Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015

I hope everyone had a good Christmas! It was nice and hot over here! Christmas eve rained so hard and we were soaked!!! But it was so cool! When am I ever going to have a Christmas like that again ever?!?! NEVER!!!! We made it fun and lived it up!

Alright so we had a great baptism of brother dale!!! I can honestly say he was probably the smartest person I have ever taught! Him and his family are as close to an American family as they get! Its way nice! He is working hard to become the valedictorian at his school which is way nice to see here! A lot of people here are pretty comfortable in their situation. Its nice to see people with dreams and goals to improve their lives!

OK well we have the most golden investigator in the whole world and her name is Christia! She is 24 and is relatively a very wealthy 24 year old! This whole situation is like almost too good to be true! So she just heard about the lds church and that it was focuses around families. So she just decided by herself to come. She didn't know any members or missionaries she just came! That was about 3 weeks ago! She met a member from a branch about 5 hours away from here and she invited Christia to the branches Christmas party! SHE WENT. We were also there and had no idea she was coming. President and Sister Aquino were also there. So we asked them if they could give her a ride home back to Iloilo. So our investigator spent a 5hr. car ride with our Mission President and his family!!! Then we get a text that night from President Aquino inviting us to his house for dinner. She came and guess who was there??? CHRISTIA!!! So she stayed and had dinner with us, President Aquino and his family! We were just so shocked! She is one of the first people that has said "I want to investigate this church" She is just so friendly and yesterday just spent all day at church talking with all the old ladies! Usually when investigators come to church we try and find them fellow shippers to show them around. But this time she just finds her own fellow shippers. It has been so perfect. And we talked to the ward and have scheduled appointments to teach her at the houses of the members! It’s been such an ideal situation. Where the members are really doing most of the work!!! Its so sweet!!!

It was way nice to skype you all on Christmas!!! You are all doing so so good! I cannot believe that 2015 is almost over! What a great year! A lot has happened to me and I have learned so much! 2015 is the only year that I have spent 100% of my time to the Lord! I am also really excited for what will happen to me in 2016! Its going to be a big year and I am so ready and so excited!

Have a Happy New Year everyone and have fun at the Cabin!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 13, 2015

O ya!!!! I probably won't be able to email really anything today! Today is going to be crazy! Things are going good! I love you all so much!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Hey everyone!!! This week was another amazing week with a lot of different kinds of meetings! Like my president always says "We believe in meetings, we hope all meetings, we have endured many meetings, and hope to endure all meetings!" Ha ha President Aquino is awesome. We inviting him to work with us this week so we set up an awesome night with all our best families...and guess what we got punted left and right and couldn't teach a single one of them which was a big bummer. We were so excited for President to work with us but...I guess this was just part of the plan!

Probably one of the coolest things about this week was on Saturday we had a meeting (yes another meeting) with President Aquino, an area 70, and all the stake and district presidents on this island. Which is 4 stakes and 2 districts in case you were interested! We presented a plan for 2016 which will boost the progression here! It was really sweet! We made a nice prezi everyone was pretty pumped afterwards! Then after the meeting each stake scheduled a meeting with all the Bishops and ward mission leaders and invited us to present the same thing to them so that everyone can be on the same page this 2016. A lot has changed here in the mission now the next step is getting the members to catch the same fire and rise up with us! THIS IS SO SWEET!!!

That is for sure our next focus is just use the members as much as we can! All of our families have come from tracting and its has been difficult to help them build relationships with the members here! So last night we got an active family pumped about helping a family come to church and we made a goal with a member that in 2016 a family would be baptized in their area and now they are so pumped. So we gave them the Aliparo family who the dad is ready to get baptized but his wife still has some doubts which is totally understandable and normal! They are awesome I think I have said this before but the parents of that family love each other and its so cool to see! You don't see it very often here and its always a breath of fresh air when you see them two!!! Oh I love it!!! Anyway we are going over them tonight then the member family will visit them on Tuesday night without us and just talk with them and find their concern and just be friends with them! So we are excited to see what comes from this! This member family is the Ortega family and he is hilarious! When my parents come we will for have a family home evening at his house!!!

This week is going to be crazy because next Monday the whole mission is coming down for a Christmas Conference. All 180 missionaries here and we have quite the night planned! I will just say its going to be crazy! This is President Aquino's last Christmas and he wants it to be big! 

Well its been a blast. So exhausting but so worth it! I miss you all so much and hope everyone is having fun during the Christmas season! Enjoy it! I am going to enjoy my last Christmas here in this island paradise! I love you all so so so much!!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

Another week just livin' the dream! It was really different this week doing zone conferences we were able to talk to every missionary here in 3 days which was awesome. We have about 170 missionaries here! I will tell you what, the spirit in the mission is so cool right now. The goal was just to have the hope come back in the missionaries that they can become the missionaries they always wanted to be! It was cool to see the hope come back in some of the missionaries here!!!

It sounded like a successful Thanksgiving at home got some good food and even better family. Awesome pictures at the cabin. The snow!!!! I love showing people here pictures of the snow at home. They want to experience it so bad. They have all sorts of funny ideas of what they think snow would be like!!!

