Sunday, July 3, 2016

07/03/2016 from Tarawa

Hi all! 
This has been another great week. The work here in Tarawa is so cool. Last week the Primary President came to us and told us that she has a bunch of children who haven;t been baptized yet that are all super excited to be baptized. She gave us a list of 8 names of children who are older than 8 who haven't been baptized and this week we went out to find them. Well, she wasn't joking about them being super excited. We found one of the houses during a rescue activity where we went and visited people who were less active. The man of the house said that he wants his son to be baptised. We said ok, and set a time for the next day. When we arrived children started running from all over shouting "Elders Elders, a roko Elders!" I've seen this reaction before (it's actually quite common), but what I've never seen before was that all the kids wanted to take lessons. Only 2 of the 6 were over 8, but all happily sat through a lesson. When we came back there were 3 more kids (only 1 was over 8). The coolest thing, they all came to church!
I really enjoy sundays on Tarawa. Back on Nonouti and in Nikunau they were the most stressful day of the week. Now I just wake up, and have study time until 9:30 where we pack up and drive 4 minutes to church and sit through 3 ours of church. We answer questions and feel the spirit and people ask  US if we can eat dinner in their house.The only problem is that there are loads of Less Actives. In all reality less active work is not the missionaries job. We come and we go and our efforts often are wasted. I'm so excited to go home and just be a great home teacher. 
The missionaries before Tiaon and I didn't work very hard. (one was super trunky and the other one got sent home for illness). So we are picking up the work here, but we should have a few baptisms before I leave. I love this work and relish every minute of my time here. Have a great week!
Elder Morley

Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 5, 2016 Birthday gift giving

This has been ( I bet you could guess what I'm going to say)
a great week!
I love this island, even though the work here is kind of tough. For my
birthday mom asked me what I wanted, and I said that I wanted things
that I could give a way. She went above and beyond my request and sent
me 4 jars of jam. Elder Miller and I were so excited to see the
raspberry jam. Jam is about the best thing to put on bread ever
invented. It is so sweet and American, but Raspberry! Woah, that's
some good stuff. However I was humbled when I read the note attached
telling me tthat it was for me to copy the minister in 'The Other Side
of Heaven' and give it away. So I mustered a little courage and wrote
a note and decided which 4 ministers would be best to give the jam to.
In the note I talked about how I had just turned 20 and that I wanted
to give this gift as a symbol of good will between us. I gave the
gifts to the minister in our town (she just said ok and we awkwardly
left), the minister that yelled at us last month (she said 'thanks'
and we left), the minister that yelled at me back in march (that was
this morning. he had us sit down and gave us a drink, then we left and
came to internet), and the minister that yelled at elders last year
(he's actually Mormon, so we were pleased when he wished me a happy
birthday). I sure get to do new things outside of my comfort zone all
the time. It so scary every time, but I just felt so happy every time
when it was done. I hope they accept the gift and that they understand
that we really do have no hard feelings against them.
I gave away one last gift last week, but this one was better than them
all. We were preparing our investigator Nukai for baptism. All he had
to do was not smoke for a few more days and he would be out of the
addiction and ready for baptism this Saturday. We went to his house
and we were happy to see him biking there at the same time. We started
walking into the house with him and to our surprise the minister,
Kaitiiti, came motorcycling up at the same time. Nukai ran away and we
had a nice chat with Kaitiiti. This is the first minister that has
allowed us to have a coherent conversation. He didn't want to offend
but was not please by what we were doing. He reminded us that there is
one 1 religion allowed in that town and asked us to never come back.
We talked about it for a while. He kept on bringing up the differences
between our church and at one point started talking about the Book of
Mormon. I know that Elder Miller has a strong testimony of that book,
and is somewhat protective towards it. So when I saw that he was
pulling off his back pack I knew that he was going to give the
minister a book. In the end of our chat we made an agreement that
essentially we would keep doing our work in all of the houses that
welcome us and that he would keep doing his. Plus I was able to give
away a birthday gift. I told Kaitiiti that I had been giving gifts
away to ministers and told him that I wanted to give him something
that I held very dear. I gave him a Book of Mormon with the same
goodwill wishes. He commited to reading it and we parted ways. I am so
greatful for the chance that I have had to stand for my testimony and
to give him a book that I cherish. I know that if he will read it with
real intent its power will flow into his life and he will be blessed.
I love this church.
Elder Morley
P.S. Oh yeah! After 7 or so months on Nikunau I'm getting transferred
next Monday, so if I'm not on don't worry. I'll be a zone leader with
Elder Tiaon.

