Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Funny story. We're teaching this family, the Dinnoo's. Husband, wife and 2 daughters. They go to a presbyterian churrch. They invited us to attend the church's Christmas program where the girls would be performing. So, we took a member, Sham, with us and saw it. Haha! It was pretty fun actually. They were really excited to see us. When we walked in, you wouldn't believe the stares we got from everybody. They probably couldn't believe 2 missionaries would go to another church. Haha some people I think were offended. We were just there to support that family. It was fun.

One of the best things about Trinidad? WE GET TO EAT AT MEMBERS' HOUSES!!! I'm going to get fat. We have had some good food though. We went and taught this lady, Patsy, who gave us Turkey leg and rice with potato curry. Later in the day, we visited Sham, the 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency, who gave us goat and rice w/dhallpurri. Mmmmmmmm. It was actually very good. Too much food for one day though. I'm used to eating in Guyana which is not eating very much haha. It's been fun though.

We didn't really have much to do this week. We had appointments scattered throughout the week. Now, the people of the West Indies don't know what appointments are. So, we'd show up at the time we set with them and half of them aren't there. The onther half, 90 percent of them, lie and say that they have to go out just now. "Just now" here means soon or in the futures. Like if someone is telling you to do something and you can't right then you say "just now." Haha. I like speaking proper English better though.

Most of the week was tracting, contacting on the street, and teaching the few people we could. We called one of our contacts, Sebastian, who told us to come over right now. He needs somebody. So we go over and when we get there he starts to cry. Says his wife left him, he has no family, and that nobody likes to talk to him. We calmed him down, taught him about the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ and he felt a lot better. Invited him to church. He said he can't come because of work but we'll see if we can get him next week.

The Christmas season is fast approaching and it doesn't feel like it AT ALL. Yes, there's Christmas lights up, Christmas music playing from time to time but that isn't any change for us. We can't stop to enjoy the season. It's only work for us. But the work is good and I'm enjoying it. I really am. My companion isn't too much, he doesn't have a good attitude. We blanked the area which means that we don't know any one, where they live, or we don't have anyone to teach. Can be rough. He complained all day Saturday while we walked around and because of that, we didn't have the Spirit and we didn't have a good day. I don't know what to do to help him out. Because of his lack of desire it's hurting me as well. Makes it harder for me to go on and be the hard worker I need to be. But it goes on. If you have any tips let me know. He doesn't listen to me, thinks I don't know anything about missionary work, which is FALSE, and just doesn't respect my opinion. Keep in mind he's only a MONTH ahead of me in the mission. Give me a break!

This Friday we're having a Lunch at the Mission home for Christmas. We're all traveling up to Port of Spain and it'll be a great time. We don't know what we're doing, it's all a big surprise but it sounds like it'll be way fun. Friday morning we're going to an orphanage and putting on a show, dressing the kids up as shepherds and wise men and doing a nativity, giving out presents. It'll be a fun day.

The PHONE CALL!! Alright. We're going to be busy all day until the evening where we're going back to our apartments and doing phone calls home. So, how bout you call about 9 o'clock our time? Which is 6 o'clock in your neck of the woods. I would like to talk to Grandma and Grandpa too. We'll figure something out.

It was weird hearing about the missionaries in our stake from home, Mom. Haha I really have no idea what the work is like there. I don't remember even seeing missionaries except every once in awhile when they'd be at our ward. That's cool about the service missionaries too.

Crazy to read about Bishop Hymas' Christmas message as well. Kind of reminded me that yes, I amd a long ways from home! I almost forgot! Haha. Sounds like he is doing a GREAT job. Tell him I said hello and wish him a Merry Christmas.

Well I really have to get going. It is sad to hear about grandma not feeling well. Tell her that I LOVE HER. I sent her a letter and I hope it reaches soon. I really feel bad for her. I'm glad to hear so many people are giving her the support that she needs.

Elder Morris

PS=I hear the best way to call me is by getting a phone card. Do it the cheapest way possible. I get about an hour to talk. A bit more/less isn't too big of a deal.

December 14, 2009

Hello from the prideful and rich country of Trinidad! You'd be surprised. Trinidad is super wealthy compared to Guyana. I do miss Guyana though. The people are much nicer and more humble.

So the plane ride over here? A BLAST!!!! I loved it. Elder Prince and I sat together and talked for the whole 1 hour ride. He has a connecting flight to St. Lucia. We got some pictures of us on the plane. His camera though. Way fun! I loved it. What a great experience. Flying for transfers. Not many people get to do that!

There are tons of hills in Trinidad. My legs are getting quite the workout every day. We are opening a new area in Siparia, including Fyzabad and Arin which is about 30 minutes drive away from Siparia. I see a LOT of potential here. The branch gets about 35 people each week at church. Only about 80 members in the branch here. There's one stake in Trinidad and we're in a branch. The other missionaries here are Elder Clark and Elder Carter, both of them are sweet. I like them a lot. Our apartment is brand stinking new. Nice tile and very roomy. The landlord bought new everything: Fridge, stove, beds, the works, way nice serta mattresses. The only problem...nothing was installed when we got there. We had a case of bottled water, 2 matresses, and a working shower. That was it. Now we finally have the fridge, stove, a sink, and the beds. Other than that they're still working on it. Basically we were living like cavemen for a bit. It was pretty cool actually. My companion complained and complained but I just sat back and laughed at it. Haha, it was fun!

I've noticed a lot of change in me recently. Personality wise. It's an answer to my prayers really. I've been praying hard for Christlike love and I'm finally beginning to experience a tiny bit of it. It feels like nothing really gets to me anymore. I just am content with my surroundings and I honestly am felling like I do love everyone. It's been great really.

I can't write much more. I have 2 minutes left. The internet cafe is closing so I gotta go.


Elder Morris

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winston Chan and his wife Sharon

Mark John, my companion for 4 days

Me and Bro. Vanderstoop

The Creole shop I ate at almost every day. DELICIOUS!

December 7, 2009

You asked some questions I have just failed to mention in letters home:

To Mom - All people do on Christmas Eve is party and get drunk here. People lives revolove around the rum! We didn't get to see the Christmas Devotional. The Church isn't that established here....yet.
Dad - I have also been wondering about the weather in Guyana. You have not said much about the weather at all. I can see by the weather on MSN that it is pretty much the same temperature every day. Does it rain very much? What do yo do when it rains? Do the streets flood when it rains or does the water drain off pretty well?

Alright, to answer the question about weather. Today for example it poured all morning but now it's way sunny and hot. Basically just totally unpredictable. Very hot, very, very humid. Much hotter than Hawaii. At least it feels so. You get used to it. In Georgetown the streets flood very badly because the drainage is bad but here in Berbice it's so much country that it doesn't flood too much. Tons of muc though. I never thought I'd wash my pants so many times. When it rains hard we don't go around walking. One day it poured until about 2:00PM so we were stuck inside. You can go out and get soaked but everyone stays inside and nobody lets you in when it's raining that hard.

Dad - I am also interested in knowing how you get around. I assume that you don't have any bicycles and walk most of the time. Is a taxi available if you have to go a long distance? I also assume that you use buses from time to time, which you have indicated in your letters. Do the senior couple have cars? Please let me know some of the details about your transportation.

Alright, in Rose Hall apartment the missionaries in times past bought bicycles. They were there but the tires were broken so we didn't use them. In Berbice there are cars that'll give you short drops (100 dollars for a short on each). Normally buses are for longer distances. You just stand on the road and wave your hand out when a car is about to pass. You jump in and say "Rose Hall, at the arch." In Georgetown, there are taxi services. Expensive, but they pick you up and drop you off exactly where you want to go. We used buses (60 dollars for a drop). There are tons of different routes and bus #'s that you just have to memorize. Senior couple do have cars. Nice "07 Toyota Corollas. I'm way used to driving on the left hand side of the road too. It'll be weird to go home and see the opposite.

Dad - You also haven't said much about using your piano playing skills. Do you ever play in meetings at church or missionary meetings? I hopeyou get the chance from time to time. Please let me know.

Sister Greeta in Rose Hall played the keyboard, just and electronic, cheap keyboard. She only could do the really, really, really simplified hymns so she has me do 2 hymns and she does 1. I actually have gotten a tone better at sight reading. I can get through most hymns now. I don't play at missionary meetings though.

And on to my weekly letter!

TRANSFERS!!! I am going to.........Siparia, Trinidad. Whooo! I'm so excited. It's kind of in the countryside of Trinidad. The only fast food is a KFC which I hear is just 100 times better than the states ones. There is a Subway in Point Fortin though, which is just 15 minutes away. My companion will be Elder Kent Jones. I hear he's great, only been out 7 months so just a transfer ahead of me. We're opening up a new area and neither of us has been in Siparia before. The areas are Siparia 1 and 2. 2 is the one where that missionarie already work. 1 is the one I'll be in. Craziness - both blanking the area and starting up the missionary work in a new place!! I'm STOKED for hot showers, a washer AND a dryer, maybe air conditioning too. That'd be too much to ask for. The Bullocks will be in Point Fortin, so very, very close. They are sweet, cook for the missionaries. Love it. The couple in Siparia is the Mortons. I hear they're alright. Sister Morton is very sick so that's not good.

I am sad to leave Guyana. Honestly. But having a missionary to be with that likes to go out and serve is something I just can't wait for. Anybody that has served with any of the Guyanese mini-missionaries knows what I mean. It's just tough. They don't like us because we're white and they think we are really very stupid. But, that's them. Just gotta deal with it. And we do. It got tiring pulling all the weight. I was with Brother Vanderstoop the last 4 days. He's gone now but it was fun. I'll send some pictures. Since it was so short I just didn't really care about what they said/did. I'm going to Trinidad!!

Saying goodbyes was just bittersweet. It really was. I'm going to miss a few people here VERY much. Sister Geeta first of all. She is a phenomenal person. I loved talking with her, learning from her, and trying to teach her new things. We went over once or twice a week. She'd give us a sweet drink and biscuits (Pepsi and crackers/cookies) and it was just fun. Strongest member I've met here.

Saying goodbye to everyone was just sad. Got great pictures. I loved the people here. I had a better time at Kitty but in both places I'll miss it. I'm excited to go to Trinidad though. Elder Beeson will be in my zone which wil be very fun.

THIS MORNING!!! Back Dam. So fun! Just a place that's pretty much just the jungle. Millions of mango trees. For an hour we went around picking up mangos to bring back and eat. Got buckets filled with em. After that we got into a mango fight. Running around crazy, just an all out war pelting each other with mangos. It was so sweet. It was pretty much the best way to say goodbye to Guyana. Slept over at Elder Prince's and we just talked all night. Elder Prince will be going to ............. St. Lucia!! I'll miss him a lot. We got really close.

So. The week was good. Just saying goodbye to people. Getting less actives to come back to church. Winston Chan, his wife Sharon, and their kids were all at church again. The lesson was on exaltation which usually frightens people but they loved it. Winston will be a great asset to the church. They said their goodbyes to me. I was happy to see they weren't converted to me. They just said thank you so much for teaching us and bringing us to this church. We wouldn't have found it without you. I just told him it was my pleasure and that I feel I was guided to call into his house.

Pretty much this weekend was just pictures, pictures, pictures. Taking millions of em. I need to send a bunch home somehow. I'll figure it out when I get to Trinidad.

Forgot to say, 6 MONTHS ON MY MISSION!! Hit my mark on the 3rd. To celebrate the tradition is to burn a tie. I got a picture and video of me doing it so you'll see how it went. Haha!! Me and Elder Prince were on the phone when we both did it. It's a blessing to have him out here I tell ya.

Address in Trinidad:
PO BAG 543 Valsayn, Trinidad

For packages, I'll make sure they bring the Christmas package from Amy to zone conference...But I won't get it for another 6 weeks. I LOVED the package you guys sent me by the way. Basically we just live for them.

The week was good, but I'm looking forward to a great time in Trinidad! Tell Grandma my prayers are with her and I missh them. I haven't sent them a letter yet. I haven't sent anyone a letter in a long time the way p-days have been going lately. Goodness!

Thanks for everything you guys. I love ya.

Elder Morris

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November 30, 2009

Things are going much better this week! Except for the fact I'm in Georgetown today to get a police report. Transfers happen next week so most likely I'm leaving Guyana. So don't send any packages!! I haven't gotten the package yet but I got Dad's parcel of Lead the Way's. Thanks for those by the way. I haven't had time to read them all but I will.

So I love Winston and his family. We've taught them everything, and they are awesome. Very smart family: 3 kids and the parents. Their neighbors are going to start coming to church too. We're teaching them this week. President Johnnie asked if it was okay for Winston to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I said...No!!! Haha he's not baptized yet!

He is going to be a great asset to the church here. I reallyy feel good to see that I had a hand in bringing that family to the church. They're great. They're not just reading the BOM, but studying the principles. Sharon, his wife, LOVED 2 Nephi 9; read it a studied it like 10 times she said. Now she knows about the details about the necessity of the Atonement. I loved hearing her talk about it in Gospel Principles class yesterday.

Church was baller yeasterday. Got 15 less actives back to church that haven't been in FOREVER! I was so happy! Some of them had interviews and got callings to help keep them active. I really feel like I've helped bring back the fire to Rose Hall. Thanks to my prayers and fasting. Fasting really does WORK!

So I'm with Elder Barton right now in Georgetown. He got an email of the recap of the BYU game. SWEET! Way to go cougars. Take that Randy Larson! Tell him I said that...HAha.

We had zone conference last week. We were introduced to a new tool, 40daystozion.com to help reactivate and strngthen our converts. Check it out. I can't give password and stuff, but just to let ya know. Our goal for next year is to reactivate 2400 members in the West Indies. Right now we have 2600 active. 10000 members total.

It's been crazy with companions lately. Mine isn't gonna be here until tomorrow. Brother Singh from Albouystown (the ghetto), Georgetown. I had Mark John, a 16 year old punk member from the branch over the weekend. Hahaha.

It really was a great week. We're seeing some great progress here. I'm sad that I'll probably have to leave. But I'm excited as well. Next week I'll find out for sure where/when I'm going. Don't really know much else to say except just how much better this week was. I love it! Tell Parker that if he doesn't remember who I am when I get back that he's officially our of my will. Haha. Love you all.

Elder Morris

November 23, 2009

This week. This week!

Goodness. Alright. So last week's email was lame. Sorry for that - just a bad day. The next day, Tuesday wasn't very good either. I think just bottling everything up, pretending I'm loving every second of it caught up with me. Don't get me wrong. I love the work. But I gotta be real. These Guyanesse people are very hard to deal with sometimes. You really don't have any idea. But, the week got better and better. Elder Noah, my district leader, called me up on Tuesday when I was having a bad day. I just wasn't happy. My companion was complaining about whatever, we hadn't been baptizing, so yeah. I dunno, just hard. He called me and read me a talk/;letter thing about Christ. It described a day in the life of the missionary. How all the days run together. Well the missionary prayed that night and pretty much just let everything out. Described how hard it had been. How his companion had been, etc. Then he falls asleep and sees a magnificent vision. He sees Jesus Christ and he says, "We need to talk." Christ begins to just say everything you are going through, I went through. Your companioni is rough? My companion Judas, traded my life for riches, etc. Things like that. Pretty much just saying, whatever you have felt I have felt already and that as a missionary, you are very alike to Christ. The only exception is that He has finished His mission, completed the work. So it really helped motivate me; made me feel a lot better. Ever since then I've been doing a ton better.

So at church yesterday I was very pleased. Winston and his family came to church, their second time. Loved it. Branch President's kinda weird so he kept hinting to Winston that a position in the branch presidency was open and that he very soon could be sitting with him up on the stand. Haha! Wasn't too happy about that! Haha, President Johnnie was off the walls at church. He kinda scared Winston and when I try to tell President Johnnie, try to teach him that what he's doing isn't exactly the right thing, he doesn't think I know anything and blows it off. Haha, whatever - story of Guyana. The people are great. They are. They just need several more years.

So we were going around to the less actives on Saturday. We stop by one of the recent converts that was baptized before I got here. Her name is Rebeckah, and she's a 14 year old girl who can't read. That's not the problem. The problem is that her mom doesn't want to take care of her anymore so she's arranged a 22 year old Hindu to marry her and take her out of the house. Next week she's getting married. There isn't much I could do except encourage them to pray and really think tis trough. I can't advise them, just teach them. But, life goes on.

We had thanksgiving Dinner Friday. The Lingren's did EVERYTHING! They bought a butterball turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, etc. A legit American thanksgiving! Only difference was that there were 5 Americans and 10 Guyanese. Haha! It was way fun. Instead of watching football, we sat and gaffed about sports: football, high school sports, basketball, etc. It was a way fun day.

Well the week was much better. Our people we're teaching are doing very well. The success is coming.

Well, this past week was very good. Not much more to say really. Haha.

Elder Morris

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nate's Companion - Elder Narine

November 9, 2009

Hello everyone!

I love it here! So this past week was a crazy one. I got to go on tradeoffs with Elder Jones. That kid knows so much about everything. He was taught to be a baptizer pretty much. It's in his genes you might say. However back then they didn't work on retention too much so the 80 he baptized in Rose Hall, only like 5 come to church. But we went around to his inactive converts and had some good lessons with them. I learned a lot from him and it was a great experience. He is an amazing missionary. His wish was to be put in Rose Hall for his last transfer but he got close enough - Canje, which is 20 minutes away.

