A glimpse into the life of a Mormon missionary (Elder Creer) as he serves a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He began serving in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission- Spanish speaking. On July 1, 2012, he was transferred to a new mission- the Utah Salt Lake City West Mission.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A challenge to see who could eat the most bowls of Captain Crunch...

Hola Famila!
To start things off, thanks for the package with all the candy and the brownies. I got the package slip on Monday but the place to pick up the packages was closed because of pioneer day. I had a feeling that there might be a treat so I was determined to get that package. Everyone else wanted me to get it too because they thought the turtle bars (you sent last time) were amazing. So I went and nicely knocked on the door of the package place and nobody answered. I knocked again nicely and nobody answered again. Then I started pounding on the door haha and some guy came and opened it and said that they were closed. But I gave him my sob story about how I couldn't live without it and how I needed it right now blah blah and he gave in and I got my package and one from the Mallows too that was filled with candy! Tell them thanks a bunch for me! I felt kind bad though because there were a bunch of other kids behind me with package slips and they saw me get mine and they tried getting theirs but the dude was like “we are closed“ then shut the door.
So what did I learn? Determination is the key, along with a good sob story haha. We busted all the candy out that you gave me in the middle of the class (I saved what the Mallows gave me) so we were eating them until dinner and almost polished them all off and then we went to dinner and everyone got salads and we ate ALL of the brownies haha they were soo good and everyone loved them. So thanks again and tell the Mallows thanks again too.
Thanks for the letters this week too.
This week was definitely not easy. But, it went by super fast. I can't believe it has already been 5 weeks, starting the 6th week today! The first treat I am going to make when I get outta here is Oreo Balls! A typical day usually consists of two 3-hour blocks of class where we learn some Spanish and practice teaching. Then we have two hours of language study, personal study and meals so it is a pretty packed day. For District Leader stuff- I am in charge of getting the mail. Then I conduct class, so assigning prayers and hymns and what not. Then I have been having usually 3 leadership meetings every week. And for pictures, we can't email them home on these computers so I will send some in the mail today that I had developed.
The Spanish is coming a little more. I have noticed that the vocab is the easiest thing for me to do and I learn it faster than the other stuff. So what would you recommend Dad, focusing on vocab since I can learn it fast or focusing on the grammar since I have a harder time with it?
I am humbled with the more Spanish I learn because I realize how much I still have to learn too! I went to the tutor this week and he gave me some good advice about teaching and how we need to teach to the investigators’ needs and not lessons.
My hip was feeling better this week so tell Trevor thanks please. I am still not 100% but it is doing better. Since I took the week off playing I just lifted. I also thought that I should try beating the free throw record which was 54 in a row, which I thought was very doable since I have done that several times before. So I attempted it and guess what number I got to, 5! lol Shows how much I have been in the gym lately. Basketball has been really fun too. Elder Black and Elder Calder are always on my team and we straight up dominate. Elder Black is the one from Texas and Elder Calder is the one from Mapleton Utah. They are my work out buddies too. Anyways, we were playing basketball a couple weeks ago and there was this one guys who was like 7 feet tall from Idaho and he was just running the court but we played against them and beat them 11 to 3, it was sweet cuz I swatted him 3 times haha.
Also this week one day after we had all finished dinner, Elder Black had the great idea that we should have a challenge to see who could eat the most bowls of Captain Crunch. Nobody wanted to be the one not to do it and back out so we all filled up our trays with bowls of Captain Crunch and went to town. Elder Black and I ended up tying with 9 bowls apiece. It was probably the dumbest thing I have done in a long time haha.
I forgot to tell you that we had a devotional last week from President and Sister Sonne, who were the mission presidents for my mission before President and Sister Winn. It was really good and cool to hear from them. After the devotional I went up and talked to them and asked them to write me a letter with advice for my mission specifically. They had lots of good advice and told me that I was going to love it and to make sure that I worked hard, was exactly obedient and used the members a lot! It got me even more stoked for the field.
We also had another devotional that was really good. Some of my favorite parts were "Believe in yourself even when nobody else does." That one fits me perfect. Creer- to believe. It seems like there have been a lot of people who haven’t believed in me but I believe in myself and that God has my back. The other thing that I liked was "Others can't see what is in your heart, so express yourself and tell them." So I just want you all to know that I love you and thanks for being the best family ever.
Creer Siempre, (Always believe- I think)
Con Amor,
Elder Creer

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Spanish Is Still Improving As Fast As A Turtle

Hola Famila!
This week was a very eventful one! To start things off I was just getting over a cold that went around the whole MTC and I was fine for a few days and then when we were studying Spanish one night I just got super dizzy and nauseous and a major headache and stomachache. It was the weirdest thing ever. It hurt really badly too which was no bueno. Elder Rockhill and Elder Shuster gave me a blessing and then I went to the doctor the next day. He didn't really do anything. He was so old that I think he had memory problems because he kept asking me the same simple questions like 5 times haha. So I’m pretty sure that the blessing and my faith is what healed me. Maybe they hired him so that the Elders would have more faith to be healed haha. The gym finally opened back up this week and I got a good 2 and 1/2 days of ball in when I hurt my hip again. Pretty much like the worst timing ever. Do you think that you can ask Trevor how I am supposed to fix it? It's been so long since it has hurt that I don't remember how. Thanks!
The Spanish is still improving as fast as a turtle. I can tell that I am improving but it is a struggle.
I had a cool experience teaching this week though. We were teaching about the Atonement and how we can be forgiven of the bad things we do and the bad feelings we get when we don't do what is right. There were several times where I knew the words I wanted to say in English but they weren’t coming and then the Spirit would put words into my mouth and then later in the lesson that exact things I wanted to say before that I didn't know how would come and I could say a lot of things and it went really smooth. It was great!
On Sunday they made some leadership changes in our zone. Elder Rockhill and Elder Black were called to be new shadow zone leaders.  Which means they are learning how to do the job of zone leaders so they can take over next week. I was called as District Leader! I was kinda surprised though because I am definitely not one of the best ones in Spanish. I set a goal though to be the best District Leader I can be by setting an example and being exactly obedient. It is a little frustrating sometimes because now some of the Elders are asking for help with Spanish and I usually can't answer their questions. But I can answer their questions about working out and food haha. I want to answer all of their questions because I want to help them to the best of my ability. There are some things that I just can't answer and that is when I can counsel them to take it to the Lord though prayer. I truly believe and know without a doubt that the Lord answers all of our prayers and that he loves us and wants us to be happy. He will help us if we have faith and we will receive blessings. I have already seen it in my mission with Spanish and although I don't know very much, everything I do know came from the help of the Lord. I love you all and love to hear from you! Hope all is going well there!

Con Amor,
Elder Creer

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It was deciding to bring a tie and saving a big bag of candy...

Hola Familia!

Well to start things off, thanks for the package! I needed that stuff, especially the candy haha!

Mom, glad to hear of your challenge to read the Book of Mormon, I will read it with you in any free time that I have. It's cool how the Spirit is always with you when you read that book, huh? Speaking of the Sprit, we have two Elders that left early this morning to go to the Peru MTC, Elder Jensen and Elder Stembridge. Elder Jensen is the super humble and happy kid who loves candy and Elder Stembridge is the one I told you about who played football at Snow College. We got up at 4:15 this morning to say goodbye to them which was kinda sad because I really liked them and I only got to know them for 3 weeks. We became pretty good friends and now they are leaving. Anyways, remember that blue paisley tie that I have had for years that I got for a dance or something?  I wasn't even planning on bringing it on my mission but when I was packing I had a feeling that I should bring it which I didn’t understand because I wasn't even planning on wearing it. Nevertheless, I wore it one day here and Elder Stembridge loved it but I didn’t think anything of it.

And also mom, that huge bag of Mike and Ikes that you sent me-- when I opened the package and saw it, I wanted to open it right away to have some. But when I was going to open it I had a thought that I shouldn't but rather save it for later. Yesterday when Elder Jensen and Elder Stembridge were all packed up I had the prompting that I should send them a package to the Peru MTC where they are headed today. I know that there is a chance that someone will go through the mail in Peru (and take these things) but I felt like I should send it anyways. I also felt that I should write a note on the back of that blue paisley tie to Elder Stembridge. (I wasn't even planning on bringing it.) No doubt I had the prompting back home in my room to pack that tie so that I could send it to Elder Stembridge. For Elder Jensen, that huge bag of Mike and Ikes: even though I love them and wanted to rip the bag open or save them, Elder Jensen probably loves them more since he loves candy more than anything and I am sure he will appreciate them more than I will when he is in Peru. No doubt the thought not to eat them but to save them for an unknown reason at the time, was so that I could send them to Elder Jensen which might brighten his day if he is struggling or something.

This was a reminder to me that we don’t necessarily always understand promptings from the Spirit. In this case, it was deciding to bring a tie and saving a big bag of candy.

Even though the promptings we receive at the time may seem small or insignificant, the Lord has a plan and it is our job to be an instrument in His hand and follow the promptings we receive. I'm going to miss those two Elders, they were great friends and examples.

