Monday, January 25, 2016

So transfers. DRUM ROLL PLEASE...........I get another one in Russellville!! =) And I'm staying with Mac!!  #SOBLESSED.

So you know how it’s against the rules to chew gum in public as a missionary? As a replacement we use mints. Well while we blitzed in Little Rock a couple weeks ago we didn't have time for dinner, so my dinner was a bunch of those mints and it made me so sick and ever since I haven't been able to eat any more of them. So in between lessons or after lunch or something I would just chew gum in the car. Which again, it’s kind of a foreign thing now. So I've been so excited about gum again, that I got super distracted and I also was jammin to Piano Guys that I completely ran a red light. And it didn't hit me until I was in the middle of the intersection. It was quite terrifying, but I had it comin for me because I probably just shouldn't chew gum. (Dad always used to tease me that "I can't walk and chew gum at the same time" :/) What made this even funnier is at the end of this week we were looking through photos we took during the week and Mac got 2 videos of me chomping away on my gum like a cow and so we have a nice little reminder that I really just need to stop chewing gum. haha yikes. But I'm also not about to eat those mints again anytime soon. Any ideas? 

It was a bit crazy because now Spanish sacrament is at the same time as English so we have to split. Hermana Mac was in Spanish so she could play the piano and I was in English helping with an investigator's kiddos. They were not used to sitting still through a sacrament meeting :/. They stayed for all 3 hours though and loved primary! She seemed to like it too! 

This week and this upcoming transfer we really want to work on establishing the ward a little better. The ward has grown so much in the last few years that people aren't as close anymore so we are doing our best to build friendships within the ward and making sure everyone feels loved and needed. 

I forgot to mention last week that Jaime got the Melchesidek priesthood! And he and Daniela have taken all of their temple classes already! Woohoo! Oh and Veronica, her husband, Aurellio, and Marium in the Spanish branch went through the temple Saturday!! 

We hit and even exceeded the Standard of Excellence this week! 2 to church, 2 with a date, 5 member presents, and 5 new gators. It’s a goal president set for the mission, that we should be hitting SOE every week. We've come close lots but this week we finally hit and even surpassed it! 

On Wednesday we had a worldwide broadcast from Salt Lake City for all the missionaries. We heard around 6 General Authorities talk on points in Preach My Gospel. The "theme" I guess you could call it is "Preach Repentance, Baptize Converts." Elder Bednar spoke to us about following the spirit in lessons. He reminded us that the only thing that can convert anyone is the spirit. No matter how strong my testimony is or how big my faith I cannot convert anyone.  I think I've gone into too many lessons with the mindset of "ok I'm going to say all of these things, and the spirit will back me up." When it needs to be the other way around. He also talked to us about worthiness, which is sometimes overwhelming because there are 10x more rules that missionaries can break haha. But what was real cool, after we were taught and discussed about this, when we left the meeting Hermana Macfarlane felt SO guided throughout the whole day. Someone would come to mind and we would go try to see them and we would catch them just in time. Every house we went to they were home and we got to teach. It was awesome! 

One of the families we found was a young newlywed DARLING couple. And I hardly know them but I love them already. And I pray when we go back they don't drop us because it'll break my heart. They are gems. 

Back to the broadcast...Elder Anderson spoke on keeping Christ on our lips. Always testifying of Him. 
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Pretty intense to think about. If I confess and testify of the Savior then He will plead for me before God. However He can't plead for me if He doesn't know me. 

Which led me to Mosiah 26
24 For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.
25 And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me.
26 And then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, that I am their Redeemer; but they would not be redeemed.
27 And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them; 

How do I "know" Him? I live His doctrine. What is His doctrine? --> faith, repentance, baptism, receive the Holy Ghost, endure to end. 
Elder Oaks concluded the broadcast and made a pretty bold statement that I wanted to summarize. He said that every church and even human has something righteous and Godly to offer. We do not condemn other churches for their beliefs because they have lots of truth and are working their way towards heaven. However, only through the Doctrine of Jesus Christ do we gain the heaven that God wants for us. If we are not living according to the principals and ordinances of the Doctrine of Christ fully, then we are preparing ourselves for a telestial kindgom. Which is great! But we know that we can have so much more. 
And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things-Where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever.
Love y'all
Te quiero 

Hermana Moore 
PS Don't send me mints :) ..or gum. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hello again. I'm still a missionary in Russellville. Life is good. We find out soon though if I'm getting transferred. Not lookin forward to it. President announced that there won't be STL's in Spanish anymore and that Lewis is going English to be a STL in Memphis!!

So this week I'm going to do something a little different and just highlight a thing or two or three from each day. My plan is for this to be short..but y’all know how that goes..

