Sunday, July 27, 2014

There's a Party in Heaven

this week:

A piece came off the messenger bag grandma bought me and showed the original fabric underneath.  Compared to what it looks like now from the rain and sun and heat!

Subject: Today, there's a party in heaven.

WHAT A WEEK!!!!!!!! where to begin, well that title there is a translation of something the bishop said at the baptism on Saturday at the baptism of Francisco, "Hoy, hay fiesta en los cielos!" and you know what, that's totally true!  If the angels gather to write down the words of every prayer uttered, sheesh can you imagine how elated they must feel when more children of God are baptized!  I loved that visual, and I have felt that little heaven party in my heart at every baptism! :)

So this week Francisco got baptized.  I'm not sure if  I have explained his story before, so if not, here goes. :)  About a month ago my comp and I were having a  really hard time finding new investigators, so we decided to go through all the street, bus and other contacts we had made in the past few months and go back with them. so my comp found the number of a joven she had contacted on a bus once and we decided to call him.  We met him at the park one day and set up an appointment to go to his house the next day to teach him.  Well, we get there and cant find him.  So we had to go to a tienda and borrow their phone.  While my comp was talking to the guy on the phone, this man walks up to the tienda and buys a 7 up and 5 packs of cookies.  I was thinking to myself, geez these Guatemalans drink a ton of soda, and my comp was thinking, why would this rough looking man buy 5 packs of cookies, Who is he buying them for?  Thank goodness for my intuitive comp because I brushed him off basically without a second thought.  She just whispered to me, I want to contact him.  We NEED to talk to him; but then he walked away.  So I sneaked out to the street and watched him go into his house near by.  Score!  We know where he lives! :)  In a few minutes we went over and knocked on the door. The same man opens the door with a huge surprised smile!  He goes, "I didn't think you would come here!"  He invited us in and that's when we met Francisco and his daughter Ana, who got baptized last week.  Right off the bat they offered to share their food with us.  He even gave us one of the packets of cookies he had bought.  The Lord PREPARED them to hear the gospel.  I have never met people so prepared!  They stopped drinking coffee right away because they heard Mormons don't drink coffee. They asked US when they can start paying tithing.  They just felt it was true and acted according to their answers.  This Saturday Francisco got baptized.  It was a lovely baptism.  He bore his testimony afterwards and just thanked us for finding them when they were ready. He has strengthened my testimony of this work.  Sometimes it's easy to doubt and think that this doesn't work!  But then the Lord sends little miracles along the way to remind us that this is His work and nothing will keep it from going forth. :) and on top of that, my favorite recent convert gave a talk at the baptism!  The famous Rolando :)  Sweet man.  He has progressed so much in this gospel.  This week he went out and did visits with us.  Very slowly, but he bore his sweet testimony and it touched many hearts :) 
Also this week, Saturday too haha, we had an amazing activity in our ward.  Didn't you know my ward is incredible?  We took all the artwork in the church and brought it to the park and showed it to people! We had 10 paintings and like half the ward there.  We had the first vision,  Alma baptizing in the Waters of Mormon, a picture of a temple, etc.  These members were getting their contacting on!!!!!!!  It was like a scene from a movie, I just felt so humbled and blessed to be surrounded by so many special people. and us missionaries.  Our district came up to help, we went around and contacted everyone!!!!! In the 2 hours we were there we received ONE HUNDRED references!  People who actually put down that they wanted to know more!!!!!!! It was probably one of the coolest things I've done in my life.  I felt like I was floating on a cloud!  I kid you not, ear to ear smiles. :) and one of them came to church yesterday!   Onwards and upwards and now we gotta get crack-a-lackin on contacting all of these references!!!! :) 

Let's see what else, oh we ate fish twice this week.  I used to not like fish here, its all spines and scales, but this week I loved it!!!  We had taxmul,  It's bomb.  Mom and dad it's like fish tacos.  I'm so making it for you guys!!!!! I'm becoming an expert on how not to choke and die on fish spines!!! :) 
Right now I'm reading in the new testament and I love it so much.  Read in Luke 15:11-32.  Basically I love this parable. it teaches us so much about mercy and how we need to be to be more like christ. :) i want to be like that :) trying every day but still oh so far from it. 
I'm out of time!  This week should be NUTS.  With a very happy and long awaited baptism on Saturday!!!!! :)
Eating shucos! or pineapple ice cream with lime, salt, chile, and peperatoria. Who knows what that is but it's so spicy and it makes you cry and your nose run! and I love it!!!!!

