Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hi everyone, 

Oh man. It's been quite a week.  

Okay. So highlights and lowlights of this week:
  • I am going to have my first baptism on Saturday!!! So this man, Tim Hunsaker, has been investigating the church for like fifteen years. His wife and kids are all members. His son just got his call to New Zealand. They live across the street from us. Every single companionship that has come in here has tried to get him baptized, to no avail. But, he made the decision last Sunday to be baptized! I am so excited for him. It really is a testimony builder for me that it isn't about the missionaries or anything like that. It is about the relationship between God and the individual. It is up to them to listen to the Holy Ghost and make that comittment.
  • I got to go on an exchange this week! Sister Mosbrucker is Sister Trainer Leader, so she went to Kent with Sister Cox. Sister Cox's companion SISTER BROOKE TAYLOR! came and was with me!!! Wooott! She was in my district at the MTC, and she was the one I went to lunch with before I even went on my mission. She and I have become really really good friends, and might room together at BYU when we get home. It was awesome, I loved being able to spend some time with her.
  • Thursday...the day from you know where. Thursday was really really hard.Dana dropped us. She was the first investigator I met out here in Auburn. She is the sweetest lady, and we had three lessons with her and a church tour. We had another appointment scheduled and when we showed up, she told us that she would "never come to our church and never be baptized into our church." We said that was fine, and we would drop by every once in awhile to see how she and her family is doing. I was devastated. I love Dana so much. As we were walking away from her house I was bawling. I guess it is a good thing though, because I am learning how to love the people.
  • I got held hostage. Yup. You read that right. But don't freak out yet haha. We went to visit a very less active sister named Katrina. She lives in one of the sketchier parts of our area. We knocked on the door and she came out and gave us two bags of red potatoes, a loaf of bread, two oranges, and two water bottles and told us that we needed to give them to people who need them. Okay.... So we talked with her for a minute and decided to share a quick scripture with her. I was holding both the potato bags, the bread, my bag, my scriptures...etc. As sister Mosbrucker was sharing, Katrina kept reading out loud. We were on the porch for like twenty minutes. My arms were shaking from holding all that junk. We had an appointment, and told Katrina so. We tried to leave, but she said: "No, you came into a family dispute so you need to stay and help us." She was ranting and talking forever. She made us go into her apartment and we talked to her for a bit longer. We tried to leave two other times but she wouldn't let us. We probably could have stood up and left, but we were afraid she would freak out and get physical with us. So...ya. But eventually we left. It was kinda a scary situation. Needless to say we won't be back.
  • Okay, I have never realized how important Ward members are. EVERYONE LISTEN UP: HELP THE MISSIONARIES! Our ward is great, but they are not very open and helpful. They like to keep to themselves, and they all get offended easily. We need sisters to come with us when we visit single men, but no one will come out with us! WARD MEMBERS ARE ESSENTIAL IN MISSIONARY WORK. Ward members ARE missionaries! Realize this! Be willing to go and help the missionaries! Feed them! Ask them what you can do to help! Be willing to go out with them! I had a sister in ward council tell us that she "would never go out with us." One hour was too much time away from her baby. There are thousands of missionaries serving missions for 18 to 24 months, 24 hours a day. Be willing to sacrifice an hour or two to help bring souls unto Christ.
So basically, that was my week. Full of hills and valleys, but good nonetheless. I love missionary work, and I am so grateful to be here. I love you all and appreciate your love and prayers and support. Hurrah for Israel! 

Love, Sister Morrow

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week 3: My God is a God of miracles!

Hello everyone!

So it has been one crazy week.

On Tuesday, we woke up at 3:30 to pack and get ready for leaving the MTC at 5:00 a.m. We got ready on time, thankfully. With a room full of six girls, getting ready got interesting at times. But we took the bus to the airport and I waved goodbye to Utah from the airplane window. See ya in a bit, Utah. Once we landed here in Seattle, President and Sister Larkin were at the airport to pick us up. We all grabbed our luggage and packed into minivans and a full sized van. I was expecting to do a little sightseeing, but that was not on the schedule. We went to the mission home where we had some orientation and training. After that we went to the church building where we met our trainers.

