Monday, February 16, 2015

Storm = Opportunities to Serve

I don't have much to write this week, but it was a good week! I got to go down to Caribou, Maine and work with one of the Elders there.  We had a great time together and got a lot done.  Elder Thompson got the opportunity to stay in this area and work with a brand new missionary.  What a cool experience for him!  He learned a lot and got to see how much he truly knows!

We had a good little storm pass through.  Here is an email my Mission President sent the family...

Dear Brother and Sister Craig,

As you have probably heard there is a snow storm currently affecting most areas of our mission. It has been going on all day in various forms, with high winds, snow, rain and cold weather. All of our missionaries are accounted for and taken care of.

We are not aware of any that are without power or otherwise affected by the weather. We will keep you informed as conditons improve. 

 The safety and security of the missionaries is our highest priority.

Best regards,
President Brian D. Leavitt

Mom and Dad, All is well!  This storm has left many opportunities to do service work!

Thank you Dennis Brady family for the Valentine package!  I looovvvveee the peanut butter cups! You guys are awesome!

I Love you all!
Elder Craig

p.s. The scripture that has had the biggest impact on me this week is 2 Nephi 2: 6-8 The Atonement is incredible!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Go Make it Happen!

Well, this week was great! It went very well! Tuesday we had a Zone Conference. The Elders from Caribou drove up on Monday night and stayed at our apartment. We had a dinner appointment and because of the way the timing worked out, we didn't get to do any type of "finding" that night. We left early the next morning and drove to Zone Conference. 

Elder Thompson and I got the opportunity to have exchanges with our Zone Leaders. We stayed in Fredericton until about 11 on Wednesday then we went to Maine for a big service project at the Catholic Food Bank. We had a dinner appointment again scheduled in Maine, so we had a lot of drive time.

We have something called **key indicators** and there is a standard we strive to meet here in CHM.  Last week I had mentioned that we hit that. Elder Thompson and I were discussing late Wednesday night that we had been out of our area for three days and meeting the standard wasn't likely.

Well friends, if you read last weeks post what does that sound like?! That's right,  A DRIFTER(thumbs down)! That ain't good! Can you believe that we actually went to bed with that mind set?!

So Lame!

Like, its so untrusting that we would do that to ourselves! This is the work of salvation! And do you know who "runs" the work of salvation? The Lord!

Who are we to say we aren't going to hit a standard? We are His servants, not our own! So despite our short comings that night we committed to make it happen! It took us till Friday to actually be COMMITTED and by yesterday we were lacking two key indicators. Well Sunday morning we set up two lessons and thought we had it in the bag, but then one guy we were teaching straight up says, " No, I'm not ready to be taught and I'm not doing it." Well, not much you can do there! This isn't the work of forcing. It's the work of salvation and if you don't want salvation, we're not here to force it.

Well, by this time we had an hour until we needed to get to the apartment and all the odds were against us, but have no fear! Remember when I told you this is the Lords work? Well by golly He's got a plan and sometimes He let's us in on it just at the the last second because we tend to mess it up. We found a 15 year old who was interested and taught him and we were invited back! So **boom** new investigator! 

Oh...I  almost forgot the other lesson we had set up was awesome and it worked out! By 9:00pm last night we hit our goal which means  we were able to hit the standard! I've learned an important lesson here... Life isn't all about going from step to step and having the mind set of... "Oh, I've just got to make it to next week..." It's about grabbing hold of the opportunity that is always in front of us! 

Our Heavenly Father, because his so loving, has designed our life on earth for success and is there to bless us at every opportunity! Every day for me can be like yesterday, it's up to me (as the one in control), just how much I put into it! You reap what you sew! You get what you put into it!

A big shout out to my family for the awesome package! Thank you! 

And...G-MA YOU ROCK! Such a cool tie. I love it! Every tie that you send seems to get the most compliments. 

I love you all! 

Go make it happen! 
Elder Craig✌️

Monday, February 2, 2015

Are you Drifting?

What a week let me tell ya! This week was awesome!!! It was transfer week, so it usually tends to be the slowest week.  Most missionaries don't perform to the level that they could.  It's interesting how (I've found myself falling into this trap) even though we have our purpose in doing "work" we look for opportunities to lay back.

This week I made it a point to work and boy did we ever work! Guess what? Low and behold we saw lots of success! Crazy huh?!;) 

I would also like to draw a parallel with this to a talk I read from October 2014 General Conference called "Stay in the Boat and Hold On!" In this talk Elder M. Russell Ballard (Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) related the church to the ol' ship Zion. We as members of the church are on this great indestructible ship and despite the storms we find our selves in, if we stay on the ship, we are promised we will BE SAFE! 

Now back to missionary work... We are promised if we do X Y Z and work hard we will see success. Now who in this world doesn't want to see success? NOBODY! So why is it that we find ourselves wavering, being laxed, and wondering why we aren't seeing success? Why do we jump ship when we know and are promised that we will be safe if we stay on the ship. There is no silver bullet answers for this one, but I can share what I know to be true for me. For me it is because I haven't truly identified or become committed to a "destination". When I don't have a destination, so to speak, I become what we can call a DRIFTER, going through the motions and simply drifting like a piece of drift wood with no set direction, or in some cases I have a destination that I would like, but I'm not committed to the point that I'm willing to work towards it. 

I have found that I must take a self examination often. In this I mean continually identifying what I would like my destination to be (also when it's the Lords destination for you, things tend to work out better;).  So lets recap... First, Be COMMITTED to it. Next, take constant self evaluation and weigh the choices you make to the destination you would like to arrive at.

This week I wanted to hit what we call "gold standard" in the mission, mind you I've wanted this for the last 6 months. I had a destination in mind, but I wasn't truly committed to it. This week I changed that and I got committed and created results (now there is not question that the Lords hand was involved). When we keep Gods commandments and show Him we are committed then we become blessed opportunities to serve! I am loving life! 

This week we got a ton of snow! Elder Thompson and I shoveled a lot of it! We are actually  working with this lady who hasn't been to church in a l-o-n-g time and we committed her to come to church Sunday. Well, Saturday we were talking to her on the phone and she was like "yeah my sons out of town and my drive way (which her son uses a tractor to clear it, it's kind of a big driveway) is full of snow. I can't get out, so I won't be able to come to church."  We dropped what we were doing and darted over to her house and had a blast... Guess what?! She came to church. ;)

ps... Scott (Dallin's friend), thanks for the email. I'm glad you got  to spend time in Arizona. I look forward to meeting  you some day!

Lots of Love,
Elder Craig

Weather forecast for the day.