What makes me happy!

Monday, August 10, 2015

My heart is full

And it's Monday again...

There are so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind I honestly don't even know where to start. It's been an exhausting week, with the last 2 zone conferences, and planning trainings for our Mission Leadership Council, but I've never been happier! I came to realize just how much I love all of the missionaries, members, and people we're teaching here. I never thought it would be possible to get to know so many people, let alone develop a deep love and respect for each of them. Everyone is so incredibly different, but everyone's testimonies of the Restoration, and deep gratitude and love for the Savior are what bring us together. Looking around the room filled with a bunch of 18-22 year old young adults, who are there to forget about themselves and serve others for 18 months-2 years is seriously mind blowing. We are so different from the rest of the world! Also thinking about the countless hours of service and hard work the members of the church around the world spend to fulfill their callings and continually invite others to come unto Christ is a huge testimony builder for me. There is no way any of us would be so self-motivated to do such things if this wasn't the Savior's church, and if He hadn't called us all to do so. It no longer seems like a sacrifice, but a privilege to assist Him and our Heavenly Father in their work and glory! And the blessings, and feelings of complete love and peace we experience as we serve makes it all worth while!

Well I'll do my best to give a summary of who we've been able to teach this past week!

First off. We got to go to the temple and watch 5 of our recent converts do baptisms for the dead! It was THE BEST. My heart was so full I thought it was going to burst. The spirit was so strong, and the converts were so grateful and privileged to help others make a covenant with their Heavenly Father and receive Eternal Life! I love the temple. 

We're still teaching Serena and her boys, and they are really starting to progress! The spirit in her home is completely different from when we first started teaching her, and her boys now sit in and listen/pray with us. She even thanked Heavenly Father for guiding her to His church in her prayer! She was able to stay all 3 hours at church this Sunday and the Relief Society lesson was absolutely perfect for her! As I thanked the teacher at the end, we both ended up getting emotional, as she explained how she had felt very impressed to share certain things that were exactly what Serena needed to hear. I know that revelation from Heavenly Father is very real and it is the only way we can  truly minister to and teach His children the way He wants us to! Serena is working for being baptized on October 3rd! (May have to take a roadtrip.....)

Melissa is also really starting to progress! She called us the other day and said: "I have 2 questions for you. First, where can I get some scripture highlighters/sticky tabs so I can start marking my scriptures up? Second, who can pick me up for church on Sunday??" Talk about the best kind of questions to hear from an investigator! The spirit is also refining her and helping her be a better mom, and have more peace and direction in her life. It is so cool to see!

We've been teaching a lady named Hanny who we miraculously came in contact with last week right when she was really needing guidance. She was crying on her front porch, and had just received some terrible news just 5 minutes before. We had prayed to know where to go, and both felt that we needed to go to the apartment complex, where we met Hanny. It was amazing. She has been reading some from the Book of Mormon and is starting to understand that Heavenly Father really is aware of her and loves her personally. She is so prepared!

Julian is doing great! We read Mosiah 3 with him, and it was so cool to see the wheels turning after each verse. He really is soaking in everything we teach him, and the spirit is testifying to him that Jesus Christ really is the Savor and Redeemer of all mankind. Teaching him is one of my favorite things ever. He fasted again as well to receive extra guidance on making some work decisions. (though he expressed to us that he kind of cheated because he ate a bowl of ice cream an hour before he was supposed to break it..haha.) 

We're also still teaching Aurora. This little missy is seriously 15 going on 30. She is so mature and knows the answers to almost everything we teach. She will be moving soon, and it looks like she'll be holding off on her baptism until she gets home to North Carolina, but she has progressed a ton and has such a strong spirit! She will be an incredible sister missionary some day! 

There are lots of other really neat new people we're starting to teach! Heavenly Father really does guide us to those who are seeking the truth, we just have to be open to promptings, and be brave enough to open our mouths and act immediately! We cannot hesitate.

I love love love being a missionary. I may be coming home in a week, but I will never go back to who I was before my mission. I have a greater sense of who I am, and what my purpose is in this life. I have such a love and deep respect for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is so kind, tender, and sensitive to all of my needs. I have felt him walk with me, and give me the strength to keep going countless times over these past 18 months. I know His atonement is fully accessible to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We must use it and change a little everyday to become the sons and daughters our Heavenly Father knows we can become. More kind, more caring, more selfless, more patient, more humble, and more filled with love for all those around us. I know He knows my spirit better then I do, which is why it is so crucial we always have His spirit in our lives to guide us back to Him. My heart is full. I think I need a bowl of ice cream and a nap. 

Love you all. See you soon!

Sister Kraus

Pic. 1. baptisms at the temple!
Pic.2. Got to go on exchanges with one of my favorite Sisters ever! The one and only, Sister Sandoval!. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

This is His work and His glory!‏

This week was INSANE! 2 zone conferences, 3 exchanges, and a mini missionary. But we survived!!!
Here's what I learned:)
"The Church is organized to perfect and bless the lives of the members. It gives up opportunities to teach one another the gospel, fellowship and serve one another, and support one another in our quest for salvation." PMG 88
Callings in the church are divine and when we do our best to magnify our callings church truly becomes a sacred experience that spiritually fills our lamps with oil. This Sunday our relief society teacher did just that. There was much spiritual preparation and all of the women in attendance were touched because she followed the spirit in her teaching. 