May 29, 2016

Hi all!
This has been another great week. We currently have 2 golden
investigators preparing for baptism in the next few weeks. Their names
are Kooreta and Nouoo. They are neighbors and live within walking
distance of our house (they're practically our neighbors too). They
started taking lessons at different times and for different reasons,
but both have progressed beyond belief. Kooreta's house is used as a
meeting place for the Protestant church, so when we first invited her
to church she was awfly shy about it, and didn't seem to hopeful. That
same day we taught the first getting to know you lesson to Nouoo. We
commited her to prayer and that's all. To our suprise they came to
church, both fellowshipped by someone in the ward. Now they fellowship
eachother and are completely accepted into the ward. We started with
them in the first few weeks of May, and they should be baptised on the
11th. It is so incredible to me that when domeone is ready and
honestly searching for the truth, they convert themselves. The rest of
our investigators we have been working with them for months and just
pleading with them to pray. Or helping them to quit smoking. I am
blessed so much more than I deserve. I love this work and the fact
that I have been allowed to stay on this island for just a little bit
longer (pretty crazy when you realize that I got here back in
October!).I love you all!
Elder Morley

Have you read Justin's email? This is what I said in response:
Hey Justin!
eh hem...
Salutations Elder Bouck!
It's been so long since I've written. I thought pets weren't allowed
for missionaries! Poor Trevor. We made an exception to that rule to
get a chicken. But he wasn't a pet. He was being raised for the
slaughter. His name is Sweet 'n Sour. Turned out to be a pretty great
name because that bird has some sass. It slept on a little stick
sticking out of my 3 walled hut, until it got too big last week. We
were going to kill it for my birthday, but the family liked it too
much. So it is now the House Bird. you've heard of watch dogs, well
sweet 'n sour is a watch bird. During church yesterday he clawed the
face of a stray dog and chased it away. Not a pet, it's now a monster
that lives in the neighborhood! The work is going great here. I hope
all is well you you as well.
Elder Morley
P.S. That was no exaggeration, I'm understating that monstrosity.

That bird is actually very domesticated, just has a lot of
personality. Tame with a temper. He drives the house crazy, but is so
funny that they can't get rid of him. But after it was sure that we
weren't going to kill him, I made him find a new place to sleep. He is
no longer my bird. But Elder Miller has 2 hens that he is trying to
teach to lay eggs. He hates the idea of having a pet on a mission, but
he REALLY wants some eggs, so now they sleep on the other side of the
house. But really these birds just take care of themselves, we just
rent out the corner of our stick hut. If we actually had walls it
would be a bigger deal, but as it is I don't worry about it much.

