Tuesday, August 27, 2013


                                           This is my office.

Hey Everybody,

Things are good here in the office. We had changes this week here in the office. My last comp finished his mission and so I am now with Elder F. He is going to be the replacement of the wife of the senior couple that is here in the office. He is from Mesa, Arizona and I love him. He is a huge breathe of fresh air.  He hit a year this week and so did one of the other secretaries, so we all went out and dropped some pretty  big bucks at a steak house haha. He was at BYU before the mission so that is our preferred topic of conversation. He lived at King Henry so we never met or anything. 

The work is always good here in the office though. I didn't have any more botched checks so I can be grateful for that. The banks here are so nit picky sometimes. Other than that though it's just computer work and sitting on my fat bum. I am afraid that I am going to go home like such a fatty if I die here in the office. One cool thing about my comp too is we have been waking up early in the mornings and we go running. It's weird to see the city all still asleep. There are a few people up and going but before six most people are still at home sleeping. I like it because we can go in centro park and stuff and there is just nobody. Plus I don't feel like such a fat lard all day. 

We set up a lunch calendar with the members because I was sick of buying lunch after a few days. We have had some really really good lunches with the members here. It's cool because there are a lot of people here in our ward that are from other countries and they always like to cook us stuff from their country. Our bishop's wife is from El Salvador and she made us some really, really good papusas the other day. Remember the papusa restaurant in Provo? It blew that place out of the water. 

Another cool thing that happened here in Xela was the volcano erupted this week. Not the one that you can see from Xela, that one is dormant, but there is a little one on the backside of the volcano that is active, and it erupted and there was a little earthquake and a huge mushroom cloud. I actually didn't feel the earthquake, we were just out walking and when your out moving you usually dont feel them. I remember at first when there was a tremble or something it would totally freak me out, like I couldnt sleep well or anything, but now it's so normal, I haven't felt one or noticed one in a really long time. I remember last year right before the big earthquake, there were lots of small ones leading up to it, especially at night. But I haven't felt one since about then. Some small ones every now and then but I usually don't even notice. Plus I feel like the office building we work in since it is so big and new, it probably is a little more earthquake proof than most buildings here in Xela. The IT guys came in though and vacuumed out all our computers and stuff, they say that when the volcano erupts there is a lot of unseen ash and dust that gets everywhere and is really really bad for computers.

Another thing, I am out of personal money=/ sorry haha. I had to make some personal expenditures this week so my card is basically out of money. I don't need more right now, but just in case of an emergency or something it would be nice to have just a little bit of money. Sorry to be such a black whole there, I am trying to keep it down to a minimum. Also, I finished the Book of Mormon again in Spanish yesterday. My goal is to read it all the way through ten times during my mission, so I have a couple more times to go in these last months. 

I miss you all. I love you, tell everyone hi for me.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Hey Mom,

Sorry, we are here kind of early this week. My comp had to get some last minute things done pretty early in the office today, so I thought I would take advantage and get my emailing done. My comp goes home on Tuesday.  He is baggy to say the least. It will be nice to have a comp that isn't so focused on going home... he is a good guy and all, It’s just kind of hard hearing about him going home.

This week was good. My office doesn't have air conditioning. The only places that have air conditioning in this country are McDonalds and the temple. But it’s cool enough in my office that it isn't a big deal. I don't have any windows or anything so its always kind of hard to tell what the weather is like outside, but like I said, it usually feels pretty good in here anyways. Xela is like the Seattle of Central America. It has really dreary drizzly weather and I always have really liked that. It’s never too hot like Huehue and it always is just kind of overcast and brisk outside. I think its because it has a really high elevation and it’s just surrounded by volcanoes and mountains that seem to attract the clouds. It’s a really pretty city, we will all have to come back and visit.

I got my release plan this week also, I talked to the travel secretary about it and it’s not exactly set in stone yet, but from what it looks like I will be getting home on the 26 of December. Sorry, looks like we will just have to move Christmas back one more day this year, honestly it’s not a big deal at all. It was a little surreal that I received that though. Like it has not really set in yet that I am getting kind of old in the mission. I still feel like I am really young. I didn’t even realize until a day or two afterwards that I had passed the 20 month mark. Crazy. Time does go really fast in the office though, there are some slow parts of the day, but it passes really fast, and then when we get out at night we are running to try and get the most appointments in that we can so the nights fly by too.

