Monday, February 29, 2016

Not Serving in the Phnom Penh Mission Anymore..... Everything is different... Buckle up, life get's crazy sometimes.

Message from Ernie's delinquent blog poster: I must apologize for my not posting Ernie's weekly message weekly... First off, his blog emails were kind of hit and miss for a while... Nevertheless, some wonderful things have transpired recently that simply must be posted... I'm afraid I have to spoil it a bit before I post his comments...As many of you know, Ernie received an interesting mission call... nearly two years ago now.

Some of us were confused when he got the call, as you can see... his call says "You have been called to serve as a missionary... in the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission...  But then it said "In addition to your calling to share the Gospel, you will be assigned to serve in the "Vietnam Mission Region" speaking Vietnamese.  I soon learned that missionaries that were not at least "part-Vietnamese" wouldn't be aloud to actually serve IN Vietnam... but the calling seemed pretty clear. During his mission so far, he did manage to go up to Vietnam on a training trip, Then this happened:

In 1966, Elders Hinckley and Hanks dedicated So. Vietnam for missionary work... but then the war got in the way... Vietnam has been on the minds of the Brethren all this time and at last... Vietnam has a mission... Ernie is now one of the first 15 missionaries in the newest mission in the world. He has the privilege to work alongside the Mission president as his Assistant.
Now the  call that Ernie got... finally makes sense.

Here is Ernie's first message from Vietnam:

So this week....   I'm just gonna skip to Tuesday for the sake of time.

Tuesday,  we got the transfer calls. I've been transferred to serve in Hanoi, Vietnam mission. I'm white washing Hanoi and have been asked to be the Assistant to the President. New companion too! 
So, we changed our plans for the day... and just started saying goodbye to our members. I had to go and see my recent converts first, and tell them "thanks for everything". It was so sad, but I'm so grateful I got to see them. We didn't have much time to do anything after that. 

Wednesday we met with some investigators and Em den got a new baptismal date and he will be baptized this next week. He is so good. 
Then there was this huge parade thing that went all the way through our area, it was the craziest thing I've seen in a while. So many people... all dressed up...running around to people's Buddhist shrines and they like threw water and food and sometimes they would cut their tongues open and the blood blesses the house... or something weird. I don't know. It was creepy. We had our last English class... and I told one of my best little buddies in the advanced class we were leaving... he started crying. I'll miss him. After all that, we went straight home, and started packing. Sorry but I wasn't exactly obedient... and didn't get to bed until 1 AM,  because I had to pack all my stuff up.

English Class:    

Thursday we woke up at 3:30 AM to get to the Mission Home and then drive to the airport. We got on our flight at like 7, and then flew to Hochiminh to meet with all the other elders. Then all of us waited for the next plane to take us to Hanoi. We got off the plane and jumped into a taxi to the church. Hanoi is soooo pretty by the way. And it's freezing cold too. Definitely not in Kansas anymore. 

We got to the church and just ended up waiting there for like 3 hours. We got in some good study. We went out together and ate some delicious pho at this pretty cheap place. That was fun. Then the big meeting happened. Elder Gary E. Stevensen, Elder Gong, Elder Funk, President and Sister Christensen, and the new president, President Hassell came in and we talked for a while. 

                                   With my old trainee...
with Elder Stevensen    

Then we went up to have a meeting with just the missionaries. In all, there are 15 of us, counting the three senior missionaries. That is the same number of missionaries that were called to come to Vietnam the first time...during the war. 


The spirit was electrifying in the room. Everyone could feel it. What an honor to be in the presence of so many spiritual giants. There were so many emotions going through my mind that  I couldn't hold back the tears very well. They told us that this is Heavenly Father's work, and we are called by Him to do it. He chose each one of us specifically to open up this new mission. It became so real to me, all of it. 

I felt His love for me... and that this is where God needs me to be. It is His work and it has to be done His way. I am so humbled. After the meeting, I took lots of pictures for "history's sake" and then they had all of us write our names down on this document about this new mission... and the missionaries serving here. It was nuts. Then, we had this big meeting with all the members. We talked about how big of an event this is... and what this all means now. There were a lot of tears. We have all dreamed of this for a long time.

Friday morning we had a meeting with the new mission president and talked about what we are going do... and we all introduced ourselves, etc. It was a good meeting. We went out and said goodbye to everyone... and then they left. 

