Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009 - This one will make you laugh for sure!

Hey there followers of the interesting life..... of me.

And things just keep getting more and more interesting. Gotta love investigators. Gotta love being a missionary. And gotta love the experiences missionaries have with investigators..... And the dumb things that I find myself doing with investigators.

So this week we saw Veronica, Antonio, Arianna, Marco, and Jasmine quite a few times. They are all very excited for their date on the 12th. It's amazing seeing their excitement. Veronica said the other day the Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on her door.... great. She said she asked them what religion they were. They said, we are Jehovah's Witnesses. To which she replied, oh well I'm Mormon! Hahaha!! Yeah! Go Veronica!!

She always has some of the weirdest things to say as well. I have started a page of Veronica quotes in one of my journals. I already have a full page. This week one of the funny things she said was.... she asked about polygamy. Cause she had heard about that. Everyone asks about polygamy. We told her we don't practice that to which she responded.... "DANG!!! I want more than one husband. Hey, whose kid is that?! Psh, I don't know!" And that is just one of the funny things she said. Some others are: I hear after seven years your tubes can come untied so I told the doctor, you cut them, tie them, burn them!! Also, I leave my car door unlocked. Tony doesn't like that. He says the car will get stolen. I figure if they want to steal the car, they are going to break the window. So I leave the door unlocked. So that way when it gets returned back to me, it doesn't have a broken window.
Haha oh man mom... this lady.She is very interesting. But very awesome!! This week her and Tony are going to get married and then they will all be baptized on the 12th. If things keep going the way they have been going.

We also had dinner with them one night this week.... It was weird. It was just like being at home with my family eating dinner. It was a Mormon family dinner. The kids, the parents, us. Just goofing off. Having a good time. And eating a lot of food. That wasn't Hispanic food.

So, also another story about them. So we were talking to Veronica on Saturday. And her kids were in the background doing something crazy and making a lot of noise. So we decided to go check it out..... They are back there with helmets on sitting in laundry baskets, and going down the stairs. So I decided, in my wisdom, to try it...... Yeah, I am not as light as those kids. I put on the purple helmet, got in the basket, and Marco gave me a push. The basket nose dived into the first stair, and I went out of the basket, and eventually made it to the bottom, with the basket trailing behind me. Oh man, it was hilarious. Everyone was just laughing, including me, laying at the bottom of the stairs. It was so so funny!! I wish I would have recorded it on my camera.

Also two times we went over there I wore these ridiculous sweater vests that the kids and Elder King were just ragging on! Ha, they are just like family to us.
Veronica also said something really.... incredible to us. She said that the first time we came into her house she noticed a different feeling. One that she said she had never felt before. She said it felt like Jesus Christ was in the room with us. And she said when Tony came home from work he asked.... What is that feeling? And she said, "Tony today missionaries came over." And the next time we met with him, after we left, he told her it felt like Jesus Christ was in the room there with us.
After she told us that story I just got chills. It was incredible. He really is involved in this work. I am very excited for this family. And as you can tell we have had a lot of amazing experiences with them.

Also Alma and Eric came to church with us this week. Which was great. They will be getting married and baptized too it looks like. Probably the 19th of September. The work is going really well.... for the most part. We haven't been teaching a whole lot this past week. We don't have many investigators. We do a lot of walking and knocking. And..... that doesn't do much good. So after Alma and Eric and our awesome family, we are going to be empty.

We even rode bikes this week, 1- because we are low on miles, and 2- to find more people. I got so frustrated, I threw the bike onto the grass. Haha, Elder King got a good laugh out of it. I did too, later. :)

So I have realized that I do have limits. I always thought I was invincible, until I got older. I have become so fragile it seems like. I got a bum ankle and it is all swollen, and my knee needs surgery. Yes I saw a doctor and was told I need surgery and that it would be a 3 month recovery deal. But I said.... NO WAY!!! I don't want to be sent home. I just have very little...something.... in between the bones on my knee. And that is why it is bugging me really bad again. It's lame. So I will probably get that checked out when I get home.

So transfers are this week. This transfer flew by! It was so fast!! But we did get some good work done during it. No baptisms.... but 7 on the way. I love it!
So I also found out that we are going to be opening a new Spanish area here in Nebraska. I am way excited for that. I hope I don't get transferred yet, I would really love to see this family get baptized. But whatever it is the Lord wants.... that is what I'll do. We also get a new Spanish missionary. That will be great. Since we are really short on Spanish missionaries. And there are SO MANY Hispanics.
So this week I felt a huge jump in the language. It was sweet. I finally feel comfortable. Like really comfortable. Just talking about whatever....

