Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Canada

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had an exceptional Christmas!  THANKS AGAIN everyone for your packages!
This week has been very interesting.  It started out amazing and then slowed way down.  On Monday and Tuesday we found three new investigators.  They all seemed really solid and then... *poof*... they all disappeared.  I suppose that's the name of the game though.

It was so much fun on Christmas Day!  Keith got me an awesome present and his family made us a huge...like... HUGE dinner.  It was really good!  The Seaboyer family took such good care of us as well.  They fed us an amazing meal and let me Skype my family from their home.  It was SO NICE talking to my family!!! I miss you guys so much!

Hey funny story... So we went to the native reserve yesterday to contact a former investigator.  I learned something new...I didn't think it was possible to "hot box" an entire neighborhood.  Those people like marajuana... like... A LOT! It was stinky everywhere so we left!

As some of you know, I have been given the opportunity to be district leader.  Since I have been called it feels as if the days have become shorter. I thought just being a plain ol' missionary kept you busy, but NOPE there is so much to do!  Man I feel like there are two things that are the biggest waste of time as a missionary; EATING and SLEEPING!  I could do so much more if I didn't have to spend the time doing those two things.  Well, that's all I got for this week!

Loves,
Elder Craig

video
Merry Christmas!

Talking to my family on Christmas Day.


Monday, December 22, 2014

headlight...taillight...

Hello Everybody!

I'm so glad to still be here in Woodstock!  I love this area! Can you believe Christmas is this week?! Like...uh... where has the time gone? I got a new companion.  His name is Elder Thompson and he's from Idaho.  He is awesome! He loves to hunt, loves dirt bikes, and loves to work hard. We have so much in common and get along so well that it's as if we've known each other since birth. He is brand new in the mission field, but you would never know it. You would think he's been doing this for a while.

A quick story that happened on transfer day... The roads were really slippery while traveling to Munchkin.  We spent the night in Fredericton which is about an hour from here. That drive turned into an hour and a half with the roads. On our way from Fredericton to Munchkin there was an Elder named  Elder McQuire who was driving one of the other mission cars. By the way he is awesome! He's such a solid missionary. Anyway, He thought I didn't have a GPS so he decided to lead the pack. For whatever reason his GPS took him to every back road possible THAT WASN'T PLOWED! So here we are trucking through 5 or 6 inches of snow and he's just doing everything he can to keep his momentum going (he was driving a Subaru).  It was important that we be on time and make the transfer van because both Elder Wilson(my current companion) and Elder McQuire (driver of the Subaru) were to be on this van that was leaving at 11:00am. We were instructed to be there by 10:00am.  We're going down this road and the elders in the Subaru left their phone back at the apartment, so we had no way of getting a hold of them. I tried every way possible (waving them down, honking my horn, flashing my brights,  etc.) trying to get them to pull over so I could persuade them to turn around and go a different direction, but I couldn't get their attention.  Finally I just sped up and passed them.  By this time we were so far into this route (better known to locals as the old highway) that it didn't make since to turn around, so we pressed on. It might be worth mentioning that  I'm in an Equinox which handles the weather conditions so much better than the Subaru. We finally get on the main highway. There are NO cars on the freeway.  No one around here drives when it starts to snow.  People are so afraid of the weather. Like... uh...snowflakes?! better cancel church kind of paranoia.  ha ha

We were traveling as fast as we could to make it to transfers on time. By the way,  it's always the right side of the highway that is cleared because that's what everyone drives on.  Elder McGuire thought it would be fun to pass me in the left lane.  Uh... in a Subaru.  As I watch this Elder makes his move I turn to my companion and say, "He's gonna spin out!" As soon as I finish that sentence, all you see is headlight...taillight...headlight...taillight. He spun around four times and right off a bank.  Like a super steep bank! I was cracking up and thinking "Oh my gosh, we're gonna be late!" I should have taken a picture! By the time I made it over to them they were trying to back the car out...in the ice... and snow.  ha ha First I took a shovel and cleaned around the front tires to make a little trail so I could get a little momentum. I rocked the car a bit and then gunned it knocking down little bushes and trees.  There was a good 300 yard stretch of just bush wackin' it before I worked (slipped) my way up, all over, and finally out. Miracle!  The elders were all cheering! ha,ha

I got back in my vehicle and we took off again only to end up in the same position.  YES! it happened again.  I passed a s-l-o-w vehicle and then here comes Elder McGuire thinking he can pass the slow driver too.  Well, he got into the left lane to make his attempt and after spinning round and around he headed off into a little bank barely missing a fence. I got back into his car and worked it up the hill with the tires barely catching traction on the iced over freeway.  Thank goodness we had some helpers stop and help us push the car from time to time. Elder McGuire's companion *took the drivers seat* this time ;) as we made our way back to Munchkin. We made it there around 10:45am.

