Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Out With A Bang!

A little girl braided my hair and it looked absolutely awful!

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE WEEK.  This week was a rainy insane week!
Welcome to humidity

Every morning starting at 5 am we heard marching bands practicing because today is the day of parades in Guatemala, aka INDEPENDENCE DAY GUATE STYLE.  Goodness gracious these people are proud to be Guatemalans. :)  I'm proud to be Guatemalan too, I adore this country. and their choices of marching band songs! :)

Anyway this week flew by.  It FLEW. probably because everyday we were working so hard with the familia Garcia, but it was so worth it because on Saturday night they were baptized:)  I want to tell their story so here goes :)

There were so many people who were involved in their conversion, I can't take credit for anything, it was a group effort, like they say, it takes a village, or a whole zone to baptize a family :)
Two months ago we had an activity in the central park of our town where we displayed artwork from the chapel.  I think that's allowed haha, and we contacted a lot of people with the ward members.  I was talking to someone when my comp came over and said hey the zone leaders want us to go talk to a family they just met that is really positive, so I'm like okay duh lets go.  That was when we met the familia Garcia.  I remember being so impressed with them because it was the mom, dad and 7 kids all out in the park just spending time together.  They told us they would go to church the next day.  They didn't and we didn't end up seeing them again till like one and a half months later.  But the cool part is what happened before we even met them.   Hno.  Carlos, the dad, had been walking through the park when he saw a bunch of art, he thought it looked interesting so he called his wife and said bring the kids down I want to show you guys something.  Little did he know that at that exact moment his wife had been on her knees praying beside her bed that her husband would be converted.  She told us that she was praying and asked for him to be converted into whichever religion, la mormona, los testigos, catolica, she didn't care, she just wanted him converted!  She packed up the kids and headed down to the park.  She said she stopped on the corner and saw her husband talking to a missionary, our zone leader,  Elder Crookston, and she just thought okay Lord, let it be the Mormon Church, convert him to that church!  Then we met them a few minutes later.  We lost contact with them for a while until my new comp one day found our bag of references from that activity and was like let's give it a try!  So we did and by some miracle a wrong number led us to the right number, we were put in contact with Angelica and the next day we met them at their house.  They have a big set of stairs that are really steep that lead up to their house and I remember the first time I saw them I just thought, I wonder if this will be the first of many times I'll go up these stairs, little did I know then :) We began to teach them and everything just fit so easily to their family.  Three weeks after that day they were baptized. :)  One of my favorite memories with them was this week when we brought them their baptismal clothes and they were trying it on.  Karina, the 13 year old, saw her dad and just went, you look like an angel daddy!  He was so cute he was like so will we walk down to the baptism in these clothes or change there?   Karina goes, walk?  No you'll fly down there daddy!  You're an angel after all! :)  This week wasn't easy at all for them, we passed through a lot of tears and long discussions with them but in the end, they were baptized, and their future is so bright!!!!!!!!!! 

On Sunday I was sitting up with them waiting for their confirmations and the bishop passed by me and was like,  "Tranquila Hermana Moore, not too happy!"  Hahaha, I couldn't help it, I was beaming ear to ear!  There is nothing better than baptizing families.  Nothing! :)  My comp and I sang a fun musical number at the baptism, p.s. my comp is an amazing singer!  We sang the words of Cuando Hay Amor (or love at home) to the tune of Israel Jesus Os Llama (Israel Israel God Is Calling).  It was a nice arrangement and we all felt the Spirit nice and strong.  Sweet Hno. Rolando told me that I have the prettiest singing voice in the world, granted I could be tone deaf and he would probably say the same thing, I just love the stars in his eyes that the Gospel has brought him.
This week we worked a lot with ym convert Abelino.  He was a convert that we worked with for month and once he finally got baptized he just changed his life entirely!  Now he goes out with us a lot and always gives us references.  It makes my heart feel so happy. 
Look who found me!  Old converts! I cried! 
They ran up to me screaming Hermana Mooooooore!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh other fun things, this week our whole mission went to an amusement park called Xetulul, we made our goal as a mission in terms of baptisms so president treated us to a fun day at XETULUL. Look it up.  It was as classy as Disneyland but in the middle of the jungle.  When I was on the rollercoaster and we went down the big hill and I was over a jungle I just about cried.  I'm pretty sure I'm the luckiest girl in the world :)  It was such a fun day and I truly just love being a missionary :)
The giant Mayan Temple at Xetulu

The San Fran girls were unforgettable!

On the rollercoaster!

