Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet View & Two Chins!!

Hey everyone!! This week has been pretty sweet... :) I can't believe its already Monday again!! Time is cruisin!! Fast and the furious Jamaica drift style haha.. So, P-days here are pretty sweet. We email first, then pick up the Boulevard Elders, eat, and then play 21 (a basketball game, basically everyone vs. everyone to 21).. then get groceries.. and by the time we are done with all that, the day is pretty much finished, and its time to go teaching.. haha gotta love it. :) Tuesday, we did another trade off with the Bouldevard elders, and me and Elder Wilson had a great day!! We were finding all day again, but this time we had lessons with 6 new people, and all 6 wanted to set up return appointments. :) So that was way sweet. I think the best part of the trade off, was that when we got to the house at night, I saw that Elder Toutai had a guitar!! So I got to play for like half an hour before we went to bed... and it was way fun!! :) Definately brought back some good memories. haha.

on the way home from district meeting in Yallahs on Wednesday, we saw this sweet view, so we stopped real fast and took a couple pictures, so that was way sweet.... but brace yourself for the funny part... I was looking at the pictures later, and on my favorite one, I zoomed in to see how my smile was, my head is tilted down a little, and I noticed something below my chin...... ANOTHER CHIN!!! Gross!! so ya, I'm not really sure how that got there but my workout intensity just went up for sure hahaa.. have to get rid of that.. Looks like if I'm not careful, the only thing that will come out of this mission better off is my testimony. :) Sister Dakin, is still doing great, and she is seeming pretty solid for her baptism this coming Saturday, so hopefully all that works out. :). The area seems to be doing pretty great!. One of the days, this week, we went to see a guy who was baptized a few months ago that hadn't been to church since we've been here. When we got there, we went up to the gate and asked for him, but only his grandma was there. She said that he would be back soon though, so we went and waited in the truck for a few minutes, then this guy i a blue shirt passed us, checked to see if we were looking (we pretended we werent't) and then hurried and snuck in the gate. We called the grandma and asked if it was him that just walked in, and she said yes, so we went back up to the house and asked grandma to go get him for us. She went to the back of the house and came back and told us that he had gone out, but then she quickly whispered, <"he's in the backyard" haha so we went back there to look for him, but we couldn't see him. We were about to leave when we heard a sound above us, so we looked up, and he was on top of a cement wall trying to hide. We called for him to come down and let him know that we just wanted to meet him and talk, so he said, alright, I'm coming down. Right after that we heard a thud on the other side of the wall around a building and we quickly went over, but by the time we got there he was gone.... He's way fast!! jumping walls and stuff to get away from us... he was acting like we came there to lock him up, haha.. He really didn't want to talk to us.. but we're gonna try again later... Grandma said she'll help us too haha... Compared to that, the rest of the week was fairly normal. On Friday, we did a trade off with the downtown Kingston Elders, and I got to go proselyting in one of the worst ghetto's called "trench town" it was way sweet. One funny thing is that while we were walking past this guy, he said "Don't come round here no more with bibles... carry guns, and bring some ****ing ammunition!!"" haha so that was pretty funny. :) gotta love kingston. Church Sunday was way sweet. President Hendricks was there and spoke to us, it was awesome!! I always learn so much whenever he talks. He's a way awesome mission president. But ya, life here is going great!! I think that pretty much sums up the week... oh, ya, one more thing, I got a letter that seemed to think that we had hot water... if I said that... my mistake haha.... the shower here is the polar opposite... emphasis on the polar... this one is literally like ice water... Usually when I get in it, it takes a minute for me to get the courage to turn it on.. and the pressure is intense!! the fist time i turned it on, it just about blew me into the back wall haha... Usually we come out just about shivering... in the nights its nice.. but in the mornings its way rough!! on the bright side... it wakes us up really well haha.. but ya, thats about it for this week. Everyone Keep reading their scriptures every day.. It makes a huge difference in how you feel throughout the day!! Have a great wee!!

nuff love, Elder Kraus

Monday, February 21, 2011

I TURNED 20!!! YAYA... Happy Birthday to me. :)

