Monday, March 30, 2015

Grodiness to Cleanliness

Well Brad Wilcox came and did a fireside in the chapel by the temple. Oddly enough, he did the whole thing in Spanish. Turns out that he went to Chile on his mission, was a president of a Chile mission, and oversees the study abroad program in Spain. Coincidentally, we were just listening to one of his recorded talks last week also. He´s a really good speaker. And he just dived into so many deep and controversial subjects like the Millennium and women and the priesthood and polygamy and gathering the twelve tribes and other stuff. It was quite the interesting experience. I´ll tell more about that when I get home.

So we discovered a magical powder this week. We bought (for color and whites) a powder called Oxy Vanish or something like that. That is a missionary´s best friend. Our shirts and garments are brilliantly white. Also, my sheets--despite multiple washings over the mission--were pretty dang grody. I used the color stuff and now they are the normal light green again!

I had an interesting experience. If anyone is squeamish to blood or potty jazz, skip this paragraph. So, my companion is color blind, but pretty hard core. It´s hilarious to see him try to sort skittles by color. Anyways, one of the color pairs he mixes up is brown and red. So for the past week I have had to go into the bathroom every morning and check for him the toilet paper, the toilet (and its contents), for blood because it´s been coming out recently. Thankfully we have confidence and trust so he feels fine to ask me to check every morning and I feel somewhat fine with it. Also, he´s been making me more direct and blunt which is a good thing and a bad thing. He´s quite blunt.

I actually asked about iPads yesterday since it´s been 3 months since news was supposed to come. Sister Jackson (President Jackson´s wife) told us that there´s not much hope for our group getting them. Which is pretty frustrating since I´ve been told we´re getting them "soon" for the last year and 8 months.

We also had a fun little adventure on Thursday. Even though most of the ward lives in Madrid, the boundaries of our ward and area cover a huge area including this giant park called Casa del Campo which used to be the royal hunting grounds. We decided to visit a surprisingly big city that is kind of close yet far called Boadilla del Monte. We went as a district and together we found some people that were interested and a whole less active family from South America that just couldn´t find the chapel. Our ward mission leader lives in Monteprincipe which is right next door so we also just had correlation at his house.

It has come. It´s hot again. Dangit. That´s all.

Love you all and I miss you all!

-Elder Morgan

Note from his Mom: Somebody in Spain posted these pictures on Facebook and since Daniel was tagged in them I was pleasantly surprised to see them. Now we know what his companion looks like.

Elder Morgan and Elder Helske from Finland

Elder Morgan and Elder Helske on the right

Monday, March 23, 2015

Apupapin Papukeiton*

Well this week was less than eventful but it was a good one. We had more energy and excitement this week. Also we did a deep cleaning of the piso and now it is beautiful. 

We dropped our phone in water. Thankfully, it´s Nokia so we just let it dry out in some rice and it´s fine. The Elders in another city "accidentally" dropped their phone from a 4th floor window and just happened to see the fall and it survived the fall without a scratch. These phones are ridiculous. There´s a reason I once found a picture of Thor with the head of mjölnir (his hammer) replaced with a Nokia phone. 

We got a lot of rain and clouds which makes me happy but it´s confusing because we were getting heat and sun which was nice for contacting. Also a Real Madrid vs. Barcelona game just wiped the streets clean of people last night so not much luck there.

We just went to Toledo which was pretty fun. It was pouring rain, though. My beloved breathable running shoes also breathe in water and my have been drowning all day. 

My companion is teaching me Finnish now, a bit. One of the things he taught me was a tongue twister that´s stuck in my head. I obviously can´t send my voice but I can write it. It goes, "Appilan pappilan paksuposki piski pisti poskeensa apupapin papukeiton." It´s really fun to say and means some weird madness about a big cheeked dog eating the assistant priest´s bean soup in a monastery in a place called Appila. Although the other vowels in Finnish like "ä" and "ö" are just maddening. And when there are double letters you pronounce them twice as long and for some reason it is so hard. Also because you can´t pronounce things too long either. Uncle Paul was a brave man.

Not much else to say. Also I have to go change out my socks and un-raisin my feet before proselyting. I really miss you all and love you loads!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan

*Finnish for "Altar Boy Bean Soup"

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fire from Heaven

Ya, last week my companion wanted to visit members from his old areas and we had a lesson to get to right afterwards and we had very little time so it was pretty stressful.

Well this week wasn´t the greatest of all but through it I actually learned a lot and grew a lot this week. It reminds me of a really powerful, kind of sad, Mormon message called The Refiner´s Fire. The mission can be really hard but good things come out of it. But it was quite impressively bad sometimes. One of our investigators got in a car accident and so she didn´t show up to the lesson and when we called we found out everything and she didn´t sound too hot. She has so much potential and there is a ridiculous amount of opposition in her life keeping her away from us and this just adds to the list. One bad thing that was a hidden blessing was that the bakery underneath a family of investigators caught on fire and so they were woken up early in the morning on Sunday so they finally came to church for the first time. I personally think--jokingly and seriously--it was fire from heaven. 

