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.

20 February 2010

True Friendship

Happy to be home after 20 hours of flying from Prague

Evan, Elder Nowland, Barrett

Elder Nowland and his Friends

Elder Nowland and Meredith

Welcome Home

Elder Nowland, Garrett, Brad

15 February 2010

Last email

The Last Sunday in the Czech Republic

The last city
Elder Nowland
served in...
Ceske Budejovice

and Elder Nowland
- she is his Czech "mom".
Her son served a mission in Arizona.
She sends pictures to us here at
home when he forgets.
She lives in Prague but went to
Ceske Budejovice to say goodbye
on his last sunday. We love her so much.
Elder Nowland's last email home:

I have pondered over my thoughts, and what i should write.
I have erased three times already.
I love these people. I am not ready to leave them.

I have learned to love their great qualities and learned to help them in their weaknesses and appreciate the progress that they make. No one can replace your family. But it is also very difficult to replace the people that you have served for the past 2 years of your life. A human heart in all honesty and truth grows close to the person/people that it serves. I stand by what i wrote last week, that if anyone needs to strengthen a relationship or overcome bad feelings towards another, then they need to serve that individual.

I love these people.

I have my second family here.

Serve those in your branch or ward and i promise that those people will become your second family. That is why we call each other brother and sister. We are family. If we dont feel that way, then let us pull up our socks and get to work serving.

I cant wait to see you. The flight home is going to be very difficult for me. I am going to be lost in thoughts of sadness and joy.

I love you all.

(p.s. they cant take my tag away from me. I will fight to the death for it.)

-- Starsi Morgan Nowland

08 February 2010

I have been contemplating what I should write about from this past week. Since I have left the city of Liberec I have heard fearful stories about back biting and hatred mixed in among the members of the branch in that city. As I reflect on my time spent there in that city I feel a lot like Paul. When I was there we taught with the members a lot and saw much progress not only in the increase of membership but also in the increase of spirituality of the members. I'm not sure what has happened to cause the current circumstance. Yet whatever caused it my heart is pained because of the fact that I am seeing the warnings that Paul gave in his letters to Rome and Corinth and others, coming to life in that city and others.

If there is any voice of warning that I could raise it would be to Fight against Satan and his apostate ways by turning our minds and hearts unto God. The First and great commandment as taught by Christ himself is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart. The second is like unto it, Love thy neighbor as thyself. When I think about the word love I see happiness and joy I see pure understanding, I see patience and compassion. And most of all I see service. If there is anyone in our lives that causes anger to rise within our hearts, if there ever comes a time when we say to ourselves, “why can't they stop being selfish, why won't they stop thinking about themselves all the time, why won't they just understand that what I'm saying is right and better for both of us?” If that time ever comes I would share a piece of advice that I have learned this past eight weeks...something that I had to do myself and will have to continue doing. Stop sinning in your heart and repent for not keeping the commandments of God. Loving our neighbor is a commandment given directly from God spoken by the lips of the Savior Himself. This is the second most important commandment of all the commands given to us by God. I testify that if we can't learn to keep this commandment in this life, then by what hope do we expect to be able to handle the responsibility that is going to be given in the celestial kingdom?

Can you imagine the frustration to watch your children go in and out of belief and obedience. To give them a great sign...They change and praise your name...then they forget the experience and break the commandments losing the Holy Ghost...and finally they fall complaining that You have abandoned them. God watches this process over and over, yet he remains full of love. The best way to love is to serve. Let us be ever engaged in looking for ways that we can serve our enemies. It is a difficult task because it requires one of the greatest and most pure emotions contained within the human body, Love. If we think that we know what love is then let us go and serve those that cause us the most pain and grief and stress in our lives. I believe that one of the greatest causes of apostasy in any time period is the failure to keep these first two and greatest commandments. Love God and love your neighbor (whether friend or enemy). I look forward to the day when I can say that I have an absolute and pure love for everyone. Until then I will have to give thanks to my Savior for the Atonement He performed because I will be using it until that day comes.

Read the scriptures they are inspired. I testify of that.
Family i love you so much and am so excited to see you again but until that time arrives i will serve the Lord with all my might here in the czech republic. Tell all those who commented last week, thank you for their kind words. With those words they have strengthened my desire to continue faithfully to the end.

