Monday, January 4, 2016

1/2/2016 A brief email

These are actually his essays for his college scholarship application that we are helping him with.  We sent him the questions and he sent these answers.  But, they made for a nice letter to us.  We heard later that day from another missionary mom that David and his companion did officially make it to Nikunau.  Congratulations to him.  I am sure that he is happy there.

Here are the essays:
Throughout my life I have always set simple goals. These goals have guided me throughout my life. For example I love the stars and have a dream to become an astronaut. This goal has led me to buy books and telescopes. I took classes in school and joined a NASA online learning community. This gave me the opportunity to go on a special tour of the Kennedy Space Center. Similarly, serving an LDS mission has been a lifelong goal. I faced opposition however, while growing up in upstate New York. There were few members in my school, so often my standards were different from my peers, which made temptations difficult. The goal of a mission kept me strong and taught me to see how I was being prepared. For example being in the minority has taught me to be true to my testimony. An academically driven school taught me to study hard. Living close to Church Historic sites strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith. When sixteen I moved to Utah and was strengthened by an LDS majority. Employment of a dairy farm taught me the value of work. I saw the fulfilment of my goal when I received a mission call to the Marshall Islands Majuro Mission. The lessons of my youth were applied and grown I the mission field. I needed to work and study hard and to strengthen those in a minority. Having a firm testimony of the Church allowed me to teach and help those whose beliefs differ. Serving the Lord has given me new goals: college education, temple marriage and continued activity in the Church. I have been taught new lessons as well that will prepare me to fulfil these goals and live through new phases of life.

I have many dreams in life. I want to become an astronaut, I want to raise a happy family, I want to do well in the community and to stay temple worthy, to name just a few examples. Being the youngest in my family I have watched as all of my siblings have gone to Brigham Young University and I have seen the good fruits of this college. All of them have received a good quality education in an uplifting Latter-day Saint environment. This is my hope for my BYU experience. I believe that this university can help all my dreams come true. BYU offers a great education and has a good space program. My whole family have found spouses at this university. Even more importantly they have been given the tools to raise children in righteousness. BYU is constantly doing good will and service activities that can teach me how to serve and to lift where I stand. The LDS majority population can give me strength in a place where IU can be surrounded by people who share my standards and beliefs. The weekly devotionals and institute program can give me the strength to continue as an active and worthy member to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love BYU and look forward to attending this university to see my life goals come true.

Through my life I have learned many lessons from leadership. I was called to serve in the Marshall Islands Majuro Mission. My second area I worked on Abaiang Island. In my time there my companion and I opened an islet for missionary work. Simultaneously a branch stopped holding church meetings as the leadership was less-active. We had to quickly learn how to lead the Church in both areas. I quickly discovered that a leader is also a teacher and an example. We constantly taught what the church is and how it runs. When we weren’t teaching we were leading by example. We saw success from our labours. Church now meets every Sunday in both locations. I was then transferred to Nonouti Island where my companion was the Branch President. Leading on that island was challenging as the members wouldn’t take responsibility. If we asked someone to give a talk or teach a class, the member often stopped coming. Also if anything went wrong we would be blamed. On time a member falsely announced in church that we were liars. We learned patience and charity. We love the people unconditionally. They felt this love and overtime things improved and attendance doubled. Then I was transferred and became the Branch President on Nikunau Island. The Church was only seven months old. I learned that a leader is a shepherd. I applied the lessons I had already learned and gave my whole heart to the work. I led, taught, guided, protected, served and loved the people as best I could. The hardest thing I have ever done was to leave those people. Leadership is difficult, but I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to love and strengthen my brethren through leadership.

Would you please read through these, I wrote them quickly and typed them even faster. I did my best, but I hate focusing on things that do not relate to missionary work. Hopefuly I did alright!

Anyhow, it looks like I may get off of the island for real this time. The flight is confirmed and checkin is at 8 am. Plus the charter jet is working again, so if Air Kiribati falls through we'll hire with him. I want to say once more how much I love both of you and how much I Know that I am right where I am supposed to be. I love you so much and will keep you in my prayers and letters always.
I tangiringkami n aki toki,
Elder Morley

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