Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Temple Worker For A Day

So, we had changes yesterday.  Elder Avendaño got changed (like we thought he would).  He went to Thompson in Capiatá, Zone 3.  The other 2 missionaries that live with us stayed together.  But the exciting news is I´m training again!  Third time, how excellent!

My companion´s name is Elder Ponce.  He is from Honduras (pretty sweet huh?).  He is just awesome.  The guy came pre-trained.  This is really cool: the day I entered the MTC, September 2 2009, is the day he got BAPTIZED.  The kid has only got a year and 3 months as a member and he´s already on a mission.  What a champ, huh?  His aunt was the first member in his family, and then his sister (who is on a mission in Panama), and then him.  6 months ago in June, he baptized his mom and cousin after teaching them for a few months.  How cool is that?  His dad died while his mom was still pregnant with him, so he never knew his dad.  He has worked away from home for 4 years, so he has plenty of experience being away from home so that won´t be a problem here.  He is just a good guy.  Loves to share the gospel.  I think that this will be my most successful change so far.  We´ll see what happens.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Christmas Letter From Paraguay - I'll Be Home For the Next One

So, next week will be the last email I send you guys in 2010!  Christmas is on Saturday, and guess what?  Instead of just calling home, we can use Skype video chat!!!  I am seriously beyond excited, I might just die for a second or 2.  I´m so excited to be able to see faces and hear voices this Saturday.  I wanted to write something that I learned this week, but I spent all my time uploading pictures and making my Skype account so it will wait until next week.  It has to do with a study I did on the prophet Joseph Smith and the First Vision.  You´re going to love it.  There is SO much to learn from that.  I´ll type it all out next week.

Oh you best BELIEVE that I was Santa Claus again this year baby!  Both times for Christmas on the mission Elder Moore was Santa Claus hahah.  The pics are attached.  Like last year, today we went singing in a hospital.  They just loved it.  The looks on those kids´ faces to see Papá Noel walking in was just one of those warm fuzzy moments that you´ll never forget.  There was this one little girl, just like barely 2 years old, and the poor thing had an IV in her hand and it hurt her so she was screaming when we walked in.  But I went over to her and

Monday, December 13, 2010

When God Speaks

So a week from Saturday I get to talk to you guys!  It will be Christmas already, dang.  I remember being in Ciudad del Este last Christmas and dressing up as Santa Claus haha.  Would be sweet to do it again.  Next week I´ll let you guys know what number to call and at what time.  I just know that it will be in the afternoon, because my companion wants to call his house at night time (in Paraguay) which will be afternoon-ish for you guys.  I think you´re 4 hours behind us, but I´ll verify everything and write you next week.  All else fails, I know how to call you haha so either way we´ll talk on Saturday Christmas day!

So I spent all my time putting the music you sent me on CDs (iPods don´t work on computers here...bleh) and uploading pictures, so time is short yet again.  I promise next week to take some time and write something good.  But here´s something I learned in my personal study this week that I liked.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Great Power of Prayer

Well, just 9 months until I come home.  It has been going by so fast, and I´m afraid how fast it will continue to go.  But I´m super excited to call home this month!  I´ll let you know as soon as I have the date and time figured out.  Plan substitutes for your classes in church, because Mom´s staying home that day hahah.  My mom is the greatest and that´s that.

So, that baptism didn´t happen.  That´s the first time it´s ever happened to me, having a baptism the week of already planned and have it not happen.  With Coco, we were going over the baptism interview questions and asked him about tithing.  He said that he couldn´t accept and would never accept tithing because he was poor and had nothing to give.  He really is very fortunate and well-off, he just wants to use his money to record music (he´s a songwriter) so he says he doesn´t have any.  If somebody isn´t willing to keep all the commandments after their baptism, they shouldn´t make the covenants, so he didn´t get baptized.  With Osvaldo, ugh.  Different story.  His brother Juan Carlos is the first councelor in the branch presidency.  He has been the one who goes and picks up Osvaldo from his house in his car to bring him to church and lessons with us.  Osvaldo had a drinking problem for years, but about 2 weeks ago he stopped drinking and said he hasn´t drank since.  He was so excited for his baptism and wrote down my companion´s name and my name so he could remember the missionaries who helped bring him to the truth.  The day of his interview, Juan Carlos

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pizza Hut - Pizza Buffet

Hey everyone,

So this week there is just one announcement really.  We´re having 2 baptisms on Saturday!!  They are 2 guys named Coco Insfrán and Osvaldo Gonzales.  Coco has been an investigator here for like 4 months, and finally he´s ready to get baptized.  Osvaldo is the brother of the first councelor in the bishopric.  It feels good to have another baptism.  Good way to start December, I´d say.  Pray that everything goes well.

Today was kind of a crazy day, and we have a lot of stuff to do, so I don´t have the full hour on here like usual.  Sorry :(.  But we just got out of Pizza Hut here.  Oh, so good.  They have pizza buffet where you pay 20,000Gs (like $4) and it´s all the pizza you want.  Let´s just say I ate a lot haha.

I have some cool stories for next week as well to tell you all.  I´ll also update you on the baptism how it went and everything.  Love and miss you all!

-Elder Moore

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Lord is Taking Good Care of Me

Short on time this week.  Obrero is still good.  I´m slowly but surely getting used to it.  There are some excellent members here, so that really helps me make the transition.  Even better, we have 3 EXCELLENT families that we are teaching, one of the which we put a baptism date with yesterday for the 10th of December.  I´ll focus my next email on the investigators and stuff that I have here.  The Lord is taking good care of me.

I just want to tell a story that happened to us on Sunday.  It was the afternoon, and we were walking to a teaching appointment.  We were just half a block away from the house, and it was raining like crazy (which is really odd for this time of year).  A taxi pulls up beside us really slowly and rolls down his window.  There´s 2 guys inside, and the taxi driver was like "Elders!  Get in, I´ll take you where you´re going.  You´re going just right here to the church right?  I´ll take you there, just get in" and he reached and opened up the back door.  I felt one of the strongest urges I´ve ever felt that told me that under no circumstances should we get in that car.  It was weird that he offered to take us to the church that was just 2 blocks away, and we were just half a block

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Obedient to His Commandments

Hey everyone.  I apologize if I gave you a bit of a scare last week.  I was just kind of in a melt-down mode for not being able to say goodbye to any of those people, and it had just happened a few hours earlier, and I was just still coping with everything.  I´m doing better.  Still kinda sad that I had to leave especially without goodbyes, but I figure that I would have had to leave at some point anyway which I knew was going to be hard.  I´ll get to see them when Dad comes to pick me up anyways, so that will be a big blessing for me.  I wrote a letter to the ward today to explain what happened and apologize for not saying goodbye and to tell them all how much I love and appreciated them, so that kinda bummed me out again and made me think about it, but I´ll be just fine.  I always am.

Here in Barrio Obrero is very different.  It´s completely city, there´s not any open fields or hardly any trees or anything.  Kind of reminds me of downtown Reno with rock-paved streets lol (side note fun fact: "Reno" is actually the spanish word for "reindeer".  Who woulda thought?).  The people here are much more closed off and indifferent.  They are not nearly as kind as the people from the campo.  Everybody had always told me that people are much nicer in the campo - it´s true.  Obviously there´s a lot of good people here as well, we have some good investigators and a few people with baptism dates, but in terms of talking to people on the street and finding new people it´s definitely a lot harder.  The good thing is that we have some excellent members here too.  They´re exceptional.  I gave a talk on Sunday about missionary work to kind of see how they responded and everything, and it went well.  We had branch council meeting Sunday night and it was great.  We should have some great success here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Part of the Ride

Well, today is a horribly sad day for me.  I got special changed out of Guarambaré.

