Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hoy nunca volvera haz algo bueno

Hola from Guatemala!  So here I am in Guatemala in an internet cafe!  How did I get here!  Goodness there is so much to talk about!  First off... thank you for the prayers.  I have FELT them. and trust me this week, I needed them.  This week was by far the hardest, yet most incredible week of my life! 

So we left the MTC on monday... Julio 12.  We took the tracks and some other train to get to the airport and I actually made a contact on the train!  Woo for missionary work! Then plane! Salt Lake to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to Guatemala.  When we got on the LAX to Guat flight I was like what the.... everyone was Latino!  I know that sounds stupid but I was like oh my gosh, I'm going to a place where there are no white people. AH! and there are definitely NO white people here.  I have seen zero! so that flight was 5 hours then we landed in Guatemala!  GUATEMALAN PEOPLE!!!!! Goodness!  I got to watch the sunrise over the Guatemalan volcanoes from the air. talk about a blessing!  It was beyond words incredible!

Then we landed!  I found a quetzal on the ground on my way off the plane and I took it!  It's now my lucky quetz.  That is money here by the way. :)  So we got off the plane and I was like, who put all this water in the air!  Humidity is real here.  I actually love it!  My skin feels great and my hair is.... eh I don't care.  I'm glad I sent home all my hair stuff... I'm lucky if I brush it once a day.  It's up all the time and curly beyond belief.  You'll see in the pictures. :) SO we got our bags and got on a bus!  The natives that were at the Guatemala MTC were waiting for us on the bus! Such nice people.  I didn't understand a word of what they said but they smile and I do too.  Love is the universal language!  We took a bus from the capitol to Reu!  That is what people call Retalhuleu.  It's like: rayoo.  The bus ride was beyond beautiful!  Oh my goodness this place is green!  It is a jungle, like an actual jungle with volcanoes and beautiful mountains!  It blows my mind.  On the bus ride we sang himnos the whole time!  Haha literally started at the beginning of the himario and got to like 80.  It was fun!  Then we got to the mission office!  I loved seeing the president and his sweet wife!  I was like I don't care that I smell and I'm in the same clothes as yesterday and I haven't brushed my teeth I'm HUGGING YOU!  But they were okay with it.  That's been something great about Guatemala... everyone hugs. well we hug the women.  We hug and the kiss on the cheek, or the other way around actually! Ha!  It was weird at first but now I love it!  Everyone is so friendly. so we had some orientation stuff at the mission office for a few hours and then we went out and worked! Seriously!
Me with President Ruiz and his wife

It was my first time tracting!  Well here we call it contacting! :)  So fun!  I was with a hermana from here and then another that was at the MTC with me!  We taught people!  And surprise, I don't actually speak Spanish!  I speak Spanish in lessons.... but I'm the most awkward chatterer you have ever met.   I'm working on it.  I'm praying for the gift of the interpretation of tongues... because I cant understand a word anyone says!  It's really fast and quiet!  Like I'll be teaching and then ask a question and when they answer.... lost!  Ha I just stare and then smile and nod my head.  So we rode in a tuk tuk around Reu!  So fun!  It reminds me of mario kart!  Hahahaha seriously there are no street laws here, no right of way.   Everyone just goes!  I haven't seen any stoplights or stop signs.  It's a free for all!  Such craziness.  But I love the tuktuks!  After that we went and had dinner at the mission president's house! He lives in the most beautiful house, I felt like I was back in America.  We ate such good food.  I inhaled it because we really hadn't eaten anything since the day before.  Oh and while out contacting I experienced my first rain... or so I thought.  I had no idea!  The past two days have been torrential downpours. Ha!  Rain here is.... hilar. 

So that first night we slept in a hotel. all us newbies. there were.... 26 of us?  I slept like a rock. First sleep in 2 days!  Then the next morning we got up super early...showered and learned the hard way that showers are cold here in Guatemala, as in no more hot water for the next 18 months!  It takes my breath away every time. I might just stop showering and grow dreads, think presidente would approve? ;)  For breakfast that day we had beans and bread and platanos.  I love this food!  Seriously just give me bread and beans.  Oh and I love platanos I could live off them!  Then, off to the cambios meeting!  I met my companion!!!! HERMANA MORRIS!!!!!! Sweet angel saint perfect being that she is!  She is seriously the best!  Mi madre!  That's what you call your trainer here. and she calls me "hija mia"! 
"Mi Madre" Hermana Morris 

I am in Coatepeque, area La Esperanza!  It's about an hour from Reu.  I love Coatepeque!  It's pronounced, kwatepeckay. just so you know.  Oh more about mi comp, she is from New Mexico so were are both "nortes".  That means a white person basically.  She is 23 and has about 6 mos left in the mission.  She is so hard working and helps me so much.  Seriously a miracle in my life!  So we got here to Coatepeque and came to our house, dropped off our stuff and left!  My house is cute, it's pink!  It's on a busy street corner and what with all the houses being cement.... it echoes a lot. 
My house is the last one on the right

