Wednesday, February 26, 2014

17 Candles - a beautiful story!

What in the world, fastest week of my life!!!  I seriously cant believe I am writing again, this week went by in the blink of an eye!  Probably because my comp and I were each sick like the whole week, but we still worked and wow, we definitely saw the fruits of our labors! 
Thanks ma for the package and the "ugly shoes"

jumping pictures with my comp cause I live with my best friend!

So remember how last week I got bit by a dog, turns out that comes with some pretty ridiculous emotional stress, yeah I am officially terrified of dogs.  Which is kind of a huge problem since there are THOUSANDS of dogs in the streets here, and they sense fear and they charge at you.  It got to the point where I was literally scared to leave the house, what with the 5 dogs that patrol the street we live on... but we did a few things to fix that situation.  So my advice for if you ever get bitten by a dog in Guatemala which results in an intense dog-a-phobia do this...
1. Get a blessing. I know it might seem silly, but I'm like the opposite of stingy when it comes to blessings now.
2. Read the scriptures. I received in an email from the mission president:  2 Timothy 1:7 which changed how I felt completely.  It says: "For God hath not given us the spirit of FEAR but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND."
3. Say a prayer and sing a hymn every time you pass by a dog.  Basically this means I'm praying all day every day, but hey that's what we are supposed to do, right?
4. Buy a sling shot.  When it comes down to it, I've gotta defend myself.  So now I have a slingshot, called here a "honda", and rocks in my hands every where I go.  I'm getting pretty good aim now! 
So for all of you that have gone through, are going through, or will go through a similar experience, you're welcome. :)
But really, let's just kill all the dogs, I mean it got a little ridiculous when I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday and a dog walked in to the chapel. I thought I was going to die!  Big white husky just waltzed in!  But that's why I have my sling shot. :)
trip to McDonald's while we waited for my comp's parasite exam results, yay!

So as for the title of this email, it's one of the coolest things that has happened in my mission.  SO here in Central America they have this thing called Noche de Hermanamiento, which means like brotherhood night?  Haha it's like a ward activity once a week where someone teaches a lesson and there's an activity and food!  It's like mutual for the whole ward!  It's super fun.  So my area is split up into two parts, Las Flores which is where the chapel is, and Santo Domingo which is a bus ride away and kinda far.  So one of our investigators has been the answer to our prayers and offered to drive everyone to church every Sunday and then even offered to have a separate noche de hermanamiento in Santo Domingo in his huge house!  So we did!  It was so awesome, we were helping him get ready and sweep and such when everyone started showing up!  There were around 40 people there, investigators and members and it was just so happy!  When everyone sat down and we were ready to start all of a sudden the power went out!  Mind you we are in this courtyard outside and it's 7:00 so it's already dark! So we are like oh no what are we going to do!  Then I thought, CANDLES.  Every tienda sells candles so we ran to a tienda to buy as many candles as we could before they sold out.  We used all of our money, which was only 17 quetzales... we are poor, and bought 17 candles.  We then had the most beautiful fireside lit by candles!  We had them on the walls, in the dirt, hanging from the trees.  It was one of the most magical experiences, just absolutely beautiful!  I remember when they were giving the lesson I was just sitting there and just overwhelmed with my blessings.  Mind you this was all happening in the house of my investigator!!!  Ah it was so cool!  I just looked up at the stars and knew that Heavenly Father was smiling down at us. such a beautiful night. :) 
Oh so this investigator that I was talking about, he speaks English.  He lived in Chicago for 40 years.  We went and taught him last night about tithing and I had him read a scripture in Malaki?  What is it Malaquias, who knows, it's in the Bible.  Anyway he was reading it and afterwards he just pauses and goes, "Es true." It was a sweet funny moment. I am so excited for this Saturday, like I said, I've never met someone more prepared in my life!!! :) 
So I'm pretty sure that I'm serving in the mosworld.  (editor's note: Not sure if this is a misspelling or what?)   We now have 6 missionaries in this ward, so working with them is super fun!  We just have so much support from the leaders and ward members.  On the way to church yesterday we had so many people coming from Santo Domingo.  We had 28 people in the back of a pick up truck!  Hahahaha you Americans can't even imagine that, I bet. Guatemalan style, we can make anything happen.  It's just so beautiful pulling up to church with all these people that you just love!  We all got out of the truck and then all the menos activo families we had worked with this week walked in!  I was like wait is this real life?  YAY!!  One of the menos active families hasn't been able to come because their mom suffered a stroke recently; but we arranged a car to bring them and BAM!  They came!  This woman is one of the sweetest people ever!  She is so little and just has these big happy cheeks and a toothless smile, I adore her!  Sweet Rosa :) 

