Sunday, August 6, 2017

8-6-2017

My umbrella got left in the APs area last week, and then it rained for like 5 days in a row- so I took this HUGE umbrella from our apartment and used that instead---man some people got a huge laugh out of it :D






Good Afternoon! I figure that you guys are doing something fun, so that's why you haven't had time to email---I'm grateful for the opportunity once again to email you about my week- it's been really good and I've been learning a lot from Elder L... however we seem to have been having a drought of ISMs, so something that the two of us discussed in our weekly planning was what we can do to increase the ISMs. We feel most of what we can do is to extend BOLD, DIRECT, and LOVING commitments to them to come to church. Something we are also trying to do it find the members that are close to these peoples homes, bring the member as a fellow shipper, and then have the member bring the investigator to church. We expect to see some results this week through these efforts! Our two investigators as well, R and L H, have prepared themselves for baptism and passed their interview this week! :D It was really awesome, and they are ready to be baptized... they have a strong support system of active members in the family and many good friends at church!
We are also focusing on their Nanay, B... she is really kind and wants to be baptized, but seems to be having concerns about what people will think about her... so we're addressing that concern!
There are totally investigators with a LOT of potential, we just need to help their faith increase more so they will come to church! There are investigators we are teaching who have read in the Book of Mormon and applied the invitation to "ask of God", and they believe this is true (It's even a testimony builder for me too, because as missionaries we have the wonderful opportunity to really see the Gospel take effect in peoples lives and watch as the promises of old are fulfilled in lives of people of our time)---I think then it comes down to what we heard in the Zone Conferences... "Therefore What??" We want to really help them more to understand WHAT it truly means when they come to know this is true!
Sometimes I feel like I'm struggling in the work here, but I always feel a boost of strength when I remember how many people are actually on my side and helping me to succeed as a missionary! :)

As for the zone, we had a drop in pretty much all areas of the work this week (Though it may just be because of the rain, and because of Zone Conferences)---which is pretty saddening, but as a zone we have been baptizing over 4 every week since I got here, which is something really cool to see :) I think that we just need to apply your direction in helping people come to church, and the fruits will follow- Elder L and I will be sure to do our part!

And as for Elder L, he's a really great companion and has a lot to offer as a missionary and a friend to me! It's so cool to think that no matter how long I may be or will get in the mission there is ALWAYS so much I can learn and apply! Elder L is becoming a good Zone Leader here in Mangaldan!

I can't wait to see what this coming week brings, #praying for miracles!
Love you guys so much, seeya soon!

~Elder Morris







Those pictures are SO AWESOME!!! You guys are SO WHITE xD I think I just say that because the only white people I see here are the occasional foreigner missionary!!! That beach looks like so much fun, it's awesome that those horses aren't like terrified by people! 
I laughed super hard at seeing the "CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU AND HEAR THE LAMENTATIONS OF THEIR WOMEN!"
I hope that you guys keep doing awesome :) I love to hear about you guys and how things are going back home, it's weird to think how much some things have changed, and how some haven't! It's been like 20 months since I came out here, it's so fun :D
In face, this has been a really interesting week, rather busy--but enjoyable! So first, I just want to tell you guys about the Sister we were talking about, the one who is trying to bash us with anti-mormon doctrine. Well, we went back there and she asked us if we know who Solomon Spaulding is- we said we didn't (of course) and she said that he was the man who wrote the Book of Mormon!!! (Whaaat??) I was really really confused... so I looked up his name in LDS.org
Turns out he wrote a book about Romans who somehow got trapped on the American continent- it literally has nothing to do with the Book of Mormon. Long story short, there isn't anything that can prove the Book of Mormon false or that Joseph Smith isn't a prophet... why? Because it's all true :)

Anyways, we're still working with them some, haha. Something that gave a big jump in the work there is that they told us we don't need to pray to prophets and apostles, we found out that when we said na "Ipagdadasal niyo ba si Joseph Smith kung totoong propeta siya". THey thought we meant they would pray to Joseph Smith. We cleared that up and made sure they know that they will pray and ask Heavenly Father if Joseph Smith is a true prophet.

