Sunday, December 26, 2010

November Letters - November 29th, 22nd, 15th, 8th, and 1st

November 29, 2010

Hello Family,

Well mom it was Bro. Kline that you talked to on the phone, and heads up dad it wasn't me.  I even told him I didn't even want to hear my mothers voice because I knew she would answer.  I gave him our home number like 2 months ago, because he wanted to call you guys sometime when I wasn't there, but unfortunately he still had it saved to his phone and called in the middle of dinner.  I did tell him I didn't want him to call.  But he did it anyways, so I apologize for all of that.  I know how important it is to be single- minded on this work and you’re right dad on the fact that you can't if you’re not following all of the rules.  But as the work keeps going forth, I keep learning and learning more and more from mistakes and from experiences.

Thanksgiving was a pretty boring day though, we weren't allowed to go outside and do anything so we just sat and read scriptures and conference talks.  But, we did get to play football like I said and it was the perfect weather.  It was like lower 40's and really, really foggy, the ground was nice and muddy.  So, I was quarterback, haha, and it went really well. I had a bunch of touchdown throws and of course some interceptions.  Some kid in our ward thought he could do a better job then me and he lost the game, but I had a lot of fun.  Elder Jensen and I were way, way sore the next couple of days.   It was pretty tough, but funny too, because we would just make weird noises when we would get out of our chairs or beds in the mornings.  Elder Jensen is leaving in 2 weeks from today tsk, tsk, tsk.  I thought I was going to get away from his trunkyness but at least we still get along really well.

If it’s not one thing I learned on my mission it’s another.  You just have to roll with the punches that are thrown at ya and keep getting up.  We are going to transfers this Wednesday to pick up another companion, so I guess we will find out who it is.  I hope that he will be pretty cool.  But, I guess I will still be here for another 6 weeks I’ll celebrate Christmas in Mishawaka, good times, good times.

The work is starting to slow down so your prayers for it to start picking back up would be appreciated.  We went on exchanges with the assistants Friday and I learned a lot.  I still got a lot to improve on, but, at least I’m improving not declining.  Missionary work is hard work, very hard work.  The hardest I have ever done ever at anytime in my life.  For something to be so spiritually and mentally straining is the worst.  The physical stuff I can get over easy, that’s not even an obstacle for me.  But all the other stuff is hard.  You get confused, you get lost, disappointed, astonished, baffled, distracted, frustrated, perplexed, puzzled, and all within an hour of teaching someone.  To get used to it is a tricky situation.  Our investigators that we are working with right now are doing a lot better.  A couple have promised that they will never miss church again and have kept their promises and they aren't even baptized yet.  Their accountability isn’t the strongest, so we just got to go slowly over the gospel with them.  I think one important thing that I have realized again this week is IAACOG ( I am a child of god).  That’s compliments of our new gospel principles teacher who is the professor of political science at Notre Dame.  He is a genius, pretty famous I think too.  His name is Dave Campbell.  Maybe you can Google him.  But being a child of god and knowing it are 2 phrases that kinda perplex me if you think of them deeply.   I read the King Follett discourses during studies and man o man the relationship that we need with god to know him is so important.  I’m glad I am where I am and I hope I can bring other people with me so I have a lot more work to be doing here in Mishawaka.  Ummm, but other than that nothing new has happened lately.  A missionary that we serve with in our district is going home today his 2 years are up and that’s pretty sad to see him go.  You get teary when people bare their testimony of this work especially since they have done it all.  Well I think that’s it from Indiana.  I’ll try to write more next week.  Yes, I save all your letters mom :)

Love You,
Elder Moore

November 22, 2010

Yep, transfers are next week on the first, but Elder Jensen is leaving on the 13th and since the work is going so well out here I will stay and get a new companion and we will either be in a 3-some or elder Jensen will get moved.  I could just be here for another 4 1/2 more months  :)

November 15, 2020


Well as everyone in my emails has so reluctantly shared, yes, Utah lost to Notre Dame terribly.  It was a horrible night for many reasons.  Utah lost, all the Notre Dame fans(the whole city of South Bend, and Mishawaka) we're all drunk and partying, it was raining, and I got made fun of at church.  Oh well, teams do need to be humbled every once in a while to achieve greatness.

