Monday, June 13, 2011

From 0 to 130 in Less Than 90 Days!

Dear Crafts,

     I'm so glad to hear that everything's going well with all you guys!  This week for me has been a little crazy but very good as well.

     To start it off we had a training from President and Sister Howell this past Tuesday mostly talking about the transition of mission presidents and finishing strong and continuing the success for President Clemens.  Basically the same stuff that they've been talking about for the past few weeks.  It's crazy in 2 weeks they'll be getting all the stuff ready to go back to Utah.  I think if I remember right Dad or Mom had mentioned something about going to their homecoming.  So after the training when they were talking to all of us I mentioned that to them and they said that they look forward to meeting you if you end up making it down there.  That's pretty weird for me to think about that you could be meeting my mission president that I've spent the past 7 months with.  The training was good but we had a real shock come after.  Like usual Elder Hatch and I rode our bikes there but it was early in the morning so there was nothing out of the ordinary.  When we walked outside afterwards it felt like going into an oven!  It was 103 degrees out with 98% humidity all day!  The breeze that was blowing was just hot air and the ride from the church to our apartment just drenched me in sweat.  It was pretty gross.  It seriously felt like we were cooking the whole rest of the day riding around.  Apparently that was a record day for the Twin Cities.  It hasn't been that hot in like 25 years here let alone this early into the summer.  We not only set that record but the Twin Cities was also the hottest spot in the country for that day!  I don't ever really wish for the winter but that day I was just amazed that at one point a few months ago I was almost 130 degrees colder!  Minnesota's just crazy!

     The baptism we had Saturday was amazing!  Tony was the one who ended up getting baptized.  He was so ready!  He's going to be an amazing disciple of Jesus Christ and member of the church for the rest of his life.  He wanted a member, our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Doolittle to baptize him.  It was a really great baptismal service and his mom even came.  Hopefully we'll get to talk with her about that soon and see what questions she might have.  They even had me to the chorister for the baptism. Luckily for me "How Firm a Foundation" is in 4/4 and "Come Follow Me" in 3/4 so I didn't have too much trouble haha.  Yesterday I had the honor of confirming Tony a member of the church and bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost upon him.  I was a little nervous but it went over really well I thought.  I don't remember much of what was said but I do know that it was longer than 5 seconds so the Lord put the thoughts and words in my mind of what to say.  It was a busy day at church for me though because not only did I get to confirm Tony, but I was also asked to give a 10-15 minute talk on The Plan of Salvation in sacrament meeting.  It was a little stressful trying to cover all the points and things that there are in that without leaving any one event out or short changing anything.  Every point is just so important I felt like I was rambling on pretty fast connecting the different points and scriptures like crazy.  All in all it went well and was a great day at church that we don't get to experience every week. 

     It's transfer time again next Monday, so we'll see what happens.  Who knows it could be companion #6 haha.  I don't have any predictions because all the times I have I've been wrong haha.  It will be interesting to find out for sure.

     Today's only going to be a 1/2 P-Day for me because our district is scheduled to get to go to the temple Thursday!  I'm so excited!  It's been so long and we actually have the opportunity to go here in this mission, so we decided to take advantage of it.  The day we go to the temple becomes our P-Day for the week.  Only problem is that we're out of groceries and our laundry needs to be done so we can have clothes the rest of the week haha.  Plus I figured if Mom didn't get an email until later on Thursday the mission office would be getting a call haha.

     I guess I'll just start to answer some questions people asked and things they said from the emails I got.
Mom:  I did hear about Cassie!!  That's so crazy!  I didn't know it was Bryce Cooke though!  I got a letter that told me about 4 girls I graduated with that are married and 3 including Cassie that are engaged!  That's just to nuts to me.  All I have to say is that most of them didn't surprise me.  I'm just hoping that Cassie sends me an invitation at least haha.

Camie:  That's so good that this year it's going better for you with this little girl.  Don't worry about not writing me.  I just like the letters here and there.  I hope Brock got the package I sent and it wasn't damaged.  I'll bet Brandt looks adorable almost crawling around with all his teeth in that snaggle tooth smile of his haha.

Brady:  Thank you for the letter!  That's so funny you have the exact same job as Scott and Shae.  Did Sidne hook you up with that?  Do you ever see her there?  I'm so glad that you're starting to experience this new thing in your life known in the real world as responsibility ;) hahahaha.  I'm so glad that you loved youth conference and gained such a great testimony from that!  That's what happens every time you go to firesides and study from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel like you talked about.  That's why I told you you need to do all that now to help prepare for that mission.  It's not that far away and once you get out here into the field too all you have is your testimony to rely on.  There's a line in PMG that's so true and says something to the effect of "every man in life is backed up to the wall of his faith and it's there that he must make his stand".  You can have all the knowledge in the world but it's your testimony that will stay firm and be all that you have to stand on at times.  So yeah you are doing a good things dating around, but my advice would be don't focus on that part before your mission.  Focus on learning and growing on your testimony to prepare all that you can spiritually to come out and serve the Lord.  Girls will come and go and there will probably be new ones to date by the time you get home, but a mission is only 2 years that you get to spend once in your life serving the Lord.  Focus on that and the Lord will bless you from your service the rest of your life.  I know you probably know that and are doing that already, but I just felt like I should give you any advice to help you that I can.  And if you're worried about Leah and those other girls being all lonely before you get home just remember I'll be home about 8 months after you leave, so they can survive until then.  I'll be here to help out with that ;) hahaha jk.  

     Well I hope that everyone's doing great and that I get to hear from you guys soon!  I look forward to getting your letters this week.  I love and miss you all and will continue to pray for you.

Love, Elder Alex Craft

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