Monday, December 26, 2016

Week Sixty-Four: Monterrico

Hey fam!
Congrats HAM!! The first to graduate college! Hai Estamos!! 
We had the Christmas conference and it went really well. First, a few missionaries gave some talks, then we heard from the president and his wife, then we heard the testimonies of the missionaries that are finishing their missions this transfer. So I got to see Elder Lemus give his testimony, which was cool. 
I have some good news and bad news. The first is that as I was talking with Elder Lemus he said that I have a package in the offices. He said it's a big bag. I asked if there was also a box (I imagine the first you guys sent was a box) and he said he wasn't sure. But there is one! The bad news is that I don't have it lol. The assistants thought the zone leaders were going to bring the packages and the zone leaders thought the assistants were going to bring them so no one brought them lol. But it's all good. I'll get it in a little bit! We had the gift exchange and this time everyone left with a gift lol. I got a cup for mate so it was a success. The song went well. I was nervous as crap though, even though there was only one other zone there. I have never done anything close to a duo before so I was nervous. But I got a few compliments afterwards. That stuff is nerve racking! I don't know how you do it Katie! 
Jorge understands the importance of not chewing coca. Coca is still in the form of a leaf so it isn't as strong and pure as cocaine. It doesn't have the same affects but none the less it's a problem. The many years of drinking nonstop has had an affect on his mind and we have to explain things very simply so he understands. So we are waiting until he really understands everything before he gets baptized. 
This Sunday there wasn't any bread for the sacrament so we used cookies! We broke and blessed them like normal and it seemed like the members enjoyed them lol. It was pretty interesting to use cookies instead of bread so that is going the history books. 
I'm keeping the letter a little short because we are going to talk this week! I love you guys! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll see you soon! 

When Elder Moore started his mission and when he will end.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week Sixty-Three: Monterrico

Hey fam!
Man it sounds like ED was a job and a half! But thankfully you guys don't have to worry about that stress of setting everything up anymore! But I bet everyone is freaking out because without the Moores everything is going to be a lot different. Man, Cam and Hails are graduating?! That's nuts! What are their plans now? When do the kids come? Lol. 
This week Jorge was not able to be baptized because he was still chewing coca. So we have to push it back another week and see how it goes. But the lesson we had when we found out he was chewing coca still was actually really spiritual. He was actually chewing it when we showed up and I really didn't know what I should say. So as my comp was saying the prayer to start the lesson I was saying another one to have the help of the Spirit. And long story short... GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! It was another experience where I can't tell you what I said because they weren't my words. I can only tell you that the Spirit in that lesson was hard to miss. As we were teaching I felt the impression to give him a blessing to help him with this problem. We gave him a blessing after the closing prayer and we left. We came back for our next appointment and I never saw him so excited and happy before. He was talking more than before and you could tell that the Spirit had touched his heart. He has another date for this Saturday, the 17th. The interview is planned, we just need to make sure he stays busy and doesn't fall into temptation. 
We also had a good Sunday. There were a lot of people, more than I have seen before. We prepared the sacrament like we always do and it turns out that we ran out of water. We had to prepare more and bless it. It was awesome! The branch president leaned over to us and said, "There are a lot of people here, good work elders!" That thought never even entered my mind that we were the cause of the amount of people that were there. I looked around the room and realized everyone that was there were people and families that we were teaching and helping come back to the church. But there is no way I can take the credit, everyone has their time whether it's to accept the gospel for the first time or to come back to it. We as missionaries are not the turning point for these people. Rather we are the mouth piece of the Spirit. It's the Spirit that turns lives around, never us. I just do what I can do to have the Spirit with me and then He takes the reigns. 
Also I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about being the light of the world and how we can and should always share this great message we have with everyone we know. With the experiences and stories I shared, it was hard not to get a little emotional through the Spirit. 
This week we have the Christmas conference with the president so I will let you guys know how the song went lol. I think that's about it for my week but I hope you guys have a great week! I'll talk to you guys soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week Sixty-Two: Monterrico

Hey fam!
Man it sounds like everyone has been crazy busy! But the Christmas season is always super busy right? But it sounds like you guys are kicking some major butt setting everything up and just doing everything! That's one of the problems being a Moore, we are just so awesome so everyone needs and wants our help lol. I got the video of Grace and Katie singing! WOW!! They sound incredible!! Seriously!! I am very impressed! I have no idea what is going on with the mailing system here. But please don't worry about anything! You already sent two packages and I don't know if they are lost or not. I don't want you guys to have to spend so much money. I think it will be best to wait a little bit to see if i get the packages and if more rules change. Please don't worry about me, I am and will be fine. I know you guys are bending over backwards to do everything at home and make sure I have a good Christmas too. The fact that you guys have already sent two packages means a lot to me! 
So now I'll tell you about my week. The weather is getting pretty warm but we are entering the rainy season, so it's hot for a few days then it rains a lot and repeats that process. Jorge is still going good. He actually has a baptism date for this Saturday. There are just a few things we have to check for before he can be baptized. But there is a possibility that he will be able to be baptized this week, unless he isn't too ready. I would much rather have him understand everything and be sure that the drinking isn't a problem before he is baptized. Yesterday in church his wife, who is a member, bore her testimony. She is really shy so everyone was pretty surprised. She started out normal then she started to talk about her husband, Jorge. She said that for years and years he has been an alcoholic and has never been able to quit, and basically how bad of a man and husband he has been over the years. But then she said every since he has been talking with the missionaries everything has changed. He hasn't drank in over a month and now he is changing completely and trying to repent. Then she looked at us and thanked us for helping her husband to change. Honestly it felt nice to be thanked like that and know that we are making a difference in his life, but I really didn't feel worthy of such high praise. I don't think of myself as anything special or able to make such a big difference in someone's life. I feel that this is really his time and we have been blessed to help him find the faith and hope to change. 
Also this week we started to practice singing a few Christmas songs as a zone for when we have the Christmas conference with the president and other zones in the mission. We were singing a song when they decided they wanted to do something a little different. They wanted to add a solo and well, they picked me to do it. It's not a solo of an entire song but just the first few lines and then we sing the chorus together. But I kind of chickened out and now its a duo. I was just a little too nervous to do a solo! I don't remember what the song is called but it's the one where you sing "gloria" for the majority of the chorus. I don't know how you do it Katie, but that is some nerve racking stuff lol. I think that's about it for my week! I love you guys! Kiss the puppies for me! I'll talk to you soon!

Week Sixty-One: Monterrico

Hey fam!
I'm glad to hear that you guys were able to have some fun this week! Hollywood sign is always a lot of fun! Sounds like Thanksgiving dinner was a success! Our Thanksgiving was a lot simpler. I sent a video but because it was longer it had to be sent a different way, so tell me if it works. But actually I had completely forgotten that it was Thanksgiving until one of the sisters in my district sent a message to the whole district wishing them a happy Thanksgiving lol. So my comp and I made some last minute plans. We bought some sandwiches, apple flavored soda, and candles lol. So we were able to enjoy Thanksgiving here in Argentina too! It was actually really fun, I really enjoyed it. I felt like we were really celebrating Thanksgiving. 
This week our district meeting was a little different. The assistants came to be a part of my district meeting. Why? I'm not really sure but it was nice to see Elder Lemus and because I know him pretty well I wasn't nervous or stressed so that was nice. After the meeting Elder Lemus and one of the zone leaders came to our area to do exchanges. I was with Elder Lemus for the afternoon so that was pretty fun teaching and working with him. He also served in Monterrico so he already knows the area and the members. Really the only difference was that now I am able to talk a little more in the lesson compared to when I was with him about a year ago lol. We are able to teach a good amount of people each week but I think one of our main difficulties is finding new investigators. Yes, we are finding each week but not that much. The fact that I feel like I have talked with just about everyone here doesn't help either so I am letting my comp guide us to which house we should knock. 
About the new video, we just got it in Spanish on Friday. We have cards to hand out, we talk with people, and also we are giving some to members so they can share them with friends and family. I just saw it like 10 minutes ago and it's awesome!! Man, the church knows how to make great videos! 
Things are going good with my comp and the district. The sisters are hard workers so my job is a lot easier, but there are still a few small things that we can improve on. Tomorrow we have interviews with the president so I'll try to see if he has some info about the packages. I think that's about it for my week! I love you guys! Have a great week! Kiss my puppies for me!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week Sixty: Jujuy

Hey fam!
The time really seems to be flying by! I feel like with being a trainer and district leader my mind is always thinking of the people we are teaching, the sisters in my district, or my comp. You really don't have time to think about anything else and when you are always thinking about other people and not just yourself. You really do get lost in this work and the time just flies by! The weeks and days go so fast now, it's nuts! The time went fast before but now it's even faster. 
It's crazy that Logan is getting married. Man, everyone is getting married or going on a mission lol I like it! Everyone is taking important steps towards our Father in Heaven and eternal life! 
Thinking a little more about the car and looking at the pics, I like the name Duke. It seems fitting lol. But if you think of a better name I'm all game for it! 
Thanksgiving isn't a thing here, you guys already know. But my comp and I are talking about what we are going to do. I think we are going to buy sandwiches but we will see lol.I was thinking about the Christmas call, and I realized that no investigator or member has ac computer. Well, actually one investigator has one but I'm pretty sure its older than I am lol. But a member does have a camera for a computer (I don't know why he has it since he doesn't have a computer lol) so we are going to borrow it and use the computer in the church. I guess thats what the missionaries always had to do here. 
Moterrico is a humble place. We have to wake up really early and go to the Centro. We have to do some type of paper work and registration to be able to get packages so I don't mind. I guess the new president here changed some things and said that the mission can only take out packages 5 times a year. But our mission president worked some magic and made it where every missionary can take out a package five times a year. So that's why we have to do some individual paper work. I still don't know too much about it but if I learn more I'll let you know! 
This week was pretty good. We were able to teach a good amount of people. But I think the biggest thing that happened was in our apartment. My comp and I get along well but there have been a few bumps. 
Jorge is doing really good. He came to church and hasn't had a drink in two weeks now! He really wants to improve his life and it's a privilege to help one of the Lord's lost sheep come back to the fold. 
I don't have the plans yet of when we are going to talk but I'm thinking about it. But if you guys can find out the time difference, that will help. I can't remember if it's 3 or 4 hours. But I think that's about it for my week! Everything is still going great! I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Week Fifty-Nine: Jujuy