Basically this week was a miracle, even though I was constantly racked with fear, haha, okay too dramatic.  But even though I was scared my comp was sick and we had to keep going to the doctors or taking breaks, we saw MIRACLES this week!  I just can't say it enough, God is just so good.  I am truly in love with this work.  I hope you all have just the most wonderful week.  Don't waste any time being sad ever.  My motto lately has been "lift where you stand".  Whether you're in a tuk tuk, doctors office, home, or with the members or in the street, do what you can to help those that are around you! Spread sunshine with your smile! :)
Love you all so much,

love love love,
Hermana Moore :) 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Nickname: Hermana Mordida

Subject: new nickname: Hermana Mordida.

Yeah go google translate that one. . . 

Did it?  Alright, story time....
Saturday I was walking down the street on the way to lunch with my comp, we were talking about investigators and such, when she goes,
"Woah look at that dog, its huge!"
So I look over and see a huge dog... but it's running at me. Next thing I know its latched on to my leg and I'm screaming and kicking and giving a nice little show to all the people on the street.  Finally it let go and I just started limping away. 
Moral of the story a pregnant, hostile dog bit me. 
Don't worry, I'm okay, no rabies or anything.  The bite is healing quite nicely thanks to the treatment a woman gave me right after it happened.  You see, here in Guatemala instead of neosporin or soap or water, they use LEMON to clean out dog bites.  So after it happened this lady came up and brought us into her house where she starts cutting up lemons and I'm like oh hecccckkkkk no homegirl.   Then my comp, who is Mexican but from the states, is like no you have to do it!  So I'm like screaming when this woman starts RUBBING a lemon on my open wound.  Remember how they said the mission builds character?  Yep, it does.
So then we are like what do we do... so we decide to take a tuk tuk and go to the hospital to get stitches or have them clean the lemon off my leg or give me a shot or something. BAD IDEA.  Guatemalan hospitals are cess pools of disease and death.  If I wasn't already in shock when I walked in, I most definitely was after 5 minutes in there!  Between the drops of blood on the floor and the man screaming his head off in the room next to me, I thought I wasn't coming out alive.  But in the end I didn't get any shots, against mission rules I guess, but they cleaned me out and gave me a ton of pills.  Oh and that nurse that dealt with me is the devil's nurse, I've decided.  She cleaned my leg with alcohol and it was like she was sand papering. I am trying not to harbor hard feelings against her.  So the AP´s drove us home and we rested the rest of the day because I was told to not put pressure on it.  It was a pretty deep bite, my comp said she saw a lot of flesh.  I didn't really look at it too much, but it's healing quite nicely now and best part is I'm gonna have a sick scar to show my kids!
getting my bite cleaned out

haha this is a joke!

There is a reason behind every trial we go through, we ended up meeting a lady that is less active, or inactive.  She was the one who helped me clean it out with lemon.  Now we are visiting them and helping them come back to church.  Isn't it funny how there really is a purpose to everything?  Now the only problem is that I'm terrified of all dogs, and there are hundreds here in the streets and they sense fear... so I've been charged at by like 6 dogs the past 2 days.  Pray for me?   I just end up singing I Know That My Redeemer Lives every time I walk by one.  Let's hope it starts working soon!
Other news this week, happy Valentines Day!  Best place to celebrate the day of love!  It rained super hard that day, surprise rainy season has begun again, and we got drenched.  On the way back to the house we found out that the power was out, and when you are a sister missionary that means to the house.  So we went home and studied and had dinner by candle light.  How romantic! 

hahahahahahhahahahahahaahaha we made pink, heart-shaped pancakes. :) 
pink heart shaped pancakes of course, love you momma!

