Monday, June 20, 2016


Dad, Im just sending a quick email to wish you a happy fathers day! I loved getting your email and am so happy that you guys have received my graduation diploma! Dad, thank you so much for your example to me and your role that you have played and are playing in my life as I become a man. To be honest, I don't think I would be here if it weren't for your example and help in my life, thank you. I hope that you always remember dad how much you mean to those you're taking care of :) Love yah!
Your Son,
~Elder Morris


Oh my gosh, I'm so happy that that has not faded yet, hehehe xD They should suggest next time to pick Tagalog and say Kamusta! That would be awesome too ;) What's really funny is that this last week when we had the french man move in underneath us... that is EXACTLY what I wanted to say to him, but being a missionary, I decided not too :) 
Well, when I tell you about my week... I'll tell you about the baptism. But I love to hear about the missionary experience of Peter... keep up the good work bud :) That's the challenge that everyone needs to be doing... missionary work, I can pretty much testify that so many blessings come to those who do the missionary work and to those who are receiving the message :)
I know that it's so lame that my glasses broke so I've been pretty much a mole out here for the last week. But it wouldn't be hard to get glasses out here, since there are actually places here that do that! (NOT like sketchy, there are actually some good ones that are pretty high class looking). If you could try to find my perscription at walmart when you drop by or try at the rip off place to see if they have it... it's like behind the place in woodstock that has like Goodwill and stuff, I don't remember exactly what name it was, but I know where it is, haha xD
Speaking of drums... if any of the kids want to play on them or want to  learn... they can! I think that I still have the books up there in the barn ;) Besides, i need someone to try and take care of them while I'm gone! And then we could have a drum battle when I come home... just saying, haha! Though I'll say that my skills are going way down the hill with 0 practice and focusing on the missionary work!
It's so good to hear about all the awesome farm adventures and home that it keeps going really aewsome! Keep being save in that 90s weather... which right now would actually sound really nice... xD
So... first thing is first, and it's really kind of sad news. Our baptism that was supposed to be this week has actually been moved because we arranged President D to give him the interview and it revealed only ONE problem. I guess that when he was previously taught the Word of Wisdom, he didn't know that those things are more so not allowed and he can't be using them in order to be baptized, but I guess that he hasn't really been avoiding them. 
So we'll be reteaching him that this week and reset the baptism date to probably July 23rd or so (because here in the Philippines we have some pretty big standards, like they have to be 1 month clean of any violation of WOW, as well as come to church 4 times in a row!!) But still, as long as he will get baptized, that's really what's important :) We also have hopefully another baptism coming up soon to a sister who moved into our area who was taught by other missionaries named D... she has really got a strong testimony that she knows this church is true. And came to church yesterday, so was able to make friends with all the YW in our ward!
We had a really good week this week, with a lot of people that we taught... it seems that out here in the Philippines, when one strives to find investigators, and I mean REALLY try... there in NOT a shortage of people who are willing to listen to this message. The only problem right now seems to be that most people don't keep our commitments, but such is missionary work. In fact, this week I've really come to love and understand the depth and importance of my calling... and that's only been coming as I walk every day and talk to the people here in my area!
Today marks the start of Transfer week, so honestly I don't know if I'm going to receive a new companion with, but the time with Elder A has really been so fun. Honestly it doesn't' feel to me like I was being a followup trainer to him, because he's really a talented missionary! It's just such a crazy thought to me to think that 6 weeks have almost passed since I started this awesome transfer! 
Anyway, to be honest I don't really know what else to say about this week... it was actually not really all that hot, since we're really close to the rainy season... and that ought to be fun, because what that means is Baguios.... typhoons, and crazy storms! I ought to start having some interesting rainy stories and such soon :)
Love you guys! Thank you so much for all the pictures, it's so crazy how much you guys are changing and growing up! Except for you Tay, Nay... you still look the same ;)
From the Philippines with SWAG.
~Elder Morris
ps- not really a lot of pictures, but I've been seeing some really beautiful sunsets and have been having some pretty heavy rain! The last is Elder A with one of the coolest people that i have met! Brother Pagaduan! :D


