Monday, November 28, 2011

So Thankful for Pumpkin Pie & Baptisms!

Hey Everyone!! This week was AMAZING/CRAZY!! Monday, I cooked 4 pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving... :) Surprisingly, only one of them lasted til then haha... I guess I got a little excited to show people I can cook.. :) haha They turned out really awesome though... despite our oven not having any tempurature controls... (its just this ghetto flame thing...)... which is prolly why the pies had so many knife marks in them (me checking if they are done... ).. But it was awesome.. :) Thanks for the ingredients mom!! :)

After that, this week was filled with trade off's and awesome lessons with Jeromey, Atanya, and Kadine.. :) They passed their baptism interviews on Thursday with flying colors and were just so excited for Saturday!! Thursday was just an amazing day... One of the best thanksgivings ever for sure.. :) A member (Sister Dennis) invited us over for dinner along with a lot of members of the branch, and it was awesome!! We ate on her roof with the cool breeze blowing and a sweet view of Old Harbour..and food.... SO MUCH!! :) It was pretty sweet... Tons of fun, and we really got to know some of the members a little better... :) Oh and I brought the last pumpkin pie and it was a hit!! :) Everyone loved it!! Thursday was definitely an awesome day..

Friday was kinda crazy... Elder Nelson got sent here for a few days to wait til his visa clears (he's getting transferred to the Turks and Caicos)... so there's been 3 of us for a few days... but its been really fun!! :) He has a guitar, so we've been playing around on that after planning at night... Its been pretty sweet.. :)
And finally... SATURDAY WAS THE BEST DAY EVER!!! We did service in the morning for a lady who lives by Kadine (we forked up a bunch of soil and cleared about 30 feet of jungle (literally jungle.. like it was taller than me.. :)) with our machetes.... and they fed us lunch afterwords... (i was messin around pretending to eat with the pitch fork... so thats that pic haha) and then we all met up at the church and went to May Pen for the baptism.. :) It was flawless!! Everyone was on time, there was a lot of member support, and even some members from May Pen were there (Sister Sterling!! :))... It was such a cool baptism!! They were all so excited, especially Jeromey and Atanya's mom... She said it was the best day of her life! :) It was such a good expererience and the Spirit was so strong... Kadine was beaming... She's been through so much to reach this point in her life, and it was AMAZING to be able to be here and see her overcome all the obstacles and follow the example of Jesus Christ.... Honestly... It just couldn't have been a better day....

Sunday, all 3 were confirmed in church, and Jeromey was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood... He's already preparing to serve a mission in a little over a year when he turns 19... :) It was such a golden day.. :) Just a golden week!!
Oh and transfer calls came... Elder Luke is coming here to be with Elder Gayle.... and I'm getting transferred to Kingston to serve as an assistant to President Hendricks with Elder Hoffman..... I'm excited, but way nervous! I'm sure I'm gonna grow and learn a ton though, so I'm pumped for that... but I'm just hoping I do a good job.. I'll give it my best.. :) It's gonna be cool to be back in the constant spring branch again.... But I'm pretty sad to be leaving Old Harbour.... I am really starting to love it here.. I feel really close with some of the members, and especially Demetry-ann (she was at the baptism on Saturday, gave the talk on baptism, and has just been being an awesome member missionary... ), Jeromey, Atanya, and Kadine... I'm definitely gonna keep in touch with them for the rest of my life.. :)

So ya.... That's this week in a nutshell... :) haha.. pretty crazy, but pretty amazing.. :) I love my life.. :)
But Everyone have an awesome week, and work off all the weight you gained at thanksgiving haha... :) just playin...... but seriously...

One Love!! Elder Kraus

Monday, November 21, 2011

Climbing the Coconut tree, so worth it!!

Hey Everyone!!