There was a companionship in another area that had some kind of problem and they chose me to replace one of them.  They just called me today, I didn´t have time to say goodbye to anybody at all.  I had just left a leadership meeting with the zone leaders and another district leader in a different area and they called me and said come to the office as soon as possible.  So I went home, packed, got a taxi, and left.  I cried the whole morning.  I don´t think I´ve been so sad in my whole mission.  I had plans to say goodbye to everybody and leave them letters and everything, and I couldn´t visit even one of them.  It´s no coincidence that I felt the need to bear my testimony yesterday for the last time in Guarambaré.  I knew I was going to be leaving, but during regular changes next week, so it would be the last time to talk to everybody as a group and bear my testimony.  I think I bore my most heartfelt testimony I ever have, and I felt especially inspired to thank them for all they´ve done for me here and that I love them all.  And today I´m gone.  The Lord really blessed me though, He knew how I feel, because while we were sitting at the taxi stop waiting for it to arrive, 3 members passed by and saw me crying, so I at least got to talk to 3 and say goodbye to them.  You really get so accustomed to these people that it´s so hard to leave - especially without saying goodbye.  It´s been a really rough day for me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mansions of our Father

As of tomorrow, I´ll have only 10 months to go until I´m home from one of the greatest places I´ve ever been, doing one of the greatest things I´ve ever done.  I cannot believe how fast time is going now (as if I thought it was going fast before, hah...WRONG).  A year ago today, I was in my last day at the MTC anxiously anticipating travelling to Paraguay the next day.  It´s really strange how fast this is going to end.  Even more sad is that if I get changed these transfers, I only have 2 more Sundays in Guarambaré.  It makes me want to cry.  I have grown SO much here, by far more here than in any of my other areas.  And the people...oh, I am going to miss the heck out of these people.  I don´t know what I´m going to do.  But that´s the mission I guess, it has to come sooner or later.  We just keep on keeping on I guess, and keep doing the Lord´s work wherever He needs us.

The family of Juani who passed away recently is doing well.  The 4 boys are adjusting, and their sister is goin back to Spain at the end of the month.  They will be staying in the house they live in right now, and every day one of the many family members they have living on the block will be coming over to wash clothes, cook, clean, and do all that kind of stuff.  Kind of an interesting situation considering that the oldest is only 15 or 16, but that´s what they´ve decided.  They´re adjusting well and we´re still visiting them.  Hoping to baptize the 9 year old this month.  I´ll keep everyone updated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another Rat in My Room!!

Hello everyone!  Good week this week, the work is progressing along.  We´re actually finding new investigators every day and some of them have good hopes of progressing, so we´re excited for that.  We´ve been working our missionary tails off this week, so we are definitely grateful for P-day today hah.  We´ve found a new place for the church building, so we should be moving there in 2 or 3 weeks.  Kinda nervous for that and how the transition will go - we´ll try to make it as smooth as possible.  I want to turn it into a big public event with announcements and everything, make it an open-house sort of deal.  "Come see the new site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" kind of thing with pamphlets and information and stuff like that.  Maybe have every quorum and organization give a brief presentation about what they do and then Elder Faas and I can handle the rest.  We´ll run it by the branch president tomorrow in branch council.  He isn´t one for executing plans, so we´ll have to push it pretty strong and do a lot of following up, but if we plan it well and execute, it will turn out as a great event for the branch here in Guarambaré.  I´ll keep you posted.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Passing of Juani - I Dedicated the Gravesite

Well, it was an interesting week last week.  There is this less active lady in our branch named Juani.  She 3 of her kids are members too, but they´re all inactive.  She had lung cancer and was battling it for 2 months.  We had started teaching her daughter Leti who came from Spain to take care of her, and also her sister Mirta who lives close and was taking care of her as well.  She had been taking chimotherapy every 2 weeks, and it wasn´t a strong treatment and she wasn´t losing her hair, but it was strong enough to affect her mobility and keep her in her bed most days.  We started visiting them about a month ago, maybe less.  Last Sunday, we visited them all like normal and shared something and Juani was still tired but was sitting up and talking and eating normally.  Tuesday we didn´t visit her, but the family said she stayed in bed all day, though able to eat and function somewhat normally.  Wednesday we went over there, and she just looked awful.  One side of her face couldn´t move, she was bed-ridden, and when she spoke it was all mumbled and we couldn´t understand her.  We taught her kids and family, and at the end we gave her a blessing.  A strange thing happened in that blessing.  Usually in blessing the sick I tell them that they will be healed according to the faith because that´s what I feel.  That blessing, I felt specifically not to bless her to be healed, but instead to bless her with spiritual strength and comfort to get through her trials and to know that Heavenly Father is very aware of her and has

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slowing Down Your Life

Wow I love the temple.  We got to go today, we just got back into Guarambaré.  It was just a really good session for me, I don´t know why.  I felt really good.  Maybe because it has been 7 months since I went last.  I was dying from the wait.  We got up at 4:30 this morning and headed out just before 5:30.  We got there and had some time to relax and ready ourselves before we went in.  It´s always neat when the missionaries get to go to the temple.  I´m sorry for those who aren´t members yet, you won´t understand all of the terms here, but bear with me.

When we get there, we change into all white and gather up in a room where the temple president talks to us before we go in.  After he talks to us, we can do as many things as possible before we start a session.  We have the choices of baptisms, confirmations, sealings, and initiatories.  This time I felt inspired to choose sealings first, and I´m glad I did.  I got some interesting revelation that was needed.  Missionaries can´t participate in sealings as a spouse, but they can act for the child being sealed to parents, so I got to do a few of those.  It was really great.  I felt a really good Spirit there.  Then I went over to do initiatories - its my second favorite.  I forgot how much I love doing those.  It just makes more and more sense every time I do it.  I think my favorite calling I could ever have would be a temple worker.  A sealer, specifically, but really just to be able to be in the Lord´s house a few days a week and enjoy of the Spirit that is always so strong there would be such a blessing for me and my future family.  After initiatories, we went in for the session.  I wish I could carry a little notebook in

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Companion

Before I forget, next week we go to the temple on Tuesday.  First of all, YESSS!!!  And second of all, it will be my P-day, so I´ll write on Tuesday, not Monday.

So we had changes this week.  Elder Largosta, my local, went back to his house, and I´m training again!  I´m with an Elder Faas from San Diego.  He´s awesome, he´s just a really good guy.  We´ll get along well and he works really hard.  Speaks pretty good Spanish already as well, so thank goodness I don´t have to train him in that!!  Next changes are the 2nd or 3rd week of November, so I´ll be here until then unless I get special changed.  Which I don´t anticipate happening.  I´m way excited to see how this change is going to go.

