Monday, March 30, 2015

5th Rung Companionship

Well, this week whizzed by incredibly fast! We tore it up and it was so much fun.  I’m certain there are bags under my eyes; I’m pretty tired!  Over all we got 31 key indicators this week.  Did I already mention how fun it’s been?

We are still on track for a few baptisms and we are consistently finding people to teach! Things are going great! Currently we have five investigators. Each is working through their various challenges, making specific goals, and working to stay committed.

Here’s what’s going on April 5th  … We have baptisms, the sister missionaries have a baptism, it’s Easter Sunday, it’s General Conference, and it’s my Birthday.  Sounds like a good day to me! :)

Here in Amherst the sisters have been doing a game or movie night every Friday night.  They usually alternate activities each week.  Last Friday night we left the activity, leaving the sisters in charge, after getting a call from one of the members asking if we could “help him shovel a hole in the snow”. We didn’t hesitate and headed right over. His sewage tank had backed up so we ended up bailing sewage water that had filled up in the bathtub and trekking it through the snow into a hole (the hole we were asked to dig) away from their home. It didn’t smell to good, but it’s always nice to serve!

Oh man, we have shoveled soooo much snow this week.  Luckily for the last few days it’s been pretty warm.  When I say warm I mean in the 30’s. This is great because it’s usually in the teens. We ended up shoveling snow off one guys roof on our p-day for four hours.  That’s the most snow I’ve shoveled at one time.  It was a lot of snow! I’m starting to get ripped.  Ok, not really, but this service work is keeping me slim. :)

Due to the snowstorms recently, Sunday was our first official sacrament meeting in our new area.  My companion and I blessed the sacrament and the Elders Quorum President passed the sacrament.  I was sitting on the stand.  There were five missionaries and 21 people were in attendance.  The sister missionaries taught gospel doctrine and we were asked to come up with a lesson for the combined third hour.  It’s pretty cool when you are put in a situation where you trust in the Lord and let the Spirit teach.

It’s nice having a companion that values work and know how to get things done. This transfer has been a blessing. There is no question that the Lords hand is completely involved! One thing my companion and I had decided at the beginning of our companionship was that we would be a 5th Rung companionship. There was a General Authority that came through the mission several months ago. He taught something he referred to as "The Ladder of Faith". Picture a ladder with 5 rungs on it. Each rung represents a LEVEL of faith that one could exercise.
    
Level 1: I can't do this; goes home.

Level 2: I can do this(going through the motions=surviving)somewhat disobedient. 

Level 3: I can do this by myself; Lack of prayer. Leaning to thy own understanding (needs numbers) pride.

Level 4: I can do this with the Lords help; trust that the Lord will help you.

Level 5: Asks… Lord what do you want done? How can I help the Lord?

This has been our focus. It is practically impossible to stay at the 5th rung, but as our intention is to be "perfect" we can be entrusted with adding in accomplishing HIS work and IT IS THE LORD’S WORK! I love this Gospel! It’s so cool!

I get to go to the temple this week, which is beyond exciting.  We will leave at 5am to make the drive. SWEEEET!

Wes, get pumped for the temple; you will be going through soon! It’s awesome! I’ve gained an even greater respect for it while being on my mission.  You have the opportunity to think about specific things as you are teaching people.  You learn so much! You should be getting close to sending your papers off! That is dope! It will be fun to see where you are going.  I can’t wait! If you have any questions, I’m here for you!

Bree I got the video of you singing.  You did good job!  I’ve listened to it a few times and I appreciate getting that!

Well my companion and I have some awesome plans for this week, which will have some great results!  Good things are happening! I get to go to the temple (already said that I know, but it's exciting) and I get to continue to be a missionary! Life can’t get any better! 

Remember… ALL things are possible with the Lord!

Love,

Elder Craig 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blanket of Snow


It has been another good week!  Last Sunday and Monday we got a ton of snow!  We spent most of the day helping people clear a path from their front door to the street. Let me help try and paint a visual for you...People have a blanket of about 5-9 ft. of snow laying across their front lawns!

Funny story:  We thought it would be nice to go to one of the members homes who were out of town and surprise them by shoveling and clearing a pathway for them.  As we approached their home, to our surprise we  noticed that they had come back from their trip early; they were out digging/shoveling a pathway to their back door.  I ran up and politely asked the homeowner to stand to the side, assuring her that my companion and I would complete the task.  Well, as my companion started walking toward us, he kept falling into the snow.  The home owner said, while pointing in the near distance, "Walk to the right and you will find the snow MUCH more packed!"  My companion anxiously followed the recommendation! The homeowner then said, "Well now you are standing on my car." ha ha!!!  Her car had about 2.5 - 3 feet of snow on the top of it and we had no idea there was even a car there! Crazy! We both had a good laugh about that one.

