Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 19, 2010

Hey everyone-

I have some news for everyone. I will..... be in the office next transfer with Elder Miles. Again. Big change huh? Haha. I've known transfers the past 2 weeks but I was just waiting till I knew for sure. I don't know what to think. Elder Scott said that President has been happy with how I've been doing in the office and how things are getting done. I thought I'd be outta here, but I guess the Lord has other plans. It has been very hard doing everything in the companionship, doing all of the teaching, planning, studying, etc. It gets to a point where you can do it for a certain amount of time but after awhile you become so dang exhausted. I was at this point on Sunday when Elder Scott noticed while we were at Dorris and Rita's so we had a great talk about responsibilities and relying on the Savior to take the burdens off. I realized I need to keep going, keep working hard, and open my heart up to my Heavenly Father more often. Elder Scott is a great friend. Too bad, next transfer he is going to St. Vincent to train for his final transfer. I'm gonna miss him a lot.

This new family that the AP's found, Zarina and her family, all came to church on Sunday. They liked it so much that they said they're going to keep coming every week. We haven't been able to teach them since church because when we tried to set a baptismal date with them they wanted to wait until they came to church so we're going actually today in about an hour to do that. I'll let you know how it goes. It was a great day at church. President Gamiette and his family, I don't know if I told you, go to my ward and he spoke in church about the temple and putting on the armor of God. It was sweet. He then took over and taught most of the lesson in Gospel Principles which was sweet, then he helped out a lot in the lesson in Priesthood as well. All in all, our investigators learned tons, and I was edified as well which is pretty difficult cause usually a lot of things go wrong at church. Haha.

We took Bro. Malcolm Phillips with us teaching yesterday. He took us to a less active (kind) names Bro. Reefer. He suffered from a stroke a number of years ago so he usually isn't able to attend church. He LOVES the Book of Mormon. He is reading it all of the time. He has a huge print one and it's very broken in if you know what I mean. He reads it all of the time, and is at Ether right now reading about the Jaredites. He was telling us all about it. Great example of humility and love for the Lord. If only the members here could see his example. He is coming to church tomorrow and I haven't seen him there before because it takes him like 5 hours to get ready due to his lack of ability to even get dressed. He is a great person though. Committed. I learned a lot from him.

Monday was definitely a SWEET p-day. We went GOLFING!!! Way fun. Played 9 holes on a not so nice course in Chaguaramas. 100 TT each so about 16 US including club rental. It was me, Elder Lang, Elder Olsen, Elder Ackerman, and Elder Wiederhold. We had a great time and I loved it. We'll be going again in the very near future. I won! I got 61 on a par of 33. Boo-yeah. My best was a bogey on a par-4. Haha. We all had golfer names. Mine was Derek Eagle. Lang was David Bogie (from David Bowie). There was Chip Sullivan, Austin Fairway, and Burke Cartman. We had a blast. While we were finishing the 9th hole, we saw a grey wall in the sky coming very fast towards us. Probably the most water I've ever seen in the sky. Ever. I hit in my triple bogey, then we ran into the clubhouse. Right when we jumped in it started to POUR. I've never seen such a torrent of water as that in my life. Elder Olsen and Elder Lang were off in the distance golfing through it. It had been raining a ton throughout our round so we were all soaked but they got the worst of it. Way fun though. We were shivering on the way home.

We went to this guy last night, Michael, and when we found his house we were stunned. He lives in the richest neighborhood I've ever seen in my life. No joke, one o the houses looked like one of our temples. Too bad that wasn't his house. He lived in an ordinary house next door but wow I gotta take a picture and show you. I've never seen anything like it. Maybe I'm just not used to big houses anymore.

Anyways things are going alright. My studies have been fantastic lately. I've learned a lot about the atonement and my teaching is improving a lot. I hope you all know how much I love this gospel. How much it can change people. I love the Lord and all he has done for me. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true and I love it with all my heart. I know that through Jesus Christ we can live with our Heavenly Father again. Not many in the world realize how serious that is. We need to be completely clean. How grateful I am that the keys of the kingdom of heaven have been restored on the earth again through the Prophet Joseph Smith so we can enter in through the gate and endure faithfully so we can live with Him again. I love this gospel!

Much love,
Elder Morris

PS: Dad, thanks for all your kind words. That'd be cool for you to send a letter to Amos but I don't have his right address. I should have it soon. Next week I'll give you some addresses of people you should write. I think it's a great idea.

PPSS: Mom!

To answer your questions, the mission blog is about to be taken over by, you guessed it, the office elders. Sister Gamiette and I are going to fix it up Friday morning. Haha. It's gonna be fun. 40days to Zion is a tool just used by this mission, and only by the missionaries. So Elder Vaea was the one who wrote the comment about how Sharon is excited about the temple and the Book of Mormon. It's a tool to help us keep track of recent converts and to help us know what we still have to teach, what we need to do to help them stay active. It really works. Way cool program.

