Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

First, thank you all for your kind birthday wishes! It really means a lot to me and helps me feel happier when I receive that love from home. I wish I could respond to you all individually right away, but I just don't have time! I will try my best to a reply to each of you within the next several weeks!

Anyways, I'm holding up in AZ. This week has been a really good week! We are getting closer and closer to our personal, mission, and stake goals each week. It's amazing to see the Lord's hand when we consider Him in our goal setting.

It's a lot of fun getting to be in this part of Arizona! I'm beginning to feel more adjusted and used to life. I understand the geography, I'm getting to know the culture, I've picked what college I'll root for (ASU) and what high school to cheer for (Show Low HS), the weather is beautiful, and the evenings, sunsets, night skies, and storms are all wonderful. On top of that, I'm getting a lot closer with all of the missionaries in the two stakes I serve in and I'm getting better at disc golf. Today we started playing disc golf at a new course and It was so much fun. I'm excited to keep playing and I hope to play when I get home too!

Monday: We met with an investigator we haven't seen for a while and read the Book of Mormon with him and his family. It was super fun. After that we went to FHE. There was pretzel pizza and it was the best pizza I've ever had. They also had a huge telescope to look through which was super cool.

Tuesday: We didn't have any lessons fall through -- that was a miracle. We had a lesson with an investigator we have been working hard with to get to church. We met with a less-active woman and her non-member husband who are interested in learning more and coming back to church. We  met with a person we contacted in the park on Sunday, and we met with a person we've done service for. All of those we fun lessons. We also got to help paint a fence in the morning.

Wednesday: We mowed a less-active member's lawn for him. After that we had lunch and then interviews with the mission president. That was really nice to talk to him one-on-one. He hinted at what my transfer news might be, but I'll inform you all of that when they are definite (so two weeks from this Wednesday). In the evening, we had missionary night which was fun as always. It was my first time traveling out to Clay Springs (a small town 20 minutes from Show Low). I love the drives in AZ. At the end of the night, our branch president bought us Dairy Queen. That was super nice!

Thursday: We had district meeting in the morning. I showed up late because one of the zone leaders took me to get their phone and their car cleaned while the other zone leader set up the building for more interview with the mission president. We then had a great lesson with one of our investigators who will be headed back down to ASU in a few weeks. She is very interested in learning more which is great! In the evening we had to head up to Pinetop so my companion could do a baptismal interview.

Friday: It took us all day to complete, but we had a successful weekly planning session. It usually take us 3-4 hours, but we always had to do it at random times of the day because other things come up. We had three good lessons: we introduced the gospel to a women we have been doing service with for a while, we had a good lesson about keeping the Sabbath day holy with our recent converts (see Elder Nelson's talk, The Sabbath is a Delight), and a good lesson with another investigator who really enjoys the missionaries.

Highlight from Elder Nelson's address: The Sabbath is a Delight,
General Conference, April 2015

Saturday: I was with another missionary while my companion was doing exchanges. It was a great day. We went to a Pioneer Day celebration at Woodland park which was a lot of fun. I got to see my MTC companion there too which was awesome! Then we were out on bikes visiting people and were able to talk to a lot of people on the street. We got service planned for next week with a potential investigator, had a lesson with a less active member we have been wanting to see for a while and she said she would read the Book of Mormon daily, and we had a lesson with another potential investigator which went really well (when we asked him to be baptized, he didn't answer us, but he sat silently for 5-10 second then tried to change the subject, ha-ha). My favorite lesson of the day were in the evening.

Saturday Evening: We tried to visit a less active YSA, but she was in the valley. The member we were with (a really cool RM who is going to BYU and applying to teach at the MTC) wanted us to have a lesson that night, so he took us to someone he knew, but they weren't home. He suggested we just talk to people. We talked to one family through their screen door, but they weren't interested. We walked down the stair and talked to another family through their screen door. The women we were talking to was a member and her sister was with her. She said her sister had been asking her questions all day about the LDS religion, so we offered to have a lesson right then and they accepted! We did a how to being teaching lesson, then transitioned into teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. In the end, we invited her to be baptized and a set a date for her to be baptized. Coincidentally, that date is the first Saturday her LDS niece will have turned 8, so they most likely will get baptized together! In the end she gave the closing prayer and the Spirit was really strong. The missionary I was with, the member, and myself were all stoked after the lesson! Then just the missionary and I had another lesson that night with a recent convert we are trying to get to church. It was a lesson with some ups and down, but the highlight was when his girlfriend said she wanted to get baptized and wanted to be sealed in the temple! She wants to do it on her own timeline, so we just keep working with her one step at a time.

Sunday: The recent convert we saw Saturday night came to church after a lot of tugging as well as one of our investigators. She was a YSA investigator, but thought her church was at the building where our family ward met and she showed up just as our family ward sacrament meeting was about to begin, so she was still able to join us. Another investigator we have been working to get to church came to Relief Society for the first time today (her son went to Primary and wouldn't let her leave, so she actually went to primary)! At church, we were surprised that a potential investigator who declined our invitation to hear about the gospel when we go do service for him change his mind! We were told he is willing to talk with us! In the evening we had a lesson with a less-active whose baptism wasn't recorded and has to be re-baptized and we got him on date as well!

Monday: We started the day by playing disc golf, then had to get food for a zone activity, went to the zone activity, went shopping, and now I'm emailing! I found a really cool shirt for the high school I support in Show Low, but it is super expensive....I don't know if I'll end up getting it, ha-ha.

Spiritual thought: This life is meant to be a time for us to learn and be happy. I know there are trials we all face in life, but as we rely on Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His Atonement, we can work through those struggles. I'm grateful, as well, that this church is organized the same way as when Christ was on the Earth -- with prophets, apostles, and so on! It is truly a blessing in my life.

Another blessing in my life is all of YOU! I am so grateful for all each of you have taught me. All of you have taught me a variety of life lessons and I am grateful that I know you and for your friendship! I love you all and miss you all! You all are great! Stay strong! I know the church is true!
Elder Morgan

PS: The Church is still finalizing their materials for what's called "Online Proselyting" (i.e. missionaries on Facebook). It will be longer than originally planned until I'm on Facebook. That time  is still TBD.

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