I picked up my new companion and headed back to Woodstock where we were greeted with snow up to our knees.  We planned out the rest of our day and since it snowed a ton, we grabbed our shovels and just started working! While helping several people shovel their drives we ended up having a few GREAT conversations.  It was awesome! Oh and we ended up running into a guy that claims to have the ability to trade spirits with people. He's an interesting little guy. Good stuff!

Good news! We finally got wifi in the Woodstock church building. That's what happens when you follow up with President Leavitt e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y! ;)  Keith graciously donated two computers.  Currently we aren't teaching any progressing investigators, but this week that will change!  Elder Thompson and I have created a very specific goal which is to hit the standard for "key indicators" in this mission.  That can be difficult in an area like Woodstock, but that won't be the case this time, because simply put, Elder Thompson and I can't be stopped;)

Thanks for your prayers!  As a district leader now, I'm finding that there is so much to do.  It feels like there is so much to do and so little time!  I'm grateful for the Spirit to help me through this learning experience.

I have received a couple packages and man you guys are AWESOME! Thank you to the Brady family, my family, g-ma, pops, and the Stratland young women. I enjoyed reading each of your notes! The "big Brady package" was opened at the border.  Apparently the border doesn't like wrapped gifts, so they searched each one.  I'm gonna blame the sisters on this one.  They decided to personally bring the package across the border and hand deliver it! G-ma, thanks for the banana bread, you guys are awesome!

I love you all! Oh and hey...only a couple of you email me on Mondays.  Take a minute and fill me in on how life is for you.  I really would love to hear from you...Uh...YES... YOU! :)
My email is nathan.craig@myldsmail.net

Love you and Merry Christmas!
-Elder Craig

When I left Woodstock on Wednesday evening it was barely snowing.  This is what I came home to just twelve hours later. 


My new companion's first day in Woodstock. 


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Just a short note...


18 December 2014



Dear Brother and Sister Craig,


Just a short note to inform you that your son was recently called to serve as a District Leader  in the New Brunswick West Zone of the Canada Halifax Mission. We are pleased that he has prepared himself and is willing to accept this call. Leadership in the mission is very significant and can make such a difference in the life of the leader and those whom he leads.


We are grateful for his dedication and service. We are also thankful for the sacrifices you have made and are making so that it is possible for Elder Craig to serve the Lord in this part of His vineyard. Elder Craig has a strong testimony and is a devoted missionary who loves the Lord and this great work. We pray for the Lord's continued blessings on your family.


Sincerely,President Brian D. Leavitt

Monday, December 15, 2014

Prayer is Essential.

HI EVERYONE!

It's been a good week. Elder Wilson and I went to a Pentecostal church (This is the second time). Saturday we decided to attend a Catholic Church service. It has been an interesting experience.  The Catholic service was very different than the Pentecostal service.  The Catholic service is much quieter.  We approached the Priest (called the father) and began to engage in a conversation. He’s a cool guy. He invited us to a turkey dinner. We expressed our desire to attend, but told him we had an appointment we needed to be at. He suggested that we come after our appointment and said that He would save us a plate to which we agreed.  By the time we got there everyone had pretty much gone. Me, my companion, and John (the Priest) talked for a good 45 minutes. We asked each other various questions and were able to learn more about how the Catholic Church is run. I asked if we could discuss our beliefs and share with him the missionary discussions.  He agreed, so we exchanged contact information and planned a meeting for Sunday evening. It was a cool day! We plan on visiting various churches in the area.  There are 19 churches in Woodstock. The logic for me in visiting these other churches is that in my experience people are not JUST WILLING to listen to a message about Jesus Christ, but when you attend their service and they see you in their congregation they feel more comfortable talking to you.  For example, there was a couple in the congregation that I had knocked on their door a few months prior that I didn’t remember. They came up to me and started talking to me rather than me having to approach them.  People seem to feel more comfortable when you are on their turf. It proves to break down little barriers that people might have. It's AWESOME!

I just found out that I WILL NOT BE TRANSFERRED!  I’m staying in Woodstock!!! My prayers have been answered.  I’m excited because great things are happening here. I feel like things are just starting to roll and I’m happy to be able to stay and build up as much momentum as I can. My companion will be getting transferred.  I will be getting a new companion and once again I will have the opportunity to train a missionary straight out of the MTC. 

Keith has a sister who is interested in learning more about the gospel as well as her daughter. It’s just so cool! Prayers are being answered.  Prayer is essential!  Everything stems from prayer…and faith. I guess everything stems from a lot of stuff, but these are two fundamental principles one must have. I love it! I’m having so much fun!!!

Ok, everyone… hear me on this one…Click this LINK to access a video of one of my most favorite talks. It's called "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. You could also click HERE if you want a copy to read.  Seriously, it’s the best talk I HAVE EVER HEARD! It puts things into major perspective.  Mom, Dad, Wesley, Dawson, Breeley, and Britley, I know you’ll like it!

