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, March 25, 2013

I was going to stay as long as possible...

Hola Familia!
This past week was definitely a rough one. But something that I have learned since I have been out here is that no matter what happens we will never suffer more than Christ. Like it says in D&C 122:8...are we greater than Christ? The answer for me and for everyone else is - no! No matter what happens to us and no matter what people say about us, do to us or anything else we need to follow Christ's example and suffer it like it talks about in 1 Nephi 19:9.  It is definitely hard, but Creers do hard things right? 
We are still helping our investigator prepare to get baptized and she is doing great. She is already a better missionary that 75% of her ward. We had ward visits this past week and she isn't a member but wanted to come.  She was at the door with some of the members and then she decided she would do her best and tell him what she knew. So someone who has only believed in God for the past two weeks bore her testimony and now we have a new investigator. Hats off to her for sure!  A lot of the members were surprised but she was not at all. She understands the Spirit and what that meant when she felt it so it was easy for her to help someone else feel that same exact thing and now because she was willing to show her faith and just open her mouth she was able to be a great missionary. Kind of exciting to see your investigator doing stuff like that huh! 
All in all the work is going good.  To answer your question my release date is July 2nd. It got pushed back because of the mission changes and President asked if I wanted to leave at the end of May instead but I told him I was going to stay as long as possible so that is why I am going home in July :)...
Hope all is going well there!!

Siempre crean,
Elder Creer

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"The words I’m spittin’, I mean speakin’, are true"...

Hola Famila!
Cool to see the pics of Bry in the MTC.  I think that it is cool that he's only going to be in there for 6 weeks and then head out to the field.  He will be able to learn way more once he is in the field.  He probably won't go straight to Argentina though because process for the Visa to go through takes forever so I bet he goes stateside for a little bit before he heads out there. We have 6 visa waiters right now that are eventually headed off to Argentina and we just had a few get their visas and it took 6 months!! I guess we will have to wait and see what happens to Bry. 
Things here are going well.  We found a new investigator.  She was raised up Buddhist so when we met her she really didn't have a Belief in God so we were able to start from phase 1 again.  In 2 lessons she went from not knowing who God was to wanting to be baptized because she knows that is how she is going to have access to the Atonement.  Crazy how someone can change that much in just a week, gotta love it!  She will be getting baptized on March 30th right before conference.  Speaking of conference is there any way you can hook me up with some conference tickets? We are trying to take a lot of our recent converts, investigators and less actives and I don't think we will be getting hardly any this time. Maybe you could ask all the extended family to ask their Stake Presidents for some please haha :) but seriously..
We were able to watch the YSA devotional last night by Elder Bednar that was broadcasted for all of the YSA people.  It was really good and he was talking a lot about how we need to not focus on just surviving but not shrinking. It's so true because the moment we start to shrink our testimonies will become weaker because Satan will be able to have more power over us. I have definitely seen that out here on the mission.  No matter what happens we cannot let ourselves get discouraged or frustrated because those feelings don't come from God.  If we are strong and don't shrink then we will be able to have the faith to put our trust in the Lord and accept his will whatever that may be. We brought a less active and a recent convert to the Devo and they both liked it a lot.  
I can't remember if I already told you but we are teaching two rappers right now. One asked if we were allowed to listen to rap music on our missions and we told him "no".
So he said "Okay, I will just rap for you.".haha So then he went and got his laptop and put on a beat that his professional producer gave him and he rapped to us about how to Rely on the Lord.  It was legit haha. He hasn't been to church in 10-15 years and he has come twice now recently so it has been cool to see him progress.  He got up and bore his testimony yesterday and in the middle he was like "I know the words I’m spittin’, I mean speakin’, are true" lol gotta love it. We took him to another lesson at Temple Square this week and it was super spiritual. Roger came too and had a really good time.

Siempre Crean,
Elder Creer

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"...not knowing beforehand the things which I should do..."

Hola Famila!

So here are the details on the leg. It is still swollen a little bit and I can't play ball yet.  I only have PT once a week.  I have a doctor’s appt Wednesday with Doctor Cooley so we will see what happens with that.  I don't know how much longer I will be out from ball but I haven't played since mid November! It sucks! I can kinda shoot around on it but it's kinda on one leg so I bet that it isn't too good to do. I haven't had much time to do rehab other ways because of how busy we are, I don't think you understand haha.  We get up and then most days we have to go to the office first thing so we can do our things before the Brickeys get there and then after that we have lessons and other things to do all day and then we get home and plan and then it's bedtime so it's getting super tiring. Transfers are tomorrow so we worked on them last night and have been doing them all morning and then tonight from like 6 till midnight we will be in the office again getting everything ready for tomorrow.  I am still going to be an AP so I will be in this area for another 6 weeks which will make it 9 months in total. I think it will be kind of weird to leave this area since I have been here so long.  I hope my Spanish isn't terrible either because I haven't got much practice at all.
Things are going pretty good here.  My comp is super funny.  We are 100% completely different though.    We are super different in a lot of ways but we are getting along good so that's been nice.
Our mission President called us this past week and said that Elder Vanegas would be serving temporarily with another Elder in his area because his companion got his visa and that I would be staying in YSA so I would need to find companions to go with.  So this past Friday Roger came with me and we had a Temple Square lesson.  We watched the God's Plan video and I can't remember what all I have told you about it but pretty much what happens is there are 6 different rooms that you go into and in each room there is a little video segment about a family and it talks about how the family is going through life and then one of the family members dies and then they are comforted because of the plan of salvation knowing they can all live with them again someday because of the special blessings of temples. But the Spirit was super strong. We had a less active that we were teaching and he hasn't been to church in a few years.  He grew up in the church and everything and even went to seminary but he said he never really had a testimony of his own and that he just always went because his mom made him go.  The Spirit was so strong and said he was feeling weaker and weaker so it was kind of like the Spirit was overtaking him. He had an amazing experience and so did Roger and I. 
 I had another unique experience this week.   It is like what Nephi said, "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." I think that is probably the biggest lesson I have learned thus far on my mission is the blessing of having the companionship of the Holy Ghost with me at all times. When I look back on my mission it is just crazy to think of the things that would have happened if I wasn't being obedient. All of the miracles that I have seen would have been absent.  When we are 100% obedient and are striving to follow the Savior then that allows us to be worthy of the Spirit. Some people might think that since it's only small things they aren't keeping they can still have the Spirit but it doesn't work like that. The second that we THINK of something that is against God's will or commandments then the Spirit immediately starts to withdraw.  Having the gift of the Spirit is a blessing not a right- so I’m glad and blessed to have the knowledge of how to keep that blessing with me because I know that it will only help me out for the rest of my life!

Hope all is going well there!
Siempre Crean,

Elder Creer

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why is my leg swollen like an elephant...

Hola Familia!
So here's what I wrote in my journal about the full story of my leg.
So I had known for awhile now that Elder Holland was going to come to the mission, probably for about a month and we weren't able to tell anyone.  Prior to that, I was told that I would be getting surgery for my meniscus and possibly my ACL as well and there was a big chance that I would be going home.   Much of it was depending on if my ACL was torn or not - that would largely determine whether or not I would be allowed to stay on my mission.  I received a blessing from my Mission President before going in for the MRI's for my leg. It said that in time my leg would be fully healed.  When we got the results from the MRI they said that my ACL was fine now and they would not have to do anything with it.  My meniscus however, was still torn and the doctor said that I would need surgery.  Surgery was scheduled for Jan 15th. One morning I had the thought come to me to ask Elder Holland for a blessing to heal my leg completely, when the thought came to me I felt the Spirit super strong that I needed to ask him for a blessing. That morning for personal study I studied the Apostles ability to heal. I found some scriptures and a quote from Elder Holland in the edition of the Ensign from the last General Conference. This is what I found:
1. Matthew 4:23 -And Jesus went about all Galileeteaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (So obviously Christ could heal all manner of sickness and I considered my leg to be a manner of sickness -)
2. Matthew 10:1 - 1 And when he had acalled unto him his btwelve disciples, he gave them cpower against dunclean spirits, to cast them out, and toeheal all manner of fsickness and all manner of disease. (And he gave that power to the 12 apostles back in the day)
3. Here is the quote from conference "I testify from the bottom of my heart, with the intensity of my soul, to all who can hear my voice that those apostolic keys have been restored to the earth.  And are found in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." (So this obviously means that he has that same power to heal as the apostles of old did. Which means if I ask him for a blessing he would be able to heal my leg right?)
4. Moroni 7:27, 29, 35, 36, 37 -

27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have amiracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to bclaim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have aangels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
 35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with apower and great glory at the last bday, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he awithheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that amiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of bunbelief, and all is vain.

So I knew that miracles still happened as long as we had sufficient faith.  Knowing faith is a verb.  I wanted to make sure I was showing the Lord that I had unwavering faith.  I fasted for a miracle.
After studying these scriptures I knew without a doubt that Elder Holland could heal my leg.  I tried talking with my Mission President to see how I would be able to go about asking an Apostle for a blessing (not something I'm experienced at haha).  He told me that I probably should just rely on the faith of my previous blessing.  3 days before Elder Holland came I asked him a second time if I could ask him for a blessing.  Again I was told it probably wasn't the best idea.  I knew that I wanted to ask him still so the next few days before he came I decided to try and plan out how I was going to ask him.  I knew I had felt the Spirit and I knew I was going to get a blessing from him.

So- Fast forward to the day when he was coming.  After much time thinking and planning for how I was going to get a 1 on 1 with him so I could ask the question- I had nothing.  I wanted to ask him for a blessing but I also did not want to go against my Mission President so I kind of came to a fork in the road.  I decided just to pray and in my prayer I told God I wanted a blessing from Elder Holland and didn't want to go against my Mission President’s counsel.  I asked if He (God) could please inspire Elder Holland to know that I needed a blessing for my leg so that I could be healed.  A few minutes after I had said the prayer Elder Holland entered the room and the Spirit filled the entire place.  There was no question that he was a special person..I guess that's why they call them "Special Witnesses of Christ".  Something cool I also found in the bible dictionary was that an Apostle is someone who is a witness of the divinity of the resurrected body of the Savior, so they actually see Christ.  So here we were in the chapel with someone who actually has seen and probably talked with the Savior, crazy huh!  My Mission President informed us that we would all have the opportunity to shake Elder Holland’s hand.  I purposely place myself in the very back of the line so that I could be the last one to shake his hand haha. As the line got shorter and shorter and as I got closer to Elder Holland I wondering what was going to happen so that he would know that I needed a blessing. As I shook his hand and stared into his eyes, I could just feel the Spirit super strong and he looked into my eyes and said, "Thanks for serving" we then headed back up to our seats on the stand.  It was kind of nuts because normally when you sit on the stand it's no biggie right, like for Dad he just looks to the side and it's Bishop haha.  When I looked to the side I was staring at Elder Holland, ahh haha.  I was the man in charge of moving the mike up and down and so when Elder Holland got up and started speaking,  we were only a few feet apart and the Spirit radiated from him like crazy. The first thing he said when he was up there was that he personally interviewed each one of us when he shook our hands and looked into our eyes. When he said that I was like “oh sweet that is exactly what I was trying to think about doing for the past 3 days!”  He gave a super good talk and the whole time the Spirit was there from my toes to my head and there was no denying that whatever he was saying was true.  At the end of his talk he paused, and he said that he felt impressed that he needed to give some of us a blessing as if he were laying his hands upon our heads to heal us.  As soon as the words left his mouth the Spirit came over me again even stronger and my leg caught fire and my companion just turned and said, "Did you hear what he said?" and I was like "uh yeah of course- "

So then we left and as we were sitting in the office some of the other missionaries who knew that I was headed in for surgery in a few weeks asked me how I was doing and to the first one I said “not too good”  and that I was going to have to have surgery and then I thought “where the heck is my faith?”  If he just gave me a blessing to heal me then obviously I am going to be healed but I have to have enough faith for that to happen. Then for every other missionary who asked me how my leg was doing that day I just told them that it was doing great because Elder Holland had just healed it! So fast forward now to surgery day. The whole past week I am just wondering what it was going to feel like when the Surgeon went in for surgery and there was nothing wrong because BAM it had already been healed!

So fast forward to after surgery... I was staying at a senior couple’s home of our mission and it was great.  After a few days I think I called my mom and she was saying how the Doctor had called her and was telling her that when he went in for surgery the Meniscus was already healed and nothing was wrong with it.  Obviously hearing this I knew why --(blessings from Apostles really do work, it's like the church is true or something) then my next thought was “then why  is my leg swollen like an elephant?” haha. It was great to hear that I will be able to play sports again here soon in the future and not have any long term damage done. It truly goes to show ya that miracles still do happen in our day, as long as we have faith! I have no doubt that Elder Holland is an Apostle of God and that he holds the priesthood of God and because of that I know without a doubt that this is the true church of God!!
Hope you all know that you have the greatest blessing any person could ever have, to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ! Remember Always Believe!
Love ya,
Siempre Crean,
Elder Creer