Saturday, November 2, 2013

awkward & awesome


Transitions. Guys. Transitions are hard. The closer my departure date comes, the more out of sorts I feel - like my life has become a shirt I've been wearing pretty comfortably, and suddenly I've sprouted like 3 inches (...I wish, haha) and it's suddenly stopped fitting right.

I feel SO excited to go, so happy to go, can't wait to go.... and then it hits me, that it's real, and I get so nervous!

All of a sudden all my weaknesses are glaring me in the face, and sometimes I feel no matter how hard I try, I just can't quite seem to get them right.
I think one thing I'm most scared of is being that one awkward duck missionary....

I mean, let's be honest. I have this weakness that is especially hard for me, as silly as it probably sounds - and that is, about seventy to eighty percent of the time, I am so utterly hopeless at small talk conversations. I try- I really, really do! But probably two thirds of the time it just is.... awkward.

However - the other third of the time, it's pretty awesome, and I really connect with the person. So, conclusion? I'll probably be an awkward duck missionary, except for the few people that I totally connect with. And I guess that's okay. Those few people are probably the people I'm meant to be - and there to be - serving, anyways. (:
And I'll definitely do my best to love and serve everyone I meet. Even if I'm awkward, haha.

Anyways, let's move on to the awesome stuff.


Spending the day taking pictures in the beautiful fall scenery of Fredericksburg, then heading down to Richmond to dance the night away. My good friend stationed in Norfolk invited me to hang out with him and all the cool cats down South before I leave on my mission, and it was so awesome!! Absolutely lovely night, with awesome people, lots of laughs, great music, and putting all my worries behind. It was a magnificent breath of fresh air that blew out most of the stress that's been building up in me.

It was so nice being around a ton of people my age. I've missed that so much, I've realized. This whole being like Sleeping Beauty - living in the beautiful forest, with my family and sheep and chickens and ducks (which are SO funny, by the way. They deserve an awesome column by themselves) has been good, because I've been able to earn money and prepare for my mission. But in some ways, it's been really hard! I've missed talking with people who understand me, because their in the same phase of life I'm in. I've decided, when I come back, I'm going to be attending YSA wards - whether there's one in my stake or not.

Also awesome:

Watching Forever Strong with my madre. Such an awesome movie. Also, most attractive actor ever.

Trick or Treating with the kids & family friends. My brothers are such goofballs. (: I love my family.

 Just 18 more days till the MTC, people!!! and 14 until I leave to Utah!

Turns out I'll be giving another farewell talk, in Utah, so any of my friends & family out West, I would love for you to come!

Here are some lovely pictures, and some funny ones for laughs. Enjoy. (:

So True!!
truth of Halloween, haha
reflections in the water

sweet. (: (and... just a thought.. who brings pocketknives on a date? haha)

Rappahanock River


let's be adventurous. (:

Monday, October 21, 2013

makin' me chuckle

Oh my goodness, these made me laugh hahaha.

31 Hey Girl Memes That Only Mormon Girls Will Understand - BuzzFeed Mobile

Will, wow I didn't know you had such outspoken feelings for me!  You know I keep those notes and re-read them before bed, you wanna come read them with me? ;-)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

a note on respect

Recently, I had an experience that made my heart ache. It made me so sad! I feel like I need to write about it, because of the principles I try to stand for. Maybe it will help someone, I can only hope so!

A few weeks ago I gave a friend a copy of a book I consider to be very sacred, and that is very dear to my heart and to my faith - a Book of Mormon. (We believe this book to be a second witness, in companionship with the Bible, of the divinity of Jesus Christ).

Well, this past weekend, a group of people were talking about the Book of Mormon. One person told the group that their pastor informed them that if they ever received a copy, they should burn it. To this, my friend replied that they were going to rip out the pages I had written notes on, and would burn the rest of the book. I wasn't present, but later heard about the conversation from a friend who had been there.

I don't wish to take it personally, since obviously their words were concerning the Book of Mormon, not me. I think the course I'll take is letting that individual know how precious that text is to me, and that if needed I will write on every single page so they don't destroy that book!

But the main principle this brought to my mind was respect. Every person has their own free will, and chooses to believe and act as they may. I am so incredibly grateful that I have that freedom!

