Tuesday, October 27, 2015

*Fist Pump* "Yessss!"

Hello family!

I love all the pictures and letters and videos! I wish I had enough time to send home as much good stuff.  It looks like you guys are having a blast! That group of youth is so good. Preston and Becca are so lucky!  So last night I think I slept walked for the first night. Watch the video where I look really tired. So, I am writing in my journal on my iPad and it is working out really well and it helps with sharing experiences with you guys. So they will be at the bottom.

This week Samantha was baptized and it was awesome!  I love you guys so much. Thank you for the stuff you've sent me. I haven't gotten it yet, but I am really exited.  I am running out of timmeeeeeeee ahhhhhhhh.  We actually have to stay in on Halloween because of liability stuff. If we weren't in Wyoming, we would be going to the temple.
October 25, 2015 1:29 PM
Today Samantha was confirmed in church! She invited Elder Thomas and I to stand in the circle while brother Reynolds gave her a blessing. It was way cool I have never done that before. Today one of our potential investigators that we haven't even met yet came to church with his family. We were wanting to go see him, but when we stopped by yesterday no one was home. His wife and the kids came into church first and I was like, "sweet, we can set up an appointment after sacrament meeting." Then he walked in like a minute late and sat down. I was thinking, "no way..." Elder Thomas and I both looked at each other and I did a “Kipland Dynamite” fist pump. "Yessss" *fist pump* I was praying that I could stand up and introduce myself without him feeling like the missionaries were going in for the attack. It went well and we have an appointment with him at 6:00 tonight. We will see how it goes!

9:32 PM
The appointment went awesome. He is so cool! He is really fun and was super comfortable with us as missionaries. We just sat and talked and joked for a while and got to know the family and they are really cool!   We got to talking about when missionaries first started meeting with them and why. She explained that she came from an active family but that she went less active for a while. While she was less active she met her husband and they ended up getting married. She became active again and all their kids were baptized but he never was. She told us that she had had visions of them in the temple together and that she knew he would come around. We talked a little about how the gospel has blessed their family and then we invited him to start meeting with us in preparation to be baptized and eventually be sealed to his family. He said that he wasn't ready, and when we asked why, he pretty much said, "my life is good" (reeal good) and that it wasn't his time. We promised that the gospel offers more than he knows now and we showed a video, "The Hope of God’s Light." We were planning on showing another one but I felt impressed to show that one and really focus on the line when he says that "spiritual light rarely comes to those who sit in darkness waiting for someone to flip on a switch. It takes an act of faith." We all discussed the video and then we invited him to take that step of faith and try it. We invited him to pray and ask Heavenly Father if his time was now. As soon as I invited him to pray and ask… *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK* It sounded like the cops were at the door. It was two sisters from the ward and one of them was really loud and was "like sorry I promise I wasn't using a golf ball to knock" then she said "Hi elders get up!" We stood up from the couch... And she sat right down. The potential investigator’s daughter got us chairs and I was trying to figure out what the heck just happened. It turned out to be the Relief Society president and one of her councilors coming by to tell Sister ____  happy birthday. The really loud one was apparently a sister missionary at one point and it made a lot of sense looking back now. The other sister was the Relief Society president which was very nice and sweet and pretty embarrassed. It was really funny though; we were all laughing; it was just super unexpected. This possible investigator, amid all the confusion and tumult of laughter and disbelief, looked at me and said, "I will do it, I'll pray." His daughter kind of pulled it back together because I seriously didn't know what to do... She looked at us and said a comment about the message and we were able to end with the spirit and a closing prayer. He said we could come over whenever, and his wife said we could always come over if dinner fell through or if we needed anything. We are going to meet with them next Sunday! He is going to get baptized soon if he prays with real intent.

Sorry I’m so short on time!  I love you all!

Elder Moe

We saw this on the way to Salt Lake.
P-Day in the genealogical library writing you letters.

Front lawn goals...

"I am Flash Gordon"

"Slow moe fight"

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The "Wild West" is Still Happening

Dear family,

This week is going great! Elder Thomas and I are getting along. He is a great missionary and has a lot of good experience which has been really helpful. He has taught me a whole bunch.  It is going to be a good learning experience when I have to leave this area, but I know it will be pretty hard. I wonder a lot about why it is that change and saying goodbye is such a big theme in missionary work, and kind of life in general. I have some theories, but God is obviously trying to stress that point for missionaries to learn. 

I really need to get onto the bishops here about us speaking. We haven't given a talk in church yet, but we have borne our testimonies and done a few firesides. That is something that I have found that I enjoy doing a lot as a missionary, firesides, especially with the youth. It is really fun to be able to help the youth get excited about missionary work. I have an opportunity to tell them all the things I wish I had understood about missionary work before I was a missionary.  Focusing on the cares of the world is a big problem for the people out here it seems. We pulled the prospective elders list for the stake and there are 52 pages for a grand total of 788 prospective elders. With all the miners and oil field workers, work is one of those cares of the world that they let get in the way. There are plenty of good members who are active and oil field workers, so it is not a good excuse. They also say that this is where in actives come to hide from Utah Mormons. 

