Monday, September 29, 2014

Almost October - September 29, 2014

I'm finally starting to get the feel of things and stuff. I'm loving the mission! It's been great this week. Not that much really even happened, but it was a fantastic week.
Thank you for the package!!! I wore the sweatshirt to bed last night. It was comfortable. 

I made a sticky note of things to write to you about. I'm glad I remembered it this week.
First of all, BYU football is awesome and I just wanted to revel in the fact that they are great this year. I'm so sad I'm missing it, but I'll watch all the games on Youtube when I get back.
So, by way of information, our area is in the Rigby zone. We go to Rigby a lot for district meetings, zone trainings, etc. More info - we eat lunch at home and dinner at members houses. Each ward gets a day per week for us to come for dinner. It's a good way to meet members.
Remember the lady that was supposed to be baptized? We haven't seen her in like three that's a bummer. We're kind of at a loss for what to do because whenever we visit her, she isn't there.
In Idaho,everyone has a dog. Most people have three. Allergy medicine is my best friend at the moment.
I bought a big coat last monday. I thought it was maroon-ish but its more purple. Oh well. It still looks super warm and fuzzy and great. I might go buy a smaller peacoat or something because I only have a windbreaker, and it's not cold enough for my big jacket. We're going to go to DI today so I'll look there.
Yesterday at church, there was a musical number involving a cello. The man conducting pronounced it as a sello. I stifled a laugh, because there is no such thing as a sello. I've also found which ward has the best sacrament bread. I think it's homemade.
We were able to watch the General Women's broadcast on Saturday. It was so fantastic! I ESPECIALLY loved when the Korean primary children sang "I Love to See the Temple." Oh man. That was the best. I loved the talks, too. Our stake had a thing at the stake center with a dinner before the broadcast. We helped serve at it. I like doing service.
We found a new investigator this week through a recently reactivated family. We had a lesson on wedesday and holy cow. That was the best! She's had a hard life, but with the birth of her daughter recently, she's very very very open to the gospel and has such great faith. We taught the Restoration and that was phenomenal. The spirit was so recognizable there. SO GOOD. She was even at church! We are stoked to teach her on Wednesday again.

On Saturday, we did a bunch of service stuff, including helping a member pick apples. That was so fun! I had this big tool thing that extended to reach high up and I picked over 300 apples. It was kind of rainy and drizzly during, but it made it more fun.
The people here are the best. I've yet to meet rude people who don't want to listen to us. If they aren't interested, they just tell us politely. The members are so cool, too. We work a lot with inactive/less active/excommunicated members. I love them all. They are so kind and generous to us.
Missionary work is the best. It's hard, it's so hard. But, it's the best thing I've ever done in my entire life. Somehow, I got blessed with being sent to the best area in the world and I've had so many experiences (good and bad) that have brought me so much closer to Christ than I could have ever imagined. I've seen so many people who have life so much worse than I could ever have, and they're the most humble, loving people in the world. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that God loves us so much; we can't even comprehend how much He loves us. I love being a missionary and being able to share that with people. I love, love, love my mission. It took me a little bit to realize, but I love it. I love you all, and pray for you every single day. The gospel is true, the Book of Mormon is true. I promise you it is.

The apple harvest - she looks pretty pleased
On the way to Idaho (this is a few weeks old, but I'm sure she hasn't changed that much - neither has Idaho)
This is what tracting (and Idaho) looks like.
Morgan has gone all Don Quixote on us and is off to convert the windmills.
One more story:

Yesterday evening, a moth decided to enter our car. My companion started to scream, so that means I started to scream. She pulled over and we both jumped out, and using our folder of ward directories and her daily planner, we were able to immobilize (or possibly kill, we don't know exactly) the moth and get it out of the car. The best part was a couple was taking a walk and saw the entire thing. We laughed so hard. So. Hard.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week twooooo - September 22, 2014

I'll have been out for a month next Saturday! Cool. It's going by faster now.
This week was pretty good. Almost all of our lessons cancelled, though...that was kind of a bummer. One day we had four lessons scheduled....all cancelled. One day, five...four cancelled. It's ok, it's just kind of a little bit irritating that we plan and get all these lessons ready and then everyone cancels. If you say you're going to do something, do it!

