Monday, June 25, 2012


Hey Everyone!!

Well, this is it.. my last email home from the mission field.. I really can't believe it. The first paragraph of my journal entry on Sunday (yesterday) pretty much summarizes how I'm feeling: "My last Sunday as a missionary in Jamaica was today.. I'm so excited to see my family on Thursday, but a big part of me feels like I'm leaving my family.. I've come to love the people here so much, an its gonna be hard leaving."  

I have LOVED my mission.. It has meant the world to me.. I'm so grateful for the change that I've gone through and helped others to go through.. I have a very personal testimony of the changing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It is real, and truly does transform you.  Words can't express the gratitude I have for these two years, it truly has been incredible.. It's by far been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but I've never done anything that has been more worth it.. These have been the best 2 years for my life, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.  

One of the things that I'm really excited for when I get home is first off to hug my mom!! :)  BUt I'm also super excited to be a member missionary.. It really is so important, and I'm excited to continue to share the gospel as a normal member of the church.. It's going to be incredible.. 

Well, I'm at a loss for words.. but I will continue to finish these last few days strong and when Thursday come, I'll be happy to say as Paul, "the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"

For the Last time, 

One Love!

Elder Dustan Kraus

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hey Everyone!!

This week was pretty awesome.. Did some service (painting), worked on transfers with President, did a trade off with the Spanish Town zone leaders, and did some awesome teaching.. :)  Saturday and Sunday were especially awesome.. For Sunday, we held a fireside with all the members announcing an open forum that we're putting on this coming week Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.. It should be pretty awesome and we're excited for it.. We gave all the members fliers to spread throughout Kingston and to give their friends.. It should be really good and clear up a lot of confusion about who the "Mormons" are.. :)  

Saturday was a pretty cool day as well, and I think for the rest of this email, I'll just share my Saturday journal entry: 

"During studies this morning, I read "Mountains to Climb" by Henry B. Eyring.  It's an awesome talk, but a line in there really stood out to me: "It is serving God and other persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.."  I definitely have a testimony of that.. As I've served with all my heart for these 2 years, I feel like I truly have developed the "unbreakable spiritual strength" he's speaking about.. I also know that to keep that strength, I need to continue to serve after my mission as well.. :) Right now, I'm super excited to continue to be a member missionary when I get home and serve others.. 

Kai and Louis Bernard fed us dinner this evening and we arrived ten min. early.. So rather than waste the ten minutes, we went to the beach nearby to talk to some people and we ended up meeting Bob Marley's cousin, Alex Marley.. :)  Pretty cool.. :) 

We had a cool experience tonight as well... Our lesson with Jackie finished at 8:30 and we were back by our house at 8:40.. Well according to the white handbook we use, our proselyting day doesn't end til 9.. Our neighborhood was dark and it didn't look like anybody was awake, and it would have been really easy to rationalize going in a bit early.. But I made the decision at the start of my mission to be 100% obedient and serve with all my heart as did Elder Randle.. So we parked the truck and walked down the street to call at a gate and just as we got to the gate, the lady and her sister who lived there pulled up in a van to come home for the night.. We talked to them and they said they were interested to learn more.. Perfect timing! :)  I know the Lord blesses us for being obedient.. Especially to the "small and simple" things.. :)  "

Well... I'm excited to go into the last full week of my mission.. and I'm definitely going out working hard!! :)  Love everyone and talk to ya for the final time next week!

Have an incredible week!!

One Love 

Elder Kraus

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hey Eveyone!!

Short one this week, because I don't have much time.. BUt things are going great!! We're working really hard and have found some incedible new people that we started working with this week.. :)   I'm lovin the work, and can't believe that i only have 2 weeks left!! Dang!!  I'm super excited to see my family again.. but also am really gonna miss everyone here that I've come to love so much.. but as for now.. I'm just gonna be working my tail off for these last 2 weeks.. :)  

P-day today was pretty cool.. We went to ochi and played football on the beach.. and made some jerk chicken.. :)  so good!!  IT was an awesome day!  But.. like i said.. time is short.. everyone have an awesome week!!

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hey Everyone!!

This week was awesome!! I had two really cool experiences... But I'll get to those last.. First off.. I had some Jack Fruit again this week.. :)  It's definitely one of my favorite fruits.. I'm really gonna miss it when I'm gone.. .. Thats what the pictures are of.. (You eat the yellow fruit after you pick it off the alien pod and remove the seed haha.. SO GOOD!!)  

As for missionarywork... Things are going much better.. We had a really good weekly planning and goal setting session on Friday and realized that we were just spreading ourselves too thin.. We have so many things to do with leadership responsibilities and less actives to work with, tons of people to call.. the list could go on and on.. But long story short, there is so much to do, that it just isn't possible with the time we have to be able to complete it all.. So we prioritized the things we are doing, and set some good goals that could really allow us to focus our time on those who are prepared to make important steps in their lives.. It helped us get a really good direction, and this week should be incredible!!  :)  I definitely have a really strong testimony of the power of planning and goal setting... It's so important!!