We went to Manila and McKennon this week again on Tuesday and Wednesday and we picked up a new investigator that wants to be baptized. We are excited and have more things to do now when we are there. We have a baptism tomorrow that we are really excited for! We are just doing the final preparations today.

Christlike attributes I am working on this week are humility and charity. Humility, specifically to humble myself before the Lord and listen to the things He would have me do. This is his work and I need to submit myself more to Him.

This week I had an opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Bass in Evanston. At the beginning of the exchange we were setting goals to accomplish during the time we were together. I had a feeling to set a goal to pick up three new investigators. I thought I was being a little crazy, but I set it anyway. We had an amazing night and we prayed like crazy for guidance with everything. With Gods help and guidance, we did it. He guided us to three new investigators to teach. We also set a goal to see a miracle. While we were at someone's house teaching, there was a man who walked in, talked to us for a bit and then went into the other room. Towards the end of the lesson we asked our investigator if she wanted a Book of Mormon so she could do the nightly reading that we committed her to do. She wanted one, and the man that we thought had left, stepped back in the room and said, "Can you grab two?"  He was listening the whole time; we just didn't know it.  Setting worthy goals with God's guidance, and then working towards those goals, is an inspired pattern. I know this to be true.

"This is our legit cabin when we're in Manila."
It is really nice and pretty here; the traveling is good sometimes. We get to take a break from each area for a while, but it makes it hard for scheduling things when the towns are so far away from each other.  That is one of the things that blew Elder Thomas away because he is used to his area being a few streets wide. That is going to be an adjustment for me when I have to go down to the valley. Wyoming is the promised land! "That's a fact." (Weird accent) Everyone wants to come here. I was super lucky getting born here (my first area). It would probably be good to do more walking so I don't get fat, but I have actually lost weight, which is weird but good!  The other really cool thing about this place is like the West happened here. Like Jeremiah Johnson and Billy the Kidd and stuff. Especially in Manila and McKennon. Elder Thomas says he feels like the West is still happening. There is a law here that if you ride your horse to school the principal has to feed it and shovel its poop. That’s no joke! There are old run down log buildings you see every once and a while built into the side of the hill that look like outlaw hideouts. And almost everyone in McKennon is a rancher or used to be a rancher. Some of them own 1000s of acres.

"Here's the inside of the sick legit cabins we can stay in when we come to Manila, UT at least once a week."

Today we might go hike to see some Indian petroglyphs here in Green River. If we find them, I will send some pictures. 

Here is an entry from my journal. I have started typing my journal on my iPad instead because of advice from a general authority before I came out:

There is this kid named _____ and when we first went over to his house because of advice from the sisters, he was super disinterested. We figured that he wasn't too promising, and didn't think that we would ever come back. One day when trying to figure out something to do, we parked on the side of the road, and this kid pulled up and asked if we could go meet him at his house and talk. We said of course. We had no idea what was going on. When we got to his house, he told us that his parents were at the church right now and he didn't know if they were going to stay together. He was scared and didn't want to have to be a dad to his younger siblings. He said he had been praying and driving all over Green River looking for us. We had a really good meeting, but then in the meetings after, he seemed really disinterested and wouldn't get off of his phone. So tonight, when we went over to meet with him, the whole first half of the meeting he seemed disinterested and was on his phone the entire time. He was on his phone even when we were sharing a video with him. I was frustrated that he was paying no attention at all and I wasn't going to say anything after the video was over. Elder Thomas was talking after the video and he asked him about what he thought about the video. He said stuff about how it caught his attention when the guy in the video said something about suicide and how that caught his attention and how he could relate or something. After that, he went right back to playing on his phone. I was just sitting there thinking and the spirit told me to ask him, "are you happy?" I was expecting him to say that he was because he is popular and stuff. But the spirit kept telling me he really wasn't and that he knew that he wasn't and to ask him the question. When I asked him, he opened up again and said that he wasn't happy. He said he doesn't really know what that means and he never has. We promised him that the gospel could bring him happiness and that is the only place to find it. This is the Lord’s work. He is at the helm. I am but a tool in his hand and I know that.

There are so many occasions as missionaries where people's problems are so much bigger than we alone can help them with. I have no idea what to tell someone who has PTSD, depression, epilepsy, a hard addiction, or whose only parent just ran away and left them. I can do nothing to help them. So it's a good thing that I am not on my errand; I am on the Lord’s. He knows EXACTLY what these people need to hear and what they need to feel. Through me as a tool, HE CAN HEAL THEM. I am nothing. He is an all powerful, all loving, all knowing Father to all of us and all I have to do is listen to HIM. Getting out of the way for Him to do His work does not mean doing nothing and just letting Him take the wheel. It means crushing your own pride and desires and doing all that you can to have His spirit. Actively searching day and night to know His will for His children. That is my work as His missionary. 