We have been having a blast just getting to know the area, the people of the branch, and the non members.  We have a few awesome people that we are teaching and three baptisms coming up.  Things are looking good and the fuse has been lit! :)

My Mission President has recently created a "Leadership Meeting".  He has created it for all the leaders of the mission. The first one was held on Tuesday and it was awesome!  I learned so much about leadership (Mom, I'll send you my notes)!  On our way back home from the meeting one of the other Elders had put in the wrong GPS coordinates and we ended up in Dartmouth Nova Scotia which is the opposite way of Amherst! Needless to say... we got home reeeaaallly late! We won't mention the Elder who was responsible for that one.  hahahha

Love you all and you can contact my folks for my new address. I'm now serving in Amherst Nova Scotia

Love,
Elder Craig

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To Elder Craig's parents...


Dear Brother and Sister Craig,


Just a short note to inform you that your son was recently called to serve as the second counsellor, in the Amherst Branch,  in the New Brunswick East 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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CHANGE... Life in Amherst.

Change! That's what's been going on.

I've been transferred to Amherst Nova Scotia. It's interesting here! My companion and I were whitewashed meaning we both came here from different areas. Typically when you go into a new area you usually have a member book and an area book. These books give you an idea about the area, members, the work being done, etc.  

NO BOOKS = STARTING FROM GROUND ZERO. 

Amherst is just a little bit bigger than Woodstock. The membership here is very, very, very small! There is lot's to be done and it should be fun. My companions name is Elder Woodbury, he's a cool guy and something that sets him apart form the average guy is he is very, very good on the computer!

Yesterday we had a pretty big storm hit us and it's still going! SO MUCH SNOW! 

Our living quarters are a dream! It was the senior couples apartment until we got here, so it's clean! BONUS!!! I'm kind of big on the whole clean thing. IT'S FULLY FURNISHED! It has a washer and dryer! Oh and they work a 100% of the time;) Oh and a DISHWASHER too! Told ya it was dreamy!  We feel blessed.

My companion and I got here last Thursday and we had NO FOOD, so we went to the store and got some basics.  I don't think our shopping trip was thought out to well because we were out of food by Friday night. My companion and I somehow ran short on money for this month for what ever reason.  No worries though we got creative after raiding the cabnets.  We found a couple left over eggs and some basic baking supplies, so I rolled up my sleeves and went to town. I realized that my Mom can bake 7,000 times better then me. I made tortillas...from...scratch.  They were really thick no matter how many times I used the rolling pin, those suckers just wouldn't get flat enough. They did however taste pretty good! The pancakes I made the following morning weren't much different either and the list goes on.  Needless to say it was a carb overload, but hey our bellies were full:) 

I love each of you and hope you are well.

Love, 
Elder Craig
My eye lashes are frozen solid after snowplowing.


video


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Warm Up

There are many ways to share the gospel and today we decided to combine preaching the good word of God with hot chocolate. We set up a stand and invited everyone to warm up! 
Sometimes we can be in a spiritual winter, strong winds are blowing and the snow never seems to end. But Jesus Christ is the Light of the World and he invites all to come unto Him. The Gospel can thaw out our troubled hearts.

*posted from Houlton Mormon Missionaries's Facebook page.

Monday, March 2, 2015

SURVIVE or THRIVE

Hope everyone is doing well! 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. A woman in the branch got up to bare her testimony and said something that stood out to me. She said, "The church is perfect, the people are not". She went on to bare a powerful testimony of coming back to church after being offended for what someone had said to here at church.

Now I have heard this saying before "The church is perfect the people are not" many times, but I got thinking about it!  Do you remember a couple weeks ago when I shared the conference talk entitled "Stay on the boat and hold on!"? I Hope you do! The ol' ship Zion is the church. It is an unsinkable ship with your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ at the helm! We are all welcome to be on the ship (a member of the church). I guess even if your not a member you're welcome to! 

I would like to point out a principle, there are many ways in which we can live life. As I am writing this, two ways come to  mind. We can...SURVIVE or THRIVE.

Surviving would be just sitting on the ship. Thriving would be experiencing J-O-Y!  Why do you suppose we are on the earth?

Lets read 2 Nephi 2:25, Shall We? 

"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." 

Gods has given us commandments and he promised us JOY when we OBEY him (if he didn't give us joy when we obey him he would cease to be God). My thoughts after his lady bore her testimony were that of gratitude. That (even though it took her a while) she understands in some way the importance thriving! 

Thus far on my mission I've learned whole heartedly that this life is about JOY! And I testify to each one of you that I have experienced Joy from keeping God's commandments! The scriptures say you can too! 

I love you all and have a great week!
Love, Elder Craig