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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Week 33: The kid did NOT want to learn...

Well this week was interesting!

Monday we were pretty stacked so we didn't have any time to play soccer. :( But! We went to the mission home and I got some cool new ties. I will send a picture of them next week because I forgot. Then the new guy really wanted to take a look at New Market, which is just a huge market with everything a tourist would ever want and it all for at least half price. So we walked around there for a while. 

Tuesday I taught District Meeting. This one was pretty dry because it was about learning the language. This lesson always just makes everyone self-conscious and ashamed for not being more diligent (haha). I tried to keep it as upbeat as possible though. After that, we found out that the Burger King has a super whopper deal where you get two and one meal is for free. Those were nice. Then I think Elder Toan ate too much and he was feeling sick so we took him home and he slept for a while. I just started making a bunch of calls trying to set up appointments with less actives and lost members. It actually ended up pretty good. 

Wednesday I was invited to attend this English Class training meeting for all the English Class leaders. It was super cool! We finally got our Facebook page and website set up. A whole new program is being set up and I can't wait to get it started! Then after that we had a Mission Leadership Meeting with all the Leaders in the mission. That was so cool. I love being in discussions with other missionaries about the work. They are all so seasoned and have so many great insights. That was really neat.
After all that, we went out and taught a lesson and then went out contacting. We found this lady because this guy on the side of the road said there was one Viet lady living in the alley nearby. She was kind of asleep when we came. She woke up and told us that she has a serious hard problem and had been sick for months and will pass away soon. I felt like we needed to tell her who we were and that our message was what she needed. She took the pamphlet and asked us to pray with her. 

Thursday we had weekly planning. Well kind of. Some of us fell asleep and we didn't end up getting a lot of planning done. But we turned it around and got a few good lessons in for the day. I had an idea that we should do something for the members that are still in Cambodia for the Chinese New Years. Oh by the way, It has been like a ghost town the past couple of days because of the holidays. It sucks if you’re a missionary. 

Anyways, we went out and bought a bunch of bananas and stuff and I started making banana bread for our members. 
I don't want to brag but that banana bread was pretty good. 

Friday we made a butt load more bread and started our quest to visit all the members. We spent the day sharing messages with them and trying to serve others. 

Saturday I went on a mini exchange with the zone leader elder Tri. He is really cool and knows this language really well. We went and taught a lesson in the morning to one of his investigators. The investigator is like 10 and his mom is less active but helps in all the lessons. We came to their house the kid did NOT want to learn. His mom made him sit down with us and he started crying. 

It is pretty weird teaching the 10 commandments to a crying 10 year old.

Then later that day we went back to the sick lady's house to share a lesson with her. We went by and this other lady was there. She said she was her daughter and kindly asked us to sit down with her. We sat down at the table and there was a bible open and it looked as though someone had been studying. That made me happy until she said that she was a Jehovah's Witness… and so were the other 10 kids in the family. YIKES. I immediately started sweating profusely when the lady asked if she could share a few things she really liked out of the bible. It wasn't quite a bible bash, but we had to use a few scriptures to counter the crazy stuff she was saying. She got stuck when we shared about prophets and Joseph Smith so she said she had to go. It kind of sucks because she was really sweet to us. We will go back there and try and help them. 

Sunday was church! We didn't have very many people there but it was really awesome! Everyone was helping a lot and things went smooth. It was also the birthday of one of the youth. A girl named Nhi who just turned 19. She is preparing for a mission and will hopefully turn in her papers soon. I made her a Banana Cake which turned it out to be crazy, because everyone at church started saying how good it was and that they had birthdays coming up too! Ahhh!! Then that night we went out and decided to just find people to do service for. It was really fun and we met some really cool people. Love you all and hope you have an amazing week!   

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week 32: A Crowded House

Hey Everyone! 

This week was full of fun stuff. 

Monday we played some usual, and then right after that we were told that President Moon would be coming to inspect our house to see whether or not we were following the simplified housekeeping challenge! I almost pooped myself at this announcement seeing as our house is not up to par. We rushed home and cleaned everything as fast as we could.  

It turned out that our house was one of the cleanest houses in the mission. We even got some cookies from sister Moon. 

Then we got some new ties at the mission home, they are nice. 

Tuesday we went to have District Meeting at the church only to find that the guard took the day off and no one had unlocked the gate to the church. We got to have our meeting at the stake center which is so cool! I shared a lesson on the Atonement and then we had a musical number, because one of our sisters was about to finish her mission.

