Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mira Como Baila La Panza de Hermana Moore, ho ho ho HO HO HO!!!!

Feliz Navidad y prospero año nuevo! 

Hahaha so let me explain the title before I do anything else.  There is a popular Christmas song here that we hear EVERYWHERE!  It is my fave Christmas song probably ever.  Look it up I think it's called Mira Como Baila la Panza de Santa Claus.  But that means, look how Santa's gut dances! 

(editor's note: I actually did youtube it and laughed my socks off!  There's a million videos of cute little kids dancing to this song, so apparently it IS very popular.  Course now it's stuck in my head....hohoho)

Hahahahahaha, so that is the title of the email this week because I ate more than I have ever eaten in my life!  These crazy Guatemalans are trying to kill me!  But basically, this week I learned what Christmas is in Guatemala... it means giving tamales to everyone you know. and when you're a missionary, you get triple!  
It's actually good

So all day on the 24th we went from house to house unintentionally collecting tamales.  By the end of the night we had eaten 5 each and had 20,  I'm not exaggerating, 20 tamales in our fridge! We had to keep stopping off at the house to drop off tamales!  But wow, I felt so incredibly loved on Noche Buena, the 24th, people just kept giving us tamales!  

And when we finally got to our dinner appointment, we were stuffed, but we ate anyways!  We spent Christmas Eve night with the Muñoz familia.  

They are so amazing, they are the family that introduced us to Jerico and his family and continue working with them and bringing them to church!  I ADORE this family!  I felt so at home with them!  We had quite the spread of tamales, of course, grapes, apples, ponche, christmas cookies! So good.  IDK if I have explained ponche yet but it is like apple cider but with coconut and apples and grapes and raisins!  It's bomb.  And there is a tradition here of Christmas grapes and an apple!  At midnight you eat 12 grapes and make 12 wishes!  And an apple too I guess?  IDK I never really got that part,  I just ate the apple!  We had permission to be out later that night so we got home at like 10 pm! Yeah!  I felt so cool! :) 

Christmas morning we woke up at 6 30 and ... didn't make breakfast.  We had everything to make egg nog french toast but we were so dang full!  Oh but we did have a little cake that our neighbor brought us! haha!  But we ate our grapes and made our wishes and felt happy.  Then I got to SKYPE MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!  The screen didn't move the whole time but I was so happy to hear their voices!  Ahhhhh.  I adore my family!  You are too good to me!  It was so so so fun talking to you, although I can't really remember anything.  It was all a blur!  But it made my whole week!  I feel like I was just floating around!  Afterwards we went and celebrated Christmas the right way with the zone at .... a Chinese restaurant!  "fa ra ra ra ra...... ";)  It was so good!  
With Elder Ruiz (AKA Santa) at the Stake choir activity

Our zone leader surprised us with these huge gift bags from his family!  His ward at home made Christmas gifts for every single member of our zone!  Complete with body wash, tooth brushes, tooth paste, candy, other fun stuff like pens and note pads!  I was dying!  Thank you so much mysterious Utah ward!  You made our Christmas! 
Look who I saw!  Hermana Pister!  My love She is the new mission nurse!

Then we went out and tried to work.  We ended up just meeting with recent converts and menos activos!  We had a Christian music jam session with one of our recent convert's entire extended family!  I just love families!  Then we went to visit my favorite girls and Jerico!  They gave us, surprise, tamales.  We shared a message with them and then it started to pour!  Like the hardest rain this month!  So we were stuck at their house for like two hours because we didn't have umbrellas or anything!  I got a ton of fun pics with them!  I adore those kids!  I finally got a pic with my favorite little Marisol where she was smiling.  Let's just say she doesn't like to smile!  It was so fun!  After that, Christmas activities ended!  They are gearing up again for tomorrow!  Año Nuevo!  Haha I'm sure that will be a whole other crazy story! 

Someone handed me their camera. I was a little stoked.

My sweet Jerico on the far left as Joseph

tamales at ward convivio

We had a Secret Santa gift exchange as a zone.  

Oh and we had a multi zone Christmas activity!  We had a comb lunch and watched a movie!  It was cool to see a bunch of people! :)
I had Elder Wight and he had me. Hilar. I got oreos and peanut butter BOMB!

Hmm what else?  Oh before Christmas, we sang in the parque as a zone and it was so fun!  People came up to us all week and they were like, "Hey I saw you singing in the park!"  Aw yeah! so that was way fun.  

Really this week was just full of eating, and more eating. and lessons and fun!  I love my zone and my sweet companions that live with me!  They made it the best Christmas ever! 
coro navideno

This week I was just so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ!  And for the love that He has for us and the love of all mankind!  Seriously IDK how I was so blessed to have the opportunity to serve here.  It makes me sad, sorry mom, to think that next Christmas I'll be home.  I mean I miss those people so much, but this Christmas in Guatemala has been once in a lifetime incredible.  There's nowhere else I'd rather be.  I'm so happy serving the Lord!
Love you all so much!  Make good new years resolutions!  One of mine will be working out!  But my diet starts tomorrow ..... ha!

