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.