Monday, June 29, 2015
HEEEELLLLLLLOOOOOOO to you all (y'all), and a Happy Late Fathers Day!!!
I hope everyone is having a fantastic day in the USofA!! It is currently too hot for my taste but dry heat!
This week has flown by as the last two have as well! And there really isn't much to report on.... :(
Buuuutttt today we had to move out of our residence hall and move into another one...which is newer-ish (i think), bigger, and has way better showers. PRO: it is right next to the gym...CON: it's a farther walk to the cafeteria! but it's way nicer and our room has a perfect view of "Y" Mountain!
So last week i told you all (i think) about the area 70 my companion and I met...well, THANKS TO MY WONDERFUL MOTHER who sent me a lot of Deseret News, I found out what his name is, Larry S. Kacher, and he is the 2nd counselor in the Europe East Area presidency!
Oh and cool story: A lot of new mission presidents are coming in this week for training and the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 are gonna be here too!!!! OMGGGGG!!! And I think a mission president is coming in to teach our class both thursday and friday!!
Soooo a wise man (dad) told me that I should let y'all know how a normal day in the MTC goes:
6:30 wake up
8:30-11:30 class instruction (which consists of language teaching and teaching investigators)
12:15-3:15 class instruction (language teaching, doctrinal class study, and teaching other investigators or TRC which is teaching other people besides our teachers and practicing our language)
3:15:4:30 supplemental hour for studying and preparing lessons for the next day and taking walks around the "outer rim" of the mtc campus so we don't go insane.
4:30 dinner (which is personally think is way to early for dinner but that's just my opinion :) )
5:15-6:15 personal study (our time to study what we are reading in our scriptures and studying what we think is important to our investigators)
6:15-7:15 companion study (where my companion and I come together and discuss what what we learned in personal study and discuss together what we thing our investigators need in their next lessons)
7:15-7:25 our district takes a break and sing a few songs in Tahitian
7:25-8:15 language study (this one is pretty obvious)
8:25-9:15 GYM TIME!
9:25-10:30 quiet/personal time
10:30 LIGHTS OUT
So that's what a normal week in the MTC is like, except for on Tuesdays which are my P-days which is where i get to relax from class instruction, and I get to GO TO THE TEMPLE annnnnnndddddd TAKE A NAP!!!!!!!!! annnnndddddd we get to have an AWESOME DEVOTIONAL by someone. We don't find out who speaks on Tuesday devos until we get there. We are hoping someone from the 12 speaks to us today, because of the whole mission president training going on this week but who knows. Either way it's gonna be pretty sick.
Last Tuesday David F. Evans of the Quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us in the evening devotional. He was so awesome! I lost my notes though which makes me super angry but if i find them I'll definitely tell y'all about his talk. He also recently got called to be an area 70 for West Africa so that's super cool too!
Oh and I love reading all of your emails. and I also love getting packages: sooooooo if you don't want to pay an arm and a leg while I'm still in the country feel free to send my some treats :)
Sister McKenzie Grace Morrill
AUG 10 TAHI-PAP
2007 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84602 :)
Ua here au ia oe!!!!
tata for now
Tuahine, Soeur, Sister Morrill
Ia ora na everyone!
This past week has flown by. I can't believe I've already been here almost 3 weeks!!
Last Tuesday evening we got the opportunity to attend a devotional with Linda K. Burton (the General Relief Society President) as the speaker. Let me just say that I. LOVE. HER. She's so amazing and her knowledge of the gospel is so strong. Before she spoke her husband had the opportunity to speak for a bit. He gave a great analogy about the before and after effects of being a missionary. he called a missionary up to the stand to help him out. He gave this elder his suit coat and told him to put it on...and he said "everyone see...this suit coat does not fit. This suit coat represents your mission. At the beginning of your mission you will most likely have no idea what you're doing here and feel that you won't be able to do it. But as you progress throughout your mission, strengthen your testimony and own conversion...you're suit coat (or sweater) will begin to fit. And by the end of your mission it will almost be busting at the seems." With tears in his eyes he expressed the love he has for every past, present, and future missionary. and finally he said "being released as a missionary will be one of the hardest things you ever go through, but i can promise you...your work does not end there." I can't begin to explain how powerful his message was to us that night, and Sister Burton added the cherry on top of it too. "Remember who you are," she said. We are disciples of Christ to spread His gospel, and we must keep pressing forward no matter how hard our trials may become out in the field or back at home.
