Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009 Cuando TODOS pensaron que no me cae bien la nieve...‏

Well hey!! This week was quite the treat... being able to talk to everyone was great!! Sounds like everything is going well. I've learned that life does go on without me. :) It's hard to believe.... but I guess it's true. And I'll just have to accept it.

Well... first off. I know everyone thinks that I hate the snow. Not true. Because of the snow church was cancelled yesterday!!! I love snow!!! Ok just kidding, I still don't like it. But church did get cancelled. It was nice to be able to sit in the apartment Sunday morning. I actually did a lot of cleaning. I threw away so much junk that I had had in my desk and just organized everthing. I may be able to pack all my stuff up for this transfer in just my 2 suitcases and tote. We shall see though.

Cecilia and Esteban's baptisms DID happen. It was great. There weren't many people there. Just The bishop and his wife, the stake President, 6 missionaries, and about 5other people. It was very quiet, but it was great! Since church was cancelled they have not been confirmed yet. But it was a great night! There is nothing better than being a part of someone's journey back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. Cecilia and Esteban have been an enormous blessing in my life.

So this past week was very slow. We weren't able to drive for 4 days. Yeah... that was a long 4 days. But it was a very enjoybale and relaxing holiday season. But I guess that the holiday isn't quite over yet. We got the new year right around the corner. This year has passed incredibly fast. I don't know how it has felt to all of you. Mom, I don't think I said Thank you enough for the gifts you sent me and for the 14 days of Christmas. That was great. That story about the little girl and her pearls really got to me. I was already kind of emotional that day for some reason. We had just been seeing amazing blessings and had been having so much success with Cecilia and Esteban. I think that might have been why.... who knows though. But that story really got to me. It's one of my favorites. I had never heard it before. Also the golf balls are a great gift to have. ;) It will be easier knocking doors with them instead of my frozen knuckles! I actually had left my stocking at the apartment so when I got home... FINALLY, after almost 4 days, I found them in there. Haha.

So this week should be great. We are going to focus on buliding up our investigator pool since now we have no one progressing anymore. So we will be knocking a lot of doors and contacting referals and just talking to everyone we see. Should be a good week.I am really hoping to leave Omaha though. I don't know what it is... but after being in the same spot for so long you just start to feel burned out I think. And when you get transfered it's like new life. A fresh start. I could use that right about now.

Well I pretty much told you a lot on our phone call about what is going on here and about the crazy adventures of this past week. Man, we've had some good times. I have to say that opening presents at 2 in the morning and having a huge nerf gun fight for the next hour was great!! I have found some of my closest friends out here on the mission. And have had experiences that I will never forget. I have met some of the best people and have been able to see them progress in the gospel from the day we met them, to the day of their baptism, up until now. The mission has been an incredible experience for me. It has changed my life. It's helped me to look at the bigger picture. It's tested me. And it has strengthed my testimony in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all! It was great talking to everyone! And in case I don't see you again... good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight. Justin, get those interviews done!!

Love, Elder Moore

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

Well hey there!! Can ya believe Christmas is this week?! I cannot believe it. :) But I am very excited for it. It hadn't really felt much like Christmas until last night. I don't know why... maybe just not really focusing on Christmas and giving/receiving gifts and being with family and all hasn't really made it feel like Christmas. But yesterday, well Saturday, I got a call from Elder Anderson and he said let's make our own Christmas cards, we'll put a scripture on the front and on the back we'll write Merry Christmas from the Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, and we'll tie a candy cane to them. Then we'll go down to the Old Market and sing Christmas carols and hand them out. It was a great idea!!!So we did that last night.

The Old Market is SO COOL! I love going there. It's just an old fashioned looking out door shopping area. So we stood on the corner and sung Christmas hymns for like an hour and a half and handed out these cards and talked with people. There was 8 of us Missionaries there. And THAT felt like Christmas. It was a blast. Also, there was a drunk girl with 4 of her friends. And she was riding around on a... like cart scooter thing, and I said, "Hey how fast does that thing get going?" And she says, "HEY!! You wanna try it out?" And I was like.... YEAH!!! So I got to ride around on that for a few minutes. It was great! But people stood around and listened to us sing and tried to give us money. It was just a great time last night.

So this past week we had the ward Christmas party and it went great! Cicilia and Esteban came, as well as Alejandro. They are so prepared for their baptism. So we WILL be having a white Christmas. I am so excited for their baptism. You have no idea. I love seeing people make that commitment to come unto Christ and change their life for the better.The party was a hit too! There was so many people there. :) And there was dancing and a pinata and food, and a nativity scene put on by the Primary kids. And somehow we got roped in to being pastores. So that was fun.