Hey fam!
Wow new car!? I thought the search was put on hold for a while but wow the Explorer looks awesome! You have to send me pics of the inside! You guys have to tell me if it's a boy or a girl. If it's a boy two names came to mind. Duke and Wade. Idk if you like them but it's just the first thing that popped in my head lol. 
So our apartment is all back to normal now! We have hot water, power, a fridge, and nothing is leaking! The drainage pipes for the shower, sink, and the butt washer thingy all connect and the connecting joint of where all the pipes came together broke. So they had to break up the floor and replace the pipes. It took three days, so the first day we didn't bathe. The second day I washed myself in the other sink we have. And the third day, the hole wasn't filled yet but I showered in the shower anyway lol. The whole experience of replacing the pipes made me SO grateful for Dad!! We were told these men were "professionals" but within the first two seconds I knew they were not! It was a very easy fix, something that really only takes maybe an hour or two when dad is working. But it took three days for them. They didn't clean anything when they made a mess and just from looking at it, it wasn't quality work. Dad, I now understand how grateful all of your clients are to have you work on their house! Me, the family, and all your clients thank you! 
This week we talked with the brother that came to church asking us for help. His name is Jorge. We set goals and made plans with him to help him stop drinking. It's a new experience for me, setting goals and plans to help someone stop drinking. But I for sure felt the help of the Spirit. 
There's another sister, Celeste, who we haven't been able to meet with yet. She didn't show up to the appointment but we actually saw her yesterday walking in the street so we made an appointment with her today. 
Today is the first day of a new transfer. Two of the sisters in my district got transferred but my comp and I stayed the same. It's very likely that I will leave next transfer. The next one ends on December 27th. So I will be here for Christmas but in another area for New Years. Everything is going good here. It's getting a little hard to find new investigators. Monterrico is very small and I feel like I have knocked on just about every door here. But the search continues lol. Really everything I do is now in Spanish: read, talk, think, and dream all in Spanish. Really the only English time I have is when I am reading your letters and writing. Are Justin and Kendall going to be home for ED? I know that you guys do just about everything so I can imagine that they will be a great help! But I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week Fifty-Eight: Jujuy

Hey fam!
Sounds like you guys had a great week! Dad's bday, the puppies' bday, and 25 years of marriage!  I was only able to go the LA temple once before the mission but I for sure want to go again with the family! I bet that was an awesome experience seeing the sealing room where our eternal family was started! Recently we have been teaching a little more about temples. Teaching and studying about temples just makes me want to go to the temple so bad! And I definitely want to keep my goal and visit as many different temples as possible. I'm up to 8 different temples, but there are 150 in the world so there is a lot of room for improvement lol. 
To answer a few questions, we have power now and a fridge! Our water heater is fixed, but now for some reason there is zero cold water so the only water we have comes out super hot so we are still bathing with pots of water we heat on the stove. It's actually not as bad as you think. When we didn't have power, bathing wasn't too bad either because there is a hole in the roof in our bathroom so we were able to bathe with light lol. We have no idea why but the last couple of weeks our water has been dropping from the ceiling in the church under our apartment. It's actually pretty bad. There is water everywhere and the paint is peeling off and it's not too pretty. Everyone thinks that we are the problem because we are the ones that live above, but we have been using little to nothing of water recently. Also the paint is peeling off in some parts of our apartment too. Some people came to look at it and they came to the conclusion that a pipe must have broke in the wall or under the bathtub. So they have to break everything to fix it. Remember that everything is cement here... So we will see how it goes lol. I'm not saying this as a form of complaining, just as information. Still no complaints here lol, all is fantastic! 
As for the packages I still have zero information but I'll try to learn something this week. 
I was definitely able to feel your fast this week becayse we saw some miracles happen on Sunday! An investigator that we haven't taught in a long time came to church. We haven't taught her because she is almost impossible to get a hold of and she lives on a farm. (When someone says they live on a farm it is almost impossible to find them. There are hundreds and hundreds of farms here. All Monterrico is farm. So that is why we can never go to her house to teach, she has to come to us. And I'm sure you can imagine that's easier said than done.) But when she came, we talked with her and she said she has been reading the Book of Mormon and wants to keep listening to us. We have an appointment today so we will see how it goes! Also another miracle happened on Sunday. We were in priesthood when the father of a part member family randomly walks in out of no where. He sits down and just listens for a little. most of the members know him because his wife goes to church. Then out of no where he stops the class and while crying he asked us, the missionaries, and the rest of the priesthood for help. He is an alcoholic and he really wants to improve his life. We attacked that opportunity as fast as we could. We set an appointment and talked with him, trying to motivate him. And we are going to have a lot of help from the members with him so we are pretty excited! 
To Hailey and Cameron, I'm sorry about the English. It's actually worse than I thought lol. We had a zone training meeting on Friday and one of the new elders got really sick in the middle of it. At the end, he asked for a blessing. Me being the only elder in the zone that speaks English, one of the sisters suggested that I give the blessing and that I should do it in English so that he could understand all of it. So I gave it in English, well at least I tried. Lol I had to pause and think quite a bit to just try an remember some words in English, like health, comfort, priesthood, example, Atonement, and more. It was not the prettiest blessing. And everyone said that my English is really bad lol. You guys will probably see it when we talk for Christmas lol. 
I think that's about it for my week! But I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! And kiss my puppies for me! But kiss both Chloe and Theo 9 times for me because "I'm nine years old!" 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week Fifty-Seven: Jujuy