So we're teaching some great people now. This Chinese guy, Winston, is hilarious. He really wants to find the truth. I gave him a Book of Mormon and taught him about it. Went back Sunday and he was to Alma 28!! He's already read half of it. He's not married legal so before they get baptized they have to get married which is a chore here. We're teaching this girl named SSonia, niece of a member. She is excited about baptism, loves church. It helps to have family in the church. She has two sisters, 14 and 8 years old who love it too. Sonia's 21. We taught the restoration to this guy we met Saturday, Ian, and he LOVES it. He was so excited when I talked about the apostasy. He wants to get baptized and when we gave him a tract he said he'd teach all his friends about Joseph Smith. He didn't dome to church though. That's the hard part, getting people to come to church. We have about 10 people that are solid and want to be baptized but in order to progress them, they need to come to church. We have been working with members more recently which is helping though.

My prayers and fasts are with Grandma. As a zone we fast once a week for help from God and part of mine is for Grandma. I was so sorry to hear about her cancer. I hope everything will work out. Tell he my prayers are with her and that I love her dearly.

Elder Narine and I are doing great together. I'm sending a picture of him with his mission call. He goes to the MTC in 2 weeks. His brother is the one I was with for that one day who was the other picture I sent home. It's different with a Guyanese obviously. I really can't describe what they're like, just completely different. You'll have to meet them to know what I mean. They think we are really weird and stupid for doing things like eating spaghetti or stuff. Haha. Buy the way, get a recipe online for chicken curry and roti and make it. I want you to see how delicious it is. Haha.

I'm sending an email to Bishop Crosby to thank him for his hard work. I love that man. He helped me a lot when I needed it. He was always a good example of love and diligence. Tell Bishop Ed I'm excited to have him as my bishop. I still don't have Megan's email so I can't talk about Dave's surgery with ) that I love them and pray for them always.

Things are going much better here. Baptisms will follow in the coming weeks due to hard work and the Spirit working through me. That's something that I have been seeing so much lately. It really does feel like I am an instrument in God's hands sometimes. I love it!

Elder Morris

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sister Diane Robison, the wife of Nate's first mission president continues to keep a mission blog of mission happenings. She posted this entry on the mini-missionaries in Guyana on October 3. Because Nate has Brother Narine, and 18 year old mini missionary, right now as a companion, I thought it would be interesting to inclue her post:

" 'For such a time as this,'" Esther 4:14

Just like Esther was specially prepared to save her people, about the 30-40 young men and women in Guyana have been prepared for such a time as this - when most foreign missionaries have been asked to leave the country.

At first I was worried about the work in Guyana, but now I am beginning to see that "no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing" (Standard of Truth). In fact, the expulsion of most foreign missionaries may turn out to be a great blessing to the Church in Guyana.

Here's why

During the time my husband and I were serving in the West Indies, there was a rapid increase in baptisms in Guyana. Many wonderful people embraced the Gospel and were baptized, including quite a few teenagers. In fact, President Robison asked each missionary to 'replace himself' before going home by baptizing a young man who would serve a mission. These young Guyanese men and women are now stepping up to replace the full-time missionaries who were expelled from the country. Fifteen of them will serve missions right away and others are preparing to serve as soon as they are quallified. Special arrangements have been made to expedite the mission calls and to allow some to serve as 18 year olds. As they wait to serve officially, many are serving 'mini missions.'

President and Sister Hymas (he is first counselor in the mission presidency) have been serving in Guyana. Here is their description:

"It is pretty cool to see all these young men lined up at the doctor's office and dental clinics and passport offices etc. Many have never been to the doctor or dentist etc so all very new experience for everyone! Scary and profound all at the same time. None of them own more that 1 white shirt and tie. So getting shirts and ties and other stuff needed to serve has been nothing short of a miracle. Thie members here have all donated money and time and talents--to purchase shirts, make pants, get what "their boys" need to serve the Lord. All the foreign missionaries who left Guyana left shirts and ties for those who would be coming to take their place. We had over 40 shirts and 80 ties donated by those missionaries who were forced to depart.

While those who were approved for calls have been getting ready to serve 15 other young men have been living and working with our missionaries so that the work will keep the moving forward in each of the areas.

A you drive around you see our "new companionships" --one white guy and one Guyanese. We are still out in the streets on the Lord's errand! It is profound to see the local young men taking over for their "brothers" who had to leave. It is the Lord's work and as the scriptures poignantly remind us "...it is the work of men that are frustrated, not the work of God that is frustrated..." It is quite a testimony to be a part of such faithful young men and young women who have willing left jobs, family, friends to alleviate the crisis in the missionary effort in Guyana.

In addition, in three of four of the cases the young men who have answered the call to serve are the primary breadwinner in the family so their departure to serve means their family will take a 30 to 70 percent redution in income. The sacrifice is huge!"

So this is what I am thinking.

Can you imagine what will happen to the Church in Guyana in a few years with 30-40 returned missionaries??? They will bring incredible strength and begin a cycle of temple marriages and righteous families that will make a huge difference!

These young Guyanese Saints are wonderful. Every time we did a zone conference I was amazed at the number and personal strength of the young prospective missionaries who attended. One young man came to a zone conference just a few days after he was baptized. I remember the look of excitement on his face when he received his own copy of Preach my Gospel.

Now I am beginning to see why so many strong young people were led to join the Church in Guyana.

It was - for such a time as this."

November 2, 2009

Howdy folks!

So this week I was put with Elder Narine. He is 18, going into the MTC in the Dominican Republic on November 27th. He is a great companion. It was wierd at first, but we're gonna work hard. It'll be good. I'll only be with him 2 more weeks. Then I'll get someone else. This morning he swept out the WHOLE apartment. He spent an hour cleaning while I was writing letters, etc. that stuff. He's pretty sweet. He can't read very well at all, has a hard time teaching, but dangit he tries with all his heart. It's a great thing to see.

Well this week was great. It really was. It was a test but it turned out to be amazing. One experience I'd like to share. We were tracting in a place called Whim. We ran into this Christian family, Tony, Baby, and Rihanna, their 8 year old daughter. We asked if we could come in and share a message. They listened, understood, and the spirit was so, so strong. We learned at Zone Conference to invite people to baptism when the spirit is in the room the strongest. This way, it makes it hard for them to deny what they feel and say no. After bearing my testimony about how the restored gospel has blessed me, the man started to cry. It was then when I knew they felt the Spirit. I invited them to follow Christ and be baptized. They all accepted and we're going to start working with them more this week. It was a great experience.

Our promising investigators we found the last two weeks fell through. I had to drop them. When they lie and lie about not drinking and not smoking, and then never keep the one commitment that really matters, coming to church, it's time to drop them. It's disheartening, but essential. It's especially hard to fill up your day with people to teach when you have to drop your investigators. We sill be focusing a lot on finding new ones.

Our new Zone leader, Elder Jones, was an assistant the past 3 transfers. He baptized 80 people in my area, so it's wierd to be with him. He is very strict, very serious, but a dang good missionary. It's going to be great to serve under him this next 5 weeks.

5 months!!!! I can't believe it's been 5 months. Just in a month and a half I'll be talkin to ya on the phone. I tell you what. It is always comforting to have Elder Prince out here with me. I love that kid. We call each other all the time and it's fun having him only just a 10 minute drive away. We've become pretty good friends.

My studies have gotten much better these past few weeks. President Gamiette showed us a new method to study. It's called the three column method. Left column is where you put the verses and a title for the line. Middle column is prophetic words used in the verses.
Right column is the meaning or principles learned. You do this every few verses or every main idea in the chapter. Then after you're done with the chapter you put the main idea, or what you learned at the bottom. Kind of a summary of principles taught. I'll send you a picture of what mine looks like next week. I have been learning a LOT. Even from the Ether chapters where it's just political insurrection and war.

I LOVE THIS WORK. My spirits are highter, my faith is growing, and my confidence, shall I say like the sons of Alma, is waxing strong. I can't believe all the tings I've learned. I haven't had too much success in the way of getting in the white clothes and baptizing lately but I've learned my lessons and success will come as I continue to learn and apply the things I learned.

I love you all,
Elder Morris

October 26, 2009

This past week was a good one, tough, but good. Our investigators fell through, which wasn't good, so we're back to square one. We went to Ayasammy's, and he was drinking rum with his friend, wasted. Not good at all. After 2 lessons on the word of wisdom he was doing well and quitting smoking but not everyone was ready to keep their commitments. He didn't come to church either. We taught with the spirit and testified but we'll see. I'll follow up on him this week. Our other investigators turned out to just like listening to us because we're white church men. We taught this family about how our church is the only church with the priesthood authority and God's true church. After they just said, "Well, all the churches are the same. It's one God. I have my church." The people don't understand!! It was tough. It happens so much in Rose Hall. I'm not saying the people are stupid they just don't understand us when we talk, don't comprehend church things, but they do comprehend Jesus died and God loves them. We should be having a lot of new investigators this week though so it's all good. I haven't baptized in a while. Actually, all of Berbice and Canje hasn't baptized much at all lately. The mission's numbers have plummeted. President Gamiette has raised the bar on baptisms. Only people that have a sincere testimony can get baptized.

