Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Five Months Down!

November 25, 2015

Yesterday, the 24th, marked 5 months of my mission. To be honest, it doesn’t feel like 5 months! It feels like a few weeks. This week has been a long one in many ways. We smashed it this week with 41 lessons and 150 FTEs. (Standards are 25 lessons and 100 FTEs). I finished reading the Doctrine and Covenants this morning. I started about the beginning of this transfer so it only took 3 weeks. There is a lot of deep doctrine in there!

We have a "crazy", homeless friend by the name of Mando. We fed him BBQ the other night and he is now our friend:) He always gives us this weird look and smile. He tells us how people fed him human feces and all these disgusting stories. Well yesterday we learned a little more about our friend Mando. He has a child and the wife is...get this...his first cousin! He also hooked up with his sister once.... He is the funniest homeless person I've met here and he is very...out of it. Well yesterday morning he got arrested. He was drunk in the market and people called the fuzz on him. Poor Mando!

Last Sunday I had the chance to confer the Aaronic Priesthood on Ernesto.  Elder Germain did it for Gabriel. It was great and a good experience! I have done many priesthood ordinances since I've been here. I also hear that we can curse people instead of bless them 0-0! Cool stuff.

So today we get the great chance to have Thanksgiving here! We have ordered a grilled chicken, have potatoes (those are expensive here!), and very simple other things. It shall all be well W-.-W. I wish the best for you all back at home and hope that you guys are having a great holiday week!

We have three baptism interviews this Saturday that I am excited for! I know that I am not supposed to brag about numbers (or even count my chickens before they hatch) but if all goes well I should be looking at having 8-9 baptisms by the end of my time here in Toboso! Unless of course I stay another transfer! (Then more! W-.-W) This area is very fruitful and I cannot wait to see what else happens!

All is well on the Pacific front and I wish the best for you all back at home! Amping moha!  

(On the beach. Ang bay-bay sa Tigbau.)

(Elder Germaine ate a blue gumball!)

-Elder Morris

P-Day Again!!

November 18, 2015

This was a very long week... they all are - haha! Started out with getting a nice care package from home last Thursday! It contained a lot of toys to give out to the kids here and a few small things for me ;) (like a first edition BOM and a new tie clip!). We had two baptisms on Saturday! I baptized kang Brother Gabriel ug kang Brother Ernesto! These guys show what a true investigator is like! Gabriel walks several kilometers to get to church each Sunday, totaling 3 hours of walking one way. And Ernesto changed from a diehard Catholic to someone who truly sees the light of Christ! I was super happy!

 (Baptism day!! Me, Gabriel, Ernesto, and Elder Germaine.)

Brother Gabriel showed up 1 1/2 hours late to his baptism and I just about died when he didn’t show up but alas he did! I got to confirm Ernesto a member the following Sunday (I had to say the prayer twice cuz I suck) and another person confirmed Gabriel (cuz I suck at giving prayers in Cebuano). I was also asked to give a talk 5 minutes before church started.... that went well. Ernesto went up to the pulpit halfway through sacrament meeting and just started bearing his testimony. It honestly was kind of funny, but his testimony was good!

We have a bunch of "Tokos" living in the jungle and the houses. A Toko is a big lizard that sounds weird. Well we have one in our house named Mikey Gecko and we came home one day to find him on our wall just chillin’. I've lived here for about 4 months and this is the first time I have seen Mikey Gecko. So what did four 19-22 year old boys do? Shempre! We caught it! He was MAD! I got a video of him in our basket – haha he is funny! We ended up letting him go because, let’s face it, life wouldn't be the same without his annoying mating calls at 2 in the morning! Plus he is endangered.

(Mikey Gecko!)

A mouse caused Elder Germaine to squeal like a frightened little girl :D. That was funny cuz he is 6'3",  240 lbs and a high pitched noise came out.

The crazy lady came back again! I told Elder about her and he wanted to meet her. We were eating barbeque one night and just like that she popped up behind Elder Germaine and in mid sentence I said "Do you remember that crazy lady I told you about?" He was like "Uh oh!".  I said "She's standing right behind you!" She chased us! I got to run again – haha!

Other than that, all is quiet on the western front. We have 3 baptisms coming up on the 5th of December which I am excited for! So far, I have had 5 baptisms since I've been here and am looking at having 9 before I leave to a new area on Dec 17th! Things are good!

I still love my little fishing town of Toboso and the people are great! The youth on the other hand are being too casual with the missionary which frankly needs to stop. We have a missionary leaving tomorrow for his mission in San Paulo Philippines so that is good! Toboso is sending their own into the mission field!

All is well here! I wish the best for you all back at home!    

-Elder Morris

And that was the end of my first week of actual mission life!

November 11, 2015

So no more 12 weeks, which means that I am now on regular mission schedule! I received my new companion Si Elder Germaine. He is from Arizona. We graduated the same time. He is 6'3" coming in at 220-240 lbs of pure American. We have received a lot more remarks of "Joe" and every time anyone says the word “Joe” he goes after them and FTEs them – haha! It certainly scares a lot of people when they say "Tambok Joe" and then all of a sudden the two Americans are hot on their tail to share the gospel with them! We get along quite well and have a similar taste in music. His teaching methods are interesting--more of an ‘in and out’ type deal, but I feel like I can learn great things from him. He was also batch with Elder Noprada, my trainer.

(Me and Elder Germaine)

So I get to lead the area and my first week was rough! I always had people in mind to teach but we were punted by just about EVERYONE for a straight week!!! What a bad impression! Being punted...

We had three baptismal interviews this week and 2 passed! On Saturday si Brother Gabriel and si Brother Ernesto will become the newest members of the Church of Jesus Christ! I am excited because these two are the first baptisms that I’ll have in which I met them and taught them their first lessons and saw their conversion! I truly do love these people and I am excited for them! Sis Victoria needs some more time though...

Things are going great here in Toboso and getting better! We have gone exploring a lot lately, seeing new parts of our area and meeting new people.

I hung my gigantic American flag in my room cuz MURICA!
(My simple bedroom...)

Not much else new has happened here in my small fishing town of Toboso.

So for some quick missionary tips:
  • Get a bag with lumbar support! If you can rest it on your hips like mine can it is so much better than resting it on your shoulders.
  • Have water proof and durable shoes where ever you go! They hold together and your feet don’t get soaked.
  • Buy your umbrella before you get to the Philippines! I love this place so much but the quality of just about everything isn’t...good.
  • Have a wide variety of very nice ties AND DONT TRADE THEM! Missionaries and even members want your new and nice ties.
  • Socks...people stress about socks, but to be honest, buying a $10 pair of socks isn’t worth it. Your feet are sweaty wet no matter what you wear.
  • The deodorant here is expensive.
  • Be prepared! Study your language before you get to the MTC. Study your scriptures from all the standard works before you get to the field. A lot of people will think "oh I'll just learn while I am there" but TBH you will want to know this stuff ASAP!

The mission is great and maayong ang tanan! All is well!

I wish the best for you all back home and just know this, that I do miss the snow!

-Elder Morris

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Done with "12 Weeks"

November 4, 2015

So, “12 Weeks” is the plan the church has organized for the new missionaries in which we are able to adjust to missionary life. This is the time when we get our trainers and learn all the missionary life things and well... I am done! They say that your mission is divided into 4 parts: The MTC, 12 Weeks, your mission, the last 3 weeks. These next 20 months are going to go by fast!

So Elder Noprada and I are now splitting up. I am staying here in Toboso for another 6 weeks for my follow up training while he is going to the third island of our mission, Siquihor. On Siquihor there are 30 members and 6 missionaries. You can walk the length of the island if you really wanted to. My new companion whom I will be meeting tomorrow is Elder Germane. He is an American out for 1 year and...oh yeah he is Elder Gali's trainer! Looks like we have something in common haha! Elder Gali was my MTC companion.

(My geneology... Me, My Trainer - Elder Noprada, his trainer - Elder Smiler)

This past week was a very long be honest… a sad one. So right off the bat we were told by 4 of our "good" family investigators to not return, I know I should be happy that my focus can now be more centered on those who are Elect but being turned down after having several lessons still sucks!  We had a member die this past week and she was one who we visited weekly. She was one of the pioneers here in the Toboso ward. Elder Noprada and I were asked to give a talk at the funeral. I was asked to dedicate the grave. It was a great exp to see the love people truly have for their family and friends; it reminds me that the world isn't so bad. On the same day as the funeral it decided to downpour! I was soaked to the bone! Good fun :)

Last Wednesday we hiked out to Gabriel's house. It was a great hike! His family was so nice and very humble. Just as the Zoromites were able to be learned because they were humble, I too believe that Gabriel has been able to learn because he is humble. We had fun, took pics, caught chickens with ropes, ate bread fruit, hiked back.

 (One of the many paths to Gabriel's house.)

(Kit, Gabriel, Me, Elder Noprada)

A crazy dude came up to me and demanded money... kind of weird. Then he demanded my neck tie.... he got nothing. I wish I could have helped but we aren’t allowed to give out money.

I finally got one! I have finally received a cacao! I cracked it open, ate the actually good fruit in side, and am now in the process of drying the seeds. I will make chocolate from them!  #determined

This past Nov 1st and 2nd are holidays here in the Philippines. It is some "go and visit the graves" day.

Gabriel, Ernesto, and Victoria are all on schedule to be baptized on the 14th! I am excited, for they will be my first "find them and teach them from the beginning" investigators. I also have a 17 year old Kyle who we have been teaching this whole time too who is doing great and will be baptized on Dec 5th. He would have been baptized weeks ago but since he is 17 and his parents aren't members he has to go to church for 3 months so we can see that he is actually dedicated to this work. The work here is good; you have to be turned down by hundreds of people to find the one!

I love it here and I wish the best for you all back at home! These next 20 months will be pas-pas! Fast! 

(My Filipino friends!)

-Elder Morris