Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010 That's the way the cookie crumbles !

Well this has been another one of those weeks....Lincoln sure has not been easy. Actually this transfer has been the most challenging one.

I will start off with the good news... Fidel is re set for baptism on the 6th of February, we had him set for the 13th but now he is set for the 6th. We are very happy for him. He came to church yesterday and even brought a friend. He hasn't smoke or drank for over a week now. And him and Luis, one of our less active members, are reading the scriptures every night together and praying every night, just like I asked them to. :) They have both been struggling so we had a really good conversation with them and the things they need to do to overcome temptation and to become stronger. Friday night, Elder Taggart and I went and visited with Luis and Fidel. I gave both of them blessings that night. It was such an incredible experience for me. The Lord has AMAZING plans for both of them. If they will just stay strong. Which they are right now.

Well this week we planned to have about 8 people at church that told us they would be there. Two showed up. That was very frustrating. Also a member called Saturday night and said he would not be at church Sunda; and him and his wife teach the classes. So I had to teach both classes yesterday as well. It's hard with such a small group sometimes, if someone doesn't show up, we end up teaching. Haha it's actually kinda funny.

Well speaking of a small group... Elder Taggart and I also went and met with President Kunz and President Bateman, the stake president, to talk about our zone and to talk about the Spanish work. Our group has a goal set for this year of 24 baptisms. President Kunz told me that there is a good chance I may stay here the rest of my mission....but who knows. He wants me to focus all my efforts on helping our group become a branch. President Kunz has been eyeing me lately. I have had a meeting with him, and this week he will be at my district meeting. I was told that since my first district meeting, my district is the best one in the mission right now. So President Kunz is coming to see what it is we are doing. I love the Elders in my district, and so many amazing things are happening with everyone right now. There is an episode of The Office, where David, one of the head guys of Dunder Mifflin, invites Micheal down to his office in New York to find his secret. Because Micheal's branch is the best one. So Micheal goes down there and David is trying to figure out his secret and Micheal is just making a whole bunch of stuff up because he doesn't know what the secret is behind their success. Well I don't know either, but Elder Taggart, my ZL, told me that is what he is coming for. Haha, maybe I'll pull a Micheal and just make a whole bunch of stuff up....

Well we had a funny experience this week. We were knocking doors with one of the counselors in our group, and we saw a guy in the hall. So I started talking to him. We talked for a few minutes and he said to me, "Are you married?" And I said "No." And he said," WHAT?! Why not? You are a really good looking guy." Haha and I just laughed and explained to him I was a missionary and blah blah blah, ya know. And he said.... "Well come on in to my place!" So we went in, and he has a sister that is single. HA!!!!! We taught them, it was fun. They are a really cool family. And we are going to keep teaching them. There is 3 of them and they are all very interested in the church. So we'll see what happens. But yeah.... NO PLANS on hooking up with that girl. Especially when I already got a GREAT one. :) It gave all 3 of us a good chuckle though.

So Saturday night I got a call from one of our investigators that has been searching for the true church for 4 years now...Annel, I have mentioned her before. Well she said ever since we started teaching her, she hasn't been able to sleep. She said it feels like an evil power is attacking her every night.Ssatan that jerk!! But little does he know he is helping us. We are going to go see her and her brother tomorrow. I have done a lot of studying on this the past 2 days. So we are going to be able to help her out. But it's crazy how much satan tries to attack people when they are getting so close.

I have been out almost 14 months now... and still, you can never fully be ready for the experiences that are placed in front of you. All you can really do is rely on the spirit to lead you. To tell you what you need to say. If you are obedient, the spirit will always be with you. So prepared or not, you'll have a member of the Godhead telling you what to say. Pretty incredible huh? I would say so! I am only 20 years old, but people trust me to help them. Justin, the calling of a missionary is greater than that of the kings and rulers of this earth. God will help you. He'll be there for you. And the closer you get to him, the closer he will get to you. I love you. The mission has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. It has really helped me to become who I am. It's a great feeling knowing that every morning when you wake up, you have the chance to make a difference in someone's life. And not just their life, but their kids' life, and their kid's kid's lives. The mission has strengthened my testimony of the church and has strengthened me as a person. Just trust God. If you do that, he promises to help you. You're not alone out here.