It's just four of us now here. My companion, me, and the sisters. It's a lot to take in. 

Saturday, we studied and then went out to meet some members... and then the sisters showed us the area a little bit. 
While we were riding our bikes, we stopped. Sister Diem said "hello" to a lady on a bike at the stop light... and got a feeling that something wasn't right. She followed the lady, and as she asked her if there was something wrong, the lady started crying heavily. We spent the next twenty minutes consoling this lady. We asked her to come with us to the church... and it was amazing how fast some of the members that we called came to help out. 

We proceeded to have a missionary meeting with the members. We have like 7 branch missionaries!! Half of them are recent converts. They are so strong and so good! I am so excited to work with them. 

It's so good!! I'm like, speechless. We all went up and sang hymns with the crying lady... and then shared the gospel with her a bit. 

Sunday we did studies and then President Hassell wanted to meet with me to discuss what we are going to do from now. It turns out that he is almost as lost as I am on building this new mission. That's comforting. After the meeting, we had our church meetings. 

It is so fun here. People are so happy to be at church to partake of the sacrament... and they are so very reverent. The culture here at church is completely different than in Cambodia... No ladies laughing out loud, no kids skateboarding during the sacrament, no phones getting answered during talks. It's weird... but I kind of miss that... (Haha) 

After church, we had three lessons and then went home. It's our first P-day right now and I'm still starstruck. I'm still trying to take it all in. We have so much to do... and I'm so sad that I have so little time to help do it. 

This week was amazing. I have a lot of pictures., 
I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week. Buckle up, life get's crazy sometimes. 

Love you

Elder Morris

Saying goodbye to families in Cambodia 
and also to Cambodia...

Our recent convert                 
Visit to Siem Reap/Ankor Wat                


Friday, June 26, 2015

Week 56 (or something)... It has been a while since Ernie has been able to find time to blog... Working hard in the Mission Home

This week was bananas.

So we will begin the craziness with Tuesday. We woke up and went to the office to get everything ready for office staff devotional and prepare for District meeting. Then we get a call that we need to take some people to the bus station last minute. We drop everything and head to their house to take them. Get them to the station like a couple minutes before the bus leaves and then head straight to district meeting. We have our district meeting take some pics because everyone in our district is leaving pretty much. I have no one to talk to in Vietnamese now that sister Bui is going to Hanoi. Sad. Then we eat lunch and get our buns back to the mission home to prepare for office staff devotional. Office Staff is just a meeting where we meet with President Moon, the Assistants, and the other finance senior couple and talk about what to do with the mission. It's way intense and you have to be prepared on presenting your part to President or you get toasted. After a super long meeting there we had just a few minutes to get food before we left to our Branch meeting. We spent like 45 minutes talking about cleaning the church. *Insert forehead slap here*

Wednesday got pretty intense because it's English class day and we also had to get our car serviced because apparently Elder Le Nguyen and I broke the power steering Joy Riding. By joy riding I mean traversing giant puddles of water on a huge dirt road in the middle of nowhere, in a van. 
All because our investigator needed salvation I guess. Anyways, we took it to one place and they took like two hours to check it out and told us it was 2,000 dollars. So we went to a different place and it took another two hours and they told us it would be a little less than 2,000 dollars. Day wasted. 
Okay then we got to our English class which is the light of my life at this point. I love English class. I had a table of all boys which was the best! I got a guy to accept learning the gospel and said he will come to church this Sunday. That is why I love English Class. That was the end of the night.

Thursday was the day all the new elders and sisters came. We had to get all the papers and everything together. It was a bunch of fun! They are all pretty fun. I got to teach them all about viruses and how to get them off and how to use the different programs in the mission and then I got to do all the picture taking. It was amazing. Then that night we brought them home... they were asleep before I even got into the room.

Yesterday was transfers. All but one of the companionships in the Vietnamese program was transferred so everyone came to the mission home. Plus all the new elders and sisters and everyone going home this transfer, there were half a million people at the mission home. It was really fun though getting to see all the people from my MTC group and everything. I will try and get a picture that we took. It was fun. So hectic though. 