Love you all and happy wedding day this week Lindsey and Aaron! (still taking credit for setting them up!!!! let all the glory be mineee. ;)

love love love,
hermana moore

p.s. I found this in my area! home sweet home Arcadia!

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 9:26 PM, Erica Moore <> wrote:
WHAT A WEEK!!!!!!!! where to begin, well that title there is a translation of something the bishop said at the baptism on saturday.

Last week:

Subject: just going to make the permanent title of my emails set as: MIRACLES!!!!!!

WOW. I don't know even where to start!  This week was just incredible! INCREDIBLE!!!! 
I'm just gonna cut to the best part of my week. . . Saturday.  You know that primary song that goes... Saturday is a special day it's the day we get ready for Sunday!  I'd like to change that to.... Saturday is a special day it's the day we baptize people and get them on the path to the celestial kingdom! haha it kind of works right??  No but really that is something that they said in church yesterday when the people who got baptized got confirmed.... we are here to get to the celestial kingdom... we are not terrestrial people, or telestial!  We are celestial!!!  I just thought wow how true is that, we aren't here to settle for anything less than the absolute best!  I know that these converts are en acuerdo with that!  We are going together to the celestial kingdom, and then we will all have a party up there together!
So anyways... Saturday was a crazy day, I experienced the most rejection that day but then again the most incredible miracle baptism.  We went with an investigator that was super positive but he just turned a corner and was super rude all of a sudden.  We were there to bring him to the baptism and he was just like no.  I don't ever want to hear from you or share anything with you. ever.  Take your book I don't want it.  Leave.  And we are just like dumbfounded like what in the world happened.  Then he started going on about how we just believe it because we grew up in it and we were like alright see ya we don't need this!  So we left and we just both realized that this was Satan's weak attempt at making us doubt our self worth... we were heading in to the greatest miracle I've seen with the baptism of Ana and the devil was like hey I'm gonna try and make them feel like crap!  Well bad news Satan, you can't get me down!!!!.  So we just got an ice cream and forgot about that silly experience.  Then we went to the church and found Ana there with her dad, husband, daughters, and her two invited family members! They got there before anyone else!  We got her all changed and took some pics and then she got baptized.  I have never cried in a baptism, but in this one I did.  I just kept thinking how is the Lord blessing me with such incredible miracles?  After her baptism we asked her to bear her testimony.  

Oh, first, I almost forgot.  So we are teaching her dad too and he has shown the interest to be baptized but has been a little not sure on when... so when his daughter got baptized we asked him about what he thought.  He is a very cool guy, like so tranquilo and sure of himself... so I was like ...
so Fancisco, what do you think of your daughter's baptism?
yeah it was cool
and what do you think about your baptism?}
yeah I'll do it
wait, really! when!!
next Saturday.
ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! I'm crying and he's just like tranquilo staring at the font.  Then another hermana said she saw him shed a tear when his daughter was bearing her testimony.  She bore a beautiful testimony.  She said to start off... I know this gospel is true.  My heart just sung!  Sorry is that to cheesy!????  I just cried with her.  I felt the spirit so strongly.  She talked about how she had always prayed to find what God wanted her to do and finally she fund it.  She called us her angels and then she said I know my family must be in this gospel together and I hope my husband can follow my example and be baptized too!  She challenged her own husband to be baptized!  The story on him is that he was a little offish when we first met him, but then as he read the Book of Mormon and prayed with his wife, his heart was softened.  He works 8 days and then rests 5 so we haven't been able to see him a ton... but he came to his wife's baptism and church yesterday!  He seemed so accepted by the ward and just so at home there!  Literally just a perfect fit.  After relief society yesterday I was talking with Ana and she was like oh by the way my husband wants to get baptized.  WHAT! SINCE WHEN!  She was like he said he received his answer and will get baptized the next Saturday he is home and not at work!!!!! I just started crying again!  It's good I bought waterproof mascara, I've been crying a lot of happy tears lately! :)  We went to their house that night and talked with the husband, Jose and he was just amazing. I felt the spirit so strongly in that house!  We taught them the plan of salvation and challenged him to be baptized.  He told us that he feels that people receive answers in different ways.  His wife had a dream, Francisco just felt it, and he received his answer in a totally different way, but he KNEW he needed to be baptized!  So we picked out the next time he will be here and he is preparing to get baptized on the 3 of August! I'm elated. ELATED!  The Lord prepares people!  We just have to sit back and have the spirit do what it tells us and the people will come.  Missionary work DOES work.  Never ever doubt that.  The Lord is a God of miracles and I'm so grateful for that :) 
mom wanted to see how curly my hair is!

