What makes me happy!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas miracles!‏


Hope you all had an amazing Christmas. Not going to lie, there's no way it was as good as mine, but I guess you could have gotten pretty close ;) 

This last week was the best! Ahh Christmas on the mission is so fun. We had 2 Christmas Eve dinners (one at our investigator Liz's house) and another with a family in the ward. They had tons of little kids running around which was super fun, and they even put on a full blown talent show! Later that night we heard a knock at out door while we were planning and ran outside to discover 2 stockings (literally socks) stuffed with candy. Our Zone leaders are the best! Christmas morning at 5:30 am we were able to gather all of our goodies and fill up an additional 22 socks to deliver to the missionaries in our zone. There is nothing better then the thrill of ding dong ditching at 6 am on Christmas morning.

Christmas day was practically perfect. We had breakfast with a part member family, lunch with some members, late lunch with some members, dinner with some members, then a late dinner with some members. It was nuts! Apparently everyone wants to feed the missionaries on Christmas. I've never been so full in my entire life. Good thing I mastered the Samoan shuffle in my first area (the art of twisting side to side so that you can pack more food in your stomach).  Apart from eating all day long, we also got to skype our families!! Ahh man, I love them all so much!! It appears that I may be the shortest in my family when I go home though.. not too happy about that one. Sister Mayfield and I were also invited to a Christmas party that night to play some Christmas music at a member's neighbor's home. There were probably 25 people there! After we played, a little girl named Mary came up and wrapped her arms around me and wouldn't let go. She literally clung to me all night. My heart was liquid by the time we left. She is so cute and it was cool to see how the spirit touched her heart and what her reaction was. Music is powerful! We also talked with her older sister and mom and they invited us to come over sometime and teach them! It was definitely a Christmas miracle :)

Yesterday morning we had another miracle! We went to visit a less active man whom we had never met before. He agreed to let us in to share a quick message with him and his girlfriend. Turns out that they had been talking last night about what hope Jesus Christ has brought into their lives. His girlfriend had also recently had a dream about the old tabernacle in Salt Lake City and they're planning taking a trip up to visit in a couple days. She had such a sweet spirit about her and was so amazed that we had stopped by after they had just been talking about these things. We testified to them how much Heavenly Father loves and cares for each one of His children and how aware He is of each of us. We invited them to come to church with us and they actually showed up! Another miracle for sure :)

And for the greatest miracle of all......Carlos got baptized last night and I got to go!! Our members are amazing here and Brother and Sister Swapp agreed to drive me to Kingman. I have never been so grateful in my entire life. Carlos was practically glowing with joy and with the spirit. We had met him in our parking lot a few months ago while serving in Kingman and we knew right a way that he had been prepared by Heavenly Father to accept the message of the restored gospel. He is incredible and I can't wait to see how much this gospel will bless him and his family. 

I know this Church is true with all of my heart. The message of the restored gospel and the love our Savior has for each of us is contagious and is spreading throughout the world! It brings joy. It brings peace. It brings hope. Share it with everyone you can and you will be happier then you've ever been :)

Have a happy new year!

Sister Kraus

Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Gift to Him‏

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wow, this week has really snuck up on me. Let's be honest, every week sneaks up on ya on a mission.. but especially Christmas week. And plus, here in Vegas, it being 70 degrees right now, it doesn't exactly feel like it outside.. but it does in my heart! And in the hearts of people all around us. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ, which comes as we act Christlike. Too bad this wasn't the feeling all year round! But we're getting there with Christmas season now starting before Thanskgiving.. 

Well this week was amazing in so many ways. 
We had Christmas conference with a couple zones of missionaries where we received trainings and got to share Christmas stories/messages with each other. We also got to hear the departing testimonies of the missionaries going home. All I can say is wow. The spirit was tangible. We are living modern witnesses of the divinity of Christ's great and marvelous Latter-Day work and there is nothing more powerful then our personal testimonies. Especially those about to leave the mission. Everything becomes much more real. The reality of no longer getting to devote all of our time, talents, and interests to serving the Lord and bringing about his Kingdom here on earth. They get to serve Him in other ways of course, but there is nothing better then completely consecrated, focused, heart felt service for His children, all day every day. I am the luckiest, and the happiest girl alive.  

At Christmas conference I was able to talk with my last companion in Kingman. She informed me that Carlos (our amazing investigator.. read prior emails) was getting baptized on December 28th!!! Talk about a Christmas present. I've never been so happy. He had bore his testimony a couple weeks back during sacrament meeting and apparently had everyone in tears. I'm going to do my absolute best to get a ride so I can be there! I love him and his kids so so much. 

We had interviews with President Snow which was also a treat. Wow do we love him. He and his lovely wife sister Snow dressed up like Santa/sister Claus. It was hilarious. He's a cowboy at heart so he wore his cowboy hat along with his santa hat. We had a little talent show as well so Elder White (Piano genius) and I got to do a fun little mashup. If you look up Derek White on facebook (he just went home) you should be able to find the video he posted. 

I'm about out of time.. but all of our investigators are doing well and we should have a couple baptisms coming up! I have gained so much love for the people here. I sometimes think there is no way my heart can stretch and grow more to keep loving those we meet.. but it does, and it amazes me everytime. It has helped me understand how much love the Savior has for each of us, and His love is infinite.. so ours can be too for each other. That's my invitation to you all. As your gift to the Savior this year, love everyone you see! 

Love you all :)

Merry Christmas again!

Sister Kraus

pics. santa and sister clause
Musical genius Elder White, and our shorty ZL Elder Norton. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fill the world with Christlike love‏

Ok I'm real short on time this week.. so here are the highlights!

Monday we went Christmas caroling in the coolest tricked out trailer I've ever seen with members of our ward. It had 2 TV's hooked up to it that played the background music while we sang...We sat on hay bails and rode around the neighborhood knocking on doors and singing at the top of our lungs. It's interesting how many people answer the door when we're not the ones knocking...haha. It was really neat and everyone we sang was so grateful. Some cried, some recorded us. Man, I love the Christmas spirit. 

Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with Tiffany, who we've been teaching along with her husband for the past few weeks. She is so awesome! It's crazy how much love you can develop for someone you've just met. That's what the gospel does. Fills you with Christlike love for everyone!