Oh and with no traffic laws, you just honk whenever you cross an intersection or turn a corner... so people honk so much!  So that's kinda loud but I've gotten used to it!  And since then... we've been working!  We have a huge area!  It's like 7 neighborhoods.   We live in Santa Elena and we also have Las Casas and El Arroyo and uh... other places!  We walk a ton! and wow.  Windows don't exist here.  Everything is open.  A lot of people live in the dirt with tin huts, literally.  I have taught in humble places.  Oh and there are animals everywhere!  So far I have taught with cats, (little kitties that make me think of my roomie olivia;) ) dogs EVERYWHERE, hens, roosters, ducks, parrots and lizards at my feet.  It's just hilarious! Teaching is great!  We have found a few investigators and teach everyone!  Guatemalans are funny, they love talking, but won't let us teach them!  They always say we are so amazing for doing what we are doing but then don't keep commitments!  Everyone prays for us that doors will be opened, then they don't open theirs!  Oh these people; but I love em!  Yesterday we were talking with this man and he was so nice but didn't want to be taught. I was like come onnnnn.... but then he looked at me and said, hermana you are not alone. the Lord Jesus Christ is with you in every step!  And I just balled!  I'm a cry baby here, I cry at the drop of a hat!  Needless to say, this week has been really hard.  I've gone through all the normal stuff.... Guatemala gave me a nice little welcome gift.... yeah don't drink the water that's all I'm gonna say. but I'm way better now!  My body is getting used to it :)  I will be way skinnier when I get home though!  Ha don't worry.  They are feeding me. ;) 
a weird looking fruit and yes I ate it and liked it!!

Oh another gift from Gautemala... the bug bites!  After the first experience contacting I had about 10.... I lost count yesterday at 40!  They love my Gringa blood!  And they are all on my legs!  And yummy they get really big and turn purple!  I'm a hot mess! hahahaha  I'm getting used to it and they honestly don't even itch anymore! 

Oh everyone is obsessed with my English.  They always try to speak to me and their accents are so funny!  Everyone .... and  I mean EVERYONE wants to learn English.  They love my accent too. my English one that is... they say its bonita which makes me feel good because they laugh at my Spanish one! haha. I have several nicknames... they cant pronounce my last name here... so they call me Hermana Amore, because its easier for them to pronounce!  I love it!  Also some elders call me Hermana Mas.  They were impressed that they knew that more meant mas.  Oh by the way  I am one of 5 nortes in my zone!  Everyone is Latino!  So I understand like zero of what they say.... oh well!  Time to learn right!  Everyone laughs at  my Spanish accent!  They are like.... Califuuurnia? ha! Oh well I just laugh with them!  I'm actually making some great improvements in Spanish.
random pic by a corn field...they are everywhere!

So missionary work is nothing like what I expected. It's wonderful but difficult.  I'm trying to put everything I have into this work so I can get lost in it. It's hard but I'm getting there. 

We have 3 investigators that came to church.  Church here is lovely!  Lovely! the capillas are beautiful and the people are even more so.  Sunday mornings we go around and try to gather up investigators for church... for two hours.  It didn't go too well yesterday. but in the end we had one. RAFA.  I adore him!  This old little man that never shuts up!  I never know what he is saying but when I saw him waiting at the end of his street corner dressed in his Sunday best.... I almost fell to the ground and kissed his feet. after an hour and a half of rejection... that was a miracle. :)  You just have to learn to find the little miracles here.  It's amazing.  I love all of you and thanks for the support!!!!!!!!!!! 

3 Nefi 5:13. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and He supports me. I learned that this week. when I feel alone... I'm not. I'm never alone. 


Hermana Moore!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Somos los soldados

OH MY GOSH. This is the last time I will be writing you on p-day here at the MTC!  I don't know if you quite understand how amazing this is.... NEXT TIME I EMAIL I'LL BE IN GUATEMALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh my goodness.

celebrating last week at MTC!

Anyways!  This week FLEW by. after we got our travel plans last week, its been pretty impossible to focus. mostly we just beg our teachers to tell us mission stories all class time and then we just sit there and get excited for NEXT WEEK!!!!!  Ha!  I can't get over it!  This is real life people, well almost! :)

Soooo, where to begin. I'll start with the title of this email! Somos los soldados means "we are the soldiers."  It is also the name of the Spanish version of the hymn, We Are All Enlisted.  I adore this song!  So we had a devotional this week and it was from an emeritus general authority,  Elder Hinckley.  He was awesome.  I remember him saying at one point that as missionaries, we need to be tough.  We need to be able to endure every hardship.  We need to be soldiers.  So when I heard this I was like, wait... stop. back up.  I think of soldier and I think of marines!  Like emotionless hard marines!  So I had like this inner panic attack because, lets be honest... I'm no soldier!  I'm about as soft as you get.  Especially at the MTC I have realized just how emotional I am!  I swear everyday is a giant rollercoaster of emotions!  It's gotta be the spirit, just heightens my emotions and sends them on a wild goose chase!  And also, lately people have been telling me all these scary things about Guatemala. I feel like they haven't affected me until this week.  I was talking to an elder from Guatemala and he said, "Hace calor, Es humeda, y es pobre. muy pobre." translation: its hot, its humid and it is VERY poor. For some reason when he said that I was like wait... how am I going to relate to these people!  How am I going to know how to live?  I have never experienced anything like what I'm about to experience, and if I'm being honest, I was suddenly terrified.  I started thinking, how can someone like me go teach them and tell them to repent and follow Jesus Christ!  How do I have any right to tell them anything, I don't know their life! (no movie reference intended... okay sort of)
After the devotional that I was talking about earlier, we had a devotional review.  My branch president told us that even though we think we can't do these things, we think can't be tough and endure everything, the Lord knows we can.  It was then that I realized something... I am NOT a soldier. no way am I!  I am not tough.  BUT, the Lord knows that too.  He knows that more than I do... and yet He still called me to be a missionary.  I may not be a soldier, but I am HIS soldier.  Because HE called me, He chose me.  So whenever I start freaking out about the country or not having a right to teach the people... I just remember that heck yeah I have a right!  I was called by a PROPHET of God!  He gave me the right!  When I was set apart I was given the ability, the power to teach these specific people.  I was given the ability to know what they need and to teach them how they need to be taught!  So I know that whatever comes my way, the Lord and I can handle it, because you know what, I am HIS soldier! (made me think of that song, I've got soul but I'm not a soldier... been in my head all week!)
Oh so if you want to hear an amzing song,  just go listen to somos los soldados. :)  I am a soldier!  I can't say it enough!!!

