Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 21, 2014 - I Plead for your Faith on Behalf of the 65 in July Goal

Helllllo my Rebeccaless family. There was a definite lack of sarcasm in this email, though Joseph always does his best. This week was an amazing week. Really, really amazing. We didn't have any one crazy miracle, but the whole week was just nice. We have been able to teach a lot of lessons recently, this week we got 8 member presents and 7 other lessons, which I think is probably the highest total lessons on my mission. KK was confirmed, gaining the Holy Ghost, and helped us fellowship a lesson with 2 of Ida's referrals from Mainland. As always KK surprises me with how mature and deep her conversion and testimony is. And Ida continues to be Ida. She really has been prepared by the Lord. Her background was Catholic, so she can tell about the differences between our church and others, and she is a little acquainted with the Bible, she's got a lot of time to do callings or activities, she is super social and just influences a huge network of friends. Really cool.

We had one investigator, Justin, who is one of the coolest guys I've met. He does construction, and previously had no religious experience, and when we taught him, it just seemed obvious to him that all the commandments we shared were true. He didn't immediately know that the Church was true, but he's humble and read scriptures diligently and now he knows. Here's the only sad part. We have our 65 baptisms in July goal (pray for it) and I wanted to move his date from August 24 to July 27 because honestly he's ready and I felt inspired to do it. But we found out that he's already scheduled some school course to get him able to go to college. He had them scheduled before he even met us, and the last 5 weeks have been a sort of a break in between semesters. But starting next week he can't go to church for 1/2 a year and a bit. We asked him to pray, and this is the sort of cool part. He said he talked with his mom, struggled for hours over it, and then woke up and KNEW that God wanted him to be baptized next year after school. I don't know why, but that was God's will, I'm sure that it was a real answer. I don't know why, but that experience (though sad a bit) was really cool. And he's still meeting with us every week. SO...

The other cool thing this week is that we've just had a lot of success on the street. I bear testimony that God is preparing people to receive the gospel, and the Holy Ghost really does guide us. Sometimes it’s hard to believe when you wander around for a couple hours not talking to people, but it's real.


This was your longest letter to date. I'm glad to hear you liked the camp. I always have felt like camps, activities, etc, often seem really annoying before you do them, and sometimes (like the young women's camp that got rained on) seem annoying while you're doing them. But they are always worth it when you get back.

I really like Archery, I've always thought it's super fun. I hate horses and horseback riding. I don't like knowing that this giant stupid animal could probably kill me any moment, and they smell. I would rather go archery shooting. There's a place in Sugar House nearby the pool over there that you can go archery shooting at.

Abby, you are basically a Parthian. Ask Dad what that means. PARTHIAN CAVALRY!!


I remember way earlier in my mission (which, if I was keeping track, is growing disturbingly close to half way...) you mentioned about a zone leader who had just figured out that missionary work can be amazing and successful, and it really helped him. I feel like I've really realized that in Chai Wan. Like I said, sometimes we find and it just feels ridiculous. No one stops, and after a while you get to feel like if someone did stop you wouldn't know what to say. But then you go finding for 40 minutes on Sunday before an appointment with an investigator found 2 days before (who now has a baptismal date) and you find and teach another guy in the same place as the first. I wish I could figure out the secret, but I'm afraid it's just the Lord. I've had a couple times where I realize that our companionship right now is that successful companionship I used to look at jealously and feel slightly annoyed at their humble downplaying of their role. Now I realize that it's true. If you have success, it's because the Lord wants you to. It isn't us.


I don't believe it. (Becca is out of town for a couple of weeks & David wrote something silly for her part of the letter.)


I remember when I became a priest, I was super nervous to say the prayer, so I just made myself say it every week for a few months. I think that you really understand the importance of the sacrament more when you say it. Passing the sacrament helps you respect it more, but it also sort of occupies your mind. Focus on it. I think it's more important than I realize.

Honestly, I've been thinking a bit about Wolfire, mostly because I've got this really cool idea about a totally non electric non technology house made out of all stone and metal and wood (prompted because we found a way to be comfortable without the air conditioner for the past 2 weeks, and ever since learning about thermodynamics I can't look at air conditioners the same) and I've been thinking about making it in that game's modeling engine, but I actively resist such thoughts because I believe they distract from missionary work.


