Monday, February 29, 2016

                                                                       At Leadership Training


 Happy leap year!

I just remembered that the Olympics are this year. 

Biggest news from this week is that we saw LUCY!!  about a month ago, she told us that she was checking into rehab.  We texted her a few days later, and a few weeks after that, but she never replied, so we assumed that she was in rehab like she said.  But on Thursday night, we saw that her lights were on.  So we went there and she was home!  Turns out insurance wouldn't cover rehab, so she's been home for the last 3 weeks. Since she lives alone, and now the only person that used to be helping her has now cut her off, so trying to get clean is a huge and overwhelming task.   We are trying to help her as much as possible.  We are getting her rides to recovery meetings every day from people in the ward, and we are trying to visit her every day to check up on her, make sure she's okay, and to just help her feel God's presence in her life in these dark times.  Addiction is a horrible thing, my friends. If you or anyone you know of anyone who is struggling with any kind of addiction, please go to the Addiction Recovery Program website .  Please pray for Lucy.  The withdraws are tough, and especially where she's living alone, she needs to feel the presence of God as much as she can.   The great thing is that one of our other investigators, Reagan, is in that same ward, and Reagan has volunteered to help Lucy out in whatever way she can. So by serving, they'll both be coming closer to Christ.  God bless these wonderful people who sacrifice their time to help someone in need. 

We are still working with Sara.  Sweet girl. She is so ready for baptism.  Just wants to tell her parents first, and then she'll be on her way to a solid baptismal date. 

I love the Lord so much. I love this work so much.  The panic of going home hasn't quite set in yet, but I can feel the dread approaching.  Not the dread of going home, per say, but just the dread of not being a missionary anymore.  I love seeing this name tag upon my chest every day.  I love the sacred calling with which I have had the privilege to represent the Savior.  I love the people that I have been able to help come unto Christ.  I will miss having a reason to walk up to a random stranger and talk to them about Jesus.  I will miss this life a lot.  But I know that moving forward is important, and I will constantly strive to do so. 

Also, I am old as of this Sunday.  Older woman

I saw a baby this week. I can't wait to hold a baby.  

Love you all so much! 
God Bless,
Sister MorelandHeavy black heart 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Heyyy Everybodayy!

All is well in Poky! We are teaching lots.  We taught Abe again, a fairly new investigator from Saudi Arabia. Unlike M. and A., Abe is pretty active in his faith.  But he is very interested in Christianity.  He watches Youtube videos about Christ all the time.  Haha probably not the best resource, because he's getting kind of confused with all the doctrine about the Trinity that those youtube videos talk about.  We referred him to and Bible videos and such.

A kid that is a member of the church, Ammon, came with us to teach Abe.  We have been working with Ammon for a long time.  Re-teaching him the principles of the gospel, reading the Book of Mormon with him, etc.  He has one of the shortest attention spans I have ever seen in a young adult.  So it was really weird but really neat to have him come to someone else's lesson with us--- it was a whole different side of Ammon. He was teaching and testifying, which is pretty unlike him. He is getting the missionary bug! :)) 

So funny story--we were out proselyting with one of our recent converts, Kiah.  We had just parked on the corner of a neighborhood street and a busy street.  We started to get out of the car to knock on his house when all of a sudden we see quite an interesting sight:  A minivan drives down the main street with its sliding backseat doors wide open. And on top of this minivan is a man laying on his stomach holding on to the top of the car, wearing nothing but boxers and a fake white beard and hairpiece.  Wat.  We just sat there in silence for a split second after it had driven by, then burst out laughing.  What did we just see?!?  Hahaha.  Kiah just said, "Yep. That's Pocatello for you."   Ohhhhhh college towns.  Ha it was pretty funny.