Anyways though, Nanay B P (the grandmother of some recent converts here) committed to baptism this last week and they all came to church as a family! Which was so awesome, we're really focusing on them and trying to help them- Nanay has only a few concerns with what family members and friends will think; but we're not worried, she knows this is true! :D That whole family is really really awesome, and we're trying to help them the best we can!
   We had another really really neat experience with a newer investigator, J- we've taught her only a few times. Elder L gave her the commitment to pray about Joseph Smith during an exchanges, and they wrote the commitment in the pamphlet; we went back this week and she told us straight up that he's a true prophet.
  She told us that after the missionaries left she read the pamphlet and when she saw the commitment, she remembered it and tried it! She told us "At first, I didn't think he was a prophet....but I prayed and I KNOW he is." She even talked to her sister about it and invited her to ask God as well! We're going to focus on them a lot as well and help them to come to church this week!

Out other investigator, S.. who hasn't been married yet and has been going through some relationship troubles came to church as well. We gave her a copy of the family proclamation and they have been reading it! I hope that brother starts having a change of heart!

Well, that's about it, we're just working hard and trying to help everyone to work hard :D #Lovin'beingamissionary! 
Love you guys so much, 
Elder Morris







I heard from Elder G that they got baptized :D :D :D This is the golden investigator family I was telling you about! Her husband isn't baptized yet because he's just not home enough to be taught that quick, and their youngest daughter is only 6... but that's them!
Haha, it makes me want to cry--they were such a miracle to meet!


Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17 2017 (June & July letters & pics)

July 17 2017

Hehe, that Burger King picture (of you with grandpa) looked so 80s ;) Those pictures are so awesome though!! :D I'm pretty sad that Grandpa has passed away and sad as well that I didn't get to know him better- but you know what? I know enough to know he was a good man! I'll have to ask him about his mission when I see him again!
It's so good to hear about the things going on back home, I hope that you guys keep doing great-- it's weird to think I have under 4 months before I go home. But don't worry: I'm not homesick xD I got an email from Sammy with pictures of when we were at a scout camp back in the day, and it made me laugh! I'm getting older, so is everyone!! I'll be sure to have some adventures with the "crew" when I get there!
   Anyways, those are some really awesome insights about Heavenly Father sacrificing his most obedient Son. It must have been hard, but I feel that although he was grieved, I imagine He was also very happy; because He also knew what Jesus Christ would do for mankind! It's so wonderful! I'm grateful to be a missionary where I get to serve and strive to represent Jesus Christ in all I do!

This week was really good! (Although I won't have pictures to send-- #forgot the adapter at home) This week has been rather interesting, since there is still so much work that can be done here in Mangaldan Zone- but we feel like we're taking big steps in helping the area progress. On Sunday we had four of our investigators come to church-- L, R, their grandmother, and !
It's funny actually, the grandmother of R and L is also the grandmother of two recent converts,  and she confessed to us that she is so happy her granddaughters are members of the church and said that maybe the day will come that she would be baptized as well (Though she isn't 100% sure yet). It was really neat though because we were teaching the Plan of Salvation and focused on how we have this time to prepare and repent, and shouldn't wait till tomorrow- I think that hit Nanay to a point and we can really see how, although she isn't quite ready, we see that there is progression in how she listens to the lessons and gives her own insights! It's so cool to see how the example of newly baptized members (and any member in general) can have a big effect on the family members!

S is also really cool (She's a girl btw... even though S is mostly a boys name). She's actually been being taught for over a year and really wants to be baptized, she's come to church a lot as well- she hasn't been baptized because she's not married to her live-in yet! But as far as we know they are really close to getting married now, like hopefully in this coming Month or in August! We're going to really help her get to that point (And strive to reactivate her live-in because he is kind of less active)

Haha, this week as well I felt challenged by some of the people we are teaching. There was someone we were teaching who kept trying to squeeze in things to attack Joseph Smith-- like how we were teaching BOM and how it was translated--and she suddenly butted in and said "Joseph Smith had a lot of wives, right?" and on another time... "I read that Joseph Smith was put in prison".
To both we ended up bearing testimony and challenging her to ask God.

