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