Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This Week

August 10, 2016

This week was rather a good week. The trials that hit last week are starting to alleviate a bit and we are finding success. I interviewed a girl for baptism this past week so the other companionship in Siquijor will be baptizing this Saturday.

As far as our gators go, we did end up dropping 2 people who weren't really doing anything but then extended an IBD to a Sister Mae for Sep 24. When we talked to Mae she told us how she did pray and she did receive an answer! That is the number one thing missionaries want! She is excited to continue to learn and boy am I excited for her! She is only 19 too so maybe a gold mine for referrals?!?

Juvy and his wife came to church last Sunday for time #3! They are still doing great but the one is still having W.O.W issues so slowly but surely!

We have found a couple new people who may have a great chance of progressing. TBH, 2 teenage girls from the local college and a part-member family we found last Monday. The part-member family is new and no one knew they were there! Soooooo....... GOLD MINE!! The father is the member and has a lot of family in the area and not to mention they live like 5 minutes from the church - right on the edge of the two areas here!!!

The work here is going great; a lot of seed planting but other than that we have high hopes! We have a family we are working with to get them sealed here in December. They are fantastic and could really use your prayers! Trials have been hitting them so hard! Family all of a sudden started arguing with them about Joseph Smith and the "Mormons" etc. We shared with them the first vision but we focused on the start of his prayer. Some of you may remember that as soon as Joseph started praying that Satan did everything he could to stop it. Elder Jeffery R. Holland points out that right before we do something so spectacular (sealing in temple, baptism, mission, etc) that the trials will come and they will be bitter. Satan will do everything he can to stop you! He wants you to NOT be happy. Let it be a witness unto you that when the trials come right before these huge spiritual events you are doing the right thing!

Elder Artajo and I are doing great. Still no issues (10 weeks!), two more weeks to go! The district is doing great.  My workshops are the bomb BTW.

We did have an unexpected death in the branch last Saturday. Laurena Branch has been a branch since January and the previous Group Leader is who died at age 46. He has a son two months into his mission too. It has been a very sensitive week for the branch here and especially for the missionaries! Dumaguetti Zone (my zone) has 7/21 missionaries that have served on Siquijor and they were very close to the Group Leader, si brother Solis. The scriptures 2 Nephi 9: 16-18 is some of the most amazing kasulatan ever because it teaches that death is swallowed up in the resurrection of Christ- or in simpler terms we ALL will be resurrected and not remain dead, that our loved ones will be with us!! Remember that always.

Now the last thing I would like to share is a huge revelation that hit me this morning. For all those RMs and missionaries out serving or preparing to serve, let this help you understand. We teach in lesson one the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It teaches first that God is our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus is the Savior of the world. Next is that the gospel will bless your family. Third is dispensations; about prophets, how they receive the priesthood and learn the gospel to teach it to the people, the people go through individual apostasy etc,. Then about the Saviors earthly ministry, the apostasy, Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, and lastly to pray to know. Sigi here is the revelation. Lesson 1 of the missionaries is outlined in 3rd Nephi almost exactly!! Ch 11. is about Jesus comes then testifies of the Father and that he is the Savior. The people then rejoice and cry in unison (Unity of the family through the gospel). He then calls Nephi (calls a prophet) gives him authority and teaches him how to baptize (authority and teaches him the gospel). He says that He does this because of disputations among you (apostasy). The next few chapters are from the Sermon on the Mount (Saviors earthly ministry). Earlier he taught about the apostasy as well as called a prophet so now we move onto 3 Nephi 24 (Malachi scriptures). He gives them NEW SCRIPTURE (new to them)! The Book of Mormon for us; Malachi scripture for them. He also teaches them how to pray and commands it. The people desire the Holy Ghost (or for us a witness from the Holy Ghost). So I thought this was pretty cool. The Master Teacher taught all of Lesson 1 before any latter-day missionary did! Well that's all I got on my mind right now!

Oh yeah! So this week marks my official 1 year in this country! Aug 8 is when I arrived in Manila. And Aug 12 is when I got to Cebu. It also marks my last few days as a teenager. I will no longer be 19 as of Friday. We had B-day cupcakes at District Meeting.

I've also been collecting spiders and cool bugs... just letting you all know.

( Look at this MONSTER!!!)

Well I love you all! We are about to go grill some Marlin fish! I hope you all have a great time! 

-Elder Morris

Halfway Through This Transfer

August 2, 2106

This week has been a bit slower in the terms of finding and teaching. Sometimes it just becomes hard to teach each day because people just won’t accept you but alas you keep trying.

