Monday, October 7, 2013

Greetings from Apple Valley!

Greetings all, from Apple Valley, CA!  Today there was a rare sight here in the desert.  We saw a cloud!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  I felt like I was back home in Washington.  Except instead of grass there's a lot of dirt and instead of rain there's more dirt.

This week has been great!  We had the opportunity to go hiking up in the mountains today.  It was quite the hike!  It was a hard climb but it was totally worth it once we got up there.  Because we were up in the mountains there was actual greenery and water and such!  It was fantastic!  When we got to the highest point of the hike we all sat down and did our personal study.  What an amazing experience!  I read about the missionary work of Aaron and how he taught King Lamoni's father in the Book of Mormon.  Now that I'm actually out here on my mission, the stories of Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah mean so much more to me.  Fun fact: What Aaron teaches King Lamoni's father is essentially the second discussion in Preach My Gospel.  It's cool to see that even though thousands of years have passed we still teach the basic doctrine of the Lord.
I had the opportunity to watch General Conference with one of my investigators the other day.  It was a great experience for everyone involved.  I found that I learned so much more this General Conference than I have in years past.  I particularly enjoyed President Uchtdorf's, Elder Holland's, and Elder Oakes' talks.  What a blessing it is to have living prophets and apostles on the Earth today.  When we're out teaching we find so many good people who remain confused by some of the common and contemporary questions that life poses today.  General Conference is a true witness that God loves His children just as much as he did in times of old and has provided us with all the same blessings that they had, namely prophets and apostles.

The investigator that we watched General Conference with, Sara, has a four year-old daughter named Ella.  Ella always wants to say the prayer when we come over.  However, I don't think that Ella quite understands the concept of prayer yet.  Whenever Ella prays, she just recites her part for the upcoming Primary Program, haha.  She says, "Heavenly Father, I love my family and they love me.  Heavenly Father wants me to be married in the temple someday and I want to be too."  It's both cute and hilarious.  Elder Escamilla has been taking care of some paperwork with Sara, so it's fallen to my responsibility to entertain Ella while they work on that.  It's a job I'm more than happy to do, haha.  I have a racquetball that her and I throw back and forth and when she gets bored of that I take the BYU keychain off my key ring and make her guess which hand it's in.  It's not too hard to make her think that I'm magic, mostly because I've figured out that she always guesses the opposite hand that she guessed before, haha.  She also is happy because she says that we have almost the same name because she's ELla and I'm ELder.  Also, apparently I'm the only missionary whose last name she's ever remembered so I feel pretty cool right now.
The work is going strong here in Apple Valley.  When people ask what our job is we say, "Teach people and when we're not doing that we find more people to teach."  That's exactly what we do, day in and day out.  I'm so glad to be out here serving a mission.  It's the best decision that I've ever made in my life.  I found myself thinking today, "I don't know if I ever want to come home."  Are some days hard?  Yeah, definitely, but no day is ever not worth it.  I love this church.  I know that it's the Lord's church and I know that He governs it today.
Elder Carter David Morgan

PS--From Carter's Mom:  Carter's birthday is coming up on November 2nd and I'm sure he'd love some birthday mail:-)  It takes a few weeks for him to get mail because it goes through the mission office.  Here's his address if you are interested:

Elder Carter Morgan
6541 Woodruff Place, 
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91710.

When I asked what he wanted/needed for his birthday he mentioned the following (not that he expects to get anything--but some have asked):

-BOOKS!  I get so bored at night.  I loved the Joseph Smith book you sent me written by Truman G. Madsen.  All the church books you can send, especially about Joseph Smith, the Restoration, or the Book of Mormon.
-CDs, especially more contemporary Mormon music

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