Monday, November 28, 2016

11/28/16... This week was awesome! A lot of great and crazy things happened.


This week was awesome! A lot of great and crazy things happened.

I'll start with Monday, so we played ball like usual, and you can probably guess that I balled some kids up. But we got done and ate dinner at Dairy Os which is a burger place here--really good.... except I almost threw up.  

But the adventure was after we ate. It was my first day driving since I got here.  We go park in a parking lot to check our plans and how to get where we are going. So we pull out of the spot and we are waiting to pull into the traffic of the parking lot and BAM this guy rear ends our car. We get out and he is nice, we get his information, but weirdly the guy just kept telling me not to call the cops. So I call our mission office car guy just to make sure I have everything, and if I need to call the cops. He said I had to call the cops.... I hang up and call the cops and the guy runs over and I tell him I was calling the cops. He yells, "Hang up!" and then tells me he is going to jail if they come.....sketchy. So he runs to his car and drives off. The cop came and we give him all his information and stuff was pretty funny. The cop was a member which was nice.
wreck wasn't bad at all
We met with Huan Huan Tuesday night and he is getting baptized this Saturday! He is so solid! His only concern is tea which is super cultural in China but he said he could stop. Then we talked on Sunday and he said he is going to go home and share it with his family and get them baptized in Hong Kong and then get married in the temple there. He said he wants his son to go on a mission too! ...and go to BYU. It was so amazing to hear him tell me this because he is going to have such an impact on the rest of his family and family to come! 

We had gotten a bible referral last week that we had set an appointment with for this Friday and we go to see him.  You never know whats going to happen with bible referrals-- Like a couple weeks ago we went to a bible referral and she wouldn't take it because she didn't believe that it was King James version. ...Some crazy people here.)  But this guy is awesome, his name is Eligio and he said he has just been searching for guidance his whole life. We taught him the restoration and he was so happy, he also came to church on Sunday and said he LOVED it! He loved that people would come and introduce themselves to him! He is so solid! He is a truck driver and said that he might not be back on Friday for our appointment but he said that he knows that God will make him be able to see us Friday! So that was a miracle this week!

One bad thing that happened this week was Huan Huan on his way home from church got in a car wreck, but I think he is okay.  I haven't been able to talk to him but we are seeing him tomorrow. 

Thanksgiving was really fun also! We went to the Hiat's house.  He is the one that took us to play  laser tag. They are awesome! They have 2 little girls and we played freeze tag after haha. They made a turkey and Mexican food. haha  It was different, but really good!

The Christmas initiative is awesome! I encourage everybody to visit and participate in the 25 days of service. I wish i could do Dec 2nd. But i cant call my parents ):

Tell us about your companion!  
Elder montandon is from California.  He is really athletic.  He played football and basketball. We are going to play catch today which im excited about.

How's training going?  ...For him?  ...For you as the trainer?
It is a little rough. Its harder than i expected just having to really do everyrthing at the start.

What are you studying now?
Studying the book of mormon. Just started the war chapters in Alma. Moroni is amazing to read about, he got all of his battle tactics from the lord. It is amazing.

Who should we pray for specifically?
Just pray for Elder Montandon and I that we can continue to see miracles.

Tell us the funniest thing that happened this week....
Funniest thing that happened we went downtown on saturday, we pass these kids playing  basketball on this outdoor court. We went and asked these guys to play 2v2, and if we win we show them the Christmas video. So we are waiting for out turn to play, and we notice that all these cars keep pullling up and then they walk to the car and exchange some stuff. We realized we were in the middle of a drug deal hot spot. We played and won, gave them a pass along card, and booked out of there. 

Have you played catch or thrown yet?
We are going to play today!

What is on your Christmas list? 
New investigators. 

Oh yeah... did you make the pie yet? 
(just add two eggs)  
no but we will soon!

Love you all so much im glad that Yall had a fun Thanksgiving with everyone!
Love you mom!
Elder Morgan

a couple of pics from the end of last transfer--

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11/21/16... I was really nervous and I had a lot of butterflies when we went to pick up our companions.

This week was very interesting. I was really nervous for it and I had a lot of butterflies when we went to pick up our companions. My companion's name is Elder Montandon.  He is from Riverside California. He is a nice guy, he plays basketball and football. We picked him up on Tuesday and it was an interesting ride back......but what was even more interesting was our lesson we had right when he got there. It was my first lesson I was really leading and his first lesson period haha. But we got a new investigator and all that matters is that the spirit was there. 
Elder Montandon...??  (Since Brad didn't send any pics, I had to search for one on Facebook...
I'm assuming this is Elder Montandon from Riverside, CA!)