We went to pick up Elder Ferrar's official ID card today in Sham Shui Po, which reminded me of going there my first day here. So many things have changed since then that it's hard to imagine. But the weather is about the same, same street stalls, same wait in the lines. Quite surreal. I'm sure President Hawks's letters are purely perfunctory (I still speak English). Elder Ferrar has been progressing a lot. It's cool to see him change. I made Tuna macaroni salad this week, though I didn't have any cucumber so I used peppers instead. Pretty nice. Eating food like that always makes me a little trunckie, but I'm really so happy these days that I don't mind. Make sure everyone does evening scripture reading and goes to the temple. I worry all the time about Recent Converts or investigators doing those things, it's weird to think that when I finish I'll be needing to worry about myself doing them.

Oh, just received Jeffrey Bennett's wedding invitation. Could you inform him I can't be there in time for the ceremony, though I might make the reception. Congrats!


There's an Elder named Elder Howell. He's sharp and witty, but I agree, don't pick that name for your main character in your book. Pick a cool one like CYBERWOLV or xxwizardmage67qq. Pierce, but that's overused. Silver. That goes well with pirates and smart people. North. Tanneson. Paine. Corely. I don't know. CYBERWOLV is probably the best.

I always thought those principles; the sort of physical tactics of martial arts were the coolest thing. The strategy involved in each individual movement is pretty cool. The running is pretty awesome too. I have a goal to get down to a 6 minute mile by the end of my mission, but Elder Ferrar doesn't exactly like running.

Relinquish power. Ha. Insert ironic snort. Insert embarrassed wiping of nose and computer screen

Keep it up with Brad. I think that this opportunity is a lot bigger than you realize. You have authority to receive revelation for him, but it takes effort. Do film making for the church, man. I'm telling you.

Thank you, my loving family. This week was amazing. I plead for your faith on behalf of the 65 in July goal.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 - KK was Baptized!

Hello mine dear family.

This was a pretty great week. Why, you ask? Because a person was submerged in water for a second or two. And not by me, though that was what I was expecting last week. In our mission we really try to have a member do the baptism, because the missionaries obviously will leave but the member can stay there and have that good connection with the convert for the rest of their lives. KK really wanted me to do the baptism, because I had been there at the very beginning, and last week we sort of planned on having me do it, despite my protests. Then on her baptismal interview (which she passed easily. She came out and said "wow, so easy") we talked again and I explained a bit more. I was feeling guilty because that morning President Hawks had texted us about how we should have members baptize people. KK decided that would be fine, so I got the assignment to do the talk in the baptismal service instead. It was really great. KK has worked really hard, changed a lot, and really become more happy. She wouldn't really do much at all before, and now she has the self motivation to read scriptures, go to church, pray, etc. And she brought her husband to the baptismal service. He is a bit reluctant, largely because he went to Christian schools and found them very boring. But KK said she'd work on him, and Ida (who was at the lesson) shared about her experience. Ida had been attending a Catholic Investigator class for over a year before she ran into missionaries, and though she believed in God didn't feel anything from it. So her sharing was perfect. Andrew may become an investigator soon. We'll see...

Aside from that this week has been pretty cool. We have some investigators who are just super prepared for the gospel. There's one guy with a date in August who works in construction, which typically has a lot of word of wisdom or law of chastity problems, but when we taught him he had absolutely no conflicts at all. Miracle.

Our numbers this week were actually very low, but it was because of the baptism and something called the Peak Service, commemorating the dedication of Hong Kong to the preaching of the gospel. That was pretty cool, we had some investigators there, and I could understand the Chinese better than the English translation for the most part. The last time it was held was in 1993, and who do you think was Area President at that time? I forget, someone whose name begins with a C, maybe about cars, I don't know.

One cool experience I had this week was while on an exchange with the soon to return home Zone Leader, Elder Staehli. We saw a guy sitting on a bench, so we talked to him. I'm pretty bad at guessing ages. He looked about 20 or 30 years old, but he was probably 14 or 15. A form 4 student. Usually we wouldn't contact kids that age, just not the most useful use of time. But he was okay, and his two friends came up a bit later, then we taught them all, and scheduled them for church. 3 new investigators. None of them came, but I contacted all of them later and they all had legit excuses, and we are rescheduling them. Church was a bit optimistic anyway.

