Monday, December 27, 2010


Dear Family,
     First of all I'd just like to apologize for me not really being able to anwers everyone's question on the phone and talk to you all individually.  I felt bad!  I just want to make sure you all know that I love you and wish it could have been longer!  That was the shortest hour and fifteen minutes if my life!  It was the highlight and best part of my Christmas though!  I found out after that I was only suppose to call for 45 minutes, so it's a good thing that I was on the G.'s (the people we live with) house phone so the mission home won't see how long it was on the cell phone bill like they will for my companion.  How mad can they really get though honestly?  To start off also I wanna talk about some of the things I forgot to tell you about my area and mission so far:  First, is the way these Midwesterners talk.  If only I could type it to shoe you.  You'll just have to ask Nick because I did do it for him.   Some of the funniest things are when they say anything about a bag.  The way they pronounce it is just funny.  Then some of them, like the G.s and other people mostly from Northern Minnesota,  say' "oh for nice", or "oh for cool", when we talk about things we've done.  The best is the whole "don't ya know?" saying or "ya know?" following everything they say ya know? haha ;) jk  Next, I forget to mention to all of you what our plans for Christmas and what we did for Christmas Eve too.  My companion and I made A TON of chocolate chip cookies and delivered them on both those days.  We took them to all our investigators, some less active recent converts, and to some of the active members too.  We figured no one would really appreciate us tracting, which we can't really do since we're a little under the weather, so we made those and that was the best idea for getting in to teach lessons.  I mean who can reject fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies (besides Brady) and a Christmas message? Epsecially on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  Not many that's all I know, so we did get to teach alot of lessons.  For Church yesterday they just had Sacrament meeting with a Christmas Progarm.  We were missing about 15 people.  In a branch that averages 55-70 people and the ones we were missing were most of the teachers for classes and active members it has an effect on the meetings, so the branch president decided to go with the program.  The part that was super cool was we had over 100 people show up!  All of our investigators we invited, 8 of them, and a part member family we've been visiting with the dad who's the only member came!  It was a crazy miracle that no one expected.  The only downfall to the whole thing was that Elder BLume and I had to sing in the program.  We had to sing "We Three Kings" along with another guy, Brother M., in front of everyone, so that was a little nerve racking.  It went over pretty good though.  Another testament that God does answer prayers. haha  I never got to tell all of you about one of the cool benefits here.  There's wildlife all over.  There's no mountians for them to go up in so we see deer almost everyday all over.  Yesterday after church we saw a couple Bald Eagles on our way to teach in Spring Valley, and Elder Blume told me that there's a ton of them all over.  He said that during the summer you can hear them calling all the time too.  So that's pretty cool to see and hopefully I'll be able to hear it too.  The one kinda weird thing about some more of the wildlife is the crows here.  There's thousands!! I've never seen so many in my life and it reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock everytime I see a whole flock of them somewhere.   Even though I've never seen that movie.  That's basically all I wished I would have told you on the phone, but some other interesting things to tell are have you guy read this months Ensign article on missionaries?  It's in the back on page 66 and it's super good!  We had a member share it with us the other night and I really really liked it.  Next thing is about transfers.  They're every 6 weeks and I've almost been here that long!  The call for it will come out next Monday and we'll transfer Wednesday the 5th if we are leaving.  I really kinda hope not though.  I've come to really like Menomonie and Elder Blume's great to work with.  Something else pretty funny is I got my first in-field haircut that I gave myself this morning using Elder Blume's clippers.  You'll get to see the picture of me on Christmas with my longer hair and more prominent part and one from today because lets just say I didn't know a 4 would be that much of a difference and I look like I just enlisted rather than was called to serve.  It is kinda funny though.  I don't think it really looks too bad. haha  I never thought my hair would be this short but I never thought I'd have a part either.  One plus is it's too short to part now so I'll just take it for what it is.  I'll put the pictures on the other email so you all can see and judge for yourselves. 

I'm sorry that I don't really have anything personal to write to everyone except Mom, but she's the only one I got an email from.
Mom:  Well in all reality I can't really get in that much trouble and they'll never know cause I planned it out well on the G.'s phone.  :)  I did feel bad being disobedient but I just really needed to call and tell you that regardless of consequences.  Poeple do decorate around here it's just not the same as being home with all of you.  It is tough but like you said look at everyone else that's been able to do it, so I know I can too.  I'll make it through it will just be tough.  That is funny nothing's really changed at home.  Regardless of how it might be there and all the whining and sometimes chaos I miss it.  I did love talking to you and can't wait to in May!

     Well that's all for this week.  This was surprisingly long for having talked to you all 2 days ago.  I love you and can't wait to hear how everyone's doing again next week.  Talk to you soon.

Love, Elder Alex Craft

p.s.  Shae flew out to France last Monday,  Scott's flying out today, and if Hayden has his visa he'll be leaving next week!  That's crazy that we are now all over the world.  I just thought you might want to know.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Dear Craft Family!!