We did a lot of finding this week, we were biking a lot. Bike week is always rough, we try and go to different places every day, and it's kind of hard to get 8 hours of productive proselyting in a new area every day. But it's soooo nice to have a 4 Elder apartment--it makes it a lot of fun when you are in back home relaxing at night. 
Biking in the night is really cold now, the sweaters, gloves and beanie you sent were perfect! I even broke out the thermals haha. I'm a wuss biking at night though. Especially because my pinky stops moving when it's cold! 
Today is pday and we just got done playing basketball at the church, it was so fun and very much needed! We play 3 on 3 on 3 continuous and then 5 on 5. It's fun and Elder Montandon is actually pretty good, he almost dunked a couple times. He's just super cocky so it's hard not to get super competitive haha. 
The highlight of the week was definitely Sunday, it was the primary program and it was the best! The kids are so funny and a couple even threw a shout out to us . It's always funny when the kids grab the mic and yell right into it haha. 
Our ward goes backward so Elder Quorum and Sunday School are first, we taught Huan Huan during Sunday school, and it was solid, he will be baptized in 3 weeks most likely! I'm super pumped and we are meeting a couple times this a week and next week! He is solid, he just told us how he wants to honor God by following him. He has a concern with tea but it shouldn't be a hold up. Jon and Jacob both came to church, we weren't able to meet with them after but next time we meet with him we will probably put him on date! 
This week is car week so it should be a lot better and a lot warmer haha. Elder Montandon has already grown a lot this week and hopefully we can continue getting better and working in unity. We have a lot of good things happening this next week. We got a lot of bible referrals that wanted to meet with us. It's going to be a great week, and a great couple of transfers.
Love you all so much
Love you mom!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

11/16/16... Congratulations on your recent call to be a trainer of a new missionary... (Letter from President Alexander)

11/14/16... This is going to force me to stretch and grow a lot... I will probably learn more than the elder I'm training.

This week was Soooo fun! 
A lot of fun things happened this week! We knew Elder Leavitt or I would be leaving so the whole week we had butterflies. But transfer calls weren't coming until late Saturday night so we had a lot of time to think and guess where we'd be. 
Thursday we had zone meeting and President and Sister Alexander came to ours. It was super good we focused a lot on finding and better ways to find. We practiced short powerful statements for short contacts. 
We did a lot of finding again this week which can be really boring but we try and make it fun. My favorite thing to do when we are walking around a neighborhood and  kids are playing basketball or football in the streets is to stop and play catch or something with them its super fun. I played catch with a couple kids and one time I told them to pass it to me and the dad on the sidewalk was egging him on to throw it thinking I would drop it and theyd laugh, I caught it and threw it back and he was going crazy he was like "woah! This boy play football" (with some ghetto terms mixed in there). 
We found a couple new investigators this week.  We met Anithia right after we played catch, and we talked about the Book of Mormon and stuff.  She was sorta interested so hopefully when we come back this week it will be good! Saturday night we were finished looking for the people we had planned for, some appointments fell through and we were thinking of what we could do. A name popped into my head that we should visit, she was a past bible referral (someone who orders a bible on ...It's super common here.) So we went there and her husband opened the door and just let us straight in, he was interested in what we had to say. We ended up teaching the most solid lesson we have taught so far.  We just were in unity and it felt so nice, the last weekend elder Leavitt and I have together and it felt like the last 12 weeks paid off. 
Earlier Saturday right after our studies, we got a call from President, and we had no idea what it was for, either Elder Leavitt was gonna be a District Leader or I was going to train. But it was neither, President asked for me and asked how I was doing and everything. He said he got an email from you about Grandpa Don. It was really nice of him to care like that. 
Then later that day we get another call.....I guess he already gave you the news but I am training a new missionary now. I didn't know what to think, I am pretty scared for it honestly, because it will be my first time taking over an area and I am training, so it is going to force me to stretch and grow a lot. I will probably learn more than the elder I'm training. So transfers are this Tuesday. Elder Leavitt is heading to Gastonia and I pick up the new elder on Tuesday in Charlotte. I don't know who it is yet but it will be interesting how this goes. 
Sunday was good also, Jon and Jacob and Sister Davidson came to church and went to Sunday School.  We had a great lesson on priesthood that I think he liked it a lot. We will probably talk about baptism the next time we meet with them. Then this morning I go into our study room after I wake up and look at the phone. We got a text from Brother Jorgenson, our ward mission leader. He told us he got a text really late last night from Huan Huan, which was random and he told him that he just wants to go ahead and get baptized! We were so hyped, Elder Leavitt and I were really excited. 
Today we went to the mall, shopped for a bit, because elder Craig is going home really soon so he wants to look fly when he gets back we have spent a lot of time in H&M haha and anyone in my family knows that I HATE shopping!!! 
Random hats in the mall