Tuesday: Instead of doing exchanges this transfer both Mac and I went to Little Rock and blitzed with Hermana Lewis and Ponce. We had a goal to set dates and by the end of the day we had 3 set! One of these dates was found while we were talking with someone at their doorstep. We saw in the corner of our eye a young lady with a little boy walk into her apartment. We knew that was our next stop. She is golden. And accepted a date with a door step lesson. Oh and we also found this awesome southern BBQ restaurant. I'm a little ashamed that most of my pictures I send home these days are about food..but I'm in the south, so it’s justified right?? I got to teach with both Hermana Ponce and Lewis. It’s fun to teach with Lewis again! It’s just like old times :) After 7 months of adapting our teaching to each other’s we were able to pick things back up real quick. haha
Wednesday: On Wednesday nights the ward and branch has all of the meetings, mutual activities, and scouts so it gets pretty busy. Sister Fish is in charge of scouts and so her friend and her son were at the church with her. We were able to show them around the church a little bit and went into the chapel and explained how services go and the sacrament. As we were explaining things he made known all his opinions on organized religion. Without going into detail what was cool about all this was just a few hours earlier Hermana Macfarlane and I were talking about wanting to have a super spiritual experience, we were feeling a little slow and we felt like we needed a real cool lesson to reenergize us again and so we prayed for one. And this certainly was our answer! I'd never had a lesson in the chapel before and the spirit is definitely more evident. We were able to testify powerfully about the importance of the sacrament and that God does things in order. By the end there was a definite change in him. We invited him to come back to church. I say this a lot but I LOVE these moments. When someone disagrees with the church, my testimony of it all sinks deeper. 

Thursday: This day was kind of the worst. But Katie came with us to the YSA activity at the Hardways so that was good! 

Friday: We helped the hermanas in the branch make tamales...and we were really bad at it..and the hermanas tried talking really fast Spanish about us being bad at it but I still that’s kind of sad. haha Weekly planning is death...I've now weekly planned like 42 times now..that’s like...upwards of 90 hours of PLANNING. yikes. But Friday was good! It definitely made up for our bad Thursday. It’s amazing how a couple good lessons can turn the whole work around! We found this sweet lady outside of her apartments with her kids on Thursday, so Friday we went back, her name is Patty, her mom was Mormon so she already had a BOM and knew some bits and pieces about Joseph Smith. Really accepting of it all. We were able to set a date with her as well. We are real excited about her. We had a lesson with Mirium tonight as well, her daughter is a member. She has been taught a lot so before going in we prayed really hard that we could have an awesome lesson..and it was awesome. I've never spoke better Spanish in my life. I was saying words I NEVER use. Those are the lessons that I don't teach are the best ones! She doesn't want to set a date yet but she knows that she needs to be baptized. Yay!
Saturday- Chase and CJ got all mad that we didn't go to their basketball game last weekend..we got an earful. So this week we went and watched a little bit of their games. It was held at the Baptist church here, which is fine we were just worried that we would look like we are proselyting, which we could get in trouble for. So when we pulled up we couldn't get a hold of Nikki to walk in with us. We said a prayer and the second we opened our eyes and looked up they pulled in and parked right in front of us. #blessed. We definitely stuck out like a sore thumb but it was fun to watch the boys! 

We had good lessons with Sister Fish and her friend and also tonight had dinner and a lesson with another investigator and her family along with the MacArthurs. The lesson took us over an hour to plan. We had a whole lesson planned out and after practicing it and finalizing it we didn't feel good about it so we ended up scrapping the entire thing and it took forever to replan it all but it worked out and it all went well! 
Sunday- Our investigator came to church! Woohoo! And we had a stake broadcast with Elder Hales and Rasband. Danville came to watch it so I got to see old friends! Sunday we did a lot of "ITM-ing" (inspire the members). We teach them the restoration and then invite them to bring their non member friends into their homes to be taught. We also had a Sunday dinner with granny Bett (Bishops mom). It’s nice to have a grandma Sunday dinner :) I don't ever want to leave these people. 

President Wakolo often talks about putting on our "spiritual eyes." 
 A conversation Hermana Macfarlane and I had this week was about the gospel being "crazy." Either all these Mormons have the "crazy coolest experiences ever!" or it’s that they are all actually crazy for thinking that this is all true. So to some of you all my stories are just a bunch of cool coincidences, you’re happy that I'm out here because most people, no matter the religion, think it’s awesome for a young adult to dedicate time to preach about Jesus Christ. But maybe you think..yea they are a little "crazy." But for those of you who read this with spiritual eyes know it’s so much more than that. That these are real experiences that come from a lot of time on our knees, fasting, obedience and studying. The answers we receive because of those efforts aren't coincidences at all. This is not our work, everything we do is divinely inspired. So I hope if you are reading this as a bunch of cool stories, that you can put on your spiritual eyes  and recognize that these experiences are in fact crazy real, and are guided by Christ himself.  The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is sweeping the entire earth, Gods work is moving forward! Just like that "crazy" Joseph Smith promised. 

I also had a dream that I came home and was at the gym to see everyone. And Kam kept beating me in the workouts, which was annoying! And Carson was too into his workout to come say hi, which was also annoying. Both were pretty accurate. haha So see y’all never. #LongLiveMyMission

Also nothing can pump me up more than Elder Holland. If you’re bored go look some of his conference talks. Kills it every time!

Love y'all 

Te quiero 

Monday, January 11, 2016


 Remember the district battle that’s going on? Well we had to decide on a team name. And the Elders thought "Lamanites" was a good team name, but it’s not.. so me and Mac came up with the genius idea of "Team #Juan" get it? Like #1, and Juan because we are the Spanish district and Juan like JOHN THE BAPTIST WHO IS KNOWN FOR BAPTIZING. It’s a juanderful name. The Juan jokes have been going on all week. haha 

Biggest story of the week- Remember our member referral last week? Well we've been able to teach her this week! The biggest concern is smoking so we walked her through the "15 step nonsmoking program" and got all the cinnamon stuff and grape juice. haha We have a date set with her for this month! We've had some real cool lessons, she is going to have to make some big changes and it’s awesome to watch. We've only known her for about a week now but we feel real close to her and love her a lot.

Zach passed the sacrament this Sunday! It was like a proud mom moment. The elders gave him a tie and taught him how to put it on, and all the cute little deacons were teaching him and helping him the whole time. He did awesome! 

There has been some good moments this week where we are in the middle of teaching a lesson and as the spirit directs our words and a piece of doctrine all of a sudden makes more sense than it did before. Although the doctrine isn't new to me it just sinks and clicks all in my head. I love that feeling.  

All of the priesthood blessings I've been given on my mission have specifically directed me to spend more time than I am in scripture study and in studying words of latter day prophets. So this week I made a goal to read a general conference talk a day and I stumbled upon one by Elder Ballard in 2014. My favorite part was "the kind of faith that moves mountains is faith in Jesus Christ." Hermana  Mac and I were talking about it and she mentioned an institute lesson she had once about how Laman and Lemuel had faith in the outcome, but Nephi had faith in Christ. I found this interesting and I've never really thought about it before. I realized I've definitely been guilty of having faith that "something will happen" and not faith that "Christ can make this happen." 

3rd Nephi is probably my favorite book in the Book of Mormon. I love the accounts of Christ appearing to the Americas. His healings, blessings, establishing His church, and ministering. For 200 years after his appearance in the America "all were converted unto the Lord." Elder Holland compared this period of time to the City of Enoch. There was so much unity and peace. 

But soon after those 200 years of peace the people became unrighteous and there started to be division. (which of course isn't rare, this happens all throughout the scriptures) These people had walked and talked and prayed next to The Savior. I can only imagine the stories grandparents and parents got to tell to their children about touching the wounds in Christ’s hands. And still with all of these testimonies and personal experiences with the Savior, many started to rebel and "lift up in pride." Prophets describe pride as a desire to be different, a craving for recognition, a fear of being overlooked, doing things our way and how we think they should be done, and insisting on creating our own path without letting God be a part of it. Pride also doesn't want to repent or change. 

This is all connected to me and has got me thinking a lot this week. I don't want to come home and swan dive back into the world and forget everything that I've learned and experiences that I've had. Granted I haven't physically walked and talked with Christ or felt the wounds in his hands yet I certainly can't deny that I have felt him near me as I do His work, His words through scripture, prophets and the spirit have brought guidance and comfort, and have seen and felt the power that fills people’s lives because of the wounds in Christ’s hands. The trick is for me not to get caught in the pride cycle.  

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to subimit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."  DON'T LET ME BE A PILE WHEN I GET HOME OKAY???

Anywho, I got my first haircut since the mish this morning (your welcome mom:) I had .5 second thought of cutting a lot off but then ended up threatening the poor lady not to cut more than she needed to. haha  

Do you JUANt to build a snow man? NO BECAUSE ARKANSAS DOESN'T GET SNOW AND JUST LIKES TO BE FREEZING COLD INSTEAD. I know it could be a lot worse and I shouldn't complain but it’s cold. Don't tell anyone but I actually wore my work out pants and my workout long sleeve shirt (that I may or may not have worked out in that morning) and then just threw a skirt over it hahaha Throw  back to when I was all stressed out about buying the right clothes for my mission. I wear the same thing pretty much every day but it’s so bitter freezing I have to wear pants under my skirts. Shouldn't last long though. Spring in Arkansas definitely makes up for the winter. 

Juan last thing..
Love yall
Les quiero 

Hermana Moore 

Monday, January 4, 2016

 Yay for 2016!

