Thursday, October 23, 2014

Miracles of Diligence

Hermana Merrill did a photo shoot:)

A WEEK OF MIRACLES!!!!  Sorry do I say that every week?  Have you gotten sick of it yet?  Well sorry I'm not sorry but that's what you will be hearing about for the next few weeks. 
The sun is coming out on our area, Tzununa is rising from the dust!!!  Too dramatic, but I am in love with this area and the members and the work we are doing!  I didn't know the Lord could prepare so many people for His Gospel! It is such a priveledge to be an instrument in His hands!  We just need to trust in Him! :)
So this week was so awesome, we tried a lot of new things this week!  Like an awesome movie night activity!  We watched Johnny Lingo (it made us feel baggy, we want to be someone's 8 cow woman! hahahaha) and I learned how to make popcorn without a microwave, and I made like 40 bags of it! We had 50 something people there, 8 of them being investigators! :)  That is a huge deal!  Also this week we got together with the hermanas from the ward that borders ours,  Hermana Merrill and Hermana Goddard, and drew the Plan of Salvation in chalk on the road! A friend of mine told me he had done it in his mission and ever since then I have wanted to do it. so one morning we just decided, today is that day!  Haha you should have seen the people flock to us, they had never seen chalk like that before.  There were 20 kids around us and parents and store workers and they were like what are these crazy white girls doing??  We were able to walk quite a few of them through the Plan of Salvation, literally, and invite them to church!  Let's be honest, none of them came, but it was a fun different way to work and ALOT of people saw us, good publicity! 

Another fun part of this week was that I was able to go on divisions with Hermana Laiche in my area. Hermana Laiche is possibly one of the cutest hermanas ever. EVER. she is from Peru and she started her mission in Coatepeque when I was there.  I remember when she got to the mission and bore her testimony to us and was just like oozing love and it was her first day!  
Hermnaa Laiche and I at the famous Tzununa Bridge!

Her love has somehow increased and our day together was just SO fun!  She loved my investigators to death! we saw so many miracles in our time together and at night we ate super unhealthy food.  But it's okay that we eat unhealthy because us hermanas of Retalhuleu are WORKING OUT!!!!!  President said he is going to have a 4k race and my hermanas are training for it!  Every week we go to this public track and run our little booties off!  It's so so fun and I am so sore!  Even this morning when my comp was like noooo its p-day, I made her get up and sit on the side of the road and watch me run for 45 minutes! 
girls in the zone at the track

Okay time to talk about the miraculous baptisms we had!  So this week we baptized Rocio and Carla. another little member girl was baptized too!  Her and Carla are both 8 years old and it just made me remember my own baptism!  I reminisced and it was lovely! :)  Rocio is just a baptism that fell from the skies.  Missionaries have been teaching her for 4 years and she has been going to church and loves it and has wanted to be baptized!  But her grandma never gave her permission!  When I got here I was like what could it hurt to meet her grandma?  So we met her and she became my best friend. She is a sassy old woman and I love her.   Then 3 days later Rocio calls us and goes,  "Hermanas! my Grandma said I can get baptized!"   Then just like that, this Saturday she was baptized.  We literally visited her TWICE,  because she already knew everything!  She has been at church for a while! I loved her prayer the last time we taught her.  She just thanked God for changing her grandmother's heart.  It made me realize that we don't really do anything as missionaries, God does all the work and we just witness the miracles happen! :)

Carla also got baptized this week.  She is 8 years old and her mom is a less active member, so it doesn't count for us in terms of numbers, but I just knew that if we didn't prepare everything for her baptism, then no one would have.  The ward is busy with lots of other things and it's hard to put the time into little 8 year olds from less active families.  So we helped.  She is the cutest girl ever and ALWAYS volunteered to say the prayer and sing "Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel", her favorite hymn.  She is a little gift from God for her family and because of her, family and friends are coming to church now and we are teaching them!  It has been such a lesson to me about how we need to follow the Spirit instead of just worrying about numbers and more numbers!  I love being a missionary!

