Serving in the Cochabamba Bolivia Mission
November 3, 2010-November, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012


Christian with President and Sister Dyer in front of Cochabamba Bolivia Temple.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My final testimony

For me, these past two years have been some of the most influencial of my life. I have grown, learned, and matured more here than I ever did before the mission. Can I say that I am perfect? No. But I believe that I can say that I am now a better version of myself, and more like the man the Lord wants me to be. Serving the people of Bolivia has been some of the best times that I have ever had. I love these people here with all of my heart. I know that the things that I have been teaching these people are absolutely true. I know that the Church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that Christ's Church was restored to the Earth through him. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that the precepts taught in it will lead us to eternal life. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I have applied His Atonement in my life here in the mission field more than I ever did back home. I know that I can continue on the path that I am on right now if I continue to do so.

For me, my mission means absolutely everything to me. It was the best thing I could have done for me and my family during these past two years. Thank you so much for all of your support, love, prayers, letters, and packages. I could not have made it without your help. I really appreciate it.

For those of you I won't see soon, I love you all, and I miss you. I hope to hear from you soon. For those of you I will see soon, well, I will see you soon.

So, for the last time from Bolivia, and as a missionary,

Elder Craig

Monday, October 29, 2012

A boss week!

Well, hello everyone! For the last time from Sucre, Bolivia, this is Elder Craig checking in!
Well, this week was a week of lots of  hard work for us here in  Santo Domingo. We were able to find a lot of new investigators this week. I  was focused on getting  the area ready for when I leave this Thursday. I don't want to leave my area in a bad state for when I go, I want to leave it so that the work will continue for when I go.
So, one interesting thing this week. I went to a Bolivian funeral. It was the aunt of an investigator, and we went along as accompaning ministers. So, we went with the family to a catholic church and waited outside for the family to come out, then we followed the hearse to the cementary. So, it was my first time in a South American cementary(that I can remember), and it was pretty cool. All of the rich families have these big elaborate tombs, and I was totally astounded as I passed them. Then we got to the area where I guess you can say that the common folk are buried and I was even more "wow"-ed by how they "bury" people here. The thing is that they don't really bury people here. They build buildings with a bunch of slots in them for caskets and they just seal the end of the tomb off with the person's name. The coolest part of the funeral was when the husband of the deceased asked us to say a few words, and we were able to testify as representatives of Christ about the Spirit World and of the Resurrection. The Spirit was super strong during that time, and I am super grateful for that experience. It's my first funeral in 14 years, and it was a super spiritual experiance.
We also had our third baptism in a row this past weekend. It was of our investigator Ariel Villalta. He's a great kid whose mom is a member who is slowly reactivating into the Church. It was interesting because he has a SUPER inactive aunt who fought his baptism nail and tooth, because in her inactivity, she has gone very anti-Church. So, she had some influence out over Ariel's mom, who became super reluctant, but we talked to her and reminded her that she is the one who gives permission for baptism and not her sister, and that she had already given permission for baptism. So she said that we were correct and she helped us finish getting ready for the baptism. It was a super good baptism. Ariel and 2 other girls were baptized. I didn't baptize anyone, but it was awesome to see Ariel finally get baptized.
Dad- Thanks for the advice. i hope you have a great week and enjoy what little snow there is!
Mom-The couch, huh? Sounds fun. Means I get to watch TV, right? ;) Please ask the Stake Pres to do it ASAP. I love you!
Aly- Hope you enjoy your conference in Vegas! Have a great week!
Emi- Sorry, didn't mean to embarass you....I hope you have a great week!
Well, I don't know if I wiill be able to write you next week, but I should be able to. Expect a final testimony.
I love you all and will see you next week!

Elder Craig

Monday, October 22, 2012

What a crrrazy week!

Hello everyone!

I hope that you had a good week this past week. This past week was a crrrazy week for me, but it was a very satisfying week as far as the work here goes.  I had my last zone conference the is past week, and I gave my last testimony. You should have seen me- I'm a super emotional guy, hahaha. I also had my last in-field interview with President Dyer, which was super weird, but now I am super excited for my exit interview with him...I just know it's going to be awesome.
So, my companion and I had some very good lessons this past week. One particular lesson was with an investigator we have whose name is Nancy. She is a school teacher who is super worried about giving the best example that she can to her husband and children. We taught her the other night the message on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we were able to apply it to her to help her and her family, which was really cool for me to be able to help her apply the Gospel to her life. She just has the same worries that any mother/wife has, and the Gospel totally applies to her life, like it does for every person.

Last night I was also able to teach a less active family the importance of making the decision to become active in the Gospel. I felt that that was a more important direction to take instead of the typical “So, you need to come back to church because it’s the right thing to do” because they know that it’s the right thing to do, and we can’t force anyone to make the choices for themselves, so I focused in the fact to invite them to make the choice for themselves when they felt the timing to be appropriate.

Saturday just happened to be one of the craziest days that I’ve had on my mission. We started the day with 2 service projects! Yeah, that’s right, two. We helped a member clean a LOT of trash up in her backyard, and then we went and helped another member to build his house. We lifted concrete beams called viguetas up and placed them to make a ceiling in the house. While I was lifting one up, a wooden pole that was holding up some drying concrete fell and landed on my head. That hurt a lot, but I’m ok! Then we left the service and went and participated in a zone activity of preaching in a park. We were in the Parque Bolivar, and for me, it was a very cool experience. I was able to talk and tough the hearts of a lot of people. I really felt the Spirit as my companion and I taught in the park that day. Then we finished the day with a very amazing baptism of our investigator Samanta Callahuara. She’s been listening to the missionaries for a few months now with her older sisters, and she has progressed a lot better than her sisters have, and she asked us about baptism. It was a very good service, and I had the privilege to baptize her.

So, I am looking forward to the chance I still have to work. I hope you have a great week!
Dad- I AM SO EXCITED FOR SNOW! That's something to look forward too....the ski season......I hope you have a great week!
Mom- I have to give a missionary report???? Well, I guess that's what RM's do.......but that's not for another MONTH, so I'm not even worried. Tell everyone when I get to the SLC so that they're all 11pm....hahaha, Have a great week!
Aly- Don't stress big sis! And just fyi, I will buy a car for school. But it'll all work out just right! I hope you have a great week!
Emi- Sounds like a fun week. Oh, and please quit counting the days. I'm not doing it, and I would appreciate that you didn't. Have an amazing week!
Until the next one!!!!

