Tuesday, April 10, 2018

4/9/18... The Gladys Knight show and splits with the one and only Elder Montandon!

Picture from the Gladys Knight show!
Elder Zesiger, Withers, Dana, Montandon, and Arias and Osborne. The whole district.
The girls are Haley, a recent convert, Ali, who is getting baptized, and Destany.

This week has definitely been eventful! We had the Gladys Knight show this Saturday. So, Gladys goes around and does these shows in chapels.  It's a good way to feel the spirit while listening to some gospel music while she shares her testimony of the restored gospel. It was incredible. The choir was so good. They sang some really good songs that had everyone shouting and clapping which most of y'all know is not like our normal hymns at church! We went to the 4 pm show and the 7:30pm show because we had some people from Shelby come to both. It was so lit tho.  haha. There were some young kids in the choir as well who sang and it blew my mind how good they were. One kid played the ukulele and sang The Lord is my Light.  It was way good--I think it inspired me to bare down and learn how to play the ukulele when I get home.  Before my mission, every time I picked it up, I got frustrated. haha. It was some good music though and so fun-- was almost like we got to go to a concert haha. But on the other hand, she bore a super powerful testimony of the Savior and the gospel. Her husband spoke too and he was hilarious, but he also bore a really powerful testimony of his conversion and the restored gospel! I think we got 6 or 7 referrals from it too, so we are stoked to go follow up with the people.

Also, this week, I got to go on exchanges with the one and only Elder Montandon!! It was super fun being with him again.  He has grown a lot since last time we were companions. It's also been almost a year and a half! We had a really good time. Oh… and idk if I told y'all...he got switched to a Spanish elder! Probably because his trainer didn't do well enough teaching him in English ;)  We taught a lesson in Spanish and I kind of just sat there and talked English to the kids every couple minutes. Sometimes when I was with Elder Johnsen, I would get pretty sleepy in those Spanish lessons lol. Then we taught a girl named Allie at their bishop's house.  It was a really powerful lesson.  She's going to get baptized at the end of this month and she's good friends with Destany and Haley. It's pretty incredible the story that those 3 girls have. Destany had to overcome a lot of opposition and she was able to help Haley overcome her opposition before joining the church now they both are able to help Allie who is getting a lot of opposition as well. The Lord has incredible timing, and it's a blessing to get to witness His hand in this work. 

Monday, we had a really good lesson with a lady named Toni. We went over and she opened up to us a little bit and she talked about how she had a spirit in her house that was kind of tormenting her. We helped her with that and then had a lesson. I'm so grateful that I get to teach people about the restoration and how it's blessed my life. 

Right now, we are playing some basketball for pday and we went and threw earlier. We've been going out in the mornings to throw sometimes which has been a lot of fun. 

Love y'all!
Love you mom!
Saw Amanda again!
This sister said she knows y'all!
She was in the YSA ward in Kennewick or something!
Small world!

Qs

When are transfers?  
They are this week! We find out tomorrow night probably about what's going down. I have no idea what's going to happen tho. It's probably a 50/50 of I stay or if I go. 
Do you need anything??  
I'm pretty good right now thanks!
Have you heard anymore from your coach?  
Ya he sent an email out last week about classes and schedules, pretty much the exact same thing that you got. 
WHAT CLASSES DO YOU WANT TO TAKE??
I really don't know. I need you to send me the options. I know I want to try and take some business and leadership classes.
I am going to call that school counselor, Paul-something?  and get you registered...
Ok thank you, could you send me the options this week so I can think on it a bit. 


Monday, April 2, 2018

4/2/18... General Conference was incredible!

Dinner after Haley's baptism
I can't believe how fast the weeks are going by! It is crazy! I guess a lot happened this week! 
General Conference was incredible! I can't wait for the day when there will be a temple in Charlotte!