Wednesday we got the baptismal date we had hoped for! Our investigator is so awesome and he hopefully will be progressing towards the first of the month. :) Then we went and helped out doing some translation work. I am really starting to like doing translations. I have finished a few Mormon messages and talks in Vietnamese, just in case anyone wants to check them out. ;) While we were helping with that, one of the Elders came across some really funny articles on this website called Millennial Mormons. It is borderline sacrilege, but a pretty entertaining read.

Thursday, I am so tired is all I have written down in the notes for the day. Thinking back, we did weekly planning. Oh we looked around for people to serve, and then hunted down a less active member, who has been dodging us like we're the mob or something. He is a nice kid though. He just loves the computer games. 

Friday we went out and taught a lesson in the morning to another investigator. Then we went out looking for the Lost Sheep. After that we had a good time translating the new hymn book for the Vietnamese Branches. Hopefully, we will be done with all of that in the next week or so. I am stoked. Then we biked out like an hour and a half to find a less active member. He is so great and promised he was going to start coming back to church and back to the path of righteousness… I hope so. 

Saturday was Transfer Day. Not really for my companion and I. We will be sticking together for another one. It should be fun. We also got a call that we would be taking care of not one, but three companionships. We have nine people in our house that usually has four. It has been a blast but it gets pretty cozy at night and all the food is gone. 

Luckily its p-day and we bought more food. We also got a new Elder in the Vietnamese program! He is awesome. His name is Elder Guoach I may have spelled that wrong though. He is part Chinese and half Vietnamese. He is from Australia. He is a big boy and very funny. Reminds me a little of Winnie the Pooh. 

Sunday we had Church and it was glorious. The sister who ended her mission on Saturday had her parents come to Cambodia to visit! They were super cool and they even bore their testimonies during sacrament. It was really special and everyone was moved. I was so happy because instead of teaching Sunday School this week, the other Elders said they would teach and we got to be in the gospel principles class with our investigators. I love that class. 

After all that we had a surprise birthday for one of our members who is preparing to go to the temple with her husband. It was really special. The thing that is so cute about birthdays here is that people always do two things: 1. They bare their testimony and thank everyone for everything. 2. Instead of making a wish, they say the prayer and bless the food for everyone. It is really special that they make something so fun and simple as a birthday party a spiritually uplifting experience. I love that. 

This was definitely a good week and I couldn't be happier. I love you all and hope you have the best week ever! 


Elder Morris

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Week 31: I've really grown to love this language...

This week was a pretty good one. Monday we played some soccer and stuff. We had some misunderstandings and had to go home and talk them out. So even though there has been some stuff going on with my companion and I, I think this week went really well. 

Tuesday we had an exchange and I went to another area for the first time in forever. I went to Branch 6 and it was awesome. There are so many people over there and you can just talk to anyone. It was like a dream not hunting down Vietnamese people. We had some great lessons and did some contacting.

On Wednesday we switched back and had English class. The elders from Vietnam came for the leadership counsel and they slept over that night. It is never a good night sleep when the elders from Vietnam come over. They always keep us up with questions and awesome stories. I got to spend some time with my old companion Elder Cuong though. It was fun :)

On Thursday we had our weekly planning…and things were a lot better. We talked a lot of things out and I think it went well. My companion had an interview with the president and I did a lot of translation work. I have really grown to love this language through translating. It is something to work towards. 

On Friday we had a big leadership training from our zone leaders. They gave an awesome part about true love and how to show more love for others. I really like all the things we talked about.

On Saturday we had a meeting with the leadership of the branch to figure out our goals and how they should improve so that we have more progression in this area. It was a really productive meeting and I am so happy about the direction the Branch is going.

Then Yesterday was Sunday and things got interesting. At the last minute, the pianist told me that I had to play. I quickly recalled my four years of percussion…Honestly I didn't completely butcher the hymns. haha that was fun. 

We had the lowest church attendance I have ever had in my mission. I have no idea why no one came to church this Sunday, except that it was the Vietnamese New Year. Everyone goes back to their hometowns and stuff. It is a dark time for the missionaries. After that, we taught Sunday School and then Priesthood. I taught about charity and the pure love of Christ. I love teaching that class. The youth are amazing.

After church we went home and studied and then headed over to a member's house to get their help for a lesson. We all went over the lesson and then watched “17 Miracles” together. We then shared about sacrifice and temple work. It was super spiritual and they promised to come back to church... and that they wanted to go to the temple. 

