Elder Craven's Blog

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12-19-2012

Hola mamá. ¿Cómo tay? Everything is going good here in Temuco. We are getting together with the zone in a little while to make cookies, watch The Grinch, and go sing christmas songs at the local hospital for 100 kids. This week is going to be really busy, so i dont think i am going to be able to call home… haha just kidding. it will be sometime on saturday i think. i will call you first and tell you to get on skype then because we are quite sure yet of when it will be… we dont really have any investigators that are progressing right now, which is sad, but we have found quite a lot of people who are good possibilities for baptism. we are also working with a part member family.. thing is that we have to get them married first, but we talked about temples the other night and i have pictures of the mesa temple and a picture book that has the SLC, kirtland, and nauvoo temple in it and they were really interested. so that was cool. we also have an investigator that we gave a blessing to the other day and she wants us to come back. we had a less active sister come to church yesterday so that was really cool. she cleans our clothes so we see her twice a week. hmm what else.. we have a secret santa in our zone tomorrow and i got one of our zone leaders as my person. i got him a nerf gun. i am sure he will like that. on wednesday we have mission conference. then thursday we have interviews with president. my first month is almost over. january 1st is my first transfer that i will have had in the field. so that is exciting. …….christmas time probably is crazy. it is busy here as well. but that helps the days go by faster. which is always nice……here is a picture from inside the hospital of a part of Temuco.

12-12-11

Things are going good. We continue to eat well. Our investigators are doing good. at the beginning of last week one of them told us that she was thankful for everything but she had gone to an Evangelical church and wanted to get baptized in it. We have helped her stop smoking, by giving her a priesthood blessing, and she was really thankful for that. We have changed her life very rapidly and was really thankful. But then we talked to her a few days afterwards and found out that she found out that her step dad was a member and she didnt like him so thats why she was having trouble going to our church, but she was thinking about it and figured out that there are good and bad people at every church. That was the Holy Ghost teaching her. I know it was. So she came to church with us yesterday and i think she liked it. We are going to her house on Wednesday to talk more about it. We had 3 investigators at church yesterday. One of them lives with her boyfriend who is a member, and they have a son together. We are going to get them married sometime soon and then hopefully get her baptized. They want religion for their son. The other investigator is Diego. He is 10 and is freaking awesome. He wants to get baptized and he really wants Elder Torres to   baptize him. We have reactivated a family and have spent two days with them this last week making tacos and such. They love having us over and want to do it again soon. Last night we were at a family`s house that is a part family home. We are probably going to their house on the 24th. They are really really cool.  I dont know quite yet when we are going to skype. We are probably going to Collipulli for Christmas with some of Elder Torres` investigators. So that will be cool. On saturday we helped that part member family, well the dad who is not a member, load wood onto a truck out in the country side and then unload it at his house. We loaded 20 metros, over 60 feet long, and 3 feet high of wood. it was soo much wood. He was really thankful.

11-22-11

Dear Family,
 
         Como estan?  So I just typed my first email to you(from Chile), but they told us to write you  a letter on the back of this map of our mission.  I’m really excited.  Even though I can’t speak really good, the people can still understand me.  My President is just super nice and so is Sister Martinez.  We are all really excited to be here.  We are currently sitting in the President’s living room.  He lives on the 6th floor of a condo/apartment building.  It’s super nice. From his porch, you will be able to see the temple that the church is going to build.  Our president has seen the plans of the temple, but he won’t say anything about it because the church hasn’t revealed it.  But all is going well.  We are just excited greenies.  We talked to 2 different guys in the airport.  They were both really receptive to our message.  The first was a German kid named Flo.  He was pretty dang interested.  And then Daren was just an American guy and the spirit was really strong even though we were in the terminal.  There was like 5 of us talking to him and he had this story that had happened to him.  He almost died a few years ago, but he didn’t know why the Lord allowed him to live, but he said that maybe it was because he needed to meet us.  It was sweet.  So our mission standards has been set at 10 new investigators each week.  This is a baptizing mission.  Every mission is a baptizing mission if you have expectations to baptize.  Most missionaries that don’t baptize, don’t baptize because they go to their mission with no expectation to baptize…….But, yea it’s going to be awesome.  We had some local chocolate milk here at the mission home and it was different but good.  Well I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Love all of you so much.
 
