Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Last Full Week of the Transfer

September 28, 2016

It honestly doesn't feel like so but next week I shall have transfer calls. I don't expect any changes but who knows?

This past transfer has been the fastest thing ever! The work here is REALLY picking up! We had about 11 new gators and have narrowed them down quite a few BUT we have a new girl we are teaching, Allyssa, whose sister is on a mission right now. I am in contact with her sister begging her to persuade her younger sister, Allyssa, to listen to us - haha and it is working! The branch president works with us now (after 4 months I finally have members at our lessons!) and we are tackling our investigator Allyssa with about 3-4 lessons a week for the past 2 weeks. She is doing well and keep praying for her! She is so sweet and needs our prayers!

Juvy and Jesselle came to church again for the 5th time. I've never had a gator progress as much as they have and not be baptized! We are so close with them! They are good to go but some Word of Wisdom issues are holding them back. With luck, they could be good for a Nov. 5 baptism. We taught another college girl who came to church, someone who we have been teaching for 4 months but she wouldn’t progress. We dropped her and the next Sunday she came to church so we have returned to her and she accepted the Nov. 5 date. We are very excited for her! TBH I have a lot of hope for her.

We have a new teaching trick we are doing. We would average about 15-16 lessons a week for the past 16 or so weeks since I’ve been here. Well in the past 2 DAYS we are at 12 lessons because of what we are doing. To be honest our tactic is very bold and simple. Instead if asking if we could teach people when we approach them, we just go straight into teaching them. No joke! The very first OST we tried this with, Elder Fernandez walks right up to this tatay and asks "Hey tay, can we pray?" the tatay is confused and so the question is repeated 2 more times before he said yes and so we prayed right then and started right into teaching him the Plan of Salvation. He rejected of course the next lesson (it was expected btw) but at least we gave the Holy Ghost a bit more time to teach this old man. It states in Ch. 9 of the PMG to do so, so we are! It is working and I can see the fire in Elder Fernandez and me growing to share!

Another OST exp... We sat on the edge of a sidewalk, 10 feet drop to the river below, and we shouted the L1 to a group of construction workers while they were working. They DID say we can share before we did so we did! They paid attention and such, it was quite fun haha.

A few days ago I had a DLC in Lahug Cebu... the temple here! So I left at 7 a.m. on Thursday and got to Lahug at 9:30 p.m... yeah I don’t like to travel. On one of the boats, I OSTd a Buddhist guy. He was really nice and grew up in Vegas so we spoke English haha. As we discussed religion I came to see that Buddhism is really close to Mormonism sa pakkatinuod. A few points were brought up that were pretty impactful. The first and main point is the reason why this man left his religion sa una and became a Buddhist. It was because he would go to church, worship and then go home and see all the other people he worshiped with and how they would immediately return to their vices and unChristlike lives. He asked me why people don't live what they believe.  And I see that too! How often are we Mormons only on Sunday? I recall hearing an Apostle of the Lord saying that this religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, isn't just a religion but a life style. We should make sure that it is our lifestyle! My meeting was good. Nothing really big but finally learning how to do my job! after 10 weeks... yeah. \

All is well. I got a package from home which has athlete’s foot stuff! That stuff is really expensive here! I am so blessed to have parents who care about my foot conditions:) It also contained a lot of food. I have shared it with my Comp. and some members. Thanks mom and dad!

So far so good; still alive. I hope all is well with you all at home! Take care! Love ya'll!

CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND! I get it in 2 weeks btw. 

- Elder Morris

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


September 21, 2016

The last thing I remember is emailing you all last week! The weeks are going by very quickly, especially these past 3 weeks. They feel like a blur! I am glad to keep a journal for everyday of my misison so that I can remember what happened! The week started off interesting.

To be honest, I've been getting very frustrated with the work lately. We are just tracting all day. We don't have gators to teach and we are being punted from many lessons. Punted means that we get there but can't teach for some reason or another. I was in a bit of a funk this last Sunday. Just seeing how gahi the people are lately and the fact that we just can't get anywhere here in this area. But rest assured the Lord always waits until you are pushed to your limits before we receive help (2 Nephi 25:23). The past 2 days have been interesting in the gators perspective.

We spent a WHOLE day going to some far out place about 8 kilometers away, uphill. We trekked up there and followed up with one referral. We had a great first discussion with them and now have 2 new gators and a new area to go to and tract. We have an old investigator who we followed up with. Her sister is on a mission now and so I am like "I'ma baptize this one!" Her sister is a missionary right now so I feel she might be a huge help. Well we taught this girl at the church with the help of our branch president and 1:15 minutes later she was in tears and speechless. I have very high hopes for her! She lives very far away! Even further than the referral that took 3 hours to hike to her house BUT she goes to college in Laurena (right next door to the church) and is there Mon-Fri. so we teach her after class.