Elder Craig

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I spoke a word of German!!! 10-15-12

Hello everyone!
I hope that you all had a great week! This was an exhausting, but satisfying week of work for me. This week my companion and I were able to realize a lot of work. This week we were able to not only find new investigators, but to continue teaching them.
So, a quick story from the week. My companion and I went and were able to teach a seƱora named Nancy. We were getting to know her, and we asked about her religious background. She said "Well, to be honest I'm catholic, but the thing is that I just feel that the religion is really hollow.... So, I haven't gone to church in ages." I can totally tell that this hermana needs the Restored Gospel in her life. She wants to mostly help her kids be ready to be good people in society and good parents one day, which I think is what all parents want, and I know that the Gospel can help her achieve all of her goals.
We also had a great lesson with our investigator Fernando. He's definately looking for happiness in his life, and has been down all the wrong roads. We were able to explain to him about how the Atonement of Christ and His Gospel are the few things in this life that make us truly happy in life. That was an amazing lesson, because I could see in his eyes that he was really feeling the Spirit as he listened to us.
We also had a baptism this week(finally!)! Our investigator Gabriel Coria was baptized. And to tell you the truth, he's looking to be one of the best converts that I've had. So, the baptism went along without too many complications(there are always complications- no such thing as an easy baptism), and the end of the baptism came, and Gabriel went to the front to share his testimony. And it was one of the most powerful testimonies that I've heard from the mouth of a recent convert. It really was a very moving testimony. We also had our investigator Samanta Callahuara present at the baptism, and she had a totally spiritual experience during the service. She told us afterwards "Man, I wish that my baptism had been this week, I just feel so good right now." So, the good thing is that she has a baptismal date for this upcoming weekend, and she is totally ready.
We also had the chance to help out a member in a special way this week. We found out that a member in our ward had fallen out of a micro and hurt her back, so we went and visited her in the hospital. We were able to give her a blessing, and it was a super spiritual moment for me. Definately motivates me to be a doctor someday.
Ok, so my German story of the week. My companion and I were headed home after picking up baptismal clothes, and there was a white older looking couple asking people for directions in horendous(?) spanish. So, my companion and I went over and asked them if they needed help. So, talking to them in spanish, we found out where they were from- Frankfurt, Germany. So, me being clever, I go "Spriechen se english?" And their eyes just lit up, and they said "JA!". So, I was able to explain to them where they needed to go in english. That's all.
Dad- Sounds like we have awesome neighbors! I'm also glad that you found us cool bunk beds! Have a great week!
Mom- Glad the house is coming along well. I already told you about "The Bomb" pill I get to take when I'm headed home. Have a great week!
Aly- No flight info yet, but I will let you all know when I know. That's all! ;)
Emi- Glad you gotta see old friends...let's hope the same happens in a few weeks.
I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Craig

Monday, October 8, 2012

¡What an amazing session of General Conference!

Hey everyone!!!!
I hope that everyone had an amazing week! I must say that this past weekend was one of the best General Conferences that I've EVER had the privilege to watch. It was honestly amazing from the beginning!I hope that this was a good week for you! I was totally blown away by General Conference. I had a ton of personal revelation from this conference, and it was just an amazing experience for me. I was pretty sad that it ended, but it has to be the best conference that I could have ended my mission on. And as for a favorite talk, I cannot even come close to choosing, because I was completely blown away by each speaker. I learned something essential that I want to appy to my own life from every talk. Absolutley amazing. I'm still just completely "wow"'ed by that conference.
This week was a very good week workwise for my area. I see more and more everyday the reasons that the Lord called Elder Tuesta to serve in this area and ward. He is an amazing missionary that has what I think to be a very rare gift with the people to just be able to reach their hearts and be able to get into the homes and hearts of our investigators.
We have an investigator named Fernando, who is one of those types that at first glance, you think that he will have a hard time progressing, but as usual, he's progressing surprisingly well. He is a young man who we met through a ward futsal activity, and he's been interacting with us and the ward members especially well.  He even accepted a baptismal date... for the 3rd of November, which is probably the date that I leave Sucre to head for Cochabamba.
We are also having a ton of progression with an investigator and his less-active mother. My companion and I recieved revelation on how to help this hermana reactivate during a lesson we had with her and her son. We have challenged them to read the Book of Mormon together as a family everyday, and we've seen miracles happen when they've been consistent with that. They both came to General Conference yesterday, which was honestly a nice pleasant surprise for me, especially since it's been years since the mom has come to church for anything. I feel that they will continue to progress super well.
I am sooo grateful that I still have time to work here in the mission field. I look forward to everyday as a new opportunity to work, and now you youngsters that read my email have a super amazing opportunity, thanks to modern revelation. Now the Lord is allowing His children to leave at an earlier age for the mission, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! The mission really is the best decision that any young man or woman can take. I encourage it, but really, make it YOUR decision. That's the way it should be, and not anybody elses. Well, that's my soap box for now.
Dad- I will let you know.....I need to consider my options very carefully right now. I hope all is well with work and the house!
Mom-Micro climate, huh? Sounds like it'll be an adventure...You know how much I love chipping ice off of driveways! Have a great week!
Aly-Sorry about USU losing to the Zoo.....Blows. You know, for someone who tells me not to be sure know how to make me trunky! Have a good week!
Emi- Ok, so now I need to see that funny senior pic of yours! Congrats for making it into Utah State. I still don't know where I'm going to study yet.....probably should be getting on that, right? Have an amazing week!

I love you all, and I can't wait for your emails next week!

Elder Craig

Christian and Elder Tuesta

Christian sent this but didn't label it ... I assume it's Spam? :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wacky week!

Hello everybody!
So, this was an interesting week that was full of mystery, suspense, and missionary work.
So, as always, being in the area of the airport around transfer time is always a little stressful, because that means that I always end up having to have an exchange with some elders. This was the truth about this past week. The country was a little "protest happy" this week and decided to block the way for people to go and come from the city of Potosi. I had the priviledge of working with an Elder coming in from my old area in Tarija, Elder Patrick. He's a great missionary who actually studied at the Naval Academy before the mission. It was good to know how the ward was progressing in the past year since I left. I am happy to report that the ward actually split since I left!
So, my new(and last) companion is Elder Tuesta from Piura, Peru. He's got 5 months in the mission, so it's actually kind of funny to tell people how much time that we have in the mission. But one good thing is that he is already a boss teacher and missionary. Way better than I was at that time in my mission. We are looking like to have a bunch of success this next month of the mission. Gabriel looks like he's going to be baptized the 13th of this month in something called a "Noche blanca"(White night) in the which the entire zone has their baptisms together at the stake center.
We also are having a lot of progression with the Callahuara sisters. We got them to committ to new baptismal dates for the 20th of this month, and things are especially looking up for the youngest, Samanta. She's been coming to church consistently and is loving it! They have plans for this weekend to come to as many of the sessions of General Conference that they can. I am super excited to see what this month has in store for them.
Dad- Bunk beds I can't wait for winter, either. It's one of the few things I'm looking forward to.
Mom- Have fun with the Chili Affair this week! I think I'll report to Murray too. I'd really prefer that.
Aly- You have TONS going on. Don't worry- Weber was NEVER an option. Have a good week!
Emi- And I don't get pics???? College apps, huh? It's a super exciting time, enjoy it!
Alright, have a great! week! 


