Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas

Greetings from Osasco, SP!  We had a really good week down here!  Elder Guamangallo and I opened the area and it´s been a lot of building, but this week we´ve seen the Lord bless us and our hard work pay off.  Here´s some of the cool stuff that happened this week:

First off, we had an AWESOME mission Christmas party!  It was at the church owned camp in Caucaia, sort of the country of São Paulo, and it was beautiful.  At the party I got to see my original MTC district again, this time a year and a half later.  The ban on soccer was also lifted for a couple hours which made a lot of elders really happy.  We also presented our skit as a zone and it went great!  That was a lot of fun, although acting is a lot harder in Portuguese, haha.

Elder Guamangallo and I found a family this week!  They live on a street close to our house and as we were walking to begin our work for the day we struck up a conversation with the mom who invited us in to teach her, her husband, and her two teenage children.  They´ve all agreed to be baptized, which is awesome!  We have another appointment with them tomorrow and we´re hoping everything works out great.

We also taught a man named Marco, a referral from the orchestra concert at the church.  He´s in his fifties and has a young family and is totally open to anything about Christ.  We taught him about the Restoration and left a Book of Mormon, which he agreed to read with care.  We invited him to church and he said he would definitely come, as long as nothing came up at the last minute.  We agreed to call him an hour before church but when we tried to we found out that we had the wrong number!  We were a little worried so we said a prayer as a companionship and asked God that he would remind Marco of the commitment he made to go to church.  When we got to church he wasn´t there, which was disappointing.  I went to use the bathroom and when I came back guess who my companion was talking with in the chapel?  That´s right, Marco!  It was awesome!  The sacrament meeting was absolutely great, all about the Atonement, and Marco really enjoyed it.  He even read the Book of Mormon passage we left with him!  We´re excited for him!

That´s about it for this week.  Keep the faith!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chicken Hearts and Testimony

Greetings from Osasco, SP!  Things are going well down here in the beautiful land of jungles and smog and we had a lot of fun this week in the Novo Osasco B area.  Here´s the down low:

After district meeting while we were waiting to do follow-up with our district leader, we started a foosball competition with the zone using the table that the church has.  Elder Lopes, a missionary from Cape Verde, and I totally DOMINATED.  Six games in a row, baby!  I give him the credit, as I think foosball may be the national sport of Cape Verde.  I have no information to base this claim off of, but I´m going to go with it.

I definitely ate a chicken heart this week.  Wait, scratch that.  I ate FOUR chicken hearts this week!  I guess it´s kind of a delicacy here in Brazil.  Why they eat chicken hearts, I do not know.  It´s cheaper to buy lunch meat down here than chicken hearts, haha.

Had a great experience this week where we were working in one of the poorer parts of our area.  An appointment had fallen through so we stopped to say a prayer and ask for direction on what we should do.  We felt prompted to continue a bit further into the neighborhood and walked until we hit a dead end.  There we met a family, introduced ourselves as servants of Jesus Christ, and were able to pick up a lot of investigators because of it!  You never know how the Lord is preparing his children to hear the Gospel.

We had Elder W. Rodriguez´s birthday party this week at a member´s home.  It was pretty awesome, mostly because I got to drink Guarana and eat cake with Kit Kat bars.

That´s about it for this week.  Keep the faith!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Merry December, from Elder Morgan!  I´ll admit, I´m a little homesick for the cold December weather of home, seeing as we´re about to head into summer down here.  But that doesn´t change the fact that the work is good and we´re having lots of fun!

To start off, it rained A TON this past week.  Like, a ton.  The first time we camped out under a gas station for an hour or so just waiting for it to pass because it was coming down in sheets.  Elder Guamangallo and I have a knack for carrying around our umbrellas all day on the days it DOESN´T rain, and then not bringing them the days it does.  We´re not very good at predicting the weather apparently, haha.

(Me waiting in the rain)

(This shows you how crazy the rain is here)

We also had our zone conference this week, which was fun.  It´s always great to hear from the Mission President.  President Del Guerso is a great guy and his words were very inspiring.  He talked about how we shouldn´t judge others becaue everyone is at a different moment of spirituality in their lives, and even though we may be at a high point there might be others that are at a low.  It definitely made me think.  We also got to watch the Pixar short, "One Man Band," which is hilarious.

Also at zone conference I got to see some of my old friends.  I´ve included pictures of Sister Culp and I, both trying to do sporty things.  As you can see, we don´t know a lot about sports.



The Portuguese is coming along well and I rarely feel totally lost anymore, but by some weird stroke of luck all of my church leaders have the WEIRDEST accents.  My bishop, ward mission leader, and mission president all sound like they came from Mars, not Brazil.  It´s always fun in coordination meetings, especially because our ward mission leader likes to speak English with me, but quite frankly I can´t tell what language he´s speaking at all.  "What, Irmão Adão?  Are you speaking English or Portuguese?"  Good times, good times.

During lunches with our ward members, Elder W. Rodriguez constantly introduces my companion as a Peruvian, even though he´s from Ecuador.  Not sure what that´s about, but I think it´s pretty dang funny.

My nickname of "Captain" from California has continued in Brazil, only this time I´m "Cápitan America."  It´s pretty sick.  I got this nickname mostly because I like to give the other elders a hard time by pointing at random objects such as cups, floors, pencils, or the sky, and saying, "You know who invented that?  An American."

Okay, weird story of the week.  While contacting a potential investigator a woman that we didn´t recognize came out of the neighboring house.  We asked her about her neighbor and she gave us some information.  She then saw our nametags and asked if we were men of God.  When we told her that we most certainly were she hugged me, kissed me on the cheek, and then did the same to my companion, all while we stood as stiff as a board.  She then began weeping, put a cross keychain in my shirt pocket, and went back inside, praising God.  Not sure what that was about, but hopefully it helped her.



Things about Brazil:
- Stroganaff is, like, the king of all meals here in Brazil.  Everyone loves it, and I must admit that it´s pretty dang good.
- Brazilians think that McDonald´s is LEGIT.  Like, straight up fancy.  It´s considered high class.
- Snow is fascinating to Brazilians.  My roommates were legitimately shocked when I told them that, yes, I had indeed seen snow in my life.

