Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life

My Dear Family and Friends,

It's been several weeks since I have written and I am writing to you now as I sit in front of my fireplace and Christmas tree in good old South Jordan, Utah. I would like to take a minute to explain some of the things that happened during the month and why I am home for Christmas.

Like all missionaries, I experienced all the joys and sorrows of being a new missionary. I struggled with learning Portuguese and adjusting to a new culture but also loved the many new and happy experiences I was having. I loved my companion, my branch, and the people I had the opportunity to teach. However, despite all of the joy I felt from sharing the gospel, I began to recognize that rather than becoming more comfortable with missionary life, I was becoming increasingly anxious. I tried my best to continue working, hoping that the anxiousness would go away. However, about a month ago I took a turn for the worse and recognized that I was suffering from a major depression. The following  weeks turned out to be some of the most difficult weeks of my life as I struggled to cope with overwhelming amounts of sadness, loneliness, and all other feelings and symptoms associated with major depression. As I counseled with my mission president, parents, stake president, and mission doctors, we unitedly came to the conclusion that in order to heal and receive the treatment I needed, I would need to return home. This was an extremely difficult decision to make, and it was very hard to leave the people and country I have grown to love so much in the past 5 months. I never imagined needing to return home early from my mission, but the tremendous peace I have felt in relation to this decision have helped me know with a certainty that this is where I need to be and where the Lord wants me to be. I have been honorably released and will be spending the next while healing and beginning the next chapter in my life. I know that there will be ups and downs and to be patient with the process of overcoming depression and understanding the things that have taken place.

While this has proven to be one of the greatest trials I have experienced, I have seen God's hand work miracles in my life and know that He was there to lift me in my darkest hours. I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father is keenly aware of each of His children and has a plan for every one of them. I am so grateful for the knowledge of our loving Savior Jesus Christ who knows us perfectly and will be with us in every moment. I am so grateful for my loving mission president, my wonderful companion Sister Smyth, and my incredible family and friends for all they have done to help me and show me so much love and support. It has been incredibly difficult, but I am now aware more than ever of the many blessings God has given me. It truly is a wonderful life.

Com amor,

Bethany

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Bom Dia Alegria Minha Famíla!!!!

That's right folks, we had transfers this week and............you bet Sister Smyth and I are back at it again for another transfer!!! We were so surprised because I was just sure that one of us was leaving but no sirree!! We are so beyond pleased and had a great week filled with a lot of hard work! It was one of those weeks where you knock a lot of doors, appointments fall through, and investigators drop you, but we are still as happy as can be and are doing our best to find people ready to hear the gospel! The gift of tongues is kicking in and I am understanding more and more! I hit a milestone in my book this week where I was able to have a full converstation on the phone without needing to hand it over to Sister Smyth. Hallelujah! On top of that we were blessed with such nice weather! It was so warm and sunny all week! But I think it will start raining again tomorrow, good think I finally got a good umbrella!! 

We had two great lessons with Bruna this week and she is doing wonderfully! We went over on Monday to give her pictures of her baptism and to talk about her baptism and confirmation. It was such a great little lesson and she just talked about how much of a difference she felt after recieving the Holy Ghost. And then she was talking about how much her life has changed in the last 6 weeks and how grateful she was for the gospel. We talked about the temple and family history and she is so excited to start looking for her ancestors! 

This week I read the talk that President Nelson gave in conference about joy and loved it!! He said "When the focus of our lives is on God's plan of salvation and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening-or not happening-in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. We can feel it at Christmastime when we sing "Joy to the world, the Lord is come." And we can feel it all year found." And then he quotes Psalms 16:11which says that "In His presence is a fulness of joy." I know that this is true! Christ is the source of all joy and happiness. It is when we have lives centered on Him, that we truly find the peace and joy in our lives that all of us desire. I know that the more we learn about Christ and the closer we are to Him, the happier we will be and the more joy we will feel. Our lives won't be perfect, but we will have the perspective that we need to joyfully keep pressing forward. How grateful I am for this gospel and the opportunity I have to share this joyful message of hope and peace! 

That's all for this week folks! I hope you have a great Halloween and a great start to November! 

Com amor,

Sister Morey

Monday, October 24, 2016

BOM DIA ALEGRIA PART 2

Olá Minha Família!!

Well I hope you all had a great week because I just lived one of the best weeks of my mission! Because guess what! Bruna was baptized!!! I honestly can't put into words how wonderful of an experience it was! She was so so happy and we all laughed and cried and had a wonderful day celebrating her baptism. So many members came and they have embraced her into the branch family which is all that I could ask for. After the baptism we were all chatting and Bruna was talking to the ward mission leader who was talking to her about the temple. A few minutes later she announced "In a year, we are all going to Madrid to go to the temple!" I am so happy for her and so excited to help her prepare for that incredible day! I wish I could describe how much I love her and how grateful I am for the wonderful experience it has been to see the gospel change her life. 

