Dear Craft Family,
It was so good to hear from all of you! I'm glad that the snow is finally starting to melt in Utah. Now you know what 6 months of snow is like and what I have to look forward to here. Only thing is there's no mountains that it stays in here. One of the members here told me that just last week they still had a snow pile in St. Paul in one of the parking lots from October when it first snowed. So I don't know how bad I can feel that there's still snow in the mountains back home haha. From what a couple of you have said it sounds like Utah's not so brown anymore. I just can't imagine a summer of all green and no worries of drought. That's crazy for me to think about!
So my new companion is Elder Haupt from Oregon. He lives in a town outside of Portland. I called him a "Greeny" last week but that term isn't correct here in the MMM anymore I guess. The new missionaries are now called "Goldies". I don't know where exactly President Howell came up with that from, but it might have something to do with the Golden Gophers I think. That's just my own personal speculation though hahaha. As you already know he's been out in the mission field for 5 days now and just transferred from Provo haha. It's been going really well so far and I'm excited to get to work with him. Like Kathleen pointed out to me he will be my longest companion and this my longest area. It's pretty cool though because just serving in Shingle Creek ups my street cred (or Cool Scale like Kat's) for the other missionaries. Plus, biking everywhere builds good character haha. Or at least I've been told that. We've had a lot of miracles and people let us talk to them and teach them while contacting on their door steps or in the park and stuff like that. It's been really cool to see. Elder Haupt's faith is through the roof and is awesome to feed off and work with. The one thing about training that's funny for me is how many questions he has about everything we do. It's not like they're overbearing or anything like that. I just forget that he doesn't already know that and how much we really have to learn at the beginning of our missions. He came out in a group of 20 new missionaries! There's a ton of us training. One of the missionaries he came out with is an Elder Checketts from Woods Cross, so I knew the name and went to talk to him after. Turns out he's the nephew of Dave Checketts, owner of RSL, and we played each other for preseason in high school and stuff. That was kinda cool.
President Howell had a final fireside last night and all the missionaries in the cities were invited with investigators and all less actives or recent converts in the mission. Lets just say that Bloomington Chapel was filled to capacity, but it was way cool to hear the powerful and heartfelt testimonies of President and Sister Howell. I'm really going to miss them but look forward to meeting President and Sister Clements. They fly in on Wednesday and the Howells will be flying out. I guess Elder Haupt was telling me that they shut down all of 1M (the main building in the MTC) except for the cafeteria part this whole last week because The First Presidency was there training the new mission presidents. 1/3 of all the worlds mission presidents are being changed this week. That's crazy! It would have been even more insane to be in the MTC during this last week, like Tavan, to maybe even see President Monson, Eyring, or Uchtdorf. I'm going to have to write him about that whole thing.
I'm glad that those of you in Hooper were able to see Cody an d KC. Man I miss those guys so much! But when we do get together again it's going to be just like the reunion of Alma and the Sons of Mosiah! It's so cool for me to be able to tell people here of the amazing friends that I have serving all around the world spreading the Gospel to all nations, kindred, tongues, and people.
Sorry this email is not super long but I think that the computer might be kicking me off sooner than usual because there's so many people here today. I'll conclude by the traditional response to those people haha.
Kat and Tom: I'm so glad to hear that you are recovering and doing so much better! That's so exciting about your trip to the big island and sealing. I wish that I could be there to support you guys, but just know I'll be there in spirit. haha Good luck with the nursing school application too. I've been praying for you. I'm glad that I was able to help your coolness go up a little bit. The Golden Gophers have the power to do that ;) haha.
Brock and Camie: I'm glad that you had a nice birthday and thank you so much for the advice and the story. I'll take any advice that you have ever. Thanks for all your guys' love and support of me. I'm glad to hear that little Raylee's doing well too.
Dad and Mom: Thanks for the letters last week and updates on the farewells and homecomings. haha I talked to Sister Howell and she said last night that they are very excited to meet you guys inparticular. It's good to hear that you're trip was a success and it went well.
Sorry once again that this isn't a very exciting email. Hopefully it will be more so next week. I'm so thankful for your letters, emails, and support. I hope you have a good time in Idaho. Try to not let all the wind get you down ;)! I miss you guys and look forward to talking to you again soon!
Love, Elder Alex Craft