We had a missionary fireside yesterday.  And the turnout was almost 1/2 young single adults from our Stake.  I LOVE SERVING IN SINGLES WARDS. They just come to stuff. It's fantastic.  And they bring their friends and roommates!!  We had 4 investigators there, which is more than I've ever had at one fireside at one time.  The speakers were all very good, so it was a powerful one for them to come to. 
God led us to a couple people this week.  We went to an apartment complex to see this guy we had set up a lesson with.  Unfortunately, he was not home for our scheduled appointment. So we simply turned around and knocked on the door directly behind us.  In it was a guy named Tyson.  He was super nice, grew up Christian, and said he'd love to learn more about the Book of Mormon.  He also said to us, "I've got a roommate that would probably think this is pretty interesting, too. I'll see if he can be here when you come again."   uh, yeah, that would be great!!  Seriously God never ceases to amaze me, to show how much he loves us, and to show his hand in this work.  The fact that we were right at the right place when the rest of that apartment complex is full of people who just do not want to hear what we have to say.  I have gotten so many "The Church is true" moments in the last month.  It really is. It all makes sense.  The spirit it real.  I feel it every day.

I love you all so much!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, February 15, 2016

Another windy day in Pocatello!

Most of the week was pretty chill, but Saturday was crazy!  We had appointment after appointment, which is always great!  A little stressful--especially when you're trying to get to all of them on time--but great.  Also on Saturday, President Hancock sent us on another secret mission!  To get Sister Hancock a Valentine's Day Gift for him while he was at a meeting in Rexburg.  I think we accomplished the mission pretty well with a dozen roses and two boxes of chocolates.  

We are teaching Trey, a Christian guy who lives with a returned missionary.  They've had lots of conversations about faith and about the Church.  Trey seems like he doesn't really want the Book of Mormon to be true...he even told us that he hopes that it isn't true.  We are trying to help him see that it wouldn't contradict everything he's ever been taught or prove wrong anything he already knows.  It just supports the Bible and testifies of Christ! Well, we're hoping he will come around. We are really praying that he will receive an answer that it is true.  

We have a fairly new investigator, Sarah, that is praying about baptism!  She has been reading the Book of Mormon for a couple months now and is in Mosiah.  Although she has a desire to follow Christ and put forth the commitment to do so, she has some fears (what family and friends will think, etc.)  but she told us that she knows she just needs to pray to be able to have courage and get past the fears!

Sister Gilbert's sister just found out she's pregnant, so Sister Gilbert has been really excited all week about becoming an aunt.  Sister Gilbert is also excited about her goats back home that are having babies.  Sister Gilbert really likes goats. Hahaha I love her so much.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and remembered the love that Christ had for you, especially since it was a Valentine's Sabbath Day!  

"For God so loved the world,o that he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  -John 3:16 

God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, February 8, 2016

                                                                                Mikayla's Baptism

                                                                  Going on Splits with other Sisters
Hey hey everybodyyyyy!

Well, last week we visited Lucy, a girl we were working with that has a heroin addiction.  She had been clean for almost 40 days. By herself. It was incredible.  We went and saw her on Friday, and almost as soon as she opened the door I could tell that she had relapsed.  She was jittery and looked like she had been crying.  She told us how she was struggling.  We gave her words of encouragement, assuring her that God still loves her and that she shouldn't give up, that this was just one little setback, not a complete failure.  Last Wednesday she admitted herself to rehab.  Please keep her in your prayers. 

I signed up for classes at BYU last week. Hooray. Let the stress of being a normal college student begin.

We gave a Zone Training this week on "the heart."  It was interesting, there were several different talks given at MLC (mission Leadership Council) and me and sister Gilbert and the Zone Leaders (Now Elder Welling and Elder Beck) decided to each train on one of those. One was the Holy Ghost, one was on 'the heart', one was 'teach repentance baptize converts", a theme from the missionary devotional.  All pretty different topics. But it was so weird how during Zone Training, all of the trainings took a turn in a way where there was one consistent theme running through all of them---personal conversion. Every single one.  I am thoroughly convinced that the Holy Ghost led all of us as we were training to say what our Zone needed to hear. 

Had a lesson with M. and A. this week. A returned missionary from Nigeria, John, also accompanied us. It was such a sweet lesson. A. gave the opening prayer (in Arabic as usual) and I asked him, out of curiosity, what he had said in his prayer. He responded "I pray that my chest will be open."  M. laughed.  But we understood that he meant an "open heart".  Haha languages are so funny. It was cute.  After asking A. about his reading of the Book of Mormon, he said "mmm I didn't really read much...just 18 pages".  Um. woah.  If only he knew, most of our American investigators don't read even half that in one week!  These guys are awesome.  

