Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dali, Dali!

November 16, 2016

I am not sure how to introduce this email or where to start. This past week has been one of those "a lot has happened" weeks. I am in Dumaguete for a dentist thing for Elder Fernandez and so we missed a lot of our P-day. Tomorrow E. Fernandez returns with his follow-up trainer and I will continue on to Cebu City. In San Nicholas Cebu, Elder Morris was reassigned with his new comp being Elder Espiritu, Pinoy (filipino). I am a Zone Leader there. 

We had a totally fun transfer call last night. We set up candles on our stairs and a big tiki get up thing where we each cast votes as to who would be "voted off the island". I’ll send a pic. It was pretty epic! So yeah I am going back to the big city and will be a Zone Leader. It will probably be my 2nd to last area too. I am excited for this next transfer! 

 (Our voting game for the Siquijor Island survival!)

So, my mind is boggled by a miracle that happened yesterday (Tuesday). On Monday night we found out that our investigator, Mae, who I found my FIRST week on the island, isn’t moving to Dumaguete. I asked her if we could baptize her tomorrow and she said sure. So at 10 p.m. we called the Zone Leaders on THE OTHER ISLAND and they said sure to coming out to Siquijor. We had he interview at 8 A.M and I baptized her in the ocean at 2 P.M on the same day :DDDD. I would honestly write a lot more but due to time I need to be short and say that the girl who I found my first week, and the same one who I thought would actually be baptized WAS baptized on MY LAST DAY!!! After 6 months we had a baptism! Siquijor A hasn't had a baptism in 13 months and we finally broke the curse! I honestly feel super happy about that! I have baptized someone on all 3 Cebu mission islands!!! I am also happy for Mae, She is super cool and nice - haha! 

(Baptism with sister Mae :) 
Last night a farewell party was thrown for me. It was rather small, one family and Mae, but it was my first time to have a farewell party. The sister baked a cake and they all smeared it on my face! I woke this morning with loads of zits:/ but ok I still love them - haha! 

Hearing about America’s new president, eh IDK about that. There are positives and negatives to it. I am just glad to have spent all that time on a small 75 km circumference island - away from all the riots and evil! I wish the best for my friends and family back at home. 

Umm yeah, I have to be quick with this one so I will email next week! If I forget some other stuff at least I wrote it in my journal to share when I go home! 

-Elder Morris

Probably the Last Week of Mine on Siquijor

November 9, 2016

The work is still moving on. We have had some interesting experiences in the past week. We have cut down our investigators by more than half. We aren't teaching Juvy anymore:( We also had a really progressing investigator, si Allyssa, who we have been teaching for 2 months who texted us last Monday saying not to return to her, that she will stay with her family in the end. A few new investigators were put into "reserve" (dropped) and it just makes things a little more difficult but at the same time allows us to work out even further so we can spread the message to more peeps. 

Our main investigator right now is a sister Mae, I would send a pic but the computerhan won’t let me:( (computer-han: place of computers). She came to church for the 3rd time last Sunday, if she comes this Sunday then she is good for baptism! The only problem is she is not so sure if she will move to the next island over for school or not and she will find out this week... I really don’t want to lose my gators:( With Mae, at least, we can refer her to the Zone Leaders in Dumz to teach her.

We had a family who actually should be at the temple today to be sealed but something came up and they cancelled their sealing:( After 6 months of preparation and waiting for this week and... yeah. It is probably a big trial for them right now and I just pray that they can overcome this one. The last thing I want is for them to be insulted/offended or such like that. 

We had another death here in Laurena branch. In the past 10 months we have had 5 deaths, 4 Melchizedek Priesthood holders (that is really "ouch" for a branch!). We had the burial for the Tatay Tomogsoc last Saturday and dayon we caught word that a sweet old nanay Mary found her husband unresponsive. I am not sure what is happening here. Us missionaries think that it is Laurena Branch's "refiners fire" time; the time to really put the member’s faith to the test. Almost all members here are single - single as in widowed. Things haven't been easy for the church here but I can see a few shining stars emerging. The Branch President has been really hastening the work here and trying his best to help the branch. Also a few other members are starting to strengthen haha. We also found 2 new members in our area! After 6 months here and with one week left we find 2 new members. 

One is a sister I met when I first moved here. She told us she was moving to Cebu for work and did. As we were walking home last Monday from Allyssa telling us not to return, I stopped in front of her house and felt impressed to go and see if she was home. Well it turned out that she was home! Apparently after like 2-3 weeks in Cebu (last August) she quit her job and moved back! No one knew she was here and that impression I felt helped us to know that this sister was actually here for the past almost 3 months! She greeted us warmly and it only took like 2 questions for her to really open up with what is happening in her life. I will not share the details but I will say that the spirit really did lead us and push that impression to find her! I felt a little different when talking to her than most other people I've talked to. I see someone that is hurting inside much like I did before my mission. All I want to do is to give this lady a hug :'( 

The time is winding down. We have transfers next week. Like American elections, you don’t quite know what is going to happen - haha! I want to stay for the chance to baptize Mae and to help the new LA sister we found but I do want to experience new things in new parts of the mission, plus it is time for someone else to enjoy the island paradise of Siquijor - haha! 

I really have gotten close with a lot of peeps here. I have been taking a lot of pictures - haha! I have one memory card completely full with just Siquijor! It is going to be wierd haha but again I am kind of excited for the future! (Just watch that Hillary becomes president and I don't transfer! I'm calling it!) 

I have a lot of pics I want to send but not at this place so basin next week! I love you all at home! Take care!   #intheendeveryonewillacceptthemessage

-Elder Morris

And November!