My trainer is Sister Mosbrucker. She is 22, from Ft. Collins, Colorado. She is very "let's get down to business" like me, which I really like. I've finally been able to get her to open up a little bit though and be silly with me. She has been in the mission for ten months. I feel lucky to have such a seasoned trainer because a lot of the Sisters and Elders were being assigned to trainers who have only been out in the field for six weeks. We are getting twenty six Sisters next transfer...so chances are I will be training. So I am grilling Sister Mosbrucker and making her train me really well just in case.

 We are in the Auburn area, in the Lake Holm ward. It is kinda up in the mountains. There are tons of trees and it is absolutely gorgeous. We live with some nonmembers who have four dogs and four horses. It is a beautiful area! I love being tucked back in the woods a bit. We go down to Auburn for shopping, etc. I met our ward yesterday, and they are pretty great. I feel slightly awkward because I don't know anyone and Sister Mosbrucker knows EVERYONE. She has been in Auburn eight out of the ten months she has been on her mission. So I kinda just stand awkwardly to the side while she has conversations with people. I try and introduce myself and stuff but people don't really care about the greenie haha. But whatever, no worries! Next transfer determines what mission we will be in: Federal Way or Seattle. If I am to stay in Auburn, I will be in Federal Way. So it will be interesting to see where I end up! If I do end up in Federal Way, they send us new mission calls haha. Exciting, right? :)

Sister Mosbrucker is the Sister Trainer Leader, so she had a meeting all day on Wednesday which means I had to go on a transfer with someone else. Weird. My first day in the mission and I wasn't even with my companion. But oh well. I spent the day with Sister Boyce in the Puyallup area. It was a pretty overwhelming but good day. I was pretty homesick and emotional on Wednesday, but I am doing so much better. I am really focused and loving it here! I just hit those waves of homesicknesses every once in awhile.

Thursday we visited some less active sisters who were absolutely wonderful. It was a beautiful day, so we sat outside in their gardens with them and talked. I loved it! Washington is so beautiful when it is sunny! The trees, the flowers, the birds--I love it!

On Friday we had a zone meeting. Elder Cook, a friend I met through Jared Workman at BYU is in my zone! Crazy. And one of my zone leaders is Elder Grandstaff, a guy I went to Jr. High and High School with, and a fellow Farmingtonian. At zone meeting, we were informed that President Larkin had made the goal of putting 100 people on date for baptism in the mission that day. What a daunting task. But we set out to meet our goal!

That evening we went tracting in a sketchier area called Lea Hill. We were knocking in apartment buildings, and I had some fun experiences haha. Experiences I definitely wouldn't have in Utah! One guy was growing pot and wouldn't open his door all the way, another guy was SUPER high...I dunno. It was interesting and kinda entertaining haha. My California friends can't call me super sheltered anymore because I now know what pot smells like. ;) But tracting was disappointing because absolutely no one was interested. We started discussing the gospel with a guy from Africa named Julius, but it just turned into an argument. Needless to say, when you are arguing about the gospel, the spirit is not there. So we said a prayer with him and left.

 It was a bummer of a day. It was 8:30 and we still hadn't placed anyone on date. I asked Sister Mosbrucker if we had any potentials in the area, and she said we had one named Chad. We went to Chad's house and said a prayer in the car before we went to talk to him. I prayed that we would have the faith to put Chad on date for baptism, and that he would feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. Long story short...he is on date for June eighth!!! It was such an incredible miracle. With ten minutes left in the day, we had put someone on date. I know that the Lord does answer prayers, and that my God is a God of miracles.

On Saturday we met a man named Mike who's friend was rushed to the hospital the night previously with a heart attack. We shared the message of God's love with him and prayed with him and sang to him. (Oh ya. This mission is a singing mission. I HATE SINGING. But, I'm going to have to learn how to love it because we sing everywhere. God is obviously trying to teach me a lesson about singing haha.) I shared 1 Nephi 11:27 with him, and explained that I don't know why bad things happen to good people, but God loves us. I know that he truly does. We put Mike on date for June eighth. :)

Also on Saturday, we had dinner at an inactive family's house. They are absolutely wonderful people. They have a cat named December that reminds me a lot of Miko. She likes laying on her back too. :) But after dinner we shared a message about the Atonement and asked Brother Wallace (the father of the house) what the atonement means to him. He got very emotional sharing about the atonement and expressed that he want to be sealed with his family. The spirit was so strong in that room. I expressed to him that my reason for coming on my mission was so that families can be together, so that the Wallace family can be together forever. I love families so much, and I am so thankful for eternal families. When I get down, I remember my family and that I am here so that others can be with their families forever. I love you guys. :)

Yesterday we met with a hispanic woman named Brenda. We taught her the first lesson and put her on date for June fifteenth. :) We are going to have to refer her to the Hermanas so that her husband can learn too, but she is super solid and ready to be taught.