It is starting to get cold over here and we are getting some rain! And when it rains...IT RAINS! But we love it and still have a great time as we get splashed by cars driving by. :) But we saw some miracles this week! We were able to teach 3 complete families and have plans to go back to all of them! From one of the families, the mom and daughter came to church yesterday and loved it! I have such a good feeling about them and am excited to continue teaching them! :) 

Other updates:
1. Transfers are this week! Do you know what that means? I am done with training! How crazy is that? We find outtomorrow whether we stay or go and who knows what will happen! Until next week! 

2. Yesterday we were visiting a less active family and they were trying to guess our ages and apparently I look like I am 27... Let's just say they were very suprised when I said 19!

3. Last but not least, I found letters from Clarissa and Sariah this week from when they were on their missions and they were so fun to read because now I am in the same place that they were in! I am so grateful for such wonderful examples in my life!! :)

Last but not least, I remembered one of my favorite quotes this week from Elder Hales: " With your own testimony of God you will be able to bless your family, your posterity, your friends, your own life--all those you love. Your personal knowledge of God is not only the greatest gift you will ever gife, but it will bring you the greatest joy you will ever have." And he is so right! I know that this Gospel is true and that it brings us the most happiness and peace in our lives. I know that God is our Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and through Him, we can repent and recieve all the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for us. I am so grateful for the Gospel and the happiness it brings me every day. And I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share the good news of the gospel every day!! It truly is an incredible work!

I love you all! Thank you so much for your examples and all that you do for me!! 

Com muito amor,
Sister Morey

PS Sorry I don't have as much time to email today but know I LOVE YOU ALL AND WILL GET BACK AS SOON AS I CAN!! But I pray for you all on the daily! 

PPS No I did not buy the Bastille CD I was just overjoyed to see it in the store




Monday, October 17, 2016

Bom Dia ALEGRIA

Olá Tudo Mundo!!! 

I hope you are all ready because this was one of THE BEST WEEKS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! Miracles happened and I am so excited to tell you about them! :) 

On Wednesday Sister Smyth and I had a division with the sisters in Braga! I was with Sister Costa (once again a native Brazilian) and we had a blast serving together. I was able to ask her lots of Portuguese questions and she is just the happiest and nicest person in the world and we had a great day together! What made it even better was our lesson with Bruna!!!! As you know, Bruna has been doing wonderfully, coming to church, and loving everything that we were teaching! There was only one thing missing! She still wasn't wanting to get baptized. We didn't know why, but Sister Smyth and I decided that division day was the day to invite her again. So Sister Costa and I planned a lesson on faith and went in with prayers in our hearts. Well, we got in and Bruna started telling us about how much she liked Alma 32 that we had asked her to read the night before. She was talking about it and then said something about baptism. Now, my Portuguese is improving but I still have a longs ways to go and am slow at understanding. So she said something about baptism and I thought she was saying she still didn't want to talk about it. I WAS WRONG!!! All of a sudden Sister Costa got really excited and they were both looking at me and it hit me! SHE DECIDED SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!!! Oh my goodness I cannot even describe the joy I felt! The lesson switched to planning the baptism! October 22nd is the day and we are all so excited! The members were all so excited when we announced it in church and I know it will be an incredible day! Stay tuned!! 

Other than that we knocked doors, talked to people in the streets, and had a great week! It is crazy to think that this week is the last week of the transfer! Time flies! 

Funny story of the week: To begin, if any of you don't know, one thing the Portuguese do is whenever you are greeting or saying goodbye to someone, you give beijinhos, or a kiss on both cheeks. And everyone does it! Obviously as missionaries, we give beijinhos to women and a nice firm handshake to gentleman. Okay now for the story! Yesterday we had the opportunity to teach a less active and his wife with the elders and had a great powerful lesson! But afterwards the member was dropping Sister Smyth and I off at the church. We all got out of the car, Sister Smyth shook his hand and then I went to shake his hand. Next thing I know he is going in for the beijinhos and I had to jump out of the way and apologize because it's a rule. The elders were laughing and Sister Smyth was crying she was laughing so hard. Welcome to the struggles of Sister Morey! 

Anyways, have a great week everyone! This gospel is true and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this great work. Tchauzinhos!! 

Com muito amor,

Sister Morey

Ps Here are pictures of our division, district p-day at the bowling alley, and the pumpkins Sister Smyth and I carved today! 







Well Folks...She's Married!!

