Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Years Everyone!

Dear Elder Morain Fan Club,

Happy New Year Everybody!
I hope all of you had a merry christmas this past week. I sure had a merry one because I got to call home! It was great to talk to my family.
On Christmas Eve we had our District Leader Council and since my companion is the District Leader we got to go. So we drove to Indianola and I got to see some good friends. It was my first time seeing other missionaries for...5 days, and thats the longest period of time on my mission for that haha. Since I've always served around lots of missionaries it has been tough adjusting to being in the middle of nowhere haha. We had dinner on christmas eve at a members home and it was a fun time.
On Christmas morning we woke up and opened presents! That was a fun time. Then we drove to the Price Family's house. Last week I told you about Dusty Price, who I stayed in his apartment at BYU. It was really fun to spend christmas with a friend from home. I got to call home and talk for a long time so that was really nice! Then we had christmas dinner and played games with the family all day. It was so nice to relax and enjoy Christmas. That night we drove up to Osceola and stayed in the missionaries apartment there.
Friday the day after christmas we had our christmas Zone Conference in Des Moines! We had 4 zones there and it so fun to see all my friends again! My friends and I did a skit for the talent show and it was hilarious haha. Before we did the skit, they asked me to do a dance for everyone haha. This is probably because I tell about every missionary I meet about all the fun dance parties I've been to at BYU Idaho haha. So everyone starts chanting my name "Mo-rain...Mo-rain!) hahaha so I wasn't expecting that since I didnt even sign up to do that lol. So I didn't dance but we did the skit and it was funny haha. We had a slide show after and that was fun to watch. I really enjoyed catching up with missionaries I hadn't seen in a long time so that was good. I had my interview with my mission president after. It went well, he told me that I could be staying in Lenox next transfer, but that my companion Elder Thomas will probably be transfered after this transfer. So, will see what happens! He also told me about a 30 day notice we have to put in before we can move to Creston(this i was not aware of) so now we have to wait till february 1st if we move at I'm kinda bummed about that. But after Zone Conference some of us missionaries got together for dinner and went to Red Robin! It was a really fun day to be in Des Moines for Zone Conference.
Saturday we had a great lesson with our investigator Randall! We taught the first lesson, and we brought a member to fellowship him. He said he believe what we taught was true so thats good!
Yesterday we had a great sunday at church. I got to speak in Sacrament meeting! My topic was on Jesus Christ's Love for children. I used some scriptures, and a story from the ensign and told a personal experience. It felt good to get up in front of the branch and bear testimony of what I know is true. After church the branch president and I went on splits and we saw members all over the area. Then we had dinner at the branch president's house so it was a nice time. I'm growing to love the members here in Lenox already so I am happy to serve here.
Well, I hope everyone has a fun New Years this week!
Keep it real
VE Elder Morain

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas from Lenox Iowa!

Dear Elder Morain Fan Club,

Merry Christmas from Lenox Iowa! I hope all of you are having a magnificent Christmas at home with their families. So I am now in Lenox Iowa and it is the smallest town I have ever set foot in haha. It has been a absolute crazy past few days getting transfered here. After I last emailed you on Wednesday I said goodbye to all my friends I have made in Ames. It was sad saying goodbye and I miss them already. I didn't even get to start packing till about 12:30 Thursday morning! I stopped packing at about 3:30 in the morning and then had to get up at 5 am to finish packing! I was way tired haha. We got to the transfer point and drove in the transfer bus to Des Moines! I got to see so many missionaries that I hadn't seen in forever! It was a lot of fun hanging out with them for the whole day. The weather got so bad that we had freezing rain on thursday night! The roads were to slick to drive on so I got to stay the night in Des Moines! I love that city, it was cool to see the capital building and drive through downtown. Friday morning we woke up and got together for breakfast with some other missionaries. Then we drove from Des Moines to Osceola! There I met my companion Elder Thomas and we drove to Creston from there. We might be moving to Creston actually, today we are going to look at apartments we can move into so will see what happens. I met some members and saw people creston then we went to Lenox! I dropped my stuff off in our house(yes we live in a house!) Our house is right next door to the church which has been converted from a house to a church.
Lenox is a branch and yesterday was my 1st sunday there! We had cordination at 8:30 and then PEC at 9. Our sacrament starts at 10am. Before church I was talking to some members and a crazy coincidence happened. I talked to this guy who just got back from BYU provo the night before. I asked him where he lived at and he said Glenwood apartments. I asked him if he knew Andrew and Jacob Clark, and he said ya they were my roommates winter semester! Then it all clicked and I said dude I stayed the night in your apartment last february! He then said he recognized me from somewhere and know we know where from. I remember talking to him and telling him I was going to the Iowa Des Moines Mission. He told me if I ever serve in Lenox to look up his family! And it just so happened that the only sunday he is in town is my first sunday in lenox. Then his family invited me to spend christmas day at there house! So now I get to spend christmas with my friend from home haha.
I love the members in the Lenox Branch! I got to meet almost everyone already and they all seem like really cool people. We had a great sacrament meeting, where we passed the sacrament and I said the opening prayer. Then the 1st counselor in the branch presidency asked me to give a talk in sacrament next week! I have a feeling I am going to be very involved in the branch here. After church we had a branch potluck and had some good food! Then the Branch President took us to go caroling to some less active members in our branch. We got to teach our investigator John VanPatten who has a baptismal date set for January 10th!!!!!!! I am so excited that he is getting baptized, he is only 9 years old, think of the long life he has ahead of him as a strong member of this church. I am so grateful I have this opportunity to be a full time missionary here in the Lenox area.
I'd love to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas! I am excited to call home on Christmas and talk to my family! The day after christmas is our Christmas Zone Conference where I get to see missionaries from 4 Zones! Until next week,
Keep It Real
VE Elder Morain