Then when all the screaming and crying and everything had subsided. I plopped myself into my chair and fell asleep for like ten minutes. Then Elder Hibbert came, making me super sad...cause I wouldn't let myself believe that he was leaving so soon. He is such a good elder. I am gonna miss him so much. We just closed the door and had a little talk about life. He is like a brother to me, and I know he is going to be great. 

We helped everyone get their bags into the van and then President took them to the airport to leave. Poof, they were all gone. Some people had family come, and we were like taking pictures for them and everything. It's kind of really weird to see missionaries finishing up with their families. To me it's like a dream that will never happen so it doesn't bother me too much.

Today was P day and it turned out pretty well. We got to email a bit and then we got bored and left to the Stake center to throw around the football and pass around the soccer ball. It's good to be out and about. It started raining super hard which was perfect. It's finally rainy season and it couldn't have come sooner. I love Rain. We did some shopping and then I made everyone wait while I tested all the colognes in the store. There were actually a few good ones (: Don't worry, they totally wanted to smell them all too. 

Then we got to the mission home again to change and some Elder in Japan calls and says they have a Vietnamese guy with them right now and they want to Skype. So I just threw on my shirt and tie and called em haha. It was a great lesson! 

He is a 19 year old boy from close to Hanoi. He is super smart and really interested in the Gospel. I taught him about who Heavenly Father is, and why we need prophets. It was neat. He said I have beautiful Vietnamese so HA!... the office won't bring me down. But  still have to practice a ton. It was interesting and they want to Skype us again next week. This week was crazy, hard, and busy...but I feel like I am doing my part. I sleep much easier now a days knowing I am giving everything I can to the Lord. My testimony that everything works out for a reason was tested this week, but I know that Heavenly Father never gives us anything we can't handle and will never leave us. We just need to have our eyes open enough to see who's lives we can reach out and touch during those times. A good friend told me a quote by Elder Bednar who said that God gives his hardest trials to the ones He trusts the most, or something like that. I know that's true and I know Elder Hibbert has people to save back home. 

Phew! This was a long one boys and girls, thanks for tuning in. I love you all so so much and appreciate everything  you do for me. Have an amazing week! Peace.

Elder Morris

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Week 38: Out to the Kilos

Ok so this week was pretty sweet!

Monday we played soccer and it was like insane. The rules are that we can play as long as it isn't like competitive and stuff. It got intense. I was getting fouled like crazy! I felt like the other team was lumberjacks with how much they were chopping at my legs! Anyways. 

Then we went to Dairy Queen and ate some ice cream and came home. It was good. Then we just planned out how we want the work in our new area to go. 

Tuesday was the Mission Leadership Meeting, which was really really good. I came in a little scared because everyone else had companions and stuff but it was super good! Then we came home and did our weekly planning for the rest of the week and review a little bit of the things I learned in the meeting. Then we went out to give a few lessons which turned into a new investigator and then on the way home some kid like yelled out to me and I said hi. He like ran up and just jumped onto the back of my bike. I was a little surprised and just looked at my companion and said something like, "is this kid serious"? Then the kid asked where we were going and I said home and he asked for a ride until we turned to go home. I said fine. Then he just jumped off when we got to the turn and he ran into an alley. Super weird haha

Wednesday was amazing as well! We went out to kilometer 11 to see a member and he was out getting his hair cut. He lives right by the river so we just went down and sat on some rocks while we waited and this lady said that we could go down and hang out at her floating boat house. We said ok and sat down. I asked about her family and stuff in hopes to share a message with her. We ended up sharing about the Plan of Salvation and she was really interested but said that she couldn't join because her family is Buddhist. Then we went out and found some old investigators from when I served here before. It was super cool, two of them, who were initially mad at me at first for leaving them (haha) and decided that they wanted to start learning again. So we picked up those investigators again, they are so great too! Then we had English class! I was so excited to finally get to be back at my old English class. We had a few minutes before class so I started contacting outside for people to come to class. This one boy name william said he would come and then he actually came to the class! It was cool. I sat at this table with william and a few others. One was a girl in college preparing for medical school. I really tried to make friends with them and make them feel comfortable. Then I was asked to share the spiritual thought and shared about Lehi's vision and then I challenged everyone to write down any question they have about the Gospel and we will answer it. Then William started asking me questions! He had some great questions. At the end of class william and the girl in college gave their phone numbers to the elders and stuff! It was amazing. They have already began teaching them. 

