Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring is here!

Guess what? Easter is next Sunday!!!!!!!! Everyone go watch Because He Lives, the next Easter video on youtube or it is fantastic! 

Happy Easter! I know that Jesus Christ died for us and atoned for our sins. I know that He rose on the third day and Because He Lives, so can we! We can live now and live with our Heavenly Father again someday, isn't that great? God really does love us to send His son to do this. 

I got a few cards/letters this week, it was great! Thank you to Aunt Margaret, Crystal, Adina, and Lauren! I got Lauren Wallace's wedding announcement and it is so cute. I almost started crying when I saw that she invited me to her sealing in the temple, I feel so special to be invited to such a sacred and life-changing event. I know that families can be together forever, even after death. We must live worthily though and never forget those sacred covenants we make with God. 

You know what's awesome? I buy a pineapple every week here. They are only $2! I am spoiled. A huge case of strawberries have also been only $2! I make smoothies for breakfast every morning. Yep, I am sure you are jealous. :) 

General Conference is this Saturday and Sunday. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is awesome! It will be on I believe 9am and 1pm Oregon time on Sat and Sun. If you want to know more about what Mormons believe, about prophets, what you can do to improve the quality of your life, have more love and peace, etc, watch it! Everyone should share it on facebook! I am so excited. 

I tried a few different cultures this week. I had sancocho- a Dominican soup on Monday with Susana and Mirka. It was pretty good. I also had Puerto Rican food with Zoraida- rice, pigeon peas, pork. It was good as well, I guess I am getting used to all kinds of food. The Barberenas made us brunch on Saturday and it was amazing. Omelets that were basically professionally made ;). I love that family, I am close with them. They have a 16 year old named Karol who I love. They are all just awesome. Brother Barberena always comments and says I haven't been out for only 2 months, but that I seem like I've been a missionary for forever. Makes me feel good :)

I have a great ward with a great bishop. The mission has helped me tremendously with my personal study. I get so much more out of the scriptures now and just love reading talks. I know that as we read our scriptures everyday and pray everyday, our lives will be happier and have more peace. 

Have a great Easter, remember the Savior.

Love, Sister Morgan

I love swings! Such a spring time thing to do! :-)

Monday, March 23, 2015

2 Months!


I survived transfers! I am still in Town N Country area with my trainer. I love it here. I know the Lord sent me to the Tampa mission, just so I can serve here, or at least it feels like it. I know most of the members in the ward now and they are so great. Want to help with missionary work. We try to get a member to our lessons but it doesn't always work out. People need to have friends in the church and feel accepted or they will not come. Makes sense. 

This week was strange. On Tuesday we had three appointments which is really good! I got to teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ three times! But then the rest of the week was sad. Every single appointment dropped. And Susana isn't getting baptized anymore :( She doesn't want to give up coffee right now and there is a lot of temptation around her. We are still teaching her though!

Hey mom- can you send me that Ministerial certificate thing? Its really small and I sent it home from the MTC but I guess I need it to show people that I am a missionary or bad things could happen. Its signed by the prophet... tell me if you know what I am talking about please. :) And could you email me a picture of Kenai as a puppy and adult? Everyone here loves dogs and wants to see a picture of her. Thanks!

Yesterday was hard. Grace passed away- I think I talked about her. She had cancer and dementia and we were seeing her daughter Mary who isn't a member. She is so strong and is basically a dry Mormon. 

The ward picnic was on Saturday and it was great, I'll send pictures. We were at a park right on the bay, it was beautiful! I am so grateful to be in Florida :)

My challenge for everyone this week is to be more grateful. I have had many reminders from people and the scriptures this week of how important it is to have gratitude. I know it will make you more happy. We are given so much from God. Look outside and see the beauty of the Earth. Be grateful for your home, your family and friends, the scriptures, but most important is prayer. Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to talk to him. He has given us the gift of prayer, to help us know we are not alone. I love him for that. 

Alma 26 is officially my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. Read it! :)
Trust in God, and remember how much he has given you.

