Tuesday, August 30, 2011


óla familia e amigos.
  You know what? Life is hard sometimes, but it is just so great at the same time. From reading emails this week I am really just full of joy! I have to start of by saying congratulations to Sally and Josh! Laila looks real cute (thanks for the pic mom) I am so happy and excited for you. It sounds like Mother and baby are healthy and well. So exciting to be welcoming a new baby into the family. How did you guys choose the name? Anyways, I am so happy for you, ha I will probably print of the picture and show it to some of our investigators who knew I had a sister who was pregnant ha.
   To top that off, to hear about Andrew being ordained to the priesthood (or to be ordained soon, sounds like we are waiting for mom or Dad to get back into town) I just couldn't keep the biggest grin on my face... it is still there in fact. I really don´t have the words to express what I want to right now. Pure joy.
   Well as usual, I can really only remember what we have done in about the past three days and the rest of the week has just blended together with everything else, time here in the mission is really just weird. Especially in Brasil. Everybody leaves in the middle of the day for lunch, takes a nap afterwards and the world doesn´t wake back up until at least three, and then everybody is back sleeping by eight thirty or nine. The most active parts of the day are very different than in the states.
   I can´t believe I have been here for four months already, two of those here in Pelots. Transfers are going to be in two weeks. It is weird knowing I will be getting a new companion. I will really miss E. Gramosa. I can't imagine what it would be like knowing you only have two weeks left as a missionary after serving for two years. Ha a guy in our ward here just got home from his mission recently last week he told us. Fique na missão cara, fique na missão. ´Just stay on the mission man, just stay on the mission´. Ha I guess it is a really weird transfer to normal life again afterwards.
    I also really hope I stay here in Simões Lopes. I trust The Lord and where he wants me but I just look at what could still happen here and I just want to be part of it. The chapel here is really far from the members homes and we have a goal to get a chapel here in Simões so it will be easier for the members to get to church but we need to be having a lot more people attending church for that to happen. (kind of a catch 22 or something, a chapel would help having more people at church but we need to more people at church to get the chapel too.) But we are all trying to REALLY exercise our faith and have a vision for how we can increase attendance at church each week so the members here can have the blessing of a chapel closer to their homes, I would really love to stay and be a part of that; we have a long way to go but I feel like it can be done with faith and a lot of hard work. I know it can be done.
   We started teaching William´s family yesterday. He was recently baptized and we have a really good relationship with his dad too and we just started talking with his mom and they accepted the invitation to hear our message. They are really great people with great hearts and looking for answers and I am so excited that the Lord has opened the door for us to be able to share The Gospel message with them as well. It is amazing how much you really can just come to love and care about people. Ezequiel told us that if the chapel was closer he would already have visited, he really has a lot of respect for us and is very interested. But his mom is really sick and he just can´t leave her for very long. Another reason why I REALLY want to help get a chapel closer to our area.
Can´t believe Grant will be heading out to mission field soon too. I am really excited for him. Ha teaching real people is way better than fake people in a recorded room haha. How cool is it to have to be teaching the same great message as your best buddy? I think about missionaries all over the world sometimes. I think it was Elder Anderson who said this. The Sun never sets on righteous missionaries testifying of Christ. Pretty profound.
   Well, now it is time to get rolling. I am trying to think of a Spiritual thought I can share and the only thing on my mind is what I have been thinking about and studying, and what we are really talking about as a mission right now. Consecration. The Lord doesn´t just want a part of us, He wants everything, every little bit. If we turn our lives over to The Lord, we will find out he can make a lot more out of us than we ever could for ourselves. Offer yourself, everything. Sometimes we are tempted to hold a little bit back, but then we just live in constant discontent with our own lives. Ha, so just give up. I don´t remember the reference but The Lord teaches that whoever wants to save his life will lose it and whoever loses his life will live. Just forget about yourself. Do what The Lord wants you to do and help others.
I love you all, take care.
Seu Filho, Irmão e amigo.

