Monday, February 5, 2018

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


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. 


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?  

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!

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 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 πŸ˜‚. 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-SalemπŸ˜‚. 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 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!

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

12/11/17... I'm in Shelby!

Elder Luna
This last week was crazy! Fun, stressful and crazy.  

We had Mission Leadership Conference last Tuesday and we thought transfer calls were going to come later that night. But before the meeting President pulls me and another elder in and tells us we were getting transferred. I'm going to Shelby, North Carolina! Well I'm here now... but yeah-- Shelby! Elder Carroll and Elder Kimball both served here and they talked it up a lot. So the whole meeting I knew I was getting transferred and it was kinda on my mind and bugging me the whole time. I could have stayed in Pineville for the rest of my mission-- I loved it so much! The people, my companion, the ward. It was all just really amazing. I'm so grateful to have served there.  I learned a lot there. So Wednesday was pretty jumbled, it consisted of teaching a few lessons, and saying goodbye and packing. I didn't even get to say goodbye to everyone but I got a few of them. I had to say goodbye to the Sheppards.  They are an amazing family and some of my favorite people. We went to dinner with Star and Jason that night too! It was Elder Ward's birthday so we went to Outback. We had a good lesson with Maureen that night too. 

Thursday I finished packing everything. Which it wouldn't have fit if I wasn't given a few Space Bags. They were so nice. But everything mostly fit pretty snug. I've kept and gotten rid of a lot of things. My 2 suits I came out with don't really fit anymore, so I left those. I've gotten 5 pairs of shoes out here--mostly just from other missionaries going home. Got all of my stuff gathered.  Oh and I found out my bike got stolen off of our back porch!  So I took Elder Ward's bike since he's going home next transfer.  We got there at 10 and I had a meeting at 1 so we went and got lunch with some other missionaries at a good sub shop while we waited. Then I got my companion Elder Luna, got our new car, got the keys to the apartment and we headed off! 

It was kind of hectic right off the bat. Just trying to figure out the area and who we were working with. There's some solid members here and the ward is tiny! To put it in perspective there are single seats in the chapel with about 10 rows, no overflow! But our ward missionaries here are super solid and help out a ton! They made it really great for us. Friday Brother Hickman picked us up at 2 and came out with us all day!  We actually made cookies and took them to all of our investigators. But we ended up taking them to some random people and we actually got in 2 homes and were able to talk to them about the gospel. 

We are working with a family who is really nice.  We had a lesson with them Saturday and the daughter has a ton of questions that are really good. It was a very Spirit-led lesson and it just ended the night on such a high note. Yesterday at church we tried our best to get to know everybody. It seems like a really great ward that we are in and it will be fun getting to know everyone. We had a really fun dinner too! We were at the Simpson home and they have a ton of kids who love the missionaries and they were just going wild, they were jumping all over us it was crazy. 

I've really been grateful to be on a mission lately.  I've really felt how important it is to always have the spirit in your life and how fulfilling it is to have it. We are here on the earth with a personal guide to help us stay on the right path.  How great of a blessing, and how great of a responsibility it is to live worthy of it. 

I love the scripture in Alma 32:23 
Every seed bringeth forth fruit of it's own likeness. 
I think this relates a lot to leadership and parenthood and life in general. It makes me look at true character and realize that who I am and who I become is going to effect others. A good leader creates leaders and a good disciple creates more disciples. A good father creates good fathers and it can apply to anything really. 
Just a scripture that I really like. 

Love you so much!
Elder Morgan 


Tell us ALL about your move, your goodbyes, your apartment, your companion... etc.
The apartment is 2 bed, 2 bath. No workout that's a huge bummer. I think we might be able to get a bench set from another apartment soon. My companion is from Eureka California.  He played a ton of sports, has a family of 7. He's the first one to serve a mission. Very nice humble guy. 

I have always wondered...
--When you move, do you have enough room in your suitcases?
For the most part yes, most missionaries get another box and fill it up with stuff. 
--Have you kept good track of your stuff, or have you left a bunch of it along the way?
Both. I left some slacks that were worn down. 
--Do you bring any of the food and toiletries you got?  or do you just get new in each area?
I don't really, I do with my toothpaste and that stuff but not food usually. So an Amazon pantry box would be awesome right now! 
--How big is your new ward?
--Are you still the ZL?  How big is your area?
The area is big but we have about 70 active members I think. It is almost an hour drive across the whole thing probably. 
How are you on shoes?
I'm good on shoes. 
How are you on tennis shoes?
Good... a little holy, but they're good still. I got a pair of vans actually, with the birthday money too. 
What size do you like?
12 normally.
Do you still wear the LeBron's to play basketball?
Ya they're solid! 
Do you keep your apartment clean--ish?!  
Are you vacuuming?
Ya we deep cleaned our old apartment pretty good and this one is pretty clean so far. 
Just a few things a mom needs to know! πŸ˜‰

Also--Speak now or forever hold your peace-- WHAT ELSE CAN WE SEND YOU FOR CHRISTMAS???
I'm pretty set right now 
What treats are you craving?  
Muddy buddies were so good last time :) I loved those! 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

9/9/17... The NCCM life

What's up y'all! 

This week flew by so I'm just trying to remember what happened lol. 

MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) was this Tuesday so it was super fun. We talked a lot on planning because we got these new smart phones.  It's a  Samsung j3 and it's not a super great phone... but it's night and day to what we had, so it's pretty legit. We can Skype more members into our lessons to get more fellowshippers. The new missionaries starting in January are going to come out with phones instead of tablets. And guess what? The rumor going around at MLC was that Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat might be some of the apps that we start using to proselyte......ya that'll be crazy to see how those go and how we would use them. So send me some snaps when we get it. Naw I don't think they'd want that haha. 

Then right after MLC we went on exchanges with Elder Cannon and Elder Samuelson, who is a new missionary. I went with Elder Samuelson in our area while Elder Johnsen went to their area in South Carolina. Elder Samuelson is awesome--guess what, he loves baseball! And chance the rapper...(favorite rapper). But we had a really good day, we went and taught the Nigerian family and it was really good. We read the Book of Mormon with them and they committed to come to church and come and do a Church Tour that Friday. Friday we realized we had their wrong number. So we went over and talked to them and they were got ready really quick and met us at the church. They loved the church and were excited for Sunday. Well Sunday came and we were expecting them and they snuck in right at the end of sacrament. I guess they really liked it and are coming back tomorrow. 

We had to plan for our Zone Week that we are doing this next week. It'll be really fun...hopefully.  Everyone in the zone gets on Facebook chat for 30 minutes and someone in the zone gives trainings or councils on stuff. Doesn't sound super interesting but it can be pretty good. 

We were able to find a couple new people to teach and one we are teaching tonight, he's a teenager and plays basketball. 

Love y'all
Love you Mom
Elder Morgan

Here are some quick Qs

When are transfers?
October 24th 
Where is Elder Johnsen going home to? What are his plans?
He s going back to Ventura, California. He's going to play football at Utah State. I think he goes to school in January. 
(I need to get going on it ASAP so I can get it in the mail. πŸ˜‰)
Hmmmm. Send my Southridge watch out. Um I don't really know I'm pretty set. Gift cards actually. 

What is your weather like there??
It's been super humid lately and really hot. Starting to cool down soon hopefully.....probably not soon though lol. It'll be hot and humid for a good bit I think. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

2/27/17... Salisbury is da bess

Hey maw 

This week was really good! It seems like all the things I want to write about just vanish from my brain whenever I write. Oh well I'll try my best because this week was awesome! 

So I'll start out with talkin about this lady named Donna. So we were knocking a couple doors in between appointments last week and we knock this little group appartment home place where you go inside a bond there's 4 appartments. We knock them all, no answers. We walk out and hear this lady call to us from inside. We go in talk to her a bit and she ended up saying we could come back and share a message with her. So a couple days later we go back to teach her the restoration, it was going so good and we start going into the first vision, right off the bat she goes, Nope... not true that man is a false prophet and did all these bad things.  So we were like well you don't know unless you try, so we gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read it with an open heart, so she said she would read. A couple days later we text her confirming our appointment and she texted back and said she is so fascinated and wants to learn more, and that she just couldn't stop crying after she read. So we go over and her whole home just felt different she looked better and said she just has such a strong desire to change, to be a better mom and stuff and she wanted to quit drinking. Then a couple days later we text her to confirm another appointment and she says today was the first day she didn't drink in 14 years! Can you believe that! 14 years!  She is on fire now and has read almost all of 1 Nephi. She came to Debbie's baptism this Saturday, loved it. Then she came to church this Sunday and brought her 16yr old friend named Alexis and they loved it! It's still going to be a battle for her to quit some stuff but I have so much faith that she can do it! 

Debbie's baptism was so good... she is such an amazing person.  We were so excited for her and she was even more excited! She wants to go to the temple as soon as she can too! Also.....side note but Laird from Winston got baptized a couple days after I left and got the priesthood, got his temple recommend and has gone to the temple already! He is on fire it made me so happy to hear that he was doing so good! 

Saturday night we had dinner at Bishop Daines house and we had some super good burgers that he smoked. Denzel and Myiesha and their kids came and it was so good! We had such a fun lesson with them outside around a campfire; it was so fun! They want to quit smoking  and get baptized and they committed to do both Saturday and said they'd be at church for sure, we'll unfortunately they didn't come to church, it was a little bit of a bummer but we're hoping they still will quit smoking this Wednesday. 

Things are going great with my companion we get along really well, I think our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other well which is super nice for teaching and stuff. Living with one guy is really weird now haha, but it's kinda nice, it's quieter and you kind of have more time to study on your free time. 

How is Elder Grieves?   Tell us more about him and how you two are doing in your new companionship.
Super great 
Have you perfected your Southern accent?
Not at all, I wish though! Maybe in a year and a half I will have it down. 
Take pics of your apartment and your city... 
How big is your area?  
It's a huge area, it probably takes an hour to drive from one side to the other. It's more country too so i love it! 
How many missionaries are in Salisbury?
Just us 2. 
Do you need anything?
Naw don't think so 
What was your most spiritual experience this week?
This week we had zone meeting and we talked about charity and treating people like family. We did a role play where we picked a family member and pretended that they went less was so powerful. And of course I don't cry because I'm a man but I'll just say it was hard for me to get through it, it changed me whole perspective on how I need to look at others. Our mission president said the key to our mission rising is charity, so that what I've been working on. 

Love you ! 
Elder Morgan