Thursday, May 28, 2015

27 May 2015

Hello all!

New Companions
Elder Anderson & Elder Morgan
I am currently in Arizona! It is beautiful here! It's just like northern VA expect replace the grass with dirt, trees with cacti, and flatten everything. It is SOOOOOOOO -- not hot at all (at least where I am). It still hasn't sunk in that this is my life for two years. The area I'm currently serving in is Show Low, AZ. It is literally 6300 feet altitude, on top of a mountain. The temperature is wonderful. It isn't too hot and there is a nice breeze. At night I end up having to wear a jacket or a sweater! I was in the valley (Scottsdale) for the first day and a half and it is hot down there, but not too bad....yet! 

The wards I'm serving in are the County Club Manner Ward and the White Mountain YSA Branch. My trainer's name is Elder Anderson, he is a great guy. My area is three hours away from the mission home. We are living in a studio at a member's house. It is very nice. Also, I might get to go on trek with this stake! I taught a lesson yesterday to a part member family. It was on repentance from the "Gospel Principles Manual." It was fun and went very well!

We do have iPads in our mission. They just arrived this past Thursday, before I did, so everyone is new on them. They're great! They have interactive pamphlets which are awesome. Incorporating technology in the mission is done in three phases, each one lasting about 2-3 weeks. We are in phase one: learning how to use the iPad and use it safely. The next phase will be using it to manage missionary logistics (Area Book and Daily Planner apps). The final phase will be using it with social media (Facebook). That means that I'll be on Facebook by the end of August! Also, because I have an iPad, I can check my email at any time! I just can't respond until my Preparation Days. Please send me email! They brighten my day!
VA Friends, Elder Carraway, from the
McLean, VA Stake with Elder Morgan
About the MTC: it was a great experience. I met great people and had great teachers. I learned a lot and grew spiritually. The things I learned the most about were selflessness, charity, faith, patience, and recognizing the Spirit. I'm excited to continue my study of the gospel and how to become a more Christ-like teacher and leader.
I'm sorry this email is shorter. I don't have many specific events or scriptures to share off the top of my head. I hope you all know that I love you and that I am missing you dearly. Thank you for all the support!
Elder Morgan

(Pictures: A mountain overlook on the three hour drive somewhere between Scottsdale and Show Low, AZ.)

FUN note about Show Low Arizona:

According to legend, the city's unusual name resulted from a marathon poker game between Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark. The two men decided there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement. The two men agreed to let a game of cards decide who was to move. According to the tale, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is." The stakes were a 100,000-acre (400 km2) ranch. Show Low's main street is named 
                                                        "Deuce of Clubs" in remembrance.

LDS Vocabulary:
Area I'm SERVING in... means the area I'm working in. 
Missionaries do not get paid for their labors hence they are serving.

Both are local congregations of the LDS church. A ward is the larger of the two types of local congregations. A ward is presided over by a bishop, who is the equivalent of a pastor in many other Christian denominations. A branch president presides over a smaller congregation and plays the same role. Missionaries are always assigned to work with at least one ward and/or branch, which are laid out geographically.

Young single adult (In many locations in the USA and in some other countries, the church establishes wards/branches for young single adults, where they can meet, mingle, and worship together. Elder Morgan's siblings attend young single adult wards in Utah and Virginia.)

The early members of the LDS church pulled wagons, and pushed handcarts across the mid-western United States and over the Rocky Mountains to establish the church in the Salt Lake Valley. On occasion, LDS youth gather for a summer youth conference, called Trek, and recreate this experience. At the conference the youth learn about their pioneer heritage and honor those pioneers who have gone before them. Today's youth spend three or four days walking many miles, eating, and living as early pioneers, pushing handcarts as they go. 

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