Thursday, September 26, 2013

Got Pork???

Sept 23, 2013

To those left out of the greatest adventure ever....
ALOHAAAA!!!!!! Oh the perks of having a Samoan bishop. :)
Well everyone, after this email y'all are going to be wondering if somehow good ol' Sister Morris who is serving in the depths of the Eastern-South somehow got transferred to Hawaii. DO NOT WORRY. I am still here. BUT, this week we had our Stake Luau and it was AWESOME!!!!! Anyways, I am getting ahead of myself as that was on lets back it on up here.
I hate to start a letter off on a bad note....but I have some bad news....I AM SISTER JOB. I have gotten an illness every stinking week I have got here, and I have about had enough of it. What is it this week you ask? Drum roll please....SALMONELLA!!! It's not a fun one. Trust me. I have had it since Friday night-and they say that it will last till about early next week. And by last I mean the throwing up, fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. BUT! Does that stop good ol' Sister Morris!!! NO SIR! Have I stayed in ANY of those days??? NO SIR! Do I plan on coming home? NO SIR! Do I want to?? NO SIR. Does President just laugh at me and call me the 7 illness sister? YES SIR. Does he love me and laugh at me all the time? YES SIR! Did he promise me he wouldn't send me home as long as I wanted to be here because I have shown him what a hard worker I am? YES SIR! Anyway, onto bigger and better stories!
On Wednesday we had our New Missionary Meeting so we had to drive in to Fredrick (about an hour away). We didn't know how long it would take us to get there so we asked the senior couple in our ward. This was NOT a good idea. They informed us that it would take an hour and a half. So, as responsible Sister Missionaries do, we left 2 hours early...and arrived an hour early. SO, as REALLY responsible Sister Missionaries do, we stopped into McDonald's to get some breakfast. As Sister Boman drove around the building she asks, "Do you want to go in or just the drive-thru?" Which I quickly responded with, "We have time, let's just go in." At this point we are driving right up to the speaker and hear the lady say, "Welcome to McDonald's, what can I get ya'll?"
Now, any normal person would just stop the car and say, "Sorry we decided to come in, thanks though!" BUT, Sister Boman is not a normal person. Neither am I, hence the reason we are best friends. So, what does she say you ask?
~Car continues to roll past the window as you see a young, vivacious dark-haired beauty stick her head out of the window comparable to a scene from the T.V. show Psych~
(We have determined we are Shawn and Gus. OF COURSE I AM GUS.)
As we roll past the window Sister Boman yells out, "TRICKED YA!!!!!!"
Yes. We are Sister Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Pray for us. When we finally stop laughing our guts out, we go dared to go inside and enjoy a delicious meal. The meeting was awesome and I able to see a lot of my MTC district friends that I have seriously missed so much. Especially Sister Chavez who looked adorable as ever.

Then that night we went and saw the B/H family who we just love and adore.

Sister Boman, Me and A, she was baptized the week before I arrived in Hancock.

The rest of the week we really just prepared for our Stake Luau! Now, things here are not like things in Utah. When you do a Stake activity, the whole stake doesn't really help, haha it's mostly just the ward that is put in charge. Now, whose ward do you think that would be? Of course, mine. So the H family (Now keep track here....) Who are the bishop's (Ah-Loe) parents-in-law and who is really President H (1st councilor in the Stake Presidency) were in charge for almost the whole thing. So we got to spend a lot of our week with the family putting together the food. OK. If you would have told me that I would be wrapping a pig in banana leaves, and stuffing it in pillow cases, then putting it in a big pit to cook during my mission, I would have laughed. BUT ALAS I DID! It was awesome. After a hectic night, the food was all prepared and all the meat was in the pit ready to cook and get pulled out the next day.
Well, the next day(the day of the luau) rolled around and as always the H family pulled open the pit and checked the meat....IT DIDN'T COOK. Here we were with over 40 things of pork, and not one of them were cooked. We called every member of the ward and started sticking pigs into ovens spread over 3 states! Luckily, I can say that all piggies were cooked and the meat was delicious. There was lots of fun, dancing, and even a special treat from the Elders (Elder Matthews, Dunn, White, and Senior Couple Elder and Sister Dittman) in our ward who preformed the Hauka!!! It was so awesome!

