Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Slacker Missionary


We woke up a little earlier today to go down to the travel offices and find out if we were delayed or not. The people there didn’t know (of course) whether or not we were leaving so they told us they would let us know by the end of the day what was going on. I’m pretty sure we are still delayed, just with the holiday and everything it has been pretty chaotic.

I am finally getting my hair cut today, not cutting it before I left was a little bit of a bad idea. It is way to long haha. I look like the slacker missionary big time right now. My suit doesn’t match my pants and I have long, bed head, hair, and a little bit of black scruff on my chinny chin chin. I can’t wait to grow a beard when I get home. I feel like being a missionary has already made me more of a man. I’m pretty sure right when you get your nametag you instantly grow more chest/facial hair. But its p-day right? Who cares?

It is so nice not being the new district anymore. I went in to the other room that has the new district today, (different zone but they are in the class next to us) and just asked how they were all doing, they had just taught their first lesson, in Spanish, haha I remember that day, I was sweating bullets by the end of it. It is so frustrating because you know exactly what you want to say but your missing one or two vital words in order for it to make any sense.

I remember Alex talking about how it was stupid for Spanish Elders complaining about being frustrated about learning Spanish and he was saying how hard Korean is. I get Korean would be really ridiculously hard to learn, but Spanish can be so so so frustrating, because you feel like you should know what to say, because the language is so similar, but your missing just one little piece you know you should know, but you just cant quite get it right. That is frustrating. At least with Korean they don’t expect you to be fluent with the language, with Spanish you have like three or four months to be fluent or you’re an idiot.

 There is a teacher here who on his mission could not understand Spanish for 16 months, his MTC president had a PhD is Spanish and was a translator for General Authorities, and he told this missionary he had a learning disorder, and he would never learn Spanish. He said his whole mission, every day was the worst day of his life, until the day he got called to train, he said he prayed all night, and that morning he woke up and they started tracting, and all of the sudden it clicked and he spoke perfect Spanish. He swore on his life it was the gift of tongues. Pretty cool story I thought. 

I rocked my door approach practices yesterday though. All of our teachers say that I am a very intimidating missionary haha. They say I pound on the door and basically force my way in. I don’t feel like I’m doing that but I have yet to have a practice end in a door being shut in our face. My comp and I are the only ones in the district that can say that. My teacher always tells me I'm going to be huge compared to everyone down there also, so I figure I might as well intimidate these small Guatemalans into the gospel.
The thought of four more weeks in the MTC here is a little scary. I have only written in my journal a few times while I’ve been here because I feel like every single day is exactly the same so I never have anything new to say. It is so weird, the love/hate relationship you have with this place, it is like one minute you feel like you just absolutely can’t stand to be for here for another second, then the next minute you think I could be here for 12 weeks and love it, then the next minute your passed out face down on your desk. I have yet to fall asleep in class actually, really proud of myself.

Please post to the blog and tell everyone thanks who has sent me an email or letter. I have a ton of letters written, but I have been waiting to send them because I haven’t gotten my pictures back from the bookstore and I was going to put a few into every letter. Thanks for all the pictures, I love pictures. Alex and Da Young are looking super cozy in all the of the Christmas photos. Did he buy a ring yet?? I still would like some nice basketball shorts, and some Paul Cardall music, that would be greatly appreciated.
I love you guys,
talk to you soon
-Elder Morrow

Monday, December 26, 2011

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad!

As a little Christmas Surprise we get time to email our families. They didn’t tell us this until today though because they didn’t want elders setting up a time for them to email back and forth.