LOve you all so much
Love you mom!!

PS...Will you send my Southridge watch?   I gotta represent over here.

Zone activity!

Didn't take many other pics than these....

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

11/9/16... Elder Morgan's grandpa, Don Van Slooten, passed away on Wednesday, November 9, 2106

Grandpa Don Van Slooten December 22, 1927 - November 9, 2016
Letter to Brad's Mission President regarding Grandpa Don's passing and President Alexander's response...

Hello.  I am Elder Morgan's mom, Chrissy Morgan.  I am saddened to write to you to let you know that my father, Elder Morgan's grandpa, Don Van Slooten, passed away on Wednesday, November 9.  I have been getting things situated for the funeral and am finally writing this to you...  I wasn't sure if I should wait to tell him in his letter, but I think it is good that you are also aware.  

My dad suffered for the last 10 years from Parkinson's and it gradually took his ability to walk and lately his mental acuity.  We moved him to a care facility at the end of September.  I wrote to Elder Morgan last week informing him that he wasn't doing well, but we did not expect him to go downhill so fast.  I flew down to Salt Lake on Sunday and was lucky enough to be by his side for the last 4 days of his life.  It was very sad, but so wonderful that he is now with our Heavenly Father and freed from his frustrating limiting mind and body.  

Elder Morgan's grandpa was an amazing man.  He loved Brad and enjoyed watching him play baseball and sports, but he was especially proud of him as a missionary.  He was a mission president himself when he was first married in the Netherlands Mission in the early 60s.  He loved reading and then hearing Elder Morgan's letters.  It gave him so much joy that his grandchildren chose to serve the Lord.  Elder Morgan was built just like his grandpa--tall and lean.  He was athletic just like Brad and they shared the same peaceful demeanor--both gentle giants.  Thankfully Brad got to go to lunch with him on the day he entered the MTC. 

My emotions are close to the surface these days, and I am reflecting so much on the love I have for my family which makes me miss Elder Morgan more than ever.  I am so proud of him, his service and his ever positive attitude.  When you tell him about his grandpa, will you please give him our love? 

Thank you for all that you do for our son, the other missionaries and the people of North Carolina.  He only has positive things to say about you and Sister Alexander and his testimony of the gospel has grown immensely from what he has learned from you.  

Please let us know what we can do for you or if there are any missionaries in need of any clothes, bikes, supplies or anything.  You, Elder Morgan and all of the NC Charlotte Mission are constantly in our prayers.  

Thanks again.

Chrissy Morgan 

Dear Sister Morgan,

Sister Alexander and I are so sorry to hear of your Father’s passing.  Please accept our love and condolence.  We can feel that your father lived the life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ and how  his example of has influenced many people for good, especially his children and grandchildren.

Upon receiving your note yesterday morning, I called Elder Morgan.  He was already aware that his Grandpa had passed away.   He told me what a great influence his grandfather has had on his life and how grateful he was to spend time with him before leaving on his mission.  I feel that his faith in the Savior and the promise of eternal life is giving him great comfort.  And I do know that the Lord gives his missionaries special attention during times like this.  I shared with him that I believe that during his mission, there will be times will he will be able to feel his Grandpa’s presence to assist him in this great work.

I also spoke with your son again yesterday afternoon and called him to be a Trainer.  Even though he has only been out for a few months, I trust him to train and mentor a new missionary.  This will be a great opportunity for him to continue growing in his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and also his skills and capabilities as a missionary.   I am sure Elder Morgan will tell you more on his weekly letter tomorrow.

Again, may God bless and comfort you during this time of loss.  We are so grateful to serve with your son here in the North Carolina Mission.  We love your son and he is growing to be a true disciple and powerful missionary.