                                       -Love,
                                 Elder Craven

12-5-2011

Well things here are going great. we are still progressing with a few of our investigators. we have a ten year old boy who really wants to get baptized and who is amazing, but his mom wants him to wait till he is 11. but he keeps asking her if he can get baptized sooner and i think she is going to let him. our other investigator is due to be baptized the 30th. she has trouble with smoking and needs to go to church a few times before she can but we gave her a blessing of strength the other day and so we are going to check up with her to see how that is going..as for krista, i dont think the lord is going to hold back any blessings for her if you dont use her married name. as long as dad said the authority and in the name of jesus christ, i wouldnt be too worried. i hope she gets better though. that stinks. hopefully everyone gets better. being sick stinks. i am eating really well. the members in our sector feed us a lot. the other day, we went to a members house and there was a big plate filled with mashed potatoes and a steak on top. it was soo good. i thought of zac when i saw it because of all the mashed potatoes. it was funny. that is awesome that his team is doing so well this year. haha i think of the mission in milestones too. christmas is the next one. then 6 months, then mothers day, then my birthday, then 1 year. it is going to fly by. it is weird. days seem like weeks and weeks seem like days. we had a zone activity today.. my companion and another mexican, then myself, and another elder made the tacos that he made a week ago. they were so good. soon we are getting together to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas. So i am excited for that… i started doing P90X with my companion. i am going to get big and strong. Ummm, hmm what else.. we are starting to work with the ward here more, which is going to help. we are trying to make relationships with the members so we can use them during lessons and stuff so we can have more baptisms and converts.  oh i did eat something interesting… horse steak. it was actually really good. very light. and we drink this wheat coffee a lot. it is soo good. 
um for christmas, if you want to send some candy, my comp loves sour skittles, some kool aid, some gatorade powder, a few of my t shirts please, and mixes for like brownies or cake, or like mixes that we can add water and have american food. oh and if you want to send a bottle of ketchup. that would be sweet. the ketchup here is really sweet and weird. but dont spend too much money sending it. with the candy, butterfingers, milky ways, snickers, reese´s peanutbutter cups, and peanut butter m&m´s. love you mama bear. cant wait to hear back. oh and pictures of everyone, like the boys playing sports and stuff would be sweet. love ya  oh and i would love to have a copy of the book called the miracle of forgiveness.  Hey i wont get to talk to you in a few days, but……….. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!!!!   here are pictures of this real life angry birds game that my companion has and of us helping a family decorate their christmas tree… they love us. i am going to eventually send you all some stuff from here i think. probably after christmas. i am going to save up some money and stuff. i want all of you to try the coffee stuff, and some other stuff. the milk here comes in cardboard boxes and are good for a year. i eat zucarites which are the latin version of frosted flakes. they actually are made in michigan and just put in a different box. the other day we went to downtown temuco and it was sooooooo sweet. really felt like i was in a different country. i was so excited. it was sweet. there are cool places here. 
 
      Elder Craven

Arrival in Chile

Well i arrived in Chile safely. The city is sweet. The airport had 2 gates. Very small. Haha. My P days are on mondays so i will send you more information there. My mission president is super nice! They (all of the other missionaries) refer to this mission as the celestial mission, because these are the lords people. Our president told us in the car on the way from the airport that this people are the descendents of the lamanites. Im super pumped. Pretty tired, but super pumped. all of the chilenos i have spoken to so far are just really really nice. I will meet my companion later and will know where i am going later today. The AP´s said that some of us will stay in the city, some will be in the middle of the mission, and then some will be down at the southern tip of the mission, so the chances are unlimited. The weather is gorgeous y estoy muy animado para obrar!!!  well adios familia. Talk to you soon. Les amo!