I am so sick of our house though. I think I mentioned last week that I hated it. That’s an understatement; I loathe this house. It’s miserable. The stupid geese and roosters and doves that live right outside our one window wake me up every single day at like 4:30 or 5 with their noise. I don’t get why these people that live right in the middle of a giant city have to have their mini farm right outside my window. The dead noise of the city doesn’t even bother me. Like the cars and the horns and all that, I can sleep through no problem. But three geese doing their crazy geese scream at 5 in the morning kills me. 

I don’t think I had any major mess ups on my parts at least this week. It’s nothing crazy the work, it’s just lots of computer stuff. The church has a really good system for keeping track of all of the missionary funds and information and stuff. That makes my life pretty easy. The only thing that can be difficult at times is Guatemala. Like yesterday for example, we had a lady that is going to cook all the food for some multi zone conferences, and she came in to pick up her checks to buy all the food and stuff. One thing about Latin America, the people have like 50 names. This lady that came in that I wrote the checks to, her had three first names, four last names, and three of the four last names have a de in front of the last names (like de Leon). Needless to say… ridiculous. So in order to print out checks I have to use the system of the church, and add her as a vendor, so when I write a check out to her, it has to have the full name of the lady. But when it comes to printing the check, it automatically only prints so many letters in the check. Well this ladies name was so long that her final last name, which was de Almazán, didn’t fit. So it just said de Alma. Close enough right? Wrong, she went to the bank and tried to cash the six checks we had written her, and they wouldn’t accept them, and they wouldn’t give them back to her without basically voiding them so that she wouldn’t ¨alter¨ the checks in her name so that she could cash them. She came back with all the checks they had basically destroyed and asked what I could do about it. So I called the bank and told them what had happened and they put me on hold for like half an hour. Finally they get back on the line and tell me that since the name wasn’t exact, it could have been someone else trying to cash the checks and so they couldn’t cash them. That’s reasonable, I understood, but then I tried to explain to them that her name was too long and that it wouldn’t fit on the check, and so I asked if I could hand write her the check, they said no, it had to be typed or the name could be changed and someone else could cash the check. So I was just trying to ask the bank what we could do so that she could cash the checks. Basically nothing. Not unless this lady decides to change her name can I write a check in her name. They wouldn’t even accept if I went down there in person and approved that this was the lady who would be cashing the check that I had written out even though only three letters were missing from her last last name. Like what are the odds there is another person on this planet that has 6 out of 7 of this ladies names exactly the same, and that in the seventh name, its only missing three letters. What are the odds of that?

So frustrating, so I then had to go back through and cancel and void all six of the checks that we had written out, and while I was in the process, the power in the city went out. When it came back on, I started the process over, but the firewall in the building had gone down. So they called the IT guy and he came in, and while fixing the firewall, the Internet crashed. So we went the whole day without Internet until about 6:30 when they could get it all back on. Like I said, my job isn’t really what gives me headaches, its more Guatemala that gives me headaches. I still don’t know what to do about those dumb checks either...

Well, that’s how my life is right now. Things are good though, I love being in Xela, and it’s such a cool place. We have eaten really well this week. Sometimes the senior couple brings down some food or some desserts. President’s wife is always bringing us in desserts and cake too. I’m going to go home so fat.

Hope that you are all okay and everything is good there. I love you all and will talk to you next week. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013


Hey Mom,

Well, looks like nobody got the memo that I would be writing on Saturday from now on ha-ha. I just had an email from you and from dad in my inbox. Things are good here in the office. I do have a comp, he is the old Retention Secretary, but his replacement came this week, so he is just kind of hanging out with me with nothing to do. He goes home this next week; he hit his two-year mark today actually. He is a really good kid though; he is a pretty good friend of mine actually. His name is Elder L, and is from Honduras. Super smart though, he speaks perfect English. My new comp that is coming in on the changes is going to be a gringo too. I like him a lot also. I am in the middle of Xela. My area is called Los Arcos, it’s where the APs where for years, but they just switched to another ward and so now I am here. This is actually my fourth area in Xela. My first area in Xela was Garibaldi, which is the neighbor area of where I am at right now. I really, really like my area though. It’s the oldest ward in Guate that is outside of the capital. Xela is the second biggest city here in Guate and its cool because I am right in the middle of downtown. The office and mission home are all in my area.

 This link is actually really cool, this lady is in my ward, and all the shots from the video are from my area. So this will give you a good idea of what my life is like here. It's definitely one of the nicest parts of my mission. The one thing that is kind of lame here though, is our house. It was seriously made for hobbits. They had some other Elders look for it, and apparently they weren’t having much luck, so the first one they could find that was actually in our price range, they chose. It’s so small! I can’t even walk around standing up straight. I have to hunch to walk around in the house. And the showerhead is even worse; it honestly shoots out water below my shoulders. I was thinking about buying a little plastic stool and throwing that in the shower and sitting down while I was showering. I had to take out a few of the light bulbs in the roof because I don’t want to break them on accident with my head. Also, the house only has one window, and outside that window, is our neighbor’s geese pen. This honestly is not an exaggeration or anything; there are at least 20 geese that live outside that window. They start doing their weird geese yell at like five in the morning every day too. It’s comical actually every day when we go home, like I can’t believe how crappy of a house it is. We had some members find us a new one though and we have already got it approved and all, just we don’t move in until next month. We live right next to the APs too so that is a bonus; they have a washer and dryer in their house so I was able to do my own laundry today for the first time since the MTC. Hopefully this will stop me loosing all my clothes before I get home. When you have to pay someone else to wash your clothes they always loose socks and shirts.

As for life in the office, it's all right I guess. Obviously it's a little boring and tedious, but I never had realized all the background work the people in the office do for the benefit of all the other missionaries. I am also not the only new one. They called a new Retention Secretary too, Elder P (we always call him Piña, which is pineapple) and he is comps with Elder M, a really cool kid from Northern Utah who is the General Secretary. I am the oldest one here in the office though (after my comp goes home next week). The senior companions are really fun too, it's like I get to hang out with Grandpa Frank all day every day. It's sweet. He bought me a huge tray of cookies yesterday from the Mennonite Bake Shop people here. Oh my sweet heaven. The only thing is his wife who is here with him, isn’t doing so hot. They have like four weeks left in their mission, but she is having some bad knee problems where she had had an operation, and they might be going home sooner than planned. 

I am in charge of all the finances for everyone. I have to deal with all the credit cards of all the missionaries and all the payments that the mission makes. Also I have to go to the bank (car privileges!) and do all the deposits and checks and stuff. Plus all the finances for the APs and President. There are times when there is a lot of work to do, and other times when I finish it and then I have like three hours where I just sit here chewing on my pen. We are here from 9 till 6 every day with one hour for lunch. The Secretaries before just bought lunch everyday, but I don’t really want to do that. On Sunday I am going to see if I can work out a lunch schedule with the members so that we can eat with them. There is only Wendy’s and McDonalds here in Xela, and I am already sick of them both after a week, so hopefully I can get something worked out. 

P-days here are a little more free too. We don’t really have anything planned. I just need to finish washing my clothes and my comp wanted to go get Arabic food for lunch (not sure how I feel about that). But this morning we went to this cool place. It's a little Corte person doll factory. My comp got some from his old areas. They are little dolls of all the different Cortes in the country. Like all the towns have their specific styles and colors of Cortes, and this store had them all. I will be sure and buy some too when I am a little closer to coming home. Either way, the pictures are cool.  I am sure I will be getting packages a little bit faster now since I am in the office, but I didn’t get anything this week from Grandma. Maybe next week.  

That’s about it though; I am going to get home like a fat bum. 
I love you guys and hope you have a great week. 


Monday, August 5, 2013


Hey Mom,

So yeah, I have changes tomorrow. I am the new financial secretary. The senior couple that is in charge of it right now ends their mission soon, so I have a few weeks with him training me and then sometime in September I am on my own. It should be cool though with the guy that does it now. He is some weather man or something in Minnesota that is pretty famous from what I have heard. He is a really, really smart guy though, should be cool learning from him. It was really humbling when I talked to President about it. He said some really cool compliments to me and it was nice to know what he thinks about Elder Morrow. I am still kind of freaking out about it though. I feel like there is a fine line between financial secretary and excommunication. Just kidding, I know they probably wouldn't do anything if I messed anything up. It would just be a huge headache. It will probably make the transition to the home not as hard though. It will probably be lots of phone calls and computer work, not something I am super used to right now. 

All I know though is I have my own office, and it has carpet. I am going to buy some slip on church shoes and take full advantage of having carpet. It has been since the MTC that my feet have touched carpet. I am going to claw my toes into that carpet all day like a cat. Ahhhhh. 