Elder Craig

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My last cambio!!!!! (Transfers!!!)

Hello family and friends outside of Bolivia!

Well, this week has been an interesting week. Totally full of surprises for me.

I'm going to start my letter this week with a surprise service project this week. My companion and I were walking down an avenue in our area when we stumbled upon a less active member, who just happens to be the son of the Stake Relief Society President. Well, we talked to him and he said that his mom was freaking out because we were in the middle of a wind storm, and she was afraid that the roof of her house was going to be blown off. So we ran (literally) to her house and ran upstairs (oh by the way, her house is under construction, which means lots of windows without glass.) and started to cover up windows and put heavy pieces of wood on the roof so that the wind didn't carry the roof off. That was a awesome, but unexpected service.

I am sorry to report that Gabriel wasn't baptized this past week. It was for reason that I really can't discuss with you, but don't worry, he still wants to be baptized, and he still has a baptismal date. We were able to go to a "White night" this past  Friday, and Gabriel came with us and he absolutely loved it. We were also picking up some investigators for church who live by the church and he goes running past us going "Hey Elders! I'm headed to the church, so I'll see you there!" He is such a great investigator. I know he'll be ready in a couple of weeks for baptism.

Ok, so to be honest, this is a totally weird week for me. There have been missionaries going home this past week, and it's just weird for me to think that I am now next in line for the airport. But, I will be finishing my mission here in Sucre, with Elder Tuesta as my companion. No idea who he is, so I will let you all know next OCTOBER!!!!!!!! The mission really has been the fastest two years of my life. But, I still have six weeks to tear it up, so I'm taking advantage of my time left.

Dad- You know exactly how I feel. But I am holding in here, so thanks for the advice.

Mom- Thanks for the pics! Have an amazing time, but just remember that the "happiest place on earth" isn't the happeist without me!

Aly- Gosh, that picture of the mountain looks pretty! Have fun in Disneyland, and DRINK WATER! I love you!

Emi- Jealous....nah. You just wait for how much you'll have with me when I get home. I'll teach you true fun! But, enjoy it while it lasts!

Til October!!!!

Elder Craig

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chubby bunny!!!!! 9-17-12

Hello everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this week was a big improvement for me and my companion. We worked more efficiently and we began to work with members in ways that will really help our investigators.

Well one of the big highlights for me this week was the Leadership training that we had on Tuesday. It was an awesome experience for me. One thing that the President taught is that we don't just need to work our best, but in the Lord's way. That impacted me a lot, because sometimes as missionaries we work hard, but the way in that we work isn't necessarily the best or the most efficient way to work. It has to be His way, and that's what brings the most results. Also, one awesome thing was that we were taught about working with the Ward Council through playing chubby bunny, by teaching that we need the help of of everyone to help us get the success that this work needs. It was a truly spiritual experience.

So, my companion and I started implementing that in our work. We started by looking for friends for our investigators. We took a member named Belen to visit the Callahuara sisters, and things looked very good at first. She offered to pick them up to come to activities and to take them to church. But, the thing that happened is that people fall through at times. Belen got up late on Sunday and wasn't able to pick the sisters. But she's  learning just like the rest of us, so we're going to keep working with her and the Callahuara sisters.

Also things are looking very up with our investigator Gabriel. We re-extended the baptismal committment this past week, and he is so excited to be baptized! He continues to progress very well. He's keeping his committments and just coming through with everything. I am so happy for him. We are having growing success in our area here in Sucre. It's honestly been rough for us these past two months, but I'm grateful for a good companion who keeps motivating me to work hard(in the Lord's way).

This is a totally weird time of my mission. I'm loving the work, but honestly, sort of dreading the coming end of my mission. These past two years have honestly been the fastest two years of my life so far, and now that it's ending, I don't want it to.

I hope you all have a great week!

Dad- I miss Texas too. But I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a great week!

Mom- Glad you're having a good time in Texas. As to a release date, nothing yet. I was supposed to know about 6 weeks ago, but for some reason they're wayyyyy behind. Have a great week!

Aly- I think I got about 32 credit hours at Blinn....about that I think. My transcript will tell you more. Don't stress at work, good luck on your test, and smile!

Emi- I hope you have a great week!

Oh, just fyi, next week I will be telling all of you where I FINISH my mission! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!(that's a scream.)

Keep it easy!


Elder Craig

Monday, September 10, 2012

A week for learning

Hey family!
I hope that everyone had a great week!
This past week wasn't the greatest week for me as far as the work goes, but it was a great week for learning, which I think is much more important.
Well, the weather is changing more often than a teenager's mood here. It gets really hot, then at night it's chilly, then there's today where the weather is overcast and looking like it's wanting to rain. Winter here was a HUGE disappointment here personally, so it'll be nice to have a real winter this year....even if it means shoveling snow.
My companion and I really took the time to reevaluate how we were working and looking on how to improve(Thank you weekly planning and companionship inventory!), because this week started off really roughly for us. But after we took the time to set new goals, we really changed the manner in which we were doing things, and I really think that we will see some great results this week. Something I've really learned about the mission is that it's more for us as missionaries to grow than anything else. That's something that's made a huge impact on my mission. I try to see what kind of lesson I should be learning in a certain challenge in my mission, and I try to learn it so that I don't have to go through something harder later on. I know that's a huge reason that we're here in the mission- to become our best selves. But for me to even reach this point in my personal development, I've been through a lot, and made many sacrifices, but it's all been totally worth it.
So, about my investigators. I have an investigator named Gabriel who is THE BOMB! For the past two weeks in a row, he's come to church on his own. Yesterday he went to Sunday school and he absolutely loved it. He is one of the first "golden" investigators that I've had in a while, so we're working really hard to help him gain that testimony so he can get baptized on the 22nd of this month. He's accepting and living the teachings really well, so I am super excited for him.
Also, our convert, Alina(she got baptized a few weeks ago), is already an amazing member missionary. We went two weeks ago and taught her about missionary work, and she immediately took it to heart. We gave her 9 pamphlets on the Restoration, and she gave them all out to her friends, and they all now want copies of the Book of Mormon and want the missionaries to visit them! She is being such a great example to all of the ward, and to me as well. I wish that all members had that same energy and excitement to share the Gospel.
Well, that's it for now!
Dad- Yeah, this final stretch sucks, but I'm gonna work until the last day. House things Have fun in Dallas(eat some Whataburger!) and be safe!
Mom- I'm not that jealous. Disneyworld is SOOO much better, but I know you'll enjoy it, so have fun. Thanks for the pics!
Aly- You're the best big sister ever! Thanks for your help!
Emi- I said the guys at your school have crappy hair, not you. Way to go on bearing your testimony! I'm really proud of you!
That's all for now!

