Thursday, November 28, 2013

Helloooooo beautiful people!

Where do I even begin? It's been a busy, exhausting, beautiful, crazy 10 days. It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. Maybe it will at dinner in 2 or 3 hours, but right now it feels like I'm a missionary and I'm going to be busy doing missionary work and I'm not going to get enough sleep tonight whether I'm in bed on time or not (I absolutely will be, but it sure won't feel like it)... But that's how it should be! I AM a missionary right now. I don't want the holidays to feel like I'm at home, because I'm not. I'm out here with a message of hope to share with everyone I meet, a message that can bring hope and comfort and peace. The message we share as missionaries has the ability to change lives. I know that because I let it change me, and I've seen the change it makes in the hearts of those who let it in. It's a message of our Savior, that no matter how hard things get or how low you feel, He is there to lift us up and put us back on the right path. I am out here in California right now, inviting these people to come closer to Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. 

The past week has been filled with Zone Conference for us missionaries, where we were all humbled IMMENSELY and inspired to be better, to work harder, and to stretch further than we ever have before. We were blessed to hear from Elder Baxter, from the Seventy.. This man does not sugarcoat a THING. He's Scottish and he's got the accent, and he's tall and bald and he's got an icy stare that will paralyze you on the spot... He is also wonderful and wants us to reach our greatest potential and he is a representative of Jesus Christ and I love him.. But MAN, he is intense. He spoke to us at the conference, gave us 16 commitments (yep, we're all feeling a little overwhelmed.. But that's okay. Builds character.) He made sure we all knew that we needed to get stuff D-U-N DONE. Here's a couple of my favorite least-intimidating quotes of the conference: 
"You don't almost, hopefully, or usually 'do it'.. You just DO IT." [at this point I tried to imagine him being Yoda so I wouldn't be so intimidated.."Do or do not, there is no try."]
"Find out what the Lord wants you to do, and DO IT. Find out what the Lord wants you to say, and SAY IT."

Basically we need to stop being comfortable with where we're at, we need to be bold, we need to get out and get things done. 

Sister Lewis (the Mission President's wife.. whom I love a whole lot) spoke as well, and gave us this parable of the King's Son...
The King's Son is having a birthday, and some father in the land told his son to go bring the king's son a gift. His son didn't want to, but the father made him. He traveled to the castle and spoke to a guard at the gate. "Why are you here?" said the guard. The boy replied, "To bring a gift to the king's son." The guard then asked, "Why did you come?" and the boy replied "My father made me" the guard sent him home, he would not allow those who came against their will to enter into the kingdom. Another father asked HIS son to bring a gift to the king's son. The son resisted, but the father bribed him with a few dollars, so he too made the journey to see the king's son. The son got to the gate, and again the guard asked, "Why are you here?" and the boy replied, "To bring a gift to the king's son." The guard asked "Why did you come?" "My father paid me" replied the son. The guard sent the boy on his way, for he would not allow someone who came to see the Son for his own gain. Another man said to his son, "you should go, and give a gift to the king's son." and the boy replied "I would love to. I love the King, and I love his son." A third boy took his journey into the kingdom, and once again, the guard stopped him and asked "Why are you here?" The boy replied, "To bring a gift to the king's son." "Why did you come?" the guard asked. "Because I love the king, and I love the king's son." and this time, the guard allowed him through the gate to give the king's son his gift. 

It's a simple story, but it speaks volumes. Why do we do what we do? Why am I serving a mission, why am I spending 18 months of my life on the other side of the country, when I could be going to school and working and being with my friends and enjoying my own life? I'm here because I love the King, and I love His Son. I know the power that comes through knowing and living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I want other people to know of that same happiness. It's like hearing a new song on the radio or seeing the newest Doritos commercial, you love it and you want to share that joy you experienced with everyone else. 

