Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Nothing too exciting this week, this won't be a long email. Easter was hard for me being away from family. This is my second Easter so you would think it would be easier but it's not. I love Easter as much as I love Christmas so it was hard but that's okay. 

Our ward had an Easter Egg hunt on Saturday and a little breakfast. We invited over 100 people to it but none that we invited came except for some less active members. So that was a little disappointing but we love our members here, they're great. For Easter Sunday we had a special musical number and it was "His Hands" which is just one of my favorite songs and makes me want to cry every time I hear it, so I got a little teary-eyed. :)

Of course its not Easter without dying eggs, so we colored eggs on Saturday at lunch, I only boiled 10 eggs because we definitely don't need more than that between the two of us. Then Sunday morning I surprised Sister J by hiding them while she was in the shower (just kidding, the Easter bunny hid them) and she found them all pretty fast because our apartment is spotless. (I actually love being super clean and un-cluttered now). Then I tried my cooking expertise and cooked a half ham! Yeah! It took forever to cook but I started in the morning so it could be done while we got ready and wow, it turned out great! I was super surprised. Now we have ham for the next few weeks. Yum! I'll make deviled eggs today on pday. 

We have been trying to do more member missionary work this past week. We had 3 appointments set up with members and friends or neighbors or family, it was great. That is how missionary work is suppose to be- we aren't suppose to be finding, we are suppose to be teaching!

There were many random former investigators that popped up this week, wanting to be taught again. We have been here for so long now that we haven't seen some of the people we taught in months. When life starts slowing down for people, they realize something is missing, that they want that Spirit they once felt from being taught about Jesus Christ. And that's when we come in! :)

Anyways, life is fine. Can't complain. Been busy which is soooo much better than being free. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He suffered in the garden, died on the cross, and was resurrected. He lives today and because He lives, we can be resurrected too and live with our families for eternity. I thought I knew the Gospel before I went on a mission, but I don't think I truly knew what I knew if that makes sense. I have a much better understanding now and will be able to really teach my future family how to live like Jesus Christ and to follow Him. 

I love you all,

Sister Morgan

P.S. Letters and emails would be appreciated...they are slim and far in between these days :) 

Getting ready to dye the eggs...

The dye process...

10 Easter eggs complete!
 Happy Easter to all!

 Our Easter ham I baked -- Yummmmm.....!

 My Easter basket in the sun!

Lookin' good Sister! :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

14 Months!


I can't believe it once again! I hit another month mark. This morning during personal studies I had the thought to pull out my patriarchal blessing and read it (its a special blessing given from God straight to you that is very personal and helps you know what blessings you'll receive if you remain faithful). Well, turns out I received my blessing three years ago today. Wow. So much has happened since then. Its crazy. I had no clue that I would be going on a mission three years ago but it just shows that God has a perfect plan for each of us. 

Highlights of the week:

Tuesday morning I was a wreck. I was so nervous to be training at district meeting for the first time as an STL but it worked out. We even ran out of time to do everything we wanted to. It gave me confidence that I can do this and that God qualifies who He calls. 

On Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Palm Harbor sisters. It was a lot of fun! I always learn so much from exchanges, they're the best! 

Thursday: Happy St. Patrick's Day! We have a new investigator named Jennifer who is pretty awesome. She read the Restoration pamphlet and started the B of M before we saw her next. She also researched online (which can be scary) but didn't seem to mind. We asked her to be baptized and she set it as a goal. We plan to see her multiple times this next week and continue to teach her about Jesus Christ and baptism. 

On Friday we had the picnic I sent pics of. Vilma and Katherine are less-actives / pretty recent converts that we are teaching and of course, Peggy and Sister Smith (I don't have a picture of her). It was a nice idea. We ate at Sawgrass Park. That night we tracted and got frozen yogurt at Menchies with a YW. 

Saturday felt like a wasted day. A storm came in in the morning and most of the day was drizzle. We tried finding lost members and tracting and store contacting. Not the most productive. I think I will have a hard time when I come home not being busy all the time. Because if there is any down time during the day, I feel anxious and impatient. I hope I can find ways to be really busy. But anyways, we did more finding in the evening and then had a lesson with Vilma. 

