Monday, March 26, 2012

Just a Quick "Hello"

Dear Craft Family,

     Sorry that there's not a lot of time or things to talk about this week.  We've been staying super busy and I cannot believe how the time is flying!  Elder Dalrymple and I were talking about this yesterday that transfer calls are already 2 weeks from today.  We just can't believe it!  We are having so much fun and loving all the people that we have to work with here and the things that we get to do.

     We are at an interesting point here in this area trying to build up with what we have in our teaching pool and trying to find new people to add to it.  There are a lot of good people and like I said before a wide variety of area to work in, so we know that there are people here ready to hear the gospel and come to Christ but we are trying to figure out what the best way to find them is.  Whether it's starting over and building the teaching pool new or trying to work with those that we have.  Nothing too big or exciting to report as of yet, but great things will start to come and that's what we're looking forward to seeing here. 

     In other not so exciting news the weather here has been pretty amazing.  We've had our Spring start off very warm and mild with some crazy thunderstorms last week.  This week we are scheduled to have storms and rain all week which is always fun.  Especially if I get to ride my bike through it like last year haha.  

     Sorry this is a really lame and short email.  We had a good training this week from President Clements with a couple other zones kind of like a mini zone conference, so that was fun.  We didn't have to do any training for that meeting really just the logistics of it.  Even though there's not too much happening to talk about for us here right now this weekend was an amazing one for the mission with what has to be a record high of 27 baptisms just this past Saturday and Sunday.  That means we'll end with 45 baptisms!  For only 4 weekends that's a great month of people coming unto Christ.  So even though we haven't been doing the best most recently in that regard the mission is doing fantastic and it's s great time  to be serving here in the MMM! :) 

     I love and miss all of you!  Thank you for all your support and all that you do for me!  You're the greatest and I can't wait to hear from you again!

Love, Elder Craft

Monday, March 19, 2012

Great Weather and Work

Hello family,

     This week for us here seemed to just scream by!  I can't believe that it's Monday again!  We had a really great week staying busy trying to get in contact and teach all those people that we have since we combined areas in the ward.  We were able to teach a little more this week and have a Part Member family that we're working with that have some great potential!  The husband is not a member but has been coming for a little while now with his wife and their two kids because she's a primary teacher for the 4 year old class.  There kids are pretty crazy sometimes but so stinkin cute.  They have a little 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son that keep them pretty busy for our lessons and keep us entertained. haha It's a really great experience to be working with them and some of the other really amazing people that we have.  The one cool thing that I love about this area is the crazy diversity that we cover here.  We can go from the West side of the ward with part of Eden Prairie in it, and then get over into the East side by the Mall of America with the city of Richfield and get a similar experience to that of Shingle Creek.  haha  It's nice to have that broad spectrum and knowing that I've had experiences at both ends of it with some of my different areas.  That's one of the great things about my mission that I've come to realize I took for granted at the very beginning was just the amount and variety of different people I get to meet and talk to.  It's a really cool experience that you can't really have anywhere else.

     The weather here has been completely unbelievable!  We have been in the 70 degree plus range for the past 4 days!  Everyone that we talk to here is amazed and most of the native Minnesotans have never seen anything like this.  I got to experience one of the most brutal winters in the state's history and one of the most mild.  We don't have any snow left and from what I've been hearing it doesn't seem like there's any more that we can expect for at least the next little while.  Sounds like Utah has had some pretty nice weather too.  Probably not as nice as what some people have down in Miami right now but pretty good considering. haha

     I am so excited about Memphis Rose!  That's so exciting I'll get to meet to new little nieces and listen to Brandt talk now!  A lot of big exciting changes all around, but for what I hear it all seems to be going great! 