Thats all I've got time for.  I learned last night that I'll be having changes from this area on Wednesday, not sure where I'll be going but I know it's what the Lord wants.  I'm pretty sad but I know that great things are on the horizon! :) 
Look who's working out again!

Made a healthy breakfast.

love love love,
hermana moore

p.s. Something that saved me this week was 1 Corinthians 12.  Best chapter ever. :) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The field is white and ready to harvest.....

Reunited Trio!
Editor's note:  These three roomed at the Missionary Training Center in Provo over a year ago. Time flies!

Divisions with Hermana Webster!  We went out to visit with my recent convert and our recently reactivated best friend!"  Delvis and Gerber are so pilas, they don't hang out in the street.  They read the Book of Mormon and go out with us and go to seminary.  They rock. 

.... literally this week I thrust in my sickle in a field.... but it had already been harvested!  Haha, this week we went out and helped our recent converts in their MILPA, otherwise known as the corn field! We did some hard work, no not really we just echar´d abono, or fertilizer, but I was sweating!  It was hard work!  We did it so that they would have NO excuse not to go to church!  We met up with them at 7 am and went to work for a couple hours!  I was really grateful for the experience because, well basically because now when people are like nope we can't go to church we have to go to the milpa; I can say no problem we will come and help you on Saturday.... been there done that, NO EXCUSES! Hahahahahaha so that was really fun :)  We took pictures, don't worry. we are officially Guatemalan farm girls.  If you hadn't noticed yet we basically live in a super agricultury part of the county... Welcome to La Costa!  Haha. 

even though this picture is blurry, I love it!

Let's see other than that this week was pretty insane.  My poor comp is really sick and here it rains so much which makes colds so much worse.  So we were braving the rain most of the week but by the end we needed to stay in.  I had lots of study time and lots of time to read old letters.  Talk about baggy (I think in the US they call it trunky)  Basically if you have ever written me in my mission I read it this week.  But then we could go out and work and I was pumped!  We have been working super hard with this huge family lately.  We go there everyday.  They are like our best friends and they LOVE to learn! When we taught them the word of wisdom they were ready to leave smoking, drinking, coffee, the works.  Here in Guatemala coffee is a BIG deal.  But Guatemalan mormons are so cool that they created a drink called morcaf.  I think I have written about it before, but it is a coffee not made of coffee.  It's like made of wheat and cinnamon and aba and trigo and other stuff.  So it's totally okay to drink and has like the same flavor as coffee.  I'm def bringing like 20 bags home.  Apparently you can only find it in Guatemala.   Anyways we told them to have hot water ready for our next appointment and we would be bringing morcaf and pan dulce.  So we had a little morcaf party with them, and they LOVED IT!!!!!!! :)  Now it's all they drink and we may have a big party in white this Saturday.... I don't want to say anything yet..... but send your prayers towards San Francisco this Saturday :)

We had a sports night in the ward this week and I played soccer with all the jovenes.  Now if you know me you know I hate soccer.   Literally so much.... but I played on a team of little kiddos aged 11 and younger and I HELPED TO SCORE A GOAL.  Yeah I'm pretty happy :)  Then it started to rain and we went inside and played.... conejito gordito.... or in English.... CHUBBY BUNNY.  It took us a while to get them to understand that you don't eat the marshmallow, you have to talk with it in there! But once they got that down they were hilarious!  

Literally they each got like 2 marshmallows until Hermana Pister, who got 6.  Way to represent the USA!  Then our ward mission leader did 7.... it was kind of disgusting.  After that we were like alright.... were done.  Hahahahahahahahaha. 
So on a spiritual note..... this week I was talking with Francisco, my sassy convert from 2 months ago, and he was like talking about why he loves being a member and having the Gospel and he said to me..... "Ahora yo tengo el 'porque'."   Isn't that cute???  Now I have the "why" of life.  I love him! Also I gave him a hard cover bible this week cuz he didn't have one and I was like sorry it's pretty heavy... and he goes but it will make me soul feel less heavy.  Okay, he's a poet!  It was prettier in Spanish , but you get the point :) 
Alright and last but not least..... go listen to the song......called "chicarron con pelos".  We saw it on a bus,  I'm not a bad missionary, and it is literally a perfect portrait of who these people are .  I ADORE THEM.  Can I be Guatemalan? :)

Well I'm out of time :)  Until next week :)

love love love,
hermana moore
2 nefi 10:23, helped me a lot this week :) 

This is a pic of us dancing under the rain,.  It's our mission president's theme for us right now!  This is our.... we just set baptismal dates with a family, face! :)  So happy. such joy being a missionary!!!!!!! :) 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Erica!