This week I didn't have a ton of things to write about, but I know I saw miracles. I know that Heavenly Father is always there; He loves us and knows what we need in order to grow the most. I shared D&C 122: 7-9 with our less-active members. I know that everything will be for our own experience and benefit. I know that this Gospel is true. I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration, and that through him I am blessed by this Gospel. I know that... because I have been given much, (so) I too must give, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to do that. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week.

Love Elder Morris

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week 29: Sorry I haven't written.... "I just haven't got around to it okay?!"

Hey everyone!
Yes, I know, it has been way too long! I have been really lazy and haven't written an update in forever!
Monday was pretty simple. For the past few weeks, we have been organizing soccer in the mornings for P day. This helped me keep my sanity. I have missed soccer so much. After running errands all day we went to meet some of our less active members. They are great... and promised to come to church! ( which they did) :) and then we met with an investigator. We agreed that he needs to push himself a little bit harder, and drop some more things so that he can be ready for baptism. Then at the end of the night we had a big family home evening with the senior couple, Brother and Sister Bailey because sadly they had a family emergency and went back to America. Everyone in the branch was really sad. We had a spiritual thought and then we played a game. It was really cool. One of the mothers asked for a blessing before we started the FHE. She wanted Brother Bailey to give her one before he left. I was asked to translate. I had never done that before and it was really neat. I felt the spirit so strong during the blessing. At first, I was thinking of what needed to be said...but that didn't go very well. Then I began listening to the spirit and the words started to flow out. I knew that member was feeling the spirit because of the tears in her eyes as she thanked us for our service. I am so grateful for those opportunities.
Tuesday we had district meeting. It was really great. I truly felt prepared this time and the lesson went just as planned! I was pleased how it went, and everyone participated. Then we went to my old area and helped the Branch President there with some paper work that he didn't understand. That was neat to see how the church records work.
Wednesday we met with an "eternal investigator" who is really starting to show some progress! It is really great to see his desire to learn spark up again. After that, we had a really awesome lesson with our Branch President and his wife about how we can better serve others. Then we shared about the temple and what we can do to help others in the branch prepare to go. They agreed to start visiting the members and help them to prepare. Then we had English class! This is week two of the English class here in Branch 10... and we already have 9 people coming. It is growing really quickly and hopefully it will continue to get bigger.
Thursday was weekly planning and this time we did the whole thing in English, because my companion really wants to learn. Very weird... we even prayed in English. We had planned to have an exchange with the zone leaders right afterwards, so Elder Tran came into my area with me. We ended up getting stood up on all of our lessons we had planned, so we just contacted a bunch... which was a little embarrassing because whenever the zone leaders come, you always want to show them how much work you are doing. Oh well, it was still fun.
Friday was hard because Elder Tran had gotten food poisoning on Thursday night. Talk about a stellar exchange right? 

Yeah he was borderline dead and he like woke me up at about four in the morning saying, "Elder Morris, I think I'm dying".   Apparently was half asleep still because my reply was, "cool dude..." and then I fell back asleep. 

I felt bad about that. So we stayed in for a while. He slept and I planned and cleaned. Studying by yourself is like weird now. 

We switched back and my real companion and I went to a FHE that we had planned with some returning less actives. They are the cutest little family and I had prepared a movie that I wanted them to watch. We even got our branch president to come along. But he fates did not smile upon us that day, because the DVD player wouldn't read the disc... so we ended up just sharing what they would have seen in the movie. It was still good, but not the same. :(

Saturday, we went to play soccer in the morning with three investigators and all their Vietnamese friends. ;) I was given permission to play soccer as a means of finding... which is awesome! We had a good time! Some guys sitting around at the soccer place asked me where I learned how to play and they were actually kinda interested in the gospel too which was a real score. 
Yesterday (Sunday) was awesome. We had a great Church meeting and everything went well. We had some investigators come and said that they felt moved by the sacrament meeting, and the lessons given. I had to play the bad guy in Sunday School... which really stunk. Well, I am the teacher because none of the other members want to teach that class... because there are around 15 kids and they are pretty rowdy when they want to be. That was yesterday for sure. They had no intention of paying attention, which is weird because usually they are so good! I got a little bit frustrated and told them how we take time out of our busy schedules to plan the lessons for them... and that the least they could do was to listen. They apologized, which was cool, and we got through it. I passed out some candy from Christmas for them. 
The past few weeks have really flown by. I suppose that I am getting lost in this work. This is my excuse for why I haven't been updating the blog. I love you all and am so, so unbelievably grateful for all of  your love and support. It helps me more than you know! I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week! 
Elder Morris