Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I loved being able to read y'alls email and see the pictures back home! It sounds like Christmas was just such a wonderful experience, I'm happy to hear that you guys aren't freezing! Keep doing well there back home, say hi to the sheepies for me :D I hope that everything stays going very well and I can't wait to email about my first week in the field... now THAT might just be a long long email, haha :) It's officially my last day in the MTC, and tomorrow I wake up at 5am to catch a bus to get to Urdaneta. It's so crazy! The experience here has been so fun and I've made a lot of friends... even friends who barely understand English, which is really great... Filipinos have a definite unique sense of humor! I don't really have much to say about this week except for a lot of study and language practice. I just cannot believe that tomorrow I head out to the field!
With Love,
Elder Morris

ps- Because I don't really have a lot to say for this week... here's a bunch of pictures of Christmas and stuff :) The fish is some food that we had for dinner a few nights ago, it's a whole fish that's cooked and dried xD

pss- Spiritual experience/thought is in DC 18:15-18 about the worth of souls... just read it, it's really good! I feel that the worth of souls IS great, and bringing one soul... even if that one soul is ourselves, then great will be our joy! And how much more joy would it be to bring many??

That Elder I'm standing with in front of that tree with all the lights is Elder L. The one from
Fredericksburg Stake :)

Dear Brother and Sister M,
We are pleased to inform you that your son, Elder Morris, arrived safely in Urdaneta earlier today. They left Manila late due to the heavy traffic and the inability of the group to secure bus tickets coming to Urdaneta and so their departure from Cubao was delayed for about 3 hours. The group arrived at approximately 4pm and were picked up by my Elders at the pick-up point promptly and brought to the Mission Home. After dinner and a short rest, we held a small meeting for the missionaries, together with my wife and 5 children for them to get to know my family and I better. They have now been ferried to the various apartments where they will spend a night before they meet their trainers and will be assigned an area tomorrow at our transfer meeting.
Attached is a picture of your son with my wife and I at the Mission Home. Rest assured that your son is in good hands. I will email you again when your son has been assigned an area and a trainer.

President, Philippines Urdaneta Mission



Friday, December 18, 2015


I truly love hearing about y'alls week! It sounds like such a wonderful time and I'm glad that you guys are staying warm! We're here in the MTC until a little bit after Christmas! Where to even begin about this week here?! I guess a good a place as any would be starting with the flight, so the last week or so! I have to admit to this, that I slept probably 8 hours out of the 15 hours to Hong Kong, which was really nice because there wasn't really anything to do! I'm also not used to having going into an airport and suddenly being one of the few people who speak only really english... it's just weird :)P We got to the MTC at around 3am, because traffic in Manila truly is awful, even at 2am! When I say awful, I mean that people in New York and those city areas are tame... when we drive, people are within 1 foot of another at all times and make 3 lanes when there are only supposed to be two. Pedestrians just walk across wherever they want... I don't know why there aren't a million times more crashes and stuff! It's already so much different that America could ever be!
I don't want to make y'all TOO jealous... but the weather here has been fairly dry and very warm for the first few days, and not even too humid! However, apparently there was some large typhoon that came into the Philippines... we got was a ton of rain! I guess that I'd better get used to walking out in the rain almost all of the time, haha!
The MTC here is really really small, with only 3 buildings total (though they are building two more to house more missionaries). There are at max 100 missionaries here right now, and probably only 30 or so English speaking, language learning missionaries! The food... well, it's really good...if you love rice :) Quite literally we have rice with every single meal, and some sort of meat. It's surprisingly good!!! :) A few days ago we all went out to go to the immigration office, which was in central Manila, and at LEAST an hour drive to get there because of constant bad traffic. Before actually getting there we stopped at a gas station because one of the cars was almost out, and a few Elders decided to get something... interesting. Balut. Balut, is the half developed chicken or duck egg that they boil in vinegar or something like that. I didn't get any since I currently have no pisos. (the Balut was 15 pisos, which is equal to about 50 cents or something like that back home) Apparently they taste pretty good, like a hard boiled egg with a unique texture! Is it bad that I actually want to have some of it??
Anyway, we went to immigration and I felt like a GIANT. Filipinos are all super short... like maybe an average of 5 feet tall. So I really stick out, which isn't too bad at all considering the fact that I can easily start conversations for being a foreigner who speaks a little Tagalog and is over 6 feet tall!
I love being here! Yesterday I had the opportunity to go out and proselyte for the first time with a couple more elders. We walked through the city and through some very narrow alleyways with homes that were back there... people here live in such poverty. I actually feel humbled just by the one day being out of the situation that many people are in. We went to the very back of an alley to this home with a concrete floor and clothes hanging from the ceiling to dry to have a lesson with a man named Brother H.... he's such a unique guy. He wants to be baptized, but has two problems, one is the word of wisdom with coffee and smoking... and the other one has to be a situation I had never even heard of. He HATES his grandson, and when I say hate, I mean HATE. He said that he literally prays every evening that his grandson will be cursed. (I don't think he quite knows how prayer works... :)P) and stated that when he dies, he doesn't want to go to heaven or hell because he wants to haunt his grandson first..... the sad part is that it's really over super small things. I've come to know that hate never solves problems, if anything it builds walls and barriers that are impossible to overcome sometimes. Anyway, this morning I was able to go do a session in the Manila temple! It was really a special experience to go through! It's actually a really small temple, despite what the pictures try to suggest online xD But it really was special! It was also much different from back home because they don't have the same temple clothes! We don't have a white tie, the white shirt (with some simple design) isn't tucked in AND the top button doesn't get buttoned! Apparently it's a traditional clothing of some sort that they do, it was really c neat experience!
I just can't even begin to describe the experience it is to be out here in the Philippines, hopefully I can get my camera to connect to send y'all some pictures!
Elder Morris

