Monday, December 28, 2015

Week Thirteen 12/28/2015 Salta

Hi Fam,
Man it was awesome to be able to talk to you guys and to know that everything is going good back at home! Its crazy to think that Justin’s getting married in just a matter of days and that Cameron is getting engaged soon.  It definitely sounds like you guys are staying busy and having lots of fun, which is what I like to hear!

Really don’t worry about the package, I’m fine lol!  From what I've heard from the other missionaries it takes about 2 months till missionaries can get it in their hands, about a month for it to get to the office, and the zone leaders only go to the office once a month before a zone conference, and they pickup all the packages for the zone.

The heat isn’t crazy bad here compared to other areas in our mission, so I’ve heard, but you can definitely feel it.  It’s not really humid.  It’s pretty much like California, but Argentina’s weather is pretty weird.  It could be super hot one day and the next pouring rain and then the next day it would be super hot again.

My comp finished Skyping a little after me, we talked and thanked the family and we went to our next appointment.  Apparently no one is home during Christmas, everyone is at some party and the only people on the streets are super drunk so we didn’t have too much success that night.  That’s all right, that’s all part of the mission right? you have some good days and you have some not so good days. 

Last night was pretty cool we were meeting with a less active and during this huge lighting storm started not too far away from us.  We couldn’t even hear the thunder but we could see the lighting just fine and it was AWESOME! I took a video of it but I think it’s too long to send, I can barely send two pictures in the same email lol.

Tomorrow we have a district meeting and after we are going on splits, but here’s the kicker I'm staying in my area, my comp is leaving and my comp for the day is a brand new missionary, he’s only been here for like 2 week. WHAT????  idk why they’re paring the two new elders together, we will see how it goes!!!!!  

Oh and my white elephant gift that I bought the sweet wooden armadillo, and this little lama made out of real lama fur, I thought they were pretty awesome!  Yes I’ve gotten sister nelsons’ emails, please tell her thank you for me!  It sounds like you guys have a pretty busy week this week lol!   Be sure to have as much fun as possible, I hope everything goes well and Justin & Kendall are happy beyond measure!  I know I need to focus on the work here, but I have to say its gonna be pretty darn hard not to think of you guys on Saturday.  My heart is pulled, I know this is where I need to be - I love you guys! kiss my puppies for me! Oh and yes I did get the little video, and it was awesome Keep em coming!!  Love my puppies! I’ll talk to you guys soon!

Elder Moore

Week Twelve 12/21/2015 Salta

Hi guys-
This week went by pretty quick I think time is starting to pick up alittle. Christmas really isn’t a big deal here, most people have a little plastic trees and that’s about it - nothing compared to home. That’s crazy that Austin is married already, that was really fast! Thank you Kendall for setting up Skype for us - you is the best!

It was super hot at the beginning of the week and then it cooled down.  Man does it get hot here and I’m fried!  We found 5 new investigators this week – this is pretty awesome!!  Two of those investigators have a baptism date for the 1st of January.  So hopefully while you all are celebrating Justin and Kendall’s wedding I will be celebrating a couple baptisms!  I am able to get more involved with the lessons, speaking isn’t really that hard it’s understanding that’s the tricky part.  They talk super fast and super bad, not like bad words or anything its just like they mumble everything – I’m sure its because people just don’t have teeth here!

Yesterday we were at a less actives house, I will save you the details as to why they are less active, but I will say that they have some problems and not your average problems – its with an old bishop.  It’s not very hard to see why they went inactive.  My comp did most of the talking because the topic got pretty serious and I was fine with that!  Toward the end of the lesson my comp asked them if they had any questions for me.  They paused for a little bit and then the grandma looked at me and asked, “How can we forget the bad things that have happened to us?”  That’s a pretty hard question to answer, especially when you don’t speak the language very well. I paused and thought of what I was going to say. I had no idea what to say and I was thinking and thinking.  Then I stopped thinking and just listened, (not to them - no one was talking, they were waiting for me), I was listening for the spirit so I could know what to say. I don’t know how long I was waiting I wasn’t thinking about the time, I was just praying for something to come.  Then this thought came into my head, the thought was we aren’t supposed to forget the bad things that happen to us. I was a little hesitant to say it because I know that it wasn’t what she wanted to hear, but I said it anyways.  I then began to talk more about our purpose and how we are here to learn and we learn through experiences.  I covered a lot of stuff and I was talking for a while.  I don’t remember all of what I said. I think that’s because they weren’t my words, they were from someone that knew her a little better than I did.  After I finished talking the room was silent and the grandma said that was beautiful, I understood that!  My comp left them with a scripture to read D&C 122 about when Joseph was in the jail, we said a prayer and left.  That was a pretty cool experience of being able to teach by the spirit – this is what keeps me going!  I cannot describe what an awesome feeling that was! 

I’m sorry this letter is a little short, but we get to talk in 4 days so I think that will make up for it! I love you guys! keep up the awesome work! kiss my puppies for me!!

