Monday, August 26, 2013


Missionary Madi's Utah Bishop (Bishop Smoot) took a huge leap of faith and asked her parents to speak in church. Not a big deal except for her dad Marvin Scott Kramer is not a member of the church. This is a very uncommon practice. Can we just say that Marv (as all of Missionary Madi's friend know and love him) was amazing. It was an AWESOME experience and he is truly a wonderful man and most importantly a loving and supportive Dad! Who will obviously do anything for his family and especially his missionary.
This was probably also totally inappropriate. One of the bishops councilors took the picture. We will repent.
The following is Marv's words of wisdom and thanks................

Topic:  Sister Madison Bailee Kramer                                                                                  Aug. 25, 2013

Good afternoon everybody

So, it’s been a long time since I’ve stood up here.   Pause.   That was a joke - I’ve never stood up here.

I was asked last week by Bishop Smoot to talk about what it’s like to be the father of a missionary; my short answer is it’s been amazing for me and it’s been very educational.  It has taught me more than I ever imagined, especially about my own daughter and the work of a missionary and the church.  I really didn’t expect to learn much of anything going into this but I sure have had my eyes opened.
As I think about Madison and her mission I see a journey.  In my mind her journey has three primary phases or segments to it.  The early years or the period of time leading up to moving to Kaysville which occurred on Jan. 1 2006 - for Madi this was from birth to age 12.  The middle years, between the age of 12 and 19 and the current phase of her journey – her mission - which started the day she decided to serve - October 6, 2012.
I will start with the third phase of her journey, her current “mission” phase and work backwards.  Hopefully I won’t put everybody to sleep.
To me this phase started on October 6, 2012 – the day the new age limit was announced, the day she decided to serve a mission.
I had been out hunting and when I came home I walked into the kitchen to put a few things away.  Madison was sitting at the kitchen counter and she said two things to me – “Hi Dad, did you get anything?” to which I replied “no”.  And then she said – “guess what, I’ve decided that I’m going to serve a mission”.  When she said that I did not respond much, I continued to put a few things away but I did think it through enough to know that it would be two years before she would be eligible to serve and I knew that a lot can change over two years.  I minute or two later Madison and Makenzie explained to me that they had announced that the age had been changed for missionaries and that it was now 18 for the young men and 19 for the young woman.  It was Madison and Makenzie 19 birthday that day!  And in a second I realized that she was eligible to serve and she just told me that she had decided that she was going to.  Suddenly I was listening, because I realized there was not a two year period to wait.  The next thing Madi told me is that she had already contacted the bishop and let him know that she wanted to serve.  Looking back, I can say that on that day I can quit honestly saw Madison begin to change right in front of my eyes.  And it’s been amazing.
She completed / submitted her paper work in a week or two
She completed her semester at the U
And we all waited for her calling to arrive.  I remember joking with a couple members of the bishopric that wherever Madison was called to if there was a problem of some sort that I would be the first to be there … after all this was my baby girl.  We all believed that she would serve state side; I don’t think anybody thought for a second she would serve in another country.
On December 19 2012, Madison’s call arrived along with about 100+ people at our house.  I asked her just before she opened her calling if I could stand next to her as she read it out load and she said “no”, she wanted to do this on her own, “it was her moment”.
She was called to serve for 18 months in the Philippines, Tacloban mission beginning on January 30 2013.  The house erupted with cheer and crying started and the expression on Madison’s face will never be forgotten, at least not by me.  She was surprised beyond belief and so excited.
Madison had 39 days to prepare
She finished school at the U including finals
She made many Doctor visits to get shots and not a single complaint
She went to the Dentist without complaining, for the first time ever
She renewed her Passport and obtained her Visa
She was set apart in the temple and suddenly wearing G’s
And throughout all of this the two people that were there assisting in every way possible were Madi’s twin sister Makenzie and of course her mother.  Between the two of them they prepared her completely, at least enough to check her into the MTC.
