Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Halfway Through the Transfer

April 12, 2017

And like I said before I am halfway with the transfer! Halfway through the companionship because I am almost positive Elder Eberhard won’t be killing me off in the mission. I like my comp. We get along just fine! No issues what so ever. Just another great simple companionship! 

Money has been very tight these past 3 weeks. We have what is called Zone Fund. In it we have about 15000 pesos (roughly about $300 dollars). We reimburse other missionaries on their expenses that aren’t supposed to be paid through the normal support system - ie medical reasons, travel over 45 minutes or for uncommon meetings, bike repair, gasoline for the truck, etc. When I first got here we had $0.00 and so we had to get some more. Got about 10000 and reimbursed half the zone that same day and had nothing left over. So we sent in for it again and got our full 15000 and last Monday reimbursed the other half of missionaries and have 100 pesos left! ($2). I am really learning budgeting here in the mission cuz me and my companion are still in debt! E.E still has some 7,000 pesos to reimburse and I have a couple hundred. It makes things interesting dealing with all this money. I guess I can't wait for real life when I am no longer dealing with the hundreds but the thousands! 

This past week was extremely busy! We only had one full day of work last week. Mon-Wed we were in Cebu for MLC. Thursday was Zone training meeting, Sat- Sun was General Conference. We probably only had about 15-16 hours of actual proselyting this past week! And it was amazing what happened last week. We have here a mission standard for finding new investigators weekly (NIs), having Investigators who have committed to baptismal dates (IBDs), Investigators at Sacrament (I@Sac), and weekly baptisms (B/C). The standard is 10, 10, 10, 1 per week. I have never hit that standard in my past 22 months but this past week we found 10 new investigators, we had 13 people committed to baptism, we didn’t have a baptism though:/ but 10 people showed up to Church last Sunday! I have never had so many investigators come to church at once! 10! It honestly made me so happy to see that in the week that I have probably proselyted the least we had the most success!    

One big key to it all is simply faith. Do the numbers matter? That is depending on the Lord. Can the Lord reveal to us where every golden investigator is at? Sure He can! So then why does He not do that? Faith is a huge principle here. Can the Lord reveal to a naughty or disobedient missionary where the golden people are? Sure He can! But what would that do for the naughty missionary? Will he be converted? Or will he still go home and soon become a less active because he never really cared or was faithful from the beginning? On the other hand if you have a dedicated servant who works so hard every day to follow the Lord and sees no success (number wise) what will become of him when he goes home? I feel that one who in consecrated to the Lord no matter the numbers will remain active the rest of his life and bring up righteous posterity. These are my thoughts as I pondered this past week. Zone averages were extremely low. To be honest the mission wide stats are the lowest they have been in the past 3 years but why did I all of a sudden have such great success? Let it be wisdom in the Lord. One lesson I learned is that it is possible to reach these seemingly impossible numbers (and remember that each number represents a person). I told my Zone last Thursday during our ZTM that I am now going from walking through my mission (think training) to running (think the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th area of mine) to finally flying (last 12 weeks)! Last time I checked a bird flies faster than I can run (and I run very fast). What is needed here is a missionary who endures to the end with faith. That is what lead to a small chastisement to my zone last Monday as the zone averages were extremely low. 3 areas with 1 NI, 15 lessons and with full weeks of work! Not acceptable. I understand that you can have a faithful missionary who gets 0 progression. Let it be wisdom in the Lord. But he is a success because he did as he was commanded but the problem that I see here with many missionaries is faithlessness and if you remember from several previous emails of mine I hate faithlessness. Understandable that some missionaries may not know how to work most effectively. That is ok; the grace of the Lord helps on that part and the missionary will learn as he becomes experienced but when I see missionaries who are over a year in the mission and acting like he is just out of 12 weeks training... unacceptable.  The standard is set. The Lord has spoken. Who will step up to the plate? 

I was very inspired by many General Conference talks this past weekend. Even though Priesthood session was in Illongo (that’s not even my mission language!) and I didn’t understand it, I enjoyed the talks. My favorite was D. Todd Christofferson --very straight forward with his message. A bit deep but he who has ears let him hear. Second would be Elder Costa’s talk for investigators. Our ten people who came to church talked about his talk the most and they really were touched by it. I learned this yesterday as I visited with them all and they all told me how they enjoyed his talk. One investigator who came for his first time, tatay Tony, told us how he wants to be baptized! I am so excited! Work is progressing here and it really is thanks to the Lord. A lot of times I feel a bit unworthy of such great blessings that have come but I am very grateful for what the Lord does in the lives of others. This is true happiness. Basta, I am just excited to see what happens here in the next few weeks. We don’t have any meetings for the next 2 weeks so that means 2 weeks of straight up work! Woohoo! 

One funny story… I find the little tiki lizards all over. Last night I found a little baby one, captured it in my hands and threw it at an Elder Quidez. He doesn't like lizards and he freaked out like a little girl! Oh it was so funny! 

Well any who, I hope to be able to finish stronger than I have ever. I am now implementing my goal for the last 6 weeks of my mission which is to carry my Cebuano Book of Mormon (Basahon ni Mormon) around and not my English. It is a bit rough at first because I am not so used to the Cebuano but I have been doing this periodically for the past few months. I hope to be so good at scriptures and Cebuano that I can be totally Cebuano for my last transfer. Transfer goals! I am so far in 3rd Nephi in reading my BoM in my mission language. I do understand it:) 

I am doing well. Still a bit quiet just because I've always been quiet but I can say that even though I don’t express joy all the time like we see others do, I am happy though. It has been years since I have seen the depression that ate at me before my mission. The key is to focus on the Savior and His teachings. Even if some how He is not a God and this is all just not true, the Saviors teachings of lifestyle are the best teachings that have ever been taught. So if you out there don’t want to follow Jesus Christ our Lord then I invite you to at least try living the life that He has shown us. It is a happier life. 

-Elder Morris

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