Elder Craven's Blog

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4-16-2012

  Hey mama,
   I am doing great today. We went to a waterfall that is about an hour outside of los angeles. Most of our investigators are doing good. We kinda lost 2 of them yesterday, but we are going to try and get them back. We havent had any books of mormon to give out so its been a little harder. The book of mormon is pretty important. We met this guy Gustavo earlier this week and we taught him yesterday in his store. He is an awesome investigator. He is really really acceptive. Then we have these two old ladies named Margarita and Leonides. They said that we are the nicest and cutest missionaries. They are really nice. Then there is Adrianna and Prisilla. Adrianna is kinda crazy and thought one time that my comp had a demon in him because they were kinda fighting…. This week i had my first experience with little kids throwing rocks at us.. i was so mad. And today on the bus, the man sitting behind me read his bible out loud because there were a lot of missionaries on the bus. he read the chapter in matthew that talks about the second coming and false prophets. then he said something about the mormon church.. it was great. i am really good at being patient with people when they are being stupid and disrespective.

we moved houses and didnt have any in the new house. we are waiting and getting some from the office. ( this is why they didn’t have any books of Mormon).

 i had to give a talk in church on sunday. i talked about 7 minutes about missionary work. it was actually pretty good because i didnt write anything down. i just talked.

4-9-2012

 Hey mama,
      Happy easter to you too! my day is great. how is your day?  they kinda celebrate easter. its weird, they celebrate more the holy week ( the week leading up to easter) and they eat shell fish on holy friday. holy week is really big here, well with other religions. my new area is great. we have 2 people that said that if they recieve an answer that our message is true, that they will get baptized… so that is awesome. oh and there is another girl that said that too. she is a little harder, but she said she would. my companion is pretty good. he is a nice kid. he loves talking to people so that is nice. I havent gotten the package yet, but i am sure i will get it soon. 🙂
     grandpa ken writes me every few weeks now. i asked him to tell me about his days in the army so he actually wrote me today! its pretty crazy where he has been. his boat almost flipped on the way to japan because they ran into a typhoon! crazy stuff….   
 Elder Craven

 

4-2-2012

Hey Mom,
    So this week has been awesome. We got to Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, ate a quick lunch, and then went out and did contacts all day. The people here in our sector are so much nicer and accepting. There are quite a few drunks too. They are pretty funny. No one ever knows what they are saying.
   So we were sharing a house with 2 other elders and our zone leaders. we were sleeping on matresses on the floor for the first few days. We now live in our sector and share a house with the other 2 elders that are in our sector. we have 4 here now because it is pretty dang big. In our house, we have an Elder from Honduras, another from Columbia, one from Utah, and me. Haha. Its crazy. My district leader is from Mexico, his companion is from Guatemala, my companion from Honduras, and then me. We have a very diverse district. its really really cool. My companion is a convert of about 5 years. My district leader is a convert of 2 years. Its amazing to see these guys out here exercising so much faith, eventhough they are fairly new to the gospel.

 

3-26-2012

this week went pretty good. it is sad to say goodbye to people that have become good friends here, like the cornejo family, but life goes on. we felt trembles yesterday from an earthquake while we were eating with the cornejos. it was soo sweet. haha. we didnt have to much success with teaching this week. my sector here has been really difficult. i am getting transferred to a place called villas americas tomorrow. i get to open up a new sector. so that is sweet. my companion will be elder corrales from honduras.. i have a feeling that all of my companions are going to be latins. haha. its pretty cool though, because my spanish has really improved in the last 6 weeks. it helps when your companion cant speak english, to not speak english… i am soo excited for conference!! it is going to be really good i think. something amazing is going to be said. good luck with your talk, and good luck to andy. if you could take pics, that would be awesome!

 

3-12-2012

stoy en la misma lugar, pero sí mi español es mucho mejor. necesito practicar mas, pero es bueno. haha, i am in the same place. i am 99% sure i will be transferred after these 3 weeks. i dont think president will make me stay another cambio. things are better with this companion. we are having more fun. there are just good days and bad days.
.. so this week i got to break a door for some people it was sweet. you know those latches they have in hotels that lock the door but let you open it up a little bit?

so we were walking and this lady and her daughter were locked out of there house and they had a younger kid inside and he wasnt responding to their calls or screams. they were crying and screaming but couldnt get in to get him. so they yelled for me to break in the door because the younger kid was locked inside and they thought something was wrong… so i broke in the door… they ran upstairs and all i heard was, “son, son, wake up, wake up” so i thought oh no, this little kid is unconscious or dead… turns out that he is just a really heavy sleeper. they thanked me for getting the door open, and we walked away. it was really scary but really cool at the same time. lol