Ok, out of time, on to Article of Faith number 12.
"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

This one is rather interesting to me.  One might think that religion and government are two seperate things, and that a religious body would not have any specific beliefs about governments because it´s all about God.  Well we believe that governments are instituted of God.  One of the General Authorities gave a talk this weekend in General Conference about religious principles in public society and it explains really well about why religion has everything to do with social and civil life.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We Received a Miracle this Week

Hello family!

So first thing´s first, because I know you´re all going to look at the pictures before anything haha.  Here´s a description:

1 - Yes, this was in the empty pool in our backyard of our house.  Dont ask what it is, because I don´t know.  It hissed...
2 - Lais and Elder Martinez burning my tie for my 1-year birthday!
3 - Me in the fountain in the plaza
4 - Again.  ¡Que churro!
5 - The couple we married and baptized, Domingo and Suni.  Aww, cute =P
6 - Their daughter Julie.  She is a little doll, melts my little missionary heart
7 - Mom will like this one
8 - And this one
9 - Haha.  The funny part is this was candid - I had no idea Elder Martinez was taking this.  Caught in the moment.  Proof that I haven´t changed a bit =P
10 - Marriage of Domingo and Suni
11 - Marcos, Domingo, Joel, Julie, and Suni - the whole fam
12 - Domingo and Suni.  I seriously love this picture.
13 - Before the baptism
14 - After the baptism
15 - One of the most rockin families we have here on Elder Martinez´s last night here

Alright, there´s your photos!  There´s a bunch, so enjoy!  This camera card is huuuge, so I think it will be a while before I need to send it home haha.  But alright, down to business.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baptisms and Bubble Gum

Wow, a lot has happened this week.  Holy cow, the Lord trusts me a lot.  Haha.  I´ll explain why.

First of all, we did have the baptism!!!  Oh my goodness, it was fantastic.  They got there, the judge came from Asunción to marry them, that went well, they got baptized afterwards, and then we all ate cake.  Man, it is something incredible to baptize a whole family.  It´s not like baptizing a single person.  They both feel great, of course.  But it´s different with whole families.  Who knows how many generations will be affected by the decision of these 2 people.  The dad - Domingo - and the mom - Suni - got married, and then they got baptized with ther 11-year-old son Marcos.  I baptized Domingo and then Elder Martinez baptized Suni and Marcos.  It went really well.  Well, once it all got going it went well.  We had to work hard for that baptism, oh goodness.  Ok so.  Our baptismal font is like a small-ish plastic swimming pool, it´s outside it´s not built into the chapel.  It´s pretty old, so it has broken in the corners and been repared.  There weren´t any problems with it during the baptism of Mari and Evelyn in June.  But this time wasn´t the same.  The water pressure is reeeally weak here, so we have to start filling the font the day before or it won´t fill up in time.  So Wednesday morning Elder Martinez and I went to the church and cleaned the whole thing out and scrubbed it down nice and squeaky clean.  We went to fill it, but there was no hose, there´s only the faucet.  So we had to go buy a hose.  And

Monday, September 13, 2010

For Reasons like this, I am a Missionary

Hello friends and family!  Good to be able to write you again this week.  Hope everyone had a good week, especially Elder Pierce on his birthday.

First thing´s first:  we´re going to have a baptism this week!  Man oh man, I love when that happens.  Their names are Domingo and Suni, and they have an 11-year-old son named Marcos who will also be baptized.  The baptism will be on Thursday.  We met them through the family of a less active member.  We went to visit him, and his parents were there so we shared with them.  They liked it and told us how to get to their house (I was going to put gave us their address, but silly me, there are no addresses in Paraguay!), so we went to find them and we did.  One time when we were teaching them, their other son (who is Domingo) was there, and we started teaching him as well.  He´s a great guy.  We met his wife Suni the next visit, who is also incredible.  They have 3 kids, and Marcos is the only one old enough to get baptized.  They came to church without us having to go to look for them the past 2 weeks in a row, and on Sunday the branch president announced their baptism for Thursday.  We have to marry them first, which will happen the same Thursday right before the baptism.  We´re extremely lucky, because apart from people in Paraguay never wanting to get married (which they had no problem with), it´s hard to marry people in this country.  We´ve been extremely blessed to be able to find this familiy and teach them the Gospel.  I´ll let everyone know how it goes next week!

Old Guy who punched my companion! 
What´s next...OH YEAH! Remember when I wrote a few weeks ago about the old guy who punched my companion?? 

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Best Gift I Have Ever Received (Half Way Mark)

Subject: 6 September 2010

One year ago, I was in my first few days at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.  I was terrified.  If somebody could think of a word about 20 times stronger than inadequate, that would describe a small fraction of how I felt.  I missed my family and the people that love me and that I love more than I thought was possible.  Don´t get me wrong, I loved being a missionary.  I still love being a missionary today.  But I was lost, confused, and a whole onslaught of other emotions all at once.  I think somebody had slipped Pandora´s Box in my juice or something.  But above all, I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it.  Or, at least I believed that anyway.  In Paraguay, the emotions were amplified tenfold.  This was the real deal, this wasn´t the "training center".  The word was hard, the heat was brutal, and I had a lot of issues to deal with.  This was the basic pattern that continued for the 10 months that followed  up until today.  The work is still hard, the heat is still dreadful, and there are still more issues to deal with than I can express.  But I kept fighting, kept pushing through the unequivocally hardest trials of my young life, and here I am a year later still going strong and still fighting the good fight.  Salvation is not a cheap experience.  It wasn´t easy for Christ, it won´t be easy for me.  But the blessings are indescribable and irreplaceable.  I am so blessed to be a missionary.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"From Whence Thou Comest, There Thou Goest"

¡Buen día mi querida familia!

So this Sunday was Branch Conference.  It went really well.  We had double the attendance that we normally do and 4 investigators in sacrament meeting.  Good day I´d say.  There was no time for the special musical number, but whatever, President Callan´s talk was better haha.  He did such a good job, man, the guy is a stud.  Pure inspiration.  He called Sister Callan to the pulpit first thing and introduced her and gave her a chance to share her testimony before he gave his message.  It was great, she did a good job.  She just loves visiting the people.  Then President gave his talk.  It was really well.  He talked about the goal of getting the big church built across the street in the empty terrain that we have.  He gave them a list of ways to accomplish it.  Then he was like "I want to ask the full-time missionaries to stand up for just a second".  So Hermana Callan, Elder Martinez, and I stood up.  And he was like "Ok thank you, sit back down".  And then he was like "That question was really kind of a trap.  I should have seen every one of you in this room on their feet, because yenno what?  These 2 elders and my wife and I will come and go, but you members will stay here in your home ward building up the kingdom.  Everybody here is a full-time missionary.  So let me ask you again and see if the result changes.  I´d like to ask that the full-time missionaries stand up" and everybody stood up that time.  It was really helpful, that should motivate the members a lot.  He gave a good talk, and everybody wanted to take pictures with him afterwards.  All the young women were talking to Hermana Callan after the meeting and their families were bugging them that they wanted to go home and to leave the mission president´s wife alone hahah.  But Hermana Callan loves talking to them, she´s just great.  It went well.

One experience I want to share with everyone before I start on the Article of Faith for this week.  I almost wasn´t going to share it, but I´ve decided that it´s alright and you all will benefit from it.  I´m adapting it from my Saturday August 28th journal entry.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Drunk Grandpa Sanchez/Crazy Lady Rosa

Ok, so there´s lots to talk about today.  Let´s get to it!