I had a few opportunities this week where we were asked to give priesthood blessings. One we got called to go give a lady who wasn't a member a blessing in the hospital and we had a member come with us. She was super nice she just wanted to get out of the hospital so bad.  I could just see it was exactly like what Grandpa Morgan was probably doing! Bless his heart! She didn't want want us to give her a blessing, but we were able to pray with her. We had a similar experience later in the week with a guy named Tim, who was in the hospital all week from a  seizure. We felt prompted to ask if he would like a blessing, he said no, but we were also able to pray with him. I'm grateful for the priesthood to be able to at least offer service and help from our Heavenly Father. The experiences I've had on my mission with the priesthood have strengthened my faith in the Savior so much.  It's made me want to be a better person to try my best to be worthy of such a great blessing. 

We had a zone conference on Friday.  We drove down to Gastonia. It was really good, there were some powerful talks given by the assistants and President and Sister Alexander.  They all talked about families, and the ministering of angels. I've learned a lot more about the ministering of angels on my mission, and they are just as involved in this work as we are. That is something we can always have comfort in, angels will be round about us as we submit our will to the Lord's.  

We also got prepared for the Gladys Knight event and we learned how to approach people when they order a free gift bag and stuff.  Then we got to watch a few of her concert songs so we could know what to expect! It was pretty funny watching the Pipps... haha.  I would so dress up as the Pipps for a talent show.  They had some mean moves!  

That night we got to go to Haley's baptism who is in Gastonia.  She is Destany's age and Destany had been fellowshipping her and helped her a lot.  We went down there and got some dinner with them afterwards at Showmars. 

Obviously for those that watched General Conference... it was kind boggling! So many things got announced. The Spirit was strong and testified of the true and living church that continues to make adjustments to help us become better people and prepare the way for the Savior. The whole time I was impressed by the urgency to hasten the work that the brethren of the 12 have! It's incredible! My favorite talk was by Elder Durrant on Saturday. The importance of teaching in the home. It stuck out to me a lot, I'm grateful to have parents that taught me and were great examples. 

For Pday, we just got done playing gatorball, which y'all would love it's a little like solleyball! Except no volleyball. You play on a soccer field and you can kick it or throw it in the goal.  You can catch it in the air and run with it. It was pretty intense, there's a lot of fun elders in this zone, so it got heated! Now we are about to play some b ball @ the church. 

Love y'all, 
Love you mom, 
Elder Morgan 
Pic of the fresh cut today

Qs 
Do you need anything?
I'm doing great! I'm trying to budget better and not ask for money so that I can be better at budgeting when I get home :) 
How is the pilot program going?
It's great
Are you still not tracting at all? Or how are you finding?
Well we don't call it tracting--they don't like that word, but we do knock on quite a bit of doors still. We go around people that we know or want to see and we find through members where we help them share the gospel, which is most effective right now. We'll have a lot of opportunities after the Gladys Knight event too 
Conner Olsens mission just got on Facebook and got smart phones too!
The main things is Facebook Messenger and being able to contact people over Facebook.  Our mission doesn't do much with the actual Facebook part right now. But I heard some do a lot more than us so he could be using it a lot or just a little. 
How is Elder Osbourne?
He is doing a lot better-- I'm impressed with how well he's stepped it up--Heavenly Father definitely is aware of what's happening. 


Monday, February 5, 2018

2/5/18... Shelby is pretty great... and Destany is super stoked to get baptized!

Yooopppp 

A lot happened this week! 

Tuesday a member needed our help doing a bunch of stuff so we got to go split a bunch of wood and things. It was fun doing that stuff, everyone out here has a good amount of land and usually some chickens and other livestock. I think I want some chickens one day, it'd be so fun having chickens! 

On Wednesdays we usually have coordination with our ward mission leader and it's also mutual for the youth.  Destany comes to the youth night's, so we had her try on her baptismal suit and she was showing it off to everyone.  She is super stoked to get baptized. Unfortunately she has been getting a lot of people resisting her getting baptized, that have a lot of false information about the church. Satan tries so hard especially out here in the south to spread false information. But she is taking it really well, and staying strong. It would be pretty hard having family not support you.  I think it was Amulek who had to give up all his money and friends and family because he knew it was more important to follow Heavenly Father. 

