Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I HAD CHRISTMAS DOWN IN AFRICA!!! Everyone go listen to this rendition of 12 days of Christmas by vocal point. Vocal Point 12 days of Christmas

This week I have pondered and tried to apply a lot of Elder Lawerence's talk What Lack I has really been on my mind and I have been seeking what the Lord would have me change to improve my missionary work and also just to progress., another hard week... let me just say it's so hard to find  people who will seriously talk to us out here in the bush! The area is kinda dying. We have a baptism set for January but besides that it's looking rough. Things with my comp...well just small things bother me with him but I'm trying to get over it. I keep telling myself this is all temporary! It's good to have Elder Lewis-Reese (from Minnesota) here in the apartment with me. We talk a lot to clear my mind haha I'm getting use to the area now and not as homesick but this area is just hard. So we will just need to work hard and find people to teach.

I'm so so so happy I get to call y'all soon! It will most likely be in the afternoon when i call. I don't have a set time so I guess just expect it anywhere from 9 am - 3pm...(your time). Elder Reese and I are going to try to fix some fried chicken or cook something nice. We were gonna get a pig and roast it but its so expensive. We only have 40 min to talk...and they are tracking our calls so we need to be efficient with our time. Out here in the bush we can barely find an internet cafe to email but there is probably no skype.

My ponderize scripture this week is Ether 12:4. I can't quote the scripture right now but it talks about faith being an anchor. BTW mom,  I used your scripture from last week for mine as well because it really fit well for how I was feeling. Thank you! (for those curious it was Mosiah 2:41) 
Oh I also found a guy who can make an nativity set (wood carving) out here. Should I get it?? I don't want them to get broken carrying them around the rest of my mission. So I'm not sure what to do.
Sorry this is another short email. Thanks for those who continue to write. I appreciate it so much. I hope you all have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Elder Morris


Monday, December 14, 2015

Rough first week in the BUSH!

Hey mama! So it's been a rough first few days in the bush.. it's not what I expected at all and I'm really really missing the city. I've felt super homesick actually because of holidays and I think just trying to get adjusted to the new area.

I did get your 2 Christmas packages at transfers and I haven't opened them yet! ha ha. Thank you so so much!! I can't wait to open them for Christmas!

Yes, this is a picture of my companion, Elder Svinurai is my new comp. He's been different then my other 2 comps. He's sort of commanding sometimes and you know how much I don't like being commanded to do things (besides the 10 commandments and other commandments)ha ha ha It's all good though. I'm definitely learning what traits I'm not looking for in a wife from all these companionship's! ha ha ha

My teaching has become better and more smooth then from the first time I tried teaching. Teaching is going good. There's a lot of not so serious people out here as well as some people prepared to hear our message. I'm definitely the minority here in Ghana...just simply by being white.

My living arrangements...well ha ha ha it's TONS OF COCKROACHES everywhere in the kitchen...ugghh-not a fan of those at all!! 

This week I was reading from the Ensign (church published magazine) that conference edition one you sent me. I loved Elder Durrant's talk about ponderizing and I'm going to start trying it this week! I hope you all can join me :) Choose a new scripture to ponderize each week. We can start slow and try to do it the rest of the year. It's 80% pondering and 20% memorizing. So that's something good. 

Something interesting...the church services out here are all in i kinda felt like I did nothing for 3 hours on Sunday because I didn't understand a word they said.

I don't have much time this week at the internet cafe so sorry this is a short message.
This upcoming week we are going to the temple for a session which I'm so so excited about because I love the temple and I don't have to worry about anything else while I'm there!!! 

your baby boy,
Elder Morris

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Transfers and I'm going to the "BUSH"!

So I don't even know where to start!
So yes the packages made it and I'm so grateful for them and everything inside!!! I started tearing up when I was opening them!! I love y'all so much!!! My birthday was actually really good! We taught a few lessons during the day and then we went to a members house (Rhoda) and she and Elder Z cooked dinner for all 6 missionaries and we had a small party at her house. We even had cake! It was a lot of fun!! 