This week also we had a mutli zone conference where we talked about the doctrine of Christ! I also got to see a ton of sisters!  I saw my comps from the MTC!  Ah those girls will be my life long friends! :)

And I saw my MOM - my trainer, Hermana Morris who goes home this week! I can't believe the time has gone by so fast!  I'm so excited for her though!  Really, when I got here she only had 10 months and now she's going home!  This whole mission thing goes by much too fast!
My "mom" Hermana Morris and my comp and me

But the conference was incredible.  We watched this awesome video of two talks by President Eyring and Elder Holland called, la obra misional y la expiacion.  It has changed my mission.  Elder Holland talks about how in the mission the atonement will carry the missionaries sometimes more than it will carry the investigators.  Something I never realized about the mission is that it's not easy but it doesn't matter!  I'm here to serve, not be served.  I'm here to give my all in every moment and to help people to come to Christ!  How great is my calling!
Overall a great week that went by much too fast.  I'm so happy to be here in Mazate with my companion.  She is like the same person as me.  So funny. 
me and my comp at zone conference

We are currently teaching the most incredible investigator right now.  He is 72 years old and so.... I don't know how to say it.... suave?  He is amazing.  He came to church for the first time this week and drove there all the way from a far part of our area called Santo Domingo.  It's 8 km away.  Then he volunteered to drive all the members from there home from church every Sunday!   Which is a miracle because that has been such a dispute in the ward trying to figure out who would be bringing those people!  And bam, sent from heaven we have Hermano Mesa!  He wants to get baptized in March.  I feel like I'm not even teaching him, he is teaching US!  I've never met someone so incredibly prepared for the gospel.  It's been such a priveledge being able to work with him!  I'm so excited for the coming month! :) 
Well I'm over time and I gotta run!  I'm sorry I didn't get to email like anyone back!  Running out of time!  Love you all so much.
Learn your duty and do it! 
another picture from our trip to the cascades last week from Elder Yergensen

love love love,

hermana moore! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Sooooooooooo, hola from MAZATENANGO!  Yep, I am no longer cold, now I'm just sweating my brains out in the coast again!  Bug bites, ants, and sweat stains, welcome back to my life. 
Basically there is this sad and wonderful opportunity in the mission known as emergency changes. What that means is that your zone leaders call you at 10 pm after you set a baptismal date with a family and tell you to pack your stuff because your leaving your favorite area and companion tomorrow, at 6 am. 
Yeah. but I'm not bitter. 
No actually being serious I am so grateful for the amazing 4 weeks I had in San Marcos. It changed my mission. I will always look back on that time and smile.  But it's onwards and upwards now. Now I am in Las Flores, Maztenango (otherwise known as mazate or mashahtay) in the departmento of Suchitepequez. 

I am in the coast in an area that is bigger than my last zone.  Seriously this area goes all the way to the beach, like a four plus hour bus ride to get to the end.  It's HUGE.  I'm in the area with 3 elders and my comp, and they are bringing in more elders to our area soon.  We are in a huge developing ward that has so much life in it!  For the first time in my mission, I'm not in the city!  I am in the boonies!  Ha seriously everyday we walk through a cane field and a cemetery to get to a part of our area. it's pretty exciting! :)  
the day this man died, i was born!  What a special connection ;)  hahahaha

And my companion,  I am TRAINING!  Well finishing the training of my hija, Hermana Cadavieco!  She is a brunette bombshell from Palmdale California.  I adore her!  She is a firecracker so I just spend most of the time cracking up!  We both want to work really hard so I'm just excited.

Really I am so grateful for this opportunity to have had changes. Someone told me that there is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone.  I'm DEFINITELY in the growth zone again.  How incredible is it that the Lord loves me enough to challenge me?  Truly I have nothing to be sad about.  I am living the dream, just now I'm living it in Mazate :) 

So this whole week I've been dousing myself in bug spray and spending all my money on tuk tuks! Yep, this area has tuk tuks!  It's pretty fun. but its 10 quetz every ride, so I'm basically broke. if you guys want to start an Erica´s tuk tuk fund, that would make my year. :)
This week we traveled a ton because we are working in a huge town that is not in Mazate but is in my area.  It's called Santo Domingo and it's 8 km from my house.   Everyday we get on a bus and ride down there and work our butts off, we talk to everyone that smiles at us and we teach all day long!  I feel kind of like I'm opening an area because my comp didn't really know much about the area, she's a new missionary I don't blame her, so we are trying new things and just working really hard.  The elders in our ward are having a ton of baptisms right now so we are.,.. supporting them?  Haha, no I'm not worried, I know that I am being a successful missionary as long as I am happy and serving others. :) 
Remember when I swore off pan?  If you didn't know that then now you do, I stopped eating pan because I was getting a little tubby, but then my comp is like hey I'm gonna buy you pan all the time so uh.... we started working out.  You are all probably sick of hearing me say that time and time again but yes, I've gotten back on the horse and we are gonna work out! :) 
dirty feet.  Sweat and dust turns into muddy, nasty feet!