Yesterday after church we visited all the people that miraculously came to church on their own and wow, these people are so prepared!  It was lesson after lesson of ,  "Yes hermanas, I know the church is true!  When can I get baptized?"!   We were like wait, what! are you serious!!!!  It just proves to me that the members know all the prepared people because every single one of them were references!!  One of them gave us a list of his questions and one was,  "How do you know that the church has the authority of God to baptize?"  Wow could you ask a more perfect question???????  So incredible!
I love teaching! :)  One of them came up to me at church and asked,  "Hermana Moore, I want to know if this church is true but I can't pray.  Will you teach me?"   Heck yes with tears in my eyes! Prepared people!  In Reu! What is happening! :)
This week I have been focusing a lot on diligence.  It can be easy to say, I know that contacting doesn't work so I'm not going to do it, but what I have seen is that when we put in our part, all of our effort, the Lord rewards us with the miracles!  So we did a lot of contacting this week in different ways.  One day we went around with cake pans to tell people we were making cake and they were invited!  Then we taught them the message of the restoration using those pans!  Ha I love my job! :)
Today we went to the beach in Champerico! SUCH A FUN DAY.  I am burnt to a crisp and so red; but I love my mission and my life.  Don't let it end!! :)
Hermana Goddard, me , Hermana Merrill

Granazidas at the beach!

love love love, 
hermana moore

p.s.  I read Enos 1 this week and it just changed my life.  He was so diligent!  Verse 1 made me think of you guys mom and dad.  Thanks for being my examples. :)

pic of me and the comp at the beach! :) 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Libre Soy

It's a turtle!  Pan that's a turtle!

What the heck, this week went by so fast!!!!  I'm having one of those I'm on top of the world moments.  It's been a good week to be a missionary here in Retalhuleu.  Other than the fact that I'm sick right now... and I totally deserve it.  Just last week I was telling Hermana Merrill that being sick on the mission is totally our choice and a matter of faith and diligence.  I told her how I got really sick 4 months ago and promised myself I would never get like that again.  And look at me, 4 months of health thanks to faith!  Then the next day I woke up with the most painful head cold or sinus infection, ever.  Humbled?  I think yes.  Yesterday I felt like death and fell asleep after church from 11 to 5 pm.  Woops.  A member of the bishopric came over to give me a blessing and he goes,  "I bless you with more faith so that according to your faith you can be healed."  I was like okay okay I get it!  Lesson learned.  I wont murmur and I need more faith!  Hahaha, oh the mission.
So other than being an ill mess this week, we worked our little booties off!  No really, we are workin our booties off.  I have started exercising again!  In a meeting with pres this week he told us, tell the whole mission that it is now a commandment to exercise everyday!  Best news ever.  I've been begging my comp to get up so we can go on runs and now she has no choice! HA! :)  But yeah we ran everyday this week!  We even went to this cool place called the complejo where it's like an outdoor track and tons of people are there running!  There were even horses running there!  I felt like I was back in Arcadia at the race track!  Haha . 
This week I went on divisions with an hermana that I really wasn't that close with before... but wow, we are like best friends now!  We saw so many miracles while in her area!! Hermana Natividad is from El salvador and probably one of the most incredible missionaries I have met.  So much enthusiasm and so much LOVE for these people!  Such a refreshing day!  We were in a lesson and we asked the woman,   "Who should you ask to know if these things are true?"  We are expecting her to say God, guided questions... but she sits and thinks for a minute and goes, her!  Pointing at me! Hahaha I got a good laugh out of it.  She was like,  "She seems pretty good with the Bible." Opposite! I'm so bad a finding scriptures!  But it made me giggle!  We also went with one of their investigators that makes ice cream cones for a living and she let us help! IT WAS NUTS.  Fire and these huge irons and you had to flip this flaming hot iron and then roll the hot waffle cone and I was dying.  I basically destroyed all the ones I touched; but I got to eat the messed up ones, so it was alright! :)
Hermana Nati

Learned a new trade this week making ice cream cones!  Won't be surprised if I come back 
with no finger prints, I burned myself hardcore!