Thursday we had another weekly planning for next week and then went out to the kilos to see another old investigator. He is really nice and has a desire to keep learning and meeting with us. He is about to have another son and is really concerned for his family and their futures. Then we went to meet a member and see how they were doing. We were just walking when I felt a sudden splash of cold water. I turned and some kids were laughing. I was a victim of a malicious water balloon attack... Not too long ago, I was the hooligan throwing the balloons at the older kids. So now I guess the tables have turned. The lesson went well though.  :)

Friday was good. We had my very first zone training which was three hours of me sharing with my whole zone. It was a little stressful but we pulled through and I think we all came out learning at least one thing. Then we ordered some indian food and celebrated a member's birthday. It was really great!

Saturday was a doozy. We scheduled an appointment with a member who recently moved houses so we could know where they live. So he told us just get on this road that goes out to no where and just keep going. We ended up riding a little over 20 kilometers before we arrived at the place he told us to wait. Altogether it was around 25 miles. haha I'm sore. 

Sunday was awesome! Our elders quorum president called in the morning and wanted to visit some less actives before church, which is so cool. He doesn't have a bike though so I gave him a lift on the back of my bike. It was fine until he said he wanted to go to Kilometer 9. Ha so that was fun. Then it was church. First off, I love fast Sunday. Second, it is Easter Sunday! I was asked to play the piano last minute but it went ok. We had a record breaking 60 come to church! More than we've had in over six months. I felt like my heart was going to burst and I had to go up and bear my testimony of gratitude for all the Savior of the World has done for me. I am so blessed to be out here. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. I know that Christ lives. I know that He took upon him the sins of the world, and that through Him we can be clean and we can live with our families forever. I love you all and hope you can show your gratitude this Easter Season! 

Elder Morris

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 37: Feels like a prison cell...

So This week was good. 

Tuesday we started our service project for ba hong chu song. The two people in my last post. They are the best! ...and they have a terribly dirty tiny house. So we decided we would clean and repaint it. We got a cool idea that we would redo their little picture collage that they had... and make it into a masterpiece. So we went out and bought some paint and stuff. After district meeting we went over and started cleaning. They were apprehensive at first, but after a little coaxing they let us start cleaning. I was determined to help these people before I transferred. We cleaned... and it took a long time. We started painting just a little, but had to go. So we continued on ...

Wednesday so we could be done before English class. We painted and cleaned more and started on this really cool tree idea that one of the sisters had. We painted a tree and put the pictures on it. It was awesome! 

The hard thing was that the next day, Thursday, I got a call saying that we would be transferring a day early and I that I should start packing my things. I didn't see that one coming and instantly my heart sank like a rock. I didn't think a transfer would be so hard. I am such a baby. We would be switching houses and stuff so I packed up on my things and left all the food in the fridge for the next elder moving in. We also had the elders from Vietnam again over at our house. That was really fun. I met back up with my old MTC companion! I missed him a lot and it was so good to see him. 

We moved all the stuff out and then we moved. The branch three house is nice. It's the biggest in the mission and this time it was super clean. It is really good looking now. The only thing is that the Khmer elders totally swiped our old room and took all the good stuff. We are in a little room on the top floor with a dinky little light. My companion says he feels like he is in a prison cell.

Oh by the way! New companion! Elder Le. He is from america and is super cool! He is part African American, Like a fourth Native American, and Half Vietnamese. He is like fluent already cause he spoke it at home. We get along pretty well so things should be really fun. He listens to like native american music and let me tell ya, that is a treat. 

So the rest of this week we have just be scavenging for food because we are white washing and it is the end of the month. That means no food in the house and no money to buy food. It is ok though, we will survive. We have been going around looking for work to do while the sisters gather their records and stuff for us to use. 

Then on Friday, we got to go pick up elder Hieu, who just finished his mission. We took him to the mission home so he could figure out his things. He is the best. Then, I spent the day with a new missionary because my companion needed to renew his visa. He is in the Vietnamese group and he is from Argentina. He speaks a little Viet already which is a big head start for him. He is way funny and I really like  him. He reminds me of an old friend I have back in Japan named Api. Really fun. 

Then we had a baptism on Sunday which was really great and I now think that I am catching a cold. I took some medicine and hopefully I will back to a 100% in no time. Not a lot of time this week, so apologies. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week. 

