Monday, April 28, 2014

Time FLIES when your having FUN!

So, another transfer down. Where the heck did the past 6 weeks go? Life is nuts! I’m sorry I haven’t sent any photos. I left my charger in my last apartment and I haven’t got it back yet.  We are getting 2 other missionaries in our ward. So our already pretty small area is about to get really small! And it is either going to bite for us or for the new missionaries because 3/4 of our investigators are in one half of the area! But hey, if we have to start over with the number of investigators when we got here, we will have the same as what we had to begin with! The assistants called us and asked us if our area would be suitable for Hermana’s (Sisters), ha ha good one. I have had more "experiences" with borrachos (drunks) in the first 3 weeks than I had had in all of my 6 months in my other area. So yeah, we are going to get some more Elders. Well this week I had intercambios (exchanges) with my district leader and with the zone leaders. My companion and the district leader we were going to have a young man from the ward with them that night, but we decided to keep him with us. We were going to visit a sister that we contacted but then Elder Ramirez decided to visit a contact that they had had. We got there and they let us right in and the whole family was there except for the dad, which is really rare. Then we found out that they knew the family of the young man that was with us. The further into the lesson we found out that they had actually received lessons from missionaries years before and had actually attended church for like 3 years consistently. Nothing happens by coincidence. The contact, the teenager that was with us, the family together, and the missionaries before, everything was set up by the hand of the Lord. The work is like a fine tuned orchestra of instruments. We can be the most expensive instruments, the biggest, or just look the best, But nothing will ever happen until the Master picks you up to play. We need to prepare ourselves for the time when we will be called upon to play. 

Another cool thing that happened this week was that we taught a lesson with a police officer (see 4-5 emails ago) that had actually contacted us. We had other plans but we were passing his house and I just thought, "Hey, we are here and we don't have any fixed appointment so let’s stop by." Well long story short, he has had some seriously crazy stories about getting shot and all that kind of stuff and he has a different point of view on life now. He has been looking to put God back into his life. We gave him the Restoration lesson and have an appointment for another lesson! There were a lot of beer cans in his house so I thought that we were going to have to have a talk. When we were asking him what he was looking for in our lessons and talks he told us that he wanted to quit and that he has been trying for a while to find a way to not drink. He just has friends that drink so he does it to socialize. Well, let me tell you, we have the best way to quit! It is called the Spirit and it never fails when you do your part! 

All in all I am really excited for this next transfer! We might even change houses to one with a washer and a dryer! I am not going to get my hopes up but I am going to keep my fingers crossed!! No matter what happens in your life, our Father in heaven always has the road map. Sometimes we would like to go straight to the destination, but a lot of the times He wants us to take the scenic route, which can be a lot harder and a lot longer but a whole heck of a lot more rewarding too. Remember that he always has our best interests at heart. I love this gospel and I love serving as a representative of Christ. I love this people and I love the opportunity I have to serve them. I don't think that I realize it enough, but the time that I have is extremely short. I need to make the most of it!!! I hope you have a fantastic week!! 

-Élder Morris

Monday, April 21, 2014

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Well this week was the Catholics "Semana Santa" or holy week. This is also Spring Break, so a lot of people leave town and go on vacation or visit with family. We had some pretty sweet conversations with some people this week about Christ. When Elder Cook came to our mission the first thing he did was to meet with the head  of the Catholic Church in Monterrey to talk and offer assistance. Our Mission President thought it would be good to follow his footsteps and reach out to the other churches in each of our areas. So we have been going into all of the churches in our area when we pass them to look for their Priest, Father or Pastor. It was hard to find anyone at the churches to talk to. At one church we were able to talk with a Pastor. We talked to him and offered to help out with anything that we could because we were both just trying to serve God. The first help he asked for was to donate money. We told him as missionaries we are not paid and do not have any money.  The second was that he wanted us to respect that people were catholic and let them be.  Then he asked what the basic principles of what we believe were. We just gave him the 3 pamphlets that we always use. The Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we explained what we believe. It was a very interesting experience, in the end we are all children of God. I am very grateful for my Savior and his sacrifice for all of us. I know that he lives and loves each one of us, that he knows us as individuals, by name and that if we ask him for help he will be there for us. He died that we may live.

Well, in other news, we baptized a woman named Maria on Saturday! She said that she had turned down an all-expense-paid trip with friends to come and fulfill her promise with God. She is a great example of someone who is dedicated to serve God and put Him first. That was a testimony builder for me. Well, that’s about all I got this week! Thanks for all your love and support!! Have a fantastic week!!
-Élder Morris

Ok I’m still laughing: Funny story, we were at our food appointment yesterday and the little daughter told us there were spiders but she killed them. Obviously I told my comp about those nefarious barking spiders (they live in Mexico too). He just started saying  how we have spiders in our house all the time and that we kill them. It was so funny, I was completely crying!!!! I couldn't handle it because he was just so serious about it!!! Ok, I'm not all grown up yet.:)

I was able to attend the Baptism of the Castor Family from my last area. Love these people!