Saturday.....this is crazy! So remember the family that walked into church last Sunday?  The mom just came from the Philippines, I told her one of my really good friends is in the Philippines right now.  She told me told me she is in the Sevilla area and I realized he is there right now! So she was so stoked to see that he was in her area. It was so crazy! We had dinner with them and it was a really good time. We taught the restoration and he loved it. He doesn't have much of a religious background so it was a lot different teaching and helping him understand, because we break it down a lot more. Then we also taught them Sunday, we broke down the Godhead, and talked about prayer. The wife wants us to teach all the lessons like right off the bat, but there is no way he will understand all of it if we firehose him. So we are slowing it down. But he is progressing well right now!

The weather called for ice on Sunday so church got cancelled and then it just rained and it wasn't even icy, so we had no church unfortunately which was a bummer. You recognize a difference when you can't partake of the sacrament, you feel like something is missing when you don't. 

Qs

How is the pilot program going?  
It's going really well.  We wouldn't be having a baptism in February if we weren't able to teach Destany over Facebook messenger so its a huge blessing!

Is the Face Timing lessons part of it?  
Yup!

What would you say are the biggest changes positive and negative from before, now that you've been doing it for awhile?
You can teach more lessons, save miles on the car and when people only have like 15 minutes you can just call them over video and have a short lesson. Negatives would probably be you aren't out and about, most of the time you teach in your apartment when you call. 

I know it is off in the future, but have you decided with your mission pres about your release date?  
He just said whenever from 4 weeks, just let him know. 

When are transfers again?
March 1st so a few more weeks. 

How are you liking Shelby? 
Shelby is pretty great, the people are super nice. It's a very southern area so people are super Baptist most of the time but we are using family history more and helping people do family history actually. 

Quote of the week
People are joining the church because of the prayers of their deceased ancestors. 

Love y'all so much!
Love you mom!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

1/22/18... The week was going pretty good, until it got rudely interrupted by the flu.

I currently have the flu so thatll tell ya how part of this week has gone unfortunately. I started to get sick Friday and Saturday and then Sunday it just got worse so I was in bed all day, then today im still not feeling too great. But before that the week was going pretty good, until it got rudely interrupted by the flu. 

Transfers were this week, but we aren't going anywhere so nothing was different for us.

It snowed this week again, it was crazy! It snowed about 4 inches one day, which is a ton of snow for here... they pretty much closed school down for 3 days, and after 1 day almost all of it was gone. You drive down the road and you just see wreck after wreck from people that don't know how to drive in the snow, it's ridiculous! Also whenever it snows all the eggs, milk, and bread get bought out of almost every store. Why those 3? No idea! Every time though.  

We were able to teach Destany over video chat.  It was so nice to do that, because we haven't been able to teach her really at all because of their schedule. But with video chat we can teach her 3 times a week no problem. So it's definitely a blessing to have technology in our mission. She is so great too.  She loves the temple, she loves how pure it is and she wants to go. Yesterday we had to cancel our lesson because I was sick and she said, "oh ya sorry I forgot I was working on my personal progress."  She just loves the gospel and it's amazing to be able to watch her learn so quickly. She understand the gospel a lot better than a lot of adults, it seems. It's been an inspiration to me really.  She is 15 and is standing up to her friends that give her anti because she just picks up on truth so quickly. She carries a 13 articles of faith card so she can tell people that try and tell her what we believe, what we actually believe. It's amazing. So that has definitely been the highlight of my week being able to teach her. We will probably figure out this week when she wants to get baptized. 

Friday we went out with brother Hickman and visited a lot of people in a town called Cherryvillle, pronounced chur-vul. And it was a ton of fun.  We met a lot of new people.  We pulled up to this one house full of just thugs and they totally thought I was a cop so they started asking me questions and stuff.  We ended up giving a lot them copies of the Book of Mormon and then we told them when we come back we'll beat them in some streetball haha . They talked a lot of smack after that. 

Saturday I was feeling terrible but we were still out trying to find some people and we had 3 people that we talked to say they wanted to come to church Sunday. Now I don't think any of them went but maybe if we are able to teach them this week more they'll start to come!


Qs
How is your comp?
He's doing great.  He is such a good guy.  He really just wants to learn. He studies whenever he has extra time too. He plays a ton of sports so he likes to play catch on Mondays when I don't have the flu lol. 