So this week is going to be a crazy one.... I am going on exchanges with Elder Ward tomorrow, and then Wednesday morning we have our district meeting, and then I go on exchanges with Elder Boyer. So lots of exchanges. And then talking to all of you! That will be great!! :)So.... what more... Oh yeah. I had my interview with President Kunz this week. That was really good. I told him though that I am ready to leave Omaha. I need a change. He didn't make me any promises... but I am sure I will be leaving. We'll see what happens though.

We also did a white elephant thing at zone conference. I gave a roll of wrapping paper, wrapped in wrapping paper! It was a sweet gift! But I had to open up the wrapping paper to wrap my gift. Sister Worthen got it. Haha. She just laughed and thought it was crazy. So I gave her my bag of candy that I got too along with the wrapping paper. It was fun.

Oh yeah so I forgot to mention that on Saturday.... we moved 2 people! But this time there was more missionaries... like 12 at the first move and 6 at the second. And neither person was in our ward. It was a way fun day though! That morning we helped this woman move and we rented another uhaul and packed up all her stuff and moved her. So we were at the apartment that she was moving into. And the kid dropped the keys somewhere in the snow when he was walking home and they couldn't find them. So me and Elder Anderson decided to try and scale the back of the apartment up to the third floor while the others were praying. Haha... yeah, I guess there idea was better. So we are climbing up the apartment and this kid opens the blinds and yells.... Mom there is someone climbing on our house. So we jumped off and ran away!! And needless to say... the keys got found and we were able to move everything in. And we had a sweet assembly line going all the way from the truck outside to the 3rd floor room. We got that done fast!Then later that night we get a call from 2 sister missionaries that asked us to go help them move too. So me and my comp and Elder Anderson and Eddington went and helped her move from about 5:30 to 9:30. Yeah... a lot of moving. But Saturday was great! We had a lot of fun!!

I can't wait for Justin to get his call. I want to know where he is going!! I am really excited for that kid. That is so awesome that Brad and Toni and the kids all came to the ward this past week. I miss that family. And yeah I wrote Brad. I was reading in a journal I have and read about that experience we had. And then I have told a few people about my first time through the temple and how Brad couldn't find the guy he was supposed to be following.... ya, that funny story. That is cool that Justin will be going through the temple soon. The temple is great.

And oh yeah... haha yeah I did talk to Elder Morrill's mom this week. It was pretty funny. I think I made it really awkward for her. :) I seem to be good at that type of stuff. Turning a moment that could be completely normal into an incredible awkward moment. :) Oh well.... But it was fun!

So since the day after Thanksgiving I have been working out 6 days a week. And in the past week and a half I have put on about 7 pounds. I lost some weight, but now I am back up to 147. It's great!

Well I will be calling you this Friday, so I won't try and write too much. I am still not sure what time I will be calling at.... but I'll let ya know ASAP. Probably sometime inbetween 10 and 12. I think... but I'll let you know for sure! :) Either that.. or I'll just call.

And I am so proud of Brooklyn!!!! She is such a great little ball player. I love that girl. We really do have a GREAT family!!

Well I love you all! I hope all is well. I miss you. Be safe and take care!

Love, Elder Moore

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009 Recibimos demaciado nieve esta semana!!‏

HEY HEY!!Well first off I am going to let you know that this email won't have cool stories like last weeks. At least not amazing gospel stories. But it does have a story... quite the story actually. So I'll tell it to ya....So on Monday night it began to snow... really bad. They said we would be receiving A LOT of snow. And sure enough we did. Tuesday morning we woke up and it was still snowing and we had about 13 inches on the ground. I got a call from the ZL's saying that the cars were grounded... meaning we weren't allowed to drive. And also that we were to stay in that day. BORING! There isn't a whole lot to do inside of an apartment with nothing. So we called the Sandovals and Tony wasn't going to have to work that day because of all the snow. And he said he would come pick us up and take us to their house. So their house is about 10 minutes from ours. So he shows up, we hop in the car with him... and an hour and 15 minutes later we arrived at the Sandovals. Tony's car doesn't have 4 wheel drive or good tires. So we spent an hour looking for different routes to get to their house since you have to go up 2 hills to get to their home. So finally we arrived at the bottom of the final hill. And Elder Morrill and me pushed that car up all the way!! Just about... We got to about 12 feet in front of his driveway and couldn't push anymore. We were so tired! So we shoveled the road there and finally got the car into the garage.

