Monday, July 27, 2015


Welp, it's still hot if anyone was wondering!

This week’s highlights:
Nathan! He is 9! His family are all members but he hadn't been baptized because he is afraid of water and people being near him in the water. So obviously that was a little bit of an issue. So we started teaching him a little and committed him to baptism. Thursday we filled the font and had him come practice. Haha yes practicing for a baptism is a thing now.  At first he would barely put his foot on the first step into the font. Lewis and I were a little nervous how this was all going to happen...finally he got comfortable in the water, and then let Elder Schoenfeld get in with him on opposite sides of the font...then it progressed to a high five, then they held hands, then finally after baby steps for an hour and a half he did it! They had to both be on their knees and Elder Schoenfeld would count to three and he would go all the way under holding Elders hands.  We were thrilled! We almost just wanted to do the baptism right then and there but he hadn't had his interview yet so it was set for Sunday. And yesterday right after church we held the baptism. We still were real nervous, not knowing if it would take another hour and a half to get him in, Elder Schoenfeld had to build a lot of trust from Nathan these last few days, but once they were in the water it only took about a minute and he did it! He went all the way under the first time! Miracles!! Seriously so cool!

So I didn't slit my finger this week, which is good. I actually was able to get my stitches out! It hurt, but it feels soo much better now that they are out. So yea no more hospitals this week but get this...We got a call Thursday from the Hermana's in Little Rock and they needed help so we did last minute exchanges with them (all I have to say is #blessed because my comp is also my best friend, and we have literally never fought. not even once). After the phone call we went straight home and packed and went on a road trip to Little Rock! 

Come to find out they thought their apartment had bed hadn't been confirmed but they were almost positive. To be honest I didn't think much of it. They had been sleeping on the couches so Lewis and I curled up on the floor haha. 

Annnnd..the next morning I woke up with little bites all over my feet. yay. And then a few hours later the bug guy came and confirmed that they had bed bugs. So us and the ASL sisters who share the apartment with them and the Little Rock STL's all had to get together and figure out some sort of plan on where they all are going to stay. 2 hours later after planning, we finally figured it out. 

And then we made our way back to Russellville! But since we had been in their apartments all of our clothes were infested with bed bugs so we came home and went straight to the laundromat where we did 7 loads of laundry. It was the hottest and sweatiest 2 hours of my life. Lewis and I were just sitting there talking to each other and literally sweat was rolling off of our faces. But after all of our stuff got washed we finally made it back home and got to sleep in our own beds. And since I'm paranoid I was convinced I was being eaten by bed bugs so I slept terrible. We've overcome this now though don't worry. haha 

Yep those were the 2 main events this week. Chase came to church yesterday which was awesome! He seemed to enjoy it! hmmm what else.. Just the normal missionary work. Knocking doors, appointments, RCLA's, meetings...the usual stuff.  

I'm in the process of wrapping my mind around the fact that I won't be able to sleep in for over a year still. Every morning this thought comes to mind and I die a little inside. Even just sleeping in till 7 would be a dream! 

I also put on my Tim Mcgraw t-shirt the other night and tried to think of some of his songs that he sang at his concert last summer...blank. I couldn't think of any. Maybe like 1 or 2 but the lyrics were completely erased from my mind. This is what I'm talking about people! Missionary amnesia! It’s absolutely insane! Don’t worry I still remember T-Swift...I'm not completely gone yet. 

I wish you could all see how hard me and Lewis get laughing. She is my best friend. Funny that we lived an hour away from each other our whole lives and it took to come on a mission to Russellville Arkansas to meet each other and  become best friends. I'm bringing her home with me so one day y’all will meet her. :)  

Something real cool, we keep all of our baptism pictures on our wall in our study room. It has the names and dates of everyone who has been baptized in the last year or so. It's motivating to see our success and fun to reflect on the people we have come to love so much. What is also hanging up next to all these pictures is the scripture Alma 26:12 "yea I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea; behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

We put in a lot of hours, a lot of hard work and we have seen a lot of success in this area. Reactivating, baptisms, consistent new investigators, we have 80% retention right now which is the best it’s been since I've been here, staying real busy but at the end of the day this is all HIS work. It's His success, His miracles. The second I forget that then I am doing my own work, and when this works becomes mine, I will fail. 