Looks like you are going to have a nice warm day tomorrow--60!  We are too but only 50!  but that is WAY better than the 30s!!!  
Are you staying warm enough?? 

Ya I'm good on winter clothes!

 Did you exchange the ginormous camo thermals at Walmart?
Can I exchange them without a receipt or anything though!?

Are you ready for another Amazon Pantry box?  
   --Requests?  Things you don't want or you have enough of?
We are pretty good right now--We still are eating the last one! Thank you though! 

Love y'all!
Love you mom! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

1/1/18... Christmas in Shelby!

I'll have to give some details of the last 2 weeks.

Last week we had our Christmas conference! It was so fun, it was the first time since the MTC that I saw Elder Smith, Elder Fife, and Elder Zesiger in the same place. It was way fun seeing all of them. It was pretty wild too haha.
We all split off into groups and played different games, we played Signs and made cookies. Then they finished it off with a game of jeopardy and it was pretty funny! Everybody got to the end and went all in and the final question was whoever could lasso President first would win. Elder Zesiger, lasso'd President and we took the W for the day! Everybody was going crazy all jumping in the air and stuff, it was fun. President came walking out in a full Santa costume. We had a talent show that was pretty sweet, someone was a clown and made a bunch of balloon things.
It was a lot of fun, then we drove home which was like and hour and a half pretty much and a family invited us to go caroling with them to their neighbors and try and share the gospel, so we went and everyone bailed on caroling so we just ate dinner. 
Christmas Eve was a lot of fun, we went to the Hickmans and had dinner with their family, none of their family is members so we got to know them and they were really interested in what we did as missionaries. 

Christmas was seriously crazy lol. We had 3 lunches and a dinner....at 10 we went to the Hickmans for breakfast with their family, then to the Jones and had pizza and then to the Taylor's at 2....and wow let me tell ya it was a ton of food! 

The Hickmans and their family got us some presents! Thermals and socks and some popcorn haha. So nice of them! Oh ya mom i don't think you realized but the camo thermals you got me were size 38 to 40 ๐Ÿ˜‚. They were just a little big when I tried them on haha. Then the Simpson's had us for dinner and their kids are wild, they got us some stockings and we had a good time over there. The ward really makes you feel at home here so it's really nice. And a lot of them love to share the gospel so we are hopefully going to start teaching some more friends this week which will be really awesome.  I love teaching friends because there is so much love in the lessons.


One of the daughters in the family we are teaching has been getting some anti Mormon stuff from her youth group and she has been doing so well with it, she has overcome all her concerns with it and loves to learn more about the restored gospel. We also had dinner with this family on Saturday and ate some tacos, and watched the restoration video with them, it was great. They're also reading the Book of Mormon on their own! It's amazing to see the Spirit and growth that comes from really reading the scriptures and praying on your own. 

Then...thiz week we ran out of miles so we had to pop the bikes out and get ridin. It was my first time on a full bike week since Winston-Salem๐Ÿ˜‚. It's been a while haha. But it was nice to get ridin again, we were able to talk to a lot of more people.
One day we were biking home while on exchanges and I was riding and a thought came to my mind "you should knock on that yellow house" well obviously at first I thought I was just thinking this and then i stopped and thought maybe it's a prompting from the Spirit. So we turned around and go knock on this door and we were about to leave and he opens up and comes out to talk to us. Turns out he is a very devout Christian who is very humble and seeks truth and knowledge about Jesus Christ. As he was talking we knew we needed to testify of the restoration and the restored truth that we can share with him. He loved it and invited us back to teach him more. It was a great experience and I'm grateful i didn't keep biking. 

We've been planning with the members in the ward about how they can share the gospel and it's been going so good, so many people are coming up with people they want to share the gospel with.

Something I've been studying is being born again or being spiritually reborn, be coming a "new creature" as the scriptures say it, becoming sons and daughters of Jesus Christ. It takes a lot of immersing ourselves in the gospel and transformation to occur to get to a spiritual point where we are new creatures in Christ. I would invite everyone to study and think about being spiritually reborn, maybe what would need to change in our lives for this transformation to start it's process. Anything is possible through Christ who strengthens us! 