It was so busy and a lot of hard work. But whenever I think I am working hard I think of what my mom is probably doing at home and that she is working twice as hard as I am at home. I can just picture her sledding with her kids trying to blaze a trail and go down over and over again to make it faster for everyone! Haha that's my mom! I will never be able to work as hard as my mom she just goes goes and goes never stopping trying to help her family and seriously everyone she knows. She is my motivation to work harder because I know she is giving everything she has in her family and everyone around her and it is so special. I love her so much!!!!  

We had a great week in our area. The Aliparo family who was doing so good are having a hard time keeping their commitments. Its really breaking my heart. They are the coolest people ever just trying to work hard to get themselves their own house and land. Which is actually really nice to see people trying to improve their situation. They want it so bad and really like everything they just keep telling us that they know they aren't giving the Book of Mormon enough time. They really do work hard but its just hard to get them to rest on Sunday because they are just hard workers. I have faith that the time will come and that God has a plan for them! They are just super special to me and I love them!

It was a fun thanksgiving here. President and Sister Aquino prepared us a wonderful feast no turkey no mashed potatoes but a feast! I cannot believe that my time is ticking here. I looked at my planner today and saw that tomorrow would be December and it was a weird feeling that I did not expect my heart kinda dropped and realized how fast this once in a lifetime experience is going by. Its a little sad I am going to have a rough time leaving this place. Ya its still far away which I am thankful for! I am just so thankful to be a missionary and to wear this name tag! I love you all so much and ITS NOW CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!!! I am excited to really focus on the Savior now that I understand a little more about who he really is. Its a special time of year if we let it...Lets Let Him In (Ya we are doing the Forgotten Carols this year for the Christmas Conference:))

Enjoy the snow and cold and make some awesome sledding hills for me!!! LOVE YOU ALL


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EASTON!!!! 11 years old! Easton is hilarious and so athletic. Man I am so proud of Easton he is doing great and I miss you buddy have a great birthday!!!! Have I ever said i have the best brothers and sisters in the world??? Seriously they are the best. And I get to live with them forever!!! I love my family!!!

This might be a shorter one but we have not slowed down a bit its been crazy busy! We are getting ready to tour the mission and do zone conferences in all the zones! We are mostly talk about how our missions have changed so drastically the last few months and how amazing it has been! Just spread the fire around the mission to try and fire them up! We are pumped and way excited! So wish us luck!!!

Thanksgiving! This is my last thanksgiving on the mission and I have so much to be grateful for its crazy! First of all my family more than anything. But really I am so grateful to be a servant of the Lord right now. Right now the holidays are coming around and some people start thinking about the birth of the Savior and what a miracle it really was! I am thankful that Heavenly Father has trusted me to play such a role in His work! I am so grateful for the challenges...Ya it was another challenging week. But looking back those challenges has made me evaluate my work and myself. Those challenging times have brought the most change in me and I am so grateful for them! I came here to serve the Lord and help people. Now more than ever I feel like I am fulfilling that purpose!

I have learned that conversion relies so much on divine help! The spirit is key to everything. There are a lot of churches here. Missionaries don't debate or try to prove anything. The thing that separates us is the Spirit and what people feel! Its so beautiful.

Alright sorry time is up! Well the work is good here in Iloilo! We are expecting miracles this week and we are going to work hard for them! I love you all so much and I love my mission!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Very humbling week! But awesome! We went back up to Roxas this week which was awesome. There is something special about going back to your previous areas! Some families are doing amazing like the Lago family. Some were some sad visits and going through some hard times. But it was a great splits and I still cant get over driving here in Philippines. Beautiful controlled chaos!

So in our area. It was on of those week were we tried super hard and didn't get to see real immediate success. But never the less we just kept going. It was one of the most mentally tough weeks of my mission. We are trying to hard to reach those really high expectations and have complete faith we can. 

The Aliparo family are for sure my favorite!!! Wow its such a breath of fresh air to see a couple so in love with each other. Ya I know that sounds weird. But it might be a culture thing but it was really nice to see a family whole loves each other so much and trying to run a business together working as a team and just happy no matter what happens to them. Their progression is going great. But this week they had a little problem with their house and business. Something they had no control of. I will share this with you so you can kind of feel what I feel every day. So they are living in a house at the same time running a business out of it. They are doing a rent to own system where they will rent it and at the same time give the owner 5,000 pesos every month for 2 years until they will own it. Which is awesome that would improve their way of life so much. So they have it on contract and everything but the owner saw how good their business was doing there and decided that he doesn't want them to own it. So is now forcing them to move out. Which would cause them to go all the way to Cebu. So ya technically you can fight it but they are just too nice and humble that they don't want to cause any problems. Its hard because they were like we are coming closer to Christ and going to church reading the Book of Mormon. Why is this happening right now? Ya its a good question. But showed them a video about the pioneers and how they probably felt the same way! Its was cool and they are standing firm with their faith and just so positive about this. To put this in perspective a little bit to buy everything for them to increase their quality of life it would cost about $150.....I spent more than that for prom. So ya I felt guilty. That has been one of my challenges here. Its been a humbling experience and has brought me to my knees many times. I pray everything works out and know that when they continue on this path. Blessings will come!!!

