Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

That was a Hard Week!

December 30, 2015

This was probably the hardest week so far. Argao, my new area, is not like Toboso. Toboso has about 40,000 peeps living in that area and a ward with about 150 active members (about 300 total) whereas Argao has 60,000 people and a branch of about 80 members and 50 are active; big difference in the wards and in population. Argao is also a city area. There is not much visible poverty here as compared to Toboso where there wasn't much visible wealth! 

We do not have a teaching pool here so we spend almost ALL DAY going door to door saying, "Hi, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ and we would like to share a little message with you." And receive the response, "Oh no, we are busy. Thanks...” This is how my week went as well as Christmas day. We did have a little more luck on Christmas day than the other days because we would read the birth of the Savior from Luke 2 and Matthew 2 (with all the vestiges included- for those small group of you who would get that joke). I met one person who wanted to bash us (on Christmas too!). I did well confounding this man but ended up saying "Kita ta sa paghukom!" which translates to "see you at the judgement!" MAN I WAS ANNOYED! Just the hardness of the hearts of people is really annoying. But in the end we did share our story with a few families and invited the spirit into their house so... mission accomplished! 

Yesterday was this day of feast here and so EVERYBODY was feasting all day – sort of like American Thanksgiving. We ate a lot. We also walked around all day trying to find people. I swear that this whole area got deserted! There was hardly anyone around! I believe they all went to parties and such, so yeah, that was fun. I have literally spent all week knocking on doors.... BUT! We found one guy last night who we shared our message with and it was a fantastic lesson! I sure hope something good comes from that visit! 

Last Friday I had the chance to Skype home. It was the first time in 5 months that I had seen my family. I had a nice 45 min long talk with them and it was great to see them. It did make me miss them though and put me in a little bit of nostalgia but that’s ok. It was great to see them again.

I walked around and handed out these little toys to some of the members children. They were sure happy to receive these small gifts! Also I made 2 new friends. They are two sisters about the age of 7 and 8. Not sure why I have a knack with children but I do and they really like me here. Kind of fun haha.

Well I hope you all had a great Christmas! I sure had a long one - haha. I am 1/4 of the way done here! Wow that was fast! And it is only getting faster. I wish the best for you back at home! 


(The full moon here on Christmas day as it was over the ocean.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

First Week of the New Transfer

December 22, 2015

Alright, alright that was different...

So I guess I could start on my new great area of Argao here on the Cebu Island. It is a bit cooler here than in Toboso. The place has about 20,000 more people here than Toboso and hardly any poverty like from my last area. A lot of things here are "new" and "hip...ish". The people are a bit tougher too. I have here a branch of about 50 members and they are great! There is one Joe in my branch too from Montana and he is very nice. My new companion, Elder Adap, is a Filipino from the Middle East. He speaks English and Tagalog. My first week here was LONG!

It down poured on us last Friday and Saturday and I got some sicknesses – grr... I got a migraine last Friday and it did not go away until yesterday morning (Tuesday morning). I got this weird form of pink eye the call Sore Eyes here, that only lasted a day. Oh and don’t forget the stuffy nose... Our phone ran out of service the day I got here, last Thursday, so I couldn’t  call ANYONE!  But alas it all went away and I am doing great now!

The people here are great and are helping me a lot with my Cebuano. My language is really coming too! 

We don’t have a big teaching pool here so we have spent most of our time tracking and going door to door... that’s fun. We met a lot of people that tell us, "Oh we have nothing to do". "Do you want to hear a message?"  "Oh no we are busy sorry!"  MGA BAKAKON! (Liars haha) It’s all good though. They aren’t rejecting me, they are rejecting our Lord. 

I read 2 Nephi 27-29 and it is all about how the people reject Christ and how very few people will find true salvation... it is true! A lot of people don’t want to come unto Christ cuz they are busy... I guess our Savior will too be busy to save them... it’s a give or take relationship.

Miss Philippines won Miss Universe... so that’s pretty big here...

Not a whole lot has happened... just was sick haha. 

I wish the best for you all back at home!

