Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 18, 4 months in!

Hello all!
Fun fact: On Saturday was my 4 month "anniversary" of leaving on my mission! How crazy. I am so grateful to be a missionary!
This week has been INSANELY AWESOME. Get ready for the best story you will ever hear in your entire life:
On Tuesday, we were having a lesson with our eternal investigator, Shannon. She has been investigating the church off and on for 8 years. She just kept saying that she didn't know the church is true, so she didn't want to commit. Well I've been praying long and hard about this sweet girl. I just didn't know what to do. Every single lesson we had with her was utterly frustrating for me. I left each time wanting to pull my hair out. She was always SO CLOSE to knowing, to understanding. She just wouldn't commit!
On Tuesday, I had had enough. I remember in the MTC, an Elder in my district using Mosiah 18 to extend the baptismal invitation. So, I whipped it out and we read it with her. We expressed to her that she didn't need to KNOW to be baptized. She didn't need to be PERFECT to be baptized. When I got baptized when I was 8, I didn't know the church was true, but I believed it. And that is all that was required for me to enter into that sacred covenant with God. So after talking with her about all of this, I looked her in the eye and said: "So Shannon. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper authority of God?" She sighed, put her head down on the desk, and asked, "When?"
Right then and there, she set up a Facebook event. She is getting baptized on this very SATURDAY! AUGUST 31st! I cannot express how excited I am. It is such a blessing to have been a part of this. After 8 years, Shannon is finally taking that leap of faith. She is such an incredible example to me. She has taught me that this life isn't about knowing. It is about having faith, and believing that God will make up the difference.
This church is true. I believe it and I know it! I have seen it bless so many people. I am so grateful I get to be a missionary, especially here in the Mirror Lake YSA Branch with Sister Hehl. I know that I am where I am supposed to be.
I love you all!
Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Sister Morrow

17 Miracles

Note: This was from August 19th
Hello all!
It is week 17, so I'm going to write about seventeen miracles that I have seen this week:
1. The miracle of zone conference. Why was zone conference a miracle? Every zone conference seems to address my needs exactly! This zone conference was focused on charity and on teaching people, not lessons. I loved it so much. President Eaton was incredible, as always.
2. The miracle of the Book of Mormon. We taught Dave and Jessica on Tuesday about the Book of Mormon, and Jessica turned and said to us, "I feel something different when I read this book." It was incredible to see that light in her eyes. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and its teachings can change lives!
3. The miracle of the piano. Sister Hehl is preforming this upcoming Sunday in a trio. She is playing the piano. So this week we took a half hour for her to practice her piece, "O, My Father." Hymns have so much power. I can't explain how calm I felt listening to her, and how much it strengthened my testimony just by singing the words in my head. I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves us.
4. The miracle of being focused. Mom and dad, I thought it was gonna be killer knowing that you guys were in Seattle this weekend/will be for a bit. So I prayed extra hard that Heavenly Father would help me stay focused on my work. I can't tell you how much He has blessed me to stay focused, even when I knew you guys were so close. He heard and answered my prayers.
5. The miracle of our branch mission leader. Our BML, Danilo, is from Chile and he is AMAZING. He has such an incredible testimony and such a strong passion for missionary work. He came with us to a lesson this week and it was SO beneficial to have him there. He testified so strongly about faith, and that we don't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith.
6. The miracle of member missionary work. We have had at least four investigators introduced to us by members. They have been looking for missionary experiences and have been finding them! We have been able to teach a lot of people because their friends were willing to introduce us to them.
7. The miracle of having a best friend for a companion. I can't even express with words how grateful I am to have Sister Alyssa Hehl as my companion. We have become so close in our three or so months together. When I got set apart, my stake president didn't mention anything about companions, so I just assumed that I would get along with my companions. I have, and become SUCH great friends with Sister Hehl. I didn't expect a blessing like that. We laugh together over the silliest things and just have fun while we are doing the work! It is so much easier to be a missionary when I am happy, and Sister Hehl helps me stay happy. I'm so grateful that I've been blessed enough to have her as my comp.
8. The miracle of a typewriter. Did I ever mention that our apartment has a typewriter? Yup. An old-fashioned, electric typewriter. It is AWESOME. We have three lists of less active YSA's in the stake that we have been taking notes on, and we definitely needed to consolidate. So, we pulled out our typewriter and consolidated! Needless to say, I'm glad that we now have computers with the capability to delete haha.
9. The miracle of our Brazilian friend. We have an awesome Recent Convert named Deise from Brazil that we have been working with. She doesn't quite have the testimony that she needs, so we have been teaching her lessons and stuff. She has been such a positive influence on us, and has helped me look for evidence in the scriptures to help her that have ended up helping ME.
10. The miracle of being a missionary. I actually felt like a missionary this week. I am starting to get used to the schedule and the lifestyle, and I am loving it. It is extremely hard, but extremely rewarding. I have seen so many blessings come into my life because of the opportunity I have to serve. I can't even imagine my life without being a missionary, and it is funny to think that a year ago a mission was NOT even on my radar.
11. The miracle of the new member fireside. We had an awesome new member fireside yesterday. Essentially, it is a testimony meeting for recent converts. I got to see my sweet Dawn there! I worked with her in my first area in Lake Holm. As soon as we saw each other we ran and gave each other the biggest hug. I can't describe it accurately, but it gave me a glimpse of what it will be like to see those I love in Heaven, especially people I have helped do work for. I love Dawn so much, and I am so grateful that I got to see her. She bore her testimony about the "little girls" (sister missionaries) who came to her door and who have continued to work with her. I am grateful I got to be one of those little girls.
12. The miracle of Washington. It has been an absolutely gorgeous week. This morning, Sister Hehl and I were out walking and the sky was absolutely gorgeous. The first rays of the sun were hitting the edges of the clouds and each individual cloud looked like it was glowing. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father created such a beautiful world for us to live in! Being able to see and appreciate nature brings such peace to me.
13. The miracle of Luke 24. In zone conference, President Eaton taught about Luke 24 and the importance of the fact that the two disciples invited Jesus Christ to tarry with them. It made me step back and look at my life and see if I am inviting Christ to stay in my life.
14. The miracle of Sister Eaton. "You aren't adequate. But you aren't alone."
15. The miracle of the blue dress. Last Monday, we took Jessica shopping and bought her a dress for church. It was so rewarding to see the smile on her face.
16. The miracle of the GPS. I'd be lost without it. We cover such a big area that we would be absolutely useless without it. Thank you so much mom and dad for sending it haha.
17. The miracle of the sacrament. As a missionary, Sunday has become my favorite day of the week because I get to partake of the sacred ordinance of the Sacrament. As a missionary I think about the church A LOT, but it doesn't compare to the peace that comes from sitting in the chapel and partaking of the sacrament.
As I look back over this list, some of these things seem like a stretch as "miracles." But I know that miracles are in my life every single day, in all shapes and sizes. The greatest miracle of all is my Savior. I know He lives, and this is His church! Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Sister Morrow

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hello all!
I don't have a ton of time to write this week, so sorry about that.
Highlights of the week:
-Sister Hehl got stitches on Saturday. Okay, that's not a highlight. But it was something rather big that happened haha. We were having a lesson at Dave and Jessica's house and went on a walk on the trail behind their house. We were walking back up the hill and Sister H sliced her ankle on a broken glass bottle. She didn't think it was too deep, but alas, we could see her tendon. I almost puked. Not really. But I did get shaky. But anyways, I made some slightly frantic calls to Sister Eaton and President Eaton and they directed me to take her to Urgent Care where they stitched her right up. I was actually the doctor's assistant, helping him by sanitarily (is that a word?) opening up sucher equipment. I forced myself to watch him give the stitches so that I would be less squeemish. Ya, I'm still squeamish.

-We had a great lesson with a less active named Orrin. I shared Mosiah 2:17 and he started crying. He said, "Sister Morrow, you are only the second person in my life to make me tear up. You have changed my life. I can tell you right now, you are meant to be on a mission here, right now. Both of you are." I was kinda just floored. What an experience.

-Dave and Jessica need some prayers. Satan is doing EVERYTHING in his power to work against them. But we are working even harder. I know that God is on our side and will bless them to overcome their trials.

-An Aunt of one of our investigators called us and chewed me out. Specifically me. For inviting her nephew to be baptized. That was fun. After the phone call I just bawled. I felt so down on myself! I have been working so hard to do God's will, and that's how I was treated. But, life is life, and that investigator has the choice to be offended about being invited to repent or has the choice to accept the invitation.

-The pastor that Dave and Jessica live with asked us for $300,000 for her organization. That was fun trying to explain to her that we have NO idea how to help her and that she needs to get in contact with other people. She wouldn't have it.

-We participated in a service project as a zone to help set up a fundraiser auction for a home for battered women. It was really fun, and we got to see a lot of beautiful art. Dad, there was an artist selling candles that were made out of rocks! The rocks were cut and polished and an oil lamp is attached to the bottom and wick comes out through the rock. He lit one for was gorgeous. I wanted to buy one for you. You would love it.

-I just gotta say. Sister Hehl is the best. We are such great friends. I am so blessed to have her as my companion! Heavenly Father knew I would need her in my life.
Sorry this is a short one, guys! But know that this church is true!
Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Sister Morrow


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Monday, August 5, 2013

Hello all!
It has been one crazzzzzyyy week. The craziest of my mission so far. Because it was so crazy, I'm just going to write about it day by day:
Monday: P-days are like my favorite and least favorites days because they are SO BUSY. But we got to go to the Redondo boardwalk on the Sound and had lunch at a restaurant called Salty's. I had crab mac and cheese. It was fantastic. :) I would send pictures but we are on rented laptops at the library and they crash if we try to send pictures. :( Maybe next week!
Tuesday: We went on an exchange with our Sister Trainer Leader. Sister Woodland, the Sister Trainer Leader came to my area. She is incredible. She has been through so much in her life and she has totally changed my outlook on missionary work. But before we went on exchanges, Sister Hehl and I went and saw a referral we had named Dave. He is a black guy in his twenties, and he is hilarious. Basically, he is my black brother. Brotha. Whatever. ;) We sat and talked with him and his girlfriend Jessica and they are on date for baptism on August 31! They are SO prepared. Jessica told us that she had been clean from drugs and alcohol for two weeks before she even met us, and Dave said he is willing to clean up his life and stop smoking eventually. It was just such a great lesson and we were so excited. On exchanges, Sister Woodland and I taught to recent converts. Those lessons were so incredibly spiritual. I love feeling the spirit testify through us that what we are teaching is true!

Wednesday: WE GOT OUR AREA BOOK! So the Elders before us had lost the Area Book at a zone conference and it somehow ended up in the Seattle mission. With a lot of phone calls and prayers, we got it back! I can't tell you what a miracle this is. The Area Book contains records of everyone that has been taught in this area, what they've learned, etc. I am so glad we got it back.

Thursday: The first day EVER that I actually enjoyed tracting. Honestly, I hated tracting with a passion. It is so terrifying to knock on someone's door and start talking about the gospel. I thought it wouldn't be that bad, but I really haven't liked it. BUT. Sister Woodland taught me a better way to tract than I had been taught. She taught me to fit principles of the gospel into the conversation right off the bat. It's a bit more aggressive than the way I had learned. Instead of just pretty much announcing who we are just to be turned away, now I ask about their beliefs and slip our beliefs in here and there. It feels so much more natural and effective. We found a lot of potential investigators, but unfortunately we can't teach like any of them because they aren't YSA's. But that's okay! Some missionary will be able to teach them! :) We also had a great church tour with Dave and Jessica. They talk a lot, but we were able to get them to quiet down and feel the spirit. It was amazing. :)
Friday: We had another AWESOME church tour with an investigator named Marshall! He accepted to be baptized on August 24th because he will be out of town on the 31st. :) He is so great and I am so excited to work with him. He first became interested when his aunt converted. He even wears a CTR ring that she gave him along with his cross. :)

Saturday: We had a pretty scary experience on Saturday. We were tracting and long story short, we ran into a situation that we needed to get out of. The spirit left almost as soon as the guy answered the door. I am so grateful for the protection God provides for His missionaries. Truly. That situation could have gotten much much worse very quickly, but the Spirit prompted us to leave so we did. I am so grateful that we have the Spirit! The second counselor in the Branch presidency's wife let us come to her house for a few minutes to cry and calm down. I am so grateful for her and for her love and concern. She was a mom when we needed one :)
Sunday: Dave and Jessica came to church. Not only did they come to church, but Dave got up AND BORE HIS TESTIMONY! He talked about how he knows the church is true, and that he knows it because we DO what Christ did. Everybody was tearing up in the audience. The spirit was so so strong! After Dave sat down, I turned to Sister Hehl and mouthed, "Is this real life?!" Then we were in charge of teaching the lesson in Relief Society about missionary work. I was nervous about what Jessica would think about us talking about what we do. But near the end of the lesson she raised her hand and said that she just wanted to thank us for being her friends and for bringing truth into her life. She said that she has never been religious, and this is the happiest she has every been in her entire life and she wishes everyone could have this joy. Sister Hehl and I totally choked up and pretty much ended the lesson there. I cannot even DESCRIBE the feelings I had yesterday. Seeing the pure joy in Dave and Jessica's eyes...there is nothing like it. They have come so far in the very short time that we have known them. The joy that missionary work brings is like an adrenaline rush that just keeps coming. So this is what it feels like to be a missionary. :)
The church is true! This gospel is true! I love being a missionary and the abundance of blessings it brings. I love you all and pray for you.
Hurrah for Israel!

Love, Sister Morrow