What makes me happy!

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 :)