Overall, after yesterday and Monday, we now have a total of 11 gators. About 6 new ones just these past 2 days. We extended baptism to a ton of them and they all accepted it. Extending baptism is a great way to find if people will actually listen or if they are just being nice.

We met this one guy in Siquijor, Siquijor and taught him L1. We extended the 29th of Oct. to him and he was like “Sure!” We returned 3 days later on last Friday and he asked "what time on the 29th?" He then asked his mom if he can be baptized into "Mormons". He is like 36 BTW. This actually did cause a huge argument to break out.... Nanay just wanted her family to be unified in one religion because they all had a bad exp. in another religion earlier. Well... I will keep you updated with how this goes. Right after our lesson with that last guy we went to a bread shop to get some bread and the kid at the counter asks "are you 'Latter-Day Saints'?" We said yes and he responded "hmm I am looking for the truth right now, can you teach me?" He is an 18 year old and lives far but works in Siquijor. We shall see how he goes too!

We just had a lot of good FTEs and 1st lessons but this next week we shall see how things go!

To be honest, everything else has been same old, same old. My Zone Leaders came out to Siquijor last Monday. That was a first! They had to get special permission from the mission president to come out here but we had fun:) My comp., si Elder Butterworth, is a transfer behind me and a full year younger than me so it was a little odd but still fun talking and working with another American. We just seem to get the same kind of humor you know?
(This is my district and zone leaders this past Monday.)

All is well here. I head out to Lahug Cebu tomorrow. I have a DLC to be at and will be gone until Saturday because crossing three islands and traveling 99 miles takes over 10 hours. To travel 100 miles on the American freeway system takes an hour in no traffic...
All shall be well. I can send pictures here!! Prepare yourself!!

I love you all! Take care back at home!

-Elder Morris

Maayo ligi siya!

September 14, 2016

Another eventful past week. Yesterday I reached the end of writing in my first journal and am now on to book number two. I enjoy having these books that have a record of every single day since I entered the MTC. I just know that it will be a huge blessing in my life later on! I do encourage each missionary to keep a daily journal. It pays off once you start reading what you did last year and can still remember the memories:) I find that I am, however, the only missionary to actually write EVERY day. interesting de ba?

I mentioned earlier that a new favorite fish of mine is Marlin but I found out that the fish I ate was not marlin but called Kanyigi. I got another kilo of him and BBQ’d him last week:) He has truly fulfilled his purpose:) BTW the fishes head is bigger than my entire torso! He is a big guy! Coming in around 20-25 kilos, he is a good one! I also like this fish here called a milk fish. It tastes a bit like milk believe it or not.
(I have been eating some really big fishes lately. Tuna (dont really like tuna), Milk fish, Kanyigi etc. This is my big 2 kilo tuna.)

As far as the work goes, we are still trying to trek along. We don't have a definite teaching pool anymore. We are down to tracting and pushing lessons to random people.

Last Friday was the birthday of Elder Fernandez so we went to San Juan (a place really far away that I have never been to.) San Juan is where all the tourists go because it is full of nice beaches, resorts, resturaunts etc. We found a nice Italian restaurant to eat lunch at and I had 2 pizzas -- 145 pesos each (cheap BTW). I now have a hankering for Italian food. I bought a bottle of olive oil and have been frying garlic in it and dipping bread in it for the past week. Olive oil ain't cheap here but it is worth it:)

On Friday we also went to Dumaguetti for a ZTM. The meeting was simple, nothing too big.
 (Elder Fernandez and I on the boat.)

Other than that my week has been same old same old except it went by really quickly! All is well and I hope all of you back at home are doing good too!

I love you all!  BYE!

Elder Morris

Two Weeks of Training

September 7, 2016

So this week was a little stressful as well as miraculous in many ways. We did end up losing 6 of our 7 investigators right at the start of the week. We have spent the last 3 days going door to door and nothing more haha (it rhymed). Brother Juvy is still holding on! His wife is slowly losing interest but he still remains strong.

I managed to have my FIRST member present lesson while here on Siquijor with him. We don't have members in our area to work with us, not to mention the male presence in members is very small (some 5-6 priesthood holders to about 50-60 sisters). We had 2 ladies from the relief society show up and try to help the sister. We talked about the Priesthood to Juvy and he was ok until we told him that after he is baptized he will receive the Priesthood authority of God. This seemed to really spark a fire in him! I could tell that he began to be a little more excited! This was just one small miracle (having members help us!) out of the many that happened; free rides, revelation, receiving referrals from members (also a first for me here on the island), and to be honest... my safety this week was a bit of a miracle.

