Wednesday, September 28, 2011

(no subject)

So once again another week has come and passed and I don´t know what happened too it, and it was full of ups and downs, mostly ups.
I am REALLY trying to remember what happened though, it is all in my journal and no longer in my head. We had a specialized training on i think Tuesday but I won´t bet any money on that. It was very powerful and very inspiring. We talked about being diligent and really acting on our faith and I felt very energized to just get out there and talk to the whole world. It was though a fairly hard week. We had a few people we were teaching tell us they didn´t want to meet with us anymore and that is always very heartbreaking, when you know what you have to say will bless their life and their families and they turn away from it, but you can never force them. Especially one of the young men we are teaching Rafael, he is our buddy and we really love him, but he really isn´t interested in our message anymore, I think he got a lot of opposition from his family. But I won´t dwell on that.
SO excited to hear about Grant being out in the mission field. WOOHOO! Sounds like he is hitting the pavement well. That is what it is all about, I am learning that myself. Despite having a great meeting earlier in the week, we did struggle a bit this week. Elder Palandi and I are still adjusting to teaching together and how all the personalities in our apartment fit together. He is a really good guitar player too, so after planning and everything at night, we play the blues sometimes.
We also met some really good people this week too, and are shifting a lot of our work to a new part of our area that a lot of the missionaries before us ignored because it is really hard to work downtown. I feel very strongly that the people there need to have the same opportunity to hear the message of The Gospel and that yes, it will be hard, but there are people there being prepared by The Lord to hear His Gospel. Life wasn´t always meant to be easy anyways.
I am trying to think of a funny story for this week, but I got nothing except trying to explain to E. Falcão what the Blues were.
Oh! So I also finally met Elder (stole my name) Morgan, he is from Salem, we wondered if we were possibly related. His name is Daniel. He keeps getting my letters ha, Auntie-Ria´s letter to me had been opened and read by the time I finally got it.
About miracles, you will find them if you look for them. We definitely had a few this week. I hope one of them was meeting our goal to have 120 people at church this Sunday! I don´t know what our number was this LAST week of the month. We REALLY struggled having investigators at church (this means we had 0 by the way) and it looked like it was pretty close!
I will finish my rambling for this week I promise. We talked to Tamiris (Vanda´s grand-daughter) the other day. She is SOOOO prepared for baptism and a half. It is so neat to see the changes that The Gospel makes in the lives of people. There is just a light about her now, a confidence, she just needs to recognize it in herself. We are going to meet with her tonight and talk about The Temple with her. We are also going to invite her to GENERAL CONFERENCE!! WOOHOO! I guess this will be the REAL test of my language skills, I have noticed a lot of improvement lately. I really have no problems understanding anything at church. I understand a lot more than I can say now. When I hear a word, I understand it, but I need to incorporate them into my own vocabulary too.
I think I still need to spend more time focusing on others and not on myself so much. That is a real problem with humanity I think. Well, not a problem, just something we could all stand to work on, especially me. I encourage you all to diligently seek for something to do for somebody else on a daily basis, pray for opportunities and the sensitivity to recognize them. Okay, I really am finished. Except for this. After the four minute mile was broken, within 3 months 17 other people broke that record. What changed? People believed they could do it now. Don´t wait, be the one to break the record. Believe you can.
I testify that God loves and knows His children and is mindful of each one. Have a great week. I love you all
Seu Filho, Irmão, e Amigão

Elder David F. Morgan

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

(no subject)

Well, still here in good ole Simões Lopes. My new companion showed up last Tuesday and we have been hard at work ever since. Elder Palandi, is the greatest fake out of any missionary you will ever meet. When I met him I didn´t want to ask him where he was from because you just can´t tell if he is just a really good speaking American or just a funny speaking native. He is from São Paulo but looks like he is straight out of California ( which we tell people he is). He just has been here for long enough and had enough American companions to really mess with his accent. He is our district leader here, so he replaced E. Gramosa in that regard too and he is doing a great job. Elder Hansen stayed here and we got E. Falcão as well, he is from Fortaleza, and also a great guy, I am really excited for the work that will get done in our district here and our zone as well.