Let’s see… We got a new mission vehicle.  It’s a truck with less than 500 miles on it. Also, we had our apartment inspected and passed with flying colors.  They were extremely impressed. They wanted to know what cleaning supplies we were in need of and ran to the store to pick those things up for us. They were even nice enough to pick up some food for us and stock our fridge with sandwich stuff! So NICE!

WESLEY and DAWSON I’m pointing to you right now when I say this…"Have a clean apartment when you serve a mission!” It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get it clean, just get it done!  It makes a difference! It’s also a good indication of what kind of missionary you are. When you go to various missionaries’ apartments and their living space is dirty, it really shows as to what kind of missionary they are when you work with them. Start being clean in ALL aspects.  Everything affects everything in the mission.  It’s such a micro world and the variables are so close together.  You can put yourself in a tale spin real quick.

Dad and Mom...You have left a tremendous impact on me.  Your examples have lead me to be who I am today. What a powerful example of two committed people who have worked together to create a successful family.  I have often pondered on the kind of father I want to be (you see some jacked situations out here).  I've really studied the kind of parents you ARE and I'm amazed and forever grateful for the path you have cleared for not only me, but my future wife, and my children. Well I know that is kind of deep and I can keep going, but for now that should suffice. 

I feel so loved and appreciate the packages each of you have sent. THANK YOU!!!


I love you guys!  Talk to you later.
-Elder Craig

Monday, December 1, 2014

Committed to the Result.

Howdy, Howdy, Howdy!  What's happenin'?

Dad and Mom, THANK YOU for the iPad and my coat... It's awesome! I LOVE IT! It came at the perfect time. We had a snow storm which put a good fourteen inches on the ground. It's cool to watch the snow rise so quickly.  After the storm, my companion and I shoveled driveways.  We did one ladies driveway which took about an hour and a half (it was a BIG driveway!). My poor companion was slipping all over the place.  He fell a few times and got ticked! Lot's of snow, but it was fun.

I mentioned last week how Keith (our newest baptized member) is working so hard to figure out how  to share the gospel with others. Keith has a friend named Jeff who, at first, tried to unload anti on Keith. We spent some time working through that but Keith has since invited Jeff over to look up, teach, and mark scriptures. My companion, Elder Wilson, has a great knowledge of the Bible and has done a great job tying things back to the Bible for both Keith and Jeff.

Yesterday we spent a long day at Keith's house. We agreed to help him paint one of the rooms in his house if he would invite Jeff over.  While painting, we had a great conversation with Jeff!  Next we headed over to Jeff's grandfather's shop to help Keith change the rear brakes on his car. We thought this would be a good opportunity to meet and talk to Jeff's grandparents. We ran into a few challenges with the car in the process, but all in all it was good and guess what?! I learned how to change calipers (without you tube haha).  Keith helped me change one side and then I was able to do the other side. My hands are a bit sore and I got REALLY dirty but over all, it was fun!

My Mission President spoke in our ward Sunday, so he ended up staying the night at our apartment.  It was awesome and lot's of fun!  It was great to have him here and hang out with him all day and work with him.

We've been able to use Facebook to do missionary work. It has proved to be an amazing tool. It's AWESOME!

Let's see what else...Oh, last week in a district (a district is comprised of missionaries that are in close proximity) meeting, we, as a district, decided to create a goal together that we would RECEIVE FOUR REFERRALS from members and make contacts.  For example, a member would approach a missionary(us) and say, "I have a friend who would like to learn more about the gospel." The missionaries (us) would mark in their (our) planner that they had a referral.  Then once the missionaries have met with this contact, had a conversation, and shared the gospel, they would be considered contacted. The goal is to have four of those from each companionship. The challenge for us as missionaries is to actually get referrals in general. On a normal week, when we ask the members, we get about one, maybe two referrals, but this week we had a goal to get four and in turn we ended up making seven contacts! It was great as this is the most we've had in a while.  This has been a great learning lesson because when we REALLY are committed to the result of getting something... it just happens... E-V-E-R-Y time!

The key to missionary work, for me, is to stay on top of (and there is a lot of things), be focused on, and stay 100% committed to.  Once you find that even balance it just flows very smoothly.

Well that wraps up my week.  Again thank you for the iPad and the coat! Ah... THE COAT... I love it! I love you all and hope you had a great week in Missouri. I'm assuming you are on your way back to AZ right now.

Love,
Elder Craig

The Coat

Car Service




Monday, November 24, 2014

This guy is on fire!

Last week I said I would lead into repentance this week. Unfortunately my message is short as I don't have much time to discuss everything I had originally planned, but I would suggest that you read Alma 34:15 as it sums up my thoughts. There is an excellent talk that was given by W. Gibb Dyer called "Repentance: The Key to Eternal Progression".  You can access it by clicking on this link: http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=266 .  Mom, I know you will love this one and it would be a good one to share with the family! 