This week was sweet!!! I don't have too much time... but.. I'll just share a couple things about it... First one... We were brushing yard for Demetry-ann, and I asked her if I could get a coconut (they drink them like water here haha)... and she said.. "ya.. .if you can get one...." They have a coconut tree that is about 30 ft. tall and she didn't think I could climb it.. ... Her dad even said... anytime I see you climb that tree... you'll see me do it too haha (he's like 50 and kinda overweight.. so no way he could climb it...)... Well... the challenge was on... so i took off my shoes, and climbed right up... (same way the guy does it in the other side of heaven.. but a little slower)... and picked a couple coconuts... haha... I wish i could show you.. but the video is too long to send.. but they were alll pretty surprised... :) It was way hard though.... like back home there was always this rock climbing wall at scout camp.... and i remember how tired the arms get when I climbed that.. and this was like way worse haha... I was exhausted!! But it was way worth it.. :) the coconuts were super sweet and they got to see their first white man climb a coconut tree haha...

Prolly the coolest experience this week was with Kadine.... She was kinda struggling with her testimony of this as the only true church, and we felt prompted to read Joseph Smith History with her.... the part about him struggling to find truth, praying and the first vision... and it was such a cool experience.. she read the whole thing out loud and then we all just kinda sat there for a minute silently, and I've never felt the Spirit testify to someone so strongly before... :) It was definately a "light switch moment"... Her face lit up with a smile, and she excitedly exclaimed, "I've been looking for this my whole life!! It's true.... This is it, I've found it!!" She was so excited and was pouring out thanks to us for bringing it to her, to God for answering her prayer, and wanted to go tell everyone all around her that its true!!! :) She is so excited about the gospel and her baptism coming up on Saturday.. :) She shared with us how she had been from church to church to church, and was so excited that she finally found the true gospel of Jesus Christ... She said she didn't even know if it could be found in one place... She truly was looking for the truth but knew not where to find it... :) and one cool thing about that we got to her house at about 7:30 at night, and right when we got there she called us on the phone (not knowing we were outside)...I answered, and told her we were outside...:) When she came out, she told us that she was calling to cancel, because she felt really tired all of a sudden...If we had been there 1 min. later, we wouldn't have been able to have the appointment.. coincidence?? haha I don't think so.:) The Devil will do anything to keep people from having spiritual experiences.. but thankfully, the Lord is way smarter and knows exactly what to do to counteract his attacks... It's our job to be in tune to the Spirit to know what the Lord wants us to do..:)

Saturday should be awesome!! Kadine, Jeromey, and Atanya are all really excited for their baptisms... :) and it should just be an awesome week!! I know that this is Jesus Christ's true church and the gospel blesses everyone's life who will honestly seek for it! :)

till next week!!

One love!!

Elder Kraus

Monday, November 14, 2011

Demetry Ann & Kadine

Hey Everyone!!

This week was sweet!! Not really anything crazy happened, but we had an amazing week!! Jeromey and Atanya are doing amazing; both are super excited for their baptism coming up on the 26th.... :) And both were at church on Sunday... and are lovin it!!

Sunday was pretty much amazing!! Me and Elder Gayle both spoke in church as well as DEMETRY-ANN!! :) It was awesome! She was super nervous but gave a great talk!! All three of us spoke on love, and how important it is in this gospel... Like it says in Moroni 7... WIthout charity.. We are nothing!! As I was studying and preparing for the talk, I really felt my testimony grow of it, and definately felt my love increase for everyone and missionarywork.. :) It was awesome!! I love speaking in

After church I had a pretty cool experience... Our usual routine is to have a lesson with someone right after church and then go home for lunch... We did that, and were sitting at home.... I had just finished eating lunch (mac n cheese.. :) ... and was studying for a lesson that we had planned later that day... (we have an hour for lunch and dinner)... and all the sudden I got really excited to just go out and start teaching.... I'm always excited to get out and talk to people, but this was different... I really felt like we needed to leave right then... I couldn't even finish the page I was on... So I told Elder Gayle, and we left... not really sure why we were leaving out early... We went to the first lesson that we had scheduled and..... She wasn't home... and neither was her backup....but then Demetry-ann called and said she was at Kadine's house cooling out and talking with her, and wanted us to come over... so we decided to go see Kadine... (a muslim girl that we've been teaching... we didn't have another lesson planned with her until later in the week).. We had asked Demetry-ann earlier to really try hard to reach out and be good friends with Kadine, and fellowship her, and when we got there, it was pretty apparent that she had been... It seemed like they had known each other forever and were best friends.... :) We had an amazing lesson with Kadine, and found out a lot of concerns that she had... The Spirit was so strong and she is so determined to overcome everything she's struggling with and be ready to be baptized on the 26th (which we had extended to her at the start of this month) as well... :) It was a really cool experience... because if we hadn't left early, we wouldn't have had time to go and see Kadine (we have a packed schedule every day)... and if Demetry wasn't there, the lesson would have gone very differently, because Kadine knows that missionaries get moved around, but having Demetry-ann who can always be there for her was a huge comfort... The power of member's fulfilling their missionary responsibilities is limitless!!!! :) I'm super excited for Kadine and have a lot of confidence that she can be ready by the 26th... even though it will take a lot of hard work.. :)