With that freedom, I believe it is critically important that we treat others with kindness, respect, and dignity. Although we may have different beliefs and opinions, we should remain respectful and treat each other with kindness.

One part of this responsibility is being respectful of things other people consider to be sacred. If, say, a Jewish friend gave me a copy of the Torah (or another religious text they study) I would never treat that with disrespect. Although I don't consider that book to be part of my scriptures, I would recognize how important that book is to them. I would also - and do recognize - that there is probably actually a lot of good in that book, and some things that we would probably agree on!

One of our beliefs is that we should study and gain knowledge -

"Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass, things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms"
"And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning, even by study and also by faith"
To me, I don't see why this wouldn't include a knowledge of other religions and other opinions. Even if you don't believe that it is true, surely there is something of value to have that knowledge. One great thing of value I can see would be being able to understand others, and knowing how to serve them. 

There is one more thing, and that is the burning of books in general. Throughout history, every example I can think of where some group burned books is when that group was trying to suppress a dissenting view that threatened their ideology. This suppression of dissenting views is contrary to freedom - including religious freedom.

Why would someone want to burn a sacred text of another faith? Wouldn't that individual be able to distinguish whether the text were true or false, good or evil, in their own personal study? Wouldn't they have a right to make that judgment in their own pursuit for truth?

I'll be the first to admit that I am such a flawed person. I am not perfect. However, I do try my best to live these principles - respecting other's opinions and beliefs, and standing for freedom so that both myself and others can have the opinions and beliefs that they choose to abide by. I just hope that other's will do the same!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I love to see

Oh my goodness gracious, the past two weeks have been so awesome.
I don't know what it is about the leaves turning into gorgeous orange, red, & yellow hues,
the crisp autumn wind blowing through the trees,
and occasionally getting wiffs of smoke in the air from your neighbour's fireplace,
but it makes for the coziest, loveliest time of year.
It makes me want to cuddle up in a blanket and drink a steaming cup of peppermint herb tea, in a sweater that's way too big for me and a blazing fire. I just absolutely love it.
Especially when it rains, for some reason... the raindrops pattering on the roof and windows just makes it oh so much more peaceful.
It's just lovely. (:

Fall is definitely my favorite season. I am so grateful I live in a world that has Octobers. This fall, the changes in my life have been almost as beautiful - or even more so - than the vibrant forests and mountains outside!
I guess I've been neglecting my blog for a while, because I haven't announced where I'm going on my mission- woops!
I opened my call...
and it was kind of like this....
Bahahaha, that video cracks me up so much. But really.
I read...
Dear Sister Morris,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the.....
Arizona, Tempe Mission!!!
It felt so perfect! I can't wait to go and serve. It will be incredible. Just choosing to go and preparing has changed my life for the better.
Tomorrow I get to go to the temple. As excited as I am to be a missionary, in some ways I'm more excited for that (:
The temple is so, so beautiful, and inspiring on the outside.
 As someone whose been there, I can tell you that it is even more beautiful, peaceful, ennobling, and inspiring on the inside.
I'm just so happy, and feel blessed beyond what my heart can say to be able to go.
When thinking about it, the hymn "I Stand All Amazed" comes to my mind.
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
The temple is so wonderful!
It's hard to describe to someone who doesn't know what it is, so I guess I'd better practice (since in a month that will be my life for the next year and a half, haha).
It's basically a place where you perform ordinances and make covenants - kind of like when you get baptized, and make a covenant - or a promise - to follow Jesus Christ. The temple is a place where people participate in ordinances that are designed to unite families together forever and help them return to God. Some of these ordinances include performing baptisms for those who have died without having the opportunity to receive the gospel, and also  being married for eternity as a husband and wife. It's a very sacred, beautiful, peaceful place.

 I think this video sums up quite nicely why Mormons build temples (:

and here's some cool facts about them! and also about our chapels.

and, wow this post is way too long - props to you if your still reading - I am just too excited for tomorrow - so here are some pictures of my favorite ones. (: Enjoy!

Salt Lake City, UT during Christmas - my favorite time of year to be there!

hopefully this will be me & my future handsome man someday (:

 the Nauvoo temple (:
My Grandpa helped with some of the sculpting and architecture details.