Elder Craig

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jisk'un!!!!! Kan Septembreri!!!!

Hey everyone!

I hope that everyone had an amazing week!!

This week was a better week for me and my companion as far as the work goes. We got a bunch of work done, and we even found some really cool investigators this week.

So, first cool thing is about our service project this week. I made speed bumps. Yup, you all read correctly, speed bumps. The reason is that the family that we live with just started building apartments for us in their back yard, which means that they have to dig a foundation, which means that there's a lot of dirt left over. So, the father of the family asked us for help, and 8 of us spent the entire morning on Saturday digging from a giant dirt pile into wheelbarrows and going and dumping them into huge long piles in the middle of the road(I know, you're wondering "Is that even legal?" I have no idea, but we did it anyways.) It actually takes a long time to do it. We ended up making 5 roadbumps in an about 150 yard area, which is a lot if you ask me. It was fun though, because we were able to include other elders from the zone in the project. And as of this morning the speed bumps still exist, they've just been compressed by cars and trucks going over the top.

My companion and I have done some great work this week. This week we were walking, proseliting like we do, and we found a couple trying to start their car by pushing it down a hill....and they were still a ways from the hill. So, we took advantage to help them push the car down the hill, then we contacted the wife. We had a good conversation, but we weren't able to take out an appointment. But, a few days later we were able to talk with her husband through a member who's friends with them. We were able to teach him and get permission from him to teach his family(he's headed out to Cochabamba to work, and won't be back for a few weeks.), so we're really excited to go and teach the rest of his family.

We also had a great lesson last night with the Callahuara sisters. We went over to teach them and they had invited a friend over and she just began to ask us all of these good questions, like " So, how do I join your church?"(I especially liked that one!) and we were able to teach them all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how its something not only to join His church, but to influence our way of life. It was a great lesson for us to teach them, and their friend is SUPER excited to continue to hear about the Restored Gospel.

We also had a movie night this week at my ward building, and they showed "The RM". To be honest, that made me a bit trunky, but it was fun to watch at this stage in my mission.....I just don't want the same things to happen to me when I get home, hahaha!

I hope you all have an amazing week! Thanks for all of your letters and support!

Dad- Well, tell Brother Witbeck that I say hi back. And I wanna see those skis! Have a fun Labor day, and a great week!

Mom-Thanks for the house pics! It's a really gorgeous backyard and deck.And I cannot wait to shovel snow(sarcasm.....)! Have a great week!

Aly-PT, huh? Well, maybe you could work for USU basketball, and get your brother free tickets.....jk! I know things are going to be stressful, but it'll all be worth it! Have a great week!

Emmmmmiiiii- I'm sorry that you're stuck with bad hair-do's and such, but I'm glad you survived your first week of your SENIOR year. By the way, your new calling sounds awesome. Enjoy every chance to serve. You'll grow so much. Have a great week!

'Til next week!

Elder Craig

Monday, August 27, 2012

I survived the week!

Hey everyone back home!

So this week was a good week for me here in the land of cholitas. My companion and I tried to implement working with members this week, and it brought somewhat results. It's always a little rough at first, but we got some good results this week. One good thing is that we have a new young ward mission leader(the other one went to his mission in Venezuela) and he's always ready to go work with us. That's because he's finishing his mission papers to go on the mission himself, so he's not studying, and just working at his dad's woodshop, so he's getting really bored(I know how he was a bit like that for me before the mission), so he's always wanting to go out on splits with any of the four of us in the ward.

So, the other elders in the ward had a baptism this weekend, and like always, there's no such thing as an easy baptism! So, my companion and I went to go help the other companionship clean up the ward building before the baptism(which, by the way was a pig stye(?) ) and things were going pretty well. We got the chappel sparkling clean(thanks mom and dad for teaching me how!) and waited for the kid to get there. And waited, and waited. So, the other elders called the house and the mom answered(oh and she got baptized about two months ago) and said that it was too cold outside(oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, Winter showed up again and it's been here for a few days now! Yay!) so they wanted to wait on the baptism. But the other two elders went with our cook to go get them, and they came! So, the baptism went really well, and everything turned out alright.

My companion and I also exercized our gardening skills this week doing service for a member in our ward. We spent a couple of hours cutting down trees, trimming grape vines, and just getting dirty! It was fun. We also built a wooden frame for the grape and tumbo plants to grow onto. So, I have successfully constructed something! And it's still standing!

We also have a great investigator named Ariel. he's a great kid who's part of a part-member family. He's reading the Book of Mormon on his own, and he really wants to be baptized, but we still need to talk to his parents so that we can have the green light for the baptismal date in a few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed!

Well, not much else happened this week, but this week will be a great week, so it'll be a longer letter next week, I promise!

Dad- I'll keep my fingers crossed ...for the house, not the bunk bed. And I remember when I saw Matthew in the MTC....two years ago! You better show me your new skis!

Mom-House sounds pretty awesome!  Have a happy last week of August!

Aly- Sounds like work is a blast.....but don't worry, things will slow down now that school's started! Have a great week!

Emi- Hey, have a good first week at school! I know that things are rough right now, but it'll all turn out alright. Remember your big brother in Bolivia loves you!

Have a great week! These pics are to show how much of a dork I am! ;)


Elder Craig

Monday, August 20, 2012

My week at the airport!

Hi everyone!
It's me again, that one missionary that sends you all letters once a week.
Well, this week was the week of transfers, and let me tell you, when your area is the one right next to the airport, it is not fun. I had to pick up all of the new missionaries and make sure all of the things went well until the zone leaders were able to show up. Then I had to take an elder's luggage to my house, because his stuff showed up, but not him. Then the next day when I went to the airport, I had to take a pair of missionaries to my house, because one of their luggages never showed up, so they stayed the night at my house. Then the next day I took them to the zone leader's house to drop them off. So, the first few days this week I didn't get a whole ton of work done, but then my companion and I busted our butts off to make up for the time lost.
We had some great lessons this week! My companion and I got back into contact with some of our old investigators:Jesus Porcel and Dorian Duran! To reminds you who they are, they are college students that live in to farthest neighborhood in my area named la Belen(means Bethlehem). They are great kids that we lost contact with when winter break came, and they went off traveling as college students do, so we couldn't contact them. When we had our lesson on Saturday, Dorian also told us that she lost her phone as well, so that answered my doubt about why she never answered my phone calls when I called to try to get appointments with them. But it was great to get back in contact with them. We also went to visit a less active member, and her nephew answered the door, and so we contacted him and ended up teaching him. Then, to top it all off, we went to a lesson last night that was also supposed to be a lesson with a couple less actives, and it turned into a lesson with member and a new investigator who wants to be baptized! Things are looking up for the area.
Other than that, there's not a whole ton of stuff going on in my life. Thanks for all of your letters!
Dad- I want some pics from that photo shoot! Hope all of the things in about the house goes well!
Mom- Sounds hectic back home....just like my life here! Have a good week!
Aly- Hope you feel better! Have a great week!
Emi- Don't stress! Just enjoy your last week of summer!
There's photos this week! Hope you enjoy them!
Til next week!


