Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 24, 2014 - Heroes Succeed Because of Effort and Preparation

I want to start this email by announcing a great triumph for me. I just sent you all several pictures! They will come from Elder Jeffery Buss (who loves you) but they are actually from me! The library accidentally locked the USB port on my computer.

I want to follow up that success with another success. I have sent you all a package! I, Elder Morrell, bought things, then physically walked to a post office and put them in a box and even filled in all those annoying forms and sent it to you! It should arrive on about December 9th to 11th, about. Don't open it, there is no wrapping inside. I am very fearful for the wellbeing of the presents. I was deciding between Hung Yauh and Syuhn Yauh and picked HUng Yauh because as expensive as it is to yuhng fei gei leih gei di seung, ngoh ngoi leihdeih and I hope that you can get the stuff before Christmas. NO one but missionaries could read that, because Chinese people don't read the Romanization. So too bad for yall.

We had a pretty great week this week. I have continued to be inspired by Moroni's example in the Book of Mormon. Captain Moroni understood a lot about how to get things done that I hope that I can learn. He prayed with faith and then worked diligently. He was a master of planning and preparation. I think that we always underlook the amount of preparation that went into that man's success. He was always building defenses and eliminating weaknesses. He had firm moral principles that he stuck with and lived by, even if it meant war, inconvenience, personal danger, or unpopularity. He devoted his life to the preservation of the freedom of his people, he rejoiced in their safety and in their agency to choose to worship God. He had faith in God, and he knew that he had to be personally and unconditionally righteous to succeed. He lifted those around him. I think that it's no coincidence that Mormon, the historian who abridged the entire Nephite history wrote of Moroni that if all men were like him, the Devil would never have power over the children of men. When Mormon had to name his son, he chose Moroni out of all the hero's of his people's history.

I have learned over this study that the people who we idolize as heroes in the Book of Mormon, the Bible, our pioneer history, or our modern lives, are not impeccable. In other words, they weren't just born with no desire to sin, and they didn't just do the right thing by accident all their lives. The heroes we admire succeeded because of effort and preparation. As I mentioned, Moroni prepared his people diligently. Nephi the first grew as a child by scripture study and prayer. Even Jesus "learned obedience" and progressed "from grace to grace". In other words, the success of these people was not automatic, but it was also not surprising because they consistently did the things that lead to success. One who studies improves his grades. If we have a determination to pray and read scriptures and faithfully go to church and fulfill our callings with enthusiasm, it is not surprising when we are able to overcome temptation and become great. I love Rebecca's goal of going to the temple. That is preparation for a successful life.

I know that God wants us to succeed, but he won't force us. Not at the moment of crisis, nor at the months of preparation before. I know that God lives and that the Atonement of Christ can sanctify us and make us holy, resistant to sin. I can testify of the virtue of prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. I can witness of the ennobling spirit that temple worship brings. I have been blessed to learn these things on my mission, and I thank God for that chance, and I thank Mom and Dad for their example that gave me such a desire to serve. I pray for you all every night, and hope that you will have success as you all do these things.


I think it funny that you, who are always very level headed and rarely seem emotional, are one of the more susceptible to being choked up. I think that Abby gets it from you. Our new, young Elder's Quorum president Shiu Wuih Jeung and his niece gave a performance in Sacrament meeting this week, singing “Savior Redeemer of My Soul”, and I thought, "Yeah, that's nice, but my Dad's in the MoTab."

I have never seen a temple sealing. I remember you mentioning before I left that it was worth while seeing one so that I could testify more sincerely of it. Oh well. That is really weird to think of Valerie on a honeymoon.

We have an investigator, Ben, who should be baptized next week. He is super great, awesome example of how reading scriptures can let the Spirit prepare someone. There is another newer investigator, Mr. Lo, who makes me so happy because every Sunday he just seems to love church. He's about 60 but somehow very humble and sincere. I love seeing him talk with the members.

I'm doing great; I try not to think of how much time I have left because it's getting to be less than I feel comfortable with. But I feel good knowing that I haven't been lazy. I attribute that to family example.


I will explain the photos. One is of the protein shake that someone left behind and that was found by me a bit ago. No one wanted it because it's kind of gross, but I drink it if I have a really intense morning run because I hope that somehow I will become super buff. Like Joseph. I found Frosted Mini Wheats, which while expensive is very worth it, and real milk from the Swiss Alps. Quality of milk has improved since the powdered milk of your memory. I write Chinese on my daily planner now. I have learned 1-600 characters as of this morning. It is way too fun. I hope the temple photo is okay, honestly it's hard to find a place where you can see the whole building and not have tons of construction teams in the photo.

I really am grateful for your example to me of Church service. I also brag about you to all of our investigators who are Moms and think that they are too busy to bring their 2 kids to church. We had some lady and her 3 year old son who was in a stroller come to our English Class (which has been improving recently), and I realized how monumental your efforts to get us to church must have been. Last night we ran into a former investigator who had almost gotten baptized a couple years ago. He had quit smoking and everything but couldn't do law of tithing. I want you and Dad to know that I am so grateful that you two kept the law of tithing during Dad's schooling. I have shared that story and your testimony of it dozens of times on my mission. The former investigator regrets not getting baptized then, and he may be working towards a date in February soon. Thank you.


Just curious, do you plan on picking up the Book writing when things slow down again? Also, pretty big milestone that you can actually worry about working off holiday weight gain. Last year that wasn't too relevant. Times change. I hope my gifts go well with your fancy suit. I am going to buy one here before I leave, I will probably ask you and Mom to pick some style for me because I don't trust myself.

Stiff like a... Mormon in Los Vegas? Dead body? Really stiff toothbrush?

Are we going to be roommates in BYU? Also, you should go to the temple more. And read more scriptures.


I think that you will be very very pleased with my gift. Very very pleased. Very. Very Very. Yes, quite pleased. Very pleased.

Honestly what else is there to say after that? I don't know if you were involved in the sending of the giant box of pens but they've been pretty nice. Honestly, the quality control on the pens is low, about 1/3 don't write, but quantity has a quality all its own. I'm sorry, I've got nothing else.


I've never had someone tell me that they can't wait for me to be married before. Is there any reason why? I will say, there are a lot of missionaries who will talk about how they want at least a year single after their missions, or don't want to be married before 25, etc, but honestly I'll just get married as soon as I find a wife. I don't think that it'll be safe for me to be too picky or let any good opportunities go by. I'm not handsome like Joseph.

I won't lie, I will miss Nutcracker. It is a pretty awesome tradition in our family, thanks to you. Remind me what part you're in this year.


I may say that Dad is emotional, but you are the only one that I can consistently depend on bringing to tears. Good old Abby.

You and Becca's gifts were both easy and tricky to get. I don't know exactly what you'd want, nor do I know what you would prefer or what Becca prefers, but on the other hand Lady Street has a ton more stuff that girls would like than boys. I think that you'll like it. Honestly all the stuff is pretty cheap. The gifts all together were about $100 US, and the shipping about $60. So not crazy, but not too light.

I don't see you doing too well in a Hunger Games scenario, but then again you are full of surprises. Who knows?

I also don't want to neglect my other Grandmother, who according to my Calendar will celebrate her birthday soon. I love Grandma Morrell, because she has such a cheerful and humble disposition. I think that she is the perfect type for a happy grandma who takes care of the kids while the parents are enjoying Hawaii. I love her quilts, I love her applesauce. I think it's impressive that she survived rearing the Morrell family. She is awesome.

Love you all!

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