Well i have some interesting news for you. My new companion is from Hungary!! Can you believe that!! His name is Starsi Horvath. He speaks decent english, fluent hungarian, and pretty fluent German. He has been a member of the church for a total of 3 years now!! He is the only active member in his family his parents are both non-members and claim atheism. He is a very spiritual individual. Czech for him is about as difficult for americans. Although he does catch onto the grammar a bit faster. I will keep things brief. I am really nervous for this transfer because i dont want to become lazy and lose sight of my goals and desires to finish strong. Satan has an interesting way of using such ideas as, "you have done so much now that your mission is already a success" or "Just hit the standards and that is enough." It scares me when those thoughts jump into my head, but it is a part of the "increasing of our faith" that we all must experience. So i am in 1Nephi 16 right now and i just read about when Nephi broke his bow. The whole family was being obedient and had kept all the commandments of the Lord. They were all doing what they should and had what they needed in life. In this great state of obedience and faith is when Nephi's bow broke. I find it interesting that even when we are doing everything and keeping all the commandments of the Lord that he still gives us trials so that we can truly show the power of our faith and bring our faith up to a new level. I look forward to talking to you all this week.
I love you family soo much!!! cant wait!!!
-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
28 December 2009
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:48 AM
Je to neuveritelny ze vanoce jsou jenom za rohem! zda se mi jakoby byly jenom vcera. Je mi to lito ze nemuzu byt s vami ale se mnou budete v duchu. A pres mobil.
It is unbelievable that christmas is only around the corner! It seems like it was just yesterday. Its sad that that i cant be with you but you will be with me in spirit. And through the phone!!
Your prayers for the Roberts worked because both of them came to church again this sunday. I was able to sit down with them and with brother Harf to talk to them about the importance and neccessity of baptism, before entering th temple, because here we only have primary and sunday school, and the topic of the sunday school lesson was temple work and ordinances for the living and the dead. Needless to say i was doing all that i could to fill them in so that they could understand. Afterwards i simply explained that the most important thing for them to do right now is to find out that Joseph Smith really is a prophet. Brother Harf was a Lutheran at first and converted when he was 18 years old. He bore his testimony about the need to be baptized twice because the roberts had been baptized as babies as are most people in this country. It really is very sad to me that nearly every person in this country was baptized as a baby, yet only 1 out of about every 50 people we talk to really believes in God, and only 1 out of about every 200 of those follows the catholic beliefs. These people are very confused about religion and God. It turned out to be a very good lesson. Brother Harf invited them to be taught at their home next sunday after church at 16:00. We now currently have three baptismal dates sitting in our area for january next year.
Well just for your information we just recieved our transfer fax today, and transfers will be on wednesday. And so the results are.....I am staying in Ceske Budejovice, and........hold on to your hats....! Im staying as district leader but i am going to be training a new missionary. I am really excited for this opportunity to raise up a missionary that will stand in my stead.
For christmas as of right now we have nowhere to go for dinner so we might just be doing our own thing. I would really like to give the new missionary an opportunity to see what czech christmas is like...Well see what we can work out.
I will be going into prague on wednesday to get trained and then to find who will be my companion.
The work is so much more fun when you are really giving your heart to it and forgetting yourself. I set a personal goal for myself for this last transfer. I want to truly become a Preach My Gospel Missionary before i leave. So i am going to be reading the book of mormon again from cover to cover and studying Preach my gospel from cover to cover. I am excited for what this transfer can be for me. I am excited for what this transfer can be for my companion, and also what it can be for this city.
Now time for questions:
What have you opened in your package so far? (as best you can remember) Laser pointer, socks, floss, toothbrush and tops, Step counter, pen, thats all i can remember.
What do you like best about your new city? It has a very pretty namesti area.
Have you taken pictures of your apartment yet? Not yet but i do have a few.
Have you given out the children's gifts yet? not yet im waiting until the branch christmas activity. We are going to have a white elephant gift giving party. In czech it is called the Bily Sloun.
It will be so fun to be together. Whitney and i will have a lot to discuss and a lot of stories to share. Im looking forward to seeing you whitts.
With love, Your son, and brother
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:39 AM
11 December 2009
Family, this week was a fun one i have a few cool experiences to share.
Elder Pearson set a goal to get up every morning at 5:30 to study Czech. I decided to do it with him. I would have to say that even though that is a very cosmetic sacrifice it was a great help for us in seeing a raised amount of success. The Zone Leaders also came down for an exchange, it was a decent exchange. I felt a good amount of energy from them. They came in and went to work with us to find on the streets. I am very thankful that they came. While I was finding with Elder Mittanck, we contacted two men that we sat down with at our building and ended up inviting them to church. The basis of the lesson was to show the Lord that you want his help by coming to church. Well, here is the cool part. A day or two later these two men met another man, that was down on his luck, in a housing panelak. This man asked the two guys that we had contacted, named Robert and Robert, if they knew the address for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they replied that they had just met missionaries from the church a few days before and that they were going to be going there for church on Sunday and that this man could go with them. All three of these men came to church and really felt of the spirit as missionaries and members bore their testimonies. One of the Roberts actually got up himself and bore a very appropriate testimony about the trials of life and looking to God for relief. Cool Experience number one.
Cool experience number two: I have been giving a lot of thought to how i can better allow the Holy Ghost to do all of the teaching in our companionship. I have felt lately that i have not been allowing him to speak but that instead i have been trying to do all the teaching myself. So after church on sunday our newest investigator came and sat down next to me while he was waiting for president to have time to meet with him. We just started talking to each other i asked him how he was feeling. He told me that he was lost in his thoughts about the difficulties he is having in his life. This is where the cool stuff happened. I felt impressed to begin talking to him about Matthew 6 where Christ talks about the Lilies of the field. After we read the passage, words began flowing from my mouth. I know that sounds a bit cliche but it is true. The thoughts entered into my head so smoothly, and clearly. Receiving the thoughts is one thing but moving them out into words is another. The thing was though that the thoughts entered into my head in czech. Therefore, they came out very fluently in czech as well. I felt very relaxed and comfortable. I was speaking fluently. It was amazing and he was taking in every word and i could see the words really making an impression on his mind. I cited scriptures and asked questions so easily. It was an amazing experience. The Holy Ghost really taught through me. It was a very spiritual experience.