-Elder Morris

And I am Done with Follow-Up Training

December 15, 2015

So I suppose you would like to hear the biggest news first? Last night we got transfer calls and just as I suspected, I have been evicted out of my humble fishing town of Toboso and tomorrow I will be going to Carcar zone on Cebu Island. I will be the senior companion as well and follow up training my companion. So right off the get-go I will be in a leadership position and hopefully will be able to do my best!

This past week has been very long... Started out with going to Dumagetti last Thursday, Friday, and returned Saturday. Dumes is a BIG city on the southern tip of Negros Island whereas Toboso is on the most northern tip of Negros. It took 7 hours travel by bus to go one way (A distance of about 100 km... which would take 1 hour MAX on American freeways). There we ate at this restaurant called Burgers and Beer. I had true American food and imported cherry Dr. Pepper! OH BOY I MISS AMERICAN BURGERS AND FRIES AND SODAS! We then watched the Christmas devotional from the First Presidency. We received mga gifts from the president. We each received a new hardcover BOM with a new challenge to read the whole thing in 3 months. It hasn’t been a week yet and I am halfway through 2nd Nephi. I love that book and so far it has been a great blessing to read it again! I plan to be finished by the end of next transfer (in 6 weeks if anyone wants to race!) The president talked to us about Christ’s birth and then we had a "Talent-ish show". Each zone had 45 min to do whatever they wanted on the stage in front of all the Negros missionaries. It lasted about 5 hours... I met up with my old trainer, Elder Noprada, there. We exchanged words and small gifts. It was good to see him again and I see that being a District Leader has changed him (for the better).

A couple nights ago we received a phone call telling us that a super typhoon is coming to Negros and will plow through my zone....yeah that didn’t happen. It barely rained on us too! No wind, no scared people; heck I think no one even knew a typhoon was about to come! Nothing different happened but we were all scared!

This past transfer, when I look back at it, has been a huge try of my patience. I have learned a lot about my personality and about becoming more Christ-like in my actions. I am safe to say that I did not blow up on anyone haha but TBH I am glad for this upcoming transfer. I'm tired of waiting on disobedience. I have also learned that I hate to waste time when I need to be doing something. I hate worldly talk. I really loathe any form of talking about others without respect towards them. It truly drives the spirit away.

I cannot wait to be the senior companion this next transfer! I will be doing my absolute best at my job! You can count on that!

I wish the best for you all at home and I hope you stay safe in the snow! It is something like 80-100 degrees here and I am always sweaty!

Amping moha! 

- Elder Morris

(This is us giving the presents my mom sent over to the little mga bata!)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

...That Was a Long Week!

December 9, 2015

So I'll start out with the bigger news. We had 3 baptisms this week! Our zone had 12 all together on the same day! Now the sad news… We only had 2 confirmations as one of our newly baptized decided to smoke right after his baptism... WHOOPS!  Sister Victoria was finally baptized and confirmed! She had been worked on since June! I know her very well and am glad that she is now a member. She was crying at her baptism saying "I will finally be saved!" I know this to be true that baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ is the pathway to salvation! 

(Our baptisms this week.)

I went on splits 3 times... TBH I like to see other missionaries but if I am not in my own area I am missing out on a lot. Three times on one week is a lot cuz a lot happens in 1 week! 

So Ernesto still isn’t doing well. To be honest, he has most likely given up on life now. He isn’t moving and is stuck in a stupor of thought. I have been told that he has stopped eating as well. It truly hurts my heart to see these things happen, but I know that once I've done all that I can it is in the Lords hands now. 

I’ve got a new little friend. Her name is Metheane and she is 8 years old. I don’t know if she likes me cuz I'm nice or an American. Either way, she is my new little buddy! I have learned in these past 6 months that I am really good with little kids. I suppose it is because I give them attention when no one else does. 

We went to a rich person’s house for a birthday dinner. They had a Lenchon Baboy (rotisserie pig). This thing looked so disgusting! It was all shredded up in the end and was a big mess of carcass! These things cost 10000 pesos gihapon! I get 2000 to live off of for a week (about $50.) This thing, for one meal, cost as much as I get in a month and a half to live off of, pay bills, etc! It wasn’t the best tasting thing ever... nevertheless I m still a happy camper! 

