Sunday, March 31, 2013

Boots and Scarf........

The Three Boxes - Ah! The Boots and Scarf.

While Missionary Madi was in the MTC she seemed to have a very special and deep love for her gray scarf and red plaid boots. The boots were actually Kenzie's and she let Missionary Madi take them to the MTC with her. Perhaps those boots made her feel like she was still close to her twin. As you all may have noticed I have referenced these boots a few times in previous postings on her blog. I could not understand why she was all dressed up and then would have on "the boots". I would actually ask her "WHY"? She informed me she was cold and they kept her warm. The other item of clothing was her gray scarf which is totally cute but do we really have to wear it with everything? Even our work out or preparation day clothes. So I was totally elated when I opened the boxes she left behind to find these two familiar items. I am sure Missionary Madi is going through withdrawals however. 

What will Missionary Madi do with out you?

Oh! My! I promise you won't see this again.


Now that our amazing Missionary Madi is in the Philippines all contact seems to have come to an abrupt STOP! While she was in the MTC it was so easy to get post to her on a daily basis if that is what we desired (which I personally DESIRED - it is a mom thing). I loved to talk to her daily through the postal service and Dear Elder (greatest invention in the world). We also enjoyed the letters we frequently received from Missionary Madi. However I have now been reduced to sending package after package, letter after letter, pouch mail after pouch mail, Dear Elder after Dear Elder to have none of them received by Missionary Madi but one that was sent may I mention through good old fashioned US Postal Service. Missionary Madi's Uncle Kelly who just happened to decide to send her a letter on the Saturday before she left the MTC (March 9, 2013) is also one of the first letter she receives. Keep in mind I have sent many at this point. Apparently there is a lesson to be learned here for me. I will let you know what that is once I learn it. Patience might be a part of that lesson.
Notice my special stickers. There is a better chance she will receive the contents of this package due to that sticker.
One special story that is a little testimony builder for me. In Missionary Madi's last e-mail she mentioned that she had to speak in church and she used the talk I sent to her. I had totally forgot about the talk I had sent. While she was in the MTC I was writing a Dear Elder to her and decided to step up my game and put in a quote from someone who could offer a whole lot more inspiration than her mom. I found a talk I liked on from the Ensign. I copied a quote or two (I seriously do not even recall what the talk was on or who gave it). I took my moment of insanity a step further as at this time I was writing in the present and in the future to Missionary Madi. I printed the talk and decided to put in with a card and letter I was sending to the Philippines hoping it would be there when she arrived and again be a little more exciting than just hearing from me AGAIN! I even went to the post office and decided I should have printed the talk double sided so it would weigh less. So I was back to my office to copy the talk over again. The whole time I kept thinking "Why am I sending this talk"? I even considered just taking it out and mailing the card without the talk. Now weeks later I totally understand the small miracles that our Heavenly Father allows us to partake of if we just follow his promptings (crazy or not).

Monday, March 18, 2013

HOME - Matalom

This is Missionary Madi's new Filipino crib. She says it is extremely nice compared to how others live. She says her bed is super comfy. The area looks beautiful and she states the people are very poor.

Looks like a typical girl's room

Living Room

View out the front door

View to the left of the front door - a little further left and you can see the beach

View from the front door to the right - Imagine her laundry looks the same as her neighbors

Sunset on Sunday, March 17, 2013 and her beautiful companion - picture taken out of the window of a tricycle

Sunset and a very fancy store (Missionary Madi only sees the Sunset :)

Sister MK has Arrived - Hell-o Philippines

We finally received our first communication from Missionary Madi this morning March 18, 2013. We had not heard from her since her layover in San Francisco on Monday morning of March 11. We knew she had motion sickness so we were pretty sure the rest of her trip was not going to be that much fun. 14 hour flight + motion sickness = BLECK. Missionary Madi is 14 hours ahead of us in the Philippines so we checked the e-mail all day hoping she would write in the morning (her time). Loved hearing from her and getting pictures that show us a glimpse of her new world. She is totally in love with where she is and is to busy to be homesick.

Mission President & Wife Jose V. & Yolanda B. Andaya. Sister Kramer & her new kauban.

Beautiful Sister Missionaries

WELCOME - Bee Sting! In your eye - OUCH!
The Polund family & friends

Missionary Madi's first SPIDER! She does not love the bugs and bugs and bugs.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Enjoy the Bubble - The Real World Awaits....

Super fun surprise phone call from Missionary Madi! They moved up her departure date and she was to be on a plane headed to the Philippines March 11, 2013 at 5:00 AM. She had attempted to call us all and we kept ignoring the phone calls because the caller ID showed "unavailable". Her dad finally called us and told us Missionary Madi was calling and we needed to answer. We were in Washington and it was so awesome for all of us to put her on speaker phone and be able to tell her we loved her and hear how excited she was to be heading for her final destination. Hearing her voice erased all those many days apart. Sister Kramer is so excited to serve the people of the Philippines.

We cannot wait to hear of her adventures in the Philippines as they will surely be much different than living, learning and studying in the Missionary Training Center.

These are Missionary Madi's English Mates - They apparently LOVE HER (of course they do - can't blame them)!

There is some very serious business that goes on in the MTC. 
Apparently wearing the Sisters jackets is an exciting event. I am guessing that when you put thousands of 18 to 24 year old's in a controlled space for an extended period of time. There is likely to be some silly antics. Leave your maturity at the door.

There is nothing like a little humor to help one get through a hard day.

Big Elder in a little jacket!
Elder Young was apparently in a one man eating contest he was trying for 10 plates only made it to 9.

Silly Fish! If a Fish were a Wish......

Missionary Madi received a super fun surprise.............

                                                                                                      A BALLOON FISH!

Thanks Delaney! Obviously made Missionary Madi's day!

So Pretty! Boots - Why?

Fish Kisses!
So surprised her eyes bugged out!
Elder Rainey & Sister Kramer


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What P Day Looks Like - Brace Yourself!

There are "no worries" at this point that Missionary Madi will have any suitors while she is on her mission. I think they expect you to look lovely, but she does not seem to be to concerned in regards to personal appearance. She did not get this from her mother.
REALLY needed the fashion tips in her Seventeen Magazine!
Where are the Fashion Police?

The Couch!

 Missionary Madi is a Baller!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

First Package to the Philippines

Sent our first communication to Sister Madi in the Philippines. We will be able to track it and determine for the future how long it will take to get packages to her. Hoping that it arrives prior to March 13, 2013. Pretty cool that Missionary Madi should arrive in the Philippines on the13 day of the month. She celebrates the 13th of each and every month in honor of her favorite person Taylor Swift. I assume there will be a T Swift tshirt hidden under her Missionary outfit the day she travels. :)

Package Contents Value - Approximately $7.00 (Picture/Frame -$6.00, Notepad $1.00)
Postage cost value - $23.99 (10'.5" X 16" First-Class Pkg Int'l Svc 1 lb 9.30 oz)

Akong Pamilyia - Kamusta Ka?? Maayo Kaayo Ekaw!!

This week Sister Madi has been a little scatter brained. Her and all the sisters she bunks with missed their alarm clocks going off for their early morning temple session. So they slept in and went to the temple later than normal 7:40 AM rather than 6:20 AM. Which is still pretty early in comparison to what time most 19 - 22 Year old's would be up and going. Kenzie text me at 10:22 AM asking why Madi had not written us yet (Yes we are desperate to hear from her Monday mornings). I told Kenzie that Sister Madi  better be meeting with the Prophet as no other excuse would do. She e-mailed me when she got on-line finally and she asked if she really had to write us today because she was feeling lazy. You all know exactly what my response was "YES"! One needed a Urim and Thummim to translate her Monday morning e-mail. I figure she deserves days like that.

One fun fact is that Jason Schow featured in previous posts and referenced as my nephew (Sister Madi's cousin) who served in the Philippines 4 years ago and also spoke Cebuano. Has went and volunteered at the MTC the last two Thursday's and Sister Madi has been able to teach him. I of course am so thankful that she can have a little piece of home and family and wish I could be Jason for the hour or two he gets to be there. I now know who she teaches. Prior to this knowledge these were my ideas of how they came up with investigators while in the MTC.

Sister Madison B. Kramer & Jason & Caitlin Schow - Sister Madi's volunteer investigator
Previous communication:
When you teach someone do they come there? How do you find these people? Are they homeless people they (Yes, The Mormons) use for spiritual testing? Perhaps BYU students who are on academic suspension who can only get back in school if they listen to the discussions.

Elder Matusala - Sketch Of Missionary Madi

Sister Kramer's favorite Elder from Australia - Elder Matusala aka Elder Joho Minaj

Sister Madison Bailee Kramer - Sketch