Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Home Life Has Prepared Me For Mission Life

Elder Ross "studying" during our P-Day at the churc
 **All the pictures in this email are from my time at the MTC, except for the first one. Mom just got them developed for me.**

So much stuff happened that I don't even know what to title this email, I guess I'll find out at the end of the email.

Monday: Nothing. It was a very nice and relaxing day and we taught an investigator and finally were able to contact another one we have been trying.

Tuesday: We got to see Sister Wiebe and helped her vacuum and sweep the floors. She told us about a bombing in Belgium and I was quite worried about everyone over there. We tried seeing that Imajean lady and she dropped us like flies. So we visited Humpy and helped him hook up some things to his 5 lawn mowers. We saw the Lyons and had to leave because Mary had to look at a house, so we had dinner at the Abney's and then went back to their house to teach them. We warned Mary about teaching the Word of Wisdom before we left.

Wednesday: We went shopping with Sister Wiebe and read some scriptures with her. Then we went to district meeting and had interviews with President Andersen. He taught me a lot during the interview and Sister Andersen was able to teach us a lot during her training too! We went to branch council and had Book of Mormon class after that. Nothing else.

Thursday: We started out the day by helping Brother Stockton move some things around, clean his garage, and drain his hot tub. He bought us McDonalds for all the hard work we did. Then we went to the church and while I was in the bathroom, Elder Ross screams and says "Elder! There's a spider in here come and kill it!" Elder Ross has a big fear of spiders so I thought, "oh it's just a tiny one I'm sure." Nope. It was a big Brown Recluse Spider. It was huge and I was even freaking out a little bit. It was about the size of a half dollar. Luckily, my training back home of the ancient art of killing spiders came in
handy. We tried taking pictures but it looks small in pictures. Anyway it took us an hour to kill it because I got distracted reading a book and also I wanted to find something better than a broom to kill it with. So that was fun. More fun things happened when we saw the Lyons. They live in an upstairs apartment and Mary came out in the shortest and most revealing dress I've ever seen. So it was awkward because I
had to look down while I was climbing the stairs. She changed, thankfully, halfway through the lesson. She said she was going to wear that dress to church and we were praying and praying so hard that
everything will work out that it didn't happen, more on that later. We saw Humpy and he actually read the Book of Mormon this time. He doesn't really understand it very well so we read it and explained it
with him. Also apparently he thought the Book of Mormon was just a couple of stories chosen from he Bible. So we ended up teaching him about the Book of Mormon again.

Friday: Happy Birthday Sarah! I hope that you got my letter. But anyway, what we did was we went to see Fran and on the way there, we saw a guy on his bike in front of us who decided to not pull his pants
up all the way. So we got mooned. We also had weekly planning and Elder Ross was freaking out because there was that spider in the church and now he was paranoid, so we ended up doing the planning in the foyer. We saw Humpy leaving his house so we followed him around town and then we went to his house and invited him to the priesthood breakfast that we were having the next morning. He laughed that we were following him around.

ELDER CRAIG at the Provo Temple
Saturday: We had the priesthood breakfast and Humpy came! Oh my gosh it was awesome! We had pancakes and eggs and bacon and sausage and everyone was really friendly to Humpy. It was awesome! We helped Fran do her laundry at the laundromat and we thought we were just going to
put them in the washer for her, but no, she wanted us to stay for about 2-3 hours to do that and also to find some medicine for her. It was good though. We went to Sister Wiebe's afterwards and mowed her
lawn and yes if you all are wondering, I mowed the lawn. It was awful, kinda. When I was practicing the ancient art of mowing lawns back home, it was awful, but it was quite relaxing at Sister Wiebe's, even
though she had a huge yard. We checked on Humpy to see if he was doing well then went back to Sister Wiebe's to watch the women's session of General Conference with her while Elder Ross wrote his talk for tomorrow. It was a good session.

Sunday: Happy Easter everyone! Elder Ross gave a talk on Jesus Christ. I know it's a very vague topic but that's what they asked him to give it on. It was good. I gave every kid Easter eggs in the church. I
ended up giving the rest of the box to the Coots. It was just full of Easter eggs. Then we went to the Owens house for dinner. Brother Owens and I had an awkward conversation. He told me that his son died and that he lost his testimony because of it and I just tried to console him and he just responded with "we are done with his conversation." Man it was awkward. He doesn't hate me though because we continued talking. Afterwards we had a lesson with the Carrs and went home.