We went to Prague to go to the turkey bowl( our Zone lost by one) and to go to Zone Conference (very spirituallly uplifting about giving three gifts to christ for the next three weeks, one gift every week. It relates to the frankincense, gold, and myrrh).
Did you get your Christmas Package? yes
Have you started opening the gifts? yes
If so, are you having fun with it? you know it! thanks a bunch
Is it snowing? nope
What are some things you are going to buy for yourself from CR before coming home? Shoes, pictures, postcards
Do the Czech people do anything special for the Christmas season? We just had a big event on the town square where a massive three story angel came and blessed the city. Then, another normal sized angel zip-lined from the tall clock tower across the square to the town hall, dropping magic dust as it went.
Are there like Christmas concerts and do the village squares put up tons of Christmas lights, like Temple Square? There is an iceskating rink that covers a fourth of the square, and there are little decorations on the lamp posts. Also, a big chrstmas tree!!!
Well i must go now, im glad that i was able to write.
The mission is way more fun when you are having success and the only way to have success is to work hard, and work with the Lord.
Your son, Starsi' Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 1:01 PM
24 November 2009
Hey family It has been a good week,
Heres what happened
At the beginning of this week we had a wonderful thing happen, we committed our investigator to be baptized. He accepted and now has a date for second of January! It was a really great lesson. The topic was receiving blessings from sacrifice. He is a really great young man and will make a great priest. We are also teaching his family, which consists of his Father and younger brother. They are a really great family So our meeting with him went over really well, when we committed him to baptism he was a little nervous but looked at us and said that he trusts us and will try hard to be prepared for the date. He reached his hand across the table and shook saying you have my word I set that as a date and do what I can to make it. It was a really cool experience.
Later in the week I went on exchanges with Elder Hill. It was awesome what happened with Elder Pearson because he was on exchanges with Elder Vivona, they went tracting on that first night they got let into a panelak and then into someone’s home and taught a lesson and the individual became a new investigator. The Cool thing is that this lady has a family that can also be introduced to the gospel! Elder Pearson was on cloud nine. Then the following day when the two were together again for district finding, they found and taught another new investigator! It was awesome! They were so happy.
On Saturday we baked up some banana bread and went out and paid a few visits to some of the Less-Actives in the city. It was a wonderful opportunity to serve these wonderful people. Best of all was that the two less actives that we visited and challenged to come to church actually came!! It was super.
As a district we put a big focus on finding and were able to find 9 new investigators as a district!!! It was a solid finding week but wasn’t solid with people at church. So we are going to continue building our areas and then push to get the new investigators coming to church! On sunday we went out to an investigators house that lives about 30 min away. Her name is Adela, and she restores old dilapidated books. We had a good meeting out at her house. She lives way out in the country but she is a great lady and repaired my scriptures for me because the pages came unsewn so she resewed them back in for me.
Take care this week and do something fun together while you are still empty nesters!!!--
Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 11:22 PM
16 November 2009
You all sent such great letters this week. Thank you for that Here is what went down
I will not lie about the fact that we have been struggling with trying to find new investigators. We have had righteous desires and righteous actions towards trying to accomplish our goals, but we just haven’t been able to make the solid connection. I have been praying every night for increased faith with which the Lord might be able to work miracles. We have really been striving to talk with all of our progressing investigators about baptism inviting them to work with us toward a date of baptism. It was hard as we were striving to endure with patience the trials that the adversary kept placing in our path. Well, I am here to tell you that the Lord never loses! Out of nowhere an older investigator, that had been out of the country for a while sent us a text asking to meet. We meet with him and quickly found out that he had been humbled and had lost all motivation to strive for his life’s goals. He came to us looking for answers, so we told him that he needs to repent. It was so cool just like the apostles of old we said to him,” this is what repentance is and how we do it, you need to repent, and then you will find the joy that you once had swell back into your body. It was very powerful! We set up a meeting for two days later and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We went through all the five steps that lead to eternal life, and then told him, “you are here right now at the step of repentance, we are going to help you to repent so that you can take the next step which is baptism by immersion and authority.” He accepted the challenge and is now working towards the 12th of December!
The Lord’s work will always go forward...”no unhallowed hand will stop this work from progressing.” Of that i am sure. We simply have to choose if we will be the ones to bring the work to light now in this time while we are here, or if we will grow lazy and leave it off for the next worthy soul. No matter what though this work will go forward.
Being a missionary is many things, it is hard, it is trying, and it is a learning process, but it is also rewarding, amazing, full of miracles, and up to this point it really has been the best two years (well year and some odd months). I am blessed to be here.
A little insight:
The main thing that i have really come to recognize is that with whatever we are doing, we need to always look for the fun in it. Everybody really only wants to be happy. It is what motivates each one of us to do what we do, to make the choices that we make. Too many people get lost in the things that bring very short temporary happiness, and ignore that thoughts that there could be something better; thats when people give up hope; that is what brings tears to my eyes...people without hope. So always look for the path that will bring greater happiness than you currently have. Always be open to inspiration.
Have you had lots of snow? not at all yet
Take lots of pictures and especially of your new apartment ok? ill do my best
Are you close to a czech crystal store? (is that what it is called - the little glass sparkly beads for making necklaces) They are everywhere, i can go looking in one, i have never really been inside one yet. What can i get for you?