love love love,

hermana moore

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Christmas is in the air here in Guatemala!  These people have so much Christmas spirit!  I'm sorry, just a disclaimer, if my spelling is especially horrible on this email, the keyboard I'm typing on has no letters on it so I'm kinda just guessing. should have tried harder in typing class in elementary school, oh well. 
(Editor's note: I always correct the spelling...heehee)
So I'm on a super Christmas high right now!  We just spent the morning singing in the hospital nacional here in Coatepeque!  We sang Christmas hymns for all the little sickies!  Ah I saw so many newborns and I just wanted to carry them off with me! So cute!  Haha, I probably shouldn't say that because there are def rumors here in Guatemala that misioneros steal your babies... hide yo kids hide yo wife?  Ha! We convertin' 'em all!  But it was so incredible to sing to them!  I just love people, especially my Guatemaltecos!  Especially the little ones!  This sweet little boy came up and wanted a pic with me, "la canchita"-- that means the white girl ha-- and he put his little arm with an IV around me and his little cast!  It was simply adorable.  Until he was like,  "mira, sangre!"  Yeah, I was like, "Okay tiempo para salir. vamanos!"  Hahaha.  
Tonight we are doing a little activity as a zone where we are going to sing in the parque of our town!   We are all going to sing and some of us will be contacting while the rest sing! Lucky for me, the parque is in my area, I'm hoping for like 50 or more references tonight!  I also invited like half of our ward to come!  The central park or plaza or whatever of our town is so decked out for Christmas!  There is a Christmas tree in the middle that is bigger than the one at the Grove!  Take that LA!  Haha, except the fact that it is put up by the beer company that like owns Guatemala, on the sides it says, "Drink it up this Christmas o algo",  pero we just ignore it and focus on how pretty it is!  
This town LOVES Christmas!  There have been parades like every other night!  And we live on the calle principal so we get to hear the music and yelling and dancing and trumpets all. night. long.  Let's just say we haven't been sleeping much lately!  Who can sleep when there are incredible fireworks going on! :)  And we have a great view of the fireworks from our house! 
We celebrated Christmas this week in our ward Christmas party!  It was so fun! I adore my ward! :) They have a word for Christmas parties here, convivio!  It was so fun!  We had a talent show and it was probs the funniest thing of my life.  The elders quorum got up and did a dance to.... viya... payop.... they couldn't pronounce it so they brought it to me and I was like the Village People's YMCA!  Hahahahahaha!  I have never seen that side of these ward members but they were dancin it up!  So freakin' funny!  And the young men did a mix, pronounced meex, de musica electronica.  Ha! These kids!  I was dying!  And probably my favorite part was when my sweet Jerico walked out as Joseph for the nativity scene!  Oh my gosh how that little boy has grown in the Gospel!  In every act there was a recent convert of mine and I was just dying!  My sweet chicas in the young women's dance number, one of them was Mrs. Claus and it just made me so happy!  The best Christmas present ANY of you can give your missionaries in your wards is to hermanar, that means welcome them or be their friend, all the recent converts of the missionaries!  We all need to have a spiritual conversion and a SOCIAL conversion!  They are equally important!  Give these people deberes, responsibilites!  We had tamales and ponche at the party, those are the typical foods of Navidad!  Ponche is like hot apple cider but instead of apples its piña and pasas and coco and vanilla and it's basically hot fruit punch but it's soooooo good!  And the tamales, eh not the biggest fan, almost cracked a tooth when I bit into the seed of the date in the tamale!  Haha, but I'm hearing we will be eating tamales at every house on the 24th. I spent lunch every day this week making cookies for some presents for our ward!  We made peanut butter cookies and wow, took forever; but it was fun and they were good!  It was the best ward Christmas party ever. It's crazy that this is my only Christmas here. I am trying my hardest to do everything and take advantage of EVERY opportunity! Yolo. right? 
This week instead of contacting we tried something new, caroling!  We went around for hours just asking if we could sing to people!  We ended up getting in to a ton more houses and a ton of references!  It was amazing.  I don't really like contacting so we were about to go start off like 3 hours of planned contacting and I was like nope, I can't do this, let's sing in the streets!  It was incredible! One man let us in and his whole family just loves Christmas!  They have the most Christmas decorations that I have ever seen!  Everyone here puts really ornate nativity scenes under their trees instead of gifts. They put up the baby Jesus on the 24th.  They showed me their baby Jesus and oh my goodness.  It is like the size of a 4 year old and it is ceramic.  That thing is heavy!  One of the weirdest things of my life holding this ceramic giant child with real eyelashes while teaching about Christmas.  At least these people are celebrating with all of their all!  I adore them and they way they celebrate! :)   So anyways we shared a message with this family and then he said,  "Gracias hermanitas, because of you, Jesus came to my house today. thank you!"  Ah brought tears to my eyes!  These people are so loving! :) 
Wow the list of Christmas miracles is growing every day!  2 investigators came to church yesterday!  I could have cried!  We were up with the ward choir so I couldn't sit with them but I was like beaming the whole program and just like crying because it was so beautiful!  We have some great investigators right now, we are hoping for some great things for them in the new year! :) 
Last night was the stake choir concert, okay back up Mormon Tabernacle Choir, you have competition! For how tone deaf most Guatemalans are, they did incredibly!  Ah!!!!!! :) 
All in all an incredible week that went by way too fast. but I'm so beyond stoked for the 25th when I talk to my beloved family!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!
Just a thought, this Christmas remember something, Jesus loves all of His children. He loved the Nephites enough to share with them that Jesus Christ would will come, 1 nefi 11, 3 nefi 1.  You are all so incredibly loved, never forget that.  Also remember, He loves everyone else too.  Be His instrument and share His divine message with everyone!  Neighbors, passerbys, the grocery checkout man! Everyone DESERVES this message.  You are a blessing to have crossed paths with them.  The Lord places us in exactly where we need to be to share this glad message with all around us!  I hope my family can follow what Jesus Christ told us and share the Gospel with every creature! :)  Know that He loves you and know that I  love you! 