London, England.

Mesa, AZ - right outside my mission!!! :)

Recife, Brazil

Sacramento, California

Taipei, Taiwan

Toronto, Canada

and, last but not least,

the Washington D.C. temple (:


Thursday, September 19, 2013

I loved this.


this corn is incredible. we're growing it in our garden - it's some special type that creates these stunning little kernels that look like tiny colorful gems. one of the most beautiful things in nature I've ever seen! my mom made garlands of them that are going across our mantelpieces and fireplaces. so pretty. (:

I simply love getting mission clothes. It's been so fun!

I found the last thing on my list for AZ - a raincoat. I'm probably silly, but I think it's one of the things I've been most excited for, haha. It's soo comfy, has these cool zippers and nifty pockets everywhere, and the best part: those cool sleeve inserts that has the perfect little hole for your thumb. it was a raincoat made in heaven.

I loved this. and this.

Making : wonderful plans, and goals. The future is so exciting right now...
Cooking : egg whites with cherry tomatoes and italian seasoning, and sprinkling salt and oregano on celery... I've finally found a way to make even celery taste delicious - add italian seasoning. I add it to everything now. Eating healthy has never tasted better. (even though I sorta blew it today with my Mom's chocolate chip peanut butter cookies today... dang it.)
Drinking : fresh strawberry kefir. (:
Reading: the Book of Mormon... start to finish, before the beginning of my mission. Gosh, I love that book.
Wanting: more time to just lay in bed and sleep, with the sun coming through the window and everything peaceful.
Looking: through the window to the gorgeous landscape that is my home, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It is so beautiful.
Playing: the tunes of Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong, while relaxing at home today. They make me feel so cozy and homey.
Wasting: away a few hours watching Jericho. Except it's not really wasting time... because I'm with my Mom, and it's something I look forward to every week amid the stresses of work and planning and everything else that's life right now. It's probably the best tv show I've ever seen - and I never watch tv. I'm shamelessly addicted. and there are only two episodes left... oh, my poor, poor heart.
Sewing: one button, on my coat for my mission. a girl's gotta start her sewing skills somewhere.
Wishing: I hadn't eaten those peanut butter cookies today. Why is it every time I eat junk food I feel sick after? I always tell myself afterwards, oh my gosh, I am never doing that again. And then the next time the junk food appears I somehow forget everything I told myself, and do the same thing over again. Hopefully blogging about it will make it stick this time around, haha.
Enjoying: my time with my family, and all the new, exciting things I'm preparing for and looking forward to.
Waiting: for.... well, nothing really. I feel very content. (:
Loving: my days off work.
Hoping: for many lovely things to happen, hopefully within the next few years.
Marvelling: at how blessed I am. I don't know what I did to get such a great life, great family, and great experiences.
Needing: a spontaneous, fun day touring Washington D.C. My heart misses that city. A girl's night would be really nice right now too... it's been way too long since I've had one of those.
Smelling: the cold crisp in the air. It's starting to become fall (: Time to pull out the sweaters, warm blankets, brown boots, and hot chocolate by the fire... My favorite time of the year!
Wearing: the cutest, swirliest polka dot skirt I bought for my mission. (see pictures above). I love dressing like a lady. (:
Noticing: all the cute couples and lovely friends that are getting married, and have gotten married. If you've been wed recently, know that I've stalked all your pictures... love is just so... lovely.
Knowing: that I'm on the right path for my life.
Thinking: that I've thought about wayy too much this past week. I've been thinking till I felt like my thoughts were going to bubble out of my head. I would like to just think about nothing for a little while now. Time to take a page from my brother's book and go fishing, maybe?
Bookmarking: great quotes, especially from C.S. Lewis.
Giggling: with the kids - my brothers & sisters. They make me laugh so hard. (: I'm going to miss them.
Feeling: tired, and peaceful.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's Here!!!


what a ham.


sunset in the Shenandoah Valley

so beautiful.

