Monday, March 26, 2012

Hiking up in Holywell & Searching in Wicky Wacky!

Hey Everyone!!

Dang.. so last P-day.. we went hiking up in Holywell again.. and it was incredible!! We hiked a ton!! It's so beautiful up there.. one track trails through the jungle and mountains.. :) I love it... and it was cold!!!! like low 60's!! :) it was great!! kinda chilly though... especially cuz we don't have much tempurature swing here... its always in the 80's or 90's... so i've adjusted to that... haha.. thankfully i'm coming home in the summer.. or i'd surely die.. :)

Honestly.. this week was just solid!! We've been working with lots of cool people.. :) Anita is doing incredible, as is Jackie.. and the recent converts here are doing great as well!! We've been taking members teaching with us almost every day.. and its been a lot of fun... We're really good friends with a lot of them now.. :) Especially Sister Segree who fed us dinner on Thursday... :) Some dang good chicken alfredo!! :) Members really are the secret to the misionarywork going forward quickly... as soon as someone learning about the gospel has a friend in church, they progress much quicker and when they do get baptized.. they stay active.. because they have friends in the gospel... So... make sure and be good friends with the recent
converts!! :)

Story of the week from my journal: " we had a cool experience looking for a less active member in "Wicky Wacky" today... Its a huge neighborhood with basically no house numbering and we were looking for a guy whom we knew nothing about except his name and that he lived somewhere in the neighborhood.... like looking for a needle in a haystack!!! except... the Lord knows exactly where the needle is... :) we happened to run into a couple walking and as we started talking to them, we found that they lived in the same house as the guy!! :) He wasn't home at the time, but now we know where he is.. The Lord knows each one of us personally and will do what it takes to help us return to Him... we just have to do our part... We are the Lord's hands here.."
I love being a missionary, and I love the people here.... I love the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and how much happiness it brings everyone... :)

Last but not least.. i'll leave ya with my favorite definition of faith: Trusting in the Lord enough to do things His way and trusting that everything will work out for your good if you do....

So.. continue to do things the Lords way, and be happy.. :) like McDonalds says.... I'm lovin it!! ;)

One Love

Elder Kraus

Monday, March 19, 2012

Trade offs in Ocho Rios & Old Harbor

Hey Everyone!!

Short one this week... Things are going great!!

Highlights of the week: we did a trade off with the Ocho Rios Elders on wednesday... So that was amazing... And on Friday we did a trade off with Old Harbour.... So cool!! We had lessons with 3 of the people who got baptized when I was there (Demetry-Ann, Jeromey, and Atanya).. and they're all doing incredible!! :) Jeromey still has his sights set on a mission... :) So cool... oh and they had a baptism w/ us there... :) Her name is Stacy, and me and Elder Gayle found and started teaching her when we were both serving there, and taught her for about 3 months.. Well.. they've been teaching her ever since, and she got baptized on Saturday.. :) I was able to be one of the witnesses.. So cool.. :) Oh and Elder Barker (one of the elders in old harbour) is from England... so after the trade off, I was stuck in a fake English accent for a couple days haha..

But ya... Life is good!! I'm lovin it.. Lots of people to teach, lots of good times, and lots of love.... Everyone have an incredible week!!

One Love!

Elder Kraus

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kadian and Emmy / Be an Example

Hey Everyone!!!

Well... I don't have too much time today at all.. But this week was incredible!! I honestly hate sending these emails because so much stuff happens every week, that I never can decide what stuff to write! haha.. especially when I have limited time.. ..

Well, as for people we're working with... things are going amazing!!! Anita has a baptism date for March 31st and is working really hard to be prepared by that day (She's a girl that we just invited as we passed her in a lane, and turns out she's good friends with a member and was super prepared for the gospel.. ) The power of just opening your mouth... :) It's awesome.. Like Elder Holland said.. Satan can succeed if he can simply bind the tongues of the faithful... So.. open your mouths and invite your friends!! :) Everyone else is coming along great as well!!.... It would be imossible to keep you updated on everyone.... so I shant try haha... but everyone's doing great!! We've got so many people to work with right now... We've been really focusing on helping members fulfill their missionary responsibilities and taking lots of them teaching with us... and lots of success has been following.. Like for example.. today's just Monday, and we're already booked til Saturday!! :) It's awesome!!

Two cool things that happened this week... .. First we went and worked with the Santa Cruz elders for a day, and while there, we went and saw Kadian.. a girl that me and elder Hoffman found when we were serving there... we were still teaching her when I got transferred.. and she's doing great!!! She has a baptism date for sometime in the coming 2 weeks.. :) so thats way exciting!! and Second.. Emmy (Demetry-Ann's sister) from Old Harbour called me yesterday.. (me and Elder Gayle taught her the whole 3 months I was there).. and told me that she had decided to be baptized finally and wanted to specailly inivite me to her baptism on Saturday.. :) I'm so excited!! It's soo cool seeing that even if we don't see immediate success at whatever we do, seeds are planted that can/will continue to grow.. :) I love it..