Wow, you know... I honestly was NOT expecting that to be the first words that I would read in the email. Things like that are really just a testimony to me of how close the second coming is and how quickly the world is spiraling downward. From some people I've talked to... they're very convinced that the second coming is in like 200-300 more years and I'm sitting here like... "just listen to the things that are happening in the world and you'll realize just how close it is". It's really sad that that happened and also that President Obama is kind of... clueless. But anyway, that raised my question as I wrote that: since I'm overseas... is there some way that I can still vote since I'm 18? Because after all I am still an American :)P
Anyway, it's so fun to hear about all the adventures back home with the farm and homeschooling! No... I havent gotten your package, but I expect it to come one of these Mondays when we have our District Meeting... but I don't know yet, it's just funny how long it takes to get stuff around the world. But then we somehow can send emails and stuff almost instantly across the oceans! Pretty cool huh? 
That's a really fun thing to hear about your homeschooling this week and about the anniversary of D-Day... I bet there was nothing in the news about it, right? :P But that's really fun that you guys took the time to remember it!
Oh, and just so you know Mommy... here in the Philippines you would be called "Nay" because you're not quite an old lady and deserve "Nanay" so just so you know, that's what I'm going to call you when I get home ;)
Anyway, so my week was pretty awesome!!!
Well, I feel blessed this week in the work. And I really have grown in my testimony that the people are being prepared for this message! We met some previous investigators for some reason were dropped, but when we found and talked to them... it was super amazing and they were really receptive!
But first I want to talk about our upcoming baptism on the 25th for Brother E, he was taught for nearly 3 years straight without being dropped. I think that early on the problem was that he was a live in... or not married... but  that was fixed a while ago and now he's ready! Hopefully President D will be able to work with us to schedule an interview for him. It actually really amazed me how strong his testimony is in the light of all that is happening, and to be honest I feel so blessed to be a part of that wonderful work!
In other news I had a pretty awesome time this week helping paint the home of one of the members... it was actually a LOT of work and I got a little bit messy, but that's okay xD
What else? Oh, my glasses finally broke... I think what happened is that on a really hot day, sweat more or less rolls down my face and I guess that it eventually rusted through one of the things in the side of my glasses and... they broke! Or in Tagalog... nasira ang salamin ko :O
And only one more quick story before I go... when I found a HUGE pool of potential investigators and future baptisms in the form of part member families. So on Sunday we go on a Split with the members and I went with our Branch President, we went to one area that i had not ever been to to contact some less active families, which was really helpful. But anyway, we get to this one family compound (here in the Philippines, it's not uncommon to find families where the were all born and raised in one home and then when they get older, to literally build homes around their original... so basically creating this group of homes all from the same family group) and... well Nanay is a member and so were here kids... but almost all of her kids married non members and now have children who are well over 8. So basically in one day I found the potential of some 5 part member families living in one tiny area... who are really receptive! What a remarkable blessing and moment, which honestly makes me wonder who else here is ready to receive this message and what can I do to make sure we get to them?
I guess that's really all that I can say about this week... it's been another hot but fun week here in the Philippines! I guess that I DO have a funny story to share this week, due to the fact that my Tagalog is good enough now that I can function pretty well in most situations... it's so common to have people be so surprised. Like a little while ago this old lady comes up to me while we were shopping at the public market for our vegetables... she asks me... marunong ba kayong magTagalog? and when I told her yes... I think it was just the funniest expression that I have ever seen. 
Hahaha, and then another thing that happened is after teaching this really old lady... like 90 years old and after the lesson as were going she looks me dead in the eyes with this kind of mischievous look and tells me I'm super gwapo... handsome xD Kind of funny, because she was this little old Nanay!  
Anyway, I look forward to this week coming up... it's so crazy the fact that my 4th transfer in the field is almost over... this 6 weeks is just flying by so fast!

Love you guys, and take care there in good ol' Virginia :)
Love you guys,
Elder Morris

PS- Crazy the pictures like the snake and so awesome that you're going to be in a Childrens Book, Nay! Hehehe.