This morning I read the prophesy of Samuel the Lamanite. What he does is rather quite interesting. He teaches in the city of Zarahemla and is rejected so what does he do to get the people to hear his voice? In Helaman 14:11 he states, "And ye shall hear my words, for, for this intent have I come up upon the walls of this city, that ye might hear and know of the judgments of God which do await you...." He shouts the message to all the nonbelievers! He goes to extreme lengths to do as the Lord commands him to do.Sometimes in the mission that is all you can do! Instead of asking to teach them a lesson you just have to go in and share it dayon! Give everyone a reason to why you believe what you do. The thought always reoccurs to me as a missionary DL. In my past 3 workshops the thought is always said that "If these people don't accept this message they are NOT going to the kingdom of God." They don’t go to heaven, it’s as simple as that. Every person that rejects this message doesn't receive salvation in the kingdom of the Father, a complete and total happiness. It kind of motivates us to do a bit more, try a bit harder.

Any-who, a few interesting things happened this week. I found a new starfish and I baked him in our toaster so that he will be preserved and not stink haha. I found like 4 big spiders that I brought home with me. They died (whether intentional or unintentional I will leave that unanswered ;)). I will glue them on paper so that I can keep them because they are REALLY COOL!! Like these spiders look awesome! Also had some fun hair fights last week. I will teach you all about them when I get home :).

A main big thing that is on my mind is lately I've been reading the general conference talks from last General Conference. The messages from our prophets and apostles are really helpful! How often do we just read the book scriptures and say "Oh a prophet helps us in our time" but don’t read the words of our living prophets? Ask yourselves if you remember what the prophet of the Lord spoke of last April? If you remember, great! If not, he talked about choices.

I've also been inspired by Deiter F. Uchtdorfs talk "He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home". "If man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild an awe-inspiring structure that rises towards the heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore His children who have fallen, struggled, or become lost?"  And Elder Holland’s talk "Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You". "Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined in general conference are depressing and unrealistic, that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright tomorrow. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations, and he wants you to be miserable too. Well, don’t fall for that. With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed." And lastly, Elder Oaks' talk "Opposition in All Things". "Some of you may at times have cried out in your suffering, wondering why our Heavenly Father would allow you to go through whatever trials you are facing. …Our mortal life, however, was never meant to be easy or consistently pleasant. Our Heavenly Father … knows that we learn and grow and become refined through hard challenges, heartbreaking sorrows, and difficult choices. Each one of us experiences dark days when our loved ones pass away, painful times when our health is lost, feelings of being forsaken when those we love seem to have abandoned us. These and other trials present us with the real test of our ability to endure.”

Sometimes we forget the wisdom of the Lords holy anointed. What they share is scripture. We need to study it to grow in our testimonies of the restored Gospel. Knowing the truth of our leaders is a very important thing to know when finding out if our church really is true or not and I know that it is true.

If anyone needs help confirming their testimony take this advice -  Elder Dallin H. Oaks talks about opposition so look for it. If you can prove that there is a devil, si Satan, then you can know that he has an opposite. The Lord lives. His name is Jesus Christ and He loves each and every one of us. Sometimes we are too lost in trying to prove the divinity of a God that we end up helping prove the divinity of the adversary and don't even see it.

I hope that in this last 10 months that I have left that I can become a true man of God, someone who doesn't fall when the trials come. I also hope to return and see my friends and family stronger in their faith.

I hope you all are doing great! I love you all back at home! See you in 10!


-Elder Morris

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Starting Month 14

July 27, 2016

Today has been long. We woke up at 4 A.M and walked to the boat port (it's far btw) while it was still dark out (and chilly a bit:)) and sailed out to Negros Island. We were informed last Monday about our Zone Interviews we had just earlier so that is what we did here. Woke at 4 A.M. Sailed for 2 hours one way and now 2 hours back. No breakfast until noon gyud. All for a 20 minute quick meeting with President McCurdy. In about one hour we will sail home so we won't be able to get laundry done today, food bought, and house cleaned. It looks like we shall be doing these things early tomorrow morning!!! 

This week has been a great week as far as being a successful missionary. A lot of diligent work done and people talked to. The thought comes to mind whenever I think of my mission right now: "A good soldier does what he is told to do and does not complain." In the fight for salvation the Lord needs soldiers who can brave the pain of trials and loss. I just have to work with what I have got! 

