Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Querida Família de Batizadores,

Wow, all I can think when I read your emails is how you all are such better missionaries than I am..  Sounds like such a fun trip with the family, everyone looks cute and happy and the story about Nick is incredible.  I have been praying for him every day!  

It was a good first week here in Ipés.  I´m a little intimidated with how to teach our new investigators.  There are SUPER elect people here but in general it is not as humble of an area.  And when I say elect I mean recent converts with a month in the church who are teaching in Relief Society and are counselors in the Young Men...  I´m really excited to work here, with all it´s challenges and blessings.  

So talk about endure to the end.. Every week here is like a race to close all your numbers.  Not that it´s all about numbers, but the ´´padrão de excelencia´´  is basically the promise that we´ll have a baptism every week if we find 10 new investigators and 3 of them go to church.  Saturday you´re usually just trying to get to every house of everyone you found during the week remind them about church.. but this Saturday we found our elects at the very last hour.  We contacted this guy Vagner who looks like Jimi Hendrix with a Jimi Hendrix shirt, and he was just like ´´yeah I´ll go to church tomorrow, let me invite my friend who lives right here..´´  So we met Nilton also, who apparently had already read a lot of the Book of Mormon and was taught by the missionaries.  He just never went to church because he never had a friend.. Well, problem solved.  They both came to church and we´re gonna help them be baptized on Sunday :)  Pray for them and also Alexandro, who came and brought his girlfriend to church.  We taught him the first lesson and he´s really curious about the Book of Mormon.  Unfortunately, he´s going to be in the hospital having surgery until Wednesday... but the spirit will touch his heart and he´ll want to be baptized.

Come to think of it, this week was a lot like the game against Chile.  Full of  confusion and stress but ended up all right in the end.  Haha.. everyone was losing their mind watching that game and it was hilarious.  At the end everyone just flooded the streets screaming and hugging and setting off fireworks and waving their giant Brasil flags.  It´s pretty awesome how into the game everyone is.  What a moment for Julio Cesar..  I just wanted to go there and teach them the correct way to pray..   Ave Maria´s not gonna help them play better ;)

I´ve been reflecting a lot on the things I´ve learned in my last area.  Colinas do Sul was a hard area, but when you put so much into something you come to love it.  I´ve been missing that ward a little and it´s hard to imagine getting to know another.  I guess you just have to always love where you are.  I´m still junior, but that doesn´t mean anything.  It´s my mission and every minute has to count, and I feel like I´ve just been thinking too much about all the things I´ll do and change when it´s my turn to train, if I ever do.  The Lord knows exactly how we need to learn.

This transfer I really want to learn to completely rely on the Spirit.  I´ve been studying a lot about personal revelation and the key is just being worthy to receive it.  That means obedience and willingness to do whatever the Lord answers.  One thing I´ve changed is that I´m writing a lot more things down.  I figure the Lord will give me more inspiration if I don´t just cast aside the revelation He gives.  I´m also trying to have my motives, studies and my focus be 100% about serving His children.  He´s not going to help if I just want to baptize to say I baptized and feel good about myself.  Just think of Joseph Smith and all of the prophets.  They were the humblest of humble and willing to learn even though they felt themselves incapable.  

Things are great here and I´m happy to hear you are all so happy!  Mom and Dad, you are going to change the world with your testimonies and talents.  I´m so proud of all of you and I love you all so much.  The church is true, God answers sincere prayers and He never gives up on anyone.  

Com muito carinho,

Sister Moore

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25, 2014, Corn Pudding, Popcorn, Corn Cake, Corn Juice, Fried Corn and TRANSFERS‏

Querida Família!!

So much to write about this week and I already wasted half of my time trying to send pictures... well two worked out in the end so I hope you like them.  It´s me painting the street (for the World Cup) and Gaby watching the game with us.

I´m finally out of the ghetto and was transfered to Ipés!!!  It´s in the João Pessoa stake and is the richest area I´ve been in, but is far from the richest in the stake. We have a view of the city and I feel close to the beach.  So far it´s just a tender mercy.  Our house is super nice, everything´s close, it´s a good ward and we live IN our area.  I feel like a huge weight has been listed off my shoulders.  I´m companions with Sister Christensen who I already lived with for 4 months, and I love her.  She has the same amount of time on the mission as me and it´s just gonna be a party :)  Speaking of parties...