Elder David F. Morgan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Lord Knows Each Of Us

Óla family and Friends.
Where to start this week I am really not sure. It is amazing how a short period of time can be filled with so many different experiences. Ups and downs, and everything in between too.
Can I take a moment though to express my gratitude and testify of living Prophets and Apostles who The Lord inspires. The Lord knows each one of us and our needs and he has given us everything we need to learn and to grow and he puts things in motion just for us. I received the General Conference addition of The Liahona this last week and I can firmly say that though there are many reasons that the Lord inspires the leaders of His church to speak about what they do. I know that one reason was that He knew in April, that in four months, A Brazilian missionary would have doubts, questions, and be feeling a little down and that the written words of Prophets would provide strength and council to that missionary. The Lord is far more interested in our success and happiness than we are for ourselves and He knows exactly what we need. As many as the Lords loves, he is going to test, try, and push to the very limit, but He does not leave us alone. That is how we grow. Especially when we endure it well with patience and humility.
I think far too much I ask  ´ what am I going to gain from my mission?´ I am not hear to gain anything. I am here to give EVERYTHING. I can testify that we will find far more happiness, peace, and success in this life when our attitude changes from what will I get? to what can I give? In life, success in our relationships with others is far less about finding the right person and much more about being the right person.
We had some hard experiences this week, but also experiences that were very neat and touched my heart, but they only came after the trials and enduring.
Thank you everyone back home for your thoughts, prayers, love and support. Thank you for keeping me updated on what is going on back home.
I hope Tom made it back from Mexico alright, I guess I would have heard if it was otherwise huh? Sorry this is a short one but I have got to run. Haha, Soccer time! We are bringing two zones together to play.
Have a great week everyone. Remember to work hard and play hard. Jenn sent me a letter and it had something that I thought was very important and I  had been thinking about too. It was about resisting the urge to do nothing. Anyone who knows me knows that I can enjoy my time to loaf. But seriously, resist the urge to do Nothing. Find SOMETHING. There is a difference between being idle and relaxing.
Okay, Have a great week. I love you.
Seu Filho, Irmão, e Amigo.
Elder David F. Morgan