The only natural thing to occur when we exercise faith in the Savior is...* repentance *. This leads to making covenants with God and then enduring to the end. I know this might be easier said than done for some, but it's possible! If you wish to achieve eternal life, you must FIRST believe in the Savior. 

Now for SOME GREAT NEWS... Keith is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Whoop Whoop! This guy is on fire! He is actively seeking for missionary opportunities and he's experiencing success and being blessed for his efforts. Both he and I sincerely thank you for your prayers.  I really do appreciate your love and support!  I LOVE YOU! Have a wonderful week!  Oh... and... HELP THE MISSIONARIES OUT! You don't realize what a blessing this is for the missionaries until you are actually out here doing the work. 

Love,
ELDER CRAIG

Keith's Baptism Day


Monday, November 17, 2014

Start by LIVING IT!

Another greaaat week! 

I'm looking forward to Saturday because KEITH WILL BE GETTING BAPTIZED! Sorry for shouting, but it's pretty exciting! Keep him in your prayers! During my personal study this morning I came across something that I would like to share. It's about having Faith in Christ.

Faith in Christ is the first principle in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Faith in Christ is the most crucial thing that we could ever have!  As I've studied this topic I've come to understand a few key things. The first thing I asked myself is "What is faith?"  That question could be a whole 'nother conversation, but when we exercise true faith, it brings us unto Christ. Notice the term TRUE faith?! If you would take some time to study this, I'm certain you will see as I have seen that it creates miracles! Now, how do we exercise faith in Christ? In short it's by keeping his commandments! If you are struggling with gaining Faith in Christ or in a principle of the gospel, you must start by LIVING IT! 

In John 7:17 we learn that it is by the exercising of something that we gain the testimony! "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." This all leads us back to READING and PRAYING! To know the truth we first have to SEEK it.  When we exercise that little particle of faith (Alma 32) in Christ, For example... like read the Book of Mormon (another testament of Jesus Christ that will bring you closer to God and Christ) and live the principles taught, the only natural thing to occur will be having Faith in Christ... stay tuned for next week because I will show you how this ties into repentance!

My time is short and I have to bid you farewell for now.  Love you and thank you for your love and prayers!
Elder Craig


Monday, November 10, 2014

Added Measure of Commitment

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN GREAT!

It's 7:30am on a chilly Monday morning. I just had a great conversation with Keith (one of our investigators). I was talking to him about using both he and his buddy's chainsaw (more on that in a minute). During our conversation Keith informed us that he went to church Sunday in Fredericton *by himself* which is a good hour and a half drive (in winter conditions). He said that he had a good experience in church. This is good news!!! It solidifies everything he has been working towards throughout his conversion process and helps him to know that what he is doing is right.

Pior to Sunday, Elder Wilson and I began a fast.  We invited Keith to join us in an effort to help him come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel and also to combine our faith in supporting him through some of the challenges he is facing.  Keith had a great fast and testimony experience! I too had a great Fast Sunday!  There is always something so special about taking the time to acknowledge the Savior and put forth an added measure of commitment to seek help or whatever one might fast and pray for. Keith mentioned that he had never in his life felt the way he had on Sunday.  This is so neat to hear someone verbally speak these words. He mentioned that while listening to various testimonies during sacrament meeting he was better able to understand the importance of family. This is meaningful as he comes from a very large family.  Can you feel our excitement?! Missionary work is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

I hope each of you had the opportunity and privilege to hear the testimony of others. I want to thank all of you for your prayers on Keith's behalf. He really is doing amazing! He has overcome so much and feels the added strength that comes from your prayers.  Mosiah 5:2 reminds me so much of Keith! "...Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." Keith is always looking for opportunities to serve others. He has been involved in doing service work with us. There was a brutal storm that passed through leaving power outages in Woodstock, Fredericton, Miramichi and Moncton areas. This left many opportunities for service work. We have been sharpening our chainsaw skills by assisting a member who lost 10 or 11 of his 60-70 foot pine trees during the snow/ice storm. Keith and I worked the chainsaws while my companion, Elder Wilson, kept busy delimbing trees and dragging logs that had been cut.  I have never been as tired or as sore as I have been this week, but with good reason! We've physically worked our tails off!!!

Well guys, that's all I got for this week. I hope each of you have an amazing day and week. I can't wait to hear from you through emails.  Keep me posted on what's going on! Wesley, I want to know how you are doing and if your collar bone has healed.  You are probably already shredding the track.

Love you all,
Elder Craig

Lot's of snow. Winter is here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Improve my View

This week was great!

I had mentioned last week that I was going to have exchanges.  They were amazing!  Elder Woodbury is great!  It's so much fun to learn from other missionaries.