We had a mini missionary out teaching with us on Saturday... HOLY SMOKES! We saw so many miracles. We got to teach 9 lessons and found 4 new people to teach in one day! One of the stakes in our mission does something called camp preach my gospel where all the youth do a study class and then at the end they come teach with us for a day. It was sweeeet. We have some REALLy strong youth in Vegas!

So, our investigator Sa'bryn wants to get baptized REALLY bad but her grandma won't let her. She has asked a lot in the past but still hasn't gotten the ok so we decided that everyday this month someone will fast for her grandmas heart to be softened and for Sa'b to have the strength to ask again. All the young women, her missionaries and her friends from school will be joining in. It has been incredible to see people rally around her for support! Please pray for her:)

This week I also got to go on exchanges in my old area of North Las Vegas. It was soo cool to be back! The coolest part though is that someone I taught for a long time named Brother Baudino has gained a testimony of this gospel and is getting baptized on August 15th! yep. the Saturday before I leave. I could've of cried. Well, actually, I did. I got to go through the baptism interview questions and could hardly believe my ears when he said he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this church is true. I know it's because he listened to the spirit and allowed it to change his heart. He's incredible. 

Lastly, the COOLEST miracle of the week. We were going to teach our investigator Serena, she has been having some problems with her husband lately and they are in a battle for custody of the kids right now. When we got there she had just gotten off the phone with the court. The member we brought with us is a priest who had gotten the Melchizedek priesthood within the past month. He almost didn't come to the lesson with us that day because his family took a surprise trip to Utah that day but his words were "I prayed about if I should go to Utah and I felt very strongly that I needed to stay here this weekend." We tried to teach Serena the restoration but she could not focus on the lesson, finally we knelt down to say a prayer and we received a distinct impression that she needed a blessing. After the prayer we asked Robert if we would give her a blessing. he agreed.People, this is the first blessing he has every given! It was AMAZING! the spirit filled the home and she was able to calm down and listen to our message. She is now set to be baptized October 3. 

Seriously one of the most incredible weeks of my mission. I wish I had time to tell you all of the miracles that happened! Just know that I know the Lord is directly in our lives and that His work is moving forward! And what a privilege it is to be a part of it:) I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!!

And a thought from this week: You cannot talk about missionary work and not feel the spirit. It makes Heavenly Father SO excited! It is His work and His glory. It should be ours too!

Sister Kraus

pic. 1. cruisin with our mini missionary!

pic. 2. The one and only, Brother Baudino!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Alex's baptism!‏

Hello again,

I've only got about 10 minutes so this is going to be super short! 
We had 2 zone conferences and they went great :) We were super exhausted, and left at 4 in the morning for one of them, but the trainings went great and hopefully we will all be using the Book of Mormon more in teaching. It really is the key! Read it everyday!

I've had to give a departing testimony twice now, and man, it's such a weird concept, to stand in front of everyone and share what is deep down in your heart. You feel so vulnerable, but there is nothing more powerful then a simple, pure testimony about the truths we have gained from the witness of the spirit, and evidences all around us. The feeling is incredible. 

Lastly, Alexandra got baptized on Saturday!! Almost her entire family came! Even her dad and her brother all the way from New York! Her dad was able to baptize her and it was one of the most tender moments I have gotten to witness on my mission. I love Alex soo much! She is going to be such an asset to the Stonegate ward! The members already love her and have been strengthened by her testimony! She is incredible. 

Love you all! This church is the Savior's church on earth. I know it, and I love it. 

Sister Kraus

Monday, July 20, 2015

Never slowing down...‏

Hello! Life never slows down over here. I seriously feel like last Monday was just yesterday. Strangest thing of my life.

So we start zone conference tomorrow, and have them twice a week until the end of the transfer, so it's going to keep me busy and going so I won't think too much about....well...you know..

We'll be giving a training about how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively in teaching :) I'm super pumped and hope that it will help the missionaries (especially the new ones) become much more powerful teachers. The book of Mormon really is everything. There is NO WAY that Book is not written by prophets through the spirit of prophecy and revelation. I know it's true. There is not a single doubt in my mind.
 We had a super rough lesson the other night when this inactive member invited us in (he was a referral) then proceeded to bash on everything the church stands for. It was pretty intense, but after he was done, all we could do was bear a simple and pure testimony of the truths we had gained through the spirit. He didn't change his mind, but I could feel the spirit when I was talking and bearing testimony vs. when he was throwing down on us. It was literally black and white. Light and dark. Happiness and misery. After we left I just felt sick to my stomach, but we prayed for the spirit to be with us, and for us to be able to have a powerful next lesson with our investigator Alexandra who is getting baptized this next Saturday. When we walked in her home, immediately I felt better and more at peace. The whole experience strengthened my testimony of how real the adversary is, but also how light always over rules the dark and brings peace and joy when you are seeking it. 

Our little investigator Gary (from Sister Blanchard and I's past area) got baptized on Saturday! He is soo cute and was so thrilled to be getting baptized. His whole family was there to support him. We sang/played I am a Child of God,at his request, and it was so neat to reflect on the words and the importance of the knowledge the song brings. I especially love the line "Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday." Such a cool song 

We also had the privilege of having the director of proselyting come to our mission to train all the leadership at MLC. He had lots of cool insights and helped us see how we could teach even more simply and powerfully. He gave us some great ideas on how to use the Book of Mormon in street contacts, especially since the Book of Mormon musical is here in Las Vegas.... prettty crazzy apparently, but hey, any publicity for the church is good publicity, as long as we know how to use it to our advantage! like" The play can entertain you for a night, but the Book can bless your life forever."