Don't worry about my fountain night picture... that was only around 7pm after having a MIssionary Fireside at our chapel :)P

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Dear Family,

Yeah, the political situation here is really unique, I only know that because literally everyone here loves to talk about how the political situation is coming along! It's really crazy.
And WOAH. IT IS SUCH A SMALL WORLD. She is the Aunt of my companion, Elder A. He looked at this and was super shocked and then told me to to tell you to tell her to send him a package ;) It's so awesome that that happened!!! Also really great you could talk to Uncle L, I think that he served in Baguio mission... Urdaneta Mission used to be part of that mission but broke off and became its own mission some 3 years ago I think, but it really makes this crazy huge world seem so much smaller than it is!
You know what I think that there is only thing that I am going to need for the time that my birthday comes in new socks, because the ones that I have are slowly developing homes and rips that I fix up with the sewing kit... eventually I'm going to run out of sock to wear xD But then again, it might just be cheaper to buy them here! Anyway, I guess that I'll think about that and let you know next week if there is anything that I so desire from America! (Oh, how about a small American Flag?) ;)
I love to hear abouty how the home schooling is coming along... that sounds like such an awesome adventure! What amazing things that you can learn... truly learning at home really is the ideal place for you guys to learn about this world!
The really ironic part is that the second commandment that had been taken out is "Thou shalt not make any graven image" and so many houses have little statues of Mary that they pray to or pictures with recited prayers... it's really really kind of sad to be honest. Daddy told me that in one Swedish Lutheran Church they literally took out scriptures and replaced them with an asterick (this scripture does not conform to the doctrine of their church) and used the example in 1 Corinthians about baptisms for the dead. To me it's just a crazy world... but gratefully one day it'll have it's leader and king :)
Anyway, this week went really well!
So first is something that makes me so happy and was probably the funniest thing that has happened to me since I got here! So our apartment room is on the second floor of this small complex and the room beneath us had been empty since I got there... well this week we got new neighbors who moved in RIGHT BENEATH US.
You won't guess where they're from: hint: Not America or the Philippines....
They're from France.
So the husband is straight up French who doesn't speak any English or Tagalog... and his wife is a Filipino who doesn't speak English or French. So they literally communicate with hand gestures, simple words, and Google Translate. I think that here in the Philippines I have found someone who has found true love. It was just such a funny experience to me! The only sad part is that I totally forgot anything that I have learned from the four years of french in High School. Literally the only  thing I remember anymore is Bonjour. xD ANYWAY, one of these days we're going to strive to teach the wife and him... but I don't really know how on earth we'll manage to communicate with the Brother, it's not like we have a French Book of Mormon here in the Philippines or anything in French for that matter!!
Anyway, something else that was really fun this week is the fact that we were able to take part in the Brigada Eskwela here... or some big week long thing where people from all around go to the school in the Morning and do service. So two mornings we went to the public schools and did service like weeding the planters or painting what seemed like a million doors and rails. But it was really a fun time and a good bonding moment between me and the members. I love being here in Tayug, the members are so great! I really enjoy being able to get to know them and develop these friendships!
That's really all, the rest has been a regular work of finding more people to teach and striving to help them to come to church and keep the commitments that everyone seems to make but then never keep. That has really been my biggest hardship so far xD
No. I guess the hardest part on my right now is the fact that the little kids here seem absolutely relentless on pointing out that I'm an american and then yell whatever English they know... which can occasionally take the form of vulgar and very rude words. That has got to be the hardest part on my right now, because let's all be honest, I don't like attention at all. But you know what, I'm getting over that! I'm a missionary, it's quite literally my calling to get the attention of people and strive to help them to come unto Christ! Haha, what a fun part of missionary work! :)P
Anyway, I think that's really all I know what to talk about for this week... next week hopefully I'll have some exciting news, but I don't quite know yet :) 
It's so crazy to think that it's already JUNE. Time is passing so so quickly and to  be honest, I don't know how I feel about it xD Thank you so much for the pictures, I love to see how much everyone is growing up and the fun adventures that you guys are having back home!
Love you guys so much, I hope you have a great week :)
Elder Morris
ps- Sorry again for the few pictures... I haven't really been thinking about taking any. :)
The second one is the Tagalog alphabet... pretty crazy huh?


