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