Monday, July 25, 2011

Still in Santa Cruz!!

Hey everyone!!!

This week was pretty sweet!! We had a ton of awesome lessons, and are working with some way awesome people!! :) Prolly one of my favorite moments of the week, was when we taught this guy named Randy about the Book of Mormon. He was so excited to learn about it, and told us that he always thought that there would be more people on the earth back then then just the people in the Bible... He's really excited to read from it. :) Its really sweet when people understand that the Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ written by ancient prophets at the same time the bible was being written, but on the other side of the world... Cuz if you really think about it, it makes sense, and how amazing is it to have more scripture!? The Book of Mormon is way sweet!! :)

We have 3 people that we are working with right now that are committed for baptism dates in August :) Jermaine, (Felicia's 28 year old brother), Tamara (Ariel's step sister who's in her 20's), and Tiana (a super smart 12 year old girl... the daughter of a member... ).... They are all so awesome, and are doing amazing!! Working with them has been way sweet, and as we continue to meet with them, I hope and pray that they will continue to move forward despite any opposition that may come their way.

District Meeting on Wednesday was pretty sweet... It was Sister Smith's last (she goes home this week), so afterwords in Hot Pot (the place we eat after District meeting), we celebrated by busting a bottle of sparkling pineapple soda stuff ... :) It was way fun!! And we're definately going to miss having her in the district... She's such an awesome Sister, and has really helped the Lord's work move foreward in Jamaica!...

Saturday was pretty epic.... We were chopping yard for a lady, and transfer calls came... I get to stay in Santa Cruz again (WOOT WOOT!! :)).. and Elder Hoffman is going to Kingston to serve with Elder Dale as an assistant to President Hendricks!.... Which is way tight!! :) Elder Ostberg is coming here to serve with me in Santa Cruz!! He's way cool, so it should be another awesome transfer.... The last 3 transfers have flown by!!! I can't believe that this one is already over.... Me and Elder Hoffman worked super hard, and had a lot of fun... I can't believe how fast my mission is going.... its crazy!!

um... what else..... oh, me and Elder Hoffman were the 2 speakers in sacrament meeting on Sunday.... so that was pretty sweet....I spoke on the Sabbath day, and the Sacrament.. Which was pretty fortunate... because we don't really have any time to prepare talks.... and since we teach people that regularly... it was easy to talk about for 20 min.... :) The more my testimony of the gospel grows... the easier it gets to speak in church....

So ya.... not really any crazy stories or anything ... but it was just a super solid good week...:) Everyone keep reading from the Book of Mormon... and if you've never heard of it... get a copy from the missionaries and read it!! It's such an amazing book, and nothing builds a testimony of Jesus Christ more or faster....

Um...... ya.....

til next week!!!

One Love!

Elder Kraus

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trade off's with Elder Moore

Hey everyone!! This week has been pretty crazy too.. The craziness started on Monday.... We were walking down the street, and we saw a white girl about our age ride past on a bicycle going the other way on the other side of the road... It was so weird!! Because its unheard of to see white people in Santa Cruz.. Well... after staring awkwardly for a sec.. (we were pretty perplexed.. she stared right back and look confused as well haha)... we just kept on walking... and after a min... we turned around, and she had turned around and ran us down to say hi.... and we got to talk with her for a second and found out that her name's Sammy, and she's from Pennsylvania and has been living in Santa Cruz for almost 2 years... and is with the Peace Corps... We talked for a second... and it was pretty weird to be honest... like... I'm really used to talking to Jamaicans... and talking to an American was almost awkward... because it was just so different.... like I felt way uncomfortable and out of place haha... but ya... that was pretty cool... prolly you have to be here to understand the weirdness of it.. haha so ya... sorry if this story seems kinda lame lol