(Editor's note:  I'm scheduling a pedicure the day she gets back, yikes!)
This week we received a reference of this 15 year old girl, come to find out she is the oldest taking care of her 4 younger siblings because her parents went to the United States 3 years ago.  It's one of the saddest things I've ever seen.  It breaks my heart to see all these families separated just because they all want to go to the states.  Can I just tell you all to appreciate your country?  It doesn't matter who is in charge, we live in an amazing place and so many people only dream of going there, others leave their 5 kids and go... but really, appreciate it.  It's a big blessing.   Anyway we are teaching them and they just have so much faith it is so inspiring! 
Can I just tell you how fun and worthwhile it is to train ?  My daughter is the best.- she is so full of cool good ideas and wants to work so hard!  She told me, we are going to talk to every person that smiles at us when we say buenos tardes.  So we did it!   We met so many people, a few menos activos that have been waiting for an invitation to go back to church, a man that was disappointed when the missionaries didn't pass by to bring him to church, and so many more!  I love her! and I love being her half or quarter mom, since she doesn't have that much of her training left.  She calls me her hot, young, cool, half mom.  Ha, she's a riot.  She's actually older than me by a month but she's awesome!
Today we went to a waterfall!  It was by far the prettiest waterfall I've ever seen. I felt like I was in Hawaii!  I'm just so blessed to be here! :) 

Well I'm off now, sorry there wasn't much this week, basically it was a lot of contacting and sitting on buses this week.  But know that I'm working really hard and praying even harder.
Something my comp told me this week,  "When life gets hard get on your knees to pray, then get on your feet and WORK".
I'm off to Taco Bell, I love Mazate because it's so developed!  Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, paiz! Hallelujah! :)

love love love,
hermana moore

p.s. biggest blessing of this new area, my house has a couch.  A COUCH!!!!!!!!! tender mercies. :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


the hermanas de las montanas!

HOLA HOLA!   Another week of miracles here in San Marcos! 
First off, to explain the title, we were teaching someone this week and I asked her, why do you think we are here right now?  What do you think we are doing as missionaries?  And she answered: misionando? ha!  People here make up words all the time.  I've heard, evangelizando, predincando (which is actually a word) but my favorite is misionando!  That literally means missionary-ing.  So yeah I'm just doing my thing missionarying here.  And I'm loving it!
Me in front of the namesake for our ward, the Palacio Maya :) It's so cool!

So this week was incredible, calm after the storm they say?  We were just flooded with blessings this week!  This week we had a few area attacks, where you all go to an area and contact to help the other missionaries, and we didn't really want to go, but we did and the Lord blessed us!  On Tuesday we met this sweet girl who is going on her mission to Costa Rica in April!  She isn't working or studying so she was like hey can I go to citas with you everyday?  Um, heck yeah you can!  It has been so fun teaching her!  She is incredible!  We told her when we were going to our first cita that she would be doing all the baptismal challenges, which is exactly what our mom told us- hard love right?- and she was incredible! Challenging everyone to baptism!  Best part, her name is ERICKA!  Basically she is my soul sister! Cutest girl ever!  She will be an incredible missionary!

Speaking of teaching things, I'm teaching my companion English.  It's a riot.  She is awesome but sometimes we have some hilarious word switching going on.  Like when I taught her head lights and she can only say head lice?  Ha, I adore her!  The same with some expressions.  I taught her a few, like "are you kidding me?" and "you're killing me!"  But she has combined them together into, "are you killing me??" HA!!  I'm trying to explain the difference but eh... it not working.  One thing we do have down is "lets cross!"  That's for every time we cross the street!  She's cute.  Have I mentioned that I love my companion yet?? I LOVE MY COMPANION!!!!!!!

Other thing I taught this week: cinnamon rolls!  Yeah!  My comp was sick so I was with  hermana Betancourth and we taught all the ladies in Sociedad de Socorro how to make my fave thing ever!  It was so fun!  We have some professional bread makers in that group too, so they insisted on kneading the masa for like 30 minutes!  Hilarious!  These women are tough and so strong!  I was like what in the world, this is kneading! more like murdering!  But it was so good!