Elder Moore

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week Eleven 12-14-2015 Salta

Hey guys!! 
So to start off we can Skype, which is awesome, but we are only allowed 40 minutes, which isn’t so awesome. I was hoping for at least an hour.  I mean we get to Skype for 40 mins. in 11 days!!!!  We can call on either the 24 or the 25. I'm assuming the 25 would be better. We have a family in our ward that is going to let us use their computers and they said that the time doesn’t matter to them. I’m not 100 percent sure but I think the difference between here and home is 5 hours. The plan is to call between 6 and 7 so that’s about 1 or 2 for you guys.  I don’t remember much about Skype or what username we used with Justin, so Cam and Justin you guys gotta figure it out or make a new one. To make things easier someone should download the app "whatsapp"and give me the number or username next week.  It’s an online messenger that everyone uses here. Since it’s an online messenger app it’s free to text between countries, if there are problems or last minute changes we can communicate through the members phone. I think that’s it for calling, if I missed something be sure to make that known next week.
About the rain, its just weird here. It could be super hot then start raining for like 5 or 10 minutes and then stop. There is really no warning for it, but it’s mostly like Cali rain its nothing major, except for last week.  
We have a zone meeting on the 23 with the president. We were all told to buy a present for a white elephant exchange.  So that should be pretty fun.  I know how American’s do white elephant, I’m excited to see how the rest of the world does it. 
I've been looking really hard for some nativities, I haven’t found anything that really stood out to me.   I'm still looking; only the best for you guys!
We weren’t able to get the rat out. The trap we have sucks! Last Monday we heard it close by so we went to check on it, we moved some stuff around and we found TWO!!! They’re really fast and ran to another location. After chasing it for a while we were able to get one of them out.  At least our rats at home stay in the garage! 
I’m glad ED went well and that Katie did great. I hope the take down was easy and not too crazy. I wish I were there to help, but I know you guys can handle it - you guys can do everything!  
We are working which is good, but Latinos love to talk and talk and my comp is one of them. So it’s hard to keep our appointments short.  I'm working on it with my comp, Cam I know this would drive you nuts!  
Please don’t worry about the package. I'm totally fine. My district leader is from Utah and he’s gotten some packages. I've talked to him a little about it. He said you have to be like a drug dealer and hide the important things in other stuff. I’ll see if I can get his mom’s email or something so you guys can talk and get some tips.
I forget which day it was, but our appointment fell through so we started contacting, we came across this huge field with this little house in the middle of it. We decided to go contact that house. The field was covered with all sorts of animals. When we got to the house we found a guy saddling up his horse. We talked to him for a little bit, and he was interested about our message so he brought out some chair and we had a lesson in the middle of this huge field. idk what it is about teaching in the middle of a huge field, but man it’s a lot more fun than the inside a house lol.  We haven’t been back to see him yet but we will this week because he seemed pretty interested and it was pretty fun.  
I have a question, is mate bad for your teeth? I'm assuming yes because no one has teeth here!!!!  Teeth are good, I wanna keep mine!  I've had it once and it wasn’t bad it was actually pretty good. There are two types of mate here, the original way with just the leaves and stuff and you need the special straw to drink it and the other way is in the form of tea bags. As missionaries we can only have the tea bag kind.  I don’t want to drink it if it’s bad for my teeth.  The only people to ask around here are people with no teeth, well and my companion and he doesn’t know. 
Well ill talk to you guys soon, literally!!!!  Eleven Days!!  I love you and keep up the awesome work!  And kiss my puppies for me!!

Elder Moore

Week Ten 12-7-2015 Salta

Hello Fam, 
So this week nothing really major happened, but I have some cool small experiences. I’ve been praying to be able to see my progress with my Spanish - it’s really hard to tell.  This week we were talking to one of the less active sisters in our ward and I was able to understand most of what she was saying and carry on a conversation with her. It was pretty awesome, but I think I got a little too proud because after that we talked to some other people and I had no idea what they said. So I think that was God’s way of saying you are on the right track, but you still have a ways to go. Lol!!

We also had a little rat in our apartment. It was really little and pretty much stayed behind the stove so we didn't really care.  One night it was just making a lot of noise while we were trying to plan so I decided that I had had enough. I got a bucket and the plan was to scare it out so I could trap it. It didn’t really go as planned. We scared it out just fine but it was a lot faster than I thought it would be.  We chased it around our apartment for 30 min. eventually it just ran outside.  The things you think are fun once you’re on a mission!  Now we have another problem, either it came back or it has a friend and this one is a little more brave and got into my bread!  The things that make you mad once you’re on a mission!  I just bought a rattrap today so we can finish this sucker!  Do not mess with a missionaries food!