Dear Everyone,

That is right! My big sister got married this week and she was the most beautiful bride in the world! Congratulations to Meredith and Kyle!!! I have absolutely loved seeing all of the pictures and hearing about the wonderful wedding day! Everyone looked amazing, the house looked beautiful, and Kyle and Meredith looked absolutely wonderful and so so happy! I thought of all of you so much on Friday and was praying for you and I am so grateful that it was such a wonderful day. I thought so much about our family on Friday and how grateful I am to be a part of it. :) I am so grateful to know that I am sealed to the best people in the world for all eternity!!!! 

This week was a great week and we were able to knock a lot of doors and have a lot of lessons! Bruna is doing well and we are just working on helping her build her faith and feel the love that God has for her. We had a great lesson with her where we followed up on conference and we asked if she liked it and she said she loved it and knows that the church is true! She came to church again this week and we are having a lesson with her tomorrow!! Hurray!!!!! 

But other than that this week was great! We worked hard and were able to meet some very cool people! We met this one man named Francisco who met with the missionaries 30 years ago! We had a long talk with him and he remembered a lot of things about our church and had some questions about the plates and about baptisms for the dead. He said he wasn't interested but he came to the English class the elders teach this Friday so who knows! One interesting thing he said to us though is he asked "Are you doing missionary work for your salvation, or for mine?" And that really struck me! Of course we want to be serving missions because we want other people to know about the gospel, but it was a reminder to me to check my heart and see what my motivation was. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Thank you for everything!!! A Igreja é vededeira, o livro é azul, Moroni está acima de bola....e amo vocês todas!!! 

Com muito amor,

Sister Morey





Monday, September 26, 2016

By small and simple things

Bom Dia Energia!!!

Olá tudo mundo!! I hope everyone is doing well and is excited for conference this weekend! I am so excited! We will be watching it in our church building with everyone in the branch and we have a few investigators that want to come so it will be a great weekend!
I don't have a ton of time but I will get the big updates in!! This was a crazy but wonderful week!
First off, this week we had zone meeting and interviews with President Amorim! Zone conference was great as always and we focused a lot on working with the members which Sister Smyth and I have been trying to do a lot more!  After that we had interviews which was really great! President Amorim is probably one of the best men I have ever met and had a lot of great advice for me, which was really nice! I even got a nice little Portuguese lesson. We started off the interview with a prayer and I may or may not have made a few errors but tudo bem! Who better to learn Portuguese from than your Brazilian mission president? 
Other great thing: Bruna came to church this week! It was so wonderful! She really enjoyed it! All of the members were super great at welcoming her and she had a great experience. We had a lesson with her last week and will hopefully have one or two this week! I love teaching her and love seeing the gospel touch her heart. It makes me so happy! 
We also have two other investigators named Cristina and Domingos. Cristina is Columbian and speaks Spanish but she is so great! How we understand each other I have no idea but the gift of tongues is real! She really believes in the church and is planning on coming to conference this weekend! Domingos is her boyfriend and he is really incredible. He really wants to find the true church and has been praying to know. We left them a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read and are going back later this week and I am excited to see how it goes!! 
All in all everything is wonderful in Portugal! Sister Smyth and I will sometimes stop and just say "We are in Portugal!! Portugal!" and then talk about how incredible it is that we are on the other side of the world, speaking Portuguese, and talking with everyone about the gospel. This truly is an incredible work and I am so grateful to be a part of it! 
I thought a lot this week about how through small and simple things, great things come to pass. I think this very much applies to our and our eternal progress. As much as we want to one day wake up and suddenly be perfect, that isn't how it works. It takes small changes, every day. But through those small changes, every day, we can become more like our Savior. It requires a lot of patience, and we won't even realize we are changing, but the more we try to be like Him, the more we will become like Him and the better we will know Him. 
Have a great week everyone! Enjoy conference! Love you all! 
Com amor,
Sister Morey

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bom Dia Energia!!!

Olá My Wonderful Family and Friends!! 

