covenants 121:34-46, with the theme of "Righteous Leadership." It's definitely a great passage! Thank you for sending the skin stuff, I definitely try it. And thank you for all that you do! I love you dearly, and wish you a stress-free and sucessful week!
Could you let me know what your new ward, stake, address, phone #, etc... will be? Thanks!

All of your prayers are much appreciated. The Church is true, and I love you!


Elder Craft