So yesterday we had in-field orientation all day!  I wasn't really looking forward to it, orientation from 9-5:30, but it ended up being such an incredible experience!  We learned all about how to work with investigators!  And how to contact!  And basically what a real deal mission is like!  it was amazing!  I got to do a few contacts in Spanish with some Spanish speaking missionaries and wow, it is so much easier in Spanish than English!  Surprise I'm awkward!  I was like, uh... do you love Jesus? good thing I'm speaking Spanish. :)  Oh and one part that blew my mind, he said just remember this time next week you are going to be bearing your testimony in your new ward.  You are going to be in actual lessons. are you ready?   I was like HECK TO THE YES I AM!!!!!!!!!!!! I was basically shaking the entire time!  I just feel so ready to get out there and share this message!!!

We have been having the most incredible gym times lately!  Ha, that may sound stupid but it is so fun to just let loose and be normal people. We had our last game of sand volleyball... we are basically professional! ha!  We had so much fun.  I definitely broke the "no diving" rule about 30 times.  Whoops!   Ha!  And then we also played baseball this week!  Tim I must have gotten some of your baseball skills because I was the second highest scorer!  Everyone wanted me to be their ghost runner! So yeah I may have slid into home a few times.  Ha!  So so so fun.  We played with a bouncy ball and a crutch. :)  I wish I had gotten a picture!

Oh I watched a devotional recording this week.  Oh my goodness, I wish it was available outside the MTC because it changed my life.  It's called "Characters of Christ" by Elder Bednar.  He is intense!  But basically it talks about what "character" is and what the character of Christ is.  Elder Bednar defined character as: moral qualities strongly developed, strikingly displayed and consistently lived!  He then said that the character of Christ is TURNING OUT when the natural man in all of us would selfishly turn in.  Wow!  How true is this?  Christ was never, ever, self-centered.  He, in every situation, was looking to help others and bring them the truth. even on the cross.  He was making sure His mother was taken care of and preaching, literally doing missionary work, to the other two being crucified!  What an example!  It just baffles me.  So he encouraged us to buy a small inexpensive copy of the book of Mormon and find the character of Christ!  Well I bought a pocket-sized one and I have been loving doing this!  I am already almost done with 2nd nefi and there is literally an example of the character of Christ on every single page!!!!!  I'm not kidding people!!! :) I so encourage you to do this!  Just read the Book of Mormon, like a book, and look for the character of Christ.  It is reminding me every second to be more Christ like and have more charity! :)

So I am STOKED BEYOND STOKED to leave the MTC and enter the campo, but I am devastated to be leaving my sweet district.  I LOVE my elders!  They are the sweetest and most incredible examples!!! I am constantly baffled by their amazing testimonies!!!  Everyday we become even closer! It just amazes me that I didn't even know them 6 weeks ago!  I love them like my brothers and they will do incredible incredible things in their respective missions! :)

a friend from CO - we both dated the same guy!
Oh last Sunday we sang in Sacrament meeting!  The hermanas and I sang "Oh Jesus Thou Who Wearest A Crown" to the tune of "If You Could Hie To Kolob".  It's the same song that Hannah and I sang in church at BYU!  It was so fun to sing and we had one of our elders accompany!  Maestro!  He was incredible!  This Sunday was literally las hermanas show!  We all did something!  Sacrament meeting here is a little different, they let you know if you are speaking about 30 seconds before you speak!  So I saw the bishop give me this weird look before sacrament meeting started so I was like, help I'm speaking..... here goes nothing.  But instead, he called Hermana Pister to speak!  I gave the closing prayer!   Hermana Webster directed music!   She has never done it before so she was terrified!  She ended up figuring it out eventually!   Luckily none of us look up from our himnos because we don't know the words in Spanish!  So it all works out :)

obviously not in our Sunday clothes
This Sunday we are singing "Placentero Nos Es Trabajar" as a district in church.  We have practiced it a few times and it always makes me cry.  Those elders!  That song!  Power, people!  Power!

I filled up my first study journal this week!  Ha, people tell me I should write less... but I just love studying the scriptures!  I bought a HUGE one for my next one!  It's really pretty and it has a picture of two hermanas on the front and it says, "If ye have a desire to serve, you are called to the work!"
studying outside:)

I truly believe that!  This is the most rewarding work I have ever done!  I am trying to work my hardest everyday.  I want to be able to say I did everything I could on my mission to invite others to come unto Christ!  I am the happiest I have EVER been and I don't regret this decision for a second. Deciding to serve was the best thing I ever did.  More like this mission is the biggest blessing ever already, and I'm not even out in the campo yet!

As always, THANK YOU for the letters and packages!  All of you, you have no idea how much I appreciate your love and support!  It brings tears to my eyes.  I'll write you all back today I promise! Love you so much!

Talk to you next time, FROM GUATEMALA!!!!

PS: 2 nefi 2:30. the reason we serve, the same reason He serves.

Hermana Moore

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The End Is Near....haha:)

Wow! Here I am again! Week 5, done! and I have been here for one month as of today! Oh and BONUS I leave in TEN days!  Oh my happy, happy day!  I seriously can't believe I'm leaving here so soon!  It has gone by so fast!  Yesterday we got our travel plans! We leave the MTC on Monday at 6pm, fly out of Salt Lake at 10 pm and then fly from LAX to Guatemala at 12:01 am.  We land at 5:50am in the land of endless spring!  From there, who knows what happens!  Who cares!  Ha!  I literally screamed and cried when I got the travel plans!  Oh the little things. 
travel plans!

So this week was another amazing week here at the MTC! This week I feel like I learned so much about prayer and studying. I love studying!  Have I said that yet?  Because I do!  I'm obsessed with the topical guide. I have been studying about angels and the resurrection lately. Oh and phrases like: Humble seekers of happiness, Rest in the Lord and Children of Light! Highly recommend all of those study topics to everyone!  Blowin' my mind! Sometimes I'll be reading the scriptures and I'm just like, wait, was this here before?  Have I ever read this?  Did I ever read any of this ever?  Because I don't know how I could have missed this stuff! :)

So this week I was called to be Sister Training Leader! Its fun! I get to talk to all the girls in the zone every night and love their guts out! :) Buuutttt, they are dissolving our zone after we leave because they dont have enough missionaries to fill it... so I am STL over 4 sisters!  Woo!  It's fine and I'm loving it :) I'm just happy for another opportunity to serve:)
random funny picture
So Sunday was fast Sunday. Ha fast Sunday isn't the easiest when your companion is hypoglycemic and needs to eat!  But Hermana Webster and I made do and just prayed all day to make our fast easier.  I love fasting. :) and dinner after fasting.  It just makes me grateful for food:)  But we also had mission conference on Sunday and that was really cool!  It's like stake conference and it was incredible!  There was this amazing viola solo and it brought the spirit SO strongly.  We also heard from a group of missionaries that are actually serving their missions here at the MTC!  There is a group of 10 of them and they all work on digital missionary work!  So on mormon.org when you see the "chat with a mormon" button, that's them!  They are on our floor in our classroom building so we see them a lot! They are incredible!  One of them spoke and told us how he had been teaching a man from New Mexico over skype, phone calls and facebook messaging for a year and a half. The elder's name is Elder Boardman.  He has physical disabilities but that didn't stop him from baptizing this man in person last wednesday! after a year and a half! his joy was incredible!  I am just so amazed that this work can be done in so many different ways!  Technology is such a blessing and I am excited to utilize it in missionary work soon!  I mean we don't expect them to give us iPads in Guatemala... haha that would last like a day... but I am excited to see what they have us do! :)

Oh my goodness, we have the best teachers here at the MTC! I think they are all angels. Seriously, the most incredible people I have ever met!  This week we said goodbye to a teacher. :( Hermana Kitto is the sweetest soul that exists in this world. ever. I adore her!  We have alot of the same clothes so we planned a twin day!  We wore the same dress, thanks Downeast!   I just loved being twins with the greatest RM ever!  So the investigator she plays, Elizabeth, is getting baptized!  You know, if you had told me after our first lesson that we would have a baptismal date for her a few lessons later, I wouldn't have believed you!  But hearts change!  The Lord works miracles!  And women can share the Spirit with each other!  I don't know what it is, but it is somehow so much easier to connect with women!  I mean we just say a prayer and all of a sudden we are all crying and it's like a big group spiritual hug! :) But saying goodbye to Hermana Kitto was so hard.  I wish she could come with us!  Be my trainer!  Slash be my sister! Ah!  She gave us all these sweet notes and even somehow sneakily wrote in our journals!  On missions everyone has like a yearbook/notebook thing where all the people you love write in it before you leave them!  So she was the first one in mine!  I told her after my mission I'm going to be her live-in nanny or something.  It will happen!  Oh Hermana Kitto!  We love you!
So when Hermana Kitto left, we gained a substitute!  Hermano Bulloch.  Goodness.  This teacher is to the elders what Hermana Kitto was to us!  They are OBSESSED with him.  Several times they were like,  "You're such a Homie!  We love you!  Come live with us!"  No joke.  At one point he was telling a story and I looked over at our elders and a row of 5 of them were looking at him, mesmerized all with their hand on their chins.  Like there wasn't another person that existed in this world!  Ha he is pretty awesome!  He is a great storyteller!  I swear that's all we did in class, and we loved every second!  Tim he reminds me so much of you! He is like Brian Regan funny.  And he is stoked on missionary work.  I think our district needed him!  After being here for so long I think we kind of lost sight of why we are here.  We are on missions!  We are going to serve the Lord!  He made us so excited!  He gave us that enthusiasm for missionary work!  Ten days from now we will all be in the homes of people of the world, teaching them the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Teaching them that this life has a prupose! and the God loves them so so so much. I just can't wait. I couldn't even sleep last night! all i could think about was the reality of my call!  Hermano Bulloch said something way cool last night. He said that we should be thrilled to do this work! This is the time in the history of missionary work where we win! We are ushering in the coming of Jesus Christ!  We are like His welcoming party!  He said that there are HOSTS of people on the other side cheering us on!  Among them are the greatest missionaires this world has known! Like Peter, Ammon, and Alma and Aaron! They are the example for us and they are helping us more than we know :)
sorry it's sideways