New companion Elder Brough & wrestling injury :)!
Hey everyone! THings here are going great. :) We had a pretty good week, and time is starting to fly!! I can't believe its already Monday again!.. :) gotta love it Tuesday was pretty much the best day ever!! We had taco tuesday at Cholitos (Kingston almost has everything!! :)) so thats a way fun tradition... Oh, and on the way to there, in the truck, Elder Brough told me that Monday night, I sat strait up and just started talking in my sleep. So it seems like I'm still doing that haha... But ya, Tuesday was way sweet. In the evening, we met with a guy named Mario (tight name huh? :)). He's way cool, and it was an intense lesson! He's way smart, and the first thing that he said to us when we walked in was, "I really hope you guys brought me something good tonight, because if when you leave, I feel the same way as I do now, this is a waste of my time and yours. " then he told us how work was taking all his time and leaving him super stressed out. He is a really awesome guy, and wants time to focus on the important things in life rather than the worldly things but right now, work had him going almost 24/7. So ya, our lesson plan instantly went out the window, and me and Elder Brough both found ourselves pleading with our Heavenly Father to let us know what we needed to share with him and He came through. :) The same conference talk by President Uchdorf in the October 2010 session on slowing down and focusing on the important things in life came to both our minds. But the problem was that neither of us had brought an ensign or liahona, so we didn't really have a way of sharing it with him in detail. But we brought it up anyway, because there we knew there was a reason that the same thing came to both our minds, and miraculously Mario had already downloaded all the October 2010 conference on his laptop, and we were able to listen to the talk from President Uchdorf himself. :) It was really powerful, and applied really well to Mario, and I feel like he was really touched by it. After the talk, we talked for a while about it, and it ended up being a really powerful lesson. I'm way excited to keep meeting with him. He's awesome!! Wednesday... hmmm... I TURNED 20!!! YAYA... Happy Birthday to me. :) It was a pretty good day. We had district meeting in the morning in Yallis, and afterwords The Flakes (an awesome senior couple) had made me a cake, so they brought it out, while all the other Elders sneaked up behind me and floured me... haha.. ya, so I got it twice for my birthday.. but no worries.. :).. It turned into another flour war, and everyone got some.. :) It was way fun.. and the cake was really good. So ya, shout out to the Flakes!! :) After district meeting, we did a trade off with the Boulevard Elders.. I was with Elder Wilson in their area, and Elder Toutai was with Elder Brough in ours... it was a good trade off... We did a lot of finding, oh and I tuned up Elder Toutai's bicycle a bit and got it running much better... it felt good to be on a bike though....... even though I'm starting to love being in a truck haha.. Thursday was a pretty normal day.. We did some service in the morning and chopped some yard, so that was awesome! :) After that we did some more finding without a whole lot of success, but we were able to keep good attitudes and keep talking to as many people as we could.. We traded back at dinner time at the DIlls... pretty much, Sister Dill is awesome!! She feeds us every Thursday, and always brings cake for us at church to get us through... cuz everyone knows we can't get through church without our snacks haha Friday we did a trade off with Portmore. I went with Elder Nelson, and Elder Ostberg came here with Elder Brough.. It was pretty sweet... not really anything eventful happened.. I did a baptism interview for them, so that was pretty sweet. :) But ya, I could go on forever about the minute details of the week, but I feel like that would bore everyone.. .So just know that it was a good week. :) I'm loving being in Kingston, and preaching the gospel. Recently in my scripture study, I have been going through the Doctrine and Covenants, and They are awesome!! There is so much missionary stuff in there. McDonalds nailed it... "I'm lovin it!!" :) We read with an investigator from the Book of Mormon the other day, and I realized how much I miss it.. I'm way excited to get started with it again.. so i'm blazin through D&C.. haha... But I'm really enjoying it. I know that if you want to have an awesome day, and really feel the spirit, start it out with some scripture study.. It's AWESOME!! Oh, and mom, I got the valentines day/birthday package.. and loved it!! :) thank you.. haha I think the best part was the pack of almond joys.. funny thing is, that I got the package on Friday.. and they are already all gone. :) I crammed those babies down. :) Oh one more funny thing, I was talking with Elder Brough, and found out his little brother is serving in the Toulouse France mission right now..and I told him one of my best friends is serving there, and we found out they left around the same time, So he started showing me some mtc pictures that his brother sent him, and there was Elder Blakie boy Dortan in the picture with him haha.. so ya... small world... But time is short... Til next week Elder Kraus

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gisselle's Baptism! - New Companion Elder Brough!