Lastly, we got to go to the temple on Friday with the new missionaries... again. What a blessing. I know it is God's house and that His spirit resides there always! The personal revelation and blessings we can receive from going to the temple regularly is what we need in our lives to be happy and become who Heavenly Father wants us to become. And becoming who He wants us to become is the ultimate quest of this life..the ultimate quest that leads to eternal bliss. Heavenly Father's plan for us is THE BEST!

Love you all!

Have a stellar week.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

25 out and 25 in!‏

Pic 1. Best trio ever! Had way too much fun..

Welp. It's been a super crazy week, but SO MUCH.FUN.

We got to go to the temple Tuesday morning with all the departing missionaries. It's a huge blessing to get to go twice a transfer! The spirit is always so strong, and the feeling of peace is unbeatable.  So weird to be there with missionaries going home in 2 days. I'm so grateful that's not me.... Yikes. The departing testimony meeting was great. We have to sit up front next to President and Sister Snow, which means I sit there and try to keep the tears inside my head, which always leads to me having a massive headache by the end of the meeting. My favorite. But it's so neat to be there and hear their powerful testimonies. The church is in good hands! 

Wednesday was an early start! As in 3 am..We took 25 missionaries to the airport, and picked up 25 greenies a couple hours later. Their wide eyed, fresh from the MTC faces were priceless. One got lost trying to find his terminal, and we spent 20 minutes searching the airport for him. Eventually he came strolling down the elevator, with a clueless look on his face. ha. It was the best! We packed them all in the mission vehicles, Bertha, Hank, and Jessie. Yes. they have names. Sister Snow welcomed them with a big hug and loving smile, and we started making them breakfast. After making hundreds of pancakes (you can call me Sister pancake flipper Kraus), they were finally satisfied. The missionaries all passed out within 10 minutes of breakfast, and we had the privilege of waking them up and telling them they had another 2 hours of trainings to sit through. They were a bit groggy, but excited to be there! We then went to the mission office for their companionship assignment meeting. Helping President Snow decide who should train who was one of the coolest experiences of my mission. When we discussed, then decided on the particular companionship we felt was best, the spirit filled the room and let us know that Heavenly Father agreed with our decision. It was incredible to see how intimately involved He is with every detail of His work. The companionships matched up perfectly :)

Thursday we had another meeting filled day as we trained the new missionaries from 9-3:30. I'm starting to get more comfortable with training in front of large groups, so it's not quite as stressful anymore. Good thing, because we've got zone conferences coming up, and 2 Mission Leadership Councils we're supposed to train at as well. Woohoo. The mission has definitely made me get out of my comfort zone, in more ways then one!

The coolest part of this week, other then feeling super loopy/slap happy from lack of sleep, and being with the best companion ever, has been seeing God's hand in our day to day work. We always see the little miracles, but especially when we only have a few hours to proselyte each day and He blesses us with lots of lessons and new investigator still. It just blows my mind. I know without a shadow of a doubt that He lives and watches over all of His children. He is aware of every detail of our lives and provides us with experiences and trials that mold us and refine us so we can become more like Him. The process is a painful one at times, but in the end it brings us incredible joy! As long as we have the right attitude and stay close to the spirit. I love my Savior and feel so privileged to get to do His work!

Last super cool thing. We've been teaching an athiest named Julian (though he's no longer an athiest...). We street contacted him, and gave him our card to call us because he wasn't comfortable giving us his contact info. He texted us 30 minutes later, and now we've had 5 lessons with him. He's prayed, FASTED, and is now starting to ask questions about the Plan of Salvation! It has been the coolest thing ever to see the spirit working in him, and to see him start to make steps that are bringing him closer to God. He feels a difference in his life already! Evidence once again that the gospel is true and that it brings happiness to anyone who will let it change them. 
Pic. 2. Sleepy new missionaries

Have a sweet week! Love you!

Sister Kraus 

Pic 3. Lunch with APs and president Snow and his wife!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fireworks and a fiddle‏

 Best 4th of July ever! We had an amazing week, but Saturday was  definitely the best. We went to a big park and some other missionaries had a booth set up advertising free family pictures. If the families wanted the pictures delivered to their homes, they wrote their names and addresses down. At the end of the day, the missionaries had around 60 families that wanted the missionaries to deliver the pictures and share a simple message about how the gospel can bless families. It was amazing! I was responsible for standing by the booth and fiddling to get people's attention, and we also had some singing and dancing going on. It was quite an experience :)
     After the evening was over, we walked back to our car at the church building and got to watch the fireworks for few minutes. Sister Hope and Blanchard proceeded to nudge me to get my fiddle out once again and play some hymns. There was a little family sitting on the church steps watching, as we found out they had just moved to the area and was looking for a church! ! What a blessing. Heavenly Father definitely puts us in the places we need to be to bring His children closer to Him. 
    We've been teaching a lot, seeing lots of miracles, working hard, and loving every minute :) doesn't get better then this!
Love you all, have a great week!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Exchanges and baptisms!‏

Hey there. Annndddd another week bites the dust. It's already week 6 of the transfer. yikes. Time. never. stops. and. it's. freaking. me. out. But besides that... things have been great!

Monday was great. We had our usual meeting with President, went to lunch with the Snow's and the AP's at Grimaldi's.. yum, then ran the usual errands and prepared for the week!

Tuesday. Exchanges in Lake Havasu with my MTC companion Sister Hirsch! It was HOT, but we had a blast and saw miracles! I've gotten to a point on my mission where I just want to teach anybody and everybody about the gospel! When a lesson falls through, we search for someone else in the area that is prepared to listen. I've really seen as we exercise faith in God's plan for the area everyday, we are able to be led to those that have been prepared to receive the gospel and we don't get as sad when our lessons fall through! Heavenly Father just wants us to trust that He is orchestrating the circumstances and will make miracles happen all around us as we work hard, trust in the promptings from the Spirit, and exercise faith! 

Wednesday. We taught a lot of awesome lessons! Our investigator Ed is one of the most faith filled and diligent people I've ever met. He has had a super hard life, and has gone through a lot, but since he met the sisters about a year ago, he has consistently tried to be better. Any time we invite him to pray, or read scriptures, or keep some other commitment, he always says "I will try my best." And he does. Every time! We also got to teach Brandi again and she is so prepared for her baptism Saturday! She shared her testimony with us before we left, so she wouldn't be so nervous on Saturday. It was one of my favorite experiences on my mission. The spirit was so strong and she shared with us how she had never really had much direction in her life and didn't even know if God existed for sure, or if she had a purpose in her life. As she started to read the scriptures, pray, and come to church with us, she felt her faith start to grow and felt the spirit touch her heart and she knew the church was true and that God knew and loved her. I love this girl like a sister! Ahh. She's amazing. 

Thursday. Exchanges in Anthem in my old ward Inspirada! It. was. my. favorite. 
We found a super awesome family in the morning that just moved in and wants to learn more!
 We had lunch with Tawny and her boys and I got to meet the newest member of her family! Little Sage Price. Ohh man. Cutest baby ever. Tawny is doing great! It was so fun to see her again. 
We taught some people that I taught when I was there which was also super fun! Ahh. So much joy. Also, I was with Sister Robinson who I have a super cool connection with. In January 2014 right before I left on my mission, my family and I were in the Nauvoo, Illinois temple. Waiting in one of the most beautiful rooms called the Celestial room, another family with a daughter around my same age walked in. We started talking with them and turns out that she was also going to the Las Vegas mission the exact same day. February 5th! Nooo wayy. It was pretty crazy... Her name is Sister Robinson. :) On exchanges, I got to hear Sister Robinson's side of the story.  After she had received her mission call, she was still pretty nervous about going and wasn't really sure if she still wanted to. The time came when they were going to go through the temple and her family was discussing where they should go. Either the Chicago which was about 3 hours away, or the Nauvoo temple, which was about 8 hours away. Her mom felt strongly that they should go to Nauvoo, even though it was an extra 5 hour drive. As Sister Robinson was in the temple, she started to feel at peace about going on a mission, and as she came into the Celestial room and fame to find out that there was someone going to the exact same mission as her at the same time, she was completely overcome. She then came to know with out a doubt that God knew her, and that He absolutely wanted her to serve a mission. :)

Friday was great! I don't remember much of what happened...

Saturday was even better!!! Ed and Brandi both got baptized!!!!
Oh man. Ed's baptism was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. He is such a kind, sincere man, who wants to do everything he can possibly do to please his Heavenly Father. He is my favorite. 
Brandi's baptism was also amazing and she also bore such a sweet, genuine testimony of how her faith had been strengthened and how the spirit had touched her heart and helped her decide to join the church. She is incredible and wants to serve a mission some day! I love this girl with my whole heart. 

And I'm about out of time, but this was one of the best weeks of my mission, and they just keep getting better :)

Love you all! 

Sister Kraus 

pics. Ed and Brandi's (with President Snow) baptisms!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

My heart could potentially explode‏

Just wanted to take time to write about the small miracles we've seen
this week. First off, on Tuesday we had exchanges and I was with
sister Harlon here in our area. We first had an amazing lesson with
Alexandra who we miraculously met last Thursday. Sister Lee was with
us and was able to relate very well and helped Alex see that she's
ready to make these change in her life to feel closer to God and Jesus
Christ. Alex has had a terribly rough upbringing and pretty much told
us everything...abuse, drugs, and pretty much every terrible thing you
could imagine. It was so so heartbreaking. However, since she has been
going to church with her aunt over the last year she has started to
feel peace and knows that this is exactly what she needs and wants for
herself and her 2 month old daughter. She accepted a baptismal date of
July 3rd and said she'll do her best to stop smoking and clean her
life up..before we even taught her about the word of wisdom. Yeah
she's elect!Then we had a sweet lesson with Sabryn at the Lee's house.
We talked about Christlike attributes..especially patience for Sabryn
at this time in her life. Her grandma won't let her get baptized :/
she's cruising thrush the Book of Mormon though and comes to church
every week!
And for the last miracle of the day, we had Matthew out to teach with
us (a recently re-activated member. His wife just joined the church
and they are incredible!) our lesson fell through, and just as we were
going to try another potential, we got a phone call from a guy named
Julian we had met in the street the other day..he said he was free to
talk for a bit if we happened to be in the area. We were like 2
minutes from his apartment complex so we went right over. Julian had
been atheist his entire life but recently started having a lot of
success in his business and began to realize that there was no way it
was all him, or just a coincidence. We met with him inside the
clubhouse and started to talk. Matthew was the single most perfect
member we could have had with us. He had been raised in the church,
but in medical school he started to lean towards the idea of science
being the creating force in the world, though he still believed in
God. He began to explore all different types of religions, then
eventually came to realize that the Mormon church had all of the
truths and it made most sense to him, logically and spiritually. He
came back to the church a month ago and his new wife was also
baptized! Anyways, so when Julian started asking some deep questions
about us and different churches, Matthew knew exactly what to say. It
was perfectly orchestrated. God never ceases to amaze me.