Okay, on a lighter note.. This week has been wonderful. We've had some wonderful lessons, we had EXCHANGES last Tuesday. I stayed in Bass Lake with Sister Twitchell and Sister Dees came to join us, while Sister McLelland was in East Sac with Sister Maughan.. It was a long day but Sister Dees is the sweetest and we had a lot of success :) We had a lesson with Cathlina and it kind of turned into a drop lesson (basically we broke up and it broke my heart). She's been taking the lessons because her in-laws are LDS and she wants to understand where they're coming from, and she felt like we had answered her questions and that was about it. I was pretty upset because I love her a lot and I know she sees what the gospel can do for her, but we've gotta wait for God's time and I know every little thing is gonna be alright. 

Oh we have an investigator named Kelly and he is wonderful and I don't remember if I've ever told yall about him, but we finally taught him about the restoration and I invited him to be baptized and he said yes and that's the first time that's happened to me and I kind of asked him twice because I didn't think he actually said yes but uh, yeah so that happened and the spirit was super strong and I'm so excited for him. Wow rambling, sorry guys. 

IT WAS SISTER MCLELLAND'S BIRTHDAY ON MONDAY AND I WAS MORE EXCITED THAN SHE WAS and I don't even know why but I just love her a lot and I love that I got to celebrate with her and eat all of the powdered donuts that her bestie sent her. It was a good time.


Okay one second.. QOTW. Can't resist.

We have an investigator who is 17 and his mom nicknamed him turtle, and she told us that turtle was at work.. walking back to the car this was the conversation as Sister McLelland was discovering that turtle was NOT their pet turtle.

McLelland- "Uh their turtle has a job? That's awkward."
Me- "...Maybe he works at the Shell station."


Really now, tchau tchau, loves.

Monday, November 18, 2013

6 months, 6 months.


So as of today I have ONE YEAR LEFT as a missionary, and I officially hit my 6 month mark on the 22nd (THAT'S HALF OF A YEAR, PEOPLE). How crazy is that?! I feel like I just got out of the MTC, but suddenly a third of my mission is already passed. 

Okay, before I get started I'm just letting yall know that next week we have P-day on Thanksgiving, so I won't be on email on Monday, just Thursday. Maybe Wednesday, not sure how that's gonna work yet. But throwin that out there so ya don't freak out. 

Last week. Sister McLelland was sick at the beginning of the week. Then she got over it and it passed on to me. Now I'M recovering and hoping that Sister Twitchell doesn't get sick. Sister McLelland stayed home sick on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we were makin' it on our own :( IT'S HARD GUYS. I DON'T LIKE MISSING A COMPANION. Then as soon as she was getting better I got sick, so we've all felt awfullllll this week. But we had 2 lessons with Cathlina, SHE IS SO GREAT. She writes down notes, asks perfect questions, she is the perfect investigator. I love her so much. We taught her about the plan of salvation, and we got to come back on Friday and talk to her again, she takes it all in and understands it and loves it. At the end of the lesson she asked us how this gospel can help her now, when she's already following Christ and trying to stay close to him and reading the gospel. She thinks it's so good, she just needs to act for herself and see the blessings it brings. I love her. Did I mention that I love her? 

We had an AWESOME All-faith devotional last night, I don't even know what to say about it right now, I'm still getting over being sick and mission brain on top of that so my head is all foggy and now I'm just rambling. THIS IS SUCH A SHORT EMAIL I'M SORRY. 


So two nights ago Sister Twitchell got a letter from one of her college professors.. The backstory is that Sister Twitchell has been writing her on the mish, and recently sent her a Book of Mormon... She replied with STACKS of copied pages from anti-mormon literature.. We humored ourselves a little bit because everything she sent was SO WRONG. Sister Twitchell was a little bummed that the teacher didn't immediately have the desire to be baptized, but Sister McLelland and I thought it was HILARIOUS. This is the epitome of a mission story right here. The lady proceeded to write a 3 page (front and back) letter about how we are so wrong and that we are a cult (I promise you all we are NOT. Errbody needs to calm down). Anyways so we are taking advantage of being in El Dorado and finding a nice wide open space to burn said copied literature. WHOOOOOO. Missionaries at their wildest, right thurrr.