Maria is the newest addition to our Ward. 

One Pair down!

Friday, April 18, 2014

We can get by with a little help from our friends.

Well this week was great! The Castor family got baptized!! This is the family from my last area. Well only three but the other two just have 1 more time to attend church then they can be baptized. They were super ready!! We went to the Temple today! That is always super awesome!! There is such a spirit of peace and profound joy in the House of the Lord. 

Well this week we had a FHE with the whole ward, and of course they threw the assignment for the first one on the missionaries. We had an awesome lesson about Prophets and their role in our life and how they can really help us lead a better life. I learned that I need to trust my companion more. As a trainer you have to teach them everything from scratch. You think that they don't have any idea what to do so you take it upon yourself to do everything. As we were teaching he asked for volunteers. I thought we were going to start the activity that we had planned for after the lesson. So in my mind I started thinking of ways I could fix the situation and not embarrass my companion. While I was doing that, he explained what he was doing to the ward and what the object of the lesson was, not moving to the activity, it turned out to be an awesome example and a way for the ward to participate in the lesson. Something that I had not thought about. I felt stupid. He has the same calling as I do. He has the same authority that I do. He has the same responsibilities that I do. He has the same promise of the help of the spirit that I do. So why would I think that he couldn't handle it or come up with awesome ideas? It gave me something to think about and to ponder on. How many times do we mistakenly judge another’s actions? How many times, with the final result, do we find out that those actions were perfect for the situation, maybe even inspired? This isn't just in the gospel sense, but in whatever setting. We are always thinking that our way is the way that things should be done. Maybe we think that we have the route mapped out so we don't stop to ask for directions, when maybe there is a shortcut that someone else might know? That is something that I really like. Ask for help.

Sometimes in my life, I take things upon myself and forget that I have people around me who are just waiting to help, who have the shortcut that I could take to make my path easier. It is something that I need to work on, trusting in others to help with the problems that I "could" handle on my own, but it would be easier with a little help from my friends. We all need a little from our friends!  Our forever faithful friend who will never fail us is the Spirit. How many times do we stop with a problem and ask for help from the one who knows everything? Who will "give to all men liberally and upbraideth not"? I would like each of us to take a step back and look at what we are loading onto our backs and realize that there are others there to help us with our loads. Remember the Lord, that "[His] yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light” Love those around you and love the Lord and your life will be a whole lot easier!!! Dare to be a Mormon, dare to stand alone. I hope you all have a great week!!!

Élder Morris

Friday, April 11, 2014

Don't Rummage Through the Garbage.

Wow, first of I would just like to apologize to all the women out there for ever thinking "eh, cramps can't be that bad..." Let me explain a little. This weekend I had a thing called Gastritis. Long story short it is when you eat more spicy foods and greasy foods than your body is used to. When this happens, it pretty much destroys your gastro-intestinal system for a while. So through conference, and while we were contacting to bring people to conference, every 5-10 minutes I would be doubled over in what felt like hands wringing my stomach. So really not a great experience. And the mission president’s wife told us that it pretty much felt like the kinds of cramps women have. So yeah, all you ladies out there are pretty much warriors. 
Well, this weekend was super awesome!! Conference, like always, was super great!! And I got to watch it in English so I got the WHOLE picture. Something that really struck me was the repeated advice to defend the faith and not change just because the world is. Obviously the world is heading in a worse and worse direction. The need for staying "true to the faith" is becoming ever more prevalent every day. With the garbage that is in the world, we are constantly being sucked in. And "we shouldn't rummage through garbage". That is why the work is hastening on. We have what the world needs. It is something that can't be hid and that won't ever stop. The things that the church stands for will always be contrary to the norms of the world, but that is because the norms of the world are the norms of Satan. The world is degrading faster than we realize. We need to realize just how needed our courage is and just how much is at stake here. The world is built on sand, its roots are in loose soil and, sooner rather than later, it will fall. We just CAN'T have our roots intermingled with those of the world. It is just that simple. We must have our feet planted in the Rock that is the Savior. There is no other option. 
So I just want to share a quick experience from the week. We were teaching a less active member of our ward the gospel of Jesus Christ. We got done teaching and her grandson, who is 10, turned to his aunt and said "well, when am I going to be baptized?" Me and my companion just looked at one another for a second and then we explained the requirements. He is super excited to be baptized!! That is living proof that the Gospel is not hard. It is not complicated and it is not difficult. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple, so genuine, that even a 10-year-old boy can see the value of it and feel the spirit testify of the truth. We shouldn't teach or think about it as a level above that of a child. There is a reason that we are baptized at 8-years-old. 
Well I hope you all have a fantastic week! Be safe and Keep the faith. Stand for what is right, even when you have to stand alone! ¡Hasta Luego!

-Élder Morris