I hope you are all having a lovely week! This week was transfers and....you'd better believe that Smyth and Morey are sticking around for another transfer in Guimarães! We were both very pleased to see that and the transfer has gone off to a great start! In fact, this has been the best week of the mission so far! Want to know why? It has absolutely everything to do with Bruna. We knocked on her door a few weeks ago and ended up teaching a quick lesson about Heavenly Father and our relationship with Him. We left the Restoration pamphlet with her and went back this past Tuesday. Well it was absolutely incredible! We taught the Restoration and were inviting her to pray about it and she stopped us and said "What is this feeling in my heart? It is beating so quickly! I felt it last time you were here and every time I looked at the pamphlet!" As you can imagine Sister Smyth and I were just beaming as we told her that this was the Holy Ghost helping her know that the gospel is true. We went back again on Friday and when we asked if she had prayed she said "I know this church is true, I feel it in my heart!" And (it gets even better) She agreed to be baptized!!!! Oh it was absolutely incredible! I am so so excited for her! The Lord truly does prepare people to recieve the gospel and seeing the Holy Ghost touch their heart is a truly incredible experience. 
Our other investigators are doing well! We are teaching a family and their oldest son Ricardo (he's 16) has come to church twice and told us yesterday after church (without us even bringing it up) that he wants to be baptized! We are very excited for him and are trying to help his entire family come to church so that they can feel the same Spirit and excitement about the church that Ricardo feels. 
Other updates: 
A few weeks ago we had Mission Conference with Elder Zwick! It was such a great experience! It was so fun to get to see all of the missionaries, President and Sister Amorim, and see Elder Zwick again! (He spoke to my zone the second day at the MTC) It was a great reminder to me of the privilege it is to be serving a mission and the power that missionaries have. 
Another fun update: two weeks ago the elders had a baptism and asked us to make cookies for it (twist my arm to make cookies!) and all of the memebers loved them and are asking for the recipe. So don't worry, just because I am on a mission doesn't mean I have given up my love for baking :) 
Also, every third Sunday in our branch is "Missionary Sunday" and they have a few of the missionaries give talks. So who do you think gave a talk yesterday? That's right! Your's truly! I talked about prayer and how prayer is our opportunity to have a personal relationship with Heavenly Father. It went really well and overall it was one of my favorite sacrament meetings so far! 
Final update: Becaue I know you all want to know how the Portuguese is coming I will tell you my conversation with our investigator Lurdes at the ward picnic last week. Please note this conversation was in Portuguese.
Me: I love your shoes!
Lurdes: What?
Me: Your shoes! They're pretty!
Lurdes: Irmã, speak Portuguese to me. 
Me: .........
Lost in translation every day!!! 

I love you all and hope you are all having a great week! Thank you for all of you love and support! The church is true! I am so grateful to be serving here and so grateful for my opportunity to share the gospel!
Com amor, 
Sister Morey








Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lord, to whom shall we go?

Well fam, this week was CRAZY!!! We had two divisions back to back!! Sister Smyth is Sister Training Leader and President decided this transfer that he wants the training leaders to do divisions with every companionship in the zone every transfer. So this week we had two! On Wednesday I went to Matosinhos with Sister Gouveia which was a lot of fun! Thenon Thursday, Sister Bastes was with me in Guimarães! That was an interesting day because both Sister Bastes and I are in our first transfer so we are both pretty new but thankfully she speaks Portuguese! We had a great time together! It was kind of scary being the one to get us to appointments and activities but thankfully I only got us lost once! Haha It was an insane two days! Both Sister Gouveia and Sister Bastes are from Brazil and neither of them speak any English which was quite an adventure. I was so nervous before hand but I was surprised at how much I knew! At the same time I realized just how much I need to learn. But that's okay! It was a great motivator for me to work hard at the language and learn all of the lessons in Portuguese. But I will say I was thrilled to be back with Sister Smyth! After divisions were over we just looked at each other and grinned and said "Backstreet is BACK!!!!" and had a great rest of the week together. We made cookies for some members (You know that made me happy!), practiced our musical number for the Mission Tour this week, and met some great people! 

Speaking of the Mission Tour, tomorrow Elder Zwick is coming for a mission conference! We are so excited! He actually came and spoke to my zone the first day in the MTC and was amazing so I am very excited to hear him speak again! Granted, he served in Brazil which means the conference will be in Portuguese, but tudo bem! It will be a blast Our district is singing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and we are hoping it goes well!

This week we had a lesson with a recent convert who was struggling with some doubts about prophets and other church doctrines. While we were teaching, I remembered one of my favorite scriptures in John 6:66-69. It talks about how Christ's disciples begin turning away from Him and so Christ asks His apostles "Will ye also go away?" And I love Peter's response. He says "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." I love that so much! We all have doubts, we all have questions, but that doesn't mean we stop following the Savior because He has the words of eternal life. The gospel is a gospel of joy and a gospel of peace. It isn't easy to live, but it is worth every effort. There will be times we feel our testimonies are fragile and we are weak, but if we rely on the Savior, everything will work out. Our testimonies will be strengthened, and our faith in the gospel will grow. Every promise God has made will be fulfilled and we will be happier than we can possibly imagine. So ask your questions! But when you do, remember to continue to rely on Christ. Read the scriptures, pray, go to church, and in time we will find the answers to our questions. 

I love you all! Have a wondeful week! 

Com amor,

Sister Morey

Pictures:
Sister Smyth and I adventuring in the forest
A Portuguese parade yesterday!! 