Elder Craig

Monday, August 13, 2012

No such thing as an easy baptism!

Hello everyone!!!

I hope that you all had a good week! This week was a great week for me and my companion.

So, this week was full of service projects for me and my companion, and we finally had a baptism!!!! Actually, we had two baptisms, but it's practically the same.

So, this week we had a service project helping a member pack a truck because he moved to La Paz this past week. So, first thing we did was the usual pack a bunch of cardboard boxes into the truck. And we loaded about 40 into the truck when they said "ok, let's go pack the car!" Yup. We packed a car into the truck. Now, we were all worried that we would have to actually pick up the car (we are in Bolivia...crazier things have happened.). But we just headed to a spot where there was a ridge of dirt and we made a make shift ramp make of wood and tires(which almost fell apart under the weight of the car) and the hermano just revved his car are put it on the truck. Then we returned to his house and we helped pack a bunch of heavy stuff (Fridge, etc, etc.).

We also helped a member clean their super super messy house this week. I washed windows! We spent about 3 hours doing that, helping them out.

Now, about the baptisms. We got to the chapel at 6pm, and that's when everything went downhill. The ward mission leader was supposed to be in the chapel at 4pm to fill the font up, and he got there at 6:15pm. Then, there was NO water in the chapel, so we were filling it up by hand and running the water through the heating system to heat what little water there was up. After about two hours of that, out of the nothing, water from the main system just started gushing out water, which was super cold, so we heated the water in vain. But we were able to have the baptisms still, we just started at 8:15pm. It was super cool, because right before I baptized Alina, she ran outside and just started praying like crazy. I've never seen such a sincere prayer out of someone so young. And when she got up, she was crying. I performed the ordinance, and it was a super spiritual experience. Also, when she gave her testimony, she just ended up crying again. It was a really great experience.

Dad- Release date is Nov. 7. Thanks for telling me about Jodi....I'll really be praying for her. Also, can I see pics of the house?

Mom- Yes, I know Elder Abad....what connection do you have? I'm glad the wedding went well. I WANT PICS!

Aly-Wow. work sounds fun......Just don't get sick!!!!

Emi- Yes, I respond to practically everyone who writes me. Awesome that your friend got called to Austrailia. Enjoy your second to last week of summer!

Hey, I will have pictures next week, don't worry! Oh, and I'm here in Sucre for the next six weeks(I only have 12 weeks left!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!)

Elder Craig

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sick week + Happy Bolivian Independence Day!!

Hey everyone!

I hope that you all had a good week this past week! For me personally, this week was a tough week for me because I was sick all week. Like I even have a name for the sickness that I have. Gastroenteritis (That's what he said and wrote down, the doc. If he's wrong, that could be a problem.). It's basically the precursor for Samonella(??) poisoning, so we caught it at a good time. I am on three different medications, and they are helping, so that's a good thing. No need to worry, I am still alive!

This week we had a zone conference and an interview with the mission president, which was a good conference. The weird thing is that it was my second-to-last conference, so the next conference that I have will be two weeks before I go home.....that's really freaky. I don't feel like one of the old ones in the mission, but I am....But I really don't wanna be one of the oldies. My interview with the mission president was amazing! He was able to give me great advice for my area and my district, and he told me that I should be here in Sucre until the end of September, then I'll head out to some random area for one more transfer. But we'll see, because Presidente Dyer has been known to change his mind at the last minute, like a lot, so I could be going next week. My fail-safe though is my companion. I say that because that I'm training him, I need to finish training him this transfer(It's a 12 week program). I am PRAYING to stay here, but if I don't, what can I do?

So, I got great news!!! It looks like I will finally have a baptism this upcoming weekend!!!! Two to be exact. They are the Lopez sisters. And boy are they excited! Me too! They've been so good, going to church, being active in their organizations, so it's been really cool to see them grow spiritually, so I am really happy for them. They've been wanting to get baptized for a couple of weeks now, but now's the time.

Sorry the letter's so short. SICK WEEK!

Dad-Well, we'll have dude time when I get home, so just make it through three more months! Have a fun week!

Mom- Thnnks for the pics of the run. Really sweet! Good luck with the house in Cottonwood Heights!

Aly-His name is Cloward. He's the first Gringo to complete this mission in four years because of dumb political stuff. My group will be the fourth group to do so.

Emi- You're adopted because you're the "Wolf child", remember?? Or does Dad need to pull out the National Geographic to prove it a gain? Have a good week!

P.S. Winter's over already. Worst. Winter. Ever.

Take care!


Elder Craig

Se vende chicha por mayor y menor

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It finally got cold!!! (from July 30, 2012)

Why hello everyone!

I hope that you all had a great week! This week was better for me this week than last week, so that's a good thing.

So, winter decided to finally show up here in Sucre this morning. It's absolutely gorgeous, but this is Bolivia, so there's no snow here- ever. Just some hail once in a while, which is a really uncommon thing. But we woke up today with the city completely covered in fog and clouds and cold, so it's a good change of pace for us.

So, my ward had a talent show this past Friday, which was pretty awesome. We Elders did a skit about doing a movie, and being stupidly over dramatic and ridiculous, so it was a lot of fun. All of my investigators that have baptismal date did participate in their organizations though, which was awesome. My investigator, Wendy Callahuara, sang a song, and man, does she have a voice! She's got soul! But one of my favorite events of the night was that an inactive member came to the talent show, who is an amazing musician. He sang some of his own songs, and then invited me to sing a song with him. It was soooo much fun for me! It was a very successful activity.

We also visited a crazy old church/museum last monday. It was way cool because it was full of super old original paintings, so I couldn't take pictures(but I have an 8 minute video to show you guys when I get home!), but it was awesome. These paintings and sculptures have at least 400 or 500 years each, and it was pretty awesome. But to be kinda honest, a bunch of the pictures freaked me out a bit. It also has one of the largest trees in Bolivia- it's so big that it takes at least 8 people to be able to wrap the tree. And the legend is that if you walk around the tree 3 times to the left, you get three wishes. And if you walk around the tree 3 times to the right, you get married! But, don`t worry, I walked around the left.

We had some very cool lessons this week with the Familia Lopez. We've been teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week and when we got to baptism, after we explained thoroughly what it consists of(including the covenants that they'll make) they were still very willing to be baptized next weekend! I'm so excited. The girls from this family haven't missed a Sunday in 6 weeks, which to me shows that they are very committed. We also had a great lesson with Wendy Callahuara, also talking about baptism, and she says that she will be ready for baptism next weekend, so I am getting very excited for next weekend!

