Feb 18, 2010

Feb 18, 2010
Thanks to all the friends who showed up at the airport - we were so surprised to find out how many have been following the blog for 2 years. You all are great!

Elder Nowland and His Friends

Elder Nowland and His Friends
We've Been waiting for you.

30 March 2009

30 March 2009

Nedokazu si predstavit kolik zabavy mate! I can’t imagine how much fun you all are having. Thanks a ton for sending me the pictures of the house. I have felt pretty homeless not knowing what my home even looks like. (Moms note: we sold our previous home and are temporarily in another home while we build a new smaller one for us empty-nesters).

I really hope that the pass along card activity goes over well. That seems like it would be a lot of fun. I guess it all depends how you look at it but it would be a lot of fun to be able to accept the challenge and then to accomplish it. Good idea. I would like to thank you both for the letters that you sent, I really needed to hear about just committing oneself 100% to the work and then seeing how that Lord blesses us. I know that I’m not perfect, and even when we are having success here, there are days that I lose that 100% commitment. I know that it works, all a person has to do is try something and they will see if it works or not.
We had a really neat meeting this week with a guy that I have never actually met. It was a really good meeting, because I had a really great love for the gospel built up within me and I was talking to him to get to know him, and it was really interesting because everything he mentioned about himself was making a connection in my head to the gospel. It was so neat because I was able to look at him and thank him for sharing all that with me, and being lead by the spirit I said to him, “it is interesting because the message that we share has a lot to do with the experiences that you have had in your life.” I told him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it relates to his history. The purpose of the meeting was very clear; we were trying to help him towards baptism. It was nothing secret, It was so neat because that is how a meeting is supposed to be, it just felt so right and pure, and he was very open and excepting of what we had to say. When you put boldness and a love of the gospel together with an open heart you will see an individual progress towards baptism. That was a really good learning experience for me. I learned that we need to have our focus always on baptism, and to allow the spirit to lead the discussion. What a wonderful experience to see an open heart accept the words that were coming from the spirit. That meeting really humbled me, and now it is my duty to take what I have learned and apply it to every lesson, contact, and aspect of missionary work.

I was looking back the other day on what miracles that I have seen since serving as a missionary, and I found that there are many things that I have been so privileged to see since serving and amongst all the cool little stories the thing that probably means the most to me is that I have seen my family as a whole take huge strides in coming closer the Lord through missionary work. It touches me so much that my family is serving right along side of me. I am so indebted to the Lord for the most beautiful blessing that I have ever received from him, which is the blessing of a family that is so loving, so willing to serve, and so obedient to everything that they have been asked to do. That is my family! I want to thank you for raising me in the gospel, thank you for the lessons you taught me, for spending time with me, for helping me up when I struggled, for never giving up, and for always being living examples of what you believe. I'm going to commit myself to working harder this week so feel free to follow-up on me next week.

I can't express my gratitude for you all. I love you and i will be talking to you next week, so take care until then. Let me know how the Sundae party went. And also the Pass along card activity.
Love you family,Az se napiseme zase, Until we write again.Your one and only son, Elder morgan nowland

23 March 2009

So it sounds like things are going swimmingly there in the Brainerd ward. I think dad might need to serve a second mission before the one as a senior couple. I’m really glad to hear that the work is starting to pick up there in that part of the Lords vineyard. Also that will be really nice to get elders back.
In Prague, we had a really sweet week, Amka got baptized!!! It always just increases my faith to see someone enter into the waters of baptism. Just seeing how their life changes, and the progress that they make is truly amazing.
We are looking forward to committing more people to baptism this week to help our investigators have something to work toward. We are going to put into action the training that we got from the Assistants at this past Zone Conference. We are going to work at raising our investigators to the goal of baptism by using parables like Christ used when He taught, instead of lowering the goal so that they will accept it.

I love the mission right now! I’m really enjoying being here with these people. In every work no matter where we are, one of the great indicators of success is based upon the amount of Love that we give to those with whom we work, whether it is in business, service, marriage or friendship. I’m looking to increase my Czech speaking ability because I feel that I’m beginning to tapper off. I want to make a greater push and improvement in my abilities.

I love you all and wish you the best this week. I have a quick question about dad’s new vocabulary that he is using, “Stoked” is a cool word but it is way funny to hear it from the mouth of a boy raised in Virginia….ha-ha… No it’s good though, I like it. My family has got to be the coolest!!! I’m glad you all don’t mention the time that I have left because I know that some missionaries parents are more “trunky” than they are and write them all the time mentioning how much time they have left. I love you all so much for the emails you send, they always motivate to do more.

Love always, your one and only missionary son,

07 March 2009

3 March 2009

Hey Family guess what your praying paid off!

