Monday, August 30, 2010


Hey everyone!
THis week has been good. We are still meeting with TOmmy, and he doesn't cease to amaze me. :) He has been shot 9 times, and is now an ex drug dealer in Kingston! We tend to teach quite a few people who have at some point in their lives been shot or sold drugs. But Tommy is really awesome. He gets everything that we are teaching, and is super commited to do all of it. He is serioulsy the coolest guy. His house is between, ours and the church, and on Sunday, we walked to meet him at like 9. When we got there, he asked us to go get a bike for him, since his foot is still "all mash up" (he went in for x-rays today), so we were like ok, cool. BUt then when we got back he hopped on the bar between the seat and the handlebar sidesaddle, and was like lets go. haha so i biked him to church Jamaican style. (knees out with a passenger in the middle haha) ELder Ashton said it was quite the sight. BUt it was awesome.
Also, on Sunday, the whole mission presidency came to our branch and went to church here. Elder Ashton was super nervous cuz he was teaching combined relief society and priesthood. But he did well. It was a good Sunday. OH except for I crashed hard on my bike riding to an investigator after church. haha. We were riding to see this girl and I saw a member so i turned around to say hi, and right when i wasn't looking, i hit a pothole and went right over the handlebars... it was solid crash! haha i'll bet it was pretty funny to watch. but, i'm ok, not too banged up, my right hand is purple, but i think it is just bruised bad, i'll keep an eye on it, and just some scratches on my legs, but other than that i'm good. :)
Oh, and this week, we were 5 min late to seeing a car drive through a house!! We were coming back for dinner, and one of the houses close to ours had a car sized hole all the way through it. THe story is that someone got stuck in the ditch and was half in half out of the car pushing on the gas to try and get it out, and it finally got traction and just took off, right through the house and over a cliff.. The guy lived through the night, but sadly died this morning. :( But, my time is short. Everything in Jamaica is going good.. We are working super hard and even then at times it is like watching grass grow, but the work is moving foreward slowly, but surely. til next week..
Elder Kraus

My first Jamaican hair cut, in the power stance!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The path down Job's hill

Yum, Bite size fish!

Hey everyone!
This week has been kinda all over the place. We did a lot of trade offs, so the earlier part of this week was spent a lot in taxi's, but the later part of this week was sweet except for Saturday night. I wasn't feeling too good after lunch, but we went out and taught til dinner, and then i was feeling bad enough, that i couldn't go out any more, so i was up all night by the toilet. I'll spare you the details, but it was a rough night. Sunday we didn't want to miss church because of our investigators, and i'm the organist, so we got up and went and i started to feel better. By the time church was over I was basically all better :) So we went and saw a family up in a place called Fruitful vale. Its so sweet!! Its seriously a paradise on earth haha. The family up there is so cool. I love them so much! We had a really good lesson with them, and Caeser (the dad) got a little emotional at the end. The spirit was really strong. And Caesar seriously has some of the coolest ways at looking at things. I feel like we learned as much as he did. They are really awesome people. I'll send some pictures of them all next week (i don't have my cable now). But today was P-day and we went up there to chill with them for a while. They took us up this mountain called Job's peak (Caesar said it got its name because it takes the faith of Job to get to the top haha), and it was just gorgeous! It's the coolest place ever. There are springs all over to drink out of and really just everything about it is awesome! On the way up, i used his machete to chop myself a moses staff cuz me and Elder Ashton kept slipping haha.. it was pretty sweet, but it wouldn't fit in the taxi back, so i had to abandon it. Oh, while we were up there, Caesar caught these little mini fish. and brought them back down with us. I wasn't really sure what he was going to do with them, because they were tiny!! like smaller than my finger. and when we got back to his place, he fried them up.. didn't scale them, debone them or anything... and gave us a bowl of them haha... so i apprehensively just popped a whole fish (head and all) in my mouth and crunched it up. lol.. i wasn't too happy about it.. and they all were just dying at my face as i tried to choke it down. It was an adventure.. but the kids just ate them like popcorn!! lol... but it was a really good day, we had a great time with them.
Oh, and this week we also met this awesome guy named Tommy... When we were passing by him, he asked me for money (it happens a lot since we are white and look rich cuz of our church clothes), and i responded that i was gonna ask him the same question.. haha and then proceeded to explain we don't get paid to do this and basically bore my testimony. then we got into a realy good conversation with him about the church, and basically he was like.. i've been trying to stop smoking ganja (weed, marajuana.. ya), and want to change my life and get baptized.. we found out he lives really close to us, and he suggested that we just walk by and walk to church with him on Sunday haha.. He is awesome!!! I'm really excited to start teaching him.
But ya, it has been a great week :) Everyone keep writing me!! I'll do my best to keep writing also, but i have kinda limited time on P-days, and writing letters takes a long time, so don't get your hopes up too high. But i love to get mail. So write me lots!! :) But, its that time... I"ve got to get going Likklemore yeer? (i'll catch ya later in patwa haha)
I love you all
Elder Kraus