May 22, 2016 Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday!
Well, you guys might not know yet but...It's my Birthday! Just wait
for time change to catch us up! I've been a branch president for a
year and now I'm finally 20! The birthday party was great. A friend
killed his pig for us, everyone briought dishes to share and the girls
prepared dances and we brought everyone together to party! We call it
fellowshipping/ward unifying time, but it was fun. The hardest partt
was the cake. We tried to buy a cake, but everyone fell through.
Miraculously we were able to find some eggs to make a cake (we've been
trying for weeks). We've tried catching chickens, then we enlisted the
kids in town to catch us some and we payed them with coke, but they
haven;t gotten eggs yet. SO then an investigator randomly had some and
was able to gather 6 together. So then we started making the cake on
saturday morning and every step took five, (ex, recipe askes for 1 cup
milk, send person to store, they search in 3 stores before they find
the last powdered milk on island, wash cup, pump well water to clean
cup, scoop rain water take milk and stir). The best part was when we
found out that the eggs were fertilized. But after a 4 hour adventure
we had some really good CAKE! I made frosting out of sweetened
condensed milk and hot chocolate, with m&ms for decoration. Everyone
loved it. It was great day and It is always fun to see the ward
together having fun.
I won't go into details, but I just want to say that heavenly father
answers prayers. This week we were faced with a large problem in the
branch. I called together all the members of the branch in town for a
ward council. I knew that my words would be very important in helping
resolve the problems. I ran around making sure everything was going
well and making sure that everyone got some personal time with the
Elders. I didn't stop running from 6:15am to 5, then I worked again
til 8:30pm, but right before everyone arrived I had a small break.
Everyone ws busy, and Elder Miller had gone to the bathroom. It was
9:30 and I plopped down to get some much wanted personal study time. I
grabbed my Book of Mormon, but I had a strong feeling that I needed to
say another prayer. I almost pushed it off, I'd been doing a lot of
praying that morning, but in the end I said a kneeling vocal prayer,
my first in a while. In the midst of my prayer I asked for the gift of
speaking with power and authority like Ether, Moroni, and Alma. I
prayed for the gift of discernment and of wisdom like Solomon. I
prayed for the gift of following the voice and promptings of the Holy
Ghost like Nephi and for many other things. Throughout that morning
and through the rest of the day I was able to clearly see the answer
of my prayer. I can't say what I said (and if I did you wouldn't
understand them anyways), but I acted and spoke in a way that I have
never done in my life. In our ward council there were many tears shed
and a great outpouring of the spirit. I after the biggest excitement
of the morning was done I went to the restroom and felt again that I
needed to say a prayer. I started crying as I prayed in gratitude for
the goodness and grace of the Lord in answering the prayer of my
heart. I love this work and KNOW that Heavenly Father answers our
prayers. I love you all!
Elder Morley

Sunday, May 15, 2016


I'll give a brief summary and then respond to mom's long letter.
Wednesday we were invited to a party in Tabutoa. That town claims
only 1 religion (the same one that we tracted the week before). We
were invited and the ministers weren't pleased, but they couldn't do
anything about it. It was basically an afterbirth baby shower, where
all the guests are old men and ministers. I felt like I was in a
meeting of the sanhedrin. I gave the baby some pictures of Jesus and a
minister tried to make fun of me (he failed).

Thursday we went to visit our one investigator found from last weeks
tracting of Tabutoa and we got 'visited' by a minister again. This is
the 4th time this has happened to me on my mission. It's getting old.
We had a nice chat and Elder Miller bore a powerful testimony to them.
We're on good terms with the investigator and we'll tract the rest of
the houses in town this week.

Friday we were working and got word that we were wanted to talk on the
CV radio with our parents in America. We thought somebody had died.
After a lot of suspense it was just Elder Smith calling to say hello
from Marshalls. I gave him some strong words in my email, but I'm glad
every one is all right (how's grandma morley by the way?)

Sunday we had a nice church session and day with the members until one
of our lessactive members came to the house drunk shouting for his
wife to get him some food. She didn't go because she was afraid she
would get beaten. She is now trying to run away to Tarawa.
We were able to rescue one member before he went less active and have
done some fun services.

We have 20 youth and 6 are active. There are 80-90 members on island
and current average church attendance has dropped from 42 to 40.
Elder Miller's language is improving slowly and surely.
I'm to young for this job, but we'll have a big birthday party this week.
I need a nap.
Elder Morley

Dave you are being stretched and hopefully after the stretching you will see the growth and look back with joy at how the Lord is working with you.  It is hard for us as parents to get just tidbits of information and not feel for your pain.  Your letter was very helpful in giving more information showing us that your growing and maturing.  We are concerned that the lack of leader support that most missionaries get in Zone and mission conferences and interviews with the president has been a detriment to you but at the same time we are extremely pleased with your growth.  Your current mood seem to be trending towards the last months on your previous island.  Your getting tired inside and out.  Pour out you soul to your Heavenly Father like Joseph did in the Liberty Jail and I am sure the Lord will fill you with His Love and renew your energy.  Your an amazing young man, don't forget it or let it go to your head.
Love dad

Mom's note:  He says that the medicine hasn't really seemed to change anything, but he says that the Lord is helping him carry the 'weight' of the illness, it is more the 'weight' of being the branch pres and seeing people fall away and have trials that is feeling very heavy right now.