That´s about it for me.  Thanks!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

- Beijo e braco

Monday, November 24, 2014

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil!  This past week has been fun and I'm acclamating to Brazil.  I was able to see three members of my original MTC district, which was nice.  It was good being able to catch up with them after a year apart in the states.



Went to one of the Mission Councils this week.  There I saw Elder Nissinen and Elder Jacobsen, two of my friends that were serving in Rancho Cucamonga with me.  We ate lunch together and had a good time laughing and reminiscing about the good ol' days of California.

I gave a talk at the meeting for new missionaries this week.  I attended because my companions were giving a training.  The talk went as well as you could expect a talk given by some with one week of Portuguese would go, haha.  But it was cool because at that meeting I ran into my very first companion in the Provo MTC, Elder Thomas.    It was good to catch up with him.

I did exchanges with one of the Assitants, Elder Sales, and we worked all day in a Brazillian favela, which was good fun.  The people here have very open hearts, especially when it comes to the Gospel.  The people were very hospitable and kind to us.



Yesterday was my birthday and I spent it in the hospital, haha.  While working in the favela I got bitten by some weird sort of mosquito and had an allergic reaction to it.  I was covered in TONS of red spots for a day or two, which I thought were just normal mosquito bites at first.  But then I noticed that I kept getting lumps without mosquitos so we left church early and went to the hospital, which is fortunately in our area.  The doctors informed me that it was nothing serious and that after a few shots and pills that I'd be completely fine.  The medicine made me super sleepy though and the doctor said I had to rest for the day, so in the end I got what every missionary wants for their birthday, a seven hour nap!  It was pretty awesome.



That's about if for this week!  Até mais!

Seu amigo,
Elder Morgan

November 10, 2014


I'm leaving the office tomorrow to open a new area in the city of Osasco!  I'm excited!  The office has been fun, but it's time for me to spread my wings and fly.  I'll be living in a house with two other Brazilians and my companion, who's from Ecuador.  I'll be the only American so my Portuguese is going to get really good, haha.

Had to speak English a couple times this week because of Americans that came into the mission office.  We only have one other American here and he's kind of forgotten how to speak English.  It's pretty funny, haha.

Thing about Brazil:

- Dryers aren't really a thing down here.  Clothes lines for us!

I don't have a ton of time to write today.  The church is true, the book is azul!  Dang it, that doesn't have the same ring to it in Portuguese.

Ate mais!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan


November 17, 2014

Greetings from Osasco, São Paulo!  Elder Guamangallo and I arrived in the new Novo Osasco B area this Tuesday and have been working hard ever since!  Opening a new area has definitely been interesting, but Elder Guamangallo has served around her before and knows a little bit about the layout of the streets, so that combined with our trusty map and the natural sense of direction I have that comes from my slight resemblance of a Native American has really helped us out a lot.

Elder Guamangallo is pretty sick.  He has roughly the same time on his mission as me and is a super tall, super chill Ecuadorian.  Also, absolutely no one in Brazil can pronounce his name.  I´ve looked up all the Portuguese words that begin with "gua" and have begun introducing him as various objects during contacts.  It´s pretty fun.

My companion:  Elder G. 
Me standing awkwardly in Osasco

We arrived in the Novo Osasco B area to discover that we´re rooming in an apartment the size of a shoebox with two other elders and one bathroom.  Four elders.  One bathroom.  The mornings are always interesting, but good.    I´m a regular speed demon when it comes to the shower now.

In my move from the office to Osasco I accidentally left my sandals, so I had to bust out the white temple slippers and wear those around the house.  They look pretty sick.  But you may be asking yourself, "Elder Morgan, what do you do when you´re in the shower?"  Well folks, that´s what grocery bags tied around your feet are for.  Brazil has only upped my level of class.

Since we opened an area, we didn´t really have any investigators.  Like, at all.  But we found a lot this week!  Among them are a woman named Silva, who´s Catholic and deals with a lot of health issues but we had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and we should be meeting with her again tonight.

It started POURING one day this week and we didn´t have our umbrellas so we asked the owner of a small shop if we could stay there for a bit.  Brazilians are super nice and she said yes and we talked a bit about the Bible and some of her favorite scriptures.  We talked about how we have another testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and left her with a copy and a return appointment.  She was a pleasant woman and hopefully we see some progress there.

It turns out I´m the first American missionary in the Novo Osasco ward in about a year, so the ward´s pretty excited.  It´s funny to hear some of the members try to speak English with me, because quite frankly I can understand their Portuguese better than their English, haha.

I´ve been getting a lot of questions about food.  The food here is really good.  Meat, beans, potatoes, rice.  Pretty much that.  Quite frankly, I had more sketchy meals in the states.  Things like "It´s an organic chicken-spinach combination without the chicken!  Instead it´s been replaced with tofu!"  What the heck, people?  We could all learn a little from these Brazilians down here.  Also, lunch is the main meal and we have it with members and they feed you a ton, so you don´t really have to have dinner.  You just stuff yourself at lunch and work the rest of the day.  A big money and time saver.

Things about Brazil:
- There´s about one millions dogs that roam the streets of São Paulo.  They are homeless and I want to help all of them.  However, they will bite you if you try to pet them.  I may or may not know this by experience.  My dream is to figure out a way to charm the dogs, become their leader, and be followed around the streets by twenty loyal attack dogs.
- My first name, Carter, is INCREDIBLY strange to Brazilians.  Like, they´ve never heard it before, can´t even begin to think how you´d spell it, and I have to repeat it several times before it registers with them.  It´s pretty funny.
- Brazilian juice?  SUPER good.  We get it with every meal.
- Guarana, the soda, is the In N´ Out of Brazil.  At first you have it and think, "Why on Earth does everyone love this so much?  It´s not that good."  Then you have it a few more times and realize that it´s the nectar of the Gods.