Sister Morgan

Here are the photos sorry! 
Pic 1- my fav sisters! Sis Brown, Day, Vanderhoff, Me!
pic 2- us after exercising at 6am...
pic 3- the bay
pic 4- me 

 Pic 1- my fav sisters! Sis Brown, Day, Vanderhoff, Me!

 Pic 2- us after exercising at 6am...

 Pic 3- the bay

Pic 4- me!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

First Transfer!

Hello everyone,

Guess what? Yep, this Thursday is transfers. I am staying obviously because I am still training, thank goodness! I love my area, Town N Country. It is pretty safe and the Tampa 4th Ward is awesome! My companion thinks that I am going to take over the area along with a greenie that comes in this week who is being trained by Sister Day. Sister Brown (her current companion) is leaving which makes me sad. I love her, she reminds me of Ashley Williams (Keys) because she has the same great personality and makes everyone happy. :) I will miss her, don't know where she is going yet. After the mission I'll see her because she's just in Herriman. 

I will try to see Brother Jorgenson's son again, but chances are we won't unless we are near him, he's far away. But I will try! Thanks for his number.

I made tater-tot casserole about three weeks ago! Made me think of you, Mom! :) Its the best!

I've been thinking of Jenna Westover! Tell her that I said good luck and she will do great! Excited for Jackie, she is going to miss Florida though... it is beautiful! I would love to live here someday, but I'll be what they call a snowbird- only come half the year- like Aunt Margaret. She is smart! :) It is already getting so hot here.  80s and humid. I am starting to regret having half my wardrobe being long sleeves... no bueno. 

Speaking of Spanish, its EVERYWHERE!!!! All the people we are teaching or are about to teach this week speak Spanish. I literally want to beat myself up for not learning it!!!! I lived with my brother, who served in the Dominican Republic, for almost 5 months. Stupid. But that's okay, we all make mistakes (some bigger than others). Luckily, my companion has picked up a little since her mission started so she can have very basic conversation with people we meet. I only know a few words- Dios es su amoroso padre celestial- God is our loving Heavenly Father. That's as far as it goes :)

Alright, here are some highlights from this week:

-I received an orange straight off a Florida orange tree, I haven't ate it yet but I am sure it is tasty!
-"A testimony is like a toothbrush- you can use your parents, but you should really get your own." :)
-Did more service for Jessica, she loves us. We cleaned out some of her cupboards and helped her get rid of some things. She holds on to Tupperware like you do Mom, but it was good. 
-My progressing investigator, Susana, is doing awesome! She is still set to get baptized but giving up coffee is a hard one. She keeps saying that its what she grew up with in the D.R. so its hard to get rid of it, plus the rest of her family still drinks it. But we committed her to cutting her intake to half this last week and then when we see her tomorrow to drink none. I love her, she is one of my favorite people. 
-I had the idea that we need to start going through former investigators and seeing if any seeds had been planted and are ready to follow Christ and be baptized. It has been great, we have a few return appointments. God is a God of miracles and I know we will start teaching more! 
-I made two great meals this week, Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad and Russian Chicken in the crockpot! MY companion loved them. She said that the Lord put me with her to learn how to eat right! :)
-Zoraida made us some Puerto Rican food, beans and rice and chicken and it was good. Not a huge beans person but I'm up for new things. I'll take anything the people give me. 
-This week we had zone conference and stake conference. I made the commitment that I will pray and read my scriptures everyday even after my mission. They talked a lot about families as well and how important it is that we be doing this with our spouses and then children when they come. It will build a strong family with a sure foundation. I know this is true!

This mission has been so hard so far but so worth it because I am trying to change. I have found that it may be easy to give your might and strength to the Lord, but its the heart and mind that he truly wants. I am working on this, giving it all to Him because its hard but in the end, its easier and the only intelligent thing to do.

A few scriptures have stood out to me this week but I really like Mormon chapter 9. I challenge everyone to read this. It talks about miracles and that if you don't see any miracles happening in your life, its because you aren't trusting God. Believe. I also learned how it is good for us to have questions, and that this is not the same as having doubt. If you want to know the answer to a question you have to try to be closer to God, not turn away because you aren't sure about something. Read the scriptures and pray, answers will come. 