    Sorry first of all that I send the emails to different ones each week I just respond to the last one from Dad usually.  That's too bad for Chase.  Dang it!! I really feel bad.  I need their address so I can write him.  I'm gonna miss his birthday though, so if you guys could tell him Happy Birthday and that I'm thinking of him that'd be awesome! 
     Thank you so much for the package! I was really excited to get it!  I hope I was suppose to open it and not wait until Christmas because I already opened it. haha Just a quick question though: Am I suppose to send the stocking back after Christmas?  Everything you guys sent was great!  I love it!  For next time though please don't send any more sunflower seeds.  I really like them but I can only eat them during my personal study at home sometimes, so i"m not even through the first bag that you sent when I first flew out.  Almost a month ago!  I never thought I'd make it.  The days still seem super long but I've survived so far.  Haha I'm sorry that all I could send were some cheesy cards but I don't know what else I could send.  I wish I could send you all something cool from here, but the back woods of Wisconsin don't really have much to offer.  Not even for the people that live here.  That's one thing me and my companion haven't figured out is why people choose to live here.  Apparently it's the summers because it's so beautiful around, but we think there's a disease called "The Forgetful Syndrome" that people suffer from.  It comes around in April or May and makes people forget that there ever was a winter so they stay here.  Then when September/October rolls around and it gets cold again they forget what it was like and are ornery and complain the whole time.  As missionaries knocking on there door at night in that freezing cold we get to suffer the side effects of this syndrome.  It's great!  But that's the best explanation we have for people living here.  
    I'm so excited to call you guys!!  I can't wait!  I think what I'll do is call you from the house phone of the people I live it since they'll be gone and said we can use it.  Then you'll just call me right back like at the airport.   From the information everyone's told me it sounds like between 1-2 pm around maybe 1:30 will be best for everyone when they're all there.  So plan on that and I can't wait to talk to you all!  I'm hoping maybe I can call Nick and Tati too since they can't be there, but we'll see.  Fingers crossed!
     As for my companion it sounds like everyone thinks I really don't like this guy.  Well that's not true.  I just wanna clear up that Elder Blume's a great missionary that I'm very happy to be serving with.  He's a great companion and example on how to be a missionary and an effective one at that.  The thing that's also true is that he can drive me a little nuts with some of the stuff he does, but that's just how it goes and I guess I should thank him for teaching me patience and how to deal with married life too.  To answers some other questions about him he's been out 16-17 months and goes home the first week in August.  It's been really funny to see our different perceptions of this transfer.  He's thought it's flown by and I'm wondering how I'll ever survive to the end.  If the end even gets here!  haha Jk but really it is kinda funny how true that is. 
     Oh yeah shoveling snow has been a great work out.  Which is good but sweating in a suit in -5 isn't the funnest thing.  Plus, it's something I never thought would be humanly possible.  I'll get some more practice with it though because we're having another storm right now that's suppose to give another 6-9 inches.  It's funny you said I can stay in shape with it Mom because the 30 minute morning workout's a joke.  I'm never motivated to get all into and workout like I did at home.  There's only so much that push ups and sit ups can do for you in 30 minutes. 
   I'm glad to hear that Dad, Brady, and of course Tom can still keep the Tar Heel pride alive.  I hope they get better.  It can't get much worse than last year.  Sorry I can't address everyone specifically again, but I  will to those who asked other questions.
Kat and Tom:  Thanks for sending a package! I'm excited to get it and try these infamous cupcakes.  Camie's just using the cupcake craving as an excuse.  We all know she's a recovered childhood Root Beeraholic.  It doesn't matter that there cupcakes it's the ingredient inside! ;) JK Camie haha I am looking forward to seeing Harry Potter and to do that marathon too!  Everyone here's been telling us how cool it is too, so I'm glad you can rub it in.  :)  What exactly is the definition of LemonFresh in the dictionary?  That's way funny!

Nick and Tati:  That's not even a snow storm what you guys had.  That is funny they canceled school for it.  Are you guys in the DC South MIssion at all?  I'm just curious because that's where the other half of my district's at.  Tell Tati not to worry and you too about writing.  I know you both are crazy busy!  Especially with those hours you look.  If it makes you feel better I don't get Christmas or New Years off.  They told us that's not a P-Day, so we get to call home and then go out and look like normal.  I don't think many people will be too willing to listen, so that should make tracting fun.  I hope the job search gets a little better for you.  Let me know of any news.

Brady:  All I really wanted to ask is what you, Katlin, and Chantel talked about at Carol's for so long?  I'm kinda worried about that. haha

     I hope everyone else is doing great!  Sorry I didn't have anything specific for everyone.  Tell Carol thanks for the journal.  That was way nice!  I remember that assembly too Mom.  That was crazy but was so fun!  It was one of the coolest memories of high school for sure.  You're very welcome for inviting you to them all.  I was just so happy to see all of you at all my games, assemblies, and everything else you supported me in!  You guys are the greatest!!  I can't wait to talk to you all!  I love you and miss you so much!  I look forward to when I can come home and tell you all the great stories I'm going to have.  Merry Christmas and I'll talk to you Saturday!! :)