It was a pretty good week as for teaching... Jermaine, and Tiana (a members daughter) have baptism dates now, and we're really working with a ton of cool people!! We had 6 investigators at church this week, and they all had really go0od experiences, and felt the spirit! :) We also got to chop yard again this week... and I'm proud to say... NO BLISTERS!!! My hands are officially tough and callused enough to handle the machete work without pain haha.. :) Oh, and crazy story of the week... we were at a lesson with a really cool lady (Juliet) , and her friend decided to join us who was a revivalist... We were pretty excited to have another person there for the lesson, but our excitement soon changed to trying to suppress laughter.. haha.. As we started teaching about Christ... She made this like moaning sound and kind of shook her body around... and mumbled "Its true... they speak the truth".. and next thing we know... she bent over at the waist... threw her hands in the air, closed her eyes, and started running around and flailing making all sorts of weird noises...and if we hadn't caught her she would have dropped on the ground haha... But she told us that when she falls on the ground and flails is when she really has the power!! Megan, Khani, and Lisa (a few members) were with us teaching, and Megan and Lisa jumped out of their chairs and hid behind us, because she was running right at them haha.... THat is what is referred to in Jamaica as getting in the spirit... Many people here think that when you feel the Holy Ghost, it makes you do crazy things.... so ya... twas an interesting lesson to say the least... Oh, and at the end, she brought out this turban thing to wrap up her locks so we could pray... (she said she has to wear it when she prays...)... I was pretty proud that we were able to get through the lesson without losing it... because to be honest.. I was crackin up inside!! haha... Its amazing what 1800 years without a prophet on the earth does....

Thursday and Friday were pretty sweet... We had a zone conference on Friday, so we went up on Thursday evening because we needed to do a baptism interview for Negril... So Elder Hoffman went to Negril to do that, and I stayed in Sav to do a trade off with them.. I was with Elder More for the evening and it was way sweet!! Elder More is an awesome missionary and we had a lot of fun.. Him and Elder Larsen (another missionary that was with us).. both go him in like a week!!! It was so crazy talking with them about it... They both said that it feels so surreal like they are just gonna be here forever... I can't even imagine what its gonna feel like when its finally time to go home... but luckily, thats far in the future... because thats gonna be such a major mix of emotions I think!! And our experience on Monday made me realize how out of place I'm going to feel in America for a little bit... culture shock round two.. haha... Zone conference on Friday was way sweet.. President Hendricks is such an awesome mission president!!! Every time he teaches, I leave with such a huge excitement to just go out and do work!! :) Its crazy to me that this transfer is almost over... Transfer calls come this weekend!!! Time is blazin!!

Well, I'm kind of out of interesting stuff to talk about... so... Everyone keep it real this week!! Keep reading from the scriptures!! Especially the Book of Mormon!!! :) One Love! Elder KRaus (the pic is of me and Elder Hoffman)

Monday, July 11, 2011

President Hendricks is so cool!!!!

Hey Everyone!!

Dang, well, this week was pretty fast. I can't believe that its over already. Tuesday morning, we did some sweet service!! We got to clear a bunch of land, and dig a bunch of holes to plant corn in. :) It was pretty tough.... Very exhausting haha.... One awesome thing about it though is that they only had 1 hoe.... So me and Elder Hoffman would switch off using the hoe, and whoever wasn't using it, got to play cricket with a bunch of kids. haha... It was way fun!! :) THey were all pretty surprised that I could play good, because American's don't really play cricket, but its similar to baseball... except they bounce the ball .... haha... It was a blast!! Tuesday is when our week got crazy. We got a call from the Assistants, who told us that we needed to go get Elder Mcleoud from Negril for a training meeting in Kingston.... (we had to be there too on Wednesday). So we left out Tuesday night and I'm gonna save you all the boring details...b ut this is the course we traveled from Tuesday night to Friday morning.... Santa Cruz to Negril to Santa Cruz to Kingston to Negril to Savannah la mar to Negril to Santa Cruz... haha... It was pretty epic.... (look at a map of Jamaica) Basically we drove all over the west side of the island.. :) It was pretty crazy... Training and Zone leader council in Kingston was awesome!! President Hendricks is so cool!! I always learn so much... After that we did trade off's with Sav and Negril, and then finally got back to Santa Cruz on Friday morning.... Basically we were gone for most of the week...

