Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad!!

¡¡Feliz Navidad!! I don't think I need to translate that one for all of you gringos! Haha It is very weird to think that it is Christmas for a couple of reasons. Numero uno, it is like 66 degrees here, so it will be my first Christmas without snow. Numero dos, I haven´t even looked forward to it because I have just a couple of other things to think about. And numero tres, It will be the first Christmas not in the presence of my fantastic family. But at least I get to Skype them right!?

This week was tough... again. All of our investigators were not home for appointments so that was tough, especially because we had members with us to do a lesson with them and so it was just a waste of their time and ours. So I got to thinking, "What are we doing wrong or what aren't we doing right" It is tough to have so much to offer and the people that you have connected with, who you know deep down that they are searching for it, don't seem to care enough to be home for 45 minutes to keep an appointment. But my companion taught me a good lesson unknowingly, well, I guess it was True to the Faith. But anyway, as part of our language study everyday we read out loud from church material in the other language. He was starting to read True to the Faith out loud and the first topic is Adversity. It talks about how adversity is a necessary part of life, and is completely normal, and is for our growth and learning. It also said that even when we are living a faithful life and doing everything right, God gives us adversity to push us to be better or to teach us something that couldn't be taught any other way. I just really wish I could find out what that something was and learn it already!! But if you find adversity in your life, try reading about it in True to the Faith, cause it is pretty dang great!

Okay so I don't know if you remeber but in my one of my other emails I talked about me and Élder Hernández giving a sick family a blessing, especially to the little boy who had been really sick for a while. Well we went back to check on them this week and had a great lesson with them. But the cool thing was that after we left, Élder Hernández told me that the mom told us that the little boy was totally fine the morning after the blessing. And the thing that5 suprised me was that I wasn't suprised. It was like I had had that knowledge before hand and somebody was just telling me something I already knew. It is awesome to have confidence in our Heavenly Father and to know that through His authority on this earth, He still works miracles.

Well this week is Christmas so I hope you all have the best time with your families!! Cherish what Christmas is all about, after all, Mary was the one to wrap the real Christmas present.(credit Dallin Wright and some sign in South Carolina, you know how they are in the bible belt.) Love you all and have an awesome Christmas!!!!!!!!

-Élder Morris

Missionaries gone Wild!

Phot shoot for MQ (Missionary Quarterly)

 Teaching by Intimidation Feliz Navidad  Now read it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another Six, Thank you!

Well, the verdict is in. I and Élder Hernández have 6 more weeks in Pedregal! So that's pretty awesome. Also, the weather here is super weird. They have the same saying that they have for Utah. "If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes". Well I have 10 days until Christmas and I am wearing short sleeves, weird. 

Anyway, it is a super good thing that I am staying in this area because 1 I know where I can Skype on Christmas (most important to my mom) and 2 because we actually got some worthwhile investigators!!!! (The most important to me). This week we had 4 lessons with really awesome people, who all seem really prepared, especially this one girl named Elisa. We had the lesson on her front porch because her family was watching the soccer game and I have found out there is nothing that comes between the people of Monterrey and their fútbol  But in our lesson, she told us that she had had the missionaries come to her house when she lived with her parents. She had a lot of really great questions about the gospel that we were able to answer for her. I think that she was one of the people who weren't ready for it at that time but now our Heavenly Father put us back in her path. She really seems to have a real desire to find out what is the truth because she told us that she has assisted several different churches. So truth be told, I was really hoping that we would be able to stay in this area so see the change that this Gospel can bring to people’s lives.

Also this week, me and Élder Hernández had the opportunity to give 4 blessings. Those were awesome experiences! 3 were to a less active family who hadn´t come to church in a while. The family was sick. The spirit was so strong. And I know they felt it to because they came to church on Sunday! The other was to a member who had lost his job. It is good to feel the Lord working through you and you being literal tools in his hands.

This week one of our Zone Leaders that are also in our ward is finishing his mission so we had a little dinner thing for him at a member's house. That was great and all, but not what I want to share. What I want to share is how small actions can have a huge change on others. I was just having a bad day. No reason in particular, probably a mix of discouragement from having little to no success and the uncertainty of what this transfer was going to bring. But at this mini fiesta, I really had a change of perspective. The small act of feeding 4 missionaries a small good-bye meal is almost nothing, but the affect that the display of a little care can do for someone is huge. And that was just what I needed. So, look for the little things. Something that can seem like nothing to you can change the world for somebody else. I believe very strongly that miracles are hidden in the small details of life. Don't pass up an opportunity to be the answer to someone's prayer. Love you all!! Have an awesome Holiday Season!!

-Élder Morris

Traffic Logic

Beautiful sunsets here!

Zone Leaders party

How about my sweet Christmas present from a member!

Mitch trying to convince us he's gained weight. Really?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Knock Knock, who's there? NO ONE!

Well, another week down. Where do they all go? It seems like I haven´t been here for long and I am running up on 4 months! It is insane. And why the crap did the Utah climate follow me down here!? I know you guys have it worse but it almost got down to 0 this week!!!(that's Celsius) and I have no stinking heat in a cinder block building. Oh by the way I’m not complaining.

Well, not much happened this week. It was actually really tough. Almost all of our investigators didn't answer the door or had other "obligations". Story of my life. That is the hardest part, accepting that others have their agency and can choose to not accept or want this message. So not much happened on the teaching side of things.