And I failed!

 Hna. Nati is so sweet.  She said I looked cold in the night so she tucked me in with an extra blanket! Seriously, I love this girl!  And we worked out in the morning.  We got soaked that night too!  So wet, we were cracking up and took some funny pics :)  (Oh and someone in their area thought I was from Honduras. Maybe my Spanish is gettin better???? or maybe they're deaf and blind?) 

So miracle of the week.  On Monday night everything fell through, so we stopped and prayed and tried to figure out what to do, we both felt that we should visit a less active girl.  So we went and met her niece.  Her name is Carla and she is 8 years old and 3 months.  Her parents are inactive members but she wants to be baptized!  In terms of numbers, she doesn't count as our convert, but we both felt so strongly that we needed to help her get baptized, even though it counts for the ward, and not for us. So we have been dedicating quite a bit of time to her and her family and we just love them so much! Then on Sunday they showed up with TWO NONMEMBER FRIENDS!!!!!!!  What the what!!!!!!! I felt like it was a little message form God saying,  "Good job hermanas."  Sometimes we have to stop thinking about the numbers and goals and such and focus on the people.  I'm also pretty stoked because we are going to be able to baptized a lot of people just because of a sweet 8 year old who wants to get baptized! :)
Today was p-day and it was AWESOME.  Our p-days lately have been pretty lame.  The hermanas have been really unhappy about it so I told the zone leaders,  "Look this is not gonna work you guys need to do something we ALL like to do on Mondays."  And they go "Fine Hermana Moore, you're in charge of this p-day!  I was like FINALLY.  So we had the best p-day ever.  We decided to make foods from all the different countries of our zone!  We had pupusas from El Salvador, baleadas from Honduras, platano cake from the Dominican Republic, papas a wayina from Peru and peach cobbler from the states!  It was a FEAST!  

Then we all watched Frozen together!  Yeah one year later I FINALLY saw Frozen!  So cute! :)  It was such a fun p-day and our zone is really united.  I love all of them! :)  Last night we had a sleepover with all the hermanas of the zone and it was so fun.  We had s'mores and laughed and slept on the hardest tile floor of my life.  But I love my hermanas!  We literally couldn't be a happier zone! :) 

This week should be a pretty incredible week, I am so excited for this Saturday :)  Send prayers our way, we will be having a little party of white!  :)
Also I completed 16 months on my mission this week, say what?  Where has the time gone? 

Well, I love you all. I hope that we can all open our mouths and share the gospel this week! :)  Help the missionaries.  Be BRAVE! 

love love love,

hermana amor :) 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2 years ago today...

Rainy days, everyday!

Like my rain gear?  A sheet of thin plastic!
(Editor's note: What happened to the rain jacket we sent her with????)

Bad hair day! hahahahahaha. This is what happens when you ride back in the back of up pick up truck for an hour. 
Great hair.  Welcome to 200 percent humidity!

Two years ago today I was sitting in the conference center with Lindsey and Presidente Monson changed the age of missionary service, and look where I am now! I never could have imagined in that moment how much everything would have changed, how much it HAS changed!  I AM so grateful for the incredible opportunity I have to be a representative of Jesus Christ as a sister missionary, seriously.  When there are hard days I just try to transfer myself back to October 6, 2012 when I had stars in my eyes and felt like I had just won the lottery. Serving a mission has always been my dream, and it truly has been the most incredible adventure of my life. :)

This week was INSANE!  Complete insanity!  I feel like I was hardly in my area because we went and helped some elders in their area one day and I had divisions another day and then it was conference!  But I like it, it keeps the mission exciting! :)
Hermana Florinda