Enjoy this week family. Mam vas rad. I love you.
Remember be happy!--
Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:55 AM
09 November 2009
Hey family, Ahoj Rodino!
So we had finding on the plan. We were feeling the burn of the previous days of finding. We had spent dedicated time out on the street looking for people that “had ears to hear” the message. We hadn’t seen very much success. It was hard, to continue talking to these people as our faith was taking hit after hit of, “No Time” “give me peace!”, and, “I’m hurrying.” We took some time to sit down and really talk about what was going on. We each shared our feelings. I then offered a true prayer for us where I truly begged the Lord to show us success, to lead us. We went out after that and talked with energy and fire, the denials and shut-downs didn’t stop coming, but we continued in the face of it. Then, finally, we stopped a young man and asked him to sit down with us for a few minutes. We had a great conversation with him. His isn’t a believer and isn’t terribly interested in the gospel and has his own beliefs, but he was willing to meet again two days later on Saturday. He showed up and we had a good talk with him about the gospel and its effect in our lives. We told him about the Book of Mormon and the history and knowledge that it holds, because he is really interested in the history of religions. It was a great blessing form the Lord to see him answer our prayers. We got a few numbers from some really great people and ended up meeting with two other individuals that will make great new investigators as soon as we can get them to find an opening in their schedules to meet with us again. I really saw an answer to our prayers. Answers come in all sizes and altitudes of amazingness, but they come.
The biggest struggle that the district is having right now is that we don’t have enough people that we can be teaching so we are going to put a bigger push on finding these next few weeks.
Successes are that we have been doing an extra contact game that involves a punishment of having to wear the same tie the next day if you don’t get all ten extra contacts. It has really helped us to contact couples and larger groups of people. If you come home with only 6 extra contacts then the next day you have to wear the same tie, and you have to get the 4 that you missed from the day before and then your 10 for that day.
We are getting there. Keep praying for us.
Stepanka Anderlova and Honza Barta were at church this Sunday. It was Wonderful!
Question time: How long will it take a package to get to you? im not sure maybe three weeks
Do you get to travel to Prague or is it too far away? It is about three hours by train, so not too often.
Take care this week! i love you so much!
Thank you for the letters, they are very motivating. you are the greatest!-- With love,
Your son, Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 10:21 AM
04 November 2009
This week was a busy one, We moved out of our apartment temporarily. We are getting new windows put in so we had to make ourselves scarce. We are now bunking in with the other elders for at least a week! its exciting! We had Zone Conference as well which was welcomed and needed.
So I think the highlight of this week that you should know about is the experience that I shared in Zone Conference. So on Tuesday we had 6 lessons in the plan, three of which we had set up with members ready to come and assist us. We had a challenge given to us by our Zone leaders to teach 6 member lessons. We didn’t exactly hit that goal this week but…! We did hit the standards in member lessons which was so awesome! It is possible to hit standards in member lessons in every single city in this mission. We just have to be willing to put the work into finding solid investigators and then setting them all up for a time that our member can make. It takes a lot of work on our part as missionaries, but it is do-able! Anyways so on Tuesday as all of our lessons started falling through, I started to feel the pressure that would be put on us in the latter part of the week. Elder Pearson and I felt at the end of the day that we really needed to repent of the way that we handled the let down of all of our investigators falling out. This is the amazing part, so on Thursday we really pushed hard to have two meetings at least with members present. It was turning out to be hard as we had one investigator that said that he couldn’t meet as early as we had set up. The only time he could meet was at the exact same time as another meeting that was in another location of the city. We set it up anyways and I was just hoping and praying that we would be able to find two members to go with us. I texted our branch president, President Chrdle, and asked if he would be willing to go on real “Splits” with us. He very simple responded “ok.” You couldn’t imagine how happy I was. The only trick left was to find one other member that would be able to go with us. So I gave Brother Harf a call. He gladly accepted. Again my joy was full as I see our goals and dreams for this city become a reality. We ended the night with a prayer in our branch president’s basement. WE had two wonderful member lessons and another two set up for Saturday that went through without a hitch.
The Lord might work in mysterious ways, but he is always working and bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Questions:Do you have Halloween in Czech? The members really are the only ones who will celebrate, and it is mostly just an activity night where the kids dress up but they dont go trick or treating.
Well i dont have anything else to say but, i love you and im excited that member lessons are starting to go here little by little.
Thank you so much for helping me with college stuff. Say hi to the band peoples for me, Say hi to rachel, blaine, erin, kailey, barrett, and evan for me if you see them. Oh and could you let me know when christopher is supposed to be getting home?
I love you soooooo much, Opravdu, ja nikdy nelham, ja vas mam fakt rad. Vy jste nejlepsi rodina na svete.--
With love, Your son,
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 12:28 AM
26 October 2009
Pictures Elder Nowland sent me this week
without any labels, so I am left to guess...
Sauerkraut and ?
The bus stop perhaps?
Elder Pearson, Elder Vivona (looks like he
needs a jacket), Elder Hill & Elder Nowland
are they trying to look like a boy band or what?
That pose has Elder Nowland's name written
all over it.
Elder Nowland in a goofy face in front of the
castle with Elder Pearson
The city square of Ceske Budejovice
Fountain in Ceske Budejovice
Could this possibly be the NORMAL
picture of Elder Nowland that I have
been begging for with his companion,
Elder Pearson. Wonder how long it
will be before I get another normal
See I told you it wouldn't last long.
The boy is NOT NORMAL
Need I say anything more. LOL.
Posin' again for the Missionary Boy Band -
now does it?