Things here are going pretty awesome though... We made the most of the time we did have in our area, and talked to tons of people. Barrington is still doing awesome.. He came to church Sunday again, and we have a couple other people that we are working with wtih baptism dates. All in all, the work is good.. :)

I spent a lot of time copying pictures to a memory card this week... so ya, not much time for this... but... it was a good week haha...Sorry bout the dry email haha

One love!

Elder Kraus

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Hey Everyone!!

First off.... GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) We are still gonna celebrate here even though its minus America, and minus fireworks haha... we're going to mandeville to eat at BK with the missionaries there (there aren't really any resturaunts in Santa that are American).... and then play some basketball, and then a member there is having a barbeque for the missionaries, and we're invited!! :) So it should be way good!! haha...

This week was epic!! But I'm gonna save the best for last... We did a trade off with Hopeton, and I was in Hopeton with a new missionary (Elder Hefner) He's a way cool elder, and it was a blast serving with him. We walked super far.... Hopeton has tons of hills, so it was a riot!! We must have hiked 10 miles minimum lol .... My legs are a little sore, and one pair of my shoes is now retired... there are literally no bottoms on them anymore.... its amazing how much shoe bottoms keep you from feeling rocks.. and how the lack of them means feeling every single pebble haha... They were struggling already, and then the hiking finished them off. lol... While I was there, we had dinner with Sister Powell again, and it was great!! She had me play piano for her again, and I think both of us really enjoyed it. There aren't any piano's in Santa Cruz, so any chance I get to play is pretty sweet... I played some hymns for her, and All of Me by Jon Schmidt.. :) I'm amazed I can still kinda remember it haha..

Oh, and I heard the most epic conversion story of my life while I was there from a recent convert named Arlene (I got to do the baptism interview for her daughter Tavia who was baptized a couple weeks ago :).... She said that one day, she was going out the gate, and down the road to walk her daughter to school and saw a piece of paper on the ground in the road... She didn't think anything of it though and went on her way. The next day, she was walking the ame route, and saw the paper in the same place.. haha she said that this time she talked to it as if it had life, "If you are still there when I pass tomorrow if the wind hasn't blown you away, I'll pick you up and read you." The next day, when she got up, the wind had blown it away... but right onto her gate at her house!! So she picked it up and read it. She said that it really uplifted her, and brightended her day, so she taped it on the wall in her house and read it every morning for couple months until Elder Trumpet and another elder came to her door. She said she was going to run them off, but something told her to invite them in.... When they came in and saw the paper taped to the wall, she said they freaked out and took pictures and stuff and when she told them that she read it every morning, they explained that it was a fragment of a page from The Book of Mormom, a book we use with the Bible. A few months later, after overcoming a lot of things, she was baptized, and her daughter too. :) The tiny piece of paper was a piece of a page from the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 22:13-17), and it changed her life. :) so cool!!!! All her children are now being taught of the Lord, so it really applied to her too.. :) By small and simple means are great things brought to pass.

K... now for the most epic part of the week..... When I first got to Santa, there were about 35 people coming to chruch every week.... As we've been working really hard, and with the help of the Spirit, its been slowly growing each week... and this week, we encountered a serious problem.... There wasn't enough room for everyone!! haha!! :) So awesome!! there were 50 people there!!!! There just wasn't enough room in the sacrament room in the house for everyone, not even enough chairs (we were 2 short).... Some people had to sit outside, and me and President Durrant stood up for the whole meeting... hahaa... IT was awesome!! We had like 6 of our investigators that we've been working with there, and a lot of less active members we have been working with came back.... :) and the best part for me... was... BARRINGTON CAME TO CHURCH!!! It was amazing!!!! He received such a warm welcome back too, and it really was just the perfect Sunday. :)

THings here are going awesome, and I'm loving the missionarywork... :) I know that this is Jesus Christ's kingdom again on the earth...

Read the Book of Mormon!!

One Love

Elder Kraus