Friday. Brandi and her family came and watched Meet the Mormons at our
mission presidents house. Afterwards, brandi was asking a lot of
questions about what's it's like being a missionary and what she would
have to do to prepare to serve. We told her the first step of course
was baptism.....she excitedly responded, "yeah, I think I'm ready for
June 27th!" She also said she wanted to come out and teach with us!
Whoa. Super cool right?

Saturday we biked for 2 hours in the morning and it was already 100
degrees, but we got lots of sympathy from people, and even got a
couple return appointments, and sweet farmers tans. Brandi came out
with us in the evening for 2 hours and we had so many little miracles!
We street contacted a little family that said they wanted us to come
back, and also ran into the exact person in the parking lot who we
were trying to visit, who also said she wanted us to come back! Brandi
loved it and said she's really considering a mission.

Sunday. Ohh man. Where do I even begin? Church was great as usual and
Alexandra came for the first time and absolutely loved it! Her 2 month
old baby even slept the whole time so she could listen and feel the
spirit. After church we went to the Why I believe fireside. An elder
and I played "There is a Green Hill Far Away" which went nicely, and
then Daniella Flores (a girl I got to teach/baptize in my first area)
spoke to the congregation about her conversion story. The spirit was
so strong and she did such an incredible job! At one point when she
had gotten emotional, she looks at the congregation and said "oh man
this is embarrassing..am I an ugly crier??" Haha she's my favorite! I
also got to see a bunch of my old besties from the YSA ward, so that
was also super fun :) and to top it off...it was my sister Erin's 15th
birthday and Daniella's year mark of being a member of the church! My
heart could of exploded, I swear. So much joy.

During church on Sunday while singing the sacrament hymn, I had a
really huge realization. We were singing "Reverently and Meekly Now"
and the last verse words read: "I have loved thee as thy friend, with
a love that cannot end. Be obedient I implore, prayerful watchful
evermore. And be constant unto me, that thy Savior I may be." That
last phrase really hit me. Christ desperately wants to save each us
from the sins and sorrows of the world, and he has already paid the
price for all those things. However, we cannot access His precious
gift unless we live the principles of the gospel. Know it, live it,
love it, and share it!

Love you all :) have a great week!

Sister Kraus.

Ps. Yes this was sent from my iPad..

Sent from my iPad

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wed. Journal

Hello! Well I don't really have time to write.. surprise surprise! But I do have time to copy and paste a journal entry from Wednesday. It was an amazing day :) 

Wednesday.Ok. Biggest day of miracles in my entire life.So after MLC we went to teach Timothy and his cute little family with Matthew and Ashley (baptized 3 weeks ago). The lesson went great, and afterwards Ashley started telling us about an experienced she had at her bachelorette party (they were also just married). Her friends were giving her a hard time about paying tithing to the church, as well as some other doctrinal points.. She simply bore her testimony to her friends and explained it was kind of like how they had paid for her bachelorette party because they loved her, even though it wasn't easy financially, or convenient. She also promised them that she has always been blessed in miraculous ways by paying tithing. Shortly after this conversation they headed up to their nice room in the hotel they were staying at and came to find out that it was infested with bugs! The hotel manager immediately set them up with upgraded suites, and additionally stay in the penthouse for a night, and their food and rooms were to be completely paid for. Miracle right? Ashley turned to her friends and said that she had been paying her tithing.Next, we drove to our next plan for the evening..Lori at 7:30! We pulled up to her house then decided to look real quick on the iPads to see if any less actives lived on the same street. We weren't successful and exited the car just in time to see 2 Asian women walking rather quickly about 20 feet ahead of us. We hesitated for a few seconds then simultaneously decided to run after them. As we approached them (quite out of breath might I add..sheesh I'm out of shape) it became quite clear that they weren't interested after talking with them for just a minute.  As we turned to walk back to the car we saw a couple in their garage in some sort of heated debate. Not our most ideal finding situation, but hey, we had already been super awkward just 10 seconds earlier, why not go for round 2. As we introduced ourselves, their expressions changed and they began to walk towards us. They both had family members of the church and the ladies granddaughter had just been baptized a couple weeks prior! They had felt the spirit at the baptismal service and were so excited to learn more. We shared a scripture and prayer with them and set up a time to come back. Javier and Elizabeth are their names, and Javier even said that unfortunately they hadn't found a Mormon church in the area yet! We told them we could fix that right away :)As we started walking back to our car, practically floating on cloud 9, we noticed a young mom just getting home trying to unload the groceries from her car, as well as caring her 2 month old baby. We introduced ourselves and offered to help and she actually accepted! It was amazing because this is a rare thing for sisters. People usually think only elders can do the physical service...lame I know. Anyways, we get talking and she also has lots of Mormon family members and has been going to church with her aunts off and on over the past year. She had just asked one the other day if she should start meeting with missionaries and BAM! Heavenly Father placed us right in her path. We shared a message and prayer with her and her aunt Alma (who also happens to not be a member of the church and was interested in learning). Heavenly Father really outdid himself tonight. We were just baffled. This church is true, and God is preparing people everywhere to receive it! We just have to jump on
board and be willing to follow promptings from the spirit. 