Elder Morris

We thought this was just some random picture of a tree... but upon closer inspection...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 36: All is well, so don't worry

This week was a roller coaster of stress and stuff! All is well, so don't worry.

Monday we just had a stellar p day. Went bowling again for an elder's birthday. I lost this time which was a bummer. I knew I just hit a stroke of luck last time. Then we had a great lesson with our less active family we are focusing on, they are great. Came to church this Sunday too! Woo hoo. 

Tuesday we had district meeting which was amazing because I forgot to mention that the power went out Monday night which made for the most uncomfortable sleep I have had in years. It was like sleeping in a sauna. So, with little sleep and even less time I planned the lesson for district meeting in the dark. I lit a candle too.

Wednesday was really good! We had a bunch of busy work and stuff to do. We went to about 7 members houses sharing a little bit and also getting information we needed to update because I have a goal to have the best looking CBR and Area books in the Viet Program. So far so good. Then we had English class which was kind of a bust, one person. It was rough, but we have made some great plans to turn things around in a jiffy. 

Thursday was weekly planning! It went well even though we still had no power. By this time we knew that all of our food had gone bad :( So we just ate noodles and bread. After that we had to go and pick up the elders who came in for Visas. My old companion elder Pham! haha they are a blast to have around. Then we had to meet and coordinate with the sisters on some records and things and them show them the house of another member. They last minute asked us if we had time to give a blessing for a really sick less active member. We went out pretty far and gave the blessing. We blessed her that she would have strength enough to come to church and live according to the gospel. 

Friday we went out and began telling everyone that we were going to have district conference this sunday and that they needed to come. So after we did all of that we got a call from the other sisters to give a blessing. It was really nice but something about giving blessings like always drained the life out of me. Anyways! Got a call from our investigator saying that she needed to meet with us. We tried to share a lesson with her but she was really in the mood to talk about her work and stuff. It was a hard lesson but she is still reading and praying. 

Saturday was really good. after studies we went out and met with one of our members and committed them to come to both sessions of district conference and then we contacted a bit and visited some more members and then made our way over to the church for district conference. It was awesome. President Moon came and shared and everyone really enjoyed it. We saw most of our less actives there and they were all so happy! After we had an appointment scheduled with our investigator anh long. It was an amazing lesson and he accepted a baptismal date for the 12th of next month! 

Sunday was a big day! Power was back on, district conference, and transfer calls were coming that night! Well we got to the church after the most stressful time helping three different members figure out a way to get to church and giving them directions to get there. It was wild and we made it just before it started. Sweaty and trying to pull my suit jacket on, they asked me to translate for the conference! It is possibly one of the scariest things ever translating for President Moon!

It went OK though and then after we came home and studied. Ate some food and went out to teach a lesson to our investigator. We shared lesson one and she is starting to find a love for the scriptures. It is amazing to see that change happen in people's lives. Last night, we received transfer calls. I am going to white wash Branch 3. That is the area I started in almost 7 months ago. Also, I am to be Zone Leader over the three branches here in Cambodia. President Moon's words went something like, "Well Elder Morris, looks like you'll be flying this one solo."  I will not have a co zone leader. That is gonna be a super big challenge, but I am ready for it. Thanks so much for everything! I love you all so much and hope you all have an amazing week! 

Elder Morris 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week 35: "she said that I should know everything"

This week was awesome!

Monday:  I have been feeling that my District is having some trouble and we needed more bonding time. Therefore, I organized a zone bowling activity for P day. It was great. We went to a Japanese place and ate curry rice, and then we bowled to our heart's content! ...and I won too. Who knew I figured out how to bowl. 

Tuesday: was a little bit  ehhh. Just because we made plans for like 8 lessons....and only ended up getting one. It all good though because that one lesson was really goodJ Oh and I guess the mission has a list of people with singing ability so somehow I got put onto a list of people to sing at an upcoming Conference, where Elder Gerritt Gong of the Seventy would be coming. We had rehearsal and it went really well. They needed my to do bass in the Vietnamese part and then I had to sing in Khmer for the tenor part and then sang the melody for the English verse. It was a good practice though. 