It was awesome because we had an investigator there so to use all the time we watched the movie the Testaments while the masa was rising.  It was incredible!  Our investigator felt the spirit so strongly!  Then after everyone left we had a mini lesson with her and it was just incredible!  I love finding people that are so prepared!
So Hermana Betancourth and Hermana Morris (my mom!) came to visit us for 4 days this week!  They are the hermana lideres in the mission so they come and do divisions with us!  It was so fun!  We really learned a lot about challenging people to baptsim and being more effective in our lessons.  Basically now we challenge every body to baptism when we contact them and challenge them with a  a baptismal date before we leave!  It's nuts!  But it helps us find those who are truly prepared!
Our mom, Hermana Morris

the six of us this week.  We love it when the hermana lideres come to visit!

We went to help out the elders this week with an investigator to help her have more confidence or trust in the missionaries.  We went and taught her how to make these french toast sandwiches that we learned how to make on Monday!  So fun!  But I wasn't expecting to be cooking over a fire.  So that was new.  And I definitely know the the Lord blesses his missionaries because that place was anything but sanitary, cats were being born under the stove!  But I survived and now she's getting baptized!  Yay for working together in the ward!   We went to their area and its this place called Piedra Grande, or big rock.  It's way the monkey up the mountain, my calves can testify to that!  Such a hike!  We now know why its called piedra grande!  There are HUGE rocks everywhere!  They are from a volcano that exploded forever ago and it threw big boulders everywhere.  It was so beauitful!  We could see all of San Marcos.  Such a beautiful place. I live in the most beautiful place in the world!

Today we went to a Quetzal reservation and it's where the national bird of Guatemala , the Quetzal, can live in peace. :)  It was kinda the coolest thing ever because people told me when I got to the mission that I would never see one because they're all in the north but HA!  I saw one! It's so beautiful!  
(editor's note: she said she sent a picture of the bird but it was a duplicate of a picture of her and her companion.  Hopefully we'll get it next week.)
There were waterfalls and bridges and beautiful views and pure water to drink!  Then the hermanas and I went to a fancy restaurant in a hotel because we are sick of janky street food!  I love good food.  That will never change! :)

Drinking water from a stream. Pray I don't die!  No, they say it's pure.  Let's hope at least!


I have been reading from the Book of Mormon a lot lately.  Every time I need comfort or am having a hard time I just open that book.  I've got a pocket sized one in English, and I just start to read.  It always brings me such comfort.  Last night I read 3 nefi 18:21.  It's exactly what I needed!  The other day, 2 nefi 31:10.  I just love this!  If people really want to follow Jesus Christ, like everyone and their mom says here, they need to follow the commandments!  So I just thought, hey all you people here,  I'm not making this up!  You have to be obedient! 
Fast Sundays in any ward are beautiful, but I think yesterday was one of my favorite fast Sundays ever. The highlight was when a 3 year old girl went up and said, "I love Jesus because I can get married in the temple and have eternal life!"  Amen to that sister! :)
Really I have been incredibly blessed this week. The members have really stepped it up.  We had more lessons that I have ever had with members before!  We had quadruple the amount of lessons with members than without!  I'd like to call that hastening the work of salvation.  I've just felt so happy lately.  Something my district leader said really explains it well, something like, "Keep walking on sunshine Hermana Moore."  Gladly. :)
I recieved an amazing package from home this week! THANK YOU! I NEEDED those tights so badly!  Now I'm not gonna die!  The scarves are beautiful!  A cold front has moved in and I'm basically dying, but less so with the amazing scarves and tights and sweaters, thank you mommy!  It smelled like the house, (baggy moment!).
My lucky penny!  I found a centavo in the street! First time I've ever seen one, they don't make them anymore because they'e worth nothing.  But I was so happy. Lucky!

Oh and I would just like to take a moment to freak the heck out that 
MY BROTHER IS ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I couldn't be happier for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh my gosh!  Tim and Katie,  I'm so pumped for your wedding!  You'll be able to feel my excitement from Guatemala! :) Such a cute couple! 
Love you two! :)
Alright.  Well I'd better go!  But I love you all!  Choose to be happy this week!  No matter what situation we are in, it's up to us to decide how we react!  Choose HAPPINESS! :)

love love love,

hermana moore