Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010 - 5 Burgers At One Meal

August 16, 2010
Mishawaka, IN

Alright, so what the Bones is going on back home????? Scott’s moving??? What’s Jessie gonna do? When is Scott moving? Where did this girl pop up from? I haven't heard anything from Scooter. Flagstaff though..... doesn't sound too exciting. I guess Scott must really like this girl. Or, maybe he just wasn't thinking it through, what’s up? I just read the letters and was like what the..... when did this all happen? Hopefully she is a nice girl and she doesn't get Scott too aggravated. Someone tell him that if she is a keeper, don't screw it up, ha ha. And tell him to write me about it all, and have his little girl friend write me too. That would be sweet. So is Jessie just being left in the dust then? Well, she can always go to college, that’s what I think would be fun. Well, the letters were great though. Thanks for them. I finally got a letter from Paul, ha ha. It was awesome! I’m gonna be honest I struggled trying to read all your letters, even Dad's, ha ha. I had to have my companion help me out on words. He started to give up, so I eventually worked it out until the sentences made sense. If somebody can, I'm going to try and write Grandma Whitney but I don't have her address, so if someone back home could snag that for me that would be great. Well how is everything else going? Is the house sold yet??? When does school start for dad? Am I ever gonna get a picture of the family?? Oh and I haven't gotten the packages with the test stripes yet mom, or the freestyle lite meters. So I dunno if I’m supposed to get those later or something???

The Mission is going crazy. I got a lot of rebuking, my self-experiences. During lessons with investigators, every time the spirit would come in the room I would seem to always screw it up. Just by being my normal self, I would start talking about things that had nothing to do with the lesson and I would tell stories that were pointless. If the person started straying from the lesson, that’s exactly what I would do and I wouldn't bring it back. My comp and I have being trying to work on it a lot, finding solutions that will help both of us out. You start realizing when you’re out here that if you’re disobedient, if you’re taking the spirit away the investigators don't progress because of your actions. It’s all on your head. I mean of course people have their choice and if they get offended they get offended or stuff like that. But if they don't feel the spirit when they were willing to listen to it, because you yourself and your companion didn't fully bring it in, it’s probably the worst guilty feeling you could go through, especially when you realize it. When things start going into perspective greater and greater it throws me off. I’m so thankful for the atonement. Without that I would be nothing (well and so would be everyone else). But you have to depend on that. If you use it and you want to keep improving it is never at all easy in any sense but the thing that is, it is worth it. I’ve had to rely on it so much out here. The spirit is so strong, it brings a feeling of peace and comfort and everything is going to be ok. Happiness is a big word. Even when you know you messed up big time with someone or even with obedience it comes into play so much, I mean, man, I can't even explain it. I wish I could just write everything down but I can't. You can get the gist of it when you read my journal ‘cause that’s where I write everything down. I have already written 120 pages in less than 3 months.... I don't think I could keep that up. I did the math and if I write the same amount I have been, for the rest of my mission then I'll have over 1200 pages when I’m done ha ha. I probably wouldn't ever read them ‘cause they are so long, but that’s not the right attitude. Dave and Bev are still going good, except for taking the spirit away from the lessons. But, their daughter was super sick on Sunday, so they weren't at church. I experienced some godly sorrow I think during sacrament yesterday. They didn't show up to church and when an investigator doesn't show up to church and they have been improving so well I think it’s pretty much hell for every missionary and that’s what it was for me. At first I was thinking why they weren't there. Then I blamed myself, then I was just way concerned for them that if they actually knew the true reason for everything we were teaching them and how important it really is. Then I just started thinking that oh they probably got in an accident and now they are in the hospital, ha, way to think positive I know but it’s hard. Everyone in your area, every single person you are responsible for. If you don't try to talk to someone, don't cross the street when you see a person on the other side and if they would've accepted the gospel and you didn't give them that chance you will be held accountable. Deep stuff, it’s scary and it’s a motivation builder at the same time. That’s why the spirit is so important. But anyways not a lot of things happened last week that were too exciting, so I don't really know what to tell ya. Well, actually I broke a record at a member’s house the other day. They cook hamburgers for the missionaries every so often and they are like 1/2 pd hamburgers and the record for a missionary was 3 and that was Elder Williams. So I was like ‘Please, way too easy’. So I ate 5 hamburgers and I would've eaten I think one more, but they ran out of hamburgers. I totally just swept the record, ha ha. It was a piece of cake. I kept eating too after I had the 5 hamburgers, like chips and stuff. The family was impressed they were like ‘no way this guy eats this much and isn't 250 lbs’. I guess I just have a talent, but that’s all there is for exciting news. Actually my companion and I sang for this guy "I am a child of God" and in turn he sang us a song, ha ha. He sang "This little light of mine", it was way funny. We recorded it so maybe I’ll send it out to you guys, but that’s pretty much it for the mission. If you guys want to know anything else just let me know. I love you all.

Oh, and dad my study in the scriptures has been crazy ever since you talked about Elder Bednar and how he studies (which I still don't know how he does it so you could shed some light on that). I have been trying to improve mine so I have this study journal that I bought and any scripture I like I write it down and write my feelings about it. Then I look up the cross references and try to figure out the main message from it and how I can apply it to myself as a missionary and how I can use it for the people we teach out here. It’s way hard. I struggle with it sometimes but let me know what you think or any study tools or ways to study that could help me improve I've been trying to figure the best way for me to remember everything, it’s hard. I struggle with remembering people’s names even and that never helps, ha ha. I love the thoughts you send out keep sending them. They always do me good. I liked the last email you sent about D & C 100:4. Tell me stuff that you want me to shed light on at all. I don't really know what all to write. Tennis sounds good. Thanks for the updates. It all seems pretty tight between everyone in the pros and sounds like you’re doing good with leagues and tournaments. You still got to win one though. I love you Dad,

Elder John Michael Moore

P.S. - I love you too Mom, Scott, Paul, and Jessie

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 8, 2010 - Second Letter from Mishawaka

August 8, 2010

Hey Everyone:

Hey, I did hear about the Notre Dame player. I actually met him. His name is Chris Badger, he is going to Ecuador or something like that. He went to Timpview High School. He is a way cool guy. He was way excited to leave. He opened up his call letter with the whole Notre Dame football team, so he told a way cool missionary experience with that. Elder Williams does know about diabetic first aid mother. I told him the first night we were settled in. Don't worry I’m responsible, ha ha, well kinda. I'll try to get an appointment set up with a diabetes doctor and what I all need to do.

But I bet you wanna know how the last week went down. Well it was an up and down week that’s for sure. I remember one of dad’s fellow seminary teachers telling dad or something when Chase, mom and I went to the seminary after we went to the Bountiful temple that I was ready to be a missionary, or I was prepared or something. Ha ha, what an understatement. Whether or not I was, I was humbled this week. I just wasn’t able to figure anything out. I went through a big swing of things. We met up with a couple of investigators. I’m not sure if I told you guys about Dave and Bev, but they are the coolest people ever. They are about your guy's age, 50's area in life and they were a referral from Glen Beck (Just goes to show anyone can be doing missionary work), and they are in love with Glen Beck and found out that he was Mormon. So, not yesterday, but a week ago they just decided to show up to church by themselves, not knowing anybody, and the whole ward fellowshipped them in. They were looking confused in the parking lot and a member asked them if they needed help and she brought them into testimony meeting and they have loved church since. We talked about baptism yesterday with them and when we go by later this week we will set up a baptismal date. It’s so amazing the progression they have made. The first Sunday that they came they went to gospel principles class and learned about the word of wisdom, and both of them haven't drunk coffee since. They just all the sudden went cold turkey......How awesome is that? I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream. The miracles of people that you encounter and when you share your testimony even if you stumble with it how much it impacts them, it’s so amazing I just can't even express how it is. I feel like I’m not worthy because of what I’m actually helping them accomplish in the eternal aspect of everything. It’s so crazy I’m so excited for them. They both run marathons and half marathons, so I told them to do the Ogden marathon, and that we should do it all together when I get off my mission. Maybe if they invite us to do a 5k on p-day we will be able to. I haven't run as much out here in Mishawaka. But, weird enough I haven't gained a pound. We ate at another Samoan's house again. We had ribs and we ate til we were stuffed, and I mean I ate a lot. As much as I could until I just couldn't swallow any more. Those Samoan's like to eat man!!! We have lately talked a lot with people about temples and temple marriage. It’s so great people just light up when you talk about it with them and you can see that that’s something they want to do and that’s what we are there for. We are going to the college football hall of fame in South Bend today for p-day it'll be sweet, ha ha. Maybe one day my picture will be in there, ha ha, just playin. Missionary work is dang exhausting but totally worth it at the same time. I read my Patriarchal blessing yesterday and that helps a ton. It helps guide me in my mission.