Hey fam!
Man, it sounds like you had a great weekend and week!! I have been laughing and smilling at all of the pictures and videos. I'm pretty sure that everyone here thinks I'm really weird lol. But that's okay!! Disneyland, Flemings, museum, pier, and the whole family (well almost lol)! Man, thats a lot of fun!! I hope you don't get tired of those things because we are going to have to do it again when I get back!! 
We were able to have a pretty good week. On Sunday we had five investigators come to church! I was pretty happy! Usually one or two max have come since I've been here and some old papers of information say that 1 or 2 is the norm here. So we were pretty happy to see five come to church and see them take the steps necessary for progress. We are seeing progression!! We have an investigator that we can only teach one day a week because of his work. He always has really good questions because he really knows how to listen and he wants to learn more. This week he was telling us how the Jehovah's Witnesses passed by and he let them talk with him. When he said that I got pretty nervous. He then said that he listened to what they had to say and he had a question for them. He said when he asked it they didn't have a direct answer and they didn't have too much confidence answering it either. He asked us the same question he asked them. (He asked the question before he told us the story.) After we answered the question he said, "That is why I like talking to you guys. You always have a good answer for everything and you talk with such confidence. I have talked with a lot of people from many other churches but I have never seen them talk with the same amout of confidence that you have. How do you have such confidence in what you are saying?" We then testified that we know what we teach is true because we have received an answer directly from God that it is the truth. For me personally, I have been able to feel the spirit so strong countless times before and especially during the mission and I know, no doubt, that what I teach is true. There is no way I can doubt or deny what I have felt or what I know to be true. So that's why I talk and teach with confidence because, I have no doubts. I have no questions. I teach and testify about the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and all the other lessons with the same amount of confidence as when I teach and testify that 2+2=4. Back to the story. When we finished the lesson, we still taught the lesson we had planed, the Word of Wisdom. He said that this was his favorite lesson he had. That goes to show that testimonies and confidence really make a big difference. 
On the funnier side, the mission office pays for our apartment with the water and power, but we think they forgot to pay because our power got cut today. And our water heater broke earlier this week. So we dont have hot water either. And our fridge broke. Well actually the fridge broke a little more than a month ago. But we are just now getting it fixed. Lol but there are no complants, they are all learning experiences and all smiles here!! 
Dad, I wrote you a letter but I missed the first window to send it so it's probably going to get there a little late. I'm sorry! But HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I love you guys and I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me! 
PS the package didn't come. I've heard that Argentina doesn't want us to have packages. I have no idea why. But they said if I want the package I would prabably need to go to Salta to get it. But I'll let you know more info.
-Elder Moore

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week Fifty-Six: Jujuy

Hey fam!
So this week started out actually a little cold. It rained and hailed really hard one night but we were already in our apartment so no problem there. But now it's starting to warm up again, actually it's pretty hot right now. 
This week was a pretty normal week. I have been trying to change some things in the way I teach. President Chaparo says that we should have short but powerful lesson so thats what I have been trying to do. I think it's working out pretty nice. The lesson shouldn't last more than 15 minutes so we are staying focused on the topic and not talking about other things, and then we can visit more people during the day. We were able to teach a lot more lessons this week. One thing we struggle with is lessons with members present. We are teaching a lot of other lessons, but we need more help from the ward. So we are going to focus a little more in helping the ward get involved in missionary work. This week we weren't able to find to many new people to teach. My patience and diligence was definitely tested this week. But I know there is something that I need to learn so I'm staying positive! 
One day this week my comp was looking at a picture of the prophet and apostles. I soon realized that he didn't know the majority of them and didn't know how the next prophet would be chosen so we talked a bit about that. For the district meeting, the zone leaders and hermanas capacitadoras (I can't remember what they are called in English) came. I knew the hermanas were going to come but I didn't know the zone leaders were going to come and they both didn't know that they were coming. (I'm not sure if that made sense lol) so we had a full room. I talked about the importance of commitments. It went really well and the hermanas and the zone leaders just talked about how much they liked it and that it was a really good meeting. The only problem was that they didn't tell me what I could do better or where I could improve. So I'm on my own looking for what I can do better. Next week I'm planning to talk about the importance of attending church. 
Sounds like you guys had a great and fun week!! We have a conference with the president on Wednesday so I should get the package then, if it has arrived. Oh on Sunday the stake president came and called a brother from another ward to be our branch president. So as of now we have a president. And one quick funny and gross story. The other day a member gave us oranges so went we got to the apartment i made orange juice. I poured a glass for my comp and we began to drink. My comp then stopped and asked what that moving. I said that it was just the parts of the orange. Then he said no look. Turns out that there were little worms in the juice. I was super grossed out! I poured it all down the drain. I didn't drink too much but I also don't know if the little I did drink had a worm or not. But for now I'm not sick or anything so that's good lol. I just have to have a little more caution with the oranges. But on the positive side of the story the orange juice that I made was really good! Lol but I think that's it for my week! I love you guys! Kiss my puppies for me!!! I'll talk to you soon!