I know that if we do everything we're supposed to, the Lord blesses us with his children to teach... and I'ave defintely seen the blessings of obedience and hard work... We have a blessed problem right now... trying to find time to see everyone! ... :) We have so many people to teach that we have like 3-4 days booked in advance haha We're so busy!! Work work work!! . I'm so excited and happy to be here serving a mission, and I smile so much that I'm pretty sure its gonna be permanently stuck on my face if I don't stop soon haha... I'm so happy doing the Lord's work and these 2 years are really flyin!!

Everyone have a sweet week, and talk to a friend about the gospel.. or be a good friend to someone learning about it... :) They need you!!!!

One Love,

Elder Kraus

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

After Great Tribulations Come the Blessings

Hey Everyone!!!!

THis week was sweet!! We've been working our tails off, talking to everyone, and teaching at all times, and its been awesome!! :) We've really been focusing on talking with everyone and inviting them to hear our message... whether it be at the supermarket talking to the cashier as we're cashing out, or just walking down the street and talking to people... and the results have been amazing!! We always have like 2-3 days in advance completely booked with people to see!! Its awesome! :) And I really have a testimony of the Lord putting people in our path.. When we plan properly, and seek guidance from our Heavenly Father on what we should do each day, the Lord always blesses us by putting people who are prepared in our paths... A lot of times when an appointment falls through, we kind of have the tendency to just say, ok... on to the next one... but, when something falls through lately, we've really been focusing on trying to figure out what the Lord wants us to do in that area... and its been awesome!!! We're being blessed with so many people to teach!! This week on Wednesday, an appointment fell through, and we decided to go see a member (Sis. Grant) who had asked us for a blessing if we had time... We went there expecting to give a blessing, but she was feeling better and said she didn't need it anymore... and another member (Sister Phillips) was over at her house, so we decided to have a quick lesson with her because we didn't know her that well yet... After an awesome lesson and really getting to know her, we asked for referalls, and BLESSINGS!! she got really excited and asked us to start teaching her kids.. (Jeromey (18) and Atanya(13))... We set an appointment for the next day and went to see them... in the morning.. .and surprise!! more BLESSINGS :) Her 19 year old niece (Jelene) was there as well getting ready to go to work and joined us in the lesson.... We had an amazing lesson on the restoration with them, and committed them to read from the Book of Mormon and pray to know its true.... Sunday, they came to church with their mom... and more BLESSINGS!! During Priesthood, the teacher felt inspired to split the class in 2 and one half went to see a priesthood brother who hadn't been to church in a good while, while we went to see another guy who hadn't been in a while as well!! Jeromey was in our group and we walked down the street and visited the member... It was awesome and the member was really feeling the love and commited to come next week... but the blessings of the visit extended far beyond that..... We had a lesson with Jeromey and Atanya after church at their house on the gospel of Jesus Christ.... and when we got there... they had both kept their reading commitments plus Jeromey read up to 1 Nephi 14 already!! We invited them to be baptized on November 26th, and they both eagerly accepted... They are soaking up the gospel like a sponge and are so excited about it!! After they accepted the baptism date, Jeromey told us that while we were walking to see the less active that he really felt the spirit and wanted to serve a mission and tell everyone about it... So he also commited to start preparing to serve a mission... :) It was such an awesome day!!!

