Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One more week in this transfer...

October 28, 2015

The end is nearing; my training is almost complete and soon I will receive a new companion and or a new area. As far as this week went...well it went!

Last Wednesday, we had a zone activity where we had a "Bottle Fight" (totally not how it is spelled) where you get a bunch of banana leaves, dump all your food on them and it is like a free for all buffet. All 30 of us went in this mass of food with our hands and destroyed it!

We have had splits about half the days this past week as we are trying to cover more ground! The great thing about a Philippines mission is there is always someone to teach (and we have a lot of those "somebodies"). My split yesterday wasn't the best day of my work haha. We got punted by 5 families (caught 3 of them right as they were walking out the door!) Taught only 3 lessons and got only 2 not a great day but the night made up for all the effort! We had FHE at the Stake Presidents house (who lives right behind my house much like in my home ward). We had another "Bottle Fight" (boodle fie...something like that) and played some interesting games that I am taking home to America with me.

Went to San Carlos (a big city because it has a mall!) for zone interviews. We left at 6 A.M and got home at 8:30 P.M. San Carlos is only an hour away but we had to wait a long time for our time with the president. We worked in San Carlos for the day. It was kind of exciting working in the city but alas I like my humble fishing town of Toboso:). Brother Ernesto's IBD is coming up here in 3 weeks as well as sister Victorias and I hope I stay here one more transfer so that I can see them get baptized! And if Gabriel is ready he too will join the Church of Jesus Christ on the 14th! Exciting things are happening and I am happy here!

One thing that I have learned here on the mission is just about how much a missionary really needs to rely on the Savior and... just how lonely one can be. You get sent to a foreign land, don't speak the language, get a new companion every 6-12 weeks, your leaders have a lot to worry about and the president has 180-200 missionaries to over really come to learn that if you aren't feeling so great that you have to turn to Christ. I can see why this is so important because it is a lot of "you and Him" time. You get to learn just how much He cares for you when you see that He is there for you EVERY time that you need help. I am very thankful for our Savior and that He is there for all of us!

Other than that I am doing quite well! I can lead the area quite well and understand the people a lot more! I can converse with the locals and they understand me! I have been told that my Cebuano is much like slang haha but all is well!

I am excited for what the future has in store. I am scared though that my mission will fly by fast! It has already been 4 months and I got 20 left.... In the MTC we sang the song "To bring the world His truth". The lyrics normally go "We are as the army of Helaman, we have been taught in our youth. And we will be the Lords missionaries to bring the world His truth." We sang a slightly different version. "We are as the army of Helaman, we have been taught in our youth. And we are now the Lords missionaries to bring the world His truth."  I only have 20 more months left to do what I have never ceased to think about desire. I am now the Lord’s missionary and at times it feels like I haven't quite realized it yet. These next months are going to go by very fast and I am truly going to miss this great experience. I truly love my mission and I love the people so much! Filipinos aren’t like Americans haha, They don't have the American sass. They are a great and wonderful people!

All is well and I wish the best for you all back at home or on missions!

Amping mo!
-Elder Morris

Friday, October 23, 2015

Another Great Week

October 21, 2015

This week was great; full of plot twists and happy endings!

So first, we only had a strong wind here and not much rain. I didn’t realize that we had a typhoon in the Philippines until after it had passed!

We had a baptism! Little Jewel Mikah! She was very excited and happy! 

We also have two IBDs who...relapsed :( Bro Ernesto drank a cup of coffee so we had to move his bunyag date back a month to Nov 14. Sis Victoria smoked a cig so hers also moved :( Gabriel still treks to church each week and it is quite awesome that he is able to make it! Other than that the teaching is going great! I am in charge of planning, leading, and teaching right now! All on me! MWAHAHA!

I am in the process of buying a cocoa fruit so I can eat it and then make chocolate from the seeds :) Members are feeding us hot coco drinks made from the cocoa trees in their back yard and it is amazing! Bitter kaayo!

Me and my companion have bought lava lavas as a companion item and might I say, walking around in this thing and emailing (currently wearing) in it is quite fun. Every one stares at you...

(We were told the fabric we used is for curtains... They still are pretty cool though... BTW I have a green one from a friend from the MTC that I wear all the nights :P )

My twelve weeks is coming to an end and soon I will be just like the other missionaries. I haven’t had any run ins with crazy people this week. Sis Marzan’s fried chicken is still good. The area is still peaceful. Food is still good (questionable at times).

I do love it here and I hope that I can look back at my mission and say that I gave it my all!

-Elder Morris

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekly Update!

October 14, 2015 

Sorry for not emailing last week. We had a power outage all day last Wednesday and were only able to get to Escelante for 30 minutes to email there. General Conference was great! We got it in English too! One problem with that though. Can you think of it? The people here don't speak English! We had over 1000 peeps at the conference here and hardly anyone understood it! I myself loved it haha.

