Monday, November 30, 2015

"Wow, you're telling me that right there...Wow"

Dear Family,

Dad, from your letter:  "There is some stuff in the Old Testament that I just can't teach to the Freshman and today was no exception.  Fortunately none of them read the assignment because I didn't want to have to explain what happened." Was it the Sodom and Gomorrah chapters? :D

Preston, you and your hammocking traditions, I love it. Dried mangos are the awesome and perfect "strictly hammock food". You are kind of a hippie dude. Long hair, guitar, dried mangos, hammocks, pole-vaulter. Total hippie. How is it trying to stay warm in the hammocks? Do you use a sleeping bag? It's great to know that you are still burping in people's faces... Super polite.

Becca, you are a special individual. When I tell people about my siblings, I typically say, "I have a little brother that is the second oldest and a little sister who is the youngest and she is more mature than both of us." But yet, you have this insane goofiness about you that is unmatched. Nice slow mo videos by the way guys! 

Mom, you are awesome I love you!  We haven't been riding the bikes lately because of the snow and it doesn't help that the nut from the front wheel fell off. So, I have to get a new one today. 
"Favorite picture ever."

Here is a really cool story of what happened this week. So let me tell you how we met Jason (name changed). We had an appointment fall through and we had some time to go contact someone. We said a prayer at the front door of this apartment building asking Heavenly Father to guide us to someone. We said amen and I felt we had to go to apartment A. Elder Gill suggested that we could go contact this girl we had met the other day, but I couldn't walk out of that building, I felt that we needed to knock on that door. So we did, not knowing what to expect (you never do when you are knocking on a door), we knocked. The door opens and this big guy looked at us pretty freaked out and said, "come in." That was all that was said. I am pretty sure we didn't even get a word out. We came in, introduced ourselves, and he has us sit down and was like, "it's weird you all are here right now man, I don't know what to think." He said, "be honest with me right now, what made you come here?" I said, "To be completely honest, we were at the door of the apartment building and said a prayer to guide us to someone and the spirit told us to come knock on your door." He just leaned back and was like "Wow, you’re telling me that right there... Wow." We really didn't know if it was a good or bad thing at first, but he told us that four days ago he had prayed for guidance, help and direction and we showed up. He said, "every time I pray, you guys end up showing up!"  Since then we have been meeting with him a lot. We have seen him everyday since that happened on Tuesday and he keeps wanting us to come back and he always wants us to stay longer. One of the first things he told us when we met with him was "missionaries in the past have always been like "come to church and see, see what it's like!"" And he pretty much told us straight up not to ask him to come to church because he is not going. That's awkward...He came! and I think they really liked it! I was praying that they could feel the spirit and that all the talks were good and they were. I was afraid that when we got into Gospel Doctrine, and we were doing genealogy, it would be boring, but they loved it. He was like calling his mom and putting all the names and birth dates on. It was really cool! Then in the last hour they were doing a combined meeting on protecting our homes from pornography and I was like... Crap. But it was super awesome!! The bishop of that ward is amazing and Jason was talking about it after how he wants to be able to protect his kids from that someday. 

It's 1:00, but I know the gospel Is true!!!! Love you bye! 

Elder Moe

P-Day Haircut
"I know you're jealous"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Have An Awesome Thanksgiving Everyone!!

"Sneak Peak: One of the new characters in the upcoming
STAR WARS saga - Elder Moe Kenobi"
Dear Family,

HAPPY FLIPPING BIRTHDAY TO MY MOST FAVORITE BROTHER!! You’re my only brother, but you are still my favorite. I love you so much! I have been pretty terrible lately about writing in my journal because of district leader responsibilities... I have to call all the companionships in the district and then call the zone leaders every night and I always take forever. On Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday morning we had our traveling AP (Assistant to the President) stay with us and train and Elder Gill and stuff. He is from Guatemala! He helped me brush up on my Espanol. I was thinking that you would be proud of me because I keep randomly talking in Spanish like you do all the tiempo. 
"This is Elder Valdez!  He is the AP that stayed
with us Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
He's from Guatemala!" 

