Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Isn't There Suppossed to be Snow Here?

Hey Everyone,

     Thanks for the emails and letters this past week.  Sorry to leave you hanging for a few days.  We went to the temple as a district today.  I forgot to mention in the email on Thanksgiving that my next P-Day wouldn't be until today.  Thanksgiving was a lot of fun.   To answer some of your questions yes it was a little nerve racking having dinner with Elder Payne and President Clements.  With so many people being there it was kind of a more casual thing though.  Sitting with President and Sister Clements at our table was pretty cool though because we got to just sit and talk with them outside of an interview setting and get to know each other a little better.  There really wasn't anything too different for dinner at all or anything too amazing I guess.  
     This past week didn't have anything too crazy here in the Garden of Eden.  There still hasn't been any snow yet, but from what I hear that will be coming tomorrow.  I'm not complaining by any means.  We went until December without snow.  That has to be some sort of miracle for Minnesota.  Everybody's surprised by it.  There must be some very faith filled bike missionaries here that have been praying for the snow to hold off.  We have been able to set  up a few more appointments for the next couple days with potentials and people we've tracted into, so hopefully the work continues to pick up.  Thanks for all the prayers.  I know that's what's helping and providing the miracles for us here.

     It's crazy to think that next Monday (which should be my normal P-Day again by the way) is transfer call day!  6 weeks has gone by already.  I think in a sense now that it has been a year everyone's right that it is picking up and I'm not really sure what it is that causes it.  Even President Clements talked about that in an interview that Elder Parry and I had with him this last week.  He gave me an analogy that I've heard as I'm sure many of you have that missions are like a roller coaster, for more reasons than one haha.  It seems to just drag as it's chugging up the first part of the hill until it gets to the top.  Then it kind of pauses for a second.  After that it just flies by with nothing you've really changed or that you can do about it, and the closer you get to the bottom the faster it's going.  I've seen that in sense I guess now looking back, but I'm just looking forward to what's going to happen here in Eden Prairie the next couple weeks and to experience the great things that I know are coming.

     It sounds like Natalie had a good birthday.  Surprise surprise that there was honey sesame chicken to eat haha.  It sounds like everyone there seemed to make it a party too haha.   I hope that she was able to get the package that I sent.  Crazy to think that in 6 months now she can get here learners permit!  What it that all about?  Lucky for her the cavalier might just be available without any one to even drive it.  That's probably exactly what Mom and Dad did not want to hear haha, but we have to face the facts sometime.

      To answer a question that I figure is going to be coming from some of you here soon I have no idea what I need or want for Christmas.  I definitely do not need food like I got last year haha.  I have plenty of t-shirts along with warm winter clothes too.  I asked for music before but getting it approved is kind of a hassle if it's not within the qualifications and standards already.  I've gotten books and stuff before but I never have time to read them or space to really pack them around.  I know I had mentioned to Mom and Dad about a GPS too but as of now I can navigate my way around the area just fine and with the maps we have it's easy enough that I never really get lost, so I don't think that will be a necessity like I thought before.  Sorry to not really help out at all and I kind of made it a little more difficult, but I figured I'd try to tell you somewhat early haha.  You guys are so great I just can't think of anything I need.  You take care of me too well ;). haha  

     Sorry this is kind of short too and there's not too much exciting in it.  I hope that you are all doing well.  Thanks for your prayers and support.  I'm always praying for you guys!  I can't wait to talk to you again hopefully with news of me staying in Eden Prairie haha.

Love,  Elder Craft

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving Craft Family!

    Sorry that you had to wait until today to get my weekly update.  The Murrays' house ,our Ward Mission Leader and his family, to email and sending this from his office.  It's weird to think that this is now my second Thanksgiving away from all you guys.  Much like the weather you are all having the blessing of we are having 60 degree weather today too.   It's a little different than the about 10 degrees I had last year spending it in Colfax, Wisconsin.

