Monday, June 29, 2015

Interesting Week

Dear family,

This week has been good.

The highlight of this week was interviews with President. Honestly, I was a little nervous just because President Cusick is pretty intimidating and my last interview wasn't the best thing ever. Plus, my companion Sister Packer is a favorite of his (though she denies it) so she went then it was my turn. I just tried to be myself and ask a few questions (if you don't have questions he just ends the interview) and it was a good interview. He said that God is proud of me, that I am a beautiful daughter of God, and joked about the picture I sent in with my papers. We got talking about family and I got emotional ( I'm not homesick, don't worry, but I miss my family and that I can't be there to help out) and then I was also nervous. I know that man has the spirit and especially the spirit of discernment. But as I was sitting there he pulls out his phone and asks if my dads name is Bryan and I said yes and he starts calling dad! He didn't answer (President says he probably thinks he's a salesman) which is funny because dad is a salesman and gives it to me to leave a message. Then dad called back! President told me to go to the chapel and talk to him alone. I hope that was a great late Fathers Day for dad! I got to talk to him like 10 mins! I love you, Dad! Afterwards he pulled me back in and told me I was a good missionary. I guess he doesn't do that with many people.

Pretty good week- we set three baptism dates! That's more than my whole mission! Here they are:

Gabby- she is 13 and has a desire to come closer to God. She came to church on Sunday! 

Aaron and Erica- I love them, they are so funny. They are from Atlanta and the ward is getting involved with them so that's good. They aren't married and she is pregnant, but they just loved the Plan of Salvation! It makes so much sense. (If you don't know what that is, it is God's plan for the happiness of his children, see 

Dorita Wyman- She is an old lady who is from Spain, very Catholic, but promised her husband before he died that she would be baptized and sealed to him so we have been working on her.

I have a weird challenge for those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: read Handbook 2, Chapter 5 - Hastening the Work of Salvation. It is important for us as members to help the missionaries in their work by finding people for them to teach, but also to help those in your area or family to come to church and receive all the blessings from being a faithful member of God's church. Invite everyone to church events. 

I am so grateful for the gospel. It is hard being a missionary. Not going to sugar-coat it. I have had a difficult week but its been full of tender mercies from the Lord. I am not the most eloquent speaker, not the best teacher, but I am good at being relate-able, a real person. I like writing, and I truly care about others and their happiness. So, no, talking to strangers isn't my strong point, it is my companion's. But that's okay. I am just trying to get a little bit better at it everyday. I love Florida, it is super hot, but it is beautiful. Hope everyone has a great week!

Sister Morgan

P.S. Sorry, still haven't taken any pictures....
P.P.S. Tampa is #1 Sweatiest City in the U.S.A. Fun fun! :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day and Happy 5 Months on Mission!


Happy Father's Day, dad! I am glad to have you in my life.

Yes, I have been out 5 months! Not sure if its flown by fast or not, I'll check next month. :)

This week our area exploded! Sister Packer and I got to work, talked to everyone we saw, and were exactly obedient. The Lord definitely blessed us. We have been knocking 40 doors a day, and even 80 one day. The weather has been 91, but "feels like 100" all week. Its been hard, I've wanted to just die just about everyday but we kept working. We had 17 lessons!!!!!!!!!! That's like more than I've had in like half my mission combined, haha. And we got 8 new investigators. I am so excited, we are definitely getting to work. 

Sister Packer is so different than Sister Vanderhoff, almost opposites so its been hard to adjust. But its been a good change for Tampa 4, we just need to get the ward more missionary-minded again. Sister Mudge has Sister Loveridge now who is from Orem, Utah and is a fantastic missionary. She only has this transfer and next transfer before she goes home so she is on fire. We are excited for our area. 

The Lord has been trusting us more I believe because we've been working hard. I have seen many miracles happening daily. We are at the right place, at the right time. There's no such thing as coincidences. 

President Cusick and Sister Cusick came to my ward yesterday- that was a little nerve-racking but it was good to see them. President just has a funny personality, he is so sarcastic. We have interviews on Wednesday. 