-- With LoveStarsi Morgan Nowland

1 Feb 2010

Alright so i have to start by telling you about a miracle that happened just last night. So this whole week we have been putting some effort into finding new investigators. The other companionship gave us a challenge to find 4 new investigators. We received that challenge on tuesday. on wednesday and on sunday we were in prague. We come back on sunday evening to ceske budejovice without any new investigators. We had a great experience when we brought a young man in off of the street and taught him in the church building. Unfortunately he did not know his schedule for the following days or even for the coming week so we were unable to set-up the next meeting. I was getting really nervous by about 18.00 when our plans to visit a family were hindered by the fact that the family wasn't home. I was nervous and the time was ticking. At 19:00 sunday evening we went to visit our baptismal date Karel at his work. When we arrived at the Panelok where he works as a security guard, he was talking to a lady. We asked her if she was a believer and through a series of events, we were led to a man the speaks hungarian. So we enter into the home of this man's family and Elder Horvath starts teaching him while i began teaching his wife and this lady that we met with Karel. It was a very simple and powerful lesson. We taught them the restoration of authority through Joseph Smith. We told them that there exists evidence of the fact that this man really is a prophet, The Book of Mormon. Mid-way through the discussion a man comes in and looks very displeased. He asks if we are Jehovah's Witnesses, we reply no sir, and he quickly shoots out,"then Mormons!" I nod,"yes sir we are, have you spoken to us before?" He told us that he has but doesn't want anything to do with us, he has his own evangelistic faith. It was pretty scary for a moment that the spirit and purposes of the meeting would be ruined. I asked him,"What about your faith brings you happiness?" He quickly mentioned that it saved him from a destructive life of alcohol and drugs. We then found out that this man has the same last name, Horvath, it broke down the barriers and we set up a time to return to teach more and prayed. We walked home that night with 4 new investigators.

I'm convinced that teaching boldly by the power of God is the most effective way to teach this gospel. As we water down the message and the doctrine, we water down the power of the Holy Ghost to carry this message to the hearts of the listeners. The message of the restoration is real and true. All the churches that have thus been on the earth since the death of Christ and his apostles have accomplished their purposes. Which were to maintain faith in God and Jesus Christ on the earth in the hearts of men until the time was again right, that a man could be prepared in faith to receive an elect calling to be raised up as a prophet of God and given the holy priesthood to not simply bring faith unto men but by that power bring salvation unto every soul that would believe.

This is the Last dispensation. We must prepare ourselves to meet God our eternal and heavenly Father. I love this Gospel i Love what i am doing, because i know its true.

-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland

p.s. thank you for being the greatest family ever! I am so glad that we will have eternity together. Stay faithful my family as i also strive to fulfil the commandments of God. We can conquer this life and see the Glory of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He hast sent. Until next week.

25 January 2010

This saturday was going to be a really exciting day. We were going to travel to two different cities to do some reactivation work with less-actives, and then visit a new investigator that is really beginning to make some great progress. Saturday morning came and an hour before we were supposed to be on our way both individuals cancelled on us. (Here we will see the importance of having back-up plans)...because we didn't have any.

Nevertheless, we prayed and sought counsel from the Lord. We started to make some phone calls in an effort to fill up the recently gained 5 hours. What happened was a miracle. At the end of the day as we walked back into our house fairly exhausted and nearly frozen we had taught a member lesson, two other lessons, a less-active, received 2 referrals, and found 2 new investigators. Every lesson we taught was short, simple, and full of testimony...the key ingredients for really spiritual lessons.

It was so amazing to see that often times when we think we have got everything under control, and we think we know what we are doing; then comes along God and says," my sons i have something else in mind, i have a different plan, a much more effective plan." I have learned that even after we have given ourselves to much thought and planning, that we still need to be willing to let the Lord lead our steps. It is exactly what President Slovacek has asked and said over and over," Who was the senior companion in your companionship today?" We should all be serving in a 3-some" The Lord's plans are so much more effective than ours.