Basically I'm just a happy camper.  We now have permission to work till 9 every night instead of 8 o'clock.  So we have been working so hard!  I LOVE IT!  I continue to have awful nightmares about my mission ending and people telling me, Erica your mission is over!   But it just makes me want to work harder and harder each day! I'm so ready for the next few months!  Bring it on!  Gotta live like your dying... am I right? :)
we got the same shirt!

I really don't remember what else happened this week.  I'm just feliz :)  Are you?  If not, change something!  Be happy and love God.  That's all we need to do :)

love love love,
hermana moore 
with a monkey. hahahaha

I thought it bit me!

At a lame ecological reserve.  Thought it was a zoo.  Rode a bus for over an hour to see one fox and a monkey, haha.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Earthquake, Parasites and baptisms

This week:

Subject: sickie hermana moore

HA. get ready to laugh at me. 


I have kind of mentioned the past few weeks that I have had really bad headaches and body aches and the sorts, but this week it got bad.  Especially when it was suddenly, very suddenly, accompanied by digestive problems... you get my point?  So that happened Monday after we wrote home.  Then I went home and took a nap before we went out for the night to work.  Those digestive problems returned SEVERAL times and basically I kept finding myself in dirty, dark bathrooms with no toilet seat and I was hot and cold and my head was pounding so we went home after and I took my temperature and I had a really high fever.  So I called the nurses and went to sleep.  The next day I slept in (woops!) and then my comp and I headed out on a bus to Reu to go to a doctor.   Hermana Goddard has also been feeling pretty under the weather so we went together with the nurses.  The doctor didn't really know what I had but figured I should take some exams: blood, urine, and uh... poop?  Yeah I don't want to relive/ remember / describe how awful that experience was... and I thought peeing in a cup was hard. ANYWHO we went home around 7 and I passed out.  The next day I woke up around like 11, my comp had gone out with a member and I stayed in the house with another hermana.  The nurses called me and they were like wow Hermana Moore, you ARE sick.  You've got it all!  Yep.  So I have PARASITES, kidney stones, and an...infection.   That's why I have been in so much pain for the past month!  I was so happy when they told me, partly because I finally knew the cause of all my body pains (back and hip pains apparently mean kidney stones) and partly because after almost 13 months in the mission I finally got parasites!!!!  Then after the initial excitement burned off, I crashed.  They brought me a TON of pills and I slept the rest of the day.  But I had this crazy dream when I was sleeping.  I was with mom and dad and we were back on E. Easter Place in Colorado!  We were walking down the street and all of a sudden I saw someone and I was like I have to contact them!  So I go start talking to them and they just kept looking at me super weird like they didn't understand me.  I turned around and looked at mom and dad and dad just goes, "Erica, you're not in Guatemala anymore. No one understands you!"  I had been speaking Spanish!  Dad was like "Your mission is over now!"
free t-shirt from the taylor downstairs!

Then I woke up basically screaming.  Right then and there I vowed to myself that I will NEVER have another sick day in the mission!  I don't care if I'm throwing up, no more!  I only have.... gulp.... 5 months let and I cant waste ANY time.  So thanks for that gentle reminder daddy! hahahaa.   But it got me back up and working the next day. and WOW those pills kicked in quick.  I feel so much better now and my headaches are gone!!! hallelujah. 

This week we also celebrated July 4th!  Our lunch fell through that day so we went to the nearest tienda and bought hot dogs, buns and ketchup!  We had our own little 4th of July barbeque :) and we had a little moment of silence for our great country :)  I love the USA! and Guatemala! :) It's funny we actually saw a lot of red, white and blue that day, the chapines celebrated a little bit with us :)

