Monday, June 29, 2015

One to be Looked up to.

I have mixed emotions about Wesley leaving on his mission. It's awesome, but...I won't see him for three years.  I didn't think I would feel the way I do about Wes going.  I haven't seen him for months and it feels like part of me just! I'm so pumped for him though! He is going to destroy it! He is such a stud and one to be looked up to! ;)

Family, I've said a special prayer for each one of you as I know this is a tender time. Dad and Mom...just think of the life you have and the way you are affecting others through your righteous examples.  Let me know Wesley's "Dear Elder" info asap.  You guys are amazing! Oh and mom, get some sleep! 

I was excited to get a visit this week from Tyler.  He was a missionary that served in my mission and recently returned home from his mission in March.  This past week he made a drive through the mission, making a special stop in Amherst to see me.  It was great to catch up!  He is an amazing person who has done so much for me.  He will be an eternal friend! 

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Craig (the other one) ;)

My mission president and his wife will be leaving the mission.  This is what president Leavitt sent to us this morning thought I would share:)

President Leavitt's final weekly letter...June 29, 2015

Dear Elders and Sisters, 

After the Saviors resurrection he appeared to 8 of his apostles on the shores of the sea of Tiberius. The apostles were out casting their nets and fishing. When they saw him and came ashore he fed them fish and bread. After they had eaten the Savior has that well know interchange with Peter where he asked Peter if he loved him. The actual question he asked was whether Peter loved him < "more than these". 

The "these" that he was referring to was the fish. I think that the fish represented the world, or represented what Peter used to do and used to be. I think the savior was asking Peter if he was just going to go back and do what he had always done. Was he, after all that he had seen and experienced, just going to go back and be a fisherman. 

Peter after being asked and answering three times that he really did love the Savior, "more than these" was counseled to feed the sheep. 

I think the significance of this interchange was that the Saviour was telling Peter he could not go back to what he was. He had been called and was now the chief apostle, the kingdom of God now rested upon his shoulders. He could not just go back and be what he was before he met the savior. Before he saw the miracles, before the mount of transfiguration, before the garden and before the cross. From that moment on Peter became the great apostle. 

As I look at the facebook pages of our return missionaries I see so many of them moving forward in a positive direction. They serve in the temple, they are getting married, getting an education and starting families. I am thrilled for them. 

There are some who it would appear are much like Peter, in that they have figuratively gone fishing. They have sort of gone back to where they were before their missions. The Elders grow beards, buy a motorcycle and hang out with friends. 

Alma ask the question. "if you have sung the song of redeeming love can you do so now?. He, in the same way is asking if you have felt of God's love and it has changed your heart, is it still changed?....or have you gone fishing. 

As Sister Leavitt and I leave our mission, I make this commitment to you that we will not go fishing. We will still be missionaries, we will still be constantly reaching out to those who need help, and we will still and always be interested in each of you. 

We are family now and always will be. 

We express our deepest gratitude to each of you for you kindness and love. We admire your goodness and faithfulness. We pray for your every success, now on your missions and in the future as well. 


President and Sister Leavitt

Monday, June 8, 2015

Unification Between Members and Missionaries

Let me start off by saying my Mission President was right! Well, kind of anyway. So several months ago I was visiting with President Leavitt (Mission President) and I said something to the effect of... "Well there's no rest for the righteous" and he looked at me and said, "Elder Craig, WRONG!  There ain't no rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need any!haha Wise words from a wise man!

Well, a lot has happened this week and there is no doubt something is keeping us alive and kickin' (you know the church might be true after all... ;)! We made it to bed on time only twice last week! Each day seems to present itself with many new and exciting variables that we get to maneuver through! 

There is a new sister in Amherst who created a way to do weekly planning.  We sit down every Friday and plan for our upcoming week. We make **individual plans** for the people we are working with (this is called the 10 day planner). Basically its a chart with 10 days on it and you mark in how you will be spending your time. Guess what? It's even color coordinated, so you can see if you are balanced in your efforts. 

Well... this little plan gave me and Elder Woodbury an idea! We jumped on google sheets and I explained to my companion an idea as to how we could expand on this idea and what we could make it look like! that's all it took and away my companion went.  I know I've mentioned this in the past, but this guy is a genius on the computer. Needless to say he created a program for us and gave us exactly what we wanted! Let me just take a second and say...IT's SUPER AWESOME! Because it's on Google sheets we can share it with our WARD or BRANCH MISSION LEADER and they/he can see exactly where we stand with our key indicators and much much more! This is what I call unification between the members and the missionaries! It's awesome! 

A few days ago a man went to the church (that was his second time). The first time he showed up to an empty building. The sisters called us and said, "There's a man here who knows that he should get baptized and believes this is God's only true church( I'm telling you it just makes sense;). So, like good little excited missionaries we went over to the church and gave him a tour of the building. We have begun teaching him! His name is Ken and he is great! Have I told you lately just how great missionary work is?  

Love, Elder Nathan Craig