Monday, November 1, 2010

"You are My Hands"

Dear Family,

Guess what I get to do this Sunday? For the first time in the history of this mission, we are going to have a meeting with ALL the missionaries in one building. Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be coming to teach us, and of course I'm very excited! I never met any Apostles in Utah, but now that I'm in Colorado, I get to meet them every once in a while :)

We had zone conference this past week, and the theme was connecting everything we teach to baptism. We need to talk about baptism more, teach about baptism more, and make a very clear mental bridge between baptism and all the other commitments we leave our investigators. It was a very inspiring meeting! I sure am going to miss zone conferences when my mission is over. Also, next week we have another leadership conference, so I won't email till Thursday.

At zone conference they passed out an incredible talk for us to read on our own time. It's called "In the strength of the Lord"--by Elder Bednar. It was a talk given at BYU about the Atonement, and I highly recommend that all of you study it!

Okay, I decided on the t-shirt quote for this year! During one of my personal study sessions last week, I realized that I needed to decide quickly, and I actually had kind of a cool experience doing so. When I read the talk "In the strength of the Lord" I thought that it would be a cool t-shirt quote, but it didn't seem quite right. But when I sat there and decided to finally choose a quote, in the less than a minute I felt impressed to look at the recent General Conference talks for ideas. So I pulled out the table of contents for the May 2010 Ensign, and it just jumped out at me! The very first title I saw was "You Are My Hands," by President Uchtdorf, and I knew right away that it was the quote I should choose. If you don't remember the significance of it, I suggest you read to talk, because it's a really good one. So that's what I decided. I hope it's just as exciting and inspiring for all of you. As for a picture, I thought either a pair of hands or the face of the Savior--or just whatever you can find that looks good.

On Saturday we tracted into someone who was kind of excited to see us. He said that he's recently met a friend who is mormon, and he's interested in coming to church some time. He was too busy to be taught at that time, but we got his info and will set up an appointment some time. Guess what his name is? Ed Craft! Yep, that's right. C-r-a-f-t. :) It kind of took me back at first, because he's the first person that I've ever met in my whole life who has the exact same last name as me (except my family of course). Surprisingly, he did come the very next day! We went up and talked to him and his friend, and she asked us if we were teaching him. We said "not yet." :) She then offered to sit in on the lessons. He calls me his "country cousin." See, Grandma Craft, I'm doing family history work too! :)

Dad, you asked me what I thought was the most important principle for being a successful missionary, which is kind of funny, because I just recently have received some very strong impressions regarding that subject. Throughout my whole mission I've been trying to create a formula or list of critical principles for missionary work. I've had many different drafts, with mostly the same ideas, but recently I've changed it to something that is really making more sense than anything else ever did. As of right now these are the things that I would counsel a prospective missionary about:

9 Principles for Successful Missionary Work

1. Faith/Focus
2. Preach My Gospel/8 MTC Lessons/Book of Mormon
3. Prayer/Revelation
4. Goals/Planning
5. Obedience/Work
6. Charity/Selflessness
7. Effective Teaching
8. Commitment-Driven
9. Self-Improvement

I'm out of time, so I can't really comment on these principles, but I'll let you ponder them as they are. Then maybe next week I'll explain a little more.

I love you all so very much! Thank you for being amazing!

Elder Craft

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