Let's see what else... I have the coolest investigators in the world.  We found this amazingly prepared woman, her name is Ana, like a week ago, and she is amazing.  She is reading the Book of Mormon a ton.   She's in Jacob 6 right now.... after a week!!!  Have you ever read the Book of Mormon that fast?? She always testifies to us about how much her life has transformed in this week that she's been learning with us and going to church.  Her testimony makes me want to get baptized!  Oh wait... ;)  Last night she was even testifying to her dad how he already has his answer and knows he needs to get baptized with her this Saturday.  She also invited her sister to come to church yesterday too and she came!  It's a bonus too that she thinks we are Gods gift to earth.  All she ever wants to talk about is how wonderful we are, and I'm just like alright,  I'm fine with that ;)  It has been so fun teaching her.  When we taught her the word of wisdom she was like oh but I already gave up coffee a week ago when I heard someone talking about how Mormons don't drink coffee last week.  Oh, okay thats fine!  Last night her dad said,  "So when can I start paying tithing?"  We said,  "We haven't even taught you that yet!  He said,  "Well I heard about it in church and I feel like its my duty to pay it too.  This is my church." :) Nothing makes a missionary happier  :)
I just feel so loved here, loved by the ward, my investigators, and the Lord. everything is just meshing so well and I know that the Lord has a lot planned or us this month of July! :)
Oh and of course, the earthquake this morning :)  This morning at 5:20 I was awake and just laying in bed when all of a sudden my world starts shaking.  So I sit up and I'm like PHILLIPS!  She gets up and she just goes "CALM DOWN, calm down it's gonna be okay!!!!!!" (we were both freaking out, so I think that was for the both of us!)  We get out of bed and it starts shaking even harder!  We are both like uh what do we do we are on the third floor of a cement death trap and this is just getting worse... so I'm like GET ON THE FLOOR, we have to get under something! and Hermana Phillips says, "We have to get outside.  What if the house comes DOWN!"  So I'm on the floor crawling as fast as I can outside and I just hear things falling a breaking behind me. We get to the other hermanas room and they are up and we are like WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE NOW.  So we grab the phone and run downstairs.  By the time we got to the street it had ended and there were tons of people outside.  Wow that was big!  The house is super banged up, the tile is cracked, the walls are cracked and our door is basically jammed forever now.  The only damage we had upstairs was our water dispenser fell over and a bottle of nail polish broke.  The rest was very fixable.  Oh except for my desk, one of the legs broke. The rest was just stuff on the floor; but it was pretty terrifying.  I don't know if I'll ever get used to earthquakes!  We are very taken care of don't worry. 10 seconds after it stopped our ward mission leader called, then the bishop, then the zone leaders, then like a hundred other people from the ward... we are in the tallest house in San Francisco so it is kind of risky!

But all is swell here in the mission.  I hope you are all doing wonderfully and loving your summers! :) Live life to the fullest and read the Book of Mormon daily, sound good? :)  Oh and be careful what you eat (I'm pretty sure I know exactly when I got the parasites, we ate lunch with a Hermana that had told us before that her daughters had been throwing up worms.  And three days later I contracted my very own wormies!  Wish me luck, she signed up to give us lunch again tomorrow!)
our hike to a waterfall!

love love love,

hermana moore

last week:

Subject: miracles. again! round 978364!

Haha are you getting sick of that title for my email yet?  It's the absolute truth though. I have never felt more surrounded by God´s hand. His miracles abound everywhere! 
So this week was incredible. We found out this week that Hermana Phillips and I would be together for 6 more weeks!  This will be the longest I have ever been with a companion!  If she leaves next change we will have had 4 1/2 months together. There is obviously more we need to learn from each other. haha.

So this was the last week of June, obviously, and we hadn't baptized this month.  Here in the mission we set goals for every month of how many people we will baptize.  This month we had planned to have a lot of success.  We were working with families and people that really seemed like they were progressing... buttttttttttt, there is this thing called free agency and thank goodness it exists, what without it there would be no hope, but we basically struggled a lot.  None of them came to church!  Not a single one!  All month long!  So we were frustrated and didn't know what to do.  That's when we fasted last week and we saw miracles!  This week we just sat down and we were like alright, who has attendance in church that we haven't gone with lately.... let's go.  So we went and the Lord blessed us!  Saturday we had the baptisms of Gerson and Daniel.  They are two kids who have been coming with a member, our ward mission leader, for 3 months now.  All of my time here. (funny story, they were actually the first people I met in this area. :))  So they have expressed to us the desire to be baptized but their parents are NEVER home.  It was really hard and kind of like an unfinished project that we kept going back to every week.  The zone leaders came with us on Thursday and we were like LET'S FIND THESE KIDS.  We go to their house and BAM! both parents and the whole family is there.  The zone leaders talked to the dad and he was like I don't know.... maybe..... probably not.  We asked him to talk to his wife and kids!  They want to do it!  Let them, but we will come back tomorrow.   That night the kids came to an activity at the church and Gerson comes running up to me screaming "My daddy said yes! I'm getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!" and his brother Daniel, who hasn't really expressed a huge desire to be baptized, comes running up and says, "I'm getting baptized too!!!!"  At this point I'm just crying and I felt like the dad in Pride and Prejudice when he's says, "Well if any other suitor wants to come and ask the hand of my other daughters go right ahead!"  Like seriously, anyone else wanna pop up out of the cracks and get baptized on Saturday!!! :)  Such miracles.  So they were baptized on Saturday. The whole ward was there.  They all love them.  They call them Polo´s kids, because they are always with him.  Even though they are just neighbor boys.  It was such a beautiful baptismal service.  What I see in all this is the Lord fulfilling his promise to us that if we work hard and are obedient, we will baptize every month.  Maybe not the people I thought or the 3 families I was hoping for; but the Lord ALWAYS does His part when we do ours :)
 On our way to a baptism!  How many people can you fit in a tuk tuk?