With our love and prayers,
President and Sister Alexander

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

11/7/16... Birthday Week... We had so much fun the whole time...

Hiking Pilot Mountain   (Elder Shultz)
This week went by so quick!

Monday was super fun we played basketball for a while then we got Taco Bell for dinner! It was Halloween and we couldn't go out so we just hung out at the apartment. We had so much fun the whole time was a great day!

Then Tuesday morning was our miracle! We had just gotten ready for the day and getting ready to study at 8 when we saw we missed a call from Sister Davidson, whose boyfriend we taught 2 weeks ago. We called her back and she told us an experience that he had the other day.  He told her that he had heard a voice tell him that what we taught was true and that he needed to continue to come to church and watch over and protect Sister Davidson and her son Jacob! It was such a great start to a great week! She then invited us over for dinner and another lesson for this Sunday....We were pretty hyped after we heard that. Then we went and helped someone move on Tuesday and nothing else really happened the rest of the day... we just tried to find some people.

Wednesday (B's Birthday!) was the same we didn't really have anything exciting happen just tried to find people and talk to people but it was mostly a bust. But we did find 1 new investigator who they'd previously talked to and she had been listening to the Book of Mormon.

Thursday was zone conference and it was amazing! They had given us stuff to prepare for zone meeting and the zone leaders that live with us had to do a certain role play. It was getting someone who hadn't read the Book of Mormon to know the importance of it with only asking questions so we practiced that the whole week.....It was pretty tough but it was fun and a good practice. President emphasized kneeling in prayer with investigators. President and Sister Alexander are the best.  They're seriously the kindest people ever!
They also introduced the knew Christmas initiative which Elder Leavitt said they're the best so that should be fun for the next couple months.
zone conference with the MTC crew--Elder Zesiger and Elder Fife

I forgot what day this happened but Elder Leavitt and I went to these super sketch apartment to find a less active.  We had to go through security when we got in. Then we get up to her door and she opens it and she couldn't breathe! She was gasping for air so bad and Elder Leavitt and I almost called the ambulance! It was crazy! She just had some super bad athsma and only 40% lung capacity.....just a weird place all together. It was the same apartment complex the other Elders went to the other night and there was a dead body that stunk up a whole floor!

Friday we went and did service at the Restore for Habitat. Then Friday and Saturday nothing really happened. We had a member home lesson set up with Brittany but she canceled sadly.
But Sunday was awesome! Jon and Jacob, Sister Davidson's son, came to church, and we had dinner and taught the plan of salvation after. They're awesome and Jon is well on his way to be baptized soon and Jacob can't yet because his dad won't let him but I'm sure it'll all work out!

We just got done hiking pilot mountain which was really fun but it wasn't as good as I was hoping, we drove almost all the way up the mountain and then just hiked a circle around the top, sorta lame but it was a good view, I'll send pictures.

Overall it was a really fun week and transfers are coming up this next week which is a little scary! I'm almost done with training already...I've already been gone over 3 months that is so weird! I'm not sure at all what is going to happen whether I'm staying or leaving so we'll all just find out this next week I guess.
1)Tell us about your birthday..
B day was just a normal day, except we did get Coldstones at night which was Soooo good...of course I got cake batter! 
cake batter! 

2)Did you get the packages??!
Ya i got them thank you so much! I loved the ties and the winter stuff it was perfect I'll need them soon.
b day ties! 
3)Did you get the special delivery?!
I got the pizza! We were so excited when it came! Except it had Carolina Panthers all over it...
4)Have you gotten to know President Alexander much?  How often do you get to meet with him since you are so far out?
Yeah I've gotten to know him a little bit... He is an amazing man! I even heard a lot of crazy stories about him, he is such a good guy. 

5)When do you find out about transfers?
This Saturday 

6)I need to get your plaque made for the church--What is your favorite scripture you want on there-I think it can be three lines. 
3 Nephi 5:13 is a good one. Our mission scripture.

7)what is your favorite thing about North Carolina?
Hmmmm that's hard I would say just how green everything is everywhere.  It's pretty amazing, especially after our hike today which I'll send pictures off in a bit.

8)What is the most different thing about NC compared to here? 
Everything! It's almost a foreign country haha. The culture is way different. 

9)Is there anything you want or need?
I'm all set for now! 
.....we're going to Golden Corral for dinner on Friday which I'm hyped for, just thought I'd throw that in.