So it continued snowing that day.... and we ended up getting stuck at the Sandovals house. We couldn't get the car out. So we slept there that night. I slept on the couch and Elder Morrill slept on the air mattress. It was quite the adventure that day. BUT WAIT... the adventure is not quite over. So we got back to our place Wednesday morning went and changed, did what we had to do... and went out to the car. Now our car had had its gas light on for the entire day before. Our car was covered in snow also, about a foot of snow and half an inch of ice. So we turned on the heater let it defrost as we scraped the windshield. After about 15 minutes of cleaning the car we hopped in and drove off. So we have a street here... called 13th street. it's like a 13th East in Sandy. So we turned left onto 13th AND the car died. HAHA! Yup, right there in the middle. So I said "Throw it into neutral!" And I hoped out and started pushing it. Then another guy stopped and helped us push it, then he got back in his car and put his bumper to ours and pushed us into a parking lot. So we were stranded in a parking lot. And the high for that day was 7 degrees. So yup, it was cold! So anyways... a hispanic guy pulls up behind us and says he wants to park there cause he lives in these apartments... and I said we are out of gas so let me shovel you out a spot where you can park. So we shoveled him out a spot and he just sat there in his car. And another woman stole his spot! Ha!

So we made a few phone calls to some other missionaries to get some help. And the closest missionaries said that they were shoveling a driveway and would be down in like 20 minutes. So I said ok, and we sat in the cold car and waited. And 30 minutes passed, and they still hadn't shown up. So I called them again... and they said 20 more minutes... YEAH RIGHT! I was so mad. So I just got out and said "Hey, we're walking home!" So we did... and eventually the spanish north elders came down and saved us. So that was the tale of Tuesday/Wednesday.

I really don't like snow! Oh yeah... and we were supposed to have a huge zone conference on Wednesday and that got cancelled because of the weather too.Yeah... gotta love the mission eh?! So anyways the north elders got stranded at our place and stayed there with us that night. The snow here really isn't good. And yesterday night we had ice rains and we had to go back home early because they grounded the cars again. So needless to say, the weather here hasn't been pretty.

Well. Sicilia and Esteban are doing great! They came to church again yesterday and are so excited for their baptism! We are very excited for them! I love them. They are great. And Esteban, everytime he sees us, runs over and gives us a hug. He is a cool 12 year old kid. Alejandro on the other hand... he is going to take some work. It doesn't help that he works 12 hours a day and 7 days a week. We taught the 3 of them the commandments this past week. And Alejandro thinks that it isn't a sin to have sexual relationships before marriage. So that was a tough one to explain. I think in the end it went well. But that converstaion lasted about 25 minutes. He has said to his mom that he doesn't know if he wants to be baptized or not. So we aren't sure if he will be getting baptized on the 26th. There is still a chance he will. But Sicilia and Esteban are looking incredible!

Yup! I did recieve my package!!! And I didn't look in that brown bag to see that I am to open up something everyday. Haha. But don't worry, I am doing it all now. But the tree is all hung up with ornaments, and also I put the Halloween lights on it that you sent me a while back. :) it is looking good! you'll see it on the tape. When I am finished making it. It's coming a long well. :) But that was such a SWEET idea!!! I don't know where you came up with that, but I LOVE IT!! Thank you very much!!

Oh yeah, also this past week we went to the temple! The temple is a cool place. :) I really like it. So I am looking forward to talking to you all as well. It is right around the corner eh? Next week. It is crazy! The last Christmas in the mission. And the fact that a year has already gone by. That is crazy too! But I am really excited to talk to everyone!!!

It finally started to feel a little like Christmas this week. We went to the Thompsons and frosted Christmas cookies. It was fun. I love doing that!

So that is great that Brooklyn is going to Tawain! That should be an amazing experience for her. Lucky girl. She has had so many awesome things happen in her life! How is basketball going for her? And how long is she going to be over in Tawain for? Are ya gonna miss her? :)That's great that Justin went and got his suits. I am sure he looks great in them! Did he put in his papers yet? When do you think he'll be getting his call?!?! This is so exciting! The mission is the BEST thing! He will love it!!That is very exciting that you got an A in your class! Way to go mom! It doesn't surprise me though. :) So what's next for you?....How are the Wilcox's doing? And Grandma and Grandpa? Everyone excited for Christmas? Should be great! Especially with that house as packed with people as it is. :)

Well family... I miss you all very much. I love you! I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season. Stay safe! Take care!I love you all!