This is Hermano Polo, our new ward mission leader.  He has brought these kids to church every Sunday for 3 months and they finally got baptized!  He cried as he baptized them.  Everyone in the ward was so happy.  They have the nickname of "Polos kids" because they are always with him.  They are his neighbors and he has shown them that there is so much more that their lives can become in the church!  Gerson and Daniel!

When we were with the zone leaders we went to visit one of our investigators that we just found a week and a half ago.  We were just going to teach her a normal lesson and I remembered, oh yeah we challenged her to pray, I'll ask her if she thinks she has received an answer.   So I ask and she's says well yeah I think I did.  I had a dream!  Oh here we go with another dream... happens a lot here.  She said, "I had a dream that I was at a waterfall with my cousins."  (in my mind I was quick to judge- repent ye Erica!- ugh IRRELEVANT!)   But we just listened more.  She was quiet for a second and then looks up at us and said,  "I was getting baptized".  I was dumbfounded!  My mouth just dropped open and well what do we do now?  It's so rare that people here feel they have an answer after just one prayer!  So the zone leaders interviewed on the spot and she is preparing to get baptized this next week!!!! ANOTHER miracle.  People that are so ready that are just popping out of the seams. :)  The Lord is always preparing people, we just have to be ready and He will lead us to them!

This is Hermana Miriam and her daughter.  Miriam has cataracts and is blind but she comes to church walking and blind every Sunday and comes to every activity led by her son Hugo.  Hugo received the priesthood this past Sunday and passed the sacrament for the first time.  She is preparing to go to the temple.  She lives in a wooden shack but she LOVES the Lord.  When her son prayed last week he asked for the ability to serve a mission in 6 years.  There are some FAITHFUL saints here.  I love this picture because her daughter really will be the one leading the way for her because she is blind.  It's so symbolic.  I love them so much. 
This week we had a big scare.  Our ward, and every ward, had a problem with judging people and gossiping; but this week it hurt someone a lot.  There is a member here who actually isn't even a member yet.  He is patiently waiting for his divorce to go through; but he is the most active member of our ward, and he isn't even baptized yet.  He is incredible and like my father here.  Anyway this week some tensions were raised about an asunto in the ward.  He felt that something unjust was happening and stormed out vowing to never return!  When someone told us about this we all, the 4 hermanas, just started crying.  How can something so stupid ruin one of the greatest testimonies I've ever met!  We said a prayer together and really felt that we should just go to his house.  We had a picture that another hermana, the one who first taught him, had sent us to help him stay on the right track and say hi, so we brought that over in hopes that it would soften his heart.  We came over and he looked so miserable! He asked us why we came and we handed him the picture.  He sat down and just began to bawl.  We each told him how much he had changed our lives and cried together.  He told us that he was going to come back to church, although just minutes earlier he had decided to never return.  He is so strong and I know that this is just Satan attacking him because he is so close to finalizing his divorce and being able to be baptized.   Just to all of you reading, don't be the cause of something like this.  Don't gossip.  Just don't do it.  Focus on why we go to church, TO SERVE.  That's my only plea to all of you.  Make it better where you are by your example. :)
This week Rolando got kicked out of his house! ;(  The woman who was renting it to him told us, he has till Sunday to leave because she had another family that will be living there. What????!!!  And the rent he payed???  Didn't matter, he had to be out.  We were super mad, then decided to make some phone calls.  In NO TIME our amazing ward had him moved out of his wooden shack with no plumbing and no electrcity and moved in to his new house, in the biggest neighborhood in San Francisco.  Seriously he moved into the equivalent of a Beverly Hills mansion in San Fran.   A member has this house that they aren't living in and said he can stay there and take care of it until we find a permanent solution.  I'm not kidding the house is BEAUITFUL.  It's huge and I want it!  Hahaha.  It's incredible to see how a man who was homeless just 3 months ago now lives in a 2 story house in Altos de San Francisco.  The Lord blesses the faithful!!!!!!! :)

And I'm out of time!  Haha I love you all so much.  This week was nuts and this next week will be crazier!  I love my job and I love all of you :) 

love love love, 
hermana moore