That's all for now!

Dad- Glad you're having a lot of success with work! And, yes, time is flying too quickly. But that's just the way it is! Have a great week!

Mom-Actually, my mission is (unfortunately) coming quickly to an end. But I am living in the moment, working hard til the end! Have a great week! P.S. I will NOT share a room with Emi. ;)

Aly- I love the music of Wicked- I've played a bunch through being in band, so I know how good it is. Have "fun" with your work this coming month. This should be a very busy month for me too. Have a great week!

Emi- YOU! Are still adopted! ;) You know what I mean. I've always wanted to try wake-boarding, so I'm now officially jealous. Have a fun week, cuz summer's spiraling to an end for ya!

Have an amazing week everyone! Don't forget about a poor Elder in Bolivia!


Elder Craig

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't use Bolivian Internet!!!! (July 23)

Hey everyone!

I hope y'all had a good week this past week!

So something really really cool happened this week. This week I had leadership training for all of the Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Trainers in Sucre and Potosi. And I had to give a class.....again. This time I was with Elder Salmon (an Elder from Alabama) and we were assigned to talk about working with the local Priesthood leaders. So, Elder Salmon and I felt inspired to talk about working with the leaders through the ward mission plan(a plan that helps the missionary work of the ward move forward through collaboration between the missionaries and the ward). And one cool thing was that when we were teaching the class, President Dyer (the mission president) stood up and said " I hope you all are paying attention here, because this is really important!". So, the conference ended and we went our ways, and then we had District and Zone meetings on Friday, and the Zone leaders told all of us that President Dyer had spoken to the Stake President of Sucre and that the Stake President in turn was going to talk to all of the bishoprics of the wards in Sucre about starting and having an active ward mission plan. So, yesterday we had a meeting with the ward council and started putting together ideas so that we can help the Bishop write a good ward mission plan so that we can truly help this ward grow. This is a huge change for me on how I've worked in my mission, but I have a good feeling about it.

Also we've been doing a lot of street contacts lately. It's honestly kind of nerve racking to just approach people like that, but it's been giving good results. It gives us a bunch of more people that we are talking to, and we are finding more news this way. A good thing about my area is that it's urban, and not commercial, so that people that we contact are the people that usually live around there. We also found a young man named Luis who looks to have a lot of potential as an investigator. We taught him the message of the Restoration and he is super excited to read the Book of Mormon and find out if it's true.

Elder Ruiz is doing really well as a missionary. He learns really quickly, and I am enjoying working with him!

I hope you all have a good week!

Dad- House shopping does not sound fun. At all. But I know it's necessary. Like off-season for skiing and boarding, but what can we do? I hope you have a great week!

Mom- I hope you have a great week!

Aly- Yes, prayers do work! I hope you enjoy your new house!

Emi-Hope you have a great week!!!

Until next week, y'all!

Elder Craig

Monday, July 16, 2012

Semana loca!!!! (Crazy week in Spanish)

Hello everyone!

Ok, so something funny to start this week's letter with, last night I was saying Good night to my roommates, and I  said "Buenas noches, everybody!"(A bit of Spanglish) and the other Latino in my house(not my kid) who understands a bit of English goes "Everybody, ¿como todo cuerpo( every_body)?" So, Elder Bilanzich and I laughed as we explained the meaning of it in English.

This week was an interesting week for me personally in the mission.  First thing is that having sister missionaries in my district has been an interesting experience for me. They call me a lot so I can help them out with Priesthood things that they can't do themselves, so it's been a cool experience. Like today I get to go and dedicate their new apartment tonight. It's just so new, I can't really wrap my head around it still. But it's all for a reason, to help me learn and grow, just like the rest of the mission. Also, the sister missionaries work super hard. They had a baptism this week, and man did they have an investigator of gold. He got baptized after three weeks, and in his interview, this guy had a huge testimony already of the Restored Gospel. I was also able to attend the baptism, and it was a great experience.

We also did a bunch of service this week! The first service project that we did was dig dig dig. We dug a hole for sewer pipes for a member. It was tough work, because we also laid the pipes(I know, but the member who supervised knew what he was doing, so we did alright!). We also helped our Zone Leaders change houses. It wasn't too hard, but we did have to carry all of their stuff down 7 flights of stairs(for some reason, we as missionaries live in the top of a building, or on the bottom), so that was exhausting. But it was really good to be able to serve both missionaries and members. It helps the unity a bunch to be able to do that.

We have also made good progress with our investigators. We had a great lesson on  Saturday with our investigators Wendy and Noemi Callahuara. We focused on talking about the Book of Mormon, and we were able to back up our teachings with the Bible, which really helped A TON with that lesson, so that at the end Wendy said" Wow, I'm really starting to feel that these things could be true" They are making such good progression, I know that things are going to be fantastic with them.

Dad- The planes are new-ish, I would say 10 or 15 years old, so they're not bad, but not great either. And, powder skiing(and boarding) sounds amazing right now. Awesome that you got interviewed by Ski Utah, kinda ironic huh(the weather and everything). And about the family tradition, I'm not gonna follow it, don't worry,

Mom- Meetings are fun, no? As a leader I got a ton of trainings to do and classes to give(Like tomorrow!), so I kinda feel ya. And I'm ok with $$ Haven't used any of my emergency todavia, so I'm fine. No I wasn't transfered, just traveled apart from my companion. He's doing great, by the way. He's learning a lot and teaching me a ton.

Aly- That blows about your washing machine, just buy a reliable whirlpool, and you're set! Good luck with your SOAR thing with your divided group. Thanks for the pic of your shoes, I guess. But, they do look really good! I need new running shoes.....but I can wait till I get home. Can't trust those Bolivian brands too much.

Emi- Glad you got to go to the Temple. It's my favorite place in the world, no matter which one I'm in. Keep going regularly and you'll feel a difference in your life. Nice Sienfeld reference, and I forgive you!

Until next week!!!!


Elder Craig

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wadda week! (July 9)

Hey everyone!

Man, let me tell y'all- wadda week! This has to be one of those "Only on the mission" weeks.

So, this time I'm gonna give y'all one of my day-by-day synopsis, just so you can understand how wacky this week was.

Soooo, last monday I told you guys that I would be training again. Normally in the mission that means(if you're outside of Cochabamba) that you fly out on Tuesday to go to Trainers' training on Wednesday. But, the secretary in the offices who is in charge of buying us the plane tickets totally forgot to buy us tickets. That meant that they sent us in bus to Cochabamba. That is an eight and a half hour trip. We got to the terminal Monday night so that we could overnight the trip. The bus just happened to be one of the crappiest buses that I've ever seen in my life. I had a window seat, and first thing is that the window didn't open very well, and the bus vibrated so much that it SHUT THE WINDOW with it's vibrations. Plus there were no bathrooms on the bus, and to top it all off, we got to Cochabamba at 4am, where we had to wait another hour for the secretaries to come pick us up because they didn't tell us where we would be spending the night. So, that was how my week started.