I will most likely be transferred out of Toboso next Tuesday (few days before my Christmas party:( ). I am trying my best here and I love it! 

Everything is going great and I wish the best for you all back at home or on missions!    

(Here’s another picture of where I currently live.  This was before the new haircut. I got a hair cut that is a military style. I’m practically bald! FREAK!  And I didn’t mean for it to be short like that. By the way, I don’t have any pics of it like that.)

-Elder Morris

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

And It’s Officially December!

December 2, 2015

This week was full of many...weird and challenging things. It is now December and it is still hot and humid here! Christmas trees are going up. (They are more like pictures of trees cuz no one can afford them and there aren't any pine trees here.) Christmas songs are playing everywhere, planning for Christmas activities are underway and  so forth. 

So I ran out of money about halfway through last week. I was down to 200 pesos (that does NOT get you far) and so I had to scrap by haha. (Editor's note: 200 pesos is currently equivalent to $5 USD.) I figured out how to withdraw from my personal account the day before I withdraw my support, so not much help there. I truly felt poor:). We ran into our friend "Beads". She came up to me and Elder Germaine while we were eating BBQ for dinner. She went off on weird tangents about bisan unsa (any thing). We told her not to follow us home but she would not leave us alone, so instead of walking to the house we went to the pulis (police) station and met up with some cops. They then chased her down the road and she was shouting profanities like you couldn't believe. I feel bad for her but our safety does come first and I do not want a 40 year old stalker trying to kiss me and do other things.

We went on splits yesterday to an area that is very bukid (wilderness/jungle). We walked up three mountains and around two of them. There I met a 15 year old girl who had a baby. When we sat down to teach her I figured out that the baby isn't hers. The story goes that both parents of the baby died and this little 15 year old is the only one who will and is taking care of this little boy. I felt so bad and wished I could help! She was very nice and humble and I am very thankful that at least there are some good people here willing to sacrifice everything for even people they do not know.

(This is when I was on splits yesterday, This is what Negros Island looks like.)

Went to a mini zoo held by one of the RMs here and played with his angry monkey. She doesn’t like us too much and attempted to attack us every time we got near her. Fun:). 

(Nini, the monkey that hates us!!)

We had three baptism interviews this week so you know what that means?! Three new members this Saturday the 5th! Victoria is one of them and is finally going to be baptized! I am excited and I cannot wait for this Saturday! 

So this week, a small interesting thing happened where the spirit really did guide me in what I should do. As we were planning for the day we were stumped on what to do at the night time so of course I said a little prayer on who to visit and immediately Ernesto’s face popped up, so thus we went to visit him at this weird hour (cuz every one is sleeping at 7) and we found him awake. He hasn't been doing so well lately and at church he couldn't even walk up the steps into the building. Well this night he wasn't able to do anything physical. As we pondered what to teach him I first had in mind to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ so I turned to a scripture about the gospel that I do not normally share. As we were assessing our situation we found that we needed to be discussing about healing (cuz it was very apparent that his physical well being is not so good). I came to find that this scripture that I felt enlightened to share could also be tied in with healing as well! (I'd be delighted to share this scripture to you, but I cannot find it anymore!) We taught him this scripture and about healing and then gave him a blessing. As soon as we were done he stood right up (like he wasn't sick), went to his couch and fell asleep. We left him then. He is having heart difficulties due to high blood pressure, and to be completely honest, I think he may be going home to our Father in Heaven soon. I truly feel bad for him because everybody he knows has pretty much abandoned this old man and left him aside and not many people are helping him (including family). I hope that he can at least see the love that we missionaries have for him and that he will soon be at rest in the kingdom of our Father. 

This week has also been good for our stats. We got 42 lessons and 153 FTEs. The mission standard is the average coming in at 25 lessons and 100 FTEs. The previous week we got 41 lessons and 150 FTEs. They work here is great and the laborers are few. By and by we shall get it done! 

I wish the best for you all back at home or on missions! I love you all and hope that you have safe holidays! I sure am enjoying my time here in the middle of the Pacific! 

(Hangin' with my peeps!!)

Elder Morris