Week Fifty-Five: Jujuy/Monterico (Don't really know what the area actually is)

Hey fam!
Man it sounds like you guys had a lot of fun this week!! I can't even remember the last time I went to the zoo lol. That email I forwarded is the only info we have on packages. Everyone that receives a package has to pay a little but it's never a lot. I don't know why we have to pay but it's never a problem. 
This week it was pretty warm. The heat is coming but at least Jujuy is a lot cooler than Tucuman was. That was a heat that I can't forget lol. Yeah the studies are longer while training. It's kind of killing me because I want to get out and work, but I understand the importance of the extra studies so I make the best of it. While talking with a sister in my district I realized that their animos (I can't remember what that word is in English so ask Justin lol) weren't super high. So I changed the topic I had planned to talk about to helping them raise their animo. I talked about where I got my animo from and how they can find theirs and how they can be happy in the face of rejection and trials. I thought it went pretty well. 
My comp is doing well and is learning a lot. His family was baptized when he was 8 but after that he was less active for the majority of his life until like 2 years ago, so he doesn't understand all the doctrine just yet. This week we talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation and I was helping him understand it all. Also we were talking about where the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price came from and what they are. Also it turns out that my comp doesn't know how to speak in Usted. he only knows Tu. (Ask Justin what that means and why its important.) So basically I am teaching him to speak in proper Spanish lol. It's kind of weird teaching a latin how to speak Spanish. 
We have been working pretty hard this week but our diligence was tested. We talked with a lot of people but not a lot would listen. But the few that would listen to us seem really good. 
Dane and I are staying in contact but not a lot. Every now and then we write each other and see how things are going.
I think that's about it for my week, nothing really too interesting happened this week. But I'm so glad that you guys are having a lot of fun back at home!! Everything here is going great and I'm learning a lot! Kiss the puppies for me!! I'll talk to you guys soon! Love you!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week Fifty-Four: Monterico

Hey fam!
So as you know I have a new companion. Very new. His name is Elder Vasquez and he's from Peru. We (the trainers) got our comps Wednesday afternoon, so I was with the zone leaders for two days. It was pretty funny and interesting teaching in a trio, and I'm pretty glad it's not common here. But after we got our comps we had lunch there in the offices. I started to talk to the new gringos that were next to me and they just looked at me with very confused faces. So I had to start speaking English, and it was pretty hard. The gringos said I didn't sound like I was from the states at all they and said I had a Latin accent when I spoke English. So that was pretty interesting lol. But my new comp has and is adjusting just fine to the mission life. There are some things we need to work on, like telling me when he is going to leave a room instead of just walking off. But he's new so its understandable. The only pic I have with him for now is also with elder Lemus, my trainer. Elder Lemus is an assistant to the president now, so we took a picture of the family lol. Elder Lemus is my papi and Elder Vasques is my hijo (son) so we had to take a picture. 
We got back to our area on Wednesday around 6:00pm. So we put his things in the apartment, talked a little about what we were going to do, and then we left to go work. There was no time to unpack, it was working time lol. But my comp doesn't seem homesick at all, which is pretty good. I do feel that my comp before really helped me prepare to train. All the other comps I had would usually take control of the lessons, but with elder Barros I had to take control of things so I think that helped. 
My district is just sisters and my comp and I. The other elders in the picture are the zone leaders. They are really good sisters and some of them have more time in the mission than me, but I know that God called me to be a district leader so I could teach them something and so that they can teach me something. Tomorrow I have my first district meeting as a district leader so we will se how it goes lol. 
But how is the car shopping going? Do you guys have the Fusion back or are you still using a rental? Do you guys have to buy or trade soon or can you take your time? I know the Acadia is in the running. Are there any more that you guys are looking at? 
I think that's about it for my week! I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss my puppies for me!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week Fifty-Three: Monterico

Hey fam!
 So General Conference was awesome! I could understand more than last time but not all of it. The translators have to speak really fast because it takes more words to say something in Spanish than it does in English, so in order to finish in time they have to talk really fast. So I had to focus pretty hard to understand it all. It was working, then I got a pretty big headache so that didn't really help too much. But I'd say if there was a theme it would be missionary work and personal testimony. That's what I was able to get from it. Also I was able to download most of the talks, I'm only missing Sunday afternoon. But I'm going to listen to them all this week for studies. So I'm pretty excited about that.  
Sunday after the first session, I got a call from the mission president. He asked how I was liking conference and stuff like that. Then he said, "I am going to call you to be a district leader and a trainer." I accepted the call(s) but now I am a little stressed. My whole mission I have been junior companion and now I'm senior comp, district leader, and training a new elder. The new group comes in Wednesday so I am with the zone leaders for the next couple of days in their area. I have no idea who is going to be my comp so I will give you details next week about that. 
Because my comp was finishing, everyone wanted to say good bye in a special way so this week we had two BBQs with two different families. BBQs here are called asados and they are not too cheap but they are awesome! It's just pure stake and meat. It's awesome!! So we ate pretty well this week. 
We were not able to pass by the taxi drivers house this week. Well we did pass by but they were leaving as we were arriving. I'm going to try to pass by them this week with my new comp. Not too much happened this week. 
I like that you guys are liking and looking at the Acadia. How does the tan interior look? Is it like Cameron's car? I'm hoping it looks nicer lol but I have confidence in your judgement. I'm really sorry to hear that Katie didn't get the part. I know that everyone wanted her to get it. But it's true that there is something to learn from this. It reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk in the women's session. Our desires can't change the plan or desires that God has for us. This is a time to learn. I love you guys and hope you have a great week! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss my puppies for me!!

