Monday, May 30, 2011

Hey everyone,
This week has been such a roller coaster!!
We've been working our butts off, and teaching everyone that we come in contact with, and it's definately been paying off. We are working with some really cool people, and finding more every day. Sister Rhodin, and Monique (her daughter) weren't able to make it to church this week, because she got really sick, but we are still teaching them, and their baptism date is the 11th. They have both prayed and recieved their answers that this is Jesus Christ's true church, and are keeping their commitments, and just doing awesome!! They have definately been a blessing to work with... I love going over there too, because they are always so excited to see us!! No matter how the day is going, they always make it brighter. :) Also, Jermaine (Felicia's older brother), is doing awesome, he came to church on Sunday, and is really working hard to find out if the things we teach are true.... So there have definately been many good things happening this week....
The end of this week was really hard for me though. We have been teaching Felicia and the rest of her family all week, having amazing lessons with them, and they were firmly committed for church... I've never been more sure that someone was going to be there. But then, Saturday night, we had a lesson with Jermaine (sitting up in a tree w/ him.. haha :) I love Jamaica), and afterwords, went inside to have a lesson with Felicia, and the family... and just so you have a little more background on them... the family is Rose (the mom.... prolly 50 ish years old), and all her kids: Felicia (22), Ackeliah (16), Renaldo (15), and Jermaine (28). .... Felicia and Ackeliah were baptized in another church pretty recently, and as we've been teaching them, that has been a concern that they've had, but as of now, they understand the Priesthood authority, and how if this is true, then this is the only church in the world with it.... ... They get it... and have been praying very sincerely and studying the Book of Mormon to find out if the things we teach are true..... So anyway.... we went inside to have a lesson with them, and a church sister (Sister Bev. she said her name was) from there other church had just popped in for a second to say hi. So we said hi to her, introduced ourselves, and I held out my hand to shake her hand, and she looked me in the face and said, "I'm not shaking your hand." We were a little taken back by that but whatev.... to each his own I guess... so we let it slide, and tried to talk with her for a minute.. just making small talk... (nobody else was in the room... just us... ) so we said we'd be right back, and went down the hallway to get everyone for the lesson we had planned... and they told us that Sister Bev. is the lady who had been there a few weeks earlier and told them that we worship Joseph Smith and were demons and things.... So ya... that explained why she wouldn't shake our hands.... So... we decided that we were going to bear our testimonies to her and ask her not to say false things about us anymore... So we went back to the room with Sister Bev... (the family came with us)..And I told her that I heard that she had been saying some things about us, and as I was about to tell her what we teach, she freaked out!!! She stood up, and started shouting... saying don't you dare accuse me!!! and it just got crazier from there... we tried to calm her down and tell her we just wanted to talk, but she just got more riled up... and was just going off on us... yelling things like, "the blood of Jesus is upon you!!!"" and "I'm not scared of you demons!!!" "I'm not scared of you whites!! You come over here deceiving everyone with your book and riding your bicycles around!!"" reh reh reh... she was just going off... The family was just sitting there in shock watching the whole thing... and we didn't want it to go any farther, and we had a lesson planned with the family, so I just told her... "Sister Bev. I don't know where you heard all these crazy things, and why you are being so rude, but if you would like to learn what we actually teach, feel free to stay around... but we ARE starting a lesson now, and if you don't want to join us, you can leave... " and she stormed off..... We had a really good lesson with the family about persecution that night, and they told us that she was gonna go to their pastor and he was prolly gonna come over to their house soon and "crucify we" as Ackeliah said...In our lesson, we let them know, that we had taught them almost everything that we had to teach, and that they were at a crossroads... they either needed to choose whether to follow man, or to follow what Heavenly Father and their hearts were telling them... We told them that we will never condemn another church, but that this is the only place that the full truth could be found, and we would be really sad if they chose to stop investigating... and that if they wanted us to continue to teach them, they needed to be coming to church so that they can really finish their search to find if these things were true... despite any persecution they would receive.... it would be worth it.... They all commited to be at church on Sunday, and seemed so firmly commited that I didn't have a doubt that they would be there.... They were so sincere... but then Sunday rolled around, and we sat in Sacrament meeting waiting for them... Our hearts would jump each time someone walked in, and fall again when we'd see it wasn't them... And, they never showed up... again... So we went up there last night, and told them that we loved them so much, but we couldn't continue to teach them unless they keep their promises.... We told them, that when they come to church, and decided to follow their hearts rather than the fear put in by man, we could continue to teach them... They understood, and we told them we loved them again before we left... and they told us they loved us too... By the way they were looking at us when we left, we could tell that.... Honestly, it was the toughest thing that I've done on my mission... I love that family so much, and hope and pray that they will have the courage to follow their hearts and the answers that they have received from Heavenly Father.
This gospel has brought me so much happiness, and it breaks my heart to see somebody that I love so much not trying to find the joy it can bring. I hope and pray that they'll come around....
We're continuing to work really hard, and I'm loving the work... and putting my whole heart into it... ...
One Love
Elder Kraus

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