11-17-2011

 
 
Dear Family,
 
       So I don’t have much to talk about this week. I think the coolest thing was that Tad R. Callister from the Presidency of the 70’s.  His talk was about evidences of the Great Apostacy and he used evidences/examples from the Bible.  It is so crazy that so many people believe in the Bible, they don’t know what it teaches, and believe in their Church.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.  Without the Spirit, it is just logical.  I learned how important the Apostles are, or are beginning to learn.  I will have to copy or send the evidences to you at a later time.  It was a really good talk.  Because of the widespread Apostacy, we needed a restoration of Christ’s Church.  From a logical standpoint, it is clear that it needed to happen. Most of the reformers like Martin Luther said it did.  Thomas Jefferson said that a Restoration of the Christ’s Church needed to happen.  Another thing that I liked about his talk was that he used quotes from the people who started their churches back from the times of the Reformation, to tear apart their churches.  Most of them were inspired to some degree and knew that their church was not the church of God, but that they were trying to do the best they could.  I really enjoyed it.  I love history and stuff like that so I was really interested in it.
 
     Well our time here at the MTC is just about done.  It’s been great.  It is such an awesome place.  The time here moves by fast.  Days seem like weeks and weeks seem like days.  It’s a weird feeling.  But time is moving along.  I hope you feel the same way.  I’m a little sad to say goodbye to this place because I won’t be back here for a long time, but I’m excited to get down to Chile.  By the time you get this, I will be down there I’m sure.  Keep writing me through email and stuff!
 
Hey, Boys,
 
      How are all of you doing?  I got the Halloween pictures today.  The costumes were sweet.  It was good to see more recent pictures of you as well as old ones.  You all are already getting bigger.  Andrew is looking pretty tall, so is Josh.  And Zachary has lost some weight!  Very exciting.  I heard that sports are starting soon!  Very sweet.  Good luck with those.  Oh, and I heard MW3 is sweet!  Very cool.  Maybe  MW5 will be out when I get back…lol.  Well, I love you three so much and can’t wait to party with all of you when I get back, because let’s face it, it will be a party.  Les amp mucho mis hermanos.  Muchisimo!  Go Coyotes this season Zachy boy!  Represent the CRAVEN CLAN well my brother!
 
                                     Love,
                        Elder Johnny Craven  🙂
 
P.S.  This is for David and the boys
         “Feliz cumpleano al piso!”

11-11-11

Dear Mom and Dad-
I never told you this, but a few weeks ago we sang a special version of “Called to Serve” and I swear the spirit that was there was literally shaking Hell. Satan was so scared of all the missionaries in that room and you could feel it. For the young men, Satan is working so hard to keep them from going to the mission field because he knows how many people they are going to reach and he doesn’t like it. Music means a lot more to me and I find it brings the Spirit to me much stronger now. It is crazy sweet. So I learned this week that the Restoration is what sets us apart from all the other churches. Other churches baptize and that’s good, but we had a Restoration of the Authority and the ordinances, because they were lost with the death of the Apostles. That’s why we are the only true church. We have the Authority.

So my teacher, Sister Lucero, made us tamales and they were so good. She is from Chihuahua, Mexico and has only lived here for 10 months, so she is the real deal. I was downstairs in my residence building and I was showing some Samoans how good tamales are. They didn’t speak very much English, but they were really cool. We have all of the Samoans and Tongans in our building. They are crazy and awesome. Everyone is getting excited to go into the field. I am still reading Jesus the Christ and loving every page of it. I’m pretty much out of time to write, so tell the boys I love them so much.

Love-
Elder Craven

November 3, 2011

Hey Mom and Dad,

Yet another prep day is passing by. I got to read a chapter in Jesus the Christ today. That book teaches me so much about the life of Christ, I love it. I don’t get to read from it often, but it is so good. Usually I study things from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel that will help my investigator Jimmy (our teacher Hermano Noltemeyer) and right as we were beginning, his “preist came in. I recognized this as a great opportunity to teach another person. We finally committed Jimmy to reading the Book of Mormon and then we committed his Priest to reading it to. It went really well seeing that we had no idea that his priest was going to be there. Either chapter 5 or 6 in Preach My Gospel is about the Book of Mormon. That chapter is really helpful. If the Book of Mormon is not true, then our church is not true. But if it is true, the Joseph Smith and all his successors are Prophets of God and this is the only true Church. When someone has any objection to any principle, teaching, commandment or doctrine that we teach, it all comes down to if the Book of Mormon is true or not. If it is, then all of our Prophets have been inspired by God and all of their objectives are to things that have been given to us from God.

today while at the Temple I was talking to my companion Elder Dyches. If you look at all of the churches based upon God, each os them have and use some of the things we do at the Temple. This really is a testament of the true church. During the great apostasy, many churches were built and took certain things from Christ’s church.None of them had everything, we do though!

