Monday, December 27, 2010

Elder Craft's Goal Setting Seminar

Dear Family,

I really enjoyed talking to all of you on Christmas!!! I'm not really used to long phone calls and was kind of tired, so I probably didn't sound as spunky as I usually am, but I really did enjoy listening to all of you and feeling of your spirits. Thank you again for all the presents, letters, and everything!! I really had a great Christmas and am looking forward to this exciting new year! I think it's going to be a crazy one, but I like roller coasters and have faith that if we stay close to the Lord and work hard, it's going to be an awesome year!
Kim de Ridder got confirmed yesterday and is super excited about the gospel! She's already an on fire missionary. She's been telling all of her friends about it and inviting them to come to church. It's pretty awesome to see.

I actually saw a little miracle yesterday. I didn't eat a very healthy lunch before Church, so I was feeling pretty sick right before we were supposed to do the Confirmation. I was a little concerned but decided to push through it. It was amazing how as soon we began to perform the ordinance I immediately felt better and was able to speak just fine. Even after the blessing I felt a lot better as if I had been healed. It was pretty awesome! God is merciful to His Priesthood holders, even when they're not the smartest.

You'd be so proud of me. Last Friday for District Meeting I had everyone do the "Gift to Jesus" tradition, which went pretty good. I was trying to spread a little Craft family Christmas cheer in Colorado. I think it worked :)

This Friday for District Meeting, I'm planning on attempting "Elder Craft's Goal-Setting Seminar"! It may not be Tony Robbins quality, but I'll do my best :) I figured it would be appropriate with the new year. I already have the outline:

1. Vision/Desire

2. Goals/Planning

3. Faith/Attitude

4. Work/Commitment

5. Accountability/Consistency

I figure if one could master these principles then he/she could accomplish anything!

I revise these kinds of formulas about 3x a day, so we'll see what it is by Friday.

I love you all so much! Have an outstanding New Year!!!


Elder Craft

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

Dear Family,

Thank you sooooo very very much for all that you've sent me (letters, pictures, packages, prayers, etc....)! I really appreciate every bit of it!

I'd love to talk to you sooner, but Elder Bennett's family needs to talk to him at like 7:00pm Colorado time, and it would just be easiest to call at the same time, so hopefully that works and I don't interrupt too much fun :)
Okay, game plan: I'll call you, say "What's up?", give you our phone #, and then you'll call me right back, so you have to pay for it, not us. Sound good? :) I love you all so much and very much look forward to talking to you on Christmas!

Dear Joshua,
Hey buddy, eat more of those nasty green vegetables! They'll make you super strong!

MIRACLE Stories:

The baptism yesterday went very well!! I was blessed to actually do the baptizing, and then at the end of the service, Kim got up and bore her testimony. Her nonmember friend who is on military leave was there and talked to another missionary for quite a while. He took a Book of Mormon and seemed to have a good time.

Yesterday was actually a crazy day! Right after Sacrament Meeting, Kim needed a blessing, because she got sick the night before. The adversary has been slamming her with trials, but she's pushing through very well. She went home, got rest, and miraculously felt a lot better! Then during Priesthood Meeting we got called in to participate in the ordaining of a young man to the office of Teacher. His father isn't a member (yet), and so he asked me to do the ordination. It was a pleasant surprise. Then of course, we had the baptism that evening, so it was just a day filled with ordinances!

Today we had our Christmas Conference with Pres. and Sis. Pfile! As always, it was an incredible meeting!!!

This past week I've been able to really appreciate a miracle that we experienced about 2 months ago. During a Sacrament Meeting I felt strongly impressed to introduce our investigators, who were in our ward for the first time, to a certain family for fellowship. At the end of the meeting, however, they had to run off real quickly, and we weren't able to do so. But the very next day, our investigators needed a ride, and we were able to get this family to help out. Since then, they really took the investigators under their wing and have helped them out through the whole process. They sat in on some of the lessons. They were there to offer support during some trials. The wife gave a birthday present haircut to the investigator. The husband spoke at the baptism of one of those investigators yesterday. All in all, they have really gone the extra mile in helping out; most of which, they've completely done on their own. It was really cool to see how just following the impression to get the right fellowshippers has been miraculous for our investigator!

I'm so grateful for the birth, life, example, teachings, Church, gospel, sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!!! Thank you again for all that you have done for me, for others, and for the Lord. I hope you all have a wonderful, Christ-centered, service-driven, and Spirit-filled Christmas!

Elder Craft

Monday, December 13, 2010

We are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for that story! On a mission I actually prefer the typed version instead of the book, so that was perfect. Thanks!

Can I make another request? On a road trip you read us a quote that is something like this "Service isn't the temporary payment we make to earn our way into the Celestial Kingdom. Rather, it is the very fiber by which such a place is created." (How'd I do?) Can you send the more accurate quote with the speaker? Thank you so much!

My size: slightly fatter than last year, but same height, large shirt would be great!

Our investigator, Kim De Ridder, is getting baptized this Sunday @ 6:00! We've finished teaching everything, and she's already accepted it all. She's very excited!

I don't have a lot of time, but I want you all to know that I love you all very much! I know without a doubt that this church is true! I love my mission! And I hope you all have a meaningful and Spirit-filled Christmas! I encourage all of you to take a step back and ponder: What would Christ want me to do to celebrate His birth, life, and atonement? How can I truly honor Him during this Christmas season? What would He do with the opportunities to serve that He has given me? May we all try a little harder to remember and emulate the One who has given the greatest gift of all. That we may do so is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Elder Craft

Monday, December 6, 2010

My New Companion Elder Bennett

Dear Family,

My new companion is Elder Bennett, from Winchester, Virginia! He actually came out with Elder Neff (they've both been out for 6 months). He's got 1 younger brother. He wants to go into animation. He's got Toy Story bedding, and he loves corn dogs. In case you haven't guessed, he's kind of goofy, but I think I'm going to love serving with him :)

I don't know if they told you, but the Johnson's in your ward sent me a very nice package with some goodies in it :) I'm going to send them a thank you note, but feel free to tell them thank you for me in person. That was very thoughtful of them.

The work is going pretty good. We have one investigator, Kim De Ridder, who is preparing to get baptized on her birthday (Dec 19th)! She is really excited about it all. Also, we got someone new this week: Kevin Haines. He and his wife just moved from Tooele, Ut. I thought they were both members because they've been coming to church pretty regularly, but this past week we found out that he wasn't a member yet. So we hurried over there right away to talk to him, and he pretty much said that he wants to be baptized. So we invited him to take the lessons, and we are starting them tomorrow!

Hey do you remember the children's book where there's a roudy class, a teacher who has them set up rules and penalties, then a poor little kid gets in trouble and another kid takes the punishment for him? Kim has 2 sons that are 4 and 6. We gave them some of the church DVD's, which they really like, but they have some questions about why the Atonement was necessary. She asked us for help, and that story came to mind. Is there any way that you could type it up and email it to me? Or if you have another idea of how to explain it to a little kid, that'd be great! Thanks!!!

Dear Benson,
Hey buddy, what's up? How are things going lately? It's not fair because you get to hear how I'm doing via Mom and Dad, but I don't hear much about what's happening in your life. So you gotta fill me in. How's school? How's Savior of the World? How's driving? Are you doing any sports? How's the violin going? (You better still be practicing!) Have you gone on any dates yet? How do you like the farm? How many pushups can you do? How do you like the horse? How much do you miss me? Are you eating your green vegetables? Do you still listen to audio books non-stop? Are you being a good boy? etc... Anyways, I love you tons! See ya!

Elder Craft