It looked like you guys had a super sick bonfire!!!! I hope you are singing your heart out and jamming on the guitar! Honestly I miss that a lot. I saw the shirt Jet made you! That is pretty cool. Owasso better be hammockville by the time I get home! It sounds like you are spreading it a lot! 

I love you guys so much. I’m sorry I didn't have time to do a house tour for you guys this week, but I will do one soon. I am jamming to all the awesome music on my iPod. Thank you so much Mom for working so hard on that.  Having the speaker is so great because when we share videos with people we just turn it on and it is automation Bluetooth connected. 

So I don't really think there is a set rule on teaching someone who is under the influence, but we ran into another guy the other night. He was super drunk or something but he worked at Delta airlines and he helped missionaries leaving the MTC all the time! He was super scared when he answered the door and he was trying to convince us that he was the best Mormon ever so we didn't even need to talk to him. He was like "you wouldn't believe the prayers I say in the morning. I pray to like Thomas S. Monson and like his councilors and gold plates and everything. You guys are so great man! I know every thing you are saying and I am 100 percent on board... you would not believe the person I was.. so thank you so much."  We got like three words in and he was saying stuff like that at the door for about 10 minutes. 

To answer a few of your questions: 1) We got bikes from the mission office. It was by the Hand of God because they are both super nice "giant™" bikes and they were both given by missionaries that have left or are going home soon. My thighs have been sore lately. 2) Some of my responsibilities are: I have to do district meetings, Give trainings every week, Do exchanges, Call the district ever night, And other stuff. The most important part is ministering to my district, which is the best! It can be applied to all of the work. 3) We have four wards. We cover Hillside, Hillcrest, Park and Ridgecreek.

My companion, Elder Gill 
Have an awesome Thanksgiving everyone!! Eat a ton of food for me so you can all gain weight like I will after 5 dinners. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be on a mission. I am so thankful for an awesome family. I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior that has given His life for me. I am so grateful for all my friends and family, your love and support.  Go out of your way this Thanksgiving to tell people thank you especially to your Heavenly Father. He has given you everything! The only thing we can give Him that isn't already His is your will. If we submit our will to him, we will have true and eternal joy!! Listen to what the spirit tells you. If you are to afraid to act on a prompting think, "if not you then who?"

Elder Moe

P.S. I spoke twice yesterday! :D it was awesome. I love speaking! l have learned how to do it -  Don't prepare anything. The only thing to roughly organize is your thoughts. 

P.S.S. Just a heads up I am going to buy a nerf gun today. We are having nerf wars as our zone activity and nerf makes this sick gun that shoots balls instead of darts and it is awesome.
At the mission office with Elder & Sister Hawes

Elder Valdez - Traveling Assistant to the President
"I saw a picture of Bella the other day!!"
"This is Elder Baldry. He's from Australia."

"I told him to wait right before he flipped...He wanted to do 
it!!  Don't worry, he signed a waiver."

Monday, November 16, 2015

"They Need Jesus!"

Jordan River Temple
So, Wow, I have not had a lot of time lately because of nightly calls and stuff. But I am here in Murray, UT and it is pretty awesome! I did my first interview yesterday to a nine year old and she farted in the middle of the interview. It was awesome!! Yesterday I left my iPad in a member’s car and it kinda stunk. We were walking all over town looking for him and couldn't find him. We finally ended up finding out who it was because our dinner appointment knew them. It turned out to be President Nelson's (like General Authority) daughter’s husband! (Don't worry Mom, I will be more responsible.)

Murray District A with President
Today I had to do district meeting and President showed up… I was pretty nervous. The pipeline took a while and so my training was very rushed. Later tonight we had a lesson with these YSA (Young Single Adult) age guys, so we went on splits with Elder Baldry and Elder Frogley. Elder Baldry and Elder Gill taught the YSA age guy, and because Elder Frogley and I don't really know the area, we knocked on the door below them because the kid they were teaching told us that "they need Jesus." He opened the door and had white powder on his upper lip and all over his face... He was pretty friendly and invited us in though! His house was crazy. There was stuff everywhere but we didn't really care. He was super high... We talked about everything from the beginning of the restoration to the celestial kingdom. He said some pretty weird stuff and he had a cat that looked really creepy. He kept crying at the spiritual parts of the lesson, so he was probably feeling the spirit... He told us about his LSD trips and how he thought Joseph Smith was a sociopath.  We showed him Elder Holland’s "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" and he started crying into his cat. Like bawling his eyes out, soaking the alien kitty (oh yeah, he said his cat was from light years away not from this planet)  (Now that I think about it, it might be true) Then he wanted to show us his favorite song ever, that was actually by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was "Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing." He was crying about how moving and beautiful it was. He also was a born Jew and kept speaking in Hebrew randomly in his sentences. After we left him with a Book of Mormon and everything, we said a prayer and left. Elder Baldry and Elder Gill were waiting for us. We did an evaluation on how the lessons went and Elder Baldry had a lot to talk about with Elder Gill so Elder Frogley and I went over and talked to this guy that was smoking outside and he turned out to be a recent convert. He told us about his story; he was a really cool guy. He used to be an alcoholic and now he is trying really hard to quit smoking. In the middle of our conversation, this guy that we talked to earlier, (the Jew guy on cocaine) walked up and he said, "in the language of my fathers" and then started speaking in Hebrew and was reciting some long thing with hand motions and stuff. He did a small bow and then walked away and we said, “thank you.” The guy that we were talking to just looked at us, not really knowing what was going on and then said, "did you understand what he just said...?" It was so crazy that it was hilarious like something out of a movie. Salt Lake City is an interesting place.

Sorry that this letter isn't that great this week. I love you guys so much. I hope you guys have a great week! And I hope Preston’s birthday is awesome!!

Elder Moe

My new companion Elder Gill

Sister Missionaries in my District

My view of the Wasatch Mountains.

Ran into Sis. Parks from Tulsa!

We are in the "timeout" chair.

Had to say goodbye to these awesome people.

I'll miss my Wyoming people!

Monday, November 9, 2015

It Snowed!! / Last Week In Green River

I am super sorry I forgot to charge my iPad last night so now I have to use the computer and I am still a horrible typer... I am super exited and pretty bummed that everything is changing with me being transferred and all. I have grown to love a lot of people out here and it will be pretty hard to say goodbye to everyone today and tonight. I do know that I am in the Lord’s hand and that I will be able to learn and grow from this big change. I am exited to see where I am going and who my new companion will be, but I have to wait until tomorrow... About leaving this area, I am going to try to take the advice of Doctor Seuss, "Don't cry because it’s over, smile because it happened."    

Here is a really cool miracle that happened this week:
It snowed!
We were leaving a less active guy’s house Wednesday and I had an impression to leave him something to read. We have been working with him, fasting for him and praying for him and he was making some progress with his drinking, but he didn't have a whole lot of a desire to find out if the Church was true. He had been born into it, was super less active and he didn't think it really mattered what denomination one was in. He didn't see the difference. So we had already left his house, said goodbye and everything, and I got an impression to go back and have him read Joseph Smith History hoping that it would help him understand. I left him my scriptures and I didn't think too much more of it; I just really hoped he would actually read it. Jumping foreword to Thursday night, he called and I got a pretty intense impression to answer because I knew he was counting on us. I went to the other room and answered the phone. There was a moment of quiet and he said something like, "I was reading that book you left me and I just want to thank you." I said, "what do you mean?" He said, "I understand the difference in the denominations and I know why it is so important." I felt awe and wonder rush over me as I realized that he had received a confirmation from the spirit that what he read was true. We talked some more and he said, "and if you don't mind I think I am going to read a few more chapters out of this book." I said, “You can read as much as you want!" He knew it was true and all the prayers, all the fasting and all the love shown really made a difference. He had experienced that mighty change of heart!! It was so amazing to see him change like that! He is someone who has seen and been through a TON and we love and care about him so much. With that experience, the words rang true to me that "People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care."
I will take a lot of videos and give you as much information on my new area, companion and district next Monday. I love you guys so much. Being away has helped me see how flipping awesome you guys are. MY FAMILY ROCKS!!!!!! I don't know what I did before this life to deserve to be with all of you, but I am so very grateful for this blessing from my Heavenly Father. I love you guys to heaven.