 everything else has been okay. we have been trying to focus on members this week, whether they are active or inactive. it is a lot better than knocking doors all day long. my companion and i have been playing the dice game from pirates of the caribbean 2 everynight this week. whoever loses has to do push ups. its been really fun. we have a lot more fun together now. my spanish is a lot better. the stake president lives in our area, and he asked me how much time i had in the mission, and when i told him that i had almost 6 months he was impressed because i sound better than a lot of elders who have a year. so i was glad to hear that he thought i had more time. lol

thanks mom. yesterday we were talking to an inactive young man about how he needs to come back to church. my companion brought up the fact of how fortunate we are to have the gospel in our lives and what we must have done in the preexistance to have the church now.. he used an analogy of how when we recieved our mission calls, it said that we will be serving for 24 months speaking spanish and sharing the gospel. in the preexistance we were forordained and called to live in certain places and to do certain things. it is sad to think that in my calling, i was called to be the son of you and dad, to be born in the united states and to have the gospel… then there is somebody like nick who i know i knew before this life, and in his calling he was called to be born in ohio and to not have the gospel. then we made promises to people that we would bring it to them in this life… that is incredible to think about. please send nick a text sometime this week to see how he is doing. i dont know how much more time we have. i usually just go until my companion says lets go. lol

 

2-20-2012

Nice Happy Presidents Day Mom. So my new companion is okay. I miss my other companion, but what can you do. He doesnt really understand any English, so that is a little hard. But it is forcing me to learn better spanish. It is kind of an answer to many of my prayers. Its not the answer that i expected, but i am learning how to use more spanish. This week has been a little difficult. I have had to show my companion around the sector and take charge of what we are going to do each day. We stopped by some old investigators house and i ended up talking to them for like 2 hours about life. Out of those two hours, i taught the 10 year old kid Diego, i dont know if you remember me talking about him back in like december, but i taught him how to say, “I dont speak english, but i am really good looking.” haha it was really funny. I am also working to teach them how to pray in english. The grandma invited us back a few days later to eat with them. she made homemade pizza that was actually really good. Then Diego and his aunt Paulina came to church with us. I think we are going to set a baptisimal date with those two for march. Then the other night we went to a home of 2 ex missionaries. The husband served in the Provo south spanish speaking mission, and she served in Washington DC, but now they are inactive. we had a really spiritually strong lesson with them. they invited us to have lunch with them tomorrow.
  Congrats to CheriAn! that is awesome. MMMM tamales! delicious! hopefully the banquets go smoothly!

2-13-2012

Hey mama! today has been awesome! we went to the mall, played some pool, then went and saw Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D because President Martinez gave us permission because it is one of the other missionaries birthday. so it was awesome!! Brother Watson went to see Star Wars Episode 1 on his mission, and now i went to see it on mine. lol. then we went to pizza hut and ate a bunch of pizza. Mondays are still Pdays. That will always be Pdays. For office people and for assistants, Pday is Saturdays, but for the rest of us, its always Mondays. Transfers are tomorrow, but i am staying in the same place. My trainer, Elder Torres, is getting transferred, and i am going to have a different companion. His name is Elder Gasmuri. His parents are from Peru, but he was born and raised in Chile. So i am pretty sure i wont be speaking very much english with him, which stinks, but this will really help my spanish. I am sad to see my trainer go, but life of a missionary. ha. Dakota is going to love Chile. except it is super hot and dry up where he will be.
    
  This week a lot of things fell through with investigators, but i am hoping to find more of them home this week. I do have some cool news though. The family that we have helped get back to church every week and paying their tithing, the dad was just told that he is going to be ordained a high priest within the next month! so we were really excited to hear that! we found some people to teach, and i have a visit set up with a family that was a reference from a member for later this week. i hope that goes well. it would be awesome to baptize in this sector because it has been over 6 months since the last baptism. this last week we had a really really good conference with president and the assistents. last month was a bad month for the mission and we only had 46 baptisms, but this month, the goal is 100 and right now there has or will be 91, so we are really close to the goal. we just need to commit a few more to baptism. The couple that we have been working with, is getting really close to marriage i think. I would love to see them get married, and see her baptized. That would be amazing……………

 
  When i get back i want to go camping with the boys! that sounds like so much fun.

 Congrats to CheriAn with the patriarchal blessing and deciding to go to the temple! very exciting stuff.

