Monday, March 28, 2011

General Conference this weekend!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO!

YOYO!! Whats up everyone!!?? Well, like I said last week, I'm in Santa Cruz now as a zone leader with Elder Ashton again (my trainer)...And to describe Santa Cruz.. I think the words I'm going to use are.... PURE BUSH!!! Santa Cruz is about as country as it gets... definately a big change from Kingston. And its taking some getting used to. Things were definately a little more convenient in Kingston... but its nice to be back in the country too. I think its gonna be awesome serving here though. The people seem awesome, and there are some way cool members... The branch is small, kinda like Port Antonio, and there isn't a building here yet, so we meet in a house that the church rents... but it was really full this Sunday, so hopefully, we'll be able to upgrade soon. We are working with some way cool people, and I'm basically way excited for this transfer.... It's gonna be great!! Elder Ashton is awesome,and I'm way excited to serve with him again. To be honest, this week has kind of been a blur... I can't believe that its already over, I'll try to summarize it, but I forgot to bring my journal to email today, so its gonna be kinda devoid of details..... The last 2 days in Kingston were pretty sweet, we had some way good lessons, and a lot of the people we are working with should be baptized in the next few weeks... :) Sean Connery, has a baptism date , so that would be sweet. haha... Coolest name ever!! But ya, he's way awesome.... Transfer day was crazy!!! I thought we were leaving at 10, so I planned on packing in the morning, but I found out when I woke up at 6:30, that we were leaving at 8!!! And long story short.. I'm getting very efficient at packing.. haha I got everything packed up (yes mom, well organized and folded clothes and all that. :) and we made it out on time... THen the transfer began!! Being a zone leader for transfers is crazy!! We were picking up and dropping off missionaries everywhere!! It was a ton of driving, (Elder Ashton's license is expired, so I was lucky enough to get to drive all day haha) and we finally ended up in Savannah - la- mar.. at like 10.. so we just crashed there for the night, and then drove to Santa Cruz in the morning on Thursday... Needless to say, I'm getting a lot of experience driving on two way one lane country roads.. haha gotta love it. :) The house here is pretty sweet.... tall ceilings, and pretty clean... cold water still.. but its more swimming pool tempurature... not ice water like kingston.. so thats nice. :) The worst thing about the house though is it smells like crap!!! I think there are some messed up pipes or something, because the house always smells terrible... but such is life I guess... So ya, I'm way excited to get unpacked today (we have been going to work.. so I haven't gotten time yet)..and get to know the people here... It seems awesome... I'm also way stoked for general conference this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO !!!! :) Its gonna be awesome!! I have been reading through last conference's talks, and have picked a couple favorites.... One is "Reflections on a consecrated life by Elder D. Todd Christofferson,... and the other is THe transforming power of faith and character by Elder Richard G. Scott... they are awesome!! and really inspiring.. I would definately encourage everyone to read and ponder them, and apply them to your lives... I have been trying to apply them with missionarywork, and its been awesome!! :) But I don't have too much time left right now... so .,... til next week.... nuff love!! Elder Kraus

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Transfer to Santa Cruz!

Hey everyone!!

This week was a whirlwind!! Its seriously a blur. I'll try and cover everything quickly though.

Monday was sweet!! We went to the Bob Marley museum, and learned a ton of things about him, and took some pics and stuff.... (sadly, none of which you get to see this week, because this computer is having issues..) but ya, it was way fun.... The tour guide showed us a picture of Bob rolling a spliff, but before he showed us, he said, "this is a picture of Bob doing his favorite thing...." haha so that was pretty funny. :) oh and they were growing marijuana there just so they could show the visitors, haha... only in Jamaica...

Tuesday morning, we did service for Sister Lindo (one of the members here)..... We helped her turn a patch of weeds in the dirt into a garden... It was way hard though..... especially working with the machetes.... but it was fun... I love service. Then we had our traditional taco tuesday at chillitos.... :) (tacos are only a bill!! so its a must) Really, other than that, it was a pretty rough day....We got to see Nigel again.... but we found out that he's been avoiding us, because he is convinced that we're assassins, and part of some conspiracy theory.. and he's so set on it that nothing we said could sway his mind... so that was pretty rough... even though it was kinda funny.... and ya,... everything was kinda falling through, but we were able to find people to talk to still :) one funny thing I saw was a bumper sticker that said, "Marijuana is good..... smoking it is whats bad...." haha gotta love Jamaica...