   So today makes five months as a missionary, I arrived in Brasil Five months from tomorrow though. I can´t believe it, the time really does go so quickly. To think that in another month I will have been here for six months just blows me away. It is fun to get Taylor's letters and to hear about how he feels closing in on the last six months, and I can´t believe that Jordan is already home! I really won´t dwell on the time though.

We had a good week, a lot of good work done, we have a lot of plans of how we can help our area improve and it will really start to take off when E. Palandi knows the area a little better. I can already see improvement in having a fresh pair come in though and the progress we are making.
We only have one more week to go in trying to make our goal to get a chapel for the members here in Simões. I really feel like we will make it, but it´s not over until it´s over. Now we just have to keep it up, demonstrate that we always need to be working this hard and inviting others to come unto Christ and it can be fun haha.
We starting teaching a family this weak too and I am really excited to be working with them. We had been teaching the son (Nicolas) for a little while already and he is very interested and a REALLY intelligent kid, he blows me away sometimes and we are now teaching his parents, they have a lot of questions and we are going slow but I have a lot of hope for them.

I have had a lot on my mind this week. I was reading a talk in my study and a swimmer was quoted when asked about how he had become the great athlete that he is today, the reply was. ´I kick when I don´t want to kick, I stroke when I don´t want to stroke´ I thought about how this applies to missionary work and our lives. We can either go with the flow and become what life makes us, or we can have a vision of who we want to be and work to that end, it won´t always be fun or easy, but the results will be worth it. If we can ignore that ´natural man´that says just stop, give up when it is hard, master that, and do difficult things, it will be worth it. I hope that makes sense, it does in my mind but I don´t know if I am writing it down correctly. So when It is hard I think that very phrase. ´Kick when I don´t want to kick, stroke when I don´t want to stroke.´
It is all about doing things diligently, that will yield the best results.

We have Zone conference in a few days, that is always really uplifting and I always find something I can do to improve.
Well, I am going to go play soccer now. I love you all. Take care, Pray always.
Love, Seu Filho, Irmão, e amigo.

Elder David F Morgan

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Newest Pictures

Elder Morgan says "Us with the most awsome kids in the world:
Older Boy, Eduardo
Younger Bruno
Girl with Dark hair. Marcella
Youngest girl Bela"
Elder Morgan holding a dried out armadillo.
Elder Morgan and Elder Gramosa.
Elder Morgan and Elder Gramosa messing around before a district meeting.
In Elder Morgan's words: "Us and the Gauchós making churrasco."

Elder Morgan and Elder Gramosa with Vanda.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

156! Independence Day! Transfers. BATISMO!!

Oi familia e amigos!
Today is transfers day and it is weird. We just saw E. Gramosa and E. Lopes off at the bus station. I am really going to miss Elder Gramosa a lot. What a great guy, great missionary, great friend. It is a weird feeling to say goodbye to somebody that you have spent almost every waking moment with for the last 12 weeks. I am having a really hard time summing up my feelings about this, so I will leave that for my journal ha.But I am staying here in Simões Lopes and two more Elders will be coming to replace E. Gramosa and E Lopes. I am excited for this next transfer.
So we also had another zone division this last week too. I was with Elder Rogers again, what a guy. We had some way neat experiences teaching. We always have a good time together too, it was really neat thing too because last time we started teaching a couple, it was our first meeting with them, and I got to go visit them this last week too and they are doing great.
oh ya, and we made chocolate peanut butter smoothies too, so good.
So a really exciting part about this week was last Sunday! So our goal is having 120 people in sacrament meeting all this month. We had 156 this last Sunday! The ward is just REALLY coming together, I was a little worried that we would lose the fire after last week but we didn´t at all. Two more weeks! Really I just want September to never end, keep this up always.
Also, this last Wednesday was Brazilian Independence day, we had a great time. We ate Churrasco with a recent convert and her family. Seriously, it was just a blast and I felt great.  And then we had a service project helping a lady in our ward. She has two small kids and is a single mother so we went and put together a bunk bed, fixed a sink, cleaned up. ETC.
ALSO, the Simões Lopes District had TWO baptisms this week.
E. Gramosa and I baptized a lady named Vanda, we have been teaching her for most of this transfer and she was just ready. Going to church consistently and then we invited her to baptism. She had planned to go on two week travel, she put that on hold and declared that she was going to be baptized this week.
So a lot went on this last week. It was a good week too, off course we had some hard times and disappointments as well, but I just look back on it and it was great. I was super exhausted though whew.
Well, I am going to run. I am with E. Hansen for the day and we need to get ready for the new Elders to come here.
I am really struggling to have one definite spiritual or insightful thought to share this week. So, go to the scriptures and find one, apply it. I love you all. Take care.
Seu Filho, Irmão, e Amigo.
Elder David F. Morgan