     We had a meeting last week for all the new missionaries that just came in 2 weeks ago.  I couldn't believe that ti's already been that long!  We did some training for about an hour of it and had a great time.  I think that I had mentioned before that we now go on exchanges with all the new missionaries and their trainers within the first transfer, so that kept us pretty busy doing 2 of those last week as well.  The new missionaries we got are so awesome and are really a benefit to have in this mission.  The next group is coming on April 11th so we're looking forward to finish up exchanges with all the current ones and getting to know the new group coming in shortly.  One of the trainers in the mission now is one that came out in June with my old companion Elder Haupt.  His name is Elder Checketts and we worked together for the day of their exchange.  Come to find out he played soccer for Woods Cross and Nike Rush so we played each other in high school and for club.  He also knows Josh Miles from my La Roca team, and with the last name like Checketts just as I expected his uncle is the one who owns Real Salt Lake.  He said he's going to take me to some games when he gets home from his mission.  It was pretty sweet to make all of those connections working with him for one day haha. 

     Sorry there's not much else to report on as far as investigators and proselyting for this week.  We're working hard to increase and change that.  I haven't seen Elder Mead recently but I know he and his companion in Cottage Grove are tearing it up.  It's exciting to see all the good work that they're doing.  We had our monthly Mission President's fireside last night in the mission home and got to hear the testimonies of a Nepalese guy that's a convert from North St. Paul and Jordan and Scooter N. from the Eden Prairie Ward.  It was so great for us as the missionaries and all the investigators there to hear their amazing testimonies.  It was great to see those 2 guys again too!

     I think that's about all for this week.  I can't wait to hear how everyone's doing next week.  Hopefully it doesn't sneak up as fast on us as this last one. haha  I love and pray for you always.  Thanks for all your love and support!

Love, Elder Craft

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crazy Week

Hey Family,

     It sounds like everyone had a crazy week just like us.  Well ok maybe not too crazy but it seems like it did fly by for everyone else too!  It's so crazy to us here how fast time has already seemed too fly by!  This week was a particularly hectic one for us!  I know I seem to say almost every week that "this week was crazy", but for this week we had a lot of stuff come up on us.  Crazy stuff that we couldn't really predict happen within the mission along with still trying to coordinate our 2 areas into the ward so we can be more effective teaching everyone that we have to teach.  There's so much potential here and we are working with some really awesome people!  It's great to have Elder Dalrymple here with me.  We are working really hard and trying to find time to sleep between it all haha.  I don't know if I told you already that Elder Dalrymple started his mission here on the East side of the ward?  That's another great thing with him being here; he knows most of the people in the ward and a lot of the people that the East Elders were working with are the ones that he taught at the beginning of his mission.  I guess in a sense that's a good and bad thing.  Good because he knows him and they remember him, but bad because they haven't really gone that far in 18 months.  We are excited like I said for the success that we are looking forward to and expecting here.

     We had that visit with the missionary department and had a great night out teaching with Brother Lusvardi, who I remembered spoke at the MTC while I was there on a Sunday night.  It was kind of cool to talk to him about the talk he gave and that I got to listen to.  We had some great training on Wednesday from he and Elder Woodruff.  Those days that they were here seemed to be the craziest for our week.  Not only the things that we had to do and challenges that came up,but the weather was crazy too. The good crazy though, so you don't have to worry Mom haha.  It was sun shining and 50's the whole time and on Saturday it was up at 60-65 degrees all day!  We could hardly believe it!  No complaints from me though.  If Spring's coming early rather than late like last year I won't be too downtrodden haha.  It's so crazy that it's General Conference already in 3 weeks!  We are looking forward to that! 

     Sorry there's not much else to talk about this week.  We are having a great time and working hard while we do it!  Thanks for all you guys do for me.  All your effort in writing to and supporting me.  I really do appreciate it.  Your love and support means so much to me.  Thanks for the prayers too.  I look forward to talking to you next week.

Love, Elder Craft

Monday, March 5, 2012


Dear Crafts,

     This week was kind of a crazy one for us too.  But that's kind of typical for missionary work.  Talking to any random stranger you can, if you're lucky going into their house, and explaining to them how Christ loves them and has shown His love through a Prophet and modern revelation all with a book of scripture that they can just read to feel a difference in their life.  It all sounds pretty nuts if I put it that way, but that's why I love it.  Sometimes I find myself losing focus of what we really are here to do and how miraculous it really if that it ever works.  The Lord definitely guides this work and it's so awesome being a part of it!