Hey everyone!!! So, this week was super hectic... and flew by!! Time is really starting to go fast. I can't believe that I've already been out for 8 months almost!! Dang! Oh, and tomorrow (the 16th), is my birthday!! YAYA!! I'm not a teenager any more. :).. the big 20... so i'm pretty excited about that... I already feel older. :)... But sadly, to my parents dismay.. i don't think i'll ever grow up... definately gonna stay immature.. haha.. but ya, enough rambling... time to get down to business. :) Monday night was pretty sad... we had our last family home evening with the Smiths, it wasn't much of a family home evening, cuz there was a lot of crying going on... but we had some fun still.. :).. . Other than that, it was apretty normal Monday.. Tuesday was epic!!! In the morning, I did Gisselle's (Queenie's daughter.. she's like 21 or 22) baptism interview and she passed with flyinig colors, and got baptized on Sunday!!! I'm so stoked for her!! She is such an awesome person!! :) She is really similar to Queenie.. you can't leave her presence without a smile on your face haha.. So ya, that was pretty sweet... The rest of the morning was pretty good... We taught some pretty good lessons, and there are some way cool people we are working with.. I'm way jealous of Elder Ostrin and Packard...(they are the missionaries in May Pen now).. In the evening, we went to the Sterlings for dinner... Thats where all the adventure started haha.. we had some fried chicken, and cake and stuff, and they went in a circle and everyone said something about the missionaries who were leaving.. that was way nice... :) then we went outside and they had planned to have us over for dinner on my birthday to throw me a little party, but since i was getting transferred, I guess they decided to do it early... cuz next thing I knew, Sister Sterling threw a plate of flour on me, and Elder Lee was seconds behind with this big basin of flour... basically they floured the crap out of me.. haha.... but no way was I going down alone.. because the minute the flour hit me it turned into a hell and powder war. . :) haha.. .flour was everywhere!! I definately took some of them down with me.. :) So ya, it was a blast!! It was tough to say good bye to that family... I love them so much!! Definately gonna link them after my mission is finished... Shout out to the Sterlings!! :) After that, we went back down to racetrack and had another lesson (covered in flour), and then went home at 9:30 to pack... I'm getting to be a professional packer I think.. because it only took about an hour.... :).. the worst part though was that it rained all day, and our clothes were on the line.. so i packed up my soaking clothes... definately don't hope that happens again... Wednesday was transfer day, and transfers went smoothly... It's actually pretty nice being in a truck... I didn't think I would like it at first, but I got used to the AC in the truck real fast!! haha... I don't sweat nearly as much now... But ya, I think the worst part of transfers was taking all my wet steamy nasty clothes out of the bag.... Apperently flour molds really fast.. cuz the shirt that had flour all over it was covered in mold.... so ya, i just threw it away... but everything else was still good, and one nice thing about the Kingston house is that it has a washing maching!!! So sweet!! so i was able to wash my clothes that night and hang them on the line... Definately way convenient. :) ... My new companion is Elder Brough.. He's way tight... and I think we're gonna have a good time together and have a lot of success. :) To be honest.. the rest of the week was kind of a blur.. I did a trade off with Yallahs with Elder Snelson... and that was alright.. Yallahs is super bush.. like way crazy...At one point we rode our bikes for like 30 minutes and didn't see a single person.. haha it was an adventure for sure.. Saturday, the Elders who were in the bus with Elder Walker when the shooting happened went to his funeral in Sav... and I was with a couple other missionaries in one of the other areas in Kingston.. it was a super long day... because neither of them really new the area yet, so we rode around all day and just talked to people... it was a day filled with rejection, but we were able to find a few pretty cool people, so it was definately worth the effort... It was just kind of frustrating because we have the best message in the world and we couldn't find very many people who were interested, but we were able to keep a good attitude and keep at it. :) Sunday was pretty much my fist day in the area..., and church here seems like its gonna be pretty cool.. I'm exctied to get to know everyone.. cuz not knowing everyone is definately not as much fun.. .. They recruited me to be the branch piano player (pianist just sounds weird).. so that should be an adventure.. my sight reading skills are definately going to get better haha.. Teaching in Kingston is sweet!! Its definately way different than anywhere that I've been before, but I love it already... one of the funny things Elder Brough pointed out, is that at one point, we were walking into this ghetto with our scriptures going one way, and eveyone passing going the other way had their ganja and stuff... so that was pretty funny... we definately look out of place, but I'm excited.. it seems like its gonna be an awesome transfer!! Monday was epic too.. .We had a zone leader p-day, and played some basketball in Portmore... it was so much fun!! and afterwords me and Elder Gardner wrestled... He's a way cool guy.. the Calls from Soda Springs are related to him, and I think that I might have met him once before our missions.. He's from Star Valley Wyoming.. He's a really good wrestler.. he won state in Wyoming and wrestled at college for a year before coming out... We wrestled after the basketball, so we were both way tired, and we stopped after about 3 or 4 minutes, because nobody knew how to keep score, and neither one of us could pin the other.. It was a way even match... I think we were tied when we stopped.. but ya, we were just too tired to do anything else... Hopefully we get to finish the match sometime... So ya, it was fun to get to wrestle again... But ya, the week is going good.. I'm really excited to have a full week and everything get back to normal because transfer week is always really hectic... but ya, time is short.. until next week nuff love!! Elder Kraus

Monday, February 7, 2011

Transferred to Kingston!