Changes - Nothing happened with me and my comp.  Yes!  We´re both here in Guarambaré todavía.  Which is good, because I get along with him better than with any of my past comps, and we work really well together in terms of teaching, so it should be good.  One elder got changed and his companion is training a new guy this change, so I´ll have to go there tomorrow to get to know him and let him know that if he needs anything he can give me a call because I´m his district leader.  Just a little pow-wow.  I talked to him on the phone the day he got here, and was like "hey how´s your Spanish?" and he said mas o menos haha.  So I was like "well we´ll test ya.  Talk to my companion for a minute, he´s Colombian so see if you can understand him".  Didn´t understand a thing.  Hahah poor guy.  Everyone starts like that, but it was funny.  But yeah, the work continues!

Temple Prep Classes - Oh goodness I love them.  Teaching members who have a base knowledge of the doctrine and stuff is totally different than teaching an investigator.  I´ll be extra lucky if I get called to be a Sunday School/Gospel Principles teacher when I get home or something, I would love that.  I love teaching.  We have 4 people that are currently participating, and one who just came this past class to get started.  We´ll have to find a time to teach him the 2 lessons he missed so he can go to the temple.  But the classes are going fantastic and I love them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Kid in Candyland

Let´s get down to business!  Had an extra long something to do on the side this week - as usual - so I´ll jump right into it.  This week will be short - sorry!  Just know that I´m doing very well, happy as a kid in candyland, getting along excellently with my comp, and the work is moving along like a well-oiled machine.  Just a few squeaky wheels is all :).

Article of Faith...I think it´s 7?  I don´t remember the number haha, but here it is.
"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.  We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."
We believe in the Holy Bible.  It is unequivocally the word of God.  It contains doctrines of salvation and of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, because of the history of the Bible, the compilation of works we have today known as the Bible are not the same as they were originally written by the hands of the Lord´s prophets and apostles.  Things have been changed or taken out.  This is because of 1.) people intentionally changed/removed them, or 2.) the true meaning was lost in translation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teaching Temple Prep Classes - Way Excited!!

Sorry for the day delay, we had Zone Conference yesterday and P-day was changed to today.  But here I am again, you lucky people!  Next week I´ll send pictures.

Things are getting much better in Guarambaré.  After 2 months of hard labor, things are looking up.  I speak in terms of the branch here, not necessarily investigators.  The branch is finally getting it´s act together.  Our branch president is working with us finally and getting things in gear, getting his branch organized and shaped up.  We have worked extra hard with the members here these past few weeks to build them up and get them some enthusiasm, and we´re seeing the benefits.  It feels good to know you´ve had some effect on somebody, and you´re not doing things meaninglessly.

President Lopez (branch president) actually gave us a mini calling in the branch.  We can´t have callings because our callings are being full-time missionaries, but it´s an assignment.  He called us into his office on Sunday and said that he and his counselors have been praying and they think that we are the right people for the job.  We get to teach temple preparation classes.  I´m way excited!  It´s every Tuesday for anybody who is preparing to enter the temple for the first time.  He called and asked President Callan for permission, and got the green light.  We start today at 5, so I´m excited for that :).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Let's See What These People Can Do!

11 months down today!  1 more month and I´m on the downhill slope!

We are starting to see some enthusiasm and excitement from the members here in Guarambaré.  It´s about time!  We´ve been working so hard to get these people going, and finally they´re getting their tails into gear.  Things should be picking up here soon.  The church here is a rented out house, but across the street the church has land where they want to build a big chapel, but there´s some requirements we have to meet first.  We have a weekly attendance at church of about 35 people.  By November, we need to have 70.  If we can accomplish that, they won´t sell the land and will start building the big chapel.  Let´s see what these people (and us) can do!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Missionary Work is Very Difficult

Hey, President Callan said that I can email with my grandparents as well.  So I need Gaga and Papa´s email addresses.  I think only Gaga would have one, but whatever it is I need it haha.  They can just write me an email for next week and I can save their address into my contacts so I have it.  Neat :)

This week was excellent.  We had a training meeting in Asunción last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Oh my was phenomenal.  It was all the District Leaders, Zone Leaders, and trainers there.  President Callan trained us on 8 lessons that the Bretheren have implimented in all the missions over the world.  In 1 year from now - July 2011 - the 8 lessons we learned in the training will be taught in the MTC as well, so the missionaries coming in will already know them.  We have 1 year to get this working in the mission so the new missionaries will come to a mission who already applies what they learned in the MTC.  I´ll explain more about them next week.  I´ll let you all know how it goes teaching this stuff to the other Elders in my district.

So Guarambaré needs a little help.  They´re really unmotivated to do anything.  They´re in a huge slump, and the branch president isn´t a very motivating person lol.  We´ve started them reading the Book of Mormon as a branch, and that is having very little effect.  Now we´re trying to impliment branch activity night again like they used to have, see if we can´t get some motivation out of that.  We´ll keep seeing what we can do.  Missionary work is very difficult haha.  We have to take a branch from rock bottom enthusiasm and build it up with little to no help.  But if there´s anybody to do the job, it´s Elder Moore and Elder Martinez.  Who is doing well, by the way :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Faith and Dedication to the Lord

We don´t teach lessons, we teach people.

Hello there America!  Another week gone by.  Did you waste it?  We didn´t.  We worked hard and went out in the pouring rain for 10 hours in the rain.  We had very little success, but our spirits are high.  How lucky we are to be able to get rained on and rejected all day in the name of the Lord!  It´s not every day you have that kind of opportunity you know.  What a blessing to have the chance to show my faith and dedication to the Lord.  For the last 3 days, it rained non-stop all day.  My shoes - yes, the ones I just bought 6 weeks ago - have officially been destroyed.  They split right down the middle, just like the other ones did.  There was about an inch of space in the sole of my shoe where if I stepped in the water, it just flowed right in.  Needless to say, I couldn´t feel my feet for about 10 hours.  Kinda hurt haha.  But that´s the mission!  I bought new shoes today.  Boots actually.  They should work better, or hopefully at least last me until I get my Rockports in the mail that my wonderful mother sent me lol.

Elder Martinez is doing much better.  He´s getting accustomed to things fast.  The nights are still hard when we´re in the house and he´s got time to sit and think about it because we´re not out teaching, but he´s much better.  He is really smart.  For being new, he actually teaches really well.  And he´s got some good ideas that

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Spirit told Me

Happy birthday to all you Julyeans!  And the Juneans that I missed =P

Well, another change come and gone.  Elder Alexander left to his second area.  He is in Hernandarias 3 - which is about 30 minutes away from my first area haha so that´s kinda cool.  I´m still district leader.  And this change I´m training a new missionary!!!  Ahhh I´m so excited!!  His name is Elder Carlos Martinez - he´s from Colombia!  Neat huh?  There were 5 new missionaries that came this change, so 5 of us called to train them.  Elder Martinez is the only one that´s not American lol, score!  Elder Sellers, one of the Elders from my MTC district, is training as well!  Our MTC group is rockin, I tell ya.  I´m district leader and training, Elder Sellers is training, Elder Steren is the finance guy in the office, and this change Elder Smith moved up to be the Fichero in the office!  We rock.

