Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Week 23: It is almost Christmas and I couldn't be more thrilled!

This week was good.

It is almost Christmas and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Monday, we had emailing and then went to help an investigator do some paperwork in English for a few hours. That was rough. I don't even know how to use Photoshop. Then we went to the mission home to pick up the Vietnamese elders who came in for Visa work.

Tuesday, we had District meeting and then ran splits with the Vietnam Elders. I went with Elder Hieu who is pretty close to going home. I was blown away at how good his Vietnamese was and how great of a teacher he was in our lessons. We went and taught a lesson to an old investigator, Chu Hai. He has been learning for close to five years now. We tried to get a lesson going, when he stood up and started yelling at us… saying that he didn't want to learn and that we were trying to force him to do things. We apologized for hurting his feelings and left. He was being a drama queen though in my opinion.

Wednesday, we taught a bunch of great lessons. We taught one to our Branch President, and then he set some goal with us for next year. He wants 15 baptisms and 90 people at church. He says he has faith that we can do it… me too.

Thursday, we taught a lesson to a new investigator, Chu Bao. He has the cutest little daughter ever. She was combing my hair during the lesson and tried to paint my nails so I could be "pretty" like her..

Friday, we just dropped off the Vietnamese Elders and taught a few lessons.

Saturday, we found a less active member and taught her a good lesson. She said she will try and make it back to church (so please pray for that). We taught a lesson to Anh Thanh at the church. During the lesson, members kept randomly showing up! By the end of the lesson, we had five members helping teach the lesson! It was kind of crazy… but also really cool that they stayed and shared.

Because they pulled the Elders out of Branch 3 ( my old area), my companion and I have been assigned to cover both areas. We went all the way out to Kilometer 9 and met with an old investigator Chu Thanh. 
He was so happy to see us. He told us that he thought that we had left back to America and he was heartbroken. I got pretty choked up. We taught him that he needed to continue learning and following God's commandments. He asked if he could be baptized this month, but we told him that he needed to prepare a little more… so we set the date for next month.

Sunday was fun. Our investigator Chu Long decided that he didn't want his kids to learn with us anymore. I am really sad right now about that, because they want to be baptized and come to church.  But he said that they are not ready yet. I hope his heart will change. Then at church we had a little bit of a mix up. At the end of the Sacrament Service, our Branch President announced the day for our Christmas Activity on the 20th. I guess that no one knew about it… and there was an uproar. People started yelling and pointing fingers. It was really crazy. Then, during the third hour, our recent convert brought in a giant Christmas tree and said that the people wanted one in the church. That was neat. 

This Christmas season is both really fun and super stressful. Organizing parties and things are really hard. (in spite of everything) This week was really good though. I am grateful how willing the members here are to sacrifice and help solve the problems that come up. This was a good week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Week 22: They really do know how to hide…

This week was pretty rough actually. 

Monday, we did a lot of email stuff because a member asked us to start a translation for the Nativity for the Christmas Activity! After that we had an appointment drop, so we contacted for the rest of the night. 

Tuesday, we contacted all morning. After about two and a half hours, we found one person who was Vietnamese. They really do know how to hide… or something. But that was just the beginning. We decided we would try and find a referral from the Sister missionaries. We found him working up on some scaffolding. We climbed up there with him and talked for a bit. His name is Thien. It turned out that he was baptized in the Catholic Church about four years ago. He said he would like to meet with us again later in the week. 

Wednesday our recent convert gave us a call and told us that his older brother would like to join the church. We were pretty excited and went to meet them. His brother said that he was tired of the other churches and wanted something that had meaning. We will now be going to meet with him again this week and start teaching. The power of referrals is amazing. Also, a member of our Branch got his mission call. He was called to serve in Cambodia, speaking Khmer! We really could've used him in the Vietnamese program, but I am happy he is going to serve. 

Thursday was Zone Conference! We were taught a little more about how we can use our time more wisely and how to extend better commitments. We also talked about this Christmas Season and how we can better show our appreciation for the Savior and all He had done for us. We are now committed to find one thing we can sacrifice for the Lord, because He sacrificed everything for us. I know I have a lot that I can sacrifice. Next we met with our investigator Chu Long and his two children. We taught a little more about Baptism and what that means. At the end of the lesson, his two children said that they both want to be baptized and they accepted a baptismal date for the 28th of this month. I hope it all works out. 

Friday we met with a recent convert and his mom. His mom is not a member of the Church. We weren't sure what we should share and out of the blue she asked us about baptism. She told us about her husband and that he had died and was worried about his eternal wellbeing. We taught a powerful lesson on Temples and Baptism. By the end the lesson, she didn't set a date, but said that she wanted to be baptized… and for her husband to be baptized as well. 

Saturday, we did weekly planning since we didn't have the chance to on Thursday. We then went out contacting for 2 and a half hours. We did find 2 Viets… but it was hard. 

Sunday was Fast Sunday. I love fast Sunday because they are always so powerful. Our investigator, Anh Thien, met with us before Church at his Grandmother's house. He told us about his baptism some more… and how he felt like he was meant to find something greater. We shared a lesson on the Restoration and baptism and how we need the proper Priesthood authority. He asked if that meant that they both needed to be baptized again and of course, we said “yes”. They said ok, which was amazing… but not really the answer I would have expected. Thien has a baptismal date for the 28th of this month. 

This Christmas Season is the only time when nearly the whole world focuses on Christ. I know that OUR sensitivity to Spiritual things is heightened. Heavenly Father wants all his children to know of His love for us. I know that if we sacrifice a little of our time and share the message with just one person this month, miracles will happen. I love you all! Have the best week ever! 
Elder Morris

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 21: "Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized"

This week was so much fun! It started out with a bang. Literally!

We told some members we would help them move houses and we went by their house and the building next to it was on fire! It wasn't like a fire you could put out with like a cup of water either, this baby was massive! Then we helped them move for about three hours. We all thought it would be way easy so we wore our proselyting clothes and by the end we were all soaked with sweat. 

Check out my glutes!

There place was on the third floor so I got a nice workout for my glutes walking up that many stairs! 

Then this week we also had an exchange with the assistants to the president. That was really fun too! We made big meals so as to make them think we were good cooks. 

Next thing that happened this week was, Thanksgiving of course! So much fun. We got to go to The Bailey's house for dinner, and they had a turkey, stuffing, rolls, and all different kinds of food. It was super good. 

After that we drew names so we can start our secret Santa shopping.

This Friday we had kind of a second Thanksgiving feast… just the elders in our house. We had a true feast for fools. We made a ton of food. It was amazing. Friday also marks the start of my baking career. I made some cinnamon rolls, complete with icing from scratch. They had to have been good, because Elder Hibbert in our house ate like, six of them. 

We also received an announcement that the “He is the Gift” initiative has begun! So come on everyone, get into the Christmas Spirit! We have already started decorating our house and since our Thanksgiving meal, we have been listening solely to Christmas music. 

Now for the BIG news of the week which also explains the title. Our investigator who that thought he was going to have to leave for Vietnam figured everything out, and we were able to prepare him such that yesterday… he stepped into the waters of Baptism! It was so amazing! All the members were ecstatic and so was I. 
"Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized..." Mosiah 18:10
The members all brought food for him and the testimony he gave after was really special. He talked about how he doesn't have any family here, and now he feels like he does… one big family. My companion and I each gave him one of our shirts, a tie, and a pair of pants so he would look sharp. The feeling is something I will never forget. 

This week was one that will go down as a highlight in my journal for sure. 

Thanks for all that you do for me. Love you!