Alright, this email is long enough! Have a great week and look for opportunities to serve others and show them what you believe!

Sister Morgan

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9th 2015


I am SO excited for Maddie to get her mission call!!!! That is awesome, I am so happy for her. :) I know she is going to be a fantastic missionary. Jenna's farewell is just around the corner! Mongolia is going to be one lucky country!

Just so everyone knows and doesn't have to wonder, I love getting letters. I really do, I won't object. :)

Wow, this week has been a roller coaster, it really has. The week started off on the wrong foot, but ended up on the right one so it is all good. The mission really is a struggle of faith and trust in the Lord. I am learning more and more everyday how to rely on the Lord. He is there, waiting for me to ask for help. I just need to be humble enough to ask. 

Guess what? I have my first baptism date with an investigator set!!!!! Its Susanna, my Dominican friend! She came to church yesterday so we are moving in the right direction. I really have faith that she will continue to keep commitments and be baptized at the end of the month! :D 

Wednesday was the best day ever. I went on exchanges with Sister Chadwick who is the best person ever. She is companions with Sister Sutton and is from Idaho Falls. She leaves next month so she's a seasoned veteran. Holy cow, she is amazing. I went to her area in south Tampa, which is along the bayshore. I learned so much from her and got great advice! I have recommitted myself to being as great of a missionary as her or at least get as close as I can! :) 

Have you heard of The Fourth Missionary? It is great, I am reading it now with my companion. Really makes me want to do my best. 

I am trying to teach myself Spanish. Let the laughs begin. It basically consists of me reading a pamphlet in Spanish and trying to pronounce it. Not easy. But I am already picking up some words from other peoples' conversations so that's cool!

Had my first authentic gyro greek-a-dilla. It was sooooooooo good. I guess I like lamb. Who knew?

One scripture that has really stood out to me is D&C 24:8-

Be patient in afflictionsfor thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, am with thee, even unto the end of thdays.

The mission isn't easy. But I am learning patience- which is something I really need to learn. I feel happy though because I am changing and becoming closer to God. It is a great feeling. God is with me, I know it. Everything I am doing is because I love God. Once you put him first, everything else falls into place. He loves all of us. 

I did service for Jessica, a less active who has gone through a ton but I love her. She wanted to get your phone number so she could call and thank you for having a great daughter. haha I cleaned her garage and wrapped and packed everything into bins. I love service. I love organizing. She was pretty amazed, it was funny. But it wasn't a big deal to me, I was thankful most for being able to wear jeans. I miss jeans. :( 

Anyways, I hope everyone is having a great week. I forgot my camera cord so no pictures. I know that we need to have faith. And that our faith should lead us to action. It is true that we are saved by grace, but it is after we do ALL that we can do. Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. It is one thing to believe in something, but we need to act on what we believe. Don't leave people in the dark because you are too scared to talk to them about religion. We do not decide when people are ready to come unto Christ. We need to be open and let people know that we have faith, that we know why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going. If they ask you hard questions say "ask the missionaries!" and call the missionaries :) That is why we are here. I used to be scared of people asking me questions but now I love it. I get to share with them that God loves them and has a plan for them. Isn't that great? :) I'm rambling now.

I love everyone, hope you have a good week! Jesus Christ lives! And loves you!

Sister Morgan

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2nd 2015

Mom- in response to your email: We had one or two days that it rained very hard here but now its not. Warming up, 80s the past two days and humid. This is going to be fun... :)

Mission work is good, we finally got some investigators that I'll tell you about in a bit. My companion says you never get used to getting up in the morning so it'll be a fun 18 months. I found out that Brother Jorgensen's son is on the border of my area so we have tried to see him twice and he wasn't home. We will try one more time this month. 

Dear everyone who is reading this,

Tomorrow marks a month of me officially being in Florida, in the field! Crazy!

This last week was very interesting! By the way, I will try not to be boring and long, I know I never read the emails from missionaries that looked boring. Sorry, but its the truth. 

