This week sure had a great ending to it! Conference is the best! I was fortunate enough to be able to go out to the church building we go to in Waconia and watch all of the sessions. It's hard for me to try and pick something I liked best because it was all just so amazing! It was great to see Elder Carl B. Cook speaking up there. When I looked up from my notes to see the next speaker and saw that it was him I told the other missionaries that I've met him and he used to be my parents bishop in Riverdale. He did a great job I thought. His talk was really relevant about it being "easier to look up". I really enjoyed that. I noticed kind of the same thing that Mom had pointed out to me as well. There was a lot of emphasis on The Book of Mormon and reading it for ourselves. I know that it is the most correct book on Earth and just as the apostles and general authorities spoke of it's a tool our Heavenly Father has provided for us to draw closer to Him and to learn about our Savior Jesus Christ. I noticed too, being a missionary, that there were a lot of prayers specifically and a couple subjects directed towards missionaries and missionary work. Elder Holland's in the Priesthood Session and Elder Yamashita's in the Sunday session were a couple talks in particular. This is off topic kind of but out of curiosity is Elder Yamashita related to the Yamishitas we know at all? There was a lot of talk about we as members being more open and bold in sharing our values and beliefs as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with others. Something I wish that I would have been more aware of and done more frequently when I was at home. There are definitely people prepared all around each of us by Heavenly Father to hear our individual and specific testimony. The real challenge is just being aware of those people and situations in our day to day lives. Elder M. Russell Ballard had talked about mormon.org and I don't think I've ever talked about it with you guys yet. There's been a campaign here in the Twin Cities area that's been going since last August and started in 13 pilot cities to see what results it would yield. It's a bunch of ads and commercials just about different members and situations that all end with them saying, " and I'm a Mormon". Have you seen or heard much about it at all? If not then I can expalin a little. if so I guess you'll just have to bear with me haha. Most of those campaigns in other cities ended in January of this year. There has been so much success here in this area though that it is the only area that has continued the campaign and ads even now. It's been a fantastic way for missionary work to move forward with the help of the members. All you have to do is go online to mormon.org and use your lds.org login to enter. Once you've done that you can create a profile. It's not anything like Facebook, but is more like a series of question asking different things like "Why I am a Mormon', "How I live my faith" and things like that. Once you create it, you submit it for approval, and leave it after that. You only update it if you want to later. That is what all the members in this area have been doing and is a fantastic way to just put your testimony in writing. I heard someone refer to is as Faithbook which I thought was pretty funny. I have one that I made when I first came out you guys can check out. You just have to search by first name. It would be great I think for you guys to be able to make one as well, so that when missionary opportunities do come up you can direct people there to really see what we believe as a church and what each of us individually believes with our own unique testimony. So will you guys go on and make a profile? haha There my missionary commitment invitation for you haha. One of the other cool things from conference is seeing Grandma's friend Rick Steadman in the choir again. It was cool this time because during the first session on Saturday we were watching the choir and when it showed him I said to Elder White, "There's my Grandma's friend Rick up there", and he said, " there's my Jr. high choir teacher Mr. Steadman". That's when I put two and two together to know that we were talking and looking at the same guy. Apparently Brother Steadman teaches choir at Crescent View Jr. High in Sandy and Elder White had his class in 7th grade. I thought that was a pretty cool connection that you might enjoy as well haha.
Sorry there's not much else to report on as far as missionary work. We're still working with a couple people. Mostly we're trying to find and increase the people within our teaching pool still. It's kind of a process we're going through. Just another phase of the work haha. It is kind of weird that I'll be entering my second decade of life this Sunday too. I still remember at my 10th birthday when Tom said, "oh look at you entering double digits now" haha. That doesn't seem like it was that long ago. It will just be nice to be out of the teenager category haha.
It was good to hear from all of you about the sealing and adventures of the family out in DC. I love and miss all of you! I hope that all is well and can't wait to hear from you again!
Love, Elder Craft