Monday, July 2, 2012

June 27, 2012


So I was able to upload some photos before zone conference at the senior sisters apartment. It was so great to go back to San Pablo! It kinda felt like I was going home. I cried a little and I don't even want to think about what it is going to be like when I come home to my real home. I might be just a tad emotional. :)

Zone conference was so so great. It gets better each time we have it I think. Sister Peterson is SO WONDERFUL! Karen told me to love my mission president's wife the most and it really isn't hard to do. She gave an AMAZING talk about giving our all and charity. She started by talking about the things we might be holding onto that are keeping us from grasping the iron rod with both hands. And that we need to let go of somethings and just give our whole hearts to service. Then she said something that really hit me and I don;t even remember the context of it but she said, "It's not because we don't have faith in God, it's because we don't faith in ourselves." I have thought a lot about this statement over the last few days. I have faith in God, but I struggle a lot having faith in myself. Believing that I can accomplish all that is required of me and not feeling inadequate is usually a daily struggle. Missionary work is hard. Being a latter-day saint is hard. Choosing to live the right way almost always requires more work, but it is worth it. I love Elder Holland and how he says salvation isn't easy, it wasn't ever easy for the Savior so why should it be easy for us? (or something close to that...) Being here in the Philippines on a mission I have learned so much about the purpose of life. It really is just to grow and learn and try our best to become more Christ like and return to our Heavenly Father, with our families. And the way we do it is through Jesus Christ. That's the basics and when I focus on that and helping others to realize that, everything is crystal clear to me. I am so grateful for this mission. The more I learn the more I realize I will never be able to give back what has been given to me.

| love you all and thank you all so much for your support!


Sister Morton

#1- My favorite family from San Pablo- Bishop Guerra (the one who past away a couple of weeks ago) is on the left
#2- View of Bundok (mountain) Makiling from Alligator Lake..... No one can tell me if there are actually alligators in it.....

#3- View of Makiling from my area in San Pablo. I always wondered what was on the other side.... it's CALAMBA!

#4- Zone P-day: Hiking to Mud Springs on Makiling- This is the jungle I spoke of in an earlier email


#6- Inside a jeepney- the little hanging sign is how you know where it's going

#7-Coolest location of a basketball court I have seen so far

#8- Mud Springs- Smells like Yellowstone in the jungle. Makiling is an inactive volcano=hot springs

#9- One of the poorer parts of my area- You would never guess there is a huge mall just a five minute walk away.

#10- UNGGOY!

#11- JP Rizal Statue, Pinoy National Hero- He was born in Calamba and this statue is near our apartment.

#12- I'm obsessed with clouds and sunsets....ESPECIALLY here in the Pines! SOBRANG MAGANDA!!!

#13- Jayson.... He LOVES me! Ha ha. The first time I came into the area he grabbed my hand and walked me to our LA's house that he lives by and he does it whenever he sees me coming. So CUTE!!!

#14- So we have a little entry area that has a gate with a big lock on it. So when you lock your keys in the house you can't unlock the gate lock. I told my comp we were like zoo animals and she started acting the part :) It was funny for the first 30 minutes of our two hour captivity while waiting for the zone leaders to come.

#15- Elder and Sister Fleming from the MRC- So sweet!

#16- Lake Laguna

#17- MANILA TEMPLE! I hope I get a chance to go in before I go home!!!!
THERE were no photos attached to email, sorry!