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Being sick, it isn't fun

Oi! So, this week has been a little ridiculous. We all took turns being sick here and it was rough. It was a flu/cold that I really can't describe. Elder Gramosa started with it in the beginning of the week and then I picked it up. Elder Hansen picked it up the day after and now Elder Lopes is down and out too. We have been doing a lot of splits this week so we can always have at least two of us out there working, and I think we did alright for the week but sadly we just weren't much of a power house this week. On Wednesday I really woke up feeling awful so after some time I needed to get some more rest. We went to our lunch appointment which was pretty pretty quick. When we got back I was really feeling sick and we had a bit more time for lunch so I thought I would grab a few winks before we went back out to work. I woke up five hours later. Elder Hansen was even worse off than I was and got an ear infection too so the others just left us to sleep and went out and got some work. Truth is I felt way bummed about not getting out to work at all that day, we had a few hours when I woke up but Elder Hansen was told not to go out in the wind, so we made chicken soup to drown away our sorrows and we swapped some stories.
     I had a lot of time to read this week too. I finished The Book of Mormon, and I made some good progress in Jesus The Christ. I am reading it alongside The Four Gospels to try and understand more about the mortal ministry of The Savior. Once again, I am filled with wonder about the sheer majesty of The Lord Jesus Christ, over and over again. Especially in the compassion he showed to others. I am still learning how to show that kind of compassion to others. We had a really special experience this last week regarding compassion and impromptu service that really was special to my heart. Sometimes the circumstances that people live in here can be heartbreaking and we had an opportunity to involve some sisters here in the ward and come to the rescue of a family in need. It made me very grateful for my own family and the circumstances that we are blessed with.
I really wasn't planning on sharing what happened but I feel kind of impressed to, so I will.
On Thursday, we got a call from the other Elders to come to the house of somebody that had recently taught, and to hurry. Turns out the mother of this family had been in the hospital with the youngest child since Sunday and the four smaller kids hadn't eaten in days, or been bathed and had their clothes changed. I won't mention why the father hadn't been providing but I am so grateful to live in a church family where there is an instant system of support. With a few phone calls there was some sisters from the ward there to help with bathing and changing and getting some food ready while we set about cleaning the place up. I had been to the house many times but never been so struck by the circumstances that the family was living before. But more than just the sheer poverty, while the food was being prepared Elder Gramosa and I especially just started playing with the kids, they were really leery of us at first, but by the end they were hanging on us and having some good fun and I was so filled with gratitude for growing up in a family that never lacked in fun and love and some hugs everyday. I don't know how often these kids get much of that, and I just wanted to show them all the love I had in my heart and more. The Lord has an incredible way of showing us just how blessed we really are, and demonstrating how we need to share that with others.
We had stake conference here yesterday too, it was really good. In my impeccable foresight I brought candy to share with some of our younger more squirly investigators. It was also Fathers day here yesterday so it was a little rough as far as having investigators at church. I missed having some waffles and omelets after church, but that night for family night we made pancakes for a family so that is kind of like it. Ha pancakes are for our family night here. We offer to make some American food and people love it. It was some good fun. I have been trying to work hard out here, but I think work is supposed to be enjoyable too. It is. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured. Yesterday I was reminded of a phrase ever present in my life growing up thus far and I wrote it down and posted it on my wall in front of my desk. it reads: "You don't have to, you get to."
I am so glad that I GET to serve here as a missionary and I get to wake up at six thirty every morning and exercise and study. I am so grateful that I Get to struggle in learning a new language and learn and grow.
I hope all is well with everyone back home. I also love getting Grant's updates from the CTM. Enjoy the last of summer there. Get and do something fun this week. Take care, I love and pray for you all.
Seu Filho, Irmão, e Amigo.
Elder David F. Morgan

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Primeiro Batismo

Oi familia. There is bunch to write about this week and I hope I can get it all in, but the first and most exciting news is that William, one of the young men we have been teaching was baptized this last Saturday (which I performed) and was confirmed on Sunday! I was so happy, I am really excited for him. Ha the first thing he said after coming out of the water was. Oh, legal. (wow cool!) I had to laugh a bit inside. He is a joker, but really committed to The Lord. His father also came to see the baptism and I am excited to see how he felt, ha Willain's sister asked if she could be baptized too, she was so bummed when she found out she had to wait until she was eight.
   Also, we had our first transfer out here in the mission field this week. Elder Amaral left for Porto Alegre and we had  Elder Hansen come here. He is a great Elder and I am grateful for his being here. He wants to speak a lot of English with me though and I am trying to keep my mind geared towards Portuguese so probably going to ask him to speak to me in Portuguese.
Also I got the package this last week. Thanks a million. When I saw the box said cookies, I didn't expect homemade peanut butter cookies vacuum sealed for freshness! So excited. They haven't lasted long, I was sure to share, a few mysteriously disappeared too... I also got a healthy dose of letters with it. Thank you Heidi for the pictures too! Ha and the bubbles. The peanut butter just was wonderful, and fruit snacks just topped it off. Why have we never eaten the Welches kind before, they are so dang good.
So, I also had some interesting cultural experiences this week. Elder Gramosa found some sugar cane and so it was naturally brought home with us. And we cut up some sugar cane and had that for the past couple of days. I felt pretty cool eating wild sugar cane with my companion from Bahia.
So also, we ate capibara at a member house last night. Essentially it is the world's largest rat. It lives here, and Irmão Paulo had killed it a few days ago and we had churraso last night. This is a rodent about three feet long from what I understand. I only saw a drawing of it in the dictionary. It was actually really good. But I will eat almost anything.
When you are feeling down, count your blessings. I have really tried to write them down before, you don't have enough paper, trust me. I really felt full of gratitude this week. I know I have it good. And amazingly, I don't mean that in a material sense. Yes there is a lot of poverty here and I am grateful for my material blessings, but especially I was overwhelmed with the blessing of being born into a family that has the Gospel. Where we love each other and my siblings are my best friends.
The Lord also saw fit to humble me this week, I won't tell the whole story, but I had a moment when I really let my pride get the better of me this week. And somebody that I don't usually feel like I would want to take advice from really helped me out.
I read that same day, about The Savior being tempted of Satan, the temptation really wasn't in hunger, or falling off a building. It was in the word IF, to prove something, to satisfy pride and to prove a point. The Lord submitted to the will of the Father in all things. Just the majesty of His perfection astounded me this week, how easy it is for a split second to give in to our pride, and not once did He.
   Well, we passed up our goals this week, so now we are headed off to eat churraso and play some sports today. Pretty sure we are going fishing next P day too, so that is something I am WAY excited for. Only been a few times with dad, but I really like it.
I love you all, have a good week. And just another thought, if you have to say something, make sure it uplifts, or if there is a problem, speak with who you need to speak with. NOT anybody else. Okay, take care, I love you all.
Seu, filho, irmão e amigo. Elder David F Morgan