I think it's funny you talked to Bishop Lang about Elder Lang. We're way good friends out here. Way cool guy. By the way, yes I am still writing in my journal. I try to do every night.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

tide pool - Las Cuevas Beach
cool rock and tree - Las Cuevas Beach
Elder Ackerman, me, Elder Lang, Elder Olsen
jellyfish - Las Cuevas Beach
nate on Las Cuevas Beach with the sunrise behind him
Nate with Elder Lang - Las Cuevas Beach

May 5, 2010


This week was a great week. I'll highlight some cool experiences.

1st. Zone Conference!!! Wow it is always such a spiritually uplifting meeting. I wish we had them more often. We learned a lot about prayer. Looked at some scriptures which I don't have at the top of my head, well that's false, D&C 50:26-30 about how because we have been ordained, endowed, and set apart, if it is God's will, there is phenomenal power in prayer. We can ask for anything and we will receive it. In v. 29 it says as long as we are purified and cleansed from sin, then v. 30 talks about how it has to be according to the will of the father. It was pretty cool. There was some other cool ideas as well. I learned a lot from the Conference. The mission seems to be in a drought lately, and President told us why and what we need to do to get out of it. Focused on prayer, our desires, and our diligence. It was very good. Talked about goals and how goals reflect the desires of our hearts. So then we talked about how to work on our desires. It was a great meeting. Every zone conference of course I get a 1 on 1 interview with President Gamiette which is always fantastic.

2nd. Splits with the Assistants. Definitely a perk to living with the Assistants. They needed to transfer their investigators to us because they'll be out of the country for a week. I went with Elder Damm, the new Assistant and also my zone leader in Guyana, which was way fun. We taught some great lessons. I was introduced to Chris. He and his extended family was there. They had been taught two days before, and instead of praying about the message, they decided to go to their pastor and ask him. So all of them, but Chris, were attacking us the whole time. We taught about priesthood keys given to Peter and the apostles, which with Pentecostals are confused with the Holy Ghost. They think that everyone has the Holy Ghost and that gives them the authority to baptize, to heal, etc. They were pretty crazy about it. This one lady was yelling at us about it and got up and left. All we were doing was teaching the correct doctrine. We did not fight back, but only continue teaching and helping them learn the concept. Only Chris picked it up. He said he would pray about it and how he wants to know if these things are really true. Peter, Chris' uncle, stayed the whole time. Funny experience. We were teaching about the foundation of Christ's church as explained by Paul in Ephesians 2:19-20. We read it and we asked him what Paul says God's house is built upon. He says that we can't take how it says prophets and apostles literally. He said that the gospel is the rock and Christ is the head. We read the scripture again and again. He did not understand. It's a definite testimony to me that only some hearts are ready to hear this message. Some people just won't accept the restored gospel. Like 1 Ne 13 and 14 talk about with the church of the lamb of god. Its numbers will be few but spread throughout all of the land.

3rd. P-day yesterday!!! Wow what a fantastic P-day. We woke up at 4:30 and we joined the zone in going to the beach for sunrise. It was about a 30-40 minute drive, reminded me of the road to Hana. Fun driving though. Fantastic pictures. We walked all of Las Cuevas beach all the way to the end. We didn't wade around too much in the water because of how many jelly-fish were being washed up on the beach but it was really fun. Only downside? Sandflies. My legs have never itched worse in my entire life. Wow!!!! My ankles and feet feel like Braille. Haha. I'll send pictures of the outing separately. We got pizza hut for lunch then played settlers of Zarahemla for a few hours after.

4th. Saturday we helped Brother Paul, the most recent convert here, with the cement foundation for the addition he's building to his house. We and the Assistants went up there. The ap's were there for 5 hours. We joined them for the last 2, from 7-9. In the West Indies they don't have very many cement mixer trucks. It's all mixed by shovel. We carried the buckets up the hill to their house for 2 hours. Needless to say we were ALL exhausted after. Especially the assistants.

Those are basically the biggest things that happened this week. Our investigators didn't come to church and aren't progressing very much so we're working on finding new ones. I'm feelin pretty good right now though. I've never felt so blessed. I love this life I'm living right now. In last week's email I talked about how Heavenly Father and I had some things we needed to talk about. And we did. I felt like I got my answer I was looking for. I realized my potential, my task at hand, and the things I need to accomplish. I realized that my calling right now in San Juan is to help Elder Miles to get his fire back, to motivate him. Elder Scott and I had a long talk about it and I wasn't working very hard with him at first and how he could tell that I wasn't as happy. I've refocused and things are going to be a lot better in the coming weeks.

Thanks, Dad for your counsel, you're right, we are doing a lot of what you suggested but it helped a lot. Mom, thank you so much for telling me about your own personal experiences with the revelation you received. While the girls may not realize it right now, they're so blessed to have you helping them. You are working so hard! Tell Bev to please send me Matt's address, so I can write him letters. I haven't heard from him in 10 months. Same with Ryan Nelson, and well.. all the rest of my friends. Haha. I am in good contact with Elder Stebbing, Matthew Dibb, Jeff Sanchez, and Elder Daines. But I don't have any idea how the rest of them are doing.