So on Wednesday we went to help the elders of the area, El Codo, otherwise known as The Elbow. They were having a rough time so we did and AREA ATTACK.  We all went there to help contact and invite people to conference!  So we went and I got to go with an hermana from the area, Hermana Florinda. She is a mom and SO COOL.  She literally knows everyone and has no fear to invite everyone to the church!  We walked straight on in to every house and was like hey everyone how are we all doing this morning!  Then I did my shpeel and we did that for 3 hours!  We invited like 30 people to conference!!!!  The elders saw so many miracles this Saturday and Sunday and were able to bring quite a few people to conference!  It was a great team effort!  Haha I loved when Hna. Flori was let's contact this house!  I looked over and saw a church, it was like the evenagelico church prince of the rock or something and I was like oh we aren't supposed to contact around other churches, or the churches themselves.... and she was like who cares!  Let's go!  So we invited the pastor to church!  Haha :)  Then I decided to have an adventure and ride to lunch on the elder's bikes! The elders of El Codo are the only elders in the mission authorized to have bikes! It's because their area is enormous!  So I became a biking missionary this week :)  My WHOLE body was sore. hahahah. 

On Thursday I went on divisions with some hermanas in the zone!  I went to the center of Reu with Hermana Peguerro!  She is from the Dominican Republic and she is so AWESOME!!!!!  Literally this girl has so much energy!  Her area is really urban so we just contacted pacas, goodwill type store, all day long.  It was so fun and we learned a lot from each other!  She told me allllll about the food of the Dominican Republic and now I want to go there!  I have a lot of places to get to know in the world! :)

Then was conference, oh conference.  I always get just what I need! :)  Someone gave us a ton of bananas this week so I made some yummy banana pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and then we were off! HOW COOL WAS IT to hear some of conference in SPANISH!!!!!!!  I'm telling you, over here we were like standing up and cheering!  We were so excited to hear conference in Spanish, not just the voice over!!!!  What a blessing :)  We were able to bring quite a few people to conference but what amazed me more were the members!  We have a joven that is helping us a ton and he showed up to every session with a friend!  Talk about a member missionary!!!!!  Now we are teaching them!  I want to be like that when I get home! :)  Another fun thing in conference was when I saw Miss Jennifer in the MOTAB!  Yeah I shed a little tear, it made me feel like home wasn't actually that far away!  You are beautiful Miss Jennifer!!! :)  Conference is just wonderful.  On Sunday for lunch we were at a members house and I was chatting with her 95 year old dad.  He has been a member for like 50 years and he has a lot of health probs now.  He can't hear or see anymore. He told me, I cant hear, I can't see, but do you know why I go to conference?  To feel the Holy Ghost!!!!  What an inspiring little old man. Little Faustino Lopez.  I hope I'm like that when I'm old! :) Inspiring! ;:)
And to end, here is an inspiring quote....
"Mountaintops are for views and inspiration,
but fruit is grown in the valleys." 

Time to grow some fruit!
Looks scared, right?

love love love,
hermana moore

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sweat, rain and a new phone!

WE WON THE BAGS OF THE MISSION!  This means we baptized the most people in our zone in August. :)  Rockin it! these bags are so cool, corte and comfy!  It's like a big fanny pack! :) 

This week:

Subject: sweat, rain and a new phone!

Making tortillas!

Yeah this week was super wet, between the rain (it starts everyday at 3 pm when we leave the house, God is testing our diligence!), the sweat (welcome to Reu, humidest, hottest place ever) and the tears (haha, we are sister missionaries, we are an emotional bunch!)... we had our fair share.  But all in all it was an incredible week.  We have been gearing up for conference all week so we are so ready to see miracles this weekend!  We have the goal of bringing TWENTY investigators to conference between the 2 days of sessions.  Do we even have 20 investigators?  No!  How are we gonna do it, no idea!  But I have faith that the Lord will bless us if we work hard and trust in Him!

We have some awesome beyond awesome investigators right now.  I'm telling you, this area is all about seeing the glass half full instead of half empty!  In one way you could see it as overworked and very negative but in other way you could see it as an awesome excuse to not contact and work only with the references of the members!  And we are doing the second one! :)  The members are incredible in our ward, INCREDIBLE.  They give us references of families that are progressing!  We have a family we are working with and the husband and daughters are baptized but the mom isn't quite there yet.  She is reading and praying and we are working so much with her!  I have such a love for this family, even though I don't really know them that well, but the spirit is so strong in this house and I know that they will be an eternal family!  When the wife finally feels her answer oh my gosh she will be a FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!  She is incredible.  She, like many other Guatemalans, had a lot of dreams and I really am not much of a dream interpreter so we recommended that she read 1 Nefi 8.   Have you guys read Lehi's dream lately?  I learn so much each time!  Read it when you have a minute!  We recommend it to a lot of people and they usually find some way to relate their dream to his, and a lot of them have gotten baptized!  Thank you Book of Mormon! :)  It has all the answers! So keep the familia in your prayers :)

This week I got to go on divisions with Hermana Merrill, she is the Hermana Lider Lider, ha she's basically the female assistant, but it's because she is the most incredible missionary, ever.  I ADORE Hermana Merrill! I am so happy that I have had so many opportunidades to go on divisions with her in my mission, she is so full of enthusiasm and is just like a breath of fresh air in my area!  She was like, "on divisions, we INSPIRE the hermanas".  We can ALWAYS find a new family on divisions! And we did!  We were walking and our cita fell through and we were trying to think of what to do, I only have one week in the area so I was trying to think of something and she was like let's go down here, contacted a house and BAM!  Family!  Doesn't go to a church!  Challenged them to be baptized!  That girl is a miracles worker!  And like a walking ball of sunshine! :)  It was too fun. and at night we made the chapin dinner.  Oh beans, eggs and tortillas, what would I do without ya!

Oh the other cool thing about this week is that I got a cell phone!  I heard all the nonsense about the new iPhone 8, wait what number is it now?, and just happened to be blessed with my very own....... NOKIA BRICK PHONE!!!!!!!!! I feel so blessed.  Moving up in the world, from a huge home phone in a plastic bag to a cell phone that even has the brick game on it!  What more could a girl ask for?? :)
So Sundays are usually pretty rough for me, I don't know why, but it always seems that everything falls and it rains harder... haha (not to make you guys trunky or anything but only.... 10 more sundays...O_O)  So this Sunday we went to a cita and the people hid from us, but we could see them and I was like what in the world Paquita!  I see you!  And she still didn't come out.... then it was raining and I was getting soaked because I had given my umbrella to the member with us, and we had no idea what to do, so I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I still don't know where everything is... and at that moment we get a text from the zone leaders that the weekly zone dinner is canceled and we had no food in the house!  Then I get another text that says, interviews with president tomorrow, clean your house and update you area book!  So I'm like great no food, no sleep (our house was a disaster and the area book, even worse) no fun!  How selfish right? But then I just stopped and thought,  Hermana Moore, what does the Lord need you to do right now. And I just thought to myself.... I DONT KNOW.  But I know He knows.  So we prayed.  I asked the member to pray because I was not feelin up to it, so she did and I was just racking my brain of what we could do.  Then she said amen and she goes, "I know where we need to go".  So we went to visit a friend of a friend of hers.  At first she didn't come out and we thought she was hiding so I got a little ornery and I was like "BUENAS!!!!!!!"  Super loud.  Well it didn't make her come out; but it made the vecino  (neighbor) come out, and then she came out!  So I look at my comp and I go, you talk to her and I'll talk to him.  Long story short we met two extremely prepared people and the Lord led us to them!  We set appts. to go with them later on this week and went on our way.  That 5 minutes of success was enough for me, the rest of the day was pretty much down the tubes too, but I know that the Lord was watching out for us, guiding us the whole time.  And I have high hopes for those two contacts! :)
Me and the comp

Really that was my amazing week. :)  I hope you all enjoy conference!  Go into conference with a QUESTION and it will be answered!  That is what we are telling all of our investigators to do! :)  Do the missionaries and the Lord a favor and invite a friend! :)  Go out with the missionaries!  Give them food!  It's the end of the month and I almost guarantee you they all have no money! :)  Serve and you'll be blessed :)

In an ulera.  These are the trees that make "rubber"!

love love love,
hermana moore

last week:

Subject: New area, new comp!