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 2:57 PM
This week’s district meeting was a really powerful one. I don’t say this because I want to brag of myself, but actually because I want to brag of my companion. One evening we came home and we were feeling really good about the day’s activities. Elder Pearson after taking a seat began to share his thoughts out loud. Well before he knew it he had monologued for 40 minutes about the power of our calling and our reliance on the spirit. I felt super motivated by the words that he was sharing with me and felt that he should share those same words with our district. So I gave him about 30 minutes of our district meeting to expound upon those thoughts. He did an amazing job. Elder Hill later mentioned that it was one of the best district meetings that he has had on his mission.
We pushed really hard this week trying to get member lessons. Throughout the week we had a total of 6 lessons with a member present set up. Three of them fell through and caused for a scramble yesterday to make it happen. We came to the point where we had nothing else to do but hope that at one of our meetings there would be a random less-active friend of the investigator there that we did not know about. Even though the standard was not reached, we did see an increase, and that increase is our motivation this week to really make it happen.
This next week should be great the Zone Leaders challenged us as a companionship to get 6 member lessons, so that is what we are going to do. The district goal for the end of this week is to have had 8 member lessons and 4 people at church. Hold your thumbs for us, it is going to be a wild ride!
Now for questions:
It looks like it has been kind of rainy, is that correct? yes
Has it already started snowing? a little but then stopped
I noticed that Elder Hill got a New Missionary - what is his name? Vivona
Where is he from? Indiana
What is your direct address? Dukelska 46, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Do you have a mailbox? nope
So are you getting settled in your new city? yeah its great
Is it challenging because of the beer production? a little but not a lot
Are the people harder to teach? the same
More receptive than in other cities? nope
Struggle with the Word of Wisdom? always
Is your comp fired up about being there? you bet ya
How long will it take to get a package to you? maybe three weeks possible 4
Do you have any investigators getting close to baptism? 2 are getting close to receiving a date
Are the members supportive of the missionaries and do they get involved with the work? a very very little bit....but it is starting to get better, we had three member lessons this week. we are going for 8 total as a district though
I love you all and am thankful for what you have done to help and motivate me
You are truly the best parents that i could have had.--
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 2:54 PM
19 October 2009
A Waffle Fest before he left the Mission Office in Prague - notice the goofy face...lol
He always talked about being so tired at the
end of every day. But he says there is no
greater feeling than being spent at the end
of a day in the service of the Lord.
What a priceless picture.
The sleeping picture was sent to me by Elder and Sister Robbins. They are a senior couple serving in Prague. Elder Nowland has grown very close to them. I am glad they sent me this picture with them.
They all went on a vylet (day trip) on their P-day to Knezi Hora,
which is right behind the castle, this the place where on
July 24, 1939 the country of Czechoslovakia was dedicated to the preaching of the gospel by
Elder John H. Widstoe. Elder Russell M. Nelson returned to this same spot in 1990 and offered a prayer of thanksgiving and rededication. Very appropriate that the name of the mountain is Priest Hill.
This is a picture of the Zone in Prague before
Elder Nowland left this past week to serve in
his new city of Ceske Budejovice.
Now in the city of Ceske Budejovice on P-Day.
Elder Nowland, Elder ?, Elder Pearson, Elder Hill (if you know the mystery Elder please let me know)
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 2:32 PM
15 October 2009
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 7:23 AM
01 October 2009
This picture is from a Young Adult Family Home Evening with one of the Senior Couples Serving in the Czech Republic Mission - Bro. and Sister Robbins.
It has been another week! Weeks don't last nearly as long now as they did when i was in High School. It all is going by so quick. we just got back from a Zone leader conference that we had in Brno. It was a lot of fun and i am really grateful that at this time in my mission i get to be apart of such wonderful opportunities to learn from the other elders and from mission president.
The coolest thing that happened this week is that.....drum roll please.....I finished reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover within a 6 week period !!!!! I know for many people this is not such a massive accomplishment, but for me it really is something absolutely amazing. I never really had a very strong testimony of the importance of the Book of Mormon, i always considered it to be a true book, and i defended it as scripture, but i never really knew the great importance that it holds, and also the great amount of knowledge that is contained within its pages. I have grown to love the book. It is interesting because now that i have finished it i feel this great desire to want to pick it up and start all over again. It really is an amazing piece of work that know matter how intelligent Joseph Smith was or may have been; he could not have written such a book by himself. even if he would have had four years to write it. If any man had four years or more to try and write such a book, i am firm in my belief that no one could create a compilation that would come anywhere near to what the Book of Mormon is.
We received a really great blessing from the Lord but not anything that could top what happened to momma. Thank you for sharing that story it is absolutely amazing!! We went out contacting and talked to 5 people. The third and the fifth are where the miracle happened. we talked to them about the Plan of Salvation. One is a convinced atheist and doesnt believe in God but he does believe in something after death, so we set up a time to meet again and talk about exactly what happens after death. it was really interesting because he is a really sarcastic individual and seemed as if there was nothing we could do or say to help him feel the need to learn more. We took a step back and started to listen to him and discern with the spirit what his true desires are. And, we found it. That was pretty neat to receive that blessing of the Lord.
I love you all!!!!!!!!! Have a great week--
With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 2:25 PM
It is so exciting to hear that things went really well for you all this past week. It really is a great motivation for me to persevere and continue on in the work. I'm really excited to see the branch (he forgets we are a ward here) when i get back. I have a feeling that I'm not going to recognize anybody. It is a wonderful feeling to know that my family is doing missionary work right along side me. I forgot to mention a big ol' HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DADDY!! I want you to know Dad that when my mind was pricked to remembrance about that fact that your birthday had come and gone, I felt absolutely horrible. Then, as i thought more about it i realized that it was probably better that i forgot because then, in my mind at least, you dont get any older. Now isnt that just wonderful. My mind creates a "Neverland" for you, so i figured that even though i am half way around the world, that i can still give you a gift. The gift of never growing up! Which my 20 years of experience has shown me is a gift that you already assume that you have. But now it is official!! So Congratulations to never having to grow up; at least in the mind of your son. I love you daddy!
This week some really neat things happened. We went to a meeting that we had, upon showing up to their house we were pleasently surprised to find that they had four other friends from Nigeria staying with them as well . We felt the impulse to change our lesson plan to discussing the baptism of Jesus Christ. It turned out to be a very bold lesson, but very powerful. Also while i was on exchanges with my District Leadder we were out contacting near the center of Prague which is a bit abnormal because there are always a lot of tourists there so missionaries don't frequent that area too often. For some reason though we were out there and ended up getting contacted by two amercan girls that know (Elder) Travis Chambers. I told them that i had lived with him for two months and know him pretty well. They were really excited about that. Small World huh... So because of the example that Elder Chambers always was, we are now meeting with these two while they are here an a study abroad program. We will see what happens. The power of example is something so great, much greater than we realize. That it why Alma was so dissapointed with his son Corianton. For because of Coriantons bad example, many were hardened in their hearts and did not listen unto the words of Alma and his sons Helaman, and Shiblon. Something really cool that i cant remember if i told you or not is that Elder Briggs challenged me to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover this transfer. I have been completely absorbed into the book. I am truly amazed that a book of scripture could be so amazing. Another neat thing is that because of this great excitment that i have felt towards the Book of Mormon, when i finish it i want to read the New Testament in the same fashion. It is a witness to me that the Book of Mormon does not only witness and testify of itself, but it testifies of the truthfullness of the Bible and as you read in the Book of Mormon, it develops in you a greater desire to read the Bible as well. The Book of Mormon is truly a magical piece of literature that i know without a doubt was written by the hand of God.
Do you think you are a better field missionary or office missionary or both? I enjoy the field work, it keeps me on my toes. But I do ok in the office when it comes to keeping things organized.
What do you like most as AP? working with President so closely, and being able to travel aroung the mission
What do you like least? Balancing the area and the office and the mission.
Last chance for things in your birthday box?
An updated picture of Whitney and Jeff in their home.
Pictures of our new home
A picture of Barrett and Evan Bello
Green "Icebreakers" mints
I cant think of anything else so if you think of anything else i guess it will be a surprise!it is possible that i will buy a new pair of shoes because mine are seeing their end. cobblestone is a destroyer! But it is fun to look at!
I love you all and look forward to hearing from you next week. Im in Alma 50 and looking like i will finish before the transfer is up...keep your fingers crossed. I love you, and wish you well this week. --
With love, Your son,
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 2:18 PM
15 September 2009
I'm really excited to be back home! Well back home in Prague! I have spent the past four days in the Slovak Republic. It was an absolute blast! I have never worked so hard in my whole mission! I'm planning on making a voice recording telling in a little more depth what happened. It was these same three days Tuesday - Thursday, two years ago that the church received recognition in Slovakia. So the Zone Leaders took advantage of this opportunity to excite the missionaries to making the second Slovakian miracle! So we (Elder Briggs and I) went to Slovakia to be a part of it. The schedule was that the missionaries put off all of their regular meetings to the weekend so that for the three days they could devote all their time to finding new investigators. We woke up every day at 5:30,and we were out on the streets from 7:45 in the morning to 8:45 at night! And we weren't just out talking to people here and there but it was power contacting!! It was truly talking to one person after another, we were talking to every single person that crossed our path. I have never worked that hard on my whole mission. We didn't have any lunch break or dinner break, we just carried around carrots and apples and little sandwiches with us and had little 15 minute breaks about every 2 hours. I say that i have never worked that hard, but i have never felt so satisfied and happy. When we finally got home yesterday i was so tired. I am soo happy to be home and to have a day of rest. Cool story really quick though was that when we got back into Prague we dropped our things in the office and then went out contacting for our own area. we talked to three people....just three....The first one was way grumpy and said something pretty rude to us, he was a really big guy, we just looked at each other smiled shrugged our shoulders and then continued on, the second one when we contacted him, he simply said, "I am a Jew," and then continued on, then the third person we talked to was the blessing from God. His name is Adam, he has been thinking about how to get rid of all the problems in his life, he came back to the church building with us and after we taught about coming to know God, and praying with him, he said,"i feel very comfortable right now, really.....pleasant, it is hard to describe." Well you can guess what our reaction was! We told him that those feelings are confirmations from the Holy Ghost that the things we were sharing with him are true. Miracle!
Ether 12:4,6 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with a surety ,hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
These are truly words to live by. I have seen this promise fulfilled so many times on my mission. In these past four days i have seen it more than ever! God always keeps his promises to us. the Prophets do not lie. This is truly the Gospel of Jesus Christ again in its fullness. Of that i testify.i love you family
This weeks questions:
So how's everything this week? It went well.
Are you having a better week.
yes we really had a week of miracles, tender mercies of the Lord.
Are you still enjoying being in the office? it definitely has its perks, like this past week.
Scout questions: (moms notes-I am doing a Little Philmont Scout Training and wanted to share some of his cubscout memories)
1. What did you like most about cub scouts? I liked going on camp-outs and making smores
2. Which camp out do you remember? The one in florida when went on the canoe trip and boats would go driving by and their waves would tip over some of the scouts....Hilarious!!
3. What did you like doing most at the camp outs? finding a hiking stick and carving it with my pocket knife. Also, playing capture the flag.
4. What food did you like at the camp outs? Dutch oven cooking is the best ever!!
5. Who helped you most with cub scouts ? Mom and dad
6. What is your funniest memory of cub scouts? i will have to agree with Andy on the time i ate that mexican food!!!!
7. What did you like about Derby Day? Seeing all the cool cars and, the pushcart derby. It was really funny when the scout leader would tip over.
