Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Heavenly Father was definately watching out for us!!

Hey Everyone!!!
This week was COMPLETELY INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!... Definately worth a day to day recap... :)
Monday: We had P-day, and we got in the truck to go out at 6 to go proselyting.... :) Well, thats where the adventure started.... I was driving up the road, and all of the sudden, I was driving through 3 and a half feet of water rushing down the road.... It had been raining all day, and the roads literally turned into raging rivers.... the engine was starting to lug down even in first gear, but luckily we found a turn off to higher ground.... and waited out the storm... It took about an hour for the roads to become driveable, and then we went teaching for the rest of the night.... so that was our Monday adventure.. haha.
Tuesday: We did some sweet service for a guy in the branch in the morning... He is building a chicken coop, and needed a bunch of logs to do it... so we went into the jungle with him, with our machetes, and cut down about 20, ten foot tall 6 in. thick trees... It was so much fun!! :) If you are familiar with the animated Book of Mormon movies, its like the one where the soldiers of King Noah are trying to follow Alma and the followers into the bush, and they were cutting their way with machetes..... we literally had to cut our way through to find the good trees.. haha... oh and while we were back there, We found a ganja tent!!! haha (Its just a bunch of tarps strung up to the trees, with a ton of marijuana hanging from the ceiling drying.... I wish I had my camera with me lol...After that, we went up to Hopeton, and me and Elder Clark stayed there and walked around in the hills talking to people, while Elder Larsen went back to interview Ariel for baptism.... with Elder Ashton.... (she passed her interview!! :))
Wednesday: Ariel got baptized!!! :) It was an awesome, and a great service. :) I'm way excited for her... She's an awesome girl!! It's a great feeling to be part of something like that. :)... After the baptism... and some technical difficulties with their taxi man.... (no comment lol).... we raced off to dinner with Sister Williams... (a really cool British lady)... it was an awesome day! :)
Thursday: Wow!!!! This morning we drove to Sav-la-mar to do a baptism interview, (she passed :))).. and on the drive back to Santa Cruz is where things got crazy!!!! I'll try to paint you the best picture with words... but to get the full effect you just had to be there... or see the illustrations in my journal... haha... I want to start out by saying that our Heavenly Father was definately watching out for us today. . . . .So here it goes...We were driving on a long straitaway, Elder Ashton was driving, and we were behind a massive "air brakes" truck, and a taxi bus.... The big truck was going 10 under, so the bus passed him, and we started to follow the bus (no cars were coming)... and also pass him... honking the whole way (thats what you do when you pass here...)... when we were almost all the way past him, the big truck decided to dodge a bad spot in the road, and swerve over to the right (here we drive on the left, and pass on the right)... He slammed into the back left tire of our truck, and the back end of our truck swung out so that we wer completely sideways going down the road and 90 km/hr w/ a massive air brakes truck right behind us.. .... To be honest.... I was bracing myself (and yes mom, I had my seatbelt on)... for the truck to roll... because it seemed inevitable... but by some miracle, it didn't, and finally after what seemed like an eternity.... the our truck slid to a violent stop with the front end on a bank on the left side of the road, and the rear bumper in the middle of the road... the back tires weren't even on the ground.... A bunch of people stopped and helped us lift the truck out of the road so that traffic could go, and I helped them move it while Elder Ashton was holding his own in a shouting match with the guy who was driving the huge truck.. (the other guy got out and was yelling that it was our fault... so I feel the shouting match was justified haha)... ... We looked at the damage to our truck... and I think the rear axle was broken, because the left tire was way far back, and the right one was strait still.... so I called the police (119 here... instead of 911 haha) ... When they finally showed up, the other guy started telling the police how it was our fault.. and what happened... then the police turned to us, and asked us our story... so we told him what really happened, and the policeman said... ya, thats what the bus driver stopped me and told me too... So the bus driver in front of us stopped the police and told them the story before the police got to us.. so the police were on our side... the other guy was at fault... and to make a long story short... A tow truck came to get us, and drove us into Kingston... ... We tried to teach him the gospel on the way, but he didn't seem to interested... :) but at least we tried... he was a way cool guy though... So ya, we got into Kingston 4 hours later at 8:30, and went to stay the night with the Office Elders.... Oh ya, nobody was injured... so its all good. :)
Friday: Today, we got permission to use the spare truck until ours gets fixed, and we drove back to Santa after doing a bunch of paperwork. and Finally got to teaching again!!.... Awesome news... Omar got his answer to his prayers that the Book of Mormon is true!!! :) We just have to help him overcome some things, so that he can progress to baptism. :)
Saturday: Woot Woot!! my 10 month mark. :) We taught all day.
Sunday: Happy Easter!! Today was awesome!! :) Ariel was confirmed a member of the church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. :) It was sweet!! Oh, and me and Elder Ashton were the speakers in sacrament meeting... It was great!!! I read through Matt. Mark, Luke, and John's accounts of the atonement, and learned a lot in preparing for my talk...
Monday: nothing much happened... nothing was open, so me and Elder Ashton watched the testament at the church... if you haven't seen it... WATCH IT!! Its such a powerful movie!! and shows Christ's visit to the Americas!! :) Its sweet!!
Well... hope everyone had a good week...and have a great one this week!!!
One love!!
Elder Kraus

