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..