So that was my week. I hope you enjoyed it. It was pretty fun. Remember that God never gives up on you. He loves you everyday and he will make sure that you will become the very best that you can be. I
love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Craig

(If you click on the pictures you can see the larger view).
My MTC District

and Elder Cox
ELDER CRAIG and Sister Teachers
My Closet
Provo Temple
Sunset in Provo
New Year's Eve Party MTC Style!
ELDER CRAIG and Elder McFarland

MTC District
Elder McFarland and ELDER CRAIG in
Our Room at MTC
MTC District
Field Between MTC and Provo Temple
Elder Watters
My Bed


Path to Provo Temple from MTC

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hello again! It's always very nice to share my week with you all. I
hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it.

Monday: Nothing much happened besides we got to spend all of p day
with Sister Wiebe. We helped her clean and whatnot. We also got two
new investigators names Matthew and Imajean (yes I'm shocked that's a
name too) by sharing the new Easter video with them.

Tuesday: So apparently there was like a shooting and the police
blocked off the area near McDonalds. So it was just a joy to go around
because it took us an extra 10 minutes to go a quarter mile. The
reason I mention the shooting is because everyone we came into contact
to was talking about it and it was just so bizarre. Everyone is okay
except for the shooter. Anyway we got to see Imajean and we shared her
the restoration and apparently she believes in everything, except "the
Mormon parts." She said she wanted to come to church this Sunday and
we were super excited!

(This is exactly one mile from Colton's apartment!)

Wednesday: We had so many lessons that day, but the highlights were a
referral, Matthew, and Brother Stockton. We contacted a referral from
the Sisters in Clarksville. We went to his house and we talked to him
a little bit about our church. He was pretty open minded to it so we
set and appointment. We saw Matthew and shared the restoration with
him. We had him read a couple verses out of the Book of Mormon and he
said "from what I am reading this seems to be true." That was very
exciting for us. We also saw Brother Stockton, who hasn't been to
church in at least a year. He just got out of the hospital and we
helped him with some service. He said he wanted to come to church.
Very good day.

Thursday: BUT THURSDAY WAS AN EVEN BETTER DAY! For St. Patrick's Day,
we saw Humpy and told him we would help him with service the next day.
Afterwards, we picked up Brother Bailey to go see the Lyons and they
had a friend over to listen to our message as well. Mary started
reading the Book of Mormon on her own and she felt that it was true.
We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and asked them if they would
like to be baptized. Not just Mary, but all three of them including
the neighbor said they would like to!!! We are very excited for them!
We went to Sister Wiebe's for dinner that night and had corn beef and
potatoes and it was very delicious.

Friday: We tried tracting into people and just as we were about to
leave and try a less active, this guy, who is Pentecostal, stops us
and talks about our religion and whatnot. He loves us but thinks we
are wrong. He kept trying to tell us no one can see God face to face
and I wanted to explain transfiguration to him, but I knew he wouldn't
believe me because I don't think it talks about it in the bible, so
all I did was bear my testimony. He asked if our church does the "holy
kiss." And we were both really confused. And he explained to us that
it's where the preacher greets anybody that comes into the chapel with
a kiss on the mouth. We both just thought, "why in the heck would we
want President Coots or even my bishop back home to kiss us on the
mouth?!" I looked it up and sure enough it talks about the holy kiss
in the bible, but it means salutation........people take everything
way too literally nowadays. We got a youth named Jake to come out with
us and help put together a car port for Humpy. We had a lot of fun
putting it up and it took us about maybe an hour. We committed him to
read the Book of Mormon before we left. Then the Covingtons fed us
dinner. We shared the Easter video with them and then went to Miss
Lynda's. We shared a lesson out of gospel principles and she said she
wants to come to church this Sunday, but we had to call her on

Saturday: We got up early to go to a mission conference. Elder David
A. Bednar came and spoke to our mission! There was so many things that
we talked about its hard to list all of it, but I did learn a lot
about faith and agency and how to teach better with the spirit. Elder
Bednar is just a spiritual giant. When he walked into the room I could
just feel the spirit immediately. I've never in my life felt the
spirit that strong before. Elder Bednar is a really funny guy and told
lots of great stories to us. One of the biggest things that I remember
is that he told us to not take notes because you don't get as much out
of it with the spirit. Another thing he told us was to never play the
"guess what's in my head games" with our investigators because a lot
of people don't know the answer and it just leaves them feeling
foolish. I also figured out what "line upon line, precept upon
precept" meant. It always confused me when people would say that but
Elder Bednar explained it very well talking about how God gives us
small answers at a time. It helps us to slowly grow. The only other
thing that happened was we called Miss Lynda about church and she
didn't want to go because it's too different. She told us that she
didn't have a testimony and basically I'm not sure what we can do, but
I know the spirit will guide us.