It´s been a week of festas... São João, festival of corn, accordian music, bonfires and drunk people, all going on at the same time as the Copa.  It´s at least a little more family oriented than Carnaval, and we had a really cool ward party that 5 investigators came to!  It was a miracle and a lot of fun.  There was a live band of three blind men playing drum, accordian and triangle.  I took some pretty great videos and a few pictures, but sending pictures is AGONY.

Monday we watched the game WAY out in this farm in the middle of nowhere.  It was raining. A LOT.  But they gave us clothes to change into and blankets and I got to watch the game cuddling with their kitten.  Right at home :)  DId you watch that game against Camaroon?  I think their only goal was to kill Neymar Jr haha... Did you know that Hulk is from João Pessoa?  Haha I already feel like Brasil´s team is like my family.  Sou brasileira.

But it was a good finish in Colinas.  Sister Johnson will take good care of my converts and start a scripture study group out in the part of the area where it´s harder for people to come to church.  We were teaching some really great people, including a couple that´s planning to get married who have a car and are SUPER ELECT.  I honestly feel the ward is stronger than it was, I gave it all my heart and soul, and now I can take a deep breath and start fresh.  

It seems like you guys are always doing something cool, I liked the pictures and got a little jealous :)  But the mission is FLYING by.  I will already be here a year this transfer.  You only have today to give your best, tomorrow it´s over.  I´m taking more pictures these days, just sending them is a nightmare..

But this transfer I just really want to laugh harder, love everyone, and trust the Lord that if I do my best, my mission will be a success.  I´ve learned a whole lot about the enabling power of the atonement.  We can´t always pray for our circumstances to change, but for strength to change or make the most of our circumstances.  I´ve felt lifted spiritually, physically and emotionally above my own capacity in Colinas do Sul.  

I love you all so much and I hope you all have an awesome week!  


Sister Moore

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Querida Família!
I will try my darndest to send the pictures of Brasil during the Copa, because they´re really good.  But yeah, we have permission to watch the games when Brasil is playing.  And now I know why.  Everyone paints the streets all day and just get pumped, and when the game comes, NO ONE is on the street. And I mean no one.  Where we got to watch it, you can see the whole city. Janine just pulled their giant television outside (haha...) and whenever there´s a goal, all of the houses set off fireworks at the same time and it´s just insane.  I took some videos.  Did you guys watch the first game Brasil vs Croatia?  But yeah, it was super fun and I even painted the streets blue and yellow with some little boys during the day. Tomorrow, we´re gonna kill Mexico :) 
Missionary work; that happened too this week ;)  The problem is that no one is married.  Thiago and Girlande didn´t come to church, but we´re still working especially with Girlande.  It´s just really far and hard for him to get to church.  But we have a SUPER elect family.  Jenivaldo has a car and a big family and he was all excited to bring EVERYONE to church with him on Sunday.  His wife Suelly is also really cool and wants to be baptised and understands that she needs to pray to know if it´s all true.  They came to church and brought their grown daughter and her son.  Turns out her boyfriend she lives with is a member.  So, em fim, no one is married but we´re already planning a double, perhaps triple wedding.  
Let´s just take a minute to appreciate good marriages. True love lasts forever, lust is just fleeting.  I have seen so many relationships here without love in the picture and a lot of suffering, usually for the woman.  Only with the principles of the gospel of Christ, which gospel is centered around Christ´s love, can a marriage be happy. We can´t progress without our families.  Good job mom and dad for being a good example of an eternal marriage centered on the gospel. It is SOOO important.
We had a super awesome activity with the youth this week called ´´Missão Brasil Colinas´´.  The youth just got to be missionaries for a day, doing contacts and visiting all of the less actives. Guess how many references we have?  31!!!  A lot of less actives came to church yesterday, and we also had 5 investigators,and that doesn´t include the other sisters.  The Gospel Principles room was full!!  A lot is still lacking in this ward, but it was a huge step and I think it helped a lot to get everyone excited again.
Lastly, I just want to bear testimony of service and love.  A really cool thing happened this week with Jo.  She wanted to just take us to see all of her friends one day.  She took us to a man who got drunk and had been beaten badly and left on the street, and a bunch of other people who had lost family members, and just old lonely women. This is what she does, not because anyone tells her to.  None of the people we visited will go to church anytime soon or accept the gospel, but it was humbling to see Jo´s example.  We are here to serve and love, everything else is a result.  I have cried a lot lately about my converts and just feeling like lack of success has to do with my worthiness.  But we just can´t control what they do. We can only love them and do all we can.  Missionary work hurts sometimes, but the right kind of hurt can bring you so much closer to the Savior. 
We really need some miracles to start baptizing again.  This transfer has been a transfer with a lot of lessons to learn.  I´m so proud of all of you and the work you do for our Lord.  Mom and Dad, you now have authority to call people to qualify for eternal life. Read the part in PMG about the power and authority of you calling. I love you all!  I know my Savior lives and He loves us! 
Com muito amor,
Sister Moore