Another cool story was we were teaching a lesson to one of our investigators.  The lesson was going really well, the Spirit was really strong, and during it we heard this weird noise kind of like white noise but stronger. We just thought it was the fan or something and ignored it. Then we heard thunder so we looked outside and it was pouring rain. Like Virginia rain, buckets. That was our last lesson for the night and we needed to get back to our apartment, we were not close and we were not prepared for the rain whatsoever.  It had been hot that entire day. We decided we had to suck it up and embrace the rain. We were completely soaked in like 10 seconds. It rained so hard that the streets began to flood, we had to walk back almost the entire way it about shine high water.  The scary part was about every five seconds everything would light up blue from crazy strong lighting.  I was wetter than any person has ever been. IT WAS AWESOME!! I was having the time of my life! The really cool part was that the rain was warm so I wasn’t cold or anything. It was like taking a shower, but with clothes on. And my bag held up perfectly, nothing got wet inside it. The next day it was raining pretty hard in the morning and I didn’t want to be caught off guard again so I broke out the boots and my rain gear. Right as we left it stopped raining and didn’t start back up again, so that was a bit of a bummer!  I did break in my boots a little bit which was good.

I did some math this week and figured some stuff out. The exchange rate here is 15 pesos for 1 dollar, and we get 1,800 pesos every month. That is 120 dollars a month. So things here, compared to the US and pretty cheap which is always nice lol but I as also wondering so you guys still have to pay the full 400 if I only use 120. How does that work?

I set up my Christmas tree its Awesome!!  I set it up right next to my bed I forgot to take a picture of it but I will this week. I love it and I’m going to take good care of it so it’s in the same condition for next year. Dad, make sure you get some extra help for ED because that’s a lot of work! But I know you can do it! I love you guys I will talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!

Elder Moore

Look at how nice our building is!

Something not right!  This isn't the first staircase I've come across that I hit my head on!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Week Nine 11-30-2015 Salta

Hello everyone,

So we didn’t have the baptism this week. Our investigators just seemed to drop off the face of the earth.  They don’t have phones so the only way to communicate with them is if we go to their house and you just never know if they’ll be there.  Even if you make an appt. it doesn’t mean they’ll be there.  I think it’s more of a cultural thing than a noninterest in the Church kinda thing.  Basically we were only able to meet with them once this week and that’s not enough to get them ready for baptism.  That was a bummer, but we did find some new investigators and they seem really interested, so hopefully we can get them to baptism real soon!! 

Studying is going good! We do have A LOT of time to study. For personal study I mostly just read the Book of Mormon and a little of PMG, but I really like reading the Book of Mormon its a lot more interesting and I'm able to get so much more out of it now that I’m a missionary. It’s awesome!

I kind of forgot it was Thanksgiving - there’s nothing here to remind me of it, so no worries about me being homesick!  That night my comp and I bought this big sandwich and we ate it in our apartment before we went to bed to celebrate Thanksgiving.

We did have some pretty cool experiences this week, here’s one. We were walking to an appointment when this drunken guy stopped us. There are a lot of drunks here and its not unusual for them to come up and talk to you. We normally just ignore them and walk by and that’s that, but this guy wouldn’t let us by.  I was getting nervous and looked to my comp to take the lead, but I could tell he was struggling to get out of this situation as well.   Then some guy on a motorcycle came up and started talking to the drunk. I didn’t get much of what he said but I did hear him say that these guys talk about the word of God. Then as he talked he looked at us and gave us a signal to go and get out. This guy saw that he was bothering us and decided to help us out. After I asked my comp who was that and he had no idea, It wasn’t a member or anything. This was one of God’s tender mercies. Idk if God takes special care of his missionaries or that I'm just more able to see the hand of God in my life now, but I sure have experienced a lot of tender mercies in my short two months out. 

On Sunday after church we went back to our apartment to study. I was reading the book of Mormon and I kinda dozed off. My comp knocked me out of it when he asked, did you feel that? Apparently there was an earthquake. It was nothing major, but I was just bummed I missed it.  I brought a bit of California to Argentina and I wasn’t even awake to appreciate it!

So I don’t know if the package thing is still on, you guys mentioned it last week but not this week. If so I thought of some stuff, I would like those Ensigns that I send home back, I wish I hadn’t sent them in the first place. Floss or those little floss toothpick things, plastic tabs for marking pages and stuff - they are impossible to find here for some reason and when you do they are a lot of money, a cheap watch, the watch I have now is great but I've herd that it wont last very long in other areas, its a little too nice, its fine for where I'm at now but I just want something a little less nice. One or two of dads pens, I really like those, and there are these videos of Jesus’ life on and they look like they took clips out from a movie, (idk if they are from a movie), but if it is that would be pretty awesome to have. If the package thing is off or if you can’t send a couple of things its no big deal.

Oh yeah I forgot I gave a blessing this week. We were at ward council (we have it at night during the week) and one of the brethern came up to us asking if we would give him a blessing, I thought for sure he would pick my comp – nope he picked me. ARE YOU KIDDING!!  I got pretty nervous, and my Spanish was struggling, my comp noticed I wasn’t doing so hot so he whispered one word to me “English”.  I started to speak in English and then it was good!  I felt free, I was truly able to say what I wanted to say and not only what Spanish words I knew.  The spirit was really strong!!  I was wondering if he felt the same because most of it was in English and he doesn’t speak English, but when he stood up he was crying and I knew that he felt that same spirit.  Great experience for me!  Cannot wait till I can say what I want to say in Spanish!

Well I’ll talk to you guys more next week! I love you! Keep up the great work. Kiss the puppies for me!!

Thanksgiving Dinner, it was actually really good!