Wow. I was a little disappointed to wake up this morning and not see any presents, and find out for sure that the big man actually isn’t real. I was still holding out just a little bit, thinking it could still be a possibility, but my dreams of Santa have now all been entirely crushed. However, the big man upstairs did not let us down. I can quite easily say that I am spiritually full. Today and last night have both been amazing. Last night we had just a regular day until after dinner and then we had a musical/fireside and watched one of the older versions of A Christmas Carol. I loved it. It was so so so much better than the Hollywood style ones I have seen previously. It was in color but the movie was still really old. Then we kind of had a sleep over and gift exchange. I took a bunch of pictures that I will try and get sent to ya'll, but it was actually a lot of fun. We had like 12 elders sleeping in one room about the same size of my dorm room. Then this morning we woke up and I had to go to some district leader meetings, afterwards we went and watched the Christmas MoTab concert. Right after that was the amazing part however. Elder Bednar came and gave THE best talk I have ever heard in my life. His wife talked first for like five minutes, and she was wearing the ugliest Christmas sweater I have ever seen. It was glorious. Lauren would have been so jealous. Then Elder Bednar talked for like and hour and twenty minutes, I was just kind of taking notes mostly just listening to him, I looked down at the end of his talk and I had written 8 full pages of notes in my notebook. Absolutely unbelievable. You really can feel the spirit he has just by being with him in the room. There were 2,120 missionaries in one room listening to his message. It was pretty powerful.

We have some free time now and another movie tonight. Otherwise Christmas seems like it’s finally over. The time here just keeps flying by. I am so excited to leave for Guatemala. We are not entirely sure what is going on with that because this guy came and talked to us and told us we were delayed on leaving, but then the next day we got our travel plans in the mail, which means they bought us plane tickets, and when we went to ask them why that had happened, the travel offices were closed, we will go try again tomorrow and see if we can find anything out before we email again on Tuesday.

 To answer some of your questions mom, I did get your Dear Elder, Thank you So much. Nice to get a little mail.

As for my district, my companion is the only other elder going to Qeutzaltenango, two other elders are going to Guatemala City Sur (they did not get delayed, don’t know why), and there is a trio where one is going to NY NY Sur, one to Santa Rosa California, and one to Dallas Texas. There are four Hermanas in the district, two are going to Chile, one is going to Tucson, and the other Dallas Texas. In my room there are 6 elders, the other 4 are in the same district going to Paraguay and they have been here for 6 weeks.

I got Alex's package, tell him thank you for the sandals, the basketball shorts though are not what I needed. I need some actual basketball shorts, not light short running shorts. When I play basketball they come up and my g's are sticking out from the bottom, like I said, not a good look. I need some long heavy ones that wont ride up or show my Celestial apparel. I got Grandma's and the Behrmann’s (sweet tie btw) packages, tell them both thank you so much for me. I also got the girls’ letters. Wendy and Bree's were hilarious, they made absolutely zero sense. Bree was talking about like an earthquake or something, and then about her Christmas party, totally didn’t get the point she was trying to make there. Either way, I loved hearing from them.

Yeah I was really surprised also when I ran into Jayson but I see him like 3 or 4 times a week, which has been really cool, always, good to see familiar faces here. I have one request. Paul Cardall. His music is amazing. I need all of it. Anything you can find, we got to listen to it yesterday and I almost started crying just to hear the sound of music, but his music is absolutely amazing.

There are a few rumors swirling around here I would love to get some answers to
First- did Kim Jon IL or whatever die? If so, that makes for a Christmas miracle.
Second- I heard about Heaps going to Kansas, should be a good fit for him, I would also like a detailed report on all the bowl games scores.
Thirdly- I heard David Archie is going to Chile or something on a mission, Can you confirm? That would be a really amazing thing for him to do.
Lastly, and most importantly- Did Chris Paul get traded to the Clippers? Could this be the year they beat the Lakers?