Merry Christmas!
Feliz Navidad!

love love love,

hermana moore

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's December People!

December 9th:

Wow! its really weird that it is December right now, partly because, uh weren't we just in June?? Where did the rest of the year go!  And also it feels like summer!  I'm sitting here sweating right now! And there is Christmas music playing everywhere and trees and lights everywhere, but everyone is in shorts!  It's summer vacation here so ALL the kids are out in the streets or at the pool.  So needless to say, its not beginning to feel like Christmas here in Coatepeque. 
BUT. I. love. these. people.  And I love the way the decorate!  Everyone has a Christmas tree!  Be it small or HUGE, they've all got one!  And they are so decorated!  And they have Christmas carols playing with the lights.  It's a crack up.  I've literally taught 3 lessons this week with a demented sounding frosty the snowman playing in the background.  Hate that song.  But, the best thing about Christmas here: nacimientos.  That means nativity sets.  These people take the nativity to a WHOLE new level!  We were singing a Christmas hymn with a person we contacted and I was like, do you LOVE Christmas, I do!  And she was like, oh can I show you nuestro nacimiento?  And I'm like heck yeah!  So we go in the other room, or should I say the nacimineto room....... HALF of the room was guarded off in this cage type thing, a cage of lights. she has over a thousand, no joke, figurines all bringing things to Jesus!   There was everything,  McDonalds, a movie theater, T-rex!  Every character from every cartoon movie from this decade was there.  There were figurines making tortillas, Godzilla was bringing a little gift.  We were just like O. O holy crap.  But I guess the moral of the story is that everyone needs to bring something to Jesus because he died for ALL of us!  It was rather incredible! I was so bummed I forgot my camera that day, but I'm so gonna come back and take a pic! hahahahahaha.  Me dio tanta risa!
Me and a demonic looking Frosty!

What else about this week, oh... we had a baptism fall through.  That's probably the worst feeling in the world.  It's just sad.  You want so much for these people and they just choose not to obey!  I could just see the two paths of his life in front of him and how this one decision could lead to such incredible things, like the church and the temple with his family and eternal life!  Or sadness on the other hand!  It was really quite sad.  But after 2 hours trying to get him to make the right decision, there wasn't much else we could do. so we had to call everyone in the ward and yeah, sad night.  But onwards and upwards right?
That's something that I want to talk about actually.  The mission is not a cake walk.  This week was hard.  Really hard.  There are so many blessings here in the mission but they come to us por medio de trials.  You have to work your hardest, amidst trials and that's when you come out with miracles.  And sometimes the miracle is the trial.  If these trials I have had this week are going to make me have stronger faith and a greater ability to help these people, than that is a miracle! I have been trying so hard lately to focus on others and that has brought me my happiest moments! 
This week we had lunch with Hermana Baechli.  

I have talked about her before.  She is 88 and owns a hotel that we eat at a lot!  She is incredible!  I'm not kidding.  I'm naming one of my daughters after her! She told us her conversion story this week.  She was the first convert here in Coatepeque!  Over 50 years ago!  What happened is she owned a casa de huespedes, which is like ... where foreigners or people can live... apartments or something.   Idk how to explain it.  But the elders moved in when they first got to Coatepeque.  She seriously thought they were from the FBI, so one day she asked them who they were and they said well we are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Want to hear our message?  And she did.  She listened and soon she was baptized!  Back then there were only 5 members and they met in a house.  Now there is a stake!  She has been constant all these years!  This woman is so incredible!  She is so nice to us, always feeding us when we don't have lunch appointments.  She always checks to make sure our nails are painted too. :)  I'm sure she was a little disappointed when we showed up to have breakfast all sweaty after the gym! hahaha.  Yep you heard that right, I go to a gym! 5 days this past week! boo yeah! 
So last night we watched the Christmas devotional! How incredible! All in Spanish, but nevertheless, amazing!  It was just really interesting to me though how focused American culture is on gifts.  I'm not condemming it or anything but they don't do that here.  Christmas is like Thanksgiving here.  No gifts you just get together with the family and have dinner and dulces.  Then most people go out and drink and dance but we won't focus on that.  Everyone keeps asking me what we do in the states and I'm like..... uh...... same.  Because really Christmas is all about Christmas morning!  It's just one of those culture shock things.  Like in the Christmas devotional they kept talking about only getting an orange for Christmas or something to open on Christmas morning and I was just like, these people don't even know what they are talking about.  They all have Christmas trees but they don't know that we put presents under them.  just a thought.  But something I loved was how they focused so much on what WE can give this Christmas season!  I keep teaching that to people but I was thinking, what am I going to give this Christmas!  I decided on something.... English.  I'm giving up English! I already have 10 days with no English.  See the thing is, there are a lot of English speakers in my zone and all my comps have spoken English so we speak a lot of English; but I was thinking, how am I really dedicating myself to the Lord if I am hindering myself from becoming more fluent!  So no more English, minus this writing in English.  It was really hard at first,  especially speaking to the English speakers in Spanish... but after a day or two it is just coming so quickly!  I'm thinking in Spanish and it doesn't even cost me to speak in Spanish with my comp now!  Plus it is making me more dedicated to this work. I've started having dreams about lessons and what I need to teach my investigators!  It's just great because I had been praying about how I can get my mind more in this work and there was my answer. Sometimes we have to challenge ourselves to get blessings; but it is so worth it. 
But really, I'm just so grateful to be a missionary.  This is the only Christmas I'll be able to say, Hola, me llamo Hermana Moore y yo soy una misionera de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.  Podemos cantar un himno navideño con ustedes?  I am so blessed to be here.  This mission is NOT easy.  Something that my comp has on her desk reminds me every day what I need to think..... I never said it would be easy... I just said it would be worth it.
It's all so worth it.  Never forget that.  Amidst the heart aches and the tears, it's all so worth it.
Love you all so much.

love love love,

hermana moore

December 16th:

Hoooooooola. I seriously don't know how I am sitting here again!  This week went by way too fast! And ohmygosh!  I completed 6 MONTHS in the mission this week!  How did that happen! I'm baffled! I feel like I just got here!  But wow.  I am so grateful to be here on a mission!  It's been the most incredible 6 months of my life!  And I'm excited for the next 12:)
So how I celebrated, because didn't you know we celebrated every mes when we cumplir meses!  So we bought sparklers from some kids on the street and lit them!  So fun!  Also I got a little gift on that day, it had nothing to do with me having 6 months but one of the families we are teaching, one of their sons, he loves to paint!  So he painted me a beautiful sunset on a piece of styrofoam!  He even signed the back!  Ah I love it so much!  We took a pic together so I can remember it forever!  It was so incredibly sweet!  I don't know how I got to be so lucky as to serve in the country with the sweetest people on earth! 
Also this week we got to GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!  

Yeah!  It was way awesome!  This week is the two year anniversary of the Quetzaltenango temple being open so they invited all of Guatemala to come to the temple!  So our whole stake was there!  It was so incredible!  We also brought a couple recent converts!  The most amazing thing about my mission so far has been seeing people progress in the gospel.  Like the fact that I got to see two girls enter the temple, who just 2 months ago didn't even know what a Mormon was... that's pretty incredible!  This Gospel is one of progress!  And when we really dedicate ourselves to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we WILL progress! We brought Marisol and her sister Natividad, they are the older sisters of Jerico!  I ADORE these girls and can't wait to keep in touch with them for the rest of my life!  I call them my chicas.  They have started going out and doing visits with us during the week with our investigators and wow!  It is incredible!  These girls used to be terrified of praying in front of us and now they like volunteer to say the prayer in front of complete strangers that we just contacted!  The mission works people!  It works!  So yeah, the temple was incredible. INCREDIBLE!  I love that place!  And afterward we went to Burger King, so that was fun! I love this ward so much! I love watching them grow!  We went with one of our very favorite sisters in the ward as she went through the temple for the first time!  So wonderful!   Also a couple in our ward got sealed after almost 40 years being together!  This gospel is for families!   I love it!  
me and my comp at the temple

It was super cold in Xela, where the temple is!  I finally felt like it was winter!  Until we came back and it was hot and humid again!  Haha welcome to winter in Coatepeque!  It's so strange seeing Christmas trees everywhere and hearing Christmas music but it's so hot! hahahaha.  So strange.
It actually rained a bit this week, haha one funny story.  We were riding in the back of a truck to a lesson that was pretty far away and it started raining.  Luckily we had our umbrellas so we just pulled them out.  Ha!  Riding in the back of a truck with our umbrellas.   Then it started pouring!  We couldn't help it we just busted up laughing!   Then my comps umbrella basically exploded.   We were going kinda fast! haha  So we showed up completely drenched but laughing so hard!   I love my comp, she's teaching me to laugh everything off!
Another funny story, yesterday it was hot, of course, and this lady we contacted gave us ice cream of melon!  It was way good but at the end I look down at my shirt and there is just... IDK what happened but I spilled everywhere. hahahaha.  So the lady, who is like 75 years old, looks at me super seriously and says, "No sabe comer helado gringa"!   Which is,  "You don't know how to eat ice cream white girl!"  Then she just busted up laughing! HAAAAAA.  We laughed so so hard! hahahahahahahaha. these people and their sense of humors!  Crackin me up! :) 
I'm out of time already!  Stupid unreliable computer shut down on me like 3 times!  But don't worry, my comp for Christmas is reliable!   Can't wait to see your beautiful faces!
Remember why you are all so happy, because you have the gospel of Jesus Christ!  Share it with everyone you can! :) 

love love love love,
hermana moore

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two Weeks of Miracles

Two weeks ago:

Another week, another p day!  But wow, this week was insane, we didn't have a single day where we could work in our area the whole day.  What with district meeting, multi zone conference, zone meeting, area attacks and the likes.... I don't know how we had ANY time in our area this week!  Our numbers weren't the best this week; but we sure learned a lot!  And we had a baptism last night!  That's all that matters in the end! :) 
view out of the van from our trip to the multi zone conference

SO, last night one of my very good friends here in Guatemala got baptized. She is named Carmin.  
She is the best friend of Gabriela Giron, if you can remember she is the wife of the family we baptized about a month ago.  So they invited their friends Carmin and her husband Alejandro to their baptism and BAM one month later they are now married and she is baptized!  Missionary work works people! But only when we do it with the members!  Please go help your missionaries!  So we have been teaching Carmin for a little bit now and she is just amazing, she told me the other day,  Hermana Moore I think I was born to be a Mormon!  Ah, she is the cutest!  We had their wedding and her baptism last night!  

