Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year's Eve Holland Style

One of the Sisters in Murray sent this picture saying Elder Moe was
teaching her youngest son how to wink for the ladies. Ha!
Hello family!

I have had a few cool experiences this week! 

1. I went on exchanges in the Spanish elders area and it was awesome! We had tamales for lunch and we had a big Honduran dinner. I got to bear my testimony in Spanish at one of the lessons. I really want to learn how to speak. It was awesome!

2. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day were fun but pretty uneventful. On New Year's Eve Elder Dubbeld was pretty bummed because that is a big celebration in Holland. They don't celebrate the Fourth of July of course so that is like the one day they do a ton of fireworks. We set an alarm for 11:55 and had a countdown until twelve. Elder Dubbeld shot off his nerf gun like crazy and then we opened up a bottle of Martinellies apple cider (non alcoholic of course), read some scriptures that were in the chapter 20 verse 16s and went back to bed. It was super hard to get up. Hahaha

3.  So we talked to this guy named Jeremy on Saturday.  He was a messenger from heaven and an answer to my prayers. We were at these apartments and he was outside at these chairs with this other guy smoking. We started talking to him and he started talking to us and we found out pretty quickly that he was a Mormon and he had formerly been a 12 step missionary. He also told us that he had fallen back and knew he shouldn't be smoking, but he said we were a sign for him that he needed to stop. He talked to us a lot about the spirit that we had and talked about when people loose that spirit after their mission. He told us that we could have that spirit when we were forty or thirty. He told us that we didn't have to give that up. He told us that people loose that spirit when they stop using their heart and start using their brain. When they get home, get busy with school and life and stop caring about others, stop looking for the love of God in everyone that they talk to. He told us to NEVER LOOSE THAT. He told us to never cut off that connection between our brain and our heart. He told us that we can really show that love when we ask someone how they are doing. We really look them in the eye and see what they are not saying and see how we can help them. 

This is something that I have really thought, prayed and worried about. Here, I see so many return missionaries that are less active and so many people who really just don't care. Everyone talks about that drop after their mission where they feel far from God, don't study and pray as much as they did or don't feel the spirit with them. I don't think God meant that to be. I don't think that he meant to have us focus this whole two years in coming closer to him just to step back at the end of it all. Don't think I'm being na├»ve; I know that life won't be even close to the same after my mission. But what I do know is that I am learning to be a cleaner, sharper instrument in God's hands and I don't want to give that up. I am learning to "see not as a man seeth." I am learning to look at people's hearts. I am learning how to truly "feast upon the words of Christ." I am learning to "look to him in every thought" and I am learning to "pray always". I don't want to leave these things in the trash can of my stake president’s office as I walk out the door after he has told me I am released. I want to endure to the end and strive to continue to climb upward. I want to live a life guided and shaped by his hand. I want the distance between us when I stand before my God to be a small adjustment because I have lived a life already close to him. I have a longggg way to get there and I don't want to fall backwards when I return home.

This handyman (by choice) smoking out side these apartments, fighting his battles and on his own path, was a messenger from God for me today. He gave me so much more hope for what's next. To hear him say that 10 or 20 or 40 years from now I can still feel like this closeness with God was an answer to my thoughts and prayers that I have asked so many times. I understood a little more what it means in the scriptures when it says, “my heart leaped with joy".  

Tell Liam that I am super duper proud of him and he looked like a stud in his baptism day pictures!  Tell Preston that he’s super blessed – he has a great group of friends.  I love all the pictures and videos and I love all of you!

Elder Moe

"I hope you guys ate a lot of queso for me."

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