You guys, it's so stinkin' great out here. Life is great, my companion is great, and the gospel is SO FLIPPING GREAT! Don't ever forget that!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Morris

Favorite Quote: "If with every action we took we thought: 'Is this going to effect my eternal perspective?' There would be a lot less hurt in our hearts."

Favorite Moment: a little background....Sherry (Scary Sherry, Bianca is toast, Psych fans) is our 2012 red Corolla. Yes, we named our car. You wish you were as cool as us.
*Right after we washed the car*

Sister Boman: "Sherry, you're looking goooooooood."

Sister Morris: "Seriously, Sherry. If I were a boy Corolla I'd go: VROOM-VROOM."

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Sometimes God brings us to the lows of lows, so that he can lift us higher."

Sept 16, 2013


Yes, I am becoming a hillbilly. I never thought the day would come, but here it is. Am I terrified that I now speak with a southern twang and use words like "ya'll" and say things like, "Let me alone!"? Yes. Do I care? No. I fit in here. haha! I know that I say this every single week....but I cannot believe another week has gone by! It always seems like I get to Friday and go, "Wait....wasn't it just Monday?" oh, the joys of being a missionary.

Well friends, let me tell you something. Missions are hard. I don't just mean yard work for 4 hours hard, or even an 8 hour shift at the hospital hard. I mean HARD. Everyday my alarm goes off, and I swear I just crawled into bed. I fall into the car after every stop we make, and I pray that I make it to the next day, and somehow I always do. These first few weeks in the mission have been some of the hardest times in my life. I have had a sinus infection, a REALLY bad case of poison Ivy/Sumac (see picture below), and back issues.... my Mission President has started to call me "Sister Job". hahaha He's the greatest. The stress had gotten to me on Friday, and I was ready to jump on a plane back to Utah. BUT miracles happen my friends. I testify that they do.

After a mental breakdown on Friday, our Sister training leaders called to inform us that we were going to be going on exchanges the next day for 48 hours. If you don't know what an exchange is, it is when two companionship switch one companion for another for 48 hours.  I went out to Martinsburg, WV and served with Sister Swisher! She is amazing!! I love her to death. I had already known quite a bit about her because I stalked her blog...yeah I know I am a major creeper.....she got over it. haha ;) But really we taught 9 lessons in 1 day!!! Can you believe that?! Well you should because it really happened. At one of the houses a woman stopped me in mid-sentence and said, "Sister Morris, how do you know that what you are telling me is true?" WOWIE. Talk about a good question! I thought for a second, and replied with something like this: "Sister S, I know that this gospel is true. I feel it every second of everyday." I proceeded to tell her of the "adventures" I have gone through out here, and finished with, "I know that my Heavenly Father would never put me through all of this if there wasn't a purpose for me out here. I know that he's there, and I know that he cares."

She looked at me for a very long time. I was scared of the silence....LITERALLY SCARED. ( We all know how well I do with silence....thanks Mom.) But the spirit told me to wait, just wait. So I did what I was told, and I waited. As tears filled her eyes and rolled down her cheek she said to me with a strong yet gentle voice, "You will do more good than you will ever know. Satan has drug you through all he can to get you to quit, because you will change lives. Not just one or two, but lives. Those people you help will find the truth again through you, and there is nothing more terrifying to him than that." Man, did that hit my soul like a ton of bricks. Heavenly Father knew what I needed. He knew what would shake me and say, "Don't give up my child."

Joseph Smith said, "Sometimes God brings us to the lows of lows, so that he can lift us higher." How true is that statement? I hope that someday I can thank my Heavenly Father for the trials he has given me. Not exactly for the poison ivy.....or the back spasms. haha. But for the chance to get dragged so low that the only way to be lifted up off the ground was through him. Everyone, this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a Savior who loves us more than we will ever know. We have a Father that wants nothing more than to hold us in his arms again, and to look at us and say, "Welcome Home."

I love you all and wish many blessings and love to every single one of you! Thank you for all your emails and letters, please be patient with me as I try to write all of you throughout the week!