Monday, May 9, 2016

We were able to skype last night with Elder Morley, although the sound was poor and we couldn't use video for most of it. We found out that he believes that he has a parasite and has probably had it for a while because his pants won't stay on anymore. Thank goodness for Elder Buhler's belt that he gave him in the mtc smile emoticon We found out that he has given away 2 pairs of extra shoes that he has and then his one pair wore out so he is using Elder Miller's crocs. I think that he now has Elder Smith's watch, Elder Miller's shoes and Elder Buhler's belt. That goodness for other mothers in his life.
It saddened me that he was sick, because I could even hear it in his voice. He sounded tired, and besides the normal time delay there were tired pauses. I asked him to reach out to the main island for medicine. I hope that he does and that he receives it soon. The good news is that they have had food. It is a miracle, but ever since Elder Miller arrived the cargo ships have had food on them.
After our call he and Elder Miller were going to go try to build a chicken coop so that they could catch a hen and get an egg so that they can have birthday cake when their birthdays come. Elder Miller's is on May 22 and Elder Morley's is on May 23 and the anniversary of the first baptism on the island was on May 23, so they plan to have a celebration. They are hopeful that Pres. Weir will come soon and make a branch on their island. They have enough priesthood holders now for a branch, and D. was hopeful that he could stay there long enough to help train the new branch pres.
His main email talks about the persecution that people get from the island ministers if they even listen to the Mormon Missionaries, and also the island children even give persecution to the mormon children when they join the church. He feels very sad that the people must sacrifice so much to hear their words, but they press forward sharing the gospel.
David's new comp. Elder Miller is recently from the US, and it sounded like they had a god rapport with each other.

Happy Mothers Day!
This island is very religiously active. I'm starting to understand the
kind of confusion that Joseph Smith faced. Here on the walls of
classrooms are lists stating the name and religion of each child.
Every party is started in prayer. There is a required seminary hour in
all schools. Those things are nation wide, but on Nikunau a kid will
be seen talking with us and all the other children will make fun of
him. We'll visit a house, and the people have to let us in (it's
culture), but then they'll be yelled at by their minister for talking
to us. 
In one town we set up a volleyball net and let anyone who
wanted to play. The entire town came over so all the town elders got
mad and didn't let anyone use it. With such opposition in some towns
we decided that the best thing to do would be to tract the entire town
in a day. We've done it to 2 towns now. The towns here are pretty
small, with only 20-30 houses, so we decided that once a town starts
to raise persecution against our members or investigators we just
tract the whole town. The first we did was Nikumanu. We set aside the
day and started from the north and worked south. We were able to meet
2/3 of the town and got 2 new investigators from it. that was 2 or
three weeks ago now. Last friday we did the same thing in Tabutoa. We
started from the south and tried to meet every house. Unfortunately a
lot of people weren't home, so we skipped 6 houses and the first house
we met let us in. It looked like a retirement home, the first man we
talked to enjoyed talking about our different beliefs and that was
all, but then another old man came over and tried to bible bash. He
failed. I know my bible way too well for that, he gave me a verse, I
politely answered his question, then gave him a verse. He flowdered
and so we shook hands and left on good terms. We had time for one more
house, and that man welcomed us in and really seemed like he was
searching for truth. We have a time with him for this week. I love to
see the things that happen when we are bold and have faith in heavenly
father's protecting hand. I love this work and know that it is true. I
love being able to help the church grow on this island.
I love you all and have a great day!
Elder Morley

Sunday, May 1, 2016


THis week has been great. We had the wonderful baptism of two youth of
the noble birthright. Aate and Abaua. They are both 14. I just gotta
talk a bit about Aate (ah tey), when we started teaching him everyone
(even his mon) told us about how aweful he was. How much of a rough
living, horible, disobedient child he was. But we're missionaries, so
we payed them no notice. Well we taught him and we saw a great kid
trying to do what;s right in a rough world. I never really put all the
pieces together until last week when I interviewd him. I went through
all the interview questions and then got to the word of wisdom.