Elder Martinez is great.  Kind of quiet, but that´s just because he´s new.  He´s already opened up more today than he did yesterday.  Unfortunately, he´s having some homesick issues already.  We´re actually in Asuncion right now because he had an interview with President Callan.  But he´ll be alright.  Never been away from home before, a new country and new customs, adjusting to missionary life, it´s just overwhelming is all.  If there´s anybody who knows that, it´s me.  It´s cool the way God works.  We didn´t officially find out changes until Tuesday, but 3 and a half weeks ago I already knew I was going to train.  I don´t know how, I just knew.  The Spirit told me, so I was ready for it.  I couldn´t figure out why the Spirit would tell me so early - I would find out at the end of changes anyway.  But I prepared myself for it.  And now I know why.  I am his trainer because he is going to go through some of the same things I went through when I had a rough time, so I know how to help him get through it.  The Lord always - always - takes care of His children.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Original Sin" of Adam

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!  Well...yesterday :)

So, this week isn´t going to be long.  Because I had to figure out how to shrink the PICTURES I´m sending to be able to get them all to you!  Let the shouting for joy commence.

Yesterday night we were going to have a barbecue in our house (we bought ribs and made french fries!!), but district leader duties took the whole night until 10 minutes before bed, so we didn´t get to eat it :(.  But today we shall enjoy the USA festivities!!  I can´t believe I have 10 months in my mission now.  How time flies, and how it´s only going to get faster.  When you´re on the uphill, you have to push.  When you get to the top and start the downhill, you start chasing after it trying to make sure it doesn´t get away.

We´ve been having some pretty good success lately.  We´ve found some good people to teach through some really cool experiences..  We´ve also had a lot of people who aren´t ready for baptism yet be dropped for future missionaries when the Lord has fully prepared them.  Mari and Evelin are doing well - they were both confirmed and seem to love church.  I´m really happy that my first real converts seem to be doing well.  Not much time, I only have a few minutes until my hour is up so I´ll get to Article of Faith number 2!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I got to Baptize them Both

So as I have little time, I´ll get right to it.  We had the baptisms last week!  They were a mom - Mari - and her 11 year old daughter Evelin.  They are such a good family, I love them.  And even cooler, I got to baptize them both!  First baptisms in the mission - woohoo!!  It only took me 10 months to do it :) haha.  Really, it feels so incredible to have a baptism.  Seeing the change in the people, being able to be the one to do the baptizing, it´s an uncomparable feeling.  They were confirmed on Sunday by the branch president, and they seem like they´ll be full active members very easily thanks to some good members who have befriended them.  I´m way excited, and will let you know what develops with future baptisms!

So I was thinking about what I could share in my weekly emails to have a continuous thing going, and I thought that the perfect way to share something with everyone would be to go over an Article of Faith every week in my emails.  For those of you who aren´t members of the church, the 13 Articles of Faith are 13 basic principle beliefs of our church that explain our doctrines.  So, that being said, this week I start with Article of Faith number 1.

"We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Have Come to Love my Plack

So picture this.  We were walking home from teaching somebody to go eat lunch like we always do.  I have Dr. Scholl´s things in my shoes that my parents sent me.  We were just walking along, and all of the sudden I feel my Dr. Scholl´s pads fall out of my shoe - from the bottom.  How does that happen?  The shoe pads that are UNDER my feet fall out the BOTTOM of my shoe while I´m walking on them.  I look at my shoe and it had completely split in half along the bottom and my Dr. Scholl´s just fell right out.  That´s Paraguayan shoes for ya!  Needless to say, I bought new shoes on Saturday lol.

So this week, we´re having a baptism!  It´s scheduled for Saturday, and it´s a single mother and her daughter.  Her name is Mari Miranda and her 11 year old daughter is Evely.  They´re fantastic.  Yesterday they came to church by themselves without anyone having to go get them beforehand, they stayed the whole time, and they´re exited for their baptisms!  I´ll let you know how it goes in the next email!  Way excited.

I have come to love my plack.  It´s dirty and scratched, but it is such a strong symbol to me.  It has my name on it.  Elder Moore it says.  I share the title of Elder with every one of the 12 Apostles.  That is a serious thing.  But my name is not the only name on my plack.  I also bear the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I am His

Monday, June 14, 2010

House struck by Lightning - Killed the Rat!

Hello hello everybody!  Sorry last week I couldn´t get an email to send out.  I have lots to do and just ran out of time.  So this week I´m back on track!

So Guarambaré is great so far!  Elder Alexander and I get along really well.  For being relatively new in the mission, he is great.  He teaches well and he is very obedient to the mission rules, so it´s awesome.  I´ll try to send pics the next time, but I don´t know if I can from this cyber.  We have 15 people with baptismal dates, and are pretty sure most of them will follow through.  We have 1 kid who is going to be baptized this Saturday, but he is just in a member family and turned 8 so it´s not anything we did.  Then next week on the 26th we have 4 people who are planning to be baptized!  They all came to church yesterday too, so it´s pretty promising as of right now.  I´ll let you know next week for sure if it´s going to happen or not!  And then another guy named Pedro is supposed to be baptized on Sunday the 27th, but his wife pretty much controls him and is reeeeeally evangelical, so I´m not so sure it´s going to happen that day.  He is great though and we´ll keep working with him to get him in the water.  We have a few potentials for July 3rd and 10th as well that I´ll keep everyone posted on.  I´m excited!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

District Leader..Oh Boy! Guarambare

Ok so Mom sent me some pictures of Chris´s wedding, and I have to say...I have the coolest (and best looking) family in the entire world haha.  Oh man, it was so good to see the whole family in a picture.  Mom, Dad, and my 3 Moore boy brothers.  That´s the way the Moores do things ;).

Chris and Christy - congratulations!  I wish you the absolute best.  Be happy!  I am :)

Ok so what you´ve all been waiting for: changes.  Yes, I´ve been sent to a new area.  It´s called Guarambaré.  I´m in zone 6A now (this zone has 6A and 6B - I have no idea why it´s split haha).  Yes (obviously) I have a new companion.  His name is Elder Alexander.  He´s been in this area for 2 changes, so he knows it well.  But that is not all...I got bumped up to senior companion.  BUT!  That is not all...I´m also now a district leader!  Holy cow, I never even THOUGHT that was going to happen.  I still feel new!!  I´ll explain more about each new thing.

Guarambaré.  It´s a big area.  We live in the city-ish part right in the middle of the area.  It reminds me of a mix between an old western town and one of those little towns you drive through and stop for gas on a road trip haha.  I wouldn´t really call it campo yet (open empty field).  But once you reach the city limits, it is literally on one side of the road is houses and stuff and the other side is HUUUGE wide open field that is also part of our

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jar of Flee's

Hey everyone - sorry I didn´t write yesterday.  We had zone conference, so our P-day moved to today.  Zone conference was INCREDIBLE, which I´ll talk about in a minute.  Reminder - next week is changes, so email will be on Thursday.  Oh, the suspense kills me!

