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 lot....how 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