Dear Craft Family,
This week was good in the hood! We had an exciting triple baptism in the ward here for the north Elders and the Spanish Sisters had a baptism yesterday so there were 4 in the zone for the weekend. We were pretty excited an appreciative for all that the Lord seems to continue to bless us with. Thank you for all the prayers and support that you give on my behalf. The Minneapolis Zone looks like it will reach the goal we had of 10 baptisms for July. We have a total of 9 already with a solid one scheduled for the end of this week. It's amazing to see how many miracles come through following through on all we're asked to do as missionaries.
This week was great more specifically for us here in the South too. We have the one guy I talked about last week that is still preparing and excited to be baptized on the 11th of August and another lady we've been teaching for a little while just committed this week to be baptized the week after on the 18th too. We found a couple new investigators and have been keeping up the finding efforts so we can keep a continued balance and increase with teaching on through August and even September. Our mission has been trying to focus recently on the standards of excellence President Clements has set and more specifically the numbers of "2-3-7". Finding 2 Futures investigators each day, getting 3 investigators to come worship and attend sacrament meeting, and have 7 lessons taught to investigators with members present. As we've been focusing on that we have seen so much success and things to be on a continual increase here instead of just teaching one or two people up until baptism and then crashing and staring all over from the beginning with trying to find all new people because we baptized everyone we were teaching. It's a better cycle to keep of always finding new people along with having people close to baptism so that people are always progressing and baptisms start to be more on a consistent basis. Teaching those lessons with members have been so helpful in people becoming truly converted. It's an amazing process to see that occurs within individuals and is often times something they don't really notice too much within themselves until it's done. That's the cool thing we are seeing with the guy who's getting baptized on the 11th. Missionary work is just awesome! I love it!
We had a meeting with the Minneapolis Stake Presidency and President Clements yesterday to review the progress and success in the Stake with regards to missionary work, and President pointed out a couple interesting points to Elder Neeley and me afterwards. He said he was just looking at the fact that "we have a missionary from Providence, Utah and one from Hooper, Utah both serving in South Minneapolis. This is something unlike anything you ever have or will see" haha. And he's right. We laugh about that all the time. I tell almost everyone we contact about being from a small farming city in Utah of about 4,000 people with one four way stop and they can't believe that I'm standing there in the projects or off streets like East Lake St. and Chicago Ave. talking to them. It's so awesome haha. The even funnier part is when I tell them about my years of hauling hay or moving pipe and harvesting watermelon, pumpkins, corn, or whatever else for Evan. Then my description of what I did before my mission working at Dallas Green Farm and Home Supply store seems so foreign to them haha. It's such a great experience to have a chance to be in Minneapolis where I am and gaining the experiences I am. I love it! At the baptisms on Saturday we were noticing and talked with some other people about our ward having the most tattoos per capita out of anywhere. haha If I get any pictures you'll see what I'm talking about. One cool thing we've been experiencing recently is that people on the streets are always out and around so you run into the same people every now and again. So we've gotten to know some of the road side beggars and other people that just roam around and can stop and talk to them or call out their names and wave as we go by and they know who we are. Usually they just yell back, "my Jesus brothers", our last names, "or the Mormons!" and wave haha.
Like I said before though things are going great! I really am loving it here and loving the area I'm in and people I'm serving. Missions are the best and it's through all your love, prayers, and support that I get to be out here and have the time of my life that I am! I love and appreciate all you do. Keep up all the great work and I hope to talk to you again soon!
Love, Elder Alex Craft