It was so good to see your faces yesterday. :) I love you all so much. Thank you for all your encouraging words and thoughts and prayers. I need them and I feel them.

I love this gospel! I love Washington! I love being a missionary! Hurrah for Israel!

Love, Sister Morrow
Sister Mosbrucker and Sister Morrow

Sister Morrow and Sister Hill @ MTC

Flying past Mt. Rainier

Stables where she lives. There are horses and 4 dogs!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

(Rachel asked me to post this. We received it in the mail today.)
Today Sister Hills and I were given the assignment to teach about "God reveals His gospel in every dispensation." As I studied that principle in the first lesson of Preach My Gospel, it was really impressed upon me how blessed we are to have the true power of God, the priesthood, here on earth.
Dispensation: A period of time in which The Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earht who bears the keys of the Holy Priesthood.  We have this true authority here on the earth today.  My own father is a worthy priesthood holder. He has the power of God to bless me in my life. I have had several health issues growing up, and have received many blessings of healing and health from my father and other priesthood holders. Each time I felt God's love and comfort.  Similarly, I have received so many fathers blessings in times of need.  Just this last year my dad drove down to school to give me a blessing. My children will have a father who holds the priesthood worthily.  They will have a father like my dad, who will be able to lay his hands on his daughters' or sons' head and pronounce a blessing from God.  My children will look to their father to lead them and guide them by the priesthood which he holds. I know that the priesthood is the true power of God.  I know God loves His children, and shares His will with us throught he power of the Priesthood.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Week 2! Time flies

Dear Family (and friends!),
Wow, I can't believe how fast time has flown! I think I said this last week, but one day is a week in the MTC, and a week is a day! So so true. We leave for Seattle on Tuesday! We have to be at the travel office at five in the morning, so that will be an interesting day. But I am SOOOO excited to take what I have been learning here and apply it to teaching out in the field!
Let's see. Highlights of this week:
On Sunday, we had relief society which included all of the sisters in the MTC! We stood up and sang As Sisters in Zion. It was so powerful and wonderful. Meetings and everything was great on Sunday and it was nice to get out of the classroom haha.

I got the package and the Dear Elders from Shelby and Amberly and the letter from Sadie! Thank you guys! I love love love getting letters. The joke in my district is:
Sister Morrow: "Elder Larson, have you gotten the mail?!"
I ask all the time haha. :) Letters make me so happy.

Also, thank you to everyone for all the emails! Those are just as awesome as letters :) Hearing from loved ones is so encouraging and it seriously just makes my day. Hopefully I will be able to respond to you all more individually soon. I just don't have that much time here in the MTC.
OH! I gotta tell you about one of my investigators! So Sister Hills and I worked with a TRC investigator this week, which is a volunteer investigator. Some are members, some aren't, but we never know if they are. Her name was Barbara. She is from NJ and has been Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist and....one other one I can't remember. Our first lesson, she asked a whole bunch of questions. We kept jumping from topic to topic and I could tell she was getting confused. So we focused on her main question: What is God? We testified to her that God is a being of flesh and bones, and that he is our father who loves us. We prayed with her, and left. I felt really discouraged because it didn't go as well as I wanted it to. BUT. On Wednesday, we visited her again. She said that she had kept her commitment of prayer and felt like it made sense that God was a someBODY. It was so awesome! We had such a spiritual, wonderful lesson with her.
Yesterday, our teacher asked us to think of a question that we wanted personal revelation about from the Book of Mormon. Then we just opened up to Nephi 1 and started reading. My question was: Why am I here? Let me explain: I know I am supposed to be here. I am not at all regretting being here. I just wanted to know more about why. 1 Nephi 1...and I Nephi being born of goodly parents...There was my answer. I am here because of the way I have been raised by my goodly parents. They taught me to pray, to serve, and to love God. I am here because of their encouragement and their love. I am blessed with such an incredible heritage.

I love this gospel! I love being a missionary! This church is true! Hurrah for Israel!

Love, Sister Morrow (Rach) :)