Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hey there everybody! Wow, I am finally in Rio Grande do Sul, and excited about it! I flew out of São Paulo last Tuesday. There were eleven of us going to Porto Alegre South. Ten North Americans and one Brasileiro. We were all grateful to have him as we navigated the São Paulo airport. I finally met my Mission president and his wife, they are fantastic! We didn't waste much time which I was pleased about. Had a little bit of training, ate, I met my trainer (Elder Gramosa, more about him in a minute) and then we were off on a three hour bus ride to the city of Pelotas where I am assigned. So yes my companion is a native, and so are the other two Elders in my apartment, which I am excited about, I am sure that will help with the language a lot. Elder Gramosa is on his last two transfers in the mission so he is finishing and I am just starting. Trainers and their trainee´s are always together for two transfers so I will be his last companion. He is from Salvador and is a great missionary, I will try to send some pictures next week. My area in Pelotas is called the Simões Lopes Norte. When I was asking Elder Gramosa about it he described it like this ´well there is a rich side of town, and a poor side. We are on the poor side´. Ha, that is 100% fine by me.
I really am not sure what to say. It was good week, we worked hard and tried to find people to teach as well as following up on people that had been taught before I got here. If anybody had told me I would be cold in Brazil a few months ago I might have laughed at them, but it IS cold. I won't say the temperature because you will probably laugh at me, but humidity and the wind are not your friend in the winter. Plus there is no such thing here as central heating, or insulation. I sleep with several blankets and sweats. I can't imagine what it must be like at night for a few of the people we teach. Some houses here are little more than some bricks, scrap wood, and a sheet of tin for a roof. It is pretty hard to see, but people are happy.
I have also already made my first cultural blunder, it took maybe six hours. I said thank you. That might sound weird. I will explain. Here there is a drink called Chimarrão, It is basically mate and hot water. When somebody hands it to you, it is impolite to say thank you, simply take it, drink until it rumbles, and pass it back.
Sorry, I feel like this email is pretty scattered and probably not what was expected for my first week in the field, but my mind is pretty scattered. I can only remember being so exhausted at the end of the day when I was working in Chiloquin, I get home. We plan for tomorrow, I write in my journal, pray, and then in the blink of an eye six thirty is here. I am still adjusting from MTC life.
One adjustment is that there are no Americans, so English is almost completely useless except for to mess with some of the kids that follow us around at times. Elder Gramosa does speak English fairly well, enough to help me out if needed, but not too much. Even investigators are really impressed with my language for only having been here for ten weeks, and they ask if I studied before. So I do alright expressing myself, I just cannot follow a conversation to save my life. After I introduce myself, Elder Gramosa often says. He speaks really well, you will be able to understand him, but speak slowly for him. One of my favorite phrases already is: Mais devegar por favor. (Krista, or anyone else, if you have a translation please leave it in the comments...all I got is more blank please.)I know I will get it eventually, but it is hard to be patient and just focus really hard. It is easy when people are talking and I don't know what is going on just to zone out. I have to work at focusing and trying to get what I can and then I ask Elder Gramosa about it later.
The work is going well, we try to talk to everyone, and I am praying that we can find a new family to teach. I read "Our Heritage" yesterday and the day before. Yesterday when it was cold and raining and we were walking around, I thought of the Pioneers crossing the plains in the winter of places like Nebraska, I didn't feel so cold after that. I actually like it, people were more inclined to listen to us because we showed that our message is important enough to bundle up walk across town to share.
Well, until next week. I am glad to hear about everyone's comings and goings throughout the week. It seems like there was a lot with Mom and Shaun in Utah, Nick staying in New York, Tom leaves in a few days for Mexico. And I would like to hear how Austria is For Keith Natalie and Ezzie. I hope you are all well. I love you all, take care

Elder David F. Morgan
(Side note, there is already an Elder Morgan here, so I need to choose between Elder F. Morgan, would sound like efee morgan, or Elder Fredrick, what do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Address Change

I'm about to send off a letter to David only to realize I was about to put his MTC address on it. As of now I don't have a current address for him so please send your letters to the Mission home (the address used for packages) or wait until we hear from David this week with his new address. I'll get it updated on the blog as soon as I have it!