Sunday. Wow. Such a great day! Ward council was super
spiritual and Bishop Cox gave a great spiritual thought about a little
9 year old boy who was accidentally run over by his father 2 weeks ago
and died. They are an LDS family and were really having a tough time
with it. Apparently both the parents spoke at the funeral (no idea how
they were able to keep it together) and talked about the struggles and
hard times they'd has raising their son, and how at times he wouldn't
even tell his mother he loved her back when she dropped him off for
school. However the mom was able to receive peace in the temple after
the accident happened and came to know for sure that her son knew she
loved him. This is the most important thing we are here on this earth
to learn..how to love others unconditionally...even when we don't
receive that love back. It causes me to think.....do others around me
truly know how much I love them? Man. 
Developing charity for others takes a continuous, daily effort. But we
must never stop working for it! We also had some neat miracles when
brother Palmer was out with us! We met a cool guy who has been looking
for the truth for 60 years and said we could send missionaries to
visit him in San Diego! We also met a lost sheep family who wants to
come back and the husband wants to be re-baptized! And we had an
awesome first lesson with Josephina and her husband and son
Rigo and Rigo jr! Rigo jr. Is going through a divorce right now and
brother Palmer also recently went through a divorce. He was able to
give some words of comfort and advice and they all want us to come
back and teach them more on Tuesday! What a miracle :) my heart is so
happy. Also, Sister Hope and I have lots of fun together, so that just makes
everything awesome :) The work here is going great! Have a great week everyone!

Love you all! 
Sister Kraus

pic. didn't take any pics on my camera this week, but here"s Sister Hope and I! We have too much fun together..

Monday, June 1, 2015

Craziest week of my life‏

Wowww what a crazy ride it's been these last 2 weeks! Sorry I didn't get an email out last week, we don't really get a P-day anymore I'm starting to realize.. but it's totally worth it! I've learned so much in the past 2 weeks and have absolutely loved getting to work so closely with President Snow and his sweet wife Sister Snow. And my new companion Sister Hope is a rockstar! We are so similar it's almost creepy! We get along great and love working together. 

So i'll do my best to remember the order of events this past week...

First off, we got to go to the temple with all of the departing missionaries! I couldn't have asked for a better start to this upcoming transfer. The temple is a place of absolute peace and joy! What a blessing we have to be able to enter into the Lord's house and receive extra guidance and revelation that can help us throughout every aspect of our lives. I love it. After the temple,we got to give a training to the new District Leaders and Sister training leaders,then we were able to sit in at the departing missionaries testimony meeting. Wow, talk about a spirit packed meeting! It's amazing how similar and simple each testimony was. Almost all talked about their Savior Jesus Christ and how His atonement had refined them on their missions, as well as worked miracles in the lives of the people they taught. Every single blessing we have in this life is because of our Savior!! It was a good reminder to me of how simple and pure His gospel is. 

Wednesday morning we had an early start (4 am) and got to take the departing missionaries to the airport! Oh man, that part was a bit hard let me tell ya. Some were definitely not looking forward to leaving their missions. Luckily I've still got a good chunk of time...
We also got to pickup 14 new missionaries fresh from the MTC! This was definitely my favorite part :) They were so wide eyed, sleep deprived, and excited to be here in Vegas! We brought them back to the mission home, cooked them some breakfast, then gave them a short training about the importance of obedience. It really is everything in life! When we are obedient, and work hard, we have the spirit and can truly touch people's lives, and in the process, we get to feel true joy and happiness! How cool is that? 

Thursday was a fairly normal proselyting day which was really nice! I would much rather do the ministering then the administering.. but this calling calls for lots of both, so hopefully i'll get the hang of it! We've been teaching so many cool people lately! I'll just give you a quick update on the investigators we've been teaching.

We're teaching an amazing mom named Kim and her 2 kids Kelly and Cody. They are so much fun to teach! Kelly always has the living room set up with chairs and they all have their Book of Mormons out and read to go! Kelly listens to it on the way to school and has already gotten to the middle of 2 Nephi in just a couple weeks. She's 11! Her mom is also really great and actually happened to start dating a guy who is a member, right before she met the missionaries! how cool is that? They'll be getting baptized June 20th!

We picked up a former investigator named Ed this past week also. The member out to teach with us knew him from a couple months ago and we ran into him outside his apartment. He already knows Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true! He came to church and is super excited to be baptized towards the ends of June. 