God is our Father. Jesus lives. He has restored His church.

Elder Moe

"Notice the John Deer in the filter thing."
"The Sisters made us Sushi."  AKA rice crispy treats wrapped in fruit roll-up with a gummy fish.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Interview Week

Hello family!, 

I am so sorry I always run short on time. Here is my letter to prez.

Dear President,

Thank you so much for all that you do president! I know I say that in like every letter but I really mean it. Thank you so much for coming up here with Sister Eberhardt for our interviews. It was great to see you guys! It was a huge boost to my week. This has been a crazy/good week. Having Elder Valdez here was so fun! He is an amazing Elder and taught Elder Thomas and I a lot! He is diligent and focused and obedient and I really enjoyed the experience.

The Christlike attributes I am working on this week are Faith and charity. Faith is something that I always can improve on. With Elder Valdez's example, I want to have the faith to open my mouth more. I want to tell everyone I talk to about the gospel. I need to have the faith to know that if I open my mouth that the spirit will tell me what to say. Even if I don't say it right the first time, as I do it more and more, my fear can be displaced by faith. Charity is something that I am seeing improvement on, but I still need work. I have been praying to have charity and to see people's hearts like God sees them, and I can see myself slowly start to change. With some people, the spirit shows me for a brief moment who they really are and it is amazing. I get a small taste of Gods love for them and I am able to testify that to them.
"The legendary Wyoming Zone"

Miracles this week have been really cool. We got a call one day that a family in our ward had a foreign exchange student who wanted to talk to us. We went and met her and she was really nice and from Spain. English was her second language but she understood most of what we said. We taught the entire first discussion and then invited her to read from the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true. She told us that she had already prayed and she felt a burning feeling in her chest and she didn't know what it was. She actually said it kind of scared her because she didn't know what was going on! I know the Lord prepares people to hear the gospel.

Elder Moe

I love you guys and hope you are doing great. The fair looked way fun this year. Last year I was afraid we were all going to get Ebola and die. Ha! I am sorry that I am super lame this week, but hopefully there is something in Presidents letter you can take out and put in my blog. Take care of my rocks. Get a jar to put them in. I will send a small box home once a transfer.  I love you guys so much.

Elder Moe 

"Apartment cleanup"

"My coat and sick WY hat"

"My Friend, Double Stuff"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Elder Thomas is a Boss!

Dear Family,

I love and miss you guys. I love all of your videos every week!! So, things that have changed this transfer!:

"Deer and Elder Thomas"
1 My new companion is Elder Thomas and he is a boss! We are going to kill it this transfer. We are going to try to hit the standard of excellence twice and I know that we can do it. 
2 The district is all changed up. The only two companionships that didn't change were Elder Taylor (MTC comp) and Elder Freebairn. I will attach a picture of the new district. 
3 We have a zone leader! They are way awesome and are going to lead this Wyoming zone to great places.
4 It is getting a bit colder.
5 I am not the greenest greenie :)

Elder Berry is happy at home with his fiancĂ©e probably planning his wedding:) Yeah, we did do a tie exchange the last day.  We each picked out a tie and then we signed the back and wrote a note.

Tell Mandy that I am praying for her. How did she spill boiling water on herself?

Watching Priesthood session of General Conference
with this awesome family.
I loved conference this weekend. I was able to pay attention and watch every talk. I loved it so much. For some reason, as a missionary, everything about conference was exciting. When I was younger, I remember it used to drag on in what seemed like forever, but it really felt like it flew by this weekend. I know that the words we heard are exactly what we needed to hear and that those men really are called of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet for the entire world. He and all of the apostles are called for us.

I am really exited for this transfer! Elder Thomas is a great missionary and an awesome district leader. We have some stellar zone leaders as well. This district is destined for greatness, I know it. I have learned a lot this week about transfers and getting a new companion. We spent most of this new week introducing Elder Thomas to our investigators! The focus this transfer is going to be members and missionaries uniting, and so we met with a lot of leadership as well.

This week I am still working on diligence and charity. Diligence has been a real focus this week because we are trying hard to find new investigators and it hasn't been easy so far. I am trying to have diligence in every part of the work because I know that is what it is gonna take. I am still working on charity where I choose to turn outward instead of turning inward. "Charity never seekith selfish gratification." I want to try to think less about myself and focus solely on my investigators.

The miracle I saw this week was the opportunity to give a blessing to a member that needed some guidance in his life. I was able to feel the spirit of God as he filled my mouth with the things that he needed to hear. It was a miracle to me and it built my faith in the power of the Priesthood. I love being a missionary.

I love you guys. Thank you for all you do for me.

Elder Moe

"This is the first place I came when I got here to Green River, WY.  We ate dinner with the Hooleys on Oklahoma Drive."

"5 out of 6"