But later I was pondering, and I wondered why I was NEVER bothered by plural marriage or that he was imprisoned-- I realized 1- He is a prophet. 2- Prophets receive revelation, so if he is a prophet, then plural marriage was revelation. and 3- Apostles & Prophets have been imprisoned countless times throughout the Scriptures.

But long story short: Joseph Smith is a Prophet. I too have prayed and asked God, he's answered me. It's true. Nothing can destroy or diminish that fact. :)



It's so much fun to be a missionary :D Love you guys!!











~Elder Morris


July 11 2017

OH SAY CAN YOU SEE BY THE DAWNS EARLY LIGHT...4 missionaries getting up at 6:30 to start their day and bring souls unto Christ? YES. I'm living it :D We had an interesting 4th of July- I withdrew a little bit of money so we could have some homemade burgers! It was pretty American. We even sung the American National Anthem even though I'm the only American in our apartment--it was fun :) I miss being able to be so patriotic~! There is an Elder in our Mission from Washington DC--he didn't want Filipinos to sing the National Anthem because I guess they don't do it justice :) Haha, I remember someone telling me that I would be "country sick"... and I think I felt it- I miss American soil! Anyways, 
It's so funny that there are "bigfoot" sightings in Virginia! When I go home, I'm gonna find him and I'm gonna go live with him in the mountains!xD


btw- Y'all are so redneck;) But it's AWESOME!!! Because all that meat would have been a total waste if you didn't bring it home!

Anyways, I guess there is a lot I could say about this week! Like how it was awesome, though pretty stressful! The only thing that may have made it stressful though is that we FINALLY moved apartments--- I'm not sure what to really say. But what happened is the Sisters moved apartments so they can be closer to their area, and we moved into their apartment (Whoever said that Sisters are cleaner than Elders must have lied... because their apartment was super Gross when we moved in---that and they left a million shoes...)
   Anyway, I can't judge them to much---we cleaned it up though and now it's pretty nice! :) What was pretty gross is I was going to shower in our upstairs bathroom when I noticed the water wasnt draining--when I took a hanger to the drain I managed to fish out like a pound of hair and grossness.
Too much information...no? xD

Anyways, I don't really know what else to say! We're spending a lot of time finding and trying to help people to see that this message is true- the progressing people we are working with right now are R and L, they are really cool- their related to R (The Recent convert who had the 18th birthday---we have a picture in the other email). So it's really cool! We plan to have their baptism this coming July 22nd- we're pretty excited! :D

The zone here is doing well, I guess I can say a little- there are 12 total companionships- so there are like 10 Elders and 12 Sisters in the Zone. It's pretty big :D The work in this zone has been slow for the past few weeks so our big goal is that we are going to help progress the work!
I'm loving it here! (Oh, I'm also the 3rd longest serving missionary in this zone---it feels weird to be regarded to as a "veteran) xD
Well, I love you guys! I'd say that I'll see you in 4 months---but I won't because I still have a lot of work to do in that time :D

One of the recent converts here had their 18th birthday, oh.... it turns out that a girls 18th birthday is a huge celebration here in the Philippines! :)P There was also a member here who we got to go to their mission farewell! Elder C is in the Quezon City North mission- he left on Friday! It was really cool, mostly because I remember back when I was entering the MTC!










July 3 2017


Well SHOOT... my brain farted. Because I had a layover in JFK back when I left home... so for some reason I thought that's where I was going home to... hehe... don't worry. I texted the Mission Secretary and he's gonna fix that. I told him Dulles instead. Hehehehe Sorry...