asked about drinking and and he said that he hadn't done it since the
new year. I raised my eyebrows and asked about before the new year, he
said that when he was in 2nd grade he figured out how to make an
alcoholic drink out of coconut sap, and became a heavy drinker. Then
he said that in 3rd grade he picked up smoking and chewing tobacco. He
did all three up until December. Man he had some crazy stories to tell
about him partying and making havoc in the town, but he looked so
remorseful about it. Then I asked him why he had stopped. He said that
when the new year was coming he was talking to his mother and she was
asking him if he would ever stop. She said that he was going to become
a drunkard and a smoker until he dies. She told him about new years
resolutions and challenged him to stop. He said that he would. By the
sounds of it he stopped dinking and smoking cold turkey Jan 1. Then He
dropped his old friend group that would do all those things. They
would tell him to smoke and he would literally run away, until they
stopped asking. The only thing he held on to was tobacco. 

Back in the end of January or at the start of February he asked his parents if we
could teach him. We started visiting him and having heard rumors
taught him the Word of Wisdom sooner than usual. He struggled with
that drug. We told him to pray and to do his best. Then after about
three weeks we met with him and he was almost in tears about how hard
it was to quit. We told him how awesome he was and encouraged him a
little more. We met him the next week and he said that he had quit the
day after (Sunday). That was over a month ago. In the interview I told
him that it might happen that after he is baptised it may happen that
he may slip. I told him to imagine what he would feel if he smoked
again. He just took one puff, then felt so bad that he trhew it away
and ran. I told him that satan would try to convince him of how
horrible of a person he was and that he was dirty and unworthy to pray
or come to church. He didn't even wait to be asked, he immedietly
said, 'that;s not how God works, he is always reaching out to us and
trying to help us to come back to him' I am so greatful that I was
able to help this choice Spirit of Heaven;y Father's through baptism
and receiving the Holy Ghost. His words are true to us all, no matter
what we have done in the past Heavenly Father wants more than anything
to bring us back. He loves us all.

Elder Morley

Monday, April 25, 2016


Hi mom and dad! I am happy and healthy, but only one computer is
working today, so I need to give Elder Miller the time. The work is
going great. We are impressively healthy and love seeing the blessings
and miracles that follow them that believe and that follow us. This
work is so true and real that it is astonishing. The Lord's kingdom
will not be slowed down. We have a baptism this Saturday, two
remarkable youth will be baptised. The faithlessness of some still
makes my heart ache, but the overall goodness and gleaming faith of
others does not allow me to dwell in sorrow for long. I love you oh so
much and pray that you have been as watched over as us. Have a great
week and get ready for a good snail mail in a month or so.
Elder Morley

Monday, April 11, 2016


Elder Miller is doing impressively well. I'm amazed. Literally 100% of
everything here is at least a little bit different from America, but
he's taking it well. This week I was a little chastised by the Lord
again... I always have more lessons to learn.

 Ok. So here goes. I'll give you an abridged version.
When we were yelled at by the minister that hurt me more than I
expected. I am not very good at getting yelled at (I guess I just
don't have all that much practice :)) but more important I hated
seeing the look of fear in the eyes of those people. I am here to
share the Good News of the restored gospel a message that is supposed
to help everyone, and here it is getting people punished. So That
chastisement wasn't very strong, but I came to realize that my faith
in finding and contacting our investigators was dwindling.

So I did lots of study in the scriptures and found great verses in
Mormon 8 & 9 about the church going forth in the latter days. I read
D&C 3:3 about the Lords Work not being frustrated. I read Matthew 13
about the parable of the mustard seed. I read Acts 5 about Peter and
the apostles being called by the Sanhedrin for preaching the name of
Jesus Christ and them saying 'It is better to obey God than to obey
men.' I also read that particularly meaningful verse in D&C 30:1(1-4).
I was chastised and as a result I went back to see the man that we got
yelled at for visiting and said sorry, he invited us back into his
house, and this week we will start visiting him again.
On Saturday I
finally figured out the message and I was able to see and feel the
Greatness of the Lord's Work when you work in faith nothing doubting.