My comp is a social one so she invited the entire zone and they ALL showed up, with their investigators!  Someone counted at one point,  I guess we had 81 people at the baptism.... that's more than sacrament meeting! 
All the siblings of the groom

Luckily someone in our ward is a distant relation of Carmin and decided to host the wedding, so she provided a dinner.... and I made a ton of cakes! 
serving up cake and an Elder being an Elder

The wedding part was fun, I was the first one to sign the wedding paper as a witness!  You better bet  I'm the first one, after the FOUR HOURS I waited in the Guatemalan government offices to get their paperwork all ready for the wedding. yeah that's something they don't tell you before the mission, all this legal stuff you have to take care of.  I don't understand this stuff in the US how do you expect me to understand it in Spanish!  It took me 2 months before I realized that one of the forms is called a fe-de-edad not a person saying federal really weird!  Hahaha.  But I'm glad all the missionaries were there, they helped soooo much1 couldn't have done it without them!  I am so truly happy for this sweet couple!  We are hoping that her husband follows her example and gets baptized in the coming weeks so they can start preparing for the temple :)  I just love her!  She wanted to get a pic of just her and I so we've got a few :)  Some people are just prepared!

In other news, this week we had a multi zone conference in Reu!  The whole zone packed up and headed on over to Reu on Wednesday morning bright and early!  

We had an amazing conference with President Amado, president of the centroamericano area. I actually met him when I was at BYU, his daughter was my Spanish teacher.   He is incredible!  He literally instructed us for a total of 6 hours and we were all like crying when he had to leave!  He is an incredible teacher and it made me so excited to go out and teach!  Especially about the Book of Mormon!  Wow, our leaders are so inspired!  And then we headed on back to Coatepeque out in the boonies as people say, and went to work!  I really love my zone. when we were in the bus we were all just having so much fun, they are all such incredible people!  I'm kinda thinking I'm gonna have transfers this week so it makes me really appreciate they wonderful people that I have the priveledge of seeing everyday! :)
Another thing we did this week!  Area Attack!  We went to the area of Coatepeque, Coatepeque.  It's the area right next to mine, somehow its even more city than mine!  Mine is more residential like a sleepy little town but theirs is like city!  So we were there all day doing divisions with their members and finding finding finding!  It was so cool.  I felt like I was training!  Their area has some insane hills, like it was comical how big some of them were!  But we made it and we contacted up a storm!  I had two different companions, one a 9 year old and in the afternoon a girl who got baptized like a year ago! She is 21 and wow, it was so cool teaching along side someone with a new testimony! 
This was one of my mini companion for the Area Attack.  She was asking everyone to come to church and handing out folletos to everyone!  gfierce!  

Ah I love this gospel!  And I love being a missionary! :) 

love love love,
hermana moore

p.s.  Notice how I didn't even talk about some type of food I ate this week?  What happened! hahahahahahahahahaha.  Truth is this week was a lot of cereal, we were running around too much! :) and churrasco.... typical Guatemalan meal.... meat. ha!  Tim would love it. 
p.s.s. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Just a heads up that doesn't exist here, we are full swing into Christmas!  Christmas is everywhere, only thing missing is the cold, it's hot!  No more rain though, which makes me a very happy hermana! :) 

p.s.s.s.  What are you thankful for?  Your missionaries?  Go help the missionaries in your ward!  Do it! Do it now! 

Last Week:

What a week!  Looking at all my pictures this week I'm embarassed, we ate so much, literally all of my pictures are of food!  Ha!  So I'm grateful for food!  No really this week was incredible!
Cooking Pollo de Crema with an investigator family.
Hoping they get baptized soon!
Pollo de Crema - so freakin good!

INCREDIBLE!  One of the greatest weeks in my mission!  Oh, most important thing to say... I didn't have changes!  I am still in La Esperanza Coatepeque!  Hallelujah!  But theres a story that goes with this........ 
So we came to zone meeting on Tuesday and I am terrified that I have changes!  
The Sister on the right is going home this week...finished her mission!  I'll miss her.
These are the girlies from my house....my loves.

And what do you know, I did.  The zone leaders wrote my name and a lot of other names on the board and told us to pass to the front to give our testimonies... so I was first. so I go up and just start balling in front of the whole zone.  I'm like, I hope you all take care of my beloved Coatepeque and I will come back one day and visit because this is my home and that was like all I could say because I was so sad!  So I sit down and one of my zone leaders, we will call him elder A, turned around and was like, you are going to return sooner than you think... so I'm like what in the world... then he goes up to the board, erases all of our names and write, amen su area... or love your area.... WHAT THE HECK ELDER.  So yeah, it was some kind of object lesson to love your area.   I could have punched him!  More like my comp could have punched him, but lucky for him I was so happy to be staying that I wasn't mad, not mad that I cried in front of the whole zone for no reason.  Oh elders... when will you learn.  But it's okay, now he owes me a chocolate ice cream cake.  So its really a win win situation! hahahaha
But all that being said, the ward thought I was leaving, I already have 4 months here.  So a family in the ward kinda threw me a despedida!  

