Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Saturday, July 16, 2016

...And That's the End of Transfer 9! 7 Left :(

July 13, 2016

So we received our transfer call last night. The past week I was telling Elder Artajo "You will transfer, I will train and become DL. Our kabalay will transfer and the 4th guy will remain in a companionship." Right before the call I prophesied, "We will stay the same and I'll be the DL". Well that was the call! No transferring for me and Elder Artajo but I will now be the District leader here on Siquijor. A DL of 3 other people—haha. This literally is the smallest district in the mission btw. With that being said let us look at one of the biggest districts in Cebu mission. Pardo district covers the whole Talisay zone (the area I came from last transfer). Elder Gali was assigned the DL of that huge area and also whitewashed my old area when it closed and joined his area. He (Elder Gali) is moving after one transfer of being DL of probably one of the biggest districts (a whole zone). He is going to Mabini over in Escelante zone! Toboso, my training area, is two areas over from Mabini in Escelante Zone so he is going to my first zone in the pure bukid! I've worked in Mabini many times with my zone leaders and it is an amazing area! Did you get the hint? Mabini, zone leaders... His new assignment is a ZL!!! Oh man I am so excited for my MTC companion!!!  Maghimo siya AP sa unya.  And that’s roughly transfers!

So this past week was interesting. We had to go to Dumaghetti city for a Zone conference. There I got my package from my mother which had a nice pair of shoes:) and some snacks and a new black tie! A new pair of shades (cuz we can now wear hem!) and ingon ana (etc). The conference was good, slightly crowded in that small room with possibly the biggest zone in the mission. Lots of good, new insights. New implementations are always my favorite and we got a few. Nothing too big. 

(Over on Dumaguette)

A senior couple came over for house inspections. They treated us for lunch too:) We took some pictures over at one of these resorts they have here.

(The senior couple that came and my whole district! 1 for 4 and 4 for all! )

We found a really big caterpillar.

I got to feed baby goats:) 

I got some kind of bug yesterday. I couldn’t work yesterday cuz I was in constant need of a restroom! It still hasn’t gone away (it’s been over 24 hours too). I am soo tired! 

Our IBDs came to church last week! The family! We are good friends right now and they are testifying how they know Joseph smith to be a prophet etc. If all goes well they should be baptized they day after my birthday! I am soo excited for them!! 

(This is brother Juvy and his wife Jesselle. They are our main progressing gators who will most likely be baptized here in a few weeks! Cross your fingers! )

Other than that all is well:) Still doing good in the work and such. 

I hope you all stay safe! Love you all!

- Elder Morris

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I Can Send Pictures! Prepare Yourselves!

July 06, 2016

This last week went by so fast! It was so far the fastest week of my mission! 

We get transfer calls next Tuesday! So by next Wednesday I will know my new assignment! 
This past assignment has been the fastest assignment of my mission. Elder Artajo and I are getting along very well. Not one argument or feeling of anger. It has just been peaceful and simple:). We have a goal to keep it this way for the next 7 days until we transfer. If we do, that would be amazing! 

A lot happened this week. But I think I'll start off by answering a few questions given me. The island dream is still alive - haha! I found my very first gift shoppe in the Philippines yesterday and have a few cool ideas of things to buy;). By the way, this is literally the first and only gift shoppe I've seen so far (thirteen months into the mission too...)

We are struggling a bit to teach some gators, due to a 2:1 female to male ratio on the island. It is a bit difficult to teach cuz no boy to join! Our main progressing investigator just finished lesson 2 the other day (so done with the first big 3) and he accepted it quite well! He says that he believes Joseph Smith to be a prophet and that he wants to be baptized into the "Mormon Church". His wife still goes very shy and will NEVER answer any of our questions or pray, not because she is being difficult though. It is hard when she won’t participate but I know that once we baptize the Alpha she will come :). Brother Juvy's extended family is doing great and we are teaching them too! They are very nice and always feed us - haha. Last Thursday we were invited to Juvy's sons 2nd B-day. The B-day of little children is a big thing here BTW. We helped Juvy cook about 11 kgs of rice in a HUGE pot over a wood fire (camping style). Rotisseried a pig. Made about 4 kgs of white beans:) and another 4kgs of the green peas. Cooked about 4 chickens. Made about 4-5 liters of spaghetti. It was a feast! We were told to be there by 3. Got there at 1:30 so we can teach Juvy's mom but she was busy cooking so we joined and helped cook all this food. 

