Week 16 – Nurture vs. Nature

Last night we made Tacos Mexicanas with the Bishop and his wife (across from my companion and I), and a counselor in the bishopric and his wife (on the ends).

I met Nate´s companion that came home on Wednesday. I have a picture on my companion´s camera but with her thousands of pictures I can´t find it.

Haha I understand this frustration. People have good desires and intentions but some people just seem incapable of following through! It´s always a complicated mixture of nature and nurture. I think it´s mostly a personality and maturity thing, but it´s also not an excuse. The internal drive to accomplish and do things is really a gift. For some it comes naturally, some develop it out of necessity or regret (many of the adults here I teach), but I think with prayers and nagging parents other people can develop the understanding too.

Many probably think they have an eternity to do it so they don´t feel the need. Many of the people here, when they learn about the gospel and repentance, say that one day they will repent, stop drinking, kick their abusive boyfriend out, go to church, and change their lives. They think that have an eternity to do it so they don´t do anything. This is when I read Alma 34 with them; Amulek telling the people to not procrastinate because Christ could come tomorrow! It´s like the parable of the 10 virgins. Time is precious. I really don´t know the answer other than try to make them understand the good things that will come if they act now and the consequences if they dont, all with love of course. This definitely takes patience.

Have a great 4th! Love you,

Hna. Morse

Week – 15 – I’ve been out 5 Months!!

Mom,

5 months today! Not that I´m counting. And for the first time yesterday I thought about being 20 years old…it´s kinda wierd.

We have a baptism this week! A mom of 2 and her oldest boy is already a member. We were going to marry the father and her and have them both get baptized but he isn´t doing anything to change his awful lifestyle and is holding her back. She told us this week that she´s going to kick him out so that she can get baptized. I honestly think this was a good decision because if he´s going to change, the separation will be a better motivator. He can still change in the future but for now, he´s only impeding her repentance and spiritual progress. He drinks regularly and has another son with someone else. We´ll still work with him and hopefully soon he can find the desire to make things right.

Tell Maddy that getting mailed here is pretty cool, Thanks 🙂

Seth and Sam crack me up. If I was 17 and a 15 year old asked me to dance, personally I wouldn´t say no. It´s just a dance…girls these days.

Jaxon´s story is pretty crazy…good thing he was there with his wrestling experience haha. The craziest story I´ve heard here was that a couple of Elders were kidnapped but they were joking about it afterwards. It was only for a few hours and when the people learned that they didn´t have anything of worth and the Church wasn´t gonna pay anything, they let them go.

Tell the fam that I miss them all! Tell Uncle Allen that I appreciate his note that he sent me and that I am experiencing the gift of tongues just like he promised me 🙂

You´re exactly right with the importance of simplicity. In the first lesson, the story of the first vision is super powerful because it teaches all the necessary doctrine and if the people have sincere hearts they will definitely feel the Spirit. Pray for charity to view everyone as God views them and it´ll be easy not to judge. It literally takes practice (for me it did) but anyone is capable of change. It´s their state of mind that matters more than their past decisions. If they have a desire to change, they will…only through the gospel.

Who is Nicole getting married to…Ken still? Congrats to Megan Daniels.

Yeah, Nick is still my friend on Facebook haha. I´m glad he´s seeing the pictures; maybe it´ll motivate him to do something more with his life 😉

I don´t really care too much about my picture for the plaque, as long as it´s flattering of course. Be nice.

Love you lots,

Hermana Morse

Week 14 – Happy Father’s Day

Didn´t get an email from Maddy, so I don´t know what happened but I´m excited to read it! And Ryker looks EXACTLY like Cody haha. Oh my, at least he isn´t as chubby as Cody was, or maybe he will be when I meet him 🙂

Don´t have much to report other than I´ve discovered that I´m gonna have to be the strong, initiative-taking one in the companionship. That´s fine, once I get to know the members and the area better. She tends to spend tons of time in the houses of members and we leave the house late almost everyday. But with love and encouragement I hope I can change things in a way that won´t ruin our relationship. She´s really great overall and she teaches with lots of love and has lots of experience. We´ll make a great team with a little bit of refining 🙂

I can imagine your frustration and I´m glad that I´m absent from it all to save myself from getting too discouraged. People here mention it and try to comment on American politics but I quickly change the subject because it just makes me angry and they don´t know what they´re talking about. My first instinct is to vote anyway, the lesser of two evils, my thinking being based on the arguments you presented.

Before the mission I´ve often thought about the amount of effort we as Americans and members of the Church should put forth to try to stop or slow down the ´´signs of the times´´. These evils, when we read the prophecies of these latter days, seem inevitable and I feel like just sitting down, making sure my life and my family is right with the Lord, and waiting for the Millenium (spelling?). But then I think that this attitude isn´t very Christian-like. It´s all about reaching out to others, helping and serving them, and taking an active part in this war against Satan. I don´t have even nearly all the answers about what we should do amidst the downward spiral of the country but I can´t help but think we can´t just lay down and give up. Lehi and Nephi have testified that this nation will always be free as long as we keep the commandments. The only way we can be taken captive is through our own iniquity, and that´s exactly what´s happening. Alma also said that the Word is stronger in persuading people than the sword or anything else. I´m convinced that really the only thing we can do to help is live and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and do as the Spirit directs. The Lord is in control of the rest. That´s my only comfort.