Well that is it for this day. But I love you all very much!! Hope all is well. Take care of yourself.

Hahaha!!! And wow, My license is suspended again eh? Go figure.... it's ok, I'll have a clean record for a while. I am not allowed to drive here. So I should be fine. :) And yeah that is a bummer I can't make another court appearance there in Utah. I don't like driving anyways.

I love you!!!
Elder Moore

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

Yes Yes Yes, that is right. We are going to baptize a family!!! Of 5!! Woohoo. Wow, it's so awesome. So we got this referral from a woman in California who is a member, and it's her cousin that she wanted us to go visit. So we went and saw her. Her name is Veronica. I may have mentioned them last week.... But anyways... her and her husband Tony are going to get married hopefully this week or the next week. And they have 3 awesome kids. Well this week me and Elder King went and taught her and her husband Tony. And we invited them to be baptized. They told us "No." And that they didn't think they would be ready to be baptized on the 12th of September. So we talked more about baptism and just a lot of things and invited them again. And once again they said "No." Then that is when the spirit really kicked in. And we taught them more about baptism and really went into depth about the importance of it. And invited them a 3rd time....(who says persistence is a bad thing :) ) And this time they accepted! Third time is a charm.

So this week they went and bought church clothes at the salvation army store. They were excited. And we invited them to a baptism the Elders in the North had on Saturday. They came with their 3 children and loved it!!! And they got to meet a lot of members as well. It was just a great enviroment. They are very excited. So after wards while Tony and Veronica were talking to me, Elder King took the kids on a church tour to show them their classes and all. Those kids are so so awesome!! I was talking with them in the sacrament meeting room and told them one of my ridiculous stories, and of course they laughed, cause I have just, weird stories. And after that no one said anything. So then we all started to laugh again because of the awkwardness...... then silence again.... then more laughing. Ah man... those kids are great.

And yesterday the family came to church. And enjoyed that too!! They were smiling and laughing and socializing. And in class, it was so cool! We talked about baptism, and Brother Goff, our ward mission leader and the one that teaches the class sometimes, asked my Jesus went to John to be baptized. And Veronica rose her hand and me and Elder King just looked at each other, and she said.... "because he had the authority to baptize." And me and Elder King gave each other bones. We were so happy. This family is looking great!! It will be so cool to bring this whole family into the gospel. I am so so excited. So their baptism date is the 12th of September. So that is the highlight of this past week. As you can tell I am so excited about it!!

Also, Alma finally received her ID from Mexico so she can take out her stuff and the Mexican Consolate here, and then they can get married. And then they will be baptized. So we should have 2 more baptisms coming here soon too. But we are lacking other progressing investigators. So I don't know what we are going to do after these 7 get baptized. Just have to start finding again.

It has been a tough week though. There are days when I am so excited to go out and work and teach the gospel. But there are so many disappointments in the mission to where sometimes I lack desire to do things. But I have found that reading the scriptures gives so much strength throughout the week. There is always so much to learn and understand. It's great. The things that the spirit is able to teach you.

So speaking of the spirit, yesterday we had an amazing fireside-ish deally about the Holy Ghost, and President and Sister Kunz spoke as well as President Bartlett of the stake. 3 of the most spiritually powerful people in Nebraska. It was amazing the things we learned about the Holy Ghost. And me and Elder King did translating for the spanish speakers. Wow!!!! Super hard. To listen and translate into a different language when they are speaking really fast. But it was really helpful. We did pretty good! But still, I need to practice that!!!!

So this week I have been learning some tongue twisters from the members. It's fun, but hard at the same time. But it's helping a lot. Members are so much fun to be with. They help ya out and teach you stuff. And most of them don't know any English, so it's fun to teach them English and listen to them.

So mom, did you take the challenge I gave to you about taking a whole week to study the Atonement? And just the Atonement. If not.... I am reissuing it to you. Just a few ideas to start off with.... study 2 Nephi 2:7-9, and in verse 8 where it talks about grace, mercy, and.... ah I don't remember the word in English. But study those 3 words.... study Alma 7 and Alma 34. There is so much to learn about the Atonement. And so many of these things have helped me in my life. So take a week and just focus on that. And I know you will see your life start to change for the better. I promise you will. It's amazing what the gospel can do for us and the changes it can bring about in our lives. I am so glad to have it in my life and to be able to share it with people. It's sad watching people reject something that can change therir life completely. But everyone has there agency.