We've had lots of other little miracles with part member families and less actives. I have such a strong testimony of retention work! We felt prompted to visit a member named Sister Nash and her grand daughter happened to be there who is in town for the summer and has been really looking for a change in her life. She said she wants to know more about why she is here and wants to discover who she is. This girl is 15. She is amazing. As we were about to leave she said, "thank you sisters so much for conversing with me." Ha she's a smart girl to say the least. 

Sunday night we also had super neat experience at dinner with the Davis family. It was brother Davis' birthday so he had a lot of friends/family over. A large portion of them weren't active in the church, or weren't familiar with it at all. One of the guys there at the table with us whispered that he wanted us to share a 3 minute message with his sister who was there, who hadn't been to church in years. Whoohoo! Golden opportunity. We whipped out our handy dandy ipads we just got and had the whole table watch the Because of Him video clip after they had finished eating. We bore simple testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ and His church, and prophet on the earth today. The spirit was so strong, and several of the guests who weren't members thanked us, or asked us where to find the video clip so they could watch it again. It was amazing :)

And last but not least, we went and visited a random family in the ward on Sunday night we had never met. They opened right up and invited us in. They had been flying under the radar in their new ward, but were super happy we stopped by and want us to teach them the lessons and help them strengthen relationship with Christ. Woohoo! Thank you Heavenly Father. He truly is involved in the details of this great work. Thank goodness, because we'd be a complete mess without him! 

I love being a missionary. I love Las Vegas, and I love my Savior. This is His work! And it is truer then true. How blessed we are. 

Love you all and have an amazing week!

Sister Kraus

pic. 1. Got to have dinner with Daniella!! An incredible girl I got to teach in my first area who has almost been a member for a year! 

pic. 2. The cutest human being I have ever seen. We're teaching his older sister Brandi :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

21 New investigators, say what?!?‏


This week was awesome!

Monday. Started it off by having a delicious BBQ with a family we've been teaching for a couple months. Brother Knauls is an amazing cook!! His wife is a member, and he's read the Book of Mormon, but he's still got a few concerns/questions he needs to figure out before he'll commit to baptism. He loves missionaries though, and loves what the gospel has been doing for his kids over the past couple months! We also found 2 new people to teach! Kendra and Caesar. They are so cool, and excited to learn more :)
Tuesday. We had lesson with Amanda, a lost sheep we found the other day. She has had such a hard life, but it was so neat to be able to bear testimony to her of the power of the Atonement, and how Jesus Christ truly can heal her emotionally, as well as spiritually. She was so greatful we came by and is looking forward to coming back to church. We also found a new lady to teach named Adjanae, who is super sweet and said her boyfriend's cousin just passed away and that it was the perfect time for them to learn more about the gospel! Miracle!

Wednesday. Went on exchanges with the MSTL Sister Hope (aka Sister AP). We got to have lunch with my favorite companion ever... Sister Mayfield and her companion Sister Decoster! They are both out with Bronchitis, so we went and blitzed their area for 5 hours and visited some of their investigators. It was super fun! We had a couple super powerful lessons in the evening.. one with a lady who they street contacted into, who is now dating an active member of the church, who didn't even know she was taking lessons..haha. He was there at the lesson and was practically beaming. God's timing is so incredible!
Ohh, and Sister Robinson in our area taught a follow up lesson with 2 of they our new investigators, and they called in all of their family in the house... all in all, there were 12 people in the house, all baptism age, and they all said yes to baptism!! Talk about miracles...

Thursday: We found another 6 new people to teach. We seriously can't keep up... North Las Veags is exploding! Bobby and Leann were especially elect, and were really excited to start meeting 3 days a week. She just got diagnosed with cancer and is really looking for strength right now in her life. 

Friday: Had a pretty good lesson with our investigator Boogie. He's started reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. When we asked how his prayer had went, he explained that he tilted his head up to the heavens when he was listening for his answer and God didn't say a single thing to him. We had a really good lesson about how to recognize the spirit, and he was excited to keep praying and asking!

Saturday. Oh man. Started out as such a hard day. We had 9 lessons set up, and almost every single one of them fell through.. even our members flaked on us... I was on exchanges with our Brazilian Sister missionary Sister Morceli. We kept working, and around 7:30 at night, we street contacted into a middle aged woman sitting out inside the front of her house. As we talked to her for a minute, she expressed that she didn't speak much English. We asked, "well, what language do you speak?" "Portuguese!" Sister Morceli: *freak out for a minute* "NOOO WAYY!! I speak portuguese!" Turns out, the woman also had just moved from Brazil! She was super sweet, felt the spirit touch her heart, and is another new investigator! Another miracle!! Ahhhh. Heavenly Father is too good to us. 

And Sunday was splendid as always :)

Lastly, i'm getting transferred tomorrow morning (a week early) and am going to be with Sister Hope! I'm a bit overwhelmed, and not sure what to expect, but i'm excited for the new assignment! And can't wait to work more closely with President and Sister Snow  :)

Have a great week!

Sister Kraus

pics. saying bye to some of my favorite people.
pic1. Janelle! love this girl!
pic2.Delimonts..requested I played devil went down to georgia while they sang it via karaoke

Monday, May 11, 2015

I love people!


It's been a blur of a week. But it's always just so fulfilling. Every single day, we get to meet more and more of Heavenly Father's beautiful children that chose to follow Him and His plan! How incredible is that? I. love. people. Sometimes we don't love their actions, but seeing the incredible potential in each and every one of God's children is truly mind blowing.