So, it makes you feel afraid that if you teach someone the gospel that they will get hurt for their beliefs later? and you don't want them to get hurt? Mom
Pretty much yeah. I don't want anyone to be put in trouble for me
innocently going about my work. The lesson was that in all reality this
isn't MY work, so I need to keep on doing the things that the Lord
tells me to do and trust him to do his part. If the people get
chastised for our coming that is just a piece of the price that you
have to pay to take upon you the name of Jesus Christ. If they are
willing to pay it, it is our Responsibility to continue to visit them
no matter the cost.
We are proud of you David.   I hope you wrote that experience into your journal  Mom

 What did Alma and Amulek do after they were forced to watch women and children cast into the fire?  Why did Alma not fight back at the very moment?  This is the Lord's work and we must go forth with FAITH using His power  to the convincing of all those who will listen.  Opposition is to be expected so please don't shrink from it, use it a s a motivator to work harder because the people need the truth taught to them.  I hated to see the protesters at the conference center during General Conference.  They were good at invoking feelings of anger.  That is exactly what Satan wants.  Love is the only real answer and you have the only true gospel of Jesus Christ so do all within your power to get that message across to those good people.  They deserve to hear the truth and to make their own choice of which voice they will listen to.
I love you son,

Monday, April 4, 2016

1 year anniversary of church celebration 04/03/2016

Sorry I haven't written in a little while. Life's been crazy, crazy
Awesome. but crazy.
Any how,

Hey all,
We've been asking for weeks if there was transfer news. We knew that
it was about time for one of us to go, but hadn't heard a thing
(Except for a rumor from Elder Tiaon through a letter to a member a
month ago). The internet hadn't been working well, very on and off. We
tried to get on every day and finally were able to see our mail on
Wednesday March 30.  They finally told us that Elder Tonini would be
transferring to Makin today, April 3. Thanks for the advanced notice!
(sarcasm) 6 days is a lot. But the funny thing is that since our
internet was so bad, they didn't trust the message to get to us. So
they sent out an announcement on national radio asking everyone to
tell Elder Tonini to get on the plane on Monday. Must've been an
important transfer to go out on National News!

This last Saturday while all of you were hopefully enjoying general
conference I was having a party. We were celebrating the one year mark
of the Church on this island. Elders Farley and Seguine landed on
Nikunau on March 30 2015. Time flies when you're having fun! We were
also having a farewell party for Elder Tonini. It was a great day. We
hired a truck and picked up all of the members and investigators on
the island. We do this often, but this time most of our people
Actually Came! We had 70 or so people gathered together to party. I
bought a pig a while back, so  at night our members got together
to kill it and put it in the freezer over night so they could just
wake up and start cooking. Unfortunately my pig was too big for the
freezer... Incredibly they cooked it up in the morning and made
loads of different dishes and were completely finished by 1. 

Mom, you should really share notes with these guys! It was so good. We invited
the most respected people in town to our party. Unfortunately the
Ministers from the Catholic and Protestant faiths declined. But we did
have 3 old men! It was great to see everyone together hand having fun.
The next day  was fast Sunday. We did the same island pick up, but this time
we were having church and we were all fasting, aka no food. So, nobody
came. But also one of the old men on the island died the night before,
so most of the island's population was attending the funeral, so I
don't really blame them for not coming. 

Our fast was a little disrupted because everyone wanted their personal farewell party and
everyone fed us, but it was so nice to see the people so very sad to see Elder Tonini
go. He was only on island for 3 months, but he definitely made an
impact for the good. That night we had one last gathering as a unit
with the members that are closest to our house. We shared a nice meal
(left over pig made into soups) and all gave our last toast to our
Elder. There were tears shed. This morning we woke up and fixed up the
house and bikes for the new Elder. Elder Miller Flew in at 10 this
morning. Elder Tonini and I had 4 good months together and it was sad to see
him go, but I am excited to train this brand new Elder from America.
Elder Miller is from Alaska and he is excited to work hard and grow to
love the culture. Wish us luck, but even better remember us in your
prayers. I love you all!