I'll give a run-down of this week:

You know you are in Florida if at every house you enter they offer you a water bottle. Not a glass of water or milk or juice, a water bottle. I'm glad they do though, the water here is most definitely NOT Oregon water. :(

Tuesday- I had my first official lesson (where we actually set a date and made a lesson plan) with a non-member investigator! Her name is Susanna and her mom lives with her named Mirka. They are from the Dominican Republic. You have no idea how much I am hitting myself for not learning Spanish from Brad before I left. Susanna speaks English enough but her mom doesn't. It was hard because they were trying to translate the whole time but they said they both felt the Spirit. We even sang to them because Mirka says you sing before you pray. :) 

Everyone here has me play the piano. Before every meeting at church, in Sunday School, in Relief Society, you name it. I guess that's why the Lord put me in this ward first.

Wednesday- Was great! We visited with Zoraida because she is wonderful and a less active, and we ended up seeing one of her friends and reading Alma 32 out of the Book of Mormon with her. We discussed faith and how it is like a seed. We have to keep feeding it or it dies. 

Fun story- We were at a members house and some kids broke into the house across the street and we saw it and called the cops. They came in and the kids tried to run but the cops obviously are trained in this and they caught all of them. I really wished I had some popcorn. 

Went to another house and the mom kept talking about growing up in a house with evil spirits and all the bad things that happened. Her mom gave her a Ouija board for her 12th birthday. Pretty sad. But she assured us that her house now is clean because she took some oil or something and oiled around the doors and windows....I don't know. People are strange. 

We took sister Barberena with us to see Mirka and it was great. She answered many of her and Susanna's question about the church. She asked about the temple that's in the D.R. and said she just loved the white missionaries that spoke Spanish there. You should ask Brad what areas he specifically served in because she knew a lot of missionaries. I don't know their last name or I would tell you.

Thursday- We helped a lady in our ward by doing some service for her. We cleaned out many cupboards in her kitchen and made a keep and donate pile. There were a lot of pretty china and such that she wanted to get rid of. 

Taught Susanna and Mirka. We re-introduced Susanna to the Book of Mormon because she has had the lessons once before but has forgotten most of it. She feels the spirit but she works on Sundays so she can't really commit to anything yet.

Friday- We had a zone conference with Elder Zwick who is fantastic, as I said last week. His wife and granddaughter was there this time. His daughter is married to President Eyring's son. His granddaughter has two grandpas as general authorities. Crazy. And she's going on a mission. 

We got our brand-new ipads! Wish I didn't have to pay for it but hey, I'll be able to use it for college after the mission. There are some advantages to having a strict mission- they trust you with trying out technology. 

Saturday- Zoraida made us yummy lunch. Fried chicken, mac and cheese, cheesy broccoli, mmmmmm. I got spoiled. Another time this week a lady in our ward who is a young mom and culinary arts major made us the best potato soup I have ever had. Yep, spoiled. 

Tell Damascus Ward YW thank you for the card! It made my day! :) 

Sunday- I love the members in my ward, they are seriously the best. They want to bring others unto Christ. 

We made tacos for dinner, it was nice to cook a real meal. We just never have time with only being allowed 30 mins for meals. 

We visited Mary, a non-member whose mom has cancer and dementia. We have been seeing them quite a bit the past few weeks. Mary should already be a member, she believes exactly the same things. Her daughter is at U of U and is a member. She's just waiting on her husband to be taught the lessons. He is willing, but once again only speaks Spanish and is from the D.R. :( 

That's about it. I am doing alright, I have ups and downs but I am where I am suppose to be! So many blessings come from serving a mission. I really love this gospel. I know the Book of Mormon is a true book given from God. If you read it, ponder it, and pray with a sincere and willing to change heart, God will tell you the book is true. I know it because I have done this. It will change your life. If you have already read it, continue to read it and pray. A testimony grows when you keep learning and sharing it with others. 

I love everyone! Here are a few random pictures from this week. Sorry, I don't take pictures much. Have a great week!

Love, Sister Morgan

We got an order of Books of Mormon, it was basically Christmas!

Food Zoraida made

My study area...sorry its messy

We found the prettiest front of this abandoned trailer

A canal, just looks like the Florida I know

Selfie, couldn't help it :P