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mind, Heart and Soul

Hey everyone!!
This week has been great!! First off, i gave my first blessing for the sick.. This member woman here was really sick, and was going to take the week off of work (which would really hurt financially in Jamaica), and had plans to go to the doctor then next morning to find out what was wrong. But we went up and visited her, and I gave her a blessing. I felt prompted to bless her that she would be healed, so i did, and then we left. The next day we were passing by her shop, and saw her inside! We stopped in and she said she had woken up that morning feeling completely better and went to the doctor anyway and he said nothing was wrong. So she was able to go to work. It was awesome!! A really neat experience. Oh and then also, this Sunday, me and Elder Ashton spoke in church (for the second time haha). We spoke on the sacrament, and i had prepared like a three page talk and went for 15 minutes and only got through half of it somehow haha. That was a new experience, so i was feeling pretty good, but then we got to priesthood meeting and we were sitting waiting for someone to get up and teach, and then the branch president came up to me and was like... "well, we have no one to teach, so Elder Kraus, can you teach on the Abrahamic covenant?" Wow.... that was an adventure for sure, i taught for an hour on something i didn't really know anything about... longest hour of my life. I think I learned more about it than they did, because i had to learn it while teaching it lol. It was interesting. Oh, and I am the branch "organist". They have a ghetto keyboard that has an organ setting that they have hooked up to some speakers, so i play for sacrament meeting every week. I am really wishing that i would have practiced my hymns more, but i'm getting better at sight reading. Its an adventure every week haha.
This monday, we travelled to Kingston for a mission conference!... Elder Anderson of the second quorum of the seventy spoke. It was way good!! He talked about a lot of things. But the thing he dwelled on the most was Mathew 22:37. He said that there was a specific reason that the words he used were mind heart and soul. There are different ways to love and serve God, and different types of knowledge. Mind knowledge, is like memorization, book learning. Heart knowledge is when we have a desire, and know in our hearts that it is true. and Soul knowledge is action, it is the actual changing and actions that come from the desire of heart knowledge. As we live the commandments, our soul knowledge will increase. He went a lot deeper into it, and sorry i wasn't able to explain it very well, but it was awesome!!
Oh and at the mission conference, i ran into a missionary named Elder Gardner. He is from Star Valley, Wyoming and said he was Lindsey Call's cousin!! I thought i recognized him, so that was way cool.. We talked for a while.
But, time is short... I've got to go... Til next week
Love Elder Kraus

Monday, August 9, 2010

Biking ~

This is like a typical place we teach.. many just like this.. trails we walk on a lot are like this too :) just so you can have an idea.. kinda where i am.. i have lots more pics but it takes forever, so i'll prolly just send one or two a week.
Wow, this week was definately more of a trying week. But there were a lot of good experiences. First off, we were biking up this huge hill and my back bike tire goes completely flat. We were like 4 miles from home, and it was just awesome, it took us an hour to walk back to the house at the end of the day haha... but I'm really stoked that my tire popped, because on the way up the hill, when my tire popped, I shouted to Elder Ashton to stop because i had a flat tire. A family in a house on the side of the road heard me shout and called us over to ask us what two white boys were doing pushing bikes in Jamaica, and we are now teaching them. :) If it hadn't been for my tire popping, we would have just rode right past on the way to our next appointment. Everything truly does happen for a reason, because the place where my tire popped was super smooth and there was no reason for it to pop there. SO that was way neat, because we had been praying for more investigators to teach. So other than the walk back home pushing our bikes, it was a great experience. :) haha..
But ya, things here are going well. I'm getting in way good shape biking 11 hours a day. THe other day, me and Elder Ashton were biking along and these two guys about our age yelled out "Hey white boys!!! Wanna race!!!" me and Elder Ashton looked at each other and thought about it for a minute, and were just like... sure why not??.. so we said "ya mon".. and it was on haha.. they pulled up next to us... then i was just like... alright.... and we took off haha... it was such a blast!! once we had gotten a ways ahead, we stopped, and waited for them to come up, and they were mostly just frustrated that they just got beat by two white guys in a bike race, so they didn't really wanna talk to us, so nothing good really came of it... but..... it was a blast haha.. Oh and we stopped and played some futbol (soccer) with some people we are teaching the other day too.. so that was way fun.. they were really surprised that we weren't completely worthless... but most Jamaican's are way good at soccer.. it was a lot of fun.
Food here is great too!! I have eaten so many weird fruits that i have never even heard of before. I can't think of their names right now, but it's awesome. People we teach just hand us stuff and we don't really act questions and it usually ends up being pretty good.... But ya, figuring out what to cook and eat regularly has been an adventure.. they have some American things, but they are all expensive, so I have been trying to figure out how to cook the Jamaican things without too much success so far haha.. most I just eat rice eggs, sandwiches, and oatmeal in the morning and fruit .... But, hopefully i'll get the hang of it soon.
My book of Mormon reading this week took me up to the middle of Alma where it is talking about Ammon and Aaron and them, I would definately recommend reading that if you don't have somewhere to read out of the book of mormon. THose guys are amazing!! It makes for some very fun reading too... lotsa good stories, but my time has run out... Til next week,
Elder Kraus
ps.. everyone keep writing me!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1st Baptism - GREAT DAY!