That's like a farewell!  I showed up and I was like sorpesa!  6 more weeks with Hermana Moore! hahaha!  We had yum tostadas and a lesson with a family we are teaching!  Oh and of course, I made a cake.  Of course! :) 
Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day!  So this day was awesome!  In the morning for zone meeting we had a breakfast of eggs, pancakes and fruit!  

We all went around and said what we are grateful for! :)  I love my zone!  It was so fun!  Then we went to lunch, ha, and Hna. Guinac made something that I told her mom always makes!  Spaghetti with sausages!  Oh this woman!  She is too good to me!  I could have cried!  

Then we went out to work and had an incredible miraculous day!   We ended the day with a real Thanksgiving dinner at the restaurant beneath our house!  They both used to live in the states so they made us turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans and PUMPKIN PIE!  We are way too spoiled here.  I am just so happy, fat and happy! hahaha!  I love Thanksgiving! :)

too much food.

Oh, this week I gained a testimony of something I had only ever heard about.  Latinos are really nice... I had heard that if you compliment something they will give it to you... yep that had never happened until this week!  The free things I received were... this cute Mickey cut out of wood, perfume, and my personal favorite... earrings... that she literally took out of her ears and gave to me!  I was like noooooo hermana no they are yours!  But she insisted!  So I'm racking up the free things, maybe I should stop complimenting!
So now time for some miracles that happened this week.  I honestly don't think i'll have time to write them all! ahh!
We are currently teaching 5 families and I LOVE it!  It is incredible the difference between teaching one person and teaching a husband and wife and their kids!  We have been so incredibly blessed and led by the spirit in finding these wonderful people!  So Monday after p day we were going to meet with a less active but she wasn't home, so we went out to contact still in hopes of finding a less active... so we are walking and we pass by this shack of a house but there is a HUGE christmas tree inside!  A huge one that is white with beautiful ornaments and lights!  So I stopped and I was like woah, hermanita where did you get that tree!  And then bam, she turns out to be a member!  I'm not kidding! We ended up finding the less active we were looking for and are now teaching her whole family! Miracles of miracles!  It has impressed me so much how much these people LOVE Christmas!  I have seen so many beautiful decorations here in the most humble of homes!  It is incredible!  It has also gotten us into a lot of houses cause I'm always like, "ohmygosh iloveyourtree!" and then they let us in!  
So some of the other families we are teaching are just incredible!  I decided something, this change I am going to teach like there is nothing to lose, because really there isn't!  I've been teaching really directly and WOW what a difference!  These people respond to directness!  We've just been really focusing on following the Spirit and wow, like I said, best week of my mission!  We found 20 new investigators this week!  I have NEVER found that many in my mission!  It was just like the people were there waiting for us to teach them!   We just followed the Spirit and found them!  One man, we were teaching about sabbath day observance and he goes okay what time is church at, we are coming! Another woman straight up quit her job on the spot when we told her about sabbath day observance! That story was incredible because then someone knocked on the door, not kidding 2 minutes after she told us she was quitting her job so she could go to church, and they offered her a job!  I'm not joking, she literally got offered a job 2 minutes later!  We were like jaw dropped so in awe!  The Lord really does do miracles in these days.   Wow, we made a goal with the husband of the woman who got baptized last week and now he is getting baptized!  Missionary work is real, it's so incredible!  
Say hello to the new choir pianist!  Pray for me.  And our beloved ward mission leader is directing.
Again....pray for me.
I just can't even describe how incredibly happy I am here.  I mean there are hard days but for the most part, I feel like I'm walking on sunshine right now.  How does the saying go?  Seriously so blessed and truly, I'm grateful for all of you!  I can't even express how much it means to me when I read all these emails from friends and family, I'm so sorry I never have time to respond but I truly appreciate it!  Keep on keeping on people.  Live your lives to the fullest and share the good word with EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! 
love you so much.

love love love,
hermana moore! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vamos a la Playa......;)

Hola hola!  Another wonderful week in La Esperanza, Coatepeque, Guatemala!  This week was... how did I put it that one time... something about rainbows and butterflies and sunshine....?  Well this week was not that.  Mission reality check for the entire world... missions aren't easy.  Sometimes you contact for 6 hours straight in the rain and have 1 lesson.  But there's no such thing as a bad day in the mission.... there are good days and there are BETTER days.  We just work as hard as we can to have more better days than good days.  And every once in a while we get a best day. :)  Those are increíbles. 
Roomie love! Our neighbors brought over 35 bananas, not sure why.  We made smoothies!  I love these girls so much!  Living with 4 is a life saver.

