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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Passing of Sister Raelene Hill

SALT LAKE CITY — Ryan Hill suspected the worst Sunday morning when his father, an LDS Church mission president in Ghana, phoned and asked him to hold while he added Ryan's siblings to the call.
Ryan thought there may have been a death in the family, but it didn't cross his mind that it could be his mother, Sister Raelene B. Hill, 64, who unexpectedly died on Sunday in South Africa from complications following a routine medical procedure.Sister Hill, a native of Ogden, Utah, had been serving in Ghana since July 2013 with her husband, President Norman C. Hill, president of the Ghana Accra West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"One of our ancestors is Rebecca Burdick Winters, who died as a pioneer in 1852 and whose grave is marked on the Mormon Trail," Ryan Hill said. "I've thought today about how my mom is like that. Our family has always been willing to sacrifice whatever the Lord would ask. She went on this mission because she knew it was important and the call came from the Lord."
Sister Hill traveled from Ghana to South Africa for a procedure to remove kidney stones and died when complications developed.
"(The Hills) are deeply loved by their family, church leaders and their missionaries," LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said. "We pray for each of them at this difficult time and extend our love to President Hill and his family."
The Hills were members of the Klein Texas LDS Stake before leaving on their mission. Sister Hill was a former Texas Mother of the Year and a past president of American Mothers.
Sister Hill regularly taught the missionaries serving in Ghana that they could do hard things. Ryan Hill said she asked Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to confirm to the missionaries that they could do hard things when he visited the mission last year.
"I perceive you know a lot about that, don't you, Sister Hill?" Elder Bednar said.
She did.
"It wasn't necessarily easy for her to leave on a mission," her son said.
For one, she had to leave behind grandchildren; she now has 12, with two more are on the way. She worried about her parents, Neal and Faye Ball, who still live in Ogden and now are in their 90s.
Returning to West Africa, where President Hill had worked in business for five years, also was a sacrifice, in part because she suffered from several health issues that she managed privately and that caused her pain.
Sister Hill was born in Ogden. She and President Hill were Ogden High School sweethearts. She waited for him while he served an LDS mission, then for another year as he fulfilled the promise his mission president required of every missionary to wait one year before marriage.
They married in the Ogden LDS Temple, which she had helped raised money to build. She attended Weber State and BYU, where she studied home economics and education. She taught at Tintic High School in Eureka, Utah, before focusing on raising four children. A fifth died at birth.
"She dedicated her life to her kids and our interests," Ryan Hill said.
Sister Hill's previous church service experience included time as a stake public affairs committee member, ward Relief Society president and stake Young Women president, according to a February 2013 LDS Church News article.
The Hills' mission has been noteworthy. After the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the evacuation of the missionaries from the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission, President Hill doubled for a year as president of that mission, too. He wrote an article for the Ensign, a LDS Church magazine, about how church members in Sierra Leone dealt with Ebola, isolation and the lingering aftermath of the war.
Their missionaries also helped Accra recover from the effects of major flooding in June, when more than 160 people died.
Sister Hill helped one missionary shed his initial reluctance to help people who had badmouthed the LDS Church.
"Sister Hill, our mission president’s wife, is always saying ‘we can do hard things,’" said Elder Victor Uzoho of Aba, Nigeria, "so I soon stopped complaining in my mind and instead saw how much good we were doing. I think they see us differently now because we were willing to get dirty by cleaning out gutters and washing walls alongside them."

Obolo Obrunei! =(Fat whiteman in Twi)

Another good week in Ghana!
I can't believe it's already November!! It doesn't really feel like it here because it's still super hot!! A funny story before I start. We (4 of us elders) were coming home from a members house last night, when this lady stopped us and starting talking to us. She told Elder Barr that he could call her obolo mommy! Obolo means fat in twi. And so Elder Barr said "oh, yes I'll be obolo too after eating all this fufu." And then this lady looks at me and says "obroni" (white man) you have obolo bottom" Everyone started laughing realizing she had just said I have a fat rearend! I guess they aren't use to seeing a white guy with such roundness... Ha ha ha but anyway here's what happened this week.

Chelsy... So we planned his baptism this past week. We taught him all the lessons and then when Saturday came around, we were informed that we'd have to call our mission president and talk to him because Chelsy is 12. There's a rule here if the  investigators are under the age of 17, it's better if a parent is also a member. So having been told this, we had to rush over to Chelsy's house Saturday morning to tell him we'd have to post pone the baptism until his mom could get baptized. She was kinda upset but we told her weeks ago she would have to come to church and be baptized for us to baptize Chelsy. Every week she says she'll come but never does. Sunday comes around and we were waiting for them to show up at church and then we get a call that Chelsy was sick..that was a bummer :'(

We went to see him after church, and we were able to give him a priesthood blessings. 
Something we do before giving blessings is we always ask if they have faith that it will work. It's important for the person receiving the blessing to have faith that they can be healed. 
Actually I've been able to give a few blessings these last few weeks. We've had some elders in the apartment not feeling too well. Another investigator we've been working with is Tina. We had a movie night at the church this week. We watched 17 miracles and can I just say how much I love that movie!! Tina came with us and she was kind of scared at first because she said she heard that the "Mormons" have a secret room! When we arrived at the church we showed her every room, reassuring her that there's nothing we are hiding! 