    I can't remember if I mentioned it last week that our ward was having a big "Turkey Bowl" this year, but somehow Kat knew about it haha.  It is true though we had a huge gathering of our Priesthood members in the ward at Cloverfield Elementary to play.  They had 4 games of about 7-8 players per team going.  That's how many showed up.  I don't know what the guys in charge were thinking but they decided to put a few priests, a couple members of the Elders Quorum, and us on a team, and stacked a couple of the other teams with almost all High Priests.  Needless to say my team went undefeated in our quest to 2 Hand Touch Football glory haha.  We didn't have anyone to really play quarterback, so I ended up playing because the priest who originally was decided it would be a good idea to try and run it almost every time.  That doesn't exactly work in 2 Hand Touch.  I was also designated kicker after the first touch back I kicked.  Some of the members came up afterwards and asked if I'd played football in High School.  When I said soccer that explained the kicking for them.  A couple of the Boise State fans in the ward said I need to go play for the Broncos and I'd do better than the kicker they have now haha.  I think that just goes to show the caliber of players we had out here I think haha.  Regardless it was a lot of fun and the weather like I talked about earlier was perfect for it.

    We had "dinner" at 1 this afternoon for a couple hours haha.  I think that's just how Thanksgiving Dinner also goes.  We ate at the Payne's, or I guess the clubhouse of their townhome complex.  There were a lot of people there including President and Sister Clements because Elder Payne is the area authority for the Seventy here.  Our ward has a few people like him that are a pretty big deal.  What can I say?  It was a pretty fun be able to eat and really just talk with President and Sister Clements at our table.  They got to know us a little better and the food was great!  I probably gained a few good pounds today haha.

    From what I hear from everyone else it seems relatively quiet for Thanksgiving this year.  Except for the no internet dilemma in Idaho it sounds like it was pretty good too.  I'm assuming that everyone else in Idaho (minus Camie and Brock) went to Grandma's too?  I just figured with our family heading up they might be over there.  It's too bad that you and Tom have to work Kat, but I agree with what you said next Thanksgiving will be even better to have work off.  Thanks for the happy Turkey and Football wishes haha.

    As for the other 10 days since the last time that I wrote you it's been pretty good for us here in E. P..  We had what's known as Mission Tour last week on Friday.  A General Authority will come and have an all day conference with us and give some training and stuff.  We had Elder Zwick from the First Quorum of the Seventy come with his wife and speak to us.  It was just amazing the training and advice that we were given to help apply to our missionary efforts.  I wish I could put all the events and feelings from that day into writing but there's just not enough time with only an hour of P-Day left haha.  There were 4 zones that were at our meeting with him down in Lakeville, Minnesota.  As I was standing in the chapel talking to a couple of other missionaries waiting for the meeting to start in a few minutes I heard someone walk up behind me and say in a strangely familiar somewhat monotone voice, "Elder Craft".  That when I turned around to look at the name badge entitled Elder Mead!  It was so crazy and so cool to see him!  We sat and talked for the rest of the time before the meeting, and then we even got to sit at the same table during lunch.  It was great to see and hear from him about how he's doing.  We talked a little bit about Brady and going to lunch with him.  He told me the story of the desperate attempt to make it to his farewell on time and being late to work after.  He just said, "Brady's a good friend".  I told him the Brady was just working on his medical stuff for his papers now and that he would be sending those in soon.  He was really excited and I'm really looking forward to an update on that or maybe someone's wisdom teeth here soon.  I heard there's a story behind that and that it needs to come from you Brady, so if you could get on that that would be great. haha

    Other than that there isn't much else exciting that is happening here at this moment.  We are teaching a man that we're trying to work with towards baptism.  He came to church last week and loved it.  He told us he's looking forward to coming again.  He's committed to be baptized on December 17th, so we're working hard for that.  There's still alot we need to teach and that he needs to do so that we can  be ready when the 17th comes.  I can't believe that now since it's basically after Thanksgiving I can say it's almost Christmas!  Crazy stuff.  In the Spirit of Thanksgiving I just want to end by saying how thankful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who gives us trials and allows us to learn and grow on our own to become His children with the potential that he knows we can be.  I'm thankful for His amazing plan of happiness that He has blessed us with a knowledge of, and for His son Jesus Christ who came and suffered the greatest and infinite sacrifice that He did to be our Lord and Savior, the Redeemer of all mankind and the way that we can return home once again.  I'm thankful for the scriptures and the wealth of knowledge that is given to us within them.  I'm thankful for the power of prayer and the true communication and effect that it can be in our lives.  I'm thankful for a loving family that I have here to spend this life and the next with.  I'm truly thankful for all of you who help inspire and uplift me to be the person that I am today.  I'm thankful for your love, support, and prayers on my behalf that I get to feel everyday.  I'm thankful for my mission and the opportunity that I have to serve at this time and be a representative of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I better end there so we can get a few other things that we have planned done tonight and get onto tracting to find more people to teach.  I love and miss all of you.  I'm grateful for all that you do for me and look forward to hearing from you again next week.  I hope for everyone traveling that you do so safely!