So this week we had a meeting with a former investigator. His name is Petr, what happened with him truly is something that you read about in the Ensign. So he hasn’t had contact with the missionaries for around two years now. Three weeks ago he felt a really strong impression to pray. As he prayed he asked that heavenly father would send him someone that he could talk to about his beliefs. A week after this prayer we called and set up a meeting with him. When we showed up to his house he was very excited and sat us down and began sharing with us how he had prayed for us to show up and then there we were. He began to relate to us everything that had been happening over the past two years,. He talked about how he had been studying the Book of Mormon everyday. He bore such a strong testimony of the book of Mormon that I even felt myself becoming converted to it all over again. The spirit was so strong as we discussed all these things. I looked over at my companion and saw him sitting there in awe. Neither one of us had ever had an experience like this before where someone’s prayers brought us to them. It was such a humbling experience. I began to feel promptings from the spirit to talk to him about baptism. This is not something that is normal to do during the first lesson with an individual. I told him that when an individual knows that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is a true book, the next step for them is to be baptized. I asked him if he had ever thought about baptism. He got quiet and then quietly said that he had indeed thought about baptism, and that he had made a promise a while ago with the Lord that if ever he met missionaries again that he would be baptized. He then said, “And now you’re here.” Well you can just imagine the look of utter joy and shock that was spread across our faces. I sat there at that little kitchen table thinking to myself is this really happening, this is the kind of story that you read about in the “New Era’”, or the “Ensign.” Before leaving we committed him to pray about a date to be baptized and that when we return we will discuss what needs to take place before an individual is baptized.
Well his is part 2 of an amazing day; we hurried to the church building where we had a meeting with the guy that I had contacted on the metro that called back on a pass-along card. He became a new investigator, and then with another investigator, we committed him to baptism. It was an amazing day, one that I will remember for the rest of my mission. There were so many things that I saw that had been put in preparation for this day; little things that if we had not been worthy, they would never had happened. Our Zone did something truly amazing as well by surpassing standards of excellence and finding 32 new investigators this week, and also teaching 97 lessons !!! we broke the standards of excellence for finding new investigators as a whole mission the standard is like 128, and we found 145 never done before!!!!!!!! So it was a great week we went from 5 baptismal dates to 11 this week as well. Things are going very well. Im truly greatful for what the Lord has done to help this mission.

But now it is time for questions.
How did this past week go after your zone conference with one of the general authorities last week? really well. The mission did really well
Do you feel it made a difference? absolutely!
How did it impact the other missionaries? They seem to be very excited to work! and reach higher goals
Are you getting to teach more? yes and no we already teach a lot more than is normal so we are focusing on helping others get to this level rather than just continuing to grow our area
Did you finally get our package? not yet actually i dont know what is up.
Do you teach anyone in English? all the time here in prague.
Is it getting warmer? a little bit
Do you need anything? if you could send berts bees chapstick and maybe a bunch of black dress socks.
Tell us something about meeting with Elder Neuenswander?he is very good at teaching by the spirit. Everyone heard what they needed to hear. Whether it be following rules or just having patience it was a really good meeting but he put Elder Barker and i on the spot. It was a humbling experience.
Well that is all for today, i love you family spring is coming hopefully and im really excited,keep up the missionary work, you all are doing really amazing things there.
Love your son,Morgan

23 Feb 2009

Hey family well it was a rather successful week for us in the vysehrad area and also in the zone the number of lessons being taught and new investigators being found is increasing so that is a bit of good news. We are still struggling to figure out what needs to happen so that we can help everybody to see that they can accomplish more than what we are currently doing.

Quick question while im thinking about it or rather a request, would you keep my drums and guitar in the house where it is air conditioned if at all possible so that the wood wont warp as the temperatures fluctuate outside. That would be amazing and would save a lot of money.

The work is starting to become more and more exciting, about one week ago i was riding in the metro when a missionary challenged me to speak with a young man probably about 27 years old, of course i love a little competition and challenges, so i talked to the young man and began to enter into a discussion about why im here as a missionary. In the midst of our conversation i realized that i needed to hurry and get off the metro so i handed him a pass along card and as i told him that i needed to get off he mentioned that he was also getting off at that stop and that he also needed to change to the next metro line so he walked with me. Our conversation continued as we rode up the escalator. It was a very real conversation, we were both very sincerely interested in what the other had to say. He was heading in the same direction as us. He talked with me as i traveled all the way home, and here comes the sad part, i got off and said goodbye without getting his number or his name from him. Needless to say i was a bit upset with myself because i saw in him a really great young mens president. So there i was a week later at church when something amazing happened, he sent me a text!! unbelievable! I have never had someone respond back to a handout. It is a really great testimony strengthener for me that pass along cards do actually work. It may not be everybody that will respond or call, but the ones that truly are prepared will call. Needless to say it was a tender mercy for me. His name is Lada. So that was the coolest thing that happened this week for me, the work here is fun but we are looking to make it better, so stay tuned.

Now for questions.1. How is church in Prague? bigger there are about 80-100 people that attend every sunday
2. Have you had to speak in church there yet? yes actually i did yesterday i gave about a 5 minute testimony about missionary work.
3. Have you used any other stories that I have sent? not yet i havent actually had the opportunity i dont teach directly as much anymore but i think we will be changing that and start having district type meetings with our district leaders.
4. Do you need any clothes or other items sent to you? no i think i should be alright, you could send "Berts Bees" chapstick if you would like
5. Did you ever sell or give away your yellow backpack?yeah i actually traded it for another backpack it is a Dakine backpack its nice for p-days
6. How is your new backpack holding out? it is holding out very well
7. Where have you travelled to as ZL? brno and that is it so far we had a training meeting for Zone leaders with Elder Neuenschwander of the 70

Well family i love you more and more everyday it is a wonderful experience being a missionary. Im really learning so much about the gospel and also about myself. The mission is an eye opening experience.Keep the missionary work alive, i have a testimony that missionary work brings a whole new level of blessings to the lives of those that are a part of it. i have been blown away by how happy missionary work makes me. i wish you a great week,
love your son,Elder nowland Morgan