Our teaching is getting better, I’ve almost gotten a few people to cry when I teach. Last sunday, my companionship had the lesson for district meeting. We taught out of Preach my Gospel about praying with Faith. It’s crazy that we could take a page and a half of information and turn it into a 25 minute lesson. At the end of the lesson we listened to the primary song, ” A Child’s Prayer.” That was my idea. It was sooo good. I got a few people to cry while I was crying, I’m a baby. we had our devotional on Tuesday night from Elder W. Craig Zwick of the 70. It was good, it was on prayer. Praying is important!

we only have a few weeks left. We should get our travel plans next week! That’s pretty exciting/scary. Soon we will be teaching real people in Chile. Thanks for the package. I have so much candy! I was really happy when I saw the Holiday snack cakes. mmmmm. How are things going in AZ? It’s starting to get chilly up here. I don’t like the cold. I miss AZ a lot. We are the oldest district in our zone now. It is weird . Time is moving along now. Today for lunch I had enchiladas and corn dogs…sounds gross huh? Love you guys so much. So we were talking to our teacher Hmo. Noltemeyer the other night about why missionaries are so powerful. I mean let’s face it, we are 19-20 year old young men. Then he brought up, “where does Christ’s power come from?” It comes from the sacrifices he made. Then he asked,” why are parents so powerful?” It’s because of all the things they sacrifice for us. Missionaries are powerful because of the sacrifice they make for others. When you are making sacrifices for others, such as kids or investigators, you become more like Christ and receive power. I love you two so much for all of the sacrifices you have made for me : )

Love, Elder Craven

October 27th, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,
Hi, I just got off the computer with Mom. I love talking to her. Dad, I love hearing from you.I love the scripture stories too. I don’t have my scriptures in front of me but I wanna say that in Alma 5: 46-49 or it could be something different. Alma says basically that he knows all the things he teaches are true and is rurally powerful about it. I love it. Alma and the sons of Mosiah are great examples to me. Before they left to teach the Lamanites, the Nephites mocked them, but they loved their brethren the Lamanites so much that they went anyways. They went for 14 years! People complain about 2 years. Babies. haha I hope all is going well. I can’t believe in a few short weeks I will be teaching the descendants of the same people. We were told last week by a temple worker that there is speculation that Lehi and his family landed right there in Chile and Peru. If you would check that out and tell me all about it that would be great. I guess the two great bodies of water were the Pacific Ocean and Lake titicaca. There is a pass through the mountains up there where they think the Gadianton robbers might have come through. I sure hope so. That would be sweet to know exactly. I guess the people down there claim to be descendants of certain people to. Which is also sweet. Keep writing whenever you have the chance. I love the words of encouragement. So weird that I will be 5600 miles away in just a few weeks. Well I love you guys so much!

Love,
Elder Craven

The MTC is a magical place

Hey everyone. Today is October 6,2011. Athough it’s only October, we had snow fall from the sky here in Utah. Man I wish I had Arizona weather here. The MTC is a magical place. It is an amazing place of learning. We have church leaders coming here on a daily basiswho give such good counsel. My district is about to get smaller this next week. Elder Smith and Elder Warren are going to the Guatemalan MTC. I feel like it is going to be very quiet in our classroom starting Wednesday. I have made strides in the Spanish language. I can actually say multiple things and have it make sense. My testimony of my Savior has grown tremendously. I constantly feel his encouragement while I am here. I love the MTC, other than the food. It is okay. I have gained a better appreciation for sleep since getting here. Sleep is wonderful. I often find myself losing words from my English vocabulary. I can’t wait to get down to Chile and be fluent in Spanish. Keep writing me even if you don’t have anything profound to say. I just love hearing from everyone. Use dearelder.com and it’s free. Love you guys. I pray for you everyday.

 

-Elder Craven