Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey Everyone!!

Sorry, Its been a while since we've had a full emailing session..and we don't really have one today either.. Super busy.. and enjoying Jamaica.. :)  Today, we went up to Holywell in the Blue Mountains to go hiking again.. and it was incredible!!  I love it up there so much.. 4000 ft. above sea level, fairly cool, little one track trails through the jungle.. I love it!! :)  Today after hiking around and taking pics, we ran for a while.. It felt incredible!! Brought back memories of cross country practice up in the mountains when I was living in Idaho... Except thing here are more green.. I'm really excited to go running with my family when I get home.. (I'm comin for ya Bryant.. .. haha.. We'll have to race a mile when I get home.. I did a 5:45 on the treadmill... but it nearly killed me.... Dang am i out of shape!!)..  

Other eventful things:  we finished another transfer successfully, with all the airport runs and picking up new missionaries and everything.. so that went great.. oh and one of the missionaries who got transferred to this branch, Elder Condor, had his birthday.. so to follow Jamaican tradition, we "floured him".. but.. funny thing bout that, is as we were chasin him down (he saw us coming.. I guess we weren't as sneaky as we thought)... Elder Randle stepped on a water pipe, and created a geyser... which was good and bad.. Good, because it successfully turned all the flour we dumped on him to dough.. but bad, because we had to fix it.. getting soaked in the process.. It was a pretty funny sight for all the Jamaicans who came to watch.. 4 guys dressed up in business clothes, soaking wet, one covered in flour, at 9 pm, fixing a broken pipe.. After a pretty good battle we got it Jimmy rigged to last the night... haha.. :) It was a good time.. 

As for missionary work.. Things are going great!!  We've been working with some new people, and Jackie is still coming along slowly but surely... She's been coming to church since December every week!! :)  She'll be baptized soon I'm sure.. We've been trying to help members invite their friends to hear more, and have been finding some cool people that way... and have been knocking apartment complexes too.... Pretty much just trying our hardest to build up a big teaching pool again.. So far its going really well.. :)  

One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately, especially as I get closer and closer to the end of my mission, is really what it means to serve with "no regrets"... Because as I've thought back on my mission from the start.. I have a longing to go back to each area and do things a little better.. because I have become a better missionary now.. As we improve each day, it makes it kinda hard to look back at yesterday without a sense of longing to have been doing things the better way all along.. but I think thats part of this mortal experience.. and the reason we are counselled to live in the present.. If we look too much into the future, it can fill us with anxiety... if dwell on the past too long, it can fill us with regret...  I've come to find that serving or living with no regrets just means to give it my all in the present.. do things with passion and enthusiasm.. with 100% obedience and diligence.. and focus on improving... As I've done that for these 23 months, and will continue to give it my all in this last month, I know I'll be able to look back at my mission without any real regrets.. I love this gospel, and I love how happy it makes me!!  I love being a missionary, and I'm determined to finish strong.. 

Life is good.. :)

Everyone have an incredible week.. and if you are gonna write any letters or anything... a good time to do it would be this week.. otherwise, I won't ever receive it.. haha but if not.. see ya in 4 weeks! woot woot!! 

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Love the Book of Mormon


Hey everyone!! Things here are going great!! It feels incredible to be all done with Zone conferences and doing normal missionarywork again.. :)  We're working with a few really cool people still.. and one of them, Jackie, has a baptism date for May 26 that she's working towards.. She a really sweet 47 year old lady.. We met her on the street looking for a less active member sometime at the end of December, and invited her to church.. and she came the 1st Sunday of the year, and hasn't really missed church since.. she's been like 19 Sundays in a row now :)  She had been visiting lots of different churches but feels something different as she's been visiting here, and we've been teaching her for about 4 and a half months now.. She's doing awesome.. :)  Other than her, we've got a few people who are feeling the church is true, but need to act on it and start living the commandments.. so we've been working with 
them, plus finding a lot of new people to teach.. :)  