This last week was pretty good.  Mariah and Chase got interviewed for baptism and they passed, so it will be this Saturday at 5 pm eastern time.  Keep them in your prayers and us teaching them cause man o man have I not gone through so much craziness.  And Mariah and Chase are both crazy, so is their uncle.  They are really hyper children and every time they act up their uncle threatens them to beat them, paddle them, or something, so if you can imagine them trying to jump all over us during lessons trying to sit on our laps and their uncle yelling out threats during an hour lesson you can kinda imagine what we have been going through.  But, still they are ready for baptism even when they don't listen to us that they can't jump on missionaries or sit on their laps they think we just make it up.  It’s like what are you supposed to do when little girls come up to hug you even when you told them that they aren't supposed too.  Oh well, I guess I just don't know what its like to be 9 again.  Was I pretty weird when I was 9 years old?  Mom and dad I like to think that I was some what normal but then again..... Maybe Paul can give some feedback on that question.  He had to put up with me more than you guys did I think.

One of our investigators, Adam, came and picked us up for his lesson and on the way to the church to teach him, we saw this guy with his car in a ditch, so Adam and us decide to go help him out with Adam’s truck.  The guy was being such a baby just crying about everything, whining, yelling at everyone.  We just asked “hey do you want us to tow you out?” and he just said “if you want to?” which pissed Adam off pretty bad.  But, it didn't stop us from helping, so we get some tow rope attach his car to the hitch and us missionaries are lifting from the front of the car in the ditch and as were doing this I just hear the guy whose car it is yell out “why does God hate me so much?”  It gave me a good chuckle being a missionary I thought maybe he just might get struck by lightning right now, haha.  He couldn't even notice the people, called of God helping him out.  But, he was just so focused on the negative.  But, I guess its ironic since he just got out of church when his car went into the ditch which he drove into.  Not too smart of a guy.  But Adam was saying after we got the car out and were on our way we didn't even get a thank you just a bunch of complaints.  Adam made a comment and said I really hope he left his car in neutral and it rolls right back into that ditch.  Adam is a pretty funny character and he has been through a lot, so he loves meeting with us. That was that.

I almost got hit by 2 cars on our bikes this week it was so close about 2-3 feet from one and 3-4 feet from the other.  You'd think people were out trying to get us but I give people the benefit of the doubt and they sneezed right before they saw us and their hands jerked the wheel and their right foot instead of hitting the brake accidentally hit the gas, I mean hey it could happen and at least I didn't get hit.

We had a sweet time at church yesterday we had 7 gators (investigators) there and it was fast and testimony meeting since we had stake conference last week and one of our investigators bore her testimony… Oh man it was scary, I was nervous to see what she would say because you never know, and she is just going off her knowledge of who she has seen gone up.  But, it was so sweet.  I haven't heard such a heart felt testimony in a while from a gator.  She bore witness of all the truths she has been taught about the church, missionaries, members being nice,  the gospel and she sure didn't talk about the bunny that got ran over which was some how related to the deer in someone’s backyard which all was related to the circle of life.  You hear some pretty weird things out here, but, altogether it was so awesome.  It inspired the rest of the ward and we went a little over time because there was such a long line of people wanting to bear their testimonies.  So, it was a light to me to take seriously my testimony and always try to build it up.  Every time I share it, speak from the heart and love the people you are trying to bear testimony to with the spirit.  That’s what we are looking for.  Other than that no more good stories.

I thought that I wrote Paul back a letter, I swear I did.  But, let me know if I haven’t so I can write him back.  How is Paul recovering? Is he doing anything fun like riding around in a wheelchair or just sitting and chillin’ on the couch? Has he read the BOM yet???  That’s so sweet that your seminary students are praying for me dad.  I love the feeling of realizing how many people out there in the world are truly praying for us to succeed. Maybe next time tell them to pray the people here in Indiana will soften their hearts and try not to run over the missionaries!!! Haha.  Well I love you all.  It sounds like dad is doing good at tennis.  It’s so cool to hear about Maryanne.  If you ever see Coach Mac you should have her write me.  Bro. Snelson in the ward here is way good at tennis.  He is the best around I've heard.  He is like a top 5.0 player.  He doesn't play in a lot of tournaments though he just helps out at the club around here.  But anyhow, again I love you, I hope the family is staying close and everyone is happy.