Hey Dad, what ever happened to tennis Districts? Sectionals?? and all that jazz? Don't tell me you blew it for the team!! Ha. There is this guy in the ward up here that played tennis for BYU and plays in tournaments all around. He wants to hit with me sometime on a p-day, but it won't happen cause my companion won't put up with tennis jazz, he doesn't even like to run what a bum. The thing that I try to do out here is forget about the world things that are going on and stuff that will happen when I get home, like sports, especially college football, with all the Notre Dame fans. The thing that helps the most is when I think of family. When I get distracted I think of our family back at home supporting me and how much you guys want me to succeed and to work as hard as i can. It helps so much. I think of friends, ward members, and everyone that has impacted me in life and it’s something that relieves you from stress out here because everyone wants you to do good things out here and when you think of them you don't want to let them down. Well, at least I don't want to let them down, and I won't and I don't, so thanks Mom, Dad, Paul, Scott, and Jessie for your guy’s prayers. Even if you’re not praying for me I know you guys are thinking of me, and it helps me and of course I’m always thinking of you.

Sorry to say nothing too funny happened this week except we biked in the rain and cars splashed us with water. So, if you can imagine me just telling people thank you with a weird looking smile on my face when they splashed us, well, there you go. This guy we tracted into might call mom and dad. He is going out to Ogden and he wanted to get your guy's number so he could meet up with you. I wasn't sure what number to give him so if you want to meet this sweet catholic guy that loves us than tell me what number you guys want me to give him when he gets out there. I was surprised he even asked me. He just said he wanted to get in contact with you guys when he was out there. So, who knows. I found out that Mario is getting baptized the 21st. He was the guy in my last area. It’s awesome. I hope I can see a bunch of people progress out here in Mishawaka.

The people that play for Notre Dame football get 4 free tickets to each home game and they said if we wanted they would give them to us if we brought investigators with us which would be the only way to go anyways because a investigator has to be there but its ok'd by the president as long we bring 2 investigators, so maybe I could be able to see the Notre Dame vs. Utah game. It would be awesome, ha ha. Hey, you should send me out a schedule of the Utah football season. I bought a red tie to wear each day that they play so that would be sweet to have. I’m not sure what else to write, except yes mom our apartment is separated into sections, and the river is way cool to see in our back yard.

We are going to play B-ball with some investigators today other than Dave and Bev and this week we’re going to invite them to baptism. It’s so cool to see people progress and how the gospel changes their life for the better. It’s a big difference that you can see. They feel the spirit which only inviteth to do good so it’s always a humbling experience out here. I'll keep ya guys posted on anything else. Tell me if my letters are too long. Sometimes I think they are but I dunno. If I forgot anything let me know also.

Love you all,

Elder John Michael Moore

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 2, 2010 - Now in Mishawaka

August 2, 2010
Hey Familia,

Salamat for your email mom its great (salamat means thank you in tagalog). Mario taught us some tagalog before I left Logansport. I know how to hit on woman in a different language now so that will be cool to try out when I get home and all. Well I bet your wondering where I’m at now. I got sent to Mishawaka, Indiana which is right next to South Bend and below Michigan actually some of our area covers Michigan and South Bend. It’s not really that different just a way smaller area and we only have a car every other week so we ride bikes a lot. I’m starting to lose weight now and I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to but I’m still eating a ton. The members up here in Mishawaka are way nice. There are a lot of Samoans in the ward and we ate at one of their house's on Thursday and they won't take ‘Hey I’m full’ for an answer. You’re not full until all the food is gone so they got the kinda appetite that I like, ha ha. We are going for ribs this Wednesday and my comp says they make a ton so it will be awesome to have some home cooking. My companion now is Elder Williams. He has been out for about 9 months, he is from Thatcher, Arizona and he is way cool. We hit it off pretty well. He is a way obedient missionary so we don't have any problems. It’s crazy that obedience is the most important thing out here. I have definitely learned a lot of different views about obedience and perseverance versus doing something you love and persevering in it. It’s a whole different learning experience. Elder Williams played QB in high school and will be playing safety in college when he goes back home, so on P-day you know we will be throwing the ball around, it will be fun. Well we go to the stake center up in South Bend which is a way nice building, pretty much like one back home but it’s nice for the people here. I met Manti Te'o which is the middle linebacker for Notre Dame. He is a member and he is a big deal in college football. He is a homie though. We saw him at church and talked with him for a bit, he actually brings people from the team to church with him and the players seem to like it a lot, so he is doing a lot of missionary work which is cool. We tracted a lot the first couple of days we ran into this reverend out here who is supposedly famous his name is John Dye you guys will have to google him and tell me about him and stuff. He was not going to read the Book of Mormon though no matter what we told him. He told us that he was greater than Jesus Christ. I started laughing which wasn't the best thing but he said "what?" I told him, ‘well are you perfect?’ and it got him thinking, but he has written a book and been on TV shows and he models and stuff he was way into himself, so kinda prideful. But, he just kept saying that church wasn't important. We rebuked him a little, in a nice way of course, but he wasn't changing for anyone. He was just to set in his way, which is how a lot of people are out here. A lot of people are just set and won't listen to you at all, so what we do is bring up Notre Dame football at first to ease the transition everyone loves Notre Dame out here. They are huge diehard fans so they can talk forever, but we slowly start talking about Mormons and then the Book of Mormon, and then people actually are like ‘Alright, I’ll read it’, which is way cool. I think it’s more of the fact that they are comfortable with us so it’s easier to talk about religion when someone is really comfortable and nice to talk to. It’s always fun to talk about football too. We bring up Manti sometimes and be like ‘ya, he is Mormon’ and people turn their heads for a second and start wanting to learn more about Mormons. A lot of people also have the wrong idea about Mormons too. And there is no way you can change their minds. It’s kinda funny because how can you expect to continue to follow Christ and become a better person, if you’re not willing to have an open heart. People are just set in their ways though and there's nothing you can do about that. We have an investigator who is way into the BOM. He told us last time we came over he was just like LEHI is, No Joke man, and his Boy Nephi is my Man. It was way funny but he told us straight up that he knew that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God so now we just have to act on it and tell him what he needs to do because he knows the BOM is true, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. So it will be awesome to see him progress. There are still a lot of loopy people out here that are just hammered when they answer the door but don't really know what they are talking about. We try to get out of there as quick as we can because even if we do teach them they won't remember anything. We tell them so we get some interesting scenarios with them one guy kept laughing at us and then he would be mad then just complete serious and start crying, what are you gonna do though. Well I don't really know what else to write, everything else is awesome so no worries. Don't worry mom, I told him about diabetic first aid the first night. My address now is

Elder John Moore
318 Lincoln Way East Apt #2
Mishawaka, In 46544

Love you all still and I’m still working as hard as I can and I have about 250 strips left. I actually counted. That paper that I sent with you with the passport is the invitation Nathan made for his baptism. I was going to send pictures but I ran out of time. I’ll send them today though I’m not sure that I’ll send anything out to you guys. I have enough room in my bags and all. I did have to buy new running shoes cause basketball tore up my Nikes. I tried to buy the cheapest ones though, sorry about that. Well it’s always good to get mail, so I’ll be looking forward to either emails or letters.


Elder John Michael Moore