Transfers are tomorrow and I'm headed to the BUSH!!! The city is called Asamenkese so you can look it up on google maps. I'll put up the Christmas stuff you sent once I'm at my new apartment. I've been told if you go out to the bush you typically stay there for a while. I know that around DEC 18 we are going to the temple so if I don't get the Christmas packages tomorrow, I should for sure get them at the temple. Oh would you mind sending candy canes in the package?? the mint and sweettart ones :))) I miss those! ha ha ha

So we learned about Harmattan this week's here!
The Harmattan is a dry and dusty wind blowing northeast and west of the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between November and March (winter) each year. It is considered a Natural Hazard. On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles The dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days it is comparable to a heavy fog, this effect yearly cause airlines millions due to cancelling and diverting of flights.

This is what it looks like:

Yeah so I'm trying not to take so much dust into my mouth each day but as you can see from the picture, it's pretty much a given that we are inhaling all that dust! The good part about it is that it has brought some cooler weather with it so that's nice! And because I'm going to the bush it should be much cooler! haha lets hope!

At Christmas time I'll probably end up calling home instead of Skyping..:/ (which I guess is normal for this mission). I should see President Hill tomorrow at transfers! Can't wait! We found out about the new mission president. His name is President Snow (he's the one that's a 70) He'll be coming the first week of January.

We saw 2 big tender mercies on Thursday! First one was once I woke up and began working out guess what started raining!!! Let me just say how happy I was for that rain!! It hadn't rained for a long time so I was very grateful for that! The second one was as we were walking that day, we went to visit on of our investigators and when we started to walk back to our house (which was pretty far from where we live) I realized that I left the phone at her house. So we had to turn around and walk back to her home. When we started to walk back I said to Elder Z "man what if God sent us an angel to pick us up in a taxi and take us back to the house. (we were going home for lunch at the time) we laughed...then we arrived back at the lady's house she said "let me call a taxi and pay for you. its too hot to be walking that far!" It was a tender mercy and how grateful I was!!!

Thank you again for the packages and for all the letters I've received!! It is such a blessing!! Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes this week!!
So going to the BUSH will be a whole new experience in its self! I feel like I'm just starting my journey even though I've been out 3 months already. I'm also officially done with my 12 weeks of training!
Okay here is the crazy story of the week!! It's a good one ha ha ha
So we were riding our bikes to a bike shop to get Elder Z's bike fixed. First let me preface, there are always funerals or weddings going on in the middle of the streets here. So there was a funeral coming up so I got off my bike to walk because I thought it would be polite. As we're passing, the DJ called me over and wanted to greet me. Just then this old woman starts walking up to me and she started hugging me and crying asking for 1 cedi... "please just 1 cedi" well then she hugs me and started to cry or that's what it sounded like, then I start feeling her hand going into my pocket!!! hahahahahahhahahahahahhaha I grabbed her arm and threw it out. (in my mind I was thinking what the heck). We turned and went on our way but that was very interesting this week! The people think that missionaries are rich. I promise you we are no where close to being rich!!!! We live on 50 GCD a week which is not a lot. It's about $13.06 in US dollars.
Anyway I'm looking forward to this new journey coming up!
I love and miss everyone!
As you go throughout the week try to make note of the tender mercies of the lord and write them down. You'll begin to see just how much the Lord is in your life and you'll also know God is truly watching over all of us!!


 All 6 of us eating at Rhoda's 

 Yum...fresh salad

 Thanks so much Momma for the birthday package!!

I loved dumping them out!

Love my new bracelet that this local lady makes

Texas y'all 

'Merica, Brazil (for my bro, Kaden) and GHANA!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Giving Thanks!