I think she enjoyed the movie. The next day we went to follow up with her and see what she was thinking. She told us that lately she's been invited to attend a lot of churches. She said that she is not sure which one is the correct one. I told her that her concern was just like Joseph Smith's!! That he also attended many churches seeking to find the correct one but taht he couldn't. The only problem is Tina has yet to visit ours. So I testified to her right there! I said "Tina, I know that if you come to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you'll see for yourself that this church is Gods kingdom on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of Jesus Christ. And this is the only true church that teaches all the principles and ordinances that Jesus Christ once taught." I could feel the spirit so strongly! The most powerful I've ever felt it since I've been out on my mission. I committed her to come this next week and she said she would. So we are really hoping she comes!

That's about it for this week! I hope everyone is enjoying the cold back home! And if you're feeling generous, please send some to Ghana! 

On a much more serious note, we received news this morning from our zone leader in the apartment that President Hills wife, Sister Hill, just passed away. She had traveled to Johannesburg to have surgery for a kidney stone this past week. The surgery was a success but afterwards, she went into cardiac arrest.Sister Hill was literally my missionary mother. It was just this last week I called her and president thinking I had a sinus infection asking for instructions on how I should take care of it. Little did I know that she was in a much more serious condition. Her love and care for me was genuine and for this I love them both so much!!

A temporary mission president will be assigned until later this year when a permanent one comes in. For now, President Hill will likely be released. He needs all the prayers he can get right now, please pray for him.

Love and miss y'all so much! 
Love,  Ɛlder Morris   

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Look what I made

 From Nikki: I'm assuming Elder Morris received the package we sent with ingredients  which he used to make his favorite...NO BAKE COOKIES (via microwave it seems!) 

Random Photos from Ghana

 Elder Barr and I carved pineapples
 Shout out to Utah State!
 random selfie cuz I think I'm looking chubby :)

 Elder Barr and I carved watermelons 

glowing watermelons

 Me and (Kaden) that friend of the Spanglers

Getting creative on their exercising..."Squatting Elder Barr"

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Elder Bednar came to Ghana!!!!

Happy Halloween everyone!! Hope y'all had fun collecting candy! Do me a favor and save me some please:D Another week gone by in Ghana! But an eventful one!! Just a little something funny, I've been called Mexican, Jackie Chan, and husband this week. 

Let's start with Chelsey. So we went to see him this week for another lesson on the Plan of Salvation. So we sit down with him and his friend in a shop. It was just the four of us. We begin teaching him and then suddenly a few kids walk in and sit down. So now there were 6 of us. Then shortly after that, some more kids walked in making it 10. By then end of our lesson there were 15 kids sitting around my companion and I listening to our lesson!! It was so cool! We talked about Adam and Eve and how the fall of Adam was an important part of Gods plan, because without it, we wouldn't be be here.

Last Thursday we had the opportunity of a life time!! 
Elder Bednar came to Ghana!! He held a special member, missionary, and investigator devotional. He opened up the meeting for questions. Can I just say how powerful the whole meeting was!! From the time I walked into the chapel I was so filled with the spirit! How amazing it was to hear the words from an apostle of God!! One of the questions asked was "How can we be motivated to go to the temple?". This was part of his response...He said that while the temples are being built, we make time to go to the site and look at it being built, we even go to the dedication and take our family to look at it. But then once it opens, we don't take the time to go inside and perform the covenants and sacred ordinances inside. We make excuses of why we can't go and say we have other things that need to be done.

He went on to say we make time for things that are important to us. He then said If we aren't making time to go to the temple, we must repent!!! "Repent and get your life in order!" These were such powerful words coming from an apostle of God! 
One of the last questions asked was from this young boy (9 years old). His name was Caden (American kid) he asked Elder Bednar "How as a primary child can I prepare to be a missionary?" Elder Bednar had some of the mission presidents that were there give Caden some advice. We ended the meeting on that question and then Sister and Elder Bednar bore there testimonies. It was so powerful and something I will never forget!

We brought some investigators with us, Chelsey and our new investigator Mercy. After the meeting it started to really pour down rain!! The streets were flooding but we decided we'd better leave anyway. We had to run out to the street and wave down a taxi but we were out for a good 5-7 minutes just chillin' in the rain. We were soaked!! But it was so totally worth it!! 

Halloween eve came around on Friday. Me and Elder Barr carved some pineapples that night. And then Saturday night we carved watermelons! I carved a sick Utah State one!! That's pretty much my week. 

My companion and I have some sort of cold with a big headache so yesterday, Sunday we tried to get feeling better. Thank goodness for ibuprofen.

Before I close I'd like to share a small parable we use with our investigators that can help members with inviting people to church. We teach them that going to church is like tasting a mango. For me, I take a bite of this mango and I can tell you how sweet it is! (Or we share this message of the restoration with people, and tell them how good it is.) But for you, you can never know how sweet it really is unless you take a bite of it yourself. You can never know how great our message is or if it's even true unless you come and see for yourself. 

So many people judge our church for our beliefs when they don't even know what we teach. All they hear is rumors!! But for them, they've never tasted of the fruit for themselves. So I invite you to taste the'll never know how sweet it is unless you try! 

Love and miss you all! I hope all is well back home or where ever you may be reading this! May God be with you!
Love y'all

Elder Morris