Monday, December 22, 2014


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 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

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. 

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