Well hopefully that didn't make you feel sad. But there are many situations like that and it will help you understand a little of what I am going through here. I have been so blessed!!!!

Another interesting thing that happened was. We tracted and taught a pastor of a different church. Ya that was another new experience. He opened his door and told us he already had Christ and he was a pastor and didn't need us. (But he still said it really kind). We decided just to keep going a be a little persistent and testify of the Restoration. I don't know what happened or why he decided to continue talking with us but he did! He told us he was a pastor and we told him we have a message from God that we would like to share with his family....he said yes. Shocker!!! So we came back Saturday and had a very healthy lesson and taught him the Restoration! He is super smart and said he really is impressed with Mormons. He said he doesn't understand how he s a 40 year old pastor has a hard time getting people to stop drinking but then two 19 year olds come and some how they change. It was really cool!

Its crazy about what happened in Paris! Its also crazy I had no idea until I got and read my emails. I guess I really am in a bubble here in Iloilo. I really do not know what is going on around the world!!!

Ya it was a tough week but felt great! My testimony grew of the Savior and his role in our lives! I am so grateful that through Him and His atonement we can overcome our sins and weaknesses and progress to become like him. Through Jesus Christ and His Gospel we can progress. We can always improve our situation and become more like Him!

I love you all so much and so grateful to be a missionary!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

Busy busy week. It was transfer week again. So we send home the old missionaries and pick up the new missionaries including the sister from Michele's ward! We also had another big meeting with all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders which was AWESOME. I will talk about that later. So it was way busy at the same time trying to keep finding and teaching families. There is so much joy in that!

BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Everyone please please spoil her! Mom you are the best! I love you so so so much. I just want to brag about my mom. She is the hardest working person on the planet! She just goes goes goes and never stops trying to make her kids the happiest they possibly can be at the same time wakes up super early to work hard in the GYM! She is the best and really just everyone knows I have the best mom in the world!!! I love you so much mom and have a great birthday!!! Because of the way you raised me I have the ability to help people here in the Philippines. All because of you!!!!

The Alifaro family is still doing great! Such a beautiful family where the parents seriously just love each other its so cool. They work so hard to run their store where they sell all sorts of food at a shop by their house. They seriously work all day long its crazy! It really is like a 8am-11pm job. But its working for them. They have giant speakers that blast these amazing Christmas remixes that have been going on for 3 months now! It is so fun! Their kids now have a part in the primary program and came to the practice on Saturday. ITS AWESOME. We just tracted them about 4 weeks ago and they are progressing so fast!!! I love it!

The Maravilla family was for sure the highlight of my week! Chris who  I always talk about is awesome and the funniest man in the world! His personality is one of a kind for sure and is not shy at all. His story is awesome so we wanted to try something different for our training. So every month the leaders of the mission get together to get trained by us but this time we invited a real investigator!!! So we just taught him a regular lesson in front of about 40 missionaries. Ya I know what your thinking kinda weird but his story is just too good we wanted to show them the power that our message has to really change people....even Chris. He really is just as cool as they come so after we taught him in front of everyone. He told us what really goes on in the mind of an investigator. Like what its like to hear the first vision. Or to hear about prophet and Joseph Smith for the first time. It was amazing!!! He did so good. We were nervous to bring him but he really just nailed it! At the end he just stood up and bore his testimony about how this message has changed his family's life and that us as missionaries really have something special and have the ability to really help people here. It was awesome and I have it recorded and will be able to listen to that over and over for the rest of my life......I love it!!!!

Ha ha this something happened for the first time. So our apartment really doesn't have anything but mattress to sleep on. We don't have a refrigerator or anything to cook with. We just do everything in the office at the church. We only sleep in our apartment. We were closing our day and planning for the next day at the church Friday night so tired it was crazy. I don't know what happened but we were planning then the next thing we knew we fell asleep and didn't wake up til that next morning. We thought it was pretty crazy totally slept the night in our proselyting clothes at the church. That was a first! 

This work is amazing. We are having so much fun its crazy! I really just want to help more people like Chris! Its so cool I just want it to happen over and over again!!!

I love you all so much!!!!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYKER!!! Big shout out to Ryker turning a big 15 years old and I am sure will be on the road quick with his momma in the passenger seat!:) That is too hard to imagine Ryker driving!!! What in the world happened??? Have a great birthday!!!

Wow yesterday was amazing! We had a beautiful family come to church for the first time this week. The Alifaro family! We have only taught them a few times but their desire is so amazing. The ward was so excited to see them show up all dressed up! Their family really loves each other and I just love them so much! They have progressed really fast. And we are just so excited for them! Their kids already have a part in the Primary program in two weeks:) So ya we are so pumped and so happy for them. We have nothing but PMG (Preach My Gospel) to thank for their progression. The PMG conversion is beautiful!

This has been our big push. Doing everything exactly how the PMG says to do it! Wow is it beautiful! It really brings true conversion! This is something we have found in our area and are trying to spread to the whole mission. So twice a week we go wherever we want on the Island and go on splits with them and show them how beautiful this is. Last Tuesday we went to Guimaras for my first time which is a small island south of Iloilo. I will send pictures. What a beautiful place! 