Wednesday we taught some of our young little investigators. Stetson (7 almost 8) and Logan (9), along with a whole slew of younger siblings. Definitely my favorite lesson to teach every week. They are so smart, sweet, and cute! We had a lesson about following the prophet, and played a game of Monson says (similar to Simon says..). They loved it, and the spirit is always so strong with young kids!

Thursday we had a great lesson with Tawny, who wants to be baptized, we're just trying to get her husband Aaron on board. But speaking of Aaron, he helped cook $1000 of meat with some ward members for our ward Christmas party that was Thursday night as well. He's super awesome! The Christmas party was well attended with around 450 people there. The wards are huge here!

Friday we had MLC (mission leadership council) and received lots of revelation and innovative ideas. We always leave those meetings feeling like we're going to baptized the whole world!
We also met a guy named Ryan street contacting who said he's exploring the LDS church already, and that he goes to church a couple times a month in California with some friends.... our jaws dropped to say the least. However, he wasn't completely open to the idea of us coming over anytime soon, but said if we were in the area.. needed water or something, then we could stop in..I think we'll be in the area a little more then usual :) He said he's a cop and has explored lots of religions, and the LDS faith is the only one that he agrees with the standards. Pretty neat guy!!

Saturday we talked to lots of people, and lots of people weren't interested.. but hey.. it was still a good day :)

Sunday was my favorite day of the week. Our Muslim investigator Leila came to church for the second week in a row and is really starting to love it. We also put on a stake musical missionary Christmas fireside that night at 6:30 that turned out to be a huge success! We had 5 musical numbers put on by missionaries, then 3 talks centered on how Jesus Christ is the gift. Lots of missionaries brought people they've been teaching, and our mission president and his wife also decided to come! The best part though is that Leila also came and felt the spirit so strong during one of the songs that she had to leave the room and couldn't stop crying. Once she came back in, she asked us why she was crying, but felt so happy at the same time? We explained to her that it's because the spirit was bearing witness to her that Jesus is the Savior of the world. She gasped and her eyes filled with tears once more. She is also coming Christmas caroling with us tonight again! Wow, she is amazing :) The Church is true and Jesus Christ IS the Savior of the world. We are so blessed to have this knowledge. 

I love you all! Have an incredible week!

Sister Kraus

Monday, December 8, 2014

Complete Joy


Ahh what a week. Seriously one of the happiest of my mission so far.
A few miracles that once again proved to me how aware Heavenly Father is of each of us.

First. Sister Mayfield and I were able to go to the temple on Saturday! (we get to go once every 3 months). One of the YSA members in my first ward, who is a convert to the church, had given me his aunt's name to take to the temple. We made our way down to the baptismal font to see if there would be anyone who could perform the baptismal ordinance for her. As we turned the corner, I ran into a lady who had been in my ward in Kingman. Whoa! So happy to see her. Turns out they were doing a ward temple trip that day. She also informed me that my recent convert Beth Childs was there as well doing temple work for her mom, grandma, and other relatives. My reaction: Get.out.of .town. I was so overwhelmed as I walked into the dressing room and saw her smiling face. My heart was filled with complete joy. It was seriously one of the best moments of my life. She stood there and hugged me for a good 2 minutes. She also was able to do the baptism for Kenny's aunt! I will be best friends with this woman for eternity. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father orchestrated these circumstances to show His love for me and for Beth. 

The week before I also got to got to my first ward to play violin at a convert's mission farewell and was able to see Daniella, Stephen, and Cody (and his family) all at church! Made me feel like a proud little momma. There is nothing better then seeing how happy the gospel makes people, as they enter into the waters of baptism, then continue to live their covenants. 

I have also gained a testimony of fasting on my mission! We've been able to find lots of new people to teach lately, but haven't really seen them have the desire to progress lately. We had district fast so that we could help our investigators get set with a baptismal date.. and this week, 5 were set with a baptismal date and all but one came to church! David, whom we had met last week is one of them! He is so prepared and so excited to learn more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! We also started teaching an amazing couple named Jody and Tony. It's amazing how fast I've started to love these people! They are truly Heavenly Father's elect sons and daughters and we feel so privileged that he has entrusted us to teach them and allowed us to be a part of their lives at this time. 

I know this church is true with all my heart. I know that keep the covenants we have made with our Eternal Father will bring us complete joy in our lives and throughout the eternities with our families. He loves us so much and is so very aware of the details of our lives. We are so blessed to have the truth. Discover it, embrace it, and share it! #Heisthegift.

Love you all! Have an incredible week!!

Sister Kraus

pics. shout out to my momma for sending us sweet christmas advent calendars!
HE is the Gift! We're putting on a missionary fireside this coming Sunday centered around this video. It's awesome! Check it out :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Roller coasters and a camel‏

Man it's December 1st. How nuts is that?

This week was sweet. We had 2 thanksgiving dinners (well one was lunch, the other dinner...  makes me feel a little better about the situation..) and lots of pumpkin pie! We also talked to loads of people! 127 to be exact.. and even though like 120 weren't really all that interested, we hopefully brightened their days! We also had a little game that we had to use the word 'turkey' in our street contacts on Thanksgiving, so that kept things interesting.

We also found 12 new people to teach! Man the Lord is just plopping people in our laps... our goal this week is to get all these new people progressing.. that was sort of our goal last week as well.. but lots of people were a bit busy with Thanksgiving stuff. We're learning really quick that you can't rush people here..

Soo I literally can't even remember what happened this week...but I know it was great, because i'm super happy..

Ohh  yeah, we had a lesson with a Chinese man named Mr. Park who has colon cancer. He was so sweet and mentioned that after we met him the first time (a few days prior), he took the picture of Jesus we gave to him, sat down on the couch and just prayed that his stomach would feel better and that he would be able to hold some food down. He said immediately after his prayer, he was able to feel better and actually eat! It was the day before thanksgiving as well, so he was beyond thrilled. We had a quick lesson with him and gave him a Book of  Mormon. You should have seen this man's face when we handed it to him. He was ecstatic and earnestly asked "is it for me??" He was so so grateful. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. 