We had many fun things happen like hiking up hills, and painting houses, and totally awesome District meeting given by yours truly, and awesome splits, aquid eating, and lessons taught etc. We decided to take another way up this mountain (5 km uphill... no joke) and as we started going up I realized that I left my handkerchief at the house and lost my umbrella at the house we just came from so it was HOT!!! I don’t think I've sweated so much in my life! I got to the top off that mountain in 2 hours flat and looked like I just jumped in the ocean!! My shirt was dripping in sweat and... yeah it was bad but alas, I survived:) It was a great time to apply the above quote about not whining. Whiners are annoying haha.  

Things are going great with my companion - no problems. My district is still alive too haha. Splits were fun yesterday as I worked with Elder Jones, another American. We got along quite well as we have the same idea of how work gets done (it’s by working btw). Our IBDs aren’t making it to church. They tell us they keep getting ready but right before they go their bike is flat or they are waiting for the mother and are way late so they just don’t go etc. We haven't been able to visit them a whole lot either because they are gone. I hope that the Lord will be with us and with them! 

We found another big lizard and took him home. We found this little dead one and put the two in a pot. The big one is called a Toko and bites. He got out and ran around trying to bite everyone. It was quite eventful. We did the same thing last week with a big crab we found. Took him home and then let him run around trying to pinch the others haha. Quite fun.

Nothing much else really happened. I wish I had more fun stories to share! 

I hope you all are doing great at home! Take care ya'll!

-Elder Morris

Sorry for Being Late

July 20, 2016

A huge and random bagio (storm) hit yesterday. It lasted like 10 minutes and the wind was so crazy that it took out several trees! The power was cut out from noon till midnight! Going to sleep in this heat.... oh its bad!!! Need... the... electric fan! The bagio took out all internet connection on the island all morning so we just did our shopping first and then found this place which has working internet so hey! Internet:)

(This is one of the trees taken out by the big wind storm.)

First week of being district leader is ok. My workshop was totally amazing! It inspired all 4 of us! Other than that nothing else is different. We have another American in the house - an Elder Jones. He just finished his follow-up training and so he is new. Quiet like me and did a year at BYU. He's nice. Our district is a bit more open now and we are all interacting well with each other so that is good.

Last Sunday we got a little bit of a scare. Our progressing IBDs texted us Saturday night saying how the father was hubog- drunk. So Sunday they didn't show up :(. We waited outside the church for them. There was this huge SUV was parked across the street. We saw that one of the huge tires was FLAT!  We thought nothing of it until Monday when we went to Juvy's house to talk with them. They said that they all got ready for church and at 8:50 they went to their bike and...FLA.T! I'm not sure if there was a coincidence with the SUV we saw and their bike... Yeah. Either way they were ready to go to church at least!

Last Monday we brought food over to their house and I cooked this big meal for us all on a FIRE! No stove but open camping style fire... It turned out well:)

(This is me cooking at Juvy’s.)

We had some rather funny-ish moments. We had one day that was just walay klaro! Not clear! We FTE'd this family and the dad was drunk. He was not being a nice husband to his wife (beating her) when we walked up and so wife was very quiet. The husband was open and such but alas drunk. I talked to the wife and got her to talk until the brother came in and started ranting. I was SO close to screaming "THIS IS SPARTA!" and Spartan kicking him into the river because he was standing on the 10 ft ledge. Oh I hate seeing people treat their wives like the way he did and the things he said! We left that area before anything happened and went up to this old tatay sitting on this cement edge over looking this other river. About another 10 ft drop into the other river. He was a jerk! I almost Spartan kicked that old tatay too into the river!! He was mean! Elder Artajo talked to him as I just waited and cooled off. These little girls then came up to me and sat next to me and I was able to be happy again due to my little heaven sent friends haha. Elder A. started to bash with tatay and told me afterward "I think I cursed him!" PASTILAN DER!

We then continued walking and went up to this house and I walked to the door for it was open and shouted "Aiyo!" cuz that’s was you do... no doorbell or knocking. Right as I got to the entryway I see this lady laying face down on her floor...not wearing anything (repeat: FACE DOWN). She looked up dayon and I'm like "SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY!!" and I just turned around and walked away... rather odd.

Other than that, nothing much else has really happened. It’s just been quiet. We are spending a lot more time tracting than anything else! But our one family is doing well (the Lumoljo family). Word of wisdom is the hardest part for them so we are now looking at around September that they will be baptized unless they just cut it all cold turkey!

All is good. Still not dead haha! Love you all and hope you are having a great time where ever ya'll are at! I’m almost done with the BOM for the 5th time. Trying ko for 9 times this year... so far have finished it 3 times... fun!

(This is my little friend J )

- Elder Morris