Monday, August 29, 2016

One Month in Portugal!

Helloooooooo Everyone!!!

What a great week this has been! I can't believe I have been here a whole month! Time is so funny here. The days are so slow but then you look back and a whole month has flown by! 

But let's talk about the past few weeks! I didn't do a great job of updating y'all last week so here we go!
 One thing I forgot to mention last week was that Sister Smyth and I got to stop by FSY which is EFY in Portugal! They held it here at the college in Guimarães and it was a BLAST! They called us because there were a few workers helping with FSY that weren't members and so we came and talked to them about the church and gave them a Book of Mormon. After that we went in and chatted with all of the people running FSY and helped them cut up fruit and had a great time!
Miracle last week! Okay it was the end of a long day and we were knocking some apartment buildings. Sister Smyth and I were both exhausted but we were chugging along and then we knocked on a door and Consuela opened it. It turns out she is a less active! We talked to her and she was telling us about how her husband is Catholic and none of her kids have been baptized. Then she started to cry a little bit and told us that she had been praying recently for more light in her life and had started to think Heavenly Father wasn't answering, but she knew that we were the answer. It was such an incredible experience! You never know where the Lord is leading you! We haven't taught her family yet because they've been busy but this week hopefully! 
Yesterday was a great Sunday because two of our investigators came to church! Ricardo is 16 and we have been teaching his whole family but only he wanted to come. And he loved it! He is so excited about the church! We are teaching his whole family again this week and hope they all come next Sunday! The other investigator is Larinda and she is the mom of a recent convert. She has come to church so many times and really loves it. She lives far away so it is hard to teach her but we are figuring it out! 
Other updates: I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the store and Sister Smyth and I had a little nerd moment about it.Other fun things:
1. The local pasteleria has 3 pastries for 1 euro every day at 7....let's just say Sister Smyth and I have had to make serious health goals...
2. The other day as we were walking a lady called out to us and said "Hello my fellow Americans!!!!!" Her name was Joy and she is from Indiana and is the funniest lady ever! She has lived here for 6 years and so she always recognizes the missionaries and likes to chat with them. She was talking about how hard Portuguese is and told me to embrace my inner yoda to learn the sentence structure. It was a blast to talk to her and we hope we find her again!
3. Sister Smyth is a fantastic singer and basically knows every musical out there. Including....Fiddler on the Roof. We have had a great time singing that together as we walk home :)

Alright that is enough updates for now! I hope you all are having a great week! My scripture for you this week is John 16:33. I love this scripture! We don't need to fear because Christ has overcome the world and through Him, all things are possible. I can learn Portuguese and find people ready to recieve the gospel, and you can do the things that are hard for you too! 

Com amor,
Sister Morey




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When the going gets rough you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming!

Olá Everyone! Tudo Bem?

What a crazy few weeks these have been! But they have been such great weeks! I love it here and am so happy to be serving here! Things are settled down and I have gotten into a rhythm which has helped a lot! And the Portuguese is coming along! As much as I want to wake up one day and just understand what everyone is saying, I know that it will come a little bit at a time. But I am able to understand a little more every day and that is all that matters. Yesterday I bore my testimony again in sacrament meeting and let me tell you, I wanted to die realizing I was going to have to go up there again, but it turned out better than I expected! My brain was working so fast trying to put the conjugations together but I think everything worked out! :) 

We got to go to Porto twice this week! Once because Sister Smyth had leadership council so I got to go on a division with some other sisters (Including my favorite Sister Hulsey!), and the second time for our zone meeting. It was so fun getting to meet all of the other missionaries! And for our meeting our president included some clips from Apollo 13 so we got to have a little movie party which we were all very excited about!

I'm sorry I don't have a lot of time, but I will have a better update and pictures next week. But to follow up with the title of the e-mail, over the past few weeks I have realized that we all have hard times. All of us! There will always be hard moments. But we choose what we do with those hard times. We choose whether we let those moments make us miserable or if we will embrace them, learn from them, and keep moving forward! Life is hard, but there are so many things that make it worth it. So keep swimming! Keep looking for the good! Look for the little blessings and miracles in every day. Because they are there. This life is a life for us to learn and to grow, but God wants us to enjoy this life! He is there, constantly strengthening us and showing us His love, we just have to look for it. 

I love you all so very much! Have a wonderful week!

Com muito amor,

Sister Morey

Monday, August 8, 2016

Once Upon a Time in Portugal!

Oh my goodness guess what!! I am in Portugal!!!!!!!

I can't even begin to describe what a week this has been! From traveling for 24 plus hours, getting to Portugal, meeting my mission president, President Amorim, getting my trainer (Sister Smyth), coming to my area, Guimarães, and then finishing off the week has been quite the ride! But I'll do my best to update you!