Oh funny story before I end this letter. We had a lesson with a lady named Amy and she goes, was that y'all that was riding you bikes through the neighborhood a bunch. And we said ya did you see us? And she said the whole neighborhood thinks the cops or detective are on bikes now!! 
This neighborhood was a wee bit ghettooo haha. 

Things are going well with Elder Luna. He's been doing pretty good with teaching, little by little he's getting more comfortable with it. Mostly getting outside his comfort zone and talking to people more. I've made him knock on a lot of doors and talk lol. It's been a fun transfer so far though. We are actually going to play catch right now too! 

Anyways I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Love y'all 
Love you mom!





Monday, December 18, 2017

12/18/17... Hey y'all! Life is crazy in Shelby!

Another week flew by, life is crazy.  

We had a lot of miracles this week and I'll try and remember everything that happened. 

We have been trying to find more people to teach, and we have been doing a few main things differently.   We'll plan with members for someone they know that could really be blessed by the gospel and how they can share the gospel with them. It's been going pretty good so far. We have a lot of members that are really trying to share the gospel right  now. 

We've been trying to get to know the ward as  quick as we can.  We were full for dinners this week, so it was good to get to know a lot of knew faces. It's really hard to put all the names that you learn to the faces, I forget them so quickly a lot of the time... haha. 

Friday we had some interesting lessons. This guy thought we were Jehovah Witnesses which happens a lot actually. His wife said we could come back and the guy was like, Wait I though y'all were the Jehovah Witnesses. And he started to argue with us a little bit.  We tried not to bash at all so we left pretty quickly.  I just think that it's still ok for us to stick up for our beliefs and be firm in them but not try and argue with others--obviously that drives away the Spirit. So we had a good lesson over there then went and got in contact with a lady who wants to investigate the church that the previous missionaries taught.  It was hectic, the little girl was going crazy and it was so hard to focus on anything spiritual in there. 

Saturday was a ton of fun! Brother Hickman came out with us all day. His wife is a recent convert and they are just so solid. They take really good care of the missionaries.  They brought us over a Christmas tree so that we could have one in our apartment haha. We had a couple really good lessons that day. We went and had a lesson with a recent convert, and a couple had moved in with them earlier that week. They were really interested in the gospel. It was so great being able to teach the restoration with Elder Luna. It's always really nerve wracking teaching when you first get out. It's a lot of fun when we contact people on the streets to get him out of his comfort zone. It's never easy but it can be a lot of fun if we make it and follow the Spirit the best we can. Then Brother Hickman was like let's go try one of our friends, and he said he didn't think he was ready for the gospel but let's go ahead and try it. Well he was wanting to meet with us actually, and he totally wanted to come to church he just needed a ride. We got him a ride and his ride didn't even show up to church either! It was a bummer but we got next week. 

That night we had to drive to York after our ward Christmas party and pick up Elder Christiansen because he is a traveling assistant right now. It was about an hour drive and we left at 9:30....it was such a tiring night....actually morning because we got like 0 sleep. So it was a struggle staying awake at church lol. But it was so fun having Elder Christiansen with us. He is such a good missionary and really fun to be around. He stayed the night Sunday night and went to zone activity with us. We did an ugly sweater contest and also did a white elephant exchange it was super fun, I got a dinosaur egg that turns into a dinosaur when you put it in water haha. Then played some volleyball which is always fun! 


When do we get to Skype with you??!!   
Let's do 12 our time which would be like 9 your time I think right? Will that work with your church schedule?
Any Christmas needs? 
Don't think so right now. 
for you or for anyone else...

What are your favorite eating places in your new town???
Ohhhhh I love this place called the Shelby Cafe! You can get something called the garbage platter and it's biscuits--2 of them, with hash browns, cheese, liver mush (it's famous in this town--tastes like sausage honestly) cheese, and gravy on that plus 2 eggs. Soooo good very unhealthy but so good lol. Haven't gone to a whole lot of other great ones, just some regular fast foods and we want to try this good barbecue place here. 

Love y'all! Love you mom! 


This dog looked just like Chloe!


Snow!
View from my desk...
Exchanges with Elder Zesiger... it was nice to see him.  It's been since the MTC.