I am grateful for my ward mission leader, Brother Dana. He is amazing. He actually reminds me of Brad just by his personality and the way he thinks. But anyways, he is good at finding members for us to take to lessons or going himself. Its awesome. 

I am grateful to being in Christ's original church and to have the power of the priesthood- the power to act in God's name- in my life. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and I without a doubt know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet today. The only way to know this is to ponder, read the Book of Mormon, and to pray and ask Heavenly Father. I have been relying on Him more this week than ever and I am grateful to be serving His children here on Earth. I challenge everyone to find ways to serve those around you this week, even if it is just a smile or giving a compliment. We should always be striving to show love and charity towards one another. 


Sister Morgan

P.S. Shout out to my bestie, Tesa Williams for receiving her mission call to New York, New York South Spanish speaking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So proud of you, Girl! Love you!

Monday, June 15, 2015

I survived transfers!

Hello everyone,

This week I got a new companion, Sister Packer! She is from Gilbert, Arizona and has been out 9 months. She was previously in St. Petersburg. She is super good at street contacting so I am learning a lot from her. Its been a change, but I know the Lord puts different people in our lives so we can learn and grow closer to him.

Because she is so good at talking to people, we have taught more lessons and have many potential investigators. She got here and we were literally teaching like one person because we had dropped everyone who wasn't progressing- stopped keeping commitments that would help them come unto Christ. We are trying to find those who have been prepared by the Lord to be baptized. We have had a district commitment of knocking at least 30 doors a day. Not super fun in the heat and humidity, for about 9 or 10 hours a day, but we are being obedient and know we will be blessed for it. 

We had a crazy experience with a man named Rudy. He has been in the gym with us when we exercise and he wanted to meet with us so we met him by the pool. Well, turns out he is 7th-day Adventist and just wanted to convert us. He kept quoting things, getting louder when we tried to talk, threw pamphlets at us and books and videos, you get the picture. It was not a fun first lesson for Sister Packer in Tampa 4. Needless to say, he hasn't been at the gym since we told him we weren't interested. We are here to teach, not be talked at.

I have struggled this week to be honest. I think of Ether 12:27 constantly. I have been faced head on with my weaknesses and pray to overcome them. It will get better over time, I know. We all wish that we could be prefect right now, change everything we don't like about ourselves. But if we did that, we wouldn't be able to learn. Trials are given for us to become stronger and choose the good over the bad, to grow closer to Christ or farther away. 

Something I have been able to reflect on the past few weeks is the Sabbath Day. We are to keep the Sabbath Day holy, as commanded by God. Being out here has made me realize that I need to be better at this. It is a day to spend with family, to enjoy each others' time and build relationships. Its also a good time to do family history or indexing, praying, studying the scriptures, and listening to church music. Its a day of reflection on where you are at in life and asking yourself if what you are doing is influencing others to do good or bad. Don't save all your shopping for Sunday, and don't just sleep Sunday away either. Think of Heavenly Father and your Savior, Jesus Christ. Give that day to them. 

Sounds like some exciting things have been happening at home. I am proud of my friend Crystal Hokanson for serving an honorable full-time mission in Tokyo South, who is home now. I also am proud of my friend Tesa Williams, for submitting her papers to go on a mission- she will be a fantastic missionary. I wish everyone a good week and enjoy your air conditioning. :)


Sister Morgan

Bye companion! Saying goodbye to Sister Vanderhoff, my 1st companion and my trainer! I will miss her!

Treats to share!

Arianna and us!

 My new companion from Gilbert, AZ, Sister Packer!

Sister Packer and I our 1st day together! She is my second companion.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Another Transfer Week


This was the longest week ever. But it was good. 

Mon- Our mission summer Christmas party!!!!! It was so fun, I got to play on the beach, eat good food, and talk with a lot of missionaries. It was so nice. 

Tues- We were tracting (which is all we do now) and we came across a man who was interested. He lives in Orlando so we won't teach him but we gave him a lesson on the Book of Mormon and he wanted to read it. It was a great experience. 