8 What was your favorite Pinewood Derby Car? The Jamaican bobsled
9. What did you like most about the pack meetings? I loved the cheer box!! That was so fun. The live wire cheer was definitely a favorite
10. Is there a particular skit that you remember? The three rivers skit "its as clean as three rivers can get it!"
11. What is the funniest thing one of your parents did while they were being a cub scout mom or dad? Probably watching dad pack for a camp out. It was either putting a 20 dollar bill in his pocket and saying," Ok im ready! i think there is a holiday inn right around the corner!" or him getting the blow up mattress sheets pillows a grill a tent heater, a few chairs and some "tee kee torches" to put up around the tent.
I hope this week is another fun one for you all. Enjoy yourselves
Love you bunches, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 11:55 AM
So I'm going to apologize for writing late this week. By the way when i said we are having a baptism here in Prague i was meaning as missionaries as a whole so it was actually an investigator of the district leaders. It is really scary because right now it is taking a little bit longer for any of our investigators to start making the essential progress towards baptism. I am going to share with you that i am getting a little scared that the goal i established at the beginning of mission is not going to be acheived. dont worry though that doesnt take away any of my desire to still strive for it to make it a reality. I suppose i need to have greater faith. We have had a pretty calm week here. But on tuesday of next week we will be in slovakia trying to make another miracle happen there. It was this time about three years ago that the first miracle happened. It was when we were striving really hard to get enough signatures to get the church recognized by Slovakia. So we are going there this time with to try and find 27 new investigators in three days. It was in three days that the missionaries got 27,000 signatures. The Zone Leaders there have invited all the members to hold a fast for the missionaries for them to be able to find that many new investigators. I had an interview with president the other day. It was cool just because he told a little about his mission and how you can have great field working missionaries and great office working missionaries, and even missionaries that can do both very well. He mentioned that while he was an assistant he had a companion that was a great field working missionary for a companion, but when they brought him into the office he just wasnt able to make the transition so he went back out into the filed and did amazing things. The story helped me with my concern a bit. In case you didnt know president Slovacek served his mission in Austria.
Our questions for Elder Nowland:
Anyway how has everything been this past week? things have gone well, we are having trouble finding good solid people.
Are you doing a lot more traveling or has it slowed down for a season? it has slowed down for the week but as you read above it will pick back up again.
Are the missionaries putting into practice the things you have taught them? yes, here and there we are hearing good success storiess about the trainings
And are they seeing results? yup Is the work continuing to accelerate? it is continuing to accelerate. We just had 12 baptism this weekend in the mission! 6 of them were in Olomouc!
I have to go now but i love you and wish you the best this week. P.s. thanks for letting me know about you back momma nad how the priesthood blesing really worked. It was a great testimony builder for me to put more faith in the power of those blesings and the priesthood.-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 11:44 AM
29 August 2009
Morgan sent us pictures of his apartment and also of a few of his
companions who were going home this past transfer.
View from the apt balcony
Elder Nowland's study desk (below) - nice and neat.
Perfect for picture taking. Actually he is a pretty neat young man for the most part. Some of you remember I coordinated all of the colors of his mission items (orange) so it would be easy for him to keep up with. He got his call in October so everything was orange anyway. So you will see these throughout the pictures. My other mom friends thought I certainly had OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder - yeah so!)
Orange supply box with orange stapler, orange sticky notes, orange scissors in the box.
Bedroom Area - notice his orange suitcases.
Kitchen - pretty modern. They must have just cleaned for the apartment check or something. This is just way to clean for missionaries.
Closets and his companions bed.
Here is Elder Nowland's bed. He asked me to
make him a lite weight spread for his bed with
the pattern of the Czech flag. I am happy to
see he is still using that. Under that you will
see his orange sheets and pillow case.
Previous Companions who were
getting ready to go home.
Elder Chambers, Elder Nowland, Elder Wilding
Elder Chambers and Elder Nowland
they are great friends
Here they are again. They served in Olomouc
together in Morgan's 2nd area
and had great success together. They will remain friends
forever. Elder Chambers mom and I developed a great
friendship also. We love our boys. Aren't they awesome.
Now for Elder Nowland's letter for this week:
I just got back on Thursday evening from another week of conferences. It was a lot of fun! But I'm not going to lie about that fact that i was completely exhausted afterward. We started off in Brno, where i had some interesting feelings run through me as i watched Elders Guzy and Barker give their departing testimonies!!!! it was super weird!! because i remember serving with Elder Barker and him being scared because he had only 5 transfers left. Yeah....now he is in his last one. Our companionship study training got progressively better. Our best run of it was in Praha. We had this one training called the "silver bullet" which focused on the standards of excellence. For part of the visual aid we had a missionary shoot a silver birthday hat off my head with a Nerf gun. It was a lot of fun and surprisingly no one took advantage of the opportunity to shoot me in the face. Elder Strupp at the Prague conference nailed it first shot! I was impressed.
Cool story of the week was that we had been on exchanges in a little city called Zlin and then another little city called Jihlava. After these exchanges we were completely worn out. We had worked so hard and diligently to find people in those areas. We were in the car on our way home when i vocalised what we were both thinking. I said,"when we get back to praha we need to go out and find, the Lord has someone prepared for us." So we went. We took the metro to the stop Namesti Miru. We get out and make our way up the stairs, right as we were on the pavement Elder Briggs takes about two steps and contacts this guy that has an ice cream cone. The guy is interested and walks back to sit down with us on a bench, we talk about Heavenly Father, Prayer and the Book of Mormon. When this guy sees the Book of Mormon he got really excited. He said something to the effect that, patterns repeat in this world so often, just like when Christ came to the earth and started preaching something slightly new, and the pharisees and leaders of the church all denied Him and hated Him, even today people are still doing that. He said many wise things that were very impressing for a man that is not a part of any church. This man, whose name is Pavel (Paul), has clean cut hair, he is shaven, kind, intelligent, has a job, a home, a great desire to improve and progress, he knows the bible, he speaks czech and english, and is possibly a father (we didn't find out too much about his family) Pavel is what we would call a "Kingdom Builder" he could very easily become the next young mens president, or branch president. He could hardly wait for us to hand him the Book of Mormon. he opened it, closed it, then looked at us and said," I'll read it." From this experience i learned that for miracles to occur we need a few things. We need obedience all the time, we need faith that the Lord is watching over us, we must make sacrifice (hard work even when we are having little to no success), and then when the feeling hits us that we are ready to go in or to stop, we say a prayer asking for strength, and then go out fully expecting and waiting for the Lord to provide. It was a great experience, i slept well thursday night.