Anyways, it makes me really happy to think that Dad is going to have a new job that's close to home so that he can come home! That's such a blessing :D It's also great that Bishop Wright is going to have the opportunity to teach a religion class in the jail-- that's a pretty big blessing to Dexter and for the others there... that they would be able to learn how to change their lives!
It's just great to hear from you guys again-
I wish I had a ton of time to email and share EVERYTHING that's happened this week. But I don't have too much time and therefore am going to send the pictures and tell y'all how it's been!
So first off, Elder A is officially gone- he got picked up on Tuesday by President D and is now our Mission President's Assistant. I didn't have a companion until Wednesday afternoon (don't worry, we just had a tri-panionship for a day) and now I have my companion--
His name is Elder L from Mindanao! He's 21 years old and about 9 months in his mission... it's been a really interesting last few days with a whole lot of adjustments. It was especially confusing because we transferred homes---the landlord wanted us out on Thursday, so we left hehe. 
We're currently sleeping at a different Elders apartment because the one we are transferring too actually still has people living in it. But this week we'll be transferring homes again and be finally set!
I think those are the biggest changes and things that have happened--the baptism of C was successful! (I also got news that B was Baptized--and I had the pictures sent to me, so it's awesome) It made me really happy to see C get baptized because for a long time, his mom was the only member in their family. So to have one of her kids join the church was really a blessing (He's 10 years old... but really really short hehehe)

Other than that, we're just working hard as usual. Elder L and I are still the zone leaders here in Mangaldan... so I feel like I'm just gonna be here until November haha :) It's gonna be fun!
Love you guys, Amphingats! (You won't know what that means hehe- it's not tagalog. But it means take care)

Elder Morris
Philippines Urdaneta Mission
November2015-November2017











June 26, 2017

Don't worry Mommy, this is going to be a quickie- it's been a crazy week and the only way I know how to describe it is in a short email xD I hope that yalls week went as well as you make it sound!!! Those pictures are so weird because it just looks so clean and wonderful out there :)P It's gonna be a weird shift when i get back home! I'll explain more when I get there hehehe! This last week I got what missionaries call "the trunky letter" where it's basically information about home and about where I live and what the nearest airport it. I told them JFK airport :)
So in the next month or so there should be travel information... but we'll see!

I think I'm going to call this week- "the week of the shifting sands"!! So, I wish I would have SO MUCH to say about C and Js baptism and about how B's interview went--
But all I know is that the baptism was really good and that B passed the interview!
Why?
Because this last Wednesday we got a random call from the APs and I got called to transfer (lame, right??) Well, I'm in Mangaldan zone--still a zone leader! This is likely to be my last area!
And that's not all, folks!!! My new companion is Elder A, he is SUPER funny and awesome with people- and a really powerful teacher. However, President D came to our district meeting and pulled Elder A aside, when President came back in, he happily announced that Elder A is being called as the new "Assistant to the President" (or AP).

I don't have too much to say now, because that sums up the whole week! Oh- I forgot to mention that I got here and the missionaries are being kicked out of our apartment (which has AirCon might I add...) and so this week I'll be leading the new area... building trust with everyone...adjusting to a new companion... AND moving apartments.... AND being in charge of a baptism this Saturday.

It's gonna be busy :)P So this gonna be a short email, we got a lot to do today!!!
With Lots of Love,
Elder Morris









6-18- 2007
Well howdy howdy! Dad, HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!! Mommy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY (AGAIN) Those sheep look SO CUTE :D :D :D Actually it was funny, I was on exchanges with Elder C and WE SAW A SHEEP here in the Philippines- he looked pretty miserable hehehe.
Anyways, it's pretty amazing that you've run 100 miles in a week! I sometimes feel like we walk that every day hahaha... just kidding... 100 miles is a really long distance! Congrats! Running a marathon sounds like a lot of fun! :D

For a quick update, I guess I'd better tell y'all about how my week has been! It was incredibly busy as we had exchanges with a companionship in the zone to help their area, we also had a Zone Conference in Lingayen. And on Saturday we spent almost the whole afternoon helping our Branch president to prepare little gifts for the Fathers on Fathers day! Oh, I also gave a Fathers Day talk in the branch, which was really fun--and I realized that being a father is just a different form of missionary work, where they can lead and help their children to know our Heavenly Fathers Plan!

   Anyways, the work here is still doing really awesome! This week J and C both had interviews for baptism and they both passed! So this coming weekend we will be blessed to have another baptism here in Bugallon- we are so excited to see that! Especially because last week C was having some doubts- but when the time came, we were able to talk to her and help resolve the concerns. Her reasoning came down to: I know the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet-- I need to be baptized!   She passed her interview with flying colors and is super excited for this coming Saturday!
Our other investigator, B, is going to be having an interview this weekend as well- which is going to be interesting. President D is going to be the one interviewing him because B has an interesting past-- but I'm not worried because B has been bringing forth fruits unto repentance!