Wednesday we met with our new investigator who sells sandwiches by this huge group of buildings that people use to throw wedding celebrations. It is out in a parking lot and there is no shade. We almost died sharing with him but he is a great learner. Then we tried again to do an English class, but once again we still only had one person come. We had a meeting of how we can improve the class and have decided to do a lemonade stand with handouts and things. I will keep you posted on that one! 

Thursday started out rough but ended up being pretty stellar! We met with a less active member...and it went really well. She accepted the challenge to try and come back to church and to develop her faith more by starting to read and pray everyday. 
Later, we had an insane lesson. We got a referral from some other elders and she finally said that she could meet with us....  She told us this really amazing story about how she had sacrificed living comfortably with her family so that she can go to school in the hopes to start a business so that her children with have a future. But I did not see this coming... After we started to share about the Gospel and the Book of Mormon... all of a sudden started asking questions about the Bible and said that she had studied in Bible school for like 13 years. She began testing me and I answered all the questions but one. I told her that we would love to answer all of them for her... but maybe in the next lesson. She kind of got mad and asked me how I would be able to teach her, if I didn't know anything. Ugh... I told her that there is no way I could know everything. But her answer was that I should know everything. She told me that I need to be better, if I expect to teach anyone out here. To be honest, I wanted to tell her off and throw out a bunch of scriptures and stuff, but I just said that I would try harder and that we would love to meet her again. I hope she meets us again. 

Friday was the big conference! We had the best training with Elder Gong. We shared and learned a bunch of new stuff. Then after we ate some wicked pasta, we sang the musical number. It went really well. People didn't think I sing. Honestly, I don't... except in the shower. But people were surprised so, that was cool. 
Right after the conference, I was feeling the spirit pretty strong and had a huge desire to apply the stuff we had learned. So we went contacting... and some cool stuff happened. 
We found a little family on the top of this building. I asked a few simple questions about his family and then shot him the question, "If I told you that you could live with them (his family) forever, how would you feel?" I testified to him, right then and there that he can!.. and that this gospel and this Church are true. He was very excited and gave me his number. This exact same thing happened two more times that day. It was pretty amazing. 
This was a huge testimony builder to me, that you never have to coax, trick, or sneak your way into sharing the message of the Restoration. Because it is true. They have all heard it before. We are only helping them remember. I saw the Light of Christ working inside them as they pondered the questions we asked and the testimonies we shared. I am grateful for that experience. 

Saturday  we had a big meeting helping the District presidency plan for the District conference coming up this month. I was surprised at how much they wanted to know our opinions. These are fully grown men asking a couple of 20 year old's for thoughts and advice. We got a lot done and then after that we taught a lesson, and then swung by a few members houses to invite them to come to church. Then we had an activity where we shared the mormon message titled, "Leave the Party". It was great. I got to translate it for the youth and shared a brief testimony of standing in holy places. 

Sunday was a doozy. A good number of our Less Actives came to church... which was awesome! After that we taught Sunday school and priesthood. The young men don't have a great desire to attend the class... let alone learn, so I tried a different approach by telling them to ask any question they could think of about the gospel... and we would find the answers together in the scriptures. It went amazingly. We shared about whether or not Christ had a body before this life. I don't know why that one is so frequently asked. Ether 3 has the answer to that. Second was a question about the Three Nephites. Some in the class didn't believe we had people on the earth like that. We opened to 3rd Nephi 28 I think, and answered that question. 
After church we had to go out to branch six and get a few forms signed for the recent converts over there. (30 minute bike ride). Then we had an appointment with a Less Active member in Branch 3 (90 minutes)... a long bike ride. Worth it though. He is one of my favorite people that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Well this week was pretty great! Hope you all have a good one too! 

Love you all, 
Elder Morris

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week 34: I have been praying so hard for a miracle to happen.

Ok this week was amazing! 

Monday we pretty much just hung out with the elders from Vietnam after studies. It was fun. They went back to their areas and are happy now. We had a lesson with some members so I thought it would be a prime opportunity to spring the lesson on the new guy, Elder Quoach. I know, I’m a meanie… but that's how you learn. He did awesome anyways! I just supported his thoughts, and it all went great.

Tuesday I shared the district meeting lesson on The Holy Ghost and about recognizing the spirit; I also shared about the Light of Christ. I love learning about this subject… and it just so happens that one of my all-time favorite apostle shares a lot about it as well. Everyone should watch the 3 part video called Patterns of Light by Elder David A. Bednar.