I'll just quickly summarize the next few days..... We had a zone meeting here in kingston with our zone, and talked about some things that we can improve on... and afterwords... filled out March Madness Brackets :) Gotta keep things interesting... I think my bracket is going downhill..... but I've got Kansas winning it all.... but I'm pulling for BYU!!! Go cougars!!! Losing Davies was rough... but it'd be sweet if they pulled it off.... watch out Florida!! here we come!! :)
Also, we've been working with the Dakins a lot!! and great news!!! Justin (Sister Dakins son), and Grandpa Dakins are doing awesome, and are getting baptized this coming Saturday!!!! :) I'm way excited for them!!! :) I love going up there... its so pretty, way up in Red Hills with an awesome view of Kingston.
On Saturday, Elder Wilson and I were on a trade off, and having a pretty rough day... and we were scheduled to trade back at like 4:30.. and it was about 4:15... so we probably could have just driven back and met up with them a little early, but I was trying to think of one more person we could go see, and a less active that we had tried to see like 3 weeks ago popped into my mind... I didn't think their was a chance we were going to be able to catch her at home, because when we had tried before, her house is on like lock down security, and there is no way to get anyones attention to let us in... but we decided to go check anyway, and it was awesome!!! We got there, and walked up to the gate, and it just opened!! Her daughter is the one who lives there now, and she just let us in, and asked us what we teach about... so we talked with her and set up a next time to come back. :) It was awesome, because she said we were lucky we came when we did... she said she is a way hard person to catch, and was about to go inside... so it was a way sweet experience!! :) .... Throughout the rest of the week, we found some way cool investigators, and the area is doing awesome, all the people we are working with are overcoming their concerns, and everything is just going great!!! And to top it all off, on Sunday, Ricardo (the recent convert who originally ran from us, we cornered last week, and taught a couple lessons since then)... came to church!!! :) It was awesome!! Quite the change. :)

Now for the crazy news..... So, transfer calls came on Friday, and I'm getting moved to Santa Cruz to be a zone leader with Elder Ashton (my first companion, aka my trainer) on Wednesday!!!... Its nuts!! Definately didn't see that one coming... I was just getting to know this area, and love it,... and I'm way bummed to be leaving all the cool people that we are working with.. and I'm gonna miss the baptisms on Saturday!! :(... but so it go I guess... I'm sure I'll love Santa Cruz... because one thing i've learned on my mission is that service leads to love... :)....

but ya.... this is my last p-day in kingston... i'm definately getting use to change haha....

but til next week...

one love!!

Elder Kraus

Monday, March 14, 2011

Be 100% to all the teachings of the prophets!

Me and Elder Brough at the Dakins house.. she had a massive pumpkin she wanted us to take a picture with (pumpkins are a little different here & really good to eat. )
Hey everyone!!

This week was pretty sweet! I have great and not great news.. haha... The great news is that we found out that Nigel just ended up moving down the street, because his Grandma just decided to take him in... :) So that was awesome to hear!! but that great news sadly must be followed by bad news... When we went to see him, he was asleep, but his grandma was awake, so we got to talk to her a little bit, and found out why Nigel hasn't been coming to church... She is a hardcore pentacostal preacher, and when we asked her if she knew Nigel had told us he was gonna come visit church, she said, "Ya, he did say that... and he is free to choose what church he goes to, but he's gonna come to this one... our family has been going for like 4 generations..." so ya, basically Grandma is forcing him to go to her church... so that was kinda dumb... We tried to help her understand that we weren't there to argue with her about what church to go to... but rather to testify of the things we know to be true, and invite him to find out if it is true or not by praying just like we did... but it was pretty clear we weren't going to get anywhere with her.... because I don't think she heard a word we said.. she just waited til we were done and then started preaching and shouting and stuff... so ya, we politely left.. haha...hopefully we can talk to Nigel sometime with his Grandma there so he can tell her he wants to come visit and she doesn't think we're brainwashing him... but ya, we'll see where it goes... Other than that, the week was pretty sweet!

Sister Dakins is doing awesome!! She is the happiest person ever, and when we went up to see her and her family, her son Justin, told us that he wanted to be baptised on the 26th of this month. so I'm way excited for that. :) I love that family to death. :) Oh, this week, we also completed mission "teach Ricardo"... haha.. He is that recent convert who was running from us that I wrote about a few weeks ago... This time, we went up to his house, and I walked around back, by the back door, while Elder Brough called at the front. and just as we expected, he tried to sneak out the back door.. needless to say, he looked pretty surprised to see me standing there waiting for him haha but ya, we got to talk with him finally and showed him that we were just there to talk to and encourage him... so we set up a return appointment for Saturday, and it went great!!! :) I guess we just needed to get him to trust us.. He seems pretty cool now, so hopefully as we work with him, he will be able to see what is really important in life and start to come back to church.