This past week our district focused on being bold and simple in spreading the gospel in Tahitian. We read Alma 17-19 about Ammon's teachings to Lammoni. We all strive to be like Ammon and speak "with the boldness, planeness, and baseness of he Spirit." We shouldn't be afraid to bare our testimonies when given the opportunity, because who knows...we may very well have planted a seed for later on.
Sister Olson and I had to teach a 20 minute lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3) to another missionary in our district without any preparation in Tahitian....and I'm not gonna lie...we rocked it! Even with the little vocabulary we had the Spirit was so strong and I testify to you all that the gift of tongues is real! Even in the 3 weeks I've been here I couldn't believe how far me, my companion, and the rest of my district have come in the Tahitian language.
Fun story: And dad you will be proud of me again!! I beat two of the elders in my district, Elder Ruff and Elder Meyer in a 3pt and free-throw competition last night #stillgotit
Another Fun story: This past week we've had two times where MTC security guards/cops/"byu police" people who pretend to carry around guns, told us to be quiet, because us as a district were being too loud at night....hahahah oops. For the record...it wasn't yet "quiet time" and everyone was done studying for the night so we are no to blame.....maybe hahaha.
Oh and I think this news needs a big round of recognition: My mom has informed me that my cat Sophie has lost 1.2 POUNDS since I've been gone! This is big news in my eyes hahaha and she thinks that Sophie will be "slim n' trim in no time." hahahaha.
There isn't much more to report on except I'm still working on Tahitian and it's coming along. I'll start learning/reviewing French on July 1...and that will mark that we are HALF WAY THROUGH OUR MTC STAY!!!!!!!
This past week our choir director, Brother Eggot (I think that's how you spell his name) informed us that ALL of the NEW mission presidents will be coming to the MTC soon to have a little bit of training done. ANNNNDDD he said that ALL of the Quorum of the 12 AND 1st presidency will be here around the last week of June to first week in July, and he said that they are putting together a small choir to sing songs for THEM ALL...but they only selected the few that have big singing/music experience. Oh well....but i can guarantee that when they are here the spirit will be so strong it'll knock me off my feet! It's gonna be so cool!
Tonight we have another devotional and we get to sing another beautiful song for whoever is coming. We never know until we get there. But i'll be sure to tell y'all all about it next week!
Ua ite au e e te evanelia i te parau mau e Iesu Mesia, tamarii no te Atua. Ua here au i te Ekalesia e ua oaoa vau ia faaite i te parau poro'i i mau taata.
Ua here au ia outou.
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light." -Dumbledore :D
i love you all and pray for you all every day! This gospel is amazing and I love it!
Until next time :)
Tuahine McKenzie Morrill
ps. i'll try 2 send pics...if this computer will let me :)
June 9, 2015
Io ora ona everyone!!!!
This week has been eventful but not as hectic as last week!
Starting this week we are teaching two investigators in Tahitian, completely off script, with only a few notes to help us teach. We taught our first off script lesson yesterday, and it went really rough but it was still a lot of fun. We taught an "investigator" named Ginette. We started to teach her about the importance of families and how Heavenly Father loves all of us and wants us all to return to Him. BUT during the lesson (which was outside because we couldnt use any of the other rooms anymore because new mission presidents came in yesterday and took them all) two fire alarms started to go off and it really distracted us from the lesson...even Ginette was frustrated, and the spirit got taken away from the lesson. Even though it was frustrating my companion and I both realized that that was just practice for street contacting in Tahiti. There are gonna be all types of distractions to keep us from concentrating on giving a lesson, but we just have to go with it and pray that the spirit is there to help us.
