Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You can take the missionary out of the hood, but . . .

Hey Craft Family,

     I'm glad to hear that everyone had a good somewhat boring Labor Day, or as it's more importantly known Hooper Tomato Days!  haha  Yesterday for me was good.  I got all the other P-Day stuff done except for the emailing of course.  We were allowed to email at a member's home, so even though we live with the Paynters we ran out of time before we could come write to you.

     Not only was yesterday Labor Day but it was also Transfer Calls.  We got a call at about 7:45.  It was a little earlier than expected.  Elder Haupt had to come knock on the bathroom door and tell me we were getting a call.  Luckily I had just gotten out of the shower so I could hear and talk to President.  They ended up splitting the ward into Shingle Creek North and Shingle Creek South again just like it was before I got here.  Elder Haupt and I thought that we were going to stay together and go to the South part of the ward or that one would stay North and the other go South.  We were both wrong kind of.  Elder Haupt is going to the South part with another Elder being transferred in and they're going to bring 2 new missionaries in here to the North.  One of the missionaries coming here is the one whose dad works with President Christensen and who I played soccer against in high school and then played on the same team with down in Las Vegas that last time I went, Elder Tate Baxter.  He's coming here and going to be District Leader too.  As for me I am leaving "The Hood" and headed south to a suburb of Minneapolis called Eden Prairie.  Apparently it's the biggest and one of the strongest wards in the mission, so I'm excited.  It's going to be a little difficult trying to learn who everyone is, but I usually do pretty good with names so we'll see.  I'm sad to leave the Paynters and this area.  I wish Elder Haupt and I could have stayed together to finish helping all the investigators we're working with, but I know the ward and investigators here are in good hands.  The work only going to increase and I can't wait to hear about all these people I know now getting baptized in the near future.  It's been great to serve here for the time that I have.  Shingle Creek is amazing and it's own kind of unique.  There's never going to be another area like it that's for sure haha.

     Along with transfer calls yesterday we also had the chance to go to "the great Minnesota get together" (a.k.a. the state fair).  The fair here is huge!  I've never seen people go so crazy or get so excited over a fair before.  People started talking about it back on the Fourth of July and how they couldn't wait for the fair.  It's 10 days long and yesterday was the last day.  Elm Creek Elders got 3 free tickets from someone in their ward.  We got permission to go because it was over in St. Paul and decided we'd all just split the cost of the fourth ticket.  There's an express bus station they set up for it in our area, so we all just met up, rode our bikes to the station, and hopped on the bus to go.  It was insane how many people were there!  I was talking to a lady on the bus who said that on average all the other days the fair had 120,000+ people and because of the no school no work holiday yesterday there was even more than that.  It wasn't really surprising with the amount of people that were there that we ran into about a dozen or so members that were from wards all over the metro and up metro area.  A couple came running over to us and gave us $20 to split because they said we needed to have fun and buy some of the food there.  It was cool to see all the members go crazy to see us.  We were all trying to imagine what it would have been like to have the same scenario in Utah and decided that we probably wouldn't have been able to even walk around having to stop and talk to members the whole time.  On the other hand we probably wouldn't have paid for anything either haha.  We did get a lot of funny looks from people because we were in proselyting clothes at the state fair.  We heard a few nicknames amid the stares.  "Geek Squad", "Jesus People", and "Israelites" were some of the best ones that I heard haha.  The thing that the fair is know for is the crazy food that is all either on a stick or deep fried.  We had some deep fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds,  some terriyaki ostrich,  a deep fried twinkie, and this small container of warm, fresh-baked, chocolate chip cookies that we each ate with the never ending milk bar that they had.  It was so cool and definitely an experience.  I think in my container I had 15 cookies and probably a third gallon of milk haha.  So between all of that we sure got our fat and sugars for the week.  Just in case any of you are wondering the ostrich was very very lean but really good, the twinkie was amazing and filled with cholesterol, and the cookies were very fresh and very rich haha.  There were a couple other things we thought about trying but knew that if we did diabetes would be setting in shortly after.  They had chocolate covered bacon, deep fried snickers, and deep fried alligator that were all on the list to try but didn't quite make it.  It was really fun to just kind of get out and experience that all together since our district's being disbanded with transfers.  I took some pictures that hopefully I can attach to this so you can see what it was like and who these other Elders I've been serving with are.

     As far as the missionary work here goes JV came to church again Sunday and to the best of our knowledge has been smoke free for 7 days now!  He's getting baptized hopefully sometime at the end of this month so that I can maybe come back to see that since I won't be too extremely far away.  We talked to Joe, one of the other investigators that I may have mentioned before, the other day about going to seminary.  We were in our coordination meeting on Sunday and trying to think about who would be a good fellowshipper for him.  Then the thought came to me, "seminary".  He's a senior this year and they had the kickoff meeting for seminary Sunday night and the seminary teacher was our joint teacher for the evening.  We called and talked to him about going to the meeting bu the was baby sitting his cousins, so we went over with the joint teacher and talked to him about seminary ad how great it is.  He wasn't sure at first but he said us coming over really convinced him.  He's going to try it for the first day tomorrow.  I hope he enjoys it and continues to go.  The tough part is that it is early morning and starts at 6 a.m. at the church, but he has the faith that the blessings of it are true and willingness to go.  I think he could end up being baptized this month too.  Unfortunately I won't be around to know for sure, but we'll see what happens.
     Sorry there's not too much more to add.  It sounds like Mom and Dad ran into a lot of people at Tomato Days.  Tell Cassie I said hi and congratulations.  You can also mention a nice thanks for not sending her wedding announcement haha JK.  As for Kevin and advice for him I'd say tell him to get that coat that I did from Mr. Mac.  It works amazingly well.  That's what I used all winter and just layered underneath it.  I also had a nice home spun hammock to use around my entire neck and torso, but I think the coat works great by itself too ;) haha.  Then he won't have to worry about having to buy one out here.  This is also just some side advice that I'd give to both him and Brady or anyone else preparing and buying things for a mission.  Buy black Nike tube socks and use those as your dress socks.  They're a lot more comfortable and durable than the gold toe or any other thin dress socks.  Plus with those you can use them for P-Day stuff too.  I'm glad to hear that my pictures could help you with your talk on missionary work in primary mom.  We went into primary in Sunday so the kids could all give us little cards saying thanks for being our missionaries.  I'm happy to hear that you had enough to say that you went over time too.  Instead of just something like, "missionaries are great.  This is one that I think used to live in our house" haha ;).

     I hope that all is going well and everyone's doing just fantastic!  I can't wait to hear about Brady's trip and Kat and Tom's sealing in a few weeks.  I love and miss you guys and can't wait to hear from you again!

Love, Elder Craft

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