Things are looking up though. We got transfer calls this last week. I'll be staying here in Rose Hall, with a local mini-missionary, Brother Narine. Elder Daines is going to St. Maarten to end his mission. Talk about lucky!! Sounds like an amazing place. Elder Duncan, our Zone leader is going to Tobago, an island off Trinidad. Things just keep changing. It'll be fun though. Next transfer will be a good one.

I don't really know what else to tell ya. Things are going fine here; it's just going to be a lot of hard work. Haha, it's not like missionary work is supposed to be easy.

Story time: Last night we slept over at the Zone leaders in New Amsterdam. They have A/C which is hard to find here, so yeah! It was nice. In the morning we went PIRHANA fishing. Haha! Never thought I'd ever do that. We got about 6. Pretty easy to catch. Put a line with a piece of fish on a hook and it'll just grab on and eat it. Haha. Pretty fun morning today. Haha.

Well, that's about it with me. I'm doing great. The Lord's there waiting to help me, so all I have to do is have the faith that He will. I am loving it here!

Elder Morris

Sunday, October 25, 2009

nate in Berbice

The Rastifarian in Nate's journal

yummy food from the holiday.


October 19, 2009


So, this week was MUCH better!! We put our minds to it. I fasted and prayed more and harder than I ever had before. We relied on the Spirit. After the zone conference last week we were motivated to do a better job and do some good ol' fashioned work. We got a lot done. We went out after p-day on Tuesday, looking for somewhere to go tracting. We both felt as we were riding in a taxi to stop in this one area in Port Mourant, called Ankerville. Before the end of 1 hour of tracting we had taught 4 lessons and had 5 new investigators. It was wonderful. Being led by the Spirit is a wonderful thing. We had nobody we were teaching who had reall progressed before then, and all of a sudden we have a lot more people from this past week who are excited to get baptized. This guy, Ayasammy, is about 60 years old, but loves to read. He works as a night security gaurd for a shop in Rose Hall. He has already read most of 1st Nephi, and all the tracts we have given him. He is very humbled due to the lack of money, but he is prepared I feel. We met a family living down a shortcut by our house called the Frasers. In the middle of the lesson the lady stopped and said, "So, all I am really trying to do is just find the truth, but I just don't know how to find it!" We challenged her to pray and ask God if our message was true, and when God answers her, if she and her family wants to be baptized. They all accepted and were very excited! Due to this week's past success, I have an increased amount of faith, and my confidence has increased as well in the Lord's ability to work through me. I love being a missionary!

This past week we had a funny experience. So there's a lot of homeless in Guyana, right? Well there's this especially crazy one that is a Rastifarian. We always see him around but one day he came up to us and knelt on the ground yelling praises to us as white gods from heaven. Then he hugged my leg. I shook him off, but then he got up and gave us a big thumbs up with a rotten smile and walked away. Hahaha! It was hilarious! I drew a picture of it in my journal. See the picture. I've been doing that latley. Bought a colored pencil set and have been drawing funny stuff in my journal every day.

So, Saturday night was the holiday of DIWALI! You know, from The Office, the Hindu holiday. It was very fun! There's a Creole restaurant we've been eating at that had a bunch of special food just for the holiday. We had Sweet Rice w/ Dhall Puri, Pumpkin (a combo of blended pumpkin and spices) inside a bake, and lots of fruit. Because we're in such a Hindu neighborhood, there were candles everywhere. It was really pretty actually.

To answer some questions: 1. Dad. Yes we do member present lessons. That is one of our key indicators of conversion, or one of the goals we set. We try to get as many as possible. 2. I liked what Dad said about the mission being a foundation for the rest of my life. I agree completley. As a missionary you begin all these awesome habits that if kept, will keep you safe and sound for the rest of your life. I am loving the changes that I see taking place within me. I don't want to go back to the old me when I'm done here. 3. Mom! Thanks for telling me about the experiences with all the kids! I love hearing about all the nieces and Bryce. They're way fun! For Christmas you'll have to set it up so when we do the webcam chat that everyone will be there.

So, basically I love this place. We're doing much better, my spirits are higher, and I'm working harder , studying more effectivley. My testimony is growing each day. Keep being awesome. Your encouragement is helping me a lot!

Elder Morris

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 13, 2009

First of all answering some questions:

Dad had some in his email.

About the economy: We do not see the effects of the bad economy in the States because we have an even worse, yet horrible economy here. The average income here is extremely low. Many children don't go to school, and many people can't read. So no we don't see the effects of the US economy here. About doing wash and cooking. We have a washer in the back of the house. Just put in detergent like at home. To fill it up with water you have to fill up buckets and dump it in but it's not bad. Then we hang up the clothes to dry on lines in our apartment. Cooking is like how is was at college. Here, I've been having 2 eggs, toast and sometimes a bowl of cereal for breakfast. For lunch we don't have to much time to cook so usually it's spaghetti, mac and cheese, or sometimes we eat out. There's a local restaurant next to the apartment that has really good bake and salt fish or chicken curry and rice. Pretty delicious! We have pots and pans and a stove at the apartment. No worries there. Haha. Also, fast food: In Berbice it's only Church's chicken which is a huge chain like KFC. In Georgetown there's KFC, Church's, Pizza Hut and Popeye's. Delicious!


I love your attitude with all your hard responsiblities in YW. Keep working hard! I love ya. I really liked Elder Scott's talk too. I wrote down a lot of good info from it. I can't wait till we get the Liahona so we can read it. About the [ten missionary] plaques by the bishop's office: Can you take a picture of all of them individually, and then a picture of them all together and send it to me via email? Also, I'd love more pictures from home and with friends and junk for the next package. Also, I need a thing to put consecrated oil in. One of those sweet metal vials at desert book or something. Next package! Haha. I love ya.

So, this past week was a rollercoaster. This week seemed like NOTHING happened. It was rough! I felt like we worked very hard. Elder Daines has the philosophy to just contact on the street those that'd look like they'd take the gospel. I don't like that at all but I just let that happen. Because we've done that, we haven't taught very many people and don't get too much done. Because of that, our numbers the past few weeks have been going down bad. No baptisms scheduled because we're not teaching anyone! We had interviews with President Gamiette Sunday night and he was disappointed with the numbers. He also said someone told him that I don't want to stay in Guyana and train a Guyanese. I don't know where that came from because I would LOVE to do that. I know I can do that. I told him this and he was surprised. He said that originally he had me leaving Guyana because of that next transfer. I told him that I wanted to stay and train someone. He said that if you really want to, there'll be an increase in numbers this week. So, the pressures on. I'm gonna step up and work extra hard this week. Not just so I can stay in Guyana, but because I'm sick of seeing the lack of success in this area. Yes I can blame it on the lack of education in the area and understanding of our messages, but no. It is my fault and I'll just have to do better. I know I can do it. I know how to teach. Heavenly Father will help me. It was a rough interview but I can improve and next interview hopefully he'll be a bit more pleased with me. I could blame it on Elder Daines but I won't. I could have done a lot better. Lessons learned now help me become better in the future.

Zone conference yesterday: It was a GREAT one! It lasted about 4 hours. President taught us so much that we can use. He is a great man, great leader, great teacher. Loved it!! Learned about retention, bringing less actives back, teaching with the Spirit. Learned a lot about how to invite baptism and how to do it when the Spirit in the room is the highest. If we do that, they won't say no. Because they'll feel it is true and something they need to do. There was tons more we learned but I can't write all of it! After he was doing interviews with more people, so we hung out and talked with everybody for another few hours. It was fun catching up with Elder Scott, seeing how my old area is going. ALL of my investigators in Kitty are baptized/being baptized next week. Keysha, Latoya, Mahesh, Pretty. I was very excited about that. Gonna put them in my preach! (First page of Preach my Gospel). I am grateful Elder Moses cleaned up and got them in the water. I loved talking with everybody. I have made tons of good friends here.

Well that's my week. Rough, but lessons learned. I guess my faith just isn't as good as it should be! This next week will be a blast, making up for our past mistakes.

Elder Morris

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 5, 2009

Dad asked the following questions in his letter to Nate and this was his response:

Dad: Do you have a tan? Are you kind of skinny? Who cuts your hair? Is it short like you like it? How much does it cost to get a haircut? Please send me a current picture when you get a minute.