Jan. 30 – the MTC
6 weeks of transformation for Madison and the real education for me begins
The flight to the Philippines on March 12 / 13, took 24 hours time, 13,000 miles and sick nearly all of the way … and not a single complaint.
The bee sting to her face on day one that basically completely closed up one of her eyes and again not a single compliant about the trip, being sick or over the bee sting or anything for that matter.  What I noticed with Madison in the first few days of being in the Philippines was a complete focus on the work and the mission and a complete disregard to the obstacles and challenges that she was encountering.
What I never expected as Madi was beginning her mission was the education that she would give me.  Let me explain:
Years ago I put myself through college, working full time and going to school full time.  I worked hard but also had a lot of fun and it took over six years to graduate with a Bachelors degree.  When I did graduate from college - I did it on my own paying for everything.  I understood commitment and hard work, I had lived it, right?  Years later I had the opportunity to go back to school and earn a master’s degree and at this time Dixie and I were married and raising 6 kids and we were both working full time. But we decided it was the right thing to do and so we made the commitment and we both worked hard to allow me to peruse this opportunity.  Dixie worked and raised the kids and I worked and went to school and two years later it was done.  Again, we did it because we both understood hard work and commitment. 
What I’ve learned from Madi as she is serving her mission is that what I considered commitment and hard work doesn’t even come close to what she is doing and what missionaries do.  I suddenly started to understand how strong Madison is and I started to have a new appreciation and understanding for the work and dedication of Madison and of all missionaries:
Let’s talk Commitment – leaving your family and the comforts that you used to.  Leaving your friends at the age of 19.  That’s commitment.  Living in an apartment that has a bucket of water in it to flush the toilet with and a second bucket with water in it for the shower.  That’s commitment.  In addition, to this day she washes her clothes by hand in a small plastic pail with a piece of wood as a scrubbing board.  Not to mention the food, the bugs, the ants, the bats, the lice and not a single compliant.  That’s commitment like no other.  And she loves the person, that’s all she talks about.
Hard work – learning the gospel, learning the language, studying with intensity to learn the lessons, the complete sacrifice to serving the mission.  Speaking in church in a second language.  That’s hard work like no other.
Dedication – the complete dedication to the work, the gospel and the overall effort to serve others less fortunate with complete selflessness.  That’s dedication.
Desire – the desire to serve is amazing.  Dixie and I are very lucky in this regard – the decision for Madi to serve a mission has been completely her decision, this is awesome for us as she is completely committed to her work.  She has the desire in her heart to serve.
Passion – the passion to spread the word to those less fortunate – I believe has been inspired by all of you.
So in summary and regards to this current phase of her journey – I am amazed at the blessings and the lessons that have been taught to me, especially in regards to hard work, commitment, dedication and love – all of which I thought I knew something about ….. But I’ve been re-educated, I’ve been schooled.
And in regards to the middle phase of Madi’s journey, the time between age 12 and 19.  This is the period of time that all of you have influenced Madison and all of our kids.  Your love for the children of our family and all of the children in this ward and in this stake, your hard work and you commitment to be great examples for these children is amazing.  It is because of all of you that Madison decided to serve a mission and it is because of all of you and your efforts and your love that basically all missionaries are serving.  What you’re doing matters.  To the primary teachers, the young woman and young men leaders, the music teachers, the priesthood teachers, the bishopric, the presidency etc . – to all of you I thank from the bottom of my heart.  Your efforts, your example, your time with these children of this ward and stake matters and it is because of you and your example that Madison is on a mission.  I cannot thank you enough for the influence that you have had over the years on all of these children and all of our children.  I love you all for that and will always be eternally grateful to you.  We live in an amazing place with amazing people and I am so thankful for that.