anyway. Rant over.
So, I realized I never said anything about my area or companion.
Sister Jones is from Missouri. She's been out 15 1/2 months and was originally supposed to go to Brazil. However, she just got her visa two months ago. She's staying here. Sis jones is 22, is awesome, and we work hard. She also hiccups more than anyone I've ever met. It's ok though.
Ucon area covers a stake. So, 8 wards. It's hard covering a stake! Our boundaries are huuuuge and we only have limited miles (1000 a month), so we have to be smart about driving. We managed to go to five different wards yesterday. Five. Sundays are long and start early and exhausting. Day of rest, hahahaha. But it's good. it's good to go to bed tired. We ended up going to sleep at 10 last night, which was nice.
We eat with members. One ward will get one day a week. The YSA ward switches off with another ward. A lot of people feed us breakfast for dinner because they figure we never get it....well. We have! Haha. I've yet to eat potatoes. Go figure.
yes, I got my violin. Did I leave my scarf that grandma gave me at home? The blue and red plaid one? I want to wear it but I can't find it. I also might need stuff to get a jacket soon. it's getting colder.
We moved a family in one of our wards this week. That was fun! I liked doing that. I felt pretty useful. We filled an entire 16 foot truck and a smaller Uhaul trailer full. That was a good day.
We have two investigators with a baptismal date, but one keeps cancelling lessons. Hopefully she won't this week.
Anyway, I'm doing pretty well. Adjusting more and more. It's hard to adjust to, and everyone i've talked to says the first three months are the worst because you have no idea what you're doing. But, it's going well, i'm learning, all that stuff.

love you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Where to Start? September 15, 2014


I seriously don't even know where to start. I'm in Ucon, Idaho! Population 1,108. It is so tiny. There are two gas stations, one blinking light, one elementary school, and three church buildings. Somehow, there are enough people in the city limits and the outlying areas to make a stake. So, we cover an entire stake. It's crazy. There are seven wards and a YSA ward. There's a ton of work to do. We are literally always busy.

The wards we have are - Ucon, Monument, Foothill, Milo, Yellowstone, Cottonwood, Homestead, and the YSA ward. So many things to do.

Not going to lie. The first two days in the field were rough. Like, ridiculously difficult. We had four lessons the first day, and when my comp told me, I laughed so hard. I just...couldn't believe there was that much to do. My very first lesson was with a lady, A (i'm not giving her name over email, i'll tell you when i get home). She is dying. Actually dying. The nurses gave her 30 days. The lesson was pretty dramatic, and I just sat there the entire time with my mouth sealed shut and my eyes bug eyed. It was so....I can't describe it. It's hard to comfort someone who is going to die soon. But she has a baptisimal date for next Wednesday, hopefully we can teach her everything in that time. The problem is is that she's sick and cancels a lot. Not to mention her house is pretty chaotic at the time. But, she really wants to be baptized. She said that when the missionaries come over they bring this...feeling, and when we leave, it leaves and she hated that. Boom. Feelin' the spirit. 

It's just a weird adjustment. I'm fine now, but it was hard to adjust the first two days. My mind on Wednesday just wanted to go home, but at the MTC during one of the devotionals, one speaker said that "the only way out of a challenge is through it." So, I'm staying through it. It's a huge growing process. 

I invited someone to be baptized on Friday! It was cool. After, K was confused as to what we asked..but we cleared it up and she said if it was true, she would be baptized. K went to church yesterday and seemed to enjoy it (i was at another ward giving a talk), and we have an appointment tonight. So that's cool.

Ummmm. Yeah. It's hard out here, but I'm doing well. I loved church yesterday. I'm learning a lot. We're planning to work a lot with the members here, especially in the outlying wards because they feel kind of left out. Yeah! Busy is good.

OH. Send anything through mail to the new mission office address. Mom if you could change that on my FB that would be great.

Have a good week, love  you!

Also, yeah, we traveled with all the people going to Pocatello. We had to pick up two spanish speaking elders from the west MTC campus and then we were on our way. We stopped in front of the welcome to Idaho sign. If i remembered my camera thing i would have attatched pictures. Sorryyyyyy
The first day we got there, we ate lunch (baked potato bar, go figure), did a tour of the mission, got paperwork done, took all the formal pictures (did you ever get them?), had a short orientation, had dinner, got our assignments and trainers, and then went to a nearby members house for the night. before dinner, we had some time to hang out a bit, some of the elders and sisters and i threw around a football. fun stuff. 
President and Sister Brinkerhoff

Morgan's new companion, Sister Jones
Photo texted to me 9-14-14 of Morgan, Sister Jones, and the texter's daughter - Sister Christensen who left on her mission today 9-15-14.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Last P-Day in the MTC - September 5, 2014

Today is the last pday at the MTC. I love it here, but i'm excited to leave. The sitting all day in uncomfortable chairs is getting to me. My legs are restless. The hour gym time isn't nearly enough.