In my letter last week I mentioned that I had a humbling experience.  Let me explain...I have a companion that is very different from me.  Our views on just about everything tend to be opposing.  Since I've been with him I have found that my natural tendency has been to be the more dominant Elder and do what I would like to do.  Things appeared to be great (or so I thought) until I received an interesting letter from my mission president explaining that "my companionship was not working    well." This new knowledge allowed my companion and I to communicate on a new level.  Taking time to listen to my companion helped me to better understand his perspective. I came to the realization that I was overbearing thus limiting my companions ability to be himself.  This week I have put forth tremendous effort in allowing him to be him (Lets just say I've had to swallow a whole batch of COLD humble pie;) It's been incredible to see him grow! He and I are still very different, but because we have identified what we want to create together our unity has increased exponentially.  It's a beautiful thing! I absolutely love the challenges that a mission presents and I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for those that I have the opportunity to serve with and the lessons I've learned in the process!

I have created a saying to better improve my view on everything: "Success is in the eyes of the creator".  We have the agency to see things how we want, so if you don't like what you see, VIEW IT DIFFERENTLY.

Love you all,
Elder Craig


Take a minute to drink in these fall colors.  GORGEOUS!





Monday, October 20, 2014

Still grrrreeeaaat over here.

Hey everybody!  Life is still great over here in New Brunswick's oldest town. There are certain things that I have experienced this week that has been a huge eye opener for me.  I have definitely learned a ton! I'm not really sure how to communicate what I have learned just yet.  All in all just know that it's been a humbling experience.

This next week we will go on exchanges again and I'm certain that we will have a blast!  I'll keep you posted on it ;) I received a couple packages this week that I so appreciate! No really... you don't even know how much I appreciated it. Grandma Kelly, Thank you for your homemade banana bread! So good!

Dad, Mom, Wesley, Dawson, Breeley and Britley, Thank you for the package!  Oh, and the sister missionaries were SUPER GRATEFUL that you would think of them and include a package for them as well. I love you all and SHARE THE GOSPEL!

Love,
Elder Craig

Can you guess which of my brothers drew this pic for me? Dope!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week in Review...

These were thoughts I had on October 4, 2014:

Well, in about an hour I'd normally (pre-mission life) be going to Priesthood with my Dad, brothers, and PaPa. I feel that as a missionary, I have a more powerful listening for General Conference.  I'm certain that my Dad already has this as a father. Wesley and Dawson, I invite you to really take a step back and listen to Priesthood Session as well as Conference tomorrow. I learned a lot today!  I've spent all day focusing on Conference. It's been r-e-a-l-l-y good and I loved it! I know that if you create time to study and ponder these inspired words, you will be blessed!

October 13th...

I had some great experiences this week.  Each night we plan our "next day" schedule. We created a plan to knock doors in an area called Richmond Corner.  It's about 15 minutes or so outside of Woodstock. It's kind of a difficult area to knock because we don't have bikes.  The houses are spread apart and there are miles of houses.  We checked up on a lady that Elder Prince and I had met awhile back.  Well, turns out she wasn't home, so I decided to change the original plan and head to a different area.  The second door we knocked turned out to be an amazing opportunity.  We met a woman who missionaries refer to as "golden".  She seemed so ready to hear the gospel. She had lots of questions, however, I kept feeling that it wasn't the right time to start a lesson.  We left there and went to check up on another guy.  In the course of our conversation I found out that I had been giving people the wrong phone number (I memorized it wrong...oops!).  I called the "wrong number" to apologize to the rightful owner and explain that I was a missionary and had been accidentally giving out her number to others for the past week and a half thinking it was mine. The woman on the other end of the line was very friendly and it turns out that she is a member of the church. Ha, ha! I guess you could say I'm building relationships with members even outside of Woodstock. Dope!

Super exciting news... If our investigator Keith stays committed, he will be getting baptized on November 22nd.  He's overcome so much!!!  Please keep him in your prayers. Keith is a great friend that I will be staying in touch with  for the rest of my life.  He's so awesome!

My Mission President came to our area.  My companion and I had the opportunity to interview with him.  He is a very smart and wise guy.  He runs the mission the way he wants to run the mission.  I love him.  He is definitely someone I will stay in contact with my whole life.  Well, that 's my update for the week. I hope everyone is well!  Matt...I never got that package you sent last month.  I'm sorry about that!  I gave my mom the address for the sister missionaries who live in Maine. You can send future packages to them and I should get them no problem. In the area (Woodstock) that I'm currently in I can cross the border and get the packages sent to them fairly easily (It's still within my mission boundaries). My parents have sent a couple packages this way and haven't had any difficulty.  If you feel so inclined you can send a little something to the sisters as well.  Poor things!  When I've gone to pick up my packages from them, they say, "We haven't got a package in a long time!"

My Week in review:

I've learned that...