One of my favorite ways to find new people to teach is to serve them.. We were going through some papers we found that had a list of people the missionaries used to teach in like 2006.. and found one guy, Brother Jones, that lived up in Red Hills.. that we both felt we should give a call.. So we called him and ended up going to see him.. Well he has 7 kids, and is a farmer.. So the first thing we did to develop some trust with him is set up a time to come do some farm work with him.. :)  it was fun!!  On Friday this week, we went up and cleared a bunch of land with machetes.. It was hard work, but felt great, and he deeply appreciated it, and is really eager for us to come back and teach him and his family.. :)  I definitely have a testimony of the power of serving people with love.. It softens hearts when nothing else will.. and speaks a lot louder than words.. :) So ya.. we've been doing little things like this to find new people to teach.. plus working with members.. Anita's been doing incredible at member missionarywork.. She brought a friend to church who we are starting to teach... .. I love when members fulfill their missionary responsibilities..That is one of the biggest things that helps the work go foreward... We have the most important message in the world.. Its the reason we're even here in this world and its how we prepare for a better life after this.... SHare it with your friends!! :)  They need to hear it!!

Oh and cool thing.. We did a trade off with Port Antonio this week..:)  It was incredible to be back!!  I saw Sanakay and Sister Davis!!  It was really cool to see both of them again... One of the things I longed for as we were there was to come back and serve there again.. because its hard to live with no regrets when you are constantly improving.. If we are always improving, looking at the past can tend to leave a bit of regret.... thoughts of better ways you wish you would have done things.. etc etc.. but I think that's part of this mortal experience... Do your best in the present, and continue to improve so you can do better in the future.. and don't look back with regret.. but rather, when you do look back.. look at the progress you've made.. 

Well.. Time is short.. I love this gospel, and I love being a missionary to share it!!  I've been reading in Alma about the sons of Mosiah lately, in the Book of Mormon, and as I've been serving as a missionary, those stories seem to apply so much more!! i love the Book of Mormon!! We should always read it daily.. :)  

Everyone have an incredible week!!

One Love!!

Elder Kraus

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I love this church!

Hey Everyone!

Well... I'm pretty much out of time.. so.. super short this week.. but like is good!! Right now, we working on getting some new people to teach in addition to helping the ones that we are already teaching continue to move foreward, and we decided to call a bunch of former investigators from like 2008.. I found an old area book in the office, with a bunch of people that missionaries used to teach, and we called them all up.. Many of them were really excited to hear from us again and set up appointments.. :) I'm excited to meet all of them... 

It should be a good week, and i'm excited to continue to do the Lord's work.. I love this church and the gospel of Jesus Christ.. I know its true, and I'm pumped to continue to share it.. Its all about joy!! :)  

Everyone have an incredible week!!

One Love!

Elder Kraus

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pure zone conferences!!

Hey Everyone!!

This week was pure zone conferences!!  We drove to Ochi on Tuesday and did their zone conference, did Kingston and Spanish Towns together in Kingston on Wednesday, and then the fun began.. Before we get to that though.. Wednesday after zone conference, the Smiths (the senior couple in the office) had us over for dinner to meet their landlady in a casual setting.. :) It was awesome!! (Sister Smith is a great cook!!) and before we left, they asked the landlady if she would like us to come and share more about the church with her and she agreed.. :)  It was really awesome... Moral of the story.. have your friends and the missionaries over for dinner so we can get to know them!!  THey need the gospel in their lives!  

Wednesday night, we stayed the night at the mission home (HOT WATER AND AC woot woot!!), and got up early Thursday morning to catch our flight to Grand Cayman to do zone conference there.. We stayed the night there and then flew to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos on Friday (passing through the motherland in Miami!)  did zone conference Saturday, went to church there Sunday, and flew to Nassau, Bahamas after church.. We did their zone conference Monday, and flew back to Jamaica Monday night.. .. It was quite a trip.. but zone conferences are done now!!  I'm really excited to see all our friends here in Kingston again... :)  My favorite island is Cayman I think.. Turks has the most beautiful water, but the island is just dead and brown... Nassau is really nice as well.. It was a pretty legit week though.. Flying is exhausting for some reason!!  I'm really happy to be home.. 

Somethin pretty cool though, at church on Sunday, a tourist couple was there in Turks and Caicos.. and I found out that the lady grew up in the ward my family moved to, and that her parents and family still live there.. :)  So we were able to talk about Iowa and she told me what its like.. Small world!!  I got a picture with them before we left.. THeir last name is Thrap I think.. She said she has a brother, Steven, who is serving a mission somewhere too.. So.. I'll be seeing them when I get back.. :)  Crazy!!  

Well.. Time is up.. but everyone have an incredible week!! 

One Love!!

Elder Kraus