HELLO FROM REU! yep, I came to where I never thought I would, Reu!  Took me 15 months to finally serve in Retalhuleu, but here I am!  I am in an area called TzununĂ  (soonoona) and my new companion is Hermana Aguilar.  She is from Peru!  Yeah!!!!  Latina companion!  Haha I thought, wow time for my Spanish to skyrocket!  But my comp is also in charge of the English program here in the mission and is.... fluent in English!  It's actually pretty cool, it's good for us both, we speak Spanish outside the house and English inside the house.  She's literally fluent.  I'm so impressed with her!  She is teaching me some pretty hilarious things too.  Just the other day she was a little frustrated with the people of Guatemala and she goes, "they don't care a cucumber what I say!".... hmmm..... word choice? interesting..... ;)

So time to talk about the MIRACULOUS WEEK we had!  When I got to this area we had no investigators and basically nothing going on.  Great, sounds fun right?  So we hit the pavement and went to work, (no literally I hit the pavement this week and tripped and fell flat on my face in front of a cantina.  I gave all the drunk men a nice laugh.... )  Anyway, we went to work.  A member gave us the reference of this guy who is the brother of a recent convert.  So we went and met this guy and he was super cool.  He had met with elders like 3 years ago but the only time he made it to the church was to play basketball.   We invited him and he said sure!  We met his wife on the way out who was supposedly a member but inactive so we invited her too!  Fastforward to Saturday night, we were calling all the people that we had invited to church and I called Oscar, the reference.  I was like hey are you coming to church and he was like no I have to cut down a tree!   I'm just like noooo lame excuse come and he was like no I can't, sorry.  And that was it.  So I invited him for next week and hung up.  I was pretty bummed.  Then two minutes later we got a bunch of messages on our phone from him saying call me!  I did and he was like hermana!  We want to go to church tomorrow!  Can you pick us up???  Please!   Wait... what ....who is this?  Is this even the same person?  So we said yes and picked them up the next morning and they came to church!  Oh and turns out his wife ISN'T a member, she had just gone to church a lot in the past!  I guess what had happened is that our recent convert had been with him when I called and after he hung up he was like no man, go to church instead of cutting down the tree, it will bless you so much!  And he did!  Recent convert power right there!!!!!! :)  It was such a miracle and tonight we are having a FHE with him and our ward mission leader.  So cool :)
Something I learned from my last companion was that when you expect miracles, they come abundantly.  Seriously thank you compa, you changed my life. 
Speaking of my beloved area that I left in San Francisco.... I didn't say bye to anybody, I couldn't do it.  The only person that I did say bye to was my convert Abelino because he called me and said a few nice words and then with Byron.  I shed many a tear my last night in mission heaven.  San Francisco will always hold a very special place in my heart.  Pedro is building a house for me so I can have my second home there in 10 years ;) 
Add caption

Convert miracles!

My last night in San Fran we taught the amazing familia Garcia how to have a noche de hogar.  We had the dad, Carlos, direct and he was like, well I don't know what I'm doing but the hermanas told us its something we need to do and so we are going to do it, because they know what's best for us.  I love that family so much.  It was so hard to leave them but I know that their future is so bright!  I can't wait to see them again one day in white, again. :) 
One last thing, my comp has been super tired lately and she was like I'm pretty sure I've never walked this much in my life!  Oh get ready my friend, I learned how to work from Hermana Phillips, and there is no such thing as rest in the life of a baptizing missionary. :)  Especially if she ends up being with me till the end, ooooooooo we about to echar fuego here in tzununa. :) poor girl ;)   One super fun thing about being in Reu is that every Sunday night we have dinner with all the missionaries of the zone in a members house, it is so fun and delish and just relaxing to see all the missionaries.  Well have a great zone and we are going to see lots of miracles!!! :) 
alright I gotta go!  I just want to say one last thing....


The Hermanas heart attacked our door....cuties.

love love love,
hermana moore

p.s.  My new zone leader is Elder Krueger, who was in my district at the MTC!  Hahahahaha it's hilarious, he said that my accent hasn't changed since the MTC, well that's what I get for having 6 white comps!  Hahahahaha