Spotting an old friend in the MTC Choir during General Conference 

Week Fifty-Three: Monterico

Hey fam!
 So General Conference was awesome! I could understand more than last time but not all of it. The translators have to speak really fast because it takes more words to say something in Spanish than it does in English, so in order to finish in time they have to talk really fast. So I had to focus pretty hard to understand it all. It was working, then I got a pretty big headache so that didn't really help too much. But I'd say if there was a theme it would be missionary work and personal testimony. That's what I was able to get from it. Also I was able to download most of the talks, I'm only missing Sunday afternoon. But I'm going to listen to them all this week for studies. So I'm pretty excited about that.  
Sunday after the first session, I got a call from the mission president. He asked how I was liking conference and stuff like that. Then he said, "I am going to call you to be a district leader and a trainer." I accepted the call(s) but now I am a little stressed. My whole mission I have been junior companion and now I'm senior comp, district leader, and training a new elder. The new group comes in Wednesday so I am with the zone leaders for the next couple of days in their area. I have no idea who is going to be my comp so I will give you details next week about that. 
Because my comp was finishing, everyone wanted to say good bye in a special way so this week we had two BBQs with two different families. BBQs here are called asados and they are not too cheap but they are awesome! It's just pure stake and meat. It's awesome!! So we ate pretty well this week. 
We were not able to pass by the taxi drivers house this week. Well we did pass by but they were leaving as we were arriving. I'm going to try to pass by them this week with my new comp. Not too much happened this week. 
I like that you guys are liking and looking at the Acadia. How does the tan interior look? Is it like Cameron's car? I'm hoping it looks nicer lol but I have confidence in your judgement. I'm really sorry to hear that Katie didn't get the part. I know that everyone wanted her to get it. But it's true that there is something to learn from this. It reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk in the women's session. Our desires can't change the plan or desires that God has for us. This is a time to learn. I love you guys and hope you have a great week! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss my puppies for me!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week Fifty-Two (ONE YEAR!): Monterico

Hey fam!
So as you know, I completed a year this last week. I didn't do too much mostly because I was in the area of the zone leaders on splits, but when I got back to my area I tried burning a tie to mark one year. But those things don't burn! I'm sure it was just that type of material but it didn't want to burn it just melted. The tradition here is to burn a shirt at your year mark but I've taken pretty good care of my shirts and none of them have any problems and I didn't want to burn a perfectly good shirt. So I changed the rules a little bit but it didn't really work out too well lol. 
We have been talking with the brother that is in charge of our branch to organize things for conference. We are going to watch it in our building. I don't remember if I told you but we don't have a church building. The church rents a house out and we have sacrament meeting in the first floor and we, the missionaries, live on the second floor. But it's not like anyone can just walk up the stairs and be in our house. You have to walk outside and them open a door with a key then you can walk up the stairs to get to where we live. But as I was saying, we are going to hook the TV to the computer so the members can watch it in the "church" and don't have to travel super far to the stake center. Here conference starts at 1-3 then 5-7 and priesthood starts at 9 at night. Since we only have one computer the option to watch it in english doesn't exist. But my Spanish has improved since the last conference so I should be able to understand more. But the magazine would be awesome when it comes. 
Also I don't know if you already sent the package or not but if you haven't, don't send it yet. We got an email from the office saying to tell our parents to not send packages because they are fixing some things. But if you already sent it I'm sure there won't be a problem. 
We have been working with the members trying to get them more involved in missionary work and help strengthen the branch. But it seems like it's easier for them to talk about doing things rather than actually doing them. So we are still trying to get them motivated. 
This week we had a really cool experience. In this area we have to travel a lot by taxi to get to other little towns and farms to find and teach people. Recently the same taxi driver has been taking us where we need to go. To call a taxi you just wait on the side of the road with your hand out and wait till someone stops. Anyone can be a taxi driver here. The only thing you need is a car. So there are quite a few of them... the fact that the same driver has picked us up so many times is VERY uncommon. Once we noticed this we began to talk more with him and find out more about his life and stuff like that and he has become a good friend of ours. This week while contacting in a small town and we found a small family. Just the mom, niece, and son were there and they let us into teach them. While talking with them we learned more about them and learned that the father is a taxi driver. Because there are a lot of taxi drivers I didn't think anything of it. We taught the family and they were super receptive and really liked what we had to say. When we went back for the second time our friend the taxi driver just so happened to pick us up again. My comp then thought to ask more about his family. We asked how many kids he had and stuff like that. Still nothing had clicked yet, until my comp asked what his wife's name was. Then things clicked. My comp told him that we were actually on our way to go teach his family. The taxi driver then dropped us off at his house, which doesn't ever happen because the taxis just drop you of in front of the town and you have to walk in yourself. But he not only entered the town for us but dropped us off at his front door. He then walked in, called his wife and kids so they could listen to us. He couldn't stay because he had to keep woking. But I couldn't help but notice the hand of God in this experience. It truly was a miracle. We are going back tomorrow so I will let you know about the progress. 
This is the last week of the transfer and also the last week of my comp's mission. I'm trying to keep him focused and not get too trunky. But since we started together he has improved quite a bit. This week he thanked me and said he was really grateful that he could be with me and that I was his last companion. 
I think that's it for this week! Keep looking at the Acadia! I love you guys! Kiss my puppies for me!!! After watching that video I don't think that will be a problem!! Lol I'll talk to you soon!