Love,  Elder Craft

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where is the Snow?

Dear Family,

     Thanks to everyone for the emails and prayers.  To start off and help clear up some worries of Mom's: yes I am staying warm haha.  I'm a seasoned Minnesotan winter veteran remember? haha JK.  The weather here has actually been incredibly nice!  Saturday it was up near 60!  There isn't even any snow here, and from what I hear that's not the case in either Utah or Idaho.  What about DC?  Are you guys starting to see white yet?  Don't get too jealous of my no snow just yet because once it does come here it's not going to stop for the next 5 months!  And we won't even talk about the temperatures that come along with it haha.  So far I haven't even pulled out my coat.  I've only had to use my gloves tracting one night when it got to about 28, but even that wasn't too bad.  The rest of the time we've been out at night it's been in the upper 30's so I haven't even need my gloves or earmuffs.  Like I said before I'm going to come home and be able to shovel snow in a t-shirt in Utah! haha  Once it does get colder though I will pull out my coat and hammock,Mom,  and will be just fine.  It lasted all last year and from what the natives have told us here that was one of the worst on record.  Our apartment is really nice too so a heater won't be necessary. Thanks so much for the thought and concern!  I really do appreciate it, but we haven't even had to turn on the heat yet and when we do there's a heating system in our apartment.  Speaking of my apartment I'm hoping to attach some pictures of it so you can see what it looks like.  I realized the other day I haven't even shown you where I've been living the past 10 weeks haha.

     That's so funny about Landon.  I knew it!!!  Tavan and I talked about this since high school.  I just can't believe he's getting married to Jesse this week.  I guess that's about 6 months since he's been home so it's nothing too crazy.  You'll have to tell them and Cherice that I said hi.

     To answer your question Dad I am not the District Leader anymore here in this area.  Elder Caldwell is and he's serving over in Plymouth.  It's kind of funny because he actually trained Elder White and did half of Elder Parry's training.  There aren't as many district leaders as there were before because there's not as many districts.  They recently realigned all the districts to be alot bigger with more areas included in each district.  We're the smallest zone here in the Minneapolis Zone, so we only have 7 teams total and our district is made up of 4 of them.  We have Waconia (where or actual meeting house is), us in Eden Prairie, Minetonka, and Plymouth.  The old district that I was District Leader over got 2 more companionships added to it when they made this whole realignment so there's 10 missionaries in that one now.  We have Zone Leaders as well but they are apart of the other district in the zone and work in South Minneapolis.  I hope that gives some more fun information and answers your question haha.

     This week there's not too much crazy or exciting to report from last week.  We did have some lady last night tell us when we knocked on the door, "sorry I'm watching Harry Potter, so I don't have time" and just shut the door.  I just turned to Elder Parry and said, "I cannot believe someone just used that as a legitimate excuse" haha.  It was pretty funny that she was actually serious about it too.  We have our "Mission Tour" this Friday and one of the members of the Presidency of the Seventy I think will be here to speak to us.  I'm really excited about that, but at the same time after meeting Elder Quentin L. Cook it's kind of hard to try and top that haha.  We should be getting new phones at the meeting too so that's kind of a fun random fact for you.