PS- When we went and met up with everyone for the proselyting, I met another Elder.... not a cool story right? Well it is when you find out that this other Elders name was Elder M! He pronounced it the same as Morris, but with one less "r".... and he said that on one of his other badges it's spelled the same as me. So crazy story, but it was really fun! :)
PSS- I was told that there's a Facebook Page for the Philippines MTC, you should look for it ;D I had my picture taken to be put up! Which reminds me of a funny story that literally, if someone has a phone here, they have Facebook... it's HUGE xD
PSSS- I also just wanted to let you know my address and stuff... I'm gonna give you my Mission address since it takes at least two weeks for any letter and at least a month for a package!
Letter mailing instructions
Elder Isaac Geoffrey Morris
Philippines Urdaneta Mission
P.O. Box 7
Brgy. San Vicente East, Urdaneta City
2428 Pangasinan
Package Mailing Instructions
Elder Isaac Geoffrey Morris
Philippines Urdaneta Mission
LDS Chapel Provincial Road
PO Box 7, San Vicente E, Urdaneta City
2428 Pangasinan

I was reading in Jacob 5 about the vineyard and I thought about verse 45. What struck me about the scripture was the plucking not of the branches that brough forth poor fruit. I took this into a personal view when paired up with Moroni 10:32. We have to deny ourselves  of ALL ungodliness, or in the sense that we need to "pluck" the unfruitful (ungodly) branches from ourselves. And that if we do not deny ourselves of ungodliness and pluck away the poor branches, then there runs a risk or it continuing to get worse until the bad overcomes the good and the good withers away. 

 45 And thou beheldest that part thereof brought forth good fruit, and part thereof brought forth wild fruit; and because plucked not the branches thereof and cast them into the fire, behold, they have overcome the good branch that it hath withered away.

I memorized the first vision sa Tagalog!!!!
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other---This is my beloved son, hear him!

Ako ay nakikita ng isang haligi ng linawag na tamang-tama sa tapat ng aking ulo, higit pa sa linawag ng araw na dahan-dahang bumaba hanggang sa ito pumalibot sa akin. Nang tumuon sa akin ang linawag, nakikita ako ng dalawag katauhan, na ang linawag at kaluwalhatian ay hindi kayang maisalawaran, nakatayo sa hangin sa itaas ko. Ang isa sa kanila ay nagsalita sa akin, tinatawag ako sa aking pangalan, at nagsabi, itinuturo ang isa--- Ito ang pinakamamahal na Anak, Pakinggan Siya.

ps- I typed both from memory ;)

So actually I found something out, I won't be Skyping for Christmas... just a phone call. We got the info to call, so you guys be ready for me to call around 6PM on December 24th, it'll be the 25th here.... so yeah ;)
Elder Morris

That nasty looking egg is Balut... xD

And the Picture with us three Elders, I didn't really know who the Filipino Elder was... but the other Elder is Elder M. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

12-10 2015


Here's just a shortie about my week, I'll be allowed also to email after I get to the Philippines so that erryone knows that I made it safely :) This week has been really good, and a really great learning experience! We taught P just a few days ago and... well it went really poorly. But we got advice about directions to go and teach in and how to better teach by the Spirit. We then the next day went and taught A, who we felt really really good about teaching! We read a lot in 2 Nephi Kabanata dalawa, about Adam and Eve in the Garden and what would have happened if they didn't fall! Then about enduring to the end and feasting on the words of Christ. It was a really special experience even though our "investigators" are just our teachers roleplaying, but we can still feel the Spirit when we teach. It's interesting how all of that works! :) We also talked this week with our Branch President, President Howard... who was one of the first missionaries in the Philippines and served as a mission president in Manila. He shared a LOT of really great experiences about the Philippines and a lot with what it's actually like there! :) He described it overall like this: "There are two seasons, hot and hotter. And the wet and dry season... the dry season is when it rains half the day and the wet season is when it rains all day." So I'd better learn to LOVE the rain... that may take some time to actually get used to xD

It's going to be such a different culture and a different experience, but I'm so excited to be able to go out to the Philippines and serve there! It's just the language barrier that I feel is going to be hardest... but I trust that the Lord will help me :)
That's really all for this week! I'll email again in a little bit and tell y'all about how different the Philippines are!
-Elder Morris

ps- There's a scripture this week that I wanted to share! 1 Nephi 10:19. It really testifies that we WILL receive answers if we diligently seek out the Lord. It also states that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Which is really cool... because to me it says that this gospel was always true, is true, and ALWAYS will be true. We can ALWAYS turn to the Lord for comfort, guidance, and answers with the things in our lives!

Hey, so I was just wondering if you and Dad could buy me a really small wallet that can fit in the shirt pocket of my white Shirt? I learned yesterday that having it in my shirt pocket will be smarter because there are pickpocketers and such pretty bad in the the cities... xD You guys could just send it after I get the Manila MTC info to you??

Also- word of something... If there are any baggage fees that I have to pay on the way to manila, I have to pay for it with my own money, and the church will reimburse me for it somehow. :)
I'll be in San Fran. from 8-about noon. Would there be time somewhere around then to call, and if so, what number? :) If not, it's okay... I'll be able to Skype on Christmas!
-Elder Morris

(I had permission for this, by the way.)