So this week, MIKAYLA GOT BAPTIZED!  Her baptism was on Saturday, and it was a wonderful service.  But man planning for baptisms is sooo stressful. Like so stressful.  They had to go and 'practice' how to be positioned when being baptized about 2 minutes before we were supposed to start, there was confusion as to when the musical number was happening, and right as the program began, I suddenly remembered that we forgot to let our neighbor's dog out like she's asked us to! yikes.  Talk about putting you on edge.  haha.  But the spirit was strong and the happiness I felt as Mikayla entered the waters of baptism quickly melted away my stress.  As soon as she came up out of the water, she said loudly, "I can't hear anything."  Haha classic Mikayla.  She is so funny.  

Well, I hope you all had a great week and were able to feel the spirit as strong as I was!  I have had several experiences these past few weeks where the confirming power of the Holy Ghost settles upon me and I just think, "It's true. It's all true."  Me and Sister Gilbert joke around that sometimes this prompting is just so inevitably strong, it just makes us want to stand up, turn over a nearby table and exclaim, "The Church is True!"  

God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Me, sister Gilbert, Sister Hoffman, and Sister Clark!
Mikayla's baptism---her real personality
A decent picture at Mikayla's baptism (the only one out of 10 where she's not making a face)

Monday, February 1, 2016

                                                   Giving away homemade hot cocoa on campus

This week was transfers. The new missionaries came in on Wednesday, and that same day we went and set up a booth on ISU campus and gave away free hot chocolate (homemade of course!) to advertise for the institute! Hopefully people will attend institute classes and stuff because of it.  We go to the mission prep class occasionally if something in our plans falls through.  The teacher likes to use us as example and have us help with role plays, so that's fun. 

I just signed up for classes. Bleh.  I hope I won't be too stressed...I'm taking the max amount of credit hours that you can take for a spring/summer term---9 hours.  Hopefully it won't be too bad. I'll just have to make sure I focus on school and don't have too much fun! haha.  

So what have y'all been up to?  Anything fun or interesting this week? OH! also, yesterday I got a text message from a less active lady in my last area, St. Anthony, and she wanted to tell me that her kids are getting baptized!!! And she wants me to come <3  I am really sad though because I'm probably not gonna be permitted to go since St. Anthony is pretty far from Pocatello.  I'm really excited for them though! It will be a great experience for them.

The reality of the next 6 weeks is starting to loom over me.  The worst part of it is, though, that I'm getting excited.  I think it's just because transfers were this week, so I'm starting to realize that I only have 6 more weeks left.  I think once we get back into our normal swing of things, I'll forget about it and just go back to being completely focused.  The fact that I've been signing up for classes doesn't help though. Hahaha.  

We had a few really good lessons this week--the kind that just make my heart soar.  There is a girl that we started teaching named Reagan, and she's just crusin' on through. One of those people that is just going through the ideal "progression".  She has a member friend that she lives with and comes to church with.  We've taught her every week, she's reading the Book of Mormon and keeping commitments to pray.  We asked her about baptism, she wants to learn more.  Each week she progresses a little bit more.  Just slowly growing in her faith, she's kind of the ideal progressing investigator.  Learning a bit at a time, not wanting to rush into baptism, but definitely open to it. It's been great getting to know her. 

I love you guys so much.  You are the ones who have influenced me most in my life and I am so grateful for the love and support that I feel from you and from your prayers.  I love you so much!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, January 25, 2016

                                                        Playing Capture the Flag with Singles Ward


Have I mentioned that?  Well I do.

So transfer calls were this week......we are both SAFE! Whew! I am so happy. I get to finish in Pocatello YSA! And with Sister Gilbert! It's gonna be great. 

So first of all, Friday was the institute opening social, and we invited everyone we met this week!  A few non-members and less actives came, so we got to go, too!  So guess what kind of activity it was?  A nerf-gun capture the flag war!  It was so much fun. The singles there thought it was pretty funny/weird to see sister missionaries in pants being really intensely competitive with capture the flag.  Haha tons of fun.