Love, Elder Alex Craft

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Record Snow Storm

Dear Family,

    I'd just like to start this letter by apologizing to all those who I don't have time to write pesronal response to.  I really wish I could I just don't have time or type nearly fast enough.  You all have to remember I'm writing all these with the 32 WPM typing ability.  Pretty good I know!! ;)
     I'll address just things for everyone at the first of this and then answer most of the individual questions later.  For Christmas I actually resalize that I have no idea and really don't care what I get.haha I just love and miss you all so much anything from you would mean the world for me!  Food's usually good and socks I guess.  It sounds really lame but I don't know what else to ask for. It seems to change each time.  I just know that anything with the family is fine for me to get.  Sorry that's not much help.  Next I just wanna ask two major concerns of mine: 1- How's the garage look?  And is my 20+ hour labor of love still being used? 2- What's the situation look like with my car?  I don't know if I said this in the last email but if you have to please just sell it stereo and all.  I can get another one when I get back I just don't want it to be a burdon on the family because I know Brady's trying really hard to get a job but with no luck.  Sorry about that Brady I wish you could have one of my old jobs.  Just keep looking man.  Speaking of which have you gotten any new job offers or interviews Dad?  This is more for Kat and Tom I guess but I'm just curious doesn't Tom have a brother named Paul in St. Paul? And you two were just there?  Anyway moving on to the next question, has anyone gone to see the lights at Temple Square yet?  I miss that actually even though I didn'y go a ton.  We just see pictures of it here and tell people about it, and that made me realize how much I really took for granted living in Utah.  I've realized how much I love it there.  So my advice is to either go as a family or it's a great date idea (Brady ;)), but that's just my opinion.  I'm glad you all got to see the news coverage of that because I was living it!!  This area is usually the coldest part of the country when you look at the weather, but this storm was rare even for them.  My comp and I were inside Friday because we weren't feeling the greatest so we were just trying to make it better before anything serious developed, but then the whole mission was grounded on Saturday.  It started snowing early Saturday morning and didn't end until early Sunday morning around 6 a.m. I guess.  In that 24 hour time perios it dumped 20 inches alll over the whole area!!  It was a crazy blizzard white out and watching it from the window of our apartment was nuts!  It did collapse the roof of the Viking stadium along with shutting down the major highway between both states I-94 because there were huge 4 ft snow drifts all over that theyy couldn't get removed.  They canceled church in all the stakes of our mission yesterday but no we don't stay inside for that.  We only stay in once it hits -40.  So we went out with a plan to do some contacting  but had to help Bro. Greenwood who we live with move the 2 feet of snow of the driveway and our car for an hour.  Once we finished we had to go to the church to get some more snow shovels and ending up shoveling the snow off that sidewalk so people could actually get in.  Being the amazing missionaries we are we didn't stop there.  We went and dugg a member family's driveway and cars out because once the plows came yesterday morning for the first time they moved all of the packed snow to the side in 3-4 ft mounds.  When we drive down any street there's cars buried all over and the snow plowed to the side is as high as the window on the car doors, so it's kinda weird to drive anywhere.  It really looks like a barren frozen tundra now with everything covered in feet, not inches, feet of snow.  These are the experiences I was waiting for and expected though so I got them.  Especially yesterday because we still had to shovel another elderly couple out last night in the middle of nowhere where they hadn't had any plows but there were plenty of giant snow drifts.  Plus the temperature was about -10 and that helped to keep the whole experience pretty real.  It was pretty warm today actually at a whopping 5 degrees.  The best part about this huge snow storm is that now unlike Utah where it can all be melted the next day this will all be here plus some until at least April.  I'm looking forward to that. 

Now to kinda address each of you so it's a little more personal:

Dad- I'm glad that the pictures I emailed got to you but I can't remember what I sent to help you label them sorry.  You can upload anything I send to that blog that's fine and I don't care who's allowed to see it.  Whoever you guys want is fine by me.  Except tell Mitch that he can't log onto it until that kid writes me back for the letter I sent him haha jk.  You can send stuff to the mission home and they'er good about forwarding it to me but for anyone that wants to know my physical address is XXXXXX
Mom- Sorry I didn't answer this last week but yes I know hard to believe people will reject and not listen to us.  They must not know who I am ;).  Every time someone does though I don't get mad or anything I just think to myself "I hope I'm there when they're at judgment and I get to look at them and go I tried to tell you"  so that's what keeps me going.  I'm sorry to hear about the show you did.  That's a bummer for sure.  I hope the next one goes well for you.  I'm glad you got the pictures though like I told Dad and that you liked them.  I am a little homesick but it's getting better for sure through much prayer and trust in the Lord.

Nick and Tati-  How's everything going? Thanks for doing the blog too.  That's way cool! Specifically how's the job hunt going and how are you Tati? I haven't heard much about you so I'm just curious.

Kat and Tom-  These cupcakes I've been promised sound amazing and I can't wait to finally get them.  Thanks again for all the love and emails you both send that help me so much.

Camie, Brock, and Brandt-  That's so awesome to hear about Alicia and Heather!  They finally realized that all people can repent ;)! jk hah but that really is exciting and I'm glad to hear Brandt's doing great along with both of you. 