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 11, 2012

SO.... I am SO TIRED right now. So hopefully I will make sense, especially since I feel like my english is taking a turn for the worst. Not that my Tagalog is getting any better though. Hopefully I won't come home talking like a caveman, not knowing tag or english. for reals.... ha ha. We had zone P-day today and we hiked a MOUNTAIN. It didn't seem like we did that much but sitting in this dark little internet shop I am about to fall asleep. :) The hike was so PRETTY!!!! Really a year ago I was hiking around the desert by the green river and today I was hiking in the jungle. I kept having to remind myself that I wasn't in a movie set, and that the "tarzan" vines hanging from the trees were REAL. It was so cool. I would upload some pics but I don't trust the internet shop computers... i'll have to figure out a way to upload some without worrying about losing them. :)

I think I have already mentioned this is probably more than one of my previous emails but it has been so apparent this week I can;t help but talk about it again. God has a plan that is perfectly designed for each one of us. Seriously. It is so crazy to me how I have seen things that I had no idea how they would turn out, but then looking back it was PERFECT. I am learning more each and everyday that everything we face, every hardship, challenge, trial, disappointment and whatever else that doesn't go the way we hope or expect is just an opportunity to grow and become better- if we let it, actually if we choose to let it. I know that as I have tried to put my faith in the fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for how He wants me to turn out- which I know is far better than what I can make of myself- and I rely on Christ to help me through I have grown and been SO BLESSED. Trials are just blessings, sometimes disguised as something we don't feel we can handle or feel like we deserve but if we use our trials to become stronger than we were before we realize after all is said and done it was a blessing. This has happened SO many times on my mission so far. I really don't feel like I deserve all of these blessings and everything I have been blessed with, especially with such a great family and great friends. I hope you all know how grateful I am for each of you!

I received some sad news this week. The Bishop from my first ward, Bishop Guerra (who I love and got super close with his family) had a heart attack and past away last sunday. I was so sad! This life is so short and we really don't know what will happen tomorrow. We were talking to a couple of members when I got the news and a butterfly flew by and they said that if you see butterflies when someone dies it is special. Which is crazy because every time I see a butterfly I just think of Hollie :)

I love you all and I hope that everyday is a happy one even though there are challenges and trials.


Sister Morchan- Yeah they can't pronounce morton very well here in Calamba ;)

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012

This area is a little harder than the last one. There are a lot of perks- laundry shop around the corner from our house, the only burger king AND dairy queen in the entire mission, and easier transportation (I have been taking advantage of all of these ;) Inspite of all these perks, I have cried a few times after lessons we have had this week. One in particular was really hard.

We had been teaching an investigator who was pregnant and has a 2 year old. Her husband and mother in law who lives with them are not active members and the husband is gone for most of the week working in another city. They all live in a little shack that is probably 10x8 feet with a little cooking area offset. So The new baby was born last week and we started teaching again this week. It was raining pretty hard when we got there. We went in and started teaching. As my companion was talking to them I just looked at this precious new baby laying on the little bamboo bed the whole family shared, that we were all sitting on, and then I looked around at all the cans and bowls sitting on the dirt catching the rain that was coming in from the holes that had rusted through the sheet metal roof. It was so sad, but the people are so so so humble and happy. We are so incredibly lucky to have all the things we have. This sweet sister has been reading the book of mormon and says it helps her. We found out she can't get baptized for another 2 years. It is really expensive to get a divorce, like impossible for this family and she has been married before. The church has a policy here that if you live together for five years you can be considered "married" and get baptized, cut cannot hold a temple recommend until you clear up the first marriage. So sad. I know that the gospel will help these people and we are trying to just help them feel the spirit.

Please remember when you are walking around your house that has a floor and lights and running water how blessed we all are for the things we have and that we have our families.

I love you all so so so much and miss you all like crazy.


Sister Morton

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May 28, 2012

So guess what? It's still crazy hot and I don't have much time again. Weird....

Anyways, things are going much better. I still pray to fall into a pool two or three times a week, but I know the area know and am getting to know the ward, investigators and less actives dito. The ward here is much smaller and has a higher number of less actives than my last area so we have some work to do. It has been really great being able to be teaching more. My Tagalog is definitely getting a little better everyday and since I do a lot more of the teaching than I did in my last area I feel like I am going to be able to build better relationships with the people here.

This transfer will be a challenge but I am grateful for it. I know that it will just cause me to learn the things I need to and I know that everything happens for a reason. I am SO GRATEFUL for the scriptures. I have been learning so many new and amazing things from them. It is crazy how something that you have read a bunch of times can teach you something new eveytime you need some answers.