So this week in the TRC we got to teach a man named Elder Crockett! He is a senior missionary and... well we didn't really teach him, he taught us!  We had planned to go in and talk about how to overcome trials. But when we were walking in I just thought, no. we need to talk about prayer!  And wow, he ended up teachung US about prayer!  We asked him to say the closing prayer and wow!  He was just talking to God. Like how we would talk to our parents!  It blew my mind!  He was like, Padre Celestial, it is a beautiful day today!  These hermanas just taught me a wonderful lesson!  We are so blessed to be here!  Then he basically gave us a blessing.  He blessed us to quickly remember the htings we needed to know.  He blessed us to be happy and ready to go out into the field! that man!  He taught me so much!  Also one of our elders was talking to us and said we need to pray in a personal manner. he said, when we email home on p-day we don't just say... thanks for the letters.... write me more.... bye. We tell them everything about our lives and every exciting thing that happened!  So I have been trying to apply that.  I encourage you all to do that too!  It makes a world of a difference.

Speaking of prayer... it works. this week I have been sick.  Such a bad cough!  But, I'll put it this way... I have been ill yet blessed!  On Monday night during class I had this awful cough spasm attack.  I literally couldn't breathe/ make it stop.  It was so frustrating!  I just wanted to cry. and we were about to teach a lesson! So we went to the bathroom and I just sat there and said a little prayer.  I just asked to be able to teach, I just wanted to be able to serve. and within minutes... it stopped!  Literally I was fine and we taught a lesson and I had another one of those, I actually know what I'm doing look at me testify moments! oh goodness, its sweet when that happens. God loves His children, I feel it every single day! :)

This week we had a filed trip! all the guatemalan missionaries got to go a whole two miles away in a van to the police station to redo our background checks!  Ha talk about most exciting thing of our lives! it was way fun! I love the people going to my mission and I'm excited to get to know them better! :)

acting like thugs, haha!

Guatemala girls
So I got the package from the reunion, mom! I feel so loved! I LOVE MY WHIPPLES!!!!!!! goodness!  So much good advice and I just loved every single card! :)  Us hermanas also got a package this week from the mom of an elder in our district!  So sweet!  Ha we actually got two!  One of brownies and one of scotchies!  Goodness we feel loved!  It was addressed to "Las hermanas bonitas" Ah stop it!  But we seriously love our elders and their moms! :)  AND I got a package from the Vercillos this week!  How you fit that many candy boxes into a box, I'll never know!  But I'm so grateful and I loved every single thing!  Tell Will that I love him and I'm doing our secret handshake as I type this!

we love mail!!!
Oh, so for some reason everyone is under the impression that I'm fluent in Spanish already!  Thanks for the confidence boost!  Ha, I'm trying but definitely not fluent!  I had my first all Spanish day and wow! I only spoke like less then 30 English words the whole day!  The gift of tongues is real!  REAL I TELL YOU!  I love this language!  I'm so blessed to be here! :)   Oh but I definitely had some funny moments. I was attempting to explain the pre-existence to one of our investigators and he asked me why he doesn't remember any of it?  I was like, well that's a golden question!  I was like there is this thing called a candle, when we were born we passed through this candle and it took away all of our memories of the pre-earth life. After we die we will pass through this candle again and remember it all! well obviously I got some vocab messed up!  Turns out the word for "veil" is not vela... that means candle!  Ha, he was literally laughing at me!  Oh well, live and learn! :)

So I love all of you so much.  I want to remind you to pray always.  Never go a day without studying the word of God.  We always kneel to pray here at the MTC and I am proud to report that I have some HOT calluses on my knees. :)  They are gorgeous!  I can't wait till they get black and blue!  I will do anything for this work!  I am so excited to be alive during this great time:)  Choose the right all of you. Oh, and write me letters, because they will be few and far between in Guatemala.  So I love having them now and being able to save them for Guatemala! :)

love love love you,

Hermana Moore!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Two Weeks of Heaven at the MTC - Erica Style

Highlights from June 28th email:

Oh my where to start! I feel like I was just sitting here! Yet it's a week later! Ha! The MTC really is a time warp! :) But felicidades to me, I have officially been here for 2 weeks! Haha truth be told, it feels like I have been here my whole life... but in a good way! :) I love the MTC so much! I have honestly never been happier in my life. :)
Holding a "love note" from my comp
So this week was incredible in a thousand different ways! All week long we were surrounded by apostles and mission presidents and the likes! You could feel their presence! Haha the one bad side of that situation was that they took over our cafeteria and we got bumped to the gym. Ha! BYU catering all week long. It's cool though. They gave us lots of ice cream so we were Happy. Oh and one day we had Cafe Rio. You could say I died. I ate it so fast... Hannah would have said she was impressed. ;) But other than that, we love mission president training! especially because we got to attend the Work of Salvation Broadcast at the Marriott Center! Okay how incredible was that! I was more excited for that meeting than I have ever been for Christmas, no jokes. I was like shaking in my seat! It was so incredible and we are all obsessed with the Apostles! Seriously, they are cool. I hope that everyone was as inspired as I felt! Goodness we have work to do don't we! But I am just thrilled that we can do this work together. This is seriously the best thing. My favorite part was how they told us to just love the investigators! I feel like I have so much love ready to use when I'm out there! They will honestly be scared of how much I love them! I just adore them already! :) When the meeting started I had chills all over my body! Thats how strong the spirit was!!! So, if you missed it... GO WATCH IT! Like seriously do that before you even write me! ;)

Everyone going to Guatemala 7/24!

Goodness I love devotionals here. We had a devotional onTuesday and Sister Janice Kapp Perry spoke to us. She wrote quite a few primary songs and like every efy song you have ever heard. and surprise! She is like 80! BUT... that doesnt mean anything! She is HILARIOUS! hahahaha so she was telling us about how she met her husband and his first line to her... it was the best! Apparently she was doing a test for a clarinet and he said, "those lips were meant for more than clarinet playing!" saucy old man!!! Hahahaha, and then this old man of hers leapt off his chair and ran up to her and KISSED HER! ON THE MOUTH! hahaha! Want to know how to get a standing ovation at the MTC?... do this! It was the funniest thing of my life! They are the cutest couple. She also had us sing a medley of childrens songs that she wrote... haha... and one of the songs, We'll Bring The World His Truth, she changed the words for us from "We will be the Lord's missionaries" to "We are NOW the Lords missionaries"! AH! We are! I loved it! She is a sweet woman! She also sang us her testimony and said, imagine I am your grandma. You bet I did! Love you grandma :)
So I love studying. I am filling my spiritual canteen! hahahaha, I had to say that, I'm sorry. But we calculated how much time we will study on our misions.... 76.5 days. YES! I love it! I love reading the scriptures. and honestly I haven't met anyone here that doesn't love study time. It's my favorite. Class time is fun too. We have two new investigators! they are both our teachers but we pretend really well :) One of them is going really well and the other... we are struggling with! First time our investigators havent been like baptize me!  But I guess that's reality so we are trying everything we can! :) We do a lot of role play teaching as a companionship because Hermana Webster and I aren't very good at chatting... so we are trying to get better! Ha! The other day we were practicing and sometime things get mistranslated / sometimes I cant speak Spanish. I guess I ended up saying,  "podemos entrar su casa",  which is like "can we enter your house?"  Everyone was like, no. that's weird. dont say that. whoops!  Another time I told a lady she could give birth instead of show the light of Christ or something.... I'm trying! Hahaha. But really I am learning so much. We were teaching one of our elders the other day and I had the greatest experience! for the first ime in my life I felt myself straight up testify!  It was insane, I didn't stumble on any words, and this is in Spanish, and I was just testifying and it felt so powerful!  It was the most incredible thing ever! I totally felt the Holy Ghost take control! Ahhhhh, I can't wait to do that in real life! It is just an amazing feeling. I invite all of you to do that!
So I got to meet my mission president this week! What a sweet man! He and his wife are from Panama and are the first Panamanian (?) mission presidents ever! They are darling, and little!  Haha I already feel like a giant! They can't really speak English but I could understand them and that felt incredible. :) My mission president is like a smaller darker version of Elder Holland! the man can testify!  He has such an incredible testimony and he wants us to have the same thing! I am so excited to serve under him!  We asked if we could go to the temple while on our mission and he said, "if you bring a family there to get sealed."... so I guess I have work to do!  But then he eased up a bit and I'm pretty sure he will be taking us!  But really they are incredible!  Such hardworking inspired people:)
So now some adventure stories:) my companion Hermana Pister has been sick this week :( but that meant we got to do some things we nromally would not have done! like LEAVE THE MTC! we got to go to the student health center so she could get some medicine.  This place is a block away! and they let us walk!!!! ahahahahahhhhhhhhhhh! most exhilerating experience ever. no jokes!  We were partying with excitement when we left!  It felt unreal!  Then the sweet doctor man gave us pill bottles full of m&m's! haha!  We took a lot of pictures!  Then, oh my gosh, I saw my old hometeacher Zac Ipson!  Hahaha my companions freaked out a little when I starting yelling at the shirtless man running by us!  But we got a picture together and it was fun to see someone from the real world! :)

During gym time... I don't work out anymore... ha!  We play sand volleyball and kickball instead! I love it! and dad, you would be proud, I finally got my overhand serve down! ha! We usually play with our elders from our district, unless they ditch us for soccer. ha. we love them!  We are all seriously best friends. I instituted love circle in our district so we could bond more.  For those of you who dont know, love circle is when you put one person in the middle and everyone has to say 3 things they love about that person.  Oh except here we call it circulo de amistad.   Elder/sister relations are weird. but it has been really fun and everyone is so kind and sincere!  It's weird to think I didn't know these people two weeks ago!  Now they feel like family! :) And sometimes we feel like they don't like us... but then they leave us sweet messages ion the board!   We are just like their moms. but granted they are all 18 so they really do feel like our sons/brothers.