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pictures (a little late)

Several weeks ago Elder Morgan wrote about his first baptism and also about eating raw sugar cane. He sent some pictures but I had a hard time opening them and saving them to my computer. But I finally figured it out so here they are.

 Elder Morgan eating raw sugar cane.
Elder Morgan at his first baptism. Left to right: Elder Gramosa, ?, Willain, ?, Elder Morgan. (I'm working on filling in the blanks.)

126! and French

óla! I don´t think it is possible to fully express just what it is like to be a missionary. It is full of ups and downs, every hour, of everyday. Constantly changing and adjusting plans and trying to do the best we can with what we have. This was such a week. UP and DOWN.

I will stick with the up. So we have really been trying to get the members involved in the missionary work here and come together to bring people to Christ first of all, and second of all, to get a chapel so it will be easier to get to church for the members and investigators. Sunday came around yesterday and we had been doing all we could to get our current chapel filled and to get people to church. We need to have a lot of attendance at church this month to try and demonstrate that the people here are ready to have a chapel. I have never seen the ward come together like this. People were inviting friends, bringing family. Getting in there cars earlier to go pick people up and coming to our rescue to help us get our investigators to church too. It was such and outpouring of unity.
We had a really powerful testimony meeting and The Spirit was really strong. However looking around I didn't think we had met our goal of 120. Then Bishop got up at the end to share his testimony. Tearfully he announced that we had 126 people at church that week! Now the goal is just to keep this fire, this unity, and build on it, let it grow. It was a great day.
We also had a ward lunch afterwards. I dropped and broke two glass cups in front of 125 people. That was cool. Ha funny thing is I didn´t really feel embarrassed, just loved.

Our focus this week will be getting the people who didn't go to church this week, at church this coming week and also maintaining who we did have. On top of that, our teaching pool is REALLY shrinking we need to start finding more people to teach.
Our district also has three baptisms planned for this week, maybe even a fourth. We have two young men who really want to be baptized but their parents won't let them. So we just continue to teach them and spend time with them.

Also, neat story. So we were doing a service project this week at a member's home. They had an old french Book of Mormon lying around. So I picked it up and started to read. I can understand a little bit of french. I had heard I would be able to do that with Portuguese but it was fun to put it to the test. I am sure if it was a book I wasn't familiar with or if someone was speaking it I would get nothing. But hey, it is a start right. I totally knew what was happening and where I was in The Book of Mormon while I was reading.

Also, Willain gave me a hammock this week as a present. I was pretty excited. When it stops raining and we get some sun. That will be a P-Day activity for sure. It is really warming up now, very humid here.

So my spiritual thought for the week. It is about prayer. Often we think of prayer as either, when we are in a bind and need some help, or like we are calling in our pizza delivery order. We sort of, place our order and then hang up. Yes, Heavenly Father delivers. But not like that. Something I had to think about was if I was really having a conversation with my Father in Heaven or just placing an order. I have been trying to give myself time to think and meditate before prayer. Take time to really have a conversation about what I feel and what the needs of the people here are. ´Let´s all just remember to have a conversation with our Father when we pray. not just place an order. Don´t really know if that counts as a spiritual thought, but it is something I had been thinking about these last few days.

Well I hope all is well back home. I love you all. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers on my behalf and your letters of encouragement. Take Care.

Seu Filho, irmão e amigo. Elder David F. Morgan