Earlier this week we discovered that the first investigator we taught, Vetea, is actually one of our teachers. He walked into our classroom before we were supposed to teach him and and said "How's it gong everyone?" ......EVERYONE flipped out. We had no idea. His actual name is Orometua (brother) Hapairai and he is the only one in his family of 7 kids (the youngest) i think who is still active in the church, and he plays the role of his brother in law Vetea who has been learning about the church for a while.
We also got to "attend" Elder L. Tom Perry's funeral by watching it in the gym. They cancelled some afternoon classes so all of the missionaries could attend. As usual you'd expect a funeral to be solemn (I think that's the right word), but what I love about my faith is that we focus more on our life after death and the great work we will do in the Varua Ao (Spirit world) and the fact that families can be together for eternity!
Later on this week one evening after dinner one of our sisters in our district Sister Stone got really sick all of a sudden and needed to go to the clinic. Before, though, all of the elders had a strong impression that she should be given a blessing. So all of us sisters and elders went into our little classroom and one of district leaders (Elder Garff....the one who has a cousin serving in Bama right now and one of the two Ute fans in our district.....) gave her one of the most beautiful blessings of healing and comfort I have ever heard. The spirit was so strong and having all of us in there during the blessing to support Sister Stone made the feeling of unity within our district even stronger.
On another side of the MTC:
DAD you will be happy to know that I have been starting to work out now WITHOUT my brace and all is well....and I've been shining up my layups, free-throws, and 3 pointers #backatit I didn't forget those 10 years of training dad! :)
And another cool fact...so one of the elders who was playing basketball around the same time I was is gonna play for Gonzaga when he comes back...he just left monday for his mission in Lyon, France...Elder Wade.
Oh and last night my companion Sister Olson and one of the other sisters in our district Sister Thornock were both drying their hair after showering in our room and they blew the circuit hahahaha. We all had to go to the big grey electrical box to figure out how to reset it for our room....turns out we reset it for a couple more rooms too...we heard girls screaming down the hall because the lights in their room went out...oops hahaha!
So every Tuesday (my Pday) we get the awesome opportunity to go to the Temple! Our district is originally assigned to go to the 8:20 am session i think, but for some reason this morning we decided to go to the 7:00 am session. And as we were walking up the long walk way of to the temple this older woman came walking across and saw us. she said "you missionaries are so awesome and diligent to get up this early to attend such an amazing place. Will you please help me and do some temple work for some of my family?" THAT WAS SERIOUSLY one of the coolest experiences I have had so far while out here at the MTC. Of all the P-day mornings we decided to go to an earlier session at the temple, and we got to help out a woman do work for her family. I could feel the spirit so strong when she came up to us..it's as if He was saying to me "This woman has been waiting and praying for so long to have missionaries help her do work." and as if i was being yelled at in my mind that voice in my head said "Don't let her down." Going through the temple now is such a cool experience, but it seemed even cooler today, because we were able to help out someone who has been waiting for her prayers to be answered. I can't describe the overwhelming feeling of peace and love I had for that woman. She was so determined to help out those from her family on the other side, that couldn't do those ordinances for themselves while they were here on earth, that she was willing to stop anyone on their way inside the temple and ask them to help.
i have so much love for the plan of salvation and the knowledge i have of it, that i seriously can't wait to start my tuesday mornings off with the temple. So our entire district decided instead of going to our normal temple time...we would make the sacrifice and go to the 7:00 am session every tuesday until we leave!! Oh and if you all want I urge you to read Alma 34...It gives such a cool explanation about the plan of salvation, and it's making me excited and eager to learn more.