Sister Morris

Favorite Quote: Used in letter 

"Sometimes God brings us to the lows of lows, so that he can lift us higher."  - Joseph Smith

Favorite Moment:

Sister Swisher singing to the CD:

*Sister Morris turns off the music*

Sister Morris: "Sister you hear that sound? It's like a dying whale...."

Sister Swisher: "I don't hear anything..."

Sister Morris: "Here, let's turn on the music and see if we can hear it again."

Sister Swisher: "AH!! I hate you!! You're fired!"

Here's a picture of some of the poison ivy I got, this is my arm but it is all over....they now think it might be poison sumac because of how large my sores are. This picture seriously doesn't do it justice as this is after 4 days of being on steroids.

We are also now being referred to as the "LDS Girls". Pretty much one of the funniest notes we have gotten so far.

I am so glad that through all the trials she had these past two weeks, she has not lost her sense of humor!! She told us that she even has sores on her face. She is a trooper!!

If you would like to write Sister Morris, her address is
Sister Madison Morris
54B West Main Street
Hancock, MD 21750

Thank you to all who have written and brightened her days. Her emails brighten ours. We are so grateful, may the Lord bless you for your efforts!!
Momma Morris

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Knock on that door, someone's salvation is at stake!!

Hello everyone!

Wow! Another week in Hancock, and another one down. I swear they move fast out here! I can't believe I have already been on my mission for almost a month! It's crazy! I love it out here and am so grateful to be here!!

On Friday we got to go to the D.C. Temple and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! It was a very cool experience for me as I know that most missionaries only get to go once during their missions, and usually it's the day they leave. I felt so blessed to get to go within my first 2 weeks on the mission! It was so amazing and I ached to go inside. I never realized how much I would miss the temple.

First things first....WE ARE HAVING A BAPTISM!!!!!! I'm taking her to the waters, kids!!!!!!! ;) Just kidding, just kidding. Well, kind of.  Her name is H, and she is seriously the sweetest girl ever. She is 14 years old, and has decided that she would like to be baptized! She is an amazing girl, we were able to take her to the temple with us! It was such an amazing experience. We went on a tour with her in the visitors center,  she loved it!  When we  saw the Christus we asked her, "H how do you feel?" She simply responded, "Happy. Really, really happy." It was such a simple answer, but the words meant so much as you could see how much she truly meant it. It's amazing to me to see how much the gospel can change someone's life, how unhappy people are when they don't have it. It makes me feel so blessed to have been born in the covenant and makes me wonder what I did to deserve that blessing.

On the way home from the temple, we hit a bad accident and were stuck on the interstate for about an hour. Let me tell ya....people do not act the way they do in Utah. They ARE NOT CALM.(hahahaha) People were getting out of their cars, just chilling on the side of the road. So, as missionaries do, we got out of the car and took pictures just to say we did it. ;) 

Oh man do I love being a missionary. OH MAN do I love being a missionary in Hancock. We were visiting a woman and her son. As we walked up to the door we saw a creature laying straight on it's back with something weird going on around the stomach we got closer we realized it was a DECAPITATED Snapping Turtle!! It's belly shell had been removed and the guts were hanging out everywhere!! I can't tell you I didn't freak out....because missionaries can't lie....but I will tell you that I ran off that porch faster than a fat kid towards chocolate cake. It was TERRIFYING, but as any missionary knows, YOU STILL KNOCK ON THAT DOOR. That's someone's salvation at stake!!!  We knock and a man answers. After we talk to him about it and what in the heck it was, he decides to make matters worse by showing us how even though it has no head, no heart, or half it's organs, when you touch it.....IT STILL MOVES. Oh it was the freakiest thing EVER. Well kids, I am here to tell you that yes. This did happen. Now, you may be thinking that the old Maddie would just say, "Adios Amigo!" and to tell you the truth, she probably would. BUT, this is the new and improved Sister Morris....and you know what I did? I put my big kid pants on and I made a new investigator out of him! Yes, you read that right!!! I'm unstoppable!!

But in all seriousness, I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the people out here in Hancock, they are SO amazing. They have taught me so much in such a little time, I can't express the amount of love I feel for them. Please know that no matter where you are, or what you are doing, you can change people's lives by sharing the gospel. Even if that is just by allowing the Light of Christ to shine through you by being an example of the believers! Anything is possible! 