In a call-in session with my Zone Leaders I had a lesson reconfirmed that it doesn't matter what positions of leadership that we have served in, or if the person that is now our leader was once under our stewardship, our leaders receive direct revelation for us. My leader Elder Crane talked about a study that he had recently had about faith. He mentioned that the Savior told us that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed then we can say unto a mountain,"move!" and it will be moved. He said after reading that verse he read Ether 12:30. There it talks about how the brother of Jared said unto the mountain, (I dont remember the name of the mountain) "Move", and it moved. If we recall that the brother of Jared lived quite some time before Christ was on the earth; therefore, when Christ made the statement that is recorded in Matthew chapter 12ish, Christ was saying it is not because it was simply possible, no, but because it had actually happened. By faith, strong faith i might add, a mountain literally was moved. My Zone Leader was inspiried to study faith because a few days later he would need to use that study to inspire a fellow missionary. I know God calls people to positions of authority for the puporse of inspiring his children to lift themselves up into a better cause. I know the Holy Ghost is real and has a powerful influence. The Work will go forth because God will continue to inspire His leaders who are righteous men and women.

Have faith, I love you family. The Lord is my Shepherd, He will show me where to go and what to do

.-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland

18 Jan 2010

So this week we had the Zone Leaders come into our area and they helped me a lot to regain the extra boost and energy to continue moving forward in the work. I needed the good example of my leaders to show me and remind me of my duty and calling as a missionary. Looking forward into life i can see this principle being so important. It doesn't matter how much we know or think that we know, it doesn't matter how high our calling is or how high our callings were, our leaders always receive strength and revelation from the Lord to know how to best lead us and how to assist us in our weaknesses. The Lord is a wise man with much greater insight than we could ever muster. He knows where we have been and what we have done to serve Him, and He knows how to lead our leaders; whether they be older or younger, wiser or lacking wisdom, quicker or slower. We should always be willing and ready to accept council from those who the Lord has placed in our lives to help us.
I have a bit of random yet exciting news. So two days ago i found out that there is a new senior couple serving in our mission. Their name is the "Heywoods!!" can you believe that!! The Heywoods got their mission call to serve in the Czech Republic. Isn't that just so awesome!!! I haven't actually seen them yet and i might never see them before i leave because they are serving in Brno and have no real reason to come to Ceske Budejovice. They said that they might be able to be in Prague on transfer day. We'll see.
I don't have a lot of time today unfortunately. We spent most of our morning defrosting and cleaning out our fridge.
We are working hard and focusing in on some very specific investigators to move them towards baptism.
Did you understand your flight itinerary that I sent? i did thank you for doing that.
Is it possible to get a better flight schedule?

-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland

11 January 2010

Zdravim vas!
I know it has been a long time and i will apologize but our past few Preparation days have been on saturdays because of the holidays and in this little town everything closes down . So there were no internet places open bohuzel (unfortunately).
I just gave a talk in church this past sunday kind of as a farewell. It was a really powerful experience as i prayed, prepared, and gave the talk. After being completely stumped as to what i should say, it finally hit me that i needed to talk about miracles and told them about two specific miracles that i recently saw on my mission. The First one was about how my companion and I found Petr, and how he was so prepared and told us in our first ever meeting with him that he had been studying the Book of Mormon every night before going to bed for the past two years abd how he knows that it is the word of God just as the Bible is. He then told us that he has done everything he could in his life to get in line with God and His teachings and how the only thing that is missing is Baptism. He was baptized recieved the priesthood of God a few weeks later and baptized another man by that priesthood power. The second miracle was Kennedy and how he had had a dream 10 years before and saw the dream come to life as he came and watched General Conference. He was baptized a month later. I testified about the power of faith in bringing about God's hand in our lives.

There is a God in heaven that has feelings that has a perfected body of flesh and bone. Joseph Smith saw Him and His son Jesus Christ. I know with my heart ,mind, and soul that this is true. For i felt the presence of God that day when i prayed with frustration to my Father in Heaven. He humbled me because He loves me. A Random power or mist or energy does not know how to love, only a real being that has first Himself experienced what love is. God lives.
-- With love, Your son,Starsi Morgan Nowland