Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013


It was so great to see your faces and hear your voices!!  Here are some pictures from Christmas morning when we went to Cabo Branco, where the sun rises first.  We definitely went full tourist for a few hours, bought hats and leite de coco and everything, but hey, it was Christmas :)  Don´t get too jealous, but I have the best mission in the world.  This place is in my AREA. 

So for the second week in a row we didn´t have anyone at church, but it turned out to be exactly what we needed to change what we needed to change.  I came into this mission being what we call a ´´Golera´´ or goalee who doesn´t believe in baptizing as quickly as possible as many people as possible.  I tried really hard to just be obedient, do what my leaders say and try to understand and one day it just clicked with me and I had the desire to be a ´´Batizadora´´. I still am 100% a believer in baptizing, but I just think it went to far and along the way I forgot exactly what I´m here to do.  We did 100 contacts on Monday just to acheive and hit a goal.  Out of those 100, not one was elect.  It was because we weren´t even looking for elects, we were just looking to hit a number.  The way we´ve been doing things, I don´t even know anything about anyone we teach.  It made me feel really sick.  We were sitting there in sacrament meeting and I just felt so guilty for my lack of charity.  So I took a piece of paper, wrote my sins down and after taking the sacrament I ripped it up. 

Right after that experience Sister Seal and I talked about what is going wrong and we just recieved a TON of ideas all at once.  The Lord really just started helping us again and we decided that instead of telling people why our church is the only true church, we are going to focus more on what they really will get if they go to church.  I never stayed in the church because of Joseph Smith, I stayed in it because I know how it has blessed my life and my family.  It is true, and I know it by it´s fruits.  Everyone needs this gospel in their life, the gospel can help them with anything that they´re struggling with.  I can´t believe I´ve lost sight of that.  Either way, the reason no one came to church of the 300 we invited was because we had to learn this.  And we had to learn this for someone who was waiting for us.  That night we went contacting and met Alcicleia, a true elect.  We almost abandoned the contact because she wasn´t very firm about going to church this Sunday but then we stayed a little longer and listened.  She got married at 15 and suffered a lot in that marriage.  She has four kids and her house burned down so she recently moved and left her husband.  She spent Christmas without her kids and just wanted someone to listen to her, and was very grateful for us.  She says she only wants to look to the future now, she doesn´t have a church but she´s looking for direction in her life.  It was seriously the coolest day of my mission.  Sometimes God just needs to land you on your bum to tell you that you need to learn something.  He does His own work.  I´ve been really lost on New Years Resolutions, but now I know the missionary I want to be. 

The mission is flying, and I have a feeling that the second I learn how to be a missionary will be the day I go home.  Presidente Nogueira just sent an email that we all need a reserve of R$100 for travel so I think tons of people are getting transferred.  I still love this area and I love Sister Seal.  Our companionship just keeps getting easier and we´re always laughing.  It is going to be sooo hard when we get separated, but we both feel it´s coming.  I really want to stay here in Prossind.  I love my ward, my leaders are like big brothers to me (which it seems I can never get enought of) and I will be devastated when I have to say goodbye to Jaqueline.  She is a better missionary that me and Seal combined and really has taught me a lot about loving the people we contact on the street and who we teach.  I truly believe she is an angel, and she deserves much happier of a life than she has. 
I love you all so much!! Feliz novo ano!!
Sister Moore

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Olá e Feliz Natal meus bonitinhos!

I´m not going to lie, I´m crying about Molly but I´m glad you told me before Christmas because I would´ve asked to see her.  You made the right decision, she was definitely suffering.  I just never really thought she was actually going to die.  She was a very sweet dog and was always my little friend at my side.  I´m sad I wasn´t with her in her last days but I´m sure I´ll be fine.  I hope she´s sitting on Jesus´lap with Max and Daisy.

Lais finally got baptized!  She´s the skinny tall one next to me and the others are Mayan, who baptized her, and Jennifer her friend in the ward.  I already told you about the phone call we got from her that was one of the biggest miracles that ever happened on my mission.  Here, after a baptism falls it almost NEVER will happen.  This restored a lot ofhope and this week for Christmas we are going to leave passalong cards with our old investigators who really liked us but didn´t keep commitments, just as a second chance.  It´s the season of miracles after all!  