Sunday, June 5, 2016

5-30- 2016

Dear family,
I'm so happy to hear that the Wedding was a really special experience, it's so weird though because I was sitting there a few nights ago and I turn to my companion and say "My sister is probably getting married right now" and it was so funny to think about, because the time difference is so crazy here from there! It sounds though like it was a really really special experience, especially since Papa was able to be the one to do the sealing in the temple of our God :) I'm also really happy to hear about how awesome the home schooling is coming along... let's all just be honest, they're going to learn more and better stuff from homeschooling than anything they can learn in public schools... after all the home IS the best place for people to learn and grow! How is that all working, are you teaching them all of the math and all of the everything or what?
Oh well, I do hope that you guys are doing well there in good ol' America. WHICH just reminded me of a super funny story this morning in our district meeting. So I was chosen to pick my favorite hymn to sing at the start of our district meeting... and I had gotten the best idea, I chose 130.... or better known as the American National Anthem! It was great, we all stood up and put our hands over our hearts and I sung the National Anthem with a group of Filipinos... not going to lie, it made me kind of homesick, but it was a really fun experience! :)P
So, this week I guess has been pretty eventful... but there's not really a lot that I have to share. It's been a lot of lessons that we have been able to share! We have one investigator who is now progressing towards a baptism date and many others who we will be extending to this week. It's so awesome to be here in the Philippines and sharing this message to all of the people now here in Tayug! Something that I really want to share today is actually a really crazy story that I have had this week that proved to me that the Lord is preparing the hearts of people and will either lead us to them or lead them to us!
So this story takes place on Saturday as we were going out early in the afternoon before having MCM at the church at 4:30. And we decide to go to this part member family and investigator nearby the house, so as we're walking over to them I hear this man from inside some house a man starts yelling at us and pointing, saying things like "HEY MORMONS< MORMONS" and for some reason I got the feeling that I should go over there and talk to him, but sadly I ignored that in my thinking that it was just some drunk man (because it happens really often for me to be yelled at by some drunk Filipino) and we continued to the part members home. When we got there, the door was open and we stood outside yelling for them for like 10 minutes (because that's just how it's done here in the Philippines, you yell TAO PO to the home for them, it's kind of like saying, THERES A PERSON HERE.), (and we find out later that they both were home but for some reason didn't hear us... totally weird, right?) And so we decided to leave, and because MCM was soon, we were only really faced with two different choices: to take a trike to an investigators home, or to go home and grab our progress record... and for some reason we decided to go back to the apartment. So this is the crazy part, as we're walking by the same home from earlier... there is a family leaving and getting into a trike who stop us and we find out that they are members of the Jensen 3rd ward (my companion, Elder A is from Jensen 2nd ward) so we talk to them and find out that they're here visiting family.... in some 10 minutes they referred us to the family members who own that home, and 5 minutes later there we were teaching this completely new family close by to our apartment. That man who was yelling at us turned out to be a member from Manila visiting here, we had a lesson with that member present. And it's like they all listened really well and asked us questions... it was such a wonderful experience and built my testimony. I'm just grateful that the Lord gave us a second chance to talk to them and teach them this message. 
OH and I have another crazy story, we were teaching this other investigator and she asked why we don't do the cross sign and after answering that concern she shifted the conversation to saying recited prayers and praying to like the statues of mary and stuff. When we told her that it's worshipping idols and breaks the 10 commandments, she was kind of shocked and then brought us this Catholic Calendar that has the 10 commandments... there was no 2nd commandment and the "thou shalt not covet" was broken up into two different commandments. So what we did with her was then read in the Bible of the 10 commandments, and I don't think that I have ever seen someone look so shocked by that realization. That was just a funny moment!
But anyway, that's really the only crazy stuff that has happened this week, the rest has been the usual hard working missionary stuff!
I love hearing about how life is coming along back home :)
I love you guys so much!!
~Elder Morris~
ps- I think that this week I really have my favourite hymn "Master the Tempest is Raging" because I've found that in all the crazy experiences and happenings in this life... sometimes it can really feel like we're trapped in a tempest. But what it makes me feel is that truly no matter how rough the seas of life get, through the Lord we can find peace. And the peace that we find cannot be thrown over by anything, not demons or men or whatever it be. It's probably my all time favourite now :)