I have a new trainee( my second)!!!! His name is Elder Ruiz, and he's from Trujillo, Peru. He's a fun kid with a lot of energy to work, and let me tell you, I am making him WORK! But this week we didn't do a ton of work because I got sent back to Sucre on Friday, and he went on Thursday. I had stayed in Cochabamba because I have to start renewing my visa so I can GO HOME in four months(I'm not trunky(homesick), don't worry), buuuut, they didn't have the colque(money in quechua) to pay for the stuff, so I lost the entire day Thursday for no reason.

So, back to Elder Ruiz, I am sooo excited to work with him, because he has this amazingly huge desire to work with the members and to win referalls and all that jazz, so I know that we are going to have lots of success together. Things in the area are looking good too. Yesterday, we had two of our investigators come to church by themselves! That is an amazing thing if investigators come by themselves because that shows that they really want to know if these things are true, which is amazing progression. Oh, also there are now sister missionaries in my district, which is a first for me. I've never had sister missionaries in any of my districts before, so this will be exciting! And looking at the numbers that they gave me last night, they might be leading the district, hahaha!

I hope you all have an amazing week, and I look forward to reading your emails next week!

Oh, and here are some pics of the Temple, me, and a family I visited with my friend Elder Thorne(from Logan, Utah)

Dad-Sounds like Bear Lake was fun! I hope you have a great week! Kick butt with those numbers!

Mom-I don't think my mission president's wife knows that you speak Castellano, but that's ok, she needs to learn. And the picture of me making a face with another Elder is me and my new kid. Just fyi!

Aly- Sounds like an amazing week! Now I'll be singing Kansas all week. Love that song! That sucks about crappy next time, just blast Mo-Tab, and they'll be gone in a flash! Have a great week!

Emi- Hey you got the same score I did! And, does Miss Murray have an email???? Hahaha, just kidding(sort of)! So, you wanna know Quechua, huh? Here's something useful: " Ari, Tatay!"(Yes dad!) and "Ari, Mamay!"(Yes mom!). That'll be a good start for you! Have a good week!

Until next week!


Elder Craig

What is it with Christian making faces in all the pictures????

And he has the other elder and the people doing it too ...

From Hna Dyer, Mission President's Wife

This is Lelani, Christian's mom.

On July 5, 2012, Hermana (Sister) Dyer sent two pictures in the middle of the week and caught me completely off guard.  They totally made my day! I was thrilled to receive news unexpectedly and laughed at the pictures. Christian is such a goof. He made me smile. I talked with Hna Dyer for a few minutes on email. She seems like a great person.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hey hey hey!

Well hellooooo everyone!

I hope that you all had a great week this past week! It was a pretty good week for us here in Sucre.

So, first thing, this was a week in Quechua for me. Two of the Elders in my district had two baptisms on Saturday, but I needed to interview them before they could go through with the baptism. Well, the wife only speaks Quechua, so I had to do the interview in Quechua. I did as much as I could on my own, but then I had a member who was there to translate for me when I needed the help. But it was a super cool experience for me because I was able to do that. I don't know if it'll ever happen again( I hope it does!!!!), but it was definately once in a lifetime.

Also, my companion and I went knocking doors as missionaries do, and on Friday morning we literally had half of the doors we knocked talk to us in Quechua. So, I ended up speaking what little Quecha that I know to try and get into the house, but unfortunately we didn't get into any of those houses. But I did speak a ton of Quechua this week.

The coolest lesson we had this entire week was yesterday. We returned to a house where we had been knocking doors and the wife had invited us to come back yesterday. So, we went back and the first good thing that happened there was that they were there(because most of the time they just say to come back and aren't there.). Next was that they let us in. But the lesson got super spiritual when the husband admitted to us that we were the first religious preachers that they've allowed into home- EVER. And they explained why. The husband of the family told us that his current wife is actually his second wife and that he had gotten a divorce. But then he read in the Bible that that was a sin, and started asking all of the preachers, priests, and whoever about it. And everyone told him that he was going to hell and was living in a horrible horrible sin. So, it was actually pretty incredible that they let us in. So, we were able to teach him about the atonement of Christ and that he wasn't condemned. It was such a good lesson that I almost cried.

Dad- That blows that they rejected your offer. There's a house out there for you! Don't give up hope. And way to go boosting your numbers!

Mom- Sounds like a good time with D'Ann! And well, I can't send pictures cuz memory readers suck. Have a great week!

Aly- Time off! Whoot! Have a great day off this week!

Emi- Way to go! Did you kill anyone? Jk, I know you did great. And now you'll wait just like the rest of us did. ;)


Elder Craig

Monday, June 18, 2012

Workin' hard in Bolivia!

Hey everyone back in the US, Chile, Argentina, and elsewhere!

I hope that you all had  a great week. This past week for me was awesome! My companion and I had huge success....but with success comes some difficulties.

So, we finally had a lesson again with Jesus, Carla, and Dorian( they are the 3 college students that we're teaching, if you didn't remember) and we were chatting with them and Carla mentioned that they had recently gotten out of family problems, and so we asked if it was anything that we could help with....and so she told us. Carla is pregnant, and her whole family just about had a heart attack. So, we changed our lesson plan and taught the group about the law of chastity and repentance. It was a very spiritual lesson, because since the beginning we've felt like there was something blocking us getting to know Carla to be able to really teach her, and now we know and we are able to reach out to her and be able to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ to her life.
Progress is coming, I can feel it.

We also went out teaching with our pensionista and boy, did we do a lot of contacts! And the majority of them were in Quechua. It was cool because I understood the jist of about half of what they were saying. We were also able to contact a family that lives a bit aways from the church that sometimes go to another ward because its cheaper for them(they only take one bus when to get to our church from where they live it takes two), and we now have a service project to help them out with next week- Building a bathroom! That'll be lots of fun, let me tell you.

I also had leadership training this past week. It was actually a really good conference because we had lots of classes that taught us things that will really improve my teaching as a missionary, and that things that I am now teaching to my district. Things are looking good for my district, cuz we have lots of baptismal date lined up for next weekend.

Dad- Happy Father's Day! It sounds like you had an amazing day. Hope work is treating you well. Have a great week.

Mom- Yeah, we hear weird healing stuff like that too here, so it's pretty common. And yes, I had a bruise from that shot to the head. Have a great week!

Aly- I had PIE this week! A member made it for a lunch that we had with we had pie at the same time! That makes me happy. Have a great chill week at work!

Emi- Hope summer vacation is going well! Don't kill anyone in Driver's ED, work hard at work, and don't get grounded. ;)

That's all for now!(I have pics, but the freakin' USB ports don't work on this comp. :P )


Elder Craig

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wadda week!