Saturday, August 6, 2011

1.21 gigiwatts?!

Oi everybody!
So truth be told, this was actually a pretty rough week. As a general statement, that is really all that will be said about that, it´s not cool to dwell on it.
However, there was a ray of light for the week ha. We had divisions, so I spent a day with one of our Zone Leaders. Elder Rogers, he is a way cool guy and a great Elder, I believe he is from Jordan Utah. Anyways, I went to his area of Pelotas and we had a service project to start the day off ( cleaning mold off of a member ceiling, pretty common here) But they fed us afterwards which is always a plus, plus it was kind of fun. Anyways, we got some good work done and taught some good lessons, and a recent convert was talking to us about going on a mission, I was so excited for him. I have to be honest though, the best part was just actually being able to talk with someone, about whatever. Usually around American missionaries I still just speak Portuguese, but we talked a lot in English together, and it was really good just to talk. I can get kind of lonely sometimes I guess in an apartment with 3 Brasilians and our conversations are pretty limited. Ha so with Elder Rogers when we were waiting on our dinner (pineapple cake) that night, we just started talking, about sports, music, what we liked to do, and he mentioned something about Back to the Future being the number one movie of all time. Ha, I let him know that my family is definitely a fan of Back to the Future as well. wow not sure why this font just changed to bold, whatevs. It was kind of a good ZEN day, I think i needed it.
The language is coming quite well though, ha I am such a nerd, I carry around a little notepad in my front pocket and when I notice a word being used a lot that I don't understand, I ´jot´ it down and ask Elder Gramos about it, or look it up when I get home. Also, been reading the Liahona and translating conference talks, way sweet. Somebody guessed that I had been here six to eight months last week, so that was a good confidence boost, and last night we were swapping jokes and I actually translated into portuguese. Still, at times it is super frustrating, ha especially when I know I am the topic of a conversation and I have no idea what is being said about me. But I keep plugging along and praying a lot.  So because I feel that this email is kind of all over the place this week, I am going to finish with a Spiritual analogy I had in my mind this morning. It was about faith, I was studying about how to study and why we study the Gospel. Really to study is an act of faith, that is going to build your faith. Sometimes we compare faith to a seed, but I think it is more like a muscle. We have to use it everyday, or else it is going to go weak. If we put it in a sling it will especially go weak ( if we are not supporting our own faith) And like a muscle grows by breaking it down and we build up stronger. When our faith grows most rapid is when we are being tried, and tested and pushed to the max, and sometimes it stinks, but when we endure it well and really push through. We will be stronger when it is all over and we are built back up. So I guess this is a mixture of a thought about study, faith, and our trials. Enjoy, I hope all is well.
Love, seu Filho, irmão, amigo. Elder David F Morgan