(A post by Zac's Mom)
On August 13, 2015, I received the most wonderful personal message on Facebook. It was from the individual who sat next to Zac on the flight to Portland (and her daughter). Zac had planned to give out a Book of Mormon on his flight to the Philippines, and was so excited that he succeeded on the first leg of the trip. It was busy and chaotic, so I didn't get to hear the details of how or who he gave it to .... until now.
"Hello Rachel! You do not know me, but I see that we have common friends in Chris and Emily Hansen. Perhaps they live by you in Lehi? They used to live by us in Layton and are dear friends of ours! (They are our neighbors!!)
I am writing to let you know that my daughter Hannah and I had a wonderful experience sitting by your son Elder Morris on his flight to Portland last week. He told us that you were all on that flight as well and about the fun surprise it was for him! So cute!
It was by no accident that Elder Morris was seated by us on that flight. My daughter is absolutely terrified of flying! We are also members of the Church and when we saw so many missionaries boarding the plane, I told her that there was no way that our plane was going down! Best life insurance ever!!!
Your son is truly the Lord's servant and teaches by the power of the Holy Ghost. He was quoting scriptures and sharing messages from talks as they pertained to our conversation. He told us that in the MTC he was told that 20% of the missionaries would do 80% of the work and 80% of them would do 20% of the work. I know which camp he falls in. He is so well prepared and has such a light about him! Our discussion was so powerful and the Spirit was very strong. My sweet daughter was totally calm the entire flight and gained a lot of strength and understanding from the message that your son was teaching.
Elder Morris shared with us a little bit about his life story after asking questions about us and our family. When my daughter discussed some of the issues she was struggling with he would tell us about something from his past that she could draw strength from. He shared with us his triumphant story of his track career. About the moments of disappointment after training so hard and then not being able to compete because of injuries. Talk about enduring to the end! How rewarding it must have been his senior year to take 1st place in the state in the 200 meter dash! He was so cute as he relayed the story. He said that he didn't want to seem boastful, but he wanted to illustrate a point; that when we go through times of struggle, Heavenly Father is preparing us for something good. He's molding us and making us stronger. It was powerful.
Another topic of discussion was depression. My daughter suffered from a pretty severe case of that last year. He was very open and shared with us his story. There were times when all 3 of us were in tears. He was able to get through to Hannah in a way that nobody has been able to so far. I know that he will be an amazing missionary to the people in the Philippines, but I have to tell you, fresh out of the MTC he was an outstanding missionary to a daughter of God who needed to be uplifted and strengthened. His effect on her has been profound. If for no other reason, Elder Morris' willingness to serve the Lord has greatly blessed the life of my daughter. He said that in the MTC they were challenged to read the Book of Mormon with a specific purpose, or to have a specific question in mind and search for answers to that question. His was, "How do I get over my depression?" He pulled out his copy and showed it to us. He had highlighted scriptures and made notes in the margins that taught about having joy, peace, strength...etc. He is a very wise young man. He only made it to chapter 5 in 1 Nephi which is too bad because it was all very insightful. He gave this copy to Hannah and\ challenged her to read through the rest of the book and continue the process that he started. He wants her to sign her name under his in the front cover and then pass it along to someone else who is suffering from depression so that they can find strength in the scriptures as well. He also taught her that it is when we serve others that we find our greatest joy.
At our Young Women's activity this week I was sharing this experience with the girls. Afterwards, one of my Mia Maids came and talked to me. With tears in her eyes she told me that she hadn't really felt like going to our activity that night but she thanked me for what I shared and said that that was exactly what she needed to hear. Your sons words and example are blessing the lives of people he hasn't even met. When Hannah finishes reading and marking up his Book of Mormon, she will pass it onto this darling girl.
If you wouldn't mind, Hannah and I would love to get Elder Morris' address so that we can send him a letter expressing our gratitude to him for that day. You must be thrilled to see him at this point in his life! He is well prepared, the Spirit is with him, and he is intelligent and kind. He is going to do great things and bless the lives of many. Thank you for being a wonderful example in his life. It was apparent in the things that he shared with us how much he loves and cherishes you.
Sincerely - "
My heart was warmed and my eyes were wet by the time I finished reading this message. I am truly grateful for who Zac is and what he is so rapidly becoming. I'm so grateful he can be part of the good in this world.