I´ve been thinking about you as the ward here is preparing for their big Father´s day party/activity. I feel a swell of pride when I think about how awesome of a father you are and how you have always been worthy to bless our family with the Priesthood. Everything you´ve done and continue to do in order to give us kids all the opportunities we´ve had. I know you´re work is sometimes boring and we´re not always obedient or grateful but I wanted to tell you that I appreciate everything. All of our talks about all sorts of subjects, your righteous and reasonable parenting style, your willingness to give us everything we need (and lots of times things that we want) no matter what, and your wisdom.

I remember one time in high school I lost track of time at a dance and missed my ride with you even though you waiting for a while. When I got home you and Mom were understandably angry and gave me some punishment, I don´t remember what it was. I didn´t feel like what I did was worthy of the punishment so I returned to your room, told you of my feelings and arguments, and you and mom rethought the punishment. I remember being grateful then, as I am now, of how great that situation was. You and mom were able to calmly evaluate my feelings and talk with me. The retractment of the punishment didn´t even really matter to me, but the fact that you listened was something I´ll always remember.

When I told you of my wish to go to England with Hillsdale College, you guys made it possible and encouraged me. Whenever I needed advice or wisdom I always felt comfortable going to you. Not only did you teach me true principles of the gospel, but also how to think for myself and handle myself with others. When I read Elder Ballard´s talk about family councils I thought about how you have been inspired in this area. Our family has this principle down pat thanks to you and it´s something I want to continue in my own family. There is always more I could say in praise of the job you´ve done as a father but I´m afraid of your head getting too big 🙂

Just kidding, I hope you are still maintaining your 97.something% right. But really, thanks. As you know, I love you very much. Have a great week!

Hermana Morse

Week 13 – City Living

Mom,

I don´t know much of Victor, Luis, and F. Corleto this week but when I left they were kind of at a standstill in their progression. Hermana Oy and her new companion have to work hard and I´m sure they will. I definitely miss my converts and Flor and Marlon but I´m the kind of person that likes change. Transfers are good for me 😉 I´ll miss Hermana Oy but I´m going to enjoy Hna. Osorio as a companion as well. We live right next to McDonalds and my companion really likes to eat there; this will be a challenge for me. I´ve been ordering only grilled chicken wraps but I´m gonna get sick of those soon.

I have to send an email with a report of my area, our companionship, and a miracle or something I learned this week to Pres Spjut every week.

Oh my, Sierra had her baby!!! I want pictures!! Does he look like Sierra or Cody? Oh my goodness he´s gonna be so big by the time I get back!!

Maddy is so old now…a high school graduate. Does it feel weird for you to have two kids graduated?

We´ve had a lot of opportunities to testify of the plan of salvation, eternal families, and saving ordinances in the temple for loved ones who have passed away this week. One of our investigators´ brother died this week and another recent convert couple were having serious marital problems. The doctrine of eternal families gives such hope and peace and love. We had some really special moments. The couple have forgiven each other and are working together to improve their relationship with the same goal: eternal marriage in the temple!

I don´t know if you remember this, but I shared this story with the couple, Jose and Concepcion Pinate, and it made them laugh and taught the principle 🙂 In the house in Byron Center I remember you and Dad were having an argument. Not yelling or anything but a heated discussion (probably about Pete). Reagan was only about 4 years old or so and I remember she walked in, listened for a bit, then said, ´´Mom, Dad, you guys were married in the temple!!´´ We all laughed at the abruptness but also the profundity of her declaration 🙂 If both members of the relationship have the same eternal goals/perspective and can keep them in mind at all times, the arguments seem more arbitrary and unnecessary. Anyway, tell Reagan that her childlike innocence and wisdom helped heal a broken relationship this week in El Salvador 🙂 Cool, right?

Sorry I don´t have pictures. I´ll have some of my companion and I next week. I feel spoiled in this area because our apartment has a CLOTHES WASHER!!!! and TWO toilets and one of them even flushes! I don´t die of heatstroke every night either, sometimes I even wake up being a little bit chilled. It´s amazing. and we have a kitchen with an OVEN and a working STOVE!!! I´m being spoiled, really. We have members feeding us practically every day here as well. Every area has its pros and cons, however. This area is in the center of the city. It´s more dirty, smoggy, and instead of all the people being super poor, people are either more poor and proud or really rich and proud 🙂 Just kidding, there are good people of all kinds here. But there are members with money here, very different than Libertad.

We also get to talking with super weird people in the street. Clowns, people in costumes, and people who profess to have the gift of tongues but just start shouting gibberish at us haha. That part is pretty fun.

So jealous of your weekend at the cabin 🙂 a nice swim in a cool lake sounds like paradise. Congrats on the new calling, young mens is probably a bit more fun but you can do a lot of good in Elder´s Quorum. As a missionary I have a new found respect for home/visiting teaching. It so important for the growth of the ward and the retention of converts!

I was wrong about my companion, I was thinking of a different Hermana. Hermana Osorio is from Guatemala so SUPER giggley and friendly. It great because she makes friends fast but I think our only challenge as a companionship will be me having patience with her laughing at absolutely everything 🙂 But she´s a good missionary and there´s a lot of potential here. I´m actually happy and hopeful surprisingly; I´ve learned not to let these things get to me like they did in my first ward. I still need lots of prayers though.

I´m excited for what the Spirit can do in this area in the next month! The mission baptized more than 100 people in May and we just got the news that we´re having a mission temple trip this month!! We might actually get to enter. We´re not supposed to have rewards for our work but I think secretly this is supposed to be a prize hehe. I´m excited.

Praying for you all everyday. Good luck in church, work, school, and everything else. Love you lots!! Love you all so much and keep my updated on everyone!

Love Love Love,

Hermana Morse