Nate: Haha! So. I will take a picture sometime this week. My tan? It's okay. Probably pretty dang tan compared to people at home but here with the missionaries I'm not too dark. I'm skinnier. I've lost about 3 inches on the waist. Thank goodness for belts but they're at the last holes. I'll have to punch some new ones in. Here there's random barber shops all around so we just barely got one. 400 dollars a piece. (2 US dollars) Pretty cheap. Did an okay job, but nothing compared to Tammy Haddow. Haha.

This week! What a whirlwind! So. We're still dealing with issues in the branch and the hardened people that are here, but are working ETREMELY hard to find those diamonds in the rough. They're out there. We met a guy on the street; he was kind of interested in the Book of Mormon. I opened the book and read him Alma 34:32. First I asked what he thought the purpose of life was. Then we read it. He was interested! He was into it. He asked who wrote that, I said Alma, a prophet of God. He didn't know who that was but he wanted to know more about it so of course we got his address and phone number and will meet with him this week. The work is hard but so worth it. My attitude is what keeps my head up. I love this work!

I'm still district leader I guess. So I get to do baptismal interviews which I think will be rather exciting. I get to use the spirit to let me know whether or not someone is really prepared to enter into the covenant of baptism. What an opportunity!

Conference....OOOOOhhhh Yeah! I've never been so overwhelmed by the spirit of those amazing talks. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. 24 pages of notes!! Things I can apply to myself now as a missionary, as a son, as a future husband and father. I loved every second of it. We had a satellite at the East Canje chapel which then fed into a tv and a projector. Haha, I got to use my electronic education and helped set up over the phone the ones in Linden and Georgetown as well. It was pretty fun. I really did love every second of it.

As for me.... with this week and this conference: I'm experiencing a change of heart as they say. I feel better, stronger in my relationship with the Lord. My prayers are more fervent. The spirit has been giving me continued revelation. I'm studying better, working smarter. I've never been better and I hope to continue to rise up like it said in the song in Priesthood Session, "Rise up o men of God". I am doing just that. Rising up, magnifying my calling. I'm learning more, working more, and relying on God more.

Mom and Dad. Do not regret anything you didn't do with me growing up and be grateful for the things we did do! This is not pride, just gratitude for everything you have done for me. I've never felt better and I can't imagine being anywhere else in my life right now. How grateful and blessed I am for having parents like you for being patient with me, for always pushing me in the right direction. Yes I made bad choices. That is what the atonement is for. I am different Mom and Dad. I really am. I regret the things I didn't do before the mission. I regret not spending more time with you guys. But regrets are for the past. And all I can do is just express gratitude for you. KNOW HOW MUCH I DO LOVE YOU. While I'm out here never doubt my love for you. Words can't express my gratitude for the things you did for me. I hope one day I can repay you.

A mission is an amazing thing. Something I would never trade. I am blessed to be serving my God in this country. While crazy as it is, I wouldn't trade it for anything! I have to go but this weekend was such a spiritually uplifting one. I love this work and I love Heavenly Father and the Savior for what they do for me. I'm reading Jesus the Christ right now and it's an amazing book. I love learning about the Savior.

Elder Morris

PS: my new address is

26-14 Harkman's Lane
New Amsterdam, Berbice

Monday, October 5, 2009

September 28, 2009

To all at home! Happy Birthday to all who read this!

Berbice is SWEET! Super rural, 2/3 of the people don't know how to read, and they can't understand me when I talk. I have to speak Creolese. I love it here. See what happened in my area is that this guy got baptized, and he helped bring over 150 people into the church last year. He went apostate and got excommunicated and so now there is only like 30 people at church a week, with over 300 baptized members. It is going to be a though month. The work has totally slowed down in Guyana.

See what happened before was that people thought the numbers were more important than the person, so they'd go about baptizing 10 year old kids because their parents weren't interested and they liked church. I don't know HOW you can think that's a good idea but that's how Guyana did so well last year. Now we're back to what God really wants us to do, baptize only prepared converted people that understand the restoration and the atonement. I love it here. Ya know that's the negative of the work in Guyana but it really is a sweet place. There is a lot of prepared people in the world. I'm lucky to be in such a sweet place.

I'm with Elder Daines now. Being with Elder Noah for those 2 weeks was tough. I learned a lot of things I shouldn't be doing on the mission. Supposedly being this far from the Mission President , a lot of these missionaries in Berbice did a lot of movie watching, music listening, etc. I don't know HOW you can think that's a good idea either!

Elder Daines does missionary work the right way. I'm going to try to emulate more of his ideas. Following the spirit and only teaching prepared people is a necessary thing here. You can go about baptizing unprepared kids and women but I don't think that's how God wants us to operate. He is a great elder and I get along with him great. He has been out 20 months and will be going home soon. He is from Rexburg, Idaho and went to BYU Idaho but will be going to BYU next year studying filmmaking. It will be a great transfer with Elder Daines.

I'm not district leader or training a missionary anymore. I am working hard, but I guess I just wasn't needed as one yet. Elder Prince however will be training a new one. It's fun being so close to him, only a 30 minute drive and over the Berbice bridge. We've been able to gaff a lot. BTW they say that a lot here. Gaffing is sweet.

The work in Rose Hall is interesting. We'll be doing A LOT of finding. We weren't left with anyone to teach, only a 10 year old girl but we won't work much with her, only if she gets a solid link with a member of the church. So the work will be rough but it'll have great rewards. We know we can baptize in Guyana. We can baptize lots. We just have to do it God's way. The work will improve, I'm sure of it.

Can I get Colby's email address?? I want to wish him congratulations on his engagement. I can't believe in one month he'll be married!! That is so crazy.

Well I better be going. Keep it real back in the states. I love it here and don't worry about me! I am loving the work, not homesick, and my testimony is growing all of the time!

Elder Morris!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 21, 2009

Hello from Berbice!

Haha, this week was nuts. So! Transfers happened, but a problem arose. None of the scheduled mini missionaries were able to come this week. So for example, in the Canje Zone where I am, there are only me, Elder Noah (my companion for this past week), and Elder Duncan (Zone Leader) covering a HUGE area. It was a hassle. I was only able to work in Rose Hall 1-2 days. When we get some temporary mini missionaries, until the real mini missionaries get here, we will have 3 companionships in our zone. It's gonna be tough but exciting all the same.

These are answers to Dad's questions that he listed in his email:

As a district we meet weekly unless it's zone conference or zone meeting. It'll probably be a bunch of combined zone meetings though, because of lack of numbers. There are only 3 companionships working all of Berbice Zone too. So that makes 12 missionaries in 2 zones. Usually it's about 10-12 per zone. Exchanges happen once a transfer cycle (every 6 weeks). I will serve with everyone in my district; the zone leader serves with everyone in his zone. My district is really just the zone leaders and me.

So I really am not doing much. Elder Noah, my companion this past week, is from Delta, Utah. In Rose Hall, there is an organized branch that can run on its own but still needs missionaries to help with things like tithing. The Crabwood Creek branch, one of the ones that Noah is over, is not as organized and needs missionaries to teach classes and things. Skeldon, another area Noah is covering, is only a group and had 8 people at church. I was in Crabwood Creek and Skeldon this past weekend, so I got to see that. It was pretty rough. The senior couple for my branch was the Treseders, but they have to leave due to the Lock-Up situation. The only couple in Berbice will be the Lingrens in Canje.

I recieved the package on Tuesday!! Thanks so much for all of that! I am very happy with some of the ties. Haha, some of the missionaries are very jealous. The candy and drink mix was very welcome too. Mac and Cheese though can be found here. Don't need to send that from now on, thanks though! I don't know my new mailing address yet; will get it to you ASAP.

Each missionary get 270 US a transfer. Also, the senior companion gets about 200 US for travel to pay for taxi, bus and cars. In Berbice for long trips you take bus, short drops you just flag down a car that's goin along. Most are working taxis.

About the visa situation, not so sure about if it's fixed. All I know is that I should be getting a work permit soon that is either for 90 days or for 1 year. Not sure about the time. Pretty sure it's one year, so I'll be here for awhile. However there is a cap of foreign missionaries. Only 20!! That is not enough for Guyana. That's why they have been rushing to get local missionaries to serve full-time missions.

So basically this week was kinda wierd. Haha. When we got to Berbice on Thursday, there was a big meeting with President Hymas telling us what to expect and how to handle what was before us. It was an amazing lecture/talk. I learned a lot about diligence and complete obedience, setting an example for our mini missionaries. After, I went to the apartment, dropping off all my stuff and unpacking. A nice apartment, mosquito screens on the windows, keeping most mosquitos out. Lots of room, used to hold 4 missionaries. Big beds, full size. Anyway, I like the apartment. The landlord is our branch president, President Johnnie. He's a cool guy, energetic, very willing to work. That night when I got there he called the EQ President, Brother Garret, and he took us around to meet some members.

BTW, until this settles down I'm with Elder Noah. I should be getting Elder Moses, a mini missionary, to serve with me tommorrow. Elder Noah is a funny guy. Not a hard worker but once I get the mini missionary with me we can get to work. He's a cool guy and everything though. I like him.