Sundays are the best. We were able to receive some referrals from members of friends they have who would be interested in learning more about the church. I hope this next week is busy and full of teaching :)

Sad because the Smiths are finishing their mission soon and going back to Rigby, ID. I will miss them terribly, they are like family! But I'll see them again when I go back to BYU-I. 

Anyways, sorry nothing too exciting this week. No plans for Easter yet...not sure if we will. But thats okay! General Conference is right after that and we are so excited! I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I laugh when people say Mormons aren't Christian... our religion is centered around Him! Every day I testify that His church has been re-established on earth today. That He lives and loves us. Because of Him we can be saved from our sins. He is the only way back to our Heavenly Father and for our families to be eternal. Through Jesus Christ, I have found new life! I challenge everyone to watch the new Easter video. Its non-denominational and only two minutes long. #hallelujah or


Sister Morgan 
 Our exchange with Sisters Hunt and Minson

Random -- 
I saw my name! 

Friday Picnic--
 Vilma and I

 Peggy and I

 Sister J and I

Katherine and I 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Surprise Surprise!

Hello everyone,

Why is 'surprise surprise' my title you ask? 

Halfway through the week, and halfway through the transfer, the AP's (assistants to the President) called us and told us we are the new STL's over the St. Pete zone!!!!!! (Sister Training Leaders) If you don't know what that is, I'll try to explain it.

How the mission works: We have a President in charge, and he has two missionary assistants to help him. The mission is split into zones, or big areas, that usually covers a stake. A stake is the combination of multiple wards (or congregations of people) geographically. There are two zone leaders placed over each zone (or stake) and then the zone is split into districts, and there is a district leader. A sister training leader in the equivalent of a zone leader. We are in charge of all the sisters in the zone, the zone leader is in charge of the elders. So its a pretty hefty calling. We go on exchanges with the sisters, train at meetings, and set a perfect example of exact obedience. I am excited for this opportunity to serve those around me and nervous too to have such an important calling. But I am glad that I am with Sister Judkins because we work well together. 

That's the highlight of the week. We've been very busy with that and working with the other leaders. We are going on an exchange this week with Palm Harbor. 

We don't have any solid investigators right now, just been finding. Our date set, Gabby, was suppose to do the stop smoking program this week but never showed up. It is a program that is 100% guaranteed to work if you follow the steps with exactness. If you are interested or know someone who needs or wants to stop smoking but haven't been able to stop successfully in the past, refer them to the missionaries. We have a whole program for it and the only 'church-y' thing you have to do is pray. Don't even have to take the lessons. Very non-threatening ;). It works. 

We finished our water color paintings last Mon, if I find pics I'll send them. 

We've been going to some baseball games with an investigator. She is very catholic and doesn't want to change but she is a great missionary- introduces us to the other parents and friends at her sons' baseball games. Its fun. I want my boys to play t-ball and little league someday. 

This week had some hard times. Stephanie has officially told us that she is too busy (which she is) for church. She doesn't have her priorities very straight. But in her defense, church is something new that wasn't there before but because of that, it was the easiest option in her mind to take out. We are very sad. But I know she will come back someday because her feelings were real and we knew she was ready at the time. She just has some weeds she needs to dig out around her. We are hopefully still going to have a lesson with her tomorrow

On Friday our "old" STL's came and did an exchange with us. They taught us what our responsibilities as STLs are (Sis Judkins and I both have never been and STL before) and helped us know what to do on exchanges. Then we separated- Sis J went with Sis Huber, and I went with Sis Sackley. We both stayed in our area but did different finding activities and lessons. We went to find less actives, see if they still live there, and see why they stopped coming to church. I love Sis Sackley, she is a great example to me. We sat in the car for a few minutes talking about how we go home at the same time and how soon it really is. She's been in the same area for almost a year, which is crazy. She might be there the rest of her mission too. 

We had Friday fun night with the young women (see pics) and it was a good time. Our old STLs thought it was a great idea to get the youth pumped for missionary work. So did we :)

Oh, and I learned how to say how are you in Lau. Sa-by-dee. There you go :)

Love you all, 

Sister Morgan
 Watercolor paintings

 Kiana and Pua

Cary and her two boys. We have been going to their baseball games and they are the cutest things. They are a Catholic family who are just full of love :)

 Haritha and Lucki, she's a less-active we teach from India! 
She made us Indian food this week....yep. Curry and rice, spicy!