1. Conference was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
2. My companion talks in his sleep.
3. It's important to journal (I have literally filled pages and pages).
4. My family is currently in California on vacation :)
5. I love my mom's letters (print them out and study them kind of letters ;)
6. My DAD is AMAZING and seems to give me advice in exactly the right moment. SERIOUSLY. PERFECT TIMING.  EVERY TIME!
7. I don't like listening to the same 8 songs over and over again.  Mom... a cheapy iPod with ONLY Mormon Tabernacle Choir songs (mission requirement) uploaded to it would be out-of-this-world amazing!
8. Humility is important. It's hard for me to step back and just let people "do their thing" but it's IMPORTANT to give others the opportunity to lead.
9. My trainer (Elder Prince) set high standards on how to do things and I'm grateful for his influence right out of the gate. Oh... and I keep my living space pretty clean compared to other Elders out here.
10. My Mission President is so wise and I love Him.


Love,
Elder Craig


video

video



Monday, October 6, 2014

Involved in the Work

Life is good!

Woodstock is amazing.  This last week was super busy! I did a lot of traveling, so it will be nice to be more involved in the work this week.  My new companion is one in a million.  We have learned a lot from each other. I'm working to make sure our time together is a positive experience. As a trainer you carry a lot of responsibility. It's definitely a wake up call and I'm on my knees often. I plan out each day making sure we are doing things that are effective and appropriate.  I've studied charity quite a bit lately (Moroni 7:48).  I feel that my studies have softened my heart and brought me knowledge and understanding. I know there is still so much that I can do to improve!  

One thing that is interesting to me is that even when challenges arise, I remain happy! I seriously feel that I can't get any happier!!!  Serving a mission brings so much joy. 

We've had the honor of teaching a guy named Keith.  Last night we met with him for the second time.  This guy is golden!   During our time together I received a very direct prompting. I'm grateful for the gift of the Spirit. Through personal experiences I have come to understand that it is a very real and powerful blessing in our lives.  This next week I get to go on exchanges to a town called Caribou and work there for a couple days.  I can't wait!

Well, that's about all I got.  Love you all and thanks Mom for the package, it was well timed! I was trying to figure out how I was gonna get a copy of the book "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" and then BAM! my spiritual mother who's in tune sends me one.  This is proof that the Lord loves us! Keep me updated on your lives.  I love hearing from you! Thank you for your prayers, they are appreciated!

Love you!!!
Elder Craig

Monday, September 29, 2014

Commitment is Powerful.

Well...Hey everybody! How's Life?

Life is good over here in Canada!  I have a new companion, his name is Elder Wilson.

I've had quite a few very interesting and powerful things occur this week that I would like to share.  In an effort to make Elder Prince's (my last companion/trainer) last few days in the mission field amazing (he's going home soon), I went to Heavenly Father and pleaded that we would be able to teach a couple first lessons before Elder Prince left.  In my experience thus far, teaching isn't something that occurs very often here in Woodstock (no worries, that is quickly changing; actually it already has!).

We set out on Wednesday (our last full day together before transfers). It was just hopping! We met all kinds of people, taught a couple great lessons, and gained some investigators. I was thinking, "WHOA, this is COOL!"

Well, at the end of the day Elder Prince said, "Elder Craig, I want you to know that I prayed really hard that our last day together would not only be fun, but a successful day and boy was it ever!" Since that day we have seen some great things happening around finding people.  We have been running into all kinds of people who are willing to listen and some are inviting us into their home!

It's truly refreshing and I am so grateful that I'm right here, right now!  I would also like each of you to know that my sense of commitment has increased and it is because of this that Heavenly Father has entrusted both me and Elder Wilson with some of His children.  I can testify to you that COMMITMENT IS POWERFUL and when our Heavenly Father sees that we are willing to put in the work, it is then, and only then, that actual WORKING MIRACLES start to occur!

I know that I can work much, much, more! Loving you all, and hear me when I say this...I APPRECIATE the support from each of you!

Love,
Elder Craig

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Thanks Dad for sending cash for steak.  It was a treat we thoroughly enjoyed and a nice good-bye meal for Elder Prince!

This is what commitment looks like at the end of the day (I miss Elder Prince. He was a hard worker).


Staying organized.

My new companion Elder Wilson.

The leaves are starting to change color. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Farewell to Elder Prince

Well everybody, let me just start off by letting you know that I performed my first baptism! Saturday I was able to baptize Sister Dale Sanford. She was taught by the sister missionaries.  It was a cool experience!

This is the last week I will have with my trainer, Elder Prince.  He is being transferred;(  He has been a great trainer and friend.  I, however, will be staying in Woodstock.  I will be training a new missionary.  This seems crazy because I still feel like the new missionary! I pick up my new companion on Thursday. Well, that's all I have for this week.  I hope everyone is well. I love you!