On Thanksgiving day we decided to take a trip to the border of California after we quickly realized that no one in Henderson was interested in talking to us...Ok that sounds really apostate. We actually cover a town called Prim that is 40 mins away from our main area that we hadn't visited yet.. and soon realized that Thanksgiving day was the perfect day to venture over there. The town consisted of: 1 giant roller coaster, an outlet mall (which we can't go to...dang), and an apartment complex. We talked with about 10 people in the complex and actually found 2 people (Martin and Martin Jr.) that wanted us to come back and teach them more! Looks like we'll be going to Prim more often..

We had a super awesome lesson with someone we've been teaching named Liz. She also agreed to be baptized on January 3rd! We are so excited for her. We read Mosiah 18:8-10 with her and helped her realize that she really was ready to be, and wanted to be baptized. 

We met 2 people this week named Alma! One even said, yes my name is Alma.. like the guy in the Book of Mormon. We flipped out. She's clearly met missionaries before...

We also met a really neat lady named Trish who wants to take lessons and be baptized. She's a personal trainer and a manager for a gym. She told us we had no excuse for not working out enough and not eating healthy. She said it's all about making a choice....she clearly doesn't understand what the life of a missionary is like.. being force fed desserts all the time, being too exhausted to wake up before 6:30.. ect.. but hey, she's got a point. We told her she also has a choice to increase her spiritual strength. We promised her we would help her with that, if she would help us with our physical strength.. Best of both worlds :)

Well I'm about out of time..have an amazing week!

Spiritual thought: Put your trust in the Lord..and ye shall be made fat! (spiritually I hope..) Proverbs 28:25

Sister Kraus

Pics: roller coaster and a camel..

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!‏

Hey HEy hey!

What a week it has been. Filled with miracles of course! Heavenly Father is so good to us.

I went on 2 exchanges, so wasn't in my area for almost half the week.. but it was great getting to know the other sisters!

I don't have much time so i'll just do the highlights:
Street contacting at night with Sister Defreitas, and got a super strong impression to turn around and knock on a certain door. We don't knock doors unless we feel so inspired, especially when it's late, but this prompting was like..strong. So we knock. A young man named Jared opens the door with the biggest smile I've ever seen. We talk a little and ask if we could come in and share a message about Jesus Christ as well as a blessing in their home. He excitedly said yes of course. He is a foster dad of 3 kids and they were all there with him in the front room, bit smiles, eager to learn. The spirit was so strong, and the 2 older boys said they had been wanting to learn more about God and had actually been to an LDS church before and loved it. We left them with a prayer and testified of how much Heavenly Father knew and loved them. They all wanted to go to church the next day and to continue to learn more. It was incredible. 

We had a similar experience with a young couple named Keith and Brittney. They were so kind and welcoming, and so excited to read the Book of Mormon and learn more about our church. 

We met also left a Book of Mormon on the porch table of the Mavady family's home, after we had knocked on about 10 different potential investigators houses. Our member was in charge of giving out the Book of Mormon, and she was so determined to do so. Sadly, no one we met wanted it, or already had one...However, here's the miracle. We went back a couple days later, with the same member, and Mrs. Mavady was just driving up. She came and greeted us and was so excited to see us! She was thankful for the Book of Mormon and invited us to come back a few days later. They are so  prepared!

This area is seriously just exploding with miracles. There is one street that is literally: member, investigator, member, investigator, member, investigator. It's so awesome. 

We also went to an amazing fireside last week. I had the opportunity to play my fiddle again. What a blessing :) Also, I came up with a new band name....it's like the definition faith... Secret (of) Ambition, but i'll probably shorten it to Secret Ambition. Ohh yeah. 

Love you all and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Kraus

Monday, November 17, 2014

God of Miracles‏

This week was straight up nutso. But it was a great learning experience :)

First off, I just wanted to say once more how much I absolutely love being a missionary. I have never been so happy in my entire life. Honestly, my least happy days are P-days because we have to focus on and worry about ourselves ( and the fact that cleaning,grocery shopping, and doing laundry aren't my favorite). Interesting enough, at the start of my mission this was my favorite day. As I've looked back and thought about why this, I've come to a conclusion. This work isn't about me. Shocking I know. My whole life I spent thinking about what I could do to become better. Often times on the mission, we do the same thing. How can I improve my teaching skills? How can I get more investigators or more baptisms or more people at church? These things are all good, and we should be doing our best to improve ourselves, but life isn't about us..It's about others. When focus on helping others, loving others, and bringing others closer to Christ, then naturally we will come closer to Christ as well. Jesus Christ never went about His life trying to improve Himself. He went to serve and bless others, and because of that, He was the only perfect, selfless person who ever lived or will live. 

Ok. Rant over. I just had to get that off my chest. 

So like I was saying, being a missionary is the best.
This week, Sister Mayfield and I went on a couple exchanges with the sisters in our Zone. I love these sisters! But wow, some of them have hard times. I had a particularly interesting experience where one of the sisters got super sick..right on our members doorstep.... (luckily the member wasn't home and we had time to clean it up before anyone saw).. I'll spare you the details, but yeah, definitely something we hope to never go through again. 

I went on another exchange with a brand new sister who has been out for 3 weeks! She was so excited to work hard, but still a little timid about talking with everyone, but she has an incredible testimony and a deep love for her Savior. Little did I know that she has been struggling with depression/suicidal thoughts for quite sometime now. She never knew her dad, is the only child and the only family she has is her mom and grandparents. She knew she needed to come on a mission to bless the lives of others. I have never realized how many people there are that have serious trials and hard times in their lives. 8 out of the 10 sisters we are over have had major struggles on their missions and back home, but you would never know it. My own sweet companion's parents are going through a divorce back home this very moment. My heart aches just thinking about it. The point of this email isn't to get you all depressed and sad.. the point is to help us all realize how much we need to lift each other. One of my favorite quotes from Richard G. Scott says "There are few things in life that bring as much joy as the joy that comes from assisting another improve his or her life." I know this is true. 

I also know that God is still a God of miracles today and He ALWAYS answers our prayers. 
Quick miracle of the week: Sister Mayfield and I went to Great Harvest Bread Co. for dinner on Wednesday and the restaurant is owned by a member of the church so we always get free food and are treated like royalty. It's amazing. Anyways, so the super cute Mormon looking cashier took our order. As we were waiting for our food, another worker came over to us and said "soo literally five minutes before you sisters walked in, my co worker had just asked me some questions about the church and is sincerely interested in learning more.." What a miracle! We were so excited. We talked to her afterwards and she was so sweet and said she would definitely call us. 

Experiencing these kinds of miracles every day is one of the huge blessings of serving a mission. I have been able to see how God's hand works in our lives more then ever before. 

Well I'm out of time and the elders are here to kick us off so I must be going. Have an incredible week!!


ohhh. also, my dad paid me a visit this week (completely allowed by our new mission president.. fyi). It was the best. :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

9 months.. say what?‏

9 months to go! yikes

Hey hey hey!

Sorry it's been a couple weeks... there is never enough time to adequately express my thoughts/experiences from the week, so sometimes I just don't..but i'll do my best this week!

Soo, Anthem is like the promised  land. We've had so many miracles happen this week I can't even remember them all. Sister Mayfield and I have really felt that Heavenly Father is trusting us and is helping lead us to His elect! 

Our investigator Flora got baptized and confirmed this weekend and wow is she a special woman! The spirit was so so strong at her baptism, and all of her children were able to be there, as well as at church the next day. Speaking of church, 10 people we're teaching came! Sister Mayfield and I about fell out of our seats..it was amazing. And all of the talks were perfect for the people who came. I pretty much just sat there in shock the whole time. We also had a guy named Calvin come to church for the first time, who had actually walked a long ways to get here, and had taken lessons in Georgia for a while, then Paradise, and now here. He came in with his Book of Mormon and a big smile on his face, asking us if he was in the right place. We had to pass him off to the other missionaries, but he's such a cool guy and an incredible example of having a strong desire to find and know the truth, then acting on it. 

We were also able to find a ton of new investigators this week!! A couple of them have already said they want to be baptized and join the church. They are the cutest little newly wed couple ever..(though sitting next to them at church made me a little sick...). But yeah, they know the church is true and can't wait to continue learning more!

So I've started keeping a detailed study journal this week as well.. and oh my goodness..revelation station. If you don't keep a journal while you read scriptures, I highly recommend it! 

A few funny things for the week. We met a guy who told us his name was Dennis the Menace. We had a lesson with a member who started talking about Napoleon Dynamite, then Sister Mayfield and I realized he looked just like Kip, and could hardly contain our laughter, so I had to think of really sad/depressing experiences to keep myself from losing it. Works everytime. 

Ohhh, last week we had a lesson at the Osmonds (nephew of Donny) and also got to play music with a member of Gladdis Knight's choir, so that was awesome! The members here are amazing and so helpful! 

Spiritual note for the day: Jesus Christ was the ultimate example of mercy. He shows everyone compassion and love, no matter what we've done, or how we've acted in our lives. All He asks us to do is love one another as He did :)

Have an amazing week and shock people with your love and kindness!

Sister Kraus

Flora's baptism!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Called to Serve in Anthem!‏


Wow it's been a crazy couple of weeks. Only as a missionary has this much craziness in my life been so exciting and enjoyable.

First things first! I've been transferred..again! I'm going to Anthem (close to Henderson) and I'll be in the Inspirada ward. Me and my new companion (Sister Mayfield, who I absolutely adore) will be getting double transferred in, so we're both starting fresh without knowing a single person. Should be pretty exciting! We've also been called as Sister Training Leaders, which pretty much means we get to go on lots of sleep overs with the other sisters.. also known as exchanges. :) I feel so inadequate to be given this calling, but I know it'll help me learn to trust in the Lord more and grow personally and as a missionary. Life's all about growing and feeling uncomfortable anyways right? Hopefully being in Anthem won't also make me grow physically.. if you know what I mean. The members are pretty wealthy from what I've heard....cheesecake factory anyone? Also, Marie Osmond lives in Anthem, so maybe she'd like to do a musical number with me in church....? haha yeah we'll see. 

So in the midst of all the craziness of transfers, I had to go to Vegas for 2 days this week to be in a tri-panionship while some other sisters were getting trained on how to be Sister AP's. yes that's a thing now.. pretty awesome! On Thursday we taught this 10 year old girl named Shania who is amazing. She had been invited to pray to see if she should be baptized on November 8th by the Sisters. She already knew she wanted to be because she knows the Book of Mormon is true and knows the church is true, but she decided she wanted to hear what Heavenly Father wanted her to do. She decided to do it Joseph Smith style and went and knelt down in her backyard on evening. After she prayed, she listened for the answer and she felt her heart fill up with warmth, and heard a quite, yet piercing yes in her mind. As she shared her experience with us, the spirit filled each of our hearts and let us know that Heavenly Father does answer prayers. No matter how young, no matter how small, He answers. What an incredible tool we have in our lives. Shania also told us she wanted to be a missionary when she grows up. She will change people's lives for sure. 

We also had an incredible powerful lesson with Carlos and his 2 little kids on Saturday. We read through 2 Nephi 31-32 with him, and as our member Sister Turney bore her testimony about the power and joy that comes into our lives as we live the gospel, Carlos got real quiet and his eyes swelled up with tears. As Sister Turney was speaking, he was able to hear Jesus Christ's voice in his head and could picture him there with us. The spirit was THICK. I will never forget that experience. Carlos knows the church is true and is so excited to be baptized on Nov. 15. As I was bearing my testimony that I wanted him to know that I knew without a doubt that the gospel was true, he said right back with confidence: " Well I want you to know that I know these things are true as well." Boom. Amazing. The church is so true.

Also, we had an impromptu musical fireside on Sunday night in Vegas that I was lucky enough to get to a ride to by some members of my ward. We through it together, but man it was powerful! I am blessed to be in a mission with some incredibly talented people. Also, hopefully all the youth there will now choose to serve a mission. :)

Well I am off to play sports and have a jam session with some other missionaries. Yes my life is amazing. Being a missionary is simply the best. :) 

Peace and blessings everyone!!

Sister Kraus

ps. Did you ever realize, that the song Called to Serve applies to all of us? Not just missionaries....think about it!

pic1: Carlos's kids Santiago and Emma. They're the cutest!
pic 2: These musical people are amazing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet the Mormons!‏

Hey hey!

Happy Columbus day!

This week was sweet. super sweet :)


Interviews with our mission president! Man is he incredible.
We got to watch "Meet the Mormons" as a Zone because it hasn't come to Kingman yet. 
If it's playing in a theater near you, I suggest you go see it..It was uh-mazing!
Our investigator Brock went to watch it with his girlfriend who is a member. He love love loved it. I'm convinced if the whole world saw it, everyone would want to become Mormon. The baptismal font would never be drained! Wow. That's a cool thought. 

So we started teaching this 8 year girl named Lita on Wednesday. Her mom is a less active member and she decided she wants her kids to learn about the gospel. Lita had been asking her if they could go to church, and she also wants to read the Book of Mormon. However, there's a catch.. Lita is blind. She can read braille, but I had never seen/heard of a braille Book of Mormon in the mission. We decided to ask other missionaries in our district if they knew how we could order one. Turns out, they had one in their apartment!!! It was there ever since they moved in.. some other missionaries had used it. What are the chances?? A miracle for sure. The whole Book of Mormon consists of 6 huge books (about a 1 foot wide/long and 6 inches thick. We brought Lita the first one, and right away tried to start reading it. She sat there for a minute, with a puzzled look on her face, then said.."hey, is this book upside down??" haha, yep, we're newbs.  How were we supposed to know? there was no english on it whatsoever... pretty crazy! The other incredible thing is that she is an amazing dancer! She can do back hand springs, and lots of other crazy stuff.. She came to church on Sunday with her family and loved it! All the kids knew her from school and took real good care of her :) She also sat right next to me in Sacrament reading the Book of Mormon in braille the whole time. Definitely made me realize how blessed I am.. So many experiences this week reminded me of this.

Carlos's kids (Emma and Santiago) also came to church this Sunday! Carlos had to work, but he'll be there next week! Another neighborhood girl whose family we had taught before came along. We pretty much had a member pick up all the neighborhood kids for church..haha. They loved it and hopefully next time they will drag their parents along with them! 

And for the last miracle of the week...we found 5 new investigators on Sunday! 2 of them are bishop's grand daughters and they are so excited to be able to learn. What a blessing! :)

Ohhh we also started teaching this guy named Ronald Butler who used to be like a rockstar musician. He has pics with Aretha Franklin, the King of Africa, and Bill Clinton.. along with a bunch of other famous people I didn't know...all people that he had played music for. Needless to say... I brought my fiddle over during one of the lessons and played a couple songs..although he's 70.. he still has an incredible voice! He can't play guitar and keyboard anymore because he's had a stroke, but wow, he must have been really something back in the day. 

Well I'm out of time..but spiritual quote of the day:

"Regardless of the rating you give yourself on a 1-10 scale, by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can begin increasing your spiritual confidence today if you are willing to listen and act." This talk was incredible! 
-Jorg Klebingat

Love you all and have an amazing week!

sis Kraus

pics. Ronald Butler! and a sweet sunset.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Get in the boat, and stay there!‏

Well hello again!

wow. just wow. What a week!

Hmm highlights. ok, here we go.

Carlos is amazing. It seriously is a huge privilege getting to teach him. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a general authority some day. He is so close to the spirit and after watching the Saturday morning general conference session he said, "wow...I can't wait to start living again."

That sentence really hit me. We are all here on earth living with the same amount of time in each day, and most of us have pretty similar ups and downs. Work is tough, school is hard, ice cream tastes good, etc etc..BUT, as members of Christ's true church on the earth, we know how incredible life can be, and we know what things we need to do to make the journey joyful! By keeping the commandments. By getting in the boat and staying there. By wearing our life jackets and moving forward. We don't need to be in the middle of the ocean getting tossed to and fro, not knowing what the point of this crazy journey is. We can sail safely and peacefully home, IF and only IF, we abide by His commandments and follow His example. He doesn't ask us to get in the boat because it's not as fun, or because it's going to restrict us or make us miserable.. He asks us to get in the boat because He loves us! He wants us to have an enjoyable and peaceful journey. Yes the boat will get rocked sometimes, and we might get splashed, or sometimes soaked by waves of the world, but we will be safe and can live the best life, IN THE BOAT. Ok sorry, I just really loved that conference talk. :)

Our investigator Brock also loved conference, especially Elder Bednar's talk addressed specifically to non-members. I'm sure all the missionaries around the world were silently cheering when he first said that. I know I was! Although, sometimes we may be awkward when we run out to put the band aids on our friend, or we may apply too much anti-biotic ointment (overly persistent), we are only doing it out of love for our fellow brothers and sisters, and love for our Savior. Even if the situation is awkward, or we're not sure how our friend/family member is going to take it, we have to at least open our mouths and invite them to learn more! We're the only ones with the medical kit. 

Funny experience of the week:
We found a new investigator named Omer. However, I like to call him Mick Jagger. You'll see why in the picture. He was out on his front porch with a guitar, so I was immediately super excited to go talk to him. After he told us his life story, and played us a few songs, we asked if he would like to hear our message.. trust me we tried right up front, but he's a talker. He's pretty set in his ways, but he said he'd be open to us coming back, especially if I brought my fiddle. ha. We'll see how it goes, and see if he's open to learning about the gospel.. but if anything, I'll have a jam buddy when I come back to Kingman to visit! He's super sweet, and is all about "love and peace". I'll let ya know next week how it goes! 

And I really loved reading 3 Nephi 20:40 this week.. especially after the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland about President Monson and his slippers in the airport. What an example of love and kindness. I love our prophet! He truly is God's mouthpiece on the earth today. 

Love you all and have a blessed week!

Sister Kraus

pic 1: Omer!
pic 2: Meet Sister Kenney: she's read the Book of Mormon 56 times!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quinten's baptism!‏

Heyy hey heyy!

Welp, it's almost October. That's crazy! This week was awesome. I'll just  give ya the highlights real quick!