PS, can missionaries enter a college campus to teach there in the states? There aren't any colleges here so I don't really have any idea. If so let me know and I will let Chase know that he should listen to them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week Fifty-One: Monterico

Hey fam!
This week was a pretty normal week. Because we dropped family Chavez, we have been looking and looking to find new investigators this week. We were able to find a couple but not as much as we wanted. Because Monterrico is super small we have already contacted the majority of the houses and everyone knows the missionaries or at least the church. That could be a good and bad thing because there are a lot of people that hear things in their own church about the Mormons and they aren't usually good things. So we get quite a few doors slammed in our faces before we can even say "hola como esta." But the faith and diligence has not been lost at all. We have decided to change a few things so that no matter what the person is like we will not leave until we have taught the truth. It's more of a direct approach but it's working pretty well. There are a lot of people that are too hard hearted and they need to know that we are messengers called of God here to testify of a message that will them bring eternal life. And if that takes being a little more direct and persistent with the people, that's what I'll do. Don't worry, we aren't doing anything crazy or being mean. Nothing like that. You guys know I'm not much of a mean or overbearing person. We are teaching with confidence and authority so everyone that we talk with know who we are and what the Church of Jesus Christ is.  
This Sunday the stake president came to our branch. He didn't talk about the situation of not having a president but he said that this branch isn't going to close. It was very close to closing because its so small and has very few active members. He then talked about what needs to be done to strengthen this branch. After he spoke he gave the time to us, the missionaries, and we announced the plan we made to help this branch. The plan is that every member that was there on Sunday will think of one less active member in specific and invite them to General Conference and to Stake Conference (the week after). Then we invited them to do the same with a non member friend. We said that we will be visiting everyone that was present and make a list of who they are going to invite so we can go together to visit or help invite them. We shared our testimonies after that. What we said and what the stake president said really seemed to motivate the branch. So we feel pretty good for the future of this branch. After church ended, we talked with as many people as we could to set appointments and stuff like that. So we will see how it all goes. We are hoping that the meeting was able to light a fire under the members and get them motivated to share the gospel. After church, people were asking us for Books of Mormon that they could give to their friends. 
I know my year mark is this week but I don't really want to think about it. In the beginning of my mission it seemed so far away, but now that it's here I don't even want to think about it. Everyday I'm realizing how much work there is to do here and frankly there is just not enough time. I'm trying to use every moment I have to think of the people we are teaching and how I can improve in helping them even more. I'm trying not to think about the time I have because really there isn't a lot of it. Even though I'm trying to focus on what's going on here, I also want to help out back at home. 
So on Saturday I was having troubles falling asleep, so I let myself think about the car situation and I came up with a conclusion. You guys know that I know a few things about cars, so I was thinking about not just the options you said but also all the others. And my conclusion is the GMC Acadia. I chose this car for many reasons. It's bigger than a Crossover but also smaller than a full size SUV. The bigness has a lot of advantages: 1. It has more seats to make youth trips easier 2. The back seats completely fold up for truck space to make shopping and catering easier 3. It has a higher crash test rating so its safer (and we all know thats pretty necessary with Mom's car history, sorry Mom, love you) 4. It comes standard with a tow hitch to make trailer towing possible which will make catering and camping a lot easier. 5. With this type of model a TV is available to make long distance drives more comfortable and enjoyable. 6. An option for a 4x4 is available to make small camping trips or dirt trails worry free. 7. And because its small than an SUV that means it only has a V6. So the MPG is pretty high and pretty close if not equal to the Crossover. 8. Also it's a very nice looking car. A car I like to call a windows down car. That means you purposely roll the windows down so people can see you drive it. Also there are a lot more options and additions available to the benefit to the Moore family.  9. And the last thing I came up with is the fact that its a GMC. The same brand as the legendary, beloved, and cherished by not only the Moore family but all that have been in it, Yukon or more commonly know as Gavin. These are some things I was able to come up with before falling asleep on Saturday. I believe the GMC Acadia would be a great car and is worthy to hold the name of the Moore family's new car. I hope this helps. I love you guys and I will talk to you soon. Kiss the puppies for me!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Note: All facts were taken from past research and experiences with similar models. Further research may be needed to actualize said facts. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week Fifty: Monterico

Hey fam!
That's crazy that Dalton is leaving already. I remember thinking in the beginning of my mission that he and Devin would be leaving when I was about at my year mark, and it seemed so far away. But now it's just around the corner. Crazy how time flies! 
Not too much happened this week. But we had to drop family Chavez. We went by in the beginning of the week and they still hadn't prayed to know if this is the true church. We then changed the lesson plan to talking about why they kept listening to us and what they expected from our visits. We left them with the commitment to pray, if they should continue to receive us. We came by one day later, and they said that they talked as a family and that it would be too hard to change churches. We knew we had to drop them because it just wasn't their time. We must have explained the Apostasy and the Restoration more than 6 times in different ways so that they could understand, but they just couldn't. We did all that we could, it just isn't the right time for them yet. When we left their house I was pretty bummed after dropping them, but as I was thinking about them and the situation I felt a peaceful feeling come over me saying that we did the right thing. They are good people and they like listening to us but they just can't comprehend what we are telling them. I think that was the biggest thing that happened this week. 
We have a member (high priest) from another ward in the stake in charge of our branch for now. He isn't the branch president but he is just watching over things for now. We don't know how long he will be here, neither does he, but he is really helping the branch and its leaders. This week he went with us to visit some members and some investigators. He was a big help! Usually when we have a member present they just sit there until we get them involved, but he was sharing his testimony and everything without us having to ask. 
The weather is now warming up. It's been pretty warm the last few days. I don't want summer to come yet. I know what's in store and it's not going to be too fun! Our apartment is really nice but we don't have any fans or air conditioning, so I'm not looking forward to the heat. 
That's a bummer about the Fusion, but if it's acting up now with so little miles, the future doesn't look too promising. So I agree trading it in is the best choice. I don't know too much about the Edge or the Terrain. I never really looked too much into crossovers. But I know they are good looking cars and I've heard good things about them. I'm leaning more for American made, like Ford or GMC. Also I don't know if it's in the running, but the GMC Acadia is a nice car as well. It's really pretty. Send me pictures and info about the top picks. But I trust you guys to pick the best car. It sounds like the decision has to be made pretty quick if the Fusion has been in the shop for two weeks now. Let me know! Oh and yes I am able to focus more in my studies. There is no problem there anymore. About the package, I was thinking about a Michael Buble christmas CD because it's not too far away. And the movie 17 Miracles and Meet the Mormons. They are the only two movies we can watch in the mission. But that's all that came to mind for now. I love you guys, I'll talk to you soon!! Kiss the puppies for me! Oh I loved the video of them wrestling!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week Forty-Nine: Monterico