I really have such a strong testimony of the scripture that says that after great tribulations come the blessings... because Saturday was like the worst day ever... Every lesson fell through.. along with most of the backups.. but we kept busy and working hard despite the frustrations.. and at the end of the day just felt destroyed and discouraged... but we woke up Sunday feeling revived, went to work, and the blessings flowed in!! The Lord blesses us when we are diligent in doing his work.. :)

Members are so vital in the work as well... because when they refer someone to the missionaries to learn about the gospel... it goes so much better!! How missionarywork should ideally go is the members inviting all their friends to be taught and the missionaries teaching everyone with the members' help.. :) The Lord's work moves the fastest when members have the courage to share the gospel with their friends... So please.. this week.. identify one friend who is not a member of the church and invite them to meet with the missionaries or invite them to church.... Just get inviting!! :)

I love this gospel and am super excited to continue to do work here!! Everyone have an awesome week! :)

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Demetry Ann

Hey Everyone!!

This week was sweet!! :)

I don't have too much time, so I'll hit the high points.. Tuesday was pretty much cursed for us haha..All our appointments fell through except one... We are teaching a really cool Muslim girl named Kadeen.. and her lesson worked out.. but it also was cursed haha.. A rasta man showed up who is friends with Kadeen (the same one who owns the gym we work out at sometimes in the morning...)... and noticed that we were talking about Jesus Christ.... and bam!! Turns out.. he's not a rasta at all, but really is a Christian.... POSER!! haha.. So ya.. he pretty much took over and started preaching Jesus Christ to her... and no matter how hard we tried.. we couldn't take control of the lesson again.. so we ended up leaving after a bit and left him preaching to her haha...but it was quite a sight... a huge rasta man (locks and all) preaching Jesus to a Muslim... Definitely not something we see every day... But it was all good.. We had a trade off later in the week with the zone leaders.. (I was with Elder Mcloud in Old Harbour)... and we had a SWEET day!! We finished our trade off with an amazing lesson with Kadeen.. The spirit was so strong, and she is becoming more and more converted to the gospel and Jesus Christ.... (at one point durning the lesson, I heard her mutter "I need this"... )... It was awesome!! It was pretty sweet, because we testify to everybody that if they find out the Book of Mormon is true, they will know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, Joseph Smith was a prophet called by Jesus Christ, and this is Jesus Christ's true church on the earth again...).. and most people already believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior... so its been an awesome experience for me use the Book of Mormon to testify and teach about Jesus Christ... It really is a testament of Jesus Christ... Kadeen is already up to Helaman in the Book of Mormon, and though she still has questions and things, she can feel her testimony growing of the Savior.... So cool!! :) Truly anyone who will honestly read and pray about the Book of Mormon, will find that it is true and have a desire to follow it.. :)

Friday was sweet!! Demetry-Ann got baptized!! :) It was such a great service and the spirit was really strong... Oh, and we did it at a beautiful river!! :) It was awesome!! She is doing great and eagerly learning the gospel more and more each day.. Its been so fun to work with her and see the progress she's making...

Sunday was also amazing... Demetry-Ann was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting, and came teaching with us after church along with a few other members.. Probably my favorite lesson of the day though was with a girl named Tiffra... We had planned to go and teach the restoration to her... but she started out by telling us how she knows there is a creator by just looking around at the earth... the trees, the way the wind blows.. She said she was just sitting there earlier that day and thinking about that... and how she knows that there is a creator.... and I felt promped to ask her the question....,"What are we doing here?"... She thought about it for a minute and then responded that she had never really thought about it that way...and it was an amazing lesson!! We helped her understand her purpose in life.. That she had lived with God before this and he had created this earth for us to come get bodies, learn and grow, and prepare to live with him.... and it tied in great to really the reason to find truth... find what God wants us to do to live with him again.... That is what we are doing every day... helping people find the path back to Heavenly Father again... It was such a powerful lesson and she gave probably the most heartfelt prayer I have ever heard at the end of the lesson.... so sincere... talking to Him like a father rather than some unknown being... It was awesome!! :)
So ya... the week was good.... I defintaley feel my testimony of the gospel growing daily as I teach about it...:) I love this gospel and am so grateful for the plan of salvation.... Its beautiful!! and brings so much purpose to life... :)

Everyone have an awesome week!!

One Love

Elder Kraus