I love you all family! Mom thank you so much for your words of much WISDOM. I appreciate it. :) I love you very much mom. Thanks for what you said to me. I really needed to hear that.I hope everyone is doing great. Read the Book of Mormon!

Elder Moore

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010 Give satan NO satisfaction!

I am going to have to say that that is what this past week has taught me. To give satan NO Satisfaction. This week was a very challenging one as well as very depressing and draining. It's amazing that one experience can change everything. I'll get to that experience in a minute.

As many of you know I am a very outspoken person. I speak my mind and I voice my opinions. That is exactly what I did in my leadership meeting I had this past week. I pointed out the things that aren't going right in this mission. Like, there are so many missionaries that have so much more to offer, but won't, because they are scared. The trainings that were presented this past week focused on how we shouldn't be ourselves. About how we need to transform into something different and we can't be original or normal. And I didn't agree with that. So in our meeting I said that. I said not enough people are smiling, not enough people are being themselves, they are losing what makes them them. I also said we have focused so much on the damnation part of not being obedient and not enough on the atonement. And I probably made....ha, like 20 minutes worth of comments. And after the meeting Sister Kunz came up to me and asked if she could speak to me for a few minutes. And I said sure. So she pulled me aside and began telling me that everything I said is what has been on her mind. It's what she has been talking to her husband about, but he hasn't done anything about it. She talked to me for about 5 minutes and pretty much said, thank you so much for your comments. You do have the ability to change this mission and influence a lot of missionaries. She is a sweet woman.

So, I've been pretty sick this past week. I've had a really bad cough, a sore throat, and I lost my voice for a few days. So me and Elder Stephenson weren't able to go out for a day. And that day I was able to do a lot of thinking. I mostly thought about the people that have changed my life, and have had an amazing influence on the person I am becoming. I think the sickness really helped me in a way. I decided that day, that I want to be like the people that have helped to change me. I have been so fortunate to have so many great influences in my life. But the three I came up with were:
1. Tyler Sohm
2. Brad Pilling
3. Amber Lynn
As I thought more and more about it I just don't know where I would be without these three people. So that night I prayed and I asked God to at least give me my voice back, that had now been gone 3 days, so that I could go out and try and influence someone the way that they have influenced me. And sure enough, the next day.... my throat was SO sore, and my cough was even worse. But I had my voice back. So we were able to go out and teach.

So we were supposed to have a baptismal interview for Fidel on Sunday night and he was going to be baptized this week. We had seen him everyday and he was doing so well! Not smoking, not drinking. He was ready. But then Satan, hit him hard. He took a really cheap shot on him. Sunday night we went to his house and he was drunk. I handed the phone to Steve and told him to call President Kearl and cancel the interview. We spent the next 2 hours there talking with him. He was drunk, crying, depressed, and suicidal. They don't teach you how to deal with that. It was so hard. And poor ol' Elder Stephenson didn't have a clue what was going on. So we talked with Fidel for a long time. Trying to get him to see that he is worth something. That suicide isn't the answer. And neither is drinking. He went to the kitchen and brought me out his 72 oz bottle of beer and gave it to me. And I said it down next to me and just kept talking to him. And he just started begging me for a drink. And I said, do you really want that? That is the reason you are getting kicked out of your house now. That is the reason you aren't getting baptized. That is the reason your roommate did the things he did to you last night. Do you really want that? And he said, no. But he eventually drunk some more and then handed it back to me. So I went outside and dumped it all out. And came back and just kept talking with him about what we could do. Those 2 hours were just so draining. I was so depressed and upset. It was really rough. Really, I have never had an experience take that much out of me before. So it was a very long conversation as he cried the whole way through it. He was just so upset and depressed. I can't even really describe it. But I will say that the spirit was very strong in telling me what to say to him. Because without it there is no way I would have known what to do in that situation. So he told us he was going to go stay at the shelter which was about 30 blocks away. He is drunk, can't drive. So we put him in our car. We swung by our place and I made him some sandwiches because he hadn't eaten all day and was in a lot of pain from all the alcohol he had drinken without eating. Then we took him to the shelter. Yeah it was very exhausting. That ranked up there as one of the worst days of my life. It was so rough. I can't even explain it. But you are right. Love is what it is all about. And as disappointed and upset and frustrated as I was, I couldn't help but just love him. And feel a little bit of his pain. It was a very hard day.
So what I learned from this experience is to give satan no satisfaction. He is so happy when he sees us suffering, or sinning. We can't let him have that satifaction. Just be strong! Stay close to God and let him protect us.

Afterwards we went to eat at a member's house. She just looked at me half way through dinner and just asked if I was ok, because she said I looked terrible. I was trying so hard to make jokes and keep the conversation light. But, wow, it was rough. And then I got to listen to her complain for the next 45 minutes. Sunday was just a terrible day.

Yesterday a lot changed. We went out to Crete which is about an hour and a half round trip, and saw some really cool people. We are really excited about them. Annel, 20, and Edgar, 17. They have so many questions and are so open to learning. Last night we spent probably 2 hours there answering questions, and teaching them about the gospel. It was so much fun. It's like they are my best friends now. We were able to teach them a lot but also crack jokes and get to know more about eachother. So yesterday was a much needed expereince. Please pray for them though. We had taught Annel earlier and asked her to read a chapter we left her in the Book of Mormon and to pray about what we had taught. She said she didn't receive an answer. So yesterday, I promised her and her brother that if they read the chapter after we left, and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true, that they would receive an answer. So please pray for them, that they will receive an answer. Thank you.

Haha, also, one other guy we are working with. His name is Jose. Oh my gosh. Everytime we go over there it's like a battle. He is very humble and wants to know, and wow, does he know the bible. He is very smart. So pretty much him and I just talk about the bible, prophets, God's plan. Haha, I love teaching him. I finally got out of him what I needed though. After so much talking, and AH so much everything! He finally said that he does believe the true church is on the earth. He just doesn't know which one it is. So tomorrow we have a appointment with him and we'll see how it goes.

Well I am sad to hear that that happened to Brooklyn. She is such a sweetheart. I love that girl. She does have a good life and I hope things start looking a little better for her. She is so strong. I've never heard of anyone that prays and asks for problems. I love that girl.

Well I love you! Sorry this email was a bit of a downer. It was a downer week. But hey, things can only get better right. We can hope so. Be good, take care. Say hi to everyone for me!

Elder Moore

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010 Estoy en Lincoln!!!‏

Yes, it is true!!! I am OUT of Omaha. After 13 months there, I am gone. And Lincoln is great! I love it so far. Although my new companion Elder Stephenson is more lost than I am.... I still like it.

And hey... what do ya know? My first Sunday in the new "group" (we aren't a ward or branch because there are so few of us) they asked me to speak because the speaker wasn't going to be there. So I was asked to give a 20 minute talk on faith and hope. It went really well. Especially with such short notice. :)

Oh yeah... before I forget. Next Monday will not be our P-day. Our P-day will be on Tuesday cause it's a holiday and President Kunz wants us to go out and find people to teach on the holiday cause he thinks more people will be home. So yeah, next Tuesday will be email day.

Well this week was a little hard. I did hate saying goodbye to some of the people I got really close too. Like the Thompsons, the Sandovals, Riveras, and Finns. Those are pretty much the only people I said bye too. I spent a lot of time with those families. Transfers did get pushed back a day because of the terrible weather. Transfer morning was -8 degrees. Yeah, that was cold. As I was packing I had Elders Morrill, Ward, and Curisinche there, so I was able to get a rid of a lot of things. Man I had so much stuff!! I got rid of lots of things and still was packed to capacity!! I almost did need to rent a u-haul. :)

So ha, Thursday I said my goodbyes to everyone. And the last family I went and saw was the Finns. They have a great family. And 2 daughters of 10 and 6. So I was talking with them. And Daisey, the 10 year old. Asked me if she could paint my toe nails. I was like....WHAT?!?! She said please please please! So I said to her and Kaylie her siste, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy would it make you?" And they both said "10" with huge smiles on there faces. So I said... "Well, that's not enough." Then they said "A GAJILLION!!!" So I said..."ok fine!" :) So for the first time in my life my toe nails got painted. There is a picture.

And also a picture of me and the Riveras.