I love you all!!!!

Sister Morton

May 21, 2012

So I transferred! To a bigger city than san pab!I am now in Calamba which is just over the mountain from my old area and it couldn't be hotter here and the city is filled with resorts aka the most tempting pools I have ever seen. Haha it's kinda ridiculous. I am still adjusting. I am follow up training and it is a little overwhelming trying to figure everything out from almost scratch. :) I think/hope the hardest part is over though. I most definately will be better at tagalog by the end of this transfer so that will be a blessing.

Sorry this is so short! I will fill you in on more details!!!


Sister Morton

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 14, 2012

Happy mother's day everyone!!!!

It was SO GREAT to be able to talk to my family!!!! I cannot believe it has been 5 months since I spoke with them at Christmas! Time is going by so fast.

So the big news for the week is that I am being TRANSFERRED!!! My first transfer! I have been in San Pablo third ward for my whole mission so I am excited to see a new area. I am actually kind of shocked because Sister Rombaoa just went home and I was going to be the senior in the area so now there will be two new missionaries in my area. I am excited to get to meet some new people!! and maybe even get to see the ocean!!!! Ha ha.

I love being a missionary and all of the crazy, great and spiritual experiences I have had packed into just seven short months. I really could not be learning the things that I am in any other way. Missions are great and even though I miss all of you terribly I don't want to come home. I know I need to cherish every moment I have here because it will never happen again and it is going by faster and faster everyday. Like I'm sure most of you moms feel about all of your kids. :)


Sister Morton

May 7, 2012

So not too much to report on this past week. Church was GREAT and we have a couple of great investigators who came to church and have accepted baptismal goal dates! Super exciting!!!! Hopefully they will continue to follow through on their commitments and continue to progress in their faith.

In other news... This is my last week with Sister Rombaoa. Crazy. I will have a temporary companion next week and then will have a new companion a week from friday. Time goes by really fast when you are helping a companion pack almost every transfer. Ha ha. I am sad she is leaving. We have been teaching really well together and I have learned a TON of tagalog from her. And she makes me laugh- Today while walking through the bayan (downtown in San Pab) I saw my first giant rat, well first giant rat that wasn't smashed on the road.... and I said to Sister R "Sister TINGAN MO!" She turned and saw it and said, with absolutely no Pinay accent "Oh sick" Ha ha, Ok it's probably just funny to me because I am the one who always says "oh sick" (because there are a lot of things her that make me say it) and the way she said it was like hearing myself. So we have been together long enough for her to pick that up :)

SO on to the doktor doesn't = doctor story. I was pretty sick last week, don't worry mom i'm better now :) I had to go to the doctor, I mean doktor (doctor in Tagalog... no really if you say doctor they don't really understand you. You have to say doktor and roll the r a little. Just ask Sister Gallagher ;) I had a sore throat, ears, bad cough and head ache and then on thursday morning whatever I had spread to my eyes (they were SO red) and I decided it was time to go to the doktor. So we went and waited on a little bench. I layed my head on Sister R's lap, her whole lap and then my legs dangled, ok they were touching the ground but you get the point, over the armrest on the other side of the bench for the 2 hours we had to wait in the OUTDOORish waiting room. Then I went in to see the doktor. I sat down and told him my symptoms. He said it was because of the change in weather, it's super SUPER hot for a few days and then will rain like crazy for a day. So then he said it's probably a bacterial infection and I should go buy antibiotics and then he told me that I should stay in a room with air con and watch tv AND not to go walking anywhere especially in the sun or the rain (the only two kinds of weather here in the Pines) Ha ha, I just kept thinking well most those things are not really an option so antibiotics and priesthood blessing it is. Luckily the elders were able to give me a blessing that night and I bought some super expensive antibiotics. I am feeling much better now, still a little week but MUCH better. I actually like going to the doktor because I always have a fun story to tell afterward. HA!


Sister Morton