Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

Hey everyone!!! It sounds like quite the week for the Craythorne family! Asking someone to Prom!!! Wrestling tournament!! Making the Cheer team!! Goblin Valley!!! Wow I am so proud of all of you!!! Wish I was there to take you all out to a Red Mango!!!:)

We had another GREAT Sunday with a wonderful turn out! We also for the first time got a member of the stake presidency to come visit us to see all the progress that has been made! They were so shocked and had no idea how strong this brand new unofficial group has become. They said they will apply to make it a branch ASAP!! So that was super good news!!! We were way happy!!! I get way nervous come Sunday morning just cuz there is so much going on but we are always so happy with how it turns out! 

So they said that they will visit us every other week now to help it grow! That was the crazy thing here. We have been here for 7 weeks and no one from the stake or other branches has any idea what we have been doing here...until now which is good. And its safe to say we got their attention now:)

We have found some awesome families with some awesome dads this week! That is our only focus. We know in order to build a solid branch we need a solid foundation of strong families. This Wednesday there will be 4 of us here in Caticlan to help speed up the work! There is so much to do and it will be way nice to have another pair of missionaries to help. Elder Dorman will be one of the missionaries coming. He was my last comp and we are so ready to end our missions together here and establish the best branch we can before we go. Because this dream is going to end soon whether I like it or not!

Happy Easter everyone! Where we celebrate the most important thing that has ever happened! The Atonement and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I love everyday of my mission where I get to testify that it really happened and its not just a story. Everyday I get to share the good news of the gospel. That no matter who we are and where we are at.....we can always get better. No matter what we are going through because of Him we have the hope that things will get better.

I love you guys so so so much!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Hey everyone! Well before I start. I got a really cool email again today from a lady who read this blog. She heard about the area I was in and said she was looking for missionaries in that area to teach one of her friends. That was about 6 weeks ago. So we were able to get that referral to the right missionaries and now she emailed me again saying that they got baptized yesterday. How cool is that? Its crazy how the Lord works sometimes.

So yesterday was one of those days. So we tried really hard to get our Mission President to come to see how awesome this place is and how strong of a group it is! So he told us Saturday that he could come if we moved sacrament meeting from 1pm to 9am. So sent out big group text and changed the time. Since people sit outside of the church 1pm is good because the sun is on the other the side of the building which made a nice shady spot to sit.  But at 9 wow it would be so hot! So we woke up early Sunday cut down some bamboo and tried to make some sort of canopy...well it didn't work. So we ended up throwing together  some sad looking screen to keep the make some shade. I will send pictures but its nothing to be proud of...We will do better next week! It was a huge turnout and so cool because after sacrament meeting we had a meeting with the Mission President and the classes went on without us!!!! Boo ya!!!

Ha ha we played basketball with the minister of one of the biggest churches here this week. That was way interesting. We made some friends with some members of his church and invited them to come play basketball with us. When we showed up we realized what was going on. We started to play but every time he touched the ball he would stop and ask us a dumb question or try and make us look like fools. It was ridiculous and funny at the same time. My comp is awesome and is so funny. it is impossible not to like my comp. So he just did what he does best and it turned out OK! 

So now that we have a solid organized church we will focus more on finding more new families to teach. Next week there will be 4 of us and its going to really explode. I am so excited to come back here in a few years and see their chapel. That will be HUGE!

I think my favorite thing about this place is since we are still we new. Everyone has a lot of problems and they know it. This church feels more like a hospital than anything. People have been sick from not being able to go to church. They forgot a lot, they started some bad habits, and now they are trying to get better. Isn't that how its supposed to be? Its such an exciting spirit that is in our meetings! I wish you could see it! So humble and so real. Real lives with real problems. I love it!!! So we have keeping the Sabbath day holy down. Next week we will tackle the Word of Wisdom...ha

Alright well another week went by way too fast. I love you all so much!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Got a free ride home in a dump truck......gotta love the Philippines!!!!:)

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

We did not receive a group email this week for some reason.  I did get a short letter from him and things are going well.  As you can see from the pictures and his comments below they have to seat people outside during sacrament meeting.  Here is a little bit of what he wrote me last night.....

"Alright so the church here is legit and very organized. Its only 2 hours though. I take the adults after sacrament. (I CANNOT HANDLE THE PRIMARY) Elder Palzario takes them. It's unlike other places because these people are not used to coming to church so they aren't just coming out of habit but they actually want to learn and that attitude makes a HUGE difference."

"Our biggest concern right now is marriage. People can't get baptized if they aren't married. People here can't get married if they have a previous marriage. It's impossible to get a divorce here. Its a sad situation......"

Our Meeting house! We have no choice people sit outside....

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016

Well this will be a short little letter! I will make a voice recording tonight and send it tomorrow real fast to explain my week because there is so much to tell!!! My card reader is now broken so I can't send any pictures this week which is too bad! Don Cooper invited us on a little trip for our p day earlier today!!!! I am the most spoiled missionary ever!!! We went and visited some other remote islands and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! So much fun! I will tell you more when I get home;)
We moved to a nicer meeting house this week! The only problem is.....there were people standing outside because there were so many people.....yes that is a problem. So we can't really do to much more until we find a new place to go to church! With the help of Don Copper we easily could bring 150 people to church...if we had the space. So ya things are going good here.  But the more I am a missionary the more I feel just like a tool in the hands of the Lord. I was always worried about doing just the right things and saying just the right things. But really its so not me leading the work here. Heavenly Father is seriously just doing everything for me! I am just trying to get out of his way! That really is what it feels like here.
We bought a microphone and speakers so we are getting way more legit! We are having too much fun seriously. We are getting spoiled here! I had imported ribs this week! Like ya. I went from eating dogs, chicken heads, chicken feet, really every part of chickens and ducks to eating first class meals every day!
Alright well we really got to go. I will stay up and send a voice recording to all the kids. I feel way bad they email me every week and I have been so bad at writing them back.
I love you all!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne