What makes me happy!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Party With A Purpose!


This week has been full of miracles! Like seriously, super amazing. We set really high goals at the start of the week and the Savior helped us out! So many awesome people were placed in our way. We met a guy on the street named Dewayne who had randomly gone to an LDS church the week before and when we talked to him he was all like." Guess what?!? i beat you guys to it. Went to church last Sunday...nbd." It was awesome. Now we're working on getting him back and hopefully will start teaching him soon! Everyone around here is super busy so sometimes that can be tricky!

We started teaching a girl named Daniela who has a boyfriend on a mission, so that should be really cool! She wants to take things really slow, but is really interested in the gospel because she said she feels peace every time she went to church with her Aunt back in California. Funny how that works.. the spirit is so sneaky, and so real, and really does help us feel comforted and testifies when things are true and right! 

Sister Crane and I have also been teaching a couple awesome guys named Stephan and Christian that used to be homeless and they are incredible! They both came to church on Sunday and they both said they want to baptized on April 12th!! My heart felt so pregnant when they said that :) They are changing their lives around so much and they both just grin huge grins during our lessons. Stephan also prays that there will be fried chicken in heaven every time he prays. It's a valid concern I suppose. His dad is a pastor for another church, but he says he knows this is the true church and he is so excited to join it. Christian is a little quiet, but his comments and insights are deep and so amazing. I am so pumped for them!! We watched a DVD on the restoration during our first lesson and they both were like...WHOA. It's true isn't it?? The spirit was so strong, and me and Sister Crane were just like.. yup. And it will change your life :) 

So apparently Las Vegas is the #2 baptizing mission in the United States and in the top 5 in the world.. so that means we've gotta do work because soo many people here are ready to accept the gospel! Now it is just up to us as missionaries to follow the spirit and find them. I love being a missionary. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I love being a member of His church!

Also, if you didn't get a chance to watch the women's broadcast on Saturday.. do it! it was amazing and the largest gathering of women.. like ever. ( ok maybe I made that up, but it was all of the women of the church ages 8 to 108, so I'm pretty sure it was). But the main message was that we can all do better at loving each other better and looking out for one another. We just need to remember that every one we meet is our brother or sister and that we are all children of God.

I love you all and hope you have an incredible week!

ps. Oh our motto for the mission is now party with a purpose, because missionary work is practically as fun as a party..let's be honest..as long as we remember our purpose behind it all: To bring others unto Christ!

pss. yes the hard rock cafe is in my mission.. no we are not allowed to go there.dang. 

Sister Kraus

Monday, March 24, 2014

Riding The Rollercoaster!


This week has been quite the rollercoaster of events.. but I'm starting to realize such is the life of a missionary..So i should probably get used to it. I seriously cannot believe another week has gone by! Missionary time is like double speed I swear. And enough things happen in a week to be spread out over several months. But it keeps life quite exciting :) So i had my second exchange on Tuesday and it was so fun! Sister Arnold (the sister training leader) came to my area for the day and we DID WORK (all because of the spirit of course). One thing being a missionary does is allow you to instantly become best friends with so many people after barely meeting them. It's crazy! I felt like I have know her for years! We taught Darryl again and he is doing so good! We found out that his Dad was Mormon, but died when he was only 14, so he has been responsible for helping his mom raise his 5 younger siblings. My heart broke when I heard that, and he got a little emotional. I cannot even imagine what his life has been like. He was really receptive to learning more about the gospel though and about Heavenly Father's plan for him. He feels the spirit during the lessons and says he feels so happy and peaceful when we meet with him. He was really excited about coming to church with us this Sunday, but at the last minute canceled :( I was so. sad. He not only canceled, he hung up on me when we called him to see if he was ready for his ride to come. Not cool. I've never gone from so happy to so sad in that amount of time. It really was a rollercoaster! I then started to think about how our Heavenly Father must feel when we push Him away and make bad decisions. His life must be an emotional rollercoaster all the time! It made me want to always do things that make Him happy, because he feels the pain and sadness of every sin that all of His sons and daughters make. He is invested in us and is cheering us on throughout life. He wants us to feel joy and peace throughout our lives and He knows the only that we can achieve that. Through His gospel and turning to our Savior Jesus Christ. Every. Single. Day. 

We also had a similar experience with Rachel. She met with us twice earlier in the week and was so excited to see us! She talked about how she wanted to get baptized, moved to Utah and marry a nice Mormon boy, and have lots of blonde blue eyed kids. I talked up the BYU boys quite a bit so she said she was going to check them out first..haha. But anyways, she was doing great! Got a new job, was going to come to church Sunday morning, etc. Saturday night we are driving by her apartment complex and we see 2 cop cars....and Rachel handcuffed by her car!! WHAT??!? I about broke down and went over there. Sister Crane held me back though. But seriously. I wanted to scream. But then I remembered I'm a missionary, and we're supposed to act like Christ at all times and I couldn't see Jesus screaming about anything, no matter how disappointed He gets. So yeah, we played some nice church music real loud and sang our sorrows away. We'll check back with her next week so I'll keep ya posted. She knows the church is true, now it's all about what she chooses to do about that. Sometimes I really hate people's agency.. just saying. 

Now just for a few other fun things that happened during the week.

>We met a guy named Cowboy and his girlfriend named Silvia. She said that he needed to go home and shower. He responded "I don't know whatchu talking bout, I sitll smell like Old Spice."
>We were street contacting and Sister Crane told a girl that she liked her necklace..the girl looks down... she's not even wearing a necklace..umm I meant bracelet! haha
>We walked up to a big truck with a bunch of 20 year old guys in it. Said hello, then me and Sister Crane both chickened out and continued to walk by. We then realized we had nowhere else to go further down the street, so we turned around, took the walk of shame, and got up to the courage to talk to them about the gospel. They said we could come back and teach them! Whoop whoop. 
>Met a 70 year old lady on the street who was wearing a belly shirt. She asked for some money for the bus, so I gave her a few quarters and took the opportunity to talk to her about the gospel. She said, "Oh I live a very clean life, how many 70 year old women do you know that look as good as me? I never do drugs or anything, except for marijuana. I just smoke that stuff for medical reasons though..."
>We realized one of the guys we've been trying to teach has a pet peacock in his yard. Sister Crane hid behind me the whole way up to his door. Apparently they're not the friendliest of birds. We made it out alive though. just barely.
> Sister Crane informed me that I sleep talk. I taught a family the other night about how the gospel will bless them and allow them to live together forever. Must be why we're in a singles ward because apparently I can teach families in my sleep..
>I've now been called Sister Sour Crout and Sister Clause. 
> I've almost been killed by the gates that go down after cars drive through..twice. Don't ask.
>We taught an awesome guy named Steven. He wants to have a big BBQ for us, and gather a bunch of people together to hear our message. He is awesome! He used to be homeless, but now has a full time job working as the guy on the street who holds the for sale sign for their store. He always has a huge smile on his face and is rocking out to his ipod. He brought us in for a big group hug after our lesson with him.. whoopsies..The coolest part was when he asked us for a Book of Mormon with a huge smile on his face after our lesson and said he couldn't wait to read it :)
>We saw a scorpion! It was already dead though, thank goodness.
>We helped a lady move and actually got to wear pants! She also showed us her sexy white motor bike. Sister Crane and I made a pact that we will start a motorbike gang when we get off our missions and cruise the country. Until we find our significant others of course. And they can then join us. 
>We taught a different Rachel and had an amazing lesson with her! We may have played a little matchmaker in the mean time and invited a guy in our ward who likes her a lot to come to the lesson with us. The plan worked to our amazement and digits were exchanged. They even read Alma 32 together after we left! We've already got their marriage date picked ;)
>President and Sister Neider called me and asked if I could play violin at a stake member missionary training last night. It was a little nerve racking, but I am so glad I am getting so many opportunities to play :) 

Sorry this email is so long! For those of you who read till the end.. good job on enduring ;) 
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is so true :) Remember how much our Heavenly Father wants us to return to live with Him and make sure every day we are doing those things that will help us reach that goal! 
Two questions to think about this week: 
1. Is there anything I wouldn't do because of the atonement of Jesus Christ
2. If we KNEW Christ was coming in 1 year from today, how would we change our lives?

I love you guys! Have an awesome week :)

Seester Kraus

ps. first pic is a dead scorpion. Second pic is the light from a huge hotel on the strip that is always there..third one is our goals for the coming week! Through faith, (and lots of prayers) we can do all things! Oh, and we decided to be adventurous and buy some coconuts.

Monday, March 17, 2014

First Baptism!

Hola Amigos!

No I haven't been transferred to a Spanish area, but me and Sister Crane meet alot of people on the street who only speak Spanish, so we decided to try and learn as much as we can! We memorized 2 Nephi 31:20 yesterday and it was so much fun! Pretty sure we sound super weird trying to talk with Spanish accents and stuff, but we're having fun with it. Nacho Libre style. 

So this week was awesome!! Rudy got baptized!! My first baptism :) It was amazing! But wow, it was so crazy getting everything ready for it! We finally thought we had everything all ready to go, and then showed up to discover that Rudy didn't have white underwear or a towel....shooot dang. We proceeded to drive to Target at less the desireable speeds, sprint to the boys section, grab the first pair of white underwear we could find and a towel. We made it back to the church just in time to hand him the goods. Talk about a heart attack! He got dressed and came out into the hall way to take pictures with us and OD. OD is an amazing new convert who just got the priesthood a couple Sundays back and Rudy asked him to baptize him. It was incredible. Even though, it was a crazy busy day, the spirit in the room was so peaceful and Rudy was SO happy. I also got the opportunity to play violin while he was getting dressed which was a great experience :) The Gospel really has the power to change people and it is the greatest thing to see in the whole world.

We also got to go to the temple with some investigators and recent converts earlier in the day to let them walk around the grounds and feel the incredible spirit that is there. Our newest investigator Darrell was loving every minute of it. He kept feeling his heart saying that he felt so good and that today was the best day ever. We taught him for the first time earlier in the week about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he said right after we taught him that he felt the spirit and felt joy and peace in his heart. He asked if he could come to the temple with us the next day, and also to church. It was such a neat experience! 

We met with Kendra again and talked to her about prophets. She asked a lot of good questions again and we watched the Mormon Message from President Monson "Dare to Stand Alone" with her. She loved it! Watch it if you haven't yet! President Monson is so amazing, AND we get to hear from him and the rest of the apostles in like 3 weeks!! Pretty sure General Conference weekend is going to be my favorite weekend of my mission. 

Sunday was crazy busy also, but such an amazing day. I spoke in sacrament about how the Book of Mormon has played a role in my life. Singles wards are interesting because there are only about 30 people there on a given Sunday, so there aren't a lot of announcements, the sacrament only takes about 5 minutes, and that leaves a whopping 15-20 minutes for each of the speakers. Luckily I was last and the people before me liked to talk :) I also had the greatest topic and I am starting to get more comfortable with saying what is in my heart and not getting too nervous. The Book of Mormon though...seriously a life changer. It is the EVIDENCE that this church is true! It is Christ's church and contains the fullness of His gospel. By reading it every day, we really can learn to change our behavior and become more Christ like every day. The power of the Word of God has more influence then the sword! I love it so much. I never really realized how important the Book of Mormon was until I came out here. I know without a doubt that it is the word of God, and that the reason it took so much effort to bring it to us, to hide it, to translate it, to hide it again, then to eventually print millions and millions of copies, is because it has the power to change people! To make them want to be better and come unto Christ. It gives us confidence and trust in the Savior as we learn more about Him and how much He cares for each one of His children. We've just got to read it :) Like as much as we can...

Anyways, after church we had a St. Patricks day party thing as a ward and somehow the word got out that I play celtic music on the fiddle.....yep, I played some gigs while people ate green food and corned beef. It's a singles ward, so of course I played the song Wedding Reel, especially for them. 
And lastly, we had an amazing fireside last night called Why I believe. People who were recently baptized have the opportunity to tell their story about why they believe what they believe, and every missionary brings as many investigators as they can. It was so incredibly powerful. I also played violin with Sister Stinnett as she sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul." I've never been so close to crying during a performance as I was while she sang. The words of that song, combined with her voice.. oh my goodness I wish you all could have been there. We recorded it on my camera while we were practicing, so i"ll see if I can put it on the computer somehow. 
I'm also really hoping we can record a few songs today, apparently a member in Anthem has a recording studio in their house.. so we'll see what we can do! Look out for a Sister Stinnett on American Idol though.. in about 18 months of course.

All in all, it was a week full of miracles! I also had my first exchange on Tuesday, with a brand new missionary in my area. I was the designated driver so I had to learn real fast where everyone lives. It was interesting.. but we talked to so many awesome people and had some amazing lessons! The Lord watches over everything that we do, as long as we are being obedient and trusting in Him. Love you all and have a great week!!

Sister Kraus

Monday, March 10, 2014


Oh Hey,
 So Las Vegas is as hoppin as ever and is getting hot already Super crazy.....
   Sister Crane and I rode our bikes for 5 hours the other day street contacting and we came back with gnarly tan lines. I'm pretty sure people think we are absolutely crazy out there.. Bikes.skirts.helmets.huge smiles.. but we love it.          We just smile and wave all day long, like those one penguins. Street contacting is like my favorite thing ever though! We meet the coolest people with crazy stories all day long. Sometimes it's really depressing, but we always do our best to leave the people better than we found them. And that's my challenge to you all this week ;) Leave everyone better then you found them! I've realized more then ever how many people are actually prepared to receive this gospel, they just haven't been exposed to it! This gospel can change ANYONE and EVERYONE. We've been teaching some previous drug addicts, people who have been in prison, people who don't even know who their parents are, and seen them change right before our eyes. It really is amazing! This one kid we are teaching named Rudy (who is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!) has completely changed his life around over the last month. He was into drugs, dropped out of school, didn't care about anything... now he is going to school and actually really enjoying it, comes to church every week and loves it, and knows that he can become clean through baptism and following the example of Jesus Christ. He is awesome! He also has really bad ADHD and will randomly get up to get a drink or go to the bathroom, or offer us food in the most important part of the lesson, but it keeps things interesting :) 
   We're still teaching Kendra ( the girl with amazing questions) and she is soaking it all up! She read Alma 32 and said she had lots of questions for us. We had already been at her place for an hour after a really good lesson, when she started on verse one with the questions. Who is Alma? What does it mean to be compelled to be humble? We asked if we could come back the next day because she would keep us there for hours if she could! She is so thirsty for the gospel! It's amazing and I can't wait to keep teaching her :)
           OHh we went to the temple on Friday and it was incredibleeeeee. If you haven't visited the Las Vegas temple, come! Or just go to the closest temple to you. Temples really are the closest we can get to heaven on earth. We get to bring our investigators there this Saturday to walk around the grounds and read scriptures with them. I wouldn't be surprised if they all want to be baptized afterwards.. just sayin. 
        We had stake conference this past weekend and all the missionaries in the stake sang "Bring the World his Truth" just like when I was in primary! It was pretty neat and I totally got the chills all over. We are called to bring the world his truth! There really is nothing better. Also, if you haven't heard about the great boat lift that happened on 9/11, look it up on youtube! We watched it during stake conference and the stake president related it to the hastening of missionary work. 500,000 people were evacuated from Manhattan in 9 hours because everyone who had a boat responded to the radio call to come help save people. We have the same duty as members of the church to rescue the souls of those around us so lets hasten this work and save some souls!! Yeah, missionary work is the bomb :)
 Have an awesome week!...(but i guarantee mine is going to better..unless you go to disneyland or something.. ;) Remember: leave people better then you found them! And smile lots and lots :) Love you all!

Seester Kraus

ps. There were planes in the sky that were writing secret messages all of Saturday! It said #airwriters then: Forgive your enemies today <3.. Probably the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. Definitely how I want to get proposed to..just throwing that out there.

pss. Have you read about Helaman's stripling warriors lately? Find a Book of Mormon and read it. Then commit to be like them, or at least to be the kind of mom that can raise kids like that. They are studs!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Heavenly Father is so amazing!

Hello Friends!
Ok this letter may be a little long, but bare with me. First off, Heavenly Father is so amazing and cares about seriously everything. I'm starting to realize that more and more as I've been out here. Especially in the companion that was assigned to me! Ahhh she is THE coolest. We have WAY to much fun together, but I promise we are working so hard.. it just doesn't feel like work because fun exciting things happen almost every minute of the day. We meet crazy homeless people that are totally sweet and nice to us, we get to hear people's whole life story, and about 98% of the time really sad and heartbreaking to hear...this one young guy we met on the street even started crying to us as he told us that he had messed up too much in his life and felt super guilty to even try to pray or correct his life. He said that he was dying from a sickness (not sure what) but that he had no hope or anything left to work for.. it broke my heart. But then I built up all the courage I could and testified that it is never too late to be forgiven and that Heavenly Father wants him to change his life around and come unto Him. We explained the atonement and how Christ's gospel was personally for him! That it was the only way that he could feel better about his life and get rid of the regrets. I'm not sure if he believed us, but we felt a strong spirit there and did all that we could to help him feel better. We gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet and our mormon.org card/phone number. Hopefully he'll remember us and turn to Christ when he is ready! The hard thing about talking to homeless people about the church is that we don't really have a way to come back and talk with them because most don't have a phone or a home.. obviously. It's super sad. We did run into a guy again though that we had met a few days before and he totally remembered our names and came up to us. He is so kind and gentle looking, and is so sweet to us. He asked for another pamphlet even and said that he loved what he had read earlier. We're praying we'll run into him again because he is ready and truly needs the gospel!
            We also met a guy who seriously looked like a BYU bro which is totally unusual for this area. We talked to him for a little and he was telling us that he hadn't drank or done drugs for a few months now and was trying to change his life around. GET THIS: he then proceeds to tell us "Our bodies are like temples ya know so it makes sense to not put yucky stuff in them.." Sister Crane and I literally about peed our pants. Nobody says that.. especially not around here! I'll let ya know when he gets baptized ;) He is so ready!! And even had a Mormon friend growing up. So cool. 
            We also taught a girl Saturday morning who was so amazing! Asked tons of questions about the Book of Mormon, said she would totally read it and was super excited to find out if Joseph Smith actually did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and really wants to know if he restored this church. She gave a beautiful prayer and we are meeting with her again soon! The spirit was so strong the whole time! She probably thinks there is something wrong with me because I was grinning like an idiot throughout the entire lesson but I seriously couldn't help it. It's like my cheeks were super glued that way. Helping people better their lives is what life is all about and is what makes you the very happiest!!
            I heard this quote at the Sister's conference we went to, which was the bomb.com. Our mission president and his wife are sooo stinkin incredible! Anyways it goes: "I"m a nobody that wants to tell everybody that there's a somebody who can save anybody." I love that. Because I do feel like a nobody sometimes out here when people look at you like you're crazy for trying to talk to them, and it blows my mind that the Lord has trusted me to try to bring the joy and happiness of the gospel to the people of Las Vegas, but everyone needs it so bad so we all need to be doing it! This song Sister Crane and I listen to like every day goes : "It's like walking in sunlight, when the whole world is covered in rain clouds, it's finding the truth and living it out loud :)" The longer I'm out here, the more I'm beginning to realize how drastically everyone NEEDs this gospel. They NEED to know that they can be forgiven and become closer to Jesus Christ every day through practicing faith, praying and repenting to him, being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost and acting on promptings when they come, and enduring to the end! That is definitely the hardest one, especially when life throws curve balls at ya.One of our recent converts named Odie, an amazing guy who moved from Africa in October, told us, "There are no hard times, just different times, but they won't be hard if you trust and understand that God had us experience that for a reason." He pretty much teaches us everytime we visit him now...and he just got the priesthood on Sunday! It was incredible and a perfect example of how people can change and become better through the gospel. It is the only thing that will make us truly happy :)  Alright I'll stop ranting now..haha.  
           There were tons of other hilarious and incredible moments throughout the week, but this email is already way too long. Woopsies. Basically in a nutshell, being a missionary is the greatest thing of my life. This church is Christ's church and it will bring you more happiness that you could imagine. The Book of Mormon is the best book in the world and reading it every day really does give you a huge spiritual boost. DO IT! Last quote to give you something to think about throughout the week: "Life is about caring for other people. Not because they deserve it, because they NEED it." Love you all! Write me por favor :)

Sister Kraus

ps. I totally ate corn on a stick like Nacho Libre the other day. So cool.

pss. the other pic is of my new scriptures...they're beautiful and it's like coloring time every morning in personal study. I know i'm weird... it's whatever.