Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27th

Well Family!!! So when you are a new missionary you go into something called a 12 week program. This is my last week!!! I am graduating the 12 week program. Yay!!! It is so crazy that I have been on a mission for almost 4 months!!! This transfer has gone by so fast. Because we have really just gone out and worked hard and had a lot of fun! I have loved this transfer.  And no after this week I will no longer be a "new missionary" So I am excited for that. Even though I don't really feel like a new missionary right now!

Well anyway earlier today our whole zone went to this way nice beach with white sand. It was so much fun. We set up a volleyball net and it was just so much fun. We have a lot of fun people in our zone. It is cool to have a bunch of kids from around the world. We got Malaysia, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Philippines, and America. Way sweet. They gospel is for the whole world. Its awesome! We all brought our rice and ulam and threw it all out on the banana leaves and just dug in with our hands. So much fun!!!

This week we were able to meet the Almonon Family at the church for the first two lessons. They wanted to go to the church because their neighbors are really giving them a hard time about wanting to become Mormons. But they have enough faith to take their family on a trike to the church just to listen to us. Its way cool that they do that! The same kind of problems is going on with Alfredo. He said that people are always saying "bakit ka magiging Mormon?" They both live in a rough area. The Almonon Family said that they are feeling good enough that we can teach them in their house this week! So I am way excited for that! Alfreado is still working on the Word of Wisdom. Its is hard for him because there are no members in his area. He will be the only one in hisbarungay. But we are really trying to help him and he is really trying to figure it out. His brother is making it a little hard for him. 

Well anyway I got to give a little shoutout to Ryker. This little stud is turning 14!!!

I cannot believe Macy is coming home this week. That is amazing. I read her last letter and wow did it get me motivated!!! I want to be like that. Wow how cool are missions??? This week I just kinda realized something in one of our lessons. So when I teach I use Tagalog. When my Comp teaches he uses Illongo. When we have a member at our lesson he uses Aklanon. So in one lesson we have three different languages!!! Kinda crazy huh? Well only in the Philippines. I love it. I am so happy to be here. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet these amazing people and to walk around and just practice my language with them! Its so fun! Well Thank you family for all or your letters and support! I have the best family in the world. I know I say that a bunch but. I believe it!!! We are way blessed!!! Well I just love being a missionary!!!! Talk to you next week!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 20th

Wow!!! What another great week! I really am going to have a hard time explaining this week! But I do have to say. It has been the most successful week of my mission so far! We worked dang hard. And we found some awesome families and some sweet people to teach. We will be really really busy this week trying to get to all of them. The members has been a huge help this week! They are way excited to help us and way excited to give us referrals! It helped a ton! Maybe I will start out with yesterday! Probably the most memorable day of my mission! There is this man named Johnny. Which I sent a picture of him. He is the hardest person that I have met to understand. He speaks incredibly fast that it almost sounds like he is kinda crazy! He may be a bit crazy. But anyway we asked him if we wanted to work with us. So he went out and bought his first white shirt and tie. He has been a member for about 10 years now. He finally comes to church in a white shirt and tie! So anyway somehow I ended up going on splits with Johnny so its just me and him! Remember he is like impossible to understand! Well he ended up showing me like 4 different families and he just talked and passed out pamphlets to every one he saw! He was amazing!!! We got work done together!!! There is not a shy gene in that guys body! I was really worried about going with him but man am I happy I did! It was so sweet! 

So this week we tried to address Alfredo's word of wisdom problem! This is the kind of stuff you always here about. So with the Tagalog that I have from being here for 9 weeks we tried to explain to him that he needs to quit. He said that he really wants to but that it will be way hard for him! He wants to become a member and so we made a goal and he is slowly working a following the word of Wisdom! I was way nervous about how he was going to take this and if I was ready to teach him with the little Tagalog that I have. But you know what? It worked out. It was great. We also had a service project at his house. Because the roof wasn't fully covering his house so when it rained everything got wet! Very crazy how people can live in such small, broken houses! Very humbling! well we took off the bad tin and replaced it and covered his house up. It was a way sweet service project and he was way thankful. 

This week was ward conference and I realized how grateful I am to have a mom and dad who made me take piano lessons!!! The people here love that they actually have a piano player! So they put together a choir for ward conference and it actually sounded pretty good! I loved playing the piano and they are way happy that they have a piano for sacrament! So Ben, Ryker, Brooklyn, Easton, and Lexi!!!!!!! Listen up! Make sure you stick with the piano and listen to mom and dad. They know what they are talking about! Playing the piano pays off!!! I wish I would have practiced more!! 

Well Anyway this week has been awesome. I have felt actually being guided to the people that we meet! The language is coming and getting better everyday! I just feel so blessed to be where I am at. I feel so blessed for my family. They are all amazing! Thank you all for your emails. I love hearing from all of you! I cannot believe Macy is coming home this week! Wow that is crazy! I bet you are all way excited for that! So I just want you guys to know that I am doing good. I am healthy and I just feel great about being here on a mission! I love being a missionary and I love you all so much!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Service project at Alfredo's house!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 13th

Well wow another week went by way way way fast. I am having a lot of fun and really enjoying my mission. The weeks are already just cruising by. It was so weird before General Conference they shows temple square and some trees. I could have swore that they had snow or frost on them already! Is it really getting that cold??? It just looked so weird to see temple square on the screen in the Fall! It still should be summer right! Well this week I think you would like to know that I got cold! Ya like shivering cold! It has rained a bunch they say it is from the Typhoon that hit Japan. We road in the back of a truck to an area way far away and just sitting in there so wet made me really cold. Everyone tells you that you won't get cold in the Philippines. I don't know if I am just a wimp or what but it was weird. I went back home and saw the temperature and it said something like 72 degrees. But I bought hot chocolate mix and totally had hot chocolate in the Philippines! Did not expect that but man did it feel good!

Alright well this week was amazing like always I really have enjoyed everyday of my mission and just really look forward to the exciting things that are ahead! I love where I am right now. I love my companion and the other two elders that we live with! We all just have so much fun together. This morning we got a pull up bar welded and bought some concrete and built us a little pull up bar for our apartment. Just little fun stuff like that makes the mission that much more fun! I have a great relationship with my comp! That really helps I want to try to have this for all of my companions if that is possible!

Well anyway teaching this week was awesome. I have built a great relationship with a part member family. The husband is a member but less active. Yesterday we taught about missionary work and we invited him to come work with us and come help us with our lessons because we need help with the language. That got him so so so excited it was way cool! He helped the missionaries before when he was younger he is about 26. Having him come and share his testimony will help him so much and help him come back to church and to get his wife baptized. She wants to but they can't get married because the boyfriend Irvin lost his birth certificate! So ya. But I am way excited to see how having him come and work with us will help him and his girlfriend! Sharing the gospel is one of the best ways to strengthen your own testimony. So I am way excited to see how this helps! Alfredo came to General Conference all the way in Kalibo. So that was awesome but I didn't know that it was going to be all in English. Ya General Conference here was 100% English which Alfreado really doesn't know English so I was a bit worried but I think it turned out alright. I don't think he understood the message but I am sure that he could feel the spirit of the speakers! I found out that he smokes. So tomorrow I am going to try to get him to stop!!!! Lets see how that goes!!!! I am way excited to try!!!

Wow General Conference what an amazing opportunity we have twice a year to listen to it!  And what a difference it makes when you really pay attention and take notes! It was packed with great messages. My favorite was probably President Uchtdorf. When he talked about how when Christ told his disciples that someone would betray them. They automatically asked. "Lord is it I?" How awesome is that? That would not be the first words that would come into my head. I would think about someone else. Not me. Never would it be me. But how cool is it if before we looked to think about others. We first turned in and made sure we were all good first! That takes humility! I am sure when we think of someone humble we have two or three people that automatically stick out! Man those kind of people are special! Well I am getting a little bit faster at typing so I can write a little bit more! But thank you all for your support and letters. I feel so so so blessed to be born in such a loving home surrounded by such amazing people in the great city of West Point (Zion). I have learned on my mission to really be thankful for challenges and even started praying for challenges. Because they are really worth a lot. They really help you grow and learn so fast! I am thankful for my challenges! Right now it is still a challenge everyday with me and my comps Tagalog. We just get out of our apartment not really sure what is going to happen or how we are going to teach. We just trust in our Heavenly Father and somehow it always works! It is amazing! I love you all and wish you all the best. Be safe and keep working hard! I love you all!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 5th

Well I am sure you are all anxious to hear to see if my week this week was as good as last week! Well I don't think that I can say it was better. But it just continued to this week! I was really excited for this week. It was my first week to kinda be my own missionary to find out and decide what kind of missionary I am going to be! I have learned a lot about my self this week and kinda what motivates me! I have really high expectations for my mission and really want to become a more effective missionary. But I have been given an amazing investigator to force me to learn how to teach all of the lessons clearly and simply so that he can really understand our message and so he can truly be converted! I think I talked about him last time. His name is Alfredo. He just wants to learn everything we have. And I am not really good at teaching all the lessons yet. All the commandments and stuff like that. But now I am forced to learn how. I spend all my time studying just for Alfredo. I study for the lesson that I am going to teach him next. So that when we teach him. He will be able to understand. It really works well. I have really been able to teach this man! I just love him so much. He has a pretty dang hard life and is just the happiest old man you have ever seen. His kids are all gone in Manila and his wife has been blind for 6 years. And yet he is still keeping a good attitude everyday. He must of decided a long time ago that he wasn't going to let hard times make him feel bad for himself and become angry! There is a lot that I learn from this mans simple life!

This week I learned that my area is about 6 times bigger than I thought. We took one day and went on a motor cycle for about 45 min on a crazy dirt road though rice fields to a place called Jalas. We have a sweet family there but it is almost impossible for them to take their whole family to church! That is really sad for me to see! We are going there on Friday again to do a service project even though it is way far away it is way worth it because they are so strong! I am excited for that! O ya you guys are so dang lucky to have already heard conference. I am so excited for Saturday and Sunday to listen to it! I am way excited. What a cool thing that is!

Well I will be honest this has been a challenging week. My comp is new as well so I am just trying to learn how to be a more productive missionary. There are things that I didn't do right and now I know not to do that again. I am learning from my mistakes. I am really just learning as I go. It is forcing me to become a good missionary really fast! I am so grateful for this situation. It is just so fun to go to the big city and kinda get lost and try to talk to the people to get to where we need to go! We are just having so much fun! I have a great companion. Even though he doesn't know the language very good we have a lot of fun together. Something that I really like is that we are really trying just to serve one another. We always just do little things for each other to show that we care. We only fight when we try to wash each others dishes. But the other one wants to wash them.
So again I am doing really good I am really loving everyday of my mission! This is such an awesome opportunity. I am so excited for all of the challenges and different situations that I am going to experience. This is the best thing that I could be doing right now in my life! I am so happy to be here in the Philippines! I love you all so much. Thank you all for your letters and support! I have the best family in the world!!!! 

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Called to Serve!!

Service project with Elder Kei

Looks like Elder Craythorne needs some nose plugs

Best picture so far.  Elder Craythorne riding on the back of the Ward mission leaders motorcycle.

Elder Craythorne was excited to play a little tennis.  Apparently this guy is an instructor and he learned a lot from playing him

September 29th