Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Oh my goodness, I LOVE being a missionary, especially where I'm serving! I really didn't know what it would be like to serve a state-side mission, English speaking, but it's WONDERFUL! My compaions are awesome, the Mission President and his wife are amazing, and the people here are wonderful. I felt so welcome the moment I stepped foot out of the airplane walkway.
It's cold here, and snowing a lot, although not as much as it's snowing in Draper!! I'm so incredibly grateful for the coat, gloves and boots Sister Palmer lent me, and the hat my companion is letting me borrow :) I bought a sweater today, which will also help a lot. I have kinda mixed feelings as I think about how long my visa will take to get here. I want it to get here fast so I can get out of the cold (at least it won't be snowing there!!), but it makes me want to cry when I think of leaving the people we've taught so far. They are all so incredible, and we've seen lots of miracles happen this week to help them progress. The best part was when Jessyka, a married student with an adorable daughter, decided to get baptized! She's been investigating for about 3 years and used to be an atheist, so it's truly a miracle. We promised her that if she would give up all the things that were holding her back from baptism (drinking wine, being scared of opposition from her family), the Lord would give her all the strength she needed to overcome those obstacles and that she would get her answer. So she's putting it to the test, and she'll be baptized on December 31st as her new year's resolution. We know she'll receive all the blessings we promised if she's faithful. That's always the pattern of the Lord. What a comfort to know that when we do our part, the Lord will always do His.
It's been nothing less than a miracle to use my Chinese here. I really didn't think there would be many Chinese people here, but they're all over the place! It's almost like they jump out of no where, just because I'm part of the companionship! It started from day one. The day I got there was P-day so we only went out tracting from 7-9 (we had dinner with a member before that). We chose an apartment complex and after we knocked on the first door one of my companions puched me up the step and said, "there ya go, sister!" I knew that was coming, but still, it's different hearing about companions doing that on your first night out than them actually doing it! But no one answered. We tried a few more doors, and after 5 doors and a rejection, we tried another door, which to my complete surprise was someone from China! I could hardly believe it... we found them within 10 minutes of my first time tracting in the field! It was then that I KNEW I was sent to the right place and that it was NO coincidence I was sent here. I stammered with my Chinese, trying the best I could to introduce ourselves and share my testimony. The Chinese man was very nice and seeing I was trying so hard, but not quite getting it he said, "Oh, come in." I could hardly believe it! We continued to talk, and although he said it was hard for him to believe in God because he'd been raised all his life to believe otherwise, he would let us come back and teach once his wife and daughter arrived on December 2nd. I'm hoping and praying like crazy that they will be open and their whole family will want to learn the gospel.
I've had several other opportunities to speak Chinese, as well as witness many miracles with the rest of our English-speaking investigators. It's amazing to see how the Gospel blesses and changes people's lives. It's incredible to see so many miracles, witness prayers being answered, and have people's lives change before our eyes on a daily basis. The Gospel is true, and my testimony gets strengthened every day. There's nothing that could convince me otherwise, because I can't deny the way I feel when I live and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. It's the biggest blessing in my life, only second to being able to serve the Lord full time!
I love you all so much, and I miss you all. Thank you so much for your letters because I love hearing how each of you are doing and what's going on at home. I pray for each of you a lot, and know that the Lord will bless you in greater measure, especially as you turn to Him. He is the ultimate source of peace, comfort, strength and lasting happiness.
All my love,
Sister Morey :)
Monday, November 8, 2010
So I have some big news! This week the district got travel plans to Taiwan! ...Well, everyone except for me (and the other sister that came at the same time as me). We went to the travel office to find out what the deal was and they said our visas haven't been completed in time so we'll be temporarily reassigned somewere in the US or Canada until they're ready to go. Crazy, huh? I was disappointed at first, especially since I had my heart set on that extra transfer in Taiwan, but the Lord has really blessed me to overcome that disappointment and be really excited to serve wherever I'll be temporarily. It's like getting a mission call all over again! I don't find out where I'm going till Wednesday or Thursday. I'm really excited about it all except for one thing... I have no idea what weather to expect! I might have to do some scrambling... I'll just have to see!