So I don't have any amazing stories this week ha ha But here's an update:
On Tuesday I went on my first exchange...guess who it was with? One of our AP's, Elder Gabriel. (Assistand to the President- these are Elders that are called to work closely with the mission president.) 
Actually at first I was kind of scared but he's a really cool guy! We had a lot of fun  and worked hard. We even had a car for the day so I was able to take a break from the heat and enjoyed some A/C in the car! ha ha It's getting really hot here now and everyone keeps saying "just wait" as it is getting hotter and hotter! 
This is how our teaching went this week.
First off... we had to drop a lot of people because they're not serious and not progressing in their wanting to accept the gospel at this time. That is always so hard to let people go.
So teaching this week was really slow but we contacted a lot.
Chelsys mom didn't come to church again this week so we're gonna get the Relief Society President (Relief Society is a group of women in the church that help support and strengthen all the women) to come with us and talk with her and see if that can help her to want to come.
Eve Lydia's husband would not approve of her to coming to church this week so we'll have to drop her because shes not able to progress.. which is so sad.
Now we're just trying hard to find serious people to teach.We haven't been able to meet with Tina for 2 weeks now :( she was a prim investigator! but for some reason she's been busy lately.
Thursday we had a great Thanksgiving feast! Elder Barr and I made "American" food and we bought some American soda and tried to come up with some traditional Thanksgiving foods that we both eat with our families. We wanted to share it with our native Elders in the apartment. I even attempted to make my moms amazing sweet potato brown sugar dessert! It wasn't as good as hers but it was a little taste of home.

Sorry this is a short email for this week. Even though we didn't have much success this week I know that the trails we go though in this life are to strengthen our faith. If you think for one second that God isn't watching over you, you're wrong...look again, find His love in the details of each day!! He loves and cares about everyone of you! Look forward to the trails in this life, they are what build us and makes us stronger!! Have faith that it's all part of God's plan for you!!
Thank you to everyone that sent birthday wishes via email this week!:) They have really made me smile today!
I love and miss you all!
Build your faith each day!
When you struggle just think...this is only one day in my life compared to eternity!

Love Elder Morris! :)
 AP Gabriel and me

 Tried to make mom's sweet potatoes


 my plate...don't judge on the carb overload

 Sweet potatoes topping

 Enjoying our Thanksgiving Feast

 Ghana Ramen! ha ha

 More Ghana swag

 Yes we're on bikes and yes we wear helmets!

 Mashed potatoes and gravy!

 Sweet potatoes

 I had to cut my own hair...a bit long still on top huh!

Our spread for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

So ummm where to start... crazy story!! We almost had a fight in the streets of Ghana this week...  Me, my comp and a member were just walking down the street going to a investigators house when we pass by this guy who is looking at me and yelling in Twi. My comp stops and turns around at him and yells back "Whats your problem?? Huh, what is it?". Just to let y'all know, this same man has yelled at us before. The member was like "Elder Z come on he's not worth, it let's keep walking. So we turned around and kept going but was crazy!
Here's some updates.. 
First with the baptism this last week with Priscilla.. It didn't happen:/ her mother insisted that she not be baptized. We were disappointed and Priscilla was very much so.
Chelsy is still not able to be baptized because his mom isn't supporting him by coming with him. 
Tina didn't come to church this week. We were disappointed at that as well.
We just started teaching, Eve Lydia. She's about 40-ish and she called us to come see her. we don't know how she got our number. We've been teaching her and even got through all the first discussion this week. We went on Saturday morning to see her and when we came in she was washing her clothes. She grabbed chairs and sat down with us. After the prayer her husband comes marching out yelling at us to get out. He told us to leave his yard. He said "I don't like what you teach, mammon...." and his wife stood up for us and said it's Mormon not mammon.. :) we told him "sorry daddy! no problem we can leave right now and we stood up and left. We told her we would come back on Tuesday. Pray for her and her husband.
I've been working out trying not to get fat while out here in Africa and no matter what for some reason I'm packing it on. So I decided to pray about what I should do to stay healthy and fit and guess what happened the next day.. I woke up sick as a dog! haha I had a major head ache and a head cold that just wiped me out. After receiving a priesthood blessing we went out and worked and then by 6 o'clock that day I was just dead. I almost slept during 2 of our appointments so we went home early and I fell asleep by 7 o'clock. Luckily I've been feeling better the last day or so.
That's about it for this week.. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!! It's weird to think I'll be turning 19 next week!! It doesn't feel like it because it's never been this hot on my B-day before!! hahaha
I love and miss everyone!!
Keep it Glorious!