Brady-  You have a new girlfriend huh? Nice work! but I need a picture to approve of it fully haha jk man.  I'm glad you're happy but you've probaly already heard it and I'll just say it again: don't get too attached because dating alot of other girls can be really fun too!! Trust me I've been there done that haha  JK Basketball sounds like it's going good too.  I loved those games! Just keep the pride going!

Natalie-  Maybe certain people are more ornery because they're more stressed.  Just be supportive and offer to help anyway that you can and it should help.  I know you do already to keep up the good attitude and you'll be fine I promise.  Yes I've gotten plenty more doors slammed in my face and I still laugh everytime.  It's their problem and salvation not mine.  I haven't gotten any stocking yet but I look forward to it!

Grandma Craft-  Thanks for that story!! That was very cool and amazing that it was a true story.  How are you doing?  Are you feeling any better?  I miss not being able to visit you but look forward to the letters and emails.

     Well this was a little longer and more informative so I hope it helps, but the work here is amazing despite the biting cold the work of the Lord never stops.  I feel so privelaged to be apart of it and to see the change and joy that it can bring into peoples lives like it has to ours!  My favorite thing is to teach the Plan of Salvation because I have such a string testimony of that and I'm so thankful for it in my life! You all are the greatest and I love, appreciate, and miss all of you so much! I can't wait to hear from you again and you'll all be in my prayers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Hello

Hey Mom,

Thanks so much for the emails!! You all have no idea how much I love reading them!! Hearing missionaries complain about not having mail or getting overly excited about it makes so much more sense now!! I'm just going to apologixe that this is so short and tell Brady and Natalie I'm really sorry I can't respond to them today.  I love them and miss them both so much I just don't have enough time to get it all done and teh only time I'm allowed to write letters is on P-Day.  My companion's really good and big on obedience so we obey every rule to the letter,  Which isn't necessarilly a bad thing, but much to the satisfaction of all of you that means that I have to get a comb today at Wal-Mart for the dreaded PART!! Yep you read it right. . . a part! I have to wear a part in my hair because it's a rule and we'lll be blessed for our obedience even if I do look like a gomer.  Don't worry I think I can pull it off though! ;)

About my license. . . I'm sorry! I looked in that box and there wasn't anything in there so when I left I threw it away and I guess that's where it ended up.  None of the notes said anything about it in there, so that's my bad sorry.  I get to suffer the consequences now from it and even though I've been given clearance to drive I'm nopt allowed to until I get it.haha Oh well I'm fine being a passenger.  When I called I said to not worry about me out here.  Take care of everyone there for Christmas.  I don't really need anything.  I told you maybe an electric razor or photo album but I decided I don't need that razor.  I'm not shaving that much yet.  Maybe next Christmas though. haha I think other than another photo album if you can find it, or anything with the family's great.  Another good idea's just some snacks or food that I can have to go in my bookbag or car because we're not really home to eat.  Just like carmel corn or I guess junk food's the best way to describe it.  Not a ton though because I don't need it.  I'm gonna try to keep my "girlish figure" for when I get back, so too much of it's gonna make me round. haha  We just barely finished your fudge, which was amazing, and I feel bad because I don't know when we'll get to drink the hot chocolate. I'm trying I just feel bad not using what you sent me.
Oh I know how you feel because every day's seemed to take so long! It's like I'm in a time warp here.  I just miss you all so much and try not to think of that.  I just think abou taking it one day at a time and living in the moment because I"ll never get to live this experience again.  It's just one day at a time one foot in front of the other I guess.  It sounds like things are going good at home.  A little crazy with the plane incident but other than that I'm glad everyone's safe and doing good! Tell Grandma I love her and I miss being able to go visit her!  FYI if you get a chance to talk to Jacob telll him I met Elder Horgmo and actually flew out here with him.  He's the elder from Norway that's here in the MMM too!

Well I love and miss you all so much!!!! I can't wait to hear from you!

Love, Elder Alex Craft

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Menomonie, Wisconsin

Welcome to Minnesota

Dear Family,

     I was really glad to be able to talk to you too! It was good to hear everyone's voice! Sorry i couldn't talk to everyone.  I am kinda tired still cause i can't really catch up on sleep and i feel a little overwhelmed but oh well. . .the Lord's work never ends.

It's so weird and surreal to think I'm actually here now! In the land of my people! :) haha jk The whole way over on the plane ride I sat by Sister Daniel from my district and we talked about how weird it was to actually be headed out! The flight was only about 2 hours and I got to see all the water and lakes as we came in! President Howell was telling us on the way to the mission home that they have over 10,000 lakes 5 acres or bigger and over 20,000 lakes 3 acres or bigger!  Our mission is one of the largest in the world.  Land size and number of missionaries.  We have 200 missionaries and that's the cut off for all missions.  None of them have over that many.  We have Elders and Sisters speaking first of all English, Mong, Spanish, and a few like D. P. from the first ward that speak Karan I think that's how you spell it.  It's a crazy Asian language and they're the only Elders in the world learning it cause there's such a large population of those people here.  I got my first experience in the airport with the weird accent they all have here!  Most of the people we've talked to do it too haha I really hope I don't pick that up.

