Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Be Still My Soul

Well good news, we had our first "baptism"!  Our "investigator” who we've been teaching the last couple weeks agreed to get baptized.  Even though she's just acting, it is still really great practice and I can always feel the Spirit while we teach.  It’s fun to watch the quality of our lesson progress as our Russian vocabulary widens. 

The scariest part of the week for me is on Sunday.  Each Sunday we have sacrament, except it’s all in Russian.  Each week we write a 2-3 minute talk in Russian and then at the beginning of the sacrament meeting they pick two random people to give the talk!!  It’s honestly not that bad because it literally takes two minutes to read just one scripture (that's how good my Russian is) but I still get to nervous!  But when people get up and give their talk it is amazing to see how much Russian they can actually speak even though we've all only been here a few weeks.  It really reminds me that this is God's work and he will make miracles occur so others can hear his gospel

So funny story.  Our branch presidency made the rule that we can only listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while in the MTC.  We can only listen to them on their website while we are doing a language practice program, which is about thirty minutes a day.  Now, I'm not the biggest fast of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but if you get on their website, they have a song that David Archuleta sings "Be Still My Soul." IT’S AMAZING.  I can't tell if it’s the fact that I don't have any other options to listen to, or if its really that good.  Let me know, I guess.  But currently, I think I like David Archuleta more than Nick Jonas, and that's saying a lot. 

Another one of my new hobbies at the MTC is eyebrow tweezing.  My companion asked me to tweeze her eyebrows while she held a flashlight above her head so I could see.  Apparently I did a fantastic job because I now have a waiting list of five girls.  All the people at the MTC are awesome; you literally get to meet people from all over the country and hear their powerful testimonies.  At times, I feel like I’m in a nunnery/sorority because I'm still not used to calling girls by the name "Sister", but I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually. 

I'm pretty sure me and the other Elder in my district are the only ones in the whole MTC going to Dnepropetrovsk.  I literally haven't met anyone else going there! We are getting 40 new Russian speakers today, so hopefully that will change.

Quote of the week: "It's a big project to grow from were we are today to what we can become."

I love how this quotation uses the word "project."  A project is something you continually work on and that takes a lot of effort. Don't settle for the lesser you. 

I love you and miss you all!!


Cectpa Morris

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work . . . Work . . . Work

Hello, Hello!

Not too much happened this week.  Once you fall into a normal schedule everything gets pretty repetitive.  But it is weird how time still flies by.  My leave date for Ukraine is August 4.  Only seven more weeks! 

The funniest thing that happened this week was probably when we were teaching a new "investigator."  We were trying to explain what a prophet is, well our investigator asked if he only was a prophet for America, Sister Johnson and I were looking in a dictionary to find out how to say travels.  While we were doing this we didn't notice that Sister Mathews thought that she could get the point across by flapping her arms like a bird.  Needless to say, our investigator wasn't very interested in getting baptized.  Oh the joys of Russian. 

We had to move dorms because all the Spanish speakers invaded our building.  We tried to challenge them to a game a volleyball saying the winners got to stay and the losers had to move, but you're not allowed to keep score so that didn't really work.  Anyways, as I was trekking across the MTC campus with my three suitcases I became painfully aware of how much I packed.  Luckily I still have some time here before I figure out what I will have to get rid of before I leave for Ukraine!  But our new dorms are very nice and very new.  I guess the jokes on the Spanish speakers now. 

Quote of the week:  "Work, work, work - there's no satisfactory substitute." 

It's SO true.  If you want to be successful, powerful, or different in life then you have to do things normal people don't do.  You have to get up when people don't get up, work when people don't work.  Being great isn't easy, that's why so few people are.  The personal satisfaction that comes from working your butt off is irreplaceable.

I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful week! 

Much love,

Cectpa Morris

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

MTC = Boot Camp

Hello Dear Friends and Fam,

Well my world literally got rocked this week.  This place is literally like boot camp.  The first three nights here were some of the most miserable nights of my life.  I was SO homesick and sitting in class for 12 hours a day is never easy.  But I finally realized that I was the only one who could dictate how this whole mission thing would be, so I decided to just have a good attitude and look for ways to serve people so I could find distractions from homesickness!  Everything changed instantly.  Now I'm having an amazing time!  We also listened to this talk (Elder Bednar Character of Christ - not sure if you can look it up because it was an MTC Devotional, but try) and it literally changed my life and taught me some powerful lessons.  The Spirit that is in the MTC is undeniable.  I literally cry every day.  And not like the cute cry, the ugly kind of crying.  No doubt my District thinks I have emotional problems, but what can you do.

I am in a triple companionship, so I have two companions.  I got so lucky!  They’re both AMAZING!  The only complaint I have is that Sister Johnson literally has to pee every two seconds.  The three of us are learning to love each other, unconditionally.  They put up with my high maintenance so well.  They even let my braid their hair sometimes!  Sister Johnson and I are the worst at remembering to pray before we eat our food.  Here you pray at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We're "those" missionaries.  If you hear about two sister missionaries bursting into flames at the MTC suddenly, it’s probably us. 

At night there's this computer voice that comes on the intercom in the dorms telling you when it is 10:15 and 10:30 because that's when you are supposed to be in bed.  It’s literally the scariest voice ever.  It makes you feel like you're in the Hunger Games. 

Russian is pretty difficult.  BUT I can pray, read, and bear my testimony in it now!  And it has only been a week!  Hopefully I'll be able to decently speak at the end of these short nine weeks. 

The food here actually isn't too bad!  I think I've actually lost weight because I just eat salad all the time.  And probably because they don't have a Yogurtland here.  But I'm not sure.

The hardest thing about being on a mission isn't the schedule or homesickness.  It’s the pressure you put on yourself.  You just want to be the best you can be, the most educated and best speaking.  But I've learned that it takes time to develop skills like that.  I'm learning patience (which is something I don't have a lot of) and how to truly trust in the Lord.  It’s scary, but its new and exciting all at the same time.  I'm learning that its okay to have weaknesses because it’s identifying those weaknesses and turning them into strengths is what makes you grow as a person! (Ether 12:27)

I love you all so much! Thank you for your love and support!

Feel free to Dear Elder me like every day.. I won't be offended. ;)