The weird (crazy) lady came across my path again... As I shook her hand she grasped it tightly, sniffed it, then KISSED it! WWWWWEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah and the kids also really like me too! They like to grab onto my long monkey arms and swing! I know I am tall and nice, but it gets kind of weird when a group of kids surround you just to swing on your arms.

The lessons are going great! Brother Ernesto went to General Conference and seemed to enjoy all he understood-haha. He is scheduled to be baptized on Halloween (2 weeks)! I am excited for him! We will be baptizing little sister Mikah on Saturday, and she has asked yours truly to do the honor! Excited ako!

(Elder Noprada and me with little Mikah)

I have begun a new "study" on faith hope and charity. It is coming along very well and I hope to mail it home when I am done translating my scribbles so that hopefully my mother can type it up and share what I have found. (Oh btw, Mother, I have a request for you!) 

I woke up this morning with a bad bloody nose... it has stained my white polo :( BOO

Yesterday was great! I led the day (so we did what I wanted to do mwahaha!) We had great lessons and a sufficient amount of FTEs (Find The Elect or OYM Open Your Mouth). I found a tranquil place here so we took some selfies! I shall send a few pics.


All is well here and I am still alive haha! I met four Americans the other day and half of what I was saying to them was in Cebuano not by choice haha. 

I truly love my mission and I have been blessed with so much! I wish the best for you all!

-Elder Morris

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Longest/Most Difficult Week So Far

September 29, 2015

So I have been a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for 3 months now and let’s just say that the past week has been the longest/ most difficult week so far.

Each week Elder N. and I do what they call "your first twelve weeks". This includes learning the lessons and making the new missionary lead discussions, lead in planning, use the phone etc. Well what I have noticed as well is that each week also has new lessons to learn that aren't from the twelve weeks. This week’s lesson that I (and Elder N.) had to learn is on dealing with a kauban (companion). As far as the details of what our "disagreements" have been I will try to keep them to a minimum. I have learned so much about the importance of patience and turning the other cheek. I have fully come to be aware of the comments that can be made to get a point across as well as fully intended to insult and upset others. As I have come to see these things in action the thing that has helped me a TON is to just hold my tongue. To be completely honest, I do not like to hold my tongue. It makes me feel passive and like a push over. But we learn in the scriptures that those who do not have the spirit of contention are far more blessed than those who do have that evil spirit. I was quite amazed at myself (not to boast) when a question was shot at me yesterday intended to justify and to insult me and the first thing I did was wait. Not answering right away allowed time for me to think about the situation and to think of a more reasonable approach that will calm things down.  As we finished our discussion last night we were able to finish on good terms and hopefully things will change for the weeks to come. 

Currently, I am still in Toboso for another 6 weeks. Another transfer and then afterwards I may be shipped off elsewhere on literally a days notice. On Tuesday nights every 6 weeks we receive transfer calls stating that in the morning we need to pack and head to our new area to meet a new kauban. Things are going great here BTW!

So where to begin with the stories?!? As of right now (night time in America) there should be a full blood moon! I saw the bright red moon here last night and might I say it was cool kaayo! The next full blood moon will be in 2033! (I know this because I sinned and paid attention to the news at a members house). It honestly looked pretty dang cool!

This past week was Family Week. We woke at 4 a.m. to get to Escelante by 6 for a stake wide gathering in which we played lots of games, had a minor parade through the streets, and ate loads of food! It was a good time and the stake president and bishops were all glad that us 30 something missionaries were there. These three kids followed me everywhere and always clung onto me – haha! It was quite adorable but at the same time it restricted me in my associations with others. 

So remember that story I shared about the crazy weird lady who wrote me a love note on the bus? SHE'S BACK! We ran into her yesterday! She chased us down this long empty road stating that she was just going for a jog (in a dress). We got on a motor cab and she still chased us! The twist to it all is that her bana (husband) showed up... He was really MAD! MAD KAAYO! He threw rocks at her, tried to punch her, and told her off like no other! I feel bad for her but at the same time I myself would be very mad if my wife was flirting with every white guy she saw and showed absolutely no fidelity in our marriage. This guy stalked me and Elder N. as well. As soon as we stopped he began to demand money for his cigarettes (I thought we were being mugged!). We were like "No! That is bad for you and we can't give you money to begin with". He was very persistent but so were we. I was bit scared haha but all ended well. 

The investigators here are very interesting. Um yeah... So we have one who is 15 and claims that her Catholic priest opened her third eye and she now sees ghosts. I asked if she saw the Holy Ghost but she said no :(  I have nothing further to say about this "belief" in seeing the dead. 

Sister Mika is going to be baptized in two Saturdays on the 10th! I am so excited for her cuz we have been working with her 3-4 days a week for the past 6 weeks and she is now ripe!
Sister Victoria, when we entered her house, asked for baptism on the 10th as well! Big heart breaker though because she had just came back from a smoke before we came, which pushes baptism back another 4 weeks, If you drink alcohol, smoke a cigarette, miss church, do anything contrary to what we teach your baptism gets pushed back one month. Sad! I could see the hurt in her eyes when we had to tell her the truth. I sure hope she has enough faith to keep her strong in the next month. 

