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!

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.

Elder Craig

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