The other thing that is a little different that the Pdays are on Saturday for the office. So you will be sure and have to write me before Saturday morning. We went to a zone leader conference this week and my replacement was there. So we have been in trio this whole week and that's been pretty fun. It's this kid that was in my zone in Toto, he is a stud. He reminds me so much of Dan Lacey. He is a really, really fun kid. I am still here in my area but its been hard. I hate when you know that you have changes, it makes it super hard to focus on your area. I am leaving here with three baptismal dates for this month, so I can still feel good about that. That's whats new in mission life though.

 I can't believe it's coming to the countdown though for Dayoung. Have they picked a name yet? Every week y'all refer to him as some other kind of name, usually something racist on Dad's part too haha. As for the temple film, that is news for me. I have only been able to go to the temple once my whole mission. So my last day will proabably be the next time I get to go. Should be cool though, I had no idea. 

Anyways, tomorrow in the morning I am out, write me before Saturday since I will probably have double Pday this week. I love you guys, have a good week.


Thursday, August 1, 2013


Hey Mom,

Those photos look amazing. San Francisco looks really nice, the only thing that I am not a huge fan of there are the people. They are kind of the odd city of the states. Things are good here in Huehue.  It has seemed to have taken a break from the rain season, it's back to being hot again. Some days I feel like my shoes are going to melt onto the road it’s so hot. My tan lines are getting pretty serious. Like when I take off my watch my arm is black with this little white line, but its really, really defined. 

This week our zone pretty much all got e changed out. We had one companionship, a trainer and his son, that they both had bought tablets, like i-pads, and were just sitting in the house being bums. 

There was another sister missionary who they caught talking to her boyfriend, who is also here in Guate as a missionary, on the telephone. And lastly some members had taken pictures of some missionaries that had gone to the state fair on a Sunday and were going on the rides and stuff. Missionary clothes and all. 

It’s seriously just kind of disappointing when missionaries do stuff like that. As a leader it's ugly because we are the ones who have to go and take care of all the problems, figure out who is going to go where, how they are going to get there, what are we going to do with this stuff, it's super frustrating. But more than anything it kills me because people don’t see how badly it affects the work. I don’t know why people think they can just do whatever they want and expect that the Lord will still help them. Like how can you be guided to the right person if your thinking about the new game you just downloaded on your new tablet? The paradox of that almost leaves me with a sick feeling in my stomach because they just waste their time. All the good things they could be doing or could have done in their mission goes undone. Even if you are trying and you don’t baptize, at least your trying. 

But if the reason you don’t do what your supposed to is because you can put off the natural man, even for two short years, how can you expect to put it off in the future? I was talking to my comp about it and he was saying, if you can’t even follow mission rules, how do you think that one-day you would be able to live Celestial rules? Not to go all Peter Priesthood on everyone, but that’s ridiculous. The mission rules are so simple. There is no wiggle room or space for interpretation. Those are the easiest kind of rules to follow because everything is defined. You can do this, you cant do that. And if you can't even follow that kind of rule, you won't be capable of following rules when they get a little more grey in between the lines. 

One of my personal favorite scripture chains is Moses 1:39 to DC 11:20. God’s work and glory is to allow us to become like him. Our work is to actually become like him, by being like him. Acting as he would. Things like this have happened a lot during my time as a zone leader and its disappointing more than anything. You want to hope and expect that all missionaries are great, that they follow all the rules and do what they should, but when they don’t, it’s hard. 

That was the sad theme of the week. At least nobody kicked us out of their house with a monkey wrench though. Always a bonus when that doesn’t happen. We did put a baptismal date with one of our investigators last night though, that was also really cool. He is a fireman and has serious alcohol issues. We have taught him off and on for quite a while, but he hasn’t made a whole lot of progress. But either way last night he told us he wants to make a change in his life and thinks that being baptized would be the place to start. I was just kind of shocked, he didn’t seem that interested, but either way, we just need him to stop binge drinking. 

Today we went paca shopping. There is this huge store called Megapaca that is basically all the stuff from DI that they don’t sell, they ship it down here and sell it. It’s just a huge thrift store, but today I got a sweet new Tommy Hilfiger tie and a copy of the Book of Mormon Institute Manual in English. It's funny because they always have copies of the Ensigns and everything in English from the church for sale, like who in this country would buy any of that stuff other than missionaries? 

But, that’s about all the news for the week. I love you all and hope you have a great week.