Elder Ferrar had a fun time learning how to do phone calls last night. I made him call potential investigator sheets a couple times, but last night we used a lot of language study time practicing (harshly) and then I made him alternate with me doing calls for 1.5 hours. I don't think he liked it but it was pretty useful. Calls were ridiculously hard for me at the beginning. I would just hope that every call would ring for a minute but not pick up so that I wouldn't have to talk to people. That's where Elder Ferrar is now. But he's a great Elder, learning fast.

I have to send this one right now and then re-check in, continuing shortly.


I do a pretty good job of keeping a journal. Most missionaries are not great, but I write basically every day. Sometimes I'm short on time but usually I am pretty great. It was easy, already having that habit before my mission. Thank you Miss Rickart. One of the missionaries in our mission got attacked by a fighting dog and apparently has been in the hospital for a while. But he is okay, just has to recover. As far as acne goes, I am doing much better. There is still acne on my face, but this is the hottest and most humid time of year, I have more stress as a trainer, and I'm still pretty under control. We don't need the pills anymore so should be cheaper. I saw the guy today so will try to send the bills to you soon.

Sounds like things have been pretty cool back home. I really have been happy recently. It is a good place to be. My half way mark is in a month. That's super weird.


I would love some time to do some death rides. I have only ridden a bike once on my mission, a P-day back in Tai Wai. I think I mentioned it.

Joseph will be interested to hear that before doing emails Elder Ferrar and I toured this BMW showcase place next to the chapel. Pretty expensive place. They had one that was a concept car turned commercial, hybrid with a full electric option, sports car, about 250,000 USD. Pretty cool. Elder Ferrar really likes cars, much more than I do. Electric is the future man, look at what the components of an internal engine are, then an electric one. Duh. Occum's Razor, that which is simplest is often right. We just need batteries.

Tell Abby that 500 yards is a great distance for a warm up swim.


I wasn't going to mention this but I have a sore throat and a cold too. Don't worry mom, it's not bad at all. But sometimes on a mission you wish you could just rest for a day. But I'm grateful; I think it's a test to see how diligent I've really become. You can do it Abby. I'm happy to hear you talking about getting in shape. Keep it up!

Love you all,

Elder Morrell

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014 - Diligence is Working Hard When You Don't Want/Need To!

My dear family, I am sorry. I very specifically told you all that I would be emailing on Wednesday last week, because we had a special chance to go to the temple on Wednesday and see the newest temple film. Then President Hawks changed it because the Mission Department wanted all the missionaries to do some survey and we needed it by Monday. So we ended up having P-Day on Monday and Temple Day with no P-day which doesn't happen often. I felt all graceful and long suffering as I wrote about how it was okay that you guys didn't email me last week, and then I felt like an idiot when Elder Yim reminded me that we had warned you all. He got out fine because one of his old young men's leaders works in our chapel. Natives. Psh.

SO Sorry. Especially to mom. In Hong Kong we would say, gau cho. Which means dang, or seriously?, or come on.

This week was pretty interesting. It wasn't the best week I've had but we had some pretty cool experiences. Because of our weird temple visit and our zone training meeting on Friday, we really had almost no time to find this week. That was pretty painful, we only taught 3 street lessons. We have been getting a ton of member present lessons recently but mainly because we have 3 really cool investigators who are willing to meet often, and we've been trying really hard to schedule people a lot. It was funny last week, we taught one guy the first 3 lessons in a single week. The danger with this is that when those investigators drop out (whether through baptism or lack of interest or being unavailable that week) our numbers and success and basically effectiveness kind of disappear. So I'm really hoping to find some new investigators soon. Finding is still fun. Just this past day or two Elder Ferrar has really started working hard to contact people on his own. I know that that was extremely hard for me at the beginning, so I've really been encouraging him to work on that. He's an awesome Elder, very humble and a lot more willing to listen to advice than I was. He is very artistic, he plays guitar and bass very well, and draws probably better than I do (which is saying a lot). Cantonese is really hard for him, but when we get chances to teach in English he's really great. Cool guy. I always accidentally write gut instead of guy.

KK, who is actually named KiKi (apparently) is progressing amazingly. It is so interesting to see the change in her. Her knowledge of the factual doctrine of the gospel is shallow at best, and sometimes I get a bit worried at stuff she forgets (or, when asked what is the difference between Thomas S. Monson and the Pope, she responds that one is older and has a weird hat instead of a suit. That prompted its own lesson) but then she'll give some answers for basic doctrines or why she does things that blow me away. I asked her why she wanted to get to church on time. She said it used to be for us missionaries. But now it is because when she prays, she doesn't want to make Heavenly Father disappointed. She is ready to be baptized. And she wants me to do it, so next email I write may be after my first time baptizing someone.

Last cool experience for the week. On Thursday we left ward council early to teach a lesson that was okay, but not amazing, then got back with almost no time and a ton of calls to make and just too many things to do. I was feeling pretty frustrated and a bit upset, especially because I have to do all the calls right now. I make Elder Ferrar answer the phone and struggle for at least a few minutes but making him call people is a bit unrealistic. We planned, I was grumpy. We finished, I just wanted to get ready for bed and put it off till tomorrow. But diligence is working hard when you don't want/need to, not when you do, so I did some calls. Nothing too crazy happened, but they were some really successful calls. Just reminds me how much better you can feel when you work hard, how much you can get done by being diligent. Missions can really change you. I'm afraid I won't be able or willing to do half the stuff on the list when I get back. But at the same time not too worried.


My young brother, the roads will never be safe again. (David just turned 16 & got his driver license.)  You know Matthew has totally forgotten about the jsut thing. I will have to remind him.

Your emails have a certain element to them that no others can really imitate. I really did want to see Pacific Rim, but from what I heard about it and from what I had seen, I kind of figured it would be mediocre. The idea was cool, though. Good old fashioned giant robots fighting Godzilla monster. Though honestly, if you're going to put so much effort into it, I would just build a giant rail gun and snipe them all from a couple miles out. Honestly.

YCC. I have come to realize that if you want to really get the nicest scholarships and get into the best schools, YCC is a necessary evil. But frankly I can just read books on my own, find all the really smart professors and somehow befriend them into teaching me without going to the schools. Is it worth it? I don't know.

Happy Birthday. You should know that on the 4th of July we were in an apartment with a Brit and a Native Hong Kong ian who is technically a Brit. Grim. I want to learn more about the Revolutionary War now. Argh. I just want to learn more about everything.


I really am sorry. I know that that sort of thing is hard for you, because I feel like you probably worry more about me than Dad does. But I was fine.

The Girls Camp sounds a bit exciting. Alma 53:8 One big blessing that I think I'm getting from my mission is a really somewhat ridiculous familiarity with the Book of Mormon. It makes it very easy to relate experiences to it. And yet each time I read it I still get something out of it. Sometimes it rains, honestly I tend to side with dad a bit. Your perspective changes when you look at food as real survival rations. You leave the box as it were. But that's more of a Glen Morrell thing. I think you lean more towards clean, civilized, and artistic.

I feel like I understand a lot more how important it is to magnify callings now. Keep it up in the Young Womens. I've seen a lot of really amazing sister missionaries on my mission (and one super awesome one before hint hint France *cough*) and they all have to draw from experiences with the spirit. I've noticed as Elder Ferrar and I have done some of the more basic training stuff how important it really is to focus on giving people a chance to be changed by the spirit. We really just need to put them in the situation to be influenced by it and then not mess it up.

One of the sister Training leaders in our zone training had a really interesting idea. Pray only in gratitude for your evening prayers for one or two weeks. Only thank God. I'll admit, it is really hard as a missionary (and probably as a parent as well) I felt like I had to ask some things or God wouldn't bless our investigators. But I've been trying it, and it is a wonderful experience. Try it.


It didn't kill me too much to not get a letter, but I think my attitude is a little different from yours because my only life not on a mission has been with my family, so I do really enjoy emails.

I always joke around with our ward and say that the bravest teachers get put in primary. I remember when you were my primary teacher. It was pretty awesome. Do they give you that book, Teaching No Greater Call? I have it. Weird.

Bear in mind that if Adam and Eve hadn't eaten the fruit we wouldn't have sickness or disease and your job security would take a significant hit. No government's going to give grants (I learned the Chinese for that today) for medicine in the millenium.

I really like the new temple movie. Have you and mom seen it yet?


Not much time, sorry. I heard about Google Fiber before I left. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Fiber optics. I prefer google to apple for some reason, I just can't wait until I am driving my google cart down to google mart to by some google fruit juice for my new google child simulade's birthday.

Read Elder Scott's talk from last conference. Love, consistent effort, prayer. I don't remember what calling you have, but if you're in the presidency you have authority to receive revelation for him. Biggest thing would probably be Book of Mormon. Yeah, that I think would have the biggest effect. Book of Mormon can stick in people more than you would think. Find ways, take chances, get him reading or read for him.

And read more yourself.

And go to the temple. The basics.


I saw that same ad again. It was freaky. But it was slightly immodest so either you are going to go less active (unlikely) or you have a long lost time traveling twin who is not in the church. FIND HER! SHE NEEDS YOUR HELP!


Abby, I don't have any time. I think that you and Becca actually have a big opportunity to help the twins and their family. Just remember that they will notice what you do and say, and if you are really righteous and become the best person you can, you could help them in the future. They will remember your example. Read the scriptures. I was about your age when I started reading the Book of Mormon on my own. And pray for them.

Love you all family. When next we write, it will be next week!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30, 2014 - God Can Change Us If We Are Willing!

Your email has not yet arrived but I will write my part of it, then respond to you if you get it in on time. If not, don't sweat it. Double email next week.  (John told us last week that he would email a few days later this week because of going to the temple, so we missed writing him, but he sounds so good he'll be fine!)

Elder Ferrar and I are living in paradise. I remember Dad asking me how many discussions I taught in one week when we did phone calls. At the time my answer was about 5 or 6, I think. This week we got 9 member present lessons in, as well as several lessons on the street. It has been a really great week. On one day we had 5 lessons planned out and not enough time to eat, though some fell through.

The source of this success, I believe, is 

1) The Lord blessing us, and especially helping Elder Ferrar have a great start to his mission.

2) A really great last couple weeks, which gave us the largest active teaching pool I've had on my mission (about 6 or 7).

3) A new goal by Elder Ferrar and I to schedule people at least 2 days in advance, thus avoiding those awkward moments when you try to find a fellowshipper with 2 hours left. While not the biggest or most important thing I've learned on my mission, I am very grateful that I have learned more about time management and planning. Chapter 8 of Preach my Gospel is one of the hardest chapters to master (though they're all super hard). It is also one of the most valuable.

I have been enjoying being able to help Elder Ferrar. It was a rough week for him, I think. A couple days of finding for hours in the humidity and sun, a couple days of back to back lessons that he can barely understand. But he's a pretty good buy, for a Brit. It is still a bit surreal being in charge of stuff and directing things. Sometimes when we do training, I feel like I'm just talking and I don't know what to teach. But being a trainer has also helped me realize I have learned a lot of stuff. I didn't know how to find, or talk to people, or speak Cantonese, or use scriptures, or plan, etc, when I started. For that matter I didn't know how to cook food. I have found that when we do sih faahns (demonstrations, practices, role plays) I have a lot of good critisism. It's cool.

Our investigator KK reached an awesome milestone today. She's been meeting with us twice a week since Ida was baptized, but she was pretty lazy before. She outright said that that was why she hadn't joined a church yet. She loves staying at home, sleeping in, found a job that doesn't require her to leave a one mile radius of her house. But she wanted to change and has a very humble spirit. We've slowly helped her start reading, and coming to church, but she was always late. Her baptismal date got pushed back a couple times to the 13th of July, and to make that she had to be on time this last Sunday. We met with her after English Class on Saturday, shared about Nephi building a boat, and boosted her faith. I'll admit, I was still scared. But I had faith, and during correlation meeting half an hour before church she walked past the room we were in. Great moment. The coolest thing was that Ida and some other friends invited her to go out to eat on Saturday night and she turned them down because she was determined to get to bed early. God can change us, if we're willing. She is.

I feel great these days, I pray for you guys every night. Please read and pray and have family home evening and go to the temple. There is so much out there for us to grab and enjoy if we'll just "be up and doing" as Moroni says.