It's the less than the best days that really make us count our blessings.  I was reading in Romans this week, chapter 8 verse 31... this brought me so much comfort.  If God be with you, who can be against us?  I have the name of the most powerful and loving person ever on my shirt.  I have no reason to be sad, ever!  I know  I've said this before, but when  I'm having a hard time I just look at the pic of my sweet family in my scriptures and remember that at least I've got those wonderful people forever and ever!  And for those who don't have that eternal family quite yet, like a few of the jovenes we were preparing for baptism but couldn't get permission from their parents, there is hope.  Never forget what it says in Romans 8:38-39.  The Lord LOVES us.  He WILL help us!  I know that these sweet little ones will get the opportunity to be baptized one day, but I also know that nothing can separate them from God´s love, nothing!  Never lose hope, learned a lot about that this week. 
A sweet family we are teaching referred by some recent converts. They may be baptized next week!
in other news, we contacted alot this week! ALOT.  Ha and we taught in some hilar places.  My favorite being a panaderia!  Haha yeah we def taught in a place where they make the oh so delicious pan dulce, too bad I saw how they make it... I may or may not be turned off from pan forever.  Let's just say sanitation isn't really a precaution here!  Ick!  But it smelled yummy :)  Another place was a carpinteria.  I felt all sorta of close to the birth of Jesus.  The smell of wood, it was lovely.  And the last one... my least favorite.... in a slaughter house, or should I say slaughter yard?  Yeah we found a menos activo who kills pigs for a living.  Luckily we showed up AFTER he killed the pigs but nonetheless they were sitting there, the pig carcasses, yes more than one.  And he was just hacking away at them! breaking bones ripping off feet.  And the worst part was when I looked over at the tree and saw the intestines and liver hanging on the tree!  What...... is my life a horror movie!?  He had blood all over him and wanted to shake our hands!  I could have puked!  Let's just say I RAN out of that house, we are going back another day AFTER work!
So people, the church is true everywhere and mas o menos it's the same all over the world!  We had the primary program this week! AH!  It brought our asistencia up so much!  SO MUCH!   Miracles!  But the greatest miracle in this sweet primary program was when my baby boy Jerico got up and shared his testimony and D&C 112:10.  Oh my goodness there goes my heart!  I love that sweet boy!  We had a lesson with him this week and we were reading the scriptures and we read 1 nefi 3:7.  So I was like okay Jerico what does iré y haré mean?  And he was like hacer caso?  That means to be obedient... and I was like YESSSSSS!!!!  My sweet convert gets it!  And he has officially made himself the ward greeter.  He goes around and shakes everyones hand and kisses all the women on the cheek. Sometimes I let him because I just love him so much!  Oh and in the lesson we marked the scripture so he could share it in FHE.  Ah, be still my heart!  I love my converts here.  They are my very best friends! :)
This week we made some food, of course!  Ha weren't you all waiting for this part of the email?  I know you were!  I taught the relief society how to make cinnamon rolls this week!  

We had so much fun!  And they loved them!  Maybe I'll bring the cinnamon roll to guatemala!  Also we made fetuccine alfredo for the bishopric!  Oh my I love pasta.  
my alfredo sauce turned out a little clumpy but I just told them that's how we eat it!

I love the food here but sometimes I miss some good pasta.  But it was so weird to eat without tortillas.  I like need tortillas when I eat anything now!  Oh Gautemala, what have you done to me! :) 
burnt the garlic bread. Like mother like daughter!
Funny story, when Guatemalans are drunk, they have the gift of tongues!  I'm not joking they can all of a sudden speak English!  So this man was asking us what the word procrastination means.  And then he started talking to us and was like oh your name is Sister Moore!  Wait what?  It's so weird to hear someone call me Sister Moore!  Sorry but my name is HERMANA Moore. :)  Always and forever. I love this language; but we have met a ton of English speakers lately!  That's always fun! :) 
So today we had a really fun p day!  We went to the beach!  
Tilapa, Guatemala

And the border of Mexico! ha!  I almost touched Mexico!  But instead I just took a pic at the border.
 I didn't cross the line!

  Dang fetch it was hot there.  Then we went to the beach and cooled off a bit........................ HA!  Jokes, did I scare you a bit there?  No we did not get in the water, duh, but we did enjoy a nice ocean breeze.  

We built sand castles and collected seashells and then ate sea food.... haha I know what you're thinking, mom.  I hope I don't get sick.  All I had was ceviche.... its like salsa with shrimp in it!  So I'll uh.... let you know how that one goes!  But I'm really content right now, great p day.  I'm sun burnt and sandy but really happy. :) 
a lovely dock at the beach

Learned a lot this week, but I'm excited for this coming week. I'm working on having faith unto miracles.  Faith is such a simple thing, but it truly can move mountains! 
Well all, I adore you!  Thank you for your sweet emails and pictures, they make my day! 

love love love,

Hermana Moore 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sweating In Coatapeque

Well, good news, winter is over! bad news, summer has begun.... and it won't end until NEXT SEPTEMBER.  Oh my gosh.  I thought I hated the rain but wow now I realize it was a nice refresher everyday.  We just sweat all day long here.  Literally by 10:15 am I'm like did I really just shower two hours ago?  It feels like I just went swimming!  But, I'll learn to love it... right?  Pray for me?
This week seriously FLEW by. I cant believe it's already over.  It still feels like last Monday!  But here we are, time is flying by and I just gotta run with it!  This week we had a lot of cool things happen.  
We learned how to make Papusas!

Papusas cooking on the stove

Finished product 

We had an activity in our ward this week, we worked super hard on it and it just didn't go as planned.  But we just roll with the punches here so it ended up being super great!  That is something I am learning from my sweet comp, Hermana Fusi, she just rolls with everything!  We are stuck here for an hour, hey no big deal let's become best friends with everyone here!  
pie eating contest at our activity

Just live life to the fullest as it comes to you. So at our activity we ended up just playing basketball and volleyball with the people that came but wow, people came!  And they stayed!  We had almost 50 people there!  That's almost as much as sacrament meeting here, so that was a small miracle!  
That's my Bishop on the left.  He reminds me of Uncle Darin

So we are playing volleyball when all of a sudden I turn around and a FAMILY I don't know walks in.  What the what?  So we go up and turns out we had invited one of their sons to the activity just randomly in the street one day... so the whole family came!  AHHHHHHHHH.  So we contacted them yesterday and now we are teaching them!  They rock!  So yeah the activity was a total success, because we got a family out of it!  I'm still baffled! :)  It doesn't matter that it didn't go according to plan, everyone had fun!  I'm really learning how to let go here in the mission!  Getting all Hawaii like Tim, hahaha! 
Oh and a funny note, that family that we found at the activity... turns out I had talked to her before! When we got to their house, according to their directions, it just happened to be the first door I had ever knocked on here in the mission.  I'm not kidding!  Things are coming full circle here in Coatepeque! Haha and funny thing, the street they live on has a grafitied wall that says "death wish".  You can imagine how excited I was to go down my first street contacting on my first day.  I just laugh at it now! Nothing scares me! 
Another thing we did this week was do an area attack in another ward in our zone!  All the missionaries showed up at their chapel at 6 am on Wednesday and then we had breakfast and then we received our "new companions"!  They had a bunch of youth from their ward come to do divisions with us!  

So we were assigned this joven named Browlio!  This kid is pilas!  That means super smart!  We contacted up a storm and even picked up another companion on the way!  He is a recent convert!  We had a great day with them! :)  I'm so excited for the people heading out on missions!  I heard that Natalie Bullough just got her mission call to Quetzaltenango Guatemala! Wow!!!!!!!!  That sweet girl has always impressed me so much!  I'm so excited for her!!!!!
SO I'm a little sick, I stayed in another hermana's house for divisions and it was super humid and moldy, and I'm blaming that on my sickness.  I have this great cough that just gets worse when I'm in the street or contacting.  It's really great.  Good thing Guatemala has no laws for eco friendly fumes, theres so much crap in the air!  But I'm slowly but surely getting rid of this tos, that's cough. 
This week we had lunch with the sweetest woman.  So humble, so much love for us and the Savior!  I adore this sweet woman!  She's a little one, my comp got a hilar pic of me and her.  She comes up to me rib cage, no joke.  

Proof that I'm a giant out here!

They like begged us to come over for lunch.  They have nothing, but they helped us!  So sweet!  I need to learn to be more like them, just so willing to serve!  I love sweet Hermana Alisia!

Editor's note: So I enlarged the picture above to get a good look at a typical Guatemala kitchen and noticed a little friend crawling up the cabinet below the green pot.  I emailed Erica about it and she responded that yes, it was a cockroach and "Welcome to my life....morning, midday and night!"

She wants us to come back again before I have transfers, I'm so excited!  I wanted to make them something special!  It's just her and her grand daughter that live there.  The rest of their family died!  So sad; but they are so strong!
Our relief society is doing classes on how to make cakes and we participated this week!  So fun!  I learned how to make cakes with my hands, no beaters necessary.  So funny being covered in dough up to my elbows!  

And what a workout!  But it was fun!  And I learned how to make a yummy cake! Next week I'm teaching them how to make cinnamon rolls! :)  I'm way excited! 
In terms of p-day activities today.... I went SHOPPING.  In a real deal mall.  In a store like Forever 21! Ah I about died!  Then we ate in a food court.  Oh my goodness.   People.... appreciate fast food for me.  I only eat cereal and yogurt here. and tortillas. and chicken. hahaha  But I miss me some Cafe Rio sweet pork salad! :)  Oh and this morning I washed ALL of my clothes. yep. all of it.  It took two hours and now my knuckles are raw.  Everyone, go give your washing machine a hug!  A BIG HUG!  I'll never complain about doing laundry again. :) 
I actually wrote some letters today so if your lucky, look for a letter in your mailbox in like..... 6 months! :)  By the way, I love receiving letters, so write me! :)  I'll write back! :)  Who knows if it'll ever get there but here's hoping! 

So funny thing that happened this week:  I am famous for my rain boots in this town. HA!  We contacted a family the other day and it had been raining just a little and they let us in.  But in a few minutes they asked me where my rain boots were.  Now understand that I've never met these people before... they were like yeah your big green botas! HA!  They said they've seen me around town in them and they were always so fascinated by them!  Well yeah they are the size of their youngest child! hahahaha.  That cracked me up.  But I think they like them because they always ask me where I bought them! 
Christmas is here already!

Oh and goodness gracious, tomorrow marks 5 MONTHS OF ME BEING ON MY MISSION!  Wow.
Time flies when your working hard!
Anyways, I love you all!  Dearly!  Praying for you always! :)

love love love,

Hermana Moore