I love you all and am so grateful for your continuing support! Keep the faith! 


Sister Morris

Favorite Quote:

"Before you do something OF the world, do something FOR the Lord."

Favorite Moment:
*Background*: The Bishop of this ward is Samoan and wears a skirt on Sundays. He is a great guy and is super funny. He loves me. 

Brother H (Bishop's Father in Law) to Bishop: "Well, we all know who wears the pants in your relationship."

Sister Morris: "Really? Because last time I checked both Bishop and T are wearing skirts."

Bishop: "HEY. It's nice."

(We received a letter from the Mission President asking that we do not use names of individuals on blogs except the missionaries, hence H and A.)

With H on our way back from the Temple
This is her little sister A. She is 8 and is attached to me at the hip. She made me a little scripture bag out of fabric and hand-sewed it. It took her two hours and it meant so much to me

This is my favorite picture of Sister Boman and I :) I seriously love her, and she is my best friend here. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her. Yes I have a cold...
This is our room....OUR APARTMENT IS HUGE!!! It's way too big for the two of us.

The view from our apartment...another shocking one from the dinky camera :)

Bubba and I at the MTC

 This is how I style. It's just too hot during the day to turn down the A/C and too cold in the morning, but we have to be in our church clothing.....I make it work.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Life in Hancock, Maryland. Population 1,500 give or take a few...

Hello Friends!
Wow. Already a week in Maryland! Time sure flies by fast out here. I have been struggling quite a bit, as I fell ill the day before I left for the MTC. I have had to spend a few hours a day sleeping instead of doing the work, and man can I tell you, you feel worse waking up realizing you could have been saving someone's soul. hahaha BUT my companion keeps reminding me that a dead, coughing zombie is not going to convert anyone, so I continue to do what I can and try to recover.
I'm serving in a little town called Hancock, Maryland. The people are so loving and kind, and I am truly starting to love them. Thursday we stopped and chatted with a mother an daughter that live in Pennsylvania. (We are literally 10 minutes away from Penn. and 15 away from West Virginia) Anyways, Molly and Jules are Less Active members that have been away from the church for almost 20 years. We had a nice chat with them and really got Molly to open up to us! They invited us back for dinner, which is a HUGE step in the right direction for them, and we are so excited to see where it goes.
We also had dinner with the Ward family Sunday night. They are an older couple that live on a farm with 400+ Black Angus Cows. Now, as Billy would tell you, these aren't just any cows. They are AWARD WINNING! When we got there Billy was walking out with a cloth wrapped about his hand, and we could tell he was bleeding pretty good. He had cut his hand with a knife and we thought he was just going to get a bandage for it so we went inside. Low and behold he walks in with a plastic glove on the open wound and called it good! It was hilarious to see Sister Boman freaking out about it and trying to convince him to bandage it up.  We ate the hamburgers and to tell you the truth, it's not ALL about the meat, kids. Sure, the award winning cow I ate was great. BUT. Not as good as my Dad's hamburgers but that is my opnion. I'm going to go ahead and say it's all in the preparation. ;)  The Ward family was so kind!
Well, my companion is Sister Boman, and she is seriously an angel sent from on high. This last week has been hard for us because we are trying to walk the fine line between doing the work and letting my body recuperate from being sick. Missions are hard kids, real hard. If you are reading this, before you decide to serve, really think about what you will be doing. A mission is one of the hardest things I have done in my life, but I have learned that it doesn't matter whether or not WE have the strength to do the work, because our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have more than enough. We must rely on him and his grace to carry us forward in the work, and let that be enough.
I am forever grateful for the love of my family and friends, and the prayers that are said in my behalf. I can feel them everyday and thank you for sending them my way. PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING. They help me wake up everyday and press forward in the work.
Sister Morris

Spiritual Thought:
"Sometimes life's moments are about seeing how hard you can get hit, and yet still remain standing."

Funny moment:
Sister Boman (to an investigator): "Read right above where it says, "Alfalfa and Omega."
Me: "RIIIGGGHHHHTTTTTT. Wait....did you just say Alfalfa?"

Hancock is 131 miles north/west of Baltimore, takes 2 1/2 hours to drive there from Baltimore.