Ahhh this makes me so happy(:


:D (ignore the grossness from a long day at work, ha)

So, I'm blogging here at a quite ridiculous hour of the morning, because... MY MISSION CALL IS HERE!!!! (: Woot woot!!! Oh my goodness, I am so excited to open that beautiful white envelope and see where I'll be serving for the next year and a half of my life. It's actually real, everyone. I'm officially going to serve a mission. It's Sister Morris, here I come!
Tomorrow I'll be opening my call, in Fredericksburg so my Dad & brother can be there. We'll have a lovely family picnic... as a celebration after I open it, of course. (:
This has been such a miracle in my life. Honestly. I've grown so much, even since my decision to leave.... and I have been so, so, so blessed. My entire family and I. I won't go into details, but a major issue that has been plaguing me for over a year now has been officially resolved, beyond what I barely dared to hope for, and has completely worked out. Everything fell into place, everything that was completely out of my control. Isn't it a miracle that the day I receive my mission call, we find out that everything's been resolved? It is no coincidence, ha. I have been so incredibly blessed. I can hardly believe it, and I think it's going to take a while to sink in. It's absolutely amazing, and wonderful.
Anyhow, I had two pretty neat epiphanies a few weeks ago I would like to share about my mission call. I've known since before I decided that if I went, I would probably go stateside because of my diabetes. Well, this didn't bother me too much, because I am sincerely excited to go wherever I go (: It's about the people and the spirit of the mission and serving the Lord, not the travel experience ha. Anyways. I had this epiphany that my mission call, if it's stateside, won't be because I'm diabetic. It will be because I'm going exactly where the Lord wants me to serve. (: Me being diabetic is no surprise to Him, ha. And the second epiphany that really sunk in - after reading an article on the Huffington Post about the "Most and Least Mormon" states... is that stateside missions, and really missions anywhere, are so needed and are so important.
People have the oddest ideas about Mormons. Honestly. There are so many misconceptions out there, and so many more people who have no idea what we believe. And the saddest part about this to me, besides having to explain what we truly believe ha, is that this gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, has been the greatest source of peace, joy, and strength in my life. I've had some really rough times in my life - as we all have. And the knowledge I have that God is there, and that He hears and answers my prayers, and truly loves me, is one that has kept me going when I didn't know if I could. And the truths and principles found in the scriptures are ones that have given me a guideline to develop a strong character, and to become the best that I can be. (even though I know I've got a long ways to go, ha.)
I wish I had the eloquence and the power of writing to convince people that the happiness and peace that's found in keeping God's commandments and developing a relationship with Him is real and is true... but I don't. I do, however, know that although my testimony is simple, and is still growing, it is real. I believe that this Church is true, that the true Church of Jesus Christ is restored on the earth. I believe with all my mind and my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. I've felt the witness of it's truthfulness as I've studied it, and pondered it, and as I've applied it's teachings and principles in my life. I would ask, if you haven't read it, that you would be willing to sincerely give it a chance. If you aren't sure if God is there, but have even a glimmer of a belief or hope that He may, please have the courage and enough desire to find the truth to kneel and pray, that if He is there, He will let you know. I know that He will, because I've been there. He has always answered me. But don't take my word for it, ha, try it for yourself. (: Seek and ye shall find. Seriously. Question with boldness, as Thomas Jefferson said. If you need help with those questions, I know some people and some excellent sources that can help (: Ha.
Man, I'm loving life and everyone right now. I'm so happy. and that's the end... until tomorrow!! (:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

knights in shining armour, missionary outfits, and other fun news.

a minion twinkie at the yard sale!
the knight in our house.

this skirt cost a whoppin' one dollar (:



shirt brand: ny&company. usually like sixty dollar shirts. I got this for ONE BUCK at a yard sale. Woot woot!
 (I have bought so many clothes from that brand on clearance for my mission... they have really classy clothes.)

this skirt, funny enough, is Victoria Secret brand. (I didn't even know they made skirts...) Got it for two dollars.  shirt, one dollar.

The past month (okay, months)...(okay, summer) has been so crazy busy. Today I felt like one of those drained, worn out adults who is so grumpy at their job and who has zeroooo energy. I guess that's what happens when you work every single day (except Sundays) for two or three weeks... sometimes with eighteen hour days. I wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed, and wake up to do the same thing over again... Ahhh! So happy I have a day off tomorrow! I feel like this waking up early, working hard all day, coming home exhausted and going right to bed stuff is preparing me in some ways for my mission ha. I mean, that will be a different kind of work, that will be much more rewarding than a paycheck every week. But... yeah. Anyways.