Friday fun night with the young women!
We went to Dairy Inn and .....    
.....chalked the walk!  

 A member brought us food! Now we don't have to shop for another week :)
 Saw 'MORGAN' on a truck

 An Oregon license plate! I was on an exchange with Sister Sackley that day 
and she's from Beaverton so we both freaked out!
These pictures are mostly for dad.
Dad, this is the condo you are going to retire to, the car you'll have, and the view. 
Right by the water. 

Sis J and I with the new 'Follow Him' Easter video pass along cards

Monday, March 7, 2016

Quick Week!

Hello everybody,

This week went by super fast and I don't even remember what I did this week! Good thing I have my handy dandy journal with me to remind me...

My advice for this week: Eat breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day!

I sent a few pictures and videos this week and that basically sums up the week. We tried different finding activities this week so we aren't just tracting because that's no fun and not the most productive during the day. 

Monday:  For p-day, we went to Sister Gormans again but this time we painted with water colors instead of oils. Well, actually, we didn't get to the paint yet we just used the color pencils first. Sis J and I got really excited about this so afterwards we both picked out pics of a temple (I did Portland of course) and we are starting to draw and color that! I really like art, I never knew that before. 

That night all our lessons cancelled and we had a young woman out with us, Pua, so we tried a few different people and ended the night with a Sonic shake and tater tots. 

Tuesday: We had a lesson with Stephanie finally. We haven't been able to teach her anything since her baptism because she is too busy or cancels. She is keeping all her commitments except coming to church and mutual so everyone at church thinks that we lost her :( She just got a job too on top of it! It has been hard on Sis J and I but we have faith that she will learn how to make church her first priority. 

Wednesday: Busy day. Don't really remember it except that we had a few lessons, Book of Mormon class, and Young Woman's. 

Thursday: We finished Peggy's lessons so we watched the first half of the Joseph Smith movie. I love her so much, she's such a trooper. 

That night we went to an investigator's son's little league baseball game! It was the cutest thing to see little 5 and 6 year olds running around, trying the get the ball. It was a great finding activity because we talked with other moms there. We are going to her other sons baseball game tonight. 

Friday: We had a day full of lessons and all were cancelled...the biggest test for us this transfer is dealing with flaky people. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but one thing I think I am good at is being dependable. You can count on me being somewhere if I committed to it. Here, the people are not like that. Its sad. So we ended up going to a few different parks, Woodlawn, Sawgrass, Cresent Lake, and another one I don't remember. We chalked the walk that night after going to the Dairy Inn for Sister Judkin's year mark celebration (and Sister Vanderhoff's birthday. :)). 

Saturday: We did service for an investigator, cleaning her garage. She was sick and didn't want us to come but we showed up anyways and told her to sleep while we organized things for her. She was hesitant at first but sent us a beautiful text afterwards thanking us for our kindness and that no one has ever done that for her before. It was really sweet and we felt so good. I know service is the key to finding happiness. 

We had dinner with a less active and she made us yummy chicken and rice, Puerto Rican style. And homemade cheesecake! 

Then we tracted the rest of the night and found some promising people. 

Sunday: Church. Then we street contacted by the bay and there were a ton of people! It was perfect weather so many people were laying out on the beach and walking and sitting on benches. It was a little overwhelming because my mindset is talk to everyone but there were so many people that we couldn't do that. We were able to show the old Easter video though. The new one #hallelujah comes out March 13th, mark your calendars!!!! 

Then we went out with Sister de Jong, one of our favorite people, and visited someone in the hospital. 

That's my week! I made another long one for my mama, hope you like it! Love you all, and know that I know this Gospel is true! I know it, I live it, I love it!

Love, Sister Morgan

Oh, and here are some pictures that I forgot to send last week. It was a beautiful day. I can't believe we didn't know this place existed until a little over a month ago! 
North Shore Park

There is a sting ray in this last pic if you can't see it....

Beautiful day at North Shore Park!