I just got an email from David saying that he doesn't know his new address yet but he'll get it to me when he emails again next week. So for now just send them to the Mission Home address (where you would send a package).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Transfer In Progress

I just wanted to let you all know that there won't be a letter from Elder Morgan this week. He was transfered from the Brazil MTC to his first location out in the mission field (see the map on the sidebar). I can't remember what day the transfer happend but because of it he didn't have his usual p-day (the "preperation day" where the missionaries have a chance to write home, do laundry, etc.) He'll be back next week and we are so excited to get a full report of his first couple of weeks as a greenie (the term used to describe missionaries who are new)!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another Week Gone

Oi! I say it every time but I simply can´t believe that another week has come and gone. This week has really had all sorts of ups and downs in it. Last Thursday we had an all English fast in our district. Only Portuguese all day. THAT was tough, but it was honestly one of THE most gratifying days since being here. Reminds of what Grandpa Morgan told me before I left. The missionaries who get out and work love their missions and the guys who don´t are going to simply be miserable for two years. I have been trying to study and work hard and last Thursday I feel like we really stepped it up. It was hard but I just felt overjoyed. We did service that night for the staff and as a district we just sang while we worked. Hymns, primary songs. Things that helped us to focus on The Savior and other people. Top that day off with gym time and some peanut butter. I went to bed so overjoyed. It felt really good to tell The Lord that night in my prayers that I know that I really worked hard. I went to bed smiling. The next day was kind of another story (this is where the ups and downs come in) We went out proselyting the next day on a street that over a million people walk it everyday. I was nervous, but we sang on the bus ride over and I really felt the Spirit and was trying to take courage. To make a long story short, we got shut down. So many people were just not interested in talking to us. We must have tried to talk to seventy five people in a few hours and maybe five actually spoke back, only one really seemed interested. It was hard because I wanted so hard to be more courageous but I felt so scared to talk to people, and like maybe I could have worked a little harder. It is hard when you have something that you know will be a blessing to others and their lives and I am trying to share it, and to be rejected. There was a few people who talked to us, but we chose not to leave a copy of The Book of Mormon with them because we really didn't feel like they were interested, so we left a message about The Savior Jesus Christ and went on our way. A neat experience that I had was this though: I saw a young man, probably about my age sitting outside the subway entrance. I nudged Elder Goldsberry and went over to talk to him. We started talking, just getting to know each other and we started talking about his religious beliefs and background. He had a church that he went to and he believed in God and Christ. So we started talking to him about The Book of Mormon and how the Book of Mormon also teaches about Christ. He was interested but eventually said that he was pleased with his own church and thanked us. But I had a thought come into my mind. I had actually thought of this when I woke up, and it seemed to be tucked away just for now. I asked him if he could say that the church he attended was the true church of God and Jesus Christ on the earth today. He admitted that no he couldn't he just liked it. With all of the boldness I could muster I simply told him that I could in fact say that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God on the Earth today, and I know that to be true. And that he could know that for himself as well. And the most wonderful thing about that was that he did not have to take my word for it. But that he could read and ponder about the Book of Mormon, and asked God in prayer if it is true. And if he doesn't receive an answer, then nothing in his life has to change. But I know that he will, and that he can know that this is not my church, but The Lord's church. That was the only glimmer of success that day, who knows if he will ever look at The Book of Mormon again, but I know that my own testimony grew and that it wasn't really me speaking, or not anything I could have come up with on my own. I'm sure my Portuguese wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I know The Spirit was there and the message was delivered. It seems that this week my thoughts have really been directed towards The Savior, I started reading the Old Testament again, however many times I have read the Lord's Sermon on the Mount before, it has not been enough. The simplicity and the power with with Christ teaches is incredible. I can't imagine what it would have been like to sit at His feet and hear his words. Well I have to go now. The next letter that I send will be sent from Porto Alegre! I leave next week, I am so excited. I am sure it will very different and very rough, but an incredible experience. I will also have more time to email once I am out there. A side note that I CANNOT forget. Mom did you send that card because it is still not her. I am kind of worried. I love you all. Please take care. Write to me and let me know how you are all doing. I wish I could reply to everyone right now. There will be more time after this week. I love you. Seu Filho, Irmão e Amigo. Elder David Morgan