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm being transfered to Lenox Iowa!

Dear Elder Morain Fan Club,

This morning I recieved a phone call informing me that I am being transferred to Lenox Iowa! I am leaving Ames at 6:50 in the morning tomorrow! My new companions name is once again Elder Thomas haha. My comp's name right now is Elder Thomas so this will be intersting. I've never met this Elder Thomas but I hear he is from Syracuse Utah and he went to the University of Utah! He has been on his mission for 17 months. I hear that I will be living in a house! Not an apartment like I have been, pretty crazy! Also, Lenox Iowa is the farthest south area in our mission! My area touches the border of Missouri! Lenox is also one of the smallest towns in our mission. This will be a new experience for me since my whole mission I've been in Sioux City which is a big city and Ames which is a college town. I am really going to miss serving here in Ames. I have been here for 4 and a half months! I have grown to love the people here so much and it is going to be really hard to say goodbye to all the friends I have made here.
Well since I last emailed you a lot has gone down. It has been absolutley freezing here! Brother Taylor in my ward called my mission president and informed him of the weather. So we for the last 2 days have been only allowed outside for 30 minutes! With the wind chill it has gotten down to about -25 degrees! This is definetley the coldest weather I have ever experienced in my life(Yes, even colder than Rexburg Idaho haha)
On Saturday I had the opportunity to help out the Excell family in my ward with cooking and catering for the Hyvee(its a grocery store in the midwest) Pharmicists Christmas Dinner! We helped out for 15 hours! We cooked it all up at his house and then drove to Madrid Iowa where the party was at. It was a lot of fun and I had a great time with one of my favorite families here in Ames.
On friday we had our ward christmas party! It was fun to have one last hurrah with my ward before I get transferred. I had a great last sunday in the ward. I will miss the members so much, they have been so nice to us these past 4 and a half months.
Well, next time I email ya, I will be in Lenox Iowa next monday, that is a crazy thought. I hope everyone has a great time preparing for Christmas! I am very exciting to call home on Christmas! It's my first time since Mothers Day so we will have a lot to catch up on. Thank you so much for all you do to support me. I feel the blessings of the prayers offered on my behalf.
Keep it Real!
VE Elder Morain

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

R.I.P. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Dear Elder Morain Fan Club,