For recitations at each meeting we recite 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of HIM to declare HIS word among HIS people, that they might have everlasting life."

I've quoted this talk before it’s called "The Fourth Missionary" and I was rereading some bits of it lately. I learned that in order to do His work His way, I have to surrender. 

"Just give it up. Surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. Turn it all over to Him; all of your desires, wishes, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him, who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins, and for your weaknesses as well. Trust Him that He will make of you, immeasurably more, than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God...If you surrender, if the Lord wins, you win also...The only way to win is to lose. Lose yourself in the Lords work, and you will win beyond your wildest dreams." (Matthew 16:25)

I love this! He fulfills his purposes, I get to change into who He wants me to be, which is ultimately what I want me to be. I'm the kind of person who hates losing more than I enjoy winning...however I guess if God says in this case it’s okay to lose, then lose I will. 

(you still won't beat me in a game of HORSE though)  haha ;)

Love y’all




Monday, July 20, 2015

Vale la Pena? (worth it?)
Alma 11:33 (go look it up) 

I'm exhausted thinking about reporting on this week. haha SO MUCH HAPPENED. we go.

First off, the baptism that I was worried about not following through last happened! She was baptized Monday evening and confirmed yesterday at church. It was absolute chaos. But it happened. She is baptized and happy! And it was worth all the sweat, and headache. Her name is Carolina, she is the one who owns a Panaderia (Bakery) so she is always working. She had been taught for a few months and then kind of dropped off the face of the earth due to work and her husband wouldn't give her permission to be baptized.  We stopped by her bakery every now and then and squeezed in lessons when we could, and also prayed and fasted that her husband’s heart would be softened and allow her to join the church. Then one day when we stopped by she told us that she wanted to be baptized this week! MIRACLES I TELL YOU. It really was out of nowhere haha. I definitely gained a stronger testimony of the power of fasting. So yep within 5 days we put together the baptism and although it started an hour and a half late (any of you who know me well, know that I don't do late, I was about to go insane) all is well! Yay for baptisms! And yay for strengthening this little baby Russellville Spanish branch! poco a poco

We had specialized training in Little Rock on Tuesday, and afterwards we did exchanges with the Little Rock Hermanas. I stayed in Little Rock with Hermana Bennett, she is on her second transfer right now, and is from Seattle. So get this, this is my first exchange as an STL, I'm already a little nervous about it because I'm supposed to be teaching and being a real good example. After Specialized we get to her apartment for dinner and started to make dinner (this is new, Lewis and I don't cook) and I was right in the middle of explaining to her how I'm a real bad cook, and that I need to learn, meanwhile I'm opening a can of beans, and the can opener wasn't working very well so I used my fingers to pry it open, and ended up slitting my finger. TMI but my finger was exploding with blood all over the sink, it would not stop. We talked to the mission nurse. She had me put pressure on it for a while to see if it'd stop. And honestly I thought it would! I thought if we just put a band aid on it it'd be fine, but after a while it was still gushing blood so we ended up at an urgent care where they gave me 4 stitches. I felt like a big girl having to do this all alone. haha I also felt like an idiot that on my first exchanges we spent most of the night in an urgent care waiting room because SOMEONE couldn't open up a can of food. -_-. 
The next day Lewis and Hermana Reed came back to Little Rock where we stayed the night again and did studies with the Hermanas. They stay with the ASL sisters who are in a trio so there were 7 of us in one apartment. Little bit crowded.  ASL sisters are super sweet. Sister Garcia, is completely deaf, but she can read lips in both English and Spanish! How cool is that?? We all had a meal at a member’s house that night, and I felt bad because every time I'd talk one of them would have to put their food down and sign. haha so they never get to eat because they are constantly translating everyone. But they have it down so good. I'm jealous, I wanna learn. 
Being an STL means knowing all the disobedience and all the issues in the mission and it’s kinda sad. This week we had some issues and honestly it’s hard to realize all that’s going on. But what is super cool about it is that we talk with President a ton more! And the more we talk the more I realize just how amazing he is. It's cool to be building an actual relationship with Pres. What a good guy. He does so much for us, I love him tons. 

We were given 10 days to put all the people from our Area Book into our iPads. So that has been insane. PAGES AND PAGES worth of people and progress records to enter. It's been madness. 

We've also knocked and knocked and knocked and knocked AND knocked this week. Lots of spiritual harvesting. We found some new areas that haven't been tracted in a while. For some reason we haven't figured out that we need to put sunscreen and bug spray on before we leave the house. So we get sun burnt and bit all day long. One of these days we will learn. 

Now that we know Russellville pretty well we have identified which streets and certain spots have a stronger "dead Amarillo" scent. I don't know why, but really there are certain spots that we pass every time and it’s a smack in the face. hahaha Arkansas is so great. 

We've been fed spaghetti (I wish you could have seen how I spelled that before the computer corrected it hahaha) at least 5 times this month. Not complaining, we will take it, but it’s kinda funny. I think last week we had it 3 times. haha

Okay so you know how in basketball or any sport, you watch film? Before big games, Coach Price would walk us through film of our opponents and study their plays, their players, etc so we would be prepared for the game. Sooo I decided to study Satan a little bit and this is a little bit of what I found: 

Moses 4:3-4 Deceives, blinds, and lies. One of Satan's biggest tactics is blinding us. I love Alma 10:25 where it talks about blinding us so we don't know the truth. How often have I been going through the motions of church, seminary, etc, but not actually understanding the lessons I'm being taught or what I'm actually learning. Although I think I'm doing the right things, Satan has completely blinded me and kept me from understanding the truth and ultimately progressing even though I was in the right places. Satan is sneaky in that way. Also he blinds us from seeing what is prepared for us (D&C 78:10) he blinds us from the big picture. He wants us to forget what our purpose is here on earth, forget what God has in store for us, and wants those who don't have the gospel to stay in the dark. 
He also is very good at making it seem that it is okay to JUSTIFY. (2 Nephi 15:23, 2 Nephi 28:8) Mormon 8:31 he wants us to think its okay to do "this and that" and that it doesn't matter what choices we make. He knows our weaknesses, he knows those weak moments and the easiest thing for him to do is put in our minds "it's not a big deal." Again, sneaky guy. haha

We also learn in 2 Nephi 2:18 that anything from him is misery. Satan has nothing to offer, no reward to give except for destruction. (2 Nephi 26:10) We also know that Satan's way is easier. God's way is straight and narrow (3 Nephi 27:33), whereas, Satan's is broad. It is far more easy for us to choose Satan than it is to choose God's "straight and narrow" way. Staying in that straight and narrow path requires us to work (1 Nephi 15:32) so we often easily slip into Satan’s broad path because it doesn't make us work (Alma 37:46).  Except God actually has a reward to give us, in fact he has quite a bit to offer. ETERNAL LIFE, ETERNAL HAPPINESS, LIFE WITH OUR FAMILIES FOREVER. And as much as Satan tries to convince us that "it mattereth not" that all will be just fine no matter what I do. That is Satan feeding us lies. And it does matter what we do. 

No unclean thing can enter into Gods Kingdom (Alma 7:21, Alma 11:37, 3 Nephi 27:19). If we aren't clean to live with God then we will have to live somewhere else. ---> 1 Nephi 15:35. And that place isn't going to be very happy (Mosiah 2:41) We also will be called by some other name (Mosiah 5:10) And we know that only in and through the name of Christ are we saved. We have to be called by His name. (Mosiah 5:8, Mosiah 3:17) Only Christ is 100% clean and worthy to enter into Gods kingdom. ONLY CHRIST. However, if we do all we can do (2 Nephi 25:23), not get tangled in Satan’s chains (Alma 12:11) and take upon us the name of Christ and do what is required to worthily carry that name (effort on our part for sure) then when the one perfect man who ever lived, Jesus Christ's, name is called to receive his reward, we get to step forward with Him.   

(paragraph from talk grandpa sent me)
"Jesus said, No I do not pay for anybody else’s crime. What I have done is put my spirit in them, and by my spirit, they will live my life. They will be sanctified and purified by my spirit and because my spirit is in their bodies, their bodies become part of my flesh. And when the name of Jesus Christ is called forward my body will step forward and that’s the only one. All those who are not called by my name cannot come." 

Good news? It’s completely our choice (2 Nephi 10:23) We can choose to work towards the reward that is already prepared for us! More good news? Gospel has been restored and we have everything we need (D&C115:4, D&C 127:8) to enter into His Kingdom (Alma 40:12, Alma 5:16). 

 Vale la Pena? (worth it?) ---> Alma 11:33. (go look it up) hehe

Love y’all. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


So here are this week's fun highlights:

We went to go teach Eugena. We were teaching her neighbor when she came out and stopped us as we were walking back to our car. She said she had talked to missionaries before and had our book and really liked it. We set a return appointment with her and when we went back...we soon realized we had been fooled. She just started going off on tons and tons of random things acting like we knew her family and she kept throwing out all these names, not letting us get any sort of word in. Then it gets better...she told us that Nelly (the singer) was her cousin...and that Drake and his girlfriend were hanging out at her house the other day...It then hit both of us that she was certified CRAZY. You can imagine our faces as we came to this realization. hahaha we got stuck in there forever listening to all of her stories. So turns out she doesn't want to talk about the gospel, she just needed someone to talk to, but hey maybe it made her feel better. haha

The Eastman family taught us how to play crazy Uno. It's tradition for every missionary who serves in Russellville to eat with the Eastmans and play crazy Uno! So we finally made the cut and got to learn. When I get home we definitely will be playing! It's a blast. I officially feel a part of the Russellville ward now that I know how to play haha. Also Brother Eastman is the closest thing to our dad out here. He's so great. I'll try to get a pic with him one of these times. That fam takes good care of us. 

As a missionary people tell us everything. We are trusted with so many personal things, we know all the issues in the ward. It’s kinda crazy. People open up to us so quickly about everything! Our name tags turn us into therapists I guess. haha Most of our gators are convinced that our prayers work better than theirs do. We explain this all the time, that God is listening to their prayers too!  But we still have people ask us to stop by and say a prayer with them. 

So at the end of the night we were coming in, I used my keys to open the door and the next morning we went to leave and there are my keys...still in the door...where they had been ALL NIGHT LONG =( Scary. haha and then it gets better, we left for our run, came back and our door was locked. Apparently when I took the key out and threw it inside it locked the door. So we were locked out, didn't have our phone or anything. Lewis found a little piece of paper (those little stick things that you use to label your garden) and eventually we pried our door open. Turns out I'm not a good adult yet.

This one isn't as fun, but remember our "BIE" Richard from last week? Yea he went on a vacation to Virginia, and then found a job there and decided to stay -_- lovely right? Satan is so real. 

We had 2 dinners one night this week. We tried to get out of it. But one was with a less active and the other with a gator. You know it’s bad when on our way to the next dinner appointment, our motto was "forget yourself and go to work" hahaha We felt so sick that night. Everything we do is for other people. Even eating. #southernprobs

We had to instruct at Zone Meeting this week. Honestly I felt pretty uncomfortable because we both are still pretty new. It is hard to stand in front of a bunch of missionaries who have been out for almost 2 years and instruct them on the work. I was super nervous, I feel so young and inexperienced. But it went fine. Hopefully we didn't sound like fools haha

So here is the BOMB story of the week. Chase. He is a member referral. He is our age, and he had every wall up possible. He doesn't really believe in God, he told us he doesn't have much care in the world. He has that "go with the flow" attitude and has never given much thought to religion. This is the first time we have been working with someone who doesn't know about Jesus Christ. Most everyone here has a belief in Christ so we have never had to start at ground zero with anyone, except for Chase. We had to start with basics. Good thing is, Chase likes to read. So we introduced the BOM to him and told him that this whole book applies to his life in every way and can help him with ANYTHING. To prove it we did something we hadn't done before. We had him choose a number between 1-15. He chose 12, so we assigned him the 12th book in the BOM, which was 4th Nephi. We told him normally we choose a specific chapter in the BOM that we think can help the people we work with, but we wanted to prove to him that any chapter would apply to his life. We went back the next day, and unfortunately we hadn't read it so we sat down and started reading with him. One thing led to another and we were skipping around to other chapters in the BOM and started teaching about The Plan of Salvation. He didn't understand why it matters if we sin, what the point of this life was, etc etc. (2 Nephi 2) This went on for a while and we started answering more of his questions and we started to explain Christ. Who He really is, what He really did for us. The spirit was so strong. I got to watch him come to the realization that Christ is real. That He actually died for us, that He loves us, and that only through Him we can reach our full happiness and be with our Heavenly Father again. Chase couldn't comprehend the love that Christ had for us. It completely blew him away.

So throw back the MTC when I wanted to leave someone in complete AWE like the Savior did. This was that exact moment I had wanted. Chase was so excited! It all clicked for him. He told us that if this is all true that this is HUGE! We told him how he could find out for himself, through reading, study and prayer. He said he wasn't much of a faith guy to receive this kind of an answer. We read him Alma 32:27. And his face was just in shock. He said "it’s like that verse was written for me at this exact moment." We were able to explain to him again just how this book applies to us in every way! 
Y’ALL THIS WAS SO COOL. We have never had a lesson this cool before! 

Grandpa-Thank you for sending me that Atonement transcript! I LOVE IT. I want to write about what I learned about it next week. 

Sorry today there wasn't anything super rad or spiritual. 

Oh one last fun/stressful thing. We are filling up the font right now to have a baptism at 3 today! SPANISH BAPTISM! WOO! Stressful thing- she owns a bakery and WORKS ALL THE TIME. And we haven't gotten a hold of her today, so hopefully she shows up. hahaha no really it’s actually really stressful right now. But hey y’all might get some baptism pics here in a few hours. We shall see. 

Have a good week, love y’all
Hasta luego. 

Falling Water - Last PDay
For P-Day last week David Button and Sam Smith took us to Falling Water! It's a bunch of waterfalls and rocks. Go look up pictures, it's sweet! I wanna go back when I can actually swim. haha We were able to take our shoes off and walk around the shallow parts :) It was fun to adventure around!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Jasmine! President's daughter

Lewis and I got pulled over this week. hahaha going 16 over. Just before this we were coming from an appointment where 2 of our dates set dropped us, so we were already way sad and then Satan pulls up behind us and turns his lights on! Oh man we were so scared. So he got all the information he needed and asked us a bunch of questions about how long we are here for and what not. Then he goes back to his car for a minute, comes back to the window and asks us what church we belong to. We said "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Then he said "alright well ladies have a nice day, I'll let you off with a warning." #TeamJesusForTheWin wooohooo. Big man was looking out for us. It really was not funny at the time, but it is now.

We also have a "BIE" (best investigator ever). Richard. He has been out of town all week but we send him Book of Mormon chapters to read and he totally is reading and writing down questions for us and everything! He gets home tomorrow so we are going to go back over and answer all of his questions. His baptism date is for July 18! Hopefully all goes well. Gators that will willingly read the Book of Mormon like that are rare. He is super open and incredibly interested. Super stoked about him.