We are so excited to see what's going to happen this week :D I wish I had some weird things to share- haha, I guess I'm just used to this culture now enough that there isn't anything weird :)P OH, I learned about something "superstitious" that's called Pasma. There are a lot of people here who don't shower at night because I guess they thing that after a really hot day, if you take a shower it can give you chills and kill you. I've been here for 19months and have showered *almost* EVERY NIGHT. I'm still alive ;) And for that same reason, a lot of people walk around with rags down the back of their shirts because sweat on your back can give you Pasma. 
I don't quite understand it, but I guess it's all good hehe :)P
Anyways, we're just doing awesome! Lovin' being a missionary :D Sorry this is short- but just be glad this isn't 2 sentances long ;)
Nagmamahal,
Elder Morris

Sorry there ain't no pictures this week: I forgot my card reader back at home! But just imagine a picture of me holding a handsome goat!! xD

Elder Morris
Philippines Urdaneta Mission
November2015-November2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

6-12-2017


Howdy do to you, family! It's great to know that y'alls be stillz alive out deer in good o Virginee! The pictures of the sheep are so awesome, Peter's got swag with the hat and his wonderful date ;) It's really neat to hear about what you've been trying to do Mommy about listening to church music and stuff at the start of your runs, and the strength that you have been receiving because of it!! It's interesting that you mentioned goals- because I was studying it the other day and I realized the reason why there ARE goals!
We set goals above our current capabilities to help them increase, and once our capabilities reach our goals- those goals increase! I felt that was something that can be applied in becoming perfect, we focus on those goals which increase our current capabilities :D

MOMMMMEEEEEEEE HAPPY BIRTHDAY :D :D :D You're an old lady now!
Haha, hope your birthday goes great- and don't worry if sometimes you feel like a bad mom, maybe just forgetful sometimes ;) But you're the greatest Mom ever, so don't get down on yourself hehe! 

Anyways, I guess I'd better let you know about how my week has been! In simple words- AWESOME!!!
So the first experience and probably the one most fun to share is that we had a  baptism this week for E! It was on Saturday in the afternoon (right before a mutual activity so all the youth attended as well) and it was so cool! E was so ready for baptism! We had also invited our investigators to come, C and S both came and said it was a really neat experience!
Hopefully you guys like the pictures, E is a really goofy person (and really short haha)! To get an idea, her testimony was really awesome after the baptism and then at one point she said "I'm grateful to God that he listened to my prayer and let the Cavaliers win the Finals" (Because I guess earlier that day or something, the Cavaliers beat Golden State in the NBA) It was just really funny! We are now going to be focusing on her mom and helping her to also progress :)

We have upcoming interviews this weekend for C and J- which is super exciting as well! They have been progressing really well and are ready to be baptized!!!
     We had a funny experience as well this week, so in case you don't know... our investigator B had a troubled past and a lot of regrets, but has been finding peace in this message. Well anyways, he had a long greasy ponytail when we met him and wore clothes that were kind of grungy.... yeah he's clean shaven now and has a neat haircut and new clothes! It was a pretty funny experience because we went to his house and I legit almost didn't recognize him because of his new appearance!!

I think that what's been helping us a ton in the work right now is the fact that Elder G is very enthusiastic and it has been rubbing off on me :D Haha, the work is good- although it's hot and humid now #rainy season

With Lots of Love, (HEY, don't count down the days until I get home--- (Btw, I saw my release date... it's Nov 8th... so like 149days.)) Haha, just kidding- I feel lukewarm about going home one day, as much as I miss you guys--being a missionary is so awesome!
Elder Morris Blue is an awesome color hahahaha

PS- OH, I totes forgot, I finally got a picture with a jeepney this week- we were sitting after the baptism and I realized that I never had a picture with one, so we took some! And then on the way back from a special broadcast in Aguilar the jeepney was full so Elder E and I got to ride on the back-- it was pretty fun! (Don't worry, we weren't in a ton of danger--the vehicles here do NOT move very fast, especially the jeepneys)