Subject: 21 candles

Oh my dear family!  What an incredible week this was!  I just feel so happy right now :)  I turned 21 this week! (not 22, mom. I literally told everyone this week that my mom thought I was turning 22 and a lot of them were like well she probably just registered you a year after and you really were born in 1992 not 1993, that kind of stuff happens you know... and  I'm like no, that doesn't happen outside of Guatemala.  But they kind of scared me.  Mom I was born in 1993, right?  I'm 21 right?  Let me know.....)

But this was the best birthday.  Ever.  In the history of birthdays. EVER.  So it all started at 4:30 am when I woke up to sparks shooting out under my door. HA!  Hermana Pister lives with me now and it's like the most fun thing ever, and oh yeah she's CRAZY!  So it's a Guatemalan tradition to burn cohetes, firecrackers, and throw them under the cumplañeros bed at 4:30 to wake them up.  And they did just that, but the door was locked thank goodness!  Still, we might have burned some of the furniture, woops!  Anyways there were lots of firecrackers and then they came in and sang me the birthday song here, las mañanitas!  

Then we had pan dulce and hot coco, I guess the tradition is cafe and pan but we don't drink coffee and coco is better!  That was a wonderful way to start the day, I love the girls that live with me.  Seriously San Francisco is just a constant party :) 
Then we had to get ready and run to the church to fill up the baptismal font for our baptism, or so I thought.  We were running late so we ran into the church only to find a surprise breakfast birthday party from the tropa loca! awwwww I love the missionary crew in this ward.  All our elderly retired friends. :)  They're like my dads here.  They knew I loved breakfast so they made me a yummy breakfast! :) And cake!  And bananas with honey! So cute!!!!

After breakfast we had a BAPTISM!  Best birthday ever right? saturday morning Abelardo got baptized.  He is the little brother of Gerber, our miracle baptism from 2 weeks ago. Abelardo is 12, even though he is very small.  Hey these people are just smaller!  And he is so smart!  He is a little sponge!  

I made cinnamon rolls for his baptism and we ate them and celebrated another soul coming unto Christ :)  I love my job :)  

Then we had lunch with a member and it was exactly what I wanted, American food!  Spaghetti and salad.  Sweet simplicity.  

Then we had a great day working super hard and inviting everyone who's anyone to church!  The hermanas had a baptsim at night so we did that! Then someone invited us to dinner!  Then we came home and the hermanas had made me a birthday table with cake and presents and a piñata.  So we just had our own little party at night and I blew out a ton of candles. :)  So yeah, I'm a blessed little missionary and I couldn't be happier. :)  I mean having your birthday with the most giving people in the world is kinda fun.  I basically doubled my souvenirs. How will any birthday ever compare, I don't know. :)

Time to talk about the miracles of this week.  So we had no idea what to do one day, we were in the process of leaving a lot of investigators cause they weren't progressing and we needed to find new ones.  My companion was like what should we do?   We prayed.  Then I remembered this stack of references we had received for that art in the park activity a while back.  So we pulled it out and there was a reference of a family, the familia Garcia.  I called the number and this man answered.  I'm really awkward on the phone.... I was just like, uh hermano Garcia?  He was like no, wrong number.  But I'm like WAIT HERMANO.  I was just thinking no, I have to get a hold of this family somehow so I was just like hey hermano have you ever heard of the church? No?  Wanna hear about it?  So I start bearing my testimony and basically teaching him.  Then I was like wait what is your name again hermano? And he goes, look I'll just give you the number you really want.... sound good?  I'm like wait..... what?  He gave me a number and then hung up.  What in the world?  I called the number.... it's the family.  How did that happen? NO IDEA.  All I know is that the Lord works absolute miracles. So we got to put a cita with the familia Garcia,  We went and met them and wow, it's like a completely prepared family of 8.  They were like we are just so confused by all these churches.  Well obviously the Lord wants us here and He wants us to teach you guys.  So teach them we did!  They are really cool and I have really high hopes for them :) 
THIS WEEK we were supposed to have a noche de cine, but the power was out..... but here, no luz is no problema! :) Instead of watching a movie, hermana Pister taught the whole ward how to find constellations.  We are really high up so we can see a lot of stars here :)  It was a magical starry night. I love this ward so much.  I love my companion and I love seeing miracles!!! I hope it never ever ends. Even after my mission.  It's just lovely.