We just started teaching a guy named Sean Connery.... (those of you familiar with celebrity jeapordy on SNL will appreciate that... haha)... and he seems way tight!!So.... Sunday was awesome!!!! First off, I started the Book of Mormon over this morning because I finally finished the Doctrine and Covenants on Saturday (I love it, but was way excited to get back into the Book of Mormon... its my favorite!!) I only made it through all the introduction stuff, and I already noticed new things that I havent' caught before... .. So that was way sweet,... and secondly.... church was awesome!! So I walked around the corner to the front of the church, and guess who I saw!? My boy Elder Lee!!! (Nigel now :)) I was so stoked... He's doing awesome, and I was way excited to see him and catch up! :) but wait, it gets even better... he said to follow him back to the parking lot to see someone ... and it was Shanae Sterling from May Pen! :) They came down to say hi to me and come to church... :) It was way fun talking and catching up with them... .. definately made my day....

Akelah, a recent convert here, taught gospel principles on prophets, and it was awesome!! One of the points she brought up that I really liked was that many of us say we would have followed the prophets anciently.... that it would have been easy... we say of course we would have been on the ark with Noah and not one of the people mocking him... but really how different are we from those that mocked Noah... each prophet receives revelation carefully tailored for the era in which it is received... we easily accept ancient prophets teachings, yet reject and even mock or set aside much of the counsel given to us by modern prophets ... when we set aside, or are partially obedient to the teachings of modern day prophets, we are just like those who mocked Noah... fools who will drown in the flood Satan is sending at us. basically, we all need to be 100% to all the teachings of the prophets, no matter how silly or outdated they may seem. So ya, it was an awesome lesson... shout out to Akeelah, she's great!. :) So ya, it was a sweet week.... gotta love it... :) oh and we did a couple trade offs this week, and I stayed in our area for both of them, and I'm proud to say, that I didn't get lost!! :) haha.

Everyone have a great week! and don't forget to Read your scriptures every day!!one love!!Elder Kraus

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sister Dakins got baptized!

Hey everyone!
This week had some way high points and some low points. .. such is life :) Um, I don't have a lot of email time, so I'll just touch on everything. First the bad news.... Nigel got into some disagreements with his aunt who he was living with, so sadly he is moving out to somewhere way in the bush like an hour away... so unless a miracle happens, its going to be really hard to get in contact with him again because he doesn't have a phone, and he didn't know the exact place he was going... But hope and pray that it'll all work out. .. Now for some awesome news.... My drivers license finally came!!!! If you remember, my wallet got stolen a while ago, and I didn't think it was too big of a deal... because I was riding a bicycle.. but now that I'm in a car, its been a little rough, because I didn't get to drive.. But the new one came on Friday!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! :) So that was way sweet!! I drove for the first time on Saturday, and it was so fun!! We drive a manual truck (so nothing new there, because thats what I drove before I got out here).. shout out to Reba!! (My little red toyota pickup)... You better be treating her good Taylor! :) The difference though is that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car, and we drive on the left side of the road. To be honest, the left side of the road thing isn't even weird anymore.. It'd seem weird to drive on the right now... But having the left side of the truck hanging out instead of the right took some serious gettiing used to.. I was always to far to the left.. But I think I have the hang of it now.. .so its way fun!! :) Now for some even more awesome news.... SISTER DAKINS GOT BAPTIZED!!! Woo :) She passed her interview on Wednesday, and decided that she wanted to get baptized in a river... so me and Elder Brough went on a river hunt, and finally found one.. :) But on Saturday, when we showed up for the baptism at the church, Brother Dakins (her husband), told us that there is a good river somewhere else, so we decided to trust him and go to that one instead... and it couldn't have been a better decision. It was beautiful!! So perfect. :) Everything went great! And the spirit was really strong. On Sunday, Brother Dakins was able to confirm her a member of the church and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was awesome!! I'm so happy for them. They're a great family. :) Today was pretty sweet.. We had a zone P-day in Portmore... We did Kingston zone vs. Spanish town zone in basketball. We did a best of 7 series... and we walked away with the victory (4 games to 2) :) It was way fun.
Last but not least, I want to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is such an awesome book!! It has so much power, and I promise that anyone who will take the time to sincerely read it, will feel the power of it flow into their lives, and know without a shadow of a doubt that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. We were teaching one of our investigators, Omar, about it the other day, and he said something that I thought was really awesome. After we taught him about it, he said, " so if everyone would read this book and pray about it, there wouldn't be anymore confusion about religion in the world..... It's the missing link!!" We thought about it for a sec. and confirmed what he said.. to which he responded, "THats awesome!!" It really is awesome, and if anyone reading this hasn't had a chance to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Definately do it. It will change your life, and get you closer to our Heavenly Father than you have ever been in your life. But ya, things here are going well, I'm happy, working hard, and lovin life :)

one love!Elder Kraus