Julie´s package.  Juliebear, I got your package with the letters, pictures, and candy.  Thank you so much!  My face just lit up to see my awesome aunt Julie and uncle Cliff.  Madisen looks way older now...kinda freaked me out.  Haha.  And Jabba is a monster, holy cow!  He´s big now!  (Well, he was always a tank, but you get the point.)  He has teeth and some more hair and everything.  I bet the little guy just runs around all day and will be jabbering up a storm in no time.  Thanks so much for sending that :)

Cindy - Haha, I´m sorry time isn´t flying yet.  I can tell you that the end definitely goes faster than the beginning.  I felt like I was in my first area for a year when really it was 4 months.  Now I have the same amount of time in this area that I´m in now, and it feels like 2 weeks.  Time goes much faster the farther into the mission you are.  Stick it out, keep those prayers going :).  I can relate to Elder Teshima at the moment haha.  Things are slow here the past few weeks.  Picking up very slowly and with a lot of hard work.  Wew just keep chugging along.  And thank you for finding out that information for me!  Next week when I find out if I stay or go to a new area, I´ll get his scripture cases ordered.  It seems from his emails like he is doing

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Mouse in the House!

Wow, we´re halfway through May already.  I feel like I start out every email talking about the time haha.  It sure goes quick.  I got to my current area in February, and already it´s almost been 3 months.  Sure doesn´t feel like it.

Today we had a Zone Activity.  It was a lot of fun.  We all met in the stake center at 8am (there´s about 20 missionaries in this zone).  We studied for an hour and then we did 2 activities.  The first one was a lot of fun.  During last week, everyone had to call the zone leaders and tell them one interesting fact about themselves.  Mine was my high school swimming record.  Today they read all the interesting facts one by one and we had to guess who had which fact.  It was fun, and some were funny.  One of the Elders had his first kiss when he was 14 - the girl he kissed was 26 hahah.  One Elder slept with a night-light until the day before his mission haha.  Funny stuff like that, it was fun.  Then we were going to watch a video, but the DVD player wasn´t working, so they had planned a Jeopardy game ready in case that happened, so we played that.  Our district won!  It was fun as well.  Then the zone leaders shared a spiritual thought and we all left.  We were going to play soccer, but it´s raining, so we scratched that idea.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm Just Waiting for the Prophet to Come!

Happy birthday shoutouts from Paraguay to my May birthday people: Jeff (recently promoted to "Mister" haha), Jordan, Justin, Nana, and Ben!!  Enjoy another year closer to death!  Hahaha love you all.

Ok mom, my shirt size is 16 1/2.  A few white shirts would be nice for the next package.  Now, no need to zip off to the store and hurry and get me a package together haha.  Just wait until you´re ready to send the next one and throw a few white shirts in there.  It´s expensive to send a package from there to here, and there´s better things you can spend your money on.  Put it in my car or school savings, even if its only like $50 or something.  I´d be willing to sacrifice receiving packages here in order to have some money saved up for a car or schooling when I get home.

Yesterday (for those of you who don´t know) I got to call home again!  The second of 4 phone calls I get on my mission.  Crazy, I´ve done half of them already.  Next time I call home, I´ll have a year and almost 4 months in my mission!  That is insane, I can´t believe it.  Time really goes so quickly here.  I still feel new.  My companion who has only 8 months to go still feels new.  It´s just how the mission goes I guess.  But yeah, it was good to talk to home and the family again.  I´m doing well, working hard, and happy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Waffles and Home Made Syrup!

So I was thinking, when this change is done and then one more, I´ll have a YEAR in my mission!!  How crazy is that?  I can´t believe it´s that close already.  Yikes!

Ok, so really I have like 5 minutes haha.  I had to get everything situated with my phone call home for Mother´s Day on Monday so that took a while.  But not much to say anyways this week haha.

Last night, we went to the Benitez family´s house and they made waffles and home made maple syrup for us (2 things very uncommon in Paraguay).  I about died in my seat.  SO good.  And in the packages I got from everyone, I ate the mac ´n cheese already.  Oh boy......sweet sweet heaven in my mouth.  I loved it haha.  Paraguay food is good, and I still like it more and more with the passing time, but there´s just no food like American.

Mom, in your package, you sent a bunch of pencils and stickers.  I gave them to the Primary teacher (sister Benitez), and let me tell you....they freaked out.  The kids LOVED them!!  The adults were even asking for them hahah.  They were all so fascinated by the pencils that said that, "There´s nothing like that here in Paraguay!".  Sister Benitez teaches seminary too, and she had enough to give pencils to her seminary class, and they as well freaked out haha.  They were very much appreciated, and they said to tell you from Lucerito´s primary and seminary classes "Thank you Elder Moore´s mom!!" haha.  Loved it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Faith To Move Mountains

Hey everyone!

Another week down.  Well, half a week this time haha.  This week has been good.  We´re working hard, Elder Silva and I.  I don´t remember what I said in the last email about him haha, so here´s a little bit more.  He´s from Costa Rica, which is different.  Nice to get to know somebody not from Paraguay, Utah, Uruguay, or Argentina lol.  He has 14 months in the mission, so he´s on the downhill slope.  He´s a hard worker, but not serious and rigid so that´s a good thing.  Really nice guy, pretty funny too.  We get along well.  Yenno how we live the 4 of us in our house, us two and Elders Alvarez and Freeman?  Well Elder Silva was companions with Elder Alvarez a while back, so they´re living in the same house again haha.  They are good friends, so that´s kinda cool they already know each other.  We´re doing well - working hard and going strong.

As for people to teach, pickings are slim right now.  Haha.  Happens sometimes.  We´re spending a lot of time looking for new people, which is alright.  Some days are really good and we find a lot, and some days like yesterday we don´t even get into 1 house haha.  It´s fun to see what´s going to happen every day.  It doesn´t bother me when we don´t get into houses or have many to teach.  I know as long as I´m doing my personal best and working hard, I´m doing what I´m supposed to be doing and the Lord is happy.  We have one guy with a baptism date for May 14th.  His name is German (like Herman in english lol) and he came to church with us yesterday so that was good.  Seems pretty promising as of right now, but anything could happen.  It´s Paraguay, after all haha.  We´ll just keep teaching and praying.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Companion, Elder Silva

Hey everyone!

So not much time, only about 10 minutes left, so I´ll be quick.  It´s because I was picking out all these pictures to send!

First things first, we had changes this week.  I´m still in Lucerito, no surprise there.  But Elder Laughter got changed!  He is now in Zone 5 Area Ka´aguy Rory (don´t even try to pronounce it lol).  He was district leader here, and he got bumped up to zone leader!  What a stud.  Nobody else in our district got changed.  My new companion is Elder Silva.  He´s from Costa Rica.  Pretty sweet, huh?  He´s really cool, really tranquilo.  Solid missionary too.  We should do well together.

I don´t know if I´ve already said this, but I didn´t ever get Bishop Leavitt´s package :(.  Bummer.  If he´s sent any letters too, I haven´t gotten those either.  But I did get your 2 packages and the package from Gaga and Papa.  Thank you all so much!  I´m gonna eat so well hahah.  The best part were the pictures though, thank you guys!  I have been showing off my family to everyone now =P.  I love it, thanks!

Sheesh, already out of time, still have to write President Callan.  But I hope everyone enjoys the pictures!  I´ll try to start taking more.  Love and miss you all!

-Elder Moore

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rules are Rules, Follow Them:)

Hey everyone!  So not much time this week either, just a few quick notes for everyone and next week I´ll put in something really sweet that I learned.