It was a truly great learning week. I had a lot of fun. Slovakia is absolutely beautiful. Rolling hills....It looks like the Shire from Lord of the Rings. Marvelous!
Momma, make sure to take care of yourself, lots of rest and patience.
(mom's note: I hurt my back (herniated disc) last week when we were in Utah for our son-in-laws graduation from BYU - but I am doing much better)
I love you all enjoy this next week!--
With love, Your son,
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 9:47 AM
22 August 2009
Did you ever get the envelope of the posters that I made? I did, Sister Robbins thought it was way funny, and President got a good kick out of it. We all agreed that someone has too much time on their hands and loves being a missionary mom.
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 11:58 PM
21 August 2009
We have been so busy this week. Picking up new missionaries getting a new companion (see questions below), taking old missionaries to the airport, and having leadership conference. I don't think that i have ever been as tired on my mission before as i was this week. We lost a lot of sleep due to getting up early and getting to bed late. No fears though, the reason that we got to bed late was because of President and assisting him with the old missionaries and other items of business. It was really neat though that i got to see Elder Chambers' parents. His mother said so many nice things about momma. She said that she was so thankful that momma talked to her and kept her updated on what was going on with her son. She said that momma was such a wonderful lady and knew for sure that she was a wonderful mother. She said that momma was always so loving and kind and that she really enjoyed the conversations that she had with you mommy.
My letter is going to be a little short today because i was just downstairs in the building with a gentleman that was homeless and looking for food and clothes. I got him something to eat and gave him a coat and shorts. I sat and talked with him for a little bit. He is originally from slovakia so he was speaking a mix between slovak and czech. He is a little mentally ill. He was kind. It was really sad for me because he said that he doesn't love his family because they can't help him anymore. So now he is homeless and on his own. I couldn't imagine that kind of life. a life without family, without love. I will always strive to show kindness and love to others.
I'm happy and healthy, my allergies have been acting up a little but no worries.
Here are the questions of the week:
Who is your new companion? My new Companion is ........[drum roll please].......Elder Briggs!!! Round two!!! Where is he from? He is from North Carolina
Do you want anything from BYU? Maybe, a book. "The Apostasy" by James E. Talmage.
Ok so there is a missionary here who has the small size Quad that I have and use. But get this his is not the quad all-in-one version like mine, but his is the split version. The Bible and then the Triple. I would absolutely love to have that version of the scriptures. I would be so excited. The color of choice would be first in brown, then black. I would ask that you not send them to me though. But keep them at home for me to use when i get back. I will pay you back for them once i get home. I love you tons.
You are the coolest family ever!!
When you send "the Apostasy," if there is still room in the box could you send the cinnamon poptarts, and cheese grits again?!!
Thanks I really appreciate you all so much as my family. You all mean so much more to me since i have been away. Take care until next week.--
With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:23 AM
08 August 2009
This is Morgan's Mom - I did get pictures this week after much begging. But I have to preface them with this: Morgan has NEVER been able to take a picture with a "normal" face. You should see our family photo album. We can take 5 quick photos on the camera and he will have a different goofy face in every one of them. So with that being said, here he is. Nothing has changed, even as a 20 year old.
I want to go here someday. I wish he would send me little titles to the pictures, but I guess I should just be grateful that we get pictures.
Did you get a new companion? Not yet, on Monday
What interesting thing did you do this week? Umm i stared at a board for a long time to figure out which missionaries should serve together and where changes should be made!!
Is it scary to drive in the Czech Republic?
Do you drive on the "wrong" side of the road? nope the road system here is pretty similar to that in america. the big difference is no turning on RED!
Is the drivers seat on the opposite side of the car from here? nope same side.
Take a picture of you by your car OK? Ok, that is not a question momma
Take pictures of your new apt OK? Ok,....still not a question
MORE PICTURES PLEASE-PRETTY PLEASE? Not going to answer one this because it is not a question.Mother, we might need to take some time to re-explain the difference between a question and a command.
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 10:07 PM
01 August 2009
So this week has been really quite hectic because there is a young single adult conferencce going on in a little city outside of Prague about 2 hours away. Elder Guzy and i were basically the shuttle service for the conference from Prague. We mainly had to bring a senior couple that is serving in Moldova to the conference and then back today so that they could fly to Holland. So today we were on the road for about 5 hours. After getting back to Prague, we ran into another senior couple that is from Serbia. Their son served here in the Czech Republic as a missionary and they had arranged to meet up with a family that their son baptised. This family has been in-active for the past 15 years and this meeting is a opportunity to get them active again in the church. So we have been translating between the two for the past hour. It was a really great experience. Tears were shed and i could feel a great sense of love in the room as these two worlds were being brought back together again. It was a testimony to me that there is missionary work to be done all over the world in all sorts of different settings. This world really is a small one. I love this gospel and the truth and happiness that it brings to people all over the world. Since i am short on time i will get to your questions.