That´s out it for this week.  Thanks for the prayers, I certainly need them!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

November 24, 2014


Greetings from Osasco, SP!  Another good week down here in the land of Guarana and chocolate pizza.  We had the ward primary program this week, which was good fun.  The missionaries were invited to sing the "We are as the army of Helaman" song, which was good fun.  What was not good fun was the fact that I don´t have the words memorized in Portuguese so my wardmate had to frantically scribble them into my planner so I wouldn´t look like a total idiot, haha.  Everything worked out in the end, though.




Our zone is preparing a skit for the upcoming Mission Christmas party.  The skit is Lehi hosting a dinner for various characters throughout the scriptures.  I play Mormon, and I have the killer line (made my yours truly) of looking at the dishes on the table, acting indignant, and saying "Sorry, I only use golden plates." Buh dum, kish.


Apparently all Brazilians think that all Americans are rich and beautiful.  So you can imagine their disappointment when I showed up instead, haha.  I was told by a member that my accent doesn´t seem American, but rather Russian, whatever that´s supposed to mean.  My companion also said that I don´t look American, but European.  I asked him what he thought Americans look like and he said "Red hair, blue eyes."  These people have a lot to learn about America, haha.

I was reunited with my flip flops this week, so I don´t have to use my temple slippers anymore, a welcome change.

There are visa-waiters here too, but they´re Brazilians who are waiting on visas to Angola.  We are a mighty and proud people.  We cannot be surpressed!

The ward had a baptism this week!  It was an older, blind woman and it was really cool!  She´s the relative of an active member and she was so sweet and grateful for the ordinance.

We taught an investigator this week who said that he KNOWS that we´re sent from God because we speak unusually well Portuguese for the time we´ve both been in Brazil.  The gift of tongues is certainly real and it was nice to see it used as a testament of our sacred calling.

Things about Brazil:
- You know how everyone and their dog told me in the United States that I looked like Jacob Black?  Well, Twilight´s not as popular here so now the new thing is that everyone asks me if I´m related to J.P. Morgan.  Also, my zone leader looks EXACTLY like Edward from Twilight.  I´ll have to get a picture.
- Milk comes in boxes here, not jugs.  This is actually kind of nice, because it keeps for a lot longer and you don´t have to refrigerate it until a day or two before you use it.  This way you don´t have to buy a whole other fridge just for milk coughcouchMorganscoughcough.
- In case you haven´t already tried it, put maple syrup on your ice cream.  It´s a thing down here and it´s sooooo good.

That´s about it for this week!  Keep the faith!

Your friend,
Carter David Morgan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Brazil's Just a LITTLE Different than CA...

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil!  It's been an interesting week, trying to get situated to everything.  Brazil's just a LITTLE different from Southern California.  Lots of walking, lots of rain this week.  Stuff like that.


I spend a lot of time in the office working with the referrals as of right now.  Now you may ask, "Elder Morgan, what's the most difficult part of working in an office in a different country?  The new language?  The culture shock?  The strange keyboards?"  Nope, none of those.  It's deciphering the dang handwriting of all these referrals!  People call in with their referrals and the secretaries write the information down, but sometimes it's like trying to read ancient Egyptian!  I think I've got the hang of it now, but every now and again I'll run into a symbol that could potentially be 18 different letters and 6 different numbers at the same time.

Oh, another weird thing about working with the referrals.  Now that the office has a secretary exclusively for referrals it's my job to write everything down when missionaries call about people to teach.  But if you've ever learned a foreign language then you'll know that talking on the phone is super difficult, haha.  It's pretty funny, people will call and we'll talk in Portuguese and I have to say, "Repeat, please" a million times.  People will ask, "Who is this?" And I'll say, "Elder Morgan, the referral secretary."  And they'll ask, "How long have you been in Brazil?"  And I'll proudly reply, "Three days!"

We had a few investigators attend sacrament meeting, which was nice.  One was named Josepi and he's really cool.  He's an older gentleman and is trying really hard to quit smoking.  He asked us to take his cigarettes from him so he won't be tempted, so we did.  I have to say, it felt weird walking through the streets of Brazil with a pack of cigarettes in my pocket, haha.

Things about Brazil:

- Sao Paulo pizza is DANG good.  Like, amazing.  It's a lot different than American pizza, but still really good.  They don't use red sauce, and you can get the crust filled with chocolate.  You'd think it'd be gross, but it's actually super good.

- You can't throw the toilet paper in the toilet.  It has to go in the trash basket.  Weird.

- In lots of places if you ask for water they'll ask you if you want it chilled or at room temperature.  Why anyone would ask for room temperature water is beyond me.

- The President of Brazil is running for re-election and her logo looks a lot like the Chick-Fil-A logo.  Every time I see it I get hungry.

That's about it for this week.  Até mais!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

(Once again I can't figure out how to turn this picture--but as Carter says, "this isn't for the weak stomached or cat lovers--I found a completely squashed cat on the road!  Kid still has his sense of humor, that's for sure…)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Greetings From Brazil!

Greetings one and all from the Sao Paulo Brazil West mission!  That's right, after over a year of waiting, the day has finally arrived.  I'm actually in the mission of my original call.  It's been both exciting and and overwhelming.  I have to say, I miss the California sun.  It's currently overcast and a little rainy down here in Sao Paulo.  It feels like home, except everyone is a shade of brown and they all speak Portuguese.  So, in reality, it's not really like home at all, haha.



My brief stay at the Brazil CTM was really good.  The program they've designed especially for visa-waiters is really good.  We were treated really well and not like new missionaries, which was good.



I left the CTM in a taxi this morning and arrived at the Sao Paulo West mission office to find out that I've been recruited as one of the mission secretaries for the time being.  What the heck?  Apparently since I arrived in the middle of a transfer they had a little trouble figuring out where to put me and President Del Guerso said, "Why not keep him here in the office with the other secretaries?" So here I am.  It looks like I'll be handling all the referrals for the mission.  At first I was a little nervous, but I've been reassured that we won't be doing JUST desk work.  We have our own area and ward and all those good things.  So it looks like this next month will be interesting, haha.

So it's my first day in Brazil and I already have five baptisms!  Well, only if you're counting baptsisms for the dead, haha.  Just got back from  the Sao Paulo Temple.  It's interesting attending the ceremonies in a different language, but the same Spirit is there.  I had the privilege of baptizing another elder in behalf of five deceased ancestors.  How wonderful it is to know that there is salvation offered to those who didn't have the chance in this life!