Hey everyone!! This week was pretty crazy. Monday was pretty good... except at the end of the day I started to feel sick with a sore throat and runny nose. I woke up on Tuesday pretty sick with no voice... . and a super runny nose... The funny thing is that Elder Lee got sick same time, and was starting to lose his voice too.. so we sounded pretty funny teaching that day.... Oh and to make the day even more awesome, this weird little tiny bump that recently formed on my lip started bleeding uncontrollably in the morning, and it took all of personal and companion study to get it to stop.. but I got it stopped by 10 so we were able to go out and teach... It wa pretty funny though, because i had one hand putting pressure on my lip, and the other was hoding a tissue up to my nose so it didn't run all over haha... Pretty much the best morning ever. Wednesday was pretty sweet. District meeting went well, and I'm really starting to love teaching it. After District meeting I went to Old Harbor to do a trade off with Elder Mackey (my mtc companion). It was a blast!! I love teaching with him. One funny thing.. was that we were street contacting and started talking to these two ladies in the street... As usual, they turned the topic to... the law of chastity, so we started explaining it, and tying it into our purpose in life.. and suddenly there were like 10 ladies... all about like 25 all around us.. it was kinda creepy... haha they were asking us all these questions.. and by what they were saying, they were clearly just interested in us, and not the message we had, lol... so we got out of there pretty fast.. cuz it felt like we were about to get mugged haha... they had us completely surrounded.. so ya, that was an adventure... One thing that is sweet about the Old Harbor house is that it has hot water!! I showered for so long!! I forgot how addicting warm water is...I was in there for like 30-45 min. just standing there enjoying the hot water... :) so nice... Thursday was pretty uneventful... a pretty solid, normal teaching day.. But Friday was epic!! It was Elder Talberts birthday, and the tradition here on birthdays is to flour the person who's birthday it is... so at friday night activity, i ran out of the church and soaked him with a bucket of water, and elder lee was less than a second behind me with tons of flour... it was sweet!! Everyone thought it was hilarious... Elder Talbert got a good laugh out of it too :).. So that was a good time... Saturday was Elder Lee and Talberts 2 year mark, so they popped some champagne (non-alcoholic of course) and sprayed it all over, and we made a sweet music video... haha... it was pretty epic... that was in the morning before studies.... The day was pretty sweet too. Me and Elder Lee chopped yard for Kerry-Ann and her family for a few hours in the mornng, and my hands are still pretty beat up.. Its super hard work.. But it was nice... Oh and we got some coconuts there to drink too, so that was nice. :).. Other than that, it was a fairly normal teaching day. Things are starting to look pretty good again in the area... We have found quite a few people and have a few people who should soon be baptized... So thats good. :)

Sunday morning transfer calls came.... I'll start with the obvious.. Elder Lee and Talbert are finished, so they are going home.. Elder Ostrin is staying in May Pen, and I'm getting moved to Kingston.. It should be pretty fun. :) Its definately going to be different, because we have a truck.. so my bicycle is gonna get a breather for a while... its kinda inconvenient that i don't have a liscense now, cuz it got stolen w/ my wallet, but oh well... so it goes... but ya, It seems like time is really starting to fly... I can't believe that i've already almost been out for 8 months... its nuts!! My companion is Elder Brough... I've heard pretty good things about him, so I'm pretty excited. I'm really gonna miss May Pen a lot, and I'm going to miss a lot of people here. But I'm excited too.. Same mixed feelings as when I left Port Antonio... I'm especially gonna miss the Sterlings.. They have become my second family :) I love them so much!! Oh, and in the letters I've gotten so far, it seems like there is a little bit of confusion about where i've served so far.. so to recap.. I served in Port Antonio for 3 months with Elder Ashton, and I've been in May Pen now for 4 and a half months with Elder Knowlton, and Elder Lee as the 2 companions. I'm gonna miss Elder Lee a lot. We have gotten to be really good friends... he's way tight... definately someone I'd hang out with after my mission.. .. I loved serving with him... Sorry, i'm kinda just rambling now... but its about that time... So til next week nuff love Elder Kraus oh ya,
and shout out to Garrett today!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)