O ya Chris Maravilla the guy I told you last time that has kind of a "bad guy" look to him is doing awesome!!! He has a great family with 5 kids. Since the first lesson he hasn't smoked or drank. Not because we told him not to but he felt something that told him he needs to change. And his desire is pure. At the same time I have never met a more funny guy in my life. He still has a ways to go in his conversion process but he has made some real progress in the last 2 weeks! So good that we are inviting him to our meeting on Thursday where we give training's to the Zone Leaders. So he is going to be our investigator where we practice teach but it won't be practice because he is still an investigator! We are so excited! He is going to be great and he will share with the missionaries what he felt when he heard the Restoration and the change that it has brought to his life! That is the coolest thing in missionary work!!! Seeing the change!!!!! I love it!

Alright 1 more cool experience this week. So we had a family the Centino family where the dad is a retired military guy, that told us after we extended a date that they were never going to leave their religion. We said that was alright but said just read the Book of Mormon and see what happens. So we came back and didn't teach them anything just took turns reading 3 Nephi 11 and wow there was a shift mood that was in that house and they changed. They were so excited to read after we left and asked us when we were coming back. We didn't give up on them because they love to read. The whole PMG conversion is centered around a testimony of the Book of Mormon. That is what we are focusing on and it has proved to be so beautiful! I don't know what will happen to the Centino family but I have a firm testimony that if they truly read the Book of Mormon there will be a change!!!

So ya we are working hard but at the same time having some great fun. This morning we had some elders buy a live pig......We killed, roasted, and ate it on the beach for lunch today!:) Only in the Philippines!!! Livin' the dream!!! 

I cannot express how awesome this is! PMG is so beautiful it has helped me feel so much joy in missionary work. We are having so much success and so much fun doing it! I love you all!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Hello everyone well again what an amazing week. Its getting close to Halloween! Here on November 1st there is a holiday for the dead. I don't know if its just a Filipino thing or a Catholic thing but people buy heaps of candles and set them up on the road to light up the night when the spirits are out roaming around. Very interesting and people here are very very serious about it! There are things called aswangs here. Ha ha say that word out loud! Which is a scary white lady that flies around at night. Again people are very serious about it and will swear to you that they have seen them. The culture here is awesome and the way of life is so sweet and simple. I am amazed!

Alright so the conversion process continues with the families we are teaching. This week was a lot on giving them baptismal dates so that they know the end goal. We do it every second lesson and it helps really bring out their real concerns and makes every lesson after that have a purpose. Its really cool! Helps a lot! So ya they families that really accepted the challenge to get baptised were. Alifaro family and Mariavilla family(I will talk about him later) and the Bayson family. All amazing. Another favorite family of mine is the Buendia family. Probably the biggest challenge is getting a time where they are all together. Because we are trying something new that if they are not all complete we won't teach them for a few reasons. But it gives them the idea that we expect them all to be there when we teach. It also shows them that we are serious which in turn helps them become more serious about the restored gospel! Its cool!!!

So ya the Mariavilla family...The dad cut our hair about 5 weeks ago and then saw him in our area about 2 weeks ago. He is different. I guess you can say he has the "bad boy" look. He doesn't look like a great investigator but he has surprised us this week that's for sure! He is a great dad tho and has impressed me the way he treats his family and doesn't go out and drink every night and leaves his kids with his wife like I lot of dads do here. Well we have a great relationship with him and taught him lesson 1 and he said he wants to change. Well we didn't think much of it but knew the only thing that is going to help is if he really reads the Book of Mormon. So we came back for lesson two and he is a big joker but he got serious and said that his week has been different. He hasn't smoked his mind has been clear and has just seemed happier. So we were pretty excited still didn't know if he was joking or not but asked him how much he read. And he read a lot. Probably the coolest thing you see here is the change of a family from lesson 1 to lesson 2 IF they read. So cool!!!

There are the only two pictures I took for the week. The gun looking thing is actually a gun people use to go spear fishing at night. So there is a flash light on top and at night time the go out in the ocean and shoot a metal nail with fishing line on it to try and kill the fish...crazy!!!

Then the other picture was a big moment for us! I can't tell you how many times people say that we can visit them. But then the next day when we come they are busy or not home.There are just to nice to say no even if they really aren't interested about finding a new church. Anyway this week when we went to the appointment someone left us a note that said they had an emergency and would get back really late. And apologized for not being there. IT WAS HUGE! Such a nice note that felt amazing. I have never had that happen ever!!! It was a big deal!!!

We went on splits with two of the far zones which was awesome. Its such a fun drive. Driving here is really beautiful. No real rules but very few crashes. Organized chaos!!! It feels sometimes like a video game. Don't worry mom I wear my seat belt. And I put the sunflower seeds you sent to good use! So was able to see a few families in my first two areas which was also a sacred experience.

I am having so much fun and really just in love with this work right now. I know Heavenly Father has a plan better than mine and I trust in it!