Funny Story for the week... So, we were at a members house eating dinner, and there was a lady there that we didn't know... so we started talking to her, and she told us that she wasn't a member but was interested in learning more about the church... So we had a great discussion with her.. and she kept asking these amazing questions and things... that showed she knew a ton about the church.... well... long story short.. the lady was actually a member that was visiting from America and she totally punked us haha... It was pretty funny.. :)

Words of exhortation for the week: This is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth again... It's his Kingdom!! People look at how members act and judge the whole kingdom on it... So act at all times like you should...A lot of times here people will make general statements about Americans because of their experience with one American... Their view of America is totally based on their contact with one American... Its the same thing with this gospel... This isn't just a church.... we are citizens of Jesus Christ's Kingdom... Don't ever say or do anything that would make people think anything bad about the Kingdom.. The world's view of this kingdom is determined by how they see the members of the kingdom acting.. Be an example at all times!! If you aren't, your actions could keep somebody from becoming a part of the only kingdom in the world that will be successful in the long run.. and you don't want that on you.. It's so sad to have people say... "oh that church can't be true, I've seen how the members act.." Represent Jesus Christ like you promised at baptism!! :)

Everyone have an amazing week... and live it up!!! I love my life!!

One Love!

Elder Kraus

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Love Being a Missionary!!

Hey Everyone!!

This week was incredible!! Sabrina's baptism went great on Saturday!! There were over 50 people there and the service was great!! So much support from the branch! :) Her dad, President Singh, was able to baptize her, and both of them along with Sister Singh (her mom) were just glowing they were so happy.. :) It was a really sweet experience to be able to be a part of bringing so much happiness to a family.. Sunday was equally incredible as Sabrina was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting, and as if that wasn't enough to make the day amazing.. Venice came to church along with 3 of our other investigators... :) and still the day continued to get better... Right after church, Brother Brown was baptized... We had a recent convert, who pretty recently received the priesthood do the baptism, and it was awesome!! :) Sister Brown was also really excited to finally see her husband getting baptized... :) It was an incredible weekend...

The rest of the week has been great as well... Tons of cool experiences, and great lessons... We're finding a lot of really cool people to teach, and the ones that we have been teaching are coming along great!! :) Oh and Sabrina came teaching with us this week with another cool guy in the branch.. :) It was amazing to hear her bear her testimony in lessons...She's doing great! :) On Wednesday, we went to district meeting in Port Antonio, and took some sweet pictures overlooking the ocean... :) but.. I don't have too much time left to email... so... I'll just jump to one of the cool experiences this week..

Each week, President Singh, gives us 5 less active people who he's never met to go find... Sometimes they've moved, or the address is too vague, so we can't find them... One of our names this week was a girl named Kadian, and her address was super vague.. (Sterling Castle Heights).. which is pretty much a whole mountainside... super spread out and tons of people... Finding her would be like finding a needle in a haystack.. .... So.. we drove up there and started walking around and asking people if they knew her... (which is sketchy because sometimes.. even if they do know who we're looking for, they'll lie to us because they think we're CIA)... After about an hour of talking to people and finding that nobody knew her or where she lived, we decided to leave... As I was driving out of the area, I saw a lady in the rear view mirror and felt prompted to talk to her before we left... So I pulled over and we walked the distance back to talk to her.. Wehn we asked if she knew Kadian, she smiled and said that it was her daughter!! :) and told us where she lived.. We went and Kadian was home.. and so surprised to see us!! It'd been 5 or 6 years since she had any contact with the church and when we tried to set up a return appointment she said that she'd love for us to come back, but she lived with her uncle who didn't really like religious visitors... and she didn't know if he would welcome us coming... We asked her if we could meet her uncle right then.. and she hesitatnly took us around back to meet him... He was back there working on building a house, and instead of talking about the gospel at all with him, we just asked if we could come back and help him work on the house.. :) He eagerly accepted the help and we're seeing them again Monday morning.. :) It was pretty
cool how it all worked out... We may not be able to find a needle in a haystack... but Heavenly Father always knows right where we should go.. :)

I love being a missionary.. especially recognizing the times that the Spirit guides us through our thoughts and feelings.. and I love working with the Lord to prepare the world for the second coming...

Basically... I love my life! :)

Everyone have an incredible week!!

One Love!

Elder Kraus