Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Howdy Ya'll

Dear Mamma, Pappa, and the rest of ya,

How're ya'll doin' today? Hopefully things are just dandy for all ya'll back on the farm! As fer me out in the plains, the fields are yellow already to harvest, so folks here are pretty busy! But moor spiritually speakin', we had zone conference yestaday, which was just swell. We had to worsh the car Saturday night to prepare fer it, but then Sunday we hit a dumb pigeon while drivin' on the highway (sorry Pres. Monson!). It was kinda funny, but didn't mess up the car too terribly. When we went past the same there spot on the road, the poor thing wudn't there, so someone must go around to poosh that kind of thing off into the crick. It's kind-hearted souls like that that make here Kansas a livin' beauty! Keep bein' the great folks that you are, and I look forward to seein' you next harvest!

With love,

Elder Craft

MIRACLE Stories:
Yesterday after zone conference, we did a short blitz in Scott City (a small town that's been tracted a lot). We picked an area that hasn't been worked in a couple of weeks, and the very first door we knocked on, a lady was interested but busy, so we set up an appointment for the next day! It was pretty cool, but that wasn't all. A little while later we tracted into a lady who let us in, and we got to teach her the Restoration right there on the spot! She's going on a 2 week trip, but is interested in learning more when she gets back. It's amazing how miracles come and people are a whole lot nicer and more receptive when we have the Spirit. That's why it's so important that we have the same kind of spiritual experiences like we have in zone conference each and every morning with personal and companion study. When we have the Spirit, see miracles, and teach the gospel, that's when missionary work is the most rewarding work on the earth!

I love you and promise that I'm not turning into a red-neck hillbillie! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't miss the movies

Dear Family,

I've done a ton of driving this past week (transfers and trips to towns around our area), but it's been a good week anyway. I'm glad to hear that Dad and Benson survived the escaping 4-wheelers! I'm sure you're all plenty busy with all the work that needs to be done on the farm.

The more I'm away from all the wordly entertainment that I was exposed to before before, the more I realize how I really don't need all that stuff. It will be nice to sit down to a good movie every once in a while, but not as much as most people do. There's so much more to do that is of such greater importance, and is much more fulfilling. There's so much to learn, so much service to do, and so many good causes to pursue. I bet you all enjoy the added peace and quiet that comes from living on a farm. Well, I guess peace from the world, but I can't imagine with all those animals, it being too quiet!

Anyways, I love you all more than I can express. I pray for your happiness and well-being. Keep being the wonderful, faithful people that you are and I know that the Lord will coninue to bless you. Have a week worth remembering!

Elder Craft

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jehovah Witness Encounter

Dear Family,

The farther I get on my mission, the more I realize: there's so much work to do, and so little time to do it! However, I really love being a missionary, and I'm enjoying my current area and companion. Recently there's been a change in the mission, so that there's less of an emphasis on stats and more of a emphasis of results and following the Spirit, which is pretty cool. I'm so grateful for the chance to experience revelation in behalf of others because of my calling a missionary.

By the way, transfers are tomorrow, and guess what? .......... I'm staying here!!! I'm staying with Elder Gemmill too, which is totally fine with me.

Dear Mom,
Thank you a head of time for the upcoming letter and package! I really appreciate those sacrifices you make in my behalf. As for other package items, an extra bike tube would be nice. It's kind of hard to find the kind I need out here in Kansas. I use a 29" tube. It's no rush, but if you happen to be around a bike shop, it be nice to have an extra one. Also, if you could get a thick one with slime, that'd be awesome! Other than that, I can't think of anything. I'm doing great and really appreciate all that you do for me!

Interesting story: yesterday evening we tracted into a couple who were really friendly and invited us in. They said they really admired what we were doing and had talked to missionaries before. They were from South Africa and had cool accents. The guy jumped right into a discussion of the Bible. He had me pull out mine and made all his points right out of my Bible, which was cool. He knew A TON of scriptures, which was also very impressive. Elder Gemmill asked them near the beginning what church they went to and the guy said he'd answer that later and just kept going with his discussion. After a little bit, he showed us some scriptures talking about a chosen 144,000, which made me guess they were Jehovah's Witnesses. Later that was confirmed. But anyways, we talked for about an hour and a half, and I enjoyed it very much. It was the first deep discussion I've had with Jehovah's Witnesses, so it was very interesting. I gained more respect and admiration for them and their beliefs, and we were able to find many things that we agreed on, but there were some things that I had trouble with. They were all about using the Bible, and the scriptures they used were good, but some of their conclusions seemed to go against other Bible teachings. Some of the issues were: God's image, how many can make it to heaven, pre-existence, the Holy Ghost, military, the eternal nature of the soul, and others. It did inspire me to want to know the Bible better, which is very important, but also, I definitely gained a greater appreciation for my testimony of the restored gospel and the other scriptures we have! It's so wonderful to have the truth, and to have it in it's fullness. Joseph Smith did the searching for the truth, so we don't have to. Now it's up to us to learn it and live it! It's such a blessing to have prophets on the earth today, who represent the Lord. I absolutely know, without a doubt in my mind, that this church is true! Thank you for all of your testimonies and examples! Each of you has made a great impact in my life, for which, I'll be forever grateful. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Craft