I love you all so so much and miss you all!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Hello everyone. There is no way I am going to be able to type and explain how happy I am right now and how cool the last few weeks have been. This might be a longer email. But hopefully you can catch how the last few weeks have changed my mission and wow has it been an amazing ride!

In the last few letters I have talked a lot about my goal and really that is all that I think about now. I am so invested in this and going all in and this week has been full of rewards that give me the excitement to work harder and keep going. 

Looks like Dad and Ryker took a beautiful trip to Strawberry and caught some nice cutts. I thought a lot about fishing and how it relates to missionary work lately. This may not come across quite right but I will try. Well I love fishing! I love it so much! Why? I don't really know. At first it was an excuse to have time with just me and dad. But I have a weird love for it that i just don't understand. I just remember always trying to fish the Salt River and Greys River at the cabin because I new there were bigger fish there but it was more challenging fishing. So I left my comfortable spot in Tin cup creek where I was getting success and having fun to try and chase those bigger fish which I knew had the potential to really find success. How many times did I try and find those bigger fish?? A many times was I successful? Not a whole lot. Sooner or later I would always find my self going back to my old faithful tin cup creek where I really didn't have to stretch myself a whole lot and still catch fish. Then I would go back to the Internet and go back to the drawing board and try and figure out how to better catch those big fish because I knew how much joy that would give me. I had to do things different on the bigger rivers. Really have to be sharp in my technique. Always mend my line! Another thing is I would wake up really early and stay as late as I could because I knew the more time that I had my fly in the water there was always hope of that success that I wanted to badly! OK so how does this relate to what I am doing right now? I want families full families...Big fish. So in order to do that I am going to have to venture out into the bigger waters and do things a little bit differently and be more sharp in my teaching techniques. More focused and frankly work harder. Just like I was so excited to get our early and stay as long as I can in the water fishing. I need to be that excited to get out and always find because there is always that hope of success. And in missionary work I know that God is really in charge. So if it is part of HIS plan that the family comes into the waters of baptism. Great. If not at least you know that you did your part. That's faith. Trusting Gods plan over your own.

Well with that said I am proud to report that over the last two weeks we have gathered together 12 full families with probably 10 of them really reading the Book of Mormon. We only have 2 investigators that aren't full families. And like I said we are trying to do things by the book. Or the (PMG) Preach My Gospel. So we have either extended a date to them already or will this week. All on the second lesson. This is something that I have to admit never done before! We are both so focused on this goal and we are seeing real results and real miracles. We had 1 day where two families invited us to teach them and they all know that if the whole family isn't there when we set the appointment we won't teach we will just reschedule. Sometimes the father trying to run away and say he is busy at work but we never let him go and chase him down  and TESTIFY of how the church was lost but though a prophet it has been restored in our day. And we have evidence that this is true that we want to show your family. So that the spirit can enter into the conversations. If you just tell them you have a message for your family and not testify the spirit has a harder time to work. But I have seen so many times how that changes the mood of the father to where he lets us in to teach his full family. So ya we are trying and doing things we have never done before to sharpen our skills to show our faith to Heavenly Father that we trust in His plan!

Another awesome thing that we have done these last few weeks is make the First Vision so special. We set that up to be a spiritual experience and say it memorized in their language whether its in Illongo, Tagalog, even Karaya. And not even kidding the whole mood and outside distractions go silent. Usually there are lots of kids and they are kinda loud but they are silent when we say the first vision. Another really cool one was there was a really loud saw that was going pretty much the whole lesson. That seriously stopped all until we were done testifying of the First Vision. We always notice it and it is crazy! We always do that in the first lesson and I believe that is why they are so excited to read the Book of Mormon for themselves. All of this is in the PMG which I took for granted until now which I am using religiously!

Another cool thing was yesterday we reported this to the Ward Council and told them that something special is about to happen. This ward hasn't had a family baptism in years and when we told them that we have over 10 families with potential they about exploded and the whole Bishopbric invited themselves to work with us this week. So we are seriously pumped right now! It is so sweet to go through a whole day teaching nothing but families. Why have I not been doing this my whole mission??? I do not know. I guess I didn't know how possible it was but now I feel like the missionary that I always thought I was going to be when I was in Primary and young men! Our biggest concern right now is that the fathers work on Sunday... That is our next challenge that I know through the help of the Holy Ghost (the real teacher) that will be overcome.

I guess this just shows the power of goals and focusing on your goals. There is power in it! So at the same time we are still assistants to the President and have to balance time with that. So two times a week we travel around the mission and try and spread this contagious excitement throughout the mission. And this week we are going on splits in my last two areas which I am so excited to visit those people there again! Its going to be a great week!!!

I believe in miracles and expect them everyday!

I love you all so much and miss you like crazy!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Maayong hapon!!! Just like last week wow I really got stretched last week which was great! I really want and need it! But seriously never have I been so happy than this week! Wow the satisfaction that comes from being a missionary and seeing families slowly change. Those changes all come after keeping a commitment or one of Gods commandment. Its real and its awesome!