Things about Brazil:
- People down here often don't use the word "we" and its conjugations.  They use the phrase "a gente" which means "the people" and then conjugate it in the voce form.  It throws your ear for a loop.
- Turns out that at this time of the year it's actually not that hot.  Who knew?
- People here are very touchy-feely.  I'm just glad I got here in the MIDDLE of my mission where I've opened up a little more to that stuff, rather than the beginning of my mission where I didn't like human contact.

That's about it for this week.  Keep the faith, folks!  Wish me look!
Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Farewell California--Hello Brazil!

Greetings and farewell from Southern California.  That's right, folks.  After a long wait, Elder Morgan will be boarding the plane tomorrow for Sao Paulo, Brazil to begin his service in his original call.  I'm super excited, although a little numb to it tat the moment.  I don't think it's quite hit me what I'm about to get into, haha.  I will say, though, today has been one of the most relaxing of my mission.  After coming down the hill from Hesperia I got to say goodbye to a lot of my good friends at transfer meeting and then I've gotten to chill at the office all day without a companion.  It feels nice to just rest for a bit.  On top of that, I got to go out to eat with the Abitos, some members I'm really close with from Chino!  It's been great!

Things couldn't have ended better in my last area.  We found three families to teach in one week and they're all doing super well.  We had an awesome lesson with a woman named Marcy and her daughter and they took really well to the message of the Restoration!  A lawyer from down the hill referred them to us and we were able with him and our bishop give her a priesthood blessing.  She's fallen on hard times recently.  I have high hopes for her.

Our investigator, Lesley, continues to do well.  She came to a session of General Conference and enjoyed it.  She gets a little antsy sitting through long meetings so we were really proud of her for doing a whole session.  She's progressing well and she told us she wants to be baptized soon!  I'm excited for that.

Met a man wandering through the desert yesterday.  As we went to talk to him he flagged us down and yelled "Mormons!" and we had a good discussion.  He was taught in Chino a while back and wanted to be taught again.

The Porider family is still doing well.  We brought our bishop to a lesson with them and the father took well to the message of the Restoration.  He seemed really interested.  My favorite thing about him is the fact that usually when we tell people that there's a prophet on the Earth they respond, "Oh, that's nice."  Not this guy.  He said, "Wait.  You're telling me that there's a guy like Moses on the Earth today who speaks to God?"  Yes sir, there is, and you can know for yourself.  It was great to see him take such an interest.

I'm sad to leave California but excited for Brazil.  What a wonderful year it's been serving in this beautiful state.  I look forward to many return trips with my family, kids, and grand kids one day.  And oh, what a day it will be.

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan 

 Me and Elder Brown



This is who I work for



Me and the Abitos (a super awesome family that takes care of me)


 Roommate Bonding


My Awesome Desert Couch

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Gandalf Principle


What a week it was, ladies and gentlemen!  Prayers are definitely answered and miracles have not ceased!   Let me give you a little background on what this area has been like for the past couple months:

This area used to have sister missionaries in it and they struggled really badly to find and teach people.  They had a car for the area we covered and really weren't able to get a lot of things going.  Well, our mission president is crazy and decided to move the sisters out and move Elder Brown and I in.  Well, that made the ward angry cause they liked the sisters a lot.  Our president also decided that what they covered in a car would now be covered on bikes by elders.  The terrain stunk, the wind never stopped, and it's blazing hot here in the desert.  So pretty much everything was stacked against us.

But then Elder Brown and I thought, "Wait a minute, here we are in an area just full of housing tracts that have never seen missionaries out and about before.  Every missionary before us was in a car.  So we're going to be a new thing to these people.  Why don't we just get to know everyone around here and become the local celebrities?"

Thus was born the "Gandalf Principle."

We figured that we must become like Gandalf.  No matter where Gandalf goes in Middle Earth everyone knows Gandalf and Gandalf knows everyone.  How hard could it be to do that within seven square miles?  So we set out meeting and talking with as many people as we could.  Anyone who gave us their name, spoke English, and didn't threaten to kill us went on our potential investigators list.  We have literally fifty non-members written on a whiteboard, eight of whom are sincerely interested, many more who are open, and a lot more after that who don't want anything to do with the Gospel, but are more than willing to give us water and shoot the breeze.  So now we're getting to know everyone and everyone knows us.  The local schoolkids all say hi to us and ask us questions, which is weird for the high desert.  People actually know us by name, not just as the Mormons!

And guess what?  It's totally working!
Because we haven't been focused on just getting investigators, but rather building friendships and relationships with our investigators, we've actually gotten more investigators!  Paradox!

The first investigator family we got this week is Julie's family.  She's the mother of five children and is married.  The family just moved to the neighborhood and we met her while we biked past her porch.  She has LDS friends and has been looking for a church for her kids to be baptized into.  We taught her about the Restoration and she took really well to it!  She loves the Book of Mormon and it excited to read it!  Booyah!
The next investigator was a young man named Nick.  We first met his father who wasn't interested, but he was cool so we wrote his name down and planned to visit him another day to get some water and get to know him better.  We went back on Saturday and his dad wasn't there but his dad's friend Tommy was.  Nick was in the garage but Tommy came out and chatted with us for twenty minutes and was totally interested!  He doesn't live in our area but the missionaries where he lives should be teaching him now.  Anyhow, Nick comes out at the end of the conversation and we ask him if he'd like to learn more.  He says sure, we go back Monday, teach him the Restoration in his lawn, and he LOVED it!  He said we "opened a new page" for him.  He agreed to be baptized on October 19th!  He thanked god in his prayer for sending "these two amazing people" to him.  Unfortunately, he's YSA age so we had to pass him off to the YSA elders, but they'll do a great job with him!