Hey Fam!
This week has been pretty weird with the weather. It started out pretty warm and then out of no where it got super cold. Right now its pretty cold and my fingers are pretty cold so typing isn't too easy lol. 
This week my comp had a meeting in Salta. He left Thursday in the evening, so I went to another area for that time. I was with another gringo from California that just finished his training. The day started out warm so I was just wearing a long sleeve white shirt, but when the sun went down the temp dropped a lot. I was already in the other area so I had to borrow one of his comp's jackets. His comp is pretty small so the jacket didn't really fit too well. But I was desperate so it worked lol. 
Besides being in another area and the crazy weather, not much happened this week. Today we had another activity as a zone and also with another zone in Jujuy. There are a couple of Mexicans so we made tacos. They don't have all the ingredients necessary but we used what we had and they turned out pretty good. It took a long time to cook. I'm really not too sure why we were there in the stake center so long. So we don't have time to send pictures but next week I'll send some. 
Our branch president was released this Sunday. The first counselor of the stake said that the branch will be ran by the stake. I don't really know how that's going to work but we'll see. 
We are teaching a couple of people who have a lot of interest. We taught a family, family Arrayan, this week and they had a lot of questions. Some were simple and others were a little more in depth. Like it started out with "what does 'elder' mean" and finished with topics on gay marriage and stuff like that. They weren't trying to find faults with the church, they were just curious. They asked all types of questions about gays, transvestites, and things of that nature. My comp stayed quiet most of the time because he was looking for a scripture. and while he was looking I was talking. I was pretty nervous that I would say something that would offend them, but I put my trust in God and said what came to my mind. I don't remember what I said or how I answered the questions, but when I finished they were satisfied with the answers and my comp closed his scriptures because he said that I basically explained the scripture that he wanted to share. The next day, Sunday, the wife came to church! Even with the cold! The husband had to work but the wife came! And she was the one with the most doubts and questions. I was and am really grateful for the divine help we had in that lesson! It's pretty hard to get people to come to church here so we were pretty happy! 
We are still working with the Chavez family (I forgot that's how you say it in English). They are progressing little by little. The baptism we have planned this week we are going to move to next week. We still need to teach a few things and we think it would be best for her to push the date back. 
That's awesome about Martha's baptism!! That's a lot of support! I didn't know that Justin was going to have surgery this week. Sounds like it wasn't too fun but he's in pretty good hands! Love that video of Theo!! Love that guy!! 
I think that's it for this week, I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me! 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Week Forty-Eight: Monterico

Hey fam!
So we had a pretty good week. Update with family Chavez: We were only able to visit them once this week but it was a pretty good lesson. We taught the importance of reading the scriptures and praying. As we were finishing up the lesson while my comp was talking, a question came to my mind. I was a little hesitant to ask because I knew how they would respond. It was a simple question, it was if they wanted to know if these things are true and if they really wanted to know if this was the church of Christ. I was thinking they would respond how they had before, saying that they were born and raised Catholics and how they don't have a desire to change. But I was wrong. After asking the question they said yes, that they really did want to know if all of this was true. I was pretty happy because I could see their hearts being softened and I saw a change in them. They are still pretty hesitant to accept a date of baptism, so we have to take things slow with them but they are progressing! 
We had service opportunities twice this week. The first was helping an older man move a huge pile of bricks. It was pretty funny, the bricks we were moving were pretty big and he is a pretty old man but he still wanted to help. It reminded me of dad when he broke his neck and couldn't work but would still try. We would be moving two or three bricks at a time and put them in another location, and then he would come up grab a brick and struggle to move it to the other location. We would take the brick from him and tell him that he could rest, and that we can do it. But 2 minutes later he's doing the same thing. It was pretty funny. The other service project we did was help a sister in the ward weed the front and sides of her house. There were a lot of weeds and all she had was an old machete and a hoe with a short tree branch for a handle. It would take forever with just those two things. But then she said she had a weed whacker. My comp was pretty hesitant to use it but I wasn't! It turns out it was a small electric Black and Decker weed whacker. But it was better than the machete so I took it with open arms. It held true to its name Black and Decker, because after an hour of use it started to smoke because it over heated. Luckily it started smoking just as we were finishing. Not the best brand but it got the job done. 
That's pretty much it for our week. Oh actually one of the young men (actually the only one) brought his girlfriend to church last week. We have been trying to teach her but she never could until yesterday after church. We taught the first lesson and she accepted to be baptized the 10th of September. More proof of how important members are in missionary work! All is going well here! I love you guys! I'll talk to you soon! Kiss the puppies for me!!