I await your email. If not, it's okay. Elder Morrell

Nothing to do, nothing to do... Sometimes life gets a bit dull around here. I have noticed some things about me that have changed dramatically. One is that I used to sleep in a lot at home. You'll recall I never liked that aspect about myself. Obviously any even mildly obedient missionary cannot sleep in more than a couple minutes, but I would run into that a bit. It bugged me. I had already managed to kick the nap taking habit (naps make you more tired, so I try to never sleep aside from night time) and I really wanted to get to exactly obedient on the waking up side of things. SO I did. Now I wake up every morning at 6:55, fold up my blanket (because it's easier than making a bed) and get out of bed. As a result I feel happier, more obedient, and any time that I sit down for more than 5 minutes with nothing to do I begin to dose. Which I refuse to do.

I am excited for having that increased self control and better morning routine. President Hawks at the trainer meeting mentioned that some people think that routine is boring, but that there is power in a strong routine.

If you are still writing, relax, we're leaving. Write me an extra long letter for next time. Love you all!

Elder Morrell

June 23, 2014 - New Epoch - The Not Junior Companion Phase

Ouch. Rebecca's last line really got me in the spiritual kidney. (Rebecca's last line:  P.S. I can’t really imagine you here anymore you’ve been gone so long).Before I write anymore I want you all to know there is a kind of strange guy who keeps muttering to himself and occasionally burping right next to me. Had to be said.

This week was the start of a new epoch (longer than an era, shorter than a period) of my mission; the not junior companion phase. And also the training phase. And the new companion I am training is Elder Ferrar, that's right Ferrar as in Ferrari, but more masculine and human. Elder Ferrar is from Lester England, a little shorter than I am, skinnier than me (after gaining 10 lbs in the MTC) and possessed of a luvly British accent.

On Thursday we went down to Kowloon Tong bright and early in the morning, lined up with trainers on one side and trainees on the other, and got paired up. Usually President Hawks doesn't know who we'll be with until that day. We ate some breakfast, then had a training session by President Hawks that was really great. We learned a bit about why exact obedience is so important, seeking for correction, and especially how your mission can set a pattern for the rest of your life. I really find that idea very cool, very important. How you live your mission will set a pattern for the rest of your life. If you live your mission trying to get by as far as obedience goes, being sort of hard working, etc, your life will fall into that pattern. I obviously haven't been the best missionary ever, but I am happy to think back on my mission and feel like it is a good pattern for my life. I have been trying to be obedient. I have been improving and growing. I'm not trying to brag about how great I am, because I'm not, but that's the point. You don't have to be great. If your whole life you're an average guy who is trying to be obedient, trying to work a bit harder, you will be fine. You will excel.

After the training we went back to our area, planned, and went finding. To answer Mom's question, his Cantonese is not great (unsurprisingly). Elder Ferrar said his companion in the MTC had better than average Cantonese, which I think made it a little easier for him to not learn a ton. It's not especially bad, but this is a rough language, and new missionaries struggle. I would say when I got here I was able to say a bit more than he could, but there's no way out of the pain at the beginning.

It has been really weird to be in charge all the sudden, especially with a comp that can't understand anything anyone is saying and can barely speak. But I feel pretty well prepared for it, I guess. The hard part really is figuring out how to stretch Elder Ferrar without pushing him too hard and getting him learning fast. I have been making him stop people and teach any parts of lessons that he knows. His Cantonese has already gotten a lot better from the beginning of the week. It is cool to be able to help him. It's also cool to feel like I can give advice to someone new. In the training meeting I was thinking, "What have I learned on my mission that I can tell this new Elder? What has been important to me?" Some of the answers are that even when things are unfair, you just have to work to get what needs to be done done. Don't worry about what your part or your fair share is, just work more. And be a representative of Christ in lessons, outside, in the apartment, and on your own.

Church was great this week. I can understand almost all of what they say, and the teachers usually thank me because I try to participate a lot and make it as good as possible. See above theory.

Mission work wise we are doing pretty great as well. We've got a lot of investigators right now, not all progressing but all with great potential. Pray for KK to make it to church on time. She's going to be baptized in July, it's been amazing to see her learn so much.


First things first, next week is temple week, so I will email on July 2. Whew, I thought I'd forget that. You'll be happy to know that I've been eating better and better. These days I make curry, vegetable and chicken soup with rice stuff, someone gave us some Mexican food (!), homemade spaghetti sauce, baked chicken legs, the works. And some fruit and vegetables. I've gotten into the habit of adding onion and peppers into everything, for flavor and nutrition.