The next day we went to Siquijor City and started to tract there. We met a huge group of Jehovah's Witnesses missionaries and had an interesting BRT. They were very nice and took some pics for us and vice versa. 

(One of the pics my Jehovah's friends took:D)

While in Siquijor City we found this other big group of people who were eating sea urchins (salawaki) straight from the ocean! We said hi and they gave us some to eat. We cracked them open and I got to eat sea urchin for the first time! Slimy and very salty! One stung my lip too... I guess he got the last laugh... My lip got really big and irritated!   

Last weekend I got to see pride from the other side first hand. A couple of prideful people unleashed a bit and I just stayed calm. It was rather depressing though. I also caught wind of the "mission gossip" going around. President McCurdy is really angry about all the gossip and I try to stay away but I finally asked Elder Artajo what others say about me. It was a question to answer our first day cuz he said he really feared me and cried that night cuz he was my companion... so curiosity got to me as I asked him what others told him about me... yeah...  gossip really does hurt even when you tell yourself to not care. The week was very awkward with the kabalay after that. And I am slightly getting happier for them to transfer SSSHHHH!!!!!!! 

Yesterday was a rather interesting day. We ended it early too... we got a bit scared! We got a phone call from the branch president saying that a mother and her 18 year old son came to Siquijor to find some kind of medicine for the mother’s sickness. The father bailed at the son’s birth so he’s out of the picture and the kid has no other siblings - only child. Well in their first day here the mother died (last Sunday). The kid has been stranded on this island with no $$ with the corpse of his poor mother!!! HOW TERRIBLE! We went to him and president to try and figure out what was going on and what he should do. We stayed with the guy for about 4 1/2 hours until he got about 15000 pesos to ship his mother home, get himself home (BTW his home is in Luzon! Manila...), and pay for the funeral. He got the money through some medical support thing they got here. 

On our way home at 7:00 there was this old nanay on our motor cab riding with us. She was a mute and TBH rather scary! She pulled out her phone and pointed at it, then she pointed at me (IDK how she knew that I had the phone) and so I pulled ours out and we had a text... I opened it and there was a text! How did she know there was a text??!! I opened the text and looked up at nay as she made an evil witch laugh. I looked at the message but IT WAS GONE!!! Blank menu screen... Nothing in the Inbox... She then started to do sign language that was really creepy. She would point at Elder Artajo and do the finger across the throat thing signifying death. Then motion as if she is drinking alcohol and smoking cigs. She made motion as if there are two people with long hair and then repeat everything again over and over and would keep pointing at Elder as if she is cursing him to DIE!! She would point at me occasionally... it was rather spooky! We got off the cab and stood on the street for like 10 minutes before we looked at each other and decided to call it a day at 7:30 instead of the 8. 

A lot of fun things happened. There is more things that happened that I don’t really have time to make mention :P but we are still alive and doing good! The people here are nice. The food is still food even if we eat it alive (the salawaki)! I have one week left until transfers and I am expecting to be training this next transfer. There is also a chance that I could become DL too for the DL here has been here for 6 months! So who knows! I will be going to Dumaghetti on Friday for a meeting so BACK TO NEGROS! I'll be able to get my package too:) 


(Near my house.)

(Giving kids the toys my mom sent me. They were very excited)

 (The most money I've withdrawn here in my mission!!!!! 4500 pesos! )

(So these little candies I got in the MTC last 4th of July. I kept them and said to myself that I would eat them in my mission. So here is a picture of the long year wait to celebrate Murica Day here on Siquijor:) HAPPY MURICA DAY MURICA!!!)

(This is a picture of me right as you read this going "all is good'' 

All is well! Take care ya'll! Love you all back at home! 

Elder Morris

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Awesome Week!

June 29, 2016

So this week was pretty awesome! A lot happened that is quite fun :)

Last Wednesday we went to these waterfalls here on Siquijor, the Cambugahay falls. There were three levels of falls and places where you could cliff jump into them! Too bad for us, we can’t swim on our missions:( or else I totally would have! Right afterwards we went to this beach, the Salagdoong beach resort. They had clear water that you could see to the bottom of the ocean floor and a HUGE rock that had steps that you could climb. At the top there were 2 sledges of rock sticking out much like a diving board that you would jump off of and into the ocean. OH MY!!! OH THE TEMPTATION TO JUMP!!! I didn't jump but I swear someday I will go back there and jump!!! There were all sorts of Europeans there and Asians. They were jumping off this huge rock and such. Dad! If you come we are going to that beach! And on the 24th too. The next paragraph will explain why the 24th. 

(Cambugahay Falls!)

(Hooray for Salagdoong Beach!)

(Elder Artajo!) 

The following Friday (June 24th) was a holiday here in the Philippines. I think it is a Catholic holiday but man is it a big thing here. It is called San Juan (Saint John) and is supposed to be in memory of the St. John who baptized Jesus. On this day, and for the whole day, you and your family, friends, neighbors, the WHOLE ISLAND go to the beach and swim. They bring a lot of food and might I say San Miguel Rum makes a huge profit from that day. Ever body and their dog was drunk!

We went to the beach and spent the WHOLE DAY there. No one was in their homes so of course we got to go to where the people are. We talked to just about everyone we could that day, handing out flyers and pamphlets and pass-along cards etc. Too bad that just about everyone we talked to was drunk off their rockers!

Later that day we tried following up with this family who accepted IBDs, the one who I said I think was hiding last time. Well they told us not to come back and wouldn't say why. The let down was pretty harsh and the 5k walk back was pretty silent.

Even though we lost 2 IBDs we managed to have a pretty successful last week. We found a family who is progressing very well. The eldest daughter made it to church last week! And the parents got ready and right before they left the got shy because of their two babies; they feared that they babies would cry and disturb the congregation of 20 we have here.

If all goes well with this family we have we are looking at least 5 baptisms in August. Not to mention that the father of the family is actually the one who is progressing very well (reading all the time, etc) and he is the Barangay Captain (more like the head of the HOA) so he has a big influence on a lot of people. CROSSING MY FINGERS! We also found 2 people yesterday who have a chance to progress as well! I sure hope that they will!

It has been raining rather quite hard here lately. My shoes aren't holding up anymore:( I am trying to glue flip-flops on the bottom of my sandals... its ok... not really working though.

OH! I also bought a hammock here:) Sleeping in style

I want you to all know that even though my little Island paradise is rather quite fun:) we are focused on the work (we just manage to take some pics in between lessons;)) We are still struggling to get mission standards of lessons taught (30) and FTEs (100). Due to the very small amount of people here we have to accommodate. BUT work is still progressing here. Still going strong!

Here on Siquijor there is a huge rumor about witchcraft and sorcery and potions and such but I've been here a full month and haven't seen one thing! I hear stuff ALL THE TIME from Cebu and Negros but I haven't seen anything here yet. Interesting...

Other than that all is well. Depression is still taking a bit of an effect, oh well. As I read my journal entries from one year ago oh man I can see how horribly depressed I was! It was bad! But things are a bit different now. Can't focus on depression if you’re always working and focused on others!

I still love my mission, I love it here, I love my new comp. no problems:) I hope that you all have something similar! Take care mo! Amping!

-Elder Morris