First things first: Quinten got baptized!!! This is truly a miracle. He has known the church is true for about 10 years he said, he just didn't know how to meet missionaries, where to go to church, and how to get baptized. Well he was able to kick the bad habits and get baptized last night.. and man oh man what a glorious occasion it was! He is one of the smartest guys I've ever met and knows a ton about the church! During the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost, he responded with detailed summaries of his conversion, how he had gotten to where he had gotten, and most importantly, how much he loved the church, his Savior Jesus Christ, and how he knew it was all true! After he was baptized, a very special and sacred moment occurred. He stood in the font, closed his eyes, and just soaked it all in. A smile came over his face and you could visibly see how the spirit was affecting him. It was incredible. 

We started teaching a guy named Carlos who lives in our same apartment complex. If you remember from a past email, he was the guy who flagged us down and asked if we could stop by and visit him and his kids later that evening. We taught him and his a kids a couple times this week and during our last visit, as we were reading through the intro to the Book of Mormon and started with chapter 1, it was the neatest experience to see his reaction! We asked if he had any questions, and he simply said, "nope, no questions. I'm just getting answers." He called us later in the week and said he had received his answer and knew the church was true. He wants to be baptized and said once he can, he will do his best to share his knowledge he has gained with everyone he knows.. yup, he is going to be one powerful missionary! 

We also ran into a member's boyfriend (named Brock) in the parking lot of our complex and asked if we could come by and teach him. He agreed, though a little hesitantly, and gave us a day and time. The lesson went great and he came to church on Sunday! He also asked if we could keep meeting with him every week.....I love this idea of people coming to us to see if we can teach them! What a blessing :) 

Funny story of the week: We were walking in one of the more humble areas of our mission, and heard a group of guys laughing and talking on their front porch. We walked over to talk with them and we soon discovered they had no desire to hear what we had to say..we walked away quickly, (they were clearly very drunk). However, half way down the street we noticed one of them was following us.. we quickened our pace, but walked up to someone on the street and decided to start talking with them. The drunken man caught up to us after our conversation and asked if he could ask us a question... we agreed, but were ready to run at any minute..he then proceeded to ask us what our views were on gay marriage and a couple other political issues. We talked for a minute, then he expressed that he had the same beliefs and he really wanted to "hangout with us." We weren't as freaked out at this point, but we gave him our number and said he could call us when he was sober. It was interesting to say the least.. but hey, ya never know what can happen!

Well I am out of time.. but this week I was reading in 3 Nephi 11-12. Wow. Amazing. If you haven't read those chapters recently, I suggest you go back and read them for a spiritual re boost!

Love ya all and have great week!     Sis Kraus        
pics. Q's baptism.. andddd I just really love babies.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

1 wedding and 3 baptisms!‏

Hey hey hey!

So I feel like I start these emails off the same every week. I apologize. But yes, time has flown by again, and yes we have seen many miracles..again :)

I don't have much time, so I'll just touch on the highlights!

Scott and Dyan got married and baptized on Saturday!!!!!!! Man, one of the most stressful and exciting days of my life... and I wasn't even the one getting married. I can't imagine what it's like when its your own wedding. Thank goodness I've got a while until I find out..
Friday night was one of the most emotional/depressing nights of my mission. Scott and Dyan got in a big fight (Satan was definitely working on them), and I'll spare you the details, but we thought for sure the wedding/baptism weren't going through. There were lots of tears to say the least.. from both them and us. And to top it all off, almost half of the ward was helping with decorations, the cake, her dress, etc. We thought we were going to have to call everyone and explain why we were canceling. However, we said lots of prayers that night and Saturday morning at 9 am and Scott sent us a text saying that they had worked it all out and everything was still good to go. So within 12 hours, I went from being the saddest, most depressed missionary there was, to the happiest and most elated. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. I'm getting too old for this. Nevertheless, they are now happily married and new members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! The joy on their faces was undescribable..(sp?) so I'll attach a picture. 

Our investigator Beth also got baptized on Sunday!! Woot woot!! Probably one of the funniest baptismal services I've been to. She alone is just a hoot, but when she gets a little nervous and people are watching her, it's like enhanced. My heart was so full of joy, I found myself cracking up randomly during the last song. Baptisms are the best :) I played a special musical number on violin, just like she had requested a few weeks prior, however, we had a lady of the ward ask if she could sing it with me, 5 mins before the baptism. I felt bad for saying no..so we had quite the interesting musical number to say the least, but hey, Beth was all smiles so that's all that matters :)
Beth's husband and son Jimmy also came so that was really neat! Her son is pretty open to learning more, and all of his LDS friends at school told him "you're next!" He seems to already know deep down in his heart, so we're excited to see him progress! Her husband.. well, we'll keep praying for him. 

Transfers happened this weekend as well, and......drum roll please.......me and Sister Martin are staying together in both wards! We're excited, but also a little overwhelmed because both wards have a lot of missionary work going on, but we're just going to do our best and forget the rest! (p-90x quote, in case you were wondering). 

Other miracles of the week:
We were hurrying off to the next 3 hours of church after a quick lunch break, and ran into out our neighbor who just moved in. He asked if we were church girls (no idea how he could tell..) then asked if we could come teach him and his kids later that night. What a miracle! To top it off, he's from New York and he has a sweet accent.

So I have learned a lot this week in my scripture studies.. man the BOM is chuck full of spiritual goodness. Some insights:

Hel 9:26-36. Nephi is amazing! This passage reminded me of Psych. 
Hel 5:30. The spirit speaks to us in a still voice of perfect mildness, which means we need to be still and quiet to hear it. Take time out of every day to be still and listen for the spirit. Your life will go much more smoothly. 

And the pics: 
1. Me with the lovely couple.
2. Beth's baptism!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Peace and blessings..and Tarantellas‏

It's September?? Whatttt?? Time does not even seem real out here. I feel like I'm living in a black hole. 

Well this week was super awesome! The members here in Kingman are so solid and I love being in 2 family wards! (though by the 7th hour of church, we tend to get a little sleepy). It amazes me how many good people there are in the world! We've heard a lot of news about how the whole world is going down hill lately.. but I'm convinced there are wayyy more good people then bad. We just have to focus on the positive!