I remember you saying you trained your last move. How was your trainee's French? How hard did you push? I've been trying to push Elder Ferrar, I think I need to step it up. I've also been trying to praise him a lot because I think he's pretty nervous to talk to people. I remember I was really bad at contacting people when I got here. He's better than me; he got the girl on the plane next to him to accept an invite to baptism. Seriously. I just worry about his Chinese.

Make sure you keep forcing everyone to go to the temple and read scriptures and stuff. As a missionary I just worry a lot more about these things. I really want Joseph in particular to be more prepared for his mission than I was for mine. Family Home Evening is a good chance to read Preach my Gospel and practice teaching. You don't need to hear this. You already know it.

Stripling warriors were only as good as their moms taught them to be. President Hawks’ biggest Book of Mormon heroes are the mothers of the Ammonites.


It's really weird to try to set an example, because I'm not used to thinking of myself as an example or role model, and obviously I'm not perfect at things either. I remember being annoyed at how Elder O'Gara would do some things. I hope I don't have any bad methods that Elder Ferrar doesn't like. We read a really cool thing on Christ-like Leadership in our trainer packets that really inspired me. It talked about how Christ's purpose was not just to get things done but to get leaders growing. I've been thinking about that a bit as I force Elder Ferrar to invite 3 people to be baptized this week. They haven't all accepted, but I think the biggest thing I can do for him is help him see that he can speak. He's pretty down on his Cantonese.

We have some investigator who says her marriage is not happy at all and she would've divorced, but she knows that other Christian churches are against it. Obviously this is an opportunity to help her see how the gospel can help and fix this problem, but I don't have a lot of experience. If you have any ideas I'd love to hear. What can we teach her that will answer this problem?


We were talking last night and I mentioned how my brother is basically already an author and showed them how thick the story outline (which I have yet to be able to read) is. Pretty cool, being related to a famous guy. Your writing is pretty impressive, going off your emails.

You have always seemed like more of a manager, less of a floor worker. I'd like to ask, have your plans or ideas for future career evolved at all recently? Off of the church advertising theme, there is a real and urgent need for good latter day saint directors and film writers, take my word for it. If you could get into that, it'd fulfill the film idea while also serving the church a bit and staying away from the nasty side of the film industry. The War Chapters could be a pretty epic movie. The director for 17 miracles and Ephraim's Rescue visited us in the MTC. There is a market.

Like I said to mom, I really think about and pray for you a lot to be well prepared for your mission. Go to the temple. Study the scriptures. Magnify your calling right now. You don't realize how valuable it is. Really, you don't. Everything in your life is connected. If you work on your calling more, other aspects will be lifted up. Light in one facet of your life will help purify, sanctify, and uplift other aspects.


TFT 2, now there's an interesting economic system. Forget trading one imaginary share in a company for some symbolic blips in a bank, now we're trading pictures of symbolic blips for other symbolic blips. What progress we've made.

I am glad you enjoyed Youth Conference and EFY. I didn't answer last week, OYA is like EFY but with a lot of outdoorsiness and less awkward teenager stuff. You'd probably love it. Do it if you get a chance. I loved OYA so much.

At English class (which I did a pretty boss job teaching, by the way) last week we had some kid, about 10, who rememided me disturbingly of you in a sort of skinny, twitchy way. Freaky.



I'm sorry, I don't have a picture, and it probably wouldn't look good to see a missionary staring at and photographing a picture of a female skin model. Sacrifice must be made. If you really want to see, put on some green eyeliner, stretch your face a bit and look at the mirror. Seriously, it was you. In the future.

Do you think I'd look good with a mustache? Hmmm....

I love the Book of Mormon. You can open it up to any page and go off on stuff for an hour. Are you reading it with Abby? Did you ever really? Why do you hate me so much? You used to be the one who remembered me...


I won't argue on the Institute thing, I'm just happy that you are admitting that swim team is good for you. Maybe what they should do with great grandparents is instead of adding greats just stretch it out like you do with words. She was my mmmmmom. My ddddddddddad was named John Throckmorten. Look him up.

I miss you all, but things are good for now. Probably the calm before the storm. Please be righteous. If you love me go to the temple. Tell Caroline I am planning on writing her today. It's harder than you'd expect.

Elder JoHn MOrrell