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014


I love getting emails individually from everyone!  They really help me more than you guys know.
This last week took our mission for a bit of a turn when President told us we need to be working 50% proselyting and 50% with less-active members.  A lot of people are doubting this plan, but I know it was inspiration and I´ve always felt strongly about rescuing the lost sheep.  I love the story in Clayton Christensen´s book about the ward that began asking the good shepherd´s question ´´who didn´t come today?´´ The members all visited these people each Sunday and when they had reactivated almost everyone, the question became ´´which of my NON member friends isn´t here who should be?´´  The way we´re working with these people is by telling them that the church needs THEM, and not how they need the church.  And it´s so true, when we serve others, we really learn so much more about Christ.  We need to teach the weak to be the leaders!

We have a new relief society president, Irmã Nely, a choice I was very happy about.  She is my mom of Colinas do Sul and lives close to almost all of my converts way out in Colinas.  We went to Janaina and Luzia´s house to invite them to family night at her house when Janaina told us that she´d already passed by, and had also passed by Maria´s house.  You have no idea how much that meant to me.  It´s awesome to know that these people I love are on the Relief Society President´s mind.  I feel like all the experiences lately have been a lot of preparation for serving in the RS.  The Lord is expecting a whole lot more from his servants these days!  

Yesterday an investigator who lives WAY out there, Girlande, came with Valdemir and Odaci by bus.  He´s a little iffy about baptism still, but it´s been three weeks and he still came to church, so he really wanted to come.  His wife died in childbirth 6 months ago and so he lives with his sister in law and her husband who take care of the baby while he works.  Pray for him, he´s really a neat guy who needs the gospel badly.  

We have a family with potential who hasn´t come to church, but the dad, Thiago, went to church as a little kid and was really excited to go again.  They have a car and I really feel they could be our elect family.  We really just have to MEET the family but Thiago doesn´t even know where he lives (did I ever tell you the streets in Colinas don´t have names?) so we´ve only talked to him while he was working on his mother-in-law´s house.  But hey, someone to pray for.  

But everything´s going well.  The choir is... an experience to work with :)  Yesterday a monkey ate a banana out of my hand.  The monkeys here are just the cute tiny black and white ones with crazy old man hair.  One had a baby the size of my finger on it´s back. awww..  good to see my cousins here in Brasil ;)

I love you all so much!  You are all amazing missionaries and examples to me!  Até mais!

Scripture of this week is D&C 78:17-19; Be of good cheer!!!  When you´re grateful, the Lord will want to bless you more!

Com amor e carinho,

Sister Moore

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 2, 2014

Baptism of Jo!  Colinas do Sul, Brazil

Querida Família,

Sounds like you guys had an awesome trip!  America is a really great place.  So is Brasil.  Who´s ready for the Copo do Mundo?? That picture of Eric fishing reminded me of Elder Holland´s devotional.  You can´t just go fishing, Eric, your life will NEVER be the same. Get to work!  haha just kidding you guys are awesome.

A lot of really great things happened this week, always in the way the Lord plans it and not the way we expect.  Jo was confirmed, and I´ll try to send pictures.  She is doing really great.  This week she said ´´Knowing this church is true is just a question of listening.  If anyone just listened they would know´´ and we´re like ´´WE KNOW´´.  She is really funny and just making friends in the ward super fast.  I love Jo, and I know she´s really one of the people who was waiting for me here.
Maria came to church and bore her testimony yesterday, and it was really really good!  It was such a confirmation that the work I´m doing here is good.  I really had nothing to do with it, but the Lord found me worthy enough to be trusted with His elects.  And our ward is starting to really see that now.

Things are slowly starting to happen in this ward.  There are TONS of problems, but it´s the little victories you´ve got to celebrate.  We finally had a meeting with our ward missionaries, and Marcos, a super cool RM took charge and we started to really make plans to have each recent convert be visited each week and to get the ward to start giving references.  It was a good start.  We also had a ward choir practice which I directed, and that is something I always wanted to get started.