Sunday: The only person that showed up to church, out of the 7ish
people that said they would, was Brother Stockton. He felt obligated
to come because he promised us. We got a new member named Brother
Cook. We got a bunch of people to our church though. Sixty one people!
We are aiming for 80 so that it can be a ward and also get an add on
to the church. The Lyons didn't come because Marilyn was sick and they
needed to take care of her. I taught the youth in Sunday School about
how to compare the Atonement so that it's easier to teach and more
relatable to people. We got to see a less active and he fed us dinner
and he wouldn't stop talking about his dishwasher and how it's great
because it sterilizes your dishes and doesn't just wash them. Then we
went to the Pentecostal church again because Elder Ross wanted to hear
this one preacher he heard was coming back to speak. And when we got
there, a bunch of people were gathered around a pew yelling at the
floor. We were so confused with what was going on. An older lady came
up to us and explained that "she is using the gift of tongues to ask
for the Holy Ghost." And after she said that, the lady was off the
floor and she just kept saying, and I kid you not, "la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la la" with every breath she took. And I
just thought, "oh that's the gift of tongues? Are you saying one word
or multiple words?" Like she could've been yelling "pancakes" over and
over again. My favorite part was when she was done, the preacher asked
if she got the Holy Ghost. She said she didn't know. I wouldn't know
after an hour and a half of doing that. That was also the entire
service. We were so disappointed. The Pentecostals do always surprise
me though.

Anyway that was the week. One of the most important things I've
learned this week, is how the love of Christ is with us always, but
not everyone feels it. Sometimes we feel lonely or just even not felt
loved, but I know if you pray for it, you will feel Christ's love.
Moroni 7:48. Remember that you are always loved even if you don't feel
it. Remember that I love you all too! I'll talk to you all next week!
Love you!

Elder Craig

Elder Ross and ELDER CRAIG at Russellville, KY Church Building
At the Tractor Dealership Across the Street From Church
Tractor Pics for My Nephews
Courthouse in Russellville, KY
We often go here to use the internet and sync our area books.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jesus and the Unidentifiable Liquid

Another interesting week by Elder Craig. The title of this email seems
strange doesn't it? Well hold on to your butts because it's gonna be a
very weird trip!

Monday: Nothing special. We just kind of helped Sister Wiebe shop
while we were shopping.

Tuesday: We went to Sister Wiebe's and troubleshoot her computer
again. We also helped her buy a new TV for whatever reason. It feels
nice being relied on for technology stuff. It makes me feel like I
know something. Anyway, we brought a member with us to see Humpy. His
name is Brother Bailey and he is a 24 hour locksmith. Humpy really
liked him and wanted us to bring him again. Humpy was acting weird
though because he had something on his mind. His wife is getting
sicker and sicker and he wanted us to pray for her. And obviously we

were going to already! Haha.

Colton and Lucy - Sister Weibe's Dog

Wednesday: We saw a couple of people, and taught one of them about prophets. He didn't really believe in that. He told us that his
baptist church doesn't associate with other baptist churches because they have a direct line from Jesus Christ or something and we told him we would love to see that. After that, we had dinner at the Coots'
house. Oh m goodness I love that family so much. We talked about
nourishing the seed will continue to grow and compared the seed into our faith. Sister Coots talked about how she is  worried about her
stepson, Caleb, straying away from the church, but I reassured her that if he was anything like me and thought the church was really important, even if he did stray away he would come back. Sister Coots said "you know we told Caleb to befriend you just because you've gone
through so many similar things with him and that you might have some insight." I felt really flattered, but I thought that's all they were doing, was just flattering me. After their house, we went and taught
seminary and we were really late! We taught the lesson in 20 minutes. It's kind of hard teaching six chapters in 20 minutes.