Then we found the mother of ANOTHER family named Lesley.  She was taking a walk and we were biking super fast but we slammed on our brakes to talk to her.  We started to introduce ourselves but she cut us off saying she knew who we were and that her aunt was LDS.  She asked why we never came to her neighborhood to teach and we were like, "Well, we can come to your neighborhood if you'd like us to.  We can even come teach just you!"  She jumped at that opportunity and when we went by Tuesday evening we found her anxiously looking out her window to make sure we were coming!  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she said she's been looking for a church for a long time with good family values.  She seems super solid!
So miracles are still happening, folks.  Along with finding all these people, the ward has really warmed up to us.  We had several members tell us out of the blue this Sunday that they hope we don't get transferred, which is weird because transfers aren't for another month, haha.

We went to the temple today which was great!  Always nice to spend some peaceful moments in the house of the Lord.

We're teaching Priest's quorum this Sunday.  I always love doing that.  We're also doing a mission prep/mission game mutual with them soon.  We also took out some of the young men who are preparing to serve missions to do some missionary work with us.  It was awesome!

Thanks for all the prayers and fasts!  You guys are great!
Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Aqua duct kids!

Another week in the blossoming metropolis of Hesperia, CA.  We continue to boldly forge through this mysterious country known as the "High Desert."  In very few missions do you have to deal with culture shock when you get transferred from one area to another, but the Rancho Cucamonga mission is just special like that.  It's always a big transition when you move from the valley to the desert or vice versa, but it's almost always a good transition.

This week our stake had its Pioneer Day activity.  I'm proud to say that I bested many in various feats of strength, most of which required lots of pulling or tugging things.  Too bad the pioneers didn't have Magic, that probably would've kept them more entertained.  I also got the chance to shake a little plastic container of cream into butter, but then at the last minute when I was about to open it and enjoy the hard earned fruits of my labor I accidentally let it slip and it got everywhere.  That was a sad point of my mission.

Tender mercy of the Lord: One of my good missionary friends who I spent three transfers with in Chino, Sister Toolan, was transferred out of Chino two transfers before I was.  She's here in Hesperia and though we're not in the same zone we DO share the same church building, so Elder Brown and I get to see her and her companion (who's also pretty legit) fairly often.  I've included pictures of the three of us.  By the way, in that picture of us and Sister Toolan she looks super awkward and it totally looks like we're super lame and creepy elders that forced a girl to take a picture with us.  But I want ALL OF YOU to know that Sister Toolan LITERALLY threatened to kill us if we left the Pioneer Day activity without a picture.  So it was totally her idea.

Speaking of Elder Brown, he's dang good at taking pictures of me.  I've included a picture that he took of me riding my bike along the road.  He took that picture WHILE HE WAS RIDING HIS BIKE AS WELL.  That's crazy!  We've been compiling an "action shot" series of me while on my mission and it's turning out fairly well.

While wandering through the desert we found a pile of trash and I used some of it to turn me into a modern day stripling warrior.  Pictures are included for your enjoyment.  Also, by that pile of trash there's never ANYONE, especially cars.  Yet while I donned my armor THREE different cars passed by.  That was pretty embarrassing.

The California aqueduct runs smack through the middle of our area.  So anytime we want to cross our area we have to bike through the undeveloped desert, find a gap in the barbwire fence, throw our bikes and ourselves under it, find a bridge that crosses the aqueduct, lower our bikes into the four foot pits that guard the bridges, lift them out again to cross the bridge, and then repeat the whole process except in reverse when we get to the other side.  It's quite an adventure.  But as we were crossing the aqueduct we actually ran into a group of kids sidling along the side of the bridge, which is weird because you NEVER see anyone by the aqueduct.  I made a joke to them that when they fell in I wanted pictures and they stopped us and asked us what religion we are.  We told them that we were Mormons and they said they wanted to ask us some questions.  So we hopped off the aqueduct and were able to teach them about the Restoration which was super good.  They all took copies of the Book of Mormon but most of them were just visiting from out of town so we won't be the ones teaching them.  It was super cool!

Fun fact: I am scheduled to fly home exactly one year from today.  Get ready, everyone.  The time is not far from my triumphant return.

For all you future missionaries out there: Want to be a good missionary?  Be a good home teacher/visiting teacher.  Home teaching is just missionary work to members and missionary work is just home teaching to non-members.  Also learn how to make LOTS of small talk.  I find testifying of the Gospel to be easy, it's the small talk on the streets that's harder.

Have a great week!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

PS--From Carter's Mom:  Carter just heard this week that his visa should be arriving in the next 6 weeks!  He is VERY excited!

Monday, August 18, 2014

One Year Mark!

Greetings from Hesperia, CA!  Fun fact about Hesperia: There's a place that gives missionaries free hair cuts.  My hair looks great now!
This week has been rather eventful!  First off, I hit the big one year mark this week!  Woohoo!  It was an awesome day!  Some of my good friends from my old ward in Chino came up and we went out to dinner at Steak n' Shake.  By the way, Steak n' Shake is AWESOME.  It's seriously rivaling Chick Fil-A as my favorite mission restaurant.  We had an awesome time together and it was great to see them again.

This week I also got the privilege to ordain a young man that we've been working with to the office of a Priest.  His dad isn't around very often and he asked me to do the ordination.  I was very flattered, particularly because that was the first time I've ever performed an ordination to a priesthood office.

This week we found, taught, and were dropped by a family.  We taught the mom in her garage for about forty minutes while we were out biking around, but when we went back the next night to teach the whole family the dad was there and he was super born-again.  He couldn't understand the idea of living prophets or additional scripture.  It was super frustrating to watch someone completely not comprehend the message of the Restoration, but we were grateful that Heavenly Father allowed us the chance to teach some of His children.

That's about it for this week.  This upcoming week is the last week in the transfer so we'll see what happens.  Our mission president is crazy when it comes to transfers so pretty much everything is on the table.

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Buddy, Where Are Your Pants"

What up, party people?  I'm still here and kicking in Hesperia, CA.  Fun news: It rained this week!  And by rained I mean it kinda sprinkle, but it was considered a torrential downpour by California standards.  It was actually cool to hear all the prayers said by those we met with.  Everyone here was so thankful for the rain when we just kind of take it for granted back in Washington.

Aside from the rain, it's been pretty dang hot.  Elder Brown and I are still tearing it up though.  We've had a lot of opportunities to minister to the active members of our ward throughout the week.  Just last night we were able to give a priesthood blessing to one of the women in our ward.  Her husband is often away at work so she doesn't have the priesthood in her home so she very much appreciated our service.