I hope you all had a lovely week and were able to serve someone else.  Good luck starting school Jill and Tim! I will be praying for you guys :)

love you so much!

love love love,
hermana moore

P.S. D&C 63:47
He that is faithful and endureth shall overcome the world.  My theme this week. 

This week:

Subject: the hunchback of San Francisco

Another week, another email!  There is just so much that happened this week it blows my mind!  The week just flew by!  P-day is already over, sheesh I feel like this week is already over too!  Life flies by when you're having fun!
This week started off with a two day Hermanas conference in Reu! SO FUN to see all my fave hermanas from the mission!  We had a lot of instruction on how to be more consecrated as missionaries! and we ate a lot of food and played volleyball!  My team won (third place)!!  It was a really great weekend, and we got to stay in a hotel, with air conditioning... enough said. :)  Then when we got back from the conference, it was to work!  And work we did! :)
hermanas conference and i saw my baby girl Hermana Cadavieco! :) such a beauty!

This week it rained a ton.  I think the highlight of the rain was yesterday when we were walking down to the rural part of our area around 3:30 in the afternoon.  We saw these black thunderheads ahead and we both just looked at each other and were like huh.... good thing we are far from the house, have no umbrella and NO money... do we press on or fall back!  PRESS ON!  Then we started singing "trabajemos hoy en la obra del señor!"... about 109 minutes later it started raining.  We walked all the way there in the rain, about 20 minutes under CHOROS of water.... and by the time we got there, it didn't stop, no don't worry it didn't stop until this morning!  Someone gave us a towel and coco to drink.  Everything got soaked.  Literally we were wetter than we would have been had we just jumped in a pool.  We convinced a tuktukero to take us back to our house so we could change.  We were so wet!  When we came back out, we looked like missionaries from the states!  Sweaters, boots and scarves!  Thank goodness for my 4 week stint in the mountains to stock up my cold weather clothes!  It gets chilly here in San Fran! :) 
so wet:(

not wet:)

This week we also did some service with the zone! we went to limpiar un parque,  I thought that meant pick up trash.  No that meant clean all the weeds!  I chose the weed wacker, and I learned how to use it!  I weed wacked half of a soccer field.  Yeah here in Guatemala we sometimes do things in the most inconvenient way possible!  Lawn mower?  Why would you do that when you have a weed wacker and a machete, duh.  I've got some NICE blisters from that.  But good news, looks like if BYU doesn't work out I have a nice future career of garden work!  Watch out Los Angeles, I'm coming for your weeds!

Other than that this week was a lot of contacting, no knocking on doors here, just yelling at the gate.  I learned something new, it's easy to get in houses when you have no umbrella and its pouring!  Funny thing with this area is we can get into any house we want to, teach a good lesson but basically everyone is already attending a church and wants nothing to do with us after 30 minutes! hahahahahah.  But besides all that we were able to bring a family to church this week, that's a huge miracle, it's a feat I'm telling you!  Except this family was just like already ready and we just walked together.  It was really nice to sit in church next to a big family :)  Makes me feel like I'm doing my job right and it was a really big blessing because in terms of stats we had a bad week, not a ton of lessons and hardly any new investigators, but we had a family in church so I was happy! :)  Oh and another proud missionary moment, when one convert blessed the sacrament for the first time, another convert passed the sacrament for the first time and another gave a talk for the first time (Rolando!).  Proud mama right here! PROUD MAMA! :)  Did you catch that my previously homeless convert gave a TALK in church this week??????  Yeah he has progressed so much! :)  He asked me this week,  "What does prayer mean to you?"  And I was like...... uh...... awk question but .... and he was like I need help, I'm giving a talk!  He ended up giving a beautiful perfectly timed talk.  Is this what it feels like to have stellar kids?? Aw I love it!" :) 
the hermanas of San Francisco

Oh I should explain what my title means.... I am the hunchback of San Francisco... I was bitten by a bee this week, I think I might be allergic because my back, where I was bit, swelled up huge!  When the elders saw it they were all like WOAH what is that!  No pictures of that, no one needs to see that. It's gone down now, but now I'm terrified of bees.  Oh the things I've learned about my body in this country...........
his shirt....... it says, big butts, things i like and cannot lie about. if only these people knew what their shirts said!

With that, I'm out of time!  Sorry if this was a little all over the place... I'm a little sick right now but I want to get off and go work! THE FIELD IS WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST.  Gotta go reap some souls :)
tortillas whaadduupp?

Look, I'm Jillian!

love love love, 
hermana moore