Yesterday was the first Sunday in a long time where we didn´t have a single investigator in church, and almost none of our recent converts came, including Matheus and Neto who were supposed to be confirmed.  The worst was that we made more contacts last week than we ever have any other week, invited more people, called them all the night before to confirm and showed up at their houses Sunday morning.  No one.  I almost cried in church but then I realized that I don´t want to be the missionary who is always stressed out.  Our ward needs to help the missionary work.  If everyone just tried to bring one friend to church, we wouldn´t have this problem.  But gaining the trust of members doesn´t mean making a martyr of yourself.  No one wants to do missionary work if the missionaries always show up to church looking miserable.  It´s our job to stand as examples and represent Jesus Christ.  We can spread the gospel by who we are.  In the end of my mission, the decisions of other people won´t define how good it was, but how I reacted to every bad situation and the things I learned.

I´m super excited to talk to you guys in three days!!!  I have 40 minutes to talk and I plan to call at 11 your time.  I got both packages, and if you can´t tell from the photos, I got a little impatient with the presents... the paper was already ripped open a little bit.. :) We´re going to skype with a member´s laptop and the rest of the day is p-day.  I think we´re going to spend most of the day with Jaqueline.  She really is not well and is starting to talk about her death again.  Please pray for her.  She is going to Rio because it´s her home and also so that Hercules can play soccer there.  Her life has not been an easy one but I´m grateful to have been a guardian angel for her these last months.  She is one of the few people I´ve met in my whole life who was truly consecrated herself and her time to the Lord.  

This Christmas I hope you all have the chance share the joy you have with someone who is alone or doesn´t have what we have.  Make someone feel important who never felt important.  Let the Spirit of Christ work through you to bring great tidings of good joy.  Even though we can´t understand everyone´s struggles, the Savior does and we understand that.  Share Nephi 11 and Alma 7 with someone and think about what the birth of Christ really means for this suffering world.  

Que seu Natal seja cheio de amor e cantar!  Amo voces muito!

Sister Moore    

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 16, 2013

Oi família!
We baptized Neto and Matheus!! Batizadoras!  Haha just ignore Matheus´tiny jumpsuit and my upside down nametag and it´s an okay picture.  Neto studied theology and has already been baptized in many churches, so he was having serious doubts all week.  This week was Stake Conference, with Elder Ballard and others speaking from Brasilia (did you know Sister Marriot of the YW Presidency speaks Portuguese??) and Neto showed up with no intention of being baptized.  He told Jaqueline that he had prayed all week and didn´t get an answer, then she told him to pray during the meeting and he would get an answer right there.  So he did just that, bowing his head and whispering through the whole meeting then he got his answer!  He said that conference was exactly his answer and he was baptized literally 15 minutes after that with his nephew.  Miracle #1.

Miracle #2 was that we got a phone call from Lais out of nowhere and she wanted to talk to us.  She told us she wasn´t sure if she could go back to church or not but she talked to some of our youth and they told her to come back.  She looked so suprised when we came back to her house to bring her to church.  Right there she told us her birthday is Saturday and she wants to be baptized.  I don´t like to count my chickens, because her parents still have to sign the paper but WOW.  I was freaking out.

Miracle #3 is our investigator Socorro, and for some reason I´ve just been talking about her all the time last week, saying `I am going to baptize Socorro on day 22 of December`` I just love her because she´s just a crazy animal lady but when she says things she means it.  She also recognizes what the spirit is.  When she was watching stake conference, she felt an electric shock out of nowhere and she told us it meant to her that she was in the right place.  She´s getting baptized Sunday!  Season of miracles!!

I have really learned so much about faith and so much about planning.  If you plan and have faith in your plans, God will always help you.  If someone isn´t home, you just keep going and expect that God will put an elect in your path, and it ALWAYS happens.  I challenge all of you to make a plan each day to find someone who wants to be baptized, and it will happen.  

Yesterday was a really cool day.  Well, every day is a really cool day, but we went with a member to give two priesthood blessings.  One was Luzia, who accepted the blessing on her eyes tearfully.  She is the one who was shocked that we found her again who just had eye surgury.  She accepted our help to help her feel ready to be baptized and take away her doubts.  The other blessing was a woman who isn´t even an investigator but we pass her road every day.  Her son was killed last week and I don´t think I have seen anyone wailing like that in my life.  A week later she was still standing in her doorway sobbing uncontrolably.  The blessing was very sweet and she became much calmer.  We sat and listened to her for a long time and played with her son´s 3-year-old daughter who watched him die.  This was the only week where we didn´t come home with all of our number that we can control, but it was the week I felt I was doing was Christ would do if He were here.