We went to Brother Ernesto's last night. I just want to grunt, not towards him but towards everyone's attitude towards him a few weeks ago. He told us not to return and that he will stick with his religion and we asked him one last time to pray. I was then told by several people who I work with that we should just let him be. We should follow up once more about the prayer but take him off of the main burner. I didn't want to give up on him. Well he came to church 4 times in the past 5 weeks including the past two Sundays. He demonstrated a huge leap of faith last Sunday when he asked for a PRIESTHOOD BLESSING! Even members don't ask for those often and yet a man who everyone says won't accept us asked for one! Maayo Kaayo! Last night he told us that he is now understanding the apostasy and he asked us for a baptismal date! Don't give up on people when you think they are too hardened to hear your message. 

The people here are great and I wish I could share more stories about the cool peeps here.

So this week I finished the Book of Mormon for my first time since leaving on my mission. You honestly cannot prove it wrong. Those who strive to prove it false are being lead by Satan himself to do so. I stand firm in my testimony that this book is true, and through it we can receive salvation!

All is well here in the Philippines, still hot and the bugs are still big! 

I wish the best for you all and I miss you all back at home (or if you are currently on a mission and receive my emails Richards and Simmons). 

-Elder Morris

And Done With My First Transfer!

September 22, 2015

As stated above, done with my first transfer! Even though I have to remain here in Toboso with Elder N. for another six weeks while I am still in training.  

This past week has been long and full of many...things-haha. The reason I emailed on Tuesday is because we went to Dumahetti for Zone Conference. That was fun. Road a bus for 7 hours to the conference. We didn't receive our funds for this next two weeks before we left so we were bankrupt when we got there and had to be humble enough to bum food off of people. The conference was good and I learned a good deal about being a better missionary.

I got to speak again in sacrament! Hooray for broken Cebuano! It went well and I was able to make the whole congregation laugh with one of those cheesy jokes that are usually said when one talks in sacrament.

This week we went to Brother Ernesto's balay to teach him and he told us that he hadn't received any answer and for us to not return. This did actually hurt a bit. We asked him to pray one last time and we left. This past Sunday he showed up to church! He told us that when he went to his Catholic priest about the apostasy he told him to not focus on it or "...those lying Mormons...”. Brother Ernesto saw that they could not answer his questions and so he has come back to asking us because we have the answers. We extended bunyag (baptism) and he said yes. I sure hope all goes well!

A bird pooped on my neck. >:(

Went to the Libre house for a B-day party and there was A LOT of food and people (a lot of food isn’t always the case here so it was quite an eye opener). The Libre family is considered to be "datu" or rich. We have FHE there every Sunday and they always have some sort of sweet thing that is delectable. Last Sunday we had a mango float. It is one bottom layer of graham crackers crushed, sweetened condensed milk poured on top, and then a layer of mango shavings. Repeat this process until you have a trifle looking thing and then freeze it in the fridge. It is lami:) yummy.  Then on Monday I woke with this bad pain in my belly and well… let’s just say that no amount of going to the C.R helped. I blame the mango float as here not everything you buy at stores (the sweetened condensed milk) can be trusted. The Filipino quality check is more like a brief look over. Hours went by my body soon flushed out the toxin that was in me and I feel better now. Yesterday, Elder N. went down with a fever of 102. I got to play Nurse Morris a bit as he tried to feel better.

I killed a HUGE moth. I at first thought it was a bird that had flown into our house but after dousing it in pernephorin, I was able to see it was a gigantic bug! The spiders here are big too.

I have now started to book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. It should take me 2-3 more days to finish, so for all of you who I challenged to read the book before me...well you got a couple days left! As I come to the conclusion of the book I am truly pained to see the degeneration of people as they let Satan into their hearts. You can see these things happening in our lives today as well! It is scary but sadly going to happen. Just as Mormon states that he would lead the armies of the Nephites but he knew they would all be destroyed in the end, so too can we see that the world is ripening for destruction and soon shall have its demise and then Christ shall rule once more. If you don't believe me then pick up a new copy of the Book of Mormon and a highlighter and sit down and study it. If you can truly study it and finish reading it, I promise you that you will believe it is true. If you study it out right now, not going off of past experience, there will be no way you can truthfully say that it is wrong. The blessings that come from that book are much more desirable than we can ever imagine and I look forward to that great day when I can say that I am forever now living with my family and friends in heaven. Say what you will, the Book of Mormon is true and you can see the prophesies happening is this world right now! I wish for everyone to see and know what I know. The first and foremost step in knowing this is first reading the book, but more than just reading, actually study it. You will know for yourself.

I thank you all for the support and I wish the best for you all at home! AMPING!
-Elder Morris