- Elder Craig

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Ran out of propane for the grill.  No problem, we got this handled.

the view.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Sketchy Situation

This week was fun and went by so fast!!! We did a lot of knocking and also had opportunities to serve.  Some of the service we did included choping and stacking wood for people. One guy that we
did this for almost killed himself, LITERALLY!

Let me give you a brief history on this guy.  He had a stroke about 11 years ago.  The whole right side of his body doesn't function like normal.  His right arm doesn't lift more than a few inches from his gut and he has very little balance. Despite his challenges I find it impressive that this guy can still operate a chain saw! On the other hand, I suppose I would also consider someone standing on top of a car while the car is traveling 85 mph impressive, but hey, there are just some things that no matter how impressive it might be, JUST SHOULDN'T BE DONE!  This would be one of those!!!

Also, I should note that this guy didn't find it necessary to give us much of a warning before cutting down a BIG tree, so needless to say, we dodged a couple (ha, ha). Ok, back to the moment where this guy almost killed himself! While operating his chainsaw this guy took a fall. Luckily the ground was soft because the blade just sunk into the ground (full throttle) with him laying on it. YIKES!!! You should have seen my companions face! Priceless!!!

Well, I suppose that's all I have for sketchy situations this week!  The work is PROGRESSING and our branch over here is GROWING!

Love,
Elder Craig

p.s.  IT'S GETTING COLD!!!


The rain is falling!




Monday, September 8, 2014

Strive to Quench Your Spirit

Waaazzzz up everybody!! This week was the bomb! We ran into some trials, but over all, it was great!!

This is an entry in my journal that I would like to share with you (lots to be learned). We had splits on September 2, 2014. I was with the District Leader. This isn't his area, so it was as if i was the senior companion. Me and Elder Woodburry went to go see a member of the ward. As we got to her house, she was pulling out. We stopped her and and talked a bit.  She ended up inviting us over for dinner (chicken broccoli casserole). She said it would be done in 40 minutes, so we decided to go knocking in the surrounding neighborhood.

We crossed the street and knocked the first door. We got blasted with anti... we knocked the next and got blasted again! This happend six times!!! SIX TIMES!!! On the 6th and last door we knocked, the guy that answered tried to bash.  I simply said, "Sir, I'm not hear to argue our beliefs, but I am here as a representative of Jesus Christ."  It took him a minute to cool down, but we were able to have a short convo. He swears up and down that the Book of Mormon is false, but you know what?! he hasn't even read it all! I walked away asking myself..."How do I know the Book of Mormon is true?"  After asking myself this, I began to formulate my thoughts into this...

Lets suppose you have a friend.  You've been invited to your friends house for dinner, but you've been told ahead of time that you're not going to like the food. As you eat the food, there is a pretty good chance that you will not like it because of what has been created.  YOU HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED!!! The same goes for gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon.

All the people in those houses that we tracked in this particular neighborhood attend a bible college down the road (the neighborhood is owned by the college). The college teaches an anti-mormon class. Just like in Alma 32 when you plant a seed, it grows. It goes both ways though, if you really want to gain a personal witness, you have to NOURISH that seed with things that will help it grow. If you want to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, you must do as  Moroni teaches: "If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Jesus Christ" you will come to a knowledge of truth every time. And... it's not a one time deal! If you grow that seed into a plant and then stop feeding it, it dies. That's just how it works, so i extend the invitation to constantly "feed" your seed or in gospel terms STRIVE TO QUENCH YOUR SPIRIT. I can testify to you that it's starving! I love you all and Grandma Brady, THANK YOU for the Dear Elder package!!! It made a huge difference!!! 

Love, 
Elder Craig

Monday, September 1, 2014

Prayer Works

We have been working hard!  We are out the door by 10:00am to contact people on the street, in their cars, or where ever they might be.  I find that most people are very set in their ways and aren't interested in listening.  My focus right now is trying to break that barrier and help them see that there is more available to them.  We had the opportunity to shingle a less active members roof.  It was lots of work, but fun!

We have had some great experiences this week! We make goals every week and do our best to accomplish them. One of our goals for this last week was to have three new investigators. This area is pretty slow when it comes to finding people to teach, but there are people here that are prepared! We practically went the whole week without a single new investigator! Through the direction of the Spirit, lots of prayer, and really desiring to achieve this goal we felt prompted to go see a half member/ non active family.  Their  house is worse then the ones you see on that show hoarders! You can literally taste the filth. Anyways, our focus was to start teaching Frankie, a 13 yr old, who lives there.  We were successful in accomplishing this, but that left two more new investigators to find if we were going to accomplish our goal.  We didn't know how this would occur and it was getting late. Well, on our way back to the car there was a family out front roasting hotdogs on the fire so we approached them and they were extremely interested and we taught them their first lesson!!! Prayer works ladies and gents, but if you don't show the Lord your willingness, the likelihood of success is limited! 

Lots of love to each of you,
Elder Craig

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Sorry Mom, still not eating my veggies!