So we met with Ali this week. Remember him?  He is from Saudi Arabia and we've been seeing him for a couple months now.  Well this week, Ali told us that his friend/roommate found the Arabic Book of Mormon that we gave him in Ali's backpack.  The roommate asked Ali about it, and Ali started telling him about Jesus Christ, about how to pray, and about the Holy Ghost.  Ali told us that he wants to bring this roommate to our next lesson!  So 3 days later, we met with both Ali and his roommate, who's name is Mohammed (haha Mohammed Ali).   The only way that I can describe him to you is that his soul is simply hungering for the gospel.  It is amazing.  We were just teaching very simply about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.  He interrupted with questions about the extent of God's forgiveness. He expressed his feeling of lack of direction and purpose in his life as of late.  He expressed a desire to have the feelings that Ali talked about. He told us he wanted to feel close to God.  His soul simply hungers.  And Ali basically bore testimony of the things that we had been teaching him the last few months.  He expressed to Mohommed what reading the Book of Mormon has done for him.  He told him how being closer to Jesus Christ has helped him feel peace.  We are so excited for both of them.  And they both came to church together yesterday!!! 

We received a referral from a set of Elders this week.  The Elders met this guy outside of his house one day, and it turns out he's a young single adult.  He is also from Saudi Arabia. He was interested in learning more about Jesus Christ, so the Elders told us where he was at and went and saw him. His name is Abraham.  Although he grew up Muslim, he's been watching Youtube videos on Christianity lately, and he has a lot of questions about it.  We had to clear up a lot of misconceptions he had gotten from these Christian videos, including misunderstandings about the Trinity and of Grace.  He's got great doctrinal curiosity!  He didn't come to church like we invited him to.  But he was surprised when we gave him a Book of Mormon in the Arabic language.  He expressed that he truly wants to know if Jesus was really more than just a prophet.  When Saudi Arabia opens the doors of their country to missionary work, that place is going to just go crazy with baptisms.  I love these people.  I love single adults!  I AM SO GLAD THAT I AM STAYING HERE!

Also, I lost my planner this morning. That's like the 783rd time this month.  

Love you all so much!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, January 18, 2016



It's all good though. It's a good thing. We went on splits 3 times this week because we had too many appointment and not enough time to cover them all.  Plus, we went on exchanges with two sets of sisters this week, so half of what happened this week is in my brain and the other half of what happened this week is in Sister Gilbert's.  Whew.  I've never been away from my companion this much in one week! 

Okay let's start with exchanges.  Exchanges went really well.  On Tuesday I went with Sister Archer to her area in North Pocatello.  It was fun and we met some new people for them to teach.  Then, on Friday, Sister Leon joined me in our area!  It was so great to get to catch up with a past companion. She seems to be doing well. She's grown a lot since I've been companions with her (about 7 months ago). She is confident and teaches really well! She is doing Spanish work this transfer, which has been really tough for her because she doesn't speak that much Spanish at all.  But she's learning!

Now, the new investigators found.  So we were on splits.  Sister Gilbert was with one girl and was proselyting in one ward, and I was with these two girls who are seniors in highschool and we went to a different ward.  We were trying to find this one apartment complex on this one-way street, but we kept missing it somehow so had to drive around the block like 3 times.  Finally, I saw the right apartment complex and exclaimed to them, "Oh! There it is!" We pulled over, got out of the car, and as we walked up to it I realized, oh...this is not the right apartment complex. But I didn't tell them because I didn't want to have to make them drive around the block again!  So instead we just went to this random complex where I knew nobody and for which we had no referrals.  We just sorta knocked on a random door and nobody was home.  Well. Now what? So I did some "apartment profiling", and we knocked on a door that had Indian writing on it.  Voila! Two Indian girls opened up and invited us in!  They were really nice and have a belief in God. They have felt peace in their life because of Him, but are willing to learn more about Jesus Christ, about whom they know very little.  They accepted a return appointment and we are super excited to see them this Friday!!

Thanks so much for all the love and well-wishes! Love you all!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland