Monday, July 23, 2012

Elder Cramer scripture study and reflection

July 23, 2012 Letter to Family and Friends

Hey family and friends!

Well week three is just about over on the field and wooo it is so funny when it comes to the language because some people here basically can not understand a word i am saying but then others are amazed that i can say and understand so much already. I feel like i do it but if i do not focus and watch their mouths when talking i dont pick up anything. It really takes a ton of effort to understand like you said. My companion can understand me and i can understand him because his ecuador spanish is so much more pure. The people here mumble and slur words together like it is their job! But i continue to try my hardest. Once and a while i get down in the dumps when nobody can understand me but i try to stay focused and just say jokes in spanish with my companion and it is all better afterwards. My trainer is amazing and i am grateful for him. He loves english music but sometimes he doesnt know what the lyrics mean. I am teaching him english and he is teaching me spanish. But this week was kind of rough because we had 4 families lined up to come to church with rides from members of the church but all the members couldnt do it for some reason or another so that ruined alot of plans for this sunday. But a little 11 year old boy came which we werent expecting. It just comes to show me that the power of the youth or the power of testimonies is not always in adults. The young children can have tons of faith as well

Also during church i had an answer to my prayers and it just hit me. With all of my challenges or desafios in spanish, i need to look at them like they are a blessing like Ammon did in the scriptures when the robbers were coming for the king's sheep. His heart rejoiced in obstacles because it gave an opportunity to display his love for God and show his faith. I am going to try and display my love and faith for god this week by not getting down on myself if nobody in the world can understand me. Everyone can understand the language of the spirit and that is the goal i need to strive for. If i am obedient and do all that is asked of me the Lord is bound to give me blessings. From this point on we can no longer know doors or talk to people in the street solo en familias de miembros y no podemos ensenar personas sin un miembro tambien. Oh, woops. We need members for lessons now and stuff because it is our responsibility to teach and the members to give referals. This is a great way to have the members and us work together for one common goal of bringing the souls of people to god. This is a huge task to do though because alot of the members here are incredible strong in the church but about half of them do not go or are just incredibly lazy. Our job is to motivate them to want to help us basically. With spiritual thoughts and always offer our service. 

One thing i really love here is that maybe i cannot express myself every way i want to but i can serve like no other and i can demonstrate that i am happy with the gospel in my life. That says more than words many a times. Anyways i love all of you and i am happy that i have such a loving family and friends to always support me with whatever i need. I pray for tons of people everynight and morn. Vive en Mexico! 

You can send all cards and packages to the mission home.

And thanks for the advice dad. I really take all of your experiences to heart because you are my example :) 

Love Elder Cramer

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Elder Cramer's Mission President and Wife - President FLores

David and Claudia Flores
David Flores Villaseñor, 44, and Claudia Vázquez Martínez, four children, Mexico Torreon Mission; Gaviotas Ward, Coatzacoalcos Mexico Puerto Stake. Brother Flores serves as stake president and is a former counselor in the Mexico Veracruz Mission, stake Young Men president, bishop, counselor in a bishopric and missionary in the Mexico Torreon Mission. Regional coordinator of seminaries and institutes. Born in Mexico City, Mexico, to Ricardo Flores Corral and Alicia Villaseñor Villalón.
Sister Flores serves as a visiting teaching supervisor and is a former stake Young Women president, Sunday School teacher, Relief Society teacher, Primary teacher, seminary teacher and missionary in the Mexico Veracruz Mission. Born in Mexico City, Mexico, to José Antonio Vásquez Romero and Enriqueta Martínez Chávez.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Snippet of the Mission so far....

July 16, 2012 Letter to Family & Friends

Hey Family and Friends,

Loving it here in Guadiana, Durango. It is indeed another state because our mission consists of 3 different states apparently! It rains here at least once everyday which i really like because it feels really good, but it also makes things really muddy at times. But honestly nothing feels better than serving God in the rain because you feel like nothing can stop you. I am getting used to walking everywhere. I probably lost nearly all the weight i gained in the MTC already which is really good. But right now we have a really promising investigator named Margarita and her family is mostly mormon but she is not so we have been teaching her and she went to the church this last sunday and all is going well so far! We did have Emanuel as an investigator and i think he had faith in christ but his parents basically yelled at us saying they are catholics and nothing will change and the fact that Emanuel was doing some bad things like selling drugs we are not wasting our time with that! Hopefully he finds the need to chagne his life somewhere along the line. Mexico is really amazing and i love the people. Some people here, literally have nothing. We taught a recent convert to get referals and she did not have any furniture so she took a bucket and we sat on a plank of wood ontop of the bucket. But this lady was incredibly happy and that is what i love about it here. Some people can have close to  nothing and they are perfectly content with that and their believes. Our bishop is really cool. They have a strong family as well. My companion and i make alot of jokes whle walking everywhere because i am starting to get better at speaking a little bit. At least i can pick up about half of the things people say now but usually that is enough to get the general point across. My companion and i have high hopes for this up coming week. We helped a young man named Hafith become re-activated. He is way cool and i like him the most because he can speak english. But he has been going to many lessons with us and i hope he goes on a mission. I am really pushing him to go on one. There should have been like 3 pictures on my last email and i am sending 3 more right now. Every morning when i wake up my neighbors have like a pet rooster or something and it just goes nuts lol. I am used to it now but the first week i was going crazy! My district is really cool and we had a really great lesson yesterday. I think it is cool to see other gringos like me after like 18 months of their mission because i can see how much god has worked on them and they are really fantastic people. My faith is growing each and everyday and i am striving to be perfectly obedient. Obedience brings good things, Perfect Obedience brings Miracles.

Mom i will keep that in mind with the money stuff. I dont want to use a ton. I just had to use some because Migration took alot of money to get some kind of Identification thing and i like to have food so i needed some haha. But I love ya mom and i am safe :)

Debbie/Kenny thanks so much for the jumprope i use it every morning and i am keeping your fam in my prayers constantly

Ness/Curt, I think that answered most of your questions as well :) We will all be in different countries soon enough\

Siblings, read the book of mormon, it owns haha

Until next week i love you all and i want to make all of you proud :) 

Elder Cramer

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 9, 2012 First Week in Mexico - To Family/Friends

Hola Family y amigos!
This is my first week in mexico and i will tell you it has been alot different than i pictured haha. there are so many things that are different it is crazy! I arrived there and the first thing i see when i got off the plane was a man in an army suit with a rifle. I didnt know call of duty was in the job description. But after that right away we went through security and then we waited at the airport for like 2 hours because the president was late. We slept at the house of the assistants and i met alot of the people there. The next day i was given my first companion and his name is Elder Villacis. He is from Ecuador and he speaks so fast it is crazy. He has been a huge help to me so far though. There are so many things i want to say... we have 3 baptism dates right now but only one came to church which is not very good because when people go to church that basically makes or breaks them. Emanuel is his name and i actually teach him again today right after i do the laundry. But he is really cool and he lives in a really rough part of town where there is a lot of drugs and stuff. Oh my area is Guadiana, Durango. It is pretty downtown but i am not in the downtown area i am in the poorer area of it. There are so many people here and the thing i here most is "Yo Soy catolitico." But there are always tons of people who reject us, and i hardly understand anyone, and basically i can only bare my testimony in spanish when my companero stops talking, and alot of the time people in the streets just call me gringo and shout out naughty words haha. But despite all of that i have seen so many miracles already! 

The members here that are active are incredibly strong in the church and they are have really strong testimonies. Alot of the time people dont talk to me because they know i cannot understand much but each day i can tell more and more of what people are saying. I like talking to middle aged old people because they talk slower but not so rusty sounding that i cant understand them. I love the humilidy of alot of the people here. The houses of some of these people is crazy and is almost hard to see sometimes. There are dogs just running around like everywhere and alot of the people just throw garbage whereever they would like to. The other day we were tracting and it was raining real hard but i dont mind it is actually kind of fun and some lady apparently yelled at us that we are crazy and we will get sick. My companero laughed and said no we are not crazy we are dedicated to a wondedrful cause! 

There are many opportunies i have seen already to get discouraged though. Many plans fall through or you have to walk at least 10 miles a day just to have the person not even be there. Those can be tough but i just have to remind my self of what i am doing and why i am here. Each day will get better. Each day my testimony will grow in Christ. How can i expect others to become closer to christ if i myself am not. Anyways, Torreon mission is starting something new in the next few days. We are the first mission in the world that is stopping tracting all togehter and we can only teach if a member is present. This is my opinion is alot better because it forces the members and the missionaries to work together. If we do not get help from the members then they are not allowed to have missionaries and we have to leave. Our mission is setting an example for others so hopefully this new plan is successful! 

Family and friends i hope you are all doing wonderfully and i hope that everyone is enjopying their beautiful summer. Because i am enjoying mine here being the big red missionary that is taller than everyone else and cannot understand a thing haha. But the good always out weighs the bad i will admit that! My companion and i will continue to get better together. He is a short elder who has been on his mission for 10 months and he likes english so while he is teaching me spanish i am returning the favor for english. I can honestly say my spanish is just flying though. I hope i keep improving! I love you all and you are always in my prayers! Hooooorah for Israel :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5 2012 -Scott Moberg- MTC Teacher to Cramer Family

Jul 1 (4 days ago)

Bishop Cramer,

Pres. Monson has said that one of the greatest feelings one can have is when they follow a spiritual prompting and then find out later that it was an answer to someone's prayer. While working with your son I feel like he was able to help be the answer to a lot of my prayers. Working at the MTC has been one of the biggest blessings I've had since I've returned home from my mission and it's because of missionaries like your son. You and your wife can rightfully be proud of your son. He has developed into quite the determined and young missionary in his first 2 months. Through my experience in the mission field and teaching at the MTC I've learned that how a missionary embraces their purpose in the MTC directly reflects the rest of their service in the field. Elder Cramer is and will continue to be an excellent missionary who will touch the lives of many. From day 1 I saw a lot of myself in Elder Cramer and as I got to know him more and more I continued to see more connections with your son. His focus and desire to serve the Lord and others is amazing and his potential is just as extraordinary (as I'm sure you know).