Oh in the Tuesday night devotional Sister Perry showed us her "family song" and told us to write one for our families... so as a district we wrote one! hahaha. It goes to the tune of spongebobs fun song... :) something like: f is for fmailies being forever, u is for unity, n is for nuestro proposito aqui in the mtc! and then the second verse is : m is for missions all over the world, t is for truth and right, c is for conversion through the holy ghost oh come unto Jesus Christ! haha our teachers... loved it. ha! speaking of teachers... Tim, my teacher is perfect!  You should marry her. WE LOVE HERMANA KITTO.  Most perfect human being ever. She teaches us so much and her and I have a lot of the same clothes so we are going to be gemelas one of these days! :)
I have another bug story! I was waiting in line for something when I felt something on my leg. I looked down and there are hundreds.... LITERALLY HUNDREDS... of ants on my leg! I guess I stepped in/was standing in an ant hill?!?! oh my word. some of them bit me. lets just say people think I'm weird since I flipped the heck out!  I must have looked like a crazy person. but honestly I can still feel them.  I probably shouldn't be complaining since the bug situation in Guatemala is a tad worse than it is here in Utah.  Oh well. I will survive!  Oh other sad news... my CTR ring broke in half. spontaneously! while on my hand. I don't know why but its really sad :(
Okay and thank you for all the amazing packages and letters! I have more food than I can eat in my room right now but I'm trying!  Haha, if you really love me then maybe send me some Dr. Pepper?   Oh and dear elders are my favorite thing in the universe.  Mom, if you sent me one everyday im pretty sure you'll be the greatest human being ever. ever! :)  Except our district leader is always hiding our letters from us which BUGS. but we get them eventually. oh elders. can't live with em (literally) can't live without em.
I love having companions.  They are the best people. I learn so much from them!  Like Hermana Pister is a boss at chatting it up and making people feel comfortable! and Hermana Webster is amazing at sharing her testimony! I am trying so hard to learn from both of them! they say that I'm good at making commitments with people, haha I think I just ask everyone to read, pray and get baptized, so I hope that's a good thing!  Those are like the only sentences I know forward and backwards in Spanish!  It's crazy how well we all get along. we have had a bad case of the giggles this week.  I swear everything we do is the funniest thing in this world!  Like whenever someone calls Hermana Pister (peaster),  "Sister Pisster".... I die!  I literally laugh so hard I can't breathe!  We just love laughing! And it's fine because Hermana Pister says if you aren't laughing hard and working hard then you aren't doing it right. and we are definitely doing both! ha. Seriously laughing is my outlet!  I probably do it too much!

Jet Pack vacuums!

Oh ps I'm sick. :( cough, sniffle. ugh. I guess that's what happens when your companion is sick! I'm taking dayquil and such just pray for me:)
Love you all so much and I miss you! I appreciate the prayers and letters and thoughts!!!
2 nefi 9:41
He is the way. the ONLY way. Never forget that.
Hermana Moore (mas) ;)

This Past week: Pero Ahora Lo Creo!

Oh my goodness! What a week! But really, this week was incredible. INCREDIBLE I TELL YOU!!!

So where to start! Oh, maybe I'll explain the title of this email. So we currently have two progressing investigators which means that we teach them a couple times a week.  They are our teachers but they are acting like people from their own missions. It is a pretty cool thing! I always get a little nervous before we go in and then I just end up loving it! On Monday we had the single greatest teaching experience. ever. We taught Elizabeth, who is Hermana Kitto. We had had a couple rough lessons with her. She straight up told us once, I don't believe what you are saying but I'll listen. ha! thanks! So this last lesson we decided to teach her about the restoration of the Gospel. We walked in and we felt ready. Little did we know that the Spirit would be so strong! Literally in minutes my heart was beating so fast and I just knew something felt different. We were chatting with her and then asked her why she keeps inviting us back. She said that she felt something different with us and she noticed that when she met with us, and other missionaries previously, so had a peace in her life. We told her this is the Spirit. then we all just felt impressed to tell her how much her Heavenly Father LOVES her! I felt His love for her! It was incredible! I had the opportunity to teach her about the restoration when Joseph Smith had the First Vision. Okay. the Spirit gave it actually because I have never been able to speak Spanish like I did in that moment.  I was so excited and at one point I think I even threw my hands in the air. I was speaking so fast I had no idea what I was saying! The gift of tongues is real. I can testify of that.  Then I gave Joseph Smiths account of the first vision. So here is my dirty little secret, I haven't memorized the First Vision in Spanish yet. It's kinda hard; but when I gave it to Elizabeth... I  don't know what happened. I have never felt myself speak with such power. im telling you the gift of tongues and the spirit was speaking for me! It's amazing how when you testify of things you really realize just how true it is.  How much you actually KNOW that what you are talking about is true. We all just sat there like blubbering babies but I don't care, it was one of the greatest moments of my life.  Then we asked her to pray. she always says no but this time she was like yes, I want to.  So we all knelt and prayed and she gave the sweetest prayer. She was praying and she said something along the lines of, "Father, I have heard this message before, many times before, and because of my hard heart I haven't believed it. Pero ahore lo creo."  That last part means, but now I believe.  Never have any other words sounded so sweet.  We asked her to get baptized and she said she would think about it.  After we left my companions and i just hugged each other and cried.  I have never felt this kind of joy before.  Or this much of it!  Now this was on  Monday night and this joy has literally not left me!  Even as I sit here typing! I cant even describe how happy I feel. Alma 26:16.  That's how I feel.  Inexpressible joy.  I literally feel like I floated on a cloud this entire week. It is described really well in Mosiah 2:41... interminable felicidad. never-ending happiness.  People. this is the happiest I have ever been. and it is from sharing this glad message! I invite ALL of you to join in on the happy parade! everyone is welcome. :)

We taught some other lessons this week. We have another investigator named Andreis. he is older and a family man but lsot his job so he is going through a rough time. We have been teaching him and it has been such a cool experience. its definitely different than teaching women... we cant rely so much on emotions. It's a learning experience. We asked him to pray and he said the sweetest prayer!  He thanked the Lord for us Hermanitas.  Ahh, we love him!  That means like little sisters!  I love people.  I SERIOUSLY LOVE THEM.  Never have I been so full of soo much love.  I love it!