Last night we had dinner with a super cool family.  They were tons of fun and had three kids all under the age of four.  Things got hilarious as the night proceeded.  To culminate the hilarity, the three year-old boy wanted to use the bathroom but it was too dark upstairs.  His mom told him to just go pee in the dirt in the backyard.  You would not believe how happy this boy got when he found out that was allowed.  He bolted out the door to wiz to his heart's content.  Well, jump forward about ten minutes later when we're in discussion with the parents.  Elder Brown turns to the glass door and says, "What the heck?  Buddy, where are your pants?" and we see that the kid is standing at the door without pants or underwear on.  He points to a spot in the yard to indicate where he's left his pants and when questioned why they're over there he says, "Because that's where I pooped!"  Apparently this kid had taken the approval to pee in the dirt as also license to poop in the grass.  That was pretty funny.

We found a family to teach this week!  The husband is less-active but the wife and children are non-members!  They were super cool and fed us Mexican food!  The guy is a chef at a country club so it was super good!  We have an appointment with them tomorrow night!

Last week I won the Hesperia B Zone Magic Tournament and officially earned the bragging rights and a sick title.

Tomorrow is our zone meeting and Elder Brown and I have been asked to give a thirty minute training on working with members to find people to teach.  I think they've made us train as a retaliation for all the crap we've given them as their roommates, but the jokes on them.  I secretly love training.

I hope all is going well wherever you are.  Wish me luck!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Monday, July 28, 2014

From Trash to Treasure


Another week in the blossoming metropolis of Hesperia, CA.  We continue to boldly forge through this mysterious country known as the "High Desert."  In very few missions do you have to deal with culture shock when you get transferred from one area to another, but the Rancho Cucamonga mission is just special like that.  It's always a big transition when you move from the valley to the desert or vice versa, but it's almost always a good transition.

This week our stake had its Pioneer Day activity.  I'm proud to say that I bested many in various feats of strength, most of which required lots of pulling or tugging things.  Too bad the pioneers didn't have Magic, that probably would've kept them more entertained.  I also got the chance to shake a little plastic container of cream into butter, but then at the last minute when I was about to open it and enjoy the hard earned fruits of my labor I accidentally let it slip and it got everywhere.  That was a sad point of my mission.

Tender mercy of the Lord: One of my good missionary friends who I spent three transfers with in Chino, Sister Toolan, was transferred out of Chino two transfers before I was.  She's here in Hesperia and though we're not in the same zone we DO share the same church building, so Elder Brown and I get to see her and her companion (who's also pretty legit) fairly often.  I've included pictures of the three of us.  By the way, in that picture of us and Sister Toolan she looks super awkward and it totally looks like we're super lame and creepy elders that forced a girl to take a picture with us.  But I want ALL OF YOU to know that Sister Toolan LITERALLY threatened to kill us if we left the Pioneer Day activity without a picture.  So it was totally her idea.

Speaking of Elder Brown, he's dang good at taking pictures of me.  I've included a picture that he took of me riding my bike along the road.  He took that picture WHILE HE WAS RIDING HIS BIKE AS WELL.  That's crazy!  We've been compiling an "action shot" series of me while on my mission and it's turning out fairly well.

While wandering through the desert we found a pile of trash and I used some of it to turn me into a modern day stripling warrior.  Pictures are included for your enjoyment.  Also, by that pile of trash there's never ANYONE, especially cars.  Yet while I donned my armor THREE different cars passed by.  That was pretty embarrassing.


The California aqueduct runs smack through the middle of our area.  So anytime we want to cross our area we have to bike through the undeveloped desert, find a gap in the barbwire fence, throw our bikes and ourselves under it, find a bridge that crosses the aqueduct, lower our bikes into the four foot pits that guard the bridges, lift them out again to cross the bridge, and then repeat the whole process except in reverse when we get to the other side.  It's quite an adventure.  But as we were crossing the aqueduct we actually ran into a group of kids sidling along the side of the bridge, which is weird because you NEVER see anyone by the aqueduct.  I made a joke to them that when they fell in I wanted pictures and they stopped us and asked us what religion we are.  We told them that we were Mormons and they said they wanted to ask us some questions.  So we hopped off the aqueduct and were able to teach them about the Restoration which was super good.  They all took copies of the Book of Mormon but most of them were just visiting from out of town so we won't be the ones teaching them.  It was super cool!



Fun fact: I am scheduled to fly home exactly one year from today.  Get ready, everyone.  The time is not far from my triumphant return.

For all you future missionaries out there: Want to be a good missionary?  Be a good home teacher/visiting teacher.  Home teaching is just missionary work to members and missionary work is just home teaching to non-members.  Also learn how to make LOTS of small talk.  I find testifying of the Gospel to be easy, it's the small talk on the streets that's harder.

Have a great week!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Dude You Slapped A Fish!"

Greetings from Hesperia, CA!  It's been a crazy week coming to this new area.  It's been a lot of getting used to the desert again.  It's crazy up here.  Flat, brown, dirt, dead, things like that.  But it's been a lot of fun.  We've been tearing it up on bike.  There's a lot of off roading that has to happen in our area so we have a lot of fun.  There's this one hill that's super hard to climb and had a bone at the top.  We called it Bone Hill because we lack creativity.  Elder Brown and I decided that whoever could climb it first would win the bone and become the King of Bone Hill.  I can proudly say that after many attempts and much perseverance, I am the King of Bone Hill.  All hail King Morgan!



We've been working really hard this week.  The work in this area... has not been performing as well as it could be.  So Elder Brown and I have been tearing it up, talking with everyone we see like mad men.  That's really the only way to do it as a missionary for personal finding.  Tracting is absolutely terrible so instead we ambush people as they walk the streets.  And guess what?  It's totally working!  We found a family of people to teach that way!  They're the Hernandez family and the mom, Gloria, is really interested.  We taught her the Restoration in her front yard and she took really well to it.  She also told us that she thinks we're sent from because she believes in signs and has a good friend named Morgan whose favorite football team is the Browns.  We'll take it.