One last story (which is super amazing and cool and fantastic)
This past Tuesday we had Elder D. Todd Christofferson (who is a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) come to our evening devotional. He answered so many questions about missionary work that made me feel more at peace while I am here. I wish I had written down more that I could share with all of you :( But it was also a different side of Christofferson...he was not his usual talkative and high energy self when he talks at General Conference, no..he was different. He was struggling, because he was still pretty sad from hearing about Elder L. Tom Perry's passing. He did tell us that L. Tom Perry was more technologically advanced than all of the 12 which was funny to hear and that Perry called Bednar, Anderson, Cook, Christofferson, and Holland "The Five Little Boys" because he was so much older than him. And i never realized how tall Perry was....6 foot 4!! Wow that's tall for a man I didn't think was that tall haha.
This past sunday too we had our devotional with President & Sister Tanner, who are going to be presidents of BYU Hawaii. They urged the importance of going to the temple as much as you can and President Tanner said "The Temple is the Lord's first MTC. You must have been given the same ordinances to enter the MTC as you must have to enter the Temple. Remember the importance of your temple covenants and strive to live by them everyday for the rest of your life."
One more AWESOME STORY:
Sister James (one of the other sisters in my district) and I met Elder Andrus...Ryan Andrus. We basically exclaimed we were big fans of him and BYU basketball hahaha! He left for Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, but we got to get to know him for a good amount of time Sunday evening after the devotional. He's super humble and was really excited to hear about where we were going. His companion told us that they can never get to anything on time, because everyone wants to stop and talk to Elder Andrus hahaha. So that was really cool #fangirlmoment GO COUGS!
Anyway...I think that's all for now! I hope you all are having a great start to the summer. I miss you all, but I couldn't be more happy with what I am doing right now. The MTC is hard, and there are some days I just want to cry and sleep, but then I remember the investigators in Tahiti and realize that I was called to serve there for a reason...."wake up McKenzie! This isn't just all of about you." I love the language, and singing in Tahitian is so much more beautiful than anything I have ever heard. Sunday after one of our classes our Tahitian district, the Samoan, Tongan, and Fiji districts all gathered in one of the big open halls in our building of 4M and sang Tongan and Samoan hymns that were written in those languages that can't be translated to English (because it would lose its meaning) It was so beautiful. I wish I had filmed all of us singing to send to you all of you to see what a great experience it was. Next time I'll try and film us singing!
Just about 3-4 more weeks of Tahitian and then it's on to French!
I love you all and wish every one the best!
Tuahine/Soeur/Sister Morrill :)
p.s i hope everyone can get the pictures i send!
p.p.s Oh and my companion and I were studying the Plan of Salvation in Tahitian one day during language study in an open room and this older man walks in and told us that he served in Tahiti a loooooooong time ago and tried to help us out. He was also the mission president for the Switzerland mission annnnnnnnnddddd is going to be the NEW AREA 70 for the MOSCOW, RUSSIA area.....I'm kicking myself because i can't remember his name but HOW COOL!!
Monday, June 8, 2015
Io ra na!!!!
Tuahine Morrill here!
well when i first walked into the MTC i thought I would be learning french for the first 6 weeks of my stay here, my entire district thought the same thing. NOOO I am learning Tahitian first!!!
It is seriously the prettiest language there is. I can't even describe to you how smooth and beautiful it sounds, but it's super hard. Apparently it's easier to learn and speak than french, so that's a little more comforting.
My first day at the MTC was super overwhelming. I met my companion Soeur/Tuahine/Sister Olson. she's so nice and down to earth. she's from Ephraim, Utah and grew up on a farm, so she understands the term y'all which i absolutely love!!
The other mau Tuahines in my district are all super sweet too, and all of us clicked super fast and have the greatest time together when we are not in class. We have a district of 13 missionaries, 8 soeurs and 5 elders.
Getting used to the sleeping schedule has not been a problem for me, but like many of you know, i love my sleep so sometimes it is a struggle to stay awake in class.....Sister Olson and I fell asleep accidentally during personal study yesterday evening after dinner. I guess the food coma set in harder yesterday than usual.