I hope you all had an awesome Christmas, I would like a detailed report on Christmas presents this year, what all did everyone get? And what’s up with Da Young and Alex? Is she back and are they dating? If so do they kiss? If you answered yes to all those questions, gross. Just kidding, but he wrote on his package from Alex and Da Young so I was a little curious.
Tell everyone I love them and miss them, I’ll be on Tuesday morning again.
Adios,
-Elder Morrow

Change in Travel Plans


Hey Mom,
Well...I have some bad news the Guatemala CCM is over capacity and they delayed the arrival of the Quetzaltenango and El Salvador Missionaries three weeks. That just means I am going to be here in Provo for the next five weeks, and then we will finish up three weeks in the CCM. Kind of a major bummer but, what can you do, right?
With this being the case, I really need a few things. I really need you to send me another suit coat. I only have the one and you have to wear one every day so its a little hard just rotate wearing the grey coat with my three grey pants. I cant get it dry cleaned for another couple of weeks too so I cant just wear the one forever. Just send me a dark blue or preferably black one of dad's or that one that I sent home with you guys. Also, I really want my nice high top grey Nike basketball shoes that I also sent home with you guys. They were in like a little black Nike zip bag, ill just ship them home to you when I leave here. If you could get those sent out tomorrow I would love you forever. I will love you forever anyways, but regardless.

Also holy cow tell people to write/email/dear elder me. You are the only one sending me anything, and seriously? Its Christmas week and I'm lonely, tell everyone I need some love too. It’s really depressing seeing everyone else get tons of mail and I haven’t gotten anything in a few days other than your dear elder. I sent you and dad both letters yesterday so hopefully you get those soon.

This week has been amazing and it has been really hard at the same time already. The loneliness has started to settle in as all I have to look forward to is a Christmas in a cramped room, with a few good talks and hours to write letters to brighten my day. I took a picture with Jayson today and then sent in my card in to make a cd, he asked that you email the photo of us to Dayna for him. Thanks Mom. Tell everyone that I love them and I say hi. I’m trying my best to make this a positive situation and I would really appreciate a little more support. (Not from you of course, your doing great, just from everyone else)

Pray for me, I'm praying for all of you. Let me know in a dear elder tomorrow (we get those the day of, at 6pm) what happens, Ill do my best to answer your questions via letter, but if not ill talk to you next Tuesday when I can email again.
Love
-Elder Morrow

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First P-day

Hey Mom,
Thank you guys for the emails, I am just going to send one mass email to you and try and answer both yours and dads questions. I guess you guys have already figured out today (Tuesday) is my p-day, and let me tell you it is so nice to have a little break. I will get on at 8:30 again next week if you want to email back and forth.

We have really been grinding this week. So much Spanish. I really have been pleasantly surprised at how well I have a command over the language already. I definitely am the best in my district, which has been kind of nice and at the same time really annoying because everyone is always asking me "como se dice...." for every little thing. I really hope that just since it has been the first week that my district just has not had the chance to adjust to everything yet because a lot of the time I feel like I am the district mom, everyone is always asking me when we have what, and how should I teach this, and I'm lost what do I do, can I study Spanish during personal study, can I read my scriptures during language study? I could go on forever. I feel like sometimes my district does not understand that I have been here just as long as everyone else has been and for some reason since I'm district leader, I all of the sudden have all the answers. 

I do love being district leader however. It is really nice to just tell people what to do every now and then, I am just going to say it now and hope it sticks the rest of my mission, but I don’t think I am going to be a very fun missionary. I am not here to have fun. I remember one of my friends from BYU had a boyfriend who teaches here at the MTC and he said the same thing to me. He always felt like the people who focused on having fun and not on the lessons or the gospel or the investigator were just mediocre missionaries, and the idea of giving up two years of my life to be a mediocre missionary is worse than not going at all. If your here you might as well be working as hard as you can, right? I am really happy here, I love almost every part of the day, but its not because I'm goofing around or trying to have fun. I think if your here to do that your in for a long two years.

You asked about the food mom, well, Jeremiah 4:19-20 sums the food up perfectly. Read that and you will know exactly how I feel.


( I decided to post this in with his email so you don't have to go look it up. Gave Kent and I a good chuckle. " 19 ¶My abowels, my bowels! I am bpained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
 20 aDestruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my btents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment."  Jeremiah 4:19-20)

I have not really felt overwhelmed. The spirit here is unlike anywhere else in the world. It is such a calm and peaceful place, but at the same time it is so fast paced and just kind of bang bang, but you guys know me, that is perfect for me, I don't want to waste any time. Like I said before the Spanish is coming. It is really hard and frustrating but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am really not too worried about it. We are teaching an "investigator" already, and we have had a few lessons. My part of the lesson always goes really well because I have every little thing perfectly planned out,(big surprise) but my companero, jaja, not so lucky. He is really a great guy. He just does not get that we are in the MTC to learn how to share the gospel. He is so fixated on trying to learn Spanish that I have yet to see him crack open his BOM or PMG in English. To say the least he struggled really badly in our lesson. (I know I'm complaining a lot, but trust me I am really happy)

Tell Grant congratulations, he should be awesome at that calling, Bro James was always really good, but I mean come on, Grants pretty awesome.

There are a few Elders that I have met going to my mission that are not in my district. Only my companion and I are going to Quetzaltenango, but two other elders are also going to Guatemala. We are supposed to leave January 3, so keep your fingers crossed.

I have gotten a few letters from friends, I have heard from Jessie and Lauren; both their letters were amazing. I also got a dear elder from Sabrina. It is so nice just to hear how people are doing. Tell everyone I would love letters, but I would also love some pictures. It is nice just to be able to see everyone’s lovely faces every now and then. I have taken some photos but I don’t know how to attach them to email, plus we are so short on time, I was just going to print them out and mail them to you.

Well I love you guys. My testimony of the gospel really has grown a ton since I have been here. It has been such a blessing this last week. Also send some skittles. Holy crap I need some sugar in my life. Well I am out of time. Hasta Luego. I love you all.
Adios
-Elder Morrow

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Saying Farewell, or Adios, Vaya Con Dios!

Wednesday morning Adam was set apart as a missionary by President Monson (President Monson's son) He was Adam's Stake President for his YSA ward....it sounds pretty impressive though doesn't it? President Monson gave Elder Morrow a beautiful blessing full of amazing promises and it gave me, the mom, much comfort to my heart. Elder Morrow was blessed to have his Father, Grandfather and big brother Alex all stand in for his setting apart and blessing.

Before heading down to the long lines for drop off we pulled up to the Temple across the street from the MTC and took a few photos and a few deep breaths.



That look on his face seems a little like nerves but it was just Adam being a goof. He kept swearing he wasn't nervous and based on how much he ate at lunch I would say he was telling the truth.


We drove down to our assigned number ( I think it was 22 out of at least 100) and unloaded all Adam's earthly possesions (at least for the next two years). Hard to believe you can fit it all in two suitcases.

When it was time for the hugs we all got a bit teary.


We had time for one last smile.....

Then Adam and his escort picked up his bags....

       ........and he was off.  We could hear him chatting with his escort and we watched him walk away. He never looked back..... I didn't think he would. : )

It all started here...

video
Elder Morrow received his call the end of August. It came to his apartment at Liberty Square and after waiting for everyone (including Adam) to get done with class and work around 10pm Adam finally opened the call. Via Skype for mom and dad Adam opened his call in front of close to 50 friends, cousins, roomates and his brother. He said after he read Guatemala all he could see was a Q and a Z and a bunch of other letters and had no idea how to pronounce Quetzaltenango. But now he has it down smooth. Sorry about the video being sideways. That is how it was sent to me and I am not tech savvy enough to figure out how to rotate it. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Goodbye Everyone!

I thought I should write one little post here before I leave. My Mother will be the one keeping up this blog with my photos and letters. I'm going to miss you all and I hope to hear from you.
You can email me at-


adam.morrow@myldsmail.net


If you write me an email I might be able to email you back, but you will probably be getting a letter instead.
I would also love your letters-
In the MTC you can write me at


Elder Adam Palmer Morrow
MTC Mailbox # 319
GUA-QUE 0214
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793



After I leave the MTC I will have a new address, but I am sure my Mother will post the address where you can reach me at.
Thanks guys, I'll see you in two years.
Adios
-Adam