Yours truly,
Elder Moore  

November 8th, 2010

Hey family,

Hey, well I haven't gained any weight out here mom, so I guess the camera adds 10 pounds, but thanks for making me self-conscious.  I’m gonna have to be watching myself and continue to exercise in the morning.  That’s probably the hardest thing that we do is waking up in the morning and trying to work out first thing.  Sometimes I think I’m stretching then I kinda just roll around, try to go over Lehi’s dream if you know what I mean.  You get tired being a missionary alright, its exhausting.

Well I do have some news for you guys. We got permission from our mission president to go to the Utah vs. Notre Dame football game, how sweet is that? Now its just up to making sure we actually have tickets.  We have asked ward members and investigators, but we will see.  We have a lot of people looking for us so it will all work out in the end if we were supposed to go or not.  But I did hear about the crushing loss they had to TCU man that was a heart breaker lost by 40 points or something.  Not what I was proud of and are you serious about them changing their name?  That is so dumb.  I was just telling Elder Jensen that if they start changing around the whole program I might just have to go to Utah State for my pre-med and play football for them, because that is just dumb.  They better not change their colors or anything like that.

But just so I remember, if you guys could send that GPS out to me that would work miracles.  It does help finding houses and such but if you could update it with the current maps and stuff that would help out too. But ya, I think that I’m going to buy my comps bike.  It should only be about 50 dollars, so we will see.  It’s a really nice bike I thought that he would sell it for a lot more he bought it new when he was out here and it cost him about 600-700 dollars so that’s a blessing and its nice being with a companion that’s about to leave because you get all the stuff that he can’t bring with him for flying home so I’m getting clippers and all this stuff which is sweet.  A negative though is that the trunkyness issue is there. Elder Jensen is excited to go home and here I am thinking hey I got 18 months left, can we just not talk about it.  I don’t really want to go home but what will be cool I remembered that I get to talk to you guys on Christmas how sweet huh? That should be weird or cool I wouldn’t know what to say since I write everything down in my emails.  I got a present for you guys by the way for Christmas I’ll send it off in about a month I think you’ll be surprised.

But what’s happened in the mission so far?  Nothing new really.  We are planning on our baptism for November 20th with Mariah and Chase. They are the 9 yr olds.  It should go sweet I can’t wait.  I think that I’m baptizing them so that will be an experience, first time on the mission.  We have a lot of sweet investigators that we are trying to set baptism dates with.  They are really solid when they get over a couple of issues that they have.  Joe is the one guy I mentioned a month or two ago.  He is just borderline on getting baptized.  He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph smith was a true prophet, so you would think that that’s all he would need.  But, the adversary is at work and is confusing the heart of men out there taking away virtue, confidence, love, sincerity, knowledge, all this stuff and its hard to fight.  But, if you keep at it you will always win, always.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this to you guys or not but Elder Jensen and I came up with a sweet new idea of rake tracting.  We just go up to peoples houses and ask them if we can rake their yards.  A lot of people are shocked that we will actually do it for free and people tell us off at first, that they don't want to hear what we have to say and all that junk, but we just persist and say well can we just rake your yard.  This one guy which was a miracle he answered the door and went over his whole story… how God doesn't exist its common sense all the hoopla, but we just say well can we rake your yard he thought we were politicians and that we were trying to "rake in the votes".  Haha catchy but not our idea so he gets shocked, and says sure, so we start raking and he is just standing there and says well can I at least talk with you guys while you’re raking.  We look at each other and say we would love that so we get to know him and pretty soon we find out that he met with the missionaries 20 years ago and was really close to joining the church but went down the wrong path.  Surprisingly, he remembered the rest of the Book of Mormon and all.  We talk about God and how he truly does exist and that we feel the spirit all the time.  He agreed and wanted to know more so we taught him about apostles and stuff and we were about to leave and he asks us for a Book of Mormon........He asked us man I wish that happened every time but I guess that I can testify the rake tracting truly does work and that people will be more open to you when you serve them in a way that they think you are serving them.  So, the gospel is important to everyone.