Hey everyone, sorry this one is a day late too.. Yesterday was a Jamaican holiday, (emancipation day or something like that) and everything was closed including the internet cafe. But this was a solid week. Everything is going great. I got to baptize Sanekay on Saturday. :) I was way excited for her. It was a really neat experience. We baptize in the ocean in Porty, so it was about as picture perfect as it gets. :) I"ll try to send some pictures, but it looks like last weeks didn't really send. I sent like ten but only two went through. I don't have much time this week, but here are some interesting stories haha
This week was our first district meeting, and me and Elder Ashton were riding to it, a bit late, and we got pulled over by the babylon (police) for running a stop sign on our bikes haha... Then he asked us for our ID's and i had left mine back at the house. WHen i told him i didn't have it, he told me that he was gonna lock me up for riding my bike without an ID. haha.. but i talked my way out of it. Overall, it was an interesting experience.
I am now officially a master at hopping in cold water, and still haven't used any blankets for my bed. I just lay on top of the sheets with a fan on my when i sleep, because its so hot!! I am starting to get some really goofy tan lines too. haha I'm loving it. We taught a lot of lessons this week, and had some good experiences. BUt, i'm gonna make this week's email a little shorter in an attempt to send some pictures. I'll write more next week though.
Love ELder KRaus

July 26th, 2010 BUGS!!!! & BAPTISM

Sorry, the email got all screwed up this week, so this one is a week late.
I talked to my first Rasta's this week.. They are completely nuts generally. Ganja really does mess with your head. haha.. Well, this week was pretty good. :) We ran out of matches on like Tuesday though, so we had to figure out another way to light the stove til we could find more. We rolled up some paper and stuck it in the toaster til it caught on fire and we used that to light the stove. haha. Other than that, the mornings have been pretty much the same, except for I'm getting braver. Now it only takes me a minute to get the guts to get in the shower (it still takes my breath away every time haha).. I'm starting to get used to the bug bites. I have so many, but it kinda is just starting to feel normal to be itching everywhere. I swear the bugs hear are evolving. They probably feed their baby bugs mosquito spray for dinner, because they seem to have an immunity to it. Doesn't slow them down at all. I even have a bug bite on the bottom of my foot....Its nuts. haha oh and on the topic of bugs, we have been fighting quite the cockroach war. We killed 3 last night, but they are so fast its always an adventure. We have two lizards living in the house with us too, but we leave them alone, because we are hoping that they'll help us out by eating some of the bugs.
We lost the car this week. Some missionaries in Highgate needed it because one of them has a bad ankle, so from now on (at least for the next few months) we are biking and walking. ..I get the bike that I will be using on Wed. but for now I am using a bike that was left here by some missionary. It is..... awesome haha.. The first day, the back tire rubbed on the frame so bad that it was like having the back brakes slammed on the whole time, and the seat was basically a piece of wood, oh and the tires were so low that every time i hit a bump the rim hit the ground haha..ya, the first day biking was a little rough, but i did a lot of work on it one of the nights after we came in, and now it is running smooth. I have never appreciated a bike that runs well more than now. :) So ya, since we are biking and walking, we are pretty much always soaked (its so humid here that all of the envelopes that i bought in the states sealed shut lol) , either from sweat or from rain. Which reminds me, its really funny to see the Jamaican guys walking around with umbrellas all the time.. Definately different from the states.
Oh, this week we had our first zone conference. It was up at Ocho Rios (Ochi), and we drove there. It was a good conference. President Hendricks and Sister Hendricks spoke. They are awesome!! But the ride back was an adventure. We had to catch taxis because we gave the Highgate missionaries the car in Ochi. The taxis here are crazy!! They take like normal cars or vans and cram people in them until they literally can barely shut the door. it was prolly the longest three hours of my life. But it made me appreciate not being cramped up more, so.... ya it was a good experience ha.
Jessica, Lakeisha, and Sanekay are getting baptised this Saturday! :) I'm so stoked for them. They are great girls. The funny thing is that their biggest concern was the water. We had to have a whole lesson on not being scared of the water. It was a funny one. :)
I have been reading the Book of Mormon strait through lately, and it is really cool to read it fast. I have never really gotten the big picture, and really understood the cool story it is until I started to read it fast like this. It is making a lot more sense, and I really look foreward to reading each morning. If you have never read the Book of Mormon really fast, do it. It makes it so enjoyable, and its really a cool story. Oh also, we listened to a CD called "The Meaning of the Atonement" by W. Cleon Skousen on the drive up to Ochi. Its seriously mind blowing. I have never listened to anything cooler in my life. If you haven't listened to that, definately do it. It's simply stunning.
Oh, and this week we also had dinner with the Forresters (they feed us every Sunday) and the Wilson's (they feed us every Friday)... we had rice and peas and chicken for both of them and it was way good. It seriously takes work to get through how much food they give us. I love it! :) Oh and the Forresters had this homeade mongo juice.... It was divine!! :) haha... but thats all for now. Enjoy the pictures.
Elder Kraus
p.s. Everyone write me!! :)