The work started as soon as we left the mission home with planning for the next day.  We went to look for some winter stuff a little during the afternoon when we had some free time but couldn't really find much that's good for a good price so we'll try to get it before that storm hits us. I'm assigned in my new area of Monomonie, Wisconsin, so for at least this first transfer  I'm not even in Minnesota.   Kinda ironic.  It's a smaller town about 2 hours East of Minneapolis and we have one branch here with about 85 members in a pretty huge area.

We tracted for 2 hrs yesterday and had some really good conversations with a bunch of cool people.  Most of them are willing to listen to you and see what you have to say, but they're almost all Lutheran too and just say that they aren't interested and love their religion.  My actual first door approach was a fluke no one even answered and I was so nervous! So I just knocked the next door cause it was a duplex and right as the guy answered the door he said, "Oh. . you guys are the. . .yeah I'm not interested at all!" and he just shut the door. It was pretty funny to me actually.  I just laughed and was like wow that actually happened.  I still felt love for him and everyone that wouldn't listen because even though they say they're happy with their religion and life right now I know that we have the truth that will bring them complete happiness and a fullness of life that they've never known!

We talk to everyone we see or pass and are always bearing testimony! It's way cool but i definitely need the Lord's spirit to get me through this next chapter of my life.  So I'm trying to do the same as you Dad and realize that none of these people that won't listen will ever see me again and at least I know I tried to offer them the gospel and they'll be accountable for not listening.  Oh well i guess.  Their loss.

My companion- trainer is Elder Blume from American Fork, Utah ironically enough because everyone always assumes the missionaries are from Utah and for us it's true haha  He's way cool and upbeat, really funny, and pretty random too.  I guess he had a companion that called him Captain Tangent because that's what he was best at. He got transfered new into the area with me.

In case you were wondering about the weather it's not too bad now.  No Brady not everything that's made of liquids frozen and the plane didn't have spiked tires to land.  Not many of the lakes are frozen over yet but everyone says it will be in a few weeks.  I guess they had an ice storm last weekend that was the worst it's been in 5 years! I'm sure Dad and Tom know all about those.  Luckily for me it's staying right around 32 degrees but it snowed on us the whole hour we tracted last night which got me pretty wet but not too cold, and the hour we did earlier it was a lot colder because of the wind.  Windchill dropped it down to probably in the teens during that hour so just like i expected.  I have my coat and ear warmers from the MTC but not too much yet. We'll be getting that soon because the next couple weeks is suppose to get pretty nasty.

We had an appointment that we taught at yesterday and it was so cool that these were actual investigators thinking about joining the church! Not just the mock investigators from the TRC I told you about! So it was kinda nerve racking to make sure to say it all right because what we say is what they believe.  That's why the spirit is so important! Their names are M. and A. and they have 2 little kids named J. -4 and S. -2.  It really was so awesome to be in their home and teach them and answer their questions.  I felt strong love and concern for them and that they understood what all we were saying.  M. has a problem with smoking and occasionally they'll drink but that's the only thing they struggle with.  They've read through 1,2 Nephi almost twice now and part of Alma, and they had us stop by again for hot chocolate after they saw us tracting their neighbor hood for that hour in the morning and he'd read the reading we left him in Mosiah and 3 Nephi already.  They're really solid investigators and I can't wait to see their progress!

We've had dinner with members each night so far.  The first night we ate at the member's house that picked us up from the mission home and the house we have our basement apartment in The G.'s.  They live right in Monomonie and it's a nice little place they've got for us.  Last night we ate at a Less Active family the W.s and today we have 2 Thanksgiving Dinner appointments.  The first one here at the May's home where they're letting us use their computer to email.  The best part is there's no stupid 30 minute timer in the corner flashing at me to give me an anxiety attack.  We ironically enough have our next appointment at the house right next door The C.'s.  We're kinda nervous to go there because no lie the son actually moved here with his wife and child to get off the grid and live off the land.  They have no bathroom in there house and he loves to hunt and eat Squirrel!! I'm not even kidding! Luckily it's his mother's house we're eating at so we might get out of that.

Well Brady just keep your head up cause I know how stressed you are now but I made it through it so can you.  Yes I have my bike but I haven't used it yet.  We will though for tracting when we're out of miles.  My first thoughts when I stepped off the plane were: "Holy crap I'm here! And for 2 years!", "It's not that cold", and "I wonder what President Howell's like?"  He's very nice by the way and greeted us all with a big hug! He and his wife love and care about us very much!  I can't wait to serve under them.

Thanks for the package Mom and family! I love all the food but I didn't open it till we got home, so if the fudge is still good by next Tuesday when we go back to the mission home for training then I'll give it to them.

Good luck with these new positions Dad! I'll be praying for you still.  Let me know what I can do for you at home.

Natalie did you get my card I sent you?  If not Happy early birthday because I won't write again until my actual P-day on monday.