I look forward to follow your son's progress in Mexico as he serves the very people that I myself grew to love as I served in Mexico as well. Thank you for your influence on Elder Cramer because that positive influence also has impacted my life. Thank you again and I hope to stay in contact with both you and your family for a long time to come!

Brother Scott Moberg

Monday, July 2, 2012

June 27, 2012 -  To the Family and Friends

Dear Family & Friends,

This is my last few days in the MTC. UI am leaving in 5 days and my companion already left for mexico on tuesday morning. So thatwas a real eye opener for me that it is right around the corner! Right now i am in a trio and i thought that your get along with your elder pills could not have come at a better time but so far being in a trio of elders is not that bad. But! I have to tell you all something. Yesterday we had a devotional but it was a little bit different because there were 200 new mission presidents here at the MTC for training because they just now got called to their missions. That meant that the apostles were present. So for the first time in my life i saw so many apostles were present and i saw them with my own eyes! Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks, Elder Anderson, Elder Perry, Elder Christofferson, Elder Elder Ballard, Elder Scott, Elder Cook, and Elder Nelson. It was fantastic and i couldn't believe i was in the presence of such spiritual giants! L. Tom Perry gave the devotional again but i was enough just to see and feel their spririts. Afterwards the 7 elders that are left in our district had a very personal 3 hour testimony meeting just sharing experiences and thoughts and doubts that we may have had about the church. It was really eye opening and i love my district family with all of my heart! Mexico is in 5 days and i am soooooooo stoked to help others come unto Christ but i am also so nervous as well because i don't want to mess up anyones salvation lol. It is kind of a big deal. But if there is anything that i have learned here at the MTC is that i need to rely on the Lord for everything. It is not through my own strength that i can overcome obstacles and challenges it is through the enabling powers of the atonement like bednar said in one of his talks i read. Also i watched the talk bednar gave in 2012 about the characters of Christ. I advise everyone who wants to become closer to the savior to watch and apply what he says to your life. It made me realize that many times in my life i am carnally thinking.. He compared it to the cookie monster that everything is about ME, COOKIE NOW, Mine. It is so single minded and that is not how god intended for us to be. He gave all the examples of Christ and the charity he has shown to everyone around him. Only through service and brining others unto the Fold can we really see and feel the love god has for us. Christ said to peter not once or twice but three times "Do you love me?" Peter responds "You know i love you" And then Christ replies "Then feed my sheep" That is so true that we can show how much we love christ and how much we love god by keeping his commandments and by showing him how we love him by taki9ng care of his fold. I know that this is how we can retain happiness in this life and i know that there is no way that this church is not the true and only true church of God. I love my family and i love that we can be together for all time and eternity. I can't wait to be married and sealed in the temple for all time and eternioty with my wife and i am glad i have such amazing parents for examples and that have shown me the way to eternal happiness. I hope i can show christ and god my love for them by the amount of hard work i do and by the sacrifice i give for just a small portion of my life. Please keep me in your prayers as my prayers are always directed toward you all. Love you with all of my heart and the next time you talk to me will be on the way to the promised land! (Mexico)

Love always,

Elder Cramer

June 20, 2012 - To Ryan Paul Cramer (little bro)

June 20, 2012

Dear Ryan Paul Cramer,

I just wanted to write to you and tell you how awesome the missionary life is.  Well it is a lot of hard work don’t get me wrong, but you faith in the church becomes much so much stronger. 

Ryan, I think the best part though is reading the Book of Mormon in personal study.  It may be a little hard to understand but you should have Mom or dad read with you a little bit each night.  Some of the stories are really cool.  I guarantee it is the best book you will ever read.  There is a prophet named Helaman and he led 2,000 warriors into battlge and none of them got hurt!  Or Abinadi, another prophet, had so much power from God nobody would dare touch him.  Or Teancum, who snuck into an enemy base and killed a leader of the bad guys in his sleep.

There is Ammon who converted an entire people, served with exactness, and cut off a bunch of bad buys arms.   Nephi was tied to a boat and he busted out of the cords because of his faith.  Another is Moroni who led so many wars and because of his faith he won so many of the wars he was involved in.  Then there was Zeezrom who used to be bad but repented and then helped convert tons of people.  And then Amulek who gave up everything to go preach the word of God with Alma and he was an amazing missionary.

Just like you will be buddy.  You’re such a great brother and I am so thankful for you?  Read the Book of Mormon and watch your life get strengthened like all of these awesome people in the Book of Mormon.


Elder Cramer