1. I know you all want to know about the language and I think the best way I can sum it up for you is with a quote from The Best Two Years. You know when Elder Calhoun first talks to someone in Holland and just stares at them blank faced and then turns around and says "That isn't the language I learned in the MTC." Well folks, that has been the past week of my life! I'll be honest, it's definitely tough not being able to understand people because I have no idea what to say back to them! But baby steps! I know I'll get there! I did share my testimony in sacrament meeting this week which was terrifying but I was really glad I did. I figured that the best way for me to show the Lord and my branch my willingness to learn was by opening my mouth and sharing my testimony. A lot of people came up to me and said that I spoke well (at least I think that is what they said...) Just know that I smile a lot and look to Sister Smyth a lot for help :) 

2. Speaking of Sister Smyth, she is AMAZING!! She is from California and has been out here a year! She is so nice and cheers me on every day. After the lessons when I am slightly skeptical of how I spoke, she always says "You are doing so well! I feel the Spirit every time you speak!" I am so grateful for her! She makes me laugh and is so fun to talk to. I have been very blessed to have her as a trainer. We work hard every day and are doing our best to find people and families ready to be baptized. Speaing of which...yesterday we had quite the miracle! Our mission goal is to have 12 lessons a week and we had 11 yesterday. So we prayed and prayed that as we went out that we would find one person to teach by the time we had to turn our numbers in at 5. So we went out and started knocking doors. And....nothing. It was 4:45 and we hadn't found anyone! But then as we were walking up the hill I heard something, turned around, and there was a lady outside her house. Well it turns out she is the nicest lady in the world! We talked to her for about 15 minutes and then she said we could come back again! Miracles happen ladies and gentlemen. 

3. Finally, Guimarães is the most beautiful place I have seen! I honestly feel like I am walking around in a movie! It is one of the oldest cities in Portugal. There is a castle, cobblestone streets, alleyways with laundry hanging down, everything! It is so beautiful! Every day I just think "I am in the most beautiful place in the world!" Also, right now there are festivals going on so there are parades and bands and all kinds of great things!

Alright I have to run, but know that I love you all so much and that we can all do hard things as we rely on the Lord!

Com muito amor,

Sister Morey








Tuesday, July 26, 2016

T-minus 6 days until PORTUGAL!!

Hello hello!

Another week has just flown by! And now I have one more week before I hop on a plane and go to Portugal! I can't even believe it! I am so excited! 

Okay I am short on time but I'll give some quick updates 

1. Best moment of the week was getting flight plans! We leave the MTC at 3:50 am on Monday morning ( who really needs sleep anyways?) The best part of the flight plans (besides going to Portugal of course) is that one of our stops is in Frankfurt, Germany! And here I was thinking I wasn't going to Germany on my mission! Yes, it is only the airport, but it counts. 
2. We had skype TRC this week where we talk to members in our missions! We talked to an RM from Lisbon and it was so cool! He was really nice and told us about the history of Portugal, helped correct our Portuguese, and told us a little bit about Porto. It made me so excited to go! 
3. We had another really great lesson with one of our investigators this week! We found the video "Because of Him" in Portuguese (Gracas a Ele) and showed that in our lesson and then talked about the Atonement. It was such a powerful moment for all of us and once again, Sister Hulsey and I walked out of the lesson beaming. 

Other than that everything is great! I tried playing basketball this week and remembered why I play tennis and Sister Hulsey and I forget our cell phone on the daily much to the dismay of the front desk (we are supposed to have it all the time in case the MTC needs to get a hold of a sister in our zone) But I am as happy as can be!  I am so excited for this week but am also so sad this is the last one! I will miss it here so much.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Continuar para frente! A Igreja e verdadiera!

Love,
Sister Morey

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And then...an apostle showed up

Hello everyone!

What a great week this week was! (Do I say that every week?) But really, this week was so good and I'll start with the best!

Yesterday for devotional the MTC presidency said that we would be watching the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar all together because we got so many new missionaries this week. So we watched the video, but half way through the MTC president left and was gone for a really long time. Then, after the video was over, the MTC president came back in and who was behind him? Elder Bednar and his wife! As soon as we saw him everyone went silent and stood up but inside we were all super excited. He did a question and answer session with us and it was amazing for lack of a better word. I learned so much! We talked a lot about being charitable and how it isn't just something we practice, it is something we become. Also one girl asked how we can be more worthy of the Spirit and Elder Bednar basically said "Just be good! Don't beat yourself up about mistakes or imperfections. You aren't perfect and you won't ever be perfect! So just do your best and you will have the Spirit with you." Let me tell you, I needed that. Finally, I had a question in my mind that I have been thinking about for a long time and while he didn't answer my question directly, through one of his other answers I found out how I should go find my answer (hint: it's by reading the Book of Mormon). The Spirit was so strong in the meeting and it was a great reminder to me that apostles are called of God. 