So then afterwards I hopped on the van Friday morning to Lincoln. Our apartment is nice and small. A room, just big enough for 2 beds and 2 dressers. A small bathroom and the a kitchen/sitting room. It's cozy. :) Odds are I will be here for at least 4 and a half to 6 months because I am District Leader again. I have some sweet people in my district.

About my companion.... well he doesn't speak any Spanish. Like none.... zilch. So that is challenging. But I am working really hard with him... quizzing him, speaking to him only in Spanish, etc. So the work isn't too bad here. They had 0 people set for baptism on Friday. Saturday, we got a set. Her name is Dorie. She says she KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a profeta. But she just doesn't want to be baptized. We had a good conversation with her and she accepted a date for the 30th of this month. She said many missionaries have tried to get her to be baptized and none have succeeded. Well, we will see what we can do. Also, Sunday night, yesterday, We went and saw a guy named Fidel and had a great lesson with him. He has been to church a few times but hasn't been baptized. He was talking about how he doesn't have much money to be able to buy gifts for his kids. So we told him how him getting baptized here can really help his family in Mexico. It's the best gift he can give them. To be able to take this knowledge he has back to his family and share it with them would really bless them. And he agreed to be baptized on the 23rd of this month. So we have 2 sets now! It's great. And yesterday we had 3 people at church. So that was sweet!

Also, there is a way sweet family here. The Morales family. I met them my first day and we are already best friends. After like 15 minutes we were just laughing and making fun of each other and just having a good time. I am really going to like being around them. They are a lot of fun. I got her to laugh so hard that she spit her gum across the table. Now that was funny!

So Elder Taggart my zone leader told me a really cool story yesterday that I want to share with you. I was talking to him on the phone last night and he said..."Elder Moore, I want to tell you a story. And it's about you. You're first zone conference here in the mission I remember you standing up and having to talk some to all the missionaries. And after you were done talking and you sat down, I turned to my companion and I said, 'He's got it.' And this is the first oppurtunity I have had to serve around you and it's true. You've got it. You set 2 people for baptism in the last 2 days. You haven't let me down." Haha.So that was the story. And I really appreciated hearing that story. It really gave me a lot of confidence. And I know that we are going to have a lot of success here in this area.

Also last night we found a man named Jose. We had a really awesome conversation with him!! He knows the bible really well. So we talked about the bible for quite some time. And he is really open to learning. He said he doesn't think a prophet could be called today. But... we'll show him. :) We have an appointment with him Tuesday. So that'll be good. I think we will get him with a baptismal date too. He said he wants to come to church and see what it's like and he is open to learning about our church. And he is a really humble man. I'll have to let you know how that goes next week.

It's nice being here in Lincoln. It's a change. It's new life. I love it. I hope everything is going well back home with everyone.I love you all!!!And oh yeah.... L. Tom Perry is coming to our mission to speak to all of us on the 22nd of February! Sweet eh?!

Love, Elder Moore

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010 La iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias = A mouthful‏

Happy happy new year!!! Can ya believe it? It is 2010! I sure can't.
Well this week was a REALLY good one. So this email may be a little long as I explain everything that happened this week.

So Tuesday, we had district meeting and Elder Anderson and myself trained. It was one of the best meetings we have had. We all got really fired up. We talked about what we personally need to do to have more success in our areas and how we can find more people. So I told everyone to find one investigator a day and then to call everyone else in the district and tell each other about the person we had found. It went great!! Me and Elder Morrill found 11 new people, Spanish North 5, and West Maple 8. The zone leaders, 0. Yeah....But anyways.... We were talking to everyone. Parking lots, streets, knocking doors. And we found 11 good people.
So the whole district got really fired up about finding people.

On Wednsday we went and taught a guy named Moises. He was being taught a while ago but then dropped the missionaries. Now he is talking to them again. His wife wants to get baptized really bad. She is American but fluent in Spanish. He is Mexican, good English but not great. And the English missionaries have been teaching him. And he kept saying he didn't feel quite ready. So I called the English missionaries and I said, set up a time where we can come talk to him with you both. So Wednesday night we went and visited Moises in the restaurant he owns. And we began talking to him. And it's moments like these that missionaries live for. That make the mission an amazing experience. I asked him.... how can you know if our church is true? And he said by asking God. And I said, how can you know that God has answered you? And he said, by what I feel. So I asked, what are the feelings you feel when you know you've received an answer from God? And he said, I feel happy, and warm, and really peaceful.

So I said, ok Moises, I am going to tell you a story, and I want you to pay attention to what you feel ok. Then after wards, tell us. So I told him the story of Joseph Smith. And I related it to him. And then told the first vision. And he just started to cry. And so did I. And I asked him how he felt and he said, I feel like I know it's true. So then I said, Moises, what I would like you to do now, is pray. And in your prayer ask God if it is true. And then pause for 30 seconds. And once you feel like you have received an answer, you can finish your prayer. So he began his prayer and he didn't ask a question but what he said was... Me voy a bautizar pronto. Or, I am going to get baptized soon. And he just sat for probably a minute. Then he finished his prayer. After wards he looked at me and said.... I'm going to get baptized. It was an incredible moment.

On Thursday, Sister Morris, one of the senior sisters here invited us over to her apartment to eat dinner. So us, the Spanish north elders were there, and the Cold Springs sisters were there. So we all had a really good meal. Then after wards we played a Christmas game. Sister Gingrich and Sister Lamplugh beat all of us. Go figure..... then we played a game called Signs, for like 2 hours. That was a lot of fun! We had a good time. Then we went and celebrated the new year with Elder Anderson and Elder Eddington.

We started off the new year right by going to Village Inn for a good breakfast. We talked a lot about 90's music though. Our waitress was Dawn and she was having a bad day. So me and Elder Anderson sang her Mmmbop by Hanson. Haha she said.... thanks! You've made my day.

Hahaha ok so funny story! I have named this story "Geronimo." You'll see why.
So Elder Ward and I talked to this guy in a parking lot. I was with him and I said let's give away 2 Book of Mormons while Elder Curisinche and Elder Morrill are in the store. We decided that would be a better idea then just sitting in the car. So I said, ok you pick someone out for me to talk to, and I'll go give away this Book of Mormon, then I'll do the same for you. So he pointed to a guy, and I went and talked to him, he is from Oaxaca Mexico and his name is Fransisco and I gave him a Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment. So me and Elder Morrill went and saw him. And wow! There was like 2 and a half feet of snow leading up to his front door, and on up the stairs. So I said I hope he is here! So there was a hill of snow in front of the snow leading up to his house. So Elder Morrill went first.... and he jumped off it into the snow and started making his way up to the stairs. Then I went. I stood on the hill and yelled "Geronimo!" And my plan was to jump into the snow. Well.... I tripped and instead of jumping into the snow, I fell. Yup.... real smooth! Then we came to find out there was a door at the back of the house with no snow in front of it. And he wasn't even home... so there ya have it.

So I have realized that our church has such a long name. Especially in Spanish. It is quite the mouthful when you tell someone what church you are from. It's like Hola! Somos misioneros de la iglesia de Jesucristo de los (oh no! I"m losing them, speak louder....) SANTOS DE LOS ULTIMOS DIAS!!!! Haha, it feels like people start to like doze off when you are saying the name of our church. It is the true church though so it can have whatever name it wants. But yeah.... I love knocking doors and talking to people! It's a lot of fun.

So our church starts at 1 now. Woohoo! We had SO many people there. There was like 80 people at church. And like 18 people in Priesthood. Towards the end of the year it was just me and Elder Morrill, the Spanish north elders, Tony Sandoval, and the teacher. Now... there are more! It was great! Also, Cecilia and Esteban were confirmed yesterday. Woohoo!! So things are going good here.

Transfers are this week! We will find out on Wednesday. I am pretty sure I am leaving. I really hope I do. I need "new life." And that comes when you get a new area and a new companion, new people, etc. I could use that. For a bit I was feeling burned out and lazy. But this week helped me a lot! With finding new people and talking with everyone!

Well that was my week. And this week should be crazy. Transfer week always is!!
I hope all is well back home. Happy New Year!!! A goal I made for this new year was to write in my journal EVERYDAY. I think I wrote a grand total of like 9 times last year in my journal. This year so far.... 3 for 3! Oh yeah. We'll see how long this lasts.

I know this church is true. I know the Spirit truly does testify of the truth. And through the spirit we can know the truth of not just some things, but of ALL things. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior. And I love him. I love you all. I am truly grateful for my family.
Take care.
Elder Moore