The spirit of Christmas is just as alive in Brasil and it just such a great time to renew our faith and love of the Savior.  His way is the easiest, His is the only way of happiness.  He is just waiting us to let go of any rebellion we´re holding on to so that he can help with our weaknesses.  The atonement is real.  Christ lives and is working miracles just as always, always wrought by faith.  We can say that we might have believed more firmly if we had seen Him for ourselves, but the majority of the people then didn´t even believe.  Only through faith and living the Gospel can we know that He lives, that He is there.  One day we will meet Him face to face, and it´s up to us how we will feel in that moment.

I got your package, I LOVE these sandals and the CD!  I am waiting anxiously to open the rest but so far so great!!  I actually wanted to get these sandals when I worked at DSW.  I also freaked out at getting the New Era and Ensign, no one has gotten it yet here so everyone´s pretty jealous.  I love Elder Uchtdorf´s talk in the Priesthood session haha  Good job :)  I will probably call around 11 your time, and I think I´ll send an email before that.  

Oh yeah I almost forgot about Conferencia de Natal!  It ended way too fast but was pretty fun.  I didn´t get very many pictures but I liked these ones with me and Sister Seal.  I would take more pictures of what Brasil looks like but I can´t really walk around with my camera. 


Talk you you guys in a week!! Merry Christmas!!  

Com muito muito MUITO amor,

Sister Moore

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 9, 2013

Olá lá acima nos Estados Unidos!

It definitely does not feel like Christmas because it´s just the dry season, but everyone has their pisca-pisca (lights) up for the holidays so they do celebrate :)  I still don´t know anything about talking on Christmas but tomorrow is Conferencia de Natal so hopefully I´ll know then.  We haven´t gotten mail yet but I´m guessing that´s tomorrow too.  Know one really knows anything because Presidente Nogueira changes a lot of things.  I´m so excited though for tomorrow, I get to wear jeans and everything.  I´ll for sure send pictures! :)  Our new Brasilian is a little shy but she gave a very cool lunch message about how we need our families to gain exaltation, and her own family isn´t a part of the church, so it was kind of sad.  She´s from São Paulo and has a strong interior accent.  People from the northeast confuse Paulistas with Americans which is really funny.. it´s mostly because they have almost American ``r´s`` as in Porrrta.  Is that how dad speaks Portuguese?    

No baptisms this week but we did mark the baptism for next week for two of the coolest people I´ve met here!  Matheus is a 14-year-old who looks 20 who was a street contact, but was seriously the most direct person ever.  It was so refreshing to see after seeing so many flakey people who say they´ll go to church but don´t mean it.  Then we met his uncle, Neto, who is just like him and they both came to church, had great questions and we taught the first lesson afterwards.  I´ve been waiting this whole time for someone to really understand what the Restoration means, and these guys get it.  When we asked Neto if he will be baptized this Sunday he said, ``if this is true, then of course I will``  Then Matheus said he´d do the same thing and find out if the Book of Mormon is true.  It was just the coolest lesson ever.  I want Jaqueline to finally divorce her rotten husband who is living in Rio with his other woman and baby and marry Neto!  The funny thing is that he actually is kind of flirting with her.  YES!  Pray that nothing goes wrong with this baptism.  We need good strong priesthood holders!  

That´s so great that everyone´s so sad to come home from their missions!  You should look up a talk called ``The Fourth Missionary``  It changed the way I look at missions.  Basically it says that you can be completely obiedient, baptize a lot of people, do everything you´re supposed to, but if you haven´t completely and thoroughly turned your will to the Lord your mission will not profit you anything.  It was kind of a wake-up call.  The first missionary is the one who breaks rules, goes home and lives with regret.  The second breaks some rules, finishes, and lives with regret.  The third is obedient but is seeking more for the things HE wants and not the Lord´s will.  He expects a reward in the end of all his work.  The fourth missionary understands that the work IS the reward.  The mission really should be about changing who you are.  The fourth missionary is the only one who benefits.  Like the apostle Paul said more or less, I can work miracles, have all the spiritual gifts in the world, prophesy, preach repentance, but if I have not Charity it profiteth me nothing.  Don´t be weary in well doing!!  My expectations for my mission have nothing to do with the number of people I baptize, but the person I become.  If I go back home and forget everything, my mission was a failure.  Alma 27 says, ``What manner of men ought you to be?  Even as I am``  It´s not what you do, but who you are.