Well, okay I'm tired and out of emailing time, but WRITE ME I LOVE YOU ALL... THIS INCLUDES EXTENDED FAMILY. I thought my aunts and uncles were like my besties but DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME NBD. 

Kidding, but really. 

Okay I should really go. Have a fantastic week, y'all. TALK TO YA ON THURSDAY.

Com amor,
Sister Morrill

Monday, November 11, 2013

Soooo i'm wrapping up my first week in Bass Lake. Last Tuesday after I wrote yall, we had sushi with Sister Clayson (one of my favorite people ever in my last area) and it was great. She's the cutest and sushi was delicious. We spent a lot a lot a lot of time packing, I had to say goodbye to Larry (thought it would kill me, but hey, here I am), we had dinner with another one of my favorite families, said goodbye to a few families in the ward, and said goodbye to Donna. That was sad. She was super upset that I was leaving and I was sad to leave her. She always calls us her kids and she'll call herself "momma donna". "Grandma Donna would be more appropriate, but whatever floats her boat. I love her to pieces. 

Bright and early Wednesday morning we went to the mission office for Sister Zenger to get her new companion.. She's training another visa waiter haha, YEAH BOY. And Sister Barker drove me up to El Dorado. We got up there and all I was just instantly in love with the area. The hills are basically mountains, there are trees EVERYWHERE, the leaves are all turning color and I just want to take photos of all of it, it's perfect. I don't want my visa yet, I love Bass Lake too much. We had to build our own bunk bed since there's 3 of us now, SUCH A PAIN...Then we had to build an office chair... and a desk.. and a dresser. My heart goes out to parents everywhere who have ever had to make a bunk bed for their kids. They are ridiculous.

COMPANIONS. I am in a trio again. I was dreading it from the minute I got my transfer call, but it's immensely better than I thought it would be. I am LOVING Sister McLelland so so much. She's from Highland, Utah. We get along wonderfully and she's keepin' me sane :) we're TIGHT. But trios are hard. I don't recommend them. It's great when it comes to teaching, we are so unified and it's easier not to talk too much and to pass it on to someone else, but other parts of a trio are not so easy. I know they're helping me learn and grow so much though. Slightly different scenario than in the MTC, but I'm always blessed with a ROCKIN awesome companion that keeps me laughing through the rest of it. My other comp is Sister Twitchell, who I honestly really DO love. I do. It's just a little harder for me to do it sometimes. She just finished her training and this is her 3rd transfer here, so Sister McLelland and I are follow-up training and trying to learn the area and the people as fast as we can haha. I learned my last area so quickly because we were full time bike, but we're still figuring out and working hard!

These people are SO great! The members here are all SO missionary minded and they're so welcoming to everyone. Our ward mission leader has coined the phrase "Just LOVE EM UP!" For everything. Love the missionaries. Love the investigators. Love the random weird ones that walk in every so often. Just love em up. We just added a ROCKSTAR of an investigator, Cathlina, and she's great! We taught her on Wednesday for the first time, came back two days later and talked to her about the restoration of the gospel. It was THE most spiritual lesson any of us have ever been in. She's taking the lessons more for informational purposes because she has family members who are LDS, but she asks all the BEST questions and the spirit is so strong in our lessons. I love it. She's a sweetheart.

The bishop and ward mission leader here are FUNNY. Sundays are such a blast. We were in ward council and we were just cracking up the entire time. They're all so much younger than my last ward or my home ward, Bass Lake is BUMPIIIN'. Brother Lyons (the ward mission leader) is hilarious and just spews of these jokes the whole time and I was dying. I want to stay here forever. 

We are living with members again, I LOVE IT HERE! We live with the Duffy family and they are the sweetest old couple. They're so great and I don't feel like I'm infringing on their territory haha, so that's nice.

There's so much to say about this area, I could go on forever but I gotta go. Love yall!! 

Um abraco,
Sister Morrill

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


This week has been fantastic and hard and wonderful and exhausting..... You know, just like the rest of my mission basically. I'm going to stop using the phrase "hardest part of my mission thus far" because every time I say that, I'm pretty sure that God laughs and just throws something to me, saying "Oh? Well what about THIS?" BAM. TRIAL. 

But that's okay. It builds character. 

Before we get into all of that though, it is TRANSFER WEEK.

Sister Zenger is staying in Northridge and TRAINING A GREENIE :') I'm a proud companion...

But that means I am leaving the area :'( 

So so so upset. I don't want to go. I love this ward so much! I know I'm needed in my new area though, so I'll go and I know I'll come to love the people there just as much :)

I am going to the hills, El Dorado hills! I'll be in the Bass Lake a trio.........bah. I'm nervous about the trio after the MTC, but I know it will be a good experience and that there's a reason we're together. Maybe I'll even have a visa comin' in, who knows. My companions are Sister Twitchell and Sister McLellan. I don't know them yet, so that will be an adventure!

Everyone loves El Dorado, and we get to do REAL tree cutting, hard working, get your rear in gear service. I am PUMPED. I know it will be so good, I am just super sad to leave all these people that I have come to love so much haha. HARD HARD HARD.

So Thursday was Halloween. Halloween was the worst day ever. And I love Halloween. It started with a MIRACLE in the morning and then someone had to rain on our parade. I don't want to go into it because it's long and sad and complicated, and I was upset and sad and frustrated and mad and confused and all kinds of things. But basically Larry is still a champion and his heart is all wrapped around the gospel, he loves it and he does everything he needs to. He is the best missionary in the whole ward, without a doubt. He shares it with everyone and he'll clear up any misconception anyone could possibly have about mormons. His wife and step-daughter went to the LDS church in their area last week and we think they're meeting with missionaries.. I am so excited for him. He is NOT afraid to open his mouth and talk to anyone. He is the greatest. Anyways, Larry is still doing wonderfully but Thursday things came up and he's got a few things to work through before he can be baptized. That was hard. I cried. I don't ever cry, dang it. It will be a while but I know he's going to stay so strong. I can't wait to come back after the mission and see all these people again, I just love em all. 

AFTER all of that, we had a zone activity for Halloween! We got to watch Ephraim's Rescue and had dinner and zone training. Missionary life at it's best. Holidays and church movies.

Pretty sure I have been the worst influence (in the best way) to Sister Zenger. She's the perfect proper, (not always but often) quiet missionary, and my wild side has been rubbing off on her and it cracks me up because now she says things that just catch me so off guard with her cute put together self. She's still the best missionary ever but she is FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY.


Z- "I didn't shave my legs for halloween"
M- "I did a few days ago idk"
Z- "I didn't... Like FREE PETTING ZOO OVER HERE. Normally you have to pay but this is completely freeeeeee"
           ...that's mah girl.

"OH MY GOSH MY HAND IS ON FIRE" -Sister Z in trying to stay calm in PANIC MODE.... we get bored sometimes, don't worry about it.

M- "what kind of drunk do you think Sister _____ would be?"
Z- "Depressed, definitely depressed"

Disclaimer: These conversations are not nearly as exciting in context but those few funny moments have to be shared. 

I AM SO SAD TO LEAVE SISTER ZENGER. It's taken us 4-5 weeks to really warm up to each other but I just adore her and I'm so sad to leave. It will be wonderful though. She is going to be the best trainer ever. 

Well we have a lot to do and no time, so we're OUT, but I love and miss you all. The mission address is still the same so feel free to write letters... lots of em maybe ;) AMO VOCES, TCHAU TCHAU.

Com amor,
Irma Morrill