We were in my area Thursday night and Friday, just seeing members and getting to know that area. Saturday and Sunday we were in Crabwood Creek and Skeldon, Elder Noah's area. Nice area, very rural so it was pretty neat to walk around. Ate some cane, mango, coconuts. It's sweet. Out here members just give you fruit all the time. It just grows on trees so they have a guy climb up a coconut tree and kick down some coconuts for us. It was fun.

Berbice is a crazy place. Haha about the language. It's just horribly broken down English. Replacing her with she and him with he. Like, "What's she name boss?" Or, "Whappin de?" It's pretty fun though. Hard to understand people, but it'll get easier.

My area's pretty interesting. Elder Jones, an assistant to the president right now, served here for about 6 months. He baptized 80 people. So many people have been baptized here, but the attendance at church is horrible. Almost all of the converts about a year ago when the area caught on fire don't go to church anymore. That makes my job pretty rough. Reactivation is now on the list of things for me to do here. I'm excited to get working though; I could do very well here. Just applying the principles President Gamiette wants us to apply and teaching and testifying of the Book of Mormon will be very important.

Also, what happened to BYU and UTAH? I expected as much from Utah State but not BYU and Utah. (Sorry Amy, they are just a horrilbe team!)

Anyways, I've written way to much. I love it here so far. There's no Pizza Hut or KFC but I'll get over it. I'm just glad I get to stay in Guyana, let alone Rose Hall. My area used to be an area where legends were born. No joke. So many amazing missionaries have been through here and baptized grips (lots of people).

Have fun at home. Let me know how things are!

Elder Morris

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sept 14, 2009

This week was crazy!!! Wednesday we had an AWESOME day. We found tons of new investigators, taught 8 lessons, and I dunno it was just a great day. It's always good when we work hard to complete the goals/promises we made to God every day. He really does provide.

We've been working way hard with Stacey's friend Latoya. She is reading, has prayed and recieved answers to her prayers and is ready for baptism. We did a couple power lessons, teaching a lot of information in a short amount of time. She accepted all of the commandments and everything!! Such a cool girl. She's about 25. Only problem is that we needed to teach her a few more things before baptism so we'll have to leave her for the next elders coming in to baptize.

The second half of this week wasn't very cool. The Evans told me I'd be staying in Guyana for sure a week ago so I wasn't worrying about anything. Wednesday night I find out I'm leaving. Sis. Bowen in our branch told me she had a ticket for me to leave. Thursday and Friday rumors are flying more and more. I kept hearing that I might be learning French and going to Guadeloupe or French Guiana. Friday and Saturday we waited all day for a phone call from President telling us we're being transferred. Saturday night we get the call. Elder Stebbing = Port of Spain, Trinidad. Elder Morris = Sangre Grande, Trinidad. Whoa!! I was stunned. I was fine with it and everything and was just relieved that I didn't have to learn French or anything. Sunday we are at church and I told President Pooran goodbye, he's in the district Presidency. He was like, "Nonsense!! You are not leaving Guyana!!!" He called President Gamiette and supposedly I had already been put on the list for people to receive work permits to stay in Guyana. So I couldn't even LEAVE Guyana because I was on the list. They changed everything around and now, I am going to Rose Hall, Berbice, Guyana. I will be a District Leader, training Elder Wilkins, a Guyanese Mini-missionary. Berbice is more of the country of Guyana. More insects, bigger insects, Caymans (Alligators) etc. It'll be SWEET!!! I'm very nervous to be teaching someone how to be a missionary but I'm going to work my hardest. Everything is going to be so different next transfer. Tons more missionaries will be on the islands, and a ton of people in Trinidad. Berbice is about an hour east of Georgetown, past the river. It'll be pretty exciting.

We met a lot of our members and recent converts the past few days, saying our goodbyes and collecting phone numbers and addresses. Don't be surprised if one calls the home phone. Haha!

Anyways it was a rollercoaster of a week. I'm blanking an area this next transfer. I go there on Thursday. I don't know anyone there or any investigators. I love Guyana and am blessed to be able to stay here!! It'll be pretty exciting.

Elder Morris

Attached are two clippings of us in the paper. Pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 7, 2009

Things are interesting in Guyana. I won't waste much time talking about random people we talked to during the week. Basically this was all the rage/news in the mission. So! Yes I was detained this past week. Wednesday morning we got the call to go over to the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) Headquarters. We got there, not knowing what to expect, walked in and were told we couldn't leave. They had a list of 50 missionaries that are going to be kicked out. 13 have already left and so 37 will be kicked out.

What happened is that when we enter the country we get a 30 day stamp in our passports. The senior couple fills out tons of paperwork for an extension on our visas. For 20 years nothing has gone wrong until now they have gone through and denied all of them. So now all of a sudden we have "overstayed" our time even though we haven't done anything. In fact with all the law side of things, we are STILL legal here, but they're not listening. We weren't illegal here like lots think.

So, we were "asked" to come to headquarters. They sent cops to our apartment to pick us up the night before but we were out working so they didn't take us. They did, however, find Elder and Sister Evans. They were taken to lockup and stayed there overnight. We were at the place being assured by Nigel Hughes, the lawyer, that everything would be okay and we'd be out by 10am.

Then they came and said, alright, out by 12 pm. That time came and passed. Finally someone figured out that a few of us who came with their companions weren't on the list of those to be detained, including me. We were released and got to go and do missionary work. There were about 40 people there though.

We weren't in jail cells, btw, just in a big office. They finally got a Supreme Court order ordering us to be released. That was about 1 pm. We got word that President Jagdeo (Guyanese President) and Home Affairs had no intention of following that order (the law pretty much) and still kept us and said that we were being forced to leave tomorrow.

I was off doing missionary work with Elder Scott but the others were still there. They got Popeye's and Pizza Hut for lunch and dinner. Things cooled down a bit and now the ones on the list have 30 days to leave the country. We're still out doing missionary work, but about 35 missionaries, including senior couples, have to leave the country. Most will go to Trinidad and double up with other missionaries there.

So the 15 or so left, including me, will be able to stay here until they say otherwise. To deal with the situation, they are calling a ton of pre-missionary age young men and young women to serve mini missions here in their own country. So, next transfer I will probably be training a brand new Guyanese teenager missionary. WIERD but really a good opportunity!!!

Anyways, things are going well. I confirmed Raymond in church yesterday. Very neat experience. First time doing it! We might have a couple baptisms coming up later, but things are a bit slow right now. More news about that next week I guess.

I played Georgetown Risk with the Zone leaders yesterday night. I won big time!! Owned them all!!

Well I gotta go. Wish I could send some pictures. Have a good one!!

I AM SAFE and sound. Don't worry about me.

Elder Morris

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Elder Scott's Scottopoly

Two member kids on the church fence.

Baptism of Raymond Craig 8.30.09

August 31, 2009

Whappin' de? (What's happening.....today?)

Ah...creolese is sweet! So, Sunday we had a baptism!! It was way good. Raymond Craig. As you can see, very short, fine (skinny), Indian guy. We have only been teaching him 2+ weeks but when they're ready, they're ready. It's sad. In Georgetown Zone for the past 4 weeks there have been 3 baptisms. 2 of them have been in our area. We were chatting with the Zone leaders and they don't know what to do. They're trying so hard to motivate everyone.

New converts night on Friday: Played lots of games, had a great spiritual message, and everyone but us got to enjoy lots of good food. That's one thing that's hard. Not eating the local food. The cookup looks so good! We couldn't even eat the hot dogs they had. Anyways it was a fun night.

Haha, last night we played Elder Scott's "Scottopoly!!" We slept over at the Zone leaders' again and played for a few hours. He re-did all of the chance and community chest cards to make it game changing. Like..."Advance to MayFair (Boardwalk) and take it!!" or "Put a hotel on any property" or "Give 1/2 of your properties to the loosing player." It was pretty fun actually, haha. Elder Stebbing won, but I came close.

This week was wierd. Had a couple way good days early, and had some bad days late; like we found 5 investigators on Wednesday, but none the rest of the week. Oh well. Any week with a baptism in it is a good week.

We're working with Keisha, Michelle's 15 year old daughter. See before, their family and all their friends went to the UCKG (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God), a Brazillian church. So she is a little hesitant about things, but has recieved answers to her prayers and is understanding things well. She just needs to come to church with her mother. She will probably be baptized in 2 or 3 weeks.

Our recent converts are great!! Stacy is the YSA rep for the branch and loves it. She helped organize YW camp as well and has been to church every week. She was baptized one month ago!!! She wants to go on a mission too. Sweet! The Salim family is doing okay. They need to come to church more. Hope everything will be okay with them. Michelle and Angela are doing well. Veneta is doing great too and is back in town for school.