It has been quite a week for me and for the church as a whole. As many of you know Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin passed away Monday night at the age of 91. I had the opportunity to watch his funeral on Friday. It was a very spiritual service and I was touched as I watched it. I especially liked the part when President Monson spoke of his experience talking with the Head Coach of The University of Utah. The Coach told the prophet that the back of every helmet on the Utes team will have the initials "J.B.W." for Joseph B. Wirthlin. As some of you may have heard last night on the Bowl Selection Show the University of Utah will be playing in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. I encourage you to watch it and see what they say about the initials. Anyways, I will miss Elder Wirthlin, I've enjoyed his talks in conference over the years and as I study them now they mean so much more to me.
Last Monday I told you about a member family in my ward who has a son on a mission. Later on that Monday I received a call telling me the outcome. The Quorumn of the 12 Apostles met monday to discuss him and decided to reassign him from the Taiwan, Tapei mission to the California, Oakland Mandarin Speaking Mission! I am really excited for him because Oakland is only 1 hour north from where I live! So it's been exciting to talk with his family and help them be happy about the reassignment instead of feel sad.
On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Gillespie in Story City! I stayed the night in a members home and that was a fun experience! It was cool being in a new town and meeting new members in their branch.
Yesterday was exciting! We went to PEC in the morning and the High Priest Group Leader Elwynn Taylor invited us to his home afterward. He works for Iowa State and is a Weather Man, he is like a really big deal. He showed us his interview he had on CNN during the Floods in Cedar Rapids Iowa! So if he is on CNN you know he's a big deal haha. Well, as he was showing us the weather reports he got a phone call from Channel 8 News(the local CBS here in the central Iowa area) asking him if they could film an interview with him! Channel 8 News is actually the best local news in the nation, because more people watch their news, than any other people watch their local news! So he told Channel 8 to come over to his house and film the interview! So they invited us to stay and watch it. It was really cool cuz I'm all about that kinda stuff haha. He told the news that it's going to be way cold this winter, just as cold as last winter! And ever since I got here to Iowa I've been hearing stories of how cold last winter has been, so I'm scared haha.
Well, last night I got to watch The First Presidency Christmas Devotional! It was really inspiring and motivated me to think more about the true meaning of Christmas this year. Being out on a mission is really helping me this Christmas Season to think more of Jesus Christ instead of all the Santa Claus stuff. I encourage all of you to give service to others this Christmas season and get lost in the true Christmas spirit. As we serve others more, I've found that we are so much happier than if we just thought of ourselves.
My next P-day is December 17th, that Wednesday is the day before Transfers. My Mission President already told me I have a good chance of getting transferred, so make sure to send letters to the mission office, and not directly to my apartment. Thank you so much for all of the support you give me. I feel the blessings of the prayers that our offered in my behalf daily. I truly know that God does answer your Prayers.
Keep it Real
VE Elder Morain

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to December everybody!

Dear Elder Morain Fan Club,

I've had one of the best weeks of my mission. Lets just say it has been very eventful. On P-day we had most of our zone come to Ames and we played a big game of football. It was really fun until my district leader Elder Gillespie fell and sprained his ankle really bad, and it might even be broken for all we know. We also played some good games of basketball and that was a blast.
On Tuesday I had an interview with my mission president. He told me that I am most likely getting transferred on December 18th. I am really sad that I have to leave Ames. I have grown to love the people so much and it is going to be really hard to say goodbye to them. That would put me at 4 and a half months here in Ames, just as long as I was in Sioux City. I hope a miracle happens so I can stay one more transfer here in Ames.
On Wednesday we had our district meeting and it was amazing. I learned a lot about how someone can be such an influence for good in other people's lives. Elder Gillespie is one of my hero's out here and he has inspired me to be a better missionary and to be excited about this work. I realized how real our power and authority is as full time missionaries.
Thursday was Thanksgiving and I have to say that it was one of the best Thanksgivings I've ever had. We got together as a district on thanksgiving morning and played our annual football game. It was big for me because all my life I've played football every thanksgiving morning so I felt right at home. It was a really fun time. Then we went over to a family named the Excells. Their son is in the MTC right now and is scheduled to fly to the taiwan tapiea mission tomorrow. But due to medical reasons he might have to be reassigned to another mission. The quorumn of the 12 apotlses met together to discuss what should happen to him! It's a pretty big deal and today we will find out his fate. We went to the Saxton family for thanksgiving dinner. It was delicious! Our investigator Heather Burg came to the dinner as well. The missionaries from the Young Single Adult Branch here in Ames also came so i spent thanksgiving with my mtc companion Elder Daniels! I hope all of you had a wonderful thanksgiving as well.
Saturday I had the opportunity to particpate in the 2008 NetFest at Iowa State! It had kids from all over the state from like 4th grade to 8th grade. They played a basketball tournament and we the missionaries were the score keepers for the tournament! It was very legit, we had to run the clock, the scoreboard and keep track of the fouls! I never knew 6th grade boys basketball could be so hard core. The coaches and parents were screaming like crazy, it was a big deal haha. We had all the missionaries in my zone. Some of the missionaries in the fort dodge zone and most in the des moines zone came so it was fun to see all my friends. We started at 730am and didnt get done till like 7pm! It was a lot of fun to get to know the coaches and refs and stuff I enjoyed it a lot. I know have a whole new appreciation for the score keeper when I watch a game of basketball haha.
Yesterday at church we were asked to help out in primary. My companion and I played each other in the game name that tune for my primary songs. The way it worked was if my companion got the song right the jkids got to cut a piece of my tie off! I was kinda sad they ruinied such a nice tie but at the end, I gave my tie to a boy in the primary and I committed him to go on a full time mission when he is older. He said yes and then proudly wore my cut tie. It was good a experience. I never realized the impact we as missionaries make on the kids of the ward.
Well, I hope everyone has a good week and It would really mean a lot to me to hear from some of you. Thank you to all who have emailed me and sent letters they help me so much out here.
Keep it real!
VE Elder Morain