We went to the temple this morning with our zone. It was so nice! Especially because yesterday was the longest day at the MTC. We had a 9 hour In-field orientation that taught us how to do stuff like talk to people, how to get referrals, stuff like that. But I felt like they could have done it in about 2 hours. It was so exhausting, but today made up for it.

So! On Sunday, we have sacrament meeting at 8:30 and relief society at 9:30, no sunday school. It's ok because every single day here is like sunday school. But during sacrament we'll have two missionaries randomly picked give 3 minute talks and then someone from the branch presidency talks and then someone from the branch presidency's wife talks. It's all nice.

On Sunday after devotional (we have devo every sunday and tuesday), we watched Elder Bednar's Christmas MTC devo called Character of Christ. Holy cow. So good. If you can find it online, watch it. Life changing stuff there. He talked a lot about turning outward and serving others, even when it's really difficult to do so. 

So we have this thing at the MTC called TRC (teaching resource center) where we teach an investigator and we teach the same one throughout the week. We've been teaching Sarah Mae and she has had the hardest, saddest life ever. She doesn't have trust in God. But, we got her to pray the other day! And we taught about the atonement and she was really interested in that. So, good stuff.

You asked about the food? I'm fine, i eat oatmeal and bananas for breakfast and have salads with like, every meal. But some elders are suffering. jeremiah 4:19-21. When they read that in class, I've never seen my companion Sister Hatch laugh so hard. She's usually pretty quiet, but she was dying. Man, I love my district. 

My companions are great. Sister hatch, like i said, is kind of quiet, but man, she knows what to say when it's needed. Especially in teaching. Sister Sondrup is awesome. She's hilarious. She talks a lot, which is good in teaching, but she also is so great to get along with. I'm glad i have great companions.

I love love looooove my district/zone. We all sit together at dinner and laugh and have fun. I never thought 18 year old boys could be this awesome. 

On tuesday, we did service stuff (cleaning). I vacuumed and it was so much fun! Vacuuming shouldn't be that fun, but it was nice to do service.

Also, THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGES AND LETTERS! Seriously. It made my day. I got the package from you, katie sent one, and then janene sent me cupcakes! I've shared them with my companions and roommates. 

I leave tuesday morning for Pocatello. We're taking a bus at 8:30 in the morning. Good thing, the other sisters in my zone left for MN at 4:30 in the morning on wedesday. So we get to sleep in. 

Anyway, I'll send pictures in a minute.
Love you!
Morgan and her companions Sister Hatch and Sister Sondrup

The Pocatello contingent

YAY!!  Packages!!  Also a look into the dorm rooms at the MTC.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Letter Received Including More Details About Life in the MTC - August 31, 2014

Dear Mom,

Sorry my email was so disorganized.  We went to email and I completely blanked on w hat to write and say, so I just wrote a lot of stuff.

So, the first day of the first class (other way around, sorry), everyone was quiet.  I met both of my companions and my district.  A district is a handful of about 8-10 missionaries.  In the field, it's like all the missionaries in the town (so like all the Fleming Island Missionaries).  In the MTC, it's all the elders and sisters that you're in the classroom with.  But we have six elders - Hunter ( Ogden, UT), Peterson (Clearfield, UT), Fox (Peach Tree, GA), Silva (Orem, UT), Davis (Brigham City, UT), and Van Shaar (Houston, TX).  Now that we all know each other better, the elders are way more talkative and open.  It's so fun to be around them.  They're all going to Colorado Springs.

My companions are Sister Sondrup and Sister Hatch.  Sondrup is from Tempe, AZ, and Hatch is from Surprise, AZ (around Phoenix).  They are both really great companions.  Sondrup is super nice and easy to talk to and get along with.  Hatch is kind of quiet, but she is super sweet and full of love.  I seriously got some great companions.

So my district is in a zone, which comprises of 3 districts.  District A got here a week before I did and is going to Minneapolis so I got to tell them how cool MN is.  District B is ours, and District C is all going to Pocatello.  They Pokey district is so awesome.  We all eat together and that's the funnest time of the day.  The Elders are - Otto, Shulke, Rush, Dalling, Dart, Bergen, Ledbetter, and Wright.  The two sisters are Sis. Brimley and Moreland.  Both sisters live in our dorm, so that's cool.  I'm the oldest in district B & C, but one sister is 24 in A.  So there's that.

On Wednesday, after class, we had the new missionary meeting thing.  We just talked a lot about the MTC.  After, we had dinner.  Afterwards, we did group teaching.  1/3 of the missionaries would go into a classroom and group teacher an investigator.  That was a little difficult.