Wed- MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! Sister Vanderhoff was awesome, she cooked me breakfast which was bacon. Yeah, she's great. We went into a Hispanic store called El Loco and got Mamitas (which are like otter pops/popsicles/creamy goodness. I had passion fruit, yum! For dessert, she made me cheesecake so yes, I am spoiled. We had a few appointments that day as well. A great birthday, I wasn't sick and I didn't have a choir concert (like I have had almost every year on my bday). 

Thurs- Tracted. Got a package from my parents (I love them!) 

Fri- We had a lesson with some recent convert's brother and his family. It went well, I am not the most comfortable still with teaching but its getting better. 

Sat- A painful day, no luck and my feet were pretty beat up so I had to wrap them. They are getting better.

Sun- Great Sabbath Day. Btw, if anyone can give me advice on how to prove that the Sabbath is on Sundays and not Saturdays, that would be good. An investigator wants to have biblical proof. 

I am going to send a ton of photos, so get ready! 

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth today and that Joseph Smith was a prophet who God called to restore it. If you need to know he was a prophet, pray about it and read the Book of Mormon! It is amazing! I read Mosiah 2 for the second time this week and it has great advice about how to find peace and joy, as well as how to make your family more united. I challenge everyone to read it. :)

Love you all, 
Sister Morgan

 We had exchanges over a week ago and Sister Sackley came to our area

Our mission summer Christmas party!!!

These are pictures from Zoraida's phone (a less active sister whom I teach and love). Take a look at the birthday cake she made for me!

Sister Zoraida

Mary and I, one of my (not going to lie) fav investigators

Beautiful Florida sky

Transfer week brings change. I am staying, but Sister Vanderhoff is getting transferred. She has been a wonderful trainer, companion and friend! 

Love you all, 
Sister Morgan

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Happy Birthday on your real birthday! WOW! Big 20 now! Good bye teens! 
You may not see this until next Monday but want you to know I am thinking birthday thoughts on your real birthday!:)

Happy Birthday, Kimberly !!!!!!! 
I love you and am glad that I am your MOM!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hurricane season starts today!

Dear family,

The header says it all.

We have had so many storms the past week. Yesterday for relief society/priesthood combined we just talked about getting emergency kits together. Luckily, I have one that will last me a few days that I've been accumulating. But I still am scared of thunder, and now I hear it almost every day :(

Sorry, I forgot my camera cord so no pics again!

I am excited because today we are having a summer Christmas party at the beach in St. Petersburg with all the missionaries from the whole mission! Should be fun if a storm doesn't come. Its called Fort Desoto beach, look it up because its on an island and is pretty surrounded by water, I am so lucky! :)


We trying to help a lady in our ward clean up her apartment a bit for inspections but...after an hour of cleaning one corner it didn't look like we did much. She is technically categorized as a hoarder. But I have found that I love cleaning and organizing so it was still fun. 

Just so you know, the handbook 2, Administering to the Church, basically answers any question you have. 

Brother Scribner is doing great, he has committed to being baptized but we are setting a date with him on Tuesday. He really just needs to come to church and stop drinking coffee. He feels the spirit though and is gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Exciting!

I almost died. Not joking this time. We were crossing Hillsborough on our bikes when it was our turn and this huge like Ford truck was turning left and usually they slow down and wait for us (because we have the right away) and I was already crossing but no, it sped up!!!! By the grace of God, it barely missed me and it didn't even slow down when it saw that it almost killed a biker. It was scary. I saw my life flash before my eyes. Sister Vanderhoff saw my life flash before her eyes, luckily she was far enough behind me that it didn't almost hit her too. Sorry mom, I usually am safe but Tampa has crazy drivers. 

We had one of our sister training leaders come with us on Friday to our appointments. It was Sister Sackley, she came out with me from the MTC but was in the other district. It was good, I learned a lot from her, she's the one from Beaverton. My other stl is sister Tawzer, also from Beaverton but just grew up a little there. Trio's are hard though, we scared some potential investigators. 

That's about it! My birthday is in two days, the big 20! I will be in Florida my whole 20th year of life! :) 

Love you all, I know the Book of Mormon is true and if you don't then go read it. :)

Sister Morgan