I think one of the miracles of this season is that we actually have done some service.  Sister Seal was inspired to visit an old investigator that Elders taught a long time ago who went to church many times but never was baptized.  It turned out she had just had eye surgery and needed help cleaning her house.  She was dumbfounded that we found her again and that knows we´re sent from god.  She told us our church is the only one who really seems to do what we preach.  My favorite thing she said was ``se chama oração,  ora premiero, depois faz ação``  Dad can explain :)  Our area book says that she only lacked reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know it´s true.  I believe we might be the missionaries that were meant to baptize her!  Our other service has been cleaning the chapel and helping Jaqueline get ready to move to Rio.  She gave a talk on Sunday on faith!  You really do need to meet her.  I think she sent mom a friend request on Facebook haha

Can´t wait to hear your voices and see our cute house at Christmas!  Never give up just because people reject you!  Remember it´s you that has something they need, they´re the ones lacking.  Testify of what you know with power.  More importantly, LIVE IT!  

Com muito amor,

Sister Moore

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Joao Pessoa Mission Sisters Training Meeting

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December 4, 2013

Oi minhas bençãos! These pictures look really weird on this computer so hopefully they look normal when I send them... this week was AWESOME and I´m looking forward to an even better transfer ahead! WE BAPTIZED JAQULINE´S DAD. Sister Seal found Jaqueline through contacting her dad, who always sits in the same chair all day drinking and we never thought he would ever want to be baptized. But just out of nowhere one day he told us that he stopped drinking and he would be baptized if the water wasn´t cold. He is very immobile, he needs a cane and one arm doesn´t work. When he said that though we just freaked out and told him we would do ANYTHING. So as you can see, we boiled water to fill the font and he was baptized by two people, sitting down in the water. I´ve never seen that many people cry in a baptism, but for Jaqueline it was very very special. He told her before that she is the daughter who he treated the worst but now she´s the one who´s brought him to the gospel. You can just see how much his eyes are smiling. Don´t give up on anyone!! This was a very special baptism. The first picture is of us eating pizza on thanksgiving. Definitely is not a thing here but we kind of celebrated :) The pizza place is called D´Napoli´s so it reminds me of Wellsville. We had transfers again and only Sister Willette left so we have a new Brasilian in our house and I´m still Sister Seal´s companion. It´s so weird.. our relationship is actually getting better with time and not worse. My mission is just a series of things I don´t deserve. We have SO many ideas this transfer to get member excited about missionary work. We´re going to visit less actives with other members, have family nights, go caroling, and have integration activities every week! I feel like we´ve just been learning this whole time, but now Sister Seal and I are a dream team and I´m expecting BIG things this transfer. JUST THREE MORE WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! I´m going to get all my letters for the month again next week so I´ll know about the card and everything. I´m so excited to talk to you all! I know that we get to skype and I think we choose our times.. I´ll probably know everything after our Zone meeting tomorrow. I always have cool people to talk about but then when they don´t get baptized I regret it.. so hopefully we´ll baptize a lot this week. We´re going to teach a crazy cat lady! DREAM INVESTIGATOR!! I don´t know why my mission revolves so much around cats.. but there are just so many distressed kittens that I have to save. One time I actually did and they´re living with a recent convert so basically they´re mine :) One kitten actually ran to me and followed me all the way to our house. Pick your sins :) Just kidding. I´m probably going to die of rabies. I´m recommitting AGAIN to just speak portuguese so I´ll probably forget English by Christmas! I´m so excited to talk with dad! Every transfer I pick a Christlike atribute to focus on. This month is faith because it´s the season of miracles. Faith seems like such an obvious one but really we are always lacking. I need to believe more in myself and my calling and my ability to do big thing here. I finished my training. Serving and inspiring the members is the other focus. It sounds like everyone is doing great! I´m so glad people are coming for Christmas, I´ve actually been praying about that specifically. God really is answering my prayers lately! I mean He always does, but I´ve really learned how to ask for specific things, according to His will, of course. But I did pray for specific weather one day and it happened.. weather children, remember mom? :) The ultimate goal in life really is just to have faith and trust in God like a little child. Never assume you konw enough about faith, or about the Savior! Everything really is awesome and I´m so happy it´s the season of miracles! Use this season to show people the love that God has for them through the Gospel! I love you guys so much! Three weeks! Beijinhos, Sister Moore

