Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2014, Last Email from Brazil!


I can´t believe I´m going to see you all in a week.  It just doesn´t seem right still, but I really am sooo excited to see you. 

I am such a believer in end of the mission miracles.  First the miracle of the lost keys.  So we lost our keys and we were all thinking for a minute that we´d be locked out all night and sleep in the woods.  We asked around to know where we could find a locksmith and everyone was telling us we wouldn´t be able to get anyone at that hour.  But we went over to the locksmith´s shop and the guy in the dog food shop next to it was closing up.  He told us the locksmith was closed but he knew where he lived so he went on his motorcycle to get him. They came back and while the locksmith was getting his stuff from the shop we invited the other guy, Tony, to go to church and marked to teach him the next day.  Well, we got back into our house, we have new locks and keys, and Tony brought his two brothers to church with him and they´re ALL THREE getting baptized on the 18th!  They had already been taught before and were just waiting for others to find them.  They live in a place where we never would have found them, so the disappearing keys brought a huge miracle.

Before Sunday the rest of the week was going super rough, lots of problems with less actives and just sad things.  And we never found Ronaldo that whole week who still needed to be confirmed.  I cried on Saturday when we passed by and he wasn´t there again.  It was just a rotten Saturday.  But Sunday rolled around and Tony and his brothers, Neto and Augosto were there.  Then, in the middle of Gospel Principles, RONALDO showed up!   And was confirmed :)  He is so crazy but I love him.  It was such a miracle.  

Paula yesterday asked me if I had to go back to the US and I told her yes, even if I wanted to stay, I can´t because of my visa.  So then she´s like ´´But you can marry Jonathan and stay!´´  haha.. I dunno, maybe you won´t be seeing me next week ;)  
I think she was joking... 

It´s gonna be an amazing week.  Today we´re gonna go on a hike with some of our recent converts.  I hope Sister Bunch gets to stay here, but with 18 Sisters leaving and 4 arriving, a lot´s gonna change.  A lot of wards are gonna get angry next week, everyone likes sisters more than elders :p 

I have no regrets at all about serving a mission.  I was never a perfect missionary and I´m still not, but I´ve learned so much about trusting the Lord and I´ve gained an unshakeable testimony of the Savior and the Book of Mormon.  I love this gospel so much and I´m excited to apply it to the real world.  I want to always live up to the way my converts see me now. I´ll miss Brazil so much.  Maybe someday we can all come back here.  Have an awesome week.  I love you all so much.

com todo o meu coração,

Sister Moore 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 5, 2014

Querida família,

After this, you´ll only get one more email from me, then I can tell you everything in person.  I´m excited to be coming home but it just doesn´t even seem like a reality yet.  I feel like an old lady with hip and knee pain and I get really really cold in air conditioned buildings.  I would love to live by Eric until school starts and work at Wallaby´s, and Sister Sciammarella (I guess I have to start calling her Emily) wants to look at places to live with me as soon as I get out to Utah.  I feel like I can pretty much live in any conditions after the mission.  

Things are going so good, my companion is learning way faster than I did and is gonna do so many miracles in this mission.  Jonathan bore his testimony Sunday and it was really funny because he sings in a band and he got up and tested the microphone then just laid down the best, straight to the point testimony ever.  Like a pro.  I´m so proud.  Paula wants me to help her play Zelda Majora´s Mask and it´s probably the biggest temptation of my whole mission.  They are the coolest people ever.  Juliana isn´t showing any interest anymore in baptism and I think it has a lot to do with her 1 year old daughter, so she doesn´t want to go to church with her and she doesn´t pay attention in our lessons because of her.  Her kids are great, but they really need her to have a testimony as well.  Jonathan and Paula help a ton with them.  For now we need a new teaching group and we need referrals really badly.  Also pray for Ronaldo to get confirmed.  Things keep happening every week and he doesn´t go to church and it´s really making me crazy worried.

Today I was reading in the Book of Mormon about the people who started leaving the church only a few years after the signs of Christ´s birth and I thought about the missionaries who leave the church after being faithful missionaries.  If we don´t continue to be spiritual fed and progress, Satan can make our spiritual experiences in the past seem to us like just emotion and convince us to go astray even after seeing miracles, like the Nephites when the doctrine of Christ seemed like foolishness to them.  I just want everyone to know that the church is true, families can be together forever, God has called a prophet in our day and Christ has always been, still is and always will be our Savior and only perfect example to emulate in this life.  Sure, our bodies need rest but if we think for a second that our spirituality can be put on the shelf to save for later, we´ve entered where the enemy will have us to sift us as wheat.  

I´m so glad we can all be returned missionaries together.  I´m already thinking about the missionary work that needs to be done at home, baptizing and reactivating.  I´ll put some thought and prayer into my homecoming talk, and lot of thought and prayer about where I want to eat when I get home.  Not rice and beans.  I´m not sure what´ll make me super sick so probably not Cheesecake Factory.. haha

I love you all so much!!  So SOOO much!  The church is true. 

Com carinho,

Sister Moore 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

December 29, 2014

Querida família,

I hope you all are enjoying being home and reflecting on the memories and lesson learned on the mission.  There really is a different kind of love you feel for people on the mission, and it´s because of the work and sacrifice you do for them.  When I get home we can all cry together about sucky normal person life.  Our Christmas Conference was basically all about how after the mission you have to continue to progress spiritually, bringing all you´ve learned into real life.  There´s no such thing as a break, you haven´t paid your dues to the church or the Savior.  Mission is a boot camp for the real challenges ahead.  

It was great to see you guys, even though I was in a house full of really loud Brazilians.  It was better when my companion was talking to her family.  She´s doing a great job adjusting and is really helpful.  It seems she always remembers the things I forget and always has insights about the work and lots of motivation to keep working hard.  

Jonathan was baptized Sunday and he looked sooo happy coming out of the water.  He really opened up a lot more during the week and is super funny and wants to serve a mission.  I love his sister too, Paula, who we reactivated.  She´s the only person I´ve met in Brazil who plays Zelda Majora´s Mask.  They are so cool, like I would best friends with them outside the mission.  I know they´re gonna help so much with references and teaching with us.  

Did I tell you already about Deleon and Juliana?  Well, they broke up and Deleon moved to Mamanguape, which means he won´t be there to argue with us in our lessons and we can baptize Juliana and her kids!!  It was seriously a miracle.  He took the Book of Mormon in English and Portuguese with him so hopefully he´ll read and gain a testimony someday.  Juliana is good friends with Paula and Jonathan, so they´ll help her a lot.  Right now she´s a little hesitant about baptism but she keeps the commandments and all we need is one really good spiritual lesson with her.  Pray for her and her kids, Ikaro and Isaac.  

Funny story.  We cleaned out our house and threw out a ton of books that no one will ever use and left them on the corner where they collect the trash.  So Felipe, who lives close by, saw Preach my Gospel on the ground and saw that it was from the church and took it home to start reading.  He just asked us ´´Do you guys have like a guidebook?´´ and then pulls out PMG.  We marked a part for him to read about Eternal Marriage and challenged him to ask Paula on a date because they´re perfect for each other.  I think we´re allowed to do that?  Either way he accepted our challenge.  hehehe..  We told the Branch President we´d help get everyone in the branch married.  Trunky.  

My AP´s are Elder Morais and Elder Alves. What´s the name of the missionary who knows one of them?

 Everything´s going great in the Cidade Enoque.  I don´t want to say goodbye, but I´m excited to see you all, especially Lucy. Show her pictures of me so she doesn´t forget who I am.  I love you all so much!  Have a great 2015!!

Um abraço,

Sister Moore

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 15, 2014

Linda família,

This has been quite a week, but so far I haven´t lost my mind yet and the Lord keeps sending angels of every kind to help me this week.  Training is definitely hard, but Sister Bunch is so great and has such a desire to learn fast.  She had a little moment of feeling overwhelmed by the culture shock but got over it fast.  We´ve been running in between appointments on the two farthest sides of the two areas that are now all ours,  I have to remember everything all by myself for the first time without a senior companion or two other sisters in the house, and all the while explain everything to my companion and make sure she´s doing okay.  But like I said, a lot of angels were on my side this week, and I´d like to name a few:

Fabio, a less active who gave us Laércio´s reference.  He´s been teaching with us and doing an amazing job of it, also following up with Laércio when we couldn´t this week.  He even asked what tomorrow´s lesson would be so he could study.  Laércio was baptized at the District Conference on Sunday, and was so happy.  He has so much faith.  He has been a smoker since age eight and just decided to stop because he had the desire to be baptized.  At the baptism he was all smiles and he said he almost cried from happiness.  He´s so awesome and humble.  

Felipe, my recent convert.  Thursday, it wasn´t even in our plans but I felt like we should visit him.  He answered the door with the saddest face I´d ever seen and had started growing a beard and just looked depressed.  He told us he had been feeling bad about his life and he had no desire to even leave his house or pray or read the scriptures.  I got so worried about him, he said he hadn´t felt that way in two years and the feeling lasted 6 months.  In that moment I told him he had ten minutes to get ready to go teaching with us and Larissa.  So he got up, came back all dressed and shaved and smiling, and we went to visit other recent converts.  He helped so much in teaching and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon.  He said he didn´t even know if he would be alive right now if we hadn´t shown up in his hour of need.  I just wanted to cry it was so spiritual seeing him teach for the first time and gain a desire to help everyone.  He´s such a great guy.  
Nino, a recent covert from my new area.  He and his best friend David who was baptized with him call each other Elder and help a lot in that area.  They used to be punks, and still kind of look like it but a I gave Nino the pamphlets of tithing and the law of chastity. They are changing a lot.  They´ve been the only way I´ve been able to keep up with the two areas.  I could not find Ariano, who was supposed to be baptized Domingo.  He ended up not going to church, but they´ve been taking care of everyone when I can´t.

Anderson, our ward mission leader who is super young and has been really going the extra mile to help me.  He´s the only one in his family who works which makes it hard for him to go on a mission, but he still finds time to help us.  Because of him the investigators and recent converts from the vila went to church Sunday.

Larissa, who´s come a really long way in her testimony from teaching with us a lot in the last transfer.  She´s 13 and has a tough family situation and stays with us because it´s better than her house or any other thing she could be getting into.  Sunday morning my companion woke up super sick so Larissa passed in everyone´s house who we couldn´t. 

There are a lot more, like our Zone Leaders, the Branch President and his wife and the Sister Training Leaders but everyone´s been helping a ton and it´s been amazing.  Pray for Ariano, Danilo and Douglas, our possible baptisms who have been to church several times.  

I love you all so much!  Make the last weeks count!  Remember how much God loves you and wants to help and just wants you to be happy.  Training has made me understand God´s love so much in just one week and I can´t even imagine the love I´ll have one day for my actual children.  Can´t wait to talk to guys and can´t believe how fast time flies.  Have an awesome week! 


Sister Moore

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014

Querida família,

I´m training the first American Sister to arrive in this mission since MY group arrived!!  Her name is Sister Bunch, she´s from Parker Colorado and served for 6 weeks in Oregon, so she´s still very new. It´s really different not having someone who already knows how to speak Portuguese, but she´s awesome and has a lot of desire to learn fast.  I already love her like my own daughter.  She´s very deer in the headlights still, who wouldn´t be, but I know she´s gonna help me a lot. I knew right away I would train her when I saw her :)

So it was a perfect day, I was so excited for this transfer, then a bomb got dropped on us:  Rio Tinto II closed, Sister Cameron´s leaving and I have to take care of both areas and the whole branch ALONE.  I have never had to do so many things I don´t feel prepared to do at the same time.  Our areas are very far away from each other and I still don´t know how I´m gonna do it and teach with someone who can´t speak the language yet..  Just pray for me a lot.  

Ronaldo was baptized!!  He is totally crazy but he has the ten commandments memorized,keeps all his commitments, comes to church by himself and is always early.  Sunday was such a miracle.  11 investigators were at church!  A lot of them have to get married, aren´t old enough to be baptized the next week or don´t want to get baptized, but we have one solid investigator who wants to be baptized Sunday, Laércio!  He was a referral from Fabio, a less active who was also a miracle.  The sisters that were here before just found him by chance one day and he was baptized a long time ago in Natal.  Now he´s returning and helping us teach and everything.  We´re also teaching his niece Grazi.  Pray for Laércio to be able to completely stop smoking, he´s already cut down A LOT. He´s so elect!

Raul went to church with his friend Lucas, and just doesn´t want to get baptized still.  His day will come..  like so many others.  We have a really great family as well who came to church, Juliana and her sons Ikaro and Isaac.  Her husband studies theology and is a tough nut to crack, but Juliana loved church on Sunday so he at least needs to marry her legally for her sake and for their kids.  Isaac already asked his mom to buy church clothes for him and wants to keep going every Sunday.  So cute! :) 

This transfer will for sure be a challenge, but I just need to rely more than I ever have in my life on the Lord and my leaders and the members.  Also my companion, she read to me last night the scripture in D&C that says ´´look to me in every thought, doubt not, fear not´´ that Sciammarella always read to people.  She´s so full of that new missionary spirit and I know it´ll help me a lot.  My priority is just to help her do all the things I wish I had done better and for her to have the best mission ever.  

I love you all so much and am excited to see you again, but very sad that this is the last transfer. Have an awesome week!

Um abraço bem forte,

Sister Moore

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 1, 2014

Querida Família!

WOAH.. That´s so awesome that your mission baptized 100!!!  Especially because it was because everyone was doing it the way of the Lord, not just to baptize.  That´s so inspiring... and I feel a little lame now... haha

I tried to send pictures and I hope you can open them and that they don´t infect the computers you´re using..  The first is Iasmmy from Santa Rita then Leandro and then me and Vitória.  Felipe got baptized yesterday and I´m sending his picture in this email.. he is so awesome.  He likes to read the Book of Mormon just opening to random pages and he marks everything he likes.. even when it doesn´t make sense like circling the Zoramite prayer in Alma 31... he knows that´s not how you pray haha..  He´s 28 but gets along more with the youth.  One big miracle in this branch is how suddenly we have young men.  They´re all investigators, recent converts and less actives that are returning, but there were basically 0 and now there´s a classroom full.  Felipe can be the new YM pres :)  He came to the activity on Tuesday and participated more than anyone!  We played the newspaper game, charades and mafia and everyone loved it.  Best by far.  

The other visitor at the activity that was a huge miracle was Jean, who´s visiting from São Paulo to get some things his recently deceased father left him.  His little cousin, Bianca, 10, has been coming to church every week and brought him with her.  We talked to him afterwards and he had gone to the Mormon church for 3 years as a teenager but was never baptized.  10 years later he has a family and has changed a lot and basically asked to be baptized.  We wanted to just baptize him here, but he´s not quite ready yet so we´re sending him to the missionaries where he lives to teach his whole family.  Sister Marschall will keep in contact with him when she goes home and he knows where the church is.  Some lucky missionaries have been fasting A LOT... :)  I can´t wait to see what happens.  He leaves Tuesday.

It´s hard to not be trunky in a house where everyone is ending their mission.. but I´m trying to take advantage of the time I still have and the things I´ve learned in these 16 months.  Miracles are going to happen still!!  It´s Christmas time! Right now our possible baptism is Ronaldo, an old man who we did not expect to come to church.. haha he likes to burst into song when we teach.. pray for him.  Every child of God needs to be baptized!  Vitórias doing great, she wants to be baptized so bad.  

Doing everything the Lord´s way is worth it.  He knows where the families are in this area who want to be baptized.  I´m so grateful for His love in my life and for being able to do a little to help His children feel that love.  

I love you all so much and I hope December brings even bigger miracles!  Remember that gratitude breaks the pride cycle.  Keep working!  


Sister Moore

Friday, November 28, 2014

November 24, 2014

Querida Família,

That is amazing that your mission is baptizing so much.  We have the same number of missionaries and only 29 baptisms until now.. I think we´ve been adjusting to a new way of working and new rules that make it harder to baptize fast but will have more retention.  But if we baptize families and have faith, we should still be baptizing a lot!  I loved dad as Noah.. I want to hear more about what that training was about!

João is a tough cookie.  He wants to go to the temple, wants to pay tithing, would even be confirmed a member if he could, but he just does not want to get baptized.  There´s something in his head that, every time he agrees with what we´re saying, just takes him back to the same thing: ``but I´ve already been baptized´´..  He even went to the interview and when we got to the chapel, our investigator Vitória was there CLEANING THE CHAPEL with just the branch President and one other young woman.  She wants to be baptized so bad.. and the only investigator who can´t be baptized.  Isn´t that just life?  She awesome though.

We found a lot of really awesome people last week, none of which came to church except for Raul who we´ve been teaching together with his uncle and his friend who know EVERYTHING about the church. He came to one of our lessons and just pulls out the teachings of Brigham Young manual..  what the heck??  It´s a little frustrating because he´s a little misinformed and isn´t as interested or open as Raul, so he´s kind of there just to get the lesson off track talking about random things from the church´s history..  But Raul went to church and didn´t seem to love it.. but he needs to pray about the Book of Mormon still.  Pray for him!  

Also... his uncle, Ronoldo, really really wants me to make pumpkin pie so could you send me a recipe? haha thanks

The biggest miracle for last.. Felipe!!  He lives so close to our house and we found an unfinished... Í don´t remember the english word for ficha.. the paperwork you fill out to baptize someone.... but we found that paper in our house and we went over to his house.  Turns our he´d been taught twice already, once in Natal, found the missionaries here again, but never was baptized.  We talked to him and taught the first lesson and he said he wasn´t ready before but this time his heart is open and he wants to be baptized.. Sunday!!  WOOHOO!!  He is so solid and so great!  

It was a great week and the next will be better!  A lot more happened but I think I covered the most important.. The Book of Mormon is true!  I know the Savior loves me and all of us.  I love you all so much!

Com carinho,

Sister Moore