Monday, June 7, 2010

I went to the Temple this week

Dear Family,

How's it going back in Utah? I hope all of you are doing okay. As for me, I had a great week! Since I hit my year mark, my group got to go to the temple this past week. It took about 2 days out of the week, but was totally worth it! It was a long drive down to Garden City then up through Pueblo, Springs, and then on to Denver. I got to do a couple new things at the temple. I got to perform baptisms and confirmations and witness both of them--somethings I haven't done before. Then we concluded with a session. It was a remarkable experience! We stayed at President's house Thursday night after the temple (after a nice steak dinner in the cafeteria), and we got to talk to President and Sister Pfile a lot. It was very laid back, but also very spiritual. I just loved being in their company. They're truly wonderful people. Going to the temple is one thing that I really miss being out here on a mission. But I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do. Then when I get back, I can go as much as I want. Anyways, I guess I'd just like to encourage all of you to make the most of the opportunity you have to attend the temple. There is no place on earth that compares to it!

I love you all and testify that the church is true!
Have an amazing week!

--Elder Craft

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A really important message

Dear Family,

I love you all tons!!!!

Dear Mom,
Sorry about the PMG thing. I'm really glad you didn't pay $300 for it! You're right, I'd rather not do it illegally :)
So Benson uses the pullup bar? Because I could just buy one here for $20. I got that other one for about $40. And it'll probably save on shipping. So if you haven't sent it already, don't worry about it; but if you have, then thank you anyways! I'm sorry to hear about your health challenges :( I definitely will be praying for you! Just yesterday though we were teaching a young man, Jaylyn, about the Resurrection and it just hit me how awesome it is that no matter what we suffer in this life, we'll all be blessed with a perfect glorified body in the next life. The gospel is truly wonderful! I will be forever in your debt for what you have done for me by teaching me the gospel and showing me how to live to be worthy of all the blessings that are available to us. I love you much, much more that you know! Have a great week!

The work here in Colby is going well. Here's a miracle that I told President about:

We had an incredible miracle this past week! After 6 hours of tracting on Saturday, we tracted into a guy named Jaylyn. We was very friendly and invited us in. We had a very short (15-20 min) and powerful visit, and when it came time to invite him to be baptized, he enthusiastically said that he would! We were so excited. Then yesterday we went back for a return appointment and had another great lesson. We taught the plan of salvation, and talked about the Book of Mormon, and he was saying things like, "This is a really important message. More people need to know about this." Also, we talked briefly about the temple and he really wants to go and do baptisms for his ancestors. At the end of the plan of salvation, we asked him what his purpose in life was and he said, "To get to the Celestial Kingdom!" He believes the church is true. He read and prayed for us. He wants to come to church, even though it's 30 minutes away. And he's excited to be baptized; the only problem is that he is having trouble getting work off on Sundays. So that's the roadblock that will test our faith, but we're going to pray fervently and do everything we can to see a miracle take place. Jaylyn is an awesome guy and has truly been prepared by the Lord. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to be a part of this living miracle.

Dear Dad,
Thank you so much for your faithful example and support. You probably noticed I had to use the debit card a few times recently. I hope that was okay. My regular MSF card was having a little bit of trouble, but should be good now.
I'm glad to hear that you're having fun on the farm :)
Congratulations on the new calling. How's it going? And how's work going? I'm guessing it can't be too bad if you bought a pony and also have a little driver to take you around :)
Even though I'm young I still have had the feelings of time going too fast. It's crazy to think that I'm coming up on my 13 month mark!
Also, just a random thought: I hope that even though I'm away from home on a mission, you still feel comfortable correcting me in any way that you feel is needed. No matter how far away I get or how independent I become, I will always look to you as my father, and I will honor your authority and counsel as such. So please, feel free to be completely open with me if you ever think there's anything that I could improve on, in any way. I'm always in need of and grateful for advice. One of the greatest turning points for Pres. Hinckley was because of a correction by his father while he was on his mission. I surely do not see myself as serving a perfect mission, which is to be expected, so I am anxious for any critiques you are impressed to give me. I believe that you are still entitled to revelation on how to guide me. That's not at all to say that you haven't been doing that, because you have given me an abundance of incredible counsel, so thank you! But just it sometimes seems that you're too nice and too complimentary, moreso than I deserve. I thank you anyways. I wish you well in everything that you're engaged in. I love you so much more than I can express! Have a champion week!

See you in a short, wonderful year!

Elder Craft