Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, January 1, 2017

First Baptism and MLC

December 12, 2016

This past week was almost all ups and downs. I received a nice pair of shoes in a previous package but I only use those for meetings and such, so my ‘work in the mud and rain’ shoes are my old ones. Those old ones completely fell apart haha! Huge holes and such. We went to a mall last P-day to get what they call Easy-Soft shoes which are very cheap and made of rubber. They are nice and water proof and should get me through the rainy season. I later figured out that the mall we went to is considered ginadili- that means forbidden or bad. It was HUGE and very worldly. It honestly was a very cool place but I can see why it is banned for missionaries to go to haha! Repent!

We found a ton of great hopeful people this past week. One was a referral from Church H.Q. Those aren't common so they are usually really good! We followed up with about four 18-21 year olds. They were really good and well prepared! We also found another 18 y.o girl who was taught up in Manila so we began teaching her as well.

As soon as I got our ward members to help and have fellow-shippers for them all, they ALL dropped us! The one 18 y.o girl’s drunk father was like "No we ain’t haven anything to do with them!" (Like you even worship in your own faith!) and that huge group of YSA’s dropped us like its hot! Their uncle came over right before we went to pick them up for church and told them no. C'mon! I understand that it is important to listen to your parents and such but when none of them care for you and try to control your interests... that would push me away from them! It is annoying but alas the work moves on.

We did have a baptism last Saturday. I helped teach him L2- the end of our lessons (so a major part) and Elder Espiritu baptized him. Si brother Kenneth is really good! He was a member in a ton of other churches but couldn't really find the right one. His testimony of the restored gospel is fantastic! He sees things like a well-seasoned member or even missionary (i.e that this is a CHRIST CENTERED church, the confusion from the Bible, etc). Next Saturday I will be baptizing the sister’s investigator. We have baptisms planned for 3 weeks in December so it should be great!

After the baptism, we met with each missionary to do kind of a "how are you doing" interview. Everyone seems to be doing good except an interview that lasted about 1 1/2 hours! It wasn't the previous companionship but a different one. They are facing the same struggles I am actually weighed down with in my current companionship. I won’t get into much detail about that (good thing I have it all written down!) but I pretty much told them to apply what I am doing in my companionship which is submissiveness. I actually talked to a lot of other missionaries about submissiveness. They are doing fine now haha.

The focus behind how I work is the "not my will but thine be done". Some missionaries are both wanting to serve very hard but may have other ways to serve so the point behind it is to follow what your companion would like to do because who knows that it may actually work! Elder Beretara wanted to randomly visit an active family. I thought it was stupid! We went in the end and received the referral of brother Billy John. I baptized him 2 months later. We dropped Mae Sasi cuz we couldn't work with her but then Elder Fernandez decided to ask the branch president to work with us. I was like "He is too busy and we are too far away but here is the phone; you ask him." I baptized her a few weeks later. With brother Kenneth, we taught him maybe 4 times before we baptized him. We would teach several lessons in one lesson because Elder Espiritu wanted to! I thought that we were rushing him and that we were shooting for numbers... until I heard his testimony. We baptized him last Saturday.Being submissive to others is a spiritual strength that allows us to get more ideas than our own. Don't be submissive to disobedience but support your companion’s righteous actions.

The past 2 days was great! We had MLC, my first:). The fed us pizza on Monday night (I ate a ton! Not numbered cuz of the greatness of the eaten slices). We then sat with the president and for three hours we just had a Q and A about anything we wanted to! I ALWAYS ask deep questions so I brought one up. It didn't receive an answer but there is one. I asked for a reference on how we know that the Lord was nailed in the wrist. Other deep questions were asked and that was fun.

The next day we had fantastic workshops! We were fed enchiladas:) and NACHOS! We then returned, took a leader’s picture in front of the temple and the new leaders were given a chance to bear their testimony. I went last, my testimony is interesting. I will have to share it in full (like I did) when I am home. It just doesn't work through email, it is sacred and needs to be felt other than read. Ether 12:23-25.

I made mention that I am working on a huge plan to implement in the work. Well everything that I felt inspired to put in was made mention and discussed, and I didn't even bring it up! #intunewiththespirit! From increasing Referrals and M3's and even the idea that I had on Monday. I told my comp and 2 other ZLs that maybe we should see if we can push having the BIG zone conferences (the Island sized ones) to be transferly instead of every other transfer. They laughed at that idea. Well guess what president stated at the beginning! #intunewiththespirit!

The new announcements are: zone conference and zone interview are each transfer instead of every other transfer, and the new mission baptizing goal is once a week baptism! There are other missions in the Philippines getting 250 baptisms a month with 85% retention! Cebu is at 37 last month with 45% retention so we are far behind. Changes will be made so that in a few years the work will hasten! Other than that I am good. Still alive and yeah... I wish you all the best! Love you! Amping!

- Elder Morris

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