Love you all so much 
You're the best and thanks for the birthday wishes! 

That's so sad to hear about grandpa I am sorry.  I really hope everything goes well with him, I'm just really glad I got to see him before I left and have lunch with him.

excerpts from Brad's letter to Jeff...
That's sad to hear about grandpa I really hope mom isn't a king that too hard. Thanks for the updates on Nate and the family I love hearing about those. I heard the Cubs won....Our ward missionary leader was at the game!  It was crazy... He gave me a bunch of details which was kinda fun to hear about. 
I've been reading in Mosiah lately and it's amazing to see how fearless some of the missionaries and prophets are. Abinadi was such a fearless man... same with Alma the Younger and sons of Mosiah after they converted. Fearing no man is a trait I'll be working on....probably for the rest of my life.  
...It'll be hardest to not play baseball for 2 years probably.  But I heard Jake will be playing a lot this year which is exciting. 
Anyway love you so much! 
Elder Morgan 

Monday, November 7, 2016

10/31/16... I just told myself everyday is going to be the best day and I am going to make the most of the 2 years that I have here.

I had a really fun week, not because we saw a lot of success or a lot of miracles but because I just told myself everyday is going to be the best day and I am going to make the most of the 2 years that I have here. 
I love the South.  The culture is so different with churches on every block. We have a lot of great conversations.  Like today, this old lady at Walmart just came up to me and gave me a Baptist plan of salvation pamphlet and invited me to church haha. I really have no idea what Baptists believe because so many of the churches have different pastors that preach different things.  It is interesting to talk to some people. 
I can never remember what i did during the week or what day something happened, i have to read my journal to remember! 
I think it was Wednesday we were knocking on some doors in this apartment that we have found some investigators in previously and we talked to some kids and gave them some pamphlets, then we talked to their neighbor who was a nice lady and we talked about the book of mormon and she was super happy that we talked to her. We go see her in a couple days so hopefully that goes well. 
We didnt have any exciting lessons with any progressing investigators. We got some bad news about Huan Huan.  He is trying to be a head medical guy in China and to do that he would need to be an active Communist leader so that is going to set him back for a while.  We will see how that goes.  He hasn't come to church in a couple weeks. 
We went to P.F. Changs with a single lady in the ward named sister Gaskil.  She is so nice. The orange chicken was bomb and then the first song to come on was the one that goes "this is gonna be the best day of my life" and so i decided everyday is just going to be the best day of my life from then on. Then the week just kept getting better. 
We had an appointment set up for Saturday at 6 with Brittany and JJ but we realized that is the same time as the Halloween party. We were first just planning on proselyting but our ward mission leader told us to go so we had to go then. So we went Thursday night with Sister Dewsnup to invite her to the party. The Dewsnups are awesome.  They're from Eugene, Oregon so I told them I was there this summer. So we invited her and she came! She has 2 daughters that are seriously the cutest kids ever. I think they had fun. 
Sunday came and Jon came and we were going to have another lesson with them later that night but it didnt work out so hopefully more great things come this week from all of them.  
All around this was a great week, this next week we have Zone Conference with 2 other zones so I'll see Elder Zesiger and Elder Fife from the MTC... I'm excited! 
Love you all so much!
Elder Morgan
Tell us about your ward--big/small?  
It's pretty medium size, a lot of young couples that go to Wake Forest Medical School so they're super busy all the time with studying.

How has the weather been?  
It's been cooler about 60 to 70s 

What is your favorite missionary moment this week?
This week was probably just talking with people about the Book of Mormon.  It's amazing to help people who already have a love for Christ realize there's more. 

What are your plans for your birthday??
Nothing special just a normal day of missionary work. Oh I have plans to find someone elect though

Plans for Halloween??
We have to be in by 6 unless we have appointments, but we are on bikes so we can't bike around tonight.

 excerpts from Brad's letter to Jeff:
love you
Hope Halloween is great for y'all and that you got the yard nice and scaried up for all the kids. I got the Nicholls's Halloween card and I was laughing so hard.  I was so excited they sent me one!  
Hope you have a great week. I really have been able to see myself grow this week. I realized that I was setting too high expectations for myself and I can only achieve them if I have the constant companionship of the spirit to help guide me. I have really been able to have fun trying to find people to teach and have a good attitude about it. 
Thanks... love you so much 
Elder Morgan