Anyways, the week was pretty good. President Gamiette's new standards are rough but neccesary. He promises great success as we work on what he is telling us to do.

Pictures included are two member kids on the church fence, Scottopoly, and the baptism.

Much Love,
Elder Morris

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Georgetown Sunset in Georgetown

August 24, 2009

Alright so this week nothin much has changed. Our zone isn't doing to well. We're the only area with sucess so far this transfer. 1 baptism in 3 weeks for all 6 companionships.

We will have a baptism Sunday for Raymond. He is a friend of Salim's. We wouldn't have met him if we weren't trying to reach every single goal every day. One night we needed a new investigator and a referral so we had the Salim's call a friend and invite him over. We taught Raymond the first lesson and it went way good. He loved it and committed to baptism right there. We wouldn't have met him if we weren't trying to complete all our goals.

My testimony is growing every single day! I love it here even if it is super hot and sweaty every day! It hasn't rained to much latley because the rainy season just ended. I'm becoming a better teacher as I keep studying every morning.

Haha, we found a rat in the apartment the other day! Very entertaining - both Elder Stebbing and I running around in our G's wielding cricket bats! It got away though. Haha, don't worry. Our apartment is fine. First time we've had a rat in a very long time.

I loved reading your emails. Can't respond much. I wish I could. Just know things are going very well. SEND THE TIES!! Yes they are ugly. We're missionaries! That's the culture. Ugly fat ties. Haha. They are worth lots of money here.

Elder Morris

August 17, 2009

Hey there!

Hello from Guyana. BTW to those that are interested it's "Guy-Anna" (Pronunciation wise.) Busy, busy week! The new way of contacting people has really made it difficult to get our 20 contacts. The results will improve because of it, but it takes a whole lotta work. Also, we've found a lot of new people recently, but like all of our investigators have only been to church once which makes it difficult if you have a goal of 6 baptisms the month of August.

Tuesday we did exchanges with the Zone leaders. Elder Scott came with me in Kitty and we tore it up. We reached all our goals, found cool new people, and got all of our contacts. He's an awesome missionary and I really learned a lot from him. He's a way funny guy too, always laughing. We also had a zone meeting that day taught by the zone leaders learning more about the changes President Gamiette wants in the mission. He basically is raising the bar for missionaries; helping us just be better teachers, people and missionaries. It's been really interesting. With this it raises the bar for investigators too. Instead of just baptizing lots of people, we are now focused on that and making sure that they are reading the Book of Mormon lots, love coming to church, understand everything, etc. It'll be tough but retention will improve so much!

The week was okay. We worked way hard, and surpassed many of our goals for the week, but many of our investigators didn't come to church halting the work a little bit. We'll work harder this week I guess.

Well, Love you all
Elder Morris

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Michelle's baptism (with brother Baptiste)
Member family's son - smiles so big

Dark sky over Georgetown
August 10, 2009

One thing I like about Guyana? - Using goodnight as a greeting. Like “Hello goodnight” (at the evening time of course). Anyways, things are going splendidly here.
This week was pretty snazzy. We had a goal of finding 10 new investigators (basically someone new we teach the first lesson to). On Friday we only had 3 so we really needed to pick it up. Elder Hamilton, one of the Assistants, surprised us on Saturday and went out with us the whole day. The President wanted to visit Guyana and talk with all the zone leaders and stuff like that for a few days, so Elder Hamilton did exchanges with us. What an example of teaching and testifying to everyone we meet! I really learned a lot. Not just to invite people to church like everybody else does, but to also talk about how there’s a prophet on the earth today like Moses or Noah! It was really great. We reached our investigator goal due to us praying for help and working hard to find new people.
Also, each day we’re supposed to get 20 contacts (someone random that we talk to on the street). It’s not that hard to get, but President Gamiette has changed it to 20 people we get contact information for, which is A LOT harder. Took us all day to get 20.
We baptized Michelle on Saturday. President Barrow, the Elders Quorum President was chosen to perform it. She was so excited to be baptized! In the picture, a random member that was there jumped in our picture with just the missionaries and Michelle. Brother Baptiste! Weird guy, but pretty funny, haha.
Basically the whole us getting kicked out of Guyana thing blew over. We never heard what happened and everybody says it’s all good so we are here to stay. Tinesha moved out Saturday so we had to hand her over to the next missionaries. She was progressing well and had been to church two weeks in a row! It wasn’t cool. But she’ll still probably get baptized which is great.
Well that was pretty much it for this week. Pictures are included. One was a dark black sky looming over Georgetown. It got worse after we left and began to POUR, POUR POUR! I’ve never seen so much rain in my life. Next picture is of this member family’s son. He is the funniest. Smiles so big like 90 percent of the time! Last picture is of Michelle’s baptism. It was a good week! I love you all so much.
Elder Morris

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 3, 2009

Hey whappin? (What's happening in Creolese) haha

Life is GOOD! I'm doing great! Today's my 2 month mark, meaning I am approximatley....8.33 percent done with my mission. Crazy!! I'm feeling great though and am enjoying my time here. So today was transfer breakfast because transfers are Wednesday. (Every 6 weeks). Zone leader, Elder Marshall's going to Trinidad, but Elder Stebbing and I both stay in Kitty. We're doin' good. He has 2 transfers left on his mission. Elder Stebbing and I get along great. He's pretty cool. Goes to BYU as well. Breakfast was omlets provided by the Evans'. They're an awesome senior couple! They leave in 3 months though.

News! Michelle is getting baptized Saturday! She chose President Barrow to do the baptism (EQ Pres). He's a way cool guy and she is so ready to be baptized. She has been baptized before but knows why she needs it again. Knows everything really well. It was just put off because she didn't know much but now we have taught her well!

No baptisms this weekend.

News! We might be kicked out of Guyana Thursday. All missionaries in Guyana may be kicked out Thursday. The government issued and order for 50 missionaries to leave by Thursday. President Hymas, President Pooran, and the attorneys are working against it. If we do, like it has happened before, it won't be a big deal. There's no reason to be worried. The church will make sure we're being provided for. And we'll be able to return soon anyways like it has in the past. No time to say more about it.

News! I have lost 30 pounds in this transfer. 6 weeks. I feel great though I think it was just because I was sick at the first part and didn't eat much. 1 weigh 175 now. Now I just need to start exercising.

Seriously this branch is pretty fun. So many funny/wierd/insane people. Guyanese are funny people. I will definantly miss them after my mission. They were playing this wierd game at New Converts night and the old Elders Quorum President was just way too excited. Jumping up and down, singing loudly, haha! Just a funny sight! I have a video of it and...too hard to send videos so maybe another time.

We've been teaching this girl, Tinesha, and she's way excited about it. She's come to church two times already and brings her whole family, cousins, brothers, etc. Most have been pretty cool and will probably get baptized.

Interesting note about transfers. Elder Beeson, my old comp, is with Elder Park next transfer. Park came out in the same group with us. Wierd that they are both together. Usually they put older missionaries with the younger to still be training them and such.

About the package. Don't worry about sending too much stuff. I can buy things here. But send candy, not chocolate. Like Swedish fish and such. Oh, and the Evans address is actually 243 Cedar Courts not 248. Also, I got the letter from home! Got it Thursday so it took about 2 weeks to get here. Not too shabby!

Well I'm doing great. Sorry I couldn't talk about you very much but I love your emails so much!!! I love hearing news from home. Keep it up! An email doesn't take to long to write.

Elder Morris

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baptism of Stacy

Happy Birthday Mom!
Nate from his email

July 27, 2009

Things are going great! To answer your question we walk everywhere and take buses to different villages. Buses are just vans with numbers painted on them. They like to fit 20 people in one van and blast reggae. Ha ha, quite the experience!

This week was pretty sweet! Tuesday we had a district meeting at this park place where there are monkeys in the trees! It was fun. We fed them bread and they snatched it out of our hands and on our heads! It was really cool. I have never played with monkeys before!

Things are going great here. From being sick I lost like 15 pounds and I actually feel better than I have in a while. Just gotta make sure to eat foods I’m used to. I still don’t eat as much as I used to but that is changing. Like for example today we ate at “The Brazilian” which is this sweet restaurant with guys walking around with meat cutting it off for you. Expensive but we had been saving up for it. It was fun!

Saturday was Stacy’s baptism! She has been ready for so long. She was excited and it was a nice baptism.

Yesterday was branch conference. President Hymas spoke but instead of his talk he started off saying, “The spirit is subdued.” He said that the spirit wasn’t in the room. For some reason he didn’t feel like giving his talk and instead talked to the branch and kept saying that they needed to repent. He talked how he felt wickedness in the room and that the people needed to shape up and repent. Without it, he said, how is the branch supposed to grow? It was quite interesting. He is such a good speaker and I was looking forward for his talk but what he said was inspired and I hope the branch takes note. It was very weird.