Sunday, June 12, 2011

(No Subject)

Oi everybody. How are you all? I hope everything is great. This week went by even faster than the one before. Time seems to be in some sort of warp here. I think it really comes from being busy all day and then early to bed, early to rise and do it again. (As a missionary you go to bed at 10:30 and wake up at 6:30 every day). It seems that sometimes my head hits the pillow and then two seconds later the alarm is sounding. I am finally sleeping through the night though, after pumping brain muscles all day and then gym time at night I have been exhausted at the end of each day. I feel like a lot happened this week but I really just don't remember what happened. There has been a cat hanging around the CTM though, we named it Kevin. I would more than bet it is a stray ( a few dogs wander around the streets here too) but you really never know. Sister Sommers ( Male missionaries go by Elder and their Surname and Female missionaries go by Sister and their Surname) actually held it, which may not have been the wisest choice but she is an animal lover and nobody was going to stop her. Speaking of animals, there are a few dogs accross the street that I am begining to be concerned for their well being (completely kidding). ha. But all the new guys who are still adjusting in their sleep cycle are not pleased. Ha I was one of those once, not that I'm this wise sage by any means. You can pretty much tell when it is ten thirty without a clock though because that is when every dog in the neightborhood decides to go off. Also there is a soccer stadium near by that shoots of fireworks whenever the home team scores a goal. Or I would assume that is when they shoot them off. I never actually see them but they make a decent boom. One thing that I have failed to mention over and over again is also, that Elder Goldsberry ( my companion) is almost completely blind in his left eye. This may seem trivial but it makes for a lot of fun. Good thing he is a way cool guy, love him to death, and a good sport. I found this out because we were practicing teaching a lesson and I was sitting on his left and after I finished teaching what I was teaching I looked over at him and he didn't even seem to notice I was looking over. He just kept sitting there focused on who we were teaching. After a solid minute or two he finally looked over and realized that I was looking to him to finish. He just thought I was taking an extended dramatic pause or struggling with language (which is not uncommon on the last part). It may be a ´have to be there´kind of funny, but I thought it was hilarious. Now whenver we teach, I sit on the right. But when we walk places I am on the left so I can be his other eye and keep him for running into things, etc. Cracks us up. The scariest part about all of this though is that he has a drivers license. We are leaving the CTM this friday to go to downtown São Paulo. We are going to try and talk to people on the street there, leave them with a number to call the missionaries and a copy of The Book of Mormon, or if anything just a message about Jesus Christ. That will be exciting. I leave the CTM for Porto Alegre two weeks from yesterday. I can't believe that is coming up so fast. Every Sunday and Tuesday here we have a devotional where all the CTM gets together and we have a speaker or two and the CTM choir always sings. (Which usually consists of about anywhere from 100 to 250 missionaries depending on how many are here at the time.) I get asked to play the piano for it a lot. Love it. Ha last night I was playing for a song called Love is Spoken here. (It's a children's song within the church, Jenn please explain primary when you edit this) Primary is the organization within the chuch for children ages 3-11. The purpose of Primary is to teach the church the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them to learn how to live it. In Primary the children are taught lessons by the Primary leaders, learn songs from the Children's Song book, and go to classes which are divided by age where they are taught the gospel further. I was just using the chords to embelish the song like the director asked me to. A Sister came up afterwards and asked me for my arrangement. Ha she was kind of bummed to find out that it was different everytime and I was just making it up on the spot, but also impressed. Ha I wish I could write it down for her or something. Ironically she is from N. Carolina and knew The Arnés from when they lived there! Sister Petty is here name. I forgot her first name. Well it has been a good week. I hope everything is great back at home. That is neat that Elder Cook was at stake conference! Please tell me how that went. Did Andrew Go? Also I am so happy for Skyler to have left on his mission. He will love it. I love you all, take care, and take care of other people, its important. Seu Filho, Irmão, e Amigo. Elder David Morgan

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eventful Week

Hey there everyone! Wow, another week has already gone by, I don't believe it. It was pretty eventful to say the least. I'm not really sure where to start so I will just start writing and hope that it makes sense. Apparently my emails have to be edited anyways because I write them in such a hurry they probably only make sense in my head while I'm writing. I really hope I get used to this Brazilian keyboard sometime soon though so I can actually type somewhat fast, It´s really not too different but it throws me for a loop. So I realized that I throw down a lot of terms and phrases that only make sense in missionary life and that it would be good to probably explain some of these things a bit. So I will do better explaining what is going on here, and also try to get into this weeks events. As a missionary I have another missionary with me who is my ´companion´and we are together all the time (and I really mean all the time, minus interviews or bathroom etc.) and we watch out for each other help each other teach and support each other. In this case my companion is Elder Goldsberry and he will be my companion for my time here at the CTM, luckily for me he is super awesome and we get along great ha I told Shaun its like carrying a little slice of him around with me. Ha a sister missionary here was talking to us and she said we were the ´perfect companionship´just cause we get along great and we are pretty good buddies. We are divided up into districts depending on when we arrived here, in my district there are four companionships, so eight missionaries. and we all have the same schedule together everyday (this is all just while in the CTM) right now we spend our days studying, either church related things, how to teach, and Portuguese. A few districts make up a zone. and then there is the Mission President. In this case the President of the CTM who is an amazing man and his wife is so great. They just radiate love, its amazing. So now I'm just going to write about the week and if anything comes up I will do my best to explain that. So here in Brazil Peanut butter is a precious commodity, ha but one of the Elders (Elder Williams) in my District had a buddy coming here this last week and so Elder Williams´mom packed some peanut butter with him this last week and we have been feasting on it! This morning when everybody else was having a ham and cheese sandwich, I was feasting on a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It was glorious. Good thing he is such a generous guy. We also have been having oreos dipped in said peanut butter. Which we introduced to our instructors and native roommates. They were blown away. Oh as far as rooms go. So here at the CTM its a lot like living in a college dorm, Ive never done that but it seems like that is a pretty accurate comparison. There are six of us in a room. Usually a mix of Brazilians and Americans. But since I have been here I have lucked out and only ever had one Brazilian companionship in there with us so we have more space but still get to practice Portuguese and make some good friends. Oh last week they cleaned the CTM which is seven stories high, (and I live on the top floor and we can only use the stairs, but I think I mentioned that before) They had people repelling off the top with power washers, I don't know why I didn't think to get a picture of it until the were almost finished of it. It was neat though. We went to the Federal Police this last week to register, and by that I mean wait for a few ours to spend ten minutes getting finger-printed. It was neat though because we got to do some real missionary work. We talked to a lot of people about families and the Gospel, we brought four Copies of the Book of Mormon with us and talked to people about them and handed all of them out. We also went street contacting later that day and just tried to talk to people on the street and either just leave them a message about Jesus Christ, or give them a Book of Mormon (Livro de Mórmon) and encourage them to call the missionaries. It was neat and we had a few really neat experiences. I am running out of time so I wont have time to write them down but they have been stored away in my journal (thank you McCandless family for that) Just another random story. We were playing basketball (we exercise everyday and have gym time) and our game of 2 on 2 kind of descended and we were just goofing off, anyways. Elder Williams made a no looking, behind the back, half court, hook shot. What was neat though was it went over the backboard, hit the bars came back up and went in nothing but net. Needless to say it was a sight to behold. Okay I'm getting off, I will have an hour to write when I am in Porto Alegre (three weeks from yesterday by the way) and so these wont be so rushed then. I love you all, take care, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Let me know if anybody has any questions. Boa Semana Elder Morgan