The MTC is difficult because you're bombarded with info the second you get there, and you need it all to teacher and be effective.  One elder said it was like a fire hose of information.  No.  It is a dump truck of information.  It's so much.  Each day, I go to bed exhausted and completely fried.  It's so tiring, but I love it.  It isn't useless info.

I'm more prepared than I thought I'd be, so that's good.  I can learn stuff easy, and then turn around and teach it fairly well.  Some missionaries aren't the best at that.  I know I'm blessed with being able to think logically and remember well.  So, I think I'll be ok with that.

It's hard to transition to being a missionary.  I love it, but like, I get distracted during personal study because the elders and fun to talk with.  We laugh a lot.  I'll also get some normal world song stuck in my head and it's hard to get out.  It's definitely weird getting used to.  We're not supposed to refer to a group as "guys," but as Elders and Sisters.  We struggle with that a bit.  We're trying, tho.

Today we went on the temple walk (we walk to the temple on Sunday) and took a bunch of pictures.  One Elder going to Pocatello took a bunch of selfies on my camera when the sisters and I were taking group pictures.  Another elder also used someone else's camera when he took the sister's group picture. So now, some elder in my zone has 10+ pictures of all the sisters.  So funny

Each meal, I eat a salad with it and carrots.  The salads are pretty good.  Tonight's meal dinner was spaghetti.  The server made the spaghetti and peas on the plate into a smiley face.  I didn't take my camera or else I would have gotten a picture.

I have so much to write still, but I don't really feel like I should write everything.  I've written a ton in my journal so you can read that when I get home.

Love you!
Moroni 7:33

Monday, September 1, 2014

1st P-day


It's true what they say about how the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It feels like I woke up foreverrrrrr ago and it's only 1!

Lucky us, we got Pday on Thursday. None of us really have laundry to do, so we're here emailing. I haven't checked the physical mailbox (district leader does that), and we aren't allowed to have our mail till 9:25, and because we're trying to be obedient..yeah. It's hard. But obedience is good!

So. When you dropped me off, the sister took me to the admin building, I got my tag (yeah i didn't cry when I left but i had several tears when I got my tag), MTC ID, room key, books, all that fun stuff. When you first get your tags, you have an orange "dork dot" on it and it just lets everyone know that you're new, so all day I had "welcome to the mtc!" and stuff like that said to me. I dropped my stuff off at my room and got taken to my classroom. The room is on the fifth floor, so every day, we're walking up five flights of stairs like, 4 or 5 times. But its fun. I love the classes!

Basically...we're in classes all day. We read scriptures, practice teaching, all that stuff. I wish I had more to describe but I left my journal in my room because our district left to email right after lunch. But, I've learned sooooooo so so so much. It's amazing how much you can learn in such a short amount of time. My brain is fried though from so much information. Oh, I counted how many times we prayed in one far its been 10. So there's that. 

So, I have two companions, Sister Hatch and Sister Sondrup. They're both from Arizona. We're in a district with six other elders, they're all going to Colorado Springs. They're really fun to be around. At first they were all pretty quiet, but they've opened up a lot. We have some pretty great discussions during classes.

Funny story, the first dinner, I saw my friend Elder Smith, whos going to Finland, in the cafeteria. I yelled out "Elder Smith!!" and he yelled "Morgan Smith!!" and ran over to me. A bunch of other missionaries yelled HANDSHAKE! It was really funny. But really good to see someone I knew here. 

This is for dad - ok right after the BYU game, send me a write up thing via Dear Elder. Go to and use my MTC mailbox number and departure date and they'll send me the letter the next day. I just really reeeeally want to know what happens!

I'm happy to be here. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else now. I'm positive that if I didn't leave on my mission on Wednesday, I would be 100% miserable. Here, I'm 100% happy. It's such a great place. Everyone here is so nice, the elders are awesome and super respectful, and the sisters have so much love for each other. I seriously love being here. It's the best thing I've ever done. It's difficult...the first day, we had an investigator and some of her questions and beliefs were seriously hard to answer and understand. But, I've had so many high points here. It's so worth it. 

Anyway, I really cant think of anything else to say....oh. yeah. so the best way to contact me at the MTC is I would love you if you used that. You're all awesome, and I love you.
Sister Smith 

An addendum [Morgan was on email at the same time as me so we were able to "chat" in real time.]:

The food is good, for bfast I'll have oatmeal, a banana, and some other fruit. today it was cantelope. For dinner yesterday i had turkey, a salad, and pineapple. I pretty much eat pineapple every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. it's basically like what was at the cannon center at BYU.