¡Hello Family and friendssss!

This was a good week for us here in Santo Domingo!

So, this week I started off sick. I got chills and a fever and diarrhea(yup, being honest here) and I was just all nasty and what not. It was really a rough way for us to start the week, and I was kinda down a bit to be honest to have the week start like that. Oh, but during the day before, we went as a zone to go play paintball. Yup we shot high flying paint balls at each other. Yes, I did shoot people, and I got shot in two of the places that you never want to get shot while playing paintball............the head and the hand(what were y'all thinking....hahaha!). I actually got shot twice in the head- Once in the face(don't worry I was wearing a mask, so I didn't feel a thing) and the other time in the side of the head(I got a welt- can't see it but I can feel it.) And the shot I got to the hand(my left pointer finger) made me bleed blood. That hurt like crazy, but all in all it was an adrenaline rush! I honestly would love to do it again. But, then I got sick.

And I had to do more of my responsablilities as DL. I had to pay rent and pension (food). That means that I had to carry around more than $1000 in Bolivianos (around 8000bs) to go pay stuff. To be honest, I did not feel safe carrying around all of that money, especially since the ATM's closest was in the middle of a busy market. I used a kangaroo pouch so that the money was against my body and not in my pocket. And I was able to pay everything without a problem.

This week we had an activity in the ward called a "Zapato Misional"(Meaning Mission Shoe). All four of us from the ward split up with one priesthood holder and a group and we went to go visit less active members. It was super cool. With my group we found one member who was having lots of problems and the ward mission leader and I were able to give him a blessing. And it was just a great experience in general.

Unfortunately this week three of our baptismal dates fell through- Of Jesus, Dorian, and Carla. My companion and I weren't able to find them this week, and a bunch of college celebrations happened this week, so we're a bit worried about them. But we had a bunch of investigators come to church on their own this week, which just made this whole week better!

Dad- Yes, busy is good. where are you looking for houses? Have a great week!

Momma- A new bishop that I still don't know, huh? That's cool. And I didn't even know that Ryan was dating anyone. Congrats Pancho! Have a great week!

Aly- Yeah, heart disease is a problem in our fam, no? Just be healthy and you'll be fine. Could you send me Kalina's email. I'd like to send her a email to encourage her. She'll definately be in my prayers. Freaky when that happens to a friend. Have a good week.

Meemerz- Hey, congrats on being an almost normal teenager! That means we'll have the same driving level when I get home, hahaha! Work hard this week!

That's all for now!


Elder Craig

Monday, June 4, 2012

A busy week!

Hey everyone!

Ok, so I'm pretty sure that I've used that title before on my emails, but whatever. This was a good busy week for me here in Santo Domingo.

So, my companion and I are haveing some good times here. We have three college kids that are listening to us right now, named Jesus, Carla, and Dorian. They all live together(Jesus and Carla are siblings) and are all listening to the Restored Gospel, and they are amazing! They are accepting all of the commitments that we've given them, and they also came to church with us yesterday! Things are looking well with them, so we're really excited. We were also able to go and find the parents of two kids that we're teaching. These kids are really good and are also loving going to church. We've been looking for their parents for a while, and so when we found them, we were super excited! The problem is that the dad works in a mine 12 hours away, so he's almost never home. And his wife always is traveling with him, so she's never home either. But we were able to teach the both of them, and they are willing to listen to us when they are home.

I also had my first baptismal interview this week! To be honest, I was pretty nervous, but things went well. It was for one of the companionships in my district, the elders from Delicias 1. It was an 18 year old kid who is now the only member of the church in his family. He had a very strong testimony, and the interview was a very spiritual experience for me.

I also had to do my first interview as a district leader. I did it also with one of the elders from Delicias 1. It was with Elder Salmon, an elder from Alabama. He's a really cool elder that I've known for a while, and we did lots of work together. It was fun to go and work with him because he's a really good missionary, and he knows the scriptures really well, so he's able to help his investigators really well through the scriptures. It helped me learn even more about how important it is to know the scriptures well. That's something that has been a struggle for me throughout my mission, and I'm still working hard to over come that weakness of mine.

I hope that everyone has an amazing week, and I wanna hear from all y'all for next week, yeah? :)

Dad- Thanks for your advice, Dad! I hope you have an amazing week!

Mom- Including me and my companion, I have 8 missionaries in my district. I hope you have a good trip to Boise!

Aly- Don't stress! It'll be a great week! Just relax and enjoy it! Have a good week!

Stinky- Happy summer break! Enjoy it and work hard at your job!
Until the next time...... ROCK ON! XD

Elder Craig

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Week as a District Leader!

¡Hello family and friends and such!
I hope that everyone had a good week!
This was a looooooooong week for me. Weeks of changes honestly blow. I was thrown around like a rag doll on Wednesday because there was horrible communication from the secretaries to the zone leaders. So, I literally did nothing all day that day until they finally told me that I was just going to stay the night at their house. Thursday was a madhouse for me as soon as I got the the airport. Two of the Elders in my district are training new missionaries this transfer, so they had to go to Cochabamba to pick up their "kids". Well, the secretary who is in charge of buying the plane tickets somehow forgot to put the two trainers in my district on the flight to Sucre with the rest of us. Soooo, I was on the phone with my zone leaders in Sucre figuring how to deal with two newbies who didn't know their areas. Luckily, because that same secretary forgot to buy other elders in Sucre their plane tickets to Tarija, we were able to work out how to get the new kids to their house in Sucre.
My area is called Santo Domingo 1. It's part of a ward that just got upgraded from a branch literally a month ago. I went from my area in Punata, which was completely flat, to a city that is literally built on hills and has absolutely no flat areas. My legs honestly hurt a little. But my area is full of dirt roads and cholitas, just like my past three areas, so not a lot of things have changed. Looks like my little knowledge of the language Quechua will still be useful out here. My area is really thin, but we also have some outlying neighborhoods that we work in as well.
Well, for those of you who want to know, my responsibilities are the following:
  1. Do exchanges with ALL of the missionaries in my district.
  2. Pay for the pensions(our cooks) and for the rent.
  3. Do all of the baptismal interviews.
  4. Take care of the health of the missionaries in my district. 
  5. Teach a class once a week to my district.
  6. Take responsibility for emergencies that happen.
  7. Report the weekly numbers of my district.
That's all. Plus I have to work normally, so once in a while I will have no time for anything at all.
Dad- Air show sounds awesome. Sorry it got rained out. I'll go with you next year, and we'll chill all day! have a good week at work. I'm sorry about your friend passing away.
Mom- I traveled by plane, not by bus, so I was pretty safe, don't worry. ;) Have a good week!
ALy-Have fun with SOAR this week! Have fun and it'll be less stressful. Have a good week!
Emi- Good luck on your tests this week! Have a good time and study hard!
¡Hasta luego!
Elder Craig