I love you guys so much. Thanks for all that you have done for me.

Elder Morris

PS: Elder Prince and I talked on the phone a couple days ago on our 11 month mark (May 3rd). He is still doing great! Elder Beeson is also doing great in Guyana.

PS: Here are some pictures from P-day yesterday!!!
1. Me and Elder Lang in front of a sweet sunrise lookout.
2. This cool rock and tree on the beach that looked way cool.
3. Elder Ackerman, me, Elder Lang, and Elder Olsen in the lifeguard tower.
4. Me under the sun breaking over the mountain.
5. A cool picture I thought, a little tide pool off the beach next to some bush.
6. A dead jellyfish on the beach. Haha I thought it was a cool picture.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

April 28, 2010

Good morning Vietnam! (If you remember this popular TV show quote you get a gold star)

Basically, this week was a mild one. Office Tuesday through Friday, then Saturday the Luster's, the office senior couple, made us stay from 9-1 watching over the office while the cleaning crew came and cleaned it. Talk about a waste of half a day. President wasn't happy about that one. They're a little confused right now, they weren't trained very long and now have to figure out everything on their own which isn't working.

Some cool, interesting experiences this past week. Thursday. President Gamiette came teaching with us. Because he knows French we went and taught Mussah, the Nigerian man. Now... when Elder Miles taught him, he thought he understood everything and was excited to learn more. President gets there with us and the first question he asked was, "what do you believe in?" A question that Elder Miles forgot to ask. Turns out, Mussah has been a Muslim all his life and his family has ever since recorded history has been popular. President is a champ though. He just asked a whole set of questions, and then bore a very strong testimony of Jesus Christ. By the end of the lesson Mussah had agreed to ask God if Christ was the son of God. I felt bad for Elder Miles, he didn't know what to teach and President would turn the time over to him and he'd just be silent. President really is a man of God though. I felt the spirit very strongly even though it was in French the whole time.

Yesterday was a cool experience. We're at district meeting at the chapel and the Trinidad Central Zone leaders call and say that we were supposed to pick them up and take them to the airport. Something that was never told to us. So we had to zip it out of there to take them to the airport. On our way, Elder Luster (Mission office) called and said that we need to go to the Marriot in Port of Spain after we are done to pick up Elder Alvarado (Area 70) and take him to the mission home. So we get to the Marriot and are waiting for him to come. He comes down finally, gets in the car, then the first thing he asks us is "Elders, I am going to be the future mission president in the Puerto Rico San Juan mission. I need to learn how to teach the lessons better. Will you teach me a 15 minute plan of salvation lesson?" We agreed and taught a general authority the Plan of Salvation. It was going great. We were using good scriptures, asking good questions, things were sweet until we got to the part to teach the Atonement and our life on earth. I finished teaching about the fall of Adam and Elder Miles began teaching about the spirit world and resurrection. It then began to fall apart. Haha luckily a phone call interrupted us then we began talking about what was good/bad about it. I learned a lot from him. He talked about how I'm lucky to teach in my own language. It is a lot easier to become a better teacher in your language and any leadership calling in the church requires teaching. He said that because I am speaking English, I am being prepared for the leadership callings to come in the future. I thought it was pretty cool. Elder Alvorado, who I’ve met several times, is a way cool guy. Like 40 years old, kids, wife, etc. He taught us a lot of cool things and we had a good conversation. He didn't however grill us too hard. We know what we need to improve on.

Monday was a fantastic P-day. We ate at Ruby Tuesday’s and I had chicken tenders, fries, and onion rings. So good. I'm becoming pretty good friends with Elder Lang and Elder Olsen. (Elder Lang's aunt and uncle are the Lang's in our stake.) We had a blast. We drove them around, then went to our apartment and played Settlers of Catan and Monopoly. Great P-day.

Sister Gamiette (wife of mission president) is having us test a food plan. She gave us a shopping list, and recipes for the meals she's having us cook and eat this week. I'm going to write a letter with more details about stuff like this because I don't have much time but it was expensive!! Haha eating healthy is more expensive than I thought. We are eating some good food. We're having omelettes tonight with meat, cheese, green bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, etc. It's fantastic.

Well this week was alright. We are not teaching as much, finding as much success, but I'm still learning a lot. We just need to keep working our hardest. Heavenly Father will help us but we have to work for it. Amos' aunt came to church this past Sunday on her own, again. But Olivia and Amos did not. It's like the members just don't care. There's only so much we can do!! It makes me think what kind of member I’d be if I was at home. Tonight I'm gonna ask heavenly Father what need to do to change things. I am grateful Heavenly Father is there. He wants us to ask him for help. It is then when the windows of heaven can be opened. I love this Gospel. I love it so much. Where else can you find this much happiness? Nowhere.

I love the Lord, I love all of you. Thank you for your support.

Elder Morris