We´ve had a lot of good experiences with less active members this week.  We found by chance WAY at the end of our area a lady named Ana Cristina.  She stopped going because of the distance and also a lot of personal problems with the ward.  She was the director of the choir back when it was strong and worked in the Young Women.  We just passed by on the street and she was really happy to talk with us; she´s a fan of Sisters.  After talking to her for a little bit I felt like I had never related so much to someone on my mission, from her love of animals right down to feeling of sadness and loneliness she felt.  It was just like how I was many times in my life, but this had been going on for many more years for her.  It was just a really personal heart to heart kind of lesson and I felt really guided to her house that day.  

So it´s been a good week.  It´s been really hard but I know the Lord has a reason for everything.  I got really emotional in my studies this morning reading Alma 6, when Alma just really wanted a transfer from Amoniha.  They spit on him and kicked him out of the city.  I´ve never been spit on, but I know the feeling of being cast out.  But the same angel that called Alma to repentance came to him again to comfort him, and to tell him that his works were good.  And then what happened?  Alma didn´t get a transfer, he was told to go back.  But there he found Amulek.  The Lord has a purpose in everything.

I´m so grateful for my Savior and the strength it gives me to learn more about Him each day, in the study, prayer and experience.  I know He lives and this is His church.  I love you all so much and I´m so proud of all of you.

Sister Johnson´s leg is a lot better now, she just took some antibiotics and it´s fine.  The dog is fine too.  Animal adventures happen.  I saw a wild tarantula this week and a monkey eating a banana in someone´s house.  It´s super hot here always but we´re entering the rainy winter this month.  Just the church has air conditioning.  The church is true.  

Have an awesome week!  


Sister Moore

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 26, 2014

Ola família!
Thank you so much for all your prayers and wonderful letters! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! 
Jo got baptized yesterday, one of the most difficult and interesting baptisms ever..  She forgot about the whole having to go to church the day of her baptism thing but we went and got her during Sunday school and barely made it for sacrament meeting.  Friday we had a super powerful lesson with her about the commandments that really focused a lot on the atonement.  She has gone through a lot of really awful things in her life and the part of the atonement that covers our pains and afflictions was a completely new thing for her.  She is very determined to keep learning to do the right things and she has a ton of faith.  It really was a special baptism.
I just have to count all the small victories too.  All of the men I´ve baptized in this area were at church yesterday!  I´ve never talked enough about my first baptism in this area, Gilvan.  Let´s talk about Gilvan.  That man is a dang superhero.  He has the Melchezedek Priesthood and everything now and comes every week and porbably is the only member who pays tithing.  He brought his sister Sandra to church yesterday.  His family in general is kind of awful, but he is just 100% going to the Celestial Kingdom and is the next bishop of the branch that needs to open in Colinas.  You go, Gilvan.
So funny story, a dog bit my companion.  Yeah not a very clean dog either.  We helped a woman carry her groceries to her house and when Sister Johnson sat down there was a dog under her chair.  The woman just told her it´d be fine and kept offering us food and could tell from her face that Sister Johnson just wanted to scream with pain.  Well, that woman isn´t going to church, we left her house and my companion just starts bawling because it really bit her deep.  So, we went to the hospital to casually get some rabies shots.  Then the nurse calls us the next day and is like ´´are you taking your antibiotics?´´  What antibiotics?  Her leg is all swollen by now, but we went to the REAL hospital, got some medicine, and today we´re going back for more shots.  And we have to observe the dog every day. Haha maybe the owner will get baptized.  Stupid dogs.
I´m surviving this area still, with tears and laughter, much more of the latter.  I really do love these people, and that´s why they´re so frustrating.  I know their lives can be better.  But I´m praying for patience and humility, which is awful, but we all need more of it.  ´´Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers´´  Who doesn´t want God to lead them by the hand.  I´m just trying to be open to all the Lord has to teach me here.  Just this past week I´ve learned more about marriage than any other week of my life... haha sometimes I just feel unqualified to help people.  Missionary work sometimes involves a little bit of marriage counseling and addiction recovery.  Things people go to college to learn how to do.  But I know the gospel does help in all aspects of life, especially a knowledge of the atonement.  True healing only comes through Christ.  The gospel is meant to bless families.  No one can gain exhaltation alone. 
It has been a hard week but in so many ways I feel so much stronger.  Spiritually and physically I feel like I´m climbing a huge mountain and I need to Lord with me just to keep breathing and taking another step.  I hope your week is wonderful and that you can count all of your blessings every day.  I love you all so much!!
Até o proximo!
Sister Moore