We got a P-day today because of the holiday but we're still going tracting later don't you worry.  For anyone hand-writing letters just send them to the mission home for now until i figure out my address I'm at.  They're pretty good about forwarding it quick.  Just be sure to put Elder Alex Craft or Alexander even A. Craft makes it easier on the lady doing that.  I'm not exactly sure for Christmas just maybe like some granola bars or packaged stuff like you sent that i can carry with me along with some of the Gold Toe black socks if you find any.  Also, what I told you on the phone's good.  Sorry I sound so needy.

Grandma, thanks so much for the letter. That was really cool! Thanks for thinking to write me.  How are you doing?

Anyone just let me know if there's anything I can do and any questions I might have missed.  I love and miss everyone so so so much!!! It's gonna be tough but i know it'll bless my life and yours! I get to call in a month too!! :) I can't wait to hear from you and email Monday!! I'll keep praying and thinking about all of you!

Elder Alex Craft

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Talked to Alex

Hi all,

We talked to Alex today.  His flight is Delta #2456, leaves at 8:45 AM and gets to Minneapolis at 12:30 PM.  He is really excited, but nervous and everything in between.  He is not sure when his P-Day will be but he has been told he will be in a members home for Thanksgiving, so I don’t know if they will be at the Mission home until after Thanksgiving or in their area.

He is traveling with 11 Elders and 2 Sisters, all going to Minnesota.  That is a big group.  He had to be up at 3:15 AM to finish packing and get dressed so he is running on adrenaline since he didn’t get to bed until after midnight.

You could hear a little apprehension in his voice but he was strong and had a great experience at the MTC.  Of course he wants to be perfect so all he could think of was all the things he should have been doing before he got to the MTC, so he has told Brady what he needs to do.

The temperature here in SLC was 37 at the airport, in Minneapolis it is 13 with a wind of 12 MPH that takes it down to -1.  I hope he gets that warm coat soon.

Well, I have to get back to work.  Everyone stay warm during this storm.

Love ya,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hey Everbody!

What up Craft family?!

I'm so glad that i get to email and tell everyone all at once.  Hopefully i can answer the questions you all have.  First of all yes mom scott got stitches because he got an elbow in basketball.  i think he got 2-3 right above his right eyebrow.  so it wasn't anything too serious.  shirley can stop worrying now.

Some other things i forgot to metion last time about the MTC is that we have a fireside every sunday night and devotional tuesday night.  The past 2 firesides we've had sheri dew and Mark Lusvardi from the church office come speak.  The devotionals are the ones where apostles come speak to us and my first one here we had Elder Bednar come speak!! it was so good! and this past tuesday was Elder Pearson of the 70!  All the speakers at the firesides and the devotionals especially have been so great! their messages are amazing! i wish i could take more notes with what they say but i just can't write that fast!!

Also, about the MTC i don't know if i said it already but the beds are tiny! i have my feet hang off and if i fold my arms under my head to sleep on them my elbows hang off the sides.  I sleep on the top bunk and every time i roll over i hit my knees on the wall haha i just don't have much room up there. I would like you to defer my scholarship i got if you could! i'll try to send the papers back cause you might need them.

Mom and Dad Happy Anniversary! i was thinking about it yestersday and i figureed it'd be faster to just wait to email and tell you today!! Dad how did the interview go? i'm just curious.

I"m way excited to go to Minnesota in a matter of 5 days.  I have to get my hair cut tomorrow,.  It's mandatory to have it cut at least 5 days before you leave.  I'm excited for the cold and snow! thanks for the comforting words there about a foot of snow already dad ;) haha jk i really am excited thought! time's flown by here!

I helped host new missionaries yeaterday with my district and 300 other missionaries out on the curb!  There were 750 new missionaries that came in! they didn't want to have any right before thanksgiving so they combined the weeks for them to come in.  I got to host Luke Weston though! He came yesterday and i was the one that carried his luggage for him and showed him his room and class.  It was way cool to be able to help the new missionaries.

FYI i didn't hang on the rim in gym i'm not that stupid haha i just popped it to almost lose my gym time cause they're so anal about even touching the net when you're not playing.  Shae's companion is from Norway going to France. THey've seen the other elder Jacob was talking about but i haven't.  WEll jeff sounds dumb as ever and sounds like JAron's doing good.  The Jazz and Fremont sound like they're both doing pretty good! keep me posted! i can't wait to hear how Fremont does in the championship! You can write me to keep me informed on these things Brady ;)

THis is just kinda cool info my roommate Elder Eggertsen told us about a couple days ago: so i know Dad listens to KSL news radio but for anyone else familiar with it or not Elder Eggertsen's dad is Grant on the Grant and Amanda Show! that crazy! he said that you can email him if you want cause he would love to hear from someone else whose son is going to the MMM.  Let alone somone that's in his room with him! i just thought that was way cool!

Tell the ward thanks so much for the cards and support! i'm gonna try to work on writing some thank you cards later today.  THanks for the package too!!! i got it yesterday and i love the food and pictures too! Those were great and i was showing them to everyone! I showed everyone your pictures to Kat and Camie that you sent! i really appreciate them.  They're great! feel free to send more anytime!