The grill is treating us well! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Life in New Brunswick

Hey everybody!!! Before I give you all the rundown of my first full week I want to thank Kelli for the cinnamon rolls, the family for the case of water, oreos, cookies, chips,... the list goes on and on. Chrisy for the package! You da bomb!! And everyone who has sent me letters, I love hearing from u all!!!

We'll, let’s see… Time flies!!! Woodstock, New Brunswick is amazing! The weather here changes frequently. It's sooooo green here and it's a very little town. Missionary work is exhausting, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Church is interesting.... People wear flip-flops and they just start talking in sacrament (it's being worked on). The people are different; it's quite the Bible belt! They still don't know their own beliefs though! It’s funny cause most people think we are trying to preach to them, so they are usually surprised when we tell them that's not what we do! Most of the work comes through our own efforts rather then the members. If you wanna help missionaries REFER EVERYONE YOU MEET to them, even if you think they won't hear the gospel, you just might be surprised. Well, that’s all that comes to mind. I'm having a blast, I'm tired, and love this gospel!


~Elder Craig

P-day emails.

Video of my Apartment in Woodstock:

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Monday, August 18, 2014

1st week in Canada

Hey Everybody!

It's been an eventful week here in Canada!  Well, lets see, we got into Halifax at around 1am, then had to get our visas.  We got to bed around 3:45am and got up at 6:30.  I went street contacting with one of the assistants.  I approached a guy in the park and began talking to him.  He threatened to shoot me (ha, ha), so I stepped in a little closer and said, "That's fine, but what are your religious views?" At this point the assistant stepped in. The guy got in his face and wanted to fight.  Fun Stuff!

My new area is Woodstock.  We had a baptism Saturday, it was awesome!  My companion is Elder Price...there are no words, he is the MAN! We get along great and will be life time friends for sure.   We do a lot of tracking.  The church isn't super strong in this area (about 65 active members).  Lot's of less active people, so this will be our focus.  My Mission President is amaaaazing!

My mailing address:
170 Connell St. Apt. 4
P.O. Box 6669
Brunswick E7M 1K8
Canada

-Elder Craig

 The view

 Our apartment



 My companion. He is the best of the best!



Excited about our new grill!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

And we're off...



Ready to start this adventure.  

The one hour phone call home while waiting at the airport. First time talking to family since my departure flight from Phoenix, AZ!

One layover in Detroit, Michigan and then off to our final destination of HALIFAX CANADA.





Arrived!

13 August 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Craig, I wanted to update you on your son's progress so far in the mission field. As you know, his group left Salt Lake yesterday morning early and flew all day, arriving here in Halifax around midnight. They arrived in good spirits when my Assistants, A senior couple, the Hendricksons and I met them at the airport.

After taking pictures and hunting down luggage, we took them back to the Mission Home where they were fed a late night (2:30 Am) meal of chili, buns, and cookies. We have a dormitory in the basement and upper floor of the Mission Home where we can accommodate up to 14 missionaries. As this group was 18, two sisters stayed in a vacant Sister's apartment and the rest stayed at the mission home. All couches, Sleeping mats and beds were well used. As they did not get to sleep until about 3:30 AM we let them sleep in a bit later but they were up fed and ready to learn by 9:00AM. They were instructed through out the day and had the opportunity to go out and do some proselyting in the evening. They are now in bed and will be up first thing tomorrow and off to their new areas. In the interview, I found out a bit more about your son, your family, and his feelings about serving in the Canada Halifax Mission. During the interview, I explained to him about the various areas and about how we are organized. I told him who his first companion would be and a bit about his first area. You will get the details of that from Him this coming Monday, when he writes you on preparation day. Sister Leavitt and I feel Elder Craig has come prepared to serve the Lord, and we will endeavor to help him have a successful mission and one of the greatest experiences of his life. I meet with the missionaries on a frequent basis and receive a detailed letter from them every week. My Assistants, the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, Trainers and Sister Training Leaders all are focused on helping new missionaries make the adjustment to missionary life. You can do your part by writing to Elder Craig weekly and encouraging him in a positive manner. Detailed updates on sports teams, friends, current affairs, or unnecessary detail on problems at home tend to distract the missionaries and often cause a number of problems. I do my best to communicate with the parents of all the missionaries on a regular basis to keep them informed of the progress of the mission in general. I do this by way of a quarterly update letter sent to you via email. We have a facefook page called "Mormons of Atlantic Canada" where we post various information and pictures from the mission. We posted a picture of all of the new missionaries at the airport with their luggage. They are an impressive group. As well, I try to send specific updates as various areas of responsibility change. Please let us know if your email address changes. I firmly believe the African saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," applies to missionaries as well. Each of us doing our own part will contribute to the overall success of your son's mission.

Best regards,
Brian D. LeavittMission PresidentCanada Halifax Mission