1-23-2012

Hey mama,
    Man January is almost over.. that is crazy. Im sorry to hear about Sister Nelson, but she is in a peaceful place of rest now.. I think the youth in the bigger cities go to seminary, because that is what my Mission President did before the mission. He works for the church and is in charge of seminary for a lot of the country if not the entire country for seminary. I dont really stand in need of anything. you dont really need to send the seasoning or the refried beans lol. i really really like peanut butter cups, snickers, butterfingers, 3 muskateers, and milky ways. making the kool aid is hard because all of the containers are measured in liters so to make it taste perfect is hard. lol. we dont really cook much. last week i bought peanut butter and jelly and had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and let me tell you, i have never had such amazing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before haha. its funny how the little things make such a big difference. chileans dont really eat peanut butter, so i hadnt had it in a while. its good to hear about the boys and that they are doing well! i miss them and love them.
   so it is crazy how the Lord trusts us with this work. I mean before i thought it was amazing that we send 18-20 year old boys on missions and people actually join the church. haha. i mean if you think about it, people listen to such young men, well the Holy Ghost that is speaking through us, and make life changes. that in itself is amazing. then you put in the factor that you are asking young men to wake up at 7 everday to study, then wear clothes that arent the most comfortable things to wear. to go out and knock on total strangers doors, in a language that most didnt grow up speaking, all day, and to trust them to bring salvation to others… man i wouldnt trust that age group to do that, but the Lord does. And it is amazing that the church continues to grow. In the Book of Mormon when the sons of Mosiah go to the lamanites to teach them, they have to teach them the right because of the false traditions of their fathers. that is exactly what we are doing. Many answer their doors and tell us that they are catholic and their entire family is and they always have been. its hard to have so many people with the same excuse tell us that they arent interested, but when you have a powerful spiritual experience, it is all worth it. this last week we didnt have to much success getting new investigators, but we stopped by some inactive members house to see how they were doing. we found them a few weeks ago. it is a daughter and a mom who are older and live together. they were baptized over 40 years ago and havent been to church for a really long time. two weeks ago the mom was in the hospital so we stopped by this week to see how she was doing. she is doing better but we gave both of them a priesthood blessing. the spirit was so strong during and after it. they want us to come back and talk with the granddaughter and possibly the grandson. so that was really the spiritual highlight of my week. even though you all arent here with me, i keep working hard for and because of you. i love you all and miss ya.
 Love Elder Craven

1-2-2012

Collipulli was really good. It is really sweet to see how much a missionary can really mean to a family. My companion baptized a few of them and then Elder Dyches(my companion in the MTC) his dad baptized the other ones. It is really cool though to see how much converts and missionaries can have love for eachother. Your new years eve sounds pretty fun even though you didnt stay up late. We went over to the 2nd counsellor in the Bishoprics home for our New Years eve. It was really fun. We spent the entire day with them. I made one of those cookie mixes with them, and we had a huge asada (barbeque).. for us two missionaries, their two sons, Brother and Sister Molina, and then a set of grandparents, we cooked 20lbs of meat. It was so much food!! we also sat around and talked about doctrine and stuff and drank Mate. That is the stuff that you drink out of the silver cups that grandpa and ray have. Then we saw fireworks on the tv at midnight. Drank some kid champagne. Chilleans give everyone hugs when the new year comes in. That is like a custom to do. Then we went home and went to bed. After church on sunday we went to some other peoples house and had some good conversations about the gospel and stuff, then my companion helped fix their laptop and i watched a little bit of 17 miracles with them. Then we left because Elder Dyches and his companion Elder Fetty who is one of my companions old companions, came to stay at our house because elder Dyches had a doctors appointment today. So we had fun hanging out with them today..
  This week we knocked so many doors. We found some really good people to teach because they have lost spouses and stuff and they are really receptive to us… So that is awesome. We also have a family that told us we can come back sometime this week so we are hoping all goes well with that.. My companion is a stud with the scriptures. The other night we helped a member about our age with some problems that he has been having and we did it all with scriptures. The book of Mormon truly can answer questions of the soul. You just have to know how and where to find the answers. It is amazing. I am reading the Book of Mormon in English and Spanish at the same time and i am starting to understand more. I am trying to finish it all within the next 6 weeks. The work is going good here. I love you all. It sounds like the boys are doing good    Love you mama!!
     Elder Craven

12-26-2012

Thank you for your testimony momma. i was so happy to get to see and talk to all of you. i was thinking that i only have to wait a few months before the next one, then a long 7 month wait before the christmas one again. that will be a long wait, but i will only have to make it once in my mission. christmas was really nice. santa visited and i got a nerf gun. also i got a tie from the people that we went to visit in collipulli. and i got a box of chocolate and a hand towel from the people we spent christmas eve night with..
   on christmas eve, after talking to you we went to a house and had 2 steaks each and some other stuff, then a few hours later went to another house and had another piece of steak and chicken and other stuff. then sunday morning went to sacrament, then to collipulli where we had another piece of steak and turkey. everything was delicious. i almost died christmas eve night though because of all the food. today we went to los angeles and it was cool. i took money out to buy some stuff plus elder torres told me to take extra out and hold on to it for later because of the transaction fees and that it was just better to just take a lot out at once. so i did. thank you very much for everything mom. i am really glad to be out here. i have some pics from collipulli and a video or two. It was beautiful. we went to a waterfall with the family that my companion baptized. they were so cool.   The first few pictures are from Collipulli.  The last one is of me with my trainer (my Dad), and his trainer (my grandpa) in the mall in LosAngelas.  His name is Elder Filamita, he is from Argentina.  So maybe grandpa knows his family or maybe even baptized them long ago…..idk.  He is a really cool Elder.