Well my time's about up.  Sorry it's so short but thank you so much to everyone for the letters, emails, packages, pictures, and all your love and support! It really helps me out so much!  I love hearing from all of you and love you all so much! I miss you but i know that the people i'm going to meet need my message and testmony of the gospel to bless their lives! They need to know the simple docrtines of the gospel and that through Faith in Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism by proper authority, recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end they will be saved!!  I love this gospel and all of you!

Elder Craft

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dear Family,

Sorry there were a bunch of questions I forgot to answer. I didn't have time because I'm not the world's fastest typer. No I haven't actually seen the missionary from Norway but I know he's here. Shae's companion is Elder Bjerga from Norway, but he mostly grew up in utah so he speaks fluent Enlgish fine. He talked to me a little about him, so hopefully I'll see him soon.

Yes mom my throat's really fine I'm not allowed to lie as a missionary. I think there's a curse here that will strike us down if we do. I do get gym time everyday but Tues. my P-day & Sunday. Yesterday was the 1st day I got to play soccer because the field's been closed because of cold and the little bit of snow we've had, so I tried to dominate but playing in my indoor shoes on grass isn't the easiest and it's not exactly fair cause I'm the only Elder that went to a big school & played. A couple others played at like 2 & 3A schools but didn't even go to playoffs. Mostly I play basketball, and the games are pretty intense. There's so many Elders that are as tall and a few a couple inches taller so those games are fun. You do gain respect there cause I dunked it in a game the other day & had Elders asking me in the gall if that was me & how sick they thought it was. It's hard to do though cause we can only dunk & touch the net, rim & backboard in a game. I almost lost all my gym time earlier this week for grabbing the rim in warming up. They're really anal about it. We only get to play 3 v 3 games too on a halfcourt cause there's no actually full court. There's 8 half courst set up all around the gym  They have a track to run upstairs so I did run a mile around that before basketball games, & that's where all the weight machines are. They're all cable machines, so there's no bench press or anything  & they're usually all taken. Instead I try to do pushups & situps in my room there's a pullup bar in our hall. So I'm trying to still workout a little. I think I did lose the weight cause of my throat, so that should come back.

I'm glad you talked to Angie & I wish I could email her but I can't. I didn't save Cody at all. haha that's kinda funny but I'm glad she thinks so. I wrote him the other day so hopefully I get a response. Whoever spent $13,000 on a ring as a male needs to find a wife or hobby cause that's ridiculous!

I know you guys write everyday that was a joke Dad.  :)  And yes everyone Ashley's written me twice so I wrote her on P-Day, but I don't have her address, so I had to send it to Paige. I don't know if it's in my other book & didn't get transferred or what but I'd really like to have it!  :)  Thanks.

It's kind a funny too that wouldn't you know the day after I send that email I find my hymn book! And that day we got our travel plans! We're flying out Tues. 23rd & have to be at the travel office here @ 5 a.m. The DC missionaries leave the day after @ 3 a.m. So it's crazy we're over half way done! This week's really flown by!

Well sounds like the Jazz are doing great, so just keep me informed with the outside world. If you can't get a package together don't worry about it. Sorry if this letter takes forever too. I can't wait to hear from you and love you all!


Elder Craft

P.s. Grandma did write but I didn't have time to email her so that's why I sent her letter in here.

P.s.s. Another plus I failed to mention about the MTC is that I fit under the shower head! Amazing enough they're like 7 ft high so that's really nice!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

hello everyone!! Finally!! :)

Dear Family,

First of all i'm sorry that it;s taken so long to e-mail and if i spell wrong or have poor grammar it's not my fault i'm only allowed 30 minutes to email before the computer kicks me off.  I was so excited to finally have a P-Day this week to be able to talk to all of you! i've felt so bad i haven't had time to even write after that letter the first night.  i'm surprised that took as long as it di to get to you.  Sorry about that.  To address everyone's main concern: my throat is basically all healed!  I only struggled to eat at the meals on the first day.  Ever since then it's progressively gotten better and my appetite is back and better than ever! i'm eating everyhting anf getting seconds.  THe food is amazing!! The weird part is that most missionaries you hear gain weight in the MTC but i have lost about 5 lbs so hopefully i get that back and a little more. 

The first day was very hectic and a little bit of chaos and shock! i couldn't believe i was actually there in the MTC wearing the name badge with my actually name on there.  The one i've dreamed of wearing since i saw the pictures of NIck in his.  I was also thinking 2 years! that's forever! since that day we've had class which has calmed down a little now but the first couple days a felt like i was honestly getting a drink form a fire hose! I've taken so many notes trying to learn all i can.  i've almost filled up half of my notebook already in a little over a week! i wish i could tell you all i've learned and how my testimony has just grown fromm learing to rely on the Lord but i can't even rememvber all i've learned and don't have nearly enough time. 

I'm in the laundry room doing laundry now typing while i wait for my clothes to dry.  Speaking of which mom can i dry my dress shirts? just wondering.  Also i think i left my hymn book somewhere at home cause i can't find that so if you could send that with some pictures and treats because all the elders in my room and on my floor ate them in 2 minutes literally cause they were so good! don't worry i got some of them but offered to the others and once word got out of your amazing cooking there was no stopping them haha Incase everyone's wondering my companion is Elder Lewis and is so amazingly spsitiual.  He's a great elder that has helped me so much and is very good and listening and helping me in  my new calling. 

The Second night here we met our Branch Presidencey and they called me to be the District Leader.  We have 8 elders counting me and 3 sisters.  Elder Naylor, is going to the DC south mission and is from twin falls, Elder Merrill, also going to DC from Reburg, Elder Calvert, DC too and is from Denver, Elder taylor is going to DC and is from Saporro Japan, along with Sister Holt from Arizona and Sister Ward from West jordan are all going to DC South. 

The MMM misssionaries are Elder Lewis and I Elder Eggertsen from Centerville, and Elder Anderson and Sister Daniel both from vernal.  Those elders going to our mission are our roommates too and they're awesome! our whole district iis great! we've grown so close and i love them all! i just have to run the meetings, go to meetings a few nights a week, and get the mail for them.  SO i love seeing all the support from all of you! it really has helped me! i'm not one to try and criticize at all but hand written letters and ever notes are so great too so if any of you have an extra minute to write me a little something that'd be fantastic!!

Mom: i hope work goes well for you and i'm so thankful for you and your concern. Don't worry i'm not even mad about you talking to the nurse at all! they haven't actually even asked or talked to me about that.

Dad: Thanks for finding time to always write me.  I wanted to strangle Jeff throught that letter so i imagine how you feel.  that stupid dog!\

Brady: that's sweet about your GPA and Fremont keep it up and keep me posted! you can write emails longer than the first one of 2 lines which is good ;)

Nat: thanks for all the encouraging words and you go ahead and sleep in my bed all you want.  Someone needs to use it!

Kat and Tom: I didn't actually read that letter on the toilet sorry but it did help! your support is so great! and she's right everyone. . . she'd written every day so i'm not trying to say you couuld step it up or anything but. . . ;) jk

Nick and tati: thanks for the letter i'm excited to be here too and know it only happens once! i'm trying to live it up as best as i can!

CAmie Brock and Brandt: i expect that picture soon! thanks for the letters!

Sorry i forgot to mention i saw shae and hayden on the first day and i see them and scott at least once a day! it's so sweet we've gotten pictures together  a couple times so i hope to send those soon! it's hard calling them elder but it's just something to get used to!

well i've only got a couple minutes until it kicks me off so i just wanna say i love you all so so so much and miss you! you're in my thoughts and prayers daily!! keep praying for me and the support because between you and the Lord i think i'll survive! love you all! See you soon!

Love,  Elder Craft
p.s. good luck with the job dad let me know how it goes! i'm praying for you!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MTC - First Day!

Dear Mom, Dad, & Family,

Today has been very crazy! Ever since you dropped me off they had me running around everywhere going to orientations, picking up my packet w/ my badge, and then going to class w/ my new companion and people in my district. My new companion is Elder Jonathan Lewis.  He is Jack & Janette's nephew from Malt or Malta Idaho. Some small town by the border. He's way cool, patient, and good listener, and I can see how he's really to Sister Young in almost everything he does. The other Elders in our room are Elders Anderson and Eggersten both from utah and cool guys too.

I've felt every emotion today. I got dropped off feeling sad w/some anxiety, but everyone here is so happy and encouraging I felt comforted and welcome right when I walked in the gates almost. Throughout lessons and activities I felt excited and exhilerated about this great work and what I'm involved in. I'll never have this experience of being here again. There really is no place like it on Earth, so I'm trying to think of that and live it up as best as I can. I will be completely honest though I have though I have thought about all of you all day and felt the homesickness especially when I was unpacking. I want you to know I do miss you guys and love you alot. Nobody's lying when they say it's tough but I know I'll just have to go to the Lord and he will give me the strength I need. Just pray for me like I know you are and keep prayers in your heart because I'm going to have to constantly to make the adjustment I have to. I am excited to do what I've been called to do don't get me wrong. It's just your fault that it's hard for being so awesome.  :)

On the plus side you'll be happy to know I was able to eat lunch w/out too much pain at all. So hopefully my mouth keeps healing. Also, while I was eating I saw Elder Russell (It's weird I can't call him Shae) and he came and hugged me and we got to talk. It was great to see him again. I'm gonna be on the lookout for Scott too.

Well I've learned alot already today and taken alot of notes. My testimony's going to be stretched and tested but I can feel it growing. I know this is what I'm meant to be doing and I'm trying to look forward to the challenges each day brings. I'm sorry if you can't read this too well. I'm not sure if it's excitement or nerves but my hand's been shaking all day. Just know I love each one of you so much and wanted to write you this. I need a picture of everyone ASAP so I can show you off and always have the constant reminder of why I'm here; so others can have a family like mine. Can't wait to hear from you!

Love Always,

Elder Alexander James Craft