It was a good week! Definitely staying busy. My new year’s resolution to "say no to treats" lasted till this fast Sunday, so it’s been a good start. This year I'm going to try to be more honest with myself and set realistic goals.. haha

Anywho, we got invited to attend Mission Leadership Conference. President and AP's instructed and it was definitely the pump up that I needed. I've missed these meetings. President talked about his vision for the "culture of the mission." We set goals for 2016 and brainstormed as zones how we can improve this upcoming month specifically. Something our zone is working on is maintaining energy! We are setting up some competitions between districts and trying new ideas to keep us motivated. I'm not competitive at all so it’s not going to be any fun ;) We also focused on reaching the standard of excellence better and lots of advice on how we can do better this year. It's always fun to be with everyone and come home with lots of notes to refer to. And Sister Wakolo now wants a pair of purple Hunter boots ;)

We had interviews with President. We start together as a district and discuss the area and do a little Ipad audit and then we each have a personal interview with him. It’s always a little nerve wracking because I feel like he can see my sins. It's kind of like in the Goonies where the little kid starts confessing every sin, like eating all of the ice cream and stuff. haha I feel like it’s like that. It went real well though. He is such an amazing man. I wish I had more alone time to just pick at his brain. He always asks 2 main questions; "Are you worthy of your temple recommend in every way?" and "Is your heart locked?" He warns us now that if we unlock our heart on the mission that we are spending time on someone else's husband/wife. haha His accent makes conversations even more fun.  I want to be President Wakolo when I grow up. 

We have some solid potential baptisms right now but things just seem to be going forward slowly.  Various reasons, out of town for the holidays, need to get married, hard to set up appointments etc, etc. It gets so frustrating. And there’s just too much to do it seems like. I've definitely come to gain a stronger testimony of the timing of God. I feel like just right as I feel like I can't take anymore, or I'm too overwhelmed or frustrating something awesome happens. He comes in clutch every time :) On Friday we were doing some teaching with a member visiting some less actives. As we were walking out of a home Sister Fish is out in the drive way with a friend in the passenger seat. (Sister Fish is Breece's grandma) One of the first things she says to us is "This is my friend and she is ready to talk with missionaries!" Best. Feeling. Ever. She had met with missionaries years before but now feels like God is giving her one last chance to accept the gospel and she feels like she is ready and is currently living with Sister Fish! So we are working to set a time to see her. This kind of things happen all the time. I can be so quick to doubt and it’s frustrating. But big tender mercies happen at the most perfect timing without fail. I haven't mastered patience yet...

Some funnies:
We went teaching with Sister Hardway. Bless her heart. We love her to death and at one point she needed help backing up so Mac had to get out and back her out of a driveway. I pulled out my iPad and started recording because I thought it was the funniest thing ever, jokes on me though because I didn't push the button hard enough so it didn't record.  :/ Also somehow the song from Dora about the map was stuck in my head ya know the one that goes "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the MAP!" Well Mac starts singing "If there’s a place ya gotta get, I can back ya there I bet I'm the Mac, I'm the Mac, I'm the MAC!" hahaha yea it’s definitely not funny over email but it’s funny I promise. 

We also have been trying some gators for a good 2 weeks. Hermanas Lewis and Ponce set a date with them and we went back to continue teaching them and they never opened the door. After trying 4 times we decided to try one last time. As we approached the door we found a sign that said "Hey church people stop knocking our door, we have a church” darn. haha we got a good kick out of this. We tried to discretely take a picture of it without looking too creepy but it didn't turn out. Hence the lack of pics this week. 

We had a dinner with The McArthurs (members)  and a returning less active family.  They have a daughter that should be getting baptized soon! yippee! All 7 of our top progressing gators right now are part member families which has been awesome. 

I bought myself a Christian pop CD for Christmas and it’s our most favorite thing these days. Haha only on a mission ya know? 

I still love Russellville and I still want to stay here forever :) 

The day that I get to come home from church and take a nap will be the best day ever. Sundays are always so hard. But also are the best because I love sacrament meeting. And I love that I get to attend 2 of them in Russellville! I feel like I walk in with a week full of worries, questions, weaknesses and sins and I get to dump them all while taking the sacrament and leave feeling recharged and clean. It’s the greatest feeling.  It's like unloading a backpack full of rocks that I've been carrying around all week. What's even cooler is that by the time I leave I don't even remember the worries that I had when I arrived that morning. I get to start completely fresh with a new week! It’s the best. There is so much power in the ordinance of the sacrament and so much relief that comes on the Sabbath. 

Speaking of starting new :)...

Elder Holland said:
"As a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterday's may have been. The past is to be learned from not to be lived in. Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away. Live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, of trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow and forever. This is a New Year’s resolution I ask you to keep this year." 

Happy New Year! 
(Go sign up at Wasatch Crossfit;) 

Love y'all

Te quiero