Next big part of yesterday: I know you were all wondering how greeting for sacrament meeting went...well apparently Sister Hulsey and I aren't the best greeters because our Branch President came out and told us we were fired and that we were the new Zone Sister Training Leaders instead! So we had a bunch of training meetings yesterday and now we are in charge of all the girls in our zone and are the designated nightly huggers. I definitely wasn't expecting it but Sister Hulsey and I are excited! 

Another big part of the week was hosting on Wednesday. It was a blast! It was crazy to think that that was me only 3 weeks ago. It feels more like 3 years ago! But we had so much fun showing the new missionaries around and telling them all about the MTC.

And finally, my favorite part of the week! Sister Hulsey and I had a lesson with our investigator Rodenei and it was one of the most spiritual and happiest moments I have had so far in the MTC. We were talking about how faith and Rodenei was talking about how he needs physical evidence for him to believe things are true. At that moment 2 things popped into my head. The first was the scripture in Alma that talks about how faith is things which are not seen and the second was the last two paragraphs of the introduction to the Book of Mormon which promises us that if we read the Book of Mormon with real intent and pray, we will know that the Book of Mormon is true, that Jesus is our Savior, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church on the Earth. After we read those two things, Sister Hulsey and I both bore our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and having faith and you could feel the Spirit so strongly and all 3 of us were grinning from ear to ear! After the lesson was over Sister Hulsey and I basically skipped back to class we were so happy! The Church is so true and I am so grateful that the Holy Ghost helps guide our minds when we are serving others!

All in all, this was a great week! We hit our one month mark this week which is just crazy. I love the MTC, I love being a missionary, and I am so grateful for all of you for teaching me the gospel and supporting me in all that I do! 

Tudo bem!

Love,
Sister Morey

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Hello hello!

Wow, has another week already gone by? The time just flies! And I am halfway through my time in the MTC! How crazy is that?

This week was such a great week! The best one by far! We started off by doing TRC on Monday which is where we go and basically just talk with return missionaries that speak our language. It is a little scary because they talk really fast and I don't understand half of what they are saying, but it was still such a great experience! We have that again tonight and I am excited to see how it goes! 

Along with that, lessons this week went SO WELL! Something just clicked this week and I am more excited to teach than nervous. Sister Hulsey and I have been focusing a lot on teaching to the needs of our investigator, not just giving them a bunch of information, and that has really helped bring the Spirit into our lessons. Every time I can feel the Spirit reminding me of scriptures that relate to what we are talking about and helping me remember the words I need as I bear my testimony. It is such an incredible experience every time. It's funny because even though our investigators are our teachers, when we get into our lessons, they don't feel like our teachers anymore. The lessons feel so real! Our teacher Irmao Read read us a quote that says "Role plays are how God trains His missionaries." I definitely have seen that and am so grateful from all that I learn in our lessons. 

Funny story of the week: One evening Irmao Curtis took us outside and told us we were going to be doing role plays. I asked him if we were doing them in English (one can always hope) and he just looked at me and said "Seester...." Word to the wise: never ask your Portuguese teacher if you can talk in English. 

The other highlights of the week were our Mormon Message Marathon we had yesterday which of course was amazing, we went to the temple today which was lovely, we get to host new missionaries this week which I am so excited for, and guess who was called to be the greeter for Sacrament Meetings in our branch? You've got it! Your's truly! And finally, last night we watched the Joseph Smith movie and it was so great! I have seen it several times but it had been a long time and was a great reminder to me of how important the Restoration is! We laughed, we cried, and we all walked out wanting to be better missionaries. It definitely reminded me that being a member of the church has never been easy, but it is always worth it. At the very end of the video Joseph Smith says "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" And that is our new motto! Because what could be a greater cause to be a part of than this? 

And that's all for now folks! I love and miss you all and am so grateful for all of the love and support! The church is true!

Love,
Sister Morey 





Tuesday, July 5, 2016

When your investigator becomes your teacher...

Hello everyone!

Is it already p-day again? Time sure does fly! This email will be a little shorter and maybe slightly all over the place but I will do my best to update you all on all the exciting things in the MTC.

First of all, Happy 4th of July! We celebrated it on Saturday and had a really cool flag presentation of all the flags in the world and talked about freedom and how it enabled the gospel to be restored. After that we went outside and got to watch the fireworks from the stadium of fire! It was a lot of fun and it was nice to celebrate one of the best holidays!

