Monday, January 10, 2011

New Companion

Dear Crafts One and All,

     I hope everyone is doing well.  I can't remember all that I told you about my new companion Elder Katoa and the transfer situation so I'll just tell you all again anyway.  His name's Elder Sam Katoa from American Fork Utah too.  How ironic is that?  He grew up in the Dallas Ft. Worth area where his Dad was a cop until about 4 years ago when they moved to Utah.  His Dad's Samoan so he pretty big.  He's an inch or 2 shorter then me but about 70 lbs heavier.  He's such a cool missionary.  I'm really looking forward to the time we're going to serve together.  His testimony's so strong. I guess he's gone down kind of an Alma the Younger route, but from what he's told me the change in him is amazing and I haven't even known him that long.  He's got some crazy stories that are for another day. He's been out a little over 6 months now, so technically he's the senior companion here.  Funny thing is that I do all the planning and driving because I took over the area so I should know the drill here.  Good news is, like I said, I am driving.  I called the guy in the mission office the day before Elder Blume left and explained my whole license situation too him and he said I'd be fine.  I could have actually driven all 6 weeks of the first transfer, but oh well I guess I just got really good at backing and directing the driver of a car for that time.  The last area Elder Katoa was in was the ghetto.  North Minneapolis.  Brooklyn Center/ Brooklyn Park Area's what it's called.  It's been quite the change for him coming over to Menomonie.  Even though he lived in American Fork he's not a BYU or a Utes fan really.  He signed to play D end of Outside Linebacker for Snow, but he's looking to play anywhere when he gets back.  That's a little about my new companion.  I hope that answers any questions you guys had.
     Taking over the area has been kind of stressful for me though, because like I said I'm suppose to be the one knowing where to go and what to do.  That's not always the case though, so planning takes a little while most nights of looking through the Area Book to find out who Elder Blume and I haven't already seen or are teaching.  I'm just trying to keep the day full of people to teach, or go see, and areas to do some finding.  That way we're consistently busy throughout the whole day being the most effective missionaries we can.  There's just so many miracles the Lord's providing here I'm just trying to keep them coming and not get in the way of what He has planned at all. 
     I'm glad you all liked the pictures.  Sorry there's not any this week, but there will be for the next one because I'm actually baptizing a couple this week that we've been teaching from my very first morning in the area!!!  I'm so excited for them!!   There names are M. and A. and they're being baptized Saturday at 4 p.m..  I'm nervous but very honored that they want me to be the one to baptize them.  Mark said that he actually dibsed me awhile ago, so that was really cool when he told me.  They also told me on Thursday when we saw them last that they were talking about Elder Blume and I and the other missionaries they've met and decided that I'm the one that's going to be the best dad.  That caught me off guard but really made me feel good.  I told them it's because I have the greatest example and I've just tried to live up to what he's always taught me.  They have 2 little kids, J. who's 4 and S. who's 2, and they told me that I'm the best one with their kids.  They said that J. used to always say, " The Guys are here! The Guys are here!" whenever he'd see us coming up to the door for our appointments.  J. also loves to draw, so now M. said that ever since recently when I drew J. a picture to keep him focused and calm while Elder Blume prepared them for the baptismal interview, he says, "Elder Craft and the guys are here!" whenever we show up.  That really made me feel so good to really see the impact that I have been able to have on their lives.  I know that they are people I was meant to meet and I love that whole family.  I can't wait to get the pictures for you so you can see them too.
     J. H.???!!!  Are you kidding me?! This is ridiculous! haha  You at least gave her my address right mom?  I mean come on that should have been the first thing you talked to her about! ;)  That really is so cool though!  Sounds like we'll be having a lot more dinners over in West Haven in a couple years. 
     I have a question you can ask Bishop about that I was just wondering:  Was I suppose to give him a scripture or something for a missionary plaque?  I can't remember if they're not doing that anymore or what.  All the Elders out here have just mentioned something about their scriptures they used so I was wondering.
     Kathleen asked about this but I guess it's more for all of you too.  She wanted to know if there's anything I still need that I didn't get for Christmas.  The answer is kind of I guess.  haha  I do need a scarf.  Just like a good warm scarf I can wear around because even though they said to get that stuff out here I haven't really been able to find it, so that would be awesome.  It just has to be dark or conservative in color.  The next things are kind of just wants from the family.  The first one is a calendar.  One that I can hang on the wall of like Greg Olsen paintings or something like that from Seagull Book.  The reason I have to ask is because they don't any store like that or anywhere that would sell it out here.  I saw a Taylor Swift one at Wal-Mart but I decided one of the Savior would be a little better.  Slowly but surely I' maturing in my old age. ;)  The last want is some music.  I have my MP3 player but I can't hook it up in our car, and the only CD that I have is one that President gave us for Christmas.  So if you could just burn some of Josh Groban, The Tab Choir,  T-Minus 5, or groups like that that sing songs about the Savior should be fine.  I'll just have to get it approved but that's not hard at all.  The gospel song "Down to the River to Pray" by Allison Krauss, that Brady and Dad like so much is approved so it just has to be things like that.  I would really appreciate that though!  Thanks!
     Now for the individual parts:
Camie, Brock, and Brandt: Thank you so much for the letter and picture!  I loved it!  Brandt's a little stud in that picture.  As for the pictures of course there's a Wal-Mart here.  It's the life blood for all the Wisconsinites Packer gear and beer.  So it's just here in Menomonie if you can send them there.  You'll just have to email me to pick them up and I'll get them when I go get groceries after I email you guys. I look forward to them!

Mom:  I knew you'd be impressed with that letter.  I just want to know how many mistakes were on those 120+ wpm sheets?  I think that's really what matters, so my 4 mistakes to 40 wpm ratio is basically as good as 120 with a page full or mistakes. haha No I haven't heard where Cody's going yet and it's driving me crazy cause I have a feeling it's somewhere crazy!  Like I could see England for some reason, so I'll just have to wait until he writes me back.  I did get your letter and that was on Friday the 7th.  I think it took a lot longer because the Post Office and Mission Office was closed for New Years, and the Mission Office was holding all mail until after transfers so they'd know where we all ended up.  I have plenty of money too for food and everything.  Don't worry I'm not starving.  I'm not home that much to cook and I only have15-20 minutes for breakfast in the mornings but I probably will make French Toast on a Sunday when I have more time thanks for the ideas. :)

Brady:  I'm just glad you wrote the letter.  Thanks for taking the time to do it.  That's a good idea not to have A girlfriend  a few of them is always better! haha JK ;) Seriously though, dating around is the only way to do it man.

Nick:  That sounds like a sweet job right next to the White House for you.  I forget sometimes that you live right next to all of those monuments and everything sweet like that.  Did you recognize or know any of the missionaries' names I gave you in the area?

     Well that's it for this week.  I hope everything's going well for you.  I'm going after we get done shopping to play basketball with the Branch Mission Leader at the University gym because he's Lt. Col. over the ROTC and he teaches here he can get us in to play.  So all the mornings at the gym will hopefully pay off so Elder Katoa and I can "put the hurt on him" and his cadets, as he'd say.  I love you all and miss you very much! I look forward to hearing from you!

Love, Elder Alex Craft

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