We had a really neat lesson with our investigator Larry this past Monday at our members house. We talked about the doctrine of Christ from 2 Nephi 31, then invited him to be baptized on May 23rd.. though he said he wasn't sure he would be quite prepared for that day, he definitely is progressing and feeling the spirit as he reads and prays, and he even stayed for all 3 hours of church on Sunday! 

Tuesday we had exchanges with the Spanish Sisters, so I had yet another opportunity to expand my Spanish vocabulary... haha. I mostly ended up with a massive headache from trying to absorb it all, but it was a great learning experience! We also got to have a zone wide service project at a huge food bank, so that was pretty neat! There's a church wide Just Serve website that is getting started here, so we'll get to do other service projects in the future with different churches around the area! How cool is that? Also, Sister Espinosa and I street contacted a 7 foot tall man named "Big Beast."  He was standing next to a big black motorbike, wearing a cut off leather vest that had his name stitched in.. So when he said his name was Big Beast, I said "Ahh, I can see that. How'd you get that name?" He thought we were pretty funny and actually opened up to us and said we could have missionaries go visit him and his mom! Woot woot! 

Wednesday, Garebear went to the MTC! AHHh I'm so proud of him :) He'll be in Farmington New Mexico a week from today!!

Thursday we had Zone Conference. Wow. Just wow. So much revelation! President Snow gave us an amazing training about how special and sacred the scriptures are and how we can utilize them more in our personal lives and proselyting efforts. We watched a video called "Scriptures Legacy" which strengthened my testimony so much of the scriptures being preserved for us in these days. They are such a necessary part of our lives! I encourage everyone to look it up! :)
We also street contacted into a less active member who had just moved to Vegas and was wanting to come back to church. We saw her walking, right after we inspire knocked on someones door that totally wasn't interested. It was amazing to see how Heavenly Father works :)

The rest of the week was great, but i'm out of time! bit we had exchanges again Saturday and found a rastafarian man and his Jehovah's Witness wife that are interested in having us come back to teach them more! That should be fun.  Ohh and we started teaching a new guy named Boogie..nicknamed that because he likes music, not because he has a stuffy nose. 

Last but not least... I got to skype my familia on Sunday! love them to piecessss. :) 

A couple insights from studies/church: "Look up to God. Not around at what others are doing."
"Nothing will be with held from those who keep their covenants." 
"I have been sent to earth at this time because of who I am and what I have been prepared to do."

Love you all! Have a great week :)

sister Kraus

pic. 1. Our musical prodigy investigators Kaleeah and Josh
pic.2. skyping the fam!

Monday, May 4, 2015

I'm. super. happy.‏


Yet another crazy busy week has gone by. Good news is, I've survived! And i'm getting better from my cold.. and i'm happy! Super happy. But super tired. Those two always go together on the mission. Because when you're working hard, you have the spirit, and when you have the spirit, you're happy.

So this week really was sort of a blurrrr...

We've been teaching an older man named Larry, and he is really starting to progress! We decided to  start one of our lessons with "Savior Redeemer, of My Soul" on the violin, then just ask him some questions to discern his needs and get to the root of his questions. It was so neat to feel and see the spirit working on him throughout the lesson, and at the end, he said he was really excited to start praying before he reads, asking specifically for understanding and to know the truth. He has never prayed out loud in front of us, or his wife (who is a member of about 3 years) but guess what.... HE DID! He gave one of the most simple, heartfelt prayers I have ever heard. It was beautiful. 

We had a lot of meetings this week... which are always really spirit packed, and therefore, I always leave feeling drained, and slightly inadequate, but it's always great to receive lots of revelation for our areas and for our missionaries! One of the main topics at our MLC was becoming a Full Purpose missionary. It was all about how we need to be fully converted, in order to teach others to become converted. We talked a lot about the WHY of the gospel, and the HOW. Why we are missionaries, why we want others to accept the gospel, and how we can teach more like the Savior so that others will fully understand WHY they must live His teachings. It was a stellar meeting :)

We then presented those trainings/councils to our zone the following Saturday, along with what ever we felt like they needed to hear. It's always such a humbling experience for me, being able to receive guidance and revelation as I prepare and study for the trainings Heavenly Father wants us to give. This really is His work! And He really does care about each missionary and their eternal progression, as well as those in our areas. He is SO willing to give us help, we just need to be open to it and earnestly seek it! 
The Elders had us all do a zone wide 3 legged race to build unity...so that was pretty awesome also! We've got a great zone :)

Welp, i'm about out of time once again.. but remember. THIS CHURCH IS GOD's KINGDOM ON THE EARTH TODAY., preparing us for the second coming. We must be anxiously engaged in missionary work at all times :) I love it!

Love you and have a great week.

Sister Kraus

ps. SHOUT OUT TO MOMMA KRAUS. happy 50th bday! :)

pics 1. Tiffany and James (recent converts from Anthem) came took us out for dinner! LOVE THEM!
pic 2. North Zone!

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Baby Is 22!!!

Levi's card I'm 22!!!!!
Tyler got baptized!! 
My sister made me the cutest missionary sculpture ever and sent it to me for my bday :) 
Sister Robinson and I freezing at the ward Pig in the Park.. What is this weather?? but hey, no complaints! Summers a coming...