I also got to see Matt and Spencer this week. They both got here last Wednesday and are doing great. In case you forgot Matt is serving his mission in the Philippines and Spencer is serving his in Germany. It was cool seeing some old college buddies. Would’ve been nice having them there at college last semester!

As for the gym time, the gym is still closed so no ball, NO BUENO! Our district decided to take up volleyball instead. The teams are always the same: ME, Elder Black, Elder Lowry, Elder Jensen, Elder Caulder VS Elder Stembridge, Elder Heaton, Elder Blakley, Elder Rockhill and Elder Shuster. They are always fun games and our district is definitely growing together. It's truly a blessing to be with these guys. The Lord has humbled me a little bit since we have been playing volleyball too. I will play super good one day and have a ton of spikes and what not then I think I am good. J Then, the next day I will play absolutely terrible! haha Obviously I need to work on humility.

The Spanish...umm well it is getting really hard for me. It's like I hit a brick wall almost. The people we teach keep speaking faster and faster and I am struggling to understand what they are saying which makes it hard to respond to them. It gets really frustrating because they will ask a question or something and I won't know what they are saying so I just sit there with a blank face trying to think of something to say. And when I do understand in Spanish I usually know exactly what I want to say in English but it is just not completely there in Spanish yet. I know that the Lord will help me learn it as I have faith and am exactly obedient and I am grateful for all of your prayers.

Well that is all I got this week so I hope everything is going well there.

Con Amor,

Elder Creer

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It Reminded Me of the Movie- Sandlot

Hola Famila!

This week went by really fast. Everyone keeps calling me Elder Believe. The food is not all that bad here so that is a relief. The Spanish is coming slowly, but its coming. Thanks Mom for the note with the scripture (Ether 12:27) talking about how the Lord will make weak things become strong. For me, my weakness is Spanish for sure- can't wait for that to be a strength!

Elder Shuster and I had our first "TRC" training last Friday where they bring in an investigator from outside the MTC who could actually be an investigator or just a member, we don't know. We get to teach English for the first 4 weeks for the TRC people. It went really smooth teaching in English compared to when we teach our teachers in Spanish. I can't wait until Spanish feels like that! It was amazing to see the Spirit guide the lesson and be the one teaching because I know that the words I was saying weren't coming from me. When we teach our teachers in Spanish, it gets frustrating sometimes because I know what I want to say in English but the words just aren't there yet in Spanish.

Basketball is going good too, we get to play 3 on 3 for 50 minutes every day except for P-day (preparation day) and Sunday. P-days mostly consist of doing laundry, writing letters, going to the temple and personal study time. But the temple is closed for the next few weeks for cleaning as well as the gym; so that is a major bummer!

On Saturday there was a 4th of July celebration even though it was only the 2nd. Haha. We got to go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks so that was pretty cool. It reminded me of the Sandlot, (remember that part Bry?) There was also a hot air balloon event. (I think that we went to it once a long time ago, didn't we?) One of the balloons tried to like land on the roof of one of the MTC buildings and there was security people everywhere haha it was funny.

We had some pretty good devotionals this week too. The best one was by Dallin H. Oaks' daughter. She was an amazing musician and she would be telling her story and then every time that she made a spiritual point she would play a hymn that related to it. It was really spiritual and awesome!

The was an Elder in our district who was struggling a little bit this week so we all decided to write letters to him. I felt inspired to write him my testimony and share the experience about my tumor with him. I don't know why I felt that way but I hope it will help him!

My companion also shared an experience that was impactful. He was telling us about when he converted a little over a year ago he had much persecution from his family and friends but he knew that the church was true so he stayed strong. He ended up baptizing his little brother. His brother didn't want anything to do with serving a mission. Elder Shuster wanted to wait to go on his mission so that he could work with his brother a little bit and try and help him gain a desire to serve. It didn't work out and Elder Shuster pursued his mission while his younger brother was still at home. He just got a letter yesterday with word that his brother decided to go on a mission. He has been called to serve in Mexico. Elder Shuster was so happy and I could see the joy that was on his face. His brother said that he always looked up to him and saw how the gospel changed his life.

This is just a reminder to me of how people are always watching us. Especially now that I am on a mission people will be watching me more than ever and it is so important that I am doing everything I can to make sure I am representing Christ.

Thanks for all your support and I hope all is going well there! I am missing our candy machine just a wee bit so do you think you can throw in some of the M&M's or something when you send me more of my old t-shirts? Haha thanks!

Con Amor,
Elder Creer