This past week we went to a forty mile long yard sale. SO fun. We found tons of really cool stuff, including some ultra-cheap, classy, super cute mission clothes (as seen above). We even came home with a suit of armour to put in our house. I'm thinking of doing a knight photoshoot, with him cooking breakfast, doing laundry, feeding the chickens, watching tv.... could be quite hilarious. He's like six feet tall. Needless to say, we had a good time.

The funniest thing happened with Adam - he was scratching my back, and scratched my bra strap, and asked what it was. I told him "Oh, don't worry about it". He immediately exclaimed, "Oh, I know! It's your underwear!" Peter turned and looked at me in disgust, and yelled "Your underwear goes all the way up to THERE??!" Funniest moment of my life.

This week I also found some more fantastic deals on missionary wear. I am so, so blessed :) I've also been reading my scriptures and Jesus the Christ, and I've been learning so much. It's quite amazing how much you can grow when you finally make the decision on where you want to go. :) And... my call should be here soon!!! Within two to three weeks, I hope!

Life is so good! And the church is true. (:

Saturday, August 3, 2013

pre-mission (:

Wow, this summer has flown by! I can't believe it's already August. With work & preparing for a mission, I've been so busy that I have hardly noticed the days passing by in between each moment. Since I've decided to go I've felt such a huge difference in my life. Where there was doubt and fear and uncertainty, now there's.... well, still alot of questions :) But I just feel so at peace, and have so much faith! And I feel SO excited!!!
Anyhow, these past few weeks have been crazy.


Staying at home by myself. I had the house allll to myself this past weekend... it was actually kind of nice. Until the night came. There's nothing like sleeping alone in a creaky old house in the country. Every little noise you hear startles you awake. Your too scared to get out of bed, so you just peer out under your covers - like hiding under a  blanket is going to keep you safe haha.. Then your left awake in total paranoia, with your pepper spray and cell phone under your pillow, and you can't get back to sleep. Luckily, it's times like these when you bring in your trusty dog - whose sure to ecstatically greet any incomer and warn you that something odd is up. He watched over me all night. Dogs are the best.

Also - driving to the mall and having a random guy start blowing kisses at you. Waving his arms in the air, and blowing kisses. Not sure what else to say about that...


Shopping for missionary dresses. While skimming the racks of dresses at Ross, a song my Elder David Archuleta came on the radio.... I haven't heard his music since I left Utah! So cool to be missionary shopping and having music by a fellow missionary come on the radio :)

Also - the cute dresses! For screamin' deals at the mall! Honestly, I think there is a shopping guardian angel. Countless times throughout my childhood, my parents have found cute, affordable outfits in sometimes the nick of time. Well, I was expecting missionary shopping to be SO hard. But I went to the mall with my family, and lo and behold, we found:
* Two dresses that meet the modesty requirements AND are super cute! And, best part of all, were on ultra clearance. Woot woot.
* The perfect church shoes. I was expecting these to be super hard to find - I love my cute (& sometimes flirty) heels. Well, we found a pair that are both sensible and SO cute, perfect for missionary work. Also, on a fantastic deal.
*Great service shoes. Really, really cute tennies for service projects and working out. Probably one of the best deals of all - the cashier offered to pick them up for me at a store where they had them in my size, and they'll cost a whole whoppin' amount of six dollars!! Brand new, great quality, and stylish.
Honestly, I think it was quite a miracle that we felt randomly like going shopping (we almost never go) and we found all these great things that I needed on a tight budget. I am so blessed!

Now I just have my last interview on Sunday, and then I should know - within about two weeks - where I'll be going! Where I'll be serving and teaching and learning and loving for the next 18 months. I am so excited for this experience. A bit nervous, yes. Not feeling one hundred percent prepared... yeah. But I know this is the right thing for me to do right now, without a doubt. I am so grateful for the process it took to help me to know, and what I learned from it. And I am so excited for this service - this mission - for my Heavenly Father and His children, and my Savior, and for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to begin. (:


this picture just cracks me up...