Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Half way done in the MTC...

Hey Guys!!

Thank you all so much for the emails! I was crying this morning. It was all of your fault! Haha I miss you all so much. I am not going to lie the mission is the hardest thing but yet most rewarding thing I have ever done... and I have only been here for 3 weeks! It is pretty funny when you feel like one hour of personal study, one hour of companion study and then 1 and half of Language study isn't enough. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in a day. Especially on P-day. 

Last Tuesday we had a devotional and it was amazing!! Steven Ellis from of the Seventy came and spoke to us and each of his 9 children who all served missions shared their testimonies. Two of his sons served in Portugal and our zone almost screamed when they said where they served, but we thought it wouldn't be appropriate for a devotional. It was just amazing to hear all the different things they each had to share about their missions and how it blessed their life in different ways. It was just a testimony to me that everyone is called to a mission where they will not only teach and help others but they themselves will grow. We went up and talked to one of the sons and he told us he was expecting a scream from the missionaries who were going to Portugal :-).  He told us how awesome the people are in Portugal and how awesome President Fluckiger and his  wife are.  Speaking of President; I met his niece here. We have the same gym time and she was awesome! Oh, and speaking of gym time, they finished the gym and they have an indoor track!  Lets just say I am in Heaven. I missed running so much.

I really have a testimony of companionship inventory. Sister Mancuso and I had a rough spot in a lesson and lets just say I was really frustrated. Basically we set a plan of what we were going to teach and it went a different direction than that and I had no idea what my companion or the investigator were saying. So, to make a long story short, Sister Mancuso and I talked about it and being the girls that we are, started bawling. And just saying we wanted to talk to our family and how we missed you guys. It was really good and we realized that we are not mad at each other just stressed in general. I just told her how frustrated I am with the language and how it just makes me feel like I cant teach what I want to say and she said how good I am doing with the language and said the only way she gets by is by filling in with Spanish words. Haha So anyways it was really good. She is awesome and helps me be positive. 

I memorized the first vision and James 1:5 in Portuguese! I seriously get the chills at the end of reciting the first vision where Heavenly Father said, "Ouve-o." Or Hear Him. Awe I love Portuguese!! I heard a quote from Elder Bednar and he said something to the effect that,"You are called to preach in a language to which the Spirit can best teach through you." Isn't that awesome? So that means that Portuguese is the best way that the Spirit can teach those I come in contact with. Sometimes missionaries make the joke, I wish I was called to English speaking, it would be so much less work, but I actually think it would be harder for me. I think that if I was called to an English speaking mission I would rely on what I thought was best to say instead of the Holy Ghost. Because I know so little of Portuguese it is amazing what things come to mind as I am teaching lessons. Just simple phrases like Eu sei que Jesus Cristo es nosso Salavdor (I know Jesus Christ is our Savior). Don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but it is just amazing the way the Spirit works.

Sister Mancuso and I had T.R.C. on Friday were you teach a member who is fluent in Portuguese. It was so cool!  This was the first time we've taught someone other than our teachers role playing. We taught a man from Brazil. I did not understand much of what he said at all but we were laughing and having a great time. Mostly because I sound like such a white girl when I speak. Haha. My teachers say I am doing really good though and that I will pick up on the accent once I get there. They said they have no concerns with me and the language. They do tell me I need to have more confidence though. It was pretty funny when we were teaching my teacher Brother James, he paused the lesson and said, "Sister Lacey, you know this. Be confident!" Haha. And from then on the lessons have been going really good. I mean my grammar is terrible but the Spirit is still strong. Yesterday we got out of the lesson and Brother Gray said,"Sisters, Bom!!" Bom means good. He told us that we did really good. I cannot wait to meet people in Portugal!!

We got Brother Gray (our teacher) to tell us a funny story about his mission. He told us about how he and his companion got robbed and they gave all of their money and things to this man and they started to walk away and Brother Gray said,"I want you to give me two dollars back." I guess the man looked at him like he was crazy but Brother Gray said," You know we are missionaries and have a lot of work to do and I am not walking into town tomorrow so we need two dollars for the bus." The guy gave him two dollars and he ran off. Brother Gray said how proud he was that even though that guy robbed them he was still in control. It was so funny! Haha

 This gospel is amazing and prayer has really become so much more meaningful to me. I am really trying to pray to and talk with my Father in Heaven and think of Him being right there in front of me as I pray. It makes my prayers so much more sincere. I love you all so much!! You are amazing. Thank you for all the support you give to me. I LOVE YOU!!!