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zone Conference in Sav, was Amazing!!

Hey everyone!!

Sorry, I saved this for last this week, so I only have like 5 min....
but short summary.... It rained a ton!!! I'll email a pic next
week.. but we literally were driving down rivers that the roads turned
into haha... we hit spot where the water went clear up to the hood of
the truck!! it was intense!! We did a lot of finding work this
week, which was pretty rough in the rain.... most people just slammed
the doors when they saw us coming, and I don't blame them haha we must
have been a pretty ragged sight... two soaked white boys.... they
probably thought we were crazy or something.... haha

We had zone conference in Sav on Friday and it was amazing!! Holy
cow.. I won't be surprised if President Hendricks becomes an
apostle... He's amazing!! He has so much power, and knowledge... you
can just feel the Spirit when he walks in a room... Its awesome!!

As for investigators we're working with... Ariel is doing great, and
should be baptized on Wednesday this week. :) She's amazing!! We got
to talk to Felicia, and answer all her questions, and showed her that
we worship Jesus Christ not Joseph Smith.... and She is progressing
well again. :) We're working with some awesome other people too who
seem to be doing great!!! :)

Basically, the work is moving foreward down here, and life is great!!

One love!!

Elder Kraus

ps.... happy easter!!!

and shout out to Taylor!! HAPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) big
18!! stay away guys!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tell your friends the awesome news!!

Hey everyone!!
This week was pretty uneventful. It was nice to have another full teaching week though and get our area moving again. :) As for teaching this week... it went pretty well... We found a lot of awesome people that are eager to read from the Book of Mormon and learn. :) I'm really excited to continue to help them draw closer to Christ. Probably my favorite person that we recently found is a lady named Felicia... We met her on Monday, and she had some serious attitude!! haha I wish that I could explain it in words, but you just had to be there.. it was hilarious!!! but a habit that I have recently developed is dishing it right back haha... I think the reason she was so feisty the first day is because she was trying to scare us off, but we gave her a Book of Mormon, set up a next time to meet with her... I think that she realized we weren't intimidated by her though... because when we came back on Tuesday, she upped her game.... but in a good way!! She had read a lot from the Book of Mormon starting from the front, and had question after question about it.... Right when we walked up, she said... I read, and I have tons of questions... you better be able to answer them... :) so we eagerly answered her questions,and continued to be feisty (its pronounced "facetee" here lol) right back... I think that she was pretty surprised we answered her questions, and continued to meet with her despite her attempts to scare us away.... so we set up a next appoitment with her on Wednesday, and she was totally different.. she has respect for us now, and is quickly learning the gospel and doing awesome... and said that when she finds out that this is true, she will prepare to be baptized. Basically, I'm super stoked to keep meeting with her. :) We have also been working with a girl named Ariel for a while now, and she is still doing great, and preparing to be baptized on the 20th.... She's really excited about it. It was a really good week, and we found a lot of other people who really seem to be excited to learn and tell their friends about it... So our teaching pool, is building up pretty quickly... It's awesome!! I think that the only way things could be going better is if the members would participate a lot more. Having the members refer people to us, and talk to their friends about the gospel is the key to success it seems... So for everyone reading this... If you aren't member, read the Book of Mormon, and find the missionaries!! If you are a member, tell your friends the awesome news!!! Don't be scared... whats the worst that can happen?? :)
On wednesday this week we had district meeting, and since our zone is really spread out, its just us, and the sisters in junction in our district.... so me and Elder Ashton switch off teaching district meeting... (I lost in rock paper scissors, so this week was my week haha)... .... So that was pretty sweet... I'm starting to enjoy teaching a lot!! .... um.... oh, and we did a trade off with the Hopeton elders this week... and it was tough!! I was in Hopeton with Elder Powell riding bicycles, and first off, the bike I was on was pretty much falling apart... second off..... The hills were massive!! It was literally up and down.... no flat at all... because its a town in the mountain.... and the houses are just dotted all over the place.... it was intense!! I was dead by the end of the day!! Serving in Hopeton would definately be a get ripped quick program!! Speaking of which... since my back went out, i haven't been able to exercise very well, and ... needless to say, my pooch has continued to grow... hahah... me and elder ashton named him gus this week hahaha...... but my back is finally good enough that i can do push ups and jumprope... (still no situps :(....).... but the road to recovery has begun!!! I'm taking Gus down!! haha
But uh... ya... things are going really well here... and I'm starting to love everyone here... :) its pretty awesome...
but time is shortish..... so... til next week
one love!!
Elder Kraus