Random fact of the day: I learned from my companion a few interesting things about Finland. Not so much now, but they give birth in saunas. Firstly because they love saunas but what they do is turn it up to 100 Cº (212 Fº or rather, boiling) and it kills all germs and somehow doesn´t kill all people. Then they turn it down to like 80 Cº for the whole process. Also, in Finland they hold the International Wife Carrying Contest. You go through an obstacle course wife carrying your wife (piggy back, in your arms, however you want) and the winner of the race gets his wife´s weight in beer. I am very curious to how that started. Also he taught me how to make grillattu (Finnish hamburger things) and it´s easy and delicious. I´ll make it at home.

When I got to this piso it was bare and empty besides the bare necessities but finally with help from the mission office and a few personal items, it´s decorated and we have furniture and now feels more like a home and less like living quarters. Although it´s very confusing of how to keep it the right temperature. The weather keeps on changing between hot and cold and I never know what to wear nowadays.

Anyways, despite more time, I still have many things to do. I love you all and miss you loads!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan

Monday, March 9, 2015


Well I have to go pronto so this will be brief.

Not much happened this week. It´s always a new experience leading a new area. Also, usually the next person is trained about the area to take it over but my companion leaves this transfer so it´s not really that important. It´s a very odd thing to do but more and more we´re understanding why. We get along really well. Maybe too well.

My district is:
Elder Morgan and Elder Helske (Finland)
Elder McAllister (Pleasant Grove, Utah) and Elder Cotton (Kansas)
Elder Galvan (California) and Elder Sarango (Ecuador/Murcia, Spain)
Hermana Ter Horst (Ohio) and Hermana Valencia (Chicago)

We´re quite diverse now but there´s still the good old Utah elders here. 

Not much else going on that I can think of. Mainly because I am stressed about being rushed and I am short on time.

Love you all!

Os quiero,
Elder Morgan

Monday, March 2, 2015

The one who Finnished and the one who will Finnish

Transfers came! I can´t remember if I mentioned it but last transfer was Elder Eskelson´s last one of the mission so we knew he was going. The last week he was kind of freaking out. He didn´t eat or sleep as much. At the end of our weekly planning for this week he just looked sad and was thinking hard and just said, "It´s all over." Those words were so sad. Also it makes me remember how little is left for me, even though it´s a lot. I took him and another elder, Elder (Austin) Anderson, to the temple square to get their last interviews which was sad too. The weather was perfect for the moment. It was a foggy, cold morning.

We went to visit Elder Alhovuori. We miss that guy so much and he missed us. We had a Barrio 5 reunion in Sol and remembered good times. Although Elder Cluff couldn´t make it and Hermana Shill had finished 3 months ago. We were all just so happy to be together again. Elder Alhovuori reminded me of something. Before he left, he bought a box of 500 Q-tips (The only size) and he didn´t need them all so he took something like 74 so he had one for every day left in the mission. We always joked about how he would just be bawling while cleaning his ears with the last one. Now the time has come. He told me he´s down to one for tomorrow before the plane ride. Tragic. Although he´s excited to get home. And he has his fiancée waiting for him. Ya, I don´t think I mentioned that he was engaged. I hope to get a wedding announcement soon.

Well, speaking of Finnish people, my new companion is Elder Helske from Finland. Although a different part. Elder Alhovuori was from near Helsinki but Elder Helske is from Lapland, or rather the north. I don´t know if this is a sign to learn Finnish or move to Finland or what. Strangely enough, he finishes this transfer. No idea why they took him out of his area. We´ll see why soon I assume. I heard lots about him from Elder Alhovuori and other elders and met him a few times so I know he´s nice. Also, the puns (Finnish and Finish) are going to be flying this transfer.

Not much else happened. We had a lot of eating appointments this week. Which reminds me of another story with Elder Alhovuori. We had 3 eating appointments in a row and in the last one we drank like a liter or more (each of us) of that delicious morir soñando drink. After that we felt awful so we literally sat on the bench outside their building for like 20 minutes before we felt like we could move and not throw up. It was wonderfully awful. But ya, we ate a lot this week too. And even though people tried to use their stupid excuses not to meet with us this week we just said, "Oh. Well Elder Eskelson is leaving this Monday and wanted to say goodbye," which got us the visits in the end. We had some really good ones too. Although two golden girls we found looked up jazz on the internet despite our warnings and now don´t want to meet with us because we are Illuminati who baptize dead bodies and weird jazz like that. 

It´s getting warmer. I can´t wear my jacket anymore even though it´s only 20 Cº (68 Fº) during the day it feels warm to me. But ya, it was pretty epic fog this morning too. Although I am so confused by the weather. Who knows, it might snow this week or something.

But that´s all. I miss you all lots!

Os quiero!
Elder Morgan