It was a really interesting week because of this new development. The day we found out was hard. But the Lord always helps us overcome our trials if we turn to Him. The lesson we had in class that day (and my visa situation was completely unbeknown to our substitute) was on humility. We read Alma 5 with each of us thinking "What do I need to do to be more humble?" Verse 13 stood out to me because I really needed to have more humility by having trust in the Lord. It was really tempting for me to think at first that Heavenly Father had forgotten about my visa, or that something had gone wrong, but I felt powerfully through that verse that Heavenly Father knew EXACTLY what was going on and that I simply needed to put my will aside and trust that He knows what He's doing. Since then I have felt a lot more peace, excitement, and hope that the Lord will use me in specific ways that he needs me and is using this time to tutor me and prepare me for things that will happen later.
My companion Sister Demordaunt said something that also really stuck out to me. Whenever we have trials it's all about how fast we will turn ourselves over to the Lord and say, "what do I need to learn from this?" The faster we show patience, faith and submission to whatever trials we have, the quicker He will lift our burdens, or at least make them light enough to bear. The story of Alma and his people when they were trying to escape from brondage really stuck out to my mind (Mosiah 24, especially verse 16--read it!). I decided that this would be a miserable experience for me if I kept resisting and wondering why this was even happening to me, so instead I've chosen to make the best of this unexpected circumstance and change my heart. As I've sought to do that the Lord has truly made this "trial" easy to bear, and I can honestly say I'm excited!
I love the Lord and that I know I can overcome any trial, obstacle, weakness or guilt through His Atonement. The test is simply how long it takes to turn to Him for that relief. I testify of that. I know it's true because I've seen His hand in miraculous ways in my life as I've turned to Him for help, no matter how big or small the problem, no matter how "temporal" or spiritual the matter. He helps with everything, and I love Him for that.
I love you, Mom, Dad, Adam, Jake and Jordan. I pray for you often and miss you. I'm loving your letters! Keep writing, and know that I love you with all my heart :)
Monday, November 1, 2010
Oh my goodness, this week was absolutely wonderful. I learned a lot about so many things. This past week my district made a goal to learn how to follow the Spirit better and it was amazing how Heavenly Father knew our goals and helped us reach them. Guess who came to the Tuesday Devotional? Elder Scott! As soon as I saw him walk in I knew we were about to learn just what we needed to hear about following the Spirit because that's his favorite topic... and sure enough. He gave one of the most powerful talks I've heard, along with four Apostolic Blessings. The first was a blessing of protection directly to the Sisters, contingent on our listening for promptings of danger and following them. The second was the Gift of Tongues. He said, "If you don't already have it, now you do." He said he had "installed the capability" but we had to develop it through our faith. That completely reinforced the blessings I've already been given, and gave me even more strength to exercise my faith. The third was that we would have the confidence to know that we had been prepared for our missions and for the rest of our lives better than we could've dreamed. And the fourth was that we would be able to remember the experiences we have on our missions so we could learn from them and use them throughout the rest of our lives. I could hardly believe he had given us all those special blessings. It surely was a sacred night.
Throughout the rest of the week my companions and I (along with the rest of the district) really tried hard to follow the Spirit. The culmination of it all was the teaching experience at the TRC on Saturday. We had been diligently preparing all week to know how and what to teach, and when we started teaching, it seemed like the words to say, the questions to ask and the scriptures to use came easily to my mind. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, and as we listened to the investigator's concerns we found answers for them in the scriptures. As we each bore our testimonies throughout the lesson, the Spirit taught and lifted us all. I felt like I was walking on a cloud after the lesson was finished! I KNOW the Spirit is critical in teaching effectively and in meeting the personal needs of those we meet.
Throughout that experience and the rest of the week I've come to learn even more about how this gospel is so personal. The center of the message is that Christ sacrificed His life so that He could understand our difficulties, pains, loneliness, temptations, and everything else we experience. Because He chose to take upon Him our pains, he completely understands and knows how to comfort, relieve and rescue each one of us. Individually. I have experienced that in very specific ways in my life. I KNOW that my loving Heavenly Father is watching me intently and loves it when I communicate with Him through prayer, and that He delights to answer me through the whisperings of the Spirit, and scripture study. Answers to ANY of life's problems can be found in the scriptures, especially in the Book of Mormon, and through modern and personal revelation. The whole point of the Gospel is to help each individual through this life successfully. It's a gospel that blesses individuals who follow with blessings untold. And the best part is that I don't have to prove that to everyone. It proves itself to those who test it out with real intent.
The gospel has blessed my life immeasurably as I've received comfort, gudiance, joys, and rich blessings from following Christ and living the gospel principles. I know that no matter what difficulties come my way, there is one who understands, is sympathetic, and will help me overcome each time if I come to Him for help. That, perhaps, is the greatest knowledge I could ever have.