First, changes are next week - how quickly they´ve come!  So that means my P-day will be on Thursday, and you´ll get an email with everything that happened next week on Thursday instead of Monday like usual.

Second, we got a list of revised rules from President Callan.  As of now, only my family is allowed to send me emails.  My parents, brothers, and grandparents.  Anybody else who wants to communicate with me, please send me Dear Elders or letters.  Dear Elders really are better for me anyway for those who are not family, I have more time to read those and they´re more convenient for me.  Sorry if it´s an inconvenience, but rules are rules!  Follow them :)

Also, something crazy that I just realized is that I´ll be calling home in about a month.  Whaa?  I just called home last week at Christmas time!  Way excited for that :)  Mother´s Day!

Lastly...I have pictures!  We changed our email system, so I can attach more than 3 pictures at a time now.  Exciting!  Enjoy :)

Love and miss you all,
-Elder Moore

Monday, April 5, 2010

We ate Duck and Crocodile! Tastes Like Chicken!

Hey everyone!

Not much time this week, we had to figure out how to write our letters to President Callan with the new system we´re using so that took some time to set that up.  But a few quick things so you´ll have something at least.

First, conference was sweet!  We didn´t get to go to the first saturday session because you have to bring investigators to go, but all the other ones we went to.  Saturday we watched all in Spanish, and Sunday they set up a room for us missionaries to listen in English hahah so that was cool.  Some really good talks, I loved it.

People are naturally good I´ve learned.  We took this 8 year old kid and his brother to one of the conference sessions with us.  They have a rough life.  Not very well off financially in the family, live with their grandma and a few other relatives, and everyone just yells at each other.  The 12 year old is Luis, and he got baptized a few months before I got here.  His little brother Kevin is 8, and he is usually bouncing off the walls.  Seriously, he is so crazy.  I´ve never seen a kid with more energy than this little guy, he´s seriously nuts.  But we were at conference, and he got hungry so we walked out and bought him some cookies (it was the saturday session, don´t worry =P).  Well he saved like 3 cookies, and was holding them very tightly like protecting him.  I asked him "Kevin aren´t you going to eat those too?" and he looks at me and smiles real big and says "Nope, I´m going to save them for my grandma.  She loves these."  It was just really cool to me that this little 8 year old wild child who was so hungry and begging us to get him some food would still think about his grandma and want to do something nice for her.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Testify that the Heavens are Open

First of all, for the most important news....HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!  This week you´ll be 21, how exciting!  Love and miss you

So this week is Conference.  I´m stoked!  We´re allowed to go to the first Sunday session and the Priesthood session here without investigators, those 2 sessions are our freebies.  But if we want to go to the other sessions, we have to have investigators with us or we can´t get in.  Our zone leaders will be at the doors checking haha.  More motivation to get some non-members there with us, right?  Way excited for Conference.  It seems like just last week I was in the MTC gym watching it on the huge projector, and now it´s back again.  Time is going quickly.

So I learned something interesting the other day.  Well not so much as learned something as I did put 2 things I already knew into one truth that I never really made the connection to before.  Of the many names that Christ has, one of them is "The Only Begotten" of the Father.  I never really thought about the significance of the name, because He has many names and I figured it was just another one.  It never really called my attention.  But then I got to thinking that all of us are children of our Heavenly Father - we are all begotten of Him.  So why is Christ called the Only Begotten?  I thought it had something to do with the Atonement or something like that, but it has a literal sense as well.  We are all sons and daughters of God, but we all have earthly parents (or parents of our bodies) as well.  For Christ, however, the Father is the father of His spirit and his body, and this trait is unique to Him and only Him.  Thus, He is the Only Begotten Son - in the flesh.  Really obvious if you think about it, but I thought it was pretty interesting.  I told my companion and he laughed because I just now made the connection haha.  It was funny.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Small World

BREAKING NEWS:  Summer has officially ended here in Paraguay!  According to the calender, yesterday was the last day of summer here.  ¡Por fin!

How´s everyone doing today?  Still sleeping, I´m sure.  It´s 11:14 am here, probably 6 or 7 there.  Here´s a nice Paraguayan email to wake up to!

This past week was pretty good.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  We have 2 people with baptism dates - a 14 year old boy for 3 of april and a 21 year old girl for 17 of april.  Keep your fingers crossed!  This week will be a little different.  Usually we have interviews with President Callan every change about the time we have zone conferences.  Usually our interviews are in Asunción in his office.  But this change, he and Hermana Callan are coming to every single pention in the mission to check it out and do interviews.  Yikes!  Needless to say, we have to do a little cleaning haha.  We don´t know what day or time he´s going to come, so we have to be ready.  Kind of exciting, that should be fun.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My First Confimation

Hey hey everybody!

So first of all, got some birthday shoutouts to do that I couldn´t do last week and that are coming this week.  HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...
Great Grandpa!
Uncle Matt!
Aunt Jody!
Jabba Jake!
Love you guys and hope it was/will be great!

Now, Rick and Cindy, I have a job for you.  There´s a guy here in Asunción that makes special custom leather scripture cases.  I need you guys to find out about Bryce´s scriptures he´ll be using in the field so I can get him some cases made.  What size will they be (other than standard, if they´re extra small or the old guy big kind) and if it´s a quad or the bible and a triple combination.  If you could have my parents email me the info (or you guys can email it to me) then I can get some made for him.  When they´re done I´ll send them to your house and you can send them to him, or you can send me the address to his mission home when you get it and I can send it straight to him.  Up to you!

Side note before I forget - this is my new email:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God Lives!

God lives.

Do you want to know how I know that God lives?  I know because He answers prayers.  He watches us, helps us in ways we don´t always see or notice, and when we need it the very most, He steps in.  From my recent and rather dark experiences, I know this for fact.

I remember the story that Joe Watkins taught in Sunday School one week.  He was talking about the way silver was refined in the olden days.  This was the story:

To refine silver in the ancient times, a specific process was used.  The piece of silver is held in the fire for refining.  It was held in the center of the fire, in the hottest part of the flames.  But the person watching over this little piece of silver has to be very careful.  He cannot leave for even a few minutes or take his eyes off this tiny piece of silver.  Why is his committed attention so important?  If he takes the silver out of the flame too early or too late, it is ruined and cannot be fixed.  So how does the watchman know when the silver is ready to be taken out of the flames?  When the fire reaches its hottest point, the silver is perfectly refined when the watchman can see himself in the piece of silver.
So it is with our lives, and our Father in Heaven.  We are put into the refiner´s fire, tried, and pushed to our limits.  We have trials that sometimes seem to never end, and we feel completely and hopelessly engulfed in the flames.  But just when the fire is its hottest, just when our trials become unbareable, our watchman the Father sees a little bit of Himself inside of us and steps in not a moment too late to save us from the inferno.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Teaching Here is not Easy, but I'll keep trying.

In like 3 weeks, I'll have 6 months on my mission.  Demasiado mucho ya.