    The weather sounds like good old typical Utah for us. haha  Here in Minnesota it's been pretty nuts too.  Last week like I mentioned we were planning for tranfers and getting all that finalized, but that's when we found out about the storm coming right for us.  It was suppose to hit Tuesday afternoon and continue through Wednesday evening bringing 18 inches of snow and freezing ice with it.  It would have been sweet with a ton of service opportunities as a missionary, but not so fun for everyone else.  The bad part was the timing of it all too because our transfer day at the mission home is usually Wednesday morning into the afternoon and we go to take the departing missionaries and pick up the arriving ones at the airport all in that time.  It's a crazy schedule with good weather, so this storm was going to throw a realy wrench in our plans.  President decided to err on the safe side and postpone transfers until Thursday to avoid everyone trying to travel in that storm.  It did come on Tuesday but it wasn't anything too bad.  Wednesday morning when we woke up to take the 10 departing missionaries that'd spent the night in our apartment to breakfast at the mission home before the airport we saw the nice coat of nice on eveything that had formed with a couple new inches of snow.   Needless to say I drove the big 12 passenger van full of missionaries with the cargo trailer full of their luggage to the airport as cautiously as I could.  Good news is that I, as well as the 10 departing and 16 arriving missionaries, survived the roads and storm over those two days that only brought a few inches of snow and ice that has since melted down and mostly away.  Despite moving the transfer to Thursday to avoid the problem with the storm we had another challenge come up Tuesday morning in the form of a funeral on Thursday at the chapel right next to the mission home and the family wanting to keep it private and dignified with no missionaries allowed during the 5-6 event.  So we worked like crazy to move the transfer location now along with the time up to the Minneapolis Stake Center in Crystal so we could have the transfer and meetings for the trainers and trainees there as well.  It seemed do go off without too many problems.  It was an interesting experience for me and Elder Dalrymple taking those 10 missionaries to the airport to go home.  They were all laughing and joking all on Tuesday and Wednesday morning even until we pulled up at the airport.  Almost immediately you could see everyone's expression change.  It got really quiet and all of them looked white and nervous.  It was a crazy experience to see reality hit with them of actually going home, and when Elder Dalrymple and I were talking about it after it's definitely something I'm not looking forward to. haha  Along with all the crazy coordination and logistics of transfers the Elders that used to cover the East Bloomington area, the other half of our ward, got transferred out so that we now cover the entire ward.  It was funny at church yesterday to see people's reaction when the ward went from 5 missionaries last week to 2 this week.  It's going to be a lot more work, but that also means a lot more teaching.  We need to build a model area for the mission and that's what we're hoping to do with new and more people to teach and a larger area.  When Elder Zwick of the 70 came on mission tour in October he changed up our exchanges so that we no longer do them with Zone Leaders, but now we bring all new missionaries and their trainers here to Bloomington for a day to work and train with us here.  That's another reason we have to make a model area because of all the exchanges we'll be doing.  We're going to have 8 new missionaries and their trainers coming on exchanges here within the next 6 weeks.  It's going to be awesome!  We got some really great missionaries that are going to build the mission so much.

     We also have a cool experience this week of having two members from the missionary department Brother Lusvardi and Brother Woodruff come out to do some training with President to all the District Leaders and Zone Leaders on Thursday.  We also get to have Brother Lusvardi come joint teaching with us all Tuesday night.  I'm not going to lie I'm kind of nervous but pumped at the same time.  It's going to be sweet I just hope that all our appointments we've been trying to stack for that night go through. haha

     With all of that going on this week there hasn't been much else to report on. haha  That's too bad to hear about some of the health struggles you guys are having, but I'll be praying for you.  I appreciate all your love and support that you guys give to me!  I look forward to talking to you all again soon!

Love, Elder Craft