That’s tough to hear about Paul.  Man what dumb friends, but he probably doesn't blame it on them.  Tell him that I told him that he has permission from me to stop walking off one story doors.  Surgery, huh?  Man that doesn't happen too often in our family.  Well except for mom and scooter, but, tell Paul that since he will have so much extra time that he can be able to write me too.  Tell him I keep him in my prayers which I keep the whole family in my prayers too.

What do I want for Christmas?  I don't really know.  Kinda like dad said not really anything expensive you’re already spending a lot. I got some ties out here from comps and from investigators.  I did mess up a few though so maybe a tie or two would be nice, but other than that I can't think of too much.  I don't need shirts or G's, but, the pants that I tore up from Missionary Mall I never got back. I got the belt but I never got the pants so I’ve been having to wear the same pants for 3-4 weeks its not pretty.  They are almost worn out too.  My shoes are close, I will have to take a picture of them soon, but, other than that I’m good.  If I do need something I usually buy it from Walmart, but nothing out of the ordinary just gloves or something.

That’s all from Indiana.  Thanks for the emails Mom and Dad I love them and I hope to continue to hear from you guys.

Love always,
Elder John Michael Moore
P.S. Mom I will never be a Cougar fan
P.P.S. How come you never told me Ryan Shepard got his mission call.  That’s awesome. That’s the same mission as Bradley.

November 1, 2010

Dear Familia,

Hey, hey, hey, how’s everything going back at home.  Man, I have a lot of questions. Haha, like why did Grandpa Moore come up??? I was super shocked to get a letter from him since I only remember seeing him once and that was in Oregon I think, but it wasn't for long.  But it was way nice to get a letter from him, it made my day.  I've gotten all my grandparents to write me now that I've been out on my mission.

Well last week Elder Jensen and I took a walk around Notre Dame campus it was so sweet. I was pretty shocked at some of the stuff I learned.  Do you know that they only have 8,000 undergraduate students and 3,000 graduate students.  Talk about a small campus life.  You hear how big Notre Dame is, but there really aren't that many people going there.  It was sweet to get pictures there and all.  Elder Jensen and I had a good time.  We went to the College football hall of fame after, and we just sat around and chilled because we didn't want to pay to go inside.  They have football field in the back of it that we are planning to go and play on.  We went running for the first time in about 4 months for me it felt good.  We just did a 10-15 minute run just a mile or so it was good to get the good ole legs going.  Biking has been terrible lately my bike is possessed or something it keeps breaking, then I've had like 5 flat tires in the last 2 weeks.  That’s just unheard of.  I don't like it at all, we have had to walk everywhere.  One day we walked for a hour and a half just to get to a doctors appt for Elder Jensen.  Elder Jensen is way sweet he went to USU and is going back next semester.  He is a living miracle of cancer and stuff he has glaucoma now, the eye disease, and we get along really well.  We tried playing soccer this morning with a bowling ball it wasn't pretty, haha.  I almost tripped and fell.  We've had some pretty funny experiences this last week besides my bike breaking down on the way.  By the way I might just buy Elder Jensen’s bike from him when he leaves he wants like 50-60 bucks for it, and he bought it when he got out.  It’s a way nice bike too, so it'll be a lot better than mine.

We went and tried some families last Thursday and we got a call from this lady to see her husband.  So we go over to see him.  His name is Pat and we knock and there is no answer, and we knock and there is no answer, but we heard the TV on so we were worried because maybe something happened to him, he is diabetic so you never know.  So Elder Jensen asked should we open the door and see if he is alright and I just told him “well, if that’s what the spirit is telling you then ya it'll be sweet we could save his life.  But secretly I didn't want to open the door just in case something bad was going to happen.  So Elder Jensen opens the door, then Pat jumps around the corner and scares the crap out of Elder Jensen. I just start laughing really hard.  Pat was just clueless and Elder Jensen was freaking out.  But, we found out he was ok and that he was just in the bathroom so we called the wife back to tell her, so, that was one story that happened.