Elder Moe

Last look at the cabin and truck

Last Hike in Green River

Shadow Goodbye/Love You

It Freak'in Snowed!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Sriracha Style

So this week was crazy... We had this young lady's baptism! It's been a long time coming.  She is such a smart girl and she is leading the way for her whole family. Her dad is less active and her mom was raised Catholic. Her mom has said that she has seen a difference in her since we have been in the home teaching compared to before. She and her other 9 year old son will probably get baptized soon! She had like 40 of her family members attend the baptism and there were a bunch of people from the ward that were there as well. Her mom wanted to do a lunch thing after so we were setting up tables and chairs all morning. It went great though. I only made 2 mistakes on the program. I spelled her uncle’s name that was baptizing her wrong and I put that her confirmation was on the 32nd..... Yep. But other than that, Elder Thomas had to give a last second talk on the Holy Ghost and I had to conduct because our ward mission leader didn't show up. It was really fun and super cool though.
"Elder Moe and Elder Taylor (MTC companion) are back! (for a day)"
Sunday was her confirmation and it was awesome because her whole family was at church. I peer pressured (in a good way) her nine year old brother into going up and bearing his testimony! He isn't even a member of the church and he bore an amazing testimony and told the whole congregation that he was going to be baptized soon. It was so brave of him to get in front of all of those people and I couldn't help but smile the whole time we were up there. After he got off the stand he started going around to his entire family and trying to get them to do it. He would say, "come on I am nine if I can do it you can do it." He was pretty successful and half of the testimony meeting was his family.  Her mother, after the meeting, was joking with brother H. and saying that I was "trouble" because I got her son to bear his testimony. She said, "that missionary is trouble."  

"Observe as Elder Moe delicately guts his pumpkin."
This Saturday was Halloween and the rules about Halloween are pretty interesting out here just because we are a Salt Lake mission. So for all the other Salt Lake missionaries that are actually in the valley, they go to the temple and then have a party and a talent show with the rest of the missionaries. They do it to get the missionaries off the streets because people in Salt Lake will dress up as missionaries and do stupid things. It's really a liability thing so the church can say that none of the missionaries were out. Out in Wyoming, we just have to be in our apartment or at a ward building by six... And you have to have a member at the building if you want to do something with the other missionaries in our area. That is why I had the time to make those videos and stuff. We went to bed early that night and it was a good Halloween!
"Sriracha costume featuring Elder Freebairn with a Twinky."
I had a really cool experience with the sacrament this week. It may be kind of a small thing but it meant so much to me. On Friday and Saturday, because of all the craziness going on with exchanges, the baptism and Halloween, we had a lot of empty space in our schedule and no matter how hard we tried we didn't have very many lessons at all. I had a resolve to not have a week(end) like that again. I prayed so hard for help to be a better missionary, to have increased diligence, and to start fresh this new week coming up. I prayed and prayed Saturday night and Sunday. I was so exited to take the sacrament because I knew that that is the only way I could improve; through the power of Christ's Atonement. I held every word of that prayer in my heart as the priests blessed the sacrament. As I took the bread and water, I felt peace. I felt all the things from the past week fall away, I had a new resolve to become better and I felt Christ helping me. It taught me something that I knew in my head but hadn't really felt in my heart yet. Christ’s atonement isn't just for the things we do wrong; it is for the things we want to do better.  None of us ever achieve perfection in this life; we always have room for improvement and progression.  The repentance process applies for anytime we want to take a step closer to becoming like Jesus Christ. That is the enabling power of the atonement; helping us reach farther than we could on our own.

I am so grateful for Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for all of us. He is the Beginning and the End. Neither one would matter without him and his sacrifice for us. He bore our sins, He bore our struggles, He bore our doubts and countless more things. I am grateful for the sacred opportunity I have been given to bear His message to all that are willing to hear. He lives.
Getting a stuck hacky sac

"These are the pictures Elder Thomas makes to go along
with his training at district meetings."

Halloween dinner at the Reynolds: Mummy Meatloaf
Deviled Eyeballs
Barf and Cheese

"This stud"

"Typical McKennon"

"Happy Halloween Sriracha Style"

"Our pathetic pumpkins"