Well I wish I could talk more about General Conference but to be honest me and my companion had a rough time during conference. We realized our physical limits might have been pushed pretty good this week and really just crashed when General Conference came around...ya so we were there for the whole time but at the same time not really there! Sunday was better tho and I really like Elder Nelsons talk (Ya I know it was meant for the sisters) but it just got so real to me when he talked about the time he felt the biggest failure and wanted to give up when he was did a few unsuccessful heart surgeries all in the same family! I couldn't imagine that feeling. But I think we can relate probably to a smaller level of failing at something. I know I have. And we choose if we let it destroy us or if we use it as a spring and become better from it! I think we have seen both sides. Another thing is the fear of failing which again I am guilty of. I have noticed sometimes I don't give all my effort in something from the fear that it won't end up working out! But that is just so dumb and is how Satan keeps us from our potential! Ben, Ryker, Brooklyn, Easton, Lexi, Hunter! Whatever you want to do give it everything you got and expect great things but also know that things will not always work out how you would like it. But don't let the fear of failing keep you from giving it your all! 

The Selim family came to General Conference and I am always a little nervous about taking investigators to conference because its all English! But they wanted to listen to the prophet. But like I said I was a little nervous. We also did 4 hours straight with no break so the Sunday morning and afternoon session were combined. Anyway they came and loved it and told us all the things they learned which really surprised us. They got so much from it and wow is that cool to see. 2 months ago I don't know if they would have been able to do that! Blessings from keeping the commandments of God. They progress and change! So awesome! The field is so white and ready to harvest. Harvesting does take a lot of work and effort but "How great shall be your joy!"

Alright well enough of that so this week was transfers and we also had a meeting with all the zone leaders where we called for a big "step up" of the missionaries and to do things more like the PMG says to do things not just from what we saw done before us. I have really had to change some of the things I did before and wow it is amazing! Our goal here in the area is families families families. Everything we do revolves around finding families to teach. There is no better way to feel like a successful missionary than to focus on families! Its exciting and contagious...and yes a challenge! 

Those three families I mentioned a few weeks ago are doing really good, just the transition and conversion is a process and will take time. It is fun and it is exciting tho. I know that it will all work our how God wants it to. I have faith and complete trust in Him and His plan!

I love you all so much,

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Wow there is no way to explain what has happened to me the last week! So before I start we made some changes and I am now companions with Elder Dorman from Idaho we were in the MTC together! He is just like me. A nerd who played football and tennis! It has been a ton of fun and he has caused me to stretch myself a lot!  Which is good and is what I want! We really are trying to do missionary work EXACTLY how it says to do it in the PMG. Ya I have always tried but not like this. Its a lot of fun and really exciting!

Really what me and Elder Dormans goal is to try and get rid of the fake limitations that this mission has! There is so so much work to do here! So we are making a few changes and we have already seen missionaries lives changes. It was really cool when we got a text from a missionary who after we went on splits with them found 3 families and now all three have a date for baptism! Its exciting and contagious! It will spread and we will start seeing some amazing things here! We are all in and going all out and we are not afraid to fail!

We got rid of a lot of our office work so we could just work as hard as we possibly could in our area! We both want to work so hard and we have a lot of fun doing it! We are really stretching ourselves and just want to do something special here so bad!

So in our area the Dela Vega family and Recto family are both progressing. The Dela Vega family committed hard to coming to church but then said that the fathers brother got in a motor cycle accident and had to go to the hospital...I hope that is the real excuse it seemed pretty legit to me:) Our ward is so strong and great that we need them just to come to church and they will feel the truthfulness and that it is just what they need for their family! So close!!! Like I said the Recto family are big time and really smart. But we have such a strong fellow shipper for them that they are doing good. The challenge is just getting them to come to church just 1 time and they will know! They are close and I know that by doing things the PMG way we will see miracles! 

Our whole focus is families we really just want to show other missionaries that it can still be done! You find what you are looking for and right now we are looking for families who are ready to make the baptismal covenant together and then help each other padayon tubtob sa katapusan! I need your prayers! We have our expectations high and just so happy doing it! Ha ha i got a hair cut today and then the wife of my mission president dove by and rolled down her window and said "sino nagpaguntin so imo buhokpatchon ko siya!!" then drove away. So pretty much said. "Who cut your hair? I am going to kill him!" So ya Filipinos are very honest and I guess you could say there was some miscommunication between me and the barber. It will grow back:)

I love you all so much

Elder Craythorne

Monday, September 28, 2015

October 28, 2015

Hello everyone!!!

This week was fun of learning and humbling experiences. First of all Saturday was a sight to see at the stake family day. I think it was a nation wide thing. Where it had a bunch of activities to strengthen families. It is so cool to see while the world is getting farther away from families we are getting closer! There is one family that I don't know if I have talked about yet the Dison family. The mom has been a member since she was about 17 and now she is about 30 with 5 kids. All of those 5 kids are below 6 years old! Those kids are full of energy and you can just see how hard she is trying to do her best to raise them.  Her husband doesn't have a great job and isn't a member yet. He wants to get baptized and is ready except they actually aren't legally married yet and the father lost his birth certificate. But anyway that will work its self out but to see them bring their whole family to church is quite the sight. I am sure it is not easy and could get frustrating sometimes but there is something that brings them back each week and its awesome!