Thursday: "I've been waiting for this!" Sorry I just had to quote
something that I thought would be perfect for this day. So Thursday
was very interesting. We got a member to come with us to a lesson, but
she wasn't there so we tried a less active who had been in the
hospital for two months. We got to see him and just kind of check up
on him to see if he was okay. Then we ended up tracting for awhile and
a couple of interesting things happened. So one door we knocked, a cop
opened the door and my first thought was "oh a cop he is gonna be
super friendly!" Nope. He opens the door and says "OH get the (insert
word I cannot say) outta here" and slams the door in my face. I was so
excited! My first door slammed in my face! They really do have a
southern hospitality over here that makes almost everyone here pretty
friendly. Anyway another door we knocked on, a 25ish year old lady
comes out in nothing but a towel and we were just.....oh my gosh,
anyway we ended up leaving a pamphlet with her because she seemed
pretty interested. Who comes out in nothing but a towel?! People are
weird. Anyway, this is probably the highlight of my week right here.
We see a inactive member a lot who has Word of Wisdom problems a lot.
We finally get to see him after about a week of us trying to see him.
There was no electricity in his house and by this time it was
nighttime. So it was really dark and we were teaching by candlelight.
So we taught him a lesson and after it he said some interesting
things. He asks "would you believe me if I told you, I am Jesus." And
thank goodness he didn't wait for a response but he tells us more.
"There will be many Jesuses." "You know I hear voices in my head and
they tell me things." So basically you have schizophrenia? Oh my
goodness....this member, before we saw him that day, loved to compare
himself to Jesus a lot. Like "Jesus fed 5000 with five loaves and two
fishes. And I fed the homeless for five years with food out of my
shopping cart." Needless to say, he was a little drunk when we saw him
on Thursday.

Friday: After our weekly planning, we helped "Jesus" move apartments.
So a lot of you know that I used to stage model homes and one of the
many things that I can tell is when something fits through something
because a lot of the time furniture would not fit through a door at my
job. Well Elder Ross thinks that we could fits a chair and a tv in our
car. Our tiny little Chevy Cruze. Well after telling him several times
it wouldn't fit in there, he said lets just try. Obviously it didn't.
But when we tried to put the tv in the trunk (smh), there was a
microwave there, so obviously I pick it up out of the trunk and try to
set it somewhere where we could attempt to put the tv. Well, as I
picked it up, an unidentifiable liquid came pouring out of the
microwave and spilled all over my slacks. It was a rusty water color.
We couldn't figure out what it was, but all I knew was that I was so
mad at "Jesus" for not cleaning his microwave and angry at Elder Ross
for not listening to me when I said that it wouldn't fit. Anyway, the
only other thing really worth talking about was a guy came up to us
and asked for money to go to the hospital because his mom had a stroke
or something, we gave him some money but then he kept asking for more.
W kept saying that we had but he kept on begging and I just can't
understand how he couldn't hear us saying that.

Saturday: We brought Sister Wiebe's new tv to her house and set it up.
We also helped her move her entire set of Kentucky Derby glasses over
on a different shelf. She gave me one but I ended up putting it with
the rest of hers because for reasons I don't know. We went to Saturday
stake conference because they wanted the full time missionaries to
sing. We sang all three verses of Called to Serve. Yup three. My
mission made up a third verse just for our mission. There were a lot
of good talks given.

Sunday: So the Coots gave us a ride to stake conference this time. We
sat down and right as it begins, Caleb sits next to me and says "my
Dad told me if I had any questions to ask you." And I was just
thinking, "oh....they weren't just flattering me...." Anyway, Caleb
asked me some questions about certain things and then asked me
questions about divorce. And I thought these questions would be okay
to answer because they were spiritual and I felt like he was a little
upset about his parents divorce. And then he just started talking
about random things and I couldn't get him to stop talking haha. He is
a great kid though. So I didn't get to listen to one talk at stake
conference. I hope I helped Caleb though. The only other thing worth
mentioning is we went to a Post Oak baptist church and as we were
leaving a man, probably the preacher, stopped us and thanked us for
coming and that we should have lunch sometime and left. We thought,
"yeah like don't arrange for that to happen or anything." It's like
when you see an old friend from high school and you kind of talk and
catch up and then they say "we should hang out sometime" and then you
never do. We might go back to just to get a new investigator though

Anyway that's my week. I hope you all enjoyed it. Actually, I know you
enjoyed it because meeting Jesus is a once in a lifetime thing right?
Haha, well on that note, just remember, beware of false prophets
Matthew 7:15. And remember that the Holy Ghost will testify to you if
it's right or not John 14:26 and 1 Corinthians 2:9-11. I hope y'all
have a good week and....oh my gosh I typed in
y'all......oooooooooohhhhhhh nooooooooooooo!!!!!! Haha actually it's
not a huge deal. Anyway, have a great week! And I hope to hear from
y'all soon! (Might as well start using y'all since everyone here says

Elder Craig