Next, one of the best parts of last week was getting to clean the temple! It's closed for 2 weeks so they invited the missionaries to come help clean it which was a really cool experience and helped me appreciate all the work it takes to keep temples clean and beautiful!

As far as the Portuguese goes...it's a coming! It is tough and pushes me tudo dia, cada dia (all day, every day but I am working really hard to memorize the words and practice them throughout the day. I definitely am able to understand a lot more of what my teachers say which has been a huge blessing. Also, to follow up with the subject of this email, this week we had our last lesson with our investigator Nelson. We all knew he wasn't a real investigator but none of us realized that when we were done teaching him, he would become our teacher! His real name is Irmao Curtis and he is a great teacher. He got back from his mission in Brazil 10 months ago so he knows exactly how we all feel which is really nice. 

We have a lot of lessons lined up for this week. Tonight we teach members in Portuguese and then this week we will meet our 3 new investigators! I am a little nervous but the other day I had the thought that instead of just writing out everything I would want to say in English and then translate it over, I should keep my lessons simple and use the Portuguese I know really well. That way I can be confident in what I am saying and not rely so much on following a script. Sister Hulsey and I are going to try that this week and hopefully it goes well! 

All in all I am still happy as a peach and loving being at the MTC. It pushes me in every way possible but there is no where I would rather be and nothing I would rather be doing. Even with the stress of learning a language, I just feel so happy all the time which is a huge blessing. 

On to another week! Happiest 4th of July!

Sister Morey





Monday, June 27, 2016

Hurrah for Israel!!

Hello hello everyone!!

Wow, I am actually in the MTC and am actually a missionary! It still doesn't feel quite real. I keep thinking this is some kind of a MTC prep camp and that I will just be here for a few more days and go home. But nosireee this is the real deal! Last week was so crazy. Walking into my class on the first day and hearing my teacher speak Portuguese was probably the scariest thing ever but things have worked out better than I could have possibly imagined. My companion is Sister Hulsey and I actually met her before we even got here! We had found each other beforehand and had done a temple session together so when I found out she was my companion I was so excited. She is so nice and so much fun and I have a blast with her every day. She knows a lot of Spanish which helps her a lot with Portuguese so she picks up on it really fast and is nice enough to help me as I try to catch up!
My district is made up of elders and sisters that are going to Porto and Lisbon in Portugal as well as Mozambique and we all have so much fun together which makes the hours of study seem to fly by.
Like I said things at the MTC have been really crazy. Last week was Mission President Seminar where all of the new mission presidents come in to learn about how to be a mission president so the main building of the MTC was closed to us. It was really cool though because we had apostles on campus with us all the time. At one point we were peeking inside the big building because a sister had seen at least 8 of the apostles walk by but the security guard caught us and said "Elders and sisters move along." So no meeting apostles to me but I did see Elder Stevenson in our building! 
Now the Portuguese. Oh the Portuguese! It is so good and so hard all at the same time. I feel like I am really slow at picking it up but I am also surprised at how much I have learned in the few days I have been here. The gift of tongues is definitely real and I pray for it every day! Teaching in Portuguese was really scary and was hard because for the first time I had so much I wanted to tell someone about the gospel and had no idea how to say it. That was really frustrating but after the lesson I had a very clear feeling that the only way I was going to learn Portuguese would be if  I was willing to "open my mouth." So the next lesson I tried it and it went so much better! It definitely wasn't perfect, but I walked out of that lesson knowing I had done my best and I could feel the Holy Ghost helping me remember words. So even though it is hard, I know that if I try my best and continue practicing, I'll be able to learn the language. 
Overall I love the MTC. I feel a constant peace and happiness while I am here. There are hard moments, but those moments are always followed by even better moments that help me know that the Lord knows me and knows where I am. I am so grateful to be here and grateful for all that I have learned in the short time I have been here. The best part of the week was definitely yesterday. We went to MTC choir where the director told us stories about the first missionaries which helped me realize that no mission is easy, but we can still be excited to go out and serve the Lord. Then we had an amazing devotional from Brother Stephen Allen from the missionary department and then we watched "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. Both of those really helped me realize what it means to be a missionary. It isn't about me at all. It is about turning outwards and serving others. It is when we look to serve others that we truly become disciples of Jesus Christ.

I'm sorry if this was all over the place and not very detailed but I am out of time! I'll take pictures this week and send them next P Day. But know that I love you all very much and feel your prayers and pray for you in return. I am so grateful for this gospel and grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. The church is true! Hurrah for Israel! (Definitely go look up that story where Brigham Young and Heber C Kimball shouted that to their families as they left on their mission)

Com Amor,

Sister Morey (Hey that's me!!!)