Conference weekend is here once again. You will get it a week before I do so please next week try not and include any spoilers!!:) Like I said last week those general authorities are amazing and I can only imagine the apostles. I am really excited to see who the Lord calls to fill those positions. How cool is it that we have apostles that sacrifice so much to help grow the church.

The Selim family accepted a date to get baptized on the 31st of October. They are the ones who have standards like they are members a church and just so prepared. They have 3 kids that are all really little pray for them. 

Dela Vega family with 5 kids came to the family day on Saturday and promised me they would come to church....but didn't. I am not sure why maybe we can blame it on the rain but we will see. Pray for them.

 The Recto family probably one of the biggest houses in our area have really accepted us well and just so smart. Mark who is about 30 years old and the dad is a Medical Rep. he sells anesthesia to the hospitals here in Iloilo! We are going to need miracles. All of these families have came from tracking the last few weeks and really have just thrown our faith at Heavenly Father showing him our desire to see miracles and I trust, know, and expect miracles to come from these families! Pray for them.

I love this and am expecting great things to happen here. I am putting all my faith and trust in Heavenly Father knowing that his plan is better than mine.

I love you all so much

Elder Craythorne

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

Mayong aga!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE MOST GWAPA SISTER IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!! Everyone should watch out we got a new teenager in the family! Big 13!!! Wow but I could not be anymore proud of her!!! She is turning into quite the special young women! I love you so much Brooklyn and have the best birthday ever!!!!
Alright so we had a mission tour with Elder Bowen of the Area Presidency! I don't think I have ever had an opportunity like that to be around someone that high up in the church and wow was I impressed. To explain him I would probably just say a man with a firm understanding. He just gets it and understands whats going on! He was awesome! I got to spend lots of time with him and he also interviewed me! They literally live the law of concentration and gave up so much to live and serve here in the Philippines!
Here are a few things I learned from him! I think I talked about a few weeks ago that he wanted us to study about the Abrahamic Covenant and the House of Israel! At first I didn't really know why and was kinda thinking it wasn't a big deal. I obliviously did not understand at the time. Throughout his training he kept asking:
"Why are we talking about this? So we can know who we are!
Why is it important to know who we are? So we act accordingly!" 

He used doctrine to have us understand who we really are and what kind of potential we really have! Through the Abrahamic covenant he were blessed with exaltation IF he stayed faithful and kept the commandments of God! As part of the House of Israel we are also entitled with this same glorious blessings upon the same conditions. A huge portion of the scriptures are about this. Again why is this important? So we can know who we are!
Why is it important to know who we are? So we act accordingly!" The more we understand who we are the more we will act the part!!!

Knowing a little bit more about this really really really helps understand the scriptures so much more. It makes a big difference so I would like our family for a few days of scripture study try and learn a little more about the house of Israel and what they really are. Because it is in the Book of Mormon 105 times! I think that will really help!!! Let me know how that goes:)
To be 100% honest I have never just talked to everyone like I have this last week. We found so many people!!! Our schedules were full this week for sure!!! We really just went all out this week expecting miracles!!! I hope and pray that the Holy Ghost will touch them and help them see how beautiful the Gospel is!
Thanks again for all your support. I have the best family! I know that the Gospel has helped our family so much. We are the product the teachings of the church and so proud if it!!! I know that families are forever! Just like the song. I saw my mother kneeling with my family each day. I heard the words she whispered as she bowed her head to pray. Mine was also a home where every hour was blessing by the strength of priesthood power! My father and mother lead the way and taught us how to trust and obey. I am so thankful that love is spoken here!!! I love you family and miss every single one of you!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!! Ya but no joke its the next holiday here so the Christmas season is in the air!  I'm not complaining! Yesterday was our Ward Conference that we have been preparing for since I got here. We wanted to make it big so the ward has been visiting a lot of less actives and its been a huge team effort and yesterday we saw the reward! It was awesome seeing so many people show up and it has really sparked some excitement here in this ward! 

The only problem is that I don't really get to spend a lot of time in my area. We go around traveling a lot and go on splits with other missionaries which is a lot of fun. We really get to know a lot of missionaries and see how they do missionary work. I really like it because I learn a lot from them. Everyone is unique and does things differently. Some work better than others but it has been sweet to see! You also get to see the different levels of desire. Some missionaries are so excited and have such a great pure desire and its a lot of fun to work with them. Then there are those that make missionary work harder than it really is and frankly not very fun. It really depends on the missionary on how much they enjoy their mission. You get what you put into it! That goes for everything I guess!

We have an awesome couple that we found this week that have been prepared for a long time to accept the gospel. The Asenin family! They have 3 kids and the happiest couple you have ever seen. They love each other and work together to raise their family! One of the biggest problems I have seen here is the dad works and uses a lot of that money on his alcohol and cigarettes. Which leaves a little left for his wife and kids to eat. This man is one that does not have that problem which is uncommon as sad as it is to say! The reason is they were both affected by it when they were kids by their parents and they both don't want that for their kids. Their desire is so pure and really so family oriented! Of course we invited them to "Pray to know" so they can get an answer if the church is true is not. So when the came to church they were glowing and so excited to tell me that they got their answer and know that the church is true! MIRACLE!!! I am excited for both of them. 

And this letter would not be complete without the highlight of my week. I had one of those tender moments that really touched me and it will be hard to explain and probably even harder for you to picture but. After we taught the Asenin family their second oldest child gave me one of the most powerful hugs ever. She is so little but I was wrapped in a feeling that just surrounded me with such a special feeling. Only about an hour after that I met a family where one of their sisters just died at only 28 years old because of that same problem I explained in that last paragraph. She left 3 young boys here. So the whole family was gathered together and they introduced me to those 3 little boys and with that recent hug still in mind I got on my knees and just gave each of them a hug and that same feeling came back and it confirmed to me that I have such a HUGE purpose here and that God really does love us and I felt that love so strongly through those kids this week that I cannot explain but only know that it is so real and so pure!

Hopefully through this email you can feel at least a little bit of what I felt this week here in this beautiful place doing this even more beautiful work! I KNOW ITS TRUE! 


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne 

Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7th 2015

Wow what another great week here in Iloilo! This will be a short but hopefully sweet letter this week. I have 5min.

 This ward is so missionary focused right now its beautiful. They always bring people to church which makes being a assigned here awesome! And like I have always said. Members here are amazing!!! They are the elite!!!
In my studies I learned about the House of Israel. How they were scattered and how the prophets prophesied about the gathering. One of the main purposes of the Book of Mormon was to start the gathering of Israel! Which helped me see the big picture of missionary work. It has been part of Heavenly Fathers marvelous plan all a long and we right now are apart of something huge. Gathering the house of Israel. It was something kind of new for me to understand but something really cool!
I also found something out on my pedigree chart. The first Craythorne to join the church! 
Edward Craythorne in 1849 joined the church when he was 17! I don't know his conversion story or what exactly happened but 150 years later I am so grateful that he had the courage even though he was only 17 years only to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of his decision in 1849 my family and I are enjoying the blessings of the gospel and eternal families.
Yup times up so I love you all so much!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015

What another great week. So I might answer some questions you might be having. So I kind of have two companions right now. Elder Miner is my proselyting companion from Orem Utah. And his job in the office is supply manager. So when we go our proselyting he is my comp. But if I am in the office. Elder Ramos is my companion. He is 27 years old and hasn't been home in the last 5 years. He served in the Military for 3 years and applied for a mission while he was in the military and the Military released him one day before he was supposed to go into the MTC. So pretty sweet story. He has 5 weeks left and he can go home.

So this week has been full of firsts. I got my license and right after that my first time driving I had to pick up the mission Presidents wife from the airport. So ya I was nervous....there are some rules that just don't apply here I guess. Its super fun tho! So this last week was transfers so really busy here. Missionaries going home and new missionaries coming in. When missionaries go home President takes them to a super nice place to eat and we get to come!

Yesterday we talked to Bishop about having a home teaching caravan because there are just so many inactive members its pretty crazy walking down the streets and how many people will tell you that they have been baptized but don't go to church anymore. We tried it this morning and it was so sweet. A lot of support from the members and they were all given names to go find and check up on and invite them back to church. Then we came back and reported what happened. There were some really sweet experiences of the inactive members so happy that they were visited and came with the members back to the church to eat lunch and to thank everyone for doing the activity. SUPER SUCCESSFUL!! The ward is now planning on doing this every month!!! Its going to help a ton!

Benji and Melvin Canlas got baptized on Saturday!!!! They both are so awesome and are preparing to get the priesthood and someday go on a mission. What a huge affect their decision to get baptized is going to have on their life. It leads to so much more joy and happiness!

A quick shout out to Easton scoring a touchdown in his football game!!! So proud of him what a good kid who tries so hard at everything he does!!! How about Brooklyn in Jr. High WHAT???? yup they are growing up:(

My ward here is amazing. The people here are seriously the elite!!! They are filled with understanding and shine with the Light of Christ which is real! This church is really true and effecting peoples lives around the world so much more than I ever thought! This work is truly amazing and divinely guided. I feel so blessed to have this short opportunity to share it full time.

O got a very sweet phone call from my last companion at a house of the  Lago family in my last area. They just finished their baptismal interview for this Saturday. I was able to talk to them and congratulate them. They were so excited and shared with me their testimony. Words could now describe how sweet that conversation was. I love love love much. I love my mission and love this country!!!
Palangga ko gid kamo
Halong permi
Kabalo ko gid matuod ang ini na simbahan!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

The picture where we have lipstick on us the tall missionary in the back in my proselyting companion. So after 4p.m. I go out with him to work. His name is Elder Miner from Orem. But Elder Ramos is the other AP which in my other companion.

The picture inside the church was after our home teaching caravan where we were given a bunch of names and went two by two to locate them and see if they moved or are still there just less active. It was a big success and the first time that the ward has tried it. We showed them a video on how it works and decided to try it in our ward. They loved it and want to do it every week. This is going to explode the attendance of this Ward. Everyone is excited and after we come in for some good food. Pretty sweet:)