Justin, the longer you put off your mission the harder it will be to go on it. Something will always just pop up. You turn 19 next March, so make your mission your first priority now. So that way whenever something comes up, you already have your decision made. that you are going on a mission. And plus if you put it off longer, that is a longer time you won't be able to see your RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME older brother. But make sure when you go on your mission you are prepared. Don't put it off for basketball or work. Put if off, if you do, because you want to prepare yourself more. The best thing that has happened to me is my mission. Amber is right up there too though. :) Haha girls aren't a bad thing.... But anywho.... the mission! I enjoy it so much. I have never been more challenged in my life. But I have never felt as close to my Savior either. Justin, baptizing someone is the greatest joy I have ever experienced in my life. watching those you have taught make that promise with God, and enter into the path that leads to life with our heavenly father, is one of the most amazing things in the world. It's a feeling I will never ever forget. God has given us so so much! And he has asked so little of us. But when we do what he has asked, he gives us even more. I have felt his love in my life. I struggle a lot still, but he has always been there for me. Justin, the mission will bless your life. In ways you can't even imagine. And more then just your life, it will bless the lives of your family, your future family, and the families of those you are going to teach and baptize. God has people prepared for you to teach little brother. They are out there and ready. Don't make them wait to start receiving the blessings that the Lord has in store for them. I love you Justin. I only want the best for you. I know that the mission will bring you many blessings. Start preparing now. You are going to need it. :)

Writing in Spanish is my weak point right now. It's hard. Haha, with their accents and stuff. But I still love it. And the Spanish keeps coming and I keep learning new words every day.

Well this is a huge email. But I want you to all know I love you all very much. The mission is great. I miss you all, but I love being able to share the gospel with people. It really is a short time. But one I am loving. I love you!
Elder Moore

And pray for Veronica and Tony please, your prayers can only help. :) Thank you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 17, 2009

Well this week, we found a sweet, dysfunctional family to teach. They are a family of 8. One son that is 19 lives in California, the 17 and 15 year olds live in a foster home. And the twins, that are 11, and the 8 year old live at home. They were a referal to us from a member that lives in California, it's her cousin. So we went over to teach them, and had a great lesson and she told us she believed in everything we had told her. It's very rare we find those, but she did, and you could tell. So we asked her to be baptized and she said no, because she wants to learn a little more. So we are going back tomorrow, and we will ask her and her husband again. But they have had a lot of problems with their family and they know this can help them. They have been together 19 years and aren't married.... go figure. But they do want to get married. So probably not this week, but the next week we are going to get them married. Woohoo!!

Speaking of marriages.... yesterday I was part of my third wedding since being in the mission. Sister Fix, a woman in our ward, and Jamie Riverra got married. Jamie is not a member. We have been teaching him, but he lacks a lot of faith. He said if he could see the plates, he would believe. Well Jamie, only 12 people got to see the plates. And they aren't even on the earth anymore.... so good luck. BUT getting him married is a start. They had been dating for about 4 months, and BAM! Yesterday, they told us to come over for dinner, so we did. And the bishop was there with his family, and they got married. Also..... with Alma and Eric. They are waiting for Alma's I.D. from Mexico to come in right now so that she can get married to Eric. So that will be yet another wedding. And they said after they are married they will get baptized! Woohoo!!! So that I.D. should be coming in anytime now. So more good news! A family of 5 that wants to get baptized, and Alma and Eric. So hopefully good things are to come this month. We are looking forward to it. So hopefully everything works out.

Also we took Fransico, another investigator, who is the cousin of one of our members, to the Trail Center and watched the Joseph Smith movie. And then had a really good talk with him afterwards. He asked a lot of questions and said he feels like he is in the same spot as Joseph Smith, with just wanting to know. He has come to our church at least 5 times now, always there with his Book of Mormon. So he told us, he knows he needs to get baptized, he just doesn't know where yet. So we told him to pray. That's the only way he can know. So this week we are going to go back and see him, and find out how his prayer went. So we had a good week full of talks about baptism! So I am excited to see how the next couple of weeks play out.

Alister is still going strong. Coming to church every Sunday. I love seeing that. I talked to him again for a little while. And he invited us to go fishing with him next p-day. So we'll be doing that I hope. He asked if I had a fishing pole. I told him no. Ha in which he answered.... Yeah me either. I usually just use a stick and some fishing line. Haha! That guy is the man. So we'll be fishing with a stick and fishing line. :) I look forward to it.

So that would be so sweet to get all those letters from the Young Women! I can't wait. Our young women are all so cool! And geez.... I haven't gotten a letter in like.... 2 weeks now. Ha, so it will be nice not to see the empty box for one day. :) Oh well I don't mind anymore.

