Monday, January 26, 2015

The World is Ghetto Here

Well I have left a growing, random legacy in the mission. I eat strawberry greek yogurt with halves of digestive crackers (these plain cookie things. They don´t change your digestion at all.) as the spoon and everyone I show it to loves it and it is now spreading even after I leave. It tastes dang good. Also, I learned how to make couscous this week and it tastes amazing and it is so easy. New menu item! I´m getting pretty good at cooking. My favorite is frying up peppers and meat and throwing in whatever else you want like other vegetables and meats and it just tastes good and it´s actually healthy. I also have my moving pantry that comes with me to every area in a bag which consists of all my extracts and powders and most importantly my American brown sugar I got in my last area. 

Turns out that this new area has many people with very interesting ideas and less logic. For example, there was a man the other day in the street that assured us that you could be baptized by reading the bible because "the word gives us power," and so baptism by water is not necessary. Or some people in the street who recognized and told us that they needed the church and knew that they were lost metaphorically but decided that their way was better. And my companion is near the end of his mission (Finishes in 5 weeks but I didn´t say that.) so he´s getting more blunt with people in the street. It´s good sometimes but sometimes it´s a bit much although that kind of stuff stays out of their hearing. I can´t remember all the exact things he says right now but it´s pretty interesting. Although he does have some great contacting techniques that I´m now applying. And sometimes people need bluntness so I´m trying that too.

Well we just have a boss of a ward mission leader, like my companion said. He is by far the best I´ve had. I´ve had wonderful ones in the past but this man magnifies his calling like mad. He makes these charts and info sheets for every investigator that they´ve had here. And he even tells us details about recent converts and old investigators from a year ago that need help that we should go pass by. You can tell he really cares about his calling. And I happened to get here on the week when he invited all the missionaries to his house for dinner. He´s something like the financial manager for Spain and Portugal so he had a pretty nice house as well. 

I found out that one of my teachers from the MTC, Hermana Perera, is in this ward! I don´t know if I ever mentioned my teachers from the MTC because there was like no time to write when we were there. So there was Hermana Perera, who I believe is from here; Hermano Pickup, from Texas; and Hermana Camarero, from Barcelona if I´m not mistaken. I saw Hermana Camarero when I was Vallecas because she was about to go into the temple for her marriage. She´s interesting because she only taught one transfer and in that transfer only taught one class. Us. We´re her favorite class. I saw Hermano Pickup many times because he was part of the bishopric in Alcalá de Henares which was the other part of our district in Torrejón de Ardoz. He went on his mission to Ukraine and married a Spanish woman. Long story. And he tried to name his son Dodge--awful joke--and his wife was ok with it until her mother-in-law told her the joke. And now Hermana Perera is here. So ya, fun stuff.

Not much else in news. I just found out that an investigator from my old area, Barrio 5, is being baptized in a week. Like always. It sucks to miss the baptisms of these people I´ve worked with and loved by a couple weeks, but I learn things from it. Mainly it reminds me that the work isn´t about me, its about them and so it doesn´t matter if I´m there are the end, I´m just glad I played a big part in their conversion. But don´t get me wrong, I would still love to be there and baptize them myself. Sadly, President won´t let us go to baptisms in old areas because some geniuses abused that power by going two hours away to baptisms of people they taught once on intercambios.

Speaking of areas, I have just hopped over the river to get here. The borders of this area touch my old area. I can see the royal palace from some of this area too. I´ll miss that area so much. It is my favorite overall. I´ve loved parts of other areas much more but overall that was the best one. I also wished I could´ve stayed for things like baptisms and my birthday and whatnot. But I better stop talking or else I´ll get more trunky for my old area. Love that place to death.

Ya, the piso isn´t too great but I finally got unpacked and stole, with permission, furniture from the other Elders´ piso so ours is more habitable. Slowly I´ll get used to this area more and more. I´m still kind of lost. But it always gets better and better as we go on in each area. I´m not sure about my desires to stay in this area or what will happen with transfers before I go. We´ll see what happens.

No closing to his letter, but I did find his new companion's blog and so I'm attaching his photo (just in case Elder Morgan doesn't send pictures before his companion goes home--which is highly possible).

Elder Eskelson from Smithfield, UT

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter Shorts

Well, beloved transfers arrived. I´m getting kind of tired of them. I got moved. I am now in the 9th ward in an area called Carabanchel! Back in another ghetto. Not the prettiest area and our piso is the bare necessities so we´ll see how it goes. Although they say the members are awesome and my companion seems nice. His name is Elder Eskelson. He finishes in a transfer, though so I know he´ll only be here for a transfer. And this may be my last area so we´ll see how I feel about that. I´m just tired of transfers.

Last week was nice. It snowed! On the weekend it snowed but didn´t stick. It looked so beautiful. People said that in Villalba it stuck everywhere so that´s cool. It´s getting pretty cold but that doesn´t bother me. I also found a little surprise in a nerd shop. I was looking through the books and saw "Nacidos de la Bruma" and the familiar name of Brandon Sanderson! I found all his books including "Nacidos de la Bruma" which is Mistborn. Although that´s just the title of the series. They changed the first book to "El Imperio Final" which is "The Final Empire."