Love, Elder Moore

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009 Wow! We had a powerful week!‏

Wow, I hope that I can remember all the amazing things that happened this week and be able to put it all into words, so that you too can feel the power and spirit of the things that we experienced this week.So we now have 3 people set for baptism on the 26th of December. We may change their date to the 19th because of how great they are progressing. Their names are.... Sicilia, Alejandro, and Estaban. A mother and her 2 children. They have just arrived 2 months ago from Columbia and are living with Sicilia's sister, who is a member. They were being taught by the sister missionaries and Sicilia was translating everything. But they called us this past week and told us that we should begin teaching them.So we went to see them on Thursday and it was the most powerful lesson I have had my eintire mission. And probably will ever have. It was just that good.So the sister missionaries came with us to introduce us and all. And having them there was great. Even though neither of them speak spanish.... the sister missionaries just bring an amazing spirit with them.So we began to teach the first lesson to Sicilia and her 2 kids who are ages 23 and 12. And the Spirit was so incredible! And the lesson was amazing. And we explained the spirit to them so that they knew what they were going to be feeling. And I began to tell the first vision to them... and wow.... Nobody in that room could control there emotions. Including me. I had never cried in a lesson up to that day. My year mark. :) And everyone was just crying in tears. And after the 1st vision the moment was perfect. We asked them to be baptized on the 26th and they said Yes!!! And everyone was hugging eachother, the sister missionaries were hugging Sicilia and her sister, Rosa was hugging them too and there was so much happiness in that room. It was incredible.

So then we came back the next day and taught Alejandro some more because he had to leave the room and take a phone call. So we went over the 1st vision with him and it was also a powerful lesson. And I asked him to pray about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. And then to sit with his eyes closed for 30 seconds and just listen. And he said he would.... so he began his prayer, and it was an incredible praryer. He asked God to open his heart and mind so that he could know if these things were true. And then he asked.... if The Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet.And then he sat for about 2 minutes. And I was praying the whole time just hoping he would get his answer. And at about 1 minute and a half. I started to shake, the spirit was SO STRONG! And I looked at Sicilia who was sitting across the table from me, and she was shaking and crying. And then Alejandro looked up and said... I feel so warm right now. It was amazing!

Then yesterday they came to church and it was fast and testimony meeting. And I was sitting there, looking at the floor, and Elder Morrill nudges me and says look. And I looked, and Sicilia was heading up to the pulpit to bear her testimony. I couldn't believe it.So she went up, and said her name and where she was from and then we made eye contact and she started to cry and just smile and couldn't finish. So the bishop got up and helped her out. It was really really cool!So then last night we went and visited them again. And we taught them the plan of salvation. And I said, in this lesson we are going to answer 3 questions... Where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. And Sicilia said, last night in my prayer I asked God where we go after death. And here you are saying that that is what you are going to teach me. And she couldn't believe it. Then as we went through the lesson, I said lets read a scripture in Alma and she said.... Last night I had the desire to read in Alma, but I couldn't find the book and now you are here and showing me a scripture in Alma. She said that during that lesson she was just having her prayers answered everywhere! It was so awesome!!!So that family is so so great! I do love them and can't wait to see them baptized.

Well we got a huge snow storm yesterday. And tonight is supposed to be one of the biggest storms Nebraska has seen in a while. We are supposed to get like 13 inhces of snow tonight and tomorrow. YAY..... Not. Personally... I think that the snow should shut up.

Also, we are trying to help some investigators out that just opened up a restaurant and the restaraunt isn't doing so well.... so I decided to have our district lunch there... and I made a few phone calls.... and we had 22 missionaries there!! Crazy huh!?!? It was so cool!

I am so excited for Justin. I am so excited for him to get his mission call! I can't wait!!! So hey I can help ya learn a little bit of Spanish if you want.... Just let me know what you want to learn how to say and I'll tell ya. Or I could just teach you a few phrases every week.

So Nebraska football.....GGGGGRRRR!!! Wow, how pathetic. All of Nebraska was watching that game. Anywhere you turned, it was on. Stupid Huskers!! They should have won it! They could have won it!! They have a pathetic offense, but wow, their defense is one of the best I have ever seen! There was so many really ticked off people Saturday night and Sunday... and even today. It's bad! Haha, yeah it's crazy how big a part of my life sports was.... and now it pretty much isn't even important. I do like knowing how my teams are doing though. :) And we do get a paper once a week. So... I can keep tabs. But yeah... it's true...Sports don't mean anything in the mission :)And DAng Huskers, I know.... that is terrible!!!! Dang dang dang them!

Well my year mark was a sweet one. I went to breakfast with my comp, and Elders Anderson and Eddington. I have become really good friends with Elder Anderson and it will suck to see him go in Februrary. He is a good guy. Then we had an amazing lesson with Sicilia and her kids. So now, we are on the downhill. :) It's crazy how fast the first year passed.

The guys in our ward will be great missionaries. You just have to focus on the purpose. Once you internalize your purpose and begin to work, begin to love the people you serve, it will be easier to enjoy yourself. The key to being happy in the mission is hard work. It's hard, but you really do need to lose yourself in the mission.I have been out a year and there are still some days when I struggle out here. When hard times come, the most important thing we can do is put our faith and trust in the Lord and rely on Him. We need to take our minds off the things that make us weak, and focus on the things that make us strong.

Well.... I love you all! I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season! Please be careful in the snow and enjoy life!

Love, Elder Moore