A couple of things that I learned this week well at least one thing was LOVE.  Man do you need it, or you can’t work with out it.  It’s probably the biggest, most important part of this work.  To truly love the lord and try your hardest, to know of the love He has for you even though we will never truly comprehend it all.  To love all the people deeply, it’s one thing to say that you love someone and you think you love them, but, it’s a whole different thing in its whole when you show it, and when you feel it is one thing that I learned just from reading the scriptures about Jesus Christ and his life, and about the Book of Mormon and the references that it has on it.  Man, Moroni 7:45-to end of chapter talks about it pretty well if you don't have it your pretty much nothing.  I've tried to realize that love for myself in the last week and man has it made a huge difference in how much the spirit is there in lessons with people and they want the spirit more in their lives, and they know that they need to be at church.  It’s so sweet to see the difference in them, from the difference that is in me, because these are people that we have been working with for a couple weeks or months.

We have a baptism coming up the 20th of November.  It’s with Mariah and Chase the 9 year old twins I think I sent their picture to you guys.  That one will be awesome, I can't wait.  They are some kids that have probably been through more things then people endure in their whole lives.  I have seen some things out here on my mission that I would have never of thought could be real.  The cruelty that lies in the real world is disheartening and sad at the same time.  My perspective on my faith in Jesus Christ and faith in general has changed enormously.  It is the thing that is the center of our lives, without it we are truly dead to ourselves for we can never experience the happiness that we can with the knowledge that he loves us.  No matter how much of worldly possessions that we have money or anything we truly can't know the happiness that we can have through our faith on Jesus Christ, his Atonement, and God's Plan of Happiness and the only way we can know this in its fullness is through the restoration of the gospel we can and will be more happy through the restoration of the fulness of Christ’s gospel than anything on this earth.  That is my testimony on those things and love is at the center of it.  Man, oh man, it’s just crazy how much the spirit can hit you when you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.  I hope I can live more righteously starting now, and that I can overcome any trial that sets me to not reach as high as I am supposed to for the natural man is a enemy to god,  and has been from the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever.  And he will be ok with all the things of the world and will love them and think more of himself then of others.  It’s my goal to strip myself of pride and of things that hold my self back from building my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Well mom, I don't want you to take offense to this, but Elder Jensen keeps telling me that he doesn't like you, haha.  He is about to go home and is trying to lose weight and he keeps telling me Elder your moms cookies are too good.  How am I supposed to lose weight when I keep eating all of mine and your cookies?  So, he doesn't hate you in a bad way mom he is just bitter because your cookies are awesome.  Thank you so much for the package and letters I always enjoy them but what about my UTES??? Haha.  It’s good to see the progression of you guys back home and how life is going.  What’s going on with Scott and where is he living at?  Has his girlfriend dumped him yet? Ha, just kidding!  Tell him to write me.  Where does Paul have a job at?  What has he been up to lately?  He must be losing weight for how much he has been running.  He will have to run some marathons before I get home.  And mom, what happened to that half marathon that you were going to run???  Where is Jessie in all the jumble of people moving and staying and the whole family being in Park City?  You guys seem to be getting closer since I left hmmm........I finally got the picture of the family it was a good day I put it in a frame and everything.  Thanks for the San Diego picture, and the picture of you and dad it was nice to get them I remember what my family actually looks like now.  To answer  your questions I do have plenty of time to read those inspiring articles and the ones with the Utah scores on the "Wink, Wink"  The couple that came because of Glen Beck were way solid, but they started going back to this Catholic church and said that the religion is true, they pretty much were just more comfortable with their own beliefs and didn't want to change.  They didn't really have a reason not to continue to come to church because they didn't have anything against what we taught them, but they didn't quite want to live the commandments either like WOW (Word of Wisdom) and stuff, so it was sad to see them choose that path, but maybe we planted a seed.

Daniel the other guy we were meeting with tsk, tsk, tsk, he hasn't gotten in touch with us in ages.  We have called and texted and knocked and one time we thought he was home so I knocked on the door and said "Delivery I got a complimentary jumbo supreme pizza for a Daniel”, but that didn't work either.  You start coming up with crazy ideas as a missionary just so people will answer doors, but, what if he answered and was expecting a pizza it could've gotten ugly.  We could've just said the pizza guy just left and we just happened to show up at the same time....... I’m not driving now I’m still the junior comp, maybe next transfer and mom I don't have any of those records I didn't have copies of the blood work that I sent to you so you might have to make copies and send them back.  But I think that’s about everything this week.  I’ll let you know how everything goes.

I love you all ,
Elder John Michael Moore 

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