And in regards to the beginning phase of Madi’s journey, basically from birth to age 12, I believe that others have influenced Madsion and her siblings positively but no one as much as their mother, Dixie.  Dixie is without question the most amazing mother and wife in the world.  She is an amazing example to everyone around her and that is true in our home more than anywhere.  I am truly blessed to be married to her and our children and grandchildren our truly blessed to have in her their lives.  She is one-of-a-kind and it is because of her that Madison and all of our kids are a part of this church and have had the opportunity to be influenced by all of you.  It is because of Dixie and all of you that Madison had the opportunity to serve a mission for this church and I am eternally grateful to her for making this church part of our life and our children’s life.

And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.       

This is what Missionary Madi wanted us to share with the ward:

I am trying to think of something sick to tell good ole k town but all i got is....Pres Ostler is the man and missionary work is nothing without members and there referrals and help. Every member needs to be a missionary. So open your mouth and share what you know and love with everyone you meet you never know who is prepared for what you know. Oh tell all the cray cray youth to get preparing for their mish's now and not to be idiots. Show Heavenly Father how much you love and how much you appreciate him. 

Guhigugma Ni Sister Kramer Kita Tanan! 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sisterly Mischeif

Happy, Happy, Happy!
 Missionary Madi loves sharing the  gospel with her investigators. She loves Junior (Filipino Ryan) and his family. 
Missionary Madi loves this family.
The Planos are another family that the sisters are teaching and she is impressed with these beautiful  twin sisters who are setting a wonderful example for their family. They came to church on Sunday and Missionary Madi could not have been more happy. Missionary Madi wants us to pray for her families.
Missionary Madi asks "Why are the young women always the best?"
Missionary Madi is having a lot of fun with the 3 other Sister Missionaries that are now living together and serving the people of Ormoc. They have been out on the town eating sushi and learning to love the culture they are now immersed in. Wild to think this beautiful blond American is speaking Cebauno like it is her native language and feeling at home in the Philippines.

Happy, Happy, Happy!
SUSHI! Yum! Proud Moment Ate a Shrimp Head!
EGG ON YOUR ........
Missionary Madi broke an egg all over herself while shopping the clerk asked her if it was her first time holding an egg.
Glowing with the light of Christ! :)

This picture is for Pete! He always wants to know if Missionary Madi drives a dump truck!


Missionary Madi sends home lots of fun pictures with zero explanation. Explanation or not it is amazing to be able to witness some of the adventures and activities she participates in with Sister Adasme and the Elders in her area. However a week later I now know the rest of the story.
 Lovin' LIFE in Ormoc, Philippines!
American Sisters Kramer & Adasme (looks like they found the ocean.
Missionary Madi and her companion Sister Adasme went to Albuera for a district meeting. After the meeting they went to lunch by the ocean. A man kept catching fish so they all decided to play with them I guess. All the boys (I think she means Elders) were freaking out because she knew how to hold a fish and was OK with it (she thanks her dad for that). Always one upping the boys.
Missionary Madi says that Elder Sykay thinks he is on a dating show not a mission.
Missionary Madi Fish Kiss!
Seems pretty fishy to me!
Missionary Madi loves a stray dog or two.

Beautiful rock trail or pathway (or SEWER Byway- Eeek) - Somewhere is Ormoc
Missionary Madi is on top of the world (or Wall)! Love her!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Some Peoples Kids.....Don't Try This At Home

Missionary Madi's Mothers Bad Example!

Explanation: When Missionary Madi's mother was young and lived 20 miles out of town with many of her 9 siblings they would get bored. With that boredom usually came along some super stupid (and perhaps dangerous) ideas of what fun is. One of these such occasions might have included Avon Body Splash (Green liquid containing key agent - Alcohol), matches and her mothers fingers and eventually hand. So to show her younger sister and older brothers some super cool human fire burning tricks she would dip her finger first into the Avon Body Splash and then light it on fire. Ahh! Ooooo! Burning fingers of fun. Then as an encore she would move onto saturating the whole hand in Avon Body Splash and then Oooooo! Ahhhhh! Oooooo! Burning hand flames of fun! This seriously could entertain for hours.

*NOTE to parents seriously do not leave your children home alone - everything you think they would never do in your absence -They Do!

Never would a mother think that of all the things one has taught her children that this would be the "Thing" that they choose to pursue perfecting. In the words of Missionary Madi "What was President Thinking" Supervision please at the Sisters apartment.
Missionary Madi and her roomies need SUPERVISION!

It is always a great idea to try and start yourself on fire. I know you are protected but not sure if stupidity is.
Sister Dumas also somehow started the food she was cooking on fire. The sisters were all screaming and running for their cameras rather than attempting to put out the fire.
A Priesthood intervention is definitely needed here.
Sister Dumas Cooking = Fire!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Losses and Gains

Missionary Madi LOST her camera this week and is devastated to the point of declaring actually having feelings of DEPRESSION! She takes thousands of pictures and is so sad. She asks that we all pray that she is granted a miracle and she will find her camera.
BOO! For lost camera and the memories captured on it!