Monday, April 4, 2011

Modern Day Miracle!

Hey everyone!! Things here are going good. This week was pretty crazy!! We had an almost full teaching day on Tuesday, and that was pretty much the most we taught all week, because Tuesday evening, we drove out to Savannah-la-mar (Sav), and Negril to get the Elders for the training on Wednesday in Kingston. They stayed the night at our house, and then we drove to Kingston Wednesday morning for the training and Zone Leader Council. It was way sweet!! We learned a ton and I'm really eager to apply it. President Hendricks is such a good teacher, and after these trainings I always feel way inspired to be continually improving. We stayed the night with the Constant Spring Elders (my old house), along with 7 other missionaries... because it was too late for us to drive back to our areas by the time everything finished. Basically 9 elders in a 2 man house makes for a long night haha... But no worries, the tile was extra comfortable haha After getting some supplies and things for the missionaries in our zone, we started the long drive back to Negril,.... and to be honest, it didn't seem very long at all.... because driving in Jamaica is not boring like in the States.... We had to be continually alert, because there is no such thing as strait roads here, and most of them seem like they are made for 1 lane of traffic, and sometimes it turns into 3 haha.. basically it was a fun road trip... By the time we got to Negril though... my back was hurting me pretty bad.. not really sure why or what I did to it... so anyway, we dropped those Elders off, and then drove to Sav to drop off the elders there... but by this point my back was killing me!! Like i was having a hard time breathing.... So I called Sister Hendricks, and she told us to stay the night in Sav, It took me 20 min. to get up the stairs to their house, and then I layed on the bed, and it was so much relief!! I could breathe well again!! :) But then Sister Hendricks said to take a hot bath (we had to boil water haha)... to help it loosen up... that was quite an adventure... It took me an excruciating half an hour to be able to get from laying down to standing up, and then even longer to be able to get my clothes off to get in... It was brutal!! but long story short, it was feeling good enough in the morning to drive back, and by the time we got back, it was good enough that I could walk almost normally, so we went teaching, and today, it is feeling good enough to walk normally... I still am having a hard time bending over, but it seems to be recovering quickly... I'm not really sure what happened, but I'm excited for it to be all the way better so I can start exercising again.... So ya... um went teaching Friday when we got back, and hooked up a computer at the church so we could watch General Conference.... We were pretty nervous though, because the internet connection up until the minute before the conference sessions every time would go out every like minute or two...We were praying really hard that it would work so we could see all of conference and once conference started streaming, it never had a problem, and we were able to see all the sessions without any problems... and then when conference was over the internet connection went out again haha.... It truly was a modern day miracle that it worked the way it did. :) Speaking of conference.... It seems like the theme was get married and start a happy family... no goofing around.... haha so basically I'm way stoked to finish out my mission strong, and get married!! WOOWOO!! haha :) But ya, conference was awesome!! So many amazing talks!! I'm excited to read through and study them when they come out in the ensign and liahona.... So ya, things are going awesome here.. If you didn't get a chance to watch conference..go online and do it!! TOtally worth it. :) but I have to go... nuff love!!! Elder Kraus ps... the pic is the day we got back to santa cruz after my back went out... (thats why i appear unshaven haha)