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.

video
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