Our new ward seems pretty cool.  There's a lot more youth in it than my old ward.  They seemed really receptive to Elder Brown and I.  At first the ward was really angry with us because they used to have a set of elders and a set of sisters but we replaced the set of sisters, but after meeting us they seemed to warm up.  I'm confident that we'll be able to get some good work done with them.

We live with our zone leaders now.  It's really interesting.  I woke up to a guitar musical number while one shouted over and over again, "It's P-Day!  It's P-Day!"  They also wrestle frequently and one of them always says, "Dude, you slapped a fish."

That's about it for this week.  Keep it classy!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Transferred to the Wilderness

Greetings from Hesperia, CA!  That's right, folks, Elder Morgan has been transferred from Chino.  I spent seven and a half months in Chino and I absolutely loved it.  It's time for me to move on, though.  So, President Hobbs, the mad man that he is, devised an ingenious plan to create the coolest transfer of my mission.  You see, I spent all five transfers in Chino with Elder Brown, probably my best friend in the mission.  We were in the same zone but never served together.  So President Hobbs took us both out of our Chino wards and whitewashed us into the desert together.  Whitewashing is when two missionaries leave an area and two new missionaries enter.  We live in an apartment with our zone leaders and it's pretty sick.  Still on bike, though.  I had heard a rumor that we'd be in a truck area, but that turned out to be false.  I'm okay with that, though.  I'd prefer to continue my mission as a real missionary, not a car missionary.  (Kidding, kidding...)

So I'm back in the desert for at least another transfer.  It's nice to return to my roots but man is it crazy weird.  I had grown used to the comforts of the valley.  The desert is super brown and super gray.  Not a lot of people here.  It's a completely different world.  Chino was everything you imagine Southern California to be.  Hesperia is... not, haha.  It'll be fun, though.  The people are super humble in the desert and very ready to hear the restored Gospel.

For those of you unfamiliar with missionary work, whitewashing is super hard.  It's so crazy going into an area where neither of you know anyone or anything.  It's also super weird because this ward, the Ranchero ward, had a set of sisters before us and some of the ward was, uh, not so happy to see them moved out for another set of elders.  That's okay, though!  We're gonna tear it up like bosses!  The ward will be forced to love us!  We're excited to get working.  There's not a whole lot going on in this area so it's a great place to start building.  We're super excited.

Saying goodbye to the Walnut Park ward was very hard.  I got a lot of nice compliments from those I labored with.  I will miss them all very much, but I know that's not the last time we'll all see each other.  That's the beauty of the gospel, we'll all see each other again if we hold out faithful to the end.

There's not much else I can think of at the moment.  Got to see a lot of my missionary friends at transfer meeting which was super fun.  My brain's a little jumbled at the moment with transfers so my thoughts are scattered.  I hope you all have a great week and wish Elder Brown and I luck!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Look Mom--No Hands!

It's another fantastic email from everyone's favorite visa-waiter!  This week was pretty good!  The first week of the new transfer is always interesting.  The whole zone's leadership got switched up so we're all trying to get used to the new way of doing things.  I had the opportunity to run my first district meeting this Tuesday and it went really well!  I prayed really hard about it beforehand and the Lord definitely guided me on what to teach about.  We had a great discussion on charity and love and it really got the whole district thinking.  I love my district and it's great to be able to work more closely with them.

To try to find more investigators we teamed up with some of the sister missionaries in the stake and we drew the plan of salvation in sidewalk chalk at the park and left contact information.  You never know what might happen!

As we were biking this week a man ran out of his house with his shirt off, stopped us in the street, and pointed to his son and told us to put him on a mission.  We told him that his son would have to be baptized before we could do that.  Long story short, we're teaching the family now.  We'll see how this goes.

We went to a dinner with a member family this week.  They're a young couple with a toddler, a baby, and a Siberian Husky puppy.  I almost passed out from the adorable-ness of it all.  Needless to say, we'll be trying to get them scheduled for dinner more often.

So, I was biking home from church the other day and decided to race with my companion.  It was neck and neck so I started speeding up really fast towards the end and had just passed him as we pull into our gravel driveway at about fifteen miles per hour.  I prepared to slow down to celebrate my victory by pulling my brakes.  It was at this point that I noticed that BOTH my front and back brakes had given out.  I screamed "I don't have brakes!" as I plowed straight into my companion and knocked him over into the grass.  He emerged from the accident with a bruised elbow.  I, on the other hand, skidded across the gravel driveway and tore up my hands really bad.  Fortunately, I was wearing a nice suit so the rest of my body didn't take much damage.  Unfortunately, I was wearing a nice suit so my suit doesn't look too nice anymore.  One of the ladies in the ward bandaged me up pretty well at dinner though, so I'm doing just fine.



That's about all I can think of right now.  Make sure to read the Book of Mormon!  It's a good book, I'm telling ya!  Also,l if you don't have a copy of it then I'm sure your friendly neighborhood missionaries would be happy to give you one!  Heck, invite them in as well so they can explain what it is and how we got it.  You won't regret it, I promise.

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More salutations from Chino, CA!  This week is the last week of the transfer and I always find it to be a time of reflection.  This has been one of, if not the best transfer of my mission.  I've had an absolute blast.  It's always a non-stop party here in Walnut Park when Elder Robertson and I are together.  Not since I was trained have I ever had this much fun with my companion.  It's always great to form those mission friendships that'll last for far longer than the mission.

C is being baptized this Saturday!  We're super excited!  She's still progressing really well and her testimony grows stronger each and every day.  She has so much faith in Jesus Christ and we're so proud of her!  Her baptismal interview is today and we've already gone over the questions with her and she passed with flying colors!  We're super excited to see her enter the waters of baptism.  Our ward mission leader will be performing the baptism and I will be performing her confirmation in Sacrament Meeting the following day.  I couldn't ask for a better way to end the transfer!

And as if things couldn't get better, we have ANOTHER super solid investigator and she's great!  She's very religious and has a sincere desire to know the truth.  She says the doctrines of the Restoration, prophets, and the Plan of Salvation were like the missing pieces of a puzzle in her life.  She said they cleared up so much about God's character and put such peace in her heart!  She came to church this Sunday and told us in a text afterwards that she had a fantastic time and she can't wait to meet with us this Wednesday!  It was amazing!  She wants to learn all she can about prophets and she constantly reads the Book of Mormon to find out it's true for herself.  It's so cool to watch her progress!
One of my good friends, Elder Bringhurst, just got his visa this week.  I'll be sad to see him go, but he's really excited to serve in Brazil.  I'm the eternal visa-waiter over here.  Oh well.  If it's the nature of my calling to labor all my days among the saints of Southern California then I shall consider myself highly favored and blessed.

We had an AWESOME district meeting today about the Savior.  Well, we almost always talk about Jesus Christ but this one was especially powerful.  Our district leader, Elder Tyler, did a great job with it.  I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to devote all my time, talents, and energy to proclaiming our Savior's name wherever I go.  I even have the opportunity to wear his name over my heart every day.  How cool is that!

Read your scriptures, say your prayers, go to church.  Honestly, you'd be surprised how hard it is for some people to do that.  But trust me, it works wonders.  Do those things and God will always be able to help you along the strait and narrow path.

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Monday, May 5, 2014

"How to Find People to Teach"

Holy cow.  May already.  How the time flies.  I can't believe I've been out for almost nine months.  And the best part?  I don't even want to go home!  I'm loving it out here!  Elder Robertson and I have been tearing it up in Walnut Park!  We've had a lot of miracles happen this week and it's been absolutely fantastic!

So, we've been trying to find new people to teach, like we always are.  So in order to find new ways to find people to teach I turned to Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel, conveniently titled, "How Do I Find People To Teach?"  I then proceeded to take out a highlighter and highlight everything I wasn't doing as a missionary.  I found 37 things, haha.  There's room for improvement.  So we set out this week to apply the principles that we learned in Preach My Gospel and find new investigators.

Our first miracle began with a text message last Monday.  It was a referral from Mormon.org for a woman named C.  She had put in her information to meet with missionaries and wrote that she had recently gone through a loss in her family and was interested in LDS beliefs.  So we go to contact her on Tuesday and her husband answers the door and tells us that she's sleeping at the moment and that we should come back later.  So we're about to unlock our bikes from her house when we realize that one of the 37 things we weren't doing was to work in the neighborhood after contacting a referral.  So we decide to leave our bikes there and knock a few doors and help people put up their trash cans that had blown over since it was a windy day.  Well, while knocking doors we got a return appointment which was awesome, but that's not even the best part!  The best part is when we went to get our bikes we found C. sitting on her door step waiting for us!  After her husband told her that the missionaries had come looking for her she got up out of bed and looked outside where she saw our bikes.  Well, she figured that we had to come back sometime soon to get them so she sat down and waited for us to come back.  When we met her she told us about some of the trials she was having and asked who she had to talk to get more information about our church.  Uh... you're looking at them, haha.  We set up an appointment for the next day.  That appointment went over 90 minutes because of all the questions she had!  Then she set up an appointment for the next day!  She said that she believes that God has led her to our church.  She committed to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, pray about baptism, and come to church!  She came to church this Sunday and asked tons of questions in class.  One of her concerns is that her sons don't know how to do laundry and she's worried about how that will affect them when they serve their missions, haha.  That's a a concern we can work with.

Along with C, we were able to get two of our investigators and their two girls to church for the first time this Sunday!  They've been investigating for a bit but have concerns about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  The dad really lights up whenever we talk but the mom is a little apprehensive about some things.  They've been going to a born-again mega church and said that they want to go to church where the feel the closest to God.  We told them that they would only know if they felt closest to God at ours if they came and they did!  They almost got lost and went home but we stood out on the corner while sacrament meeting was going to give them directions.  When we brought them in through the chapel doors the ward was so excited!  It was a cool sight to see the missionaries bringing in a young family.  And they loved it!  It was fast and testimony meeting so the spirit was so strong!  They especially loved how a girl about their daughter's age was able to bear her testimony over the pulpit to the whole congregation!  The mom loved Relief Society and their daughter loved Primary!  The dad said he felt really welcomed!  We're hoping they continue to come.

Those are just some of the cool things that have happened this week.  With my new companion I'm finding that I have a lot more stories from my mission than I realized I did.  The problem is that we're so busy that we hardly have times to tell these stories so I find myself saying things like, "That reminds me of the time that my companion got hit by a car.  But that's a story for another time."  Then I realize how weird my mission CURRENTLY is.  For example, I'm currently teaching an old lady with a one-eyed Boston Terrier who has a drag queen son in San Francisco.  That doesn't happen everyday.  Oh wait, it does in Southern California.  Man, California.

It's great being able to serve out here everyday.  I hope that the rest of my mission continues to be like this.  Elder Robertson is awesome.  He has so many strengths and is helping me to be the best missionary I can be.  We're really hopeful about the progress of this area and we hope to be better missionaries than we were last week.  The work is true, the Atonement is real, and I'm so glad to be a part of all of this.

Until next time,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Monday, April 28, 2014

new companion

Greetings from Chino, CA!  Things are going great out here!  I met my new missionary this week, his name is Elder Robertson!  Fun fact, his dad and my dad both served in the Veracruz, Mexico mission around the same time!  Crazy!  Elder Robertson is super cool and is really eager to learn and be a great missionary!  We've already gotten a lot of good work done together and it's only going to get better!

One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is that we get to invite others to come to Christ at any place or at any time.  We've had a lot of cool opportunities to teach people in really unconventional locations this week.  We taught two young fathers in their garage about the Plan of Salvation while we sat in camping chairs, that was pretty cool.  We also met a man outside of a trailer park who talked to us for a while and he said that he wanted to get close to God but he didn't know how so we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and told him to read and pray about it.  He told us that he hadn't prayed in two years and we said that today was an excellent time to change that and he said his first prayer on the spot!  We also got to teach a man who said his first prayer with a Book of Mormon in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  It's been a really cool week!

We continue to make good progress with our investigators.  We're looking at some baptisms in the near future!  It's going to be exciting!  I'm grateful for this opportunity I have to be out here serving the Lord.

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan