Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 28, 2013

Querida Família!

I can already tell this is going to be a very hard transfer, but I´m just trying to stay positive.  If you lose the excitement in missionary work here, it will just get worse and worse.  One day was particularly bad, every appointment fell through and we one street contact that was so lackluster that we just had to laugh or else we would´ve cried.  Jesus Christ never had an off-day where he just didn´t feel like talking to anyone.  He gave everything, even for the people who wouldn´t give Him the time of day.

Dagna is pretty much just staying in place, she stood us up twice and didn´t come to church Sunday.  Eduarda´s family didn´t come either, the dad is the only one who is really interested, so I´m still hoping for him to keep commitments and find an answer.  Right now we are having the most success working on the street of two recent converts, Jaqueline and Eduardo.  They know everyone and just keep giving us references.  The only problem is that they´re almost all teenagers and kids and we have to talk to their parents.  

I really am still doing well and am not complaining, I just think there´s something to be learned from every hard situation.  I know Brasil is the place where I´m meant to learn certain things.  Here, if you aren´t baptizing weekly, you know something is going wrong.  There´s always a mountain of problems but the challenge is finding solutions that are doable and will help you slowly improve each day.  I´m kind of an idealist, and this month I´m praying for patience.  Awful thing to pray for haha.. but just because things aren´t immediately better doesn´t mean they aren´t improving.  Sister Seal says I have a gift for finding problems, which can be good, but without solutions or patience it can definitely add up to tons and tons of problems.  The thing that keeps me going is knowing that there is something I need to learn, that I need to change and DO in order to learn it.  That´s why we have so many commitments and programs in the church that call for action; covenants, personal progress, priesthood.  

In John 7:17, Christ gives the ultimate test to know if anything is true: DO IT.  No one can know this Gospel is true through thinking about it, only through living it!

I don´t really have anything to take pictures of, I don´t carry my camera around.  I do have some favorite scriptures that I´ve found on the mission!  The beginning of Romans 5 is my favorite about patience.  I guess the Romans were impatient people, because that book has a lot on patience.  Also I love in the last chapter of Timothy II where Paul says ``I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith``.  That verse just stays in my head all the time.

Finally, I love in Ether 6 when the Jaredites are crossing the waters for almost a year and they never stop singing and praising day and night.  Being in that little boat for a whole year doesn´t really sound fun, but the wind never stopped blowing towards the promised land and the lights never went out.  The symbolism of that whole story is so beautiful.

I love you all so much and am so glad you are doing missionary work!  Dad, sometimes I can just see you here talking with these Brasilians.  I really like your stories and your advice, so you should keep giving them.  I can see now how this country has become a part of you and how it´s becoming a part of me.  I love you!  

Mom, I knew you were going to think I died when I wrote two days late ;) haha you are so crazy.  But I love you and miss your hugs.  Thank you for giving me this gospel! 

Don´t be weary in well-doing! 

Sister Moore

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

Oi familia!

Transfer weeks we have p-day on Wednesday, sorry I forgot to tell you!  It feels like a lifetime since  I wrote last.  I´m in the same area with the same companion which is really a  good thing just a little anticlimactic..  haha but really this a great area and we still have TONS of work to do and things we need to change.  I´m also glad I don´t have to train, it really only happened as a last resort because more Sisters were coming in than were in the field and able to train.  I´m really sad that Sister Johnson got transferred, but she got her dying wish and got transferred.  Her area and companion were NOT working for her at all and something had to give.  Sister Willette is getting a new trainer which is crazy  and we´ll meet her today.  I think she´ll be Brasilian.                  
Dagna didn´t get baptized because she doesn't want to have any doubts.  It´s so frustrating because she KNOWS it´s true and is SO ready.  Her son Gustavo is feeling better now.    At least she still says she wants to go to church and live the commandments, so I believe she´ll get there.  We´re going to watch  the longer Joseph Smith movie with her because that really makes it click for people .  The lesson we learned is to listen to our leaders,  they told us to remark the baptism immediately because once a baptism falls once it´s really hard to get back.  We were thrilled to see her back in church through.. and she brought her Sister!! 

Speaking of... we had EIGHT investigators in church!!!  That is a huge deal.  We have one family, but the parents need to get married.  Then we had Paulo, this super cool guy from Portugal, Dson who we didn´t even remember inviting to church, and Eduarda, a 15-year girl who came with a recent convert!  The awesome thing about Eduarda is that we found her family yesterday. It was insane finding a normal family, all together at home, and the one who was the most interested was the DAD!!  We are praying that he will lead his whole family in being baptised together.  They have three teenage daughters.  It is amazing how much I´ve come to appreciate the ideal home, because you never see it here.  Now all that home needs is the gospel and the priesthood!  We´re going to read the Family Proc and I´m so pumped.  Praying with them altogether gave me such a good feeling.  It´s something  I don´t think many missionaries think about in the rush to get people baptized in two weeks,  but I really want to invite everyone to pray and read scriptures as a family, to receive an answer together as well as individually.  Teaching the gospel to your children I think is the most important duty we have in this life.  Or one of them.. converts are amazing but the way children just trust and believe and love makes the home the ideal place to learn.  

I am still feeling sick to my stomach about our converts who aren´t confirmed.  Cleonice is coming home tonight and I´m just praying she doesn´t have a mountain of work to do that will stop her from coming to church.  She is really firm though, but I´m glad we get to see her again. Antonio is another story.. by far the worst thing that happened this week.   Long story short, he doesn´t want to keep the law of chastity and doesn´t want to be confirmed.  All I can think is that I´m grateful God is in charge.  I was just reading in doctrine in covenants about someone who willingly broke their covenants because  they fell to the pressure of the world and Satan tempted them right away.  But God will do what is good for all of His children.   It definitely was a sickening experience that I hope I never have to repeat.                       

I´m praying for Aunt Nancy!  I almost had a heart attack reading that but I´m glad they caught it early!  Mom, you are an awesome missionary.  I´m not sure if it works in the states like it works here, but with catholics you could always  just pull out a picture of Christ´s baptism and explain immersion, age of account ability and priesthood authority  :)  Haha I don´t think I´d be able to teach in English.  It´s just so different here.  If they don´t accept baptism the first contact, they aren´t a new investigator. 

So everything´s  pretty good , I´m happy to be staying and finishing my training.  This ward is really special and I am excited to start a new transfer.  I´ve survived the 7 plagues of our apartment, mosquitos, ants, lizards, frogs, cockroaches,  wasps and SHOWER WORMS.  Other than that.. we´re surviving.  

There just is never a boring day in a place where everyone wants to stop you in the street and tell you their life story.   One couple rejected the invitation to go to church but still fed us cake.. people are so insane here haha It´s a lot of fun though.  Sometimes at night I feel like I live in Tortuga with bars on every street but encounters with drunks have only been funny.  We do avoid it though so don´t worry  :)  It´s just a different world.  

It is a blessing to be here and every day I´m learning what it means to be your own best convert.    As you become the kind of missionary the Lord wants, that will change who you are forever, and baptisms are just a consequence.  The Gospel has to become a part of every fiber of your being, every word reflecting in your actions.

I love you all so much!  Have a fun Halloween!  Send me pictures of the dinner!

Sister Moore  

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Oi abencoados!!
This was kind of a tougher week for the work.  We received a list of inactives from the bishop the other day and it was just the saddest thing in the world sitting there as he went through all of the names individually and it took SO long and we just can tell he is so tired.  I think he´s been bishop a long time and he really is tired of the acummilating membros afastados.  Mostly it made me think about President Monson telling us to rescue, so that´s gonna be my new word for the next transfer: RESGATAR!  President Costa of the 70 specifically promised our mission that for every reactivation we´ll have a baptism.  It´ll definitely be hard and a lot of people will waste our time, but I know that´s what Brasil needs.
The best part of this week was seeing some of Sister Seal´s recent converts REALLY change, especially Eduardo.  He is so funny and I was really annoyed with him the first time we met because he started drinking again and stopped going to church right fter baptism.  But he saw the bishop finally and since then he actually has repented and it´s the coolest thing in the world.  He even brought a friend to church and gives us the best references.  He even did street contacts with us a couple of times all decked out like a missionary with his book of mormon, bible and pamphlets.  It´s so funny and adorable.  He´s one of the ones with no teeth who I just assumed was crazy but he really gives me hope for all the people here.  One day we´ll meet everyone as resurrected children of God and in that sense we´re all equal.  I always try to remember that now before I pass someone by.

The worst thing this week is that both of my baptisms still aren´t confirmed..  Cleonice is traveling because her son is very sick but Antonio suddenly has to work every Sunday after telling us he doesn´t work.  It is just so stressful feeling like you´ve baptized someone who won´t even come long enough to get confirmed.  Cleonice is very strong and I´m not as worried but I just don´t know if Antonio was ever telling us the truth.  I guess that´s just agency.  The other thing that happened this week is that Dagna´s baptism fell through.  It was because her son has Denge but it was still really sad, we had the font all ready and she didn´t call us or anything.  She is still my favorite investigator that we have.  She feels the spirit so strongly and is so willing to change to follow the church.  She even brought her son to an activity and was actively trying to make friends.  Hopefully her baptism isn´t postponed for too long.  Satan has a way of getting to people.  I´m just praying for her son, he´s only 6 and the thought of him with Denge is the saddest thing ever.

Time is FLYING.  I can´t believe my first tranfer is almost over. There is a good chance I´ll be training next week.  No one knows!  Here they don´t tell you about tranfers until 9 the night before.  I´m really good no matter what happens, I would like to finish my own training, but if I have to train it will a great learning experience.  I would really love to have a Brasilian companion.  The language really is coming well though.  I love talking to all the members.  There really are some special families.  One couple just seems like they could be a part of our family, the way their little house is decorated and their sense of humor.  That picture I sent was from Sister Seal´s birthday where our ward pretty much threw a surprise party.  It was so funny.  I just love them.

I still don´t understand exactly how to use family history to do missionary work but that sounds really interesting.  We teach people so fast I think the temple might overwhelm them, but it would be great to teach the recent converts.  I think when I get home I really want to get more into family history.  I can for sure take a class at BYU on it.  WOO HOO!!!  I haven´t thought about it too much, but I still think history is what I´m supposed to do.  

That´s funny that Michael works at a pretzel shop.  Tell him he needs to go on a mission :)

Bishop Glenn really was a special bishop.  Keep helping the missionaries!!  They need it!!  I´m so glad we are a missionary family.  We´ve been talking a lot about the second coming in our apartment, and how we think the prophet at some point will make an announcement to move all the saints to the mountains.  It´s not doctrine, but I´ve just been thinking a lot about how I wouldn´t be suprised if the faithful had a test like that in the last days.  If the prophet one day made an announcement to leave everything behind and go somewhere, would we do it?  The second coming is just the most interesting thing in the world to study, and we´re told to be watchful right?  

I love you all so much!!  Time is going by too fast here!  Christmas is only in like 10 more weeks!  Haha trunky moment.  

Feliz Anniversario Pai!  Eu mandou uma carta, mas nao recebera no tempo certo :(  Nao temos um correio em nossa area.  Mas, eu espero que tenha um dia MARVILHOSA!!!  Eu sinto saldades de voce! Mesmo que voce e um pouco doido a veces.  Amo voce!

Com besos e abracos,

Sister Moore

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 7, 2013

Sister Johnson and Sister Moore with Brazilian Kittens

No baptisms but here´s some kittens!!  

"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Elder Uchtdorf  That quote was the same one  me and my companion decided was the quote of the conference. I don´t know what it is, but I can see Elder Scott being the next prophet.  I just feel a lot of love in his voice when he speaks.   Conference just makes me realize how important families are in the plan of salvation and how the world cannot change eternal truths.  It is so evident here in Brasil where almost every home doesn´t has a father figure or people are just living together.  Marriage is just not valued here because it is expensive. 

One of the speakers said something along the lines of ``how would you feel if someone made a committment every week and never kept it?" and I just started laughing because that is  my life every day.  We are a covenant making people and that is where our blessings come from.  We have to hold up our part and LIVE our beliefs.

Natal means Christmas,  I´ll give you my Anniversario list later ;)  I could buy a watch,  but we only use our little allowance from the mission  that pretty much covers food bus and email..   it´s all good though.  Comfortable, durable shoes aren´t really a thing here.  Just stilettos and flip flops.
A couple of families asked me to sing during lessons, but I don´t have a lot of Portuguese hymns memorized.  I guess I could carry around my little Hino.  Transfers are coming  up so maybe I´ll sing in church again.  Music really does invite the Spirit.  I really do want to be in the MoTab choir someday if I can.  They really make conference what it is.

My President is Presidente Nogueira.  We didn´t find anyone to baptize that day but Sister Johnson and Willette did which was funny and awesome because they had been struggling a lot.  He was a pretty crazy guy but at least he was at conference.    We have a washing machine and we hang our clothes outside on our little caged in patio thing.  P-days we pretty much email, shop and sleep.  Nothing really great.  But some members got us two pizzas  so it´s gonna be a party!  We make no-bakes pretty much every day.  For conference I made french toast for everyone. 

I´m making it a life goal to make my kids look forward to conference like Christmas.   As a missionary it really is like Christmas.  Two whole days of sitting down and four opportunities to have people in church.  We had Dagna at the first session. She is one of my favorites but she´s progressing slowly because she´s actually sane.  She has a really cute 6-year-old son  who pays attention to every meeting and is really smart.  That really is rare..  Brasilian children are generally not well behaved.  You can hear it from outside the schools. Another one of our investigators does nothing but stay home all day with three awful grandchildren, like I´m not going to lie, they are so annoying.  They don´t wear clothes and they just scream  in all our lessons and I feel so bad for their poor Grandma. Another reason the traditional family is so important.  Those parents are never there.

