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.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making paper airplanes out of crossword puzzles...

Hola Familia!
So things here are picking up a little bit regarding the work. We are working with a new girl right now.   She isn't a member of the church but has been going to church for the last few weeks now in one of the Family wards.  The first lesson she brought us chocolate chip cookies haha. She is super outgoing and this past Sunday in the Singles Ward -which was her first time there- she just started introducing herself to everyone and her and our recent convert hit it off and exchanged numbers and afterward she said, "I already got a friend!" And I said "psh, congrats...She and I were already friends so beat ya to it" and she said "okay it's on" haha And then she just went and started talking to everyone and inviting them to the Temple Square lesson we have with her this Saturday so I think she is going to fit in just great.  When she was introducing herself to everyone they kept asking if she was a member and she just kept saying "not yet", which is good because she knows she is going to get baptized sometime. Her family is all Catholic.  I called up a previous investigator who Elder McNees and I taught and she got baptized.  She had the same situation and so her and her other friend who was in our YSA wards -when we  used to cover them all -are going to come with us to the lesson at Temple Square this weekend to bear testimony about doing the right thing even if it might seem like we are alone.  I was thinking about watching the Mormon message DVD "Dare to Stand Alone" about when President Thomas S. Monson was in the Navy.
We have a lot of other people that we are working with right now too so that is a big blessing. 
So I have surgery tomorrow.  I still don't know what time it is going to be at. They said that they were going to call me here within the next couple hours to let me know what is happening.  But I am going to be going down to Park City for the surgery.  Then from Tuesday until I will recover I will be staying with one of the Senior Couples named the Andersons. I have been taking a YSA member's little brother with me on splits and stuff like Williams used to do and we have a lot in common so it's pretty fun. He's only 17 and turns 18 in the summer so he's getting ready for a mission.  He is going to keep me company sometimes since he is in the Anderson's home ward so I don't get bored making paper airplanes out of crossword puzzles that I won't even try to start doing for fear of boredom haha.  He's super strong in the church and is on the seminary council and everything. It should be a fun time!  I don't know if I am going to be able to call you or what so I guess we will wait and see. 

Well that is pretty much the update here! Hope all is going well there and I sent another package of missionary stuff to Bry and then realized I forgot some stuff so I will send another today too. Love ya!

Siempre Cree,
Elder Creer

Monday, January 7, 2013

Change someone's heart in just 20 minutes...

Hola Famila!
Can't write much today..  Surgery is next Tuesday so just a week away. I guess I’ll just keep ya updated on what happens with it. 
We had a super cool experience yesterday!  We were teaching this girl who graduated last year awhile ago and she started to progress slowly but then just disappeared and hasn't been coming to church or meeting with us at all.  We had been trying to get a hold of her but she hadn't been texting back or anything so one of the YSA girls got a hold of her and started asking her how she was feeling about the church and stuff and apparently she didn't feel good about it at all and just didn't want to let us down so she was trying to avoid us.  During the lesson she had some brief concerns that came out but the Spirit was letting us know that there was something bigger that she needed to be resolved.  It finally came out that she did not know for sure if God was even there.  She couldn't ever recall a prayer being answered or ever feeling God's love.  I remembered one of my first investigators had the same concern and the only way that we could help him know for himself if God was really there was for him to ask God himself.  As long as we ask a specific question, we will receive a specific answer.  We asked this girl if she had a desire to really know if God was there, she said “yes”.  We asked her if she had studied it out in her mind, she said she had.  Then we flipped to D&C 9:8 and we read that to her and helped her have the faith to know that because she had done her part, all she had to do now was to ask God and he would give her a special feeling to let her know if he was there. So then we read her the song "A Child's Prayer" and assured her that her Heavenly Father would answer her prayer.  We all knelt and prayed and she began to tear up and she just looked up and said, "He's there" and we asked her how she knew and she said "I can feel it" it was a pretty cool experience and it changed her forever. We later found out that she had been planning on telling us during that lesson that she didn't want to meet with us anymore and that she wasn't interested in the church.  Crazy how the Spirit can change someone's heart like that in just 20 minutes.  Now she is super stoked for the next lesson and we will just go from here! 
Siempre Cree,
Elder Creer

A Child's Prayer

1. Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

2. Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.

Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry, b. 1938
© 1984 by Janice Kapp Perry.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Spanish Ward with Elder Shuster!!

Hola Familia!

So for this past week I have been companions with Elder Shuster (my companion in the MTC)!!!  We had two visa waiters that got their visas way earlier than expected and so randomly they just left last Thursday.  We didn't have any other missionaries that could take their spots which left Elder Shuster and one other missionary companion-less. So President Swain told Elder Dreiling that he would be leaving and going with this other missionary who was doing some online proselyting and then he told me to cover the YSA and then the Spanish Ward with Elder Shuster!!  So we have been doing that for a while now and it is awesome!!  It is super hard to try and work two different areas but it has been a blast!  It was amazing to start eating the Mexican dinners again and I remember why I gained so much weight at the beginning of my mission! This is only going to last until this Friday and then we will be getting more visa waiters so I will be going back to serving with Elder Dreiling.  
Surgery on my knee will be January 15th...in Park City!  I am not too sure of how that is going to work still exactly but I guess we will find out. President says that he will not be able to go with me because he has interviews that day so I don't really know how it is all going to go down.
Other good news is our newest convert is is thinking about serving a mission! So exciting!

Well I hope all is going well there, I didn't have a lot of time to email today so I am going to have to make this one short!
Love ya!

Siempre Cree,
Elder Creer

I went back to try and sweet talk the lady...

Hola Famila!

So we didn't have time to email yesterday because we had our mission Christmas party all day and then we did missionary work at night so we are just emailing right now.  Sunday night was a super late night!!  Elder Dreilng and I have been working on a Christmas present for President and Sister Swain for like the last 4 weeks.  We have been getting every missionary's testimony of the Savior and also a picture of them in a Santa hat.  So Saturday night after working we came back into the office and we typed for like an hour and went home and went to bed... Then Sunday night we enlisted the help of a couple of zone leaders who knew we were working on it and volunteered to help.  Then the only thing we were missing was to print off all of the missionary's pictures including the senior couples and then glue them on the papers that had their testimonies on it, then put them in protective cases and finally into the binder!  So we had about 7 pictures left that we had to go and take of missionaries and then more than 100 more to go and print off at Wal-Mart so we could finish the project before 12:30 which is when the party started. We went back to Wal-Mart to pick up the pictures we had ordered.  We got there at like 8:30 and the lady that was setting up the photo thing told us that her machine was way behind and she was still trying to print off pictures that people had ordered the day before! So we tried to talk to her and she just got frustrated with us and said that our pictures weren’t going to be done for at least 3 hours, which would be around 12 o’clock.  So we just left and went to Ihop for breakfast.  While we were waiting for our food to come, I went with one of the Elders back into Wal-Mart to try and sweet talk the lady into giving us first priority on our pictures. ...To make a long story short we had the pics within 5 minutes and we headed back to Ihop.  Right when we got there, the food did too, perfect timing I know.  And we ate really fast and then headed to the church to finish working on the project.  We finished working on the project at 12:00 exactly.   

So for the first part of the Christmas party we broke off into groups of 12 and we were given like 6 props and we were given 30 mins to try and prepare a skit.  Elder Shuster's group was ridiculous and was easily the crowd favorite. Then we watched a DVD that my comp and I made of the West mission year in review.  It was a DVD of different pictures of the missionary’s with music in the background.  After that I took the mike and called up President and Sister Swain, cracked a few jokes to keep the crowd pleased and then presented them with their gift. They both loved it and Sister Swain couldn't believe we did it and was super grateful...So then we had a dinner with the whole mission and went home. That is pretty much the latest here! 
Hope all is going good there.  Love ya!
Siempre crean,
Elder Creer

Two steps forward into the fog...

Hola Familia!
So just got off the phone with the M.R.I. people and I am scheduled to have one on Thursday morning to see what's up with my ACL.  So I will call ya after that, Sister Swain already gave me permission to call haha...Apparently we aren't supposed to call anyone out of state with our phones unless their families have sprint, even for stuff like this..So last time I got the green light to call and then dialed right away not seeing the text that followed from Sister Swain about finding someone with AT&T haha..So I will see what I can do to find someone.  I know the Brickey's do and President does so hopefully they’ll be around, if not there are tons of YSA kids that have it so that won't be a problem at all.

Anyways, things here are going good.  I am trying not to think about my knee but it is kind of hard sometimes obviously.  There are times during the day when I just wanna punch a hole in the wall because it hurts and stuff.   More than anything it is a test of faith- I feel like. Obviously I hate unknowns, I have no clue what is going to happen with my knee and so sometimes if you let it get to you it can stress you out.  It feels like a lot of times in life we all have different challenges and things that are there to help us increase our faith.  We usually can only take one or two steps forward into the fog, not knowing what lies ahead.  Each step we take will reveal the path a little farther ahead so it's like the scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:7  "(We walk by faith, not by sight:)" If you think about it, it's so true. Something that one of the YSA kids told me is "How rewarding is it if we know?" meaning if we knew the reason behind our trials or whatever then how would that be rewarding.  It takes that extra leap of faith to trust in the Lord during that trial or experience we are having even when we don't know the reason why it is happening or what else will happen in the future. If we have that "Perfect Knowledge" then there is no reason for faith, so that is why so often in life we don't know...because then it requires faith. If you also notice the little smiley face after the word "sight" it gives the biggest clue of what we need to do to be able to walk by faith not knowing what is ahead.  We need to be happy.  It is completely a choice whether or not we are happy and the best way to assure that we are happy is if we are focusing on the most important things, the spiritual things. Like the scriptures say "Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal" obviously stands for smile! So that is going to be something I am going work on myself. Understanding that we won't always know the reasons behind our trials or the future that lies ahead but we need just choose to happy.  There is a Mormon Message that is titled "Come what may and love it" so that is what I just need to do!

We had another baptism this past Saturday for a YSA.  She cracks me up! ..But so for her baptism she had a list of things that she wanted to be done... here's the list: Flowers, Her picture on the program, a crown, and she wanted to be picked up in a red corvette...so here is what we did.  We went to the store and looked for a little red hot wheels corvette and had absolutely no luck, but on the other hand they did have a red Ferrari hot wheels car so we shot her a quick text and asked her if it would be okay if she was picked up with a red Ferrari instead of a corvette and she easily agreed (plan was to have some fellow YSA girls pick her up in their car "with" the Ferrari as well haha, creative huh?  Then we took pictures of her so that we could put it on the program.  And then we went to another store to try and find a crown...we didn't really have any luck, it's probably a good thing that we didn't know where they were at or else that would probably be a little weird, no? So I had to man up and ask the store worker where all his crowns were located at in the store and obviously had to explain myself, he happened to be a returned missionary so he got a kick out of it.  Then the morning of the baptism we went to the store and being the great flower picker outer that I am , I waltzed my way to all the flowers and picked out some pretty legit colorful ones and then bought a vase. So apparently she was doubting that we would come through with all of this but needless to say she was pleasantly surprised.  She got a kick out of the Ferrari and the crown. She loved the program, and then the flowers...oh did we get comments about those! everyone was like, "Elders, did you really pick those out?"  Anyways she absolutely loved it all and said it was the best day ever! I think it was worth the effort right? 

Little small acts of service we do each day can make people just as happy as this girl was at her baptism. 

We never know who is going through a hard time and who just needs to be smiled at or lifted up.  It's something that we should try and do each day,- help someone in need!  We need to ask ourselves the question from that one song that says "Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need?"  As we ask ourselves that same question each day then we know that we are setting ourselves up to be the instrument that God wants and needs us to be.  That is something that I have definitely seen out here on the mission.  When we are doing what we are supposed to and looking for those small simple service opportunities the Lord always blesses us with them.  It is a righteous desire so God promises us that we will be granted it.  So keep praying for those opportunities and you will be able to help those that are really in need!
Well I hope all is going well for you guys there.  It is absolutely freezing here and snowing right now...I miss the beach ha...and keep looking for the service opportunities with a smile on your face!
Love Ya!

Siempre Crean,
Elder Creer