So our investigators have been progressing at incredible rates and 3 of them are getting baptized this coming weekend, and 11 came to church! What a miracle. Scott and Dyan are getting married on Saturday then baptized right afterwards, then Beth is getting baptized on Sunday! To see the spirit working in them and see the joy and peace that has entered into their lives because of the gospel is seriously the most incredible experience. (I now see why my Brother came home from his mission saying incredible all the time.. there is no other word to describe these things.. well except maybe phenomenal but that's too hard to type every time). I'm a little stressed about helping put the wedding together..Scott and Dyan live very humble lives and we're still working on getting a dress and some decorations/deserts, but they have assured us that they don't care about anything other then the ceremony so they can get baptized. It shows us what things really matter most when it all comes down to it. However, we want them to have a beautiful experience, and the relief society sisters have volunteered to help with everything so I'm sure it's going to be great! They asked me to play so music for the wedding and baptism, as well as in church in sacrament meeting..I still have no idea what to play for a wedding..."can you feel the love tonight?" Yeah idk.. but we'll figure it out I suppose. 

We had an awesome lesson with Beth last night on the law of chastity..she's already married and assured us that she wouldn't have a hard time keeping this commandment.. however, she said she was going to put the pamphlet on her teen age sons pillow after the lesson..lol.

We've still been meeting with Tom and Coleen and they are progressing a great deal as well and love lessons and love church! Tom said he has a cousin who is LDS and he called her the other day to talk about the church. He said she soo excited for him and he felt reassured and excited after his phone call about being baptized and joining the church. Him and his wife also went out and bought nice new church clothes, and he even wore a white shirt with his suit on Sunday (after he had just expressed to us how much he hated wearing white). The spirit works miracles!!
No for the less spiritual excitement for the week...we caught a tarantella spider! It was right next to our window chilling next to our Jesus picture when we came home on Thursday night and scared us both to death. Then I thought about how cool it would be to have a pet tarantella.....but I didn't think about how much it would scare us every time we walked past it in the morning, so we set it free last night. We also had a crazy rainstorm last night... like flash flood style! It was sweet.

Spiritual thought for the week: Helaman 5:18-19;47. We literally have power and authority given from God to carry out our callings, to do sacred ordinances such as baptism, and to preach the gospel (even without a name tag). With this and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His ability to do miracles, we can do ALL THINGS. Like baptized thousands, or convert your whole neighborhood, and prepare the world for the second coming of the Savior. Not only prepare people for that, but allow them to feel of the joy which is unspeakable! Hel 5:44. That same joy that we can all feel as we feel our lives with the spirit and show true charity to all of our brothers and sisters. What a blessing and responsibility we all have! D&C 88:81. 

Love you all and have an "incredible" week. :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Day of Labor‏

Ok, so there is an Elder who is like a champ at the piano, and we're going to have a jam session in a few minutes.. so this will be real short :)

Nichelle moved to Utah! Man it was so sad so see her leave.. but it was amazing to see the ward step up and help pack her up and clean the house so they could leave early on Saturday. We went over a couple times in the week to help her pack a little, and each time her dad was like "if you girls are here doing service to convince me to convert to Mormonism.. well you're doing a pretty good job..". Then when everyone came on Saturday, he was seriously like blown away. Church members are so amazing!

Scott and Dyan are still progressing and are so excited to be married/baptized on Sept. 13th! We're still working with them to help them stop smoking.. but they're getting there! Scott's girls also came to church with him Sunday so that was really special for him :) They have been doing some missionary work themselves and invited their neighbor to come sit in on some lessons, so that was super cool! His name is Kyle and he's been trying to get clean from drugs, and Scott and Dyan assured him this was the way! It's sooo cool when investigators do missionary work!

Coleen and Tom came to church again and loved it and are set to be baptized on Sept 20th!! Woot woot! Man it is going to be a crazy couple of weeks with 5 baptisms if everything goes as planned! 

Beth came to church and absolutely loved it. She is one of the most Christlike people I have ever met. However, her husband is pretty hard headed and intense, and doesn't want anything to do with the church.. or so we thought. He came out during a lesson on Friday and expressed his gratitude to us and let us know how much he really appreciated us. I cried right there on the spot, and so did he. It was amazing to see how people can change within just a few days! 

Sister Martin's English is coming along great and we have loads of fun together! Being her companion is a huge blessing :) 

Andddd parting thought: We are all spiritual beings having a mortal experience, not mortal beings having the occasional spiritual experience. Fill your life with things that invite the spirit and you will be much happier! :)

Love you all! Have a great week

sorry. No pics. I'm too lazy to go get my camera. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Miracles Everyday!‏

Andddd I'm feeling lazy today, so here are some of the highlights of my crazy fast week! 

Zone conference! Man do I love the missionaries in our zone! We had incredible trainings about how we can help this work progress even more in this area. One of my favorite trainings was given by President Snow on how we can increase our spirituality. This is the key to missionary work because the spirit is what converts the people and changes their hearts, NOT the missionaries. The spirit has a way of working it's way into every fibre of our beings and leaves an overwhelming feeling that we will never forget. That's why in the Book of Mormon, when Laman and Lemuel saw an angel but didn't allow themselves to feel the spirit or to let it change their hearts, they were still just as wicked as they were before they saw the angel. But when the people of Ammon felt the spirit and let it change their hearts, they were converted unto the Lord for the rest of their lives! The spirit is huge and is also so incredibly sensitive. We can lose it in a split second should we choose to listen to bad music, be disobedient, or let ourselves be distracted by negative or bad thoughts. But we can gain the spirit by being humble, studying scriptures everyday, and being exactly obedient in all things. Once we feel the spirit in our lives, we should seek after it just as much as we do water for our physical bodies. 

We had other trainings that got us all pumped up to go out and find lots of new investigators and get lots of people to church, and because we had faith that it could happen, we were able to see miracles! 9 people came to church on Sunday and we found more investigators in this area then we ever have before! Miracles happen when we focus our minds on the work and rely on the spirit to guide us. This truly is Christ's work and is hastening it all around us!

Our investigator Nichelle got baptized yesterday! Man I am so proud of her :) She was prepared from the beginning and everything we taught her, she just let it soak in and then ran with it. She had tons of questions from day one, but had lots of faith and allowed the spirit to touch her heart so she could receive a confirmation that this church is true. Unfortunately she is moving to provo this weekend.. but she will be welcomed with open arms from the ward she will be at and the missionaries there! That is one of the most incredible things about this church.. it is true everywhere! 