However there are amazing GAINS happening for Missionary Madi. They were riding on a tricycle and their driver was a man named Junior. They got joking and talking and he told Missionary Madi and her companion that they could teach him. They were so excited to go and teach him and his family. She says that he is the Phili version of her brother Ryan. Which means he is must be awesome and funny and maybe just a little crazy. She loved his family and spending time with them. His eleven year old daughter was so ready to hear their message she answered all of their questions and said the prayer when they were done sharing their message with them. Missionary Madi said the prayer was perfect.
Junior and his family

Missionary Madi loved the camo!
Missionary Madi is starting to see the blessings in the lives of those she teaches. She stated that when she was in sacrament meeting on Sunday she just kept praying to Heavenly Father thanking him for all of the blessings he has poured out to her and helping the people of the Philippines to feel his spirit in their lives. It is wonderful to have them accept and commit to follow the teachings of Christ.

Missionary Madi found this cute little girl sleeping in the market adorable. It seems that children are allowed to sleep wherever and whenever it is necessary. She seems perfectly content.

Sleeping Beauty!

Moving Day! What?

Once again "What was President thinking?"
Missionary Madi has only been in Ormoc for a little over two weeks and has moved again. On Saturday she got a text from the Zone Leaders telling her and her companion that they were moving. She totally thought it was a joke. Not so. She moved. However she is super excited as they moved in with Sister Dumas and her companion Sister Bogenshutz. Missionary Madi loves them both and says they are "sick". She is not sure what President is thinking but they are having lots of fun and never shut up! Her poor companion Sister Adasme is shy and quiet but Missionary Madi says she is bringing out her inner crazy and they have lots of fun. Sister Adasme has an identical twin (she misses so bad) who is also serving in the Philippines but in a different area. It is safe to say Missionary Madi's comp will never be the same.
Missionary Madi's New Crib
Ormoc living is much nicer and cleaner - but no ocean
New fancy bedroom

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Missionary Madi is doing great and adjusting to her new city. She misses Matalom as the people there were like her family. Ormoc is a much larger area and the people are not as nice. Her companion is growing and adjusting to living in the Philippines and Missionary Madi states she does not remember it being this hard for her to adjust or perhaps she was just born Filipino.

Puppy Love

Utah Sisters
They had an activity which in her own words was lame but she found a tree to climb and a tree house to play in, which made it fun. Looks like they had fun.

Sister Adasme & Sister Kramer - Twin's Separated from their Twins

She seems to get lost, a lot. Even when they are being guided by people who live in the area. While they were out looking as she calls it. She found the most beautiful area and she wanted to share all of the pictures of it.

A few random but fun facts:
They were out looking and she "ate it" (which means she fell hard) it was pouring rain and she fell and was wet and muddy. She was on her way to a meeting so she said she felt really pretty after that.
Love her Fish Tail Braid - so fashionable!
She found cheese and was super EXCITED.
She got a package from her cousin Teronda full of her favorite treats - Sour Patch Watermelon.
Thanks Teronda for the Package!
Missionary Madi's only comment on the following was "I swear these kids were dead".
This is what dead tired looks like. 

Trainer - Drainer

Missionary Madi is attempting to learn her way around her new area of Ormoc and be an obedient, loving trainer to her new baby. She says the language is Cebuano (same) so that is fine. She is struggling to learn all the names of the member of the ward (she might have mentioned that the Filipino people tend to look a lot alike). She went from a branch of 20 to a ward of 200. She no longer gets to see the ocean on a daily basis. The people are more affluent in this area (had to let her know what the word affluent meant). Her new companion Sister Adasme is very smart and knows the language well. It sounds like she may be just a little shy and is learning to be independent and how to be an individual as she is also a twin. Big news "Pizza!" So excited to find Pizza and that it actually tastes good. We are not sure if it is really good or if she has just forgotten what real American Pizza tastes like. 
The fact that there is pizza has now made Ormoc her favorite place.
Gross but pretty Dragon Fruit
Sister Dumas a friend from Utah State is in Missionary Madi's area.
Sister Dumas lived across the hall from Missionary Madi's friends while they were attending Utah State in Logan, Utah. She and Missionary Madi hit it off and loved each others company. Super fun surprise to both be called to serve in the Philippines and now to be serving in the same area.