Well I hope everything is going well out there in Utah for you! Life is good here. I love you all very much!

Love Elder Moore

P.S. And I have moved pass fruit loops to Honey Nut Cheerios. ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

Well..... I don't know what to say. But we are kind of in a slump. I hope you enjoy this email anyways. We are working pretty hard with Alma and Eric still. She is 18 and he is 24. She is now pregnant with there second kid. She wrote her mom, who lives in Mexico, to get her to send an ID here for her so she can get married. So they are going to be getting married!!! Woohoo. They came to church yesterday, and had a great time! We plan on setting them with an actual date for baptism this week. So that is exciting stuff. It's funny, I am starting to see that with hispanic people, a baptism is usually accompanied by a wedding. So this will be my 3rd wedding since being here in the mission. And what's nice is that the Bishop is able to do them for free.

Alister came to church yesterday and that was great. I was able to talk with him and catch up on how things are going. We sat and talked for probably 15 minutes after church. He is way cool and is loving being a member of the church.

This week I went on exchanges with Elder Jarman. In all honesty I was pretty nervous at first since he only speaks English, but all went really really well! It was great really getting to find out how good my Spanish is getting. We walked around little Mexico for about an hour and half and just found tons of people to talk to. It was a lot of fun.

This past week we had Zone Conference which is always an awesome spiritual experience. And a lot of fun too because we get to be with a ton of other missionaries. I have made some of my best friends here. This zone conference was about getting members more involved in the work. It was a great topic. Members in our ward are so shy and scared to share the gospel. So we have decided to take some serious control. Me and Elder King spent about 2 hours reviewing the ward mission plan then went and visitied the bishop for another hour and a half to figure out how we can get things rolling in our ward because, really, knocking doors is a waste for the most part. And all of our members have friends. So this week we have really started working with tthe ward. And yesterday we even went to the 8:00 morning meeting to see what we could do to start fulfilling some of the goals in our ward mission plan.

So I am sad to hear about Granny. But she is 95 years old as you said. Hopefully everything is going to be ok with her. I would love to see her again. But if not, she is awesome! And I love her! And I'll have my chance to see her again.

So this week we had some crazy!!storms. They were so awesome! And lots of them. With constant thunder and lighting and rain. It was nuts! And then after that it heats up to usually about 110 degrees with the humidity. Then storms again.... It's a crazy pattern, but so much fun to watch. One storm this week woke me and Elder King up. So we went out and sat on the couch in front of the window with some brownies and just watched it. Then went back to bed.

Wow, that is scary about Mike Stark! I sure hope everything is ok with him. He is one of my favorite people! I love that guy. Keep me up to date with him please. Tell him I say Hi. And Scott Cole too.

So mom you have been a great mother to us! You don't have anything to worry about . Yeah, things haven't gone like we expected them too. Or like you expected them too. BUT you've always been a good mom. I feel like you and me got so close through the last year I had before I left for my mission. We would hang out and I could just talk to you or tell you anything. Literally Anything. I couldn't have asked for a better mom. I love you!

So I have been asked by a couple people what the best way to prepare for a mission is...... So I am going to give my 2 cents worth right now.

1- Know the scriptures! I have found so much joy in studying the scriptures! Marking them, writing in them, reading conference talks that relate to them. And I feel like I have been made such a better teacher for it. You can answer any question anyone has by using the scriptures. So study the scriptures with a PURPOSE! And you will get so much more out of it and really enjoy it. Scriptures are such a huge part in missionary work. Also it is important to know the bible. I have found that out here. And have been studying it a lot. I love the Book of Mormon! But for people that don't know the Book of Mormon yet, it is important to be able to teach to them from the bible.

2- Study Preach My Gospel. Moddern day scripture. Preach My Gospel has made missionaries the best teachers that this church has seen. If you study it, you will be a great teacher, as simple as that. You will know how to create a spiritual atmosphere whether in a home or on the street. You will know how to teach with power, and understand what it is you are teaching much better. Preach My Gospel is an amazing book. Combined with the scriptures and a personal testimony, they are the most powerful tools you have in missionary work.

3- Pray before and after studying. The spirit will teach you things that you may not have understood without the spirit. So pray for the spirit. Live worthy of the spirit. And you will always know what to say, study, and do.

4- Gain a personal testimony of the church. One that won't waiver. One that can't be destroyed. It's not enough to be a member of the church and believe it's true anymore. You have to KNOW it's true. And when you know it's true, no one will be able to deny your testiomony. Gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, by studying it. Gain a testimony of the restoration. A testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That He lives. And a testimony about a living prophet.

These are just a few things you can do to become a more effective missionary. To really be able to acheive your potential to grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not saying these things will bring baptisms. But they will bring power, and the spirit into the lives of those you teach. I love this gospel. It was great to hear from you.

I love you!!! Take care.
Elder Moore

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Hey there to everyone!

So to start off, it's amazing the way the spirit can lead you in lessons. So I am going to share a story about how that happened with us this week. So we were teaching a woman named Flor. She has come to church probably 6 times now, but the only thing that is keeping her from getting baptized is not being married but living with a guy. Who is actually a jerk to her. So her 2nd Sunday in church she bore her testimony saying this church is true. She is reading the Book of Mormon, has a testimony. So this past week me and Elder King went over to teach her. We really didn't have a lesson planned, just wanted to see what happened. So we started to talk to her and for some reason I just thought about talking about examples. So we shared about Ammon and how he was an example to the King and the king believed his words and listened to him because of it. Then we shared the story of Aaron and how he taught King Lamonhi's dad. And then King Lamonhi's dad asks after he finishes teaching.... What do I have to give to experince this kind of joy, I will give up everything i have. So after we read this I looked at Flor and asked her what she was willing to give up to be with God. And she knew....It was a really powerful experience. And she said, you're right, I know what I have to do. So two days later we came back and talked to her a little more and about what she had decided....... after about 20 minutes of talking to us, she said, "You can go now. We are done." We didn't see that coming, and then she didn't come to church either. She just isn't willing to leave her "husband" or marry him. So that's a bummer. But hey, we planted a good seed. And we will see what happens. We haven't seen her since, and we probably won't untill she calls us. It's sad, because she is so cool. But oh well.... she knows now... what else can we do right?

So Alma and Eric came to church this Sunday too. They are way awesome. She is 18 and he is 24. They are going to get married soon. And we are going to ask them to be baptized tonight. Hope all goes well there. We had a way powerful spiritual experience with them earlier this week when we watched Finding Faith In Christ. I love the Spirit. It really helps people to know that what we are sharing is true. And then it's up to them to accept or reject what they are feeling.

Before coming on the mission I had this idea in my head that we could baptize everyone. No one would want to say no. But it surprises me how many people have become so content with the lives they are living. And have no desire to change or just don't believe us.

So I had court. It sucked. I have to pay 69 dollars by September 30th. So that's not bad. I got the fine cut by alot. From like 160 to 69. So I'll take it. But I didn't even get to tell what happened. It was lame. Just had to stand in front of a judge and say "No contest" It was lame. But oh well.

So that is awesome that Toni was in town. That family is so awesome!!!! I miss them and I will definitely go and visit them in Canada when I get back. Another Waterton Lakes reunion! Hope all is well with them.

So wow, that surprises me that Tyler got released too! Holiness, the priest quroum will never be the same. Tyler transformed the priests. He made it something totally awesome and did amazing things for every person that was in his class. For all the years he was there. Some of my favorites memories are being on camp outs and hang outs with the priests. Like the Moab trip! That was so awesome!! I love that guy. I owe him a lot for why I am on a mission. He helped me so much. I hope that family is doing well. They deserve it. They have never thought about themselves and have always looked for ways to serve. They are just full of so much love for everyone. Ha I remember when we made chinese food at Tyler's house and brought our dates over.... ha and made our own fortune cookies. That was so much fun. I hope when I "grow up" I am half as cool as that guy.

So Mom, I am so glad you are reading Preach My Gospel. That book was writen on the other side of the veil. It is scripture. It's so awesome! That book is changing missionary work and has made missionaries better teachers now then ever. As L. Tom Perry said in his conference talk. It has been cool I have been reading the New Era's and past conference Ensigns. I have learned so much! Jeffrey R. Holland gave an awesome talk called Broken Things to Mend in ..... April 2006 I think. I would recommend everyone read that. It's amazing.

I love studying and reading the scriptures and the words of our living prophets. They truly are the words of our Heavenly Father. I know that this is the true church. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And he did truly suffer for each and every person, and this he did because of the love he has for everyone of us. Well family. I love you so much! I love sharing the gospel and being on a mission. The time will come when we are all united again.... but as for now, the Lord has a work for me to do. And I am trying to fulfill my purpose to the best of my ability. The Lord has a work for all of us to do. I hope you are all trying your best to fulfill the work our Heavenly Father has for you as well. We can't make it on our own. Turn to Jesus Christ and he will be there, always. When others dissapear, he doesn't.

I love you.

Love, Elder Moore