But, we did have a Zone Conference this week. That was pretty dang awesome! It went from 9:30am to 6:00pm, All filled with awesome trainings and lessons and talks! I but I don't think I can tell you all about it, that would take forever and my mom already gets mad at me for not talking to her enough. So, the part that I chose to share was how we can have the spirit with us always. There are 7 steps: Pray, using the scriptures, testifying, service, sharing spiritual experiences, and giving blessings. Yeah, yeah, I know you are all thinking "But Elder Morris, those are for missionaries!" But I am here to tell you that you can do all of these things too! For just 3 small payments of $19.95 directly to my parents! No, but really, it is not too hard to adjust these for daily life. Prayer, well that one is pretty self explanatory. Pray every morning and night, and always have a prayer in your heart. And not the rehearsed, memorized prayer. Preach My Gospel says that a prayer should be guided by the Spirit. Read the scriptures. Look for answers and help in the scriptures. Let the Holy Ghost teach you through the words of prophets. And that includes the Living prophets too. Testifying: You don't need to formally bear your testimony to have the spirit with you. Share your testimony by living righteously. Let your example be your testimony to others. Service: Just look for small acts of service that may only take 5-10 minutes. "By small and simple means are great things brought to pass". Sharing spiritual experiences. FHE Is a great place to share spiritual experiences because this edifies you and your family. So maybe take some time out of the lesson portion and open the floor for members of your family to share experiences they have had that week. Give blessings. Like your testimony, you don't need to formally give a priesthood blessing or even have the priesthood to be a blessing in the lives of others. Live in a way that you are ready and receptive to the promptings of the spirit so that when our Father in Heaven needs to use you as one of His ministering angels, you are ready to bless the life of someone around you.

Well folks, it is that time of season again. A time of family, friends, gifts, and the focus of our Lord and Savior. We got to watch the Christmas Devotional last night and that was fantastic! Definitely a great way to kick off the Christmas season. I didn't understand much, also the story of my life, but I did understand a little, and that little was phenomenal! Elder Nelson's talk was great. From what I gathered, we need to take the true spirit of Christmas from the example of children. Their spirits are great and are what this time of year should be like. And that we need to serve others, just like the Savior in His earthly ministry. A missionary is a representative of Jesus Christ. And as such, we need to have His characteristics, or attributes. This week I have been studding a little about the attributes of Christ and how I can develop them more fully in my life. Everyone has different needs and attributes. What I learned won't be the same or even beneficial for you. But I can promise you that if you study the attributes of Christ in Preach My Gospel (Chapter 8 I believe) with real intent on working on changing, humility in your heart to realize the need to change, and faith that our Heavenly Father will help you change, you will receive inspiration on how you can better follow in our Saviors footsteps. 

¡Feliz Navidad a cada uno de ustedes! !Tengan mucho feliz y agradecidos este tiempo de Navidad! Thanks for reading my rambling! ¡Guarde la fe! 

-Élder Morris

Elder Hernandez and me

Thanks to all the Christmas wishes from the members of my Ward back home. Awesome!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving in a can!

Wow, it is December already!? Time has flown!! Our mission President moved the transfer date up a week in order to have the missionaries be home for Christmas so I only have  more weeks in training. That is a really weird thought.

 The weather is way nicer. The temple was great. There was so many people that they were kicking members out and only investigators for the concert in the chapel. And they had to do two concerts too!

I made the mashed potatoes, Cheesecake, and gravy, but found out we don´t have a can opener. So I will buy one this week and I will make it a full meal. The package for Thanksgiving was awesome! Thanks to Alex for bringing it down to Mexico

This week was great!! We had a contact turn into a 45 minute lesson on the road. It was fantastic!! We pretty much made it through the whole Restoration. When we got to Joseph Smith, and I was explaining the first vision, they turned to each other and started laughing. So I prepped my Spanish in my mind to defend it and explain a little more. As I started to defend it, and here is the kicker, he said "No, I believe it." And I was thinking "I am not great at Spanish so is my mind playing tricks on me or what!?" But then he proceeded to tell us of an experience he had. He died. That´s right folks, he had died. Not for a couple minutes in the hospital with machines for life saving. No, he was dead in his house for a solid 15 minutes. How does he know he was dead? Well, he explained that he saw all white around him, and he trie to get up and had started freaking out when a person placed their hand on his shoulder and spoke peace to his heart. This person told him that he was dead and that it was time to move on, but this guy didn´t want to be dead, and so he made a promise with the person that if he could go back, he would take care of his little brother and sincerely look for religion. How much more can a person be prepared than that!?!? 

Also this week we had a meeting with one of the Area Seventy, Élder Valenzuela. I will just give you a brief rundown. He said there the four groups in the Work of Salvation- people who don´t know the gospel/investigators, recent converts, less actives, and members. I have never thought about all of them together, but it is true. It is not just the missionaries and investigators, it is all of us. Every single person on this earth falls into one of those categories. He also said a simile about m&m`s that I thought was really good. Missionaries and members are the m`s in m&m`s. One m alone is nothing. But put them together and you have a delicious candy-coated chocolate treat, I mean, you have great success in the mission work! 
So all you, yes you, whoever you may be, are a part of La Obra de Salvación. Try your best to further this work, because it is His work. 
Have a great week!!

-Élder Morris

If I keep eating everything I see this may be me! JK

Get that Corn outa my face, Nacho!

My no bake cheesecake for Thanksgiving, Thanks Mom!
How about those mad skills!