 So other than lessons, this week has been full of amazing devotionals. we heard from Sister Sheri Dew, and two men that I don't remember the names of.  But oh my goodness life changing devotionals! one devotional talked about how sacred our call is. people keep telling us that we are set apart and we deserve to be led by the spirit. we just need to be worthy and let him take control!  I love that!  We also learned alot about magnifying our part in this work.  There is a saying, "what'ere thou art, act well thy part." oh my yes! i love this!  The speaker stressed that there are different parts to play in this world.  You are a part. you may be a 5, 8, or a 10, or whatever else.  If you are a 5... be a 5!  Be the best dang 5 the world has ever seen.  Because someone out there needs a 5.  They dont need an 8 or a 10 or a 100.  They need you.  They need YOUR testimony and your special witness.  They need your experiences and your love. so be you. be the best you. Heavenly Father created you just as you are supposed to be.  So now our job is to find our part. and to magnify the heck out of it.  I think I know my part. I feel like I was born for this work. Someone told me that your mission lasts your whole life, you just need to find a way to start it. Well, it's started. and I'm never letting it end!  I might as well just change my first name to Hermana. ;)
4000 missionaries going to a devotional

Oh I have been studying a lot about patience this week and I found this incredible talk.  Please read it! "Continue in Patience" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It was for a priesthood session but I adore it. one line I loved: "Patience can transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels." I love that. A lot of people call us sisters at the MTC "angels". I kind of love it.  One of our investigators called us her angelitas.  Yeah I'm in love with that.  The errand of angels.  Yes. I am in love with that.  I LOVE THIS WORK.

I have been trying to study D&C 4 this week.  That section is amazing!  Amazing I tell you! I honestly have made it through 4 verses in 3 days.  There is too much good stuff!  I adore, adore, adore personal study time.  It's like so fun to search the scriptures!  The topical guide is my new best friend.  I just feel like I am learning so much!

Haha looking over this email  I feel like I need a reality check.  So many people have written me and asked me if I'm fluent yet and what its like to speak Spanish 24/7... ehhhhh...... so we try really hard to do that but it doesn't always happen.  In fact sometimes the gift of tongues is.... not so much absent... but its like just holding back to see what you can do. ;)  Exhibit A: me trying to explain the pre-existence in Spanish! HA!  I guess I said the reason we don't remember anything from the pre-earth life is because we passed through a candle. yes. I need to work on vocab obviously! haaaaaaaaa. my comp was dying and laughing so hard!  Speaking of comps. I'm in love with mine!  Seriously they are my soul sisters from the preexistence.  It's funny because we probably never would have been friends without being companions.; we are all so different but some how have so much fun and teach really well together!  We all have different strengths that compliment each other really well.

Oh we did TRC for the first time this week! TRC is where you go in and teach a Spanish speaker.  They are all members, we just teach them a spiritual thought. but surprise guess who my TRC person was!  President Magnusson's daughter!  Normally I'm not super good at chatting/getting to know someone at the beginning of a lesson, but when I make a connection like I did with her, gosh I could not shut up!  So that was a blessing.  That lesson we taught about joy... and boy oh boy did we all feel it!  Family!  This life is about having joy!  Let's be joyful!  It's just so happy to be joyful and I love it so much :).

So on our schedule there are alot, and I mean ALOT, of missionaries going to Korea. so we see them all day everyday and we have stsrted to make friends with them! :)  They are teaching us Korean. I am getting pretty good! no joke. I can say hello my name is Hermana Moore, how are you, and good morning! :)  They say my accent is good too.  I'm learning the alphabet next.  It's so fun. I love it! :)

OH MY GOSH THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LETTERS AND PACKAGES.  Who are you people!  You are too wonderful!  I got an incredible package from Linds and Hannah with everything and more. i cried. it was beyond perfect and I love them/ owe them my life. :)

So we sing in choir and apparently my face was on the mega tron! ha!  Like just my face, singing. luckily I wasn't doing anything stupid! ha! people kept coming up to me saying hey I saw you!  Some elders in my district told me that me "countenance shone brightly"...that's about as close to a compliment as we get here at the mtc! :)

I am working on translating my mormon.org profile into Spanish.  It's taking forever but I'll send you a link when im done!

we taught a grammar conept in class. I love teaching. I want to work here when I'm off the mission! oh Hermana Pister fainted in class, she is hypoglycemic.  I CAUGHT HER!  I'm the first person in the history of her life who has caught her. ha!

Ah! I have no time!  I wanted to tell about July 4th!  We got to watch a movie, 17 Miracles (so we wouldn't hear Carrie Underwood at the stadium of fire concert) and then eat ice cream and watch fireworks till 11 pm! no bed time! ha! exhilerating!  The fireworks were incredible. I am so grateful for this country.  We had a great district meeting moment of silence and wow. I'm proud to be an American.

ps I love my elders in my district.  They are my brothers.  Their spiritual maturity baffles me!  And wow out of time!  Gotta go!  Love all of you to the moon and back!  Keep writing! :) love love love

Hermana Moore.