Elder Morris :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Texas brothers forever, I love you President!"

HEY-thanks for the email this week! Mom don't ever worry if your emails are too long or not, I'm starting to get less and less emails from friends so it gives me something to read..ha
Yes, we had a memorial service last Friday for Sister Hill. It was really great. President is in good shape. He's always smiling and still making jokes. He knows the plan of salvation is real and knows he'll see his wife again! We found out that he actually won't be leaving until January 2nd. They are letting him finish the year out! That was so good to hear! At the service I gave him a hug before leaving the temple sight and said "Texas brothers forever! I love you President!"I was amazed how comforted he was by a bunch of 19-24 year old missionaries. He has great faith! 

So another good week here in the blistering sun of Africa!! This week was very hot.. but that's okay because it's just one day out of eternity that I have to live! haha
We've been meeting with this girl Priscilla lately. Her cousin is a member so she was a referral. She's been coming to church with her for a while now so we set a baptismal date for this Thursday. She was just baptized last year in another church so her mom is telling her "you don't need to be baptized twice."  We've explained to her that it needs to be through the proper authority. The Priesthood authority which is only in this church, the church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We taught her about the restoration of Christ's gospel and the role that the Prophet Joseph Smith had in restoring it to this earth. Priscilla understands it and received an answer that it is true but she still needs to check with her mom before this Thursday. Hopefully she will allow her to be baptized!
Chelsy is still progressing. We have reset a baptismal date for the 26th of November for him and his mother. That'll happen as long as his mom comes to church! We've invited her for months now she still has yet to come. But Chelsy is so ready to be baptized!
I don't remember if I've told y'all about Tina... she is our best investigator. Now when I say this I actually mean an investigator. She is investigating the church in every possible way. Ever sense we've met with her a few of her friends have been inviting her to their church so she finally got the nerve to come to our meeting this last Sunday. This last Sunday we finally watched General conference!!!!! I was so excited! We showed up early about 8:15 (they said they were going to start at 9) so we show up and the gates are locked.. no one was there... We finally get the key and start to open up the chapel when a few people started to show up and get the projector set up.. Well long story short, it took over an hour and a half to set up and get the sound working. Tina had showed up and sat there for about a hour before we started. I walked up to her and said that THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! The members sometimes struggle but the gospel is perfect. Anyway we finally started and I was so pumped taking notes and everything. and guess what.... She leaned over and said she was feeling tired and she left. After church, later in the afternoon, we went to visit her and we asked how she felt about the meeting. She said it was good and then we invited her for next week as well so she can see how our usual worship is. As we were talking we read some passages from the Book of Mormon and asked what she thought about it. She said she knows it is true! It was wonderful to hear her thoughts and feelings. We'll keep working with her this week! She's by far my favorite investigator! When I teach her I can really feel the spirit just flowing as we talk because she really is searching for the truth and has a desire to know for herself what God wants her to do!
That's about it for this week.. 
I hope everyone is having a great time back home or wherever you may be. I love and miss everyone so much! I would love to hear from you either email or snail mail. 
God bless you!
Elder Morris:)
p.s. Oh, if you haven't sent a package yet I'd like 2 or 3 big gallon zip lock bags and maybe some lifesavers!!! They'd be exactly that! ha ha
Tongan Group

p-day attire