Quite frankly, leaving sucked. I hate farewells and I had really grown to love that area and got used to it and made it a nice area. It was also so gorgeous and I was doing fine with my companion and it was just wonderful. I forgot to bring my old planner through all the chaos and jazz going on in this wonderful change so I don´t have much to write. Plus I´m just pooped and feel crappy. No potty puns intended. Love you all!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan

A bonus:  Two photos from his companion Elder Nickerl's blog:

With convert Ana

Paddleball with Elder Giforos

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pastor de las Ovejas Perdidas‏*

Yes, it has indeed come. The so called "trunky papers". The release date is July 7. President and Hermana Jackson really wanted us to go home with them two weeks earlier but it would´ve been a whole month off our mission in total and it would´ve been very complicated to send us all home in the middle of a transfer. And this also means I will spend my second to last day working in the mission field in Spain celebrating the United States of America. That will be a hard day to not get trunky. They did send us some info so here it is, since it now applies to me. I´ll copy and paste what they wrote in the bulletin. 

"We would like to announce our replacement for July 2015- July, 2018. Their names are President Kevin and Sister Cindy Pack from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They both served missions when they were younger. President Pack served in Chile, Osorno and Hermana Pack in Massachusette, Boston. Hermana Jackson and I have been in contact with them and know that you will be in very good hands. They have 4 children. Their 2 older daughters are married, the oldest has a baby girl. They have a 15 year old daughter and a 13 year old son who will be living in Spain with them. They already love you and are praying for you. We ask that you pray for them as well, as they prepare to preside over this great mission starting July 1st. Until then, you are stuck with us, so please continue to pray for us as well!"

So that´s them. They will be in the mission one whole week with me. But it should be fun. 

Well I just died over the video of Kara making sounds. Can you just send her in my package as well? She is too cute. I cannot wait to see Chris either. He seems so grown up now.

Alright, well to be vague, but specific here are some experiences. We are still teaching Ana, the wonderful little old Paraguayan woman who continues to just be angelic. I felt like The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure because I worked for almost my whole time in this area trying to find a less active American/Swedish couple and we finally found them! It was such a relief to finally find them. Recently I feel like a shepherd for the less active and excommunicated. We´ve just been finding so many recently and some even have found us. We´re like magnets. And so we are gathering the lost sheep of the tribe of Madrid bit by bit.

The work's been a bit difficult lately due to the gigantor holdiay season that goes from Christmas Eve to King´s Day. People go on vacation to far off lands or just don´t want to talk to us or who knows what. But it´s finally over so the work will be back in motion soon.

If you don´t know, in Greek mythology there´s a guy named Tantalus on the Fields of Torment in the Underworld who can never drink because the water moves away from him when he wants to drink and the fruit on the tree above him moves away to when he tries to eat it. I know that feeling, bro. iPads seem like they´ll never come. Supposedly we were going to get news in December and they were supposed to come in 2014 but oh well. We´ll see what happens.

Not much else comes to mind and I gotta go. I love you all!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan

*Shepherd of Lost Sheep

Elder Morgan's District in Madrid Barrio 5

Monday, January 5, 2015


Random paragraph of immense size!!! I bought strawberry milk finally but it exploded everywhere because the lid broke off and it all fell. Our extremely distracted investigator got so distracted that he shined our shoes for us in the middle of the lesson and wouldn´t let us wait until after. We have a missionary here who is a recent convert of a year and a half and he has a boss story. Every time his mom caught him with a Book of Mormon she stole it and burned it but he just kept on getting more. He said she burned 8 in total and he still had like 12 more hidden in his house in case. Our beloved convert, Ana, fed us hot chocolate and I made brownies (star shaped!) because it was her birthday. And it was wonderful timing because it suddenly just plummeted in temperature here. I already talked to my family about it but we had a David Archuleta concert and he also came to our missionary Book of Mormon devotional. He sings very well of course. He got a song stuck in our head for the rest of the week, "Pastores de Belén." He spoke Spanish well but you could still tell he wasn´t native. And he said "La Reina Unida" instead of "El Reino Unido." One means "The United Queen" and the other is "The United Kingdom."  The other elders just baptized a Nicaraguan man and so I got to talk to him about all that jazz a bit. Turns out that people really, really, really, do not like our ancestor dictator man. Although I am starting to learn Nicaraguan slang. I gave my companion a heart attack because some members offered us some "coffee" which is really this coffee flavored stuff called Eco made from wheat or something. He asked me what it was and I told him coffee, like they said, and I told him not to worry because it was decaf and he flipped out but then I told him the truth. New Years was pretty chill. No guns here. Guns are basically entirely outlawed. Getting a license here is a nightmare. And when we talk about shooting guns, people look at us like we´re monsters and ask us how we could use something so dangerous. It is a very left sided country here. Franco literally killed off all the republicans during the civil war so there´s not many here. But anyways, New Years. I obviously didn´t go, but they set up fences around all the monuments and everything and basically it´s the biggest party in the world. They shut down the metro of the center because it gets so nuts. The debris was all over Madrid for the next two days still. It feels weird to be in 2015. Firstly, a lot of those near-future movies start in this time period. But it´s mainly weird because it´s my going home year. It´s a pretty interesting experience to hit that. I am finally realizing how dang old I am in the mission. It´s better to just not think about it. But it´ll be good. Well I have reached the end of my though process and I gotta go! I miss you all a lot and love you loads!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan