All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney

Monday, March 29, 2010

Letter from Christopher!!

I was so happy to get this short letter this morning for my brother Christopher! I am so thankful that he is receiving packages :) The St. Patrick's Day package was sent to him on the 19th of February and he just got it today *LOL* I guess better late than never! We are still collecting and shipping relief kits so if you would like to help please let me know.

“None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors” ~Spencer W. Kimball

Dear Renee,

I got another package of hygiene kits and the st patty's package, and the cards! Thank you, Thank you! They are helping a lot with everything especially my spirit. This last week they transferred me from Conce to Cauquenes. Me and my companion cover the whole sector, its huge! The whole area has a lot of major destruction because the houses are made from adobe and because its the closest to the epicenter. There are no store's open and the hygiene kits are helping so much, thank you! And everyone that has helped, it has been a blessing to have them since supplies aren't available all the time. Send more if you can, they are very very needed here. We are working very hard everyday from dawn to dusk to get the town up and working and going again. The aftershocks have become part of my everyday life but it's still hard to get use to. Everything that was damaged in the main earthquake is now crumbling to the ground with each aftershock. Please pray for me and the people of Chile.

1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

D&C 4:2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

I love you sis thanks for everything,

Elder M

Screamin Banshees

Jackson 1st indoor football game was on Saturday. It was hard to get use to the short field but it was so much fun. Jackson threw a beautiful pass for a touchdown and ran a touchdown that got called back :( His team won 18 -15 Way to go Banchees!! He has games every Saturday until May so if your free come cheer on our #1 and the Screamin Banshees with us!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Do your BEST!!

Last night at pack meeting Ayden got his bobcat and several other awards in sports and music! Jackson is working really hard to get all 20 pins and his Arrow of Light in Webelos before his birthday in July before he goes into Boy Scouts! He got awards last night for travelers, geology and outdoors man! They love scouts and are looking forward to going to camp this summer, way to go boys! We are so proud of you!!

Ayden's 2nd grade program

Ayden had his 2nd grade program about all the US Presidents at the end of last month. He talked about George Washington and did a great job! They sang songs and all of the kids each talked about different presidents :) They all drew a self portraits and Ayden's was really cute!! It was a great program and Ayden did a fantastic job. Way to go Ayden!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

footprints in the sand

spring sports

It's that time of year again, Lacrosse season!!
Jackson and Ayden both are so excited for lacrosse to start and this is the week!! Jackson had his first practice last night it was raining buckets, windy and cold but he LOVED getting out and playing. He is now on the Thunder league and is looking forward to a great season. Ayden starts practice tonight weather permitting there is snow on the ground right now :( he is still on the Storm league :) We all look forward the some great cradling, poke checks and scoops during the "Storm" and "Thunder"!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Life is what YOU make it..

I found this post on my cousin's blog and it brought me to tears. It is so true for most of us and really touched my heart...I could have written it myself. I hope you will find a quiet momnet in your day to read it and watch the videos and I hope you find in it something that touches your heart :)

I have discovered something life altering. I think you will agree, when you make this particular discovery, your life changes for the better. Be careful, this kind of attitude adjustment requires you to take personal time for growth. Are you ready for it? I am not sure you are. You want speed. You want MASS validation from the world. Your are comfortable with complacency. How about taking the time to learn how to enjoy what you have?

This discovery has helped me.

I want peace, I want to really get to know my children. I want to hold my husband. I want the time to serve my family and those put in my path. I don't want to miss a sweet sigh, a defining question, a smile, a hug from my husband and children. I want to enjoy the simple things in life.
Do you know what I am talking about yet? Okay. I will tell you. But I think it will require additional convincing.

YOUR EVERY DAY LIFE IS NOT BORING! Yes, Its true. I know you don't believe me, but please try. Just because the world is unaware of your everyday efforts does not mean your life does not have meaning. Just because you may feel uncomfortable in some way does not mean your life does not hold value! I think this is where you might have confused the issue: just because you feel discomfort, irritation and you don't get your way 99.9% of the time doesn't mean your life falls short in any way.
I believe that irritation, discomfort and NOT getting your way helps you stretch and grow, grants you depth and enjoyment that you deserve in every way.

Here are ways to enjoy your life and change your attitude and feel JOY!

#1 SLOW DOWN. I find that slowing down allows you to take the time to listen to that little voice and find opportunistic moments to serve your family and those around you.

#2 SERVICE. As you already know service moments can feel very inconvenient. This is why slowing down your life, is key. When obvious service moments fail to show up, seek them out. Do it without money or expensive gifts. Do something that feels uncomfortable and you will feel growth and fulfillment. Serve like you will never get; money, a thank you, a hug, or anything. Serve to feel good. You will find your reward is increased love and compassion for those you serve.

#3 LET GO OF THE NEGATIVE! When you feel anxiety, under-appreciated and frustration, stop (or like my six your old says "PAUSE") and exercise your agency. Choose to let go of negative feelings (as hard as it may feel)!

#4 THINK POSITIVE. Work hard to muster up all the positive things you have gained from your service. You see, this kind of positive self talk requires lots and lots of practice and does not come easily. Think of your positive self talk like a muscle; it takes consistent and most ALWAYS uncomfortable effort to think positive.
Just because a negative thought pops into your head doesn't mean you are a depressed person. It is when you take that thought and you allow it to fester and build; you give it a name, you dress it up, you take it out to eat and give it a place to sleep. This is when this thought will lead you down the inevitable road of depression and chronic negativity.
On the flip side, when a negative though pops in your head, you must practice letting it go. Don't invite it in to stay. Sometimes, this can be very difficult and may require additional effort like, writing down your thought, you can even burn it later. Find a safe, appropriate person to vent. You can even get on your knees and pray to Heavenly Father for help! (Now just because I brought up prayer and Father in Heaven, don't discount me.) Prayer to Father in Heaven is a very real and live source of help. I have found deep insight for myself when I have been on my knees pleading for a change of attitude. I have also felt a sense of acceptance for myself as well as a comfort in my life.

Try to read on a little more. When I struggle with more difficult situations, I go through a study process. I write down my feelings and thoughts. Not as just a rant session. I dig for insight. I give my feelings words and try to describe them. I determine I must let go, but to do this I must exercise a bit more. I do this by finding a positive song (often times in the hymn book) and then I WRITE IT DOWN. I read a lesson out of the ENSIGN that pertains to my situation and I write down my favorite quotes from the article. I search the scriptures for verses that pertain to me, I write down those favorite verses. Last, I write down the thoughts that come to me as my attitude alters and changes. I write down what I have learned and gained. I write down my blessings. I write down a past experiences. I have even found other helpful books, articles and online talks that provide inspired insight to the situation. You can start the study process with a prayer and end it with a prayer. I get on my knees and beg Heavenly Father for additional help and insight and then I write down those thoughts that come to me as inspiration. I must always pray and thank my Father in Heaven for helping me with inspiration as well as the materials I searched to find insight.

This has been like my personal university, my personal study hall as I have tried to create an environment of learning, from my personal life experiences. I am less afraid of feeling irritated or feeling inconvenienced, because I have found that I can exercise my agency and turn these feelings into "moments of learning and self growth."

I challenge you to find ways to be positive on a regular basis. I have other ways of remaining positive, like, surrounding myself with positive media, uplifting music, books, shows, etc. I keep my conversations positive with family and friends and learn from their efforts to remain positive.

#5 APOLOGIZE. You may feel you are always right in certain situations. You may have a good point. But your point of view is just that, YOUR POINT OF VIEW. No one else's. If you express an opinion and it is rejected or you have offended the other person. STOP talking and listen. Listen as hard as it may be for you. If you find your situation escalating out of control take a breather, internally or step away. Show maturity and do it calmly. Then apologize without the use of the word "but." For example, "I apologize for arguing and not hearing your point of view but I did it because you..." Just apologize and try to hear and see another point of view.

#6 FORGIVE. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Your perspective will be altered and you will find joy in this.

#7 LAUGH! LAUGH! Laugh. Laugh, love and enjoy life people. If you don't feel like laughing. Smile, even while driving down the road. Force yourself to smile and see what happens.

Look at every day life as a positive experience that will grant you a wonderful new perspective. This perspective will stretch you and allow you to become a well refined human being. I challenge you to stretch and exercise your positive muscles! ~Sharee Hale Jones


Kindness, can be shown in many ways,
a gift you buy, or debts you pay.

A sweet word to someone blue, or just
listening, to someones point of view.

Acts of kindness, should come naturally
to you. Never noticing what you've done,
until its through.

Flowers picked right from the yard, or
something you've worked for, very hard.

Just taking time to let a loved one know,
just how far, for them you'll go,

A complete stranger, in dangers way, your
act of kindness they've no need, to repay.

Whether its something your asked to do, or
just because, you wanted to.

You never know when you may be in need, of
a sweet and kindly deed.

When an act of kindness comes your way, it
brightens up a gloomy day.

If the chance should come your way, show an
act of kindness today!

~Makala Shay

Friday, March 19, 2010


...the Earth emits a low continuous droning sound;
a murmur distanced in silence by modern technology;
it reverberates from West to East, echoes North to South;
the sound resonates throughout nature,
in the quiet of the night it whispers a call;
The Earth sings with closed lips,
an ancient tone known as
"Earth Hum."

Thursday, March 18, 2010


My sweet boys wanted to help their uncle Christopher in Chile and all the other missionaries that lost their supplies during the earthquake and tsunami on February 27th. After many ideas they decided on this great project! After a long day of baking, after school they walked around our neighborhood selling these adorable and yummy rainbow cupcakes! 2 of their cousins Isabella and Taylor came over to help, they had a fun afternoon in the sunshine. They were so thrilled that they were able to raise $270.00 for the missionaries!! One of the most wonderful rewarding times of being a mother is when your children find true joy helping others and seeing the smiles on their faces and the sparkle in their eyes made the 6 hours of baking totally worth it. Thank you so much to all of you who so generously donated :) Way to go boys, I am SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter from Christopher, Terremoto 8.8 aftermath March 15, 2010

Dear Family,

I am having the greatest, hardest time of my life here in Chile. Concepcion is better. It has really calmed down since the quakes and looting. Almost everything is back to normal. Water and power is back. The stores are open too. We are teaching more than doing service now. There is still a curfew. They changed it on Thursday from 11pm to 6 am. Last night there was a scare because there was a nation wide power glitch where it just turned off in the whole country. Rumors quickly spread that it was government doing because they knew that another earthquake was coming. False. We woke and there was power and no earthquake. There were tremors like every day, but it was normal. Renee said that you told her that I talked and sang in church yesterday. Who told you that? Did I? how strange...
I have no news any of those missionaries all I know is that they are ok. Nothing else.

Here is the 8.8 story. I think that I can finally tell it because my mental capabilities aren't working off of adrenaline anymore.

Anyways... When I normally sleep I toss and turn a lot. On the 27th of February I was tossed and turned more than I could have imagined.

At first I just thought that it was raining because I could here things hitting the roof but I didn't know what. Then I heard the fridge fall over and the glass in the microwave shatter. I hopped out of bed not knowing what was going on. I, then gripping the wall for balance, found shelter under the door frame. Seeing that Elder Chapman was still asleep, I yelled "earthquake! earthquake! EARTHQUAKE!" I don't know what he was thinking because he told me, "hey, quiet, I'm sleeping," and closed his eyes. Then realizing what was going on jumped out of bed and put his shoes on. We ran out of the house fast. Minutes passed and the shaking didn't stop. I was scared that the giant billboard right above the house was going to fall. It was shaking violently. All of a sudden we saw the pandemonium brake out as our neighbors started yelling "tsunami! tsunami!" Thinking only about how close we lived to the river we thought that it was possible that a tsunami could reach us. As we ran for about twenty minutes towards the hill in our sector, the shaking continued at a weakened, but bone rattling strength. Then we stooped and prayed, the whole while trying to find balance as the earth continued it's angry awake. The feeling was unmistakable that we should go back and help people. We put on jackets and went around asking people if they needed help. We could see that most houses we intact outwardly but that the insides had been close to destroyed. We found people very shaken up emotionally but mostly ok physically. We found many families in great need of comfort as they yelled, "my mother!" or "my son, he lives next on the beach in Penco!" another cried. Wanted to calm them, we decided to sing hymns. Even as the tremors continued a calming Spirit came and we felt strengthened. About an hour after the quake we heard many explosions. Later we found that a chemical lab had exploded and that a bridge next to our sectors had fallen and that the cars had on it had also exploded.

Later, finding that everyone was ok, investigators and members, we tried to call our leaders in vane being that all communication was down. As the sun rose we saw the real damage as we saw that many older homes had collapsed. We spent that day calming people and trying to clear the rubble. We found sanctuary that day with the Olivas.
The next day I was able to talk to you. At about 9 am, a want-to-be-army dude came and warned us that we needed to find food for the next months because all supermarkets would be closed. He said that one close to us was "gifting" food and that we had to get there before it was closed. When we went we found that the "gifting" was actually a dangerous looting situation with people stealing mattresses, plasma screen TVs, and a lot of alcohol, a little food. We left quickly as we saw that the walls were about to collapse on the looters. About 10 died. Later we went downtown and saw that many very tall buildings had toppled. The worst was an apartment building. Other buildings we passed looked like they were about to collapse. Finally we found the office. The office workers were sleeping as we entered. We saw that the wall had many cracks and fissures. We received instructions that we should save water and food and help as many people as possible.

For the next few days we saw many other buildings topple as the tremors hit. We also saw the worst damage of the looting as hundreds died burning in buildings they were looting. From 6pm to 12 the next day we were to stay in the house. At night we were woken up by many fire fights right outside our house between the looters and the military. A few days after we went to Talcahuano to see if we could help. Some of the worst damage we saw was in Talcahuano. Many boats had been lifted to land. It was a strange sight to see huge navy boats in the middle of the street.
The next day we went to San Pedro, but we had to leave quickly as we saw that the escaped prisoners and the looters we looting everything and starting fires without any resistance of the military of police. Events such as these continued for many days all the while we were locked in the Oliva's home. Of course it was difficult and very stressing. But understand that I have seen this earthquake as a great blessing. I feel so much stronger because of it. I have seen that many people have been humbled because of it. One of these is Alex, the 19 year-old son of one of my converts, he was a good kid before but now he is ready now for the healing power of the Atonement. He wants to serve a mission too. If that is the only miracle of this, it was worth it. But there have been many others too.

As we see many people choose Christ, others have lost their faith. Last Sunday and yesterday there were dissension and open apostasy. At the same time I have felt that these Sacrament meetings have been the most edifying for me. We now see that it is true that in the Last Days that the wicked will get more wicked and the righteous more righteous. I have learned so much from this experience. Truths that one can only learn by experience.

Since last week I have moved back to our own house. It is a two floor home the only con is that there is no oven. The address is in Lorenzo Arenas, Concepcion Chile.
My comps name is Zachary Chapman. He is a cool kid since the earthquake, it'll be ok. He's from Alpine Utah. I have found that I need as many copies as possible of the PeaceGiver in Spanish. Also more works pants and shorts and shirts.
I believe that another wonderful thing would be some chocolate . I haven't gotten any packages yet.

It is so good to hear that all of you are helping so much. Thank you. I think that the best thing to do is to send the things that you have already gotten and pray for us. Also, you can help the missionaries that have lost everything by either sending things or by depositing in my account. Either way is helpful.

Today I read Helaman 5. It was very good. Read it. That's how I feel.
I love you all, thank you for all of you letters and everything. I hope I have answered all of your questions. if not, next time.

Love you, Elder Christopher Morgan

Monday, March 8, 2010

Letter from Christopher; Terremotos y el fin del mundo, Earthquakes and the End of the World


I honestly don't know where to start. What else is there to say than how amazing is the power of God. If you only felt the mix of feelings that I feel now...In the past few days I have learned a lot about God's plan for me and the Plan for all of us.

These really are the last days. That was a confirmation when I woke up and 3:34 in the morning last Saturday. Slowly the earth shook, and slowly I realized that I was experiencing an earthquake. Then the earth shook more violently. And it didn't stop, it seemed, never. Even now .

After that came the tsunami and the looting and the fires and, etc.. A lot.
During this time of trial and chaos, I have observed many foundations fall, literally and spiritually speaking. Many people are found asking themselves, "where is my strength?" I've lost my house, my work also doesn't exist, I have no computer, no tv. Where am I?" they ask. More precisely they ask. "who am I?" Seeing this i am grateful to know that I, nor they have been left alone in this very traumatic experience. I have had the Lord's help every step of the way. Now they have their rhetorical walls broken down so that they can also have this help as well.

I have learned more than anything that if you are prepared you shall not fear. I have seen that a people full of fear will do almost anything to survive. If we prepare spiritually by living the Gospel and by keeping a year's supply of food storage we shall not fear. Ever.

I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. We must prepare. From this moment on we must decide whom we will serve. This earthquake has divided this people in two. The line is more apparent between good and evil. As for me, I chose to serve Jesus Christ. I believe that that has been and will be the greatest decision I make. I have seen the alternative and it is nothing. I am His disciple.
I am safe and well, I we are going to get there. I know it. Pray until your knees hurt.

love you,

Elder Christopher Morgan

Read Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-8

Saturday, March 6, 2010

pictures from Concepcion

These pictures were taken on March thankful our prayers have been answered and that water in beginning to become more available!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Yesterday I was contacted by KSL to do a news story on my efforts to get Missionary Relief Kits to Chile. My sisters and I have been collecting supplies and donations since the8.8 earthquake last Saturday. I would personally like to thank Dr. Chester Smyth & Dr. Richard Ellis for donating oral hygine supplies for our kits, thank you from the bottom of my heart!! I was thrilled and excited at the opportunity to be able to tell our story and then maybe we could find someone who would like to help us deliver our kits to Chile. At this point we don't have a realistic way to get them to the missionaries who so desperately need them. When the story aired last night I was disappointed that they didn't focus more on our humanitarian effort and not about our families worry about Christopher and other missionaries safety. I do not want my brother to come home. I want him to be SAFE and to get him some supplies that he desperately needs. He LOVES his mission and I know he is where our Father in Heaven needs him. He is a Strong young man and has helped countless Chileans since the quake. Yes, I am very worried about him but he has NOT asked to come home. There are hardships and danger but my intention was to make more people aware that many missionaries now have nothing and recruit help for ALL of the missionaries serving in Chile! Some have no shoes and only the clothes on their backs, I want to help them so that they can continue the Lords work!! The story was slanted, yes he has been in a dangerous situation but we just want to help!! I HAVE prayed and I do have FAITH but as my brother says "Go and do, don't sit and stew." My sisters and I are doing!! - Sandy family worries for missionary's safety in Chile

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Help for Chile

Why? My little brother Christopher is serving an LDS Mission in Concepcion, Chile in the Bio Bio region (one of the hardest hit). After talking to my brother last night via Skype (what a blessing) after the 8.8 earthquake and 100+ aftershocks, he made it known that basic necessities and supplies are in dire need. He has been without fresh water since the quake and food and other supplies have become increasingly scarce. He and his companion Elder Chapman of Alpine, UT are staying with a family in his area that's home is still in one piece and safe. Curfew was put in place by the military at 6 PM and the family has to barricade the doors and windows each night to keep looters out, so crazy. He said that no relief has reached them from the church or any other source. Many of the missionaries only have the clothes on their backs after fleeing the seaside to escape the tsunami and falling buildings and are unable to get the basic necessities. He asked us to work on getting Relief Kits ready so when there is an opportunity to send them they are ready to go. The power in on in his area *cheer* but there is still no way to for them to get water, food or basic supplies. He also asked for continued prayers for the missionaries and people of Chile. I want to help them in any way I can. Please help us either by donating Relief Kits or by a $$ donation to buy the items needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

I started a blog to update the situation in Chile, Please pass it along to your friends and family and post in your blog roll, Thank you so much!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

update on Christopher in Chile

I was contacted by a producer of GMA yesterday after they saw my Tweets about him on CNN the morning of the 8.8 Earthquake in Chile. I gave them the number Christopher gave my mom when he spoke briefly to her yesterday morning. They interviewed him this morning on GMA. How is it that GMA can reach him but I have not been able too, makes me crazy. I think I have dialed that number a hundred times :( Hearing his voice brought tears to my eyes and my heart aches for him. He sounded very calm and for Christopher I know that means he was really focusing on not breaking down. Christopher told my mom this morning that the conditions in Chile are quickly deteriorating, there is no food, water, power or shelter. The looting has gotten out of hand and the military is being very aggressive. They are not allowing people to be in the street but they don't know where else to go, their houses are in shambles and they are afraid of going inside because of all the after shocks. He has not eaten in 2 days and has had very little rest. Most of the members in his area (Bio Bio) are homeless and some are still missing. He has spent his days and nights helping to uncover people buried in the rubble and helping out in anyway he can. We are very blessed that he has been able to use a members phone to contact us. I know that there are many missionary families that have yet to talk to their missionary and Chileans unable to reach their families. Please keep him and the Chilean people in your thoughts and prayers. I love you Christopher and I am praying for your safety.

You can also check my moms blog and Christopher's mission blog for updates.