November 2, 2016

Oh man this week was something else. I am sure there are times in everyone's missions where they are just ready to move on haha! That was me this past week. We haven't had great success with investigators this week as well as with most members. I will admit that I probably spent most of the week just more angry at the faithlessness of people than any other emotion haha. We seemed to have hit a brick wall in the work that makes the days hard to go through. 

About last Monday, I gave a workshop on charity. As we discussed charity this past District Meeting it made me see just what kind of an impact I am really having on the area. A grumpy missionary does no good. I focused on this the past 2 days and I kind of feel inside that a burden was lifted off in the end and that I just need relax and let the Lord guide this show and I am just the show monkey haha. I just need to be ready for when someone does chose to come unto Christ on their time and not my own. 

We have another death in the ward. A tatay Tumogsoc passed away Monday. Last Monday around 3 I felt impressed to go to the hospital to check up on Tatay. He had a fever the past week and has been in the hospital the whole time. When we got there we found out that tatay was discharged last Sunday night, the night before. So we continued on the day when at night time out housemates told me that tatay had died at home around 3 o' clock and no one knew till about 4. I find it a bit strange that at 3 I felt impressed to check up on him when in reality at 3 he had died. He was the 4th death in the past 10 months here in Laurena branch. All 4 were Melchizedek Priesthood holders. In a branch here in the Philippines you have a very small amount of Melchizedek Priesthood holders, so having 4 die within the past year makes things really difficult for the progression of the branch. There are only now about 6-7 Melchizedek holders on this island (other than the missionaries). 

It has been raining a ton lately! Like every day we just have sudden downpours! I took many videos of the downpours so that I can show you how insane they get here! And just random too! 

We had a couple fun activities with some of the members. I took a bunch of pictures but forgot to bring my camera to the internet shop! Sayang! 

Other than that we are still good haha! Still kicken. I am doing well; just been a bit humbled the past few days.

We met more Bible bashers. They are always fun. I try my best, like I really do, to not talk much, but after 12 years of hockey and 8 years of track, the competitive side of me likes the competition -haha. Anyone who talks to me and has a bone to pick with the church is like racing me in a 200m during my senior year of high school. Yeah, good luck! 

About 2 more weeks and then transfer calls. It will be very quick. My time here on this island will be very fast. The refiner’s fire is starting to cool off- haha, but no I do really love it here. Don’t get me wrong. 

I hope that all of you are still hanging in there! I love you all! If anyone wants a souvenir from Siquijor let me know! 

I would send pics but I left the camera at home! Love you all! 

-Elder Morris

Three to Go!

October 26, 2016

I have about 3 more weeks left on Siquijor; pretty fast if you ask me. These past 5 1/4 Months have been pretty insane haha! 

Our interviews with the mission president were pretty good. Nothing new. Nothing bad either haha!  

The main thing that w-  (OK I am going to make an intermission real quickly. While I typed that thing 4 hours ago we had a brown out where the power shuts off for unknown periods of time. This is typical. Sigi, balik ta!)

The main thing that I want to share with you is what happened last Friday. We had a great opportunity to go out to some far away place and teach. We got invited by a barangay (subdivision) leader to give a 2 hour presentation to about 200 people. They were students and their parents (and this was after school btw at the big b-ball court). The place took 2 hours to get to and was rather quite crazy to get to! We got to Lazi Siquijor on the other side of the island and had to walk about 7 km into the jungle to find this place called Po-o Lazi (I can see my dad making a joke out of the name...). We got lucky and hitched a ride with a construction worker to the place. 

These people sure were prepared for us! They had 2 rehearsed dances that they performed for us! The cooking students cooked food for us! And they were all sitting and waiting for us by the time we got there. It was pretty fun! We talked to them about stress management, spirituality as a student, good morals and values, and how to be a good student. It was a rather neat experience. I have a bunch of pics and videos of it! 

 (Me talking.)
 (The food!)
 (This is the dance group.)
 (Took a bunch of pictures with the people.)
(They gave us little pins as you see on Elder Badana.)

Going home at 5:30 we ran into a problem. There were no more vehicles at that hour and it started to rain. We were a good 15 km from our house and had a mountain to climb! We started trekking. As we neared a really rich house in the middle of nowhere the rain just down poured! Oh yeah I had no umbrella cuz mine got lost. So I said, "Alright time to be humble! I'm going to ask them to drive us down the mountain." As I walked over to the house this guy peered out the window and then invited us over. So we ended up getting a ride home! To be honest if we had walked we would have gotten home at around 11-12 at night so we were blessed with a ride! The Lord got us up that mountain and He sure did get us down! 

The rest of the week was simple. We had 1 person from my entire area make it to sacrament this week... No investigators which does mean that I will not baptize anyone here on Siquijor:( I did chastise a few people for that haha. 

 (There is the small town where our church is.)
 (Messing with sleeping people! She is a member btw...)
(This one is little Quinny Mae. She is a 12 y.o member and like the only youth in our area! )

Other than that we are still kicking! I did receive news that on November 18 we have a mission wide meeting. We have a special guest coming to speak to our mission! Si Elder Quinton L. Cook!!! Oh man I am excited to hear him and see him! I will try my best to take a selfie with him! He will be my second Apostle that I have seen in my life so I am excited! 

Other than that i am still good. I did hit the 24th again and this time it means that I am 16 months done (2/3) and have 8 to go:((((( Super fast.....:( 

Take care! Love you all! Vote wisely here in a few weeks! 

-Elder Morris