I definitely don´t have time to talk about all our people because there are SO many and you never know who will actually keep commitments.  Things are still going great!  I love Brasil and I will try not to come home on a mobility scooter from being too fat.     I think we walk enough that it won´t happen :)  I am just so glad I am here learning all the things I´m learning. A mission is the biggest blessing in the world.

I love you and am praying for Longmont!  Keep being good missionaries!  You are doing exactly what all members should be doing and it´s so awesome!!!

Muito amor,
Sister Moore

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30, 2013

Oi Querida Familia!

Well here´s another baptism picture!!  Haha I think you will see a lot but here you literally can´t count on any baptism until they´re in the water.  This is Antonio, we met him a week ago and he had already been to church and was just the most prepared man I´ve ever seen.  What really impressed me was that he was ALWAYS waiting for us outside which no one ever does.  In his first prayer out loud, he said he already knows he´s on the right path.  Baptisms here are really interesting.  A member of the bishopric chewed us out literally right before the baptism about baptising too fast.  But this is literally how it works here and our district leader, who is the coolest guy ever, was really the one who marked the baptism for us in church. I´m just trying still to understand how this mission works but I know it´s supposed to be this way.  I just really want the ward to trust us.  A lot of Sister Seal´s converts haven´t been coming to church.  We visit them and feel bad about it, but it´s the wards job to fellowship, reactivate and GIVE US REFERENCES.  

Right now we really want to find ways to serve the ward, but people won´t even let us wash dishes.  I´ve found that people only like you when you eat so much you want to puke, which Sister Johnson can do.  So everyone loves her.  So I guess the missionary work here boils down to just praying for an appetite haha

I really do love our ward though, we had a really great testimony meeting and the youth here are unbelievable.  All the girls want to serve missions and I just want to cry every time I see them because I love them so much.  We also have some great RM´s.  Don´t worry, I´m not going to bring home a Brasilian ;)

I did meet the President and his wife the first day and we took a picture.  They are very nice.  I had my interview last week and all he told me was be obedient and everything else follows.  They don´t speak any English, but that´s okay.  I´m understanding Portuguese a lot more, especially with people my age and people who have teeth.  People understand me when I speak unless they choose not to, which is interesting and sometimes annoying.  Like people see I have an accent and stop trying to listen.

I didn´t see the Conferencia Sociadade do Soccorro, but we will definitely see Conferencia Geral, hopefully in English.  I am SOOO pumped!!!  

This morning was really really strange.  Our zone leader called and told us the President is making an exception today and we need to go out and find anyone who´s been to church once and ask them to be baptized today so we can make our goal.  Sister Seal and I just tried not to murmur, but I´m trying SOO hard to understand this mission.  We may or may not have a baptism to go to for one of Sister Johnson´s investigators and it sounds like he doesn´t know anything and is just out of his mind.  Luckily our district leader who does the interview has the gift of discernment.  I just don´t understand it, but I´m trying to have faith.  The only thing we can do to help these people is baptize them, and they have agency about what happens after.  

I´m praying so hard to find families.  We have a couple but they won´t come to church.  The goal in the end for me is to find the future bishops, relief society presidents and above all, missionaries.  The thing that amazes me is how a lot of the people you find here have already talked to missionaries and weren´t ready then but are now.  So everytime someone falls through, they´ll be taught again in the future and be more prepared to hear the lessons and be baptized.  Planting seeds is so important.  This week we taught another older woman who told us she had a dream about us then saw us on the street.  She has already been taught and has gone to church and feels we are her second chance.  She wasn´t at church yesterday but she wants to wait and be baptized with her daughter which is fine by me.  

Well my mind is just spinning, but I´ve realized that this mission is definitely not about me.  I may not feel wonderful about everything my leaders say or about how well the investigators understand, but I´m just here to be the Lord´s servant.  The best thing I can do for my mission is be obedient.  

So I have no ideas about how to get Chacos except sending them one at a time.  It takes a really long time for packages to get here, so I think it may be time to start thinking about Natal :) haha  I´m really not concerned about it but I do need a watch.  All I really want for Christmas is the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert from last year with Alfie Boe and a CD of the MoTab doing show tunes.  The music rules here are only church hymns and primary songs by the MoTob or the church webstie, and on p-day, anything by the MoTab, anything from the church website or efy music.  Also, you should send maple flavoring so I can make syrup for pancakes, and ready to make cookies.

I love you all so much and am praying for Longmont.  I´m glad you are all being such good missionaries and serving others.  I need to do the same!  Time is flying!!  Just so you know, both Sister Johnson and Seal have said I´m the least trunky missionary they´ve ever seen.  I love my family, but my heart really is 100% in my mission.  Not to say that seeing you again won´t be the best day ever, but I only get 18 months to be a missionary. And it´s only 16 months now!!  WHAT??


Sister Moore