We have a new baby in Russellville! Elder Niko is out and now we have Elder Lindstrom from Wyoming. He is fresh out of the MTC. Hermana Moore is no longer the baby! woot woot

Okay so the 4th-First off Lewis and I had SWEET matching t-shirts.  The ward breakfast got canceled because it was supposed to rain, which was a bummer. So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings with the district for lunch instead. Lucky for us the National Hot Dog eating contest was on all the TV's so we had no appetite and almost lost our lunch a few times. Gross. We tried teaching in the afternoon, and ended up knocking on 20 empty homes. Fun. That evening we hung out at the park with the Spanish ward, and then...we got into the GATSBY party AKA Stokes firework show. This family in the ward spends a few grand on fireworks and then invites the ward over for treats and fireworks every 4th. They were lighting them off right in front of us and it was 30 minutes worth of fireworks! It completely exceeded my expectations! We had tons of fun, and man I love the wards here so much! They take good care of us.
 #'Merica : Mosiah29:32 
(Bishop Stokes)
(BDubs of the 4th. Hahaha GLUED to the TV #mishprobs)
So I usually don't write about the hard times out here, because I don't want to remember them and because honestly the good times completely outweigh the bad. But we had some disappointments this week, some bad news, it was hard being away from home on a big holiday when both of us had families doing all the usual traditions, and we also really struggled meeting our goals this week, on top of being STL's- which we honestly don't know what we are doing right now. It's just been a lot all at once this week. We were in a funk. But we need to see miracles and that requires us to have a lot of FAITH despite all the other dumb stuff that is going on. So the question that I had was how do I obtain more faith? Well obviously one of the bomb examples of faith in the Book of Mormon  is Ether 3! So I went there to look for answers. And here is what I found:

The Brother of Jared obviously had to have gone through some cool experiences to get the point of being able to say with full confidence "thou canst do this." The Brother of Jared knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord "hast all power" and could accomplish the things that the brother of Jared needed and to light the stones for him. Well how did the brother of Jared have that great of faith to be able to actually see the finger of Christ? 

Well I backtracked a little to the chapters ahead... and in Ether chapters 1 and 2.. I counted at least 8 versus that talk about the brother of Jared going to the lord in prayer. Calling on Him, crying to Him, and inquired of Him. The Brother of Jared went to the Lord for everything. And during the time that he didn't the Lord "chastened him" for 3 hours (#yikes). Which I'm sure was an experience that helped him draw closer to Christ the same way our hard times and sins do.  So the more I read the more I understood that the Brother of Jared had an incredible relationship with God and Christ, through the most basic principal that we teach the littles the second they can talk =prayer. This relationship he had built with Heavenly Father all boiled down to his personal prayers and inquiring of the Lord for everything. Christ and Heavenly Father were real to him! They were a part of his day! When he needed anything he went to Them! And because of this-He had strong and unwavering faith. 

So I concluded that: If I make my prayers sincere and I make my Savior and Heavenly Father a part of my day through consistent prayer; I will feel closer to Them. I will SEE Them in my life, I will feel of their presence. And I will have greater faith that they really can do all things and provide the miracles that we need to see this month. I obtain this faith by treating them not like some fictional characters in a book or some higher power that hopefully is listening to me talk to the walls, but going to them as my father and big brother. When I have that relationship with Them and truly KNOW Them, I will have no doubt that they are right there next to me and that through their power I can do anything. 

Love y’all

Hermana Moore

July 1 was ALRM 40th Birthday So we got to celebrate a little :)

More of Amber's Baptism!

Billie, Millie and Janie!

Carl the Cockroach!
(Neither of us dare ti touch him..we feel safer knwing he just chills there. If ever he disappears then we are going to have a problem...but for now Carl just hangs out there.)

Ha Ha! Whoever put JT as the author of this song gave us a real good laugh!

Learning how to play poker on P-Day!

The young women presidency..hahahah  getting the YW pumped for personal progress