Love, Sister Lacey

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2nd Email from the MTC!

4 more weeks until Portugal!
Hey everyone!!!

I miss you all so much!  Thank you for all of the emails and funny stories. You guys are seriously the best family out there. I can't believe it has already been a week since my last P-day; the days just kind of blend together here. The MTC is seriously so amazing though. In Relief Society here, we all meet together and it was so cool how they pointed out that this is by far the largest relief society in the world! Our meetings on Sunday were awesome. The director of the movies Emma Smith and 17 Miracles came and spoke to us Sunday and told us about the heritage we have as being members of the Church. As he said that, he told us to look around and see all that has come since the church was restored. It is seriously so cool seeing floods of missionaries walking to the Marriott Center at BYU for devotionals. The Lords work truly is hastening.  
Sister Lacey with Abbey Roberts at a Fireside
This week was awesome!!  We got another teacher and he served in Portugal! He talks about it all the time and especially about the food! He said he did not like seafood at all before he went and now he loves it! Apparently there is fresh bread and bolo (cake) on every street corner. Lets just say he gained 40 pounds. Haha... We make fun of him about that. He lost all of the weight so its all good (teasing him) now, but all that food makes me a little nervous. Maybe I won't be running cross-country right when I get back. ;)  He also said McDonalds there is way good! I guess it is kind of like Clay said the McDonalds were in Italy. One funny thing that they do in Portugal is they write cheeseburger like x-burger because in Portugal sometimes the x makes a che sound so they think that is how it is spelled. Hilarious right!! I cannot wait to be over there.
Sister Lacey and Sister Mancuso answering phones at the MTC
I have one really quick and cool story to tell you. My teacher, Brother Gray interviewed all of us individually to see what our goals were. One comforting thing he said was that he has no concerns about me in regards to learning the language or teaching. But then he said he was thankful for my happy disposition and light that I bring everyday to class. He said that I don't have to be totally happy if I am not having a good day though. That doesn't even sound like me right? I am just so happy here. I thought you guys would enjoy that negative me is learning how to be more positive. 

So we have started teaching 2 new investigators. They are actually my teachers, Brother Gray and Brother James.  They are actually acting like investigators they taught while on there missions. It is really cool and feels real. My companion and I spent a lot of time preparing those lessons and studying the language so I could actually teach them something. Haha. With Brother James, or his name was Jose for an investigator, we taught him the restoration. The spirit was so strong. It is amazing how the spirit works. I loved that I was able to simply testify in Portuguese that I know Christ is my Savior and that our Heavenly Father loves us and that this Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Man I love this Gospel. I am so blessed. 

I was studying preach my gospel on the other day and came across this scripture. It is Doctrine and Covenants 68:4-6 it says, "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord... shall be the voice of the Lord and the power of God unto salvation. Behold this is the promise of the Lord unto you... Wherefore be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you... even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come." This was such a comfort to me because sometimes I get stressed thinking about if I don't teach or say the right things to people I was called to bring the gospel to... This scripture let me know that if I teach by the Holy Ghost, I will say what the Lord would say if He was there and the promise is that if I do this that Christ will be with me. 
The MTC room mates!
Last night after we planned for today we watched the "Because of Him" video as a district. One Elder, afterward said, isn't it amazing how much you can love Christ even though you have never met him in this life. I love my Savior. The more I am here and the more I grow closer to him and my Heavenly Father, the more I miss them. I don't know if I actually have ever said that, that I really miss them and want to be with them again. This truly is a plan of happiness.  The plan is perfect. God loves us and wants us to return to him. It is that simple. How lucky am I that I am called to invite others to come unto Christ. This gospel is true and I am so blessed. Thank you all for everything you do!! I love you all so much!!! Love you, love you love you!!

Love, Sister Morgan Lacey

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One week already!

Sister Lacey and her MTC companion, Sister Mancuso

Hey family!!
I cant believe I have been here for almost a week now!! It was so great hearing from all of you and getting all the dear elder letters. I LOVE THE MTC!!  I guess you can say it is definitely my bread and butter because I like to study so much! On average we spend around 10-12 hours a day studying the gospel and of course portuguese!! Okay and my language is seriously so beautiful!! It is basically spanish with a french accent. So beautiful.
Well, like I said, the MTC is seriously the best place on earth besides the temple!! I could stay here forever!! The spirit is so strong here and every building is dedicated so we are truly on holy ground. The first day here I was the first one in my district to the classroom so it was just my teacher and I going over portuguese. He spoke ZERO english!! And lets just say the gift of tongues is a real thing. I am by far not even close to being fluent but it is amazing how much I already know. I can say very simple prayers in portuguese, I memorized "Your Purpose" (Look it up, so cool) in portugese and english, and the most crazy thing of all is that I have taught 3 lessons to an "investigator" in portuguese... they expect a lot out of you here.
So a little more about teaching the lesson. We taught a lesson on the third day I was here!!  It was to a girl named Sonya; well she actually served a mission in Brazil but she does a really good job acting like she doesn't know the gospel. It feels very real. Can I just say exact obedience brings blessings because I was not supposed to read my letters until 9:30 that night. I got your first letters right after lunch on Friday. Well at 6:30 that night we had our first lesson with Sonya. My companion is fluent in spanish which helps me a lot but she has picked up on the language very quickly. In the lesson they were talking back and forth to each other and I literally understood 2 words.  I said the things I had prepared, but I was so frustrated because I wanted to bare my testimony, but I had no idea how to in portugese. Anyways so I was feeling discouraged for the first time on my mission and I got back to the room and read mom and dads letters and I was crying. Dad, I loved how you said "Don't get to frustrated about the language it will come." "Make sure you focus on the positives." If I would have read the letter right when I got it I would not have needed it like I did then. One thing we always say is (from president Monson) obedience brings blessings but exact obedience brings miracles and the timing of the letter was a miracle.
I love my district and my teacher!! They are seriously so fun!! I start crying everyday in class from laughing so hard. I can totally see why the mission age was changed; the Elders are goofballs but they have pure and strong testimonies. One funny story that happened in class. Elder Gunther, who is just the funniest guy ever, was asking our teacher if he had a girl friend and our teacher was saying ele meaning "he" which sounds like "ellie" doesn't have a girlfriend. Elder Gunther thought he was saying he had a girlfriend named Ellie and Elder Gunther said "Her name is Ellie!!" I was seriously crying I was laughing so hard. So I love my district. Another funny story which is probably not appropriate but they think I smell good. One Elder said I need to tell him what I wear so his future wife can wear it. Haha. And I wasnt even wearing perfume, just the Aussie hairspray. It has actually spread around our whole zone so anyways. They are pretty funny Elders. Haha

Sister Lacey's MTC District
So guess who I missed hearing from the week before I came into the MTC?  Elder Anderson!!  He was the one who spoke to you and the other bishops right dad? Well anyways his grandson was my zone leader and just flew out to Brazil yesterday. But after Elder Anderson spoke at the devotional he came and talked to my zone and pointed to one of the sisters in my district and said that he was the one who assigned her!! So cool right??
The devotional Sunday was amazing. His name is Brother Heaton and he is high up in the MTC. Well, he was blunt and I like that. Haha, He said I hate to break it to you missionaries but this is not your gospel to teach, it is Christ's, so teach with His Spirit.  Don't say what you want to say, but say what he would say to the people you are teaching and feel how he would feel. It was an amazing talk. 

I will never be the same. My mission is going to change me so much. I cannot believe how much more positive and happy I already have become. But how could I not be happy? This is our Saviors work and I get to spend all day learning and growing closer to Him and my Pia Celestial (my Heavenly Father. Isnt that pretty!!) I know that this Church is true and I love you all so much!!! Thank you for everything. LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Love Sister Lacey

Saturday, July 12, 2014

First Letter from the MTC!

We received our first letter from Morgan today!  She wrote it her first night in the MTC and seems to be doing great!  Her Preparation Day is Tuesday, so that is when we'll get our first email from her.  We'll post it to this blog Tuesday night.  She said the gift of tongues is already working as her teacher only speaks in Portuguese and she actually understands some of what he is saying :-).