Now for the cool experiences.. We've been working with a really nice lady named Jackie since January, and she's been at church every single Sunday since then but up til now hadn't accepted to fully work towards a baptism date.. Well, Friday, we had a really good lesson planned for her in which we were planning to extend her June 23rd as a baptism date.. As I was thinking about Jackie throughout the day.. and really pondering what could help her move foreward and take the next step.... a question to ask her popped into my mind.. I don't really recall what the question was.. but as we got the lesson, I asked the question, and she opened up to us and let us know the concerns she had, and things she needed to overcome before she could be baptized.. It was a really cool experience, and as we expressed our faith and confidence that with Christ's help she would be able to overcome those things.. she accepted the baptism date and committed to do everything she could do overcome her concerns by that day... It was a really neat experience.. We may not know all the thoughts and things that people are thinking and struggling with as we share the gospel with them.. but the Lord does.. and as we listen to the promptings that come from the Holy Ghost and act on them.. It opens hearts.. :)  I love it!!

Second cool experience was with a man named Peter..The story really starts a while back though... A companionship serving in Junction made a really cool song (guitar and vocals) that they recorded in a studio on P-day and sent the CD our way so we could put it on the office computer... Well..  A few Tuesday's ago, we were at Chilitos eating lunch, and had a sudden "urge" to go to the truck and get a copy of the CD to give to the resturaunt to play while we were there.. (they always play music here..).. So, me and Elder Luke went to the truck to get the CD, and as we reached, a young man was passing by who asked us where the church was at.. We told him and Elder Luke took down his number so him and Elder Conder could give him a call and start teaching him.... Well this Sunday, the same young man, Peter, at church bore a powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration of the gospel and is working towards a baptism date for June 23rd.. He said that he is in Kingston for a while and usually takes the bus to his sport practice.. but on that Tuesday.. he had a strong feeling that he needed to walk instead.. So he decided to walk and miraculously we got the feeling to go get the CD at the same time that he was walking by where we were.. :)  And even cooler.. His father is a recent convert in Montego Bay, and it was Elder Conder who baptized his Father!!  and now is teaching him.. :)  So COOL!!!  Why did the junction elders really record that song?? why did we really go to the truck? :)  I love the promptings of the Holy Ghost.. Its so cool to see how Heavenly Father prepares the way for everything... :)  

I love this gospel, and I love doing missionary work... and I love following spiritual promptings and seeing the results.. :)  Well.. time is shot... but everyone have an awesome week!!  and share the gospel with your friends!! Its such a precious gift, and we have a duty to share it... We can't be selfish!! 

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey Everyone!!

Sorry, Its been a while since we've had a full emailing session..and we don't really have one today either.. Super busy.. and enjoying Jamaica.. :)  Today, we went up to Holywell in the Blue Mountains to go hiking again.. and it was incredible!!  I love it up there so much.. 4000 ft. above sea level, fairly cool, little one track trails through the jungle.. I love it!! :)  Today after hiking around and taking pics, we ran for a while.. It felt incredible!! Brought back memories of cross country practice up in the mountains when I was living in Idaho... Except thing here are more green.. I'm really excited to go running with my family when I get home.. (I'm comin for ya Bryant.. .. haha.. We'll have to race a mile when I get home.. I did a 5:45 on the treadmill... but it nearly killed me.... Dang am i out of shape!!)..  

Other eventful things:  we finished another transfer successfully, with all the airport runs and picking up new missionaries and everything.. so that went great.. oh and one of the missionaries who got transferred to this branch, Elder Condor, had his birthday.. so to follow Jamaican tradition, we "floured him".. but.. funny thing bout that, is as we were chasin him down (he saw us coming.. I guess we weren't as sneaky as we thought)... Elder Randle stepped on a water pipe, and created a geyser... which was good and bad.. Good, because it successfully turned all the flour we dumped on him to dough.. but bad, because we had to fix it.. getting soaked in the process.. It was a pretty funny sight for all the Jamaicans who came to watch.. 4 guys dressed up in business clothes, soaking wet, one covered in flour, at 9 pm, fixing a broken pipe.. After a pretty good battle we got it Jimmy rigged to last the night... haha.. :) It was a good time.. 

As for missionary work.. Things are going great!!  We've been working with some new people, and Jackie is still coming along slowly but surely... She's been coming to church since December every week!! :)  She'll be baptized soon I'm sure.. We've been trying to help members invite their friends to hear more, and have been finding some cool people that way... and have been knocking apartment complexes too.... Pretty much just trying our hardest to build up a big teaching pool again.. So far its going really well.. :)  

One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately, especially as I get closer and closer to the end of my mission, is really what it means to serve with "no regrets"... Because as I've thought back on my mission from the start.. I have a longing to go back to each area and do things a little better.. because I have become a better missionary now.. As we improve each day, it makes it kinda hard to look back at yesterday without a sense of longing to have been doing things the better way all along.. but I think thats part of this mortal experience.. and the reason we are counselled to live in the present.. If we look too much into the future, it can fill us with anxiety... if dwell on the past too long, it can fill us with regret...  I've come to find that serving or living with no regrets just means to give it my all in the present.. do things with passion and enthusiasm.. with 100% obedience and diligence.. and focus on improving... As I've done that for these 23 months, and will continue to give it my all in this last month, I know I'll be able to look back at my mission without any real regrets.. I love this gospel, and I love how happy it makes me!!  I love being a missionary, and I'm determined to finish strong.. 

Life is good.. :)

Everyone have an incredible week.. and if you are gonna write any letters or anything... a good time to do it would be this week.. otherwise, I won't ever receive it.. haha but if not.. see ya in 4 weeks! woot woot!! 

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Love the Book of Mormon


Hey everyone!! Things here are going great!! It feels incredible to be all done with Zone conferences and doing normal missionarywork again.. :)  We're working with a few really cool people still.. and one of them, Jackie, has a baptism date for May 26 that she's working towards.. She a really sweet 47 year old lady.. We met her on the street looking for a less active member sometime at the end of December, and invited her to church.. and she came the 1st Sunday of the year, and hasn't really missed church since.. she's been like 19 Sundays in a row now :)  She had been visiting lots of different churches but feels something different as she's been visiting here, and we've been teaching her for about 4 and a half months now.. She's doing awesome.. :)  Other than her, we've got a few people who are feeling the church is true, but need to act on it and start living the commandments.. so we've been working with 
them, plus finding a lot of new people to teach.. :)  

One of my favorite ways to find new people to teach is to serve them.. We were going through some papers we found that had a list of people the missionaries used to teach in like 2006.. and found one guy, Brother Jones, that lived up in Red Hills.. that we both felt we should give a call.. So we called him and ended up going to see him.. Well he has 7 kids, and is a farmer.. So the first thing we did to develop some trust with him is set up a time to come do some farm work with him.. :)  it was fun!!  On Friday this week, we went up and cleared a bunch of land with machetes.. It was hard work, but felt great, and he deeply appreciated it, and is really eager for us to come back and teach him and his family.. :)  I definitely have a testimony of the power of serving people with love.. It softens hearts when nothing else will.. and speaks a lot louder than words.. :) So ya.. we've been doing little things like this to find new people to teach.. plus working with members.. Anita's been doing incredible at member missionarywork.. She brought a friend to church who we are starting to teach... .. I love when members fulfill their missionary responsibilities..That is one of the biggest things that helps the work go foreward... We have the most important message in the world.. Its the reason we're even here in this world and its how we prepare for a better life after this.... SHare it with your friends!! :)  They need to hear it!!

Oh and cool thing.. We did a trade off with Port Antonio this week..:)  It was incredible to be back!!  I saw Sanakay and Sister Davis!!  It was really cool to see both of them again... One of the things I longed for as we were there was to come back and serve there again.. because its hard to live with no regrets when you are constantly improving.. If we are always improving, looking at the past can tend to leave a bit of regret.... thoughts of better ways you wish you would have done things.. etc etc.. but I think that's part of this mortal experience... Do your best in the present, and continue to improve so you can do better in the future.. and don't look back with regret.. but rather, when you do look back.. look at the progress you've made.. 

Well.. Time is short.. I love this gospel, and I love being a missionary to share it!!  I've been reading in Alma about the sons of Mosiah lately, in the Book of Mormon, and as I've been serving as a missionary, those stories seem to apply so much more!! i love the Book of Mormon!! We should always read it daily.. :)  

Everyone have an incredible week!!

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I love this church!

Hey Everyone!

Well... I'm pretty much out of time.. so.. super short this week.. but like is good!! Right now, we working on getting some new people to teach in addition to helping the ones that we are already teaching continue to move foreward, and we decided to call a bunch of former investigators from like 2008.. I found an old area book in the office, with a bunch of people that missionaries used to teach, and we called them all up.. Many of them were really excited to hear from us again and set up appointments.. :) I'm excited to meet all of them... 

It should be a good week, and i'm excited to continue to do the Lord's work.. I love this church and the gospel of Jesus Christ.. I know its true, and I'm pumped to continue to share it.. Its all about joy!! :)  

Everyone have an incredible week!!

One Love!

Elder Kraus