(Mahana maha) Thursday, we had our first investigator, and we had to teach it entirely in Tahitian.....and having only a day studying the language before a lesson was not easy what so ever. Our "investigator" is Vetea and he apparently studies at BYU. We were able to find out that he has a sister, a brother, and his two parents. he loves soccer (WOOHOOO) or was it football or rugby....I'm not sure bc all three of those words in Tahitian are super similar. Sister Olson and I were able to teach him about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation over the 3 lessons we have had with him so far. I love being able to practice and prepare lessons, but it's hard to connect with the investigators personally when you don't know there language, so you can't really involve them as much as you would like, but that will all come with practice, patience, and a lot of faith!
This past Sunday we had a devotional and Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke to us. shes well known with the church for writing a few hymns and lot of the primary childrens songs. Her husband is so sweet too. At the beginning of her talk she was telling us how her and Doug met. She was in a music class at BYU and was preparing for a clarinet final. She was sitting in a chair practicing and Doug comes up and says "you know...those lips could be a lot more useful for something else besides playing the clarinet!" AAAAHHHHH.....and then her husband got up from his seat on the stand and just planted a big fat kiss on her in front of the entire MTC! After he shot his fist in the air as if to say "YES! I still got it." Sister Perry then said "Maybe I won't tell that story anymore....or maybe I will." hahahaha I can't get over how cute they both are together.....#goals. At the end of her talk she sang to us her family song she wrote for all of her children, her grandchildren, and husband. And she urged all of us to someday write our own family song...one that can tell the world about you and your adventures with your kids and husband/wife.
After the devotional we got the opportunity to watch the "movie" "The Character of Christ" by Elder David A. Bednar. In his talk he gave a few years ago on a sunday Christmas morning in the MTC, he basically told all current and future missionaries "It's NOT about YOU." At first a few of us were a little surprised by his words, but then realized how true they were. Yea, we are missionaries of the church, but our job is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the gospel of us. he later told us that if we are taking notes of what he said is "stupid and pointless." "You are just writing a copy of your own LARGE PLATES. Stop, instead write a copy of your own SMALL PLATES, full of your thoughts and feelings of what I have to say." GENIUS!!!!
Bednar than quoted Niel A. Maxwell, "there would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ." He urged us to all look within our own selves and think if we qualify of having those characters of Christ: love, service, and compassion. He reminded us that the natural man is the greatest enemy within ourselves and for us to turn OUTWARD in love towards others and NOT inward to yourself. "You can't live off of borrowed light." We need to build our own testimony through our OWN conversion of the gospel...not the conversion of others. We must be the greatest conversion on our mission first before we are able to help and express the love of the gospel towards others. We must learn OF Christ NOT ABOUT Him.
No lie...that entire devotional gave me chills....I clung to every word Bednar said, and agreed to myself to focus more on others and not just myself but work on strengthening my own testimony and conversion first before trying to help others....grow closer to Christ. If I'm not close to Christ when teaching....how can the investigators I teach later on grow closer to Him too?
Today, we have another MTC devotional and they said we have someone SUPER BIG coming in to speak to us...last Tuesayd before i came they had Holland come in and speak...jealous. I can't wait to find out who it is....Our district is hoping for either Uchtdorf or Bednar...that'd be killer.
Oh and I keep seeing Ryan Andrus, Elder Andrus, around the MTC....so you can say I'm on a campus with a BYU celebrity!! No big deal! Now that I see him up close I can finally see how tall he really his!!
AND I FINALLY SAW MY ROOMATE ROSE!!!!! she is going to serve in Recife, Brazil and was supposed to go to the Brazil MTC but her visa never came in time, sooooooo she's here!!!!
I love you so much and miss you like crazy!!!! But I'm so excited to be serving a mission and spreading this wonderful gospel! it has seriously made me so much happier this week!
And I'll have 11 more weeks to study study study!!!
Ua here au ia oe (I love you)! Stay gucci!
Tuahine/Soeur/Sister McKenzie Morrill