Anyhow, we’ve found some new people that we’re teaching. This family we just happened to tract into on accident. This kid yelled at us and was like, “Hey come talk to my cousin!” She was like 18 and showed up to church with a friend and a cousin. It was pretty cool.

So I’ve had some sweet studies. I’ve read like 200 pages of the Book of Mormon in the last month ‘cause I’ve just been trying to read the whole thing well and get an overview of the whole thing before I get into some sweet study. Praying before study helps so much.

Well hey I know this was a weird email but I don’t have much time. I love you! I wish I could say more! Tell Ryan to send the ties to the address in Guyana. Amy, I couldn't reply to either - tell her I love her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Mom) AND I LOVE YOU!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hey Mom!

This past week was a really good one. Thought I’d mention I’m feeling much better but am not eating as much or else I start to feel sick again. I feel great now. Probably just hadn’t gotten used to the climate/area whatever. I sweat like crazy here! You should see my collars after a hard day’s work. Dark brown! Haha. Don’t worry I bought some spray and wash.

To answer questions from you, yes! We do work with the new converts. We teach them all the lessons over again. President Gamiette said that if the convert stays active for 42 days after baptism they stay active. Pretty cool statistic. Veneta moved over the river to Esecuevo for a short time but she’s solid. She’ll be back soon. The Salims’ grandmother died this week so they have been over the river as well this week

Did you know that most people here only make 200 dollars US a month? We get 540 as a companionship just for food and travel. I can’t imagine. Btw that is 108,000 guyanese dollars. Haha!

Zone conference this week!! WOW!!!!!!!!!! That’s all I can say. I learned SO SO SO much. WE took the beatitudes found in the Sermon on the Mount both in BOM and Matthew and we learned that they are more important than we think. We made a list of each thing we need to do. Like mourn for our sins. That’s important! Repentance is absolutely essential and we need to OWN the atonement and know it is extremely positively important before we can teach others about it. And when teaching others we need to make sure they OWN it as well. That’s what makes them prepared for baptism. To make sure they know how important it is and how it applies to them. I don’t have time to say everything I learned but believe me I learned TONS. I feel different. Like a different person. President Gamiette is an incredible person and I have a lot to learn from him. WOW.

We were only able to baptize one person this weekend. We had three that were ready but they required second interviews by someone in the mission presidency. After talking with President Gamiette he decided to push back Stacy’s baptism and Michelle’s as well. Stacy will be getting baptized this weekend and Michelle in 2 or three weeks. Angela, a short Amerindian lady, way nice, got baptized by me this weekend! Picture included. She is super short! She moved in last week and had been taught by the missionaries in Linden. They are breaking new ground and are having great success there. She was very ready and is always feeling the spirit. She knows without a doubt this is the true church. And so do I! Soon a stake will be in place in Georgetown and from there we will be able to go into the interior and over the Esecuevo river. The interior sounds AWESOME! We will be the first missionaries to ever step foot into there. I can’t imagine what it’d be like. I can’t believe that I’ve been here for 4 weeks and have 4 baptisms. They said to anticipate a baptism a week!

About Wilt Weekend. It didn’t work out at all. 38 people in the entire mission!! Not good. Only 2/6 companionships baptized this weekend in Georgetown . It was too bad. There are 5 zones in Guyana to put it in perspective. I love it though. I think it was a lesson to not focus on the number, but making sure that each person is really ready to enter the waters into baptism and make a covenant with God. Retention is a big problem here. People think that baptism is the final step instead of the beginning. They get forgotten and forget the church and continue with their lives. Our branch, Georgetown 2nd, has a really good program set up to go out and retrieve those people. Thursday nights the Relief Society, Priesthood, and Young Women go out and visit less actives to help them come back to church. It’s working pretty good. I like our branch. Some way cool, crazy, awesome people. Haha, just thinking about em makes me laugh. I’ll take a video of the branch this week and send it so you can meet them! If I have time of course!

Dad wanted me to include some ideas on how to study preach my gospel. Go through it each chapter and do each activity. Do companion studies with mom too. At the end of each chapter it has them. Member missionary work is ESSENTIAL here. Please help the missionaries and think of referrals for them. They LOVE it. Just go through the whole book doing each activity and every activity at the end of each chapter. Also, do the Christ like attributes quiz and figure out what you could improve on each week and work on it for that week! A lot of things I know, but it’ll help. It helps me! I see how important Preach My Gospel is now. I see why each missionary comes home wishing he would have studied it before he went on the mission. I’m keepin up though no worries.

BTW give my congratulations to Rachel (Gray) on her engagement! Dad told me about it. Todd seems like a cool guy.
Well that’s all I can really say. I love getting your emails and I work hard to make sure to reply to everything you ask me! I love it here. What a unique environment, walking down the street, being called white boy archers (gay white boys), jokin with drunk rastas, (dreadlocks Bob Marley types), playing cricket, etc. It’s all good. Haha I like being called spies too. They think we’re really from the FBI. Haha it’s way fun. Well I love you mom. More next week!
Elder Morris.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 13, 2009

Mom –

I’m excited you were able to go to the Robison’s homecoming address. In the short time I stayed with them, I learned lots from them and they are amazing people. Zone conference and interviews with the President are this week so I will be able to meet and talk with President Gamiette then. Their talk sounded really amazing. And it was exciting to hear that those important General Authorities were there as well! I’m really really glad you guys both went. You said one of President Robison’s 4 purposes for speaking was to motivate people to serve missions. What about you? Are you motivated? Haha it would be fun! 3 years is a very long time though.

About Caricom, yeah I was surprised also when I learned that Guyana is part of the Caribbean. Even though it is a country on South America! Haha. About my stomach. I’ve been doing good. I haven’t been able to eat as much but I’m drinking tons of water. I have a fever off and on but really I’m doing okay, no worries. The Evans are aware and call and check up on me so know that they are watching over me as well. They gave me medicine that is helping a bit.

About baptisms! This past week was The Salims’ wedding & baptism. Saturday night they had a wedding at the church and a big party after. It was really fun! The zone leaders came and it was a good time. They are a great couple! They were baptized yesterday morning. I baptized Abdool Salim and Elder Stebbing baptized Valarie Salim. I’ll upload a couple pictures, one of them at the reception and one of them before baptism.

Also I’m uploading a picture of Veneta’s baptism & a picture of us playing cricket a couple weeks ago. I put a picture up of a price of a box of Frosted Flakes. Most expensive cereal in da world! The Salim’s dog, brand new baby, is called “little Mulder”. Because Elder Mulder and Elder Stebbing found the Salim’s. They named the dog after him. Such a cute dog! Picture included. Also, we live below a member family called the Bacchus’. They’re awesome people. Their son, Aaron, who is 4, loves cricket so we play with him sometimes. There’s a picture of him as well. Some of the best pine (pineapple) in the world is in Guyana so we get it a lot on the street from the same dude. He’s cool. He’s always like “yah man! Best pine in da world!” Picture included of how they cut pine here. Another picture of the view from the street in front of our apartment.

Ooh! Forgot to tell you. Driving here is opposite. Ya go on the left side of the road. Also some more about life here. Stray dogs are rampant. Dogs have utters here pretty much. They run everywhere. Most have broken legs because of them getting bounced on cars. But really they are EVERYWHERE. Same with goats, cows, and horse carts. (I thought they were a thing of the past) guess not.

The work has been going okay. We might be able to pull off one or two baptisms this weekend to help with the Wilt weekend but we haven’t been able to find too many people that are ready for the gospel. Some are just ready. Stacy who I told you about, is keeping commitments left and right and is trying really hard. Only thing that could keep her back is her boyfriend who doesn’t live there but isn’t as willing to keep that ever important law of chastity. So if she does something about it she can get baptized Saturday. Michelle, someone we have also been teaching, has 6 kids, about 45 years old. She had a dream after reading the book of mormon for the first time. She said everybody was in white, and was in a very nice place. She knew that it was part of our church she said. She said she felt amazing the whole time and when she woke up she still felt good. She came to church and wants to be baptized. I know that this work is true. Some may not believe but they lack the faith to give it a try. We don’t ask them to believe us. We ask them to ask God for an answer and believe Him. The work is really going great. Well that’s how I’ve been doing. Very busy teaching, but we need to find new people as well. That’s a problem here. We don’t have enough time!

Also. I was going to give news of my other friends here in this mission. Elder Prince is in Rosignol Area in Burbece. He’s loving it here. Elder Houchens is opening a new area in Linden, and have over 15 people baptizing this Saturday. They are meeting with people who have never heard of the Church before. Most have never heard about Christ. They hold church in their apartment. Elder Beeson is in Canje, Burbece and is also loving it.Well I had better be off. I love you Mom! I couldn’t email everyone so tell everyone I miss them and love them. You should send me snacks and treats! Haha. Jk. Only if it doesn’t cost much.

Elder Morris