No sé porque, pero quiero escribir un poco en español esta semana.  Ya puedo hablar muy bien, y entiendo casi todo.  Voy a volver a casa y solo hablar en español y guaraní para molestarles a ustedes.  Jiji.  Soy maldito.  Pero mañana, vamos al templo.  Estoy muy animado por esta actividad.  Hace mucho que yo pude asistir al templo.  Nos vamos a reunir en el terminal a las 12 en la mañana para tomar colectivo al Asunción.  Oy, cosa increíble - garments acá solo cuestan 1.000 (20 cents) por la parte abajo y 2.000 (40 cents) por la parte arriba.  ¡E´a!  Oh, cómo está en Guaraní se dice mba´eichapa jaja.  Muy dificil, pero empezé estudiar con Elder Ganga esta semana.  Estoy aprendiendo.  Cuando entienda los principios basicos, es muy facil y tiene mucho sentido en las reglas gramaticas.

Ok, enough spanish for one email lol.  Have fun translating!  I got the package from bryan with all the food in it - thanks man!  I also got the package for my birthday with all the presents with the little sayings on them - thanks you guys!  (What, did you really think I was going to wait until my birthday?  Haha).  It was pretty clever, even if I have absolutely no use for a piece of felt =P hahah I loved it.  We opened all of them in the district meeting, they were laughing and jealous because their parents never did anything like that for them :]

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Lord blesses you in His Work

Sheesh, in 27 days is my birthday!  I'll be 20, geez I'm old.  I still feel like 16 haha.  But in some ways, I feel like 40 too =P.  It's a funky time-warp thing.  I don't understand, but I don't ask questions.

So next week, we go to the temple on Tuesday!  Should be excellent.  If I'm not mistaken, we get to do a session and baptisms as well, so that will be awesome.  But the bad part is that it changes my P-day to Tuesday as well (we always go on P-days and the temple is closed on Mondays), so I'm not sure if I'll have the opportunity to use the computer or not.  So if you don't get an email from me next Tuesday, that's why and I'll write one the following Monday as usual.  But I'm way stoked for the temple, you can't imagine lol.

This change will go by so fast.  Every Wednesday we teach English classes in the church.  Then this Friday, we have a missionary activity in the ward - Elder Ganga and I along with the other 2 missionaries who work in our ward are doing an activity with the Book of Mormon.  We're going to first give a lesson on the Book of Mormon.  Then we'll give everybody a copy to write their testimonies in.  The ideal situation is everybody can bring a friend to whom they can give that Book of Mormon, but if they can't, they'll go out with us one day and help give it away to an investigator.  Should be pretty sweet.  Anyway, and then we have the temple the next week,  2 weeks with nothing special, the week after is my birthday, and then the week after that is changes.  It's going to fly by way fast.  I'm excited for this month haha.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fish Fish, got your Wish

Hey hey everybody!

First thing's first, congrats Bryce on your mission call!!  I couldn't be more proud of you bro.  Let me tell you, it's gonna be difficult.  Really difficult, in ways I can't even explain.  But it's so, so worth it.  So worth it.  The blessings outweigh the downfalls by 1000 times.  You will learn so much - about the Gospel, about other people, and about yourself.  You'll learn things - things about yourself as well as practical skills - that will help you for the rest of your whole life.  Tuscon, AZ that's awesome man!  Fish fish, got your wish: you're staying in the states speaking English haha.  Poor guy ;]  no no just kidding haha.  You'll love it, and I know you'll do great.  I should be getting more stamps this week or next week, so I'll get you a letter before you report to the MTC.

Ok, secondly, what the heck?  How are we almost in February of 2010 already?  This means only 1 thing - that it's Dad's birthday this week!  Happy birthday Papa Bear, you crazy 21-year-old you!  Haha but yeah, where did my 5 months on the mission go?  It still feels like I'm getting accustomed to everything, or that I just got here yesterday.  Changes came and went on Tuesday, and believe it or not, Elder Ganga and I are still both here for a 3rd change.  That's really, really rare in the mission.  3 changes with one companion is strange enough, but he has been here for 6 months already which is even more weird.  He'll have 7 1/2 months in his mission here in Ciudad del Este after this change.  And he only had 1 area before this, so that will be 2 areas in 10 1/2 months.  Insane, I tell you, insane.  But, it's the Lord's will and we'll keep working.

Monday, January 18, 2010

PIZZA HUT oh yeah!

Hey everyone!  Before I forget, next week is changes again, so I'll be emailing on Thursday instead of Monday.  So don't worry when you don't have any notice from me on Monday, I'll still be alive...hopefully =P

This week wasn't so great in terms of missionary work.  Not because I'm sad or having a bad time or anything, we just couldn't do very much work.  On Tuesday, I was sick with the flu and we didn't leave the house.  If you're clever, you remembered that it's summer in Paraguay and 110 degrees out.  But don't ask me how I got the flu in the middle of summer, I have no idea.  It's the magic of Paraguay.  And then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Elder Ganga was sick and we didn't leave either except for a few hours one of the days.  Kinda a bummer, but what can ya do?  We don't really know what he has.  He has a major headache that comes and goes every so often, but he says its really bad.  It's something else though, we're not quite sure.  We have interviews with the mission president this Wednesday, so we'll ask him what we should do then.  I already gave him a blessing, so we're just waiting for him to feel better.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nothing short of a Miracle

I never know what to put for the subject, so I figure I'll just start putting the date haha.  Easier that way.  Oh, and how funny that last week I told Julie and Cliff to get goin on the Dear Elders, and yesterday I got one from them in the mail hahah.  Thank you!  :D

So this week was great - we had a baptism on Saturday!  It was Eli Centurin.  Well we didn't baptize her, her son did (her kids are members, he is a return missionary and its his mom so we let him do it).  She's the lady who has been going to church for years but could never be baptized because she's living with her kids' father and he would never get married.  Well, with a lot of work on our part and even more help from the Lord, he finally agreed.  I can't tell you for how many weeks we've been fasting and praying for them.  She has been too.  It was nothing short of a miracle that this guy agreed to be married so she could be baptized.  He drank every single day, he was always angry and never said 2 words to his family in the house, didn't want anything to do with the church, and was just plain unhappy.  And then one day about 2 weeks ago, Eli told us that he stopped drinking so much and was actually friendly and talking to his family like they had been a close family for years.  What changed?  We had tried to talk to him before without success.  They all had tried to talk to him without success.  When we started praying and fasting together for him, only then did everything start to work out.  Katie told me in a Dear Elder once about a part in the Bible she was reading for a core humanities class in school that talked about faith, and how faith conquers all.  I've learned that lesson first-hand.

Monday, January 4, 2010

We're going to a Zoo!

Hey everybody!

I need Josh's email so I can forward these emails to him too, so if you could get it from him for me and email it to me that would be great.

This week was good!  We have a baptism this Saturday, we're baptizing Eli, the lady I told you about who her kids are members but not her husband and she had to get married.  Elder Ganga and I talked to her husband and as of right now, everything is good to go.  We just need to make sure he follows through with the marriage, I'm crossing my fingers.  And then we have another guy named Eulogio who has a baptismal "fecha" (date) planned for the 23 of January, so we're working hard with him too!  We're trying to get his wife to be baptized on the same day, but she isn't quite as receptive as he is.  We'll keep working.

Later today we're going to a zoo with some less active members.  Yesterday we were standing outside their house for half an hour at 7:30 in the morning trying to wake them up to go to church.  They haven't been in a couple years.  We figured that if we bugged them enough, they would eventually wake up and just go with us to get us to leave them alone haha.  It worked though, they went :].  Afterwards, they were so thankful that we were persistant in getting them to church, it looks like they'll start going again.