I have now made it very clear in my work that I will refrain from talking to ANYONE who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs for that matter. We had 2 close ones with drunk guys whose stories I'll share.

The first drunk guy: We got punted from our lesson last Saturday and remembered this huge group of people just down the road at a birthday party. We thought we could get a lot of FTEs there and share a bit. We got there and this big (he was really big) guy came up to me offering me a shot of beer, this happens a lot BTW. I declined and he persisted. I told him that it is a commandment from God that we should refrain from alcoholic drinks (and I saw another witness as to why). He then got MAD! Like, I'm trying to be as nice as I can but he got furious! He told me to get away and such. So I go and say bye to my other new friends and he starts counting to ten much like a parent to a disobedient child. When he hit 7 I got back to the road and he still continued to count.  I looked at him when he got to ten and he jumped up, grabbed his beer and stormed over to me. I honestly thought he was going to 1) dump the beer on me and 2) smash the bottle into my head. I turned my left shoulder to him and readied my right fist cuz if this guy was going to do anything to me I was going to put him down right then and there. He continued to yell at me and I just smiled at him and walked away. As I walked away he said "If I ever see your face again I will shoot you!"... all because I refused beer...

The second guy was WAY WORSE!!! Elder Fernandez and I were hiking up to Basac about 5 km from the main town of Laurena. We rested at our first rest stop and heard screaming. He sounded a LOT like The Water Boy. EEERRRRRR!!!!! We looked to this one house and this guy comes running out saying some very big words! He is screaming at his mother (EEEERRRRRR!). The guy looked to be about 35 and mama was about 60+. The guy chucked many rocks at his mom, missing all and nailing his house 10-15 times. His mom came out and confronted him on the road and he tried to club her with wooden sticks but this old nanay was FEARLESS!!! He then ran inside and grabbed his sundang (machete) and confronted mama again screaming how he was gonna... yeah well mama says "Sigi! Sigi! Sigi!" meaning "GO FOR IT!" he took many swings at mama and stopped each time right before he takes her head off! Nanay is standing there like this is just another day! He then screams like a possessed child (EEEEERRRRRR!) and rants and runs away! Mama then calls the police. We watched for about 15 minutes. Now, we missionaries are to refrain from entering into domestic abuse situations but I and Elder Fernandez were about to tackle the guy had he hit his mother. The guy was, obviously, drunk.

Amongst the drunks, and to be honest I did meet a ton of hard-hearted people this week and all the loss of investigators, I did see the Lord’s hand all the way through. I know I am safe because of the Lord. We found a girl who is actually very bright. She read all of the Pamphlet we gave her (which TBH is rare) and even spelled Melchizedek for us! She ASKED for the Basahon ni Mormon! Other miracles did happen this week that I very much want to share but I feel it would be better to share these things in person when I return home. Ask me what happened and I will be glad to share!

I finished reading the Book of Mormon again for the 5th time yesterday. I can say to you all as I did before that I know that NO man wrote that book. You may know a prophet by his fruits. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God.

This week was long haha! And this computer doesn’t let me send pictures, but rest assured I am still alive! I will hit my last 6 months when I am done training Elder Fernandez so PAS PAS (quick) is my mission going and PAS PAS will it come to an end. I love it here! I love serving too!

I promise I will take care! Take care ya'll! Love you all back at home!

-Elder Morris

Saturday, September 3, 2016

First Week of Training

August 31, 2016

Hmm it’s been rather interesting this past 2 weeks. So I ended my 3 months with Elder Artajo. We had a good run. No issues, no fights :) I got out of the house at 830 last Wednesday morning and rode (by myself too!) to the boat. It is bad for missionaries to be alone w/o a comp. but if you are transferring, etc. you can be alone so this was my second time being alone haha.

Got to Dumz where I found 30 min to email at this TERRIBLE internet cafe. I was only able to get out that little email before my 30 min ended. Just imagine 30 minutes to get the little one I sent last week. My patience was tested haha.

So I got to Lahug (temple) and stayed the night there. In the morning we had breakfast at the president’s house. There are about 12 trainers. I had fresh MILK for the first time in... probably since the MTC haha. I also had bacon! That is RARE here. We then had a 1 hour instruction by President McCurdy. We then went outside where the new missionaries were lined up facing the temple and we stood behind our new comps. They then turned around to meet us. It was awesome. So my new comp is si Elder Fernandez. He is 2 years RC and is from Bacolod (over on Negros island close to Toboso where I was literally the next island over haha! We can see his home island from ours!) He is awesome at scriptures! Very smart! He can also hold his own when bashers come (and yes we have met some already). He turns 20 next week.
(Me and my anak--my trainee--Elder Fernandez.)