Do you plan on going back to school Spring term? My mission will not end until february so i don't know. I would like to have some recuperation time to work and earn some money but whatever needs to happen i'm willing to do, except for coming home early.
If so, we will have to make a quick turn around to your mission when you get home and it will probably be cold, or do you want to wait and start BYU in summer? Look into it and give me the options of how things would work out in each situation and then i can give you a firm answer of which one will work. Thanks, I love you
When you have baptismal services, do the Elders conduct them or does the Ward Mission Leader do it? The Ward Mission Leader
Is the Branch Pres. there each time? usually, it is very rare that he is not there. He welcomes them to the branch family.
What is a typical baptismal service like as far as the program goes with speakers, music, etc.? We have 2 five minute talks usually about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, a musical number, and opening and closing prayers and songs. While the individual changes clothes we have a testimony meeting our just sing songs. sometimes missionaries can teach a lesson.
The work is all around us and the Lord can only bring us back into His presence if we will all help each other. We are in this world together, and we promised each other that we would do our best to use our free agency wisely. For some of us that promise includes helping those around us who havent yet figured out how to choose the right.
I love you so much and wish you the best week.--
With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 8:57 PM
28 July 2009
So this week has been superb. We were in Slovakia at the beginning at this week for zone conference. So left Sunday evening to Zilina, the trip was about 4 hours from Prague. We spent the night in Zilina, and had zone conference Monday morning. It was really funny, because our training had to do with a balloon game. Our training was on communicating clearly. And so we developed a fake game that had no rules, or instructions. We simply gave each missionary a balloon, had two tally takers, and two parakeets (the Parakeets and tally takers had no real purpose). We then gave one player from each team a balloon with the jolly roger (mom's note: I think he means a jolly rancher) on it. Then all at once, we gave them 10 seconds and said "Go!" It was really funny to watch how the missionaries reacted. Most of them started blowing up their balloons, some were highly confused and just sat and stared. We then got into our training which ended up pretty good. The next few days were pretty hectic as we traveled to Banska Bystrice, Trencin, Brno, and finally back to Prague. While we were in Banska Bystrice, I had a really cool experience contacting with Elder Haberman. On their town square in Banska Bystrice there is a really ornate, beautiful, luxurious fountain. Sitting on the fountain was a young couple, Elder Haberman and I contacted them about what they think of when they hear the word "church." To make a long story short, we had a really great conversation, and took them back to the church building, where we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was unique to see how even though each one of them had different ideas about religion, that they helped each other to overcome certain concerns.
I found this cool analogy in the office for how to teach the third lesson, using a story with pictures about a man who is traveling to his father's house. Even though there was a lot of driving across the two republics, Elder Guzy and I got to know each other better by telling stories all along the way. He really is a great missionary, and has a really funny past.I have come to the knowledge that, when we really rely on the promptings of the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit can make us sound a lot more impressive than we really are. As we went into the second conference in Brno, I felt like this came true with myself, because I was required to contact Elder Guzy as a part of our training. I didn't quite feel ready for the contact but as i got into it i really began to testify and feel the spirit testifying through me. The spirit entered the room with such a great strength, that it really made the whole training so much more powerful. I am so thankful that God our Father in heaven doesn't leave us here on this earth without any contact from Him, but rather he sends us his spirit that a part of Him might be in each one of us that we can feel such great promptings from our Heavenly Father who knows us so well.
You have a lot of questions this week so I'm going to get right to it:
Has our package arrived yet? yes and thank you soooo much! the grits were a nice surprise
Was the chocolate melted? it was a little bit
Did you eat it anyway? Of course!!!
Anything in particular you want sent...more pop tarts, etc? i don't really see anything that i would like at this moment. Maybe wait on the next package for a few weeks.
Are your shoes holding out? yeah they are doing pretty well. I think they might last me to the end
Are you getting letters from any of your friends? Not a whole lot. the last one i got was from Lindsay Owens and one from Kailey
Are you still having fun being an AP? yes, it is a lot of fun but i look forward to the day when i can get back out and just work in the field again
What neat things have you done with the missionaries lately? Just the training about communicating clearly, and how they didn't have a clue what to do with the balloons because we did not express what we really wanted even though we were very enthusiastic.
How often do you get to drive? Pretty much everyday we are in the car
What kind of car do you drive? It is an Opel Astra (I put a picture of a similar one above)
(Moms note: I have to paste in my letter to Morgan so his response below makes sense, but it is funny, so I hope it is worth it. I was asking him questions...
Did you get your package?
Was the chocolate melted?
Did you eat it anyway?
(golly that started sounding like the little song "I found a peanut, I found a peanut..."
Do you know that song?
OK, I really am not as insane as this letter is sounding, I am just your same goofy mom as always. Here is his response in which he pasted part of my letter:)
(golly that started sounding like the little song "I found a peanut, I found a peanut..."
Do you know that song? i do know that song! I think Andy was the first person to introduce me to it.Well that is all that i have for this week. The transfer is winding down, which is scary, but things always continue on and we must always move forward.
Elder Chambers is going to be going home here in 3 weeks when the transfer ends, which is very sad for me, but he has to move on too.
Take care family!--
With love, Your son,
Starsi Morgan Nowland
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 9:56 AM
18 July 2009
at the office.
President Slovacek, we promise not to paint our faces ever again, but Sister Slovacek told us we could - I promise. Please let me out, please!
(he always used that smile on
us here at home too - it worked on us as well)
Enjoying the day with the office staff,
this is Elder Nowland with the Robbins
and Elder Kartchner
This is the picture with the group.
President Slovacek looks like he is taking the opportunity for a teaching moment. He is just an awesome Mission President. Elder Nowland says he is so blessed to be able to work so closely with he and Sister Slovacek.
Posted by Susan Nowland - Mom of Missionary at 9:32 AM