Wednesday we had lunch at a member's house… and it was awesome. They are preparing to go to the Salt Lake temple when they go to General Conference. I am so excited for them. They are a little better-off than most, because the husband, Bun Ly is a big movie start/ movie maker here in Cambodia.
That afternoon we went over to a member family's house because our investigator is best friends with them. We had a really great talk about why the members are so important, and then we invited them to help bring the investigator to the waters of Baptism. They said yes. Things are really going great. 

Thursday was weekly planning. Everything went smoothly and we planned for yet another awesome week! Then we went over to our District President's house to kind of coordinate a little on the upcoming events for our Branch. 

Friday we went to visit a less active member and instead ended up sharing with her father. We shared the first lesson and I invited him to be baptized by the proper authority. He said he was interested in learning more, but wasn't sure yet if baptism was right for him. We will continue teaching him and see where that goes. I have high hopes :)
Then we found out that our Branch President's son had moved back home, and he has a new wife who happens to be Buddhist… and wants to learn, so we will start teaching her as well!

One of my favorite families in the world made a tough decision this week and it was difficult to hear about during our lesson with them. They have decided to let their kids stay in Vietnam to study, instead of living with them in Cambodia. They only want them to have a bright future, and know they can't have that here. I will miss their two children dearly. They are really special.
That night we went over to an investigator's house and his mother had come back to visit for the holidays. She is Vietnamese, but lives in America. She lives in a Viet community in Atlanta, Georgia,  so we had a lot to talk about. She made me promise that when I come home I will come visit her and eat at her restaurant. 

Saturday we had an awesome special training session from President Moon and sister Moon. They taught us about obedience and happiness. It was weird because we kind of talked about life after the mission too. President Moon shared an amazing quote. After that we had another meeting with the District presidency… and then another that evening with the Branch Presidency. Sometimes I feel more like an administrator than a missionary. It's really great though, I am learning a lot. 

“When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”
Ezra Taft Benson

Finally, Sunday! It was fast Sunday! I love fast Sundays. We went to Church and had an amazing fast and testimony meeting. Afterwards, I shared a lesson with the youth about Christ and how He is our example. How we need to let our lights shine and follow that example and share it with others. After we went home and studied, and then I had to go to Branch 6 to get some baptism papers signed! We had two baptisms in Branch 6. I am so grateful that I got to interview those two amazing people. Theirs were great baptisms.

I have been praying so hard for a miracle to happen. My companion and I even made it a weekly goal to have faith such that a miracle would happen for us. It came yesterday. I talked previously about the old lady by our house, who was really sick and had a big family… right? Well, we talked to another one of her daughters, and she wanted us to come and teach her a lesson. We went by there yesterday. She was on her way out, but she told us to wait a few minutes and she would be back. So we sat down with another man who was playing on his phone. We started with some small talk… which led to talking about the Gospel.
The man's name is Chu Long and he said he was baptized in 2006. He told us of how he was a teacher in the Gospel Doctrine class… and how he had had a disagreement with some members, so he left the Church because of it. He bore a strong testimony that he still knows the Gospel is true. I bore to him my testimony that this Gospel is true as well. This Church is the true church. And then the Spirit guided me to invite him to repent and come back into the fold of God. He said he wasn't sure.
By this time, the women we had intended to meet came back. We asked if we could share our message with her… and I invited Chu Long to stay and help teach with us. He accepted and we taught a great lesson on the restoration. He shared beautifully of the atonement and of how the First Vision really did happen. The spirit was so strong. I invited her to be baptized next month and she said yes. She prayed with us to know these things were true… and after the lesson, Chu Long pulled me aside. He proceeded to tell me how he hadn't felt that kind of love… and hadn't felt the Spirit like that in years.
Chu Long then asked if he could come back. I could barely hold back tears of joy as I promised him those feelings and his meeting with us was a gift from Heavenly Father. He said he would change his schedule so that he can help our new investigator (Chi Nhi) come to Church this Sunday.

I want to bear to you my testimony of the power of fasting and prayer. I know that this is His work. I also know that as we prayerfully and obediently seek them, we will see miracles. He has blessed me with the opportunity to see His hand in my life. This Church is true. This Gospel is true. I am so grateful for the mighty change that has… and is happening in my heart. I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Morris