We were also able to start teaching a lady named Beth who came to church and the baptism last night. Afterwards, she asked me if I could play violin at her baptism.. which was shocking to hear because she wasn't even sure she wanted to be baptized. The spirit is at it again! What a miracle :)

And the last miracle of the week.. we ran into a couple named Tom and Colleen on Saturday. We only talked with them briefly but invited them to church on Sunday. They expressed an interest in coming, but we weren't sure if they would actually follow through.. but sure enough, they showed up right on time and loved every minute of it! We met with them later that night and they were completely different from the first time we talked with them and said they would really love for us to come back and teach them more. Whoop whoop!

Man I love being a missionary. Even though my older brother is getting married tomorrow (~~CONGRATS to DUSTAN AND ELLEN KRAUS!~~) and I'm super bummed I can't be there.. I know this is exactly where the Lord wants me and where He needs me. This is His church and it is SO true! Love you all and have an amazing week :)
Sister Kraus

Pics:     1. Nichelle took us out to lunch and we ran into Elvis!

2. Walking to church with Nichelle and her adorable kiddos!
 3. Baptism

Monday, August 18, 2014

Guage's baptism!‏

Yo Yo Yo!

And another week down.. can't believe it's almost September! And shout out to Dustan and Ellen who are getting sealed for time and all eternity next Tuesday. How incredible is that? And bonus, they are going to have the cutest kids ever.. 

So this week was a blur like usual, but that means because it was chuck full of amazing experiences. Being a missionary is so fun :)

We had exchanges on Tuesday and I was with Sister Lowry for the day! She is a bomb missionary and a phenomenal pianist. We're doing a musical number at Zone Conference tomorrow so that should be fun. We were able to see lots of new people and set up some return appointments! We also had a crazy rain storm that night so the other 2 sisters had to stay in Kingman for the night (they live in Lake Havasu..about an hour away). We had a slumber party of course.. which consisted of eating Hy-chews, doing our planning for the next day, and hitting the sack. We were exhausted. 

On Friday we had Sisters Conference which is pretty much the best thing ever. All of the NVLV sister missionaries get together for some trainings, food, testimonies, and tears (we're sisters.. what do you expect). The sisters here are def going to be the moms of the next stripling warriors. We also got to go to the temple afterwards and what a blessing that was! The spirit is always so strong and peaceful. I didn't want to leave. I also read D&C 93:51 which helped me understand how much Heavenly Father knows and loves us all. He knows us by name! He also wants us to hasten this work and help more souls come unto Him and find the joys of this gospel asap. About 99.8 percent of the world is completely missing out on what we came here to do and become. We've got lots of work to do. 

Saturday was awesome as well and Guage Short (9 yrs old) got baptized!!! He is a cutie pie! The spirit was super strong, and watching his face as he looked up at the guy baptizing him with a little smile was priceless. Kids are so pure and innocent! No wonder we're told to become like little children. His Less active/non member family members were able to come and support him as well and I think his example had a huge impact on them. 

Sunday was.. well pretty much filled with church meetings. SO.. awesome! I never thought I would be able to sit through 6 hours of church (2 wards) and survive, let a lone enjoy it.. but hey, people change right? It's pretty much an all you can eat buffet of the spirit. We also had a fireside later that night so about 8 hours total of church.. not bad eh? Nichelle came with her 2 kids and really loved it as well! She will be getting baptized this Sunday and is so excited :) I love that girl! She also wants to go to BYU in January for school. Shout out to the best school there is! Go Cougs! 

Well i'm out of time.. have an incredible week and look for missionary opportunities! Also, men.. do your best to become like Moroni. The ladies love him, and Satan fears him. Alma 48: 11-13; 17

pics: Gauge at his baptism! Temple trip! Sweet rock background.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Keepin it real in Kingman!‏

Whats up?!

And another week has flown by. Man I feel like I just moved across the country.. Kingman is SO different then Vegas! But it's awesome :) I'm training a girl from Mexico City who has been here for 6 weeks! She is learning English for the first time and is soo amazing! It has been a little challenging trying to communicate, learn the new area, and meet/work with over 500 people in 2 wards, but its' been way exciting! Plus, I get to try and learn a little bit of Spanish :) We do language study every day for an hour, so I'm hoping by the end of these 6 weeks I"ll be fluent...haha. yeah. I wish. 

Anyways, This area is sweeet! It's way cooler then Vegas (only about 100-105 on average) and it's a much slower paced town. The people we've met are super sweet and humble and we are so excited to find, teach, and baptize! We've been teaching a couple named Scott and Dyan and they are solid! Dyan absolutely LOVES the Book of Mormon. She highlights it like crazy and even said she gets emotional at times as she reads. She is so sensitive to the spirit and every lesson with them is THICK with the spirit. It's incredible. They are getting married and baptized on Sept. 13! Can't wait :)

We met this girl named Nichelle on Wednesday and she is also super incredible. She wants to be baptized and loves the Book of Mormon as well. She also wants to go to BYU! How crazy?? She may be moving by the end of the month to Utah though, so we'll have to see if she will want to be baptized before she moves or if we'll get her in contact with missionaries over there. 

We're teaching a guy named Quentin who is seriously genius status. He knows the bible and Book of Mormon inside and out and everytime we teach him I learn something new. Like literally, mind blown every time. He's set for baptism on August 23rd as long as he stays away from the ol cigs! 

We're also teaching a little 9 year old boy named Guage. Oh my goodness. Cutest kid ever. First time I met him, I cried because he reminded me of my lil bro Levi so much. He's getting baptized this Saturday and is so excited! Hopefully he will set the example for his parents and other siblings and drag their bums back to church! (They're a little less active at the moment :/..)

Basically this area is super sweet! I'm excited to get to know everyone and help it progress as much as possible! Being a missionary is THE best. I love it. I love this gospel so much, I love the joy that it brings into our lives, and I LOVE my Savior Jesus Christ. The church is soo true! Live it. Love it. Share it!

Sister Kraus

pic 1: we are teaching a woman who is 95 years old! She's amazing. 
pic 2. 6 am service is the best. Ohh. and the new comp's name is Sis Martin. Love her already :)