For our gators, we are starting to thin the herd now. Brother Juvy is doing fantastic! He is one of the best investigators I have had so far! The only problem is his wife. She is not interested. I have a lot more on my mind I would like to say about that but feel like I shouldn't say. We found a new college student that we are teaching – si Brother Jorie. He is really interested so I hope that we can progress him!

When teaching brother Jorie we met a bible basher... He is actually the cousin of a previous basher I met haha. He took a 30 min tangent on grace. Then the Lord called him elsewhere (salamat) and we taught Jorie.

So far so good. Elder Fernandez is doing great! He is learning really fast too. BTW he speaks Illongo and Tagalog. He is better at English than Cebuano but is still really good at Cebuano. We get along.

Other than that it is same old same old here on Siquijor. It looks like I will be here for 1/4 of my mission and until December too. It shall be fun!

I love you all back at home!

(Ok I am struggling to get pics uploaded. It charges the camera but doesn’t connect to the computer... yeah it’s not working. Maybe I will just mail home the pictures.)

-Elder Morris


August 24, 2016

I have to be quick. I only have this 20 minutes to email! I got the transfer call yesterday night and caught a boat around 10 A.M. I am in Dumaguetti right now and in 15 minutes will be going to Lahug Cebu (Lahug is where the temple and mission home is). I will be there by tonight! And bright and early in the morning I will pick up my new companion and sail on back to Siquijor for another 3 months where I will train him. Not sure who he is but I will find out tomorrow! Hooray for 10 hour travel today and tomorrow!!!!

Siquijor is doing great. We have extended a ton of IBDs this past week. We had a zone conference with all of Negros Island and it was some very inspired messages from the pres and his wife! New implementations in the Siquijor work now hahaha! 

I bought a 2 kilo tuna fish and roasted it over the fire one night. #tuna4life

Really a lot of things happened but I don’t have any more time! I did get a photo with ALL of my companions in it!!! Not common BTW. Any who I got to go! 

(A pic of me with ALL of my companions before I trained. It is pretty rare to get all of them in one picture.)

Maybe more time next week! 

-Elder Morris

Last Full Week of the Transfer

August 17, 2016

It is that time again where I say "Next week we shall have transfer calls". I am still guessing that I will finally train! I haven't trained yet and all my batch has and all the Jr. batch and so forth but at the same time, less and less missionaries are coming in which means that there will be some people who won't train on their missions:/ Oh well. WE SHALL SEE!

So last week we had this activity at Salagdoong beach where we grilled some big fishes. I bought a huge hunk of Marlin and boy was he good!!! I wish I could eat more of it!! I shall try to buy more later. We grilled it like a steak and ate it with our bare hands! We also bought a huge squid head. The squid head is bigger than my own head! I haven’t eaten him yet but I got plans to!

Investigators are doing fine, none came to church though:/ We extended an IBD but haven't been able to teach her lately. We are also going to Dumaguetti City tonight for a mission conference tomorrow. I will get to see my trainer and follow-up trainer before they go home next week. I will also be able to see about 3 other of my companions there too! GROUP SELFIE!!

This week was rather simple as they are now becoming. There was a baptism here on Siquijor so we attended that. As the baptism was going on there was a family from Shanghai watching. We talked to them later and they were very excited to see a "Christian baptism" as they stated. It was interesting to talk to them and it gave me some new ideas about what I could do after my mission.

I've got a simple plan formulating in my head about after my mission. Return to school and start again for medical school. They offer scholarships for those who, after they finish their schooling, go and work in a rural area for 4-5 years, paid too. I think it might be fun to do something like that and work in China or something. YOLO!

We talked to a Blue Grass band on a jeepney. They started playing for us too haha. Went to several fiestas this week and ate a ton of food like rotisserie pig and such. I feel fat due to that haha... BTW I weighed myself 3 weeks or so ago and I was 163. I came into the mission a whopping 165. Still doing great!  Also writing in my journal everyday is starting to be fun as now I can read all that I wrote last year! PasPas kaayo!! very fast...

The week has been great! And before I send this I would like to share my scripture of the week found in 2nd Nephi 33:15 "...for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey." Sometimes people question why we follow certain rules and commandments, especially missionaries haha, but let us be like the seer of old, Nephi, and have enough faith to follow without question. It is the faithful who bring miracles into the lives of others.

Like I said, another simple week. I hope all of you are doing great back at home! Love you all!

-Elder Morris