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November 25, 2013

Oi Família! Another AWESOME week! We baptized 10-year-old Lucas yesterday, and the best part is that everyone in these photos wants to be baptized now too!! We wanted to baptize his whole family, but Marcela and William didn´t want to get married, in fact they were separating. Marcela is the woman in purple. She was just hanging back the whole day and didn´t really say anything as we taught Lucas so we assumed she had no interest. But then our angel, Jaqueline (this is another baptism that lives on her road) talked to her and apparently she does want to get baptized now. And not only that, William moved out three days ago and she actually can!!!! MIRACLES. All those other boys are his neighbors who we contacted the day before and they all want to get baptized, Washington, Gabriel and Lucas. They all call me Tia and Gabriel wants me to teach him piano lessons. I told him I can´t promise anything... do you guys have any ideas of how I could make this a really productive opportunity? I LOVE when kids are the examples. Every week lots of good things happen but so do a lot of bad things. We drop A LOT of investigators because they don´t understand our purpose and won´t change their lives. Lais was the worst this week. She completely denied in front of us and her dad that she had a dream. When we asked if she prayed she said no. I don´t understand her, but we´ve done all we can for her. I hope she gets another chance. We only can offer. Christ wants to know who is willing to follow him and leave everything else behind. Something is always required of ourselves. If you haven´t found it yet, you should try and look again for The Atonement and Missionary Work with Elder Holland and President Eyring. Yesterday was one of the funnest days on the mission. We had lunch with Rodrigo and Èlen, which is the BEST lunch. I feel like I´m in one of the brother´s houses when I´m there, they have that kind of humor and are just a cute young couple. I told Rodrigo if he ate a dog treat, I would. Unfortunately he did, and I had to. I told him I´d write my parents that the members are feeding me dog food here :) Sundays on the mission really are a result of the week you´ve had and how hard you´ve worked. If you didn´t work, you have to run to get all of your numbers in for the day, which is SO hard. Everyone is either at a different church or drinking. But this week we had our goals, had a baptism, so we went back to Elen´s for dinner. I feel like our house is finally fun again, and transfers are coming in just one week! Sister de Paula is so sweet, she´s like a little disney princess. She does this really funny little kid voice that just kills me. She´s also just a really good missionary. I really wanted to work with less actives, but she really has a plan. Yesterday we talked with the bishop about people we can visit and he gave us each a blessing. It was all her idea and she got it from reading about the Zoramites as the inactive members. I want her to come stay at our house and visit Colorado someday! She´s already been to Salt Lake, Las Vegas and both disney parks. I´m still living with Sister Willette and I just showed her that picture. It is a small world! That´s so cool that you went to New York and that the Jefferies are living so close to there! I hope Madison is doing well, all good missionaries have a hard time coming home. Did a tornado happen in New York?? I saw that on the news in someone´s house but haven´t heard anything more about it.. it looks really bad. What part of New York was it? Sister Seal´s companion in the MTC was reassigned to Rochester but just got her visa and is here now. We still make tons of street contacts, but they pretty much all lie about going to church then we start from scratch. Really all of our success is coming from Jaqueline´s street. She honestly does more than we do and I will use her as an example of member missionary work for all other members. It´s incredible. She spends all day talking to our investigators, bringing them to church, calling them, calling us when someone´s home and we can teach them. It´s unbelievable. She doesn´t even know each day if she´ll live another day, and this is how she spends her life. She cries when things go wrong, cries at baptisms, and learns things rapidly about missionary work. This woman was baptized FOUR MONTHS AGO. She really gets it. One thing I´ve really learned this week is how the Lord provides when you do your part. If we just keep doing contacts with our whole heart in the work and without complaining, amazing things happen even if you contact 60 people in a day and none of them go to church. People just come out of the woodwork. We still needed to find 7 new investigators Saturday, and they all just came out of the woodwork after a week of contacting EVERYONE. We recieved a family as a reference, Lucas´friends and one really good street contact whose family we´re going to teach tomorrow. Now that this week ended so well, it´s time to get right back to work. After Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemany and on the cross, he didn´t take a break. For those three days he did missionary work in the Spirit World, and after he never stopped working the wonderful work of salvation. I love you all so much!! I´m almost certain I´ll get to Skype, but I don´t know how we´ll be able to work out talking at the same time. It would be amazing but I think maybe I get a certain time and then we just keep working like usual. CHRISTMAS!! WOOO! Everyones putting up their pisca-pisca (lights) Keep doing the work of Salvation! Um abração, Sister Moore