     Like I said sorry that there's not much too new or exciting to report.  We have some good potentials that we'll be working with this next week and doing a lot more tracting  to find even more people.  Your email really helped to confirm my testimony of it, Dad, and what I've said before.  I know the Lord has prepared people here for the Gospel.  We just have to be worthy enough and work hard enough to find them.  So hopefully this week we will have done enough to report the fruits of that labor to you.  I love you and pray for you all always.  I'm looking forward to the Christmas Music and talking to you again.  For some reason Mannheim Steamroller is not approved for Christmas music just so you know in case you were going to send some.  I don't know why it just is so I follow the rule haha.  I hope all is well.

Love, Elder Craft

Monday, November 7, 2011


Dear Family,

     Thanks for all the emails and letters from all of you!  I apologize if sometimes I'm not able respond to everyone right away, but I try really hard to make time with the couple hours I have free on P-Day to do things.  Any letter I get from you guys though is the one I try to respond to and write to first.  It just seems like P-Day is extremely short and Fridays for Weekly Planning are extremely long.  I've been considering just changing P-Day to Friday just to see what would happen haha. ;)

     Last Monday I did get to dress up as one of those missionaries we hear so much about .  Funny thing is that my "costume" is one that I get to wear around 24/7 for 2 years haha.  People told us that Elder Parry and I should have just switched name tags to switch it up.  We were debating on whether or not to got trick or treating.  It would have been the same thing we do basically everyday just with a reward if they're not interested haha.  They gave us a curfew of 8 p.m. so we were allowed to come in early.  Brother Murray had us go over to their house though and spend the night serving scones.  That's what they do for Halloween.  They open up the garage and set up a table to serve the homemade scones,and honey butter; along with powdered sugar, apple cider, and apple juice on and put up chairs for people to just sit in and relax.  It's their tradition and people drive from all over to come to their house.  It was nice to help and just talk to people that came too so they could see us as real people haha.  It was funny to see some of their neighbors we tracted into the week before who were not interested or really too friendly at all show up and talk to us there.  People are very interesting that way.  How they'll act with a crowd and other people around as opposed to not.  I think it was good to help open up some people's minds though and will make it better now when we tract around there and see those people again haha  The rest of this week in the Garden of Eden was filled with a lot of tracting. haha Elder Parry was asking if this is all that we do.  haha I had to inform him about my days down in Kasson of becoming a tracting professional and that what we have to do here for the few hours we do each day is pretty nice.  We had a lot of miracles from all the finding efforts we put forth.  One of the greatest blessings has been the lack of snow so far, but from what I hear that will soon be coming this week.  Unlike the couple inches that you got in Utah this past week, that will hopefully melt for you this weekend, once the snow hits here get used to seeing it for the next 5 months!  I remember right after I got out here last year there was that storm of 22 inches in 24 hrs, and Elder Blume telling me while we shoveled the Greenwood's driveway to be sure to throw it far because we'd still be seeing that snow by March.  He was a little off though.  I remember seeing that snow hang around until May!! haha  Not only were we blessed with the nicer, milder weather we also were able to talk to some really great potential investigators and have some appointments set up with them for the end of the week.  We're really excited and hopeful to be able to start to teach them and build up our teaching pool here.  Thanks so much to all of you for all of your prayers on my behalf.  The Lord has really been helping us along to do what He wants us to do here and we'll be working to continue the miracles and have more things to talk about in future emails haha.

     We had Stake Conference yesterday that we went to and it was really good.  We had to travel to Crystal to the Minneapolis Stake Center for it.  President Clements was one of the speakers and along with the Stake President, President Schneiber, they both talked about missionary work and challenged the members to get more involved.  It was cool because the Stake President is very missionary minded and helped to encourage, support,a nd challenge the members here to share the Gospel more.   Kind of like how Elder Perry counseled us all to open our mouths more and share the Gospel with all those people around us and look for opportunities to do so frequently.

     Sorry there isn't much more to write about.  Thanks for sending all those pictures Kat.  It looks like your wedding /sealing pictures turned out really nice.  By the way I did get your email Natalie.  Thanks for the update on everything.  Sorry I haven't been able to respond to it yet.  I'll try to do it as fast as I can.  Just know that I wasn't ignoring or forgetting about you :).  I hope that everything is still going well for everyone else.  I miss you guys and pray for you always.  I hope to hear from you soon!

Love, Elder Craft